Friday, 27 June 2008

Keep praying for the SSPX reconciliation...

There are lots of rumours floating around suggesting that the SSPX has already rejected the five conditions, including a Reuters report and a few others.

But none of them seem credible as final statements at this stage.

Most of the reports seem to be based on Bishop Fellay's comments from last week. A more recent set of comments from Bishop Williamson is reported on Rorate Caeli, but again, he is not Bishop Fellay!

So keep praying I think.


Anonymous said...

Lefebvrist deadline looms this weekend

Cardinal Pole said...

I had no time for comments on yesterday's developments, so I'll include them in here:

1) The conditions are so broad as to be meaningless; basically the conditions are saying 'be nice to us'. They remind me of that bit in Catch-22 where Cathcart and Korn offer to get Yossarian off murder charges on one condition: 'we want you to like us'. If something sounds too good to be true then it usually is; with conditions as broad as these, just about any kind of robust critique from the SSPX could be taken as an infraction.

2) What does the SSPX ultimately gain from all this? They know that the excommunications do not stand, that there is no schism, that their souls are not in jeopardy, that their Sacraments are valid. The only objective benefit would be canonical regularisation. Meanwhile, what is Rome doing? The Cult of Man continues to reign, a sinful liturgy remains the normative form of Mass, modernists sit on cathedras, and accomodation is sought with secularism. None of this will end soon; in other words, the state of necessity essentially continues.

3) So let us not pay too much attention to the conditions. Rather, let us examine closely the form of apostolate that Rome would allow the SSPX to exercise. As I said earlier, an Opus Dei-style personal prelaure would be inappropriate, and an 'apostolic administration' could be just a strategy to keep the SSPX confined to a few major centres.

The outcome that I worry will result is this: Msgr. Fellay accepts the conditions, but is then offered such an inadequate canonical arrangement that he is forced to renege on the agreement, so that the modernists in the Curia and the Dioceses score a huge coup.

Terra said...

Cardinal Pole,

I don't think the conditions are meaningless at all. They are not about 'niceness' but about respecting the person and office of the Pope, somethng that has been greatly lacking in many of the comments of the SSPX.

They certainly do not preclude proper theological debate - the Pope himself made some robust criticisms of Vatican II documents as a theologian.

Why don't the excommunications stand? They were properly made by an authority from whom there is no appeal and for a duly promulgated canonical offence.

I don't think we know enough about what is potentially on offer to debate the pros and cons of various canonical structures. There are ways of making things work if there is a mind to do so.

If you want the Church to be cleaned up and ensure orthodox bishops are in place everywhere, the best way to do that now is to work from inside the Church. There will never be a better time.

Most of all, we should all have a true horror of the prospect of schism - and frankly if the SSPX reject this offer, it will be absolutely clear that they are in schism, and I expect June 30 might become a date of rather more excommunications.