Vatican: Towards a Definitive Burial of the Traditional Mass?

March 23, 2023

According to the German-speaking site Summorum Pontificum of January 13, 2023, taken up by the German sites and on January 26, a new apostolic constitution would further limit the possibility of celebrating the Tridentine Mass.

This constitution would establish four new provisions:

  • In no church can the old Mass be celebrated exclusively.
  • In churches, they cannot celebrate the old rite every Sunday.
  • The use of the 1962 books (with the modifications ordered by Francis) is authorized only for the celebration of Mass, but not for the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals.
  • Every priest is also required to celebrate Mass according to the missal of Paul VI.

The announcement of this hardening is, for the time being, only a rumor. It could be explained by the fact that certain progressive cardinals have found the implementation of Traditionis custodes too slow and indulgent.

In their eyes, too many bishops are applying liturgical restrictions only with hesitation and reluctance. A new, more explicit document could therefore put greater pressure on these recalcitrants. Unless the Rescript of February 20 specifying two points of Traditionis custodes, was the text of which the rumor speaks.

Leading the opponents of the traditional Mass is the prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments himself, Cardinal Arthur Roche. In a December 2022 document, the British Prelate asserted that “the promotion of the pre-Vatican II liturgy as somehow holier or more prayerful than the current liturgy, is not fundamentally a liturgical problem, but an ecclesial problem.”

According to him, liturgical unification must represent the unity of the Church. The future will tell if these threats of restrictions which will affect the members of the ex-Ecclesia Dei institutes and the diocesan priests attached to the mass of St. Pius V, are well founded or not.

According to Summorum Pontificum of February 8, these are “more than mere rumors,” and the document is expected to appear on April 4, the anniversary of the promulgation of the constitution Missale Romanum of Paul VI (April 3, 1969).