Two cardinals at odds over number of Tridentine Masses

By 
  • June 26, 2008

{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - The Pope may wish to see all parishes have a Tridentine Latin Mass among their weekend liturgies, but at the moment Cardinal Marc Ouellet is happy with one in the archdiocese of Quebec.

“I think the intention of the Holy Father is to allow the practice of the extraordinary rite where there is a need and a request,” the cardinal said at a June 18 press conference at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress here.

“In our diocese we have one parish. At the moment there is no need for other places. I think this is responding to the need of the population,” he said.

The cardinal’s remarks follow on the heels of news reports that a high-ranking Vatican cardinal has said that Pope Benedict XVI would like to see every parish have its own Tridentine Latin Mass.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which works with separated traditionalist Catholics, gave a press conference in London, Eng., June 14, a year after Pope Benedict authorized the widespread use of the old Latin Mass, known as the Tridentine Mass.

Castrillon, who was visiting Latin Mass Society, a British Catholic group committed to promoting Mass in the Tridentine rite of the 1962 Roman Missal, also said the Vatican would soon be writing to every seminary to ask that seminarians be taught how to preside at the Tridentine Mass.

“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,” Castrillon added.

When asked by a journalist if the Pope wanted to see “many ordinary parishes” making provision for the Tridentine Mass, Castrillon, a Colombian, 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.”

Castrillon said parishes could use catechism classes to prepare Catholics to celebrate such Masses every Sunday so they could “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.”

In Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict indicated last year that Tridentine Masses should be made available in every parish where groups of the faithful desire it and where a priest has been trained to celebrate it. He also said the Mass from the Roman Missal in use since 1970 remains the ordinary form of the Mass, while the celebration of the Tridentine Mass is the extraordinary form.

The document did not require all parishes to automatically establish a Tridentine Mass schedule, but it said that where “a group of faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably,” the pastor should “willingly accede” to their request to make the Mass available.

Ouellet, primate of the Catholic Church in Canada, said it is up to each bishop to determine how to handle the demand for Latin Masses in his diocese.

Though Tridentine Masses are popping up here and there as a result of the Pope’s decision, they are not widespread.

In Toronto, a few parishes have Tridentine Masses. One of those is Holy Family parish, which holds the Roman Missal Mass in Latin as well as Novus Ordo Masses in Latin. Archbishop Thomas Collins presided at a Novus Ordo Mass June 14 for the ordination of Michael Eades as deacon for the Oratory of St. Philip Neri.

In Montreal, there is one parish with the Roman Missal Mass and at least one other that holds Novus Ordo Masses in Latin.

(With files from CNS)

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