Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Update: Rome's conditions for SSPX omits any Vatican II reference

Andrea Tornielli, the respected Vatican-watcher for Il Giornale, reports that he has now obtained a copy of the correspondence from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos outlining the Vatican’s proposal. The cardinal’s letter does not specifically mention the requirements that the SSPX affirm the validity of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass, he says; “these are prior general conditions” that have been understood during the dialogue between the Holy See and the traditionalist group.

Cardinal Castrillon’s letter does say that the SSPX should agree to avoid personal attacks on the Pope, and to avoid any public responses that would offend against “ecclesiastical charity.” The Vatican further asks the SSPX to avoid portraying itself as a rival magisterium, superior to the Holy See, to respect the legitimate authority of the Pope, and to adhere to the deadline-- set at the end of June-- for a positive response to the Vatican offer. ("Vatican proposal to SSPX (updated),", June 24, 2008).
I have said in other venues that these are the most generous conditions the SSPX could ever hope for. The Fraternity loses nothing and gains everything: the licit canonical status of its own prelature. Nobody is being silenced, as some radical traditionalists allege. Fr. Brian Harrison criticizes the "Skeletons in the Conciliar Closet" with impunity because he does so with due respect and submission to Rome. There is no reason why the SSPX cannot do the same. Fr. Zuhlsdorf observes:
"I can’t help but think that Michael Davies, a great gentleman who died a couple years ago, would have strongly supported the gesture of the Holy See made to the SSPX.

"I met Michael Davies and remember what a tremondous bulldog he was on points he was convinced about. However, you could have an amicable discussion with him and, if your arguments were good, he would shift his position. Also, he was careful not to go over the top with his rhetoric and, when something was pointed out to him that was too harsh, he would make changes.

"I think Michael Davies – sorely missed today – would have been thrilled by the election of Pope Benedict, Summorum Pontificum and this recent gesture of the Holy Father to resolve the divisions that sadly wound the Church."
Of related interest:[Hat tip to A.S.]

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