New Liturgical Movement: Announcing a Comprehensive Canonical Critique of “Traditionis Custodes”

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

As readers of NLM are too well aware, Pope Francis’s apostolic letter Traditionis Custodes aimed at a drastic reduction of the use of the traditional Roman liturgy. In a letter to the bishops published on the same day, the pope explained at length the reasons for his decision. The harsh measures, in tandem with the violent and accusatory tone of the accompanying letter, have aroused consternation among the faithful who are attached to the usus antiquior. The Responsa ad Dubia issued in December of 2021 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, so far from clarifying matters, only intensified the growing dismay and debate.

The inaccuracies, difficulties of interpretation, and problems of concrete application of Traditionis Custodes have meanwhile raised many questions among canonists, pastors, and institutes whose proper law binds them to the liturgical forms of the Latin tradition.

It was time for a competent canonist to write a full critique of the letter. This was done by canon lawyer Fr. Réginald-Marie Rivoire, F.S.V.F., who in a lengthy French article undertook a careful canonical reading of these documents, chiefly from the point of view of their “juridical rationality.” It is well known that rationality is one of the essential characteristics of a legal norm, such that strictly speaking, an irrational norm is not a norm and does not bind.

New Liturgical Movement: Announcing a Comprehensive Canonical Critique of “Traditionis Custodes”

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