Rorate Caeli

Rome-SSPX:
Bp. Arrieta Ochoa, of "Legislative Texts":
"I think we were able to clarify the doctrinal problems"

The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa, was in Louvain-la-Neuve (Wallonia, Belgium, home of the post-1968 Francophone Université Catholique de Louvain) this past Monday, and spoke to Belgian daily La Libre, mostly about the abuse scandal. He also had the following to say on former Anglicans and on relations with the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX):

"In the first case, it is above all a question of confirmation of the faith and, from there, of catechesis. Regarding the problem of the reintegration of the Lefebvrists, I think we were able to clarify the doctrinal problems, even if it is not easy to put all that onto paper. The true problem, the only one for me, is the separation, the human distance dating from 1988."

[Tip: Summorum Pontificum observatus]

Rorate reminder: Fr. Niklaus Pfluger said the following days earlier regarding the doctrinal views of the SSPX and of the Vatican (as distinct from the issue of the proximity of a practical, canonical solution):

“No practical solution without doctrinal agreement” – such was the principle upon which the Society had started the talks with the Holy See. But the negotiations of the past years have revealed that the different positions regarding central questions of doctrine cannot be bridged

Recent weeks have revealed that the Pope is so much interested in a canonical solution for the Society that he is ready to seal a deal, even if the Society does not recognize the disputed texts of Vatican II and the New Mass.

(See: Rome-SSPX. Important: Fr. Pfluger speaks on recent developments.)

38 comments:

Rick DeLano said...

Well, that about does it :-)

Ulric said...

Petrus Radii, which Canon is that?

PreVat2 said...

I am more convinced then ever that the Holy Father will say YES, and that a formal canonical agreement will be reached, and soon!

However, I am also convinced that Bishop Williamson and a group of SSPX faithful will jump ship.

As a SSPX supporter, this breaks my heart, but I think the dye is cast on that one.

Doc said...

That doesn't seem hard to square to me. If true, the doctrinal differences have been determined by Rome to be not related to doctrines which are de fide or sententia definitive tenenda. Since the SSPX believes and holds all these things, there is no problem from Rome's point of view with having their ministry confirmed by the Roman Pontiff.

That doesn't mean there is not controverted points on matters taught at lower levels, which the SSPX may believe go against higher level teaching, but with which Rome believes do not.

Ultimately, what matters in this situation is Rome's judgment of the SSPX.

unrepentant 88er said...

I believe that Bishop Ochoa and Fr Pfluger DO say the same thing. There are no doctrinal problems precisely because the divide is so great that both parties have simply chosen to ignore them and pursue a different path. This is the path that the SSPX never intended to take, a practical solution without doctrinal agreement or rather, a purely "human" reconciliation as Bishop Ochoa says... justified with purely human and flawed reasoning as we are seeing in the conferences and letters of the supporters of Bishop Fellay. This is not what Archbishop Lefebvre wanted. It will not only be Bishop Williamson and some die-hard fans who "jump ship" but the Society will be shaken to pieces. Let us pray that the Pope finally say : No !

Poor Yorek said...

even if the Society does not recognize the disputed texts of Vatican II and the New Mass.

IMHO this is a pipe dream. Chance of the Holy Father accepting an arrangement by which the SSPX is canonically regularized, but actively denies the validity of the Editio Typica Tertia = NIL

That's not to suggest that the SSPX might not be granted the concession of freedom from coercion to celebrate the Novus Ordo.

In humility, I recognize the aphorism about opinions ...

Cruise the Groove. said...

Of course the SSPX recognizes all the texts of the Second Vatican Council.
They just do not see, as many in the FSSP do not see, how they can match with all the traditional teachings of the Church.

And it is a tired canard to say that the Society does not believe the NO is valid.
They always have, if offered the way the Church has promulgated it.

Matt said...

PreVat2 said, "However, I am also convinced Bishop Williamson and a group of SSPX faithful will jump ship."

Okay, so they jump ship. Let them. Sad as it is, of course, but in the end, they are in control of their own destiny at that point, so it won't be the SSPX who will have anything to do with that, nor would it matter to the deal.





Poor Yorek said, "IMHO this is a pipe dream. Chance of the Holy Father accepting an arrangement by which the SSPX is canonically regularized, but actively denies the validity of the Editio Typica Tertia = NIL

That's not to suggest the SSPX might not be granted the concession of freedom from coercion to celebrate the Novus Ordo."

The FSSP don't have to say the Novus Ordo. It's not the charism of their communinty (when they were approved by JP2), nor is it for the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius.

I believe this is more of a face issue than anything Canonical or doctrinal. What the SSPX holds is sufficient in and of itself for anyone to be saved. There are tons of weirdos and fools carrying on in the Church at present which could easily lead souls to Hell and yet Rome doesn't act at all.

So, what is Rome's problem? Rome wants to make a point, that's all.

Matt

Cruise the Groove. said...

"Let us pray that the Pope finally say : No !"

so unrepentant, you would have the Holy Father say no to valid confessions and marriages of thousands of Catholics?

Bob F. said...

Has the SPPX ever denied the validity of the Editio Typica Tertia? I would be quite surprised if they had...

By validity, I mean sacramental validity, not whether or not they like it or think it is an appropriate expression of the Church's tradition.

El Eremita said...

"It seems hard to square this claim with the point made by Fr. Nikolaus Pfluger last Sunday"

Not at all. What mons. Arrieta is saying (I assume) is that both parties have agreed in that the other one is catholic; that there is no "de fide" proposition over which they disagree; that their disagreements are about doctrines which doesn't belong to the Deposit of Faith; that neither party have fallen into heresy; etc.

Uncle Claibourne said...

unrepentant,

Speaking for myself, that is the LAST thing I will pray for.

In 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre agreed to *less* than what is apparently being offered now. He backed out of that agreement, not because of the conditions relating to doctrine or canonical structure, but because the Vatican kept dragging its feet on the nomination of a bishop. He came to the conclusion that he could not sign until *that* issue had been addressed. he have up on it being addressed, abandoned the agreement, and proceeded with his own consecrations instead.

The cirumstances now are so different than they were then. Bishop Fellay (as quoted by Fr. Pfluger) is right: the Holy Father has met all of the SSPX "conditions," and although the doctrinal issues have not been resolved, he is still apparently willing to give the Society freedom and independence; as a result, if this offer is not accepted, the only logical alternative is empty-chairism.

I have followed the evolution of the Society since the late 70's with great interest, and finally convinced myself to support them wholeheartedly in the early 90's. But if they reject this offer, I can no longer in good conscience continue to do so.

Johnny Domer said...

I agree with the commenters, I think it does square up. Even in 1988, the chief bone of contention was trust: LeFebvre did not trust that Rome would deal with the SSPX fairly, did not trust that there would be a bishop consecrated from the SSPX's ranks, etc. That mistrust of Rome has continued among many of the SSPX ever since 1988, and is no doubt the chief issue of debate among the SSPX even today.

Poor Yorek said...

1. From: http://www.sspx.org/sspx_faqs/q5_novus_ordo_missae.htm we read: However, the celebrant must intend to do what the Church does. The Novus Ordo Missae will no longer in and of itself guarantee that the celebrant has this intention. That will depend on his personal faith (generally unknown to those assisting, but more and more doubtful as the crisis in the Church is prolonged).

Therefore, these Masses can be of doubtful validity, and more so with time.


I suppose one can quibble here, but the plain sense of saying that the rite in and of itself does not guarantee validity seems problematic on several levels.

2. vis-a-vis Matt. I submit that there is a distinction between having a charism for one's community be the offering of Holy Mass according to the Missal of 1962 and being unwilling to offer the NO (say if invited to a concelebration of Holy Thursday Mass with the local ordinary). So my point was simply to posit that, again IMHO, some affirmation from the SSPX regarding the validity of the NO as a rite qua rite will be demanded.

But who am I to "quash the Spirit?" /sarc

NIANTIC said...

The Church needs the SSPX because her presence will be a most powerful force for Truth and Tradition. Without the Society the Church will continue to be in a deep malaise for many more years and more souls will be lost. The Society, together with the other Traditional groups, can teach, preach and scream from the housetops and expose for the entire Church to see the lies, distortions and utter folly of the new theology and praxis. I believe this needs to be done from the inside. And since there are said to be "many" prelates who do have a rather favorable view of the Society, perhaps, and hopefully, they will come publically aboard and promote and support a return to Tradition and Truth. Bottom line: The Church needs the SSPX, True Mass and True Traditional Faith. I think our Holy Father Benedict XVl knows that in his heart and wishes to officially and publically welcome the Society. Laudetur Iesus Christus!

Poor Yorek said...

^

by the way, I should add that my first post (2135) was simply quoting and responding to the article's language, not my own understanding of the SSPX's considered position. I looked up the URL in response to CtG's reference to a "canard" out of my own curiosity.

R. John said...

If the SSPX splits, is that really a bad thing? We would then have some sort of apostolic administration in "normal union" with Rome, along with all the good that would bring, and also have a section on the outside to keep Rome in check. After all, if Rome plans to put the screws to the SSPX once they are regularized, having the "split off" on the outside just waiting to say "we told you so", would probably have an influence on Rome, such that they would be less likely to put to much pressure on the group on the inside. Seems like a win-win to me.

Uncle Claibourne said...

So true, NIANTIC. In his talk, Fr. Pfluger mentioned that there are some in the Vatican and elsewhere who are begging them to accept.

It's gratifying to see so many here on Rorate and elsewhere so supportive of the potential agreement. I won't be here to see it, but I have a feeling that years from now, historians will look back at this as a significant turning point, for both our beloved Church, and even Western Civilization as well.

JTLiuzza said...

@Poor Yorek:

"2. vis-a-vis Matt. I submit that there is a distinction between having a charism for one's community be the offering of Holy Mass according to the Missal of 1962 and being unwilling to offer the NO...
...So my point was simply to posit that, again IMHO, some affirmation from the SSPX regarding the validity of the NO as a rite qua rite will be demanded.

But who am I to "quash the Spirit?" /sarc"

Too bad that couldn't have been applied for the last 50 years to bishops and priests far and wide who refused to offer the TLM as had been done for centuries.

In fact, despite SP and UE, that is a problem that persists. And imo a much bigger problem than what you write about.

Unknown said...

@Matt--the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius DO say the Novus Ordo, whether required to or no.

Zak said...

Some people here, as usual, are reading way too much into the disparity of comment displayed here.

The pope is ready to sign a canonical reintegration package for the Society WHETHER OR NOT they can demonstrate delight and pius stupefaction when reading the V2 documents or saying the Novus Ordo Missae.

Fr. Pfluger's point is that, even if he does care about the Society's position on the last 60 odd years, he's not going to press the issue anymore or let it stand in the way of reintegration.

Bishop Williamson WILL NOT "jump ship" because that would be completely stupid. Unfortunately people think he IS completely stupid because of some of his spoken opinions on matters having nothing to do with the Faith. Get real. Please.

Williamson has publicly said that sedevacantism leads to atheism. He's right. View Russia.

The happenings between Rome and the Society have ALWAYS been of far greater sophistication than the average traddy bumper-sticker point of view. I'm sorry. I don't mean to be demeaning or rude, but this is entirely true.

--Zak

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Gee, what an interesting question, Stephen. What do YOU think?

Ted Maysfield said...

How many priests in the US and Britain are going to “jump ship” with Bishop Williamson? Not many, I’ll wager.

He’s a wonderful man personally, kind and decent and his courage is second to none, but he is incredibly eccentric in the classic English style. The crusade against pants on women even when they are more modest than certain skirts, against 1950s Catholicism (the Pius XII era didn’t measure up), the excesses of his seminary magazine in Winona, particularly the Columbine massacre issue, all these have left many people realizing that the good Bishop should be in charge of a large academic library or lecturing on T.S. Eliot at Oxford, but not leading the FSSPX. He’s schismatic to the core with far more in common with the Russian Orthodox and his native Anglicans than true Roman Catholicism.

I don’t know how it will play out in France, Spain etc., but in America and Britain I think Bishop Williamson will lead very few FSSPX priests out of the fold and into the Martian moonscape of his own making, where “newchurch” is despised in favor of —what— chapels filled with extremists and vain Jansenists? His talents are needed, but he must learn to submit to Peter. Like King Henry VIII, he simply cannot. Pray for Bishop Williamson. He is tremendously talented and self-sacrificing.

Brian said...

I pray that our Holy Father, declares that the SSPX are fully Catholic with valid and licit sacraments, and simply leaves it there and gives the situation time. I cannot imagine any SSPX priest or Bishop(s) "jumping ship" in response to such and just and generous gesture from our Pope.

Barbara said...

Unrepentant 88er said:
"Let us pray that the Pope finally says : No !"

Bit depressing to read such a thing from a Catholic. You gotta change, man! We are no longer in 88. You think like a businessman and not with the mind of God - who for sure wants UNITY as the Holy Father does. OK - so the SSPX don't trust ROME - who does these days? There are so many of our Church Leaders who continually let us down. The FSSPX will be just fine if they are truly trusting in Our Lord and Our Lady. And their suffering - is assured. GOOD? NO? They have been in the "ghetto" and unknown to the majority of the present generation of Catholics for too long. Over here hardly anyone knows anything about them - and if they do know something it is usually twisted misinformation characterising them as disobedient medieval obscurantists. As for the latest developments - not a peep from the press - only a little from the blogsphere - almost as if "they" don't want the "people" to know about the RETURN OF TRADITIONAL CATHOLICISM! HELP! I am beginning to sound paranoid and conspiracy obsessed! SMILE!

I continue to wait with bated breath for the blessed day of full communion to dawn offering my prayers daily to the Holy Spirit and Our Lady for this.

God bless Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay!

Barbara

Hugh said...

" I think we were able to clarify the doctrinal problems, even if it is not easy to put all that onto paper."

And reading between the lines this is why The SSPX is unable in principle to come to an accord because it certainly is not easy to explain away those doctrinal problems. They are written in word formulae that are purposefully liberal modernist. It is these which have taken the church on course for its current condition of stagnation.
It is not just Bishop Williamson who opposes. I am sure the other bishops are not prepared to enter into the den of lions with their Superior Bishop Fellay, either. How anyone can claim Archbishop Lefebvre would have agreed under the current conditions we are being told about is a denial of what he had to say boldly about modernnist Rome. Looked at in the cold light of day, this does not make any sense at this point.

lucas said...

The society does not recognise all the documents of Vatican 2, it believes certain of them to be quasi heretical or even out and out heretical and it has made this view clear many many times so I don't see how anyone can claim that actually they so recognise them?

As for those who think this is what ABL didn't want to do, instead of trusting your own private judgement perhaps you should trust those who knew him best and who have lead the SSPX since his death?

Uncle Claibourne said...

Well said, Barbara!

Zak, I pray you're right about Bishop Williamson. But his recent "Eleison Comments" are cause for concern. As Ted Maysfield says, his statements may be strictly true, but they are often not helpful.

Peterman said...

Barbara wrote

"so the SSPX don't trust ROME - who does these days?"

An excellent point. Personally, I trust the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ and where he is, there I want to be. I also trust Cardinal Burke. After that, it's a short list.

Fonseca said...

"He’s schismatic to the core with far more in common with the Russian Orthodox and his native Anglicans than true Roman Catholicism."

Could we stop this practice of using 'Orthodox' and 'Anglican' as ad hominems for anyone who isn't a loyal Roman Catholic? It demonstrates immaturity and lack of charity. The schismatic nature of both groups is no reason to use their names in this way.

Hugh said...

lucas said,

No one in the SSPX knows what the Archbishop said and stood for than Bishop Tissier de Mallerais his excellent biographer. Ultimately, it will be more than significant to see what he finally opts for.
This is not amatter of private judgement to know that Archbishop Lefebvre would never have been prepared to lead The SSPX into a situation where they were sytematically dismatled over a period of years by the very movement that dominates Rome at present - liberal modernism. In the first place, he ensured Econe remained safely in the hands of Tradition; he boldly said The Holy Mass the church authorities wanted abrogated; he created bishops to maintain and protect Tradition as he knew and understood it (as many of here do too) and he was not prepared to give The Confraternity over to a church that wanted to dilute its orthodoxy.
if Bishop Fellay wants anything that falls short of this cast-iron guarantee enabling The Society to continue to do what it has done ever since its inception, then it is very doubtful if matters will go much further than they have now.
That is not a matter of private judgement. That is a fact.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"It is now clear from the published Letter of the other three bishops"

P.K.T.P.

What published letter of the three bishops?

My Thoughts said...

" P.K.T.P. said...
Ted Maysfield:

No, but they'll jump ship with Bishop Tissier de Mallerais. It is now clear from the published Letter of the other three bishops that all three firmly reject the offer being made by the Pope. It is also now clear that, in terms of structure, the Holy See is offering the completely unworkable personal prelature structure, although Fellay has said on several occasions that this is negotiable. It had better be. Only a fool would take a p.p.

P.K.T.P.

10 May, 2012 10:01"


What published letter? Please provide a link.

I know you are against an agreement and you want the other 3 Bishop's to be against it, but aside from Bishop Williamson's ramblings, I have not seen anything else to indicate these other 2 bishops agree with him. So please provide a link.

Many have talked about various District Superiors being against an agreement, but so far most releases I have seen from them appear favorable.

Many have talked about about the priests being against it too, but again most I have spoken with, and the releases or bulletin excerpts I have read from priests, are in favor.

I know many at some of the largest Mass sites in the US and the word is that these parishes are being prepared to accept an agreement favorably - layman and priests, for the most part are good with it.

We have spoken with priests from overseas too and are being given the same word.

Yes, you may have a few here and there who disagree, but for the most part this is desired by most on all levels of the SSPX.

Of course, none of the opinions for or against by priests, District Superiors, the 'univolved' Bishops, or (MOST OF ALL) the layman, really matters anyway because none of these truly knows what is going on, what has been offered, or what has been agreed to. I imagine, on some small level, some of these have been given some info on a need ot know basis. However, no one but the main players has all the info. So none of can judge - including you P.K.T.P.

One last note, I believe Bishop Fellay knew Archbishop Lefebvre the longest out of all the bishops. Bishop Fellay was just a young boy when he started following Archbishop Lefebvre around. I think he knows the Archbishop's mind and heart very well. Better than the armchair theologians who have read a few books of selected comments from the Archbishop - as if every word he ever said is recorded in thsoe books.

Bob F. said...

Poor Yorek,

Thank you for that. Granting that validity is dependent on the priest's intention, I fail to see how celebrating the TLM vs NO makes any difference. A priest without the right intention celebrating the TLM would be just as invalid as a priest celebrating the NO with the wrong intention.

If the argument is that the TLM better helps the priest form the right intention, then we aren't really talking about validity of the rite itself anymore, but rather which form of the mass is a better vehicle of the Church's tradition and is the best means of passing on the faith (I believe it is and assume everyone else and this blog does as well). But, that's a different discussion from whether or not the NO is a valid form of the mass.

A Sinner said...

"What mons. Arrieta is saying (I assume) is that both parties have agreed in that the other one is catholic; that there is no "de fide" proposition over which they disagree; that their disagreements are about doctrines which doesn't belong to the Deposit of Faith; that neither party have fallen into heresy; etc."

Exactly. They can agree to disagree on non-dogmatic points.

The great news is that this means that the Vatican has conceded that stuff like "religious liberty" are NOT dogma, but prudential. That's huge, and will throw a real wrench in certain liberal arguments and attitudes. If this point is merely a current prudential stance and not some sort of definitive dogma...they can hardly point to it as some sort of sine qua non paradigm for all Catholics.

As for a Personal Prelature, who cares what it's CALLED. I'm sure some sort of guarantee of independence from the local Ordinaries will be given; the Vatican probably was just tired of having Opus Dei be sui generis and wanted some other group to have the title too.

Uncle Claibourne said...

Hugh, lucas,

I don't think it's fair to suggest that Bishop Fellay is going to "sell-out" the cause by agreeing to a structure that would allow the Society to be dismantled over time.

He has said all along, and Fr, Pfluger confirms, that a structure that safeguards the Society's independence and freedom is a "sine qua non." All Bishop Fellay is saying is that if there are reasonable guarantees in place, there is no reason to refuse.

None of this means that vigilance and awareness of the risks going forward isn't needed. But at some point, we have to trust in the Lord. If the restoration of tradition is His work, and we all believe that it is, our confidence is justified.

I do wish people would stop questioning Bishop Fellay's motives.

Hugh said...

Uncle Claiborne

This is not implying he is going to submit to Rome. The clause is a conditional one. It is a fact, he can only go so far with this process and no further if there is the remotest possibility that The Society's future is imperiled by it. Archbishop Lefebvre worked hard to ensure The Confraternity would survive and develop because it has a crucial mission.

Cruise the Groove

The SSPX certainly did for a while question the validity of the NO - they even produced a poignant and significant short treatise on this question. I still have their booklet.
Many of us still do question its validity since it has wrought so much damage in the church. It is the most divisive liturgical form that the church has ever promulgated.

Uncle Claibourne said...

Hugh, I agree. It's a mighty big "if." But if Bishop Fellay concludes that the guarantees offered are sufficient, I trust his judgement.

My problem is with those who keep calling his judgement into question. I see no reason for this. Some downright terrible things are being said about Bishop Fellay in other venues.