SSPX: Waiting for the 15 April

Bishop Nourrichard tired and emotional as he asks the bottle what will happen with the SSPX on Sunday.....

.... and here on the same occasion, asking the same question to the Buddha statue in front of him.

You would expect the tambourine-plagued sectors of the Church would not be pleased at the prospect – in which I still do not believe, and let us hope I will be proved wrong – of a full reconciliation between the SSPX and the Vatican.

Punctually, a French daily near to the French bishops, La Croix, examines the situation as follows:

Among the possible scenarios, one or several Lefebvrist bishops could refuse to join, in which case they would be excommunicated once again.

The absurdity of the assertion is breathtaking: it is as if a bunch of three-and-a-half year old would decide that either you play with me, or I do not talk with you anymore. Really? Seriously? Of course, this is portrayed as one among “possible scenario”, basically an excuse to spread around some legends. Congratulations.

Not more intelligent are the reported assertions from the French vice-Dean of the University of the Holy Cross in Rome:

“If they say no, it will be necessary that they explain why not and, in such case, their refusal will involve doctrinal questions. They thus risk not schism anymore, but heresy,”

One is tempted to despair at such superficiality, unless of course the words of the vice-dean have been willfully misrepresented by the  usual suspects. In this scenario the SSPX “would have to explain” why they oppose a reconciliation, as if they had not been screaming this (in charity, of course) in the deaf ears of the Vatican for many decades. The one with the doctrinal questions is also very funny: yes, of course there are doctrinal questions, it’s not that the SSPX doesn’t like the colour of the Pope’s shoes. And yes, of course the differences in the interpretation of Catholic doctrine are rather well-known to everyone who took the time to examine them, and it is not known to me the SSPX was ever shy in explaining them or refused any possibility of doing so. What is still not clear is how an organisation so orthodox that it is not possible to even declare it schismatic without, in fact,declaring two thousand years of Church “schismatic” should now, for reasons not explained, be declared “heretic”. Throwing around adjectives will certainly not help anyone to be taken seriously.

Be it as it may, it appears clear to me the mainstream French episcopacy is rather nervous at the prospect of what might happen on Sunday, particularly if the SSPX will be offered reconciliation without any substantial concession on their part. The blow for the tambourine men – who have, no doubt, slandered the SSPX in every possible and impossible way, as is the usual way of the tolerant V II crowd – would be a rather painful one. I can imagine Bishop Nourrichard in great distress, asking his favourite Buddha statue what to do (see above).

I say it once again: if years of doctrinal discussion have not brought to an agreement, I cannot see why three weeks should now solve every problem. On the other hand, it is barely thinkable – as the protocols have not been made public – the differences were not so relevant as hinted by both sides, so that a positive conclusion might now be near. Don’t hold your breath, of course, but please do not fall into a girlish fear the Vatican could now become seriously nasty to the SSPX (which, cela va sans dire, would not have any consequence on them, and would probably cause their ranks to increase).

Very simply, the SSPX is nothing else than the Church before V II, looking critically – in obedience to the Pope, as long as practicable; and to the Church, when the first is no longer practicable –  at the antics of the Church post V II.  I can’t see how the SSPX could be declared schismatic, or heretic, more than S. Pius X could be declared schismatic or heretic himself.

“What Catholics once were, we are. If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.
We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then. If you were right then, we are right now”.

Robert DePiante


Posted on April 12, 2012, in Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on SSPX: Waiting for the 15 April.

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