Rorate Caeli

Fellay speaks after the storm


Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, was interviewed by Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste after the Requiem Mass celebrated Saturday in Écône (for the souls of the deceased Seminarians).

Monseigneur Bernard Fellay, at what date will you return to the Vatican? 

No date has been set. After the storm that has taken place, we all need to pull ourselves together. 

And the discussions which you accept to have from now on with Rome, are they for soon?

Still for that, no date... but, yes, they will begin. 

Will these discussions take long? Do you have a timetable? 

They could take very long if we consider what has just taken place. Not because of us, but because of the reactions in the entire Church, notably regarding our positions on the Second Vatican Council. The Council included many ambiguous words in its texts in order to attain a greater majority. We pay for this today.  

The texts are not clear, and there is a multitude of different interpretations which are accepted within the Church. If we do not desire the collapse of the Church, clarifications on this Council, which wished itself to be pastoral and not dogmatic, are urgent. John Paul II already said in 1982 that heresy had spread abundantly within the Church. We are thus glad that Rome speaks of necessary discussions with us to deal with foundational questions. 

But Benedict XVI already has a precise interpretation of Vatican II. 

In the audience which he granted me in 2005, he told me that the only possible interpretation of Vatican II was that which followed the criterion of the living Tradition. On December 22 of the same year, he clearly condemned the hermeneutic of rupture with the Church's past. But this is very vague and wide. It is necessary to expound on it. 

The pope has accomplished a great step towards you, but one has the impression that he finds himself somewhat alone, disregarded by a number of bishops who apparently do not want you in the Church. 

At a moment on which we speak of a return to full communion, the Pope is effectively, perhaps, asking himself who, between certain bishops and ourselves, is closer to him. 

By way of the motu proprio on the ancient Mass and of the removal of the excommunications which weighed on you, Benedict XVI made spectacular and unilateral gestures. But what will be your gesture? A

We have already responded by affirming our desire to follow, with a positive state of mind, the path of discussions indicated by the Holy Father. But we do not with to do so precipitously. When we march on a minefield, prudence and moderation are necessary.  

You have, nonetheless, the hope of reaching a doctrinal consensus with the Pope... 

That seems difficult. True, we have the impression that he is close to us on the liturgical question. On the other hnd, he believes very deeply in the innovations of Vatican II. 

It will be necessary to see what part of the divergences are due to different philosophies. A serious discussion demands a minimum of confidence. 

In order to establish a more serene climate, we precisely asked Rome for gestures, wherefore the removal of the decree of excommunications. We now hope that this work brings to the whole Church greater doctrinal clarity. There are, in effect, too many ambiguities in the Second Vatican Council. 

You are all the samer conscious that it will be asked of you to accept Vatican II. 

Which has just been strongly reaffirmed in the note of the Secretariat of State of February 4, 2009. But the Holy See cannot grant to the Council a greater authority that [the Council] did not wish to grant itself. 

Well, it has not wished to commit to infallibility, it remains on a much lowere degree if authority. It will never be a super-dogma and it should always be viewed according to the perspective of the cosntant Magisterium of the Church. Neither faith nor Chuch begin at Vatican II. 

And if you move towards Rome, do you fear a division at the interior of the Fraternity? 

Not much, but it is always possible. There could be such a risk if we sought from Rome a purely canonical agreement, and not a solution which concerns the foundation of the problem, which is the doctrinal and moral crisis within the Church. But that is not the case.  

And, finally, Mgr Williamson, to whom you asked for declarations, in a "reasonable" time, on the question of the Shoah?  

He is studying the matter, and he will fulfill his responsibilities. But it is necessary to give him time, because he wants to study the matter seriously to give a sincere and true response. 

104 comments:

Pascendi said...

God bless Bishop Fellay for his truly pastoral honesty, his love for the Church. Indeed, his love for the Pope.

"Dialogue exists when one yields to the light and only the light". St. Thomas More.

LeonG said...

"............... the Pope is effectively, perhaps, asking himself who, between certain bishops and ourselves, is closer to him.

Precisely.

Anonymous said...

A prediction: the next synod in 2011 will be on the Church.

Anonymous said...

What a great interview- he sounds so sensible. As far as Williamson goes- why not give him time?

Paul Haley said...

At a moment on which we speak of a return to full communion, the Pope is effectively, perhaps, asking himself who, between certain bishops and ourselves, is closer to him. His Excellency, as always, hits the nail on the head. Indeed, Your Holiness, I ask you to ask this question of yourself..

You can, immediately, grant temporary faculties to the Fraternity bishops and priests, pending full resolution of the talks or you can leave them out in the cold and leave doubt in the minds of many well-meaning catholics not familiar with the ins and outs of church law. We can all wait for the talks to run their course but the faculties issue involves directly the salvation of souls. What will it be, Your Holiness, with all due respect?

You have acted with fatherly mercy in removing the excommunications; can the faculties issue deserve anything less? May Almighty God protect and guard your pontificate.

Stanislaw Wojtiech, Stanislawów, Ukraine said...

I read too many admissions to the Conciliar stance on things, in Mons. Fellay's words sadly enough.

Why? The use of "return to full communion" (a terminology based on Vatican II's New Ecclesiology of Partial Communionism). The use of "ambiguity" instead of contradiction (or rather, heresy).

Benedict XVI follows Hegel, Kant and Heidegger.

There is nothing of Thomas Aquinas or later philosophers of Catholic faith.

We do not need a thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis project another time.

The non-existing "excommunications" were "lifted", but not the good faith of Archbishop Lefebvre respected by declaring the pseudo-excommunication null and void.

The same with Summorum pontificum (2007): no admission of own failures, but deranging of the immemorial Roman liturgy, of the historical Roman Rite, into an "extraordinary form", preserving the doctrinally ambiguous and contradicting Novus Ordo Missae as the "ordinary form".

I cannot stand that Bp. Fellay does not recognize these problems. Converting neo-modernists "from the inside" may take martyrdom, internal division (case of Fr. Abrahamowicz), and eventual disappointment over the modern Roman authorities' tendency to give in and listen to the world rather than to Catholic dogmatic definitions (extraordinary magisterium) of the glorious Holy Roman Church in the past, or to acts of the ordinary and universal magisterium.

We need clarity.

The "lifting" is presented as some "act of mercy". This is not right, given the good faith of the 1988 consecrated and consecrators. Joseph Ratzinger was a specialist back then, and it is disappointing he never gave this minimum of confidence and canonical clarity, not even in this case.

LeonG said...

At the same time there is an excellent interview with Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais.

http://www.cfnews.org/Tissier-SyracuseInterview.htm

There is almost no doubt he is setting out the SSPX stall for the near future on behalf of the confraternity. There will be no sell-out to the Vatican Councils by SSPX. He is absolutely correct in stating that we must read the Councils in the light of the new philosophy as to read them in the light of Tradition is to twist meanings. What does one mean by Tradition, in the first place? I think we have had enough of that process over the last 45 years. In order to comprehend one has to understand what the modernists and neo-modernists believe. It has its parallel with the religious relativists who quote the Koran without following what that actually means to the mohamaten ie not what it means to a non-mohamaten.

Thus, for a Roman Catholic to meekly accept (not recognise) The Vatican Councils wholesale is to abandon The Church to the new philosophy and to further disaster and devastation. Religious Liberty, Primacy of Conscience over The Faith; Collegiality; Ecumania; Interreligious pantheism; the demise of the Sacraments and infinite varieties of fabricated illicit liturgies are what awaits.

Jordanes said...

Benedict XVI follows Hegel, Kant and Heidegger. There is nothing of Thomas Aquinas or later philosophers of Catholic faith.

How much Hegel, Kant, and Heidegger have you read, or for that matter, how much Aquinas or later philosophers of the Faith have you read? And how much Ratzinger? I can only wonder if you’ve read much of them at all, if you believe the Holy Father follows Hegel, Kant, and Heidegger.

Me said...

Paul Haley, I agree with you! We are praying the novena posted on this website and the priest at our SSPX church announced the novena as well!

Dan Hunter said...

I cannot imagine that the Holy Father will leave the FSSPX dangling in the limbo of no canonical status for much longer.

I ask, why lift the excommunications if all that does, other than open the way for discussions, is allow the four bishops to recieve the sacraments of the Church again?

Since the suspension still stands on all of the Society, and they are not licitly permitted to excersise their priestly functions,
Who does the Holy Father think that the Bishops will recieve the sacraments from?
Novus Ordo clergy?

No, The Holy Father has to realize that the Bishops will never do this.
I hope and pray that he is realistic on this matter.

What good is lifting the excommunications if the 600,000 faithful, 600 priests and 4 bishops if they cannot licitly recieve the sacraments?

Would the Holy Father actually allow this many Catholics to be left out in the confusion and the cold of having no jurisdiction for this long?

Please Holy Father, set up a jurisdiction for the Society immediately,
souls depend on it.

Paul Haley said...

To the naysayers, I pose this question: Do you believe that Pope Benedict XVI is the validly elected Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church, and the Supreme Legislator on earth protected by the charism of the Holy Ghost? Or do you believe that he is an impostor who is malleable in the hands of both traditionalists and modernists alike?

If you believe the former, then I would suspect you would deal with His Holiness as Bishop Fellay is doing. If you believe the latter, I suspect you would see evil behind every column and a trap behind every initiative. This is submitted not as a chastisement to anyone but as food for thought.

Anonymous said...

I would side with Bishop Fellay and the SSPX before I would ever side with the worthless Bishops (especially in Germany and Austria...but actually everywhere), who have as their "battle cry",
'VATICAN II, VATICAN II, THEY MUST ACKNOWLEDGE ALL OF VATICAN II".

John McFarland said...

Mr. Wojtiech,

Calm down. Read the interview with Bishop Fellay again. Read the interview with Bishop Tissier that Leon G gives the link for.

Bishop Fellay is handling the diplomatics; Bishop Tissier is handling the substance. Bishop Tissier has given the game plan: the conversion of Rome. Repeat: the conversion of Rome. He has said it in as many words.

Now perhaps Bishop Fellay -- and Bishop Tisser -- will sell us out. It is not to be ruled out. We must pray for him and all those involved in the process. But that is certainly not the intention reflected in the two interviews taken together.

You might also look back on Bishop Williamson's remarks on dealing with Rome, both the recent ones and those from his days as rector in Winona. He is generally viewed as the SSPX bishop most skittish about dealings with Rome; and perhaps he is. But I can find no difference in principle between his view and that of Bishop Fellay. They both believe that we must talk with Rome, but that they must be careful. Bishop Williamson's image from Winona days of how to deal with one's leprous mother is not the most diplomatic image, but it makes the point very well.

As regards Bishop Williamson, I would also note that in his interview, the intemperate language of Bishop Fellay's comments to Der Spiegel is quite gone. He and Bishop Williamson are on the same page: it is a matter of truth, not emotions. This is an extremely delicate practical matter, since in a number of countries of Europe and above all in Germany, a critical stance regarding the Holocaust is a criminal offense, AND THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT. In Germany, a defense attorney who makes arguments against the Holocaust in the trial of his client will himself be prosecuted. The SSPX headquarters is located in Germany. There are powerful forces arrayed against the Society, and so it must be very, very careful. Every ounce of natural and supernatural prudence that the SSPX leadership can muster will need to be thrown into the battle.

We need to pray as much for the Society as for the Pope, particularly since, as things stand, it is the Society and not the Pope that is On Our Side.

Finally, Mr. Haley and others, will you kindly stop worrying about the canonical status of the Society? Do you really think that the Lord our God is going to let people go down to Hell because of what the Pope does or does not do in this morass of ecclesiastical politics? Until Rome converts, the state of necessity, and hence the Society's supplied jurisdiction, will alive and well; and when Rome converts, there will be no problem. Until then, we are still in Operation Survival.

David Joyce said...

Bishop Fellay's answer in terms of accepting Vatican II is superb:

"Which has just been strongly reaffirmed in the note of the Secretariat of State of February 4, 2009. But the Holy See cannot grant to the Council a greater authority that [the Council] did not wish to grant itself."

Btw, I assume his reference to "full communion" is the general public opinion, not from SSPX perspective.

Confiteor said...

Bishop Fellay is following his own counsel and ignoring the naysayers. He is saying what needs to be said to facilitate a speedy regularization. When the SSPX is regularized, the true schismatics from Linz to Los Angeles will leave the Church. Goodbye and good riddance. Then and only then will the New Springtime of the Church begin.

Woody Jones said...

"At a moment on which we speak of a return to full communion, the Pope is effectively, perhaps, asking himself who, between certain bishops and ourselves, is closer to him."

Surely the Holy Father understands this and knows the need to have these fine people working with him, basically, fully on the basis of full canonical regularity. In view of the Wagner problem and the virtual apostasy of the Church in Austria (not to mention Holland, France and Germany), the Pope should stop seeking to placate the liberal irredentists and just move ahead with regularisation of the SSPX (and also admission of the TAC) at full speed.

Paul Haley said...

Mr McFarland asked:
Finally, Mr. Haley and others, will you kindly stop worrying about the canonical status of the Society? Do you really think that the Lord our God is going to let people go down to Hell because of what the Pope does or does not do in this morass of ecclesiastical politics?

With all due respect - No, I will not! This "faculties red herring" has been used by local Ordinaries and their functionaries to try and convince catholics not to support or attend masses given by traditional groups who are in union with Rome but who have reservations about the goings-on in the local diocese.

When it comes to a matter of practicing one's faith, legalisms are meaningless to the ordinary everyday catholic and the average Joe does not understand "ecclesia supplet". So, I will continue to harp on this until the Holy Father realizes the harm and the confusion that exists thanks to mixed signals from Ecclesia Dei Commission.

As to what Our Lord will do and who He will send to Hell, I will not presume to say what He will do but trust in His Mercy for without it, I am in grave danger.

Paul said...

John McFarland said...

"The SSPX headquarters is located in Germany."

No, Mr McFarlans, the SSPX HQ is located in Menzingen, Switzerland.

Confiteor said...

Finally, Mr. Haley and others, will you kindly stop worrying about the canonical status of the Society?

John McFarland, the canonical status of the Society is important because their regularization is for the good of the Church. Regularization is not "legalism", it is an essential element in Bishop Tissier's three-step plan for reversing the revolution, although Bishop Tissier might not see it that way. Regularization of the SSPX will drive the true schismatics out of the Church, and Tradition will be given room to grow.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Haley,
To the naysayers, I pose this question: Do you believe that Pope Benedict XVI is the validly elected Pontiff...

The Vatican has given in to liberal and media pressure on many previous occasions. It is not disloyal for Catholics to remain vigilant.

antonio said...

Yesterday on the italian TV there was a program on VatII; all interviewed;patriarch of venice, Marini, Kung,Sodano, card Ratzinger and Pope B XVI, all upheld the 'Concilio' and all stated that there would be no turning back(only Kung said that the church today wanted to go back to the middle ages as it was before VatII, but it would never succeed): the addendo was,that we need to read the scripts of the council under new light!?

Paul Haley said...

Anon said:
The Vatican has given in to liberal and media pressure on many previous occasions. It is not disloyal for Catholics to remain vigilant.
16 February, 2009 18:43

With all due respect the Vatican is more than just the Pope, composed of liberals, progressives and others. Are you accusing him of something specific? Yes, we must remain vigilant but he himself said: "Pray for me, that I do not flee for fear of the wolves." We must ensure we are not among the wolves.

Anonymous said...

Paul Haley's comments are exactly correct. Since I clearly know more than all the rest of you combined (yes, yes, this IS a joke), I proclaim that Mr. Haley is correct.

Mr. Haley's responses and the recent comments of Bishop Fellay en français and then his comments here in English today and those of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais over at some other site all clarify where we are. They resolve some contradictions because, before the Williamson affair erupted, Fellay did indicate a speedy reconciliation. That has changed now.

So we shan't likely see in the near future a canonical structure for the Society or the hoped-for international and 'personal' exempt apostolic administration or diocese. Not yet. At least, probably not in 2009. Private letters from Rome do indicate that, in the mean time, Society Masses can fulfil the Sunday obligation, even though they are held to be illicit. But such letters bear little authority in law (although they do enable rights in Moral Law); and they are little known. The result right now is massive confusion. For example, The Bishop of Bridgeport, down there in the U.S.A., or his spokesmen, has recently proclaimed the very opposite of what Msgr. Perl has been writing on this.

Some people, to the chagrin of the liberals, are concluding that the Society is now fully reconciled and everyone should simply abandon the local parishes and head off to a Society chapel. Others seem to think that they will go to Hell should they attend a Society Mass--even on a Tuesday.

AS Mr. Haley points out, souls are now at stake. For example, some people, heeding Msgr. Perl's private letters, would like to attend Society Masses at least on Sundays but are afraid that, by doing so, they will come to imbibe a schismatic perspective which could lead them astray. Does the remission of the censures of excommunication respond to the good will of the Society bishops so as to remove this as a reasonable danger? Yes or no?

Others who have been attending Society Masses for many years now worry about where to attend Sunday Mass to fulfil the obligation. Will I sin if I keep going? Was I sinning in the past? Do I have to re-confess past confessions? Most faithful are not canonists and don't have a clue.

As an act of pastoral solicitude, it now seems urgent that His Holiness clarify this matter. The Society has now publicly revealed that it is ready to enter in good faith into discussions regarding doctrine. The Holy See, as Bishop Tissier de Mallerais notes, has accepted this and indicated that it will participate fully. So we have a good faith agreement in which Rome, one party, still says that Society priests have no right to celebrate Mass. What is needed is a provisional (potentiallhy temporary) extension of jurisdiction directly from Rome. The Pope could ask, in such a declaration, that those who have not been supporting the Society not do so at this time, since this extension of jurisdiction might not be permanent. But this can only be a request, since there is no clear line between a Society supporter and other faitful.

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter: next Sunday. Same bat time. Same bat channel. As an aside, the Israeli Government yesterday announced acceptance of a papal visit in May . . . .


P.K.T.P.

ponte said...

As usual, a very sound and intelligent interview. Fellay impresses me more and more.

I actually think it's humorous that Williamson is doing some sort of holocaust research now to check the facts of the holocaust. I picture him taking soil samples at Auschwitz taking soil samples and looking at them under a microscope like a great and determined scientist. Perhaps next he'll take a hot air balloon around the world to evaluate if the world is actually round.

Anonymous said...

Excellent words, Mr. Haley!

And yes, it is traditional Catholics precisely, perhaps alone, who believe that a man's eternal destiny rides on what a pope does or does not, that is, what he binds and what he loosens. That is Catholicism. The belief that Catholics can achieve their final end apart from the Vicar of Christ is for Protestant 'Catholics'.

Joe B said...

This is what SSPX was put here for, planned from all eternity for this moment and cause. Their loyalty to the faith as it was passed on to us has been under assault for some 50 years, and they have never wavered in the long war of attrition, even against all manner of unholy wrath from within the church. Their founder and his successor have no scandal and their virtue is unchallenged. The answer of the Mother of God to SSPX prayers is a clue that her oversight in the matter is assured. We can only lose if we fail to fight together.

So have faith. We go into this battle hopelessly outnumbered, with our backs to the cliff, and with our leader already chosen for us, the previous one already fallen.

To prayer and penance, my brothers, for Bishop Fellay and the Holy Father, and for the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel and Our Lady of Good Success. Now is the time. Leave nothing undone. The weak to the rear, heroes to the front, all do what they can, and we cannot lose. Surely, this will be our finest hour.

Confiteor said...

Regularization with a large "R" ... yes, that will take time. However, temporary faculties, such have been granted to the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (who are still working out their full regularization), and the lifting of the clerical suspensions (which IMHO were more unjust than the excommunications), should be granted much more quickly. The Feast of the Chair of Peter would be perfect timing.

Paul Haley said...

Joe B said in part:

To prayer and penance, my brothers, for Bishop Fellay and the Holy Father, and for the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel and Our Lady of Good Success. Now is the time. Leave nothing undone. The weak to the rear, heroes to the front, all do what they can, and we cannot lose. Surely, this will be our finest hour.

God bless you, my friend, your words ring true. Prayer and penance, onward and upward, to our destiny which is Heaven itself.

Anonymous said...

It is the SSPX who are resonsponsible for their lack of faculties. They are refusing any canonical agreement until a doctrinal agreement is reached. The Pope would probably grant them some kind of faculties straight away with the most minimal nod to Vatican II but the SSPX refuse that. I understand the importance and relevance of this matter but I think appeals should be made to Bishop Fellay.

Paul Haley said...

Anonymous said...

It is the SSPX who are resonsponsible for their lack of faculties. They are refusing any canonical agreement until a doctrinal agreement is reached. The Pope would probably grant them some kind of faculties straight away with the most minimal nod to Vatican II but the SSPX refuse that. I understand the importance and relevance of this matter but I think appeals should be made to Bishop Fellay.

16 February, 2009 20:20

Re: the last sentence above. The SSPX cannot grant faculties to themselves; the Pope is the only one who can do this. The SSPX has professed fealty to all that the church has taught, held and professed to be true from time immemorial and their desire to be one with the Holy Father. To me, hardheaded Irishman that I am, that should be enough but, apparently there is something that a pastoral council proclaimed that is the impediment. I don't see it when the salvation of souls is at stake. Could it possibly that the egos of the churchmen who proclaimed all sorts of novelties in Vatican II are at risk here? I wonder.

Paul Haley said...

To support my last comment I offer the following:
http://www.unavoce.org/cardinal_ratzinger_chile.htm
Card. Ratzinger's 1988 Remarks to the Bishops of Chile:

"The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.

It would seem to me that this destroys the argument that there is something in Vatican II which the SSPX must accept in order for them to be regularized. And, this "something" is never specified or at least as I have been able to determine. Yet, they are minimized and forced to accept the ignominy of suspensions a divinis. It boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the Pope can't grant faculties, or if he could it is very unlikely he would, until Bishop Fellay is ready and willing to accept them. I don't think the SSPX care about it, but for those here who do, it is the SSPX who are blocking the granting of any faculties. I think it is bizarre of them, but I am saying this mainly for the sake of some clarity in the discussion.

Anonymous said...

"Rome must convert."

The Libs are going to have a field day with this comment and exploit it to the maximum.

I predict that as per precedent the Pope will cave in to the pressure.

I also think we will see a lot of V2 speak (code for Hegel,Kant and Heidegger) from the Pontif in the coming weeks.

I pray the Pope has some grit for the truth.

Anon Anon

Anonymous said...

"Rome must convert."

The Libs are going to have a field day with this comment and exploit it to the maximum.

I predict that as per precedent the Pope will cave in to the pressure.

I also think we will see a lot of V2 speak (code for Hegel,Kant and Heidegger) from the Pontif in the coming weeks.

I pray the Pope has some grit for the truth.

Anon Anon

Anonymous said...

"Yes, but the Pope can't grant faculties, or if he could it is very unlikely he would, until Bishop Fellay is ready and willing to accept them."


This is pure rubbish. The Pope certainly can unilaterally grant faculties owing to his universal AND immediate authority (cf. Pastor Æternus, from the more important Vatican Council: No. 1). Fellay and company obviously will not reject such a declaration. At most, they can point out that it is superfluous, but that would be diplomatic suicide. They'd mostly remain silent. Tissier might say aloud something about superfluity, that's all.

This is urgently needed. Clarity is charity.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On Fellay's statement about converting Rome:

"I predict that as per precedent the Pope will cave in to the pressure."


Look, the S.S.P.X has been saying this for decades. It's nothing new. It won't create a crisis.

P.K.T.P.

Confiteor said...

The Pope would probably grant them some kind of faculties straight away with the most minimal nod to Vatican II but the SSPX refuse that.

Anon, you are obviously not following the recent signals out of Menzingen, which have caused certain SSPX adherents to accuse Bishop Fellay of compromise and capitulation.

Good grief, one just cannot please some people.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to Confiteor and PKTP but I think you are both being hopelessly unrealistic. I can't think of any case where a Pope has granted (not just tacitly supplied) jurisdiction to those who refuse what even Bishop Fellay calls full communion and refuse any canonical agreement. So long as the SSPX refuse a canonical solution until the doctrinal matters are settled to their satisfaction the Pope is de facto almost certainly not going to grant them faculties. And judging by the latest Bishop Tissier de Mallerais interview these talks have no end in sight.

Anonymous said...

Paul Haley, your recent comments are very interesting. I can believe it however traditionalists are quick to point out that the FSSPX are separated from the visible church.

How do you square with the Catholic DOGMA that to be Catholic one must be part of the visible Church?

The FSSPX are not part of the visible Cathoic Church, at least according to the FSSP priest I confess too. He also says that anyone can say they pray for the Pope and have fidelity - it means nothing, belonging is what counts.

Another question: is this priest uncharitable or is this the FSSP position?

I am not prepared to attend mass at the FSSPX if there is a doubt. Remove the doubt and I will attend.

Anon Anon

Anonymous said...

Hidden Anonymous said:

"Sorry to Confiteor and PKTP but I think you are both being hopelessly unrealistic. I can't think of any case where a Pope has granted (not just tacitly supplied) jurisdiction to those who refuse what even Bishop Fellay calls full communion and refuse any canonical agreement. So long as the SSPX refuse a canonical solution until the doctrinal matters are settled to their satisfaction the Pope is de facto almost certainly not going to grant them faculties."


This is a unique situation. First of all, despite Bsp. Fellay's slip over the absurd misterm 'full communion' (which is an oxymoron) the Society does not reject communion in the Church. The Society also does not refuse regularisation but merely wishes to include some doctrinal clarification in the process of reconciling.

The Sons of the Holy Redeemer have faculties granted to them prior to regularisation; therefore, the same could be granted to the S.S.P.X. The Society affirms the full force of the Pope's Sacred Magisterium and denies nothing which faithful are required to assent to. True, the Society should reconcile first, as I have argued all along, but it is now clear that this will not happen soon. In the mean time, we have massive confusion on our hands in the wake of the recent decree, and that is causing spiritual risk and harm.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

Gentlemen,

Will you stop worrying about the Austrian bishops. Their call for a chance to lobby for episcopal candidates more to their liking is fair enough. Nobody got too worked up during the centuries when the Emperor picked the bishops and Rome rubber-stamped them. If collegiality means anything, doesn't it mean such input? The problem with the Austrian bishops is that whatever their manners or lack thereof in dealing with the Holy Father, they are a bunch of heretics.

Unfortunately, it's hardly crazy for them to want the Pope to talk more out of the "left" side of his mouth than out of the "right" side of his mouth. They just want more 2+2=5, while you want more 2+2=4. You both have plenty of precedent. What we need is 2+2+4, period, amen: the conversion of Rome.

Paul Haley,

All right, let me try this from the other direction.

What makes you think that the Pope particularly cares whether or not the SSPX has faculties?

An Opus Dei priest once remarked to me that where there's no faith, there's only politics. I would refine this by saying that where faith is shaky, politics is likely to get the upper hand. I respectfully submit that as regards the whole "full communion" business, the Pope is mostly playing politics -- pious politics, more or less, but politics withal. This is an absolute red flag to the substantial majority of bishops who wouldn't spit on the SSPX, and who believe they've seen their duty and done it by stopping somewhere short of the in-you-face contumacy of the Archbishop of Manila.

The Pope is no doubt able to do it, but it isn't, well, very collegial; and it is very unprecedented, or at best close to unprecedented.

But what reason do you have to think that the Pope is much interested in spending a great deal of political capital on getting faculties for the SSPX? It's not evident to me that he's at all interested in a counter-revolution, with or without the SSPX.

Note that the SSPX hasn't even bothered to ask. I read this as meaning that they bracket it with the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, rather than with the lifting of the "excommunications".

Pace PKTP, I think it unlikely that that the SSPX would talk of "superfluity" as regards a grant of faculties. But what it probably would say is that that what a modernist pope gives, a modernist pope might take away; and that given a modernist pope, supplied jurisdiction is what can be relied on.

And as regards the episcopacy, I don't see much reason for them not to say as regards the SSPX, faculties and all, that one of them can say Mass once a month in their dioceses, but not on Sundays and feastdays. The Pope has his politics, and they have theirs, and remember collegiality. Indeed, it's hard to avoid an ironic smile in contemplating the notion of Pope Benedict appealing to the universal jurisdiction of the Pope!

PKTP,

Just for curiosity's sake: do you think that Rome needs converting? Or do you think it as irrelevant as I think a grant of faculties?

And in this connection, when can we expect you to explain away Archbishop Lefebvre's consecration sermon?

Finally,

I find the notion that we're going to drive the liberals out of the Church implausible. Why should they do that? Do you think most of these guys care about anything but a virtual no-show job, and that liberalism is anything more to them than the path of least resistance in their particular political milieu?

Where else are they going to get the money for future sodomy settlements?

I prophesy that when the Immaculate Heart triumphs, they'll have to be deposed one by one, and carried out bodily from their cushy bachelor pads.

P.S. Paul, thanks for the correction on the nationality of Menzingen. We Americans sometimes have trouble figuring out borders; just ask the Iraqis and the Afghans.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

A favor, if you will. Could you point me to the remarks of Bishop Fellay (and their context) that led you to believe that he thought that a deal with Rome would be quick and easy -- before, of course, Bishop Williamson (on your account) queered it all.

Paul Haley said...

OK, time for the chips to fall where they may. All those who say that the SSPX must accept Vatican II, please state specifically what in Vatican II they must accept. And, while you're at it, explain what about this is different from what the church has always taught, held and professed to be true from day one (all the previous doctrinal councils of the church). And as you try to do this remember what the then Cardinal Ratzinger said to the bishops of Chile in 1988. Good luck!

Joe B said...

I don't think this knot is so tight that it cannot easily be untied by Peter with the special assistance that is his from the Holy Ghost. Since the Pope is the Pope he is fully capable of seeing the truth, and so he could easily come to agree with SSPX's views on the meanings of the VCII documents in question - they must, indeed, be interpreted in light of tradition, and so of course he could come to see that the language in the documents need further clarification. He might easily see this, and I suspect that that would be enough for Bishop Fellay to, in good faith, begin working with the Holy Father in reforming the church, which is exactly what must happen.

Simplistic, but eventually this will have to be the answer, so why not quickly so as to right Peter's ship? As the revolt in Austria shows, this is bigger than just the documents of VCII. They must work together, the Holy Father and SSPX, and other trad priests.

The alternative is for the Holy Father to reject tradition and let the ship slide under the waves. Come on, not going to happen. The enemy is finally coming out to meet us in the open on the battlefield. This is it. Get ready for war. We're going to win because we're right.

Anonymous said...

I am one who claims that the SSPX must accept something of VII: they must accept that it is a valid ecumenical council.

Oops. They've already done this. Discussion over.

Anonymous said...

On Mr. McFarland's question:

I am thinking of two comments. I can't find one of them, in which he said that regularisation needn't wait until all the doctrinal problems had been solved, taking "years and years" but could happen "quite quickly now". The other one, posted here on 29th January, is this:

"Up to now, our roadmap has been to clarify first the doctrinal problems - even if it does not mean settling everything, but obtaining a sufficient clarification - or we risk doing things incompletely."


The tone of his comments over the last three days has changed a bit, I think. We are now seeing more of a long-term process. While the Society might not need to solve everything first, he and Tissier seem to be returning to an earlier focus on a longer doctrinal process.

If you go back to the January posts, you can see that the Vatican released a 'trial balloon' in which they said that Vatican II was not a dogma of the Faith and mention of it might even be excluded altogether in any reconciliation with the Society.

Then, after the Williamson affair erupted, seveal bishops' conferences emphasised that the Society "must accept" Vatican II.

If you go back to previous years and also consider the documents signed by the Campos priests and the I.B.P., there was an acceptance of Vatican II in the light of tradition. The Pope has asserted that this is to be 'living tradition'. But it would appear that, as there is nothing new in Vatican II which requires assent, we needn't assent by any interpretation, whether of living tradition, dead tradition, or garden-variety tradition. Not only can you have the salad with French dressing or Italian dressing, you can have soup instead.

I think that Fellay was indicating a faster resolution in response to Rome's trial balloon. Then the liberals shot this balloon out of the sky with an arrow called Williamson. Now Fellay is waiting to see if the Pope will be releasing a new balloon or if he's launching a toy boat called Vatican II instead. So Fellay and Tissier are now more guarded. If little Benny is lauching the Vatican II toy boat instead of releasing a new Magisterium-only balloon, they are not coming out to play for a while. They will play draughts indoors for a while and send some questions to Rome.

P.K.T.P.

Paul Haley said...

Mr McFarland,

With all due respect I cannot read the Pope's mind but his actions so far lead me to believe he wants the SSPX back into what is called full communion with him. Not by me, though, for "full communion" is like "fully pregnant". Either one is in communion or not. Either one is pregnant or not. He freed up the Mass and then rescinded the excommunications.

You lawyers have a thing called precedent and the precedents here, as well as his efforts in 1988, lead me to believe he wants full communion and the only thing lacking for that now is a removal of the suspensions a divinis decree. Why doesn't he do this? I haven't a clue but I suspect the revolt of the Austrian bishops is instructive.

As for Vatican II, that to me is a "red herring" in light of the then Cardinal Ratzinger's address to the bishops of Chile in 1988 wherein he stated there was no superdogma emanating from Vatican II.

There is also the matter of a juridical structure for the SSPX but that is something that can be worked out in due time. A big thing is made of the so-called doctrinal discussions but in light of the previously quoted excerpt from his address in 1988, what doctrine or dogma was promulgated by Vatican II? Answer: none. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Paul Haley what did Cardinal Ratzinger said to the bishops of Chile in 1988?

Anonymous said...

On Mr. McFarland's Questions:

First of all, Do I think that Rome needs converting? Well, Rome isn't a person. As the Society bishops have often admitted, the Society is not the whole of the Church and there are stalwart Catholics living under regular authority.

In the case of the Pope himself, I don't know. I think that he's made erroneous statements in the past and that he has not recanted them. Has he changed his mind on these? I don't know. He might have done. He might feel that public recantations on, say, the value of Eucharistic adoration, might undermine his authority.

McFarland would like me to answer questions but he cannot answer the one I've put to him twice now. Is he with Lefebvre or is he with Fellay? Lefebvre was prepared to accept MUCH LESS than what Rome has offered since 2000, and Lefebvre admitted publicly that he only tore up the agreement he'd even signed because Rome had not appointed a bishop for the Society. But Rome has now accepted four Society bishops and has offered much more than what was offered in 1988.

The logic here is quite clear. If Fellay is right to delay regularisation, then Lefebvre was DEAD WRONG to accept much less. You can't have it both ways, McFarland. Face reality, you are on the horns of a dilemma!

P.K.T.P.

Paul Haley said...

Anon Anon said:

The FSSPX are not part of the visible Catholic Church, at least according to the FSSP priest I confess too. He also says that anyone can say they pray for the Pope and have fidelity - it means nothing, belonging is what counts.The FSSPX are not part of the visible Catholic Church, at least according to the FSSP priest I confess too. He also says that anyone can say they pray for the Pope and have fidelity - it means nothing, belonging is what counts.

Another question: is this priest uncharitable or is this the FSSP position?

I cannot speak for the FSSP or the SSPX or any other order. I can only say that the SSPX maintain they never left the church and never intended to separate from the church. They did what they did, according to their own website, for the survival of Tradition.

Well, according to the basic catechism I had in sixth grade if one does not intend to commit a sin then one does not sin (schism), assuming one is fully informed as to what constitutes a sin.

As to this priest's motive, I cannot and will not judge his intent. But, I will say that many of the FSSP priests came from the SSPX and share their doctrinal reservations. What separates them is how they choose to maintain the battle for Tradition - either within the church and under the control of possibly modernist bishops or without.

They left the SSPX and came into the FSSP when Rome made the offer to them after the 1988 consecrations by Archbishop Lefebvre. In other words they chose to be in communion with Rome instead of apart from it. But this contains some risk as explained later.

They also knew that the SSPX bishops were excommunicated and the priests under suspensions a divinis and they chose not to be. I respect their choices but note that they have no guarantee that they will continue to be ordained and allowed to practice in the Traditional Form. That is precisely why the SSPX would like a juridical structure to properly guarantee the survival of Tradition.

Paul Haley said...

Anonymous said...

Paul Haley what did Cardinal Ratzinger said to the bishops of Chile in 1988?

17 February, 2009 00:34

See my post above with the timeline of 16 February, 2009 20:46. The link for the full address is http://www.unavoce.org/cardinal_ratzinger_chile.htm

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

I stand with Lefebvre AND Fellay, because, as is clear from the
Archbishop's consecration sermon, he could not trust Rome because it did not have the Faith; and that hasn't changed.

But you still owe me an answer to MY question: how can you make the claims about the Archbishop that you do, given the consecration sermon?

I don't have a dilemma, unless you can demonstrate that you're not misrepresenting Archbishop Lefebvre.

Ready when you are...

As regards the Pope, the issue is whether he teaches the Faith, the whole faith, and nothing but the Faith. We do not have the ability to judge the state of his soul, and are flatly forbidden by Our Lord even to try; but we can judge the state of his teaching. I would suggest that the mere fact that you don't know what to say about his teaching is not a good sign.

Paul Haley,

The Pope's graces of state are of no use if he does not avail himself of them. It's not that he isn't the Pope; it's that he's a Pope who's shirking his duty, just like his immediate predecessors. The great dignity of his office doesn't make him a reliable teacher of the faith, any more than it made Alexander VI chaste and honest. Hence the talk of conversion.

The "superdogma" concept is beside the point. Remember that Paul VI entirely revolutionized the Church with a "pastoral" council, and effectively took the traditional Mass away from almost all the faithful with what was in essence an act of deception. Attacking superdogmas is easy enough for the current Pope, since there's good reason to think that he thinks that ANY dogma is subject to change.

But for the time being at least, that does not include Vatican II. All efforts to pooh-pooh Vatican II founder on the unpleasant fact that the Pope doesn't pooh-pooh it, and doesn't even pretend to. As Bishop Fellay recently recalled, in their 2005 meeting, the Pope said quite clearly that Vatican II, interpreted by the convention means (the texts, the intent of the council fathers, and the like) would have to be accepted by the SSPX. But then later that year, the Pope premiered the hermeneutic of continuity. How do these two concepts relate? Bishop Fellay said he didn't know. Neither do I, but I'll be the most surprised man in the world if it doesn't end up meaning that Vatican II is the standard, and that the hermeneutic of continuity consists of pounding the square peg of the scriptures and the fathers and the pre-1962 councils into the round hole of Vatican II.

Martin said...

Paul Mc Farland dixit:
"The SSPX headquarters is located in Germany."

This is the second time I am reading this, written by seemingly well-informed people.

I beg your pardon. This is not true. The Fraternity's headquarters are in Menzingen, Switzerland. Capisci? German-speaking Switzerland, granted, but Switzerland nonetheless. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

On Mr. Haley's last comments. Again, communion is an absolute, so there is no such thing as partial communion and all communion is full communion.

In regard to the comments of the F.S.S.P. priest, the Society priests are definitely in communion with the Church because, in Rome's view, the schismatic act of 1988 was not sufficient to cause schism; it only tended towards schism. It is true that the S.S.P.X itself is not part of the visible Church but its clerics and supporters are.

Think of the S.S.P.X as (in Rome's view) an illegal organisation which recognised citizens belong to. The members are part of the country but their illegal group is not.

P.K.T.P.

Confiteor said...

The SSPX need to start operating within the visible structures of the Church, and they need to do so for one very simple reason: those visible structures are instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the absence of a genuine state of emergency, there is no excuse to continue operating on the outside. If the Holy Father offers the SSPX a canonical structure within which the Society has the freedom to continue "the experiment of Tradition", it would be a grave scandal for the Society to refuse that structure on the basis that "Rome has not converted". I have no problem with the SSPX trying to convert Rome (did not St. Athanasius attempt to convert the wayward authorities of his day?), yet I have a huge problem with the Society making Rome's conversion a pre-condition of canonical regularization.

PKTP,

Cardinal Ratzinger never -- repeat, never -- questioned the value of Eucharistic adoration. You are alluding, I believe, to an "infamous" quote that was ripped out of context from an early essay by then-Fr. Ratzinger. I'm not going to chase down the quote now, you'll just have to take my word that in the passage in question, Fr. Ratzinger was in fact affirming the value of Eucharistic adoration.

Confiteor said...

The SSPX need to start operating within the visible structures of the Church, and they need to do so for one very simple reason: those visible structures are instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the absence of a genuine state of emergency, there is no excuse to continue operating on the outside. If the Holy Father offers the SSPX a canonical structure within which the Society has the freedom to continue "the experiment of Tradition", it would be a grave scandal for the Society to refuse that structure on the basis that "Rome has not converted". I have no problem with the SSPX trying to convert Rome (did not St. Athanasius attempt to convert the wayward authorities of his day?), yet I have a huge problem with the Society making Rome's conversion a pre-condition of canonical regularization.

PKTP,

Cardinal Ratzinger never -- repeat, never -- questioned the value of Eucharistic adoration. You are alluding, I believe, to an "infamous" quote that was ripped out of context from an early essay by then-Fr. Ratzinger. I'm not going to chase down the quote now, you'll just have to take my word that in the passage in question, Fr. Ratzinger was in fact affirming the value of Eucharistic adoration.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, there was a king named Ursus the Magnificent of Munchen, and his subjects were the Munchkins. And he had a large Forest in which dwelt a band of robbers led by some of his disobedient nobles. Their leader was Count Bernard, assisted by Viscount Malory and Baron de Galleri and Sir Richard Wildman, Bart. Sir Richard had some odd ideas but he could parse and conjugate and decline in four languages and calculate how far you’d walked from your shoe size.



Now these robbers were poaching deer in the Great Forest. And the poor dears were caught by these outlaws because they would venture into the forest to escape the drought which was afflicting the King’s entire land. For the King had watered the land with the acid of Modernism and sowed the fields with the seed of Communism, a very large seed which yielded tiny plants and no good fruit, and he had manured the soil with liberalism taken from his stoutest bulls, but all to no avail. The more the King watered and sowed and manured, the worse things got. And while the King had tried to use different tactics from time to time, all his lords, save the outlaws, had enthusiastically adopted these useless methods before their impotence was known and now found that they had to defend them more and more as the results become worse and worse. For if they admitted their errors, the yeomen in the pews would bellow, Off with their heads!





Well, finally the King and his Chamberlain, the Duke of Bucaramanga, encountered these outlawed lords in the forest. Stay!, cried the King. You are poaching my poor deers. Well, replied the Count, really, these deer are not worth much, since they’ve been poisoned by Modernism and Communism and liberalism. They’re almost worthless, just like the ideas they’ve slowly imbibed by listening to your other lords' sermons. In better times, you would not even bother complaining of their loss. Anyway, we want to be loyal; in fact, we are ready to obey provided that we are protected from the other lords, whose ideas are suicidal. Well, says the King, I will not invade this Forest; in fact, I will give it to you. That’s great, says the Count, but first we’d like you to answer these forty-four questions in triplicate. You'll find the answers in your treasurehouse at Veritas. You seem to have the only key. You didn’t hear me, said the King, I will give you the Forest first: it is to be your County, Count. No, says the Count, answer the 44 questions and then we shall deign to accept the beautiful Forest and all its goods. Are you as crazy as Sir Richard, Bernard? And you, Malory and de Galleri? I am the King, not you.



Nevertheless, says Bernard, we won’t take the beautiful Forest until you answer the questions, for we seek the truth all day long, since it produces food indeed which saves, while your other lords only sow error and try to cover their donkeys and their asses. It is because we love the truth and respect you that we won’t take the Forest first.



Now what can Ursus of Munchen do? He has a choice. He can refuse to answer the questions (and thereby advance truth) until they accept his gift of the Forest. That will never happen. Or he can suspend his poaching law while he takes some time to consider the forty-four questions. Then he will not be dealing with outlaws. But if he does not suspend the poaching law while he answers the questions, who is really the King? For then Count Bernard has made the King do his bidding without submitting to the royal law, and the other lords, evil as they are, will be wroth. Even worse, all the King’s subjects will be scandalised when they see that the King has submitted to a robber Count and two robber Barons, and even a robber Wildman.



So the King must suspend the poaching law. That way, he has not submitted to the outlaws and the outlaws can become in-laws again, joined to him in the unity of the Truth. The outlaws eventually get their own Forest County, ruled by the just Bernard and his two Barons and the court jester Sir Richard. In the end, everyone lives happily ever after.



The Pope should suspend the suspensions and grant faculties for the outlawed S.S.P.X while the questions are being considered. If he submits to answering outlaws’ questions when they are still not obeying him (because they administer Sacraments illicitly), he loses the respect of all the bishops and cardinals and he loses the right to rule. For a Pope must also be just and respect his own laws; otherwise, he is a tyrant and no true ruler. His only other choice is to refuse to answer the questions until they accept his gift of an apostolic administration. But he knows that they won’t accept the gift first, so he must make them in-laws and brothers in Christ first.


P.K.T.P.

P.S. This story is compelling because there are no idiotic presidents and republics in it. Can anyone imagine a President Barry Soetero (B.S.) wearing a crown?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing a very helpful explanation Mr. McFarland. I think after the storm has passed, the SSPX Bishops can start to focus on their priorities. We just have to storm heaven for the survival of Tradition.

May Our Lady of Good Success protect the Pope and the SSPX. At the same time, we need to pray hard for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope in union with all the bishops in the world. Only then will we see conversion and peace in the world and in the Church.

Anonymous said...

On Confiteor's comments:

On the matter of the Eucharist, I'd rather not deal with that here.

I agree entirely with the rest of Confiteor's comments, as my recent 'fairytale' makes clear.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

To McFarland:

Whatever Archbishop Lefebvre may have said at the Consecrations after the fact, he signed the Protocol of Agreement on 5 May, 1988 and later said that he ripped it up ONLY because he feared that a bishop would not be forthcoming and that Cardinal Ratzinger and the Pope could not be trusted to appoint one. He made the remarks in a letter to the Pope of 3 June, 1988, nearly a month before he proceeded. Do you dare to dispute this? I dare you.

These facts have NEVER been in dispute and Michael Davies and others have discussed them at length. The fact is that he ripped up the Protocol of Agreement after signing it and that only because Rome tried to delay the choosing of a successor for consecration on 15th August of that year. I dare you to deny these facts, and I note that Bsp. Fellay didn't try to deny them. Instead, when asked why was refusing more than what Lefebvre accepted, he claimed that things had changed since 1988, but he didn't elaborate on that one.

I reiterate again that the Protocol of Agreement was much less than the offer made since 2000. He would have made the Society a Society of Apostolic Life but not a particular church (like an apostolic administration), and the relations with the bishops would have been settled by a Roman Commission the majority of the members of which would have been chosen by Rome. And he actually signed that. Get real: you are fudging the facts. What he may have said on 30th June AFTER the fact is another matter.

P.K.T.P.

LeonG said...

There appear to be many correspondents who imagined this was going to be a two minute process. Modernist liberal protestant ideologies have been slowly but surely implicating themselves into The Church philosophical infrastructure for at least two centuries now. From the mid-1960s they have become built into the fabric of neo-catholic norms, values and mores. Consequently, we are involved in a long struggle to restore Sacred Tradition to its rightful place in the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical edifice. The integrity of The Holy Scriptures in the spiritual life of The Church and its people requires restoration too. The work to be done is massive and will not be achieved at the blow of a whistle. Furthermore, while the enemy apparent flexes its ideological muscle in reaction to recent events, it indicates the complexity of the current situation and the problems that await a future resolution.

It has been stated all along that Pope Benedict XVI's is one of transition in which the shoots of the olive pullulate anew. He is 81 and weakening. But there are signs of hope for the near future. Bishop Fellay is obviously taking stock at present and so too perhaps is the Holy Father before the next strategic stage is embarked upon. This is stage three of the programme and it will prove to be the longest. No liberal or socialist bishop, cleric or layman is going to give up apparent gains without a fight. Remember St Peter tells us - a thousand years on Earth is as a day in Heaven. This is going to be a struggle taken at Heavenly tempo. It will take years; not days. We have to be patient, persevering, pray, pray, & pray.

LeonG said...

"...In the absence of a genuine state of emergency, there is no excuse to continue operating on the outside."

This is a comment that belies the reality - no genuine state of emergency. We have hundreds if not thousands of churches closing; seminaries downsizing & disappearing by the score; single digit percentage Sunday church attendance everywhere; hundreds of bishops and thousands of clergy regularly disobeying perennial church teachings; Neo-catholic women forcing their way onto the altar to assume positions to which they have no Scriptural or customary right; sodomites holding their own NO services with presbyters aiding and abetting them; at this precise moment several nationalepiscopates virtually in schism, the "Catholic Continent" bleeding itself dry of Catholics, etc., etc., etc and someone has the temerity to claim there is no state of emergency. On which planet might we demand?

Moreover, SSPX are not outside the church nor have they ever been. The Vatican has always treated their situation as an internal issue.

Joe B said...

If this faulty memory of mine hasn't invented something new on me yet again, I do believe the Vatican referred to the SSPX issue as a matter "within the church" in the not too distant past. They must not know their canon law, those guys. Good thing you do. Where would we be without you?

I love the FSSP. The best priest I ever met is an FSSP priest (hello, Fr. V - don't worry, you don't know me). I love the FSSP and we need all such good trad orders, but compare the fruits of the two main trad orders, FSSP and SSPX, and it is clear that SSPX has had better fruits BECAUSE they have their own bishops to provide direction and leadership. Fruits - how many monasteries does FSSP have? How many schools? Any colleges? Solidly Catholic communities? How many more years do they have to wait even for one single bishop of their own? Has their lack of bishops been their long-term neutralizing factor in the war against modernism? I think so. They are a wonderful source of grace, but they aren't the reason liberal bishops are finally crawling out from under their rocks into the sunlight to fight. They're coming out because of the pressure SSPX has put on the conscience of the Holy Father, because he sees the holiness of their fruits. But such fruits present in the order with bishops and absent in the order without must be strong evidence that the Holy Archbishop was right about the need for trad bishops to guide the survival movement of Catholic tradition. In fact, it is clearly only possible because of the independence, unity, and leadership of the SSPX bishops.

Lastly, has FSSP had anything like a million rosary crusade, and had such instantaneous results? Clearly, the Mother of God has SSPX under her care. If you wish to find it written in canon law, look under Chapter Mary. Oh, there isn't one? Well, then, it appears canon law isn't perfect then, doesn't it? Might there possibly be a small hole or two there somewhere under "state of emergency"? No, I believe that is mentioned. So maybe SSPX really is still within the church, you Pharisees.

I am sure Bishop Fellay would gladly even trade the very existence of his order for the restored health of the church, and so would his followers. So don't accuse him of holding out for ... what? Some personal gain of some sort? Personal glory? Get real. Go stare at a bull until you can produce a million rosaries and get instant results.

Confiteor said...

LeonG,

Open your eyes. The SSPX is operating outside the VISIBLE STRUCTURES of the Church. Even they will admit as much. Why even talk about a canonical regularization if they are already operating within the visible structures of the Church. Perhaps you think that operating within the visible structures of the Church is a minor thing. If so, you are wrong, and your thinking belies more modernist influence than you might care to admit. The visible structures of the Catholic Church are ordained by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Willfully operating outside of those structures is a danger to one's salvation.

State of emergency = a situation in which operating within the visible structures of the Church is a threat to one's survival as an ecclesiastical entity. A state of emergency according to that definition arguably existed for the SSPX in 1988. It no longer exists today.

Confiteor said...

Joe B,

If the SSPX accept a canonical structure from the Holy Father, they will have their own Bishops. They will continue to bear fruit.

What good reason is there for the SSPX to reject a canonical structure (assuming that it's the right structure) if it were to be offered today?

Do you think that the SSPX cannot stand up to the Big Bad Conciliar Church once they are inside its visible and formal structures?

I'm not affiliated with the SSPX in any way, yet apparently I have more confidence in them than do many of their adherents.

I also have confidence in Our Lord, who will protect the SSPX from harm ... if they take the leap of Faith that has already been taken by the F.SS.R.

Joe B said...

Since you asked, I believe the conditions for "state of emergency" are absolutely still extant, and the pathetic treatment of the FSSP by mainstream bishops even today is proof. The Holy Father could change that if he greatly weakens the liberal grip on his own throat, but until then, both FSSP and SSPX would for all practical purposes disappear if the SSPX didn't maintain some distance from the Vatican. And FSSP would virtually disappear within a year if SSPX weren't around. Those guys aren't even allowed to do weddings or funerals in many of the handful of dioceses they even exist in. They have maybe two or three true parishes! They are simply no match against the mainstream bishops from the inside.

Without the inexplicable and miraculously strong impact of SSPX on the Holy Father, our only option would be "independent" communities, Novus Ordo, or formal schism. We would be hopelessly fragmented into very small, powerless groups like those many "independent" communities. And in case you haven't noticed, FSSP hasn't exactly exploded since S.P., either. When we see them truly prospering inside the mainstream of the church, then the "state of emergency" will be over. But they would have to be prolific in expansion, including owning their own churches, schools, monasteries, convents, and be unrestricted not just in offering the full range of sacraments, but in forming communities that live the faith 24/7.

Without an agreement with the Holy Father himself on the issues that SSPX finds problematic, they would clash weekly with every local bishop. It would be bad for both sides and no uniform resolution would come from it. But SSPX, just like FSSP, would be at a huge disadvantage in a local or national dispute. For the likely outcome of those sorts of one-against-the-many disputes, watch Austria.

With an agreement in hand, the situation would still be precarious, but SSPX would definitely be in a stronger position. SSPX would likely force the bishops to take up their complaints with the Holy Father thanks to his signature on the agreement. Then the Holy Father would have to stand up to them or surrender, and whereas that is another inevitable battle to be fought, it would be fought at the level it needs to be fought at - the Vatican, rather than in each diocese. So yet another battle will have to be fought even after the coming one!

To be honest, I think schism is unavoidable unless something like the consecration gets done so the heavenly army intervenes. These devils don't care about the church. They only use the church as cover to keep the wealth of the dioceses in their pockets, but that's approaching the point where they won't have to give it up anyway. The Holy Father doesn't have the backing to even come take away the keys to the cathedrals against entrenched local bishops. These guys are mostly thoroughly corrupt millionaires now. Many are homosexuals, secretly married, blackmailable, or liberal to the point of being communists - hardened powerful men. They're not going quietly into the night.

Don't start celebrating our recent good news as victory yet - this is only the end of the beginning, as they say. Now the armies will meet in open warfare. And remember the warning of the magnificent wife of Dietrich Von Hildebrandt (I think, although I can't recall her name, but what a great Catholic mind she has!) - just when you think you have won, Satan unleashes his most formidable weapons.

Joe B said...

Alice Von Hildebrand. A great lady. Read her works.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

At the time that he actually consecrated the four bishops, Archbishop Lefebvre said that the great issue was the Faith.

You can make what you like of the previous signing and overnight rejection of the protocol. I think the best explanation is that it was a misstep quickly corrected; but if you think otherwise, I don't mind because I don't think it matters. When he actually made the fateful step, the reason he gave was the loss of the Faith in Rome; and that has been the guiding principle of the SSPX ever since. Those (few) like Father Aulagnier who insisted that peace come first took the logical step; they left the Society.

But you don't like that explanation, and so you insist that YOUR interpretation of what happened with the protocol -- or more precisely, YOUR interpretation of what happened with the protocol -- is what really matters and what really counts.

To put it less diplomatically: your infatuation with the idea of a canonical deal for the SSPX prior to a doctrinal showdown has led you to create a hermeneutic of fantasy in which Archbishop Lefebvre agrees with you.

In the words of the poet: "A man sees what he wants to see/And disregards the rest"

-- and sometimes, when his wanting is strong enough, he even can convince himself that he sees what isn't there.

Sedes sapientiae, ora pro nobis.

John McFarland said...

Confiteor,

As long as Rome needs conversion, there is a state of emergency. Even if the 2000 offer were as much a done deal as PKTP has convinced himself, there would still be a state of emergency, because those in the Vatican, including the Pope, don't teach the complete and unadulterated Faith.

There is a constant refrain in the remarks of Bishop Fellay: nothing has changed. The liberation of the traditional Mass and the withdrawal of the excommunications are wonderful things, but they do not go to the heart of the matter.

Don't let the liberal fallout fool you: the Pope has more in common with the Austrian bishops and the Archbishop of Manila and Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor than he has with Father Aulagnier, much less with the SSPX bishops. You might even think of the liberals' hell-raising as, among other things, serving to strengthen the Pope's hand for purposes of dealing with the more naive traditionalists. Secular politics is often strikingly similar to professional wrestling; ecclesiastical politics, too.

The issue regarding Vatican II is not the council as a whole, but how its various pronouncements stack up against the doctrine of the Church as it has stood since the death of the last apostle. The defection of, say, Alexander VI is a reflection on Alexander VI, not on Holy Mother Church, the chaste Spouse of Christ. The same is true of the defection of much of Vatican II. The solution is not to defend Vatican II, but to defend the true Faith, and let the pronouncements of Vatican II fall where they may, relative to the true Faith.

LeonG said...

Quite the contrary to the narrow doctrinaire view, there is a worse state of emergency in The Church now than in the 1980s as many NO bishops and presbyters manifest publicly their schismatic tendencies. Disobedience is rife in the very heart of the NO establishment and in its provinces. It is these who have persistently but falsely accused traditionalists of the same vice. In any case, this has been so ever since the conciliar process gave them leave effectively to behave as their largely protestantised consciences dictate.

Further, SSPX have actually been working quietly inside existing Church structures unbeknown to many, helping troubled presbyters with their problematic vocations; instructing The Holy Mass in Latin and even saying that Rite of Mass where invited by those in the NO establishment who have understood fully that as a Roman Catholic Confraternity they have much to offer The Church. They are morally inside The Church and always have been treated as an internal matter, not an external one by The Vatican authority, or what remains of it at present. Regularisation is the necessary external framework to validate before covetous eyes what is in actual fact a growing practical reality. By evaluating in toto the current condition of the contemporary church SSPX has already offered much more to propagating The Faith in accordance with the structure of Our Blessed Lord's divine mandate than the fractious and compromising wing of the NO. It is in this wing of the modern church where we find none of the charity that its leaders have been boasting about & using as a stick with which to beat the traditionalists.

The propagandist perspective of The Church healing divisions and propagating unity by lifting the excommunications is not even half of the story. This is the side the mediatised NO version likes to advance. They have purposefully & perhaps deviously missed out the fact that the excommunications were ill-advised in the first place; they were an act of inconsistency since there were, at the time and since, NO bishops whose behaviour certainly merited the same punishment if not worse; they would have to be undone sooner or later as they went nowhere toward solving the basic issues involved with the crisis in The Church, denied at the time but very obviously a reality then & even more so now; Cardinal Ratzinger himself was never at ease with the consequences of the excommunications and among the SSPX I know several priests who knew that he would review this if and then when he became Pope. They were a tragic act of injustice and a blight on the last papacy. The fact that they are undone and The Holy Mass restored testify to an abiding reality - SSPX are correct about many factors adversely affecting The Faith today and they are sorely needed as the antidote to rampant post-conciliar neo-modernism condemned so rightly by Pope St Pius X significantly chosen as their patron saint. None of these facts have escaped notice in Rome. With time, also, the way should be clear to set about revising the critical ecumenical and pastoral aftermath of nearly 50 years of socialist and liberal rebellion from within The Church.

Structurally speaking, it looks as though it is the traditional SSPX who work more within The Church & its structures than its revolutionary adversaries who seem to do just as they please and pay lip service to the system.

Anonymous said...

Joe B.

I think youve got it right and the others wrong. Even when Rome admits the SSPX affair is internal to it, your critics say it is not. The FSSP is a benefit to the church in its commitment to obedience while the SSPX is a benfit to the church in its commitment to truth. No SSPX, no FSSP. The reverse not possible.

A.M. LaPietra

Confiteor said...

Joe B, John McFarland, and LeonG, your comments have given me food for thought. Perhaps we can at least agree that the best short-term solution is a temporary granting of faculties while the doctrinal discussions proceed alongside the regularization process.

Joe B said...

Amen, brother.

Anonymous said...

McFarland:

It is you, not me, who sees what he wants to see. The facts are there for everyone to examine. He signed the agreement, which conceded much less than the 2000 offer, on 5 May, 1988. On 24 May, he rescinded it. On 2nd June, he wrote a letter to Cardinal Ratzinger in which he set forth the reason for tearing up the agreement, which was Rome's insistence that he wait beyond 30th June to 15the August for a bishop. Nota bene: Archbishop L. wrote this letter explaining why he did not accept the arrangement of 5th May. It was not John McFarland or Peter Perkins who wrote the letter; it was Marcel Lefebvre. I didn't force him to write those words: did you? Not.

Sure, on 30th June, he explained that the loss of the Faith was the root cause of the division, but it was obviously not the reason for rescinding what he had signed only two weeks before. Had the loss of the Faith been the reason the deal was no good, he would never have signed it in the first place. Duh.

You are confusing his ascription of the root cause of the problem with his explanation for why he rejected the Protocol of Agreement.

It is you who are living in fantasyland, wearing rose-coloured glasses, and dreaming in technicolour. The truth is that he actually signed a document which would have left the expansion of his Society in the hands of a Roman Commission the majority of whose members were to be chosen by the Pope, not the Society. I'd call that suicidal, but that's just me. You just don't get it. He signed a very defective arrangement and, again, as he stated directly in his letter of 2 June, 1988, he only rescinded it because Rome held back on appointing a bishop.

But Rome, since 2000, has offfered 100% independence from the local bishops in the Society's own de facto diocese (an international apostolic administration) and not one but four bishops. Under the 2000 offer, the Society wouldn't need ANYONE's permission to expand: not the Pope's, not the local bishops', not Colonel Saunder's, not Santa Claus's. Anyone with a brain in his head can see that the Archbishop would have accepted that in a heartbeat. Not only does it overcome the failure of Rome to name a bishop but offers far more juridical power.

You want to have it both ways, and you can't. Fellay and company are not following their saintly founder.

Fellay himself did not deny that Lefebvre would have accepted the 2000 offer. When asked about that some two years ago, his answer (and it was published) was that much has happened to change the situation since 1988. It is clear, therefore, that you side with Fellay against Lefebvre but that you do not do so for the reason Fellay offers. Interesting. Looks to me like your own fantasy, which is, no doubt, to avoid any arrangement with Rome until the Pope converts to the Catholic Faith. Did I get that one right? That's Tissier's version. There's a diplomatic term for that sort of a postion. It's called a 'deal-killer'. It is used when one party to a dispute doesn't want a resolution, usually because the current sitatuion is very comfortable.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

The Choice

The reason the Society did not accept the 2000 offer was explained on several occasions by their leaders. It was because the Society refuses to assent to Vatican II docrine. The Society criticised the Campos deal not over the juridical nature of the structure but because Bishop Rangel, then leader of the Campos priests, did assent to Vatican II in the light of tradition. The problem was that Benedict XVI later said that tradition means 'living tradition'. One can see the danger in that. 'Living tradition' could mean almost anything.

Now the rumour lately has been that Rome need not ask the Society to assent to Vatican II at all, but only to the teachings of the Pope's Sacred Magisterium. That, I think, is why Fellay initially predicted a fast reconciliation. But then the Williamson affair erupted and various bishops' conferences demanded that there be no compromise on Vatican II.

One must really wonder what on earth is going on here. If I, as a Catholic, don't have to assent to anything new in Vatican II (and I don't), then why does this group of priests have to assent to it as a condition for exercising ministry? It is more of this liberal bull manure. Why don't new priestly foundations have to assent specifically to Lateran II, Constantionople I, Trent, or Florence?

ASSUMING that the Holy See does not require the Society to assent to Vatican II doctrines specifically, I can't see why the Society would insist on doctrine-talk before acceping the Rolls Royce apostolic administration. After all, doctrine-talk could continue for decades, and I think it might because I can't see how you can make the Church of the saints and martyrs compatible to the Church of the clowns and jackasses which we have today.

The real question then, is this: Would the Society prefer to work on reconversion as a recognised part of the Mystical Body or as a group seeming to work outside of it? This is a strategic question. What would be more effective? Obviously, more NewChurchers will listen to a Society which is reconcilied to the Pope than to one which is not. Duh.

Moreover, there is a moral consideration. Can disobedience to legitimate authority be authorised merely from convenience or only as a matter of necessity? LeongG thinks that things are worse and worse, and so they are. But the provision of an international particular church would afford the Society all the protection it needs from local bishops (who would have zero authority in it), and as for Rome, she dare not afflict the Society because, if she does, the Society will merely return to its separated state.

Once again, it is time for the Society to take far more than what Archbishop Lefebvre was clearly prepared to accept. Fr. Aulagnier knows this because he was a close friend and collaborator of His Grace and one of the founders of the Society in 1970. He knows a bit about the original charism of the Society and its determination to work under Rome whenever possible. Well, now it is possible--or so it seems. Why do Fellay and Tissier go on about having to solve doctrinal problems first? Why not accept an arrangement which simply does not assent to anything new in Vatican II?

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On Mr. LaPietra's comments:

It certainly is true that, were it not for the S.S.P.X, there would be no 1984 Indult, no 1988 motu proprio, no 2007 S.P., no F.S.S.P., no I.C.R., no thirty approved traditionalist societies, no Sons of the Redeemer. Fair is fair.

All the more reason to pray for a reconciliation. Look at all these good fruits! And then compare them to the bad fruits of the Brave New Order: Opus Dei, the Legionaries, the countless invalid Masses using invalid matter, the scandalously ambiguous New Mass, and so forth.

It's true that the F.S.S.P. flew from the S.S.P.X nest of its own accord. But the chick never could have flown were there no nest in the first place.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

So on June 30, 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre rationalized his real motives by wrapping himself in bombast about the Faith? And the SSPX, I suppose, was too dumb to recognize the rationalization for what it is, which is why Bishop Fellay keeps blathering about the Faith when it should be jumping at the deal Rome has offered.

Perkins' message to Fellay: recognize that your founder was a something of a boob, and listen to me as I tell you what he really wanted; and once you listen to me, His Grace will be transformed into a veritable saint as Perkins and Fellay go off hand in hand to accept the deal in the true spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre.

So you're sort of destroying Archbishop Lefebvre to save him.

Words fail me, and I'm too good a Catholic to break into hoots of derision.

If I have to pick the self-deceiver as between His Grace (RIP) and Perkins, the choice is easy.

The May 5 protocol was already rescinded on May 6, unless the Vatican supplied what the Archbishop requested. May 24 was just more of the same.

Notice also that in the Archbishop's final letter of June 2, nearly a month before the consecration sermon, the Faith is the focus, and the Vatican's stalling tactics just a symptom: "Given the refusal to consider our requests, and it being evident that the purpose of this reconciliation is not at all the same in the eyes of the Holy See as it is in our eyes, we believe it is preferable for us to wait for times more propitious for the return of Rome to Tradition. ... We will continue to pray for modern Rome, infested with Modernism, to become once more Catholic Rome. ... Then the problem of our reconciliation will have no further reason to exist...."

Recall also that the "runup" to the negotiations were doctrinal issues -- or better, scandals -- as documented by Bishop Tissier in his biography of the Archbishop, and the necessity of bishops in light of the doctrinal morass. Rome's apparent willingness to make a deal seemed to provide a way to avoid unauthorized consecrations and the inevitable split in the traditionalist forces. But when the deal wasn't forthcoming, the focus went back where it belonged -- on the Faith, combined with new insights into the connection between Rome's doctrinal untrustworthiness and its practical untrustworthiness. So the next time -- many years later -- the Vatican began making overtures, the Society was not about to impute practical trustworthiness in the absence of doctrinal trustworthiness.

But you see the events of 1988 as just an aborted deal, operating essentially in abstraction from the issue of the Faith, that it's just a question of unaborting.

But already in the June 2 letter, and still more in the June 30 sermon, and still more over the years, it has become clearer and clearer that the Faith comes before the Deal. The Society and its founder learned by experience His Grace got the message in a few weeks; you still haven't after twenty years. You're still hanging your hat on a deal that never happened, and that now has been left far behind. As Bishop Fellay said, much has changed; and I would argue that it had already changed by June 1988.

I would also suggest (and suspect that Bishop Fellay would agree) that the failure to make a deal in 1988 was providential. Its years in the wilderness have strengthened the SSPX against the reflexive trust in and respect for a Vatican that cannot be trusted.

The conversion of Rome is a necessary condition of a deal. It's capitulation to cut a deal with a hierarchy that does not teach what the Church teaches. Amateur psychoanalysis about the Society's "comfort," and stats about all the places where the traditional Mass are being celebrated and how groovy people think it is, can't change that basic reality. Doctrinally, the Vatican is Bishop Williamson's leprous mother; and elementary prudence suggests caution in dealing with lepers.

LeonG said...

Indeed, the overriding atmosphere to this whole story is one of profound distrust not only in the methods of operation but also in the operator. The background for SSPX is always the needs of The Faith. This provides one of the reasons why there exist three preconditions from Bishop Fellay for Rome to manifest its good intentions. The fulfilment of the first two was relatively straightforward, allowing for the enemy to attempt derailing them first. The third stage is the most problematic and complex. It certainly was even more so in 1988 under papal protestations of an ecclesiastical Vernal Equinox. The difference now, of course, is that, objectively speaking, we can empirically demonstrate to what extent those councils & their outcome have adversely affected The Church since. Also, tradition has come back from being marginalised to being centre stage once more.

Nevertheless, there is abiding & justified distrust. The new philosophy that is misguiding The contemporary Church is a relativist one that promotes ambivalence and division. Most of the "faithful" have reductionist perspectives on faith and morals. More significantly, so too do many, if not most, of their hierarchy.

Confiteor said...

All of this talk of The Deal is distressingly worldly. It's as if we've mistaken the Vicar of Christ for Donald Trump. Our Holy FATHER is stretching forth his paternal hand to the Society of St. Pius X. The decision to take his hand is not a matter of prudent calculation, but of faith and love. It is time for the Society's theoretical attestation of loyalty to the Vicar of Christ to take concrete form. The wolves are circling and snarling, and no doubt our Holy Father is tempted to flee. Is the Society going to abandon him in his hour of greatest need?

When dealing with lepers, Our Lord Jesus Christ threw prudence to the wind. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Groovy? Oh my!

Anonymous said...

McFarland:

Let me get this straight. Rome is our leprous mother, and the doctor who diagnosed this condition was . . . Richard Williamson, a man who thinks it necessary to reiterate that the Trade Center bombings were an inside job and that the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union was a trick to be followed by approaching Russian tanks.

Right. Got that. Noted. Yup. I'll be careful not to see the Sound of Music in the future, for fear that it will carry me off to Hell. That's a real gas. But I suppose we shouldn't mention gas, since there wasn't any of that.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Williamson, whom McFarland admires so much, also claimed in 1990 that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a 'trick' and that the Soviet tanks were acoming. I am wondering if McFarland and others are still waiting for them. They might have a long wait. I imagine that those tanks must be rusted out shells by now. The evil communist soldiers who were to drive them were perverted by Julie Andrews in the 'Sound of Music'. Righto!

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On Confiteor's remarks:

I might add to his point that St. Francis ran up to lepers and embraced them. Does this mean that Williamson is no St. Francis?

But while people flee from lepers, it is now W. who must flee from one country to another, it seems.

By the way, moderators, please post my main reply to McFarland.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

I'll be interested in seeing your case in chief against me.

Bishop Williamson insists on the "authenticity" of the Protocols. I don't understand what he means; it looks to me like someone's overblown dramatization of what organized Jewry is up to. Nor do I see how the fall of Communism was a trick.

On the other hand, there are arguments against the gas chambers and for 9/ll as an inside job that can't just be laughed off. Google up a few buzz words and you'll see what I mean.

It seems to me that you call them as best you can see them, as regards Bishop Williamson and everyone and everything else.

Other folks,

In talking about "the Deal," I don't mean to suggest that the motives of PKTP, at any rate, are worldly. I think he sincerely thinks that a reconciliation would be the best basis for a counterattack in favor of tradition. I just think he's dead wrong, in both principle and practice.

Furthermore, I'm scandalized that he should simultaneously drag Archbishop Lefebvre in on his side, and do it in such a way as to make him out be a man who can't even get his own motives and convictions straight. If that's what he really thinks of the Archbishop, it's passing strange that he should appeal to him.

But I don't think there's any malice in what PKTP is doing -- just an idee fixe that, like all idees fixes, warps good judgment.

As best as I can tell, PKTP is very smart and knowledgeable, which is why I'm so dismayed by all this.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

I forgot The Sound of Music.

Have you read Bishop Williamson's piece?

In his eyes, the problem with TSOM is that it's pure liberalism.

Do you dispute that?

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

A few thoughts inspired by your lengthy comment that preceded my last night's attack on you.

The basic question is this: can the SSPX ride to the rescue of an utterly decadent hierarchy?

The subordinate question is: can it make that ride effectively if the terms of The Deal are to mumble about the dogmatic shipwreck that generated the decadence in the first place?

Isn't a fair response of the ordinary guy in the pew to the post-Deal SSPX the following: "yeah, that's what you say; but that isn't what the Pope says."

And what is your answer? "Go to the Mass and be converted"? And what if his answer is (altogether now): "I don't get anything out of it, the priest mumbling in Latin with his back to me."

When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the 50's, we had a neighbor who went to the (of course traditional) Mass every Sunday, and went out and drank beer in his car during the sermon. (So Bishop Williamson's critique of "Fiftiesism" was no scandal to me.)

Maybe my own experience is the exception, but here it is. I left the traditional Mass (and in short order the Faith) behind without a backward glance. Much later on, notwithstanding years of moving steadily to the NO "right," it never occurred to me to go anywhere near the traditional Mass until I'd become a reasonable facsimile of a traditional Catholic. The Mass moved me, to the extent that it moved me, once I really learned for the first time what it was about.

Furthermore, as regards those who can be said to have been converted by the Mass, I wonder just how deep that conversion really is, or can be, since it puts the cart before the horse.

Which (with apologies to TSOM) brings us back to doh: the Faith is paramount.



I see no evidence in Bishop Fellay's recent remarks that

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

As regards St. Francis and Bishop Williamson: I rather doubt that St. Francis would be inclined to embrace spiritual leprosy, which is the kind His Excellency was talking about.

My guess is that Bishop Williamson won't be a wanderer. Just the opposite: probably the only place that will let him in will be the UK, and so the rest of his life will be a kind of exile to home.

On the other hand, the UK might extradite him to be tried and jailed in Germany, and for all I know successively to other enlightened jurisdictions into which his evil remarks penetrated electronically. So in that sense, he could be wanderer, from slammer to slammer, until he does all of his time and gets shipped home to the UK for his final exile.

I see that Father Gaudron of the SSPX in Germany is reported to have said on German TV that Bishop Williamson will be expelled from the Society if he does not recant. This does not seem at all consistent with the statement from DICI in France that has also been posted on www.sspx.org. It would certainly be a great scandal if Bishop Williamson were expelled for what is clearly not a matter of the Faith.

So remember Bishop Williamson -- and the Society -- in your prayers.

Anonymous said...

Attn. P.K.T.P.

Mr. McFarland did not claim that Bishop Williamson diagnosed the Vatican as his leprous mother. The diagnosis was made by Bishop Lefebvre long before.

A.M. LaPietra

Confiteor said...

John McFarland,

The crisis of the Faith will not be solved by the SSPX inside or outside the formal structures of the Church; it will take a miracle. Therefore, my observation and question remain: our Holy FATHER is stretching forth his paternal hand to the Society of St. Pius X. The decision to take his hand is not a matter of prudent calculation (e.g., what is the most effective strategy for winning the battle for the Faith), but of a faith-filled response to the fatherly appeal of "sweet Christ on earth". It is time for the Society's theoretical attestation of loyalty to the Vicar of Christ to take concrete form. The wolves are circling and snarling, and no doubt our Holy Father is tempted to flee. Is the Society going to abandon him in his hour of greatest need?

trex said...

"John McFarland said...there are arguments against the gas chambers and for 9/ll as an inside job that can't just be laughed off"

We all know that the internet is full of interesting arguments.

But what Williamson actually SAID was that NO PLANES STRUCK THE WTC and NO PLANE STRUCK THE PENTAGON on 9/11.

Not an interesting argument.

Not laughable.

Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

McFarland writes:

"I'll be interested in seeing your case in chief against me."

Me too. Either it was censored from this blog or else I fouled up yet again and failed to post it. Now I shall have to re-think the whole bloody thing.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

On the sound of music and Mr. McFarland's comments about my judgement:

My main point is not that all of Williamson's ideas are wrong but that his constant repetition of controversial views shows that he is unsound. It is W. who has the idée fixe, not me.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

I shall try to recall part of my original response to McFarland. Dear moderators: please don't censor it, if that's what you did (if not, well, ignore this comment).

First of all, I am not faulting Abp. Fellay; on the contrary, I am faulting Bsp. Fellay for not following him.

The 'loss of the Faith' waS obviously not the reason His Grace ripped up the agreement the day after he signed it. Were that the case, he never would have signed it in the first place. Is McFarland suggesting that His Grace would have been that uncertain in the matter of defending the Faith? The reason he reiterated on 24th May why he had rescinded it was expressed fully and directly in his letter of 2nd June. Is McFarland claiming that Archbishop Lefebvre lied in that letter?

In that letter, he explained the reason: he no longer trusted the Pope and Cardinal Ratzinger owing to their attempts to delay appointment of a bishop. They had employed delaying tactics on this before and he was afraid, I presume, that they were waiting for him to die or give up. He was 82 at the time and had cancer.

Obviously, L.'s remarks at the Consecration on 30th June were to express the root cause for the separation, not the immediate cause for rescinding the agreement. McFarland confuses the reason for the Society's founding for the reason for rescinding the Protocol of Agreement.

Lefebvre, perhaps being too trusting in the first place, signed an agreement which did not guarantee complete independence from the local bishops but left conflict-resolution between the Society and them in the hands of a Roman Commission. The majority of the members of this Commission were to be chosen by Rome. In other words, should Cardinal Baloney of Los Angeles refuse to allow the S.S.P.X into his see, the Roman Commission would have the final say in the matter, and we all know what that would mean. In fact, the Protocol of Agreement did not spell out the rights of access of the Society. Not good at all.

Abp. Lefebvre was also worried that Rome was delaying on the bishop because it intended to appoint someone of dubious dispositions.

In 2000, by Bishop Fellay's admission, Rome offered a de facto international diocese for the S.S.S.X. This would have afforded the Society 100% independence from the local radical bishops and the right to establish apostolates wherever it damn well pleased, including right across the street from Baloney's cathedral.

Under the 2000 offer, Rome would have accepted not one bishop of dubious dispositions but four staunch bishops chosen by Lefebvre himself. Would Lefebvre have accepted this in 1988? Of course he would and his own letter of 2nd June proves it. And there is no way that McFarland can wiggle and twist and turn to get out of this. Tell me, McFarland, had the Pope offered not one but four bishops for the Society, four of Lefebvre's own choosing, the four he in fact chose, plus an international diocese, do you think that L. would have taken it? You'd have to be on drugs to deny that he would.

McFarland is finally coming just now (not in previous posts) to assert Fellay's reason for not accepting what he himself called the 'Rolls Royce' structure. The reason, he says, is that understanding has matured since 1988 and they now realise what Lefebvre never did, which is that independence from the Pope is needed to protect the Faith. In fact, this is McFarland's take on Fellay's comments of 2003, which were only that 'conditions have changed since 1988'. Fellay didn't elaborate (at least not on that occasion).

The Society condemned the Campos priests because they swallowed Vatican II in 'the light of tradition'. That fox, Benedict XVI, then said that, of course, this was a 'living tradition'.

But there is a problem here. As Fr. McDonald has explained in an article on this blog, not only is nothing new in Vatican II infallible, nothing new in Vatican II requires assent either. Michael Davies wrote the same thing thirty years ago.

Societies are not persons having souls, only people are. And no Society priest can ever be constrained to accept any new Vatican II teaching, whether interpreted by tradition, living tradition, dead tradition, garden-variety tradition or the Dalai Lama for that matter.

The question then becomes whether or not the expressive errors in those Vatican II documents (errors because ambiguous, at the least), can best be resolved by the questions of a S.S.P.X which is a recognised part of the Church or not.

Disobedience to legitimate authority can never be a privilege; it can only be a necessity. And there is nothing in today's conditions which makes the situation worse than it was in 1988, when L. was prepared to take MUCH LESS. And why are doctrinal resolutions a pressing necessity BEFORE regularisation? If the Pope himself cannot make Society clerics assent to anything new in Vatican II, what is the problem here?

And are conditions worse than they were at Assisi, two years PRIOR to the flawed Protocol of 1988? Not. Au contraire, this Pope has given us S.P. and has lifted the censures of excommunication. He has thrown Piero Marini into the outer darkness. And much more.

Were the S.S.P.X regularised, it could continue its work of correcting the Council, and it would be joined by thousands of faithful who are presently afraid to attend its Masses. Is that better or worse?

Well, my deleted comments on this were much more vicious to Mr. McFarland. Perhaps the Holy Ghost restrained me in His own way.


I have noticed two extremes which I endeavour to combat. First there are the archtraditionalists such as McFarland. They want to be able to justify the S.S.P.X no matter what the facts are. They are driven by emotion and a demonisation of figures such as Cardinal Ratzinger. I can see why. Benedict XVI was a liberal peritus at Vatican II, and he did try to trick Abp. Lefebvre in 1988. Such people will even try to defend the provocative and imprudent remarks of Williamson. Why does a Catholic bishop feel a need to be associated with wildly unpopular matters of secular history? If that is this man's forte, why not become an historian instead?

Then there are the papolaters and neo-conservatives on the other side. They want somehow to arrive at the conclusion that we must always assume the good will of the Pope, no matter what the evidence suggests. They try not to think of the Borgias. Too unsettling. Many of the neo-cons are former hippies. They once had too much facial hair, and while I uphold a man's right to change his mind, I don't entirely trust neo-traditionalist who once wore leather. If you find someone who calls God 'You' instead of 'Thou' and who goes on to 'inform' people that the former is actually more formal, you know that you are dealing with an arrogant neo-con who has no sensus traditionis. They love to preach and they sound informed but they are, in fact, sciolists.

I'm proud to say that I have always been a traditionalist, even at the age of four. I refused to wear bell bottoms when they arrived and forced by poor father to drive all over Toronto to buy trousers which had straight legs. So there.

P.K.T.P.

LeonG said...

"...our Holy FATHER is stretching forth his paternal hand to the Society of St. Pius X...... but of a faith-filled response to the fatherly appeal of "sweet Christ on earth"."

This is a utopian view. Among a number of considerations, Cardinal Ratzinger has a debt to settle and commendably he is doing his best to settle it. However, the act itself does not demonstrate a conversion to Tradition, nor some grand global strategy to restore The Church with Traditional confraternities in the vanguard.

He is also essentially a product of The Councils too and he would like to see a united Church composed of such disparate sects as the Neo-Catechumenal Way which I have studied from the inside and is a subversive un-Catholic institution which roundly condemns The Holy Mass as it is, for example. Include too the protestant emotional Charismatics and the cult-like Opus Dei, Focolare and hundreds of semi-autonomous lay communities. Just one big happy family welded to the interreligious macro-church of world based faiths together with our protestant and orthodox brothers and sisters. And so why open the all-encompassing umbrella over the traditionalists as well? This is the current emphasis of the contemporary Church.

There are too many neo-conservatives who blindly imagine some romanticised notion of a restoration of all things in The Christ a la Pope St Pius X. We are still in the post-conciliarist era. The only factor that has changed is we are beginning to crack the shell of resistance that placed the modernist onslaught & its conciliar spirit above reproach as dogmatic-type and any suspicion of this church being what it is - a new church with a new philosophy.

Collegiality of which he is now fallen victim as his predecessor ; un-Catholic ecumenism; religious liberty; primacy of conscience; the "fabricated" and "inorganic" NO liturgy; pantheistic interreligious tendencies and total chaos throughout the neo-catholic church with damning leading indicators bear objective testimony to this novel international institution. If we focus overly on the SSPX issue it is all too easy to ignore the general direction of the neo-catholic church.

And for those who argue what about social injustice, abortion, euthanasia and sodomy that the modern church stoutly opposes - true it does, but so too do many non-Catholics.

John McFarland said...

Trex,

So what disgusts you is wrong, eh?

How convenient.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

As regards your exegesis of Archbishop Lefebvre, I continue to believe that it's no more than a stubborn refusal to face uncomfortable truths.

But as you correctly note, I agree with Bishop Fellay -- not on his authority, but because I think he's right. The Faith is paramount, and we can't let deals imperil it as long as Rome is modernist. So let's set Archbishop Lefebvre aside and deal with the merits of that contention.

The problem is that your whole argument requires His Grace, because all you really say is that he would have jumped at the 2000 deal.

But Bishop Fellay and I don't agree. What do you have to say to the merits of that position?

Nothing much, I'm afraid.

You make reference to the non-binding character of Vatican II, but ignore the fact that the Vatican has used this non-binding council to revolutionize the Church, and that Papa Ratzinger shows no more sign of abandoning it than did Cardinal Ratzinger or Father Ratzinger.

You then move into a couple of paragraphs of amateur psychoanalysis, which has nothing to do with the merits of my contentions.

So I think when all is said and done, you still owe us an explanation of why Bishop Fellay and I are wrong.

P.S. My interest in l'affaire Williamson is primarily in pointing out that the ultimate issue is, in His Excellency's terms, not emotion but truth. Imprudent or not, provocative or not, I want to know whether the Bishop's remarks are true or not; and I am pretty scandalized at how few traditionalists seem interested in the truth, or even in entertaining the possibility that they might not be the only tiny minority who are the victims of hatred driven by ignorance, prejudice and calumny.

Confiteor said...

LeonG,

Pope Benedict XVI is Peter, the Vicar of Christ. Joining hands with him does not mean that one agrees to drink the Konciliar Koolaid. It simply means that one is willing to submit oneself in reality, not just in theory, to the one whom Our Lord Jesus Christ ordained as the visible head of the Church.

If the SSPX do not find a way to regularize their situation as the Pope clearly desires them to do, if they push his hand away, then all of their claims of loyalty to the Successor of Peter are meaningless.

The good news is that Bishop Fellay is not going to push the Pope's hand away. He is with Peter.

Confiteor said...

There is an excellent interview with Bishop Fellay in The Remanant. Here are a couple of key quotes from H.E.:

We will present to the Holy See our questions, our problems. We hope they will be phrased clearly enough so that the right and appropriate answers will be given. We definitely expect from the Holy Father and the Holy See a true clarification of the Council. What needs to be corrected must be corrected. What needs to be rejected must be rejected. What needs to be accepted must be accepted.
. . .

Once again, I wish to insist that the present situation shows very clearly that it is unthinkable to address the canonical question before having solved the main theological problems.


If Pope Benedict XVI truly intends to collaborate with the SSPX in the work of clarifying the doctrinal issues raised by the Council, his enemies on the Left will step up the attack. We need to stand with the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay. Watch and pray.

Anonymous said...

As usual, McFarland, the artless dodger, can't face the clear fact that Lefebvre would have obviously taken--and said so--far less than what Fellay refuses.

Then this:

"You make reference to the non-binding character of Vatican II, but ignore the fact that the Vatican has used this non-binding council to revolutionize the Church, and that Papa Ratzinger shows no more sign of abandoning it than did Cardinal Ratzinger or Father Ratzinger."

No, I don't ignore this fact: I merely point out that, since it's non-binding, the S.S.P.X can combat these errors more effectively as a recognised part of the Church than otherwise. Since only necessity justifies disobedience to legitimate authority, they are also bound to do so.

Once you have a structure which affords independence from the bishops, plus a recognition from the Pope that you can call into quesiton Vatican II (as even the I.P.B. has), there should no longer be a problem. In fact, under the arrangement offered since 2000, the S.S.P.X, if attacked by the Holy See, could even return to a state of separation with its property intact.

Again, McFarland is merely trying to rationalise his own unjustifiable behaviour in supporting an illegitimate separation from Christ's Vicar.

I agree that Confiteor goes too far in referring to taking the hand of Peter and building tomorrow. There are problems with that, since that hand has itself dabbled materially in heresy. But the opposite tack of refusal goes too far. A cautious co-operation is the right way. That is the most effective way to convert Rome and to convert the heart of the Pope himself and to make him see more clearly the errors of the liberal periti, including his own past errors.

P.K.T.P.

Confiteor said...

A cautious co-operation is the right way. That is the most effective way to convert Rome and to convert the heart of the Pope himself and to make him see more clearly the errors of the liberal periti, including his own past errors.

Agreed. I'd even go further and say that the Holy Father should eventually see his present errors, e.g., the absurdity of a so-called "healthy secularism".

The way of non-cooperation, which McFarland seems to espouse, is a dead end.

John McFarland said...

PKTP,

I understand your premise that the Society is better served to be inside fighting. What I need is some demonstration that you've overcome my various arguments against this contention.

The basic problem with your argument is that THE VATICAN IS MODERNIST. It has made a turn away from God and towards man. It follows that a reconciled SSPX would be fighting against the basic beliefs of the authorities to whom it supposedly has been "reconciled." I put the word in sneer quotes because there is no real reconciliation as long as the Vatican looks to Vatican II as its cynosure. The SSPX is looking to convert the Vatican; the Vatican is looking either to keep the SSPX in the anti-Vatican II "zoo," and ultimately to draw it into a reform of the reform that at best can be a more right-wing modernism.

The Vatican is, at the moment, failing to uphold the true Faith; and so it makes no sense in theory or in practice for the Society to premise its mission on the approval of the unprofitable servants in the Vatican. It is this state of affairs --the Vatican's failure to uphold the Faith -- that is the essence of the state of necessity. Because this failure has not changed, nothing has really changed.

The curious thing is that you agree with pretty much all of my premises, but refuse to draw the obvious conclusion.

Instead, you fall back into the classic Anglo-American routine game in which things are a continuum in which we must get in the "middle" and avoid "extremes," lest we be labeled "extremists," and so worthy to be cast forth into the exterior darkness with people like that dreadful Bishop Williamson. For the proposition that this is a sucker game for Catholics, I recommend that you read or reread the work of John Rao.

P.S.

As regards your characterization of me as a "dodger": I respectfully submit that what's dodgy is focusing on what Archbishop Lefebvre would have done in 2000 (if he hadn't been dead at the time), and not on the merits. But I think we're beyond that now, and in a position to close with the real issues.

Sedes sapientiae, ora pro nobis.

Confiteor said...

John McFarland,

The visible and formal structures of the Church are not a nice-to-have, a man-made convenience. The visible and formal structures of the Church are ordained by Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is one thing to break a law of the Church because of a state of necessity, it is quite another to stay outside the structures of the Church like a trade union seeking leverage against management.

Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. I think that Bishop Fellay is taking the right course.

trex said...

"John McFarland said...

Trex,

So what disgusts you is wrong, eh?

How convenient."

I'm not surprised by your trying to finesse yet one more absurd position you've taken - that seems to be a regular tactic you adopt in these discussions.

But, if you believe, like Williamson, that it is credible to believe no planes hit the WTC or the Pentagon on 9/11 ("John McFarland said...arguments...for 9/ll as an inside job...can't just be laughed off"), just reconfirm your statement (rather than pretend its falsity is irrelevant to assessing your credibility) and we'll have an even better idea about how much to rely on other statements you make on this blog.

And, yes, Williamson's statements on 9/11 are disgusting and an affront to all its victims.

Anonymous said...

Hey John MacFarland,lets talk about your "zoo".

I just don't get how you think the FSSPX will have to consent to the "kool aide" as LeonG puts it? Other zoo inmates have not really capitulated - your criticisms are duly noted however.

Perhaps it is time for all the inmates of the zoo to speak with one voice against modernism and conciliar errors? We all agree that there is a crisis. We all agree the SSPX would be better off with Peter. We all agree that you can leave the zoo - if conditions become unCatholic. If the zoo keepers let the pens get too mucked up then I am sure there would be a zoo revolt and many zoo inmates would leave with you.

However, that may not happen and a banal V2 truce may pervade. I also have to trust Pope Benedict XV1 to be honorable.

While you are guest of the zoo, please rattle the cage, make noise, make the liberal bastards take note of what it means to be Catholic.

Outside the zoo - who pays much attention to the FSSPX but us lamentable traditional Catholics.

The Church needs you "in".

"St. Paul and Silas being in prison praying, praised God at midnight, and then the earth quaked, and all the prison doors opened, and all fetters and bonds of prisoners were loosed...". From Matins,The Little Office of The Blessed Virgin Mary

Anon Anon