A new letter from the Vatican Secretariat of State has banned the private celebration of Masses at side altars in St. Peter’s Basilica, effective March 22.
The regulation might seem tailored to meet Covid restrictions, as Italy prepares to tighten its pandemic measures once again. However, the new rule appears to be permanent.
The letter stresses that Lent is a time to focus on the Word of God and celebration of the Eucharist. It says the changes are intended to ensure “the Holy Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica take place in a climate of recollection and liturgical decency.”
Until now, the 45 altars and 11 chapels in St. Peter’s Basilica have been used every morning by priests to celebrate their daily Mass. Many of them are Vatican officials who begin their day with the celebration.
Not all of the Masses are crowded — in some cases, in fact, the priest celebrates Mass alone, with no faithful participating.
The individual Masses were in addition to the general daily Mass schedule in St. Peter’s Basilica. According to that schedule, there is one Mass per hour from 9 a.m. to noon, in Italian, at the Altar of the Chair. There is another Mass in Italian at 8.30 a.m. at the altar of the Most Holy Sacrament, while every day at 5 p.m., there is a Mass in Latin.
On Sundays, there are five Masses celebrated in Italian and one in Latin.
Under the new measures, all priests will be able to participate in a pre-listed series of concelebrations: at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. in the Chapel of the Choir; and at 7.30 a.m. and 9 a.m. at the Altar of the Chair. All the other Masses stay scheduled as they have been until now, although the Mass schedule on Sunday might change. On the feast day of a saint whose relics are in the Basilica, one of the Masses can be celebrated at the altar dedicated to that saint.
The measures ask that the Masses have lectors and cantors.
Another change — Mass offered in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite will be limited to the Clementine Chapel in the Vatican Grotto.
There has been a broad discussion of whether to end the practice of individual Masses, as part of a general reform of the management of St. Peter’s Basilica. However, decisions were postponed until the appointment of the new Archpriest of the Basilica, following the retirement of Cardinal Angelo Comastri, who had previously served in the role but had surpassed the normal retirement age of 75.
On February 20, Pope Francis appointed as the new archpriest Cardinal Mauro Gambetti.
However, the letter from the Secretariat of State is not addressed to Gambetti, but to Archbishop Mario Giordana, extraordinary commissioner of the Fabric of St. Peter. This is unusual, since the Fabric of St. Peter does not deal with liturgical celebrations in the Basilica, but is instead charged with its conservation and maintenance.
The fact that the letter was released by the First Section of the Secretariat of State has also garnered attention, as the first section is a sort of Ministry of Internal Affairs, in charge of all the Curia offices’ direction and coordination, but typically not liturgical celebrations.
Additionally, the release of the letter was not accompanied by any kind of official Vatican communication. Nor was the letter signed in full by Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, who heads the First Section of the Secretariat of State, but instead included only his initials.
These anomalies have prompted some speculation that the letter may have been forged. However, two Vatican officials who asked for anonymity confirmed to Catholic News Agency that the document is real.
The above comes from a March 12 story on the site of the Catholic News Agency.
the fabrica of st peter is the facilities management division that oversees maintenance. when large chunks of the ceiling fell down while the pope was celebrating mass in the basilica, oct 4th,2019( same day as pachamama was invoked in occult rituals) it was later noted that the wonderful roof drainage system that knew no trouble for 500 years had been clogged by neglect.a section over the Pieta like fell down in november 2018. somehow the fabbrica has failed to pass on the true tradition to new employees. possibly in haste to clear out all the old workers to clean the slate for a new regime.
I suspect that this is petty revenge for the precipitous drop in Peter’s Pence collections.
Especially against all of the American Catholic conservative youtube personalities who told everyone to not give any more money to the Vatican.
Yes sir. Maybe the money that is collected should be used for maintenance of buildings its intended for and not towards interior design of gay bath houses.
For a Pope who frequently speaks of the “marginalized,” he and “his” Vatican seem to be “marginalizing” more and more people: those who prefer the TLM, those with same-sex attractions striving for chastity, the divorced and remarried who either obtained annulments or live “as brother and sister,” those who voted for Trump, firearms owners, those who believe that those promoting the killing of babies should not receive Holy Communion; to identify some who come readily to mind.
His “marginalized,” who are somehow worthy of “accompaniment,” seem to be the rich and powerful leftist globalists, the “population controllers” and the LGBTQ+ lobby.
Also, Cardinal Burke raises some serious questions/issues about that Vatican action. See his statement linked below.
Thanks for that link.
Cancel culture hits St. Peter’s. The world needs more Masses to be celebrated, not fewer. Why is the Mass in the Ancient Rite being relegated to the catacombs? The form of the Mass that nourished the faithful for at least 1500 years continues to be ghettoized.
Not one cent for Peter’s Pence!
Cardinal Burke said that this action is unlawful, and raised serious concerns about it. He said it was in direct violation of universal Church law, and should be rescinded.
People, priests can still celebrate private masses in other places. Like at home.
Can. 932 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a decent place.
§2. The eucharistic sacrifice must be carried out on a dedicated or blessed altar; outside a sacred place a suitable table can be used, always with a cloth and a corporal.
I pray for a deathbed conversion. I pray it today.
They really hate the Traditional Latin Mass.