It was widely known that Bishop Huonder (BpH) of the official diocese of Chur, Switzerland, when he is due to retire in April at the age of 77, was due to take up official residence for his autumn years in a boys’ school of the Society of St Pius X in Wangs, Switzerland. There was even a rumour circulating, from a close collaborator with two previous Superior Generals of the SSPX, that this same Conciliar bishop would be the principal consecrator of two Society priests to give, with Pope Francis’ full approval, two new bishops to the SSPX, perhaps after Easter. A date so soon for an event so significant is certainly impossible now, but its logic was inexorable, given the Newsociety’s 20-year old policy of blending with the Newchurch.
The same logic was behind BpH’s settling for his retirement in the Society’s school for boys in Wangs. Even as official bishop for one of the largest Newchurch dioceses in Switzerland, he is reported to have made several visits already to the school, and to have made himself popular with the Newsociety priests and boys living there. But he would not be cutting all contact with the Newchurch in Rome. On the contrary, his present diocesan spokesman announced in January that the bishop’s retiring to Wangs in April “is tied to a mission being entrusted to him by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to maintain contact with the SSPX.” Clearly BpH, reputed to be a personal friend of Pope Francis, was planning to act as a link between Newchurch and Newsociety, in the hope of bringing them closer together.
Nor was the hope necessarily dishonest. Many a Newchurchman cannot see (or will not see) the gulf that separates the Catholic religion of God from the Conciliar religion of man. On both sides there exists the wish to pretend that there is no such gulf. On the one hand Catholics find it hard to bear being outside the structure of the Church’s visible Authority, while on the other hand followers of Vatican II need re-assurance that they have not broken with the true Church’s unchanging Tradition. It may be to BpH’s credit that he wanted to settle in a more Catholic environment than the official diocese where he probably has no alternative to giving Communion to young women badly dressed, and no alternative to taking back remarks entirely justified against homosexuality. But “A fact is stronger than the Lord Mayor,” says the English proverb.
The fact is that Vatican II was the greatest break with Catholic Tradition in all Church history. Take for instance the Newmass, which is to the Council as practice is to theory. Would BpH have been asked never to say it in the school? Could he have accepted never to say it? And even if so, could he possibly have admitted that the theory and practice of his priesthood and episcopacy have been immersed in the Conciliar sell-out of God’s true Church to the godless modern world? Could he have shed overnight the convictions of all his tens of years of immersion in the Conciliar Church? Ordained priest in 1971 and consecrated bishop in 2007 with the rites of the revolutionary Paul VI, could he have admitted that to eliminate all doubt as to the Newrites’ validity, he needs to be conditionally re-ordained and re-consecrated? Or would the Newsociety have required neither? That seems most likely, given its recent practice, but how would the Swiss Traditionalists have responded to that? To all appearances Bishop Vitus Huonder may be an honest and well-meaning man, but his honesty is Conciliar, which means that he is loyal to a thoroughly dishonest corruption of the Catholic Faith and Church.
Alas, all over the world Society Traditionalists are being accustomed to the replacing of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society by the Newsociety. Bishop Fellay wanted to establish the SSPX within the walls of official Rome for it to act as a Trojan horse to convert Conciliar Rome. But was not BpH, even granting him all the good will in the world, being placed to act as a Trojan horse within the walls of the Society? One may hope that the school in Wangs would have enabled him to see the gulf between Tradition and the Council, but that is a fond hope. Alice was in Wonderland. The Newsociety wanted to be in Huonderland.