On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970
On the 16th July 2021 Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter Motu propio Traditionis Custodes (TC) accompanied by a letter to the Bishops of the Whole World. The Pope has stated that the main reason for promulgating the documents is to foster total unification of the Roman Rite in accordance with Novus Ordo Missale of Paul VI 1970. The new instructions on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass are revolutionary in sense that they reverse the teaching magisterium of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. With the publication of Summurum pontificum (2007) of Pope Benedict XVI many thought that the disputes that emerged post Vatican council II had been settled. Pope Francis predecessors allowed the celebration of Traditional Mass without any strict regulations. However, Pope Francis notes that this dispensation has been abused and used to create a parallel “liturgical universe” as noted by many. As such the Holy Father has established:
Art 1: The liturgical books promulgated by Pope Paul VI and John Paul II in accordance with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman rite.
Art2: Bishop has the exclusive competence to authorize the use of 1962 Roman Missal.
Art3: The Bishop has the responsibility to:
- Establish that the faithful adherents of the Latin Mass recognize the authenticity and legitimacy of the liturgical reform, dictated by the Vatican Council II and magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs.
- Designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents can gather of the Eucharistic celebration. However, not in parochial churches and without erection of new personal Parishes.
- Fix days on which Eucharistic celebrations are permitted using Roman Missal of 1962. Readings should be proclaimed in Vernacular Language.
- Appoint a suitable and skilled Priest in the use of 1962 Missal as delegate of the Bishop, to see to the care of the faithful adherents of Latin Mass.
- To verify that the parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful are effective for their spiritual growth and to determine whether or not to retain them.
- Not authorize the establishment of new groups.
- Priests ordained after (TC) should formally request permission from the Bishop who shall consult the Apostolic See.
- Priest who already celebrate Mass (1962), Should request Bishop permission.