From your brick by brick file from Damian:
I like this picture, courtesy of the Papa Stronsay blog, of a young priest preparing to celebrate his first Mass today – in the beautiful Extraordinary Form, since Fr Simon Harkins belongs to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP). And who is that chap in red in the corner? Why, none other than Keith Patrick Card. O’Brien, who preached at the Mass in his own Edinburgh Cathedral.
The Scottish bishops as a whole are pretty unfriendly to the usus antiquior, but by his gesture today Cardinal O’Brien showed that he at least is serious about implementing Summorum Pontificum. I find him a much more approachable figure than other Scots prelates, less inclined to stand on his dignity despite (or perhaps because of) his red hat. I met him once at a party to relaunch the Scottish Catholic Observer, to whom he’s been a good friend; he didn’t sweep in surrounded by flunkeys, but hung around chatting in ordinary priest’s dress, reminding me a bit of Basil Hume in that respect.
Anyway, now that Britain’s senior Catholic bishop (which is what Cardinal O’Brien became when Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor retired) has assisted at Mass in the Extraordinary Form in his own cathedral, don’t you think it might be time for the current Archbishop of Westminster to take the plunge? My traditionalist friends were delighted when Archbishop Vincent Nichols celebrated a Latin Mass in the newer form of the Roman Rite at the London Oratory on the feast of St Philip Neri the other day, something his predecessor never did. (+Vincent is the first Archbishop of Westminster for a very long time to have a fan club at the Oratory.) Perhaps it might be expecting too much to ask him to celebrate in the older form in Westminster Cathedral – but if he were to preside at an EF Mass there, that would help make him, like Cardinal O’Brien, a visible symbol of unity in his diocese.
I had the pleasure of meeting now Fr. Harkins in Washington DC, who also came to the blognic magnum.