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In the spring of 1989, a report appeared in the June/July issue of The Fatima Crusader stating that a Papal Commission of nine Cardinals determined that the Traditional Mass has never been suppressed.
The report declared that in 1986, the Holy Father appointed a commission of nine Cardinals to examine the legal status of the traditional rite of Mass, commonly known as the “Tridentine Mass”. The commission of Cardinals included Cardinals Ratzinger, Mayer, Oddi, Stickler, Casaroli, Gantin, Innocenti, Palaz-zini, and Tomko was instructed to examine two questions:
Did Pope Paul VI authorize the bishops to forbid the celebration of the traditional Mass?
Does the priest have the right to celebrate the traditional Mass in public and in private without restriction, even against the will of his bishop?
The Commission, the account stated, unanimously determined that Pope Paul VI never gave the bishops the authority to forbid priests from celebrating the traditional rite of Mass.
Regarding the second question: The Commission stated that priests cannot be obligated to celebrate the new rite of Mass; the bishops cannot forbid or place restrictions on the celebration of the traditional rite of Mass whether in public or in private.
The Commission also recommended that the Pope issue a Papal decree based on the Commission’s findings and it was the Pope’s intention to issue this decree in November of 1988, but the decree was never issued, due to pressure placed on the Pope from opposing Cardinals.