A Traditional Latin Mass. / Andrew Gardner via Wikimedia (CC BY 4.0).
Rome Newsroom, Feb 21, 2023 / 07:07 am (CNA).
The head of the Vatican’s liturgy office said Tuesday that dispensations from two of the rules in Traditionis custodes can only be granted by the Vatican, not by the diocesan bishop.
The Feb. 21 rescript (a form of official clarification in response to a question or request) from Cardinal Arthur Roche said Pope Francis had confirmed that a dispensation to use or erect a parish church for the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in a diocese is “reserved in a special way to the Apostolic See.”
Permission for a priest ordained after July 2021 to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass can also only be granted by the Vatican, the document states.
The rescript says that Roche’s office, the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, exercises the authority of the Holy See to uphold or dispense from these two obligations.
“Should a diocesan bishop have granted dispensations in the two cases mentioned above he is obliged to inform the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments which will evaluate the individual cases,” Roche said.
Rumors of new restrictions against the Traditional Latin Mass have circulated for weeks. Pope Francis published the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, which restricted the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, in July 2021.
In December 2021, the Vatican issued an explanatory note and “responsa ad dubia” (“answers to doubts”), responding to questions about some of the legal provisions of Traditionis custodes and further restricting its celebration.