Rorate Caeli

SSPX: pilgrimage and a new Crusade of the Rosary


Pictures of the Solemn Mass, of the public recitation of the Holy Rosary, and of the Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, as the Sanctuary of Lourdes once again opens its doors and buildings to the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) during the weekend of Christ the King. The four bishops of the SSPX, who were consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, were present in the pilgrimage.

Regarding developments in the ongoing conversation between the leadership of the Fraternity and Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", the SSPX will start this Saturday a "Crusade of the Rosary" to "obtain from Our Lady the removal of the Decree of Excommunication", a "crusade" which will last from November 1 to Christmas Day.

This is a most auspicious development, considering that the last time a Crusade of the Rosary was proposed by the SSPX (in July 2006), its main intention was to "obtain from Heaven for Pope Benedict XVI the strength required to completely free up the Mass of all time, called the Tridentine Mass". All eyes to Heaven, and to Rome, in the next few months.

86 comments:

J. Smith said...

Let us all pray together for the reconciliation of the SSPX to Holy Mother Church. A people so devoted to the Traditional Mass should be within the Fold so as to be a constant example to others.

Anonymous said...

I want to note something about the bishops' choir dress. None of them are wearing manetellettas. I would think that traditionalist bishops would wear traditional garb. Back in the day, a bishop outside of his see would wear a mantelletta instead of a mozzetta, which is a sign of jurisdiction. None of these guys has a see, so none of them should wear mozzettas according to the old rules. So these guys are sartorial modernists! ;)

-- Tobias

Anonymous said...

all prayers and no actions never achieved anything.

The SSPX are praying for the lifting of the excommunications even though their prayers were already answered not so long ago by Cardinal Castrillon who presented them with five very generous conditions. They sadly declined the offer. Of course they gave the usual excuses that the conditions were too vague and that they didn't like the word Ultimatum!

Instead of praying for the lifting of the excommunications, we should all be praying that God may send them the grace of common sense. They need it now.

Do we have bishops, Yes. Who confirm and ordain in the traditional liturgy? Yes. Is one forbidden from saying the Gregorian Mass? No. Do we have to accept Vatican II as a super dogma? No. Have we the right to reject the false spirit of Vatican II and interpret it in light of tradition? Yes, It's even our duty. Can priests administer the sacrements with the 1962 rite and recite the Brevary of 1962? Yes. Who is forbidding the true Catechism to children and adults? Noone. And therfore who is forbidding the SSPX from being in perfect communion with the Pope? The SSPX should take care that it's not pride or some demon persuading them in another direction.

It's time to open your eyes. Operation survival is over.

Martin

Anonymous said...

I will start mine on November 1!

Jim said...

I'm glad you're optimistic.

Anonymous said...

It is extraordinary that the four excommunicated bishops were allowed to use the underground chapel at Lourdes for this purpose. Let us pray that the SSPX will return humbly to the Church and not impose conditional terms as if they were residual Anglo-Catholics.

Anonymous said...

It seems these "Rosary Crusades" are petty and selfish. Why not have a "Rosary Crusade" for the conversion of Jews, Turks and infidels (or perhaps our next door neighbor or even Obama or McCain)?

Let us "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." If the Church had its priorities strait it would be obvious that the modern liturgies are vacant and there would be an irresistable return to catholic practice and an utter rejection of the heretical novelties.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this prayer works (in a perhaps unintended way) and the excommunicated persons take the appropriate measures to be reconciled and that they are received with compassion and great joy.

Ken said...

C'mon people -- knock off the bickering and pray for the SSPX and the Vatican to reconcile differences. Is that really a bad thing, regardless of your views?

schoolman said...

I think Marin makes a good point. The SSPX should not expect the excoms to be lifted until they provide a generous response to the "5 points". These a so clear and basic that my second grader can understand them. Therefore, let's pray initially for a positive SSPX response and the subsequent lifting of the excommunications.

Gerard said...

Operation "Survival" is far from over. It doesn't matter how much of the traditional practices the Pope allows, until he starts to condemn clearly and unequivocally the specific errors resulting from and misinterpretations of Vatican II nothing is going to change.

Cardinal Bea would be strung up today as a "rigorist" for the clarity and candor he had in the early 1960s when he was considered a "liberal."

Anonymous said...

After spending the last nine days on vacation in 'catholic' Italy, the Rosary Crusade is much needed, as is the SSPX. It is a question I have that even though Italy/Rome has the buildings do they have the Faith? Piety, Humility, Charity, I did not see nor experience, instead I was inundated with fashion that was beyond immodest (even in the very Churches we consider Sacred), poor examples by lay & religious alike, etc. For those that critique the SSPX, is it not at least refreshing that someone is standing up for the traditional way of life? From my experience with the 'indult' communities, in a lot of ways I see them as wanting one foot in both sides of the world...to me that is a contradiction and an example that will eventually lead to the splits...
JWDT

Bill M. said...

Ken's got it right. Knock off the bickering and petty criticizm.

Sounds like a gathering of NO advocates.

Last time I contributed 300 Rosaries. I'm going to double that this time.

May God Bless all of you.

Anonymous said...

I will continue to pray that the four excommunicated bishops and the priests who follow them will be touched by the graces that are the result of the prayers, sacrifices and Holy Masses that are being offered on their behalf by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. These rebellious souls have caused the Holy Father endless grief, which pales in comparison to the agony they have caused Our Lord.

Anonymous said...

Anyone demanding a complete denunciation of Vatican II from the Pope is living on the wrong planet! What will more than likely happen is that the Council will be slowly forgotten and more traditional practices will replace the maddness of the past forty years.

Operation "Survival" is over and anyone who thinks the contrary should inform themselves about the consecrations of 1988. These were the dark hours of the SSPX, where Rome was awaiting the death of Mgr Lefebvre, where there were no bishops to perform traditional consecrations, where tradition would have disappeared completely if Mgr Lefebvre had suddenly died.
That is the real meaning to operation "Survival"

Is tradition under grave threat today from Rome as it was in 1988? No. In fact tradition is concretely supported by our Pope. Therefore operation "Survival" is over, and lets be thankful for that.

Needless to say, Some people need to update their arguments, by about twenty years...

Martin

John McFarland said...

The basic point regarding the excommunications is that the Pope no more thinks that they are valid than he thought before the MP that the traditional Mass had been abrogated or obrogated. The refusal to lift the excommunications is pure politics, just like the years and years of remaining silent on the status of the traditional Mass. The Pope overcame the politics of the status of the Mass. So now we need to pray hard that he will overcome the politics of the excommunications.

But you should understand that lifting the excommunication before a settlement is a much tougher nut. To put it undiplomatically, Rome's game plan is to lift the excommunications only after the SSPX has sold out. If the excommunications are lifted before a deal, then the SSPX and its bishops can speak to a much larger audience and make clear to them that there is no continuity between traditional and conciliar doctrine. Many more people will then know that the Pope's "hermeneutic of continuity" is at best an exercise in defending the indefensible. It's going to take a lot of fervent rosaries to get the Pope to empower the SSPX to roam the countryside and tell the faithful that the emperor has no clothes, where the emperor is the Pope. He will be very strongly tempted to like Andersen's emperor, and keep brazening it out, not to mention what the episcopacy (and particularly the French episcopacy) will be saying to him, and threatening him with.

I was flabbergasted at the original talk of Cardinal Castrillon's "generous offer," and am doubly flabbergasted at its continuation. Bishop Fellay is charitable indeed to say that he does not understand the Cardinal's letter. It is babble, and those who think they know what it means are reading into it, not reading it.

Finally, I would suggest to Tobias that he not bet the rent money against the proposition that the SSPX bishops know a lot more about the particularities of episcopal dress than he does. On practically all matters great and small regarding the Church, the SSPX is the gold standard, and practically everyone else (in this country, at any rate) at best one-eyed men in the country of the blind.

Anonymous said...

I recently read that about 80% of liberal Catholics agreed that a woman's "right to choose" abortion should be legal; that 40% of moderate Catholics agreed; but that only 20% of traditionally-minded Catholics agreed to that sinful notion.

I would expect that there would be few if any in the SSPX who would believe that a woman should have a legal right to kill her unborn child.

Let's stop straining gnats and swallowing camels.

It's prayer time. The Church needs the SSPX.

Neal said...

Try to remember who was Rome's man back in the "dark hours". I've always thought that waiting for the Archbishop to die (and with him Tradition) was a tad unethical.

As for the endlessly grieved pope, I wonder if the abuses (e.g. communion for pro-abortion politicians, to name just one) of the liberal elements in the heirarchy hurt him also. If so, that's a lot of pain.

In any case, please pray. There are no wasted prayers.

Jordanes said...

The basic point regarding the excommunications is that the Pope no more thinks that they are valid than he thought before the MP that the traditional Mass had been abrogated or obrogated.

Perhaps. I recall him saying something once, I don’t remember where, that suggested he might be open to the “perceived state of emergency” justification. I’m sure somebody here knows what I’m talking about.

There is, however, a big difference between the question of the alleged abrogation of the traditional Mass and the validity of the excommunications. There was never any proper, lawful instrument abrogating the old Mass (even though Paul VI probably intended to abrogate it), but there is definitely a proper decree of excommunication of the four SSPX bishops. Consequently it was easier to free the old Mass than it will be to rescind the excommunications: if they are valid, then they can only be rescinded when the SSPX reconcile with the Church; if invalid, then the Church can and should say so as soon as possible – like yesterday.

To put it undiplomatically, Rome's game plan is to lift the excommunications only after the SSPX has sold out.

The Church wouldn’t see it in terms of “selling out,” but anyway if you’re right, then the presumption is that the Church regards the excommunications as valid.

If the excommunications are lifted before a deal, then the SSPX and its bishops can speak to a much larger audience and make clear to them that there is no continuity between traditional and conciliar doctrine.

That is something the Church will never allow, any more that it could formally and at the highest levels approve any other doctrinal error. If reconciliation with the SSPX depends on that, the SSPX will finally end up confirmed in schism.

It's going to take a lot of fervent rosaries to get the Pope to empower the SSPX to roam the countryside and tell the faithful that the emperor has no clothes, where the emperor is the Pope.

One may as well pray that God forever remove all physical illness from our mortal bodies. There is no point in praying for something that won’t ever happen.

On practically all matters great and small regarding the Church, the SSPX is the gold standard, and practically everyone else (in this country, at any rate) at best one-eyed men in the country of the blind.

Reminds me a little of Cardinal Castrillon’s reference to the SSPX behaving as if they were a parallel magisterium.

Anonymous said...

1.
What's the big deal? The schismatic Orthodox are not required to accecpt the Holy Father as valid successor of Peter.
Do they accecpt any of the ecumenical councils after the Great Schism? We all know the
answer! No need to convert them any more. If they can get a pass, why not the SSPX who accepts the primacy of the Sea of Rome and all of the approved councils save the one that has destroyed The Church?Does anyone out there trust Rome to appoint even one Bishop and Cardinal from any of the orders intituted originally to wreck the SSPX? Operation Survival is an ongoing campaign because efforts from individual Bishops continue
to supress progress of Traditiom
which includes clarification of Vatican II documents not in accord with previous councils.

2. Attn. to Martin:
Lest you think Archbishop Lefebrve did the 19988 Consecrations alone, he was not!

A.M. LaPietra

Jordanes said...

What's the big deal? The schismatic Orthodox are not required to accecpt the Holy Father as valid successor of Peter.

Really? Then why is the Church engaged in ecumenical dialogue with them in an attempt to facilitate their acceptance of the primacy and supreme jurisdiction of the Holy Father?

the one that has destroyed The Church?

In light of what Jesus said about the gates of hell not prevailing, I’d say that’s a bit of a hyperbole.

Anonymous said...

is that a Pio Nono banner in the background? :)

Anonymous said...

Operation Survival continues to exist mainly because no one else has stepped up to side with the Pope on the Traditional mindset.

The real proof will be when the Present Pontiff (which the SSPX recognizes as such) passes on to his reward and the next Pontiff takes his place. Will the next Pope be so open to Tradition and the 'extraordinary' form of the Mass? My bet is no!
Thus I will join the Rosary Crusade as should all others irregardless of position or leanings.
JWDT

Anonymous said...

I think there is much going on that we are not party to. The SSPX has totally moderated their tone as required by the Pope, and use of the facilities at Lourdes could only happen with papal approval, given the situation in France.

We all need to moderate our language; there are many in the SSPX movement who believe they, and only they, are the Church, the rest of us are apostates. We need to recognise the SSPX proper as a valid Catholic organisation, our brothers in Christ, remembering only 4 of their members are under excommunication. We and them are the Church.

It is happening.

Fra S

Anonymous said...

Yes, a very hopeful sign that reconciliation is in view. We need the Society in the heart of the Church.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Fellay has confirmed in his latest "Letter to Friends and Benefactors" what the problem is. Essentially, and as I expected, Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos said that the excommunications would be lifted but they had to agree to accept an international diocese, which would be the ultimate boon for traditionalists everywhere.

They have refused as usual, saying that they won't accept regularisation even on these terms until Rome has retracted Vatican II, until Rome has repudiated the conciliar teachings on œcumenism, religious liberty, collegiality, inculturation, and liturgical innovation on principle.

Although she hasn't said so explicitly, Rome is no doubt prepared to say that the Society may continue to hold all pre-conciliar beliefs and ignore Vatican II. I certainly ignore it. What Rome is not prepared to do is to rule that the Society's view on the Council is the *only* one which Catholics may accept--at least not for the forseeable future. The idea is that difficulties must be resolved slowly, over decades.

At this point, the Society should accept the proferred structure provided that Rome agrees to enter into discussions (I refuse to use that nauseating term 'dialogue')over doctrine (which she has not refused to do). The Society can protect its property by keeping it owned by civil corportations controlled, as now, by its solid leaders. There is no canonical problem there: a parish can rent premises for Mass for a nominal fee; and this is therefore true for interntional dioceses too.

The Society is afraid of losing control of its priests and laics, not losing control of its real property. But it should consider that, owing to the effects of "Summorum Pontificum", its future is very bleak now anyway. As S.P. Masses take over (and this is already happening), where will Society priests go? They will go to the Institute of the Good Shepherd under Rome, and to other regularised traditionalist groups. Better to 'go to Rome' than to be sent to the places where there are no Summorum Pontificum Masses, places such as Vladivostok, Hyderabad, and Grand Island, Nebraska.

Yes, Opertation Survival has succeeded. Now we need Operation Entrenchment. This means ABSOLUTELY NO ACCEPTANCE of a compromise in texts between TrueMass and NewMass; it means no infection of TrueMass as introduced by that repulsive little worm, Msgr. Perl.

Peter Karl T. Perkins
Victoria, Canada

Anonymous said...

John McFarland,

I explained why I said what I said. Traditionally, before Paul VI, a bishop without an ordinary see or a bishop outside of his see would wear a mantelletta and not a mozzetta. In wearing the mozzetta, these bishop are following the Pauline protocol. As they reject almost everything else taht Pope Paul VI did in the way of revising rites, etc., I simply find it curious that they accept his decision to replace the mantelletta with the mozzetta for virtually all instances in which bishops formerly had to wear a mantelletta. That was my point. According to the old rules, these four bishops would not be entitled to the mozzetta, as they lack a specified see. Maybe they presume to don the mozzetta because of their claim to supplied jurisdiction? It's either that, or else they simply accept Paul VI's alteration of the bishop's choir dress.

~Tobias

John L said...

The SSPX already accepts everything that Catholics can be required to accept: they accept 1) that the Novus Ordo is valid (if rightly performed); and they accept 2) that the Second Vatican Council was a valid ecumenical council. There is thus no theological or canonical obstacle in principle to their situation with Rome's being regularised. All that they need to do, theologically, and canonically, is to profess these two points - since there are no other issues of disagreement. The fact that they refuse to accept interpretations of Vatican II, or particular statements of Vatican II, when these contradict clear and irreformable prior magisterial teachings, is not an obstacle to their reconciliation. Their doing this is something that every Catholic is entitled to do - and in fact that every informed Catholic has a duty to do; when faced with magisterial teachings that disagree or that seem to disagree, the obligation of a Catholic is to accept the clearer and more authoritative teaching. The obstacle to their reconciliation is thus not on their side. It lies in the Church policy to the effect that the teachings on which the SSPX insists, with respect to religious freedom and ecumenism, are as a matter of policy illicitly suppressed in the Church - just as the old mass was until recently illegally suppressed. If it were not for the fact that the SSPX is expected to go along with this suppression as the price of regularisation, such regularisation could happen tomorrow; there are no obstacles to it on either side apart from this insistence.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point about not knowing what goes on behind the scenes. I will pray the Rosary as the Bishop requested.

Has the Vatican ever responded to SSPX requests for a debate on the contentious issues? Surely, a true debate would serve to reveal the truth and heal souls. The truth will set you free.

Anone

John McFarland said...

Jordanes, under the 1983 Code of Canon Law, automatic excommunication of a person cannot occur if that person believes in good faith in the rightness of his position, whether or not his belief is true. No one who knows anything at all about Archbishop Lefebvre could straightfacedly say that his position on the ordinations was not held in good faith. Ecclesia Dei Adflicta did not purport to excommunicate the Archbishop and the new bishops; it stated that they were excommunicated by virtue of their participation in the consecrations.

So they're not excommunicated. The excommunications are a nullity, and the Pope knows it, although maybe Pope John Paul the Great didn't. The SSPX has laid this all out in a number of places. It would seem to make sense for you to read about it.

Does the conciliar Church treat the SSPX like schismatics? If an SSPX member returns to the conciliar Church, he just returns. There is no requirement of abjuration of his errors, because there are no errors to abjure. It's been reported that the Pope has ordered his entourage not to call the SSPX schismatic, because they aren't.

Is the problem with the SSPX that it's not in "full communion?" Degrees of communion didn't exist before Vatican II. Under real Catholic doctrine either you're in the Church or you're not. The degrees concept was first used (and is still primarily used) to give some connection with the Church to the heretics and schismatics; but then somebody had the bright idea of using it for the SSPX after the Vatican began to get scruples about calling it schismatic.

Can you identify for me the doctrinal deficiencies of the SSPX that demonstrate that the excommunications will NEVER be lifted until they surrender? The supposed excommunications resulted from the consecrations, which occurred based on the Archbishop's judgment that there was a state of emergency. Even if we assume that the Archbishop's judgment was incorrect, bad judgment, even culpable bad judgment, is not heresy or schism. Do you think that the Vatican's judgment that there was no state of emergency is infallible?

But this is all neither here nor there, because there has been no valid excommunication. The only question is whether the Pope will have the guts -- or rather, that God through the intercession of the Blessed Mother in aid of we her children crying out to her, will give the Pope the guts -- to admit it, whether explicitly when lifting the excommunications, or implicitly by the very fact of lifting them.

By the way, does anybody have any, well, evidence of the Pope's great sorrow over the status of the SSPX? The MP would have been a great place to express it, and to make a pitch for reconciliation. But there was no such pitch, because a basic purpose of the MP was to convince guys like the majority of the denizens of this blog that the SSPX was now irrelevant. And it sure worked like a charm.

As the SSPX has repeated over and over and over, and guys like you generally have avoided even reading, much less understanding, over and over and over, the state of emergency that gave rise to the 1998 consecrations is not over, because Rome still does not teach the complete and unadulterated faith. The Pope is not doctrinally sound, and he is not Really on Our Side. He just thinks that if he's prepared to be cozy with Jews and Buddhists and worshippers of the Great Thumb, and swallow endless insults from the KGB alumni that rule the "Orthodox" church, it's silly not to make some room the Big Theological Tent for those with a throb for the Old Mass and Borromean chasubles and the like, if only they'll behave themselves and go along with the gag that the magisterium of Benedict XVI is in continuity with the magisterium of Pius XII and Pius X and Pius IX and Pius V.

I can't imagine what Fra S means in saying that the SSPX has "moderated its tone." Its tone has almost always been very moderate, but never at the expense of truth. Nor can I imagine what other hopeful signs he sees. In the letter in which he announced the new rosary crusade, Bishop Fellay said again what he's been saying for years now: as between the SSPX and Rome, nothing really has changed, and there's not much chance that anything will change very soon.

Nor would I make much of the SSPX's being let into Lourdes. Do you think that anyone much in the French episcopacy cares anything much about Lourdes?

But what all you critics of the SSPX need to do is READ what they have to say. It's all too obvious that most of you haven't bothered much with that. Sedevacantists tend to present the same problem; they don't seem to see any need to actually know very much about the SSPX in order to refute it, and can get very unpleasant in the face of insistence that their witness is not of much use unless and until they do so.

Jordanes said...

Jordanes, under the 1983 Code of Canon Law, automatic excommunication of a person cannot occur if that person believes in good faith in the rightness of his position, whether or not his belief is true.

Nonsense. If that were true, then there would never be automatic excommunications. The Church has been announcing quite a few automatic excommunications lately due to heretical and blasphemous, and inevitably schismatic, pseudo-ordination of women. You would contend that those excommunications are invalid, since it seems pretty likely they were done in good faith.

Good faith would lessen the culpability of a schismatic consecration, facilitating the rescinding of the excommunication, but of itself it does not nullify an automatic excommunication.

If an SSPX member returns to the conciliar Church

The only Church that exists on earth . . .

he just returns. There is no requirement of abjuration of his errors, because there are no errors to abjure.

That's not what I've been told.

Under real Catholic doctrine either you're in the Church or you're not.

Okay, in that light I guess you're not. I wouldn't put it that way, though. Still, at this time the SSPX clearly is not in communion with the Catholic Church, though not in an actual state of schism. And you certainly talk as if you do not see yourself as a member of the same Church that we Catholics belong to.

Can you identify for me the doctrinal deficiencies of the SSPX that demonstrate that the excommunications will NEVER be lifted until they surrender?

I can't speak to what the SSPX's official position may or may not be, but I note your insistence that the teachings of Vatican II are not reconcilable with prior ecumenical councils. In light of the Church's doctrines of ecclesial infallibility, indefectibility, and papal primacy, it is not apparent how your opinion can be reconciled with the Church's self-understanding.

Do you think that the Vatican's judgment that there was no state of emergency is infallible?

No. I'm not even sure that is the Vatican's judgment, or if it is, that the Pope might not reconsider it. It does seem like it is their judgment, however, and while not infallible, it seems to be correct.

Rome still does not teach the complete and unadulterated faith. The Pope is not doctrinally sound, and he is not Really on Our Side. He just thinks that if he's prepared to be cozy with Jews and Buddhists and worshippers of the Great Thumb, and swallow endless insults from the KGB alumni that rule the "Orthodox" church, it's silly not to make some room the Big Theological Tent for those with a throb for the Old Mass and Borromean chasubles and the like, if only they'll behave themselves and go along with the gag that the magisterium of Benedict XVI is in continuity with the magisterium of Pius XII and Pius X and Pius IX and Pius V.

In that case, it's impossible to envision how the SSPX could ever be reconciled with the Church, nor even why the SSPX would ever want to be. Why be in communion with a Rome that sometimes teaches the complete and unadulterated faith and sometimes teaches something else? Such a Rome could hardly be the Rock of Peter.

Anonymous said...

Could anyone kindly explain why three of the bishops are wearing violet mozzettas but their 'habitus piano' cassocks?

If they are wearing a mozzetta they surely should be wearing violet choir cassocks?

Did Bp. Williamson forget to bring his mozzetta?

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Bp. Williamson left his mozzetta in Argentina, which was mentioned at the pilgrimage in Lourdes.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a basic tenet of our faith to agree with the Church of Rome, where faithlessness has no access? This seems to be the consent of the Fathers and the opposite, the the Church of the city of Rome can fall into error, was formally condemned as manifest heresy by Pope Sixtus IV.

Sometimes I feel the SSPX are similar to the separated Greeks in their assessment of the Filioque. They accuse us of creating to spirations and two principles when that is not the intent and we have said as much over and over. The SSPX should at least give Rome the benefit of the doubt and ascribe the appearance of error to their own misunderstanding rather than do what the separated Greeks do.

Confiteor said...

John McFarland,

Let's get down to specifics here. Realistically speaking, what concrete actions does the Pope need to take -- aside from lifting the excommunications -- for the SSPX to reconcile with Rome?

Does Benedict XVI need to formally denounce Vatican II?

Does he need to renounce his own errors?

What will it take?

Confiteor said...

...[that] the Church of the city of Rome can fall into error, was formally condemned as manifest heresy by Pope Sixtus IV.

Anon 12:03, the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Sixtus IV makes no mention of any such condemnation. Please provide references to support your assertion.

Anonymous said...

That error is condemned definitively by Sixtus IV in his Bull "Licet ea" in 1479--it solemnly condemns the errors of Peter de Osma. I can't find it online, but this article cites it:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=608&repos=1&subrepos=0&searchid=337726

as does this book:

http://books.google.com/books?id=l-ECAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA366&lpg=PA366&dq=sixtus+peter+de+osma&source=bl&ots=2gLn2DnNrw&sig=6a4fHmVLdJ6-pkSbMQBov3yucZU&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

Anonymous said...

Attn. to Jordanes

Re. No big deal
1.
The point I was trying to make is that unlike the Orthodox the SSPX are exactly what the Church was at the time of Vatican II. If one can be saved through Judaism or Islam or the Orthodox Church and we no longer need to convert them, why such emphasis converting the SSPX?
If you buy the line of salvation through other religions, do you concede that salvation can be attained theough the SSPX?

2.
Every Catholic should know that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. My comment that Vatican II caused the destruction of the Church could have been better stated as causing widespread destruction of the Church. That point is clear to the SSPX but not to many Roman authorities.

Anonymous said...

from reading an account of the most recent talks it is my understanding that the sspx seeks lifting of the excommunications as a pre-condition of further talks - said pre-condition sought as a testement of good faith from Rome rather than as a line-in-the-sand demand from Econe.
if mature talks are to occur they will best do so if sspx interlocutors (bishops) are not shackled by the excoms and if Rome does not feel empowered by them.
JCM
btw - I will pray the rosary for the sspx intention and contribute my prayers to the bouquet.

Paul Haley said...

There's a lot of arguing as to which side is right or wrong in comments to this topic but I think the main point is that both sides must come together and discuss the doctrinal issues that are at stake. Canon Law says that no one is culpable if they act out of grave fear even if only relatively grave (canon 1323, sub 4).

The Holy See says they excommunicated themselves via a latae sententiae excommunication for defying the pope and acting without a papal mandate. So far as I know there has never been a ecclesiastical trial where definitive sentence has been pronounced. It would seem that this is a requirement of Justice if nothing else.

However, the following prayer trumps all IMHO:

Dear St. Joseph, Protector of Holy Church, inspire your namesake Joseph, now Benedict, to govern the Holy Church with a firm and resolute hand, to remove those who openly preach and practice against the Holy Faith, to reject any and all heresies, to welcome without delay those who have for years fought to retain Tradition in practice and belief, to render Justice to those who have been mistakenly identified as outside the church, and to provide for the continuation of Holy Tradition in liturgy, practice and belief among all those who your Son has won for His Father in Heaven.

Sit beside Joseph, now Benedict, and watch and inspire his every move that he may accurately and faithfully govern the Church here on earth. Give him the courage to do what must be done as you did when you left everything and went with your beloved spouse Mary and the Holy Infant, Jesus, to the safety of Egypt. Do not allow the enemies of Holy Church to influence Joseph, now Benedict, in any way with the heresies of Modernism so accurately described by the saintly St. Pius X in the encyclical Pascendi Domenici Gregis, a warning given to us over 100 years ago.

Inspire all our spiritual fathers to do what must be done to set on proper course our Holy Church on earth and together with Joseph, now Benedict, to proclaim the truth throughout the world and gain many souls for your Beloved Son. St. Joseph, you have never failed us and we ask for your special attention and concern now with the enemy of the Cross at our doorstep. Together with the Holy Angel, St. Michael, fight those enemies with every weapon in the heavenly arsenal and preserve us in our faith now and forever, Amen


Coupled with the rosary campaign, it would seem this prayer would provide the proper solution and bring both sides together for the good of the church and the salvation of souls.

Jordanes said...

If one can be saved through Judaism or Islam or the Orthodox Church

But no one can be saved through Judaism or Islam, which should not be grouped with Orthodoxy, since it is a Christian religion with valid orders and salvific sacraments. Jews or Muslims can be saved despite their false religions, if (and only if) they are invincibly ignorant, but they cannot be saved “through” their false religions. It is the elements of truth in their religions that can make help them on their life’s journeys, consolations that God will use to call wayward souls to Him, but those elements of truth are not of themselves salvific.

we no longer need to convert them, why such emphasis converting the SSPX?

Everyone needs conversion, even faithful Catholics, and certainly Jews, Muslims, and Orthodox Christians.

My comment that Vatican II caused the destruction of the Church could have been better stated as causing widespread destruction of the Church.

Okay. Thanks for clarifying. And perhaps even better would be “causing widespread destruction in the Church,” though of course one can also distinguish further between direct causes and indirect causes.

Confiteor said...

Paul Haley,

That's an awesome prayer. Did you compose it?

If yes, do you mind if I post it on my blog?

BTW, I see that my earlier comment didn't pass the editorial board. Perhaps it was too combative.

Jordanes said...

Confiteor, could you be referring perhaps to your comment timestamped "31 October, 2008 12:41"?

Anonymous said...

I hope these prayers move the Holy Father to correct the unjust actions and make the ex-communications null and void.

Heaven will see to it that the Church admits the the ex-communications were never valid.

confiteor said...

Jordanes,

No, it was a later comment, challenging John McFarland to respond to the matter of Peter de Osma's condemnation.

Paul Haley said...

Confiteor said:
That's an awesome prayer. Did you compose it?

If yes, do you mind if I post it on my blog?


Yes, I composed it because I felt that prayer would be more helpful than anything else in these perilous times.

By all means you may use it and anyone else that chooses to. Remember, though, that I'm just a humble lay person who grew up in the church before Vatican II and I have no authority in these matters.

Stanisals Wojtiech said...

People asking for "reconciliation to Holy Mother Church" of the SSPX, have not understood. If someone is Roman apostolic and Catholic, it is the SSPX, incl. its "excommunicated" bishops. The Catholicity of the "church of Vatican II", the "conciliar church" and the non-contradiction to "former" solemn Roman Catholic dogma (e.g. on the supersession of the Old Testament, no salvation outside the Church [not Feeneyism and stuff like that], and relation to other religions), remain to be proven. It is precisely because of that, that the fully Roman Catholic faithful who attend the SSPX Masses and the SSPX clergy remain critical about post-1958 (or post-1965) "modern Vatican". Persons like "schoolman" never respond to the facts, of e.g. John Paul II kissing the Quran, Benedict XVI praising Talmudic Judaism, and statements about "convergence of religions and confessions" instead of conversion to the apostolic orthodox Roman Catholic faith. Not to forget the alleged "religious liberty" understood to curtail a state's right to forbid non-Catholic sects and false religions or limit their exercise in the public realm. The question remains in Rome, with the liberal peritus Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI and in full 'convergence' with the other "Conciliar Popes" as Cardinal Benelli himself (a liberal) called John XXIII and Paul VI. The SSPX is nót outside the fold, and whoever states the SSPX is "outside" the Roman Catholic Church, is an idolator of John Paul II, "phony" excommunications, and condemning saintly resistance Catholics like Bp. de Castro Mayer. And those who call the SSPX bishops (who are not infallible, but a lot more Catholic than Benedict XVI in doctrine, and more clear about their adherence to all Catholic dogmáta) "rebellious souls" who are allegedly causing grief to the "Holy Father", should realize, that the "Holy Father" was himself an engineer of the heretical revolution inside the Church, allied to arch-heretics like Küng, Rahner and Schillebeeckx (and still!), and himself as a Bavarian peritus mentally caused grief to hundreds of millions of Catholic souls with his theological revolution at Vatican II. The fact that he does not even want to meet criticism or call a theological evaluation commission to discuss Vatican II and the points about which heresy is claimed by the SSPX, or error, proves how stuck papa Ratzinger is in his own intellectual work of Vatican II and "subsistit in" etc. And his praises of "healthy secularity".

schoolman said...

"...the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Sixtus IV makes no mention of any such condemnation. Please provide references to support your assertion."

Well, it should be #730 in Denzinger, however, my Loreto edition ommits this. Instead, you can find a footnote reference to it in Denzinger as follows:

His errors (among which also is "The Church of the city of Rome can err" [n. 730 in previous editions]), rejected by a gathering of theologians at Alcata and afterwords condemned by the Archbishop of Toledo (which condemnation Sixtus IV condemned by this Bull [Licet ea], he retracted publicly before the publication of the Bull.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"The SSPX is the gold standard, and practically everyone else (in this country, at any rate) at best one-eyed men in the country of the blind"

Huh?

1) Bishops not wearing the prescribed vestments as the rules c. 1962 dictated;

2) Bishops celebrating Missae Cantae like priests (a practice that was explicitly forbidden by the Congregation of Rites in the 19th century, a monition observed until c. 1964)

3) Mumbled prayers and rushed Masses;

4) Hybrid Low-High Masses;

Now, I'm not a rubrical nitpicker at all, given that the circumstances of today are such that it could be difficult to properly implement the rubrics even when one knows what should be done.

However, it is one thing to be lenient about the SSPX's liturgical idiosyncracies, and another to consider these as part of the "Gold Standard."

dcs said...

No one who knows anything at all about Archbishop Lefebvre could straightfacedly say that his position on the ordinations was not held in good faith.

I do assume that Msgr. Lefebvre acted in good faith and out of grave fear and believe, therefore, that his excommunication was invalid.

I am not sure about the four bishops he consecrated. It does not follow from the invalidity of Msgr. Lefebvre's "excommunication" that the excommunications declared against them were invalid as well.

John McFarland said...

Mr. Palad,

Regarding your criticisms of the SSPX's liturgical practices:

With all due respect, I don't think it's prudent for me to take as my guide a single self-appointed lay liturgist/rubrician as against the practice of a society whose founder was a great student of the liturgy from his youth, and whose spiritual sons in my experience are very much of the same stripe. I may be wrong, but I think it's the way to bet.

Jordanes said...

I do assume that Msgr. Lefebvre acted in good faith and out of grave fear and believe, therefore, that his excommunication was invalid.

At this time the Church evidently continues to regard his excommunication and that of his four bishops as valid. That could change, and perhaps soon, but until then I won't assume otherwise, as it is the Holy See that has competence in these matters.

Confiteor said...

Persons like "schoolman" never respond to the facts, of e.g. John Paul II kissing the Quran, Benedict XVI praising Talmudic Judaism, and statements about "convergence of religions and confessions" instead of conversion to the apostolic orthodox Roman Catholic faith.

That is untrue.

Those of us who support the Pope and refrain from insulting our Holy Father in public forums (a serious offense against ecclesiastical order, to say nothing of being a sin against charity) do not ignore the many grave problems spawned by Vatican II. We simply affirm as a matter of Catholic Faith that a valid Council of the Catholic Church cannot contain error against the Faith.

Confiteor said...

An act of the magisterium cannot contain error against the Faith. Now, the Society has never proposed as a general principle that an act of the magisterium can contain error against the Faith, and thus they cannot be accused of heresy on that specific point. Rather, they have in various ways sought to discredit the standing of the documents of Vatican II as acts of the magisterium, primarily by insisting upon the pastoral nature of the Council. However, the pastoral nature of the Council does not change the fact that each document produced by the Council -- signed by the Bishops of the world and ratified by a valid Pope -- is an act of the magisterium and thus, de fide, cannot contain error against the Faith.

Now, is it not a simple matter for the Society Bishops to admit that, whatever the problems with the Council documents (and those problems are legion), those documents do not and cannot contain formal error against the Catholic Faith? Would not that simple admission by the Society Bishops -- which constitutes nothing more or less than a simple act of Catholic Faith -- help to facilitate the lifting of the excommunications?

Anonymous said...

The major issue in regard to the S.S.P.X is not whether or not the excommunications are valid but whether or not the Society Masses fulfil the Sunday and holyday obligation, provided that those attending have no schismatic intent. If they do fulfil that obligation, we can now safely ignore our local bishops and repair to Society Masses--often even exclusively--, and incur no penalty.

On 18 January, 2003, the P.C.E.D. made a reply to Una Voce America regarding an earlier letter of the P.C.E.D. of 27 September, 2002. Both letters confirm that attendance at Society Masses is not sinful and does fulfil the obligation provided that the intent is not schismatical or otherwise disordered; the P.C.E.D. even admitted that we could give a small donation on the collection plate at such Masses. These two letters seem to contradict a letter written by the same P.C.E.D. on 29 September, 1995. The only way to resolve this direct contradiction ("it is considered morally illicit for the faithful to participate in these Masses") is to conclude that something changed between 1995 and 2002. From what I can gather, the Society Masses now fufil the obligation because Rome has, in recent years, recognised that the Society is "Catholic" in official correspondence to it. Given this recognition, Society Masses are now covered under Canon 1247 and 1248: they count as 'Catholic' in those canons.

As the P.C.E.D. itself admits, all this information is now public, since it has now appeared everywhere on the Internet. But it is fair to point out that the P.C.E.D. also warns that attendance at Society Masses is not recommended and risks a gradual fall into schism. That needs to be said.

Still, the conclusion means that, at least until Rome declares the Society to be formally schismatic, we can now 'get around' the bishops wherever there are Society chapels; and it means that the Society can now target dioceses where bishops have used their influence to exclude the ancient and venerable Mass of Tradition.

Very quietly, the Vatican has circumvented the opposition of the local bishops. This puts pressure on those bishops to provide our Mass for us. Should they not do so, we can just call NewMassBusters. Dial 1-800-123-SSPX.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

Confiteor,

A pronouncement of the Church is only subject to the charism of infallibility if it meets the criteria of infallibility. These criteria are very strict and narrow. While Vatican II was in progress, there were a number of statements making clear that infallibility did not apply to the pronounements of the Council unless they were otherwise infallible. If memory serves, after the Council there were some papal pronouncements that arguably maintained the contrary; but I don't think that anyone could straightfacedly say that those papal pronouncements met the criteria for infallibility laid down by Vatican I.

To put it less diplomatically, your notion of infallibility is entirely misconceived. Its errors are more or less shared by the writers of other contributions in this string. The usual term for this error among its critics is hyperinfallibism. Sedevacantists share it, which is why they need to deny that the concilar popes were or are popes. They understand what a number of the contributors to this site don't understand (or better, won't let themselves even consider): that the conciliar magisterium is deficient and adulterated, as Mr. Wojtiech points out at some length. But since they set (with a fine disregard for the teachings of Vatican I) more or less the same low bar for infallibility as you do, the only way they can deny that the concilar errors contradict infallibility is to deny that the conciliar popes are popes.

I know you want to rely on the Pope. But you can't; he's not reliable. It's hard to say this, but there's no way around it.

To put it another way, Mr. Haley's prayer is missing something basic. It is not enough for the Pope to fight against modernism; he must himself cease to be a modernist, and cease teaching a deficient and adulterated magisterium. The SSPX view is not a matter of pride; it is that they are spiritual sons of Archbishop Lefebvre, who had the brains and the courage to recognize a hard truth, the hardest perhaps in the history of the Church, and to stand up for the faith when virtually all the other shepherds showed themselves hirelings.

This is not a game or a hobby. This is not about mozzettas and chasubles. This is serious stuff, the most serious stuff there is: the faith without which it is not possible to please God, and which for a generation has been traduced by the highest authorities of the Church.

If a man will not recognize that faith comes before obedience, there is grave danger that eventually he will obediently -- apostasize.

***

Jordanes,

You have a related problem. You do not understand that authority is dependent on law, not law on authority. Canon law holds that there can be no automatic excommunication in a case like the 1988 SSPX consecrations if those involved believed in good faith that they were in the right. This would be true even if they were in fact in the wrong, as long as they sincerely believed that they were in the right. If Bishops Lefebvre and Castro de Mayer, and the four who were consecrated, all believed in good faith that they were doing right, then they were not automatically excommunicated; and when Paul John Paul said otherwise in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, he was just wrong. The Pope could have changed canon law, but that isn't what he did. He could have excommunicated them, but that isn't what he did either. He said that they were automatically excommunicated; he was wrong; and so they aren't excommunicated. He could have executed them later; but he didn't. Pope Benedict could have excommunicated them; but he hasn't. So if they did what they did in good faith, they're not excommunicated, and never were.

The numerous canon lawyers in the Vatican either knew this in 1988, or figured it out pretty soon thereafter. But they said nothing, just as they said nothing about the fact that the traditional Mass had never been abrogated or obrogated. Your efforts to distinguish the two acts don't work. In both cases, they deliberately hid the truth. They didn't lie, but they didn't tell the truth, and they left people to draw the wrong conclusions. Indeed, many -- like you -- are still drawing the wrong conclusions, and may well go to your grave drawing the wrong conclusions unless and until the Pope admits the truth regarding the consecretions, as he has regarding the traditional Mass.

Jordanes said...

A pronouncement of the Church is only subject to the charism of infallibility if it meets the criteria of infallibility. These criteria are very strict and narrow. While Vatican II was in progress, there were a number of statements making clear that infallibility did not apply to the pronounements of the Council unless they were otherwise infallible.

You're not distinguishing between the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium and the infallibility of the extraordinary magisterium.

I don't think that anyone could straightfacedly say that those papal pronouncements met the criteria for infallibility laid down by Vatican I.

Vatican I discussed only one kind of infallibility, papal infallibility, which requires that the Pope teach ex cathedra. But Catholics accept that the Pope is not the only organ of infallibility.

To put it less diplomatically, your notion of infallibility is entirely misconceived.

the conciliar magisterium is deficient and adulterated, as Mr. Wojtiech points out at some length.

The Sedevacantists are simply more consistent in their logic than you are. You effectively are insisting that the Church has defected, but do not follow your logic to its end.

I know you want to rely on the Pope.

And why not? He is the Rock, after all.

It is not enough for the Pope to fight against modernism; he must himself cease to be a modernist, and cease teaching a deficient and adulterated magisterium.

And who will put the Pope on trial and convict him of heresy, Mr. McFarland?

If a man will not recognize that faith comes before obedience, there is grave danger that eventually he will obediently -- apostasize.

Faith comes before obedience, and faith also can depart after and due to disobedience.

You do not understand that authority is dependent on law, not law on authority.

So God's authority is dependent on a prevenient or superior law? On the contrary, laws that are decreed without legitimate authority are not laws at all.

Canon law holds that there can be no automatic excommunication in a case like the 1988 SSPX consecrations if those involved believed in good faith that they were in the right.

Yes, I've heard that claim several times. It might be correct, though if so it would mean at a practical level that automatic excommunications are very frequently invalid. It would be for the Holy See to determine if a person were really acting in good faith, though -- mere assertions of a partisan do not establish a person's good faith.

He said that they were automatically excommunicated; he was wrong; and so they aren't excommunicated.

Maybe you're right, but at this time the Holy See evidently regards the excommunications as valid, and the keys are in St. Peter's possession, not yours.

He could have executed them later; but he didn't.

I assume you mean "excommunicated," not "executed." Capital punishment would be rather an excessive penalty for schismatic consecration of bishops.

Your efforts to distinguish the two acts don't work. In both cases, they deliberately hid the truth.

And interesting hypothesis. We may eventually learn whether or not you're right.

St. Rafael said...

Confiteor and Jordanes,

The Ordinary Magisterium is Ordinary infallible teaching by Pope, Bishop, or anyone with the proper authority to teach which illumines doctrine that has always been believed and accepted by the universal Church. The teaching is one that is has been held "always and everywhere" by the Church.

The Vatican II documents contain error and the teachings of those documents have not been held "always and everywhere", thus making it not part of the Ordinary Magisterium. They in fact contradict the Ordinary Magisterium.

The reason? Vatican II was the first Council of the Church in which the bishops did not call down the Holy Spirit for protection. All the other Council called on the Holy Spirit formally for the protection of the infallible dogmatic decrees they issued. But because Vatican II was pastoral, they did not want to issue dogmatic decrees.

Confiteor said...

It is not enough for the Pope to fight against modernism; he must himself cease to be a modernist ...

John McFarland,

Have you even read Pascendi?

Show us by reference to the actual document exactly where Pope Benedict XVI is guilty of the heresy of modernism. Please be specific and support your accusations with facts.

You're right, this isn't a game. Accusing the Holy Father of heresy in a public forum is no small matter. You hold your eternal soul in your hands.

Stanislas Wojtiech, from Stanislawów said...

If Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) was indeed guilty of formal heresy (public & pertinacious) before his election in the Conclave (or if Roncalli, Montini, Luciani or Wojtyla were), he is not even "our Holy Father", but a simple sacramental priest outside the Roman Catholic Church, as both under CIC 1983 and CIC 1917 (in force during his elevation to cardinal etc.) formal (public) heresy would lead to automatic loss of ecclesiastical office. Martin Luther cannot be pope either, nor can rabbi Schwartz from Boston, or irreverend preacher Ian Paisley. One must be careful in stating that pope Benedict XVI is guilty of public heresy. He is skilled enough not to be able to commit a material heresy (this supposes ignorance about the Church's dogmatic teaching, Ratzinger is not ignorant and never was). Bishop Williamson alleged Benedict XVI suffers from a philosophers' illness in the mind, but this is a weird thesis, as an insane pope would automatically loose office.

The picture behind the SSPX bishop in Saint Pius X Underground Basilica in Lourdes, is not St. Pius X, but Bl. Pope Pius IX, the last "Pope-King of Rome".

Anyway, the SSPX represents a part of the relatively small remnant Roman Catholic Church. It is questionable whether the Conciliar 'church' (Cardinal Benelli coined the term, and then Paul VI, in 1973) is in any way part of the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ...... Sadly enough.

Stanislas Wojtiech, from Stanislawów (Republic of Ukraine) said...

A thorough discussion of the IInd Vatican Council and post-conciliar magisterial documents, allocutions since 1959, liturgical reforms, and seeming contradictions and denial by all these of Catholic dogma, is necessary before the traditional Roman-Catholics can even consider joining up with the "modern Conciliar structures" (incl. the "new Vatican") once again. A sad fact. And of course there is the hot issue of the allegedly invalid 1968 Pontificále Románum's rite for episcopal consecration and its essential form, which is claimed by some scholars to be deficient and even denying the Filióque dogma, and thus invalidated. This would mean that the SSPX are only several of few remaining sacramentally valid Roman Catholic bishops able to ordain priests validly (in the Latin Rite, the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches aggiornamento'ized to their detriment, but not the episcopal consecration unto invalidity).

So traditional Roman Catholics do not have assurance of valid bishops administering the Sacraments, in the views of sedeprivationists and sedevacantists, among them also some respected scholars and academical researchers.

Benedict XVI should face discussion and protect and restore the Holy Roman Church (if he is a legitimate Pope of the Holy See), and not try to save his own theological project called Vatican II, where he collaborated with Hans Küng, Edward Schillebeeckx, Karl Rahner and Chenu (the latter being an heretical theologian condemned in 1942 by Pius XII for neo-modernism - yet he participated in Vatican II of pope Roncalli).

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

A Council of the Holy Roman Church, an Ecumenical Council, called by a legitimate Pope cannot contain errors or heresies in the matter of Faith and Morals. It cannot. But I think the SSPX does not claim this. If she does, she must go sedevacantist. Vatican II cannot have been heretical per se, if Roncalli was a valid Roman Pontiff.

Confiteor said...

Vatican II was the first Council of the Church in which the bishops did not call down the Holy Spirit for protection.

That's quite a claim, St. Rafael. Can you back it up?

John Scholes said...

@John McFarland

I cannot agree with you about excommunication. It is surely clear-cut under Can 1382.

I also cannot see it being lifted any time soon. On his way to Lourdes, Bishop Williamson gave a 3 hour talk in London devoted entirely to attacking Vatican II. I had a good deal of sympathy with SSPX on the liturgy (until the MP), but the attack on Vatican 2 went beyond all reasonable bounds.

St. Rafael said...

Stanislas Wojtiech,

You are talking about a Dogmatic Council. Dogmatic Councils do not containe errors.

Vatican II was not a Dogmatic Council. It was the first of its kind, a Pastoral Council that defined no new dogma and did not issue anything as infallible or dogmatic. Vatican II is different from every other Council.

St. Rafael said...

Stanislas Wojtiech,

The Church has never ruled on whether a formal heretic looses his office because of it. The Church has never officially taught anything on the subject. There are only opinions from theologians like St. Robert Bellarmine.

A formal heretic does not loose the office of the Papacy due to his heresy because he was validly elected. It is up to the Church to formally ex-communicate any heretic his elevation to any office. If the Church does not ex-communicated him, oh well. That is their problem.

If Ratzinger or Wojtyla was guilty of any heresy it doesn't matter because they were validly elected. The Church did not ex-communicate them at any point prior to their elevation.

The problem is that the Church is ungovernable at this point. Most of the clerics themaselves are infested with Modernism.

St. Rafael said...

Confiteor,

Pope Pius IX taught on March 12, 1870, at the time of Vatican I:

"The Ecumenical Council is governed by the Holy Ghost... it is solely by the impulse of this Divine Spirit that the Council defines and proposes what is to be believed."

Vatican II made no such statement because it made no infallible dogmatic decrees or statements.

The Holy Ghost simply cannot be solemnly invoked at a strictly pastoral Council, because the pastoral pronouncements could not be infallible anyway.

Stanislas Wojtiech, Stanislawów (now in Ukraine) said...

John and "St. Rafael": You are in error.

(1) Any bishop, archbishop, parish priest, rector, cardinal or pope who prior to his elevation to said office were guilty of notorious public heresy (and thus formal heretics, presuming they knew they contradicted Catholic dogma), automatically looses ecclesiastical office. See CIC 1917 Canon 188.4, and the footnotes of it: Cum ex apostolatus officio (1559). That is no theological opinion, but a fact from Canon Law. In CIC 1983 it is in Canon 323 if I am correct, but altered.

(2) An act of the Magisterium cannot contain a heresy against the faith, as the Church can never teach poison to its children. It is impossible.

An encyclical (not a dogmatic document or a dogmatic Ecumenical Council) cannot contain heresy. If it would, the pope publishing it, would not be a valid pope, and the Council would not be a valid ecumenical Catholic council. Vatican II cannot be claimed to be explicitly heretical therefore by the SSPX.

A Pope in an allocution cannot teach heresy. It is impossible. He can fornicate with satanic mistresses in the Vatican palace like it happened in the Renaissance, but a valid pope can never contradict the Catholic dogma of faith or officially contradict the sempitern moral teaching of the apostolic Church through all time. It is impossible.

The Holy Roman Church remains free from all error and blemish. Only about Pope Honorius I was it claimed he had favoured the Monotheletic heresy in a letter. His coffin was opened after his death and his postume condemnation, and his body thrown into the Tiber by an enraged fanatic orthodox Catholic urban mob of Rome. But Honorius I can be exonerated and explained. But can it be done with the Vatican II pontiffs and the 2nd Vatican Council also? Can they be excused and interpreted in a favourable non-ambiguous orthodox Roman Catholic way? Yes or no? Or are the contradictions not only seeming, but real and clear?

Jordanes said...

Vatican II was not a Dogmatic Council. It was the first of its kind, a Pastoral Council that defined no new dogma and did not issue anything as infallible or dogmatic. Vatican II is different from every other Council.

The Council of Vienne also seems to have been purely, or almost entirely, of a "pastoral" nature. I think it may have issued something of a dogmatic nature, though I don't know what it was -- but the primary purpose and outcome of Vienne was dealing with the Templar problme and reforming morals.

Also, while Vatican II define no new dogmas, it did reaffirm perennial teaching, which thus would be of an infallible character, and it also issued two dogmatic constitutions. So even a pastoral council can teach doctrine and dogma.

The Holy Ghost simply cannot be solemnly invoked at a strictly pastoral Council, because the pastoral pronouncements could not be infallible anyway.

That is a remarkably truncated notion of the role and action of the Holy Spirit in the Church. The Holy Spirit is not limited to ensuring the infallibility of teaching, but He also animates the Church, guiding and directing her pastors as they yield to the Paraclete.

Anyway, if the Council Fathers of Vatican II never invoked the Holy Spirit at the council, what was Blessed John XXIII referring to when he said in his opening address:

"We might say that heaven and earth are united in the holding of the Council -- the saints of heaven to protect our work, the faithful of the earth continuing in prayer to the Lord, and you, seconding the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order that the work of all may correspond to the modern expectations and needs of the various peoples of the world."

Note also that Paul VI's usual ratifying colophon for the documents of Vatican II is:

"Each and every one of the things set forth in this Decree has won the consent of the fathers. We, too, by the Apostolic Authority conferred on us by Christ, join with the venerable fathers in approving, decreeing, and establishing these things in the Holy Spirit, and we direct that what has thus been enacted in synod [council] be published to God’s glory… I, Paul, Bishop of the Catholic Church."

The historical record is clear that the Fathers at Vatican II did solemnly invoke the Holy Spirit. How would it be possible for them to forget to do something so basic to the Catholic faith as to convene a council but forget to place it under the Holy Spirit's protection?

Jordanes said...

P.S. Here is the text of the prayer (originally composed by St. Isidore of Seville, and also used at the start of the sessions of Vatican I) that the Council Fathers of Vatican II prayed in Latin before every morning meeting of both the preparatory and conciliar commissions:

"We are here before You, O Holy Spirit, conscious of our innumerable sins, but united in a special way in Your Holy Name. Come and abide with us. Deign to penetrate our hearts.

"Be the guide of our actions, indicate the path we should take, and show us what we must do so that, with Your help, our work may be in all things pleasing to You.

"May You be our only inspiration and the overseer of our intentions, for You alone possess a glorious name together with the Father and the Son.

"May You, who are infinite justice, never permit that we be disturbers of justice. Let not our ignorance induce us to evil, nor flattery sway us, nor moral and material interest corrupt us. But unite our hearts to You alone, and do it strongly, so that, with the gift of Your grace, we may be one in You and may nothing depart from the truth.

"Thus, united in Your name, may we in our every action follow the dictates of Your mercy and justice, so that today and always our judgments may not be alien to You and in eternity we may obtain the unending reward of our actions. Amen."

St. Rafael said...

Stanislas Wojtiech,

1917 Canon Law has been abrogated and the 1983 law #323 deals with something else. A formal heretic cannot become a Pope if he is declared a formal heretic by the Church, but if he is not declared a heretic, there is nothing stopping him from being elected Pope. A heretic has to be declared a heretic officially by the Church. If a man holds heresy but is never charged as one, then the Church takes the chance of the person being elevated to higher positions.

A heretic therefore could become Pope because the Church never did anything to officially charge the man and ex-communicate him.

Vatican I said that the Holy Spirit protects the Pope from error when he speaks Ex-Cathedra. The Pope can never err when he uses Papal Infallibility. Outside of Ex-cathedra statements he can err. Encyclicals can contain error.
Any errors made by a Pope is not considered Magisterial teaching.

Pope Honorius is an example. He was excommunicated and declared a heretic by an infallible dogmatic Church Council and two later Popes.

The Third Council of Constantinople declared Pope Honrius a heretic and ex-communicated him. Pope Leo II upheld that and also did the same.

To this day Pope Honorius is a heretic and ex-communicated. After 1,400 years the ex-communication has never been lifted and never will.

Anonymous said...

Stanislas W. said,

"Can they be excused and interpreted in a favourable non-ambiguous orthodox Roman Catholic way? Yes or no? Or are the contradictions not only seeming, but real and clear?"

Did't Sungenis do this very thing,that is reconciled V2 with Tradition?

Confiteor said...

John XXIII's invocation of the Holy Spirit is absolutely astounding in its content:

... seconding the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order that the work of all may correspond to the modern expectations and needs of the various peoples of the world.

Verily, this is unlike anything ever uttered at a Council of the Catholic Church. Lord help us.

As for the morning prayer of the Council Fathers to the Holy Spirit, it's nice and all, but does it really constitute an invocation of the Spirit to protect the Council Fathers from doctrinal error?

I don't think so.

These facts about the Council had hitherto escaped my notice. They are quite a revelation.

Jordanes said...

Pope Honorius is an example. He was excommunicated and declared a heretic by an infallible dogmatic Church Council and two later Popes.

Declarations of excommunication, of course, are not dogmatic and therefore not protected by infallibility, nor do they become infallible by being reconfirmed by later popes. Also, posthumous excommunication is practically meaningless, since dead people do not receive Communion in Catholic Masses on earth. Excommunication applies only to the living -- at death the case is remanded to a higher court, where the soul might even be exonerated and restored to the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ.

The lesson we are to take from Pope Honorius' symbolic excommunication is just how serious and obligatory it is for popes that oppose error and work to keep it from spreading. In this one can only have concern about how recent popes have responded when error has arisen. But Honorius himself never taught heresy and as far as anybody can tell never held any heresy either.

Confiteor said...

The historical record is clear that the Fathers at Vatican II did solemnly invoke the Holy Spirit. How would it be possible for them to forget to do something so basic to the Catholic faith as to convene a council but forget to place it under the Holy Spirit's protection?

Jordanes,

The Council's invocation of the Holy Spirit was characteristically ambiguous, as the documentation that you have provided demonstrates. John XXIII's invocation makes my skin crawl.

To be honest, I'm not really sure what level of divine protection was gained by those solemn yet wooly invocations. The Freemasons invoke God the Father, yet to what end?

St. Rafael said...

"But Honorius himself never taught heresy and as far as anybody can tell never held any heresy either."

Joprdanres,

Never held heresy? A dogmatic Church Council and two Pope found him guilty of holding material heresy.The reason why Pope Honorius was excommunicated after death was because it is impossible to excommunicate a Pope while he is living. The Pope is above Canon Law and no one is higher than a Pope. It has to be after their death by another Pope. posthumous excommunications are not meaningless, they are real and valid.

Pope Honoruis today is still excommunicated because it is just. He wil always be excommunicated and always a material heretic. It hasn't changed in 1,400 years and it never will.

Jordanes said...

Confiteor said: Verily, this is unlike anything ever uttered at a Council of the Catholic Church. Lord help us.

I'm not so sure. Blessed John's words seem to me like a valid, prudential application of St. Paul's evangelistic principle of "I am become all things to all men, that I might by any means save some" (I Cor. 9:22).

As for the morning prayer of the Council Fathers to the Holy Spirit, it's nice and all, but does it really constitute an invocation of the Spirit to protect the Council Fathers from doctrinal error?

If that invocation of the Holy Spirit isn't an invocation of the Holy Spirit, then not just Vatican II but Vatican I also "never invoked" the Holy Spirit to protect it from error. Read the formal decrees and acts of Vatican I and tell me where the Fathers formally invoked the Holy Spirit to protect them from teaching error:

http://www.piar.hu/councils/ecum20.htm

These facts about the Council had hitherto escaped my notice. They are quite a revelation.

The Council's invocation of the Holy Spirit was characteristically ambiguous

Then so was Vatican I's, since that Council invoked the Holy Spirit in the exact same way.

John XXIII's invocation makes my skin crawl.

Why? What is so repelling about a Pope addressing a Council and indicating his belief in the common Catholic belief that the Holy Spirit inspires and guides the Church, especially when she gathers in Council?

Jordanes said...

Never held heresy? A dogmatic Church Council and two Pope found him guilty of holding material heresy.

Which is not the same thing as actually being guilty of holding material heresy. Disciplinary, penal sentences are not infallible dogma, St. Rafael.

The reason why Pope Honorius was excommunicated after death was because it is impossible to excommunicate a Pope while he is living.

Well, yes -- but that doesn't make a posthumous excommunication more than a symbolic, didactic act that has no actual effect on the person being "excommunicated." Honorius had already been judged by God: the Church no longer had any power over him.

posthumous excommunications are not meaningless, they are real and valid.

Well sure, I suppose if Honorius tries to receive Communion today, he would be refused. Next time I see him at Mass, I'll tell the deacon . . . .

Pope Honoruis today is still excommunicated because it is just. He wil always be excommunicated and always a material heretic.

If he was a material heretic at the moment of his death, then yes, he will remain so forever. But nobody here below can tell if he was, so no one has any right to say he was, is, and always will be a material heretic. Stop pretending to be God, St. Rafael.

confiteor said...

What is so repelling about a Pope addressing a Council and indicating his belief in the common Catholic belief that the Holy Spirit inspires and guides the Church, especially when she gathers in Council?

It is repelling that a Pope would seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to conform the work of a Sacred Council to the expectations of the modern world. Utterly repelling and shocking.

Jordanes said...

Confiteor, you're talking as if you'd never heard of Blessed John's "aggiornamento."

Also, John XIII did not "seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to conform the work of a Sacred Council to the expectations of the modern world." You're putting words in his mouth. He didn't say that. He referred to "seconding the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order that the work of all may correspond to the modern expectations and needs of the various peoples of the world."

Surely you can see the huge difference between a Council's work being "conformed" to the modern world's expectations, and a Council's work "corresponding" to the modern expectations and needs of the various peoples of the world. The peoples of the world each had expectations and needs, and the Council sought to answer them in a way that corresponded to those expectations and needs (I don't think they always succeeded either). John XXIII wanted the Council to speak to the world that existed at that time, not a world that no longer existed -- and this, ironically, is why Vatican II's documents often feel somewhat dated, because they were tailored for societal conditions of a specific time and place. Still, the Church's answer was hardly in "conformity" with the expectations of the modern world. Just because an answer corresponds, that doesn't mean it conforms.

Confiteor said...

Conforms, corresponds -- you're splitting hairs, Jordanes. John XXIII sought the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that the work of the Council would correspond to the "modern expectations" of the world at large. The Council would sing to the tune of the modern world, and so it did. It was a terribly imprudent objective for which to seek the help of the Holy Spirit, as the past 40 years have proved.

It is not the business of a Sacred Council of the Catholic Church to respond to the "needs" of Modern Man. Hello? That's the fundamental problem with Vatican II.

confiteor said...

... and this, ironically, is why Vatican II's documents often feel somewhat dated, because they were tailored for societal conditions of a specific time and place.

Well, no kidding. Why do you think that the Decrees and Canons of Trent, by contrast, feel so timeless?

Confiteor said...

Confiteor, you're talking as if you'd never heard of Blessed John's "aggiornamento."

Oh, I'm all too familiar with it, sorry to say.

There's another word for it: "the spirit of Vatican II". It has been the ruin of the Church the past 40 years.

Jordanes said...

I'm sorry, Confiteor, but I do believe that words mean things. There's no use in criticising Vatican II if our criticisms are not founded upon what Vatican II actually said. (Indeed, what made aggiornamento so seriously problematic, and why I think by any measure it has failed, is because words mean things: the "updating" of how the Church presents her faith has inevitably led to ambiguity where once there was clarity.)

Confiteor said...

Jordanes,

Fine, let's take exactly what John XXIII said:

... seconding the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order that the work of all may correspond to the modern expectations and needs of the various peoples of the world.

It is an imprudent invocation, to say the least. I'll say it again: responding to the "needs" of Modern Man should never, never have been seen as the business of a Sacred Council of the Roman Catholic Church.

We have 40 years of rotten fruit to prove the point.

Jordanes said...

responding to the "needs" of Modern Man should never, never have been seen as the business of a Sacred Council of the Roman Catholic Church.

In an important sense, responding to the true needs of man is one of the Catholic Church’s gravest obligations. But I agree that it’s not at all apparent that an oecumenical council was needed to address the particular needs of the modern age. Certainly what came from Vatican II is a mixed bag at best, and thankfully the Holy Spirit kept the council from formally binding anything that is doctrinally or dogmatically erroneous or pastorally ill-advised. Much as the Fifth Lateran Council was overtaken by the upheaval of the Protestant revolt, such that its work of reform never got off the ground, and had to be relaunched at Trent, Vatican II was overtaken by the upheaval of the 1960s and was immediately neutralised or even subverted. Eventually (hopefully not any time too soon) another oecumenical council, one with some real “anathematising” teeth, will have to be convened to take up (and to fix) what was left unfinished or in doubt at Vatican II.