Monday, February 02, 2009

The Passion of the Williamson?

As global reaction's largely registered in a not so sanguine light on the Lefevbrist "remit" -- even one Dutch bishop took to the TV over the weekend to call it "disastrous" -- the church's traditionalist branch is rallying the troops, and in the usual big way.

In one quickly-circulating online text, an anonymous author compared the fury being heaped upon Bishop Richard Williamson over his comments on the gas chambers as akin to "the crucifixion of Christ Himself," while others are viewing the storm of protest as nothing less than the crucifixion of Peter -- i.e. the Pope -- and his "delivery to the enemies of the Church of Christ."

In other words, mild charges.

Speaking of crucifixions and controversies, though, one point of contention likely to surface (again) along the Society's return path to full communion is the Tridentine Missal's original Good Friday prayer for the Jews, which Benedict XVI revised last year after a protest from Jewish leaders in the wake of the pre-Conciliar liturgy's widened availability post-Summorum Pontificum.

While the pontiff's edit struck the elements of the ancient prayer that drew the most fire -- namely, that God remove the "blindness of that people," save Jews "from the darkness" and "lift the veil from their hearts" -- the SSPX protested the "amputation" of what it called an "integral" part of the Good Friday rites, citing the text's history (dating as far back as the third century) and lamenting the move's basis in "pressure put upon [Benedict] by people outside the Catholic Church."

Viewing the new version as "a real transformation and the expression of a new theology of the relations with the Jewish people," the group said the revision "is in keeping with the liturgical upheaval which is characteristic of the Council and of the ensuing reforms.

"We can only deeply deplore the change."

As things progress, it's worth keeping an eye on whether they'll now be made to accept it.