VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis will present a decree authorizing the use of indigenous languages in Mass celebrations when he travels to Mexico next week.
The Vatican said Friday that Francis will present the decree during a Mass dedicated to the indigenous people of the state of Chiapas on Feb. 15.
Church authorities had long bristled at the inclusion of indigenous elements in Masses, which was championed by the late bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Samuel Ruiz.
But the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Francis would celebrate a Mass that includes readings and songs in three different indigenous languages.
Francis travels to Mexico Feb. 12-18. His one-day visit to Chiapas includes lunch with indigenous people and a visit to the cathedral where Ruiz is buried.