Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro held an interview for the newspaper "Il Foglio" with Nicola Bux born 1947 Theologian Liturgist, Consultant for the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Pope and Consultant for the Congregation for Doctrine and the Faith which was published today. Don Bux is considered to be "very close" to the Pope. In March 2012 he showed his concern with a letter to the General Superior and Priests of the Society of St. Pius X for their consideration, in which he encouraged them to accept Benedict XVI's outstretched hand.
Keen observers have decided that the Pope is very insistent about this reconciliation.
This conclusion is as correct as it is imprecise at the same time. It is correct because Benedict XVI desires this reconciliation and is convinced that there is no other conceivable solution for the Society founded by Msgr Lefebvre. It is imprecise, because it misses the political significance. In the thinking of the Pope, there is nothing closer. Ratzinger is a man who does not think or operate according to ecclesiastical-political categories. For this reason he is often misunderstood. This is valid all the more in the questions of the Society of St. Pius X. For him there is only the final and complete return of many of his sons and daughters, who could afford good for the Church. For that reason certain versions will limp accordingly from the left or the right but it will not be easy to defuse itself from within the Church.
How should a Catholic view a development like the reconciliation between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X?
It is necessary to read carefully what Benedict wrote on March 10 2009 in his "Letter to the Bishops", in which he explained his lifting of the Excommunications for the four Bishops consecrated by Msgr Lefebvre. "Can we be completely indifferent to a society in which there are 491 priests 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 University Institutes, 117 Brothers and 164 Sisters ? Should we really be satisfied to drive them away from the Church? [...] What will happen then?"
Here we see the heart of Benedict XVI. I think, if many men in the Church have been treated according to this heart, then they couldn't be otherwise, than to be overjoyed by a positive decision in this situation.
Perhaps the opposition against the will of Benedict XVI for this indicates that a reconciliation with the Lefebvrists is the same as derationation [Desavouierung] of the Second Vatican Council.
The first "agreement", if we can call it that, succeeds from the Council of Jerusalem between Saint Peter and St. Paul. In that case the debate, so long as it leads to the health of the Church, is not so scandalous.
A further declaration: Those, for whom the Second Vatican Council is overvalued as isolated from the history of the Church and in contradiction to its own intentions, should not appoint themselves as critics, for example, of the First Vatican Council or the Council of Trent. There are those, who maintain, the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius of the First Vatican Council is replaced and suppressed by the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum of the Second Vatican Council. That is Fantasy-theology. It seems to me on the other hand that every good theology, which themselves follow the value of the documents, is placed in their teaching and their meaning. At the Second Vatican Council there are documents of different importance and for that reason also of varying binding power, which allow different levels of discussion. The Pope spoke in 1988, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, of the danger to metamorphose the Second Vatican Council into a "Superdogma". Now, he has offered a standard with the "Hermeneutic of Renewal and Continuity", in order to undertake questions of value and not to shut them out. One should not be more papal than the Pope. The Council, all Councils and not only the Second Vatican Council, is meant to be accepted in obedience, but one can criticize each of the various parts, which belongs to the doctrines of the Faith. It is no accident that Benedict XVI has called a "Year of Faith". The Faith is the measure by which we conceive the life of the Church.
What do we, as Catholics, if our hearts are obedient and beat to that of Benedict XVI. can expect on the final reconciliation between Rome and the Fraternity of St. Pius X.?
Certainly not the revenge of one group over another, but a step forward in faith and unity, which is the only witness to the world may believe. What sense would a dialogue with atheists, agnostics and so-called "heterodox" have, if you were not happy about the reconciliation with your brothers in the faith? Our Lord has taught us: It is not the dialogue with the world, which will convert the world, but our ability to be agreed. During this time I keep coming back to a prayer by Cardinal Newman:
"who, when Thou wast about to suffer, didst pray for Thy disciples to the end of time that they might all be one, as Thou art in the Father, and the Father in Thee,
look down in pity on the manifold divisions among those who profess Thy faith,
and heal the many wounds which the pride of man and the craft of Satan have inflicted upon Thy people.
Break down the walls of separation which divide one party and denomination of Christians from another.
Look with compassion on the souls who have been born in one or other of these various communions which not Thou, but man hath made.
Set free the prisoners from these unauthorised forms of worship, and bring them all into that one communion which thou didst set up in the beginning, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Teach all men that the see of St Peter, the Holy Church of Rome, is the foundation, centre, and instrument of unity.
Open their hearts to the long-forgotten truth that our Holy Father, the Pope, is thy Vicar and Representative; and that in obeying Him in matters of religion, they are obeying Thee,so that as there is but one holy company in heaven above, so likewise there may be but one communion, confessing and glorifying Thy holy Name here below."
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