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Vatican Official Foresees Broader Use of Latin Mass [Cdl Medina interviewed]
Catholic World News via EWTN ^ | September 26, 2005 | unknown

Posted on 09/26/2005 6:16:36 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko

Rome, Sep. 26 (CWNews.com) - An influential Vatican official believes that Pope Benedict XVI could soon expand permission for priests throughout the world to celebrate Mass using the Tridentine rite.

However, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez cautions that serious doctrinal issues, as well as liturgical questions, must be resolved before the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) can be fully reconciled with the Holy See.

Cardinal Medina, the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, is a member of the Ecclesia Dei commission, set up by Pope John Paul II to serve the needs of Catholics who cling to the Latin Mass. In an interview with the I Media news service, the Chilean-born prelate said that the Pope could act soon to liberalize Church regulations, allowing all priests to use the Tridentine rite.

Questioned about the outcome of the Pope's August 29 meeting with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the SSPX, Cardinal Medina observed that the meeting was preceded by "many other contacts" between Vatican officials and representatives of the Lefebvrist group. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, had met repeatedly with Bishop Fellay, he said. And the Chilean prelate added that he, too, had met with the traditionalist leader during his term as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Consequently, the cardinal said, "you could not say that they meeting with the Holy Father was unexpected." He added that SSPX leaders are well aware that Pope Benedict "is concerned about full communion among all Catholics-- all Christians-- and particularly those who uphold the decisions and positions of Archbishop Lefebvre."

Reconciliation between the Vatican and the breakaway traditionalist group, the cardinal continued, would require "addressing a list of doctrinal difficulties." He said that a working group could be set up to discuss those problems.

"But within the Society [SSPX], there are different currents," Cardinal Medina observed. While some members of the traditionalist group are "inflexible," others are more inclined toward dialogue with Rome, he said. He said that when some traditionalists refer to the Novus Ordo Mass as "heretical" or "invalid," they create "an extremely difficult situation." The Vatican will insist that SSPX members acknowledge the validity of the post-conciliar Mass, he said; they will also be required to accept the teachings of Vatican II.

After his meeting with Pope Benedict, Bishop Fellay suggested that a first step toward reconciliation could be a Vatican recognition of the right for all priests to celebrate the Tridentine-rite Mass, using the liturgical form codified by Pope Pius V after the Council of Trent. Cardinal Medina saw "no difficulty" in expanding access to the Latin Mass. But he reiterated that such a step 'would not resolve the fundamental problems with the SSPX."

Questioned on whether Vatican II intended to abolish the Tridentine rite, Cardinal Medina said that the arguments were inconclusive on that point.

However, he said, each rite is valid, and "the missal of St. Paul V and that of Paul VI are both perfectly orthodox." He observed that each ritual appeals to "different sensibilities," and noted that the Offertory prayers of the old rite are particularly useful in their emphasis on "the sacrifical character of the Mass: an essential aspect of the Eucharistic celebration." The restoration of universal permission to use the Tridentine Mass would involve canonical and liturgical questions, but no major theological concerns, the cardinal said. "So I hope that, little by little, the possibility of celebrating the old form of the Roman rite will be opened," he said.

As a member of the Ecclesia Dei commission, Cardinal Medina reported, he is sometimes asked to celebrate a Tridentine-rite Mass. When he receives such a request, he said, "I do it, without asking anyone's permission."



TOPICS: Catholic; Worship
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 09/26/2005 6:16:36 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko

Let us pray it is so.


2 posted on 09/26/2005 6:20:04 PM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
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To: Mike Fieschko

Wasn't Cardinal Medina one of the good guys who stood up for Terri?


3 posted on 09/26/2005 6:21:39 PM PDT by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: murphE
Wasn't Cardinal Medina one of the good guys who stood up for Terri?

Are you thinking of Cardinal Martino? I don't remember Cdl Medina saying anything.
4 posted on 09/26/2005 6:26:59 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko

I don't know, maybe, it's so hard to keep the players straight these days.


5 posted on 09/26/2005 6:32:56 PM PDT by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Mike Fieschko; Frank Sheed

Oh, not this shi'ite again! The 12th iteration of this "prediction." Have we, like, heard anything from THE POPE, yet?


6 posted on 09/26/2005 6:38:28 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Start the revolution - I'll bring the tea and muffins!)
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To: Mike Fieschko

BUMP


7 posted on 09/26/2005 6:52:35 PM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: Mike Fieschko

I suppose if the SSPX said the Latin Mass but held Pride days; rejected moral teachings on topics such as abortion, contraception, and fornication; and taught that all religions are equal, they would not be required to make a statement about accepting Vatican II, since they would just blend into the crowd.


8 posted on 09/26/2005 6:58:25 PM PDT by charliemarlow
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To: Tax-chick

Hey, that's how things work. By the time an official statement comes out, it's old news.


9 posted on 09/26/2005 7:01:39 PM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: Tax-chick
Have we, like, heard anything from THE POPE, yet?

I think you meant that rhetorically, so I'll just point out that this was the first non-anonymous public pronouncement by any Vatican official. (Corrections, please, if I'm wrong.) I don't agree with the characterization of Cdl Medina as 'influential'. (I think that's an exaggeration.)

It indicates a trend in thinking about worship, that public discussion of the old Missal's status is not off limits, and that the issue is being pushed inside the Vatican.
10 posted on 09/26/2005 7:03:15 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko
Well what a sober, reasoned and charitable analysis. An excellent summary of the situation, if I may say so.

Of course, allowing for a wider celebration of the Tridentine Rite (should it occur) should cause even the mildly curious to wonder why its celebration was narrowed in the first place and just exactly what went on in the months and years immediately following Vatican II. I see the Cardinal neatly side-stepped the question of whether Vatican II intended to abolish the Tridentine Rite and called the evidence "inconclusive".

Personally, I think the evidence points to some minor reform of the rite, rather than a wholesale abolition, but like many things which went down after the Council, the whole process seemed to get railroaded and developed a life all of its own.

11 posted on 09/26/2005 7:47:41 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: Mike Fieschko
and that the issue is being pushed inside the Vatican.

That's the message I'm getting. Actually that it's being pushed through the media, since these reports about the future keep appearing ... and I think that's rather vulgar.

12 posted on 09/27/2005 3:57:44 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Start the revolution - I'll bring the tea and muffins!)
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To: Mike Fieschko

As has been noted before ad nauseam, we will have to see what force the pronouncement has when (and if) it comes, in order to see whether the opposition of a number of progressive or moderate ordinaries [who, I must say, seem to be acting out of a particular form of clericalism (thinking of their own best interests, including such things as the views of their fellow progressive/moderates, and what the same types of priests in their dioceses are thinking, etc., without regard, it seems, for the spiritual needs of the faithful, who are either assumed (in this kind of thinking) to irrelevant or stupid, or both] will be negated in practical terms by the decree from Rome, or whether we will just have a continuation of things as they are, maybe with some more dishonest justifications for the progressive/moderate dislike of the Classic Liturgy, such as was done for the abomination of forbidding (again, in practice, even though Rome uttered softer words which have not been followed here in Houston, anyway) kneeling for reception of Holy Communion.

Oremus--and hard.


13 posted on 09/27/2005 8:17:31 AM PDT by Theophane
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...


14 posted on 09/27/2005 8:27:59 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer; kstewskis; Victoria Delsoul; Raquel; Kelly_2000
Should be an interesting thing to watch.

Thanks...

15 posted on 09/27/2005 9:56:46 AM PDT by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier)
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To: Mike Fieschko; All
From Catholic Answers


PERMISSION WITHOUT PUNCH FOR THE OLD MASS?



Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

Last Thursday Catholic World News transmitted this story, filed out of Dublin, regarding what might happen to what is commonly called the Tridentine Mass:

"Pope Benedict XVI will take action soon to allow all Catholic priests to celebrate the Latin Mass, a Cambridge historian has predicted.

"Speaking to a conference of priests in Ireland earlier this week, Eamonn Duffy said that it was 'extremely likely that Pope Benedict will lift the restrictions on the celebration of the Tridentine liturgy,' the Irish Independent reported.

"The Tridentine ritual, which was the universal form of the Mass prior to Vatican II, is now celebrated only with the explicit permission, or 'indult,' of the diocesan bishop. Some Vatican watchers speculate that Pope Benedict will announce a 'universal indult,' giving blanket permission for all Catholic priests to use the old ritual.

"In remarks to the National Conference of Priests of Ireland, Eamonn Duffy said that he thought the Pope would make the policy change in October, during the meeting of the Synod of Bishops. The topic for Synod discussions is the Eucharist."

"NO 'DEMAND' FOR THE TRIDENTINE MASS"

In about 120 American dioceses (out of 176 total) the Tridentine Mass is available on an indult basis. What that means in practice varies.

In a few places the old Mass is celebrated each Sunday at a normal time in a regular parish church. By "normal time" I mean that the Mass is not relegated to some weird hour, such as 4:00 p.m., but has a slot among the other Sunday morning Masses.

In most dioceses that operate under the indult, the Latin Mass is celebrated in a non-standard location (in my own diocese it is in the mausoleum chapel at the Catholic cemetery) or infrequently (some dioceses offer the old Mass just once or twice a month) or in rotating venues (one parish this week, a different next week).

Dioceses that do not permit the indult Mass commonly claim there has been no "demand" for it. Even in dioceses that do permit it, the Mass may be relegated to out-of-the-way places because there is said to be insufficient "demand" that it be featured in a parish context.

I always have found claims about the lack of "demand" to be disingenuous. They have a Catch-22 flavor to them.

Take my local situation. Who wants to attend Mass at an inconveniently-located cemetery chapel where the folding chairs are uncomfortable and the restrooms inadequate? In such a place there is no opportunity for regular parish life: no parish hall, no school, no rectory. The priests drive in from out of town and are not available during the week. There is little chance for "community."

Despite these drawbacks, I'm told that at the cemetery Mass there is standing room only.

In other parts of the country analogous conditions prevail. The sole Latin Mass may be at a parish--but in the most decrepit part of town, where drive-by shootings are more common than the pealing of church bells. Many of the little old ladies who are supposedly the only ones interested in the old Mass will stay away, and who can blame them? The result is a small congregation and thus no "demand."

Or, if the Mass is shifted each week to a different parish, no adequate public announcement is made. The regulars may know where to go week to week, but what about potential new attendees? How would they learn the schedule? When there is no evident growth in the size of the peripatetic congregation, there is said to be no "demand" for the old Mass.

Most important is the lack of experience on the part of most Catholics. They might well end up preferring the solemnity of the old rite--if they ever had a chance to try it. But all they know, if they are younger than about fifty, is that the Mass used to be in Latin--but they have no recollection of it.

That knowledge is too abstract to get them off their duffs for a drive across town to the one Latin Mass that is available to people in their area. They never have attended such a Mass and so cannot know whether they would like it and profit from it. Naturally, from them one can expect no "demand."

LET'S HAVE A FAIR TEST

Talk about a lack of "demand" for the old Mass will remain fatuous until a fair test is given.

Thirty years ago, if you had asked around, you would have found almost no American who had an interest in the cappuccinos and espressos so widely found today at coffee houses. But once they had a chance to sample these exotic offerings from Europe, many Americans liked them--a lot.

Likewise, perhaps, with the old Mass, but we won't know until American Catholics have been given a real chance to compare the Tridentine Mass with the one now celebrated in their parishes.

My guess is that there will be much more of a "demand" than Church bureaucrats expect. Nowadays about 20 million American Catholics attend Mass each Sunday, but not more than one percent of them attend the old Mass. What might that percentage be if the old Mass truly were widely available? I suspect it would be well into the double digits.

So back to Eamonn Duffy. He speculates that Pope Benedict will give universal permission for priests of the Latin rite to celebrate the old Mass. Let's say that happens. Then what? My guess: not much.

Why? Because most priests will not want to buck the expressed or implied wishes of diocesan bureaucrats.

It's easy for a priest's life to become purgatorial if he does something not to the liking of the "liturgical experts." Many priests who might want to provide the old Mass for their parishioners--imagine dedicating one out of five Mass slots to the old liturgy--will shy away from the hassle they would expect to receive from higher ups.

I hope Duffy is correct in his surmise about what the Pope will do, and I hope there would be no foot-dragging if the Pope does issue a universal permission. But ...

In economics competition is a good thing: Widgets end up better made if there are several makers of widgets.

Similarly, in religious worship competition can be a good thing: The new Mass (which is not so new any more) will be celebrated more reverently and more effectively if congregants have the option of going to church an hour earlier or later and attending the old Mass.

There is something to be said for voting with one's feet.
16 posted on 09/27/2005 10:32:54 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
Keating's email, widely circulated, is mainly an argument or discussion which strikes me as irrelevant: assuming the 'ok to allow the TLM if there's demand for it'.

Those sort of 'economic', 'fair competition', 'we'll get a better widget if it's okayed' reasons focus on the effect of the Mass, not its purpose, and leads to the odd position that if a Mass is attended by 1000 folks in the pews, then that Mass is somehow 'better' than one at which one or two are gathered.

A free market will produce what the largest group of consumers wants. There's no guarantee that a free market will produce what is objectively better: comic books outsell St Thomas Aquinas or the Church Fathers. Keating introduces a peculiar standard to measure the Mass: not by what gives the greater glory to God, but by what satisfies the demands of the folks in the pews.
17 posted on 09/27/2005 11:38:38 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko; RKBA Democrat; redhead
Those sort of 'economic', 'fair competition', 'we'll get a better widget if it's okayed' reasons focus on the effect of the Mass, not its purpose, and leads to the odd position that if a Mass is attended by 1000 folks in the pews, then that Mass is somehow 'better' than one at which one or two are gathered.

You make a valid point. Those of us who attend Eastern Catholic liturgies can attest to the small yet extremely devout congregations.

18 posted on 09/27/2005 12:13:49 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

It is good to remember that Christ talked about leaving the ninety-nine for the sake of the one.


19 posted on 09/27/2005 3:18:47 PM PDT by TradicalRC (Benedicamus Domino.)
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To: murphE

I believe Medina did - he's in charge of some pro-family commission, I think.


20 posted on 09/27/2005 3:23:44 PM PDT by livius
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To: Mike Fieschko; Tax-chick; All

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2005/09/little-cape-goes-long-way.html#comments

Whispers is struggling to play down the role of Medina Estevez since he is now a senior with no "heavy portfolio". However, the comments here indicate his proximity to Pope Benedict (see the comment by Savage) and other comments have indicated his familiarity with the SSPX negotiations.

The Holy Father has said nothing; true. There is a lot of smoke all of a sudden, however. If someone thought the conversation with Fellay came "of a sudden" they are deluding themselves. I don't know what is afoot, but something. I have waited 40 years. I can wait more. All will come in God's good time.

Francis


21 posted on 09/27/2005 4:27:45 PM PDT by Frank Sheed ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." ~GK Chesterton.)
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To: Kermit the Frog Does theWatusi
A good sign. But perhaps the Vatican should begin "talks" with Novus Ordo priests and bishops to make sure they are in agreement with church doctrine. In fact, given all the evidence they might want to suspend the Masses in English until evidence of conformity with Catholic orthodoxy becomes more forthcoming and visibly apparent.


22 posted on 09/27/2005 4:29:49 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Frank Sheed

Ah, another of those guys who lost a round (or two) with a Victorian window treatment :-).


23 posted on 09/27/2005 5:03:11 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Start the revolution - I'll bring the tea and muffins!)
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To: NYer
in my own diocese it is in the mausoleum chapel at the Catholic cemetery

I presume you refer to the Indult Mass in San Diego. When my wife and I visit her family in Southern CA, we attend that Mass. It is indeed crowded, the folding chairs aren't the best, and the restrooms are indeed inadequate. Whether that congregation could manage an entire parish, though, is something I don't have an answer for. It draws people from over a hundred miles around. They might not be able to support a parish day in and day out.

Here at home we attend the Indult Mass in Dayton. 8:45 every Sunday at Holy Family Church. Priests have to come from quite a distance. Attendance is between 150 and 200. I know we couldn't handle an entire parish yet. However, we might be able to do so if we had our own building, permanently-assigned priest(s), and some regular parish life.

Whether more people would come if we had something more permanent, I don't know. However, I am pleased that many of those in attendance are not old duds like me, but young families with lots of children. I like to think we're out-breeding them.

24 posted on 09/27/2005 7:11:21 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney (My book is out. Read excerpts at www.thejusticecooperative.com)
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To: Tax-chick

"Oh, not this shi'ite again! The 12th iteration of this "prediction." Have we, like, heard anything from THE POPE, yet?"

In the past we have had rumors. This is not a rumor citing unnamed sources. This was a statement made by a fairly high ranking member of the Roman Curia. I would be highly doubtful if that statement ws not made without previous clearance from all the appropriate people in the Holy See.


25 posted on 09/27/2005 7:34:13 PM PDT by jec1ny (Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domine Qui fecit caelum et terram.)
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To: jec1ny
This is not a rumor citing unnamed sources.

Right, it's a rumor started by the named source, his own self.

previous clearance from all the appropriate people in the Holy See

In my opinion, the only "appropriate" person to release such information would be the Pope. If Pope Benedict is using gossips to telegraph his intentions, instead of issuing a statement in his own name, then I lose a lot of respect for him.

26 posted on 09/28/2005 5:26:11 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Start the revolution - I'll bring the tea and muffins!)
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