As mentioned in my last entry on the Tridentine Mass, the French bishops have been lobbying intensively against it. Rumor has it that some of them have pointed out that it’s wiser not to order changes those on the spot will refuse to carry out. Apparently the Pope’s been doing some jawboning (click on the link for an amusing title), and has “brought them to a reluctant but decisive change of view, or at least to a recognition of the limits of disobedience.”
Not surprising. If I held a position as weak as that of the French bishops in this matter I don’t think I’d like to defend it in a one-on-one with Benedict XVI. The more polite and reasonable he was the worse it would be. Incidentally, I’ve never understood why people think the Roman Catholic Church is so authoritarian. In theory the Pope can do almost anything, in fact he has to act like other leaders who don’t have direct means of physical coercion and whose goals can’t be achieved without willing cooperation. Also, the more traditionalist the Church is the less dictatorial it becomes, since tradition is the way you maintain coherence in the absence of an administrative structure. There is no one as dictatorial as a modernist.