by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
(June 17, 2008) Pope Benedict XVI would like every Catholic parish in the world to regularly celebrate a Latin-rite Mass and has instructed the Vatican to write to all seminaries to request that all candidates be trained to celebrate the Mass according to the Latin Tridentine Rite.
The Catholic News Service reports that Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” told a June 14 press conference in London that the Vatican was writing to all seminaries to ask that candidates to the priesthood are trained to celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite, also known as the Tridentine Mass. This Mass was restricted from the 1970s until July 2007 when Pope Benedict lifted some of those limits.
Cardinal Castrillon, who was visiting London at the invitation of the Latin Mass Society, a British Catholic group committed to promoting Mass in the Tridentine rite, said it was “absolute ignorance” to think the pope was trying to reverse the reforms of the Second Vatican Council by encouraging use of the rite.
“The Holy Father, who is a theologian and who was (involved) in the preparation for the council, is acting exactly in the way of the council, offering with freedom the different kinds of celebration,” he said.
“The Holy Father is not returning to the past; he is taking a treasure from the past to offer it alongside the rich celebration of the new rite,” the cardinal added.
When asked by a journalist if the pope wanted to see “many ordinary parishes” making provision for the Tridentine Mass, the 79 year old Colombian prelate said, “All the parishes. Not many, all the parishes, because this is a gift of God.
“He (Pope Benedict) offers these riches, and it is very important for new generations to know the past of the Church,” he said. “This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful. The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.”
He also said his commission, which helps traditionalist Catholics return to the Church, is also responsible for overseeing the application of “Summorum Pontificum,” the 2007 papal decree authorizing the universal use of the Tridentine rite. The Commission is in the process of writing to seminaries not only to equip seminarians to celebrate Mass in Latin but to understand the theology, the philosophy and the language of such Masses.
Cardinal Castrillon suggested that parishes use catechism classes to prepare Catholics to celebrate such Masses every Sunday so they can better “appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priest represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest.”
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In the 2 CD set, “Discovering the Mass in Scripture: A Biblical Walk Through the Liturgy,” Dr. Edward Sri takes the listener on a fascinating journey through the Bible to discover the origins of the Mass.