I believe that Cardinal Ratzinger, the first Anglo-Catholic Cardinal, pioneered a new approach to the concept of what is, liturgically, licit. It is an attitude which has strong links with the views of Anglican liturgists such as Dom Gregory Dix and Prebendary Michael Moreton, with the attitude to liturgical liceity which was held by the grat Anglo-Papalist priests such as Fynes-Clinton, Baverstock, Hole; and is ecclesiologically significant. It appears also to have links with Orthodox ecclesiology. Here are two passages which the cardinal wrote in 1998.
"Pius V ... decided to introduce the Missale Romanum, the Mass book of the Church of the City of Rome, as indubitably Catholic, in all places where it could not be demonstrated that the liturgy was of at least 200 years'a antiquity. In other cases the liturgy in use could be retained, since its Catholic character could be considered certain. There was therefore no question of forbidding the use of a traditional Missal which had been juridically valid until that time ... " " ... It is good here to recall what Cardinal Newman observed*, that the Church, throughout her history, has never abolished nor forbidden orthodox liturgical forms, which would be quite alien to the Spirit of the Church. An orthodox liturgy, that is to say, one which expresses the true faith, is never a compilation made according to the pragmatic criteria of different ceremonies, handled in a positivist and arbitrary way, one way today and another way tomorrow. The orthodox forms of a rite are living realities, born out of the dialect of love between the Church and her Lord. They are expressions of the life of the Church, in which are distilled the faith, the prayer, and the very life of past generations, and which make incarnate in specific forms both the action of God and the response of man. Such rites can die, if those who have used them in a particular era should disappear, or if the life-situation of those same people should change. The authority of the church had the power to define and limit the use of such rites in different historical situations, but she never just purely and simply forbids them!"
*Can anyone provide a reference to this?
All italics are mine.
Continues later with my comments on these texts.