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Over coffee today with a Swiss friend, we got into the subject of Ecône – which is shorthand for the Society of Pius X, the conservative raskol  in the Roman Catholic Church, started by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and headquartered in Switzerland. 

Something tells me – and it is no more than an intuition, but feedback is welcome ­– that a coming together of the Russian Orthodox Church with Rome, which part of the Moscow hierarchy seems to want, passes by Econe.

Why: because cut away the ‘crazy boys’ on the ultra-right, and there is a lot in the movement that feels closer in spirit to Russian Orthodoxy than ‘conciliar’ (i.e. normal) Roman Catholicism.  

According to my colleague, young Swiss men from the better bourgeoisie are flocking to Ecône. Many of the priests include in their names the ‘de’ which demarcates the French nobility. I suspect that the it picks up a spirit of ‘noblesse’ (qui oblige!) and a positive elitism which has flown out of the window in modern Roman Catholicism.

On verra. We shall see.

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27 May 2010

 I watched with interest the YouTube of the SSPX group in Antwerp that Igor sent me. I have a certain sympathy with the old-fashioned the east-facing celebration of the mass as recognizing the might and glory of God. Yet I am uneasy: it can push God out into the ‘yonder’, conveniently distant.

 West-facing celebration forces the ‘God with us’ – we have to come to terms with the fact that this God of glory wants to be with us, to become very tangible to us in our midst and in our very depths, individually and perhaps also corporately. Rather than have Him waft out of the east window or to the apex of the reredos in clouds of incense, we meet this Deus tremens et timendus when we really start to search for God in the depths of our hearts and experience the mixture of fear and hope as we come closer to the place, the morada, where the Trinity dwells in us.

And the God we push out there becomes once more the distant, incomplete God of the Old Testament. 

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