Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Pope, the SSPX, and Fatima

Q. Howdy! Being naïve to some of the history, could someone please explain why the lifting of the excommunication of the SSPX Bishops could be leading up to the consecration of Russia. I somewhat know who LeFebvre and the SSPX are, but not sure how that ties in. I have a speculation, but would like to have some feedback! Thank you!
-Marie in Texas

That is an intriguing question. Interestingly enough, the topic was never addressed, either on this blog or on the
Keeping It Catholic email list, where it was submitted.

Before sharing my response, there are a few imperative points to consider. Without explicitly stating any reason except fatherly compassion, the Holy Father ordered the withdrawal of the censure of excommunication. This, of course, raises an objective question skirted by the majority of 'mainstream' Catholics who - as it seems, in wishing to appear as though they are not questioning the Holy Father's command - employ the tactic of a consistent, negative focus against the SSPX: Can a pope subjectively excommunicate or lift an excommunication? The answer, of course, is in the negative. Of course, that answer leads to very uncomfortable questions on related topics.

Too, is there a faithful Catholic anywhere who could be anything but impressed by Bishop Fellay's official response, expressing his filial gratitude to the Holy Father, or his open letter to the faithful, in which he openly thanked the Blessed Virgin Mary and again invoked Her intercession? (Please see Pope Lifts SSPX Excommunications: The Decree and the Response.)

At any rate, my response to Marie appears below: [text within brackets denote a simple addition, made for clarification purposes, to the original response]

Dear Marie:

To respond to your question, it seems that:

--- since Bishop Fellay has given all credit to Our Lady for the Motu Propo of 7-7-07 [Summorum Pontificatum] and the withdrawal of excommunication on the SSPX bishops (and just think, how often does one hear a priest, bishop or Cardinal speak of the Virgin Mother!)

---and since the SSPX bishops have always maintained that their previous actions (the 1988 consecrations) were a matter of preserving Tradition

---it is then possible to construct a theoretical "House that Jack Built" scenario in regard to the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In May 1862 - only years before the dogmatic Vatican I Council, which defined papal infallibility (hence, a dogma), St. John Bosco had a prophetic dream. In explaining it, he said that there were two means left to save the Church - devotion to "Mary Most Holy" [in the saint's words] and to the Holy Eucharist. Many believe that the primary means, the Holy Eucharist, was removed with the unlawful suppression of the Tridentine Rite, the Mass of All Time.

Furthermore, the dream showed two popes - one who, after a second council, was wounded, brought to his feet, was again wounded, and died. This happened AFTER 'hand-to-hand' combat by enemies who had managed to get 'on board' the Barque. (This seems to indicate an infiltration within the Church. [If not an open enemy attack within the Church against the Church.]) The Pope's successor was the one who successfully brought the besieged Barque of Peter between two columns and anchored it to them. On top of those two pillars were the Holy Eucharist (taller than the second pillar) and a statue of the Blessed Virgin, "Help of Christians."

Consider, too, the Third Secret Vision which speaks of 'a bishop in white' seen in the light that is God and then later mentions 'the Holy Father,' who trembles and walks with halting step through a half-ruined city, as he advances to the top of a hill. This Holy Father is attacked by guns and arrows, and dies, as he reaches the hilltop. [For further details on St. John Bosco's dream, the Third Secret Vision, and a prophecy made by Pope St. Pius X, please see
Fatima and the Great Et Cetera: Traces of The Third Secret Message.]

Since I study [Church-approved] Marian apparitions, I offer my personal conjecture that the 'bishop in white' (seen in the light of God) and 'the Holy Father' in the Third Secret Vision might NOT be the same prelate. In fact, that thought only came to me this past summer as I wrote my series on Fatima for Catholic Family News.

To continue...

Since Pope Benedict XVI judged that the Tridentine was never juridically abrogated, and now since he has instructed the Congregration of Bishops to withdraw the censure of excommunication against the four SSPX bishops, it would seem that Tradition has been given the proverbial 'foot in the door' into Rome.

There is much work yet to be done, since the 'dialogue' process must ensue. While the excommunications are lifted, the path has been opened - but it is not quite as clear as we might hope. Because Holy Tradition has so many enemies, so does the SSPX. And those who are howling the loudest about the recent decree are known as 'mainstream' Catholics. With their arguments and their petty insistences, they are (as it were) throwing brambles on that path, when they should be publicly encouraging others to pray in gratitude on behalf of both the Holy Father's actions, made for the good of the Church, and the respectful response of Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX. Since they do not wish [to appear] to oppose the Holy Father, they target the SSPX with recriminations, when - again - they should be praying, and encouraging others to also pray for the upcoming Vatican/SSPX discussions.

At any rate, all of this leads to the conjecture that either the SSPX - so willing to publicly give thanks to Our Lady for the graces already received through the Rosary Crusades - will either prudently influence the Holy Father to order and lead the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the IHM, or that - some day in the future, after the 'dialogue' process and the interference it will bring - an SSPX bishop, strongly devoted to the Virgin Mother, may be elected pope.

What is very disconcerting, as stated earlier, are the bitter viewpoints of one-too-many mainstream Catholic organs, who are not rejoicing over these first steps of reconciliation. Why are they so unhappy about the lifting of the excommunications?

They reveal that unhappiness with public responses tinged with an obvious animosity. Already, they are insisting on what the SSPX 'must' do next, interviewing canon lawyers who claim that the excommunications were just (without even allowing a civilized on-the-air or even on-line debate with other canon lawyers who say otherwise), demanding that the SSPX must edit certain articles on their website (immediately and post-haste!), etc.

Is it any coincidence that these mainstream Catholic sources overlook what is a very simple fact? The decree lifting the excommunications made no mention of the very matters and prerequisites upon which the neo-cons [literally meaning 'new form of conservative'] are insisting.

As for us, we do what we must: "Watch and pray." I will also add: "Pray and sacrifice for the Holy Father," for it is he who is the supreme Head of the Church on Earth. Pray and sacrifice also for Bishop Fellay.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,
Marianna Bartold
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at
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