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Motu Proprio

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THAT phrase is being reported around the world, and locally: RP Catholic Church ready to hold Latin masses. As the religion to which most Filipinos, at least statistically, belong, goings-on in the Roman Catholic Church are always interesting -and relevant. What the present Pope, Benedict XVI, has decreed, Motu Proprio, that is, on his own initiative, is that many of the old limitations on celebrating the old Tridentine Rite of the Mass, have been removed. The Weight of Glory has a roundup of Catholic blogger reactions. See also The Byzantine Dominican, and First Things, which calls the Pope's decree a "liberal document." Incidentally, in Ad Orientem, there's an entry from some time back, on why the Eastern Orthodox care about the Latin Mass. Since reunification with the Eastern Churches is a particular interest of the present Pope, his new decree might have fringe benefits not readily seen in terms of Christian unity. Whispers in the Loggia is a blog I've mentioned before, it's a good guide to goings-on in the R.C. Church, and it reports on what the Pope hoped to achieve by issuing his latest decree (it is, he says, "this pontificate's most significant text"). Dr. Robert Moynihan is a well-known "Vaticanologist," and his "Inside the Vatican"  Magazine and newsletter often give the inside scoop on the workings of the oldest government on earth. His report, The Old Mass Returns, gives the political and theological inside story on the Pope's decision. The Pope's decree is already known as Summorum Pontificum (most Papal documents get their titles from the first few words in the definitive Latin text of those documents): see the English translation and other relevant texts. The Pope also issued a letter to the bishops of the Catholic world, explaining the reasons behind, and the objectives of, his decree. Catholics pining for the old rite will be happy; most Catholics born since the 1960's have no idea how the Mass used to be celebrated, and probably wouldn't care for the rituals of the old rite. But around the world, there's a growing number of young Catholics (including priests) unhappy with the jazz guitar masses and general relaxing of the old discipline of the Catholic church, and they might just be attracted to the old rituals. On the whole, it's a sign that the Catholic Church, institutionally, is slowly backing away from its 60's style activism and returning to a more traditional understanding and expression of the faith. Or, as the Pope put it, of "arbitrary deformations of the liturgy." He was the one, after all, who columnist Maureen Dowd praised on his election, saying, "The cafteria is closed," referring to the idea of  "cafeteria Catholics".
His report, The Old Mass Returns, gives the political and theological inside story on the Pope's decision.The Pope's decree is already known as Summorum Pontificum (most Papal documents get their titles from the first few words in the definitive Latin text of those documents): see the English translation and other relevant texts.  The Pope also issued a letter to the bishops of the Catholic world, explaining the reasons behind, and the objectives of, his decree.Catholics pining for the old rite will be happy; most Catholics born since the 1960's have no idea how the Mass used to be celebrated, and probably wouldn't care for the rituals of the old rite.  But around the world, there's a growing number of young Catholics (including priests) unhappy with the jazz guitar masses and general relaxing of the old discipline of the Catholic church, and they might just be attracted to the old rituals.

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This page contains a single entry by Manuel L. Quezon III published on July 10, 2007 12:02 AM.

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