Skip to comments.Pope Approves Use of Latin Mass
Posted on 06/28/2007 4:50:33 AM PDT by watsonfellow
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI has approved a document that relaxes restrictions on celebrating the Latin Mass used by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries until the modernizing reforms of the 1960s, the Vatican said Thursday.
Benedict discussed the decision with top officials in a meeting on Wednesday and the document will be published in the next few days, the statement said. The meeting was called to ``illustrate the content and the spirit'' of the document, which will be sent to all bishops accompanied by a personal letter from the pope.
The decision comes after months of debate. Some cardinals, bishops and Jewish leaders have opposed any change, voicing complaints about everything from the text of the old Mass to concerns that the move will lead to further changes to the reforms approved by 1962-65 Second Vatican Council.
The 16th century Tridentine Mass was sidelined by the New Mass that followed the council. The reforms called for Mass to be said in local languages, for the priest to face the congregation and not the altar with his back to worshippers and for the use of lay readers.
To celebrate the Latin Mass now, a priest must obtain permission from the local bishop. Church leaders are anxiously awaiting the details of Benedict's decision, to see how far he will go in easing that rule.
Benedict's move is widely seen as an attempt to reach out to an ultra-traditionalist and schismatic group, the Society of St. Pius X, and bring it back into the Vatican's fold.
The late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre founded the society in 1969 in Switzerland in opposition to the Vatican II reforms, particularly its liturgical changes. The Vatican excommunicated Lefebvre in 1988 after he consecrated four bishops without Rome's consent. The bishops were excommunicated as well.
Benedict has been keen to reconcile with the group, which has demanded freer use of the old Mass as a precondition for normalizing relations.
Some cardinals and bishops, particularly in France - where Lefebvre's group is strong - have objected publicly to any liberalizing of the old rite, saying its broader use could lead to divisions within the church, and could imply a rejection of other Vatican II teachings.
Other concerns have come from groups involved in Christian-Jewish dialogue, because the Tridentine rite contains prayers that some non-Christians find offensive. The Tridentine liturgy predates the landmark documents from Vatican II on improving relations with Jews and people of other faiths.
In a 1988 document, Pope John Paul II urged bishops to be generous in granting ``indults,'' or special dispensation, to allow the Tridentine rite to be celebrated. But many proponents say bishops have been stingy - either for personal reasons or because they simply don't have enough priests who know how to celebrate it.
Benedict has made clear for years that he greatly admires the Tridentine rite and has already incorporated Latin into Masses at St. Peter's Basilica.
In a recent document, Benedict urged seminarians and the faithful alike to learn Latin prayers, and in the 1997 book ``Salt of the Earth'' he said it was ``downright indecent'' for people who are still attached to the old rite to be denied it.
``I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it,'' then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said. ``It's impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that.''
Oh sure - post this in the vernacular....
At my parish, we have a Latin mass monthly. Reminds me of when I was a kid.
If you want to live in this country you should learn to speak the damned language. This is a prefect way to tear our society apart. Speak English or get the hell out.
You appear to have an issue with...”Latin-Americans”.
What’s the use of babbling in LAtin when everyone knows that God speaks English (exclusively).
Next thing you know the pope is going to want women to cover their heads in church.
School Motto: Via, Veritas et Vita - Class of '61.
Let me suggest that you lurk for awhile. You might not be bright enough to post yet.
When I was confirmed in Nova Scotia, the mass was performed in Latin.
Infortunately I was too young (14) and immature to appreciate it.
I know that the perform the occasional LM in a couple of the Boston parishes, I would like to attend one someday.
I believe babblefish will translate Latin.
And if that isn't a symptom of the Decline of Civilization, I don't know what is!
Etiam illic est a Latin reddo.
I learned Latin from my brother — when he was an altar boy, Masses were still said in Latin. He had to practice all the prayers and responses, and just from listening to him go through them over and over again, I picked up the language. It may be a “dead” language, but it is the basis for a number of languages. I know it helped me learn French and Italian...well, at least enough to be able to ask where the nearest lavatory is. :)
Make sure you refrigerate your macaroni salad next time.