The official press release coming from Society of St Pius X Headquarters on Friday two weeks ago, of the meeting held on the previous day between the Society’s Superior General and Rome’s Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, is full of good words. What remains to be seen is how these words will translate into acts on the part of the new Superior General.
The press release contains seven paragraphs. The first two paragraphs introduce Cardinal Ladaria and Father Pagliarani with their respective colleagues, and state that it was the Cardinal who invited Fr Pagliarani to Rome to discuss the state of relations between Rome and the Society, as they may be evolving since Fr Pagliarani’s election as the Society’s new Superior General last July. The third and fourth paragraphs place the problem between Rome and the Society exactly where it belongs, in the domain of doctrine. Here they are, in the full text:—
(3) In the course of the meeting with the Roman authorities, it was recalled that the underlying problem is well and truly doctrinal, and neither Rome nor the Society can get around that fact. It is the unyielding divergence of doctrine which has for the last seven years frustrated every attempt to work out any statement of doctrine acceptable to both sides. Here is why the question of doctrine remains absolutely basic. (4) The Holy See is saying nothing different when it solemnly states that there can be no setting up of any juridical status for the Society until a document doctrinal in character has been signed.
However, the fifth paragraph proceeds to conclude that “Everything therefore impels the Society to re-open theological Discussions,” their purpose being not so much to convince the Romans as to bring before the Church the Society’s uncompromising witness to the Faith. The last two paragraphs give expression to the Society’s trust in Providence. Its future lies in the hands of God and His Blessed Mother. (End of press release)
Alas, one may well question whether it is useful or prudent to seek to re-open Doctrinal Discussions with these Romans. As one of the four Society representatives commented on the four Roman representatives after the last series of such Discussions held from 2009 to 2011, “They are mentally sick, but it is they who have the authority.” This comment was not meant personally, rather it testifies with precision to the incapacity of the Roman Neo-modernists to grasp the very essence of Catholic doctrine, namely its objective character, allowing of no subjective interference. Almighty God means what He says, He says it through His Church, and so there can be no question of re-moulding for modern times – as did Vatican II – what His Church always and unchangingly said before Vatican II. How then can today’s Romans be loyal to God’s Church and at the same time to Vatican II without either their minds being sick with contradiction, or their having a completely false idea of the Church?
That being so, if and when the Holy See issues a press release on the same meeting of November 22, it will be interesting to see how they present the prospect of a re-opening of the Doctrinal Discussions. They certainly want Discussions, in the hope of luring the new Superior General out of his impregnable fortress of Church doctrine, but their own Conciliar doctrine can only be false insofar as it departs from that Tradition. And so the two great arguments available to them must be, as always, authority and unity, disregarding doctrine. But what is Catholic authority when it no longer serves Truth? And what is Catholic unity if it unites around a pack of slippery lies (Vatican II)? Alas, authority and unity are the only legs that these Conciliar Romans have to stand on.
Therefore, honourable Superior General, here is an act to follow your words: why not make public a clear and fair summary of the record of the last Doctrinal Discussions of 2009–2011? You would be backing your fine doctrinal paragraphs of November 23 with a real doctrinal act!