The decision on the use of the Missal, which was the subject of consultations between Pope
the cardinals of the Church and the heads of the different Vatican
diacasteries, could be announced after another meeting the Pope has
scheduled for April 7 with Curia leaders.
The Pius V
Missal contains the Mass celebrated in Latin according to the
“Tridentine” rite and is currently allowed only with the permission of
the local bishop. Universal approval would mean the traditional
rite could be celebrated freely throughout the world by priests who
wish to do so.
The move is not
directly related to the Lefebvrist schism, since as a theologian the
Pontiff had always expressed in interest in bringing back the
rite. Nevertheless, Vatican sources note that this would be an
important step in resolving the schism, as the possibility of freely
celebrating the Mass of St Pius V is one of the points of contention
with the Lefebvrists.
In July, the
Society of St. Pius X—known as the Lefebvrists—will elect a new
superior. The group will chose between openness to reconciliation
embodied in the current superior Bernard Fellay or the decidedly
anti-Vatican stance of Richard Williamson, another of the four bishops
illicitly consecrated by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
St. Pius V Missal, which the Catholic Church used until 1962 before it
was replaced by the new ordinary following the liturgical reforms of
Vatican II, could be approved for universal use, according to sources
close to the Vatican.