The California Catholic Daily has an article with statements by His Excellency Most Revedrend Daniel Walsh, bishop of the long-suffering Diocese of Santa Rosa.
My emphases and comments.
Published: August 30, 2007
A fond hope
It will be “some time” before the Tridentine Mass will be celebrated in Santa Rosa diocese, says Bishop Walsh.
In the Aug. 2007 “Bulletin from the Diocese of Santa Rosa,” Bishop Daniel Walsh expressed his delight that “the Holy Father has reached out to those whose attachment to the missal of Pope John XXIII has made them feel alienated from the Church after the Second Vatican Council.” Walsh expressed his hope that Pope Benedict’s recent motu proprio freeing celebrations of the Tridentine Latin Mass “will bring back many who have distanced themselves from our Church and faith because of their love for the former form of celebrating the mass.” [The problem here is that these are NOT the only people for whom the provisions of summorum Pontificum were intended. Pope Benedict was concerned with everyone who wants to participate in the older form of Mass, even only occasionally!]
The pope’s desire, said Walsh, is “to make every effort to make it possible for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew” – and the bishop quotes Benedict XVI: “It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.” [Again… this is far too narrow a vision. Far too narrow.]
Walsh noted that in the motu proprio the pope “allows [Here is something to consider. This "allows" makes it sound like something special, like a special permission. That is not what the Motu Proprio does. The MP establishes that it the older use is part and parcel of a priest’s options.] priests to celebrate” the traditional Mass “with the people who request it” [And privately.] and “gives permission to use the old ritual in administering the Sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick as the good of souls may suggest.”
However, said Walsh, “It will be some time before we see what concretely this permission for the use of the old missal will mean for our Diocese.” [Right! And that moment in time will be 14 September, when the provisions of summorum Pontificum go into effect in Santa Rosa and everywhere else in the world.]
Walsh said he asked “our priests if any of them can and are willing to offer the mass according to the old Missal. Only one priest came forward.” [Now.] Walsh called this “most understandable since the few of us who were ordained before 1970 and had some familiarity with the old Missal have not celebrated that form of the mass since 1970. The many priests ordained after 1970 have no experience of offering the mass according to the old missal.” [But they can learn. Look… if the older men learned it, younger men can learn it today.]
Thus, said Walsh, “we have the challenge of finding priests who are capable of offering the mass according to the old Missal.”
And there is a further problem, given the fact that “the extraordinary form” of the Mass “may now be used on Sundays.” “We recognize,” said Walsh, “that our parishes and priests already have full schedules on Sundays.” And, “obviously the old missal and the accompanying rituals will have to be reprinted.” [CHECK THIS OUT!]
Walsh said he hoped [Okay, that’s good.] “these challenges can be overcome for those who seek to celebrate the holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the extraordinary form.”
Santa Rosa diocese currently has two indult Tridentine Mass celebrations: at St. Mary’s Chapel, Petaluma, and Holy Family Church, Rutherford.
Either the reporter or the bishop seem to have a somewhat deficient view of the Motu Proprio.
I do not take the bishop’s statements as being overly hostile, though they are a little cautious. If he truly sees a problem with the shortage of priests who know what to do, then he is right! It will take a while before the older form of Mass can be celebrated well in that diocese more than it is at present.
But perhaps His Excellency could have sounded a bit more upbeat about this whole thing. Sure there are some obstacles. But for Pete’s sake! They are not that hard to overcome!