Latin Mass fans celebrate annual pilgrimage
VATICAN CITY — Fans of the old Latin Mass descended on Rome on Thursday for their annual pilgrimage, facing indifference to their cause, if not outright resistance, from none other than Pope Francis.
Ten years after Pope Benedict XVI passed a law allowing greater use of the Latin Mass, Francis seems to be doing everything possible to roll it back or simply pretend it never happened.
In recent weeks, he has affirmed with “magisterial authority” that the reforms of the 1960s allowing for
Mass to be celebrated in the vernacular rather than Latin were “irreversible.” Last week he gave local bishops conferences authority to oversee those translations, rather than the Vatican.
The moves underscored that the age-old liturgy wars in the Catholic Church are very much alive and provide a microcosm view of the battle lines that have been drawn between conservative, traditionalist Catholics and Francis ever since he declined to wear the traditional, erminetrimmed
red mozzetta cape for his first public appearance as pontiff in 2013.
The indifference seems reciprocal.
At a conference Thursday marking the 10th anniversary of Benedict’s decree liberalizing use of the Latin Mass, the meeting organizer, the Rev. Vincenzo Nuara, didn’t even mention Francis in his opening remarks. The current pope was mentioned in passing by the second speaker, and ignored entirely by the third.
Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, left, and Robert Saraha attend a conference on the Latin Mass at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Thursday in Rome.