A couple weeks ago, the SSPX (“indignant” over the appearance of 200 posters hung in various locations throughout Rome, taking Francis to task for his scandalous papacy) rushed to the defense of the Pope, claiming satire was not an acceptable form of apologetics in the battle for the faith.
Reaction in traditional circles was as swift as it was unanimous: Had not the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre himself, made effective use of satire (among other means) from the beginning? Did not Archbishop Lefebvre himself send the famous Assisi cartoons directly to Pope John Paul II?
Had Menzingen suffered amnesia? Was the article a blunder?
That was my first thought, but I no longer believe it to be the case.
Hold that thought a moment, while we jump to another, even more recent incident:
The SSPX.org website has been running a series of installments on “The Question of Papal Heresy.” I had been curious to see what direction this series was going to take, and followed it from the beginning: Was it to be a condemnation of the sedevacantist position? Or was it going to be a defense of Francis, and an attempt to save him from Amoris Laetitia? The SSPX held its cards close to its chest until this most recent 5th installment (available here: http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/is-pope-francis-heretical), in which we finally get the answer:
Fr. Gleize (and the SSPX) concludes that we cannot say, on the basis of the “ambiguities” of Amoris Laetitia, that Francis is a heretic:
“Fr. Gleize’s precise distinction will surprise more than one. In short, it seems that Pope Francis cannot be considered heretical, since none of the ambiguous statements in Amoris Laetitia constitute “a rejection or contradiction of a truth that is not only revealed but also proposed as such by an infallible act of the ecclesiastical Magisterium.”
But is anyone really surprised?
Scandalized, yes; surprised, no.
As Bishop Fellay’s SSPX cozies up to Rome, it wants to portray itself as the “defenders of Rome” (to Rome, not to you and I) in the hopes of aggrandizing itself to the Pope in pursuance of the prize: Juridical recognition.
These gestures (i.e., opposing the Roman posters’ satire of Francis; defending Francis from the charge of heresy) are really intended to draw the notice of Rome. The branded SSPX senses that it is so close to a deal, that it no longer even worries about Resistance outlets such as this blog calling your attention to this degraded groveling.
The puppy wants a pat on the head from the master, and he is sure to receive it.
If I said I was not surprised to perceive this new pattern of groveling emerge, it is because I have seen it before, and I was taught to perceive it by none other than…Bishop Fellay:
“So little by little the will to fight grows weaker and finally one gets used to the situation. In Campos itself, everything positively traditional is being maintained, for sure, so the people see nothing different, except that the more perceptive amongst them notice the priests’ tendency to speak respectfully and more often of recent statements and events coming out of Rome, while yesterday’s warnings and today’s deviations are left out.” (http://archives.sspx.org/superior_generals_news/supgen_63.htm)
What characterizes the branded SSPX more than this?
The SSPX could have spent its time and energy addressing countless subjects more important and nourishing for souls than complaining about satirical condemnations of Francis, or defending him from heresy in Amoris Laetitia. But what it chooses not to address is as conspicuous and revealing as what is does choose to address.
But like I said, the SSPX is no longer really talking to you and I with articles such as these.
It is talking to Rome.
It is sending them a message: “Look what we are saying! We have changed! You can trust us not to go back to Archbishop Lefbvre’s old positions. We have left all that behind! Didn’t you watch the Conflict Zone interview?”.
A disgusting and degrading spectacle to see the once-mighty SSPX acting like emasculated beggars.
Look for more of the same, as Bishop Fellay races against the clock to consummate his infidelity, before his tenure runs out in 15 months.