On January 1st, while the Novus Ordo celebrates the new feast day of Mary, the Mother of God, traditionalist Catholics will be celebrating the Feast day of the Circumcision, the first shedding of Our Lord’s blood. Every year, Catholics are reminded of the gratuitous nature of Our Lord’s Passion and death on the Cross by the fact that the suffering and shedding of Our Lord’s blood during the Circumcision was sufficient to save all mankind.
The Novus Ordo has termed this liturgical year the “Year of the Faith” and is busy promoting the “New Evangelism” on a variety of fronts, attempting to rekindle fervor among the faithful. Benedict’s XVI’s misdiagnosis of the problem, however, should reveal to anyone that his new pet project is a false solution. Sadly, the one-time bastion of intrepid traditionalism, the SSPX, has stepped into this latest Novus Ordo pitfall, promoting the “New Evangelization” by conflating Church traditions with Tradition, and encouraging their faithful to take advantage of the “plenary indulgences offered generously in this quasi-jubilee year.”
As to the “Year of the Faith,” the question begs, what faith?
The SSPX backing the Novus Ordo’s “Year of the Faith” almost seems to flagrantly celebrate what head of the order, Bishop Bernard Fellay, termed “a contradiction” in a November 11 sermon at Econe. In that sermon he stated,
what we will try to do with the Roman authorities is to tell them that it does no good to pretend, for the sake of the faith, that the Church cannot be mistaken. Because, at the level of faith, we are entirely in agreement about the assistance of the Holy Ghost, but you have to open your eyes to what is happening in the Church! It is necessary to stop saying: the Church can do nothing bad, therefore the new Mass is good. It is necessary to stop saying: the Church cannot err, and therefore there is no error in the Council. But look at reality then! There can be no contradiction between the reality that we apprehend and the faith. It is the same good God who made both. Therefore if there is an apparent contradiction, there is certainly a solution.
Like His Excellency, Bishop Fellay, many traditionalists are caught in a quandary and facing a religious dichotomy. Unlike Bishop Fellay, their situation is further confused by the leftist and rightest extremes appearing on official SSPX websites. Some are legitimately concerned about the future of the traditionalist cause. Recent events in the SSPX, such as the earth-shaking admission of Bishop Fellay that Vat. II presented a “limited Freedom of Religion,” and the ousting of one of its four bishops, His Excellency, Bishop Richard Williamson, have rocked the traditionalist movement.
Those traditionalists who fear seeing doctrine back-burnered for the sake of a “legitimate position in the Church,” foresee a return to Masses held in hotels and private homes. Others see, and hope for, acceptance within Benedict XVI’s Frankenchurch, given a place similar to that which the High Church Anglicans held in the Church of England.
But High Church Catholicism doesn’t address the issues which all traditionalists are, or should be, concerned with: the innovations to liturgy and doctrine which began in the 1960’s with Vatican II, and have continued to the present day.
In an olive-branch type address to SSPX faithful on November 16, 2012, Bishop Fellay stated the SSPX is as firm as it ever was in its demands that the Novus Ordo return to Tradition, if they want the SSPX back in the fold.
With a new year before us, and end-of-the-worlders disproved yet again, traditionalist Catholics can expect to see another year go by with the SSPX maintaining the same holding position it has held for the previous thirty years. Head of the CDF, Archbishop Muller, with his “hermeneutic of rupture is heresy” rhetoric has clearly indicated talks are futile and further, has stated no new discussions will take place.