What to Make of the Francis’ SSPX Marriage Imbroglio? April 6, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, cultural marxism, different religion, disaster, error, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, horror, persecution, Revolution, scandals, Society, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
I chose the word imbroglio, because gambit felt a bit critical, and indult seemed off the mark, too.
For those who do not know, Francis, Bishop of Rome, extended another “indulgence,” or a faculty with no formal juridical structure, to the SSPX, this time concerning marriage. Readers will know that since Advent 2015 the SSPX has had faculties to hear Confession granted from Francis himself. Originally intended for the Year of Mercy, those faculties have been extended indefinitely. A few days ago, Francis, through the CDF and Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, granted permission to local ordinaries to grant faculties for the Sacrament of Marriage, as well, under some rather odd circumstances. The “normal” means of doing this would be to have a Novus Ordo priest perform the actual marriage sacrament, or to oversee it somehow?, with the nuptial Mass following according to the ancient Rite and conducted by a Society priest. But in addition – since this would surely be a huge burden to already overtaxed (or so we are told) diocesan priests – there is also a caveat allowing faculties to simply be granted without the involvement of local clergy.
That’s admittedly a rough summation of a fairly complex initiative but you can read all the details at the Rorate link. The point of this post is not to haggle over details of this initiative, or whatever it is, and to talk aboutits implications.
I have seen two general reactions to this, and they have followed in line with sentiments folks hold towards SSPX regularization overall. Some, like Rorate, are convinced that both this latest indulgence by Francis, and the overall process of regularization that now seems coming close to fruition, are unalloyed goods and something every faithful soul should be really excited about. I would like to present some text confirming this optimistic view, but Rorate seems to have shifted much of their focus to Twitter and while I’ve seen tweets confirming their excitement at this development, such as this: “This is clearly a final step towards full regularization that will go away when the papers are signed. It’s a good thing.”
Others, like Michael Matt below, are far more skeptical. In fact, in my very narrow experience, it seems a lot of folks who have had a long time association with the Society of St. Pius X are among the most skeptical of both this latest grant of faculties and the overall process of regularization. The Remnant video:
“They are wrecking the Church, they are enabling heretics everywhere……They are raping our kids, physically and spiritually, and then they have the audacity, to demand obedience. Oh so pious. To demand OBEDIENCE, and to hold the threat of schism over the heads of little old ladies to prevent them from in any way standing in opposition to their diabolical agenda.” Great rant.
Former Catholics are now the second largest “denomination” in the country. 70% of those baptized in Catholics in the US have fallen away. 80% of even those remaining American Catholics never go to Mass (and I bet it’s at least slightly higher than that). Even the vast majority of “practicing Catholics” are heretics of one form or another. Almost all of them support the use of contraception, and a large majority do not believe in the Real Presence, the very core, the essence, of our Faith. And these statistics from the US are much better than one would find in Europe and other locales, the Church’s ancient home.
Matt brings up a key point and one that I have gradually, over the years, come to accept, not as a metaphysical certitude but as being supported by the preponderance of the evidence: that “full communion” is a term much bandied about by those who have wrought the destruction of the Church in this world while demanding obedience from all to go along with a project they can easily see is causing nothing but devastation for souls. I am not sure what meaning that term means when bishops “in full communion” can declare, with the full backing of the pope, that adulterers can freely receive the Blessed Sacrament, re-crucifying our Blessed Lord over and over and over again in a horrid sacrilege. Given what is going on in the Church and world, as evidence by those statistics above and what we see and read every day, the arguments over the canonical regularity of the SSPX seem like a tempest in a teacup. Even worse, these same Church leaders who constantly appeal to obedience while snarling at and denigrating all those who strive to practice the Faith as it has always been practiced are the very ones who have placed the Church in the direst straits of her 2000 year history!
Not that the canonical status of the SSPX is a hill I’m prepared to die on, nor something I’m overly concerned about. I know there are fervent partisans on both sides, and I’ve always struggled to stay out of those endless squabbles where partisans stack up enormous piles of books and quotes from Fathers, Doctors, and Saints to support their favored side. It just seems to me, practically speaking, all this concern over and focus on the canonical status of the SSPX is just not a huge issue, compared to all else that is going on. The Church has fallen into the worst crisis of her history and the ostensible imperfect canonical status of the 0.05% of the Church (nominally speaking) associated with the SSPX just doesn’t concern me that much.
I do continue to be very ambivalent regarding this apparently unstoppable ongoing process of regularization. I’ve been catechized to believe that this must and has to be a very good thing, but something – my own lack of faith, the temptations of satan, worldly experience, natural cynicism, something – keeps shouting in my interior spaces that this is a grave, grave danger, not just to the SSPX but to all the Ecclesia Dei communities and the entire human aspect of the Church. It is also an opportunity, yes, but given how easily communities like the Franciscans of the Immaculate have been completely crushed by the modernist powers, it seems like the opportunity is far outweighed by the dangers.
If regularization comes to pass part of me will be happy and I’ll pray like mad – as I already have been – that everything will turn out for the best. In the grand, grand scheme of things I know it will, that the Church will be restored and Christ’s reign recognized by all, but I cannot get over my concern for the millions of souls who will continue to fall into hell so long as the Church persists in this disastrous crisis. Whether SSPX regularization will ultimately be a massive turning point in the restoration of the Faith, or simply another grim milestone in the chronicle of the Church’s long demise prior to the parousia, I do not know. None of us does. So I’ll just keep hoping and praying that God will have mercy on His Church and raise up the leadership and laity we so desperately need, and not that which we and the world deserve.
If you want an even more detailed critical take on this initiative, sent in by reader D, read this. I am concerned that it seems like the leadership of the SSPX is giving evidence of an attitude of appeasement towards the overwhelmingly modernist hierarchy in the Church and not rocking the boat, which bodes ill, I think, for their role in the Church after regularization, but we shall see.