The Motu proprio TRADITIONIS CUSTODES” On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970″ was issued today by Pope Francis that modifies in many ways and greatly restricts in others the norms regulating the use of the 1962 missal granted 14 years ago by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, as the “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.” The motu was accompanied by a letter to the world’s bishops in which he explains the reasons behind his decision.

The celebration of the TLM, Traditional Latin Mass, was called by Pope Benedict the “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.”

To understand some of the changes, it is important to read Benedict XVI’s 2007 Apostolic Letter Given Motu Proprio SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM On The Use Of The Roman Liturgy Prior To The Reform Of 1970.

The Pope emeritus wrote: “Given the continued requests of these members of the faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and having listened to the views expressed by the Cardinals present at the Consistory of 23 March 2006, upon mature consideration, having invoked the Holy Spirit and with trust in God’s help, by this Apostolic Letter we decree the following:

“Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.

“It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy. The conditions for the use of this Missal laid down by the previous documents Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei are now replaced as follows: TO CONTINUE: https://www.vatican.va/…/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio…

The two documents named in the above paragraph are from St. John Paul.

The conditions set out by Benedict XVI in 2007 are easy to read and succinctly written. When you read these, you will understand the changes in today’s motu proprio.

One of the things that prompted Benedict to write this document was the growing love, in many places a yearning, for what is known as the TLM. What was really notable was that very often the love and appreciation for this rite was growing not among those who grew up with it in the 1960s and earlier but among the young generations who saw it beauty and reverence. So it was not a nostalgic look back for many. It was the desire for a Eucharistic celebration that was marked by beauty, reverence and awe.

Let’s see what happens after today……Oremus!