The prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship has written the traditional Latin Mass was “abrogated by Pope St. Paul VI.”
That statement by Archbishop Arthur Roche appears to be a direct contradiction of the statement by Pope Benedict XVI, in Summorum Pontificum, that the traditional liturgy “is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honored for its venerable and ancient usage.”
Archbishop Roche made his statement in an August 4 letter to English Cardinal Vincent Nichols. That letter has now been made public by GloriaTV.
Although he made it clear that Pope Francis hopes for the eventual complete elimination of the traditional liturgy, Archbishop Roche said that under the terms of Traditionis Custodes, questions of whether and when to allow the Tridentine usage lie under the “exclusive competence” of each diocesan bishop. The English-born Vatican official recommended a cautious approach to Cardinal Nichols, saying that bishops may choose “exceptional concessions” to allow the traditional liturgy for the sake of preserving Church unity. He said that this his dicastery is “attentively studying the implications” of Traditionis Custodes, and will offer further guidance.