Hmm. The "distant successor" to a saint vs. the close successor to a schismatic. And I thought it was the cons who wanted to have their cake and eat it, too.
The Lefevbrites thought they could keep it intra muros.... Honeys, this is the Roman Catholic church -- schism or not, the washing well remains.
The documents below sound exactly like the CWNews Tribunal as Levada was named to the CDF -- judgmental, catty, more "Catholic" than the Pope. But, to its credit, SSPX has the sophistication to not stoop to the depths of, say, claiming triumph when B16's "background is exposed and he CHOOSES to retire."
For the uninitiated, that gem was from a Lawlerite who thought he found Jesus by taunting Levada. It was actually the Lord-impersonator.
A source from the Society sends these presents (emphases are my own):
After the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Cardinal Ratzinger, who took the name of Benedict XVI, we are in expectation of what this pontificate will be. Obviously, Cardinal Ratzinger's past is scarcely encouraging and one might indeed well be fearful. Nevertheless, one might equally entertain some hope, however faint, for the liturgy should the Pope have the courage of the convictions he expressed as a private author in his different publications over the last few years. One of the first, keenly awaited, gestures which should give us a fairly significant indication will be his nomination for the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
It seems that, after a moment of panic, the hard-liners have begun to recuperate their position and to encircle the new pope so as to keep a free hand to continue to spread in the Church deleterious seeds. As the Anglo-Saxons say: "Wait and see . . . "
FYI, to use the term "Anglo-Saxon" is so French pejorative....
So that was the "news briefing." Here is the letter regarding the audience.
Circular Letter 2005-05EX
17 May 2005
The election of Pope Benedict XVI after the death of John Paul II is an event that must hold the attention of the Society and its superiors, even though significant changes from the course described by the preceding pontificate probably cannot be expected. The Pope's recent authorization to open the cause of beatification of his predecessor, waiving the five-year period that is supposed to elapse first, can scarcely inspire confidence.
Nevertheless, as our beloved and venerated founder Archbishop Lefebvre did upon the election of Pope John Paul II, it seems useful and necessary to contact the new pope to request an audience. This is Bishop Fellay's intention, determined in consultation with his council, and which he desires to make known to you by this letter.
Yet, so that this intention may be rightly understood, I have been charged with explaining to you his reasoning as regards this request for an audience. What is its purpose? Above all, it is a matter of making the presence of Tradition felt at Rome, of bearing witness to what we are so that the voice of Tradition may be heard at the heart of Christendom, even if we must not have any illusions about the kind of echo it will encounter. It is an episode in the combat of the faith that we are waging, and which must necessarily also be waged in Rome.
This audience will equally be the occasion to solemnly reiterate in a personal, direct manner, the call for the restoration of the Tridentine Rite of Mass in all its rights, so that the ostracism of which it is the object may cease. It will be the occasion to remind the Pope that Cardinal Ratzinger belonged to the Commission of nine Cardinals that unanimously judged in 1986 that no one could prevent a priest from celebrating this Mass. If there was unanimity, then necessarily he must have voted thus.
Will he be responsive to this argument? It is hard to say, but it is our duty to remind him of it, and to go and proclaim the inalienable right of this rite before the distant successor of St. Pius V.
Bishop Fellay considers it very important to inform you at the outset of this initiative so that it can proceed in the light of day, and so that all the members of the Society can understand its scope and meaning. Please note well that there is no intention at this time of resuming "negotiations" of any kind.
You are asked to please inform the members of the Society entrusted to your solicitude, so that all may know the reasons for this request of an audience and its goal. On the other hand, this letter is not supposed to be disclosed outside the Society, even if experience has taught us that this type of news rarely remains "intra muros" . . .
Confiding this step to Popes St. Pius V and St. Pius X, I assure you, dear Confreres, of my prayers to the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
+ Fr. Arnaud Selegny