Despite all problems, the SSPX still should reach an agreement with the Vatican

Opinion: Despite all problems, the SSPX still should reach an agreement with the Vatican

Posted by New Catholic at 2/07/2017

Some readers have asked us if we agree with these words in the last piece by dear Professor Roberto de Mattei published by Rorate last Sunday:

The wish of Bp. Bernard Fellay to regularize the canonical position of the Society of St. Pius X with an agreement that nothing will undermine the identity of his institute is certainly commendable, but the question arises: Is it opportune to be placed under the legal umbrella of Rome in the very moment when the law is being ignored, or worse yet, being used as a means to crack down on those who want to remain faithful to Catholic faith and morals?

Now, Rorate is second to none in its realistic view of Pope Francis and the Bergoglian Pontificate. Minutes after his name was announced, literally as he appeared on the loggia on that fateful March 13, 2013, we were the first in the world to warn about his Pontificate — and we suffered great criticism and even persecution for it.

It has been bad for the Church, but good for our credibility, to slowly see all Traditional-leaning Catholics first, then almost all serious Catholics, reach the conclusion we had reached on the first instant of the papacy. We have worked to inform our readers realistically since then.

However, viewing this pontificate as it is does not mean being against an eventual agreement which recognizes the full regularity of the Society of Saint Pius X.

First, it cannot be said that this is a Bergoglian effort — it has started since the first day of the Pontificate of John Paul II, and has continued ever since. A situation of full regularity would be the crowning step of talks that began in the year 2000 and have been practically uninterrupted since then. Second, the Church will continue, non habentem maculam aut rugam (Eph. 5:27), long after the current Pontificate, as strange as this may seem now: She will continue until the end of time.

Just as we were realistic about Pope Bergoglio, we have to be realistic about the Society of Saint Pius X reaching full regularized status: the positive possibilities are enormous, far-reaching, and incredibly exciting for the whole Church.

Yes, one may ask, but what about the worst possible scenario? Well, the Society of Saint Pius X is well-acquainted with injustice. Whatever can be thrown at it, the Society already knows it: could it be worse than the humiliation and injustice of Paul VI’s lawless suspensions? Decades before Francis refused to answer the dubia, Paul VI refused everything to Archbishop Lefebvre and his good priests, seminarians, and lay followers, he refused their appeals, and he refused any reasonable compromise. And could any worst outcome after regularization be stronger than what followed the interruption of negotiations in June/July 1988, with the excommunication of Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Castro Mayer, and the four newly-consecrated bishops?

Well, then: let us be realistic. At least in a Church where the law seems meaningless (with all the grave risks this entails), the canonical consequences of the “incomplete communion” of the Society of Saint Pius X look utterly ridiculous. May a full regularization, something that is a positive good in and by itself, regardless of current historical circumstances, be reached soon, for the glory of God and the salvation of more and more souls: Caritas enim Christi urget nos (Cor. 5:14).

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4 comments on “Despite all problems, the SSPX still should reach an agreement with the Vatican

  1. [Some of the problems and possibilities]

    On The SSPX-Vatican Agreement

    FEB 8 ’17
    Posted by Mundabor

    The SSPX-Vatican agreement seems now (not for the first time, actually; and we know how it ended before) very near.

    However, this time the situation is different, in that the Church is led by such a demonic, heretical, and bullying individual that some question (among them professor Roberto de Mattei) whether such an agreement is really the best way to go in the current situation.

    I must say I am with New Catholic on this, and think that what is good in itself should be regarded as good irrespective of the circumstances in which this good takes place.

    However, I have a number of caveats, which are the same I have expressed several times on this blog. They are as follows:

    a) The agreement should be made from a position of complete mistrust, and actually utter contempt, for the Evil Clown.

    b) Therefore, it should be structured in such a way that the assets and legal position of the SSPX as an institution are completely insulated from the paws of the ‘umble ‘eretic, Pope Uriah.

    c) It should be (but of this I have no doubt) accompanied by the strongest desire to keep following the truth no matter what the Evil Clown says, or orders, or spits about. Finally,

    d) it should be (but of this I have no doubt, either) accompanied by the firm resolution to be just as critical of FrancisChurch after the agreement as before.

    The way I see it is this: you don’t refuse something good for Catholicism merely because it comes from a man who is bad for Catholicism. However, this clearly assumes that the agreement is such that the bad guy cannot hurt the good guys.

    The agreement allows the SSPX to expand like a cancer in Francischurch’s body. This, my friends, is jolly good.

    What advantages Francis has in inviting this cancer is in my eyes not difficult to fathom. I see a maximum of three of them.

    a) Firstly and most importantly, credentials of “tolerance”, which will allow him to push his heretical agenda even further;

    b) perhaps, the suppression of Summorum Pontificum and of the FSSP and other traditionalist bodies as he would claim there is, now, a legitimate outlet for Traditional concerns;

    c) also possibly, the attempt to bully the SSPX into submission like he has just done with the girls at the Cowards of Malta.

    I see a) as the first motivator and the only realistic aim for Francis. I suspect the agreement with the SSPX would be followed by a “mercy offensive” that would see Kasperism more or less officially embraced. However, not the SSPX would have to answer for this, but Francis. Francis can attempt any and every heresy every day, and it is not realistic to demand from the SSPX that they should reject a historic victory out of a misplaced sense of responsibility for the evil actions of other people.

    The b) scenario is, ultimately, possible with or without agreement, any day. Ask the FFI. But also here, I do not think the SSPX should have a set of genitals for themselves, another one for the FSSP, a third one for the institute Of Christ The King Sovereign Priest and other ones for the Papa Stronsay priests, etc. If these institutions are ordered to disband, it is their damn duty to refuse and go the way the SSPX did in the Seventies; protecting their assets as they can, but their integrity first. Once again, you can’t avoid a good outcome out of fear that cowards will accept to be bullied. Not even sovereignty was enough to allow the Cowards of Malta to resist, and this was a protection around ten orders of magnitude bigger than any SSPX “rebellion”. Cowards will be cowards. It is not the job of the brave to be held hostage by their cowardice.

    The c) is, in my eyes, completely unrealistic. I doubt there are people outside the SSPX who distrust not only Francis, but the entire V II Church more than they do. They breath it, eat it, drink it every day. A priest who accepted to be suspended a divinis the day of his consecration isn’t likely (bar something very short of demonic possession or total loss of faith) to accept to be sodomised “in obedience” by the very people against whose heresies he vowed to fight the good fight for his entire life.

    Again, the SSPX are no Cowards of Malta. This is Sparta.

    Heretics will be heretics. Francis will be evil, very probably, for as long as he breathes. Whatever evil deed he wants to do, he has abundantly showed he will do not only out of calculation but also out of a whim, out of spite, out of long held grudges, or out of pure arrogance, and there is no way we can rely on him to behave rationally.

    He has his own motives in pursuing this reconciliation. We have ours. If this reconciliation is made the proper way (see above) I see no reason to refuse it.

    By weary of Greeks bearing gifts. Look attentively into the horse. Then make of the horse a war machine against the Greeks.

    We shall see who is smarter, who is Catholic, and who has the Lord on his side.

  2. “By weary of Greeks bearing gifts.”
    Um, I think he meant ‘wary’, not ‘weary’…
    but, on the other hand, ‘weary’ could be apropos.
    We should by now be really tired of seeing all these Traditionalist groups, stupidly trusting in their own strength, fall like dominoes before the blandishments of the Modernist machine.
    BTW, as to this New Catholic, isn’t he the same guy who, back in 2012, was punching left and right, and threatening (and delivering) cyberspatial excommunications to anyone who dared to criticize the prudence of making a deal with Rome at the time?
    Then when Francis the Destroyer got elected, and began his vicious campaign against the Catholic Faith, New Catholic changed his tune — abruptly and clashingly — and directed all his ire against Francis instead. And if I recall correctly, he even joined the NoDealer camp, and started slamming the GoDealers.
    Apologies if I’m wrong about that last part. In any case, the adjectival part of the name New Catholic seems quite fitting. It’s typical of noobs to vacillate.
    NC asks:
    “Yes, one may ask, but what about the worst possible scenario?…could any worst [sic] outcome after regularization be stronger [sic] than what followed the interruption of negotiations in June/July 1988?”
    (Sheesh, I wish this guy could write English. Anyway, after a lot of unwarranted work on my part, I think I understand what he wants to say, if not what he actually does say, since that in itself is unintelligible.)
    Glad you brought that up, NC.
    See, your assumption (and that of Mundabor, BTW) is that the SSPX is just as strong in the Faith, and as well trained, as it was in Archbishop Lefebvre’s time. It is a universal law of religious institutes, coming from the reality of original sin, that, after the initial impetus of zeal and strength communicated by their founder, they decline. There are often resurgences from time to time, of course. However, the SSPX is not in one of those periods. I was a member of the SSPX in the years bracketing the Archbishop’s death, and have been familiar with the SSPX’s work since 1972 up to the present, so I think I know what I’m talking about. I know quite a few oldtimers who agree with me.
    I could give very many examples in support of this, but lest this go on too long, here is a general view:
    1) Menzingen scrapped the Archbishop’s principle “no practical agreement without doctrinal agreement first”. BTW, does anyone see here a dangerous similarity of thought to that of the defenders of Amoralis Licentia, who say “We aren’t changing doctrine, only practice”?
    2) Those who stood up against this change of principle in 2012 have been systematically purged. They were not allowed to express their own opinion, even respectfully, because “the superior general has the grace of state”. But then, so does the pope have his grace of state, so how does that work? I’ll tell you. It works the same way that blind obedience worked to crush the Faith after Vat II. I haven’t stated this with perfect clarity. Do your own thinking.
    3) Even the doctrinal hardliners who stayed in the SSPX have been largely marginalized, transferred to the outback, etc. Remind anyone of what happened to Tradition-minded priests and religious after Vat II?
    4) Sycophants of Bp. Fellay have been placed by him in key positions of power and influence (e.g. Fr. Pagliarani was appointed rector of La Reja seminary). Remind anyone of what Francis has done since taking office?
    Here’s something else to consider: The more softline the SSPX goes, the more softliners it attracts. For instance, a Deal will almost certainly result in a lot of Neo-Trads joining SSPX Mass centers. These people — may God bless them for their good intentions! — are more tainted with liberalism than they know. Given fallen human nature, which is more likely: that the already weakened SSPX will bring them to a greater knowledge and love of Truth, or that they will drag the SSPX further down?
    So the worst scenario is not that we’ll get another merely Pharisaically legal slap down. It’s that we’ll cave entirely.
    “what is good in itself should be regarded as good irrespective of the circumstances in which this good takes place”
    Really? Ok, eating is good, right? Sex is good, right?
    Now, based on the principle you just stated, draw the conclusions. (And no, I’m not going to do it for you. If you can’t do it yourself it’s useless for me to try to help.)
    “you don’t refuse something good for Catholicism merely because it comes from a man who is bad for Catholicism. However, this clearly assumes that the agreement is such that the bad guy cannot hurt the good guys.”
    Now you’re thinkin’!
    Only…not far enough…because when the bad guy in question is one whom you yourself have agreed you must be obedient to, and who you’ve agreed is your ultimate authority on this earth, not just in doctrinal principle but in daily practice — because the Deal is precisely a practical agreement — just how the hey are you going to justify stopping him from hurting you? Fra Festing held to the practical agreement, didn’t he? I mean, being ordered to resign, he couldn’t really refuse, could he? After all, there was no *sin* in resigning, was there? So he had to obey. In fact, it was (he probably thought) an act of heroic and commendable obedience.
    Mundabor, true courage is not foolhardiness.
    If the Deal is made we shall indeed see “who is smarter, who is Catholic, and who has the Lord on his side”.
    And I sure hope it will be us.
    But I do believe we’ll instead see
    1) Francis is smarter
    2) Some of us will remain Catholic, but others fall away
    3) Some of us will have the Lord on our side, others will show themselves unworthy of the Way, the Truth and the Life
    Regina Universi, ora pro nobis

    • …”‘what is good in itself should be regarded as good irrespective of the circumstances in which this good takes place’
      Really? Ok, eating is good, right? Sex is good, right?”…

      I too was uneasy about this assertion. Perhaps what is meant is that when justice is rendered; the judgment should be accepted even if it’s rendered by an untrustworthy party.

      My personal thought is that the SSPX is keenly aware of the serious problems with AL and the entire pontificate of Pope Francis. However, SSPX also knows that it doesn’t make sense to rail against a tumor, when you know that underlying cancer is at fault. Hence the pre-eminent condition required by Bp Fellay for regularization is that the SSPX be able to continue as they are. Wasn’t this also what Abp Lefebvre wanted from the beginning; namely, to be able to continue to form and ordain priests according to the timeless traditions and teachings of the Catholic Faith, untainted by modernist errors?

      On the other hand, you obviously know much more by personal experience about the SSPX than I. And your point about the danger of losing fervor seems like a legitimate concern.
      Sede Sapientiae, ora pro nobis.

      • Most probably you are right about the intended meaning. But one has to respond to the meaning of the words as they stand. We can’t read minds. The author is responsible for accurate communication. If he intended something different, he’d better learn how to write.
        I wish there *were* a way to guarantee the SSPX can continue the way it is if it were to hand itself over to a Judas pope. I don’t see one. If anyone knows of one, I haven’t heard it yet.
        In any case, it’s all part of the Divine Plan, which is perfect.
        If Life Were “Perfect”, It Would Be Imperfect; It’s In Fact “Imperfect” — And That’s Perfect.

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