Rorate Caeli

SSPX-Rome: Do some want to be more "Lefebvrist" than Lefebvre himself?

On April 30, we published the May editorial of Father Michel Simoulin for the newsletter of the Toulouse (France) priory of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Le Seignadou (We are not 88ers). Simoulin, currently serving as chaplain for the Dominican teaching sisters of Fanjeaux, previously served as rector of the University Institute of St. Pius X, rector of the International Seminary of St. Pius X in Écône from 1988 to 1996, and superior of the Italian District of the SSPX. 

This is the main excerpt of his June editorial for Le Seignadou:


Since the 1970s, we have been engaged in resistance. ... This is a difficult attitude to maintain, requiring great, supernatural wisdom, of which Archbishop Lefebvre left us a fine example, one very difficult to follow. For a long time I have been noticing that without this wisdom we easily fall into challenging all authority, whatever it may be and whatever reason: family, school, chapel, religious or priestly institute, and so forth. This goes further than simple disobedience because it derives more from a gratuitous mistrust of anyone who wants to lead me somewhere I do not feel like going.
 

Although our area has been spared some of the troubles about which I prefer not to speak, and to follow up our previous Seignadou editorial, it does not seem to me superfluous to return to the question of our relations with Rome.

 

For example, I remember quite well, during the years 1988-1991, Archbishop Lefebvre stating that if Rome wanted to resume contact with us, he would insist on beginning with doctrinal discussions. This is what we have done. But as far back as my memory serves, I have no recollection that he ever envisaged having to wait for the “conversion” of Rome before going further. He knew too well what the Church is, to pretend to “convert” Rome. He knew that it is illusory to imagine that Rome would be able to disavow Vatican II or condemn its most condemnable theses! He knew better than we, we who so much like to sermonize the Pope and who dream of instantaneous “victory,” that it would take decades, and undoubtedly several generations, for Rome to abandon and forget these disastrous theses. At the very least, he would say, he wanted to continue going to Rome in the hope of “doing them a little good,” to make his objections heard and, if possible, admitted, so that he would be allowed to continue his work.

 

Today, there are some who want to be more “Lefebvrist” than he! And they reproach Bishop Fellay, of course, for not being “Lefebvrist” enough because he does not repeat exactly what Archbishop Lefebvre said twenty or thirty years ago.

 

It seems to me that part of their difficulty arises because these individuals, who are very learned and very intelligent, do not always act under the motion of the supreme gift, Wisdom. This is the wisdom of St. Joan of Arc, who reduced to silence the most erudite theologians. The gifts of knowledge and understanding are excellent, but that of Wisdom is better still, as charity is superior to faith. These individuals carefully analyze all the Pope’s statements, they reason, they construct clever syllogisms. A few examples, among others, will make my statement sufficiently clear: Pius XII had said that the Church is this. Now Benedict XVI says that the Church is that. Therefore the Church of Benedict XVI is not the Catholic Church. Or else: Archbishop Lefebvre had said this about the meeting at Assisi in 1986. Now Bishop Fellay said that about the meeting at Assisi in 2011. Therefore Bishop Fellay is not faithful to Archbishop Lefebvre. He is under Benedict XVI’s spell and is betraying the spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre.

 

What do these arguments lack for them to be true and in conformity with the spirit of Jesus Christ? These fine syllogisms leave out of account the variety of concrete situations and thus are lacking in the virtue of prudence and the spirit of wisdom in which charity penetrates everything and puts order and measure in all things, like God, who “has ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight” (Wisdom 11:21).

...  
In this connection, I remember the excellent remarks of our District Superior in 2004: “I write rebellion because I do not see any other word to characterize the attitude of a priest who refuses to bow before the authority of his superior, who publicly challenges him and exhorts the faithful to imitate his example….You do not have a correct view of the government of an ecclesiastical society like the Society of St. Pius X. This government is in no wise democratic, and the decisions and acts of Bishop Fellay, its head, neither can nor ought to be called in question by a different way of thinking of one of his subordinates. Nay more, publicly expressed disagreement by a priest about an important matter concerning the government of the Society of St. Pius X constitutes a serious fault on the part of that priest. Should one consider oneself duty-bound to make one’s remarks or objections known, one should also know how to yield to the Superior’s decisions subsequently, even if the Superior does not consider himself obliged to take these remarks into account. This is one of the aspects of Christian humility that leads us to understand that no one normally has the necessary graces to fulfill a charge except the legitimate holder of that charge. Common sense alone would indicate that others do not know all the elements that enter into the Superior’s decision and that one ought to grant a priori that he has experience, knowledge, and other faculties that we do not possess at the same level, at least in his sphere of activity.”

 
Now, it is perfectly clear that Bishop Fellay, and we with him, have no intention of selling our inheritance for a comfortable canonical situation, and that we will refuse any solution that would not guarantee our safety from the local Ordinaries as well as from that sinister Ecclesia Dei [Commission], so as to be able to continue to serve the Church according to our proper charism, that of our foundation, which was blessed and encouraged at one time by the Church.

 

The fundamental question always comes down to our love for the Church. Do we love the Church, even sick? What would you say of a child who refused to live with his sick mother for fear of catching something? Have we so little confidence in our founding grace? Do we doubt our capacity for resistance, which has been maintained nevertheless with fidelity and courage through thirty-five years of condemnation? Are we so uncertain of our love of the Church that we should so fear contamination?

 

You see that this goes beyond the order of reasoning. Without ignoring the malady, it is love of the Church, our Mother, that ought to dictate our attitude. It was love of the Church that impelled Archbishop Lefebvre to create the Society and to consecrate four bishops in 1988. It was love of the Church that led the [allied] congregations [friendly to Tradition] to make the choices they made in union with him. It is still this same love that must guide our attitude in the new situation in which the Church finds itself in 2012. But to love the Church, we mustn’t jumble everything: the Church, Rome, the Pope, Benedict XVI, the Council, etc. What are we speaking of when we speak of the Church or of the Pope?

 

Father [Roger-Thomas] Calmel [O.P.], in a very beautiful article, left us a few enlightening passages that can help put some order in our reflections:



“There is a leader in the Church who is always infallible, always sinless, always holy, and who without intermittence or cessation in his work of sanctification. That leader is the only one in charge because all the others, including the highest, hold their authority only by him and for him. Now this holy, spotless leader, absolutely separate from sinners, elevated above the heavens, is not the pope; it is he of whom the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks so magnificently, the Sovereign Priest: Jesus Christ….If the pope is the visible vicar of Jesus who has ascended into the invisible heavens, he is not more than a vicar–vice gerens; he holds the place but he is still another. It is not from the pope that flows the grace animating the mystical body….The Church is not the pope’s mystical body; the Church with the pope is the mystical body of Christ.” (De l’Église et du Pape)



That says it all, I think. Confounding the pope, Rome, Benedict XVI, and the Church is condemning oneself to understand nothing of the nature of the wretchedness of the Church, a wretchedness that is part and parcel of its human condition, not its Divine Constitution. To turn down Rome and the Pope on pretext of faithfulness to the Church is seriously be in danger of rejecting the Church in its incarnational state. And to decline to accept the incarnate Church ostensibly for the salvation of souls is to be no longer Catholic. But in order to comprehend this, the mystery of the Church must be read with the spirit of wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives only to the little ones, to the “poor in spirit,” those who are happy to number among the little and not the learned, those who know they have a great deal to receive and to learn from the Church. Such are the simple people whom God can make to understand everything and in whom His will can be freely accomplished as it was in the Immaculate Virgin, the simple people who resemble our great and holy Joan of Arc, the simple in whom grace simplifies everything, who have become wiser and more prudent in their simplicity than the wise and the prudent according to the flesh and the world. “I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight” (Lk. 10:21).


30 comments:

Paul said...

"In recent times, it has not been uncommon for people to claim to know for sure what Archbishop Lefebvre would have done under present circumstances. Indeed, the 'war of quotes', where one takes statements made in concrete situations and in response to actual realities, and attempts to apply them universally, is a dangerous game."

Read the rest here:
http://www.sspx.org/archbishop_lefebvre/interpreting_words_of_archbishop_lefebvre_part_1_5-22-2012.htm

poeta said...

That puts it in perspective. Nor was waiting for the "conversion of Rome" ever part of the three-step approach Bishop Fellay has always spoken of.

Knight of Malta said...

How many centuries was Arianism was rooted out of the Church post Athanasius' reintegration?

It might take centuries more, now, before liberal modernism is rooted out. I disagree with +Williamson that an infected Church will necessarily infect the healthy grafted branch.

I think of it more like a single, tiny, penicillin pill reinvigorating the whole.

Ferraiuolo said...

Two years ago in the Angelus Press Conference, Bishop Fellay argued that the conference given by Mgr Pozzo in Wigratzbad about Vatican II being interpreted in the wrong manner, meant that the Hierarchy ever since the Council abandoned what it originally intended. +Fellay disagreed arguing that the problem was in the Council itself. However the tone recently of His Excellency and of the various District Superiors seem now to be more in line with that narrative. (1)This tells us how humble they are when it comes to accepting that perhaps the problem was not the Council itself but its interpreation. (2) And it also tells us truly the depth of the crisis in the Church which is rooted in disobedience from the very beginning of the Council itself!

Sedes Sapientiae, Ora pro nobis

Brian said...

“You do not have a correct view of the government of an ecclesiastical society like the Society of St. Pius X. This government is in no wise democratic, and the decisions and acts of Bishop Fellay, its head, neither can nor ought to be called in question by a different way of thinking of one of his subordinates. Nay more, publicly expressed disagreement by a priest about an important matter concerning the government of the Society of St. Pius X constitutes a serious fault on the part of that priest. Should one consider oneself duty-bound to make one’s remarks or objections known, one should also know how to yield to the Superior’s decisions subsequently, even if the Superior does not consider himself obliged to take these remarks into account. This is one of the aspects of Christian humility that leads us to understand that no one normally has the necessary graces to fulfill a charge except the legitimate holder of that charge. Common sense alone would indicate that others do not know all the elements that enter into the Superior’s decision and that one ought to grant a priori that he has experience, knowledge, and other faculties that we do not possess at the same level, at least in his sphere of activity.”

I have two problems with this argument. First, the same argument as reworded in the following paragraph could be and has been used against the very existence of the SSPX in disobedience to the Pope. Second, to appeal to the gifts of Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding is to beg the question.

“You do not have a correct view of the government of an ecclesiastical society like the Catholic Church. This government is in no wise democratic, and the decisions and acts of the Pope, its head, neither can nor ought to be called in question by a different way of thinking of one of his subordinates. Nay more, publicly expressed disagreement by a priest about an important matter concerning the government of the Catholic Church constitutes a serious fault on the part of that priest. Should one consider oneself duty-bound to make one’s remarks or objections known, one should also know how to yield to the Superior’s decisions subsequently, even if the Pope does not consider himself obliged to take these remarks into account. This is one of the aspects of Christian humility that leads us to understand that no one normally has the necessary graces to fulfill a charge except the legitimate holder of that charge. Common sense alone would indicate that others do not know all the elements that enter into the Pope’s decision and that one ought to grant a priori that he has experience, knowledge, and other faculties that we do not possess at the same level, at least in his sphere of activity.”

The reasoning is circular.

Floreat said...

Circular reasoning?

Equating priestly vows of obedience and the duty to avoid even the appearance of scandal on the one hand, and the conscientious defence of the faith on the other suggests a certain moral relativism.

A priest has a duty to defend the faith, for sure, however, descending into the public market place to incite the hoi polloi to attack his own religious institution has more of Luther than Aquinas about it.

Resisting heresy and real damage to the faith by holding to the Church's 2,000 year Magisterium and continuing to dispense the sacraments and the Mass for all Time is not at all the same thing.

It is disingenuous to suggest that it is.

Domini Canes said...

An excellent and encouraging article. +Williamson verges a little too close to Jansenism in my opinion. If reconciliation with the Holy See does occur I fear he may lead a rump splinter sect into the spiritual wilderness of sedevacantism. +Fellay on the other hand has repeatedly proven himself to be a most holy and competent man for whom I hold a deep respect. I can only pray a definite resolution comes swiftly.

poeta said...

Because Jansenism is such a complicated and recondite heresy, I wish that anyone accusing someone else of being a Jansenist would at least specify the condemned proposition(s) that the person is believed to accept. Otherwise, it risks sounding like an empty disparagement.

Tom S. said...

To Paraphrase:.

"I knew Archbishop Lefebvre. Archbishop Lefebvre was a friend of mine. And you, Sir, are no Archbishop Lefebvre".

(H/T to late Senator Lloyd Bentsen)

Occasional Reader said...

The modern Church needs more than penicillin, it needs chemo.

I tend to agree with Bishop Williamson on this one though, Knight. Aren't we taught that "And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: otherwise the wine will burst the bottles, and both the wine will be spilled, and the bottles will be lost. But new wine must be put into new bottles." and "But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved."

Plus the cautions against the leaven of the Pharisees. "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." and "Then they understood that he said not that they should beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

Today's situation seems to be exactly the occasion Our Lord was cautioning against.

Looks like the de facto excommunicated may just save us all alot of trouble.
http://pius.info/archiv-news/734-beziehungen_zu_rom/6777-kueng-nennt-papst-qschismatikerq

Matt said...

A very insightful and informative editorial. Convinced yet humble. Very inpsiring.

I agree with Malta's penicillin analogy. I've always thought of the SSPX as the vaccine needed for what ails the Church.

Ferraiuolo said, "+Fellay disagreed arguing that the problem was in the Council itself. However the tone recently of His Excellency and of the various District Superiors seem now to be more in line with that narrative."

Well, given the present state of the talks, perhaps that's the line of coversation +Fellay needed to take in order for Rome to listen, all the while holding the Council really was creepy. Being what's at stake, yeah, perhaps +Fellay has to jump through a few hoops in order to get the greater good accomplished. Just my spin.

Matt

eremita said...

Because Jansenism is such a complicated and recondite heresy, I wish that anyone accusing someone else of being a Jansenist would at least specify the condemned proposition(s) that the person is believed to accept. Otherwise, it risks sounding like an empty disparagement.

Yeah, I wish the same when people accuse someone of being a modernist.

Uncle Claibourne said...

I've alluded to this before, but let me phrase it in terms of a direct question:

Can someone cite ONE example for me, in the long history of the Church, where, in the face of the crisis du jour, and the need for reform, good men withdrew from the Church, and waited for its "conversion"? And that this approach solved the crisis?

Thank you.

Challenger said...

I hope some day we hear these words from the window of Saint Peter's Basilica announcing: .....

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum:

Habemus Papam!

Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum

Dominum,

Dominum [Bernardum] Sanctæ Romanæ
Ecclesiæ Cardinalem [Fellay],

Qui sibi nomen imposuit [Pius XIII].

Jason C. said...

How many centuries was Arianism was rooted out of the Church post Athanasius' reintegration?
It might take centuries more, now, before liberal modernism is rooted out.


Precisely. When teenagers vandalize your property, what took them thirty drunken seconds to effect takes you a week of backbreaking work to repair.

I feel sorry for the SSPX priests in leadership positions. All these years they've harangued their faithful about the dangers of Vatican II, Vatican II, Vatican II, to where--we see it every day in the comments here on RC, though it's worse elsewhere--even the mention of Vatican II brings out Pavlovian condemnations of the broadest, most bizarre and imprecise kind, wholly unrelated to the few actual sticking points insisted upon by the SSPX from the beginning. And today, now that reconciliation appears to be at hand, God willing, the priests and leadership must finally be precise and nuanced in their public references to the problems with "Rome" and, to many of the faithful--who, lacking aptness for detailed brushwork, prefer to paint in broad strokes--this appears to be a mere concession to the Modernists, NewRome, Vatican II, etc. They notice their priests and district superiors preaching with more nuance--even people not affiliated with the SSPX notice this difference, not in content, but in tone--and they confuse being conciliatory with being "Conciliar!"--one of the bad words!

It's a sad state, but one that, I pray, the SSPX priests generally and, especially, those in leadership positions are able to remedy festina but sufficiently lente to give their faithful time to catch up.

RedGoat said...

Certain individuals waiting for a miraculous conversion of Rome and who possibly intend to bunker down until that time run the risk of failing to see the forest because of the trees. When that conversion takes place (without a flaming chariot and lightning bolts) how will they be able to sense it seeing how this 'conversion' could take decades of subtle steps? The time of 'conversion' could pass and it happened so quietly that it went completely unnoticed and as the clock turns clay to stone independance and 'free ranging clerics' harden into schism - if it doesn't already exist.

And what does this so called 'conversoin' consist of anyway? Does it mean that there are no longer sinners in the Hierarchy? No erroneous teachings from them - anywhere? Constant infallibility imparted to all the hierarchy and the Pope? If someone is holding out for a time like that they will die outside the Church because such a Church has never existed nor ever will except for in the perfections of the Church Triumphant and the perfections of Her Head, Christ the King. The wheat must grow up with the weeds.

Archbishop Lefebvre knew that to persist outside the good graces of the Holy Father, and those in communion with him, runs some great risks.

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

Jason C., I have attended Mass at SSPX chapels many times, in both America and Europe, and I have yet to hear an SSPX priest even mention Vatican II, let alone condemn it from the pulpit. Their homilies invariably consist of illuminating and practical commentary on the Gospel reading of the day, something all priests used to do, until they became entertainers.

Tom said...

"This tells us how humble they are when it comes to accepting that perhaps the problem was not the Council itself but its interpreation."

I find it difficult to believe that the Society has suddenly adopted the above attitude.

Why on erath would the Society flip-flop suddenly in regard to its analysis of the Council when more and more influential "full communion" non-SSPX Churchmen have in recent times issued serious attacks against certain parts of Vatican II?

Example: Monsignor Brunero Gherardini, Prof. Emeritus (Pont. Univ. Lat.), canoessor of the Vatican Basilica and director of Divinitas said the following:

"In all truth Modernism hid itself under the cloak of Vatican II's hermeneutic...if someone were to ask me if, in the final analysis, the modernist corruption had hidden itself within the Council documents themselves, and if the Fathers themselves were more or less infected, I would have to respond both yes and no...But yes as well, because not a few pages of the conciliar documents reek of the writings and ideas of Modernism -- this can be seen above all in GS."

Tom

Cruise the Groove. said...

Dr Williams,

I agree.
I have been to many SSPX Masses, and invariably the priest preaches on what you mention and also, great illuminating sermons on Church dogma and doctrine.
Not ad hominem screeds and attacks on VII and 20th century prelates.

matamoros said...

What a great article by Fr. Simoulin. The comment comparing Bishop Williamson to Jansenists was way off. Williamson-bashing has been a sport in certain quarters for decades and things often get repeated by people who don't know. Needless to say, he understands it but won't be changing his character now.

He is also a good and holy man, like Bishop Fellay. Those who predict his departure from SSPX may be disappointed.

Bishop Fellay is not changing the line on the Council. Archbishop Lefebvre always said he could accept Vatican II interpreted in the light of Tradition. But the fact that endless discussion about what the council intended to say regarding some of the worst tendencies wrecking religion and society today surely demonstrates that - yes - there is some kind of problem with the council itself regardless of what the progressives did with it. Since people can't agree what the council actually says on certain points, it's either Vat. III, or copious and authoritative footnotes to Vat II we have to hope for.

How can Catholics like SSPX be compared to the Anglican Ordinariate? These people use a liturgy partly drawn from Cranmar's Book of Prayer. It's odd to have the Church recognise the liturgical expression of this man, who was executed for his heresy and rejected transubstatiation and the sacrifice of the Mass as weeds

CJ said...

Uncle Clairborne:

The SSPX did not "withdraw". They have stayed put and fought the fight for Faith for over forty years.

What world are you in??

Knight of Malta said...

Actually, I do understand +Williamson's concerns, and too believe he is a Godly man.

But, I also believe he is an imperfect man, as no man (save Christ) who ever walked this earth is perfect. He is one of the most brilliant orators of Catholic doctrine I have ever heard. And, yes, like me perhaps, we have chips on our shoulders, since we are both converts, and expect A LOT more out of the thing that holds pride-of-place in our hearts: the Church.

+Williamson is as doctrinally sound as you will find anywhere in the modern Church (and I'm not trying to judge, since I am not a Bishop, and have been found wrong many times, just ask my wife!), but there has to come a time when you trust in the providence of God. My opinion is that Pope Benedict is offering an unbeatable deal, that will give SSPX, essentially, the same autonomy that it has now, while being more fully integrated into the Church, thereby actually enabling it to exert more of its traditional, soul-saving, influence.

Woody said...

The Anglican Use Ordinariates are sufficiently exotic that it is not surprising that there is rather widespread lack of understanding about them, in particular here, the liturgical texts. Perhaps I may help a little in advancing understanding.

While the joint Ordinariate commission reviews liturgical texts with a view to cooming up with a broadly-accepted Ordinariate set of texts (subject of course to Rome's approval), the only authorized text (other than the 1962 Missal and the Third Edition of the Roman Missal) for the Ordinariates now is the Book of Divine Worship (BDW). The Mass texts of the BDW are divided into two optional rites: Rite One (which uses a single Eucharistic Prayer consisting of the Roman Canon closely translated into Elizabethan English), and Rite Two, which uses the more modern Roman Missal Eucharistic Prayer versions. At the principal church of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, here in the US, we use exclusively the Rite One texts, and I believe this is the most common usage everywhere in the Ordinariates to date. Mass is celebrated ad orientem. Thus there is no Cranmerian element in the Eucharistic Prayer itself, that prayer being the Roman Canon (better translated than even the new English N.O. translations, in my estimation, for Rite One), or the optional N.O. EPs, for Rite Two.

It is true, as Peter K. T. Perkins will point out, that the N.O. offertory prayers are used, but that is not Cranmer's fault, is it? Hopefully the commission will address this issue.

The collects that are used are almost entirely collects from older Romam sacramentaries, like the Leonine and the Gelasian (maybe also Sarum), translated into Elizabethan English for Rite One (more modernised for Rite Two). Although Cranmer did make some changes to the texts (and not that many) of the collects, they were all vetted by Rome when the BDW was being approved, and so are approved texts for use in our churches.

The Daily Office portions of the BDW (besides of course having been vetted by Rome), are based on the forms originally proposed in the early 1500's by Cardinal Quinones of Spain in an experimental simplified breviary done with Roman permission (actually, I heard it was encouragement), essentially stressing reading of larger segments of scripture, eliminating antiphons, and the like, in order to simplify. Of course, it is all in English, and again, in Rite One it is basically Elizabethan (allowing use of the Coverdale psalm translations), and in Rite Two, more modern English (psalm translations more like the Grail, but probably better in the literary sense). Originally there were only Mattins (combining Matins and Lauds) and Evensong (combining Vespers and Compline), but in more recent times, and in the BDW, there are also optional daytime prayer and compline offices. The collect of the day is the collect for that week's liturgy. Historically and traditionally, the Collect for Grace was also prayed at Mattins, which is the old collect from Prime.

If memory serves, you can read the early XXth century Catholic assessment of the Anglican daily office in the first Catholic Encyclopedia, basically saying that there is nothing inherently objectionable about it.

Uncle Claibourne said...

CJ,

I think you've misunderstood me. I support the SSPX stance wholeheartedly, as I've mentioned in many other threads on Rorate.

I was referring to the "hardliners'" apparent advocacy of remaining aloof and waiting for a divine intervention of some sort that will "convert" Rome.

This has never happened in the history of the Church, as far as I can tell. The good Lord expects us to roll up our sleeves and get to work. The reconciliation is an opportunity, in my mind, for the SSPX to do exactly that. As much as I have and still do support the Society, I no longer believe remaining on the "outside" is the best approach, given the current circumstances. The circumstances have changes, and the next phase of the work can now be more effectively done from within.

Sixupman said...

There are problems in Wisconsin where the bishop seeks to advance Traditional Catholicism. Likewise in the UK, Shrewsbury Diocese, similar eruptions are occurring for exactly the same reason.

Elements of SSPX are fighting the wrong battle, it should be fought shoulder to shoulder with the bishops mentioned above and work to convert that vast swathe of laity who have been led astray by harkenning to those with "itching ears".

an adoring child of Our Father said...

"Veni Sancte Spiritus". . .Our Blessed Mother's prophetic promise to St. Dominic that his order would remain under Our Lady's protective mantel is revealed before us as the Holy Spirit speaks through Rev. Fr. Simoulin to instruct, guide and protect the Dominican Sister.

May Rev. Fr. Simoulin continue to be precisely docile to the Holy Spirit that the Eternal Father may receive him into His Embrace at the end of this "little while" of exile. It is certain that the Dominican Sisters are fruitfully praying for him.

matamoros said...

Thanks Woody for your information about the Anglican Use Ordinariate and its liturgy.

I'm not sure if using the Roman Canon (or the NO "Get-one-free-if-it's-not-said-in-less-than-three-minutes" mini version of it) saves the Book of Divine Worship from its Cranmerian ancestry. Of course liturgies are covered up by the the changing pracitces of different times. A Roman Catholc from the fifth century might have been confused if he attended a Baroque era Mass in Rome, but the rite is still the Roman rite.

The Book of Divine Worship has a peternity which does not compare very favourably. Catholics have traditionally believed the various rites to be of great antiquity if not Apostolic origin. If this usage is a concession to the sensibilities of those who have lived with it in the Anglican Church - I have to say, without wishing to be rude, that I hope it remains just that. Even though perceptions change and what looked like Calvinism in the sixteenth-century might seem old-fashioned and conservative today liturgy is not just about perceptions.

Tom the Milkman said...

I'm an old guy, but I honestly thought Kung had died. Alas, he lives! ..

The good God takes care of every living thing in His own time. I'll say a prayer for Kung.

allison said...

Knight of Malta:
I agree Bishop Williamson is brilliant in church matters. However,he goes "off script" much of the time on his website. In 2 years, I have not read anything that borders on a "sermon." I have been around him many times. Once, running into him in the middle of a 2 million acre national park! I too, am a convert like you and Bishop Williamson. I am the daughter of a 32 degree mason who was disinherited and expelled from my family after I entered the church. So, I understand zeal and bitter zeal. Bishop Williamson is most known for the latter. He causes much trouble for the SSPX at this time. He is disobedient to Bishop Fellay and needs to become docile. Alas, he has not been in the past unless he is directly threatened with expulsion. That day will come I am afraid. He will not follow Fellay to Rome.

matamoros said...

I don't agree with the comments about Bishop Williamson. He is not an example of "bitter zeal" - he has proved himself to be a good priest in his work with souls.

When it comes to the crisis in the Church, he speak loudly and clearly also likes to be provocative. It's in his character. Being a good Christian does not mean changing our character. Williamson not only has his character, he has character, something very rare in the clergy today.

This is probably why Atchishop Lefebvre consacrated him a bishop along with the others, not just because he needed a native English speaker, or someone to match the height of bishops Fellay and Tissier de Mallerais. Everything negative that has been said about Williamson as a bishop had already been said about Williamson as a priest, yet Archbishop Lefebvre chose him. He knew, as some don't, the his Society, like the wider Church, must have room in it for all. I am not a convert, and as far as tradition goes, my parents made the choice for me as a child but I have never seen Bishop Williamson's preaching as anything less than forthright and clear.

I was very favourable to a quick agreement with Rome, but now they're starting to show what they think pluralism means. When the letter of the three SSPX bishops became known, Vatican spokesman Fr. Lombardi explained that the three bishops would now be dealt with on an individual basis. Apart from being a crude attemppt to divide SSPX it shows that perhaps Rome is not really ready to tolerate SSPX - a real SSPX, not a pasteurised or castrated version of it. Does this mean in fact that we can have our bells and incense, our canonical arrangements etc, but please, none of THAT sort of language about the Pope and the broader Church?

Well all four Society bishops acquired that sort of language from Lefebvre himself. As I once heard Bishop Fellay say, the Curia wants to create a sort of religious zoo, with a place reserved for dinosaurs, but they don't want the dinosaurs breaking out of their enclusure and rampaging around making trouble.

But the whole Church is our Church. Catholics who understand have every right to make trouble, and Bishops a fortiori. If Rome wants to bring in SSPX without the three Bishops, it doesn't really want the Society at all.