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Offline Matthew

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More on the upcoming Indult
« on: October 12, 2006, 09:21:58 PM »
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  • As always, they have a few errors in their article, but what can you expect?

    Latin mass could make comeback

    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, in an attempt to heal a schism in Catholicism, is writing a document to bring traditionalists back into the fold and allow greater use of the old Latin mass, Vatican sources said on Wednesday.

    The Latin mass went out of use after the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council ordered the gradual introduction of masses in local languages. That and other changes introduced by the Council, such as dialogue with non-Christian religions, were not accepted by many traditionalists.

    Vatican sources said the document would probably take the form of a "motu proprio", a decree initiated personally by a Pope. It would attempt to regularise the re-entry of traditionalists to the Church and the reintroduction of the Latin mass for those who want it.

    It would be an "indult", special permission given by the Holy See for a person or groups to deviate from universal Church law under certain conditions.

    The late Pope John Paul allowed traditionalists to hear the mass with the permission of local bishops, many of whom were reluctant to give it on the grounds that it sowed confusion among the faithful who were hearing mass in local languages.


    The traditionalists' major flag-bearer is the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), founded by the late French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The Swiss-based SSPX claims about one million followers compared to the 1.1 billion Catholics worldwide.

    John Paul in 1988 sanctioned the excommunication of the traditionalist leaders when Lefebvre defied his warnings and ordained four bishops without papal permission. This created the first schism in the Church in modern times.

    Since his election last year, Pope Benedict has been trying to hold out an olive branch to the SSPX, which sees itself as the guardian of true Catholicism.

    He resumed direct dialogue with the group when he held a surprise meeting with Bishop Bernard Fellay, who took over its leadership after Lefebvre died in 1991. (They twist the truth: the fact is, Archbishop Lefebvre wasn't Superior General when he died in 1991. Bishop fellay was elected at the regularly scheduled General Chapter which was held in 1994.)

    The traditionalists who have been separated from Rome have demanded the lifting of the excommunication as a prerequisite for a dialogue aimed at healing the schism.

    Last month Benedict allowed the establishment of a new religious institute for a small number of French priests and their followers who are former members of the SSPX.

    In exchange, the members of the new institute and those Catholics who chose to follow them, effectively recognised the authority of the Vatican and the Pope.

    Last year, a senior SSPX official sparked controversy when he urged the Pope to tell Jews and followers of other religions to covert to Catholicism from their "false systems", a stand contrary to the tolerance the Council introduced. (Interesting how even non-Catholics can see how Vatican II radically altered the Catholic Church...yet some Catholics deny it.)

    While the Pope backs the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, he has pleased many Catholics by stressing that they cannot allow their own beliefs and identity to be diluted for the sake of dialogue with other religions.
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