The Return of the Latin Mass Draws Nigh
Vatican City, Apr. 10, 2006 (CNA) - A source at the Vatican has told CNA that during Holy Week Pope Benedict XVI may grant universal permission to use the Missal of St. Pius V, the liturgical rite used in the Church before Vatican II.
According to the source, the announcement could come “between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday,” but the exact day has not yet been set. Nevertheless, the source said the decision has already been made by the Holy Father and that it’s “only a matter of time” before it is publicly announced.
“A minor official gesture by the Holy Father would be enough to allow the Mass according to the 1962 Missal to celebrated by whoever desires to do so, thus reiterating that this rite is still valid today simply because it was not abolished,” the source told CNA.
The announcement would be in the context of “the reform of the reform” that Pope Benedict XVI is promoting, which includes norms and principles that will be made public in the upcoming post-synod Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist.
At the same time, such a gesture by the Pope could contribute to ending the schism with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988.
On Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI named three new members to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, created by Pope John Paul II in order to reach out to the Lefebvrists. They are Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Richard, Archbishop of Bordeaux of president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, and Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Toledo, Spain.