As everyone by now knows, this month Pope Francis announced his "Year of Mercy" which will include allowing Catholics to go to the SSPX for the Sacrament of Confession.
The response to this has been (from what I gather) good. Most people seem to see this as a step in the right direction in the hopes of the SSPX soon being fully in communion with the Church (that is to say with licit Sacraments).
While I too hope and pray for such a unity, I am leery about what Pope Francis has done. Of course, to be honest, almost everything this Holy Father does has me concerned.
From the Pope's "off the cuff" comments and now infamous interviews, I have to wonder if this pope is one of those people who just goes full steam ahead and does/says things without thinking them through. Pope or not, he is human and this is a human trait. The problem with a pope who 'flies by the seat of his pants' as the expression goes, is that tremendous damage comes from not looking ahead and thinking through each and every decision. When you're the pope, especially a media darling like Pope Francis is, every word, action or inaction will have an enormous ripple effect in the world. Even now, before the Year of Mercy has begun, the ripple effect is being felt.
The folks over at The Remnant seem to be feeling the 'jubilee' over the SSPX having a licit and valid Sacrament of Confession for the Year of Mercy, although they (like others) are confused by just what this means at the end of the Year of Mercy. At midnight are they invalid and illicit? How will we know? Will the pope make some proclamation so we are all on the same page and know what is happening?
Michael Voris and the folks over at Church Militant are going all out this week with numerous Vortex episodes on the SSPX and a new FBI (Faith Based Investigations) show all about the SSPX.
In the comments area of today's Vortex, some people are questioning why Church Militant would be spending an entire week devoted to discussing the SSPX and whether or not they are in schism (Church Militant says they are, The Remnant says they aren't).
My response is, Church Militant sees the writing on the wall as I do. Give people who are yearning for more reverent and holy Mass's a year of going to the SSPX for one Sacrament and we will see people leaving the Holy Catholic Church for the SSPX for all their Sacraments (licit or illicit). It's gonna happen. Right now, many folks won't walk into an SSPX parish because of the division, but with Pope Francis' 'Year of Mercy' folks now see a 'green light' from the pope himself for going to the SSPX and checking them out.
Like the devil himself, this pope (knowingly or unknowingly) is tempting people. Pure and simple.
The people that are starved for what they had prior to the 1960's and what the SSPX has is the look and feel of all that our Novus Ordo Mass has lost in the decades since Vatican II. And here is Pope Francis dangling that carrot in front of them...the SSPX for one year. Basically he's saying "Go check out the SSPX for one year, then come back when the time is up".
When Catholics go to the SSPX for Confession (and those who would not before, will now with this green light from the pope) what will happen? What will those priests say?
Does anyone think the SSPX priests are going to miss the opportunity to bring people to 'their side' of Catholicism? To help these people walk out the doors of the Holy Roman Catholic Church parishes they currently belong to and become new members of the SSPX? Of course they are going to try and bring people in!
Then what happens? People fall in love with what the SSPX is offering them and at the end of the 'Year of Mercy' the Church says "Times up! Everyone come back home now, our play-date with the SSPX is over"?
What is Pope Francis thinking? Was he thinking at all? Honestly, I wonder. Is he so blinded by wanting to be nice and please everyone and be loved by all people that he doesn't stop to think about the consequences of his actions?
This disturbs me greatly. Meaning to or not, Pope Francis has once again caused more division in the Church. And he's done it under the guise of "mercy". And he's done it in such a way as to tempt people for a short period of time and then he's going to yank it away from them. How is that a good thing?
So to answer Hilary White's question in the comments area of Church Militant's Vortex: SSPX Sadness, I believe Church Militant sees the writing on the wall and is looking to educate people and arm them with facts so that they are not led astray or left confused and disillusioned when the 'Year of Mercy' is over and once more the Church declares the Sacraments of the SSPX as illicit.
It is my belief that Church Militant has their eye on the present situation while never taking their eyes off what is coming. They are doing what they can now to stem the flow of Catholics running out the door to the SSPX whether its because things go badly at the Synod [as many believe will be the case] or because during this 'Year of Mercy' people check out and like the SSPX. Anyone with foresight can see this isn't going to end well unless the Church sorts out the differences with the SSPX before the year is up. Those who leave during the 'Year of Mercy' may never return once the time period is up.
I have to wonder why Pope Francis doesn't seem to see the writing on the wall as so many other Catholics do- or perhaps he does. If so, just what does that say about it all?
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner