Pope Francis Tightens the Screw on the Latin Mass: Canon Law on “Good of Souls” No Longer Applies

Pope Francis Tightens the Screw on the Latin Mass: Canon Law on “Good of Souls” No Longer Applies

From the Latin Mass Society & Una Voce International (the FIUV) 

On Tuesday 21st February the Holy See Press Office published a Rescript confirming, for the Dicastery for Divine Worship, certain legal points in relation to the interpretation of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes.

The key point is that from now on permission for the use of a parish church for celebrations of the 1962 Missal may only be granted by the Dicastery. The Rescript makes reference to Canon 87.1 which states that bishops may lift the obligations of universal law for the good of souls in their diocese: this no longer applies, as the matter is ‘reserved to the Holy See’.

The effect of this ruling will depend on the degree to which current provision for the celebration of the 1962 Missal depends on the use of parish churches in a particular locality; the willingness of bishops to seek permission from the Dicastery for celebrations in such churches to continue; and the response of the Dicastery to these requests.

If bishops all over the world seek permission for all the celebrations of the 1962 Mass taking place in parish churches in their dioceses, the Dicastery will be faced with many hundreds of cases to consider, raising the question of the practicability of them discharging their role.

The Latin Mass Society and the FIUV would like to express its dismay that authority over a matter of such pastoral sensitivity has been centralised in this way.

Serious pastoral harm will follow if permission is not granted where alternative places of worship are not readily available for the use of communities attached to the older form of the Mass.

Instead of integrating them into parish life, the restriction on the use of parish churches will marginalise and push to the peripheries faithful Catholics who wish only to worship, in communion with their bishops, with a form of the liturgy permitted by the Church. This desire was described as a ‘rightful aspiration’ by Pope John Paul II, and this liturgy was described as representing ‘riches’ by Pope Benedict XVI.

We call upon all Catholics of good will to offer prayer and penances this Lent for the resolution of this issue and the liberty of the ancient Latin Mass.

Practical points

The Rescript has no automatic effect: previously arranged celebrations will take place unless priests and faithful are otherwise notified by the bishop of the diocese. The Rescript clarifies or modifies the meaning of Traditionis Custodes, which is addressed to bishops, and it is bishops who have the task of implementing it.

It will be licit for celebrations to continue while requests are prepared and processed.

The Rescript will not affect celebrations in places of worship not formally categorised as ‘parish churches’. See below for a full explanation.

Further explanation

The Rescript contains two other points: the reservation to the Holy See of permission for the erection of new personal parishes, and permission for priests ordained after the publication of Traditionis Custodes (17th July 2021) to celebrate the 1962 Missal. These simply confirm the acknowledged meaning of the original legislation.

By contrast, it has been widely pointed out that bishops have the right under Canon 87.1 to lift the obligations of universal law, including on the celebration of the older Mass in parish churches, unless the matter is explicitly reserved to the Holy See, and this has clearly caused some dissatisfaction at the Dicastery.

Parish churches are the principal church of a geographical parish: many parishes contain more than one place of worship, and many do not. Other places of worship include ‘chapels of ease’ (known by various names in different countries), which are secondary churches in a parish served by the clergy of the parish. They also include churches and chapels attached to religious communities and private houses; churches designated as shrines; and churches dedicated to serving a particular group not identified by reference to the geographical boundaries of a parish, i.e. personal parishes and chaplaincies (including ethnic chaplaincies).

The status of a church as a parish church is a matter for the bishop to determine (in accordance with set procedures) in establishing, abolishing, or merging parishes.

Some dioceses have many non-parish churches; others, very few. In some countries there are no parish churches, because the parish structure has not been established. In some cases Cathedrals are parish churches, and in some cases they are not.

The fact that the existence of non-parish churches is so varied for reasons of history and local circumstances makes the focus on the celebration of the 1962 Missal in parish churches puzzling, and restrictions on these celebrations potentially very arbitrary and unjust. Restrictions on the use of parish churches will be felt much more keenly in the United States of America, for example, than in Italy.

Personal parishes are one possible legal structure through which provision can be made formally for the 1962 Missal. In some countries where there is currently widespread provision for the 1962 Mass, such as England and Wales, this structure has been used very little. Alternatives include establishing a shrine for the celebration of this Missal, or its celebration alongside the reformed Mass in a parish or non-parish church. The legal structure of a personal parish gives the priest in charge many of the duties and privileges of a parish priest, but it does not make the church where it is based a ‘parish church’. A personal parish may be based in a shrine church, a church shared with a geographical parish, or any other place of worship.  Source…

Editor writes…

What we witnessed in Sacred Heart, Bridgeton recently was, it seems, a foretaste of what is to come, as the Pope continues his evil assault on the ancient rite of Holy Mass.

It was heartening to see the militant response of several members of the Bridgeton congregation who called out to express their righteous anger, following the announcement that they were now attending the final TLM at Sacred Heart.  Will the Scots priests bow before these unjust restrictions on the Mass, or will they fight back in the name of Justice to God and to those of us who desire to offer true worship to Him?    Your thoughts…

Comments (47)

  • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

    Just watched a You Tube Blog there of a Traditional Irish Catholic. Just letting us all know that a New LGBTQ2WXYZ 3.00 PM Mass will be held Every Sunday in Liverpool Cathedral. All are Welcome except us of course.

    Ah well it just means that al be keeping my Money in my pocket also. Not a Penny More.

    February 22, 2023 at 11:57 pm
    • Marinaio Reply

      I agree, FOOF. Not one penny to these wolves in sheep’s clothing. The one who is supposed to be the shepherd has helped the wolves prey upon the flock. It is time for us to call a spade a spade and recognize that Our Lord would never allow us to be abused by a Vicar who does the things and says the things that Francis does. It is a simple syllogism: A. Formal heretics who hold to their errors pertinaciously are not Catholic. B. Francis is pertinacious in his attachment to his multiple heresies. Therefore, C. Francis is not Catholic.

      I agree with our Dear Editor that it is not for us to remove him from office; that belongs to the hierarchy of the Church — perhaps at some time after we depart this vale of tears But we most certainly can see that this man does not have the “Mind of the Church”. You cannot, at the same time, attempt to destroy the thing that you profess to love. Francis is conducting an all-out assault against the Mystical Body of Christ, now even forbidding recourse to Canon 87, which allows bishops to act for the good of souls. It appears that for Francis, lex primas salus anima no longer applies.

      February 23, 2023 at 1:52 am
      • Athanasius


        I could not have put it better, well said. I think many prelates in the Church are appalled by this Pope and have come to realise that he’s not Catholic. He is openly and seriously harming the Faith and it’s causing real alarm.

        February 23, 2023 at 2:06 am
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        You would surely think that Even the most Die Hard N.O. Catholic must see what Bergoglio is doing to the Catholic Church. Alas it seems Bergoglio is still the Best thing since sliced bread to them.
        As it’s been said in other comments Bergoglio is not a Catholic nor probably ever has been a Catholic .
        Remember Bergoglio actually overseen a Eucharistic Miracle where a Host was found on Church Grounds. The Local Priest put the Host to dissolve in a bowl of Water and Blood started to seep from it. Also there seemed to be Flesh in the Bowl. These were taken to a Laboratory and tested. Both the Blood and Flesh were said to be from the Heart of a Man . Yet I have NEVER heard Bergoglio talk about this ,not even once.
        If am wrong I stand to be corrected but to me it is further proof ( If any is needed which it is not ) that this Heretic has never been a Catholic .

        February 23, 2023 at 11:15 am
      • Laura


        I agree – nobody should put a penny in any diocesan coffers where they are doing away with the TLM. That would soon get the bishops’ attention.

        February 23, 2023 at 8:44 pm
    • Tuxicat Reply

      Oh no! After reading about the Pope and the Latin Mass I got to thinking about my late father. He grew up in the time where the Latin Mass was given at his parish. If he knew what Pope Francis and other Catholics, and protestants were doing to Mass and religion in general….and he’d wonder if those approving of these changes had some definite morals lacking. The contrast between the Church of my childhood and of the present time is downright shocking.

      February 25, 2023 at 2:00 pm
  • Athanasius Reply

    What all Catholic priests and laity attached to the old rite have to understand is that no one, not even the Pope, has the authority to deny. Absolutely no permission is required for priests to celebrate the ancient Mass or for the faithful to attend it as their primary rite. Although many of us always knew this, Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum confirmed it. Any attempt by the Pope or a bishop to suppress this Mass is tantamount to an act of outright evil, of hatred of the Mass that sanctified the saints and martyrs.

    If needs be, Catholics faithful to this ancient Mass have a right to leave parish churches where the evil is imposed and celebrate the Mass in alternative places. In such a case we may consider the words of St. Athanasius when evil prelates put him out of his diocese and persecuted those faithful to Tradition, vis. “they have the churches but we have the faith”.

    As an aside, this latest rescript has been written up because a very large number of bishops around the world have witnessed the evil Pope Francis is inflicting on good Catholics. They have refused to banish the TLM from parish churches and so he seeks now to tighten his grip by centralisation. As we know, there are some careerist prelates who are fully implimenting this wicked document of Pope Francis, men who have lost the faith, so we carry on assured that persecution for the Mass of our forefathers is the clearest sign that we are in God’s favour.

    February 23, 2023 at 2:02 am
    • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

      Athanasius what will happen if push comes to shove and we know that it will if these Evil Bishops Etc sack good Priests.
      Is it we the Laity who own Parish Churches and Homes as it is we the Laitys ancestors who Bought the land and paid for these Buildings. Do you know what the Legality would be if say Fr Dunn refused to be removed from His Church and continued to say the Latin Mass. I know of course that Fr Dunn is under Orders but these are now exceptional circumstances. Are the Title Deeds for Churches Etc kept with Diocesan Bishops and their Lawyers.

      February 24, 2023 at 10:54 am
  • Josephine Reply

    We just must not accept these evil restrictions. The priests will know that the people will keep attending – they just must take courage and refuse to obey. If they are suspended, that’s illicit, IMHO (although I’m no canon lawyer, obviously) so they must just soldier on. This pope has so much hatred for the Faith that his authority is obviously impaired and we are not doing wrong to disobey him on this. Neither are the priests.

    February 23, 2023 at 10:08 am
    • Athanasius Reply


      In cases were ecclesiastical orders threaten the faith it’s the duty of subordinates to disobey. The first priority for all of us, and Canon Law makes this perfectly clear, is to hold and practice the faith as handed down. Hence, anything that threatens to harm faith, however exalted the person is who threatens it, must be disobeyed. God is the highest authority and the Pope is His representative on earth. The Pope is not God and therefore has no right or authority to suppress the ancient Mass of the saints and martyrs, as the Protestant Reformers and other heretics have attempted in centuries past.

      February 23, 2023 at 10:32 am
    • Nicky Reply


      That’s a great letter – priests can use that to put their own letter together. I wonder if the Glasgow priests who offer the TLM and are waiting for the chop will write such a letter. We should pray that they do.

      February 23, 2023 at 8:46 pm
  • Frankier Reply

    Maybe time to open up the Holy Wells with the Mass rocks again.

    Could the TLM be offered at the famine memorial in Carfin Grotto in line with the new (dae-whit-yir-telt) instructions?

    February 23, 2023 at 11:20 am
    • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

      Frankier it could, as you say the Mass Rock Alter is already there. But there would be a few things wrong ( and the Weather isn’t one ) Bish Toal and the Priests in Carfin ( look up especially one ) are certainly not what you would call Helpers of Traditional Latin Mass never mind anything else.

      February 23, 2023 at 6:14 pm
    • Nicky Reply


      You must be kidding. No TLM would be permitted at Carfin, not in a million years.

      February 23, 2023 at 8:47 pm
      • Frankier

        FOOF and Nicky. I was just wondering if theoretically Mass could be offered under their “Rescript” instructions. Even if, say, Fr Dunn wished to offer Mass, forgetting his suspension for a moment, could
        It be allowed? FOOF: weather permitting of course. 🙂

        February 23, 2023 at 9:57 pm
  • Antoine Bisset Reply

    It seems that holding Mass in places like private homes and makeshift churches (rented halls and the like) will be the way to continue hearing Mass and attending services in the near future. It will be for all practical purposes a schism. How else might one define it with Mass being said by priests in defiance of their Bishops, with churches closed to some priests and their congregations?

    February 23, 2023 at 11:31 am
    • Athanasius Reply

      Antoine Bisset

      It’s important to point out, however, that it’s the haters of Tradition who are in schism with the Church, not those who cleave to the faith handed down. As St. Athanasius once said of a hierarchy given over to the Arian heresy: “They have the churches but we have the faith”.

      February 23, 2023 at 1:31 pm
      • Catherine


        Well said. “They have the churches, but we have the Faith” and they can’t take that away from us. They will NEVER win, no matter how hard ‘they’ try. People just learn learned history – more fool them.

        February 24, 2023 at 9:33 am
    • Josephine Reply


      I would not hesitate to attend a TLM in a house, offered by a “schismatic” priest – ie a priest who refused to deny Christ in the true Mass because of this disobedient (to the Faith) pope and his bishops. They are the ones in schism, not us.

      February 23, 2023 at 8:49 pm
  • editor Reply

    I think the following scandal fits here, since it concerns “Lenten” liturgical abuse in the Diocese of Paisley, revealing a cavalier attitude to the liturgical calendar.

    Scandal? The distribution of ashes took place in St Cadoc’s in Newton Means (Diocese of Paisley) on Shrove Tuesday, instead of Ash Wednesday, i.e. ashes given before the beginning of Lent. Missing the entire point. https://stcadocsrcparish.org.uk

    This is an example of having no concern for the good of souls, because the entire Lenten liturgy, from Day One, is to enable us to focus on our souls, sin, repentance and the life of grace. Difficult to do that when you’re racing home for pancakes and syrup 😀

    Something else must have seemed more important to the parish priest of St Cadoc’s than the good of the souls in his care, and that’s bad enough, but think of the people seeing those parishioners with their foreheads covered in ashes on Pancake Tuesday. There must have been a few sniggers, for sure.

    The “good of souls” – well, if Pope Francis doesn’t think it matters, why should the PP of St Cadoc’s, Paisley?

    February 23, 2023 at 3:42 pm
    • Athanasius Reply


      Add to what you’ve written the fact that they have long since moved the Catholic Sabbath to the Jewish Sabbath with Saturday early evening “vigil masses” and I think it’s fair to state that a good many Catholics have not been fulfilling their Sunday obligation for decades. Pope Pius XII introduced Saturday vigil masses as an indult only for those forced to work on Sundays, and he didn’t permit them at teatime when the daylight of Saturday was still visible. There’s nothing these Modernist destroyers haven’t hacked away at.

      February 23, 2023 at 6:29 pm
      • editor


        How true.

        I’m up to my eyes in other work right now but stopped to post this – the Catholic Herald report on the Rescript… For the record.

        February 23, 2023 at 7:52 pm
      • Athanasius


        Although the Catholic Herald address this tragedy with a sanguine spirit, it has to be said that the bottom line is that wicked men have infiltrated the highest offices of the clergy and are bent on destroying the Mass that sanctified the saints and martyrs. It’s as simple as that.

        February 23, 2023 at 8:17 pm
      • Josephine


        I copied this from the Catholic Herald report because I’m amazed they would admit this:

        The TLM has seen a resurgence in popularity since Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum of 2007. Findings indicate that parishes which celebrate it are busy, that it attracts converts, and that it easily finds new and sympathetic host locations. Traditional seminaries are oversubscribed, at a time when a severe vocations crisis exists elsewhere.

        There’s the answer to their headline question – why is the Pope acting to suppress the TLM. That is the answer right there.

        February 23, 2023 at 8:43 pm
      • Athanasius


        This is the problem with too many Catholics today, priests and laity. They see the reason for the wickedness right in front of them but seem afraid to call a spade a shovel. Whatever happened to their Confirmation duty, I wonder?

        I’m sure a lot of this goes back to a false understanding of obedience to clerical superiors, not to mention a misguided understanding of charity.

        February 23, 2023 at 10:09 pm
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        I know this is probably a hard question, but has anyone on here ever came in direct contact with Roche. I only go from a friend of mine who knew Roche a few years ago and said ” Roche is a Horrible Man who would rather be Dancing on Ice ( His Hobby) rather than being Behind an Altar. ” Everyone deserves a 2nd opinion. Of course Roche seems to be a perfect foil for Bergoglio. Or a Hit Man whichever way you look at it . One things for sure you don’t need to know Roche as a Person to see He is a Career Clergyman. I also believe that Bergoglio is probably grooming Roche to be His Bag Man in the next Communist Chinese deal. Or God forbid, the next Pope depending on The Ukraine War.

        February 23, 2023 at 10:23 pm
      • westminsterfly

        Read the journalist Damian Thompson on Roche. The internet is littered with stuff by Thompson about Roche. One quote from Twitter will suffice: “Arthur Roche is the most unpleasant bishop in the Catholic Church. I watched the appalling way he operated in Leeds . . . “

        February 26, 2023 at 3:04 pm
      • editor


        That’s interesting because although I’ve not seen any such comments from Damian Thompson, I’ve heard the same opinion expressed from people in the Leeds Diocese.

        February 26, 2023 at 7:27 pm
      • Margaret USA


        In the Byzantine Tradition the liturgical day begins with Vespers and ends at Ninth Hour. “And evening came and morning followed, the first day” (Gen. 1).

        In the Latin Tradition, the liturgical day goes from midnight to midnight.

        So your observations re the Sunday obligation only apply to the Latin rite Catholic Church not the Eastern Catholic Churches.

        ❤️ the quote from your heavenly Patron !

        Margaret USA 🇺🇸

        March 5, 2023 at 11:39 pm
  • FDS Reply

    Although I might be wrong there but I suspect frankie is cracking down all the more. Is it just because he doesn’t have time to wait, not long to live, is there something that he knows that we don’t? Hence even further crackdowns on TLM.

    February 23, 2023 at 8:56 pm
  • Michael 🙏 Reply

    Dear Friends

    The reality is simple the TLM sacramentally conveys the salvific and redemptive sacrifice of our blessed Saviour on Calvary.

    It’s theology expresses in a manner that is imbued with profound solemnity and dignity in every aspect the supernatural Catholic faith in accordance with Sacred Scripture and Tradition.

    All of us who participate worship in this adoration of the Most Holy Trinity cannot fail to comprehend the immense sense that we are in the presence of the supernatural, of or God Creator and Saviour.

    In doing so we publicly acknowledge without equivocation the Catholic faith given to us by Christ and handed on in perpetuity through Apostolic succession of which the TLM unambiguously proclaims.

    The hatred by Modernists within the Church of the TLM is because they do not believe in the very same Catholic faith, they promote a liturgy that insidiously elevates the deification of man under a corrupt liturgical rubric.

    In their mindset by attacking and banning the TLM celebration they are destroying the Catholic Church, Faith and Mass of all ages for the liturgy the new world Masonic and Satanic order.

    In doing so they prepare and imbue a mindset that will ultimately embrace and acknowledge the arrival of their lord and master – the prince of this world.

    Every blessing

    Michael 🙏

    February 23, 2023 at 10:15 pm
    • Athanasius Reply


      Absolutely spot on! These men of the Church simply no longer possess the Catholic Faith whole and entire. They are empty vessels who visit only destruction on the Church.

      February 23, 2023 at 11:25 pm
  • editor Reply

    A reader sent this clip of Mother Angelica speaking about the future Church in America – and speaks about restrictions on the Latin Mass to come…

    February 23, 2023 at 11:26 pm
    • Athanasius Reply


      She had the holiness and wisdom of the saints, God rest her soul.

      February 24, 2023 at 12:53 am
      • editor


        Since it takes one to know one, I’ll take your word for it 😀

        February 24, 2023 at 11:40 am
    • Tuxicat Reply

      It is very interesting that this coincides with here in America, the FBI (I won’t say what I think those 3 letters really stand for) has a bee in their bonnet by stating that Catholics who go to Latin Masses are “extremists”. I kid you not. The FBI is a political tool at the hands of the leftists, and the fact that they would take the time to even look into anything, including dealing with the Latin Mass, while ignoring the crime rate rising exponentially in America, is absolute madness!

      Truthfully, with the state of life in America being as godless as it is, you would think there would be better things that people could be doing than playing with facts and giving worshippers an unneeded political identity!

      February 25, 2023 at 3:32 am
      • RCAVictor


        The goal of the Satanists, and their paramilitary goon squads, is to wipe God off the face of the earth, obeying the commands of their master of malice. Therefore, anyone who worships, loves, obeys and knows Him as the Church has always taught and practiced becomes a target for persecution.

        Though it is unfair to stereotype, this brings up an interesting question about many N.O. Catholics….

        February 25, 2023 at 1:17 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    Here is a sermon that suggests what St. Louis de Montfort’s perspective on this crisis might be:

    February 24, 2023 at 2:42 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

      A Terrific Sermon . No matter what happens we will not abandon The Catholic Church.
      Maybe that is Bergoglios plan but neither He nor Roche nor the rest of their Lackeys will Not Prevail against us . On that we have Almighty God’s promise.

      February 24, 2023 at 7:48 pm
  • FDS Reply

    Well done CTS and editor, church militant mentioned CTS in their article

    February 25, 2023 at 12:32 pm
    • editor Reply


      Thank you for the alert – I have now found the Church Militant article and there are links to each of the threads on the topic of the TLM – (1) the end of the TLM in Sacred Heart, Bridgeton, (2) Fr Dunn’s suspension (3) this thread on the “Rescript”. Here’s the link

      Several of our bloggers are quoted – from memory, Laura, Michaela, Cornelius, Sarto2010, Marinaio,
      everybody and anybody except Guess Who? I’m thinking of suing … 😀

      Seriously 😀 That’s really good news – spreading the word about the injustice, first to God, for this papal savaging of the Mass and secondly to Fr Dunn and then to the faithful whose crime is merely to worship at the same Mass as did the saints, martyrs and Doctors of the Church.

      February 25, 2023 at 3:49 pm
  • Tuxicat Reply

    Note: It looks like Jetpack doesn’t allow links. At least WordPress did. I think I will put WordPress back on.

    February 25, 2023 at 1:39 pm
    • Tuxicat Reply

      My bad. I see the links now that have been highlighted. That’s good.

      February 25, 2023 at 1:47 pm
  • Lucy-Maria Reply

    I am just wondering if anyone here attends the Immaculate Heart of Mary Latin Masses because I was quite shocked recently (not today – I have been wondering what to say about it for a few days) to see the statue at the front of the altar. It is a boy – and very obviously a boy. It is improper for use in a church IMO, and gives rise to impure thoughts. Surely, in a church, especially a Catholic church, everything should have the aim of lifting our hearts and minds to God? When I visited recently, I was appalled and I didn’t even know who it was meant to be. Now I’m thinking I must be a prude. Does anyone else think this is not a proper place for such a worldly statue? It doesn’t look like any saint I know about.

    February 26, 2023 at 4:24 pm
    • editor Reply


      Somebody else asked me about that statue recently and I hadn’t a clue. I have now asked someone about it, and it turns out that it depicts St John Ogilvie when he returned to Scotland disguised as a merchant. I have to say I wouldn’t have worked that out in a million years! We have only one canonised Scottish Reformation martyr so I’d sooner have seen him dressed with dignity, as a Jesuit.

      I also agree with you – and with the other person who raised the issue with me – that it’s certainly not appropriate for a Catholic church never mind right in the sanctuary. It is very distracting.

      However, I’m minding my own business! Those of you who are rightly shocked by it, should mention it to the parish priest, who is a very kindly person and (I suspect) has probably been cornered into placing the statue there. I doubt if it’s to his own taste. Me? I’m retired from all things that may remotely appear to be a complaint. Them there days are gone!

      February 26, 2023 at 7:24 pm
      • Josephine


        I’m taken aback that any Catholic church would have an inappropriate statue in the sanctuary (or anywhere else, really). If Lucy-Marie is right to say the statue is “very obviously a boy” then that is worrying. It will distract people to think impure thoughts. Our Lady said that more souls go to Hell through sins of impurity than any other sin, so that statue needs to be removed from the sanctuary right away.

        February 27, 2023 at 8:32 am

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