The Pope might soon allow the world’s Catholic priests the right to celebrate the old rite Latin Mass on Sundays and holy days without the permission of their bishops, according to sources close to the Vatican.
John Paul II is understood to be ready to grant a “universal indult” by the end of the year to permit all priests to choose freely between the celebration of Mass in the so-called Tridentine rite used up to 1962 – before the disciplinary reforms of the Second Vatican Council – and the novus ordo Mass used after 1970.
It will mean that a priest who wants to celebrate old rite Masses will no longer need to apply for an indult to Ecclesia Dei, a pontifical commission set up to study the implications of the Lefebvrist schism, after first gaining permission from his bishop.
The indult may be announced as part of the publication of forthcoming juridical notes on Ecclesia de Eucharistia, the new encyclical on the Eucharist, published on Holy Thursday, in which the Pope affirmed the Church’s traditional teaching of the sacrificial nature of the Mass.
It might also be announced at the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome on May 24, when Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the Prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy and the president of Ecclesia Dei, becomes the first cardinal prefect to celebrate an old rite Mass in a main Roman basilica for 30 years. Organised by the Latin Mass movement, Una Voce, the event is one of many indications that Rome is dropping restrictions on the celebration of the old rite.
I am rather skeptical of this report being true. I personally like the old rite Latin Mass and have attended the indult Mass at my parish. I can see all kinds of potential problems with the approach of being able to offer either Mass. I can see priests being attacked by some people just because they don’t do the Latin Mass or vice versa. Of course the Church as always had multiple rites celebrating the Mass and different religious orders having their own variation so maybe there might not be any major problems with this if the report is true.