SSPX, FSSP And The Fears Of The Post-Reconciliation.
I am not a friend of the “SSPX will be eaten alive after the reconciliation”-argument. I am not, because it seems to me that what one might call “corporate identity” of the SSPX – based not only on strictest Catholicism, but on the conviction that this should prevail against sabotages made from bishops or Popes – is strong enough to resist any attempt at, so to speak, domestication by the V II crowd.
Still, episodes like the one reported here help us to better understand where the skeptics within the SSPX come from. A French Bishop travels to Germany to celebrate the ordination of six deacons of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (the “reconciled” traditionalists, mind) and the local press shoots at him like it’s grouse shooting season. You see here the usual vocabulary: “some” in the diocese are “hurt” (how sensitive these manipulative bitches, including males, are will never cease to amaze me) because the Fraternity is “perceived” as a bunch of “fundamentalists”. Translated: dear bishop, please do not do anything which I might “perceive” to be in some way (I do not hate to explain) “wrong” because I would be “hurt”, and please let me decide who is a “fundamentalist” because I am oh so good. Classic.
Still, I can easily imagine what the skeptical elements among the SSPX will think in reading such news: if a bishop can be criticised because the Fraternity – which has been in good standing every day of its existence – is seen as a group of “fundamentalist”, what will happen to the SSPX, a group which will continue to be far more vocal than the FSSP even after the reconciliation?
One can understand reasonable persons may disagree on this. Still, my take is that:
a) those who have resisted being called “schismatics” for so many years will certainly not care much if someone is “hurt” by whatever they do;
b) Once the SSPX is reconciled, there will be a number of bishop ready to travel to visit them, fully uncaring of the “hurt” of the easily hurt violets.
c) It is not that anyone expected this to be a walk: polemics and accusations were to be expected anyway.
d) Once the SSPX is reconciled, the traditionalist argument will receive much more weight; it will, so to speak, be able to punch much harder. The shrinking violets know this, and their attempt to silence every sympathy for the traditionalist cause is a clear indication they know the punches are coming.
Bishop Castet has been brave. Many others will follow him. I do not see any reason to be worried, provided one is conscious the reconciliation will not be the end of the controversies, merely the start of new ones.