Can you hear it?
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
That is the sound of a giant time bomb getting ready to explode.
The SSPX has submitted its response to Rome and the waiting has begun. Could be days or it could be weeks, but something is about to go Kaboom!
Bishop Fellay, writing to his fellow Bishops and priests says (via Andrea Tornielli)
The bishop, according to the rumors gathered by Vatican Insider, wished to confirm to the priests of the Society that which he had already written a few days ago, recalling the two principles that guide the Lefebvrists in the relations with Rome: the first is that no concessions be asked from the Society that touch ipon the faith and that which derives from it (liturgy, sacraments, morals, and discipline). The second, that a true freedom and autonomy of action be granted to the [Society of] Saint Pius X, which would allow it to grow and develop.
What is completely uncertain at this point is what is contained within the text and within the response. What is known is what the reaction will be regardless of the text.
It is easy to predict what will happen if this comes to fruition. A certain minority (yet vocal) percentage of the SSPX hierarchy and membership will see it as an unacceptable capitulation to modernist Rome and the evil Vatican II.
On the other hand, progressives inside and outside the Church will find in it obvious proof of the Pope’s complete rejection of Vatican II and the blaring trumpets signalling a return to the pre-conciliar dark ages.
I have no idea what the text will say, although I have some educated suspicions, but I know what the reaction will be. And I know that both sides will be wrong.
I suspect that we will find in it reference to both the value and limitations of the Council and its documents. I suspect that that the SSPX will have to agree that if you squint real hard and turn your head just the right way, you can interpret some troublesome passages from the Council documents in a way consistent with Orthodoxy. And Rome will have to agree that Vatican II changes not a single doctrine that existed before the Council. That the faith taught by Popes who condemned modernism, false ecumenism, and false notions of religious liberty is still the same faith taught by the post-conciliar Church, again with a fair amount of squinting and head turning.
AND…. And this is a big AND. The SSPX needs some canonical status that will free it to grow and prosper without interference from liberal Bishops who would like to burn it to the ground. This is a must.
And if, when this happens. Kaboom!
This explosion will unleash both great and terrible things for the Church. That is how explosions can be. They destroy so that we can build.