The practical effects of Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Letter will no doubt vary from place to place, but one thing is clear: at the highest level, the pastoral solicitude of Pope John Paul II and above all of Pope Benedict XVI, towards Catholics attached to the ancient liturgical tradition, has been replaced at the highest level of the Church by an attitude of suspicion, and even of hostility.
I started attending the Traditional Mass in 2002, and so I had a taste of life before Pope Benedict. Ordinary Catholics, even quite conservative ones, would literally recoil in horror when they heard that I was attending the ancient Mass, regardless of the fact that it had the approval of the local bishop and was celebrated by a priest in good standing in the Church. Ferocious attacks on us appeared in mainstream and, again, conservative Catholic publications. This continued for some time even after 2007, but as time has worn on it has become less and less of a problem.