Rorate Caeli

A "compromise might be conceivable"

Bishop Richard Williamson, the most outspoken of the four bishops of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and co-consecrated by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer in 1988, included the following words in his latest article:

"To help out the Pope or to restore the good name or canonical status of the SSPX, some compromise might be conceivable, but not if the Faith is at stake...

...

"...there being no other solution possible than some kind of compromise, one may reply that there are problems which man can make and which God alone can solve."

30 comments:

LeonG said...

"...but not if the Faith is at stake..."

stated also by Bishop Williamson.

One veil of lace doth not a Latin Mass make.

Anonymous said...

Wow. For Bishop Williamson to be saying this -- this is huge. Something is afoot!

schoolman said...

"But is the very Faith involved in the so far 37-year struggle of the SSPX? Yes, says a distinguished German theologian, Professor Johannes Dörmann, who is quite independent of the SSPX. After prolonged and professional study of the complete speeches and writings of John-Paul II, he recognized and declared that “lefebvrism” was not just about Latin or the liturgy, but about the very foundations of the Faith. Indeed. Being another form of subjectivism, neo-modernism turns any rock of truth into plastic."

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Unfortunately, Bishop Williamson goes on to state the usual assumption that indefectible Church of Rome has indeed defected from the true Faith. In other words, no compromise with the Holy See is possilbe since the Faith is at stake -- and therefore we are beyond human means and waiting (for as long as it takes, mind you!)for direct intervention from God...

Anonymous said...

If Professor Dormann after analysis of the writings and speeches of John Paul II concludes that the Faith present by this Pope is in fact NOT the traditional Catholic Faith, or following traditional Catholic teachings and dogmas, then that's rather horrible for the Church, don't you think? And abit scandelous too.

Benfan said...

Anonymous: It all depends on whether Prof Dormann is right. He could be completely wrong in which case your statement could read:


"Faith present by this Pope is in fact THE traditional Catholic Faith, or following traditional Catholic teachings and dogmas, then that's rather horrible for the SSPX , don't you think? And abit scandelous too."

This time of trial requires perseverance. Plenty of praying, fasting, argument and listening.

LeonG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeonG said...

"...neo-modernism turns any rock of truth into plastic.."

Anyone in today's church who has failed to understand the essentials of this perspective has failed to comprehend the nature of the enemy within. Pope Leo XIII, Pope St Pius X and Pope Pius XI did and took concrete measures to thwart it. However, the modernist-friendly popes Paul VI (RIP) and John Paul II (RIP) ensured it a place from within ecclesiastical thinking and practice today and for many years to come. The former pontiff undid all of the saintly pope's excellent works against modernism. The latter espoused them in a veritable avalanche of nebulous, ambiguous and pluralistic verbiage. He concretised them in all form of widely publicised equivocal behaviours. Does one need to re-list them here?

Apart from a concession to the 1962 form of The Latin Mass which has predictably aroused malicious liberal riposte and episcopal meandering there is little else to laud in the current state of The Church: sodomy & financial improprieties march onwards into the ranks of the episcopate and clergy; many NO services become even more illicit & often invalid; bishops everywhere play political correctness to Goddess Earth; vocations and Sunday attendances continue inexorably downwards; churches close and submit to the demolition ball. Meanwhile, the post-conciliar church of religious liberty for all, ecumenical eclecticism and collegial neutralisation of orthodox papal status demonstrates to many of us who endorse Bishop Williamson's view that in spite of the precarious condition of The Church of The Christ at any particular time in history, He is there as the Chief High Priest and Founder, The Rock of All Ages and Whose Second Coming we await with eagerness and hopefully ever vigilant. It is much of the leadership which is defecting from Roman Catholicism not The Church as The Body of The Christ.

We cannot complain as there are those such as Sister Lucia who have warned us. So did Our Lady of Salette and Fatima. Many other unpublicised saints did too. Even the last pontiff warned us about the dragon's tail. And there we are, we are all witnesses to the very phenomenon prophesied.

Under neo-modernism salvation outside the church has become universal salvation; Jesus is and is not unique saviour at one and the same time and false religions are true religions because half truth and half falsehood contain the seeds of truth. Ultimately, being exists in the inner consciousness of the individual. These twisted contortions of intellectual acrobatics have their parallel in secular postmodernism. This has become so systemic that anyone can become a member of the modern church, even someone who believes in a female priesthood, embryonic stem-cell research, abortion and sodomy. For such as these to receive Holy Communion, there is still less of a problem. This is objectively undeniable as the newsmedia carries ample daily evidence for us to bear witness.



Professor Amerio has also drawn our attention to the elastic state of meaning and signification in the post-conciliar church. It can no longer be ignored. Rome no longer speaks the pure language of The Faith.

At such times St Vincent Lerrins appealed to the sacred traditions of The Church and what has always been consistently taught throughout all ages of The Church. Doctrinally and liturgically, together with such documents as "Quo Primum" and "Pascendi" and "Quas Primas" this must speak volumes to the contemporary Roman Catholic Church at a time of immense confusion, mass disobedience and pastoral disorientation.

John Mastai said...

"...there are problems which man can make and which God alone can solve." Good quote. Problems.... The failure of Vatican II and post conciliar collapse? The schismatic situation of the SSPX? The illicit consecration and subsequent excommunication of the Society's bishops - Williamson included? Past comments and the prominent entrenched positions of Williamson himself?

Indeed many man-made problems that, if solved, will give great glory to God.

NCTradCatholic said...

Leong said: "anyone can become a member of the modern church, even someone who believes in a female priesthood, embryonic stem-cell research, abortion and sodomy".

Hey, Tony Blair isn't just anyone!

LeonG said...

It is the post-conciliar paradigm of the faith that has created bishops like Williamson who would have fitted quietly into the norms and values of the pre-conciliar church. It is also the same paradigm that lets in the likes of Tony Blair and his postmodernist contemporaries with their individualised versions of "catholicism", whereas under the pre-conciliar model they would have had to change their materialistic and egological values for genuine and authentic Roman Catholic norms, values and mores. Indeed, it is the very same paradigm that allows many bishops and priests and lay people to flout the laws of Almighty God and still dispense and receive the NO Communion on Sundays and without ever going to The Sacrament of Confession, standing up and in their sweaty palms. Even those highest among the church leadership have handed this out to protestants.

Not being a member of the fraternity it has to be stated, Bishop Williamson in all sense of Catholic fairness and justice has never behaved in such a manner. He has no case to answer. He looks much more like a real Roman Catholic bishop to many of us than many of those who feign to be so, presently, that is unless we apply the more flexible but less tradition-friendly post-conciliar criteria.

Anonymous said...

A compromise might be conceivable but not likely because the Faith is involved. Having had a full Catholic education before 1963 I can state without any doubt that the Faith being practiced today in the vast majority of Catholic parishes is notthe Faith I received. It is an ersatz version - no question about it. I did not change; the church changed on me.
phaley

Anonymous said...

We pander to the Protestants and Schismatic Orthodox if we say that "Rome has lost the Faith"; in traditional Catholic terms "Rome" is the court of St. Peter, the Apostolic See.

Nothing regarding the personal errors of any member of the Curia, even the Pope, touches upon the phrase "Rome will always teach the truth Faith", because what is done personally and what is done with the authority of a universal teacher, are two different things. Neither are documents which do not impose doctrine to be held; ergo Rome will never lose the faith, even if many in Rome and the Vatican can.

But St. Robert Bellarmine in his treatise on the Roman Pontiff said that there are many saints and popes who taught and preached that the Roman Pontiff will personally never lose the faith such that he'd be termmed a pertinacious heretic; in error, yes, in non pertinacious heresy, yes, but never deliberate, intentional, knowing persistent heresy.

Dormann was right, but JP II was still the Vicar of Christ, and B16 too.

The problem here is anthropological more than ecclesiological; for the Church cannot fall into error nor the Roman Pontiff as a universal teacher. But men who hold the papacy can be incapable of seeing error in themselves or in others, even if the good of the Church requires them to see it.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

This is merely another example of Bishop Williamson playing cat and mouse.

I've known Bp. Williamson since 1975, and I was ordained a year after him at Econe.

His rhetorical method is to suggest a false general principle to promote ONE particular conclusion, and then to back away from applying the principle to other cases, because it would his general principle to be absurd.

I've pointed this out in at least two articles on traditionalmass.org : Bishop Williamson's Mentevacantist Error and Bishop Williamson Plays Cat and Mouse.

In this case, the issue was sedevacantism, but Bp. Williamson applies the bait-and-switch method across the board.

Perhaps I could give Cardinal Castrillion-Hoyos a crash course in understanding Williamsonian statements. "We will begin, Your Eminence, with the analogy of nailing Jell-O to the wall…"

schoolman said...

Fr. Cekada, I have read your prior article that sheds much light on Bishop Williamson's "mentevacantist" thesis. It would appear that such a thesis seeks to avoid the pitfalls of "sedevacantism" only by replacing these with other serious pitfalls. It either undermines the indefectibility of the Roman See or seeks to change the very definition of "Rome" and the Roman See by creating a false distinction between "eternal Rome" and the "Rome of neo- modernism", etc. Hence the need to talk about NewChurch, etc.

Anonymous said...

Dear Schoolman,

Your response is typical of the ostrich-like compromisers that masquerade as traditionalists. If the Novus Ordo Mass and sacraments are valid, and the teachings of Vatican II don't propose erroneous documents, it would be charitable to cease troubling your fellow co-religionists about incidentals such as Lain in the liturgy and get with the modernist program!

Knight of Malta said...

3leong,

You are an excellent writer, and pretty much hit the nail on the head.

The modernist is so entrenched in his ideology and false concept of divine reality, that he cannot fathom that he lives in perpetual mortal sin.

He sees Vatican II as his savior from the dark ages of the past. He sees the "manufactured" liturgy of Paul VI as a syncrenistic bridge between protestant and Catholic (and even every other creed), for there is no longer any distinction, in his mind; every believer of every religion is following his path to salvation.

The catalyst to this modernistic ideology, of course, was Vatican II. The documents are full of such false or ambiguous, notions as:

“But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place among these are the Moslems, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.” (Lumen Gentium; Ch. II:16)

How can a traditional Catholic comport himself in the post Vatican II milieu Church?

schoolman said...

"Dear Schoolman,

Your response is typical of the ostrich-like compromisers that masquerade as traditionalists."

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Anonymous, I simply propose to adhere to the traditional teaching on the indefectibility of the Church. To deny this reality seems rather modernist to me.

Anonymous said...

The distinction between Eternal Rome and the Rome of Neo Modernism, is not a false distinction: but you have to understand it in the sense the Archbishop proposed it: Eternal Rome is that which is protected by the charism of infalliblity, and it exists in all those acts of the Roman Pontiff which bind all catholics everywhere at all times, hence the adjective "Eternal" and the noun "Rome"; the Rome of the Modernists refers to the men who hold ecclesiastical office who live their lives according to modernist principles and who are willing to do anything but question those principles.

Hence it is a perfectly catholic distinction, if understood in its own terms.

Br. Alexis Bugnolo

schoolman said...

I understand perfectly well what the distinction attempts to convey. Yet the problem is that it suggests the false notion that the Apostolic See, as such, can defect from faith or morals, per se. In other words, the Holy See (Rome) will always retain her Catholic faith and her sacred Tradition.

LeonG said...

Br Alexis

Amen. The venerable Archbishop is correct.

It is similar in some manner to the red-herring about "obedience" to the pope and the true understanding of which has been pulverised into disfigurement by the same people who have been disobeying The Holy Fathers on a continual and systematic basis throughout the post-Reformation period. This was amply illustrated in the growth of modernism amongst catholic clerics and sympathetic bishops and in the disgraceful episcopal reaction, for example, toward Humanae Vitae. In view of the current SP and the "obedience" to which Archbishop Ranjith draws our attention, perhaps some catholics, at least, can see this argument for what it is. The liberals cry "obedience" only when it concerns propagating the modernist cause but it ends when authentic Catholic obedience to the teachings of "Eternal Rome" are concerned. The important concept of obedience has become so disoriented that we are still being threatened that we must accept all the teachings of a pastoral council whose effects have been mostly disastrous for The Faith, as though they are in some manner, dogmatically infallible. Liberals enjoy banging that drum, too. No talk of "springtime" can convince.

It is perfectly understandable why no Roman Catholic Archbishop worth his salt would have handed over a thriving traditional seminary to the modernist tendencies of post-conciliar Rome in the 1970s or the 1980s. In choosing between the pastoral qualities of a Maloney, a Bernadin, a Suenens or a Williamson, it is patently clear we should steer well away from the counsels of the first three. There is only one left amongst them who behaves and acts like a Roman Catholic bishop.

Williamson is certainly no sedevacantist. In contrast, the way many neomodernists behave it is as though the Holy Father has no justification whatever for his position of authority in The Church since most, if not all of them do not believe, either in papal infallibility or in Matthew 16:18. The movement espoused by Hans Kung, Rahner, de Lubacs and company is ultimately anti-papacy. This is worse than sedevacantism.

gallicman1 said...

>>>>To help out the Pope or to restore the good name or canonical status of the SSPX, some compromise might be conceivable, but not if the Faith is at stake...>>>>

We can agree that Bishop Williamson is a true bishop as he was ordained under the true Catholic Episcopate ordination by Archbishop Lefebvre under the Roman Rite. The question is why would he then recognize Benedict XVI’s ordination without believing that his own ordination was unnecessarily done?

Help me out SSPX. I mean this sincerely. I understand that your Bishop is one of the more conservative of the four. I understand that the SSPX has upheld the faith for decades.

It makes perfect sense to me that the Archbishop Lefebvre would risk excommunication in order to ordain true bishops for the maintenance of the true Roman Catholic Faith. It makes sense that the Archbishop feared that without these four ordinations the Catholic Church was in great peril. He was right. God bless Archbishop Lefebvre.

What does not make sense is that the Archbishop’s bishops recognize a priest, who was ordained a bishop under the Novus Ordo Rite, as Pope when their own consecrations seem much more valid.

Why were the four ordinations necessary again?

Anonymous said...

Dear all,

I assist at an SSPX chapel every fortnight. Let's say this crisis goes on for another 200 years...

If we can only depend on 4 bishops in the world to interpret what is Catholic and what's not, we ARE in fact saying that Rome is at Econe.

How is it possible that the Roman Pontiff is now subject to the opinion of Bishop Williamson.

Whether or not they respect the Pope is another matter. The fact is, they ARE more Catholic than the Pope in their opinion. And frankly, this system of thought (despite the waffle that we get from the sspx) can only mean one thing. That the SSPX is the true church and Rome is in Econe.

I hear waffle everywhere. The modernists are good at it and so are the SSPX. By refusing more gestures for unity I have to say that the SSPX most certainly will become a new Orthodox Church. Give it another 100 years amd they probably will be called the Remnant Catholic Church, only this time they will have to quote Pius XII as the last Pope they would ever conceive to remember as their approved Pope.

Have you ever heard any SSPX bishop quote a conciliar document? Oh no..that's when the faith stopped because the SSPX says so.

Isaac.

Isaac

HallnOates said...

Father Cekada,

You are outside the Church.

I suggest you read the 24th Chapter of Matthew's Gospel, verse 26.

The "desert" which Our Lord Jesus Christ is sedevacantism while the "inner chambers/closets" is the Conciliar Church.

You are in the desert.

I suggest you also read Matthew 24:11. You reading that verse is the equivalent of you looking in a mirror.

Period.

Anonymous said...

Dear Hallnoataes,

Being more ignorant than most, could you please cite where I might find the document or declaration that excommunicated Fr. Cekada by name. Tried as I have, i can find no such document or declaration! Perhaps it doesn't exist and you are mistaken. Could this be possible?

HallnOates said...

Anonymous,

Yawn.

I see no document for Fr. Richard McBrien or Sister Joan Chittister either.

Anonymous said...

Hallnoates,

You're absolutely correct! Why would they be excommunicated? For "interpreting Vatican II" as do most conciliarists?

Paul Haley said...

There is no question that the church as a whole is indefectible - that is, incapable of teaching error. But what is the church? Is it the modernist wing of the episcopacy? Is it the Holy Father and a small group of bishops and cardinals loyal to him as the Vicar of Christ? Is it a small remnant of the church which steadfastly holds to all the revealed truths passed on to us from the apostles?

Christ said He would be with the church until the end of time and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. This seems to indicate only that some portion of the church would remain since the quote says "would not prevail" indicating possibly a momentous and vicious struggle between the forces of darkness and of Light. Indeed, it seems that the Fatima message seemed to indicate such a struggle although Cardinal Bertone would disagree.

Nevertheless, anyone with modicum of common sense would have to admit that the church is indeed under attack today and there is no such thing as a new springtime with the possible exception of the resurrection and free celebration of the Mass of St. Pius V as an example.

What about this teaching of error? Well, it must be said that these errors, universal salvation, other churches leading to salvation, the covenant with the Jews still being in effect, etc, were never presented as teachings of the whole church but by determined minorities within the church. Some, even, at the highest levels within the church but none with the individual charism of infallibility or, for that matter, indefectibility.

So, the church mat be battered and bruised but it is still alive and functioning, thanks be to God, in the stewardship of Benedict XVI. The bishops, whoever they are, would be well served, it seems to me, to make certain they are in communion with him.

Paul Haley said...

There is no question that the church as a whole is indefectible - that is, incapable of teaching error. But what is the church? Is it the modernist wing of the episcopacy? Is it the Holy Father and a small group of bishops and cardinals loyal to him as the Vicar of Christ? Is it a small remnant of the church which steadfastly holds to all the revealed truths passed on to us from the apostles?

Christ said He would be with the church until the end of time and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. This seems to indicate only that some portion of the church would remain since the quote says "would not prevail" indicating possibly a momentous and vicious struggle between the forces of darkness and of Light. Indeed, it seems that the Fatima message seemed to indicate such a struggle although Cardinal Bertone would disagree.

Nevertheless, anyone with modicum of common sense would have to admit that the church is indeed under attack today and there is no such thing as a new springtime with the possible exception of the resurrection and free celebration of the Mass of St. Pius V as an example.

What about this teaching of error? Well, it must be said that these errors, universal salvation, other churches leading to salvation, the covenant with the Jews still being in effect, etc, were never presented as teachings of the whole church but by determined minorities within the church. Some, even, at the highest levels within the church but none with the individual charism of infallibility or, for that matter, indefectibility.

So, the church mat be battered and bruised but it is still alive and functioning, thanks be to God, in the stewardship of Benedict XVI. The bishops, whoever they are, would be well served, it seems to me, to make certain they are in communion with him.

Anonymous said...

It is typical of the SSPX- always adding more conditions as soon as a concession is given by Rome. he condition now of going back and rewriting the decrees on Religious Liberty. Ain't gonna happen, sorry.

It is so ironic that the most extreme Ultramontanists are the most disobedient.

Typical looniness.

LeonG said...

"It is so ironic that the most extreme Ultramontanists are the most disobedient.

Typical looniness."

I do not belong to SSPX but it is unimaginable how such comments add anything useful or constructive to the discussion. They lack any objectively sound basis and add absolutely nothing to our understanding of the issues in question. Furthermore, they are probably better kept "anonymous" as the result of a paucity of adequate reflection.

They are somewhat akin to the vacuous accusations of schism, heresy and invalidity of sacraments that are still being leveled. They are most usually the result of sheer ignorance, misunderstanding of the actual situation or intentioned by malice.

Further, while some of us may not concur entirely with Fr Cekada it has to be accepted that his situation is paradigmatic also. The new post-conciliar model of the faith allows almost anyone to become a member of the modern church but excludes those formerly accepted in the pre-conciliar church as normal, valued and morally sound Roman Catholics. There are many in the modern church who are allegedly in full communion but who would like an end to the papacy. While one could stretch ones 'verstehen' empathy to understand why some fear the chair of St Peter might be empty these days, it is far worse to imagine that there ought not to be a chair there in the first place. Should these not be justifiably excluded from the church? What about those, even priests and bishops who advocate female priests and bishops? Moreover, there are some novel teachings that have been circulating, with seemingly official approbation, attempting to convince us that everyone is going to Heaven and that all religions are essentially good and lead to salvation. These flagrantly contradict the orthodox doctrine. The gravity of the current situation should be sufficient to demonstrate how problematic it is for traditional priests to practice their vocations in a fundamentally disorientated church. Who was it recently who said "Christ is in the muslims"? Such notions are at least confusing these days unless we are able to rationalise them for what they are.

It is almost possible to quantify empirically that it is liberal modernists and neomodernists who are the most disobedient to the authoritative teachings of The Church. They have virtually rewritten scriptural exegesis which is often in direct conflict with orthodox understanding of Holy Scriptures. This finds its freedom of expression among "charismatics" and similar ecumenical groups who prefer individual subjectivist interpretations. Other rotten fruits include the de-divinisation of Our Blessed Lord rampant in what remains of the French church; the sentimentality only of faith; the lack of historicity of The Gospels and a general denial of normal processes of ecclesiastical governance.

We must also consider how many bishops, priests and cardinals reacted against Humanae Vitae including the disgraceful public attacks on it by those such as Suenens, propagator of pentecostalism, with most French, Dutch and many American bishops in essential support. Considering the mass recourse to artificial media of birth control by modern catholics and what has become personalised views of what catholicism represents today rather than objectively orthodox approaches, then accusations of disobedience thrown at traditional Catholics sound very hollow indeed.

There are many other factors one could add here but those should suffice for the time being.