Monday, July 09, 2007

Indian Church welcomes return to Tridentine Mass

~from Asia News

The Indian Church has expressed its satisfaction and hope that it “can take care of the pastoral needs of the community” following Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum released last Saturday. In it the Pope announces that the Catholic Church will allow the use of the so-called Tridentine Mass in the form approved by John XXIII in 1962. The Motu Proprio is promulgated with an explicit reference to reconciliation and the ecclesial unity that was broken by the schism caused Mgr Marcel Lefebvre and his traditionalists.

According to Mgr Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, the Motu Proprio will “have two important purposes.”

“One very important purpose will be to renew and enrich the liturgy, reclaiming the liturgical form that existed before the Council, which is a great heritage in the history of the church,” said the prelate who is also an expert in Canon Law.

“The Motu Proprio is a sign that the Holy Father wants to make available to the Church all the treasures of the Latin liturgy that have for centuries nourished the spiritual life of so many generations of Catholic faithful.”

“Secondly,” he explained, “it is a response to the pastoral needs of the faithful. In Mumbai, Cardinal Ivan Dias (Gracias’ predecessor) had shown much pastoral sensitivity in allowing the Tridentine Mass. However, there may be practical challenges since there are not that many priests who know Latin.”

On the long run, such an obstacle should be overcome. “In the Archdiocesan Seminary, Latin had already been reintroduced and is being taught; not because of the Motu Proprio, but because knowledge of Latin is essential and important for Ecclesiastical Studies,” Archbishop Gracias said.

Finally, he announced that he would “inform the priests and faithful of this Motu Proprio” and “would exercise pastoral sensitivity in explaining and implementing it in the appropriate way.”

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