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 CNS Story:

POPE-DAILYMASS Jul-17-2007 (350 words) xxxi

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.

The Tridentine Mass is the Latin-language liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council; it was last revised in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal.

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.

With the altar against the wall, the concelebrants in the private chapel end up having their backs toward the congregation during the eucharistic prayer. 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.

Father Lombardi also said the fact that the pope's two private secretaries concelebrate the Mass with him each morning "obviously means he is using the new Missal," since the Tridentine Mass strictly limits concelebration.


At public Masses with an international congregation, Pope Benedict uses the post-Vatican II Mass with most of the prayers in Latin. However, on occasions such as the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, which is considered a Rome diocesan celebration although there is an international congregation, the pope recites the prayers in Italian.

END


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