Damian Thompson has a great little piece in Spectator about the implementation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
In it he relishes how the motu proprio is making the enemies of the Latin Mass squirm, forcing them to stick their heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist or try to put as much bureaucratic red tape in the way of its celebration as possible.
The enemies of the old Latin Mass are so horrified by Summorum Pontificum and its accompanying letter that they have either pretended that it does not exist or have misrepresented its contents. The key points are as follows. From next Friday, priests do not need to ask permission to say the traditional Mass privately, and lay people can attend these private celebrations. More important, if a group of the faithful — no number is given, but it need only be a handful — ask their parish priest to provide a public Sunday celebration of the traditional Mass, he is to do so.
He also gets a big kick out of the fact that progressives may now have to refer to the ‘Latin mass” and the mass of Blessed Pope John XXIII.
The pre- and post-Vatican II Masses will no longer be referred to as separate Rites, but as the ‘extraordinary’ and ‘ordinary’ forms of one Latin Rite. The traditional Mass will not be called after the Council of Trent, but after the Pope who issued the most recent (1962) revision of it, Blessed Pope John XIII. For anyone who enjoys the sight of liberals squirming, that is the nicest touch of all: the former Tridentine Rite now bears the name of the man who convened Vatican II. Why not? It was the only Mass he ever knew. The vernacular Mass was entirely Paul VI’s doing.
‘The Pope is not a trained liturgist,’ squealed the right-on Catholic magazine the Tablet after the Motu Proprio was published. On the contrary: he is a liturgist and theologian of genius. And what he is trying to achieve with Summorum Pontificum and the forthcoming new English translation of Paul VI’s Missal is to move beyond the liturgical squabbles of the past.[Can I hear an Amen?]
Thompson finishes with this.
Summorum Pontificum tore down the liturgical veil separating the old from the new; now the social barriers must be removed. For that to happen, former traditionalists will have to stop thinking of themselves as a spiritual elite; and former liberals must turn their eyes towards the astonishing treasures that this greatest of modern Popes has reclaimed from the rubbish heap. As I said, this is an exciting time to be a Catholic.
Thompson absolutely hits the nail right on the head with this piece. Well done.