In Traditionis Custodes(Guardians of the Tradition), the motu proprio that sets out provisions for curtailing the availability of the Mass based on the 1962 Missal promulgated by Pope St. John XXIII (here referred to as the traditional Latin Mass), Pope Francis states that his decisions are based on consultations with bishops worldwide (the results of which have never been made public).
Thanks be to God, most of the U.S. bishops who have issued a statement about the motu proprio have granted permission for the status quo to continue as they study the issue. I hope their study primarily involves hearing from the priests who host a traditional Latin Mass at their parishes. What the bishops learn, I believe, will convince them that the traditional Latin Mass is making an enormous contribution to the faith of their flock and the strength of the parish and, thus, should continue.
Ever since Pope Benedict XVI announced in Summorum Pontificum that the traditional Latin Mass had never been abrogated and can never be abrogated and stated that priests who are approached by groups of the faithful who want it may offer it without seeking permission from the bishop, there has been an amazing renaissance of the traditional Latin Mass.
Orders such as the Institute of Christ the King the Sovereign Priest that exist to offer and promote it have been burgeoning at the seams; the parish in Detroit keeps adding more Masses to accommodate those who wish to attend. Parishes that offer the traditional Latin Mass have found that young families flock to the Mass, contribute generously to the parish, and become powerful forces for spreading the Gospel.
A wonderful “side effect” of the increased presence of the traditional Latin Mass is that those who aren’t comfortable with Latin but who crave the reverence so manifest in what Summorum Pontificum refers to as the extraordinary form have worked with their pastor to bring elements of it (never meant to be removed from the Mass) into the ordinary form, also called the Novus Ordo Missae — such as the priest saying the Mass ad orientem (facing east); putting in or utilizing existent Communion rails where parishioners receive the Eucharist on the tongue; using incense, bells and well-trained altar boys; and even introducing some Latin into the Mass. Those who attend such Masses find them to be extremely beautiful and having much the same impact as the extraordinary form. These Masses, in fact, resemble the traditional Latin Mass more than many Masses in the ordinary form resemble each other!
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