The Canadian District Superior of the SSPX, Fr. Jurgen Wegner has issued a letter (May 17, 2012) on the recent news and opinions concerning the ongoing talks between Rome and Econe. In a very encouraging and reasoned letter, Fr. Wegner strongly supports the actions of his Superior, Bp. Fellay. The letter is basically in two parts: an overview of the Society, and the recent negotiations.
Key highlights pertaining to the Holy Father's offer:
Unexpected offer from Rome.
It has been very obvious since last September that Rome, and especially Pope Benedict XVI, wants to regularize the situation of the SSPX within the Church. The steps taken are coming from Rome, not from the Society. There is a clear and persistent will from Rome to come to an agreement. Our Superior General, for his part, has not answered Rome’s request with a categorical refusal. There are now thus two possible options: either to accept a canonical solution – considering carefully, of course, its specific conditions – or to refuse it.
Two possible ways, one goal.
The first option is to accept canonical regularization. Some authors of the letters I received see in this a betrayal of the mission of the Society. They argue that to accept such a canonical solution means to surrender our liberty of action which in turn will force us to incorporate the modernist errors of the Council. This would include a watering down of Catholic doctrine and an increasingly coercive influence exercised by both Roman and local Church authorities. The SSPX would effectively be silenced, no longer able to condemn conciliar errors and their perverse manifestations.
Those who, on the other hand, support the acceptance of a canonical solution anticipate the great good the SSPX could accomplish with the blessing and protection of the Roman authorities. We would no longer be stigmatized as schismatics and could thus more freely and more effectively serve the Church and promote the restoration of the Faith and the good of souls. The unjust separation from Rome (one which Archbishop Lefebvre especially regretted because of his great love for the Church) would also come to an end.
The other option is to refuse Rome’s offer. Those in favor of a refusal note that the SSPX would thus remain undisturbed and would be able to safely continue its vital apostolate as it has for the past few decades. Some, however, fear that such a refusal may well lead to true schism. The pope, after all, may in all sincerity be seeking to extend the good influence and teachings of the SSPX throughout the rest of the Church as a catalyst for its restoration. To refuse the Holy Father our cooperation and support in such an important work would seem selfish.
We do not yet know what will be the outcome. Will the Society of St. Pius X be “recognized,” or will we have to remain in our current situation for some time longer? In either case, let us trust in the leadership of our Superior General, Bishop Fellay, who has been tasked specifically by God with making this crucial decision....
Let us remember in our prayers both the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay and pray that the Holy Ghost may guide them and all our priests under such difficult circumstances. Whatever the decision may be, our goal will never change. Our uncompromising battle for Tradition, for the Faith, and for the Church will continue.