Thursday, July 19, 2007

From the Archdiocese of Boston

~from the archdiocesan website

The recent statement of the Holy Father amends the previous process, established by Pope John Paul II, whereby a priest had needed permission from the local bishop to celebrate the Tridentine rite according to the 1962 liturgical text (Missal). In other words, Pope Benedict has expanded the permission that had already been given by Pope John Paul to allow for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, in his weekly posting of June 29 ( www.cardinalseansblog.org) shared observations which follow from the Cardinal's participation at a meeting held in Rome prior to the release of the Motu Proprio. "The Holy Father was very clear that the ordinary form of celebrating the Mass will be the new rite, the Novus Ordo. But by making the Latin Mass more available, the Holy Father is hoping to convince those disaffected Catholics that it is time for them to return to full union with the Catholic Church. So the Holy Father's motivation for this decision is pastoral. He does not want this to be seen as establishing two different Roman Rites, but rather one Roman Rite celebrated with different forms. The Motu Propio is his latest attempt at reconciliation."

In his personal letter to the bishops, the Holy Father, himself, indicates that he does not see the celebration of the Tridentine form of the Mass becoming a widespread or divisive issue: "It is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful."

In fact the Cardinal adds in his June 29th blog: "Therefore this document will not result in a great deal of change for the Catholics in the U.S. Indeed, interest in the Latin Mass is particularly low here in New England."

In order to address important questions that have arisen since the release of the Motu Proprio, Cardinal O'Malley has recently stated that based on his participation at the meeting in Rome, it is his understanding that the elements of the Good Friday services which are understandably objectionable to our Jewish and ecumenical brothers and sisters are not permitted to be used in the celebration of the Tridentine Rite.

Here in the Archdiocese, and throughout the Catholic Church, we are committed to fostering and strengthening Catholic-Jewish relations. We have benefited greatly from our collaborative efforts over the past forty years. We take great inspiration from the Holy Father, who has often repeated his steadfast commitment to ongoing Catholic-Jewish dialogue.

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