The Vatican has re-emphasized the legitimacy and necessity of restricting the traditional Latin Mass, saying it is inevitable for the integrity of the Catholic Church.
The Pontifical Congregation for the Religious and Sacraments, which oversees the work of the Catholic Eucharist and liturgy, has published a guide to Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio (a papal document dealing with discipline and administrative issues within the Church), which contains restrictions on traditional Latin Masses.
This was at the request of some bishops to clarify the content of their bulls.
The handbook is in the form of a ‘Q&A’ that answers 11 questions related to traditional Mass restrictions.
Among them, Reuters reported that traditional Masses should not be celebrated for various sacraments such as Confirmation.
The papal bull, released in July, made it mandatory to obtain permission from the bishop to hold traditional Masses and banned the establishment of exclusive religious groups related to Latin Masses.
Traditional Masses, which have been held since 1570, differ from modern Masses, according to the way in which the priest presides in Latin with his back from the believer.
Mass will be centered on the priest, and the general faithful must remain strictly silent.
With the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which introduced the current mass method, traditional Masses were only possible with the special permission of the Bishop.
After that, Pope Benedict XVI abolished these restrictions and allowed traditional Masses to be held freely through a bull on his own in 2007.
Many analyzes say that this is due to the judgment that the conflict within the church over the method of Mass has reached an unacceptable situation.
The general view of the religious circles is that a message was also issued to warn the minority of conservative clergy who adhere to the traditional Mass and reject the mass-friendly method of mass, warning that they will not tolerate acts that undermine the unity of the church.
In a separate letter explaining the background of the decision at the time, the Pope also noted that “the good will and tolerance of Benedict XVI is being abused to divide the Church.”
This guidebook of the Ministry of the Holy Sacraments is also drawing attention because it came amid constant criticism from the conservative Catholic community for restricting traditional Masses.
Archbishop Arthur Rossi, Minister of the Congregation for the Congregation for the Congregation for the Church of God and the Sacraments, said in his foreword that “the liturgy itself is often used ideologically” and that “the futile debates that only lead to division must be stopped now.”
Archbishop Rossi also pointed out that the traditional Mass should not be used to deny the validity and legitimacy of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
The Conservative Catholic Church is once again furious with this Vatican Manual.
Joseph Shaw, president of the Latin Mass Society, which operates in England and Wales, has criticized restrictions on traditional Masses as having very negative consequences for the church as a whole, including turning some believers into extremism.
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