If you read many ‘traditional’ blogs, I think you will rapidly come to agree that many of those who write them, although grateful in principle for Summorum Pontificum, are not really enthusiastic about it, because for all sorts of reasons they simply don’t want the 1962 Mass : although further research will show that, although they almost all maintain that some other specific Rite is the only ‘genuine’ one, they’re not exactly united in their opinion of which one that is.
Further, and perhaps more importantly, they all seem to ignore the point which the Holy Father implicitly makes in Summorum Pontificum; namely that prior to Vatican II, the development of the Roman Rite was essentially an organic one – that there was, to use Fr Tim’s favour phrase, a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ – and that the real problem with the Novus Ordo was not that it changed things, but that there was at the same time a ‘hermeneutic of discontinuity’ which led to the unnecessary ejection of many babies and much bathwater simultaneously; and that it was really that, and not just the new Rite, which so damaged the liturgy.
If you want to persuade me that the 1955 Roman Rite is the best of all possible options, I’m entirely open to conviction on that point; but I’m equally open to being convinced that the original Missal of Pius V is best, or the Sarum Use, or even the Rite as used by Tertullian . . . but at the end of the day, whatever I finally decide, my choice is only a ‘snapshot’ of one point in the (essentially) organic development of the liturgy which happens to appeal to me, and to my particular viewpoint : and it has no more inherent logic or authority than that.
As I think I’ve said before, organic development is – I believe – part of God’s will for the world; it is how His Church retains its relevance to a world which He created with the ability to develop, and to which He gave ‘self-determination’, however much we (and He ?) may regret those generous gifts. It might well be very nice for us to have the liturgy go back lock, stock, and smouldering thurible to Pius V, or the Use of Sarum; but whether that would achieve much in terms of persuading today’s world that the Church had anything to offer is a very different question.
The Holy Father has very generously made it clear that those of us who prefer the Traditional Form of the Mass not only may have it, but indeed must have it if we want it, because our right to it never disappeared. At the same time, he is the Pastor of the Universal Church, and as such – it seems to me – he also has both the right and the duty to ensure that every part of the Church retains in contact with God’s world; and it ill behoves any of us to dismiss his generous concern by suggesting that the way in which he relates it to the needs of the Church as a whole is misguided – still less actively wrong.