Cardinal Cupich of Chicago Drops the Hammer on The Traditional Rites

Just two days after Christmas, on the Feast of St John the Evangelist, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, has issued a policy governing the celebration of the pre-Vatican rites in that Archdiocese. This policy follows the 18 December response to questions received by the Congregation for Divine Worship in the wake of the July publication of the Motu proprio Traditionis custodes in which Pope Francis restored to local ordinaries the responsibility to govern the celebration of the liturgy using the 1962 Missal in their dioceses. Chicago thus becomes the first Diocese in the United States to provide concrete directives regarding the new norms established by the Pope. This local policy enters into effect in the Archdiocese of Chicago on 25 January 2022.

These include the necessary authorisation required to celebrate using the pre-Vatican Missal, the modality by which it can be requested of the Archbishop, and specific regulations concerning the use of Biblical texts, the celebration of the other Sacraments, the location where the previous rite can be celebrated, bination, etc. While the policy states that the “rule forbidding bination is to be observed”, on a rare occasion when there may be just cause that a priest celebrate two Masses on Sunday, the “Archbishop may grant the favor of bination”.

Expressing the unity of the local Church
However, Latin Rite Catholics in Chicago will unite in celebrating the liturgy “exclusively” according to the Novus ordo Missae on specific days during the liturgical year: the first Sunday of every month, Christmas, the Triduum, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost Sunday. The policy indicates that this liturgy, which may be celebrated in Latin, must be celebrated with the priest facing the people. The intention for this policy is:

“to foster and make manifest the unity of this local Church, as well as to provide all Catholics in the Archdiocese an opportunity to offer a concrete manifestation of the acceptance of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and its liturgical books.”