I have been giving substantial thought to the whole matter of the the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate being ordered to offer mass using only the Novus Ordo.
I have read and listened to those who say this is a harbinger of things to come and it amounts to no less than the abrogation of Summorum Pontificum.
I have also read and listened to those who say this is merely an internal matter to the FFI meant only to protect those in the order who didn’t have the TLM in mind when they signed up.
I have listened and I have pondered.
So what to make of it all? Hang with me for a moment.
Imagine for a second that you are a priest or a religious or even a lay person attending mass. When you joined the order you has no idea whatsoever that the liturgy which you have used all your life would be suddenly changed. This wasn’t the mass you had in mind when you signed up.
But your superiors are intent on imposing this alternative liturgy on the whole community. But hey, the mass you were used to had been the standard liturgy for your whole life. It is the only mass you have ever known.
Now, something completely alien is being thrust upon you. You have reasonable concerns about how these changes will affect religious life. You have reasonable concerns about how these sudden changes will impact the faithful that attend mass with you. You have reasonable concerns about the universality of this other mass.
You and a very sizable minority have all these concerns about such a drastic change to your religious lives and the method of worship, but your superiors are intent on the imposition.
Where can you be heard?
So with no other recourse, you turn to the Vatican for a hearing. You turn to the Vatican in hopes that everyone can take a deep breath and not just impose this on everyone whether they want it or not.
Now imagine it is 1970.
In 1970 a sizable minority of Catholics had very real and reasonable concerns about the imposition of this new mass upon them. They tried to raise their concerns, but no one would hear them. They were given no alternatives and no opt outs.
In 2013, we now see a Church so attuned to the needs of the minority, so sensitive to those who are having the mass they were used to changed, that the Church is willing to impose the one form on the whole community even if the majority prefer the other form.
It might seem that the Church has done a 180 in its approach to the sensitivities of those having another form of liturgy thrust upon them. It might seem that way, but the result is the same. The Novus Ordo is imposed on all, whether you like or not.