The reforming monk who tried to teach the pope a thing or two, Martin Luther
Catholic reformer, Bishop Bernard Fellay, who wants to teach the pope a thing or two
The Holy Father gets it on all sides. The ultra-conservative, neo-schismatic St. Pope Pius X Society disagrees with Vatican II altogether, not just the reforms of the liturgy. Pope Benedict has been trying to reconcile this group to the Church, but progress is stymied by the intransigence of this ultra-conservative group's leader, Bishop Bernard Fellay.
John Thavis of Catholic News Service writes the following from Bishop Fellay:
"Is Vatican II really a stumbling block? For us, no doubt whatsoever, yes!" he said. "Until now Vatican II was always considered as a taboo, which makes the cure of this sickness, which is the crisis in the church, almost impossible."
Fellay said the society has presented its doctrinal arguments in writing to the Vatican, followed up by theological discussion. "It is really a matter of making the Catholic faith understood in Rome," he said.
At Praytell Blog, Fr. Anthony got into a spat with me when he accused me in a comment I made over there that people should stop complaining and just implement the new translation which we must on the First Sunday of Advent of this year. He wrote that I was telling people to stop talking which I never did, since his is a blog and people are writing, not talking, and how in the world could I get people to stop talking, I mean writing, anyway on a blog that is meant to generate liturgical discussion on the progressive side of things and in which I am allowed to participate? In a way I felt like I was being silenced! (In other words there was a strong case for him projecting on to me what he does with people of my ilk and that is "silencing the discussion." But I digress.)
At any rate, Fr. Anthony had been involved in developing the new translation of the Mass. He was outraged when the 2008 translation which was approved by the American Bishops and then accepted by Pope Benedict XVI subsequently underwent a rather secretive adjustment changing some of the 2008 translation in some rather weird ways. Who gave the authority to do this and why was it not done in a more open way. These are good questions that really haven't been answered to my knowledge in any satisfactory way. The bishops themselves seem to be mum on this too. I wonder if they are puzzled if not angered by these changes from "on high."
Fr. Anthony now has an agenda to change how the Church exercises authority but doing so from the bottom up. This is what Fr. Anthony wrote in challenging something I wrote:
"The issue is not simply the quality of the translation. The issue is a broken system of church leadership. The translation is but a symptom of a larger problem."
In other words, like Bishop Fellay, one could say that one of Fr. Anthony's goals is to make Vatican II understood in Rome.
Two very differing attitudes about the exercise of Church authority and the interpretation of what and how the Church should be the Church. What's a pope to do? What are the laity to do?
For my part, I'm a papist. Maybe administration isn't a strong suit of the Church or of many bishops in union with the pope, but at least union with the pope is at the center of Church unity. But ironically enough the papacy has always been a lightening rod for disunity. But I think Jesus was too.
(update to this post, I read the following written by Fr. Anthony Ruff on Pope Benedict and his reform. I was pleasantly surprised by it because it is actually rather flattering of the Holy Father and certainly it is very accurate in terms of what the Holy Father has done and is doing. You can read Fr. Anthony's post on it HERE FROM THE PRAYTELL SITE!)
In a sense, you can see that come hell or high water, Bishop Fellay is going to do his thing and if Rome doesn't see it his way, well, Bishop Fellay is going his way. You know what you are getting with Bishop Fellay.
With progressives in the Church, they prefer a more "in house" subversive approach, like the bottom up kind of letting Rome know who's in charge. One's never sure who's in charge and who's doing what with this sneaky approach. They are more stealthy.
However, the progressives think that if it worked in Egypt and maybe in Libya, it will work in the Church. Progressives are really secularists at heart, aren't they?