Today the Catholic News Service gives a summary of Pope Benedict`s plans for 2008. Among them are the new document from the Ecclesia Dei comission which will clarify questions that have arisen over Summorum Pontificum. When a document comes out from a Vatican congregation sometimes hair-splitters who don`t like what the document says will say that it is a document of low authority because it is not the work of the Pope but a Vatican department and so it effectively gets ignored. A document from a congregation can acquire greater authority if it is signed by the Pope himself in forma specifica. The good news from the Catholic News Service is that this appears to be what is going to happen. Here is the relevant paragraph.
Sometime early in the year, the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" plans to issue a document clarifying questions that have arisen regarding the pope's 2007 document relaxing restrictions on use of the Tridentine Mass. Sources said the pope personally is interested in removing ambiguities, and will sign off on the new document.
I have great hopes for this document as there appear to be cases where the Motu Proprio is being ignored or misinterpreted to prevent a more ready access to the 1962 missal for those who request it and various specious excuses are put forward to block access. Sometimes it is said that a Mass can only happen if the people requesting it are from that particular parish but then on the other hand when people from a parish have made a request they have been told that they can`t have it because there is already provision about twenty miles away in another parish. Let`s hope this new document will clear up some of the recent obstacles.