Rorate Caeli

For the record: Declaration of bishops of Society of St.Pius X on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the episcopal consecrations

1- On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the episcopal consecrations the bishops of The Society Saint Pius X are eager to express solemnly their gratitude towards Archbishop Lefevbre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer for the heroic deed they were not afraid of performing on the 30th June 1988. Most especially they would like to express their filial gratitude towards their venerable founder who, after so many years spent serving the Church and the Sovereign Pontiff, so as to safeguard the Faith and the Catholic priesthood, did not hesitate to suffer the unjust accusation of disobedience.

2- In his letter addressed to us before the consecrations, he wrote, “I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of all churches, in the integral Catholic Faith, as expressed in the Professions of Faith, in the catechism of the Council of Trent, in conformity with that which you have been taught in the seminary. Remain faithful to the transmission of this Faith so that the reign of Our Lord may come.” It is indeed this phrase which expresses the profound reason for the act which he was going to undertake “so that the reign of Our Lord might come,” adveniat regnum tuum! 

3- Following Archbishop Lefebvre, we affirm that the cause of the grave errors which are in the process of demolishing the Church does not reside in a bad interpretation of the conciliar texts – a “hermeneutic of rupture” which would be opposed to a “hermeneutic of reform in continuity” – but truly in the texts themselves, by virtue of the unheard of choice made by Vatican II. This choice is manifest in its documents and in its spirit; faced with “secular and profane humanism,” faced with the “religion (as indeed it is) of man who makes himself God,” the Church as unique custodian of Revelation “of God who became man” has wanted to make known its “new humanism” by saying to the modern world, “we too, we more than any other, have the cult of man.” (Paul VI, closing speech, 7th December 1965). But this coexistence of the cult of God and the cult of man is radically opposed to the Catholic Faith which teaches us to render the supreme cult and to give the primacy exclusively to the one true God and to only His Son, Jesus Christ, in whom “dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity corporeally” (Col. 2:9).

4- We are truly obliged to observe that this Council without comparison, which wanted to be merely pastoral and not dogmatic, inaugurated a new type of magisterium, hitherto unheard of in the Church, without roots in Tradition; a magisterium resolved to reconcile Catholic doctrine with liberal ideas; a magisterium imbued with the modernist ideas of subjectivism, of immanentism and of perpetual evolution according to the false concept of a living tradition, vitiating the nature, the content, the role and the exercise of ecclesiastical magisterium.

5- Henceforth the reign of Christ is no longer the preoccupation of the ecclesiastical authorities, despite the fact that Christ’s words, “all power is given to me on earth and in heaven,” (Mt 28:18) remain an absolute truth and an absolute reality. To deny them in action is tantamount to no longer recognising in practice the divinity of Our Lord. Hence because of the Council, the sovereignty of Christ over human societies is simply ignored, and even combatted, and the Church is imbued with this liberal spirit which manifests itself especially in religious liberty, ecumenism, collegiality and the New Mass.

6- Religious Liberty, as exposed by Dignitatis humanae and its practical application these last fifty years, logically leads to demanding God-made-Man to renounce His reign over man-who-makes-himself-God, which is equivalent to dissolving Christ. In the place of a conduct which is inspired by a solid faith in the real power of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we see the Church being shamefully guided by human prudence and with such self-doubt that she asks nothing other from the State than that which the Masonic Lodges wish to concede to her: the common law in the midst of, and on the same level as, other religions which she no longer dares call false.

7- In the name of a ubiquitous ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio) and of a vain inter-religious dialogue (Nostra Aetate), the truth about the one true Church is silenced; also, as a large part of the clergy and the faithful no longer see in Our Lord and the Catholic Church the unique way of salvation, they have renounced to convert the adepts of false religions, leaving them rather in ignorance of the unique Truth. This ecumenism has thus literally killed the missionary spirit through seeking a false unity, too often reducing the mission of the Church to that of delivering a message of a purely terrestrial peace and of a humanitarian role of lessening want in the world, placing it thereby in the wake of international organisations.

8- The weakening of faith in Our Lord’s divinity favours a dissolution of the unity of authority in the Church, by introducing a collegial, egalitarian and democratic spirit, (see Lumen Gentium). Christ is no longer the head from which everything flows, in particular the exercise of authority. The Sovereign Pontiff who no longer exercises effectively the fullness of his authority, and the bishops who – contrary to the teaching of Vatican I – esteem that they can collegially and habitually share the fullness of the supreme power, commit themselves thereby, with the priests, to listen to and to follow ‘the people of God,’ the new sovereign. This represents the destruction of authority and in consequence the ruin of Christian institutions: families, seminaries, religious institutes.

9- The New Mass, promulgated in 1969, diminishes the affirmation of the reign of Christ by the Cross (“regnavit a ligno Deus”). Indeed, the rite itself curtails and obscures the sacrificial and propitiatory nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Underpinning this new rite is the new and false theology of the paschal mystery. Both one and the other destroy Catholic spirituality as founded upon the sacrifice of Our Lord on Calvary. This Mass is penetrated with an ecumenical and Protestant spirit, democratic and humanist, which empties out the sacrifice of the Cross. It illustrates the new concept of ‘the common priesthood of the baptised’ which undermines the sacramental priesthood of the priest.

10- Fifty years on, the causes persist and still engender the same effects. Hence today the consecrations retain their full justification. It was love of the Church which guided Archbishop Lefebvre and which guides his sons. It is the same desire to “pass on the Catholic priesthood in all its doctrinal purity and its missionary charity” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Journey) which animates the Society of Saint Pius X at the service of the Church, when it asks with insistence for the Roman authorities to regain the treasure of doctrinal, moral and liturgical Tradition.

11- This love of the Church explains the rule that Archbishop Lefebvre always observed: to follow Providence in all circumstances, without ever allowing oneself to anticipate it. We mean to do the same: either when Rome returns to Tradition and to the Faith of all time – which would re-establish order in the Church; or when she explicitly acknowledges our right to profess integrally the Faith and to reject the errors which oppose it, with the right and the duty for us to oppose publicly the errors and the proponents of these errors, whoever they may be – which would allow the beginning of a re-establishing of order. Meanwhile, faced with this crisis which continues its ravages in the Church, we persevere in the defence of Catholic Tradition and our hope remains entire, as we know by the certitude of Faith that “the gates of hell will not prevail against her.” (Mt 16:18)

12- We mean to follow well the injunction of our dear and venerable Father in the episcopacy: “Dear friends, be my consolation in Christ, remain strong in the Faith, faithful to the true sacrifice of the Mass, to the true and holy Priesthood of Our Lord, for the triumph and the glory of Jesus in heaven and on earth” (Letter to the bishops). May the Holy Trinity, by the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, grant us the grace of fidelity to the episcopacy which we have received and which we want to exercise for the honour of God, the triumph of the Church and the salvation of souls.


Ecône, 27th June 2013, on the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

Bishop Bernard Fellay
Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais
Bishop Alfonso de Galaretta

[Source: SSPX General House/ DICI]

100 comments:

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

Bravo!

Dan Hunter said...

Spot on.

Its like reading "Pascendi Dominici Gregis" condensed.

Extremely accurate, clear, precise and well put.

This is Charity.

New Catholic said...

With respect, I would not agree wholeheartedly with several of the points here emphasized.

JM said...

Hard to have substantial disagreement with any of it! Meanwhile the Supreme Court enshrines gay relationships and the new Pope makes news affirming the noble intentions of atheists, pleading with us all as part of one great big family to please be good.

And the CDF... tut tuts and says the SSPX is not only in schism but also quite rude, and cannot be tolerated.

delrancho said...

Excellent. I was worried they were slipping for a while.

sparksj3 said...

"We mean to do the same: either when Rome returns...to the Faith of all time..."

Statements like this are extremely dangerous. It is a settled teaching of the Church that Rome cannot fall away from the Faith. Various distinctions have been employed for years now to justify such language, but in the end sweeping claims such as this only serve to diminish the very necessary link to Rome that Catholics within the SSPX must maintain. Bishop Williamson is a case study in what happens when one takes rhetoric like this to its logical conclusion. If Rome does not possess the Faith of all time, then why does one maintain ANY allegiance or link to her?

Stephen Band said...

New Catholic,

What points do you not agree with, and why?

Do you agree with the CDF - that the SSPX is schismatic?

Perhaps this is a can of worms you don't want to open on the message board... I personally attend an FSSP parish, but there would have been no FSSP without the SSPX, so it's not quite so simple as saying yes to one and no to the other.

...Or is it?

New Catholic said...

It does not matter, as in all our "For the Record" posts, let the text speak for itself.

GMMF said...

The ignorance and exaggerations are saddening, as at least Fellay seemed to have bene moving away from such things in more recent times. For example, the Magsiterium teaching in a pastoral way is not new, but has existed as long as the Church has existed and as long as bishops have been pastors (this was formalized as the episcopal pastoral letter). The Church has never only defined truths in the abstract, but has always applied them to concrete circumstances in attempts to achieve the greatest good for the flock and all men. The supreme authority of the Chuch has done this frequently especially since the time of Leo XIII. The times when the supreme authority would only interveren to definitively judge doctrinal questions ended centuries and centuries ago.

From this ignorance, the SSPX err by severing the Magisterium, the teaching authority, from the subject-Church. They claim that by inventing a new form of magisterium (a false claim), the real, authoritative Magisterium has been severed from the subject-Church. This is why the make the false distinction between "eternal Rome" and the Church of Rome existing in history this very moment and deny more recent Magisterial acts even obsequium religiosum.

Unfotunately, this error is a favorite of Fr. Gleize, SSPX, who as ecclesiology professor at Econe is no doubt imbuing it in all his students.

The traditional doctrine, on the other hand, is the teaching authority is not severable from the subject Church and the continuity of that one subject itself is the primary guarantee the continuity of doctrine.

Cardinal Manning articulated this in his work on the Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost:

"The enunciation of the faith by the living Church of this hour, is the maximum of evidence, both natural and supernatural, as to the fact and the contents of the original revelation."

The SSPX, on the other hand, oppose the consistent and repeated teaching of the Magistium since Vatican II, and pit it against certain acts of the same Magisterium prior to the Council.

Again, Manning counters this in the same work cited above. After first admitting apparent contradictions in past teaching he states that the continuity of the subject-Church ensures these are not true contradictions, since the same Magisterium that taught something in the past alone has the ability to properly interpret what it meant back then, and that what it says laters is consonant:

"No critic except the living and lineal judge and discerner of truth, the only Church of God, can solve these inequalities and anomalies in the history of doctrine. To the Church the facts of antiquity are transparent in the light of its perpetual consciousness of the original revelation."

The SSPX have erred by severing the Magisterium from the subject-Church and de facto filling the resulting void themselves, arrogating to themselves the role of that one and only critic and providing definitive pronouncements against the supreme teaching authority of the Church.

GMMF said...

Just to follow up on my previous post and provide a simple example to show the SSPX have proven themselves a poor critic in comparison to the the Magisterium, they claim here the doctrine on the supreme authority of the college of bishops contradicts the teaching of Vatican I. The same Magisterium that promulgated Pastor Aeternus, has also explicitly and consistently taught the supreme authority of the college of bishops as something consonant.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Manning would say that should be enough for any Catholic, but just to show the SSPX to be an unreliable critic, all we have to do is look to the Church's own official interpretive guide to Pastor Aeternus, the relatio provided to the bishops of Vatican I.

The official relatio for Pastor Aeternus states: "The bishops gathered with their head in an ecumenical council—and in that case they represent the whole Church—or dispersed but in union with their head—in which case they are the Church itself—truly have full power (vere plenam potestatem habent). There would be confusion if we were to admit two full and supreme powers separate and distinct from each other. But we admit that the truly full and supreme power is in the sovereign pontiff as in the head (veluti capite) and that the same power, truly both full and supreme, is also in the head united to the members, that is to say, in the pontiff united to the bishops."

GMMF said...

The whole no FSSP without the SSPX is not really a point in the SSPX favor, quite the opposite really. While the situations are not completely the same, it is analogous to saying there would be no Byzantine Catholic Churches with the separated Orthodox Churches.

The FSSP exists because the SSPX leadership committed a "schismatic act" otherwise there would simply be the SSPX. Same with the sui juris Byzantine Catholic Churches which were reestablished after the the schism of the particular Churches who should never have left.

gerald may said...

Very plainspoken and straight forward! I wish more bishops spoke with such clarity today. I agree with all points except number 3.

If the problem is not in the new pastoral strategies and post VII-counciliar administrative blunders that have been guided by a modernist hermeneutic of rupture, as Benedict XVI had understood it, but by the actual words in the documents of VII itself, then what is the solution.

Historically, have there ever been any previous Church councils in which many years later, the magesterium decided that mistakes were made in the wording or that heresy was written in the actual council documents, which was then corrected?

delrancho said...

Take an objective look at the Popes of the last 40 years and then try to say they're wrong. The fact is that something is very rotten in Rome, and the Society and the horrible, evil bad bad Bp Williamson want them to return to their traditions. These 'various distinctions' aren't just rationalizations, they're a look at cold, hard reality. Properly understood, it doesn't mean the Church has defected or died or whatever.

Tom Policinski said...

Did I miss something? When did the CDF declare them schismatic?

New Catholic- could you do some non-"for the record" take on this, with your opinions? I have, for years, found much guidance and insight from the writings of this blogs contributors. Being as that I find myself in agreement with this letter, I'd like to know what reservations are had by those who's opinion I take under the closest consideration. (And I bet others feel the same way)
Thank you

Neil Addison said...

Stephen Band You say "there would have been no FSSP without the SSPX" which is only half correct. The FSSP is what SSPX could and should have been had Econe not happened namely a Traditionalist Society fully part of the Church. FSSP is what SSPX was given the opportunity to be 25 years ago

I used to be very sympathetic to SSPX but in the 6 years since Summorum Pontificum their childish games have used up all the sympathy I felt. Today my admiration is for the FSSP who are also about to celebrate their 25th Anniversary after their founders refused to follow Lefebvre in his disobedience.

It is now clear that SSPX leaders like being in charge of their own little Church, and have no real wish to rejoin the Catholic Church and accept the authority of the Pope.

Rather than concentrate on SSPX and Econe lets take the opportunity instead to congratulate FSSP on their 25th Anniversary and the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer who are approaching the first anniversary of their canonical establishment with 2 Ordinations this week in the FSSP Church in Rome

john said...

Agree with them needing to watch how they communicate the issues. Rome retains the Faith of ages, so perhaps it would have been better said "when those in Rome will return to sound doctrine and clearly teach the Faith of ages." Unfortunately, men like Cardinal Burke continue to have their voices fall upon seemingly deaf ears, and most Bishops are vocal in issues with carefully concocted PC statements with regard to serious issues. Still waiting to see our Bishops voice outrage over the recent Supreme Court decision, and am waiting to here of their refusal to participate in the forced healthcare shoved in our face.

JM said...

" If Rome does not possess the Faith of all time, then why does one maintain ANY allegiance or link to her?"

Dogmatic Councils. Hence the intensity of just how dogmatic was Vatican II. "Prety much so," sez Rome. "Not very," sez SSPX. As for the documents themselves... good luck with that. Hence the stalemate, denied only my the liberal, modern-day equivalent of the ultraMontanists, who come off like ole Ideal Ward conjured thru Cardinal Lehrman.

Daniel Arseneault said...

There is a point in this text that I have never been able to understand, perhaps another reader will be able to enlighten me.

I was under the impression that an ecumenical council is infallible. From the Catholic encyclopedia:

"That an ecumenical council ... is an organ of infallibility will not be denied by anyone who admits that the Church is endowed with nfallible doctrinal authority." (from the article Infallibility)

Please forgive my ignorance, but what arguments are put forward by those who deny the infallibility of the Second Vatican Council?

Adfero said...

JM, please stop the schismatic talk.

Basically Catholicism teaches you're either in the Church or you're out. You can't be both, just like a woman can't be a little bit pregnant.

The bishops' excommunications were LIFTED, meaning they were no longer outside the church.

Benedict XVI said they were inside the Church, in an irregular position.

You are not the Church. You may not may these determinations, and mislead others, on your own.

yoink! said...

I hope and pray that SSPX will give up its prideful dissent and return to the Catholic Church. Aside from being on the opposite end of the spectrum, they are no different than the Old Catholic's at this point.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Dan

Dan Hunter said...

Daniel,

Pope Paul VI himself said, point blank, that The Second Vatican Council defined NOTHING new to be assented to by the Church.

Nothing.

Yes it was an infallible Council when it restated what the Church has always and every taught.

I do not see any need to restate what the Church has always taught, in an Oecumenical Council, as we have the Roman Catechism and all the Magisterial Truth taught by Holy Mother Church already.

Traditio7 said...

+
M

Pax Christ Adfero,

I couldn't have put this simpler myself.

Johannes de Silentio said...

"To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it."

A little Ignatian spirituality could go a long way here.

Crouchback said...

I'm with these guys.

The church on Hadrians Wall.......is finished.....a pathetic rump.

Are you listening Bishop Michael....???

Daniel Arseneault said...

Dear Dan Hunter,

I'm surprised that anyone, not to mention Paul VI, would say that the Second Vatican Council didn't teach anything new. If that were the case, why would the FSSPX be up in arms?

Josemaria Paulo Jeromino Martin Carvalho-Von Verster said...

I agree with this letter(I too have respect for Archbishop Lefebvre of Eternal Memory) except on the "Common Priesthood of the Faithful".


While I Understand the Reasons for the "Illicit" Concecrations. My hat is off to the FSSP's founders for Reconciling themselves to Rome. (Canonically Speaking)

Athelstane said...

Spark,

"We mean to do the same: either when Rome returns...to the Faith of all time..."

Statements like this are extremely dangerous.

Agreed.

Let me be clear that I don't say or think that the SSPX is schismatic; not even the Holy See will claim this. They are Catholic, and they are within the Church, however irregular their canonical status might be. I *do* think that there are some cohorts, a minority to be sure, within the Society that arguably have schismatic mindsets, often crypto-sedevacantists who attend Society chapels because there's nothing else available within reasonable travel distance. Charity demands that we not assume that any follower or member of the Society we meet is one of them, however.

By and large, I follow Michael Davies on this tragic chapter: I can't agree that the consecrations were justified, but I also can't deny that much of what we have today in the (albeit very limited) restoration of tradition is in some way due to the efforts of the Archbishop and the Society in those very dark years of the 70's and 80's, when almost no other lights were to be found. I therefore have mixed feelings in reading this anniversary apologia: There are quite valid points in here, some I would qualify, and others I would have to venture some disagreement with.

Stephen Band said...

Neil Addison,

"The FSSP is what SSPX could and should have been had Econe not happened namely a Traditionalist Society fully part of the Church. FSSP is what SSPX was given the opportunity to be 25 years ago"

An excellent point. The SSPX says many things that need to be said - Vatican II and all that issues from it are problematic, the Novus Ordo is problematic, and the Church is in grave distress as a result - but is militant disobedience really the answer? No, it is not, but like any good Catholic I want to eat my cake and have it too - I want priests that speak the whole truth but are also true sons of the Holy Father. The society speaks the truth but has problems with unity, the FSSP has unity but as a result must suffer in silence until the appointed time when the crisis passes (*coughconsecrationofRussiacough*). In the end, as I stated in my previous post, I am with the Fraternity, that's where I go to mass. We should indeed congratulate them on their 25th anniversary, and they are to be commended for their courage in doing the right thing even though they must suffer - even though they must hold that the white they see is black.

New Catholic - I was only asking your opinion, not trying to start a firefight. Deus benedicat te.

Stephen Band said...

Neil Addison,

"The FSSP is what SSPX could and should have been had Econe not happened namely a Traditionalist Society fully part of the Church. FSSP is what SSPX was given the opportunity to be 25 years ago"

An excellent point. The SSPX says many things that need to be said - Vatican II and all that issues from it are problematic, the Novus Ordo is problematic, and the Church is in grave distress as a result - but is militant disobedience really the answer? No, it is not, but like any good Catholic I want to eat my cake and have it too - I want priests that speak the whole truth but are also true sons of the Holy Father. The society speaks the truth but has problems with unity, the FSSP has unity but as a result must suffer in silence until the appointed time when the crisis passes (*coughconsecrationofRussiacough*). In the end, as I stated in my previous post, I am with the Fraternity, that's where I go to mass. We should indeed congratulate them on their 25th anniversary, and they are to be commended for their courage in doing the right thing even though they must suffer - even though they must hold that the white they see is black.

New Catholic - I was only asking your opinion, not trying to start a firefight. Deus benedicat te.

gerald may said...

@Daniel Arseneault That was the point of my question. You have rightly pointed out that upon its closure that a Church council is infallible. There can be no heresy in the documents themselves because the Holy Spirit completed the work.

Most traditional Catholics agree with the FSSPX's critique of the problematic philosophical elements of modernism, Protestantism, and humanism that are presently in the Church, and that these elements need to be purged through bringing everything in line with tradition, but the VII documents themselves can be read and understood in the light of tradition.

I have no problem in pointing out poor wording or ambiguous statements here and there, for the Holy Spirit does work through imperfect men, but to attack any Church council’s final documents as heretical is to destroy the Catholic faith.

Pax

Jim said...

I will keep my comment short and to the point - God bless the SSPX!

Dan Hunter said...

The Church teaches that the Holy Ghost only protects an Oecumenical Council from teaching heresy.

He does not "complete it" as in He inspires every word of it.

Just look at many parts of "Dignitatis Humanae".
They are not Catholic and new, but no Catholic is obliged to believe the novel parts.

The SSPX and Catholics who dearly love the Church know this and want a "Syllabus of Errors" of VII, as Bishop Athanasius Schneider has called for.

The SSPX speak outright condemning the novelties and errors in the documents and this is part of [if not most] of the reason why the Institutional Church persecutes them.

Ospite said...

Daniel Arsenault et al.: Please forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but it has been pointed out over and over and over again that Vatican II is not infallible BECAUSE IT DID NOT WANT TO BE, and it made NO DOGMATIC DECLARATIONS BECAUSE IT DID NOT WANT TO MAKE ANY. It wanted to be a PASTORAL Council, and so it was, and Pope Paul VI said so.
The previous twenty councils had all made some dogmatic declarations, and in those they were infallible. Vatican II did not, therefore it was not infallible.
And, o Adfero, New Catholic, and friends, DO forgive me for quoting Gherardini again, but he is the one who explained it best, so here goes the link - once more:
http://www.centreleonardboyle.com/Gherardinionline.html, and from there you can link to 'Church-Tradition-Magisterium' or to 'The Pastoral Nature of Vatican II'.

Again, forgive me, ye all, but as they say - repetita iuvant.

Luciana Cuppo

UnamSanctam said...

This declaration gets saved to my hard disk. A perfect summation of the doctrinal crisis, anarchy and nihilism in the Church.

Common Sense said...

May Our Divine Lord guide and bless SSPX always. Our detractors want to have a foot in both camps, forgeting that it was the VII as a catalist for diabolical disoriantation and unspeakable human misery. Crawl back to your holes, you weasels. We owe you nothing. Even satanistas hold you in contempt. If you don't like SSPX, be at least descrete about that!

Edward More said...

God bless the SSPX bishops for putting out such a beautiful joint statement!! I say "beautiful" because of the clarity and precision with the Church's problems are exposed. Like skillful diagnosticians, they pin-point with perfect accuracy the problems plaguing the Church. If only the Church could always speak with such clarity and conviction! It is indeed sad that the SSPX still find themselves in an irregular position - but I believe that were it not for Arch. Lefebvres work, there might not even be a traditionalist movement in the Church.

Quite frankly, I've never really bought into the, "the problem is with the interpretation of the council documents" thesis. Sure, there are some ambiguous parts here and there, put other parts don't really allow for that and are pretty clear. In some instances it is the popes themselves who provide the interpretation themselves, with such things as mass ad populum(never mentioned explicitly in the V II documents), bizarre ecumenical practices such as Assisi, I, II, III and so on.

I sometimes imagine a future pope being elected, and right after the election coming out to the balcony of St Peter's with a mass of people excitedly anticipating for the new pope to come up, and boldly and fearlessly proclaiming:

"EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS EST"

With these simple words the restoration of holy mother church would be well on its way to being a reality. Not that this is going to happen any time soon, but nothing wrong with dreaming a little right?

Angelo said...

I have been taking the SSPX more seriously than I ever did before. They may not have all the answers to the problems in the Church today, they only have most of the answers. They have been saying for a long time that the heresy of modernism reigns in the Church today. But the modernists assure us that the Society is wrong. The Society has very good insight on what the true teachings of the Church are and what is false. The SSPX will never be regularized, we have the assurance that the heretical modernists in Rome will always succeed in blocking it. I am confident now, that the Society is truly an instrument of God the Holy Ghost. When this ugly heresy of modernism is finally crushed, I wonder if Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre will be canonized?

smn said...

The FSSP is what SSPX could and should have been had Econe not happened namely a Traditionalist Society fully part of the Church. FSSP is what SSPX was given the opportunity to be 25 years ago

That sounds about right: the SSPX would be dependent on the local hierarchies, unable to speak too loudly against abuses, and without its own bishop (mentioned of course in the 1988 protocol) had it taken the "opportunity".

1f965410-d054-11e2-a8c0-000bcdcb5194 said...

At one time, the cover reflected the book. The Heresy of Formlessness by Martin Mosebach comes to mind. It would be tragic enough that the cover no longer matched the book; it is clear that the story was changed in subtle ways as well. There is a third possibility even more awful: that cover and book are to be nowhere found as a matching pair anymore. We live in the age of Valid but incomplete: substance present but unable to be understood as it always had been by even a small percentage of people. The means to understand what remains, is attained by the most difficult endeavor by the few. Is there a solution in which we can participate with entirely clear conscience? No. True Catholicism has entered a period of Romance, where the past must be conjured in various ways, never to be completely savored in form or content. Our salvation has never relied on the purity of our own intention as much as it does now.

Daniel Arseneault said...

Dear Ospite,
From what I understand, an ecumenical council is infallible regarding matters of faith and morals, not only in its dogmatic definitions. Would you deny that the Second Vatican Council has a lot to say about faith and morals?

Lhd said...

Excellent text that should be able for itself to bring back to the fold the pseudo anti- liberals.

Jim Paton said...

@Daniel...Where does this fit into the scheme of things since this came out of VII?

Gaudium et Spes, n. 24 "For this reason, love for God and neighbour is ***the first*** and greatest commandment."

I say that this statement explicitly and evidently disagrees with the teaching of Jesus Christ, where He teaches infallibly that:


"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. ***The second*** is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:35-40)

Renel B. Peña said...

“It has also been said that after me, my work will disappear because there will be no bishop to replace me. I am certain on the contrary; I have no worries on that account. If my work is of God, He will guard it and use it for the good of the church. Our Lord has promised us, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.”

“This is why I persist, and if you wish to know the real reason for my persistence, it is this: At the hour of my death, when Our Lord asks me, “What have you done with your episcopal and priestly grace?” I do not want to hear from His lips the terrible words, “You have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest of them.”

ARCHBISHOP MARCEL LEFEBVRE was indeed a grace from God. He was so much aware of the coming demise of the Catholic priesthood. And he made just the right moves. He built seminaries to form priests with strongly Catholic mindset. He consecrated bishops not for any other motives but for the perpetuation and protection of the true Catholic Faith epitomized in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass— the Traditional Latin Mass, which the Conciliar Church refuses to provide for so long until the Summorum Pontificum.

Te Deum Laudamus!Our deepest gratitude to our dear SSPX bishops most especially to their holy and great Founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Ad multos Annos!

Alphonsus Jr. said...

It's truly wonderful to see the SSPX again speaking like this against the errors of the Judas Council. I'm reminded of two things. This:


"At the close of a long life (for I was born in 1905 and I now see the year 1990), I can say that it has been marked by exceptional world events: three world wars, that which took place from 1914 to 1918, that which took place from 1939 to 1945, and that of the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. The disasters caused by these three wars, and especially by the last of them, are incalculable in the domain of material ruins, but even more so in the spiritual realm."

-Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, Prologue to his Spiritual Journey

Along with this from Bp. Fellay in 2007:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10tyQOHYhnI&list=PL_Wlh4xUtqa7117VCLW9I6MyLn4a14-_O&index=1

David Werling said...

To think that we are still having a discussion at RC about the infallibility of Vatican II speaks volumes!

Are we getting anywhere? Something as simple as this question, answered so many times in so many places, being "debated" after so many years is, well, embarrassing.

If the full-communionies... full-commies? (yeah, I like that!)... don't understand the clear and concise words of Pope Paul VI, the reigning pontiff at the time, that Vatican II did not define any new dogma or declare any new teaching infallibly, then we traditionalists are just banging our heads against the wall trying to say the exact same thing.

Let them be! Ignore their silly and ignorant comments. They obviously have no clue what these non-infallible, novel teachings are that the SSPX opposes, and I certainly won't grace them with the answer. Let them figure it out for themselves.

It's utterly ridiculous to accuse the SSPX of the all the vile things they have been accused of in this comment thread when so many of those who make up the mainstream, novus ordo establishment are guilty of the same things to a degree that far surpasses anything the full-commies here could accuse the SSPX of.

But these accusations reveal just how hard-headed the full-commies are. These accusations, too, have been addressed over and over and over again. Either these people are incapable of reading and researching for themselves, or they simply can't be convinced by reason or fact. Either way, to argue with them is a complete waste of time. They form their own tiny personal realities based entirely on their preconceived opinions and prejudices.

They need many Rosaries.

Alphonsus Jr. said...

Well said, David. Argument with NeoCaths is indeed futile because they operate primarily on the bases of emotion and slavish obedience, not reason.

Long-Skirts said...

Renel B. Peña said...

"Te Deum Laudamus!Our deepest gratitude to our dear SSPX bishops most especially to their holy and great Founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Ad multos Annos!"


IMAGINE

Imagine no Tradition
It's easy if you try
No filled-up Seminaries
Just modernist blue sky

Imagine all the people
No True Mass Priests could say - ay - ay - ay - ay

You might say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
Fr. Kung and McBrien
Hoped the Church would be undone

Imagine there's no Lefebvre
It's easy if you try
Just a service by the people
With a little help from our friends we'd get by

Imagine all the people
No Mass with Priest to say - ay -ay -ay - ay

You might say I'm a dreamer
Twas Lefebvre who squashed our fun
But I hope that you will join us
In our world without the Son!

66605 said...

Mr. Werling,
It is true that Pope Paul VI admitted that none of the teachings of Vat2 were endowed with the note of infallibility which attaches to acts of the extraordinary magisterium of the Church. This does not mean, however, that teachings other than that of the extraordinary magisterium are not binding on the faithful. Paul VI made it clear that the teachings of Vat2 belong to the supreme ordinary magisterium of the Church and must be accepted as such by all faithful Catholics. The fact that the teachings of Vat2 were ratified by the Pope and bishops of the world in union with him guarantees its conformity with the faith of the apostles.
The unwillingness of the SSPX to accept the teachings of the supreme ordinary magisterium of Vat2, to submit to the authority of the living magisterium (the authority of the Pope) and their refusal to follow Church law places them outside the Church. The SSPX does not understand the hierarchical nature of the Church and how divine authority works through it. They act much like Protestants who believe the Church has defected.

Barbara said...

"Either these people are incapable of reading and researching for themselves, or they simply can't be convinced by reason or fact. Either way, to argue with them is a complete waste of time. They form their own tiny personal realities based entirely on their preconceived opinions and prejudices."

Mr. Werling I think fear is a main cause for the refusal to face the truth and people defend the Vatican II post conciliar Church also out of a sense of misguided loyalty - I did that myself for a time. The truth is hard to face. But at one point I could no longer justify -the facts speak for themselves. Everyone has their breaking point - and I think we should never give up in trying to persuade serious Catholics. At this time I am talking to a few VII Catholics about all of this and giving them items to read so that the can see for themselves...and I pray...

Ospite said...

Dear Daniel Arseneault,

From what I understand, ANY ecumenical council is infallible in its dogmatic definitions concerning faith and morals (are there any others?????).
That Vatican II had plenty to say about everything but the kitchen sink, this I shall never, never, never deny.
But, my worthy friend, that's not the question. The question is: what value is to be attributed to the statements made by Vatican II? are THEY binding?
See (once again!) The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: A Much Needed Discussion, by Brunero Gherardini, http://www.centreleonardboyle.com/Neededdiscussion.html
I am the Ospite, so I shall sign,

Luciana Cuppo

Jamey said...

Common sense said: "May Our Divine Lord guide and bless SSPX always. Our detractors want to have a foot in both camps, forgeting that it was the VII as a catalist for diabolical disorientation and unspeakable human misery."

Spot on.

Edward More said:
"I say "beautiful" because of the clarity and precision with the Church's problems are exposed. Like skillful diagnosticians, they pin-point with perfect accuracy the problems plaguing the Church."

Ha, I made a similar comment on another blog today. Having in recent times read some of Lefebvre's writings I can honestly say my head feels a lot clearer about the faith, there has been an evaporation of a dreadful murkiness and confusion.

For those who criticize the SSPX for not accepting Vatican terms recently from what I understand Fellay was very keen for full regularisation but couldn't in good conscience sign that he wouldn't criticize the NO or VII. We know what the NO does to the Catholic faith, Cranmer knew it several hundred years ago when he tried to destroy it. Look at Kaspers recent comments regarding the deliberate loading of ambigious statements in VII, the SSPX have been arguing this all along whilst most of us have played mental gymnastics to save the Council and recent papacies.

Matthew said...

For a time, I was very hopeful that the SSPX would come back into full communion with Rome. That hope is almost extinguished with this declaration.

[W]e affirm that the cause of the grave errors which are in the process of demolishing the Church does not reside in a bad interpretation of the conciliar texts... but truly in the texts themselves - as interpreted by Ecône, of course! There is a certain, and unfortunate, irony in that the SSPX interpretation of the documents of Vatican II is as "bad" - though in a different way - as the modernist one.

Almost everything the SSPX condemn - in many cases rightfully so - about Vatican II is not really to do with "the Council", but its aftermath. And the seeds of the aftermath were sown a good while before, at least during the 1920s if not before then. In my opinion, the SSPX are ultimately aiming at the wrong target.

In my lifetime, I expect that Vatican II will become less and less important, as my generation and subsequent ones re-evaluate some of the dubious (to say the least!) 20th-century theological trends that fed into it and massively influenced its so-called implementation. But we who are labelled "traditionalists" need to be as unified as the "liberals"! So I will still hope, and still pray, that somehow, sometime soon, Rome and Ecône will be fully reconciled.

David said...

Daniel,

Please forgive my ignorance, but what arguments are put forward by those who deny the infallibility of the Second Vatican Council?

I’ll be honest: I’m astonished at your profound ignorance of theology if you believe that an ecumenical council per se is infallible. Only those teachings are to be understood as infallible which are declared to be such (Extraordinary Magisterium) or which are reiterations of that which has been taught “always, everywhere, and by all” (Ordinary and Universal Magisterium).

The burden of proof who would wish to argue that the novel teachings of the Second Vatican Council are infallible.

New Catholic said...

Edited to conform with the corrected translation of the first paragraph by DICI.

David said...

Part 1

Speaking as someone who doesn’t attend an SSPX chapel, I must say that there is an awful lot of hypocrisy on the subject of the Society.

The constant howls of “Protestant”, “Schismatic”, “Private Judgement” (etc, etc) against the SSPX for withholding assent to some of the more doubtful teachings of the Second Vatican Council is entirely misplaced since it has never been the case that Catholics are obliged to give unconditional assent to a teaching of the “authentic magisterium” (to use the terminology in use since the 1950′s). Where a teaching of the authentic magisterium is either unclear, such as that on ecumenism (since no definition of that term is even provided), or where it gives every appearance of contradicting previous magisterial teaching on the subject, such as that on religious liberty, assent may be withheld pending a more authoritative clarification from the Church.

Here are some quotes from pre-Vatican II theologians on the nature of assent due to teachings of the authentic magisterium (sometime called the non-infallible ordinary magisterium):

Fr. Nicolas Jung: “This is why we owe the “authentic” Magisterium not a blind and unconditional assent but a prudent and conditional one: Since not everything taught by the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible, we must ask what kind of assent we should give to its various decisions. The Christian is required to give the assent of faith to all the doctrinal and moral truths defined by the Church’s Magisterium. He is not required to give the same assent to teaching imparted by the sovereign pontiff that is not imposed on the whole Christian body as a dogma of faith. In this case it suffices to give that inner and religious assent which we give to legitimate ecclesiastical authority. This is not an absolute assent, because such decrees are not infallible, but only a prudential and conditional assent, since in questions of faith and morals there is a presumption in favour of one’s superior….Such prudential assent does not eliminate the possibility of submitting the doctrine to a further examination, if that seems required by the gravity of the question”. Le Magistère de L’Èglise, 1935, pp.153,154

Fr. Hurter, S. J.: “If grave and solid reasons, above all theological ones, present themselves to the mind of the faithful against decisions of the authentic Magisterium, either Episcopal or Pontifical, it will be licit for him to fear error, assent conditionally or even suspend assent. – Theol. Dogm. Compl. Vol. 1. Pg.

Fr. B. Merkelbach OP: “Where the Church does not teach with infallible authority, the proposed doctrine is not of itself irreformable; that is why, if per accidens in an hypothesis (albeit very rarely); after the most careful examination, there seems to be very grace reasons against the proposed teaching, it would be licit without temerity to suspend internal assent.” Summa Theologiae Moralis, Vol. 1, p. 601.

David said...

Part 2

Fr. Joseph C. Fenton: “The fact of the matter is that every doctrine taught by the Holy Father in his capacity as the Vicar of Christ must, by the very constitution of the Church militant of the New Testament, be accepted by the faithful for what it is. If it is an infallible declaration, it is to be accepted with an absolutely firm and irrevocable assent. If it is a non-infallible statement, it must be accepted with a firm but conditional mental assent.” Infallibility in the Encyclicals, AER, 1953

The hypocrisy is that whereas the SSPX are constantly labelled as “schismatics” etc for not giving assent to these non-infallible teachings, others are given a “free pass” for not giving assent to teachings that do possess the notes of infallibility, such as the inerrancy of Scripture and the dogma that outside of the Church there is positively no salvation. In fact, I suspect if you surveyed most modern bishops they would not give their assent to either of these de fide teachings. Where, then, are the howls of execration against them?

The problem is, of course, that the law of the Church has been employed against the Society of St Pius X who withhold assent to that which only conditionally requires assent (the novel, non-infallible teachings of the Second Vatican Council) and not against those who withhold assent to that which unconditionally requires assent (namely, the Deposit of Faith).

Indeed, as the theologian Dr John R T Lamont has observed, the Society of St Pius X accept far more (taken proposition for proposition) of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council than a great many bishops. In fact, it is precisely to those teachings of the Second Vatican Council where unconditional assent is required that the SSPX give assent. Can this be said of most Catholics in 2013?

Daniel Arseneault said...

@Jim Paton: So you see a contradtion between a document of Vatican II and the Bible. Congrats, you're a Protestant.

Daniel Arseneault said...

Dear David, you should know that there are many other things that I profoundly ignore, unlike yourself, and that's why I asked the question in the first place. But on the other hand, I may be profoundly ignorant, but not completely so, and I do believe that you are mistaken when you say that only teachings that are declared to be infallible and those that are mere reiterations of previous teachings are infallible. Please show me that you are not as ignorant as you appear by acknowledging your error.

Jim Paton said...

@Daniel,

Help my protestations with an insight of how you reconcile this.

Thanks in advance.

David said...

66605,

It is true that Pope Paul VI admitted that none of the teachings of Vat2 were endowed with the note of infallibility which attaches to acts of the extraordinary magisterium of the Church. This does not mean, however, that teachings other than that of the extraordinary magisterium are not binding on the faithful. Paul VI made it clear that the teachings of Vat2 belong to the supreme ordinary magisterium of the Church and must be accepted as such by all faithful Catholics.

The "supreme ordinary magisterium" is another way of saying "authentic magisterium" or "non-infallible ordinary magisterium". And, yes, teachings given at this level must be accepted as such by faithful Catholics. Meaning that Catholics must acknowledge the authority of the Pope in his capacity of supreme teacher. But acceptance, assent another. And you will look very hard to find a Catholic theologian who asserts that a teaching of the non-infallible ordinary magisterium demands unconditional assent.

The problem is that the very word "magisterium" is equivocal since it is susceptible of three definitions:

Magisterium as subject - In this sense "magisterium" means nothing other than the teaching authority of the Church, the ecclesia docens, that is the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.
Magisterium as act - Here "magisterium" refers to the exercise of the aforementioned authority. This is what is referred to when for example, we talk about the "magisterium of Pope X", i.e the sum of his teachings in the course of his pontificate.
Magisterium as object - In this sense "magisterium" refers to the teachings of the Extraordinary Magisterium and the Universal Magisterium, namely those inerrant teachings which constitute the Deposit of Faith.

It is only with regards to "magisterium" in the third sense where the assent of faith, which is unconditional, comes into play since it is only in this sense that a teaching can be described as infallible. Magisterial teachings in the second sense demand religious assent, an assent which is conditional in nature, since there is no guarantee that these teachings are actually true. To be required to give unconditional assent to a proposition which is not guaranteed to be true (i.e. a teaching that does not possess the notes of infallibility) is entirely un-Catholic, in fact it is idolatrous since it demands something – unconditional assent – that is due only to the Creator, based on his infinite veracity, not to His creatures.

The fact that the teachings of Vat2 were ratified by the Pope and bishops of the world in union with him guarantees its conformity with the faith of the apostles.

This is nonsense on a stick. There is no guarantee that what the Pope and the Bishops teach at any one time when they do not engage the Church's charism of infallibility must be true. Read Cardinal Newman on the Arian crisis when the body of Bishops failed to uphold the faith of the Apostles.

The unwillingness of the SSPX to accept the teachings of the supreme ordinary magisterium of Vat2, to submit to the authority of the living magisterium (the authority of the Pope) and their refusal to follow Church law places them outside the Church. The SSPX does not understand the hierarchical nature of the Church and how divine authority works through it. They act much like Protestants who believe the Church has defected.

You are saying far more than the Church has said on the matter. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI made quite clear that the Society is not outside of the Church. So I really don’t see how you have the authority to make such a declaration.

Alphonsus Jr. said...

To those yet again trotting out the "full communion" nonsense, see:

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

David said...

Daniel,

Please read the following quotes.

*****

"There will be no infallible definitions. All that was done by former Councils. That is enough." -Pope John XXIII (Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, October 11, 1962)

"In view of the conciliar practice and the pastoral purpose of the present council, this sacred Synod defines matters of faith or morals as binding on the Church only when the Synod itself openly declares so."
(The Notificatio of March 6, 1964, of the Theological Commission of the Council concerning the authority of the Council)

“We have to distinguish according to the schemas and the chapters those which have already been the subject of dogmatic definitions in the past; as for the declarations which have a novel character, we have to make reservations.” (Cardinal Felici to Archbishop Lefebvre)

“There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” (Paul VI, General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L’Osservatore Romano 1/21/1966)

Not all teachings emanating from a pope or Ecumenical Council are infallible. There is no single proposition of Vatican II – except where it is citing previous infallible definitions – which is in itself infallible.” (Bishop Butler , The Tablet 26/11/1967)

“Vatican II gave us no new dogmatic definitions.” (Bishop Butler, The Tablet 2/3/1968)

“Since the Council was aiming primarily at a pastoral orientation and hence refrained from making dogmatically binding statements or disassociating itself, as previous Church assemblies have done, from errors and false doctrines by means of clear anathemas, many questions took on an opalescent ambivalence which provided a certain amount of justification for those who speak of the spirit of the Council.” (Bishop Rudolf Graber , Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, 1974)

"The magisterium of the Church did not wish to pronounce itself under the form of extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements.... "
(Pope Paul VI, discourse closing Vatican II, December 7, 1965)

"Differing from other Councils, this one was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral."
(Pope Paul VI, August 6, 1975, General Audience)

"The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest."
(Cardinal Ratzinger, address to the Chilean Bishops, 13 July 1988, Santiago Chile)

*****

If after that you still persist in your statements that the Second Vatican Council (even where it did not engage the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium) is still “infallible” I will suspect that you are deliberately spreading disinformation.

David said...

Daniel,

It’s strange that you don’t give any examples of these ‘infallible teachings’ which belong neither to the Extraordinary Magisterium or to the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium.

Please give an example and then we’ll something concrete to discuss. Otherwise you are just throwing around slogans.

Matthew said...

@Jim Paton: Read the whole of Gaudium et Spes 24, rather than taking little snippets out of context, and you will probably have answered your own question.

I would say that if you try to play off GS 24 against Mat. 22:37-40 (and its synoptic parallels), you are also playing off Mat. 22:37-40 against John 13-17, Rom. 13:8-10 and 1 John 4:7-21. That doesn't seem to be a coherent biblical or theological position. GS 24 is only restating what Paul and John say in the scriptures, and that is not - indeed, cannot! - be in contradiction with Mat. 22.

(The choice of wording in GS 24 is perhaps not quite as clear as it could be, and I personally find that to be a systemic problem with a few of the Vatican II documents and GS in particular - but that's a different discussion.)

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

Bishop Fellay says: "We mean to do the same: either when Rome returns...to the Faith of all time..."

To which Saprksj3 answers: "Statements like this are extremely dangerous. It is a settled teaching of the Church that Rome cannot fall away from the Faith."

Well, I am no theologian, and I cannot begin to answer the question of how we have ended up in this mess, or how it can be explained in respect to Christ's promises regarding His Church. But if you believe that Pope Francis shares the fullness of the Catholic Faith in the same way that Pope Pius X held it, you are simply living in a fantasy world, or with your head in the sand like an ostrich. Lying to ourselves isn't going to get us anywhere.

Jim Paton said...

@David,

Do Shills give explanations?

I thought it was their job to obfuscate. Oh wait, that's what Daniel has been doing. But we should give him the benefit of doubt and see if he offers anything that looks like an answer to the questions put to him.

Jim Paton said...

@Matthew,

I'm not arguing that Matthew 22:35-40 in anyway contradicts other parts of Scripture. You're creating a straw man.

What I said was that Our Lord Himself made the distinction "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. ***The second*** is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:35-40)

Gaudium et Spes 24 cannot be reconciled with the teaching of Christ, as it stands. If it has contradicted Our Lord by saying "the second commandment is not..." or "the first commandment is not" then it would be formally both heretical and blasphemous. Since it did not, it represents a most grave theological error, correctible if the words **in God** are inserted at the end of the questionable sentence.

That's the only way that can be reconciled.

However, let me ask you: is the love for God and neighbour ***the first*** and greatest commandment?

sparksj3 said...

Dr. Williams,

Goodness, it is not a question of “lying to ourselves” or acting like an ostrich. This is precisely the type of confusion that such statements engender. The Faith is a supernatural gift and can be lost only by heresy or apostasy. Has the pope or the Church in Rome formally committed outright heresy or apostasy? If so, we are in serious trouble. If not, they share in the same Faith as the saints.

That said, one can have the true "faith of all time", but not profess it or profess it poorly. In the example you gave, there is nothing ostrich-like in saying that Pope Francis and Pope Pius X share the same Faith. The profession of that same Faith differs in each, though. Certainly, Pope St. Pius X was clearer in his enunciation of Catholic doctrine and his condemnation of deviances from it. Yet, profession is not the same as possession. As Leo XIII emphasized, one either has the Faith or one does not. There is no middle-way. There is nothing ostrich-like about this—it is the only coherent way of seeing the situation without departing from Catholic truth. There are certain ways in which one can argue with a given pope’s understanding of the Faith or profession of the same, but one may not question the pope’s possession of the Faith. If the pope clearly does not have the Faith, he is not pope. Period.

The core problem here is that it is Catholic doctrine that Rome cannot depart from the Faith. As this is Catholic doctrine, we must give full assent to it, despite whatever we might think our poor little minds tell us. Again, to insist that Rome has lost the Faith, but still claim to be faithful to the same Rome is utterly non-sensical.

I’m not saying this is always easy. There are statements that sometimes come from Rome or practices that are seen there that tempt one to believe that she has departed from the Faith. I’m sure that during the time of Benedict IX or Alexander VI the temptation was very, very great. Yet it is precisely at times such as these that one should renew one’s Faith and pray to Our Lady who stood at the foot of the Cross, cradling the lifeless body of her Son, all the while believing without wavering that He yet lived and reigned.

Matthew said...

@Jim Paton: is the love for God and neighbour ***the first*** and greatest commandment?

Yes, if you understand properly what Paul and John say in the scriptures, and thus by extension GS 24.

GS 24, my emphasis: "For this reason, love for God and neighbour is the first and greatest commandment. Sacred Scripture, however, teaches us that the love of God cannot be separated from love of neighbour."

Rom. 13:9-10, my emphasis: "The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

1 John 4:20, my emphasis: "If any one says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen."

As ought to be clear, GS 24 is just restating Romans and 1 John, so I don't see where the problem lies.

You say I am creating a straw-man, but it seems clear to me that if you say GS 24 contradicts scripture then by the same logic you must also say that Paul and John contradict Our Lord.

66605 said...

To David,
You accurately document the fact that the Church refused to employ the extraordinary magisterium at Vat2, but here is what the Pope had to say about the supreme ordinary magisterium which was employed. He said,”This ordinary magisterium, which is so obviously official, has to be accepted with docility and sincerity by all the faithful, in accordance with the mind of the Council on the nature and aims of the individual documents.” So, it's true that the documents of Vat2 do not demand the unconditional assent of infallible statements but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the supreme ordinary magisterium. In order to reject the teaching of Vat2 on doctrinal grounds one would have to elevate his own private opinions about Church teaching above that of the living magisterium, the Pope and bishops in union with him, who constitute the teaching authority of the Church. Why can't the SSPX accept the teachings of Vat2 in a conditional way? This is all that is asked of them.
You should also remember that before a teaching becomes “infallible”, that is, an act of the extraordinary magisterium (which is a rare event) it belongs to the ordinary magisterium of the Church. So, one needs to be careful about rejecting teachings the Pope says belong to the ordinary magisterium.

Sancte Alphonsus said...

You often hear SSPX Chapel goers refer to the Ecclesia Dei communities as "fruits of the SSPX." In order to be consistent you must also refer to the SSPV, "the nine" who broke from SSPX, and the SSPX "strict observance" as also being fruits.
While I believe the SSPX makes some valid points their assertions that the new Mass is 'evil' and that the FSSP are part of the problem is very problematic.

The textbook definition of schism is 'the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.'

This definition is enough to give one pause when considering the SSPX. True the Church has made no formal declaration of schism as far as I can tell but the Church has warned against attendance at an SSPX Chapel for the very reason of imbibing a schismatic mentality. This mentality is very real and sees faithful sons of the Church (ie. FSSP, ICK etc.) as "part of the problem."

I pray that Rome either admit them "in" or formally excommunicate every member of the SSPX, Bishops, Priests and associated lay faithful for the sake of clarity.
To me it does not seem just to leave the SSPX in this current grey area.

Jim Paton said...

@Matthew,

You're dancing round the issue.
Is the love (((FOR))) God AND neighbour ***the first*** and greatest commandment?

I have no problem with what St's Paul and John are saying. I agree wholeheartedly.

But... "for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God" does not mean that love ((FOR)) God AND neighbour is the **first** and greatest commandment. That's some leap.

Likewise with Rom 13.

Why? The love FOR God is the foundation of all virtue and the end and purpose of all the acts of the catholic faithful. So the question is, can the creature be classed together on a par with God in the act of love?

David said...

66605,

So, it's true that the documents of Vat2 do not demand the unconditional assent of infallible statements but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the supreme ordinary magisterium. In order to reject the teaching of Vat2 on doctrinal grounds one would have to elevate his own private opinions about Church teaching above that of the living magisterium, the Pope and bishops in union with him, who constitute the teaching authority of the Church.

What do you mean by the phrase “reject the teaching of Vatican II”?

If you mean by “rejection” merely to “withhold assent” to these teachings then you are saying that, yes, you acknowledge that the assent owed to the teachings of the non-infallible magisterium is conditional but that Catholics may never do anything except assent !Because the right to conditional assent in response to non-infallible teachings is derived from the obligation of the creature to only give unconditional assent to what has been infallibly revealed by the Creator you are effectively denying that a Catholic qua Catholic may ever exercise this right.

If you mean by “rejection” the position of one who claims to be able to make a definitive judgement on whether a certain proposition is erroneous then, of course, you are right. But is that really the case with the SSPX? From my own reading of the correspondence between Econe and Rome it seems that Archbishop Lefebvre repeatedly asked for a clarification, in the form of dubia, of the problematic teachings of the Second Vatican Council in the light of Tradition. But instead of the requested clarifications there were calls to obedience.

Why can't the SSPX accept the teachings of Vat2 in a conditional way? This is all that is asked of them.

Well, we need to define what is meant by “accept”. If you mean by “accept” “assent” then to assent in a conditional way is to have the right of assenting or withholding assent, which is what they have done. If you mean by “accept” “acknowledge” then the SSPX clearly acknowledge the authority of the Roman Pontiff in his capacity as supreme teacher and that these teachings were promulgated lawfully. But the question is still open regardless of the authority of the person teaching since that teaching is not infallible and may be simply untrue.

You should also remember that before a teaching becomes “infallible”, that is, an act of the extraordinary magisterium (which is a rare event) it belongs to the ordinary magisterium of the Church. So, one needs to be careful about rejecting teachings the Pope says belong to the ordinary magisterium.

First of all, you are mistaken when you imply that only a teaching of the Extraordinary Magisterium is infallible since a teaching of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium is also understood to be infallible. Secondly, do you really believe that the teaching of Vatican II on ecumenism and religious liberty is part of the deposit of faith? If so, why were things contrary to these two teachings taught consistently for 1930 years prior to the Council?

Alphonsus Jr. said...

This comment thread provides yet another example of the diabolical confusion wrought by the Judas Council.

66605 said...

David,
I am saying that Catholics must assent to the teachings of the Church to the degree the Church demands their assent. Some teaching belongs to the extraordinary magisterium some does not. Those doctrines which have not been formally defined must still be accepted due to the authority from which the teaching comes, the Pope and bishops in union with him, since they are the organs of apostolic authority. To place individual opinion above that authority is to invert the order in the Church and sow doctrinal confusion. To accept doctrine on this basis does not imply doubt about the truth of the matter either. It recognizes that the Church may develop and modify the teaching according to the times and circumstances it is to be applied.
No, I don't believe Vat2 contradicts previous Church teaching. A careful reading of the documents shows that one aspect of the doctrine in question is emphasized at one time and another aspect of it is emphasized later. If a real contradiction existed the Church would not have recognized the doctrine as its own. Those who pit Council against Council and Pope against pope are playing the Protestant game.

Long-Skirts said...

Neil Addison said...

"FSSP is what SSPX was given the opportunity to be 25 years ago"

Really???

VATICAN II PLUS TWO =

And where are the schools
The daily Mass
Lines to confess
A uniformed lass?

And where are the schools
The Latin class
Cassocked priest
Candles in brass?

And where are the schools
To strengthen souls
Shape their wills
Set the goals?

And where are the schools
The altar boy
Assisting priest
Like Christ their joy?

And where are the schools
Oh, time you lied
A generation
Has gone and died.

And where are the schools
Which don’t derive
That two plus two
Are sometimes five?

S – S – P – X,
They’re found in large
Where struggling families
Let priest take charge

For the good of the whole
Priests’ lives are laid
So many may come
Not be afraid.

And win the Faith
From Christ-like hand…
St. Pie the Tenth
Two and two are grand!!

gerald may said...

@66605 Well said!
I am sympathetic to those traditionalists who attend SSPX chapels and I refuse to accuse them of any canonical crimes, or being in a state of sin for attending the SSPX chapels. I consider them my fellow Catholic brethren within the Church albeit in an irregular state. Yet, being one who is a traditionalist and attends a diocesan ecclesia Dei TLM parish; rejects all the novelties that the SSPX eschews, and practices the orthodox Catholic faith, I pray that someday they attain full canonical regularization, but alas, in the final analysis I cannot in good conscience join them.

Moreover, why would I even need to? Holy Mother Church has never taken any of her treasures from me, nor impedes me from being a traditional Catholic, nor has taken away any of my rights as a Catholic, including the right to critique any novel policies or administration even if its approved by Rome or the bishops.

The immanent philosopher and traditional Catholic Dietrich von Hildebrand delivered a stupendous and thorough debunking of all aspects of modernism and naturalistic-humanism by certain neo-Thomists (as opposed to the classical and orthodox Thomists) and neo-theologians. He refutes those modernists who were as someone in this thread already pointed out, were becoming influential long before VII started, in his notable work, "The Charitable Anathema". In addition, von Hildebrand made the cogent case and appeal for the TLM and traditional praxis in the Church.

However, throughout his life he always took this sagacious approach, which I try to emulate: We may respectfully disagree but we obey Holy Mother Church!

Alphonsus Jr. said...

The amount of private judgment here by those who purport to spurn private judgment is interesting (e.g., charges that the SSPX is in schism or is Protestant).

Common Sense said...

Not once I encountered on this forrum an argument which would even remotely match up those presented by SSPX. As the crisis unravels, even blind Fred can see SSPXs' standpoint as true and viable.

Daniel Arseneault said...

An interesting quote:

"Incredibly, they boldly affirm that the Roman Pontiff and all the bishops, the priests and the people conjoined with him in the unity of faith and communion fell into heresy when they approved and professed the definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council. Therefore they deny also the indefectibility of the Church and blasphemously declare that it has perished throughout the world and that its visible Head and the bishops have erred."

(Pius IX, Etsi multa, 1873)

Parmenides said...

For the discussion about the authority of Vatican II, I would strongly recommend seeing the works of Msgr Brunero Gherardini. He makes important and useful distinctions, and to back these up he has a long career as ecclesiology professor at the Lateran.

Ospite said...

Dear Arseaunelt (29 June at 00:32 a.m.),

"...when they approved and professed the definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council".

Well, that was Vatican Council I, because Vatican Council II MADE NO DEFINITIONS. Clever, clever, clever juxtaposition of terms - but so fallacious, alas.

Once more: in CVII there are no definitions to approve and profess, except those quoted from previous councils; which we all approve and profess. The non-definitory teachings of Vatican II - ay, Daniel my friend, there is the rub.
And in order to discern rubbish from sound doctrine, serious study is imperative. Yes, do meditate on the distinction made by Msgr Brunero Gherardini - and may I humbly suggest that, first of all, you learn to distinguish between Vatican I and Vatican II.

Luciana Cuppo

David said...

"...when they approved and professed the definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council".

Well, can you provide an example of a definition from the Second Vatican Council?

And - I ask again - can you provide an example of an infallible teaching of Vatican II that belongs neither to the Extraordinary Magisterium nor the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium?

I guess I shouldn't hold my breath...

Really, it seems that you are not interested in rational debate but merely in spreading disinformation? But why?

Daniel Arseneault said...

Dear Mr. Cuppo: Pius IX, 1873... Duh, I thought he was talking about Vatican II. You really got me there.

But seriously, I think the Old Catholics make all kinds of fallacious distinctions to justify rejecting Vatican I. They even used to say that Vatican I should be rejected because it wasn't in conformity with Tradition.

66605 said...

The teachings of Vatican II came with this declaration at the end of each document; “Each and everything said in this Declaration has met with the approval of the Fathers of the Sacred Council. We, by the Apostolic power handed on to Us by Christ, together with the venerable Fathers, approve them, declare them, and establish them in the Holy Spirit; and We command that what has been decreed by the Council be promulgated for the glory of God.” The document was then signed by the Pope and the Fathers of the council. So, it is plain to see how Vat2 belongs to the supreme ordinary magisterium of the Church and must be accepted as such by the faithful. The rejection of Vat2 involves the rejection of apostolic authority and separation from the Church.

Nicholas Ugap said...

Please read this Headline from NCR carefully:

"Traditionalists Indicate Definitive Break With Catholic Church"

NCR 'declared' Traditionalist is non-Catholic. I just report this, you decide...

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/traditionalists-indicate-definitive-break-with-catholic-church/

Alphonsus Jr. said...

66605, we reject only the ERRORS of Vatican II, and in precisely this way do we stay INSIDE the Church and EMBRACE true apostolic authority.

Athanasius said...

Please forgive my ignorance, but what arguments are put forward by those who deny the infallibility of the Second Vatican Council?

Mr. Arsenault,

You are confusing the term "organ of infallibility" (organon infallibilitatis) with infallibility itself. The organ of infallibility means that it is an instrument which normatively be used to declare something which is to be held and believed by all Catholics. Yet, not everything from a council is infallible even if its pronouncements have the character of infallibility. Council's may lay out the background for a teaching and speak of debates on a point and culminate with the Canon: the summation of a theological teaching which must be held. Only the canon will be infallible and irreformable. Again in the past there was another council which was not infallible, namely the 1st Lateran Council which dealt with a canonical issue, lay investiture (monarchs appointing bishops as opposed to the Pope). In the tradition, as Vatican I's statement of Papal infallibility makes certain, the authority needs to meet certain conditions to employ infallibility, among which is declaring that it must be held. Vatican II says exactly, the opposite. In the Nota Praevia formally approved by Pope Paul VI and affixed to Lumen Gentium, it declares that nothing is to be held as infallible unless otherwise said so.

None of this affects that the Council is authoritative, i.e. an act of the Church's ordinary magisterium. The issue then for Traditionalists who oppose the conciliar formulations is whether the ordinary teachings are so at variance with the Tradition that we can withhold our obsequium for them. The ordinary magisterium is not infallible and irreformable in itself, but only in as much as it confirms what has always and everywhere been believed. Because Vatican II did not declare that its pronouncements were to be held as infallible and irreformable as Council's normally do when exercising the Extraordinary magisterium, the room to question whether these are properly part of the Tradition exists, hence (in my view) the SSPX correctly resists the innovations in LG, DH and NA promulgated by the Council.

In sum, that a council is an organon infallibilitatis does not mean everything it says and whenever it says it is infallible. Likewise the Papacy is an organon infallibilitatis, yet not every time is the Pope infallible when he speaks, only when he employs infallibility in the extrarodinary magisterium (i.e. solemn judgemnt like the Immaculate Conception). The rest of the time his teaching is part of the ordinary magisterium, which is only infallible in as much as it accords with the whole Tradition. Cf. Bellarmine de Romano Pontifice, bk. IX and XXI; Cardinal Franzelin De Traditione, Thesis XI, XII, XX.

gerald may said...

Athanasius,

If it’s true that all the novelties promulgated by VII are not infallible, as you have made a cogent case that they are not, then could this be the reason why Rome has never formally declared the SSPX to be schematic? In fact, it would seem that they could never declare them as such according to Church law. Moreover, why, if the SSPX is certain of their position, don't they press their case to Rome that there is not only no case for schism but also even to be put in an irregular state?

Gordon Stokes said...

This is a very good read and helps clarify the reasons for the SSPX episcopal consecrations which seems to be what is causing most of the difficulty in understanding the necessity for the SSPX to hold its position as the last bastion to stand up to Rome and demand a return to tradition in every aspect of the faith.
Understanding the Episcopal Consecrations in the Context of a Legally Unhinged World by
By Brian M. McCall, JD @ CFN - Catholic Family News.
Please follow link – very informative.
http://www.cfnews.org/page88/files/3493bb3238afcea63cf2cc9b86753119-120.html

Common Sense said...

66605, have you ever read Easop fable:"Donkey and the frozen lake"? If not, I bid you to do so!

Daniel Arseneault said...

Athanasius: Thank you for the reply, your explanation clears things up. I am uncomfortable with the idea of withholding obsequium on any grounds. As a layman, should I trust the Holy See, who says that Vatican II does not contain errors, or a splinter group of traditionalists who says the opposite? It seems to me that the Chair of Peter is there for a reason and that as Catholics we can and should trust what the pope says.

Tabernacle of David said...

"so as to safeguard the Faith and the Catholic priesthood"

Excuse me? Safeguard...the Catholic priesthood? Do they really give themselves that much credit? What? Do they think they are the protectors of the Catholic priesthood?

How can anyone listen to this?

David said...

Daniel,
I'd also recommend The True and False Infallibility of the Popes by Bishop Fessler, the Secretary of the First Vatican Council. In it he defends the doctrine of infallibility against the Church that it applies to every statement made by an Ecumenical Council. This was the charge made by Dr Schulte in order to demonstrate the claim of infallibility was absurd.

For a Catholic to repeat the falsehoods mouthed by the enemies of the Church is to be lamented.

Common Sense said...

Tradition= counter revolution, pro rights of God, pro family,respect for private property and civil liberty. Novus Ordo favours and compliments revolution at least implicitly, Man focused, promotes communal social and economic aproach, dispises tradition and is EGALITARIAN in its essense and ultimately leads to total slavery.

David said...

*against the charge*

Ospite said...

@ Daniel Arseneault at 06:33:

The alternative is not between "a splinter group of traditionalists" and the Holy See, but between teachings peculiar to the documents of CVII and those handed down through 2,000 years of Tradition (i.e., the oral transmission of the teaching of Christ).
Ever read Vincent of Lerins? In his time the dogma of infallibility had not be defined yet, but his criterion - that became generally accepted - for discerning true from false doctrine was (I am citing by heart, so please forgive any inaccuracies): quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus credatur [we must retain] "what was believed always, everywhere, by all" by common assent and opinion (sententia) of the universal Church. Splinter groups - whether traditionalists, liberals, or any other label you care to concoct - are those that do not believe what the Church has always and universally affirmed.

Luciana Cuppo

Michael Sestak said...

The Society has always faced opposition, since its very conception in 1970. It faced peril in 1983, witnessed global censure in 1988, and has tolerated naysayers from all directions — even those who once professed to be loyal. But this diabolical opposition has only proved one thing: Providence.

The Society persists to this day — the same message, the same Faith. Lively and strong.

May God continue to bless the Society of St. Pius X.

Gordon Stokes said...

Michael Sestak;
Yes; Absolutely.

I believe that the SSPX has only just begun to move out of it's formative trials and challenges.

For those who want the whole truth and nothing but the truth the SSPX will soon clearly be seen to be the instrument of Divine Providence that will pave the way by EXAMPLE for the restoration of the Church in all TRUTH and HOLINESS.

By their fruits you will know them.

Where there is no cross, there is no salvation.

TRUTH and HOLINESS.

The four marks of the Church are clearly present in the SSPX constitution particularly and particularly in it's persistent adherence to Eternal Rome and in it's readiness to serve the Sovereign Pontiff for the glory of God, and the good of souls in the Restoration of the Church and the TRUE evangelization.

Thaddeus Kozinski said...


Yes, it all sounds very logical and heroic and Catholic, but is it the fruit of humility, obedience, and charity? I think not. Are distinctions not made that must be made? I think so, as I argue in my article:

http://socrates-pelican.blogspot.com/2012/05/gnostic-traditionalist-new-oxford.html