Slings and Arrows
For the past five grueling months the pages of Catholic Rural Solutions has been replete with articles and issues concerning the events building up to and surrounding the Church and the SSPX, the so-called Crisis of Tradition. It has been a matter of serious concern, deliberation, prayer, and pleading for discernment for many of the Faithful. From a personal perspective I’ve suffered many a sleepless night not only cogitating on what was happening but also praying for ALL parties involved that they may, through the Wisdom of Holy Ghost, see clearly the dangerous straits that we were in. During this time, I’ve been in heated private email and in-person debates with prelates and laity alike, pointing out the shoals and eddies which could bring to an end the efforts of nearly half a century of valiant fighting in defense of the orthodox Catholic Faith. I scrupulously avoided any inflammatory remarks, hearsay, or conspiratorial theories from entering into my articles; neither did I engage in gossip or rumor. I only repeated verifiable news already available in print or online, and this was also verifiable in SSPX or Vatican documents and websites. I neither took sides, nor resorted to ad hominem attacks, but strictly stated, over and over, that I would continue to follow tradition no matter the circumstance. I drew on my 60 years of life, steeped in Catholic school education and practice, to simply compare what is the situation now compared to the pre-Vatican Council II era, and the radical departure and rupture it represented from past Magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church going back to the Apostles and to the very Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. Further I did not engage in useless speculation as to the motives of the parties involved because it would not only be useless to say what is in the mind of another, but also I understood that ALL thought they were acting in the best interest of not only the SSPX but the Church as a whole. In short, my articles were balanced, fair, and to the factual point. I defended the Faith with not only the best of my abilities but also because I took seriously the responsibilities conferred by Confirmation to be a Soldier of Christ.
A wise priest once said to me that no matter how small a role we take the moment we stand for a principle or cause we become a target. As we learn our Faith and read of the martyrs and great saints and their trials and tribulations, we assume that persecutions will come from outside the Faith, however, even Our Lord, Jesus Christ, suffered on account of His own people. SO how much less can we expect. Indeed, from the moment I sounded the alarm of the dangers back in May 2012, longtime friends separated from me quicker than bystanders in a saloon scene in a John Wayne western. Why, you could almost hear stools shrieking across bare-wood barroom floors! I was attacked and labeled everything from a sower of the seeds of doubt, to rigorist, (a term used by the Novus Ordo to describe those who adhere to traditional worship), to a personal-cult follower, and even compared to the very heresiarch himself …Martin Luther; not by outsiders but by good traditional Catholics, fellow parishioners and even those closer to me. Such slings and arrows, while deeply wounding, did not deter me from defending the Faith not as I saw it, but from deep and meditative prayer, discernment, and from what a lifetime of lived Catholic education and Faith had taught me. Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t compare myself or my trials to what our brave martyrs suffered but merely state what occurred. …and I’m not alone in this. Many risked far more, and still suffer for it.
With all that said, it would appear that much of the sufferings, trials, and consternations of the recent past may have not been in vain. There are increasing reports that His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay, SSPX has told a group of professors, seminarians, and priests that he was deceived by Pope Benedict and the Vatican. It is further reported that several of the leadership of the Society have reported that there will be no further attempts at reconciliation with Rome until there is a true conversion to the traditional integrity of the Catholic Church. Certainly, this is most excellent news. Note that while I don’t have any official documents concerning this, there is enough corroborating evidence from reliable sources within the SSPX that supports this report to a great degree. Additionally, recent editions of the SSPX.Org Updates, (http://sspx.org/index.htm ) have begun to once again resume their defense of the traditional and orthodox Catholic Faith.
Here is the web citation from Ignis Ardens which seems to have scooped the story, (and seems to have broken other news over the past five months):
Meantime, the SSPX and the traditional movement within the
Catholic Church is wounded. It is now a time of healing. A rebuilding of confidence must now be achieved and that is best done through forgiveness. Mistakes were made on all sides… it is time we put things back in order by once again recognizing our dissident clerics and Faithful who, though often unable to choose the right words or convey the precise implication, were well-meaning in their assessment and discernment of danger. We must let bygones be bygones and move on with a solid mission of being the formidable conscience of the Catholic Church until the time is ripe for us to enter into, what they call, full communion, but we refer to as their conversion. The time of forgiveness is at hand and isn’t that one of the key tenets of the Catholic Church?
The purpose of this article was to inform the readership of the latest developments and not to relish the taste of vindication. Though I admit there is some small satisfaction in dispelling the label hung around my neck of being a sower of seeds of doubt, rather I would like to be remembered as the Watchman on the Wall alerting the Faithful to potential dangers, as well as, to live my obligation to defend the Faith imposed by my Confirmation.
Now let’s pray for complete healing of all those in the traditional movement of the Catholic Church and for unity of all members of the SSPX. Continue to pray the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These trials are but a foretaste of things to come should this Consecration not be done satisfactorily.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.