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A(nother) running correspondence with then-Cardinal Ratzinger (and his secretary) – this one sparked by an interview on EWTN, over Ecclesial reform

The following correspondences were written on behalf of His Holiness, John Paul II, proposing means to then-Cardinal Ratzinger to allow unimpeded public practice of the legitimate (liturgical & other) aspirations of Catholics commonly-called traditional in the Western Church.

1. The first letter — this one dated 6 December 2003, signed by Count Neri Capponi of Florence & counter-signed by scores (or hundreds) more to then-Cardinal Ratzinger — offers a suggestion in response to the open-ended query in his interview of September 2003 with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN. That is, in re peacefully reconciling (broader) use of the traditional Roman missal (1962) without overshadowing the normative status of the Novus Ordo missae (1969).

Again, the letter appeals to His Holiness to remove once for all the conditions, all of them manufactured, which impede a normalized relationship with him of those Catholics commonly called ‘traditional’.

2. Page two of the same (afore-listed) letter of December 6, 2003.

3. The second letter, this one dated 8 January 2004, suggesting another way to ‘normatize’ a wider celebration of the Roman rite (according to the ancient liturgical usage) with the New rite.

4. Dated January 27, 2004 — the Cardinal’s reply to the first letter, given by Msgr. Georg Gänswein, then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s personal secretary.

5. Msgr. Gänswein’s second reply, dated 28 January 2004, to our second letter.

Nota bene the blessing and concluding words of encouragement to persevere to elaborate a concrete solution to the subject problems.

Front of envelope in which two letters, dated January 27 & 28 were delivered together on February 4, 2004.

Reverse of same envelope, showing stamped emblem of Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, and indicating delivery date of two letters, dated January 27 & 28, in same envelope.

6. Dated 16 February 2004, this is our third letter and final letter in this series to His then-Eminence, Joseph Ratzinger.

7. Final letter, dated February 25, 2004, to Msgr. Georg Gänswein.

The book referred to in the letter is the one presented with the letter to the Monsignor: The Roman Option by Anglo-Catholic convert William Oddie, PhD.

The correspondences were ‘declassified’ on 20 January 2014.
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