|I don't know if Pope Benedict is after SSPX priests, but I bet Gammarelli is after their clerical bling business.|
SSPX is making the news again, and this time I think traditionalists should take note. There is a prophetic lesson for them on which to meditate. Pope Benedict has bent over backwards to bring this group back in the Catholic fold. He has done so, according to John Allen's latest take, at some expense to his Papacy and the unity of his own Vatican, not to mention the unity of the rest of Catholicism. But with all such groups who pride themselves on their orthodoxy, they are splitting over whose vision of orthodoxy is most orthodox. Consequently Bishop Fellay has been taken to task by the other three illicitly installed bishops of SSPX as giving away too much to the Vatican:
.....On April 7, Mallerays, de Gallareta and Williamson wrote to Fellay insisting that “agreement is impossible with Rome,” because after Vatican II “the official authorities of the church separated themselves from Catholic truth”.
The three prelates warned of the dangers of “placing ourselves in the hands of conciliar bishops and modernist Rome,” and said that Fellay is leading the society to “a point of no return” and a “deep division.”
On April 17, Fellay wrote back, telling his fellow prelates that they have an “overly human and fatalistic conception of the church,” seeing “dangers, plots and difficulties, but not the grace of the Holy Spirit.”
Fellay argued the traditionalists should embrace Benedict’s overture, since the pope “knows very well it would have been easier for him, and for us, to leave things as they were.”
That line apparently hasn’t convinced everyone, as evidenced by an essay published on “Porte Latine,” the website of the French district of the Society of St. Pius X, in early May. (France is home to the world’s largest concentration of Lefebvrists, with some 120 of the society’s 500 priests.)
Fr. Régis de Cacqueray, superior of the French district, wrote that Benedict XVI still does not see “the calamitous consequences of the new religion which has unfolded over the last half-century in the church,” asserting that he’s under “grave and deep illusions” about Vatican II.
Cacqueray urged the society to “distrust like a plague the novelties introduced by Vatican II, and the popes which have come after the council.”
Such sentiment may be what Fellay had in mind when he told the Catholic News Service in early May that “there might be a split” should a deal with Rome occur.
I happen to think what Pope Benedict doesn't understand is that SSPX is a classic cult, with at least three of their four bishops unwilling to give up their autonomy to any other hierarchical structure or answer to any other authority, including their own leader. It's their way or the highway, and in this case, the Vatican will never ever be able to placate men who are this enamored of their own vision. Even if the Vatican caved in completely and determined Vatican II to be a heretical counsel, it wouldn't be enough. The three would then most likely start fighting with each other over who is to be the next 'real' pope of the Roman Catholic Church since the current crop of Catholic Bishops and Cardinals are all steeped in that 'new religion'.
This was always going to be a no win situation for the Vatican, but now, it could be just another huge loss of face for an already weakened papacy. I also don't find it the least bit surprising that suddenly Opus Dei is expressing their misgivings, going so far as to call for a loyalty oath to the teachings of Vatican II for anyone who wishes to enter the Church. Of course it could also be they don't want to give up their status as the only group designated as a Personal Prelature of the Pope. God forbid SSPX be given the same designation because then OD wouldn't have their singular access and it's quite easy to see SSPX attempting to take over their self proclaimed designation as the 'most orthodox and obedient' of all the various Catholic conservative cults.
And that brings up another point which conservative/traditionalists should meditate on: Just why do conservative traditionalists need all these 'new movements' each claiming to be Truer True Believers? I look at all these movements and just laugh when conservative comments berate progressive or protestant movements for constantly spawning new protestant sects. Excuse me? Just what exactly have they done with in the Church. How many parallel conservative sects does Catholicism really need? Apparently one for every priest whose ego convinces him he is the proponent of the Truest Truth.
This was all so predictable, and it didn't take prophecy to make the prediction. It's right there in the best of the science of cults and group dynamics. Fellay should just take Benedict's offer, bring in those who wish to follow him, and let the others fight, splinter, and disintegrate like all real cults eventually do. In the meantime it would serve Pope Benedict and the Church a whole lot better to turn his attention to progressive Western Catholics, where he is losing Catholics by the millions, or South America where he is losing Catholics by the hundred million. Of course in those two situations the problems go far beyond what one SSPX apologist calls 'a few paragraphs in a few documents of Vatican II'. It could very well be that those two situations are not just beyond the energy of an 85 year old pope, but the courage of his entire College of Cardinals, Vatican bureaucracy, and most of his 5000 hand picked bishops. Given that I am sure we will see this Pope and this Vatican waste a lot more time on SSPX.