While I agree with much of what John Allen has to say on the topic, I think that it misses the mark on classifying the players into three groups. Mr. Allen sees the players in this drama as the Right, the Left, and the Press.
The Right will see the MP as the death knell of the Novus Ordo mass and all things Vatican II. The Left will see this as just another example of how the Pope can’t bring back the dark ages quick enough. The press will thrive on the conflict between the two groups.
While these classifications of the interested parties are familiar and believable, I think that this leaves out a growing and critically important group who are members of, to borrow a phrase from Shawn Tribe, a new liturgical movement.
This is a group of Catholics who are not looking for Vatican II to be jettisoned, but actually implemented. They trust that that the Holy Spirit was truly at work during the council while still being able to see the abuses that followed it. They understand tradition and Tradition in their proper senses. They know that everything old was not good and that everything new is not bad.
Mostly, they understand what the Pope is trying to do and they support him. They don’t see the MP as the death knell of Vatican II but rather as a bridge to the pre-conciliar. They don’t see the history of the Church split into two incompatible eras of pre- and post-council but as one church with one history. They wish to build this bridge to the past so that we can bring what was good and holy in the past into our lives today. True conservatives.
They understand the meaning of phrases such as the “hermeneutic of continuity”. They too share the Pope’s modest ambition as Allen put it “that over time, the old Mass will exert a ‘gravitational pull’ on the new one, drawing it toward greater sobriety and reverence.”
These are the people who will make the greatest difference at the end of the day. They are the Creative Minority. A small but committed minority who, with the help of the Holy Spirit, will have the greatest influence on the church of the future. This growing group is composed of thoughtful, patient, and prayerful people who understand nuance. It is no wonder they are completely ignored by the media.