Saturday, April 14, 2012

The April 15 Deadline

No, not Tax Day...

The April 15 deadline is approaching for the SSPX to accept the Vatican's "Doctrinal Preamble," the details of which have been kept secret from the rest of us, for some unknown reason. As a matter of fact, there is a news story just out that something came in from the Waffen-SSPX in response...

It's only by chance that I noticed that this important date is coming up. I've been so discouraged by the Benedict papacy I don't follow these things like I used to. Nothing makes my blood boil, though, like this SSPX solicitude on the part of Benedict and the curia.

All the right-wing blogs seem to think that the SSPX will hold their noses and somehow reconcile with it, which will lead to these Vichy fascists being accepted as some sort of personal prelature to the Pope like Opus Dei. I doubt that SSPX Bishop Fellay will budge an inch in his anticipated response. If anyone blinks, it will be Rome. Benedict seems to need this rapprochement desperately.

Meanwhile, in his Chrism Mass, Benedict gives the Austrian Priests Initiative the back of his hand... Never has the gulf between the laity and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church been so broad. Never.

I reiterate what I've stated in the past. Distinctive markers of Catholic identity are useful and important. An affection and preference for the Tridentine Rite is all very well and good. Gregorian Chant is beautiful and should have prime of place in our liturgies. We can have useful and healthy debates as to whether or not we should kneel for communion or receive on the tongue.

There are people, however, who are attracted to the supposed charism of the SSPX who don't realize the dubious roots and essential philosophical bedrock behind this organization. Unfortunately, what is left of Catholicism in Europe has become tied to reactionary right-wing political movements. Fundamentally, the SSPX is a persistent reaction to the French Revolution. The price for bringing a Tridentine charism into the bosom of the Church will be the inclusion of an obsession with Freemasonry and "International Jewry;" with resistance to "Bolshevism" and a penchant for fighting for the restoration of monarchy and the ancien regime. Just the other day, the SSPX was criticizing the US Bishops Conference, no left-wingers themselves, for having a faulty conception of religious liberty. As far as they are concerned, every State should have an institutionalized preference for Catholicism, because "error has no rights." That is true. Error has no rights, but human beings do, as the teaching of Vatican II clarified.

If this all seems like exaggeration, I invite you to read the 'defense" of the SSPX and France's Nazi-collaborating Vichy regime offered by a one Eric Jones on a perceptive blog post that was critical of the fascistic character of the organization. He is not unique by any means. These opinions are typical of what you will read from SSPX adherents on Rorate Caeli, Angelqueen, Fisheaters, and other haunts where they hang out.

This is Benedict's "creative minority." We have lots of exciting days to look forward to.