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Church 'comeback' for Latin mass

14 June 08 02:52 GMT

A mass to be held in Latin at Westminster Cathedral has been hailed as a sign that the use of Latin in church services is returning to the UK.

The Latin mass was replaced by modern national languages after the reforming Second Vatican Council of the 1960s.

But Cardinal Dario Hoyos's holding of a Latin Mass has been seen by Catholic traditionalists as a signal to the church leadership in England and Wales.

Supporters of the traditional mass say it is popular among young Catholics.

'Pick-and-choose' religion

Following the reforming Second Vatican Council of the 1960s - although the Council did not rule Latin out, many Catholics did not speak it and so Latin gave way to modern national languages.

Many British bishops were reluctant to grant permission to priests to celebrate mass in Latin, and some refused to do so.

But last year Pope Benedict ruled that priests no longer had to secure special permission from their bishop to conduct mass in Latin.

And the presence of Cardinal Hoyos - a senior adviser to the Pope - celebrating Latin Mass in one of the country's principal Catholic cathedrals, has been interpreted by some in the Church as a pointed gesture to the relatively liberal leadership in England and Wales.

There is evidence of a demand for the Latin mass from young Catholics in particular, some of whom claim it represents a wider rejection of a modern pick-and-choose attitude to the religion.

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