UPDATE: Fr. Z covers the situation as it develops. (There may be shady things going on at Fisher-More, and there is still as of yet no justification for Bishop Olson’s apparently heavy-handed approach and potential violation of Canon Law. I suppose we will all have to wait for more details to make any sense of the situation. At this point, people should probably refrain from judging any parties involved too harshly. I have thus withdrawn my appeal to Bishop Olson. Prayer is always best in these situations.)
My friends, we’re truly living in the age of the laity, thanks in great part to the ease and speed with which information can be spread over the Internet. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, just like his successor, stressed that true action and movement in the Church must start coming from the bottom up, not the top down.
So when the Most Rev. Michael Olson bans the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, a legitimate and holy rite of the Church, seemingly in clear violation of Summorum Pontificum, the laity has a right to ask for an explanation. Especially after his letter, the tone of which comes across as very condescending:
Like much of the laity, I’m a nobody in the Church. But it’s our collective voice that counts and is loud enough to shatter mountains. That’s why I stand firm with my friends at Fisher-More college, and with countless others asking about what is going on, all across the globe. The Canon Law Centre has already offered a canonical opinion on the matter:
I encourage you to pray for everyone involved in this tough situation. Even if you, like me, don’t really enjoy the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass, we should all agree that denying the laity their fundamental rights to celebrate a legitimate and holy rite of the Church is not acceptable—if indeed that is what’s happening.