After two cautious and successful years, in which he has surprised critics by writing about God's love rather than raging against contraception and homosexuality, the Pope is preparing a series of reforms of the Catholic Church.
Just how far he will go remains to be seen. But there are many nervous bishops at the moment - especially in this country....
Last month, the Pope issued a magnificently well-written document, Sacramentum Carititatis, ignored by the English bishops, which contained explicit instructions about the greater use of Latin and plain chant. Soon, liberal bishops in Europe and America could find their loyalty really put to the test.
Benedict is rumoured to be on the verge of removing restrictions on the celebration of the ancient Tridentine Rite, which liberals see as elitist. For two years, Catholics have wondered what sort of papacy this will turn out to be. Now they are about to find out.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Benedict XVI has 'major reforms' on the way
Damian Thompson, Commentary: After a quiet and cautious start, major reforms are on their way (Telegraph.co.uk, April 14, 2007).