Friday, February 10, 2017

Will Pope Francis strike the deal with the SSPX that eluded both John Paul II and Benedict XVI?

Damian Thompson, "Pope Francis's Traditionalists" (Catholic Herald, February 10, 2017):
On the weekend that posters of a scowling Pope Francis were plastered over Rome by traditionalists protesting against his “bullying” tactics, news filtered through that Rome is on the verge of signing a deal with the Society of St Pius X. This year, the Lefebvrists could be fully reconciled to the Holy See. By the alleged Modernist bully on the posters. And with virtually no strings attached.

This is surreal; but then everything in Rome is surreal now. It’s as if the scriptwriters of The Young Pope have been let loose on the Bergoglio pontificate.

Relations between Francis and conservative Catholics are more toxic by the day. The Holy Father has just torn up the constitution of the Order of Malta; it’s a complicated dispute, but one that clearly pits the Pope and his allies against the super-orthodox Cardinal Burke, who is the order’s patron – for the time being....

In the eyes of traditionalists, Pope Francis’s catalogue of errors is so long that, to quote one priest in the Vatican, “a lot of us are emotionally, even if not intellectually, sedevacantists”....

The SSPX have never been sedevacantists. They accept that post-Vatican II pontiffs are real popes. But for much of their 47-year history they have behaved like a breakaway sect, albeit a well-endowed and successful one, with around 600 priests in 37 countries and a huge new seminary in Virginia....

Mainstream traditionalists are baffled. Why would the SSPX knock back an offer from Benedict, who rehabilitated their liturgy and their bishops, only to accept it from Francis, who seems to dislike everything about the pre-conciliar Church and – in the opinion of some cardinals – is beckoning adulterers to the altar rail?

Fellay’s latest interview points to a possible answer: Rome is prepared to compromise on acceptance of the Second Vatican Council. He points out that Archbishop Guido Pozzo, head of Ecclesia Dei – the Vatican department responsible for relations with the SSPX – now says that “certain texts of the Council [do] not constitute criteria for Catholicity”. Read more >>
[Hat tip to Sir. A.S.]

Related: Why Rorate Caeli, in disagreement with Roberto de Mattei's warnings [here], supports prospect of SSPX agreement with Vatican [here].

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