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Ecclesia Dei commission discusses papal document December 12, 2006

At a December 12 meeting, the Ecclesia Dei commission discussed a papal document that will broaden access to the traditional Latin Mass, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez confirmed after the Tuesday-morning session. The Chilean cardinal said that he expects Pope Benedict XVI to release the document in the near future.

Cardinal Medina Estevez, the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, is a member of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which was set up in 1988 to supervise Vatican relations with traditionalist Catholics. He confirmed that the group’s December 12 meeting was dedicated entirely to a discussion of a papal initiative that will allow more liberal use of the Tridentine rite.

The cardinal told the Roman news agency I Media that the results of today’s discussions would be presented to the Holy Father by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the chairman of the Ecclesia Dei commission. He suggested that the Pope might then schedule publication of the document. Cardinal Medina Estevez indicated that he did not anticipate further discussion of the matter by the Ecclesia Dei commission.

Vatican insiders expect that the papal document, widely expected to take the form of a motu proprio, will give priests permission to use the Tridentine rite-- the liturgical form used throughout the Roman Catholic Church prior to Vatican II-- without requiring the explicit permission of the local bishop.

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