Jun 24, 2006

I'd Like Your Vote

As discussed earlier in my "Latin Masses in Kansas City," some Catholic observers believe that the Pope will give some kind of gift to the SSPX, then wait for their response. So now seems the time to ask "What if?" under the set of assumptions listed below.

(1) Benedict XVI removes the excommunications
(2) The SSPX is active in a diocese.
(3) The local Bishop is favorable to the traditional Latin Mass

Rank the possible results listed below for their likelihood, with "1" for 'absolutely certain to happen' to "5" for 'not in a million years!' (Remember, think of a diocese like Kansas City where the Bishop seems very favorable to Catholic tradition and has significantly engaged common adversaries.)

1. Either the SSPX ignores the diocese or the diocese ignores the SSPX, or both
2. The local Bishop officially welcomes the local SSPX back into full communion
3. The local SSPX believes it is opportune for official contacts with the diocese, and the diocese responds positively to the SSPX initiative
4. The SSPX welcomes the local Bishop to offer a High Mass on a major Feast Day
5. A format is jointly established for regular meetings to discuss common interests
6. A joint agreement establishes significant relationships between the local bishop and the SSPX
7. The National Council of Catholic Bishops proposes/imposes its own rules on relationships between bishops and the SSPX
8. The SSPX has access to the diocesan newspaper to publicize some activities
9. The SSPX announces in The Angelus magazine that relations with certain dioceses have been successfully established and are bearing fruit
10. Marriages and funerals can have both a diocesan priest and a SSPX priest in attendance at both diocesan and SSPX chapels
11. The SSPX asks the local Bishop for permission to do something
12. The SSPX believes it is still not time for any significant relationships with any Novus Ordo Bishop--no matter how orthodox

I'm waiting for your votes. Mark them by number, i.e., 1--3; 2--5; 3--4, 4--3, etc. Alternative questions and caveats are also welcomed.


Curmudgeon said...

Too complicated!!!

I see no difficulty at all in apostate places like LA and Orange and Altoona-Johnstown and such. The SSPX and the ordinary ignore each other, the SSPX grows, and the diocese shrinks (much as we've already seen in France). The difficulty, of course, comes in the dioceses which are now most open to the old rite and those whose spirituality are formed by it.

Kansas City will be one of the most difficult situations. Is it really fair for Kansas City to have THREE apostolates within six or seven miles of each other while so many other places--whole states like Wyoming, for instance--have none? Well, no! But what do you do? If you're the SSPX, you don't close St. Vincents, the magnificent church that you rescued 20 years ago and which is really the liturgical center of your North American work, and the large and well-established community there. If you're in the St. Rose Philippine Duschene Community (the Kansas-side FSSP apostolate now at Blessed Sacrament), you don't just fold and go to St. Vincent's or OSP, because you're a successful, stable community that has a wonderful (mostly) culture of its own. If you're in the tiny but growing Old St. Patrick's Oratory (the ICRSS-served community that's restoring OSP church), you don't give up on a project like that midway, after Bishop Finn has been so generous and has made a great effort at raparations for past mistreatment, do you? But do you--should you--really go on with three traditional parishes so close together?

It's where the SSPX has been long established and where the recent bishops have also acted justly to the trads that the most painful episodes in the reconciliation will take place.

Dust I Am said...

Your analysis is perceptive and thought-provoking, which is exactly what I wanted to see.