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Rome & the World: New York Times discusses Latin Mass

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Andrewgardner1 | CC BY 4.0

I.Media - published on 11/17/22

Also in today's headlines: Chaplains in the Antarctic and 9 things Catholics can't do at Qatar World Cup

Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.

Thursday 17 November 2022
1. The Latin Mass finds a new American audience, despite Pope’s directives 
2. Hong Kong, Bishop Chow: The national security law must define clear boundaries
3. World Cup: nine things a Catholic cannot do if he goes to Qatar
4. Diving into the “tabernacles of Antarctica”
5. Cop 27: the Holy See calls for urgent and responsible measures

“I don’t speak Latin […] But it feels like you’re connecting more with God.” This is what one Catholic told The New York Times in a lengthy article about the increasing number of faithful choosing to attend mass celebrated according to the 1962 missal. The reporter writes that these Catholics are willing to travel sometimes for many miles to find a church and a priest celebrating according to what was until recently called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. There are 17,000 parishes in the United States and the number of places where Mass is celebrated in Latin is increasing, the newspaper notes. It seems that there are at least 600 places in the country that offer the so-called “traditional” Mass. According to The New York Times, this liturgy attracts traditionalists, young families, new converts and also those who oppose Pope Francis. The Argentine pontiff has drastically reduced the possibility of celebrating the Tridentine Mass while his predecessor, Benedict XVI, had opted for a more open approach on this issue.

The article argues that there are several reasons for the resurgence of the Latin Mass. Due to the pandemic, for example, ordinary parishes apparently remained closed longer, prompting some Catholics, eager to relive beautiful liturgies, to seek out other open venues. Additionally, many faithful say they have discovered traditionalist podcasters and influencers who have directed them to the Traditional Latin Mass. Another reason for why many Catholics are returning to this tradition is that the Church in America is increasingly questioning its cultural and political role in a troubled world. The NYT journalist reports that many surveys show that the faithful who prefer the Latin Mass have conservative opinions, particularly on issues concerning abortion and gay marriage. The article also highlights the sharp divide that exists within the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, as some prelates have significantly reduced the use of the 1962 missal while others have only, the reporter says, marginally implemented Pope Francis’ directives in his motu proprio Traditionis Custodes.

The New York Times, English

2Hong Kong, Bishop Chow: The national security law must define clear boundaries

The national security law has sown “confusion over what could be said and what could not,” said Bishop Stephen Chow of Hong Kong in an interview with a magazine of a local Jesuit college he led in the past, reports AsiaNews. Installed in December 2021 as head of the highly strategic Diocese, he explained that the unclear nature of the security law passed in 2020, particularly the lack of a “red line” on what can and cannot be said, has adversely affected the work of those trying to heal the wounds within Hong Kong’s society. Recalling how the Church had not been inactive during the 2019 protests that pushed Beijing to tighten its grip, he stressed the need now to take time to listen to opposing sides and discern. “Hong Kong’s biggest crisis now is that different groups only think of their own interests,” he insisted. Bishop Chow explained that he hopes to meet with Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, John Lee Ka-chiu, who is Catholic and an alumnus of the Jesuit college that he supervised. He also commented on last month’s renewal of the agreement between China and the Holy See, expressing the hope that this rapprochement would allow him to meet with bishops from the Mainland, emphasizing that this was John Paul II’s goal. The Bishop also explained that he intends to bring to fruition his great project of a Catholic university in Hong Kong, which he wishes to name Saint Francis University.

AsiaNews, English 

3. World Cup: nine things a Catholic cannot do if he goes to Qatar

On November 20, the soccer World Cup begins in Qatar, a Muslim country governed by Sharia law, which foresees severe penalties for those who violate its religious norms. Catholics attending the World Cup in Qatar must avoid participating in public religious activities, publicly professing their religion and any attempt to convert others to the Catholic faith. Otherwise they could face severe penalties.

Religion Digital, Spanish

4. Diving into the “tabernacles of Antarctica”

Omnes magazine offers a focus on the pastoral work carried out by chaplains in the coldest area of the world, below the 60th parallel south, where Antarctica begins. Behind this line there are seven Catholic chapels, five of which depend on the Argentine military Archdiocese. One of the other two depends on the Chilean military Archdiocese and the other one on the Chilean Diocese of Río Gallegos.

Omnes, Spanish 

5. Cop 27: the Holy See calls for urgent and responsible measures

The Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt, Archbishop Nicolas Thevenin, delivered a speech at the UN conference in Sharm El Sheikh in which he called for “urgent and responsible action to address the climate crisis that affects too many people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.”

Vatican News, English

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