Readers of my blog over the past two plus years know that I am not a fan of our Holy Father Pope Francis. I submit to him as a loyal son of Rome, but it is my opinion that he has done a great deal of harm to the Church during his pontificate. I will, however, give credit where credit is due.
This morning I pulled into my employer's parking lot and did a quick check of the blogs I frequent daily. The first post I saw on Rorate Caeli was thrilling: Pope Francis has granted all SSPX priests the faculty to validly and licitly absolve sins during the year of mercy. While the SSPX has long argued that they have faculty to absolve sins, I do not think their arguments hold water, but regardless this gesture of kindness and mercy from the Holy Father towards the SSPX is unprecedented. Fr. Z often has said that just as only Nixon could go to China, perhaps only Francis could reconcile with the SSPX and bring them into full union with Rome.
There is a great line in the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Spock is trying to convince Kirk to accept an assignment to meet with the Klingons in the first gesture of peace between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets. Kirk had a long history of animosity and hatred towards the Klingons (a Klingon killed his son). Spock tells Kirk: "Only Nixon could go to China." Just as only Captain Kirk could reach a peace between the Federation and the Klingons, perhaps only Pope Francis can achieve SSPX reconciliation.