Oh, if only Cardinal Burke were here to answer such questions! But he has lately been officially removed from his previous position of prominence. How inconvenient for us that such a spokesman for the more Traditional Catholics be removed from Pope Francis' circle. I also have heard that our pope doesn't read books. It could just be a rumor.
As Pope Francis continues to lose the trust of a great amount of Catholics in this fallen world, it becomes harder to confront Catholics who seem to splinter into their own directions--the Sedevacantists (who deny the pope's real) obviously, but also the SSPX. How can anyone declare that the SSPX is an invalid order that is out of communion with Rome and in schism in a climate like this?
In a time where it is very difficult to draw distinctions, I wonder if this is one of the most important times to draw that distinction.
In the latest news, an Argentinian bishop has joined Bishop Semeraro in threatening excommunication to those who participate in the SSPX.
A recent article by Dr. Jeff Mirus has noted that the SSPX constitutes a direct attack on ordinary episcopal jurisdiction in the Catholic Church. No bishop can send priests into another bishop’s diocese to administer the sacraments without those priests receiving faculties from the local ordinary. To do so is an assault on the proper authority of the local ordinary, who receives his jurisdiction from the successor of Peter. For a Catholic to utilize the ministry of SSPX priests is an escape from the jurisdiction of his real bishop and, by extension, of the Catholic Church itself.
But most of all, will the followers of the SSPX be capable of handling objective questions like these? Or will we merely be reduced to protests of rhetoric?
With these facts in mind, does it not boil down to the idea that the SSPX are thieves?
Is it not inconceivable that the SSPX robs the Church in the same was as Protestant factions rob potential converts?
Most Traditional-minded Catholics are upset at the Novus Ordo Modernist Movement for how it takes the Sacred Host and places it into trivial, novel, gimmicky positions. Modernist priests use their authority to "do something on their own." Can it not be said that SSPX priests take that same authority and run off to "do something on their own?" In that context, the SSPX is guilty of the same thing as modernist priests.
When the latter points are raised, the common reply from SSPX friendlies is "Yes, it's a big mess. But I trust the SSPX. They are faithful in their liturgy, they maintain the teachings of the Church, and my local SSPX chapel is growing so fast."
So, your local SSPX chapel may be "bursting at the seams," but at some point, so was the Protestant megachurch, Church on the Move. And yes, it appears that the SSPX has many fruits. But don't adherents to the Medjugorje phenomenon also boast of all its fruits? Don't people who rush overseas to Medjugorje love to brag about how much they encourage prayer and saying the rosary?
Yes, the SSPX came to Oklahoma City and led a procession around the grounds that gave witness to Oklahoma's evil public Satanic Black Mass. But if this group is irregular and not recognized by the Church, then what good comes of it? It merely draws people away from where they should be, and ultimately, endangers souls.
Could it not be said that some of the fruits the SSPX yield are the various condemnations from the Catholic Church--an institution whose authority the SSPX claims to recognize? "Yes, we recognize the 'conciliar' Church's authority, and yes, they are condemning us, but our numbers are bursting at the seams, and we're sooo Traditional!"
And yet, I cannot help but wonder, if the SSPX is truly irregular and distinct from the Catholic Church, then how can we reconcile different prophecies that speak of a time when a pope will be non-canonically elected, that we will have a time when there are two Churches are in existence (the Catholic Church, and a Counter-Church), and that for a time the Church will be deprived of her Chief Pastor?*
With every goofy novelty coming out of the Vatican, Sedevacantists and SSPX supporters are only given more fuel for their fire, and they only feel ever-the-more justified for their stance.
If there is to be a bad pope and a Counter-Church, would not this time that we live in strongly resemble such a time? Doesn't the glove fit the hand?
|Those who preserve their fervor and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics." St. Francis of Assisi. |
Was he talking about the SSPX?
*See the prophecy of St. Francis of Assisi and the predictions of Father Sylvester Berry and Msr. Fulton Sheen, among others.