For the past several years the SSPX has adopted tactics and talking points that make them not dissimilar from a cult.
Among other things, the SSPX claims to have a monopoly on prudence. The term is used in almost every article the Society produces. It’s like they borrowed Goebbels’ line “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”
The SSPX mis-uses the term “prudence” almost all the time. They take it to mean to have a sort of political savviness towards the crisis in the Church. They then argue that to be prudent means to not make a lot of noise.
This is simply untrue.
Christ always spoke harshly to the Pharisees. It was prudent that he call them broods of vipers. He was more soft spoken while addressing the simple and the un-learned.
It is a matter of prudence to expose the wolves in sheep’s clothing in Rome today. The SSPX does not do this like it used to. The SSPX is simply scared of being seen as erratic and loud, as it may remind too many folks of Bishop Williamson, something Bishop Fellay is paranoid about.
The SSPX is not prudent in being moderate in its criticism. They are committing the sin of quietism spoken of by Jean Baptise Chautard.
Moreover, prudence involves memory and learning from others. Memory instructs us that Rome has not changed over the past several decades and that their past “overtures” to Tradition are mere tricks of the devil.
Also, all other traditional groups that went with Rome have not been allowed to stay ‘as they are.’ Few, if any, SSPX faithful today know about these groups though. The stories of Campos, the Good Shepherd Institute, and others are simply not known – something any good cult would want to do; re-write the past.
The Society is also run like a dictatorship, forcefully cracking down on priests and faithful who dare question persons in authority. Recent articles by Fr. Paul Robinson and others at FSSPX News are mere propaganda. They caricature those who disagree with a deal with unconverted Rome, using the bully pulpit of the slick-looking SSPX website to make their most blind supporters buy into their ideas ever more.
It’s high time the SSPX had a public debate either with members of the actual Resistance or SSPX priests who oppose a deal. Enough with the subtle sniping on SSPX-owned blogs.
The child-like squabbling between SSPX priests always favors the pro-deal side. Usually what happens is that some priest or groups of priests in the SSPX speaks up against a deal, often times by writing something in their bulletin or giving a sermon against it. Then, the authorities hear about it and a pro-deal priest is given a platform on the SSPX website or FSSPX News website to write some lame argument about why a deal with Rome is great.
That article then reaches thousands of people while the original priest never has a chance to defend his ideas. How about they let a priest who is opposed to a deal run an article on FSSPX News? Fr. Glieze was apparently allowed to do this recently, but in the past couple days there has been about four articles published on various SSPX outlets about why a deal is a must. Implicit in this editorial decision is the message that if anyone speaks out, we will come out in full force against you.
The neo-SSPX’s cult-like behavior is also on display in the Facebook group “SSPX Faithful.” The group is a collection of SSPX supporters — many of whom are well known in Society circles. However, most of them betray a quick-tempered uncharitable-ness towards others, a sure sign of liberalism.
The group is ruled with an iron fist by self-appointed oracles of Tradition. The slightest deviation from SSPX talking points by group members will be met with the harshest of condemnations. “Look now, another Resistance smartypants! Let’s get ‘em!” is the most common response to anyone who asks for clarification of or dares to say the slightest thing that might look like a second-guessing of an SSPX priest or Bishop.
The group is essentially a place for some of the more establishment SSPX families to practice regurgitating the latest sermon from Bp. Fellay, whom they view as infallible and the second coming of St. Pope Pius X.
The sort of blind devotion to Society leadership on display in the group and offline is a result of the SSPX having thoroughly convinced its supporters that critical thinking and asking questions is un-Catholic.
SSPX establishment types will inevitably say to those opposed to a deal something along the lines of “Oh, so you knew what Archbishop Lefebvre thought about Rome-SSPX negotiations better than Bishop Fellay? Wow. Amazing. Tell me more!” This is a sure indication that that person is out of ideas and has turned off their brain entirely.
While many who converted to Tradition had to go through the grueling process of reading, thinking, praying and questioning, many of those raised in the SSPX have done nothing of the sort. They simply don’t possess the critical thinking skills to “test all things” SSPX Superiors have said and done. And even among those who did some intellectual heavy lifting to come to the SSPX, many have checked out mentally, simply opting to go with whatever the SSPX decides. The long trek to Tradition was enough for them. To imagine that anything could go wrong in Tradition is a step too far, and not something they can or want to reflect on.
To try and convince many SSPX faithful that things are not well in the Society, one is often met with the statement “Well, the Resistance is puffed up with pride and they think they alone are the Church. What hubris!”
Such a silly argument is a sign of brainwashing. It is also the fruit of soft-speaking priests who now run almost all the SSPX chapels. All the choleric priests who, like Christ, forcefully condemn the Pharisees (aka the New World Order) in their sermons, are passed over when it comes to prime leadership positions at St. Mary’s, professorships at seminaries, and priories. These smooth speaking, young priests have sadly been convinced that it is Catholic to turn your brain off, and that to think critically is to be cocky, arrogant or prideful.
Today’s normal SSPX priest is a somewhat un-masculine sanguine whose sermons focus almost entirely on spirituality and nothing political. They preach about almost the same sort of stuff you heard when you were a novus ordo Catholic.
Many SSPX’ers have also been convinced to immediately question any statement you provide them with that comes from Archbishop Lefebvre. The almost universal response is “yeah, but do you know the context he was speaking in? That remark was given in 1988. You need to read everything the Archbishop said.”
This is a result of the liberals in charge of the SSPX who keep saying “context, context, context” every chance they can regarding the Archbishop’s remarks. Yes, context matters. But the quotes the Resistance uses to make its case are in context. We’re not a bunch of idiots here. We’re not trying to gin up division. We’re trying to save our souls, and to have our questions answered. To be met with what I call “the context argument” is infuriating and not an intellectually honest response.
Indeed, the whole “context argument” was the preferred method the progressives used at Vatican II to brush aside a whole corpus of papal pronouncements from Pius IX to Pius XII. It was effectively used to paint their opponents as naive and un-familiar with reality. The neo-SSPX is using the same tactic today.
The neo-SSPX is a cult because its followers do not think, they simply say we must “trust the superiors.” They have canned, un-original answers for everything you ask them. They simply repeat what the Superiors say. Even simple questions are seen as signs of disobedience, if not a venial sin. Often times the people who ask for nothing more than clarification are instantly branded as a rebel, a Resistance-supporter or worse a Williamsonite. Many devout SSPX mass go-ers live in fear of being branded in this way, so they opt to keep their head down and don’t ask questions or try to seek answers. They know that doing so may get them ostracized, as others they know have been ostracized and isolated by SSPX leadership. Anything that goes against SSPX talking points is met with the swiftest of denunciations and is essentially labeled as un-Catholic by way of insubordination. Public deviation from approved messaging is punished in the harshest ways.