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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

SSPX developments sooner than expected?

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From Golias the "more Tablet than the Tablet" French left-wing Catholic journal.

Lefebvrists: Canonical support for fool's bargain

Before writing a Motu proprio on the Lefebvrists, the Curia are now in the process of thinking about an immediate solution with a view to the final reintegration of the fundamentalists.

According to information, or our informants, Rome would, following the controversy about the ordinations celebrated recently by the SSPX, like to find a compromise solution, even before the completion of theological discussions.

This would clear the ground and initiate things faster. It is quite likely that the Curia had planned, under the good care of Monsignor Mario Marini, secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, now deceased, a document, additional to the lifting of the excommunication of the four holy bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre, lifting the suspension imposed a divinis on the priests and brothers of the SSPX.    Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, showed such reluctance (because this form also showed a commitment to respect the authority of local bishops) that Rome then gave up on a similar project of transitional canonical regularisation. Now it is exhumed from oblivion.

The idea is obviously clever, even if from a canon law, and especially theological point of view, it is not without posing formidable problems. Indeed, it puts in a certain fashion, if only precariously, the cart before the horse in assuming things are resolved when they are not.

In the spirit of Pope Benedict and Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, for very short time again in charge of the case, it would be well to take account of multiple oppositions which would become less easy if the SSPX was in canonical good standing (albeit for a time) and not, in the words of Abbé Claude Barthe, in a state of " canonical weightlessness." This initiative would establish Roman legitimacy (and the undeniable validity of SSPX confessions and marriage services) of the sacraments celebrated by priests of the SSPX.

In addition, it is a clear encouragement to reluctant bishops, like those of Germany. This idea could revitalise even in Rome herself very strong opposition, for example from Cardinals Levada (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) and Re (bishops) and Bishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts due to the violation of the law and its spirit that it entails, ultimately not affecting the subject (the SSPX can stick to its position) and would be an expedient, an artifice that is temporary solution and ad hoc on a weak basis. Its only advantage is the benefit of the SSPX because it would be a way to support the Fraternity.

If the Pope were to adopt such a solution, which is possible, it could create an uproar which would be proof of an unbelievable complacency.

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