- From the Vatican Information Service:
"Yesterday afternoon in the Vatican, a meeting was held under the presidency of the Cardinal Secretary of State in which the content and spirit of the Holy Father's forthcoming 'Motu Proprio' on the use of the Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 was explained to representatives from various episcopal conferences. The Holy Father also arrived to greet those present, spending nearly an hour in deep conversation with them.
"The publication of the document - which will be accompanied by an extensive personal letter from the Holy Father to individual bishops - is expected within a few days, once the document itself has been sent to all the bishops with an indication of when it will come into effect." OP/MOTU PROPRIO/...VIS 070628 (180)
- "Draft Five, Brief One" Whispers in the Loggia 6/29/07: "Word's been creeping out over The Document... so, as promised, here's a review of (credible) things as they stand."
- American Papist on the "not so bad" coverage in the New York Times, and the really bad coverage from Reuters -- as in:
"Pope Benedict will tell Roman Catholic priests in coming days that they can say mass in Latin as a concession to traditionalists.*groan* How's that for an opening line?
However, the move has raised concern about reviving parts of the old liturgy that Jews consider anti-Semitic."
- At a glance: Differences between Tridentine Mass, Mass said today Catholic News Service June 28, 2007. "Here at a glance are the basic differences between the Tridentine Mass, promulgated in 1570, and the Roman Missal published in 1969 in response to the reforms called for by the Second Vatican Council . . ."
- Benedict and the Mass: "A reflection on the meaning of the Mass, and a comment on the debate over the restoration of the old liturgy", by Dr. Robert Moynihan. Inside the Vatican June-July 2007:
It seems that Benedict, like many thoughtful believers, is concerned about the fact that the conciliar reform of the liturgy in the 1960s has in some way apparently failed to achieve its chief goal, which was to bring about an even greater reverence for the Eucharist, an even greater participation by the faithful in the mystery of Christ, an even deeper sacramental life within the Church. (That is what the conciliar fathers hoped to accomplish by approving a liturgical reform.)
And if there are in the "old Mass," as many argue, qualities too hastily discarded in the 1960s -- a sense of tradition which made it a bit easier for some to turn their minds toward the eternal, a sense of solemnity which helped some to turn their hearts toward God -- and if that loss can, even if only in part, be made good, if it can be remedied, by a motu proprio allowing the "old Mass" to be celebrated more widely, then it is a work of great import for the Pope to carry out.
If the "old Mass" is merely a "cultural" matter, the fad of a small elite, it will not flourish in any case, and the motu proprio will be a dead letter. But if it is a matter of renewing the Church, and if the dignity and holiness of the old rite strikes the faithful in such a way as to re-kindle in them a sense of that devotion which prepares them to encounter Christ, then allowing the old Mass to be celebrated more widely will be an act worth preparing for with much toil and care.
Lastly, good advice from Shawn Tribe:
As a point of note, we are entering into a period where the Devil will certainly be trying to sow discord rather than see greater unity and progress accomplished. One can sense it even here in the comments of the past day. Anything that is of great good can be attacked, and the angles of attack are from all sides -- meaning we too can be unwitting contributors to such. Brother may even attack brother. We need to resist this steadfastly more than ever.
The liturgical issue is front and centre. There has been much battle done, and emotions can run high. Indeed, recall Fr. Zuhlsdorf's now famed "rules of engagement" as well. Be joyful. Celebrate! Let that shine through so that the excitement might become contagious. But while we do that, guard also against pettiness, mischaracterizations, accusations, polemics and needless absolutizations when disagreements are raised.
Let's keep our wits about us and wear fraternal charity on our sleeve.