Only months after a document issued by Pope Benedict XVI provided universal permission to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, An Italian diocese has forbidden its priests to celebrate any Latin Masses in the old rite.
Monsignor Andrea Giusto, the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Savona-Noli in the Liguria region of northwest Italy, issued the order. Currently, the see of Savona-Noli is vacant pending the appointment of a bishop.
In the absence of an appointed bishop, Monsignor Giusto said there is insufficient clarity about the licit celebration of the Tridentine Mass.
"I firmly ask the priests of the diocese not to give permission to groups that ask for the celebration and to ensure that in no church in the diocesan territory Masses according to the pre-Conciliar rite are celebrated," Monsignor Giusto said.
The monsignor said a stable group of worshippers and their active participation were conditions for the proper celebration of the old rite. He claimed a solid liturgical formation and knowledge of Latin were needed, and condemns Masses organized 'by invitation,' "almost as if they were a show or a private event."
According to the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, the order was prompted by a Tridentine Latin Mass that was celebrated in an oratory neighboring the church of the Genoese Una Voce Association, a group that favors the traditional Mass.
The parish priest, Father Piero Giacosa, initially did not oppose the Mass but later criticized it. "The Latin Mass was a concession by the Pope, it is supposed to unite, it cannot become a way to do proselytisms or to please the nostalgics, mostly [from] outside the Parish," he said.
Gianno Romollotti, a man present for the Mass, described the event: "I saw people of a certain age, moved. There were also young men, new faces. It was not hard to follow the Mass, in the booklet there was an Italian translation. The criticisms? It is jealousy, we will repeat it on December 8."