Pope Benedict XVI’s Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity) on the Eucharist is beautiful, comprehensive and deep. Read elsewhere in this issue for a full treatment of this post-synodal apostolic exhortation. However, for some Catholics, one item is conspicuous by its absence.
It had been reported that a document allowing wide use of the Pius V Missal would be part of the document. The Pius V Missal is often called the “Tridentine Rite” or old Latin Mass.
The Catholic News Service reported that the Holy Father intended to publish such a document, and the Register reported that news.
It is not clear how the rumor started that this “universal indult” allowing the Pius V Mass would be part of the new Eucharistic document. The Catholic News Service piece made no such claim. It cited a Vatican source expecting that such a document would be issued by the Pope motu proprio — on his own initiative.”
On March 13, journalists asked Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, about the possibility of a papal document aimed at re-establishing the Pius V Missal.
In Venice, said Cardinal Scola, “to celebrate Sunday Mass in Latin, with the indult, has been allowed. And all this is done with great correctness and enormous respect, and there are no tensions between the clergy and the people.”
But Cardinal Scola raised the objection many bishops have to the indult. Bishops conferences, particularly in France, have argued that the introduction of an alternative Missal would be a cause of division. “It would be a contradiction of terms,” said Cardinal Scola, “if the liturgical act became a beginning of division of the Church.”
Sacramentum Caritatis does not expand usage of the Pius V Missial. At the same time, it doesn’t preclude the possibility of an indult. What it does, is urge more Latin and Gregorian chant at all of our Masses.