From a reader:
What do you think would the effect be of a public Papal Mass in the Extraordinary Form, if were ever to happen?
The quick answer is that it would send a strong message that a) it is important to interpret the Second Vatican Council in continuity with our past and b) that the provisions of Summorum Pontificum are here to stay.
However, let’s break this down further. What would such an action really prompt?
Had Benedict XVI celebrated a public Extraordinary Form Mass, the effect would have been for liberals to depict him in even stronger terms as a theological troglodyte, desperate for nostalgia because he cannot handle the “real world” in which he preferred to cover up pedophile priests and promote theological and liturgical reactionary trends. Meanwhile some traddies would have found fault with some minor detail of the Papal Mass, and would have used that as a reason to disparage him even more.
Were Francis to say public Mass in the Extraordinary Form, it would hurt his reputation with the liberals, but it would be a shot in the arm for conservatives and most traditionalists. Again, though, some traddies would find fault with some minor detail of the Papal Mass, and would use that as a reason to disparage him even more.
I’ll leave the combox open, but I’ve turned on the moderation queue.