Brief Commentary on the SSPX General Chapter Statement
July 19, 2012
As a number of people have asked for an opinion about today's SSPX General Chapter Statement, I'll give my initial thoughts.
The Statement is pretty much what I thought it would be: it appears to be a diplomatic 'no' to the Doctrinal Preamble, but does not shut out future discussions. I am glad the SSPX reiterated its rejection of the 'errors of Vatican II', which in the present climate, is more of an explosive statement than I think many realize. This is precisely what Pope Benedict, and bishops Müller and Di Noia cannot abide, the claim that Vatican II contains errors. Both Di Noia and Müller have insisted that the SSPX may not claim there are errors in Vatican II. Müller has stated that full recognition of the Council is an indispensable condition for any sort of 'regularization'. We’ll see what unfolds in the future.
The SSPX's public adherence to what they rightly call the "constant Magisterium" and "uniterrupted Magisterium" is a well-deserved slap-down to the modernist notion of "Living Tradition" on which the entire post-Conciliar Church runs. This will not be lost on today's Vatican.
The fact that the SSPX said they await the day for a serious debate, to me, is their way of saying that the discussions so far have not really been serious. From all appearances, it seems the Vatican gave the SSPX in June 2012 basically the same statement the SSPX refused to sign in September 2011. That’s quite an insult, especially after nearly three years of doctrinal discussion by which the Vatican should know the SSPX's position.
Also, Bishop Fellay’s statement in the earlier interview that “doctrinal mutism is not the answer” (and here I speculate) may be a response to the Vatican perhaps insisting the SSPX draw in its horns regarding criticism of Vatican II, the New Mass, and the new post-Conciliar orientation. This is precisely what I was told when I visited the Vatican's Ecclesia Dei office in 1994.
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