Pope doubles down on quashing old Latin Mass with new limits

Pope Francis doubled down Saturday on his efforts to quash the old Latin Mass, forbidding the celebration of some sacraments according to the ancient rite in his latest salvo against conservatives and traditionalists.

The Vatican’s liturgy office issued a document that clarified some questions that arose after Francis in July took the extraordinary step of re-imposing restrictions on celebrating the so-called Tridentine rite. Francis’ July move outraged conservatives and traditionalist, given it amounted to a direct reversal of one of the singular policies of Pope Benedict XVI.

Francis said in July he had to take action because Benedict’s 2007 decision to relax restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass had divided the church and been exploited by conservatives on ideological grounds. Francis authorized Saturday’s further restrictions, which in practical terms will make it exceedingly difficult for traditionalists to access the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, Marriage using the old rite.

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