Thursday, July 29, 2021

Official Statement of the Fœderatio Internationalis Una Voce regarding the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes»

  Monday, 19 July 2021

Official Statement of the Fœderatio Internationalis Una Voce regarding the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes»

The International Federation Una Voce (FIUV) is the worldwide organization of lay faithful attached to the celebration of the Mass according to the Editio Typica 1962 of the Roman Missal, known until now as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, Usus Antiquior, or simply the Traditional Latin Mass.

Since its foundation in 1965, the FIUV has developed its activities in obedience to and in harmony with the Holy See, where we have always been received with cordiality and openness.

On 16th July 2021, Pope Francis published an Apostolic Letter given motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, which establishes tight restrictions and limitations on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass.

The International Federation cannot fail to note that the motivation for the new Apostolic Letter, as stated in the accompanying letter of the Reigning Pontiff derives from the alleged attitudes and words of those of us who choose the Traditional Mass, as reported by some Bishops to the Holy See, which involve a «rejection of the Church and her institutions in the name of what they consider the "true Church."» In addition to an «instrumental use of the Missale Romanum of 1962, which is increasingly characterized by a growing rejection not only of the liturgical reform but of the Second Vatican Council, with the unfounded and unsustainable claim that it has betrayed Tradition and the "true Church."»

Both the characterization of Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass, and the harsh new restrictions on it, sadden us greatly. It is our experience, as representatives of groups of the faithful, that what primarily attract people to the spirituality of the Traditional Mass are not the theological or pastoral discussions of the past, but respect for the Sacred, and the sense of the continuity of Tradition, which does not remain as a mere aspiration, but is lived daily in the venerable rite that has developed slowly through centuries and has never been abrogated.

Certainly, as with other groups of the Faithful, there is no absolute homogeneity in the opinions and attitudes of those attached to the former Missal. But precisely in their desire to assist at this Mass within the framework of their Dioceses and parishes, these Catholics implicitly express their recognition of the true Church, cum Petro et sub Petro.

Finally, as sons and daughters of the Church we wish to express our sadness over the restrictions on our ability to continue to nourish our spiritual lives using parish churches, as any Catholic would like to do. If there is one thing we fervently desire, it is to be able to live a normal life without being forced to use hidden or inaccessible spaces.

We believe that the beautiful spiritual fruits of this Missal should be shared, and we pray that we can be instruments of God inside and outside the Church.

The International Federation is deeply grateful to each of the Bishops who are generously providing for the faithful attached to the ancient Mass in their dioceses and to the Priests entrusted with the care of their souls.

Una Voce groups all over the world are united in prayer, as always, with their bishops and with the Pope.

Many of the faithful look to us to make their desires known, particularly in Rome, in a way which combines a sincere respect for the Universal Church and the Holy Father, with a love of the Traditions which are ultimately inseparable from them. We are committed to this task, which we and our predecessors have undertaken for more than half a century. 

Felipe Alanis Suarez


18 of July 2021


Saturday, July 24, 2021

New movie to be released soon!


The MASS OF THE AGES team is thrilled to share Episode I with you in just a few weeks! With your support and prayers, and a lot of dedication from our team, we have put together a powerful and stunning film.


MASS OF THE AGES will inspire many Catholics to attend the Latin Mass, thousands of priests to say it, and it is now our hope that bishops all over the world will see this film and be moved to ensure it lives on in their dioceses.

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Latin Mass Society of the UK: Canonical guidance on Traditionis Custodes

The following article is from The Latin Mass Society of the UK. 

Canonical guidance on Traditionis Custodes

The Latin Mass Society is pleased to present the fruits of our consultations with a number of Canon lawyers.

It is clear to us that many bishops, priests, and lay Catholics, are finding it difficult to see exactly what the force of the Apostolic Letter might be.

It is our hope that the arguments contained in this Guidance will commend themselves to careful readers from across the spectrum of opinion, and contribute to a calm and reasoned discussion.

Key points from the Guidance:
Traditionis Custodes does not abrogate the 1962 Missal (otherwise it could not allow it to be said in certain circumstances).

It follows that it is not the right of priests to celebrate it that is at issue--this remains intact--but the public exercise of this right, which is a matter of regulation by the local bishop.

The right of priests to celebrate privately, to say the older Office, to celebrate the other sacraments, to use the older Rituale: all these are unrestricted by Traditionis Custodes.

The restrictions mentioned in Article 3, notably on the use of parish churches, only apply in the case of 'authorised' 'groups', such as came into existence in the course of the formal application of Summorum Pontificum, or are served by a 'personal parish'.

Although priests need permission from the bishop to celebrate the 1962 Missal, with this permission, and outside the context of a formalised 'group', he may do so without the restrictions of Art 3: for example, in a parish church.

It would also follow that there need be no difficulty allowing the 1962 Missal to be used for special occasions such as pilgrimages.

The full text of our document is reproduced below.

In this document we wish to give some brief indications of what the Apostolic Letter does and does not do in terms of the canonical obligations of bishops and priests, in light of the advice we have received from more than one canonist.

The Authority of the Bishop

The Apostolic Letter emphasises the authority of the bishop in each diocese over the liturgy.
Art. 2. It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him, to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese. Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See.

This article footnotes (inter alia) Vatican II’s Decree on the Office of Bishop, Christus Dominus 11, which states:
Therefore bishops are the principal dispensers of the mysteries of God, as well as being the governors, promoters, and guardians of the entire liturgical life in the church committed to them.
A similar point is made by Vatican II’s Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium 22.

The Apostolic Letter takes, therefore, this principle already well-established in the discipline of the Church, and concludes (‘therefore’) that the bishop has authority over the 1962 Missal in his diocese. This is reminiscent of the comment in Pope Benedict XVI (2007) Letter to Bishops Accompanying Summorum Pontificum:
I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful. Each Bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22).

The Apostolic Letter is, at this point, not making any innovation, or investing bishops with special authority, but merely reiterating the existing legal situation, which had itself not been altered by Summorum Pontificum.

The Rights of Priests and Faithful

Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum Article 1 notes, as a historical fact, that the 1962 Missal has never been abrogated. It goes on to confirm the legal implications of this fact: that priests of the Latin Rite have the right to celebrate according to this Missal, and that the faithful have the right to attend it.

Nevertheless, the exercise of the right of priests to celebrate the 1962 Missal impacts the question of the liturgical life of the diocese, and for this reason comes under the authority of the bishop. Thus, for example, Summorum Pontificum limits the celebration of the older Easter Triduum (Art. 2).

The provisions of Traditionis Custodes must be understood in the same way. It does not abrogate the 1962 Missal, and thus leaves the right of priests to celebrate it intact. It does regulate the way this right can be exercised.

It should be noted that the Apostolic Letter says nothing about the right of the faithful to attend the 1962 Mass, the celebration of the other sacraments according to the older Roman Ritual, or the saying of the older Divine Office by priests in public or in private: accordingly, all of these things remain permitted. It is general principle of Canon Law that laws which restrict things are to be interpreted narrowly rather than widely:
Can. 18: Laws which establish a penalty, restrict the free exercise of rights, or contain an exception from the law are subject to strict interpretation.

‘Groups’ attached to the 1962 Missal

Article 3 concerns ‘groups that celebrate according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970’. With sight only of vernacular translations of the Apostolic Letter, the context of this terminology is harder to clarify, but the way the term is used indicates that the Apostolic Letter has a formal association in mind. These are entities which might have settled views about the liturgical reform (Art 3.1), have a right to pastoral care (3.4), and up to the time of the Apostolic Letter could be ‘authorised’ by the local Ordinary (3.6). The provision in 3.5 concerning ‘parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful’ reinforces this impression.

This corresponds to the use of the term ‘group’ (in the English translation) in Summorum Pontificum Articles 5 and 7. In those articles, ‘groups’ of the faithful attached to the older Missal had the right to request a regular celebration of this Missal (Art. 5) and, if denied by a parish priest, to appeal to the bishop and then to the Holy See (Art. 7). Relatedly, it authorises bishops to erect ‘personal parishes’ (Art. 10).

The Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (2011) tried to establish a fairly informal understanding of what was required for the existence of a ‘group’ (see Universae Ecclesiae 15), in order to make it easier for them to claim the rights attached to the concept of a group in Summorum Pontificum. The notion of a ‘group’ being subject to ‘authorisation’ in Traditionis Custodes nevertheless suggests a fairly formal understanding.

The regulation of the celebration of the 1962 Missal for such ‘groups’ is the sole preoccupation of Traditionis Custodes Article 3. Bishops where these groups currently exist are instructed to find places for them to worship according to the 1962 books (3.2), to determine the times at which Masses are to be celebrated (3.3), and to appoint celebrants for them (3.4). The existence of personal parishes are to be reviewed (3.5). No new groups are to be established (3.6).

What these provisions do is to emphasise the authority of the bishop in regulating arrangements which may have been made under Summorum Pontificum Art. 5. It does not instruct bishops to close these arrangements down: on the contrary, it tells him to make provision for the faithful concerned. On the other hand, the rights of such groups to form and to request celebrations is rescinded, and it follows that no new groups of this kind will come into existence (or be recognised as such).

The following articles, 4 and 5, concern the authorisation of priests to celebrate according to the 1962 Missal: in the case of newly ordained priests, with reference to the Holy See. As noted above, this is a matter of the bishops’ moderation of the liturgy in his diocese, and not the right in principle of priests to celebrate the 1962 Missal, so this should be taken to concern the public celebration of the older Missal. There is accordingly no need for a priest to apply for permission to celebrate the 1962 Missal in private.

Priests who have this permission will be able to celebrate the 1962 Mass in their parishes, or anywhere else, and the faithful will be able to attend it. If these faithful do not constitute a recognised ‘group’, the provisions of Art. 3 do not apply. Indeed, they could not do so: it would make no sense to ask of a collection of Catholics who happen to turn up at a particular Mass, but may never have met before, what theological position they collectively hold about the Second Vatican Council, as per Art 3.1, or if their existence as a collective is ‘authorised’, as per Art. 3.6.

To summarise, Traditiones Custodes is concerned to maintain the pastoral care of officially-constituted ‘groups’ attached to the ancient Mass, for example in personal parishes, but wishes to emphasise the authority of the bishop to regulate where, when, and by whom, their Masses are celebrated.

At the same time, it does not prevent priests in general celebrating the older Mass, even in public, but it wishes to emphasises the authority of the bishop to give permission for this.

In both cases, it should be observed that in practice under Summorum Pontificum bishops continued to exercise the kind of care and control which Traditionis Custodes underlines, though they might sometimes have done this implicitly and indirectly: for example, by choosing where to assign priests. Although they are given more direct power over the situation by Traditionis Custodes, it seems likely that many bishops will continue to exercise this power as a matter of general oversight, rather than micro-managing each parish and apostolate.

The decision of many bishops in the immediate aftermath of the publication of Traditionis Custodes, to give blanket permissions for existing arrangements to continue, is a perfectly reasonable exercise of their prerogatives under the Apostolic Letter.

Parish Churches

The most surprising thing about Article 3 is that the places of worship to be assigned to ‘groups’ should not include parish churches. In the context of Italy and certain other countries, where for historical reasons dioceses have an abundance of non-parish churches, this presents no great difficulty, and personal parishes for the 1962 Mass do indeed, in such countries, tend to make use of these places of worship: chapels of ease, confraternity chapels, chapels attached to religious communities, and so on.

In other countries this is not so. If a bishop cannot easily find an alternative venue for such a group then, in accordance with Canon 87.1, he need not apply this restriction:
Canon 87.1. A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church.

As already explained, this question only arises with formally constituted ‘groups’. It is interesting to note, nonetheless, that while no new ‘personal parishes’ are to be established, the moving of ‘groups’ from parish churches to other places of worship implies the continuing usefulness of the concept of a ‘shrine’ dedicated to the celebration of the 1962 Missal, and in general to ‘chaplaincies’ for those attached to this Mass.

Vernacular readings

It should be noted that the requirement of Article 3.3 that lections be given in the vernacular does not exclude their being proclaimed first in the Latin of the liturgical text, which is generally required under the liturgical law of the 1962 Missal.

The congruence of the translation used with the liturgical text, which sometimes varies from the Hebrew or Greek versions which form the basis of most recent translations, should be kept in mind.

In any case, this requirement only applies in the context of the provision of the Mass for ‘groups’ as explained above.

The Good of Souls

All ecclesiastical legislation aims at the good of souls: the concluding words of the Code of Canon Law, indeed, tells us so:
Can. 1752: …the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes.

The authority of the Holy See and of bishops and priests is given, not for their own good, but for the good of souls; on bishops in particular, see the Code Can. 383 §1. Canon 87.1 has already been quoted, above.

All of these statements remind us that it is in the context of the good of souls that Church’s legal provisions must be interpreted and applied. Within the Church’s tradition, to apply a regulation in such a way as manifestly to harm the good of souls, is not just a pastoral or practical problem, but a failure to evaluate its legal force correctly.

Traditionis Custodes concerns itself directly with the good of souls, and the Holy Father’s Letter to Bishops underlines this motivation. The reason why the former Missal is not simply banned outright is that Pope Francis is mindful of the pastoral harm this would do. The ‘two principles’ the Letter gives to guide bishops are these:
to provide for the good of those who are rooted in the previous form of celebration and who need time to return [e hanno bisogno di tempo] to the Roman Rite promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II, and, on the other hand, to discontinue the erection of new personal parishes tied more to the desire and wishes of individual priests than to the real need of the “holy People of God.”

This is therefore the crucial consideration in applying the Apostolic Letter according to the means of the legislator. Bishops are to make arrangements and to give, or withhold, permissions, according to whether they believe it will be of spiritual benefit to the faithful attached to the older Mass, and to the priests who wish to celebrate it. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Canceled: Traditional Latin Mass on Sunday, July 11, 2021

We regret to inform you that the traditional Latin Mass scheduled for this coming Sunday has been cancelled. The following is Fr Justin Brady's letter explaining the cancellation.

Saint Paul’s Catholic Church
Iglesia Católica de San Pablo
St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Melba
Our Lady Queen of Heaven Chapel, Oreana
Our Lady of Tears Chapel, Silver City

8 July 2021

Blessed be The Most Precious Blood of Jesus!

Dear Latin Mass Community,

Firstly, I want to express my gratitude to God and His Excellency Bishop Peter Christensen for the gift of serving the Latin Mass Community of the Treasure Valley. I am greatly looking forward to celebrating the sacrifice of the Holy Mass with you.

However, I regret to tell you that I must cancel the TLM scheduled for this upcoming Sunday, July 11th. The reason for this is that I am not ready offer the Holy Mass with the knowledge and skill it demands. I hope you understand that this was not my initial plan, but this first week at the parish is demanding all of me. I do not have the time to get myself properly reacquainted with the Vetus Ordo that I thought I would have. The reasons for this cancellation fall squarely on me, and no one else. I will not place myself in the situation to offer this rite in an unworthy or unprepared manner.

It is with sadness that I make this decision, and it should not be taken as an ill omen for the future of this Mass. I have a deep love for this rite, and I desire to be faithful as a priest celebrant. Please pray for me, and ask Our Lord to be generous with his grace upon me. I will put in the good work to be prepared for August and beyond. I am confident of your support, and I pray I will serve Our Lord, and all of you, well.

May Our Lord bless and keep you,

Rev. Fr. Justin Brady

Pastor: St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Nampa