Church split feared as Pope backs return of 'anti-Semitic' Latin Mass
By Ian Herbert
Published: 30 June 2007
A plan by the Pope to authorise the widespread return of the controversial Latin Mass, despite concerns that parts of it are anti-Semitic, has provoked a backlash among senior clergy in Britain and threatens to divide the Catholic Church worldwide. The 16th-century Tridentine Mass - which includes references to "perfidious" Jews - was abandoned in 1969 and replaced with liturgy in local languages, to make worship more accessible to the bulk of churchgoers. But the Pope announced on Thursday that a long-awaited document liberalising the use of the Mass, which some clergy fear will also limit the Church's dialogue with Jews and Muslims, will be released next week.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, has written to the Pope to say that no changes are needed.
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