I was recently asked what I thought of Charles Pope's recent article is something of a sobering up for the Traditional Roman Catholic segment.
It has to be noted that I really don't have a stake in this discussion - those days are gone.
This being said....
Pope (no opponent of the pre-Vatican II liturgy) pointedly contradicts the affirmations made by certain Traditionalists that "the movement" is growing. Notably, Traditionalists, he argues, cannot argue that ecclesiastical rigging and lack of promotion or tolerance. Almost nine years after Summorum Pontificum, the pre-Vatican II liturgy, and its accompanying variant of Catholicism, appears to have hit a wall. Its growth has stalled and there appears to be little appeal to the broader body of the Roman Church.
Expectations that the innate "beauty" of the old liturgy would drawn in the crowds, that the "Tridentine" liturgy was its own best promotion, have met a harsh reality. It is time, Pope seems to say, to accept reality as it is, and not as we wish it to be.
Pope's prescription is evangelization, although he doesn't particularly narrow down the subject of our gospel. Presumably, the subject of this gospel would be the "Tridentine Mass" itself, after all, Pope's concern is that the numbers aren't there to sustain Traditional Catholicism. Most Roman Catholics are content to find some space in post-Vatican II Catholicism.
Having noted the above...
I have long been a proponent of the theory that Summorum Pontificum did more harm than good. For better or worse, up until that point the "Tridentine" liturgy was (whether Traditionalists prefer to admit it or not) a sign of protest and distrust of the Vatican. More importantly, it provided a venue with which to resist modernity and post-modernity, a consequence of which was some form of resistance to contemporary Catholicism. A consequence of Summorum Pontificum was that it stole much of the "Tridentine" liturgy's thunder; many principles behind the cause no longer had the force of intent behind them.
Evangelization is a tricky thing. To be honest, sacramental churches (Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran) are often tepid at it at best. It is a plain fact that Catholics, Orthodox, and certain strands of Anglicans and Lutherans cannot credibly talk about evangelization without consulting the Protestant churches who know how to do it - oftentimes Evangelicals. Evangelicals are almost fearless when it comes to evangelization and working through the surrounding culture. Sacramental churches tend to be clumsy, hesitant, self conscious, and overly apologetic. In the worst case scenario, Catholics, Orthodox and other "high churches" present themselves as being artificially removed from the culture or relatively clueless regarding its contemporary currents. To cite an episode from my past, I once had music director at Catholic parish tell me utilization of Latin chant wasn't acceptable because "the mission" requires more contemporary music to "reach people." My response, "fair enough, but your contemporary music sounds an awful lot like dated (and poorly written) folk music. If you want to do something contemporary, there is a Pentecostal church down the street that can teach you a bit about the tasteful use of distortion." Needless to say, this didn't go over well. Which is a shame, because there are some fine examples of suitably Christian music laden with distortion or otherwise electronic instrumentation....
Again, evangelization isn't easy - if you're going to talk about it, you need to consult with the people who actually do it. Part of the challenge is building up the experience of a Christian community. Again, Evangelical churches often provide the best example. If your community is composed of cliques and is otherwise insulated and unwelcoming, your evangelization effort has no source of sustenance.
There is the plain fact that there is very little interest in traditional forms of Western liturgy. The dominant preference (and numbers do matter) is for contemporary Western forms that incorporate "Traditional" elements. It is this context where the future of the Latin or Western liturgical tradition resides. This isn't intended to make a value judgment, rather it is a statement of fact. Could this change? Of course, but there is no indication a change is happening anytime soon.