Pope Gives Latin Mass His Blessing despite Protests; Initiative: Popes Critics Say Latin Mass Adherents Are Ultra-Conservative

Daily Mail (London), June 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Pope Gives Latin Mass His Blessing despite Protests; Initiative: Popes Critics Say Latin Mass Adherents Are Ultra-Conservative


THE Pope has dismissed a last-minute plea from senior figures within theCatholic Church to abandon plans to bring back the old Latin Mass.

Benedict XVI looks set to announce next month that the Tridentine Mass will beavailable alongside the New Riteoverturning the concerns of high-ranking Catholic churchmen.

Among the fiercest critics of the Latin Mass has been Britains highest-rankingCatholic cleric Cardinal Cormac Murphy-OConnor, whose parents hail from Cork.

He, along with other prominent Catholics, asked for the Holy See not to relaxrestrictions on the Old Rite Mass that was suppressed by the Church after theSecond Vatican Council of the Sixties.

The Pontiff is now determined to reinstate the Tridentine Mass alongside theNew Rite that was introduced in 1969.

The Tridentine Mass has a small, though dedicated, following in Ireland. In the1990s, Offaly priest Michael Cox gained prominence after he defied Churchetiquette to conduct Latin masses.

Members of the Latin Mass Society of Ireland regularly meet to celebrate massesin Latin, in a special dispensation from the Church. There have been moves inrecent years within the broader church to allow Catholics attend the Tridentinemass on a more regular basis.

And it emerged yesterday that at a meeting in Rome, Benedict told members ofthe Latin Mass Society that the motu proprio (on his own initiative) documentto authorise free access to the Old Rite will be published soon.

The document is widely expected to be issued shortly before the Pope goes onholiday on July 9. It has been signed by Benedict, who has written anaccompanying letter asking for a serene reception by the Church.

However, Cardinal Murphy-OConnor earlier wrote to the Holy See to say thedocument was not necessary because adequate provision existed for Catholics whowanted to attend Mass in the Old Riteclaims hotly disputed by traditionalists.

The bishops of France and Germany also protested against the planswhich the Pope sees as necessary to unite traditionalists who have left theChurch in protest at modern reforms.

The Pope has encountered opposition because some of the Latin rites adherentsare associated with ultra-conservative groups that oppose the radical reformsushered in by the Second Vatican Council of the Sixties. …

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