Archdiocese of Cincinnati cracks down on ad orientem Masses – LifeSite

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is clamping down on ad orientem Masses and effectively banning the use of high altars, as per a December decree scheduled to take effect on January 19.

The decree partially restricts ad orientem Masses (facing the altar, “liturgical east”) by mandating that “On Sundays and other days of obligation, there must be at least one Mass offered versus populum (facing the people) in every church, oratory, or chapel in which public Mass is scheduled,” and that on other days “there must be at least one Mass offered publicly versus populum in each Family of Parishes.”

Exemptions to this policy “may be sought in writing from the Archbishop via the Chancellor,” the decree states, and the Chancery must be given advance written notice before the regular celebration of ad orientem Masses in a parish.

Ad orientem Masses are also essentially restricted to freestanding altars in the archdiocese, since the decree commands that Masses “only” be celebrated on a “freestanding altar” when one is present, and “NOT on the older high altar.”

Archbishop Schnurr’s decree is unclear about the reason for the restrictions, but he cites the “unity of the Church” and “a legitimate desire among the People of God” in the archdiocese “for worship in both a versus populum and an ad orientem posture.”

In publishing a copy of the decree, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Northwest-5 Family of Parishes pointed out that “there has been a noticeable increase recently in parishes across the Archdiocese where priests have begun celebrating Mass in a more traditional manner,” including through the celebration of ad orientem Masses.

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Archdiocese of Cincinnati cracks down on ad orientem Masses – LifeSite

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