Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez issued the following statement July 19 regarding the apostolic letter “Traditionis Custodes” released July 16 by Pope Francis.

See Catholic News Service’s feature article on the letter, the full text of which can be found here.


Dear Clergy and Lay Faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,

This past Friday, July 16, 2021, Pope Francis published Traditionis Custodes, an Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. On the same day, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, encouraged the bishops of our country “to work with care, patience, justice and charity,” as the new norms are implemented. This is my focus for the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese that celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

At this point, those places that celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass and other sacraments may continue to do so. Additionally, I grant to all priests the faculty to continue to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy using the liturgical books prior to the reform of 1970 until further guidance is forthcoming.

In the coming weeks, after additional time for study of the motu proprio and the development of a pastoral plan for its application, norms will be published for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in accord with the directives of the Holy Father.

I ask all of you to join me with renewed efforts to foster unity among all Catholics, especially with the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.

Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia