Pope orders review of Old Rite 

By Christopher Lamb, 30 April 2020
Image: Shalone Cason/Unsplash.


The Holy See is conducting a world-wide survey of the traditional Latin Mass focussing on whether celebrations of the Tridentine liturgy respond to genuine pastoral needs and are following guidelines.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has written to the world’s bishops explaining that Pope Francis “wishes to be informed” about the application of Benedict XVI’s 2007 ruling which lifted restrictions on pre-Vatican II liturgical celebrations.

Along with the letter, the bishops are asked to respond to a series of questions aimed at gaining an accurate picture of how the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated across the world.

With his legal ruling “Summorum Pontificum”, Benedict XVI lifted restrictions on the old rite due to “the continued requests of these members of the faithful”, including young people, attached to this version of the Mass celebrated before the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

It allowed for the wider use of the 1962 missal of John XXIII, which the bishops of the council had overwhelmingly voted in favour of reforming. These reforms were then implemented by Paul VI and completed in 1970.

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With thanks to The Tablet and Christopher Lamb, where this article originally appeared.


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