Letter from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB
re Traditionis Custodes
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Monday 19 September 2022
Dear brothers in the ordained ministry,
As you would recall, on Friday, 16 July 2021, Pope Francis issued motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, with an accompanying letter to his brothers in the Episcopate. Subsequently, I wrote to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Perth on Thursday, 22 July 2021. Within this letter, I indicated:
‘The pope’s motu proprio makes it clear that decisions relating to the authorisation of the use of the 1962 Roman Missal now belong to the bishop of each diocese. The letter also makes clear that any determination by the local bishop must be in conformity with the directives of the motu proprio. It will take time and careful prayer and reflection for me to determine how best to implement the motu proprio in this Archdiocese … Therefore, I will seek further advice in relation to these considerations’.
In my letter of Thursday, 22 July 2021, I subsequently outlined a series of interim arrangements with respect to the celebration of the Mass using the Roman Missal approved by Pope John XXIII in 1962 in the Archdiocese of Perth.
In acknowledgement of both the complexity and the need for pastoral sensitivity with respect to the implementation of Traditionis Custodes within the Archdiocese of Perth, I again wrote to each of you on Friday, 10 September 2021, with an invitation to share with me your thoughts and counsel with respect to this matter. I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the not insignificant number of you who took this opportunity to share with me your reflections and insights.
Prior to the Council of Priests meeting of Thursday, 23 September 2021, all clergy and Zones were invited to reflect on and submit responses to questions relevant to Traditionis Custodes.
At its meeting on Thursday, 23 September 2021, I received the advice of the Council of Priests in relation to these questions, together with the responses received from each of the Zones, which were tabled at the meeting. A summary of the discussions of the Council of Priests regarding the implementation of Traditionis Custodes within the Archdiocese of Perth is reflected in the Minutes of this meeting.
In my most recent Pastoral Letter of Tuesday, 16 August 2022, and within the spirit of the Holy Father’s apostolic letter, Desiderio Desideravi, I outlined a series of steps relating to Liturgical Renewal within the Archdiocese of Perth. Within my Pastoral Letter I took the opportunity to share with the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese of Perth the following reflections with respect to the implementation of Traditionis Custodes within our archdiocese:
‘I have moved slowly in implementing the new legislation of Pope Francis, and have consulted widely in the archdiocese and elsewhere. I have wanted to ensure that in responding to the Pope’s very clear instructions to the Bishops of the world, I have also given myself the time to reflect on the Pope’s directives, to seek advice, and to move with appropriate caution. What I do want to express in this letter is my deeply-held conviction that I, as a bishop, must faithfully implement the very clear directives of Pope Francis, according to both the letter of those directives and the intentions which underlie them’.
In view of what I have outlined above, I have issued today, Monday, 19 September 2022, the norms for the implementation of the Apostolic Letter, Traditionis Custodes, of Pope Francis in the Archdiocese of Perth. The norms come into effect immediately. The Decree whereby these norms have been established accompanies this letter.
In accordance with Article 3 §4 of the Apostolic Letter, Traditionis Custodes, I have appointed Monsignor Michael Keating DCL, STL as my delegate. In considering my appointment of a priest delegate, I gave due consideration to Monsignor Keating’s wide-ranging and ongoing liturgical and pastoral experience in celebrating the Mass using the Roman Missal approved by Pope John XXIII in 1962, as well as his long-standing ministry as a canon lawyer. I take this opportunity to thank Monsignor Keating for accepting appointment as my Delegate.
If we are, as Saint Augustine suggests, called to become what we celebrate, then the Eucharist must be the greatest and clearest sign and effective instrument of the unity we share as brothers and sisters in the one community of faith. Just as the Holy Father seeks to bring about greater unity in the Church through the celebration of the Mass and sacraments according to the 1970 Roman Missal of Pope Paul VI, it is also my intention to follow the Holy Father’s intention that those who seek to celebrate the Mass using the Roman Missal approved by Pope John XXIII in 1962 are provided for in our archdiocese.
Yours sincerely in Christ
Archbishop of Perth