Archbishop Braulio Rodriguez Plaza of Valladolid (Spain) said this week the Pope’s intention behind allowing greater use of the Missal of 1962 is not to turn the clock back, as many have said, but rather to foster “unity among Catholics, especially during the celebration [of the Mass] and to reconcile the Church with her liturgical past prior to Vatican II.”
“Even though the media has repeated it so many times, the Pope has not decided that we are going to return to celebrating the Mass in Latin. To say such a thing is not only ignorant, it’s also thoughtless. It has always been permitted to celebrate the Mass in Latin, even after Vatican II, and the books of the liturgical reform were written in Latin and later translated into the different languages,” Archbishop Rodriguez explained.
He stressed that the Pope is not discrediting Vatican II with the Motu Propio or acquiescing to the Lefebvrists, as he knows the differences with them “are not only liturgical; the Pope reaches out his hand but he does not compromise his own profound convictions.”
Archbishop Rodriguez noted that the Pope “has reaffirmed the authority of Vatican II and he has reiterated that the liturgical reform is well-founded.”
“In the text of the Motu Propio it is clearly indicated that the celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of 1970 is the ‘ordinary’ form of our liturgy,” the archbishop continued. “The celebration according to the Missal of 1962, promulgated by John XXIII, is the ‘extraordinary form,’ even though it is desired by a determined number of Catholics.” “This is not, therefore, a question of ‘going back to Latin’,” he stated. “In practice, nothing will change for the great majority of Catholics.”