I had a beautiful note from an SSPX priest (edited):
Father, thanks for the reports on the SSPX – Rome developments. It’s great to be able to watch your blog and Rorate Coeli to get the latest.
As this progresses, I become more and more convinced that we need time for a "warming" of the collective mentality in SSPX circles. We can’t move fast because we are asking people to change their mental habits.
I mean that for so many years Rome was perceived as the source of problem, and now there is a gut feeling against an agreement with Rome. That gut feeling unfortunately has a tendency to express itself in rhetoric that can tend to sound schismatic. It is going to take time for that mentality to come around.
If we move too quickly we will see the falling off of greater numbers of simple faithful whose faith has become fragile because of the abuses. [Amen] One can argue with intellectual reasons all day long, but at the end of the day it was a somewhat vague "sensus fidei" and gut feeling which led people to the SSPX in the first place, and that phenomenon will need time to correct itself. [Intellective and affective must come together and he healed.]
In the meantime are those like myself who recognize the need (and even urgency) of canonical legitimacy wrong to stay where we are? We work for reunion from the inside in our own small way.
A poignant question.
I think this is the same question faced in many respects even my Anglican clergy who, with their flocks, would swin the Tiber.
But that is a scary prospect, tied to identity and traditions and very important practical issues.
Every case will be different. I would like to see priests of the SSPX come over now!
But can anyone deny that if they come over as a whole group the witness for unity in the Church would be immense in this troubled times?
Can anyone deny that were they to have a structure in the Church their collective experience could be of even greater aid?
I am both patient and barely able to contain my hope that reunion will be healthy, complete and swift.
Perhaps a middle ground is possible. Perhaps members of the SSPX might do their very best to start reaching out in friendly and fraternal ways to local clergy, seeking points of common activity and contact… and vice versa. Off the top of my head, inviting them to parish events even though some of those things might not be entirely by the traditional books. Perhaps gatherings of priests at rectories and for other occasions.
Ice must be melted block by block.