In order to promote the concord and unity of the Church, with paternal solicitude towards those who in any region adhere to Rosary forms antecedent to the addition of the Luminous Mysteries added by Pope John Paul II, my Venerable Predecessor, Benedict XVI, granted and regulated the faculty to continue to pray the traditional form of the Rosary. In this way he intended “to facilitate the ecclesial communion of those Catholics who feel attached to some earlier form of the Rosary.”
At this time, I now desire, with this Apostolic Letter, to press on ever more in the constant search for ecclesial communion. Therefore, I have considered it appropriate to establish the following:
Art. 1. The Luminous Mysteries promulgated by Pope John Paul II are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Church.
Art. 2. It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole spiritual life of the particular Church entrusted to him, to regulate the prayers of the Rosary of his diocese. Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the traditional Mysteries of the Rosary in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See.
Art. 3. The bishop of the diocese in which until now there exist one or more groups that pray according to the traditional Rosary prior to the additions of Pope John Paul II:
- 1. is to determine that these groups do not deny the validity and the legitimacy of the Luminous Mysteries, dictated by the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiff;
- 2. is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the recitation of the traditional Rosary (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes);
- 3. to establish at the designated locations the days on which traditional Rosaries are permitted using the fifteen Mysteries revealed by the Blessed Mother. In these traditional Rosaries, the prayers are offered in the vernacular language, using translations of the prayers approved by the Episcopal Conferences;
- 4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these traditional Rosaries and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful. This priest should be suited for this responsibility, skilled in the use of the Rosary antecedent to the additions of Pope John Paul II. This priest should have at heart not only the correct recitation of the Rosary, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful;
- 5. to verify that the parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful attached to the traditional Rosary are effective for their spiritual growth, and to determine whether or not to retain them;
- 6. to take care not to authorize the establishment of new traditional Rosary groups.
Art. 4. Priests ordained after the publication of the present Motu Proprio, who wish to recite the Rosary in its tradition form, should submit a formal request to the diocesan Bishop who shall consult the Apostolic See before granting this authorization.
Art. 5. Priests who already recite the Rosary according to the traditional Mysteries should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.
Art. 6. Previous Marian apparitions and locutions, the writings of Saints and Mystics and Popes, norms, instructions, permissions, and customs that do not conform to the provisions of the present Motu Proprio are abrogated. Everything that I have declared in this Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio, I order to be observed in all its parts, anything else to the contrary notwithstanding, even if worthy of particular mention.