Monday, March 19, 2007

Italian media guessing about Motu Proprio

From CWN:

Rome, Mar. 19, 2007 ( - Italian newspapers are once again reporting the imminent release of a papal document broadening use of the pre-conciliar Latin Mass. Vatican officials remain silent on the topic.

The daily Corriere della Sera reports that a motu proprio by Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) could be promulgated by Easter or soon thereafter. Corriere della Sera says that no date has been set-- contradicting reports from other outlets saying that the document could appear on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, or on Holy Thursday, April 5.

Another Italian daily, Il Tempo, gives Holy Thursday as the likely publication date. The paper reports that in the document, Pope Benedict will declare that the Latin Mass should be made available wherever a congregation of at least 30 people request it.

La Stampa offers yet another prediction, saying that the document will make its appearance between March 25 and Easter Sunday.

Vatican officials, in recent statements about the motu proprio, have consistently said that the timing of the document’s release is in the Pope’s hands, and no date has been set.

When you stop and think about it, even today, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, could have been chosen for very good reasons, considering that he is Patron of the Universal Church. I get the feeling the Pope is taking a page from the book of Pope John XXIII, who gave no warning before he convened Vatican II. By allowing the winds of complaint their time and showing the strength of patience, the Pope has taken the ferocity, the "newness" of their complaints away - in effect he has blunted their edge.

I should be rather surprised if he does pick Holy Thursday to sign and publish the Motu Proprio given the upheaval, or rather distraction, it would likely cause. That is precisely what the Pope would otherwise have shown to have carefully avoided and to turn it about in that way would be rather surprising. But once again, this Pope seems a step or two ahead of just about all of us. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.

Update: Drew at Holy Whapping seems to agree with me on the timing. He also points to Fr. Z's assessment of the state of the Motu Proprio. By the way, Fr. Z's feed has moved.