Synod final message rebuffs Latin Mass, priest shortage

In a rejection of the lone appeal in the Synod of Bishops for the pre-Vatican II rite of Mass, the synod's final message, set for approval today, contains no language on the subject.

The National Catholic Reporter's John Allen reports that instead, the message affirms that the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) "provided the necessary basis for a progressive and adequate liturgical reform." He obtained an advancecopy of the final draft, which was written primarily by Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec, Canada.

In response to concerns from some bishops that a section from the first draft of the message concerning divorced and civilly remarried Catholics was potentially ambiguous on the church's teaching on marriage, the language has been revised in several places.

Where the first draft, circulated on Saturday, referred to "irregular" family situations, the final text mentions situations that "do not conform to the commandment of the Lord." In stating that nobody wishes to exclude such Catholics from the church, the new text adds that the bishops "do not share choices they have made." A line that the suffering of divorced and remarried Catholics "can be transformed into a precious involvement in the Christian community" has been removed, and the new text invites the divorced and remarried to listen to the Word of God for their life of faith "and their conversion."

The lack of any reference to the old Mass appears to be a setback for Colombian Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, president of the "Ecclesia Dei Commission" set up to promote reconciliation with traditionalist Catholics, who had proposed during floor debate Oct. 15 that the final message contain a gesture of outreach to Catholics attached to the old Mass.

Castrillón Hoyos was the only participant to bring up the old Mass, which was defined as "not a priority" for the synod by Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in an Oct. 13 press conference.

A senior Vatican official taking part in the synod told the National Catholic Reporter that the lack of reference in the final message to the old Mass does not mean the bishops are opposed to it, merely that they didn't think it was as important as other subjects. There was general pressure, this official said, to make the message shorter, so many suggestions for specific points were not adopted.

The Synod of Bishops will produce two documents before its close on Sunday: a final message on behalf of the participants, addressed to the church and the world; and a set of propositions for the pope. In a break with past synod practice, Archbishop Roland Minnerath told the news agency I Media on Wednesday that the propositions will also be made public.

In past synods, the propositions were considered confidential recommendations to the pope, though they were generally published in full by media outlets shortly after the synods closed.

Final draft rebuffs Latin Mass; priest shortage, divorce squarely on church's pastoral agenda (National Catholic Reporter 20/10/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Synod of Bishops
Synodus Episcoporum Bulletin

Synod worried Catholics misunderstand Real Presence (CathNews 20/10/05)
Synod opts for major vocations push, not easing of celibacy (CathNews 19/10/05)
Synod takes time off to work on combining propositions (CathNews 18/10/05)
Synod told of Eucharist as 'pulsating heart' of Timor mission (CathNews 17/10/05)
Synod bishops seek middle ground solutions (CathNews 14/10/05)
Synod frank talk producing few breakthroughs (CathNews 13/10/05)
Pell call to preserve celibacy rule (CathNews 12/10/05)
Irish archbishop says Liturgy of Word can heal (CathNews 11/10/05)
Hobart Archbishop insists on credit for hardworking priests (CathNews 10/10/05)
Opus Dei head argues against giant masses (CathNews 7/10/05)
Oceania bishops plead case for married clergy (CathNews 7/10/05)
Kiwi bishop challenges Synod to review communion ban for divorced (CathNews 6/10/05)
Pope talks to Synod about collegiality (CathNews 5/10/05)
Pope opens Synod with Eucharist link to peaceful, just society (CathNews 4/10/05)
Aussie Synod expert stresses Eucharist values before rules (CathNews 29/9/05)
Two Australians on auditors list for October Synod (CathNews 27/9/05)
Synod tipped to stress Sunday Mass obligation (CathNews 28/9/05)
Pope names four mainland Chinese bishops to October synod (CathNews 9/9/05)
Synod threat to youth masses (CathNews 25/7/05)

Amendments to propositions, concert in honor of Pope (Vatican Information Service 20/10/05)
Synod reveals new leading lights (Catholic Leader 20/10/05)
Workers struggle to get aid to Pakistani victims of earthquake (Catholic News Service 19/10/05)
Cardinal says he hopes African issues make final list of propositions (Catholic News Service 19/10/05)
Women's voices heard through interventions of 12 synod auditors (National Catholic Reporter 17/10/05)
Draft propositions do not recommend changes in church discipline (National Catholic Reporter 18/10/05)
Gregory: Little change expected but synod took honest talk of pastoral realities (National Catholic Reporter 19/10/05)
Romanian-rite bishop gets applause (The Universe 20/10/05)
Cardinal addressed Holy Communion issue at Synod (The Universe 20/10/05)
Amendments Made to Draft of Synod Propositions (Zenit 19/10/05)
African Cardinal Views the Vocation Shortage (Zenit 19/10/05)
Film on St. Peter Shown at Synod (Zenit 19/10/05)

21 Oct 2005