Rorate Caeli

Excommunicating Gherardini?


A guest-post by Côme de Prévigny

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), said it in his sermon of December 8: the Roman proposals are at each time more interesting, but in their formulations there remains a point with a bitter taste, that demands before everything else the concession that Vatican II is consistent with the Tradition of the Church.

Following the declarations of His Swiss Excellency, pressure mounts, minds are enkindled. Now that the familiar sirens wave anew the red flag of definitive schism, that vaticanist Tornielli lets himself be taken by feeling - by imagining what Abp. Lefebvre would do in similar circumstances (by saying he thinks he would "say yes"), the Roman demands seem to receive, at the very heart of the Eternal City, a serious blow. For 25 years, the Holy See has not budged on the famous conciliar texts, and, at the very moment in which the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X delivers his note to the Vatican, one of the best students, among the most faithful and most learned, rises up to say that the demands of the master do not hold up.

Monsignor Gherardini is the dean of the theologians of the Lateran University, one of the most venerable Roman institutions. For half a century, he has formed hundreds of bishops and priests by attempting to present them Vatican II in continuity with the teaching of the Church. At the end of a long and serious career, he makes this terrible confession: the tireless attempt does not work. Speaking of the Council, he describes its continuity with Tradition as "problematic": "not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven."

In other words, the theologian says that all displays attempting to make Vatican II the continuation of the teaching of the Church are to his eyes nothing but weakly convincing arguments.

At the moment in which one of the most distinguished living theologians declares serious doubts on the merits of the conciliar texts, at the moment in which he asks for a "critical examination" of these texts, how can the Holy See demand that their prior recognition be an indispensable condition for the regularization of the Society? How can the hope of thousands of faithful around the world be played with by making them believe that the ball is on Écône's side? The competent congregation has every ability to recognize, at the end of thorough doctrinal discussions, the perfect catholicity of the Society and to grant it the regularization that every work that is done faithfully with its zeal for souls deserves. While Sacred Liturgy and even the most elementary truths (the Ressurrection of Christ, the Real Presence, the salvific universality of Jesus Christ) are disregarded by a good number of bishops who need not sign any condition to be named and kept in place, would such recognition really prove to be a high-stakes bet?

If affirming that the texts of the Council are disconnected from Tradition makes the Society worthy of being considered outside the Church, is it to be thought that Monsignor Gherardini deserves excommunication for having dared to publicly affirm that which others will never have the boldness of saying?

104 comments:

Ronald Federson said...

Excellent article!

The value of the texts of Vatican II devaluates more and more and I think that is just a consequence of its innovation.

The critical view of the Council is growing and one day in Rome they will realize that teaching ambiguity from an ecumenical synod brings devastating consequences.

Daniel Arseno said...

"If affirming that the texts of the Council are disconnected from Tradition makes the Society worthy of being considered outside the Church, is it to be thought that Monsignor Gherardini deserves excommunication"

Who ever said that such an affirmation deserves excommunication?

What does deserve excommunication is essentially ignoring the Council (except to critcize it), as if it weren't a valid expression of the Magisterium. I wonder who does that?

Ceolfrið æf Dealgancæster said...

What I find interesting about this whole episode, is how much stock the Vatican apparently places in the ‘opinion’ of the FSSPX concerning the Second Vatican Council. Obviously, it matters, and not just for these negotiations.

New Catholic said...

M. Arseno, si vous voulez présenter vos arguments en français, cela serait très intéressant pour M. de Prévigny.

GQ Rep said...

"What does deserve excommunication is essentially ignoring the Council (except to critcize it), as if it weren't a valid expression of the Magisterium. I wonder who does that?"

Considering he results of Vatican II over the last 50 years, many would say that those who still champion the practices and deviations that the Council implicitly allowed for, and for the actual abuses that the Vatican II Church eventually condoned (Mass facing the people, Communion in the hand and standing, Communion under both kinds, women on the altar, altar girls, etc. shoudl be excommunicated because they have attempted to turn the Roman Catholic Church in practice into the same as Lutherans ,Episcopalians, and even Calvinists.

That was, many believe, the actual goal of the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, and many of it's ecumenically inspired pronouncements and initiatives afterwards.

Excommunication for that would be justified.

Gregorian Chant said...

Ceolfrio - good point!

Long-Skirts said...

Daniel Arseno said:

"What does deserve excommunication is essentially ignoring the Council (except to critcize it)...I wonder who does that?"

OF
BEES
AND
SAINTS

For centuries beeswax
In the sanctuary reigned
Our sacred purpose
From the first ordained.

Producing honeycombs
All that, we handle
Though our sacred purpose -
The Holy Mass candle.

But at the last council
Of the great Church bee
Man turned to man
Birthed sterility.

Graces for fruits
Crops and offspring
Schools, churches shut -
Can’t pollinate a thing

Until man again
On His altar lets towers -
Candles of beeswax
Sacred purpose -
…all ours!

Examiner said...

OK, Mr. Arseno, let's break this down:

You're saying that a belief that the Second Vatican novelties are disconnected from Tradition does not merit excommunication.

Then you go on to say that what merits excommunication is 'ignoring' the council as if it weren't a valid expression of the Magisterium.

So I am free to believe that there is a serious rupture and discontinuity of Tradition [which by definition means I could never give assent to it or probably not even a tentative submission of intellect] but I must still believe it is a valid magisterial expression?

Can you elaborate on what appears here to be a jumbled and confused set of assertions?

I am not Spartacus said...

Wow. What a succinct and severe summation of the situation. It really does bring into focus what is a stake here - fifty years of unorthodox praxis - and attempts to gainsay it, far from being able to fly, are doomed to be crippled.

May God Bless and Keep you, Côme de Prévigny

Luciana Cuppo said...

Monsignor Gherardini wrote on several occasions that SOME texts of Vatican II seem difficult to reconcile with the Tradition of the Church. Therefore he (and others) addressed a petition to the Holy Father for a THOROUGH (not "critical") re-examination of CVII to ascertain which texts are dogmatic (hence to be believed) and which ones are not.
Come de Previgny should cite more accurately from 'Chiesa-Tradizione-Magistero' [Church-Tradition-Magisterium], (this is the original title, not the ludicrous one published in this blog on December 13). The phrase half-cited by de Previgny reads: "Its continuity with Tradition is MORE problematic, not because the Council has not declared such continuity, but because - especially in those key points where it was necessary that such continuity be evident - the declaration has remained unproven."
The translation supplied by the SSPX does not appear to have been authorized by the Author and (in my view) leaves much to be desired for various reasons. For an alternate translation and for purposes of comparison, you may want to check http://www.centreleonardboyle.com/Tradition-Magisterium.html .

New Catholic said...

The SSPX translation does include the adverb "more" qualifying "problematic" - it does not seem that this changes the meaning of M. de Prévigny's text. It is still problematic - just more problematic than other issues related to this matter...

Knight of Malta said...

Gherardini said that Modernism "hid itself" within the Councils documents. That is, heresy hid itself. He further asserts that a Council may fail in terms of faith and morals (although opinions are at variance on this point) because of the free will of the men who compose a Council. These are serious assertions.

He also points to the fact that the missionary spirit of the Church has nearly disappeared after the Council. Could such a Council have had the protection of the Holy Spirit?

(See more here)

beng said...

[H]ow can the Holy See demand that their prior recognition be an indispensable condition for the regularization of the Society?

The answer to that pivotal question is easy, because salus animarum suprema lex!

The "salus animarum" part refers to that of SSPX. By being in limbo (ie. irregular) their souls are in danger. Their eternal salvation is much more important than "critical examination" of V2 texts. I'm not downplaying the important of said examination, but, again, salus animarum suprema lex.

beng said...

If affirming that the texts of the Council are disconnected from Tradition makes the Society worthy of being considered outside the Church, is it to be thought that Monsignor Gherardini deserves excommunication for having dared to publicly affirm that which others will never have the boldness of saying?

This is much much incorrect. Msgr. Gherardini did not say that the council are disconnected from tradition (he affirmed that the council claims continuity with tradition, but it's yet to be proven [by the current magisterium]). So it's a very inappropriate parallel by Côme de Prévigny.

Tradical said...

@Daniel,

The problem Daniel is that the SSPX makes assertions of the former and until the contradiction is resolved in theory as well as in practice they wait.

Your second assertion is foolish and you should retract it.

Tradical said...

@Beng,

The point is that by 'recognizing the council' they have to compromise principles of the Faith. As the docs of V2, based on Msgr G, are laced with the Heresy of Modernism, this would be ... bad.

For example:
1. That the Catholic Church isn't identical with the Mystical Body of Christ etc. (I'm certain this will evoke some responses)

2. That the 'new ecumenism' as explained by Cardinal Kasper does not deviate from Catholic Teaching. In other words non-Catholics (including Protestants) don't have to convert.

In short, 'Accepting the Council' means you are accepting the ambiguous elements contained in V2 put into practice. This includes the Novus Ordo, etc etc etc.

Anil Wang said...

Knight of Malta, said "Gherardini said that Modernism "hid itself" within the Councils documents. That is, heresy hid itself. "

Not at all. It's equally possible to say that the first Nicene Creed hide monophysitism and all the heresies of the Holy Spirit and Trinity that followed in it due to the ambiguity of the text.

But this was not the case. The 3rd Ecumenical Council reaffirmed the 2nd Ecumenical Council but clarified the ambiguous language and denounced false interpretation (i.e. heresy). Subsequent councils addressed other ambiguities in the text.

The same with Vatican II. There are many ambiguous texts (actually they are only ambiguous if you are modernist and ignore all Councils that came before) and many things are attributed to Vatican II which Vatican II either never said or are outright condemned.

As with the Nicene Creed, what is needed is for clarification. The hermeneutic of continuity is the only valid interpretation, but it is not enough to say this with the Church in its current state. We need a syllabus of errors or to revisit the texts and remove the ambiguity.

El Eremita said...

There is something here that I don't understand.

Didn't mons. Ocariz acknowledged that there actually were innovations at CVII? Besides, it is pretty obvious that mons. Gherardini's positions are acceptable for Rome... if not, by now he would have received some kind of censure or at least a citation from the CDF. No?

It seems to me that what Rome is asking for, is the SSPX to acknowledge that Vatican II is a legitimate act of the Magisterium, and that it deserves "obsequium religiosum"... this term will certainly require further clarification by Rome, but from what we know about the preamble, it seems that the "obsequium" allows "legitimate discussion" of the doctrines is question...

Maybe the problem is in the Professio Fidei, which reads "I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which..." instead of something like "I religiously respect the teachings..." or "I religiously submit to/respect the teachings...". It would seem like "obsequium" is more than respect but less than submission.

In any case, I agree with Daniel Arseno in that only not acknowledging CVII as a legitimate act of the Magisterium would deserve excommunication.

Irish boy said...

I see that a top-level delegation from the French episcopal conference was with the Holy Father today. Does anyone know why? Could it have to do with the regularisation of the SSPX, one way or the other?

Ecclesia Militans said...

For the Society, as for all those who know the Truth and are therefore under a greater obligation to protect it, to accept the numerous novel teachings of the Second Vatican Council would be nothing other than apostasy and adulteration of the Faith.

That is why the modernists want Traditional Catholics to accept all the teachings of the said Council - because they know that to do so would mean to compromise their Faith.

It would be like the rest of the Church all over again. Once that seed of modernism is accepted, the modernists can get anything from them. And the modernists are then secure, because they know that those unfortunate Catholics have started on that slide, with their final, however distant, end marked modernism - apostasy.

But be certain that God will protect His Church. This is just part of the Chastisement.

PEH said...

"They have the churches; we have the Faith". As for salus animarum suprema lex being used against the SSPX and, by extension, other independent traditional groups, one would have to be an idiot to ascribe to that proposition. Until and unless the documents of Vatican II are clarified by an ex cathedra papal declaration the confusion will reign throughout our holy Church with apostates having canonical jurisdiction and loyal sons of the Church denied the same. All this is, of course, my opinion for what it's worth.

David said...

It's a clever comparison, but is it really honest? After all, Rome isn't the only party making demands. The FSSPX demands that Rome revoke or substantially revise the Conciliar documents as a condition of reconciliation. This demand was being made by the FSSPX long before the doctrinal discussions began. Monsignor Gherardini makes no such demands of Rome.

Joe B said...

I'm beginning to think we're never going to straighten out that council. These are serious and very well qualified critics, unlike some of the earliest book writing critics (not talking about Michael Davies). And they are objecting to major themes of some of the documents, not just phrases that can be corrected. It's beginning to look like the only way to handle it is to just dismiss the whole thing, which would take a papal directive. But how to justify that?

I suspect that those who say the council objectors were in the majority, usually stated in the form of 'the majority of the council would not have approved the changes if they had seen what would have come from them, especially concerning the mass' were correct, and ultimately that and the fruits of destruction to the priesthood could be the basis for a papal dismissal. Council objectors include, of course, those who signed only out of obedience to Paul VI's direction.

But still, if some pope who was there says it is so, I would jump on that and say "case closed" faster than Jordanes eats up a hyperbole.

jasoncpetty said...

Gherardini said: "More problematic is its continuity with Tradition, not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven."

That's a far cry from the SSPX's position (or at least that of its adherents). The SSPX seems already to have concluded that there is discontinuity (on just key points or as to all?--I think the former). Gherardini simply says continuity hasn't been proven. There is a difference between these positions, and the article is being sort of disingenuous to conflate the two.

Amos Moses said...

The argument of the paper proceeds like this:
(1) SSPX were excommunicated for criticizing the council (Premise)
(2) Someone who criticizes the council is excommunicated (by existential generalization)
(3) Msrg. G criticizes the council (Premise)
Therefore, Msgr. G. is excommunicated (or should be) (by 2 and 3)


This argument, however, rests on a false premise. In other words,(1) is false. The cause of the SSPX (now lifted) excommunications was criticisms of the council. As we all know: What actually caused the excommunications was the episcopal ordinations contrary to papal command, not the council per se (although the council et alia were indirect causes of the percieved need to perform the ordinations).

Bernonensis said...

"We've destroyed your liturgy, given you politicians as bishops, perverts as pastors and heretics as teachers. Now, if you want to complain, feel free, but do it like that nice Monsignor Gherardini because if you start making demands we'll say the e-word."

Ivan K said...

@David:'The FSSPX demands that Rome revoke or substantially revise the Conciliar documents as a condition of reconciliation.'

The SSPX are asking 'Rome' to sign a Doctrinal Preamble, as a condition of Rome's regularization? I wasn't aware of that. All the hubub in the news has been about the Doctrinal Preamble that SSPX are being asked to sign, as a condition of the SSPX's regularization. This second document to which you allude must be secret.

David said...

Ivan K,

Don't be obtuse. You know exactly what I mean. The FSSPX has been demanding for years that Rome "return to its senses" and revoke or substantially revise the Conciliar documents. This is nothing new and it far predates this document that Rome is asking the FSSPX to sign.

Ivan K said...

Daniel Arseno said 'What does deserve excommunication is essentially ignoring the Council (except to critcize it), as if it weren't a valid expression of the Magisterium. I wonder who does that?'

Monsieur Arseno, you have concisely expressed what Catholic doctrine has been reduced to as a result of that most unfortunate event in Church history: the Second Vatican council. The one and only one punishable offense is to question what was said and done at that council. Want to question the Trinity? The Incarnation? The Real Presence? The Immaculate conception? The historicity of the Gospels? Papal Infallibility? All of that, and much much more is up for grabs. You can say what you will about any of those, without consequences. But if you question the wisdom of some of what was decided at that council...well, then your papers must be revoked! Don't you see how much damage this attitude has caused? It has trivialized Catholic doctrine, and the Magisterium. Half the members of your typical Novus Ordo parish, priest included, think of the Mass as nothing more than a quaint gathering at which we read a few wise words of that interesting guy Jesus--and some of those words we must reinterpret, because they are too 'judgmental', scary. That, you see, is 100% fully regularized Catholicism. But a parish at which people affirm everything that we associate with Catholic teaching, but at which some critical words are spoken about some of the promouncements of the Second Vatican council...well, that must be stopped! With such people we must play Grand Inquisitor.

Corey F. said...

"M. Arseno, si vous voulez présenter vos arguments en français, cela serait très intéressant pour M. de Prévigny."

Mais vous supposez que ces arguments méritent la lecture de M. de Prévigny...

spero said...

The SSPX was not excommunicated for criticizing the VCII, but for the consecrations, and only the bishops were said to be excommunicated. I think the big issue here is canonical recognition. If this was a matter of laity, I bet it would be over. Fr. Feeney was reconciled by simply saying the Athanasian Creed (on his deathbed). This is a question of giving canonical regularity, and thus a mandate to teach the Faith of the Church. But this Faith is mediated through the magisterium. Therefore the teaching office, by its nature, demands docility. But conditional docility (I will accept your teaching when I think it is right) is not docility.

Gheradini and others, including most of the priests of FSSP etc., criticize the Council but at the same time affirm that it was a real magisterial act. They criticize it respectfully and have not done anything to produce a canonical irregularity.

As far as I can see (I do not know what has been said behind closed doors), the SSPX wants to reject the Council totally or, at least, certain propositions absolutely.

They do not appear to be open to either the possibility that the problematic passages could be interpreted in light of Tradition or that the problematic passages could be less problematic than they appear. In other words they have an interpretation of both the texts and the previous magisterium, which they appear to believe is so sure that they will only accept the proposals of the Holy See insofar as the Holy See acknowledges the Society to be correct.

Thus, they appear to arrogate to themselves the office of making authoritative interpretations of Church teaching and they appear to refuse the possibility, categorically, that their interpretations could be wrong in any way.

Gheradini et. al. make criticisms and have an interpretation, but it is truly open to the possibility that the Holy See could explain and fix the problem either by interpreting the problematic propositions or by interpreting the previous teaching (not in light of VCII, as many interpret Ocariz's suggestion, but in light of its own historical situation). In the meantime, such scholars, even while making criticisms, maintain a respectful attitude and are open to being taught by the Holy See. I read one of Gheradini's books, and while it was certainly and directly critical, it begged the Holy See to teach. It was docile. It desired the truth and clarity while expressing the problem. SSPX appears to believe that it already has clarity and the truth and only asks the Holy See to clarify it for everyone else.

In asking for clarification and even corrections in textual expressions, one is expressing their desire to accept the magisterial teaching, even while making direct criticism. This, IMO, is obsequium. The mind is attempting to accept the teaching, but criticizing the problem. The problem is criticized precisely because it makes the teaching unacceptable.

Delphina said...

We have two churches each representing two different faiths. Vatican II is the line in the sand, as my better half is always telling me.

Choose your sides, Faithful Catholics!

Jose L Campos said...

I am a happy fellow. I love the Church, I know that the Church changes with time, only what is dead does not change. I obey my present pope, I don't care about Pius the Xth or Gregory the XVIth or Boniface the VIIIth. I have been placed at this moment in history, my pope is Benedict, may God keep in for a long time,and I obey him. Those that worry about obsolete documents, let them worry. I am judged by my deeds not by my opinions. Opinions are epitaphs in history.

Tom S. said...

@ Ivan K

Well Put!

Ivan K said...

David,

What exactly is the difference between Monsignor Gherardini's claim that the continuity of Vatican II with Tradition 'remains unproven' and the SSPX claim that it was a break with Tradition? And then there is Bishop Athanaisus Schneider's call for a Vatican II 'Syllabus of Errors'--isn't he also making 'demands of Rome'? All three--the SSPX, Monsignor Gherardini, Bp. Schneider--are making the same claims: there is something fundamentally wrong with the post-Vatican II Church; decisions made at that council are at the root of the problem; something drastic has to be done to reverse the problems caused by those decisions.

Besides, if we are to excommunicate everyone who makes 'demands of Rome', why aren't we excommunicating all of those bishops and priests who have voiced their disagreement, publicly and privately, with the Holy Father's decision to grant broader permission for the TLM? Aren't they demanding a reversal of the decision? What about all of those bishops, priests, laymen who make 'demands of Rome' for changes in a more liberal direction? The 'demands of Rome' criterion is quite broad. WHy is it only being applied against the SSPX?

New Catholic said...

OK, Jose L Campos, that is exactly what being Catholic means...

On the other hand, regarding "obsolete documents": the Didache is as alive today as when it was written - Gaudium et Spes was "obsolete" even as it was being writen. And Pascendi is burning with life: did you know that its text describes you with perfection?

NC

Examiner said...

New Catholic,

Pascendi is burning with life? It's a nice thought. Do you honestly, truly, sincerely believe that our most recent popes are steadfastly committed to it? With the rescinding of the Oath Against Modernism?

Gratias said...

Benedict XVI legislated the right of every priest to offer the Traditional Latin Mass. He then lifted the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops. Before that Benedict taught that Vatican Council II documents must be interpreted in continuity with Tradition. V2 was not a dogmatic council so reasonable people can disagree about its interpretation. The condition for regularization has been for the longest time the acceptance that the Vatican Council II did take place and that the documents it signed are part of the Magisterium.

Just say yes. Then teach through your exemplary lives and
raise your objections from within.

Ivan K said...

@ spero: 'The SSPX was not excommunicated for criticizing the VCII, but for the consecrations, and only the bishops were said to be excommunicated. I think the big issue here is canonical recognition.'

Yes, but the condition of the canonical recognition is the Doctrinal Preamble, which is all about the SSPX's attitude toward Vatican II.

Your explanation of the difference between Monsignor Gherardini and SSPX is that the former is 'docile' whereas the latter is not. Can it be that people having their papers revoked because of something as subjective as the perceived tone of a criticism? That Vatican II must really be the most sacred document of the Church if it and only it may be criticized in a 'docile' manner!

But all of that is besides the point. From what I understand, the Doctrinal Preamble doesn't ask the SSPX to criticize Vatican II in a 'docile' manner; it demands, in effect, that they do not criticize it at all.

In the words of Bishop Fellay: 'Wouldn’t the Creed still be sufficient today to identify someone as Catholic? Doesn’t it still express the whole Catholic faith? When people renounce their errors and join the Catholic Church, are they now required to profess their faith in religious liberty, ecumenism or collegiality?'

Just to forestall ad hominem arguments: I am not a member of the SSPX. I attend the TLM when I can, but my usual parish at the moment has a Novus ORdo complete with Gather Hymnal, and most people treat the Mass as a lovely community gathering at which we listen to the music and hear people read quotes from that interesting fella Jesus. The closest we come to mystery is the occasional adolescent reading Harry Potter during the homily. The SSPX seem very much 'in communion,' by comparison.

Ecclesia Militans said...

Jose,

Does God, who is the source of life, ever change? No.
Then how can the Rock on which He has built His Church be anything but immovable and immutable?

Be careful what you call "obsolete". Unlike the reckless currents of the world, the teaching of the Church of Christ is never obsolete.
The obligation to honor God according to His wish, to teach the Truth for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, to oppose all lies and error that bring perdition to countless souls, to guard faithfully the received Deposit of Faith - none of this is ever obsolete.

Here are the words of Our Divine Savior:
"For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.
He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
(Mt 5:18-19)

"And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fall." (Lk 16:17)

Are these the words of a God who changes or whose laws change?
Certainly not.

What does the Lord say here about those who teach others to break His commandements, so in essence, who teach them that the law has changed?

I am sorry you do not see what these discussions are about.
They are not about opinions, nor even theological opinions.
They are about the Faith - the Catholic Faith in which the fullness of Truth is found.

And we will be judged by our faith...

What those "popes of old" did was to transmit faithfully the Catholic Religion.
What the recent popes did and do is often to create a new religion, often, if not always, in contrast to the Catholic Religion.

"Tradidi quod et accepi".
No more, and no less.

This arcticle, I would say, deals with all the important things discussed in recent months regarding the state of the Church and the Magisterium:
http://www.dici.org/en/news/sermon-of-bishop-bernard-fellay-superior-general-of-the-society-of-saint-pius-x-on-the-solemnity-of-the-immaculate-conception-december-8-2011-in-econe/

Daniel Arseno said...

Permettez-moi d'abord en réponse à toutes ces critiques non inattendues de rectifier mon premier commentaire: j'ignore si l'excommunication est une peine appropriée pour un refus d'avaliser le concile. L'essentiel de mon propos ne tourne pas sur l'excommunication en tant que tel, mais sur l'erreur que constitue ce refus.

Évidemment je ne suis ni théologien, ni clerc. Mais je ne doute pas qu'un simple laïc comme moi-même puisse apporter un peu d'objectivité à la question, surtout parce que je ne risque rien à remettre en question l'un ou l'autre point de vue, n'étant ni traditionaliste ni moderniste.

De mon point de vue et de celui de tous les Catholiques fidèles que je connais (lisez ici: non modernistes) et qui pour la plupart assistent à la messe selon le missel de 1962, il n'y a aucun équivoque sur le fait que la SSPX commet une erreur grave tant dans ses déclarations que dans son comportement eu égard au concile. Elle nous ferait croire que nous ne sommes pas liés par cette expression du Magistère. Cela va beaucoup plus loin que simplement dénoncer les abus faits au nom du concile. J'ai bien du mal à saisir comment un Catholique fidèle puisse totalement désavouer un concile oecuménique en raison de ces abus.

Ensuite il y a la question de la continuité. Admettons un instant que le concile est déconnecté de la Tradition. Comment cela règle-t-il le problème de ce qu'on doit en faire de ce concile, puisqu'il demeure une expression valable du Magistère? Le Catholique fidèle, confronté à deux enseignements contradictoires, n'en écarte pas le plus récent au profit du plus ancien. Il tente plutôt de les réconcilier de son mieux et reconnaît que le reste échappe à son intelligence. Voilà le noeud du problème. La SSPX voit une contradiction et, dans un esprit rationaliste, applique une logique sans pitié plutôt que simplement croire.

Dire qu'il ne faut pas accepter le concile parce qu'il n'est pas dans la continuité de la Tradition équivaut à dire qu'il est possible que le Magistère se trompe. Cela n'est pas catholique. Pire encore, s'autoriser à déterminer si les expressions du Magistère sont en continuité avec la Tradition et, dans la négative, d'en écarter certaines comme étant hétérodoxes, c'est ce que font les Protestants lorsqu'ils disent qu'il ne faut pas agréer certains enseignements de l'Église parce qu'il n'est pas, selon eux, en accord avec la Bible. Correctement interprétée, la Bible s'accorde avec l'enseignement de l'Église. De la même façon, correctement interprété, le concile s'accorde avec la Tradition.

Valide dans sa forme, une expression légitime de l'Église, le concile fait partie intégrante du dépôt de la Foi. Si on prend ce dépôt et on se met à le décortiquer: "ceci contredit cela", on fait ce qu'a fait Luther lorsqu'il a refusé de croire que le mérite serve à notre salut jusqu'à vouloir exclure l'épître de St Jacques du canon.

Avec 21 conciles oecuméniques, il y a certainement eu dans le passé des hommes qui ont été déçus de la tournure des événements et qui ont refusé d'en accepter les conclusions. Soit ils sont devenus hérétiques ou schismatiques, soit ils se sont estompés avec le temps.

Mes propos n'ont rien de nouveau et je ne vous apprend rien. Vous passez vos journées à réfléchir à ces questions et vous en connaissez beaucoup plus que moi. Pardonnez-moi de faire étalage de mon ignorance, puisque ce forum est ouvert à tous pour offrir son point de vu, si peu informé soit-il.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear N.C. Back when Ike was The POTUS, I had to take French from Mrs. Parsons. I hated the crummy language then and I hate it now.

Did you start this French thing in anticipation of tomorrow's Ember Friday's Penance?

If so, you are unduly rigorous.

New Catholic said...

Pas du tout, cher "I am not Spartacus".

Jose L Campos said...

Jose L Campos suffered with Vatican II and abandoned the church. He was very unhappy until he realized that he was fighting the Holy Spirit and when he flexed his stiff neck he found peace.
He does not believe that statements regarding the relation of the church with temporal powers are of any importance except as manifestations of temporal difficulties. He has read Providentissimus Deus and Lamentabile Sane and the Divino Afflante Spiritu and he has noticed the change of tenor. He believes that he has been placed in this world at this moment and not in another. He is supposed to be a faithful Catholic now and not in the fourteenth century.
He takes everything that theologians say with an enormous grain of salt.
He thinks that among the virtues obedience is the hardest.

Knight of Malta said...

"In all truth Modernism hid itself under the cloak of Vatican II's hermeneutic...The new rite of Holy Mass practically silenced the nature of sacrifice making of it an occasion for gathering together the people of God...the eucharistic gathering was given the mere sense of sharing a meal together...not a few pages of the conciliar documents reek of the writings and ideas of Modernism--this can be seen above all in GS." [92]
...

"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..." [29]
...

"[A] reconciliation of the Church and the world was being spoken of." [46, boldface in original]

...

"Let me say immediately that not even a single dogmatic definition included in the intentions of LG or the other Vatican II documents. The Council--we do well not to forget this--could not have even proposed one since it had refused to follow along the lines traced out by other Councils...This means that none of its doctrines, unless ascribable to previous conciliar definitions, are infallible or unchangeable, nor are they even binding: he who denies them cannot, for this reason, be called a formal heretic." [58]

...

"GS and DH formed the Anti-Syllabus of condemnation...[so that] a relationship of cooperation could be built up, cooperation even with those who were shackled in proclaimed and condemned errors." [82]

....

[After VII] "[A] missionary conception of the Church now freed from any form of or temptation to proselytism...this type of ecumenism, unfortunately, found a license to legitimacy from the spirit of assisi, thanks to the 'multi-religious' meeting celebrated there..." [86-87]

...

"As a result [of the likes of Rahner], a tombstone was placed over metaphysics...Rahnerians make up a large part of the Bishops who have the Church in their hands...The air we breathe to this day continues to be both defiled and defiling." [118-121.]
...

"...Is there not in SC itself an element of that which Pius XII had so strongly worked to keep at bay?" [168]

...

"And if someone passed through that door to introduce into the Church a Liturgy subversive to the very nature and primary end of the Sacred Liturgy...the responsibility for this, in the final analysis, is none other than the conciliar text itself." [171-172]

...

"[T]he Liturgy which systematically boycotted the versus Domino orientation, the sacredness of the rite, the sense of latria, the irreplaceable beauty of Gregorian chant, the solemnity of gestures and vestments, and kneeling...[was committed in a] boundless cult of man..." [186-187.]
...

"The content of DH and the contents of the previous Magisterium are different. So there is neither continuity nor development of the previous Magisterium in DH." [217]

All quotes taken from:

"The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: A Much Needed Discussion," Msgr. Brunero Gherardini.

Translated by the Franciscans of the Immaculate, From the Italian edition of March 25, 2009.

New Catholic said...

Jose L Campos surely loves to talk about himself - no wonder he does so using the third person.

Jose L Campos, you are right, we have been placed in the time in which we live. Which is why we should just conform. And, I must add, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

Gulielmus said...

"In other words, the theologian says that all displays attempting to make Vatican II the continuation of the teaching of the Church are to his eyes nothing but weakly convincing arguments"

But these are far from "other words" for that which Gherardini said, rather a completely different point. I've noticed this tactic from Bishop Fellay, as well as from the revered Michael Davies-- claiming to restate an argument, but in fact framing an entirely new one that can Be more easily refuted or manipulated. It's intellectually disingenuous at best, and dishonest t worst.

Knight of Malta said...

Mr. Arseno,

I note that you are in Quebec; have you read Cather's Shadows On The Rock perchance? (Though she wasn't Catholic, it is one of the most Catholic novels--along with her other Catholic book, Death Comes for the Archbisop, also written during her "Catholic period--I have ever read.)

Knight of Malta said...


Dire qu'il ne faut pas accepter le concile parce qu'il n'est pas dans la continuité de la Tradition équivaut à dire qu'il est possible que le Magistère se trompe. Cela n'est pas catholique.


Au contraire, pour affirmer que le Magistère ne peut pas être mauvais quand il n'est pas parler ex cathedra, n'est pas catholique. Les conseils peuvent être faux. La FSSPX faire "accepter" que le Concile Vatican II a été un véritable Conseil, mais qu'elle était entachée.

David said...

We have two churches each representing two different faiths.

Thank you for that sedevacantist moment, Delphina.

Ivan K,

You have entirely missed my point. I find the comparison between the FSSPX and Monsignor Gherardini to be tenuous, that is all. The FSSPX are canonically separated from Rome. That is a given. Now, whether it would be more just for the heretic bishops who plague their flocks to be canonically separated is beside the point. The point is that the FSSPX bishops are determined to remain in a state of canonical separation from Rome until Rome separates herself from Vatican II. Thus the difference between the FSSPX and Monsignor Gherardini is substantial and the comparison proposed by Côme de Prévigny is specious and polemical.

Gregg the Obscure said...

Vatican II had three principal and interrelated effects: the Novus Ordo, ecumenism and the Church’s role in a secular society.

While the Holy Father has somewhat mitigated the Novus Ordo by Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, the ancient treasures of the Church are usually hidden away. There are some Vetus Ordo celebrations of Holy Mass, but very few of the other Sacramental liturgies, to say nothing of the traditional Office.

Ecumenism is difficult to reconcile with well-known ancient formulas such as Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus. Lumen Gentium attempts to square that circle by saying "They could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it". That makes catechesis potentially dangerous to the listener as the ignorant can’t be damned by rejecting or leaving the Church. Perhaps there’s no more charitable explanation for why so much contemporary catechesis is so weak.

The question of religious liberty, though, is in many ways the most difficult of the issues presented by Vatican II, especially to those familiar with the Church’s struggles in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some -- including both supporters and opponents of the concept of religious liberty -- would say that Vatican II has endorsed the view of the freemasons: that the Church is but one of many social entities and that she has no right to a privileged place in society. I disagree. Rather I suggest that the teachings on religious liberty promulgated in the documents of Vatican II are not meant as an endorsement of the development of secular societies, but merely as a description of how the Church ought to adapt to life in such societies. Instead of the hermeneutic of rupture or the hermeneutic of continuity, perhaps it is worth considering a hermeneutic of captivity. When the children of Israel were exiled to Babylon, for a time they lived in subjugation in a society that did not recognize God or His truths. Their laws, customs and rituals were starkly altered. We live in such a world today. The council fathers and periti all had suffered through World War II and the Great Depression. Many had vivid memories of the glorious civilization that had preceded World War I. All of them lived in the shadows of the twin specters of communism and nuclear war. The council fathers knew that they could not restore the role of the Church to what it had been in previous centuries during their own lifetimes. What depths of sorrow! The wise among them surely foresaw the continued debasement of secular society, for the signs were prominent even then. Yet even the most base and debauched man of 1965 would be shocked at much of today’s scene.

In time the children of Israel returned to their homes, restored the Temple and regained their autonomy and their customs, but they couldn’t do any of that until they first were freed from captivity. Similarly, the Church cannot regain her properly preeminent role in any society where secularism is entrenched. Secular society, though, with its hostility to even the most basic facts of human nature, is clearly doomed. It will collapse. The accommodation of secular societies found in Vatican II may have forestalled a broad general persecution and set the treasures of the Church in safekeeping for a time. The Babylonian Captivity lasted for seventy years. Perhaps we are only twenty years away from the Church’s deliverance from her captivity. How long, O Lord, how long?

Delphina said...

David:

Anytime!

If it weren't so, Rorate Coeli would be as lively as a graveyard.

No Big Whoop said...

Seems to me that nearly all extended efforts at communication inherently contain some level of ambiguity, for instance Sacred Scripture and the U.S. Constitution. To say that St. Paul's letters allow for heretical interpretation in no way impugns their worthiness of intellectual submission nor undermines belief in them as being divinely inspired.

I've recently been the recipient (I don't know how) of Catholic Family News, an SSPX friendly periodical. From what I've read in it about Abp. Lefebvre's critique of VII as unduly ambiguous and an abrupt rupture with Tradition, I am not impressed with his arguments, but especially not his spirit of fraternal understanding.

Given, as a pastoral council it may be viewed as less than perfect in that its documents arguably permit misinterpretation, especially by those who willingly desire to misinterpret them. But to impute bad faith to those who wrote the documents and who now uphold them as a legitimate exercise of the Roman magisterium seems itself to arise from bad faith.

Why assume bad faith when mere human imperfection suffices to explain any defect regarding ambiguity in the documents? This is not the spirit of charity and fraternal bond, and ultimately nothing good will come of it.

ToS said...

It's beginning to look like the only way to handle it is to just dismiss the whole thing, which would take a papal directive. But how to justify that?

Indeed how. The Laity are already mostly ignorant. If a dramatic dismissal were to take place it would alienate them with regards to other councils and the Church’s teaching authority as a whole. Either the Vatican releases super-explicit and authoritative documents that clarify the council over time or we wait 100 years and have another council that fixes and clarifies everything in an indirect manner.

I am not Spartacus said...

IANS feels at liberty to observe that had Mr. Campos been alive in the second half of the 6th century he'd have been less dogmatic about how to respond to this Council:

http://tinyurl.com/84h2ht3

Mike said...

Now, whether it would be more just for the heretic bishops who plague their [FSSPX's] flocks to be canonically separated is beside the point...

David, dear David, calm your nerves. The Bishops neither "plague" their flocks, nor are they "heretics". Where do you get such information?? Our Pope, btw., has lifted their "Excommunications". The Vatican, furthermore, has said one can go to an FSSPX mass and receive a valid Eucharistic Sacrament, as well as add to their collection plate.

And also what do you mean by "canonically separated"? Certainly they aren't separated by Canon law since the "excommunications" have been lifted. Do you mean since the Priests of the FSSPX are still suspended a divinus that the entire FSSPX is thereby "canonically separated"? I don't really get your argument, to be honest...

Lopes said...

@ New Catholic,

Ja que o frances esta sendo usado, sera que eu posso comentar em portugues tambem??

Ra-Ra.

Examiner said...

Why assume 'bad faith', No Big Whoop?

Because when the pope and bishops meet in ecumenical council to make official doctrinal statements on certain issues, I would hope that they would laboriously, carefully determine what is official Church teaching on the subject(s) to begin with, pledge themselves to stringently uphold all such teaching beyond even the appearance of reproach, and carefully lay out any doctrinal developments to be tightly aligned with and an organic outgrowth of all this teaching that had come before.

In contrast, it is clear beyond any doubt, based on the speeches given at Second Vatican, what I've seen of the Acta Synodalia, as translated by Fr. Brian Harrison, and what has unfolded since the council, that many had no intention of clinging tenaciously to tradition. Yes, they simply want to teach what they wanted to teach, and, at times, would go through multiple revisions to come up with the most plausible rationale for the teaching, while agreeing to sprinkle in some traditional statements as a pacifier for the traditional-minded.

One should proceed, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in a methodical manner from basic, normative premises, through to any objective conclusions, letting the so-called chips fall where they may. Not deciding up front what one likes and wants to teach, and then work backwards to force facts, rationales, and interpretations of the past to conform to a pre-determined outcome not intrinsically grounded in tradition.

It's a scandal to the Catholic mind, and I'm amazed some many went along with so much. Yes, even Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve, based upon what I know, voted for more Second Vatican documents than I would have.

spero said...

Ivan K,
You quoted Bishop Fellay about whether the Creed should be enough to be recognized as Catholic. I think that it could (understood properly...many a Lutheran prays the Creed). That is my point. If this were not a matter of priests, I think that it would it would be easier. I personally think that the Society could be recognized as Catholic, but that is not the same as giving them permission to exercise public ministry.
The town drunk, if he has not renounced his Faith, is a Catholic. The unmarried couple who live together and have children, if they have not sinned directly against Faith or against union with the Church are Catholic.
If the SSPX are not in formal schism, and are not heretics, then they are Catholic.
My point is that this might not be enough for canonical regularity. The Holy See might demand that they AGREE to act in a Catholic manner (i.e. docility...teachability) in regard to the teaching office instituted by Christ. I am not suggesting that the Society is not Catholic. I agree, that on the whole, they act in a more Catholic manner than a majority of Catholics on most things. But the majority of Catholics are not trying to get out of a canonical irregularity. The majority of Catholics are not sitting under a microscope.
Every canonically regular priest (to my knowledge) is required to take the Paul VI "oath of fidelity" or "professio fidei" that has the clause about religious obsequium of intellect and will. I have a hard time imagining that the SSPX will be given permission to duck out on this clause (because they are priests).
I don't think there are going to be "obsequium police" running around to enforce it. You mentioned that it should not come down to something so subjective. I agree. However, the Society are now put in the position where that which is normally too subjective to worry about becomes objective. It is objective insofar as (IF the preamble really is based on the professio fidei of Paul VI, and if this clause really is the issue) the Society refuses to sign the document because it involves religous obsequium of intellect and will (THAT IS A BIG IF; We don't know.). In other words all are obliged to be docile and many are not docile. No one does anything. The SSPX is asked if they will be docile, and they say "we can't." The Liberals say, "yes, we will sign" and then are not docile. Gheradini et al. say "yes" and still criticize (I believe this is with docility). These are subjective. The SSPX says, "No" we cannot sign a promise docility (if this is indeed the situation). This is what complicates their situation. This is what makes it something more than subjective.



An alternative interpretation of the situation is that the Holy See saw no insurmountable doctrinal problems in the positions of the SSPX, recognized that they were Catholic and simply said, "if you sign what all the priests sign and be respectful we'll just move on."

Jordanes551 said...

Our Pope, btw., has lifted their "Excommunications".

It is impossible to lift "excommunications." Only if they are excommunications, not "excommunications," is it possible to lift them.

The Vatican, furthermore, has said one can go to an FSSPX mass and receive a valid Eucharistic Sacrament, as well as add to their collection plate.

No, the Vatican has never said that. Rather, a Vatican office has told individuals that they, personally, could do that. The Vatican has never said anything about it, and private letters, even if correct and thus having answers that would apply generally as a matter of law, don't apply to anyone but their recipients.

And also what do you mean by "canonically separated"? Certainly they aren't separated by Canon law since the "excommunications" have been lifted. Do you mean since the Priests of the FSSPX are still suspended a divinus that the entire FSSPX is thereby "canonically separated"?

The SSPX is not "canonically separated." The SSPX is "canonically suppressed" and thus irregular and currently not recognised by the Church as a Catholic priestly fraternity. The hoped-for reconciliation would entail canonical regularisation for the fraternity (which thus would be reerected as lawfully instituted) and for all of its members, who would no longer be suspended a divinis.

Jordanes551 said...

It's beginning to look like the only way to handle it is to just dismiss the whole thing, which would take a papal directive. But how to justify that?

It couldn't be justified. No papally-recognised council has ever been subsequently dismissed. To reduce Vatican II to the status of a latrocinium would require a finding that John XXIII and Paul VI were somehow incompetent -- whether through a medical or mental issue, or through the sedevacantist gambit, that they were never valid popes to begin with. We can rule out the sedevacantist gambit, and I doubt there's any evidence that Paul VI was non compos mentis or under some external duress that could nullify his approval of Vatican II.

That means the only option is to have the council clarified/corrected, and eventually left as an episode in the Church's history: not rejected or renounced, but receding into the general background ambience of the magisterial voice.

Woody said...

One again perhaps I may be permitted to ask our hierarchs, including the Holy Father, most respectfully, that if they wish us to give religious assent of intellect and will to the Council, in their charity, and fulfilling their pastoral responsibilities towards their flock, they would clarify, explain and demonstrate the truth and continuity, in a very serious manner worthy at least of the best apologetics, of the controverted points of Vatican II.

I had hoped that the papers exchanged in the discussions between the Vatican commissioners, including Msgr Ocariz, and the SSPX commissioners, would engage in precisely this kind of elaboration, but if they did (and it seems likely,inferring based on the small amount of information available, that they did not do so), why have they not been published for the edification of us all? What, indeed, is there to fear from such publication? And why are we to presume that there is nothing to be alarmed about from the fact that they are not published?

Why do the Roman authorities not engage in the kind of substantive clarification, explanation and demonstration that I am referring to (and that was asked for much more competently in the Italian scholars' petition, which included the signature of Msgr Antonio Livi, another very well-respected Opus Dei priest)? What, again, do they have to fear?

Need one state the obvious, that in the XXI Century, the old "pray, pay and obey, and shut up", does not cut it any more? Why are they seeming to avoid their resposibility to the faithful, to make things clear and convincing?

beng said...

Tradical: The point is that by 'recognizing the council' they have to compromise principles of the Faith.

That would mean that the current magisterium has compromised the principles of the Faith (because the current magisterim recognize the council). That would mean the gates of hell hath prevailed.




PEH: "They have the churches; we have the Faith". As for salus animarum suprema lex being used against the SSPX and, by extension, other independent traditional groups, one would have to be an idiot to ascribe to that proposition. Until and unless the documents of Vatican II are clarified by an ex cathedra papal declaration the confusion will reign throughout our holy Church with apostates having canonical jurisdiction and loyal sons of the Church denied the same.

This idiot would say that confusion does not endangers one soul. Salvation is not by knowledge. There are always some confusion in doctrines because of paradoxes (such as Thomism and molinism, both are allowed by the Church). Difficulties does not beget doubt. As long as one rest his faith in the faith of the Church no matter how confused he is and how difficult for him to understand, he is secured.

One who does not believe all the articles explicitly can still avoid all errors because the habit of faith keeps him from giving assent to things against the articles which he knows only implicitly. - St. Thomas

Thus, an idiot like moi, who confused about a lot of things that "seem contradictory" [ie. paradoxes] due to my slow intellect, is secured if despite the confusion I cling to the faith of the Church (not that of some irregular entity).

Côme de Prévigny said...

Dans un article publié en mai 2009, Mgr Gherardini prévoyait que certaines doctrines de Vatican II pouvaient s'avérer inconciliables avec la Tradition. Il ne disait pas seulement que la continuité n'était pas prouvée, il disait qu'il pouvait y avoir discontinuité et même contradiction ! Il faisait allusion aux doctrines "dont la nouveauté apparaît soit inconciliable avec la Tradition, soit opposée à elle, [elles] pourront et devront être sérieusement soumises à un examen critique sur la base de la plus rigoureuse herméneutique théologique."
Daniel Arseno s'interroge : Que faire alors de ce concile ? La réponse est simple. Il suffit de suivre Mgr Gherardini, doyen des théologiens du Latran. Il faut en toute honnêteté - c'est le sens de son appel au pape - entreprendre un examen critique et rigoureux de ces textes conciliaires. Le pape qui sera chargé de cette étude statuera ensuite sur la nature des différents textes de ce concile. Mgr Gherardini donne déjà la voie à suivre : il faut distinguer différentes formes de magistère à l'intérieur de ce concile. A une partie seulement est dévolue une adhésion relevant de l'infaillibilité, pas à l'autre.

7/10 split said...

Two things: 1. A falling off of devotion and population in the Church since the 1960s can not be proven to be strictly as a result of Vatican II. "Correlation does not imply causation."

2. Just because one can point to a more grievous offender, that in no way diminishes your offense.

Both of these arguments are continuously used by SSPX to justify their disobedience.

Fr Paul McDonald said...

Cher Daniel Arseno

«dire qu'il est possible que le Magistère se trompe. Cela n'est pas catholique. »

To say that the magisterium can be mistaken is not Catholic.

Oh yes it is. But let me be precise: the merely authentic magisterium can be mistaken. As St. Pius X taught in one of his catechisms, the pope (or a council by logical extension) is infallible *ONLY* if all four conditions are met.

Vatican II *deliberately* and explicitly refrained from making use if infallibility. Therefore it could have been mistaken.

New Catholic said...

Merci à M. de Prévigny pour la réponse à M. Arseno.

--

Lopes, why not? But in this case there is a good reason: a French-speaking author.

Knight of Malta said...

Jordanes, thank you for your corrections! I'm a work-in-progress; I've been proved wrong more than once!

Daniel Arseno said...

Un "examen critique et rigoureux" des textes, est-ce que ça implique une remise en question de leur légitimité, comme le souhaiterait la SSPX? J'en doute.

David said...

Mike, dear Mike, please pay closer attention to what people write. I was not referring to the FSSPX bishops. I was referring to the heretical "Novus Ordo" bishops who plague their flock in ordinary dioceses.

Mar said...

Corey F. said: "Mais vous supposez que ces arguments méritent la lecture de M. de Prévigny..."

Ouille! Aoutsche!

David said...

I should have said above that the FSSPX is "canonically irregular" and that the FSSPX bishops are determined to remain in that irregular state until Rome separates herself from Vatican II. My point remains that Monsignor Gherardini voices his strong objections to the Council while remaining in canonical good standing.

Gratias said...

I have to go with M. Daniel Arseno on this one. Il suffit de suivre Benôit XVI dans ce cas. Who are we to request that the Vatican Council II be dissected by the Pope into good teachings and incorrect ones? The Holy Father has been clear, the Vatican II documents (not the later liturgical implementation by Bugnini) are part of the Church teachings. This is the time to take the opportunity to rejoin, not to demand eleventh hour revisions. Better do it now, with Benedict, and before the celebrations on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Council begin next year. Benedict has given traditionalists much: 1) Vatican II documents should be viewed through the hermeneutic of continuity. 2) Every priest has the lawful right to offer the Latin Mass. 3) The SSPX bishops are no longer excommunicated. Now is the time to decide, not to come up with novel conditions.

New Catholic said...

M. Arseno, la vôtre n'est pas une appréciation honnête des objections de la FSSPX. La "légitimité" des documents n'est pas en discussion, mais l'autorité de son contenu. / Yours is not an honest appreciation of the objections of the SSPX. The "legitimacy" of the documents is not being debated, but the authority of their contents.

Dave said...

I just wonder whether Rome would react...

Monsignor Gherardini deserves not excommunication but a cardinatial hat.

Mar said...

David said: "The point is that the FSSPX bishops are determined to remain in a state of canonical separation from Rome until Rome separates herself from Vatican II."

Your whole argument hinges on this categorical and absolute statement. But have you ever considered that you may wrong? Where is your hard evidence for such an assertion? When did you speak to the FSSPX bishops? Did you do it once? Many times? Or did you read their minds from a distance? Or maybe you relied on hearsay? Or is it just that you know in your heart of hearts that this is so? Well, if that is your
point it is not a point to be taken seriously.

Daniel Arseno said...

New Catholic:
Whether it's a question of legitimacy or of authority, the fact remains that we're being told by the SSPX to disregard the 21st Ecumenical Council. Something seems profoundly un-Catholic about that.

No Big Whoop said...

@Examiner: That SSPX would in any way attempt to set itself up to judge the bona fides of a papally-recognized council is the scandal. Abp Lefebvre's French throne-and-altar conservatism has been completely discredited since at least the Dreyfus affair. To my knowledge, one of the stumbling blocks of VII to the SSPX is the unambiguous recognition by VII of the individual right to freedom of religion. As a thoroughly culturally modern American, I can conceive of nothing so self-evident.

It's only a matter of time before the anti-Semitism and authoritarian boot-licking woven into the DNA of SSPX come to the fore. Nothing good will come of its spirit of arrogance and separation.

Mar said...

Beng said: "Salvation is not by knowledge."

But neither is it without knowledge. As the catechism, which I had to learn by rote many, many years ago, states in the second Q & A: Why did God make you? God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him here on earth and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

The first Q & A was: Who made you? God made me.

beng said...

Mar: Beng said: "Salvation is not by knowledge."

But neither is it without knowledge.


And here I am thinking that it's by grace (therefore a baptized infant or an imbecile could be saved).

Ivan K said...

@ David 'The point is that the FSSPX bishops are determined to remain in a state of canonical separation from Rome until Rome separates herself from Vatican II.'

That is simply not true. The SSPX are in talks with the Vatican. There is one and only one condition for their regularization: that they sign the Doctrinal Preamble. The SSPX are not demanding that 'Rome separate herself from Vatican II' whatever that might mean. The last word was that the SSPX requested revisions of the preamble, as currently worded.

David said...

Mar,

Are you joking? My assertion is based on public statements issued by the FSSPX bishops over the years. If in their hearts they would accept regularization while Rome continues to adhere to Vatican II, that would certainly contradict everything that they've said since 1988.

David said...

Mar, if it will please you, I will revise one word in my comment:

I should have said above that the FSSPX is "canonically irregular" and that the FSSPX bishops SEEM determined to remain in that irregular state until Rome separates herself from Vatican II.

Is that better?

David said...

Ivan K,

As you see, I have revised my statement.

As I commented to Mar, it should be fairly evident to anyone who has followed the public statements of the FSSPX bishops over the years that they see Rome's revocation or substantial revision of Vatican II as a precondition of regularization from their point of view. That said, the doctrinal talks and the openness of the FSSPX to the Doctrinal Preamble represent a significant shift. There is reason for good hope.

Tradical said...

@Beng
Good call - at the root we are saved by the Grace of God.

However, I do not believe that you are an imbecile or a baby so you have an obligation to know your faith and to profess it.

One of the Truths of the Faith is that Outside the Church there is no salvation.

To understand what the Church has taught pre-V2 read: http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdffeeny.htm

Now the hierarchy in its interpretation of the Second Vatican council has exceedingly muddled this teaching.

I'm thinking of my favorite prelate Cardinal Kasper, but I know of at least one other one who in the past has instructed a protestant that he didn't need to convert.

Cardinal Kasper has gone out of his way in trying to demonstrate the 'continuity' with ecumenism - but this is clearly not the ecumenism of return.

This is the kind of 'rupture' that the SSPX is concerned about accepting.

Tradical said...

Hi All,

Dici just published a translation of Bishop Fellay's sermon of Dec 8th.

Worth reading...
http://www.dici.org/en/news/sermon-of-bishop-bernard-fellay-superior-general-of-the-society-of-saint-pius-x-on-the-solemnity-of-the-immaculate-conception-december-8-2011-in-econe/

David said...

Bishop Fellay:
You have all heard that there was a proposal from Rome, a proposal that said, “We are ready to recognize you [canonically].” The problem is that there is always a condition. This condition may have varied a bit in its formulation, but basically it is always the same. This condition is: you must accept the Council. One could sum up the current situation by saying: “Yes, you can criticize the Council, but on one condition: it is necessary to accept it first.” Which leaves us saying, “What can we criticize afterwards?”

So the Society's counter-condition is what it has always been: rejection of the Council.

Which leaves us to ask, "Does Monsignor Gherardini reject the Council?" Of course he does not.

If Monsignor Gherardini can express serious reservations about the Council while accepting it, why cannot the FSSPX do the same?

totustuusmaria said...

Speaking as a student of theology who have spent quite a bit of time working to understand Lumen Gentium and Unitatis Redintegratio within the context of Catholic tradition, I can only lament that the council has these blemishes. Here is why. There is some worthy and seemingly beneficial things within the conciliar texts, and particularly within Lumen Gentium. Much of the SC, LG, UR, and EO are helpful and building of faith. And then parts of it (e.g. LG 8 and 15 and nearly the entirety of UR) are filled with ambiguity, undefined terms, and tenuous justifications for radical departures from Catholic practice. I would love it if Vatican II was edited and the ambiguities were cleared up, the terms defined, and the practical innovations brought in line with tradition. But I fear this will never happen. Those of us who try to read V II according to a hermeneutic of continuity will continue to find frustration. Most people will end up ignoring the texts of Vatican II, either because they do not have the desire or need to parse and examine each sentence of certain sections, or because they embrace heterodoxy and dislike how truly Catholic most of the teachings of the Council undeniably are. I don't know whether what parts of the texts of Vatican II will survive.

MP said...

I will continue to pray for this union as I think a not so favorable Pope and conditions are in the future. Also the scandal to souls and souls loss in an abyss should a formal schism occur will be horrifying. Loss of Souls must be avoided at all costs, even at some of the Vat II novelties. I think the Holy Father knows this. And whatever Preamble they sign, the heat should then be turned toward the Bishops who continually deny tenants of the Faith, the Council of Trent and its' documents and all valid Councils of the Church. The Oath against modernism should be reinstated and a second look at the Roman Synod of 1960 should be taken up. The plan for a return to a Traditional life on the part of all Ecclesiatics is what is needed more than in 1960. The Synod planned to restore and reinvigorate all aspects of religious life. Deep prayer and reflection is needed now, even for Bishops and a new direction should be planned and promulgated. The Synod laid down some excellent groundwork before it was hastily cast aside. A return to the roots so to speak. It can still be.

beng said...

Tradical:
However, I do not believe that you are an imbecile or a baby so you have an obligation to know your faith and to profess it.


It's not about me. It's about correcting the notion that salvation is by knowledge. Of course being a Catholic you would agree with that [ie. salvation is not by knowledge, thus a baptized infant and imbecile could be save].




Tradical:
This is the kind of 'rupture' that the SSPX is concerned about accepting.

Does that mean that the indefectible Church has defected? Aren't you concerned about accepting such thought (ie. the defectible Church has defected)?

Mar said...

David, you have actually revised a bit more than one word. What about that canonical separation bit? And no, really, you don't have to do it to please me but rather to maintain your own high standards :) But overall, I suppose, it is a little
better. Brick by brick...

Rodg said...

Can somebody kindly lay out here, clearly, word for word, exactly, precisely, what is meant by accepting the council while simultaneously expressing grave reservations, and how does that precisely differ from rejecting the council?

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Beng, 7-10 split and others. I am the same age as Israel and I have lived through all of these changes.

This is not the same Church I was born into in 1948. Everything has changed. Everything.

To which Church am I supposed to be obedient?

The Church of 1948 taught that which has always been believed and it conducted itself towards its ancient enemies - The World, The Flesh, and The Devil- in ways that are starkly different than the way the Church does today.

My Dad was a Laslette Seminarian and my Uncle was Ordained a Lasalette Priest and he died with his harness on after faithfully and diligently discharging his duties for over fifty years in the state of New Hampster.

My Uncle, Fr. Francis, was in Rome (he was very bright) for the Council and after the Council when everything went to Hell, he had little good to say about it.

In fact, my Dad and my Uncle never publicly contended against the Council or the captious changes it created; they fell silent and endured the suffering faithfully and painfully.

Writing just for my own self, I grow weary reading that I must be obedient to an Ecumenical Council that produced a church radically different than the one that preceded it.

Who are radically wrong are those Catholics content with sudden and radical change for such things are anathema to Tradition.

The idea that the gates of Hell have prevailed if this Council is not obeyed is nettlesome as the Council issued no Canons or Decrees to which Bishops had to swear fealty or be declared anathema.

As a Catholic I confess that I believe that every Ecumenical Council, by its nature, is Infallible and, for me, the proof is The Holy Ghost constrained the Council from teaching dogmatically.

The Fathers at the Council erred in misreading the signs of the time and their opening to the world has resulted in a rapid and stunning decrease in every single objective measure of Catholic vitality - From the number of Priests, Religious to the number of Catholics going to Mass; all dropped off the ends of the Earth.

This Council generated not one Dogmatic Teaching to which I must submit and it is worse than nettlesome to read folks saying a Council that has resulted in such measurable mayhem must be obeyed.

Basta.....

The only vitality in the Catholic Church issues from the Traditional Orders because a deracinated Church, severed from the past, produces not one thing of lasting value.

Tradical said...

@Beng 16 December, 2011 06:07,

Just a quick note before I head off to v-work.

-Does that mean that the indefectible Church has defected?-

No, that is not what it means.

What it means is that the highest levels of the hierarchy are infected with various flavours of modernist heresy. Making working with them (let alone under them) fraught with danger.

Cardinal Kasper`s published words provide ample evidence that he denies Truths of the Faith.

Words and works of other prelates provides support for the aforesaid assertion.

PEH said...

Beng said in part:

The "salus animarum" part refers to that of SSPX. By being in limbo (ie. irregular) their souls are in danger. Their eternal salvation is much more important than "critical examination" of V2 texts. I'm not downplaying the important of said examination, but, again, salus animarum suprema lex.

How is it that the SSPX and others of their disposition who hold to what Holy Mother Church has always held, taught and professed to be true can be said to be working against the supreme law of the church - the salvation of souls? How is it that by questioning the ambiguous nature of GS and DH and refusing to give assent to such propositions as universal salvation, the efficacy of false religions, and collegiality are they endangering their souls? How is it that by requesting Vatican II documents be clarified to be in accord with the doctrinal statements of previous councils like Trent and Vatican I are they endangering their souls?

Msgr. Gheradini has reflected views similar to the SSPX in his recent statements and I believe that no one would say he is endangering his soul but you seem to be saying that by not assenting to dubious and ambiguous propositions the SSPX is endangering their souls. Or, is it that you believe that obedience to individuals is more important than obedience to the Faith - something on which St. Athanasius would likely differ with you?

David said...

"canonical separation"

Mar, I fixed that one, too. They are canonically irregular. :-)

Enoch said...

The situation could also be that Bp. Fellay is looking for a way to gracefully back out of the discussions with Rome, so to say that they cannot accept the Council is a way to reject any kind of reconciliation, since of course the Roman Catholic Church is not going to say that a valid Council can be rejected outright and completely. I think that the Old Catholics rejected the First Vatican Council, and they never reconciled.

I am not Spartacus said...

Let me ascend to the witness stand as to whether or not this is a different Church.

I begin by Confessing that in my teens, I began to skip Mass because I chose Sin over my Saviour and I rapidly descended to the point where I became a complete apostate and, as He should have, God abandoned me, and I became suicidal.

I won't bore the reader with a long accounting of the process that brought me to suicide but, Thanks be to God, The Holy Ghost brought me back from the brink - even all the way back into the Church.

And when I came back to the Church, I was shocked and frightened.

The first time I went to Mass at Holy Cross in So. Portland, Maine, I thought that the Church had been sold to the Presbies because what I witnessed was not a Catholic Mass; it was the N.O. and it was a crummy protestant service.

After Mass, I went to speak with the "presider," Fr. Knox, and I asked if Holy Cross was still a Catholic Church and we got to talking about all of the changes and he kept trying to convince me this was the same Church.

I was polite enough not to respond, Bull shit.

The course of my life has been but a repetition of what sinful men have done since time immemorial but what is completely new, so new that I have never read about any other similar ecclesiastical epoch, what was radically new, were the massive changes in the Church in less than ten years time.

It was a different Church than the one I left and upon my return, I began to panic.

I had been learnt that the Catholic Church would always be there for me; even if I left it, it would still be the same Catholic Church if I ever returned to it; and then I returned and it was gone.

The first time I rediscovered the Catholic Church was when the fantastic, Fr Calvin Goodwin (former Jebbie, now FSSP) secured permission for The Indult in Portland, Maine.

And had it not been for the disobedient Mons. Lefevbfre, I would never have had access to the Immemorial Mass and Traditional Doctrine (Fr Goodwin's sermons were classic) and I might well have committed suicide.

What has happened to Holy Mother Church is a great mystery but what is not a mystery is V2.

It was a complete and abject failure and all of the revolutionary actions it birthed have been monstrous - from the lil' licit liturgy, to the changes in the Sacraments, to the approach to the world, to, well, every thing. Period.

Pope Blessed John XIII realised his mistake in calling for the Council he and was in the process of gathering faithful Bishops to kill the runaway council; but, he died.

C'est la vie.

If a body tries to tell me that a conciliar innovation binds me to the very Council that created it is barking up the wrong tree; this ol' coot ain't having none if it.

Joe B said...

I think you are correct, Jordanes. But I don't think it would be that difficult to openly state that the controversial documents and the council itself should be ignored.

The council has competing statements within the same documents. The liberals got their vague language in (changes will be made), but so did the trads (organic change). It is clear to me these conflicting sentences and phrases show that the council was simply not of one mind. Therefore, the truth may well be that whereas the documents cannot be clearly shown to contain theological error (SSPX agrees), neither can they be seriously explained at all. They are just badly written documents. That's it. No way to extract concrete application from them, which has been shown to be the case since the council.

I don't think it needs to be more complex than that. They are just plain badly written. Nobody knows what they mean, so they may and should be ignored. Just say it, Papa.

Tradical said...

spartacus: what's a jebbie?

Jordanes551 said...

"Jebbie" is an old nickname for "Jesuit."

Malta said...

"And had it not been for the disobedient Mons. Lefevbfre, I would never have had access to the Immemorial Mass and Traditional Doctrine (Fr Goodwin's sermons were classic) and I might well have committed suicide."

Sparticus, you are quite correct; sans FSSPX no FSSP.

Personally, I do "ignore" the Council (Arseno, you can't be excommunicated for ignoring the Council, only for dismissing Dogma). Every time I read it, I get enraged. There is so much such drivel, comical ambiguity, praise for false religions, and utter "hidden" modernism, that if I subscribed to it, I would lose my faith; but, it combines all of that with some passages of purely brilliant defenses of the Faith, and articulate explanations of prior dogma. In other words, it's a mixed bag of good and bad. But, Iota Unum, a bad apple should not be added to a good.

Ecclesia Militans said...

Beng,

About you statement "Salvation is not by knowledge", I would refer you to the words of Popes St. Pius X and Benedict XIV, as well as a short quote from St. Robert Bellarmine and St Louis de Montfort:

“Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: “We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.”Pope St. Pius X, Acerbo Nimis

The knowledge of the dogmas of the faith of Christ is necessary for everyone who earnestly desires the salvation of his soul.
St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine

“My heart is penetrated with grief when I think of the almost infinite number of souls who are damned for lack of knowing the true God and the Christian religion. The greatest misfortune, O my God, is not to know thee, and the greatest of punishments not to love thee.”
St. Louis De Montfort, Love of Eternal Wisdom

As in human law, no one can claim ignorance as an excuse. The only ones that can possibly be excused are those who do not know of their ignorance in the first place.

So unfortunately you cannot claim ignorance.
As everyone else, you must choose whether you stand with novelty or Tradition.

This is what the Lord says to all:
"I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life..."
(Deuteronomy 30:19)

Catholic Mission said...

The SSPX could choose to affirm Vatican Council II and decide to interpret it according to Tradition as they know it.

The Left accepts Vatican Council II and interprets it as they wish.

For example they interpret Vatican Council II as a break from the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

SSPX can claim that Vatican Council II is in harmony with the dogma outside the church there is no salvation.

Since LG 14 and AD 7 teach all need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation.

Lumen Gentum 16 refers to those saved in invincible ignorance and with a good conscience. These are implicit cases and so are not exceptions to the dogma.

The baptism of desire is implicit. The baptism of water is explicit.

So this is an example of accepting Vatican Council II and publicly saying that we will choose to affirm it not as the liberals in dissent, but according to Tradition.