June 13, 2011

A new Vatican instruction on the extraordinary form of the Mass intends to make it easier for Catholics who want to worship this way to do so.

In lay terms, it has eliminated some of the red tape.

For example, in years past, Catholics who wanted to attend the Latin-language liturgy celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal had to request this from their parish priest, who then had to receive permission from the bishop to offer these Masses.

Now, according to a Vatican instruction released May 13, pastors do not have to get the local bishop's permission to celebrate these Masses for Catholic groups.

U.S. Church officials say these relaxed restrictions do not necessarily mean there will be a significant increase in the number of Masses offered in the extraordinary form, primarily because there are just not enough priests trained to celebrate these Masses and those who can are aging.