CNS v CWN on Benedict XVI using older Mass in private

You know that Catholic World News has issued a story that the Holy Father says the older form of Mass in private.  Here are the salient bits:

Pope Benedict uses older ritual for his private Mass

Vatican, Jul. 16, 2007 ( – Pope Benedict XVI (bio – news), who recently issued a motu proprio allowing all Catholic priests to celebrate the old Latin Mass, uses the older ritual himself for his private Mass, CWN has learned.

Informed sources at the Vatican have confirmed reports that the Holy Father regularly celebrates Mass using the 1962 Roman Missal.

Since becoming Roman Pontiff, Benedict XVI has always used the new ritual– which he identifies in Summorum Pontificum as the "ordinary form" of the Roman rite– for public celebrations of the Eucharistic liturgy. However few people have witnessed the Pope celebrating his private daily Mass.

I can’t get into the details of this report.  But there is something I can bring to your attention.

What I find really amusing, and what gives the CWN story legs, is how Catholic News Service (owned and operated by the USCCB) rushed to post a denial!  

Please note that the denial lacks some really important direct quotes.

Vatican spokesman: Pope concelebrates daily Mass using current missal

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI concelebrates his daily morning Mass in Italian using the current edition of the Roman Missal, the Vatican spokesman said.

Claims that the pope celebrates his private Mass using the Tridentine rite are incorrect, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told Catholic News Service July 17.


Less than 10 days after Pope Benedict July 7 issued his letter and norms providing greater opportunity for the celebration of the Tridentine Mass, news reports claimed Pope Benedict already had been celebrating the old rite privately.

"The confusion probably was caused by our footage of the pope celebrating facing the altar, which is due to the fact that the altar is against the wall" in the private chapel of the Apostolic Palace, Father Lombardi said.  [I am reasonably sure that the editor of CWN, Phil Lawler, is smarter than that.  However, when so many people are totally bound up in the idea that the older form of Mass is about "mumbling in Latin" or that the priest has "his back to the people", this is what I expect.]

With the altar against the wall, the concelebrants in the private chapel end up having their backs toward the congregation during the eucharistic prayer. [I still think the people at CWN are smarter than that.] The congregation at the morning Mass generally is made up of the pope’s valet and the consecrated women who staff the papal apartment.

The images Father Lombardi referred to were released by the Vatican to coincide with celebrations of Pope Benedict’s 80th birthday April 16. Father Lombardi heads the Vatican Television Center, which produced the footage, as well as serving as director of the Vatican press office and Vatican Radio. [A trifecta, I’d say.]

Father Lombardi also said the fact that the pope’s two private secretaries concelebrate the Mass with him each morning [I wonder if Fr. Lombardi said "each morning"….] "obviously means he is using the new Missal," since the Tridentine Mass strictly limits concelebration.


 Meanwhile, and what follows is entirely circumstantial, here are photos of the Holy Father’s Redemptoris Mater chapel in the Apostolic Palace:




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  1. surge says:

    Yes, and the photos are of the Redemptoris Mater chapel, which is however not not not not not the Holy Father’s private chapel, feliciter regnans

  2. mark says:

    The problem is that it’s not CNS saying this out of the blue – Lombardi says it, and can’t we presume he only says things about the Pope’s private practice with the Pope’s assent? It’s too bad, but I don’t see any way around that.

  3. Boko Fittleworth says:

    I see no reason to believe that Lombardi only says things about the Pope’s private practice with the Pope’s consent. Also, we really don’t know WHAT Lombardi said. I hope cns clarifies. I fear, however, that this was an ideological shot, not a news story.

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    Boko: I fear, however, that this was an ideological shot, not a news story.

    Are we to assume that CNS or the USCCB has some ideological position that might be in opposition to whatever may be the Pope’s private liturgical practice?

  5. Peter says:

    Is there a video somewhere of HH genuflecting twice at the consecration?

  6. Jim says:

    Let’s not forget that Lombardi doesn’t participate of the mass of HH.

  7. Jim says:

    Let’s not forget that Lombardi doesn’t participate of the mass of HH.

  8. Fr.Fern says:

    I saw a mass video from the private mass of the Pope facing ad orientem, but it was in italian. Something I wish is that the Pope told us to face ad orientem when we are at the eucharistic prayer.

  9. Romulus says:

    As a matter of routine, I expect the Papal household will find the Ordinary Form more practical, as the Holy Father’s secretaries will be able to celebrate simultaneously and therefore not have to be unavailable to him at some other point in the day.

  10. Christopher says:

    Peace be with you.

    Though, keeping in mind, as Cardinal Ratzinger he did celebrate the Extraordinary form (as it is now known).

    May God bless you.
    Holy Mary protect you.

  11. Michael says:

    I’m sure there’s more than one altar in the Vatican that they could use as the pope is saying his own Mass. There are plenty of men around who could serve all three. I think the pope is probably saying the Ordinary Rite for ideological reasons.

    By the way, in the day in the life of Pope Benedict video on youtube, you can see that the vestments are about as dull as you could get. My parish priest wears nicer vestments for the children’s liturgies. What happened to all the glorious vestments Pope’s used to wear? It’s not like there aren’t more dignified vestments in the Vatican sacristy. I’ve seen then with my own eyes.

  12. danphunter1 says:

    I personally know a priest who has assisted at several Private Classical Rite Mass’s that Pope Benedict has offered in his chapel.
    Mr Lawler is correct.
    God bless you.

  13. Giovanni says:

    If the Holy Father has given permission for priests to celebrate their private Masses with the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, why wouldn’t we except him to do the same?

    Secondly, I think we all know why the USCCB and others would have a reason to play it down. These guys are masters in the art of churchspeak and spin. They have their agenda!

  14. Eric says:

    “They have their agenda!”

    Hmm. What would that agenda be for CNS? Perhaps news reporting?

    1. CNS reads reports that Benedict is using old missal in private Masses.
    2. CNS asks Vatican spokesperson to comment.
    3. CNS publishes response of Vatican spokesperson.

    Sounds pretty diabolical to me!

    You’ll note Fr. Lombardi did not say the pope never uses the old missal. So maybe he uses it on occasion. This is not a winner-take-all thing. If he uses the terms ‘ordinary” and “extraordinary,” might we not assume he follows that practice on his own? And as for CNS having an agenda, I don’t think their coverage on this issue shows that at all.

  15. Jordan Potter says:

    Read more carefully, Eric. The CNS story explictly says, “Claims that the pope celebrates his private Mass using the Tridentine rite are incorrect, ” According to CNS, the Pope does not offer private Tridentine Masses at all.

    But it looks like the CNS report is false.

    As for CNS having an agenda of merely reporting news accurately, bear in mind that CNS is the news agency of the USCCB. They have never been strictly impartial, nor does anyone expect them to be — and the fact that they exist to serve the USCCB must be taken into account when reading their reports.

    By the way, previously on two separate occasions I spotted some not unimportant errors in a CNS story and contacted them so they could fix it. The response I got basically was a polite, “Thanks, but oh well, no big whoop,” and they did not make any corrections. As far as I’m concerned, that bespeaks journalistic standards that aren’t as high as they need to be.

  16. Royce says:

    “Are we to assume that CNS or the USCCB has some ideological position that might be in opposition to whatever may be the Pope’s private liturgical practice?”

    Yes. CNS rarely, if ever, actually reports news. Their depth of reporting is worse than my high school newspaper’s was.

    I highly doubt CNS actually knows better. Two weeks ago I took an inventory of stories on its website:

    Charasmatic Catholics advocating for ‘accpetance’
    A story with very kind treatment of a lay Chinese Catholic criticising H.E. Card. Zen for participating in the freedom march
    A profile of a full-time ‘lay preacher’
    A picture of Native Americans performing Indian pagan rituals at Mass (they were apparently substituted for the penentential rite).
    A terrible article on resources for ‘Tridentine’ Catholics. (Half the article focused on the results of a YouTube search — this is journalism?).

  17. Different says:

    Ummmm….is there really a major conspiracy here? So, maybe he celebrates the extraordinary form or maybe he doesn’t; or maybe he celebrates it 20% of the time; or maybe only on Wednesdays…maybe the USCCB is sowing evil misinformation or maybe Phil Lawlor is being lied to.

    Come on people, stop reading conspiracy and evil into every news piece that is in any way related to the motu proprio and the extraordinary form of the Mass.

    You’re starting to sound like a bunch of SSPV’ers!

  18. flabellum says:

    I don’t think CWN was claiming that the Holy Father always uses the extraordinary rite in his private chapel, and Fr Lombardi nowhere claims that the Holy Father never uses the extraordinary rite. But I can see why the USCCB would be very keen to establish that he never does (though they cannot claim he never will).

  19. Michael says:


    Did your priest friend have anything interesting to report about vestments or ceremony? Was he wearing a fanon, for example?

  20. Steve says:

    Just a thought.

    John Paul had the chapel renovated with an East-Meets-West intention. (Evident in the iconography, the smaller-than-usual freestanding altar, and his stated intent) Granted the (small, freestanding) Altar lacks the other Byzantine adornments (Tabernacle, candelabrum, etc) but is it possible that the Altar is portable to accommodate Latin (Roman) and Eastern rites?

    It would explain why the Altar seems to move with some regularity.

  21. Michael says:


    I don’t think it’s actually moving. If you look at the photograph above, there is a slab of marble placed in front of the altar that wasn’t there when it was built, and the altar is longer than it was when built. It also looks like th altar platform meets the east wall now too.

  22. danphunter1 says:

    The only vesture comment he made was that the chausable that His Holiness wore during the sacrifice, was embroidered in the 16th century,and was actually worn by a canon during amass offered during the Council of Trent.
    I shall attempt to contact Father and find out more details.
    God bless you.

  23. Michael says:


    Thank you. I imagine it must have been a very beautiful ceremony indeed. When I visited the Vatican treasury in St. Peter’s last March, I was taken back by some of the vestments, which obviously took months to produce. All of the liturgical items on display were stunning.

    Interesting side note: has anyone noticed that the altar cards on display in the St. Peter’s treasury are in the wrong order?

  24. Jordan Potter says:

    Fr Lombardi nowhere claims that the Holy Father never uses the extraordinary rite.

    Not in any of the direct quotes, but that claim is attributed to him by CNS.

  25. Tim Hallett says:

    I know for a fact that Ratzinger used the 1962 missal in his private chapel as cardinal.

  26. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Fr Z:

    What lacks “direct quotes” is not the denial, but the original story, which CWN lays entirely on “informed sources.” No person is named.

    I’d give more credence to the CNS version, than CWN.

    Deacon Greg

  27. berenike says:

    “Did your priest friend have anything **interesting** to report about vestments or ceremony?

    Was he wearing a fanon, for example?”

    No-one else find this mildly amusing? (nothing personal or snide meant!)

  28. Fr K says:

    I have it on authority of an archbishop, who incidentally, has quite a reputation as a liturgist, that the Holy Father regularly celebrates Mass according to the 1962 Missal: I first heard of this in January this year. Having said that, I have also seen a short programme about the daily life of the Pope and it was clear when he was saying Mass he was concelebrating with his secretaries. So, like many priests, he probably celebrates with both Missals.

    The chapel shown in the photos is not the Pope’s private chapel: the chapel depicted used to be used by JP II when there were a lot of priests who wished to concelebrate his early morning Mass with him and I guess, there was not enough room for them and the laity who accompanied them. I know this because I have concelebrated with the Pope in this particular chapel on a number of occasions. I have also concelebrated with him in his private chapel which is much smaller and the altar does not face the people: this was after Pope Paul VI had renovated it and installed a stained glass ceiling. The video I saw of Pope Benedict concelebrating was in this chapel.

    Fr K

  29. Jordan Potter says:

    Deacon Greg said: What lacks “direct quotes” is not the denial, but the original story, which CWN lays entirely on “informed sources.” No person is named.

    No, the denial is not in any of the quotes from Fr. Lombardi, only in paraphrases. Therefore the denial lacks direct quote from Fr. Lombardi, and could therefore be a mistaken paraphrase from Cindy Wooden.

    I’d give more credence to the CNS version, than CWN.

    Normally in this sort of case I would too, except we already knew that when he was cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sometimes celebrated the Tridentine Mass, and we have been hearing that now as Pope he sometimes celebrates it privately. So the CNS assertion that he never celebrates it privately lacks credibility. So, perhaps Fr. Lombardi misspoke, or CNS misquoted him or misparaphrased him.

    CWN is sticking to their story.

  30. Michael says:


    I wasn’t trying to imply that what he had said was “uninteresting.” What was asking was whether the priest had given any details, such as the 16th century chasuble Dan mentioned.

  31. Fr K says:


    The Pope when celebrating a papal Mass in the solemn form in St Peter’s, for example, would in times past have worn the fanon plus a few other additional vestments worn only by the Pope: he did not wear these when celebrating a Low Mass in his private chapel. You may see the full papal vestments on Youtube: Pope John XXIII’s Coronation Mass. You may also find photographs of Pius XII celebrating a Low Mass in his private chapel; in those he wears just the usual priestly vestments.

    Fr K

  32. Michael says:

    Which would explain why he doesn’t wear his pallium during private Masses.

  33. BobP says:

    I haven’t known one Jesuit who was trad-friendly. So why am I not surprised at the reply?

  34. Geoffrey says:

    I would imagine that His Holiness would say both…. however the mood should strike him.

    BobP: I’ve known of a few “trad-friendly” Jesuits… surprisingly!

  35. Richard says:

    What surprises me is how quickly CNS jumped on this story – even by getting an official statment from Father Lombardi – in order to refute it. Makes me wonder what there is to be hid by denying that the Holy Father doesn’t celebrate the older form of the liturgy.

  36. Folks “regularly” doesn’t necessarily mean “always.” In this case, it’s apparently synonymous with “quite often.” That very likely irks the former-hippy-guitar-priests enough!

    Mr Lawler, author of the original article, responds to the CNS story here, saying:
    “[F]or the benefit of readers who might have missed my 7/17 message to CWN subscribers:

    CWN stands by the accuracy of our original report.

    There is no doubt that the Holy Father celebrates the Novus Ordo Mass; that was never in question. The thrust of our story was that the Pope also uses the 1962 Missal. Nor should that news be particularly surprising, in light of the recent motu proprio underlining the rightful place of the older liturgy in the Catholic tradition.”

  37. Hammerbrecher says:

    Like anyone really believes the Man who issued the Motu Proprio doesn’t fairly regularly celebrate the 62 Missal is just silly.

    It is obvious by the timeing and the thoughts of many at the USCCB about the TLM, that this was an agenda piece.

  38. wcy says:

    CNS is not a reliable news source. Some of their stories border on espousing the heretical.. ahem.. Some of their stories *espouse* the heretical. Read:

    Put plainly, the USCCB and other conferences of bishops have *no* *juridical* *authority* in the Church. All decisions of the conferences have to be ratified by Rome. (This is in contrast to the rarely used mechanism of provincial councils which do have such authority and do not need ratification by Rome.)

    Thus, the USCCB has a power complex, resulting in a huge bureaucracy (of which CNS is a part) dedicated to churning out countless documents, in the hope that one may stick. (Note that this huge bureaucracy is not the body of bishops; they don’t have direct control of it.)

    An example of this churning is the USCCB document “Environment and Art”, published by the Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy without a full vote of the bishops, and oft quoted in the 80’s and 90’s to wreckovate churches.

    Let’s pray for the conversion of hearts at the USCCB bureaucracy.

    In Christ,

    P.S. Pope Benedict, as a Cardinal, often spoke against conferences in favor of the authority of individual bishops. Read .
    P.P.S. I am a very happy subscriber of CWN, a highly reliable news source. Thanks Phil!

  39. Giovanni says:

    Eric, if you don’t think the USCCB has an agenda, there is some wonderful swamp land in Florida, I’m sure you would be interested in buying! lol

  40. Deacon Greg: I’d give more credence to the CNS version, than CWN.

    You can’t. Neither are in a position to know. Neither is Fr. Lombardi, really.

    Fr. Z

  41. berenike says:

    Dear Michael,

    I never suspected you didn’t mean exactly what you asked – it just struck me as amusing as I skimmed through the list. Like ‘Grass Sickness Weekly”, or those articles where organists enthuse about some particularly obscure point of pallet construction – hope you’re not offended. If so, I apologise.

  42. wcy says:

    Another *heretical* piece by *CNS*: .

    1. A Catholic news outlet should not be giving space to heretics.
    2. There wasn’t even an attempt to “balance”!

    Please pray that the people at CNS (however few they are) turn from heresy.


  43. Eric says:

    The article WCY mentioned reports on a survey about rethinking mandatory celibacy and another group advocating less obstacles to people receiving communion. Now while you may not agree with these ideas, they are not doctrines, but discipline. There is no heresy involved.

    Please, people! Dropping words like heresy at the drop of a hat (and putting them in bold face, no less) not only makes you appear uneducated, but is exactly what will keep pastors from listening to you when you approach them to use the old missal. Do you wonder why many are so skeptical of providing the old missal when they are faced with comments like the ones to this post, with conspiracy theories, denouncing of “heretics,” fanon fascination, insults to priests (“hippies”), making insinuations about the pope’s spokesperson, saying the bishops need to be converted, etc. Really, how can you expect to be taken seriously when you say such things? What pastor would want such a negative and vicious group accommodated in his parish?

  44. Breier says:


    Advocating communion for those in unrepentent adulterous relationships is to advocate heresy,
    for it implies either:

    1. That adultery is not a sin.
    2. One needn’t be in a state of grace to receive the Eucharist.
    3. Consummated marriage between two baptized persons is dissoluble.
    4. A generally apostatical world-view completely at odds with Catholic tradition, and which sees the above concerns
    as medieval or outdated.

    You might look at the advocacy of those sorry groups listed in the article. Or are woman priests
    a purely disciplinary question?

    I don’t doubt that orthodox Catholic ruffle the heterodox. But if you must complain, complain
    against Pope Benedict who inveighed against the “filth” in the Church. The crisis in the Church
    is real, and rather painfully obvious, as the reaction to the Motu Proprio is showing.

  45. Chris W says:

    Although not a subscriber to CWN, I have utmost respect for the professional integrity of Phil Lawlor. I follow all the main news sources on a fairly regular basis and tend to verify commentaries against sources etc as there is so much spin, and so few impartial commentators.

    Phil Lawlor is far and above any other professional journalist working in the coverage of contemporary Catholic news in this format in the English speaking world. Given his past form, it is inconceivable that he would ever post a story which he had not rigorously verified as being true. This type of journalism doesn’t often lead to scoops, hence CWN isn’t often quoted, but if he does manage to get one, like now, then I wish him every success.

    Although the fact that the Holy Father would celebrate according to the missal of Blessed JohnXXIII stands to reason, the importance of this story is reflected in how high up the authorization came to attempt to discredit it through another newsdesk.

    It is always a great disappointment to see other noteworthy journalists failing to correct stories when they have later been proved to be in error to some degree or other.

  46. cor ad cor loquitur says:

    I have no doubt that CNS has an agenda. Every journalist or newspaper does. Father Z has an agenda. CWN has as an agenda. CWN is a vehicle for Trinity Communication, a highly conservative group.

    As Fr Z says, neither group is in a position to know. We know that the Holy Father supports the liberalisation of the 1962 form of Mass. He said so, in the Motu Proprio and in his letter to the bishops. In the face of that clarity, the “news” about Pope Benedict’s private Masses is irrelevant.

    I also think it’s a bit silly to accuse CNS of “espousing” heresy. They have reported on the antics of We Are Church and Future Church, without either endorsing or condemning these groups. That is simply factual reporting. An editorial supporting these groups would be something else entirely.

  47. David Justen says:

    If you want to get a good sense of CNS’ point of view, just look at how the article was written. More than a week after the motu proprio was issued, in a story about the Pope using that very form of the Mass, the official news agency of the US bishops continues to use the incorrect terms “Tridentine rite” and “Tridentine Mass.”

    Click on my name in the comment to see my blog where I expand on that issue.

    I think it betrays the mindset at CNS to see howthey jumped on this story to debunk it and how they fail to ensure accurate coverage.

    I’d expect the New York Times or other secular sources to get it wrong, but Catholic News Service? They should know better.

  48. Domenico says:

    You can find a german version of the video ‘A Day In The Life of Pope Benedict’ at
    The music is added, is not original, but you can hear the Pope speaking Italian in the background. The mass is from min 0:58 to 1:59. You might notice the two secretaries concelebrating: one has been appointed bishop now. You might notice also the 5 Italian faithfuls attending. It is the ‘family’ of the Pope. The clip assume that the ‘typical’ daily mass is shown. In particular from this clip is possible to see that the ‘private chapel’ of the Pope is not the ‘Redemptoris Mater’ chapel.
    I have the version broadcast by the Italian TV without music added, a less invasive Italian comments and a longer clip of the mass, for anyone interested.

  49. Domenico: I would like to see that Italian version.

  50. Chris W says:

    Yes I saw the footage some time ago. The Mass with the papal household is of course in the ordinary form of the rite. But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he offered two Masses per day, occasionally at least, with an earlier one in the extraordinary form.

  51. Domenico says:

    Dear Fr. John Zuhlsdorf,
    I have just found that the full video (nearly one hour) is available from RAI:

    insert the keyword: Benedetto
    and down in the page of the results you will find the video
    ‘Papa Benedetto XVI
    Per gli ottant’anni di Papa Benedetto XVI ripercorriamo alcuni tra i momenti più significativi della Sua vita pastorale e personale’.
    You may try directly this address:,,RaiUno-Asuaimmagine^22673,0.html

    In the second half of the video, almost 70%, there is the part regarding the life in the Appartamento and in particular the daily mass. I have this part. I can send you a cd with this file.

  52. wcy says:


    Please be more careful reading the articles.

    Articles that espouse and lend credence to heterodox ideas are a scandal to the faithful. Here are some quotes:
    Despite what she called a “limited opportunity structure” for women in the Catholic Church and widespread disagreement by both sexes with some church teachings, Catholic women remain deeply committed to the church, a sociology professor said Dec. 7. _This intro should already warn you._

    But Dillon said polls show many Catholics *disagree with church teachings on birth control, divorce, abortion, the ordination of women to the priesthood* and priestly celibacy. But those who remain Catholic consider those stands “ultimately irrelevant” to their identity as Catholics, she said.

    Citing her own survey in the mid-1990s of members of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which works to *change church teaching* on the *ordination of women as priests*, Dillon said most argue in favor of women’s ordination “as Catholics, not as Americans.”

    Cardinal Martini has made news with his openness to the possibility of allowing married Latin-rite priests under certain circumstances, *ordaining women as deacons* and *allowing Communion for some divorced Catholics in subsequent marriages* not approved by the church.

    On *women’s ordination*, he said in 1996 that a future Vatican council of the world’s bishops “could consider the problem, *rethinking the whole question*.”
    The two U.S. groups said they also collected more than 35,000 signatures on a nationwide petition asking the synod to consider optional celibacy and *female deacons* as possible solutions to the priest shortage. _How does this fix the problem? Read below!_

    *Divorced and or remarried people who have not had their marriages annulled should not be denied “eucharistic fellowship,”* and *neither should members of other Christian communities,* it said in a press statement.

    _Both groups cited in this article are well known for promoting doctrines heterdox to Catholic beliefs._

    _Furthermore, the article has a “women’s ordination” undercurrent. They do not merely want unordained “deaconesses” who have no liturgical role in the sanctuary. They want full blown “women deacons” as a launching pad to “women priests”, and finally “women bishops”. Hey, they probably think they can get a “woman pope”. This is the same strategy used in the Anglican world._

    P.S. I have first hand experience. I used to work for a priest who got up in front of his diocese’s priest senate and declared himself to be the most liberal priest in the diocese. We also had a 2 to 1 private meeting with H.Ex. Bishop Gumbleton.

  53. mike conlon says:

    I personally know a priest who has assisted at several Private Classical Rite Mass’s that Pope Benedict has offered in his chapel.
    Mr Lawler is correct.
    God bless you.

    Comment by danphunter1 — 17 July 2007 @ 2:54 pm

    What do you mean by “Clasical Rite?” Is it Perl’started up NOM with smells and
    bells? Or the EF of the Roman Rite?

  54. mike conlon says:

    That should have been “Perl’s tarted up NOM.” Always preview before posting.

  55. Alex says:

    I think most “traditionalists” out there should not make themselves too many illusions. Benedict XVI uses the Italian Novus Ordo (ad orientem) in his private Masses, at least used them up until recently, especially in those celebrated for his household. He also practices Communion into the hand, at Cologne in 2005 allowed altar girls to serve his Mass at the Marienfeld, and evidently celebrated “towards the people” on a table if necessary. I do not think one should have too many high expectations or believe these rumours from anonymous sources directly. It is sure however that John Paul II in 2001 at least once privately said the 1962 Mass.

    As to the Redemptoris Mater Chapel: it was re-wreckovated and the traditional altar has been replaced again by the ugle table with a mini-crucifix upon it. That is clear from CDB. It also means that it was not a permanent improvement….

  56. Jordan Potter says:

    I do not think one should have too many high expectations or believe these rumours from anonymous sources directly. It is sure however that John Paul II in 2001 at least once privately said the 1962 Mass.

    It is also sure that before he became Pope, Benedict XVI celebrated the old Mass privately. We’re also being told that he sometimes does that as Pope. There’s nothing incredible or outrageous about these rumors, and it would be surprising if he has never celebrated the old Mass since becoming Pope.

  57. Syriacus says:

    About communion in the hand: I personally witnessed, at Bertone’s installation as Archbishop of Genoa in 2003, Cardinal Ratzinger taking the Host in his hands (or better, Cardinal Bertone giving him Communion in the hand) . The Cardinal was assisting in choro, and had a comfortable kneeler, soft, with velvet… He could have knelt for sure: but, to my huge surprise, he stood, and eagerly (or just patiently) accepted the particle from his former CDF-Secretary …

  58. Jonathan Bennett says:

    What an ugly chapel.

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