Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X gave a talk in August which can be viewed on Rorate Caeli. A number of bloggers have commented on what Fellay says. Some have opined that it is a "trap."
Having listened to the entirety of the two videos, there is a takeaway that deserves some thought.
The Church is in a grave crisis, there are good men left in the Vatican, they see the SSPX as a lifeline and that they hold the true faith as it was always taught. The Society has friends that it did not have a decade ago, it has allies.
An offer of a Personal Prelature is apparently on the table. Much has been made about this and what it would entail and what they would or would not need to accept relating to the Second Vatican Council.
Is it a trap?
Here is how we will all know and it is something that I have no doubt, Bishop Fellay and his colleagues are already well aware of.
It's about the money. Period.
The Society is full of it in liquid terms and in land. It has been a good steward of the wealth bequeathed to it and given to it over decades to foster the work of God. The temporal wealth of the Society is what enables the Society to do the spiritual work of educating priests and saving souls. One cannot exist without the other.
Is Rome, is Francis sincere?
Follow the money.
Why do I think this is where the rubber meets the road?
We have the example of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the open persecution. We see the attack now on contemplative and cloistered nuns. Have we forgotten that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter was promised a bishop, as just a few examples? Can these men in Rome be trusted?
I don't know the statutes of the Society, how it is structured, how its property is held in various countries. The danger is in the future make up of a "Board," if you will and the power vested in the Superior General. If the Superior General is compromised by Rome and can appoint the Board of Governors of the Society, will he appoint a Board favourable to him that might eventually vote to follow a path out of step with the foundation of the Society. As long as the Society can maintain its property, it can survive whatever Rome wishes to throw at it. If this Pope, or another in the future tries to force the Society to accept a heretical action or sacrilege, they can continue to resist. If they do not control in perpetuity their assets, then they can be plundered over time in the manner of loading them, and all traditionalists, on a boat and then try to sink it. Rome must have no ability to seize their seminaries or chapels or schools. If that is not guaranteed, then we will know Rome's true intention.
One more point. On Hilary White's blog, What's up, S. Armaticus of Deus, ex machina has left a comment. He writes:
"And finally, I think you and all of your readers need to get ready. The finally battle is approaching. Francis will recognize the SSPX unilaterally. And that is when the defecation will hit the oscillating device."This is the great danger. That one morning he wakes up and just "does it." As full, complete and universal authority is vested in him, if he does this, without an agreement, the Society is in a position to be formally declared schismatic because they will be forced to submit without security, without clarity of the issues. They, and all those who attend there and support them, will be considered schismatic and their work will be severely affected. It would be an act on the part of Rome of great error and will, in my view, unleash a heavenly fury. Maybe this is what is necessary.
It is my view, and it has been for a while. that ++Marcel Lefebvre was wrongly "excommunicated," that he was acting, in good conscience, in a "state of emergency." It is further my view, that he was the instrument of God, the Holy Spirit, the fruit has shown this to be obvious. One day, he will be declared a Blessed.
If we find that the Vatican is prepared to make a deal with the Society of St. Pius X that allows the Society to maintain full and complete control over their assets in perpetuity then Rome's motivation is just and good. If there is any reason on the part of Bishop Fellay to believe otherwise, then he must not sign any agreement and continue on in the current situation until God's good time and a truly Catholic pope.
That's it folks.
Show me the money!