The Bishop of Victoria, Canada, Most Reverend Richard Gagnon has made a statement about Summorum Pontificum.
My emphases and comments.
New Order of the Mass [Clever!]
By Bishop Richard Gagnon
Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Letter, entitled Summorum Pontificum, issued Moto Proprio, which means, stemming from the Pope’s own accord or interest, deals with the celebration of the Mass. The letter addresses the two forms of the Mass within the Latin Rite of the Church, as opposed [or in harmony with] to the way Mass is celebrated in the Eastern Churches. Specifically, the Holy Father is referring to the newer Mass which grew out of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council and the older [he seems to be in harmony with the way I have been calling it] pre-Council Mass stemming from the Roman Missal of Pope St. Pius V and updated by Blessed John XXIII. If we are 55 and older, we would have clear memories of this earlier form of the Mass.
Now it is no secret to acknowledge that there are many Catholics who have a certain attachment to the older Mass said in the Latin language. This is particularly true in parts of Europe. [This reminds me of the odd comment made by the bp. of Fresno.] Pope Benedict is very concerned about effecting an “interior” reconciliation in the heart of the Church over this matter. The question is, of course, not so much to do with the use of Latin [exactly] as the newer Mass can also be said in Latin or in any other language for that matter. Rather, it has to do with the liturgical form of the Mass itself and there are important differences between the two, [This is refreshing. There really are big differences.] even though both belong to the Latin Rite.
It is the concern of the Pope to encourage a certain sense of continuity within the Latin Rite from the past to the present so that the unfortunate divisions which have grown within the Church can be overcome. [YES!] It is important to note that the older Latin Mass was never abrogated by the Second Vatican Council and the need for full participation, a teaching of the Second Vatican Council, still applies to both forms. [In fact, the Church’s teaching about "active participation", properly understood, began long before the Council.] The question is, of course, not so much to do with the use of Latin as the newer Mass can also be said in Latin or in any other language for that matter.
The Holy Father stresses that the newer form of the Mass, the Mass we are all familiar with, is to be considered and accepted, as the Ordinary Form of the Mass. The older form, said in Latin only, is to be considered and accepted as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. In effect, the former restrictions that applied to the older form of the Mass after the Council, namely, when and where it could be celebrated, are now removed. With this Apostolic Letter, groups of the faithful who are attached to the older Latin form of the Mass, namely the extraordinary form, may request that it be celebrated according to the guidelines outlined in the letter. Of course, there are very few priests today who have been trained to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form, at least in our part of the world. [For now.]
I tend to see this Apostolic Letter as one which reflects great courage on the part of the Pope. [YAY!] He is seeking to deal with a difficult reality in the Church by recognizing that there have been, and continue to be, tensions surrounding liturgical practice. His approach is to encourage a sense of universality in the Church, [Catholic identity?] recognizing various liturgical expressions that are important to Catholics and how these practices are linked together; in other words, there is a true continuity between them. [He sure has a bead on that useful word!] With this approach, the two forms, namely, the Ordinary and Extraordinary, will no doubt, influence one another [I think His Excellency has been reading WDTPRS!] in both building community and developing a sense of reverence and beauty in the Liturgy.
Great letter! He made the right points and didn’t impose a hostile interpretation on the Motu Proprio. Well done!