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Galveston Houston's Cardinal Daniel DiNardo Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews

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HOUSTON (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Daniel DiNardo yesterday announced new restrictions on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, following Pope Francis’ recent motu proprio targeting the Extraordinary Form.

In a letter outlining his implementation of Traditionis Custodes, issued by the pope in July, DiNardo abrogated celebration of the Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 for three of Houston’s four diocesan parishes currently offering it: St. Theresa Parish in Sugar Land, St. Bartholomew Parish in Katy, and Prince of Peace Parish in northwest Houston.

“Although a number of the faithful are drawn to these Masses, these liturgical celebrations are not longstanding customs in those parishes,” DiNardo said. The cardinal’s directive permits St. Theresa Parish and St. Bartholomew Parish to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal twice a month and only on weekdays, while the old rite is banned altogether at Prince of Peace Parish.

Latin Mass may now be offered on Sunday at just two parishes under DiNardo’s jurisdiction: Annunciation Parish in downtown Houston and Regina Caeli Parish in the northwest of the city. Cardinal DiNardo, the archbishop Galveston-Houston since 2006, established Regina Caeli, a non-territorial parish led by the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), in 2013.

“At all other parish churches within Galveston­-Houston, Mass on Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation is to be celebrated according to the current edition of the Roman Missal of 1970,” DiNardo wrote Wednesday. Our Lady of Walsingham, a popular Anglican Use parish in Houston that offers the Traditional Latin Mass, is not impacted.

Celebrations of weddings, baptisms, and other sacraments in the Extraordinary Form are also restricted, DiNardo added. “Those who desire this form of the celebration of the sacraments are to direct their requests to the clergy of Regina Caeli Parish.”

The cardinal warned clergy that elements of the Old Mass “are not to be added” to celebration of the Novus Ordo. “We should take care that our personalities and individual preferences do not dominate our manner of liturgical celebration,” he wrote. “The rubrics of the Roman Missal of 1962 are not to be added to the celebration of Mass according to the current edition of the Roman Missal of 1970.”

DiNardo’s restrictions take effect on September 30.

Traditionis Custodes, which Pope Francis released on July 16, revokes universal approval for priests to celebrate the Latin Mass and purports to remove the traditional Mass from the Roman Rite entirely. The document grants diocesan bishops “exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal” in accordance with Vatican guidance.

Numerous high-ranking prelates have criticized the document, Cardinal Raymond Burke calling it “severe and revolutionary” and Cardinal Joseph Zen similarly describing it as a “severe blow” that “hurt more than expected the hearts of many good people.”

“The clear intent [of Traditionis Custodes] is to condemn the Extraordinary Form to extinction in the long run,” wrote Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He cautioned bishops against “the temptation to act in an authoritarian, loveless, and narrow-minded manner against the supporters of the ‘old’ Mass.”

Some scholars, like liturgical expert Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, have even questioned whether the motu proprio lacks juridical standing in the first place.

As Rorate Caeli observed, Cardinal DiNardo’s implementation of Traditionis Custodes goes significantly further than directives of many American bishops who have thus far allowed celebration of the Latin Mass to continue largely as usual.

“Saint Theresa’s in Sugar Land has had the traditional Latin Mass over the span of the last three pastors of the suburban parish,” noted Rorate Caeli. “Its Sunday TLM is now banned, and its weekday TLMs are to be cut by 75%. Moreover, it is 28 miles from Regina Caeli, the FSSP’s personal parish. With Houston’s increasingly congested traffic, that is a long drive.”

“Saint Bartholomew in Katy started TLMs last year. Cardinal DiNardo, extending so much charity, will allow them to have two weekday TLMs per month.”

DiNardo follows the lead of Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., who recently rescinded permission for a solemn pontifical Mass that was to be celebrated last month by Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, a former papal nuncio.

Like Gregory, DiNardo has been sharply criticized for his handling of clerical sex abuse cases and has notably kept priests accused of abuse in active ministry.