He Who Loves, Waits
Now several hours after the first breaking of The News, it is still a savage waiting and repeating of what we already know.
The German site of the SSPX this morning reported (in German, of course) the press was anticipating the agreement. They reported the news without commentary. From that moment, I had no doubts, and if I am proved wrong, blame my innocence and the SSPX naivete’. Mind, though, I can certainly be naive, but the men at the German SSPX are not.
A bit later the news from another SSPX site came, the reality is “different” from the news reporting an agreement is achieved. Well of course the agreement hasn’t been achieved. The Pope must say “yes”, and without his consent this reconciliation will not take place. It’s like a marriage: rejoice as much as you want, but the words will have to be spoken.
Then the Vatican chimed in, and basically said in so many words (from the mouth of one Federico Lombardi, who with a SSPX Pope wouldn’t survive more than fifteen minutes at his place; twenty, tops) that the Vatican will now examine everything oh so very carefully; and it might take oh such a long time; and the signed preambolo is not quite what one would expect; but it is still encouraging, and the reckless children have improved their behaviour; so that, you see, the Pope might, just might, in the end allow them to be reconciled.
In saying so, Lombardi tries to tell us – obviously, in so many words – we are all idiots; the terms of the signed preambolo has not been examined and agreed verbatim before it was delivered; and we could actually not expect any kind of agreement, unless it was for the benevolence of the Vatican.
Lombardi reminds me of those people who, days before the marriage, still tell everyone the betrothed are not actually married, and the bride (or the bridegroom, if you prefer) could still decide he-stroke-she wants to cancel everything. Yes, we know it. But we know the two want to marry, and are in agreement on this.
We can, now, speculate as to why the Vatican speaks of weeks rather than of, as it would be more natural and more sensible, days.
I will launch here, as it is a beautiful day, my wildest speculations:
1) They want to show to the SSPX he who loves, waits. A squabble of 24 years is coming to an end, and if the bride wants to make herself scarce for some other weeks, fine. In the end, it appears the greatest concessions by far, and I mean by far, are coming from there.
2) Some people at the CDF/Ecclesia Dei are a bit grated the SSPX (in my yes, on purpose) waited for the expiry of the “ultimatum which wasn’t really such” to deliver their answer. If you ask me, the SSPX wanted to give a signal they not are going to be bullied into any kind of undue subservience before, during or after the reconciliation; nor have they liked the undertone of “agree with us, or else…” which have been circulated. Kudos to them, say I. Still, as it is often the case in this kind of semi-diplomatic matters, now the ball is in the Vatican side they return the nicety: I waited for you, now you wait for me.
3) The weeks (if such they will be) of waiting will give both sides (particularly the SSPX) the time to organise themselves internally. They’ll find the way of having the preambolo circulated, explained, and approved. They’ll avoid Fellay exposing himself to the accusation of having put the SSPX in front of a fait accompli in front of the troops, in the face of which only approval or a frightful row with the Vatican are possible. They’ll discuss and agree with Williamson the way he himself will explain to his own aficionados why he can live with the agreement if he can, or to agree ways in which he can express an acceptable dissent if he cannot.They will, in short, prepare the ground for what, for an organisation now accustomed to live in open conflict with the Vatican for almost 25 years, must be an earthquake.
I might be wrong. I am, in fact, more often than I care to admit. But I refuse to be either worried or in any way “concerned” at the news of today.
In the end, the Pope is not a capricious, doting old man, but a smart guy who knows what he wants. If he were to back pedal now, he would stand there as the most cruel of men, and to be easy to manipulate. I don’t think he is either in the least. Besides, he knows the SSPX too well to think he could play games with them, even if he wanted.
It is as clear as the sun the Pontiff has already made his decision, as otherwise the SSPX would never have announced they have submitted a text they knew might be publicly refused.
If you ask me, the rest is entertainment.
Posted on April 18, 2012, in Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism, Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican-SSPX talks. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on He Who Loves, Waits.