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Andrew WadsworthSacred Liturgy Conference / YouTube

July 26, 2021, (LifeSiteNews) — The priest responsible for the English translation of the Mass characterized Pope Francis’ new restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass as “an atomic bomb [that] fell on the Church” on July 16, when the Pope issued his controversial document.

Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, a priest of the Oratorian community at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Washington, D.C., is the executive director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), which is charged with creating the official English translations of the Church’s liturgical books.

On his blog, Wadsworth described his “visceral reaction” to the “wound” inflicted on the Church by Pope Francis’ motu proprio Traditionis Custodes.

“A priest is never more so than when he stands at the altar and offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,” he wrote, “and for the past thirty-one years since my ordination that experience for me has been overwhelmingly enlightened by the Church’s ancient liturgical forms.”

Wadsworth goes on to say that the Pope’s restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass are “crass and cruel.”

Apart from the impact of the Traditional Mass on Wadsworth’s own priesthood, the ancient liturgy, he said, has been the source of his academic and scholarly contributions.

A former professor of Ecclesiastical Latin and New Testament Greek at the Westminster Diocesan Seminary, the monsignor holds advanced degrees in music, Italian, and theology. Wadsworth has published research on Dante, Marian Studies, and the history of liturgical translations since the Second Vatican Council.

The monsignor has traveled extensively, offering seminars for priests on the method of celebrating both the old and new liturgies, especially with a view to liturgical music.

“Without the formation and continual sustenance of the older forms of the liturgy,” Wadsworth said, he would not have been able to accomplish his research for the Church.

Wadsworth reflected on the strangeness of the sudden disappearance of the permission for the free celebration of the ancient liturgy, widely granted by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, and so crucial for his formation and work as well as that of many other priests.

“Suddenly, all this is called into question, and I find myself somewhat like a person under a death sentence, awaiting news of when [the Pope’s] sentence will be carried out … for what former legislation had established as an undisputed right.”

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LifeSiteNews will hand-deliver this petition to the Holy See, recording the moment traditional Catholics from around the world stood up for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Pope Francis has issued a new decree, "Traditiones Custodes," severely restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition with other Catholics, and ask the Pope to reconsider this new and divisive Motu Proprio.

Pope Francis' decree clamps down hard on the TLM. In it, he effectively does away with Pope Benedict's protection of it, handing bishops in every diocese the right to suppress it, while demanding new priests get permission from their bishop and the Vatican to offer the Mass of the Ages. 

As Catholics who value Tradition and know the place of the Magisterium in safeguarding the Deposit of Faith, it is time to speak up and have our voices heard

Francis has decried rigidity and intolerance for years, but now is showing intolerance and rigidity himself by forcing his very narrow understanding of liturgy on one of the true sources of good fruit in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

Our Lord said that "a bad tree cannot bear good fruit", and yet we see more and more souls drawn to Christ through the TLM, with marriages dedicated to God and open to many children, and vocations also abounding in traditional seminaries, orders and priestly societies.

Indeed, 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. *Read below how Benedict XVI decried attacks against the TLM and its adherents.

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

Souls are now at stake with this Motu Proprio, as some will drift away from the Deposit of Faith in disillusionment, while others that are far from God will never be touched by the profound beauty and reverence found in the Traditional Latin Mass. 

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to Pope Francis, urging him to reconsider his decision, not least for the good of souls and the glory of God, and making sure as many cardinals support the TLM as possible. 

Click "Show Petition Text" on the right to read the letter to Pope Francis.

Finally, please pray, fast and do penance for the salvation of souls, including that of our shepherds, during this turbulent time in Church history.


'BREAKING: Pope Francis abrogates Pope Benedict’s universal permission for Old Mass' -

'ANALYSIS: Pope restricts ‘divisive’ Traditional Latin Mass, says 52-yr-old Novus Ordo is ‘unique expression’ of Church’s liturgy' -

* Pope Benedict XVI (Spirit of the Liturgy, 2000):

"For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 [the older Latin Mass] should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her at present if things are that way?"

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The monsignor concluded with a plea to the faithful, asking the laity to pray for himself and other priests who wish to continue celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass, but are now subject to the decisions of their bishops and the Pope.

“Please pray for me, and the many like me, whose continuation in the active ministry of the priesthood has now been rendered contingent upon these decisions. We wish to continue to serve the Church we love, nourished and sustained by that liturgy which of its nature must be ever old, ever new.”

Other priests like Wadsworth, including Msgr. Charles Pope, as well as bishops like Athanasius Schneider, have similarly voiced their pain over Traditionis Custodes. The Society of St. Pius X also released a strong statement in response to the new motu proprio.

Even a staunch supporter of the post-Vatican II liturgy like papal biographer George Weigel called Francis’ act “theologically incoherent, pastorally divisive, unnecessary, cruel — and a sorry example of the liberal bullying that has become all too familiar in Rome recently.”


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