This just in.
I have a slight problem with this petition, though the idea and motive is certainly good!
Remember that under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum, parish priests don’t need permission or help from the local bishops to establish regular TLM’s in their parishes.
Again, parish priests don’t need for bishops to do what they can do themselves!
Of course only bishops can establish "personal parishes". Also, if you want a bishop for a Solemn High Mass… well… he needs to want to do it.
But one of the most important things Summorum Pontificum did was take the ball from the hands of diocesan bishops and put it into the hands of parish priests.
In a sense, "personal parishes" could be a way of slowing or isolating into ghettos those who want the older form of Mass.
That said… in what follows, my emphases and comments.
Thursday, July 24, 2008, 02:52 PM GMT
As the Catholic Herald reveals this week, leading Catholics including Lord Alton of Liverpool, Bianca Jagger and Dom Antony Sutch have signed a petition asking the bishops of England and Wales to provide more Latin Sunday Masses in the extraordinary form (Tridentine rite). [Parish priests can do this!]
Bianca Jagger wants to see provision of the Old Rite extended [Think about this. If Bianca Jagger can be a devotee of the TLM, isn't there hope for a few more bishops?]
The petition – which has been signed by Catholics from across the political spectrum – "humbly requests" that the bishops make traditional Masses widely available to the faithful, in accordance with Pope Benedict’s wishes. Progress on this front has been slow, to put it mildly. [Are they asking bishops to promote the TLM? Or to get out of the way?]
Signatories include Catholics not normally associated with traditionalist circles, such as the concert pianist Stephen Hough and Robin Baird-Smith, publisher of Continuum Books. He has written on the petition: "Liberal and progressive, I am nonetheless in support of the petition’s aims."
Bianca Jagger, a devout practising Catholic, is well-known as a radical human rights activist; but she also regularly attends Latin Mass at the London Oratory and wishes to see the provision of the Old Rite extended throughout the world.
Prince Rupert zu Löwenstein, former president of the British Association of the Order of Malta, has signed the petition, as have Sir Rocco Forte, a major shareholder in the Catholic Herald, and Peter Sheppard, chairman of the Herald.
Priests supporting the petition include Dom Antony, former headmaster of Downside, Fr Tim Finigan, Fr Dominic Allain and Fathers Julian Large and Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory.
Writers who have signed the petition include Mary Kenny, Cristina Odone, Stuart Reid, former deputy editor of the Spectator, and the historian Desmond Seward.
Prince Albert and Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis – whose family has been close to the Holy Father since before he was elected Pope – are also among 750 signatories.
The petition, started by Eveline Booth, a young worshipper at the Oratory, reflects concern at lack of official enthusiasm for Summorum Pontificum, the Pope’s Apostolic Letter liberating the older form of Mass, published just over a year ago.
Since then, however, the number of weekly Sunday Masses celebrated in the extraordinary form has increased only very slightly, and traditionalists claim that some dioceses have done nothing to promote the Motu Proprio.
As the Herald reports in detail, the Archdiocese of Liverpool has abandoned plans to create Britain’s first parish dedicated to celebrations of the traditional Latin Mass.
Miss Booth said: "I started going to the extraordinary form and discovered that it was a much more reverent experience.
"I thought it was such a shame that Catholics outside London didn’t have access to this liturgy – and also that some bishops and clergy didn’t even want to know about it. Yet it is the Pope’s wish that the older Mass should be at the forefront of worship."
The petition will be presented to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and a copy sent to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which recently asked the English and Welsh bishops to implement the Motu Proprio more thoroughly.
I am glad that this issue is being brought to the fore in such a public way.
But I would remind everyone not to fall back into pre-Motu thinking about this.
These are no longer the days of the provisions of Quattuor abhinc annos.
The days of Ecclesia Dei adflicta have come to a close.
This is the time of Summorum Pontificum. We mustn’t fall into the trap of seeing that the local bishop is the one who controls the entire implementation of the Motu Proprio.
Don’t be distracted.