I have written several postings about the Society of St Pius X, and have expressed my disagreement with many of their doctrinal and political positions. I have also deplored, in the light of books and statements from the 1970’s and 80’s, the way they have been treated by Rome – and the utter lack of understanding of each other’s culture.
The Society’s promised declaration to the Holy See has just been made public: Rome-SSPX: Declaration of the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X sent to the Holy See.
I find the most significant passage in this entire text is the following:
The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.
Some may find it preposterous that anyone should say that the “ecclesiastical authorities” should “return to Tradition”. The meaning of tradition has been hashed out between the two “sides” for years. Tradition is either something fixed, like a book, like the Bible or a liturgical rite – or it is a “hermeneutic of continuity” or a “development” as in Newman’s thought. There is still a problem in distinguishing a “hermeneutic of continuity” from one of rupture. It’s all so tiring. It could all go on until hell itself freezes over!
The problems aren’t the same with the Anglicans, the TAC, the ordinariates and all the rest, but a parallel is to be seen. It cannot be denied. The summer holidays seem to be over and winter seems to be returning – and I’m not talking about our bad weather in northern Europe! I am talking metaphorically about the “seasons” in the Church.
Some say the Pope has brought the ship about to sail on the other tack, and is now appeasing the hard-line “liberals”. I find that idea just as preposterous. Or is it?
The fact remains that many of us have “missed the train” and can only wait and carry on with our lives as best we can. There, the SSPX clergy talk sense. Who can blame them when push comes to shove?