On July 7, 2007 Pope Benedict issued his infamous Summorum Pontificum. There was great jubilation among long suffering traditionalists and soon hoards of young Catholics and their young clergy embraced this new freedom with gusto.
Aging progressives, thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Vatican II, were aghast and called it the worst name possible, “so pre-Vatican II.” When a progressive calls you that be sure to know that its ethos is a sanitized “n” word or whatever word of profanity you might want to choose.
In hindsight and with a pope now thoroughly imbued and in love with the 1970’s Church which had its wings clipped by both Popes John Paul II and Benedict, should Pope Benedict been more forceful in establishing his theology of interpreting Vatican II in continuity with what preceded and called the spirit of Vatican II in rupture with what preceded the heresy it is? We see how His Holiness Pope Francis has been able to reverse and annihilate the direction these two popes (one still living, mind you) were leading the Church not by denying Vatican II but interpreting it respectful to what preceded and in continuity with what came before.
But Pope Benedict only proposed; he did not impose. He did not imposed his vision in a pre-Vatican II way as Pope Francis is imposing his post-Vatican II spirit of rupture ideology upon the Church but with a veneer of “walking together” in a democratic spirit of synodality which is quite self-referential.
The mistake that Pope Benedict made with SP is that he freed up the pre-Vatican II Mass to be liberally celebrated thus creating two forms of the one Latin Rite which Pope Francis calls deleterious.
Pope Benedict should have reformed the 1970 Roman Missal and made it more like the 1962 Roman Missal along with the liturgies of the other sacraments, like Baptism. He should have done exactly what Vatican II asked, no more, no less—interpreted noble simplicity, not as ugly austerity but beautiful clarity as well as some vernacular for the changing parts of the Mass and an expanded lectionary, not replacing the 1962 lectionary but simply adding two more cycles based upon the first but the first not be replaced but becoming year A.
If Pope Benedict had simply replaced the 1970 Roman Missal with a truly reformed in continuity new Roman Missal and definitively suppressed the 1970 Roman Missal, would Pope Francis do to that kind of reformed Missal what he has done to Summorum Pontificum?
I ask; you answer.