Latin Mass redux

According to multiple national and international newswires and vatican sources, Pope Benedict XVI will issue a Motu Propio regarding a liberalization of requirements regarding the Tridentine Mass on July 7. The Moto Propio was sent to bishops around the world on June 27.

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, announced earlier in June that the Motu Propio authorizing the universal celebration of the Mass of St. Pius V—known as the Tridentine Mass—would allow any priest to celebrate the Tridentine Mass without the need for prior approval by the local bishop.

Bertone added that the Pope “has written an accompanying letter that explains the reasons for the decision and why he hopes the authorization will be calmly accepted.”

Cardinal Bertone did not say whether the Motu Propio would open the possibility for the return to communion with the Rome of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, founded by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated by the Vatican on June 30, 1988 after ordaining four bishops without the Pope’s consent.

According to a Vatican statment: "Yesterday [June 27] afternoon in the Vatican, a meeting was held under the presidency of the Cardinal Secretary of State in which the content and spirit of the Holy Father's forthcoming 'Motu Proprio' on the use of the Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 was explained to representatives from various episcopal conferences. The Holy Father also arrived to greet those present, spending nearly an hour in deep conversation with them.

"The publication of the document - which will be accompanied by an extensive personal letter from the Holy Father to individual bishops - is expected within a few days, once the document itself has been sent to all the bishops with an indication of when it will come into effect."

Critics have attacked the move because parts of the liturgy are considered antiSemitic. Sources say that July 7, the feast day of Blessed Pope Benedict XI, is the most likely publication date of the “indult” or permission to say the Latin Mass.

Traditionalists can say Mass in Latin at present, but only after seeking permission from a bishop.

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