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Statement of Bishop Daniel E. Thomas on the Motu Proprio, Traditionis Custodes

On Friday, 16 July 2021, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio, Traditionis custodes (TC), On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970, effective immediately upon promulgation. On that same day, Archbishop Jóse Gómez of Los Angeles, President of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, encouraged the bishops of our country to “work with care, patience, justice and charity,” as the new norms are implemented. It is my intention to implement these norms in the Diocese of Toledo according to these principles, with the understanding that in this local Church we have gratefully not suffered discord and division due to the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

1) Pope Francis affirms: “It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him, to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese. Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See” (TC, Art. 2).

2) It has been determined that the Catholic faithful who assist at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass at Saint Joseph Parish on Locust Street do not deny the validity and the legitimacy of the liturgical reform, dictated by Vatican Council II and the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs (TC, Art. 3, § 1).

3) Canon 87, § 1 of the Code of Canon Law, states that “A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that a dispensation will contribute to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church.” For the spiritual good of the faithful, a dispensation is granted from Art. 3, § 2 of Traditionis custodes,authorizing the use of the 1962 Roman Missal at the parish church of Saint Joseph Parish on Locust Street in Toledo. In accord with the motu proprio, during these Eucharistic celebrations the readings are proclaimed in the vernacular language (Art. 3, § 3).

4) The pastor of Saint Joseph Parish on Locust Street in Toledo has already requested and has been granted authorization to continue to enjoy the faculty to celebrate according to the Roman Missal edited by Saint John XXIII in 1962 for the pastoral good of the faithful who frequent that parish (TC, Art. 5).

5) In accord with the motu proprio, priests of the Diocese of Toledo who already celebrate according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 should make a request to me, the diocesan bishop, to consider the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty. Requests should include information regarding where the Mass would be celebrated, the reason for celebrating, and the proposed frequency of the celebrations (TC, Art. 5).

If there should be any further clarification from the Holy See regarding the motu proprio, we will be attentive to following that instruction. It is my sincere hope that the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our Faith, continues to effect unity and charity among all the faithful of our diocese.