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UK cultural grandees urge Vatican not to restrict traditional Latin Mass

July 04, 2024

» Continue to this story on Pillar

CWN Editor's Note: Writing in The Times, nearly four dozen leading cultural figures in the United Kingdom praised the traditional Latin Mass and implored the Holy See not to limit it further.

“Recently there have been worrying reports from Rome that the Latin Mass is to be banished from nearly every Catholic church,” wrote the signatories, who described themselves as “Catholics and non-Catholics, believers and non-believers.”

“This is a painful and confusing prospect, especially for the growing number of young Catholics whose faith has been nurtured by it,” they said. “The traditional liturgy is a ‘cathedral’ of text and gesture, developing as those venerable buildings did over many centuries ... We implore the Holy See to reconsider any further restriction of access to this magnificent spiritual and cultural heritage.”

The signatories recalled a similar letter written to Pope St. Paul VI by Agatha Christie and other leading cultural figures in 1971—leading to the so-called Heenan indult, or Agatha Christie indult.

Pope St. John Paul II subsequently extended the scope of the use of the 1962 Missal in documents issued in 1984 and 1988. Pope Benedict XVI significantly extended the use of the extraordinary form in 2007.

In 2021 and 2023, Pope Francis, in turn, significantly reduced the scope of the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: grateful1 - Jul. 05, 2024 7:24 PM ET USA

    What a heartening event -- not because I expect it to have widespread influence, but because it serves as a reminder that the remnant exists, however scattered and small it may be. Thanks, Catholic Culture, for reporting on this.