Pope Francis Drastically Restricts Traditional Latin Mass – Here’s Why & What You Should Know

Mater Dei Latin Mass Parish, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Pope Francis issued a new apostolic letter restricting the Traditional Latin Mass.

The new apostolic letter entitled Traditionis Custodes, written in the form of moto proprio, lists restrictions regarding the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, or the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

The letter provides eight articles reversing Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 moto proprio Summorum Pontificum, allowing priests to freely celebrate the Extraordinary Form using the Roman Missal of 1962.

The document explains, for example, that priests must obtain permission from their bishop before celebrating the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass. Groups requesting permission must accept the Vatican II reforms and the Magisterium.

Other changes include restrictions for new priests, as well as parishes currently celebrating the Latin Mass.

Priests ordained after the publication of this letter must obtain permission from the Holy See before celebrating the Latin Mass. Priests already celebrating this form must obtain permission from the bishop to continue.

Click here for the full list of new restrictions.

The video below also explains some of these restrictions:

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

The pope explained his decision in a letter to the bishops

He said the choice between the two celebrations has resulted in “behavior that contradicts communion,” causing a “drive to division”.

Here’s the excerpt from the letter below:

“In that he close relationship between the choice of celebrations according to the liturgical books preceding the Second Vatican Council and the rejection of the Church and its institutions, is increasingly evident in the words and attitudes of many, name of what they consider the ‘true Church.’ This is a behavior that contradicts communion, nourishing that drive to division.”

“It is to defend the unity of the Body of Christ that I am forced to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors. The distorted use that has been made of it is contrary to the reasons that led them to grant the freedom to celebrate Mass with the Missale Romanum of 1962. Since ‘liturgical celebrations are not private actions, but celebrations of the Church, which is’ ‘sacrament of unity,’ they must be done in communion with the Church.”

What are your thoughts about these changes?

St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church, please pray for us!

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[See also: Mother Angelica’s Little-Known Love of the Latin Mass]

[See also: Fascinating Historical Re-Enactment of What a 15th C. Latin Mass Looked Like]

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Jacqueline Burkepile is the editor for the English edition of ChurchPOP. She is a journalist, former university campus minister, and a wife and mother. You can follow her posts on Instagram and Facebook.