Divide and conquer is their program. That said, I was as stunned as you are by the rad trads and their vituperative, foul-mouthed reaction. There isn’t an EF mass at my Cathedral parish, and the two that do exist in the diocese are so horrible they look like parodies (the worst liturgical hits of 1955, howled into a mic by one or two of the worst voices of the 21st century, combined with priests who barely know their way around). However, I have always supported it and I thought it would be nice to bring it back...until now. Then I suddenly realized that a lot of people involved with it have no interest in the faith. They’re all out there broadening their phylacteries, and could just as easily be high-church Anglicans, as far as the Faith is concerned.
So I’ve sort of bailed on the project. I think the best thing of all would be to go back to the 1965 missal (mostly in the vernacular, but simply a translation of the 1962 missal with a few minor changes) and start over. It wouldn’t upset the rational EF people, and I think it would be perfectly acceptable to most of the non-doctrinaire Novus Ordo folks.
Actually, that’s what everybody thought the “new mass” that was announced was going to be: nobody expected the Novus Ordo, and it was a real shock to everybody, including the clergy, and was imposed with great ferocity by the boy bishops (such as Mahony) appointed under Paul VI.
So maybe we should start over again. But that said, the important thing is the faith, and while Francis may not be a great liturgist, I don’t think he would approve of anything that distorted the Faith, and that’s what matters.
No, don’t bail on the EF. Benedict was right to set it free and it will have a salutary effect on the OF. I deliberately used “rad trads.” I’m a trad myself. Only some traditionalists are rad trads consumed by a fundamentally schismatic mentality. Many others are not. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Martin Luther was a traditionalist reformer. Many of his complaints were fully justified. But he took on a schismatic mentality when confronted in 1518. He would not have had to go that route. Traditional reformers need not be schismatic.
I haven’t noticed anything but optimism among my traditionalist friends about the selection; perhaps some wariness but certainly not the hostility that I’ve seen from commenters on Rorate or even, sadly, Ann Barnhardt’s blog.
Traditionalism, to my mind, is less a political statement of “I’m more Catholic than anyone else” than simply a way of living out the faith. We love the traditional liturgy, the season of Septuagesima, the Ember Days, the Asperges. I prefer to read the Confraternity version of the Douay Rhiems over any modern translation; I use prayers with “thee” and “thou”.
But we can be our own worst enemies sometimes!