I have been musing on the news of the new Institute of the Good Shepherd and the comments/dialog taking place in another entry here in this blog.
When Pope Pius V issued Quo primum he made it clear that local rites which had a certain antiquity should be continued in those places and could be used at will. However, he stated that anyone in those localities could also use at will the Missale Romanum and that they couldn’t be impeded from using the Roman Rite even though there was a local rite. As a result the rights of the priests in such a place were expanded rather than diminished.
When the Novus Ordo was implemented there was a rather different attitude. Many sought to restrict the rights of priests to say the older form of Mass of the Roman Rite and impose on them only the use of the Novus Ordo. The iron clad claim was made by the vast majority that the older form of Mass, of great antiquity, as forbidden. As a result the rights of priests in ALL places were diminished rather than expanded.
However, many do not know that from the get go, Paul VI had made it explicit that the older form of Mass could stil be used in some places and by some priests. So, it was NEVER completely abrogated (that is, forbidden in an absolute way for all and everywhere). In the 80′s a commission of cardinals came to the same conclusions and later Pope John Paul II issued legislation in this regard in 1986. This "indult" to use the older form was then supposed to be greatly and generously expanded through the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta, but we all know that many stingy clerics dragged their feet. And they are still dragging them.
The debate about whether or not priests need specific faculties to use also the older form of Mass continues. I have the explicit faculty from the Holy See and so I personally don’t worry too much about this for my own celebrations of Mass using the 1962 Missale. However, many priests who want to say the older Mass at least privately (say, they have a "day off" or are retired) want to have a clean conscience in doing so. They don’t want to do a thing that is contrary to the law, and that is much to their credit.
A universal "liberalization" or better "freeing up" of the older form, by an act of Pope Benedict, could resolve the debate for good and lighten the consciences of many.