Skip to comments.Pope set to bring back Latin Mass that divided the Church
Posted on 10/10/2006 5:35:42 PM PDT by Petrosius
THE Pope is taking steps to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide, according to sources in Rome.
Pope Benedict XVI is understood to have signed a universal indult or permission for priests to celebrate again the Mass used throughout the Church for nearly 1,500 years. The indult could be published in the next few weeks, sources told The Times.
This led to the introduction of the new Mass in the vernacular to make it more accessible to contemporary audiences. By bringing back Mass in Latin, Pope Benedict is signalling that his sympathies lie with conservatives in the Catholic Church.
One of the most celebrated rebels against its suppression was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who broke with Rome in 1988 over this and other reforms. He was excommunicated after he consecrated four bishops, one of them British, without permission from the Pope.
Some Lefebvrists, including those in Brazil, have already been readmitted. An indult permitting the celebration of the Tridentine Mass could help to bring remaining Lefebvrists and many other traditional Catholics back to the fold.
The priests of England and Wales are among those sometimes given permission to celebrate the Old Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Tridentine Masses are said regularly at the Oratory and St Jamess Spanish Place in London, but are harder to find outside the capital.
The new indult would permit any priest to introduce the Tridentine Mass to his church, anywhere in the world, unless his bishop has explicitly forbidden it in writing.
Catholic bloggers have been anticipating the indult for months. The Cornell Society blog says that Father Martin Edwards, a London priest, was told by Cardinal Joseph Zen, of Hong Kong, that the indult had been signed. Cardinal Zen is alleged to have had this information from the Pope himself in a private meeting.
There have been false alarms before, not least because within the Curia there are those genuinely well-disposed to the Latin Mass, those who are against and those who like to move groups within the Church like pieces on a chessboard, a source told The Times. But hopes have been raised with the new pope. It would fit with what he has said and done on the subject. He celebrated in the old rite, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
The 1962 Missal issued by Pope John XXIII was the last of several revisions of the 1570 Missal of Pius V. In a lecture in 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger said that it would be fatal for the Missal to be placed in a deep-freeze, left like a national park, a park protected for the sake of a certain kind of people, for whom one leaves available these relics of the past.
Daphne McLeod, chairman of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, a UK umbrella group that campaigns for the restoration of traditional orthodoxy, said: A lot of young priests are teaching themselves the Tridentine Mass because it is so beautiful and has prayers that go back to the Early Church.
Here, father, let me hand you this hammer . . .
Everybody knows that Latin wasn't the original language of the Mass. The Aramaic fell by the wayside quickly as Christianity spread, and Greek took over. But by 250 A.D. Latin was the Church's primary tongue.
So you've got basically 800 years of a Latin tradition, which is significant. It's not "just another language" - it has been the Church's language, and of course it was the universal language of scholars for a good 500 years, and the parent tongue of most of the languages in the West.
That is a substantial tradition.
He went to seminary in Ireland back in the 50s, when we first went to talk to him when we joined the parish we had what the diplomats call a "wide ranging discussion." One of the things he mentioned was that priests who are sloppy saying the English Mass had their counterparts when Latin was the norm . . . mumbling, skipping things, etc.
Like the poor, they will be with us always, and that's no reason to hesitate.
You're right, though, there will need to be a shakedown period.
So much English has Latin roots, plus you've heard a bunch of Latin go by in anthems, etc.
Get an English/Latin missal with the two languages on facing pages. It works beautifully.
Back before I knew any Latin, when I was a grade school kid my parents used to take us island hopping all over the Caribbean and Mexico during Christmas and Easter holidays. When we wound up in a place that had no Anglican church, we always went to Mass. It's easy to follow along in the bilingual missal!
What? No monogramming? What a banal society we live in.
Another of these FReepin' gossip stories. Booooo-ring.
Bookmark for later printing of links. I only hope it comes to our area. The priests here tend to be...liberal.
Do we have this from any other sources?
And that time period is long dead---time to bury it. The notion that Latin is somehow "special" is simply ridiculous. The retention of Latin was a convenience for the church heirarchy--nothing more. It saved on translation needs, because everyone in the heirarchy was required to know Latin. It is needed no longer.
Ever since Pope Benedict was elected, some version of this story has popped up about every two weeks. Always "he's going to ..." at some indeterminate future date, and always "sources say ..."
I conclude that somebody in the MSM is having fun with this.
If you notice it says "unless specifically forbidden" by the ordinary.
I bet Sean O'Malley (as well as a good number of other Bishops) already has his mass mailer set to go just in case.
Veritatis lux mea!
Well, a universal indult will only mean for you the continuation of ignorance of Latin so no need to worry.
In today's world, WHY would I want to know Latin?? It is irrelevant to anything I do or have interest in.
I simply don't understand this gigantic fixation on Latin. The Church switched to Latin from Greek for the very practical reason that it was the most widely spoken language in the "known world". And it retained the use of Latin because of it's conservative nature and the practical advantages for translation among the church hierarchy. In today's world, the language that fills both of those critera is ENGLISH.
And in fact, I would bet that most of the Church's "real business" today actually does take place in English (those "around the coffee pot" side conversations that are so important in any organization).
You know Latin, whether you know it or not, or like it or not. A large percentage of English vocabulary is directly imported from Latin, or through the French language.
Here's a good quote from http://www.tldm.org/news5/latin.htm (I only use the quote - the website advocates a so-called "Marian apparition" that is not approved by the Church)
At a time when the Church is passing through an era of crisis and a period of doctrinal disarray, when the centers of higher learning proclaim themselves independent of the Holy See, a remark of Dom Gueranger, O.S.B., on the use of Latin, written more than a century ago, may gain again some curious significance. "The hatred of the Latin language is innate in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome; they perceive in it the universal bond of all Catholics and the arsenal of orthodoxy; against all sectarian subtleties..." (Inst. Liturg. I 402) The same thought appears in the Encyclical Mediator Dei (#60): "The use of the Latin language ... is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth." So it is no coincidence that the doctrinal dissenters, the moral muddlers and the loathers of Latin are lodging at the same address. (Homiletic & Pastoral Review, March 1991, pp. 64-65)
Here's the complete Latin to English missal for anyone worried about not understanding Latin.
Awesome if true. NYer, for your ping list.