I know that I had committed to working on a series on the virtues.
However, the continuous stream of nonsense coming from the resistance does periodically require an answer, if only for the sake of justice.
Tony La Rosa (a Toronto based 'Resistor' aka ecclesiamilitans) has posted an article about the 'internal resistance' of those priests who disagree with the 'new direction' of the SSPX.
I'd like to to point out a few things.
First, the 'new direction' is actually not new at all. The SSPX has always been willing, following the Catholic principle of obedience, to obey the authorities of the Church. Provided the conditions for such obedience are met. The now superceded doctrinal declaration, as discussed here, is almost completely the same as that signed by Archbishop Lefebvre, and as he stated there was nothing wrong with the document itself.
Second, what is the 'tsunami of evidence' that Mr. La Rosa claims exists? The SSPX has not compromised on neither the Second Vatican Council, nor the New Mass.
What has happened is that the difference between the principles held by the SSPX and that of the 'resistors' has come to light.
The two principles that trip the resistance the most are: Obedience and the Church.
Let's look at what Mr. La Rosa has to say.
TLR: For those who support internal clergy and lay resistance within the SSPX, I firmly believe your resistance is futile. The time has long passed for internal resistance. Bishop Fellay and the SSPX leaders have firmly shown that they will not change from their current path of desiring to place themselves under Modernist Rome. We have three years and a tsunami of evidence to prove this.Well the fallacy here is that Mr. La Rosa believes that the leadership of the SSPX is seeking a canonical regularization and is willing to compromise. Here we have the issue with obedience. If the authorities in Rome call, the SSPX goes. It is that simple. To refuse is to simply take a step towards schism. A Catholic must always be willing to hear and obey a legitimate command. One cannot hear the command if one is schismatic and breaks of ties / communications with Rome.
In other words, it is ok for Rome to stop issuing legitimate commands, but not for the SSPX to stop listening for them.
TLR: Nevertheless, they will not achieve their goal of turning the tide of their leadership away from the direction towards Modernist Rome. The reality is they belong, as in any organization, to a religious union in which the purpose and goals are defined by the leadership.Here again, we have the issue with obedience and the Church. Mr. La Rosa is correct - the Priest belong to a religious congregation and have pledged obedience to their superiors. What Mr. La Rosa is advocating is the abandoning of the principle of obedience. The second issue is the 'direction towards Modernist Rome'. This is a root issue because one common element amongst the 'resistance' is their belief that the organization united under Pope Francis is not the Catholic Church. This creates as many problems as does the sede-vacantist thesis.
I still marvel that the 'resistance' believes it is possible to follow the path of Archbishop Lefebvre by abandoning Catholic Teaching.
TLR: In July 2012, all the leaders of the SSPX gathered and published a declaration of their new position. It is now three years later and there have been no signs of movement away from that position.Just to be clear, here are the six conditions laid down in 2012.
Sine qua non conditions:
- The freedom to preserve, transmit and teach the sound doctrine of the constant Magisterium of the Church and of the unchangeable truth of divine Tradition; the freedom to prohibit, correct and reprove, even publicly, those who foment the errors or innovations of modernism, liberalism, the Second Vatican Council and their consequences;
- The freedom to use the 1962 liturgy exclusively. To preserve the sacramental practice that we presently have (including: Holy Orders, Confirmation, Matrimony);
- A guarantee of at least one bishop.
- Society should have its own tribunals, in the first instance,
- Exemption of houses of the SSPX from the diocesan bishops,
- A Pontifical Commission in Rome for Tradition “answering directly to the Pope, with the majority of its members and governing board in favor of Tradition.”
The resistance believes the 'Rome must convert first' and they would dictate terms of surrender to Rome.
Sorry, that's not how one treats their superior. The above conditions, in my opinion, constitute what the SSPX believes will fulfill at least materially the conditions for obedience. At that time the SSPX will convene a special chapter.
TLR: Therefore, I believe it is time for the SSPX priests and laity who do not support the new direction to make their move out of the SSPX. Those who think they can continue to internally resist with hope of success are fooling themselves. If anything, they place themselves in danger of adopting the new direction. Look how many have done exactly this thus far. Remember that Archbishop Lefebvre taught that it is the superiors that make the subjects. This was true then and it is true now.Here we have the call of non-serviam from a lay-man to the Priests of the SSPX.
I guess the engagements that these same members made before the open tabernacle to obey their superiors means nothing to Tony La Rosa. Well, if a member, such as Fr. Girouard before them, decides to renew his engagement and then renege on his promise - I think such a person is better out of the SSPX.
When the SSPX is regularized with no-compromise, the fight will really begin and the faint of heart will just be a burden to the rest of us.
Pray for fortitude and study the Catechism.
PS. I expect that the feverish minds of the 'resistance' will launch off into various conspiracy theories at the phrase 'when the sspx is regularized with no-compromise'. Not to worry, if a person follows the virtue of obedience and cannot prudentially discern immediate or proximate sin, then God will protect them from coming to harm from their obedience.