Father Berg Speaks and Offers Mass in Charlotte North Carolina

At the invitation of the Charlotte Latin Mass Community, Fr. John Berg, Superior-General of the FSSP, offered an Evening of Reflection at Saint Ann Catholic Church in Charlotte on May 2, 2013. The topic was “Ephesus, Vatican II, and the Year of Faith,” and he compared different aspects of these two ecumenical councils in light of the Year of Faith. Fr. Berg also discussed various issues related to the Mass and Traditions of the Church, and accepted questions following the talk.

The talk lasted a little more than an hour and addressed many salient points about the founding principles of the Fraternity of St. Peter, which was based, in part, on the Protocol of 5 May 1988. Father Berg explained that the Year of Faith and the Second Vatican Council were both intentionally opened on October 11th – the Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – which was established by Pope Pius XI to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of when the Council of Ephesus bestowed the title of Theotokos (“Mother of God”), to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Father Berg also outlined problems that arose after the Second Vatican Council, as theologians on both the left and the right radicalized one another. In the end those on the right came to the conclusion that the documents of the Council should be read as a break with the pre-conciliar Church (a “hermeneutic of rupture”), while those on the left, in their triumphalism, reached the same conclusion, seeing the documents of the Council as a radical departure which thankfully left behind the pre-conciliar Church. In this common conclusion, both parties ultimately decided not to do the more difficult work of finding the “hermeneutic of continuity,” which Pope Benedict XVI said must be present. He then reviewed the solutions offered by Pope Benedict XVI to these problems, as well as the many gifts to the Church provided during his pontificate.

The talk was well attended and well received. During a reception that followed, Fr. Berg took questions from attendees. In addition, those present made a good will offering for the benefit of the FSSP Seminary. The following morning, Friday, May 3rd, Fr. Berg celebrated First Friday Mass and heard confessions.

The Charlotte Latin Mass Community is a stable group of faithful (coetus fidelium) who gathered together on the Feast of the Assumption in 2011 to request a regular Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form. After 18 months of prayer and patience, their petition, which was ultimately elevated to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in Rome, was granted. On February 10, 2013, one day prior to Pope Benedict’s abdication, a letter was read from the pulpit of St. Ann Catholic Church in Charlotte granting this petition by order of the Bishop of Charlotte, His Excellency Peter Jugis. Mass in the Extraordinary Form was officially added to the regular Sunday Mass schedule starting on March 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm.

For more information about the Charlotte Latin Mass Community contact Chris Lauer.

June 4, 2013