LifeSite launches petition imploring Pope Francis to withdraw decree restricting Traditional Latin Mass
July 20, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Following the release of Pope Francis’s motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, which heavily restricts the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, and the overwhelming outcry from faithful observers of Catholic tradition, LifeSiteNews has prepared a petition to be presented to the Holy Father, begging that he hear the cry of his flock and reconsider restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), held so dear by so many.
On Friday the Holy See published Traditionis Custodes, in which severe restrictions have been imposed on the celebration of the TLM. Pope Francis defined the Modern Mass, or Novus Ordo Missae, as the “unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite” in the first article of the document. He went on to declare that bishops hold “exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese,” and issue an order that parish churches are not to be used for the celebration of the Latin Mass, among other draconian measures.
Regarding the latter point, bishops are asked to establish “one or more locations” where the faithful can attend the Latin Mass within their dioceses, but without this “location” being a “parochial church” and without establishing any new personal parishes. Furthermore, priests already offering the Latin Mass, formerly the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite, secured under then-Pope Benedict XVI in his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, are ordered that they “should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.” Additionally, newly ordained priests must seek approval from both the local bishop and Rome to begin saying the Old Rite of the Mass.
“Francis says that priests who have been celebrating the Tridentine rite ‘should’ seek the permission of their bishops to continue. Does ‘should’ mean ‘must’?” asked Father Peter Stravinskas at Catholic World Report. “Of course, if the document had been promulgated in Latin, we would not have to wonder about that.”
Not only has the power to restrict the TLM been placed in the hands of the bishops, contrary to the principles articulated in Summorum Pontificum, but the power to give permission to a priest willing to say the Latin Mass has been passed further up the chain of command, being centralized to the Apostolic See, an edict which itself runs contrary to the Pope’s consistent emphasis on “synodality,” as noted by Professor Roberto de Mattei.
As “lay people dedicated to Christ and His Church, we urge you to reconsider your unjust and scandalous treatment of the Traditional Latin Mass,” LifeSite’s petition to Pope Francis implores. “We urge you to have regard for the many souls who benefit spiritually from the Ancient Rite.”
Continuing, the letter recognizes that “The Traditional Latin Mass has been a source of unity for the Catholic Church for more than 1500 years, producing great saints, repentant sinners, and souls won for Christ across the world.”
“To attempt to restrict the Traditional Latin Mass as a new generation are rediscovering the treasures of God's Church will inevitably cause further division and hurt among the faithful, risking the loss of some souls who will regretfully turn away.”
“We are concerned for your own soul[,] Holy Father. We love you and hope that, with your cardinals, you will follow the sensus fidelium and reinstate the Mass of the Ages to its proper place in the Catholic Church,” the letter concludes.
Please sign and share this petition to Pope Francis, urging him to reconsider his decision, for the good of souls and the glory of God, and making sure as many cardinals support the TLM as possible. LifeSite will hand-deliver the petition to the Holy See.