A parish with a ‘thriving’ traditional Latin Mass community in Glasgow has been ordered to cancel its public Masses, sparking a wave of criticism from parishioners. 

The Archdiocese of Glasgow has instructed The Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Balornock area of the city to bring an end to traditional Latin Masses in the parish.

It follows a decree issued by Pope Francis in July 2021 to prevent Mass being celebrated in parish churches using the liturgy of 1962.

The parish is regarded as a ‘thriving hub’ of traditional Catholic life in Scotland, with around 200 people - including many from outside Glasgow - reportedly attending traditional Masses each week.

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However, Sunday saw the last traditional Mass held at the parish, sparking an outcry among locals. 

The Archdiocese told The Herald that in the wake of the decree, Archbishop Nolan appealed to the Vatican to allow at least one such Latin Mass to continue in Glasgow, and that permission was granted.

In a statement, Archbishop Nolan confirmed that Latin Mass will now be celebrated in St Brigid’s, Toryglen - located around six miles from The Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Balornock.

Archbishop Nolan said. “In July 2021 Pope Francis issued a decree, Traditionis Custodes, regulating the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal.

"Though his decree states that such celebrations should not take place in a parish church, the authorities in Rome have now given permission to the Archdiocese for the 1962 Latin Mass to be celebrated in St Brigid’s, Toryglen.

The Herald: Archbishop of Glasgow William NolanArchbishop of Glasgow William Nolan

"St Brigid’s will now be the sole venue for such Masses within the Archdiocese. Mass in St Brigid’s is celebrated at 9.30 am on Sundays.

"This means that from 1st May 2023 the 1962 Latin Mass will no longer be celebrated in Immaculate Heart of Mary, Balornock.

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"Traditionis Custodes also asks that a priest be appointed to have pastoral care of those with a devotion to the pre-Vatican II Mass. I have appointed Fr Gerard Byrne to this role and am grateful to him for accepting this responsibility.

"I am grateful to Fr Mark Morris for the care he has shown over the years to those celebrating the Latin Mass in Immaculate Heart of Mary.

"And while I know that many will be disappointed that they will have to travel to another parish, I hope that they will be reassured that Mass according to the 1962 Missal is still available in the Archdiocese."

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The decision to end Latin Mass in Balornock sparked a wave of criticism from parishioners at The Immaculate Heart of Mary, with many calling it “absolutely disgraceful”.

One parishioner said the local community have been left “ absolutely heartbroken” by the decision, adding that the decision has “ripped the parish family apart”, before calling on the Archdiocese to reconsider. 

They commented: “As a parishioner of IHOM for the past decade, I can say that everyone in the parish are absolutely devastated by this thoroughly unjust and senseless decision. I have seen the parish grow and many who have attended all say they have found a true Catholic home. 

“This decision will not only disperse a very healthy and up until yesterday, a happy congregation but has ripped the parish family apart! I'm honestly trying to understand why target a healthy regular congregation of over 200 people because this moto proprio has never made any sense whatsoever! Please, Your Grace, please reconsider. We are absolutely heartbroken.”

Another wrote: “Father Mark has worked tirelessly to provide Latin Masses for many years and the attendance levels show there is a desire for it. It is a shame it can no longer take place there. It is lovely it will still be available in St Brigids. One Parish at each side of city would have been nice though.”