On Monday 1st September 2014, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI granted Cosimo Marti, co-founder and treasurer of the Foederatio Internationalis Juventutem (FIJ) a private audience at his residence in the Vatican.
One year earlier, before the resignation of Benedict XVI, Cosimo had requested to meet him on behalf of Juventutem. Last July, he received a surprise letter from the Apostolic Nunciature in Bern, the Swiss feral capital where the Juventutem headquarters are located.
The Nunciature sent a letter from Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Pontifical House. It contained an invitation, no longer expected, to a meeting with Benedict XVI. Marti had assumed that his request had been filed with the resignation and was not expecting an answer any longer.
The letter stated that he could bring a friend. After discussing it with Juventutem staff, Marti chose Giuseppe Capoccia, Director of Summorum Pontificum Coetus Internationalis, who has organized the International Pilgrimage of Tradition in Rome since 2012 Summorum Pontificum Populus. The pilgrimage will take place in October 2014 for the third time at the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles. The pilgrimage is being held out of gratitude for the 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum granted by Pope Benedict XVI, to free all priests in the celebration of the traditional form of the Roman rite. During the audience, which lasted for half an hour, Cosimo thanked Pope Benedict for his support to the young people attached to the Roman traditions of the Church. Pope Benedict assured Cosimo of his prayers for all the young people.
In his Letter accompanying his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in 2007, Pope Benedict referred his decision to promulgate improved guidelines for the Usus Antiquior to the growing interest of young people for the Roman traditions of the Church: “Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio.”
Indeed, one thousand young adults attended WYD 2005 in Germany under Juventutem banner, out of one million in total present at the Papal Mass at Marienfeld. This gives a significant ratio of one young adult out of one thousand committed to those traditions, not to mention the many others who attended unregistered or simply had not yet heard about it.