Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 26, 2007
Smith won't make Latin Mass more available
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Archbishop Richard Smith says there are no plans to expand celebrations of the Latin Mass in the Edmonton Archdiocese.
"What we are offering right now is sufficient for the people that seek it so I don't see any change in the status quo happening," the archbishop said Nov 19.
Smith was reacting to Pope Benedict's letter allowing for greater use of the 1962 missal - the final version of the Latin Tridentine Mass approved prior to the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
"This was a personal initiative by Pope Benedict and I welcome it because is a way of reaching out and a desire for reconciliation towards people who for a variety of reasons remain attached to the 1962 missal.
"It's a way of indicating to them that they are still, obviously, part of the Church and ought to be able to find a home here."
No formal requests
But Smith said he is not aware of any formal request that has come to his office for more availability of this liturgy since the pope's letter came out in July.
"As I am reading the situation right now we do have it, and we've had it for years in this archdiocese, and is attracting a certain stable number of people. In other words, what we are making available right now is sufficient so I don't see any change in the status quo happening."
Some 50 people attend 9 a.m. Sunday Mass in Latin at Our Lady of Good Help Maronite Catholic Church, 9805-76 Ave.
The church offers a Mass every Saturday and Sunday, as well as on the first Friday of every month. Father Joseph Poisson comes to Edmonton from Calgary to celebrate the Mass.
Smith has no plans to appoint a local priest. "This is something that has been set up for years and is working well so there is no need to change it."
The Latin Mass is of "immense value" because it is part of the Church's liturgical tradition, he said. "This is how the Church worshipped since the Council of Trent up until the changes of the Second Vatican Council."
The archbishop said the pope's letter expanding the use of the Mass was an attempt on the pontiff's part to foster unity.
"He's said from the beginning that the unity of the Church is a great priority for him. The greater unity of the Church obviously also involves the deepening of the communion of the members of the Roman Catholic Church as well.
"And this was one area where he felt that he could reach out and extend to people who may have felt marginalized, rightly or wrongly, the embrace of the whole Church."