|It does appear the Vatican mountain is willing to meet the SSPX mole hill more than half way. And St Peter's Square will be all spruced up for the momentous event.|
On September 14, Bishop Fellay with the Holy See will discuss a possible agreementAndrea Tornielli - Vatican Insider - 8/22/11 Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, has been summoned to the Vatican next 14 September. It is the first summit after the doctrinal talks last year in Rome, where there were clashes between the Holy See and Lefebvrian delegations.
As readers will recall, since 2009 the Commission Ecclesia Dei, which deals with the Society of St. Pius X, has been incorporated in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and it has been entrusted to the leadership of Monsignor Guido Pozzo.
The doctrinal discussions, which addressed all of the nodes considered problematic by Lefebvre, who believes that, in some places, the Second Vatican Council represents a break with the tradition of the Church, have been concluded in recent months. (VII did not represent a break with the tradition of the Church. It represented a desire to emphasize a tradition which had always been part of the Church but never not in the ascendancy since Constantine.)
Now the Vatican should subject to Fellay some memoranda of understanding, clarifying doctrinal points, as for the Council, on the interpretation of the continuity in the reform suggested since December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI as the more authentic interpretation of the texts of Vatican II. (Ah yes, his personal notions of the 'reform of the reform'.)
A proposal for a canonical adjustment will be submitted to the Society only if doctrinal difficulties are overcome, and that will resolve the current situation, in which the Lefebvrist community finds itself now.
Although the Pope, in a gesture of goodwill, nullified the excommunication of the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in January 2009, bishops and priests of St. Pius X still live in a state of canonical irregularity.
The proposal which has been studied by the Vatican, would allow Lefebvrists the establishment of an ordinariate similar to that offered by the Pope has to Anglicans who wanted to come into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. In this way, the Fraternity would depend on the Holy See (and specifically on the Ecclesia Dei Commission) and could retain its characteristics without having to answer to the diocesan bishops. (Yes, we must protect SSPX from the Bishop Morris's of the Catholic world.)
The meeting of 14 September, that Vatican Insider is able to confirm, therefore, represents a new step in the journey of these troubled years. But it is premature to provide conclusions: in fact, it is known that within the SSPX there coexist different sensitivities and some consider difficult to reach an agreement.
It should be noted that Pope Ratzinger, who wanted to close the Lefebvre mini-schism, has already completed two very significant steps in the direction requested by the Fraternity: he has liberalized the old pre-Conciliar Missal and has lifted the excommunications in force since 1988.
One didn't have to be psychic to see this one was coming. It's beginning to look like this Vatican will bend over for any group who maintains the primacy of an all male clerical caste, even if that comes with 'baggage' like anti semitism or a 'tepid' enthusiasm for the primacy of the papacy and the documents of Vatican II. In the case of the Anglican ordinariate, the price has included married male clergy. It will be interesting to see how the ever so traditional SSPX deals with that issue in their brother Catholics. I suppose their common love of Gregorian chant and triumphalist liturgy will transcend such difficulties. The hypocrisy is mind boggling.
How long is it going to take before Western Catholics who were raised in, or freed by, the People of God vision of Vatican II realize their is no future for this vision under this current hierarchy. This current Church is not about the People of God, it is about some Men of the Cloth. That signal message is being thrown in our faces not just by the kind of priesthood Benedict affirms, but by the dark side of that same form of priesthood in it's sexual abuse and cover up phase. How many ways must the Spirit give us this message?
Over at Catholica Australia, contributor Tom McMahon has a series about the recent American Catholic Conference in Detroit. In this latest installment Tom has inserted an email sent to him by Robert Blair Kaiser who attended the conference. Kaiser wrote the book 'Cardinal Mahoney' which describes the rise of an autochthonous American Catholic Church. Here's some of what he wrote to Tom McMahon:
".....But it was so much like all the national CTA [Call to Action] conventions I ever attended: inconsequential. Those 1800 who attended endorsed a Catholic Bill of Rights, but, to me, it was just a wish list, with no plan attached to it that told us how we'd get our wishes. So, the conference fell far short of what I had hoped for, the launching of an autochthonous American Catholic Church.
I realize this is something like a critic not liking a book or a movie because it isn't the book or movie HE would have written. Nevertheless, I was sad that I could not convince the organizers (some of the original 12 who founded the ACC) that the idea of an American Catholic Church was worth pursuing, no matter how long it takes......
I hope much sooner than later, Vatican II Catholics will get the message that there is no room in the Vatican Inn for the vision of church espoused in Vatican II. There is unrest about this all over the Catholic globe but talking isn't going to change the direction of the current Vatican. This is not just unrest about a few doctrinal issues but a huge gap in understanding about the very nature of the Church itself and the very God/Jesus that view of Church implies. The view of Church described in Vatican II does not deserve to be steamrolled under the weight of an all male triumphalist priesthood with it's junior high notions of God in the sky heaven and the rest of us in some subterranean hell. It's time, perhaps more than time, VII Catholics say enough is enough and we will go our own way. Waiting for papal permission is a fool's errand.
Oh and if the above isn't enough to give you heartburn. St Peter's square is to be completely refurbished according to this article from Digital Journal.
"The project will encompass all of the square’s 376 columns and pillars, 140 statues and 1,200 metres in terraces and cornices, as well as the Clementina and Gregoriana fountains and the Egyptian obelisk in the middle."
The renovation work which is being funded through donations from "generous sponsors" will also restore Bermini's original design and colors according to the head of Vatican technical services, Pier Carlo Cuscianna.