Before being ordained Deacon in the Church of England in 1967, I, and my fellow seminarians in the great seminary of S Stephen's House in North Oxford, stood around a table in the company of a gentleman wearing an outlandish wig (the sixties were a bit like that). Under his guidance we swore an oath; all speaking together we uttered a formula which was supposed to end " ....and in public prayer and administration of the Sacraments I will use the form in the said book prescribed, and none other, except as far as shall be ordered by lawful authority." However, what we actually said was " ... prescribed, and one other ...". If you feel that this was a not entirely honourable proceeding, then, as the Holy Father said with regard to homosexuals, who am I to condemn you?
The ordinands of the Franciscans of the Immaculate are going to have to swear an oath. I have to say that I could swear this oath with a very much clearer conscience than I had on that day in 1967 ... indeed, without any qualms at all. The text available does not commit them to use the Novus Ordo. They merely have to accept that "the Novus Ordo is an* authentic expression of the liturgical tradition of the Church". That would give me no problems whatsoever. Good heavens, I even use the Novus Ordo when pastoral circumstances require it! Not long ago I actually said it daily for an entire fortnight in a parish of the Portsmouth Diocese where I was doing duty! (Mind you, I am careful always to use the First Eucharistic Prayer, as I trust all my clerical readers are.)
Nor does this oath in any way imply that the one taking it prefers the Novus Ordo. It is inherent in the motu proprio Summorum pontificum that different clergy (and laity) will have different, and lawful, preferences. I can see no objection to the requirement that ordinands formally accept the authenticity of the NO. I personally think the Vetus Ordo is more authentic than the NO because .... er .... no ... that's not what I'm on about today. But the contents of the NO are largely taken from earlier books of the Latin Church; the arrangement is generally speaking traditional; so how could one reasonably deny its positive authenticity? Surely the concept of authentic admits the grammatical modalities of positive, comparative and superlative?
I feel this so strongly that I am prepared to drive my argument even further. In modern Catholic seminaries, so rumour has it, many of the ordinands are much more 'traditional' nowadays than the ordinands of a generation ago were. Eccellente. But there may possibly still be among them just a tiny residual handful of young men who are violently prejudiced against the Vetus Ordo ... quaint young fogies weirdly fixated upon the out-dated fads of the 1970s, eternally mouthing strange mantras about Hippolytus and versus populum, resistant to the Magisterium of Summorum pontificum. The sort of sad little chaps who secretly read the Tablet or even Mgr Loftus (utrumque censeo delendum) and take selfies of themselves in polyester chasubles. I think, therefore, for safety's sake, all ordinands throughout the Church should also have to swear that they accept the Vetus Ordo as "an* authentic expression of the liturgical tradition of the Church".
It would help to weed out such precious young men, and to prevent them from sneaking through to ordination.
You know it makes sense.