Rorate Caeli

Di Noia sends letter to SSPX priests - via Menzingen

This is the main part of the information shared by Riposte Catholique (in French):

Each priest of the Society of Saint Pius X [FSSPX / SSPX] has received a very long letter by Abp. Di Noia, Vice-President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission. The Pope's delegate takes note of the standing disagreement between the Holy See and the SSPX: the Holy See believes that it is necessary to interpret the texts in the light of Tradition; the SSPX considers that certain teachings of Vatican II are erroneous. The entire matter, itself unchanged, is [then] to render this disagreement bearable.

With the aid of texts by Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas, Abp. Di Noia therefore proposes a new, spiritual, approach. He asks both parties to move forward, each one for their part, to an examination of conscience focused on humility, docility, patience, charity. The SSPX considers that this cannot exclude, considering the doctrinal questions at stake, the strict confession of faith. Especially considering that the dismantlement of faith, catechesis, sacramental practices adds weight to their considerations. Conversely, it is true, one could say that the continued degradation of the situation of the Catholic faith is a pressing invitation [to the SSPX] to leave their splendid isolation, and join the official rescue corps in the very spot of the accident.

An outline of the concrete solution is left, surely on purpose, somewhat uncertain by Abp. Di Noia. He recalls en passant that Rome expects from Bp. Fellay a response to the document that was given to him last June 14. But, besides that, he proposes to the SSPX a process that could be qualified as transactional:

- On the one hand, the SSPX would find anew the positive charism of the first years at Fribourg and Écône (it would try to reform what can be [reformed], first through the formation of traditional priests and by preparing them for a teaching in conformity with their formation).

- On the other, the SSPX still considering that certain passages of the teaching of Vatican II cannot be reconciled with the preceding Magisterium, it could discuss it, as long as it:
- abstains as a matter of principle from [discussing them in] the mass media;

- does not establish itself as a parallel magisterium;

- always presents the objections in a positive and constructive manner

- bases all its analyses on deep and wide theological bases.

... A reference is made to the instruction Donum veritatis on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian (May 24, 1990).

Rorate can add the following: we can confirm that the letter was not sent by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei directly to each SSPX priest, but to General House, in Menzingen, Switzerland, that forwarded it. We cannot confirm that it was forwarded to every single priest or priory of the SSPX. We can add that it is not exactly a new/urgent letter, but that it was sent in early December 2012. And we cannot confirm all contents presented by Riposte Catholique, since, while accurate, they seem to be interpolated with some interpretation of what they could mean (that is, the content is not presented verbatim).

65 comments:

Matt said...

Okay, then from the tone of the letter on its face, it would seems Rome wants the SSPX to step out of its purity and enter into the contamination of the Church in general.

This is the attitude of liberals. They cannot in anyway concede they are wrong or flawed but must have their opposition give up on Truth to be like them, must wallow in the mud with them, never they step out of the mud and meet on cleaner ground. We see this in politics and we see it in the Church. A liberal is a liberal and the SSPX will never find peace in the present Church as long as the liberals/modernists are in power.

NIANTIC said...

Well, I see nothing to get excited about. This is just one more little step in the long saga between Rome and the SSPX. That the letter allegedly was sent via SSPX's headquarters to her priests changes nothing either.
Both sides do wish a conclusion to the matter of regularization. It only needs a final decision on when and whose terms. But to reach that final decision will take, I am convinced of it, a very long time.

Meanwhile, thank God for the SSPX. Without her there would be no FSSP et all and no SP either. Pax Christi.

DM said...

"(T)he continued degradation of the situation of the Catholic faith is a pressing invitation [to the SSPX] to leave their splendid isolation, and join the official rescue corps in the very spot of the accident."

Question: can two members of a rescue corps work together effectively if they disagree on what the nature of the accident is?

Mike said...



I think the SSPX should ignore hardline, arrogant statements about the state of the Church,
bow before the Vicar of Christ on earth, and go to work in the wider vineyard of the Lord.

I am amazed that on their USA website, they put everything from the Council (II) in the same basket, ignoring what is the bulk of the whole thing, simply restatement of Tradition. On top of that, they brand saints such as St. Josemaria Escriva phoney simply because they spoke of the universal call to holiness, and that being in the Council, it must be wrong, conveniently forgetting, "You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is pefect.", and so on. Escriva, in fact, said the old Mass till the day he died, and his traditional practice of corporal mortification is anything but VII generation stuff. I could go on. SSPX needs to reel in the rhetoric.

We will be judged on each word.

Whats Up! said...

This sounds very workable for a concrete regularisation.

Anonymous said...

"...through the formation of traditional priests [STOP] AND by preparing them for a teaching in conformity with their formation."

The second half sounds like they will be prepared for recognizing the problematic parts of the documents of VII in the hermenutic of continuity.

- On the other, the SSPX still considering that certain passages of the teaching of Vatican II cannot be reconciled with the preceding Magisterium, it could discuss it, as long as it:

- abstains as a matter of principle from [discussing them in] the mass media;

Sorry, no can do.

- does not establish itself as a parallel magisterium;

Never had any intention of doing so, but need our own bishop for obvious reasons.

- always presents the objections in a positive and constructive manner

That sounds like EWTN white-washing to me. Nope. Gotta call a spade a spade.

- bases all its analyses on deep and wide theological bases.

Always (generally) do.

RJH

Mike F. said...

How about if the Holy Father directed SSPX to provide him a draft for a proposed Syllabus of Errors found in the false interpretations of the documents of V2? The final copy would go out under his signature so both sides would work together to hammer out what specifically constitutes the Hermeneutics of Continuity/Rupture as it relates to the actual documents of V2. Stop with the vague and nebulous and get to specifics.

Richard malcolm said...

Hello Matt,

"Okay, then from the tone of the letter on its face, it would seems Rome wants the SSPX to step out of its purity and enter into the contamination of the Church in general."

Certainly that's how many SSPXers think now, unfortunately. And I'm sure you're correct that they'll receive it that way.

None of us questions that Rome is still infested with modernism. But for us traditionalists who have chosen to fight it out inside, this attitude of some in the Society - not all, but some - seems to come to this: "Only we are pure. Only we have the Truth. Anyone not in the Society is contaminated." Including other traditionalists, even if they exclusively attend, say, an FSSP, IBP or ICR mass.

The SSPX has done much for Catholic Tradition. I wish they might more open-mindedly consider if they could not now do more in some reasonable position (and yes, the devil is in the details) of reconciliation.

Dorothy B said...

This seems to be in harmony with Ecclesia Dei's earlier declaration on the state of things with the SSPX, which you published on 27th October 2012. I like Archbishop di Noia's approach: it is spiritual, gentle and practical. His letter strikes me as an expression of love and an appeal to love.

Kenneth J. Wolfe said...

More from Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., and less from Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, is the only way any kind of deal will realistically be made.

Corey F. said...

I love that the SSPX can critique V2 with the proviso that it "bases all its analyses on deep and wide theological bases."

One of the problems seems to be that they have been doing this all along; it's the conciliar Church that has decided to invoke V2 with a sort of sacrosanctity as though its constitutions were self-evident. (Of course, it's rather difficult to critique something formulated on shallow and narrow theological bases with deep and wide ones.)

chaimbeul said...

I think that Bp. Fellay already gave his answer, at least implicitly, in his conference on Dec. 28. The SSPX will not reconcile.

Etienne said...

The letter's tone is very nice and all, and I'd really love to see SSPX fully reintegrated as they deserve. But "both parties [must make] an examination of conscience focused on humility, docility, patience, charity". Even if everyone in the SPPX could do it (and there may be a few that could find it difficult), can you imagine mainstream Bishops being "humble, docile, patient and charitable" towards the SSPX? It's never going to happen from "both parties"!

Francis said...

Very true Kenneth. Yet my opinion has always been that if His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was truly serious about restoring Catholic orthodoxy and tradition to the Church while "regularizing" the FSSPX he would never have appointed a devout modernist and liberal like Gerhard Müller to the CDF, or listened to the modernist wolves in the Curia and changed the so called "doctrinal preamble" to appease these liberals when an agreement between he and the SSPX seemed to be immenent. The Holy Father, being an architect of the Second Vatican Council, will sadly go to his grave IMHO defending its modernist "theology".

Father Anthony Cekadaw said...

If the substance of the comments attributed to Abp. De Noia is accurate, he seems to have been a good pick for nudging the negotiations along and trying to close the deal.

It looks like the archbishop really did his homework, because he's appealing to precedents in SSPX's history: its original stated purpose of forming priests, abstention from public polemics and adopting a constructive tone (the 1988 accord), and Abp. Lefebvre's and SSPX's self-image of the organization as Jesuit-like shock troops against modernism ("join the official rescue corps," says di Noia).

It is a clever, positive and very diplomatic approach.

Whether SSPX will buy it is still anyone's guess, but it shows that the Vatican is still serious about going forward, despite even the seeming deal breaker of Bp. Fellay's recent comments on "Our Chosen Friends."

dcs said...

One of the problems seems to be that they have been doing this all along

No, actually they have not. There's lots of talk of the "errors of Vatican II," little talk of what those errors actually are, and still less talk of what the supposedly erroneous statements of Vatican II contradict.

chaimbeul said...

Fr. Cekada,

With respect, the SSPX are not going to "buy it" under any conditions whatsoever. Rome can offer them whatever they want, and they will not accept it. What it comes down to is Bishop Fellay finding the appropriate reasons for not reconciling, which can, at times, be difficult. If all else fails, he can always use the reason that "Rome still hasn't converted." The SSPX will not reconcile.

Adeodatus said...

I have an idea for the SSPX: why don't they huddle within their citadel while all around them Christendom burns and collapses. That sounds like a winning strategy.

Qui audet adipiscitur.

mundabor said...

This is the same old story.

"We are corrupt, come to us and corrupt yourselves in order for us to try to become pure".

Di Noia probably has good intentions, but he is honouring his name (noia = boredom).

In the end, the Vatican knows perfectly well without leaving the SSPX free to criticise the abominations of V II there will be no agreement; not even a practical one, let alone a doctrinal one which is very far anyway.

They know this. They know it perfectly well. If you ask me, this is the old divide et impera spiel.

Mundabor
Mundabor

Father Anthony Cekada said...

chaimbeul...

The events of the past year have taken so many zigs and zags that I hesitate to rule out anything.

On one hand, Bp. Fellay could well continue to follow the decades old "recognize-and-resist" formula vis-a-vis the Vatican without risk of losing the support of most SSPX priests and lay followers. On the other, he surely realizes that the sell-by date for a deal will last only as long as Benedict XVI is alive; after that, Bp. Fellay faces the great unknown.

Since both strains (resisting "Rome" or reconciling with it and gaining official approval) have been part of the SSPX DNA from the beginning, events as they develop (like the di Noia letter) seem to push the evolutionary process blindly along without clearly indicating where it will ultimately end up.

Alan Aversa said...

Also, the SSPX would lose its raison d'être if it ceased discussing the "the teaching[s] of Vatican II cannot be reconciled with the preceding Magisterium". If Abp. Di Noia's letter actually says this, then it's certainly a victory for the SSPX in terms of the doctrinal talks, but not yet a success for their regularization.

Joseph said...

Adeodatus,

The citadel is the Chair of St. Peter, not the SSPX, which will disintegrate over time.

I agree with previous posters - the SSPX will not reconcile. They are comfortable in their own world and simply aren't interested.

Brian said...

The SSPX can continue to argue that certain teachings of Vatican II are not consistent with the preceeding Magisterium so long as their doing so is done constructively, with humility, patience, and charity; is based on deep and wide Catholic theology; does not claim its own magisterial authority; and is not seeking sensationalist publication in the mass media. Presumably the last point does not exclude publication on the SSPX website, etc., and in theological journals.

That sounds like a genuine step in a positive direction.

Laurence said...

Sorry dcs,
It isn't difficult at all to find EXACTLY what the SSPX views are on the errors of Vatican II. Go to their website, dozens of books from Angelus press or the Angleus Magazine itself. If anything, the SSPX have been quite clear as to what they find inconsistant with the Church prior to the council. It is the Church of Vatican II that is short on what it is that has to be accepted to "return" to the Church.

Long-Skirts said...

Joseph said...

"Adeodatus,

The citadel is the Chair of St. Peter, not the SSPX, which will disintegrate over time.

I agree with previous posters - the SSPX will not reconcile. They are comfortable in their own world and simply aren't interested."

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! We are preserving the True Faith!!

THE
TRADITIONALIST
KNEELERS

We are St. Joan,
Philomena, Campion.
The Faith in its whole
Is what we do champion.

We are St. Margaret,
Pearl of York,
Where the bowels of the Faith
They tried to torque.

We are Sir More,
That’s Thomas, the Saint,
Whose reputation
They could not taint.

We are vocations,
In Catholic Church kneeling,
Adoring His presence,
It’s not just a feeling.

We are descendents
Of Martyrs and beggin’
To stop all the men
Who are turning us pagan!

We are the poor,
Uneducated ones,
But in faith, well-informed,
The heretic shuns.

And when we are told,
“Don’t kneel anymore.”
Since we don’t hold doctorates…
We kneel and IGNORE!!

Christopher said...

Ironically, some priests in the IBP had been under attack from PCED because they were serious about criticizing Vatican II in a "constructive manner".

Mar said...

At present there is in the Church - or on the fringes of the Church if you want to be blunt - a group who have been distinguishing, defining, clarifying and defending
certain key principles and teachings of the Church, and hence the Truth, for quite some time, and are insisting that they intend to keep on doing so. During that time no-one else in the Church has seemed to be interested in doing the same unless in a piecemeal, desultory and random manner.
No-one else has wished to keep certain vitally important issues in public view or has been prepared to dig in their heels and
fight for those issues, not ceding one iota.

So to my mind it is manifestly unjust and quite insulting to now sum up what they have done and are doing with the projected words: "Only we are pure. Only we have the Truth. Anyone not in the Society is contaminated."

An analogous situation would be where someone has tried to wash himself on a regular basis, and has tried to educate himself on a regular basis only to be accused
by others that he considers himself the only one to be clean and to be well educated. We know that that simple scenario has been extremely common in the history of
mankind and is even now common in many parts of the world. So, should one stop taking the job of keeping themselves clean and educating themselves seriously in
order to 'fit in'? I think not.

There is an easy answer to the perceived notion of "Only we are pure. Only we have the Truth. Anyone not in the Society is contaminated." And it is: "Go thou and do likewise". Fight for the purity of Faith and against the danger of contamination as countless saints have done in the past. Fight for the Truth, fight to bring it out into the open and to the attention of those from whom it has been hidden, whether
deliberately or not. Be prepared to fight to the death, show that you are serious.

For the record, I'm not a member of the SSPX, but I do think that one should give credit where it is due. Charity demands that one should refrain from showing the
deeds of others in the worst possible light.

Sixupman said...

'Good cop bad cop' tactics ++ de Noia and ++Muller, not to mention the interventions of +++s Koch and Kasper. Also, as previously mentioned, even if a deal was done, what of the 'Local Ordinaries' and their attitudes, not only to SSPX, but to all formal 'trad' orders and diocesan clergy of similar sympathies.

Who exactly broke the agreement regarding Fribourg and Econe, none other than the 'Local Ordinary' and the clique of Modernist bishops?

JabbaPapa said...

A very positive step from Abp Di Noia -- separating the Riposte Catholic chaff from the wheat as best I can, it seems that the Archbishop has very diplomatically yet very pointedly reminded the SSPX and its theologians that strictly theological discussions of questions such as the contested areas of the Vatican II documents do not properly belong in the public arena.

The blind spot that the SSPX has in relation to this question is very strange.

There is NOTHING wrong, in principle, in any theological discussion of any non-infallibles contained in those documents -- but there is CERTAINLY something wrong in creating any appearance that a rebellion against the Magisterium can be "justified".

Justifying rebellion will lead Catholics astray, will create confusion in the minds and souls of the faithful, and it will foster division rather than Holy Communion.

Donum Veritatis (11) : Never forgetting that he is also a member of the People of God, the theologian must foster respect f[o]r them and be committed to offering them a teaching which in no way does harm to the doctrine of the faith.

The freedom proper to theological research is exercised within the Church's faith. Thus while the theologian might often feel the urge to be daring in his work, this will not bear fruit or "edify" unless it is accompanied by that patience which permits maturation to occur. New proposals advanced for understanding the faith "are but an offering made to the whole Church. Many corrections and broadening of perspectives within the context of fraternal dialogue may be needed before the moment comes when the whole Church can accept them" . Consequently, "this very disinterested service to the community of the faithful", which theology is, "entails in essence an objective discussion, a fraternal dialogue, an openness and willingness to modify one's own opinions".


The work of the theologian is like that of the sheepdog -- always with the flock, always obedient to the Pastor, always careful to keep the flock together in unity, and ultimately a part of the flock too, notwithstanding the occasional barking or growling at it. It is a relationship based on love.

Donum Veritatis (21) : The living Magisterium of the Church and theology, while having different gifts and functions, ultimately have the same goal: preserving the People of God in the truth which sets free and thereby making them "a light to the nations". This service to the ecclesial community brings the theologian and the Magisterium into a reciprocal relationship. The latter authentically teaches the doctrine of the Apostles. And, benefiting from the work of theologians, it refutes objections to and distortions of the faith and promotes, with the authority received from Jesus Christ, new and deeper comprehension, clarification, and application of revealed doctrine. Theology, for its part, gains, by way of reflection, an ever deeper understanding of the Word of God found in the Scripture and handed on faithfully by the Church's living Tradition under the guidance of the Magisterium. Theology strives to clarify the teaching of Revelation with regard to reason and gives it finally an organic and systematic form.

DM said...

Di Noia's words are more constructive than some, but there are still cross purposes at work. The Vatican position seems to be "we think there's a crisis, you think there's a crisis, so what's not to like?" But there is a lot of difference of opinion about what the crisis is. When the Wotyla/Ratzinger generation talk about the crisis, they focus on sexual ethics, liturgical abuse and vocations. They are happy so long as groups like the Franciscans of the Renewal are talking about marriage, saying the novus ordo without any funny business and getting vocations. When the SSPX talk about the crisis, they talk about ecumenism, religious liberty, at the doctrinal content of the new liturgy. I can't see a situation where every SSPX priest in the world would remain publicly silent while the Pope takes part in interfaith prayer meetings.

Novus Ordo Priest said...

Thank you Long Skirts, your poetry is a joy to read, and as usual you hit the nail on the head. I am in the thick of Novus Ordo land, with no connection with the SSPX at all. And from where I am standing the SSPX looks like a beacon of safety and sanity, let me tell you. St Pius X, pray for us.

Picard said...

Dear Long-skirts:

That was it what I meant some days ago: here you are defending the sspx and you are angry that someone blamed them in saying "The citadel is the Chair of St. Peter, not the SSPX," etc.

And you replied: "...We are preserving the true faith"

But you do the same what you accuse others of with H.E Bf. Williamson and his "gang" (calling them Judases etc.). And they will answer the same thing:
"We are only preserving the true faith - without any compromise with NewRome"

That is very shamefull and sad!

The fight between the sspx and Rome will get harder after the recent events (letter of DiNoia, etc. And btw. have you read what di Noia said some time ago about "living documents" - he is as modernistic as Müller is!!!)

Williamson and his "gang" was right all along (like Mc Farland here and few others): You can not trust Rome, they are so deeply attached to modernism, that they are blind.

But you go on blaming Williamson and Co.

Oh, don´t we see what the Vatican played a game (dived a conquer...)

Oh, the Three were right all alonge.

It was them having prudence and real supranatural spirit. That is so obviouse. But....

[I beg the moderators again to let this comment be published - that is a very grave and necessary discussion. The fight is getting clearer. It is very important to see all this!]

Picard said...

Here is the quote of di Noia, mentioned in my last comment:

"I often say that what Council Fathers intended doesn’t matter because it’s how you apply it today that matters. It’s a living document."

Not only "living tradition" but also now "living documents"!!!!


http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/archbishop-dinoia-ecclesia-dei-and-the-society-of-st.-pius-x/#ixzz2IQTKukvl

That´s pure relativism, modernism. It is "Gadamerianism", "Diltheyism", modern German relativistic hermeneutics!

Like btw. that of Canatlamessa, on 14. Dec. - see here on Rorate! - where he btw. expressely pointed to GADAMER, see there!!!

Kathleen said...

This appears to be simply an opening move of sorts to smooth over things enough that those involved can begin to think about talking again.

As such, it's welcome.

I'd also echo Mr. Wolfe in hoping to see more of the efforts of Abp. Di Noia rather than the alternative.

Tom said...

Novus Ordo Priest said..."And from where I am standing the SSPX looks like a beacon of safety and sanity, let me tell you. St Pius X, pray for us."

A "beacon of safety..." Hmmm.

I guess that you have overlooked the substantial turmoil within the Society whenever you've turned to the Society for safety.

Yes, all is safe and warm within the Society.

Many Society priests, laity who assist at Society chapels and at least one bishop are enraged at the Society's "sellout" to "modernist" Rome — again, the turmoil and infighting within the Society.

But the Society is a beacon of safety. Okay. Sure.

Tom

Libera Me said...

Enough TALK! The Holy Father simply needs to ACT Unilaterally. Give the priests of the SSSPX faculties.

John McFarland said...

I think that we can find elements of a response to ++Di Noia letter in the interview of +Fellay by Fr. Lorans just posted on DICI.

There is no mention of the whole no-strings regularization travesty generated by the Vatican's double-mindedness. Bishop Fellay has explained that in conferences from Australia to Canada over the last six months, and needs to no longer.

+Fellay focuses on the centrality of the spiritual dimension in dealing with the whole situation, and the centrality of the Mass in that spiritual dimension.

But that means the Mass of all times. So implicit here is a message to ++Di Noia: we can not talk about a spiritual life or priestly formation that has anything to do with the Novus Ordo.

He also repeats and expands on what he has been saying in his conferences: the hierarchy is spiritually sick, but it is still the hierarchy, and must be treated accordingly. He does not draw the implications, but they are clear. Against the modernists: we will not deny that the hierarchy is sick. Against the Williamsonites: we can and must deal with it when and as we can.

I think it also goes without saying that the Society will continue to encourage the green shoot of interest in traditionalism that are sprouting in Rome and elsewhere.

Pace Fr. Cekada, the leadership of the Society has its principles well in hand, and is seeking with God's grace to put them into practice. But then Fr.'s basic problem is that he is afraid of the implications of the distinction between principle and practice -- that in practice, you may do the wrong thing. That is why he is a rigorist and a sedevacantist. His old adversary +Williamson and his followers are in practice much the same. These considerations inevitably bring to mind some of the words of our Savior: why are you fearful, o ye of little faith?

Basically, the Society is neither confused nor scared. Basically, practically everybody else is one or both. So in understand the problem, and above all in seeking the solution, they are men among boys.



Steve said...

"Not only "living tradition" but also now "living documents"!!!!"

I sure hope the Church is alive. I sure hope Her documents are alive.

If not, She would have remained frozen in 33 A.D. The Church evolves. That's why throughout Her life, the Mass changed, Confession changed, Confirmation rutuals changed, canons and documents were kept or discarded from century to century.

Matt said...

DM said, Question: can two members of a rescue corps work together effectively if they disagree on what the nature of the accident is?

Exactly. It would be like telling the workers at Fukushima the mess isn't really radioactive! it's just living energy found in all things.

Matt said...

Kathleen said, This appears to be simply an opening move of sorts to smooth over things enough that those involved can begin to think about talking again. As such, it's welcome. I'd also echo Mr. Wolfe in hoping to see more of the efforts of Abp. Di Noia rather than the alternative.

In the end, they are just mouthpieces for those they work for. It's the same ol' carrot-and-stick, "good cop, bad cop" routine.

Spem vultu simulat, premit altum corde dolorem. said...

"Without the SSPX, no Fraternity." Without Original Sin, no Redeemer.


Outside Observer said...

I don't understand how you can attract a group to reunite with you by telling them that they (the group) should reunite with you because you are stuck in a deep mess and they should wade in to get you out of it, all the while telling them that you and they can continue to disagree with each other on the means necessary to get you out of the mess you say you're in.

Arthur said...

Long-Skirts,

thanks for the insightful doggerel!

John McFarland said...

Mike,

The thing to understand about the founder of Opus Dei, and hence the Work itself, is that they are either hypocritical, utterly confused, or both; and that there are some obviously dubious things in the mix.

Opus Dei is an elitist organization. It is very much like the Masons, and I think that is no accident. Sometimes I wonder whether it is a Masonic organization pretending to be Catholic, or a Catholic organization pretending to be Masonic.

It speaks of the universal call to perfection and divine filiation as if the Work invented them, or at least rediscovered them after centuries.

But on the other hand, there is nothing remotely resembling a program for spiritual perfection for the supernumeraries (married members). Their very name indicates their inferior status. As regards Mass, they are entirely on their own; and any complaints about the quality of the Mass where they go is, in the eyes of the leadership, "clerical" and not to be done.

Msgr. Escriva did indeed say only the traditional Mass. But the party line for everybody else was: we will love the new Mass as much as we loved the old. As regards his saying the traditional Mass, the party line is that he was going to say the new Mass, but didn't because then Msgr. Bugnini insisted on his accepting the New Mass. (No, I am not making this up. It's in the memoirs of +Alvaro del Portillo, the Founder's second-in-command and successor.)

As for the Founder's taking the discipline, this certainly was the case in the 1930s. The topic seems to disappear after that. I haven't read the second volume of the three-volume official biography of the Founder, but the final volume certainly doesn't mention this continuing.

Last but not least, the Founder certainly viewed himself as the restorer of a "secular" spirituality that had died with St. John Chrysostom. As the SiSiNoNo piece that you've probably read says, there is only one Christian spirituality. Furthermore, this secular spirituality has quasi-gnostic overtones, proclaiming that the secular Opus Dei elite will somehow lift earthly life up to God.

In a way, the bottom line is the piece that Msgr. Ocariz, a member of the Vatican side of the discussions with the SSPX, and second-in-command in the Work, wrote a year or so ago. Leaving aside everything else, the Work is on the side of the modernists.

St. Christopher said...

The problem with any reconciliation is the post-Vatican II formation and implementation of the "Office of Bishops." This make-up entity is hostile to anything Traditional, with very few exceptions. Bishops routinely disrespect the Vatican, even direct requests from the Holy Father. The SSPX must reconcile with the Pope, it is true, before it hardens against the Church. Recent divisions within the SSPX itself show the "True Believer" mentality of breakaway groups, which continually supports more and more division by the self-proclaimed "purer" members. However, the SSPX needs its own bishops or it will be crushed. No dissent will be permitted. Bishops are all about power and "obedience". Look at the situation in the Diocese of Arlington, where there are some brave pastors that permit the TLM (but many, many more that act as if the bishop is far more important than conformity to Summorum Pontificum). No altar rails, and many pastors that still insist on no genuflecting. The SSPX does need to integrate, but with hard and firm guarantees of structural independence from local ordinaries.

Ryan Cortes said...

Let's pray for the SSPX as they prepare to make their consecration to St. Joseph on 19 March 2013. May this consecration bear concrete fruit not just for the SSPX but for the entire Church. It is my fervent hope that as they entrust themselves to St. Joseph, they would also learn to trust another Joseph who by the grace of God is successor of St. Peter.

Barbara said...

"+Fellay focuses on the centrality of the spiritual dimension in dealing with the whole situation, and the centrality of the Mass in that spiritual dimension.

But that means the Mass of all times. So implicit here is a message to ++Di Noia: we can not talk about a spiritual life or priestly formation that has anything to do with the Novus Ordo."

Bulls eye! Thank you for your analysis Mr. McFarland. And the FSSPX are not the only ones (now more than ever) who have problems with most of the leadership in the Church at the present moment. It takes some audacity to say that many of them are spiritually sick but what other explanation is there when faced with such evasive behaviour from them? On the one hand they admit the Church is in crisis and on the other they deny the true causes that were generated by the implementaion of the novelties that came out of the Second Vatican Council. It is tedious to hear continuously that it wasn't the Council but the wrong interpretation of it. They say that and nothing is ever really done at a significant level to correct these "wrong interpretations" except from the Holy Father from whom we obtained Summorum Pontificum. I wonder what really goes on in the minds of these leaders when they consider the present state of the Church? The salvation of souls? Honestly, this state of affairs is agonizing! What must Our Lord think?

Dave K said...

What is this talk of the "Mass of all Times"? Is this supposed to denote the Mass as codified by Pius V in the 1500's and changed numerous times since then? How could this be the Mass of all times if the Church goes back to the Apostolic age? Aren't there numerous rites within the Church celebrated in various languages? Are they not all true Masses? Elevating one rite over another is divisive and unCatholic.

Kathleen said...

Matt,

Yes, the "good cop, bad cop" dynamic has been so pronounced that one is hard pressed to allow the chance that it might not be deliberate.

But, just assuming it is deliberate, that does not mean that Bishop Fellay must allow himself and his Society to be played. And it fact it seems to be the case that he is not.

One may, with the help of God, turn an opportunity for civil discourse to good use in spite of the intentions of the other party.

One may, given opportunity and the help of God, even convert enemies.

It is the story of Christ's Church.

Anonymous said...

Lets try for a little honesty: the only purpose of the Society is to congratulate itself for being separate from Rome. Weaving crackpot politics, anti-Semitism of varying degrees of viciousness, and conspiracy theories together with an untrained clergy and make-believe bishops is a recipe for disaster--and not one that is excused because someone posts a liturgical dance video.

Brendan

Mike said...



Mr. McFarland,

With all due respect, we've been through this before.

I have been around Opus Dei for about 26 years, and so my experience is first-hand.

The Church is a large vineyard. During the crisis, beginning in the late 60s, there was a crossroads presented to each Catholic, and to each Catholic institution, or group. Some, many, chose to leave, to shake off their vows of obedience like yesterday's news. Some, like the SSPX, chose to not bend in their fidelity to Tradition. Opus Dei, as far as I can see, chose a reasonable course of action, though you or anyone may disagree: they chose to stay with Rome even though Rome had seemed to make many, many, bad decisions. I don't think you can fault another soul for not saying "No" to the Vicar of Christ. I just don't see how you can do it. Perhaps, in 100 years, after we're all gone to the judgment, the SSPX will be shown to have been right. Perhaps not. I do know that many Opus Dei members may not live the humilty their Founder asked for, echoing Christ, but if we are going to judge an organization by the actions of some of its members, the Catholic Church is in a lot of trouble.

Your charge of gnosticism is so beyond the pale one can't take it seriously. Ditto for the Masonic slander, which, as many Modernists have been charged with being Masons, and their efforts are hardly similar to the Work's, this charge seems driven by the illogicality of paranoia.

You don't hear much of the "discipline" from Escriva after the 30s? Perhaps that is because he suffered more from the slanders ("They are Masons, they are heretics")than he could ever inflict on his poor body.

As for supernumeraries, well, it you think daily Mass, daily Rosary, weekly Confession, daily offering up of some mortification, no plan, well, I think you're wrong. If half the Church kept to the priestly and lay formation that the Work offers, this "crisis" would have been a lot less grave.

Again, I wish you well. But I advise you and other Traditional Catholics: the "rending" and "tearing" you do with words in regard to others works and efforts in the Vineyard of the Lord hardly seems to come from a spirit of Charity.

Gregorian Mass said...

I pray this letter continues moving the process forward and allows the Pope to make eventual reunification happen under his Pontificate. The longer the separation the more the SSPX looks radical and unwilling to bend. Everyone must bend for this to work. The SSPX belongs inside the Church, and it must happen soon. There is always a way to not sacrifice your principles and yet bend. Finding the way is the next step in this. And the Holy Father's generosity and compassion for them is without end. Maybe he will recognize the Society with no formal agreement. That will move things along and put more pressure on the SSPX to find a solution acceptable to all sides. This is for the whole Church and it must happen. If they will not bend then they should release the Doctrinal Preamble and subsequent proposed agreements to the public and let them get involved putting pressure on the side who deserves it, again forcing everyone back to the table to agree and move forward. There is not other way.

Mike said...

Mr. McFarland:

Another reason you don't hear all that much about corporal mortification in Escriva's later life may be because his health was quite poor in those years. In fact, he had diabetes, and was cured of it completely at one point by Our Lady.

Being a traditional Catholic, I am sure you are aware of the guidelines concerning physical mortification.

Dismas said...

What am I missing here? If the letter was received by the SSPX at the beginning of December, haven't they already responded through Bp. Fellay's lengthy tirade given at the end of December which already appears to contradict many of the requests set forth in Abp. Di Noia's letter?

- abstains as a matter of principle from [discussing them in] the mass media;

- does not establish itself as a parallel magisterium;

- always presents the objections in a positive and constructive manner

- bases all its analyses on deep and wide theological bases.

LeonG said...

The SSPX has been doing this for many years now except with docility. This would be dangerous in the circumstances. When all is said and done and we can see this with our own eyes and read it - the councils ushered in a church with a new liturgy and based on a new paradigm of primacy of conscience with collegiality and ecumenism.

Tom said...

Libera Me said..."Enough TALK! The Holy Father simply needs to ACT Unilaterally. Give the priests of the SSSPX faculties."

His Holiness cannot do that as, in 2009 A.D., he said the following in regard to the SSPX:
In regard to the Society, on March 10, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI declared the following:

The SSPX could very well "drift away from the Church?"

"The plaited fabric of their motivations we cannot know.

Within the SSPX is found "sick elements."

While he believes that positive elements are found within the Society, he also finds that "pride and a patronizing know-it-all attitude, fixation into one-sidedness etc." exist within the Society of Saint Pius X.

Pope Benedict XVI believes that it's imperative to bring the Society into "full communion" with the Apostolic See, on his terms, of course, to "prevent radicalizations" among SSPX's members as he cannot "calmly leave them to drift away from the Church."

Unless they agree to his terms — that is natural as he is The Vicar of Christ — to obtain regularization, His Holiness cannot possibly act in one-sided fashion to appease a society of priests who, according to the Pope, propagate serious errors.

Does anybody believe that His Holiness should or would regularize a society of priests who insist that the Novus Ordo is "poison" and the Second Sacred Vatican Ecumenical Council teaches "errors"?

Tom

Fr. Bruno said...

Matt,

You wrote, "This is the attitude of liberals."

Do you mean the Holy Father?

Tom said...

Barbara said..."On the one hand they admit the Church is in crisis and on the other they deny the true causes that were generated by the implementaion of the novelties that came out of the Second Vatican Council."

Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear that the Church will not accept the notion that the Council led in any way to the crisis within the Church.

His Holiness will not accept the notion that the Novus Ordo Mass is responsible in any way for the crisis at hand.

His Holiness is willing to accept that the manner un which the Novus Ordo was implemented is responsible to a degree for the crisis...but never the Mass itself.

Tom

Katsumoto said...

Tom said:

“Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear that the Church will not accept the notion that the Council led in any way to the crisis within the Church.

“His Holiness will not accept the notion that the Novus Ordo Mass is responsible in any way for the crisis at hand.”

Then that portion of the Church which refuses to even consider the possibility that the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Mass have led in any way to the crisis within the Church are doomed. It’s that simple.

Matt said...

John McFarland said, In a way, the bottom line is the piece that Msgr. Ocariz, a member of the Vatican side of the discussions with the SSPX, and second-in-command in the Work, wrote a year or so ago. Leaving aside everything else, the Work is on the side of the modernists.

This, perhaps, explains why ++Gomez of Los Angeles, and Escrivist himself, does absolutely nothing about the nonsense going on ad nausiam in this diocese. Oddly, he made a comment recently about how Sacred Tradition should well be used in the New Evangelization. Even the SSPX praised him for that. To that, there is a deafening silence coming from the Chancery about the TLM at the Mission San Buenaventura, Ventura, CA, suddenly being shown the door. The pastor of the mission isn't taking any calls or questions about it either.

Matt said...

Katsumoto said, "Then that portion of the Church which refuses to even consider the possibility the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Mass have led in any way to the crisis within the Church are doomed. It’s that simple."

Exactly my gripe (one of them) about how the entire matter of this dichotomy between Sacred Tradition and modernism/liberalism is being handled. This is along the same lines as Pelosi and her ilk not coming to terms jacking up taxes are not the way out of this economic crisis.

Long-Skirts said...

Picard said

here you are defending the sspx and you are angry that someone blamed them in saying "The citadel is the Chair of St. Peter not the SSPX" etc.

No I didn't disagree with the citadel being the Chair of St. Peter, this is how I responded

The citadel is the Chair of St. Peter, not the SSPX, which will disintegrate over time.
I agree with previous posters - the SSPX will not reconcile. They are comfortable in their own world and simply aren't interested.

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! We are preserving the True Faith!!

I was answering Joseph that the SSPX Order is not "comfortable in their own world", etc. this priestly Order was started up by Archbishop Lefebvre to secure the future with Roman Catholic priests to preserve the True Faith.

Picard

But you do the same what you accuse others of with H.E Bf. Williamson and his "gang" (calling them Judases etc.). And they will answer the same thing:
"We are only preserving the true faith - without any compromise with NewRome

I don't see Bp. Williamson and the other disobedient ex-SSPX priests preserving the True Faith for the same reasons that the Archbishop started his Priestly Order. There was already a horrendous crisis when Archbsp. Lefebvre HAD to preserve the Priesthood for the future generations for the good of the WHOLE Church. All you have to do is look at the statistics cited in Kenneth Jones book, Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church since Vatican II plummeting numbers would be the word to describe the incredibly shrinking Catholic Church since 1965. In every area that is statistically measurable such as the number of priests, seminarians, priestless parishes and nuns the deterioration is obvious, and is the exact opposite of the trends before the Council. Since the Society started the fruits are amazing and every Rosary Crusade that Bp. Fellay started has born much good but Bp. Williamson and the ex-SSPX priests screamed of a sellout which never happened! They screamed of Bp. Fellay using the Blessed Mother and our Rosaries to get what Bp. Fellay wanted. I have listened to all their You/Tube talks and Fr. Pfeiffer actually accused Bp. Fellay of trying "to hire the Blessed Mother". And when I said Our Lord had Judas I was saying that He prepared us to never be totally shocked when someone betrays us or accuses us unjustly which Bp. Williamson did, imo and so did those few ex-SSPX priests.
I was also at the First Mass of Fr. Reuter's last June where Fr. Hewko spoke his double speak to warn all of the faithful about no agreement with Rome. At the end of his talk he mentioned the Christeros and how the day the Pope asked those men to put down their guns the very next day thousands of Christeros were martyred. He was trying to make the analogy that if we the faithful, follow Bp. Fellay and have their Order regularized then like the Christeros we will all be martyred. WHAT he didn't realize was that, though the Pope was not properly informed, he did not ask the Christeros to commit sin...and being good, obedient Catholic men they obeyed and unfortunately were martyred. Since Vatican II many of us have had to listen to heresy in our Churches, our schools, where they tried to teach my older children perverted sexual practices, force me to take Our Lord in my hands and on and on so we MUST say no when commanded to sin but having talks with Rome and the Society is a good and we will continue to practice the Faith and pray and pray and give our children to their Seminaries, Convents, Monasteries and Schools.


Long-Skirts said...

Tom said:

" at least one bishop are enraged at the Society's "sellout" to "modernist" Rome — again, the turmoil and infighting within the Society.
But the Society is a beacon of safety. Okay."

There will always be flawed men and factions everywhere but they are not the majority within the Society and yes, Tom, the Society is a "beacon of safety." And when the time does come and they are justly regularized there will hopefully be all the other many Traditional Orders, i.e., FSSP, ICK, etc. who will continue to grow and oh, will there be a good size group of Traditional Priests.

...EVERLASTING

The garden, the garden, everything the garden
Where born we live to die with pardon.

Holy Water
Is the blood
Streaming through our stems
Since bud.

Sacrament
Fertilizes
When full bloomed
The world despises.

Penanced petals
Prepped to fall
Garden requiem
Does call.

Other souls
In soil His seed
To the gardened
Blossomed breed.

Incensing all
With perfumed prayer
As gardener trims
And prunes with care.

For winter comes
And colors fade
But scent can't die
It leaves as bade.

While once bloomed plant
Withers no sound
A mulch for soil
And seeds in ground.

'Till back with scent
On harvest day
Together forever
...Everlasting bouquet!

Mar said...

Tom said that Pope Benedict XVI declared the following: "Within the SSPX is found "sick elements."

I for one do not believe that HH said that. I believe that if he were to say something along those lines he would have said: "Within the SSPX are found "sick elements."

Tom also quoted HH in finding that "pride and a patronizing know-it-all attitude, fixation into one-sidedness etc." exist within the Society of Saint Pius X.

Tom, can you give a reference to that quote? Where does the Holy Father say that?

Allenby said...

Dear members of SSPX, do you never feel uneasy about your individual position, disunited from the visible sheepfold, knowing better than the living magisterium?

Dear souls, Holy Mother Church has a wisdom which is not less wise than yours.