What should worry readers in the following is the unavoidable conclusion that The Tablet can’t stand Pope Benedict. The editors of "the Bitter Pill" hold Pope Benedict in such contempt that the editors are willing to objectify even the new Archbishop of Westminster so as to pit him against the Vicar of Christ.
When I was in the UK I had some discussion with friends about an interview in the best UK Catholic weekly The Catholic Herald with H.E. Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, the recently installed Archbishop of Westminster, arguably the most influential Catholic bishop in the UK.
Effectively, Archbp. Nichols said that Holy Mass is celebrated validly in both forms of the Roman Rite. He said that "some people want to create too much of a tension between those two. He also thinks that when people get caught up in "some aspect of how the Mass is being celebrated or the music that’s been chosen" then they begin to "turn their back on the Church’s ordinary pattern of prayer, the ordinary form of the Mass".
I think His Excellency is right. There are two forms of the Roman Rite and they are both valid. He is also right that some people get so worked up about, for example, liturgical abuses and music, that they weaken in their resolve to remain faithful to the Church.
However, I observe that he made those observations about the newer form of Mass. Apparently it is in the newer form where that happens. Also, I would remark in return that it is probably good that people have strong reactions to the manner of celebration of Holy Mass.
Quite a few people I spoke with in England were rather disappointed with Archbp. Nichols rather weak observations.
They expected from Archbp. Nichols something closer to the mind of the Holy Father.
Now, it appears that Archbp. Nichols wrote an introductory comment for the booklet to be distributed to some priests who will take part in a TLM learning workshop which had, to one extent or another, some connection with the Archdiocese of Westminster. Apparently the involvement may stem from the facility used for the conference.
That said, this comes from the extremist lefty UK weekly The Tablet comes this editorial with my emphases and comments:
The old rite put in its place [Already you can hear the high pitched whine of hysteria.]
One of Pope Benedict XVI’s most controversial initiatives has been his promotion of the Tridentine Rite of Mass [Interesting choice of words. They acknowledge that the POPE is "promoting" this. But… that would set them against what they know the Pope is promoting….] as an alternative to the revised rite that reflects the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. [What they are doing here is pitting anyone who "promotes" the older form against Vatican II. Remember: the writer is certainly one of those "rupture" Catholics, who believes the history of the Church was fibrillated back to life in 1962.] Archbishop Vincent Nichols, newly installed at Westminster, has lost little time in defusing some of the reasons for the controversy in a forthright message to priests taking part in a training conference on the Tridentine Rite later this month. [Is that what he did?]
His message is unambiguous,  and may not please some of those hoping to attend the conference. First, he has insisted that the training conference is officially sponsored by the Diocese of Westminster, “in conjunction with the Latin Mass Society”, thereby keeping it under his control. In church teaching and canon law, he states, bishops are responsible for the oversight of the liturgy. Many feel a bishop’s role in these matters has been undermined by Pope Benedict’s motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, which appears to allow priests to opt for the Tridentine Rite regardless of the attitude of local bishops.
Archbishop Nichol gives no shred of encouragement to those who want the Tridentine Rite to replace the newer version. Conference participants “will wholeheartedly celebrate the Mass in each of these forms”, he instructs them bluntly, adding: “The view that the ordinary form of the Mass, in itself, is in some way deficient finds no place here.” People who hold that view are “inexorably distancing themselves from the Church”, he says. There is no scope, in other words, for “Tridentine Rite” parishes that set themselves up in the spirit of being “more Catholic than thou”. Recognising the threat of such moves, Archbishop Nichols is seeking to nip a potential schism in the bud. ["schism"? Again, that shrill hysteria cuts through. Remember that Archbp. Nichols in The Catholic Herald said that both forms are legitimate and he associated abuses with the Novus Ordo, not the older form. Where is the threat of schism? From those who follow the rubrics and properly avail themselves of the law? Or is it from those who violate the rubrics and make liturgical choices which are not in continuity with the Church’s tradition?] His firm leadership in Westminster is one that other bishops in England and Wales – and elsewhere – will welcome. The Catholic Church does not need its own version of “culture wars”, and in his message the archbishop in effect declares a priest’s personal tastes or preferences to be irrelevant. [I have remarked at other times that nearly all liberals do not want to allow that there really is a conflict in the Church. This is especially true among the dishonest liberals. There are some few who will admit there is an extreme loony side among their ranks. Mostly, however, they will only admit that there is a far right and that those people are the only extremists. The rest of the Church is just fine, thank you very much. This is the illusion The Tablet strives to create.]
Furthermore the distinctive feature of the Tridentine Rite, and the single most pressing reason why the bishops at Vatican II wanted it reformed, was the absence of any role for the laity. [Rather boring, no? They have little comprehension about what authentic active participation is. And so they mouth weary clichés… like this one…] They were little more than spectators [blah blah] of what the celebrant was doing at the altar; [I wonder why children seem to behave better at Holy Mass in the older rite than they do in the newer?] in practice this meant many of them concentrated on their own private devotions. Archbishop Nichols insists it is an “established principle of good liturgy” to encourage the active participation of all those taking part in the Mass, a principle needing “careful consideration and application by every celebrant”. [Every word of which is applicable to both forms. But watch this risibly titanic leap coming up!] Implicit [yah.. implicit… so implict that it isn’t really there…] in this directive is the rejection of any [wait for it…] discrimination against girls and women among those who assist at Mass, such as altar servers, readers and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. [Did you get that? They fall into the trap of an ugly sort of clericalism. First, it is not necessary to be a minister at the altar in order to "assist at Mass". Any person, even the cripple old lady with limited hearing and sight, who can’t carry stuff around, is assiting at Mass because she is baptized and she has united her heart to the sacred action she can neither hear nor see. The Tablet is promoting an ugly clericalism by saying that unless lay people do what priests do, then they are somehow not able to participate. Shame on them!] That some Tridentinist ["-ist" HA HA!] priests have banished females from the sanctuary or lectern in the name of authenticity [HUH? That’s a new one.] has more than a whiff of misogyny. [Again… that little shriek of hysteria. What an unworthy blunder for a publication that for so long in the past had a good reputation.]
Thus has Archbishop Nichols neatly answered virtually every objection to the motu proprio, [Ummm…. isn’t that backwards?] and the Tridentine Rite can henceforth take its proper – and necessarily marginal [ROFL! So… they are promoting the marginalization of a group within the Church. And who is it who is promoting schism?] – place in the life of the Catholic Church. Indeed, he has made it accessible to those who are fully committed to Vatican II. [Apparently Pope Benedict is against Vatican II.] This timely display of clear leadership from the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales bodes well.
In the meantime, go back and read what Archbp. Nichols thought in September 2007.
In his speech to the Latin Mass Society in Oxford, Archbishop Nichols said: “Please remember that what you study here is not a relic, not a reverting to the past, but part of the living tradition of the Church. It is, therefore, to be understood and entered into in the light of that living tradition today.”
In the meantime, I tried to contact the folks at LMS for a comment and get the text that has sparked this.
So far, nothing from them. Apparently LMS isn’t too worried about this.
Again, I think we have to conclude from The Tablet‘s editorial that the editors of that once prestigious Catholic publication truly hold Pope Benedict in such contempt that they are willing even to attack him through the Archbishop of Westminster.