VATICAN CITY (CNS): A former Vatican official will ordain four traditionalist priests in a Tridentine Mass celebrated in the cathedral of Rome, church officials said.
The February 23 ordination Mass in the Basilica of St John Lateran will be the most prominent celebration of the old rite in Rome since Pope Benedict XVI relaxed restrictions on its use last year.
The Mass, to be celebrated by Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, will follow the 1962 Roman Missal, known commonly as the Tridentine rite.
In July last year, the Pope issued new rules, saying the old rite could be used more freely than before.
Those to be ordained are members of the Good Shepherd Institute, a society of apostolic life that uses only the Tridentine rite.
The institute, based in France, is made up primarily of priests and seminarians who left the schismatic Society of St Pius X and reconciled with the Vatican in 2006.
The Society of St Pius X, founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, split with the Vatican years ago over liturgical and other issues.
Archbishop De Magistris is the retired head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, an office that deals with indulgences and matters of conscience.
Last September, he celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving in Rome for the papal document that allowed wider use of the 1962 missal.