VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI removed restrictions on celebrating the old form of the Latin Mass on Saturday in a concession to traditional Catholics, but he stressed that he was in no way rolling back the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.Heavenly father forgive me, but the Pope hasn't a clue as to what goes on at a parish level in regards to the Catholic Church. TFM has pointed out in the past how a Bishop rarely knows whats happening at churches twenty miles from his home. If you don't believe me, look at the recent scandals involving the Boston archdiocese and how remote the church in Rome was from what was going plus late in reacting to it. How will the Pope know then about parish controversies involving the Tridentine liturgy?
Benedict issued a document authorizing parish priests to celebrate the Tridentine Mass if a "stable group of faithful" request it. Currently, the local bishop must approve such requests — an obstacle that fans of the rite say has greatly limited its availability.
"What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful," Benedict wrote.
The Tridentine rite contains a prayer on Good Friday of Easter Week calling for the conversion of Jews, and the Anti-Defamation League criticized Benedict's decision as "body blow to Catholic Jewish relations," the Jewish news agency JTA reported.
In addition to Jewish concerns, some bishops in France and liberal-minded clergy and faithful elsewhere had expressed concerns that allowing freer use of the Tridentine liturgy. would imply a negation of Vatican II, the 1962-65 meetings that modernized the Roman Catholic Church. They also feared it could create divisions in parishes since two different liturgies would be celebrated.
"This fear is unfounded," Benedict wrote in a letter to bishops accompanying the Latin text.
Full disclosure- My wife is a employee of the Diocese of Palm Beach.
As to bringing back the Latin Mass, I have mixed feelings. I was born in 1961, so I have no memory of being at one. If priests and parishioners want to celebrate mass in this fashion, fine with me. My one problem is- Is the church in Rome taking a step backward with this change in policy? You have to wonder but it is idle speculation at this point.
Linked to- Adam, Blue Star, Church and State, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, The World According to Carl,