Rorate Caeli

For the record - Castrillón: "The Bishops, Priests, and Faithful of the [SSPX] are not schismatics."

In an interview by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" to the German newspaper Die Tagespost. Translation by Chris Gillibrand, at Catholic Church Conservation:

The old Mass stands for the diversity of Good

8 February 2007

What are the consequences of the liberation of the old Mass?

The Holy Father has an enormous sensitivity to liturgical spirituality and would like to retain a treasure of the Church – not for the museum but as a living inheritance for society so that people who have sensitivity towards tradition will be able to savour this richness.

I am constantly surprised that young people who have not known the Old Rite before discover the peace and mystery of the Old Mass. What is important is that the two Rites do not oppose each other but one should see the beauty and sanctity in both.

Many traditionalists complain that the Bishops hardly take any notice of the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei and that they in know way allow generously the Old Mass. Is this Indult a reaction to it?

The Pope, in his capacity as Universal Shepherd, would like in the first instance to accommodate the faithful who have a sensitivity to the traditional liturgy. He is not giving way to external pressure nor to lists of signatures on petitions.

It is rather a holy Rite, which the Church has been celebrating for more than a thousand years. I do not wish to be hard on my Episcopal colleagues who have reacted against the requests of Ecclesia Dei. Some do not even have priests for their Sunday Masses and they find it difficult to allow Masses for small groups. The Motu Proprio does not mention figures. Some people are afraid of a liturgical split. The Holy Father has already as a member of the Ecclesia Dei Commission made clear that the old Mass is neither bad nor divisive and stands for a multitude of good things.

Could the Indult stimulate new experiments and forms of “liturgical creativity”?

What is decisive is how the Church directs the Faithful and Priests. Let’s think of the Ten Commandments. Although they are clearly formulated, Christians do not follow them completely in their lives. But the Ten Commandments are still the same. Each individual is responsible for keeping them.

Cardinal Ratzinger has celebrated the old Mass in public several times. Why has he not done that since the Conclave?

I know that the Holy Father loves the old Rite. I do not know anything about his decisions concerning his personal celebration of this Rite and I do not wish to speculate.

Does the Indult advance an ecumenism “ad intra”?

Please, accept that I reject the term “ecumenism ad intra”. The Bishops, Priests, and Faithful of the Society of St Pius X are not schismatics. It is Archbishop Lefebvre who has undertaken an illicit Episcopal consecration and therefore performed a schismatic act. It is for this reason that the Bishops consecrated by him have been suspended and excommunicated. The priests and faithful of the Society have not been excommunicated. They are not heretics. I do, however, share St Jerome’s fear that heresy leads to schism and vice versa. The danger of a schism is big, such as a systematic disobedience vis-à-vis the Holy Father or by a denial of his authority. It is after all a service of charity, so that the Priestly Society gains full communion with the Holy Father by acknowledging the sanctity of the new Mass.

And the pastoral considerations relating to the Sacraments?

I don’t see any problems there. The Holy Father has made it clear at the consistory that the Bishops can allow baptisms, confirmation and weddings in the old Rite. After all, what applies to the Eucharist also applies to other Sacraments.


  1. Anonymous6:58 PM

    So is it a sin when the SSPX priests celebrate Mass? If so how can the faithful not be in some sort of trouble? It seems to me that the Cardinal wishes to have it both ways. Would it be a sin to seek ordination from the SSPX? What is the deal?

  2. Anonymous7:08 PM

    The public banging of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos continues. He is showing a very open face and is striving to accost the FSSPX. Really the big burgden lies on the FSSPX because they have to decide what is it that they want to do. I do not know how long can the FSSPX continue to hold in the current situation (depending on the text of the Motu Propio).

    All of those words that the Cardinal Castrillon says about the Tridentine Rite have to be included in the Motu Propio.

  3. Anonymous7:22 PM

    "He is not giving way to external pressure nor to lists of signatures on petitions."

    Good for him.

  4. Of course it's not a sin when an SSPX priest celerates mass. Castrillon is just stating canonical facts.

    And as for the burdon of responsibility falling on the SSPX, sorry but they are not heretics, and therefore warrant accomodation by Rome, just as any faithful do. What is so pathetic is that because it interferes with the synthesised and beurocratically inspired new design for the church in the modern world (modern? what's modern about it?! there's nothing new under the sun!) the traditional faithful are denied pastoral attention, a full Catholic life within the divinely inspired traditions of the church, and the chance to make a TRULY radical response to the challanges which the world ALWAYS and in every age poses to those who believe.

    As far as I can see, the new Church is in collaboration with the world, instead of a response to it. (And I work in it!) It is preciesly tradition, which the SSPX clings to, and which sums up Catholic doctrine and Dogma entirely, which makes the most radical and always contemporary response to the evils of the world. The modern church is failing to make this response, despite the fact that JPII calls for "radical" Christian response and adherance to the "spirituality of the founders" The SSPX, IBP, CNJ, FSSP, ICK, and SSJV are succeeding. The problem is not theirs; they are the solution.

  5. Very reassuring words. Comments like this from men such as His Emminence certainly help with the pre- motu proprio anxieties.

  6. Quite so, John Mastai, quite so. What a relief it would be to be able to put this whole issue to bed, wake up one morning and know that you could go to a simple, quite low mass one morning at the chapel around the corner from your house. The fact that His Eminance cites his amazement at the fact that young people are continually finding peace in the mystery of the traditional mass is heartening indeed! He see a future in it, and is validating the possibility!

  7. Thank-you New Catholic for posting this. Excellent information. Huge news to frankly (and once again restate for the intransigent) declare that the problems only involve a select number of personages involved with particular actions from 1988.

    One problem I see is "...sanctity of the New Mass". Is the New Mass valid and licit - yes, if celebrated according to the mind of the Church. However, is it "good" for the Church, does it present Catholic Eucharistic teaching with utmost clarity etc? That is another question, in fact a most serious question. I believe it was in 1974 that Archbishop Lefebvre himself stated (c.f. "Liberalism") that the danger was the ambiguity, the drawing towards Protestantism of the Mass of Paul VI.

    Therefore, is something as holy as it should be if designed to accomodate (let us be frank) heretics?
    A tough question that we must eventually answer.

  8. Anonymous8:53 PM

    I really like this cardinal. He's so direct and clear. So can someone (like me) now join the Society of St. Pius X without any bad consequences? Because I've seriously considered joining.

  9. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Andrew. do you mean you have a vocation, and have considered attending an SSPX Seminary?

  10. Anonymous9:10 PM

    Well I'm so sure about a vocation to the Priesthood right now in my life, but I'm always open (or I try to be) to God's Will.

    But I was simply asking about joining the Society as a layman?

  11. Anonymous9:11 PM

    I mean, "I'm not so sure".

  12. "The Motu Propriu does not mention figures."

    Another big piece of news from Cardinal Hoyos...Up till now there has always been mention of public versus private masses, and the number of faithful required to request a Tridentine Mass, etc. This would seem to suggest that the numbers game has been removed from the texts.

  13. Anonymous10:27 PM

    We still should not receive sacraments from SSPX, because while they are not in schism, they are in irregular communion.

  14. Msgr. Perl from Ecclesia Dei said in a letter some years ago that it is neither a sin nor a crime for the faithful to assist at SSPX Masses. The document is available at

  15. Full address:

  16. The real question at this point would be the validity of sacramental absolutions and marriages, since the SSPX priests do not have jurisdiction from the local ordinary. That depends on whether the SSPX is right in its interpretation of the maxim "Ecclesia supplet."

  17. Anonymous10:47 PM

    This is the most hopeful utterance yet. The ground is being softened. The motu proprio is not far away. Watch the Chair of Peter.

  18. Cardinal Hoyos says...

    "The priests and faithful of the Society have not been excommunicated. They are not heretics. I do, however, share St Jerome’s fear that heresy leads to schism and vice versa. The danger of a schism is big..."

    ...Not as big as the American Church's! Archbishop Niederhauer not correcting, in charity, Nancy Pelosi's stance on abortion or Cardinal Mahony protecting the homosexual priests...pul-eeeeeze!


    Saint Joan,
    Saint Tim,
    Saint Mary
    Of Scotts,

    The true Mass,
    So knew
    Their true lots.

    They could
    Have said
    "Oh, no,
    I shant!"

    But they
    Were Saints,
    No persons,

    Not ones
    To lord
    Their innate
    Good -

    While being
    Prepared like
    On wood.

    Or having
    Their eye-lids
    And nipped,

    Even though they
    Were queens,
    With kings
    They sipped,

    No, no -
    With joy,
    No fuss...

    "For you, et
    Pro multis."
    Now, daily,
    For us!

    Merci, Marcel!!

  19. Anonymous10:56 PM

    "The Holy Father loves the old Rite"

    I love the old Rite.

    ERGO: I love the Holy Father!

    Ok, the syllogism isn't perfect, but what the heck.

    By the way, does anyone understand the comparison he makes between liturgical 'creativity' and the ten commandments? Kinda passes me by.

  20. Anonymous11:31 PM

    'It is after all a service of charity, so that the Priestly Society gains full communion with the Holy Father by acknowledging the sanctity of the new Mass.'

    Pascendi is right to point out that the above statement is problematic. Of course the Novus Ordo is a sacred rite, in that the Lord is truly present. Yet what precisely does the Cardinal intend by the words "acknowledging the sanctity of the new Mass"? Is the meaning of "die Heiligkeit der neuen Messe anerkennt" fully captured by the translation? (I do not read German.) More importantly, what is written between the lines here? The SSPX do not deny the validity of the Novus Ordo, after all. Is something more required?

  21. "Heiligkeit"= "holiness"

  22. Anonymous1:38 AM

    What the Holy See want is for the FSSPX to stop criticizing the Novus Ordo Mass. This is going to be very tough.

  23. Anonymous said: what I don't understand is, does the Holy See think that the SSPX is the only group criticizing the Novus Ordo mass? I know more people inside the church that rip it to shreds than I do "outside" it. Almost no one who thinks about critically is happy with this mass, it's a mess, in many cases an unholy one. Does that make me a heretic? I guess so, to some. Does it mean that the silencing police are going to come in watered silk cappa magnas and force me to take communion in the hand? I'll tell you this, they'd get more mileage out of chasing me than chasing the SSPX!

  24. May the True Church stand firm! The Traditions of Our Faith state there are a remnant few, and so here we are. We all must hold fast and carry on Christ's original teaching and not waver from the truth. We must pray and continue to follow the right path and not give in to the modern church.

  25. Silencing the criticisms of the NO?Thats not posible when the Pope has said the problems in the church stem from the liturgical reforms and he himself calls the NO a "banal fabrication".

  26. Demanding from the SSPX that they recognize they in reality incurred excommunication (the bishops), is unreasonable. Holding Archbishop Lefebvre (and Bishop de Castro Mayer?) only responsible for an alleged schismatic act, will not be taken in either. The SSPX may not and should not acknowledge there was ever a schism or lack of full communion. The Campos agreement at first seemed to lack it too, but later on Mons. Rangel agreed to a formula confirming full communion as if only received in 2002. The SSPX can never agree there was even a material schism, otherwise the media will continue to depict them as somehow schismatics and weirdos.
    The Institutum Boni Pastoris solution was without a formula confirming full communion, merely incardination. And it should be like that if any agreement is to be reached.

    Demanding the SSPX acknowledge the validity and the non-heresy of the official Latin Novus Ordo is one thing, demanding acknowledgement of the alleged sanctity of the Bugnini liturgy is an wholly other thing. In 1993 Jean Guitton in Apropos and Radio Courtoisie confirmed that Paul VI had agreed to the reform to bring the Catholic Mass as close as possible to the Protestant (calviniste) liturgy. Tells you a lot!

    I do not think there rests any responsibility on the SSPX to compromise, they never did something wrong, except possibly for some exegesis of documents of the council (e.g. not properly studying the meaning of Dignitatis Humanae and the Syllabus errorum in context, e.g. with the help of Cardinal Newman on the Syllabus). It is the allegedly official and allegedly Catholic diocesan ordinaries and Vatican officials who during decades have caused scandal, opposed dogmatic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, denied dogmas, engaged in communicatio-in-sacris, gave Holy Communion to non-Catholics numerous times, committed the grave sin of attending and supported the Assisi Conference, or - in case of the allegedly great John Paul II - even organizing it and facilitating desecration of Catholic chapels, churches and tabernacles by inciting to pagan and non-Christian prayer to non-existing idols and deities.

    The SSPX made no fault, and she may never compromise or say she did. Only a more open mind on Dignitatis Humanae is necessary (to reevaluate the real things in it, which is not moral religious liberty but merely liberty of religious exercise :::within due limits:::), not reversal of the justified criticism of the apostatizing ecumenism and the liturgical sacrileges even committed inside and by the Vatican.

    But that takes a lot from Benedict XVI who himself did the same scandalous things, like giving communion to protestants, praying towards Mecca in a mosque, praising false religions, giving communion into the hand in the protestant way (not the ancient 4th century Christian local custom later on forbidden by the Catholic Church), using false translations, saying condemnation of theological modernism is outdated etc. etc. etc. The SSPX must stand firm, it is really the modern Vatican officials who will have to change. Pope St. Pius X nor Leo XIII nor Pius XII would have ever had any difficulties with the actions and convictions of Archbishop Lefebvre and his priests, neither would there have been disobedience then.

    The SSPX never did non-Catholic or revolutionary things.

    They are what the Vatican once were
    If they are wrong now, the Vatican was wrong then
    If the Vatican was right then, they are right now.

  27. Since April 2005 Joseph Ratzinger has nowhere criticized the new liturgy, liturgical aberrations, moral liberalism, false ecumenism, etc. etc. He seems to have arranged himself with it, like some of his book prior to 2000 have arranged himself with the revolution too, like his pleas for Taizé intercommunion abuses, which he deemed necessary and good ín Taizé ::without ceasing to be a hardship::. Truly it is Kantian thesis, antithesis, synthesis systematism. It is illogical and unCatholic, but sadly it exists. That is the way it is.

    The SSPX will have to deal with that, even if I find some statements by Bishops Williamson and Tissier de Mallerais to be a bit ...well... uninformed and unnecessary if they had read the real books of Ratzinger well (which do contain other scandals and problems with especially the Jurisdictional primat of the Roman Pope, which he said might be disrecognized to achieve ::unity:: with the east, in one of his books).

    I do think Vatican II can be read in light of Tradition, like Ottaviani, Bacci, Siri, Palazzini, Heenan, Spellman, Archbishop Pintonello and especially at a certain time also Archbishop Lefebvre thought could be. (Otherwise he would not have continued as superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers from 1965 until 1968 and consecrate a diocesan bishop for the CSSp in March, 1968.)

    Given the scandals and the statements, sedevacantism is strengthened and - possibly - even logically reinforced. But the work of Archbishop Lefebvre is too splendid to be ruined by internal dissent.

    First I must see the lifting of the ban on the Immemorial Roman Mass, and then the lifting of the political so-called excommunication decree. Then there will be theological things to discuss, all in the Light of Roman Catholic Tradition, not of evolving dogmas and a false sense of ::living:: Tradition contrary to the explanations Cardinal Newman gave of the unfolding of Divine Revelation.

    Spasitel’ Mira, Spasi Rossiyu!

  28. Anonymous1:08 PM

    Well said, AmemusAthanasium. It is time to open at a long last a full, frank, and honest "dialogue" with traditionalists, and to show at least half as much charity as has been shown toward Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc.

  29. Anonymous3:01 PM

    The SSPX better not cower to the Holy See. ¡NO CAPITULATION!. Communion probably, but no capitulation.

  30. How does this square with Bishop Brusckewitz excommunicating the SSPX and all its members in Lincoln Nebraska. And the Vatican upheld the excommunications.

    I'm just not understanding the words coming out of the Cardinal's mouth and the Vatican's actions.

    Can somebody please explain?



  31. Anonymous4:48 PM

    A correction: the excommunications which were upheld as canonical possibilities were those of members of "Call to Action"-- who were apparently the only ones to appeal to a specific Vatican authority (in that case, the Congregation for Bishops).

    As for the SSPX, the appropriate Vatican authority (i.e. the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, as well as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) would have to be have been contacted in case of an appeal, which apparently never happened.

    So the only publicly known case of excommunication of lay faithful who went to SSPX Masses or helped to fund SSPX chapels remains that of the "Hawaii Five", whose excommunications were invalidated by the then-Prefect of CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger.

  32. "Anonymous,"

    As far as the SSPX not "cowering" to the Holy See, I don't see any evidence that it's done so up to now. All I've seen is stiff-necked opposition. What about some good, old-fashioned humility and Christ-like charity?

  33. Anonymous6:27 PM

    One question not addressed is the tension within Catholic families, where traditionalists (not necessarily SSPXers) are viewed as oddballs. For his part, the traditionalist husband (or wife or brother or whatever the case may be) does not wish to question the faith of NO family members, yet he suffers through most of the NO Mass with its crypto-Protestant atmosphere (finding a sliver of joy in Communion and in the moment of reflection that is rudely interrupted prior to the Benediction by announcements of sister Martha's latest busyness) and wonders why he is considered the schismatic or schismatic-sympathizer.

  34. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Lord Jesus have mercy:


  35. Anonymous7:19 PM

    The fact that such outrageous behavior is even conceivable within the framework of the New Mass is enough to call its "sanctity" into question.

  36. Anonymous7:54 PM

    Janice, "What about some good, old-fashioned humility and Christ-like charity?"

    This old-fashioned humility and Christ-like charity has to be shown, in the first place, by the Holy See. When Pope Paul VI, in 1965, lifted the excomunication against Michael Cerulario, Ortodox Patriarch of Constantinople, he recognized that the Catholic Church at that time had made serious mistakes and asked forgiveness.

    In 1988 when Archbishop Lefevbrev and the Holy See were close to a deal, it was blown up, among other things, because the Holy See demanded an apology from Msgr. Lefevbrev and this he would not do because he did not see his actions to be wrong. They were not wrong and he is a saint for having stood up to the dictator of relativism sitting in the chair of Peter.

    No apology (in any way) from the SSPX to Rome, the Pope or anyone from the Catholic Church can or should be demanded.

    The Holy See bears the sole responsability for the scandals that have gone on in the Church since the II Vatican Council. Of these mistakes popes Paul VI, John Paul II are responsible.

    Of the scandal of the practical schism between the Holy See and the FSSPX, the Holy See bears the brunt of the responsability.

    So now a possible reconciliation has to be done with the same spirit and attitude as that shown by the Holy See in the case of the Orthodox Church.

  37. So the Lincoln, NE excommunications of Catholics who attend SSPX masses is still in effect and valid, having never been appealed?

    And yet the Cardinal says they are not schismatic?

    I have no idea what is going on.

    This is extremely frustrating.

  38. Anonymous8:09 PM

    It would be nice to see a high Church official, with a gallery of Cathcon photos behind him, warmly embracing Bishop Fellay and tearfully saying: "Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa."

  39. Anonymous8:12 PM

    Better yet, it would be lovely to see that same high Church official embracing, not Bishop Fellay, but the foot of a Crucifix.

  40. @Steve:
    The so-called "excommunications" against those supporting the SSPX or attending their Masses in the Nebraska Lincoln Diocese are illegal, invalid, and shameful lies, inventions without any canonical worth at all.

    It is the same like the attempt in Hawaii to excommunicate traditional Roman Catholic laymen who ran a pro-SSPX radiostation and a SSPX Chapel at the island. This excommunication was declared null and void for lack of canonical validity and grounds by no one else than Joseph cardinal Ratzinger in 1994. The same applies to the attempts by "conservative" bishop Bruskewitz to "excommunicate" priests and faithful of the SSPX chapels. The suspension and excommunication of Fr. Basil Kovpak, pronounced by Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church, were also declared null, void and invalid for lack of canonical grounds in 2006, by the Sacred Roman Rota.

  41. Here is what a Professor (Prof. Dr. Georg May, Priest of the Archdiocese of Mainz, Fourty year lang professor of Canon Law, Church Law History and Church-State-Law at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany) says on those supposed "excommunications" of lay faithful and sspx priests:

    Prof. Dr. Georg May
    Emeritus der Johannes Gutenberg Universität zu Mainz
    am 12. Januar 2003

    Sehr geehrter Herr xyz,

    besten Dank für Ihre Zuschrift vom 05. Januar 2003.

    Auf Ihre Anfrage antworte ich wie folgt:

    1. Die Priesterbruderschaft St. Pius X. ist n i c h t schismatisch, weil sie weder die Unterordnung unter den Papst ablehnt noch die Gemeinschaft mit den Bischöfen (can. 751). Vielmehr sind es die Letzteren, die die Gemeinschaft mit der Bruderschaft ablehnen.

    2. Weil die Bruderschaft nicht schismatisch ist, sind ihre Mitglieder auch nicht exkommuniziert. Beides sind unwahre Behauptungen, die von jenen aufgestellt werden, denen der Spiegel lästig ist, den ihnen die Bruderschaft vorhält.

    3. Erst recht zieht sich k e i n e Strafe zu, wer Gottesdienste der Bruderschaft besucht. Selbstverständlich kann bei ihr die Pflicht, den Sonntagsgottesdienst zu besuchen, erfüllt werden. Wer anderes sagt, verrät damit, dass er die Konkurrenz fürchtet.

    Mit christlichem Gruß

    Georg May

    Result: no layman or pries is excommunicated, and the SSPX is also not schismatic. Those alleging so reveal they fear the competition and also reveal they are liars. Prof. Georg May knows better than all of you, including even bishop Bruskewitz and other neocon ordinaries.

    The excommunications instead apply to those who tolerate sacrileges against the Blessed Sacrament, e.g. by distributing communion into the hand in the modern way, which is a sacrilege even under modern canon law and rules.

  42. Amemus, you wrote something above that I found very powerful, although you saw it as a sidenote hardly worth mentioning: SSPX has nothing to apologize for "except possibly for some exegesis of the documents of the Council"

    I think you nailed it on the head. I think SSPX can in clear conscience say that it sometimes made the all-too-easy mistake of interpreting some recent Magisterial acts according to a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture. Perceiving these documents in rupture with Tradition, SSPX felt forced in conscience to oppose them in the manner it did.

    No SSPXer will object to these documents if they are understood as being in subordination to Tradition, which is certainly how the Magisterium conceived, wrote and interprets these documents (cf. Dei Verbum 10, CCC 86).

    I don't think the Vatican either desires or expects any apology more extensive than this. I'd actually be surprised if the Vatican requires even this much.

    Based on a confession which says that Mgsr. Lefebvre and the bishops and clergy of SSPX have never objected to any act of the Magisterium understood in this sense, I believe the excommunication can very easily be withdrawn, full communion and obedience being recognized, with little or no specific admission of wrong-doing. A vague statement about both parties "regretting the unfortunate events of 1988" would probably suffice.

    PS. As far as recognition of the "holiness" of the Pauline Missal, a comparison to the Tridentine is either necessary or appropriate. All that ought to be given from SSPX is an admission of the basic holiness that is an intrinsic part of any valid and licit sacramental rite approved by the Church. The Eucharist is always infinitely holy.

  43. ...this comparison is "NEITHER" necessary nor appropriate...

    One little letter makes one big mistake.

  44. Brideshead said...: "...warmly embracing Bishop Fellay and tearfully saying: "Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa."

    I think that's basically what you're going to see, Brideshead. Castrillon's "act of charity" is in my opinion, not something required from the SSPX, but bestowed on them from the Vatican, I think it will equate to an "act of forgiveness" for a disobedient, but providential act. The Holy See has in recent years asked forgiveness from everyone who thinks it has offended them in the past, not it's going to ask for the SSPX's forgiveness by bestowing some. Wait and see.

  45. Anonymous1:00 PM

    Apropos the photos from Cathcon:

    'In the name of what do they forbid [the Traditional Mass] which the law promulgated by Your Holiness has not abrogated? We are in the midst of total pluralism and it is precisely because the faithful see that everything is, in fact, tolerated (even what is manifestly unlawful), that they are deeply shocked to find that the only victims of intolerance are those who in the present drama appeal to tradition in liturgical matters.' (An Appeal by Twenty-eight French Priests to Pope Paul VI, 27 August 1976)

  46. Nice to have this from the top.

  47. Anonymous said...
    Lord Jesus have mercy:


    09 February, 2007 19:03

    This is a false dichotomy. Because there are probably heretical groups performing sacriligious masses on the one hand, does not mean that another group does not contain elements of schism, and members who are schismatic, and/or excommunicated.

    Brideshead said...
    The fact that such outrageous behavior is even conceivable within the framework of the New Mass is enough to call its "sanctity" into question.

    09 February, 2007 19:19

    Can you tell me what you mean by "conceivable within the framework"? Means? I've read the rubrics, and the instructions associated with them, and there's no mention of such outrageous behavior as options. Christ sanctifies the mass, not the behaviour of the priest or people. Check your council of Trent documents, on the validity of a mass said by sinful priests.

    AmemusAthanasium said...
    The so-called "excommunications" against those supporting the SSPX or attending their Masses in the Nebraska Lincoln Diocese are illegal, invalid, and shameful lies, inventions without any canonical worth at all.

    It is the same like the attempt in Hawaii to excommunicate traditional Roman Catholic laymen who ran a pro-SSPX radiostation and a SSPX Chapel at the island. This excommunication was declared null and void for lack of canonical validity and grounds by no one else than Joseph cardinal Ratzinger in 1994. The same applies to the attempts by "conservative" bishop Bruskewitz to "excommunicate" priests and faithful of the SSPX chapels. The suspension and excommunication of Fr. Basil Kovpak, pronounced by Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church, were also declared null, void and invalid for lack of canonical

    On the one hand we have an excommunication by a Catholic bishop, which has not been overturned by a higher authority, on the other hand we have declaration of nullity by a anonymous, armchair canonist blog commenter. Noting especially that he uses the action of the Roman Rota in overturning a decree under a specific set of circumstances, as support for his position in disregarding the lack of action in another.

    Steve, because you seem to care what the valid authorities of the Church decree on a matter:
    1. Fact: In March 1996, Bp. Bruskewitz, the ordinary of Lincoln Nebraska excommunicated all Catholics who are members or affiliated with Call to Action (CTA), SSPX, and 8 other organizations.

    2. Fact: CTA appealed the exommunication, which was upheld by Rome in December, 2006.

    3. Fact: since there has been no successful appeal, and to my knowledge no pending appeal, the SSPX members in Lincoln, Nebraska are excommunicated.

    I haven't been able to find the original documents on line, but there is no disagreement between the numerous online sources with regard to this.

    AmemusAthanasium, do you care what the valid authorities of the Church decree in the matter? If the Church has no authority, then has it fallen to the "Gates of Hell"? Please tell us what your position is.

    God Bless,


  48. Anonymous7:04 PM

    So if those SSPX people leave Nebraska they aren't excommunicated anymore?

  49. A local ordinary does not have authority over the universal Church. So yes, Bp. Bruschewitz's per se excommunication will be valid in Lincoln but not elsewhere.

    Card. Castrillon is speaking for the universal Church, in which the excommunication does not currently apply to SSPX, but only some of its members. And even these members are not considered "schismatics" in the true sense of the term.

    At the same time, I agree with Matt's assessment of "elements of schism." I think this is a faithful rewording of Castrillon's own comments on the dangerous and difficult situation of the separated relationship.

  50. The Vatican upholding (i.e. not overturning) an excommunication in a particular diocese is NOT the same thing as extending the excommunication to the universal Church.

    All it means is that it is accepted by the Vatican as a licit expression of episcopal freedom. It does NOT mean that the Pope agrees with it or wants other bishops to do the same thing.

    These LOCAL excommunications should be taken as such. If SSPX were in union with the Holy See, these excommunications would not have been permited. They do not, however, imply that SSPX is all together excommunicated or in full-blown schism.

    PS. Excommunications can be withdrawn and retroactively annulled. This "request/demand" of SSPX has been done dozens of times in history. They are not "asking/demanding" the impossible.


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