Traditionis Custodes 2: The Responsibility of the Bishop

The prescription in article 2 should not be a surprise to any watcher of Pope Francis. His clear initiative is that bishops take responsibility for their dioceses, and work together doing so. Vatican II (through its liturgy constitution), the ritual books (specifically the Ceremonial of Bishops), and the post-conciliar follow up (here, the 2004 document which followed up on Pope John Paul II’s 2003 document calling for further liturgical reform) all endorse the notion of the responsibility of the bishop for the celebration of liturgy in the diocese he serves.

Art. 2. It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him, [Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium 41; Ceremonial of Bishops 9; Redemptionis Sacramentum 19-25] to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese. [Code of Canon Law, 375 § 1;  392]

Note the verb: regulate. This suggests local laws, rules, and guidelines. 

Rome suggests that regulation of the 1962 Missal properly is included under this umbrella:

Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See.

So, yes, this can be an alarming development if the local bishop has expressed a strong stance against the celebration of Mass using the 1962 Missal.

The approved English translation is here

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to Traditionis Custodes 2: The Responsibility of the Bishop

  1. Liam says:

    How many ordinaries cause to be published online an up-to-date complete edition of diocesan liturgical laws, rules and guidelines (and to require periodic review of them)? How many of them have even taken inventory of what’s supposedly already “on the books” when they begin their episcopate?

  2. Devin Rice says:

    How far does the bishop’s power to regular the liturgy in his diocese go? Can he forbid the use of a particular Eucharistic prayer (say I or II) or could he require that maybe the first Sunday of the month in Ordinary Time that EPIV is used? I assume hymnals he could ban? Could he dictate that certain intercessions be used during the Universal Prayer?

    • Todd says:

      I think he could do all of these things. If he had a good working relationship with his clergy, he would get good traction for it, too. If he tried things like this too often, he might find himself resented–not for particular directives, but the fact that the ones you listed might be interpreted as petty and as distractions from the real issues of the diocese.

      Recently, we’ve seen bishops declare “years” dedicated to causes or saints, add a petition to the Good Friday prayers, ban certain songs, and produce diocesan hymnals.

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