Beginning Jan. 25, 2022, all clergy in the Chicago Archdiocese will need the archbishop’s permission to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, according to a new archdiocesan policy that Cardinal Blase Cupich promulgated on Dec. 27.

The five-page policy spells out the archdiocese’s plan for implementing Traditionis Custodes, the apostolic letter that Pope Francis issued July 16 that curtails use of the pre-Vatican II liturgy, instructing priests and deacons that their written requests to offer the pre-conciliar Latin Mass must include average attendance at those liturgies and that priests are obligated to celebrate Mass in the reformed rite on major solemnities like Christmas and Easter.

“My intention in sharing this policy is to encourage you to reflect on the duty we each must assist our people in this moment of Eucharistic revival by rediscovering the value of the liturgical reform in the rites given to us by the Second Vatican Council,” Cupich wrote in an accompanying letter to priests.

The cardinal released his policy a little more than a week after Francis approved further clarifications regarding restrictions on the Latin Mass. Those clarifications, released Dec. 18by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, prohibit priestly ordinations and confirmations in the old rite and limit the frequency in which priests authorized to celebrate the pre-Vatican II Mass can do so.

Cupich wrote that after Francis issued Traditionis Custodes, the cardinal consulted with liturgists, priests and leaders of religious communities who have experience ministering to Catholics who regularly attend Mass in the old rite.

Cupich wrote in his letter to priests that he hoped issuing the archdiocesan policy would be “an occasion to renew your understanding of the foundations of liturgical renewal and to share that with your communities.”

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