Thursday, July 22, 2021

Canonical guidance on Traditionis Custodes from the Latin Mass Society

The 1962 Mass in the Chapel of the Throne, in St Peter's Basilica, Rome, celebrated by
Bishop Rey of Frejus, France, for the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage 2019.

With thanks to Edward Pentin for breaking the story on the National Catholic Register, with some helpful commentary, the Latin Mass Society is pleased to present the fruits of our consultations with a number of Canon lawyers, in a short document available on our website.

We have circulated this a little privately but we believe that it would be valuable to present it to the widest possible audience. It is clear to us that many bishops, priests, and lay Catholics, are finding it difficult to see exactly what the force of the Apostolic Letter might be.

It is our hope that the arguments contained in this Guidance will commend themselves to careful readers from across the spectrum of opinion, and contribute to a calm and reasoned discussion. 

Key points from the Guidance:

*Traditionis Custodes does not abrogate the 1962 Missal (otherwise it could not allow it to be said in certain circumstances).

* It follows that it is not the right of priests to celebrate it that is at issue--this remains intact--but the public exercise of this right, which is a matter of regulation by the local bishop.

* The right of priests to celebrate privately, to say the older Office, to celebrate the other sacraments, to use the older Rituale: all these are unrestricted by Traditionis Custodes.

* The restrictions mentioned in Article 3, notably on the use of parish churches, only apply in the case of 'authorised' 'groups', such as came into existence in the course of the formal application of Summorum Pontificum, or are served by a 'personal parish'. 

* Although preists need permission from the bishop to celebrate the 1962 Missal, with this permission, and outside the context of a formalised 'group', he may do so without the restrictions of Art 3: for example, in a parish church.

*It would also follow that there need be no difficulty allowing the 1962 Missal to be used for special occasions such as pilgrimages. 

See the document in full here.

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