So: is Bishop de Galaretta to lead the SSPX 'team' in negotiations with the Holy See? Not unnaturally, the blogosphere is alive with speculation about whether the SSPX 'team' will make mincemeat of the CDF, or vice versa. I don't think this is quite where we are.
Last year, Rowan Williams pointed out that the problem in 'dialogue' can sometimes be whether each of two sides even have enough common language to be able to disagree. Take Abortion. On one side, the discourse is all about the Woman's autonomy. On the other, about the immorality of terminating innocent Human Life. There is no overlap between the two discourses; hence there can be no dialogue. Discussion can only consist of the blindfolded shouting "Where are you Moriarty" and trying to whack the blindfolded. Or consider the question of the Ordination of Women. Its proponents are concerned with the question of Equality. They do not really think that traditionalists believe in Equality or are even aware of the question. A few years ago, a C of E Commission put together the Rochester Report, which even-handedly described the arguments on both sides. Bishop Nazir Ali naturally assumed that this would be the start of a big debate on the subject. So did Forward in Faith; a group of us wrote Consecrated Women, in which we attempted to address the theological, anthropological, and cultural issues involved. Naive fools, we were surprised that nobody 'on the other side' read our book (except, perhaps, for about three people, two of whom was Rowan). The determination of the feminists to rush ahead meant that nobody read Rochester either; and it looks as though the realisation of this was a big factor in the growing disillusionment of the Bishop of Rochester with the Church of England.
In the SSPX/CDF dialogue, if SSPX merely try to demonstrate that some of the wording of Vatican II formally contradicts some of the statements of the pre-conciliar Magisterium, they will have won hands down. They will have won, that is, in terms of their game, their discourse, and their victory in the cosy forum of their own minds will be useless. But, for progress, what each 'side' needs to discover is a common language; a circumscribed area of discourse in which they are actually both talking to each other.
I do feel that this dialogue will be an important one for the intellectual integrity of the whole Western Church, and also for Ecumenical relationships among Traditionalists both RC, Orthodox, and Anglican. So, although I know it annoys some readers that an Anglican should be pontificating about things that aren't his business, I intend to do so. I urge RCs who think this is all nothing whatsoever to do with me just to ignore these posts, rather than writing irritably to point that out.