When I was looking through the Remnant newspaper com-box (and came across the Andrew Senior post concerning Fr Robinson/Wenger etc.) the thing that took me back more than anything was the fear amongst the SSPX laity in speaking out against the changes in the Society. Historically people who supported the SSPX had to be either brave, extremely pious, mad or a combination of a couple of the above.
It seems that these days, along with certainly some of the new priests, we have lambs in the SSPX congregations, rather than lions. Of course it goes without saying that many of the more headstrong were prepared to leave and support the Resistance but I don’t think that explains everything.
In France not only do those opposing the rallliement of the SSPX have the option of the Avrille Dominicans but other religious houses who, to whatever degree, oppose a deal. But in many countries that is not an option. If one refuses to support the Conciliar Church then the SSPX is their only option. Of course, this put the SSPX in a position open to abuse. If one ‘causes trouble’ not only could one and one’s children be ostracised but, if the priest is of ill will, expulsion from the chapel. I do not doubt that this fear is one of the things keeping many laity quiet. Those with children in SSPX schools, are especially prone to the potential of being targetted.
Then we have the ultimate threat, that if a substantial number of people resist change then the SSPX could ‘pull out’ of a Mass centre leaving the laity as ‘orphans’.
I heard about this late last year and the situation is quite interesting on a number of levels. Firstly, the situation had nothing to do with the resistance as such. I gather from the blog that the operator would be happy enough with an SSPX/Rome accord. However, there are a couple of things which need highlighting. Firstly, once again the centralizing of Mass centres where a priest could not be expected to travel two hours for 40-50 people but 40-50 people should be expected to travel two hours to the next closest Mass centre! This is something that Fr Pfeiffer rightly pointed out in the early days of the resistance, that saying three Masses on a Sunday is now considered too much for a Society priest nowadays. (Tell that to Bp Zendejas whose Sundays seem to resemble the travels of Phileas Fog!).
There is also some financial stuff which needs answering, but the most interesting point is what the SSPX priest said before he left. Now the reason why the SSPX is able to hold power over its laity is simple. “You have nowhere else to go, so pray and obey”. However, the trajectory in the Society is now one of sympathy with the varying Ecclesia Dei groupings. One has only to read some of the SSPX national sites, particularly Germany, to witness this. But this is a self defeating strategy. See here from the above Okie Traditionalist site
For a while now I have wondered for how long the SSPX could continue to impress upon its laity the need to avoid the Ecclesia Dei groupings. The difference between the two now are so minimal they are barely noticeable. (The SSPX now even have a more modern Easter liturgy!) The major difference has always been the restrictions placed on Ecclesia Dei groupings to tell the whole truth unhindered. Is that what SSPX priests of good will are able to do now? Really? I know of a number who have been moved because they have not tailored their sermons enough for the new regime.
The more the SSPX turn their back on their past, the more their laity will look enviously at what the local Christ the King Institute or FSSP parish has going for them.