Saturday 24 January 2009

SSPX Bishops re-"communicated"

(Tridentine South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

In a seemingly politically motivated move: Benedict XVI; has lifted automatic excommunications, incurred under canon law: by four SSPX bishops, who: on being consecrated, committed what was then termed and largely perceived to be: an act of schism. While the excommunications no longer carry weight: this probably is not a precident for reintroducing others who incur the excommunication: rather: it seems to be a pre-condition for begining dialogue for the complete reunification of the Society, and the Catholic Church. It does not seem that all issues have been resolved overnight. This may be a start, but many things are still vague and unclear.

It was not because of the excommunications alone: that Catholics have been discoraged from attending society masses, and whether or not the SSPX priests will now be allowed by the Vatican to perform mass ligitimately, or if their actions are still considered illigitimate, is not something we can comment on. This is not the end of the issue, but the beginning of it.

We have asked for ecclesiastical assistence in covering this issue, so as to give a fuller view: whether by direct statements being quoted, or by indirectly quoting sources: so as to give an inside perspective. We hope to gain such.

As for the mean-time: it is still important that the valid tridentine mass be pursued in the mainstream church, within diocesan structures. Many SSPX priests' sermons might still carry certain bias, as with parishioners there.

Doubt still hangs over the organization, and until talks are entered into, in a meaningful manner, and a comprehensive clarification, and negotiation take place: there will still be a cloud over the society. When comprehensive regulations for this situation come to be meted out: perhaps, a clear answer can be made.

Pursuing the unquestionably valid Summorum Pontificum instituted Tridentine (Latin) Mass, within normal church hierarchical structures, remains not ony the clear, and legally sure way to proceed, but also means enjoyment of something special, within, without risking accepting some controversial, if not radical views, and without taking a political stand.

Until the situation becomes less vague: the isolation of the "Society" in the mainstream will likely continue. Negotiations have not happened adequately yet; so as to actually physically and properly reincorperate the controversial Swiss based "Society "of" Pius X", in a proper, and civilized, complete manner: nor is it clear that this shall ever occur, nor if the society will ever manage to regain credibility, and fulfill a beneficial function in the mainstream of the church. So far, ecumenism with SSPX has been at great cost to Catholic-Judaic relations, and the controversial views of the organization, and a particular member of it: could cause further issues.

For now: the best thing to do: is stop, and wait.

It is very dangerous to see this in more than its ecumenical (political) light so far, and it is still advisable to avoid SSPX masses, for those in the mainstream: until such time as more information is given; and it is likely important to wait for negotiations, and meetings: before determining if any headway has been made between the Vatican, and their biggest "irregular" canonical apponent. Whether this is the Vatican calling an SSPX bluff, or if it is genuinely the offering of a palm leaf: it certainly is political. Benedict XVI, is famed for his "Ecumenical" abilities. Hopefully, it may someday yield the fruit of curing the chasm between SSPX and mainstream laity and pastors, and others.

The meaning and ramifications of this ecclesiastical move are unclear. Benedict XVI's representation, seems clear that this has nothing to do with SSPX views on the world. The SSPX bishops were excommunicated for being consecrated, not for their views. The lifting of such excommunication: therefore says nothing of the validity of their views.

It is a political (Ecumenical) move: it is still unclear what status the SSPX churches have in this situation: and whether or not this will mean the lifting of the censure on the SSPX priests: which bans them from "ligitimately" offering the mass.

SSPX Masses have been considered Valid (The priests are considered to truly perform the Eucharistic Sacrifice, in the sense normal priests do), but illegitimate (illegal), it is not immediately clear if warnings against attending their masses, will be lifted, now that the first real move to dialogue has been made.

The Ball is in the SSPX's court. We hopefully may follow this story further.

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