SSPX reunion with Roman Pontiff “postponed”

People are sending me email about the reconciliation of the SSPX being “postponed”.

How can something that was not scheduled be postponed?

Relax. Breathe. Pray.

The Holy Father has plenty to do. There are few important things he is surely writing on his own right now. There many aspects of this one situation to study and reflect on. He can use the time to absorb the state of the question and make a prudent judgement.

Support him with your prayers and mortifications offered up for the worthy petitions I am sure you gave in this regard.

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  1. Clinton R. says:

    With all the false starts and varying information we have received, it’s important to remember that God is in charge and He will be not be thwarted. What we desire usually does not occur on our time frame, but according to will of God. Whatever the outcome of the Rome-SSPX dialogue, ultimately God will be victorious. Our faith will be continually tested in the meanwhile. So as Father suggests, let us offer our prayers and mortifications for the good of the Church. I offer my prayers for the Holy Father, Bishop Fellay, all bishops and priests of the Church, the Catholic faithful throughout the world, and the conversion of all people to the True Faith.

    Jeanne d’ Arc, Priez pour nous.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    I have a feeling that the SSPX has recently moved towards the bottom of the Holy Father’s “list of things to do” right now, considering all that is going on. I take comfort in what His Holiness said earlier today: “despite human weakness, difficulties and trials, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit”. Amen to that!

  3. Dave N. says:

    Likely due to drummed-up expectations that such a reunion would happen at Pentecost.

  4. Texas trad says:

    My position is quite to the contrary. This reconciliation with SSPX, which priests and bishops on both sides have called the “defining moment of Benedict’s pontificate,” should rise immediately to the top of the list. Lying, stealing, murders and intrigues which rest on the pope’s desk, are minor compared to restoring the rift with SSPX. For one or all of those four things we will see always in one form or another given the condition and politics of the Vatican. I say “on with it” and let’s get to the celebration of the reconciliation as we saw with the Anglicans.

  5. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Nothing gets done in Rome during the summer, and not very much in France. No matter how much a German might want to push it, it’s just a fact of life.

    Anyway, the more time it takes, the niftier the party… and this may have been wanted by Fellay, to give him more time to lasso the reluctant.

  6. Imrahil says:

    Stereotypes aside, nothing gets done in Germany during the summer.

    We just might disagree in the extension of the summer. (But then it’s longer hot in the South.)

  7. greasemonkey says:

    It’s not good. Things like this need to be worked out in secret and swiftly. All this publicity has given time for the liberal/progressive wing to start harping on what a disaster the SSPX reunion would be. So now that it looks like it’s on ice (if it is, and it wouldn’t surprise me), it may be because the liberals have been harping and fussing about it, just like they did with the Motu Proprio. It’s not 2007 any more….. this needs to get done.

  8. Matt R says:

    Perhaps my fellow readers need a charitable reminder: Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

  9. robtbrown says:

    Dave N. says:

    Likely due to drummed-up expectations that such a reunion would happen at Pentecost.

    The pope wanted it done by Pentecost.

    The document leak is a big deal. As I noted here a few days ago, there is more to it than meets the eye.

  10. Thanks for backing me up on this one, Father.

  11. ppb says:

    The official statements from the Holy See never said there was an expectation of a resolution as soon as Pentecost; that was an extrapolation of various news sources. However, it’s hard not to get the impression that the pace of things has cooled off significantly.

  12. asophist says:

    I for one am glad that the process is not being hurried. Doing it right and doing it well is far more important that doing it now. I pray for God’s will in this.

  13. leonugent2005 says:

    It was hard for me not to think that a split in the SSPX was about to happen. The longer this drags on the more difficult it will be to reconcile. If they go on and on eventually the number of bishops the SSPX has will go to zero unless of course they start ordaining more bishops. If it were me I’d start checking into the cost of the FSSP membership dues. [Relax.]

  14. robtbrown says:

    ppb says:

    The official statements from the Holy See never said there was an expectation of a resolution as soon as Pentecost; that was an extrapolation of various news sources. However, it’s hard not to get the impression that the pace of things has cooled off significantly.

    I wasn’t referring to news sources. I was told last October that the Pope wanted this done by Pentecost.

    There are almost always delays with the promulgation/publication of Vatican documents (nb: reunion will be accomplished with a Motu Proprio). And the delays aren’t necessarily because changes that need to be made to the documents.

  15. Texas trad says:

    Vatican says SSPX satisfies Sunday obligation again. This is a reversal of the reversal. But for this week, one can satisfy their obligation at an SSPX chapel. Stay tuned. The sooner the accord is announced, the sooner this silliness will end. I will be at an SSPX on Sunday.

  16. Maeana says:

    Texas trad, I believe the letter says exactly the opposite of that. It isn’t a sin, however, as long as you fufill your obligation elsewhere.

  17. wmeyer says:

    Maeana: I agree, the letter is clearly stating that one cannot fulfill his obligation at an SSPX chapel, but that he incurs no sin by attending, so long as he fulfills his obligation elsewhere.

  18. Texas trad says:

    I should have posted all the previous “yes you can”, “no you can’t”, the lifting of the excommunication of the Hawaiian group in the years past for attending SSPX, on and on. My point was this is a reversal of a reversal and reversal, etc. I was more tongue in cheek than anything. Canon law 1248 stands clearly, as a number of posters say above. This is bordering on ridiculous and that’s the point from all the different “authorities” on this. What could be clearer than Canon Law?

  19. Phil_NL says:

    That letter looks like a typical case of the internet going beserk without proper analysis.

    To me, it looks like careful reading is again at a premium: it deals with canon 1248 paragraph 1, and ‘strictly’ could very well mean that they look at that canon and specific paragraph in isolation.

    That would mean that the letter is considering the general situation, and not specific other circumstances (that’s in paragraph 2 or different places altogether), such as not having a non-SSPX Mass within reasonable distance (unlikely, but possible in some cases) or people liable to be fuming with indignation and having bloodshot eyes after they would sit through a NO Mass (as we know, those people exist as well, sadly). Those categories – and perhaps a few others, I’m no canonist – could still have valid excuses. Technically, one could debate if they would be in fact excused their Sunday obligation and would substitute their attendance at an SSPX chapel for one of the actions mentioned in canon 1248 paragraph 2, but what you don’t ask, you won’t get answered.
    Which brings us to the conclusion that how much – if at all – this is out of line with previous answers would depend on the circumstances giving rise to the dubia – which we don’t have information on.

    Moreover, when reconcilliation happens, the point is moot anyway. Prior to that point, and given that the Holy Father would probably want to implement some safeguards against lunacies espoused by some in the SSPX should they indeed reconcile in toto, it seems more than sensible to have a general rule that Catholics should go to Masses by priests in full communion with, and obedience to, the Pope.

  20. irishgirl says:

    As Father Z has recommended, we should all ‘Relax. Breathe. Pray.’ regarding the reunion of the SSPX with the Holy See.
    It is my fondest wish and hope that the Society be reconciled.
    In one of the ‘extra’ Hail Marys which I tack onto the end of my daily Rosary, I make the intention for reconciliation.
    We also have to remind ourselves of another one of Father Z’s watchwords: Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.
    So let’s trust our Holy Father to think about, ponder over, and then act in what’s best for this situation.
    I pray that I will see the SSPX be part of the Church in my lifetime.

  21. Mary Jane says:

    @ Texas Trad, who said, “What could be clearer than Canon Law?”

    We have canon lawyers for a reason. :) Sometimes situations aren’t as clear as we would wish them to be.

  22. Sixupman says:

    Attendance at an SSPX Mass not sinful, as long as Duties satisfied elsewhere?

    The English & Welsh Bishops’ Conference issued a document stating, for those in the country, attendance at your local Protestant church or chapel would suffice. I kid you not.

    That is why I find some of the SSPX ‘faculties’ and like arguments somewhat puerile, when considered from this side of the Atlantic.

  23. jesusthroughmary says:

    Sixupman –

    Please provide documentation for that claim against the Bishops of England and Wales. I have seen you make that claim twice now.

  24. Rich says:

    Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

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