German Superior Of The SSPX talks
Read here on the always excellent Rorate Caeli the English translation of the interview of the German newspaper Die Welt to Father Franz Schmidberger, the Superior for the German district of the FSSPX.
Before I leave you to enjoy the fresh air always coming from such interviews – notice how unequivocal the man always is, how to the point his answers; and please compare to the pathetic attempts of too many among those in full communion to give answers which do not displease anyone – I would like to correct some of the statements of the journalist involved. Alas, it seems to me unavoidable that a journalist be not prepared, or exaggerated, or self-aggrandising, or all three together.
1) the chap seems to believe that now there will be either full communion or what he calls “definitive expulsion”. This is a non sequitur, as I cannot see how the failure to reach an agreement may lead to any further consequence for the organisation as such. If there had been a theological ground to declare the SSPX in outright schism, this would have been made long ago. “Imperfect communion” is what we are at, and the word “schism” is only used by trendy priests and, at most,merely hinted at by an emotional Pope emphatically not speaking ex cathedra and ( just in case you want to know who was more orthodox) emphatically a Koran-kisser.
2) The chap says the Pope stakes “his reputation” and “the unity of the entire Church” on the reconciliation, no doubt feeling very important in the process. Stakes… what? I sometimes think if journalists haven’t cretinous delusions of grandeur they aren’t allowed to work.
3) The chap seems to think that the “enforcement” of religious liberty is “key for world peace today”. Look, I thought peace is best founded on Truth. My bad, no doubt. Hope the chap is not a Catholic. If he is, he has some learning to do.
The entire interview is very beautiful and again, the crystal-clear words of the SSPX are always such a welcome change from the usual soppy platitudes of much of the Western hierarchy. But I liked this exchange most:
Die Welt: What reasonable arguments does the Fraternity in fact still have against religious liberty, the enforcement of which is key for world peace today?
Fr. Schmidberger: Religious liberty is not, in the first place, a matter of practice, but a matter of doctrine. The condemnation of religious liberty by the popes never implied the will to force others to accept the Catholic religion, but it implied that a state, in which the majority of the population is Catholic, should acknowledge that the Catholic religion is the religion revealed by God. At the same time, it can very well to tolerate other religions and confessions and even lay those tolerances down in civil laws.
Obviously, in today’s pluralistic times, such a tolerance would have to find broad application. At the other hand error never has a (natural) right. When, however, it comes to man being capable of recognising God by the light of reason and of being aware of the true religion, then this is also true for statesmen; and it is exactly this that the Popes, up to Pius XII, maintained by condemning religious liberty. Everything else is, in the end, agnosticism.