Traditionalists are somewhat naive about technology. If they don't work in a profession where social media has relevance, they probably are not aware of the fact that Bishop Fellay, like anyone involved in the public media discussion, has to move at the speed of the internet. Armchair commentators everywhere said, "we wouldn't know for weeks," and that, "Bishop Fellay wouldn't sign." I even thought we might have to wait some time to hear the "official word."
I had to help celebrate a friend's birthday on Monday night but as soon as I came back I penned the bookend to another piece I had written almost a year ago. In that piece, I pointed out that negotiations would go nowhere as long as there was a distorted "recognize and resist" ecclesiology (a term made famous by Fr. Anthony Cekada) in the SSPX. Either accept that the man is Pope...or not.
It seems as though the SSPX has finally become intellectually consistent. But what shall the man in the pew do? I suspect, like one of my readers, his sentiments may be thus:
I'm just another traditional Catholic, but if I may say, an agreement in which the Society will become a real part of the structure of the Conciliar church will, I think, end my association with the Society. It cannot be otherwise. I left the Conciliars decades ago because my eyes were opened and I saw who they were -- the enemy. Why should I now want a room in their mansion? So I can wake up one day to find someone smothering me with a sort of spiritual pillow?
And if I may say something else: I remember a time when in traditional chapels the recent Popes were rarely if ever mentioned from the pulpit, they were considered such an embarrassment. A picture may have hung on the wall to show that the chapel wasn't sedevacantist, but that was the extent of it.
Now however I must hear about how the Pope is sincere and that I somehow owe it to the Pope to give him the benefit of the doubt -- this man who mercilessly drove me and other traditionals years ago from our parishes.
What happens next? I assure you, no one really knows. This is even more unknown than the first 40 years of "resistance." But if the familiar road already well-worn by the FSSP is any guide, this story does not end well.