Daily Archives: May 18, 2012
Swiss religious news agency APIC confirms the official delivery by Cardinal Levada (in French/ in German), but no real new development is added, other than the confirmation that “the pope can now directly decide the outcome of the discussions with the Lefebvrists or can wait for ‘new developments’ on the doctrinal questions wished by the members of the CDF.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this (in case you ask: on Rorate Caeli, of course).
Please make yourself a chamomile tea and read it again: (some) members of the CDF wish that the Holy Father “waits for new developments”.
Your humble correspondent is at a loss to understand what sensible (not V II) meaning can be given to this. The SSPX do not “evolve” their doctrine, and there is no way they can “evolve” it to make it, say, nearer to the wishes of a Cardinal Schoenborn. The august prelates know this very well. They know it, because this is what they have witnessed these past several decades, and know the SSPX has retained all the stubborn orthodoxy of its founder.
Which means, some of the members of the CDF suggest the Pope simply do nothing and let the thing die quietly, possibly accusing the SSPX when they inevitably make some remarks about the decision which seems never to come. What is more worrying is that this opinion is represented strongly enough as to form part of the CDF’s report to the Pope. In plain English, the report reads “we know you want this, but please reflect one last time whether it would not be better to reconsider”.
In three words: true to form.
If you visit Rorate Caeli (which, I am rather sure, you do) you will see there a close succession of interventions from Superiors of several districts of the SSPX. All of them are clearly supportive of the reconciliation. At this point I see the matter as follows:
1) Today is the 18 May and one months after Fellay’s response was given to the Vatican there are no open calls to rebellion to the official line of the Society. Not even Bishop Williamson is officially on record with a single word inviting to or even hinting at such a measure. I tend to believe if such had been Williamson’s intention, the most effective and spectacular way of doing it would have been with an open challenge to the decision. It did not happen.
2) One after the other, the regional big whigs within the Society speak openly, and they all approve the move, provided it is done properly. Which it will, because Fellay was not born yesterday.
3) Bishop Tissier de Mallerais is on record with an open call to obedience and he is, crucially, one of those who signed the letter unfortunately leaked to the press.
4) I have no news of any group more or less spontaneously forming around the one or other rebel, and announcing the intention to give battle and split the Society.
Mind, I do not doubt there will be defections. If even the three Bishops clearly think Rome is not good enough for them to consider fitting to take its stretched hand, I do not doubt there will be a certain number within the Society willing to go further than this; particularly, when they have poisoned their own congregation for years with talks of the wickedness of Rome.
Still, the procession of SSPX notables and the absence of an open and credible challenge up to now justifies in my eyes the opinion that those who will secede will be a minority, and probably a minority who should not have been part of the SSPX in the first place.