Pope trusts Solesmes Congregation to make its own decisions about extraordinary form, abbot says
September 09, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: On September 5, Pope Francis received Abbot Geoffrey Kemlin, the new abbot of St. Peter’s Abbey in Solesmes, France, who sought clarification about the implementation of Traditionis Custodes within the Solesmes Congregation.
The abbey, since its restoration under Dom Prosper Guéranger (1805-75), has been a center of Gregorian chant. The sacred liturgy is celebrated in Latin, according to the ordinary form, though some monasteries in the Solesmes Congregation celebrate the sacred liturgy in the extraordinary form.
“I am 2,000 kilometers from your monastery,” Pope Francis said, according to the abbot. “You are a monk, and discernment is characteristic of monks. I don’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to you, but I let you discern and make your decision.”
Solesmes Abbey, Abbot Kemlin noted, has experienced a decline in vocations in recent decades. The number of monks has fallen from 100 to 42 over the past 40 years; the number of novices has fallen from 25 to four since 1995.
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