Wednesday, February 01, 2006

SSPX Rumors grow

For days--a couple of weeks, actually--we've been hearing rumors that the SSPX reconciliation is nearly at hand, and I, for one, have been dismissing them. Well, the rumors continue, and a specific plan is being discussed (just a dream-plan from an individual French traditional priest who was expelled from the SSPX for getting out in front of his superiors--nothing from Rome or the Econe). Now, they're being picked up and reported by official Church news organs, including Catholic News Agency.

I've been found these rumors interesting (some heartening, some absurd), but I haven't been inclined to post on them up until now. However, the volume of the buzz is increasing. Either the rumors are being "triangulated" from various independent sources, or the same rumor is getting repeated a LOT. It's exciting stuff. Here are some links from official news agencies, a "progressive" catholic blogger, a "neo-Catholic" or conservative Catholic blogger, an article (in French) about one traditional priest's proposal, and from the sedevacantist nut-jobs:

I forgot I wasn't registered with Bettnet when I started my comment to Domenico Bettinelli's post on this topic, which he ends with "I don’t know yet what the basis is for Williamson’s objection, but a quick guess would be that he wants a complete repudiation of Vatican II first. It isn’t going to happen. But issues of practicality mean little to those of the more radical bent. " So I'm posting it here: Dom can come get it if he wants it:

Quoth Jason: The Holy See isn't going to change

It isn't? We all, from far-out progressives to the dourest of traditionalists, and everyone in between, can agree the Holy See has changed rather substantially and rather quickly (by ecclesiastical standards) over the last thirty years. It's likely to keep a'changing at least through
Benedict's successor.

And, to Dom, I'd say Tom "gets it"; perhaps you didn't. The point of his post is that something less than 100% of the culpability for the "Situation" lies with the SSPX.

There are lots of "conservative" Catholics (for want of a better but nondisparaging term) who should be praying for this reconciliation to happen, but who are so moved (nay, even blinded) by personal loyalty to Benedict's predecesor that they can't see the nuances of the Situation--the pastoral and administrative mistakes the bishops, the curia, and ultimately the Popes themselves with respect to the Situation. Rather than listen to the Society and draw them home, these folks make accusations and demands, and they attribute bad motives to men who may (or, history may prove, may not) have taken the wrong course of action, but did so in good faith and out of love for the Church.

The snide comment in your original post about Williamson requiring Rome to repudiate Vatican II before participating in the regularization is an illustration of that approach.

Maybe there are simply unanswered questions on the schema for the Society's continued criticism and debate about pastoral exhortations in certain Vatican II documents that are not easily reconciled with solemnly-defined doctrine? Maybe the whole "hesitation" report is just
rumor-mongering by true enemies of the Church among the sedevacantists? F

rankly, the folks in the "conservative" camp should leave the bombthrowing to the sedevacantists to the right of the SSPX, and let Rome and Econe work it out.


CS said...

Prepare yourself for the neo onslaught, Curmudgeon...

Curmudgeon said...

For what?

Saying the Holy See is prone to change? Notice I didn't say the Faith would change, or the Church would change, but quite obviously the Holy See (however divinely founded and guided by Grace) is an institution run by humans, and is a political institution (in the broader sense, of course) which has been changing since before Trent, much less before Vatican II, and has officially committed itself to a program of change.

Suggesting that something less than 100% of the culpability for the Situation lies with the Society? That others may have made mistakes? I didn't say that the Society wasn't at all culpable, and I'm sure, when the dust clears, reasonable members of the Society won't say it wasn't at all culpable. Is it heresy or schism to suggest that somewhere along the line the governors of the church made a prudential error, but for which the Situation would never had arisen? Perhaps, if one doesn't pay much attention to Vatican I, or to the reflective writings of John Paul II, or to the definitions of heresy or schism in the current Code of Canon Law, one could say it's heresy or schism, or "schismatic tendencies."

Suggesting that there is a danger in excessive loyalty to the person of the Holy Father? Loyalty to the Holy Father is a virtue, but as wiser men than me have said (G.K.Chesterton comes to mind), most heresies arise out of the exaltation of one aspect of the faith or one virtue above the others, instead of maintaining balance and perspective between them. I'm not saying those who are so fiercely loyal to the Holy Father are heretics of course, but perhaps that loyalty, taken beyond its proper place, becomes rather more like a protestant carichature of Catholicism than actual Catholicism.

Suggesting that the Society leaders motives were honest, even if their actions weren't prudent? Didn't Benedict just write something about caritas? Ought we not, in love, assume that people we don't know are acting in good faith, unless they plainly manifest other motives?

For calling something Bettinelli said "snide"? He said it; I criticized the statement, not the speaker. I stand my ground.

For suggesting that the Society's ought to know, coming back in, how where the lines are drawn with respect to their questions about theological issues that haven't been resolved, even by official Rome? From the variety of practices and statements from dioceses around the world, it rather seems like those are insufficiently answered questions for folks outside the Society as well, as the Holy Father himself has alluded to.

For suggesting that the Williamson of the rumors may prove to be somewhat less proud and self-certain than is commonly believed? I don't know the man, and I don't think the rumor mongerers do either, so I reserve judgement.

CS said...

It's just that there are some trolls running around the internet who go nuts at any perceived whiff of traditionalism. Dom isn't one of these, but they are running around the internet, sadly.

Curmudgeon said...

Well, I appreciate the inspiration and the opportunity to expand my thoughts a little.

I didn't say Dom was one of the trolls like...well...we all know who, but obviously, his comment was snide (and I, of all people, know a snide comment when I see one, or make one).

Lessee, lately, I've dinged the SNAP crowd, the neo's, Abp. Burke, the sedes, and every Catholic who likes On Eagles' Wings. Who else ought I to alienate this week?

CS said...

You're running out of subjects...then again, Jesus stepped on a lot of toes; popularity is rubbish in the eyes of the All-Holy.

Kevin Whiteman said...

Lessee, lately, I've dinged the SNAP crowd, the neo's, Abp. Burke, the sedes, and every Catholic who likes On Eagles' Wings. Who else ought I to alienate this week?

THAT was laugh out loud funny. No one can say that you lack integrity... and a biting sense of humor

Curmudgeon said...

All I need to do is come up with a single post where I can work in criticism of the Bishops of Albany and Los Angeles, the National Catholic Reporter, Opus Dei, and the Legionaires. Then I think I'll have offended everyone.

CS said...

Look at it this way: by offending these people, you do NOT offend your faithful readers!

Some people need to be offended.

Curmudgeon said...

A few of them need to be offended, yes, but I freely admit some of them don't, and I'm prone to giving gratuitous offense now and then.

BTW, I'm shocked at how many readers there are. In the last couple of weeks I've jumped from ten-to-twelve a day to forty or fifty, with a high of eighty. I'm going to have to start being a little more careful about grammer; and; punkshuashun.