Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Frustrating and Confusing

Has anyone else been following the Catholic Blogosphere lately? There is so much hullabaloo going on regarding what some people call the SSPX and others the FSSPX. Some call it the Fraternity and others the Society. I think some people put an F in front of the S just to look smart. "See, I KNOW THE REAL NAME! So I'm going to call it the FSSPX!" People do the same thing with the TLM. Sometimes its the "usus antiquor" (OOOOOO!), sometimes the Extraordinary Form, or the TLM. I never see "Tridentine Mass" anymore. With the FSSPX thing I think some put that F in there just to take a snipe at the actual Fraternity, the one of St. Peter. (FSSP) But lets get back to my point...

This whole situation with the SSPX is something I need to learn more about. I'm going to borrow one of my friend's books by Marcel Lefevbre soon. In this post, I do not mean to argue either for or against their cause. This post is just a comment on what the situation appears to be surrounded, which is "confustion". I have no personal beef with the Society at all. That includes (and especially) the layfolk who attend their masses. In fact I'm sympathetic but not all that supportive at the moment. I'm not going to go into that. However, in some cases I believe there really is an actual necessity to attend one of their chapels...

The entire situation feeds off of confusion. Whatever the motives for the rift, er, irregular communion, er, schism (no), or whatever you call it...nobody seems to know exactly what the heck is going on. Besides, everyone uses different terms to say the same thing, right?

Take for instance the start of the whole thing. The Archbishop consecrated 4 bishops in 1988 without permission from the Holy Father, John Paul II. They were all excommunicated along with another co-consecrating bishop. That much is known but not really. The SSPX (FSSPX, sigh) and their supporters say they were illegitimate excommunications. Okay... So we are forever in a state of limbo on that one. Schism? Not? Hrm...

So are their priests excommunicated? The Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei would have you think so. The contemporary Holy See is more vague but I suppose they don't think so. The are suspended for sure. No faculties for confessions or weddings.

So are their confessions valid? Some say yes, some no. The "Yes" people appear to claim what we call a case of necessity. The "No" people say they are not valid because you need faculties from your Ordinary to hear valid confessions. My question is: Why would you play with this?

Fast forward to the past week. We heard all kinds of reports saying they rejected the 5 conditions from Cardinal Hoyos. Bp Fellay seemed to say so. Then later on he said "well, yes but not really." Now we hear that Card. Hoyos is "satisfied." Yet an official statement from the SSPX is kind of straddling the fence.

Which is exactly where the whole thing appears to have started. Consider: In order for someone to commit grave sin, such as the act of schism (which IS grave) there must be full knowledge of the wrong done. Clearly this situation is engineered either by one side or the other or both to keep the waters murky. There is no clear cut answer for anything on any one point of contention.

Just venting my frustrations. Pray for all involved.

p.s. This is a poorly written entry. I am aware of that. I also didn't include any links to any documents or websites. Nor do I intend to. That type of thing tends to attract fire. Remember my Jehobah's Witnesses post?!

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"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton