Cardinal Cupich issues new restrictions on Traditional Latin Masses

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago is seen in Chicago in this 2018 photo. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic)

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 27, 2021 / 11:30 am (CNA).

Cardinal Blase Cupich has issued a new policy for the Archdiocese of Chicago that curtails the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass and other sacraments in Latin using liturgical books that pre-date Vatican II.

Under the policy, which takes effect Jan. 25, priests, deacons, and ordained ministers who wish to use the “old rite” must submit their requests to Cupich in writing and agree to abide by the new norms.

Those rules specify that the Traditional Latin Masses must incorporate scripture readings in the vernacular, using the official translation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In addition, such Masses cannot take place in a parish church unless both the archbishop and the Vatican agree to grant an exemption.

The new policy also prohibits the celebration of Traditional Latin Masses on the first Sunday of every month, Christmas, the Triduum, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost Sunday.

Set in motion by Pope Francis’ Traditionis custodes, the Chicago Archdiocese’s policy was issued Dec. 27 and first reported by Vatican News. Traditionis custodes is a July 16 motu proprio in which the pope placed sweeping restrictions on the celebration of Mass using the 1962 Roman Missal, known variously as the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, the Tridentine Mass, and the Traditional Latin Mass. (You can read a further explanation of the document here.)

Chicago’s new rules mirror those spelled out in an explanatory document regarding Pope Francis’ edict published Dec. 18 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Vatican office responsible for matters related to the sacred liturgy.

“My intention in sharing this policy is to encourage you to reflect on the duty we each must assist our people in this moment of Eucharistic revival by rediscovering the value of the liturgical reform in the rites given to us by the Second Vatican Council,” Cupich wrote in an accompanying letter to priests, Vatican News reported.

The Vatican’s explanatory document states that the intent of Traditionis custodes is “to re-establish in the whole Church of the Roman Rite a single and identical prayer expressing its unity, according to the liturgical books promulgated by the Popes Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council and in line with the tradition of the Church.”

The explanatory document notes that Traditionis custodes stipulates that sacraments cannot be celebrated using the liturgical books Rituale Romanum and the Pontificale Romanum promulgated prior to the Vatican II reforms.

The Pontificale Romanum contains the rites and ceremonies usually performed by bishops and the Rituale Romanum is one of the official ritual books used by a priest or deacon for rites not found in the Roman Missal, which is used for Mass.

The Vatican congregation clarified that a diocesan bishop can authorize the use of the 1952 edition of the Rituale Romanum, but not the Pontificale Romanum, “only to those canonically erected personal parishes which, according to the provisions of the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, celebrate using the Missale Romanum [Roman Missal] of 1962.”

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, one of the largest traditional societies of apostolic life, has said that the explanatory document “does not directly address the former Ecclesia Dei communities such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter who possess their own proper law.”

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  1. From the “father” who wants women priests, communion for all, lgbtmnop+… Who knew that he’d go to the fringes to push traditional Catholics aside…

    • This is NO surprise. Cupich has proven through his actions and inactions that He is The power that runs the archdiocese and will do everything he can to eliminate traditional Catholocism in favor of “whatever you want” catholicism.

    • Meiron,
      Actually, the Jewish leadership of Jesus’s day condemned him and did not give their approval of his ministry. God, of course, merely bypassed them.

      Does Cupich actually think that he can outfox God?

      • Steve,
        It seems your genius may have actually understood an incoherent post! I attempted irony and failed. Maybe I can explain.

        The Father willed Jesus’s sacrifice. God’s will is not subject to approval. Yes, elders and priests played out the parts or roles the Father’s foreknowledge knew they would, and so yes, they did condemn Jesus.

        Just so, Cupich’s words are meaningless. He may believe and pride himself on his leadership, but he is nothing more than a pawn to the principalities and powers who he has allowed to use him. The Sacrifice of Jesus and its re-presentation (at Mass) continues to effect, as does God’s will, whether Cupich knows or likes it or not.

        God writes straight with crooked lines. And everybody plays a part on God’s chessboard, even those destined (having chosen themselves to be) losers.

        NO! Absolutely Cupich cannot outfox God. But he is kept busy and occupied, helping to show to some of us, perhaps, what is clean and what is dirty in the house of the Lord.

        Best wishes for a merry Christmas season.

  2. The Austrian adage is that “everything has an end, except for sausage which has two.”

    But with the Cupich clique we find there is no end to single-minded duplicity… While the Church in the United States is now committed to restoring “Eucharistic coherence,” the Chicago cardinal appeals to only a “Eucharistic revival”, as if the link between faith and morality is still off the table.

  3. One pope gives, another taketh away. Amazing that a church closing parishes due to diminishing attendance chooses to deliver a smackdown to some of its more faithful members. I guess no more amazing than forcing the faithful to use the NAB. Things continue apace. Continuity.

  4. I guess diversity doesn’t include faithful Catholics who wish to worship God in the same form that has been used by the universal Church for hundreds and hundreds of years.

    One can’t help suspecting that Cupich has traded his birthright for a mess of leftist political pottage.

    Which is obviously the least savory, most disgusting kind.

  5. Faithful Catholics have Christ whom we worship as God and Savior. Churchmen like Cupich come and go; Christ remains.

  6. This is the essence of the ideology (I dare say it’s not theology) that permeates the Catholic Church leadership. Sure, there are a few voices that resist, with little effect, the modernist (liberal, progressive) strongholds. However, it is clear that under this Pope’s leadership, the voices that promote syncretism (“we’re all on our own paths to God regardless of the Gospel of Christ”) and humanism apart from complete surrender to the laws of God and the only King, Jesus (“let’s accept LGBTQx lifestyles, celebrate gay weddings, be led by the UN, bow to Pachamama, etc.) will be endorsed, while all dissent will be censored and silenced.

  7. Jesus OUR LORD AND GOD = The Man-God, is for ever in all perfection = “Heaven will pass away, the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away!” Mark 13:31. Jesus the Man-God was, is and forever will be the same in the universe! He is now here with us as He was in Person in our HISTORY! We grow up with the LATIN MASS! The change from LATIN TO the current has reduced the SERINITY OF OUR HOLY MASS! Change is not always for the Better! To return to LATIN MASS, we must, first, teach LATIN! The early CHURCH communicataed in Latin accross the globe ~ it was the unifing laungage within our Holy FAITh!

  8. Well the (eminently predictable) lesson from mainstream Protestant denominations, and by the German Catholic church, as cited, is pretty clear – you remove standards, you remove tradition, and the people can’t find a single reason to remain in the pews, nor to believe you have anything useful to teach them. It is not “unifying,” it is not “Eucharistic revival.” It is: ita Missa est, in saecula saeculorum.

  9. Great! This is truly the road to the long overdue complete implementation of the reform of the liturgy set by Vatican II (especially Sacrosanctum Concilium 21, among many others), that in having only one form of the Roman liturgy eventually the liturgy of Trent be gradually extinguished while correcting the great mistake of the theological gymnastics introduced by Benedict XVI in having two forms of the liturgy in Summorum Pontificum.

    • “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants.” Annibale Bugnini March 1965

  10. In this article, the question is raised about whether what we call “traditional” is really traditional or only goes back to the 17th century:
    The liturgy of the “traditional Latin Mass” may go back to St. Damasus, who changed the liturgy from Greek to Latin for the western church, but apparently there are questions about the theology of what is known as the “traditional” Church.

  11. A simple question: Has there ever been any formal condemnation issued by any ecclesial authority against the sort of clown Masses that Pope Francis participated in as both a priest and a prelate in his years in Argentina?

    • Another simple question: Has there ever been any formal condemnation issued by any ecclesial authority against the sort of Hindu pagan rituals that Cardinal Cupich has welcomed and incorporated into his Masses in Chicago?

  12. For some context and insight about the Archbishop Arthur Roche, author of “the Vatican’s explanatory document” on Traditiones custodes, one can listen to the podcast of Damian Thompson of England, who begins by candidly stating that the Pontiff Francis’ attack against the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is a “Cromwellian campaign,” and describes the Moto Proprio Traditiones custodes, signed by the Pontiff Francis, as a document “badly drafted and venomous,” and “so dripping with malice” that most Bishops (unlike the sycophant Blaze Cupich) are intent on ignoring it. A link to Thompson’s podcast is here:

    The Extraordinary Form of the Mass has been explicitly and increasingly permitted by the only three Pontiffs who participated in the Second Vatican Council (Paul VI, participating as the Pope, John Paul II participating as a Bishop, and Benedict XVI participating as a “peritus”).

    Vatican II ran for 4 years in four autumn sessions, from October 1962 to December 1965. Pope Paul VI was 68 years old when V2 ended; then-Bishop Wojtyla (the future Pope JP2) was 45 years old when it ended; V2 “peritus” Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope B16) was 38 years of age when it ended. The man who wrote the newly issued “explanatory document” (which claims to assert the intentions of the Second Vatican Council, and its participants above), His Excellency Archbishop Arthur Roche, was 15.

    CNA staff relay that the newly issued “explanatory document,” written by Roche, states that the intent of custodes “to re-establish in the whole Church of the Roman Rite a single and identical prayer expressing its unity, according to the liturgical books promulgated by the Popes Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council and in line with the tradition of the Church.”

    His Excellency Roche’s statement is incoherent, since everyone knows that the “Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite” does not offer “a single and identical prayer;” instead of a single prayer, it offers four different ones.

    His Excellency Roche apparently isn’t sure what happened with the Ordinary Form. Perhaps he should catch up on what has been happening since 1965.

  13. Every time I see a picture of Cardinal Cupich, he radiates “ I am a tough guy, I play hardball, so don’t even think of crossing me”. I am thankful that I do not live in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

  14. Dear Mr Seitz,
    Thank you for offering a comment on your Bishop. Living in California, I have no idea how it is to be in Chicago. You provided a very helpful corrective to my untutored perception, colored by his draconian approach to the Latin Mass. No, I do not attend the pre-Vatican II liturgy, so that is not an axe I have to grind.

  15. But apparently no problems with LBGTQ Masses.
    Someone on Twitter posted a terrible example of one of the worst Masses I have ever seen in his diocese of Chicago. Is on YouTube
    We don’t want our Bishops to act like clowns.

  16. At seminary in the late 80s itcwas taught that V2 was superceded by the post-conciliar documents. It is important that those responsible for the post-conciliar documents be held accountable. A collective Protestantism was in put into place by Martini. Canonisations of Roncali and Martini without requisit miracles nor explanation for the public domain photos of Roncali in French luciferian Lodge nor the public domain scandal of the ginger actor friend of Martini – has been committed to further damage and destabilise the City in ruins.

  17. I am a Priest of the Eastern Church, and I am not quite sure why Western Church faithful just ignore these renegade prelates who simply have gone against St Pius V’s Quo Primum, placing the Latin liturgy as that which is in perpetuity the rite of the Western Church, the Roman Catholic Church. I am not sure why these renegades (and I include Jorge Bergoglio in that group) are doing what they are doing. If their expectorations were just ignored (for surely they violate even Paul’s sciptural admonition”tenete traditiones”) their power would be lost. No one in the Eastern Church would tolerate an individual like Jorge Bergoglio. Now it emerges with ever greater clarity, I am hoping, why the East and West separatd in 1094, the actions of communion and reunification that Paul VI and JP II undertook and sanctioned. Again, I repeat, Pius V’s Quo Primum as an Apostolic Constitution cannot canonicaly be abrogated by any successor precisely because Pius issued it as an Apostotlic Constitution.

    • I reject all that you write here. First, of all, we are not a “Western Church”. We are the very Church established by our Lord having “Peter” in a special place. Our Lord even changed the Apostle’s name from Simon to Peter to emphasize the importance of his choice. Do you have Latin in your Churches? If you do not accept our Pope – whoever he may be – then do not get involved in our affairs with your bigoted view.
      Regarding Pius V’s Quo Primum you have it wrong. Writing for EWTN, Jeffrey Mirus said: “liturgical directives are matters of policy that affect the Faith, but not matters of Faith themselves. There is no guarantee of infallibility for Church policy. This in no way implies that liturgical directives are “unimportant”. They just aren’t matters of faith in and of themselves; they can, in fact, be good, bad or indifferent.”

      • Sadly I must disagree with you in toto. Paul VI and JP II formally in writing recognized the Eastern Church (you probaly did not know that). You have a leader, Jorge Bergoglio, who claims Christ did not say “the Lord’s prayer” as it should have been prayed. That simply boggles the mind. No wonder his Jesuit superior told JP II “do not make Bergoglio a Bishop.” Bergoglio has sua sponte closed down the Latin ritual of the holy Mass which a predecessor, St Pius V, said must hold in perpetuity. If this is what you want as a “vicar,” fine with me. Bergoglio’s recent accquesence to the Chines Communists is in stark contrast to how Russian Orthodoxy fought off Stain– and won. The Eastern Church has a glorious history, and nowhere near the scandals the Roman Church has had– and continues to have as I type this reply. You probably also do not know that some in the Eastern Church hold if JP II had lived only a few more years the Eastern and Western Churches would have re-entered the communion that was severed in 1094. It would have been a boon to the Latin Church as the Eastern Church, recognized by all, is far closer in its rituals of prayer and Eucharist to the days of the proto-communities than Rome is today. I recommend you take a look at the Eastern Church’s Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for verification. Let me add here also: as for the claim that Chirst made Peter head of his Church [You are Peter and upon this rock…”}, it is no secret that Christ did not speak Greek– nor did his Apostles. So taking the Greek word “petras,” that the West took to prove Peter was the rock has no basis in Scripture at all. I am sanguine, however, that you already knew this.

        • What you fail to comprehend is the fact that thee Jesuit superiors did not like the future Pope because he did not go along with some of the views including liberation theology. But, importantly, he was liked by the common people – jus as he is today.
          I see that you cannot even get yourself to even call our Pope by his title. So, no wonder your views are just as skewed.
          Nazareth, I believe, was just a
          Pope Francis did not surrender to nthe Chinese. He signed a deal that was many years in the making, and involved three Popes. But what you seem ignorant of is that that deal was just one part of our great Pope’s strategy. Along with the deal, he asked the global Church to pray for our brothers and sisters in China, and then placed China under the protection of our Lady. One does not always have to fight or resist to win a battle.
          Nazareth, I believe, Nazareth, was a short walk from Sepphoris – a town of Greek speaking people. So, he and Joseph, being tradespeople, would have done some business with these people and so would have known Greek. In any case, the people would have mingled. Anyway, I will go with what scripture tells me and not what your narrow, bigoted view suggwests.

        • Dear Rev. Chryostomos,
          Reading beyond prior replies to you, one observes that the views of one protesting CWR poster do not represent the vast majority of others. Contentious, error-filled, prejudicial thoughts are not non-charitable and do dishonor to the name of ‘Christian.’ More postings at CWR represent less modernist, more thoughtful, decidedly non-pope-idolatrous Catholics of the Western Church.

          Thank God the Liturgy of the Eastern Church shows reverence to the Lord; the NOM of the Western Church has much to learn by its example.

          Best regards.

          • No doubt that there are some like you who will say stuff like that. There are less Pope-haters in the Catholic Church than those who accept the position and dignity of that position.

  18. Thanks to Rev. Chrysostomos.
    Good question. Why don’t we just ignore the lunacy coming from the Vatican? I don’t know enough (anything really) about the cause of the split between the East and West. Or about Pius V. More, please.

  19. Perhaps the schism of the Eastern Church was God’s permissive plan to rescue His Church post-Politicoglio? It is noteworthy that the Eastern Church now possesses part of the relics of St Peter… Should St Peter’s succumb to “Twin Tower Ground Zero Syndrome”, the future is secured. For the widely silenced Archbishop Lenga, the realisation of the Fatima prophesy for Rome is within the next 2 years. Tourists wanting a final view of St Peter’s Basilica should get the hell out of there before October 13?

  20. The present renewal is with the TLM. They are well-attended and display heart-felt communion. It is about holiness, not duty. CC might be a Kantian scholar.

  21. Cupich follows his master like an obedient dog and he always will.
    The Popes attacks on the Latin Mass are incomprehensible to any rational person.
    In western society Christianity is in steep decline and the Latin Mass communities are one group that buck that trend. Are they perfect? No. But why go into bat against them so malevolently. As I say it’s incomprehensible.
    Is the Pope a Pathological Narcissist? That is someone who is mentally ill and who is energised by the total destruction of small and vulnerable groups and individuals around him. Who know but the signs seem to be there.
    So much of the commentary about his attacks on the Latin Mass skirt round the seemingly unanswerable question. Why on earth would the Pope of all people act in this way?
    Is it that the answers to that question are too frightening for faithful Catholics to face?

  22. The late Fr amorth stated that the pre conciliar sacramentals and rites liberated souls sooner and quicker because ecclesiastical Latin had more power behind. So why do these prelates hate it? Eastern Rite: your next!!!

    • Is that so? Wow! I was always believed that it was the powerful name of Jesus – in whatever language – that made the demons flee.

  23. Cardinal Robert Sarah once stated that opposition and hostility to the Mass of Ages comes from the Evil One, who seeks our downfall. Considering the type of prelates who despise the TLM and seek to punish and restrict it, I would say his Eminence was spot on.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Cardinal Cupich issues new restrictions on Traditional Latin Masses – Via Nova Media
  2. Opinion: The spiritual capital punishment of faithful Catholics – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman

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