Ttony over in The Muniment Room has been left 'winded, floundering, and ready to throw in the towel' by a series of recent events, not the least of which is his PP's resolution not to use the new translations before he has to, and the news that English seminarians are being hounded to find out whether they are secret biformists. I send my fellow Mancunian mucker my sympathies, but I do not agree that 'the game is up: they will win, they are winning: perhaps they have won, here and now'.
There are at least three reasons why I find in the contrary:
1. The wise-as-serpents argument. The lesson of recent ecclesiastical history is this: the more the screws get tightened from above, the more adept people become at learning how to duck and dive. The generation of theologians that brought us the meta-Council had as their official masters Reginald Garrigou Lagrange, Louis Billot and Adolphe Tanqueray. Nobody could have worked out what they would do without seeing the books those students were cradling on their knees beneath the desk. Nowadays, seminarians who wish to celebrate the EF know that they must be extremely cautious about this prior to ordination. It isn't fair; it isn't just; but it is hard, cold reality - with which men who are giving their lives to Christ ought to become closely acquainted.
2. The demographics argument. The abusers of power are living off the fat of their upbringing. Liberal Catholicism, however, is sterile because it has no intrinsic reason to reproduce. It is not just pro-contraception in practice; it suffers from the consequences of a spiritually contraceptive mentality in which we need not communicate life (because we're all going to heaven anyway). It is no wonder, therefore, that we have a vocations crisis. If instead of saving souls we are simply providing chicken soup for the soul, what's the point of giving one's life to Christ? Vocations in most cases tend to come from good families; look where the families are and you will know where the vocations are going to come from. Consequently, even if we have to wait, the demographics will win in the end.
3. The law of the unexpected. When I first came back from my dalliance with the SSPX, I felt at times about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. There are many places where that is still the case. But who in 2004 could have predicted Summorum Pontificum? Now, make no mistake about it, Christ remains master of his Church. In the midst of the spiritual poverty which anthropocentrism always produces, one comes across extraordinary oases of sanity and sense just lurking beneath a ledge, unobtrusive, unassuming, but doing the Catholic thing - that Catholic thing which is unmistakable in its profile and abundant in its fruits. None of it is perfect, but that is only because the Faith is a pilgrimage and not a fine art.
8-2 is the real scoreline, Ttony. Bad tackles are just the intimidation of the hopeless against the rise of more talented men who possess the future.
And if that doesn't cheer you up, may I remind you that all plans - especially those dreamt up by clever dicks who think they are in control of affairs - are in the end b+*&!!*@s!