Pope restricts religious order’s use of old Mass

August 26, 2013

Pope Francis’ order restricting the use of the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass in communities of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate does not contradict retired Pope Benedict XVI’s permission for wider use of the old Mass throughout the Church, the Vatican spokesman said.

The papal order addresses problems within the religious order, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said Aug. 2.

Pope Francis’ orders respond “to specific problems and tensions created in that congregation regarding the rite for the celebration of Mass,” Lombardi said.

After an apostolic visitation of the order, begun under Pope Benedict, Pope Francis appointed Capuchin Father Fidenzio Volpi to serve as apostolic commissioner of the order.

A new Vatican decree says that Pope Francis requires all the friars “to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite,” the post-Vatican II Mass.

The pope also said the use of the so-called extraordinary form or pre-Vatican II Latin Mass “must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities for every religious or community that makes a request.”