I know that I’m not supposed to be commenting on this papacy, but I figure as long as it’s not polemical, keeping abreast of a few current events is not so bad. After all, how could a good Catholic really ever ignore his spiritual father?
I thought this was very ironic in light the prevailing “neo-Catholic” view that the SSPX is as unsalvageable as it is wicked. When it comes to the SSPX, we are supposed to chant, “ritually unclean”, and move along.
However, lest we forget papal guidance from centuries ago, I thought the following, in light of the above, was worth republicizing:
“In a letter to the world’s bishops, [Pope Benedict XVI] is reported to criticise Catholics who talk about ecumenism but do not wish to see it extended to the Society of St Pius X. Anyone who approaches the Society loses his right to toleration and is treated with ‘hatred’, he says.
“He asks: ‘May we consign to utter indifference a community in which there are 491 priests, 215 seminarians, … 117 brothers, 164 sisters, and thousands of faithful? Should we truly let them drift away from the Church?’ He also criticises Catholics who invoke the spirit of Vatican II without putting it in historical perspective.“
As unseemly as it is of me to recall anything prior to the immediate and unrelenting voice of the current occupant of the Petrine See, it just goes to show that one can never be too careful villifying one’s enemies when one’s faith depends entirely on the whims of the current occupant of the Petrine See. Hence, despite my cynicism about this reported audience, I am tickled to think of all the SSPX haters who will have to eat crow if it turns out that the SSPX gets pretty much unqualifiedly embraced by the Church at last. It will prove so many sycophants wrong in one fell swoop. How dare the pope give succor to schismatics! One dare not call it scandal.
How times flies. Because continuity. Oremus.
Finally, since I’m sure you’re all dying to see at least a little of the usual polemics from myself, I will unburden myself of my own gut reaction to the reported papal audience with Fellay: So, the SSPX signs on to be integrated as they are (because dialogue), become on a par with the likes of the FFI, and then get purified of any crypto-Lefebvrian drift (i.e. brutally suppressed) as officially normalized Catholics? My funny bone is saying, “Calling Admiral Akbar.”
Lastly, here’s a quotation I found this evening:
“It is impossible to conceive of the Catholic Church as anything but continuity, as tradition, as the heir of her past. It is impossible to understand a Catholic Church that breaks with her past, with her tradition, and precisely because of the impossibility of imagining such a thing, I find myself in a rather strange situation: that of a bishop who has been suspended for having founded a seminary in Switzerland, a seminary that was legally, canonically erected, a seminary that welcomes many vocations; and eight years after its foundation we have many houses in the United States, one in Canada, in England, in France, in Switzerland, in Germany, and even in Italy here in Albano.
“How can it be that while continuing to do what I myself have done during fifty years of my life, with the congratulations and the encouragement of the popes, and in particular of Pope Pius XII who honored me with his friendship, I should find myself today considered an enemy of the Church? How is this possible, how is it conceivable? I had the opportunity to say this to the pope in the last audience I had on September 11.
“I told him: I cannot understand the reason why, unexpectedly, after having formed seminarians for my whole life the way I am forming them, whereas before the council I had all sorts of honors, excluding only the cardinalate, now, after the council, I find myself suspended a divinis, practically considered a schismatic, practically excommunicated as an enemy of the Church. I do not think such a thing is possible or conceivable. Therefore something in the Church has changed, something that was changed by the men of the Church, in the history of the Church.”
–Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1977 (as quoted in The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story by Roberto de Mattei [Loreto Press (2012), pp. 555-56]).
If only the benighted Archbishop had known that “the Church is not timeless“. That’s the ticket.