Archbishop Vincent Nichols has enthusiastically endorsed Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio concerning the renewal of the 1962 Latin Mass. In a speech to the Latin Mass society in Oxford this last week, he said, “[p]lease remember that what you study here is not a relic, not a reverting to the past, but part of the living tradition of the Church.”
This warm reception of the new motu proprio is far from typical, according to the British paper The Times.
In his speech to the Latin Mass Society in Oxford, Archbishop Nichols said: “Please remember that what you study here is not a relic, not a reverting to the past, but part of the living tradition of the Church. It is, therefore, to be understood and entered into in the light of that living tradition today.”
Damian Thompson, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Herald, said: “On the whole, the bishops of England and Wales have failed to respond to the Pope’s deeply inspiring Apostolic Letter, which liberated the ancient liturgy and offered it as a resource for the whole Church. The only bishop who appears to understand the Pope’s programme of liturgical reform and seems prepared to respond to it is the Archbishop of Birmingham.”
The Archbishop’s backing for liturgical renewal has led The Times to speculate that Archbishop Nichols is a prime candidate to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who will hand in his resignation this time next year.
Archbishop Nichols also turned some heads in Rome with his campaigns to improve the way Catholicism is covered by the media. His highest profile effort was the fight against the BBC series Popetown, which forced the British media giant to withdraw the cartoon series. The prelate also was able to stop the Government to abandon its plans for a non-faith quota of pupils for faith schools.