Here is the statement on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of the Diocese of Plymouth, England, and the Bishop His Excellency Most Reverend Christopher Budd. It is reaching me just now, through the services of a priest friend in the UK. However, take note that it seems to be dated from August 2007, which I find a little odd.
I think this is odd because suddenly the English dioceses are now releasing their statements, almost as if they got their collective act organized. There are similarlities between some of them.
It seems to be addressed only to priests, so it isn’t a general statement to the laity of the diocese.
In any event, here is the statement with my emphases and comments.
I am sure you will all have read either the Motu Proprio or reports of it in the press. I would like to make the following comments:
+ Anyone intending to use the 1962 Missal will need to learn it thoroughly, including some of the prayers by heart. It is rubric-heavy and all of the rubrics must be scrupulously adhered to. It also requires that you recite the Latin, either out loud or silently, so that it makes sense. Competence in both language and rubrics is crucial. [Okay, this sure sounds hard.]
+ Anyone learning this rite from new will need to demonstrate to me that they are competent in its celebration. [I suppose there will be a test? Will His Excellency now start also reviewing the competence of men celebrating the Novus Ordo?]
+ The rite of the 1962 Missal is extraordinary. [!] The principle ‘ad extraordinarium nemo tenetur’ means that no priest is obliged to learn how to celebrate according to the 1962 Missal. [I must hand it to this bishop: This is the first time I have seen in any statement that principle cited in Latin. However, it strikes me that all priests of a Rite should know how to celebrate their Rite.]
+ Any liturgical formation, either for ourselves or others, will continue to be based on Sacrosanctum Concilium, GIRM 3, the introduction to the Lectionary, Redemptionis Sacramentum and Sacramentum Caritatis. The same principles relate to both ordinary and extraordinary rites. [I suppose this means that there will be special care in liturgical formation of priests now so that none of the abuses described in Redemptionis Sacramentum are occuring and so that Latin and Gregorian chant will have pride of place in the liturgy as described in Sacrosanctum Concilium.]
+ In regard to Sunday celebration according to the 1962 Missal, I would suggest that a minimum of fifty people [An interesting suggestion, but NOT in keeping with the actual provisions of Summorum Pontificum. In the MP no minimum number is given.] should be requesting it before we make any arrangements for a weekly celebration of that rite (cf. SP Art. 5 para. 1). I suspect we may have to provide a willing and competent priest to celebrate it in certain centres across the Diocese, depending on requests. I wish to be personally involved in all decisions of this nature (i.e. Sunday celebrations). [That is a nice wish. We must also take note that the Motu Proprio says that the PASTOR of parishes is the one who is making the decision on this and the bishop helps if there are problems.]
+ It may be suggested that we should invite into the Diocese willing and competent priests from outside. In general, I would not be keen to authorise this. It sounds like a presbyteral version of flying bishops! [I am not sure what this refers to, but I can sympathize with it. However, is suspect my reason and his might be somewhat different. I would hope that all things relating to the pastoral care of people desiring the older forms could be handled by priests of the diocese. I think his reasons might be different, but we can't really tell that from what he wrote.]
+ May I urge you to celebrate the present liturgy (the ordinary rite) of all the sacraments of the Church ‘attente et devote’. The quality of the parish celebration of the renewed liturgy is an important context for the permitted use of the rite now designated `Extraordinary’. [This statement is interesting. He is saying there is a connection between the way the newer Mass and the older are celebrated. On the surface, this seems to say that the care given to the newer Mass needs to be at least as good as the attention given to the older. It strikes me that that would be the case in a place where the older Mass is being considered. Still, we can be sure there will be a "gravitational pull" exerted by the older Mass on the way the newer Mass is celebrated wherever they may be. That is the key.]
Aside from the somewhat intimidating, and maybe overreaching "test" he will impose on a priest, and the "suggestion" of 50 people as a minimum – which just cannot stand up I think, there is at least an indication here that he wants things done well.