Friday, May 1, 2020

Recent important developments concerning the traditional Latin Mass (1)

Retired popes are a rare thing; that's why it's hard to make rules ...

We will start the first part of these articles with the latest developments concerning the Tridentine Mass.

Pope Francis has now taken a major new step concerning the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass and the motu proprio Summorum pontificum issued by Benedict XVI. Pope Francis has sent two letters to all the Bishops of the world pertaining to Summorum Pontificum to ask a number of questions. The bishops are directed to respond to the questionnaire of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith by 31 July 2020. 

The worrying issue is related to the fact that many bishops are hostile to the traditional Latin Mass. Therefore their responses are expected to be almost universally hostile to the Tridentine Mass. If one looks at the Maltese dioceses, the situation is that the Tridentine Mass is only allowed in one small church in Malta every Sunday. This has meant that other priests in Malta are de facto prohibited from celebrating the Tridentine Mass in public. Even though in some occasions more than 100 persons attended Tridentine Masses organised by Pro Tridentina (Malta) when a fully functioning committee was in place. In Gozo, the situation is even worse, because the Tridentine Mass is not allowed at all!

This could provide a pretext for the Pope to come to the conclusion that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass has not been widely or well received and that, therefore, Summorum Pontificum and its permissions will be abolished.

Such a development may come into effect this Advent or the Advent of 2021. Presumably the Tridentine Mass will revert to the status given to it in 1984 and 1988 by  Saint Pope John Paul II. 

Having said that, it's the opinion of this Blog that the provisions of Summorum Pontificum will be retained as the second and third parts will show.

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