Do you remember that there was going to be a workshop in England for priests who want to learn the older form of Mass?
Here is a report from The Telegraph about the participation of the Archbishop of Birmingham (not Alabama), Most Reverend Vicent Nichols who preached to the assembled men. My emphases and comments:
Apparently, His Excellency told the congregation:
So the first invitation of the Holy Father is for us to avoid speaking or writing or thinking in terms of two rites: the ‘Tridentine Rite’ and the ‘modern’ or ‘post Vatican II Rite’. We should respond attentively and consistently to this invitation.
Why does the Pope insist that there is one rite of the Mass? Because, whichever form is being used, the same mystery is being celebrated, the same rite is followed. There is one mystery and there is one movement, or structure, through which that mystery is enacted …
I hope that your study of the Missal of Pope John XXIII will help you to appreciate the history and richness of that form of the Mass. And I trust that you will bring all that you learn to every celebration of the Mass you lead in the future.
I have no doubt that each of us must strive for improvements in the way the ordinary form of the Mass is celebrated so that its inner mystery and spiritual movement is more clearly set forth. As Pope Benedict says, we must do all we can to bring out the spiritual richness and theological depth of the Missal of Paul VI, ‘for that will guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI will unite parish communities and be loved by them’. [Certainly one of the objectives of Pope Benedict in issuing these provisions was to create a gravitational pull by the older Mass on how the newer Mass is celebrated.]
Please remember that what you study here is not a relic, not a reverting to the past, but part of the living tradition of the Church. It is, therefore, to be understood and entered into in the light of that living tradition today.
The Missal of Pope John XXIII will remain the extraordinary form of the celebration of the Mass, for, as Pope Benedict says, its use ‘presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often’. And the decision of the Church was that, for general use, it needed to be revised. But there are truths of which it can still remind us and it has treasures and consolation to offer.
May the Lord bless your efforts in these next few days and draw you closer to the heart of the one saving mystery, that mystery which we now celebrate together.
I like this sermon.
Whether His Excellency is for the older Mass or against it, this sermon has precisely the correct tone. He is showing up where the priests are gathering.
He is taking a leadership role.
Here is a suggestion to those bishops who are hostile to the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.
If you don’t want that celebrations of the older Mass spread in different parishes of your dioceses, then take control of the situation by being friendly toward the older Mass, not hostile. Take control by making sure that there are stunning Masses at the cathedral or a couple well suited places. Go yourselves, Your Excellencies, often to be the celebrant or be in choro wearing every scrape of fancy duds you can put on. Since the moon doesn’t look very interesting when the sun is shining, take control of the situation by leading, not by promises of tests for clergy and undue, and probably illicit, restrictions or impositions.
People won’t be as interested in what they can have in the parishes when they can have it all in splendor with the bishops himself.
Lead from the front.