Pope Francis believed to be preparing restrictions for the traditional Mass

By Andrea Gagliarducci for CNA

A Mass said for the Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage in Rome held Oct. 25, 2014. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Vatican City, Jun 3, 2021 / 11:44 am (CNA).

The Congregation for the Divine Worship might soon issue a document modifying some of the provisions of Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, a source within the congregation told CNA.

Rumors about possible restrictions imposed on Summorum Pontificum spread last week after the Pope had a closed-door Q&A with the members of the Italian bishops conference gathered in Rome for their annual plenary assembly.

Speaking with the bishops, the pope indeed hinted at new regulations about the celebrations of the Mass in the extraordinary form, although he did not get into details, two bishops attending the conference told CNA.

According to the sources, the pope did say that a third draft of the document is currently under study.

With Summorum Pontificum, Benedict XVI universally liberalized the celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of St. John XXIII.

In the letter to the bishops accompanying the motu proprio to all bishops in 2007, Benedict XVI established that “in the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”

He added, “I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal [that of 1962] was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”

According to CNA’s source at the Congregation for the Divine Worship, the modifications to Summorum Pontificum would restore the need to get consent from the local bishop to celebrate it. The source said that this and other possible changes “have been requested by some local bishops, complaining about the need to better regulate the conditions for celebrating the Mass in the Ancient Rite.”

The sourced said that the most common complaint is that “sometimes, the group of people requesting the Vetus Ordo is tiny, and adding such celebration and keeping the church open for such small amount of people can be troublesome in dioceses with priests’ shortage.”

In 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a nine-point questionnaire about Summorum Pontificum to the presidents of bishops’ conferences worldwide, since the Pope wished to be “informed about the current application” of the motu proprio.

But the document will not come for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith but from Divine Worship.

One of the proposals on the table is to require that priests who want to celebrate the Traditional Mass will have to establish a specific community at a specific church.

CNA’s source said that the first two drafts of the document ended up being “too tough” on the priests and faithful devoted to the Vetus Ordo. The third revision, according to the source, takes more into account “the possibility that restrictive regulations might be perceived as a step back in the path of the liturgical harmony desired by Benedict XVI.”

The source said that completing the last draft and prepared for publication is the task the new undersecretary of the congregation, Msgr. Aurelio García Masías.

Msgr. García will be consecrated a bishop next month, a dignity not typically given to undersecretaries.

According to CNA’s source, this unusual decision might mean that Pope Francis is inclined to move the competencies on communities attached to the Traditional Latin Mass from the CDF to Divine Worship.


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12 Comments

  1. “Sometimes, the group of people requesting the Vetus Ordo is tiny, and adding such celebration and keeping the church open for such small amount of people can be troublesome in dioceses with priests’ shortage.” This is a palpable lie that CNA attempts to give credence to. It is no secret that many bishops, including the gang in charge at the Vatican, have a pathological hatred of the Latin Mass and the reasons have nothing to do with priest shortages. What terrifies them is the growing popularity it has with younger (though, surely rigid) Catholics. This is a gratuitous gut shot from a regime that is barely distinguishable from the one it caters to in China.

    • That caught my eye too, but I think they were referring only to the situation in Italy, which may be accurate. However, I wouldn’t put it past them to use the situation in one region to justify the actions they want to take worldwide regarding the TLM.

  2. ““have been requested by some local bishops, complaining about the need to better regulate the conditions for celebrating the Mass in the Ancient Rite.”

    And which bishops would those be?

    “The sourced said that the most common complaint is that “sometimes, the group of people requesting the Vetus Ordo is tiny, and adding such celebration and keeping the church open for such small amount of people can be troublesome in dioceses with priests’ shortage.”

    I am staggered. With concerns about how many people will return to attending Mass now that the pandemic is diminished, why would a small group of people wanting a traditional Mass be a problem?

    • Keeping the church open for a small group of people who want to come and worship. I can see how that would be an oppressive burden for leaders (insert eye roll here).

      You can’t make this stuff up! I guess I’m old-school in thinking that encouraging and supporting people who want to worship and practice their faith is a primary responsibility of spiritual leadership.

  3. Although I do not attend the TLM – I attend another traditional rite/liturgy, – I have great respect for the EF Mass and for those who keep the flame alive. A former student and another student who is a friend are seminarians in traditional seminaries that celebrate exclusively the EF Mass. The world is a more beautiful place because of the EF Mass.

  4. We all recall that in October 2019, the Pontiff Francis orchestrated an outright act of idolatry to the repurposed pagan goddess Pachamama in Rome. And in addition, his Italian Bishops Conference, ten months prior in April of 2019, in deliberate preparation for the idolatry, published a prayer to Pachamama in its monthly journal “Missio.”

    An observant Christian, whether Catholic or Protestant, is likely to conclude from such brazzen public actions that the Pontiff and the Italian Bishops in general, and many Bishops of the global clericalist-cult, may not really believe that worship is reserved only to The Triune God atteseted by Our Lord Jesus and his Baptism.

    • …and let’s not forget the coin the Vatican minted with a pregnant Mother Earth on it. What a slap in the face to Our Lady. I honestly don’t know what road this Pope is taking his flock down on but it can’t be up hill. I pray each night for a correction in Rome. Either the Pope sees the light or goes to it.

  5. The Germans are in Schism. The Church in China has been surrendered to the most murderous totalitarian regime in history. Christians are being persecuted in the Middle East and Africa. But no, the TLM is apparently the “real” problem according to Francis.

    • POPE Francis told us to obey united nations last year. He reads socialist newspapers. He has to change back to the scriptures of the bible and we obey God not u.n.who are socialist new world order.

  6. A couple years ago I was traveling in a mid-western state and also a northern state where I attend both the Latin and English Masses. The size of the congregations were just about equal. What was notable was that young families were well represented at the Latin Masses. Could this be a threat to the present Vaticanistas’ goals?

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