There have been a number of Masses in the Extraordinary Form in cathedrals around the world. In fact some of them happened even before the Motu Proprio came into effect such as the Mass such as the Mass celebrated in his cathedral by bishop Salvatore Matano of Burlington, U.S.A on August 15th. On Saturday Cardinal Pell celebrated the EF in his cathedral. It is rumoured that the Pope may celebrate the EF at the beginning of December, possibly at St Paul`s outside the Walls. Can we assume that these Masses were or will be celebrated only because a `recognisable group` ( in the words of the Northern Cross) made a request for it? Does a bishop not have the freedom to decide that a cathedral Mass will take place unless such a group has made a request? I mention this only because I have heard this put forward as a theory. I`m going to the LMS Solemn Requiem at Westminster cathedral on November 17th to be celebrated by auxiliary bishop John Arnold. Is this Mass taking place at the request of a group of parishioners at the cathedral? I imagine not. But what better way for a bishop to show that he really means it when he says that he accepts with obedience the Motu Proprio than to arrange a celebration of the EF in his cathedral even if he can`t celebrate it himself? Maybe the new instruction from Ecclesia Dei will help clarify all this.
UPDATE. I forgot to do my daily check of the Holy Smoke blog and I see, by coincidence, there is a new item there about the refusal by bishop Kieran Conry allow such a thing. Oh well. There are lots of interesting comments on this one. I suppose it was bishop Conry who had said, back in July, that he thought a liberalisation of the EF would be `divisive`. I suppose he was never going to be that positive about it.