Rorate Caeli

Rome-SSPX: "Who knows if we would be better or worse off today?..."

Our dear reader, the Most Rev. Abp. Thomas E. Gullickson, presents his views on the latest words of the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bp. Bernard Fellay, regarding the past, the present, and the future of  discussions with Rome. Here is his take:

_____________________

"Pick up your Marbles and Move on!"

I was trying to decide whether it might be better to title this little reflection "Rules of Engagement", but that sounded too bellicose. Being at a loss all the way around, maybe I should not even attempt to gather and share my thoughts on RORATE CAELI's post of Bishop Fellay's All Saints talk and the commentary engendered by it over there (see Relevant). One of the comments in the combox alluded to the possibility that the missing component in the equation is "honesty": the contributor, who supports SSPX, would claim that many who hold fast to the Lefebvrian position today want no part of Rome or of obeying any authority; they make it up for themselves as they go along. I don't want to believe that possibility and hence the following little attempt to explain why I think that what is missing might simply be tagged "realism".

A goodly number of years ago a priest friend of mine became embroiled in a conflict with his ecclesiastical superiors on an issue of simple justice. My friend is the last person in the world I would ever class as selfish or self-serving; he was always on the side of the underdog no matter what it cost him personally; he could not tolerate hypocrisy, dishonestly, or aggression by the stronger against the weaker. He wanted little for himself really. At some point, he found himself with others in an assignment where all were expected to serve at the whim of the superior. When he balked and protested directly to the superior on his own behalf and on behalf of his colleagues, the superior resorted to pressure tactics, manipulation and verbal abuse. My friend was soon moved to another assignment for refusing to back down. That is all noble and fine. In our imperfect world we often run across similar circumstances. As we are not talking about a marital relationship but rather a work or professional rapport, these things can stand in a broader context and remain irreconcilable though not damning, as the two people must not necessarily live and work together in our big bright world. I know of lots of people in the world of work who change jobs in order to withdraw from an unhealthy or disagreeable environment. If you think about it, this explains partly the Church's discipline for priests being ordained to the service of a specific diocese and yet for good reasons (or not) having the possibility of changing their diocese of incardination, of finding a new place to belong.

This is where my discourse about realism comes in. Tragically let us say, even after being separated from the situation of injustice, my friend would not relent; he continued to seek consequences from others higher up to punish a man who had treated him and many others unjustly. No one denied the truth of his claims but no one was willing to proceed and pronounce judgment; that's not how things work. Realistically speaking, we can say that life this side of heaven is that way. I see parallels in the Lefebvrian case against Vatican II, which cannot come near to claiming that kind of clarity or cogency of my friend's case against his former boss.

To my mind, no one can seriously defend the thesis that the fathers of the council upset the apple-cart. It is utter folly to claim that if Blessed John XXIII had never called the Council we would not have known the tribulation of these years. Who knows if we would be better or worse off today? Despite liturgical abuse, despite the false irenicism distorting ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, despite the inadequacy of teaching on religious liberty, democracy or social justice, the alternative closed-ranks defense would have obviated the need for debate on the place of the Church in the world of our time as we would all be required to wear our specific clothing and carry proof of the tax due for being different than the rest in society. This last statement was unfair simply because we don't know how things might have gone.

When Bishop Fellay says that he can't go any farther than he has already gone, I guess I'd like to introduce him to my righteous friend who could not forego insisting on seeing his former boss disciplined for being an oaf (the man's defects did not touch anything regarding the 6th or 9th Commandments). Granted, a few things have gone wrong over the past fifty years and some gravely so, but book burnings have never been popular events and never seen to achieve the results that time and careful scholarship obtain. Church history keeps coming back to Gioachino de' Fiori and Savonarola... I can't see them ever fairing as well as St. Joan of Arc. I'm sorry!

77 comments:

Ma Tucker said...

Well Ottaviani knew where we were heading. With the eyes of faith you can see into things. It is fine to say that none could have predicted but the unfortunate fact is that they did so perfectly. As regards book burning I can assure you it is a most pleasing and cathartic practise to burn heretic books. I could not recommend it more.

Long-Skirts said...

the Most Rev. Abp. Thomas E. Gullickson said:

"As we are not talking about a marital relationship but rather a work or professional rapport,"

As a Catholic mother of 10 children with 2 boys studying for the Priesthood and a daughter in the Convent I appreciate your comments, your Excellency but it isn't about "a marital relationship" etc., it's about the salvation of souls and THAT'S the "realism".

His Excellency also said:

"the contributor, who supports SSPX, would claim that many who hold fast to the Lefebvrian position today want no part of Rome or of obeying any authority; they make it up for themselves as they go along. I don't want to believe that possibility"

Deo Gratias that you "don't want to believe that possibility" because that "contributor" is only giving his opinion which does not equal Truth. In our Chapel we are many poor, large, Catholic families who desperately LOVE Holy Mother Church AND the Office of the Papacy forever!

THE
SOCIETY’S
BRAG

There is a Rock
Upon we’re built
That evil men
Will sometimes tilt

And though they vex us
To the hilt
We never leave
Reject or jilt

We daily kneel
In His Blood spilt
To weigh down Rock
Of golden-gilt

And as they sink
In their sin’s silt
As though He built
On one lone stilt

Upon this Rock
His voice, love’s-lilt
We stand our ground –
Do what thou wilt!

JabbaPapa said...

THANK YOU Father Thomas !!!

(nothing of disrespect intended, of course, in the chosen honorific -- rather, a filial impression from your teaching and wisdom)

The Parable of the Two Brothers springs spontaneously to mind, though we may be in the situation where it is the more strictly conservative son of his father who has wandered off away from the family lands ...

RJ said...

Being of a similar mind as the friend in the story, I agree with ++Gullickson, in principle if not in fact. It would seem that exacting vengeance for VII errors given that there has been widespread, though not universal, agreement on the misunderstandings, misrepresentations and misinformation provided by many dioceses is tantamount to arguing about religion in the first place; no one wins because everyone is adamant about how they believe. Maybe if Rome would just okay their existence instead of demanding acceptance of policies they cannot embrace, why not both sides just accept the status quo, as has been done in numerous other situations i.e. Opus Dei, and all of us can get on with the saving of souls.

OKC Catholic said...

With all due respect to your office Your Excellency, this was a poorly written piece. Perhaps that is due to the fact that this piece seems to be written in a "stream of consciousness" versus reason and logic.

Barbara said...

Most Reverend Archbishop,

You wrote: "To my mind, no one can seriously defend the thesis that the fathers of the council upset the apple-cart. It is utter folly to claim that if Blessed John XXIII had never called the Council we would not have known the tribulation of these years. Who knows if we would be better or worse off today?"

Of course you are right we don't know what we would be faced with if the Council hadn't happened - but it did.

Sorry, but I disagree with you on the first part.

I beleive that more than "a few things have gone wrong" since the novelties of Vatican II were introduced. But I am a nobody - with absolutely no authority except my own experience as I try to be a faithful but very imperfect Catholic.

Dear Archbishop, where I live the parishes are generally speaking quite a mess in as much as they are no longer distinctly Catholic. There is hardly ever reference to the true Magisterium , the Pope and abuses in the Mass have become normal fare. The worst thing is that the Faith is not being transmitted to the young. These and many other things disturbed me so much that I had to do my own searching and reading to try and understand what was going on.

I discovered that many luminaries who lived through the Council and were part of it describe most soberly the drastic shift that happened during and in the aftermath of Vatican II. Romano Amerio being one of them. Professor Roberto De Mattei is another. They reported what happened. The Council is a big problem there is no way getting around it. It is not up to the likes of me to waffle on about correct intepretation and application - it is not my role. But the tragic effects of this Council are everywhere and I like everyone else are suffering the consequences in one way or another.

I teach in a Catholic school and I can assure you it is that in name only. I personally have been told to shut up about Catholic ethics to the students. It might offend some of them and - scare them. I have also suffered job loss because I am "too Catholic" - indeed this is what I was told.

The priests in this school have bought into a compromise with the world - dialogue, dialogue, dialogue - they do not teach the faith clearly - their liturgies are a shambles - and they are not leading the flock entrusted to them. I fear for them and the youngsters.

They are priests of the Second Vatican Council.

I am not of the FSSPX - and I sure hope they are regularised soon - but lately I understand a little more why they are careful. I do not beleive they want to do their own thing.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara

Whats Up! said...

Sorry to say it ,your Excellency, but I do not see much charity in your piece.

[and I am not affiliated with the SSPX in any way]

sacerdos said...

Long Skirts,

I am sorry but the fact that you raised children does not make you a good judge of an argument. The Archbishop is perfectly aware that life in the church is about the salvation of souls. Do you really think that he is not aware of that? His point is rather simple. We must behave in a professional way even when there are significant points of difference.

Even in the context of the 'salvation of souls' professionalism is often necessary. Catholics send their children to seminaries and Catholics, if they are reasonable, expect the seminary professors to behave in a professional manner. Seminaries sign contracts with business to build and repair existing seminaries and these contracts are expected to be 'professional'. Catholics have never contrasted acting in a 'professional' way with the salvation of souls. I assume your husband has a job and is expected to behave professionally. His professionalism is part of the way that he is saved.

Sacerdos

OutsideObserver said...

"Granted, a few things have gone wrong over the past fifty years and some gravely so..."

Really, Archbishop, you are far too intelligent to believe that the situation of the last 50 years can be described in such a trivial manner.

DefensorFidei said...

"Despite liturgical abuse, despite the false irenicism distorting ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, despite the inadequacy of teaching on religious liberty, democracy or social justice, the alternative closed-ranks defense would have obviated the need for debate on the place of the Church in the world of our time as we would all be required to wear our specific clothing and carry proof of the tax due for being different than the rest in society."

And where is the proof that Catholics would have been "required to wear our specific clothing" and "carry proof of the tax due for being different?

The Church before Vatican II was not perfect, but it was a Church largely in command of its own flank, its faith the official religion of numerous states, with numerous lay scholars defending its place in the public square. Far more likely that the Church would have resisted every small advance of secularism and indifferentism with vigor.

BJR said...

A very refreshing perspective Your Grace.

Martyjo said...

May I respectfully suggest to His Grace that he read St. Pius X’s Pascendi Dominici Gregis together with Archbishop Lefebvre’s I accuse the Council and then compare what is written in these works with what has happened in the Church since Vatican II. That ought to instil some “realism” into the debate!

Otherwise, I would ask Archbishop Gullickson to demonstrate a Traditional line of Magisterial teaching in support of what I was taught to believe was condemned ecumenism, religious liberty, freedom of conscience and Collegiality. These are the unprecedented bad apples that have “upset the apple cart” and, to quote Pope Paul VI, “set the Church on a path of auto-destruction.”

Of course there is still the question of the New Mass and the promise of its chief architect, Fr. Annibale Bugnini, to render it stripped of any stumbling block to our “separated brethren.” Would anyone in their right mind argue that his production, which Cardinal Ratzinger called “a banal fabrication” expresses Our Lord’s Sacrifice for the remission of sins in the way that the Mass of the ages does?

Pope Pius XII gave us this little nugget of realism to think about: “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul. … I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.

A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, "Where have they taken Him?"
(Quoted by Msgr. Roche in ‘Pius XII Devant L’Histoire’).

Isn’t this the realism we have to face today, the realism that the Church’s theology has changed since the Council? Cardinal Ottaviani stated exactly this in his critique of the New Mass, writing “it (the New Rite) represents as a whole, and in its individual parts, a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent…”

This is the “realism” of the situation we now find ourselves in today. Bishop Fellay has stated several times that more than a few prelates in Rome and elsewhere are beginning to realise the seriousness of this present crisis and its root cause (Vatican II). God grant that the trend may continue.

Fr. said...



I remember hearing a member of a religious order saying, 'we are not very good at dealing with difficult matters in the order', when there is an injustice. Yes, it is difficult to bear injustice, and often those responsible for it go unpunished, even religious superiors. But, surely we should try and, if we are unable to have the perpetrator punished, seek what is a just settlement ? An experience of injustice in my life was one of the reasons which led me to study canon law. People do have rights as well as duties. I do see how one can have difficulties with elements of Vatican II. Many the disciplinary elements of 'Sacrosanctum' concilium' disturb me : but that is the benefit of hindsight. I do think that things like 'religious liberty' (which perhaps may not be the best terminology - there is no 'absolute' religious liberty : even Vatican II recognises this, it has to be said)and other matters need to be explained better, and in context - i.e. what the documents themselves actually said - and in the light of Tradition. It is for the Magisterium, with the assistance of theologians, to do this. I can understand, for instance, why the Church should be free from state interference, which the Church in former Catholic states also experienced. But it is regretable that the notion of the 'Catholic state' seems to have been 'abandoned' by theologians. Although we do have to evangelise/relate to/deal with /live in the society of today, and the nation states of today, and that countries, such as (or at least) USA were never Catholic states, surely the previous teaching is what a state should still ideally be like, with Christ, and his law of love, presiding over it, and tolerance of other religions for the sake of peace and public order, while allowing people freely to exercise their conscience in order to freely become Catholics, as Vatican II said etc. ? From my Catholic faith and knowledge of Church History I remain optimistic that the 'theological' and other problems will eventually be resolved, while being realistic about human nature. I do pray that the Holy Spirit will blow powerfully in SSPX to bring about that unity which is an essential part of the composition of the Church. I pray for and think about SSPX daily.

Patrick Langan said...

I see the reality of the present situation all to clearly in Barbara's clear and concise letter unfortunately Sacerdos your support of the position the good Bishop Gullickson takes says everything that worries me concerning the current reality of the Church. In the statement of Bishop Fellay I hear the true Roman Catholic voice I used to know but nowadays sadly is almost unheard in the Church. I am and will always be,God willing an Orthodox Roman Catholic and as such pray daily for the full return of all Orthodox Catholics. That is the only professionalism I want .

Templar said...

The last of the French Kings had Joan of Arc's example to ignore and brought upon themselves the destruction of the French Revolution. The Popes had the precious words of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima to ignore and brought upon themselves the Modernist Revolution. It would have happened with or without the Council.

Bernonensis said...

Yes, Vatican II did upset the applecart, but the real problem was that too many wormy fruits were on it. Instead of addressing the real problems the besetting the Church both within and without, the Fathers embraced the modernism they ought to have condemned and and wasted their time endorsing mindless 60s idiocy. Face it, they turned their backs on the Holy Ghost and locked lips with the Zeitgeist.

Arguing that, for all we know, things might have been worse without the Council is laughable. We don't know how Russia might have fared without Stalin either, but that's not much of an apology for his contributions to history.

Tom said...

"The Church before Vatican II was not perfect, but it was a Church largely in command of its own flank, its faith the official religion of numerous states, with numerous lay scholars defending its place in the public square. Far more likely that the Church would have resisted every small advance of secularism and indifferentism with vigor."

Are you familiar with the writings of Catholic Traditionalists who, prior to Vatican II, insisted that the Church had, for centuries, fallen into shambles?

Father Feeney, for example, insisted throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s that the Catholic Church was in a state of utter collapse.

In a July 1957 publication, Father Feeney declared that "a shambles of Catholic doctrine and tradition" existed in America.

He and many Traditionalists prior to Vatican II insisted that the majority of Catholics did know know the Faith...had little understanding of the Mass...and were as secularized as non-Catholics.

February 1953..."We believe that the Catholic Faith is not being preached in its purity and strength here in the United States."

December 1952...Christmas in the religious sense was dead in America and Father Feeney blamed that upon "Catholics...especially the Catholic priests" who had contributed to the destruction of Christmas.

September 1952...Father Feeney declared that the Catholic Church in America was filled with pious frauds.

September 1954....Catholic education was in shambles as "students are not going to get the Catholic education they seek, but a secular education under Catholic auspices."

I could list countless statements from Catholic Traditionalists who, years before Pope Blessed John XXIII convoked Vatican II, insisted upon the following:

1. The Catholic Religion had fallen into shambles centuries ago.

2. Catholics neither understood not cared deeply about the Mass and Faith.

3. The Church was filled with modernists who planned shocking liturgical changes, with the vernacularization of the Mass leading the way.

(They were correct about that!)

4. The Catholic Church in the United States was in horrific shape.

So much for the Catholic Garden of Eden that today's Traditionalists imagine existed prior to Vatican II.

Tom

Tom said...

"Yes, Vatican II did upset the applecart, but the real problem was that too many wormy fruits were on it. Instead of addressing the real problems the besetting the Church both within and without..."

Vatican II dealt with the real problems that had beset Holy Mother Church.

The main problem by far was the state of Liturgy. There is a reason as to why bishops 2,147 to 4approved the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

Everybody understood that liturgical reform and renewal was necessary within the Church, particularly the Latin Church.

Sorry, but Vatican II addressed the "real problems" of the day (at that time).

Tom

Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

@Tom

Nobody fools them selves in to believing the "garden of eden" that you talked about existed prior to VII. Indeed many things were happening that were taking the Church in to the Council after all the prelates and periti that put it together did not exist in a vacuum.

Yet at the same time you must realize that your straw man argument is quite different from what is being said here. We do not imply that things were perfect what we imply was that VII was not the solution to the problem. In fact more so that VII took what was an internal problem and made it external as well.

As you see the few brave voices that warned of the damages of the council were not only right but were in fact, I am afraid to say, too right on their assessment of what changing so many things about the Faith and the way it is proclaimed and taught would do.

Now that the ill effects of it are known and obvious for all to see we try once again to be the voices of reason to try and break the fever of the last 50 years but once again we are rebuffed. Not with "that will not happen" but now rather with "how do you know it wouldn't be worst?" I am sorry but this is a weak argument at best.

To speak more directly to your example of Father Feeney the difference is that he speaks of time when the patient is sick, we are in a time where the patient is dying.

An SSPXer said...

Thank you for your comments. It provides so many an insight into the thinking of the hierarchy regarding the SSPX.

In your comment however, You failed to provide adequate details about your irate priest friend to support and make relevant your argument. The position of the SSPX is not a self-seeking, fleeting, personal sqabble rather it is for the good and survival of Holy Mother the Church.

There are worthy battles and those who are on the frontlines have had to suffer excommunication and now the unjust denial of faculties. I am reminded of 1 Peter 5 which states: "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God.....Neither as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart."

Aditionally you make assumptions about the people in the pews at SSPX chapels which are unsupported and amount to mere guesswork. For the sake of achieving a degree of realism you should communicate to those who attend mass at an SSPX chapel and inquire why they are doing so. You will see that there is nothing but love for the Church and respect for the Papacy---after all there is no Church wiithout Peter.

I long for the SSPX to be restored to their proper place in the Church so that their brave priests can be free to speak the TRUTH and contribute great fruitfulness.

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman said...

Dear Excellency:

I am not associated with the SSPX. I just want to say that with all due respect to you and your office, I think you are very mistaken about the role of Vatican II's texts in the disaster of the last 50 years. Although there were some worrying trends in the late 1950s, the explosion of heresy, dissent, liturgical abuse, and personal immorality can definitely be traced a new mentality linked to the ambiguities and omissions in the documents, which are misleading and seem to convey a carnal mindset. They read like extended press releases issued by a PR firm attempting to placate the Church's enemies. I say this although I do not believe that the documents contain any formal contradictions of the previous magisterium.

What is needed to get out of this mess is the following:

1. Analyze the problem: poorly-worded, imprecise, incomplete, ambiguous documents which are easily transformed into vehicles for dissent and even heresy.

2. Publicly acknowledge the problem. Break the silence and admit the hard truth about the matter.

3. Address the problem:

a. Issue a norm stating that, due to the pastoral nature and informal style of the documents of Vatican II, that they are only to be seen as supportive of the more precise formulations of the magisterium, but never as a primary source of teaching.

b. Issue a norm requiring the preconciliar magisterium to be given a weight equal to the postconciliar in all theological writings, as well as in seminary classes.

c. Given that VII is not irreformable, reform it. Strike ambiguous passages and add others. Also create explanatory notes that use well-defined, precise terms and phraseology, without which it is unlawful to interpret Vatican II's documents.

d. Back up these norms and the Church's laws regarding doctrine and liturgy with rigorous enforcement and serious penalties, including interdiction and excommunication.

Great reforms have been done in the Church in the past, and can be done again. We just need prelates with the will to act. I know that as a bishop you have limited powers, but I urge you to do everything you can to fight the madness that has done such damage to so many souls, and has devastated the household of God.

In Christ,
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Sarto said...

Tom, granting the truth of everything you've said, this makes Vatican II no less evil, as it officially confirmed and endorsed the modernist catastrophe.

"At the close of a long life (for I was born in 1905 and I now see the year 1990), I can say that it has been marked by exceptional world events: three world wars, that which took place from 1914 to 1918, that which took place from 1939 to 1945, and that of the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965.

"The disasters caused by these three wars, and especially by the last of them, are incalculable in the domain of material ruins, but even more so in the spiritual realm. The first two paved the way for the war inside the Church, by facilitating the ruin of Christian institutions and the domination of Freemasonry, which has become so powerful that it has deeply infiltrated the governing body of the Church with its Liberal, Modernist doctrine."

-Abp. Lefebvre, Prologue, Spiritual Journey

Picard said...

Most Rev. Gullikson,

also with all due respect whilst I would not go as far as OKC (so not saying that Your Excellency´s piece is poorly written and also really understanding what is your concern) I can only strongly object (to) and contradict your opinions. (Like f.e. Barbara and Martyjo.)

I think you are competely wrong with your comparison and - as so many others - do not get what the sspx is really about.

Not their own society is their concern or the unjustice they received. If somebody thinks so he has not really understood the fighting of the sspx (and the crisis of the Chruch). And also seemingly not read much from them - because if you read either this speach of Bf.Fellay or others of his speaches/sermons or sermons of the other bishops or superiors you might see that their concern is not about the injustice they received.

It is far more about the injustice all the real Catholics and Tradition receives. But also this is NOT their main concern.

It is - as other posters said before - the concern of saving souls and rebuilding the Church.

And both - saving souls and rebuilding the Church - you can not do with Vat. II and the post-Vat. reforms and errors (,sorry).

Vat. II is poisened, many reforms after Vat. II also, many teachings also -- so the only way to get out of this crisis is to go deep down to this reforms and their reasons/causes.

It´s like in medicine: There is no worth in only curing the symptoms, like many (and seemingly also you) think is enough (as also many Cardinals and the Pope seem to think - well, if the Pope is interested at all in real curing, what is not that clear, I´ll come to that later again) - but for a real healing it is necesarry to heal and cure the very causes and roots.
Even if this is more painful and you have to cut deeper with your medicine-knife (scalpel).

[to be continued..]

Picard said...

[..continuation]

Many "conservatives" like you (again, not meant disrespectful!) seem to act and think like men that see a person with a disease, say with cancer. And then, when the doctor, a very manipulable man, is thinking about a deep cut with the scalpel to cut all influenced flesh away (perhaps to cut away a whole leg of the person, because that would be necessary) the person (and his family etc.) says "no, that will be painful - and too much - can´t you give me some medicine or some chemotherapy but don´t cut away my leg?!" - and then the doctor says: "ok., right, that´s the way" - - and you will support this person and influence the doctor that he in fact will not use his scalpel.

And the sspx for contrary does not support the person, you, and the influenced doctor but advises the doctor to do the contrary: to use his scalpel because that will be the only possibility for a REAL healing!

Well, you might object: but this comparison is also not that good, not valid - because the disease of the Church is in fact not that terrible and the doctor is such a good man he knows what he does...- so the sspx is exaggerating.
And so I am not to be blamed if I argue for some not so painful (and more "realistic") kind of healing.

Well, I then will respond: me also thinks that this is the real and deepest problem in our discussion and you have a point here: the different (e)valuation of the crisis of the Church. It really all depends on that (e)valuation.

The Pope as many Cardinals (and seemingly you) think: well, there is a crisis, but it is not that terrible, and it is not caused by the Council etc. - so with some minor and accidential changings, with some cosmetics all will be done. (The Novus Ordo is not bad, only some abuses have to be corrected, but in essence all is good. And so for the Council etc.)

The sspx (and I would and will argue rightly so) says: No, the problem is deeper, the very roots of the crisis are a wrong, new theology and philosophy, having influenced and thus poisened the thinking of the Council fathers, bishops and Popes and so the texts of Vat.II and post-Counciliar mag. and reforms.

And we can not heal the body with this poisened elements.

They have to be extinguished or de-poisened, so really corrected.

We have to cure the causes and roots, not only the symptoms.
So not only cosmetical, minor changes are needed but substantial ones, really going down to the very causes and correcting them. Painful but not only necessary but also the only REAL REALISTICAL way.

So the sspx is VERY REALISTIC.
And sorry to say, all the others like you seem to be not realistic but overly optimisitic or better: phantastic, not seeing how deep the crisis really is, what the causes really are and what means are really necessary to heal it.

That seems to be the crucial point.

Well, to show or at least argue that the crisis is really that deep and that the causes are really Vat. II and the post-Vat.II-mag. there would be need for much more than one comment - there are many studies about that (Romano Amerio; si si no no: They think they´ve won; etc.) that you hopefully know.

So I would agree that all depends on how you (e)valuate the crisis, the causes and the means of healing.
Perhaps you have other premises than the sspx and if you allow resp. the moderators of this site allow it I would like to try to go into deep a little bit into that question - in a next comment.

But be that as it may: You have not understood the fight and concerns of the sspx if you think it is about the injustice they received.

Hoping not having been disrespectful in any way to Your Excellency and hoping you will really reconsider this true concerns of the sspx (as I tried to illustrade and explain here a little bit)

Yours in Christ through Mary
pic.

Picard said...

Matthew Cullinan H.:

EXCELLENT!

Martyjo said...

Tom,

You hardly do the cause of truth justice by quoting Fr. Leonard Feeney, who was excommunicated for disobedience to his superiors in Rome and only reconciled on his deathbed. Anyone who understands the rigidity of Fr. Feeney's interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus will understand well enough that Fr. Feeney tended to view matters from a rather puritanical viewpoint.

As regards the state of the Church just prior to Vatican II, I'll grant that it was far from perfect. In fact there was much laxity in the clergy and the faithful leading up to the Council and that's the reason why the new Reformation caught on as it did, the easy life.

Nevertheless, the seminaries and religious houses were pretty full, city parishes had at least three priests each and three packed-out Masses on Sundays and Holy Days, the Blessed Sacrament was definitely more honoured and adored, the moral laws of the Church were observed without rebellion, children were taught the Faith in school, Anglicans were converting en masse, Communism was publicly condemned, as was heresy, and non-Catholics were invited to convert to the true faith for their salvation' sake.

None of these things are visible any longer. The facts speak for themselves.

Martyjo said...

Tom,

You said "Vatican II dealt with the real problems that had beset Holy Mother Church."

Really? Archbishop Lefebvre spoke of the 475 signatures of Council Fathers asking for a re-iteration of the Church's condemnation of Communism. The petition was silenced.

Cardinal Ottaviani addressed the Council Fathers on the dangers of liberalism infecting their deliberations. His microphone was turned off mid-speech and he was forced to return embarrassed to his place while many of the Fathers laughed at him.

Just before the Council, says Archbishop Lefebvre, Pope John XXIII sent delegates to meet with representatives of Freemasonry in New York, as well as to leading Protestants, including Russian Orthodox, and to Israel to ask what they wanted from the Council.

Well, we now see that they all got what they asked for, a Church that no longer condemns Freemasonry and Communism, and which "dialogues" with Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Protestants, etc., on equal terms and with the greatest respect for their beliefs and practices.

So tell me, what becomes of the First Commandment and the dogma extra ecclesiam with this new-found respect for error. These may not be denied explicitly, but what about the implicit implication of not preaching, as the Church always did, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified to a hostile and unbelieving world? Peace and harmony among men is nothing at all if souls are being lost by the barrow load as a result of infidelity to divine truth.



Long-Skirts said...

sacerdos said...

"Long Skirts,

I am sorry but the fact that you raised children does not make you a good judge of an argument."

I don't know about that. I spent the first twelve months of my children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.

sacerdos also said:

"I assume your husband has a job and is expected to behave professionally."

Yes. He is a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and helps sick minds but wouldn't think of trying to absolve them.

Let's face it, in the Novus Ordo ALL of the Catechism classes I had my first couple of children in were based on Carl Roger's "On Becoming A Person". In Chicago, under Cardinal Bernardine they even called the catechism, "On Becoming A Christian." Priests, Sisters, laity were ALL doing Therapy.

again sacerdos:

"His professionalism is part of the way that he is saved."

Part of the way he's saved is that he knows marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right and the other is the husband!

Now, it's Saturday night and I'm going to join my Catholic husband in some Catholic beer & cheese and praise God, I'm in menopause!!!

Oh, and BTW...Bishop Fellay is RIGHT!!

MAN'S

BEST

FRIEND

A man's best friend,
If you please,
Is not a dog
But cheddar cheese.

A cheese whose taste
Runs sharp or mellow,
Why, cheese with beer
Can help a fellow!

And make him look,
Like a handsome hunk,
When he passes some
To a girl that's drunk

In the local pub,
If truth be told,
When the girls get silly
Then cheese is gold.

Where drafts of beer
Make you look better
As she gulps them down
With a side of cheddar!







NIANTIC said...

Long Skirts:
Your comment to Sacerdos at 23.25 in its totality is just PRICELESS.
Go Girl!
And I am a husband who gets to wear a button on my birthday saying :"I am the Boss", but then have to give it back to my wife the next day :-).

Francis said...

Martyjo,

Father Feeney died in 1978, but was "reconciled" with Rome in 1972, hardly on his death bed. He also was never made to recant or apologize for his interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. Let us also remember that at one time the leaders of the SSPX were excommunicated for what many in conciliar Rome would consider "puritanical Catholicism". I don't agree with Father Feeney's denunciation of Baptism of desire, yet at the same time nor do I believe in conciliar Rome's view of quasi universal salvation for pagans, heathens and heretics.

NIANTIC said...

I think by now it should be perfectly clear to any serious observer that something definately went wrong during the time of Vatican ll's sessions and especially during the years since.

The greatest and most devastating timebomb to come out of it is the new mass of Paul V and Bugnini et all.

EVERYTHING WAS CHANGED. Our lex orandi, lex credendi changed completely, and I mean completely.

So if the Church is serious about saving souls and in a true new evangelization she first has to address the Council, its aftermath (horrible spirit) the new mass and the dissent of so called theologians as well as many bishops, priests and religious.

This would require a huge amount of guts and honesty and mea culpa's. (I advise all to keep on breathing!)

Meanwhile it is just about ONLY the SSPX which keeps the flame of thruth and tradition burning. Yes, it is the SSPX who loudly urges the powers that be to use the scalpel rather than handing out baby aspirin.

I attend a diocesan TLM but support the SSPX financially and would attend their chapel if there was one close by.

j hughes dunphy said...

A great discussion and so informative! "By their fruits you will know them." And so the problem with VII is not error or teaching error infallibly but failing and failing miserably and sinfully to teach, govern, and sanctify the catholics in the pews authoritatively, correctly, and cogently, using Tradition as its model! Before VII the millions and millions of catholics who left after the Council were still there "memorizing" their catechisms with the 'good sisters' for years, attending regularly, oh so regularly the sacraments-- especially Confession, and going to Mass devoutly, reverently, and puctually! "By their fruits you will know them!" "Oh, God,give us again 'contrite and humble' hearts so we may love You as we should. Yes, the Catholic Church before VII was flourishing, thriving, and making saints, humble, holy saints!
Thank God for His gift of Tradition which was then revered!

j hughes dunphy, http://the orthodox roman catholic

Tom said...


Martyjo said:

"Tom, You said "Vatican II dealt with the real problems that had beset Holy Mother Church."

"Really? Archbishop Lefebvre spoke of the 475 signatures of Council Fathers asking for a re-iteration of the Church's condemnation of Communism. The petition was silenced."

Martyjo, Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) referenced Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Divini Redemptoris.

Said Encyclical condemned communism.

From Gaudium et Spes:

"In her loyal devotion to God and men, the Church has already repudiated(16) and cannot cease repudiating, sorrowfully but as firmly as possible, those poisonous doctrines and actions which contradict reason and the common experience of humanity, and dethrone man from his native excellence."

Footnote 16 referenced Divini Redemptoris.

Tom

JFM said...

"To my mind, no one can seriously defend the thesis that the fathers of the council upset the apple-cart. It is utter folly to claim that if Blessed John XXIII had never called the Council we would not have known the tribulation of these years."

This statement is totally unsubstantiated and suggests the Rev. has either not read or refuses to refute the basic arguments. Utter folly? I think Fellay's comments are far clearer and more cogent than Rome's attempts to define "living Tradition," whatever creature, unheard of up till now, that may be. Professionalism and civility are not lacking in any of the discussions, so to tartly say "pick up your marbles and move on" borders on disrespect, and suggest an inexplicable lack of awareness of the issue. A truly unhelpful piece, even if it IS by His Excellency.

Common Sense said...

Your Grace,

My heart is bleeding and my soul is agonising, seeing the pitiful conditions Holy Mother Church finds herself in. It would be worth it to consider what it would be like 50 years after the Council if the light of the truth of Christ had not been dimmed almost completely.

It doesn't take a genius to notice how we modern people conduct ourselves toward each other. It is really heart-breaking to see so many people globally suffering the demise of the influence of the Catholic Church in the sphere of moral conduct. Does Your Grace have an idea of what it means to be parents of children in these times and trying to bring them up in accordance with Church teaching and general code of decency? Can you appreciate the worry and anxieties we as parents and guardians go through encountering rushing and stressed-out people, quite often in crime-infested cities, and many other maladies connected with modern living?

You mention a dear friend of yours who, for the sake of justice, stuck to his guns. Let me reassure you that I have more respect for people publicly hostile towards the Church than the sterile-minded Novus Ordo establishment, which unfortunately reminds me of the five foolish virgins from the Gospel. It is interesting to observe the mindset of the Novus Ordo hierarchy where almost without exception everyone seems as if they were enchanted. But I would also like to encourage all true and traditionally-minded Catholics, whatever their affiliation is, to try and gain those people who, through no fault of their own, or through ignorance, are on the other side of the fence and who are causing harm to each other and ultimately themselves.

Having spent 30 years under the Novus Ordo, I know how difficult it is to shed the vestiges of an easy-going environment where the Cross of Christ but also the tremendous peace of soul is rarely mentioned. All of us who call ourselves traditional Catholics participate in the mission of Christ and His Truth and kindness - it's not just having large families, or even going to the Latin Mass. As much as it is heroic to do these things, nonetheless Our Divine Lord reminds us that people would know that we are his disciples when we display acts of charity towards each other. And charity is rather in short supply everywhere you look.

Vox Clamans Ex Inculta said...

Don't worry, Your Excellency. You "don't want to believe in that possibility," and fair enough - you don't need to. Because that's not what we're doing.

-A young Catholic

John McFarland said...

I am flabbergasted at Abp. Gullickson's critique of Bp. Fellay's remarks. He clearly does not understand the significance of what he has read, nor have any knowledge of what the SSPX is about.

Bishop Fellay can go no farther because the Pope has insisted that as a condition of its regularization, the Society accept Vatican II as part of the doctrinal tradition of the Church. But as the July 14 Declaration of the Society's Chapter states quite clearly, in its judgment there are errors in Vatican II, the most egregious ones relating to religious freedom, collegiality and ecumenism.

A further condition of regularization is the acceptance of the validity and liceity of the Novus Ordo. But irrespective of issues of validity and liceity, the Society adjudges the NO spiritual poison, because it deliberately downplays the Mass's essential character as a propitiary sacrifice.

Since ++Gullickson does not come anywhere near these issues, his remarks are an exercise in mildly patronizing irrelevance.

AS said...

Oh my. I believe I am the author of the comment that triggered My Lord Bishop's post, above. I am of course grateful for the reply, and for having the benefit of insight into the views of a senior shepherd.

The SSPX is a truly challenging puzzle: a group of people doing objectively the wrong thing (disobedience) for subjectively the right reasons (preserving an authentic Catholic faith in the face of a modernist onslaught). I have no idea at all how it will all end (I.e. Savonarola or Arc?).

My Lord, I respectively disagree with your assessment, at least in part. You are correct that we cannot know for sure precisely what proportion of the current plague on the faith may be set at the doorstep of the Council. We are not privy to an alternate timeline where the Council did not occur. Perhaps, the modernist plague and its enablers would have found another way to devastate the faith. I disagree, however, with your rather passing dismissal of the true state of affairs today, and the dangers they present to souls. Things are much worse than a few liturgical abuses.

The Catholic faith I have been teaching myself and my family (using, inter alia, resources like Rorate) is clearly not at all like the "we are church" one I received in RCIA. I very much wish to be saved, but fear in this world that it may not be so. I need all the help I can get. And, respectfully, it can be very difficult to obtain assistance from what +Fellay calls "the conciliar Church", which by and large wishes to solve my problem by assuring me that pretty much everyone will be saved, with or without being Catholic, and with or without the sacraments. I can read, My Lord, and I know this is a lie.

Instead, I am told that "I am church". No Father, I say, I am not church. I am neither the bride of Christ, nor am I the New Jerusalem. I am a sinner, and I need the Church to be this Holy thing outside of myself that will provide me with the sacraments I need to live. This is not abstract for me, having been diagnosed with cancer. I fight the disease, while I hunt and peck for the faith. It should not be thus.

May the SSPX make many Holy Priests and may they return and save us. And may the Holy Spirit give shepherds like you and +Fellay the graces needed to fix this diabolical mess.

Our Lady, undoer of knots, pray for us.

Rick DeLano said...

Long Skirts is an excellent argument in favor of female Cardinals.

Barbara said...

Tom said:

"Sorry, but Vatican II addressed the "real problems" of the day (at that time)."

And the scourge of communism? was that addressed? - I seem to remember there was a paragraph somewhere in one of the documents about it - or maybe more than a paragraph - 2 perhaps...you will probably know about them Tom...?

Barbara said...

Very good Longskirts! Most excellent mother! This line made me LOL:
"I spent the first twelve months of my children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up."

I liked everything you said.

Tom said...

Martyjo said:

"Nevertheless, the seminaries and religious houses were pretty full..."

But they were filled with many unorthodox men (women religious as well) who were determined to implement radical changes to the Mass and Faith, according to Traditionalists of that time.

That problem was compounded as said men and women were taught by modernists who were determine to fill young minds with unorthodox notions.

Modernists were rampant throughout the Church.

In 1931 A.D., Eugene Cardinal Pacelli (Pope Venerable Pius XII) declared the following:

"I hear around me reformers who want to dismantle the Holy Sanctuary, destroy the universal flame of the Church, to discard all her adornments, and smite her with remorse for her historic past."

Traditionalists were on to something as tens upon tens of thousands of priests and nuns who had entered into their vocations prior to Vatican II went, if you will, bersek at the time of the Council.

They viewed the Council as their collective opportunity to either bolt from the Church or remain in place to initiate the liturgical/spiritual revolution that they had envisioned.

A healthy Church would not have exploded into such monumental revolution and chaos.

Orthodox priests and men and women religious would not have behaved in that fashion.

Something was terribly wrong within the "pretty full" seminaries and religious houses of that time.

Tom

Tom said...

"...and non-Catholics were invited to convert to the true faith for their salvation' sake."

It has been documented that most certainly during the 1940s, modernism was so rampant throughout the Church that a tremendous battle over said issue raged at that time.

The persecution of Father Feeney and his ilk — Tradition-minded priests who took on bishops and priests who, without question, had initiated the attack on extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

Tom

Mar said...

Long before Vatican II Catholics have always and everywhere been urged to practice the virtue of bearing wrongs (injustices) patiently, in imitation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. However, to extrapolate from that (and I am speaking in purely hypothetical
terms here - not referencing what anyone has said) that the principle of justice need not exist nor be upheld in society, would be rather perverse.

Then again it seems to me that there is a considerable difference between an individual being treated unjustly in specific circumstances, and a culture of injustice being propagated to the extent that it becomes commonplace - whether in the Church, or the State, or any other community. To accept the flourishing of a culture of injustice, as if it were something that has simply to be accepted as a part of life once again would be rather perverse, not to say pessimistic, nihilistic and fatalistic.

And there is a very huge difference between an injustice being perpetrated upon an individual in a matter that does not necessarily impinge upon that person's adherence to the truths of the Faith and one that does. It is known that under atheistic
Communism a grave injustice was perpetrated upon the faithful in that pressure was applied to them to give up their Faith. What would it mean to 'bear wrongs patiently'
in those circumstances? To give in to the wrongdoers as if in a spirit of goodwill and docility, and to renounce their Faith? No, a thousand times no. Countless Catholics have undergone glorious martyrdom rather than act in such a way, no matter how 'docile' and 'obedient' it might seem at the time.

Is it any different when, as is happening in our own times, with a diabolical twist such pressure in relation to the Faith is applied to the faithful within the Church? Should they give in as if in a spirit of obedience and docility? No, a thousand times no. Stand firm, says St. Paul. Watch and pray. Hold on to that which has been passed down to you.

So I will have to respectfully disagree with the Most Reverend Archbishop. On the one hand Bishop Fellay insisting that Church authorities hold on to the truths of the Faith and pass them on to the faithful in their fulness and integrity, and on the other a
disgruntled individual insisting that his former boss should be disciplined - to my mind there is no comparison here.

As to the burning of books, St. Dominic certainly believed in the benefits of time and careful scholarship, as did his illustrious son, St. Thomas, yet he also held it necessary to burn the books of the Albigensians.

Short Pants said...

Whenever I'm tempted to doubt the role of the new liturgical texts in destroying the faith of Catholics, I go back to those solemn intercessions on Good Friday. There it is - the whole of it - in a nutshell.

The SSPX must never give an inch on the liturgical question.

Hidden One said...

I think that the post of His Excellency that was quoted above should be read 'in continuity' with his earlier post, "Blowin' in the Wind" on the SSPX (http://deovolenteexanimo.blogspot.com/2012/10/blowin-in-wind.html) and now, of course, his follow-up to what's above, titled "A little adjunct to yesterday's post" (http://deovolenteexanimo.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-little-adjunct-to-yesterdays-post.html).

Long-Skirts said...

Picard said:

"not seeing how deep the crisis really is, what the causes really are and what means are really necessary to heal it."

and

John McFarland said:

"because it deliberately downplays the Mass's essential character as a propitiary sacrifice."

Thank you! You two are my heroes!

Long-Skirts said...

Picard said:

"not seeing how deep the crisis really is, what the causes really are and what means are really necessary to heal it."

and

John McFarland said:

"because it deliberately downplays the Mass's essential character as a propitiary sacrifice."

Thank you! You two are my heroes!

Martyjo said...

Tom,

So you think previously explicit condemnations of atheistic Communism and Freemasonry being reduced to a footnote in Gaudium et Spes can be described as Vatican II dealing with the issues of the time? Hmmm!

As for Fr. Feeney, you said: "The persecution of Father Feeney and his ilk — Tradition-minded priests who took on bishops and priests who, without question, had initiated the attack on extra ecclesiam nulla salus."

This is patent nonsense! Fr. Leonard Feeney disobeyed a direct order of the Holy Father to bring himself to Rome to explain his behaviour. It was not just his extra ecclesia doctrine that he was being called to answer for. No, the primary reason why Pius XII demanded his presence in Rome was to answer for his disobedience to his Bishop. He was excommunicated for consistently disobeying the Pope's command that he come to Rome. There was no fight against bad bishops attacking the dogma extra ecclesiam during Pius' reign. It was Fr. Feeney's unique and rigid interpretation of that dogma that set the authorities against him.

Now, in response to my assertion that the Church pre-Vatican II invited non-Catholics to convert, you said:

"It has been documented that most certainly during the 1940s, modernism was so rampant throughout the Church that a tremendous battle over said issue raged at that time."

Evidence of this please! Never heard of such a thing before.

I am glad you recognise that those "pretty full seminaries" I referred to earlier had many unorthodox priests, seminarians and religious in them. The main problem during and after Vatican II, of course, was in the Episcopate. It was the shepherds who first abandoned Tradition and then ensured that it was no longer taught in their seminaries. But you have a point when you say that there were many willing partners in the seminaries and religious houses, mostly the professors and Superiors. The greater majority of those rebels form today's ageing Modernist hierarchy!



Athelstane said...

"It is utter folly to claim that if Blessed John XXIII had never called the Council we would not have known the tribulation of these years."

Traditionalists should ponder this point long and well. To listen to some, you'd think all this could have been avoided had Pope John simply thought better of the whole Council idea. The Church doesn't live in isolation from society, and in the 1960's, that society went stark raving mad.

But I think we could argue to His Grace that some - not all, but some - ills and novelties could have been diminished or avoided had there been no warrant, real or imagined, from an ecumenical council. The only hesitation I have is that the Mass of the Ages could have been at risk for deformations, whereas in our timeline, it was, ironically, preserved from experimentation by being effectively abrogated rather than deformed.

That said, I agree with His Grace's larger point about realism. It's not the accuracy of the SSPX's diagnosis that's in question (at least to me) but what is necessary for Rome's present overall disposition (its lack of attachment to tradition) in order for the Society to agree to some canonical regularization.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

Respectfully, the Arbp misses the point, we may or may not have been worse off if something did or did not happen, but thats something we cannot know, what we can and do know is that the Second Vatican council did do tremendous damage to the Catholic Church and its doctrines, by foisting false doctrines onto unsuspecting catholics and theologians and the popes since then have promoted it and its even worse interpretations and punished those who disagree.

Bert E said...

Vatican II = de facto FAILURE

Tom said...

I had written: "It has been documented that most certainly during the 1940s, modernism was so rampant throughout the Church that a tremendous battle over said issue raged at that time."

Martyjo replied: "Evidence of this please! Never heard of such a thing before."

Martyjo, you are unaware of the waves of modernists, communists and Freemasons who had infiltrated Holy Mother Church prior to Vatican II?

I quoted then-Cardinal Pacelli(later Pope Venerable Pius XII) who had declared as early as 1931 that "Catholic" Churchmen abounded who had called for the destruction of the Traditional Roman Mass and Holy Tradition.

In 1936, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (later Archbishop) declared that communists had infiltrated seminaries and religious communities to destory same.

In 1952, he made the acquaintance of (and converted) Bella Dodd, a teacher and activist for the Communist party. After her defection, she revealed that one of her jobs, as a Communist agent was to encourage young radicals to enter Catholic seminaries. She claims that before she had left the Party in the U.S., she had encouraged almost 1,000 young radicals to infiltrate the seminaries and religious orders:

During the early 1950s, Bishop Sheen had met (then converted)Bella Dodd, a teacher and activist for the Communist party.

Bella Dodd "revealed that one of her jobs, as a Communist agent was to encourage young radicals to enter Catholic seminaries.

"She claims that before she had left the Party in the U.S., she had encouraged almost 1,000 young radicals to infiltrate the seminaries and religious orders.

She revealed that "in the 1930's, we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within.

"The idea was for these men to be ordained, and then climb the ladder of influence and authority as Monsignors and Bishops."

Read Father Leonard Feeney's addresses and additional Traditional-minded priests and laymen who prior to Vatican II had revealed the then-brewing collapse of seminaries and religious communities.

Martyjo, by the 1960s, thousands of younger priests (tens of thousands churchwide) and religious...men and women who had served the Church for 10, 15, 20 years...either bolted from the Church or remained to initiate the bizarre liturgical and spiritual destruction that continues to this day.

It was with great joy that waves of priests who had been ordained during the 1940s and 1950s offered bizarre Masses...then wrecked the Roman Liturgy.

Thousands of religious brothers and sisters exchanged their religious garb and Holy Tradition for religious insanity.

Martyjo, the unfortunate reality is that prior to Vatican II, a great many unstable men and women, as well as flat-out agents of destruction, had advanced through seminaries and religious communities.

Tom

Jacob said...

I wish to offer my hearty congratulations to His Excellency on this anniversary (11/11) of his episcopal consecration.

Miles Dei said...

Your Excellency Most Rev.:

Being realistic i must ask you why I have a feeling of Cauchon approaching Joan rather than other thing after read your comment?

I am no part of FSSPX.

Martyjo said...

Athelstane

You forget that the Church only convokes Councils to deal with serious doctrinal matters, or to make clearer the doctrines and dogmas of the Faith, usually in response to some kind of threat.

In the case of Vatican II, the obvious threat of the day was atheistic Communism which was expanding and threatening to engulf the entire world. How odd, then, that Pope John XXIII should do a deal with the Kremlin to suppress further condemnations of Communism in return for their approval to allow members of the Russian Orthodox church to attend Vatican II as observers.

And so, when 475 Council Fathers presented their signatures on a petition calling for a new and urgent condemnation of atheistic Communism, the petition was silenced against all the procedural rules of the Council.

Did Pope John know what he was doing?

Well, he wasn't acting maliciously but we do know that before the Council he read the Third Secret of Fatima and promptly dismissed it as "not for our time. He then went on to inveigh against all those prophets of doom who see dark clouds on the horizon. He obviously saw his Council, this pastoral endeavour which ended up confusing doctrine and weakening dogma, as a New Pentecost. Fatima, thought Pope John, was an ill-timed party pooper.

And so Vatican II happened, no errors were condemned but a handful of very serious errors, previously condemned by the Magisterium, were introduced as consistent with Catholic teaching. One of them, Religious Liberty, was taken straight from the Declaration on the Rights of Man, previously condemned by Pope Pius VI.

This error was the fruit of Pope John's delegation to the Freemasons in New York, who were asked what they would like from the Council. They wanted a statement from the Church which would replace Catholic 'triumphalism' and 'exclusivity' with a new doctrine of equal rights for all religions. It was granted them in the Declaration on Religious Liberty and the Catholic religion was instantly relegated to just one of many faiths, none more worthy than the others.

This brings me to the Protestants and what they wanted from the Council.

In a March, 1965 interview with L'Osservatore Romano, Fr. Annibale Bugnini told us what they were getting. He declared: "We must remove from our liturgy and prayers anything which can be a stumbling block to our separated brethren, that is to the Protestants."

What followed was Bugnini's New Mass that resembled more the Reformation meal service than the Holy Sacrifice of the ages. It was not remotely faithful to Sacrosanctum Concilium and was more Lutheran than Latin.

Martyjo said...

Continued from above

Mgr. Bugnini was later dismissed from his lofty office by Pope Paul VI under suspicion of Masonic affiliation. He was sent to Iran and the Church thereafter refused to speak of him.

By 1975 Pope John's enthusiasm for a New Pentecost had given place to Pope Paul's depressing observation that "Through some fissure in the walls, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and set her on a path of auto-destruction." This smoke was the illusion that the Church can turn to friendship with the world and not lose her supernatural identity.

And so we return to Fatima's Third Secret and Cardinal Ratzinger's 1984 declaration in Jesus Magazine that it refers to the present apostasy in Europe.

This is the realism we Catholics have to face, the realism that Our Lord has very real clerical enemies inside the Church today. These people used Vatican II as a vehicle for turning our God-centred religion into a man-centred religion. I do not say that the Popes have been party to this betrayal of Our Lord, but I would say in honesty that I believe them to have been extremely negligent and too carried away with naturalist ideals of peace and unity among nations.

Vatican II needs to be re-visited, preferably by a Dogmatic Vatican III. Collegiality needs scrapping and the Pope needs to exercise once more the power of the keys with supreme authority and with fidelity to sacred tradition.

LeonG said...

We are worse off because according to many of our pre-conciliar holy fathers it is the liberal modernists who are wrecking the church today. Even Pope Paul VI could admit to that. The chief indicators now illustrate that graphically.

Tom said...

Martyjo said:

"Tom, So you think previously explicit condemnations of atheistic Communism and Freemasonry being reduced to a footnote in Gaudium et Spes can be described as Vatican II dealing with the issues of the time? Hmmm!"

Martyjo, just because the Council didn't deal with the above (or various issues) in shout-it-from-the-rooftops fashion doesn't mean that the Council didn't deal with key issues that existed during that time.

I realize that the Archbishop and Coetus Internationalis Patrum (International Group of Fathers) failed to secure the shout-it-from-the-rooftops repudiation of communism that said group had favored.

But in the manner of Vatican II, the Council, as I had documented, repudiated communism.

We know that the Holy See's approach during Vatican II was to avoid, if you will, the in-your-face approach that many Traditionalists favored.

Irenicism, rather than polemicism, is the face of Vatican.

For example, rather than to smash non-Catholics, the Council unmistakably, yet, as some may characterize, taught gently that the Catholic Church is the One True Church to which non-Catholics are called to join.

It certainly is debatable as to whether the Council's approach succeeded overall.

But to return to communism, the reality is that our Churchmen's (from the Pope on down) general approach to communism — that is the issuance of thunderous condemnations of communism — failed to halt communism's conquests within and without the Church.

Frankly, Pope Venerable John Paul II stood head and shoulders above any Pope when it came to understanding and dealing with communism.

But his mode of attack against communism benefitted from Vatican II's decision to approach the communist question in a manner that differed from the Church's pre-Vatican II approach to communism.

History has reflected that the Vatican II approach to communism benefitted the Church and world.

Tom

Tom said...

Martyjo said:

"Vatican II needs to be re-visited, preferably by a Dogmatic Vatican III.

Martyjo, would you trust today's bishops to deliver a successful Vatican III Council that would restore Holy Tradition throughout Holy Mother Church?

Tom

Picard said...

Dear Longskirts:
Thanks but let´s see if I am still your heroe after my next to comments...

re Tom and Mart.:
But anyway - and Tom, you are right, of course there was much modernism in the Church before Vt.II, because it did not "fall from heaven", as we Germans say - that does not make Vat. II any better, does it?!

re Vat. II dealing with the important problems of the time: Hey - eh???
Please read the - THEY dealt with the real problems and in a Catholic manner (!) - for example with the increasing impurity of the 50ies and 60ies etc. There was a Catholic answer to this increasing impurity (and liberalism etc.) - but this as the whole matter was put aside... - to have such nice documents instead as NAe, LG, and DH!!!

Matt said...

Martyjo said, "Vatican II needs to be re-visited, preferably by a Dogmatic Vatican III. Collegiality needs scrapping and the Pope needs to exercise once more the power of the keys with supreme authority and with fidelity to sacred tradition."

Well, the Catch-22 on that is we may end up with a Pope who is an actual modernist who then burns through Tradition and then goes after all the Traditionalists as well. That would be rather bleak.

Martyjo said...

Matt

A Dogmatic Vatican III, unlike the Pastoral Vatican II, would be guaranteed infalibility. With the Holy Ghost on board this time I think it would work out rather well for the Church.

Athelstane said...

Hello Martyjo,

You forget that the Church only convokes Councils to deal with serious doctrinal matters, or to make clearer the doctrines and dogmas of the Faith, usually in response to some kind of threat.

In the case of Vatican II, the obvious threat of the day was atheistic Communism...


I wouldn't argue with any of that. John XXIII broke the mold when he called the Council in the absence of a serious, ongoing doctrinal dispute. And the absence of a clear statement about the evils of communism - dispensed with in large measure because of fears of offending Soviet Bloc sensibilities in order to permit Iron Curtain bishops to attend the conference - was regrettable in the extreme.

Did Pope John know what he was doing?

I follow Malachy Martin on this - I think his intentions were honorable, but naive. It's noteworthy that none of the Council's documents were issued during his pontificate. Pope Roncalli had liberal leanings, to be sure, but not to the degree that Montini did.

I regard the Council as, mainly, a failure or worse, read even on its best intentions. But that doesn't mean the maladies weren't there to begin with, and wouldn't have metastasized anyway without the Council. And I've run into a few too many "1958 men" among traddies and neo-traddies who fall into the trap of underestimating just how bad the situation was even before John XXIII ascended the throne.

John McFarland said...

Dear Hidden One,

Well, I've read ++Archbishop Gullickson's preceding and subsequent remarks.

I regret to have to say that they, too, indicate that he knows (and, I'm afraid, cares) nothing about the real issues, and hence are also exercises in mildly patronizing irrelevance.

Furthermore, I'm flabbergasted anew by the following remarks in ++Gullickson's post following the one posted here:

'I remember a discussion of thirty years ago (with my righteous friend from the post) about discernment, Divine Will/vocation and Divine Providence. He, at the time, was agonizing over choices he thought he had to make and asked me how I was facing the situation. I told him simply that I wasn't facing anything in that matter: that things just happen in my life, really, thanks be to God. God's gentle motions in my life have always required little more than grateful acquiescence on my part and then an unconditional, generous espousal of the lot entrusted to me. Problems arise when I have felt obliged to make a decision or to say: "no, that my life is not going this way". He looked back at me in disbelief and we never touched on the topic again.'

I'm afraid that I, too, must look upon these words in disbelief.

What would any of the masters of the spiritual life have to say about these remarks?

John McFarland said...

Fr. Feeney was more than a bit of a dingbat, as might be expected from someone most famous for defending the indefensible (the exclusivity of water baptism) with the even more indefensible (his homemade distinction between justification and salvation). He was quite capable of taking issue with the pronouncements of popes and councils. Beware!

Athelstane said...

Hello Mr. McFarland,

I find your posts here about matters SSPX insightful, and I always look forward to what you have to say with interest.

I would like to quibble with two points you make here, however:

Bishop Fellay can go no farther because the Pope has insisted that as a condition of its regularization, the Society accept Vatican II as part of the doctrinal tradition of the Church.

This is true, and His Grace fails to at least acknowledge this difficulty as the most immediate bone of contention between the Vatican and the Society's leadership. And that's without even knowing the full details of what is being demanded of the Society (which I assume even Archbp. Gullickson is not privy to).

But it must also be said that even if this were not the case - had the Pope asked essentially nothing of the Society as prelude to regularization - you know as well as I that there are significant elements in the Society which would try to avoid even a "deal" like that because Rome has yet to return to Tradition. Even with an ideal canonical structure (say, Mr. Perkins' Apostolic Administration), they simply do not trust the Vatican, as currently constituted, too dangerous to risk infection or possible compromise of the Society's principles. In this respect, at least, I respectfully submit that the Archbishop raises a valid point about some attitudes in the Society.

And:

A further condition of regularization is the acceptance of the validity and liceity of the Novus Ordo. But irrespective of issues of validity and liceity, the Society adjudges the NO spiritual poison, because it deliberately downplays the Mass's essential character as a propitiary sacrifice.

I fully agree that the Novus Ordo considerably plays down the propitiary sacrificial character of the Mass, and does so deliberately (at least as intended by some, if not all, of its "authors"). But I have always thought that calling it outright "spiritual poison" is a bridge too far.

The fact is that the sacrificial element *does* remain, if considerably reduced; likewise, the emphasis, especially in the collects, is considerably more anthropocentric, playing down references to the Four Last Things (among other things). And the non-Roman Canon Eucharistic prayers are quite troubling. But even if the manner in which the N.O. is frequently celebrated can and *does* amount to something "spiritually dangerous," I think it exaggerated to call it, by its nature, "poison." Call it "spiritually impoverished?" Absolutely. And this is the main reason why I avoid it wherever possible, and hope for its abandonment as the normative Mass of the Latin Rite.

But even I am reluctant to accept that 99.xxx% (whatever the precise number) of Catholics around the world for the last 45 years have been and are attending masses (usually without any alternative) which are always, without qualification, "spiritual poison." To then grudgingly allow that the N.O. is valid, as the SSPX officially does, seems a distinction without a difference. A very strong criticism can (and should) be made of the missal without going to such an extreme.

Maria said...

I agree with your point Your Excellency ... if SSPX wants to join the Church, this is the best time under Pope Benedict XVI. Otherwise, the possibility will be really small and SSPX in general will fall out of grace. Would be nice if they will be united but if not, I do respect the Vicar of Christ.

John McFarland said...

Dear Athelstane,

Let me do this is two comment.

You say:

Bishop Fellay can go no farther because the Pope has insisted that as a condition of its regularization, the Society accept Vatican II as part of the doctrinal tradition of the Church.

"His Grace fails to at least acknowledge [the Pope's insistence on acceptance of Vatican II] as the most immediate bone of contention between the Vatican and the Society's leadership."

Bp. Fellay was addressing an audience consisting almost entirely of his colleagues, SSPX faithful, and other friends and allies.

He had no need to explain what he meant. To accept the Council would be above all to accept religious freedom in place of the traditional public law of the Church, collegiality in place of the papal monarchy, and ecumenism in place of the Church as the sole Church of Christ and one ark of salvation.

Similarly, the Vatican is quite well aware that the Society's July 14 Declaration is the latest manifestation of its insistence on the traditional doctrine of the Church in those matters.

You go on to say:

"But it must also be said that even if this were not the case - had the Pope asked essentially nothing of the Society as prelude to regularization - you know as well as I that there are significant elements in the Society which would try to avoid even a "deal" like that because Rome has yet to return to Tradition. Even with an ideal canonical structure (say, Mr. Perkins' Apostolic Administration), they simply do not trust the Vatican, as currently constituted, too dangerous to risk infection or possible compromise of the Society's principles. In this respect, at least, I respectfully submit that the Archbishop raises a valid point about some attitudes in the Society."

I am all too familiar with the opposition of which you speak. Google Ignis Ardens, look at some of the things I've posted there, and some of the reactions they've inspired.

The answer to the opposition is the conditions that the SSPX Chapter has laid down for regularization.

I cannot rule out that if and when a no-strings regularization is offered by the Vatican, there will not be opposition, and even a split.

But I think that virtually everyone still in the Society is prepared to worry about that when it happens. Given the fact that the Holy Father, for whatever reason, backed off a no-strings regularization, it doesn't seem likely that it will happen any time soon.

Bishop Williamson and those who have got themselves dismissed from or otherwise left the SSPX over this issue (or ostensibly over this issue) consist, as far as I know, of HE and four priests. There may be a few more, but their "movement" (which so far is just a handful of guys talking about getting together) is clearly going nowhere. Its lay supporters are a not much bigger handful whose activities consist mostly of fanatical and hateful rantings in the blogosphere.

Torkay said...

The ignorance and naiveté of this "analysis" is appalling - in fact, almost frightening. First is the misconception of injustice and the misapplication of the analogy. The dispute with ecclesiastical superiors, in the case of the SSPX, is not about The Society seeking to right the legion of injustices which have been perpetrated against it. It is about the restoration of Holy Mother Church. In other words, it is not at all a "dispute with ecclesiastical superiors." That context does nothing but trivialize the whole situation.

Here are a few other highlights which need to be addressed:

1. The Fathers [deliberately] upset the apple cart. No, most of them were clueless as to what was taking place before their very eyes. The didn't read what they were voting for. They didn't know the new (liberal) names placed before them for membership on the Commissions. They, with few exceptions, were asleep at the wheel, never suspecting that the foundation of a revolution was being laid with their approval.
2. The "Lefebvrian" case against Vatican II - more specifically, against the errors of VII - is indeed quite cogent, clear and irrefutable. It has been stated over and over - apparently some people have not taken the time to read it. And how has their case been met with by the Vatican side of the table during the doctrinal discussions? It has been met with nothing - a fraudulent, dishonest response: you must obey, the Church cannot err.
3. "A few things have gone wrong over the past 50 years." No, there is no crisis in the Church, the new liturgy isn't Protestant, seminaries aren't vacant, mass attendance isn't down to 20-something percent of Catholics, parishes and schools aren't closing, there is no dissent or heresy, 50%+ of voting Catholics didn't just vote for Obama, there was no Assisi I, II and III, the Pope didn't call Marin Luther "Christ-centered"....

Please. This piece represents "realism"?

mundabor said...

If the Archbishop is representative of the supporters of the SSPX, give me the enemies...

John McFarland said...

Dear Athelstane,

As regards my talk of "spiritual poison" being extreme, let me offer some excerpts from FAQ 5 on www.sspx.org.

“’The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, ...is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith’ (An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p. 29 [appendix 2]).

“The dissimulation of Catholic elements and the pandering to Protestants which are evident in the Novus Ordo Missae render it a danger to our faith, and, as such, evil, given that it lacks the good which the sacred
rite of Mass ought to have.”

***

“If the Novus Ordo Missae is not truly Catholic, then it cannot oblige for one’s Sunday obligation. Many Catholics who do assist at it are unaware of its all pervasive degree of serious innovation and are exempt from guilt. However, any Catholic who is aware of its harm, does not have the right to participate. He could only then assist at it by a mere physical presence without positively taking part in it, and then and for major family reasons (weddings, funerals, etc).”

In other words: as one of the SSPX faithful, I am obliged to treat attendance at a New Mass as I would attendance at the bar mitzvah of the son of one of my co-workers.

Let me offer another famous remark of the Archbishop regarding the Novus Ordo:

"It is Protestant, and makes Protestants."

This is not just rhetorical. Msgr. Bugnini, the chief architect of the New Mass, said that one of the principles of its construction was ecumenical. So things offensive to Protestants needed to be removed or downplayed as close to removal as the "politics" of the situation allowed.

When the evil is extreme, the language to describe it needs to be extreme.

Finally, let me suggest "The Mass of All Times," a substantial compilation of Archbishop Lefebvre's comments on the traditional Mass and on the New Mass in sermons, conferences, etc. It will teach how better to understand and love the traditional Mass, and will thereby increase your horror regarding what the New Mass is and does.

The Rad Trad said...

Re: the SSPX being "protestant"

This has gotten tiresome and it is quite disingenuous. I doubt many, or any, of those brazenly calling the SSPX or Bishop Fellay a "protestant" would dare make that accusation of an Orthodox patriarch or cleric—and they actually are in schism. Instead we would probably get some sincere an heartfelt pleas for unity and charity and tradition etc.

I am still finding trouble understanding what it means to "accept Vatican II." Formally binding doctrinal definitions? None, other than some re-iterations with new vocabulary. Addressed urgent matters requiring immediate cooperation of the entire Church? Again, not really.

I attend a Melkite-Catholic Church and they have to accept much less of Vatican II, or any ecumenical council, than the SSPX or any Roman rite Catholic. With regard to the Council, must the Society acknowledge anything other than that it happened? Really, what contained in the Council is so vital that it cannot be found elsewhere?

And with regard to the SSPX not accepting the new rite of Mass as valid and licit: for a rite to be "legitimate" requires more than for it to simply be legally permissible. The word, legally, means that said rite would also have to be considered good, which I doubt many priests from the FSSP, IBP, or ICRSS would say about the new rite.

The Society is not in schism, but I cannot help but think there are some people who really wish they were.

Picard said...

Most rev Gullikson,

as I said I can understand your concern, your thinking - and I am convinced that it comes from the fact that you as many others have no idea how deep the crisis really is.

I myselfe woke up (only) after the nomination of Bf. Müller.

Till that time I was also inclined to think that P Benedikt is kind of traditional or semi-traditional -
and persons like Mr. Mc Farland here (or Bf. Tissier of Williamson) would exaggerate, would things see too dark, etc.

So I can understand you perfectly (Well, besides I never had illusion about the fact that at least Bendikt is still "half" or "quater" modernist/liberal).

But only after the nomination/appointment of Müller I realized, how deep the crisis really is.

I studied the works of Müller in depth - and was really shocked.
Then I realized that the Pope nows this works of Müller and praised them - a new shock!
And then I re-read and examined some writings of the Pope/Ratzinger - and not only shocked but it was like the scales fell from my eyes.

So I am also kind of thankfull for this because all is getting clearer.

So, yes, McFarland and Tiessier were right all the times.

And I apologize if I did not admit that before or see it that clear before - so, yes, Mc Farland, you were right, concedo!!

[to be contin...]

McCallum said...

John McFarland wrote:

"Given that the Holy Father, for whatever reason, backed-off a no-stings regularization, it doesn't seem likely that it will happen anytime soon."

John,
When was there a no-strings regularization offered by the Holy Father to the SSPX? I've been following the situation closely, and have not seen such a thing offered. Please explain.

From what I have seen, at the very minimum, the SSPX were told by Rome that while they can have disagreements about the Council, they still could not speak in terms of the "errors of the Council." This is the bare minimun that the Pope expected. But the SSPX would not agree, so the requirements expected by Rome increased.

Picard said...

Dear Mr. Mc Farland:

Firstly I do not know why my continuation of my last post was not published - where I wrote that the works of Müller, but also of the Pope are all imbued with/by the modern philosophy that was rightly condemned by Humani Generis

- esp. by Kantianism/transcendental-idealism, Hegelianism, existentialism, modern hermeneutics (from Schleiermacher over Gadamer to Heidegger), ending up in deconstructivism - constructivism.

So I again admit that you were right all along that Rome including the Pope is still real modernistical.

But then we must admit that Bff. Tissier, de Gallareta and Williamson were also right.

I admit I was hocused, I was under some illusion that in Rome there is more real traditionalism. I was therefore for a deal with Rome.

But now I studied deeper the works of the Pope and I have no illusion anymore. So you were right - but then also Tissier & Co.

So I wonder that you still favour the course of Bf. Fellay to have a deal with Rome and that you not also admit that this was an illusion (to have a workable) deal with Rome.

Because re "no-strings" deal: Bf. Fellay and Frr. Pfluger and Schmidberger recently said several times that there was an offer or an allusion to such an offer by "inofficial channels" and Fr. Pfluger shortly before April took this deal for a done deal, he said in Germany that this no-strings regulation was for shure and will be granted by the Pope!
(Now he says that suprisingly it did not come - f.e. in his Kirchliche Umschau interview).

But that´s the illusion. We can not hope for a no-strings regulation under this circumstances. And if there were an offering then it would rather be a trap than really helpful.
It took a long time for me to realize this. But it is the sad reality that Rome did not convert to tradition as many of us thought and hoped so with the new Pope.

Under this conditions a deal would be suicidal - and an aknowledgement of the text of Vat. II and the hermeneutic of continuity were wrong. - But I can understand the many people that not yet see this clearly bcause they have still some illusions - - as I had myselfe also before the appointment of Müller and some indepth-(re-)studying of some texts!

[I beg the moderators to allow this comment in such an important issue.]

CH DUPUY said...

Rome-SSPX: "Who knows if we would be better or worse off today?..."
Yes somebody knew: Abbe George de Nantes saw what was coming, well before de Council started, that is since it was summoned. He began writing "letters to his brothers" in which he spelled out clearly what would happen. Being a French himself, he new quite well the writings of Chenu, de Lubac, Congar, and he anticipated what their fellow compatriots he foresaw very precisely what they had in store.
May he rest in peace, because his warnings were not heeded.
At any rate, if according to Tom modernism was rampant inside the clergy, such a Council should had been convoked precisely to condemn such theories and not to give them official recognition.