Back in the 1990s, when we made our first, unsuccessful, attempt to secure a Corporate Solution to our desire to enter into Full Communion with the See of S Peter, Cardinal Basil Hume (rightly desiring to make clear that opposition to the 'ordination' of women was not the only doctrinal requirement imposed by the Catholic Church) said that the Church's Doctrine was Table d'hote rather than a la Carte. Personally, as someone who had spent his entire ministry advocating Unity on precisely that basis, I found this a trifle condescending, but I could hardly deny that he was right.
Then we entered the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, and he gave us everything we needed. In the following months, we were 'formed' by being drilled in the 'post-Conciliar Magisterium' and little else ... endless large yellow books produced by Maryvale. If you estimated the matter by plain bulk, it would have to suggest that the post-Conciliar Magisterium is infinitely more important than Holy Scripture and the Fathers or School-men. When I suggested that we needed teaching on Scripture, because, coming from a Protestant environment, that was where we were really weakest, the suggestion was treated as a joke. We got just one lecture, from Fr John Hemer; every sentence in it pure gold ... but only that one session.
And, clearly, the post-Conciliar Magisterium was seen as vastly more important than the Fathers. Patristics was so poorly done that we were told that the teaching promulgated to Chalcedon by S Leo I in his Tomus ad Flavianum was heretical! Whatever would B John Henry Newman have made of that?
And, at my very entertaining 'Faculties Exam', I was comprehensively quizzed about my willingness to be very firm indeed if a nun ("or even a Reverend Mother") ever tried to preach a homily. The restriction of the homilia intra Missam to Bishops, Priests, and Deacons is of course based upon the strict teaching of the Catechism and Canon Law. Now, apparently, Osservatore Romano has recently raised in elaborate detail proposals to allow layfolk of both sexes to preach the homily.
And our 'psychometric' evaluation sessions in Manchester appeared to be designed to concentrate on the Church's current Magisterial teaching on sexual matters. I had to tell one interviewer that my relationship with my wife was not his business. But, despite all this emphasis in 2011-2 on those areas of Church teaching, it appears that, only half a decade later, the Magisterial teaching of S John Paul II and Benedict XVI, on, for example, the readmission of 'remarried' divorcees to Communion, and the disordered state of the homosexual lifestyle, is now all up for grabs.
Moreover, it is my recollection that, at least at one stage, the Vatican asked the Bishops and priests of the SSPX to accept, not only the texts of Vatican II, but also the "whole post-Conciliar Magisterium".
Does all the above read like dyspeptic rambling? Sorry. But I can now come to the question I am asking, with some brevity.
Why are the Catholic Faith and the post-Conciliar Magisterium Table d'hote for Bishop Fellay and me, but a la Carte for other more Eminent people?