~from The Times, Munster, IN
Region Catholic leaders are casting doubt on whether an expected announcement from the Vatican this weekend granting more liberal use of Latin Mass would much affect local Catholics.
Pope Benedict XVI is expected to release a document that would allow priests freedom in conducting the Latin Tridentine Mass, something that hasn't been practiced widely since the Second Vatican Council ruled in favor of local languages in the 1960s.
Benedict's Motu Proprio -- of his own accord -- decree would grant priests the option of conducting the Tridentine Mass without a bishop's approval, said Deacon Mark Plaiss, spokesman for the Diocese of Gary.
Gary Diocese Bishop Dale Melczek was careful to note that local Catholic leaders have not seen the Vatican's document but that if it delivers what's rumored, the region religious may not create a demand to make it as relevant.
"I don't expect that this will have great implications in our diocese," Melczek said.
Per Melczek's approval, the Tridentine Mass has for years been offered at Munster's Carmelite Monastery.
"The crowds are not overwhelming," Melczek said.
At St. Mary Church in East Chicago, parishioners rarely request that services be offered in Latin, the Rev. Stephen Gibson said.
Plaiss, of Queen of All Saints in Michigan City, said he believes the Mass could garner interest in the beginning.
"But I think it's going to fall off real quickly," he said.
The Rev. Richard Orlinski, of Hammond's St. John Bosco, said he doesn't believe most of his parishioners would be interested in celebrating what he deemed a less engaging Mass.
"Whenever people start speaking Latin, then I'll be happy to hold Latin Mass," Orlinski said.
The Tridentine Mass exhibits some key differences from the modern, Novus Ordo -- new order -- Mass.
Tridentine: spoken in Latin
Novus Ordo: permits local parish vernacular language
Tridentine: priest faces away from parishioners
Novus Ordo: priest faces parishioners
Tridentine: one-year cycle of selected scripture readings
Novus Ordo: greater variety, three-year cycle of Sunday, two-year cycle of weekday readings
Tridentine: detailed instructions on priest gestures
Novus Ordo: freer movement