Albany Diocese temporarily prohibits Traditional Latin Mass

Albany Diocese temporarily prohibits Traditional Latin Mass

The Diocese of Albany, New York has temporarily prohibited the Traditional Latin Mass at two parishes to comply with an order issued by the Vatican. The diocese has banned parish churches from celebrating the Latin Mass in accordance with the “Missale Romanum” of 1962, effective immediately. The only church within the diocese that can offer the Latin Mass in accordance with the Missale Romanum of 1962 is the Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville, which is not a parish church in the diocese. St. Joseph Church in Troy, a Carmelite rite church, is also exempt from the Vatican’s restrictions since the Carmelite rite’s liturgy is not subject to them.

On July 16, 2021, Pope Francis issued a motu proprio titled Traditionis custodes, which directed bishops to designate locations for the celebration of the Latin Mass but added that those locations should not be within parish churches. On Feb. 21, 2023, Cardinal Arthur Roche issued a clarification known as a rescript, which clarified that all dispensations must be approved by the Vatican and ordered any bishop who had already issued dispensations to inform the dicastery, which will evaluate individual cases.

The effect of Cardinal Roche’s rescript is still unclear, as many bishops have yet to clearly indicate what they will do next. However, some bishops have already sought and received Vatican approval for dispensations. These dispensations, however, are not permanent but instead only granted for a limited period of time. For example, the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, was approved for two-year dispensations for three parishes that offer the Traditional Latin Mass.

Some bishops have sought to accommodate Latin Mass goers in other ways. For example, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, redesignated a parish church that offers the Latin Mass, Sacred Heart, as a non-parish church to skirt the restrictions. Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, designated a new chapel for the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass that was not inside a parish church.

CNA reached out to Holy Family Parish and St. Ann’s Church but did not receive a response by the time of publication. However, one Holy Family parishioner, Fred Simon, told CNA that he is requesting prayers. “We are living through historic and unprecedented times, and the best thing we can do — and I’m asking everyone to do so — is pray for our bishops and priests,” Simon said.

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