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DETROIT (LifeSiteNews) — In response to Cardinal Arthur Roche’s February rescript, the Archbishop of Detroit has asked parishes to seek alternative buildings to continue offering the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

Archbishop Allen Vigneron issued new guidelines on May 5, the feast day of Pope St. Pius V, requesting that pastors of parishes offering the TLM find a new location for the liturgy by July 1, 2024, in conformity with the Holy See’s regulations. In addition, the archbishop asked priests to request permission to continue or begin offering the TLM by May 10, 2023.

“In order to allow for the pastoral care of those faithful who are attached to this form of the Mass in each region, I am also prepared to grant a two-year permission for the use of the parish church at a site in each region,” Vigneron’s instruction stated. “The Oakland County Latin Mass Association and St. Joseph Parish cover this need in the Northwest and Central Regions. St. Anthony Parish in Temperance and St. Edward on the Lake Parish in Lakeport may apply for this extended time period as well.”

READ: Latin Mass to be canceled at Oklahoma parish as Vatican dispensation expires

St. Joseph Shrine is served by priests of the Institute of Christ the King, founded as a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right in 1990 in Gabon, Africa, by Monsignor Gilles Wach and Father Philippe Mora. The motherhouse and international seminary of the Institute is located in Gricigliano, in the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. 

“There are 14 Sunday TLM sites and 14 non-Sunday sites in the Archdiocese of Detroit,” said Alex Begin, a Catholic who has been working to help spread and promote the TLM and sacraments in the Detroit-Windsor area “for decades.” “The parishes offering them either daily or almost every day include St. Joseph Shrine, Assumption Grotto, and Holy Family in Detroit. All three of those are beautiful, historic churches.”

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We ask you to join us in thanking this faithful shepherd for his years of loving service to Christ and His Church. 

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, RI, known for his outspoken defense of the Church’s moral teachings on the sanctity of life, marriage, and human sexuality, has just resigned upon reaching the age of 75 on April 1.

SIGN: Thank you Bishop Tobin for answering God's call to serve His Church

Here is our message to Bishop Tobin which you can sign: 

In a statement to the diocese on the occasion of his resignation, Bishop Tobin thanked the faithful and clergy of Providence for their support over the years, encouraging them to remain steadfast in the faith. “I urge all the members of the church to remain steadfast in your faith, to be proud of the good work you are doing, and to be determined to carry on the work that Jesus has entrusted to you,” Tobin said. 

As bishop, Tobin consistently raised his voice to clearly reiterate the perennial teachings of the Church that the life of the unborn is sacred, marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman, and the innocence of children must be protected in society.

He has also defended traditional Catholics who wish to worship according to the Church’s ancient liturgy in the Tridentine Latin Mass. 

Unafraid to hold to account so-called “Catholic” politicians who aggressively promote abortion and oppose the protection of the lives of the unborn, in 2019 Tobin excoriated Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, who says he is Catholic but voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, designed to protect children born alive during botched abortions from being left to die.   

In the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, Tobin called out the contradiction between a politician calling himself Catholic and yet rejecting Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life. In a tweet sent out on May 7, 2020, Tobin said one cannot be an “authentic” Catholic and hold a pro-abortion position. 

“Just saw a headline in a Catholic newspaper with the phrase ‘pro-abortion Catholic.’ Sorry. That’s a contradiction in terms. You can’t be a Catholic, at least not an authentic one, and be ‘pro-abortion.’ Or ‘pro-choice.’ It’s the same thing,” the bishop said

SIGN: Thank you Bishop Tobin for answering God's call to serve His Church

Several months later Tobin again sparked a heated Twitter debate over what constitutes a Catholic when he sarcastically implied that then-presidential candidate Joe Biden isn’t one. The outspoken bishop was hammered on Twitter with ad hominem attacks after he posted the following:  

Biden-Harris. First time in a while that the Democratic ticket hasn’t had a Catholic on it. Sad. 

— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) August 11, 2020 

Tobin doubled down on his criticisms of President Biden’s zeal for abortion in 2022, when he stated that he could not be “both a devout Catholic and a pro-abortion zealot”: 

President Biden cannot be both a devout Catholic and a pro-abortion zealot. The two are mutually exclusive. He is a poor, lost and confused soul. Truly, we need to pray for him, everyday. 

— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) September 23, 2022 

Tobin’s courageous defense of the Church’s moral teachings was not limited, however, to standing up against the prominent pro-abortion advocates of the Left. He also earned their hatred with his public stance against LGBT ideology and intimidation. 

On June 1, 2019, to mark the beginning of so-called “pride month”, the Rhode Island bishop tweeted that Catholics should not take part in “pride” events due to their conflict with the Catholic faith, making special note of the danger to children: 

A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children. 

— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) June 1, 2019 

The public stance made the bishop the target of high-volume vitriol from LGBT adherents and supporters, who moved swiftly to squash the Catholic shepherd’s advisory to his flock to remain faithful to “Catholic faith and morals,” demonstrating the resolve of anti-Catholic forces to silence Church teaching. 

Several days later, Tobin issued the following statement, declaring it his obligation as a bishop to preach the truth of Christ “even on very difficult and sensitive issues”, affirming that he would continue to do so. He stated, “As a Catholic Bishop, however, my obligation before God is to lead the faithful entrusted to my care and to teach the faith, clearly and compassionately, even on very difficult and sensitive issues.  That is what I have always tried to do – on a variety of issues – and I will continue doing so as contemporary issues arise.” 

SIGN: Thank you Bishop Tobin for answering God's call to serve His Church

Ever sensitive to the needs of the flock entrusted to this care, Tobin also supported those Catholics devoted to the ancient liturgy in the Traditional Latin Mass. In January 2022, during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, he encouraged “respect and support” for “members of our own Church who are devoted to [the] TLM,” affirming their fidelity to the Church, a notable public defense in the face of attacks from authorities in Rome, such as Cardinal Roche, who has dubbed those who love the ancient Mass “more Protestant than Catholic.”  

In contrast, Bishop Tobin wrote: 

In this Week of Prayer for #ChristianUnity, let’s also work to safeguard and promote “Catholic Unity.” In particular, let’s resolve to respect and support members of our own Church who are devoted to TLM. They are faithful Catholics who greatly love the Lord and his Church. 

— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) January 18, 2022 

Again, earlier this year, Tobin criticized the increased ostracization of traditional Catholics by Rome in a tweet that contrasted the heavy-handedness of the Vatican’s restrictions with the Pope’s call for accompaniment and listening. The prelate wrote,  

The way the Vatican is dealing with the Traditional Latin Mass does not seem to me to be the “style of God.” Pope Francis himself has emphasized that those who are attached to the TLM should be “accompanied listened to, and given time.” 

— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) February 21, 2023 

With the courageous Bishop of Providence now retiring, the sentiments of Catholics grateful for his defense of life, family, and faith can perhaps not be put better than what was stated by those same Catholics several years ago: “Your clear and compassionate teaching gives hope to Catholics and Christians everywhere.”  

In the words of Bishop Strickland, “Thanks for speaking up Bishop Tobin….let us be mighty loving messengers of truth and light in Jesus Christ.” 

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“Unlike many other U.S. dioceses, the Archdiocese of Detroit has numerous chapels and secondary churches within multiple church parishes,” Begin continued. “Many of them are beautiful and architecturally significant” and have served the needs of Catholics attached to the pre-1970 liturgy and sacraments in accord with Traditionis custodes.

“We believe that metro Detroit has the largest number of TLM sites of any major city in North America,” he added.

Vigneron’s May 5 letter also advised priests that permission to offer the TLM is still required for both the priest and location.

“I grant to these priests the additional dispensation to celebrate both forms of Mass on the same day, if necessary,” he wrote.

READ: North Carolina bishop restricts celebration of Latin Mass every Sunday to one diocesan parish

In addition to the Institute of Christ the King personal parish and numerous diocesan churches, shrines, and other locations where the traditional liturgy can be found on Sundays, holy days, and weekdays, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has been in Detroit since the 1970s and currently has chapels in Livonia and Armada.

Begin said that after years of hard work applying the motu proprio of Pope John Paul II, the Archdiocese of Detroit “went from last place to first place” among large U.S. dioceses offering the TLM and sacraments. In fact, there was not a regularly scheduled TLM in the Archdiocese of Detroit until 2003, according to Begin.

In response to LifeSiteNews’ request for clarification, the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Director of Communications, Edmundo Reyes, referred us to Vigneron’s May 5 letter to archdiocesan priests.