The views of a Fr Scott of the SSPX are brought to my attention by a reader. I agree with most of what he actually says. Where he is off-centre is in simply knowing nothing whatsoever about us. His doctrinal comments are particularly inapposite. We are not heretics. Unlike the Orthodox, whom Fr Scott interestingly thinks are hardly heretics at all, we fully accept all that the Magisterium of the Church has defined de fide, including the decrees of Trent, Vatican I (and Vatican II where it is de fide ... mind you, I think there would be no harm in having one or two clarifications about the Vatican II decree on Religious Freedom; I hope Fr Scott will not condemn me out of hand as a dangerous liberal for this). Is it so wrong for us to accept the Catechism CC as a useful popular compendium of what is taught authoritatively as de fide in the primary Conciliar and Pontifical dogmatic documents and by the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, and to treat things in it which are not so based with the appropriate obedient respect (obsequium) that falls short of acceptance by divine Faith?
I know SSPX has resolutely defended the use of Latin in the Worship of the Western Church, and I admire them for their long and often lonely act of witness. I myself say the Tridentine Mass, in Latin, several times a week. I am aware of other Anglican clergy who are learning it and will use it with enthusiasm. But - just suppose the Holy See authorises for us a version of the Tridentine Rite in 'Tudor' English. Would this really be so terrible? There are examples from before the twentieth century of the Roman Rite being allowed in East European languages. However glorious the Latin language is, is it doctrinally unthinkable for the 'aloud' bits of the rite to be vernacular? Did not the admirable Mgr Lefebvre sign the Conciliar decree on Liturgy which allowed the possibility of some use of the vernacular?
As far as Orders are concerned, Fr Scott may not be aware that since the 1930s, schismatic Dutchmen called 'Old Catholics', whose orders Vatican praxis has always accepted, have been taking part "as aequi-principal consecrators" in Anglican episcopal consecrations. Secret archives which I have seen make clear that this practice was introduced precisely in order to ensure that "even the strictest RC" would not be able to question Anglican Orders in the future (a fact not made public at the time out of a desire not to give RC controversialists evidence for saying "even the Anglicans are doubtful about their own orders"). The Dutch, as they did the Touch, have said, in Latin, that formula from the Tridentine Pontifical which, before the twentieth century, was regarded among commentators and manualists as the form (Fr Scott can rest assured that the Bugninified post-Conciliar Roman Pontifical has not been involved in this process). But in any case, I do not know of any Anglican Catholic bishop or priest who would not be willing to have any doubts about his status set aside by a new 'ordination'. This is what happened, decades even before the Dutch Touch began, when Newman (whom Fr Scott appears to view with approval) went to Rome; he was not convinced that Anglican Orders were invalid - and he records that nobody else in Rome was either - but he submitted to a 'reordination' when he was assured that it was, in the mind of the Church, conditional, although its liturgical form did not make this conditionality explicit.
If we can make the Apostolic Constitution work ... and if SSPX sorts itself out with our Holy Father ... I will be very happy to recommend to my PCC that we welcome SSPX to our altars. Especially Fr Scott. He will not find much evidence of Dr Bugnini in S Thomas's.