Costa Rican Bishops Ban the Traditional Mass

July 27, 2021
Source: FSSPX Spirituality
Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica

Via a message posted on their Facebook page - Comunicación Conferencia Episcopal de Costa Rica - the Costa Rican bishops have completely banned the traditional Mass throughout the country.

The bishops explain that the celebration of the Tridentine Mass in Costa Rica is “a subject that has long held the attention of the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica.”

The reasons given state that the authorizations given by John Paul II and Benedict XVI were used “to increase distances, harden differences and build oppositions.”

This is why the bishops are convinced “that there is no objective justification for the use of the liturgy prior to the reform of 1970 among us.” Indeed, they say, there have never been groups of faithful adhering to earlier liturgical forms.

Moreover, those who “believe that these ancient liturgical forms are ‘particularly suited’ to them (Summorum Pontificum, intro.) … lack “a level of liturgical formation and access to the Latin language allowing them to have a full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgical celebrations’ which the very nature of the liturgy requires.”

They add that “those who express an affinity for the old forms do not always express an appreciation for ‘the validity and legitimacy of the liturgical reform, the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, and the Magisterium of the Sovereign Pontiffs” (Traditionis Custodes).

From these considerations, the bishops formed their decision: “Considering the various elements established by the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes, we specify that no priest is authorized to continue to celebrate according to the old liturgy.”

In addition, “seminarians and new priests must be formed…in accordance with these provisions.” This formation must be clearly “oriented towards the appreciation and practice of the liturgy reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council, which is ‘the sole expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.’”

Finally, it specified that “the liturgy, celebrated according to the books promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II, must be preserved from any element coming from ancient forms. Prayers, clothing, or rites that were specific to the liturgy before the 1970 reform should not be introduced into our celebrations.” 

Costa Rica has at least one religious society, duly approved, whose priests celebrate according to the old Roman Rite. 

With all due respect to the bishops of Costa Rica, the traditional Mass cannot be prohibited, protected as it is by the bull Quo Primum. This was recalled by a commission of nine cardinals under John Paul II, who clarified that a bishop could not prohibit the celebration of the Mass of St. Pius V.

Admittedly, the abuses of power were legion in the past in various countries, at the time of the promulgation of the Novus Ordo. But that did not prevent the Tridentine Mass from continuing to sanctify souls.