Benedict’s Ecumenism – VI
It was promised that in the last of this series of “Eleison Comments” articles inspired by Dr Wolfgang Schüler’s book on “Benedict XVI and the Church’s View of Itself” its main lesson would be applied to the present situation of the Society of St Pius X. The application has already been suggested: if one can only be Catholic by belonging to the living organism of the Catholic Church, then one will become Conciliar by belonging to the organism of the Conciliar Church.
Benedict XVI holds that Catholic pieces cut off from the Catholic Church still belong to the Church of Christ. Dr Schüler, following Our Lord (Jn. XV, 1–7), argues on the contrary that the Church being a living organism, then branches cut off it wither and die, because it is the plant that gives them its life. It follows that if the SSPX is grafted onto the Conciliar plant which is wholly diseased with the Vatican II religion of man, then the Conciliar plant will transmit its disease to the SSPX. Here are three quotes of Archbishop which express this reality:—
In 1984, well before the Episcopal consecrations of 1988, he condemned in advance the illusion that the SSPX, by “getting back inside the Church would be able to fight, to do this, to do that.” He replied, “That is absolutely untrue. You don’t get back inside a structure, putting yourself beneath its superiors, and expect that once inside you are going to turn everything upside down. The reality is that they have everything they need to strangle us. They have all the authority.”
In 1988, just before the consecrations, he said, “Rome wants everything to go Vatican II, while they leave us a little bit of Tradition. ( . . .) They are not changing their position. We cannot put ourselves in the hands of those people. We would be fooling ourselves. We do not mean to let ourselves be eaten up. ( . . .) Little by little Tradition would be compromised.”
In 1989, soon after the consecrations, he answered the objection that the SSPX would have done more good for the Church by staying inside than by getting itself put outside. He replied,”What Church are we talking about? If you mean the Conciliar Church, then we who have struggled against the Council for 40 years because we want the Catholic Church, we would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion. It is not the subjects that make the superiors, it is the superiors that make the subjects. Amidst the whole Roman Curia, amidst all the world’s bishops who are progressives, I would have been completely swamped. I would have been able to do nothing.”
In conclusion, if by any practical agreement or canonical regularization the SSPX were to put itself under the Conciliar authorities of the Church that are still firmly attached to the ideas of Vatican II, as the Doctrinal Discussions of 2009–2011 amply proved, then its defence of the true Faith would be “strangled, eaten up, swamped.” Grafted into the living Conciliar whole, it could not help receiving from it the diseased Conciliar life. God forbid!