Having managed to lift myself out of bed for evening Mass, after a night of failed sleep, less a 'Dark Night of the Soul' than an irritating night prolonged by cups of tea, recklessly drank earlier, I went to the pub in town after Mass in honour of the Epiphany* and there met a one or two other Catholics, who just happened to be in the area, one of whom took a particular exception to the Latin Mass.
What I found both sad and interesting, as a young (ish) enthusiast for the Latin Mass, was the sense of woundedness of those who oppose the Extraordinary Form. The crux of the opposition seemed to come not from the Latin Mass itself but because the Latin Mass was all that he had grown up with - and then suddenly - bang! - in came the Novus Ordo and everything changed!
Then, with Vatican II, the Church, in Her great wisdom, in effect, if not in deliberate intention, changed the Mass to become what we now know as the 'modern rite' and the chap I was speaking to had suddenly left the faith, seemingly for years. It was only years later, after his faith in the Church and in God had been destroyed, the Church having abandoned the Latin Mass, that he came back to Mass after someone had explained the 'new rite' to him and he had learned that the 'new Mass' was more concerned with "audience participation" than, well, whatever the 'old rite' was about, which I tried to him explain as "participation" in terms of prayer united to the celebrant and the whole Church.
I argued at length about it with him and told him to his face that the whole idea of "audience participation" makes the Mass out to be some kind of 'game show', yet the real sense of deep hurt seemed for him not to be the idea that Pope Benedict XVI should have liberalised the Latin Mass, (which, just in case you are a Priest, please be assured that you are now perfectly within your rights to celebrate) but that he now sees as it something "exclusive", a "club" within the Church and that the changes of the 1960s were so brutal, so without precedent, so aggressively pushed through and so unexplained to the Laity, who were just asked to 'go along with it' no matter what they felt, that the Church could not be so wrong as to go back on itself. In other words, the laity have become so used to the Novus Ordu that any kind of reintroduction of an unabrogated, perfectly licit, pre-1962 Mass is a horror, because they were told, more or less, that that Mass was a thing of the past - if not, plain, bleeding, wrong! Poor lambs!
In other words, the idea of the Latin Mass making a re-emergence in the Church today, a full 50 years after it was more or less banished, can suggest not just a re-asserting of the Church's Authority, but also a rejection of that Authority that came before it, I mean after it - Vatican II! This is certainly one aspect of opposition against the Latin Mass that I had not considered, primarily because I am a lay man and a young (ish) convert.
In all sincerity, if, as a boy, I had altar served at it, I had grown up with it, then it got thrown out of the window only to let a 'new mass' in to the window and then 50 years later I got told the 'old one' was as good, if not better than the 'new one', I guess I would have difficulties understanding and respecting the Church's Authority, given by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself! It is a bit like a teacher walking into a classroom, being really 'down with the kids' and friendly, only to find that the kids don't respect him because he is too nice and doesn't have boundaries, only to find that when he tries to assert his authority next term they don't give a flying one what he says because he let everything get out of hand last term, so why should anything be any different this term? And, you know what? It doesn't matter how hard he shouts because now, even the old teacher can't handle them!
More than this man's anger against the still relatively sparse celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass around the United Kingdom as a whole, was his anger against the idea that, at such a tender age, as an altar server, the Church could have been wrong in Her alterations in the wake of Vatican II. That is a big problem for those Clergy who feel a particular preference for Mass in the Extraordinary Form, because many of them have, by the Grace of God alone, come to see the beauty of the ancient, whereas others are yet to see that what was taken away from them, robbed, if you like, away from them, was truly a treasure that is being offered once more, for they were - and I don't think I had appreciated this fully - indoctrinated to believe that the former things had passed away and that Our Lord Jesus Christ had made 'all things new'. Now, when He comes to make 'all things new' in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI's liberalisation of the Traditional Latin Mass, for some reason, they don't understand!
* Epiphany is on the 12th day of Christmas. The Bishops of England and Wales, in their wisdom, changed it to today, Sunday, even though it should fall on the 12th day of Christmas. That's on the 6th of January - that's Thursday. Quite why it was brought forward to today, Sunday, has not been fully explained by the Bishops of England and Wales, but the Church, in Her wisdom, makes these decisions, and we abide by them because we are bound by holy obedience.