I was reading Fr. Raymond de Souza's article on the Pickle that Cardinal Gregory is in and it reminded me of something I thought of when reading Traditionis Custodes, it would seem as if the final point:

Previous norms, instructions, permissions, and customs that do not conform to the provisions of the present Motu Proprio are abrogated.

Suggests that all the accretions in the Novus Ordo mass, (i.e. the Kumbayah stuff that TLM goers often object to) is abrogated as well. In fact, it seems if:

The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

is what Pope Francis wants us to go with, then all congregations who fail to observe the rite properly are just as out of sync with the Motu Proprio as any TLM community.

Or is this not how Motu Proprios work?

  • Traditionis Custodes clearly deals with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass only. It does not affect the Ordinary Form of the Mass.
    – Ken Graham
    Jul 30, 2021 at 15:38
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    @KenGraham So other liturgical abuses are automatically abrogated or can Bishops still give dispensations for whackadoodle Masses, as long as they're novus ordo?
    – Peter Turner
    Jul 30, 2021 at 16:20
  • Those things which TLM goers object to in the Novus Ordo are already objectively liturgical abuses, as they deviate from the norms of the Mass.
    – jaredad7
    Jan 28, 2022 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


Does 'Traditionis Custodes' have any effect on Novus Ordo mass?

The short answer yes!

That yes seems to be both a positive and negative outlook.

At the present moment in time this motu proprio does not alter anything within the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

Traditionis Custodes clearly deals with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass only. It does not affect the Ordinary Form of the Mass. But it may still have secondary effects on the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

Traditionis Custodes is clearly a motu proprio to be seen as an edict to suppress the very Tradition of the Traditional Form of the Latin Mass. It seems Pope Francis has shown his true colours in regards to tradition.

Pope Francis took sudden steps on July 16, 2021, to curtail the traditional Latin Mass, in an abrupt reversal of his predecessor’s policy.

Although some bishops have announced an immediate halt to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, and that means only the Ordinary Form of the Mass is permitted within their diocese. Thus it affects both Forms or the Mass. The number of faithful in the Ordinary Form of the Mass has been momentarily increased.

In some dioceses, the faithful are now going to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in record numbers in support of the Traditional Mass of Pope pius V, since the pope’s motu proprio publication. How permanent this trend is, only time will tell.

Will Novus Ordo Mass attendees move over to the Traditional Mass permanently or will traditionalists be forced to abdicate the traditions they love only time will tell! I sense that that this particular question will be known within the next few years.

To Catholics and many non-Catholics, the decision may seem on first glance to be a technical.

But it sent shock waves throughout the Church. Some scholars believe this move may be the most important action Francis has taken in an eventful papacy.

All Catholics are entitled to their liturgical preferences, regarding, say, church architecture, the hymns selected for the Mass, the priest’s presiding style and so forth. But again, whatever one thinks of the Latin Mass, none of this bodes well for Church unity.

In my own diocese, things will not change much. (See: Pope’s Latin Mass letter unlikely to lead to major changes in Archdiocese of Vancouver)

Nota Bene: This document is still very fresh and as such all the implications and intellectually formed reactions are still in the process of being determined.

Let us remember that the Vatican sent Extraordinary Form Mass survey to world’s bishops, but motu proprio makes no mention of the feedback received and speculation is that the feedback was in fact in favour of the Old Rite.

In my humble opinion, which counts for nothing, this could very well backfire on Pope Francis. The next Supreme Pontiff will more than likely reverse this decision.

Pope Francis had offered a written explication of why he made his motu proprio: Letter of the Holy Father Franci to the Bishops ot the whole world that accompanies the Apostolic Letter Motu Data Proprio “Traditionis Custodes”.

The primary motivation seems to indicate: making sure the groups who use the 1962 are not doing it to reject The Second Vatican Council’s validity.

Some Bishops are still desiring to see the raw data that prompted this motu proprio. At least, all the voting held by the Second Vatican Council is known.

  • In my reading of the official English translation of Traditionis Custodes (curiously timed for the 1970's 50th anniversary): 1) Art. 1 lex orandi means that after about 50 years of experience what's "new" now becomes tradition, making the 1970 to be the default symbol of ecclesial unity; 2) enforcement is through individual bishops so they make sure that a) 1970 is always accessible, b) existing use of 1962 is allowed providing it's done in the right spirit giving responsibility to a "point priest", c) new use needs Vatican approval, d) reading needs to be in vernacular. Jul 30, 2021 at 18:03
  • My question is the impact of this Motu Proprio for Mass celebrations within convents and monasteries (like Dominican, Benedictines, etc.) when they set up new chapters in new locations. Per Articles 5-7 do they also have to ask Vatican for permission? Jul 30, 2021 at 18:07
  • @GratefulDisciple Traditionis Custodes is curiously timed for the 1970's 50th anniversary of lex orandi! Fifty years is not the age old tradition for something being held as a tradition. The Church has held that 100 years is to be considered the point in time that She calls something an historical tradition. The New Mass has a long way to go for that. Also, Orders like Benedictines are autonomous in regards to the authority of diocesan bishops. Monasteries will not have to concede to the norms set by local bishops. Others Orders will have to negotiate with the diocese involved.
    – Ken Graham
    Jul 30, 2021 at 19:54
  • Thank you for the clarification. To OP point, I agree with you that this MP would not directly affect Novus Ordo mass, though one wish that Vatican would say something about Novus Ordo abuses Peter mentioned, maybe in a future MP. I feel for the faithful who prefer the 1962 Missal, like my Dad who often reminisced with me how before 1970 he would feel at home everywhere he went to Latin Mass abroad in countries where he couldn't speak the local language. From this perspective one could argue that there is something lost in this universal symbol of unity. Jul 30, 2021 at 20:23
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    There is indeed discussion of the response of the bishops to the questionnaire both in the motu proprio itself (at the paragraph beginning "In line with the initiative") and in the accompanying letter (at the paragraph beginning "With the passage of thirteen years"). vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2021/documents/… Jul 30, 2021 at 21:03

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