Back to Bishop Huonder, not for any personal reason, but for the universal confusion which he illustrates. On the day when he resigned from being head of Switzerland’s major Diocese of Chur to take up residence in the Traditional SSPX boys’ school of Wangs in the Diocese of St Gallen, his move may have seemed so surprising, that on the same day he issued two explanations, one for Tradition and the other for the mainstream Church. Here are the key words from each explanation, which distort neither explanation by their being taken out of their full context.
To his former colleagues and lay-folk in the Diocese of Chur he wrote about his retirement to Wangs: “In accordance with the mind of Pope Francis I shall strive there (in Wangs) to contribute to the unity of the Church, not by excluding anyone but rather by discerning, following and integrating people.” For the Traditional Catholics among whom he was about to retire, he co-signed with the SSPX Superior General, Fr David Pagliarani, a joint Statement containing these words: “The one and only purpose of Bishop Huonder’s retiring within a house of the SSPX is to devote himself to prayer and silence, to celebrating exclusively the Tridentine Mass and to working for Tradition as the only way to renew the Church.”
But how can the honourable Bishop not see the contradiction between his two explanations? Ever since Francis became Pope in 2013, who has not seen the almost daily flow of words and deeds by which this Pope means Catholics to leave behind the Church of Tradition? Who has not sensed the deep and instinctive repugnance, which he shares with all the Conciliar churchmen who wrought the revolution of Vatican II, for the Church as it was before the Council? How can Bishop Huonder not see that between the “mind of Pope Francis” and “Tradition” there is a great gulf fixed?
If he is imagining that the “mind of Pope Francis” is other than what it is, or if he is hoping that it can be brought to be other than what it is, then on all previous showing the Pope will surely correct him swiftly and firmly as to the true state of his mind. On the other hand if the Bishop is imagining or hoping that Tradition is not what it is, here alas we must admit that he can well have been deceived by the 20-year slide from what the Society of St Pius X was under Archbishop Lefebvre to what the Newsociety has become under his successors. Under the Archbishop it was the Church’s single greatest fortress of the Catholic doctrine, sacraments and morals of all time, but once his personal magnetism died with him in 1991, then within a mere few years the official magnetism of Rome that draws all Catholics re-asserted itself, and the Society began with GREC its change into the Newsociety to fit in with Rome’s Newchurch. Probably Bishop Huonder sees no contradiction because he wants to help that change along.
But how about the Bishop’s co-signer on the joint Statement for Traditionalists, i.e. the Newsociety’s Superior General, Fr Pagliarani? Obviously he knows what Pope Francis is up to, and certainly he knew 20 years ago what the Archbishop understood by Tradition. So when he co-signed the Statement, did he know of the Bishop’s simultaneous intention to work in Wangs both “in accordance with the Pope’s mind” and “for Tradition”? And if he knew of the double intention, did he too see no contradiction? And if he sees the contradiction now, what has he done about the Trojan Horse, however well-intentioned, within the gates of Tradition? Perhaps he is saying to himself, “Oh, it hardly matters. The Archbishop wanted us to look after Newchurch priests (yes, but not Trojan Horses). Bishop Huonder is a nice man. We are all nice. We will all get along. Contradiction is more of a problem in theory than it is in practice, etc . . .”
If that is indeed how the Newgeneral is thinking, then he has caught the Conciliar disease, and the Society is truly sunk, while the Mushsociety is set fair to sail happily for ever after on the Mushchurch seas of confusion and contradiction. But woe to souls!