Gregory Murphy, Editor of the Latin Mass Society's Mass of Ages, interviewed Archbishop McMahon yesterday in Liverpool Cathedral about the usus antiquior. he kindly sent round an email with the text of the interview which I have pasted below. To be honest, I don't think there was any need for anyone to feel "anxious" or "nervous" given +Malcolm's generosity in the past. However it is, of course, great to hear such good-humoured comments from a newly-appointed Archbishop.
Apologies for illustrating this post with another ill-fitting mitre photo (credit: Fr Lawrence Lew OP - Flickr photoset.) The Catholic blogosphere being what it is, a google image search did not throw up any pictures of the esteemed Bishop celebrating the Novus Ordo, though I must allay any anxiety or nervousness among my my reform-of-the-reform friends by affirming that he does so regularly and with great reverence. Perhaps the LMS or another group might club together to present a gift to the new Archbishop of a set of bespoke mitres for use at usus antiquior Pontifical Masses.
Archbishop-Elect Malcolm McMahon, of Liverpool, on the Extraordinary Form of Mass -
Press Conference, March 21st, 2014
To selected persons (bottom) who have an attachment to the Extraordinary Form of Mass, or have an interest:
I had the pleasure, today, of interviewing His Lordship at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool. I discussed only the matter of the Extraordinary Form of Mass. I faithfully reproduce here - verbatim - the Archbishop-Elect’s quotes which are illuminating - although I stress that it was necessary for him to speak whilst walking and needing to attend to passing and ongoing briefings whilst developing his responses. Although conscious that, due to circumstances, he couldn’t devote full concentration to the subject, the Archbishop-Elect said he was nonetheless happy for me to convey his thoughts publicly. Please, therefore, feel completely free to disseminate these quotes with confidence if - and however - you wish to, and to whomever (beyond the recipients at the foot). I ask only that, where possible and/or practical, I am credited.
No reply required.
+Malcolm on whether those attached to the Extraordinary Form of Mass in the Archdiocese of Liverpool need have any concerns:
"There is no need (for anyone) to feel nervous."
+Malcolm on how much he foresees that the Extraordinary Form may in time become a general and unremarkable part of the liturgical life of the archdiocese:
"I think it’s hard to predict. I will certainly be open to any requests that come my way. I’ve always listened to what people have wanted, and tried to do my utmost to satisfy their needs - and that applies to liturgy, forms of liturgy, as well as other aspects of my ministry."
+Malcolm on whether he foresees himself personally celebrating the Extraordinary Form:
"It depends how it is used. I mean, I’ve celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form when required and when I’ve been asked to. But the Mass always has to be a source of unity in the Church, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be used, and the Extraordinary Form to be used, to divide the Church. That would be my (only) concern. But there are plenty of pictures of me on the Internet (celebrating the Extraordinary Form)...with (laughing) mitres that don’t fit me and all that!"
"But yes, of course I would be agreeable. How can you not be when the Mass has been such a … well some like to call it the ‘Traditional Rite’ … but (when) the Extraordinary Form has been a source of holiness to people for hundreds of years. So how on earth can you say no?"
A senior third party, with authority to speak for the Bishop, later said (unprompted) that he fully understood why those attached to the Extraordinary Form are perhaps prone to being anxious on such occasions. But he wished to stress - and also for it to be conveyed - that Archbishop-Elect McMahon’s appointment in Liverpool should certainly not give rise to any apprehension whatsoever. In fact, quite the opposite, I was assured. He said: “There really, really, should be no concerns for anyone at all - and I emphasise that.”
The general tenor of both the Archbishop-Elect’s, and later his spokesman’s, message concerning the Extraordinary Form, was one of complete reassurance and positivity.
GREGORY MURPHY -
freelance editor and journalist
(among previous posts: Catholic TIMES - editor; Mass of Ages [Latin Mass Society] - editor; Catholic Pictorial [Liverpool] - deputy editor)
[List of recipients follows]