I've noted some interesting reactions to the Summorum Pontificum petition in the last few days and not always what I would have expected. Yesterday, I spoke to some SSPX supporters who were proud to have signed the petition. Their justification: they are sick to death of the absolutist tendency of some SSPX priests. On the other hand, someone has anonymously commented on the Petition post below, stating that they cannot accept No.s 1 and 2, since it must be all or nothing.
So what do 1 and 2 say?
We the undersigned...
1. Express our profound gratitude to Your Holiness for your personal liturgical example to the Universal Church. You are a true homo liturgicus whose love for the sacred liturgy is an inspiration; it teaches more clearly than words the centrality of the liturgy in the life of the Church.
2. Thank Your Holiness for your gift to the Church of your 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Since 2007 it has brought forth many fruits, including greater unity in the Church of Christ and a widespread enrichment of the liturgical life of the Church.
Okay, I can see why a hardline traditionalist might struggle with both these proposition. I can see why someone with a very literal mind might also struggle with No. 2. But, there is no doubt this petition ought to be backed.
Essentially, the Church does not operate by petition like this, but in another sense, it often does. Canonisation used to be the effect of petition: it still is in some senses. Likewise, popular consultation also used to be part of the process for the election of popes and bishops. One can see why democratic tendencies have got a bad press in recent years in the Church, but we cannot suppress the paradox for the sake of clarity.
'Widespread enrichment' in No. 2 is also perhaps a little embellished. But it depends how we understand it. Lord knows what graces have flowed because of Summorum Pontificum! How can anyone else calculate?
No, we should all sign the petition, Catholic and non-Catholic, traditionalist and non-traditionalist ... unless we are happy for the situation to return to pre-SP days without so much as a wimper.
Must dash for my train!