Sunday, 7 December 2008

Schism on Stronsay

I am saddened and surprised, though I suppose I shouldn't be. The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer domiciled on Papa Stronsay have themselves divided over the issue of their reconciliation with Rome. One priest and two brothers have left the community, reverting to the former title of Transalpine Redemptorists, and have started an independent mission on Stronsay Island, celebrating Mass in a garage.
I discovered this information yesterday, but have thought about whether comment should be made. But today there is an article about it in The Scotsman, which is quite temperate (even if it does describe the remaining members of the community in the monastery on Papa Stronsay—the vast majority—as 'the rump': shades again of Lambeth Palace blowing away from one of its tiles) and so I feel that as the cat is out of the bag, then I might have my say, too.
Human beings are independent thinkers, and one must not expect people whose conscience has kept them out of apparent union with the Holy See for thirty years or more to find it easy to allay that conscience simply because others feel that the time is right. At the time of the reconciliation of Le Barroux, their daughter house in Latin America refused to follow the lead and remains part of the Lefebvrist family to this day.
Fortunately, the fathers and brothers in the Orkneys are keeping charitable tongues in their heads, refusing to malign each others' consciences—which must be so tempting in these circumstances. I suppose all we can do is pray for them, and also that all who are at some distance, shall we say, from the Holy See may find their way home soon.

4 comments:

Martin said...

"Human beings are independent thinkers, and one must not expect people whose conscience has kept them out of apparent union with the Holy See for thirty years or more to find it easy to allay that conscience simply because others feel that the time is right"

It can't have been any easier for the fathers and brothers on Papa Stronsay to make the move to full communion. I don't think that any sympathy can be had for those (ex)members of the community who refuse to see the light of the Holy Ghost, and instead spend their time in breaking up the parish on Stronsay and causing grief to poor Father Michael Mary, who surely has enough to deal with from the public (who always seem to know more and better than he does), without having to deflect punches from his own members as well.

Pastor in Valle said...

Martin - You're right, of course, but 20 years of priesthood has led me to think that these decisions-either way— are never made easily.
In the end, it was, after all, Fr Michael Mary who actually moved, made a change to the status quo, even though it was unquestionably in the right direction. That can't have been equally easy for everyone.

Orkney Catholic said...

Being as it were on the ground, I was aware of the situation described in the Scotsman article. What most struck me about the piece was the bishop's plea that the diocese should give the FSsR a generous welcome. We have heard stories of communities and individuals welcomed with open arms by Rome and held at arm's length by the local hierarchy (I am thinking of converts from Anglicanism as well as e.g. the Institute of the Good Shepherd). It seems that that problem has not arisen here, thanks be to God. Maybe that in itself will make Fr Nicholas, and Fr Morgan, re-examine their own fears and suspicions.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

In the Angelqueen forum, the statistics given were: 2 (not just one) priests and 2 brothers remaining "Transalpine Redemptorists" apart from the 18 who reconciled, with another 2 Transalpine Redemptorist brothers choosing to enter the SSPX.