Fr. Gary Dickson (link in our side column) has yet another reply to Dr. Rowland's interview excerpt published by CNS:
Dear Dr Rowland,I am sorry if your experience of attending the Extraordinary Form (EF) is as poor as you seem to suggest. I started celebrating the EF before the days of Summorum Pontificum, and while I found long-time adherents to the EF rather unwelcoming and perhaps suspicious of newcomers, I recognised this as understandable since they had been boxed into a defensive corner by thirty five years of struggle and derision. In that hostility towards the EF is still present among many in the Church (who seem to think that what was good enough for the saints of millennia is beneath them) those who prefer the EF are not likely to overcome their fears and defensiveness easily, and your interview does not help the situation.First, you seem in this interview to be very one-sided and rather unaware of the wider picture. You say that in your experience people attending the EF dissect the celebration, yet you fail to mention a widespread attitude among those who attend the Ordinary Form of “I prefer Fr X’s Mass to Fr Y’s Mass” and the even more common “I didn’t like those hymns today”. In my experience of celebrations of the Extraordinary Form the content of the homily is much more likely to be commented upon; rarely the mistakes Father makes with the rubrics. I grant that the singing may sometimes be subject to criticism, but that criticism too is not restricted to celebrations of the Extraordinary Form.Second, comments about being “dressed in funny clothes” or “belonging to a different era in history” seem remarkably condescending and indeed, rather off-key. It is my experience –even when celebrating the EF before Summorum Pontificum when only the brave and dedicated dared to attend- that the dress of those present was simply formal, not that of another era. It might have been good for you to note how those who attend the Ordinary Form dress immodestly; females in skirts that barely cover the buttocks and males in T-shirts with dubious messages and images.Third, while we do indeed need to correct the idea that attending the EF is a statement against the Second Vatican Council, it might have been good for you to note how among a number of those who attend only the Ordinary Form there is often a rejection of the Church’s Tradition as expressed in the EF, and a displeasure with the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council.In conclusion, I am sorry to say I do not feel this interview presents you in a good light; I feel you come across as someone who is either very unaware of the wider picture or as one-sidedly critical. Further, I feel you are not so much “friendly towards" the EF as “not antagonistic” towards it. Sadly, friends of mine -who simply dress modestly and are actively engaged with and understanding of the liturgy, do not seem to be given due respect in your comments.