His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his Motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, establishes that “the liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite” (Art. 1) and gives us the guidelines on the modified use of the 1962 Roman Missal.

The Apostolic Letter is a fruit of the consultation with the Conferences of Bishops in 2020 and the recommendations made accordingly by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In consideration thereof, the Holy Father expressed his desire “to press on ever more in the constant search for ecclesial communion.”

We express our obedience to and communion with the Supreme Pontiff as he leads us in the realization of the unity of the Church by means of the proclamation of the Gospel and in a particular manner in the celebration of the Eucharist.

The Bishops as the “guardians of the tradition,” “moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him” are to implement the provisions of the Motu proprio with utmost care, patience, justice and pastoral charity.

We reiterate the appeal of Pope Francis that “every liturgy be celebrated with decorum and fidelity to the liturgical books promulgated after Vatican Council II, without the eccentricities…” and that “seminarians and new priests should be formed in the faithful observance of the prescriptions of the Missal and liturgical books, in which is reflected the liturgical reform willed by Vatican Council II” (Letter of the Holy Father to the Bishops of the whole world, that accompanies the Apostolic Letter Motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes).

“Unity in necessary things. Liberty in doubtful things. Charity in all things.”

For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines:

Archbishop of Davao
CBCP President
22 July 2021