Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Mass in Latin? Zut alors!

Catholic World News reports that some French bishops and priests are in a tizzy about the rumors that Pope Benedict will soon grant much wider permission for the celebration of the pre-Vatican-II Tridentine mass in Latin.

A group of 35 French bishops and priests have issued a statement urging Pope Benedict XVI not to issue the motu proprio that has been widely discussed in recent weeks. The clerics predict that by allowing broader use of the Tridentine rite, the papal document would "plunge us back into the liturgical life of another age."

Let's see now. That would be the age in which Catholic churches were full to bursting, Catholic schools were taught by nuns, priests were abundant, vocations were rising, and the Church's reputation and influence were strong and growing. Good heavens, who would want to risk occasionally sampling the liturgical life that accompanied such an age?

Note that the rumored permission is just that -- a permission. It's not a command that everyone begin using the Tridentine rite. No, such sweeping declarations are made mostly by those who hijacked Vatican II to virtually forbid the use of Latin around the world.

I read that in France, Catholic churches are mostly empty anyway. Is this the successful liturgical life that the French bishops treasure so fondly that they can't abide even a permission to do things differently?