Skip to comments.Pope prepares to lift restrictions on Tridentine Mass
Posted on 05/02/2003 7:36:55 AM PDT by Tantumergo
The Pope might soon allow the world's Catholic priests the right to celebrate the old rite Latin Mass on Sundays and holy days without the permission of their bishops, according to sources close to the Vatican.
John Paul II is understood to be ready to grant a "universal indult" by the end of the year to permit all priests to choose freely between the celebration of Mass in the so-called Tridentine rite used up to 1962 - before the disciplinary reforms of the Second Vatican Council - and the novus ordo Mass used after 1970.
It will mean that a priest who wants to celebrate old rite Masses will no longer need to apply for an indult to Ecclesia Dei, a pontifical commission set up to study the implications of the Lefebvrist schism, after first gaining permission from his bishop. The indult may be announced as part of the publication of forthcoming juridical notes on Ecclesia de Eucharistia, the new encyclical on the Eucharist, published on Holy Thursday, in which the Pope affirmed the Church's traditional teaching of the sacrificial nature of the Mass.
It might also be announced at the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome on May 24, when Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the Prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy and the president of Ecclesia Dei, becomes the first cardinal prefect to celebrate an old rite Mass in a main Roman basilica for 30 years. Organised by the Latin Mass movement, Una Voce, the event is one of many indications that Rome is dropping restrictions on the celebration of the old rite.
Last month, the Holy Father, who celebrated a Tridentine Mass last summer, published a command called Rescriptum ex Audientia to authorise the celebration of the old rite Mass in St Peter's Basilica, Rome, by any priest who possessed an indult. The Vatican also asked the Scottish bishops, ahead of their five-yearly ad limina visit to Rome in March, to reveal what provisions they made for the celebration of the old rite Mass in their dioceses. Since the meeting, the Scottish bishops have stepped up their provision from just four a year in the whole of the country to at least one a month in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The same requests have been made in a questionnaire to the English and Welsh bishops, whose next ad limina visit to Rome will take place in the autumn. The bishops have invited the Latin Mass Society (LMS), set up to promote the practice of the old rite, to submit a report on the provision of the Tridentine Mass ahead of their low week meeting in London this week when they were scheduled to discuss the issue.
John Medlin, LMS development officer, confirmed that a "full document" had been circulated to the bishops but refused to discuss its contents.
The first priest who says a Latin mass in Los Angeles is going to find himself assigned to a "parish" in South Central LA with no church and no parishioners.
Under old Canon Law, the Bishop could not do this to Pastor's. That's how many pastors were able to stand their ground and not reform their parishes (like Fr. Baker and Fr. Kunz).
I wonder what is going through the fervid imagination of Williamson right now.
This pope has a history of speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
In truth, Vatican II did more to aid those who would destroy the foundation of Christianity than any attack our enemies could ever muster. The decay of the Roman Catholic faith is so obvious in America that a turn away that black chapter in our history is the only salvation. The 'we all worship the same God' crapolla was doomed before the words were spoken.
If there is a grain of truth to the article, it would seem JPII is attempting a 'hail Mary' to give some balance to his destructive Shepardship.
Catholics who frequent internet religion forums will know, but [the vast majority of] Catholics who attend Mass once a week will never hear about this from the pulpit unless the priest is an orthodox [vast minority, far as I can tell from my bird's eye view] priest.
Never heard about "Mercy Sunday" or the new encyclical on the Eucharist in my parish. It was detailed in the diocesan newspaper, but honestly, how many Catholics read those?
It will be interesting to see (if this passes) how the secular press plays a part in spreading the word.
Judging from some of the comments already made by others, there seems to be a great deal of suspicion from the trads.
This "rumor" would certainly be good news for all catholics! It does raise some questions, though. How will a Tridentine mass be said in a Novus Ordo church? Will the priest simply stand in front of the altar, back to the congregation? And, in the absence of communion rails, will the faithful kneel on the floor? And, can the same priest say both forms of mass? (Apparently, yes, since the pope does it.) And, and, and .....
A better way to look at it is to ask: will the priest face the Lord present on the altar along with people? And the answer would be: Yes.
And, in the absence of communion rails, will the faithful kneel on the floor?
No, the faithful would either install a communion rail or they would do what many congregations do: reserve the front pews of the Church as a communion rail.
And, can the same priest say both forms of mass? (Apparently, yes, since the pope does it.) And, and, and .....
My pastor does every Sunday.
He already faces the Lord present on the altar, as do the people.
Most people I know use the terms "facing away from the people" or "with the priest's back to the people" - this includes clergy and religious.
This is tough... it will be interesting to see what happens in most parishes. I can see in my own parish the priest (if he is forced to address this at all) would probably spin this as a return to the dark ages or a refutation of Vatican II. And most of us in the pews are woefully ignorant and would probably think he is right.
I'm probably wrong, but I would like to see something happen that would force us (ordained, religious, laity) to either declare obedience to Rome or not and quit sitting on the fence blowing in the wind. So to speak.
Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers! or as they are commonly and incorrectly named, "Eucharistic Ministers" --- a staple of the laity "living their Catholic faith" and "participating" ... And "altarservers" --- oh, man! This could get snarky.
During the consecration, yes. But only rarely during the rest of the Mass.
Sometimes he stands to the side of the Lord, relegated to a tabernacle pushed off to one side of the sanctuary.
And sometimes he turns his back to the Lord, when he says Mass where the tabernacle is placed, properly, on the high altar.
And sometimes he's in a different room, when he moves the tabernacle to a separate place outside the nave.
But at all times, he's performing in front of the faithful.
Now, I'm no Lefebvrite - I have never and will never attend a Mass that is unapproved by my bishop or the Holy Father and I acknowledge the legitimacy and the value of the Second Vatican Council - but it is a fact that Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II never mentioned priests facing the people like a Protestant street preacher.
And the rubrics of the Novus Ordo Missae never instruct the priest to do so.
The practice of facing the people was made up, out of whole cloth, in the late 1960s with no magisterial or official sanction of any kind.
One of the contributing factors to the neglect of Christ present in the tabernacle was the decentering of the visual focus of the Mass from one of priest and people both facing the tabernacle and the consecration taking place directly in front of the tabernacle, to the new visual focus of the Mass on the priest as presider and MC with a short break for the consecration and the tabernacle pushed off to the side.
This practice of the priest facing the people was introduced at the same time and in the same places as communion in the hand, comnmunion while standing, the proliferation of unnecessary Eucharistic "ministers" etc.
They won't be. A General Indult would hardly be noticed in the United States of America. There are just not many priests who are chomping at the bit to start celebrating the Tridentine Mass.
Most serious Catholics, whether they prefer Latin or the vernacular, don't have an obsessive need to see the celebrant's facial expressions.
They come to hear God's Word, to repent of their sins and ask His forgiveness through the traditional Confiteor and Kyrie, to offer him a sacrifice of praise through the traditional Gloria, to profess their faith in Him through the traditional Credo, to hear edifying, Gospel-centered teaching and to receive Him in Holy Communion.
I don't know too many Catholics who say: "If I can't see Fr. Bob's handsome face or hear his lame homily jokes or his trite asides, I ain't goin' to Mass!"
That's funny. At my parish in NJ there is a different priest every other Sunday saying the Tridentine Rite as my pastor's guest - they visit my parish to say it because their ordinary won't give them permission in their own diocese.
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