Monsignor Nicola Bux, a consultor to the CDF and to the Office of Pontifical Ceremonies, etc., (originator of what I call the Bux Protocol – which every priest and bishop should remember that people may invoke!) has written a letter to the Superior of the SSPX, Bp. Bernard Fellay and to the priests of the SSPX (a “priestly society”, after all). The letter is in Italian at Scuola Ecclesia Mater and in the French original. Our friends at Rorate have an English translation and I don’t feel like do it over again (though I am tempted). Visit them, but here it is, just to make it more visible.
My emphases and comments.
To His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay, and to the Priests of the Society of Saint Pius X
Most dear Brothers,
Christian brotherhood is stronger than flesh and blood because it offers us, thanks to the divine Eucharist, a foretaste of heaven.
Christ invited us to experience communion, this is what our “I” is made of. Communion means loving one’s neighbor a priori, because we have the one Savior in common with him. Based on this fact, communion is ready for every sacrifice in the name of unity; and this unity must be visible, as the last petition addressed by Our Lord to his Father teaches us – “ut unum sint, ut credat mundus” [“that they be one (thing) – “that the world might believe”] -, because this is the decisive testimony of Christ’s friends.
It is undeniable that numerous facts of Vatican II and of the period that followed it, related to the human dimension of this event, have represented true calamities and have caused intense pain to many great Churchmen. But God does not allow His Holy Church to reach self-destruction.
We cannot consider the severity of the human factor without having confidence in the divine factor, that is to say, in Providence, who guides history and, in particular, the history of the Church, while respecting human freedom.
The Church is at once a divine institution, divinely protected, and a product of men. Her divine aspect does not deny her human one – personality and freedom – and does not necessarily hinder it; her human aspect, while remaining whole and even compromising, never denies her divine one.
For reasons of Faith, but also due to the confirmations, albeit slow ones, that we are able observe at the historical level, we believe that God has prepared and continues to prepare, throughout these years, men who are worthy of rectifying the errors and the ommissions we all deplore. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] Holy works already exist, and will appear in still greater numbers, that are isolated ones from the others but that a divine strategy links at a distance and whose actions add up to a well-ordered design, as it miraculously happened at the time of the painful Lutheran rebellion. [Interesting parallel.]
These divine interventions seem to grow in proportion to the complexity of the facts. The future will make it clear, as we are convinced, and it seems dawn is almost at hand.
During some moments, the uncertain dawn struggles with darkness, which fades slowly, but when it appears we know that the sun is there, and that it will invariably pursue its course in the heavens.
With Saint Catherine of Siena, we wish to say: “Come to Rome in complete safety,” next to the house of the common Father who was given to us as the visible and perpetual principle and foundation of Catholic unity.
Come take part in this blessed future in which we can already foresee dawn, despite the persistant darkness. Your refusal would increase darkness, not light. And yet the sparks of light we can already admire are numerous, beginning with those of the great liturgical restoration effected by the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”. It stirs up, throughout the whole world, a large movement of adherence from all those who wish to increase the worship of God, particularly the young. [Do I hear an “Amen!”, brothers and sisters?]
How to ignore the other concrete gestures, full of meaning, of the Holy Father, such as the lifting of the excommunications of the bishops ordained by Abp. Lefebvre, the opening of a public debate on the interpretation of Vatican II in light of Tradition, and, for this purpose, the renewal of the Ecclesia Dei Commission? [What is it doing, by they way?]
Perplexities certainly remain, points to be deepened or detailed, as those regarding ecumenism and interreligious dialogue (which has been, for that matter, already the object of an important clarification given by the declaration Dominus Iesus, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of August 6, 2000), or regarding the way in which religious liberty is to be understood.
Also on these matters, your canonically assured presence within the Church will help bring more light. [“canonically assured presence” – keep in mind that Msgr. Bux is a real insider. He isn’t talking out of his biretta.]
How not to think of the contribution you could give to the welfare of the whole Church, thanks to your pastoral and doctrinal resources, your capabilities and your sensibility?
This is the appropriate moment, the favorable time to come. Timete Dominum transeuntem: let not the occasion of grace the Lord offers you pass by, let it not pass by your side without recognizing it.
Will the Lord grant another one? Will not we all one day appear before His Court and answer not only for the evil we have done, but above all for the good we might have accomplished but did not?
The Holy Father’s heart trembles: he awaits you anxiously because he loves you, because the Church needs you for a common profession of faith before a world that is each day more secularized and that seems to turn its back to its Creator and Savior hopelessly.
In the full ecclesial communion with the great family that is the Catholic Church, your voice will no longer be stifled, your contribution will be neither ignorable nor ignored, but will be able to bring forth, with that of so many others, abundant fruits which would otherwise go to waste.
The Immaculate teaches us that too many graces are lost because they are not asked for; we are convinced that, by answering the offer of the Holy Father favorably, the Society of Saint Pius X will become an instrument to enkindle new rays from the fingers of our Heavenly Mother.
On this day dedicated to him, may Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patron of the Universal Church, inspire and sustain your resolutions: “Come to Rome in all safety”.
Rome, March 19, 2012.
Feast of Saint Joseph
d. Nicola Bux
Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.
WDTPRS kudos to Msgr. Bux.