During a speech delivered a few days ago to a congress attended by many of the world's religious formation directors, Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz issued the following warning:
Do not distance yourself from the great lines of the Second Vatican Council. In fact, those who are distancing themselves from the Council to make another path are killing themselves. Sooner or later, they will die. They will have no purpose. They will be outside the Church. We need to build, using the Gospel and the Council as a departure point.
One doesn't need to be a seasoned Vaticanista to understand who is at the business end of this verbal cudgel: those who are dedicated to the defense and restoration of the Church's traditional doctrine, liturgy and pastoral practice.
It's no secret that traditional seminaries - whether they be those of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), or of the Priestly Society of Saint Peter (FSSP) or of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP), or of the Fraternity of Saint Joseph the Guardian (FSJC), etc. - are filling up fast, while those dedicated to the reforms of Vatican II are having a hard time keeping their seminaries open for want of applicants. Even in regular diocesan seminaries, the choice to include training in the Traditional Latin Mass not infrequently leads to a surge in applications (cf. the U.S. Diocese of Madison under the guidance of Bishop Morlino). Given that this statement was made to an international group of religious formation directors, the Cardinal is apparently hoping to squash chatter that maybe - just maybe - those traditional seminaries and orders which are returning to a more strict observance of their original charisms are doing something right.
Not so, according to Cardinal de Aviz; to distance oneself from Vatican II is to commit ecclesiastical suicide. The kind where you stab yourself multiple times in the back, like with the Franciscans of the Immaculate.
What's next? A dead fish wrapped in a cassock dropped on Bishop Fellay's doorstep?