I think we have a right to expect a little more enthusiasm from the country's senior Archbishop to a document from the Holy Father. It might be, I hope, bad reporting from the Herald or perhaps His Grace had not had time to think through his response but what is presented below hardly demonstrates a communion of heart and mind with the Pope.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols addressed Universae ecclesiae in the press conference covering the biannual Bishops’ Conference meeting, drawing attention to paragraphs 13, 15 and 19 of the document: which respectively assert the bishop’s authority, define that enigmatic “stable group” and spell out that the Mass in the Extraordinary Form cannot be requested by people who are against validity or legitimacy of the ordinary form or who suggest the Pope is not the Church’s supreme pastor.
When asked whether seminaries in England and Wales would teach the Extraordinary form as is recommended by the Vatican document, Archbishop Nichols answered that this depended on the phrase “where pastoral need suggests it” and said the requirement was “provisional” not “absolute”. He added that the document was the product of a “process of consultation conducted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in which every bishop around the world was asked, how this was going, and was asked to assess to the needs”. The diocese of Westminster, he continued, asked if any priests were willing to learn—and there were “plenty”—and therefore the needs were met.
He said: “Personally I don’t think it needs to be added to an already crowded seminary programme because it’s a skill that can be learned later in a priest’s life.”