By Nicholas Frankovich | First Things | 9 July 2014
An unexpected blessing of the liturgical developments that have sidelined the Mass of the Ages for the past half-century is that when we return to it now we see it with fresh eyes.
Seven years ago this week, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, liberalizing use of the 1962 missal and affirming the continuity between it and the ordinary form of Mass. He stressed the seamlessness of the Roman rite in its two forms, the old and the new. In principle, the traditional Latin Mass does not divide the Church, he insisted, in response to the spectacle of Catholics dividing themselves over it, each side accusing the other of being divisive.