Friday, October 13, 2006
I have not had an opportunity to comment on the renewed rumors of the imminence of a universal indult. I know, we have been here before. We were all set for one to be issued during Holy Week, but were all sadly disappointed. And that circumstance has made us all a little reluctant to rejoice now.
However, the important thing to note is that these new rumors are coming from numerous sources, are being carried in major media throughout Christendom (I even saw a blurb about it in the Boston Metro, which I read just for its Su Doku puzzle). And, after these things have been widely bruited about in the major media for a few days now, there are no denials coming from the Vatican.
I think that this time, it is the real thing. I am pretty confident that, by the start of Advent, the document in question will be released.
What remains to be seen is the impact it will have. I don't expect to see Latin Masses spring up in every large parish. Many priests are adamantly opposed to it, or just plain are not trained to say the traditional Latin Mass. And, frankly, though those of us who favor the Latin Mass are the cutting edge of Catholicism (I think that is readily apparent), I doubt that there is enough demand for it at the parish level to see any mushrooming of availability.
Also, the effect on established indult communities needs to be considered. If any priest can say the TLM when he wants to, it might be the death knell for centralized diocesan indult parishes, like Boston's Holy Trinity. It might eliminate any motive for a diocese to keep its indult parish intact. The community might break up, so that those who attend from far away can hear Mass closer to home. The effect on organized scholae is incalcuable.
But I am cautiously optimistic. I have always felt, having experienced both forms of the Mass extensively (almost 3 years of the traditional Mass now, though not exclusively and 38 or so years of the Novus Ordo Mass), that, if the marketplace of Catholic liturgy was made a free market, with both forms of the Mass competing on an equal basis, the traditional Latin Mass would win out in the long run. Its substantially superior piety, reverence, and holiness is, in my view, the superior product. If you can have a BMW or a Ford Taurus for the same price, who wouldn't pick the BMW?
Watch Rorate Caeli for details and developments on this issue.