THE POPE is being asked to consider celebrating at least one Mass in the old Latin rite when he visits England next year. The request comes in a letter from the London-based Latin Mass Society, which contains a plea for the restoration of the old Mass and is signed by 100 "selected" Catholics.
The letter is part of a campaign which has been going since the formation of the Society in 1965. The first success was a letter to the Times. on July 6, 1971, which was countersigned by a large group of prominent Catholics. The result was a Papal Indult, exempting England on occasion from the general ban of the old Latin rite, In May 1974, Cardinal Heenan granted. in direct response to a petition submitted to the Society, the right of every Catholic to request a Tridentine requiem.
Since then two petitions have been sent to successive Popes. The first was signed by 8000 Catholics: the second by 88, including well known writers and artists. members of the Privy Council and of both Houses of Parliament as well as by members of the Knights of Malta and other prominent Catholics.
The Society has also organised a public meeting with the title "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice' to mark the Pope's visit. Proposed speakers for the meeting, which will take place in February next year. include Cambridge Professor of Philosophy. Elizabeth Anscombe, arid exeditor of a Catholic newspaper the Universe. Christopher Monckton.