If you read Italian, there is a fascinating piece at La Stampa by Marco Tosatti (who is not one of the traitorous Italian Vaticanisti) about SSPX Bp. Alfonso de Galarreta’s view of Pope Francis’ view of the SSPX.
First, note that Bp. de Galarreta, though born in Spain, grew up in Argentina. From everything that I have learned from S. American friends, it takes an Argentinian to understand an Argentinian.
Bp. de Galarreta thinks that Pope Francis is going to recognize the SSPX unilaterally, apart from doctrinal and canonical considerations. My translation:
[T]his Pope says to whomever wants to listen that we are Catholics, [he] says and repeats that the Fraternity (SSPX) is Catholic, that we are Catholics, that he will never condemn us, and that it is necessary ‘to regulate our affair’. I think that he has started in this direction, that when he will see that there isn’t an understanding with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I think that he will breeze past every doctrinal, theoretical, and practical condition, whatever it might be…. He will do it on his own, in the sense of a recognition of the Fraternity. He has stared, and he will simply continue. I am not talking about what I want; I’m talking about what I foresee. I predict, I think, that the Pope will go in the direction of a unilateral recognition of the Fraternity, and he’ll do this more though the “de facto” route than through the legal, canonical law.“
This is fascinating.
Consider how Pope Francis just sort of gave ghost faculties to the SSPX priests validly to absolve sins in sacramental confession for the Year of Mercy. HERE The Pope didn’t write a specific document, in proper juridical form, clearly indicating that he granted faculties to those priests. No, he just sort of “did it”. He said that if people go to them for confession, they are validly absolved. He didn’t say that they have faculties. Lemme tell you something… all the rest of the priests of the Catholic church have to have faculties! He just sort of did it. How, I am not sure, but the Pope’s intention is clear.
I wonder if that is not what de Galaretta is talking about: de facto not de iure.
The other day Bp. Fellay said there isn’t any rush. He had a meeting with Pope Francis and it was clarified that they are going to take there time.
So… what will that look like in, say, five years?
Will we be seeing some “cross over” or cooperation with SSPX priests in dioceses? It’ll just… happen?
Scenario: Msgr. Zuhlsdorf (clearly a fictional character) at St. Ipsidipsy in Tall Tree Circle is ill over a weekend. After Monsignor Z’s call to the local Bishop of Black Duck, who gives his unwritten okey-dokey, the nearby Fr. Rocco Firm of the SSPX Chapel of St. Joseph Terror of Demons comes over to St. Ipsidipsy to lend a hand with both Mass and confessions. Is that how this is going to play out?
After this works out for a weekend and some weekdays, Fr. Rocco winds up as a semi-regular sort of assistant to Msgr. Z and the two communities, diocesan and SSPX, merge together. The Episcopus Atra Anataria seems pleased, and comes for supper when the priests dine together, especially if the newly welcomed Fr. Joe Włotrzewiszczykowycki is around. Fr. Rocco gets a parking spot by the sacristy door and a name plate on the confessional on the Epistle side of church. Meanwhile, Fr. Rocco, formally a member of the SSPX, is still, technically, suspended a divinis, except that… I guess he isn’t…. is he?
Friends, if this is what the Pope wants to do, well… okay. I’ll do my part. It would help if he made me a Monsignor first.
After some time ad experimentum, Msgr. Z will suggest to the local Bishop of Black Duck that if his parish must be merged together with the SSPX Chapel, the resulting entity might be called the “Through My Fault My Fault My Most Grievous Fault Catholic Community”. Thus they will stick it in the eye of the neighboring Bishop of Libville, Most Rev. Fatty McButterpants, who just named two merged clusters the “Sing A New Faith Community Into Being Faith Community” and the “Engendering Togetherness Community of Welcome”.
Alternate names for Black Duck included “Mournful Mother Weeping” and “Loaded Down With Opprobrium”.
I wrote, above: “It would help if he made me a Monsignor first.”
What am I thinking? I’ll become a Monsignor de facto rather than de iure!