As we are now in Passiontide, with Holy Week coming next week, we have received many inquiries about the status of our prayer campaign to restore the traditional Easter Triduum.
Since early February, the CLMC has sent three letters requesting that the traditional Easter Triduum be restored. There was even a brief unexpected meeting with Bishop Jugis on the steps of the Cathedral on March 25th where at this meeting, His Excellency stated that he felt that cancelling the Triduum was mandated from Rome (see attached letter). Although, he didn’t seem to be aware that many dioceses, like the diocese of Rome (the Holy Father’s own diocese) have reinstated the traditional Easter Triduum. Even the (quite un-traditional) dioceses of Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, and New York City will all have a traditional Easter Triduum provided for their faithful next week. The diocese of Charlotte was the only diocese we could find that is cancelling the traditional Easter Triduum.
While waiting for a reply, we also learned that in addition to the cancelling of the Easter Triduum, the traditional rite of Confirmation scheduled for July is now also cancelled.
We recall that in July of last year, the Vicar General, Monsignor Winslow, replied in writing, assuring us that the bishop would meet with our community prior to making any changes.
This week, however, the bishop’s secretary relayed His Excellency’s short reply to our letters, which he stated, “Nothing has changed.” We presume he means that his cancellation will remain in effect. This reply is heartbreaking.
Moreover, we have even been told by a priest that more restrictions may be coming. This begs the question: If the Triduum and Confirmations can be so easily canceled – what about baptisms, requiems, extreme unction, nuptials, or even Sunday Latin Masses? We must prepare for this possibility.
The bishop’s decision unfortunately scatters our community, pushing families to travel to nearby dioceses or attend an Easter Triduum offered by the Society of St. Pius X. For those searching for Easter Triduum alternatives, you can find Latin Mass schedules at this website: https://latinmass.com/tlmfinder
Regretfully, this moment of crisis could have been averted. Over the past eight years, the CLMC contacted the diocese on multiple occasions expressing our concerns about the vulnerability of our community to potential restrictions from Rome and requested various canonical protections, up to and including, asking the bishop to invite a traditional religious community into the diocese to staff a dedicated parish. Sadly, our concerns and requests were ignored.
We have not shared these communications publicly to give the diocese and bishop discretion in such matters, but after eight years of unanswered pleas and two major sacramental cancellations, we believe the Latin Mass faithful have a right to know how we arrived at this moment.
Many people have contacted us asking what they can do. As sad as this situation is for us to accept, we do see a path forward which we can share with you after Easter. For now we turn our focus to Passiontide and Our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Sunday.