Rorate Caeli

What will the SSPX have to do?
"Vatican II is not a dogma of Faith," Roman sources say

In her article on six questions related to the Decree which remitted the sanction of excommunication of the four bishops of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), the Vatican correspondent for French newspaper La Croix (the Catholic-owned daily), Isabelle de Gaulmyn includes some well-known facts.

However, there is some new information in the text, which we present below.

1. Possible news conference by Cardinal Castrillón:
"This week, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which is in charge of this reintegration, should explain it [the future possibilities] publicly to the press."

2. Letter of Cardinal Bertone. Regarding the question on whether this "reintegration encompasses an acknowledgment of the teachings of Vatican II", De Gaulmyn reveals that the decree was the object of a letter sent by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, to Curial authorities:
"This is the whole problem. The decree published on Saturday does not speak of Vatican II, but it evokes indirectly the 'problem posed at the origin'. Not more than, according to our information, the letter sent by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to the authorities of the Curia, in which he makes this gesture known."

3. So, what about Vatican II? At least for the moment there does not seem to be any desire from those responsible for the discussions on the Vatican side to demand from the SSPX the express acceptance of one specific Council (the Second Vatican Council or, for instance, the First Lyon Council), since they may all be implictly included in more generic expressions. In the words of De Gaulmyn:
"The refusal of the teachings of the Council is the true cause of the rupture of the Integrists. For the constitution of the Institute of the Good Shepherd [IBP] by former members of the Fraternity, in 2006, its members explicitly vowed 'to have a positive attitude of study and communication with the Apostolic See, avoiding all controversy, (...) regarding certain points taught by the Second Vatican Council or regarding subsequent reforms of the liturgy and of the law, and which seem to us hardly reconcilable with Tradition.'

"Nothing of the sort this time, according to our sources: 'Vatican II is not a dogma of faith', they say. From the moment in which the bishops and priests of the Fraternity recognize the Church, and the Magisterium of the Pope, that will suffice as an implicit acknowledgment."
__________________
Tip: Le Forum Catholique

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is the crux of the issue - the question on whether Vatican II is a pastoral council or more than that. It would be nice to have all these events have Rome to make a formal statement on this matter.

Young Novus Ordo Priest said...

Vatican II is ambiguity up and down. It shouldn't fall to the SSPX to submit to nebulosity, it should fall to the Church authorities to CLARIFY exactly what it is that Vatican II taught and what the nature of that council was.

This is ridiculous! 50 years and still no one has anything substantial to point to from the council as to what its teachings were or even what the nature of Vatican II on a whole was!

Anonymous said...

Watch these videos Father and you can see why there is a problem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR5XT2Vtn6w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiijwaPghT4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCPGKBb5e60
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVnSLWzjsf4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cngzaBcHqCo

Confiteor said...

The SSPX will have plenty to do. The questions regarding religious liberty remained to be answered. The SSPX will continue to seek those answers. The question about the New Mass is an open sore. Let the SSPX apply the balm of analytical rigor, unfettered by excommunication.

Hebdomadary said...

Now THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT!!!! Finally the truth is spoken plain. Vatican II is not an article of faith. It's NOT dogma, just a set of ways of doing things tied to a time and place, and not a particularly good set at that. The breach is made, and the way clear (beyond and after the discussions with the SSPX) to a critical re-evaluation of the status quo in the Ordinary Form, and the interpretation of the Documents .

And to those among the modenists who may monitor this blog, I once saw, shortly after the LA Riots following the Rodney King trial, a bumper sticker that said, "Hands off Dr. Farrakhan." To them I say the same; we are watching: God bless the Pope, and save him!!

Paul Haley said...

As Pope Paul VI himself said, Vatican II did not itself proclaim any infallible teachings but was eminently pastoral in nature. Frankly, I don't believe that Bishop Fellay and Pope Benedict disagree on much that is part of the Deposit of Faith and it it were up to them, they could put this whole matter to rest quickly.

The problem is there are many in the curia who view Vatican II as a necessary modification to how the church functions with respect to other religions. And, there are many influential cardinals and bishops who believe that the involvement of lay persons in the liturgy is absolutely necessary for the life of the church.

How these matters are addressed in the discussions will determine the future course of events with respect to the SSPX. I believe the SSPX has already made clear their acceptance of papal authority and Vatican II seen in the light of what the church has always, taught, held and professed to be true. If this is not enough to have their faculties restored, I don't know what would be.

It will be very interesting to hear what Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos has to say in any sort of follow-on news conference.

LeonG said...

It is patently clear that The Vatican Councils II represent a massive paradigm shift away from orthodoxy in liturgical praxis and doctrinal interpretation. It also propounded a massive shift toward relativistion of ecumenical and interreligious policies. Cardinal Suenens appropriately called it the Church's French revolutionary equivalent. His own career in the immediate post-conciliar era reflects the immensity of that shift.

Certainly, leading indicators reflect a period of rupture in which begins the downturn in religious and priestly vocations, numbers of seminaries, convents, Catholic schools and so on. There is also in these two generations a startling growth in disobedience toward normal Roman Catholic teaching exemplified par excellence in the episcopally and clerically led public protestations & their incitement to lay rebellion against the papal encyclical "Humanae Vitae", which among other factors, led Padre Pio to write a very supportive letter to Pope Paul VI (RIP). However,this did not prevent the good Padre from expressing himself on the sinister aspects to conciliar processes at the time.

During this epoch we have endured blatant lies on the part of ecclesiastical establishment about the validity of the Holy Mass in its traditional form and rite, while there has been an orchestrated modernist offensive vilifying & ridiculing everything pre-conciliar. Many traditional Catholics have been unjustifibaly but continually criticised and blamed for fomenting divisions in The Church and they have been persecuted relentlessly for holding fast to Sacred Tradition and authoritative interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Often this has included use of threat of excommunication and accusations of loss of The faith.

Unfortunately, for these the tenor of their hypocrisy has been exposed since the mass of disobedience can be objectively witnesses and demonstrated to belonging in the Novus Ordo movement. This has been empirically quantified in surveys revealing enormous shifts in beliefs by supposed Catholics and in outright destruction and desecration of the liturgy. This has been accompanied by the vandalisation of beautiful churches built with the monies and hard labour of faithful Roman Catholics in past times who would never have permitted such acts of barbarism against their Faith.

It is possible to illustrate conclusively in longitudinal study that the Councils represent not only a severe rupture with the past but that they have attempted through the insistence and manipulation of a small minority of committed modernists pushed on by socialist and communist type bishops and priests toward a church that is scarcely comparable with that which existed in the early 1960s.

Many of those who have lived through and survived such an aggressive and, ultimately, catastrophic assault will continue to defy any attempts to impose protestantised anthropocentric fabricated liturgies and what are essentially heretical and schismatic teachings concerning The Holy Eucharist, The Sacred Priesthood, The Holy Mass and its authentic Roman Catholic Rite. We have suffered since the closure of those nefarious councils ambiguity upon ambiguity in characteristic liberal modernist fashion so designed to "destroy bastions" in The Church that had been designed by our trusted forefathers in The Faith to thwart the perpetual enemies of The Church, thereafter allowed inside to inflict mortal damage and desolation upon The Church, The Sacred Body of Christ.

Furthermore, the dubious "spirit of the councils" has proven to be nothing but the worthless politico-social shibboleth it is, permitting confusion and wreaking havoc throughout The Church in the world, by a wide variety of disparate elements both lay and clerical who have given priority to a psycho-dynamically oriented orgy of spontaneity, impulsion and improvisation which has piled abomination upon abomination in the Holy of Holies.

Europe is dechristainised; there is no visible unity left in The Church; many bishops and priests who have accused the traditionalists of schism, heresy and other forms of disobedience, are no better than the Pharisees of Our Blessed Lord's times as they seek by subtle or not so subtle means to stall every papal initiative to restore tradition to its rightfully intended place throughout The Church.

Moreover, as pastoral councils only not one act emanating from them has the effect of infallible dogma. Significantly, it was placed above us as an issue for discussion. To question The Councils was to be some form of apostate. But time and revelation has worn on exposing the inconsistencies. It is self-evident, therefore, to all who really love Mother Church that something radical has to be implemented to repair and restore a sinking ship. The last 50 years are adequate for us to diagnose the cancer of conciliarism which has eaten away at the roots of our Faith and left behind it a withering tree that has been fit only for pruning and lopping with the lifeless cuttings thrown onto the fire.

There are, however, signs of regrowth which appear vibrant and healthy. The Summorum Pontificum and the reintegration of all orthodox traditional parts into the mainstream are necessary for a restoration of all things in Our Blessed Lord. How significant therefore that those who oppose continue to advocate the very process which has diseased the body of The Church making it the compromised and systemically divided institution it is today. Amidst this confusion they continue to cling to their own self-made and self-determined "bastions".

Holy Masses and Holy Rosaries for the Holy Father. He suffers much. We suffer with him. Tradition offers him bouquets, conciliarism only more dead wood.

sacerdosinaeternum said...

A great starting point for the discussion would be the new book, Vatican II: Renewal within Tradition, edited by Matthew Levering and Matthew Lamb. It is a great source for seeing the Continuity in the Concilar documents and well as the false spirit of the Council that led to so many erroneous interpretations.

j hughes dunphy said...

Absolutely, Vatican II is definitely not a dogma of faith nor anything that came from it; as a matter of fact, it is totally the opposite--the burgeoning of the Great Apostasy in the Catholic Church. Look at the wreckage from Vatican Council II: the bleeding of the priesthood with thousands of laicizations, the decimation of women religious communities, the apostasy of so many millions of Catholics in Europe and the Americas and the Great Falling Away--in fact, the entire West has indulged in the advance of the modernist heresy in the Church,just note the utter ruin of reverence with the Novus Ordo Mass and Communion in the Hand,and observe the perversion of truth in Catechetics, and the convoluted logic that the Pius X Society was the cause celebre of such division in the Church while ignoring the heretical adamancy and crowning of the worst calamity on the Church in centuries with Protestant style Liberal Catholicism.
God be with us! We should be rejoicing that with all the satanical news of the left gaining more power because of the latest election victories, we have a real moment of history to make us all rejoice with the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI, who has done more good for the Church in bringing about true unity than all the ephemeral gimmicks of the Counciliar Revolution, the Counciliar Popes and Ecumania!
Viva la Papa! The Restoration has begun! Praise be the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary!!!

j hughes dunphy

http://the orthodox roman catholic.com

Anonymous said...

I would bet this will proceed simply. Ask yourself this question: What would be easier for Rome to do, let the SSPX back in with a "generic" or "implicit" acceptance of all Councils, OR go through VII, article by article and actually state, papally, explicitly, the meaning of VII? I would love to be in the SSPX's shoes right now. I would say, "Tell me, Holy Father, what the correct interpretation of VII is, article by article, and I will accept them all." VII cannot be explained. If it could, they would have explained it and enforced a single, correct interpretation on all the weird priests and bishops of the world.

Anonymous said...

On a related point, does anyone believe the authorities would want the task of defending Vatican II in light of the pre-conciliar encyclicals that the Society Bishops would surely produce? The later exlicitly condemned the teachings of the former with respect to religious liberty. There is no reconciling the two. They are opposites.

I can't imagine the authorities attempting to defend Vatican II as being in harmony with the anti-Liberal enciclicals of the past.

This may explain why they would allow the Society to enter into a formal agreement without having to accept Vatican II.

Thomas More said...

Of course there won't be some requirement to accept all of the 'teachings' of V2, whatever that means, because that's not something required of anyone.

B16 knows exactly what the issues are, and has no doubt been very precise in his approach. This has taken years, after all, and he's been there since the trouble started.

I think the Holy Father is brilliant and will let the SSPX do the heavy lifting on a day to day basis by fighting it out with the modernists. The only question I have about 'reintegration' is what the canonical status of the SSPX will be. Personal prelature?

LeonG said...

here is the conclusion of Bishop Fellay's latest communication to the faithful of SSPX.

Dear faithful, the Church is in the hands of her Mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. In Her we place our confidence. We have asked from her the freedom of the Mass of all time everywhere and for all. We have asked from her the withdrawal of the decree of excommunications. In our prayers, we now ask from her the necessary doctrinal clarifications which confused souls so much need.

Menzingen, January 24, 2009
+Bernard Fellay

Stage three is next on the agenda: the "conciliar dogmas".

QuantaCura01 said...

NOT A DOGMA OF THE FAITH…What wonderful words to read. How often in CCD or RCIA or sadly from the altar all we hear of is Vatican II as if there was never another council in the history of the Church. Will this put an end to the “spirit” of Vatican II? Does this mean an end to liturgy committees in parishes that take the focus off of GOD and put it onto man? Will all the lay leaders soon go away? Let us pray.

Thanks be to GOD for the current Holy Father and the SSPX. Without the SSPX would there have been the Motu Proprio’s of 1984 and 1988? Remember even in the Fr. Leonard Feeny incident, his suspension was a matter of obedience not his interpretation of outside the Church there is no salvation. Fr. Feeny reconciled and went to his reward in union with the Vicar of Christ. I guess the Vatican II crowd of bishops will just have to eat crow now….enjoy your dinner guys.

Jacob said...

When I was in CCD and then confirmation classes, we didn't talk about V2 at all, so it can't be that important, right? :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all for the discussion so far.

I believe the discussion about 'what's next' between the Holy Father, the SSPX and other traditional groups, and the rest of the Church leadership is THE most important discussion for all of the Catholic world, including the Church in Asia and Africa.

So, I would like to see a 'short list' of five things that the SSPX considers it to be imperative to change, from the members of this forum. If you want to add more than five items, feel free to do so. I would like your input so that I may better understand the position of the SSPX, and to better understand what to expect next in the Church over the next few years.


Thanks,


Keith
*Full-disclosure: I have never been to a Mass with the SSPX, or been associated with them in any way.

Paul Haley said...

Keith,
Here is my list with the full disclosure that I do not attend Mass at an SSPX venue:
1. How does Lumen Gentium reflect what the church has always taught, held and professed to be true...in what ways?
2. How does the new Mass develop organically from the old?
3. Has the old covenant with the Jews been superseded by the coming of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and, if not, why not?
4. Is the doctrine that outside of the Catholic Church no one can be saved as contained in Unam Sanctam by Pope Boniface VIII true doctrine or not. If not, why not?
5. Is it not the mission given to the apostles by Christ Himself that they should go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? If so, how does this square with ecumenism or praying with heretics, schismatics and non believers?

Well, there you have it - five things but if you think that is the end of it may I suggest that there is more, much more, and I've only scratched the surface.

Anonymous said...

Keith,
I suggest you educate yourself on the issues by reading the SSPX apologetics and other trad sites as well.

Hugh said...

Thanks be to God ! That which we have prayed for these many long years of traveling in this desert of modernism may finally be on the horizon. We all knew not to listen to the lies and half-truths that elevated VC II to some sort of Dogmatic Council-- yet we suffered much, and lived , rejeted by our beloved Church heirarchy, and prayed under VC II 's aftermath
But our prayers were always for the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and to it's God -- yet at the same times we prayed for these lost souls, so deceived by heresy and the errors of modernism that they were risking their eternal salvation.
So, the SSPX will have to move cautiously, slowly. For the
" smoke of Satan " will not readily depart from the high places it moved into. Sadly, those left in Rome have little
understanding of the true faith, so it may well rest on the shoulders of the Society to guide it's brethren BACK INTO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH !! This is , truly, the amazing way in which the good Lord works !
Is it all a trap ? Have the Roman authorities just decided that here's a way to " get " these guys, their faithful, their properties, their monies ? , and thereby bolster their own ( fast ) sinking ship ? God only knows !
" Hold fast to the traditions which I have given you " , " even if an angel of light were to teach you something different then what I have taught you... " There's a lot of work to do, and a lot of praying to continue !

Hugh

Joe B said...

The top two seemed to have been preemptively addressed by Bishop Fellay. Ecumenism needs to be defined as efforts to return all other religions to the Catholic church, and societal religious liberty needs to be restated as mere tolerance when to do more would cause more harm than good.

Don't put vague and general questions in front of a liberal. They'll answer vaguely and beat you at your own game. Better to play on offense than defense, which is what Bishop Fellay has just done. Tell them the answers and keep coming back to them when the libs try to introduce novel ideas. I tell you, this bishop is a very intelligent man of God!

Anonymous said...

Paul:

Can we add to your list:

How does Vatican II square its' brand of ecumenism with "Mortalium Animos"?

pclaudel said...

Sincere and profound thanks to Messrs. LeonG, haley, and dunphy for forthright statements of the true nature of the conflict between the SSPX and the Vatican authorities. Since the SSPX embodies and proclaims true Catholic doctrine and belief in the face of the compromised institutional church (which is wedded to the accident of Vatican II in preference to the substance of Tradition), how could its complete "rehabilitation"--reconciliation with the institutional church--before the Vatican repudiated its half-century-long embrace of erroneous thought and practice represent anything but a disaster of the gravest consequences for the world in general and believing Catholics in particular?

I differ with these gentlemen in that I consider the present occupant of the Chair of Peter to be as invidious to the Faith as were his immediate predecessors--perhaps more so. The continuity he asserts between the pre- and postconciliar religions may be a "hermeneutic," but it is also a fraud. The carefully formulated wording of the 2007 motu proprio embodies a Hegelian reconciliation of the unreconcilable--the True Mass and the Novus Ordo Missae--that even many sincere Traditionalists have failed to see.

Sadly, the rescission of the excommunications involves similar Hegelian trumpery. How can "the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X" be squared with "true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium"? It is the staunch and properly defiant SSPX that has been the defender of the Magisterium, not the institutional church--unless, that is, one simply discards the preconciliar Magisterium. And what is one to make of the reference in the same sentence to "the proof of visible unity," except that, yet again, Rome prefers appearance to reality and allegiance to Vatican II to allegiance to irreformable doctrine.

In short, the actions and documents of the present Holy Father do not represent an insignia of orthodox Catholicism. The Traditionalist who follows Our Lord's advice to be as innocent as doves but as wise as serpents must needs stay on the alert for whiffs of the smoke of Satan coming from Vatican precincts.

Joe B said...

Unfortunately, I expect the theological debates to go on forever. Can anybody see Bishop Fellay saying, "Oh, now I see. Why didn't I see that before? That changes everything." Or the Holy Father saying, "Yes, yes, you're right! Why, that council was clearly messed up from the time it started."

Probably not. I really hope the jurisdiction and interdiction issues are cleared up first so SSPX can grow without being considered outcasts while the theology gets hammered out. We really need more of their convents and monasteries in the world.

Anonymous said...

The lifting of the excommunication provides the necessary and essential context for a theological discussion.

Even if the present Holy Father, on account of his hegelian principles and rejection of scholastic method may not be able to personally bring himself to an affirmation of the old and a denial of the new, yet it opens the way where his successors can.

The problem with Vatican II is not that it put the Ancient Faith in contemporary language, but that it translated the pre-conciliar ignorance and worldliness of the clergy and religious into the vernacular and imposed that as the Faith.

In truth the Hierarchy has not been doing it duty these last 48 years or so, and now with 4 bishops who understand what that duty is, having been trained by a true Apostle of Christ Jesus Our Lord, they will have an example of the way back. For these 4 need first to convert the other 4000 plus, even if there will be some sparks and fights yet to come.

Even the current controversy over Bishop Williamson's remarks on the Holocaust has provoked a response in the Episcopate where they actually mention his name and quote his words, something none of them have done since 1988.

Its not reconciliation yet, but at least the context is set. They have to acknowledge that the 4 are part of the same family, and that will make them vulnerable to the truth.

For those who fear this as a Hegelian exercise, they mistrust the power of grace. Let us pray for the 4 to stand firm against the 4000 and bring them back to a right sense of their holy duty.

Paul Haley said...

Anon said at 26 January, 2009 19:06

Paul:

Can we add to your list:

How does Vatican II square its' brand of ecumenism with "Mortalium Animos"?

By all means. “I suggest that there is more, much more, and I've only scratched the surface.”
For example, I haven’t even touched on the abuses in the Mass, the possible sacrileges resulting from communion in the hand, and the use of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. I haven’t spoken of inculturation in the liturgy, “clown” masses, the elevation of man seemingly above God Himself, the state of religious orders and the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, the continuing confusion in the minds of the laity caused by heterodox theologians, the suppression of holydays of obligation, and, well, the list is almost endless.

But I am convinced that both Bishop Fellay and Pope Benedict XVI want to begin to solve these problems and deal with these issues forthrightly and with charity. If it can be left in the hands of these two men, I am confident that they will succeed. I only wish Pope Benedict would address the matter of the SSPX suspensions and grant faculties now rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Paul;

Thanks for your list. Those are good line-items to begin with, I think, because they address some of the things that have been discussed during the last few years, and the last few Pontificates.

Also, I am interested in seeing whether or not the 'suspensio a' divinis' is removed from the priests of the SSPX. I consider this a requirement before I may attend a Mass of theirs. If I am wrong about this being necessary, or if the suspension was removed when the excommunications were removed, please let me know. Also, their canonical state needs to be addressed, I believe, before I may see them for a confession.

Of course, I am studying these things on my own; but I would definitely like to hear feedback on the positions of the SSPX. If I'm wrong about anything, please be sure to point that out.


Thanks,


Keith

Paul Haley said...

Keith said:

"Also, I am interested in seeing whether or not the 'suspensio a' divinis' is removed from the priests of the SSPX. I consider this a requirement before I may attend a Mass of theirs. If I am wrong about this being necessary, or if the suspension was removed when the excommunications were removed, please let me know."

First of all, I should disclose that as a layperson, I'm in no way authorized to rule on your request. Having said that, as far as I can tell, the matter of the SSPX suspensions has not yet been addressed and until it is, the SSPX priests remain suspended. However, even suspended priests can administer the sacraments in an emergency such as danger of death or inability to travel to an approved Mass location. There is also the concept of "common error" which applies if a person believes a priest has faculties and doesn't know otherwise. The SSPX has, on the other hand, depended upon the dictum "ecclesia supplet", meaning faculties are supplied by the church when the salvation of souls, the supreme law of the church, is at stake.

In addition, the Ecclesia Dei Commission has said it is OK to attend Mass at an SSPX location as long as there is no intent to adhere to a schismatic position. They don't recommend it but they say one can satisfy one's Sunday Mass obligation by doing so.

So, once again, it is imperative that this matter of the suspensions be addressed as soon as possible. It has been suggested that Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos of the Ecclesia Dei Commission might hold a news conference this week to address the removal of the excommunications. Hopefully, if this occurs, he will address the matter of the suspension as well.

Resident said...

The is no such thing as a pastoral council.

Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and as such there is no going around submitting to its Authority as extraordinary magisterium.

The interpretation of the council is up to the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium.

It needs not to be "clarified" to supply some people with a minimal acceptance they can get away with. Just read it in its entirety, especially Dei Verbum und Lumen Gentium, the two DOGMATIC constitutions.

Resident said...

When was it in church history that a schismatic group on the return to full communion got to dictate what parts of doctrine, what parts of tradition to obey and which to reject? This is Protestantism pure and simple!

"I can't imagine the authorities attempting to defend Vatican II as being in harmony with the anti-Liberal enciclicals of the past."

Only, Vatican II as an Ecumenical Council is extraordinary magisterium and thus infallible - encyclicals as such are merely expressions of the ordinary magisterium and as such not infallible. (And do you really want Gregory XVI to dictate today's church?)

If not, if both were on equal footing and contradicted each other, it would not follow that the older teaching prevails - it would mean that Catholic ecclesiology with its infallibility of the church, which has been held for centuries, has been disproven. The result would not be some Traditional Catholicism but simply no Catholicism.

That's analytical rigor.

pclaudel said...

Resident: Setting up a straw man and then knocking it down may be many things, but it is not analytical rigor. Had you checked your intellectual party dress in a full-length mirror before you ventured forth, you would have seen that your slip (= the false doctrines of conciliarity and collegiality) was showing.

A council doesn't get to decide for itself whether it is issuing dogmatic constitutions or whether its documents are pastoral or doctrinal in nature--or indeed whether they are fit for anything but burning on a winter's night. The reigning pope gets to decide such matters.

For those with eyes to see, the strictly provisional nature of conciliar teaching absent papal sanction was established for all time by the farrago in the mid-fifteenth century of the Council of Basel/Ferrara/Florence. I suggest you look it up.

Thomas More said...

Resident, a little more precision is in order. Not every document produced by an Ecumenical Council is doctrinal, let alone part of the 'extraordinary magisterium'. As one of the earlier readers pointed out, Vatican II was unusual in that it did not address doctrinal matters, at least according to Paul VI.

Theologians would say the council requires 'religious submission', which would be binding on all Catholics, but is quite different from the obedience owed to infallible, doctrinal teaching.

Resident said...

I was acurate in my imprecision.

The faithful are required to accept and submit to all Ecumenical Councils.

There are differences between the documents that only qualifies their nature, not the submission I, as a believer, must make.

Otherwise it becomes just a loophole, like saying some documents are not not doctrinal, hence not infallible (which I think is a non sequitur), hence don't really matter and hence I can dispense with them. And by claiming that all documents of the last council were like this, one tries to get around accepting anything.

That II Vaticanum did not address doctrinal matters is simply not true. It produced two dogmatic constitutions.

What it did not do was define new dogmata.

But if we accept this, this implies that the Council only finished what was already there implicitely before - as it was conceived of the second half of I Vaticanum, which was never properly closed. This means that the Council must be interpreted in the light of Tradition and Tradition in light of the Council, especially reagarging the two subjects of revelation and ecclesiology.

pclaudel said...

Resident is not interested in the truth about the nature of Vatican II or indeed any council. Like a football supporter unfazed by his team's defeat, he shouts "we're number one" till he is hoarse. Sadly, mere evidence--the facts of history and of the channeling of authority within the Church--is so much detritus to him.

Jordanes said...

Resident said: Only, Vatican II as an Ecumenical Council is extraordinary magisterium and thus infallible - encyclicals as such are merely expressions of the ordinary magisterium and as such not infallible.

That's much too simplistic and thus erroneous. Vatican II was a valid ecumenical council and an exercise of extraordinary magisterium, but that doesn't mean every single thing the council taught was an exercise of extraordinary magisterium, or even ordinary magisterium. Not all of the documents of the Vatican II carry the same weight.

And do you really want Gregory XVI to dictate today's church?

Sure. Why not.

PClaudel said: A council doesn't get to decide for itself whether it is issuing dogmatic constitutions or whether its documents are pastoral or doctrinal in nature--or indeed whether they are fit for anything but burning on a winter's night. The reigning pope gets to decide such matters.

True. In the case of Vatican II, the pope approved two dogmatic constitutions, but also said that the council was chiefly pastoral and did not intend to define any new dogmas. The authority of the council's teachings cannot be disputed, but the level of authority of each conciliar document is different, and yes, councils have at times mistaught and had to be corrected or clarified by subsequent popes and/or councils.

Resident said...

pclaudel,

I am not aware where I "slipped" on "the false doctrines of conciliarity and collegiality)" - I don't believe these to be false doctrines.

"A council doesn't get to decide for itself whether it is issuing dogmatic constitutions or whether its documents are pastoral or doctrinal in nature"

A council does get to decide what documents (and what kinds of documents) to approve - with the approval by the Pope (and only then and only as far as the Pope does it) they became Documents of an Ecumenical council and binding - according to their nature - on the faithful, including priests, bishops and any future Pope. You yourself mentioned "the reigning Pope" (then, Paul VI, who approved of the documents). I would not bother to discusses any documents not approved by the Holy See.

I no way was I approving of Conciliarism, which places the Council (without its head, the Pope) against or above the Pope. That was the fancy of the council of Basel.

"Resident is not interested in the truth about the nature of Vatican II or indeed any council."

What a grandiose statement of good faith towards your fellow believer is that? (And for your information, I had overlooked your earlier post when I penned my last reply.)

Jordanes,

My posting was not simplistic. I addressed various points but not all.

"Vatican II was a valid ecumenical council and an exercise of extraordinary magisterium"

Exactly my point. And as such every faithful must submit to the council without reservations in that submission. (Which doesn't mean that one has to think that everything was perfectly worded.)

"but that doesn't mean every single thing the council taught was an exercise of extraordinary magisterium, or even ordinary magisterium."

"Not all of the documents of the Vatican II carry the same weight."

Exactly my point. A DOGMATIC constitution carries more weight than a mere decree or declaration. But everyone has to accept the document as what they are.

""And do you really want Gregory XVI to dictate today's church?"

Sure. Why not."

The facts of Gregory's disastrous pontificate (disastrous by Catholic standards, that is) you can look up.

As for the deeper problem: not only conciliar documents carry different weights, also papal pronouncments. A mere encyclical is not extraordinary magisterium but ordinary magisterium. A Pope can err in mere encyclicals and thus such an encyclical alone cannot be the basis to reject or refuse an Ecumenical council approved by another Pope. The latter stand higher in authority.

"True. In the case of Vatican II, the pope approved two dogmatic constitutions, but also said that the council was chiefly pastoral and did not intend to define any new dogmas."

Correct.

No new dogmata were defined - but that doesn't mean that nothing dogmatic was decided - otherwise, why have two dogmatic constitutions?

Also, "pastoral" does not mean that anyone is free to pick and chose, to accept or reject. Every believer has to accept the "pastoral" documents in the way they are given.

"The authority of the council's teachings cannot be disputed, but the level of authority of each conciliar document is different"

No doubt about that!

"councils have at times mistaught and had to be corrected or clarified by subsequent popes and/or councils."

Clarified yes.

But what do you mean by mistaught?

If you mean that not every conciliar pronouncement was perfect and addressed all issues fully and perfectly, without any room for improvement, you are certainly correct (this is already apparent in the First Council of Nicaea).

But if you mean that one Council (and note, we are merely concerned with the documents of Ecumenical Councils as far as approved by the Pope - not by organisatory and temporal decisions) could decide one thing and then another council or pope could simply reverse that, you are wrong.

Could you explain which way you go? Or do you have examples?

pclaudel said...

Resident wrote: "What a grandiose statement of good faith towards your fellow believer is that?"

If one ignores the sentence that follows in my earlier post, the charge of discourtesy is a fair rap. I do not think the next sentence should be ignored, but I shan't press the point. I apologize for any offense given.

Otherwise, I continue to fail to see how an ever louder insistence on your utterly un-Catholic point that pastoral novelties have become equatable with dogma (yes, I know I am paraphrasing) turns an unsound and ill-argued thesis into what you immodestly called "analytical rigor." I think Jordanes, too, has quite soundly posed objections and clarifications to which your responses have been inadequate in both substance and expression. That is to say, the repetition of truisms gets no one, least of all you, closer to the truth.

What has been said, with painful accuracy, of the documents of Vatican II might also be said of your claims: nothing in them that is true is original, and nothing in them that is original is true.

The springtime of the council that the Judaeo-Masonic enemies of the True Faith still prattle on about has been a nuclear winter for souls. One can pretend all one wants that the Novus Ordo Missae just, gee whiz, sorta happened when no one was looking and caught the Vatican by surprise. I myself was there, however, and I was an adult when those things took place, and I have not forgotten that the handful of people who screamed blue murder about the sabotage of the Faith were shouted down as old fogies and reactionary swine--by other churchmen. Sad to say, I was by no means alone then in thinking that my elders and betters in high places must know what they were about. (They did, of course, but not in ways we were led to think.)

An embrace of conciliar "doctrines," including conciliarism itself, is a hallmark of Modernism. It is a novelty tout court, a "development" that no licit theory of doctrinal development, certainly not Newman's, can explain. The openness of the "teachings" of Vatican II to multiple interpretations and misinterpretations identifies them as ipso facto unsound and destructive of the faith. The fact that you and heaven knows how many others that ought to know better can still, as I said before, chant "we're number one" with unabated enthusiasm, suggests that, your disclaimers notwithstanding, you truly believe that the world began in 1959.

Jordanes said...

Resident said: My posting was not simplistic. I addressed various points but not all.

Your statement "Vatican II as an Ecumenical Council is extraordinary magisterium and thus infallible - encyclicals as such are merely expressions of the ordinary magisterium and as such not infallible" was simplistic, an oversimplification. Not everything that an oecumenical council teaches or decrees is infallible and irreformable, and the Church also hold that a doctrine can be infallible in the ordinary magisterium, such that a papal encyclical can infallibly teach Catholic truth even without including an ex cathedra definition.

"Vatican II was a valid ecumenical council and an exercise of extraordinary magisterium"

Exactly my point. And as such every faithful must submit to the council without reservations in that submission. (Which doesn't mean that one has to think that everything was perfectly worded.)


That may have been your point, but it is not what you said -- and that is my point.

The facts of Gregory's disastrous pontificate (disastrous by Catholic standards, that is) you can look up.

That is not sufficient to establish that he mistaught or that an aspect of his papal magisterium was fallible. It's rather like well-poisoning.

A Pope can err in mere encyclicals and thus such an encyclical alone cannot be the basis to reject or refuse an Ecumenical council approved by another Pope. The latter stand higher in authority.

True, but in this case we're not talking about a single pope's teaching, but a teaching accepted and reiterated in different forums and in different ways over the centuries, which means one must consider the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium.

Clarified yes. But what do you mean by mistaught?

No, not just clarified, but even corrected. The classic example is Florence's misexplanation of the sacrament of Holy Orders, later corrected by Pope Pius XII in Sacramentum Ordinis. Florence's wording taken as written is undoubtedly incorrect, and did not even reflect the mind of the Council of Florence.

But if you mean that one Council (and note, we are merely concerned with the documents of Ecumenical Councils as far as approved by the Pope - not by organisatory and temporal decisions) could decide one thing and then another council or pope could simply reverse that, you are wrong.

Florence taught, "The matter for the priesthood is the cup with the wine and the paten with the bread; for the deaconate, the books of the Gospel; for the subdeaconate, an empty cup placed upon an empty Paten; and in like manner, other offices are conferred by giving to the candidates those things which pertain to their secular ministrations."

Pius XII taught, "Now the effects which must be produced and hence also signified by Sacred Ordination to the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy, namely power and grace, in all the rites of various times and places in the universal Church, are found to be sufficiently signified by the imposition of hands and the words which determine it. Besides, every one knows that the Roman Church has always held as valid Ordinations conferred according to the Greek rite without the traditio instrumentorum; so that in the very Council of Florence, in which was effected the union of the Greeks with the Roman Church, the Greeks were not required to change their rite of Ordination or to add to it the traditio instrumentorum: and it was the will of the Church that in Rome itself the Greeks should be ordained according to their own rite. It follows that, even according to the mind of the Council of Florence itself, the traditio instrumentorum is not required for the substance and validity of this Sacrament by the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If it was at one time necessary even for validity by the will and command of the Church, every one knows that the Church has the power to change and abrogate what she herself has established. Wherefore, after invoking the divine light, We of Our Apostolic Authority and from certain knowledge declare, and as far as may be necessary decree and provide: that the matter, and the only matter, of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy is the imposition of hands; and that the form, and the only form, is the words which determine the application of this matter, which univocally signify the sacramental effects - namely the power of Order and the grace of the Holy Spirit - and which are accepted and used by the Church in that sense. It follows as a consequence that We should declare, and in order to remove all controversy and to preclude doubts of conscience, We do by Our Apostolic Authority declare, and if there was ever a lawful disposition to the contrary We now decree that at least in the future the traditio instrumentorum is not necessary for the validity of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy."

Resident said...

Pclaudel,

your statement was an unfriendly insinuation about my motives, of which you can know nothing. I don't know exactly what sentences you refer to but I did not ignore them - either I hadn't read them (as I indeed had overlooked one posting by you) or I simply hadn't anything to say about them.

Apologies certainly accepted and I don't bear any grudge.

Resident said...

Jordanes,

"Not everything that an oecumenical council teaches or decrees is infallible and irreformable"

but everyone has to submit nonetheless. Also, lack of infallibility does not mean lack of authority.

"and the Church also hold that a doctrine can be infallible in the ordinary magisterium, such that a papal encyclical can infallibly teach Catholic truth even without including an ex cathedra definition."

I agree. Though a papal encyclical not invoking infallibility is in itself not infallible it may well contain a truth that has always been taught by the ordinary magisterium and is as such infallibility (the truth, not the encyclical), e.g. John Paul II on women priests.

"That may have been your point, but it is not what you said -- and that is my point."

May you be content that you now know my meaning.

"That is not sufficient to establish that he mistaught or that an aspect of his papal magisterium was fallible."

Anything that is not infallible is fallible, which doesn't mean it was wrong.

And I did not argue that Gregory mistaught (that would be another discussion) - but you cannot positively assert that all he ever taught was true and hence cannot use him to override the declarations of an Ecumenical Council.

"True, but in this case we're not talking about a single pope's teaching, but a teaching accepted and reiterated in different forums and in different ways over the centuries, which means one must consider the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium."

Let's name the example: do you seriously believe that "freedom of religion is madness" was taught by the Church all the time and everywhere and is a declaration of the ordinary magisterium?

"Florence's wording taken as written is undoubtedly incorrect, and did not even reflect the mind of the Council of Florence."

Well, if it does not reflect the mind of the very same council it must be a wrong reading of that council's declaration.

I have read your quotes, now tell me: does the council claim that ordination is not valid without the instruments? Or is it merely describing what the instruments are?

And if, as Pope Pius says, the Greeks were not required by the Council to adopt this, it must surely be a matter of rite, not of dogmatic truth.

Given what you quoted, this seems like an interpretation and clarification to me.

Jordanes said...

but everyone has to submit nonetheless. Also, lack of infallibility does not mean lack of authority.

All true, but that does not make your prior statement any the less simplistic and erroneous.

Anything that is not infallible is fallible, which doesn't mean it was wrong.

Yep.

And I did not argue that Gregory mistaught (that would be another discussion) - but you cannot positively assert that all he ever taught was true and hence cannot use him to override the declarations of an Ecumenical Council.

Nor do I think you can positively assert that anything he taught was false. His teaching in Mirari Vos does not override what Vatican II taught, but it is one of the things that Dignitatis Humanae must be read in light of.

Let's name the example: do you seriously believe that "freedom of religion is madness" was taught by the Church all the time and everywhere and is a declaration of the ordinary magisterium?

Sure. Not always in those words, but even DH attests to that doctrine, though it is worded quite differently and offered in a culturally-relevant and culturally-conditioned manner both in MV and DH. The freedom of religion of which Gregory wrote and against which he wisely and fittingly warned us is not quite the same thing as the religious liberty that Vatican II endorsed.

Well, if it does not reflect the mind of the very same council it must be a wrong reading of that council's declaration.

Yes, and the reason which Florence has been misread on this point is because Florence misspoke.

I have read your quotes, now tell me: does the council claim that ordination is not valid without the instruments? Or is it merely describing what the instruments are?

The Council had said in the Bull in question: To effect these sacraments three things are necessary: the things [or symbols], that is, the "matter"; the words, that is, the "form"; and the person of the "ministrant," who administers the sacrament with the intention of carrying out what the Church effects through him. If any of these things be lacking, the sacrament is not accomplished.

It then went on to describe Holy Orders as previously quoted, without saying anything at all about the imposition of hands, and describing something as “matter” that was not actually the “matter” of the sacrament.

And if, as Pope Pius says, the Greeks were not required by the Council to adopt this, it must surely be a matter of rite, not of dogmatic truth.

Yes, that is how the Council’s teaching must be understood, because otherwise on this point is will lead one into error.

Given what you quoted, this seems like an interpretation and clarification to me.

No, it’s clearly more than an interpretation and clarification, though it is that.