September 6, 2015

The Holy Ghost, The Pope and The SSPX

What few words I write here concerning the Holy Father's approval of the SSPX (and that is, in essence, what it was) aren't apt to be weighty enough to change anyone's opinion one way or the other. More competent bloggers and writers have already done that - and likely succeeded with a few readers, I am sure. These words of mine are more just the thought processes of a Faithful Catholic, not trained in Theology, Doctrine or Canon Law, who never did learn the Ave Maria in Latin but still remembers The Prayer Before a Crucifix (in English, mind) learned in the 6th grade. So I am more than qualified to offer the following:


If you held a harsh "schismatic forever!" type of view of the SSPX before the recent Papal mercy-pronouncement (see here and here), your opinion likely isn't going to change, no matter what. If you held the moderate opinion that they are a good bunch of priests, who truly Love the Church and work tirelessly to save Souls, you will, nevertheless, still caveat everything (see here) with "but, you see" and "this is what the Pope's words in context really mean" because, well... they still are not in full communion with Rome, whatever that means (example: are the views of Cardinals Marx & Kasper and The Nun's On The Bus in "full communion" with Rome?) Finally, if you currently attend SSPX Masses and actively support their apostolate, you probably just said a quick "Thank You, Lord!" and simply went about your business (which is pretty much what I did.)

I don't know why some are trying to parse what Pope Francis has said concerning the SSPX and their participation in the Year of Mercy. Most modern Catholics pretty much take him at his word most all the other times and rush and jump on the latest Papal bandwagon to get his words turned into direct action for us (or is it "we"?) Catholics. No.Questions.Asked. So why, then, all the "buts" and "why's" and "wherefores" over this latest pronouncement? Why aren't they all jumping on the Papal Bandwagon concerning the SSPX? I don't understand...perhaps if it had been titled "Laudato Si of the SSPX In This Year of Mercy 2015" it would be more palatable and agreeable to those who reside inside the head of Pope Francis?

From the first moments of the announcement, my first thought was "...this is the Holy Ghost at work, pure and simple." There was no other explanation possible, or none that would make any sense, anyway. The "God of Surprises" had struck again and there is, now, no turning back. At the end of the Mercy year - as others elsewhere have pointed out - there is no way the SSPX will be told they must revert to their former "not valid confessional" status. It just won't happen. It would destroy any remaining validity and credibility this Papacy will have, for such a pronouncement would necessarily have to come from the very hand that gave them their freedom in the first place. Nope, the chink in the armor is now visible; the hole in the dike will be forever widening over the next year or so. There is no other direction for the Pope and the SSPX to go but forward to full Canonical status. The Holy Ghost has made straight the road that for so many years had been crooked. He has taken the lopsided and fluffly-wuffly words and actions of the current Vicar of Christ and made them a clear and concise foundation. Yes, Dear Faithful, the Holy Ghost was - and continues to be - in charge of His Church. Gives one a certain sense of comfort concerning the 2015 Synod, doesn't it?

And for those who would cite the Canon Law requiring priests to have the local Bishop's permission to hear confessions and officiate at marriages: So what? That particular Canon isn't really enforceable anyway, is it? After all, when taken in the light of the non-enforced and ignored Canons 1152.1, 1153.2, 1155, 1446.2, 1676, 1695, 1713 which require that the Bishop seek the reconciliation of separated spouses, why hold Canon 969.1 over the head of the SSPX? What Canon Law gives the Bishop permission to pick and choose what Canon Law(s) are/are not ignored in their diocese? And, by extension, what Canon Law(s) do they cite that absolves them of the injustice associated with this selective process. Isn't "Lex iniusta non est lex" in play here?

As a corollary to the above, what of the non-enforced and ignored Canon 916? Where is the Canon Law that gives Bishops permission for that one to be ignored?

The Pope, the PCED and the Bishop's really haven't a leg to stand on in continuing to deny the SSPX the right to "Full Communion", mainly because they have been so inconsistent with applying the rules of Canon Law concerning them (and other weighty matters as noted above). The SSPX doesn't deny the Papacy, Transubstantiation or the validity of Vatican II in general (only those texts in obvious error), so where is the continued justification for their exclusion from "Full Communion", absent the unjustly enforced Canon Law(s)?

So... everyone should just stop with all the clarifications of Pope Francis's letter and motives and get on with your Catholic lives and enjoy - and stand in awe of - the manifestation of the power of the Holy Ghost over his Church this past September 1, in the Year of Our Lord, 2015.

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved