January 30, 2017
Posted by Tantumblogo
There have been growing pronouncements from both the Vatican and the SSPX leadership that the two camps – if that is the right term – appear close to a formal accord regularizing the SSPX’s canonical situation. Just today, the Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, said full communion is near:
We are working at this moment in the completion of some aspects of the canonical frame, which will be the Personal Prelature. Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission, charged with dialogue with the Society of Saint Pius X, confirms [SSPX Superior-General Fellay’s words] to Vatican Insider that the stage of full communion with the Lefebvrians is near. The accomplishment of the agreement is now in plain sight, even if some time is still needed.
I am of two minds over this: I have prayed for this for years, and there would be tremendous potential for great benefit to the Church by this successful regularization. However, I am exceedingly troubled that it is occurring during this most perilous of pontificates. Outbreaks of persecution against Tradition seem to be growing around the Church. More and more regions are implementing Amoris Laetitia, and thus radically changing both public belief and practice, along the lines of Francis’ own interpretation of that document. This means a crisis over doctrine appears to be inevitable. While it would be wonderful to have the SSPX back in full, regular canonical status and thus adding a great voice to the defense of the Faith (not that they are not already doing this), I have great trepidation for the future.
I am curious what people affiliated with the Society think about this. I am an outsider looking in, but I do have a great deal of interest in this matter, as I am convinced that there will be strong impact on the Ecclesia Dei groups no matter how SSPX “reconciliation” turns out. Is there an element of regularization at any price in this? Is this the pontificate under which it would really be optimal, even sensical, for regularization to take place? What happened in Campos? Was the SSPX-SO critique basically accurate, then?
What will the impact be to the Ecclesia Dei communities? Once the SSPX is regularized, a major reason for their existence would seem to have been removed. If Summorum Pontificum is truly under threat, as many feel, is it beyond reason to envision a perfect storm settling not only on the availability of the TLM but on the entire traditional movement? After the rape of the Knights of Malta and the crushing of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, is the risk in moving at this time warranted?
The question is not whether this is desirable. Of course it is. The question is whether this is wise now, with this pontificate, with this most underhanded and authoritarian of men wielding ultimate power in the Church? Bishop Fellay and some of his close associates maintain that if there is any kind of double-cross, the SSPX can simply return to their current status. Perhaps. But that entire structure required a very unique personality (Archbishop Lefebvre) and a very particular series of events to evolve to the current status quo. I am not entirely certain the personalities and the potentialities would be prevalent for a repeat. In fact I tend to think they simply will not –after all, +Lefebvre did not set out to wind up in a canonically irregular status when he founded his seminary for training priests back around 1970. He wanted to remain within the structure of the Church, but was forced by conscience, circumstance, and frequent bungling, even ill-will, on the part of Church authorities to arrive at the destination arrived in 1988. That is, my read on this whole history was, none of it was premeditated, the arrival at a canonically irregular position was achieved by circumstance. But to leave after regularization would mean to premeditatedly return to irregularity (or whatever one wants to call it).
Plus, moral surrenders – if this be one, and I’m not certain that it would be, but it has potential to be one – are (humanly) impossible to recover from.
I am more or less convinced that should this regularization take place, there will be no going back, for good or for ill. I also badly fear the example of the sons of Bishop Castro-Mayer in the Diocese of Campos, Brazil. Many feel a near total capitulation to the post-conciliar ethos has transpired in that odd subset of a diocese.
ADDENDUM (by AQ moderator Tom): His Excellency the Most Rev. Fernando Arêas Rifan, Apostolic Administrator of the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney of Campos, Brazil, with FrankenPope:
Concelebrating the Novus Ordo Mass
Schmoozing at a general audience in St. Peter’s Square