Rorate Caeli

Fellay: "To defend the faith, to keep the faith, to die in the faith, this is the essential thing!"

The following is from the sermon by Bishop Bernard Fellay for the priestly ordination of Father Bertrand Lundi, on January 27, 2013, at the Church of Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet. A partial English translation was published on the website of the US District of the SSPX on Feb. 1 and the full translation was placed on DICI today. The French text can be found here


We are living in an age in which this faith is abused, attacked, slashed, everywhere, outside the Church and inside as well.  It will be one of your duties, after the Mass, to impart this faith, to communicate it to souls, so as to lift them above human realities and to lead them toward the reality of God.  And this faith will also have to be defended.

This is our history, the story of the Society, and of our founder. And this history, by dear brothers, continues.  I would even say that, in comparison with this sublime reality, talking about whether or not to reach an agreement with Rome is something trivial.  To defend the faith, to keep the faith, to die in the faith, this is the essential thing!  We get the impression that the Roman authorities do not understand us, because they have not understood that we are ready to lose everything in order to keep this Catholic faith.  We absolutely do not want to let this faith go.  Now unfortunately (and this is a fact that we can observe every day), with the Council, through the Council, and in the Council, some poisons were introduced that are harmful to the faith;  they lead souls into error and no longer defend them, no longer defend them in their faith.  We denounce this fact, and this is why they condemn us.  Even today, the condition that they want to impose on us in order to recognize us with the title “Catholic” is to accept those very same things that demolish the faith. But we cannot, and that is all, quite simply. In no case do we agree to diminish what is absolutely essential in order to go to Heaven:  the faith, with all its consequences. That is why this combat is necessary, an everyday combat.

60 comments:

wl weber said...

Well, if the Cardinal Archbishop of Cologne says it's okay for us to have the Morning After Pill, why bother with all those Old Cathoic Rules? He's a Cardinal, so he must know what he's talking about. I wonder if gay Marriage is okay in Cologne too?

Dave K said...

Bishop Fellay needs to explain how an ecumenical council's teaching which was ratified by the Pope can teach error or poison the Faith. Doesn't this opinion of his place him outside Catholic orthodoxy? If the Pope and the bishops united with him throughout the world can unwittingly lose the Faith and pass on some counterfeit version of Christianity in its place isn't the very notion of the doctrinal authority of the Church called into question? Of what value is a Council or the office of the Pope. Fellay is admitting the Protestants were correct.

Jim said...

God bless His Excellency, Bishop Fellay. May he always speak the truth and defend the Catholic Faith.

sspxwatch said...

Every schismatic in history
has claimed their revolt was in order
to "keep the (true)faith."
Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.


HSE said...

Well said, good Bishop!

Common Sense said...

Dear Dave K,

You would be correct if Bishop Fellay repeated something that the Church didn't do in the past. But the potent factor remains that the Church did indeed practise this kind of teaching for over nineteen centuries and always condemned what the modern Church has been implementing for the last fifty years. To tamper with sound reason and introduce hints of ambiguity into our holy religion equates to folly and becomes intrinsically evil. When Our Lord said that "the gates of hell shall not prevail", that only applies to some greener branches of the Church - because, as Holy Scripture has it, before the advent of the Antichrist, apostasy will have appeared.

We have heard this mantra "obey, obey, comrade, and don't ask questions" from our religious apparatus countless times before. You surely recall the temptation of Christ by the devil: "If you be the Son of God, throw yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple, because it is written that the angels will take care of you, lest you dash your foot against a stone." We continuously witness this satanic impertinence dribbled through the mouths of so many high-ranking churchmen who would like us to embark on the road to destruction. For that reason, you are simply wrong.

Dave K said...

Common Sense,
It is the SSPX that claims the teachings of Vat2 are incompatible with prior Church teaching. The Church tells us that Vat2 is in line with the traditional faith. As Catholics who are we to believe?
It would have done Luther, or any other infamous heretic or schismatic well if they had blindly obeyed their religious superiors. The heresies and schisms would have been avoided. Is the SSPX now the exception to the rule?

Dismas said...

"While the Holy See patiently awaits an official response from the Fraternity, some of its superiors employ language, in unofficial communications, that to all the world appears to reject the very provisions, assumed to be still under study, that are required for the reconciliation and for the canonical regularization of the Fraternity within the Catholic Church"......

"Those, therefore, who are outside the Church do not have the Holy Spirit” (Epistle 185 §50). These are chilling words: one who is an enemy of unity becomes an enemy of God, for he rejects the gift that God has bestowed on us. “What proof is there that we love the brotherhood?” St. Augustine asks."

+ J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P.,
Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, to the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bp. Fellay, and all the priests of the Society Advent 2012

Common Sense said...

To Dave K,

Yes, that's correct, the SSPX is the exception. V II was a velvet revolution within the Church. Luther was just a precursor. If Luther practised in his day what the SSPX now does, he'd probably be declared a saint. Folly in religious matters is not only a deficiency but also an evil. The loosely concocted scripts of V II are the catalysts of an evil which implanted itself on the Holy Church centuries ago.

JTLiuzza said...

It is VII that is the exception to the rule. What other council in Church history produced documents with such ambiguity?

I'm no scholar on such matters by any means but I have eyes.

You say that the Church tells us that VII is in line with the traditional faith. But to simply say it is without any further clarity is puzzling. When will Holy Mother Church erase the gray of VII and clarify in black and white as She has with all other councils?

Talking about the hermeneutic of continuity is fine but I'm still waiting for the Church to specifically, clearly, completely, and unambiguously link each and ever word of each and every conciliar document to tradition.

This must occur because that is the Catholic way. There is no way around it. If it could be done, it would already have been done.

Young Catholic said...

Dave K,

I've yet to see any proof that Vat2 is in line with traditional Church teaching. Little details such as the fact that six Protestant ministers collaborated in the planning of the New Mass (George, Jasper, Shepherd, Kunneth, Smith and Thurian - look 'em up) and the fact that there are so many confused Catholics around who have no idea what their faith is even about is enough to put me off.

Luther preached something new entirely. The SSPX preaches what the Church always did before. Not a particularly good comparison to draw.

JTLiuzza said...

I would add that the words of His Excellency in this post move me to fidelity. Not to the SSPX but to the faith and to God's Church.

God bless our wonderful Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI but may we one day soon be even more blessed with a Pope who speaks of the gift of the Church and our beautiful faith with such vigor, clarity, and totality as Bishop Fellay has here. That is how men should speak, particularly men who are Bishops.

Michael Sestak said...

By all appearances, Bishop Fellay is a schismatic. And...by all appearances, the Bread is only bread.

Catholics who are confused in this crisis have only ignorance to blame.

The Society upholds Catholic doctrine. Let the SSPX wear the labels and abuse like a badge of honor. As time passes, the 'Lefebvrites' will continue to be called rebels; the 'Conservatives' will continue to be called racists.

Christ was called names, too. Blessed are you who suffer persecution...

Catherine of Siena said...

"Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" - well said, and well worth repeating. To claim that a Holy Pontiff could direct the Roman Catholic faithful to assist at an invalid and illicit Mass, and to say that the Sacraments, when administered as directed by the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church are also invalid - this is open and brazen heresy. Again, the SSPX clergy are forbidden by the Pope from administering the Catholic Sacraments under penalty of the gravest mortal sin, and they are also forbidden from offering public Masses, and from presenting themselves as Roman Catholic priests in good standing. They openly and brazenly defy the Roman Pontiff every single day.

John L said...

Luther did not appeal to the earlier teaching of popes and ecumenical councils and uphold their claims as true. He appealed to his own personal interpretation of the Holy Scriptures taken on their own. That is the difference.

Warren A. said...

We either stand with Peter or stand apart. The Pope has the keys to the Kingdom, not Lefebvre nor Fellay.

JabbaPapa said...

The Holy See will, at one point, have to start more direct pastoral negociations with the faithful in the SSPX clergy, rather than trying to continue pandering to the open heretics who are leading them and millions of faithful laity into error and schism.

Perhaps it is time to start thinking about elevating the FSSP to the status of Personal Prelature.

Barbara said...

DaveK - if you can, take a look at the works of Michael Davies, and Romano Amerio (Iota Unum). The scales fell from my eyes after reading that book, (written by a man of outstanding faith, intelligence aand humanity) - and I understood my years of discomfort (and disgust sometimes) at so of many of the things in the post-conciliar Church. A lot was changed in the Church after the Council, Dave. This is a fact. There are others too that you can check - Von Hildebrand, for example - The Devastated Vineyard - the Trojan Horse in the City of God...just to begin with...

I like Bishop Fellay:" To defend the faith, to keep the faith, to die in the faith, this is the essential thing!"

Yes, dear Bishop, - and all the rest is conversation.

Common Sense said...

Dear Warren,

Well said. We've been standing with Peter 260 times throughout history. It's imperative to subscribe to that impressive number for the Holy Father himself. In any case, ignorance doesn't justify your comment. Slaves who never experience freedom wouldn't understand its effects, neither would a blind person understand the notion of colour.

The Bones said...

'Thou art Peter and upon this rock...keys to the Kingdom of Heaven...'etc

It is important to believe that in order to reach Heaven, no?

mundabor said...

This is a great man, and no mistake.

May the SSPX continue to grow and prosper, whatever the Vatican throws at them.

Mundabor

Tom said...

I always read threads that pertain to the SSPX.

However, the Society's seemingly endless ping-pong game with Rome is boring.

The Society's game is as boring as ecumenism and "interfaith dialogue".

It is always the same with the Society..."Dear friends, Rome says that we must give them "X"...sorry, we won't do that."

Okay. Fine. Then remain suspended a divinis.

Everybody...each Catholic...any non-Catholic who wishes to enjoy 100 percent peace with Holy Mother Church must accept the Roman Pintiff's teachings.

It is that simple.

To put in easy terms, the Pope calls the shots. The Roman Pontiff calls the shots.

Always has. Always will.

Fine, Bishop Fellay. Don't grant "X" to Rome. In turn, Rome won't grant you regularization.

Even worse than that, things go end very, very badly for the Society. Very badly.

Either knock it off and give "X" to Rome or suffer the consequences.

It is that simple.

Tom

Forever Faithful said...

Here, here, Michael Sestak! How I wish the faithful who believe themeslves to be against the SSPX could just take the time to understand what the SSPX is really all about. Many eyes would be opened!

Actually, the recent words of H.E. Bp Charles Morerod preach for the Society: nonCatholic Christians are welcome in the Catholic churces in my charge... but NOT the SSPX. I think that pretty much says it all! Hmmmm... now that I think about it, I am quite certain that all the popes before Vat II would have have a word for people such as Bp Charles Morerod ... and that word would not have been "hermaneutic of continuity" nor "you have kept the Faith. You have fought the good fight..." nor "you have handed on what you have received"!

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth said...

This highly polemical homily presents difficulties on a number of levels but the one which is most concerning is that several of its formulations are clearly erroneous or lacking in doctrinal clarity. Bishop Fellay states that "The Mass is a meal, a celebration…. To say in this way that the Mass is a meal is condemned by the Church." While it is certainly true that the Mass is much more than a meal and it is heretical to not state that it is also a true sacrifice, it is also inaccurate to exclude the constant teaching of the Church that it is also a meal. How would Bishop Fellay explain the classic text of St Thomas 'O Sacrum Convivium': “O Sacred Banquet, in which Christ becomes our food, the memory of his passion is celebrated, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is given to us.”?

Long-Skirts said...

The Bones said...

"'Thou art Peter and upon this rock..."

UPON
THIS
ROCK

Weary, weary,
On this earth
Shielding souls
Beyond their worth.

Few are grateful
Some regress
Others proud
They won't confess

When the waves
Break on the shore
Warning them
What is before.

Established
You stand on this rock
'Gainst the gales
'Fore those who mock

Facing squalls
They cannot see
But all behold
Your bended knee.

Few will follow
Some deny
Oblivious
They won't comply.

Then a blue moon
Saffron sun
Come together
Almost one.

Fingers blessed
With Holy Oil
You lift the Light…
Sun moon recoil.

Blinding many
Opening eyes
Contradiction
Most despise.

But on this rock
Eroded-rife
You stand your ground
Opposing strife.

Between the storms
And sheep you block
The tempest winds
That hurt the flock.

With outstretched arms
The daily crux
You nail the Truth
So not in flux

Never will lie
Only can free
Upon this rock
Catholicity.

"To defend the faith, to keep the faith, to die in the faith, this is the essential thing!" +Bp. Fellay.

“The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists.” – St. Pope Pius X

Matt said...

Dismas said, "Those, therefore, who are outside the Church do not have the Holy Spirit” (Epistle 185 §50). These are chilling words: one who is an enemy of unity becomes an enemy of God, for he rejects the gift that God has bestowed on us. “What proof is there that we love the brotherhood?” St. Augustine asks."

Blah blah. They love to pull that out their biretta against the SSPX but they sing a different tune when when it comes to the Jews and whomever else in their ecumenical distorts.

Matt said...

Michael Sestak said, "By all appearances, Bishop Fellay is a schismatic, and... by all appearances, the Bread is only bread.

Catholics who are confused in this crisis have only ignorance to blame.

The Society upholds Catholic doctrine. Let the SSPX wear the labels and abuse like a badge of honor. As time passes, the 'Lefebvrites' will continue to be called rebels; the 'Conservatives' will continue to be called racists.

Christ was called names, too. Blessed are you who suffer persecution..."


That's right. If they did it to Our Blessed Lord, can we expect any less? Even the "Escrivists" still have their detractors to this day and they're IN.

Mike said...


While I am deeply sympathetic to Fellay, he must realize, sooner or later, that he is not the Bishop of Rome, and hence the Pastor of the Universal Church.

Fidus et Audax said...

" Warren A. said...

We either stand with Peter or stand apart. The Pope has the keys to the Kingdom, not Lefebvre nor Fellay."

Well said Warren and also don't forget the others that also DON'T hold the keys to the kingdom Mahony, Shonborn, Joachim Meisner and dozens and dozens of other prominent and borderline if not completely heretical bishops in the Church. And by the way, there is a lot of wisdom to Bishops Fellay's words so I patiently wait until the SSPX is fully recognized by the Church, in the meantime, he's a lot closer then those names you forgot to mention.

GMMF said...

My previous post didn't show up for some reason, but this is the same position as that of the USCCB. See here

http://old.usccb.org/prolife/issues/abortion/ecfact.shtml

And directive 36 here:

http://old.usccb.org/bishops/directives.shtml

Patrick Langan said...

Bishop Fellay states that some poisons were introduced through VII. In today's epistle St Paul speaks of the afflictions he had to bear! The Society of St Pius X are brave, faithful and courageous, they are truly orthodox Roman Catholics, God bless Archbishop Lefebvre ! You are our brothers and sisters do not abandon us we need you desperately join us and be brave, fight where you need to fight, with us not on the sidelines. Thou art Peter and upon this rock !!!!!

Catherine of Siena said...

I was a friend of Michael Davies. Michael was never a member of the SSPX; he remained loyal to the Holy See throughout his life. He was a leader of Una Voce and the traditionalist movement WITHIN the Roman Catholic Church. If he had not been called home to God so prematurely, I know that Michael would have been an effective mediator in the attempts being made by this Holy Pontiff to reconcile the SSPX to the Church.

I would like to add, importantly, AGAIN, that the SSPX clergy, except where the penitent is in immediate danger of death, DO NOT HAVE THE POWER TO ABSOLVE SIN. And Roman Catholics who present themselves to SSPX clergy in order to receive the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony are committing grave mortal sin, and their marriages are spiritually invalid according to the Law of the Roman Catholic Church, which is the Law of God, although they are, of course, legally valid in the secular world. I repeat: marriages performed in SSPX chapels are not only gravely illicit, therefore sinful for all who participate, but they are also INVALID for Roman Catholics. In their hearts, the SSPX clergy know this. The Truth always resonates on the soul. They may try to steel themselves against the Truth, but it will seep in... Listen to your consciences - come back to us!!!

FaithfultoGod said...

In my humble view, it may take time for the Church to deal with the issues of Vatican II. The Holy Spirit is not limited by time like we are.

My only nagging doubt about SSPX is Matthew 18:18. . . "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven." What keeps me close to SSPX is that the period of time since Vat II is not sufficient for the Church to work out the extraordinary abuses (identified as "the Spirit of Vatican II"). This is the problem verse of the Bible that pulls me to the Church. How do we really know?

Dave K said...

Once the SSPX adopted the Lutheran idea that "Popes contradict Popes and Councils contradict Councils" they undermined the doctrinal authority of the Church to teach and govern. They are then left with their own private judgment of tradition just as Luther was left with his private judgment of scripture. We all know where this leads.

John said...

It gives me pause when either clergy or lay Catholics seem to quote the Holy Spirit to prove one thing or another.

The SSPX defends truths many Popes and Councils defended. Benedict XVI teaches that V-2 documents must be interpreted in conformity with Tradition taught by past Popes and Councils. Until recently, and not insignificantly even today, rupture theology is held widely and at the highest levels in the Church.

My question is, why are we wasting time and scarce manpower to malign the SSPX when the real damage to the Faith is engineered by those who should be defending it? And in the year of Faith yet!

Tom said...

There is one proclamation that certain folks have employed repeatedly to "prove" that the SSPX's "resistance" is good and proper:

"Bishop Fellay is a great man! I mean he's a great man! Did I tell you that he's a great man? He is a great man! There! Now, take that!

"How dare you insist that the Society fall in line with the Apostolic See. Don't you know that Bishop Fellay is a great man!"

That proclamation sounds akin to the childish utterance...my dad is bigger than your dad!

Okay. Fine. Bishop Fellay is a great man.

Well, guess what? Pope Benedict XVI is a great man.

Okay. Great. Each "side" has established that "our" guy is a great man.

Wonderful. Terrific. Now, back to reality.

To obtain regularization, the Society must accept the Apostolic See's terms.

It is that simple.

Tom

P.S. Yes. Yes. We know. We know. Bishop Fellay is a great man.

Now, back to reality.

LeonG said...

A very timely and appropriate response from Bishop Fellay to the veiled threats and the accusations of "schism" and "invald Confessions" from The Vatican where anyone and everyone is welcome except The Society.

Thorin said...

If Fellay wants to impart the Faith, he needs to get right with Peter.

Adfero said...

Hands of Glora, we would love to publish more on the FSSP, but they have a policy against working with blogs. The SSPX fully grasps the power of social media and that's why they receive more attention -- at least one reason why.

Jasen said...

Catherine of Siena - do you really believe this nonsense? I grew up in the novus ordo. I went to novus ordo catholic schools my whole life. Do you know who taught me the faith? It was the SSPX. And now you want me to come back to the conciliar church so I can lose my faith all over again. It is the SSPX that is the bastion of Tradition. The rest of these "indult" groups are a fruit of the work of the SSPX on the frontline. You're edict about invalidity is rather funny but at least I have assurance that the SSPX priests are priests. This is what a FSSP seminarian told me a few years back.

Jasen

Marsaili said...

Why would anyone (or group) need to reconcile or be in full communion with the Catholic Church when they have the "faith"? Why bother having to deal with a Church, when the SSPX is doing just fine on their own without the constraints of a fussy Church and it's hierarchy? Since the SSPX can obviously maintain it's faith just fine without the Church, there's never been a need, nor will there ever be a need, to reconcile.

pilgrim from OKC said...

Dave K
sspxwatch
Catherine of Siena
Warren A
Tom

It seems to me that what you are essentially saying to traditionalists is basically:

'Sit down and shut up. Obey, Obey, and Obey, that is all you are supposed to do. Don't think for yourselves. Don't try to use your mind, your ability to reason, to try to figure out what is going on in the Church, to try to understand what are the causes of all the chaos and confusion. Just shut up and obey, just do what you are told. Don't think for yourselves, just obey those in authority. They don't have to explain anything to you. We don't have to explain anything to you stupid traditionalists. You are wrong, just take our word for it. We don't have to address your concerns and questions and anxieties and fears. You are too stupid to understand. Just sit down and shut up.'

http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2011-0205-ferrara-gnostic-twaddle.htm

CH DUPUY said...

Tom said:
"To put in easy terms, the Pope calls the shots. The Roman Pontiff calls the shots."
Indeed!! If this were so, the SSPX and Rome would have reached an accord quite sometime ago. But it is the hierarchy inside the Roman Curia that opposes such accord, without counting the innumerable Cardinals and Bishops in Germany, Austria, France, etc. that oppose it.
If somebody says that the Pope can do it with the stroke of a pen, he is quite wrong.

CH DUPUY said...

Somebody said:
"It would have done Luther, or any other infamous heretic or schismatic well if they had blindly obeyed their religious superiors. The heresies and schisms would have been avoided."

"Martin Luther was a great theologian."
JPII

Joseph said...

The schismatic attitude is on full display in the comments. We all know where the cry of non-serviam leads. And please stop deluding yourselves that the Faith resides in your fractured little group because it resides in the Catholic Church led by the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI. Your arguments to the contrary are not only false but remarkably arrogant and increasingly boring.

Jasen said...

If a saint from yesterday were to walk into a novus ordo church today, do you think he/she would recognize this church as catholic? Would he/she recognize this "mass"? The sacraments? I don't think so.

If a novus ordo catholic were to be blindfolded and escorted into a lutheran church and the blindfold removed.....would he/she recognize this church as catholic? This "mass" as catholic? I would think so. They would feel right at home with this religion. But, if this same novus ordo catholic were to enter a SSPX chapel, would they still recognize the mass as catholic? Sacraments? The religion would be absolutely foreign to them. But if the same saint from yesterday were to enter, they would be right at home.

So what's the problem here? The SSPX or the conciliar church?

Jasen

Dave K said...

Pilgrim from OKC,
The teachings of Vat2 should be understood as being in conformity with the traditional faith. This is proved by the fact that they were approved by the bishops of the world in union with the Pope. They are the official teachers of Christian truth. There is no authority on earth superior to them. If the SSPX, or any other group or individual, cannot understand how the teaching of Vat2 agrees with past teaching that is a personal problem for them to deal with. Their understanding is at fault. If they cannot reconcile their subjective understanding of past Church teaching with that of today then, yes, they should just shut up and obey. Otherwise, they place themselves above the Church, or claim the Church to be in error. Either way, they cease to be Catholics. If they think the Church has defected they should just say so and admit the promises of Christ have failed.

Dismas said...

Matt said: "Blah blah. They love to pull that out their biretta against the SSPX but they sing a different tune when when it comes to the Jews and whomever else in their ecumenical distorts." 03 February, 2013 13:24

Matt, I don't understand your analogy? The Jews and whomever else to which you refer are not Catholic clergy. The Jews and whomever else to which you refer most likely haven't been formed in the Catholic Church, never freely sought ordination or vowed obedience and then freely chose to leave.

What comparison could you possibly be attempting to make? What do Jews and whomever else to which you refer have in common with SSPX "Catholic" clergy?

Wesley Winfield said...

Excuse me Monsignor but I think you’re jumping to conclusions needlessly! It’s quite obvious that His Excellency was not condemning those who refer to the mass as ‘a meal’. Instead, he argues that it is wrong to say that the mass is ONLY a meal. This is completely wrong! The mass is BOTH a commemoration (meal) and sacrifice. To continually place emphasis on the Holy Mass as a meal gathering is to indirectly undermine (as Luther did) the Sacrifice of the Mass.

“…without the Sacrifice, what need is there for a priesthood, what ideal does the priest strive for? The priest becomes merely a functionary designed from among the members of an assembly to offer worship, to perform a communion, to break bread.” – An address given by Archbishop Lefebvre in Canada 1975

LeonG said...

Bones said

'Thou art Peter and upon this rock...keys to the Kingdom of Heaven...'etc

It is important to believe that in order to reach Heaven, no?"

- According to the NO it is not. Pope bewnedict XVI says the jews do not need to convert aas the old covenant is still valid. The Neo-cats are fine too even though they catechise that the church had it all wrong for most of its history until thaty is Kiko came along. The NO is ready to welcome Luthernas and so on. Even Buddhists, Mahometans and others can get to heaven without The Catholic Faith so the liberal modernists keep telling us.

However, if you are a member of The SSPX you cannot be saved unless you obey the pope. Ummmmm! there seems to be a contradiction here somewhere.

Confusing times indeed!

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth said...

Wesley, I have listened to the French recording of this homily and Bishop Fellay clearly condemns the idea that the Mass is a meal. He does not offer any clarification by saying 'only a meal' or 'a meal and a sacrifice'. The Church has never taught that the Mass is just a meal, even if there are those who erroneously believe it.

In a homily that makes frequent reference to the Magisterium, it is confusing to cite the erroneous view of some, allowing the suggestion that the Church has taught error. Orthodox forces within the Church would be greatly assisted by the witness of the SSPX but they will have to deign to join the rest of us in the mess if they really want to help sort it out.

If the SSPX truly believes Benedict XVI is the pope, they are obliged to be in communion with him. The only logical conclusion from their present stand is that the SSPX is either sedevacantist or a disobedient sect that leads unsuspecting Catholics into the disobedience of schism.

Damask Rose said...

Thank you for your clarifications Mgr Wadsworth.

Thanks for comments from Dave K, Catherine of Siena and Tom.

Bishop Fellay's endless excuses for not bending to Rome are becoming tedious and his and the SSPX's lack of charity by not coming in and helping the rest of us and the FSSP, ICK, IBP, traditional Benedictine communities and so on, is deplorable.

Marie Auxiliadora said...

"Until now he has done nothing except try to please both sides not knowing which side of the fence he will end up in. Until then, he must hope a little lip service to Traditionalists will keep them from leaving the chapels."

Indeed, and then less money will come in...

Michael said...

Msgr. Wadsworth,

You said: "...they will have to deign to join the rest of us in the mess if they really want to help sort it out."

I think Bishop Fellay has replied to this sort of argument in the past, noting that it is precisely the problem that the pope will not allow them to "join the rest of us" while continuing to fight against the postconciliar errors, some of which (Assisi, ecumenism, etc.) are fully approved of by the same pope. For example, if the SSPX was canonically regularized, they would likely be obliged, under penalty of possible re-suspension, to refrain from publicly criticizing the pope's deeds, as when he praised the heretic Martin Luther's thinking and spirituality as "thoroughly Christocentric" (visit to Germany, 9/23/2011) or the pope's speech on Jan. 1, 2011, wherein he encourages the members of false, blasphemous, Christ-denying religions to practice those same offensive-to-God religions: "[Assisi] will aim to commemorate the historical action desired by my Predecessor and to solemnly renew the commitment of believers of every religion to live their own religious faith as a service to the cause of peace."

If the SSPX were regularized and continued to make criticisms of these scandalous outrages, as they have every right to do, Rome would likely punish or threaten them for such remarks. So I think, with due respect, your criticism above is just rehashing a bumper sticker slogan without considering the reasons why the SSPX can't accept Rome's "offer." If Rome's offer demands that the SSPX remain silent about these outrages perpetrated in some cases by the pope himself, then the SSPX cannot accept such an offer. I myself don't accept it, and don't see how any Catholic can accept it, to silently acquiesce, for instance, in papal kissings of the Koran, or asking John the Baptist to protect Islam (papal visit to Jordan, March 21, 2000), or praying with animist pagans in Togo (papal visit to Togo, Aug. 1985), etc. No authority on Earth can require Catholics to accept such terrible things.

You also said: "The only logical conclusion from their present stand is that the SSPX is either sedevacantist or a disobedient sect that leads unsuspecting Catholics into the disobedience of schism."

Msgr., you know that the former charge is not true, and it's disappointing you repeat it. You know that the Society is not sedevacantist; the SSPX's very decision to engage Rome is a recognition that the See is occupied.

As for schism, once more, this is a slogan, not a proof. A schismatic is someone who refuses to recognize the pope's divinely given right to rule. The Society does not refuse this recognition; if tomorrow the pope ordered a worldwide day of fasting in reparation for abortion, for instance, the SSPX would be first in line to participate, which would not be the case with someone who denied that the pope had any God-given authority. When John Paul II infallibly condemned women's "ordination" in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, the SSPX was first in line to accept this teaching. But when popes do things like Assisi, they refuse to accept this, as all well-instructed Catholics must.

As one SSPX priest summed up the Society's attitude towards postconciliar papal aberrations: "The child who says to his mother "I won't," doesn't deny that she's his mother."

So unless you can supply evidence that the SSPX formally rejects the pope's very right to command (rather than one or another of his specific commands, which is a different issue), in justice it seems you should retract your remarks.

God bless you, Monsignor.

JabbaPapa said...

Jasen :

Catherine of Siena - do you really believe this nonsense? I grew up in the novus ordo. I went to novus ordo catholic schools my whole life. Do you know who taught me the faith? It was the SSPX. And now you want me to come back to the conciliar church so I can lose my faith all over again. It is the SSPX that is the bastion of Tradition. The rest of these "indult" groups are a fruit of the work of the SSPX on the frontline. You're edict about invalidity is rather funny but at least I have assurance that the SSPX priests are priests. This is what a FSSP seminarian told me a few years back.

Jasen, Catherine is perfectly correct as concerns the Sacrament of Reconciliation -- priests of SSPX cannot regularly provide this Sacrament.

Catholic faithful may attend SSPX masses in many circumstances, but to remain in full communion if they do so, they must choose a member of the regular clergy to be their confessor. An exception exists in case of emergency or other persistent impediment to the normal expectations -- if you live practically next door to a SSPX chapel, with no other priest for miles and miles around for instance -- whereby faithful may exceptionally choose a SSPX priest as confessor with full sacramental validity ; but where no such exceptions exist, lay faithful have no such rights, nor are the absolutions provided valid.

Concerning marriage, things are obviously not so clear cut -- because the sacrament is only witnessed by the priest, but performed by the spouses themselves. The SSPX is in a state of canonical irregularity, and has never been declared to be in formal schism ; as such, I'm very unsure that the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is negatively affected by the irregular status of the SSPX clergy.

I do OTOH believe Catherine's comments concerning Michael Davies, as I have heard more than one similar comment before.

JabbaPapa said...

Marsaili :

Why would anyone (or group) need to reconcile or be in full communion with the Catholic Church when they have the "faith"? Why bother having to deal with a Church, when the SSPX is doing just fine on their own without the constraints of a fussy Church and it's hierarchy? Since the SSPX can obviously maintain it's faith just fine without the Church, there's never been a need, nor will there ever be a need, to reconcile.

This attitude of yours is the beating heart of Protestantism.

JabbaPapa said...

Michael :

A schismatic is someone who refuses to recognize the pope's divinely given right to rule

No -- a schismatic is someone who has placed himself out of Communion with the Church by willing and conscious participation in any stable group providing the deliberate teaching of doctrines that are objectively false and contrary to the Orthodoxy.

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth said...

I absolutely stand by what I have said. An intellectual acceptance of the pope's right to rule alongside a de facto rejection of that same governance makes no sense at all and reduces the reality of ecclesial communion to an argument based on semantics.

It is interesting to note that the tone and content of Bishop Williamson's utterances have become increasingly sedevacantist in implication in recent years. It will be interesting to see if he (and those who follow him) now embrace that position as the logical consequence of their position.

The analogy of the child and its mother is very aposite. While it is true that children do criticize their parents, such criticism must always be tempered by the respect that children owe their parents and the demands of charity when all live together in the same house. I see little filial respect in the recent behaviour of the SSPX in dialogue with the Holy See. It is interesting to note that the discretion that should have cloaked this discussion was breached disgracefully by the SSPX - a factor which clearly has led to a further regrettable breakdown in relations.

The moment for the reconciliation of the SSPX has been this pontificate. Anyone who has any real insight (including Bishop Fellay himself)understood this. His desire for reconciliation was quashed by the hard-liners of the SSPX Chapter - a tragedy for all concerned.

Gabriel said...

On SSPX Confessions and Marriages...

First, Bishop Fellay -- and others in the SSPX -- have pointed out that the Apostolic Penitentiary has always recognized SSPX Confessions as valid and has responded to SSPX priests requests when matters of grave sin have occurred (e.g., defiling the Eucharist). If the SSPX Confessions were invalid, they would not respond to these matters.

Second, I have met several couples who were married by SSPX priests and how now (or occasionally) attend the Tridentine Mass in diocesan parishes. They have never been asked to remarry nor have they been asked to confess their marital relations as a mortal sin.

It's also worth noting that in many places where the Society operates it is extremely difficult to find available Confessions and/or Confessors who actually believe in the reality of mortal sin. While I happen to live in a major metropolitan area where, thankfully, there are several parishes with solid confessors who hear confessions daily, I know that is not the case in other parts of the country. In those circumstances I thin there is a strong case to be made that there is a necessity for people to seek an SSPX priest for Confessions. As for the marriage matters, I'm indifferent on it to the extent that I am already married and so I wouldn't have to choose between a traditional marriage in an SSPX chapel or a marriage in a diocesan parish. Though the availability is quite uneven at this point, it is certainly easier for those faithful who want a traditional marriage (or funeral or Baptism, etc.) to receive one in a diocesan parish. Perhaps that, to an extent, obviates the necessity of seeking a marriage in an SSPX chapel.

As for Rome's view of the Society in genera, I would encourage the naysayers to listen to Bishop Fellay's recent talks and sermons, particularly his lengthy conference at last October's Angelus Press Conference on the Papacy. They are eye-openers with respect to Rome's extremely inconsistent, even contradictory, attitude toward the Society. Moreover, Bishop Fellay has poured a considerable amount of intellectual and pastoral energy into highlighting the mystery of the current crisis in the Catholic Church and what it means. He draws a very powerful analogy to the mystery of the Apostles knowing that Jesus Christ is God and yet watching what appeared to them to be a radical and painful contradiction: his physical suffering and death on the Cross. As Bishop Fellay pointed out during the Angelus Press conference, one day -- perhaps a long time from now -- the Church will explain how what has occurred has occurred. For those of us in there here-and-now, it remains a very shocking and painful mystery, but as his Eminence counsels, it is not for us -- any Catholic -- to despair. God is still with us.

Malta said...

CH: ""Martin Luther was a great theologian."
JP"

JP was a great Statesman, but how was the monk-nun-marring Luther a great theologian?

Pope Julius II where art though? At least you had a pair!




Catherine of Siena said...

Jasen,

No, this is not "funny" - at all - especially if you are attempting to receive the Sacrament of Penance from SSPX priests. Since you are a member of this organization, I imagine that you do. Also, my own bishop's position is that a Roman Catholic is not permitted to fulfill his or her Sunday obligation by attending an SSPX Mass. That is, if a Roman Catholic attempts to do so, he or she commits mortal sin, because the Sunday obligation is not met. Putting one's soul at risk of eternal damnation, and encouraging others to do the same, is not a laughing matter - far from it. I realize that you have obtained your spiritual direction on this matter from an FSSP seminarian and from Chris Ferrara, but I encourage you to appeal to the appropriate ROMAN CATHOLIC authorities, either in your own jurisdiction or in Rome. Seek out a bishop who is in communion with the Holy Pontiff. He is obligated to answer your questions. Put them to him in writing. I did. And I also wrote to Rome. Chris Ferrara is an excellent secular attorney, a skilled litigator who has done stellar work for the pro-life movement. However, he is NOT a canonist, nor is he authorized (nor has he been given the requisite graces) to speak for the Church on these important matters. He bears an awesome responsibility for misdirecting thousands of souls through his work as an apologist for the SSPX. He has NEVER said that Roman Catholics are permitted to marry in SSPX chapels, by the way. Write him and see what he will tell you about this.

What I am saying is not "nonsense," Jasen. Far from it. I fully recognize the extent of the crisis that is afflicting the Church in our day. I have fought for many years as a Catholic activist, winning some battles, losing quite a few, but never losing hope, and always remaining within the Church, the source of Sanctifying Grace. Many people share your belief that the SSPX has preserved Tradition. I am not among them. Again, I point to Michael Davies, and to many like him, who remained WITHIN the Church, and who have fought hard to preserve the Faith. I never left, and I received my faith from others who remained within the Church - some very, very holy souls, not all of whom were consecrated souls. One of my spiritual directors was a Holy Ghost Father who was the secretary to Abp. Lefebre. They were like brothers. I have learned much from him, and he is perhaps the most saintly priest I have ever known. You sell short the Holy Ghost, who remains ALWAYS with the Church, and especially with the Vicar of Christ on Earth.