Regarding the absence of public Traditional Latin Masses in Moscow.
As far as on the 23rd of August, 2020, there was an announcement given and published in the parish bulletin of the Moscow Immaculate Conception Cathedral concerning the live stream of the upcoming Traditional Latin Mass, which was to take place on the 30th of August. The live stream would have taken place on the Cathedral's YouTube channel. However, the live stream has never been commenced, therefore again there were no public Traditional Latin Mass.
We would like to make some comments regarding this particular situation.
Fr. Augustine Dziedziel SDB is one of those who belong to the risk category of elderly over 65 years old, and we fully understand that it's not recommended to him to participate in public worship. We are thankful to Fr. Augustine for not ceasing to offer Masses during the restrictions so that the Mass has always been live-streamed on the Cathedral's YouTube channel.
The Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in support of the needs of the Moscow traditional community, however, from it's very conception in 2010 continues it's work in order to organize regular Traditional Latin Masses according to the pre-pandemic schedule. This means that Traditional Latin Masses must be offered on every Sunday and Holy Day.
During the course of the last four years The Society would appeal to Abp. Paolo Pezzi FSB several times (09.11.2016; 22.12.2017; 09.07.2020) asking to find an auxiliary and, in perspective, a successor to Fr. Dziedziel. The only response from the church authorities was on the 9th of January, 2018, that our appeal has been taken into account and that it'd be worked on by the Cathedral's Superior, Fr. Vladimir Kabak SDB. It's deeply concerning that through the course of the last two years it was impossible to find a priest in the whole St. Mary's Archdiocese or, if necessary, to train one in order to provide faithful with regular Traditional Latin Masses. Furthermore it has become very clear that restrictions for the elderly are going to be more severe and they'll be in force longer than for other categories. Therefore we see that our community is going to be deprived of the Mass and Sacraments for inexcusably indefinite period.
We are thankful to Fr. Antonio Gotarredona OD that he continues offering Traditional Masses once a month according to our agreement.
However, first of all, after the initial lockdown measures were over, the authorities gave their permission to offer the Traditional Latin Mass only on the 23rd of August, 2020, which is almost three months later than the first Mass of the new rite (07.06.2020). Second, it's not enough to approach the Sacraments once a month for those who decided to lead a pious life in the light of Tradition. Third, the situation we find ourselves in, creates an impression of inactivity on part of the local church authorities, and it also appears that they are not interested in the regular offering of Traditional Masses.
This is not for the first time that we encounter such an ignorant disposition towards our problems, and yet we are deeply surprised by that for our community is still counted as part of the Cathedral's parish.
This unhappy circumstance induces worries and confusion among the community which consists of Catholics from different nations, as well as it creates public resonance in Russia and abroad.
We hope that that the local church authorities will take a decisive action in order to restore mutual trust and common peace. We demand that the authorities will assign without delay a priest who will tend to the needs of the local Traditional Catholic community on the regular basis along with Fr. Augustine.
The Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus continues to cover the situation. We do everything we can so that Traditional Latin Masses would be recommenced according to the regular venue, but we cannot deal with everything by our sole effort. We are asking to pray that this circumstance may be overcome.
A Cruce Salus!