Rorate Caeli

Analysis: Holy See and SSPX
The ball is in whose court? - 5 years later
UPDATED

It is almost unbelievable that it has been over five years since we wrote this (The ball is in whose court?, Feb. 15, 2006) - yet, while the situation has improved tremendously since then (from the motu proprio to the lifting of excommunications, and to the doctrinal discussions), there are aspects discussed then that need to be considered. In 2006, we said:

So, there are two reasons why the "ball" is at this moment far from the FSSPX's "court". First, because while the conditions for dialogue are (apparently) close to their implementation, we will only know that for sure after the papal-curial meeting of late March and afterwards. Second, because, as far as Vatican II is concerned, the message of Benedict XVI, the message that the Council was no "rupture", that one does not have to "accept" Vatican II as something which changed the Faith, because the Conciliar "Fathers had no such mandate and no one had ever given them one" (Papal words), has to reach those huge portions of the Church completely drowned in the "Hermeneutics of Rupture".

At least the first part has to be implemented: in a few months we will know what, if anything concrete, was offered and then we may finally assert that the "ball is in their court".

Now, it is true that something like a canonical solution could eventually be on the table in 2011 - but that has always been true. Remember the One-Two-Three Strategy? If you do not, we will remind you, from April 2006:

The Superior for the District of France of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX), Father Régis de Cacqueray [he is still District Superior in 2011], published a communiqué on the official website of the District ... .The most important passage of his communiqué is ... :

Whatever they [the websites] are interested in portraying [that is, that the Fraternity is dominated by a "cabal of conspirators" willing to "sell out"], the Fraternity of Saint Pius X remains faithful to a line [which has been] clearly expressed and regarding which it has not wavered:
- [1] obtaining the two preconditions, which are the withdrawal of the decree of excommunications and the freedom of every priest to celebrate the Mass of Saint Pius V;
- [2] the resolution of doctrinal questions;
- [3] the search for the most adequate canonical solution.

So, then: that all seemed so distant in 2006! Yet, the first most difficult, almost unimaginable, preconditions were fulfilled; and the second one has taken place as a "first phase" and has not truly reached a stalemate (as many would have wished, and have wrongly reported), unless one wishes to argue about what exactly résolution (resolution) meant then.

What we do mean, and this is why we must emphasize these posts from 2006 (we have not been following this publicly just for the past few months), is that there is no need to be overly dramatic about the current situation: the "search for the most adequate canonical solution" may well involve dialogue - such things are not exactly found in the ether -, but there must be no doubt of who, what side, is in the position to actually propose, or confer (unilaterally), a concrete solution.

Now, we know, because the Superior General of the FSSPX himself declared so last week, that there is not a concrete standing offer at this moment. Therefore, it is not correct to say at this moment that the ball is on the Fraternity's side. When it actually is, we will know it.


[UPDATE- 1800 GMT:] As a perfect complement to our post, French Rome-based religious news agency I.Media reported, in the Roman afternoon, that Roman authorities have declared to them that "it is too soon to say that the doctrinal discussions are a failure" and that a joint analysis of the discussions so far (what Bp. Fellay called the "first phase") will be made in September:

[S]ources close to the dossier affirm that it is too soon to say this [that the discussions have ended in failure] and announce an upcoming meeting between those in charge from both parties to evaluate these two years of work, a meeting that could take place in mid-September.
"The discussions are not formally over," an authorized source, close to the dossier, explained to I.MEDIA, adding that if the phase of disputatio is definitely over, it still demands an evaluation by both parties. In this sense, it is revealed in Rome, "it is too soon to say that it is a failure, as it is too soon to say that these discussions have succeeded." (Source)

52 comments:

Knight of Malta said...

the message of Benedict XVI, the message that the Council was no "rupture", that one does not have to "accept" Vatican II as something which changed the Faith

It is true that Vatican II did not "change" the faith, as the Faith, like God himself, is unchanging and unchangeable. Dogmas further define her, but she herself never changes.

But Vatican II was a "rupture", and did introduce modernist novelties which not only should, but must be rejected. People get confused about councils. Vatican II defined nothing, and declared nothing infallibly.

It has the authority of the Church, as it was an ecumenical Council; but an unjust law not only should, but must be rejected. So, for instance, the absurdly written and modernist-wrought document sacrosanctum concilium not only should, but must be rejected outright. Its modernist, almost masonic, mindedness led to the disasterous novus disorder.

Like I said, people get all gummed-up when it comes to councils; they are not the Church (though if they do declare something Dogmatically, that IS binding). Remember, the ecumenical Council Lateran IV declared that all Jews and Muslims must wear distinctive garb. Not only is that absurd, but is unjust. So, another example of a declaration from a Council which must be ignored.

Although, generally speaking, the Holy Spirit does guide an ecumenical Council, the renowned theologianMsgr. Gherardini has said:

"This [the general guidance of the Holy Spirit at a Council] does not mean that the Holy Spirit may not encounter formal or material resistance from the free-willed men who give life to the counciliar event. It is from this possibility that there arises the great risk which casts itself upon the background of the Council...namely, the possibility that it may even fail in some way. Someone has even gone further and has asked if an Ecumenical Council can fall into error in Faith and Morals. The opinions are at variance..."

Anonymous said...

New Catholic,

While I admire your desire to give a clear update on the situation, I think we simply do not know enough in order to evaluate in whose court the ball lay right now. We do not know how the doctrinal talks ended, if they have ended. It is entirely possible that the Roman curia have identified a series of areas requiring the assent of the latter, and are awaiting a response from the Fraternity before passing on to the canonical phase. For example, it may very well be (and it is my guess) that the entire position of the Roman curia will have been to get the SSPX to accept that VII was a valid ecumenical council that defined nothing, but that also contains no heresy so long as it is always interpreted in the light of Tradition. My guess is that the Holy Father's view of the issue is that it is a question of interpretation of VII as a result of the terrible manner in which VII was written, and that the Holy Father's answer is not to reject VII but to have the SSPX accept that it can be interpreted in the light of Tradition. If they reach this point, the discussion is over. As you can see I am just guessing here, but based on the paucity of what we know, I feel it is premature to suggest that the ball is in the court of the Vatican authorities. All the same, I do thank you for the great work you do on Rorate. It is the first site I go to when I get on the net.

New Catholic said...

Thanks.

We work with what we see, but also with what most cannot see.

Best regards!

Mr. Ortiz said...

Off topic: The blog looks really impressive...dare I say it?

Noble Beauty!

Johnny Domer said...

NC: this seems to be a much more positive take on the doctrinal discussions than I would have expected. Do you really think that a "resolution" of the doctrinal questions has taken place to such an extent that now we can seriously begin talking about the third step to reconciliation, the canonical solution? I just feel like anytime one of the SSPX bishops talks about the discussions, they kinda throw cold water on whether they are actually "successful." I don't want to be misinterpreting what you say or anything, and obviously you know more than you can publicly say, but I was never under the impression that the doctrinal discussions were going particularly well.

LeonG said...

The hermeneutic of continuity has still to be demonstrated objectively. Papal utterances in favour and a rushed beatification under new easier rules do not prove anything, other than it is a subjective hypothesis, and remains an unconvincing one at that!

New Catholic said...

Thank you, Mr. Ortiz. I am glad you like it.

John McFarland said...

Dear New Catholic,

In his declaration of November 21, 1974, Archbishop Lefebvre said:

"We adhere with our whole heart, and with our whole soul to Catholic Rome, the Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of those traditions necessary for the maintenance of that Faith, to eternal Rome, Mistress of Wisdom and Truth.

"Because of this adherence we refuse and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo‑Modernist and neo‑Protestant tendencies, such as were clearly manifested during the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council in all the resulting reforms.

"All these reforms have, indeed, contributed and still contribute to the demolition of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the destruction of the Holy Sacrifice and the Sacraments, to the disappearance of religious life, and to naturalistic and Teilhardian teaching in universities, seminaries, and catechetics, a teaching born of Liberalism and Protestantism many times condemned by the solemn magisterium of the Church. No authority, even the very highest in the hierarchy, can constrain us to abandon or to diminish our Catholic Faith, such as it has been clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s magisterium for 19 centuries.

"'But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema (Gal. 1:8).' ...

"And if a certain contradiction is apparent in [the Holy Father's] words and actions, as well as in the acts of various Roman Congregations, then we choose what has always been taught, and we turn a deaf ear to the innovations which are destroying the Church."

This remains the position of the SSPX.

The position of Rome described by the Archbishop also remains the same under the current Holy Father.

A generation after the 1974 declaration, Bishop Fellay still talks of the actions of the Vatican in terms of "contradictions." The Vatican remains incapable of obeying the law of non-contradiction, in theory or in practice.

There is no deal to be made. There must be conversion by conciliar Rome to tradition, or by tradition to conciliar Rome, or nothing.

Mr. Ortiz said...

You're very welcome.

I read this blog often. I sincerely hope that the aspirations of its authors are realized sooner than later.

Speaking for myself, I love this Holy Father, and realize that the fixes to the rupture we are experiencing will take a long time.

Anonymous said...

There were not supposed to be any phases. Now there are phases. If it remains for the Holy See to 'evaluate' the Society's affirmations (and vice versa), it would not seem likely that the Holy See will take any action between now and then.

But this is all just hearsay, really. The Holy See could very well find that some sort of declaration is in order before moving on to the next 'phase'. We just don't know.

At this point, Rome risks alienating all parties concerned. While delay after delay after delay keeps the truth at bay, people just give up and do whatever. Whatever, for mamy Catholics, means getting fed up and walking away. We don't need a Church of bureaucrats; we need a Church of saints.

P.K.T.P.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

From His Eminence Bishop Richard Williamson:

Unlike a Personal Prelature, an Apostolic Ordinariat is independent of the local bishops, and unlike an Apostolic Administration, such as Campos in Brazil, it is not confined to just one diocese.

What more could the Society ask for?

It asks that Rome should come back to the Truth, because it knows, as do Communists and Neo-modernists, that any practical co-operation which would skirt around doctrinal disagreement leads eventually, for all kinds of human reasons, to absorbing the false doctrine of the enemies of the Faith, in other words to betraying the Truth.

Here is why the Society's Superior General has in public more than once repudiated any canonical agreement with Rome that would precede a doctrinal agreement.

But the Discussions have served at least to demonstrate the depth of the doctrinal disagreement between the Society and Neo-modernist Rome.

That is why Catholics should be prepared for the Society to refuse even the offer of an Apostolic Ordinariat, however well-intentioned the Roman authorities may be.

But why is doctrine so important ? Because the Catholic Faith is a doctrine. But why is Faith so important ? Because without it we cannot please God (Heb.XI,6).

But why must it be the Catholic Faith? Will no other faith in God do ?

No, because God himself underwent the horror of the Cross to reveal to us the one true Faith.

All other "faiths" contradict, more or less, that true Faith, with lies.

*

LeonG said...

"and realize that the fixes to the rupture...."

Indeed, Mr Ortiz, and it is the same pope who denies there is a rupture - so how can he fix it when he does not admit to it?

Anonymous said...

"There is no deal to be made. There must be conversion by conciliar Rome to tradition, or by tradition to conciliar Rome, or nothing."

Mr. McFarland,

While I am very sympathetic to the positions of the SSPX (I agree with probably 99% of what I've heard Bishop Fellay say), statements like yours baffle me.

Are you saying that if the Holy Father offered, unilaterally, protection by way of an ordinariate to the SSPX that they would reject it.

To me it is not at all clear that the SSPX would be required to make some type of ambiguous assent to VCII "interpreted in the light of tradition". He could very well just declare that the SSPX is Catholic, supply (recognize jurisdiction) and offer an ordinariate.

Even if you think it unlikely, are you saying that the SSPX should reject this type of offer, or something equivalent, if forthcoming?

John M.

Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

In my opinion of one who is sympathetic towards the SSPX and who understands and shares their plight and frustration would find it inconceivable and at the same time a betrayal of the greatest order if they were to be offered an ordinariate type of structure and this were to be rejected.

This specially if Rome does not push for a great deal from the society which at the minimum should accept what its founder accepted and nothing more.

However if for a second time the SSPX turns its back on the Church and that faithful then it would be a sign, to me, that the society has been completely infected with the decease of pride. Not only that but we would see that a true vein of sedevacantism has taken over its ranks at which point I can only say that save a miracle from the Holy Spirit any type of reunion would have and should have been lost.

New Catholic said...

Mr. Cattaneo, it really is time to pray and wait. It is quite hard to use "ifs" at this moment.

Anonymous said...

Part of Bishop Williamson's column has been published here. Elsewhere in it, he reveals that the news of an impending offer comes from an official of the P.C.E.D. So this story does not only come from New Catholic's contact who, in turn, heard it from several members of a traditionalist society. In the words of Bishop Williamson, the news comes from "an Ecclesia Dei spokesman", meaning an official at the P.C.E.D. The offer is to be a personal and international ordinariate, 100% independent of the local Marxists, um, I mean, bishops.

+Williamson then wonders if this claim is only a trial balloon. At any rate, he avers, Bishop Fellay will not accept such an offer until doc talks are concluded successfully, and such an outcome is not even on the horizon.

If Rome does extend an offer "this month", as claimed by N.C.'s source, and should the S.S.P.X refuse it, the question then is whether or not Rome will issue any statement regarding the Society's status.

It looks interminable but that depends on what one considers to be the goal. But if the goal is doctrinal agreement, then, yes, get ready to hear of it well into the next world no matter how young you may be at present.

If the goal is to be real freedom for our Mass, it may come at any time because the Pope could unilaterally recognise Society faculties, for example....

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. McFarland:

Archbishop Lefebvre signed a Protocol of Agreement in 1988 that conferred significantly less than the offer of a personal ordinariate. In fact, it did not specify how the relation with the bishops would be handled. He ripped it up only because Rome was not forthcoming with his request for a bishop and he felt that he needed to secure a future for his Society and for tradition by having a Bishop who could ordain more priests.

A personal ordinariate could accomodate titular bishops as the ordinary and as auxililaries. Rome is obviously willing to accept three of the Society bishops.

If the Pope were to extend this offer to Archbishop Lefebvre today, it would be accepted. Therefore, if Bishop Fellay declines, he departs from the example of his founder.

Of course, it can be argued that conditions today are not what they were in 1988. But 1988 was two years AFTER Assisi. What condition, I wonder, made a deal possible in 1988 under John Paul II but not possible in 2011 under Benedict XVI and AFTER the 2009 lifting of the declarations of excommunication, AFTER Summorum Pontificum and AFTER Universæ Ecclesiæ? 2011 is also AFTER the 2002 Campos precedent and the creation of the F.S.S.P., I.C.R., I.B.P., and thirty other approved traditionalist societies and institutes.

Would Archbishop Lefebvre take a personal and international ordinariate AFTER all of these things? You bet he would.

P.K.T.P.

New Catholic said...

Good views, Mr. Perkins. I just would not be too worried about a specific timetable and apparent deadlines.

NC

Anonymous said...

Bishop W. reports that an international & personal ordinariate is about to be offered. Will the Society accept it at this juncture? No, I don't think so, since the doctrinal talks, as far as we can tell, have resolved nothing at all so far.

I don't expect a canonical resolution at this point. However, from what has been discussed, the Pope might take a middle position and recognise publicaly that the Society is Catholic and that its Masses therefore fulfil the Sunday obligation (something already admitted privately by way of letters from the P.C.E.D.).

We must be realistic and that, I think, is about all we can expect this year or next. But such a recognition is major, not minor.

As for regularisation, I cannot for the life of me see how it can happen unless Rome admits to error or the Society does. That is not about to happen.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

John McFarland quoted Archbishop Lefebvre as saying ""And if a certain contradiction is apparent in [the Holy Father's] words and actions, as well as in the acts of various Roman Congregations, then we choose what has always been taught, and we turn a deaf ear to the innovations which are destroying the Church."

Then he adds:

"This remains the position of the SSPX."

I hope so. There is really no difference between this position and what the Holy Father calls the Hermeneutic of Continuity. Deaf ears to interpretations of VII that contradict Tradition. Open ears to what does not.

Athelstane said...

"Would Archbishop Lefebvre take a personal and international ordinariate AFTER all of these things? You bet he would."

An excellent point, Mr. Perkins.

An offer along these lines would be better than that accepted by Archbp. Lefebvre in considerably less propitious circumstances.

Credo In Unum Deum said...

The Society rejecting an ordinariate would pretty much kill my support for them. My first Trad Mass was in a Society Chapel, in Veneta, Oregon- a beautiful Church and a beautiful Mass. I have much affection for this group, but I do not think they can be very clear thinkers if such a ridiculously one-sided offer (that is to say, basically for the benefit of the Society and Rome gets next to nothing out of the deal) is rejected. What can they think? That outside of a canonical status they have more leverage? They are acting as if Rome wants them back SO much, but "we;re not coming back unless you do as we tell you"! Get real! They will actually have all the leverage they need with an ordinariate! Their numbers will go up exponentially! I for one, will at least be going to the local SSPX priest for confession if not Mass as well. More people means more money for them and less for the local "Marxists" (as Perkins so reverently calls the bishops). Money talks and suddenly they have leverage. Damn they need someone with there political head screwed on straight to deal with this problem.

But I hope for the best anyway.

credo

Cruise the Groove. said...

I do not see how see how the Society can turn down an Ordinariate.
rom what I have heard it comes with no strings attached and the FSSPX could exist and preach the way they are now without any interference from liberal bishops,the difference being that they would be legal and would have all faculties.
Why would anyone in his right mind turn this down?
I am totally baffled.

Mr. Ortiz said...

Leon,

Note the careful phrasing. He is being diplomatic, but the reality is he is saying the interpretation and implementation = rupture.


"The last event of this year on which I wish to reflect here is the celebration of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council 40 years ago. This memory prompts the question: What has been the result of the Council? Was it well received? What, in the acceptance of the Council, was good and what was inadequate or mistaken? What still remains to be done? No one can deny that in vast areas of the Church the implementation of the Council has been somewhat difficult, even without wishing to apply to what occurred in these years the description that St Basil, the great Doctor of the Church, made of the Church's situation after the Council of Nicea: he compares her situation to a naval battle in the darkness of the storm, saying among other things:

"The raucous shouting of those who through disagreement rise up against one another, the incomprehensible chatter, the confused din of uninterrupted clamouring, has now filled almost the whole of the Church, falsifying through excess or failure the right doctrine of the faith..." (De Spiritu Sancto, XXX, 77; PG 32, 213 A; SCh 17 ff., p. 524).

We do not want to apply precisely this dramatic description to the situation of the post-conciliar period, yet something from all that occurred is nevertheless reflected in it. The question arises: Why has the implementation of the Council, in large parts of the Church, thus far been so difficult?"

Benedict XVI, 12/22/2005

Anonymous said...

On the matter of an ordinariate, all four S.S.P.X bishops hvae made it crystal clear that they want to resolve doctrinal difficulties before proceding with a canonical form. Let me play the rôle of devil's advocate to my own position on this; let me play the rôle of Mr. McFarland.

It comes down to a matter of trust. I don't mean that the Society distrusts this Pope's good will but that they fear what might proceed from a man whose theology is vitiated by modern deviations. For all the blather, Benedict XVI has never in his life retracted anything he said or wrote in the 1960s, when he was a liberal theologian and a disciple of Rahner.

Moreover, since his election as Pope, Benedict XVI has continued with plans for an Assisi and World Youth Days and has even delivered lectures favouring controverted Vatican II positions, such as the one on religious liberty. He has altered the Sacred Liturgy to please rabbis, who are the very worst enemies of the Catholic Faith. He has never offered the T.L.M. in public or even in private as far as we know. The list goes on and on and I will not rehearse it here. In conclusion, Benedict XVI still has a liberal theology despite liking the ritual of tradition. In his last Instruction of the Latin Mass, he has even insisted that prefaces from NewMass "can and should" be inserted into the ancient Latin Mass; he has approved the exclusive use of vernacular lections at Low Mass; he has said that NewMass and TrueMass should enrich each other; and so forth.

An ordinariate would liberate the S.S.P.X from the local bishops but would subject it to an ageing Pope whom the Society distrusts. As for the next Pope, if you look at the current crop in the Sacred College of Cardinals, well, it isn't encouraging.

So the Socioety only wants to be subject to a Pope and a hierarchy that shares its traditional perspective and anathematises one by one the Modernist errors since the 1950s.


To be continued in a counter, P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

PART II

COUNTER

I suppose that the simple counter to this runs as follows. First, under an ordinariate agreement, the Society's real property could remain under separate corporations in various countries, as at present. In other words, there is little danger of Rome trying to revolutionise the Society, since the S.S.P.X could simply refuse to obey. The Society gains through regularisation because most potential supporters want an obedient tradition.

The Society's fear, I think, is that its leaders--and future leaders approved by Rome--would gradually come to accept their juridical subordination. Look what happened to the F.S.S.P. Ten years of peace were followed by Protocol 1411-99. So the S.S.P.X can only be safe if the doctrine it must accept happens to be the perennial Catholic doctrine!


SOLUTION

All things considered, an unregularised S.S.P.X can also serve the interests of non-Society traditionalists--and Bishop Fellay should consider such people, since they too have souls to save.

The value of an unregularised Society would be its complete immunity from liturgical tinkering and its doctrinal purity.

If the Pope finds that he cannot reconcile the Society but he wants to do what he can to ensure a future good outcome, he should, at the very least, use the outomce of the talks to declare that the Society is Catholic. From this, he should openly declare, Society members cannot be presumed to be heretics, apostates or schismatics and their Sunday & holyday Masses do indeed fulfil the obligation of faithful to assist at Mass.

What I am suggesting may be the most this Pope can do realistically. He could add a temporary grant of faculties while the 'contacts' continue but I question the value of faculties that could be here today and gone tomorrow.

To satisfy the liberals, Benedict XVI will feel that any recognition of Society Masses will need to be accompanied by a warning that Catholics ‘should’ stay away from the Society until regularisation has been achieved. So be it. This is expected.

Should the Pope take the step I suggest here, it will help exert pressure on the bishops to co-operate with the P.C.E.D. in arranging for more Latin Masses to be offered. The reason is that most bishops would prefer to keep the S.S.P.X at bay so as to save face. I can’t think of many other ways to extract such co-operation. The P.C.E.D. may have a new right to override local bishops but what happens to any local priest who dares to support a petition favouring Latin Masses? Such a priest will face years of persecution. No, this can only be avoided by getting the bishops actually to *ask* priests to offer the T.L.M.

I have long dreamt about a personal ordinariate but I can now see not only the wisdom in Mr. McFarland’s position but also a positive liturgical effect in having an unregularised S.S.P.X if its Masses are recognised openly and at law as fulfilling the obligation. Is this outcome wildly unrealistic? I don’t think so. The Holy Father feels that he must do *something* to resolve this impasse. He does not want to do nothing at all and the Society is likely not prepared to accept a canonical form. So the Pope’s options are limited given his apparent wish for eventual reconciliation.

Despite everything, I continue to favour an ordinaraite if only because I trust that God and our Lady will not allow the Church's tradition to be destroyed. But my wishes do not correspond with the probabilities. Therefore, I pray, pray, pray for a resolution. What is not possible to man is easy for God.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

I must say in regards to the seeming persistence of the modernists to change our position that they must be only inches away from the looney bin. Do they really think that after all these years that we'll knuckle under to their preposterous demands? On the other hand, the SSPX and, by extension all traditional orders/communities, have never demanded anything except to live and worship according to the traditions passed down to us by the apostles.

When they get around to accepting what Holy Mother Church has always held, taught and professed to be true from apostolic times, including the Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX, then maybe we can talk. Until then, we are and still will be at loggerheads. And, oh yes, you modernist types, we'll have no more of this counter-syllabus nonsense! That is, to say it clearly, a NON-STARTER of humungous proportions.

LtCol Paul E. Haley, USAF(Ret)

LeonG said...

Mr Ortiz,

You miss the point - if you do not recognise there is actually a rupture both liturgically and pastorally (the two great significant outcomes of the modernist revolution) then it would be impossibe to fix anything. He maintains contnuity - so far no very convincing evidence is available anywhere in the post-conciliar church as it bears little in the way of resemblance to the pre-conciliar model. No! no! no! there is no continuity as he hypothesises, only a new church with a new paradigm which is falling apart rapidly because it is based on liberal mdernist ideologies.

Anonymous said...

The post Vatican II approved traditional orders formed during the last 23 have all been obedient to a fault. What have they received for this? If the Roman authorities don't do much for them, I am wary of what they will do to the SSPX which pushes back. If an Apostolic Ordinariate umbrella was granted for Rome's approved orders it would negate the SSPX position for a lot of people. The reason it seems to me they don't do this is because if those under the umbrella say one negative word about anything like communion in the hand (for instance), there will be repercussions. That would kill it for the SSPX to take an offer seriously. The number of Traditional Bishops in those 23 years for approved orders remains zero. That to me speaks volumes. If you think me crazy, let me know why. I do not presume to have the 100% correct opinion but it is how I see it at this moment.

A.M. LaPietra

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. LaPietra:

The Pope knows full well that a regularised S.S.P.X will simply refuse innovations. The Society is used to working independently and will not swallow liberal nonsense.

The F.S.S.P. and others have been housebroksn long ago, in 1999, in fact. It was called Protocol 1411-99. I suspect that an ordinariate for the approved societies would be completely obedient. Intrude the NewMass prefaces into TrueMass, and the F.S.S.P. would comply without even blinking. But the S.S.P.X would siomply refuse.

The S.S.P.X owns its sacred places through separate corporations, an arrangmeent permitted in Canon Law. So the Pope won't risk a return to disobedience. The Popes would wait some time (e.g. 30 years) before trying to foist anything on the S.S.P.X. By then, conditions in the Church might be quite different. For example, NewChurch mijght be dead by then. But I forbid anyone to throw away N.O. furnishings. I need them for my Museum of Bad Taste. How else can the next generation learn what paganism looks like?
P.K.T.P.

Mr. Ortiz said...

He is saying it, as he can, as Pope.

Read between the lines!

Cruise the Groove. said...

Great Sermon:

http://www.dici.org/en/news/ordinations-2011-in-winona-usa-bishop-fellay-sermon/

Knight of Malta said...

But I forbid anyone to throw away N.O. furnishings. I need them for my Museum of Bad Taste. LOL!

P.K.T.P, if you haven't read Ugly As Sin: Why They Changed Our Churches from Sacred Places to Meeting Spaces and How We Can Change Them Back Again, it is fantastic!

We are vacationing in Wilmington, and we passed by a structure which I told my wife had to be the ugliest f***ing thing I'd ever seen in my life; of course, it was a Catholic NO church!. It was hideous!

We drove a little further on, and the Presbyterian church was beautiful, and traditional-seeming in comparison. (of course, the first is still-maybe-salvific, the second stale and empty, theologically).

What was once profane, has now become "holy" in the minds of the masses.

Steve said...

Where is the Catholic Faith here? The Pope has the power to "bind and loose" which means that it belongs to him to clearify the disputed questions conserning Catholic Faith and Tradition; not to the Society or any other group of the faithful. This was the authority that the Rabbis had, but is augmented with heaven's authority in Peter by Christ. What if the Pope clearifys the true nature of Catholic Faith and Tradition and the desputed questions of the Second Vatican Council with an infallible pronouncement; what if some of his positions are nuanced from the Society's positions? Would you follow the Society or Peter then? Where is the Catholic Faith? Christ has made no structure for the Church as the society wants to have it. Submittion to the Roman Pontiff in words, but not in fact. Some sort of etherial "Eternal Rome," apart from the actual Roman Pontiff. Sounds protestant to me. Some sort of invisible unity of the Church apart from submittion to the Pope. At what point does the Society or anybody cross the line into Schisim if the Soceity streatches the bounds that wide? What if the liberals think they now hold a position supported by Tradition? Who can set them straight? The Society or the Pope? Who has Christ given that authority too? I hope and pray that the Society fully anchors itself in the bark of Peter. We could use their help, but we don't absolutly need them. We need the Pope.

Lhd said...

If there is nothing against the Faith, the Ordinariate should be accepted as it comes from the legitim Authority, and there is no at present (different was the situation in 1988) a "state of necessity" understood as the lack of a Bishop to pursue Tradition. The Bishops of the SSPX are valid but they don 't exercise regularly. The crisis on the Church and doctrinal problems and their persistence have no link at all with a necessity to break the law (it will be the case if the Ordinariate is not accepted) if the means to provide to spiritual needs are granted in a regular way.

Anonymous said...

Steve:

The Pope's authority is plenary, supreme, universal and immediate, but it is not absolute. Read Pastor Æternus from Vatican I, the better Vatican Council.

God does not excuse us from using our brains, and we are not allowed to substitute papal authority for thought. If so, who is to decide why we should be Catholic in the first place? There is a difference between an informed conscience and private judgement. An informed conscience relies on the constant teachings of Holy Church. The S.S.P.X adheres ONLY to those constant teachings and in the manner and interpretation by which they have always been received. So this is only a question of whether or not certain innovations are compatible with those teachings.

Pope's can err and they do so, unless there be an infallible pronouncment. But such a pronouncement is never just an expression of the Pope's will. He asks the Holy Ghost for guidance and considers the matter with great care, turning to his advisors for some direction but making final decisions. So we cannot just order up an infallible pronouncment the way you might order a cheeseburger.

P.K.T.P.

Mr. Ortiz said...

"Pope's can err and they do so, unless there be an infallible pronouncment. But such a pronouncement is never just an expression of the Pope's will. He asks the Holy Ghost for guidance and considers the matter with great care, turning to his advisors for some direction but making final decisions. So we cannot just order up an infallible pronouncment the way you might order a cheeseburger."

Well, yes. But this sounds awfully like many, many heretics on the left...if it isn't explicitly taught with infallibility, it isn't, ie, Humani Vitae.

The "ordinary magisterium" has authority over us too.

Please note--I know we're in a crisis.

Athelstane said...

Hello Mr. Perkins,

"Intrude the NewMass prefaces into TrueMass, and the F.S.S.P. would comply without even blinking."

I don't think this is quite fair to the FSSP, or an accurate assessment of how it would react to such "innovations."

John L said...

Mr. Perkins, you ask:

'What condition, I wonder, made a deal possible in 1988 under John Paul II but not possible in 2011 under Benedict XVI and AFTER the 2009 lifting of the delarations of excommunication, AFTER Summorum Pontificum and AFTER Universæ Ecclesiæ? 2011 is also AFTER the 2002 Campos precedent and the creation of the F.S.S.P., I.C.R., I.B.P., and thirty other approved traditionalist societies and institutes.'

You then give the answer: 'Look at the FSSP.'

I go to a FSSP mass myself, but I have to say: you will never hear there a criticism of the Novus Ordo as harmful to the faith, you will never hear criticism of the Assisi meetings past or future, you will never hear criticism of the Second Vatican Council. That's what the SSPX rightly is unwilling to accept; that is the sad fate that they see as awaiting them if they do not secure official endorsement of their positions as at least acceptable for Catholics to maintain. Of course one can answer that the FSSP has to keep quiet on these things because they depend on the local bishops for their presence in a diocese, and that the SSPX will not suffer from this under the proposed arrangement. But administrative arrangements can change and are subject to interpretation - as should be the case with administrative arrangements. Such arrangements exist to deal with circumstances that are subject to change, and it is unreasonable to expect them to be fixed and everlasting. As a result, they are not suited as means for protecting Catholic truth. So the SSPX is right in not resorting to them as a defence for their stand; they need some measure of doctrinal acceptance.

Anonymous said...

Attn. P.K.T.P:

Your comments are appreciated. The area that I am not as sure of as you seem to be is that an ordinariate for approved orders would always fall in line. There were lessons learned from the 1999 Protocol. The lack of even one papal Traditional Mass plus not one Traditional Bishop (excluding Campos), and the fact that the SSPX was intvited by Rome to have discussions on Vatican II must grate on at least some of them. I do believe they are in favor of those discussions even though they were not included. Please continue to critique my rationale as it is helpful for me to see another point of view.

A.M. La Pietra

Anonymous said...

Dear John L.:

No, I don't agree with you on administrative arrangements. An ordinariate together with the Society's continued separate ownership of its real property (allowed in Canon Law) would indeed provide the needed protection. Should Rome try to 'change the arrangements' as some poing, the S.S.P.X could and would return to a state of disobedience.

Not a problem.

The bit about keeping quiet on controverted points is apt but I think that the Society could be given an official critical rôle within due limits--in continued talks to resolve problems.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Athelstane:

Let me ask you this: How much resistance did the F.S.S.P. offer to the new Good Friday Prayer?

On the prefaces, they will likely be optional at first and I am confident the F.S.S.P. will avoid them. But what is optional today is mandatory tomorrow. It's called 'baby-stepping' into reform. We saw it from 1950 to 1965; then we saw the revolutionary effect.

P.K.T.P.

John McFarland said...

Dear Mr. Perkins,

Let me offer an outline of the dynamics.

The Pope has said that the issue between Rome and the SSPX is doctrinal. So has the SSPX.

All indications are that the doctrinal discussions accomplished nothing, because the discussants are operating from entirely different principles. Presumably you are no more amazed at that than I am.

If there is an impasse, then logically there is nothing further to be done unless Rome returns to tradition, or Econe accepts Vatican II. We are stuck at Fr. de Cacqueray's point [2].

Now the Holy Father could change his mind and pursue point [3], canonical regularization.

This would be a very tough thing to do. If the progressives strongly opposed the MP, and apparently forced a self-contradictory "clarification" (Par. 19 vs. everything else), what are the chances of the Holy Father getting anywhere with putting the Society on a par with Newchurch?

But let's suppose that the Holy Father can bring it off. The SSPX is bound to reject canonical regularization, based on what it has been saying for a decade now.

But let's suppose that the Society agrees to canonical regularization. Then, as Bishop Williamson in particular has been noting right along (most recently in his latest Eleison Comment), human and psychological considerations make it virtually impossible for the SSPX not to become a dumb dog like the FSSP, institutionally unable to oppose the modernism of the Vatican.

So: your heart's desire is in all likelihood a recipe for disaster, analogous to the evil results of the condemnation of Action Francaise in 1926, which delivered the French Church over to the liberals -- but much, much worse for the salvation of souls.

But we shall see. Let us watch and pray, and enter not into temptation.

Picard said...

Athelstane (and P:K.T.P.):

(Yes,) re the new Good Friday prayer the FSSP complied without even blinking - and all the other "regulated" groups. The FSSPX was the only to resist.


And at least now after the Pope´s new book and interview we know [what we could and should have known also before as I always argued, because the text is clear enough and given the interpretation of Card. Kasper in the F.A.Z. it was totaly evident and clear!] that this new prayer is inacceptable (at least worse than many of the new prefaces!!)!

So proof enough, Athelstane,.....!

Jordanes551 said...

Why wouldn't a Catholic priest comply with liturgical law without blinking?

Anonymous said...

The fact that there are many NO priests and bishops who, though ostensibly possessing faculties and jurisdiction, seem by their public actions not to deserve them, while the FSSPX and many like-thinking Catholic groups have no such status shows just how messed up the Vatican really is.

Time and time again we who wish only to worship according to Tradition are characterized as possessive of a schismatic mentality. We are told that we must accept Vatican II but nowhere is that "acceptance" defined in terms of the perennial magisterium of the Church. This is akin to someone saying in order to join our "club" you must accept our rules though we do not specify what these rules may be except in the most ambiguous terms.

That's a pretty neat trick by the Modernists, isn't it. They get to pretend they have the high ground while we unfortunate souls have to butt our heads up against a stone wall. But there is an unseen Observer viewing this charade and He is not amused (we must presume). In the end He will triumph and nothing the Modernists can do or say will prevent it. May that day happen soon in His Holy Church.

LtCol Paul E. Haley, USAF(Ret)

John McFarland said...

Dear Jordanes,

One reason for not complying is if the change involved an implicit distortion of or retrogression from the lex credendi by means of the lex orandi.

That is certainly the case with the analogous prayer in the Novus Ordo. It effectively adopts the two covenants theory, which is not the doctrine of the Church.

But I'm afraid it's also true of the Holy Father's revisions to the traditional prayer. They effectively make the conversion of the Jews an eschatological or semi-eschatological matter, thereby effectively offering to those who want one a rationalization for not evangelizing the Jews here and now.

It might even be considered a mitigated two covenants theory, in the sense that the Jews are more or less within their rights to cleave to the old convenant until the time of their conversion comes.

As the Ottaviani intervention notes, the New Mass involves a new theology of the Mass. I would argue that the Pope's changes to the Good Friday prayer involves a new theology of the Jews.

At a minimum, the changes give aid and comfort to those who do proclaim a new theology of the Jews; and that, I think, is itself a sufficient reason not to accept the changes.

Jordanes551 said...

One reason for not complying is if the change involved an implicit distortion of or retrogression from the lex credendi by means of the lex orandi.

That's a pretty big if.

The problem with implicit things is that because they're implicit, it can be difficult or even impossible to establish that they exist at all. And sometimes people mitakenly think something is implicit.

That is certainly the case with the analogous prayer in the Novus Ordo. It effectively adopts the two covenants theory, which is not the doctrine of the Church.

There's no question the prayer for the Jews in the reformed Good Friday liturgy is flawed, because, as you indicate, it can be misinterpreted to mean the Jews should still observe the Old Covenant.

But I'm afraid it's also true of the Holy Father's revisions to the traditional prayer. They effectively make the conversion of the Jews an eschatological or semi-eschatological matter, thereby effectively offering to those who want one a rationalization for not evangelizing the Jews here and now.

Conversion of the Jews certainly is an eschatological matter, though not solely eschatological. The prayer, however, does not restrict Jewish conversion to the end of the world, and Catholics are obliged to pray all of the Church's prayers in accordance with the mind of the Church -- not merely the mind of this or that cardinal or priest or pope, and not merely the mind of Catholics of just one era of his history but of her entire history.

It might even be considered a mitigated two covenants theory, in the sense that the Jews are more or less within their rights to cleave to the old covenant until the time of their conversion comes.

That would be reading an awful lot into the prayer and into the Scripture from which the Church derived the prayer.

As the Ottaviani intervention notes, the New Mass involves a new theology of the Mass.

A different theology, certainly, though not entirely new, and not necessarily false.

At a minimum, the changes give aid and comfort to those who do proclaim a new theology of the Jews; and that, I think, is itself a sufficient reason not to accept the changes.

I think comparable or similar objections could be raised against every change the Church has ever made in her liturgy over the past two millennia. An individual priest or priestly fraternity could come up with plausible justifications to disobey virtually any liturgical law. If one is not convinced that their objections are valid, or are adequate grounds to justify rejecting one of the Church's laws, one might end up doing what the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has done with regard to the Church's rewritten Good Friday prayer for the Jews.

Brian said...

A change also seemed necessary to me in the ancient liturgy. In fact, the formula was such as to truly wound the Jews, and it certainly did not express in a positive way the great, profound unity between Old and New Testament. For this reason, I thought that a modification was necessary in the ancient liturgy, in particular in reference to our relationship with our Jewish friends. I modified it in such a way that it contained our faith, that Christ is salvation for all. That there do not exist two ways of salvation, and that therefore Christ is also the savior of the Jews, and not only of the pagans. But also in such a way that one did not pray directly for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense, but that the Lord might hasten the historic hour in which we will all be united. For this reason, the arguments used polemically against me by a series of theologians are rash, and do not do justice to what was done.

Pope Benedict XVI "Light of the World"

Athelstane said...

Hello Mr. Perkins, Mr. McFarland, Picard,

I am going to have to agree with Jordanes here on the Good Friday, prayer, I'm afraid: This is not really a fair characterization of the new (2008) prayer. I do not think it is a fair test of this hypothesis.

It retains the same key words - the ones that really matter - "that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men." That is not just eschatological. That is a clear statement that salvation for the Jews, like everyone else, is from Christ alone. And for this reason it was roundly condemned by the ADL and Jewish leaders around the world. Clearly it offends all the right people.

One can argue that the emphasis is stronger in the old (1960) prayer. And perhaps it is fair question whether the pejorative terms "veil" and "blindness" do more harm than good here as regards conversion of the Jews, which (alas) most of the Church seems uninterested in now.

And let us be frank: This prayer was changed (let us say watered down), along with a great deal else about Holy Week, in 1955. Perhaps that was wise or not (largely, but not entirely, unwise, in my opinion), but either way, it was accepted "without blinking" throughout the Church, including (to my knowledge) by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. I think we have to ask what kind of changes are being made, and why. Because the liturgy *does* grow, albeit organically and very slowly. How certain people will be encouraged or discouraged by such a change is certainly relevant but not absolutely determinative, in my view.

At any rate, I don't expect any other changes to the 1962 missal for the time being, not least because the Pope knows that it will not only complicate efforts to reach out to the SSPX, but will be (and has been) informed by "indult" traditional groups and their followers that the foreseeable future will not be propitious for any changes to the missal.

And if it was something that really did change the lex credendi of the mass, and the FSSP accepted it "meekly," I would expect major defections from the Fraternity to the Society.

Brian said...

Christ is also the savior of the Jews. . . in such a way that one did not pray directly for the conversion of the Jews in a missionary sense, but that the Lord might hasten the historic hour in which we will all be united.

What does that mean?

Jordanes551 said...

Good question. Strictly speaking I'm not sure it means anything, since it is impossible to pray in any sense for the conversion of non-Catholics without praying in a "missionary sense." And anyway there is always more to the Church's prayers than the sense of a single pope, so we ought to pray Benedict XVI's prayer in the complete, Catholic sense of its words, and not try to limit its meaning and application.