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VATICAN CITY, June 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican has moved to ban Latin, the traditional language of the Catholic Church, from the celebration of most Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The traditional blog broke the news and posted a picture of a note sent by Msgr. Franco Camaldo, who wrote on behalf of the Cardinal Archpriest of the Vatican, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, O.F.M., who was appointed by Pope Francis earlier this year.

Camaldo wrote that the new rules coming into force are the result of the June 9 Vatican Chapter meeting and were based on what was “proposed” at the meeting, combined with “mature reflection.”

As of June 29, wrote Camaldo, the Eucharistic celebrations would follow the procedure already in use in “papal celebrations.” That is to say Mass would be celebrated only in “Italian,” with the readings and prayers of the faithful permitted to be said in “various modern languages.”

Latin would only be permitted in the “fixed parts” of the Mass, the “Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Pater and Agnus.”

The new rules will apply to the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours, as well, as the note states that such recitation “may also be celebrated in Italian,” although keeping the Gregorian melody. Some Latin will be retained, but only for the “Hymn, Antiphon, Benedictus, Magnificat and Pater.”

This change will not be as immediate as the changes seen in the Mass, and will instead occur in the “near future,” since time is needed to prepare the necessary “booklets.”

Msgr. Camaldo gave a further directive concerning the arrangements of the daily Mass in the Vatican, stating that Chapter members were to concelebrate Mass at 7:30 in the morning, which would be followed by communal recitation of the office of Lauds. Chapter members could also concelebrate at 5 p.m.

No provision for private Masses was made for members of the Chapter.

Increased antagonism toward Latin

The latest rules come on the back of the spring directives regarding private Masses and Traditional Latin Masses in the Vatican. In a March 12 letter, private Masses were abruptly “canceled,” Masses limited to concelebration at set altars between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m., and celebration of the Extraordinary Form (or Latin Mass) was limited to a small altar in the crypt, also in the hours of 7 to 9 a.m.

Cardinal Gambetti issued his own note on June 22 in an attempt to clarify the earlier note, which had not born his signature. His tone suggested slightly more freedom than the March 12 letter, as he noted priests would be allowed to offer Mass at different altars than the ones prescribed, on the occasion of a saint’s feast if his remains are kept in the Basilica.

Requests for private Masses would be assessed on a “case-by-case basis,” wrote Gambetti. However, he warned against such permissions becoming the norm, saying that care must be taken to “ensure that what is exceptional does not become ordinary, distorting the intentions and meaning of the Magisterium.”

Gambetti also announced that “everything possible must be done to fulfill the wishes of the faithful and priests as laid down in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum,” although he did not elaborate any further on what such provision would look like in practice.

The Second Vatican Council’s document on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, had stipulated in paragraph 36: “Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.”

Paragraph 56 stated that “steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.”

The document also outlines the prescription for use of Latin in the Divine Office: “In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office.” Sacrosanctum Concilium only granted “individual cases” for the recitation of the Office in the vernacular, in instances where poor mastery of Latin constituted a “grave obstacle to their praying the office properly.”

Gambetti himself just last week had written about the “importance of understanding the language in the liturgy” for pilgrims to the Vatican. Some statistics do not even place Italian inside the 15 most commonly spoken languages in the world.

Increased rumors of prohibition of Traditional Latin Mass

The restriction on Latin inside the Vatican comes in tandem with a report by Paix Liturgique, according to which Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State for the Vatican, spoke to a group of cardinals about the Extraordinary Form, saying, “We must put an end to this Mass forever!” The news outlet did not provide further details about the time or setting of the comments.

Furthermore, Paix Liturgique also wrote that Archbishop Arthur Roche, the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) and an opponent of the Traditional Mass, apparently laughingly spoke to English-speaking seminary directors in Rome, and members of the Curia: “Summorum Pontificum is practically dead! We’re going to give the power back to the bishops on this, but especially not to the conservative bishops.”

Pope Francis has reportedly finished the third draft of a document that would restrict the use of what is known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.