Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SSPX Is On The Path To SSPX-2, SSPX-3, and SSPX-4

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. RĂ©gis 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.

27 comments:

  1. It didn't take long for the SSPX to generate its own dissenters, many of whom took issue with Lefebvre's rejection of sedevacantism. The SSPX begat its own form of schism when some dissatisfied priests and bishops left to form the Society of St. Pius V (SSPV,) which is just as anti-Semitic and reactionary as SSPX, but which differs from SSPX in that its members claim the last validly elected Pope was Pius XII (no surprise there!) There are also other groups, like CMRI (Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen.) Apart from their rejection of Vatican II, they seem to have rejection of any pope after Pius XII in common.

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    1. I can't wait for the creation of SSPIX.V--the amalgamation of the papacies of Pius X and Pius IX. Oh wait, I don't think Roman Numerals use decimal points. I think that was an Islamic invention. My bad.

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    2. SSPXX - twice the tradition!!

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    3. Tim I think that would have to be written IIxSSPX=SSPPXXXX, or maybe not. I'll email the NFL and find out how that should be written. They seem to have an idea of how to use Roman Numerals.

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    4. The NFL or someone who's studied Classical Latin might be a great resource for the proper use of Roman numerals.;)

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    5. I can say with some certainty that XX would be 20, just as 15 is XV.

      Fielders choice here...SSPXV (for your amalgamation of SSPV and SSPX) or double your tradition, double your fun with SSPXX, the double-guilt church.

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  2. Thanks for this interesting article. Lots of male ego here it seems. Mark

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    1. Mark, it's not just male ego, it's also a ton of religious ego.

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    2. It's an overdose of ego and clerical bling. The SSPX hierarchy and clergy put guys like Ray "Bully Burke" to shame when to comes to the clerical bling.

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    3. Sounds to me more like the War of the Roses.

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    4. @khughes
      There's probably $100,000 worth of tailored bling in the picture at the top of the page.

      Bronxirishcatholic

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    5. Colkoch,

      You are not talking about male ego which I tend to view as a good thing as it takes a good ego to accomplish much in life. You are talking about male and religious egotism which is a whole different story. It is the beginning of a hurtful narcissistic personality. It is manifested in these men borderline personalities, or in a large number even sociopathy. Let's call all this for what it is. It is severe character flaws in men who use God as a way to attempt to control others. This is not spirituality and certainly is not following in The Way of Christ. The "simple" laity who tolerate this behavior are a large part of the problem. The solution for all this must come from the laity or "simple" people who begin to understand how inappropriate clericalism is. The RCC like SSPX has become a cult of authoritarianism. May we all gain peace through understanding.....

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    6. "It is severe character flaws in men who use God as a way to attempt to control others. This is not spirituality and certainly is not following in The Way of Christ. The "simple" laity who tolerate this behavior are a large part of the problem."

      I agree completely Dennis. And the 'simple' laity continue to follow these men because they have been taught they are unworthy of finding the God within themselves. Absolutely contrary to what Jesus taught. I keep thinking about the new phrasing "lord I am not worth for you to come under my roof'. Apparently in the case of the Centurion who uttered these words, Jesus decided not only was he worthy, Jesus even healed his...ahem...slave boy before they got under the Centurion's roof. Catholicism will never ever reach it's potential enslaved to the theology of the priesthood. Never.

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    7. Sexism? From liberals?

      SHURELY NOT!?

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    8. It's pretty hard to avoid the appearance of sexism when we're discussing an all male endeavor. Dr Porch however, did speak in terms of borderline personality disorder, a disorder that doesn't have a specific gender identity. So his comments weren't really sexist except is so far as the group he was discussing is all male.

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    9. I've managed to avoid sexism. Why can't the self-declared liberals? It's can't be that difficult, surely?

      And...would your arguments still hold if the misandry were replaced with misogyny? (I very much doubt it.)

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    10. As far as borderline personality as a diagnosis, it most certainly would if the group were entirely female. This is not a sexist diagnosis.

      When black slaves complained about their all white masters, was that racism on their part, or on the part of the masters?

      And no, you haven't managed to avoid sexism, I've had to remind you about the intentionally demeaning language you use concerning women's ordination.

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    11. You seriously just compared your misandric sexism to black slaves complaining about their white masters?

      I dare you to go to Mass, and afterwards look him in the eye, and make that comparison with a straight face.

      If your rhetoric is right, it should be easy!

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  3. The first thing that strikes me when I see that picture is idolatry.

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    1. (For Christians Jesus is not an "idol", but God.)

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    2. Excessive emphasis on one aspect of a God that transcends description could very easily be considered of form of idolatry or heresy. Jesus was also a human, and not a human who enjoyed the kind of opulence implied in the above clerical bling. Quite the contrary, the Gospels record Jesus as being completely and totally unimpressed with such displays from religious leadership.

      Or maybe it's just that clerical men know better than Jesus what Jesus actually desired. And perhaps these gold draped clerical men have had some sort of revelation that negates Jesus' temptation in the desert when He chose the very opposite path. Or maybe the gold draped clerical men are just overly enamored with their own need or Jesus to be something other than Jesus actually was.

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    3. Excessive emphasis on one aspect may indeed be problematic.

      Fortunately, this is not true of the Church! So, heigh ho, no problemo..

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    4. Depends on one's view of the Church. I find a view which emphasizes Triumphalism a problem.

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    5. Well, Jesus was definitely triumphant...so it's not a bad thing to emphasise.

      So long as the fullness of God is affirmed, as it is in the Catholic Church for example, that aspect cannot be problematic.

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  4. The idolatry I see is that of worshiping the Eucharist as a static THING (and being incredibly preening and proud of oneself while doing so.) The Eucharist is a LIVING experience of God inside humanity, and humanity invited into God. Eucharist is not just bread inside of a breadbox (no matter how pretty and gilded the box.) Eucharist is who we are, how we live and move and have our being.
    Not whatever that picture is.

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    1. Well stated Sue. Any time we turn the living God into some sort of golden calf noun, we have truly lost the plot--no matter how expensive the costumes of those in the theatrical production featuring the golden calf.

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    2. Well stated and a very good point indeed.

      "Eucharist is not just bread inside of a breadbox (no matter how pretty and gilded the box.) Eucharist is who we are, how we live and move and have our being."

      Fine sentiments, and very sound. Reminds me a bit of http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0898709628/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used, which has a similar sense of the vivid reality of the Eucharist.

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