I read the document which recently emerged from Rome with increasing disbelief. 'Is this some sort of joke?' I wondered. I checked in my diary that the date was not April 1.
What has reassured me is the uproar among the Synod Fathers which followed its publication. One friend has described the Synod as a latrocinium. I think this is quite the wrong end of the stick. I don't think it is 'disloyal' for a Catholic to say that the Holy Father was very poorly advised by those who suggested to him some of the names to be involved in spinning the Synod's deliberations to the world. And also by those ... probably the same lot ... who put into his head the idea of making the thing secret. But they have been unable to get away with it. Powerful heads are well above the parapet. The first sign of the impending storm was when Cardinal Mueller made robustly and publicly clear his disagreement with the policy of secrecy. Cardinal Mueller is an able and acute man. He has realised that the Holy Father's appeal to the Synod Fathers to speak with parrhesia is a factor that can apply in more than one direction. And he is, like Miss Jean Brodie, in his prime. I do not think it will be easy for the malign interests in Rome to sideline him as their fathers did the ailing Cardinal Ottaviani. I will be surprised if heterodox plotters succeed in their attempted coup in the way that those earlier plotters did during the Sessio prima of the Council.
I do not think that 'going to the SSPX' is a surefooted option ecclesiologically. What does the Society say about itself? That it is a canonically erected society within the Catholic Church with a certain very important charisma. It does not even claim to be some sort of separate, more 'pure' Church than the Church herself. By its own constitution, none of its bishops possesses or claims to possess episcopal jurisdiction. 'Going to the SSPX' doesn't put you into a comfortable refuge guaranteeing total security behind some sort of Starwars shield which will protect you from incoming missiles. It simply gives your enemies the opportunity of claiming that you always were schismatically inclined. In other words, it blunts your witness.
Catholics have a canonical right to make their concerns known to their pastors, especially to their bishops.
The Sovereign Pontiff himself would wish you to express yourself with parrhesia.