SSPX is not rushing to the reconciliation offered by Pope Benedict XVI
Debate over church statistics and assignment of theological blame, is not unique to the Southern Baptist Convention, as we may see from the Vatican statistical yearbook delivered to the Pope last week. It says, reports BBC, “that the number of priests has increased by several hundred each year since 2000, after two decades of decline.” And the “percentage of Catholics worldwide remains stable, at about 17.3% of the global population.”
Turnaround accomplished, it seems.
Today Bishop Bernard Fellay of the rightist Society of Saint Pius X employed undocumented statistics to explain why SSPX, which he heads, is not ready to meet the Feb. 4 Vatican requirement that “a full recognition of the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI himself is an indispensable condition for any future recognition of the Society of Saint Pius X.”
In an interview with a Swiss newspaper he said:
The aftermath of the [Second Vatican] Council has been to empty seminaries, nunneries and churches. Thousands of priests have left their orders and millions of faithful have stopped being practicing Catholics and have joined sects. If these are the fruits of the Council, they’re strange indeed.
You may recall that Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of Bishop Fellay and three other bishops, who were ordained against papal orders in 1988, as a step toward dialogue and reconciliation. One of the four is Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson, whose disingenuous apology and failure to recant was well-rejected by the Vatican last week.
Williamson wants more time to consider whether the Holocaust occurred and Fellay says that if the Vatican requirement is met, it will be the after “doctrinal discussions” with his society. As if the Holocaust were really in doubt and rollback of Vatican II were actually on the block.
We wonder if there is a decidedly unhopeful SSPX pattern here?
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