Knights of Malta head bans Latin Mass

Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre (CNS/Paul Haring)

The Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta has forbidden the use of the traditional Latin Mass for all liturgical celebrations within the order. Source: The Tablet.

In a letter dated June 10 and addressed to leaders of the worldwide order, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre said it was his duty to ensure the communion that unites all members of their religious family “is present in every aspect of our order’s life”.

“Among all the elements which constitute our spiritual life, the question of the liturgy to use in our celebrations has a particular significance,” he wrote.

When Pope Benedict XVI eased restrictions on use of the 1962 Roman Missal, known as the Tridentine rite, in 2007, the papal instruction permitted the major superior to decide the matter for religious institutes or societies.

“I have thus decided, as supreme guarantor of the cohesion and communion of the order ... that henceforth all the liturgical ceremonies within our order must be performed according to the ordinary rite of the church – rite of St Paul VI – and not the extraordinary rite – Tridentine rite,” Fra’ Dalla Torre wrote.

He asked that all members, chaplains and volunteers be informed of the decision and ensure that the decision be “immediately put into practice” and respected.

Despite the way the letter was worded, it was meant to reaffirm existing guidelines of the order, and was not an announcement of a new decision, Marianna Balfour, the order’s diplomatic public affairs and press officer, told CNS yesterday.

“The Grand Master issued the letter, containing no novelty, aimed only at fostering unity in the order,” she wrote in a series of email responses to questions.

The letter does not intend to interfere with members’ personal preferences as “each member has his or her own right to participate in any celebration preferred,” she wrote.

“The letter was intentionally issued to put an end to any form of discrepancy regarding liturgical celebrations. The Order of Malta has 13,500 members worldwide and is present in 120 countries,” she said. “As its religious superior, the Grand Master is responsible for encouraging uniformity and cohesion.”


Knights of Malta head forbids use of Latin Mass for order members (The Tablet)


Order of Malta leader bans Traditional Latin Mass (Catholic Herald

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