Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Forget about the SSPX

Okay, over at Kansas City Catholic, he had over 50 posts on the SSPX situation (one of which was mine). I'll spare you my usual rant about the arrogance and uncharitableness of the typical SSPX critic, and the harm that such a person does...for now. Like it or not, whether you view them as damned schismatics or noble warriors for the faith, they're not coming into a regular situation until they see evidence that there's a new wind blowing in Rome. Some folks don't think they'll ever come back.

So, let's just all forget about them for a couple of years. After all, they've been around for over 30 years, and during most of that time, they've been largely ignored. Let's all go back to ignoring them, and in the meantime....

In two days, I'm told by the latest internet buzz, the Holy Father will be finally acknowledging the right of every priest to say the old Rite (I'm sure it's true....this time). He ought to simply follow it up by freeing not just the Mass, but also the faithful who are attached to it.

Let's give the FSSP, and the other canonically regular traditionalists what the SSPX wants. Eh? Your Holiness? Nevermind Fellay and Williamson. Call Fr. Berg in. Consecrate him a Bishop...yourself...in the ancient rite...right there before the tomb of St. Peter. Dismiss the Ecclesia Dei Commission altogether and set up a new office to moderate traddie Catholic concerns. Send Msgr. Perl to work as a teller at the Vatican Bank, and bring in somebody from OUR side. Maybe Msgr. Schmitz? Send Cardinal Ricard back to drink his Bordeaux, and appoint in Bp. Bruskewitz and Abp. Burke (and their foreign equivalents, if any) to serve on the new commission alongside Bp. Berg. Give the FSSP the authority to operate worldwide in their own chapels, and serve their own faithful, without the intermeddling, the taxing, and the politicking of the modernist chanceries. Make the ICRSS an institute of pontifical right and do the same thing for them. Consecrate Msgr. Wach, too.

And then just ignore the Society of St. Pius X for a couple of years.

And then, sometime in 2010 or 2011, when you can point to the FSSP, the ICRSS, and the many smaller institutes that have sprung up to operate under the pre-1965 regime, and you can demonstrate that Rome has lived up to its promises....the promises (by the way) your predecessor apparently made in 1988 to the founders of the FSSP (but didn't follow through on), and the promises you seemed to make to the Institute of the Good Shepherd just recently (but your own Ecclesia Dei Cardinal, Ricard, has already undercut ), maybe then you can call Fellay into your office, and say "Hey, look at this, Bernard. We're doing exactly as we promised. Look at Southern California. There are ten apostolates in Orange and LA, and I told Tod Brown and Roger Mahony to pound sand. Look at the Diocese of Linz. Traditionalists are the only ones left. Look at how Campos is spreading throughout Latin America. Look all over the place. It's what you've been asking for all these years. Now either be part of this or go into formal schism."

And then, having manifested your good faith, and having the traditionalist movement in full blossom....then the choice will be clear to them, and you'll be able to separate the faithful Catholics who (I believe) make up the bulk of the SSPX and their adherents from those who are truly outside the Church.

Or is such a suggestion somehow ridiculous?

16 comments:

thetimman said...

I agree with that approach 100%

Curmudgeon said...

Yeah, but first of all, you're just a guy, like me, and neither one of us gets a vote, or even the pope's ear. And second, by "forgetting about them," I mean really leaving them alone and in peace--all of us--not arguing with them the whole time and maintaining the animus that is so evident now. If we spend the next three years lecturing them on how good we are and how wicked they are, then notwithstanding the practical gains, we're likely to accomplish nothing (except, of course, getting ourselves out from under the modernist chancery thumbs, which isn't a bad secondary effect, is it?).

G. Thomas Fitzpatrick said...

I wholeheartedly agree with this approach. Separate the SSPX from the traditionalist issue, and grant the wider indult and bureaucratic framework and protection the traditional Mass and its adherents deserve. Then, in a few years, what will be left of the SSPX?

Curmudgeon said...

"Then, in a few years, what will be left of the SSPX?"

No! NO! NO! You evidently don't wholeheartedly agree.

Read my comment above again, Tom: "I mean really leaving them alone and in peace--all of us--not ...maintaining the animus that is so evident now."

In a few years, the SSPX will be pretty much as it is now. The purpose for ignoring them isn't to wipe them out or to let them wither and die. It's to give them some time for reflection and give "Rome" a chance to manifest its goodwill instead of conducting business as usual and affirming them in their mistrust. What will have changed at the end of those years will be "us," not "them." Your comment ends in a way that a comment from Stephen Hand or Pete Vere one of the "rad trad baiters" on JimmyAkin.com would end. That's not going to help.

I've argued with everyone, including clerics, on this point. Why are so many of "us" completely incapable of self-reflection on this issue? Why do we so self-confidently maintain our own righteousness in this matter? No, don't answer those questions here! If you think you can pop off an answer that once again "proves" that the SSPX is a gaggle of disobedient wretches, and that "Rome" is not to blame, then go post it somewhere else!

G. Thomas Fitzpatrick said...

Evidently, you are of two minds on this, since what I said just flows naturally from:
"and you'll be able to separate the faithful Catholics who (I believe) make up the bulk of the SSPX and their adherents from those who are truly outside the Church."

The faithful Catholics now in the SSPX, seeing the wider and truly generous application of Ecclesia Dei and whatever the new Motu Proprio framework will bring (if it is what we hope and you speculate) will have jumped ship on Williamson and Co. And all that will then be left are those truly outside the Church.

Except for the effect of inertia.

curmudgeon said...

Oops, I hit "post" too quickly!

The problem will never be solved unless we ALL come to grips with the human element on both sides. The SSPX doesn't have a monopoly on pride, and the Ecclesia Dei Commission and Cardinal Ricard aren't the Blessed Mother--they're not somehow above its influence. And the niceties of Canon Law don't overcome fear and mistrust which has understandably arose over the last four decades.

If you really want to solve the problem, you have to take people where they are. The former prots at EWTN put so much energy into doing that very thing with their heretical friends. Why don't we do that to those that maintain Catholic tradition and doctrine?

Curmudgeon said...

No, I'm not of two minds, and you couldn't be more wrong in your litmus test. But I must get to Mass. More later

M. Alexander said...

Curmudgy wrote:

"Why are so many of "us" completely incapable of self-reflection on this issue? Why do we so self-confidently maintain our own righteousness in this matter?"

Insecurity and defensiveness. We are worried that the rug will be pulled out from our Indults at any moment. We hope to forestall this by professing our allegiance to Rome by dissing the SSPX. And you know what I like about the SSPX and other Traditional groups that are denounced constantly? They don't let this criticism bother them. They just keep working. There's plenty to do and they just keep doing it.

Anonymous said...

i like it -- cudgy wrote a post so good that even several trads misunderstood it. i see the point, and i see the danger. very good post, sir.

the SSPX is in this for the long run; they are after a true return to the Faith. to the SSPX, then, anything Rome does must be done in THAT direction, and not on the basis of what are essentially freemason, six-on-one-hand-half-dozen-on-the-other, St. Patrick's Day parade arguments.

in other words, there's a real danger here of watching the Toy & Candy Truck pull into a brick-walled, dead-end alley, and, after dumping all of its toys and candy on the pavement, having all the trads run in and stuff themselves with rootbeer drops, chocolate bars, and Pez candies.

and then, just when they are all playing with their Tonka trucks and Hess trucks, and everyone is feeling all woozy from the sugar high, their heads suddenly snap around together at once at the clang of the gate at the end of the alley.

'Psst! Cudgy!'

'What!?!'

'Who's that big guy at the end
of the alley!?!'

'How should I know?'

'Psst! Cudgy!'

'Shutup already before he hears us! What do you want now?!?'

'I didn't see that sign on the wall behind the truck when we all ran in here. What does it say? I don't have my glasses.'

'It says . . . Alley of Decision.'


Whoops. Didn't see that one coming.



Ever Anon

Citizen of Hippo said...

"In two days, I'm told by the latest internet buzz, the Holy Father will be finally acknowledging the right of every priest to say the old Rite (I'm sure it's true....this time)."

Alas, it's been two days.....

Curmudgeon said...

Tom: There are sedes and others on the fringes of the SSPX who won't come. To acknowledge that is not to be of two minds. Heck. There are people on the fringes in my indult community who are of the same way of thinking. I'm not of two minds about the Society, and I'm not their apologist (if you read everything I've written that references the SSPX, it's plain to see that I'm more focused on "our" treatment of "them" than I am their position or their treatment of us. And I'm not so familiar with their inner workings as to assert that Williams won't go along (and really, are you?). People won't come flocking out of the SSPX over the course of 3 years. It's naive to think that. Some lay adherents, and even some members, will come, but most of the priests of the Society, and their adherents will be cautious. After all, Rome has given them plenty of reason to be. The Curmudgeon proposal is NOT about bleeding off those people one at a time; and what will hold them is not just inertia. This is about overcoming mistrust. But of course, now that the TOLET has an official policy of hostility towards the society, it would break League rules for you to say so.

Mary: Be careful; you might be expelled from TOLET.

Anon: You wrote a comment so good even cudgy's in danger of misunderstanding it. I simply don't follow.

citizen of Hippo: I waited until it was after midnight in Rome, and I simply can't believe it! Another rumored liberation day has come and gone! What's the next one?

Anonymous said...

cudgy!


My point here is this: I don't think it is possible to
really have both liturgies (NO & TLM) present, and still
have *one* Catholic Church. I'm serious. I mean, every
prayer of the Nicene Creed will be referring to one
church or the other, depending on who and where it is
being prayed. We've been down this road before with the
Orthodox and the Protestants, and it only leads to
trouble and further division.


So: Reinstating the SSPX will have to mean that the
'smoke of Satan' be wholly driven out. If the Pope
(or a future Pope) really and honestly envisions the
Catholic Church as having a future with two separate
and distinct liturgies, then, knowing what we know
today about Bugnini and Freemasonry and all the rest
of the background behind Vat. II and the new liturgy,
it will be necessary to have either:


Option A -- A TRUE return to faith and the TLM; which
will almost certainly require that the Novus Order Mass,
as it is practiced today, be dissolved; or:

Option B -- A NEW Vatican Council -- say, a Vatican III
-- that will either achieve 'Option A' above or come to
the same conclusion as Vat. II, but this time the
conclusion will be legitimate because it won't have the
baggage of Vat. II. Thus: Two liturgies, two Churches,
but no room for trads to grumble because it will be
legitimate and made by Catholics for Catholics.


In other words, what we have today is sheer chaos. It
is built on a rotten foundation. The roof leaks. There
is no plastering over, or putting fresh paint on the walls
of the situation that we have today. If we try to do that,
then there will always be future bloggers and others out
there that can legitimately point out that any 'reform of
the reform of the reform of the reform' of the future is
built on a rotten foundation. This pathway can only have
one ending, and it ain't a pretty one.


So, either we rid the Church of the 'smoke of Satan', or
we have a new Council that arrives (honestly, transparently,
and in good faith to Catholics everywhere) that gives us a
brand-spankin' new, 'legitimate' Novus Ordo Mass.


If I understand the SSPX correctly (and I think I do), I
understand that they want nothing to do with a time that
sadly experienced an intrenched deception by freemasons
and modernists who never had any intentions of respecting
Catholic tradition. What the SSPX wants, to put it as
plainly as possible, is 'Option A'.


So the point I thought *YOU* were getting at, which prompted
this thinking and *MY* earlier post, was that if we 'forget
about the SSPX' and give the other trads what they want
in the circumstances that exist now in the Church, this is
ultimately going to put trads in the following situation:
We get what we want (Tonka trucks and rootbeer drops), but
we have no real resolution to the problems that have grown
from Vatican II. Our traditional life will be in the
context of a Catholicism that embraces errors from Vatican
II, and is thus a perilous danger to the ultimate goals of
the SSPX, and what tradition-minded Catholics truly deserve
-- a complete and true return to Catholicism for Catholics.
One that is made *by* Catholics, *for* Catholics.


The SSPX is right -- we deserve no less. Their thinking
may take some time for one to 'get one's head around', but
their thinking comes from a time when our Catholic faith
governed the way we lived our lives -- as it should.
Scripture supports the rock that is the 'head of the corner'
(The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, 21:41-45). There
is no such similar scriptural support for 'clown Masses'
and honky-tonk piano music. We simply cannot give up that
much that easily.


So, any indult granted that gives trads what they want in
the current context is ultimately a Toy & Candy truck that
unloads its gifts in a brick-walled, dead-end alley.
Ultimately the opportunity still exists, in such a context,
for someone to shut the gate on all of it, and end this
'trad nonsense' once and for all. If trads don't realize
this, and all run into that alleyway. . . . Well, I've
already told *that* story.



Ever Anon

Alley of Decision -- a nifty play on words: Valley of
Decision. The Valley of Decision is a toponym for the
Valley of Jehoshaphat, where many Christians believe
that the Last Judgement will be held (The Prophecy of
Joel, 3:2).

Curmudgeon said...

Alley of Decision? Well, first off, let's recall that there used to be a multitude of Catholic Western rites, and there continue to be a multitude of Catholic rites. So I don't buy the notion that the NO and the TLM can't coexist for a time.

But then, I since we're drawing analogies, I see the NO as the "New Coke" and the widening of TLM privileges as the introduction of "Coca Cola Classic" After their first mistake, they never made a hard break, the guys who mismanaged Coca Cola Co., and did away with New Coke in a flourish. They just let Coca Cola Classic grow, until now new Coke is only available in Tasmania. The months it took a century old company to figure out and fix its mistake is comparable to the years it's taken the human element of a millenium old institution to figure out its mistake with the NO.

We can daydream about the abolition of the NO with the stroke of a pontifical pen. But frankly, that's going to work another injustice on the people who don't know any better. There must be a transition, and the NO (with the some corrections which are necessary--like treatment to comfort the dying) must die a natural death.

citizen of hippo said...

"I waited until it was after midnight in Rome, and I simply can't believe it! Another rumored liberation day has come and gone! What's the next one?"

Where oh where is Don John of Austria?

Anonymous said...

Cudgy wrote:

> Alley of Decision?

Aye, Alley of Decision. :)

> Well, first off, let's recall
> that there used to be a
> multitude of Catholic Western
> rites, and there continue to be
> a multitude of Catholic rites.

True. But those rites may be defined as legitimate echoes of true Catholic tradition *through* Quo Primum, because they had attained a full 200 years of prior existence in the Church as *defined* by Quo Primum.

I can think of only one rite or Order of Mass, which exists today, that does *not* have 200 years of legitimately defined tradition behind it. Can you guess which one that might be?

> So I don't buy the notion that
> the NO and the TLM can't coexist
> for a time.

Fair enough. I'll agree with you there. But what if they exist together for two hundred years? Two hundred years isn't as long as it sounds. The NO has already lasted around 40 years. Unless we want clown Masses until we meet in the Alley -- er, the *Valley* of Decision, I think it best that we think carefully, and begin to act slowly and resolutely.

> But then, I since we're drawing
> analogies, I see the NO as
> the "New Coke" and the widening
> of TLM privileges as the
> introduction of "Coca Cola
> Classic" After their first
> mistake, they never made a hard
> break, the guys who mismanaged
> Coca Cola Co., and did away with
> New Coke in a flourish. They
> just let Coca Cola Classic grow,
> until now new Coke is only
> available in Tasmania. The
> months it took a century old
> company to figure out and fix
> its mistake is comparable to the
> years it's taken the human
> element of a millenium old
> institution to figure out its
> mistake with the NO.

That's an excellent analogy. I never did like the New Coke m'self. I hope that the resolution of the current state of affairs in the Catholic Church doesn't take much longer. After all, as I've pointed out . . . the clock is ticking. We have already heard trads like cudgy wonder out loud in their blogs that the
'game' might already be over after only 40 years of cross-pollination. Much, need I remind your readers, has already been lost after only *two* generations.

> We can daydream about the
> abolition of the NO with the
> stroke of a pontifical pen. But
> frankly, that's going to work
> another injustice on the people
> who don't know any better.
> There must be a transition, and
> the NO (with the some
> corrections which are necessary
> --like treatment to comfort the
> dying) must die a natural death.

An excellent idea. So, what must happen in the next 160 years is this: we must confer amongst our confreres, propose with purpose, machinate with meaning, approach adversaries and coax them with conviction, influence our illumined intermediaries, broker with the bigshots, calm confusion, peaceably promote our principia, proliferate whilst the profligate peter-out, and convince the canonically-minded that our enterprise be confirmed.

I'd say it is time, then, to start working a lot harder then we have been over the last 40 years; and find some way to eloquently elucidate these intentions and our tradition to our offspring. After all, we're talking about generations of effort here.


What say you, cudgy?



Ever Anon

Anon But Not Forgotten said...

Went to an SSPX Requiem Mass the other week. First one ever. They seem to possess something lacking even in most indult communities. More than just the fact that they didn't have to manuever around a prot communion table in the middle of the sanctuary. There was a "This is the Truth, damn your eyes if you don't like it" attitude to the whole set-up. I found it quite appealing. And the Mass itself was sublime.

Yes, the SSPX will outwait Rome. Easily. They'll happily steer their own course, quietly growing and preserving the Faith. Meanwhile, those who have chosen to dance with the devil will be forced to make compromise after compromise. It starts with Novus Ordo "con-celebrations" (so-called). What's next down the road for the indult TLM....girl altar boys...communion in the paw...womyn chanting the gospel, for crying in your gravy?

Compromise is fine for Masonic-founded nations influenced by Enlightenment thinking. Not so nifty for the Bride of Christ.