John Thavis of CNS has a piece today, with the headline “Traditionalist bishop cites lack of progress in talks with Vatican” which was also – for reasons which will be obvious – picked up by the National Catholic Fishwrap and given another headline adding also “Society of St. Pius X head: Cure of ‘sickness’ of Vatican II ‘almost impossible'”. Somewhat fairer is Reuters which says “Catholic splinter group sees no Vatican accord”. True enough.
As I read both the English version of part I and the French, I did not get the sense that Fellay was being so very pessimistic about the course of the talks between the SSPX and the Holy See. Nay rather, I came away from that interview with the idea that Fellay saw that the talks were positive. He also says that there hasn’t been a big shift of positions in either side, but… is that a surprise?
Dog bites man… Sun rises in East… SSPX and Holy See disagree about Vatican II.
The CNS article spends a lot of energy on the lack of enthusiasm about the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II and about the upcoming meeting in Assisi. You get the idea that these things in themselves are enough to derail the talks.
It is no surprise that the SSPX would object to the beatification of John Paul II. But then, so do a lot of liberals. The first Assisi confab was so dreadful that anyone would hope and pray that it not be repeated.
Would it surprise anyone that CNS or Fishwrap would want to put anything having to do with the SSPX in as negative a light as possible?
There are seasons and tides in difficult talks between parties who sharply diverge. Does anyone think that these talks would go fast or smoothly in any respect? Some things take time. They may take various sets of interlocutors. They may need to warm and then cool and then warm again.
They are going to sit down and read some papers to each and – BAMMO! – AGREEMENT! Right? Does that sound realistic?
So, they have come to the end of the first round. So?
The talks are time limited, of course. But what in the affairs of men is not?