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Pope Francis Reiterates Rules Related to the 1970 Missal and Clergy with That Liturgical Sensibility

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 21.02.2023). In mid-July of 2021, the Holy Father issued a Document on the use of the Roman Liturgy before the 1970 reform. The Document was entitled Traditionis Custodes. In the latter, known technically as a “Motu Proprio,” the Pope “devolved” to the Bishops the regulation of Liturgical Celebrations in their own diocese,” stressing that “it is the exclusive competence [of the Bishop] to authorize the use of the 1962 Missale Romanum in the diocese, following the guidelines of the Apostolic See.” Thus the Pope reverted what Benedict XVI had granted in this regard. 

Two numbers of Traditionis Custodes aroused doubts in a few, specifically n. 3,2 and n. 4. Number 3,2 indicated that it is for the Bishop of the diocese, where to date there were groups of faithful that celebrate the Mass with the Missal prior to 1970, “to indicate one or several places where the faithful belonging to these groups can meet for the Celebration of the Eucharist (not in parish churches and without erecting new personal parishes).” For its part, n. 4 indicated that “the presbyters ordained after the publication of the present Motu Proprio, who wish to celebrate with the 1962 Missale Romanum, must make a formal request to the diocesan Bishop, who will consult the Apostolic See before giving the authorization.” 

Through Cardinal Artur Roche, Prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Pope Francis confirmed the following rules, which are reserved to the Holy See, in a Rescript (namely, the solution given by the Pope to the formulation of a doubt) made public on February 21.

  1. The use of a parish church or the erection of a personal parish for the celebration of the Eucharist using the Missale Romanun of 1962 (cf. Traditionis Custodes, article 3, paragraph 2); 
  2. The granting of permission to priests ordained after the publication of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes to celebrate with the 1962 Missale Romanum (cf. Traditionis Custodes, article 4). 

According to these dispositions the Bishops must request the Pontiff’s authorization, through the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to erect new parishes with that liturgical sensibility and also allow priests ordained after July 16, 2021.