United States: the bishop of Arlington reduces traditional masses

In a five-page document setting out the new rules, Bishop Michael Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, explains that their goal is to “strengthen church fellowship” within the diocese in accordance with the motu proprio. Traditional custodiansas well as the more specific restrictions issued by the Vatican in December.

As a result, 13 parishes in the diocese will have to stop celebrating the traditional Mass from September 8, in accordance with the new rules of the bishop enacted on July 29 in accordance with the liturgical directives of Pope Francis.

Eight other parishes can continue the celebration of these masses. But none of these eight parishes can publish the times, deaths or celebrations in its bulletin, on its website, or on social networks, in accordance with Vatican requirements.

“The unique expression of the sacred liturgy is found in the liturgical books reformed according to the desires of the Second Vatican Council and promulgated by Popes Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II,” Bishop Burbidge states in the document. These rules will come into force on September 8, the feast day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

According to a press release published on the website of the Diocese of Arlington, Bishop Burbidge reveals that he has filed a “request for dispensation from Traditionis custodes” with the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, so that “the approximately 2.5% Catholics who prefer this liturgical form” in the diocese can continue to have access to it.

“As a result, three parishes [out of the 70 in the diocese] were authorized to continue the celebration of the traditional Mass in Latin in the parish church, for a period of two years,” the statement continued. This permission “may be extended with the approval of the Dicastery, as long as the work of reunification of the celebration of the Holy Liturgy continues”.

In January, Bishop Burbidge had already banned the use of the “extraordinary” form for baptisms, marriages and other sacraments, in line with Vatican guidelines.

“Normalization” therefore continues, with the clear objective of totally eliminating the traditional Mass from the liturgical landscape. The only crumbs that remain – for the moment – are intended to keep the faithful patient until the reunification is completed.

After having emptied the churches through the liturgical reform, it is now a question of preventing them from filling up again, by cutting ties with a past which they consider to be definitively gone. But the abusive prohibitions under Paul VI did not prevent the traditional Mass from continuing; those of François will not have more success.

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