- Double standards.
- Selective "mercy".
- Good cop, bad cop.
All very Machiavellian. Not Christian at all, though. But it could be "divine", if we are dealing with "the God of Surprises"...
Original note in Italian below, with full translation:
1) The headquarters of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) in Italy are located in the diocese of Albano, right outside Rome, near Castel Gandolfo.
2) Marcello Semeraro is not just any bishop. He is extremely close to Pope Francis, and is the only non-cardinal (with a secretarial and assistant position) in the most influential body in this pontificate, the Council of 8 Cardinals (now 9, with the Secretary of State), in charge of the reform of the Curia and of Church structures at large.
3) Bp. Semeraro is also the "media man" of the Italian Conference of Bishops (CEI) and main bishop with oversight of the Italian daily Avvenire, where this note was also published.
Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano
NOTIFICATION TO PASTORS [PARISH PRIESTS]ON THE "SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X"
In the past few weeks, requests of clarification have reached the Diocesan Chancery regarding the celebration of Sacraments at the "Society of Saint Pius X" of Albano Laziale.
Regarding it, it is right and proper to point out that the above-mentioned "Society" is not an institution (neither parish, nor association) of the Catholic Church.
This applies even after the decree of the Congregation for Bishops of January 21, 2009, by which the Holy Father Benedict XVI, reaching out in good will in response to reiterated requests by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, revoked the excommunication in which the four Prelated had incurred since June 30, 1988.
This was highlighted by Benedict XVI with his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church of March 10, 2009: "the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church." (in AAS CI , n. 4, p. 272). The same Benedict XVI, in the following Letter m. p. Ecclesiae Unitatem, of July 2, 2009, added: "the remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the context of ecclesiastical discipline to free the individuals from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. However, the doctrinal questions obviously remain and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry." (in AAS CI , p. 710-711).
As a consequence of the above, it is right and proper to restate what had been formulated in the Pastoral Note on the Society of Saint Pius X of [former bishop of Albano] Dante Bernini, in which it can be read:
The Catholic faithful cannot participate at Mass, neither request and/or receive Sacraments from or in the Society. Acting otherwise would mean to break communion with the Catholic Church.
Therefore, any Catholic faithful who requests and receives Sacraments in the Society of Saint Pius X, will place himself de facto in the condition of no longer being in communion with the Catholic Church. A readmission to the Catholic Church must be preceded by an adequate personal path of reconciliation, according to the ecclesiastical discipline established by the Bishop.
It is sincerely saddening that such options [measures], particularly when in reference to the Christian Initiation of Children and Adolescents, be in constrast with the pastoral orientations of the Italian Church and, consequently, with the choices of the Diocese of Albano, where formative paths for the growth and maturation of the life of faith are favored.
To the Parish priests, the duty of providing adequate information to the faithful.
From the Albano Chancery, October 14, 2014, Prot. 235/14.
+ Marcello Semeraro, Bishop.
In our honest opinion, this heavy-handed approach is so disproportionate and so out of tune with the acceptance of all heresy and misbehavior by Italian bishops that it simply will not be taken seriously. Bishops in our age should be careful not to look utterly ridiculous, which is what selective enforcement looks like - less an exercise in authority than a cry for help. Really, not just quotes from Benedict XVI's documents (which by themselves would be enough and appropriate), but even threatening children (!) of faithful who go to SSPX Masses with his special "penitential path", which he is "sad" to apply to them? Please, someone somewhere just help Bp. Semeraro find his rack for his special "penitential path", and the stake for the burning of the "relapsed"...
[Tip: reader Charles; image: Secretum Meum Mihi blog]