Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, October 26, 2009

The Vatican and untra-traditionalists

No, not the Anglican conservatives, the other ones - the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). Saw this at Reuter's FaithWorld blog today ....

"The Vatican began talks on Monday with an ultra-traditionalist Catholic splinter group, one of whose bishops has denied the full extent of the Holocaust, with the aim of re-integrating it fully into the Church .... The group, numbering several hundred thousand members, insists that it represents the true faith, and opposes the way the Church has evolved over the past 40 years ..... Pope Benedict wants to try to bring the traditionalists back into the fold and heal a schism that began some 20 years ago. The two sides, far apart on many issues, will meet every two weeks and the negotiations could last months, if not years. Earlier this month, one SSPX leader, Bishop Bernard Fellay, said bluntly: "The solution to the crisis (in the Church) is a return to the past." ......

Last January the group was put in the international spotlight after the pope, trying to start the process of bringing it back into the fold, lifted the excommunications of four of its bishops. One, Richard Williamson, caused an international furor by denying the full extent of the Holocaust and stating that there were no gas chambers. Jews have pointed to comments by SSPX leaders, including one by Rev. Franz Schmidberger who said Jews would be "complicit in deicide" -- the killing of God -- until they rejected "their forefathers' guilt" by accepting Christ and being baptized ....."

David Gibson has a post on this at dotCommonweal - Breaking news: Vatican III opens today in Rome! - which mentions the Society of Pius X could be made into a personal prelature similar to Opus Dei.

Yikes! :(

There was a comment to David's post (one with which I agree) by Eric Stoltz, a deacon for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles ......

Odd. All the rest of us are commanded to bow before every scrap of paper that emanates from a Roman dicastery, no matter how our intelligence is insulted. But if you deny a Council of the Church, well then,the doors are open and you’re welcome to tea and cookies; let’s find a way around your objection. We’ll come up with some vague statement you can sign and then ignore.

I suspect this is because the Vatican believes that because the Lefebvrites are “traditional,” they are somehow kindred souls that can be accommodated and “brought along” so they can become eventual allies in the restorationist movement. Boy, are they in for a surprise. The Lefebvrites have absolutely no incentive to give an inch; in fact, they have actual incentives not to. But Rome will grovel before them and seek anything that looks even remotely like reconciliation, just to add to the number of ultraconservatives in the Church and to be able to declare the schism “healed.” It’s all about appearances, and that’s distressing.


Blogger victor said...

>>>But if you deny a Council of the Church, well then,the doors are open and you’re welcome to tea and cookies; let’s find a way around your objection. We’ll come up with some vague statement you can sign and then ignore.<<<

You might say that The Vatican has figured out a new way of learning how to agree to disagree. What next? Go Figure! :)

4:21 PM  
Blogger Liam said...

I completely agree with Eric Stolz (didn't he play the drug dealer in "Pulp Fiction"?). I find the LeFebvrites extremely distasteful, but I would be willing to accept dealing with them in the name of Christian unity and charity. But if at the same time you're having an inquisition of American nuns or allowing bishops to excommunicate members of the Voice of the Faithful, it's hard to swallow the kowtowing to this group of hateful anti-Semites.

5:07 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


Agreeing to disagree is ok if we just don't let them back in.

5:23 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


Yeah, and he was one of the angels in The Prophecy too :)

I wish Christian unity didn't just seem to mean union with bigots.

5:26 PM  
Blogger victor said...

Very good observation that you and Liam make crystal and all I can think of saying at this moment is to ask myself, What would Jesus do in this situation and ponder on those thoughts for awhile.


5:44 PM  

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