Rorate Caeli

A RORATE CÆLI Editorial: Bishops should dispense priests and faithful from the horrors of Traditionis Custodes immediately

*Approved by a Doctor of Canon Law.

We at Rorate Caeli are gratified and edified by the generous paternal and pastoral approach that many bishops, particularly those in the Anglo-French sphere, have taken as a response to the horror that is “Traditionis Custodes”. To those good shepherds who read this we express, from the depths of our souls, our heartfelt gratitude. 

In a time when anger and sadness try to push their way into our hearts and disturb our peace your actions, correct and courageous, calm the waters and keep the enemy from taking hold. 

That said, these actions have been few and far apart. More action is needed post-haste. 

We plead with all prelates of good will, all shepherds who love and care for their flock, for the spiritual good of all the faithful – clergy and laity – who have benefited now for years from the immense spiritual, euchological, and theological treasury of the 1962 Missale Romanum,  to dispense us from the draconian provisions found in Traditionis Custodes.


The canonical institution of dispensation has always had a robust usage in the history of canon law, and is currently expressed in the words of canon 87, §1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law[1]. The law predicates itself on the judgment of the diocesan bishop for the spiritual good of his territory or his subjects. In connection with the notion of dispensation, Hans-Jurgen Guth has, in recent years, written in canonical literature about the bishop’s right in law to protest against decisions of the Pontiff, also known as the ius remonstrandi.[2] 

Given that the right to the traditional Mass from Quo Primum is firmly established in the canonical tradition as never abrogated, bishops could -- and should -- immediately exercise their canonical right of remonstration against such an overreach.


Healthy spiritual fruits, as illustrated by Matthew 7:16, are present in all groups of faithful attached to the Missal of Quo Primum – loving, caring families who faithfully attend Mass and frequently receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion; seminarians dedicated to prayer, study, and service of the Church; priests dedicated to the care of souls; and religious consecrated to single-hearted devotion to the Lamb of God.


The Church, they say, never moves quickly. That cannot be said, however, of the original promulgation of the Novus Ordo (and banning of the traditional Latin Mass) or in the harsh, whiplash-inducing release of Traditionis Custodes. And the response must be just as swift. 

We believe there are many prelates out there waiting for a leader. They are waiting for a brother bishop near them to take the first step and fully dispense priests and laity from Traditionis Custodes so those under their care may continue on their path to salvation in peace and without disturbance. 

We ask, in all sincerity and all fidelity: Use your legitimate power and dispense all of us. This is in your power and is your option. 

Please, we pray and plead, exercise it today.

[1]Can. 87 §1. A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church. He is not able to dispense, however, from procedural or penal laws nor from those whose dispensation is specially reserved to the Apostolic See or some other authority.

[2]Guth, Hans-Jurgen. "Ius Remonstrandi: A Bishop's Right in Law to Protest". Revue de droit canonique 2002, Volume 52, Number 1, pp. 153-65.