Both of these I have happened to read today; honestly don't know off the top of my head their dates: the feed reader pulls the posts in and then I read 'em when or if I get the chance. Fr Fox is pastor of a fairly small, fairly rural parish in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati; he was, for a comparatively brief time (as it seemed to me: I ought to point out that I follow these things very... sporadically, distantly, haphazardly), archdiocesan vocations director and had a career in finance or commerce of some sort before becoming a priest. Fr Somerville-Knapman is a Benedictine monk of Douai Abbey, serving as parochial vicar (well, I don't know if this is true in a canonical sense; the parish may be committed to the care of the Abbot of Douai who then sends monks there as needed) at a Liverpool archdiocesan parish, fairly near Southport and the Irish Sea. Father Fox:
Those of us who dislike big government don't take that view because we expect devils to run things; we do it because we know for a fact that omniscient, all-benevolent angels will not be running things? Who will? Ordinary people, even earnest, caring people; but they will have all their human limits and it will get to be a mess because that's just the nature of the thing. It's not about malice (mostly; sometimes you get a joker in the deck), it's about things and people being what they are, and the better or worse ways to make it all work.
And he is willing to accept that the local archbishop (Mons Dennis Schnurr) acted for the best, along with the other Bishops of the Conference.
More recently, I've heard folks say that the bishops should have just taken their own path, regardless of the governor, because the data pointed the way. Even assuming that's right, and the facts we have available are as clear as that, I think folks are underestimating the negative consequences that go with defying the governor, as well as -- to a lesser extent -- the bishops breaking ranks with each other. Making decisions as a group always entails negative consequences, which is why you don't want to do it all the time; but sometimes it's necessary. So the bishops decided to go together on these matters.
Just an aside -- I was reading over the directives we priests got yesterday from the Archdiocese, and it's all classic Schnurr; and I mean that in a good way. I was concerned that we would get fairly restrictive guidance; and, happily, it has much more flexibility. One thing I appreciate about the Archbishop is that he is willing to trust priests and parishes to work things out. He doesn't micromanage.
... The move to restrict the liturgy was no doubt a justifiable one. But the move to shut the churches completely came not from the government but from at least some of our own bishops has left many people disturbed. The government had been prepared to exempt churches but it was the bishops’ conference that approached the government asking for churches to be closed. It remains to be shown how an empty church with no more than a handful of people in private prayer, able effortlessly to practise social distancing, is more dangerous than a supermarket.So, many of us have found ways to stream our daily Mass to allow parishioners, not excluding others of course, some sort of access to the “source and summit” of the Christian life, and a type of access also to their church. Given the age profile of many parishes, this has been of limited benefit in practice, but better than nothing....For some it has been a challenge to see the Mass celebrated ad orientem. For many this is understandable as they may never have experienced Mass celebrated in this traditional way, and are not catechized to its meaning and rationale. For others, ideology begins to cloud the air: “back to the people” becomes the description, even from clergy of an age to have grown up with it and who should know what it means. Getting people to cut through the ideology to see what is going on can be a challenge but it may be worth it. The basic psychological coherence of the arrangement becomes apparent to many: when talking to the people, the priest faces the people; when talking to God as one of, and on behalf of, the people, he turns to face God, as it were. The East has always been the symbol of Son’s incarnation and his coming again in glory. From the start Christians faced east to pray and to worship....
Both of these gentlemen are friendly to Tradition but not regular celebrants of the Traditional Rite (although I may be mistaken I don't believe I am). Will add excerpts from additional clerical perspectives, perhaps. No idea why when I chose the 'quote' rubric for the texts, one font was used in the first case and a second one in the second: it's irritating but I have tried to abandon my quest to force Blogger to behave how I think it ought to behave.