by Anura Guruge
Benedict XVI’s (#266) Summorum Pontificum motu proprio of July 7, 2007 (effective as of September 14, 2007) facilitated the wider use of the traditional Latin Mass, in effect permitting individual priests, once ‘petitioned’ by a ‘stable quorum’ of parishioners, to freely administer the Mass in pre-Vatican II [i.e., pre-1962] form. While this relaxation of the ‘rules’ was joyfully embraced by the more traditional, it has not, suffice to say, sat well with the ‘progressive,’ pro-Vatican II crowd. Among the cognoscenti it has become a polarizing issue diving the ‘conservative’/Benedict XVI/John Paul II camp (which includes the likes of Cardinals Cañizares Llovera, Patabendige Don and even my top papabili Ouellet) from the ‘liberal’/John XXIII camp. There has been a feeling that the current regime will favor (via Ouellet) new bishops, and via the pope, new cardinals, that favor the Latin Mass (the creation of the ‘dark horse’ cardinal from Sri Lanka, against the grain, tending validate this belief).
Today, May 13, the Vatican, through the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei‘ (acting as a proxy for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), issued a Benedict XVI Apostolic Letter, Universae Ecclesia (the Universal Church) with instructions, to bishops around the world, as to how the Latin Mass can be reintroduced if it is requested by a congregation.
Here is a good primer, from Reuters, on the Latin Mass issue — including coverage of the latest Apostolic Letter.
Here is a link to the English translation of the letter — plus a short video, from Rome reports.