In another defining moment of his papacy, Pope Francis has decided to discontinue the experiment of having two forms of the Roman Rite running in tandem
The decision by Pope Francis to tightly restrict the use of the Old Rite was another one of his surprises. Although speculation had been rife for weeks that he was preparing an intervention, no one had been expecting a ruling that would so decisively overturn the provisions offered to traditionalists by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Two days after the 84-year-old Pope was released from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital following surgery to remove part of his colon, he ordered the publication of Traditionis Custodes (“Guardians of the Tradition”), a ruling that reimposes the restrictions on the Tridentine liturgy which had been in place for much of the post-Vatican II period. It makes clear that individual bishops must give permissions for priests to celebrate traditional Latin Masses; that these liturgies should not be in parish churches; and that no new parishes specially dedicated to the older liturgy can be established. Supporters of the Old Rite have reacted with shock, sadness and anger, with many taking to social media platforms to make their displeasure known.