Archbishop announces norms for celebrating
the liturgy according to the 1962 Roman Missal

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz has issued local norms for regulating the celebration of the liturgy according to the 1962 Roman Missal.

Masses celebrated according to the 1962 Missal may continue at their current locations, he wrote in a letter to priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville Aug. 20.

These liturgies — commonly referred to as the Latin Mass — use the Roman Missal from 1962, in use prior to the Second Vatican Council.

In his letter to priests, Archbishop Kurtz writes that use of the 1962 Missal in the archdiocese began years ago as a response to a pastoral need of the faithful. He expressed gratitude to the communities that have prayed according to this missal, as well as to the clergy who have responded to their need.

Priests who desire to meet that need must submit a formal written request, the letter said. The request must indicate:

  • “A desire to serve the pastoral needs of the faithful.”
  • “Assurance of honoring the liturgical rites of the 1962 Missal while also affirming the validity of the Second Vatican Council and subsequent liturgical rites.”
  • “The particular locations and regular schedule (if applicable) of celebrations according to the 1962 Roman Missal. I allow that such celebrations may continue in their current locations.”

The new norms were prompted by an Apostolic Letter issued by Pope Francis in July called “Traditionis custodes.” The document seeks to limit the “use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970” which resulted from Vatican II.

Archbishop Kurtz noted that he would continue to “seek clarity” and learn more about the pope’s document and its implications.

Both the archbishop and Pope Francis asked that liturgies be celebrated with decorum and fidelity to the appropriate liturgical books and free of abuses.

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