Pope Benedict XVI has signed papers that would give Catholic churches the option of using the traditional Latin Mass, a newspaper reported Monday.
The upcoming "motu proprio" from the pope provides his personal opinion and isn't imbued with papal infallibility, the Times of London reported.
"We are awaiting publication with some anxiety," a senior Vatican official told the Times. "Everything hinges on the exact wording, and on the letter, which will be released along with the motu proprioto, explaining the technicalities of its application by local bishops. The validity of the old Latin Rite has never been repealed, so now we have to see in what circumstances and to what extent the bishops should authorize its use."
The church replaced the old Latin Mass, which dates back to the Middle Ages, with local language masses in the 1960s. The old mass was never banned, but could only be used on special occasions with the permission from a local bishop.
The motu proprio, which expressed views consistent with the pope's when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was expected to be published in the next few weeks, the Times reported.