Business as normal, bishops assure Latin Mass communities

Business as normal, bishops assure Latin Mass communities A sacramentary is seen on the altar during a traditional Tridentine Mass July 18, 2021, at St. Josaphat Church in New York City. Photo: CNS

The Irish Catholic understands that bishops in Dublin and Cork have assured Latin Mass communities that nothing will change following recent reforms in Church law.

The bishops’ assurances come after Pope Francis restricted the celebration of Latin Mass in his motu propio, Traditions Custodes, placing responsibility for its regulation in the hands of the bishops.

The Latin Mass Chaplaincy in Harrington St, Dublin, were assured by Archbishop Dermot Farrell that nothing would change, and that he is happy for things to continue as they are, The Irish Catholic understands.

Meanwhile, St Peter and Paul’s Church, Cork, received similar assurances from Bishop Fintan Gavin of Cork and Ross diocese, according to a member of a Latin Mass youth group.

“There was uncertainty for a few days, but the bishop decided to allow” Latin Mass to continue being celebrated in Peter and Paul’s Church,  Patrick Williams told The Irish Catholic.

Mr Williams, who co-founded the Cork branch of the international Latin Mass youth group Juventutem, said the Pope’s letter “couldn’t have come at a worse time” for their Latin Mass community.

The Covid-19 pandemic left Juventutem Corcaigh in a “grey area”: “We’re not inactive, but we’re not active either, as Covid made having events a hard thing to do,” Mr Williams explained. “It feels like we’re dead in the water, but the people who make up the group find ways to get together.”

He said the decision to limit celebration of the Latin Mass, sometimes called the Extraordinary Form, was “emotionally heart-wrenching”.

“We’re feeling marginalised,” Mr Williams admitted. “I’ve listened to a lot of different views from societies, even SSPX (Society of St Pius X) priests, who say it feels like a bit of a downer because we’ve made a lot of strides since the council to really not be marignalised anymore.”

Mr Williams concluded, saying “it does feel like a step back”.