As diocesan bishops consider how to implement Pope Francis’ motu proprio on the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, the Archbishop of San Franciso has said it will continue to be available in his local Church.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told CNA July 16 that “The Mass is a miracle in any form: Christ comes to us in the flesh under the appearance of Bread and Wine. Unity under Christ is what matters. Therefore the Traditional Latin Mass will continue to be available here in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and provided in response to the legitimate needs and desires of the faithful.”

It seems that Traditional Latin Masses in dioceses throughout the United States are largely set to continue as scheduled, while bishops prepare responses to Traditionis custodes.

The motu proprio states that it is each bishop’s “exclusive competence” to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese.

It also sets out the responsibilities of bishops whose dioceses already have one or more groups that offer Mass in the extraordinary form, mandating that bishops determine that these groups do not deny the validity of Vatican II and the Magisterium.

Bishops are instructed 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).”

Archbishop Cordileone’s sentiment matched that of other bishops. 

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany wrote that “With respect to the celebration of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reforms of 1970, I wish to reiterate the great pastoral and spiritual good that has been experienced by those who have been and who are engaged in this form of the Liturgy. I would also like to acknowledge the many valuable contributions made to the life of the Church through such celebrations.”

He added that he, along with the other bishops, were consulted last year about the Traditional Latin Mass: “This was duly completed and dispatched, although, to the best of my knowledge, no summary of the various responses of the Bishops has been provided to date. My response gave details of the current provisions and experiences within the Diocese; as well as other points, such as those mentioned in the paragraph above.”

More in US

The Diocese of Arlington told CNA that all parishes that had planned on offering Masses in the Extraordinary Form would be able to do so. 

“Bishop Burbidge has read the motu proprio regarding the 1962 Missal,” said a statement from Billy Atwell, chief communications officer for the Diocese of Arlington.  

“He will review it in greater detail and offer further guidance to our priests in the near future. Parishes currently scheduled to offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form this weekend have received permission to do so.”

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence called the motu proprio “both a challenge and an opportunity.” 

“In the Providence Diocese we will study it and implement it together, peacefully and prayerfully. But above all, we will affirm our love for the Holy Mass, and our unity in Christ and his Holy Church,” he said. 

At New Liturgical Movement, Gregory DiPippo noted that the motu proprio was released on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and that “when the mendicant orders like the Carmelites emerged in the 13th century, as part of the on-going reform movement within the Church, they were attacked on various grounds by representatives of the more established ecclesiastical institutions, who did not like to have their own decadence and complacency challenged by the evangelical vitality of the new movement. Semper idem.”

“If you love the Church and the traditional liturgy, take up a Marian devotion, if you don’t already have one, and make it your intention to ask the Virgin’s intercession for the untying of this knot of gross injustice. Likewise, let us continually invoke the intercession of St Joseph, whom we honor with the title Patron of the Universal Church, which stands in the direst need of his mighty protection, and of St Pius V, whose Missal remains the most authentic expression of the Roman Church’s lex orandi."

(Story continues below)