Latin Mass – Bishops to Give Permission in Consultation with Vatican
Latin Mass – Bishops to Give Permission in Consultation with Vatican.
Pope Francis on Friday, 16th July, 2021 addressed the Church in an Apostolic letter in the form of Motu Proprio. The letter addresses the use of Vatican I and new directives with Vatican II as the basis of consideration. This is to further strengthen unification of the Church through the celebration of the Eucharist bearing in mind those with an attachment to earlier liturgical forms as per Vatican I.
The decision and directives given were made in line with the invitation of bishops by Benedict XVI to assess application of Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, three years after it was published. Thus, Pope Francis, in pursuit of ecclesial communion establishes that liturgical books publicized by SS. Paul VI and John Paul II in accordance with the decrees of Vatican II will be regarded as the unique expression of the Roman Rite. He also establishes that the bishop being the shepherd of his diocese has to regulate liturgical celebrations held in his diocese and therefore has the exclusive right to authorize use of the 1962 Roman Missal within his diocese, applying the guidelines of the Apostolic See.
For dioceses where there exists group(s) that celebrate the Eucharist using Vatican I (celebrating full Latin Mass), the bishop has to ensure that the validity of liturgical reform is not denied and should designate location(s) where faithful members of such group(s) may gather for the celebration of the Eucharist. The bishop is also required to establish day(s) on which celebrations are allowed using Vatican I and ensuring that reading are said in the local language per approved scripture by the Episcopal Conferences.
It is also his duty to appoint a priest well suited and skilled in the use of the Missal from Vatican I, and fluent in Latin so as to be able to fully comprehend the rubrics and liturgical texts. In addition, it is a must for the priest to be passionate about pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful. The bishop is required to verify that parishes canonically erected are effective for the spiritual growth of the faithful and consider retaining them or otherwise. He is also to do his best not to authorise having new group(s) in place.
After publication of the Motu Proprio, newly ordained priest(s) wishing to celebrate a full Latin Mass will be required to seek permission from the Apostolic See through his local bishop. Already ordained priests celebrating Latin Mass should formally request the authority to do so from their diocesan bishop so as to be able to do so. And so, all former norms, instructions, permissions and customs not in compliance with provisions of the current Motu Proprio are no longer accepted.
This Motu Proprio is immediately enforced as published in L’Osservatore Romano (daily newspaper of Vatican City) and subsequently in the Holy See’s official Commentary known as Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Acts of the Apostolic See, official gazette of the Holy See)