My friend over at The Sensible Bond has a very interesting observation about the continuing doctrinal talks between the Holy See’s CDF and the SSPX. As you know, there will be a meeting of the SSPX superiors with Roman officials of the CDF, including Card. Levada the Prefect, this month.
The Sensible Bond has good analysis. There is quite a bit, all worthy of your time, but he concludes with this:
BY WAY OF A PS
I have just read another Dinoscopus letter from Bishop Williamson talking about the Vatican Insider’s view [of Andrea Tornielli] of the outcome of the doctrinal talks. Therein he [Williamson] again repeats his view that the issue is one of Catholic Truth. According to his rather threadbare metaphor, the SSPX believes 2+2=4; the Vatican believes it equals 5. [Not terribly original either. In Orwell’s 1984 this is what torturers want their victims to admit. That scenario was brutally ripped off for a Star Trek episode. 2+2=4 was, I believe, a slogan of Solidarity against the Communists in Poland.] Bishop Williamson repeats this ad nauseam and never seems to show the least sign of realising that he is turning the theological differences between Rome and the SSPX into a blackbox the inside of which we cannot examine.
So let us take just one example and try to explain the complexity of the issues to the good bishop and those who agree with him:
1. There is no definitive Magisterial teaching which condemns the New Mass. Fact.
2. Everyone who finds fault with the New Mass must therefore make a theological argument based on other teachings about the Mass and apply those teachings to the New Mass.
3. Where there is a theological argument, there is room for individual error and there is the potential for theological disagreement.
4. When there is theological disagreement in the Church, and this disagreement reaches critical proportions, it is the Holy See which has the final say.
5. The final say on the Catholic character of the New Mass rests with the Holy See.
It is entirely a misrepresentation of the problem to reduce it to some simple mathematical equation.
I continue to pray for the successful outcome of the dialogue and swift reconciliation of the SSPX.
Pray for Benedict XVI, Pope of Christian Unity, that when the time comes, he will not weaken under the onslaught sure to come from his enemies.