Citing Pope Francis’ recent motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, the archbishop of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, has decreed the abolition of the local quasi parish administered by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), which has been celebrating the Mass and other sacraments according to the traditional Latin rite in the archdiocese since 2008.
In addition to suppressing the parish, Archbishop José Francisco Robles Ortega has restricted the number of Masses permitted in the archdiocese, effectively eliminating Masses for weddings, funerals, and other events. He has also prohibited the FSSP from doing public masses at their pastoral house, and states that he will soon decide who will be permitted to celebrate the traditional Mass and provide spiritual care for the faithful, implying that the FSSP might be excluded completely from the archdiocese.
Robles’ decree, issued on Tuesday of last week, implies that the ultimate goal is to eliminate the traditional rite of Mass completely in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, citing Francis’ statement in a letter accompanying Traditionis Custodes that he wishes to “work for a return to a unitary form of celebration” that will exclude the ancient rite. It also implies that further restrictions on the number of Masses will be imposed in the future, decreeing that “the celebrations will be carried out without adding to those already established . . . Once the time of the pandemic is over, the number of celebrations will be reviewed in each case.”
According to members of the parish who spoke to Catholic World Report about the case, the cardinal archbishop and his subordinates did nothing to discuss the matter with the lay faithful of the parish nor the FSSP priests before making his decision, despite claiming in a July press conference that he wished to have a “dialogue” with the FSSP following the issuance of Traditionis Custodes, which requires priests to obtain permission to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass according to the 1962 missal, and prohibits the creation of “new groups” associated with the ancient liturgy.
When several members of the parish attempted to approach the cardinal on Sunday to respectfully ask for an audience with him about the matter, he refused, claiming he was speaking to their priests – a claim that Catholic World Report is told is untrue – and quickly withdrew, appearing to be discombobulated by the encounter.
Robles is known for his aloofness, and is believed to rarely grant audiences to laity in the archdiocese, in marked contrast to his predecessor, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, whose doors were open several days of the week to any who sought an appointment with him.
So far the decree seems to be bringing about the opposite of its intended effect, spurring record levels of attendance at FSSP Masses. Sources say that a total of 798 people attended the Sunday Masses yesterday, a number that exceeds the earlier record of 715, which occurred on the Sunday following the issuance of Traditionis Custodes in July of this year….
The above comes from a Sept. 27 story in Catholic World Report.