Pope Francis and the SSPX

In all the tumult that has erupted within Church since the election of Pope Francis, one voice has been relatively silent: That of the SSPX.

I will admit that I was somewhat surprised by the lack of response (so far) to the Pope's 12,000 word 'interview'.

... or has it been?

On sspx.org there is a continual stream of posts about the crisis in the Church, including old articles restating the positions of the SSPX.

However, on the one hand, the amount of questionable statements by the Pope is enormous and could occupy a legion sifting through the various comments made and reported every day.

But, I have noticed that whenever Pope Francis has made a deliberate comment (not just an off-the-cuff statement), there exists calm commentary.

For example, concerning the day of prayer and fasting we have the following comment:
The call for peace is certainly a good one. One could wish that the Holy Father would make the connection between peace on earth and fidelity to the divine will and invite people to seek more directly peace from the only One who can give it: Our Lord Jesus Christ, Rex Pacificus. The distinction between legitimate and illegitimate violence is necessary, just as, the distinction between true peace and false peace. (Source)
or this:
Behind this innocent question there lurks the concept that if priestly celibacy is not totally a doctrinal matter, then it is pretty much up for grabs as some heated minds are all too ready to exact from the comments of Pope Francis. (Source)

It is almost as if the leadership of the SSPX has come to the realization, in this stage of the crisis of the Church, inflammatory rhetoric would not help the situation.  Instead, it has adopted a simple maxim of their founder, paraphrased as:
Do not get emotional in arguing, it is not your truth, it is the Church's truth. (Archbishop Lefebvre as related by a former novice)
It is also possible that the SSPX has internalized the criticism of Dr. Lamont:
... I believe that there are some criticisms to be made of the Society’s position towards the Council. The Society tends to focus as much on the claim that the council contains errors as on denouncing the errors that it believes the council to contain. This gets priorities wrong. After all, there is no profit in a Catholic’s accepting that the council contains errors without learning what these errors were; whereas a Catholic who learns that the errors taught by the council are to be avoided, but who remains ignorant of the council’s having taught them, greatly benefits thereby – and is not really any the worse for his ignorance of the council’s assertions. The basis for objecting to the council’s having taught errors, after all, is that such teaching leads Catholics to accept these errors. If the Society were to focus on upholding its positive positions on doctrine, it would be in a much stronger position with respect to the Holy See and the Church generally. Rather than being in the position of defending the claim that some conciliar and post-conciliar teachings are false, it would put its opponents on the defensive, by saying “here are these authoritative teachings; all Catholics must accept them”. If its opponents are not to reject the authority of Church teaching altogether, they must either accept these teachings, or else claim that the Second Vatican Council had abolished them and hence accept that the council actually did reject previous teaching. Now that Benedict XVI has officially rejected the latter position, this approach by the Society would eventually force Catholics who intend to be loyal to the magisterium to accept the former. (source)
In this case, demonstrate the doctrine as pronounced by the Magisterium and then demonstrate where the Second Vatican Council contravened these doctrines.

Regardless of this last possibility, from my arguments with various online personalities that are unsatisfied with the way the SSPX is handling its criticism of the Pope, I do know one thing: The calm and patient approach is what convinces rather than the inflammatory 'conspiracy theory' rhetoric.

After all, it is not our truth, it is the Church's truth.

Keep Calm and Carry On



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