After seeing some of the stuff I have seen, especially in regards to the almost total disregard of the sacred, I can now understand why Lefebvre did what he did. It was a sin, and he was excommunicated as the Pope explicitly says…but even then I can understand why he did it.
The question of this thread is:
IF Lefebvre didnt perform that schismatic act…would there be talk of the MP for the “universal indult” today? Would it even exist?
I would say that definitely he was a major player. That he created controversy had a definite effect and created a new awakening of what Catholicism was going through. That he himself was a Vatican II participant made his peer bishops take heed of what he was doing.
But then he needed a following and major support to make things happen as well; otherwise the Vatican and the press would not have overreacted as they did. One or two TLM advocates would not have been enough for anyone to notice. How many would have even cared that nine Cardinals came to a major decision concerning the abrogation status of the Traditional Latin Mass? And even this the Archbishop wanted to tell the world but was suppressed by his fellow bishops, who really should have shouldered more of the divisive culpability of what JPII felt he needed to do.
All this said, however, we haven’t seen an actual MP yet, so all this may be a moot point in answer to the OP poll question.
I voted “NO”, mainly because Lefebvre and the SSPX put the issue on the front page, and kept it there for 40 years (+/-). I agree that Benedict may have done something anyway, but I wonder how solid and how quick it would have been. It’s kind of like asking if our computing environments would be the same today without Bill Gates (whether you like it or not). You can’t be sure, but clearly he played a substantial role.
I think if they would have had patience and trust in Jesus, their order would have eventually been approved and then in the good graces of those who makes these decisions. Their large movement would have had a lot more influence than it does today. Likewise, most bishops associate the Latin Mass with Lefebrve’s movement, giving the Latin Mass an automatic stigma that wouldn’t exist if his movement was fully integrated in the Church. So, I think that without Lefebrve’s actions, we might have more Latin Mass.
The poll is based on speculation. But it cant be denied that the same letter that had Lefebvre excommunicated was the same that allowed for the indult we have now (and that letter came 18 or so years after 1970).
That is part of the question though, would they have allowed the SSPX to be a modern FSSP? I would bet Lefebvre did what he did because that was not an option for the sspx. Also, why did it take the Ecclesia Dei document to give the first indult?
Just a clarification. Im not saying that if Lefebvre did nothing the MP would not have come out in the “distant future”, it very well could have come out in the “distant future”…but the fact is the “recent past” has seen little attempt to broaden the access to the TLM. The first indult was granted 18 years afterwards, and it was appended to the excommunication decree Ecclesia Dei against Lefebvre.
There is no way to know, because God is able to over-rule all actions, sinful or not, to do His Will. We have no way to know all possible the “combinations” of acts of creatures which bring about a given result; as this requires Infinite Knowledge & Wisdom
So it is equally possible that if he had been obedient in 1974, the MP would have existed earlier. Being creatures, & not God :), we do not have any way of** knowing**; all we can do is speculate.
What one can know, is what God requires of one - which is, total love & total obedience. God has given us tests to know whether we love God - including: “You are My friends, **if **you keep my commandments”. Dividing His Mystical Body is not very friendly to Him, surely ?
The ends don’t justify the means…but, just from a historical perspective…if the SSPX hadnt caused an uproar and rather large schism (and it is a schism)…yeah, the Vatican probably would have ignored those “quaint, unprogressive traditionalists” and not bothered even patronizing us.