Michael Voris continues his relentless attack on SSPX with today's Vortex explaining why Catholics should not attend SSPX masses to fulfill their Sunday obligation. While he's not certain why Voris has gone on an all-out offensive against SSPX at this particular time, the Bear's opinion hasn't changed. SSPX is what lawyers call "an attractive nuisance."
Imagine you had a junk yard, and you hadn't bothered to fence it in. In the junkyard was an enormous, rusted bulldozer. Every kid in the neighborhood sneaks into the junkyard after hours to play on this bulldozer. It even runs -- some. The owner of the junkyard has every reason to know the kids are playing on his bulldozer, but doesn't bother to get rid of it or put up a fence.
[UPDATE: it occurs to the Bear that the Church is also guilty of allowing this situation -- the bulldozer -- to go on, for whatever reason, probably to avoid an open, unmistakable schism. SSPX is never going along with the demand to agree with everything that came out of Vatican II. The Bear's position is he agrees with all things -- if any -- clearly articulated, which he has a duty to believe.]
Then one night the inevitable happens, The kids get the bulldozer started and do a Rachel Corrie on one of their friends. The junkyard owner gets sued. The judge says, "That bulldozer was obviously attractive to kids. It was what we call "an attractive nuisance." What happened was foreseeable. Give everything you own to the dead kid's family."
SSPX is undeniably attractive. It offers nearly everything the most ardent Catholics want. It is an attractive alternative to banal or disrespectful Novus Ordo masses. It is a nuisance, however, because it is undeniably leading people away from the Church and toward a kind of simulated Church of the past, cut off from the vine.
This isn't about whether the SSPX is technically in schism, a question that will not be resolved on some poor old Bear's blog. The best the Bear can do is ask if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck.
Do you really want to trust an SSPX priest with your absolution, when the Church is telling you he can't do that? Do you believe little old SSPX when it tells you they are deciding what masses are valid and what aren't, and that you must boycott all Novus Ordo masses to avoid offending God? (That was a wake-up call for the Bear, he's got to say.)
The Bear hopes any damage to the souls of rank and file Catholics is attributed to the SSPX. The kids? Well, they can't help themselves. It is the SSPX that created this problem.
Maybe because authority impresses lawyer-Bear, or because he already bolted from the Church for Orthodoxy -- twice -- he is very sensitive to this issue. That is why he always says, "Nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there." Whatever else is going on, that's on them. You can show your humility and obedience by putting your head down and stubbornly staying by Christ's side no matter what.
Aside from the merits of Voris' arguments, this is a preview of coming detractions in the Church as a whole. ("Detractions" in the sense of "making less," not speaking ill of someone.)
The Bear predicts (rather safely, he fears) that we will see more and more exercises of raw authority at the highest levels that won't make sense in the context of 2000 years of morals and dogma. But we will be expected to swallow it because it is all official. Looking as far into the future as he can, the Bear sees a strange Church. Yet, it will have all the bona fides of the one, holy, apostolic and catholic Church.
St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines.”
We're there. God help us.