A suppression or limitation of the 1962 liturgy would cast a dubious shadow over much of the Church, at least in America, outside of parishes exclusively dedicated to the Rite of Econe. Supposedly there are 500 Pian-Johannine Masses, or Mass locations, in the United States every Sunday, the vast majority of them not under the Fraternity of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King; the text quotes figures for diocesan presence, so one may doubt the Fraternity of St. Pius X's considerable number of priories are included.
What would happen if Bishop Fellay signed the dotted line, Rome gave the Fraternity a personal prelature with immunity in their current locations, and Francis reconfigured Summorum back to Ecclesia Dei levels, when occasional Masses were permitted only with the expressed consent of the bishop? Surely the FSSP, FSSPX, Institute of Christ the King, and monasteries dedicated to the '62 rite would be left alone, but the majority of Masses would forcibly vanish. If a devout Catholic learned anything during the 1950s and 1960s he learned that the average cleric sees obedience to immediate, visible authority as the equivalent of right and wrong, even if the authority deems wrong what had once been right. Obedience is a means of preserving faith, not the actual faith.
Enter "Duffy's Parson Trichay," whose name was Sir Christopher Trychay (rhymes with "Dickey"). Sir Christopher—named when priests were called Sir or Mister—was ordained in 1515 and served the parish of St. George in Morebath, Devon from that year until his death in 1574. Early in priesthood, Trichay added statues and shrines to saints of popular devotion; Sir Christopher prayed frequently to St. Sidwell, a 6th century virgin martyred in the same county. The medievals sought the intercession of the saints for their common problems; their faith was casual, but that does not mean it was shallow or superficial. Townsfolk donated money at the shrines and bought candles from the St. George's to burn perpetually before the statues and icons of their favorite saints. Sir Christopher used the money from the "stores" to fund the parish's charitable functions, including the laudable participation of five men in the 1549 Prayer Book Rebellion. In 1538, amid Henry's dissolution and thievery among the English monasteries, Trychay gave his Missal, the relics of saints, holy images, and candles to various faithful so that when the authorities came to confiscate his Papist paraphernalia he could hold his hands up in innocence, all the while hoping he might one day call upon his parishioners to use the sacred objects and say the Mass again. In the mean time he used the Prayer Book and a wooden table and did not promote the veneration of saints. His patience was rewarded two years later when Mary assumed the throne and churches resumed the old ways. It was to be short lived. Mary died before the end of the decade with a considerable number of vacant episcopal sees for "Henry Tudor's bastard daughter" to fill. Sir Christopher again hid his Missal, relics, and images with the faithful and resumed the Prayer Book in hopes of another return to Catholicism. Alas, his patience protestantism would not be rewarded this time and the Mass never returned. Sir Christopher Trychay was buried under where the Catholic altar once stood.
He died obedient.
500 Mass locations is a drop in the water compared to the 18,000 (and shrinking) parishes in the United States, yet the opportunity to celebrate the odd 1962 Mass is a treat to most priests condemned to mundane parish life. Will they push back or be obedient as Sir Christopher if that day comes?
One remembers that after the introduction of the completely revamped liturgy in 1970 many priests chose retirement over the "Novus Ordo." Should their dichotomy have been "Will I say the new order or retire" or "Should I say the new order or refuse"? Many would-be opponents, like Cardinal Siri or the priests of the archdiocese of Baltimore, obeyed and left the few dissidents in a liturgical and spiritual ghetto where the FSSP and FSSPX now live. One wonders if Lefebvre would have gone as far as he did if a cardinal or archbishop somewhere not nearing retirement age had the fortitude to say "Not just no, but hell no" independently of the Gallican missionary.
In the mean time, Pre-Pius XII never looked so attractive, or at least so mute a point of contention by its opponents! Buy now while you have the chance!