(LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis plans to continue his official crackdown on the traditional Latin Mass, according to a new letter published by Inside the Vatican that was reportedly written by a traditional priest.
The letter, published Wednesday by Inside the Vatican magazine’s founder and editor, Robert Moynihan, alleges that Francis, who already began his crackdown on the traditional Mass and sacraments in his 2021 motu proprio Traditiones Custodes (TC), is planning to release another document in “April or May,” further clamping down on the Old Rite.
According to the letter, whose author is only identified as a “priest who belongs to one of the traditional orders,” this forthcoming decree by Francis will not only contain a “further suppression of the TLM,” but will also “carry the ‘weight’ of an Apostolic Exhortation” instead of a motu proprio “to match” the Apostolic Exhortation Pope Paul VI used when “formally establishing the New Rite.”
The author of the letter also states that “an archbishop in the States” has already “seen this document about which rumors abound,” and “confirmed to a priest friend of mine” that it does indeed contain additional restrictions on the traditional expression of faith.
According to the letter, the new decree will make “an exception for religious orders who solely celebrate privately (no parish churches), and some possible further clarifications for the FSP (Fraternity of St. Peter),” but nonetheless will “effectively, take away from the bishops, any further say or exceptions in the matter.”
“It was ‘found necessary’ to issue this second letter, because of the lack of implementation of Pope Francis’ motu proprio [TC] by a good number of bishops around the world,” added the author of the letter.
Addressing what impact this potentially forthcoming document may have, the letter states: “If issued, I believe, it will push the TLM [Traditional Latin Mass] ‘underground’ and further add to the ranks of the [St.] Pius X Society (which has already grown by three times since the issuance of the motu proprio [TC] by Pope Francis).”
“This will not end well,” the anonymous priest added, before telling Moynihan, “If I learn of any further information on all of this, I will be sure to send you an update.”
As reported by LifeSiteNews, Francis first issued his restrictions against the traditional Mass in TC on July 16, 2021.
The decision, which devastated many faithful Catholics attached to the Old Mass, also provided a shock to many as it was a complete reversal of the 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, issued by his predecessor, the now-late Pope Benedict XVI.
Since TC was issued, bishops in many dioceses in America and abroad have shut down longstanding traditional Mass communities within their jurisdictions, leaving many Catholics feeling betrayed by the hierarchy.
Despite this, however, there does remain a large contingent of clergymen, including high-ranking prelates like Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who continue to champion fidelity to the traditional liturgy.