By a reader it is asked:
I’m betting somebody has already asked this, but do you think the Holy Father will ever offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form? It’s been well over a year since the Motu Proprio has come out, and I haven’t heard any word on this. I ask this, because one friend of mine said that the Holy Father does not necessarily approve of the old Mass, because he has never celebrated it during his pontificate. Obviously this is incorrect, but it still raises an important question: if the Holy Father does approve of the Extraordinary Form, why has he not yet offered Mass in this form?
First, I am not sure that it really would make a critical difference whether the Holy Father says the older Mass in public. His provisions in Summorum Pontificum are a matter of law. His writings before his election are clear. Would it "make a difference"? Sure it would! But it would be highly politicized as well. It might do harm as well as good. Frankly, I am fine with that, but the Holy Father alone has his particular perspective.
Second, when the Roman Pontiff celebrates solemnly in the older Rite, there are a lot of things involved. The ceremonial of the Roman Pontiff is pretty much impossible now, because the court was abolished and many things were swept away. It would take eons to redevelop those things and they are probably not so desirable in many ways. However, I think the Holy Father could celebrate the TLM as a bishop would in his diocese: that is doable. Also, if he didn’t want to celebrate it himself, he could have it celebrated in his presence. I would be fine with those things.
Third, I think the Holy Father is spending a lot of his capital on pulling the Novus Ordo out of the tail-spin it is in.
Fourth, the Holy Father has been positioning people around him who are very favorable toward and knowledgeable about the older form. It seems to me that he could be paving the way for a public celebration. I don’t know that. That is a supposition on my part. The Holy Father will do as he believes best for the Church in this regard and, in this regard, I am content with his decision: I really trust that he is doing what he can, through liturgy, as part of a larger plan. As a student of Ratzinger for years, a careful observer, I think I have figured out the outlines of what he is trying to accomplish.
Do I think the Holy Father will say the TLM publicly?
Given time, yes. I think so.
But I think he will wait until enough progress has been made, through the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and other facets of the Benedictine "Marshall Plan", so that it can be as irenic as possible, a source of more light than mere heat.
Therefore, pray that Almighty God grant our Pope length of days, health and strength, and that his enemies be confounded.
V. Let us pray for Benedict, our Pope.
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.