In the wake of my post about the SSPX yesterday, it has come up in email and comments that the SSPX is a small group. Libs really like to fling this around. “This is a small fringe group. They shouldn’t be given any attention or place in the Church.”
The SSPX isn’t as small as some people think (or desire).
Take a gander at the SSPX entry on Wikipedia. We read…
If the Society’s canonical situation were to be regularized, it would be the Church’s 4th largest society of apostolic life [!] (similar to a religious order, but without vows), according to the three criteria published annually in Annuario Pontificio [of 2016]: number of erected houses (median 31; SSPX 167), number of members in the society (median 229; SSPX 971), and number of priests in the society (median 149; SSPX 640).
If they were completely regularized, they would have been in 2016 be the 4th LARGEST society of apostolic life in the Church!
Meanwhile, they have been growing and other orders and societies in the Church, without canonical conundrums, have been shrinking.
No wonder libs and some non-libs are nervous about them.
Also, they have built a huge new seminary in these USA in Virginia. A beautiful place.
They are building an enormous church in Kansas.
They even had sent out a survey in consideration of creating a kind of Catholic town or community.
If people think that the SSPX is just some little group and not worthy of consideration, they are not living in reality.
Please allow me to add the point I concluded with yesterday.
The situation of the SSPX is messy. The Society doesn’t fit easily into categories. It’s unique. This is complicated affair and not fairly characterized by simple black and white Olympian statements.
A great deal of what I see written about the SSPX is poorly-informed, mean-spirited, spiritually-stingy twaddle hurled down as if it were an unerring bolt from Zeus.
It behooves us to treat the priests of the Society with charity. We have to be at least as flexible and generous as the Church herself in the way that she interprets her laws. We interpret laws that place burdens as narrowly and strictly as possible, so as not to place undue burdens on people. We interpret laws that give advantages and favors as widely and liberally as possible, so as to expand what we enjoy.
When we consider matters having to do with the SSPX, let’s be at least as gentle as the Church’s attitude in interpreting her laws.