On Friday, Pope Francis served a blow to traditional Catholics, heavily restricting them from being able to celebrate the Traditional Latin (Tridentine) Mass through a new document or motu proprio.
In his declaration, he wrote, “The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”
Life Site News reports:
While Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s 2007 document Summorum Pontificum (SP) described the Novus Ordo as the “ordinary expression” of the lex orandi, with the rite of 1962 (Latin Mass) being “never abrogated,” and “an extraordinary form,” Francis does away with such language, describing the Novus Ordo as the “unique” and only expression.
Pope Francis stipulated that diocesan bishops have the role and right to “regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese,” as is properly contained within canon law (c.375 & c.392). However, the Pontiff then proceeded to state that each bishop has the “exclusive competence” to “authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See.”
Pope Francis continued by dealing with dioceses where there are already celebrations of the Traditional Liturgy. In such places, the local bishop is to ascertain that any groups celebrating the Traditional Liturgy “do not deny the validity and the legitimacy of the liturgical reform” of Vatican II (Novus Ordo).
The bishop is to set aside “one or more locations” where the faithful can attend the Latin Mass, but without this “location” being a “parochial church” and without establishing any new personal parishes. It would appear that there is to be no general permission for the Latin Mass to be daily offered in such places, for the local bishop is now permitted by Francis to set “the days on which eucharistic celebrations are permitted.”
According to Life Site News, “He claimed that the ‘pastoral objective’ of his predecessors had been ‘seriously disregarded,’ in a way which fostered ‘disagreements,’ ruptures in the Church, and the ‘peril of division’.”
The news from Francis sends shockwaves throughout the Catholic Church, with the Faithful, many of whom are not subscribers to the legitimacy of Vatican II, being essentially purged of their ability to attend regular Latin Masses (at least not without the condition that each Tridentine Mass be declared legitimate alongside the Novus Ordo).