Friday, March 20, 2009
Vatican liberates Traditional Latin Mass in Killala
A high-profile Vatican office has ordered Bishop John Fleming to make provision for the traditional Latin Mass in his Killala diocese.
The move, from the powerful 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission comes after the Killala Council of Priests decided that no provision should be made for the celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
In July 2007, Pope Benedict's letter, Summorum Pontificum, eased restrictions on the pre-Vatican II Mass, the so-called Tridentine Rite and established that any Catholic priest can celebrate the traditional Latin Mass without first seeking the permission of his bishop.
Prior to the coming into force of Summorum Pontificum bishops had the right to restrict access to the Latin Mass.
Initially, the Killala Council of Priests, an advisory body made up of both elected members and priests appointed by Bishop Fleming, advised that no provision should be made for the Latin Mass pending a request for clarification from the Vatican on aspects of the Pope's letter.
This advice was accepted by Bishop Fleming and an announcement made that the Mass would be unavailable in the Killala diocese.
However, The Irish Catholic has learned that the matter came to the attention of the Holy See as a number of people in Killala wrote to the Vatican to express their frustration at the lack of provision.
The Irish Catholic also understands that a number of diocesan priests who believed the decision countermanded papal legislation, contacted Bishop Fleming to register discontent.
The 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission, headed by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, then wrote to Bishop Fleming insisting that the restriction was forbidden under Church law since Pope Benedict had made universal provision for the availability of the Mass in the extraordinary form.
In its letter, the Commission insisted that neither Bishop Fleming, nor the Council of Priests, had the right to place a restriction on a right approved by the Pope.
Bishop Fleming has now designated the Church of the Assumption, Ardagh, Crossmolina, Co Mayo as the centre for the traditional Mass in the Killala diocese and the celebrant will be Fr John Loftus, a priest of the diocese. [source: IC]