|Correspond with us, including our executive editor, professor Yves A. Isidor, via electronic mail:|
|email@example.com; by way of a telephone: 617-852-7672.|
|Want to send this page or a link to a friend? Click on mail at the top of this window.|
Must learndly read, too; in part, of intellectual rigor
|Posted Sunday, July 8, 2007|
|Pope Eases Restrictions on Wider Use of Latin Mass|
|Stresses Current Rite to Romain Standard|
By IAN FISHER
ROME, July 7 Pope Benedict XVI authorized Saturday a wider use of the old Latin Mass, dismissing fears that its revival could divide the church or dilute the reforms of the Second Vatican Council that made standard worship in the languages of Catholics around the world.
In gentle but firm language, the pope acknowledged in an accompanying letter to bishops the depth of opposition to the change, voiced in recent months by European bishops and Jewish groups. He proposed, in fact, a review after three years to determine if truly serious difficulties come to light.
He stressed that the current Mass that was approved in 1970 would remain the standard one and that he did not expect any widespread return to the old rite, known as the Tridentine Mass. In it, the priest faces away from the congregation and prays, sometimes in a whisper, in Latin, a language unfamiliar to most of the worlds one billion Roman Catholics.
But the pope said that the change could both heal rifts with traditionalist groups that favor the Latin Mass as well as reconnect the church with a 1,500-year-old form of worship that faded since the Second Vatican Council, which ended in 1965.
What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us, too, and it cannot be, all of a sudden, entirely forbidden or even considered harmful, he wrote.
He noted that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them.
Amid opposition from other Jewish groups, the Anti-Defamation League condemned the change on Saturday, calling it a body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations. While an earlier reference to perfidious Jews was removed officially from the Tridentine Mass just before the council, which set the stage for progressively better relations between Jews and Catholics, the group condemned a remaining prayer on Good Friday calling for Jews conversion.
We are extremely disappointed and deeply offended that nearly 40 years after the Vatican rightly removed insulting anti-Jewish language from the Good Friday Mass, that it would now permit Catholics to utter such hurtful and insulting words by praying for Jews to be converted, Abraham H. Foxman, the Anti-Defamation Leagues president, said in a statement.
For several months, church officials have signaled the popes decision, and so the announcement on Saturday was expected and more notable for the specifics.
As expected, the pope removed a rule requiring a local bishops permission to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, approved in its current form in 1962.
In his letter, Pope Benedict took pains to assure bishops that the decision would not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, though priests or parishioners could under the decision on Saturday say the Latin Mass even if a bishop opposed it. The pope said in his letter that the local bishop remained the moderator of the form of worship in their dioceses.
|Hoping to heal rifts with traditional Catholics, but risking new ones with Jews.|
The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, a French group that broke with the Vatican over the Latin Mass and other issues surrounding the council, hailed the decision, saying in a statement that it rejoices in seeing the church regain her liturgical tradition.
Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, chairman of the bishops conference in France, where the opposition to the wider use of the Mass was strongest, told reporters that he did not expect many more requests for the Latin Mass.
I dont see a tsunami coming, he said, according to Agence France-Presse.
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company. Reprinted from The New York Times, International, of Sunday, July 8, 2007.
|Wehaitians.com, the scholarly journal of democracy and human rights|
|More from wehaitians.com|