Journeys since mid-December, to North America and France, have enabled me to observe within the Society of St Pius X a dangerous state of indetermination. Where the District Superior is not blind, the danger is for the moment held back somewhat, so that resistance is puzzled. Where however the District Superior is a willing servant of SSPX headquarters, there the movement towards the Newchurch forges ahead, but also the Resistance is taking shape. What is at stake?
Ever since the breakout of Protestantism, the world has been sliding further and further away from God. Thanks to the Council of Trent (1545–1563), the Catholic Church held firm, but thanks to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) the official Catholic Church joined in the slide. Then thanks mainly (but not only!) to Archbishop Lefebvre (1905–1991), relics of the Church of Trent gathered themselves together to form amidst the desert of modernity a Catholic oasis, the SSPX. But where the mighty Church had not been able to resist, it was, sure enough, merely a matter of time before the puny SSPX would be tempted in its turn to join in the slide.
However, just as at Vatican II the Church’s official leadership was obliged to pretend that it was not breaking with the Tridentine Church (such is, for instance, Benedict XVI’s “hermeneutic of continuity”), so the SSPX’s official leadership is now obliged to pretend that it is not breaking with Archbishop Lefebvre. Thus, like most politicians of the last 500 years, these SSPX leaders are talking to the right while walking to the left, because that is what a large number of people want, namely the appearance of Christianity without its substance (cf. II Tim. III, 1–5, especially verse 5). Like Descartes, such leaders “advance behind a mask,” seeking to disguise their move to the left beneath words to the right, or words clearly ambiguous.
What happened in the SSPX last spring, as Fr Chazal says, is that the mask came off, because the SSPX leadership must have calculated that the time had come for it to make its open move back into the mainstream Church. Alas for these leaders, there emerged between March and June enough resistance to block at the SSPX General Chapter in July any immediate attempt to join the Newchurch. And so from that Chapter onwards, the mask has gone back on. But liberals do not convert, short of a miracle of grace, because leftwardness is their real religion. That is why the SSPX leaders are surely waiting for the modern world, flesh and devil to continue their work of pulling SSPX clergy and laity to the left so that within a few years at most there will no longer be any significant resistance, as there was last summer, to the SSPX rejoining the Newchurch.
This leaves the SSPX betwixt and between. However, as the common sense of Archbishop Lefebvre remarked, superiors mould subjects and not the other way round. That is why, unless the present SSPX leaders are displaced by a miracle, the SSPX is doomed to be dissolved within the Newchurch. One can hardly say the punishment would not have been deserved. But let us pray to the Mother of God for some miracles of her Divine Son’s mercy.