In some traditionalist circles, the impending instruction has generated alarm, with commentators suggesting that it could effectively undercut the prerogatives for celebration of the old Mass which Benedict XVI promised in his 2007 motu proprio. That would be in response, according to the speculation, to pressure from bishops around the world who’ve never been wild about the Latin Mass, and who haven’t exactly bent over backwards to make it more widely available.
Speaking on background, Vatican officials insist that’s not the case.
Instead, they say, the instruction will confirm that the moto proprio is now the universal law of the church, and insist that bishops apply it. Among other things, it will call for seminarians to be trained not just in Latin, but in the older rite itself, at least so they will know how to execute it faithfully and understand what’s being said.
The instruction will also confirm that the older Mass must be available wherever “groups of faithful” request it, without specifying how many people it takes to constitute a “group.”
The instruction will likewise confirm that the older liturgy is to be celebrated during Holy Week wherever there’s a “stable group” of faithful attached to it, as well as in religious orders which use the extraordinary rite.