A regular reader sent me a transcription of something from the diocesan paper of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama (where EWTN is based).
Remember that the former bishop of Birmingham, but still the Diocesan Administrator Most Reverend David E. Foley, had dicatated that EWTN could not braodcast Holy Mass celebrated ad orientem versus. Now there is to be a new bishop in Birmingham, Most Rev. Robert Baker, though he has not taken up his post.
This item from the diocesan paper is not online. My emphases and comments.
Bishop Foley Will Offer Mass in Latin on Sept. 14
Dear Family in Christ:
On September 14th, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, I will offer Mass in Latin [What other language would it be in?] according to the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962. [This is fabulous news!]
This special Mass will take place in the Cathedral of St. Paul, in Birmingham, at 12:10 pm, and all are invited to attend.
At a recent Diocesan Consultors’ Meeting, at which the new Bishop of Birmingham, Bishop Robert Baker, was present, a plan to implement the recent Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, was still in discussion.
Following the meeting and as an immediate sign of solidarity with the wishes of the Holy Father, I will offer this Mass on the day designated by the Pope as the initial day opening the observance of the decree. It will be the beginning of a process to gather and train priests [Get this? "Train" priests! This is very good. I have written many times that bishops need to lead in order to control this issue, not obfuscate and block in order to control.] who wish to say the Mass in this form.
Our Holy Father asks us to have an appreciation for this "Extraordinary Form" of the Liturgy, not as separate from the usual way of offering Mass [This is very interesting. So many statements by bishops focus on how different the older form is, how separate and their provisions in their dioceses have in the past demonstrated that they really do think that that it is separate, even to the point of being on the margin of the Church’s life.] but a tradition, a way of experiencing a deeply reverential and effectively spiritual event in our lives.
It is not possible to respond in every single parish of our Diocese, [Okay, this is reasonable] but we hope to train priests who will be able to have this Latin Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 consistently in some regions of the Diocese. [This is very good. While this clearly reflects the reality of clergy shortage, etc., it remains open to what the future might bring when more priests know how to use the older Missal. And, I must add, while they are talking about training priests, nothing prohibits any priest from learning on his own!]
Like the Holy Father, we entrust this ministry to the powerful intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend David E. Foley
Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama
In the balance, this is one of the best developments, and also explanations of attitude of present and future bishop, I have seen. I am confident that the new bishop had a strong role to play in this approach to implementing Summorum Pontificum.