Rorate Caeli

Michelin/Rand McNally

Yes, most of you have probably already read this article published by our friends at The Remnant ("Actions Speak Louder than Words: New revelations regarding relations between the Vatican and the SSPX").

We nevertheless recommend it, with reservations; and, if you have already read it, read it anew.

62 comments:

Sarto said...

I'm trying to understand the post title: Michelin / Rand McNally. At a total loss.

Cruise the Groove. said...

I am curious about this statement by His Excellency:

"...His Excellency indicated that from time to time Society priests have heard such confessions[where an excommunication has been incurred] and that, in every case, the required notification was sent to the Holy See. In each of these cases, the response received from the Vatican was that “all was good and licit” and that the permission for the SSPX priest to absolve was granted."

I wonder if this means that the Holy See acknowledges valid confessions for the Society, across the board, or valid absolution is only permitted in certain cases?
If this account is really the case, than this is very confusing.

How would the man in the pew know about this?
Shouldn't the Holy See issue some kind of an official statement that, either, Society priests can always and everywhere absolve sins, or only in certain cases that have an excommunication attached to them?
Are the faithful supposed to rely on information supplied in conferences by Bishop Fellay every now and again, to be able to act with certainty on recieving valid sacraments?
I cannot believe that the Holy See would play so fast and loose with souls as to covertly give coded signals occasionally through FSSPX bishops to the faithful as to how to be good Catholics and have a chance at salvation.

Anonymous said...

"Yet, for whatever reason, the Pope was evidently blocked and so far this document—prepared by Cardinal Hoyos and approved in principle by the Pope (and sent for technical study)— has not seen the light of day. Why not?" Because Bishop Williamson, through deliberate subterfuge, got himself branded as a Holocaust denier. Until he is permanently, publicly dismissed from the SSPX (and I'm not sure what this would require), neither this Pope nor any other will be able to regularize relations. It continues to surprise me that such an obvious fact is overlooked or ignored by so many commentators.

Anonymous said...

@Cruise the Groove:

I've always wondered what that phrase "Cruise the Groove" means.

To answer your question, I imagine that (assuming the report is true, that the Vatican Cardinal actually said what he said and those permissions have been granted), it certainly sounds to me like the Vatican is not publicly granting authority for valid Absolutions as a way to provide motivation for SSPX parishoners to return to normalized Catholic churches, however out of great charity, they have meanwhile granted the actual authority such that all the confessions being heard are, in fact, valid. This would be a catch-all approach, covering people both ways while still motivating people to return to the normalized Church. Again, that assumes that the verbage quoted is valid and true. Personally, I would as soon avoid any question in the matter, but that is just my opinion.

@Sarto - tires and a road map... allusions to the tools required for a successful journey. I will continue to pray for the perfection of the Catholic Church by recognizing the sincerity and purity of the Society of St. Pius X.

As for my own input: two things.

1.) Given the published and well-documented statements of then-Cardinal Ratzinger on the benefits of a truly Catholic Church that perhaps had smaller numbers but incredible fidelity to Magisterium and Scripture, it's puzzling that, even considering the threat of great schism from the current group of bishops spread among the entire world, he withholds such inclusion from the SSPX. This leads me to believe that a significant amount of the hesitation to 'make this happen' belongs to the SSPX. I know that it could merely be the tone or scope of the Remnant article to explore the hesitation on the side of the Vatican, but let's not forget that the SSPX leadership (rightfully, maybe) isn't just waiting for a document to make everything alright. There are myriad objections that the SSPX has to rejoining the Church with the aggiorionamento (spelling?) that has been added to the whole Church today.

2.) I'm not sure specifying the FSSP priests' acceptance within the Church as evidence for little or no obstruction of SSPX priests to be given permission to licitly confect the Sacraments. I had thought the timeline was such that the priests that established the FSSP under JPII did so concomitantly with the disobedience, thereby escaping any effects of the excommunications.

I hope my comment has come across as genuine and charitable. I mean no ill-will towards the SSPX brethren, and like I said above, I believe that the Church is poorer because of their exclusion. Upon inclusion and normalization, if a dead branch or even a thousand dead branches fell off of the Church, that would be cause for great celebration.

-Christopher Thomas

Paul Haley said...

Dear Cruise,

There are plenty of officials in the curia who believe the SSPX have supplied jurisdiction but they are unwilling to admit it publicly. Your point about the duplicity of such tactics is well-taken. As a matter of fact, I believe His Holiness himself and Cardinal Hoyos accept the supplied jurisdiction argument. The problem is with the rest of the bishops and some powerful cardinals who would prefer the status quo to outright recognition of the Society. Sad to say, it doesn't look like it will change in the near future.

Duke of Norfolk said...

It is of very little value to make statements that will not, or cannot, be verified by the parties involved. It is even more useless for a journalist to build an article out of the statements.

The conclusion hinges upon an allusion to "A Man For All Seasons" which is far-fetched. Wishful thinking on the part of the biased journalist.

"This is a great sacrifice for both men who truly love one another [...] I believe Bishop Fellay is confident the Pope will shed tears of joy to be able to publicly embrace his loyal sons."

At the end of Mr. McCall's article we are left with a cowardly deceptive Pope and a martyred beloved Bishop Fellay. Propaganda at its best.

I pity those Catholics who do not have access to The Remnant and Angelqueen. It seems that there is no salvation outside the Internet.

Anonymous said...

Are the liberals so bold as to confront a pope who restores the SSPX in the Church? Who is the weakest here? The pope or the liberal bishops? If the pope really wants it, then nothing could stop him from doing the right!

Cruise the Groove. said...

Mr Thomas,

"Cruise the Groove" was an expression I used to use in college whenever I would get togther with friends to play baseball, workout or drink, as in "Lets Cruise the Groove in a positive way!
I'ts just a "handle" of sorts that I use.
My real name is "Kick Out the Jams."

Anonymous said...

Cruise the Groove:

This time I agree with you 100%. No, 200%.

It is time for Rome to make some clear statements on the validity of Sacraments administered by Society priests and also an OFFICIAL LEGAL statement that Society Masses do indeed fulfil the Sunday obligation, something admitted now repeatedly by the P.C.E.D. in statements which lack authority in law.

The excuse given to me and to others for not making official statements has been that Rome does not want to encourage souls to defect to the S.S.P.X, that Rome can in no wise 'recommend this'. At the same time, the P.C.E.D. has been admitting that, by now, the secret is out and most people know admissions on these matters.

I suggest to His Holiness's curia that official admissions for the good of souls could be made together with statements that Rome cannot recommend that faithful frequent Society chapels. In fact, if deemed necessary, Rome could even declare that faithful 'should' not go there: the Pope could even make it a solemn request.

But we should know the facts when the Sacraments are at stake.

P.K.T.P.

Cruise the Groove. said...

Sour Grapes, Duke of Norfolk.

Someone sounds unhappy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Haley:

I wouldn't be so sure that it will not change in the near future. First of all, this is not the first time I've heard Bishop Fellay make this statement about the liceity and hence (in this case) validity of Society confessions.

Members of the Society have opined that these doctrinal talks are proceeding quickly and might end by this coming spring. They also say (rumour, granted) that they are not resolving disputes. One gets the impression that the effect is mainly for each party to clarify various theological positions. If the talks end next spring, this would afford a good opportunity for Rome to assess the Society's position generally and comment on its status.

I do not think that this Pope wants this pontificate to end before there is some form of resolution to the problem, however incomplete, however partial. An official recognition that Society Masses fulfil the Sunday and holyday obligation, and a recognition of the validity of Society Sacraments, would alter the entire nature of the situation. It would then clearly become a matter of making regular a body of clerics already admitted as Catholics, and the blathering could continue for another thirty years.

Given my own knowledge about the 'numbers', I don't think that such an admission from the Holy See would create a crisis for liberals. Few people would depart from Traditional Latin Masses offered at parish churches to attend Society Masses. But some bishops who are currently obstructing the motu proprio would quietly relent. We'd rather have them repent than relent but that's God's business.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that Bp. Fellay starts out by criticizing the Vatican. The issue of confessions that he describes is not a contradiction. But as usual, he has to try to make the Vatican look bad. Might he also be trying to call-out the Vatican on the issue so that it will be forced to make a pronouncement on the Society's validity (or lack thereof) of confessions?

It seems that Bp. Fellay is make an offensive tactical move. He knows the goodwill that has been generated by Rome, and the Pope for the SSPX. Notice that the Vatican does not criticize the SSPX. But the SSPX (which believes it is perfect) will do anything to try to get Rome to make concessions, it seems. It's a sort of bullying by Bp. Fellay, but in a not-so-obvious manner.

Duke of Norfolk said...

"Sour Grapes, Duke of Norfolk." "Someone sounds unhappy."

You misinterpret the comment. The Duke is not unhappy just worried by how Catholics take seriously such poor journalism and consider the Faith the plaything of newspapers and online discussion forums.

Bishop Fellay should know better than to make statements that cannot be corroborated. If the good Bishop cannot cite his sources he should refrain from using them. If the demand is for Rome to make clear statements than the Society should do the same.

You ask: "How would the man in the pew know about this?" and again "Are the faithful supposed to rely on information supplied in conferences by Bishop Fellay every now and again". The Duke of Norfolk asks the same questions. No sour grapes here.

The Duke of Norfolk is not antagonistic to the SSPX nor the Holy Father; but would be truly sad to know that both were engaged in a public sham that put souls in danger. Consequently, it is hard to appreciate Mr. McCall's article. As St. Thomas More would say, the Duke is just worried about a B@%& getting over the wall.

Thommo said...

"A quick internet search reveals that the technical legal position is debated by Catholics on virtually all sides of this issue. In such a case, the actions of the Supreme Legislator (the Pope) must be examined in order to guide a sound understanding of the current legal confusion surrounding the issue."

That's funny - no-one was saying that back in 1988 in relation to the doubtful question of 'state of necessity'.

Thommo said...

"If the Society priests lacked any form of jurisdiction to hear confessions, the Holy See would have replied that the penitent needed to confess to a priest with legal jurisdiction to hear confessions. By definition, we are here dealing with grave matter and hence mortal sin (assuming all other conditions are present). Yet even still, the Holy See replied to the SSPX that “all is good and licit.”

Does this 'all is good and licit' refer to the possibility of the Society priest's absolving, or the contrite penitent being absolved? It would be interesting to see the official letters from the Penitentiary (or whatever its called now). There is obviously a huge difference between the two.

Joe B said...

"... official admissions for the good of souls could be made together with statements that Rome cannot recommend that faithful frequent Society chapels. In fact, if deemed necessary, Rome could even declare that faithful 'should' not go there: the Pope could even make it a solemn request."

P.K.T.P., this is recommending that the Pope direct a statement that he doesn't believe - a lie. His conscience is clearly troubled with this issue. He needs to do justice here, and this wouldn't be it. What is needed here is help from Heaven.

I'm reminded of Saint John Bosco's dream of the twin pillars and the Pope who docks the Papal ship safely between them amidst all sorts of cannon fire, thus calming a fierce theological warfare (inside the church?). Perhaps we are in that dream now. However, a Pope dies in it and is replaced very quickly by a successor who actually docks the ship safely. God bless this Holy Father in his battle with the wolves.

Thommo said...

To the Duke:

I'm completely with you on this one! The whole article is built on rumours and hearsay. Apparently people are satisfied with this, but I think talk is cheap!

All Bishop Fellay's conferences on this subject ever contain are wishy-whasy statements of 'positive signs'. The only real positive will be if the Society is regularised, is given ordinary jurisdiction and THEN can do some good - within the Church. When it all boils down to it, you're either in the Church or you're not. The Society has essentially been schismatic since its foundation when it conjured up a dichotomy between "eternal Rome" and "modernist Rome". I'm sorry for the rant, I'm just sick of all this shadow boxing.

Knight of Malta said...

The most interesting thing I found was that although we've been long led to believe that SSPX Confessions are invalid, except in the case of immanent death; but, in fact, this may not be so...

I truly think the Holy Spirit is at work in the SSPX. Without them the Church our forefathers fought so hard to defend, both here and elsewhere, would be largely dead.

dcs said...

It bears mentioning that there are no reserved sins in the 1983 Code. Reserved censures, yes; reserved sins, no.

Pascendi said...

Well written Duke of Norfolk - spot on. Journalism is just --- journalism.

Creative speculation cannot supplant the need for clear fact supported by access to irrefutable documentation etc.

Parmenides said...

I'm afraid I'm skeptical about some of these affirmations.

Can we make any sense - from a canonical point of view - of a two-week legal existence?

The article argues that Bishop Fellay never refused a practical proposal from Rome. Then why for three years was it drummed into our heads "no practical agreement without doctrinal discussions"? I understood that he had refused such a proposal.

Our dear and much loved Bishop Fellay has been known to listen to chatty Roman monsignori and to take some of those rumors too optimistically. Everyone is human.

Still the main point of the conference remains valid: different forces in Rome produce a mixed message.

Anonymous said...

This article proves yet again that Romanus of this blog was dead wrong, as he is always wrong: it was an apostolic administration that was offered the S.S.P.X, not a personal prelature. Just as I've said all along.

The article also demonstrates that the arguments I've been raising have penetrated to the S.S.P.X leadership and even to the curia. Does the refusal to grant a juridical structure prove that the state of necessity continues?

Bishop Fellay claims that the apostolic administration has been proposed but not formally offered. But what has he done to request it and, were it offered tomorrow, would that mean that he'd have to accept it? His words imply that, do they not? I suppose that he could say, no, it only means that my *argument* is not valid, since no such structure was offered, nevertheless leaving it possible for the Society to reject the offer on other grounds (e.g. doctrinal disagreements).

But this puzzles me. In 2000, Pope John Paul II, through the P.C.E.D., apparently offered this same structure to the S.S.P.X. When the Society refused, it was offered AND GRANTED to the Campos. If it was granted to the Campos, how come it cannot be offered and granted to the S.S.P.X? The only difference between the two is the extent of each. But in juridical terms, they are the same.

I suggest that Bishop Fellay needs to do more than simply wait for a document to come through the P.C.L.T., which is now controlled, by the way, by a friend of His Holiness (although that was not so in 2005).

This all looks very much like a scheme of Bishop Fellay to find a reason to say 'yes' to a coming offer. But remember the January, 2008, issue of "The Angelus". Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos made him the juridical offer and he refused it then as well.

Now Fellay is saying, well, the offer has been formulated but not officially presented yet. This is no mere excuse for not accepting it in the past. This is a preparation for a future deal. But it may be a trial balloon. There are two parties who could shoot this balloon out of the air. One consists of the liberals, including the German bishops (from a Protestant country: who the hell cares about them? I'd be more worried if the French or Italian bishops were angry. They actually count for something.) The other party are the Society hardliners.

Between this Scylla and Charybdis is the compromise: Holy See 'recognition of the Society without regularisation of the same'. It's a coming step that could be couched in caveats to keep the liberals happy, or at least prevent them from throwing tantrums.

Pshaw! A pox on the lot of them! Do the right thing, You Holiness. THAT'S YOUR JOB. If it isn't your job, whose could it be? You are the Vicar of Christ! It doesn't matter that you were born with the handicap of not being French or Italian yourself!

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Joe B.:

No, I'm not recommending that the Pope lie. I don't know what he thinks about recommending Society Masses, and nor do you. But if he wants to allow but not encourage attendance there, this can be done.

P.K.T.P.

Martin said...

"The whole article is built on rumours and hearsay."

Thommo.

Yeah, but its all so much fun and neat to speculate about!
Let us have a little enjoyment with it.
Everyone knows that Bishop Fellay makes up these stories just to get a rise of people like you and I.

But we should all play along

C the G said...

"It bears mentioning that there are no reserved sins in the 1983 Code. Reserved censures, yes; reserved sins, no."

dcs,
is it possible to incur a censure of excommunication without committing a sin?

Anonymous said...

All rumours? Well, not unless we accuse Bishop Fellay of mendacity as well as The Remnant. I have as little respect for journalists as does His Grace of this list but I doubt it's all rumours. For one thing, some things have been repeated from previous interviews.

Rome, at any rate, has a problem because "Summorum Pontifum" is fast becoming a lame duck. After that, the next pope could make it a dead duck. Something more must be done to make it work; otherwise, the Pope will not look good.

P.K.T.P.

Enoch said...

It's interesting that Bp. Fellay wants de facto recognition before the doctrinal talks are over.

What he does not mention, as far as I could see, is the problem of obedience, and under whose authority would the SSPX be placed, if there were a formal reconciliation.

Since he didn't mention it, then maybe he's hoping for a deal where they could still be completely independent, with no authority over them. I can't imagine that Bp. Fellay would settle for anything less. But of course that's not how the Church operates.

Or, maybe Bp. Fellay is hoping for a way to be able to say that they are "in the Church," with valid confessions, etc., without having recognition, so that he won't have to deal with the obedience thing, which, for him, is likely the most frightening aspect of a possible reconciliation. He is used used to operating with no authority over him (except in a few minor matters). I can't see that Bp. Fellay would ever allow anyone to tell him what to do. Not gonna happen.

Thommo said...

I don't know why +BF says anything of the sort. It only serves to create confusion among the interested parties.

Would he or wouldn't he accept regularisation if offered? I hardly expect so. There are too many hard liners in the Society that demand that Rome cancel the 1970 Mass and anathematize Vatican II. As if that is "ever" going to happen!

Who cares, anyway? Unless we are sedevacantists, we know that there is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one Rome and one Peter. This last stands in the place of Christ - he is His Vicar - and those who are not with him are not with Christ. The barque of Peter will never sink, no matter how stormy the sead gets. On the other hand, the Society has no such divine promise.

It's not necessary to agree with everything Peter says or does, but it is necessary for priests and bishops to exercise the ministry within the framework of the Church. There can be as much pussy-footing around as might be, but outside the visible structure of the Church there can never be any apostolic succession, nor habitual jurisdiction. If there is such a crisis in the Church that the Society is obliged to operate outside its visible structure (and claim a jurisdiction of sorts with convoluted arguments), then the visible Church has failed the people of God. In other words, the Church has died the death.

By and large, the Society priests and faithful are de facto if not de iure (!) against an agreement, since for years they have been told that the pope is essentially the antichrist (cf Arb L's sermon, June 1988), Vatican II was a freemasonic conspiracy and the New Mass (even stripped of abuses) is the abomination of desolation . Now there are second and third generations of priests and faithful that have grown very much accustomed to the status quo. Life in the Society is comfortable; one can - like the sedevacantists - simply ignore what is happening in the Church because "they are all modernists".

Even if a rapprochement could be achieved, there would have to be a complete turn around in the minds of SSPXers for them to venture out of their ghettos and contribute to the Church as a whole, instead of whining about the New Mass and Dignitatis Humanae.

Anonymous said...

NC,

what reservations do you have?

New Catholic said...

They are mostly related to the fact that there is much we do not know, of events in the past and of prospects of future events. In other words, we cannot recommend it unreservedly, but it is an article that should be read nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

It does seem to me that Bishop Fellay finds himself in a very similar situation as the Pope. Both may desire an agreement, but the subordinates of both threaten revolution and defection in the case that such an agreement is made.

This comes from someone who is certainly friendly to the SSPX position and has family who attend an SSPX chapel regularly: when I read the comments of many faithful who exclusively attend their chapels I despair of there ever being an agreement. As someone pointed out above, the separation has gone on for so long that the children who have grown up in this situation have never known a regular relationship with the Holy Father or the formal structure of the Church. And their entrenched attitude reveals the deep wound caused by this relationship (or lack thereof). For many, nothing short of the site of the Pope in sackcloth burning the documents of Vatican II in St. Peter's Square could indicate that it is time to seek reconciliation. That is tragic.

It seems as though the rift has widened between the two camps since Summorum Pontificum, even though the formal Church is decidedly more "conservative" than it was 10 years ago (with a LONG way to go, but things are certainly better). That is an alarming trend.

Hieronymus

Anonymous said...

The best example of what a pope should be is Paul VI who against wind and tide imposed the reformation in the Church, even thought thousands of priests left the Church. Benedict should impose his reformation even though thousands of priests, bishops and cardinals leave the Church.

LeonG said...

"Because Bishop Williamson, through deliberate subterfuge, got himself branded as a Holocaust denier..."

This is inaccurate. The stalling is due more to the dogged insistance of the NO establishment and its supporters who are determined to delay every single papal act that has the aroma of Tradition about it. To blame one man is over-simplistic; reductionist in the extreme and fails to take account of the contemporary anti-conservative environment. The samne forces succeeded with JP II (RIP) Ecclesia Dei initiatives and still believe that they can do the same with Pope Benedict XVI's.

LeonG said...

"Rome, at any rate, has a problem because "Summorum Pontifum" is fast becoming a lame duck."

Correction - it was a lame duck from its inception because the same oppositional forces are still predominant that made Indult Masses a virtual lame duck. I have already explained elsewhere how bishops have successfully sabotaged any really effective & sustained restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass. Under the post-conciliar paradigms this situation will prevail

Athelstane said...

Hello Mr. Perkins,

But this puzzles me. In 2000, Pope John Paul II, through the P.C.E.D., apparently offered this same structure to the S.S.P.X. When the Society refused, it was offered AND GRANTED to the Campos. If it was granted to the Campos, how come it cannot be offered and granted to the S.S.P.X? The only difference between the two is the extent of each. But in juridical terms, they are the same.

Sadly, I think it is precisely the [geographical] extent of an S.S.P.X. apostolic administration that makes it much more difficult for the Holy See to grant than the Campos one was. "Difficult," I mean to say, in terms of the scope of opposition it would likely (would likely have) triggered.

Campos only affected Brazil - or really, one small region of Brazil. An S.S.P.X. worldwide A.A. would affect every diocese, and would strongly affect most dioceses in France, Germany and America - which in 2000 did not lack for liberal prelates willing to go to war to stop it.

As for the larger question, while I can't rule out some kind of de facto supplied jurisdiction recognized by Rome, I really don't expect anything until the doctrinal talks reach some kind of satisfactory (to both sides) point. I would like to be wrong, however.

Enoch said...

Good posts by Hieronymus and Thommo; much food for thought there.

Regarding what Hieronymus mentioned about subordinates of both sides threatening revolution and defection in the case of an agreement, any such agreement would have to include a means to try to appease these subordinates on both sides. Maybe this is one of the greatest barriers to an agreement. I don't believe any agreement is forthcoming, due to what I've already mentioned, but I'd love to be wrong about this.

If only both sides would put their complete faith and trust in Our Lord (and Lady)! The human element is always somewhat flawed, which is why we always have to rely ultimately on Him. However, His way is, quite often, the way of suffering, and who among us wants to suffer? Certainly not me.

There are bishops in the heirarchy who indeed would not be welcoming toward SSPX priests having jurisdiction in thier diocese. And not only the liberal ones, either. Conservative bishops, who already have enough to deal with in combating the liberal element, don't want to deal with SSPX rebels in their midst who they think will cause headaches for them.

The hardliners in the SSPX would probably defect in event of an agreement, but hopefully, some, or even many of them would come round eventually, if they see that the situation isn't as bad as they thought. There would be problems and suffering on the part of the SSPX at first. But as with family members who have been estranged for decades, it takes awhile to build the trust and love that is required for a healthy relationship. It can be done.

Faith, hope, trust.

David Noble said...

The first Traditional Latin Mass I went to was at an SSPX Chapel. Not only was I brought to tears, I knew in my heart that the Priests were holy, they were right and that under no circumstance could their decision to preserve, uphold and defend Catholicism be wrong.

Articles such as this confirm what I have suspected since my first intoduction to the Society. The SSPX is genuinely Catholic.

I now intend to attend the SSPX Seminary and I do not feel any hint of illegitamcy. In fact, I would certainly feel I was doing something wrong by attending a Novus Ordo seminary, knowing the harm and detriment caused to souls that has occured since the council.

I firmly believe that Archbishop Lefebvre is destined for Sainthood.

Pablo said...

...Pshaw! A pox on the lot of them! Do the right thing, Your Holiness. THAT'S YOUR JOB. If it isn't your job, whose could it be? You are the Vicar of Christ! It doesn't matter that you were born with the handicap of not being French or Italian yourself!...

Exactly my opinion.

Make your Yes Yes and your No No.

Anything else is from the Devil.

By the way, when a Holy Priest in the Society told Bishop Fellay that, to his face, that Priest got bounced.

Is there a Society Chapel in Siberia?

*

Paul Haley said...

What it boils down to IMO is trust. Does the Pope trust Bishop Fellay and vice versa. If this trust existed, then regularization would not be a problem. Bishop Fellay does not want to bring the Society into a relationship with those who preach heretical concepts and I believe the concept of attending masses and liturgical ceremonies with those preaching such nonsense is anathema to him.

So, it all boils down, IMO, to whether the Pope can eliminate the nonsense and heretical concepts that are being preached by some with status and faculties. This is a rather large order but it could be done with papal letters and encyclicals clearly stating what is doctrine and what is not. The SSPX for its part should congratulate the Pope for his efforts at reform and state they are reading, willing and able to cooperate with His Holiness in these endeavors. There is a way but it will not be easy and there will be defections from both sides along the path. If there is trust on both sides, it can be done IMO.

Anonymous said...

Yes, LeonG, I don't wish to sound prideful about it but I am perhaps more conversant with the numbers than are others on this blog, as I spend much time reporting changes in them for publication on-line. S.P. resulted in a substantial increase in the number of sees offering every-Sunday T.L.M.s but that increase continued for only the first eleven months--not even one full year--after publication of the motu proprio in July of 2007.

Since then, the rate of increase has flatlined. And it was only substantial in the first place in certain select countries, such as the U.S.A., Germany, England, Italy (to some limited extent), Poland and New Zealand.

I consult with a rather large number of people out there on the front lines. What happened? At first, the bishops tried legalistic tricks to obstruct the motu proprio (e.g. what is a 'group'?; how can I devise a Latin exam for priests wanting to offer the Latin Mass?). These really did not work. So then then changed tactics. They have now simply reverted to open threats against potential celebrants of Traditional Latin Masss:

How would *you* like to be a hospice chaplain for the next fifteen years?;

I have a perfect job for you, Fr. Tradition. We have an opening as chaplain in a maximum-security prison. Now not too many there will appreciate Latin Masses but, ...

Would you like me to remove your right to binate and trinate?

Then there is the simple out:

I'd ***LOVE*** to add one every-Sunday T.L.M. but gee golly gosh darn, I just don't have the manpower and resources to do it, given this terrible shortage of priests. What, bring in the F.S.S.P.? Well, I would have to examine its charism and order verrrry carefully to ensure that this comports well with that of this diocese. You can't just bring in a new society of priests except after a lonnnnng period of discernment, you know.

There are only two ways around these bastards, as follows:

1. His Holiness establishes a universal jurisdiction for traditon or

2. H.H. recognises Society Masses publicly and officially, forcing obstructing bishops reluctantly to add T.L.M.s so as to avoid losing face when the S.S.P.X moves into their bailiwicks.

Yes, LeonG, it has been a lame duck, if not from the beginning, certainly from Year Two, and we are now in Year Four.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Enoch writes:

"Since he didn't mention it, then maybe he's hoping for a deal where they could still be completely independent, with no authority over them. I can't imagine that Bp. Fellay would settle for anything less. But of course that's not how the Church operates."

It does in the Campos.

Bishop Fellay wants only one boss: Benedict XVI. This is perfectly possible and all parties concerned know that it must be. That is not the issue. Doctrine is the issue.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

The priest Thommo laments how the FSSPX is outside the Church and are schismatic....and have unsound arguments, around justification for holding to pre V2 praxis for example.

He argues from the position of obedience (at all costs) and there is an underlying current to favour of the reform of the reform, in my opinion.

We have all heard this before. The dividing line is drawn. I disagree with this position as do many others.

These are not normal times. The reform of the reform is not workable. A sows ear does not a silk purse maketh.

There is a crisis in the Church. We know the sources, we know the outcomes, we don't agree on what must be done. We don't agree on where the FSSPX fits...but they are indeed Catholic, though not with out problems, but neither is any human being or oganization.

I pray the 'fit' is good for all Catholics, especially the regular orders such as the FSSP and the NO priests that are not allowed to be Catholics with a Traditional hermeneutic (sic) - those Traditional Catholics in partial communion only with their heritage (sic).

I find it troubling that the Pope can not find that one Bishop for the FSSP? I suppose they are all too afraid of the modernist boogy man.

The apostasy will reach right to the top. Who said that?

I thank God Almighty everyday for the FSSPX. Without them the Traditional rank and file would be rather skinny.

God strengthen Pope Benedict XV1.

Pius Layman

Anonymous said...

Thommo wrote:

"Even if a rapprochement could be achieved, there would have to be a complete turn around in the minds of SSPXers for them to venture out of their ghettos and contribute to the Church as a whole, instead of whining about the New Mass and Dignitatis Humanae."

Of course, the only ghetto I can see is the New Order of NewChurch, that ghetto on the edge of Truth. And it is getting smaller and smaller by the day.

This idea that the New Protestant Sect with a Marian Twist must be identical to the Church is a blatant error. NewChurchers say so themselves: not 'identical to' but 'ubsists in'! NewChurch substists in the One Church of Christ. They themselves have constructed a distinction between the Church of Christ and themselves, and then they've isolated themselves from the former!

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Enoch:

Your failure at analysis is astounding. No, neither Society hardliners nor Society softliners are even considering being subjected to the nincompoops who govern most dioceses in NewChurch. The Pope has made it clear and this will not happen. The Campos has its freedom, the incoming Anglicans have their freedom, the S.S.P.X will be offered its universal particular church. All are subject to the Pope as their boss; none to the local ordinaries.

I agree with some here who predict that there can not be a juridical agreement for now. But, as mentioned before, Rome could unilaterally 'recognise' Society Masses and/or faculties, making its irregular status little more than a legal consideration to be resolved at some future date.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

"Summorum Pontifum" is fast becoming a lame duck."

Summorum Pontificum was a lame duck from the beginning.

For all practical purposes, what could said document have accomplished even if embraced favorably by bishops?

In the Dallas Diocese, for example, Bishop Farrell responded generously to Summorum Pontificum.

He established a TLM-only parish — Mater Dei in Irving, Texas.

Each Sunday in Dallas, nearly 170,000 Catholics assist at Mass (Novus Ordo).

Each Sunday, nearly 600 Catholics attended Mater Dei parish.

Therefore, even when a bishop has responded generously to Summorum Pontificum, the TLM's practical effect within a given diocese is virtually nil.

His Holiness must offer the TLM regularly — that is, he promotes the TLM to the hilt — before Summorum Pontificum would have any practical effect upon the Latin Church.

Until such time, Summorum Pontificum will remain a "lame duck" document.

Tom

Anonymous said...

Athelstane makes very valid points in response to mine. Finally, somebody here is thinking.

Yes, I agree that the geographical extent is the problem. It was so even in the case of the Campos: that structure, that a.a., was originally supposed to cover ALL of Brazil but the Brazilian bishops hit the roof and confined it to a tiny gilded cage.

However, while bishops may worry excessively about an international structure, the evidence suggests that their fears are misplaced and little would change. There are very few people out there, in my considered view (and I know the numbers and the situation internationally better than do the bishops) who would decamp from an N.O. Mass to a S.S.P.X regularised Mass.

After forty years of chaos, most people have made their choices and have become settled. Some sought a more conservative N.O.; some preferred a wild and crazy liberal N.O.; some decamped to the Eastern Catholic Churches; some 'defected' to S.S.P.X chapels; some found a regularised T.L.M.; a great many realised what a bunch of miscreants our bishops are and simply left the Church altogether.

What needs to be taken into account, however, is that, by now, the regularised Masses outnumber the S.S.P.X Masses internationally by a factor of about three to one. Even in France, there are now almost as many regularised as unregularised Masses, and the two are distributed fairly equally. Only in Argentina and in a few isolated and small places would Society regularisation make a noticeable difference. Essentially, by allowing a graduated growth of 'official' Masses, the S.S.P.X has become more and more a watchdog group, keeping the liberals in line from without.

So Athelstane thinks logically but he thinks logically as a man of 1990 instead of a man of 2010. The situation, from 1984 to the present, has changed substantially and the S.S.P.X no longer threatens to take away faithful from he bishops by the boatload.

Were Society Masses recognised tomorrow, only a trickle of legalists would switch to them. Few would move from where they are. But it would have the effect of inducing the bishops to grant permission for the T.L.M. just to keep the S.S.P.X from moving in and causing those bishops to lose face. Now is the perfect time for the Holy Father to recognise Society Masses. The disruption would be mininmal and it would mostly affect a small minority of bishops in Western countries who have refused the motu proprio entirely. Las Cruces and Reims, Trois Rivières and Hobart, Lisbon and Las Vegas, Parma and Buenos Aires.

Keep in mind also that the S.S.P.X might love to cause a storm in places such as Italy and Portugal but simply lacks the manpower and the cash to do it. Most Society priests are committed to existing apostolates and the Society's rate of growth, thanks to E.D. and S.P., has been reduced to a trickle--something few have analysed, by the way. Don't get me wrong on this: the S.S.P.X continues to grow at a steady rate, but it is a very slow rate, especially as compared with that of the 1970s and 1980s.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

P.T.K.P. -

Calling SP a lame duck is false. Calling it a success would probably be false, too.

Who judges something like SP after such a tiny number of years?

In reality, the immediate effect of SP was a translation of the latent potential within the Church waiting for something like SP to come along.

Now that phase is over and done, and the seed has been sown.

A simpleton might look at a leveling off after two years as evidence of a stall or lack of vitality. A more nuanced analysis without any directed motive would take into consideration that building something takes much longer than destroying something. What builder would start a huge project, and, examining the foundation that has recently been laid, lament that the project isn't done? Instead, look at the tools that are being readied for the project: seminaries in Nebraska and Wigratzbad overflowing with seminarians.

It seems that your cynicism has some sort of end objective that it reaches for, doesn't it?

Joe B said...

That the number of diocesan TLMs has increased above SSPXs TLMs is a very good thing and a compliment to SSPX, not a concern. They are certainly pleased, since they were the ones who offered the Rosary Crusade for the "freeing" of the old Mass, and SP resulted.

Their numbers are indeed small, comparatively speaking. But as P.K.T.P. points out, these bishops treat them as if they were the Huns at the gates, and the Holy Father seems to worry about their case as if they were his only son.

And well they should. God's Mother is with them. To hell with the numbers.

Athelstane said...

So Athelstane thinks logically but he thinks logically as a man of 1990 instead of a man of 2010. The situation, from 1984 to the present, has changed substantially and the S.S.P.X no longer threatens to take away faithful from he bishops by the boatload.

That's true of course. But what I had in mind particularly was the situation that obtained in 2000, when the notion of an A.A. was first mooted to the Society. And at that point, of course, Society masses accounted for a significantly larger percentage of traditional masses than they do...today.

I also agree that even a full regularization of the Society would not induce a major migration of tradition-minded Catholics to the S.S.P.X. chapels - at least not in the areas where it is strongest (U.S., France, Germany). While we all are disappointed that there has not been much greater growth of TLM's, there are now enough offered by diocesan or ED groups to provide an acceptable option to most of those who regularly attend their masses. Notwithstanding the attraction of daily masses as a supplementary option, which remains a weak spot in most places, unless you are lucky enough to have a full-fledged ICK or FSSP oratory or personal parish nearby.

Athelstane said...

Who judges something like SP after such a tiny number of years?

It might be the optimist in me, but I still think that S.P. will yet have a very profound effect within the Church. It will just take longer than we'd like.

I can imagine...fifteen years from now...when some of these promising young priests start getting named as bishops and rectors and metropolitans...and they begin pushing the traditional liturgy much more vigorously down to the parish level and make it a very integral part of seminary formation. It's that top-down effect we're really waiting for. And I think that time is on our side in this regard.

Enoch said...

P.K.T.P. wrote:

"Bishop Fellay wants only one boss: Benedict XVl."

Has Bishop Fellay himself actually stated this?

Thommo said...

@ Pious Layman:

I have no problem with the SSPX holding onto pre V2 praxes if they wish, but it HAS to be within the framework of the visible Church.

I don’t believe in obedience at all costs. If there was a serious question of the Society being forced to do something intrinsically evil, they would have to reject it. But what evil would they truly have to embrace? Admittedly, no the ordinary rite, they have a different perspective from mine: they hold that the ordinary rite is per se evil. I think the abuses are evil, but not the rite per se. Would they have to accept every statement of Vatican II? I hardly doubt that, when priests in good standing such as Mgr Brunero Gherardini (who has become the Society’s pin-up priest) can criticise the Council in no uncertain terms.

I don’t think obedience is the problem. The problem is that fundamentally, the SSPX really believes that it has been given a charism to decide what is Catholic and what is not. Their brand of Catholicism is not heretical as such, but it is very restrictive. The Church is very broad and has always allowed a lot of room for discussion and debate in regard to secondary doctrines (those derived from the Deposit of the Faith). The Society would like to restrict any debate and discussion to their own narrow view.

I do, and don’t agree with the Pious Layman that these are not normal times. That is true in so far as the practice of the Faith has been in such terrible decline. One can admit that this is in part due to the lack of orthodoxy and general discipline of priests and bishops. The last popes have certainly done some things that would have been better left undone. On the other hand, it is perfectly normal for the Church to go from crisis to crisis, if history is to teach us anything. In fact, if there were no crisis, we would have to be very concerned that something was not quite right. Even considering the crisis, no bishop or priest has the right to operate outside the visible framework of the Church.

By the way, why do the FSSP need a bishop?

@ PKTP:

Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia. Not the adage doesn’t say “ubi Petrus, non difficultates semper erunt”, or “non mali in officiis auctoritatis”. Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia. I believe that with every fibre of my being. I also believe what we say in the Creed: Credo … in unam… ecclesiam. There is one Church. I repeat that I believe Archbishop Lefebvre was profoundly wrong to introduce a distinction between eternal Rome and modernist Rome. There is only one, and at its head is Peter. To say otherwise is to deny the indefectibility of the Church.

Excuse me if I am drawing the wrong conclusion, but you seem to be implying that the Church in Rome is a “new protestant sect”, as opposed to the real Catholic Church, which exists… where?

@ David Noble

Congratulations on your generous decision to enter the priestly ranks. I wish there were more who would! May I presume to offer a few words of advice, as I was once in a Society seminary? Pray daily to the Holy Ghost for enlightenment on these difficult matters of the Church. Read for yourself the Vatican II documents – even if you disagree with them, you will need to know them inside out if your criticism of them will be credible. You will not be taught the documents from any perspective; only some generalisations and quotes out of context will be tossed up. And perhaps most importantly: never relinquish your own personality or your common sense, and always keep an open mind. God bless you. I’ll remember you at Mass.

Thommo said...

@ PKTP:

Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia. Not the adage doesn’t say “ubi Petrus, non difficultates semper erunt”, or “non mali in officiis auctoritatis”. Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia. I believe that with every fibre of my being. I also believe what we say in the Creed: Credo … in unam… ecclesiam. There is one Church. I repeat that I believe Archbishop Lefebvre was profoundly wrong to introduce a distinction between eternal Rome and modernist Rome. There is only one, and at its head is Peter. To say otherwise is to deny the indefectibility of the Church.

Excuse me if I am drawing the wrong conclusion, but you seem to be implying that the Church in Rome is a “new protestant sect”, as opposed to the real Catholic Church, which exists… where?

Thommo said...

@ David Noble

Congratulations on your generous decision to enter the priestly ranks. I wish there were more who would! May I presume to offer a few words of advice, as I was once in a Society seminary? Pray daily to the Holy Ghost for enlightenment on these difficult matters of the Church. Read for yourself the Vatican II documents – even if you disagree with them, you will need to know them inside out if your criticism of them will be credible. You will not be taught the documents from any perspective; only some generalisations and quotes out of context will be tossed up. And perhaps most importantly: never relinquish your own personality or your common sense, and always keep an open mind. God bless you. I’ll remember you at Mass.

Anonymous said...

Very useful article (although I don't share every single detail of it).
It might teach Fr. Z a thing or two, just days after his post on an adjacent issue:
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/10/quaeritur-decree-about-excommunications-of-sspx-bishops/

LeonG said...

The net effect of the SP is to hinge the destiny of the Latin Mass to the NO because they are allegedly "two forms one rite". The "reform of the reform" is also implicit in this liturgical enterprise with sinister potential. Apart form the fact bishops everywhere have found the means to render the SP largely useless there are moves afoot to hybridise the forms. Thus, the SP is a lame duck where Traditionalists are concerned because if they place there trust in such a docement to ensure the future use of The Latin Mass as they know it now, then they will be disappointed. Already by accepting the 1962 books with a seemingly minor change or two following the Trojan Horse has been well and truly delivered into the camp of Tradition. This is not cyncism this is realism. The Pope hads n interest whatever in promoting Ther Traditional Latin Mass - the truth is 180 degrees away from this.

Enoch said...

LeonG wrote:

"...there are moves afoot to hybridise the forms."

LeonG, while it it obvious that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is changing to include Latin, There has not been any change to the TLM (1962 missel) that I'm aware of. Could you please provide documentation for the claim that the TLM will be hybridized?

Also, regarding the 1962 missel, those who want to return to a pre-1962 missel are often sedevacantists - I'm not saying that you are such, though.
I'm not pro-SSPX anymore, but even Archbishop Lefebvre didn't have a problem with the 1962 missel.

Thommo, I appreciate your good and concise posts of today. My hope is that the staunch supporters of the SSPX will heed what you've written. I assume that you are a former SSPXer. I am too, but I'm not able to be as gracious and charitable toward the SSPX as you are.

There are good and even saintly priests associated with the SSPX. I feel privileged to have known some of them. However, some in the SSPX leadersip have been less-than-honest on many issues. Whether they are intentionally so, or only self-deluded I do not know. Certainly they are only following in the footsteps of their founder, Archbishop Lefebvre.

I believe that if they are regularized with no authority over them except the pope, they will cause no end of problems for the Church. They will make the liberals look like sissies.

I have great love and admiration for the Holy Father, but he is a softie. I don't know if he's really aware of the true nature of the SSPX.

Anonymous said...

"I can imagine...fifteen years from now...when some of these promising young priests start getting named as bishops and rectors and metropolitans...and they begin pushing the traditional liturgy much more vigorously down to the parish level and make it a very integral part of seminary formation."

We heard the same thing during Pope John Paul II's lengthy Pontificate.

Young men who gravated to Tradition had entered semininaries.

"Conservative" priests were elevated as bishops.

I have broached the subject of Traditional Liturgy and practices with various men who are new to the priesthood...they responded: "We cannot return to the past."

Things will change for the better (on a widespread basis) only when we have a Pope who is determined to return to the Traditional Roman Liturgy.

Tom

Anonymous said...

Thommo has argued his position forcefully, but let me be a third party in this discussion.
I don't know you guys (and ladies if any), but in my country there is not a SSPX parish or church, nor any traditional mass fraternity or even a TLM allowed, but if the SSPX came to my country I would not bat an eye to join the society as a parishioner. If this puts me in position as a schismatic and outside the Church, so be it, but I refuse to go along with the zeitgeist.
In any event, being a schismatic is no big thing post VII, because we now know according to Lumen Gentium that the Church of Christ "subsists" in the Catholic Church and that there are "elements of truth" in the schismatic protestant and orthodox churches. If this is so, then the same holds for the schismatic SSPX.
In summary, I refuse to renege of my Catholic beliefs that I held pre-VII,
and consequently refuse to go along with the new theology and the "hermeneutics of continuity" that tries to reconcile VII with Tradition by stating the evolution of dogma according to the historic situation, and that what we held as truth formerly is no longer valid now, and what is true now will subsequently change according to the historic surrounding, and so on and so forth.
C.M.

LeonG said...

"while it it obvious that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is changing to include Latin..etc...."

This clearly demonstrates you have not understood the implications of such changes for the future.

LeonG said...

" those who want to return to a pre-1962 missel are often sedevacantists..."

This is a myth. Where is the objective evidence for such a proposition?

Most of the Traditional Catholics I know prefer the pre-1962 books and there is not one sedevacantist among them.

In any case, sedevacantism is entirely comprehensible in an era when even the pope does not use the authority God has given him; he makes public acts with false religions that place The Roman Catholic Faith in doubt and he never disciplines de facto schismatic NO bishops or clergy who routinely disobey consistent church teaching on a variety of amtters and who flout liturgical rubrics even to the point of invalidation.

Anonymous said...

LeonG,

It's pretty late in the thread to be responding to your comment on my observation regarding Williamson, but here goes: I agree that more factors are at play than Williamson alone. Nevertheless, his continuing presence in the Society is sufficient, in itself, to make regularization impossible. I really don't think there is any question about this. The world media would go nuts if Benedict appeared to actually bring a Holocaust denier into regular canonical status. This is all they would need to completely discredit him in the eyes of the public. For all practical purposes, it would be the end of his pontificate.