30 April 2012
Stichomythia comes from the Greek dramatists, where it is a sharp dispute conducted in a dialogue of alternate lines. Now there is not much real drama left in a world where the truth is almost extinguished, but the lies have not yet quite taken over in the Catholic Church, as they will virtually do at world’s end, so where there is still some truth, there is still some occasion for stichomythia. We listen in on an SSPX soft-liner (SL) trying to give a hard time to an SSPX hard-liner (HL):–
SL Outside the Church is not where we should be!
HL Who left the Church? Vatican II! Not we!
SL Once in the Church, we could do so much more!
HL If we detested error, as before.
SL Why should we stop detesting error, pray?
HL Because we would be joining in their fray.
SL We need to live within the Church’s law.
HL Not if it is not serving God any more.
SL The Catholic Church is visible. We’re not there.
HL The Church is holy. Do we see that? Where?
SL But things have changed since the Archbishop’s day.
HL The modernists still hold exclusive sway.
SL What Rome now offers, he would have approved.
HL Never, once Benedict to Assisi moved!
SL The SSPX stands strong, need fear no fall.
HL Let all who stand fear falling, says St. Paul.
SL But our Superiors have grace of state.
HL Did leading churchmen never prevaricate?
SL Our leaders to the SSPX belong!
HL And does that mean they never can do wrong?
SL But, Pre-condition One, Rome freed the Mass.
HL And left in place the “bastard rite”, so crass.
SL Rome also lifted the ban on bishops four.
HL But did that make them more free than before?
SL Yet Benedict is calling for our aid.
HL To make Truth prosper, or to help it fade?
SL Of harming Truth, how can the Pope be accused?
HL His modernist mind is hopelessly confused.
SL Yet truly, Benedict wants us all back in.
HL As a modernist, yes, but modernism is a sin.
SL Then do you still believe that he is Pope?
HL Yes, but we must for his conversion hope.
SL What can you mean by, “As a modernist, yes”?
HL Our true Faith he can only harm, not bless.
SL Our welfare is his genuine concern.
HL Not our true welfare, if our true Faith he spurn.
SL A lack of supernatural spirit you show!
HL If woe I say there is, where there is woe?
SL Not everything in the Church is gloomy, dark!
HL Where do you see of true revival a spark?
SL A movement towards Tradition is under way!
HL While fully in control the modernists stay?
SL Then is the official Church still God’s own Church?
HL Yes, it’s the churchmen left us in the lurch.
SL But surely Pope and Rome have both meant well.
HL So? – “Good intentions pave the way to Hell.”
SL But evils worse that Vatican Two can be.
HL The Archbíshop – remember? – called it World War Three.
SL You’re harsh. Your attitude to schism will lead.
HL Better than undermine the entire creed!
SL Not all the Church authorities are bad.
HL The good ones have no power. It’s very sad.
SL Priests should not say, authority is untrue.
HL But bishops were the cause of Vatican II!
SL Still, Catholic instincts seek their Catholic home.
HL Today, for Catholics, that’s no longer Rome.
SL Then where is the Church? Just in Tradition? Where?
HL “One, holy, catholic, apostolic” – there.
SL You want to solve this problem overnight!
HL No, just that a start be made to set it right.
SL We trust in God. We trust in his Sacred Heart.
HL Bravo! But humans too must play their part.
SL That part is not for us just to complain.
HL Tradcats work hard, Tradition to maintain.
SL If we went in with Rome, we could turn back.
HL No. More and more we’d follow in Rome’s track.
SL Why stop the Romans making restitution?
HL Because they’re set upon our destitution.
SL Back in the mainstream Church we’d set to work!
HL Rather we’d lose our way in all their murk.
SL But we are strong, with bishops one and three.
HL Alas, the three with the one do not agree.
SL We’re firm in the Faith. Modernists are no threat!
HL We’d easily slide. You want to take a bet?
SL Strong in the Faith, we can afford to agree!
HL But that Faith says, from heretics to flee.
SL But “Gott mit uns”! We are the SSPX!
HL Not if we choose to ignore all prudent checks.
SL Were we approved, Romans would learn from us!
HL O Heavens, no! They’d throw us under the bus.
SL Were we approved, the earth of Rome could quake.
HL But not before to pieces we would shake.
SL Our leader has graces of state. We must obey.
HL Was Paul the Sixth given graces to betray?
SL Rome is now weak, meaning, we could stay strong.
HL For right, Rome’s feeble. Mighty it is for wrong.
SL So what’s the answer, if you’re always right?
How can the Church be rescued from its plight?
HL The Church belongs to God. In his good time
We’ll see his answer, stunning and sublime.
Till then we grieve, and thirst for right, and trust.
That which we cannot cure, endure we must.
From error and the erring stay away,
Even while for their immortal souls we pray.
And tell God’s truth, however few will hear –
As close as the nearest door, his help is near