The Chancery Office of the Diocese of Wilmington has released a statement regarding the celebration of so-called “Latin” masses in Sussex county. The actual form of the Mass in question is the “traditional” Latin or “Tridentine” mass celebrated under the pre-Vatican 1962 Roman Missal.
Under Pope Francis, the celebration of this Mass liturgy has had many restrictions and regulations applied to it, due to concerns about divisions it may cause within the Church proper. Priests are not allowed to celebrate the Tridentine mass without explicit permission. In addition, the celebrations in Sussex county are being performed by priests who have not received faculties from the Diocese, or who may, in fact, not have canonical status within the Catholic Church to celebrate any Mass whatsoever.
The full text of the letter from the Chancery Office may be read by clicking below:
(Within a diocese, the bishop generally is empowered to grant faculties or authorization to priests to hear confessions, say Mass, preach, etc. In many dioceses, including our own, the Chancery Office is delegated that responsibility by the Bishop, under his oversight and authority.)