Sandro Magister has a very good article this week about the French Conference’s meeting, the issue of the possible "indult" and other related things. Here is one of best snips:
Benedict XVI wants to heal this schism – which is, in effect, more doctrinal than liturgical – but he also wants to grant, beginning immediately, the innocent desire of those priests and faithful who are fond of the Latin Mass in the ancient rite. He therefore has it in mind to facilitate the use of the Tridentine missal, in particular by removing the obligation to obtain permission from the local bishop.
And that has stirred up the French bishops.
Magister dissects the snarky comments made by members of the French conference about the mere desire for the use of the older Missale as well as the real issues which concern the French. He also brings in quotes from His Eminence Francis Card. Arinze’s speech to the conference, which functioned "like a cold shower". Here are some quotes from Cardinal’s speech:
“The sacred liturgy is not something that has been invented…”
“Many of the abuses in the liturgical domain have arisen, not from ill will, but from ignorance…”
“We must distance ourselves from that coldness, that horizontalism that places man at the center of the liturgical action, and also from the openly egocentric showmanship that our Sunday assemblies are sometimes obliged to witness…”
“Unfortunately, many homilies seem like addresses marked by considerations of sociology, psychology, or – even worse – politics. Sometimes they are delivered by members of the lay faithful, who are not even authorized to deliver the homily, which is reserved for those who have received ordination…”
“For a priest to try to share with the lay faithful the role that he exercises in the liturgy by virtue of his being a priest, and which is strictly reserved to him, is evidence of false humility and of an inadmissible conception of democracy or fraternity… “
“If one weakens the role of the priest or fails to appreciate it, a local Catholic community can sink dangerously into the idea that it is possible to envision a community without a priest…”
Cardinal Arinze repeatedly cited the 2003 encyclical by John Paul II, “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” an encyclical whose “primary purpose” – according to the authoritative theologian Giuseppe Colombo – that of “denouncing what is probably the most widespread abuse in today’s Church: that of celebrating the Mass without an ordained priest.”
I am hearing these days that the indult is in trouble. However, I do not believe that to be true in the long run. Magister agrees:
It is thus foreseeable that Benedict XVI will take a little more time, will listen to the objections from some bishops and cardinals, but in the end – probably by winter – will issue the Motu Proprio that will facilitate the use of the Tridentine rite.
The indult needs a lot of work… for it to work. Forces arrayed against it are considerable. However, Pope Benedict has a strong record and clear thinking about the use of the older form of Mass. That should never be far from the minds of those who want it.