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VATICAN CITY, July 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has today issued a new Motu Proprio restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, and declaring that the liturgy of Paul VI, or the Novus Ordo, is the “unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

The document, entitled “Traditionis Custodes,” issues several restrictions on the celebration of the Latin Mass, with the opening point containing a direct contradiction of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s 2007 document Summorum Pontificum. Francis now declares that while Benedict had described an “ordinary” and an “extraordinary” form of the Roman Rite, now there is only one – the Novus Ordo.

“The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

Amongst the new restrictions, the Pope affords new power to diocesan bishops, effectively giving them the ability to stamp out centers where the Traditional Mass is being offered.

Describing Latin Mass attendees with the peculiar phrase, “these groups of the faithful,” Francis orders bishops to ensure that no further groups are allowed to grow in dioceses. The local bishops are to additionally decide “whether or not to retain” the parishes which are currently offering the Traditional Mass.

The sting is in the final directive in the Pope’s text, in which he appears to abrogate Summorum Pontificum, with the words: “Previous norms, instructions, permissions, and customs that do not conform to the provisions of the present Motu Proprio are abrogated.”

The text has prompted widespread comment among Catholics worldwide. Popular Catholic commentator Deacon Nick Donnelly has described it as “The Wither and Die Motu proprio.”

This story is developing. LifeSiteNews will have a full story and analysis of the Motu Proprio shortly.