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Tridentine Mass. The Primate of Poland, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, issued a decree on the Tridentine Masses. The aftermath of Pope Francis’ decision

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Archbishop Wojciech Polak, Metropolitan of Gniezno and the Primate of Poland, allowed the celebration of the Holy Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 in the previously existing places. Masses in the so-called Tridentine Rite are said in Latin with the priest facing the altar. The Primate’s decision is a response to the motu proprio “Traditionis custodes” of Pope Francis, which set out new rules for the application of the Roman liturgy before the 1970 reform.


In mid-July, Pope Francis limited the possibility of celebrating services in the pre-conciliar liturgy, in the so-called Tridentine Rite. Francis’ decision abolishes the decision of Benedict XVI, who during his pontificate allowed for the extensive use of the pre-conciliar liturgy.

The related decree was now issued by the Archbishop of Gniezno, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, who is also the Primate of Poland.

Decree of the Polish Primate

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According to his decision, priests who celebrated the liturgy according to the Roman Missal of 1962 are obliged to ask the Archbishop of Gniezno for permission to continue using these rights.

In the decree on the principles of applying the pre-conciliar liturgy in the Archdiocese of Gniezno, the Primate recalled that Pope Francis in the motu proprio (an apostolic letter of the nature of a decree issued on the pope’s own initiative – ed.) Indicated that the tasks of the diocesan bishop include normalizing liturgical celebrations in his diocese, including the granting of a license to use the 1962 Roman Missal.

Decree of the Polish Primate, Archbishop Wojciech Polak

Who and where can celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal

The Primate decided that in the Archdiocese of Gniezno, Masses according to the Roman Missal of 1962 may be celebrated “in places and times where they have been celebrated so far” – in Gniezno, Września, Pobiedziska and Inowrocław. At the same time, he decided that the priests who had previously held the liturgy “are obliged to ask the archbishop of Gniezno for permission to continue using these rights.”

“Celebrating the liturgy before 1970 outside the above-mentioned places and by a presbyter who does not have the exclusive consent of the archbishop of Gniezno, is forbidden” – emphasized the Primate.

Primate of Poland, Archbishop Wojciech PolakTytus Żmijewski / PAP

Primate Wojeciech Pole about the old liturgy

Archbishop Wojciech Polak appointed the current priest of Catholic tradition as a delegate of the Archbishop of Gniezno, who will be responsible for the pastoral care of the faithful participating in the so-called old liturgy.

“I made the above decisions guided by the will of the Holy Father and sharing his concern for the Church. At the same time, I oblige all priests to celebrate each liturgy with dignity and with fidelity to the liturgical books promulgated after the Second Vatican Council, without eccentricity, which can easily turn into abuses” – wrote the Primate in his decree.

The Trentino Rite

One of the differences between the Tridentine liturgy and the post-conciliar rite is the position of the person celebrating the service towards the faithful. The priest stands in front of the altar, facing the cross and tabernacle, with his back to the assembled. Services in the Tridentine Rite are celebrated in Latin.

National languages ​​were admitted to the liturgy after the Second Vatican Council, which was held in 1962-1965.

Main photo source: Tytus Żmijewski / PAP

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