The SSPX, the Mamma and the Cake
One of the things I love about (us) Italians is the imaginative, colourful language. A beautiful example comes from Don Alfredo Morselli’s brilliant blog post of Messa in Latino, examining the possible content of the Preambolo Dottrinale.
The blog article is very long and I will not even attempt to translate it, but there is a concept (the key message) there that is very interesting.
According to this article (I am very aligned with this hypothesis, as it can be read around the blog in several places) what the Vatican is asking from the SSPX is nothing else than the renunciation of the “poisoned cake theory”, allegedly an image invented by Bishop Williamson. Williamson’s idea is that Vatican II is like a poisoned cake: once you know that there is poison inside the cake, you throw away the entire cake instead of discussing which parts of it aren’t poisoned.
The answer of the author (and very probably: of the majority of the SSPX) is as follows:
..la Mamma (la Santa Madre Chiesa) non fa torte [avvelenate], ma, in virtù delle promesse del Salvatore, può fare solo torte buone (altrimenti prevarrebbero le porte dell’inferno). Certamente però, come a ogni buona mamma, qualche torta o qualche sua parte non riesce sempre al meglio.
“The mamma (the Holy Mother Church) bakes no poisoned cakes; on the contrary, in virtue of the Saviour’s promises, she can only bake good cakes (otherwise the gates of Hell would prevail). Certainly, though, as it happens to every good mother, some cake or some part of the cake does not always result in a perfect success”.
I have the impression that truly nothing more than this is required of the SSPX, and I frankly wonder how less than this could be required.
I also notice that:
1) the press release of the 14th was a joint one. I wonder how can it be seriously feared that at least Fellay and his strictest collaborators have worked to the presentation of a dish which they themselves have no intention of eating. If Fellay & Co. hadn’t considered the Preambolo worthy of approval, the tones would have been rather different ones or, more probably, no joint press release would have taken place.
2) Bishop Williamson started to become rather nervous already in June, before the news of the Preambolo Dottrinale but after the news of the invitation for the 14th September. Once again, with the benefit of hindsight we can clearly see that Williamson understood that the Vatican proposal would have cut in the middle between his position and those of the more moderate elements within the SSPX.
We will see how this evolves. Frankly, though, I can’t understand how one can avoid being optimistic in the presence of so many encouraging signals.