Everyone is asking "Why a deal with doctrinal questions unaddressed?"
It's a good question. Instead of flying off the handle and making unfounded accusations , I started to think.....
Fellay, Schmidberger, etc., have always been adamant that doctrinal questions needed to be addressed; that was the whole point of the doctrinal discussions with Rome. Note that, according to Bishop Fellay, those talks did not go particularly well. Then, the Pope steps in, and offers the SSPX this "Doctrinal Preamble". What is very interesting about this is all of the "clarifications" that the Preamble has gone through. We don't know much of the Preamble, but still less of the clarifications. Which raised an interesting question:
What were the clarifications about? The Preamble addresses doctrine, soo..........the clarifications supplied by the SSPX, and accepted by Rome
are about doctrine as well? It is an interesting possibility.
Once the Doctrinal Premable is officially published, we may find out that the doctrinal questions have been addressed. How they have been addressed remains to be seen, but given the splendid articles by Fr. Gleize, I would think that the SSPX would be pretty happy with it.
It may also explain the super-secrecy regarding the Preamble. Everyone has been wondering, why so secret? The faithful have the right to know! Normally, yes, they would, however.....
If Benedict XVI is making major concessions to the SSPX (let's say, for example, he agreed to a major revision of the Vatican's stance on religious liberty, in one or more of these clarifications), what do you think the reaction would be of most of the hierarchy? A few prelates, such as Bishop Schneider and Cardinal Burke, might be OK with it, but most of them would completely freak out. It may even result in a major schism in some of the most liberal hierarchies (e.g. France, Germany, the Netherlands). Not to mention the flak the Pope wold take from the media and our "elder brothers".
In short, do not think that the doctrinal issues have not already been addressed.
I think it's important to remember that Benedict, while still clinging to Vatican II, knows that the "reform" is dying. The stats are there for all to see. Vatican II was a grave wound to the Church. If you read between the lines of what he says, you can see that he knows that. He, however, is so attached to the Council that he cannot bear the thought that it could have been such a terrible mistake. Like most old men, he cannot bear the thought of admitting that his life's work was in vain, that his "brilliant" idea to reconcile the Church and the modern world was a disastrous error. But he knows that things cannot continue as they are now.
So, he invents the idea of a "hermeneutic of continuity". Take Vatican II and reinforce the decaying structure of the New order with Tradition. That is why he was such a huge supporter of Ecclesia Dei, Opus Dei, etc.
Now, he sees that those structures cannot save the Church....and so he is insistent on getting the authentic Tradition held by the SSPX within the Church as soon as possible, to get it "into the open" so to speak, and to get the Tradition held by the Society into the minds of the the new priest, the next generation. The Society was founded to preserve the doctrinal integrity of the priesthood......and they may be able to do just that (note the building of a very large new seminary in Virginia....hmmmm....). I don't think he is doing it because he is some sort of top-secret Traditionalist, or because he wants to destroy the SSPX. The reality is far more complicated. Rather, he sees no alternative other than the destruction of the Church. As Bishop Williamson has so often said, the mind is clouded by modern thought, which is so destructive to clear thinking and decisive actions.
So, the quality of the deal is important;; if the SSPX can get total anonymity and the support of the Pope to say or do whatever they want-which it certainly looks like they will get-the they may have an opportunity for an end-run around the Vatican II-infected hierarchy. If not, then it would be highly premature to "make a deal". But we will see.
PS-It would be interesting if the Pope simply recognizes the SSPX without demanding acceptance of the Preamble. There have been hints of that lately. While it would be surprising, it would, I think, only reinforce my theory. Pope Benedict is desperate, and the Society mey be able to use that desperation to it's advantage.
Any talk of a deal while Rome is unconverted is an implicit acceptance of dogmatic pluralism in the Church.
Not necessarily, see above.
No Catholic, much less Archbishop Lefebvre, would stand for this!
a) So, everyone who does not share your opinion about the negotiations with Rome is a non-Catholic. Right.
b) Archbishop Lefebvre did
sign a deal, but only retracted when he realized that Rome would most likely not allow him to consecrate bishops, which would have spelled doom for the Society. Ratzinger was not nearly as desperate in 1988-he believed, along with JPII, that the Vatican II experiment could still work. Now, with clerical rebellion in Europe, the rebellion of women religious in America, the statistics showing the massive decline of the Church, the threat of schism in Austria and Germany-things are far worse, and far more desperate. I doubt that the same negotiations would be going on now if it were not for the fact that Benedict is desperate, and sees the Society as a way out for Vatican II.
PPS---I may be completely wrong on this, but I certainly hope not!