PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul will be the site of an extraordinary event that hasn’t been seen there in nearly 50 years.
The cathedral located along the Ben Franklin Parkway will host a Pontifical Mass in the old Latin Rite on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Father Robert Pasley, rector of Mater Ecclesiae Roman Catholic Church, in Berlin N.J., is one of the chief organizers of the event.
It’s being held on the 10th anniversary of former Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration that the traditional Latin Mass is still allowed.
“There is a growing movement of people who are enjoying and rediscovering the old Latin Mass because of Pope Benedict’s great permission to allow it throughout the world,” Pasley explains.
“Pope Benedict in 2007 issued the document ‘Summorum Pontificum,’ which basically said that the traditional Latin Mass had never been done away with, that it was still allowed.”
Paisley says the Mass is open to anyone with an interest in the Catholic rites.
“It’s going to be a magnificent Mass with magnificent music and we want it to be a celebration that invites everyone in to see what has been accomplished by the Latin Mass communities of the Delaware Valley, ” he says.
Pasley says clergy and the faithful from throughout the region will gather for the liturgy, the language and the music.
“It’s not just a Philadelphia celebration,” he says, “it’s really a regional celebration of the whole Delaware Valley to celebrate this great event.”
He says Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry is coming in from Chicago to serve as the main celebrant of the Mass.