The other day I was engaged in a brief telephone conversation with a good friend. The conversation somehow turned to Mass times. My friend then told me:"I don't go to ..... as they say the Latin Mass". For various reasons it was not the time to question her more deeply about this attitude, but I have been thinking about it over the past few days and think that this attitude is quite - I hope I am wrong - widespread.
Let us ask ourselves, if the situation was reversed, would not the thoughts of schism and disobedience come to mind? And it would, and rightly so. My point being that a schismatic attitude can come from any perspective. Now, my friend has been to Latin Masses, but she markedly prefers the new Mass. Since she attends the new Mass with a Catholic attitude, I cannot accuse her of ill will or schism (and of course this applies to all Catholics at any rite). I can say that she selected her words ill-advisedly. I can say that this seems to probably reflect the continued social stigmatization of the Extraordinary Form. Some of this, no doubt, is due to "traditional" extremism, which yes, is either schismatic or borders on same. But let us be honest: there is also a continued and virulent "liberal" extremism that despises the Latin liturgy, and would seek to - if not to obliterate it - thrust it into a liturgical ghetto. These "liberals" are no less schismatic; indeed, many are motivated by an heretical definition of the Mass. The enforcement of the new ordo, the episcopal violence in suppressing the old ordo, the confusion in its original definition (and subsequent withdrawal) in the late 1960s, all played a role in giving birth to schismatic integrism.
I also think part of the problem is the semantic use of "extraordinary". I too, have been guilty of its usage; however Usus antiquior, or "older usage" is far more accurate and places the Latin Mass within its correct context: it is a vital, integral part of the liturgical life of the Church - it is the Mass that links the liturgical life of the Roman Church of today to the life of the nascent Roman Church of the Apostles. The new Mass, given that it contains many elements of the usus antiquior does the same, but it is a contrived linkage; formed by liturgists at a set moment in time, and not a gradual organic evolution.
This brings me to my closing point. The usus antiquior needs to be shown as an integral part of the Church's life in Canada - which it is. It would show a real impetus on the part of the local church to follow the Holy Father's call to accept and integrate the usus antiquior into the mainstream life of the Church. No better way could be demonstrated then a televised Mass. As such, Witness is conducting a poll question. "Would you like to see a televised Mass in the Extraordinary Form (usus antiquior)?" The poll will close on Candlemas Day, the final day of the Christmas season.
UPDATE/January 7: Fr. Z comments on Damian Thompson's (The Daily Telegraph) report that a major English seminary has banned the usus antiquior.