Excerpt from Elliot Milco's contribution:
In light of the recent (and increasing) rumors of Pope Francis's inclination to grant canonical recognition to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, I've been reading up on that group. Currently I'm working through the first volume of Michael Davies's trilogy Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, which is a collection of documents relating to the FSSPX, paired with contemporary news items and interspersed commentary. The books favor a certain side of the FSSPX question, but they offer an unparalleled level of detail regarding the formation, investigation, and suppression of the religious order, as well as Marcel Lefebvre's relationship with Pope Paul VI and the Vatican.... and there's much, much more. Read more >>
What strikes me so far in reading the book (and I should note that this is not my first foray into the history of the post-Conciliar fallout) is how right Lefebvre was in the early 1970s about most of the things going on in the Church. (I recommend his 1983 Open Letter to Confused Catholics to anyone who has been dismayed by dissolution of Catholicism in Catholic institutions.) Today if one wants to know about the fruits of disciplinary relaxation and innovation in seminaries in the 1960s and 70s, one need only read the USCCB's report on the origins of the clerical abuse crisis. Very sad that the FSSPX was treated with such hostility by the curia under Paul VI, and unfortunate that Lefebvre disregarded the authority of John Paul II. Wouldn't it have been better to allow him to continue with his “experiment of tradition”? And now, over the past ten years, aren't we all inching our way toward the realization that that “experiment” is the one that needs to be undertaken?