I find it hard not to like Fr Radcliffe. I enjoyed his book `I call you friends`. In the talk of which I have a copy, he spoke about divisions in the Church and the need for `liberals` and `conservatives` to speak to each other. I think this is progress. I`m not keen on the tags `liberal` and `conservative` as they generally refer to those who are happy to follow the Magisterium and those who aren`t and they smack too much of politics.
However as regards Summorum Pontificum Fr Radcliffe had this to say in the context of dialogue between Catholics:
But what do liberal Catholics fear? I suggest that there is a deep unease that the Church is stuck or even retreating. After the Council, many people dreamed of a Church that would be radically transformed. Forty years later, this has not happened, at least not as the liberals hoped. does this mean that we may be stuck forever with a Church that is over-centralised, authoritarian, patriarchal, exclusive of women? Some people ask how they can remain if the Church does not change.
Maybe this is why the Pope`s decision about the Tridentine Mass has been the focus of such an intense anxiety for many `liberal` Catholics. You would not expect that the celebration of the Eucharist in its ancient form would be quite so threatening. Of course it matters how you celebrate the Eucharist, but this issue has become symbolic of something deeper, that the Council is being undone. I gave a retreat for a southern diocese a few weeks ago and the topic evoked profound angst. When I asked whether there had actually been any requests for more celebrations of the Tridentine rite, it seemed there had been none.
So no need to panic as there have been no requests. I suppose if your parish priest is complaining bitterly about the Motu Proprio a Catholic may think there is no point in approaching him with a request. It might only upset the poor man more. I know at the minute of a group of parishioners who are preparing to approach their parish priest with such a request and am very interested to see what happens. Catholics who would take offence at the suggestion that they are `against Vatican II` and yet desire to worship in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite, especially younger ones, including priests, who don`t see what all the fuss is about, need to be sensitive to the reaction that such requests may produce in older Catholics. Yet now the so-called Tridentine rite is part of the current form of the Roman rite and I suppose it will take a while for this to percolate through.