Saturday, June 23, 2012

SSPX and the Vatican- overcoming the burdens of the past

Fellay’s long awaited decision - Vatican Insider

Over the past few days, some of the priests who are closest to Bishops Tissier de Mallerays, de Gallareta and Williamson have been repeating that if the agreement is signed, very few of the Fraternity’s priests would follow Mgr. Fellay and enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. So that short phrase in the Vatican communiqué regarding the “situation” within the Lefebvrian group is especially significant. Up until now it was believed that the Society was divided approximately into the following categories: 25% in favour of the agreement, 50% undecided and 25% against (including the three bishops, as was clearly stated in the letter they sent to Fellay in recent months, expressing their intention to oppose any agreement with Rome).

However, no one is in a position to confirm the current accuracy of these figures. It is clear from the statements made by some Lefebvrian representatives and the bishops who oppose an agreement, that part of the Fraternity is only willing to enter into communion with Rome again is the Pope decides to renounce the Second Vatican Council, attributing all blame for the crisis of faith during the past decades to the Council and to the post-conciliar liturgical reform. It should be noted that nostalgia for the suffering caused by the current separation has been primarily expressed by those who had met Lefebvre, who had experienced his struggles first hand and had lived in communion with the Pope before the split in 1988. This nostalgia does not appear as strong among the new generations of priests.

Cathcon- there seem to be two great psychological burdens. It is a step too far for to ask those who attended the Council, like the Pope, or those who were in seminary immediately afterwards, to renounce the Council. The fruits of the Council are so negative, that it will meet its own fate in years to come. It also seems to psychologically difficult for those that were present at the 1988 schism to overcome the past- an idea for which the Germans have a word, Vergangenheitsbewältigung.

Whatever the case, the historic position of the SSPX of separation with continued loyalty to the office of the Pope is no longer tenable. The only alternative to reconciliation is sede-vacantism.