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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Francis Pounds 'Rigid Priests': Time for SSPX to Regularize?

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Francis Pounds 'Rigid Priests': Time for SSPX to Regularize?

ROME, February 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews):

Pope Francis has stated that the rise of new religious institutes that attract numerous religious vocations “worries” him because they often promote “rigidity.” Francis denounced new traditional religious orders as “Pelagians,” who want a return to asceticism and penance...

“When they tell me that there is a congregation that draws so many vocations, I must confess that I worry,” he said during the closed-door meeting with 140 Superiors General of male religious orders and congregations that took place November 25. The transcript of the unscheduled Q&A was published this week by the leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera .

Asked about how to fire the hearts of young people for the cause of the Gospel, the pope turned his focus to the training of “seminarians and future priests.” Francis said that in priests’ training the “logic of black and white” that “can lead to abstract casuistry” must be avoided. 

“Discernment, meanwhile, means moving forward through the gray of life according to the will of God. And the will of God is to be sought according to the true doctrine of the Gospel and not in the rigidity of an abstract doctrine,” he said. 

Asked what should be done about the plummeting number of vocations to the priesthood, the pope said that while the decline “worries me” he is also worried about the rise of new traditional religious orders.

“Some are, I might say, ‘restorationist’: they seem to offer security but instead give only rigidity,” he said. READ MORE HERE

REMNANT COMMENT : So, do you think this is a particularly good time for the SSPX to get “regularized” -- under a Pope who is “worried” about the “rigidity” (read: orthodoxy) of traditional Catholics' priestly formation?

Have you noticed something odd about all this? The Trad-leaning neo-Catholics have become the most outspoken proponents of SSPX regularization. Now why do you suppose that would be?  I confess to a certain bewilderment at their adamant claim that the SSPX will absolutely positively be in a position to fight much harder for Tradition and against the Revolution, once regularized by Pope Francis.

Really? Well, let's hope so.

"Besides," our trad-leaning neo-Catholics argue, "the SSPX can always go back to where they were, should the Vatican stab them in the back as it has stabbed the FFI and now the Knights of Malta."   But is that how it actually works in the real world?

When a Society of 600+ priests gets regularized—only to discover that some pretty hefty strings were attached, after all—do they really get to go waltzing merrily back to where they came from, as if the Church weren't hierarchical at all?  No harm no foul?  
Surely, some SSPX priests would do just that but, let's be honest, many would not, preferring instead to stay on and work from a less confrontational position. This is just human nature.

Isn't this precisely what happened back in 1988, by the way: some SSPX priests took the Vatican's deal, some didn't. And the two factions have been at loggerheads ever since. Well played, Vatican!

If things go similarly awry this time around, as critics of “regularization” argue they might, then hindsight will make it much easier for us all to see that the Vatican's intention all along was merely to divide and conquer its opposition. But, of course, by then this would be a moot point.

So, the SSPX is going to get up its high horse and really oppose Francis...right after he regularizes them? Really? That's what regularization does?  Is that why we have all those thousands of regularized traditionalist priests out there right now, thundering  away against the Francis Revolution where Communion for public adulterers is concerned---because once a priest is regularized it gets so much easier for him to oppose the folks that just regularized him?

Again, really?!

Archbishop Lefebvre didn't end up in "schism" because he was a bad boy who did something wrong. He ended up in "schism" by choice, because he refused to go along with the great apostasy being spearheaded by the Modernist Revolution in the Church, including all the way to the top of the Vatican.  That was many years ago.

Question: Have things somehow improved in the Vatican since then?  

Is it time for the largest resistance movement of priests in the world today to come down out of mountains and sign on Pope Francis's dotted line? Perhaps. But perhaps not. And anyone who tells you he knows God’s inscrutable will on this, one way or the other, is either lying or delusional. Nobody knows, which is why Bishop Fellay has been so wise to wait and hold the holy ground of Tradition for which Archbishop Lefebvre fought and died.

The only thing we can do now is pray: Come Holy Ghost fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy divine love. Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O God, Who by the light of the Holy Ghost didst instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by that same Holy Spirit, we may be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in Thy consolation. Through Christ our Lord.



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Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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