Sep 13, 2008

The Pope and the Latin Mass

Perhaps you've seen in Zenit or elsewhere that in a press conference on his plane to France, Pope Benedict XVI made some comments about the Latin Mass that sound unfortunate.

But in context, the remarks might not be so bad. The Pope said, in reply to a question:

"This ‘motu proprio’ is simply an act of tolerance, with a pastoral objective, for people who have been formed in this liturgy, who love it, know it and want to live with this liturgy. It is a small group, given that it presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture. But it seems to me a normal demand of faith and pastoral concern for a bishop of our Church to have love and tolerance for these people and permit them to live with this liturgy."

That might seem to undercut what Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos and others have said about the desirability of wide availability for the Latin Mass.

It also might seem to undercut the same Pope's own motu proprio!

But the context of the Pope's remarks is that the French bishops have been extremely resistant to the Latin Mass, and he was telling them it should not be a big problem for them in France and they should be charitable and pastoral to people who want the Latin Mass.

In his same reply, Pope Benedict XVI declared that the Latin Mass "is not a regression." He said "there is no opposition" between the Latin Mass and the New Mass, and he added that the Vatican II (1962-1965) council fathers said Mass in the Tridentine Rite.

So there are no grounds for the liberals to start waving around these brief remarks of the Pope at a plane ride press conference as if they could somehow supersede, overturn or nullify the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

But they will do that anyway, and it is up to you and me to set the record straight. As usual!


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4:42 PM  

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