Action Alert!

Bishop Provost Decree for the Implementation of Traditionis Custodes

by Bishop Glen John Provost


Bishop Glen Provost of the Diocese of Lake Charles, in a decree and accompanying letter dated November 1, 2021, and published October 19, delivered his official response to the criticisms made by the Pope against devotees of the traditional liturgy. There is no prohibition in either particular law or universal law against the celebration of any sacrament in the Roman Rite in any parish, chapel or oratory of his diocese, the Bishop states. This Decree is accompanied by a prefatory letter.

Publisher & Date

Diocese of Lake Charles, October 19, 2021

1 November 2021
Solemnity of All Saints

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In these troubled times of recovery from two severe hurricanes, a three-day ice storm in January, and a natural disaster of flooding in May, all in the space of nine months, I am writing to address the implementation of Traditionis custodes.

Thousands in our diocese remain displaced, living in temporary housing. The Federal Government has not been forthcoming with assistance, as in the past. To further compound our difficulties, we are dealing with the pandemic, burying our deceased, and addressing the controversies over vaccinations, quarantines, and masking. Given these burdens and the emphasis on mercy exhibited by our Holy Father, I am prompted to address this implementation, where appropriate, in a spirit of epikeia and with the application of Canon 87.

I am issuing this Decree for the implementation of Traditionis custodes in compliance with its prescriptions. As a pastor and a bishop, I am aware of the needs of the flock and address them. We do so liturgically for numerous groups that require special attention, such as our University students, the Hispanic community, and the hearing impaired. Our pastoral concern extends as well to those who worship in the usus antiquior, that is with the Roman Missal of 1962, and who have done so since the establishment of the Diocese. I am unaware of anyone in this community who has expressed opposition to the Second Vatican Council, much less denied its legitimacy. As well, those who have chosen to discuss with me their devotion to the usus antiquior have insisted upon the validity of the reformed liturgy. With this in mind, I would be grossly negligent, if not callous, to implement any restrictive law while at the same time ignoring these realities.

In my many years of having the privilege of celebrating the Sacraments in the Diocese of Lake Charles, I have been continually struck by the tender devotion of the faithful. I am also aware, as well as can be, of the needs of the people as they have expressed them to me. Whether at Masses in newer or older rites, I know the people with their concerns. There are those with terminal illnesses, genetic diseases, and psychological problems that make all else pale by comparison. There are many burdened by financial difficulties, unemployment, and estrangement in marriage. They have lost loved ones to a virus whose origins and nature they do not understand. They strive amidst great trials to protect and provide for their spouses and children. They suffer quietly, not advertising their problems, seeking some solace in the rites of the Church, whether in the vernacular or in Latin. If we, as pastors, do not acknowledge these realities and instead continue to engage in arguments that the faithful find incomprehensible, then we truly risk becoming a "resounding gong and clashing cymbal" ( cf. I Corinthians 13: 1) and just as irrelevant.

In offering this preface to my Decree, I ask your prayers for the Church. As She journeys cautiously over these troubled waters, pray that God will guide Her as He promised and that the gates of Hell shall not prevail ( cf. Matthew 16: 18).

As I remain with prayers for you and your families, be assured of my blessings for all in need.

Sincerely yours in our Lord,

+Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles


Whereas, on July 16, 2021, the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis issued the apostolic letter
Traditionis custodes, given motu proprio, regarding the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the
reform of 1970;
Whereas there are several groups of the faithful throughout the diocese rooted in the form of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970;
Whereas there is neither widespread dissension nor denial of the validity and the legitimacy of the liturgical reform established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council within these groups of the faithful or otherwise within the diocese;
Whereas Latin remains the liturgical language of the Roman Rite (cf can. 928; Sacrosanctum Concilium 36, § 1)
Whereas it is the duty of the diocesan bishop to care for the spiritual good of the aforementioned groups of the faithful;

The Most Reverend Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles

that in accord with the norm of canon 87, the Parish of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and the Parish of Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Sulphur, Louisiana, are dispensed from the disciplinary norm of art. 3 §2 of Traditionis custodes, and are hereby designated as locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharistic celebration according to the Missale Romanum of 1962, following their current respective schedules, which may be amended at the discretion of their respective pastors, who along with all other priests canonically assigned to minister within these parishes have permission to celebrate all sacraments of the Church in the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite within their parishes;

that for all celebrations of the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite in other parishes and chapels of the diocese, the following applies:

There is no prohibition in either particular law or universal law against the celebration of any sacrament in the usus antiquior in any parish, chapel, or oratory of the diocese, without prejudice to arta. 2-6;

Priests who wish to celebrate Mass using the Missale Romanum of 1962 shall request in writing the faculty to do so from the diocesan bishop. A priest will be granted this faculty provided he has been found idoneus, that is qualified to celebrate using the usus antiquior.

In order to be deemed as idoneus, a priest must:

i.. Not be impeded by Canon Law;
ii.. Evidence a basic knowledge of the Latin language;
iii. Demonstrate competency in the celebration of the usus antiquior of the Mass;

4. The faculty to celebrate Mass using the Missale Romanum of 1962 includes:

i. Permission to celebrate such a Mass privately at any time;
ii. Permission to celebrate such a Mass for the faithful at any approved times, as determined by the pastor of the parish in which the celebration is to take place. Pastors who wish to introduce the use of the Missale Romanum into their parish Mass schedules must seek permission from the diocesan bishop;
iii.Permission to pray the Breviarum Romanum as a means of fulfilling the obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours;
iv. Permission to celebrate the Ordo Ministrandi Sacramentum Pa nitentiae (the Sacrament of Penance in the usus antiquior) for the faithful who request it;

5. Priests ordained after July 16, 2021, who wish to celebrate Mass using the Missale Romanum of 1962 must make a request in writing to the diocesan bishop outlining the reasons for his desire to celebrate Mass in the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite.

i. Such priests must first be determined to be idoneus (cf. art. 3 above).
ii. In accord with the requirements of Traditionis custodes, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disciple of the Sacraments will be consulted before the granting of such requests.

6. Concerning the celebration of all other sacraments of the Church in the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite other than the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance, with the exception of those parishes that have received the dispensation stipulated in art. 1 of this decree, each celebration will require permission from the diocesan bishop.

that in accordance with Traditionis custodes, a priest delegate has been assigned by means of a separate decree to moderate all such activities;

that priests of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest assigned to or residing at the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales are granted the faculty to celebrate all sacraments in the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite at any parish, chapel, or oratory of the Diocese of Lake Charles, without prejudice to art. 4ii above, and that the Rector of the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales may, according to his pastoral judgment, establish and amend the liturgical schedule of said oratory;

Anything to the contrary notwithstanding. This decree is to be promulgated by publication in the Catholic Calendar and will enter into force on November 21, 2021, Solemnity of Christ the King.

Given at the Diocese of Lake Charles on day 1 of November in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-One, Solemnity of All Saints, under the signature and seal of the Bishop of Lake Charles that of his Chancellor.

+Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles

(Rev. Mr.) George Stearns

© Diocese of Lake Charles

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