Damian Thompson warns that the revival of the Old Rite is being slowly strangled by Bishops in the U.K. and elsewhere who disagree with Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum, thanks largely to the way it was drafted.  He further warns that the Pope had better do something about it quick, or kiss my hand to those Europeans who want Latin Mass:

No cathedral in England and Wales offers a weekly Sunday Mass in the Old Rite, so far as I can tell, which is a disgrace. And no Latin Mass communities have been set up in England and Wales, in sharp contrast to the situation in the United States. “There’s no demand for them,” say the bishops. But the point is that the admittedly limited demand for the traditional services is NOT being met – and the Pope’s wish that a new generation of Catholics be introduced to the treasures of the old liturgy is just a pipe dream.

But if the bishops of England and Wales (and of many other countries) are playing fast and loose with Summorum Pontificum, that’s because Pope Benedict XVI is allowing them to.

The original document was not tightly drafted: it left plenty of room for confusion about what constituted a “stable group” of the faithful who were entitled to demand access to the older form of Mass. Did the group have to be rooted in one parish, or predate the papal decree? Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, head of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has indicated that the answer is “no” and that the Pope wishes people in every parish to have access (of some sort) to the 1962 Missal.

But these were off-the cuff remarks made in response to a question I asked him at a press conference before the big Westminster Mass boycotted by the local bishops: they have not been clarified or amplified by Ecclesia Dei. Why not?

Meanwhile, although the Pope is slowly changing the style of his own liturgical celebrations to bring them more into line with the historic practices of the Church – to de-Bugninify them, if you like – there is still not the slightest indication that His Holiness will celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form publicly. Why? No one knows the answer.

Let us be blunt about this. If the Pope were to die tomorrow, he would be remembered for many fine achievements, most of all his encyclicals, but his liturgical reforms would peter out. Summorum Pontificum would remain on the statute book, but the Magic Circle in England and its powerful allies in the Vatican and Europe would quietly suffocate the work of Ecclesia Dei.

My guess is that the next Pope will be as theologically conservative as Benedict, but is unlikely to possess his blindingly intense vision of a liturgical reform in which the pre- and post-Vatican II liturgies revive each other. That reform is not yet properly under way, and the Pope is in his 80s. No wonder traditionalists are alarmed.

Well, we all know European civilization is in a state of collapse anyway, so I suppose this is no surprise.  Anybody know what the comparable figgahs are here in the States and in other parts of the world?

I must say that although I was initially quite intimidated by the Tridentine form when I started attending Mass last year, I have positively fallen in love with it since and have made it my regular worship. Indeed, I am quite keenly disappointed when, for whatever reason, I can’t make it to this service.  We have it at noon every Sunday in my parish – I have not yet checked to see if it is offered at any other times anywhere in my immediate vicinity, but I probably ought to.

I reckon that in another five to seven years, I might even reach the point where I can get all the way through the Asperges me without making a fool of myself. I’m getting better at the Credo, however.