Well, I am back from confessions, and having "second breakfast" (first was rather early, and rather light), so let me continue my thoughts from earlier (i.e., prior post).
So, what do I think about a wider, including perhaps a universal, indult for celebrating the traditional, Pius V mode of the Mass?
I have mixed feelings, but on balance I'd say do it. I consider it a problem that too many people think it is radioactive or something -- that there is something bad or defective about the way Mass was celebrated by the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church for an extremely long time.
It goes with the "two churches" ecclesiology that is expressed so frequently by so many Catholics who need to know better, many of whom ought to know better: I mean catechists, lay pastoral ministers, coordinators and directors of religious education, deacons, priests and sundry other "churchy" people who speak loosely of "two churches," one before Vatican II, and one after.
I don't say they mean ill; but they can be rather sloppy in their descriptions, often giving emphasis to discontinuity. Frequently, what they're really doing is reflecting their own biases, preferences or gripes, often riding favorite hobby horses along the way. Trouble is, witting or not, they have been part of a very effective portrayal of the Church that is a false, heretical, and finally, fatal. If there are "two" Churches in time, then there is no Church, only a church.
As I say, such folks mostly mean no harm; but we have a lot of work to do repairing the damage wrought by emphasis on discontinuity; one result is that the long-familiar rite of Mass (to which I hold no special attachment, or any animus) seems some alien thing!
So perhaps wider permission would help, if for no other reason than the permission itself would communicate something good -- and regardless of the direct impact on celebration of the Pius V rite of Mass, it would stimulate more openness to our full tradition; is there anything wrong with that?
And, if this move would help reconcile factions within the Church, that's good.
But now, I come to my other feelings.
It is not hard to imagine the mischief some folks might create. Such a permission should not be wielded as a weapon. There are some (especially busy on the Internet) who speak as shamefully of the "Novus Ordo" Mass as the "churchy folks" I mentioned above speak scornfully of venerable Catholic traditions. Many of these folks are equally as guilty of a "two church" ecclesiology, and if it's error for the "mods" its error for the "trads." And the better informed you think you are, and claim to be (are you listening, champions of tradition?), you are all the more culpable for this as a heresy. So, knock it off!
I have no desire for two, parallel, Roman Rites, which may not happen anyway, and if it does, may prove to be a good thing. But pushing that is awfully untraditional!
G.K. Chesterton has a famous saying: "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been wanted and not tried." I might say something similar about the "reformed Roman Rite" -- i.e., the Rite of Paul VI is a work-in-progress. Comparing the Pauline Rite with the Tridentine Rite is like comparing a garden that's been tended for centuries to a landscaping just installed last weekend. There has been a lot of nonsense -- no defense for that -- and a lot of shallow, ephemeral (let us hope and pray!) stuff, but not everything that has arisen in the wake of the Council is awful, and we need to keep our sense of balance.
What many are talking about is something like a greater integration between the current, Pauline Rite and the classic, Pian Rite. This is an intriguing idea, but far easier to bandy about over coffee or beer or keyboards, than to carry out in a pastoral setting. For myself, I have only known the current rite; I believe if celebrated properly -- and I must agree it often is celebrated in a minimal, rushed, too-prosaic, too-horizontal, too-immanent fashion, overburdened with too many intrusions and overlays* -- it is beautiful and powerful, for it is THE MASS. I have no problem with the older rite, but I think the Council should be listened to: it called for some revision, some change, and I have no brief for the conspiracy view of things that paints a brooding picture of the process of implementing the Council's mandate. Say the implementers of the Council mandates goofed, that's one thing; but say that it was some nefarious conspiracy? I don't have time for that, sorry.
In all this, someone needs to be an advocate for the great number of Catholic faithful who aren't attuned to all these issues, and don't see why they should be.
They simply want to participate in Sunday Mass as part of their journey with and to Christ! They are tired of things changing again, and again, and again -- with no end in sight! (Hint: their priests are tired of it too, as are the business managers, when bills for expensive new lectionaries and sacramentaries, hymnals and other ritual books come in, while older editions, still usable, collect dust.) Bishops who have urged caution on the revisions in the English translation of the sacramentary are immediately branded "enemies" when in fact they do express reasonable concerns. (Yes, would that such concerns had been expressed 30-40 years ago. When you find the time machine, come back and tell me how it works, and we'll go fix that. Tell then, let's deal with now.) My saying this isn't that I oppose fixing the sacramentary; in fact, I support fixing it, and the lectionary, and a few other things.
But can someone please save us from this interminable, constant, tinkering? Get done what has to get done, please give us a truly worthy sacramentary and lectionary, based on a truly worthy translation of Scripture, and then...leave it in place for a couple of generations! PLEASE!
I don't know if a wider use of the Pian Rite will help. That's above my pay grade.
(A note on the term Novus Ordo. I dislike the term for two reasons.
The first reason I don't use the term is that as far as I know, it's not a term the Church uses, at least more than maybe some rare occasion.
I've had people very aggressively contradict me on that. But I have yet to determine, to my satisfaction, that it has an authentic pedigree. "But that's what it's officially called!" I've had someone insist forcefully -- to which I reply, really? Where, exactly?
I recall one such conversation, online, in which my interlocutor was very aggressive and sure of himself, not giving an inch. Tired of his obnoxious insistence, when he said it appeared on the first page of the sacramentary, I said, fine, I have a sacramentary here, let's look... Hmm, I don't find it on the first page, can you tell me where? Hmm, not on second page, third page...well, he eventually changed the subject as he got tired of me reporting my lack of success in finding it.
Now, more temperate folks have told me, "oh, it appeared in such-and-such a document." Fine, maybe it did--and if anyone can point me directly at it, so I can see that for myself, I'd be grateful.
But I've been beaten over the head, rhetorically, by folks on this who make such a point of this, that I'm calling them out: tell me when and where the Church (I mean, someone with sufficient authority, such as the pope, or the relevant congregation, or someone like that) used the term. Or, just drop it, and stop insisting this is the "official" name for the current Rite -- because if that's true, how come it doesn't show up anywhere, except in overheated rhetoric and perhaps some document collecting dust somewhere?
That leads to the second reason: by and large, this has been a polemical term, favored by both sides of the "two church" nonsense, and I don't care to use other people's polemics; I prefer my own, thank you! In the case of some "trad" polemic, it has been used by some to foster a dark view of things: Novus Ordo being tied in, somehow, with the "new world order" and the whole conspiratorial miasma that follow when you step into that particular looking-glass, no-thank-you-very-much!
If you don't know what else to call the current, Roman rite, you can, well call it "the current, Roman rite"; you can call it the Rite of Paul VI, or Pauline Rite (a very accurate, respectful, non-evaluative and may I say, traditional terminology), or, if you want to be fancy, the Missa Normativa. One could call it the Vatican II Rite, although I haven't seen that usage, and there may be a good, subtle reason not to. The older rite we are talking about is variously called the "traditional" Roman Rite (that's carries some bias), the Tridentine Rite, the "classic" Roman Rite (less bias there), the Rite of Pius V, or Pian Rite.)
* And let me point the finger at myself: I am guilty of inadequately celebrating the Mass in many ways, in bringing in too much of my personality and agenda, of rushing and getting impatient, etc. Especially when Masses are scheduled 1-1/2 hours apart, and there's so much going on in the parish, it can be hard.