A mother’s love does not always say yes, but a mother’s love is always healing, is always strengthening. May the Church love her children in the very same way. Not always saying yes to everything that we ask, but always making us feel important and noble and listened to.” Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, preached these words at Mass on May 14, concluding his archdiocese’s phase of participation in the upcoming international Synod of Bishops on synodality.

Two months later, mother has said no.

On July 22, the cardinal issued his long-anticipated decree on the implementation of Pope Francis’s 2021 motu proprio Traditionis Custodes in the Archdiocese of Washington. Traditionis Custodes, as is well known, called for the restriction and de facto suppression of the 1962 Roman Missal for the sake of fostering greater ecclesial unity and fidelity to the Second Vatican Council. …

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