Most readers of these “Comments” have probably understood by now the grave problem that is paralysing the defence of the Faith by the Society of St Pius X, and they might rather read of other things. But such is the mess created in millions of people’s minds by the global falling away from the Faith that I think one can hardly analyse too much today the nature of the Faith, the need of the Faith and how it gets undermined. Let me then, without wishing to harp on the SSPX’s recent misfortunes or misdemeanours, borrow one more example from its history of last year.
The Society’s General Chapter of July, 2012, was hailed immediately afterwards by many of its participants as a triumph of Society unity over the distress and tensions of the several previous months. Since that time however, a more sober view of the Chapter has taken over from the euphoria, and a number of those who took part in it see it rather as having been a disaster for the Society. One of the participants, or capitulants as they are called, has described the fatal moment when the Society’s leading 39 priests (myself excluded) put their own Society and Superiors in front of the doctrine of the Faith, just as the mass of Catholic bishops had done at Vatican II.
The Chapter’s deliberations proper opened with a serious doctrinal attack by the Rector of the SSPX seminary in Écône on the mid-April Doctrinal Declaration by which the SSPX had officially been ready to compromise with the neo-modernists in Rome on the Council, on the New Mass, on the New Code of Canon Law and on Pope Benedict’s “hermeneutic of continuity.” The attack was expressed in moderate and respectful terms, but it was most grave in substance. It meant in effect that whoever had drafted the Declaration, or encouraged its being submitted to Rome, was incompetent in Catholic doctrine. If they were consciously incompetent, they were traitors to the Faith. If unconsciously, they were unfit to be at the head of a Catholic Congregation founded to defend the Faith. So a hush fell upon the Chapter as capitulants began to realize how grave was the implicit accusation against their Superiors.
But then the Rector of the Society’s seminary in Argentina broke the hush by saying that the Chapter could not possibly administer a slap to its Superior General by requiring of him to retract his Declaration. That retraction, he said, would be implicit in the Chapter’s final Declaration. Then some other capitulant raised a different point, and the Chapter slid on to other business. However, the doctrinal problem of the treacherous mid-April Declaration was properly resolved neither by the Chapter’s final Declaration or six Conditions for a future agreement with Rome, nor by any clear subsequent retraction on the part of the Superior General himself, on the contrary. And the Society continues to be led in practice in accordance with the same policy of being gentle with the enemies of the Faith in Rome, who tear to pieces the Faith and with it the Church.
How could the capitulants not see that “respect for Superiors” was being put in front of the Faith? How could they not insist that the doctrinal problem, by far the most important problem in front of the whole Chapter, should be made clear, until all of them could fully grasp what action needed to be taken immediately, and not cleverly postponed until the end of the Chapter? The answer must be that collectively they were, like the bishops of Vatican II, children of the modern world for whom the doctrine of the Faith is not a vital necessity, but just something one learns in the seminary to become a priest, and then honours, but more or less disregards. Readers, read!