2-January-2008 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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New Vatican Document To Clarify Summorum Pontificum

Vatican, Dec. 31, 2007 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican will soon issue a new document clarifying the terms of Summum Pontificum, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has revealed.

Confirming reports that have circulated around Rome in recent weeks, the Vatican Secretary of State told the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana that the Ecclesia Dei commission will issue instructions to "clarify the criteria for the application of the motu proprio" in which Pope Benedict XVI broadened access to the traditional Latin Mass.

Cardinal Bertone said that the new document was needed because there have been some "confused reactions" to the motu proprio. In fact some Vatican officials-- most notably Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship-- have energetically criticized bishops who have failed to accept the papal directive.

Cardinal Bertone took a more conciliatory approach to the disputes that have arisen in the aftermath of the Pope's move to restore the traditional Mass. The Italian prelate told Famiglia Cristiana that had been widely misinterpreted, and the new instruction from the Ecclesia Dei commission would attempt to clear up misconceptions.

"Some people have charged that the Pope was rejecting the Council's [Vatican II] teaching," Cardinal Bertone told the Italian magazine, emphasizing that this interpretation is completely unfounded. At the same time, he also dismissed the theory that Pope Benedict hopes to replace the Novus Ordo Mass, making the "extraordinary form" the single liturgical usage of the future. That is equally inaccurate, the cardinal said.

Cardinal Bertone did not indicate when the new liturgical directive would appear. Some Vatican-watchers believe that the instruction from Ecclesia Dei will appear within a matter of days; others have said that it could be several weeks before it is published.

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