Every crisis in the Church or the world eventually reaches a point at which a resolution will occur, either through action or inaction. It may sometimes appear that doing nothing is the prudent course, but more often than not, inaction simply yields victory to the one who seizes the moment. And inaction in hindsight is then shown to have been anything but prudent.
Yet, the Catholic bishops, despite their rhetoric, evidently do not believe the threat to religious freedom in the United States is as grave as Pope Benedict has characterized it. The bishops still feel uncomfortable confronting Obama and have invited the president, who is certainly the most anti-Catholic president in recent history, to speak at the Al Smith Dinner in New York. A great honor.
No hard feelings, apparently.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is building something of a media personality cult, will be wining, dining and dishing up jokes with Obama at this prestigious event that will be attended by many members of the Catholic hierarchy and Catholics prominent in public life. There seems to be nothing Obama can do that will make him persona non grata at the Cardinal’s table. See: “What is Cardinal Dolan Up To?”.
The conclusion that will be drawn (and it will be hard to argue with its legitimacy) is that killing unborn babies and forcing Catholic institutions to provide contraceptive and abortifacient drugs to their employees are matters insufficiently grave to interfere with a cordial evening. The U. S. bishops are in danger of appearing insincere about their own teaching, as well as impotent and irrelevant. See: “A Cautionary Tale for Catholic Bishops”.
Lawsuits have been initiated in an attempt to block the implementation of the contraceptive mandate, and lawsuits have their place in civilized society, but certain matters should not be submitted to adjudication by state and federal judges. The bishops have an opportunity to make it plain that no court, no penalty, no political pressure or threat will force them to cooperate with the mandate.
Now is the time to take a stand. Now is the time to reclaim moral authority.
Both Traditional Catholics and their opponents have an intense emotional investment in the outcome of the negotiations between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X. Everyone is eager for a resolution, one way or another.
Ironically, a certain number of those friendly to Tradition are allied in their hopes with those who despise Tradition. Those who want to maintain the distance between Rome and the SSPX would be pleased to see the matter end in a stalemate.
The Pope, meanwhile, is sending some rather confusing signals in his recent appointments to key Vatican posts. Archbishop Gerhard Muller, who has shown an open contempt for the SSPX, has taken over the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which continues to play a crucial role in the negotiations. See: “Not Sufficient”.
And Archbishop Joseph Di Noia, considered by some to be friendly toward the SSPX, has been named to head the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which oversees relations between Traditionalists and the mainstream Church. But Archbishop Di Noia has made it plain that he considers the full acceptance of Vatican II (whatever that might mean) a prerequisite to any agreement with the SSPX. See: “Archbishop Di Noia Admits: The Goal is to Convert SSPX to Conciliar Thinking”.
It appears that the end of the summer will signal the end of a chapter in the ongoing conflict between the Vatican and the SSPX. How the matter will be resolved can only be subject to speculation. But it would appear that the longer the leadership of the SSPX delays making a decision public, the greater the chance of an internal rift. And, of course, the enemies of the SSPX within the Church can be counted on to make use of any time allotted them to rally Vatican opposition to the restoration of Tradition.
Meanwhile, the greatest and most dangerous form of inaction continues, with incalculable consequences. The Consecration of Russia is the key that will unlock the solution to every problem. Until that key is turned, the Church and the world will search in vain for ways to avert the mounting disasters. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Latest Fatima Perspectives
A Cautionary Tale for Catholic Bishops — Every objective indicator points to the rapid decline and eventual demise of the Episcopal Church in America. From a membership of 3 million in 1970, the church now claims about 1 million adherents. And mind you, these are official figures. The number of Episcopalians regularly attending services and offering financial support may be much lower.
Archbishop Di Noia Admits: The Goal is to Convert SSPX to Conciliar Thinking — In 1946, Father Garrigou-Lagrange warned in his landmark article against the modernist New Theology, “Those who have attempted to attend the classes of the masters of modernist thought in order to convert them have allowed themselves to be converted by them.” It is clear the same ruse is being applied to the Society of St. Pius X.
Russia Threatens to Strike NATO Missile Defense Sites — According to the Party Line on Fatima, the Fatima prophecies belong to the past and what is left of the Fatima event is merely a call to individual prayer, penance and conversion. The “false friends” of Fatima tell us the Message of Fatima concerns only our personal spiritual advancement, not any obligation on the part of the Pope and the bishops to consecrate Russia. Events in Russia over the past 28 years have, of course, demolished the fairy tale of Russia’s “conversion” following the “consecration” of 1984. But the Russian situation has taken a particularly ominous turn in recent days.
Fatima For Today: A Response — In his book on what he calls “the Urgent Marian Message of Hope”, Father Andrew Apostoli advances the Vatican Secretary of State’s “Party Line” on Fatima. The result is not “an urgent message of hope” but yet another attempt to bury the Third Secret and defend the refusal to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Not Sufficient? — The Vatican doesn't seem overly concerned about rifts, ruptures, or re-composition as to the legions of Catholics on every continent, including numerous bishops and priests, who no longer assent to any Church teaching that does not meet with their personal approval. But the Society of St. Pius X? Now, that's another matter! On March 16, 2012 an unsigned communiqué from the Vatican Press Office advised that a secret “evaluation” of Bishop Fellay's secret response to the secret “Doctrinal Preamble,” emanating from the secret proceedings of the Vatican-SSPX conferences, has determined (in secret) that the response is “not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems that are at the basis of the rift between the Holy See and the aforesaid Society.”
Pacifist Russia? Only According to Fatima’s False Friends — In 1992-93, an obscure layman by the name of Carlos Evaristo somehow gained unfettered access to Sister Lucy even though the rest of the world required permission from the Vatican to see her. The result of this mysterious access was the publication of two purported interviews of the seer — an unheard of liberty extended to no one else. Evaristo's account of the first interview was repudiated by the official translator in attendance, Father Francisco Pacheco. The second interview was more of the same — that is, “lies and half-truths... not to be believed,” to use Father Pacheco's words. One of those patent falsehoods was Evaristo's claim that Sister Lucy proclaimed Russia's conversion to pacifism after the non-existent “consecration of Russia,” during the famous 1984 ceremony from which any mention of Russia was deliberately omitted.
On the Society of Saint Pius X — Christopher Ferrara responds to an objection that in an article published in The Remnant on the canonical status of the SSPX he was “too optimistic in assessing the canonical effects that follow from the 2009 lifting of the excommunications on the Society of St. Pius X bishops”. The objection alleged that the SSPX lacks “full communion” with the Church despite the remission of the “excommunications” of their four bishops.
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