Covington bishop moves Traditional Latin Mass to new church after punishing priests


On January 19, the Diocese announced that Our Lady of Lourdes Parish will be permitted to share the St. Ann Mission’s church building for Traditional Latin Mass services and that Bishop Iffert will join parishioners for dialogue on the situation.

Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Park Hill, Kentucky

PARK HILL, Kentucky (LifeSiteNews) – The bishop of Covington, Kentucky has made the Traditional Latin Mass available at a church in the Covington area, days after removing two beloved priests who offered it regularly at their personal parish.

Some of the faithful have suggested the move still falls short.

As previously covered by LifeSiteNews, parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes in Park Hill were recently informed by Father Shannon Collins that he and Father Sean Kopczynski, who served as Parochial Vicar, were stripped of their faculties by their ordinary, Bishop John Iffert. The two priests, who belong to the Missionaries of St. John the Baptist, provided the traditional sacraments to laity at Our Lady of Lourdes and at the Oratory of the Holy Family, located 28 miles southwest in Union, Kentucky.

Our Lady of Lourdes was established as a “quasi-parish” reserved for the exclusive celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in 2016, and two years later was elevated to the status of “personal parish.”

On January 17, the Diocese of Covington explained the punishment by accusing Collins of preaching that the Novus Ordo “is ‘irrelevant,’ preserves ‘literally nothing of the old,’ and that the reform of the liturgy was motivated by hatred toward traditional Catholics and the ancient liturgies of Rome”; and both priests of “maintain[ing] these errors and refus[ing] the opportunity to renounce them,” which “disqualifies them from being granted permission to publicly celebrate” the Latin Mass. The Catholic Lepanto Institute has accused the statement of taking the “cherry picked” quotes “way out of context.”

On January 19, the Diocese released a new statement announcing that starting this Sunday, January 21, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish will be permitted to share the St. Ann Mission’s church building for Traditional Latin Mass services, and that Iffert will join parishioners for dialogue on the situation the following Sunday.

“I know that this change is, in many ways, a setback and there will be much effort needed ahead to regain the community and quality of liturgy that you have enjoyed,” the bishop said. “I look forward to assisting Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in achieving ongoing stability and in your goal of promoting beauty and reverence in the Church’s worship.”

A criticism I had of Covington Bishop Iffert in effectively shutting down a TLM parish is that he didn’t have another TLM in place before doing so. But to His Excellency’s credit, he now has another TLM starting this Sunday (and in fact two separate TLMs at “normal” Mass times).

— Eric Sammons (@EricRSammons) January 20, 2024

The news received a mixed reception among Catholics, with some welcoming it as an olive branch and good faith effort to resolve the situation, and others arguing that it did not resolve the problems created by the original decision:

I have a lot of respect for you, Eric. But this about way more than just access to the TLM. We have plenty of options around here. I joined OLOL for Frs Shannon and Sean.
I’m not about to cheer on the bishop for giving us a part time step-dad after he’s the one that forcefully…

— Dan (@DanInRome) January 20, 2024

When someone acts up, you don’t punish everyone. You punish the guilty. The former doesn’t compel obedience: it fans paranoia and discord. Obviously TC wasn’t about protecting from bad apples, but this is a case study in how to do that, not TCs thuggish persecution

— Kevin Tierney (@CatholicSmark) January 20, 2024

The problem I have is that Bishop Iffert misrepresented the words of Fr. Shannon with his “irrelevant” comment. I don’t think he actually listened to the Homily. Bishop Iffert either lied or is incompetent, which doesn’t inspire confidence of his ability to oversee the diocese.

— David Phillips (@phillips3_david) January 20, 2024

Let’s hope the local trad community understands this and takes the opportunity in front of them. There’s a way forward here that could benefit everyone

— 🇵🇸🇻🇦Rosaries & Rotating Updrafts🌪️ (@PunishedUltrad) January 20, 2024

I suspect collections from this parish are going to plummet. A lot of folks might let the bishop off the hook for opening another location for TLM, but that will be cold comfort for the parishioners who were just deprived of two good priests and told to attend mass elsewhere.

— Martha the Librarian Avi (@TradLibrarian) January 20, 2024

In 2021, Pope Francis issued a decree severely limiting the Traditional Latin Mass, empowering bishops in every diocese to suppress it, while demanding new priests get permission from their bishop and the Vatican to offer it.

Original article here