Cardinal Cupich Issues New Restrictions on Traditional Latin Masses| National Catholic Register

Chicago’s new rules mirror those spelled out in an explanatory document regarding Pope Francis’ edict published Dec. 18 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Cardinal Cupich Issues New Restrictions on Traditional Latin Masses| National Catholic Register
Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago.
Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago. (photo: Daniel Ibanez / CNA/EWTN)

CNA StaffNationDecember 27, 2021

CHICAGO, Ill. — Cardinal Blase Cupich has issued a new policy for the Archdiocese of Chicago that curtails the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass and other sacraments in Latin using liturgical books that pre-Vatican II.

Under the policy, which takes effect Jan. 25, priests, deacons, and ordained ministers who wish to use the “old rite” must submit their requests to Cardinal Cupich in writing and agree to abide by the new norms.

Those rules specify that the Traditional Latin Masses must incorporate scripture readings in the vernacular, using the official translation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

In addition, such Masses cannot take place in a parish church unless both the archbishop and the Vatican agree to grant an exemption.  

The new policy also prohibits the celebration of Traditional Latin Masses on the first Sunday of every month, Christmas, the Triduum, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost Sunday.

Set in motion by Pope Francis’ Traditionis custodes, the Chicago Archdiocese’s policy was issued Dec. 27 and first reported by Vatican NewsTraditionis custodes is a July 16 motu proprio in which the pope placed sweeping restrictions on the celebration of Mass using the 1962 Roman Missal, known variously as the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, the Tridentine Mass, and the Traditional Latin Mass. (You can read a further explanation of the document here.)

Chicago’s new rules mirror those spelled out in an explanatory document regarding Pope Francis’ edict published Dec. 18 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Vatican office responsible for matters related to the sacred liturgy.

“My intention in sharing this policy is to encourage you to reflect on the duty we each must assist our people in this moment of Eucharistic revival by rediscovering the value of the liturgical reform in the rites given to us by the Second Vatican Council,” Cardinal Cupich wrote in an accompanying letter to priests, Vatican News reported.

The Vatican’s explanatory document states that the intent of Traditionis custodes is “to re-establish in the whole Church of the Roman Rite a single and identical prayer expressing its unity, according to the liturgical books promulgated by the Popes Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council and in line with the tradition of the Church.”

The explanatory document notes that Traditionis custodes stipulates that sacraments cannot be celebrated using the liturgical books Rituale Romanum and the Pontificale Romanum promulgated prior to the Vatican II reforms.

The Pontificale Romanum contains the rites and ceremonies usually performed by bishops and the Rituale Romanum is one of the official ritual books used by a priest or deacon for rites not found in the Roman Missal, which is used for Mass.

The Vatican congregation clarified that a diocesan bishop can authorize the use of the 1952 edition of the Rituale Romanum, but not the Pontificale Romanum, “only to those canonically erected personal parishes which, according to the provisions of the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, celebrate using the Missale Romanum [Roman Missal] of 1962.”

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, one of the largest traditional societies of apostolic life, has said that the explanatory document “does not directly address the former Ecclesia Dei communities such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter who possess their own proper law.”

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