Rethinking Benedict's SSPX decision

I've been thinking about the reaction to Pope Benedict's decision to "rehabilitate" the excommunicated bishops of the SSPX. From people on the progressive wing of the Church, the reaction has been one of almost unanimous indignation.

I wonder, though, if the world would really be better off with SSPX operating independently of the Vatican. It seems to me that bringing them back into the fold might ultimately have the effect of diluting their extremism.

Perhaps we've already started to see this. Antisemitic material on their website, previously ignored by the outside world, became the subject of much discussion. The sudden increase in attention resulted in at least some of it being taken down.

Reversing the excommunications is only a first step to bringing SSPX into the mainstream church. I don't, frankly, think it's going to happen. The Vatican is not going to make the kind of concessions the SSPX types are going to require. The whole attempt will look, on the surface, like a failure. But the antisemitism of the SSPX, once ignored by the outside world, has been revealed for everyone to see.

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