I haven't kept up with Stephen Heiner, but I had always assumed he was an SSPX type Trad and not a sede. This article seems to demonstrate he is a sede, is this correct? In any case, his article is so full of slap dash conclusions based on errouneous interpretation of facts, I'm not sure where I'd even begin to respond. It amazes me this guy conducted so many interviews with SSPX Bishops and priests and still doesn't get them.
If the situation is different from 1991 at all it is because it is better, not worse. BXVI gave the Society all three of their pre-conditions. The Mass is "freed", the Society is no longer "excommunicated" and Rome conceded to doctrinal discussions.
Bishop Fellay is following in the exact footsteps and the direction of ABL who urged them to always be open to dialogue with Rome because the Society would always be attached to Rome as the seat of the Faith. ABL, after 1988, said he learned an important lesson. A lesson which the SSPX has learned as well and a mistake they are not repeating. ABL said if he had to do '88 over again, he would never try to agree to a practical arrangement before the doctrinal issues were settled. Thus ABL himself gave impetus to the discussions as it was his desire. How Heiner does not know this after his involvement with Tradition since '96 and his constant interviews, I have no idea.
The Society does not deny Paul VI signed VCII. Who cares? It's like me signing a completely ambiguous statement that says nothing and everything at the same time. It's as if I signed a Magic Eye painting where everybody sees what they want to.
He asked the wrong question to his friend outside of Mass. He asked by what authority he questions the authority of VCII? Nobody questions the authority of VCII. VCII by its own admission was a pastoral council that defined nothing and obligated nothing. It authoritatively said....nothing.
In this context the Bishops' statements make sense. Yes, this non-infallible, non-dogmatic Council which waxed poetic in dangerous ambiguous language lending itself to heterodox interpretation should indeed be "erased from Church history", "discarded entirely", and the last 20 years were indeed the "institutionalization of the Revolution". The Revolution was the entire VCII event including the ambiguous documents and the complete lack of discipline in allowing the innovators to use the Council as a pretext for every sort of heresy and scandal.
The PC popes are heads of a "new religion" in the sense of the non-binding, non-mandatory, optional post-concilliar novelties they support and perpetuate. They are also popes of the Catholic Church as they have never condemned or forbade Traditional belief and practice or officially changed the Faith.
The Society is not the "arbiter" of Tradition, as if Tradition were some ambiguously vague and contradictory post-conciliar text that needed to be "arbited" by some sort of gnostic prophet like George Weigel. The Society keeps Tradition and the Faith as it stood before the Council. This cannot be wrong. They arbiter nothing. Instead they hold fast to Tradition and point out when the current gang does something differently than what the Church has always done.
Heiner brings up the Arians as usurpers. Yes many current bishops are similar usurpers. But St. A did not declare Liberius anti-pope and start his own church then. Neither does the Society today.
Heiner then trots out the usual sede dog and pony show and tries the "shock and awe" approach to convince one of sede-ism. He presents a laundry list of bad things JPII did, etc and asks how he could possibly be pope much less be beatified. But he fails to see the Society's arguments for what they are. The Society doesn't dismiss beatifications as crap. They distinguish that they are not, in fact, infallible and point out that honoring the beatus is optional. Canonizations were thought to be infallible but this opinion was formed when there was a devil's advocate and other safeguards present. Also the only thing infallible about the old canonizations was that the canonized was in Heaven.
Then Heiner pulls a Cekada and attributes all Society beliefs not to core convictions but to attempts to collect more money. That doesn't even need a response.
He then presents the same tired old false sede dichotomy that has become old hat by now. He attempts to force a choice between the NO Church and Sede-ism. This is the situation the sedes have manufactured as a fiction, through the very same "shock and awe" Heiner uses, but, unfortunately for them, does not reflect reality.
If I were Heiner I'd spend more time actually reading and understanding the very tenable Society position rather than apparently interviewing Society priests without any context with which to understand their comments and then flying off the cuff writing articles refuting, not Society positions, but strawmen.