Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
It is no secret that I am sympathetic to many of the issues that the SSPX hold dear and I was very desirous of their recognition last year and I was disappointed when the deal fell through.
It is also no secret that I am not a big fan of the Pope's extemporaneous remarks. But for all that, the reality is the Pope has not actually done anything or changed anything. The Catholic Church from last year is the same Catholic Church this year, for good or for bad. Media swooning aside, nothing has changed, at least not yet.
So it is that the recent remarks of the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bp. Bernard Fellay are unhinged, unhelpful, and unrealistic.
“The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”
"When we see what is happening now we thank God, we thank God, we have been preserved from any kind of Agreement from last year. "
“If the present pope continues in the way he started, he is going to divide the Church. He’s exploding everything. So people will say: it is impossible that’s he’s the Pope, we refuse him. Others will say: “Wait, consider him as Pope, but don’t follow him. He’s provoking anger. Many people will be discouraged by what people in the Church do” and will be tempted to “throw it all away.”
"We have in front of us a genuine Modernist.”
And so on...
Again, other than some poorly chosen words, the Pope has not changed anything.
Even so, the SSPX is rushing to the microphone to shout to anyone who will listen (a number which approaches zero) that Pope Francis' actions prove that they have been right all along!!!
No it doesn't. If anything, it proves that the Church is right to keep you at arm's length.
But let's suppose for a moment that you are right. Pope Francis is a genuine modernist. He will further detach the liturgy from tradition preferring novelty. And that his future actions will cause the Church to divide itself.
Say, for the sake of argument, that all of the SSPX's worst fears are realized. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep your stupid traps shut until he actually does these things?
Everybody who cares about such things is well aware of the SSPX's adherence to Tradition as they see it. So if these things actually came to fruition, which I do not expect and pray do not happen, then people would naturally consider the reasoned arguments of the SSPX. But by seeking to climb further out on the schismatic limb and risking it breaking altogether, they do not present themselves as the reasonable alternative to a modernistic Church.
Instead, they prefer their own feelings and traditions over that of the Church, separating themselves in a fit of pique, at a time when they think the Church will need them most according to their thinking. That shows what their priorities are right now.
By choosing to use such vitriolic language toward the Pope, assuming and expecting the worst of the Pope, being so dismissive of recent Popes, and using overly dramatic and unreasoned language toward the liturgy, they help no one, particularly themselves.
If the SSPX really believes what they are saying, they would shut up and let modernism destroy itself and be there to help pick up the pieces. Instead, like petulant children, they would rather crow about how right they have been all along, counting their modernist chickens before they hatch.
Dear SSPX, if you really care about the Church, pray and shut up.