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Editor’s note, July 22, 2021: We are aware that since the publication of this article, some bishops have walked back their original statements or made additional statements or clarifications. LifeSiteNews will continue to publish stories on bishops restricting or allowing the Traditional Latin Mass in the coming days. We welcome any information readers can share with us. This article was written just a few days after the motu proprio was issued and is based on the publicly available information at the time.

July 20, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Less than 24 hours after Pope Francis promulgated his new motu proprio restricting the celebration of the traditional liturgy, bishops across the world began to issue restrictions against the traditional liturgy, although some prelates have granted temporary permissions for the current “status quo” to continue.

Pope Francis issued his new motu proprio entitled Traditionis Custodes, on Friday, July 16, promoting a number of restrictions on the celebration of the traditional liturgy (also called the “Latin Mass,” the “Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite,” the “Old Mass,” the “Mass of the Ages,” the “Tridentine Mass”). Prominent among the restrictions was the directive that priests are to “request” permission from their diocesan bishops to say the Latin Mass, and consequently bishops could essentially forbid priests from saying the Latin Mass. The bishops could also decide “whether or not to retain” parishes which had been canonically erected for the offering of the traditional liturgies.

LifeSite has compiled a non-exhaustive, researched list of those prelates who have opted to use the motu proprio to restrict the Traditional Mass, as well as those who have granted permission for the Mass to continue. Rorate Caeli and Eric Sammons, editor of Crisis magazine, are also compiling lists of churches affected by the recent Papal document. Amongst the churches they list are a number of dioceses and archdioceses in Australia.

Diocese of Baguio, Philippines

The Latin Mass community of Our Lady of Atonement, in the Diocese of Baguio, Philippines, wrote that in light of the motu proprio, the normal celebration of the traditional Mass would be temporarily suspended, as of July 18. The group noted that it was hopeful for the future resumption of the Latin Mass “once we have complied with the requirements stipulated.” 

Diocese of Bismark, North Dakota

In Bismark, Bishop David Kagan has moved to suspend the traditional liturgy in his diocese, although one individual on social media wrote that the bishop had actually left it to the priest to publicly announce the decision. The Latin Mass community were thus forced to announce that the Sunday Mass on July 25 would be the Novus Ordo.

Update, July 22, 2021: A statement from Bishop Kagan is anticipated next week.

Contact information for respectful communications:
Bishop David Kagan
[email protected]

Center For Pastoral Ministry
520 N. Washington St.
Bismarck, ND 58501
[email protected]

Diocese of Clifton, U.K.

A little over 24 hours after the papal decree was issued, Dom Bede Rowe and Dom Anselm Redman, of the Benedictine community of Our Lady of Glastonbury in the U.K., revealed that they had been ordered by their local bishop to cease saying the Old Mass.

“Following the Motu Proprio and instruction from Bishop Declan, the 12.30pm Latin Mass at Glastonbury will be the final Latin Mass here. Our Community continues to offer our prayers for the parishes which have been entrusted to our care.”

The two priests form the Benedictine community in Glastonbury, canonically erected in 2019 in the Diocese of Clifton by Bishop Declan Lang. In addition to the monastic horarium, the clergy have care of the Catholic parishes of Cheddar, Wells, Shepton Mallet, and Glastonbury. As such, the two priests offer a daily Latin Mass in Glastonbury, as well as a daily Novus Ordo in the churches they serve.

The Latin Mass in Glastonbury has been a prominent center for the traditional liturgy in the Diocese of Clifton, with the community being able to offer the full pre-1955 Holy Week ceremonies.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Clifton diocese, the bishop has expressly supported the “LGBT+Mass” which takes place on the third Sunday of every month, at the church of St. Nicholas of Torentino. The monthly Masses are for the “Catholic LGBT+ community” along with their friends and family, with the intention being “not to isolate, but rather to ensure a warm welcome and to integrate this community into Church.” The Masses have been taking place since March 2019. The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered and sodomy is one of the four sins that cries out to heaven for vengeance.

LifeSiteNews reported last October that at one of these Masses, the parish priest Father Richard McKay, used an un-authorized, heretical version of the creed, which highlighted the “diverse identities of all human persons.”  The “creed” also implied that same-sex attraction, alluded to as “diverse identities of all human persons,” has its origins in God.

Contact information for respectful communication:
Bishop Declan Lang
[email protected]
Tel: 0117 9733072

Diocese of Covington, Kentucky

The outgoing bishop of Covington diocese, Bishop Roger Foys, emailed Father Matthew Cushing, the priest told his parishioners, on the evening of July 16 to inform the priest that All Saints Church in Walton, Kentucky that the weekly Latin Mass would not continue.

Contact information for respectful communication:
Bishop Roger Foys
Catholic Diocese of Covington
1125 Madison Ave.
Covington, KY 41011-3115
+1 (859) 392-1500

Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas, was one of the first who moved swiftly to cease the celebration of the Old Mass at three churches in his diocese.

In a press release on July 16 itself, Bishop Taylor stated that there would be no change to the two personal parishes currently served by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). However, he added that the Latin Mass “will no longer be celebrated in El Dorado, Mountain Home or Cherokee Village.” No diocesan priest is permitted to celebrate the traditional liturgy publicly under Bishop Taylor’s decrees.

Bishop Taylor earned the title of being the first U.S. bishop to close his churches for COVID-19 last year, even stating to his clergy that it “would be problematic” to give anoint those who had the novel virus. A year later, he barred lay people from delivering Communion to the sick, and choir members from singing in Mass, unless they are “fully vaccinated” with an experimental, abortion-tainted coronavirus vaccine.

Contact information for respectful communication:
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
2500 N. Tyler St.
Little Rock, AR 72207
(501) 664-0340
Online contact form

Office of the Bishop
P.O. Box 7565
Little Rock, AR 72217

Email (bishop’s secretary): [email protected]

Diocese of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, Bishop Angel Rios Matos decreed that the Traditional Latin Mass is “prohibited” in the diocese, since he writes that “no communities exist that have claimed the need to celebrate the eucharist with said extraordinary rite.” Consequently, Bishop Rios Matos forbade any promotion of the traditional liturgy, decreed that there will be no place or priest designated for the ancient rites, and furthermore prohibited the use of traditional Catholic vestments which are more commonly associated with the Old Rite.

“I order that every priest in the diocese of Mayaguez, even when celebrating in private and without the people, shall use the Roman Misal in conformance with Vatican II,” wrote Rios Matas. “I order also that in our eucharistic celebrations, with or without the people present, the gothic chasuble, avoiding the use of the Roman chasuble, biretta, capes, linen tablecloths, humeral veils, burses, maniples and other ornaments appropriate to such a rite.”

Contact information for respectful communication:
Bo. Miradero Carr. 108 Km. 2.8 Int.
Calle Obispado Final
Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 00681
Online contact form

Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne’s Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli moved to prohibit the Mass from being said at four churches in the archdiocese, apart from the personal parish of St. John Henry Newman. The archbishop granted priests permission to say the Traditional Latin Mass privately, but stated that he would be issuing more permanent decisions in the future.

Contact information for respectful communication:
Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli
Archdiocese of Melbourne
St Patrick's Centre
486 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
+61 3 9926 5677
[email protected]

Diocese of Salt Lake City

Bishop Oscar A. Solis of the Diocese of Salt Lake City has decreed that he needs time to “thoroughly study” and “pray” over the motu proprio, and as such, the Latin Mass community at St. Mary’s, Park City, had to cancel the weekly Sunday Mass, and offer a Novus Ordo instead. 

UPDATE, July 20, 2021 at 8:30 p.m. EST: A statement on the St. Mary’s website says, On July 20th, Our bishop granted Fr. Gray temporary permission to continue celebrating the older form of the Mass, the traditional Latin Mass, until the bishop has had the opportunity to prayerfully reflect and study the matter more. For the time being, unless otherwise stated on this page, the Sunday 3pm Mass (and other Latin Masses during the week) will return to being celebrated in the older form once again. Please continue to pray for St. Mary's, for our bishop and diocese, for the pope, and for the Church!”

Contact information for respectful communication:
Diocese of Salt Lake City
27 C Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
(801) 328-8641
[email protected]

Diocese of Warszawa-Praga, Poland

The bishop of Warszawa-Praga, Poland, Bishop Romuald Kamiński, has also “suspended” all the celebrations of the traditional liturgy in his diocese. He noted that there are “several parish churches” in the diocese which celebrate the Latin Mass, but that he will consult with the clergy and decide upon “the place in our diocese,” where the Old Mass could be celebrated.

His clergy have not been given permission to continue offering the Traditional Mass, but have until the end of August to apply for this permission.

Contact information for respectful communication:
Email of the diocesan press office: [email protected]

Support, at least tenuous, for the Latin Mass

Some bishops have moved to allow the current provision for the Traditional Latin Mass, which was codified at the Council of Trent by Pope St. Pius V, to continue for the time being. However, a common theme amongst all such statements is that permission is “temporary,” with more permanent guidelines and policies to be issued at a later date.

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote to urge the U.S. bishops to work with “care, patience, justice, and charity as together we foster a Eucharistic renewal in our nation.”

Diocese of Springfield, Illinois

Before alphabetically listing the archdioceses and then dioceses which have made explicit reference to the motu proprio, special mention must be made of Bishop Paprocki, in Springfield.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki, who holds multiple degrees in theology and canon law, has in fact dispensed the priests in his diocese from the motu proprio. He outlined the aspects of the decree, as well as Canon 87, §1 which states that a bishop may dispense his faithful from universal and particular laws, if he judges that such be for their spiritual good.

As such, he has allowed the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, the Canons Regular of St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), to continue offering the Mass as they are currently doing. He also granted a dispensation to the prohibition on Traditional Latin Masses being offered in parish churches, and further authorized any priest currently saying the Latin Mass to continue doing so, upon making the request as directed by the Pope.

Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia

In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Archbishop Hartmayer has made the stipulation that the Latin Masses are “not suppressed, particularly at the” church of St. Francis de Sales, which is served by the FSSP. Priests in the diocese who are not in the FSSP are required to request permission from the archbishop to continue saying the Mass. He is yet to meet with his advisors to determine the longer term future of the Traditional Mass in the archdiocese.

Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan

Archbishop Vigeron of Detroit is granting a temporary reprieve from any charge to the current provision of the Traditional Mass, though he warns that he will be issuing a policy in the near future regarding the Old Mass, following a “study” of the Pope’s document. Priests who currently celebrate the Latin Mass are permitted to continue to do so, for now.

Archdiocese of the Military

The military’s Archbishop Timothy Broglio, has issued a positive letter in which he notes that the Traditional Mass and sacraments “has been a source of immense blessing and growth.” As such he has granted permission to all priests currently saying the Mass to continue doing so, until they make the required request. He also writes that any other priests who wish to offer the Latin Mass can request to do so, while he will “study” the “implications” of the motu proprio “for the good of the Christian faithful of this global Archdiocese.”

Archdiocese of New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans’ Archbishop Gregory Aymond also supported the traditional community, and wrote to say he was going to assess the “proper pastoral implementation” of the motu proprio, but that his “first priority” was the “spiritual sustenance” of those in the diocese, especially the attendees of the Latin Mass, whose needs “will continue to be met.”

Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Archbishop Nelson Pérez echoed many of his brother bishops in stating that the current provision for the Latin Mass would continue for now in his diocese. Such permission is temporary, as is the case in many dioceses and archdioceses, as Pérez will issue further “norms” in the coming weeks, although he did not hint at what they might be.

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Archbishop Bernard Hebda wrote on July 16 to allow the current provisions for the Latin Mass to continue, while also prohibiting any new celebration of the Old Mass without his permission. While he has granted permission to say the Mass, he also asked priests currently saying it to write him for permission to continue, and Bishop Andrew Cozzens will chair a five-man “Taskforce” to determine the further of the traditional liturgy in the archdiocese.

Archdiocese of San Francisco, California

Among some of the earliest bishops to speak out in support for the Mass was San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who declared that “the Traditional Latin Mass will continue to be available here in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and provided in response to the legitimate needs and desires of the faithful.”

Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Similarly, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma wrote that he is granting “temporary permission for those priests competent in offering Mass in the Extraordinary Form to continue to do so in churches that already have an Extraordinary Form Mass on their schedule or in a private setting until further study and clarification can inform an appropriate implementation of this document.”

Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory wrote that he will “prayerfully reflect” upon the motu proprio in the “coming weeks” in order to determine the future of the Mass. For now though, he has granted the permission to priests already saying the Latin Mass to continue to do so, “until further guidance is forthcoming.”

Diocese of Arlington, Virginia

Arlington’s Bishop Burbidge stated that he is “reflecting” on the document and how to best “implement the changes.” He said, “As permitted by the motu proprio, I intend to allow Masses in the Extraordinary Form to continue in the Diocese of Arlington.” However, Burbidge didn’t say whether the Old Mass will be allowed to continue in parish churches – the Diocese of Arlington is famous for its high percentage of priests who say the Traditional Latin Mass at their parishes – or whether the faithful will be relegated to another “location,” as the motu proprio suggests bishops ought to do.

Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport’s Bishop Frank J. Caggiano wrote that “it is important” that the Old Mass is retained in the diocese. He noted that he plans to draw up norms by the end of September which both obey the motu proprio, while yet simultaneously addressing the “pastoral needs” of devotees of the Latin Mass.

Meanwhile, any pastor or priest who celebrates the Latin Mass is required to write for temporary permission, which will be given, and must explain how frequent the Mass is, how well attended, the specific date and time, and what prompted the priest to offer the Mass.

Such details are required to “compile an accurate picture of the presence and pastoral need for the celebration of Mass according to the Missal of 1962 throughout our Diocese,” stated Bishop Caggiano. The bishop went further than the prescriptions required by the Pope, requiring his priests to ask for permission to even celebrate the Latin Mass privately, not just publicly.

Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota

However, Bishop Daniel Felton of Duluth is less forthcoming, stating that the weekly Mass at St. Benedict’s, Duluth will continue, but that other parishes will have to be examined “on a case-by-case basis.” He is further banning any new celebrations of the Latin Mass.

Diocese of El Paso, Texas

According to the FSSP, Bishop Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, has told the traditional order that their community at Immaculate Conception will remain unaltered, meaning that the daily Masses should be able to continue without change.

Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana

Bishop Douglas Deshotel also penned his support for the (at least temporary) continuation of the current Latin Mass provision in the Diocese of Lafayette, noting that he needed to study the document in order to understand how to implement the changes.

Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana

In the Diocese of Lake Charles, Bishop Glen Provost issued a positive statement describing the Traditional Mass as “a blessing to many since the establishment of the Diocese, and I foresee its continuance for the pastoral care of the flock.” He also is set to issue further instructions, but leaves the current provision of the Latin Mass unchanged.

Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin

Meanwhile, Bishop Donald Hying of Madison wrote to express his “great esteem” for the traditional liturgy’s “form and its antiquity.” He granted general permission to all priests in the diocese who wished to offer the Mass, although noted he would be requiring them to ask for permission in the future, as per the dictates of Traditionis Custodes.

The current arrangement for the provision of the Latin Mass is to continue, “until further provision is made,” and effective immediately the readings at these celebrations are to be in the vernacular.

Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Bishop David Zubik has decreed that the parish of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish, Pittsburgh, will continue to offer the Traditional Mass daily, without any alterations.

Diocese of Oakland, California

So also has Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, California, who granted permission to those currently saying the Latin Mass. His own permanent implementation of the motu proprio is yet to come, but it seems he remains committed to meeting the spiritual needs of devotees of the Latin Mass.

Numerous dioceses in the U.K.

The U.K.’s Latin Mass Society has been collating the various diocesan statements emerging from the Catholic bishops in the U.K. So far, Birmingham’s Archbishop Bernard Longley, Southwark’s Archbishop John Wilson, have given permission for the Mass to continue as normal for now. The Dioceses of Arundel and Brighton, Middlesborough, Hexam and Newcastle, and Salford have publicly stated the Mass situation would continue as normal for now also.

Una Voce, FSSP, SSPX respond

In light of the papal attack on the Old Mass, the Fœderatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV or “Una Voce”), the “worldwide organization of lay faithful attached to the celebration of the Mass according to the Editio Typica 1962 of the Roman Missal,” released a statement noting that “the characterization of Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass, and the harsh new restrictions on it, sadden us greatly.”

“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,” wrote the FIUV.

Meanwhile, the FSSP also issued a statement, declaring that “it is too early to tell” what the motu proprio would mean for the order, but that its priests “remain committed to serving the faithful attending our apostolates in accordance with our Constitutions and charism as we have done since our founding.”

“We must strive to see this Cross as a means of our sanctification, and to remember that God will never abandon His Church,” added the FSSP.

The Priestly Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), the traditional society founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970, have yet to release their promised statement regarding the papal document, but have given some initial thoughts on the text. The group described the document as promoting “the extinction of those who are attached to the immemorial rite of the Holy Mass.”


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