Wolves And Sheep
A shocking leak from the SSPX shows the extent of the chaos in which the Vatican is sinking. I know, it is very bad that the letter has been leaked, but this post is not about that so let us leave that aside for the time being.
The letter is not explicit, but very clear in saying what has happened: someone at the Vatican lied, or was duplicitous, or ate his words.
Logically excluding Bishop Fellay himself might have lied about his proposal of preambolo being acceptable to the Holy Father, and espousing the generally accepted opinion – and the only one compatible with common sense and basic diplomacy – that Monsignor Gaenswein informed Fellay the Holy Father had no objections to the revised version of the Preambolo, only one of the two could have happened:
1. Gaenswein lied to Fellay in order to induce him to present a document which would then be refused, fomenting discord and strife within the SSPX.
2. The Holy Father either wilfully lied to reach the same objective or – far more probably if you ask me – just did not have the gut, until today at least, to follow through on what he had said.
Alas, tertium non datur. In both cases, the Holy Father goes out of this story severely damaged, and justifying serious doubts about his ability to adequately fulfil the job description. Whether Gaenswein – the man the Pontiff is supposed to trust the most – lied in order to let the SSPX run through the test of the reconciliation whilst the German bishops were mobilised, of the Pope himself decided to eat his words, the Pontiff – of whom I cannot believe that he himself was the architect of this deception, if for no other reason because no doctor ever prescribed that he starts the reconciliation process in the first place - is rapidly resembling King Theoden before Gandalf’s visit. Alas, I can see no Gandalf around the Vatican.
Let us say this once again: there can be no reasonable doubt Fellay was informed the Pontiff was in agreement with his last draft of the document. This makes the content of the leaked letter so explosive, because it reveals a shocking breach of trust.
I only hope the usual litany of the “wolves” will now cease. The responsibility for bad – or very bad, or awful, or outright stupid – governance does not lie somewhere in the clouds, but in the one who is responsible for it.
Where I grew up a man was only as good as his word, and clearly someone very highly placed in the Vatican isn’t very good at all. Besides, he is too clever by half, because to indulge in such cheap tricks thinking that they will not come out in the open isn’t very smart in the end. Lies have short legs, and nowadays leakers have extremely long ones.
I never thought I’d see the day, that’s all.
The problem of the Vatican isn’t a problem of wolves, but rather of sheep. The Italian saying comes to mind: chi agnello si fa, il lupo se lo mangia. If one makes himself a lamb, the wolf will eat him. He then has, I am afraid, no right to complain.