Rorate Caeli

The Scapegoat
Ranjith to Colombo

As first mentioned here over one year ago, the mounting pressures against the formidable Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, will finally lead to his departure. Italian Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli reports today that Ranjith's nomination as Archbishop of Colombo, capital city of his native Sri Lanka, will be announced next Saturday.

Tornielli implies that Ranjith could be made a Cardinal (only one occupier of the See of Colombo was ever created Cardinal) in what will be his second exile from the Roman Curia - his first one happened in 2004 when, as adjunct secretary of Propaganda Fide, he was suddenly nominated Nuncio to Indonesia by Pope John Paul II. 

Tornielli also mentions that a prelate from an English-speaking nation could be the new Secretary of Divine Worship, a man who would "pacify the liturgical battlefield"...
____________________
(UPDATE - 1100 GMT) The nomination predicted by Tornielli was not made public this Saturday (Bollettino).

92 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will be appointed bishop Peter J. Elliott or Dom Michael J. Zielinski?

Rumores Vaticani...

Anonymous said...

"pacify the liturgical battlefield".

Translation : surrender of pope Benedict XVI to the Litnik lobby !

Obviously the second exile of Abp Ranjith is already a severe harm to TLM and maybe a sentence of death for the "reform of the reform" that he was a true champion of.

Without a red hat, the surrender will be even more obvious a sort of "Waterloo" on the Napoleonic side for this pontificate.
The March 10 Letter was already a sign of the victory of the secretariate of State "diplomacy", here it would be another one.

Bad news really, even if we had to wait to evaluate the extent of the back-pedalling of the pope in what has always been considered, unanimously, as his top "battlefield".

Alsaticus

Prodinoscopus said...

He's better off being removed from among that brood of vipers.

Ogard said...

Not a surprise: he was too outspoken for the Curia's "diplomatic" approach.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Scapegoat or not, I will welcome Archbishop (and soon to be Cardinal?) Ranjith's presence in Asia.

With him in Asia, the Holy Father will finally have a reliable pair of eyes and ears in Asia, who will tell him the unvarnished truth about the rebelliousness of the Asian hierarchies and their ignoring of countless Roman directives.

At the same time, there will finally be a major prelate in Asia who will unabashedly speak out in favor of the Benedictine vision, finally breaking the spell of the 1960's and 1970's theology that continues to bind the Asian church.

Margaret said...

+UIOGD A good and holy ArchBishop being appointed anywhere is welcomed. The faithful of Asia have suffered without recourse and now God hears their prayers. God be praised for this appointment, let us pray for the Archbishop. ¡Viva Cristo Rey! Margaret

Anonymous said...

If Archbishop Ranjith receives his red hat, and a decent replacement is provided, I see this as a better scenario than leaving him where he is.

Wouldn't you all rather have him in the next conclave than not?

~ Belloc

Dom said...

And my motherland can welcome back such an illustrious son :)

Mornac said...

"Tornielli also mentions that a prelate from an English-speaking nation could be the new Secretary of Divine Worship, a man who would "pacify the liturgical battlefield"..."Francis Cardinal George?

Chocolate Mousse (Light) said...

It will likely be Dr Martin, Archbishop of Dublin

Loidensis said...

Please God his successor, if he is to be an anglophone, does not come from England.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please explain to me why B16 felt he needed to pacily anyone? He's the Pope. What can the bad guys really do? I don't understand.

Anonymous said...

Chocolate Mousse,

God help us if it is Dr. Martin.

That's a very worrisome thought. Can you please share your source?

~ Belloc

roydosan said...

Dr Martin is too old to be a serious candidate.

Cerimoniere said...

The English Magic Circle was talking up Bishop Roche as Secretary of the CDW, as some sort of consolation prize for not getting Westminster. He is, after all, Chairman of ICEL.

Let us pray not!

Anonymous said...

Let's face reality.

Nothing has really changed in the Vatican. It's business as usual.

Discreet Observer said...

I am convinced that this news (not really a surprise to me) will actually be beneficial for the Church. Looking at the wider picture there is now an absolutely sound Prefect of the CDW who has just celebrated the EF of Mass in St John Lateran (the Pope's cathedral) so the time is perhaps opportune to give Archbishop Ranjith the freedom to leave the restrictions of the congregation and speak out more authoritatively. If he does go to Colombo then he will have the platform that he did not really have at the CDW.
I think this may turn out to be good for him personally, good for the Church in Asia, and good for those who espouse the traditions of the universal Church. I pray for those intentions.

There is saying in Sri Lanka that the tiger outside the cage is more dangerous than the tiger inside the cage. Food for thought, perhaps?

Chocolate Mousse (Light) said...

"Dr Martin is too old to be a serious candidate."

Incredible! Dr Martin is the same age as Cardinal Cañizares, who was appointed Prefect very recently to the same dicastery.

You heard it here first people!

FranzJosf said...

I tend to agree with Discreet Observer. The CDW is now in excellent hands, with the new Prefect. Although I'm ignorant of the culturarl/political situation in Sri Lanka, I've heard it said that someone of Abp. Ranjith's stature and ability would be a great blessing to his people. As has been said, the Red Hat is a possibilty there and it isn't in his current position. The "pacify the liturgical battlefield" is the opinion of the writer, not the Gospel Truth. Let's watch and see what happens with the replacement.

Thomasso said...

Ceremoniere - let us pray not indeed.

While the long-suffering folk in Leeds would probably be quite happy, Bishop Roche would not in any way be supportive of the Benedictine reforms - even if he has done a good job in getting a better English translation of the Mass.

Bishop Peter Elliott would be excellent. Unfortunately, it is not we who choose. Let us pray that the Holy Father is able to choose wisely and does not feel contrained to choose a liberal who might be seen to provide 'balance' in the CDW.

Anonymous said...

"Discreet Observer" and the usual yada-yada "everything is perfect" pink-glasses club wrote :

"I am convinced that this news (not really a surprise to me) will actually be beneficial for the Church. Looking at the wider picture"

Yes we can look at the wider picture :
- the reform of the reform has not started in 2009, i.e.e 4 years after the election of the present pope
- the access to TLM is still blocked in numerous countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Germany, several French dioceses, Italy etc. in spite of "Summorum Pontificum"
- the so-announced "Instruction" is still in limbo ...
- the survival of PCED re implementation of the Motu proprio is also unsure since the papal Letter of March 10
- a Fr. Jenkins can insult Catholic doctrine openly as rector of Notre-Dame university, faced 54 (among them 3 cardinals) bishops against his decision without encurring any sanction in a frightening Roman silence
- Abp Fisichella is summoned to negate the Magisterium in a paper published under request by ... the Osservatore Romano
- Austrian bishops can defy Rome and the pope openly without being sent even a word of blame ...
- Abp Zöllitsch, president of GermChurch, can utter some awful statements putting in danger the core of the Christian faith without any reaction.

Yes we can look at a wider picture and immediately understand that something is going seriously wrong !
Sure Abp Ranjith will do marvels in Colombo, a powerful populated Catholic diocese as we know (this is ironical) ... sure the best for the Church would be to have Hans Küng and cardinal Mahony in Rome and all those who fought for TLM and Tradition on remote sees, totally deprived of any real influence. Sure... "discreet observer", how wise is your "observation".

nb. one very good red hat yes, but whether you like it or not it is a disgrace. When Gian Battista Montini got the extremely prestigious diocese of Milan in 1954, and left the Roman Curia, everybody knew that he was disgraced.
We can only say that with a red hat, the nomination to Colombo will be less a disgrace. It will be "honorable discharge".
If someone like Bp Roche is arriving at CDW, the triumph of Litniks will be absolute, even if cardinal Canizares is celebrating TLM every day in St John Lateran.

Alsaticus

Anonymous said...

Scary. Ranjith leaving, Canizares in hospital, pacifiers appointed for appeasement purposes ( a la Chamberlain to Hitler )... we'll see how far this goes.

Carlos, your comment, "Scapegoat or not, I will welcome Archbishop (and soon to be Cardinal?) Ranjith's presence in Asia," is appreciable but a little wanting. Whatever "eyes and ears" Ranjith may be in Asia doesn't translate into anything. Such as the nonsense which on goes here in America and the Holy Father seems somewhat loathe to do anything about them. What's the difference?

As Belloc said though, yes, I would like very much to see Ranjith receive his Red Hat and become "conclavable." It would allow him some actual housecleaning to do rather than remaining in the Curia as a mere mouthpiece.

With all of this rumbling, the Holy Father should do what any Head of anything does, he or his designates walk into the office of the slacker prelate with security and tell him, "Thank you for your services but the Holy Father had decided it's time to part company." They are then given fifteen minutes to clean out their desks and are escorted out. Done. Why this is so hard for the Pope is beyond me and the reason why so much trouble exists in the Church. Do what the heck you want and no one can fire you? No wonder they act like that.

These prelates are not OWED, or ENTITLED. They serve at the pleasure of the Pope and can be dismissed at his pleasure. I suppose the Vatican has an alternate reality.

Matt

Woody Jones said...

"Alsaticus" makes some strong points here, especially when considered also in relation to the George Weigel article on curial incompetence (written from his own neocon point of view, of course, but nonetheless reflecting growing concern that something is wrong inside the Curia). The absence of a strong voice like Abp Ranjith from the center of power in the Church must be taken as a negative development in the battle for a properly orthodox point of departure for the Church for the future. One wonders, indeed, how this development will be understood in, say, Econe -- or Moscow.

Contrast this with the "Inside the Vatican" story just come across the email ether, about the strong team being assembled by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. One really has to ask where is the center of Christian dynamism these days.

Iakovos said...

Not one person here responding to the original post -- a baiting of the hook if I ever saw one for bottom feeder reactions -- knows the real reasons for the Pope's approval of this decision. O ye of little faith! Think again of what this Pope has done already for Liturgy and Doctrine -- and now he will sell all that for a mess of pottage? Dear folks, relax, chill, hope!

Anonymous said...

The reform of the reform is irreversible now. It is only a matter of when, not if.
Pray and do good, and don't worry about those who don't know what they're talking about (bad paraphrase of Padre Pio).

Brian said...

Alsaticus,
Thank you for telling it like, I fear, it is.

Mitch said...

I think this is good news. +Ranjinth goes to Sri Lanka, helps in the peace process there, gets real diplomatic cred, gets a red hat, implements the new liturgical movement in his country; all of this results in his promotion to prefect of something, maybe SecState, who knows.

In the end I think this will end with him getting really good "pastoral" and diplomatic credentials and proving that the NLM can be implimented well and that it boosts the faith. He gets a red hat, and is papabile. (Especially if he can play a major role in the peace process between the Sri Lankan Gov't and the Tamils). Frankly it wouldn't suprise me if thats what Pappa Benny has in mind.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"Carlos, your comment, "Scapegoat or not, I will welcome Archbishop (and soon to be Cardinal?) Ranjith's presence in Asia," is appreciable but a little wanting. Whatever "eyes and ears" Ranjith may be in Asia doesn't translate into anything. Such as the nonsense which on goes here in America and the Holy Father seems somewhat loathe to do anything about them. What's the difference?"

Matt:

So, the Vatican should only care about what goes on in America? What narrow-mindedness! But then, if there is anything I've learned here and in other blogs, it is that not a few Western Catholics think that it's all Europe and the USA and nothing else exists outside these.

Permit me to present the following facts about the Asian Church:

1) The Asian church has more priests and seminarians than Africa, and is arguably the biggest growth region for the Catholic Church. Africa may have the raw numbers in terms of lay faithful but Asia has the growth in terms of clergy and institutions.

2) Ranjith in Rome or not, Benedict XVI as Pope or not, the Asian church has remained largely oblivious to the Benedictine attempt to resacralize the liturgy of the Church, and has remained unaffected by the movements in the Western Church to restore some measure of doctrinal orthodoxy. Asian dissent or doctrinal heterodoxy may not be as loud or outlandish as that in the West, but it is equally real and perverse.

3) As the Church in Europe and America face a major collapse in clergy numbers in the next 5-10 years, and as the number of their seminarians continues to steadily dwindle, the Western Churches will be forced to rely more and more on priests and religious from Asia and Africa. India and the Philippines, for example, each have hundreds of priests stationed in the USA alone.

This last fact alone should make Western Catholics realize the importance of helping to restore liturgical orders and doctrinal orthodoxy in Asia. You do not want priests who know nothing but the fossilized 70's and 80's theology and liturgics still prevalent in many parts of the Asian Church.

Some commentators on this box denounce the "yada yada crowd" for not seeing this in a bad light. I reply: if Ranjith remains in Rome, well and good; but his transfer to Asia will not necessarily be a disaster. Those who say that Ranjith is needed in Rome in order to improve things there need to realize that he has already been there for a couple of years and the current bad situation for the liturgy already has his presence in Rome taken into account!

At least, an Archbishop (or Cardinal) Ranjith in Sri Lanka will be a powerful voice for the vision of Benedict XVI in an area still completely dominated by liberal theologies. His presence in Asia will be a beacon for orthodoxy there, and may help usher in the long-delayed awakening of the Asian Church to the need to restore orthodoxy and the sense of the sacred. Given the importance that the Asian Church will have in the Catholic Church in the 21st century, this cannot but be a great gain for the universal Church as well.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Remember that Archbishop Ranjith is being sent to his homeland partly because of the civil war there. It is no secret that the Archbishop has a major role in the Sri Lankan peace process.

If Archbishop Ranjith helps to successfully negotiate a peace treaty in Sri Lanka, in one of the world's longest-running civil wars, that will make him a powerful voice respected by all in the Church. The liberals will not be able to skewer him anymore as a mere "right-wing mouthpiece."

It will also make him a very real, and a very serious, papabile.

Think about the possibilities...

No, this is not necessarily an exile.

Ogard said...

What His Grace will certainly need for his seminary are modern, fully Catholic, books on Philosophical Ethics and Moral Theology. I have in mind the Professor Grisez’ monumental work: The Way of the Lord Jesus, in three volumes (pp 900 each), Professor William May’s Introduction to Moral Theology; and Catholic Bioethics; and Professor Finnis’: Aquinas: Moral, Political and Legal Theory; Fundamentals of Ethics; Moral Absolutes.

I am sure he would need multiple copies, depending on number of students, and the total cost might be ca. $15.000, plus shipping and clearance.

There is a foundation for this and other similar projects in Moral Theology, and anyone able to afford, is welcome to help us to meet the target.

English speaking Catholic seminaries of the Third World are infiltrated with dissenting Moral Theologians, qualified in the affluent West, and everyone who is familiar with the present situation in the Church, and knows doctrine, realizes that it all boils down to the false Moral Theology in seminaries. Dissent both in doctrine and discipline/liturgy is the sin against Faith, while the dissenting Moralists have disposed with mortal sin and the moral obligation of Catholics to live according to the traditionally proposed moral norms.

Anonymous said...

To Carlos Antonio Palad in particular :

I have BIG doubts upon a mediation today in Sri Lanka : the Sri Lankan government is not aiming at any mediation but is seeking the complete capitulation of the Tamil Tigers.
So if Sri Lanka is "the cause", the timing for the departure is ... weird. A year ago would have been more logical.
I like the capacity of imagination of some when obvious reasons are there, just before our eyes, so big they cannot see them.

I fully agree that one excellent archbishop in Colombo will do some good for the tiny Catholic Church in Sri Lanka.
If you want a comparison with Europe, look at Switzerland. When Bp Haas from big diocese of Chur was translated to the extra-tiny see of Vaduz, as "archbishop", his influence dropped down.
yes it's fantastically good for Liechstentein but dramatically bad for Switzerland. Now put "Curia" where you have Chur and "Colombo" where you have Colombo.

I guess you'll understand this time what is really at stake.

In a way, you're the one who is turning down the Asian Church because you want us to believe that there is NOT A SINGLE priest in Colombo that could be an excellent bishop ? The one and only orthodox Asian bishop is in Rome ?
Really Carlos ?
I'm far less pessimistic than you myself. I'm sure there are dozens of excellent priests in Sri Lanka and more in Asia.

nb. yes Abp Ranjith can improve the desastrous situation of the Asian Church. But this will require more than an archbishop in Sri Lanka and more than a possible isolated red hat.

Anonymous said...

Dates to watch for:

Tuesday 5th May: Feast of St. Pius V: Clarification of "Summorum Pontificum". It won't be an arrangement for the S.S.P.X, which is politically impossible so close before the Pope's trip to Palestine. It will be appropriate to clarify the status of the Mass that St. Pius V declared good for all time. His feastday is too universal to apply only to the S.S.P.X. The real question is whether or not the Pope will go beyond clarifying Articles 2, 4, and 5 to counter episcopal obstruction of the apostolic letter. For example, will the Holy See clarify the full meaning of the mandatory provision mentioned in Article 1? What does it mean to assert (and the Latin text supports the term 'must', by the way) that the old Mass *must* be given "due honour for its ancient and venerable usage"? Does this mean that, in addition to the provisons already mentioned in later Articles, every diocesan bishop *must* arrange at least one T.L.M. in his diocese? How can one give due honour to something if one does not make it available at least when faithful are bound to attend Mass, and is not the diocese, out of which the Church subsists, the ordinary forum for this expression? (cf. ironically, Lumen Gentium on this). Does it mean that, should a diocesan bishop be unable to offer this Mass on Sundays (even daily, in fact), the P.C.E.D. can 'help' him by sending a priest? As everyone has been obsessing over Article 5, nobody has noticed the importance of Article 1. It is NOT a mere formality. I've checked the Latin text and it expresses a strict obligation, not merely a strong recommendation.

It may be that the only way to assure that the old Mass is given its due honour for its ancient and venerable usage would be to erect an international diocese proper to it. You do what you have to under the law. Another possibility would be to erect an Apostolic Delegature. The Delegate, seated at Rome (or, even better, at Trent) would exercise the Pope's universal authority throughout the world to regulate celebration of the old Mass, including those Masses which are offered by diocesan priests who are subject to their local ordinaries. Priests would remain subject to their local bishops except insofar as they exercise their right to celebrate the old Mass. The Apostolic Delegate would have the authority, however, to send priests into dioceses when necessary to enable the local bishop to comply with Article 1 of S.P., which every bishop is duty-bound to do to the best of his ability. When the most immediate authority is unable to fulfil a requirement of law, and when faithful ask for the right to be given, it falls to the univeral and immediate authority, that of the Holy See, to do its best to fulfil the duty--to the extent reasonably possible.

Also, consider this: The P.C.E.D. is being integrated into the C.D.F. because its work of reconciling the S.S.P.X is now doctrinal. But what about the other rôle of the P.C.E.D.?: it is also responsible for implementing the Pope's motu proprio (cf. Article 12 thereof). This has NOTHING TO DO with doctrine but is a duty in regard to liturgy. It would be inappropriate to transfer this duty to the C.D.F., and yet the Cardinal has said that the P.C.E.D. is being entirely integrated into the C.D.F. What if the Pope is planning on creating a structure for tradition: a particular church the ordinary for which would have the authority to implement "Summorum Pontificum"? It might be an Apostolic Delegature centred at Rome, or it might be a universal apostolic administration or diocese.

Monday, 29th June: Feast of SS. Peter & Paul: a decree regarding the status of the S.S.P.X? Possibly. This is a time for the Pope to exercise his universal authority; and it is one day *before* the unapproved consecrations of 1988--21 years later. Another possibility here is the erection of an international structure for *all* traditionalists under the Pope's authority, which would signal an 'offer' for the S.S.P.X to be eventually part of it.

Third Sunday in July (Feast of the Holy Redeemer on the Redemptorist Calendar), 19th July: Canonical structure for the Sons of the Holy Redeemer.

Thursday, 3rd September: Feast of St. Pius X: Faculties for the S.S.P.X.

Before Advent: retirement of Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, who turns 80 on 4th July; and integration of the P.C.E.D. into the C.D.F. Perl, if we're lucky, might be kicked upstairs and be made the new Archbishop of Luxembourg. The present Bishop, Fernand Franck, is now well past 75.

Meanwhile, the C.D.W.D.S. will continue a 'project' to reform the New Mass, no doubt with contributions from consultors such as Msgr. Bux and Frs. Vitiello and Lang, &c. The new Secretary of the C.D.W. will presumably be named on Saturday or Monday.

P.K.T.P.

Ogard said...

ANONIMOUS P.K.T.P

“It may be that the only way to assure that the old Mass is given its due honour… would be to erect an international diocese proper to it. Another possibility would be to erect an Apostolic Delegature.”

According to Bishop Fellay (interview published in the SSPX UK Newsletter, May 2009, date of the interview not given) the Holy See is willing to set up an Apostolic Administration for the whole world, which would be, in other words, a world-wide diocese independent of local bishops, fully entitled to establish its institutions everywhere.

But the SSPX insists on resolution of doctrinal issue first, and by that they mean the abandonment of all doctrines of Vatican II, which are incompatible with what they conceive to be “tradition”.

My understanding of the interview is that the “Rome” would be willing to establish the Administration before the doctrinal issues have been resolved, but the SSPX wouldn’t have it that way. “Rome must put things back in their places and come back to Tradition, its own Tradition” (p. 32).

In other words, “Rome” must admit errors, not the SSPX, before the latter have accepted the status of an Apostolic Administration.

Anonymous said...

"Let's face reality.

Nothing has really changed in the Vatican. It's business as usual.

30 April, 2009 17:07



THIS IS THE BEST ANSWER OF ALL.
DESPIRE 4 YEARS OF THE PRESENT POPE, THIS IS THE TRUTH.
NOTHING REALLY HAS CHANGED.
IF HE DOES BRING IN AN ENGLISH SPEAKING SECRETARY OF CDW WHO IS KNOWN AS A LIBERAL (OR AT ELAST SOFT ON THE TLM), THEN WE CAN SAY THAT ONCE AGAIN, POPE BENNY CAVED IN, AND IT IS INDEED "business as usuall" in the Vatican. As is has been for 40 years.

Anonymous said...

"Before Advent: retirement of Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, who turns 80 on 4th July; and integration of the P.C.E.D. into the C.D.F. Perl, if we're lucky, might be kicked upstairs and be made the new Archbishop of Luxembourg. The present Bishop, Fernand Franck, is now well past 75."

This , especially, is a rather ridiculous prediction. Where does this person have his info. from?

I doubt anything will happen on any of these dates.

As for Perl being "kicked upstairs" to be an Archbishop in Luxembourg....Perl is already 71 or 72, so a confortable retirement is all he can hope for.

Anonymous said...

I would have very bad opinion of Pope Benedict XVI if Archbishop Darmuid Martin of Dublin (a known radical dissenter), is brought back into the Roman Curia as CDW Sec.
He's 64, which is not "too old" to cause trouble for another 11 years.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ogard:

Thank you for that crucial information. Who says that the Holy See has to wait for the S.S.P.X to agree to anything? Rome could set up the international apostolic administration next Tuesday (Feast of St. Pius V, not St. Pius X!) and then merely invite the S.S.P.X to be part of it as a society of apostolic life, like the F.S.S.P. Of course, the Pope would appoint a traditionalist prelate of his own choice. I vote for Ranjith Patagendige Don!

Why should the Vicar of Christ wait hand and foot on the S.S.P.X? It's time to reward the rest of us. He could appoint an apostolic administrator tomorrow and incorporate various Ecclesia Dei traditionalist societies into it, groups such as the Sons of the Holy Redeemer, the I.C.R., the F.S.S.P., the I.B.P. and so forth (there are about thirty of them). When the Society has finished its 'doc talk' thirty years from now, it can join it or get one of its own, also being international.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ogard:

I wonder if you would be so kind as to quote Bishop Fellay's words directly on the Letter for the U.K.

Peter Karl T. Perkins
Victoria, B.C., Canada

Anonymous said...

Perl is 71 or 72? No he isn't. He's in his early sixties, no?

P.K.T.P.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"Why should the Vicar of Christ wait hand and foot on the S.S.P.X? It's time to reward the rest of us...."

Music to my ears, as someone whose health collapsed partly due to the strains of the battle for the TLM.

Hebdomadary said...

Whatever moves Ranjith closer to a red hat, I can live with. God Bless Archbishop Ranjith and his noble service to Holy Church. Wherever he is, my prayers for him follow. May he return to Rome a holy priest of even greater stature. Our Lady, intercede for him.

andyjourn said...

Forget all this speculation as to why the archbishop is moving.

It is for the simple reason that the pope needs a new archbishop of Colombo. It has little to with any °pressure° being put on this man, by those who oppose the Benedictine liturgical reform.

The nation of Sri Lanka is a country that has been beleaguered by many years of civil war. Archbishop Ranjith, as a member of the Sinhalese majority, nevertheless has friends in the minority Tamil community, so he is seen as a figure that can build unity in the country.

Also, having been a papal nuncio in Indonesia and East Timor (two countries that have been at loggerheds with each other also) he has diplomatic experience to facilitate reconciliation in Sri Lanka as well.

The Catholic Church while it has concerns over the direction the liturgy has taken since Vatican II, nevertheless also concerns itself with peace and justice in the world.

Yes, it would appear more likely tha he will gain a red hat through this appointment, but seeing conspiracies as the reason for every papal decision, is not a very common sense view of looking at this type of situation.

But first of all, let us wait for this news to be confirmed anyway.

Anonymous said...

Msgr. Perl is 70 (DOB 10/13/1938).

Ogard said...

ANONYMOUS P.K.T.P.

“ Why should the Vicar of Christ wait hand and foot on the S.S.P.X? It's time to reward the rest of us. He could appoint an apostolic administrator tomorrow and incorporate various Ecclesia Dei traditionalist societies into it, groups such as the Sons of the Holy Redeemer, the I.C.R., the F.S.S.P., the I.B.P. and so forth.”

Yes, the Holy See can do all you say, in theory. But what would be the consequences for the mainstream Church - nobody knows. The Pope is evidently determined to maintain at least a nominal unity of the present hierarchy, because should any hierarch made a formal break – and any can do it as the late AbpL did it easily - he would lead into a schism thousands of innocent, ill informed people, who would find themselves “out” without having, in any real sense, a proper grasp of what the quarrel is all about. The Church has learnt a lesson from the past: all the previous separations were equally due to those who chose a schism or heresy, and to the Holy See's too hasty acts. The victims were the innocent flocks. Millions of the present “schismatics” and “heretics” have no clue what their “schism” or “heresy” is all about, apart from the fact that that they are faithful to their own traditions as they have received it.

The offer of the Holy See to the SSPX is so extraordinarily generous – they are not, for the time being, required to accept the post-Pius XII doctrine - that Bishop Fellay admitted: “it is still difficult for us to completely assess”. He says: “(T)his legal solution is unprecedented, it is ‘sui generis’ “ (p 28). I suppose that the Pope is sure that the well- organized and worldwide SSPX would be helpful in bringing the mainstream Church to its senses. He presumably thinks that he cannot afford the same with other traditional groups.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that should the Bishop Fellay accept the offer, one if not two of the four SSPX bishops wouldn’t follow him, and would be supported by hard-liners among the “faithful”.

You ask: “I wonder if you would be so kind as to quote Bishop Fellay's words directly on the Letter for the U.K.”

It isn’t the “letter”, but an interview, on six pages. I can give only a few quotes, which cannot be but out of the whole context. I presume the interview will soon be available everywhere. It is difficult to figure out what happened and when, because no dates are given.

“With apostolic administration…(w)e would be able to carry out our apostolate autonomously, without needing to obtain the authorization of the diocesan bishop, since we would have a real diocese…extend(ed) to the whole world.”

Question: “ …why you didn’t immediately accept…” - Answer: “…other circumstance were not favourable…Firstly, the way Rome dealt with the Fraternity of St. Peter…Also, we saw very quickly the reaction of certain number of bishops and cardinals: they were furious…some of them threatened disobedience….It was with this in mind that we proposed two preliminaries” i..e. lifting excommunications, and free TLM.

These preliminaries being granted, it would appear, I repeat: it would appear, that the Pope is willing to set up the Apostolic Administration and leave the doctrinal debate for better times, while the SSPX insists on solution of doctrinal difficulties first.

And the difficulties are (not presented as a list, but what I have picked up from various, in passing, places of the interview): Assisi, forests of Togo, synagogue, mosque, critique of Vatican II, Mass, ecumenism. The Bishop did not address the subject as such.

At the end: “So, we prefer to keep our freedom…rather than let ourselves be isolated in a zoo. We must…re-launch debate, but without their imposed condition that any agreement can only be practical.” “Tradition” must be allowed “to assume her rightful place at Rome, and Rome to rediscover her Tradition.”

Anonymous said...

Perl was born on 13/10/38. Thanks for that information. It is not on-line anywhere. What is the source for that?

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ogard:

From what you have written, it looks to me as if Rome has simply renewed its offer made since 2000 for the international and exempt 'ritual' apostolic administration unde Canon 372.2. And Fellay's rejection is unchanged.

I don't think that, should the Pope simply grant this unilaterally to existing Ecclesia Dei groups, there is any danger of a schism on the left. That is because the apostolic letters of this Pope and the last one have prepared the way for this. Really, such a structure would not change the situation on the ground much for years to come. Why? It is because the local bishops would still control access to 99% of the world's churches and chapels. The effect would be that they would gradually come to obstruct the old Mass less and less, mainly in order to avoid losing face. No bishop wants a 'legit' chapel suddenly to appear accross the street from his cathedral. But most bishops need not fear that because most traditionalists in Western countries (where the available money for churches is) already have access to traditional Latin Masses.

The Pope clearly wants the Society to be regularised. One way is to lure them in. That has not worked. The other way is to create the structure unilaterally and then let the new 'competition' from the approved groups pressure them in. That might not work either but it would advance the cause of tradition, which the Pope clearly believes would help restore the Church.

P.K.T.P.

Paul Haley said...

It is apparent to me that the SSPX is considered by many to be the "problem" with respect to the reconciliation talks taking place but I beg to differ. The statistics regarding the practice of the Faith since 1965 as documented by E. Michael Jones show clearly that the Faith is in decline almost everywhere except in traditional chapels, be they SSPX or independent (at least this is what I've been told and I know it is true in the chapel I attend). Yet, Bishop Fellay is excoriated for not accepting "Rome's generous offer" until he and they clarify doctrinal issues. This, despite the fact that the Holy Father could, at any time, were he so inclined, grant faculties "ex cathedra" to all the SSPX bishops and priests, and other independent priests as well, professing loyalty to the Holy See under what has always been considered rightful clerical obedience to one's superiors.

The SSPX know what happened in 1988 and they want to be sure, this time, that there are no roadblocks to unity. Presumably, Rome wants this as well. So, the talks go forward amidst the hopes and prayers of thousands, maybe millions of Catholics that they will be successful. But, in the meantime Catholic hierarchs make abominable statements with Bishop Zollitch of the German Bishops Conference being the latest to put his foot in his mouth and, yet, the SSPX is considered the "problem". What Bishop Zollitch said with respect to Christ not having died in expiation of our sins does not in any way equate to what Bishop Williamson said was his personal opinion formed over 20 years ago regarding the number of Jewish victims in the death camps and their manner of death. But the SSPX is the problem, you see, and nothing can be done until they submit.

Egads, it boggles the mind that with the world in such dire circumstances with homosexuality equated with the struggle for human rights, with slaughter of the innocents constantly on the increase, with the Divine institution of marriage between one man and one woman constantly under attack by so-called courts of Justice, with Catholic universities honoring individuals at complete odds with catholic teaching, with Catholic politicians openly defying Catholic principles, with the salvation of souls hanging in the balance...the SSPX is considered the problem?

And why is it that they are the problem? Because they choose to follow what has always and everywhere been believed as Catholic doctrine from the days of the early Church until now. And not only the SSPX but other groups which refused to follow them into disobedience and yet to this day are characterized as outside the Church. Yes, indeed, it boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

Msgr. Perl:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Perl

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Mr. Haley writes here. The good news is that the Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia, has finally--finally!--disciplined Fr. Peter Kennedy, who denied both the divinity of Christ and the Virgin Birth from the pulpit.

The bad news is that Bishop Lussier of Joliette, Canada, will not--refuses to--discipline his priest, Fr. Raymond Gravel, who vehemently advocates the legalisation of both abortion and inverted marriage.

Once 'Frs.' Kennedy and Gravel have been burnt at the stake--and not before--S.S.P.X might become a 'problem', although I can't see how it can be a problem to adhere to what the Church has always taught, uncontaminated, pure.

Please grant the S.S.P.X faculties, Holy Father, whether they need them or not. It would end confusion and might save souls.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Christians today have no influence in South Asian politics and I reckon that Archbishop Ranjith in Colombo will be no exception.

You will note that the supposedly secularist government of India has called for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, concerned about the fate of (Hindu?) Tamils. But it has done virtually nothing for the oppressed Catholics and other Christians of Khandamal district of Orissa, India, some of whom have been in refugee camps for two and a half years.

The latest heard is that some of these refugees (mostly Catholics rather than Protestants) are embracing Hinduism in order to be able to return to their homes and fields, or what's left of them.

Moving further away, you are all aware that the Chapel of Apparitions was desecrated by the allowing of a Hindu service some years ago. It is ironic that the community involved does not lag behind in the funding of Hindu fundamentalism. In their home state of Gujarat a pogrom against Muslims there saw the loss of 3000 lives a few years ago. Furthermore, it is not unusual to hear of routine desecration of Christian churches in that area.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information on Msgr. Perl. It is not too late for him to be transferred to Luxembourg at the age of 70 or 71. This would be uncommon but I would not say 'rare'. In the case of Eastern bishops, they can be transferred at even older ages, as late as 73 or 74.

When this does happen, when there is an appointment of a prelate in his early seventies, there seems to be an unwritten rule that Rome ignores their letters of resignation until they have completed a term of five full years. Then the clock starts to tick, so they would typically get six or seven years. Hence, were Perl transferred at the age of 71, he'd stay until he was 77 or 78. To retire at that age, for an archbishop especially, is not rare at all. Bishop Romélus of Jéremie, in Haïti, is already past his 78th birthday, and there are other such cases in Thailand, Swaziland, Uganda (Bishop Willigers, aged 78), the Philippines, and so forth. Not too late although less likely, I admit.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Archbishop Ranjith's presence in Asia will be "influential"?

Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam are absolutely, absolutely THRIVING in Asia. Catholicism trundles along here with a minimal seepage to the Protestant sects. Moreover, almost all Catholics in places like Sri Lanka and India are very satisfied with the liturgy. "Participation" is the mantra chanted by all.

There are comments on the SSPX posted in connection with the Ranjith issue. The SSPX has a new Rosary Crusade in place. Have they asked rank and file Catholics what they think about it? The Asia superior wants his people to rope as many Catholics into this venture. Even though he knows that in Asia most rank and file do not want the Latin Mass back?

Ogard said...

ANONYMOUS P.K.T.P.

I do not claim to know details. The main thing is – and I found it surprisingly encouraging because, for years, I have been convinced that without it the life of the Church will continue to deteriorate - I mean: without Holy Father’s willingness to set up a world-wide structure, independent of local bishops, and directly subjected to him and with the right to establish itself everywhere.

It goes beyond saying that should such a structure be granted to the SSPX, and if they were willing to reconsider their erroneous assessment of the post-Pius XII doctrine (in point of fact, they do not fully accept Pius XII doctrine either) they would be a blessing to the Church. Their well established organization, exemplary devotion with which they offer the Holy Sacrifice, their readiness to stand for the Holy Tradition, albeit only up to the point at which they have frozen it, would contribute to the stability in the Church; because the liberals are making a mess not only of the Vatican II mature notion of Tradition, but of the whole of Tradition.

There is some similarity between what the Pope, if the report is true, is willing to grant to the SSPX and receive them in full communion of the Church, with what is known among theologians as the “Ratzinger’s model” of restoration of full communion between the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches, more accurately: “between East and West” because the two Churches are only partially separated. In his book Theologische Prinzipienlehre 1982 (English trans. Principles of Catholic Theology, 1987, pp 198-200) he says: “it is the task of every responsible Christian…to create a spiritual climate for the theologically possible; under the compelling mandate of the unity without sameness, … to enquire not just about the defensibility of union, of mutual recognition, but even more urgently ABOUT DEFENSIBILITY OF REMAINING SEPARATE, FOR IT IS NOT UNITY THAT REQUIRES JUSTIFICATION BUT THE ABSENCE OF IT (emphasis mine).

Whether His Holiness now holds the same view I do not know, but it does appear that he applies the same line of thinking to the separation of the SSPX and the Church. Here is what he wrote:

“Cardinal Humbert… in the same bull in which he excommunicated the Patriarch…designated the Emperor…and people of Constantinople as ‘very Christian and orthodox’, although their concept of the Roman primacy was certainly fare less different from that of Cerularius than from that of, let us say, of the First Vatican Council …Rome must not require more from the East in respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. When the Patriarch Athenagoras…designated him (Pope Paul VI, my note) as the successor of St. Peter, as the most esteemed among us,…who presides in charity” he “was expressing the essential content of the doctrine of primacy as it was known in the first millennium.”

“Rome need not ask for more. Reunion could take place in this context, if on the one hand, the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development, while, on the other hand, the West would recognize the Church of the East as orthodox and legitimate in the form she has always had.”

The similarity with the SSPX is striking. The letter’s acceptance of the primacy is similar to that of the Orthodox: it is all o.k. so long as the Pope is in line with what they conceive as true “Tradition”. The Pope is willing to let them have their view about post-Pius XII doctrine, provided they admit it is legitimate, and do not hold it erroneous.

Regarding your view as to what would happen if the Pope created autonomous structures unilaterally, and then let the new 'competition' from the approved groups pressure the SSPX in, I have a mixed feeling about it. I wish I were mistaken, but do not think I am. The approved traditional groups are too small, and the informal group of those whose main aim is the TLM is too disorganized to be viable, unless the Pope undertook to organize it, and thus strain his relations with local bishops, which is already strained. I have a “gut feeling” that 50% of the hierarchy is no longer materially Catholic, and these would vigorously object to any autonomous group on their territories.

Jordanes said...

Ogard, even though he chooses the "Anonymous" option on Blogger, Mr. Perkins always signs his comments, so he's not really "Anonymous" -- so please stop calling him "Anonymous P.K.T.P." Whether or not it is your intention, it gives the impression that you're intentionally trying to annoy him.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

On Ogard's last comment:

A universal structure without the S.S.P.X could certainly be large enough. There are currently about thirty approved socities and orders. They include the F.S.S.P. (at least 208 priests and 130 seminarists), the I.C.R. (at least 50 priests), the Sons of the Holy Redeemer (at least 30 monks and priests), The Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer in France, the I.B.P. (now in four or five countries), the Institute of St. Philip Neri in Berlin, the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, the Carmelite monks in Wyoming, four or five congretations of Benedictine monks in France and one in the U.S.A., the Oasis of Jesus in Spain, the Canons Regular of the Mother of God (quite a few priests in it in France I believe), the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, the Servants of Jesus and Mary, the Grey Penitents,the Institute of the Holy Cross of Riaumont, and so forth. All told, the S.S.P.X has about 500 priests. I'd say that the approved groups have about 300 to 350.

But we need not limit such a structure to such groups. The new apostolic administration could have its own diocesan priests and territorial parishes. Some of these could be reconciled groups which are currently independent, like Fr. Finnegan's church in Arizona. I can imagine, say, 25 independent chapels joining up and others being founded from scratch.

The objection from the bishops is easily answered. It would take years--even decades--for such a structure to acquire its own network of churches and chapels. In the mean time, the new traditional prelate would still have to go hat in hand to the local bishops to gain access to their sacred places. A group like the I.C.R. (Institute of Christ the King) would no longer need the permission of the local bishop to establish an apostolate in a diocese but would still need his permission to use one of his churches.

So the bishops would not suddenly lose all their power in this matter. On the other hand, most bishops would co-operate because they just never know when some local group of traditionalists might come up with the funding needed to found a traditionalist parish.

Such a structure would make it in the best interest of both parties to work co-operatively: bishops don't want to lose face when some new parish gets founded on their turf; and the new traditionalists would rather have access to the beautful old churches.

Bishops don't want to lose face. They don't want it to *appear* that they have lost control of their own territory. They can prevent this by permitting more Masses celebrated by their own priests under S.P., and also by showing support for and co-operation with the new structure.

You can force a camel to the well but you can't make him drink. However, you can pour a bucket of water over his head. If the S.S.P.X won't accept what Bishop Fellay himself calls the 'Rolls Royce' structure, the Pope can grant it to the approved groups unilaterally and then merely invite the S.S.P.X to be part of it, or to have a parallel structure. Perhaps some competition will induce them to broaden their perspective. First the carrot, then the stick.

P.K.T.P.

Ogard said...

JORDANES
It was not my intention to annoy anyone – and I am sorry if Mr. Perkins took it that way – but there is another Anonymous, there might be more than one in fact as that identity seems popular, who doesn’t end his posts with “P.K.T.P.”, and my sole intention was to make clear to whose contribution I refer to.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"The SSPX has a new Rosary Crusade in place. Have they asked rank and file Catholics what they think about it? The Asia superior wants his people to rope as many Catholics into this venture. Even though he knows that in Asia most rank and file do not want the Latin Mass back?"

Regardless of whether they want the Latin Mass back or not, many Catholics are willing to pray the Rosary for any good intention. The triumph of the Immaculate Heart is something for which a lot of Catholics -- including charismatics and Marian "conservatives" who have little involvement with the TLM -- long for.

I would also assert that most Catholics in Asia are not asking for the Latin Mass because they are not aware of it. Once they come face to face with it, I'm sure that large numbers of Asian Catholics will ask for the TLM to be brought back into "normal" parish life.

Count me in the new rosary crusade, even if I may have some personal misgivings about the intentions behind it.

By the way, the diocesan TLM community in the Diocese of Cubao is also joining the rosary crusade.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Mr. Perkins:

Don't leave out the FFI from your count. I think they have 300 friars.

Anonymous said...

First, I was not annoyed by being referred to as "Anonymous P.K.T.P.;

On Mr. Palad's comment:

What is the F.F.I.?

P.K.T.P.

Ogard said...

Annonymous 3rd May.

You are right in principle, Palad’s addition of the FFI too, and may I suggest the Opus Dei would be the best institution to hold all these small groups together. The principle of the Opus Dei is that they are willing to serve the Church as the Church wants them to serve her. So, if the Pope tells them to replace the OF with the EF (I think the more appropriate name would be the SF, i.e. the Superior Form) they would certainly do it. Their present status of Personal Prelature, although autonomous in a way, is nevertheless restricted in a sense that their activity is subject to a local Ordinary’s approval, and the people, who are not formally members, remain under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary. However, the Pope can change that status.

So, you are arguing with the converted. But apart from whether the Pope is willing to adopt the idea, I don’t think it is popular among traditional Catholics who are still living in the hopeless hope that the restoration of sanity in the Church can be achieved through he present system of dioceses. The latter are, in my view, hopelessly beyond repair if left to their own resources.

It remains to us to seize any opportunity that offers, to promote the idea – I wrote to the CDW and ED long time ago – that is all we can do.

Anonymous said...

Interesting fact : no nomination/resignation happened.

Maybe a second thought has been given on this question or the permanent pressure put by Vaticanists on Mgr Ranjith "soon to leave the Roman Curia" is coming from one source, a source that could try to put pressure on the ... pope.
Journalists may become unwilling/unconscious agents of the Bugninist lobby within the Curia, plus the usual 1938-type "appeasers".

Alsaticus

Oliver said...

The Ecclesia Dei members are merely stooges of conciliarism and modern Rome will not grant them more independence than they already have. Traditionalism has been fought for and reluctantly granted because of the strong SSPX presence outside the weakened walls of Rome. Reducing its influence has and is a continuing strategy in spite of seemingly friendly words and gestures. The Society as a whole will never enter these walls even if Fellay wobbles again and suddenly defects. There are too many strong individuals within the SSPX to form a strong resistance and continue the fight against Vatican 2. Rome is just happy with more division.

Ogard said...

Carlos Antonio Palad

“I would also assert that most Catholics in Asia are not asking for the Latin Mass because they are not aware of it. Once they come face to face with it, I'm sure that large numbers of Asian Catholics will ask for the TLM to be brought back into ‘normal’ parish life.”

I don’t think it is the case only in Asia, but I am not sure that the large numbers will literally ask for the TLM. The large numbers would simply go along with it as the, now older, generation did when the NO was introduced. Two examples:

In the London Oratory, the TLM was celebrated on Sundays in their nearby chapel for years, and overwhelmingly attended by traditionalists. But the chapel had to be closed for a refurbishment; so, the Mass was moved to the main church, tightly squeezed in the NO morning schedule, put on the notice board, provided with bilingual booklets, and, in my judgement, the attendance tripled, unlikely with the traditionalists, but simply because people who go to Mass on Sunday did not bother which rite was used, and many came because of curiosity. Encouraged by this attendance the Provost consulted other priests and decided to make this arrangement permanent, and to give to the celebration more time. So, it has been a regular Sunday Mass for four years or so.

Another case was Fr. Finnigan’s Parish (Blog: Hermeneutics of Continuity). He started to offer the Low Mass occasionally, on weekdays; and then made it a regular Mass on Saturday morning, on a side altar, ending with the Exposition and Benediction on the main altar. It was mainly attended by traditionalists from the surrounding parishes, and a few of his own; served by boys whom he had trained. Then he managed support of a choir of volunteers from outside, and introduced the High Mass once per month.

In the meantime, he put up altar rails to enable those who attend the NO to receive the Holy Communion kneeling. He made a wooden mobile structure, with tabernacle, that could be quickly and easily fitted to the back of the “main” (NO altar, the traditional altar had been vandalized before he was appointed PP) altar (and quickly removed), so that it looked like classic altar, facilitating proper Exposition, and proper celebration of the TLM.

Then he started the TLM on the main altar thus adopted, and made it eventually the solemn High Mass on every Sunday. It is now well attended central Mass of the Parish.

That obviously required a lot of preparation: vestments, explanations to parishioners (sermons, bulletin, blog, meetings), provision, in sufficient numbers, of the TLM bilingual booklets and bilingual Sunday leaflets with readings and variable prayers – thus enabling everybody to participate “actively” if he wants to: nobody can complain that he “doesn’t understand”, unless he is lazy - setting up a choir of volunteers to lead the congregation in singing Gloria, Credo etc. Embarrassing for our liturgical gurus: the whole congregation now sings and understands what it sings. The whole setting is that of a restored decency and dignity in our churches.

He met with a resistance of tabletistas, which is well known, but they have their “meaningful” Mass at other times, and Fr. Finnigan does his best to make it really meaningful.

I believe, that is what His Grace will be able to do in Colombo, and thus restore sanity in our liturgy, to reverse what a secular reporter in one paper wrote at the time of AbpL’s suspension: the "unholy mess" which our gurus have made of what is supposed to be the "Holy Mass".

Ogard said...

The SSPX is the problem – in addition to other problems in the life of the Church, which are, no doubt, many and serious – because what they actually mean by the “clarify doctrinal issues” is that the “Rome” must submit to their views; otherwise they are not interested in clarification. In the interview I referred to on the 1st and 2nd May, + Fellay said (p. 32):

“….according to Rome, we do not have a correct concept of Tradition” (true); “an agreement can only be reached once we become unstuck” (true), Council has to be rightly understood (true), and Rome understands it well whereas we understand it badly” (true); “our critique of Vatican II is disqualified in advance” (rightly so, because it is already known to “Rome”). “we must maintain our freedom to act for the sake of the entire Church.” (So they must have a freedom to attack the doctrine of Vatican II, even of the present Pope – all “for the sake of the Church”.)

When one reads this kind of language, and similar on other occasions, it is impossible to envisage any solution of doctrinal matters by discussion. What can be gained by a dialogue of this kind? And it is surprising that + Fellay insists on it bearing in mind that the dialogue is, otherwise, a dirty word in the their dictionary. What he wants the dialogue for is to teach the Pope, and if the Pope failed to accept his doctrine, the dialogue would reach a standstill.

It is exactly, IMHO, because the Pope expects the standstill, and a deeper entrenchment as a consequence, that he is reluctant to listen to +Fellay doctrinal lessons, and prefers to skip it and grant the Administration, hoping for the best in the future. That is the way how all reunions of Eastern Churches took place.

It would be different if +Fellay proposed a dialogue with the Pope’s appointees, in which dialogue he would have a fair opportunity to say and put on record all he wants, and should the discussion reached a standstil, the matter be given to the Pope, whose judgment would be final; and if +Fellay undertook before the dialogue has started to submit to the Pope’s judgment whether compatible with his views or not.

Anyone envisages +Fellay proposing something along these lines? And even if he did, how many others, clergy and lay people would follow him ? Oliver makes it perfectly clear:

“The Society as a whole will never enter these walls even if Fellay wobbles again and suddenly defects. There are too many strong individuals within the SSPX to form a strong resistance and continue the fight against Vatican 2.”

Bishop Fellay’s attitude is not “what has always and everywhere been believed as Catholic doctrine” but in a blatant contradiction to the Dogma of Primacy.

And it was the attitude of many laymen in the Society’s Centres to which I used to go for fifteen years. In point of fact, this Dogma is was kept low key in these places…

Anonymous said...

Ogard said: Bishop Fellay’s attitude is not “what has always and everywhere been believed as Catholic doctrine” but in a blatant contradiction to the Dogma of Primacy.

And it was the attitude of many laymen in the Society’s Centres to which I used to go for fifteen years. In point of fact, this Dogma is was kept low key in these places…

Ogard: What else can it be other than low key in SSPX centers?. By the same token of accepting Papal Primacy, the TLM has been granted extraordinary status by the Pope. But do I detect a move by some to oust the Ordinary Rite and have it replace entirely by the TLM?

Dan Hunter said...

"...But do I detect a move by some to oust the Ordinary Rite and have it replace entirely by the TLM?"

Anon,

I pray for this daily, no matter what the odds seem to be.

With God, all things are possible.

God bless.

Paul Haley said...

Ogard said in part:

(So they must have a freedom to attack the doctrine of Vatican II, even of the present Pope – all “for the sake of the Church”.)In response I post the following:
Regarding the specific intentions of this Council and why it was to be convened, John XXIII explained that doctrinal matters were "presumed to be well known and familiar to all" but a new way of presenting that doctrine was "necessary".

"The salient point of this council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. For this a council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciences in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character."

Paul VI, echoed the words of his predecessor on its "pastoral" intent: "...differing from other Councils, this one was not directly dogmatic but doctrinal and pastoral"

Explaining the connection between a Council "differing from other Councils" and infallible teachings, previously regarded by many as an inherent characteristic of Ecumenical Councils, the Theological Commission clarified in a footnote to Lumen Gentium that the Extraordinary Magisterium was not exercised unless specifically stated:

"In view of the conciliar practice and the pastoral purpose of the present Council, this sacred Synod defines matters of faith and morals as binding on the Church only when the Synod itself openly declares so."

Bishop Rudolf Graber wrote in his book Athanasius and the Church of Our Times:

"...since the Council was aiming primarily at a pastoral orientation and hence refrained from making dogmatically binding statements or disassociating itself, as previous Church assemblies have done, from errors and false doctrines by means of clear anathemas, many questions took on an opalescent ambivalence which provided a certain amount of justification for those who speak of the spirit of the Council." 11

And Cardinal Ratzinger, Now Pope Benedict XVI, more recently:

"Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolates Vatican II and which provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it, which give the impression that from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II... 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."

Now, there we have it, Ogard, but you continue to speak of doctrine of Vatican II and the refusal of the SSPX to submit to it: "because what they actually mean by the “clarify doctrinal issues” is that the “Rome” must submit to their views." Now, I call upon the moderators of this forum to chastise Ogard (whoever that person is) to discontinue his obviously biased remarks against the SSPX and their intentions. It is one thing to hold private opinions but to characterize the SSPX the way he does is not helpful, IMHO, to the reconciliation effort.

Of course, I could be wrong but I pray that I am not.

Neal said...

I don't see why dialogue is equated with compromise by some. If Bishop Fellay thinks he is correct and wants to sit down with representatives of Rome to try to convince them, so be it; at least he is not hiding his putative candle under a bushel. The reverse is likewise true, of course. And, as has been stated ad nauseam, it is no more outlandish to expect doctrinal clarity from Rome than it is to expect a fireman to put out a fire.

I dialogue with atheists, not with the intention of converting them into agnostics or vague theists, but with the intention of making them into good Catholics (success rate = 0%, but it can only go up.)

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

PKTP:

FFI = Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

Anonymous said...

Anonymous claims that the S.S.P.X rejects papal primacy. That is rubbish and he knows it. We all know here what the Society claims in that regard, so I won't bother boring everyone by repeating it.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Dates to Watch For (announcements from Rome might follow a date of signing by one to four days):

Tomorrow: Feast of St. Pius V: Clarification of "Summorum Pontificum", especially as regards the meaning of "qualified" in Section 4 of Article 5, and of rights to personal parishes. Pray for more. Pray that H.H. might clarify the full meaning of Article 1 of S.P.: the Gregorian Mass in Latin "must be given its due honour for its venerable and ancient usage". Pray even for an international structure. The Pope might choose to do an end run around the S.S.P.X: he could create the universal apostolic administration for the 300+ approved traditionalist priests and then merely invite the S.S.P.X to join it or to apply for one of their own.

Thursday, 28th May (or else the day before, on the N.O. calendar): Feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury. I'm guessing that Rome might do something for the Traditional Anglican Communion's application for uniate church status.

Monday, 29th June: Feast of SS. Peter & Paul and one day before 21st anniversary of the unapproved consecreations of 1988: Decree from Rome at least recognising publicly that the Society's Masses fulfil the Sunday obligation. Perhaps more. Perhaps a granting of faculties temporarily, while talks continue.

Sunday, 19th July, Feast of the Holy Redeemer on the Redemptorist Calendar: Canonical structure for the Sons of the Holy Redeemer. I'm hoping that they will get a special particular church parallel to an abbacy nullius: a congregation nullius with territory in Scotland and New Zealand. More like, they'll just get an institute of consecrated life.

Thursday, 3rd September: Feast of St. Pius X: either faculties for the Society or even a temporary canonical structure for it.

Pray that something is granted tomorrow. It won't be for the S.S.P.X because that would be politically impossible (given current Vatican diplomacy) so close before the Pope's trip to Palestine. But there might be a little present for the T.L.M. in general. I'm guessing the long-awaited clarification of S.P. at a minimum. The Cardinal has to work fast now. He turns 80 on 4th July.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Abp. Ranjith will not be consigned to the status of a non-entity much like a non-entity status is assigned to one who is considered to be a biological artifact prior to conception, instead of being a 'bona fide' human person at fertilization [i.e., dignity of succession].

Anonymous said...

A comment has been made about the large number of priests from Asia and Africa serving in America, and the need that they have a formation better than the 60s-70s one that they have.

I have known priests from Asia,in the very early sixties, barely able to string together a few words of English, trying to get into America.

Formation is secondary. Money, and the need to venture prospects for their families back home, are primary motives.

Ogard said...

Re: Vatican II, “John XXIII explained that doctrinal matters were ‘presumed to be well known and familiar to all’ but a new way of presenting that doctrine was ’necessary’ “. That is exactly what the Council did.

He also said that the world “expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration” - That too is what the Council did.

Likewise: “… the authentic doctrine… should be studied and expounded through the methods…of modern thought”. - That too the Council did.

Furthermore: “The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another.”

The latter is very fundamental assertion, falsified by liberals and dismissed by the SSPX. And the ending phrase: “keeping the same meaning and the same judgement” is missing from the quote for some reason. The Council has made it its own fully in GS 62.

To explain to the uninitiated: it means that there is a difference between doctrinal proposition – John XXIII: “DOCTRINE of the Deposit of Faith”;

and its expression in a written or spoken language, i.e. a statement. - John XXIII: “the WAY IN WHICH it (i.e. doctrine, my note) IS PRESENTED”.

I am using Grisez (Grisez: The Way of the Lord Jesus, Vol. I, p. 924-925) to define the two concepts. He is a philosopher and moral theologian. The proposition is “not a linguistic entity, but a complex object of taught, which can be true or false”; while the statement is “expression of a proposition in written or spoken language”. The same proposition, for example: if one thinks it to be true (proposition) that a 16cm high glass contains water at the level of 8cm, can be expressed in a written or spoken language (statement) in different ways: this glass is half-full, or this glass is half-empty.

More to the point, the substance of the DOCTRINE (proposition) about destiny of those outside the Church can be expressed, PRESENTED, in two ways (statements): “no salvation outside the Church”, or “the Church is necessary for salvation” (LG 14).

Another example, the substance of the DOCTRINE (proposition) on relation of the Catholic Church v. the Church Christ has established, can be expressed, PRESENTED, as Pius XII has put it using the word “is” (statement) or as Vatican II (LG 8/2) has put it by using the word “subsists” (statement).

Then we have a quote from Paul VI that the Council was not “directly dogmatic but doctrinal”. – So what? The “directly dogmatic” can only mean that the Council made no formal definition; not that it contained no dogmas. The propositions do not have to be formally defined to be dogmas: they could be earlier definitions, repeated, or paraphrased “keeping the same meaning”; or they could be proposed by the consensus of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium (the LG 25, Vatican I, Denz. 1792).

Vatican I left the conditions for the latter unspecified. The LG 25 laid down five conditions: (1) bishops scattered throughout the world but in communion with each other and the pope; (2) teaching authentically (officially), (3) on faith and morals; (4) in agreement on a single opinion (5) to be held definitely. While these cases are difficult to demonstrate for a particular proposition of the Vatican II (or of any Council and magisterial document, for that matter) the infallibility cannot easily be ruled out. The infallible teaching of the UOM is the principal way of the infallible teaching; defined teachings could all be put on 2-3 pages. There was none before A.D. 325.

In any case, a Catholic is under moral obligation to offer the Religious Assent to a teaching, which is not proposed infallibly; although in theory, such teaching may be erroneous (L.Ott: Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p.10 - obtained in the SSPX Mass Centre; Grisez: see above, Vol II, pp. 46-55).

The quoted clarification of the Theological Commission: “this sacred Synod defines matters of faith and morals as binding on the Church only when the Synod itself openly declares so", is incomplete, inadvertently I hope. This is missing:

“All the other statements…must…be welcomed and accepted by each and everyone of Christ’s faithful in a way in which the sacred Council intended. This is conveyed by the subject matter or by the manner of utterance, according to the norms of theological interpretation”, i.e. it is not for DIY-ers.

That the “infallible teachings” were “an inherent characteristic of Ecumenical Councils” is not true. Lateran I,II,III proposed no dogmas; and definitions constituted only small fragments of the doctrinal teaching of other councils. Some 50% of the text of Trent, for example, is about discipline, the rest are mainly doctrinal introductions to definitions, or the non-defined doctrines. Example: that the Mass is a "representation" of the "bloody sacrifice on the Cross" is not defined.

Re: Graber. “Individual bishops do not enjoy prerogative of infallibility” (LG 25/2), and he is/was an individual bishop. In any case, while what he refers to as the “opalescent ambivalence which provided a certain amount of justification for those who speak of the spirit of the Council” is true, but so what? Ambivalence is present even in dogmatic definitions, because a certain degree of ambiguity is inherent to human language. That is the reason why previous dogmatic definitions and other teachings require re-interpretation. As

John XXIII puts it: “new way of presenting”, “step forward toward a doctrinal penetration”, “expounded through the methods…of modern thought”.

Re: Ratzinger: No reference given. The quote incomplete. The phrase: “deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council”, if the word "pastoral" is taken in strict sense, can’t be reconciled with the CCC, of which he was the main editor, and the doctrine of which is 90% from Vatican II. Could we be obliged by the whole context?

The main trust seems to be the challenge to those who are trying to make of the Vatican II a super-council which has, allegedly, disposed with the past: “many accounts of it, which give the impression that from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.” It is in line with Benedict XVI’s “hermeneutics of discontinuity”.

The last straw is the word “pastoral”. All doctrine is pastoral, and it is in this sense that the quoted sources have to be understood. The pastoral purpose is the reason why the doctrine is proposed. And it is proposed to be accepted as true, not rejected as false or “not infallible”. Strictly pastoral are only the instructions to act, what ought to be done; while the doctrine is about what the things are, what is believed.

To claim that the Vatican II is pastoral in this latter sense would be a nonsense. The two dogmatic constitutions are overwhelmingly dogmatic. All the others have at least some doctrinal content, which is either an expansion of the former or it is not dealt by the former at all. Even the “pastoral” constitution GS has a substantial doctrinal content, particularly of the moral doctrine.

None of the quoted sources suggests, not even remotely, that Vatican II, or any of its propositions, albeit “pastoral” and “not dogmatic”, may be rejected. A Catholic is morally bound to accept it “in a way in which the sacred Council intended” (inadvertently forgotten quote, see above). What is the case with any particular proposition is the matter of “theological interpretation”, which is the work of competent theologians.

“Now, there we have it”, Haley, “whoever that person is”. Could we stop being personal and deal with issues, please?

Paul Haley said...

I invite anyone who thinks I am not following approved church doctrine, or who thinks the SSPX and other traditional groups with roots in the SSPX are not following approved church doctrine, to read carefully the thesis by Peter W. Miller at http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/vatican2/divatican.htm and after reading same, if you feel you must characterize my comments as somehow disloyal to the authentic magisterium, then I shall have no further comment.

wsxyz said...

Ogard: Briefly, the quote from Cardinal Ratzinger is from his address to the Bishops of Chile, available many places on the Internet including here.

"It is a necessary task to defend the Second Vatican Council against Msgr. Lefebvre, as valid, and as binding upon the Church. Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolate Vatican II and which has provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.

"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.

"This idea is made stronger by things that are now happening. That which previously was considered most holy -- the form in which the liturgy was handed down -- suddenly appears as the most forbidden of all things, the one thing that can safely be prohibited. It is intolerable to criticize decisions which have been taken since the Council; on the other hand, if men make question of ancient rules, or even of the great truths of the Faith -- for instance, the corporal virginity of Mary, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the immortality of the soul, etc. -- nobody complains or only does so with the greatest moderation. I myself, when I was a professor, have seen how the very same bishop who, before the Council, had fired a teacher who was really irreproachable, for a certain crudeness of speech, was not prepared, after the Council, to dismiss a professor who openly denied certain fundamental truths of the Faith."

Jordanes said...

Now, I call upon the moderators of this forum to chastise Ogard (whoever that person is) to discontinue his obviously biased remarks against the SSPX and their intentions. It is one thing to hold private opinions but to characterize the SSPX the way he does is not helpful, IMHO, to the reconciliation effort. **** As Mr. Haley and Mr. Perkins have observed, Ogard is certainly wrong to associate the SSPX's beliefs about Roman primacy with the beliefs of the Eastern Orthodox. The Orthodox do not accept the doctrine of Petrine primacy at all, not even theoretically, so it is absurd to say the SSPX position on the primacy is similar to the Orthodox one. The SSPX does accept Petrine primacy, but holds that at this time it is necessary and justified to withhold obedience to St. Peter's See in various important matters.

In the past, the blog owner has cautioned us that because the Church and the SSPX are in a very sensitive and crucial period of the reconcilation process, we need to be careful about what we say regarding the SSPX, that we not inadvertently (and certainly not intentionally) create further trouble for the Holy Father, Cardinal Castrillon, Bishop Fellay, or for any of the faithful who love the Church's traditional doctrines and liturgy. I would renew that admonition at this time, and pray I will be mindful of my own advice.

Anonymous said...

Actually, while I reject Ogard 's remarks on the S.S.P.X's view of the primacy, I do think that he has made a valuable contribution here regarding the force of Vatican II. But I note that a requirement to accept the Council's teaching with a submission of mind and will is not the same thing as a requirement to assent to its particular assertions (cf. Canons 750 and 752). The Council Fathers themselves, as Fr. McDonald of this list has pointed out, ruled out any new infallible dogma when they asserted that nothing new was "necessary".

Ogard is right to distinguish the expression of the Council from its underlying doctrine. He is right to point out that expression of words is always less than perfect. But there is a difference between minor ambiguities which do not lead souls astray and major ambiguities which were deliberately crafted by periti to intrude heresies into Church teaching. Hence the need to clarify some Council doctrines.

On his comments on the pastoral nature of the Council, I would only point out that many Council fathers and both popes of the Council meant, I think, that the emphasis of the Council was to set a new disciplinary direction. That is why, when some conservative fathers, demanded definitions during sittings, the liberal majority replied that this was only a pastoral council, so no definitions were needed. Michael Davies points out specific examples of this. Such a comment could only make sense if doctrine and discipline were being distinguished here.

I also continue to assert that there is no new infallible doctrine in Vatican II. But whatever the case, nothing, absolutely nothing new, can in any way contradict the infallible teaching of the past.

My own position regarding the S.S.P.X remains the same. First of all, I think that it is bound in principle to accept the Pope's offer of an international particular church *before* resolving matters of ambiguity in Council documents.

However, there is a practical consideration to be taken into account as well. Bishop Fellay wishes to proceed so as not to lose half the Society. Salus animarum lex suprema est. It is presumably for the very same reason that the Pope is slow to discipline the outrageous behaviour of some liberals in the Church: he wants to confirm all his brethren in the faith, not lose half the flock.

Whatever the case may be, there is now no point in harping about what Bishop Fellay should accept (given that his master was prepared to take far less). We must accept the situation as we find it. Doc talk will precede any acceptance by the Society of any structure. As I see it, the Society will not accept regularisation in a structure until all their major concerns have been addressed satisfactorily.

The problem, however, is that this doc talk might continue for decades, since major liberal prelates stand to lose face if some doctrines are clarified. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, who is extremely influential on doctinal matters on the Society side, will see to it that it does take decades. Ironically, his allies in this are his worst doctrinal enemies.

Should this Pope allow such talks to go on interminably, long beyond this pontificate and the next one--into uncertain waters? I don't think so. We don't know who the next Pope may be, and he might simply discard the Society. That means that this Pope will probably want to act unilaterally in some respect. One way would be to withdraw the suspensions of 1976 and grant faculties ex cathedra. Minimally, he might wish to issue a decree which recognises publicly and in law what Rome has been admitting privately since 2002 (letters of Perl): that Society Masses fulfil the Sunday obligation. But I think that the Pope will want to go beyond just the Mass and grant faculties. Once he is satisfied that the talks are 'on track', he might proceed. The Feast of St. Pius X in September would afford an opportunity for this.

So, what talks need to be resolved first? I am pleased to say that Br. Alexis Bugnolo has agreed with my previous statements on this, and has gone much further than I had gone. I very much respect Br. Alexis, so it was really warming to see his post on this. (By the way, I apologise for calling him 'Bro. Bugnolo' once in a past post: I should know better about correct address for this, having been taught by brothers. They don't take the title Br./Bro. with the surname, obviously.) The first topic for discussion should be the status of the various Vatiacn II documents. Br. Alexis goes on to explain why this should resolve the matter entirely. I think that he's right but I won't repeat his words on this. Of course, what should be in principle is not necesarily what likely will be!

P.K.T.P.

Ogard said...

I am grateful to the wsxyz for the link he has provided, and to Jordanes for bringing to attention the admonition of the blog Owner of which I had no clue; and was puzzled by what seemed Mr.Haley’s arrogance. But he obviously knew what I didn’t, which puts the matter in a different perspective. Jordanes is, however, certainly mistaken about Orthodox position on Primacy – see the earlier quote of Ratzinger. As for the remaining part of Jordanes’comment on Primacy, it is difficult to reply and adhere to the admonition at the same time.

I am not hostile to the SSPX: my view is identical to that of Cardinal Ratzinger, articulated in the aforementioned link.

Jordanes said...

Jordanes is, however, certainly mistaken about Orthodox position on Primacy – see the earlier quote of Ratzinger.The quote of Cardinal Ratzinger establishes that the Orthodox today do not accept the Catholic doctrine of Petrine primacy as it has been fully developed and embraced by the Church. While I am not an adherent of the SSPX and do not think their disobedience is justified, my point was that in all fairness the SSPX’s belief in Roman primacy is not similar to that of the Orthodox.

As for the Ratzinger model, I can’t remember where I’d read it, but somewhere I’d read that the Holy Father seems to no longer hold to that model of reunion. And really that wouldn’t be an authentic reunion, since the Orthodox would still not accept the dogma of the primacy and taught and defined at Vatican I (teachings that the SSPX, unlike the Orthodox, do not dispute), but only those aspects of it that they may have understood 1,000 years ago. It is not Catholic unity if it is not unity in the truth, including the teachings of Vatican I.

As for the remaining part of Jordanes’ comment on Primacy, it is difficult to reply and adhere to the admonition at the same time.I don’t want to short-circuit a positive and constructive discussion, but only hope that ill will or scandal not be generated. I find your comments to be thoughtful and intelligent and frequently insightful, though I don’t see eye-to-eye with you in all things. I don’t see a need to “chastise” you, but thought we could all use a reminder to be prayerful, prudent, and always respectful in our comments on so important and sensitive an issue.

Ogard said...

“the Orthodox today do not accept the Catholic doctrine of Petrine primacy as it has been fully developed”.

I know, but the developed doctrine is implicit in the doctrine of the first millenium and thus in the Orthodox creed, although they do not see it that way. This is presumably what Ratzinger had in mind.

And when it comes to what the Orthodox actually believe it is sometimes difficult to figure it out, because they had never had an ecumenical council, and obviously, no pope. But most would say that they do believe in some kind of Primacy, albeit conceive it differently. And I do not think that the Eastern Catholics' thinking is very different.

On the other hand, we must not identify the Primacy with the way how it was actually exercised between the two Councils, which was, in my view, an anomaly: bishops who are, by divine institution, pastors of their flocks, were, de facto, subjected to the Papal appointees who are an ecclesiastical creature.

The problem with this doctrine, if understood literally when compared with the Orthodox position, is that a manager cannot effectively manage more than five subordinates, and the Pope is supposed to manage +2000 bishops. It is impossible without intermediaries, and it is a doctrinal anomaly with them. The Eastern Catholics have never admitted that kind of Primacy: those who are sufficiently self-assertive simply ignore it. The present anarchy is partly due to the fact that the Pope cannot govern because it is humanly impossible. He cannot even manage the curia.Vatican II has supplemented Vatican I one-sided doctrine, but the bishops were not used to it: so, they handed their powers to bureaucrats who made a mess. In the end, the material situation is very close to the Orthodox position, although, on paper, it is substantially different.

All this brings me to the contested comparisons, but I’d rather not embark on that delicate issue.

Anonymous said...

On the primacy, quite apart from doctrinal considerations, I don't much like the idea of autonomous bishops functioning under a remote Pope. One model was to have the Pope 'manage' the now 3,000 plus diocesan bishops. This is unworkable and, as Ogard says, humanly impossible.

On the other extreme, however, we have the model in which each bishop is a little dictator in his bailiwick, virtually untouchable. That post-conciliar model allowed little revolutionaries, like our Bolshevik Bishop Remi De Rogue, um, I mean, Roo, here in Victoria, to run the local church right into the ground and blow $18 million in secret.

From a practical point of view, I'd like to see more power over the local bishops go to the metropolitan archbishops. I mean real authority in which the Metropolitan can slap the local bishop right across the face with his jewel-encrusted glove.

Similarly, we should restore at least some power of reporting to the primates over the metropolitans. Then the Pope would only have to 'manage' the primates. Of course, the episcipal conferences are an abomination and should be abolished forthwith.

Yes, yes, I know: this is not in accord with the ancient model in which the Pope is St. Peter and the diocesan bishops are the other apostles. But if we accept Pastor Æternus, then a hierarchy is possible--and it makes practical sense.

P.K.T.P.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"In the end, the material situation is very close to the Orthodox position, although, on paper, it is substantially different."

Given the ease and relative frequency with which the various Orthodox Holy Synods and Patriarchs / heads of autocephalous Churches anathemize, depose or otherwise punish erring bishops and dissenters, the Orthodox actually strike me as being more "papal" (so to speak) in their ACTUAL exercise of authority than Rome itself.

Incidentally, there are growing complaints in the Orthodox world that the Patriarch of Constantinople is beginning to conceptualize his office along papal lines, whilst the Patriarchate of Moscow's power in the Russian Orthodox Church is sometimes compared to Rome's "centralism"

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Esteemed Mr. Perkins:

In principle, I fully agree with you regarding the metropolitans and the primates, whose powers and privileges should never have been reduced to almost nothing.

The following obstacles need to be dealt with, though:

1) The emasculation of the primatial sees by the current practice (shared by Rome) of giving more importance to the ordinaries of the political capital cities. In Spain, for example, the See of Madrid is de facto more important than that of Toledo. In France, the See of Paris is, in practice, greater than that of Lyons. And who has ever heard of the Primate of Germania who resides in Salzburg? All we hear of is the Archbishop of Vienna. (Portugal is a different case, in that Lisbon has been elevated to a titular Patriarchate at the expense of the Primatial See of Braga)

2) The loss of the unique and venerable ecclesiastical traditions (especially the liturgical ones) that had made the primatial sees resplendent, commanding respect in their own right. Merely restoring the authority of the primatial sees by judicial fiat from Rome will be just another example of the way canon law has been used in the past few centuries to try to solve everything. I remember reading somewhere that Trent actually envisioned having each country adopt the rite of its primatial see, hence the "200-year rule" of Quo Primum that, had it been followed, would have spared all the rites of the primatial (and many other) sees from destruction.


3) Last but not the least, the devolution of ecclesiastical authority to the primatial sees cannot be accomplished in most countries today. The fact is that the profound respect for Rome's authority, the sense of tradition, the respect for immemorial ecclesiastical customs and the "Catholic sense" that once allowed the local churches to go more or less their own way, without any need for micromanagement by Rome, have disappeared. Without the current micromanagement (despite all its inefficiences), the crisis in the Church would be a lot worse.

Once the Church was centralized to an excessive degree, the primatial sees atrophied like disused muscles, and it will take a very long time to get them back in shape.

Ogard said...

This subject, pursued by Mr. Perkins and others, has its dogmatic, canonical/practical, ecumenical, and moral aspects.

From dogmatic viewpoint, there is a Pope and there are Bishops – nothing between them. It is not the matter of what we would, canonically or practically, like to see, but the fact that any office, whether Roman congregation, episcopal conference, synod, or any individual, like metropolitan, primate or whoever... are ecclesiastical institutions, and my initial point was, although without listing all these options, that it is an anomaly to have an ecclesiastical institution in charge of what is of divine institution which, in fact, is built into the sacramental character at episcopal consecration.

I have introduced this subject because a comment was made (to my earlier assertion) that “in all fairness the SSPX’s belief in Roman primacy is not similar to that of the Orthodox… since the Orthodox would still not accept the dogma of the primacy and taught and defined at Vatican I… but only those aspects of it that they may have understood 1,000 years ago. It is not Catholic unity if it is not unity in the truth, including the teachings of Vatican I.”

Without re-introducing the subject of my earlier assertion, it seems to me that the present situation in the Church suggests that there is not much more in the INNER, REAL MEANING of the Vatican I dogma than it is believed by the Orthodox who “still not accept dogma of the primacy as taught and defined at Vatican I”. To quote Ratzinger (omitted on the 3rd May):

“Certainly, no…Catholic…can simply declare the doctrine of primacy null and void…Nor is it possible, for him to regard as the only possible form and, consequently, as binding on all Christians the form this primacy has taken in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The symbolic gestures of Pope Paul VI and in particular his kneeling before the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch…express precisely this…(W)e may say …that what was possible for thousand years is not impossible for Christians today.”

What follows is here again because it completes the above quote: “When the Patriarch Athenagoras…designated him (Pope Paul VI, my note) as the successor of St. Peter, as the most esteemed among us,…who presides in charity” he “was expressing the ESSENTIAL content of the doctrine of primacy as it was known in the first millennium” (emphasis mine).

So, the inner, real meaning, what is essential, was known in the first millennium, and should be enough. The comment was made about the whole Ratzinger’s idea that “that the Holy Father seems to no longer hold to that model of reunion.” Possibly, but if so, he might still hold this specific point; and in any case, the matter is better judged on merits than on who holds it, as it is no more than a private opinion.

Now, do the Orthodox reject the Primacy materially? If, yes are they materially heretics, because the Primacy is a dogma? Supposing they are, what about those numerous individuals: bishops, theologians, and priests, who style themselves Catholics but act contrary to this dogma?

While the dogma of infallibility is a kind of “dormant” dogma, practically never exercised, the dogma of Primacy is “active” all the time, because it requires “a duty of hierarchical subjection and sincere obedience; … in matters that pertain the faith and morals, …discipline and government” (D 827). (Comment: discipline and government do not come under the scope of infallibility, and there is no exemption for the non-infallibly proposed doctrines.)

What about those who nominally “accept” it, but de facto pigeonhole it, obstruct or even prevent implementation of what it requires in particular cases. It seems to me that it is more serious violation of moral norms than the “rejection” by the Orthodox to whom one has to give a benefit of doubt. Their rejection is materially evil, but not morally; but the Catholics who accept it and violate its exercise cannot be excused, because they know or should know what they are doing.

Supposing they do not know, i.e. that they are in an “invincible ignorance” what is the material difference between the Catholic and the Orthodox notion of Primacy?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I get Ogard's point here. However the primacy may have been understood in the first millenium, our understanding of a dogma may be deepened or enriched over time. Vatican I, specifically Pastor Æternus, plumbs some of that greater understanding. We cannot return to the first millenium, since wilful ignorance would be sinful, and since we have a duty at any time to learn the truth in its fullness and to adhere to it.

Hence the primacy for us today includes am understanding of papal jurisdiction which is supreme, plenary, universal, and immediate. This teaching is infallible and, once discovered, requires adherence.

Now the S.S.P.X does not deny this teaching in the least but merely adverts to a long-established argument from supplied jurisdiction in the case of necessity. This remains theoretically possible post-1870 because the authority of the Pope may be plenary (completely adequate to fulfil his divine mission) and supreme, but it is not absolute.

While the Orthodox may not officially deny any particular understanding of the primacy, as individuals who have souls to save, most if not all of them do reject the infallible teaching regarding the primacy contained in P.A. In contrast, the S.S.P.X (and some others) do not.

This is why no Orthodox priest has ever used the principle of necessity to justify his actions. I'm not sure why this entire issue is being aired here. As far as I can see, papal primacy has not been invoked to claim that Council documents are infallible or that adherence to them is necessary. The exact status of each of these documents needs to be the first item on the agenda.

P.K.T.P.

Ogard said...

I am not sure what Mr. Perkins’ last three paragraphs, from the third onwards, on 6th May, have to do with my comment to which he refers. I was dealing with the dogma of Primacy as it is lived by many bishops, theologians and priests in the Church today, and compared it with the Orthodox understanding of Primacy. So, this present comment is only about his first two paragraphs.

Regarding the second one, a Catholic accepts Dogma of Primacy as it stands in the Pastor Aeternus D 1831, reinforced and further explained, and expounded in Ch.III of LG. It proposes not merely the “supreme, plenary, ordinary and immediate” papal jurisdiction, but also applies this jurisdiction to the “doctrine”, “discipline and government”, implies that the doctrine includes teachings, which are not proposed infallibly, and stipulates that the jurisdiction extends to “each and every faithful”. I presume this is not disputable. We might differ in our understanding of the meaning of the words “supreme, plenary, ordinary and immediate” (the meaning was not subject of definition), and we would probably disagree about the ending sentence of the paragraph (of the comment).

Referring to the latter, the teaching of the Dogma is not itself infallible, to put it subtly (it has important implications: Humanae Vitae for example), but it is proposed infallibly. Infallible is the forum which proposed it, the Ecumenical Council, Vatican I; the proposition itself is not infallible but – true, and we know that it is true because it is so proposed by the infallible forum, Vatican I.

And requires more than “adherence” – all doctrine, whether proposed infallibly or not, requires adherence – but adherence by Divine and Catholic Faith: “Divine”, because it is revealed; “Catholic”, because it is proposed by the Church as revealed, “by …Faith” distinguishes the adherence to a dogma from adherence to other teachings (Can. 750/2 refers to teachings “to be held definitively; Can. 752 refers to teachings to which a “religious assent” is due).

Regarding the first paragraph, a Catholic tries, as Mr. Perkins puts it, “at any time to learn the truth in its fullness and adhere to it”. The Holy Tradition is the process in which the Church in her “doctrine, life and worship” hands on what she receives, reflects upon it, and thus “in the course of centuries, tends perpetually towards the fullness of divine truth” (DV 8, partly paraphrased). - “The office of authentic interpretation” of this Tradition (“the Word of God whether scriptural or TRADITIONAL”) “has been entrusted exclusively to LIVING voice of the Church’s magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (DV 10/2, emphases mine). - Those who lived in the mid 19th century adhered to this fullness as it was known at that time; we, after the rich ecclesiologies of Satis Cognitum, Mystici Corporis, Ecclesiam Suam, Vatican II and the CCC, understand it more fully. Not that it is our “duty”- we are not commanded to be Catholic – but because by the Grace of God we choose to be and to remain Catholics.

We, of course, cannot return “to the first millennium”; we cannot return to the 19th century either.

Anonymous said...

On Ogard's closing comments:

I do not think that there is anything new in Vatican II teaching which we are bound to know; and therefore we need not return the the nineteenth century, for we need never leave it, just as we need never leave the year 1960 in terms of our understanding of the Deposit of Faith. Of course, this does not negate the possibility that there is a richer understanding propounded in Vatican II teachings, but there is no guarantee of that.

What I do see in the expression of those teachings is an ambiguity which is dangerous to souls and the easy misinterpretation of which has indeed accompanyed a terrifying loss of faith and decline in the Church. Hence the urgent need for clarification. Much of Scripture itself is dark and needeth an interpreter--the Church. Similarly, it is arguable that much in Vatican II is positively noxious without a clarification, for the evidence indicates a danger. So I'll stick with thinking and acting EXACTLY how a pre-conciliar Catholic would think and act. For example, I completely ignore the Divine Mercy devotions and keep to popular pre-conciliar devotions, such as the Holy Face devotions and the Chaplet of the Five Sacred Wounds. I see no need even to read the Vatican II documents, just as I'm sure that most faithful have never read the Lateran IV documents.

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

Of course a Catholic need not be devoted to the Divine Mercy, but it is in origin a pre-Vatican II devotion. The Church gave it her definitive approval after Vatican II, but St. Faustina and her revelations were all decades before Vatican II. There's no reason to deliberately avoid that devotion just because the approval was delayed until after the council.

Anonymous said...

Jordanes:

Actually, there's more to the Divine Mercy business than the dates of revelation and approval, although I only meant to give that as an example. The fact is that many traditionalists are sceptical about the approval and agree with the attitude taken toward the devotion by Rome in earlier decades.

Still, I didn't mean to suggest that there's anything wrong with that devotion. Nevertheless, I choose not to adhere to any post-conciliar devotions. I prefer to wait at least fifty years until the Church has had time to reflect on such things. Some devotions fade over time and disappear.

I take this further. For example, I won't accept the 'week of first class feasts' in the Easter Octave and I choose to abstain from meat on the Friday after Easter. I much prefer the older symbolism of observing the three days of the Easter Triduum (Easter Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) as greater than the remaining days in the Octave. The idea of a three-day feast is Jewish in origin, by the way, and I rather like the way the custom connects us to the Old Testament ways, to show the continuity.

Given the devastation which followed the Council in every criterion which is measurable, I prefer to err on the side of caution and simply ignore all the changes except those which require obedience (if there are any). Because the revolutionaries were permissive by inclination, I'm not sure if they managed to impose much. I guess they did (yes, they did) in the matter of indulgences.

P.K.T.P.

Ogard said...

This is a comment on Mr. Perkins’ thesis about the doctrine of Vatican II, on 5th May at 19.25.

“But I note that a requirement to accept the Council's teaching with a submission of mind and will is not the same thing as a requirement to assent to its particular assertions (cf. Canons 750 and 752). The Council Fathers themselves…ruled out any new infallible dogma when they asserted that nothing new was ‘necessary’.” - By the way, what some fathers chose to “rule out” doesn’t constitute the teaching of the Church about the status of Vatican II documents. However, the comment is irrelevant because nobody claims that the Council promulgated a “new infallible dogma” whatever the commenter means by it. A proposition by the UOM is not done in the form of document; it is a part of the ordinary teaching, which is only in the course of time recognized as proposed infallibly.

Can. 750/1 refers to dogmas. They command acceptance by “Divine and Catholic Faith”; Divine because they are contained in Revelation (Scripture and Tradition; implicitly or explicitly); Catholic, because they are proposed as such by the Magisterium, whether Extraordinary (definitions by a Pope or Council), or Ordinary Universal Magisterium (LG 25/1 stipulates five conditions, missing in earlier documents, and these are repeated in Can.748/2).

Can. 750/2 refers to various propositions, which are not in Revelation, but are somehow connected with it (say: Benedict XVI is a Pope). In manuals they come under the “Secondary Object of Infallibility”. Can. 750/2 refers to it as the “doctrine of the Catholic Faith”. Other names, used in manuals: Catholic Truths, Ecclesiastical Teachings. They are “proposed definitely” and “are to be held definitely.” L. Ott (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 9) says: “These truths are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper.”

Vatican II certainly did not DEFINE any NEW dogma, but it has probably proposed many doctrines, which in the context of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium, not of the Council alone, but generally, come under the doctrine proposed infallibly, i.e. they are, materially, dogmas or intrinsically connected with the dogmas, but not at present time seen as such.

Our Lady was not assumed to heaven in 1950 – the Church has always believed it, and it is exactly because it was always believed that Pius XII was able to define this doctrine. But it no truer now than is has been throughout the history.

There is hardly any moral doctrine that has been infallibly defined. Most of is either infallibly proposed by the UOM, or it is "not infallible."

However, it is a logically untenable and a theological mistake to insist that the Council DID NOT propose in this way infallibly (to start with, an individual claiming it would himself have to be infallible for his assertion to stand).

Can.752 refers to all other doctrinal propositions, but which are not proposed infallibly. They can be present in Revelation or somehow connected with it, but are not proposed or not yet proposed as such (i.e. as revealed or as intrinsically connected with revelation). They are proposed, but not defined, by a pope (including Roman congregations), ecumenical council, local bishops, and command a Religious Assent (submission, obsequium) of “intellect and will”.

According to traditional manuals of Moral Theology (Grisez: Vol. II, pp 46-55 ), L. Ott (p.10), papal teachings in the last two centuries, and the recent Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, a theologian in difficulties, i.e. who for his own reasons, which he finds compelling, cannot assent to the doctrine which is not proposed infallibly, commits sin if he turns this internal non-assent into a deliberate dissent, instead of seeing it as his own problem which he has to resolve through normal ecclesiastical channels. Errors of the magisterium are not to be presumed, but the onus of proof is on a person who has the problem. He commits even greater sin if he turns the deliberate dissent in into an open, public dissent (Instruction No.35), which is, among other things, an usurpation of the teaching office. Grisez deals with this problem thoroughly (see above, also Vol. I, pp 849-854). I can’t go into it here apart of presenting his reply to two questions which come naturally to everyone’s mind: who may withhold assent, and what if one assents to a teaching which eventually proves to be erroneous.

Entitled to withhold assent, to quote L. Ott. p 10, is a “competent expert”, who “after a renewed scientific investigation of all grounds, arrives at conclusion that the doctrine rests on an error”.

Grisez II, p 51: “Most Catholic have no more reliable way of interpreting Scripture or…tradition than listening to and thinking with the magisterium. Very few are such experts…that they would really know that the Church’s teaching depended on mistaken premise…even should that occur. In practice, most of the faithful could question a pope’s of bishop’s judgement by TRUSTING SOME SCHOLARS IN PREFERENCE TO OTHERS. BUT IN DOING SO THEY WOULD PRESUME TO MAKE FOR THEMSELVES THE JUDGEMENT AMONG EXPERTS WHICH THE POPE AND BISHOPS ARE NOT MERELY DIVINELY AUTHORIZED, BUT BETTER QUALIFIED TO MAKE”.

What about if one assents to a teaching which is materially erroneous? Grisez Vol. I, p 852:
“Even if it is not clear that the bishop’s or pope’s teaching is proposed infallibly one has a good reason” to assent to it, i.e.”the reality of his divinely given office and the grace which accompanies it… One accepts these realities with divine faith. Thus a religious assent is a Christian act of human faith (i.e. trust in the magisterium, my note) which is grounded on divine faith itself” (it is de Fide that the magisterium is our teacher of faith, my note)”.

And here now comes the answer. “The alternative to making this act of human faith is to proceed individualistically in Christian life, with no sure interpreter of the Word of God and no safe guide for living a Christian life. One who makes the act of human faith (see above, my note) – that is, accepts teaching with religious assent even if it is not recognizable as infallibly proposed – can proceed with confidence and clear conscience. IF THE TEACHING SHOULD TURN OUT TO BE IN ERROR, ONE HAS NEVERTHELESS FOLLOWED THE GUIDANCE WHICH GOD HAS SEEN FIT TO PROVIDE” (ibid. pp 852-853).

The three Cannons, referred to by Mr. Perkins, deal with doctrine, which has to be believed (750/1), held (750/2) or religiously assented to (752). Not to be confused with discipline that has to be obeyed and to which epikeia may sometimes apply. Epikeia does not apply to doctrine.
.
I have read several Michael Davis’ books; the second of the Trilogy at least twice. How can one prove, for example, that something was “deliberately” crafted by periti to intrude heresies, and where are these “heresies”? Or the story that “some conservative fathers, demanded definitions during sittings, the liberal majority replied that this was only a pastoral council, so no definitions were needed”. So what? What kind of evidence is it? What those who demanded “definitions” meant by definitions, and what are specific examples? And what the liberals meant by the word “pastoral”. More profitable than listening to a gossip is to sit down and study documents as they stand, commentaries by competent experts, magisterial interpretations in subsequent documents, notably the CCC, and also use one’s own common sense. I have read all Vatican II documents, and have found nothing essentially wrong in them.

I also think that this “pastoral” story is untenable. Whatever John XXIII had in mind, the fact is that the Council has turned into an overwhelmingly doctrinal document. The initial drafts produced by Ottaviani were doctrinal rather than pastoral; and although much of what he wanted was modified, it was not replaced by pastoral themes, but his proposals were better formulated. I have dealt with this “pastoral” issue in an earlier comment.. It is relatively easy to tell the pastoral matters (what is to be done) from doctrine (what the things are) by reading the text.

My own impression is that the Council was influenced by theologians of the affluent world, who had little pastoral sense, but came to exercise their knowledge of doctrine, and wanted to impose it. But the Council was too massive, robust a gathering to let them have their way unchecked. What was good has passed through filters, the rest was set aside. The documents thus produced were of little pastoral value, but have brought to light the wealth of theological research, mainly of dogmatic nature backed with sound scriptural scholarship, and certainly enriched the doctrine.

Anonymous said...

I would ask that everyone reading this blog go to: http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/articles/articles_2001_SP_Ripperger.html

This article is titled, "Conservative vs. Traditional Catholicism:Distinctions with Philosophical Differences" by Fr. Chad Ripperger, F.S.S.P. - Spring 2001

It lays out some key differences in perspectives that are coming out loud and clear in this thread.

May God protect the holy Latin Rite.