Briefly, what this all does to the Latin Mass and their communities:
* TLM communities will be transitioned to the Novus Ordo.
* new priests will need permission from the Pope to say the TLM
* Bishops can restrict the TLM as much as they like
* Bishops can determine these communities are not spiritually healthy and shut them down
* the TLM is not to be said in parish churches, nor are new TLM parishes to be set up
* the TLM must use the vernacular Bible readings from the Novus Ordo texts
* TLM communities which oppose the Novus Ordo or Vatican II or Pope Francis can be denied the Latin Mass and shut down
* the TLM will be restricted to only certain places and certain days approved by the Bishop
* new TLM communities are not to be established
* seminarians are to be trained in the Novus Ordo.
* the Bishop chooses which priests may say the TLM
* priests who have been saying the TLM need new permission from the Bishop
* there is no right to say the TLM; permission is always needed
* FSSP and similar groups seem to have permission to continue, for now.
* The Pope want the TLM gone. He wants one Rite for the Roman Church: the unity of one, single Rite, in which is preserved the great richness of the Roman liturgical tradition.
It’s “worse” — I would say better — than anyone anticipated. The supposed leaks from the Vatican were not accurate. This is a total declaration of war against the traditionalist communities who thought they could claim to be Catholic while rejecting the Novus Ordo Mass, Vatican II, Pope Francis, and even the recent Pope Saints. This is the battle plan of Pope Francis against his worst critics, those who have claimed for themselves the right to decide what is and is not true doctrine and good discipline.
Francis holds the Keys of Peter. He has closed and locked a door, and no one can open it.
More than a few adherents of the TLM are innocent in this dispute. They have not rejected the Second Vatican Council. They have not rejected Pope Francis. They are not in a state of heresy or schism. But a large portion of attendees at TLMs and most of the traditionalist leaders are really in a state of heresy and schism. And they use the TLM as a way to gather supporters to oppose the Magisterium.
I’m sincerely sorry to those faithful Catholics who love the traditional Latin Mass and who have not committed any of the offenses that caused this action by the Roman Pontiff. It is like when a religious order is suppressed. The suppression is due to the failings of many members, but more than a few are innocent. Even so, the Pope has to do what is best for the whole Church.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
If what you say rings true and the next Pope is conservative, I’m sure parishes will hear the TLM once again soon. Pope Francis doesn’t seem to be in the best health and I know there’s been hints of him retiring as well.
Even with a conservative Pope, he would probably consult with the Bishops, first. Then I don’t think a conservative Pope will tolerate rejection of Vatican II or rejection of Pope Francis. So the Latin Mass will return, but not without strict penalties for those who use it as a banner against the Magisterium.
Hi Ron, thank you for your blog posts about this. You have helped me a great deal in making sense of what is taking place in the Church.
I would deeply appreciate if you could comment on a few questions I have in relation to this Motu Proprio.
“Art. 5. Priests who already celebrate according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.”
1) I read ‘should’ in Article 5 as indicating permission is not required but encouraged. If that is definitely incorrect, could would explain why? Other areas where instructions are given definitely do not use ‘should’, e.g. under Article 3 the language used is ‘The Bishop… is to…’ rather than ‘The Bishop should.’
2) Assuming permission from the Bishop is required for an existing priest to celebrate the Vetus Ordo, would a Catholic who attends a Vetus Ordo liturgy without checking that the priest has obtained permission from the Bishop be in sin/schism?
3) What do you think is the right course of action for a Catholic to take if a Vetus Ordo liturgy they attend does not follow this Motu Proprio (i.e. conducts the readings in latin rather than in the vernacular)?
The “should” does mean that it is recommended, at the level of the Holy See. However, the local Bishop might require this, or he might give a broader permission in whatever policy he develops. A Catholic can attend the Vetus Ordo that he permitted in his diocese. He need not check to see if the priest has permission. That would not be morally required by the layperson. It’s an obligation on the priest. But if the lay person, at some point, realizes that a particular priest or Mass is positively prohibited by the Bishop, then the laity have the obligation not to attend. One can reasonably assume any such Mass in the diocese is approved, unless it become clear to the contrary.
If the Vetus Ordo Mass does not use readings in the vernacular, that is between the Bishop and the priest. It is not a sin to attend such a Mass. Perhaps the Bishop and priest arranged for a dispensation from that requirement. Even if that were not the case, the laity can still attend.