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.
If reports are to be believed, the SSPX has signed the doctrinal preamble likely paving the way for the regularization of the traditionalist society. I am on record that I believe this ultimately to be a very good thing for the Church and I am personally very excited about it. It will likely be some time more days, or weeks, or who knows until we know the contents of the text that was reportedly signed and the status of the Society.
I think this is a good thing. Others think this is a very very good thing.
I have seen comments saying that the war against, well they don't actually say against whom, but the war against the presumably doctrinally and liturgically challenged has been won with this one stroke of the pen (Oh and the whole Resurrection thing too.) Puppets masses are a thing of the past, there will be mass converts to Latin masses, priests will be turning back to the Lord and away from the happy clappers in the pews, Gregorian chant will be sung on the streets, handshakes will once again be reserved for buying a used car, the sales of ankle length skirts will skyrocket, and heretics of every stripe will soon be banished.
Can you say irrational exuberance?
Louie Verrecchio writing at CNA the other day thought that this event might signal a major housecleaning by the Pope. Even while acknowledging that it might be wishful thinking, Mr. Verrechio speculated...
It may just be hopefulness on my part, but on Holy Thursday, Pope Benedict may have hinted at what the aforementioned program of restoration might include when he spoke so eloquently about the importance of kneeling. “When menaced by the power of evil, as (Christians) kneel, they are upright before the world, while as sons and daughters, they kneel before the Father. Before God’s glory we Christians kneel and acknowledge his divinity; by that posture we also express our confidence that he will prevail,” he said invoking an imagery of battle. Could it be that the Holy Father is signaling a universal mandate requiring the reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue, something the SSPX and many others in the Church would surely welcome?
Maybe. Probably not.
I think some perspective is in order. The SSPX, for all its obedience problems for the past years, was still much more Catholic in belief than wide swaths of Catholics under no kind of interdict. The SSPX has been made to sign on the Vatican II dotted line for the privilege of being called fully Catholic again. At the same time, there are Bishops, priests, and even almost entire orders that publicly oppose Church teaching in the areas of faith and morals without the idea of repercussions ever entering into to their progressive little minds. If you believe that everything that the Church taught before 1965 is 100% true, good, and holy you must still sign on the dotted line accepting 1965-2012. If you exaggerate, distort, and twist what happened at and after the council and reject large chunks of all that came before, you are free to go. Nothing to see here. They stroll about the piazza as if they own the joint.
No, we have a long long way to go.
Bringing the SSPX back into the fold is a great thing for the souls involved and I think that they will help be an example to others. But their integration will be very painful, very. So if this really happens as it appears it will, let us rejoice. But let us also be realistic. The gates of hell will never prevail, we have the Lord's promise on that. But in the meantime, things may even get worse before they get better. But at least now we will have some really good people bearing it with us.