Traditionis custodes: Separate But Unequal

Art. 3. The bishop of the diocese in which until now there exist one or more groups that celebrate according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970:
§ 2. is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharistic celebration (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes);

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. JTH says:

    Some have pointed out numerous loopholes in this motu proprio.

    Father Z, what do you think?

  2. acardnal says:

    “. . . not however in the parochial churches . . .”

    This is the part that really bothers me! I hope some Canon lawyers write some dubia to the Vatican. How can Catholics in good standing be prohibited from celebrating a valid and legitimate Mass in a parochial church!?

  3. ex seaxe says:

    ” The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.” – Author: Hilaire Belloc

  4. CasaSanBruno says:

    So,….. we put up tents in church parking lots? VFW halls? What does that mean?

  5. Keith.R says:

    With the bar on any new groups, can existing groups move? Something like NLF franchises, where the cap on new groups leads to existing franchises to be shifted to areas with higher demand? “This isn’t a new group, it’s an old group that’s gone to Texas…”

  6. Mike says:

    Attended a beautiful TLM in a parish in the DC area today. Lots of devout ladies in mantillas. Such a threat to unity!

  7. An appropriate sad analogy.
    Well gee Father. If the intent is to honor “unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite” [Article 1], the purpose NOW is to unite all expressions into one Mass. Too bad its not the Mass of the Ages.

    Therefore the “rotten” Traditions of our Holy Church must be marginalized into extinction. They are using the “lex orandi” against the Church’s own people. So Totalitarian. Twisting the laws to use against the very people the laws are supposed to protect.

  8. Ariseyedead says:

    Pope Francis, tear down that wall!

  9. Fr Jackson says:

    This analogy seems apt. Pope Francis seems to want a ghettoized TLM.

    I’ve been struggling to find a coherent explanation for all the various actions that Pope Francis has taken towards TLM groups. For example, not that long ago (2015), Pope Francis was offering the SSPX a Personal Prelature with no condition besides signing the Creed. Then in 2016 he gave the SSPX jurisdiction for confessions. Then in 2017 he created a special provision that forced bishops to cooperate in recognizing SSPX marriages. How did we go from all that to this vengeful Traditionis Custodes? For me, this is a puzzle.

    I suppose one explanation would be to say that Pope Francis had a change of heart. (There’s the rumor, for example, that someone showed him some traddy websites and that this soured his attitude towards traddies.)

    Personally, I don’t find that we can adequately explain everything just by suggesting that Pope Francis had a big change of heart. I think we have to go deeper. Perhaps the explanation is that Pope Francis wants to ghettoize the TLM. And because the modus operandi of the SSPX is self-ghettoizing, that’s why Pope Francis is willing to let it operate and even grow : it will pull the traddies out of the mainstream and isolate them where they are not a threat. That’s my theory. Pope Francis knows that Traditionis Custodes will make the SSPX grow, but that’s a price he’s willing to pay for the certain type of “unity” he wants in the mainstream.
    So, yes, I think it’s very apt to evoke ghettoizing analogies.

  10. oldrover says:

    LOL thanks to our pastor and bishop, our TLM water fountain remained intact today. :)

  11. suzannaleigh says:

    I keep trying to figure out where a TLM is supposed to go if the bishop won’t grant a dispensation from the motu proprio. Could this mean people will start having Masses said in their private homes?

  12. Legisperitus says:

    “Haurietis aquas in gaudio de fontibus Salvatoris”?

  13. Charivari Rob says:

    suzannaleigh, as I read it (which could easily be wrong), I don’t see a provision for bishops to grant a ‘dispensation’ from the “not in parochial churches” part. The tone of the majority of the bishop statements I have read or heard about this weekend has been “permitting established Masses to continue place/day/time they have been doing” for the time being while the bishop(s) figure out how to implement it.
    My guess at what it means…
    – regular diocesan-staffed parishes will not have regularly scheduled or frequent EF Mass
    – parishes operated for dioceses by orders/groups with particular EF identity, TO BE DETERMINED
    – Bishops will have to establish places for it.
    — establish fixed locations in oratories/chapels/shrines, otherwise-closed church buildings that are not used for any parish purpose, and/or
    — establish a circuit of infrequent locations around the diocese

    I find myself wondering how the implementation will relate to other sacraments and religious ed/preparation. The MP doesn’t seem to address that, but… For example, if the result is to treat EF Mass as a ‘devotional practice’ offered at a “destination” that is not a parish (or infrequent/floating locations) and therefore there won’t be a religious ed program there or marriage prep or sacramental records and so people need to register/belong to a “regular” parish to do those things there, etc………

  14. johnwmstevens says:

    I read the document twice. I really don’t understand it.
    If the TLM can’t be celebrated in a parochial church, where can it be celebrated?
    Solely in a Cathedral or Basilica? Only in a private home? In the dressing room at Macy’s?
    What happens to those parishes where the TLM is already being said, especially those parishes that only celebrate the TLM?
    This document is, frankly, a real mess, but if history is any guide the Holy Father will refuse to answer questions. This is especially disappointing for a convert who, in part, was drawn to the Church due to the clarity and brilliance of her writings. I expect better of Holy Mother Church than this.
    Are we bound to obey that which we do not understand?

  15. PennCatholic says:

    Just to clear up some terms: “parochial church” refers to the main church within a parish. There are many parishes that have two churches – only one of those is the “parochial church.” The irony with the Motu Proprio is that it forbids the erection of personal parishes, but it creates a scenario in which this secondary church will be, de facto, a personal parish.

  16. Lynn Diane says:

    My Oakland parish, St. Margaret Mary, shares its church with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Bishop Barber of the Diocese of Oakland has granted the Institute permission to continue this arrangement, Nothing in our diocese will change. The Institute continues to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass daily in our church. The Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has also said that the extraordinary form of the Mass will continue to be offered in the archdiocese in the parish churches where it is already being celebrated. No change there either.

  17. jflare29 says:

    Fr Jackson,
    I’m afraid the situation is pretty easy to understand on the whole.
    Since 1988’s consecrations, the SSPX has been the largest group of traditional priests, yet also that with the most debatable communion with Rome. Such has been the case for going on 33 years and parts of 3 papacies. I think Francis has finally thrown up his hands, said “Enough!”.
    If he doesn’t want to expel anyone, …we still have need to recognize only one leader of one Barque of Peter.

    I expect Francis considers that if you don’t have a legitimate TLM available, …you’ll be expected to find your most workable local parish in the Novus Ordo.

    Charivari Rob,
    If I understand correctly, Francis has essentially required that any new offerings of the TLM will need not only the local bishop’s approval, but also that of Rome.

    If your parish situation is anything like mine, …your local diocese will be studying the matter. Our local FSSP pastor commented during Mass that we still have permission. …For now.
    It will be…irritating..if that doesn’t remain. I recently attended Mass at cathedral because I’d missed Mass earlier in the day. …I was struck by how it’s very sad that we have a rather beautiful cathedral; stained glass, statues, acoustics for marvelous organ and choral music. Yet Mass is…not.
    Very sad.

  18. kurtmasur says:

    In the case of regular diocesan parishes with a strong TLM community, how about the bishop changing the canonical status of those parishes to something other than a parish? Turn it into a shrine maybe? I could envision this as a clever workaround solution which would enable the present TLM communities to remain where they are without having to move.

    Or, on the other hand, just carry-on as normal in the regular parish without any changes whatsoever?

    Sometimes I wonder if the purpose of this Motu Propio is merely to pay lip service to those bishops who had been pressuring Francis all along to crack down on us. Perhaps Francis didn’t want to look weak in front of them, and so he just issued the document just so that they could shut up, without a real intention to actually go after us in reality, even if we ignore this document, even if it produced collateral damage here or there. Only time will tell.

  19. Fr Jackson, Yes, I see what you see. The corralling of TLMers into a controllable group, placated and managed. Yet Father Z’s cynical analogy isn’t quite the harsher Totalitarian-style the Vatican usurpers have in mind.

  20. Mike says:

    I’ve read I think elsewhere that the place where a TLM is celebrated is a “disciplinary measure” and therefore subject to the ordinary to decide as he sees fit–even if it (the directive) comes from Rome.

  21. acardnal says:

    Yes to what Fr. Jackson wrote.

  22. donato2 says:

    Might there be opportunity to make the corralling directive backfire such that it results in enhancing the TLM within at least some dioceses? If a diocese were to give a decently large and nice chapel to the TLM adherents, might that chapel then become a more highly visible focal point for the TLM? Might it then attract newcomers within the diocese — could it become the place for everyone to go who is fed up with shennigans at their new Mass parish? The motu proprio does not after all ban people who have not previously attended the TLM to try it out to see what it is that so frightens the modernists….

  23. GHP says:

    Tina says: The corralling of TLMers into a controllable group, placated and managed.

    Ahhhhh …….. “The Reservation.”

    Here, the “belligerent tribe” who use this Holy Rite is to be confined; the old way of life is parsimoniously permitted, but curtailed; monthly rations “graciously” provided; and, be prepared to send the children off to “Residential Schools” where the Latin language is proscribed. The intended result of reservations and residential schools is to change the Traditionalist into a Vatican II person; Reeducation Camps, if you will. Equal acceptance by the conquering society never materializes … we on the “Rez” shall become poorer, less favored, under-used, and almost erased to be but a footnote in a new historical textbook.

    Leaving the Rez is viewed as going off on the “war path” when actually it is but to live one’s previous lifestyle. Be prepared to be chased down and returned to the Rez. There, we’ll have our hair shorn (TLM), feathers taken away (traditional vestments), and forced to sing songs without meaning.


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