To the growing list of indications that something is imminent with regard to the long-awaited document from Pope Benedict XVI authorizing wider use of the pre-Vatican II Mass, I can add one item this week.
An April 3 letter from Cardinal Walter Kasper, who among other things heads the Vatican's Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, responds to concerns from the International Council of Christians and Jews about the pre-Vatican II Mass, in light of controversial passages it contains regarding Judaism. The last sentence of Kasper's letter, the text of which I have, is the key line: "While I do not know what the pope intends to state in his final text, it is clear that the decision that has been made cannot now be changed."
Kasper's language clearly indicates that something definitive has happened. It adds to the confirmation given by the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, on March 31 that a motu proprio from Benedict XVI, meaning a document under the pope's personal authority, on the pre-Vatican II Mass is coming.
Catholic publishers in Rome, anticipating the pope's decision, have already begun preparing new editions of the pre-Vatican II Mass books, called the "1962 Missal" because that was the last year prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) in which an official liturgical book according to the old rite was issued.
Anyone who has ventured into the Catholic blogosphere recently is aware that speculation about the motu proprio has been at a fever pitch for months. One wag has even posted a list of the Top Ten signs that someone is in the grip of "motu-mania," including: "You have a calendar with all the likely feast days that the motu proprio might be issued marked," and, "You have written 500 blog posts, and 480 of them have been about the motu proprio."
The rest of John's piece deals with those concerns about language related to the Jewish people.
One minor note totally unrelated to the topic. One of the points that some online purveyors of news have been sometimes slow to pick up on is the concept of the "link." Some sites do a good job in sharing links of sources and for further information, etc. I know there is some thinking out there that providing links, especially within the text of an article, is bad because it might take the reader away from the original site.
But I just think it's basic to providing information and being fair, as well. First, the information - the document of which Allen writes is here. Why doesn't NCR provide a link directly to it?
Secondly, the citation of the "wag" who provided the top-10 list. Well, the"wag" was the Curt Jester and it is a shame that in this piece he can't be credited by name and a link, especially since the Catholic blogosphere, despite its general bias against NCR(eporter) has played a role in whatever presence NCR(eporter)'s website has, primarily through its links and discussions of Allen's reporting. Fair is fair.