Prominent British cultural and public figures have appealed to Pope Francis to reconsider restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass.

The letter, published in The Times, was signed by over 40 individuals including “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Princess Michael of Kent.

The letter expressed concerns over “worrying reports from Rome that the Latin Mass is to be banished from nearly every Catholic church.” The signatories said the Traditional Latin Mass has great cultural and historical significance of the, describing it as a “cathedral of text and gesture, developing … over many centuries.”

The appeal draws a parallel to a similar letter from 1971 led by figures like Agatha Christie, which resulted in the “Agatha Christie indult.” This allowed the Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated on special occasions in England and Wales. “The old rite’s ability to encourage silence and contemplation is a treasure not easily replicated,” the new letter said.

The letter, like its predecessor, was “entirely ecumenical and non-political,” including Catholics, non-Catholics, and non-believers.

“We implore the Holy See to reconsider any further restriction of access to this magnificent spiritual and cultural heritage,” the letter urged.

Editorial credit: Thoom /
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