Wrong! Terribly, a misinformation.
The SSPX might be "traditional" but it is not currently in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The SSPX is not on an "irregular status;" the group is considered "schismatic."
On one hand I would agree with you, on the other hand I would not.
On the one hand, some very negative statements have come from Rome regarding the SSPX, perhaps the most important being the letter Ecclessia Dei Afflicta
, which was issued shortly after Archbishop Lefebvre (and Bp. Antonio de Castro Mayer) consecrated four SSPX priests as bishops (in the summer of '88). It's also no secret that the SSPX is not particularly well liked by most RC Bishops (at least in the western world; the situation is less hostile in other places, particularly east Asia, oddly enough, where it's more a mixed bag).
On the other hand Rome (surprise) has made statements to the opposite effect, particularly as of late; to the point of Romans (Vatican) giving qualified permission for RC laity to attend SSPX services, or making odd statements like (paraphrased from memory) that the SSPX situation is not a part of the Vatican's ecumenical affairs apostolate (which would include Orthodox Christians and Protestants), but is considered to be an "internal matter". It is also quite clear that the SSPX itself has not ceased commemorating JP II in their services as Pope of Rome, and dogmatically hold to the beliefs officially
taught by the RCC (where as the same cannot be said of a great part of the modern RC world, particularly Roman Catholic academia.)
From an Orthodox p.o.v., the position of the "rad trads" (as the "Lefebvrists" are often coined; as opposed to those "safe, good trads" like the FSSP, SSJV, etc.) is a sympathetic one, since their struggle with Rome (and I think it's fair to say they are the victims in this) is a return to the same question which causes Orthodoxy to take exception to the medieval Papacy. Namely, whatever the authority of the Pope may be, is it one which exists within the Church, with clear limitations, or is it something above and beyond the Church, with absolutely no spiritual/moral accountability?
While it is clear where the opponents of the SSPX (within the RCC) stand, it hardly seems clear within the RCC milieu the answer is to be found. The RCC hasn't resolved the whole issue of whether a Pope can in fact become a public heretic, and thus vacate his office (a very "Orthodox" sounding idea, since Orthodoxy would say this of any Bishop, Pope or not) - there certainly is good support for this idea (most recently, the RC "doctor" Robert Bellarmine, who gave arguments in favour of this possibility). If he can defect, this would go a long way in bolstering the SSPX's position (since such an apostasy would not occur immediately, but would require a trajectory in the wrong direction first - and if that is in fact the road Rome is headed on, as the SSPX alleges, is anyone obliged to follow?).
Personally, I think the whole situation (and I'm quite sure the SSPX doesn't see it this way, since they subscribe to Vatican I) is a sad testimony... the tragic side effect of that final descent into arrogance, culminated at Vatican I, where the Pope's alleged authority came to a zenith. No longer simply absolute master of Christian souls everywhere, he now became infallible. With time (as modern "conservative" Catholics demonstrate) this infallibility has only continued to grow, to the point that not simply "ex cathedra" statements are deemed infallible, but practically everything else as well.
In this sense, the SSPX is in a losing battle - at least so long as Rome continues insisting upon it's ill gotten "authority" as it has long been prone to do. The moment Rome really
re-evaluates it's claims (and not simply talk about "excercising them in a new way" - in essense saying, "we still have all of our rights, we simply will not choose to excercise all of them... for now"), will be the time when it will be capable
of seeing how and why things have gone so wrong. Then, and not before, there might be a real possibility of "corporate reunion" with the Orthodox Church. As it stands now, "ecumenical dialogue" by the Orthodox with the RCC is a waste of time (and if anything, dangerous.)
The FSSP, originally composed of SSPX clergy, IS the "RC group which has some sense!"
The FSSP has nice liturgies, and I know for a fact many of their clergy (and supporters) are ideologically far more on board with the SSPX than I think Rome (or most Bishops in the RCC) would be comfortable with. However, when all is said and done, they are impotent - and they made themselves such the moment they put themselves directly under the very authority which didn't want them to exist in the first place.
I cannot help but see a parallel between the "FSSP" and the "Uniates" - the intention of both, was to create a place where "non-Catholics" (RC traditionalists on one hand, Orthodox Christians on the other) could have their liturgy, and hold to their "quaint", peculiar ideas, with the hope that with time they'd be fully assimilated into the RC mainstream. Unfortunately (for the FSSP), this process has been sped up, since it's quite obvious that the FSSP has drawn as many "RC traddies" into it's net as it's going to, and as such it's being slowly dismanteled.
Another "Lefebvrite" was the "Society of St. John Vianney" of Campos, Brazil, which, both its entire clergy and laity, reconciled with and returned to Rome last year.
...and it's a decision, from the info I've received, some of the priests of the Campos society are already regretting. Effectively, they've been ghetto-ized (only having rights within a limited geographical area), which is exactly what the SSPX and the old SSJV were not
about. Neither group was a self interested bunch of Latinophiles with a sentimental/stylistic attachment to Tridentine praxis - their stand was a matter of principle, with the interests of the whole RC world in mind. More broadly, their interest was not simply the Tridentine liturgy, but to resist a much broader tide of theological/moral liberalism which now dominates the RCC.
As far as why the SSJV did what they did, I have it on pretty good authority it has to do with Bp.Rifan's health. He has/had cancer, and was creeping towards death. Apparently this shook his conscience, and he was one of the men who perhaps was never fully convinced of the traditionalist stand. It's worth noting that the founder of the SSJV (Bp. de Castro Mayer - Rifan took over after his death) died officially outside of Rome's good graces, as did Archbishop Lefebvre (which would seem to indicate that the old, "hardcore" traddie position was not
such to cause such trembling in conscience... at least to those actually convinced of it.)
Why do I know so much about the SSPX and the "traditionalist" RC movement in general? Simple; I was once one of it's adherants (in the latter part of my days as a Roman Catholic), and my immediate family are still involved with the SSPX (including a brother who is a tonsured seminarian in their American seminary.) Having met many "traditionalists", both lay and clerical (including the Superior General of the SSPX, and another one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbp. Lefebvre back in '88, Bp. Williamson), I probably have as much experience/knowledge about this group as any Orthodox convert I've ever met. It's quite hard to know this group well (even with it's many problems, and there are many) and not be sympathetic - particularly when you also had first hand experience of what goes on in much of the official "RC" world.