May 5, the feast day of Pope St Pius V. That is apparently the date Pope Benedict has chosen for his announcement of the lifting of restrictions on the celebration of the beautiful Latin Tridentine Mass, introduced by St Pius in 1570.
The controversial Mass deserves a warm welcome
Many bishops of England and Wales will not be pleased, to put it mildly.
In fact, Left-wing bishops around the world will be cross, since the Pope will remove their power to refuse permission for the Tridentine Rite.
According to one well-connected priest friend of mine, they have been trying to throw a spanner in the works by playing “the Jewish card” – that is, pointing out that the Old Missal contains prayers for the Jews that the Jewish community finds offensive.
But the tactic – if that is what it was – has not worked. Cardinal Walter Kasper has told the International Council for Christians and Jews: “While I do not know what the Pope intends to say in his final text, it is clear that the decision that has been made cannot now be changed.”
Why do people think the motu proprio (personal decree) is coming on May 5? A friend of a contact of mine asked Benedict if the restrictions on the Old Rite (which was effectively outlawed in the late 1960s)were going to be lifted, and he reportedly replied:
“Yes, on May 5.” That date is also suggested by the most influential American reporter on Vatican affairs, John Allen – though he mentions the possibility of April 30, the feast day of Pius in the revised Roman calendar.
But bear in mind that nothing is less reliable than a Vatican rumour, even if it comes from the mouth of a Pope.
When the motu proprio is issued, watch this space very carefully. As Allen sensibly points out, demand for the Traditional Rite – always celebrated in Latin, with the priest with his back to the people – is pretty limited.
But what a defeat for the philistines who have been in charge of Catholic liturgy for 40 years! A double defeat, in fact, since the Vatican is about to unveil a new English translation of the post-Vatican II Mass whose language is far more solemn and sonorous than the current version, which reads as if it was compiled by a committee of local government officials.
I wonder how the Left-leaning bishops of England and Wales will react to Benedict’s motu proprio. Note to traditionalists: make sure you ask, IMMEDIATELY, what steps the bishops are taking to implement the Pope’s wishes.
Somehow, I don’t think they will be able to get away with ignoring the announcement for 48 hours, as they did with the Pope’s recent Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist ["Sacramentum Caritatis"].
On that occasion, I gather that a Bishops’ Conference employee rang a journalist on the liberal Tablet magazine, and the two of them agreed not to draw attention to Benedict’s historic statement – calling for widespread changes in the celebration of Mass – because it contained “nothing really new”. (Meaning nothing they wanted to hear.)Well, if they disliked the Apostolic Exhortation, they’ll hate the motu proprio. I can’t wait. UK Telegraph