Fr Davide Pagliarini, the SSPX district superior of Italy, has given an interview, reported by Rorate Caeli, in which he says the following:
"I can only repeat that which has been clearly and always explained by my superiors: the canonical situation in which the Fraternity is currently places is a consequence of its resistance to the errors that infest the Church; consequently, the possibility for the Fraternity to reach a regular canonical situation does not depend on us, but on the acceptance by the hierarchy of the contribution that Tradition can give for the restoration of the Church.
I like Fr Pagliarini; we rubbed elbows in the kitchen sinks of Econe lo those many years ago. But at best this is topsy-turvy talk. I've upset everyone else this week from Westminster Archdiocese to the advocates of queering the Church, so I might as well offer an opinion on the SSPX too.
1. The current canonical situation of the SSPX is not simply the result of their resistance to the errors in the Church; it is the result of the way in which they think those errors must be fought. Fr Pagliarini's argument is a bit like saying that a man who gets a ticket for speeding has been punished for driving fast (whereas he has been punished for driving TOO fast).
2. 'The acceptance by the hierarchy of the contribution that Tradition can make to the restoration of the Church' - this is code for 'we'll be good if our theses are accepted'.
Really, it makes one wonder who exactly is going to bring the Church to the point of being ready to SSPXify itself. How exactly is the Church ever going to improve her internal life if good people hold themselves to one side under the illusion that self preservation can be assured in no other way? The SSPX holds to this logic with all the unshakeable confidence of the man on the roof in a flood who has prayed for divine assistance and refuses all human help that comes along.
In addition to the mark of unity, which is one of the signs of the Church's divine origins, there is also a habit of unity. The habit of unity is what makes it possible for us to know how to live under the same roof with others who are effectively our estranged brothers. It is a risky business, let nobody deny it. My blog posts of last week are a response precisely to one of the risks that it entails. But if one believes in the power of the Holy Ghost in the Church, and in our conformity to Christ through a VISIBLE institution - and that's what I mean by the Church; the Church is not a theory or a treatise of theology - , then there is no plausible alternative.
In other words, there is no other providentially assigned way for the Church to operate than through its divine constitution. That is why the Church has known periods of Borgias and periods of saints. It has never known a period in which the Holy See is rightly treated for all practical purposes as a defected bishopric.
It's hot in the kitchen, Davide, but it's where you have to be!