Will the Latin Mass be suppressed?

Despite the wording of Traditionis Custodes, indicating that Pope Francis would like one single liturgical Rite in the West, Francis has not suppressed the TLM (traditional Latin Mass) completely. He has restricted it, and has permitted Bishops to decide for their diocese, whether it will be restricted to a greater or lesser extent. But will Francis eventually take away the TLM? I don’t think so.

The Church is very large; there are over 1 billion Catholics in the world. Change usually does not occur rapidly in such a large organization. And the Pope is not pushing for a rapid or immediate suppression of the TLM.

What is more likely is that the TLM will be restricted under Pope Francis, and then his successor will decide the question of suppression and removal of restrictions. Will his successor be liberal or conservative? I think it likely that his successor will be conservative. This type of process happens with U.S. Presidents as well, a conservative leader is often followed by a liberal leader, and vice versa. There is a pendulum effect in some elections, which prevents a nation, or the Church, from becoming ever more liberal or ever more conservative. And that seems to be a good thing, overall.

My opinion is that the successor of Pope Francis will likely be conservative. And this favors a loosening of restrictions on the TLM. So I don’t think the TLM will be abrogated or fully suppressed under Francis, and under his successor, the TLM is likely to see many of its restrictions removed.

Is this good news for the opponents of Pope Francis? Not really. Conservative Popes do not tolerate schism and heresy; they do not tolerate opposition to the Roman Pontiffs or Ecumenical Councils. A “Pope Saint Pius X” type successor Pope would be likely to maintain the requirement of Francis that those who lead or belong to Latin Mass communities accept Vatican I and II, and that they repent from their attacks on Pope Francis and other Popes. This could take the form of a dogmatic decree on what must be believed, perhaps contrary to the majority opinion of conservatives or traditionalists, or it could take the form of suspension or excommunication of those who continue to “resist” Popes or Councils.


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