Rorate Caeli

The Battle for the Heart of Tradition


At this point, nobody outside the inner circles of the Vatican knows for sure if or what the Holy Father will offer toward a possible reconciliation between the SSPX and Rome, but that does not prevent people from expressing their firm opinions, and they have:

AGAINST a possible reconciliation (February 2006):
...Clearly, we are at an important crossroads. The aging Roman establishment is losing confidence that their conciliar Revolution will survive. Tradition is storming back into the lifeblood of the universal Church as the churches of the Novus Ordo empty out and are sold to the highest bidder. This is obviously no time for traditionalists to back down, nor is the time right for the SSPX to end its standoff in the name of holy Tradition or to agree to anything less than a deal based on Rome’s promise to recall Vatican II...
FOR a possible reconciliation and a response to the previous statement (March 13, 2006):


...In conclusion we might ask ourselves: what is going to be the probable outcome of the bitter zeal of the writers of this manifesto in the case that their wrong advice is taken? First, that the full union of the SSPX with the Church will be further delayed. Second, that their current irregular canonical position might evolve with the passage of time into a formal schism. Third, that it is a totally flawed way of thinking to assert: "In fact, it seems obvious that at this point in time, the entire traditionalist movement benefits from the SSPX remaining exactly where it is." Any traditional manual of Moral theology would show to the authors of this manifesto that we should never do evil to obtain good...


The battle rages on...
--

Dear reader, in order to fully appreciate the current affairs involving the SSPX and understand the many views involved, please read the latest interviews of actual decision makers, Bishop Bernard Fellay (here - "I would say that regarding this case Williamson is more pessimistic and I am more optimistic.") and Bishop Richard Williamson (here).

24 comments:

Jeff said...

Whatever happens, we can still fast and pray and do penance and call upon the Name of the Lord until He comes.

And we would still have to do all that anyway even if all the Churches in the land (that the secularists don't close) had Tridentine Masses in them.

My wife read a quote by Louis XVI yesterday to the effect that he thought it should be a requirement that any proposed new Archbishop of Paris should believe in God. Apparently even then they had their problems...

Henry94 said...

I don't like the idea that staying out will bring Rome to its knees. It is fanciful and arrogant.

Do we not love the Church? Do we no want to come to its aid if there is that possibility.

Let's look at what is available and do what is right for the Church in that context. The future of the Church is tradition.

orielensis said...

Regarding Louis XVI, the quotation is particularly nice from the point of view of French grammar:
"il serait convenable que l'archevêque de Paris crût en Dieu"
(Note the imperfect subjunctive!)

I don't mean to trivialise the matter at hand. Clearly more than good grammar is needed to heal the wounds in the Church. I agree with Jeff, fast and pray! At least the SSPX and their supporters are Catholic in belief, if not in their attitudes to Rome and the governance of the Church in recent times. Let us continue to pray for unity and charitable discussions. God can use all evil for His own good, divine purposes.

Tradosaurus said...

A notable and world renown Catholic apologist shed some light on the Venerri/Matt Joint Statement:

"While discussing the “Indult Position,” which receives recognition from the Vatican while agreeing not to condemn the New Mass or Vatican II, the authors correctly state that this position is immoral (first line). They even compare it to those who claim to be pro-life, but are not outspoken against abortion.

However, later on the authors state: “Trading Vatican recognition for silence against Vatican II’s errors has resulted in many good Ecclesia Dei and Indult priests not voicing criticism of the post-Conciliar changes...” (third and fourth lines from bottom)

I thought that it was “immoral” to trade silence for recognition, so how can those who partake in this immorality be “good”? The answer is that they cannot be good. The liberal heretics and schismatics John Vennari and Michael Matt are too blind to see that they are calling evil “good.”

The Joint Declaration then proceeds to cite Fr. Peter Scott of the SSPX:

“On this point, Father Peter Scott, Rector of the SSPX’s seminary in Australia, wrote in late 2004: ‘How is it that these 25 priests from Campos, who for 33 years refused all collaboration whatsoever with the New Mass, who put together these famous reasons for refusing to assist at or collaborate in the New Mass, who so well defended the canonical status of traditional priests, persecuted precisely because of their refusal to celebrate the New Mass, have suddenly changed their tune? It was not the death of Bishop De Castro Mayer, 11 years before this compromise took place, nor the need of a bishop, for the Society of Saint Pius X had provided them with one. It was quite simply the political exchange, the compromise required in return for the recognition of their Apostolic Administration. It truly was the devil’s tail. Not only were they forbidden all missionary work outside the diocese, not only were they subject to the diocesan bishop in all their apostolates in Campos, but now they are forced to positively cooperate in the New Mass, and to justify it as well.’

…There were rumors that the SSPX was going to have a “deal” with Rome in place by Easter, or by the end of Bishop Fellay’s term as Superior General this summer. We never believed these rumors, as it seemed unlikely that the leadership of the SSPX, after doing so well in holding the SSPX together for 18 years since the episcopal consecrations, would suddenly commit an imprudence bordering on madness.” (Michael Matt and John Vennari, A Joint Statement from The Remnant and Catholic Family News on Rome and the SSPX)

Did you get that? Catholic Family News and The Remnant are now proving that it’s not sedevacantism that is “absurdity” and “madness,” but rather submitting to Benedict XVI and his “Bishops”! Submitting to them would be, in their own words, an imprudence “bordering on madness”! Further, notice that Fr. Peter Scott (cited approvingly by Matt and Vennari) says that to submit to its “hierarchy” would be the devil’s plan, and that the Campos group had no reason to do so – not even the need of a Bishop, for the SSPX provided them with one! In other words, what could one possibly need from the “Catholic hierarchy” that the SSPX could not give him? Do you see how the SSPX has become the Catholic Church for these schismatics?

“…In fact, it seems obvious that at this point in time, the entire traditionalist movement benefits from the SSPX remaining exactly where it is. Where, then, is the urgency for rapprochement? For us, there is none. For Rome there seems to be a great deal. Why?...” (Michael Matt and John Vennari, A Joint Statement from The Remnant and Catholic Family News on Rome and the SSPX)

Yes, what is the urgency? They can continue to act like sedevacantists, while claiming there is a Pope in Rome at the same time! Isn’t it “great.” It may seem great now, but its “convenience” and “joy” will be short-lived. It will end when they face God who will convict them 1) for obstinately recognizing as Catholic a manifest heretic (see below), and 2) for obstinately refusing to operate within the structure they obstinately deemed was the Catholic hierarchy.

In their Joint Declaration, Matt and Vennari admit that Benedict XVI does not believe that non-Catholics need to be converted to the Catholic Church:

“...On the same day, Pope Benedict gave an address at an ecumenical meeting in which he spoke of ecumenism as a good thing that does not have as its goal a “return” of non-Catholics to the one true Church of Christ, thus undermining the infallible Catholic dogma, “Outside the Church there is no salvation”…” (Michael Matt and John Vennari, A Joint Statement from The Remnant and Catholic Family News on Rome and the SSPX)

I hope that everyone is following this: Catholic Family News and The Remnant readily admit that Benedict XVI rejects the necessity for non-Catholics to convert – a basic dogma of the Catholic Faith! Based on this fact alone, a middle-schooler could see that Benedict XVI is clearly a manifest heretic. But no, these publications tell us to “Show us the Heresy,” and they reject that Benedict XVI is a manifest heretic! It’s so outrageous that it’s arguably a sin that cries to heaven. Notice how they also dishonestly state that Benedict XVI “undermines” the dogma – not denies the dogma."

You can ready the rest at www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com under the Heresy of the Week.

Trad

Jeff said...

As usual, Tradosaurus makes a good case--except that it's nonsense, of course.

The "rejectionist" SSPXers want to "recognize" Benedict, but be immune from all real obedience to him and the Church as a whole (the "Conciliar" Church, as they call it). The whole thing from the top down is poison to them.

Naturally, if they follow this line to it's conclusion, they will become sedevacantists--it's rumored that Williamson flirts with this idea.

The only thing stopping them is common sense. OF COURSE sedevacantism isn't true. If it WERE true, Christ's promise would have failed and the Catholic Church would have ceased to exist in visible form, just a bunch of sedevacantists wandering around arguing with each other. If THAT's the case, there's no need for any beautiful ceremonies or arguments about religious freedom. Just hang up your Church hat, kick back, and read Jane Austen novels til the darkness falls.

So, the non-sedevacantist radtrads occupy an uncomfortable middle ground. Too sensible to accept the logic of their position and end up holding hands with Tradosaurus. Not sensible ENOUGH to see that "recognizing" the Pope's jurisdiction, but being comfortable living without it for pretty much forever, is an impossible situation. Even MORE impossible than reconciling pre-Council and Conciliar documents on religious freedom, for example.

Br. Alexis Bugnolo said...

Jeff and Tradsaurus,

You deserver one another. I have never read together such equally uninformed and ignorant ranters.

Jeff, you have admirably confessed yourself to be a papolatrist; and Tradsaurus (a suitable name if every I saw one) a sedevacantist.

You both want a pope who never sins, to be your idol in place of Jesus Christ, who with the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Baptist, and St.Joseph, never sinned.

You both to support your idolatry, attack a very sound positiion; than no amount of justice which the Pope ought to show to his subjects, can be offered on the condition of following him or anyone else into error. The pope is the locus of unity in the Church, but he is not its cause. Christ is, and Christ's teaching is. To make the pope both the cause and the locus is idolatrous: because Christ is our impeccable Head, the pope is only His peccable vicar.

RAlsina said...

Even if sometimes they lack the point by point academic "detailness" that doctrinal SSPX analisys of heretical propositions of modernism have, I always find the Abbé de Nantes position on relations with Rome to be the most accurate and balanced and catholic of them all. Perhaps because he avoids the papolatry that br. Bugnolo justly denounces, by appealing to the infallibility of the Pope against the Pope himself. Brilliant!!

Here´s a good summary of his views, referring to recent developments.

http://www.crc-resurrection.org/page.asp?site=2&lang=1&id=1553

Jeff said...

Brother:

I never said a thing about a Pope who never sins. And I never said anything about Popes never erring. It doesn't create any confidence in your analytical abilities as applied to Church documents when you can't even accurately characterize a simple comment on a blog.

All I ever said in any comment was: remember that YOUR judgment isn't infallible any more than the Pope's is. The question is, whose authoritative judgments will you trust? We are supposed to TRUST in the Pope's guidance and not just in infallible matters. The Pope is no MORE likely to err than you are; what's more, he has the assistance of the Holy Spirit in his rule of the Church even where that assistance does not produce guaranteed results. So, I'd say he is FAR LESS likely to err than you. Or than me. That's not any kind of "worship." It's just trusting that we have a Shepherd and a Vicar of Christ, not just some bum who makes suggestions that we can ignore if we don't like them and then every three centuries or so makes an infallible definition, at which point we finally consent to listen.

But you can trust your own judgment over Peter's, of course you can! That's the Lutheran principle, though, not the Roman Catholic one, even if you apply it to Tradition instead of Scripture. Michael Davies would call yours the 'neo-Protestant' position--he complains that traditionalists often have a good idea of infallibility, but little understanding of indefectibility. He must have been thinking of you! :

"...men who claim to be serving the Faith, but who, to all intents and purposes, have become Protestants. The essence of Protestantism is that each Protestant is his own pope. He refuses to submit to the Magisterium, the teaching authority, of the Church founded by Our Lord, but makes his personal opinion the ultimate authority of what he will or will not believe. The great weakness among Traditionalist Catholics is a somewhat defective knowledge of the Church"

If my attempt at humble confidence in the Pope's guidance is "Papolatry" then your absolute confidence in your own guidance of yourself is "Bugnolatry". Yours is just one more variant of the terrible Scourge of the Age: worship of the Self. There is a cure, however: Roman Catholicism. Have you considered it?

I note, finally, that your position is not: Popes CAN CONCEIVABLY ERR and we must have liberty to point it out when we think they are erring. Your position is that anyone who trusts the last five or so in a general way is not just misled, but damnable. Who should people who are stone-dumb trust, Brother? The people who can't understand all these arguments? Should they trust Peter? Or should they trust YOU and your friends, who have no Divine Commission?

Oh, trust Christ, should they? Of course, but what living person speaks for Christ in this world: You? Or the one of whom Christ, that famous Papolater, said, "He who hears you, hears me?" I think it's far less risky to be a "Papolater" than a "Bugnolater". I'll stand with St. Ignatius Loyola, that horrible heretic, who said we should trust the Church even when She seems to be saying that black is white. But it's your call! Trust yourself instead. After all, YOU can't be mistaken or deceived. Not if you're just SURE you're right...

I'll leave the last word to you--blast away and consign me to Hellfire as is your wont! I think anyone capable of reading dispassionately can easily judge between us on the basis of what's already been written.

Tracy Hummel said...

What both sides in this blog debate are failing to recognize, which is the reason for their disagreement with the SSPX, is that we are in a time of CRISIS. The Church does not operate normally in a time of crisis, just as society does not. In normal times, if I walk by my neighbor's house and smash his window and enter it without permission, I would be committing a crime. But if that house is on fire and there are people screaming inside, I would commit a crime if I did nothing. This is what we must keep in focus.

St. Athanasius and St. Eusebius of Samosata would have never done what they did (i.e., going to other bishops' dioceses and ordaining priests and even bishops outside their jurisdiction and without anyone else's permission) if the Arian heresy had not been threatening to overcome the Church at that time. Sure, they could have said "God will not let His Church fail, and because I believe this I will not disobey Church laws and procedures", but they did not. They ACTED, believing that God was calling them to do what they could in this extraordinary situation without waiting for an invitation.

If the SSPX truly believes it can make peace with Rome without compromising the Faith or worship of the Church, it would be wrong not to sign the deal. But if they have a reasonable doubt that this is currently possible without a breakup of the SSPX and what they've always stood for, then it would be wrong to move ahead at this time. It's as simple as that.

Every group to date that has reconciled with Rome has compromised on one or more important points - St. Joseph Monastery in Flavigny, Le Barroux, the FSSP and now Campos - all have in one way or another softened their positions on the New Mass and Vatican II, especially religious liberty and ecumenism and the issue of whether it's ever good for a traditionalist priest to say or assist at the New Mass.

These are not peripheral issues. The SSPX does not enjoy being in this situation. But without some pretty solid signs that it will be protected the SSPX cannot rush into an agreement. And so far, Rome has not offered these signs. As great as the recent statements of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos are - and they may be signs of what's to come - they do not right now ensure a permanent attitude change on the part of Rome and are in no way official or guaranteed.

Let us pray that these signs are forthcoming.

Opportet Illum Regnare

Jeff said...

Tracy:

St. Athanasius did not "defy the Pope to his face." Nor was Arianism the result of a movement initiated by a whole Council of the Church in union with him (which TAUGHT, despite those who say it was ONLY pastoral, in such things as its DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION on the Church.) Popes were remote figures in those days whose information about local affairs was spotty and whose interference in them was rare. And though a few of them may have been weak, they did not promote Arianism. The comparison is not without its use, but it's usefulness is strictly limited.

It's one thing to say--as traditionalists like William Marra did--that the New Mass is ADEQUATE, but compared with the Old it is LESS ADEQUATE. It is quite another to treat it like poison and to utterly condemn it as impious and untouchable. Or even to call it--as one fellow at my indult mass did the other day--a "fake Sacrifice."

Similarly, it's one thing to ask that a "minimalist" position on religious liberty and ecumenism be respected and allowed a place within the Church. It's another to demand that the Church elevate that intepretation to the only one acceptable, according to one's own standard of what "Tradition" consists of.

How could the SSPX ever get "assurances" that any deal it gets can't be tampered with? After all, the next Pope could be Roger Mahony. No Pope can bind a future one.

The only acceptable assurance, the more radical SSPXers seem to be saying, is a "return to Tradition" on the part of the Church. That can only mean a wholesale rejection of anything the SPPX considers unTraditional and a purging of the ranks. Were such a thing to happen, one supposes that the radtrads would be willing to think of returning.

The trouble is, that will not happen in our lifetimes. In fact, it will never happen in the forseeable future, as Bishop Williamson has conceded. So, in effect, there can never be reunion except in some far-off, distant imagined future generations from now.

Such notions are tantamount to saying that the Church has failed in Her mission and Her normal government has been suspended--until further notice.

If I'm faced with a choice of believing in THAT idea or the idea that some things that sure didn't seem traditional are in FACT traditional enough, I know which side I'd have to come down on.

Maximum freedom for the old liturgy, YES! Maximum freedom for minimalistic interpretations of what even people like Chris Ferrara call "ambiguous" -- NOT unacceptable -- Conciliar documents, YES! (Even Michael Davies admitted that though he couldn't SEE how Dignitatis Humanae and Quanta Cura could be reconciled, he wasn't simply saying they COULDN'T be.) But a simple capitulation and remaking of the Church to the SSPX's liking isn't going to happen--as they themselves concede.

I think Benedict will simply have to lift the excommunications and let THEM make the decision where they want to be.

To God Alone said...

Benedict already clarified that SSPX was NOT in Schism.

All this confusion is, I believe, precisely why Our Lady said she would save the world through the Rosary and the Brown Scapular. If we maintain these devotions throughout all of this prophesied confusion, She will save us. Are you wearing yours now?

To God Alone said...

Jeff,
Have you heard of "Index of Leading Catholic Indicators"? Here is a link.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0972868801/qid=1142452478/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-4783941-8224941?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

This book demonstrates the ways the Church has declined since Vatican II. These are hard numbers. Christ said we would know the tree by their fruits....

petrus69 said...

Let us pray for a forml and recongnizable reconcilliation. I do feel that the SSPX can do more for the church within its fold as oppose to being outside. I also know that there might be some concessions on either side and hopefully none so big that either side can't swallow. I guess we have to look at the greater good. To bend but, not to capitulate. And then there is Bishop Williamson, my rector while in the seminary, the potential fly in the ointment, Lord love him.

Tracy Hummel said...

Jeff,

St. Athanasius may not have defied the pope to his face (although St. Paul withstood St. Peter to his face for not being faithful to the truth (see Galatians), but he was excommunicated by Pope Liberius, who, by the way, is the first pope in history who was not canonized. Liberius may not have promoted Arianism, but he compromised with it by approving an ambiguous creed which could be interepreted either in an orthodox or an Arian sense.

Another example is Pope Honorius, who was condemned for heresy by a subsequent pope and, I believe, council as well. Now, the pope issuing the condemnation made clear that it was not formal heresy, but heresy in the sense that Honorius did not do what he could have and should have to stamp out the heresy, thus his inaction favored the heresy.

As for Vatican II, titles of the various documents aside, numerous of its officials including Pope Paul VI himself stated clearly that it does not bear the mark of infallibility like all previous councils, except when restating dogma previously defined. You can't have it both ways.

The SSPX never said all of Vatican II was bad, only the novelties in Vatican II. I would still like to know how Dignitatis Humanae is an organic development of Quas Primas, the Syllabus, Libertas, etc., or how Nostra Aetate and Unitatis Redintegratio are organic developments of Mortalium Animos. The older documents I mentioned simply restate the Church's perennial teaching on relations with the State and non-Catholic religions.

As for what the SSPX expects, I know various things have been said by prominent SSPX figures, but Bishop Fellay and Fr. Schmidberger are the ones leading the negotiations. Fr. Schmidberger said that the Vatican would have to guarantee the SSPX the right to criticize Vatican II in the light of previous Magisterial teaching. Bishop Fellay has said similar things as well. This is not impossible, although Bishop Fellay is well aware that it can be difficult for the Pope to do this and has expressed sympathy with his dilemma. The SSPX does not expect a complete about-face or a total purge or any such thing. They expect true respect for the Church's doctrinal and liturgical traditions and signs that the Vatican intends to support those who defend them. This is why Bishop Fellay has said the process will take time, seeing the pressures the Pope is faced with.

These are times of "diabolical disorientation" as Sr. Lucy so perfectly put it. We must pray very much for the Holy Father. But slavish, blind obedience is not a virtue, especially not in times like these.

Jeff said...

Well, Tracy, I'll say my last say and leave the thread to you.

It's always a good idea if you want to know what Catholic Tradition is on any point, to check out the old Catholic Encyclopedia. It's not an authoritative source of itself, but it's a witness to what was commonly accepted among Catholics in the early part of the century and thus to what the True stream of Tradition really is.

On Liberius and Athanasius: his letters may very well be forgeries and even if they aren't, they were written under duress. Protestants are usually the ones that attack him.

On the Magisterium: Tradition doesn't consist of documents, but rather a living stream in the Church. Particular manifestations of Tradition are subject to imperfections of language and the complications of human thought. Even non-infallible teaching of the Church commands (yes, COMMANDS) the assent of Catholics, both internal and external.

Go read the articles, especially the one on the Magisterium. It shows how Catholics have no business pretending to judge non-infallible teaching by having recourse to their own understanding of Tradition much better than I could. Vatican Two did NOT teach infallibly, but it was hardly the first ecumenical council which did not. And the fact that it did not teach in infallible definitions does NOT mean that it did not teach and teach bindingly.

It's in a time of crisis that the Church and it's true authority have a right to command our loyalty and obedience more than at any other time. So, I'll leave the last word to you. But I'll remember you in my prayers. I'll ask the Servant of God, Paul VI to put in a special interecession for you and I'll dedicate a whole rosary to you as well. Shall it be the Sorrowful Mysteries? No...let's make it...the Luminous Mysteries! ;-)

Seriously, I'm sure you're doing the best you can under very difficult and trying circumstances. God bless you, Brother Bugnolo and all the other radtrads!

pel said...

Let's keep this simple.

What does SSPX think they can do under their current canonical status which is absolutely not possible were they to completely submit to the Pope?

RAlsina said...

Jeff

Last time I checked, when the teaching is not infallible, the obbedience due to it is a kind of fillial obedience, that is, as a son to a father, and therefore does not trump reason. Now Br. Bugnolo and the traditionalists are not talking about some little prudential problem, but a serious possibility of discontinuity of the authentic magisterium in relation to previous teaching that had become the "sensus fidei" trhough the centuries, some of it infallible.
Non-infallible teaching is not de fide, therefore, does not supersede reason, which does not mean that reasonshould be used in a jacobin way, but a fillial one, to be sure.

Tracy Hummel said...

Dear Jeff,

Thanks for your prayers, Luminous or not. We could all use much more of them.

Regarding St. Athanasius and Liberius, I'm aware of the Catholic Encyclopedia's take on it. I would suggest that you read the short book by Michael Davies, St. Athanasius: Defender of the Faith. He examines this controversy in detail and quotes the Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique regarding some more recent historical research which shows that Liberius did indeed excommunicate Athanasius and approve the ambiguous creed.

Regarding the nature of the Magisterium, there are two extremes to be avoided. On the one hand, one cannot say "if it isn't defined infallibly, I'm free to accept or reject it and say so publicly". On the other hand is the error of the neo-cons and the Sedevacantists (strange bed-fellows, indeed), that seem to imply, without saying so explicitly, that ANYTHING the Magisterium teaches on faith or morals is automatically infallible and beyond reproach.

It is not always enough to say "the current pope teaches this, therefore we cannot question it". If that were the case, the theologians at the University of Paris would've given religious assent when Pope John XXII taught that the souls of the just "sleep" until the General Resurrection. But they vigorously protested and eventually, on his deathbed, the pope disavowed his error.

The famous Commonitorium of St. Vincent of Lerins posits the case where virtually the whole Church has turned aside from the Truth, and advises his readers in that case to cling to antiquity, which cannot be perverted.

And St. Robert Bellarmine taught that it was "licit to resist the Sovereign Pontiff who tried to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not carrying out his orders and preventing the execution of his will" - De Romano Pontifice, book II, c. 29) This saint also approved proposition 15 of the theologians of Venice, which said "When the Sovereign Pontiff issues a sentence of excommunication which is unjust or null, one must not accept it". How could they even suggest such a thing were it not possible?

And even as recent an authority as Cardinal Charles Journet, a close friend of Pope Paul VI, wrote the following: "It is not always exact to say in a rather simplistic manner 'Where the Pope is, there is the Church' or 'one must obey the Pope without restriction, even in areas where his infallibility is not engaged". This is the easiest and most comfortable solution. In fact, when a Pope deals with reformable issues, EVEN IN UNION WITH A COUNCIL [emphasis mine], he cannot engage, and in fact does not engage the fulness of his supreme authority. He is thus not Pope in the fulness of the sense with which we understand the formula 'Where the Pope is, there is the Church'. In peaceful and calm times, this does not pose any special problems. In times of crisis, on the other hand, such is not the case. It is thus perfectly conceivable that in certain difficult periods, a Christian possessing a particular far-sightedness, like St. Athanasius during the Arian crisis, separate himself from the official positions taken by the majority of the hierarchy(...). This in no way means that he is separating himself from the Church or even from communion with the papacy, in the most mysterious and profound sense of the word; and that, moreover, in this particular case, the Pope might declare the contrary and pronounce him excommunicate" (cited in 'Obedience in the Church' by Lucien Meroz, Martin Gay Editions)

I would highly recommend everyone to read the excellent piece by Thomas Drolesky on his site, http://www.christorchaos.com/ClothingtheEmperor.htm. It is long, but well worth it. He is discussing this notion of "Living Tradition" whereby one doctrine evolves into another by a fuzzy Hegelian notion of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. This is how the post-conciliar authorities justify all the novelties and the manifest opposition of these with the previous Magisterium. When confronted by a Vatican official with this notion, Archbishop Lefebvre simply responded (no doubt tongue-in-cheek) "in that case, I will wait. Perhaps things will change back" (my paraphrase).

This is not a case of lay people deciding what tradition is. We have been led and shown the way by heroic prelates such as Archbishop Lefebvre and Cardinal Ottavianni who have a true sensus catholicus.

As far as your assertion that other Councils did not teach infallibly, this is not true. Vatican II was the first to eschew doctrinal definitions. Which other Councils did this? I have not heard of one.

And as Dr. Thomas Woods pointed out recently, even councils which did teach infallibly are not always beyond reproach on the whole. He mentions the example of Constantinople II, dealing with the Three Chapters controversy. It was so divisive that Pope St. Gregory the Great counseled a troubled bishop to basically ignore it and cling to what was taught by the previous Council of Chalcedon (see http://www.traditioninaction.org/bestof/bst007Gruner.htm, under the header "A Lesson from History").

These are certainly extremely trying times for Catholics and it is understandable that good Catholics come to very different conclusions regarding the nature of the current crisis and how best to respond to it. Let us not forget that St. Vincent Ferrer adhered to an anti-pope, thinking him to be the true successor of Peter.

Tracy Hummel said...

PS by that last comment I in no way mean to imply that the post-Conciliar popes are anti-popes to which non-sedevacantists are clinging in good faith. I am simply saying that because someone comes to a different conclusion from me regarding this crisis does not mean that he is sinful, evil, a heretic, a schismatic, etc. He may in fact be a saint and still be wrong in his position regarding the crisis in the Church.

Br. Alexis Bugnolo said...

Jeff,

Prove your catholicity by accepting the facts quoted to you by Tracy.

You always leave the Comment Section, just about when you are proven a liar.

You said:

On the Magisterium: Tradition doesn't consist of documents, but rather a living stream in the Church.

I am sorry, if you don't accept the contents of infallible teachings, in the documents that contained them, it is you, not the rest of the Church, that is the heretic. You show your ignorance, by saying "Tradition" in the quote: Sacred Tradition is oral, and hence not documented. But if you mean by that "knowledege of the Faith", then what you wrote is heretical.

It won't do you any good calling the Catholic Faith "Bugnolatry".

I never said the Pope is not infallible; just that he is just as much as the Church teaches. It is rather you who reject to submit your intellect to the infallible teachings of the Church, in the name of "go alone to get along: the Pope can't err when he refuses to accept infallible teachings: he's my idol, and I don't care what you all say!"

In saying that even the Pope must accept infallible teachings, and all that the Faith has always taught and IN THE SAME SENSE that She teaches and has always taught it, I am only reciting the teaching of Vatican One, which, if you read it, and accept it, will shown you.

If not, keep calling me a Bugnolater, to show everyone that it is you who are the Protestant.

Jeff said...

Brother:

Tut, tut! "Liar" is it? And right after I'd asked God to bless you. You really AREN'T into being pastoral, are you? ;-) But I say again: God bless you and comfort you. I won't question your good faith.

Perhaps I teased you a bit too much in my parting jab...I apologize. I figured, if you were going to damn me to Hell for not agreeing with your intepretation of St. Pius X, I could tease you about your loyalty to Romanism. Still, I should probably be a bit more circumspect.

The reason why I leave discussions after a certain time is because I don't want to take up endless space with a wrangle on someone else's blog. After a certain point in an argument, when it's clear that there isn't going to be a conclusion that's mutually satisfactory, I bow out...but always leaving the last word to my opponent. I would have thought that was the gentlemanly thing to do, rather than the cowardly. I mean would it be better if I tried to insist on having the last word myself? If you knew me personally, you would know that I can go on arguing about these things for hours! I have PLENTY I can say in response to you and Tracy. I have to restrain myself from doing so!

My feeling also is that New Catholic and my other kind hosts will tolerate a little bit of back and forth about "schism" vs. "Tradition", but they don't really want this to be a forum for such discussions. Rather they are trying to promote unity and reconciliation between Traditionalists who are in a regular position with regard to the Holy Father and those who aren't. I think it's good of them to let us bring these issues up when we feel we need to, but it would seem like an abuse for me to monopolize a lot of space and allow myself to go on forever arguing and making feelings of opposition more intense, rather than less so.

One tends, as you know, to fall into these arguments without planning to; one just finds oneself answering a question and it all goes on from there. I'm very happy if you will provide space on your blog to continue the discussion to answer Tracy's questions or your accusations and to continue until you get tired of it! I'm game! We can give a reference here for any interested parties to follow on. I'll leave it up to you.

Note to Blog Administrator: If you are for any reason tempted to try and restrain Brother's intemperate language for my sake, please don't! I think such outbursts do a LOT more to harm the shouter than the shoutee. So, I'm perfectly happy to be reviled by Brother or any other comers.

Greg said...

Jeff,

Jeff,

This should make you happy then.

Your long on liberal rhetoric and short on passion for the truth of the faith, otherwise you'd provide us with your "plenty" of answers.

You are the product of a bad Catholic education my friend. A product of the confused times in which we live. Brother B's answers and Tracey's answers make sense. Yours are nonsense.

Greg

Tracy Hummel said...

Gentlemen, please, remember charity. Yes, we have strong disagreements about very serious matters but we all still love Our Lord, His Church and His Vicar. We have to love each other as well, even while vigorously defending our positions.

totustuusmaria said...

It would be tantimount to suicide for Rome to turn the clock back and pretend like the conciliar revolution had not happened. I am also convinced that it would not save more souls to do that. The return to Tradition cannot be fabricated--like the changes were, it must be organic. All that the SSPX can or should demand is the right for every person to live as a Catholic according to Tradition. Other than that, we must trust in Providence; and pray with fasting and with tears.