From a reader:
I have a purely hypothetical question. I know all priests may say the
Extraordinary Form of the Mass without special permission of their
bishops (i.e. It is up to the priest if he wishes to say it), but
would it be lawful under the motu proprio for a bishop to require all the priests of his diocese to say exclusively the Extraordinary Form, either on one occasion of permanently? A priest may freely say it if he wishes to, but may he also freely choose not to if he is ordered to?
Bishops have wide powers.
I’d like to see a bishop try!
C’mon, Your Excellencies! Show us how powerful you are! I dare you… all of you! I double dare you.
Just try to require all the priests of the diocese to say the older form of Mass exclusively. I bet you caaaaaan’t… I bet you’re all too a-scared to even try. I bet not even… well… 60% would obey, and they would be the younger men, too. HAH! And with every year that passes, the percentage will grow. But can you persuade them now? Just try!
I bet you can’t get them alllllll to do it.
Chickeeeeeeeeennnnnn. BAWK BAWK BaBAWK! C’mon! Try it!
Neener Neener Neeeeener!
Seriously, I don’t think a bishop would be within his rights to require priests not to use the Ordinary Form of Mass, and to use only the older Form. He could, however, urge and persuade and lead by example.
Keep in mind that the bishop cannot forbid a priest from using the Ordinary Form, which is in Latin and which – according to the rubrics – is celebrated ad orientem.