Traditional Latin Mass restrictions relocates Westminster Cathedral Mass

Westminster Cathedral

An annual Requiem Mass at Westminster Cathedral, with a rich tradition spanning over half a century, has been relocated due to ongoing Vatican restrictions on celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass.

For more than 50 years, the Latin Mass Society has hosted this annual sung Mass, dedicated to the repose of the souls of its deceased members and benefactors.

However, plans for the celebration on 4 November were abruptly cancelled after the Diocese of Westminster informed the Latin Mass Society of the restrictions imposed by Pope Francis’ 2021 motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes.

In his motu proprio, Pope Francis directed bishops to designate specific locations for the Latin Mass, excluding parish churches. Any exceptions to this rule require a dispensation from the Holy See and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, presiding over the Diocese of Westminster, clarified that the annual Mass “is not part of the cathedral’s pastoral provision for the Traditional Mass.”

Nichols did not request a dispensation to continue the tradition at Westminster Cathedral.

Consequently, the Latin Mass Society relocated the Requiem Mass to Corpus Christi Catholic Church on Maiden Lane, designated as a diocesan shrine.

Despite the move, Nichols did request a dispensation for the cathedral to continue its low Mass on the first Saturday of each month.

Traditionis Custodes frustration

The Latin Mass Society spokesperson emphasised that “each Mass at the cathedral needs explicit permission under the terms of Traditionis Custodes.” These monthly Masses continue pending consideration.

Traditionis Custodes however has caused frustration among faithful attendees of the Traditional Latin Mass. Roger Wemyss Brooks, a long-time Catholic who regularly attended the Traditional Latin Mass, expressed his distress stating, “Elderly Catholics like me depend upon the comfort of this annual Mass.”

Edward Windsor, who had served at the annual Requiem Mass for the past five years, questioned the cardinal’s decision noting that it seemed to prioritise modernism over the significance of the Mass.

Since the issuance of Traditionis Custodes, the Traditional Latin Mass has faced restrictions worldwide. Some dioceses secured temporary dispensations for certain Masses in parish churches, while others have moved Masses outside of parish churches, further highlighting the impact of the Vatican restrictions.


Catholic News Agency

CathNews New Zealand


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