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Thursday, March 19, 2015

St. Joseph, Please Pray for the SSPX's Reunion with Rome

Fr. John Hunwicke is a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (Anglican priests who entered the Catholic Church during the reign of Pope Benedict). His post today encourages the reunion of the SSPX to Rome in the same way Anglican communities transitioned into the Church while they continued to embrace many of their own traditions like the English Book of Common Prayer. Father  wishes that the SSPX:

might also receive the same joys and the same benefits as we received. I hope that the SSPX will soon have a canonical status which will protect its distinctive charism as an authentic part of the Latin Church....

Nothing is gained by the present situation between the SSPX and the 'mainstream' Church. Absolutions are given and Marriages solemnised which are of doubtful (or if you prefer it, doubted) validity. Who gains from maintaining that situation? If some piece of canonical ingenuity, without necessarilly granting full faculties to SSPX clergy, were at least to eliminate this particular pastoral anomaly, who would be the loser? Would a shepherd who achieved this end not smell of his sheep? Would this not be Merciful? Is the SSPX not a Periphery as deserving to be reached as any other?...
The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus has a number of provisions to the effect that an Ordinary of an Ordinariate can do X or Y or Z "after consulting with the territorial bishop"; or "after hearing the views of the Episcopal Conference". This gives an Ordinary theright to do these things without consent, but gives him a powerful incentive to act collaboratively. Likewise, the bishop or the conference may be the more likely to act reasonably because they know that their failure to do so could lead to unilateral action by the Ordinary. 
Isn't this exactly the sort of arrangement which would enable the SSPX and the 'mainstream' Church to grow in trust? To move gently, perhaps through some intermediate stages, to full integration? Wouldn't this make it easier for the SSPX to move gradually and consensually without abrupt moments which might precipitate schism among those of its members who, because of past wounds, find trust the more difficult? 
Who would lose?
Who, indeed? What a wise priest. Father makes other good points that need to be heard. When you consider how the hierarchy celebrates ecumenical events with material heretics, it is hard to understand the hostility toward the SSPX.

St. Joseph, on your feast day, please intercede for unity between Rome and the SSPX.

And now, a film about the Ordinariate, Called to be One. Note particularly Msgr. Newton's comment in the film, "Unity is not about uniformity. Unity is about a common faith, a common order. Yet there can be diversity of expression within that order. All is part of the one Catholic Church."

Is there not room in the Church for the SSPX? Just think of such a film celebrating their reunion with Rome! St. Joseph, please intercede for that happy day.

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