Rome and the SSPX negotiations

Will Rome and the SSPX reconcile? It’s a good question. Like many traditionalists, I’ve been following the current reconciliation talks. I think slowing down the talks was a good idea. This way nobody feels rushed or pressured except by their own conscience. This way important differences can be discussed in more depth.
That being said, I would caution anyone against reading too much into the day-to-day rumors. I think these are like polls before an election. It is not the daily news reports that matter since they are simply snapshots of an overall process. So being at 50% in the polls is bad if you were at 55 last week and 60 the week before, but good if you were at 45 last week and 40 the week before. But you will get a lot 47s and 53s thrown in.
What matters is the overall trend. I think it is hopeful. First, I think there’s an appearance that Pope Benedict is much more nuanced in his understanding of the issues troubling the SSPX. Plus, given their cultural background, there’s probably much more of a natural affinity between Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay.
Secondly, while the SSPX continues to voice many of its longstanding concerns, I find that the SSPX is much more careful to state its respect for Rome’s authority. I also see the SSPX curbing many of its past literary excesses when speaking of the Pope, the bishops, Vatican II, the Novus Ordo, etc. In fact, the SSPX just published a major study defending the validity of the Novus Ordo rite of ordination.
Thus the day-to-day articles are for better or for worse, but the overall trend is hopeful in my opinion. Yet many differences ramain that on the surface appear irreconcilable. Thus the best thing we can do as Christ’s faithful is to offer our prayers and fasting to the Holy Ghost for Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay. They will certainly need Divine guidance to negotiate any deal.

New appointment at CDWDS

Pope Benedict has appointed Sri Lankan archbishop Malcolm Ranjith to be Secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship.
After serving as a priest and bishop in his native country, Abp. Ranjith became an official of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Since 2004, he has been nuncio in Indonesia, where he served during the tsunami disaster.
To get a sample of his thinking in general — though this doesn’t give us any indications about his views on the sacred liturgy — here’s a paper he presented to an evangelization conference about “How to Evangelize in Asia”. The Church, he indicates, should make it possible for Asians to discover Christ as Savior in personal experience, and show a connection between Revelation and the rooted religious traditions of the Church in Asia.