Monday, July 16, 2012
The SSPX General Chapter and its consequences, including how they voted on Bishop Williamson's exclusion
[Update] Was wird die Piusbruderschaft Rom antworten? – Ein „Es war nett, doch nein danke“, kann es nicht gewesen sein › Katholisches
What answer will the SSPX give to Rome? - A "It was nice, but no thanks", it may not have been
Last Saturday, 14July, the General House of the SSPX shortly after 17 clock announced at the end of the General Chapter that it will send "general declaration to Rome" regarding the reconciliation talks with Rome which would be published.
About the substance of the General Chapter so far only a few details are known. As the Swiss Catholic News Agency reported in Switzerland, the forbidding by Bishop Fellay of Bishop Richard Williamson from participating because of his "persistent disobedience" was confirmed by a large majority of the Order. Of 38 votes cast, 29 favoured the exclusion of Williamson with nine voting against. KIPA evaluates the vote as a significant strengthening of the position of Superior General and thus the efforts at reconciliation with Rome.
In this regard the Spanish progressive religious journalist, José Manuel Vidal wrote, referring to the Spanish superiors, that a reconciliation "definitely failed", since on the preamble sent from Rome on 13th of June to the SSPX was "unacceptable".
That a signature on the June preamble, which corresponds almost verbatim the preamble, as amended on September 2011, is probably impossible, Bishop Fellay had communicated to the then Prefect of the Congregation in Rome . As Vidal is the only one who dared to publish in these days, his message was picked up dozens of times by many journalists and blogs. It was said that on Sunday the declaration of the SSPX will be published. This is going to Rome to thank the Society for the discussions and the opportunity that was granted to her to explain her position, but at the same time would say a 'no' to reconciliation.
Pope Benedict XVI. visited yesterday, Sunday, the town of Frascati near Rome. The seat of the bishop is connected with the Cardinalate dignity of the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The Pope wanted in the context of partially wild rumours about tensions within the Roman Curia, intrigue and the Vatileaks scandal, to give a signal of solidarity with Cardinal Bertone. In his homily, the Pontiff referred in a special way to the Second Vatican Council . This was certainly no coincidence on the same day on which the response of the SSPX was expected. The Pope thought that it was worth emphasizing that the council "much to say" and had asked for a renewed reading of the documents, but also in a "new" way. A request, which was directed at progressives apparently as much as traditionalists, to "discover" the Council in light of tradition. To illustrate this relationship, Pope Benedict XVI called at the same time for reading of the catechism.
Meanwhile, it seems unlikely that the SSPX will end the years of theological conversations and then three quarters of a year of reconciliation talks with a simple "It was nice, but no, thanks". Too much has happened since the 13th June, which seemed to take a negative turn.
Cardinal Levada is no longer Prefect of the Congregation. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Curial Archbishop Di Noia as Vice-President of Ecclesia Dei, and thus apparently removed from the new prefect of faith, the former Bishop of Regensburg Mueller working responsibilities that were previously undertaken by Cardinal Levada.
Di Noia let it be known immediately of willingness to talk widely, stated at the end of June that an agreement was within reach and mobilized "his" Dominican order shortly before the General Chapter of the SSPX to pray for reconciliation. According to Catholic riposte, the advocates of reconciliation with the SSPX are divided within the Vatican into two groups. The American Curial Archbishop Di Noia is a member of the "Gherardinians". They represent the line of Monsignor Brunero Gherardini's position that passages disputed between Rome and Econe in the documents of Vatican II can, of course. be discussed. The theologians of the tradition can also open the discussion and conduct it in an open manner and if required the infallible magisterium eventually will resolve contentious issues. A solution "from below", so to speak, which takes for granted each natural development, as is characterised by the Church's history.
Against them the "Levadans" stand, named after the now retired Prefect of the CDF, seeking a solution "from above".They hold the disputed points of the council as untouchable, holding that the reality would be intolerable for the appearance of the church, if she were to have to admit that over a period of several decades an aberration was officially accepted.
Therefore, they try, to build over this possibly gaping vulnerability through an "acrobatic" ( Riposte Catholiquebridge) theory of continuity, burdening the whole question unnecessarily with the question of the binding nature and thus the question of the recognition of the entire council.
As the French website Riposte Catholique wrote that the negotiations since September 2011 obviously also hung up by the fact that they were conducted at a distance. There was no real negotiation discussions at which both sides were seated. Initially an informal but direct personal level was sought after an agreement rather than exchange of official documents. This personal dimension of the utmost importance to create a solid foundation of trust has been missing. This however does not mean that it cannot be recovered or to be imported into the talks. The appointment of Curial Archbishop Curia di Noia also appears in this regard to make a decisive change possible, which Pope Benedict XVI wanted, after the talks on 13 June resulted in something of a knot.
It should be pointed out that it is a personal meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the Superior General of SSPX St. Pius X, Bishop Fellay that took place in the summer of 2005, a few months after the beginning of this pontificate, which made the gradual rapprochement between Rome and Econe possible, because it created confidence.
Perhaps another kind of direct intervention of Pope Benedict XVI necessary, as has already been seen in the appointment of Di Noia. For now, the "General Declaration" of the SSPX after the General Chapter is to be waited upon.
On another matter, and it is associated a different question: When will Pope Benedict XVI. again celebrate his first Mass in the Roman Rite in public?