Catholic World News News Feature
Motu proprio coming July 7 June 27, 2007
The long-awaited motu proprio in which Pope Benedict XVI liberalizes access to the traditional Latin Mass will be released on July 7, according to the German-language Kath.net news service.
Kath.net reports that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, introduced the text of the motu proprio to a group of 30 bishops at the Vatican on June 27. Pope Benedict made a brief appearance at the meeting, the Kath.net story indicates.
The June 27 meeting drew bishops from all around the world, who had been invited to the Vatican for an advance briefing on the papal document. Pope Benedict has taken special pains to ensure that the world's bishops are well prepared for the motu proprio, hoping to minimize opposition to the move. The Pontiff also wanted to inform the bishops personally rather than having them learn about the document through the media.
The motu proprio itself is a 3-page document. It will be made public along with an explanatory letter from Pope Benedict to the world's bishops; that letter is somewhat longer, at 4 pages.
The document emphasizes the unity of the Roman rite, and the Pope explains that he hopes the two forms of the Mass will enrich each other. The ordinary form of the Roman rite will continue to be the Novus Ordo Mass; the extraordinary form will be the Latin Mass, using the 1962 Missal.