Rorate Caeli

A RORATE CÆLI Editorial: Holy See - SSPX.

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam, et consummabuntur omnia quæ scripta sunt per prophetas de Filio hominis: tradetur enim gentibus, et illudetur, et flagellabitur, et conspuetur: et postquam flagellaverint, occident eum, et tertia die resurget. (Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall by accomplished which were written by the Prophets concerning the Son of Man. For He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked and scourged and spit upon: and after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death, and the third day He shall rise again. - from the Gospel for the Sunday of Quinquagesima.)

ONCE AGAIN, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX) is at the center of Catholic concerns. Its priests and faithful form a tiny portion of nominal Catholics, but they are a thorn in the flesh of those who praise the so-called fruits of the Council.

This is the time for negotiations

Some within the Society believe that there should never be talks with Rome, not until "Rome returns to Tradition" (e.g.). One of the bitterest fruits of the struggle for Tradition, one of the darkest indirect fruits of the Council has been this spirit of permanent judgement of the Holy See. Prima sedes a nemine iudicatur is one of those venerable maxims of Catholicism.

Some only wish to talk to a "Pure Rome", an "Immaculate Rome" -- a Rome, in fact, which has never existed in such form in the History of the Church, for the Bishop of Rome and his Curia are men, sinful men full of personal defects. "The danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church" -- this is what Pope Saint Pius X said 100 years ago. Does this seem to describe the "Pure Rome" of ancient lore?

True, the crisis is enormous in the current age: huge, seemingly insurmountable in human terms. This is why this is the time to enter into serious, determined dialogue with the only man chosen by Divine Providence to rule the Universal Church, the Bishop of Rome. To disagree with him is possible, often even laudable; to refuse the extended hand of the universal Pastor is irresponsible.

This is the time for responsibility

The Pope has summoned the Society to come to full and unlimited communion with him. This has caused serious misgivings inside those groups which already are in full communion: "Why should 'they' be the ones to receive all the attention?". This is what has been aptly named by some "the older-brother-of-the-Prodigal-Son syndrome"...

For historical and demographic reasons, the Pope wishes to reach out to the Society. It must be painful for a man like him to see that the Council assembled to promote the unity of Christians has actually led to abysmal divisions among Catholics themselves. For him, the birth and growth of the SSPX are understandable reactions to the "Hermeneutics of Discontinuity" which has dominated the Church since at least the first session of Vatican II.

The Pope needs friends in full and unlimited communion with him to wage the fight against discontinuity with Tradition inside the Church. It is important to understand that the Pope might need the SSPX in ways that even he may not understand or appreciate yet and that Traditionalists cannot foresee. This is a moment of grave responsibility for the Society. The Church at large needs those valiant faithful who are willing to say things as they are in order to preserve the most ancient liturgical and catechetical traditions of the Roman heritage.

This may be the final opportunity

For some unfathomable reason, many believe that there will be many chances for negotiations in the future and in future pontificates. Those who believe this are wrong and deluded. How would these critics know that there will be other and better opportunities? In fact, all the signs point to the fact that the great historical window of opportunity is nearing its end and has reached its optimal moment.

The SSPX should not take this choice of being a "privileged partner of dialogue" for granted; the time may come, and it could be sooner than many believe, when this dialogue will not be possible at all.

The Society has become a positive influence in the Church, but its influence would be further amplified if upon it did not hang -- even if unjustly -- the title of "schismatic". Many voices inside the SSPX seem to prefer to wait for another "fulness of time"; others steer dangerously close to a kind of "practical sedevacantism". Whatever reasons those voices may have for their misgivings, they should better be absolutely certain that, together with all its very good fruits, the Society has also obtained the mark of indefectability in order to survive an emergency situation that may last another couple hundred years.

For Catholics, Rome is not an ideal, but the geographic seat of the Successors of St. Peter. It is curious, but it is true: the center of the one true Faith, the Cathedra of Saint Peter, has an actual postal address -- Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano, Piazza San Pietro, Città del Vaticano 00120-Roma.

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam: trials may come, but redemption is at hand.

This is the time.


  1. Excellent! Perfect! Wonderful!

    Will, they listen? I hope so. It sounds all too much like Fr. Aulangier. My feeling is that there has been a slow "development of doctrine" within the SSPX and that many of them have become comfortable with a permanent "State of Emergency."

    My guess is that there is still a substantial number of SSPXers who want serious negotiation, but not enough to overcome the others. So, I hope Benedict will simply lift the excommunications without quid pro quo, and say, "Now no one can claim you are out and you no longer have the luxury of the "protection" of the excommunications that your Bishop Fellay talked about. I invite your response; let's talk as Catholic brethren about how you can function both comfortably and normally within the Church."

    This approach seems marvellously hopeful. And it's what they asked for prior to negotiations isn't it? I think the effect would be to suddenly make much of what they are saying "respectable" in a new way and force other Catholics to engage with them and respond to them. Will they be humble enough to step out of the role of Guardians of Tradition and into the lesser role of Servants and Advocates of Tradition in order to help and edify their brethren who need them so badly? I think they will, but ONLY if Benedict "forces" them back "in" first, before any negotiations.

    The SSPX has often adverted to the "risks" of regularization; such a course would be a HUGE risk for Benedict, one upon which his whole Pontificate could founder. If he takes it, will they respond with the gratitude and generosity it deserves? I think they will...over time.

  2. jeff

    As someone who attends an SSPX Church I understand to some extent what you mean about being comfortable. We have the fullness of Catholic Tradition, a hard working highly trained and educated Priest who week by week makes up for the failures of my post VII Catholic "education".

    Change might bring risk and I am wary. But despite that I agree with the points made in the editorial. I hope the negotiations work out.

    In the short run Rome needs us and in the long run we need Rome. The failures of the last 40 years are by now obvious to sufficient numbers that Conservatives and traditionalists working together can put things right.

    If that chance exists out duty is obvious.

  3. Jeff,

    You said :

    "My guess is that there is still a substantial number of SSPXers who want serious negotiation, but not enough to overcome the others."

    I am not sure what the numbers are really like -- since the forces against the agreement seem to be more vocal and influential -- but my overall feeling is that the vast majority of the faithful at the SSPX Chapels, as well as the priests, will go wherever the leadership takes them.

  4. Henry:

    I'm so glad to hear you say that! This, I think, is all that need be asked.

  5. Excellent post. I hope our brothers in the SSPX read it. How I wish they were at one with us, so as the better to help us regain our traditional doctrine and practice!

  6. The Remnant piece under the link at (e.g.) is very depressing. It's rhetoric like this that has made that paper almost unbearable for me to read anymore.

    The whole attitude of "AFTER Rome adopts the whole of our understanding of Tradition, THEN we will think about regularizing our position" is utterly self-defeating. The Remnant authors admit that there is absolutely no hope for such a prospect in the forseeable--no, in the IMAGINABLE--future.

    Putting aside the whole question of who in the world they think they are, how do they propose to help their understanding of Tradition regain what they see as its proper place in the Church? I suppose they just think THEY will go on manifesting the truly Catholic spirit and growing, while the "Roman" faction withers away.

    What a refutation of the necessity of the Petrine office, were it true! If what SAVES the Church is a fragment not under obedience to Rome and not subject to the teaching of Rome, then better not to HAVE a Pope. All we need is Tradition, which the Pope opposes. Sure, it might be nice to have a Pope if he is subject to somebody else's idea of what Tradition is. I don't see the practical difference between this and Eastern Orthodoxy, which is why I usually respond to the taunt, "Neo-Cath!" from SSPXers, with the reply, "Western Orthodox!". If I believed this stuff, I couldn't be a Catholic. If we are "beyond crisis" and the Church has been transformed into something else with one Peter after another as arch-betrayer, then Christ's promise has failed and you might as well go back to the drawing board. This vision, if true, would make the Arian problems in the early centuries pale into insignificance.

    Well, they still seem to say that the excommunications were ineffective and should be done away with. And that's the only saving grace I see. What PRECISELY is it that they won't DO unless the Church "repents" and takes up their ideas wholeheartedly? They won't negotiate what Benedict calls "effective obedience," I guess.

    Lifting the excommunications is the only thing that will put that to the test by introducing a new chemistry into the relationship. Then their fear of Papal "betrayal" will have to compete with the desire for increasing influence in the Church, which they could have if they would only give up being a "Remnant" and dive into the muck with the rest of us.

  7. I stopped reading the Remnant ages ago. They seem to almost enjoy the present misery. I don't think they even want reunification anymore. Please note that I do not think all traditionalist are like this. I don't have a problem with SSPX. If it wasn't for them the rest of us wouldn't have the Indult today.

  8. Declaration
    Rev. Raphael Trytek

    Cracow, February 2nd, 2006

    For nearly half a century since, Christian life remains eclipsed under the propagation of what the Church has infallibly condemned over centuries as Modernistic errors and heresies, such as: 1) Religious freedom, essentially leading to the acceptance of state atheism; 2) falsely conceived Ecumenism -whether equalization of false religious doctrines to the One True Catholic Church, or acknowledgment of other religions, including even Judaism, Islam, and Paganism, as means leading to salvation; 3) the erroneous conception of the Church of Christ as not identical with the Catholic Church, but as a wider entity that includes the Catholic Church without being limited to it; 4) the advancement of one global syncretistic religion; 5) adherence to Masonic ideas, such as the propagation of alleged "natural" rights of man, which essentially becomes an expression of anthropocentrism.

    It is impossible for the True Church of Christ and for Her Hierarchy -Pope and Bishops remaining in union with him- to subscribe to that apostasy! Whoever is willing to preserve and to confess the Catholic Faith, must acknowledge that the institution that insistently peddles and publicly proclaims so shameful errors, has nothing in common with the true Catholic Church, and that its ruler, currently Joseph Ratzinger, is no legal authority to Catholics and has no power of jurisdiction over them. This means that he is no true Pope, Vicar of Christ on Earth, Successor of Saint Peter in the primacy, but only a usurper and an occupier of Peter's See, even as his Modernistic predecessors who accepted, confirmed, decreed and brought to life the heretical teaching of the so-called Second Vatican Council. If the opposite were the case, the Church of Christ would prove fallible, destructible and stainable, which would be contrary to the promises of the Lord Jesus that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt 16:18). Therefore, as I reject the apostasy of Modernism, I also reject the false answer to it that the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), whose member I was till recently, forces its priests and faithful to accept.

    1) I reject as subversive and un-Catholic the SSPX assertion that the Church can voice heresy, promulgate or bring to life binding universal liturgical laws (the Novus Ordo Missae and new sacramental rites) and disciplinary laws (e.g. the 1983 Code of Canon Law) that contain contradictions, errors and heresies or are wholly invalid, hinder the salvation of souls and lead to Protestantism. I likewise reject the view that canonizations of Saints performed by the Church are open to doubt.

    2) I reject the false alternative proposed by the SSPX -unity or confession of unadulterated Faith. The Unity of the Catholic Church is based upon one same faith, same sacraments, and obedience to one same Pope. There is no true unity where not even one of the aforementioned elements occurs. Moreover, it is not possible to confess the true faith against the unity of the Church.

    3) I reject the SSPX system, where recognition of the Pope is merely illusory, where the Pope has a mere primacy of honor, and where the only noticeable expression of acknowledgment of papal primacy is to occasionally hang a picture of the current occupant of Peter's See, whom the SSPX erroneously holds to be the Pope, in sacristies of Society chapels and churches. However, the "proper and legal" authority for the Society, ultimately deciding what a Catholic must admit or reject in Church teaching, is the Superior General of the SSPX [currently Bishop Bernard Fellay --Editor]. Accordingly, the Society places his "authority" above the "authority" of the one erroneously held to be the true Pope.

    4) I reject as hypocritical the SSPX stance of insisting on a game "at two fronts", of which, effectively, the real one, and concurrently the one most damaging to the souls of the faithful, is to protect and legitimize the culprits of the current universal apostasy by assigning them attributes of legality, and, what is more, of power of jurisdiction over Catholics. Such a stance is the result of backsliding from the holy duty of conveying the whole integral Deposit of the Catholic Faith.

    My responsibility as a Catholic is the confession of the unadulterated Catholic Faith, the same what was universally practiced till the death of the Holy Father Pius XII. In particular as a Catholic priest I summon all lovers of Truth to reject any compromise with the Modernistic occupants, and to join the common battle for the Catholic cause in our hearts and in our Fatherland! This struggle will be hard and may seem hopeless from a human point-of -view, however, what greater honor than to take part in the struggle for the triumph of the Holy Church, which shall eventually be victorious!

    We beseech the Queen of Poland not to forget her nation in her prayers before the throne of the heavenly King, and to obtain for us strength to persevere in the Truth, true holiness, and love of God and neighbor.

    Rev. Raphael Trytek

    Cracow, on the Feast of Candlemas

  9. I agree wholeheartedly, New Catholic. Now is the time for them to be of great help to the Church, without the hindrance of labels, even labels which I hope have been applied unjustly or incorrectly all along.

  10. I am very largely in agreement with the letter, and wholly with the spirit, of the Editorial. However, as an SSPX-supporting layman it's important to realise that the question is not one of "how (we) can function both comfortably and normally within the Church" (Jeff's phrase). Rather, it boils down to this: does "acceptance of the Council" mean that one is no longer a Catholic insofar as one resists non-dogmatic innovations such as Religious Liberty and Ecumenism? The SSPX will never sign up for either of these two principles; insistence that it must amounts to "raising the bar" or "moving the goalposts" or whatever other sporting analogy one thinks most apposite for redefining what it is to be a Catholic in communion with Peter.

  11. " is no longer a Catholic insofar as one resists non-dogmatic innovations such as Religious Liberty and Ecumenism?"

    This was not discussed in the Editorial and justly so -- it is irrelevant to the Holy Father to force on anyone new pragmatic approaches of the Church, which nevertheless are not exactly thological (see Christmas Address to the Curia -- Dec 22, 2005, you can also search our many posts on it by searching within the content of this blog, in the index page).

    The "Campos reconciliation" is despised by many (many who do not know its full character), but it offers some clues to the precedents which can only be made clearer in the future. The Council was not even mentioned in the letter sent by the priests of Campos to the Pope and by the latter to bishop Licinio Rangel. In the official profession of faith, Rangel merely said: "We accept the Second Vatican Council as one of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church, accepting it in light of Holy Tradition". How can it be made even more strict than this?... I intend to post something in the next few weeks.

  12. By the way, thank you all for your comments.

  13. I have been thinking about this during the last two days: through Br. Bugnolo´s comments on a previous post I learned that the obedience due to VII is "religious observance" -in Paul VI´s promulgation this is the term HH uses- rather than "divine and catholic faith", being the latter proper to infallible teaching.

    Also through the Remnant article you link to on this post, that Cardinal Felici in his capacity as secretary of the Council attributed dogmatic status to that teaching that had been solemnly defined IN THE PAST, and therefore that new teaching was subject to reservations.

    This position was also held by Cardinal Ratzinger in a july 20 1983 letter to Msgnr. Lefebvre, on which he states that conciliar decrees have "Varying authority" and therefore "criticism is possible" -despite The Remnant-. This is the link, unfortunately for those who can read spanish only...

    Is the Holy See asking for unqualified submission to the Coubcil? Even in light of all these accepted distinctions? It would be a step backwards. Perhaps what The Holy See is asking for is the acceptance of VII as a valid Council, a la Campos, leaving open the way to theological open dispute and eventual correction on the non-infallible points.

    Or maybe that last thing I said is a desideratum, because even if the Vatican accepts not all VII is infallible, nevertheless they would not be willing to retract the parts of the Council that were ordinary Magisterium, and hence fallible. Which leads me to believe taht the Holy See has made up its mind in the following terms: "VII is ordinary Magisterium and therefore allows for error, but we say that there is no actual error", therefore closing the case that FSSPX happens to want to open, or keep open.

    To sum it up, maybe we are not talking about the status of the Council, but the relatively inferior question of wether there is actual error in it... Now that is much more reassuring for us troubled souls, but perhaps hinders the way to reconciliation in a different, more exasperating way.

  14. Ralsina:

    "maybe we are not talking about the status of the Council, but the relatively inferior question of wether there is actual error in it... Now that is much more reassuring for us troubled souls, but perhaps hinders the way to reconciliation in a different, more exasperating way."

    What many friends of the SSPX say--including the very influential Christopher Ferrara--is that the documents are "ambiguous" and admit more than one reading.

    All of these discussions can take place WITHIN the Church. What readings of the Council are "errors" (whether "Traditionalist" or "Modernist" errors) is something that can be discussed--and that needs to be discussed. Insisting that the Traditionalist view be ALLOWED as legitimate is one thing. Insisting that you have the freedom to PROMOTE it as the only one faithful to Tradition is one thing.

    But...Insisting that the Traditionalist view be recognized as the ONLY ONE--and that BEFORE any TALK of reconciliation--is what is impossible and irrational and is so discouraging about the Remnant piece.

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. This is a good time to refresh our memory of Fr. Aulagnier, who was drummed out of the SSPX for saying things very similar to what the "reconciliationists" are saying now.

    Here is an example:

    "I think that there is a danger in seeing this conflict last for ages. The Church is a visible and hierarchical society. If one lives too long in an autarchy, one ends up losing the meaning of what a hierarchy is. We are thus in danger, the time passing and the opposition remaining, of forgetting Rome and organizing ourselves more and more outside of Rome. This needs to be acknowledged.

    "This is why we must always remain in contact with Rome, not only for them to progress in the right direction, but unceasingly to remind ourselves of their good memory. We are of the flock. If we remain satisfied with our situation, then there is a danger of "psychological schism." The young people are of my opinion. I call it as it is. The SSPX leadership thinks I exaggerate, but our younger generations have never known a normal ecclesiastical situation. Thus I have accepted "this Canadian exile" for my ideas."

    That the attitudes that resulted in the persecution of Fr. Aulagnier are still alive and well and influential inside the society is beyond dispute. Bishop Fellay will have a hard time neutralizing them, even if he wants to. He will not want to cause another SSPX internal "schism".

    Simply lifting the excommunications without any quid pro quo circumvents all of this: Fellay and other "reconciliationists" don't have to *DO* anything. It simply shifts the topic of negotiations from "Should we reconcile with the Conciliar Church" to "How can we best preserve our autonomy within the Church structure", "How can we move toward making our obedience functional" and "How can we influence events withing the wider Church."

    Think about the good it could do! Think about Cardinal Fellay! Think about Traditionalist secretaries in Vatican dicasteries! Think about the freedom to function within dioceses with a mandate from the Holy Father himself! This is what Traditionalists will be thinking about after regularization starts to sink in and they get used to being back in the mess. The "rejectionists" MUST NOT BE ALLOWED to ruin this. Benedict sees this. And that is why I think he will lift those excommunications soon and radically alter the whole dynamic of the relationship between the SSPX on the one hand and the Hierarchy and the Holy See on the other.

  17. Hi, Jeff.

    I wholeheartedly agree, and I can hardly suffer The Remnant either.

    One caveat, however: shouldn´t there be, after discussion INSIDE the Church takes due place, one final definition about which views constitute an error?

    And a second thing: you mention the matter as being a problem of readings of ambiguous texts. What my comment points at is, however, wether the text is in error itself -which calls for a definition of the Holy Father, which perhaps He has given in the dec 22 speach-.

    By stating that not all VII is infallible, the Church admits in principle that error is possible. Now, is there actual error in the texts? (that would be a legitimate question for SSPX to hold WITHIN the Church) or the texts are sound in doctrine but have been misread by "the spirit of VII"?(that is the Holy Father´s view, on the Epoch Making Speach of December 22).

    There is a difference between both positions. This difference becomes a hurdle in the view of SSPX because the Pope speach closes effectively the scrutiny of the texts and the possibility of actual error in them. Again, the Pope seems to say, "even though there could be error, THERE ISN´T, it is simply a misreading". He responds the question that the SSPX wants to keep open.

    None of the positions, however, imply that the Church proposes as of "divine faiht" and therefore infallibly the new affirmations made by the Council. Which is why we should not read the request made by the Pope to SSPX to "accept the Council" as a prohibition to ask Peter for clarification of whatever is not infallible, and for Him to condemn error if found. However, the dec 22 speach implies that accepting these question, Peter believes it answered in a way that excludes error from the texts. And THIS is the obstacle to overcome between the Church and the SSPX, not the status of the Council (which of itself is good news to me. I must tell you at this juncture that I´m not a member nor a faithful of the Fraternity).

    All the best.

  18. The answer Pope Benedict gave in the speach is the position the Church has been holding all along. But it is not an answer SSPX would accept because it does nnot address every objection made, and it does not do it authoritatively enough. That is what the abbe George de Nantes -not a SSPXer, with quite "unfriendly" views towards them- asks for: an infallible definition by the Pope on the objections made to the novelties of VII. The problem is the lack of a dialogical response. What the Church has been doing therefore is to close the question instead of answering it definitively. And in this way, even if in principle you can question VII, in practice you do not get an answer. That looks as if you cannot question, and hence argument mistakenly drifts toward the satus of the Council, which is not at stake.

  19. For Jeff:
    this is a final comment, I promess I stop here for the moment:
    please note that I am speaking strictly on doctrinal matters and that I don´t defend the position of "waiting for Rome to return to tradition before returning", but simply trying to understand what are the obstacles, claiming that the status of the Council is not one such obstacle. If this discussion were had INSIDE the Church I would be as happy as you would. So bear in mind that my comments do not subscribe that vision, and that I pray this goes well, and in that I agree with all you have said.

  20. Ralsina:

    Goodness! No reason to agree with everything I said. I'm just some guy gabbing.

    But my comments were really not meant as a criticism of yours in any way. In fact, they were meant to agree with yours and supplement them.

    The key point for me--and not everyone seems to understand it--is that negotiations to bring the SSPX back will inevitably fail due to the intransigence of certain members. So Benedict MUST and therefore WILL get around the problem by cutting the Gordian knot and simply lifting the excommunications FIRST and negotiating status, etc., LATER. This doesn't require the SSPX to agree to anything and therefore neutralizes the hard-liners who will simply wake up to find that Rome has embraced them, difficult and intransigent children though they are.

    This was Fellay's suggestion after all and it was an excellent one.

  21. Ralsina:

    I think, too, that Rome often ignores problems and after a while, they go away. I think Rome--and the Church from which She is not separate--are still engaged in the process of figuring out the meaning and status of the teaching of Vatican Two. Why should Rome give a definitive answer before She knows what the definitive answer IS?

    The advance in understanding is slow and the point we are at now is a full-scale realization on the part of the Church as a whole that Vatican Two needs deeper analysis in the light of ALL of Catholic Tradition; it cannot be analyzed simply as a new departure with no foundation. That's step one. We can't force the process. Catholics are free to argue a liberal or a conservative or a traditionalist reading of Dignitatis Humanae, for example.

    But I don't think Rome is going to say, "We taught error." If Rome were ever simply to return in substance to the previous teaching, Dignitatis Humanae would be finessed as an "expression" of previous ideas.

  22. What the Church has been doing therefore is to close the question instead of answering it definitively. And in this way, even if in principle you can question VII, in practice you do not get an answer. That looks as if you cannot question, and hence argument mistakenly drifts toward the satus of the Council, which is not at stake.

    This is exactly right, IMO. Take Ecclesia Dei adflicta as a representative example:

    Moreover, I should like to remind theologians and other experts in the ecclesiastical sciences that they should feel themselves called upon to answer in the present circumstances. Indeed, the extent and depth of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council call for a renewed commitment to deeper study in order to reveal clearly the Council's continuity with Tradition, especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new, have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church.

    Promises, promises...

    It's not excessively cynical to observe that nothing changed as a consequence. Requests to the only authority capable of demonstrating the congruence of Conciliar texts with Tradition continued to be met wth silences, demurrals, accusations, threats. The pattern has at last been broken by the Holy Father's justly celebrated pre-Chrismas address - though I regret I among those who found his anachronistic recovery of a "deeper tradition" of religious liberty wholly unconvincing. Nevertheless it was a start, for which I am deeply grateful.

  23. Moretben:

    Yeah, but the FSSP didn't have bishops. And they were a schism of a schism, not the ending of it.

    And the guy behind it wasn't Pope.

    And the Pope didn't AGREE with large parts of it.

    And lots of people in Rome hadn't been saying Tridentine masses--including the Pope.

    It's a different ball of wax!

    Faith, Hope, and Love: the Three Theological Virtues.

  24. I agree with the heart behind this post. I just think it really fails to take into account the bete-noire that is the Council. Until that Grendel is dealt with, the sentiment here remains Mass-deep only.

  25. Jeff said: But I don't think Rome is going to say, "We taught error." If Rome were ever simply to return in substance to the previous teaching, Dignitatis Humanae would be finessed as an "expression" of previous ideas.

    I agree with this. maybe I overstated by using the term "recognize" and "retract" error if found. But at least we should expect clear singling out of error, even if it is not attributed to DH itself. Personally I am of the mind that DH can be reconciled with Tradition, even it that would look as forcing the letter of the text.
    But anyway, specific answers from the Magisterium are still called for. You cannot have two paragraphs of a Papal speech settle an academic question. It gives an orientation, but deeper, thelogical, "Catholic Style" analisys and settlement of the question is called for. By Catholic I mean "response to every objection". Perhaps we need to wait, I agree, and also think that Pope Benedict´s first step with the speech is greatly encouraging.

  26. Oh, I do take that into account, Mr. Heiner. And I believe there are many interesting solutions for dealing with it. The first step was taken by the Holy Father in his Christmas Address to the Roman Curia.

  27. There seems to be either a very general ignorance, willful or not, among many posters, that the SSPX are in schism. It is for the Church to decided whether they are in schism. At least one Cardinal said they were not in schism. What confuses a lot of folks is that there are many liberals and neo-conservatives and neo-traditionalists, if you go for labels, that would like them in schism.

    The truth and fact is that they are not in schism; it is only that their priests and bishops were not ordained following the norms of canon law. It is a question of regularization; which means of recognizing their possession of priestly and episcopal FACULTIES.

    As for the Remnant piece it far more theologically accurate than most anything else on the matter you can read; I'd say it is excellent, except I would add that by the grace and charism of St. Peter, there is always a good hope that the Roman Pontiff regardless of his personal views, would as pope, do something he would never do as a man simply speaking: because he is now Peter, despite remaining Joseph. And therefore, it is always the time to speak to Peter, and are most fundamental duty as Catholics is to speak with him, especially if he is willing to listen. That does not mean we have to agree with him as a man, but that is not what I think the Remanant piece is saying (which is actually is a co-authored piece with one of the best catholic writers in modern times, Mr. Vennari) is that the agreement must be on the teachings of the perennial magisterium; and until the Roman Pontiff shows that he will personally and officially adhere to that, no agreement is possible: which is a perfectly catholic position.

    And so, New Catholic and Jeff, I think you have been hasty in your assessment of the situation.

  28. Brother,

    I carefully avoided the word "schism" and I added "even if unjustly".

    In your site you say:

    "The General Council of the FFI, in July, 1996, gave Br. Bugnolo permission to observe the Rule of St. Francis in the ancient manner outside the order. Br. Bugnolo resides in the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, USA, with knowledge and permission of the local ordinary, to live his religious life and conduct a public apostolate."

    Well, from KNOWLEDGE and PERMISSION of the local ORDINARY", I gather that you have a "regular" situation with your Bishop, and he with the Pope, right? Therefore, I must conclude that you managed to remain fully Catholic, attached to the "Rome of Yesterday" , while pledging attachment to and being in full and regular communion with Benedict XVI.

    I am sure that if you -- all by your lonesome self in good old Massachusetts -- has managed to remain Catholic and regularized (without an "agreement" which "must be on the teachings of the perennial magisterium", even though "the Roman Pontiff" does not show "that he will personally and officially adhere to that" -- and even then your conscience has not inferred that "no agreement is possible"), then the SSPX has at least a shot at attaining the same.

  29. Far from me to want to get in the way of you giants, but Ecclesia Dei Aflicta does not use the term excommunication? Granted, only to Archbishop Lefebvre and the consecrated bishops of 88, with a warning to the faithful.

    Perhaps what Br Bugnolo is pointing at is that excommunication does not ammount to schism, since for one to be schismatic, one would have to reject catholic doctrine, and SSPX haven´t? Is it then that the Fraternity are only excommunicated on disciplinary reasons? Or, to introduce FSSPX arguments (in which case we are no longer listening to the highest among the Hierarchy), they have not been excommunicated at all?

    It is a very lengthy discussion and I do not wish to have you repeat yourselves, especially since I should be reading Canon Law before asking, but perhaps some enlightment on these matters is welcome. I appeal to Br. Bugnolo especially, since I greatly appreciate his clarity and briefness, and he was the one to bring up the matter, anyway...

  30. RAlsina, comprenez-vous français? À mon avis, la question a été bien resolue ici:

    Bon Carême à vous. A good Lenten season to all!

  31. Alexis,

    You stated "There seems to be either a very general ignorance, willful or not, among many posters, that the SSPX are in schism. It is for the Church to decided whether they are in schism."

    This is in of itself a schismatic attitude since you hold jpii as a pope but disregard his AUTHORITY (if he were true pope) to excommunicate Lefebvre and the 4 bishops.

    You see if I believed that jpii was the pope then most definitely, without a doubt the excommunication was valid. The fact that there is not a pope does not negate the schismatic attitude of the sspx heirarchy since THEY believe that jpii was a true pope.

    Read the letter from Fr. Trytek from Poland who left the sspx because of their schismatic attitude.

    Let me quote part of his letter:
    "I reject the SSPX system, where recognition of the Pope is merely illusory, where the Pope has a mere primacy of honor, and where the only noticeable expression of acknowledgment of papal primacy is to occasionally hang a picture of the current occupant of Peter's See, whom the SSPX erroneously holds to be the Pope, in sacristies of Society chapels and churches. However, the "proper and legal" authority for the Society, ultimately deciding what a Catholic must admit or reject in Church teaching, is the Superior General of the SSPX [currently Bishop Bernard Fellay --Editor]. Accordingly, the Society places his "authority" above the "authority" of the one erroneously held to be the true Pope."


  32. Thankyou, New Catholic. I understand a little french, I think, enough to read what you indicated.

  33. As those on ctngreg and ctnJogues know, I have argued in the past very strongly for a reconciliation between the S.S.P.X and the Holy See. I have not changed my views as regards principle. In particular, an emergency no longer exists when the Holy See offers an acceptable juridical solution, which she has done late in the last pontificate.

    But the new seminary document has led me to believe that this is not the time for reconciliation after all. That document has changed everything. I think that very few traditionalists understand its importance: it is a blueprint for the complete corruption of the priesthood from within because it lets sexual inverts in by the back door under an official sanction (the three-year rule). I worry not so much about men who have these unfortunate temptations; rather, I worry about the organised 'professional queers' who build up war chests to destroy the Christian character of our countries and who, now, deliberately infiltrate the sacred priesthood as part of a take-over.

    The problem could not be more serious because this undermines confidence in our priesthood to an intolerable degree. We already have a grave problem and we now hear people laugh at us and say confidently that our priests are nothing more than a 'den of fags' (an expression one lady recently levelled at me).

    The truth is that many of them are anything but that. But how many? Nobody knows. Now we have a situation in which good faithful no longer trust their priests. If they are now consciously infiltrating the priesthood, can they be trusted in the confessional and elsewhere? If 19 Quebec priests can publicly reject the Church's teaching on sexual inversion and incur no punishment for it, how powerful are they with our bishops?

    I suggest that, for starters, the S.S.P.X. should issue a public document spelling out its own seminary policy, an absolute ban on anyone proceeding to ordination who has ever been known to have succumbed to any homerastic tendencies.

    Then the Society could insist that this policy be publicly adopted by Rome as well as part of the negotiations.

    The Church in the West is no longer in danger of collapse, ladies and gentlemen. The Church in the West is in the process of collapse. Let us do what we can to keep our faith and resist the work of the devil.

    I continue to dream of reconciliation between the Patriarch of the West and the Society of St. Pius X. I want that to happen. But I want to protect the faith more.


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