Daily Archives: March 14, 2013
I am not one of those people happy to have problems come to them before they deal with it. I always want to know how to cross the bridge before coming to it. As a result, I cannot avoid thinking what will happen in the troubled relationship between the Vatican (make no mistake, they are the ones who are troubled) and the SSPX.
You only need to look at the then Cardinal Bergoglio’s “Pinocchio Mass” (provided it was a validly celebrated Mass, about which I have my doubts) to understand that an almost sidereal distance separates, at least as per yesterday afternoon, the Society from the new Pope. At the same time, the Pinocchio Mass very well explains why the SSPX will never renounce to speak out loud against such liturgical abominations, and could never be persuaded – much less threatened – to an arrangement which in the end would mean to abandon and betray the very mission of the Society. It can, therefore, be excluded the SSPX will “approve” or “renounce to disapprove” of such irreverent, impious antics.
A different matter altogether is, as I see it, the posture the Vatican will take towards the Society. As per today I think it might be one of the following:
1. Business as usual.
The Society remains in what the Vatican calls “imperfect communion”. No rapprochement, no open conflict, things remain as they are waiting for better times or, rather, better Popes.
2. Nuclear Conflict
In this scenario, the Pope will let the Society know that unless they like his Pinocchio Mass – or renounce to state they don’t – terrible things will happen to them, like for example 2000 years of Christian liturgical tradition being declared “schismatic”. Should such an unthinkable event take place, Pope Francis will take the place of honour near Pope Liberius amidst heretical Popes, the SSPX will happily ignore his diktat and carry on as usual, and their prestige as beacons of orthodox Catholicism will be immensely increased.
3. Guerrilla warfare
In this case, the Vatican would try to weaken the Society according to the Ratzinger/Mueller schema already observed in 1988 and 2012: stick and carrot, with no open war but insisted criticism of the Society’s position, perhaps a re-excommunication, and a prolonged attempt to divide them luring away some of their elements with the promise of a kind of “FSSP status”, perhaps with some privileges added. Predictably, this strategy wouldn’t work more now than it did in 1988 and 2012. Every SSPX priest is aware he could defect to the FSSP, if he so wished, anytime, so if they stay it is for well pondered reasons. Therefore, in this case I see another “business as usual” scenario, though rather more heated at times.
In all cases, I confess myself unable to see what damage the new Pope could do – if he wanted, which we don’t know and I don’t think – to the Society. Besides having a liturgical credibility slightly below zero, the new Pope is certainly smart enough to understand every attack on the SSPX would be nothing else than further justification for the Society’s existence.
The SSPX exists for one reason only: because the Vatican is drunk with Neo-Modernism. The idea they should be wiped out if the Vatican becomes even more Neo-Modernist is totally unrealistic, completely illogical and fails to recognise the society’s very raison d’être, their way of thinking, their motivation, their loyalty to Christ.
I think it’s fair to say scenario 2 is improbable, and we will rather have a mixture of 1 and 3.
But even if it should be open war, I can’t see why the SSPX should be scared.
Reblog of the day
And so the Year of Faith has begun, and I hope it will end without much damage.
I am not so sure, though. It seems to me this year of faith exists with the main objective of the beatification of V II and the attempt to sanitise it and at the same time make of it a permanent element of the Church landscape. I do think both objective will fail, but I digress…
There are rumours of the impending beatification of both Pope Paul VI ( imagine that… Who’s next? Archbishop Bugnini?) and John Paul I. As John XXIII has already been beatified and the current Pontiff has already cared for V-II marketing weapon number 1, this would make a succession of four Popes to be beatified; five, if we consider the one who would merit it – miracle presupposed – just for avoiding antics like V II.
Embarrassing. Still, it…
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The SSPX issued a press release on Pope Francis’ election. Emphases not necessary.
With the news of the election of Pope Francis, the Society of St. Pius X prays to Almighty God that He abundantly bestow on the new Sovereign Pontiff the graces necessary for the exercise of this heavy charge.
Strengthened by Divine Providence, may the new pope “confirm his brethren in the Faith”, with the authority which St. Pius X proclaimed at the beginning of his pontificate:
We do not wish to be, and with the divine assistance never shall be aught before human society but the Minister of God, of whose authority We are the depositary. The interests of God shall be Our interest, and for these We are resolved to spend all Our strength and Our very life.
St. Francis of Assisi, whose name the new pontiff has taken, heard the Crucified Savior say to him, “Go, Francis and rebuild my Church.” It is in such a spirit that the bishops, priests, and religious of the Society of St. Pius X assure the Holy Father of their filial desire “to restore all things in Christ, so that Christ may be all and in all” according to their means, for the love of the Holy Catholic and Roman Church.
Menzingen, le 13 mars 2013
Just so we do not think the Cardinals have chosen an example of liturgical orthodoxy, this is what we are confronted with.
I think at 7:50 what you are supposed to see is Jesus.
If you haven’t had enough, feast your eyes with the “Smiling Christ On The Cross” at 8:08.
I pity the poor children.
Slowly but surely, from the landslide of molasses currently invading the Press some useful details begin to emerge.
I have written yesterday, after the first shock of the appointment, my small observations as they came to my mind and emerged from a short perusal of the sources. Today, I would like to order the information available into three parts, representing three key aspects of the new Pontificate. My impressions up to now are as follows:
1. General “faith and morals” issues.
I refer here to the major controversies of our times: abortion, contraception, perversion, adoption by perverts, and the like. From what I read around we have a very vocal Pope, one even accustomed to express himself with a frankness and, at times, brutality very rare in a contemporary Cardinal. If The Holy Father will continue with the same frankness, his action will be a major shift in the cultural life of the West. This requires, though, that tough acts follow the tough words (exclusion from communion for heretical politicians, effective punishment of his Jesuit heretical former colleagues, and the like).
2. Theology and general Weltanschauung.
It seems fair to say unless something big happens on the Pontiff’s personal road to Damascus this Papacy will be a disappointment to say the least. From the implicit recognition of other “churches” stated yesterday, to his alleged opposition to the capital punishment, to the predictable third-worldist and social justice rhetoric, there’s nothing to allow us to hope in a post-Vatican II stance. Whilst I do not know how infected by Neo-Modernist thinking the Pontiff might be, what I have written above and his clearly populist stance reek of Vatican II to the sky.
3. Traditional Catholicism and SSPX.
The Pontiff’s track record on this appears poor to abysmal, but this does not mean the Pope will necessarily behave as the Cardinal did. He is certainly, at least judging from his history, less open to the Traditional Mass, the traditionalist Catholics and the SSPX than Benedict was, or said it was. But as Benedict was always too weak to walk the walk, and doubts are justified whether he ever intended to achieve a reconciliation with the Society in the first place, this will not trouble my sleep at least for now. I personally prefer a Pope who doesn’t like Traditionalism in the open to one feigning a sympathy he can only bestow if it does not cost him more than a modicum of controversy. I’ll write more about his.
Summa Summarum, I think the prophets of doom can start to relax. Yesterday wasn’t a good day, but it does not seem probable it will go down in Church history as a day of infamy and shame.
Just an example to close: I have read the Pontiff will today either assist to, or else celebrate, a Latin Mass, which might be a Traditional Mass. If the first is the case, it might well be a good sign (it would be easy for the Pope to say “tonight’s Mass in Italian, please”). If the second is the case, it will be a very good sign. If he even were to celebrate (today or in the near future) a Traditional Mass himself, he would have celebrated more Traditional Masses in weeks than Pope Benedict in almost eight years. Either way, I can’t see why Pope Francis should not “evolve” in this matter.
We shall see. Please stop the tears.
It’s not as if Schoenborn had been elected.
Browsing the newspapers this morning, one cannot but have depressing thoughts about how deep we have sunk. Since yesterday evening it would appear bus riding in itself qualifies one to be a good Pope, and Popes who didn’t cook themselves will forever be seen as backward. The new frontier is now a Pope who does his own domestic cleaning, floor scrubbing and toilets obviously included. The bus seems, in fact, elevated to the rank of Great Elector, and the debate whether a proper carbonara is made with or without the albumen of the egg will now be, Deo Volente, answered by the Pope himself.
On the same vein, the number of supposed pundits is multiplying, who after the fact are all eager to tell us why this is such a genial move, conveniently forgetting to tell us why they didn’t think about it before. “Me too, me too!” is the war cry of the day….
Then there are the prophets of the Holy Ghost, explaining to us peasants a reality which would otherwise remain inaccessible to our simple intelligence: the seagull was obviously remote-controlled by Providence, because hey, I have to write something original before someone else does. Yours truly remembers seeing the seagull from the webcam, but neglected to think: “look, a seagull on the chimney! The Holy Ghost is clearly doing overtime! It can only be Bergoglio then, or at the very least a cyclist!”. Very stupid of me, I admit.
In all this, I miss the hard facts: the number of vocations in the Holy Father’s archdiocese during his tenure; how the Argentinian Jesuits fared during his tenure; how the seminary he ran fared during his tenure. They will be published somewhere, I am sure; but it seems no one of those whose profession it is to give us this kind of really useful information, and who have at their disposal extensive research resources, care two straws for it.
We are fed with the bus, the cooking, and the seagull instead.
The morning after, and conservative Catholics are trying to come to terms with what has happened. I have been around on the Internet, and I see a despondency almost pleased of itself. “We are doomed!”; “Lord, have mercy!” and similar expressions are very easy to be found. Do you want my take?
Get a grip.
The world has not ended, and it is not as if Schoenborn or Meisner had been made Pope. This Pope might be bad or very bad as the case may be (I have almost abandoned hope that he might be only mildly bad, though you never know), but he will not be the undoing of anything, least of all our Holy Mother Church.
The Church who survived Liberius and Benedict IX, John XXII and Alexander VI, Leo X and Paul VI will also survive Francis, no matter how bad or how long his pontificate. Countless souls may be lost, but we must see in this a deserved punishment for the folly of the past 50 years, a folly possibly far away from being terminated.
In the end, I dare to say my own salvation and the salvation of the ones I love is a more pressing need to me than the Cardinals electing the right Pope. Everyone reading this blog is either properly instructed himself or on its way to be it; perhaps on his way to conversion to the Faith, or to the Only Church. This is what counts most in our individual lives.
Be brave. Continue what you are doing. Try to pray more, or better, or both. Nurture yourself from the endless resources of traditional Catholicism now luckily available on the Internet, particularly for those able to read in English. No Pope Francis will ever be able to block your way to salvation, or to change a iota in the way you interact with your loved ones.
The Church – and the life of all of us – is a rich tapestry whose beauty is made of contrast. The folly of the past caused a re-awakening in so many souls; even out of a great tragedy like Vatican II, God can make good fruits. You, my dear reader, are probably one of them.
At my age, I must accept the possibility that I will die without seeing the return to liturgical and pastoral (real, not fake) sanity. So be it, then. I will endeavour to walk in faith all the days the Lord has allotted to me, knowing that if I manage to escape the worst – which I do hope I will – the problems of the Church will have been for me an incentive to think, and do, better; and the day I die, I hope to be able, wretched sinner as I am, to at least say the words: tradidi quod et accepi.
Strive to learn more. Take refuge in the wisdom of the ages. Resolve to improve your knowledge of sound Catholicism as the world around you drowns in easy sound bites who could have been said by the Pope, or John Lennon, or Bono. Never lose hope, and never lose faith.
Don’t despair. Pray more. Be brave.