Pope Seeks Wider CelebrationOf Latin Mass
Decree Is ExpectedTo Ease RequirementsFor Catholic Ritual
By STACY MEICHTRYOctober 12, 2006; Page A6
ROME -- Pope Benedict XVI is set to issue a decree that permits wider celebration of Roman Catholic Mass in Latin, according to a person close to the pope, a move that signals the determination of the leader of the Catholic Church to embrace centuries-old traditions that the Vatican marginalized decades ago in its drive for modernization.
The papal decree, known as a Motu Proprio, would relax current Church restrictions on the Latin Mass, known as the Tridentine Mass, according to a person close to the pontiff. The person, who learned of the decree directly from Pope Benedict, said the decree ultimately aims to grant local priests greater latitude to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. Currently priests wishing to celebrate the Latin Mass must receive special permission known as an "indult" from their local bishop or the Holy See. News of the changes were reported in the Rome daily Il Giornale on Wednesday.
The person didn't disclose any details on how the decree would loosen restrictions but said the document had gone through at least three drafts. A Vatican spokesman couldn't be reached for comment.
Allowing wider use of the Latin Mass stands to be the most significant move in the young papacy of Pope Benedict and the boldest indication yet of his uncompromising approach toward leading the Roman Catholic Church.
Dashed Off III
8 hours ago