Rorate Caeli

Important: What Fellay said about the ultimatum
UPDATED



[Update - June 24, 0900 GMT] The Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, spoke of the "ultimatum" in his sermon during the Mass of Ordinations in Winona, Minnesota, last Friday (June 20):

[33:12] Certainly, my dear brethren, you expect from me today also a certain update of how things are going with Rome. All these excommunications, or the lifting, or the retraction of the decrees of excommunication, is it coming or not? Frankly, I don't know. My impression, right now, is that we still can wait for a while, and maybe a good while. And why so?

Because the approach we have towards the question is not the same as the one of the Vatican. And I say this problem, always these words, they were the words of the Archbishop at the time of the bishops' consecrations twenty years ago. He said, 'Rome wants a reconciliation, but with these words, they intend, they want to say that we go back to the new', which is not to go back, but go in. And that's not what we want. He said the perspective is different, they speak of reconciliation, but it is an integration to the new. And we don't want that.

In '75, '76, it was already the same problem. Before the suspension of '76, Rome sent an ambassador to the Archbishop who told him, 'Say with me one New Mass, concelebrate with me one Mass, and everything is fine'. And now, well, they don't say 'Say one Mass', they just say 'Shut up'.

It is so far that Rome has given me an ultimatum. Seems that the last Letter to the Benefactors has been not so well received in Rome. They consider it as a proof of pride, of arrogance, and that's what they don't want. And we are not going to shut down our mouths, or to shut up.
[...]

[45:08] And now, we are, should we say, something like at a crossroads. And in a certain way, Rome is telling us, 'OK, we are ready to lift up the excommunication, but you cannot continue this way"

So, we have no choice, we are not going this way, we are continuing what we have done, we have fought now for forty years to keep this faith alive. To keep this Tradition not only for ourselves, but for the Church. And we are just going to continue, happens what happens. Everything is in God's hands. If God wants this proof, this trial to continue, it may continue. He will give us the grace we need for it. No fear, we'll wait for better times. That's what the Archbishop said twenty years ago. That's what we continue to say today.

Of course we have to do all what we can to have this faith to be continued, to be preached everywhere, this faith to be really, and all this Tradition to be really back in the Church. We have to do whatever we can for this, but nothing else. It is a hard time, my dear brethren, but it is not ourselves who are going to change it. We are in these circumstances, we did not cause them. So we depend on God.
__________________________________________

[Original post:] Father Adam Portugal, SSPX, mentioned Sunday in his sermon for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, Farmingville, Long Island, New York) some important information which confirms what Andrea Tornielli published this Monday, relating to the faithful what had been said by the Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X ( FSSPX/ SSPX) in his conversations with the priests of the United States District after the ordinations which took place last week, in Winona, Minnesota.

Father Portugal's words also reveal the mood of the SSPX leadership.

We have transcribed the most relevant passages of the sermon regarding this matter:

[1:11] Apparently, with regards to Rome. He mentioned it publicly, so I think it's fitting to mention it publicly, since you were not there, and to put an end to people flapping their mouth making gossiping sessions. His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay, is not very pleased with that, very upset. He's very disappointed that people would lie like that. Especially the Sedevacantists, that are causing trouble, as usual, flapping their mouth and accusing him of wanting to be a cardinal, and wanting basically to sell his soul and the SSPX, all kinds of statements going around. It's hideous, really.
[...]

[2:04] At any rate, Rome apparently has set an ultimatum, it's what he said, for the end of this month of June, it's what he said. He does not know what that means, what the ultimatum means, what will happen, but that was what he said, and, basically, and he mentioned at the dinner, it was not in the sermon, he brought it up in the dinner, that the, uh, the points...[sic] He got a fax from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in French stating some four or five points, basically of what Rome expects from the Society of Saint Pius X. Basically, of course, you know, sign, sign up [...], right? But basically it's 'be quiet'. 'Fine, you can say the Latin Mass, fine you'll be recognized'.

At least, you know, in the 1970s they wanted Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to say the New Mass once. It's no longer a question anymore. But, the problem has changed. At least, uh, it's become, it's the same problem, it hasn't changed, what I mean is, insofar as their condition now is they don't want us, basically, as he said, they want us to be silent, they don't want us to speak of, let's say, let's not rock the boat, basically, regarding Vatican Council and the New Mass. So to put it in a nutshell, that's it.

[...]

[4:53] At any rate, so, Rome has made this known, public, His Excellency made it a public concern to everyone at Wino...[sic], at the ordinations, so. But, to reassure the faithful, that's all, to simply reassure the faithful that we carry on, and if Rome wants to punish us for that, well, hey, I'm sorry, what is our crime? For a punishment, there must be a crime.

75 comments:

Fr. I Forster said...

Pathetic and embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

All that we can do is pray for a favorable outcome. Perhaps we should also politely flood the SSPX leadership with our prayerful request that they do everything they can to become regularized. I fear that the attitude expressed in this homily, if accurate, truly is not a healthy attitude for Catholics to have towards Rome, at least on a long term or permanent basis. This situation cannot continue indefinitely. jBrown

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by 'regularised' ? The SSPX has committed no crimes. They have not left the Catholic Church. The SSPX has done nothing contrary to the Faith. They do not yearn to come back into the Church precisely because they have never gone outside of it. It's about the Faith !

Anonymous said...

I mean no longer declared suspended and/or excommunicated (regarding the bishops), their Masses and Sacraments no longer being called illicit, and so forth. In other words, considered officially legal throughout the Catholic world. JBrown

Anonymous said...

What I dont understand is why he spoke about this during a homily. I recently attended a mass offered by an SSPX priest who spoke at length about the history of the modern mass. I don't understand why they cannot simply preach the Gospel!
J

Iosephus said...

"Bernard Cardinal Fellay" - now would make my day! and the day after, and the day after that, etc.

I just don't think that it's going to happen. The line in the sand has already been drawn, and it's the question of religious liberty (and less so other questions, such as the liturgy). The SSPX has taken the stand that it is tantamount to abandoning the Faith for Rome to repudiate the teaching of Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI, etc. on the question of religious liberty.

But Rome is not going back, not in the next 50 years, maybe not in the next 100 years, on the question of Church and State, on the question of religious liberty.

Which makes me think that the SSPX schism will be perpetual, until it finally whithers and fades away, as all other schisms have through the course of history. But we might be taking about several hundred years.

I have increasingly come to see the situation of the SSPX - in whose chapels I have very often heard Mass, received Communion, and on a couple of occasions, made Confession - in the light of this example from Adrian Fortescue's The History of the Early Papacy to 451. It concerns the Novatinianist schism - not heresy! - which I have posted here.

To say that the SSPX situation is like the Novantianist schism is to beg the question against the SSPX: they deny that the question is one of discipline and argue that it is rather one of dogma.

But even they must see that there is no such thing as a hundreds of years schism from Rome (and the Orthodox don't count as an counterexample, because they're clearly (by every Catholic standard) in the wrong). Every other schism has ended in disintegration and ended in complete disappearance - which is the route protestantism has been on for quite some time as well as, for that matter, the eastern Orthodox.

So if their plan is to stay in it "for the long run", I think that history is against them. They might be the first, for all I know, they might an anomaly, but if you're not in a position to make those kind of judgements, you can say, at the very least, that history doesn't look kindly on a long term schism.

Jordanes said...

Well, the news this morning sounded hopeful, but this latest bit of information is a cold, bracing -- and depressing -- dose of reality. Whatever the nature of this "ultimatum," Bishop Fellay's comments indicate that the SSPX isn't interested in whatever the Holy See offered them.

And this anonymous comment illustrates why reconciliation is probably highly unlikely:

What do you mean by 'regularised' ? The SSPX has committed no crimes. They have not left the Catholic Church. The SSPX has done nothing contrary to the Faith. They do not yearn to come back into the Church precisely because they have never gone outside of it. It's about the Faith !

If this attitude is even somewhat reflective of the stance of the SSPX bishops and most of their members, then the SSPX won't return -- because they say they haven't left, and they won't acknowledge that they have committed any canonical crimes or are even in an irregular situation. It's as if the SSPX thinks they don't need the Church, rather the Church needs the SSPX. Reconciliation and regularisation is impossible when fraternities that are not in communion with the Holy See operate as if they think communion with the Holy See is unimportant or unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes
It would be advisable to perhaps wait until AFTER the SSPX gives its response to do the post mortem on this item. JBrown

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

June 28 is a significant day. June 29 is the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul and June 30 is the 20th anniversary of the Econe consecrations. I'm sure that the Holy See would love to be able to announce the end of the irregular situation of the SSPX on June 29 and to mark June 30 as a day of restored communion with the SSPX.

Anonymous said...

Uh! It doesn't look good. The SSPX is right.

Robert said...

I can't say I particularly appreciate the idea of transcribing a priest's sermon, including obvious mistakes and/or hesitations, and putting it on the site. There are better sources. You could have at least contacted that priest and allowed him to clarify the spoken style.

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

JBrown, no one has done any post mortem, since the SSPX has not yet given an official response. However, assuming Fr. Portugal's comments accurately reflect Bishop Fellay's mind, then his initial reaction means they will almost certainly decline Rome's proposal/ultimatum unless Bishop Fellay has a serious change of heart in the next few days.

Anonymous said...

The notion that the agreement would require that the society be silenced is nonsense. The Institute exists to help assimilate the Council's teachings in a more authentic manner, balancing the radical interpretations of those espousing a hermeneutic of discontinuity. So now two years later the SSPX itself would be denied its role in the pope's efforts to restore orthodoxy?

Anonymous said...

I hope that the pope is ready to outmaneuver the recalcitrants, and his game plan is to elevate the Institute of the Good Shepherd to a personal prelature if the offer is formally rejected. What a way to heal the wounds of twenty years ago for all those society priests and faithful who would like to regularize their status at this time, seeing that there is no reason to continue in their present situation.

Anonymous said...

What are we to believe angered our Lord more? Bishop LeFebvre consecrating four priests to the episcopate to maintain Tradition when Rome would not, or Pope John Paul II kissing the Koran after excommunicating the good Bishop?
Does God only forgive those who accept Vatican II?

Antonio LaPietra

Anonymous said...

"The SSPX has taken the stand that it is tantamount to abandoning the Faith for Rome to repudiate the teaching of Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI, etc. on the question of religious liberty."

These teachings are just the crystalisation of the constant attitude of the church since day dot.

I know it's hard for the average US catholic to accept, but there really IS a heresy called Americanism (i.e., the false American/enlightenment doctrine on religious liberty), and those who wilfully adhere to it suffer the same eternal fate as others who knowingly choose error. The errors of Americanism in particular, and liberalism in general never can become the teaching of the church, binding under mortal sin. A future dogmatic definition will make that clear enough.

New Catholic said...

Dear Robert,

The intention was surely not to embarrass the priest but to provide as accurate a transcript as possible.

Anonymous said...

T pray for a reconciliations.

But how is it possible to get one in 5 days?

Can any one confirm me if will be any meeting of FSSPX responsables until June 28th Th

PB

Anonymous said...

Don't take this priest's word for it. Bishop Fellay gave a talk last Friday.

http://www.voiceofcatholicradio.com/bshp__fellay_0620,2008.mp3

33 minutes and 22 seconds in (just over halfway)

Oliver said...

Most people here believe more in procedure than principle. The issue of being in formal communion with modernist Rome is hardly important for those traditionalists who want more than to parade in lace. As a pre-concilar Catholic without that widespread sheeplike disposition, I can assure you that people like me would want more from the church than to be an unquestioning groupie of that currently meaningless entity across the Alps.

B.J. Roberson said...

I notice that "Bishop Fellay" of yesterday's blog entry has become mere "Fellay" today.

Perhaps the SSPX should approach Bartholomew I of Constantinople and take part in an experiment of being in and out of communion with Rome at the same time?

It will be interesting to see if the SSPX settles for the old offer of the High Church side chapel in the New Order Cathedral.

New Catholic said...

Just a coincidence, dear Mr Roberson. In fact, we broke our precedent by using "Bishop" in the first post title of the day: we often use "Castrillón", "Ranjith", and frequently "Fellay" (among others) in headings (which is more direct for news purposes), but not in the text body of each post. Just look at our archives.

Ma Tucker said...

How very sad. I have heard Pope Benedict preach repentance and the importance of confession over and over again so I do not think Bishop Fellay is correct when he says otherwise. I have no doubt that the SSPX have done such a great deal to preserve tradition in the face of harsh difficulties over the past 40 years. However If a way is open to them to operate safely inside the structures of the Church then why not take it? There is so much work to be done the Church needs them. I realise the documents of Vatican II are somewhat "open" to false interpretation however, in time I'm sure a way will be found to cement a faithful reading. Such a faithful reading will be delayed if good men do not take up their positions and fight.

Well if it is Gods will that they stay out we will see the fruits in vocations. If there are no vocations then that will be Bishop Fellays sign.

I hope and pray to God that this problem will be resolved.

New Catholic said...

Some corrections were made to the transcript of Bishop Fellay's sermon. I believe it is very accurate now.

stanislas wojtiech said...

Many here seem to think that the Conciliar church is identical with and the same thing as the Roman Catholic Church of all ages, that one must be silent on kissing the Quran, that any Pope (even "the Great") can call pagans to revere their idols for "world peace" (Assisi 1986/2002), that we must accept Benedict XVI who praises "healthy" laicism and the "good things of Enlightenment", Benedict XVI whose doctoral thesis as Joseph Ratzinger was condemned for modernism by Prof. Dr. Rev. Fr. Michael Schmaus (Munich University) in 1956, who is from the Nouvelle Théologie groups, who as archbishop of Munich-Freising did nothing in favour of Tradition and implemented the entire Vatican II Deform, who gave Hans Küng 4 hours (and "respects his path" - sic! Not Küng himself, but his heretical path!) in a meeting and Bp. Fellay barely 35 minutes standing only. Who says the Creed without Filióque with the schismatic and heretical Patriarch of Constantinople (whose fitting excommunication was "lifted" in 1965 - but the Ecône pseudo-ones are retained). The SSPX is firmly Roman Catholic in dogma and approves all acts of the universal and ordinary magisterium which cannot contradict each other. But the personal theological opinions of the conciliar popes, the dubious new rites for áll sacraments, the dubious appointments, praising of other religions, and John Paul II on 19 September 1999 in general audience saying that false religions are the result of a true religious experience guided by "God's Spirit" which took on form in (non-Catholic) doctrines, it's all the cause and essence of this Crisis.

It is not merely about the traditional, sacred Roman Liturgy, but primarily about Neo-Modernism, Doctrine, Theology. The Novus Ordo is the consequence of previous doctrinal or at least theological-practical deviation. But modern Rome does not want to take seriously even the dubia of the 'Lefebvrists', the theologically well-argumented views against the validity of the new rite for episcopal consecration of 18 June, 1968 (Pontificalis Romani, Paul VI) etc. etc. Let alone on Dignitatis humanae (which is not the core problem per se - I think DH can be somehow casuistrically reconciled with Quanta Cura and the Syllabus, but the conciliar popes' allocutions, acts and personal theological writings cannot - and they have importance given Canon 188, par. 3 of the CIC 1917 and the fontes of Cum ex apostolatus). Nothing is allowed to be addressed.

The SSPX does not want a tolerated reserve for dinosaurs.

It is about doctrine, resistance to neo-modernism, false ecumenism (relativism, the illusionary false "New Ecclesiology" of "partial" and "full" Communion, the praise of false religions), immanentism, political liberalism and the pertinacious toleration of marxism and perverts in ecclesial office (also some disciplinary matters involved and canonical matters too).

St. Athanasius of Alexandria did not even respond to the ultimatum posed again and again by the Arian-infected court of pope Liberius I - even if Liberius I himself was theologically less dubious than Benedict XVI sadly.

The SSPX is part of the Roman Catholic Church, which is one and the same thing as the Church of Jesus Christ (HUmani generis, par. 27), which is composed out of those united in the same one Catholic faith (dogmata), under the same government, under the Holy Roman Church and the supreme Pontiffs, the Holy Fathers, of the Supreme Roman See. Nothing more, nothing less. The SSPX is part of that. But the neo-modernists and the modern post-1962 hierarchy, are they part of this Catholic Church, or have they founded a One World Religions' Church, in communion with all unholy with heresies? Have they retained and conserved the unchangeable Catholic faith?

Paul Haley said...

Within or without, that is the question. Whether the SSPX should continue their fight for Tradition in irregular status or, within the bosom of holy mother church with full canonical approval and approbation.

They have been in irregular status now for 20 years and, during this time, Rome has moved towards Tradition in certain ways, primarily during the pontificate of His Holiness, Benedict XVI. I say in certain ways because it is clear that a full return to Tradition has not yet been accomplished. So, what should the response be from the SSPX?

If salvation of souls is the supreme law of the church and it is, the answer is clear. The holy father needs the support of the SSPX in order to deflect the "wolves" that are at his feet. The SSPX need the holy father in order to serve as the vanguard for the fight for Tradition within the church.

It is my profound hope that the SSPX will recognize the benefit for fighting from within, i.e., with the full approbation and approval of the Roman Pontiff, rather than without. You see, I believe it is counterproductive to recognize the holy father as the Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pontiff of the universal church and yet refuse his call for full communion. It is not communion with heresy as some would call it; it is communion with the Vicar of Christ.

I sincerely hope the SSPX will consider carefully the consequences of refusing the holy father's call in these desperate times for our church.

stanislas wojtiech said...

The Roman Catholic Resistance movement for apostolic Tradition and the Roman Liturgy and spirituality must continue.

I think the refusal to sign will provoke Modern Rome (see 1974 declaration of Archbishop emeritus Lefebvre) to renew the excommunications and demonizations against the SSPX, to stress their 'illegitimacy' and their 'schismatic situation' and their 'extremism' (or even 'antisemitism' ????).

28 June 2008 will be an historical date for the Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Roman Church, in such a deep crisis.

Many people are falling into the "all is fine now" illusion, just because they now have the 1962 Missal. As if that solves the doctrinal problems which are the root of the crisis and problems and deviation from Catholic orthodoxy! Not all is fine in Rome, really not. It might have been had Cardinal Biffi been elected pope, but not this time with Cardinal Ratzinger. I do not approve all opinions and claims and certainly not the aggressive rhetorics of sedevacantists these days, but I do think some of their arguments ought to be seriously contemplated - if they are backed up by proof that is. Many of the SVs' allegations can be refuted. Even some SSPX positions are not entirely correct. That is for instance that Dignitatis humanae, a core point for the SSPX, can be interpreted as an orthodox Catholic document - Fr. Louis-Marie de Blignières of chemere.org did that, he was a former sedeprivationist (Guérard des Lauriers adherent) and had clashed over the Pope-issue in 1986 with Apb. Lefebvre, but in 1989 he reconciled with Rome. But only in DH - the Crisis however is much more into ecclesiology, personal orthodoxy of the conciliar popes, other Vatican II documents (ecclesiological ones), and indefectibility.

There should be a Dialogue Commission erected in the Vatican for SSPX, Indult and Sedevacantists. Honesty and transparency would be shown thereby. Not political ploys like now. It would prove the good will absent seemingly right now....

The doctrinal issues discussed in all fairness. If nothing was changed, if no Dogma was contradicted, if no infallible act of the universal and ordinary magisterium (Quanta Cura e.g.) was contradicted, then even modern Rome should fear nothing from such discussions. It would help the 'hermeneutic of continuity' immensely. But if that hermeneutic was cunningly intended as an Hegel/Kant play of thesis-antithesis-synthesis-"philosophy", where contradictions should exist and should even be fostered, then there is nothing Catholic to it and a Dialogue Commission would unmask the gigantic 40-year fraud. I do not know the answers, not even the most ardent and well studied sedevacantists (Ing. Thilo Stopka, Abbé Schoonbroodt, Abbé Marchiset, Bp. Dolan, Bp. Sanborn, CMRI, Guérard des Lauriers, Eberhard Heller) have the answers, nor does the SSPX have all answers. Only Vatican official responses by pope Benedict XVI could cast true light on this difficult and confusing and most complex matter of the deepest Crisis ever in our Church. Only Rome can do so. But I fear they will refuse to do so. They might loose their public political correct reputation or the media positivity. (Already few, as the modern Vatican ironically did conserve moral theology intact entirely - including on contraception, abortion, celibacy.)

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't agree that an agreement would mean silence on the SSPX's part. In fairness does anyone honestly believe that an agreement would stop SSPX priests from critising Vatican II, and Rome are well aware of that too. The situation has changed enormously in the last year. Not only have we the freedom of the latin mass but also all the sacrements thanks to Pope Benedict XVI. I attend SSPX masses every week and want an agreement. I couldn't agree more that the SSPX are not outside the Church, however they are cetainly not in full communion with Rome. When I hear people talking about modernist Rome and how they have abandonned the Faith I really wonder what exactly do they mean by that. Statements like those were more applicable to 20 years ago when the latin mass was forbidden.

Jordanes said...

Americanism (i.e., the false American/enlightenment doctrine on religious liberty)

Actually the Americanist heresy involves more than erroneous views on religious liberty. The Great Infallible Oracle of Wikipedia ;-) mentions the principles of "absolute freedom of the press, liberalism, individualism, complete separation of church and state."

The notion that the agreement would require that the society be silenced is nonsense. The Institute [of the Good Shepherd] exists to help assimilate the Council's teachings in a more authentic manner, balancing the radical interpretations of those espousing a hermeneutic of discontinuity. So now two years later the SSPX itself would be denied its role in the pope's efforts to restore orthodoxy?

That's a very good point, and in that context it makes it look like Bishop Fellay and others in the SSPX are misunderstanding or misrepresenting what the Catholic Church would expect of them once they have returned to communion with the Sign of Unity.

Luiz said...

It seems that they just don't want to return communion.

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

however they are cetainly not in full communion with Rome. When I hear people talking about modernist Rome and how they have abandonned the Faith I really wonder what exactly do they mean by that. Statements like those were more applicable to 20 years ago when the latin mass was forbidden.

You may attend SSPX Masses, but you firmly swallowed the ecumenist New Ecclesiology of "partial communion" and other illusionary terminology. One is either in communion with the Holy See or not. There is no "partial communion" in a canonical or doctrinal sense. The SSPX is in communion with the Holy Roman Church and the Holy See. That is for sure.

If you hear people talking about modernist Rome, and you do not understand, maybe you have been living inside a cave since 1958?

The Latin Mass was not "forbidden" in 1988 either, and the Roman Liturgy controversy is not the main issue of traditional Roman Catholic Resistance to the developments at and after Vatican II. It has to do with doctrine.

And talking about modernist Rome, means talk about the neo-modernists in the bureacracy and positions of the contemporary Vatican - it does not mean separation from the Holy Roman Church, outside of which there is no salvation, or that they reject communion with the Holy See or any legitimate Pope of the Church.

Again, it is not a question of practical access to the TLM. It is about doctrine. Liturgical havens for refugees have existed always: e.g. the eastern Rite Catholic churches in the USA (Melkite, Byzantine Ukrainian) had been until 2000 at least.

But it should be clear to some people now that the Liturgy is not the core issue at stake at all. Nor are the SSPX priests and sacramental-bishops carreerists seeking a Red hat or some fancy prestigious job inside the Vatican apparatus, or some mantelletta robes or Prelates' status. They care only about Catholic truths of faith (Dogmata), about the conservation of faith, morals and discipline (extraordinary magisterial acts ánd universal/ordinary magisterial acts), and about the principle of non-contradiction and validity of the Sacraments (revised and almost destroyed in practice - at least among us Latins, or should I say Novus Ordinarians?).....

Please consider these facts. It is not like the Quran kisses and the synagogue-praising speeches or the Communion Into the Hand or laicism-praises were made in secret rooms by postconciliar popes. Their actions were out in the open. Even if many illusionary "conservative" Catholics continue to deny they saw it (illusion world of theirs - the "perfect" "ideal Church" illusion) - "traditionalists" and even apostates (modernists, especially extreme progressivists among them) saw it. On tv, radio, inside the Vatican. I saw the perversions with my own eyes, the hand communion in Roman basilicas, drums in Laterans.

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

I am annoyed by "Jordanes" and others constantly repeating the lies that the whims of Benedict XVI and Paul VI and John Paul II are "what the Catholic Church demands" (a grotesque claim - what the Church demands was defined in dogmata and other acts of the Magisterium now rarely exercised even though existent?); also the false claim that the SSPX should "return" (to what? they never left the Roman Catholic Church! to the Conciliar church of Vatican II?) is annoying. If there is something 'extra' the SSPX must do apart from signing an agreement to an apostolic administration all over the world, then this proves that the Vatican II Church is different from the Roman Catholic CHurch, as the SSPX does nothing what the Roman Catholic priests in Emergency Situation Communist Czechoslovakia did not do in 1951. And the situation of the Church and the world in the "free" West is theologically and morally worse and more "emergency" than in the Soviet controlled Marxist states back then (where clergy still upheld all dogmata in profession and practice)!

Stanislas Wojtiech - Stanislawów, Polska (Ukraine) said...

Sancte Pie X, gloriose patrone, ora pro nobis!

Venerabilis Pie XII, sancte Pater, ora pro nobis!

Anonymous said...

To those who think the SSPX would NOT be silenced, I would like to direct your attention to the FSSP. They have been silenced. I personally know of a priest who was disciplined for havint stated in a sermon that the Novus Order sacraments may be less effective than the trational sacraments. I have also noted recently that the FSSP priest in my area has greatly watered down his sermons to make them inoffensive. Priests are supposed to TEACH from the pulpit, as a part of proclaiming the Gospel. This modernist trend of just giving a commentary on the scripture reading of the day gives cover to not ever preaching the teachings of the Church. This is why you never hear sermons denouncing abortion and homosexuality from a Novus Ordo priest.

Based on the treatment of the FSSP by the Ecclesia Dei Commission, it is no wonder that the SSPX is extremely hesitant to accept a similar proposal. Plus, if indeed the proposal was sent via fax, that in itself indicates a lack of sincerity and seriousness by the Vatican. If the Vatican is truly sincere about wanting the SSPX to be "regularised," they would spend HOURS working with them to construct a canonical structure the SSPX could live with.

Something really smells here.
THEOPHILE

Anonymous said...

The five conditions:
http://blog.ilgiornale.it/tornielli/2008/06/24/lefebvriani-ecco-le-cinque-condizioni/

Anonymous said...

Theophile, what do you mean by 'watered down'? Do you have actual knowledge that Catholic doctrine which was once proposed clearly is now being made ambiguous or 'less Catholic'?

Anonymous said...

I think they have an unrealistic fear. Nothing will change if full communion with Rome takes places. They retain their chapels, schools, doctrine etc There is no loss. Noone will force the new mass on anyone. Those days are gone. The Good Shepherd Institute is proof of that.
Full communion is very important. If it wasn't important then there would be no reason for the SSPX to sign. It doesn't make much sense, the SSPX are not outside the church according to Rome but yet they don't want to sign. For me "not outside the church and full communion with rome" are the same thing. It doesn't make sense when the SSPX defend that they are in the Church but then don't want full communion. Will have to wait and see. I would love an agreement.

Anonymous said...

I said that the SERMONS were watered down as in the priest is not preaching a forcefully as he once did. This happened at the beginning of this year when the FSSP became the golden boys of the "extraordinary rite." It seems that he is afraid of offending someone whereas before he was somewhat fearless in his preaching of the faith.

Theophile

Anonymous said...

Theophile, in other words, do you have a practical example of this (btw, watering down a sermon is, by its very nature, making it less Catholic)? Or did he just lower his volume in preaching?

Anonymous said...

While it is obvious that most want a reconciliation to occur sooner than later we should all take a step back and reflect on this a bit before deciding what course of action is best at the present time.

I think the most important question to ask is whether or not The Church will be better off if the SSPX were to reconcile today. If you look at what has been accomplished over the last twenty years with the SSPX playing the bad cop role, can we honestly say that this progress will continue should the SSPX reconcile today? Today we have the FSSP, ICKSP, IGS, the motu proprio and more all as direct result of the SSPX acting "outside the church". Even the most ardent opponent of the SSPX cannot argue that tradition would be alive as it is today if it were not for the SSPX.

One more thing to consider is with all of the traditional orders that have come from Rome over the past 20 years there is yet to be a candidate selected for consecration. The closest you come is Bishop Rifan but that was part of a deal for reconciliation. Campos had leverage in that deal. So Rome has yet so recognize any priest coming from traditional orders as worthy of a Bishop's hat. That alone speaks volumes.

Many of you make this decision for Bishop Felly seem like a no-brainer. It is far from it. He has to get this right because I believe he has one shot at it. He cannot reconcile then later retract because it would do much more harm in the long run. The timing has to be right. We might think we know when that is but we're all just making our best guess.

Trust me, nobody wants a reconcilliation more than me. It totally sucks where I live and I pray everyday for things to get better. I've been in this battle my entire life (35 years) and I can't wait for the battle to be won. Just keep praying.

PJL

Anonymous said...

"I personally know of a priest who was disciplined for havint stated in a sermon that the Novus Order sacraments may be less effective than the trational sacraments."

If that is the real case the priest should have been reprimanded! After all the sacraments of all
Catholic rites are equally effective! Poor seminary training! Now if the priest meant to communicate the fact that he thought that the Novus Ordo sacraments were lacking in matter or form and thus their validity was being questioned, what would you expect the proponents of the reform to do?

Jordanes said...

Stanislas said: I am annoyed by "Jordanes" and others constantly repeating the lies that the whims of Benedict XVI and Paul VI and John Paul II are "what the Catholic Church demands" (a grotesque claim - what the Church demands was defined in dogmata and other acts of the Magisterium now rarely exercised even though existent?)

I have never said that the whims of the Holy Father are what the Catholic Church demands, nor have I ever said anything remotely like that, nor do I believe so monstrous and hellish a thing as that. You should note that in this discussion you are the only person to use the words “what the Catholic Church demands.”

also the false claim that the SSPX should "return" (to what? they never left the Roman Catholic Church! to the Conciliar church of Vatican II?)

Return to full communion with the Catholic Church. Whether or not they have never left, the SSPX is not currently in communion with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and they exist in an irregular state, unrecognised by the Church. That is a situation that must be remedied as soon as possible, for everyone’s sake – the SSPX is grievously wounded without full communion, and the Church will receive many graces and blessings when they return. Finally, the conciliar church of Vatican II is the only Catholic Church we’ve got, and is one in identity with the conciliar church of Vatican I, the conciliar church of Trent, the conciliar church of Florence, the conciliar church of Nicaea and Constantinople.

Anonymous said...

I attended Mass at the SSPX chapel in Allendale, MI this Sunday. The priest gave his account of Fellay's talk as well. According to this priest, Rome presented Fellay with 5 conditions to lifting the excommunication, 2 of which were: (1) the SSPX has to publicly accept the documents of Vatican II and (2) the SSPX cannot continue questioning the Pope or the charity of the Church.

This priest also mentioned that at the FSSP ordinations, Hoyos told the FSSP priest that if asked by the local bishop, they must say the new Mass. I find this last statement to be questionable - it doesn't sound like something Hoyos would say.

Paul Haley said...

I have posted what follows in another forum with many SSPX supporters and I include it here to show where I stand on these issues. Hopefully, my call will not go unheeded.

It is my personal plea to the SSPX that they consider very carefully this call from His Holiness and what it means to be in the bosom of the church with the full approbation and approval of the Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. They will have to make the decision themselves, of course, but I beg them to think that to be in full communion with the Holy Father who needs them in his fight with the “wolves” does not mean to be in communion with heresy. It means full partnership with the Holy Father in his efforts to restore Tradition and an incredible opportunity to work within Holy Mother Church for the salvation of souls, not as they themselves view their position but as the world views them, especially Catholics who have never had the opportunity to experience real Tradition in action (unintended pun there).

20 years is a long time to be considered to be in irregular canonical status and perhaps now is the time to show the world that you and your Society can be in the vanguard of the movement to restore Tradition in the church. Please, do not fail to respond positively to His Holiness’s call for union with him. Take up the cause and assist His Holiness in his battle with the wolves, most especially those within the church itself. An incredible opportunity awaits you…do not fail to take advantage of it and we will all be the better for it. Submitted with the utmost respect for the battle you have waged in our behalf and in the behalf of all who wear the label Catholic whether they realize it or not.

Anonymous said...

It is very true that we have the SSPX to thank for the tremendous work in the past. What I do not agree with however if people who condemn and falsly label other people as modernists who hope for an agreement. This is ridiculous. And it does not mean that we agree with the doctrinal craziness witnessed in the last 40 years. We want to put an end to that and that is the reason we want the SSPX to be at the front of the battle. Other traditional seminaries in full communion are growing much faster than the SSPX so they risk being left behind which noone wants.

Also I have attended traditional masses with priests in full communion with rome and they have been very vocal in condemning modern ideas. Its unfortunate that some priests are not as strong in their criticism, which applies to all priests accross the board.

Stanislas Wojtiech - Stanislawów: Polska/Ukraine said...

Return to full communion with the Catholic Church. Whether or not they have never left, the SSPX is not currently in communion with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and they exist in an irregular state, unrecognised by the Church.

(1) The terminology of "full" and "partial" communion is expression of the False (Pan-)Ecclesiology of Vatican II and post-conciliar documents. This is unseen. Either one is in communion, or one is outside communion. Perfect communion is necessary for communion at all to exist.

(2) The SSPX never left the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. It never did, despite what you may irreverently claim.

(3) Saint Athanasius of Alexandria was in an irregularized situation canonically too. Should he have given in to Roman Arians' demands and ultimata? Was Saint Athanasius outside the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church during his decades' long combat against the heresy of Arianism? Would you have been among the ones from the Arian court of Liberius I that St. Athanasius was "outside" full [sic!] "communion with the Church and must return"...? What do you think would have been his answer?

That is a situation that must be remedied as soon as possible, for everyone’s sake – the SSPX is grievously wounded without full communion, and the Church will receive many graces and blessings when they return.

The SSPX is inside (fully, perfectly, please note this!) the Roman Catholic Church and has nothing to "return" to. Rather it is the neo-modernists who must be corrected and convert to Catholic Rome, to the Holy Roman Church they left due to their "synthesis of all heresies", and the Vatican II body which must make clear whether its teachings are to be defined and received in a binding orthodox Catholic sense in unity (not in "continuity" of Hegel'esque thesis-antithesis-synthesis plays) with the Roman Catholic dogmata of all time.

Finally, the conciliar church of Vatican II is the only Catholic Church we’ve got

Your opinion.

and is one in identity with the conciliar church of Vatican I, the conciliar church of Trent, the conciliar church of Florence, the conciliar church of Nicaea and Constantinople

Those sacred Ecumenical and General Councils did not create new opposed teachings, contradicting former teachings of the extraordinary or even universal-ordinary magisterium! Also, the term "COnciliar Church" (Chiese Conciliare, German: Konzilskirche) was not coined by the eeeeevil schismatics of Lefebvre or the sedevacantists, but by pope Paul VI and Cardinal Benelli themselves.

And let it be proven that the Vatican 2-church is identical with the holy Roman, Catholic Church of all centuries, that its modern ecumenism/New Ecclesiology (condemned by Mortalium animos, 1928; by Humani generis, par. 27, 1950), its political liberalism and laicism praises (in allocutions, implicitly in Dignitatis humanae; condemned by Testem Benevolentiae, 1899 and Quas primas, 1925), its interreligious compromise (condemned by Mystici corporis, 1943), and its liturgical deform (condemned by Mediator Dei et hominum, 1947), are authentic acts of the Catholic Church and reconcilable (without contradiction) with Roman Catholic dogma and Roman Catholic defined former teaching. The truth cannot change.

The SSPX has nothing to returned to, as it is a part of the Roman Catholic Church, a clerical pia unio of the holy Roman Church indeed.

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

All those talking and writing about "full" and "impaired" and "partial" communion are already lured into the terminology of the (false, heretical, ecumenist) New Ecclesiology, which asserts that the Church of Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are nót one and the same thing (Humani generis, par. 27, 1950); that the Church of Christ also embraces schismatics, heretics, modernists, apostates and in the end all world religions and world populations.

The SSPX does not come over to the One World Religion, if you thought so.

The SSPX is in communion with the Holy Roman Church and the Most Supreme, Holy See of the Blessed Apostle Peter, prince and leader of the universal Church. Not in "impaired" nor in "partial" or whatever other New-Ecclesiology "communion", but just a (currently essential and instrumental) part of the true (Catholic) Church.

Anonymous said...

For Stanislas Wojtiech. If the SSPX is fully and perfectly within the Church as you say, why is the SSPX trying to work out an agreement. He even said that the SSPX could not sign with Rome at this time a short few weeks ago. IF what you are saying is correct what is the point in signing at all?

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

I find this last statement to be questionable - it doesn't sound like something Hoyos would say.

He has indeed said they must concelebrate the New Mass whenever not only the bishop on Holy Thursday's or the Green Wednesday Chrism Mass, but also whenever one of their "priestly co-pastors" desires they celebrate the Novus Ordo.

That is what Castrillon Hoyos publicly pressed upon them, right during the Ordinations. It blew away my confidence.

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, who like Benedict XVI, himself celebrates the New Mass normally, is a diplomat; mostly fair, but also focussed on the goals of the Vatican II theologians. Remember, Joseph Ratzinger was a peritus of the Küng-Rahner-Chenu-Schillebeeckx 'Concilium' (later "moderately" "conservatively" but still modernistic 'Communio' magazine) magazine, a peritus to Cardinal Frings of Cologne, Germany. It was at the instigation of this Council's spirit that Cardinal Frings refused to renew the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Germany in 1963. Not to offend the Protestants. He had still done the consecration in 1953.

They are diplomats. The SSPX priests will never say the New Mass. NEVER. Not that I consider the official version of 1970-2002 Novus Ordo 'Roman' Missals to be heretical, invalid or intrinsically sinful per se. I tend to say these official texts are not. But the spirit behind the Bugnini reform is pan-Christian, pan-religious, relativistic and contrary to Catholic unchangeable dogma on the Holy Eucharist. That is reason enough to refuse - the Novus Ordo's nativa ac indoles spiritus which is dubious, doubtful and to be rejected. And I know Melkite and Byzantine Catholic clergy who refuse to concelebrate in that 'reformed rite' of 'the Latins' too; they still have more liturgical sense. (Although even among them false ecumenism and compromises are becoming rampant sadly enough.)

From Stanislawów, Galicia said...

For Stanislas Wojtiech. If the SSPX is fully and perfectly within the Church as you say, why is the SSPX trying to work out an agreement. He even said that the SSPX could not sign with Rome at this time a short few weeks ago. IF what you are saying is correct what is the point in signing at all?

There is only need for a canonical a Juridical framework. Not for a canonical reconciliation or absolution from a crime the SSPX never committed. I admit that the emergency situation caused the SSPX not to have a regularized Canonical Framework like e.g. the Society of Jesus or the Opus Dei of 1948. That is true. But that has nothing to do with ecclesiastical communion with the Holy Roman Church. Those are formalities and not a reason to compromise on our sacred Roman Catholic Dogma of Faith.

Anonymous said...

If the SSPX sign they will not have to say the new mass. take for example the Good Shepherd Institute. They are 100% protected from the new mass. If one of their priests says the new mass, he is automatically expelled. Even if a new mass bishop wants to say mass in one of thier chapels he must obey the law of the institute.
It is stupid to think that Rome is luring the SSPX into some kind of new mass ambush.

Cerimoniere said...
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Cerimoniere said...
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Cerimoniere said...

There is a translation on my page of the actual conditions laid down by the Holy See, as reported by Tornielli.

The conditions are certainly open to some interpretation, but in themselves they are surely reasonable. The FSSPX raises legitimate concerns about some conciliar and post-conciliar magisterial documents and acts. Nonetheless, it must acknowledge that the Pope is the final authority on how all these things accord with the Church's dogmatic tradition (which it does), and avoid expressions which are in tension with this acknowledgment (which perhaps it doesn't always). Equally, the Holy See must take seriously these concerns of apparent tensions between post-conciliar and pre-conciliar teaching in some areas, and of certain acts of the post-conciliar Popes that seem to contradict some pre-conciliar teaching. The expression of such concerns is not in itself disrespectful to the Roman Pontiff, and the faithful need clarification of these matters.

This is a moment of serious decision, which could yield great graces for the whole Church; or not. Let us all pray for the FSSPX and for the Holy Father.

Jordanes said...
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Jordanes said...

The terminology of "full" and "partial" communion is expression of the False (Pan-) Ecclesiology of Vatican II and post-conciliar documents. This is unseen. Either one is in communion, or one is outside communion. Perfect communion is necessary for communion at all to exist.

Okay, if we accept that premise, then you are saying that the SSPX is not in communion with the Church at all and has left the Church – because they are manifestly not in “perfect” communion.

I wonder, though – would you say that divorced-and-remarried Catholics are in perfect communion with the Church? Or are they completely outside communion?

The SSPX never left the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. It never did, despite what you may irreverently claim.

But you just said there is no such thing as impaired communion – and since the SSPX is not currently in communion with the Church, then you must conclude that they have left the Catholic Church.

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria was in an irregularized situation canonically too. Should he have given in to Roman Arians' demands and ultimata?

The case of St. Athanasius is not pertinent to this case. Historians aren’t even agreed on whether or not Pope Liberius assented to the invalid excommunication of St. Athanasius (though St. Athanasius certainly had been led to believe the Pope had assented to his excommunication). But there is no dispute regarding the status of the SSPX bishops and priests --- the former are excommunicated and suspended, the latter are suspended.

The SSPX is inside (fully, perfectly, please note this!) the Roman Catholic Church and has nothing to "return" to. Rather it is the neo-modernists who must be corrected and convert to Catholic Rome

Who, in your opinion, is the Bishop of Catholic Rome? “Catholic Rome” seems to be an abstraction, distinct from the Rome that in fact exists. Is it possible to be the bishop of an abstraction?

Finally, the conciliar church of Vatican II is the only Catholic Church we’ve got

Your opinion.


Can you point me to any other Catholic Church?

And let it be proven that the Vatican 2-church is identical with the holy Roman, Catholic Church of all centuries

Is it your contention that the Roman Church, in approving and promoting Vatican II, has defected from the faith?

Anonymous said...

For Stanislas Wojtiech. You have a different understaning of signing with Rome to me. How could signing with Rome imply absolution from ones crimes. There is no crime of the SSPX. They retained the trad mass which Pope Benedict XVI says was never abrogated. No crime there. Cardinal Castrillon never talks of crimes when dealing with the SSPX. The fact that the faith in its absolute entirety has been freely permitted by Rome following the Motu Propio would be a contradiction on Romes part if they did believe that the SSPX had commited crimes for adhering to the trad sacrements and doctrine since the beginning.
I just looked at the requests made by Rome a few minutes ago and I don't see where it says the SSPX must recognise their wrongfulness.

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

Is it your contention that the Roman Church, in approving and promoting Vatican II, has defected from the faith?

No, for my the Holy Roman Church cannot decree heresies, apostasy (neo-modernism) or sinful/heretical or harmful sacramental rites. The Holy Roman Church "which alone is Catholic" is the Bark of Saint Peter and indefectible.

It is another question whether indeed the Holy Roman Church correctly, legitimately and officially promulgated the Revolution of Vatican II, or that it was another "ecclesiastical" anti-entity....

I leave the defense to the post-conciliar popes though. Maybe the modern Vatican can explain it all. But it has not and refused to even discuss these matters with serious Roman Catholic theologians. And that is what I find dubious.

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

But you just said there is no such thing as impaired communion – and since the SSPX is not currently in communion with the Church, then you must conclude that they have left the Catholic Church.

Jordanes,

Your lies and perversions of my real words are evident to all who read here.

I clearly stated that the SSPX never left the Roman Catholic Church. They are inside and in communion.

And the only thing which matters is a mere Juridical Framework for its clergy.

But your anti-SSPX rants about excommunications (pseudo-excoms) and "suspended" SSPX priests proves where you stand - in the position of an enemy of integral traditional Roman Catholic Resistance against Neo-Modernism that is. Even if you may intend to do good, your attacks against the SSPX are below the waistline.

And the Catholic Church forever exists and will continue to exist until the end of the world - but will the Son of Man find Faith when He cometh?

Nowhere was it stated that there would be no crisis or no near-total undermining of the Roman institutions.

Continue to believe in your own illusion of the Vatican II church and its "legitimate" glory of renewal.

Stanislas Wojtiech, Stanislawów, Ukraine said...

Jordanes,

I apologize for the word choice "lies and perversions", I rather meant "twisting". You twisted my words.

And you are incorrect on the SSPX.

Yet, I did not carefully read your entry, so I apologize deeply for using the word "lies", as you are at least an honest man. I hope I corrected myself in time by this post.

Let us all combat for our common Roman Catholic Church!

Intra-bickering is only what the enemies of the Church want: divide et imperia, solve et coagula (Masonry)...

Jordanes said...
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Jordanes said...

Apology accepted, Stanislas.

I clearly stated that the SSPX never left the Roman Catholic Church. They are inside and in communion.

But we know that the four bishops are excommunicated and the priests are all at least suspended a divinis. If one wishes to argue that that doesn’t amount to less than perfect communion, then one would have to convince the Holy Father that the excommunications and suspensions are invalid, and/or the canons on which the excommunications depend are invalid. And even if one accepts that the SSPX is in communion, their communion is still impeded, even if unjustly (which I do not think is the case).

But your anti-SSPX rants about excommunications (pseudo-excoms) and "suspended" SSPX priests proves where you stand - in the position of an enemy of integral traditional Roman Catholic Resistance against Neo-Modernism that is. Even if you may intend to do good, your attacks against the SSPX are below the waistline.

I am not aware of having attacked the SSPX, and I assure you that I am no enemy of traditional Catholicism and no friend of Modernism or Neo-Modernism.

And the Catholic Church forever exists and will continue to exist until the end of the world - but will the Son of Man find Faith when He cometh?

No argument against that coming from me.

Nowhere was it stated that there would be no crisis or no near-total undermining of the Roman institutions.

Quite the contrary, the Holy Spirit speaks of a crisis of apostasy preceding the appearance of Antichrist.

Continue to believe in your own illusion of the Vatican II church and its "legitimate" glory of renewal.

You should be careful not to presume that you know what I believe in. I certainly don’t think Vatican II ushered in a glorious age of renewal. The evidence is all around us that the hopes and promises of the Council Fathers have not come to fruition, and in many ways the Church is worse off now than She was before the council.

Ione said...

Question: Did Archbishop Lefebvre ever say a Novus Ordo Mass?

Anonymous said...

No Archbishop Lefebrve never said a new mass. He did sign all the documents of Vatican II though, but later refused to follow them when he saw the misinterpretations throughout the world.

Anonymous said...

Stanislas,

Celibacy has nothing to do with moral theology. It is a mere church discipline.

Ione said...

Anon: Msgr. Lefebvre did not sign ALL the documents of the Council, he refused to sign the two documents pertaining to Religious Liberty and Collegiality.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for my mistake about Archbishop Lefebvre signing all the vatican II documents.

Ricky Martin said...

Any Catholic should be able to make those five simple commitments.

If the leadership of the SSPX in their pride cannot make such a gesture towards the Holy Father, then that proves they are not interested in full ecclesial communion, nor are they interested in being true Catholics.

It smells of hypocrisy for the SSPX leadership to constantly complain about heresy in the Church, and to simultaneously refuse the Holy Father the basic respect and obedience that every Catholic ought to show.

Jordanes said...

Apologies for my mistake about Archbishop Lefebvre signing all the vatican II documents.

No apology necessary -- he did sign them all, any claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=857

http://ecclesia-militans.blogspot.com/2006/06/rev-father-peter-scott-on-archbishop.html

Ione said...

Jordanes: I am loathe to correct you but Lefebvre did not sign on Religious Liberty and Collegiality. Your web references need to consult Lefebvre's own writings in which he explictly states that he did not sign these two documents.

Jordanes said...

Jordanes: I am loathe to correct you but Lefebvre did not sign on Religious Liberty and Collegiality. Your web references need to consult Lefebvre's own writings in which he explictly states that he did not sign these two documents.

I'm sorry, but you are, as was Msgr. Lefebvre, in error on this point. All the evidence available supports the conclusion that his signatures on those documents are undisputably real. We have both the published Acta Synodalia and photographs of the original documents. Fr. Harrison is almost certainly correct that Msgr. Lefebvre had forgotten he had signed them – it would have been very much out of character for him to intentionally lie about what he had signed and what he hadn’t signed.

Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "Collegiality." Msgr. Lefebvre denied signing Dignitatis Humanae (religious liberty) and Gaudium et Spes (the Church in the modern world). But episcopal collegiality is addressed in Lumen Gentium, not G&S, and Msgr. Lefebvre never to my knowledge denied signing LG.

Ione said...

Jorandes:

You are putting forward the "Tissier argument" that Lefebvre was mistaken about recalling that he had signed the documents. (I am on a public portal so I will respond at length in the near future).

Jordanes said...

I am really putting forward no arguments about why he always insisted, contrary to the facts, that he didn't sign DH and G&S. It is charitable, and I think more reasonable, to conclude that he had forgotten, since the alternative is that he lied. Granted, it's not impossible that he lied, but one should never opt for leveling an accusation of sin in the absence of proof and when an innocent and plausible explanation is available.

A.B. said...

Taken from Marcel Lefebvre by Bp. Tissier de Mallerais pp. 311-313

PROMULGATION OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (128)

That day, each Council Father had signed his attendance slip as usual. Then, the Holy Father made his solemn entry. Next, the Secretary General read the four texts that the Fathers would vote on. The final vote on religious liberty was followed by three other final votes concerning the decree on the missionary activity of the Church (Ad Gentes), the priesthood in the Church's mission (Presbyterorum Ordinis), and the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world (Gaudium et Spes). This last document was opposed by seventy-five votes, Archbishop Lefebvre's among them. (129)

For each conciliar document, the Fathers filled out and signed an individual voting slip using a special magnetic pencil that could be read by machine. The voting was secret and was required to be done in person. Even if a Council Father was representing an absent Father, he could not vote for him. This was required by Canon Law, as Archbishop Felici reminded them, although a Father's representative could sign an act once it was promulgated. (130)

At the end of Mass, Archbishop Pericle Felici came to the Pope and announced the results of the four votes. The Pope then approved the four documents and promulgated them orally to the sound of a loud applause. Then, four large sheets were passed around the Fathers, each one bearing the titles of the four promulgated documents. The Fathers were asked to sign their names with the word "Ego" preceding their Christian name. The word meaning "I" was added to signify the union of each Father in the act of promulgation by the Pope, head of the Conciliar College. A Father's representative could show the Father's approval by writing: "Ego procurator. . . --- I, procurator of..." Thus, on one of these large sheets, (131) the following signatures appear in the same hand: "Ego + Marcellus Lefebvre arch. Tit. Synnada in Phrygie," "Ego procurator pro Epis. Augustinus Grimault, epis. tit." And on another: "Ego Antonius de Castro Mayer, ep. Camposinus, Brasilia."

What these indisputable facts show is that, having voted against reIigious liberty to the bitter end, Archbishop Lefebvre, like Bishop de Castro Mayer, finally signed the promulgation of the declaration Dignitatis Humanae. What could seem like a volte-face should not be surprising in the least. Once a schema was promulgated by the Pope, it was no longer a schema but changed in nature to become an act of the Magisterium. Archbishop Lefebvre himself underlined the weight of papal approval in his talk on September 15, 1976, when he admitted having signed lots of Council texts "under moral pressure from the Holy Father," because, as he said, "I cannot separate myself from the Holy Father: if the Holy Father signs, morally I am obliged to sign." (132) According to Wiltgen:

Basically, this was the attitude of all Council Fathers...; each was convinced that his own position on a given topic was the correct one….But these men, trained in Church law, also realized that both sides could not be right. And ultimately they went along with the majority view, when this finally became clear and was promulgated by the Pope as the common doctrine taught by the Second Vatican Council. (133)

There was neither dishonor nor inconsistency in this submission. After all, the clauses included in Dignitatis Humanae on "the true religion" or on the "just limits" of religious liberty made it just about possible to interpret the eleven lines that strictly speaking were the declaration (no.2) in a Catholic manner, even if that was not the obvious meaning of the text, as the rest of the document makes clear. In any case, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer's support was officially registered in the Council's Acta. (134)

If later Archbishop Lefebvre stated several times that he did not put his signature on the declaration of religious liberty---as with Gaudium et Spes---it was a claim in line with his opposition before and after the promulgation, and the result of an error or a memory slip. (135) He seems to have confused his final votes against Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae with refusing to sign. Such a mix-up appears from the denials that the Archbishop made in 1976 and 1990. (136) This would seem to imply that while on the one hand he gave his final placet to all the conciliar schemas except two, he did not think of the signatures as a promulgation of the Council documents with the Pope, even though he signed them all (as appears in the Acta Synodalia).

Putting that to one side, if we compare the number of voters on religious liberty (2,386) and the number of Fathers present who signed the promulgation, we find that at least twenty-two Fathers who voted for or against did not sign the documents. Archbishop Lefebvre was not one of them. Nonetheless, if certain facts prove to have escaped us, or if another interpretation is found to be more plausible, we would be quite open to accepting it. In our opinion, the Archbishop's signing Dignitatis Humanae takes nothing away from the value of his fight against religious liberty.

It now remains for us to study more closely his participation in this fight against religious liberty and against two other major themes of the Council: collegiality, of which we have spoken, and ecumenism.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(128) Cf. Sedes Sapientiae, review of the Society of St. Thomas Aquinas, no. 31: 41-44; no. 35: 32-45

(129) According to the records conserved in the Council archives, Archbishop Lefebvre would claim to have voted non placet on the subject of religious liberty and the Church in the modern world.

(130) Code of Canon Law (1917), can. 224, paragraph 2; A. Syn., III, VIII, 184.

(131) Kept in the Council archives and summarized in A. Syn., IV, VII, 804-859.

(132) ltineraires, special edition, April 1977, pp. 224, 231.

(133) Wiltgen, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, 252.

(134) A. Syn., IV, VII, 809, 10th line and 823, 8th line.

(135) Ms. II, 32, 33-34.

(136) Le Chardonnet, no. 57 (June 1990); no. 59 (Sept. 1990); no. 61 (Dec. 1990); Tradi Presse,no.8 (June 15,1990); Fideliter, no. 79 (Jan.-Feb. 1991): 7.