Traditionalist Catholics have lauded Pope Benedict's recent call for more Masses in Latin, but priests are biting their nails—few of them know enough of the language to say a Latin Mass. Even Italian priests face embarrassment in the wake of Pope Benedict 's decision to allow Latin services at parishioners' request, the Italian daily La Stampa reports.
Vernacular Mass replaced the Latin Mass nearly 40 years ago amid a storm of controversy. The new change could be just as tumultuous. "The faithful can't any longer understand us in Italian, let alone Latin," said one priest. "I am absolutely incapable of saying Mass in Latin," said another.