Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger

The following is a brief and an initial response to the Apostolic Letter, Traditionis Custodes, issued “motu proprio” by Pope Francis concerning the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. Further and more practical details and guidelines will follow in due course. (For the sake of consistency and clarity in this initial response, the Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes is referred to as “TC” and the terminology adopted by the Apostolic Letter “the Roman Liturgy prior to 1970” is retained. 

The liturgy is so often and rightly described as the “source and summit” of the life of the Church. This is true of the many forms and types of liturgical celebrations that take place within the liturgical norms and laws established by the Church; in other words, as part of the living Tradition of the Church. The very feast day that we celebrate today of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,  is a wonderful example of the rich diversity and development within that living Tradition, as expressed and lived in the Liturgy. With respect to the celebration of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reforms of 1970, I wish to reiterate the great pastoral and spiritual good that has been experienced by those who have been and who are engaged in this form of the Liturgy. I would also like to acknowledge the many valuable contributions made to the life of the Church through such celebrations. 

As TC notes, I was consulted along with all the Bishops in the Church in 2020 by way of a questionnaire. This was duly completed and dispatched, although, to the best of my knowledge, no summary of the various responses of the Bishops has been provided to date. My response gave details of the current provisions and experiences within the Diocese; as well as other points, such as those mentioned in the paragraph above.

I would certainly welcome input and suggestions from members of the Diocese on how best to implement the various provisions of TC. These may be directed to Father Anthony Barratt, the Director of Prayer and Worship for the Diocese of Albany. Requests, as noted in Articles 4 and 5 of TC should be directed to the Bishop’s Office.

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger

16th July 2021, Memoria of Our Lady of Mount Carmel