HETHER ONE PREFERS the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form, one thing is not open for debate: Back in the 1970s, nobody could have predicted how strong the 1962 Missal would be in the year 2022. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI declared: “What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us, too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.” In 2015, Pope Francis distinctly told his (hand-picked) chief liturgist: “I want you to continue the good work in the liturgy begun by Pope Benedict XVI.”
Results Released • Bishop Daniel E. Flores has released the “National Synthesis of the People of God in the United States of America for the Diocesan Phase of the 2021-2023 Synod.” As far as I can tell, this is the official response by the USCCB to the Synod on Synodality begun by Pope Francis. In this document, we find a remarkable statement:
Transcription: “The most common issue regarding the liturgy is the celebration of the pre-Conciliar Mass.” The limited access to the 1962 Missal was lamented.
An Astounding Statement • How can that be? For decades, we have been told that those attached to the ancient liturgy constitute an “utterly insignificant minority.” Now we see in the results of the USA synods the issue of the Missale Vestustum being casually referred to as “the most common issue regarding the liturgy.” In the 1990s, when my family was helping to spread knowledge of the Traditional Latin Mass, it seemed like less than 0.01% of Catholics had ever heard of the ancient liturgy! The first time I ever experienced the Missale Vestustum I was (perhaps?) thirteen years old. If someone like Rembert Weakland were still alive (he’s not) seeing the Missale Pristinum mentioned in such a document would most likely give him a heart attack!