Monday, March 12, 2007

The Australian on the Motu Proprio

This article was quoted in a recent comments box, but I thought I would put it up nonetheless. It comes from The Australian (though originally from The Sunday Times and is titled: Pope ignores protests to restore Latin mass.

The angle on the piece is likely un-necessarily controversialist. There is no doubt whatsoever that there is controversy on this matter, but utter agreement can almost never be expected. The Pope has proven himself a capable pastor and certainly not one to simply ignore or brush aside concerns raised by his cardinals. That being said, one can only address those concerns for so long and time alone will heal some concerns. But this is different that "ignoring" of course.

We also don't have the document yet, so it is all still quite speculative, even though I remain firm in my belief that we will see something in the Pope's time.

Those caveats aside, here is the text:

Pope ignores protests to restore Latin mass

March 12, 2007

POPE Benedict XVI plans to bring back the celebration of mass in Latin, overriding a rare show of protest from senior cardinals.

With a papal decree said to be imminent, Catholic publishers in Rome are preparing new editions of the Latin missal. They have sent proofs to Vatican authorities for approval, the Rome newspaper La Repubblica has reported.

Vatican sources said Benedict, who is fluent in Latin, is considering the publication of a papal motu proprio (literally, on his own initiative), which does not require the approval of church bodies.

This would enable Benedict to ignore opposition from several cardinals.

The decree would declare the Latin, or Tridentine, mass an "extraordinary universal rite", and the vernacular mass, with which most Catholics are familiar, an "ordinary universal rite".

The late French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was excommunicated for opposing changes in the church agreed by the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s, including the replacement of the Tridentine mass with updated liturgy in local languages.

The Pope's proposal will be cheered by Lefebvre's traditionalist followers.

A special Vatican commission, appointed to examine the demands of traditionalists, met in December to help draft the decree. Today, celebration of the Tridentine rite is limited. Bishops can allow it, but only on the condition that the celebration is deemed a sign of "affection for the ancient tradition" and not a criticism of the reforms.

Benedict wrote in his memoirs, My Life: Memories 1927-1977, published when he was still a cardinal: "I was stunned by the ban on the ancient missal."

The Sunday Times

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