Rorate Caeli

Fellay: "...you can be certain that the Progressives will not be happy."

Main extract of the Sermon spoken by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) on the Feast of Candlemas

The Society of St. Pius X has been founded by the Church and in the Church, and we say this Society continues to exist, despite the fact that there is a pretense that it does not exist; that it was suppressed in 1976 (but obviously with total disrespect of the laws of the Church itself). And that's why we continue. And our dear Founder insisted many, many times on the importance of this existence of the Society. And I think, as time evolves, we must keep this in mind – and it is very important that we keep this Catholic Spirit.

We are not an independent group. Even if we are fighting with Rome, we are still, so to say, with Rome. We are fighting with Rome; or, if you want, against Rome, at the same time with Rome. And we claim and we continue to say, we are Catholic. We want to stay Catholic. Many times I say to Rome, you try to kick us out. And we see it would be much easier for us to be out. We would have many more advantages. You would treat us much better! Look at the Protestants, how they open the churches to them. To us, they close them. And we say, we don’t care. We do things in front of God. We suffer from the Church, fine. We don’t like that, of course. But we ought to stay there in the truth. And we have to maintain that we do belong to the Church. We are Catholics. We want to be and we want to stay Catholic, and it is very important to maintain that.


It’s also important that we don’t finally imagine a Catholic church which is just the fruit of our imagination but which is no longer the real one. And with the real one we have problems. That’s what makes it even more difficult: the fact that we have problems with it. That does not allow us, so to say, to shut the door. On the contrary, it is our duty to continuously go there, knock at the door, and not beg that we may enter (because we are in) but beg that they may convert; that they may change and come back to what makes the Church. It is a great mystery; it is not simple. Because at the same time we have to say, yes, we do recognize that Church – that’s what we say in the Creed, I believe in the Catholic Church – so we accept that there is a pope; we accept that there is a hierarchy, we do accept that.

And practically, at many levels, we have to say no. Not because it does not please us, but because the Church has already spoken about that. Even many of these things it has condemned them. And so, in our discussions with Rome we were, so to say, stuck there. The key problem in our discussions with Rome was really the Magisterium, the teaching of the Church. Because they say, "we are the pope, we are the Holy See" – and we say, yes. And so they say, "we have the supreme power," and we say, yes. They say, "we are the last instance in teaching and we are necessary" – Rome is necessary for us to have the Faith, and we say, yes. And then they say, "then, obey." And we say, no. And so they say to us, you are protestant. You put your reason above the Magisterium of today. And we answer to them, you are Modernists. You pretend that the teaching of today can be different from the teaching of yesterday. We say, when we adhere to what the Church has taught yesterday, we, by necessity, adhere to the teaching of the Church today. Because the truth is not linked to time. The truth is above it. What has been said once is binding all times. These are the dogmas. God is like that; God is above time. And the Faith is adhering to the truth of God. It’s above time. That’s why the church of today is bound and has to be like (not only like) the Church of yesterday. And so when you see the present pope say that there must be continuity in the Church, we say, of course! That is what we have said at all times. When we talk about tradition, that’s precisely the meaning. They say, there must be Tradition, there must be continuity. So there is continuity. Vatican II has been made by the Church, the Church must be continuous, so Vatican II is Tradition. And we say, beg your pardon?

It goes even further, my dear brethren. That was during the discussion. At the end of the discussion, comes this invitation from Rome. In this invitation there is a proposition of a canonical situation that is to regularize our situation. And I may say, what is presented today, which is already different from what was presented on the 14th of September, we can consider it as all right, good. They fulfilled all our requirements, I may say, on the practical level. So there is not much problem there. The problem remains at the other level – at the level of the doctrine. But even there it goes very far – very far, my dear brethren. The key is a principle. Which they say, "this you must accept; you must accept that for the points that make difficulty in the Council – points which are ambiguous, where there is a fight – these points, like ecumenism, like religious liberty, these points must be understood in coherence with the perpetual teaching of the Church." "So if there is something ambiguous in the Council, you must understand it as the Church has always taught throughout the ages."

They go even further and say, "one must reject whatever is opposed to this traditional teaching of the Church." Well, that is what we have always said. Amazing, isn’t it? That Rome is imposing on us this principle. Amazing. Then you may wonder, then why don’t you accept? Well, my dear brethren, there is still a problem. The problem is that in this text they give two applications of what and how we have to understand these principles. These two examples that they give to us are ecumenism and religious liberty, as they are described in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, which are exactly the points for which we reproach the Council.

In other words, Rome tells us, we have done that all the time. We are traditional; Vatican II is Tradition. Religious liberty, ecumenism is Tradition. It is in full coherence with Tradition. You just wonder, where do we go? What kind of words will we find to say, we agree or we don’t? If even the principles which we have kept and said, they say, yes it’s ok you can say that, because this means what we mean, which is exactly the contrary of what we mean.

I think we could not go further in the confusion. In other words, my dear brethren, that means that they have another meaning with the word “tradition,” and even maybe even with “coherence.” And that’s why we were obliged to say no. We’re not going to sign that. We agree with the principle but we see that the conclusion is contrary. Great mystery! Great mystery! So what is going to happen now? Well, we have sent our answer to Rome. They still say that they’re reflecting on it, which means they’re probably embarrassed. At the same time I think we may see now what they really want. Do they really want us in the Church or not? We told them very clearly, if you accept us as is, without change, without obliging us to accept these things, then we are ready. But if you want us to accept these things, we are not. In fact we have just quoted Archbishop Lefebvre who said this already in 1987 – several times before, but the last time he said it was in 1987.

In other words, my dear brethren, humanly speaking, difficult to say how the future will look, but we know that when we deal with the Church, we deal with God; we deal with divine providence, and we know that this Church is His Church. Humans may cause some disruption, some destruction. They may cause turmoil, but God is above that, and He knows how to, out of all these happenings – these human happenings – these odd lines, God knows how to direct His Church through these trials.

There will be an end to this trial, I don’t know when. Sometimes there is hope that it will come. Sometimes it is like despair. God knows when, but really, humanly speaking, we must wait for quite a time before hoping to see things better – five, ten years. I am persuaded that in ten years things will look different because the generation of the Council will be gone and the next generation does not have this link with the Council. And already now we hear several bishops, my dear brethren, several bishops tell us: you give too much weight to this Council; put it aside. It could be a good way for the Church to go ahead. Put it aside; forget it. Let’s go back to the real thing, to Tradition.

Isn’t that interesting to hear bishops who say that? That’s a new language! It means that you have a new generation which knows that there are things that are more serious than Vatican II in the Church, and that we have to go back to this more serious, if I may say so. Vatican II is serious because of the damage it has caused, yes it is. But as such it wanted to be a pastoral council, which is over now. We know that someone who is working in the Vatican wrote a thesis for his academic grades and it was about the magisterium of Vatican II. He himself told us and nobody in the Roman universities was ready to take that thesis. Finally a professor did, and the thesis is the following: the authority of the magisterium of Vatican II is that of a homily in the 1960s. And he passed!

We shall see my dear brethren. For us it’s very clear. We must stick and hold to the truth, to the Faith. We are not going to give that up – whatever happens. There are some threats, of course, from Rome now. We shall see. We put all these things in the hands of God, and in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Oh, yes, we have to continue our crusade of rosaries. We count on her, we count on God. And then whatever happens, happens. I cannot promise a beautiful spring. I have no idea what’s going to be in this spring. What I know is that the fight for the faith will continue, whatever happens. If we are recognized or not, you can be certain that the Progressives will not be happy. They will continue and we will continue to fight them too.

47 comments:

KnotWilbur said...

"We put all these things in the hands of God, and in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary. "

I hope and pray that this turns within our lifetimes, but even if not, I also hope and pray that the SSPX continues this course. A return to Tradition is to be desired, as well as prayed for. If the delicate dance takes longer, then it takes longer. But I hope to see it, someday.

Vat Spy said...

"humanly speaking, we must wait for quite a time before hoping to see things better – five, ten years."

That may seem rather disappointing.

On the other hand, perhaps it is just a negotiating ploy: if you don't give us the agreement we want now, we can wait another few years till all you silly liberals are in the grave!

Let's hope the silly liberals do the deal NOW.

Ferraiuolo said...

This sermon has a much more optimistic tone to it than previous public sermons. Could it be the case that Rome truly will offer them the unimaginable? One can only pray!

John Fisher said...

YES, YES, YES! So now the discussion will move onto the points in which the present teaching on religious liberty etc differs and departs from defined teachings before Vatican II. One neglected area of study is the actual debates, questions, and clarifications given during the actual Council sessions. Sometimes the Bishops were mislead about what sections meant. If definitions were given or clarifications in discussions over the texts mislead the bishops. Then the departures are obvious!

Mike B. said...

It is clear throughout that it is .."a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of "College." This hierarchical communion of all the bishops with the Supreme Pontiff is certainly firmly established in Tradition."
is presented on the Vatican website from Chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium.

Mons Glazie's [SSPX theologian] response to Mons Ocariz's was not specific to what he was speaking to on his fourth issue with Rome.
Frankly on the other items I find Pope Benedict XVI addressing 'pastoral dogma' as he did in Dec/2005 entirely logical.

In addition, would Bishop Fellay ask the Catholic Church to avoid asking SSPX to assent to the Catholic Catechism?

St Petersburg, Fl

Thomas E. Gullickson said...

"These two examples that they give to us are ecumenism and religious liberty, as they are described in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, which are exactly the points for which we reproach the Council."
Pardon my perplexity at dear Bishop Fellay's words. Granted, as we say traditionally, error has no rights, but which of the Church Fathers (St. Augustine?) was adamant about not letting heretics separate from us, but always calling them back. Jesus Himself frightened some by telling them you are not far from the Kingdom. I believe that it was St. Francis de Sales who brought many back also by his charm. Relativism, no! That is not the Council and that is not the Catechism. How can Bishop Fellay insinuate that?

Jon said...

Does Bishop Fellay think by acquiescing that suddenly Cardinal Schonborn will cut loose his blue balloons or that the Archbishop of Westminster will suddenly stop the Soho sodomite Masses?

I watched the Holy Father's Vespers last night. God give him many more years, but I have two friends well into their eighties. One is 82. He plays tennis three times a week. The other is 86. He walks exactly 4 miles a day, rain, snow, or shine. Let's just say the Holy Father's not of their number.

I'm not the only one who can see this. Surely the emails are flying and the coalitions are forming.

Bishop Fellay, for the love of Christ come home now, while you can.

Waiting for Pius XIII said...

What a wonderful bishop. I cannot think of a greater bishop in our day.

And I wish that we could somehow hear some more open clarity like this from others, such as FSSP, ICR, IBP, etc.

El Eremita said...

"You pretend that the teaching of today can be different from the teaching of yesterday."

As a matter of fact, it can. Only those teachings that are irreformable or infallible can't change.

So, the SSPX has to demonstrate that the notion of religious liberty as explained in the catechism is heretical... but it isn't (once more, prof. Pink's paper regarding this topic is a must-read).

Ecumenism is a slightly "easier" problem: the catechism teaching about it is just awful, but the topic itself has little doctrinal content, and all of it has been clarified in Dominus Iesus. In the end, the catechism contains only practical/pastoral guidelines, which can not pertain to the Deposit of Faith... they aren't irreformable, in the same way that the guidelines contained in Mortalium Animos can't be irreformable either.

In any case, the Holy See would do good if they modify everything in the catechism regarding ecumenism, according to the doctrinal teachings of Dominus Iesus and taking Anglicanorum Coetibus as an example of true ecumenism.

A Mom said...

"There will be an end to this trial, I don’t know when. Sometimes there is hope that it will come. Sometimes it is like despair."

Yes! Maybe if I didn't have little souls to look after it would be easier. I'm tired.

Cruise the Groove. said...

Again, I am always amazed that a good man like Fr Feeney can [could] deny an article of Faith [BoD] and still be regularised in the Church, but the FSSPX that denies nothing of the Faith cannot be.

Me smells something foul in Denmark.

Kathleen said...

Bishop Fellay continues to impress me. He must navigate a minefield and he does it with the grace of a dancer.

I'll echo the others in hoping for resolution much sooner than five to ten years. It is appropriate that Bishop Fellay use that sort of approach in discussing it, but the Church at large will benefit greatly from the normalization and I pray it is soon.

Finally, I was also very pleased to read Bishop Fellay say, "It’s also important that we don’t finally imagine a Catholic church which is just the fruit of our imagination but which is no longer the real one." It is a very human response for all of us, especially in these circumstances, and it has been a central problem in many, if not all, the splits in the past. It is loving Holy Mother Church too much (rather than too little)in a disordered way that we fall into this problem, and it is a very human impulse. And I've run into the charge in regards to the Society. So I really appreciate seeing Bishop Fellay's vigilance. Bishop Fellay really is a blessing for the Society.

Poor Yorek said...

"We are fighting with Rome; or, if you want, against Rome, at the same time with Rome. And we claim and we continue to say, we are Catholic. We want to stay Catholic."

At first I took this to be a quote from Fr. Richard McBrien or Womyn Priests or Catholics for Choice or ...

Tradical said...

A number of interesting points in this sermon and some interesting comments.

" ... As a matter of fact, it can. Only those teachings that are irreformable or infallible can't change. "

Here we verge upon the important questions:

Q1: Are only de fide statements to be considered infallible?
A: No
Justfication: There are levels of doctrine. The two that I think are pertinent are: de Fide, and senta certa. De Fide are elements that are proposed for belief by the Church as Divine revealed. If you don't believe this - bingo you lose the Theological Virtue of Faith. Senta Certa, are Theological Conclusions derived from the aforemnetioned de Fide statements. If you deny a senta certa statement you run the risk of denying the supporting de Fide statement. So for example: Outside the Church there is no salvation is a de fide statement. Does this mean all protestants and unbaptized are damned, not necessarily - read the Holy Office Letter to Archbishop Cushing. This letter is reiterating sent-certa statements.

Q2: Are the V2 documents on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism in conformity with prior magisterium (Church Teaching)

Answer: No
Justification: Aside from just reading the texts side by side, and taking the word of the SSPX, take the words of the architects of the documents should suffice.

Q3: Are the V2 documents on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism irreformable (infallible)?

Answer: No
Justification: Paul VI said so. In addition, following V1, there has to be the intention to bind to make clear that the docs are irreformable.

Q4: Is Religious Liberty as practiced according to V2 in accordance with prior perennial teaching of the Catholic Church?

Answer: No
Justification: In order to say this you would have to say that the Church upheld principles contrary to the aforementioned document for a couple thousand years. Key points to consider: Spanish Inquisition (the Catholic version, no the Protestant version).

Looking forward to the discussion that I am certain (hopeful) this will generate.

Tradical said...

Alas Poor Yorek,

One fights to maintain the Faith, the others to change the Faith.

A said commentary on this Crisis of the Church.

cberry said...

El Eremita,
Is Prof. Pink's paper you mention available online?

Poor Yorek said...

"One fights to maintain the Faith, the others to change the Faith.

A sad (sic) commentary on this Crisis of the Church."


I agree except for the making of 'crisis' a proper noun. My point was simply to note that one claiming to be the former could argue rhetorically as one being the latter.

Marc said...

Cruise,

Your Fr. Feeney example does not really hold. According to Bishop Fellay, the Vatican would allow the SSPX a canonical structure now. The difference is that Fr. Feeney accepted a solution and did not expect to "convert Rome" as the SSPX says. The Vatican (or at least the Holy Father) has been just as generous with the SSPX as they were with Fr. Feeney.

El Eremita said...

cberry,

Indeed, you can read it here, although it's not possible to download it unless you register.

Blessings.

MKT said...

I am not an SSPX member, but every time I read Bp Fellay I sense a strong Catholic kinship with his spirit. If the political and human landscape of the Church were not what it is, I would even dare hope and pray that he is a Papabile! But if not him, perhaps one of his spiritual sons.

I particularly love his faith in the Blessed Mother and Her Most Holy Rosary. It is very likely this devotion of his to Blessed Mary that gives him the signal graces he needs to "dance" - as a previous poster noted - through these difficult waters so gracefully.

I keep praying for Bp Fellay and Pope Benedict XVI. Certainly the 2 MVPs in the 21st century restoration.

May Bp Fellay's Hope in Faith, be it 5 or 10 years, come to pass - it will happen when the Holy Father commands the collegial consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.

Cruise the Groove. said...

Marc,
I have never seen an canonical settlement givenor offered to Bishop Fellay.
Can you please refer me to the canonical offer.
All I have heard, several times, is that Bishop Fellay will accept regularity if the structure protects the SSPX.

Anil Wang said...

"And then they say, 'then, obey.' And we say, no. And so they say to us, you are protestant. "

This is the heart of the issue. Protestant is a bad metaphor since it's tied to loosening of tradition, not preservation of tradition. A better analogy would be the Oriental Orthodox. They broke off because they believed that the Catholic Church erred in the Council of Chalcedon. The Oriental Orthodox claimed St Athanasius's formulation was Arian and thus heretical and they said St. Cyril's formulation was consistent with tradition. The Catholic Church did not condemn St. Cyril's formulation (which from what I understand uses different terminology to express St Athanasius's formulation) but it did condemn the Oriental Orthodox for not accepting St Athanasius's formulation. Oriental Orthodox that have repented of their condemnation and submitted to Rome and Chalcedon, have returned (I believe without disavowing St. Cyril's formulation).

St Francis knew this. As with the post Vatican II era, the Church was a mess back then. As with SSPX, St. Francis was treated unfairly and told by the Pope to go play with the pigs where "he belonged". St Francis's submission in returning to the Pope covered in pig manure convinces the Pope that he was dealing with a Saint. The SSPX's lack of submission placed them outside of Vatican I and squarely in the realm of the Council of Chalcedon. The SSPX's lack of submission was at the heart of their schism. (If there is no submission, it is a schism even if it is not a hard schism).

No-one (outside of liberal quarters) is disputing that the post Vatican II church is a mess. No-one is disputing (outside of liberal quarters) that we need to return to tradition. But Vatican II happened and was validated by four Popes. It cannot be ignored and swept under the rug without throwing Catholicism itself under the bus, since it would make all councils open to debate and all Papal doctrines open to debate. If we ignore Vatican II, then we can by a similar argument ignore any council after the Great Schism or even after Chalcedon since one can always claim that those councils betrayed some tradition.

The SSPX is needed within the Church. An SSPX cardinal and even an SSPX Pope would do a lot of good. But as with St. Francis and the Oriental Orthodox, that cannot happen without submission first. The SSPX is being offered far more than Archbishop Lefebvre wanted when he set up the SSPX. Had the SSPX been given what it wanted, it would never have separated. Had it been offered what the current Pope has offered, the "(Evil) Spirit of Vatican II" would likely have been exorcised long ago. Despite the damage done by the "(Evil) Spirit of Vatican II", the Church is in better shape now than it was in the 1980s since it recognizes what it lost. All that's needed now it to rebuilt the Church from the ashes as St Francis set out to do. The SSPX can either stand on the sidelines and say, "We're safe so we're just going to keep yelling from the side lines until you can pull yourself from the muck and reach safety", or they can roll up their sleeves and help pull the Church out of the muck.

Hopefully, when Rome delivers its response to the SSPX concerns about the doctrinal preamble, the SSPX will be able to find its way back and fight the good fight with us.

P.K.T.P. said...

I wrote on several occasions right here on this blog (perhaps two years ago) that one solution would be for the Pope to 'find' that the 1975 suppression and 1976 suspensions a divinis were invalid on the grounds of a state of neccessity, or on some other grounds (e.g. the fact that the suppression of the ancient Mass by Paul VI in 1971 under De Missali Romano, Nos, 2 & 3, was insufficient at law). I was shot down by others on this blog. For all the fights I've had with 'Romanus', however, I must admit that he was not among those who disagreed with me on this.

Much later on, the Pope himself apparently agreed with Bishop Fellay (according to the latter) that there arguably was a state of necessity 'at least in some countries' in Europe.

Fellay is clearly implying that Rome is about to recognise that the suppression and/or suspensions were not valid at law. If this is the case, of course, Rome would need to 'upgrade' the status of the Society from the Pius Union it had in 1975, as this structure no longer exists in the 1983 Code. In addition, Rome is also free to confer a personal particular church as an umbrella group for the Society's affiliates (e.g. Dominicans of Avrillé).

In other words, we can imagine the Society as a society of apostolic life (like the F.S.S.P.) but incorporated in, say, a personal diocese with its affliliated societies and religious orders.

Of course, if the Society has been part of the Curch, canonically, all along, it will need permission to use a particualar liturgy. The I.C.R. has a special right to use the 1958 Holy Week rites, so this could also apply to the S.S.P.X. Bishop Fellay will want to assure, however, that his Society is exempted from any changes coming to the 1962 Missal in June of this year, the fiftieth anniversay of its publication.

P.K.T.P.

J of C said...

bulls eye good Bishop.

Marc said...

Cruise,

I interpreted these words of Bishop Fellay to imply that a canonical structure had been offered, but was rejected because Rome has not "converted" doctrinally yet:

"It goes even further, my dear brethren. That was during the discussion. At the end of the discussion, comes this invitation from Rome. In this invitation there is a proposition of a canonical situation that is to regularize our situation. And I may say, what is presented today, which is already different from what was presented on the 14th of September, we can consider it as all right, good. t goes even further, my dear brethren. That was during the discussion. At the end of the discussion, comes this invitation from Rome. In this invitation there is a proposition of a canonical situation that is to regularize our situation. And I may say, what is presented today, which is already different from what was presented on the 14th of September, we can consider it as all right, good. They fulfilled all our requirements, I may say, on the practical level.

One more time:

"They fulfilled all our requirements, I may say, on the practical level."

How do you interpret that?

Jonvilas said...

Actually, it is sad. FSSPX does not want obey the pope. I am afraid that they are also not ready to leave their relatively safe haven, where they can pretend to be the righteous ones, while saying, that you in present Rome are those blood liberals etc. This act of obedience is an issue here. As Anil Wang noted, the parallels with Orthodox christians are very much the case here. But what I agree with Felay is the trust in Beata semper Virgine Maria and holy rosary. We should really all entrust to Her this difficult case. Especially so, on this time of the month, since tomorrow is the first Saturday of February. Kyrie eleison!

Steve said...

I would really like to see the SSPX regularized before any chastisement comes. There could be members of the SSPX who might get a negative judgement from God, because they were tempted to think of the Holy Father in terms that are too negative. If an accord with Rome would save even one soul, it would be worth doing in a timely manner.

Elizabeth D said...

If we are all in agreement about religious liberty as explained in Dominus Iesus (one of my favorite documents), why is there a problem? Dominus Iesus explains the matter better and more frankly than Vatican II or the CCC.

Ecclesia Militans said...

In these confusing times, when many do not know who works to undermine and who to build the Church, I offer the words of a courageous prelate. May they bring clarity.

"I have been spending a little time re-reading the book by Emmanuel Barbier on Liberal Catholicism. And it is striking to see how our fight now is exactly the same fight as was being fought then by the great Catholics of the 19th century, in the wake of the French Revolution, and by the Popes, Pius VI, Pius VII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and so on, Pius X, down to Pius XII. Their fight is summed up in the encyclical Quanta Cura with the Syllabus of Pius IX, and Pascendi Dominici Gregis of Pius X. There are the two great documents, sensational and shocking in their day, laying out the Church's teaching in face of the modern errors, the errors appearing in the course of the Revolution, especially in the Declaration of the Rights of Man. This is the fight we are in the middle of today. Exactly the same fight.

There are those who are for the Syllabus and Pascendi, and there are those who are against. It is simple. It is clear. Those who are against are adopting the principles of the French Revolution, the modern errors. Those who are for the Syllabus and Pascendi remain within the true Faith, within Catholic doctrine.
Now you know very well that Cardinal Ratzinger has said that as far as he is concerned Vatican II is "an anti-Syllabus". Therewith the Cardinal placed himself clearly amongst those who are against the Syllabus. If then he is against the Syllabus, he is adopting the principles of the Revolution. Besides, he goes on to say quite clearly, "Indeed we have now absorbed into Church teaching, and the Church has opened herself up to, principles which are not hers but which come from modern society," i.e., as everyone understands, the principles of 1789, the Rights of Man.

We stand exactly where Cardinal Pie, Bishop Freppel, Louis Vueillot stood, and Deputy Keller in Alsace, Cardinal Mermillod in Switzerland, who fought the good fight together with the great majority of the then bishops. At that time they had the good fortune to have the large majority of the bishops on their side. (...) But obviously there were the forces of the Revolution, the heirs of the Revolution, and there was the hand reached out by Dupanloup, Montalembert, Lamennais and others, who offered their hand to the Revolution and who never wanted to invoke the rights of God against the rights of man —"We ask only for the rights of every man, the rights shared by everyone, shared by all men, shared by all religions, not the rights of God," said these Liberals.

Well, we find ourselves in the same situation. We must not be under any illusions. Consequently we are in the thick of a great fight, a great fight. We are fighting a fight guaranteed by a whole line of Popes. Hence, we should have no hesitation or fear, hesitation such as, "Why should we be going on our own? After all, why not join Rome, why not join the Pope?" Yes, if Rome and the Pope were in line with Tradition, if they were carrying on the work of all the Popes of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, of course. But they themselves admit that they have set out on a new path. They themselves admit that a new era began with Vatican II. They admit that it is a new stage in the Church's life, wholly new, based on new principles. We need not argue the point. They say it themselves. It is clear. I think that we must drive this point home with our people, in such a way that they realize their oneness with the Church's whole history, going back well beyond the Revolution. Of course. It is the fight of the City of Satan against the City of God. Clearly. So we do not have to worry. We must after all trust in the grace of God."

(Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, "Two Years After the Consecrations", 1990)

Cruise the Groove. said...

One of the huge problems is if the FSSPX does not accept a canonical structure and or if the HF does not unilaterally allow them to validly administer penance and witness matrimony, then the faithful and the priests who repair to the FSSPX miss out on them.
The Holy Father, rightly holds the authority to grant these faculties and he is the only one.

Ecclesia Militans said...

No, Cruise, since nothing has really changed because neither Rome nor the episopate has returned to the traditional Catholic Faith, the time of crisis continues and so does supplied jurisdiction, with or without the approval of the Pope.

Knight of Malta said...

P.K.T.P,

You are absolutely right: the best way forward now is to annul the suspensions or lift them.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"No, Cruise, since nothing has really changed because neither Rome nor the episopate has returned to the traditional Catholic Faith, the time of crisis continues and so does supplied jurisdiction, with or without the approval of the Pope."

Ecclesia Militans,

How do we know, with absolute moral certainty, that the FSSPX can absolve sins in every case?

Ecclesia Militans said...

Cruise,

If one is aware that we are living in a time of crisis, when most of the bishops and the hierarchy do not hold the Immaculate Faith, and fail to protect the faithful from various heresies, as well as advance opinions and doctrines dangerous to souls, then yes, one knows, with absolute moral certainty, that the SSPX has supplied jurisdiction in all of their efforts for the salvation of souls.

Salus animarum suprema lex.

John McFarland said...

Dear Elizabeth D,

We are not all in agreement about Dominus Jesus.

See the September 2001 SiSiNoNo articles on www.sspxasia.com.

Then come back and we'll talk.

Thomas M. said...

I am saddened by this. I hoped that the SSPX would be fully reconciled, and the full-bore restoration of tradition could begin.

I attend an FSSP parish in Dayton, OH, and I love the traditional Mass. As a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, I fell in love with its beauty and truth. I was raised in the Novus Ordo, and I never fell away from the Church, but I always was incensed by the banal liturgies I had forced on me in my youth. Many (the majority by far) of my fellow seminarians love the traditional mass, and most of the remainder know of its worth. For the first time in many years, transitional deacons in Cincinnati can study and learn how to celebrate the traditional mass.

I have left the seminary to discern a vocation to a traditional society or order in the Church, as well as to deal with a health problem that is nearly solved. I had hoped that SSPX would be fully reconciled, so I could explore joining it.

All in all, this is a question of obedience and submission to authority. The Church has had many saints who were persecuted by other members of the Church, but they all submitted to this in the name of humble obedience. I agree with much of what SSPX holds, but I do not think more souls will be saved if they remain independent. We must all submit to the authority of the Roman Pontiff.

The Church as a whole can only benefit from SSPX's full recognition and regularization. However, traditionalists will make little headway in the restoration in the mainstream church if we are not united officially. All of the traditional societies, when united with SSPX in a common struggle under the banner of the Pope, would be an unstoppable force of restoration and truth. The chastisement of our times is coming. We must prepare before it is too late.

May Jesus Christ be praised!

John McFarland said...

Dear Thomas M,

You say:

"All in all, this is a question of obedience and submission to authority."

But in fact, there is a prior question: faith and submission to the faith.

Bishop Williamson has put in well: in the Church, authority and truth have parted company.

But we cannot obey authority when it conduces to the undermining of truth, of the faith, and hence to the undermining of the very possibility of eternal salvation.

As Bishop Fellay insists, the members of the SSPX and their faithful and their allies are in the Church.

But the Church, and very much including its hierarchy is full of people whose beliefs are, objectively speaking, no more Catholic than I am a watermelon. Indeed, they may well constitute a substantial majority of those who go to church every Sunday.

Perhaps ten or so years ago, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn wrote of a young couple in his parish who came to him after Mass and advised him that he had said things in his sermon that might be construed as meaning that Jesus Christ was divine.

This story epitomizes what first needs to be dealt with. If and when it is dealt with, obedience will cease to be much of an issue.

Judy H. said...

"


The key problem in our discussions with Rome was really the Magisterium, the teaching of the Church. Because they say, "we are the pope, we are the Holy See" – and we say, yes. And so they say, "we have the supreme power," and we say, yes. They say, "we are the last instance in teaching and we are necessary" – Rome is necessary for us to have the Faith, and we say, yes. And then they say, "then, obey." And we say, no."


What more is there to say?

Knight of Malta said...

The Church has had many saints who were persecuted by other members of the Church, but they all submitted to this in the name of humble obedience. I agree with much of what SSPX holds, but I do not think more souls will be saved if they remain independent.

Thomas M., I agree wholeheartedly with your first assertion: indeed, one can think of a Saint such as Padre Pio who endured years of persecution.

But as to your second assertion, I would submit that many more souls have been saved due to SSPX's "disobedience". No SSPX, no Ecclesia Dei, no Summorum Pontificum, no FSSP, no Traditional Latin Mass (except in a few basements, here and there).

Even the Pope can't ask you to do something immoral, or harmful to the Faith. Whether the Novus Ordo is a question I'm not going to address. But the fact that the SSPX subjectively believes it to be so is a fact.

Ecclesia Militans said...

Thanks be to God for this disobedience. May we all be thus disobedient to man, as the Apostles were in Acts 5:27-29, and obedient to God.

Read these words carefully and hear how they reflect the situation of many who call themselves Traditional Catholics:

"However, many of the chief men also believed in him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, that they might not be cast out of the synagogue.

For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God."


(John 12:42-43)

Cruise the Groove. said...

Ecclesia Militans,

The thing is, the Holy Father is not a pharisee or leader of Israel, he is Almighty Gods mouthpiece on earth.
Where there is Peter there is the Church.
Not
where there is Caiphas there is the Church.
Civil disobedience is allowed
Supernatural disobedience is not.

New Catholic said...

Ecclesia Militans, you have posted the SAME comment three times, and it has been blocked three times. Have you forgotten what we said - if you think your post was blocked or deleted, DO NOT POST IT AGAIN. One more time, and you will be banned for good in all posts for an undefined period of time - whatever the name you may choose.

Thank you.

Thomas M. said...

What I have heard here is that it is okay for people to disagree with and refuse to obey those who have been placed in authority over them by God.

I have heard, again and again on these threads, that it is praiseworthy to openly dissent against the teaching authority of the Church as long as one does not like the changes after Vatican II. These same people wag their fingers at those unfortunate souls who dissent from Church teaching when it concerns gay marriage, or contraception, or (insert unpopular but true teaching here).

This implies that a double standard can exist in the Church, that it is okay to dissent on certain things and not on others. This is stupid. Dissent is not permissible. To say that liberals can't but others can is hypocrisy.

This is not an attack. I do not like many things the Church has done over the last fifty or so years. But I recognize that I am not in a position to dispute it. I just pray. I fail to see how it is okay to dissent for some people, but not for others. You must accept the entire faith, and that includes the authority of the Bishop of Rome as head of the Church on Earth.

In the end, we will not only be judged by whether or not we know the truth, but by how we go about preaching it. To preach it from outside of the Church's authority is not the way God ordained.

I hope and pray that the SSPX will realize the good they can do from within the Church far outweighs whatever good they do on the outside (or at least the sidelines).

The Holy Father is offering the SSPX a position within the CHurch where they can restore tradition from a position of authority and legitimacy.

I am beginning to hear the cries of the "woman-priests" and other progressives in the words of the SSPX leadership's public statements, as well as in the statements of their supporters: "We know better than Rome, so we are going to prove them wrong by just doing what we have been doing. But this is all for the sake of Rome."

It seems that a lot of people (myself included) need to be blessed with the humilty to say that they can be wrong, even if they are right. If they are right, then God will allow the truth to survive and the false to perish.

SSPX remaining outside of the Church will do more harm than good. The FSSP was formed because some SSPX priests realized that it was all for nothing without submission to the Pope. To say that we have Summorum Pontificum, FSSP, Ecclesia Dei, and other traditional groups because of the SSPX is true on one point only: that people realized that the way SSPX was doing things was wrong, and that legitimacy comes from the teaching authority of the Church.

It is a question of obedience. As long as SSPX refuses to obey Rome, traditionalists who have chosen to remain under that authority will be viewed with suspicion at best by most of the "moderate bishops," and seen as a threat by others. Perhaps the reason that the TLM was not as readily embraced by most bishops was that they feared an SSPX style revolt in their own dioceses. They feared that their authority, already undermined by liberals and progressives, would be further eroded by a perceived "traditionalist revolt."

So what is the solution? Traditionalists shoudn't fight with Rome like the progressives do, but should submit and quietly practice catholicism the way it was meant to be practiced. Quiet submission and humility will win out in the end. It did for St. Parde Pio, St. Francis of Assisi, and many other saints who were scolded, obeyed quietly, and later held up as an example of a true Christian life.

But what can I know about obedience? I only went to the Citadel and then to the seminary. I must like punishing myself.

Ecclesia Militans said...

Thomas,

Your argumentation is very problematic and hurtful.

Are you honestly saying that to reject and condemn praying with heretics, or to reject and condemn protestantizing the liturgy is the same as rejecting the Church's immemorial teachings on contraception and sodomites?

Wake up! Of course one has to obey in certain things and in others disobey, this is not stupid, it is rational. The Pope is not God and he can be in error. If he orders something against the Faith and you obey it, you have committed the sin of disobedience, disobedience to God, who wants only truth and good.
But if you disobey your superior when he orders something against the Faith, you commit an act of courage, a heroic defense of the Faith.

We are obliged to disobey any man when obeying man means disobeying God. You have a direct example of this in Acts 5:27-29.

If you think the Pope should be obeyed always and in all things, what would you say to the words of the great Pope Pius IX:
"If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him." (Letter to Bishop Brizen)

And your comment about bishops opposing the TLM because of the SSPX is not only untrue, which every traditionalist here knows, but also a hurtful offence of all the faithful supporting the Society and the courageous priests and bishops fighting for the restoration of the Church's Holy Tradition - with Rome, even when against it, as Bishop Fellay said.

Thomas M. said...

Blind obedience is not what I am supporting. If I have given that impression, I am sorry.

As to being hurtful, perhaps I can exercise a little more charity in my comments. I am sorry.

I do not think the pope should be obeyed in all things. I think that this should have been addressed from within the structure of the Church. The removal of traditionally minded seminarians and priests from the mainstream Church has slowed the restoration. Why be a priest in a diocese and fight for the restoration when you can join the society. SSPX’s break, whatever the motives, has caused damage to the restoration.

But your comment on the valiant struggle of the priests and bishops of SSPX in restoring tradition without authority belittles the faithful who have stayed in the Church while arguing and pushing for the restoration of tradition. What about the seminarians who prayed the rosary in secret, and studied latin on their own so they could cling to tradition? Are they as courageous, or less courageous? What about the people that clung to the TLM as others tried to pry it from their grasp? They did not leave the Church. They did not cause scandal. Perhaps they are not courageous enough in your eyes.

SSPX needs to come home. We may not have this pope for much longer, and there is no guarantee that a like-minded one will be elected after him. The restoration IS going to happen. With the SSPX's regularization it would happen sooner rather than later. The liberals are dying out, so it is going to happen. That is all I am saying.

It is possible for the heads of SSPX to err. It sounds to me,Ecclesia Militans, that you are arguing that they can't be wrong. But they are human too. They have made their point, but in the wrong way. You can want the good, but if you go about it the wrong way then you cannot justify it with a "end justifies the means" argument.

Of course, this will all be moot when SSPX comes back in. Which I hope will happen soon.

Thomas M. said...

I just read the newest post about SSPX saying they are ready and placing "the ball in Rome's Court."

What a glorious occasion. Let us hope and pray that they see it through.

Andy Milam said...

I just blogged about this issue over at my blog....

http://traddyiniowa.blogspot.com/2012/02/latest-on-sspxits-really-not-that-bad.html

My prayer is for reconciliation, ASAP!