SSPX Bp. Fellay says “No” to Rome? Maybe so. Maybe not.

From the intrepid Andrea Tornielli at Vatican Insider with my emphases and comments:

The letter sent by the Secretary General of the Society of St. Pius X, outlining the hitches in the latest version of the text delivered by the Holy See, has been published

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY
New hurdles will need to be overcome before the Lefebvrians enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. This was confirmed in a circular letter sent to district superiors and Society of St. Pius X seminar superiors, dated 25 June and classified as “confidential”. [So much for that.] A website that closely follows traditionalist affairs published the news. The letter was communicated internally and was signed by Fr. Christian Thouvenot, the Society’s Secretary General. It was sent from the Fraternity’s Headquarters in Metzingen, to heads of Lefebvrian communities.

Thouvenot wrote that “many sources agree” that the version of the doctrinal preamble corrected by Fellay “appeared to satisfy the Supreme Pontiff.” [A little thin, but I believe it.]

On 13 June, the letter stated, Levada “delivered the April text to our superior general but with corrections that were essentially a re-proposal of the original proposals” made in the doctrinal preamble sent to Fellay in September 2011. Basically, the situation was back to square one, with the Vatican going back to the propositions it made the first time round meaning the amendments made by the Society of St. Pius X were rejected. [Does that sound right? It doesn't to me.]

Thouvenot wrote that Fellay immediately made it known he could not sign this new, clearly unacceptable document. The next Chapter will give the opportunity to discuss the dossier on the Fraternity’s relations with the Holy See.

The letter states that Fellay refused Bishop Williamson’s participation in the chapter, “due to his stances which encourage rebellion and his constant disobedience.” [There's a good thing.] Finally, Fr. Thouvenot confirmed the news about Fellay’s decision to postpone the 29 June ordinations of Dominican and Capuchin clerics who are members of the Fraternity. This is because he wants to be certain “of the loyalty of these communities” before “imposing his hands on their candidates.” This shows that the communiqué issued by the Society of St. Pius X following the meeting at the Vatican on 13 June made it clear there were still creases that needed smoothing out.

These snags were also discussed by Fr. Alain-Marc Nély, second general assistant of the Society of St. Pius X at a meeting with priests from the France district, held last 21 June. Nély stated that the last modifications made to the doctrinal declaration which Levada delivered to Fellay do not satisfy the Fraternity on key points such as the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Missae, the mass introduced after the post-conciliar liturgical reform. The Lefebvrian superior’s response will come after the next general chapter. Fellay seems adamant about the importance of restoring full communion with the Church, which, as is known, the Pope is also very keen on. Fr. Nély focused on the concluding words of the communiqué sent by the Fraternity after the last meeting in Rome. These expressed the hope for continued dialogue in order to reach “a solution for the good of the Church and its souls.”

It is hard to imagine that SSPX modifications to the Doctrinal Preamble which the Holy Father would have had to sign off on would be then circumvented by anyone in the CDF before the Preamble was given back to Bp. Fellay.

While this is not positive news, I read it in the context of the move of Archbishop DiNoia to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“.  It is hard to imagine why they would be boosting up the PCED if not in preparation for the reunion of the SSPX…. unless… it is for the sake of adjusting the Novus Ordo and Traditional calendars or adding some saints to the 1962 MR.

That said, Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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42 Responses to SSPX Bp. Fellay says “No” to Rome? Maybe so. Maybe not.

  1. Suburbanbanshee says:

    And of course, the letter could also be a fake.

  2. AnnAsher says:

    “It is hard to imagine that SSPX modifications to the Doctrinal Preamble which the Holy Father would have had to sign off on would be then circumvented by anyone in the CDF before the Preamble was given back to Bp. Fellay.”
    Fr Z, this is not hard for me to imagine. Perhaps it’s Michael Obrien and Fr. Elijah have gotten inside my head … but I do wonder sometimes (no disrespect to ecclesial office intended ) if it isn’t Cardinal Levada gumming up the works? Is that totally off base?
    I will be at peace whether the SSPX returns to Rome now or later. I am confident in their positions and confident that by not betraying them- they build up the Church.

  3. Lucas says:

    I wonder that as well. I kinda wonder if the Pope isn’t sitting in his office thinking “Why didnt they sign I gave them everything they wanted?” Unknowing that Card. Levada changed the document at the last minute. I know its paranoid to think like that, but you never know.

    The only positive that I feel confident in, is that Bishop Fellay wants full communion, and clearly the Pope wants it as well. That alone should be enough to get it done.

  4. Andy Milam says:

    I don’t necessarily see this as the end all. The SSPX has been wary for 30 years. The Vatican has been wary for 30 years. I don’t see scrutiny as being bad necessarily.

    What I find more than a little disturbing is the lack of confidentiality on both sides. One would think that within the ranks of both the SSPX and the Vatican, there would be a little more “tight lippededness” (I just made up a new word). I can’t see how this bears fruit for anyone and if I were both the Vatican and the SSPX, I would do all I could to get in front of this right now.

    I don’t think this is a deal breaker, but I do see the scruples which accompany all of it and that, if done for the greater glory of God, isn’t a bad thing. Also, it isn’t so bad, if the end result is still reconciliation.

    There are many enemies who don’t want to see this reconciliation, on both sides. May both the Vatican and the SSPX keep them at arms length so that there can be true healing.

    God keep His Excellency and His Holiness close to Him in these comingd days.

  5. Denis says:

    Given what has been happening in the Vatican lately, it is quite plausible that the same people who have been subverting the Holy Father’s authority on other matters would be equally disdainful of his wishes on this one. In fact, the coup d’etat that appears to have taken place may very well have as its target the regularization of the SSPX. Things have been brewing ever since Summorum Pontificum; the episcopacy in general has, for the most part (with a few encouraging exceptions) simply decided to pretend that the Motu Proprio was never issued. The Holy Father has hinted that maybe the Church is more than Vatican II and the protestantized Novus Ordo; that maybe traditions valued by the Church before Vatican II and the protestantized liturgy continue to have value for us; the various Bishops, Cardinals, etc. for whom Vatican II and the protestantized liturgy are the source and summit of the Catholic faith will have none of that. For them, the Holy Father is a dottering, confused old man, whom they can safely disdain and ignore, while feigning loyalty. These rebels have already picked the Holy Father’s successor: Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna. God help us all.

  6. Texas trad says:

    If the document Levada delivered to Fellay at the most recent meeting, reintroduces the idea that the SSPX would be under local bishop control, they can forget it. This has been offered for 2 decades and Fellay won’t go there. Not even possible.

  7. Jim of Bowie says:

    “the version of the doctrinal preamble corrected by Fellay “appeared to satisfy the Supreme Pontiff.” [A little thin, but I believe it.]. ”
    Let’s hope so. The Church at this time really needs the SSPX. (Duck)

  8. St. Rafael says:

    Not surprised this happened. Idon’t find it so hard to believe. The CDF along with the whole Curia is completely overrun and full of Modernists. Cardinal Levada is a man who had no business being the head of anything, let alone the CDF. A man, who as a cleric in the past, claimed Transubstantiation is a difficult word not needed anymore. Yet he is put in charge of Catholic doctrine for the entire Church. Levada is retiring this year, but he should have been run out of the Vatican years ago. His replacement is rumored to be Cardinal Muller, another doozy who thinks Adam and Eve came from monkeys, has issues with the Blessed Sacrament being called the Body and Blood of Christ, and has scoffed at Mary’s perpetual virginity. These are the kind of men in charge of Church doctrine. The Curia is broken and corrupted and in need of a major reform and overhaul.

  9. GregH says:

    I wonder what Long Skirts thinks of all this

  10. GregH says:

    Henry Edwards,

    What do you think of all this? Why would the Cdl Levada present something that was rejected in the first go around?

  11. acardnal says:

    I nominate Cardinal Raymond Burke for Prefect of CDF replacing the retiring Levada. Or . . . how about transferring Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska to the Curia. Not sure why it hadn’t been done years ago.

  12. Mary Jane says:

    I am very confused…what just happened? I am having a hard time keeping track of all the “maybes”!

  13. jrpascucci says:

    Does this quote from Abp. Di Noia change your calculus?

    “It is possible to have theological disagreements while remaining in communion with the see of Peter,” he said.

    “Part of what we’re saying is that when you read the documents (of Vatican II), you can’t read them from the point of view of some liberal bishops who may have been participants (at the council), you have to read them at face value,” Archbishop Di Noia told CNS. “Given that the Holy Spirit is guiding the church, the documents cannot be in discontinuity with tradition.”

  14. Athelstan says:

    “The only positive that I feel confident in, is that Bishop Fellay wants full communion, and clearly the Pope wants it as well. That alone should be enough to get it done.”

    Yes, but they both have lots of cats to herd – cats that like to leak confidential documents, and threaten even more unpleasant things.

    It’s impossible to know yet just exactly what happened with this current offer on the table. But I do think it’s apparent that Di Noia’s appointment to a newly created post at PCED constitutes a redoubled effort to accomplish a deal with the SSPX, a deal which I still think is likely to happen.

  15. jbosco88 says:

    “For every minute we spend in speculation, we should spend ten in prayer.”

    Very appropriate here – the Pope and SSPX certainly need it!

  16. WurdeSmythe says:

    “It is hard to imagine that SSPX modifications to the Doctrinal Preamble which the Holy Father would have had to sign off on would be then circumvented by anyone in the CDF before the Preamble was given back to Bp. Fellay.”

    To the contrary, it is not hard to imagine at all! Too many Freemasons in the Curia.

  17. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Why can’t the Holy Father just call in Bishop Fellay and they spend several hours over dinner, Mano a mano? I’m sure something could be worked out if you cut out the bureaucracy and intermediaries!

  18. Centristian says:

    Well, perhaps…and I know I’m going out on a limb here…perhaps this development isn’t because of Modernists in the Vatican or Freemasons in the Curia…or shadow people living in the CDF’s smoke-filled water closet. Maybe…I know it’s screwy…but just maybe…it isn’t because of any dark or sinister Dan Brown-style conspiracy at all.

    Maybe it has something to do with Bishop Fellay’s recently expressed imagination that he and the SSPX bishops were going to somehow enjoy ordinary jurisdiction over “the faithful”. Remember that? Now, it could be that it was that particular idea of Fellay’s that was insisted upon by the SSPX, and then rejected by…a cabal of wise and intelligent Roman Catholics secretly controlling the Vatican…due to the fact that the idea is complete screwball.

  19. robtbrown says:

    Centristian says:

    Maybe it has something to do with Bishop Fellay’s recently expressed imagination that he and the SSPX bishops were going to somehow enjoy ordinary jurisdiction over “the faithful”. Remember that? Now, it could be that it was that particular idea of Fellay’s that was insisted upon by the SSPX, and then rejected by…a cabal of wise and intelligent Roman Catholics secretly controlling the Vatican…due to the fact that the idea is complete screwball.

    It is the nature of a Personal Prelature that it enjoy ordinary jurisdiction over the faithful.

  20. WurdeSmythe says:

    Um, no. A key sticking point is that having little more than general assurances on paper is a no-go proposition when dealing with the majority of aggressively and anti-traditional bishops — the same modern bishops who have diluted the faith of millions of Catholics by being derelict of duty in the catechism, in the liturgy, and in canon law. Most of these bishops have disregarded Papal directives for decades: the majority are part of a modernist program for re-fashioning the Church, and they won’t let even the Holy Father impede that objective.

    The SSPX has as its goal the preservation of the traditional form of the Faith and the Sacraments for *all* Catholics, and it needs compelling evidence that it will be empowered to continue doing exactly that. Continuing the traditional forms is just one component; the duty of good Catholic clerics is also to identify and refute errors and scandals. To wit: Communion in the hand is an abuse; married clergy is a non-starter; collegiality paralyzes the initiative of individual bishops and even of the pope himself; ecumenism that is a thin veil ion religious indifferentism must be corrected; individual consciences formed without reference to God’s will are a dead end. All of these modernist errors in the conciliar Church have to be effectively dealt with.

  21. Centristian says:

    robtbrown:

    Over which faithful? How would you go about identifying a card-carrying member of the SSPX “faithful”? How many times in a row would a Roman Catholic have to attend Mass at an SSPX chapel in order to fall under the jurisdiction of an SSPX bishop instead of his own? What about a guy who goes to his nearby SSPX chapel one week, and his diocesan Tridentine Mass the next, switching between the two as he pleases? What about a woman who goes to the SSPX Mass every single Sunday, but only out of convenience because their chapel is across the street from her house, but who doesn’t consider herself a “traditionalist” at all? What about a regular SSPX worshiper who does identify as a traditionalist and who does think of himself, somehow, as being subject to Bishop Fellay instead of to his own diocesan bishop…who one day decides that he no longer has a problem with the Ordinary Form of Mass and decides just to go to Mass at his own diocesan parish from now on rather than go to the nearest SSPX church? Does he cease to be an SSPX faithful the moment he finishes reading that 15th book about the history of the development of the liturgy that causes him to decide he’s no longer a traditionalist? Is it from the moment he attends his first Novus Ordo Mass? How would that work, exactly?

  22. FrJLP says:

    @Centristian: Kudos! Thanks for the clear thinking. “Freemasons and Modernists…ohhh my…” Such a convenient catch-all to avoid the complex nuances of the situation at hand.

    Tu es Petrus; tecum sto! Basta!

  23. Pingback: SSPX Bishop Fellay Greg Burke Opus Dei Flannery O'Connor Joseph Palacios | Big Pulpit

  24. NoraLee9 says:

    Is it possible that both sides are using this as a ruse to slow the process down so they can get their respective houses in order? HE Fellay needs to find out who will stay and who will go and get ahold of his properties before this goes any further. And the Vatican needs to find out who, in places of authority, could do the SSPX damage, once they are back within the fold, and make personnel changes…

  25. dspecht says:

    “It is hard to imagine that SSPX modifications to the Doctrinal Preamble which the Holy Father would have had to sign off on would be then circumvented by anyone in the CDF before the Preamble was given back to Bp. Fellay.”

    - as others here stated before: It is not at all hard to imagine for me.
    St. Rafael hit the point.

    And remember, it is not only Levade who is at the CDF – and also not only Bf.Müller – but more of this semi-liberals, like f.e. Card. Schönborn etc., work for the CDF. So how can you question that such a scenario is possible (that they try to do all to make problems…). I expected it and I would have wondered if they would not have tried to change the text.

    I really can not graps why such persons, that question some articles of faith (or terms like Transsubstantiation, that even Pope Paul VI advocated in his “Credo of the people of God”), can serve at the congregation that is entiteled to protect the purity of faith!?!

    Like appointing a pyromaniac to the chief-commander of the firefighters, isn´t it?!
    So yes, arcadnal, that is the question.

  26. Andrew_81 says:

    It is also easy to imagine a situation where the higher ups (Cardinal Levada, the Pope, etc.) were kept out of the loop on the matter.

    In any bureaucratic institution (and the Curia is a model of such), the bulk of the work is done by the underlings. It is quite easy to manipulate things subtly, especially if one knows well how to play each side.

    One possible scenario (of dubious likelihood, but to illustrate the point):
    Bishop Fellay responds to the “September” text and details what the SSPX cannot accept. A low-level bureaucrat(s) is handed the dubia/objections and amend the text to create the “April” text which was the supposed “ultimatum”. This April text is nuanced and appears either barely acceptable to Bishop Fellay, or he suggests additional correction that are minor (e.g. a change in terminology, removal of a reference).

    The low-level bureaucrats again get the text to amend for the Feria Quarta meeting and to send to the Pope for his approval. This time, wanting to scuttle the deal, they amend it so that it will be rejected by the SSPX (by subtly reintroducing the problematic items), but accepted by the Feria Quarta meeting and the Pope.

    It is also possible that these changes could have been made at the Feria Quarta meeting itself by members of the congregation.

    The text is given to the Pope, and he is told that the SSPX will accept it as amended. It passes his muster. Cardinal Levada presents it to Bishop Fellay, and it is rejected.

    The situation makes Bishop Fellay appear to have rejected the Pope’s text, and the whole agreement.

    In this scenario, we do not have to assume ill will on the part of the Cardinal, but only what we already know: There are people who will go to any length to scuttle this deal.

    This scenario also mirrors a situation Bishop Fellay described in various sermons. A religious congregation in Germany sought the Pope’s approval to return to the constitutions of the congregation from before Vatican II (they had already returned to the E.F. Liturgy). The Pope granted their request and passed the matter to the Secretariat of State to communicate to the congregation. The document in question was promptly filed away and hidden by a low-level bureaucrat. Months later, the congregation asked a contact in Rome why they had received no response. The request was again given to the Pope, who exclaimed that he had granted the permission already. An investigation found the decree of permission hidden in a filing cabinet in the desk of this low-level bureaucrat.

    Even if the situation were an urban legend, which it does not seem to be, it is not beyond belief. Such garbage does happen in government. Why should we think it never happens in the Church. It is an expression of how divided parts of the Curia are on matters, and how one with a bad will can easily manipulate situations, even from the low levels of a Congregation or Secretariat.

    There is good that can come from all of this, however. It helps to flush out all the disease on each side.

    Those knuckleheads in and surrounding the SSPX who have burned the bridge they were standing on, get to eat their calumny and slander, seeing that Bishop Fellay is not “selling out” and is prepared to refuse a practical solution that harms the common good. They have exposed themselves as disobedient rumormongers and untrustworthy.

    Those ill-willed bureaucrats in the Curia who are trying everything to stop a Canonical solution, also get to be dragged out into the light of the sun and exposed for their manipulation.

    The benefit of a scandal is it reveals one’s true colors.

  27. Roderick Alvernaz says:

    Hello Fr. John,
    A friend had just sent me the article referenced in your blog. Here is my quick response:

    I was sadden by it on the first read-through. But upon the second time through there were a few things of interest and signs of hope that popped out at me. Let’s see if you agree?

    *The preamble “appeared to satisfy” the pope but not Levada.
    *Williamson was not allowed to participate in the chapter due to his “stances which encourage rebellion and his constant disobedience”.
    *The decision to postpone the June 29 Ordinations of Dominican and Capuchin clerics of the fraternity until he can be certain of the loyalty of “certain of these communities”.
    *Both Fellay and the pope are focused on importance of “restoring full communion with the Church” and a “continued dialogue” to that end.

    Was there just a misunderstanding in the press (ok, I’m laughing at myself even as I write these words!)? Did the pope really agree with the corrections Fellay submitted, only to allow Levada turn around and reject them? That would seem not only misleading, but cruel.

    As for not allowing Williamsom to participate in chapter all I can say is BRAVO! BRILLIANT!!!

    The decision to postpone the ordinations was, I think, not only one of prudence on his part as a superior and prelate, but I think it may also speak volumes in Rome.

    And lastly the union of minds (Fellay and Benedict XVI), in earnest, towards the same goal is sincere. And I again think Fellay’s actions with regard Williamson as well as in postponing the ordinations are (though perhaps small) actions to back up his words …and will not go unnoticed in Rome.

  28. WurdeSmythe says:

    @Centristian:
    > How would you go about identifying a card-carrying member of the SSPX “faithful”?

    If folks show up at an SSPX chapel, they are presumed to be Catholic faithful until they do or say something to publicly indicate otherwise — a notorious sinner, a public figure, and individuals of the sort are examples; the Church has historically acted in that way. People today bounce back and forth between SSPX and diocesan chapels; some are exploring and researching, some motivated by convenience, but it already happens.

    > How many times in a row would a Roman Catholic have to attend Mass at an SSPX chapel in order to fall under the jurisdiction of an SSPX bishop instead of his own?

    Yours are valid questions. As matters stand today, all Catholics fall under the jurisdiction of their local ordinary — that is why all SSPX priests name the local bishop in every Mass. If a personal prelature is granted to the SSPX, it would probably be not unlike a military prelature (though we won’t know that for sure until the exact wording comes out). In that case, then we could talk about the faithful in the pews being subject to the Superior General of the SSPX – but not before.

    =======

    @FrJLP:
    > “Freemasons and Modernists…ohhh my…” Such a convenient catch-all to avoid the complex nuances of the situation at hand.

    So is your point that Freemasonry and Modernism play no role in the current crisis of the Church? How interesting. Both phenomena have been condemned by previous Popes as grave threats to the Church – and that was back in the days when the bulk of the Church was still in its right mind and such threats were more remote. But now you indicate such thinking is beyond the pale? That’s revealing. Though I will concede that Freemasons and Modernists do like to cloak their activities behind a web of ambiguities and nuances. Are there other considerations? Of course: fallen human nature, ignorance, laziness, and bad habits go a long way for explaining the Church’s present predicament.

    =======

    @NoraLee9:
    > Is it possible that both sides are using this as a ruse to slow the process down so they can get their respective houses in order?

    I think the people in charge are aware of those considerations, but I haven’t seen any indication that such are their motivations.

    =======

    @Andrew_81:
    > Those ill-willed bureaucrats in the Curia who are trying everything to stop a Canonical solution, also get to be dragged out into the light of the sun and exposed for their manipulation.

    It sounds nice in theory, but there will be no consequences for them. They’ve been opposing and lying to the Pope for decades; they’re fairly accomplished at it, and don’t fear anything from that quarter.

  29. Amandil says:

    Something important to keep in mind:

    “Consequently, just as in the exercise of their episcopal authority the bishops ought to be united with the apostolic see so should the members of the clergy and the laity live in close union with their bishops. Among the prelates, indeed, one or other there may be affording scope to criticism either in regard to personal conduct or in reference to opinions by him entertained about points of doctrine; but no private person may arrogate to himself the office of judge which Christ our Lord has bestowed on that one alone whom He placed in charge of His lambs and of His sheep. Let every one bear in mind that most wise teaching of Gregory the Great: ‘Subjects should be admonished not rashly to judge their prelates, even if they chance to see them acting in a blameworthy manner, lest, justly reproving what is wrong, they be led by pride into greater wrong. They are to be warned against the danger of setting themselves up in audacious opposition to the superiors whose shortcomings they may notice. Should, therefore, the superiors really have committed grievous sins, their inferiors, penetrated with the fear of God, ought not to refuse them respectful submission. The actions of superiors should not be smitten by the sword of the word, even when they are rightly judged to have deserved censure.’” – Sapientiae Christianae, Leo XIII

  30. Centristian says:

    WurdeSmythe:

    You’re right, of course, but when I wondered how SSPX “faithful” subject to an SSPX ordinary would be absolutely indentifiable as such, I actually meant within a post-reconciliation scenario. I didn’t mean at the present moment. Sorry if I was unclear. But, let’s imagine that the SSPX were to be granted an ordinariate (as Bishop Fellay seemed to expect) tomorrow. How would the SSPX then identify the flock over which they have jurisdiction? How would the Vatican, for that matter? How would local ordinaries? How would individual laity, themselves?

    With something like a military ordinariate, the answer is simple: all active-duty members of the uniformed services fall under the ordinary jurisdiction of the military ordinariate. That’s not such an easy trick with something like the SSPX, however, is it? The faithful who would naturally be subject to an SSPX ordinariate couldn’t be simply sorted out by who is a traditionalist and who isn’t, of course, since that word means different things to different people and since there are plenty of traditionalists who have nothing to do with or who want nothing to do with the SSPX. There are traditionalists who attend Mass at the churches of the Fraternity of St. Peter or at those of the Institute. There are traditionalists who attend the Tridentine Masses offered by diocesan priests. There are traditionalists who float amongst different Latin Mass venues. There are even even traditionalists who are more concerned about the Latin and the solemnity than about which missal is used (they may just as easily attend a Latin Mass in the Ordinary form as a Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form).

    So, how would one define the lay subject of an SSPX ordinariate? As a Catholic who goes to Mass at an SSPX church exclusively? Okay, well what if such a person does not also identify as a traditionalist? What if he or she simply goes to the SSPX church every Sunday as a matter of convenience because he or she lives nearby? What about a dyed-in-the-wool SSPX pew-renter who one day comes to the conclusion that the Novus Ordo is just fine and stops going to the SSPX church? At what point does he cease to be under the ordinary jurisdiction of Fellay?

    How, in other words, could one ever be judged to possess the permanent qualities or characteristics that would cause one to be, indisputably, subject to the SSPX ordinariate and not to the territorial ordinary of the place in which one lives?

  31. WurdeSmythe says:

    @Centristian, I think those are great questions. I suspect that could be one of the details that is being worked out now in discussions between Rome and Econe. The solution that has been discussed in the blogosphere and speculated about in the press is unprecedented in the life of the Church. As Bp. Fellay and the SSPX would point out, so is the gravity and magnitude of the modern crisis.

    =======

    @Amandil, that directive in the matter of individual misconduct committed by a bishop. When the Faith itself is compromised, however, a different remedy is called for (Cf. St. Paul’s rebuke of St. Peter at the Council of Jerusalem). See also Aquinas: “It is written: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore, superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.” (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 104, A. 5)

  32. jhayes says:

    You’re right, of course, but when I wondered how SSPX “faithful” subject to an SSPX ordinary would be absolutely indentifiable as such, I actually meant within a post-reconciliation scenario. I didn’t mean at the present moment. Sorry if I was unclear. But, let’s imagine that the SSPX were to be granted an ordinariate (as Bishop Fellay seemed to expect) tomorrow. How would the SSPX then identify the flock over which they have jurisdiction? How would the Vatican, for that matter? How would local ordinaries? How would individual laity, themselves?

    What has been offered by the Vatican, is a “personal prelature”, not an “ordinariate” The only existing PP is Opus Dei, which works this way as far as lay members are concerned:

    What is the relationship between Opus Dei and the local Church?

    As part of the Catholic Church, Opus Dei works closely with the local Catholic bishop, whose consent is required before an Opus Dei center can be set up in his diocese, and who is regularly informed of Opus Dei’s activities there. The relationship of lay members of Opus Dei with their parish and their bishop is the same as that of other Catholics. Like other Catholics they are bound by diocesan regulations and follow the teachings and guidelines of the bishop, and participate fully in the life of the parish according to their circumstances. Their commitments to Opus Dei relate to areas, such as spiritual development and apostolic commitment, in which all members of the faithful are free to follow whichever path to holiness they choose.

    http://www.opusdei.us/sec.php?s=494

  33. WurdeSmythe says:

    Properly speaking, only priests and religious are members of the SSPX (there is also a Third Order, so some laymen have a formal attachment). For the majority of the souls in the pews, they’re simply “the faithful.”

    “Opus Dei works closely with the local Catholic bishop, whose consent is required before an Opus Dei center can be set up in his diocese…”

    And there you’ve nailed it: on this point specifically the personal prelature that Rome has proposed for Econe is different. For the SSPX, the personal prelature would not require approval from the local ordinary; rather, the SSPX would deal directly with the Holy Father. Anticipating resistance from the bishops, Bp. Fellay has sought concrete assurances that such a thing would actually be enforced by Rome — otherwise, the SSPX would be in a bad spot. The absence of these concrete elements is what made the latest document unacceptable. It’s a touchy subject. Like I said, this solution would be unprecedented in the history of the Church. But then again, so is the problem.

  34. jhayes says:

    For the SSPX, he personal prlature wold not require approval from he local ordinary.

    From what i read on one of the official SSPX websites about a month ago, they were thinking that existing SSPX chapels, seminaries, etc. wold not require approval of the diocesan bishop but any new ones would.

  35. acardnal says:

    Centristian said:”How, in other words, could one ever be judged to possess the permanent qualities or characteristics that would cause one to be, indisputably, subject to the SSPX ordinariate and not to the territorial ordinary of the place in which one lives?”

    One registers as a parishioner at the SSPX chapel.

  36. McCall1981 says:

    “Anticipating resistance from the bishops, Bp. Fellay has sought concrete assurances that such a thing would actually be enforced by Rome — otherwise, the SSPX would be in a bad spot. The absence of these concrete elements is what made the latest document unacceptable. It’s a touchy subject. Like I said, this solution would be unprecedented in the history of the Church. But then again, so is the problem.”

    Why would Rome respond like this, knowing that it wouldn’t be accepted by SSPX? Is what they are offering just not “concrete enough” yet?

  37. WurdeSmythe says:

    @McCall1981, Rome can certainly be viewed as a single moral entity, but for this recipe a number of chefs have their fingers in the pie. The Holy Father wants to normalize relations with the SSPX; the majority in Rome do not, however.

    Not so long ago, Communion in the hand was forbidden by the Pope. The bishops went ahead and did it anyway, ignoring Papal directives. Finally the Pope surrendered and allowed it. There were no consequences for the bishops who disobeyed.

    Similarly, not so long ago, female servers were forbidden by the Pope. The bishops went ahead and had them anyway, ignoring Papal directives. Finally the Pope surrendered and allowed it. There were no consequences for the bishops who disobeyed.

    About the only way to incur a strong Papal censure is to insist on the old Mass; nearly everyone else does as he pleases without meaningful consequence (yes, I now — not *literally* everyone — only *nearly* everyone). The lack of consequences for those who savage Papal directives is very much on the mind of Bp. Fellay and the SSPX.

    I think this Pope wants to offer a corrective to decades of injustice inflicted on the SSPX. I think His Holiness is afraid of His fellow Churchmen. I think they know it, and that they feel comfortable thwarting His efforts. Pray for our Pope.

  38. Timbones says:

    It looks to me as if Fellay will simply walk away now and use the upcoming chapter to blast Rome and return to business as usual. I think it’s his only option to shore up unity in SSPX, which as we have seen is paper thin. To sign an agreement now would likely result in SSPX fracturing in at least four different directions. Doubtless, there will soon be a breakaway led by Williamson regardless.

  39. None of us here has enough information to know, or even to speculate convincingly on, what the actual situation is. However, the comment Andrew_81 at 11:35 am suggests the sort of machinations that can occur in bureaucratic mazes like the Vatican, with its contending factions. Not really deep and dark conspiracy stuff, just everyday business as usual.

    In any event, my sense of it–even though more an optimistic hope than an educated guess–is that, though the process seems interminable to those unaccustomed to Vatican time scales, it’s probably pretty much on track for an expeditious conclusion of the “doctrinal preamble stage” before too long (although hammering out the personal prelature details may then take another round of negotiations). And the appointment of Ab. DiNoia seems to me likely a key step to this favorable end.

  40. Long-Skirts says:

    GregH says:
    26 June 2012 at 3:52 pm
    “I wonder what Long Skirts thinks of all this”

    I am completely behind Bishop Fellay 100%!!!!

  41. The Cobbler says:

    “There are many enemies who don’t want to see this reconciliation, on both sides. May both the Vatican and the SSPX keep them at arms length so that there can be true healing.”
    Hmm… Devastating disaster that drastically harms the Church’s natural life, check. SSPX is exiled to a mine on an ice planet, check. Fellay reconfiguring a torpedo to track and target the Smoke of Satan coming from the cloaked modernists’ engines… Yes, this will definitely end when the SSPX succeeds in tracing who in Rome is getting in the way. At least, according to the resemblance to Star Trek VI.

    What?

  42. WurdeSmythe says:

    Cry havoc, Cobbler, and let slip the hounds of war.