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Bishop Paprocki, Archbishop Naumann speak out in support of Traditional Latin Mass goers in their dioceses

March 3, 2023 Catholic News Agency 0
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, speaks with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo on “The World Over with Raymond Arroyo” on March 2, 2023. / EWTN screenshot

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Mar 3, 2023 / 15:40 pm (CNA).

In the wake of new restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass, two American bishops spoke with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo Thursday about how their dioceses have responded.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Diocese of Kansas City, Kansas, both defended the Traditional Latin Mass communities within their dioceses during their interviews on “The World Over with Raymond Arroyo” March 2. 

Pope Francis issued a motu proprio titled Traditionis custodes on July 16, 2021, which put heavy restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass. The order directed bishops to designate locations for the Traditional Latin Mass but stated none of the locations should be within parish churches. Because a lot of dioceses already had thriving Latin Mass communities within parishes, some bishops offered dispensations, which allowed those Masses to continue as before.

Cardinal Arthur Roche, the prefect for the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, issued a rescript on Feb. 21, which is a formal clarification from the Vatican. It stated that such dispensations are reserved to the Holy See and ordered bishops who had issued those dispensations to “inform the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which will evaluate the individual cases.”

Paprocki said during the interview that he questions “the wisdom” of the rescript and suggested that it “seems to contradict what Pope Francis himself said when he issued the motu proprio,” which Paprocki interpreted to say that bishops had discretion to decide how to implement the restrictions “on a case by case basis” within their dioceses.

In addition, Paprocki questioned the legal basis for not allowing the dispensations already granted by bishops to remain in effect.

“I would argue Canon 9 says that laws in the Church are not retroactive, so any dispensations that have already been given remain in effect,” Paprocki said. “But I would also recognize the validity of this new rescript and the restriction that is being placed upon diocesan bishops.”

Paprocki added that these judgments are best made by the bishop based on the principle of subsidiarity, which maintains that “decisions should be made at a local level” unless there’s an overriding reason.

“I’ve yet to see what that reason would be” in the case of these dispensations, Paprocki said.

Instead, he said, “you’ve got a prefect in Rome basically making decisions about what’s happening in the local diocese and the local parishes.”

When the motu proprio was originally issued, the Diocese of Springfield had two parish churches that offered the Latin Mass. Paprocki noted that one of the parishes has a priest from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), which was given a dispensation from the Vatican. The bishop designated the other church as a non-parish church. 

“My predecessor merged two parishes together, but he kept the two churches open,” Paprocki told Arroyo. “And so when the Holy Father, in his motu proprio Traditionis custodes, said that you can’t have the Traditional Latin Mass at a parochial church, I simply designated one of those churches as non-parochial. And so therefore, we’re in compliance with that decree.”

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City speaks to EWTN Pro-Life Weekly on July 21, 2022. Screenshot from EWTN Pro-Life Weekly
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City speaks to EWTN Pro-Life Weekly on July 21, 2022. Screenshot from EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

Archbishop Naumann noted that the Diocese of Kansas City has not been greatly affected by the Vatican’s orders because there are two Traditional Latin Mass communities operated by FSSP, which has a dispensation from the Vatican.

“I would say the people in those communities, I find them to be very sincere,” Naumann said. “And they love the Lord, they love the Church, they love the Eucharist. I think what the pope was trying initially to correct is, there was an attitude, I think, amongst some, that there was a superiority [of] the Tridentine Mass, to the Novus Ordo, and I think that was an error. But I don’t think that’s how most people in those communities see things. And I think they’re confused by the limitations that are being put upon even bishops in making pastoral judgments.”

You can watch Arroyo’s full interview with Bishop Paprocki and Archbishop Naumann here.


No Picture
News Briefs

A look at Catholic newsmakers of 2021

December 29, 2021 Catholic News Agency 2
Cardinal Robert Sarah offers Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for his 50th anniversary of priesthood in 2019. / Credit: Evandro Inetti/CNA.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 29, 2021 / 12:00 pm (CNA).

The past year had no shortage of news in the Catholic realm, both in the Vatican and beyond. Read on for a recap of some of the most important – and interesting – figures who made headlines this year. 

President Joe Biden

On Jan. 20, 2021, President Joe Biden (D) was sworn in as the second Catholic president of the United States. Born in Scranton, PA and raised in Delaware, Biden attended Catholic grammar and high school before matriculating at the University of Delaware. 

Since becoming president, Biden has faced criticism from both the left and the right over his various positions, as well as his continued reception of the Eucharist at Mass. As president, Biden eliminated many pro-life policies from the Trump era. He met with Pope Francis in late October, where the two purportedly discussed the Eucharist. 

Cardinal Robert Sarah 

Cardinal Robert Sarah, a native of Guinea, resigned as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in February 2021. Sarah, who had reached the retirement age of 75 in June 2020, was the most senior African prelate at the Vatican. He had been appointed head of the liturgy department by Pope Francis in November 2014.

Sarah had previously served as the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum and as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

“Today, the Pope accepted the resignation of my office as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship after my seventy-fifth birthday. I am in God’s hands. The only rock is Christ. We will meet again very soon in Rome and elsewhere,” said Sarah on Twitter following his resignation. 

Jonathan Goodall and Fr. Michael Nazir-Ali

Each year, many people cross the proverbial Tiber and are received into the Catholic Church. This fall, however, the Tiber Swim Team landed two big-name recruits: two former Church of England bishops. 

Jonathan Goodall, the former Anglican bishop of Ebbsfleet, announced on Sept. 3, the feast of St. Gregory the Great, that he was stepping down from his position and entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. The date was a nice touch, as St. Gregory the Great launched a mission to convert the then-pagan England to Christianity. 

Goodall was formally received into the Church on Sept. 8. He said his decision came after “only after a long period of prayer, which has been among the most testing periods of my life.” He said he was “abidingly grateful to all who have so generously supported Sarah and me in these years, especially the laity and clergy of the See of Ebbsfleet — who have been the focus and joy of my ministry and devotion since becoming bishop in 2013,” and that it was “an immense privilege” to have been bishop.

Not to be outdone, a few weeks later the now-Fr. Michael Nazir-Ali announced that he, too, would be entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. Nazir-Ali, the former Anglican bishop of Rochester, entered into full communion with Rome within the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on Sept. 29. He was ordained a deacon on Oct. 28, and then a priest on Oct. 30

Unlike Goodall, who came from a more conservative Anglican background, Nazir-Ali described himself as being part of the “Evangelical” wing of Anglicanism. At one point, he was considered to be a possible future Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the world’s 85 million Anglicans. 

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’s bishop. Cordileone and Pelosi are both Catholic. And that’s about where their similarities end. 

Pelosi, a committed Democrat, lamented that the support of pro-life voters for former President Donald Trump was an issue that “gives me great grief as a Catholic.” Pelosi made the comment on a  Jan. 18 podcast with former senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“I think that Donald Trump is president because of the issue of a woman’s right to choose,” said Pelosi, implying that pro-life voters boosted Trump to victory in 2016. She added that these voters “were willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”

Cordileone rebuked Pelosi in a statement issued days later, saying, “No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion” and that “Our land is soaked with the blood of the innocent, and it must stop,” he said. 

The archbishop also promoted a “Rose and a Rosary for Nancy Pelosi” campaign, which saw more than 16,000 people commit to praying for Pelosi’s change of heart on life issues. 

Archbishop Joseph Naumann 

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas wrapped up a three-year stint as the head of the USCCB’s pro-life committee in 2021. The outspoken defender of life unleashed on Biden in a Feb. 13 interview with Catholic World Report. 

“The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching. It would be a more honest approach from him to say he disagreed with his Church on this important issue and that he was acting contrary to Church teaching,” said Naumann

“When he says he is a devout Catholic, we bishops have the responsibility to correct him. Although people have given this president power and authority, he cannot define what it is to be a Catholic and what Catholic moral teaching is,” the archbishop added. He further called for the bishops to “correct” the president, “as the president is acting contrary to the Catholic faith.” 

Sr. Lucile Andre Randon

The coronavirus pandemic continued throughout the world in 2021, killing hundreds of thousands of people. One person who beat it, however, was the world’s second-oldest person: a French nun named Sr. Lucile Andre Randon

Right before Randon’s 117th birthday, coronavirus swept through the Sainte Catherine Labouré retirement home in Toulon, southern France. Eighty-one of the 88 residents of the facility tested positive in January of this year, and 10 died. 

Fortunately, Randon did not display any symptoms of the disease and recovered in time to celebrate her birthday on Feb. 11. 

Asked if she was scared of COVID, she told France’s BFM television, “No, I wasn’t scared because I wasn’t scared to die… I’m happy to be with you, but I would wish to be somewhere else – join my big brother and my grandfather and my grandmother.”

Hidilyn Diaz

The covid-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics finally were staged in the Summer of 2021, and Catholic athletes shined on the world stage. 

On the third full day of the games, Hidilyn Diaz won the first gold medal for the Philippines, inspiring an entire nation with her faith, grit, and perseverance. Diaz’s triumph came in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting event,  and she won gold with an Olympic record lift of a combined weight of 224 kilograms.

After completing her final lift in a very close competition, Diaz held her hands to her face, burst into tears and clutched at her Miraculous Medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary hanging from her neck. Later, on the podium at the medal ceremony, Diaz pointed skyward after singing the Philippine national anthem, then made the Sign of the Cross before stepping down and shouting “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” (“Long live the Philippines!”)