Rorate Caeli

COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE
REGARDING THE ORDINATIONS ANNOUNCED BY THE FRATERNITY OF SAINT PIUS X

In response to the frequent questions posed in recent days regarding the priestly ordinations of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, scheduled for the end of June, there is nothing to add to what was affirmed by the Holy Father in his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church of past March 10: "As long as the Society (of Saint Pius X) does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church (...) until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers (...) do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church". The ordinations are, thus, still to be considered illegitimate.

In the same letter, the Pope announced his intention to provide a new status for the Commission "Ecclesia Dei", joined to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. There are reasons to believe that the definition of this new status is close. This constitutes the premise for the beginning of the dialogue with those responsible for the Fraternity of Saint Pius X in view of the desired clarification of the doctrinal, and, in consequence, of the disciplinary questions which still remain open. [Source: Bollettino]

191 comments:

  1. Please note that illegitimate does not mean invalid.

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  2. Nightmare.

    Archbishop Lefebvre was right. Rome cannot be trusted. Modernist wolves in sheep's clothing is what they are.

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  3. Such an answer looks like no answer. So, should they be punished or not? What if they will be excommunicated by local bishops?

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  4. Very sad statement indeed.

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  5. "...there is nothing to add to what was affirmed by the Holy Father in his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church of past March 10..."

    I suppose Holy Father answered negatively to the pretensions of German Bishops, very especially the Bishop of Regensburg, using the codified language of vaticanese idiom.

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  6. Anonymous1:04 PM

    The situation is very delicate at the moment so bishops should refrain from making stupid comments about the sspx. If the aim is to get the sspx into full communion, and it is, then condemning them will only make matters worse. They need to be shown as much charity as possible, even though their own comments at times are very uncharitable.

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  7. Anonymous1:35 PM

    A pathetic answer. Rome has ceased to govern under this pope.
    If Benedict allows the German bishops to excommunicate those involved in the upcoming ordinations at Zaitzkofen he will have proved himself an enemy of Tradition, and a man whose election to the supreme pontificate we were wrong to celebrate.

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  8. The communique does not mention any special provisional status and indeed refutes it by emphasising the Pope's earlier letter.

    Presumably unless the SSPX stop the ordinations the norms of Church law will apply and the German bishops excommunicate those taking part in illicit ordinations as prescribed by Canon Law

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  9. Anonymous1:48 PM

    I wish the Vatican would stop the double talk, stating things while saying nothing....This ambiguity only invites further attacks on the Holy Father from people who wish to derail the progress he is making with the SSPX. I can only pray the Holy Father has support when he feels under the gun..In the end he seems to always do what is right. He is a good Pope and loved by many for his efforts. God Bless.

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  10. Let's not panic. It remains to be seen what sanctions, if any, the Holy See will authorise if the SSPX ordains priests without the permission of the local ordinary. Just keep counting those beads on your rosary.

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  11. Anonymous2:12 PM

    It sounds to me like the Vatican has told the German bishops not to do anything, but so as not to publicly undermine their authority, has released this vague statement.

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  12. The Holy See Press Office is not the Vicar of Christ and has been criticized vehemently in recent days for its handling of other matters so let's all take a deep breath and wait for the holy father to speak if, in fact, he has a mind to. It seems the matter has reached the boiling point. Prayer is the only solution and Blessed Mother is our best hope for intercession.

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  13. Anonymous2:56 PM

    All of you here so far are missing the point of this answer. The situation is now a bit clearer: The Pope is using the Regensburg crisis to force Bishop Fellay to accept a provisional and temporary canonical structure, probably a society of apostolic life. I have reached this conclusion on this blog several times before. I admit that, over the last two days, I was more sanguine. Big mistake.

    Bishop Fellay has only yesterday said that he would consider a temporary structure if it could protect the Society--protect it, he meant, from creatures such as Müller. In my view, he is getting us ready for his positive response.

    Castrillón Hoyos never quits. They won't stop until the Society accepts the canonical structure first. But I have favoured this myself all along. As long as the structure is temporary and provisional during the doctrinal talks, there is NO REASON why the Society should not accept one. It would remain de facto independent and continue to control all its own property.

    The business about the 'temporary legal status', it turns out, is the Society's interpretation of the 'point of approach' agreed to at the beginning. It seems obvious that Rome does not agree that there is any such status at the moment. It is Rome's view that such a status is possible but not automatically: the Society must accept a canonical structure under such terms. According to Romanus, this was already offered to the Society and refused.

    Fellay must now choose: either accept the temporary and provisional society of apostolic life for the S.S.P.X or face excommunications of his priests and of Bishop de Galarreta on 29th June. The matter is urgent because we just don't know what the Bishop of Winona might do after the ordinations of this Friday. The celebrant at Winona is Bishop Fellay himself.

    All sorts of people will scream and bellow that Rome can't be trusted. This is balderdash. It has been Rome's position all along that the structure must come before the talks, at LEAST a temporary structure. Rome granted freedom for all priests and lifted the censures of excommunication. Bishop Fellay must now ask himself if he wants to reverse the latter and jeopardise the opening of the doc talks.

    The Pope also has S.P., which he can 'clarify' in various steps to increase the number of diocesan Gregorian Masses, thereby putting the Society into decline. The Pope has some good weapons.

    Müller is only the Pope's pit bull. But he bites.

    P.K.T.P.

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  14. Perhaps I have over-reacted. The one piece of good news is the solid confirmation of the doctrinal discussions, which are stated to be a prerequisite to canonical regularization -- which has been the SSPX position all along.

    The Pope has not asked the SSPX to stop the ordinations, at least not publicly. Perhaps this is nothing more than a confirmation of the status quo. Rome knows that the SSPX will continue with the ordinations. Rome does not approve, yet they do not say that the ordinations are an obstacle to reconciliation. Perhaps that is the best way to read it.

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  15. Anonymous3:03 PM

    On this "vague statement" some here refer to. It is not vague at all: "The ordinations are, thus, still to be considered illegitimate". If they are illegitimate, the local bishops where they take place can take action against those involved, since Rome recognises that the members of the S.S.P.X are Catholics. It's perfectly simple.

    Again, Bishop Fellay needs to accept the temporary and provisional canonical status. He'd better make up his mind, since he himself could be re-excommunicated by the Bishop of Winona this Saturday, along with all the priests there. Imagine how that would make all those priests feel on their first day of priesthood.

    If he can't get the structure approved pronto, he'll have to decide whether or not to delay the Winona ordinations. This is turning into a nightmare. Society hardliners will now tell Fellay to ignore the Pope and his communist and Modernist bishops and return to the pre-January situation, with excommunications re-imposed. Some of them will be angry and want to go back. So he'd bloody well better make up his mind FAST.

    P.K.T.P.

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  16. Anonymous3:08 PM

    How many times must he repeat himself to those who should already know the answer?

    "no legitimate ministry"

    His Holiness seeks to preserve the Church's unity thus performing his duty at great personal cost. Thank you dear Holy Father.

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  17. Adeodatus3:32 PM

    I cannot abide the treasonous statements here. Pope Benedict XVI is not and *cannot* be "an enemy of Tradition". He was chosen by the Holy Spirit to be pope, and his reign is the continuation of the Tradition handed down from the Apostles. Period full stop.

    Anyone who steadfastly refuses to accept his authority in matters such as these is not Catholic. The SSPX wants to do what it wants, when it wants and how it wants. That attitude is at odds with any question of being formally united to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church... because that union requires obedience.

    People on this blog curse our pope, heap calumnies upon him, and shake their fists at the authority of the Church. They nominate themselves as the sole interpreters of Scripture and Tradition and hold themselves up as models of Christian virtue against the supposed low behavior of the Holy Father. It is nothing but Protestantism.

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  18. All this is a reaffirmation of the pope's previous statement. It is not a real piece of news. Rome was, sadly, never going to declare these ordinations licit. We would all do best to be patient and continue to pray for the canonical re-erection of the Society which I believe is imminent.

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  19. Anon. 14.12: Exactly!

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  20. Anonymous3:37 PM

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.cf8d007cab88b1e82e3a1884012227a2.5f1&show_article=1

    This link tells what one media outlet is saying - not very positive about the SSPX. They quote a Mr. Allen as an authority, I not sure what credibility he has.

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  21. Anonymous3:44 PM

    Why not give SSPX canonical status swiftly, and leave them alone?

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  22. Anonymous3:46 PM

    It is very evident that eack of us views things through our own tainted glasses. Meaning we all see and interpret things based on how WE WANT to view and interpret them and based on individual bias.

    The statement from the Vatican does NOT say anything dooming.

    There is NO warning, and NO threat, in that statement. There is NOTHING NEW in that statement.

    What the statement says is ABSOLUTELY TRUE - the SSPX is exactly in the state described and the SSPX does NOT deny that. NO ONE, including the SSPX has ever claimed that this has changed.

    The recent opening of the lines of communication between the SSPX and the Vatican did NOT change that - neither has anyone, on either side, ever claimed it did.

    The Vatican's statment only acknowledges the state that the SSPX is in and it acknowledges that they are in talks with the SSPX. As a result, it seems no action is being taken because they expect all of this to be remedied soon.

    How anyone can conclude a statement that lacks any warnings or any disciplinarian action is 'double talk' and that that statement proves that 'Rome cannot be trusted' is beyond me.

    If you take off your tainted glasses and look at this with OBJECTIVE eyes, you would have to see that this is NOT bad. It may not be what you wanted, but it is NOT bad. Looks like the German bishops got the worst end of this statement. I am sure they are not pleased in the least with this.

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  23. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Many seem to forget that one may be damned for a multitude of sins. Constantly judging rashly, reading meaning into the words of others without clear knowledge of what was meant, assigning motives to the actions of others without anyway of knowing the motive beyond the stated reasons, etc. can also send one to hell. Even if there are poor bishops and priests, etc. you will not be excused for those who you judged and by doing so misjudged. Is it worth it to constantly spew such venon based on your own unprovable suspicions without any concrete evidence, not even true incite to the goings ons that you are casting your suspicions over? Does not anyone care enough for their own souls to think twice before engaging in such talk? What good will it do those who engage in this behavior to suffer in hell for eternity?

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  24. Cindy Wooden’s Catholic New Service article on this subject today says, “However, responding to reporters' questions about the planned ordinations, the Vatican spokesman June 17 did not mention the possibility of any penalties being imposed as a result of the ordinations.”

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  25. Fr. Steve4:22 PM

    To me I think this is great news. It puts some fire into everyones behind to work diligently on the important questions at hand which need to be addressed very soon for the sake of souls. If there were no pressure then there would be little impetus to change the status quo.

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  26. Peter4:37 PM

    I don't believe in re-excommunication as a punishment for illicit ordinations. Why?

    Because bishop Williamson will not be ordaining any priests (as far as I know), so there will be no reason to impose a penalty on him.

    Just imagine the roar of the leftist media across the world! "Evil Lefebvrites" re-excommunicated!

    ALL OF THEM EXCEPT THE INFAMOUS "HOLOCAUST" "DENIER" !!!!

    They would kill our Pope for that.

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  27. Adeodatus, crank it back a notch or two please. All of us need to keep calm now and not panic. Pray!

    As for the Holy Father, whether or not Benedict XVI actually is an enemy of Tradition, it’s nonsense to claim that he can’t be. History shows several Roman Pontiffs who, whatever their intentions, were in fact enemies of Tradition. Your defense of our Holy Father and of his divine rights and prerogatives, and of the duty of Catholics to honor and obey him, is praiseworthy, but you’re sounding like an Ultra-ultramontanist.

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  28. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Why doesn't anyone in the Vatican get as upset when the communist church in China does the same? See what I mean? Two sets of rule books; one for the SSPX and another for EVERYONE else.

    Saul Alinsky Rule for Radicals No. 4: "Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules."

    On the other hand, I really don't think Bishop Fellay should be going ahead with any ordinations if he truly regards Pope Benedict XVI as the Pope.

    Delphina

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  29. Anonymous4:51 PM

    Congratulations Holy See Press Office! You may have just spewed the most ambiguous Romanita' "statement" ever crafted.

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  30. Paul Haley is on to something.

    Let us remember that the Holy See Press Office had made some imprudent and sometimes downright mistakes. Sometimes they expressed poor and amateur communication, as well as views contrary to the Holy Father.

    Here are some mistakes archived by Orwell's Picnic Blog: http://anglocath.blogspot.com/search?q=lombardi

    Remember that the Press office awhile ago denied The Holy Father's involuntary membership with the Nazi Youth despite the Holy Father's affirmation in his book Salt of the Earth.

    The Press Office makes things worst at times, and I think this is one of them. It could be argued that the statement is the view of the Press Office and not the Holy Father. We can affirm this by looking at this example posted by Orwell's Picnic Blog: http://anglocath.blogspot.com/2009/02/absolutely-indefensible.html

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  31. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Prodinoscopus writes:

    "Perhaps I have over-reacted. The one piece of good news is the solid confirmation of the doctrinal discussions, which are stated to be a prerequisite to canonical regularization -- which has been the SSPX position all along."

    Yes, it is true that 'permanent regularisation' is still being allowed *after* necessary doctrinal talks (not all doctrinal talks) have been concluded. A permanent regularisation under the proposals already made by Rome would make the S.S.P.X a society of apostolic life and incorporate it, along with its affiliates, into an international personal church (an exempt and international ritual apostolic administration under Canon 372.2). That would make the new structures 100% independent from the local bishops and directly subject to the Holy See; it would be a Campos writ large. Hence it would also include lay subjects, those who are registered in it. This is crucial and it is why a personal prelature is NOT an acceptable structure: a p.p. includes only clerics and needs the local bishops' permission to expand. The apostolic administration would be subject to the Pope. The Pope would likely leave it alone in order to prevent yet another rebellion.

    But Rome has also all along insisted that there must be SOME canonical structure during doctrinal discussions. The reason for this is entirely logical and I support the Holy See's position. This is simple as a matter of principle. A lawgiver cannot peform a service for an outlaw (such as clarifying the Church's teaching) until that outlaw has desisted from his illegal activity or been granted a legal exemption from it, even if only temporary. If a lawgiver performs a service for someone who remains an outlaw, it UNDERMINES the law itself, for, then, others will come to the conclusion that they can also get away with breaking the law. The Pope is required by the demands of Natural Law to respect his own laws. He can repeal them but must respect them before that time (Gratian).

    So Rome has proposed for the Society a temporary and provisional canonical structure. Presumably, it and its affiliates could each be given an appropriate canonical structure (whether apostolic society or religious order) and would be free to associate themselves with one another as they now do so that the S.S.P.X bishops could ordain men for the others; for the Pope could put all of them directly under his authority by suspending certain canons regarding the local bishops.

    I note in closing that the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer have still not received their permanent structure and yet have a temporary legal status for all the Sacraments. That's because they have applied for such a structure in good faith. That's all Fellay needs to do right now: he needs to apply for the structure, not obtain it. From the instant Rome agrees to take the matter under consideration, he has the temporary legal status he needs. Now is the appropriate time, Bishop Fellay. Please end this nonsense now. We've all been through enough. Once the Society is recognised, we can begin the real opus Dei from within.

    P.K.T.P.

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  32. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Anon. asks about the credibility of Mr. Allen:

    He has none. He is the mouthpiece for one of the leftist Catholic rags, I've forgotten which one, since I would never be caught dead reading one.

    P.K.T.P.

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  33. Anonymous5:13 PM

    I get the impression that most of you are forty years old or younger. None of you seem to remember the ordinations of 1976, when Archbishop Lefebvre and those he ordained were suspended. Note well: suspended, not excommunicated. Twelve years later he was excommunicated for consecrating four bishops, who shared his penalty.
    In January of this year a good and holy Pope lifted those excommunications.
    And in June of the same year one of them is to be excommunicated again for doing neither more nor less than Archbishop Lefebvre did all those years ago? Ridiculous.
    The German bishops who are threatening this response must be called to order. There is only one person who can do that; I think it very unlikely that, discreetly, he has not already done so.

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  34. Anonymous5:14 PM

    I like Peter's remarks. Imagine the effect if the gentle and courteous Bsp. de Galarreta were excommunicated while Bishop Williamson was not! What a scream! It would make the liberals look like what they are.

    I suspect that Rome has told Müller to keep up the pressure but not to take any legal action should the ordinations take place. If he does not re-excommunicate de Galarreta and his ordinands, the ordinations will still be "illegitimate", however. Rome is saying that all the Society Sacraments are illicit and those requiring jurisdiction for validity (Confession, Confirmation, and Marriage) remain invalid.

    Bishop Fellay, the ball is in your court. You need only agree to accept a canonical structure. From the instant Rome agrees to determine one, you will have temporary legal status for your Society, just as the Sons of the Holy Redeemer have.

    It's time to ask for a society of apostolic life on a temporary basis during necessary doctrinal discussions.

    P.K.T.P.

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  35. 17:13 Anonymous,

    I would add nothing to what you say.

    NC

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  36. Allen writes for the National Catholic Distorter, er, Reporter, a modernist “spirit of Vatican II” publication. He’s apparently about the only good thing about NCR (not necessarily saying much, that), and though a “leftist” he is fair and his Vatican sources are usually pretty reliable.

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  37. Of course at this time, the SSPX bishops are already suspended, and the Church doesn’t have a “really, really suspended” penalty. The Bishop of Regensburg doesn’t have too many other weapons in his arsenal, so he’s threatening excommunication. I still hope it won’t come to that, and I’d like to think the Holy See doesn’t want him to go that route either. The pope has got to respond in a way that saves face for both sides while making clear that the Church can’t approve of ordinations without the consent of the local bishop.

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  38. Anonymous5:36 PM

    "Bishop Fellay, the ball is in your court. You need only agree to accept a canonical structure. From the instant Rome agrees to determine one, you will have temporary legal status for your Society, just as the Sons of the Holy Redeemer have."

    Mr Perkins:

    A] What do you think the chances are, of Bishop Fellay actually requesting that?

    B]Would that be enough for the Holy Father to say yes to temporary faculties fo the Society?

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  39. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Jordanes:

    I note that the Code of Canons in effect in 1976 was the 1917 Code. The Code in effect today is the 1983 Code. I'm not sure at present but I suppose the Bishop of Regensburg could impose a just penalty for an illicit ordination. An imposed penalty is not the same thing as the automatic (latæ sententiæ) penalty for consecrating a bishop.

    The Society could challenge any penalty, imposed or otherwise, on the grounds of 'grave inconvenience' even if only subjective (Canon 1323, Numbers 4 & 7). However, we don't need a litigious morass right now, do we?

    Bishop Fellay can solve this pronto by submitting a request for a canonical structure. Let's pray that we hear of this TODAY or as soon as possible.

    P.K.T.P.

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  40. Anonymous6:19 PM

    After his suspension in 1976 Archbishop Lefebvre continued to ordain, year after year, often three times each year. Nobody ever threatened him with a further penalty, i. e. excommunication.
    Note too that only the German bishops, and only some of them, are reacting in this hysterical way. The tragic fact is that, Mueller aside, these are men who do not like Benedict, and are delighted to be able to make his task more difficult.
    Mueller is a puzzle, unless one understands that he is a certain sort of German: intelligent and loyal, but with no imagination or humor. There are rules, and the only possible human response to rules is to obey them.
    Such is his thinking, and it is putting his more subtle friend and superior Benedict into an unnecessarily difficult situation. Benedict should order him to desist; should indeed have done so weeks ago.

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  41. Stephen M6:32 PM

    Can a bishop excommunicate a bishop? surely this is reserved to the Pope. Otherwise you could have the stupid situation where a bishop excommunicates the bishop of Rome in a disagreement; imagine if Archbp Milingo had done this?

    Rome is saying: the situation is as was and we are handling it within the context of our doctrinal discussions. Why all the panic and angst?

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  42. Peter6:33 PM

    Jordanes said...

    Of course at this time, the SSPX bishops are already suspended, and the Church doesn’t have a “really, really suspended” penalty.

    You can say she does. Currently they're automatically suspended a divinis, so every time a faithful asks them for a sacrament or act of governance, if the cause's just, the suspension is suspended itself. But the penalty of suspension can be declared or imposed (officially, with the names of the suspendees mentioned). In such case no faithful would be allowed to ask the suspendees for a sacrament (or anything having something to do with the catholic ministry) except for the danger of death. You can call it a "higher degree" of suspension.

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  43. Very good points from both Stephen M and Mr. Perkins.

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  44. Romanus6:37 PM

    It is not Bishop Fellay but Bishop Tissier who will ordain at Winona. Fellay will be there anyway.

    There is a law in the Church, and the law does not contemplate an excommunication for a bishop ordaining priests illegitimately. Not even a suspension, only a prohibition of conferring the order for one year. The ordained priests, though, are suspended automatically.

    The diocesan bishops of Winona, Sion, and Regensburg cannot inflict any censure in this case, not even declare the automatic suspension of the newly ordained since they are not their subjects. Even if they could, it would be unnecessary, since we all know, or at least we all should know by now, that the ordinations of the SSPX are technically illegitimate since its suppression on May 6, 1975.

    The recourse against the suppression, btw, was rejected by decree of Cardinal Staffa, since Paul VI confirmed in forma specifica the suppression and informed Lefebvre on June 29, 1975 "Although, strictly speaking, it is not necessary to recapitulate, We do however deem it opportune to confirm to you that We have insisted on being informed concerning the entire development of the inquiry concerning the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, and from the very beginning the Cardinals' Commission, which We set up, regularly and most scrupulously rendered an account of its work. Finally, the conclusions which it proposed to Us, We made all and each of them Ours, and We personally ordered that they be immediately put into force." The Apostolic Signature could not contradict the pope or deny his authority, justly exercised or not.

    The Villot intervention or a Burke investigation are part of the usual folklore which rejects hard facts and speculates over undocumented gossip.

    The SSPX is irregular because of its own choice, now of all times. May the herd understand that Benedict is the good shepherd indeed.

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  45. Anonymous6:58 PM

    On suspended bishops ordaining priests, I note the following:

    Archbishop Lefebvre was suspended a divinis in 1976 and ordained priests under the 1917 Code from 1976 to 1983. Then he ordained them under the New Code of 1983 from 1983 to 1988 *before* he was excommunicated.

    So between 1983 and 1988 he was suspended, was operating under the 1983 Code and was not yet excommunicated. I wonder why no bishop excommunicated him? Odd.

    I also note that, so far, neither the Bishop of Winona nor the Bishop of Sion have threatened to excommunicate anyone over these ordinations planned to take place in their dioceses. Odd.

    It looks as if Bishop Müller is doing this on behalf of his German confrères, just as Cardinal Schönborn is acting on behalf of his Ausrian confrères.

    However, if the ordinations are illicit, Müller can no doubt impose excommunications on a suspended bishop and his ordinands. So Bishop Fellay needs to lodge a request for a canonical structure before 29th June and, to be safe, even before this Saturday, the day set for the Winona ordinations.

    I like Peter's comments again. Imagine if Bishops Fellay, Tissier de Mallerais and de Galarreta were excommunicated but Bishop Williamson were not! It's hilarious. Way to go, Peter, for having a great sense of humour and a perceptive mind. Well, of course you're smart. Your first name is Peter.

    Of course, Williamson alone cannot 'exericse ministry'. It seems as if the liberals in the Church have targetted each and every one of the Society bishops. The Pope has had to let Williamson get deep-sixed. Will he do the same for the others? Let's hope not!

    Peter Karl T. Perkins
    Victoria, B.C., Canada

    P.K.T.P.

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  46. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Hey, if Bishop Williamson is the only Society bishop not to be re-excommunicated, he can take over the S.S.P.X and hire the other three to continue valid but illicit ordinations. Of course, he is not allowed to 'exercise ministry' but then, who would be able to stop him?

    P.K.T.P.

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  47. P.T.K.P. writes:

    "All sorts of people will scream and bellow that Rome can't be trusted. This is balderdash."

    Ha! What a joke!

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  48. Anonymous7:01 PM

    Stephen M.:

    A bishop cannot validly excommunicate the Pope because he lacks the jurisdiction to impose the penalty. Only the Pope has universal and immediate jurisdiction. A bishop can only impose penalties on his own subjects or on others' subjects who act illictly in his own territory.

    P.K.T.P.

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  49. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee and for all who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of Holy Church and those recommended to thee.

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  50. Picard7:25 PM

    Again, Peter:

    LOL, ROFL, ....!!! :-DDDDD!!!!

    And again: king of the com-box (You will probably become king of the platform!!!)


    Still laughing....lol, *smile*.... !!

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  51. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Thank you, Bishop Williamson, for not getting involved in these evil ordinations; they're so wicked! You have had the prudence and the foresight to shun them, all, no doubt, as a sign of your loyalty to the Holy Father and your fidelity to his sweet diocesan bishops. They have served the Church so well, bringing in thousands of ordinations and tens of thousands of faithful to the table of the Lord.

    Bishop Brunner of Sion does not excommunicate you. Bishop Quinn of Winona does not excommunicate you, even insignificant little Bishop Müller of Regensburg does not excommunicate you. The Pope does not excommunicate you. Nor do they impose any penalties on you. They like you. You alone must stand as the unexcommunicated and unexcommunicatable bishop of the S.S.P.X. They can't touch you, thanks to the liberals and the Jews and the liberal Jews. Who said God doesn't have a sense of humour!

    You are the pearl (not the Perl) of the Society of St. Pius X. You are the gem in the cabinet of the traditionalist movement. You are the ruby of delight in the Popes' tiara, the one which is no longer shown in his personal coat-of-arms because he has renounced his own authority. You alone, O Bishop Williamson, are free from all taint of penalty from these excommunications!

    Tra-la! Oh what fools these liberals be!

    P.K.T.P.

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  52. Anonymous8:03 PM

    Just imagine, when the smoke clears in July, Williamson will be the only Society bishop left standing. He will then have no choice but to take charge of the negotiations with the Pope!

    Thank you again, Peter, your observation has made my day.

    P.K.T.P.

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  53. Borromeo8:06 PM

    Stephen M,

    Why all the panic and angst? Because these are traditionalist and where there are traditionalist there is a black cloud of anxiety and despair that follows them like Pig-Pen's dust cloud.

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  54. Anonymous8:10 PM

    "If Rome gives us enough guarantee, so to say, of survival, I think probably we would certainly consider it. We have no problem with the Church recognizing us, of course."

    His Excellency Bishop Fellay.

    The Society will be canonically recognised very soon.

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  55. Anonymous8:14 PM

    The Holy See is simply saying; the SSPX has no Canonical status within the Church; therefore, no further 'canonical sanction' can be taken against them until such time as the Society is given a 'canonical status'; which has yet to be decided and will be done in consultation with the Society and the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei.

    The Bishop of Regensburg, can therefore do or say what he likes - (however unhelpful) - the point is, the relevant and appointed dicasteries of the Holy See are onto the matter and it would be as well for him NOT to interfere, in accordance with the 'spirit' of the Letter sent to the Bishops by the Holy Father earlier in the year.

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  56. You can call it a "higher degree" of suspension. ***

    Aha. I forgot about that, Peter. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anonymous8:38 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    "The Holy See is simply saying; the SSPX has no Canonical status within the Church; therefore, no further 'canonical sanction' can be taken against them until such time as the Society is given a 'canonical status'; which has yet to be decided and will be done in consultation with the Society and the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei."

    No, I am sorry, this is not correct. Look, Rome recognises that the Society members are Catholics. It is individuals who incur penalties, not groups per se. Rome is clear all right: their ordinations will not be legitimate. They will be illegitimate ordinations done by suspended clerics, and these clerics are Catholics and are subject to 'just penalties' under the 1983 Code. The local ordinary can impose a penalty up to and including excommunication.

    Rome is not threatening the Society only because the ordinations will not be happening at Rome. It is, in the first instance, for the local ordinary to decide on a canonical action. Rome is, however, clarifying the status of the Society: it has no canonical status.

    Bishop Fellay alone can resolve this. He has already indicated in Toronto yesterday that he will consider a temporary canonical structure. He need only lodge a request for this and the problem will disappear in a flash. The instant Rome agrees to consider his request, a temporary legal status will suddenly exist, just as it does for the Sons of the Holy Redeemer, who *still* do not have their canonical status after a year but can operate normally.

    P.K.T.P.

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  58. Anonymous8:44 PM

    Isn't it true that after reching the point of being suspended and excommunicated over and over again that you actually become canonically more regular than anyone else?

    Kind of like if you churn cream long enough it becomes something better than it was before, namely butter.

    Keep on churning and beating the F.S.S.P.X., Holy See, maybe you will get something really tasty out of it.

    Yummy butter!

    All this fun talk of who's going to excommunicate whom and who's going to suspend whom has got me hungry.

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  59. Anonymous8:44 PM

    Borromeo:

    The reason for the black cloud is forty years of persecution. Just think of it, the old Mass was never abrogated and yet those priests who celebrated it, as they had a right to do as a matter of principle (S.P., preamble) were thrown out of their rectories and found their furniture on the front lawn. Cardinal Stickler, before he died in 2007 at the age of 97, revealed to the world that between 15 and 20 of these priests appealed their cases to Rome. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM won his case on appeal. And yet only one of these cases became public knowledge and then only obscurely (the one in the A. of Sydney, Australia). So what the hell happened? What happened is that Paul VI's Bugnini and Cardinal Tabera ILLEGALLY forbade the old Mass in De Missali Romano, 1971. Their action was a nullity ab ovo.

    When you are kicked in the face over and over again for forty years, you can develop a suspicion of others.

    We've watched the Church wreckovated before our eyes and, for protesting against this, we've been called the traitors. Those sitting in the Chair of Moses were the traitors and they deserved to be flogged and then burnt at the stake.

    P.K.T.P.

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  60. Peter9:02 PM

    Well, thank you, I am not worthy :)

    I don't think that bishop Fellay really wants a temporary solution. It may be disastrous to the Rosary Crusade (which I take part in, and encourage you to do the same). Probably many people would consider the battle won and over.

    Temporary solutions sometimes tend to last for a very long time. A solution made up in a hurry could have consequences hard to predict (unless the Rolls-Royce-or-even-better solution is waiting already just for the finish of doctrinal discussions...).

    But he may be forced to accept it when there will penalties imposed after the consecrations.

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  61. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Romanus writes:

    "There is a law in the Church, and the law does not contemplate an excommunication for a bishop ordaining priests illegitimately. Not even a suspension, only a prohibition of conferring the order for one year. The ordained priests, though, are suspended automatically."

    You are referring, I suppose, to Canon 1383. I wondered about that. Why, then, does Bishop Müller keep threatening excommunications?

    On the other matter, Michael Davies, in the closing appendix to his "Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre" denies that the decision was made in forma specifica, although he seems to accept that claim on p. 121 of that work before going on to describe it as "an abuse of power" and a violation of natural justice. I'll leave it at that. He does seem to contradict himself on the matter.

    At any rate, it is now clear that the remarks of Fr. Stefan Frey (and, yesterday, of Bishop Fellay) did not refer to any revival of the 1975 appeal. It is now clear that Frey, in particular, was under the impression that a 'temporary legal status' was accorded the Society as something envisioned in what he calls the 'point of approach' for the reconciliation. I am guessing here that what Rome really envisioned was that the S.S.P.X would accept a temporary canonical structure, not that it would be automatically granted a temporary legal 'status' merely by the act of entering into doctrinal discussions.

    So, again, it seems to me that the ball is in Bishop Fellay's court. The Toronto interview of yesterday suggests that he is now considering a request for a temporary canonical structure, perhaps a society of apostolic life.

    I ask everyone here to pray fervently that he makes this request as soon as possible.

    P.K.T.P.

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  62. Anonymous9:30 PM

    Just to clarify,

    What Romanus is saying is that the Bishops of Sion, Regensburg, and Winona cannot impose or declare any excommunications. Is that right? I must admit that I looked through the Code on this and reached the same conclusion, but I figured that I must have missed something. Romanus seems to be right and is referring to Canon 1383. But then why does Müller keep referring to excommunications? For example, we have this from Jakob Schötz, a spokesman for the Diocese of Regensburg: "Our bishop is waiting for Rome to advise on how to respond. But it will almost certainly result in the excommunication of the priests and the bishop who ordains them."

    What gives him this confidence?

    P.K.T.P.

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  63. Anonymous9:37 PM

    On Peter's remarks about temporary versus permanent structures, I think that Bishop Fellay has made it clear by now that a permanent structure is not the cards until the "necessary" doctrinal discussions are concluded. I'm not sure if, by "necessary", he means all talks, but Bishop Tissier de Mallerais has publicly predicted a period of "at least thirty years".

    I have argued repeately that H.H. clearly does not want this to hang in legal limbo. He wants in place at least a temporary and provisional canonical structure during the period of doctrinal discussions. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos has made that crystal clear from the outset. He is a determined man and, as we see, his position has not changed.

    P.K.T.P.

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  64. TradDad10:03 PM

    OK, I'll ask a dumb question. Why not just move the ordinations out of Germany to a friendlier location? Then the German bishops can't excommunicate them, correct? What am I missing?

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  65. Anonymous10:27 PM

    Someone here wrote that the German Bishops Conference had asked the C.D.F. for censures against the S.S.P.X. This might explain Fellay's previous remarks about moving ordinations from Zaitzkofen to Ecône: the German bishops have fewer grounds for such a request if the ordinations occurred outside Germany.

    It is no wonder that some of our analyses are mistaken. A representative of the Bishops of Regensburg threatens excommunications which are not foreseen in the Code, the Society seminary rector claims a 'temporary legal status' which Rome has today denied, and Bishop Fellay claims that the Pope asked him to move the ordinations which, if so, he decided to do but then changed his mind for an unknown reason.

    But if excommunications will not likely follow the 29th June ordinations (déjà vu), why is Fellay apparently now prepared to "consider" a structure? The automatic suspension of his priests upon ordination merely puts them in the same sitaution as all the rest of his priests. One possibility is that Müller's intervention has led to a threat from a higher authority, meaning Cardinal Levada or even the Pope himself.

    As everyone here knows, I have favoured Fellay accepting not only a temporary structure before doctrinal talks but even the permanent structure which Rome has apparently suggested several times since 2000.

    I again ask everyone, therefore, to pray that he will at least agree to a temporary structure for now and end all this uncertainty. Any real Catholic must think it very sad to be told by the Pope and his representatives that his ordination to the sacred priesthood results in an automatic suspension. Ordination day should not be marred by that; it should be a joyous occasion.

    P.K.T.P.

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  66. Iakovos10:32 PM

    The SSPX hand wringers here and reflex reactionaries to anything that might question the overall and particular situation of the SSPX, need to go fishing, drink enough cold beer to get the giggles, smoke cigars, and otherwise, relax in the Lord. That would be the most truly traditional Catholic thing you could do. Now, come on, do it!

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  67. Prodinoscopus10:52 PM

    May the herd understand that Benedict is the good shepherd indeed.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ is the good shepherd. The jury is still out as to whether Benedict XVI is a shepherd or a hireling.

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  68. Martin Walker11:02 PM

    I have a question (a couple, actually). Were the priests ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre automatically excommunicated prior to 1988? I received my First Communion in 1982 in an SSPX chapel in Virginia at the "Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel" (before the Sedevancatist 9 split, and the chapel went with them).

    Was my family (father, sister, & myself - my mom converted later) receiving the sacraments from excommunicated priests? If so, was Archbishop Lefebvre already excommunicated for ordaining these priests, and if so, why would the excommunications of 1988 have been news, since Lefebvre would have already been excommunicated? Looking at it the other way, if ordaining priests without a canonical structure was not an automatic excommunication in the 1980's, why would it be now?

    One last question :) I was trying to get a hold of the SSPX chapel in Virginia, trying to track down the exact date of my First Communion, and also to see if I could find out the priest's name whom I received it under. They supposedly now celebrate Mass at a Doubletree Inn. The information on the SSPX's website didn't help - the # (757-426-3185) seemed to be a private home, and when I called the Doubletree, the receptionist was not aware of the SSPX Masses.

    Any help (on any of the questions) is appreciated :)
    -Martin

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  69. Romanus says:

    The SSPX is irregular because of its own choice, now of all times. May the herd understand that Benedict is the good shepherd indeed.

    Dinoscopus avers:

    Our Lord Jesus Christ is the good shepherd.

    >>And Pope Benedict XVI is His Vicar on Earth.


    Dinoscopus intones:

    The jury is still out as to whether Benedict XVI is a shepherd or a hireling.

    >>You imagine that Christ or His Vicar awaits the verdict of your jury?

    I can only hope and pray that Bishop Fellay is able to effectuate a reconciliation, time is running out.

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  70. Anonymous11:13 PM

    If Bishop Fellay is now ready to "consider" a structure, I suggest, again, that he ask for an international and ritual apostolic administration--a Campos writ large--for the Society and its affiliates, but it would be temporary and provisional and then made permanent when the doctrinal talks are concluded.

    This is the right structure and the one Fellay says he's been offered on a number of occasions. He mentioned this as being offered earlier this year. It is equivalent in law to a diocese (Canon 368) for particularly serious reasons (Canon 371.2) and can therefore include lay faithful who are registered in it, just as the Campos one does. It can be distinctive on the grounds of rite or "some other similar quality" (Canon 372.2). It can be international and discontinuous (the Armenian exarchate for Latin America covers over 30 countries, and some dioceses are territorially discontinuous, such as Mainz). We don't want a structure which is confined to priests and in which the bishops have to ask permission from local ordinaries to Baptize and marry their supporters. It also can't be a structure in which permission is needed from the local looney liberal bishops to establish apostolates in the territory of their sees. It must be 100% independent of the local bishops but entirely subject to the Pope (the Campos is an 'exempt' structure and not part of any ecclesiastical province).

    The Campos is the precedent. Just imagine one covering most of the world. Within it would be societies of apostolic life (e.g. the S.S.P.X) and some institutes of consecrated life (e.g. Dominicans of Avrillé).

    But Fellay needn't specify yet what he wants. If he would just lodge a formal request for a temporary structure, Rome's agreement to consider it would cover the needed faculties for the time being, just as is the case for the Sons of the Holy Redeemer. Enough for now.

    Still, since he's finally agreed to "consider" a canonical structure even on a temporary basis, he might as well get the right one.

    P.K.T.P.

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  71. Were the priests ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre automatically excommunicated prior to 1988? ***

    No, they were automatically suspended a divinis.

    Was my family (father, sister, & myself - my mom converted later) receiving the sacraments from excommunicated priests? ***

    No, from suspended priests.

    If so, was Archbishop Lefebvre already excommunicated for ordaining these priests, and if so, why would the excommunications of 1988 have been news, since Lefebvre would have already been excommunicated? ***

    Archbishop Lefebvre was not excommunicated until 1988. In the years prior to that he was suspended, with all faculties to ordain removed by papal order, but certainly not excommunicated.

    Looking at it the other way, if ordaining priests without a canonical structure was not an automatic excommunication in the 1980's, why would it be now? ***

    It's not automatic excommunication that is being threatened, but imposed, formally declared excommunications. But I still don't think that is going to happen.

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  72. Anonymous11:17 PM

    Dear Martin:

    None of the Society priests was ever declared to be excommunicated, only the four bishops were and then only from 1988.

    In 1976, the Archbishop was suspended a divinis and so were all his priests. That suspension is still in force.

    P.K.T.P.

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  73. Anonymous11:34 PM

    Martin,

    The chapel you're referring to is now known as St Benedict's and is staffed by the FSSP.

    Jason

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  74. Again, the problem is the definition of the "state of necessity of Mgr Lefebvre" . In my opinion, that I made known to the Redemptorists (Now The Sons of the Holy saviour) is that it consisted on the lack of a Bishop in order to pursue Tradition.
    Now, this "state of necessity" will cease when Rome will impose (not merely to "offer") a canonical status (even a provisional one) that includes the faculties given to a traditional Bishop to ordain priests. In that case, SSPX must accept the canonical status if they dont' want to be sanctioned, this time legally (this time there will not be any "justified cause" to invoque)

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  75. Anonymous11:54 PM

    The Pope/Vatican can't accomodate the SSPX with the ordinations of 21 holy Catholic priests, yet they can accomodate/host 150 religious leaders representing Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Hindus, all sorts of Protestants, and pagan groups converged in Rome for the G8 meetings.

    What a circus the Catholic Church has become since Vatican II.

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  76. Prof. Basto12:10 AM

    Dear New Catholic,

    I'm wondering what's the official Rorate Caeli take on this press release. An editorial from you would be most helpful in trying to sort out this mess.

    Prof. Basto

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  77. The Pope/Vatican can't accomodate the SSPX with the ordinations of 21 holy Catholic priests, yet they can accomodate/host 150 religious leaders representing Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Hindus, all sorts of Protestants, and pagan groups converged in Rome for the G8 meetings. ***

    That's comment has got to be a joke. The Pope and the Vatican is not accommodating or hosting the G8 meetings -- as if the Church could do anything to stop the G8 meetings even if She wanted to. The Pope can't even stop the SSPX from ordaining priests without permission of the local bishop, but he's supposed to be able to keep non-Christians from attending a secular political gathering in Rome?

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  78. Thank you for your kindness, Prof. Basto.

    It seems this is a moment for patience. Let us wait for what both sides will do in the next few weeks and months.

    NC

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  79. Prodinoscopus12:34 AM

    Rick DeLano interrogates:
    You imagine that Christ or His Vicar awaits the verdict of your jury?

    Rick, has every Pope been a true shepherd? Have not a few of them been hirelings?

    Yes, the jury is still out on Benedict XVI.

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  80. My one recurring thought is the plea of Our Holy Father when he accepted the throne,i.e., to pray for him not to succumb to the wolves.

    And I ask myself about these wolves. Certainly, it is not the Society he fears. He fears those in his household, those in "communion" with the Church. Bishop Fellay and Our Holy Father must stand together to confront these enemies of the faith. I believe they both must know this. For this reason, I can't get myself to believe an excommunication will follow the ordinations. The communique from the press of the Holy See must have been to placate the real enemies of our Faith-those wolves waiting to devour the entire Society clergy.

    I'm betting their beady little eyes are sparkling with glee, their tongue's drooling in anticipation of the kill!

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  81. Anonymous12:52 AM

    N.C. can't be serious:

    "It seems this is a moment for patience. Let us wait for what both sides will do in the next few weeks and months."

    We don't need that sort of time to pass for this to fester like an open wound. Fellay revealed yesterday that he would "consider" a request for a canonical status, which is definitely a change in tune. He could end this tomorrow before noon by asking for a temporary structure. This bloody nonsense has gone on long enough. Europe has apostasised and souls are being lost. The sky will not fall if the Society is recognised this week. It will make little difference in the short term and do enormous good in the longer one. Every day that passes is a day closer to an unknown end for this pontificate. Let's pray that Bishop Fellay will get on with it.

    P.K.T.P.

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  82. Prodinoscopus12:54 AM

    By the way, Rick, I'm not Dinoscopus, merely Pro.

    I had something to say about a Pope, a Dinoscopus, and a train, but I cannot remember now. ;-)

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  83. Perhaps it's just as well, Prodinoscopus. We wouldn't want to derail.

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  84. Let's all remember that Bishop Fellay may have already received emergency faculties from the Holy Father or through delegation from Cardinal Hoyos in secret pending full resolution of the discussions. No one may know of this except the principles involved and especially not the Press Office nor would the national conferences of bishops know anything about it.

    Having said that, it remains for the Holy Father to speak on this issue and put minds at ease and he could do that in a heartbeat. There may be other factors at play here including wholesale defections of NO bishops who may feel they are being sold down the river for their position.

    I do agree with P.K.T.P. that Bishop Fellay could and should request provisional canonical status to start the ball rolling. It seems the logical thing to do and it would place any canonical penalties envisioned by those NO bishops in legal limbo.

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  85. Again, the problem is the definition of the "state of necessity of Mgr Lefebvre".

    Here's hoping Rome clarifies that.

    Future generations will look back on the decision of Archbishop Lefebvre as a point of reference. When is it OK then to completely go against a Pope when it comes to consecrating bishops (if ever if it's OK)? It seems to me that the explanation of "it's-ok-because-it's-necessary-for-the-salvation-of-souls" isn't good enough. You can justify practically any type of disobedience with that kind of reasoning. Rome needs to take a clear stance on this. And I'm glad it has regarding the ordination of SSPX priests.

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  86. Anonymous2:43 AM

    The Holy See has a threefold intention in releasing this statement.

    1-It states that the statement adds nothing to the previously released letter. The Holy See does not want to inflict any additional penalties on the Society which will damage negotions and eventual re-unification.

    2-It wants to appease the European Bishops by seeming to condemn the ordinations and acknowleding their concerns.

    3-It is intended for the Media to understand that the Holy See is taking a 'tough' stance vis-a-vis the Society, given Bishop Williamson's alleged anti-semetic views.

    So in summary, this is less of a theological statement as an attempt at competent PR. In practical terms, I think the Holy See will allow the ordinations to proceed with no further comment or censure.

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  87. John L3:20 AM

    'It must be 100% independent of the local bishops but entirely subject to the Pope.'

    That's the rub. With Benedict VXI this might (might) work, but with Paul VI and John Paul II it could not have worked; because the latter pontiffs could not accept that the doctrinal positions of the SSPX were compatible with the teachings of the magisterium as expressed in the Second Vatican Council. Nor could they accept the refusal of the SSPX to celebrate the novus ordo. There is no guarantee that a future pontiff will not hold the same positions as Paul VI and John Paul II - unless there is a prior doctrinal agreement that explicitly recognises the SSPX's positions as permissible. That is something that has been clearly stated by both Benedict XVI and Bp. Fellay.

    I wish people would not refer to assertions by the Vatican press office as coming from the Vatican or from the Holy See. In order to have any authority, a statement has to be issued by the Pope or by a Roman congregation or office. The Vatican press office has as much authority as I do to lay down the law.

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  88. Anonymous4:27 AM

    I don't entirely agree with Roman the Scribe on the state of necessity. A treasure of God the Holy Ghost, the Traditional Latin Mass, was, as we now know, *illegally* suppressed. Cardinal Stickler, one of the nine cardinals on the Commission of 1986, said that the old Mass not only had not been abrogated but also that it probably could not be: that would be ultra vires at least on the ground of Moral Law.

    The S.S.P.X also sought to preserve certain teachings which radicals, with impunity and even support from legitimate authority, sought to safeguard. In my view, there certainly was a state of necessity to justify the Society's position. This state lasted from 1975 to 2000. In 2000, Pope John Paul II offered the Society an international particular church (the Campos writ large) which addressed all those concerns effectively. He also later allowed them to question 'without polemics' all their doctrinal concerns. At that point, in my view, the state of necessity ended and their disobedience has been wrongful for the last nine years. Disobedience to legitimate authority can only be justified if it is truly and really necessary to preserve a good which the legitimate authority refuses or is unable to protect; it is not justified merely for convenience' sake or out of some distrust of the Pope.

    While I don't support the Society's post-2000 position, I do at least understand it. Looking at what is going on in NewChurch, one can only run in horror, terrified of losing one's soul. Heresy is preached openly and every imaginable abuse is perpetrated on the faithful. So I don't judge the motives of Society leaders but I also don't agree objectively with their post-2000 separation.

    But the state of the Church as a result of the revoltion we've endured definitely created a real emergency situation.

    P.K.T.P.

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  89. Romanus7:30 AM

    Paul Haley said...
    Let's all remember that Bishop Fellay may have already received emergency faculties from the Holy Father or through delegation from Cardinal Hoyos in secret pending full resolution of the discussions. No one may know of this except the principles involved and especially not the Press Office nor would the national conferences of bishops know anything about it.

    John L said...
    I wish people would not refer to assertions by the Vatican press office as coming from the Vatican or from the Holy See.

    P.K.T.P. said...
    That's all Fellay needs to do right now: he needs to apply for the structure, not obtain it. From the instant Rome agrees to take the matter under consideration, he has the temporary legal status he needs.

    Romanus hits his head against the bronze door.

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  90. Who at the Holy See issued this and with whose authority? Judging by the internal divisions at The Vatican and the poklitical machinations therein one can never be sure.

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  91. Picard10:41 AM

    @John L.:

    Very good observation!

    @Pro dinoscopus (and others):

    I do not think that press-release is too bad. ("Perhaps I have over-reacted." - Yes, I think so ;-)

    If this release is a hit/kick in sbdys stomach then a good deal more in the bishop´s then in the FSSPX´s!

    The German bishops are longing for an answer - and now are still longing, they did not get any!! (No news, no concrete advice, no penalties mentioned...!)

    Like "anonymous" said:
    "It sounds to me like the Vatican has told the German bishops not to do anything, but so as not to publicly undermine their authority, has released this vague statement."

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  92. Picard10:45 AM

    And to the question of excomms.

    As I thought till now a bishop can only impose penalties on sbdy who is under his jurisdiction, ie a member of his diocese.

    So I think Bf. Müller can´t excomm Bf. de Galereta --

    or I am missing smth., am I wrong on that???

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  93. Picard11:03 AM

    P.K.T.P.:

    I always liked (and still like) your comments.

    And I agree that we can seriously discuss or question if the "state-of-emergency/necessity-justification" ended in 2000.

    But I am not that sure and want to invite you also to reconsider Your opinion on that.(As I see that you are a man interested in a fair and objekitve discussion.)

    Couldn´t it be that there was not enough garantee that the SSPX can hold their identity (incl. the rejection of the NOM f.e.) under P.John-Paul II ---

    or like John L. put it:
    "With Benedict VXI this might (might) work, but with Paul VI and John Paul II it could not have worked..." [etc.]

    I think that´s not unrealisitc.

    An also one thing more:

    Msgr. Fellay wanted to free the Mass und go into doctrinal discussions - now we have it both. Perhaps we would never had got those things by accepting a legal status in 2000 (before getting this things)!!

    We should consider that very earnestly.

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  94. Picard11:20 AM

    (P.S.: sorry for my not so perfect English - I am German!)

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  95. Picard11:29 AM

    I´ve just read some German newspaper-articles and they all show that the German bishops are not pleased and that in summary the Vatican press-release is much more seen as in favor of the SSPX-standpoint than in favor of the bishops´- well, at least not in favor of the bishop´s behaviour and exspectations!!

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  96. Picard: Whatever you say about who can excommunicate bishop de Galarreta, certainly somebody can, as he, as a catholic is somebody's subject (he thinks that he's bp Fellay's subject, Rome thinks that he's subject to..... ? good question).

    RomanTheScribe: When is it OK then to completely go against a Pope when it comes to consecrating bishops (if ever if it's OK)? It seems to me that the explanation of "it's-ok-because-it's-necessary-for-the-salvation-of-souls" isn't good enough. You can justify practically any type of disobedience with that kind of reasoning. Rome needs to take a clear stance on this.

    The general problem was solved many years ago, when St. Athanasius, whose disobedience during the arian crisis went in my opinion farther than SSPX's disobedience, was canonised. It's a consequence of what the virtue of obedience is, and what is it for. Obedience is all about a goal, not about a particular person, so you have obey your superiors in matters having to do with what they were established for only, and only when they are not leading you clearly against the aforementioned goal. It's a moral virtue, and all moral virtues should be exercised with moderation. The rule "the more the better" has to be applied only to theological virtues (faith, hope, charity). An excess in moral virtue could be a sin. Hitler's subjects are widely known example of sin by excess of obedience.

    John L.: There is no guarantee that a future pontiff will not hold the same positions as Paul VI and John Paul II - unless there is a prior doctrinal agreement that explicitly recognises the SSPX's positions as permissible. That is something that has been clearly stated by both Benedict XVI and Bp. Fellay.

    That's exactly the point. Everything should be arranged in such a way, that if in the future things will go wrong, and we will have a liberal Pope, it can't be the traditionalists who will break their word.

    PKTP: In 2000, Pope John Paul II offered the Society an international particular church (the Campos writ large) which addressed all those concerns effectively.
    It would be very comfortable solution for the SSPX, the Pope, and the affiliated faithful, but it would be a self-lie. SSPX is the member of the Latin Rite particular Church of the Roman Catholic Church, established by St. Peter, just as most Catholics in the world, not some other particular Church established by Pope John Paul II Anno Domini 2000. The have not broken with this particular Church and its tradition. It's the modernists who should have their own Postlutheran Neoanglican Rite Particular Church (if any), because they have broken with the Latin Rite church.


    Please have a broader view. SSPX's mission is not to have a comfortable place in the devastated church, and exercise their marginal (in terms of relative numbers) ministry to some extravagant faithful in peace. It's mission is bring the WHOLE CHURCH, beginning with Latin Rite particular Church, back to it's roots, it's tradition, it terms of liturgy (byzantine churches didn't make a "liturgical reform" after V2 - so what? they're also devastated with ecumenism and noncatholic doctrine, and general decline of ministry), faith, doctrine and ministry.

    They will either abandon their mission or fight until doctrinal issues will be resolved and canonical solution best fit for their mission found.

    If they will abandon it's mission (God forbid!), the Holy Ghost will find another way to restore the Church. No doubt about it. The gates of hell shall not prevail her. In the end, the Immaculate Heart will triumph.
    But it may take a very, very long time.

    So let's keep praying, especially let's take part in the Rosary Crusade.

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  97. The general problem was solved many years ago, when St. Athanasius, whose disobedience during the arian crisis went in my opinion farther than SSPX's disobedience, was canonised. ***

    There is simply no analogy or parallel between St. Athanasius' "disobedience" of and Archbishop Lefebvre's disobedience. The circumstances in each case bear no resemblance at all.

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  98. Peter1:13 PM

    Picard: Where do you live, if I may ask?

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  99. Anonymous1:51 PM

    "Please note that illegitimate does not mean invalid"

    Maura, it does mean IVALID when it comes to them pretending to confer absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and also in the Sacrament of Marriage. The priestly sociey of Lefebrve have no jurisdicition that is necessary to validily confer these two sacraments.

    Jamie

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  100. Picard2:16 PM

    @ Jordanes:

    No, there is in fact a great analogy between both cases.

    Because St. Athanasius was excommunicated for beeing orthodox by a Pope that was heterodox or at least did not defend orthodoxy --

    and St. Athanasius most probably went on preaching, consecrating and offering Mass whilst he was excommed.

    So who does not see the parallels oder analogy I wonder.

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  101. "Why doesn't anyone in the Vatican get as upset when the communist church in China does the same?"

    Dear, they do. There are two churches in China right now--the state sanctioned illigitimate one and the real Church that is being persecuted and driven underground. Most certainly the Vatican is extremely upset about it, but they also know who they are dealing with. It's a different situation altogether.

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  102. PKTP:

    In my previous message I specified that state of necessity of Mgr. Lefebvre consisted in the lack of a Bishop in order to pursue Tradition (liturgical and doctrinal). Why I have reached this conclusion? Because if while on the course of the discussions of 1988 Rome would have granted the Bishop Mgr. Lefebvre asked for, he shouldn' t have the "necessity" to consecrate Bishops without the mandate of the Pope, even if the crisis on the Church was already there at that time. Crisis on the Church is at the origin for the need of traditional priests, but it not constitute in itself a reason to procede to a whatever illicit.
    Thus, the cessation of the state of necessity occurs when Rome grants a canonical status (provisional or definitive) to the SSPX. And not merely to offer it -as in the year 2000-.

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  103. Picard3:18 PM

    Yes, Peter, you are allowed to ask -- and also get answer:

    Next to Mainz -- where I´m studying at the Universitiy.

    :-)

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  104. Because St. Athanasius was excommunicated for beeing orthodox by a Pope that was heterodox or at least did not defend orthodoxy ***

    He was not excommunicated for being orthodox (and neither was Archbishop Lefebvre for that matter), though his orthodoxy was the underlying motive for his invalid excommunication. Neither was it a pope (whether heterodox or orthodox) who excommunicated him, but an invalid synod. The historical record is also unclear whether or not Pope Liberius signed off on the excommunication, and there's also reason to believe that if he did approve of the excommunication, he did so under duress, thus making his approval (if there was any) invalid. We do know that St. Athanasius had been led to believe that the pope agreed with the excommunication, but in those days there were plenty of false rumors and outright forgeries of letters in the name of Liberius written by the Arians and semi-Arians, so St. Athanasius may have been mistaken.

    There are no such doubts and uncertainties surrounding the circumstances of Archbishop Lefebvre's excommunication.

    and St. Athanasius most probably went on preaching, consecrating and offering Mass whilst he was excommed. ***

    Perhaps he did, and if so that's fine, as the one thing there's no doubt about regarding his excommunication is that it was null and void. However, Benedict XVI's remission of the excommunications of the SSPX bishops indicates that the Holy See regards the 1988 excommunications as valid and legitimate. So there's no analogy between St. Athanasius and Archbishop Lefebvre.

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  105. Picard3:26 PM

    Jordanes:

    No, Pope Liberius did excomm. Athanasius himself and not under pressure, but deliberately, cf. letter "studens paci" of Liberius in 357. The church-historians nearly unanimous confirm its authenticity (cf. Denzinger-Hünermann, introduction to nrr. 138-143).
    (cf. also Athanasius, Historia Arianorum ad monachos 41 [PG 25, 741]; Sozomenus, Historia Ecclesiae IV 15 [PG 67, 1152] -- see DH l.c.).

    So sorry, You are wrong - there is this analogy.

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  106. Peter3:28 PM

    Jordanes:Benedict XVI's remission of the excommunications of the SSPX bishops indicates that the Holy See regards the 1988 excommunications as valid and legitimate.
    The revoking decree itself is ambiguous, you can read it as a remission of the decree from 1988. But it doesn't matter, since:
    1. Pope is not infallible in juridical and administrative matters.
    2. Excommunications do not bind our conscience, they bind our acts. You do not commit a sin, when you doubt in the validity of excommunication.
    3. If you don't like St. Athanasius, look at St. Joan of Arc who was excommunicated, and yet she is a saint. Probably such will be the case of archbishop Lefebvre, when the whole diabolical disorientation will be over.

    Jamie:
    Maura, it does mean IVALID when it comes to them pretending to confer absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and also in the Sacrament of Marriage.

    The priestly nature gives them the power to absolve sins, not the ordinary jurisdiction itself. So in case where is no doubt about jurisdiction (danger of death, reconciliation with Holy See) they obviously minister those sacraments validly without the need of "re-ordination" or conditional ordination.

    Picard: Thank you. I've never been there actually, but I think the more south you go in Germany, the more Catholics are there.

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  107. Of course "nearly unanimous" is another way of saying that historians disagree whether or not "Studens paci" is genuine. If genuine, and if Liberius did not act under duress, then St. Athanasius would have been legitimately excommunicated for an unjustifiable refusal to answer the pope's summons to Rome. Nevertheless it's unlikely to be authentic, and that's the only real evidence available that Liberius, rather than a synod, excommunicated St. Athanasius. Whatever the case, this kind of historical uncertainty is not at all present in the case of Archbishop Lefebvre. So you are mistaken -- there is no analogy.

    See the historical background and discussion of Studens paci and the other forged letters of Liberius here:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09217a.htm

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  108. Picard3:43 PM

    According to Liberius´ letter "studens paci" he ordered St. Athanasius to come to Rome but he was disobedient, did not come and therefor was excommed.

    -- So yes, the analogy is only insofar not perfect as Bf. Athanasius was *much more disobedient* and *self-seperating from Rome and the Pope* than EBf Lefebvre or Bf. Fellay, who both always went to Rome when the Popes called them to come!

    And yes, like yourselfe, jordanes, rightly asserted, the question of orthodoxy was the underlying motive of the excomm.
    And we can also put it that way: the differnt interpretation of some formulas, if they are heretic or not, if they are a brake with Tradition or in continuity with it - and how to react to it.

    And of course Pope Liberius held his excomm. as valid and legitimate as Pope Benedikt XVI does hold the one of P. John-Paul II.

    So exactly parallel -- I can´t see how any analogy could be greater/bigger than thisone realy is!

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  109. Anonymous3:50 PM

    Jordanes postulates about St. Athanasius that "there's no doubt about regarding his excommunication is that it was null and void."

    Isn't this conclusion drawn with the benefit of hind sight? At that time, St. Athanasius did not have such benefit and so proceeded as though the Pope excommunicated him.

    if this is the case there does seem to be a parallel to the situation with His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve.

    ProTruth AntiLies

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  110. The revoking decree itself is ambiguous, you can read it as a remission of the decree from 1988. ***

    There's no ambiguity at all. It explicitly says it is a remission of the 1988 excommunications: "On the basis of the powers expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, by virtue of the present Decree I remit the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae incurred by Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta, and declared by this Congregation on 1 July 1988. At the same time I declare that, as of today's date, the Decree issued at that time no longer has juridical effect." Remission of excommunication implies validity of excommunication -- it's not at all like the cases of St. Joan of Arc or Sister Mary Ward, whose unjust condemnations as heretics were not merely remitted but overturned by the pope.

    Pope is not infallible in juridical and administrative matters. ***

    True, but he is the supreme judge and legislator of the Church. At this time the Holy See is upholding the validity of the 1988 excommunications. Whether or not that stance will ever change cannot be foreseen, as grounds for denying the validity are difficult to ascertain.

    Excommunications do not bind our conscience, they bind our acts. You do not commit a sin, when you doubt in the validity of excommunication. ***

    That's an entirely different question. The proposed analogy is between St. Athanasius' excommunication by Pope Liberius, which may not have even happened, and Msgr. Lefebvre's excommunication under John Paul II, which certainly happened and which all available documentation indicates to be regarded by the Holy See as valid.

    If you don't like St. Athanasius, look at St. Joan of Arc who was excommunicated, and yet she is a saint. Probably such will be the case of archbishop Lefebvre, when the whole diabolical disorientation will be over. ***

    The injustice of St. Joan's condemnation and execution is manifest -- her case is also a bad analogy to Msgr. Lefebvre's. We know that the Church can later rule that an excommunication was improperly imposed or declared, but it's another thing to argue that it can or should happen in a particular case.

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  111. Picard4:10 PM

    Jordanes:
    No, it is not "unlikely to be authentic" -- well, that is your private opinion, fine. -- But the consensus of the scientists says it is authentic, cf. - as I said before - f.e. DH [Denzinger-Hünermann], introduction to nrr. 138-143, where this matter/subject is dealt with. Yes, the older historians held it for not authentic, but nowdays it is seen as a fact that it is authentic, sorry.

    Sorry, I can give you only this German source (but the DH is a real standard-work, so worth to be taken seriously) - because I am not familiar with the English works.

    If you have counter-information please quote a serious work on that matter from the last 30 years where you can find that information.

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  112. Joe B4:12 PM

    The canonical status issue is nothing. The very existence of the church hangs in the balance of SSPX's stand, because it is the only remaining effective voice calling the church back from the precipice.

    From Vatican II forward, the hierarchy, including the popes - all of them - have been warring against tradition, which is the faith as it was passed down to us. Archbishop Lefebvre eventually stood virtually alone against this onslaught. Meanwhile, the church lurched left, priests disappeared, convents gone, monasteries dried up, mass attendance shrunk so low churches have been closed en masse, large families (once a staple of the church) have become rare, seminaries became significantly populated by homosexuals, the mass and local parish authorities were feminized, and who got excommunicated? WHO? Heaven is watching over SSPX because they stand in front of the faith that is under attack. It is Rome that has turned their swords against tradition, and is in danger of annihilation as a result. Note: Rome and the Vatican - not the church, which cannot be overcome.

    You must know that God cannot be but seething at this generational betrayal. And what have his vicars done with their power to resist the heresy of modernism? Little but coddle leftists, including communists, and ignore the warnings of His Mother. Pope Benedict XVI has not fought the good fight, he has done nothing to ELIMINATE those who have decimated the church. All he has done is put out a letter telling priests it's OK to offer the ancient mass, while he himself refuses to do that. That's all he was given the keys for? If he should die today, God forbid, that letter is all that will remain of his watch, and even it is being ignored. No turning of the tide, no battle joined, no abortion-enabling bishops burned at the stake, no seminaries emptied and turned over to trads, NOTHING but lip service letters, some good in themselves, but all ineffective.

    You who worry about a canonical tree are missing the forest. It is the Vatican which has to be running out of time and is in danger of death. The wrath of God has to be nearing it's limits. Nuclear-armed Moslems and communist political parties are fast gaining grip on Europe and Rome, and the time once again seems ripe for a match to ignite another European bloodbath. Absent "the consecration", blood will flow and the popes will, indeed, "have much to suffer." Rome is not guaranteed survival, nor is the Vatican. Evacuation to asylum is a possibility. The steady rise of leftists around the world along with the warnings of last century indicate that, absent the consecration, another war is coming. The Holy Father is going to have to recognize reality and fight them using all the traditional weapons of the church, including excommunications, inquisitions, consecrations and reconsecrations, and maybe even a Crusade.

    But he can't do it, can he? He's a child of modernism who dislikes Thomism, a devotee of Vatican II, and won't even celebrate the TLM. And he's the best of the Vatican II lot! He can't bring himself to use the full power of Peter, and his weakness is making the situation of the church even worse with each passing year.

    Forget the canonical status of SSPX. As Bishop Fellay knows, we have a far more urgent need. Pray that SSPX wakes up this pope who seems blind to the seriousness of the leftist threat all around him, and instead wrings his hands over the trouble that trads are causing him. Pray that he begins to lead the fight against the evils of our time, rather than just write letters merely tolerating tradition - but not traditionalist priests scattered by WHOM?

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  113. Isn't this conclusion drawn with the benefit of hind sight? At that time, St. Athanasius did not have such benefit and so proceeded as though the Pope excommunicated him. ***

    Yes, and Archbishop Lefebvre did so as well, though in his case there's no doubt that he really had been excommunicated. The difference is that the circumstances of St. Athanasius are such that we can readily see the juridic invalidity of his excommunication, whereas that is much more difficult in the case of Msgr. Lefebvre.

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  114. Anonymous4:19 PM

    What is the point of the Holy Father lifting the excommunications if the FSSPX cannot still do anything?

    All the lifting effectively means is that the four bishops can have their sins absolved by a priest that has faculties.

    Bishop Fellay goes to confession to the Holy Father?
    Maybe, but why would the Holy Father just lift the excomms and not allow the Society to have anything legal?

    Hard to understand

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  115. Picard4:32 PM

    Jordanes:

    Are you kidding?

    the "source" http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09217a.htm
    only quotes very old material (church-historians of 1907, 1908 or so and before - see there).

    But there has been a scientific progress since then, nowdays it is seen as certain that the letter and/or the fragments "Adversus Valentem et Ursacium" are authentic.

    So it is not "unlikely" that it is true/authentic, but sure or at least very, very likely.

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  116. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Joe B enthusiastically comments at 18 June, 2009 16:12.

    Great post. keep them coming.

    Nonetheless the neo cons will cry about 'obedience' being paramount.

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  117. Picard4:33 PM

    BTW, Jordanes:

    Why are you so eager in showing that there is no parallel - whilst the parallelism would also be obvious if Pope Liberius only confirmed some excomms...[and even if he would have been under some pressure...]?

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  118. Picard4:51 PM

    There is a very cogent argument that the excomms. of the 30. of July 1988 were as unjust and invalid as those of St. Jean d´arc and St. Athanasius.

    Because the whole house of the church was burning 1988, the heresies were and are still spread "by full hands" [or how do you say that in English??] - like in times of St. Athanasius -, we had and still have the most terrible abuses and sacrilegs at/on such an amount inside the church we never had before - surely much worse than in the times of Athanasius -

    so it is easy to see that it was a case of extreme emergency and, yes, a greater emergency than in the days of Athanasius.

    An so we have a solid argument.

    Of course, the rest is to be done by the Church, ie by some Pope to declare authentically that this privat argumentation is sound.

    Let´s wait and see...

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  119. No, it is not "unlikely to be authentic" -- well, that is your private opinion, fine. ***

    No, it's not "my" private opinion. Also, whether or not "Studens paci" was a forgery, there's no doubt that the historians have been arguing about its authenticity for a long time. There is no such debate about the authenticity of the papal acts relevant to Msgr. Lefebvre.

    But the consensus of the scientists says it is authentic, cf. - as I said before - f.e. DH [Denzinger-Hünermann], introduction to nrr. 138-143, where this matter/subject is dealt with. ***

    Perhaps that is the consensus today, or was at the time that edition of Denzinger was published. I note that a solid historian like Warren Carroll accepts that Liberius really did excommunicate St. Athanasius:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/answers/popeguil.htm

    Still, historically speaking the consensus has been that it is not authentic.

    The online Denzinger shows "Studens paci" here:

    http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/IT/cgr.htm#a25

    Can't find the introductory discussion, though -- not that I'd be able to understand much of it anyway. If the Denzinger arguments are superior to the older arguments, I'll have to change my mind.

    Yes, the older historians held it for not authentic, but nowdays it is seen as a fact that it is authentic, sorry. ***

    One may legitimately accept the arguments of older historians if they are good arguments.

    But after all, no parallel between the cases of St. Athanasius and Msgr. Lefebvre has yet been demonstrated.

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  120. Picard5:16 PM

    Jordanes: "Perhaps that is the consensus today, or was at the time that edition of Denzinger was published. I note that a solid historian like Warren Carroll accepts that Liberius really did excommunicate St. Athanasius..."

    So then you can not speak of the "unliklyness/-hood" but at least of "likelyhood" (or moral certainty).

    Because that is no debate about some magisterial texts - in that case the old ones have realy the same onus like the newer (no differnce by time) - but about some historical question.

    And there newer arguments, if hold nearly unanimously or absolut unanimously, have much more onus and can correct some older opinion. That´s normal scientific progress.

    So to everybody: Don´t mix it up with theological progressism that tells us that all new/later magisterial texts automatically correct or replace older ones....That is indeed not acceptable - whilst a scientific progress is.

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  121. the "source" http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09217a.htm
    only quotes very old material (church-historians of 1907, 1908 or so and before - see there).


    One may legitimately accept the arguments of older historians if they are good arguments. It's not like anyone here has brought forward any alternative arguments and interpretations. You've pointed to Denzinger and made assertions about more recent historical arguments, but haven't enabled us to see any of them.

    But there has been a scientific progress since then, nowdays it is seen as certain that the letter and/or the fragments "Adversus Valentem et Ursacium" are authentic. ***

    I hope you'll understand if I hesitate to just take your word for it. You could be right, but neither you nor I are authorities on this question. Based on what I know at this time, I have to continue to doubt their authenticity, and to continue to note that "nearly unanimous" means there is still some uncertainty about the authenticity of "Studens paci." There is no uncertainity about the authenticity of the acts whereby Msgr. Lefebvre's excommunication was declared and confirmed.


    Why are you so eager in showing that there is no parallel ***

    Because I am committed to ascertaining historical truth to the degree that I can do so. The circumstances of the late 300s A.D. and those of the late 20th century are just so vastly different that it's just no good pointing to what we can tell of the experience of St. Athanasius as a justification for what we know of Msgr. Lefebvre's experience.

    whilst the parallelism would also be obvious if Pope Liberius only confirmed some excomms...[and even if he would have been under some pressure...]

    Speaking in generalities, St. Athanasius was the great defender of Nicaea and Msgr. Lefebvre was the great opponent of Vatican II and of the disastrous post-conciliar total overhaul of the Latin liturgy. St. Athanasius had a falling out with a pope who was weak and unreliable in upholding Nicaea. Msgr. Lefebvre had a falling out with a pope who upheld Vatican II and insisted on the new Latin liturgy.

    Surely you would agree that drawing such false analogies is unhelpful? When you dig deeper, you find that there's no instructive parallel at all. Msgr. Lefebvre was not St. Athanasius, and Paul VI and John Paul II weren't Liberius, and there was no powerful heretical party supported by an emperor putting extreme pressure on Paul VI and John Paul II to renounce Catholic truth and condemn Msgr. Lefebvre.

    so it is easy to see that it was a case of extreme emergency and, yes, a greater emergency than in the days of Athanasius. ***

    No, it was far, far worse in the days of St. Athanasius -- which doesn't mean things aren't really bad now, because they are. But whether or not our problems today are adequate justification for a schismatic act is another question altogether. At this time the position of the Holy See seems to be that they are not, but of course the position could change in the future.

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  122. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Picard makes some very good points. For example, he writes this (on this state of necessity business):

    "Msgr. Fellay wanted to free the Mass und go into doctrinal discussions - now we have it both. Perhaps we would never had got those things by accepting a legal status in 2000 (before getting this things)!!"

    I may be a bit old fashioned but I've always kept my simple childhood faith in our Lord. So I see the gain of S.P. and the way it's worked out as divinely providential. God did it, not Bishop Fellay. So that will not affect whether or not there was a strict state of necessity from 2000 to 2007.

    Cardinal Ratzinger was one of the members of the 1986 Commission of Cardinals, and I have good reason to believe that not only those Cardinals' findings but also their *reason* for the findings is asserted by S.P. So I think that Benedict XVI would have decreed S.P. sooner or later in any event.

    Moreover, S.P. is more than what it seems (in a good way) and yet less then what any of us was hoping for. There is a 'catch' in S.P., which is the continuing ability of the local bishops to threaten their priests with retaliation should they celebrate the Gregorian Mass without episcopal permission: every diocese has its gulags. On the other hand, I am convinced that Article 1 is a time bomb which will eventually bring us more benefits than are now generally realised; namely, it will bring us one every-Sunday (even daily) T.L.M. per diocese if requested.

    Nevertheless, even with its time bomb in Article 1, S.P. cannot deliver as much in principle as can a regularisation of the S.S.P.X, even on a temporary basis. Bishop Fellay must consider his episcopal duty to be magnanimous here. He is not called upon to serve his clerics and supporters alone but all the faithful. There are many traditionalists in the world who, rightly or wrongly (and not being theologians but just good Catholics) want to attend his Masses but feel that they must not; or they want to attend any Traditional Latin Masses but cannot gain reasonable access to them.

    In present circumstances, especially given Rome's claim that the New Mass is the normative Rite of Mass, there are only two ways we can overcome the obstruction of the local bishops. The best way, which I have urged for years, is the erection of an international apostolic administration for all of us, one not connected specifically or exclusively to the S.S.P.X. That is not in the cards at the momment. The other one is the recognition by Rome of a S.S.P.X which is directly under the Pope and not subject to the local bishops, even if only temporarily while discussions ensue. It would not only enable the S.S.P.X to serve faithful where local bishops are obstructing our Mass; it would also increase the number of diocesan Gregorian Masses because bishops would stop this obstruction in order to keep the S.S.P.X out of their bailiwicks. No bishop wants a Society in his diocese if he has zero control over the sermons and other activities of that group.

    To be continued . . . .

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  123. Peter5:36 PM

    Jordanes: and there was no powerful heretical party supported by an emperor putting extreme pressure on Paul VI and John Paul II to renounce Catholic truth and condemn Msgr. Lefebvre.

    Sure there was, and still is. Didn't you hear the roar in January and February? Not only from the leftist media, but also from the conferences of bishops.

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  124. Anonymous5:37 PM

    P.K.T.P. continued from last post, answering Picard:

    The day that Rome accepts a request from Bishop Fellay to create a canonical structure for the S.S.P.X is the day of liberation for all traditionalists. It would be the single most important gain for us since this battle began, more important than Q.A.A. of 1984, E.D.A. of 1988, the Campos precedent of 2002, the erection of thirty-some approved traditionalist societies since 1988, S.P. of 2007, or the remission of the censures of excommunication of this January.

    Of course, once the structure is granted, it could restrict what is needed, but I very much doubt that that will happen. Bishop Fellay will not accept any deal, even temporarily, under which he needs the local bishop's authority to establish an apostolate in his territory. No, this structure will be a precursor to the internatioanal apostolic administration granted at the end of the doc talks.

    That is why I have so much angst. Liberation day is at hand and it's all up to Bishop Fellay. Is he magnanimous enough to do the right think? Every action entails *some* risk but this would entail little. He'd retain control of the Society's property and would be de facto independent even of the Pope (de facto only) until the discussions were over. The only risk on his part is that many of his priests might become too 'comfortable' with regularity ever to want to abandon it again even when necessary. But the Society's prospects can not be foreseeably better than they are now.

    P.K.T.P.

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  125. Picard5:44 PM

    Jordanes:
    No, neither you not me are experts in this historical question (I don´t know who is more because I do not know what you studied - I as a student of philosophy, history and theology do have some competence, but I would never say I am an expert!) -

    but DH is an expert or - as I said before - a very famous standard-work.

    So as far you have no counter-source, as I also said before, there is no doubt that the excomms. have to be held as authentic - at least most likely (if not for sure, moral certain). - You can squirm or writhe, but - as we say in German: "Da beißt die Maus keinen Faden ab".

    I use the 37th ed. of 1991 (Remmber, not the old "Denzinger" or the "Denzinger-Schönmetzer", but the "Denzinger-Hünermann" - since the 31th edition it was the DS, and later the DH). There you find the introduction on p.71.

    And "nearly unanimous" I said only out of humility or as a concession to you and in fright not to exaggerate (because I am no expert to this question) -- but according to DH the older view is totaly outdated and so it should be just "unanimous".
    Sorry for beeing that cautious.

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  126. Anonymous5:52 PM

    Jamie wrote:

    "Maura, it does mean IVALID when it comes to them pretending to confer absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and also in the Sacrament of Marriage. The priestly sociey of Lefebrve have no jurisdicition that is necessary to validily confer these two sacraments."

    Actually, to my recollection, the Sacrament of Confirmation also needs jurisdiction for validity.

    P.K.T.P.

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  127. Anonymous5:57 PM

    Peter asked about whose subject Bishop de Galarreta is. He is presumably the subject of the Bishop whose see embraces the place where he has his domicile. And that's not in Germany (Spain, at the moment, I think).

    P.K.T.P.

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  128. Anonymous6:14 PM

    Jordanes writes this:

    "There is simply no analogy or parallel between St. Athanasius' "disobedience" of and Archbishop Lefebvre's disobedience. The circumstances in each case bear no resemblance at all."

    Sorry but that is not correct, Jordanes. In both cases, an honest (even if mistaken) defence of orthodoxy in a time of heresy was seen as a reason for invoking the principle of supplied jurisdiction in necessity. So there is a parallel. In the Code, one can be excused for some penalties even if one honestly but wrongly thought that disobedience was necessary to defend the truth (cf. e.g. Canon 1323, No. 7).

    Both St. Athanasius and Lefebvre honestly thought that disobedience was strictly necessary to safeguard a right of faithful. In the case of Abp. Lefebvre, he believed that this was needed because he saw widespread heresy being taught and the legitimate authorities not defending the truth (just as Liberius failed to defend the truth, even if he was not heterdox personally).

    Also in the case of Lefebvre, we can also say that he was right on the liturgical question. S.P. confirms that the old Mass was never abrogated, and yet it was suppressed illegally under "De Missali Romano", 1971. That is CLEARLY a violation of natural justice. If a right of the faithful is denied and the only way to retain that right is disobedience, then disobedience can be rightful. Between 1971 (in most places) or 1974 (all places) and 2007, a right of priests to celebrate the Gregorian Mass was illegally denied. This invoked a state of necessity. Bishop Fellay could have ended it in 2000, so that's when it ended for him. But between 1971 and 2000, the right of the faithful was impeded by legitimate authority.

    On doctrinal matters, John Paul II allowed the Campos priests to teach in accordance with pre-conciliar doctrine and to question conciliar doctrine 'without polemics'. The Institutum Boni Pastoralis (I.B.P.) has been granted the same and it has been offered to the S.S.P.X. Before the time of these offers, however, it is at least plausible that disobedient traditionalist orders believed that they acted to defend the truth during a time of general apostasy, just as St. Athanaius did. There is a parallel.

    P.K.T.P.

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  129. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Jordanes writes:

    "Yes, and Archbishop Lefebvre did so as well, though in his case there's no doubt that he really had been excommunicated."

    Actually, there is a great deal of doubt, and a number of canonists over the years have argued that Apb. Lefebvre was not, in fact, excommunicated. I know of one who admitted this to me directly after writing the opposite on the Internet. I obviously cannot reveal the name. Canon 1323 has been invoked by many in this matter.

    Please note that I am not making this argument my own. I don't have a firm opinion on the matter. It's best left to canonists. But there certainly is doubt in many quarters. That's why Fr. Méramo of the S.S.P.X is so angry. He didn't want the censures lifted; he wanted them declared null and void ab ovo.

    P.K.T.P.

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  130. Picard6:34 PM

    Jordanes:

    If you hold that "it was far, far worse in the days of St. Athanasius" than today then your reaction is understandable - but that you hold this opinion is so unbelieveable for me that I find no words to express my astonishment.-

    No, of course, I can not demonstrate that todays time is much worse than the time of St. Athanasius in just one or two short comments
    --- but normaly you do not have to proof the obvious (obvious for everybody who knows some church-history of the Athanasius-time and of the last 40, 50 years... but well, yes, not proofable within/by some sentences - but let me assure you: when I complain what I studied about the Arianism with that what I studied about the last years together with my own experince and the experince of many of my friendes and compagnions, then there is absolutly no doubt that modern times are much - much much much - worse than the time of Arianism.)

    The counteropinion is just unbelievable and seems absurd.

    Well, again, this is no proof - but only some statement and testimony of a German student of "theology" (or should I say "hereticology" as it is at my university - and not only mine, but widespread!)

    - You seem to have no idea what the teaching at nearly every university in Germany is, what abuses are common and widespread, etc.

    And as an attempt of a "proof" - well, you have to trust my words for it...: My Prof. for new testament, Marius Reiser, is one of the very few that defend the resurection (and other miracles) as historical fact (yes, you got it right, the RESURRECTION of our LORD!!) - and he himselfe admitted that about 90% of the exegets - his colleagues - do hold the counter-opinion or at least question the historicity of the resurrection.

    So even if the Arians denied the Divinitiy, Deity of CHRist (what is also common to/by German universitiy-proffs!!) nobody of them would have ever questioned the historicity of the Resurrection or the other miracles. That would be totaly beyond of their imagination.
    Like of Luther´s or Calvin´s.

    But not beyond the modernist´s...

    Modernism is going much - MUCH MUCH MUCH - deeper, is more radical than any heresy before.

    Well, even if you don´t accept me as authority, perhaps you accept St. Pius X as one -- who declared Modernism as receptacle, amalgamation of all heresies.

    So more proof or authorities needed - for the obvious that normaly needs no proof?? Could give you more... and more....But I am afraid you will never admit that my argument is sound....

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  131. "there was no powerful heretical party supported by an emperor putting extreme pressure on Paul VI and John Paul II to renounce Catholic truth and condemn Msgr. Lefebvre." Sure there was, and still is. ***

    And the emperor's name?

    And "nearly unanimous" I said only out of humility or as a concession to you and in fright not to exaggerate (because I am no expert to this question) -- but according to DH the older view is totaly outdated and so it should be just "unanimous". ***

    In my historical studies I've learned that there's rarely if ever unanimity among scholars of history. One must judge the historical arguments on their merits, not on a real or alleged consensus. If it is true that the consensus now supports the authenticity of "Studens paci," that would indicate there are probably some pretty good reasons to back that up, but until I can consider those reasons the question must remain open for me. Invoking "unanimous consensus" just can't suffice.

    "Yes, and Archbishop Lefebvre did so as well, though in his case there's no doubt that he really had been excommunicated." Actually, there is a great deal of doubt, and a number of canonists over the years have argued that Apb. Lefebvre was not, in fact, excommunicated. ***

    No, the doubt isn't over whether or not the excommunication happened, but whether or not it was valid. Evidently it is the position of the Apostolic See at this time that it was valid. But it can't be denied that in 1988 an excommunication was announced following the illicit consecration of the four SSPX bishops -- the historical record is indisputable on that point.

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  132. Picard, I'm not denying that the Church today is in a very bad way, but as I look around I don't see very many bishops openly professing modernist points of doctrines -- yes, there are some, and there shouldn't be any. But even during the darkest days of the post-Vatican II unraveling, there was never any real likelihood of the modernists getting the Church to renounce the faith and implement the NCR-Call-to-Action agenda of apostasy. The Arians and semi-Arians, however, did have control of a vast number of episcopal sees, and with the support of heretical emperors nearly achieved the destruction of Nicaea and the total downfall of the See of Rome. In contrast, the prospect of a modernist victory grows less and less likely every day.

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  133. picard7:17 PM

    Well, Jordanes, in that you are right:

    "No, the doubt isn't over whether or not the excommunication happened, but whether or not it was valid... But it can't be denied that in 1988 an excommunication was announced following the illicit consecration of the four SSPX bishops -- the historical record is indisputable on that point."

    Thats a sound argument, I admit.

    But does not change that there is at least most likely that parallel (and many other parallels for sure).

    Oh, Jordanes - if some consensus is "unanimous" or at least "nearly" so (as you also correctly described why -- but I said the same so why are you fighting this way?!...) then (if yourself you are no expert) IT IS ENOUGH TO RELAY ON. So don´t squirm, come on (well, I got the point that this is not infallible - and I NEVER SAID SO. But if you as no expert recognize that the opinion of the scholars is an unanimously consent then it is PRUDENT and totaly JUSTIFIED to lean on it -- oh, come on, what a SUPERFLUOUS debate!

    -- And the name of the emperor -- don´t you really know it (oh, he has several names - Obama, Merkel and Knobloch -- or should I say the Spiegel, Bild, FAZ and Washington post, BBC etc.?! - or should we call this modern emperor with his most accurate name: "Zeitgeist"?! Never heard of that modern, most powerfull emperor...?!)

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  134. And the name of the emperor -- don´t you really know it (oh, he has several names - Obama, Merkel and Knobloch -- or should I say the Spiegel, Bild, FAZ and Washington post, BBC etc.?! - or should we call this modern emperor with his most accurate name: "Zeitgeist"?! Never heard of that modern, most powerfull emperor...?!) ***

    Ha! Good one, Picard. Having been present at an Obama speech before a roomful of journalists, and personally experienced a disturbing skin-crawling feeling as he spoke (I finally had to leave, it was so unsettling), and witnessed the effect he had on the journalists -- almost as if they were desperately praying that he would order them to sell him their souls --- I can well believe that Obama could be the Antichrist, or at least the Antichrist's Mini-Me.

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  135. Anonymous7:38 PM

    Jordanes concludes that, "In contrast, the prospect of a modernist victory grows less and less likely every day."

    LMAO!

    You swallowed the kool aide.

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  136. picard7:44 PM

    Jordanes:

    ("but as I look around I don't see very many bishops openly professing modernist points of doctrines...")

    Then you do not see clear enough: most bishops are Modernists - but even if modernism is the "amalgamation" of all heresies it is - also according to the holy Pope Pius X - normaly not so easy to recover. Because of the very infamous method of modernists. And it is a kind of "second level" and hidden heresy, don´t forget that (and re-read Pascendi - that has the key to understand all what is going on now.)

    And: that is exactly an other reason that makes it worse - not better - than other heresies.

    No other than Karl Rahner spoke in his earlier (and orthodoxer) time of the "cryptogam" heresy of the modern times what is much worse than the open and clear ones or the older times (because of its "cryptogamity", cf. the little book of Bf. Graber of Regensburg "Athanasius und die Kirche unserer Zeit").

    It is exactly the opposite:
    Not the clear and open declared hersy of Arius or Luther or some else is that bad - but the not clear, willingly ambiguous language to hide some heresies in modern time is the worst.

    And also (and connected with it) the deep problem of denying the possibility to reach truth, so modern agnosticism.

    The old heretics believed in truth but only erred.

    The modernists, including most of the bishops, are part of the "dictatorship of relativism" or at least deceived [so they are deceived deceivers] by it by not admitting that there is a truth or that you can reache, catch it.

    That makes modernism much worse and dangerous.

    There is no worse cenario imaginable like this.

    (And there are also enough bishops who openly hold erroneous or heretical opinions and, again, commonly not only one but dozens of heresies. - And normaly they are given high positions, so f.e. head of the bishops-conference, like in Germany Bf. Zollitsch.
    I wonder in what world you are living - must be an other one than me^^)

    GOD bless and good night.

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  137. Anonymous, you really think it’s likely under current conditions that we’re going to see the Church formally renounce her Creed and turn Spongian Episcopalian?

    Picard, there’s no denying modernism is a far worse heresy than Arianism, but I’m talking about the general state and health of the Church. While the Church is in bad shape, she is weathering the modernist storm much better than she did the Arian storm.

    And yes, we do live in two different world --- things are pretty bad in the U.S. Catholic Church, but I’m aware that compared to how bad things are in Germany, the U.S. Church could almost seem to be in a Golden Age of Faith.

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  138. Peter8:01 PM

    History of modernism in short - roughly a 500-years-long process which began with Luther's revolt:

    1. Separate philosophy from theology.

    2. Let the philosophy develop on it's own - truth is no concern, the more contrary to the faith it gets the better. So there will be many "philosophies".

    3. Discover that theology doesn't stick to the philosophies developed in point 2.

    4. Try to rewrite theology using the philosophies which happened to develop on the basis of negation of truth in point 2.

    And here we have, many faces of modernism. Each looks a bit different, yet all look the same. It's the devil's face. Every time when you split from the truth you'll end up caught by the devil.

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  139. Peter8:06 PM

    Jordanes:
    And yes, we do live in two different world --- things are pretty bad in the U.S. Catholic Church, but I’m aware that compared to how bad things are in Germany, the U.S. Church could almost seem to be in a Golden Age of Faith.

    It's a real irony, that the most conservative churches were those behind the Iron Curtain, former Soviet republics like Lithuania or Ukraine had the Novus Ordo celebrated piously according to the Missal at least to the 1990s (I don't know the current situation, though).

    Not to mention China, where the Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated exclusively until 1990...

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  140. picard8:10 PM

    Jordanes: So, yes, that is also my impression that in Germany, Austria, Swizerland - shortly: middle Europe the Church is wounded the worst - compared to the US or especially to the "Third World".

    - Again and definitely good night and God bless!

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  141. Anonymous8:15 PM

    Jordanes writes:

    "Picard, there’s no denying modernism is a far worse heresy than Arianism, but I’m talking about the general state and health of the Church. While the Church is in bad shape, she is weathering the modernist storm much better than she did the Arian storm."

    That is completely false. A large part of the faithful remained faithful in the Arian period and a phalanx of bishops did too. Today, very few who self-identify as Catholics are objectively Catholic. For example, only 17% in the U.S.A. believe in transubstantiation. I could go on all day with such numbers, and the case is worse in Canada and Europe. In Quebec, only 5% go to Mass and a private company sells little biscuits in supermarkets, biscuits which look identical to Communion wafers, all in order to mock Christ.

    The culture of our time is not just heretical but completely anti-Christian. Few attend Mass and most of those who do are Catholic in name only. This is much worse than the Arian crisis. In our day, most people believe that the Bible is a collection of fairy tales and reject out of hand the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth, the Blessed Trinity, the Descent of the Holy Ghost, all the miracles, and more. Even atheism is now coming to the fore in popular culture, replacing a general agnosticism. We live in an age of General Apostasy, carried, most of all, by that greatest of all evils, rock noise. It breaks down and destroys all that is good and true, all that is holy and beautiful. Did God create the heavens and the earth? Even many theists now say, as Stephen Hawking does, that God has no control over or influence in His own Creation. Paganism was far better than this is.

    We must restore the Real Mass as the first step in a general counter-revolution. It is only the first step but a necessary one. We shan't live to see the end of this débâcle.

    P.K.T.P.

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  142. Actually, to my recollection, the Sacrament of Confirmation also needs jurisdiction for validity.

    No, but a simple priest needs the permission of his Ordinary or of the Pope in order to confer the Sacrament validly. Any bishop can confer the Sacrament of Confirmation, jurisdiction is not necessary.

    Eastern Orthodox priests have the tacit permission of the Holy See, that is why their confirmations are valid (this is in Ott somewhere but I don't recall off the top of my head).

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  143. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Thanks, d.c.s. I had forgotten all that and admit that I was too lazy to look it up again. I did read about the Eastern case years and years ago and had completely forgot that one.

    P.K.T.P.

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  144. Anonymous1:41 AM

    P.K.T.P. said:

    "We must restore the Real Mass as the first step in a general counter-revolution. It is only the first step but a necessary one. We shan't live to see the end of this débâcle."

    That's true. But, on the other hand, the present revolutionary society CANNOT resist islamism. See this: http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1338480?eng=y .

    "Dissolve et Coagula". The Revolution destroyed, the Islam wil restore.

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  145. Anonymous2:36 AM

    "Eastern Orthodox priests have the tacit permission of the Holy See, that is why their confirmations are valid (this is in Ott somewhere but I don't recall off the top of my head)."

    I believe the eastern orthodox church priests have the tacit permission from their ordinary (bishop or synod). While in the east it is an automatic delegation to the priest on behalf the bishop to give chrismation, in the west the delegation is not automatic.

    From rome standpoint, chrismation in eastern ortodox churches is valid because eastern orthodox clerics have valid order.

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  146. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Actually, to my recollection, the Sacrament of Confirmation also needs jurisdiction for validity.

    P.K.T.P.

    No you are wrong. The Sacrament of Confirmation does no need jurisdiction for valid conferal.
    Jamie

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  147. Eastern custom is to confirm an infant immediately after baptism, in one ceremony, so no wonder that priests are allowed to do it.

    PKTP: We must restore the Real Mass as the first step in a general counter-revolution. It is only the first step but a necessary one. We shan't live to see the end of this débâcle.

    I sometimes think that it's a pity that the particular churches of the Roman Catholic church are forbidden to proselytize among Catholics. Just imagine the revival of catholicism by the byzantines and their untouched liturgy!

    Yes, I know that the liturgy itself won't heal the Church, but on the other hand, it's obviously impossible to heal the Church without the liturgy...

    By the way, do the non-Latin catholic churches have any missions anywhere? Do they convert pagans (or anybody) actively, or just are a petrified monument of the past?

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  148. Picard12:43 PM

    P.K.T.P. (18.6.09, 20.15)

    Totatally agree.

    And even if middle Europe is worse than US or ohter states you are completely right:

    Besides the things that you correctly stressed let´s add the nuber of vocations: Also in US: if you compare nowdays with the 50s vocations in nearly every order and congregation declined/decreased about 95 untill 99 % !!!! -
    And as you said: in Arianism most of the people held only one heresy but still were not atheistic or agnostic or totaly sceptic [scepticism] - and many resisted totaly orthodox --- but nowdays, even the so called Catholics are nearly all agnostics or extrem sceptics [influenced by scepticism, agnosticism, ....] -- they do not believe in miracles, in Transsubstantiation, the do not go to Confession, they think there is no sin, no hell etc. etc. - and of course not one and only truth - or you can never reach the truth...

    - short: they are totaly apostatic.

    But that's just what I tried to show Jordanes. (As I said, if you know just little of history and whats the situation nowdays that is so obvious, that you can hardly believe sbd. does not see this.

    But I still think Jordanes will never agree -- because she/he [?] does not WANT to, is not WILLING...

    You can´t convince sbd. who is not willing.)
    GOD bless!

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  149. Picard, you're a German but don't know that the author of the Getica was a man, not a woman?

    And are you sure your inability so far to convince me is caused by my defective will, or could it be your inadequate arguments? Of course if it's the former, it would make your job a lot easier. ;-)

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  150. picard2:49 PM

    Sorry, Jordanes, for beeing a little harsh -- my sanguine temprament. I apologize.

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  151. It's okay. Sorry for razzing you about the Getica, though since Jordanes was really doing a "Cliff Notes" on Cassiodorus, perhaps I should change my "nom de keyboard."

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  152. Anonymous4:53 PM

    Jordanes: Were you a Catholic before the Second Vatican Council? Do you know what the Church was like then? I don't mean this in an antagonistic way, I simply would like to know.

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  153. No, I converted to Catholicism nine years ago. I was born in 1968, so have no personal experience of the Church before Vatican II. I've read a good deal about it and have spoken to many older Catholics, so I would say that although the pre-Vatican II Church had its share of problems and failings, it was undeniably in far better health than the Church is in today.

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  154. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Jamie:

    Yes, I already thanked d.c.s. for correcting me on Confirmation. I had simply forgotten the facts of the matter. My how you guys attack when someone makes one mistake!

    P.K.T.P.

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  155. Anonymous6:36 PM

    On Picard's response to me:

    I agree with you Picard and I think you've won the mini-debate with Jordanes. Of course, in historical matters, we normally do not deal with a degree of certitude which is reinforced by God through the faith. So we must rely on judgement and look at the facts reasonably in order to apply the will to our assessments.

    On the matter of the General Apostasy of our time, I note that assessing how bad things are can be interesting. On this, Jordanes will likely agree, so let's try to reach some accord here.

    In some ways, past departures from the faith were worse than the present one; in other ways, the present crisis is worse. Let's consider the Reformation. The other night, I was looking over some Internet pictures of Canterbury Cathedral, built in the 12th century (or part of it was: it is part Romanesque and part Gothic). Up came a picture of the steps in the Trinity chapel, worn down by the knees of pilgrims over tbe centuries. They lead to the shrine chapel of St. Thomas à Becket. Today, a lonely candle marks the spot because the shrine was destroyed by order of Henry VIII in 1538. I had trouble holding back the tears. I almost wept and I am not a weepy person. Just think of how horrible it must have been at the time. Most Englishmen were thoroughly Catholic and were against the Reformation when it occurred. Just think of how they must have felt when the shrine was dismantled by barbarians and the relics scattered and destroyed. It was really their entire culture which was being scattered and destroyed. It must have broken their hearts.

    In some ways, conditions in England in 1538 were worse than they are today. We needn't suffer martyrdom for the Faith. On the other hand, Europe was still intensely Christian in the sixteenth century, whereas, today, most of the West is fundamentally secularist and pagan. It's reflected in the smallest things. Houses built in my city between 1880 and 1920 still reflect at least a Christian (if not Catholic) ethos in the care of their design: even the little spikes on the rooves point to a divine future. More recent designs reflect and project a hopeless sense of a throwaway culture in which nobody believes in any future, especially a spiritual one. As one of my students remarked about religion once, "Nobody believes in that stuff anymore".

    Which is worse? Martyrdom to resist heresy which is still adamantely Christian? Or is a mundane and non-violent secularism worse, one which empties the culture of faith? I'd say that the present age presents us with the greatest challenge ever. Europe has gone two-thirds pagan and one-fifth (and growing) Muslim. Canada is quietly secular and pagan. My own Province, B.C., has by far the highest per centage of 'non-religionists'. I can't remember the number now but I believe that it is over 25%. To my recollection, we now have more 'non-religionists' in B.C. than Catholics. This is growing and spreading. This sad situation has coincided with the decimation of the Church following Vatican II. Yes, the two are connected--at the hip. A world without faith is what is coming. That's worse than an Arian heresy.

    P.K.T.P.

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  156. Anonymous7:29 PM

    SOME EXCITING CONTEXT

    As many of the bloggers here might know (and esp. the listmembers over at Jogues), for a long time now, I have argued that the S.S.P.X should accept Rome's offer of a canonical structure before engaging in doctrinal talks. Mr. McFarland, in particular, will remember those arguments on this blog. When it became clear that this would not happen, I suggested here and elsewhere that the Society could take a temporary structure during the doctrinal talks and make it or another one permanent once they had ended successfully. In fact, I have always maintained that some form of structure, even if temporary, is needed; otherwise, the Pope would be undermining his own law by granting favours to a scofflaw (in the eyes of Rome).

    At this point, Romanus wrote here that the Holy See offered the S.S.P.X a society of apostolic life 'donec aliter provideatur' in January of this year, but the Society refused to take it. This answered a question I had had. I had wondered why the Society had not sought remission of all the censures together with the lifting of the excommunications. That would have seem logical to me. What was needed was a fait accompli. I had wondered why the Pope didn't do this. When he failed, as it seemed, L'Affaire Williamson was able to do irreparable damage before the deal was completely sealed. It now appears that the Pope did proceed correctly but that the S.S.P.X wouldn't accept the offer (as Romanus also reported).

    Yesterday, I saw a copy of the Angelus and this reveals a bit more about what has happened. I should point out first that the tone in this Issue is much more favourable to Rome than have been some previous Issues.

    On page 7, Fr. Niklaus Pfluger of the S.S.P.X reveals vaguely what happened from 21st to 23rd of January of this year. Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos contacted Menzingen and "made many proposals for a canonical solution". So it's possible that Romanus has told us the truth but not the whole truth, or that he simply didn't know the whole truth. It appears that there were "several proposals". I am hoping that one of them was the international apostolic administration, which is the correct solution. I am also hoping that a personal prelature was not one of them, as that idea is a disaster, but I fear that it may have been one of the options proffered.

    According to Pfluger, C.H. asked Fellay to "accept the Counci" in return for one of these canonical structures. He does not say that Fellay refused this (although he implies it) but that, when C.H. feared he would refuse, he telephoned back "at 10 o'clock in the evening". At this point, C.H. said that Fellay need only "demand" (again, is this a mistranslation of demander, which is ask?) "in the name of all the priests, to withdraw the censures . . . . Then we will [he means 'shall'] have a resurrection of the Society of St. Pius X!"

    To be continued: . . . .

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  157. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Continuation of P.K.T.P.'s comments on the temporary structure:

    So, I was not entirely wrong about reviving the Society, except that what has been tried is not a renewal of an appeal but merely a remission of all the censures. This would presumably include a reversal of the 1975 suppression by a papal act.

    What is most revealing and most important, however, is the next bit. Fellay did not reject these ideas out of hand at all. He rejected them only because "It was so quick and pressured that we had the impression that he was simply trying to push and force the Society".

    Well, that was in January and this is June. So this explains the openness to a temporary structure revealed by Bishop Fellay in the Zenit interview of this Monday. He is now saying that he would "definitely" "consider" a temporary structure provided that it afforded the Society adequate protection. He must mean protection from the bishops, of course (since a Catholic can never be exempt from papal authority), and this must include a continuing ability of his Society to establish new apostolates without episcopal permission (which is partly why the apostolic administration is the right structure and not a p.p.).

    The crisis hatched by that conehead Müller in Regensburg has perhaps encouraged Bishop Fellay to consider the matter more urgently. He has now had some time to think this over and assess the risks.

    Let us be as analytical as possible in weighing these risks. In the following, I shall attempt to play devil's advocate against myself, so note that the tone does not suggest my real position but, say, McFarland's.

    In a temporary structure during doc talks, Fellay would be de facto independent. No Pope in his right mind would try to impose any Modernism on the Society for fear of scuttling the talks. Fellay, who has long disobeyed Rome, would simply disobey again. So there's no risk there.

    The risk is that many Society members might become enamoured with the sense of legitimacy imparted by such a structure. If the man in white is blessing your organisation, it has the mint of authenticity in the eyes of ordinary Catholics, and this attracts devotees and their money. This is especially true in Latin America, where obedience to the Pope is seen by many almost as a definition of Catholicism. Once that authenticity is tasted, it can become difficult to refuse it, and many people will try to rationalise why they musn't ever do without it again. Hence, should the Society's leaders ever again feel the need to disobey Rome, many of its members might demur. This could divide the Society: divide and conquer!

    Just look how Rome dealt with the F.S.S.P. She did the Fraternity no harm for more than ten years and then, wham!, once the Fraternity priests were used to obedience and had come to wear it as their badge, that Perl of low price hatched Protocol 1411-99. As I argued at the time, this Protocol was not nearly as bad materially as some made it out to be. But the worst part of it was simply psychological: it put the F.S.S.P. in its place, which is under the Modernist thumb of Conciliar Rome. (End of McFarlandite position part.)

    To be continued! . . . .

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  158. Anonymous8:22 PM

    P.K.T.P. Part III (Whew!)

    Yes, even a temporary canonical arrangement which would impart faculties is dangerous to the Society to some extent. Being Catholic is always dangerous and accepting papal control is always risky. Our Lord never said that it would be easy or that saving others would free us of risk. But we trust in Him.

    Bishop Fellay has a greater responsibility than just protecting the S.S.P.X. He is a Catholic first, not an S.S.P.Xer. And the Church is bigger than the S.S.P.X. Yes, if you drink poison, you might die. But you also might live if your immune system is stronger than the poison and what immunity can be stronger than the Catholic Faith? If you add water to fire, the water might douse the fire but the fire might also evaporate the water.

    Will Conciliar Rome gobble up the tiny S.S.P.X? Many feared that communist China would gobble up tiny capitalist Hong Kong. Instead, it has been the capitalism of Hong Kong which is devouring China! Truth is stronger than error and the Modernist bishops are paper tigers. Their edifice is dry rot: lean on the counter and you fall right through the wall. They are a terminally-ill elephant. They are the Titanic and they struck the iceberg in 1965. The Barque of Peter is now one of the lifeboats.

    Rome will not touch the S.S.P.X under a temporary structure because this would jeopardise its efforts to effect a reconciliation, one which Rome needs to save the Church. The Pope knows this, even if many of his bishops do not. That's why the Pope can be trusted: not because he thinks like a Catholic (does he?) but because he knows he can't jeopardise his own efforts and mustn't risk losing Tradition at least as a lifeboat the Church might need.

    Rome will try to get through the talks quickly but she knows that this is not possible. So she'll try to say that some of them are "necessary" whereas others are not. Once the "necessary" talks are done, she'll push to make the structure permanent. But the S.S.P.X can stand firm at this point. What can Rome do? Remove the faculties? To what end?

    P.K.T.P.

    On to Part IV! (Egad!)

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  159. Anonymous8:25 PM

    P.K.T.P. (will this never end?) Continuation . . . .

    The Pope, meanwhile, will be retiring all the old liberal bishops. Their replacements are not much more conservative; in fact, most of them are more liberal, since they've be raised on the poison. Irrelevant. What is important to the bishops is not what they really think but how people regard them. The old bishops cannot dissociate themselves from the bad doctrines and worse policies which they helped to impose--by force. They'd rather die than lose face! Pride is their motivation! They are servants of the devil, the Prince of Pride.

    In contrast, the newer bishops need someone to blame for the current mess. They don't want to blame themselves! How easy it is to imply that the fault lies with the Weaklands and the Daneelses and the Hunthausens and the Mahonys and the Arnses and the De Roos of old. The truth is that such accusations are less than fair, but who cares about the truth? The truth is that the new bishops would have done what the miscreant De Roo did under the same conditions. But who can *prove* that? What can't be proved can be denied! Sir Humphrey Appleby is the Doctor of the New Age: Truth is irrelevant! Only appearances count!

    For all his faults and past associations, Pope Benedict XVI represents an opening to the Society that has not come before and will not likely come again for a long time. Now is Fellay's chance to do something for the entire Church. Now is the time for him to surpise everyone. The cold and sterile water will not douse the ardour of the Society's flame; rather, the fire will evaporate that water, which is far less plentiful now. The Pope casts his net out to sea and catches a fish which, once devoured, converts the eater.

    Let's pray that Bishop Fellay, trusing in the Immaculate Heart of our Lady, will accept the temporary structure and help reverse the Revolution. The fisherman cannot be caught if the fish refuses to bite. The Pope does not think but senses that it must be so. Ironic, him being an intellectual! In the end, he thinks like a Modernist and feels like a Catholic, but the feeling is stronger! Remember, he prefers the more emotional Mozart to the more rational Bach!

    P.K.T.P.

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  160. picard8:26 PM

    P.K.T.P.:

    Again: very well put -- and again I agree!! (comment 19 June, 2009 18:36)

    And Your other comments: very interesting and insightful/illuminative! - Thanks! (And yes, continue!)

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  161. Anonymous11:55 PM

    I do apologise, though, for rattling on. If I keep up this endless drivel, I will be eligible to be appointed as a bureaucrat in one of the dicasteries. I just hope that my words don't run on as long as these endless negotiations. What has it been now? Thirty-four years since the suppression of the Society. A man can't resolve a crisis that takes more than one lifetime!

    Take the structure, Bishop Fellay, and then you can talk to the popes--there will be at least three of them--for the next thirty plus years before making the jurisdiction permanent. In the mean time, some of us would like to move on to other things, like tackling the real problem in our world, which is philosophical and doctrinal indeed.

    P.K.T.P.

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  162. John McFarland1:36 AM

    PKTP,

    What part of the following don't you understand:

    "As long as the Society (of Saint Pius X) does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church (...) until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers (...) do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church".

    This statement from the March 10 letter to the bishops, repeated as in effect the punch line of the communique to which this lengthy string is attached, demonstrates that the Pope and the SSPX are on the same page: no regularization until after the doctrinal issues are settled.

    As for the Pope's Catholic feelings, I would remind you that we have it on the highest authority that without faith it is impossible to please God. As long as he thinks like a modernist, he's flirting with hellfire; and one of the hallmarks of modernism is the primacy of feelings.

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  163. Anonymous5:21 AM

    McFarland writes:

    "As for the Pope's Catholic feelings, I would remind you that we have it on the highest authority that without faith it is impossible to please God. As long as he thinks like a modernist, he's flirting with hellfire; and one of the hallmarks of modernism is the primacy of feelings."

    Whoa! To say that he does not think entirely in a Catholic way is not to say that he is "without faith". I agree that his thinking is far from perfect; even dangerous in some respects. But I have no doubt that he has faith.

    Also, I'm not suggesting that feelings are more important than thoughts. I am suggesting that his feelings are more important than his mistaken thoughts. Not all this thoughts are mistaken. I am suggesting that Master Ratzinger who fell in love with the Church when he was a little boy in Bavaria is, in the end, stronger than the Fr. Ratzinger of the Council. As to the extent to which Pope Benedict XVI thinks differently than Fr. Ratzinger, I can't say. But I do think that he has at least come to question many of the ideas he had as a Council peritus. Pray for the Pope and pray that it will be the little mustard seed of truth called the S.S.P.X that will prevail. I do.

    P.K.T.P.

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  164. Anonymous5:33 AM

    On Mr. McFarland's other comment about doctrine and canonical status, the context of the 10th March document makes it clear that the reference is to a *final* and permanent canonical status, not a temporary one.

    Turn to "The Angelus" and go to page 7, final column. I'm sure you have a copy somewhere, McFarland. It is made crystal clear (also by Romanus of this blog) that they have been offered (a) a temporary canonical status (in fact, more than one option, it would seem) and (b) the revocation of all censures, returning them to the 1975 status.

    What the 10th March Letter really means is that, until the necessary doctrinal matters are resolved, they have no *permanent* canonical status and, at present, since they have no canonical status of any kind (permanent or temporary), they do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

    There is no question that this interpretation is correct. For one thing, Cardinal C.H. has tried repeatedly to get them to sign on to a canonical structure before doc talks would begin. First, he tried a permanent one and then he suggested a revocation of all censures and now he's trying an temporary and provisional one. I'm sure you'll agree with one thing: he never quits.

    Don't you believe the words of your own superior-general? He said it directly in the Zenit interview: he will consider a temporary structure during doc talks provided that it affords the Society adequate protection. I didn't compose this myself and then write 'Zenit' on the bottom of the page, McFarland. Don't blame me for what he said.

    P.K.T.P.

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  165. Peter7:46 AM

    PKTP: The opinion that only important matters will be resolved during the talks is also that of bishop Fellay (stated in some interview). Simply because the current mess is so large, that resolving every matter is impossible.

    Honestly, I didn't see the pope getting rid of liberal bishops, or even nominating conservative cardinals, especially when you look at the number of liberal nominations. Just try to compare the current pope's impetus with the enormous impetus of the purge among the conservative bishops done by Paul VI.

    Going back to the state of 1975 would still mean that their ministry is illegal in most dioceses in which they operate, so it was rather unacceptable offer from the beginning...

    Now we're after the Winona consecrations, still I don't know if they have caused any reaction among the ordinaries,let's see how the situation develops.

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  166. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Peter writes:

    "Going back to the state of 1975 would still mean that their ministry is illegal in most dioceses in which they operate, so it was rather unacceptable offer from the beginning..."

    No, it doesn't quite work like that. If we went back to 1975 and they had canonical standing in even *one* diocese (and they had it in four, in fact), they would have legal standing in the Church. The Pope could then simply extend them throughout the world under this authority. This does remain an option, which is why Cardinal C.H. tried it.

    Of course, there are other ways to go. From what Fellay has said *this week*, the likely route is simply for Fellay to lodge a request for *some* canonical structure. The instant he does that, Rome could accept his request and then announce that the Society has full faculties while the temporary canonical solution is under consideration and, thereafter, while it is in force during the doctrinal talks. It is so easy. Fellay can do this in a heartbeat.

    It seems likely at this point that the three local bishops involved will not try to take any legal steps against the Society. However, the ordinations are an embarrasment to the Holy See if only because of the appearance (created in the press) that they defy the Pope.

    Let's hope that Fellay simply launches the request. It will NOT hurt the Society to do this. And I am confident that the Society will remain united behind his leaders to resist future innovations, at least until the end of the doc talks. The Pope will not try to pull some stunt during the doc talks: it's too risky to him; it could jeopardise everything.

    P.K.T.P.

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  167. picard10:37 AM

    P.K.T.P´s comment of 19 June, 2009 20:25 ("Part IV"):

    GREAT, INGENIOUS!!!

    I´ve never read such a genial post of you (can´t remember) although I read many of them here or in the past on Fr.Z´s site (well, now I am "banned" by F. Z. - you know, my sanguine temprament ... and he does not like my standpoint and critiques....;-)

    "...once devoured, converts the eater."

    "The fisherman cannot be caught if the fish refuses to bite."

    "In the end, he thinks like a Modernist and feels like a Catholic"

    And then the Mozart-Bach observation...!

    -- GRATE, INGENIOUS -- MAGNIFICENT!!!

    Oh, come on Mr. McFarland, see it as figurative, unliteral language, as a metapher or illustration, image --- and a GREAT one!
    - Thake the words with a pinch of salt!

    (Especially the Mozart-Bach and mind-heart analogy [but also the other quoted phrases] could have even come from +W [hihi] - not meant as insult...! - He sometimes has this genious, illustrative ideas and phrasings...well, besides very imprudent and crazy ones - but you can´t deny that he is also sometimes that genious...!)

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  168. Oliver12:33 PM

    More PKTP fantasy. As much as Fellay may want to join the conciliar party albeit as some kind of senior figure in the smells and bells sector, the disparate elements in the SSPX want nothing to do with an unrestored Rome and would rebel against any such move. Not to countenance Vatican 2 and its religious and political agenda unites the Society, as well as rejecting the Novus Ordo and even the modern popes. I would go so far as to say the Society represents to so many not so much a body of traditionalist priests practising pre-conciliar Catholicism but a dream of a fully restored Church that no petty tinkering can alter.

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  169. PKTP: Let's hope that Fellay simply launches the request. It will NOT hurt the Society to do this.

    I would welcome eagerly granting faculties to the SSPX, actually I've been praying for that every day at least since January.

    picard: I had been listening to bishop Williamson's sermons and conferences for a long time before the scandal in January and apart from some strange views (e.g. his belief in Garabandal apparitions) I think they could be recommended to all Catholics.

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  170. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Ollver writes:

    "More PKTP fantasy. As much as Fellay may want to join the conciliar party albeit as some kind of senior figure in the smells and bells sector, the disparate elements in the SSPX want nothing to do with an unrestored Rome and would rebel against any such move. . . . "

    I guess I just have a different sense of things about the S.S.P.X, althuogh Oliver might be right. I think that many Society supporters want a deal with Rome, esp. many of the priests. However, there are many who do not and who are more as Oliver says. In the past, Fellay has refused deals because he did not want to split the Society and the 'moderates', much as they want a deal, have been prepared to do without one.

    I think that Fellay has been moving gingerly forward and, so far, only two or three priests have left; some in France are getting angry, true.

    He no doublt made his Monday remarks on a possible temporary canonical deal as a 'trial balloon' to see if all hell would break loose. It didin't. I don't think that many Society supporters will leave if he makes a deal for a purely *temorary* canonical structure. They will 'wait and see'. Some will pack an extra suit of clothes and start preparing for an exit. Some might start organising a new group, ready to break away. Some will organise resistance to him.

    The decisive moment will come not over a temporary structure but over certain doctrinal issues. When some of Rome's answers to qq. are not liked, some will demand that Fellay turn his back on Rome.

    That is why the doctrinal process may indeed take decades to proceed. If Benedict XVI thinks that he can wrap up all the "necessary" talks in a few years in this pontificate and then make the canonical structure permanent, he may be in for a nasty surprise. Oliver does have a legitimate point here and I concede that. I just don't think that many will leave this year if Fellay agrees to a temporary structure.

    P.K.T.P.

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  171. John McFarland6:02 PM

    PKTP,

    The bottom of p. 7 in the May Angelus? You must mean Cardinal Castrillon's "accept—simply write a letter to the Pope
    and demand, in the name of all the priests, to withdraw the censures which still apply to the priests. Then we will have a resurrection of the Society of St. Pius X!”

    First of all, you must know by now that Cardinal Castrillon says more than his prayers, and not all of it is to be taken at face value. But assuming that he's speaking in good faith, does he speak for the Pope? And if he does, just what does the Pope have in mind, and what are its implications?

    Furthermore, why do we hear nothing of this temporary status in the communique? If a temporary status were on offer, it would certainly have been mentioned.

    You just don't have much evidence. I think the best it can demonstrate is the there may once have been a temporary status on offer, but that the communique makes clear that it isn't now. If it still is in the cards, its pursuit would seem to be in the Vatican's court, and would require something more authoritative and unambiguous than a phone call from Cardinal Castrillon. If the Vatican is really interested and it can be worked out, well and good. But your notion that Bishop Fellay has been presented with a completed present, giftwrap, bow and all, that he would be a fool to reject, doesn't seem to be supported by the facts.

    Last but not least, the whole idea of a temporary status is hard to square with the communique's ringing assertion of the primacy of doctrine. If by the Vatican's lights, the Society's doctrine is defective, what can this status mean? If the Vatican itself is saying that the Society is still under the doctrinal cloud, why can't Bishop Mueller? Why isn't that cloud good grounds for counseling the faithful to steer clear of the Society, and for the faithful to do so?

    ***

    As for the Pope's feelings, the point you make has been made by others, Bishop Williamson among them. But H.E. goes on to make the basic point: until his mind gets straight, his feelings count for little.

    I don't claim to assay the state of His Holiness's soul. But I have no difficulty in noting the utter confusion of his mind. Until he ceases trying to serve both God and the Revolution, one can't expect much out of him except as a more or less unconscious instrument of God's will -- a most anomalous position for the Vicar of Christ.

    Sedes sapentiae, ora pro nobis.
    Mater consilii, ora pro nobis.

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  172. Anonymous6:09 PM

    WHERE IS THE NEW MOTU PROPRIO?

    Here is what Bishop Fellay said at Toronto this Monday (see Zenit interview):

    "Bishop Bernard Fellay revealed to ZENIT that the congregation told him to expect the publication of a statement issued 'motu proprio' (on his own initiative) by Benedict XVI on the new structure of Ecclesia Dei before June 20."

    Count me a pickled herring but isn't today 20th June? And in Rome, it's almost the 21st. So where is the new motu proprio?

    I have a suggestion. Fellay has now indicated that he will request a temporary canonical structure for the Society. This was privately communicated to Rome. After this week-end, he will fly from the U.S.A. to Europe, because he intends to be present next Saturday for the ordinations at Ecône. Next week, he will have a signed official request submitted to the P.C.E.D. Then Rome will accept this publicly and grant temporary faculties and a 'temporary legal status' while the legal experts discuss structural options. This process could take some time. But the announcement will avert a crisis in Regensburg and avoid embarrassment for the Pope there.

    Hope springs eternal. Is this all fantasy? Perhaps. But where is the motu proprio that is supposed to subsume the P.C.E.D. in the C.D.F. before today? It has not come because Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos still needs a victory before he steps aside. He doesn't turn 80 until Saturday, 4th July, a fortnight from today. He still has a last-minute chance. This would be it. If he can't get this, the long-awaited 'clarification' of S.P. will come instead as a booby prize for him. If it clarifies the true meaning fo Article 1, it will not be some booby prize: it will be a time bomb. But I don't expect that at this point.

    They keep us waiting. Meanwhile, the Spanish Government is trying to expand abortion. They want to butcher as many children as possible. If there's one thing liberals hate it's children. As Rome fiddles and politics (and as Fellay does too), the world goes pagan at a frightening speed.

    P.K.T.P.

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  173. Peter6:14 PM

    Humanly speaking, possible reconciliation will be a disaster, because it's hard to imagine that some priests in your diocese will celebrate NOM, while others, however exempt, will tell you "if you can go to NOM only, better stay at home on Sunday", some will forbid to kneel while receiving Holy Communion, some will demand you confess it as a sin every time you have received Holy Communion standing. It will create permanent tension between the exempt SSPX and the diocesian clergy. On the other hand, SSPX priestes will taste what is like to be regular, and probably be pushing more towards soft line. So the one scenario is that SSPX will be no ultimately no different than other ED institutes.

    Another way of decreasing the tension seems to be both interesting and dangerous. It will probably be a hermeneutic of continuity even in the liturgy - an attempt to create hybrid NOM-VOM rite, not as a transitional form of NOM (which probably would be prudent), but as a reconciliation between the two "forms".

    Let's not forget that in 1987-88 the reconciliation was much closer than today. There even was long-lasting, official visitation by cardinal Gagnon. Just imagine that today!

    The most important is to keep the Faith, keep praying and hoping.

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  174. Anonymous7:00 PM

    Has Fellay ALREADY asked for a temporary structure?

    While rooting around, I found this statement of Bishop Fellay, dated this Easter, from Winona:

    "In fact the only possible solution is the one we already asked for, namely an intermediary status, necessarily incomplete and canonically imperfect, but generally accepted as being intermediary, without our having to be constantly accused of disobedience and rebellion, without our having ridiculous prohibitions thrown at us." Go here to read the full context: http://www.fatima.org/news/newsviews/051509.asp

    This is written in response to the attacks of the German bishops in particular. I am now completely confused. Put this together with another recent remark of Fellay (before this Monday), while, in turn, followed Fr. Frey's two statements that Rome had already granted a "temporary legal status". It looks as if the status was requested but perhaps not agreed to by Rome.

    Then came the Press Release which bears zero authority. It merely repeats the Holy See's position of 10th March and adds that, as a result of this, the Society ordinations are "illegitimate".

    But the 15th March statement of Fellay in Toronto looks like a request for more than a status; it looks as if a request for a temporary canonical structure is being considered.

    I think that Fellay has secretly requested a temporary status and that, this week, he suggested an augmentation of that to a specific temporary structure. The twerp (Guy Lombardo) who wrote the Vatican Press Release is simply unaware of this and only wrote what he knew, all in order to keep the press and the liberals in line.

    Fellay was told that a new m.p. was coming this week. But then he lodged his request for a more specific structure, perhaps a society of apostolic life on a temporary basis. That's why the m.p. has been delayed. It will come next week and it will include a statement that, from this point on, the Society has full faculties everywhere for all the Sacraments, and is directly subject to the Pope. In the m.p., the Pope will also 'ask' that faithful not repair to the Society for the Sacraments unless (a) it is impossible or gravely inconvenient for them to go elsewhere or (b) they are regular Society supporters. H.H. might add that people should not become regular supporters of a Society the status of which is only temporary and therefore not stable. He'll likely surround the permission with 'shoulds' and 'requests' in order to soften the blow to the bawling liberals, those poor darlings who only get pleasure from kicking traditionalists in the face, as they have been doing for forty years now. As per usual, look like hawks for that ambiguous little English word 'should' which Vatican bureaucrats love so much. They love it because it can convey either (a) a strict requirement or, more often (b) a strong recommendation. There's a hell of a difference between a command and a recommendation! So get ready to find the Latin text!

    I am still puzzled about putting the strictly liturgical functions of the P.C.E.D. under the C.D.F. More might be coming. Perhaps the Pope is planning on creating a liturgical authority to oversee "Summorum Pontificum". Article 1, as I have argued, is a time bomb not commented on much. It really means (when read with other documents, including even Vatican II's L.G.) that, upon request from faithful, there must be at least one daily T.L.M. per diocese wherever possible, and that Rome has the authority to 'help' diocesan bishops who are unable to comply. Even if this time bomb is being delayed, there is still the matter of clarifying the other aspects of S.P., answering the questions of faithful attached to the old Mass, and dealing with the traditionalist societies and orders. Is it right that the C.D.F. should deal with such matters? Not. No, that would not be appropriate. Is the Holy Father planning on appointing an apostolic delegate to oversee S.P.?

    P.K.T.P.

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  175. Anonymous8:17 PM

    McFarland:

    I am not referring only to the words you quote but the Cardinal's plea at the beginning of the same paragraph.

    Oh, the evidence, Mr. McFarland, is there but is murky. I can't recall all the texts but we have this from "The Angelus", two statements from Fr. Stefan Frey and one from Bsp. Fellay from last week, and then the Zenit interview of Bsp. Fellay this Monday, plus his Easter statement.

    If you put them all together, I divine the following:

    (a) the two parties agreed initially on some sort of 'temporary legal status' as part of what Bishop Fellay calls the 'line of approach' for the reconciliation. However, Rome might not have been specific about how or when this might be settled (we just don't know yet). For example, to Rome, this might have meant a temporary canonical structure, like a society of apostolic life.

    (b) Fellay, on behalf of the S.S.P.X, has already asked for a 'temporary legal status'. However, it would appear either that Rome has not granted this or that she has granted it secretly.

    (c) Fellay, after speaking with Cardinal Levada, is now 'prepared to consider' something more, like a temporary but defined canonical structure. This is right there, McFarlanld, in the Zenit interview. In "The Angelus", Fellay is hinting that the only reason for rejecting the structure in January was that the proposal was too rushed: "It was so quick and pressured that we had the impression that he was simply trying to push and force the Society. After consulting his assistants and the other bishops, Bishop Fellay rejected these proposals."

    (d) C.H., in January, "made many proposals for a canonical solution" and when these were rejected, suggested that Fellay write a letter to the Pope to ask that all the remaining censures be removed.

    Is C.H. acting on behalf of the Pope? Of course he is! He is the Pope's point man on all of this. It has been the Holy See's position from the outset that some sort of canonical structure must be in place before doc talks can begin, even if this be a temporary and provisional structure.

    Romanus has also said here (although who knows who he is) that the Society was offered a society of apostolic life 'donec aliter provideatur' in January but rejected it.

    There's lots of evidence, my friend. Of course, Re et alii will try to block anything but he failed to block the January decree! That's because the Pope has obviously given C.H. direct access to himself, or because Bertone favours C.H. over Re.

    I consider it probable that Fellay has now submitted a request for a temporary and provisional canonical structure for the S.S.P.X and its affiliates. Next week, in this m.p., Rome will announce that the priests of the Society and its affiliates now have full faculties on a temporary basis.

    Am I right or am I right? I'm right. I knew it had to be one of these two.

    P.K.T.P.

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  176. Anonymous8:27 PM

    McFarland writes:

    "Last but not least, the whole idea of a temporary status is hard to square with the communique's ringing assertion of the primacy of doctrine."

    The communiqué has zero authority and merely repeats the 10th March document. I suspect that it comes from Guy Lombardo, um Federico Lombardi, on behalf of Cardinal Re. The shadowy liberation theology communist, Cardinal Hummes, is also in the background. That man is a real menace to truth and we cannot entirely trust Rome as long as he is there.

    McFarland goes on to assert that, from Rome's point of view, Society doctrine is defective. First of all, the Society only holds what all Catholics have held before 1962. So it might be incomplete in Rome's view but not defective. Secondly, a temporary structure granted by the Pope is one which the Pope can dissolve at his own pleasure. So, should the Society come to assert anything considered heretical by Benedict XVI, he could simply abolish the purely temporary structure. Not a problem. Let's not look for problems. We have enough to begin with.

    You are now pulling at straws, McFarland. I sympahtise with you. I know that you are worried about these developments and hope Fellay won't 'swallow the poison'. But I don't think that acceptance of a temporary structure will harm the Society; au contraire, I think that it will bring it many more souls.

    P.K.T.P.

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  177. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Mr. McFarland writes:

    "I don't claim to assay the state of His Holiness's soul. But I have no difficulty in noting the utter confusion of his mind. Until he ceases trying to serve both God and the Revolution, one can't expect much out of him except as a more or less unconscious instrument of God's will -- a most anomalous position for the Vicar of Christ."

    Agreed! I agree 100%. That is why, while Benedict XVI hopes to resolve this matter in this pontificate, I consider that to be fantastical. I can't imagine it. It is not only that Pope is a conduit for papal authority and not much else doctrinally but also because too many of the bishops are raving heretics. But some progress might be made in the talks, such as ascertaining the degree of authority of the various documents. I agree with Br. Alexis that, in principle, this should be sufficient. Sadly, however, principle is rarely enough!


    Anyway, the Pope needs to retire quite a few cardinals and bishops before he can make headway in the doctrinal talks. These include Cardinals Re and Hummes and Kasper at the top. It is a real offence to me that Cardinal Hummes is anywhere near Rome. It's an outrage. I realise that he was 'kicked upstairs' to remove him as a source of mischief in Rio but, really, he is in a dangerous position. Frightening. I can't say what I'd do to liberation theology people like him. I would be too controversial.

    P.K.T.P.

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  178. Anonymous12:31 AM

    PKTP,

    First of all, let me admit that Bishop Fellay says in his Letter to Friends and Benefactors #74 dated Easter 2009 that the Society has indeed asked for the temporary, intermediate status. I've read it back when it first came out, it's probably on every SSPX website from here to Vanuatu (and certainly on sspx.org), and I forgot all about it. My abject apologies. The Fellay-Castrillon exchange of late January may be murky, but the Easter letter is not.

    But now on to the question of Rome's response. I don't see that there's been one, other than the communique. I certainly wouldn't rule out your suggestion that the communique was an effort to undercut any move towards a temporary status, but I'm still looking for positive evidence that there's some move to be undercut. It hasn't escaped my notice that everything you cite is from the SSPX, and nothing from the Vatican.

    Working from memory, it seemed to me that Father Frey was arguing that the Vatican's course of dealing with the Society entailed a temporary intermediate status. But the argument wouldn't have been necessary if there were in fact an explicit status grant from the Vatican; and if there were reason to think that one was coming, Father surely would have mentioned that. But so far, all we have is the communique.

    Bishop Fellay will no doubt give more than one conference on the state of things while he's in Winona, so maybe we'll get some clarification. If I hear from my wife and daughters, who are out there, I'll ask them to take good notes and report in.

    In any event, Bishop Fellay's remarks about status in the Zenit interview make it quite clear that at least as of June 15, the status ball was in the Vatican's court, not in Bishop Fellay's. He indicated at Easter that he wants an intermediate status; but the absence of any mention in the interview of communication with the Vatican on the issue implies that as of June 15, there'd been none. (He also seemed less concerned about the issue as of June 15 than he was at Easter, but for the moment I'll assume that he just doesn't want to seem too eager.)

    Next to last of all, I remain unconvinced that the Church authorities won't be able to use the lack of (you should pardon the expression) full communion to keep other trads away from the SSPX and its faithful. If you think that communion admits of degrees, it seems only prudent that you should stick with those in full communion. And even if you hold the authentic doctrine of communion but don't believe in the state of necessity, it would still seem prudent to steer clear of the Society.

    Last of all, I wouldn't rule out that the communique IS the Pope's answer; that he couldn't figure out a way to do it, or doesn't want to do it. The latter is certainly consistent with the sentiments of the bishop's letter as repeated in the communique. We shall see.

    Sedes sapientia, ora pro nobis.
    Mater boni consilii, ora pro nobis.

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  179. John McFarland1:16 AM

    PKTP,

    Since the Council, beginning with its notion of being "pastoral," has an authority incommensurable with the Church's pre-1962 doctrine regarding her authority, there's no way to evaluate that authority until you decide whose yardstick to use.

    But not to worry. On the day when the Vatican again tries to serve only one master, there will be plenty of good minds available to figure out how to diplomatically consign the acts of Vatican II to the round file. Until then, the discussions will go nowhere fast: a dialogue of the deaf, in Archbishop Lefebvre's phrase.

    The bomb-throwers like Hummes are there because the Pope wants them there; and you're deluding yourself if you think that it's just an exercise in minimizing their destructiveness. He wants them there because they're all part of his big tent notion of the church. You know that in principle; why does it surprise you when he practices what he preaches?

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  180. Anonymous12:53 PM

    Anon. writes:

    "But now on to the question of Rome's response. I don't see that there's been one, other than the communique."

    "The Angelus" quotes a reaponse from Cardinal C.H. The Cardinal, in turn, repeats what he has been pushing for from the beginning. It indicates Rome's position: that a structure of some kind should preded (or accompany) the talks. I can certainly dig up corroboration evidence of this for you but others on this blog could confirm it more easily: Rome has asked for the structure first FROM THE BEGINNING. So this is no surprise in the least.

    He then writes this:

    "In any event, Bishop Fellay's remarks about status in the Zenit interview make it quite clear that at least as of June 15, the status ball was in the Vatican's court, not in Bishop Fellay's."

    No, if you look at the quotation (which has been given on this blog), a few days after his meeting with Cardinal Levada, he is saying that he will "consider ... definitely" a temporary structure. We must separate his expectation of a "status" from his current consideration of a "structure". I think that Levada likely bounced the ball back into Fellay's court, telling him that no status would be automatically granted and he must ask for a temporary canonical structure. That is also what C.H. seems to be saying in the "Angelus" report. No, the ball seems to be in Fellay's court.

    I'm betting that he has now had the time to consider the problem (he said that he was too rushed in January) and, to prevent this débâcle at the end of this new week, he will officially lodge a request for a structure very soon, and Rome will accept it and grant the faculties instantly.

    No need to debate the question. If I'm right, we'll know soon enough.

    P.K.T.P.

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  181. Romanus2:27 PM

    Bishop Fellay has not submitted any request for a temporary and provisional canonical structure for the SSPX and its affiliates, and Rome will definitely not announce that the priests of the Society and its affiliates now have full faculties on a temporary basis.

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  182. John McFarland4:41 PM

    PKTP,

    What response of Cardinal Castrillon are you talking about? The only one I've heard of so far is that referred to on p. 7 of the May Angelus. That took place in January, and so is very stale news. Are you referring to something later?

    Your reading of Bishop Fellay's remarks in the Zenit determinedly inverts their point. Here's the quote.

    "If Rome gives us enough guarantee, so to say, of survival, I think probably we would certainly consider it," he said. "We have no problem with the Church recognizing us, of course."

    There is no hint here of any initiative from Rome. Indeed, the clear implication is just the opposite: that the Society is prepared to consider a proposal, but as of June 15, at any rate, had not received one.

    It is of course true that what will be, will be. But in the meantime and in general, your continued insistence on reading your hopes into texts and situations that in fact don't support those hopes, is a fertile source of confusion, and you really should stop it.

    And while I'm berating you, let me ask why you turn up your nose at the authority of the communique, but accept stuff of no authority at all when it supports your hopes.

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  183. John McFarland4:54 PM

    Romanus,

    Could you explain why you consider the Pope a good shepherd? It seems to me that at least since the days of the Council, he's been one that, when he sees the wolf coming, has wanted to make common cause with the wolf, and say that this common cause is consistent with what Jesus meant. If you think this an exaggeration, consider his bizarre interpretation of Paul's resistance to Peter's face as recounted in Galatians, as evidence of a cooperative exercise between the two! Or better yet, his role as broker of the infamous Catholic-Lutheran Declaration on Justification. One is reminded of Jeremiah's condemnation of those who cry peace, peace, when there is no peace.

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  184. Anonymous8:36 PM

    On Romanus's comment:

    I am suggesting that, given the Zenit interview on Monday last, he might do so this week. We shall see.

    P.K.T.P.

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  185. Anonymous8:39 PM

    I just saw this on Fish Eaters: http://gloria.tv/?media=28287

    The Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate celebrate TLM at Archbasilica of St.John Lateran for 800 aniversary of the Rule of St. Francis.TLM at the Vatican

    "The choice to predilect the extraordinary form"

    Anon Anon

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  186. Anonymous8:43 PM

    On McFarland's first response:

    You are quoting out of context. Look at the statement posed by the journalist. Fellay was asked by the questioner it would be prepared to seek a temporary canonical arrangement: "While the Swiss-born superior general prefers to resolve these doctrinal issues before he accepts canonical status in the Church, he insists that he is open to reaching a provisional compromise position with the Vatican."

    Given the Angelus report from January and the constant, unending attempts of Cardinal C.H. to get Fellay to take a structure, I think that he is now prepared to agree to one.

    Romanus says that he has not sought one yet. I agree. The Zenit interview makes that clear. But he is now prepared to "consider" it. Again, I am hoping that he will submit a proposal next week, when he returns to Europe. We shall see.

    P.K.T.P.

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  187. Anonymous8:56 PM

    McFarland writes:

    "It is of course true that what will be, will be. But in the meantime and in general, your continued insistence on reading your hopes into texts and situations that in fact don't support those hopes, is a fertile source of confusion, and you really should stop it."

    This is silly, McFarland. Look, I am simply reading the facts as they have been reported. It is definitely the case that Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, who never quits, has been trying incessantly to get the Society to accept a canonical solution. He haS been trying to do this now for several YEARS. Romanus agrees with this, having said that a society of apostolic life donec aliter provideatur was proffered to the S.S.P.X in January. This also accords with what is written in "The Angelus". That's lost of corroboration!

    In the Zenit interview of last Monday, which comes amid all this controversy from Regensburg and after a meeting between Fellay and Levada, Fellay says for the first time that he is open to requesting a canonical structure provided that it affords the Society adequate protection [from the bishops]. This should be read in terms of his January statement that the Society only rejected the idea then because it was offered to urgently. Need I quote that passage yet again? I think it reasonable to suppose that Fellay is now moving towards accepting a temporary and provisional structure.

    I also think that, given the determined character of the Cardinal, he will try to get this from Fellay right up to the last moment. He turns 80 a fortnight from today and the m.p. is said to be "imminent" (according to Fellay). I'm betting that he'll try to secure the temporary structure this week, thereby averting embarrassment to the Holy Father when Müller plans to rattle his sword at the end of the month.

    Yes, I agree that I am expressing my hopes. They are heartfelt. It would be a major step forward if the Pope were to recognise faculties for the Society. It would help the Society and free all of us from the tyranny of the local bishops. So, yes, I am hopeful and excited.

    In closing, I agree with Romanus that no such application from Fellay has been received yet by the Holy See, well, at least up to this Friday. I hope that it will be delivered when he returns to Europe this week.

    Pray, brethren.

    P.K.T.P.

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  188. Romanus9:12 PM

    Mr Perkins, I was simply answering you:

    "I consider it probable that Fellay has now submitted a request for a temporary and provisional canonical structure for the S.S.P.X and its affiliates. Next week, in this m.p., Rome will announce that the priests of the Society and its affiliates now have full faculties on a temporary basis. Am I right or am I right?"

    A prophecy which in only 24 hours has changed into:

    "Romanus says that he has not sought one yet. I agree. The Zenit interview makes that clear. But he is now prepared to "consider" it. Again, I am hoping that he will submit a proposal next week, when he returns to Europe. We shall see."

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  189. John McFarland10:37 PM

    PKTP,

    My wife and kids called in from Winona this afternoon.

    They had something north of 3,000 for the ordinations. There were about 80 priests there, including our own pastor; my son is recovering from serving a lot of 5:00-6:00 a.m. Masses. My wife said that Bishop Fellay's sermon on the priesthood was quite beautiful. Bishops Fellay and Tissier left yesterday. Bishop Fellay's remarks on the state of things were very brief, but they boiled down to: nothing new, likely we won't hear from Rome until after the summer, and what we'll hear is anybody's guess. If this isn't proof that the ball's in the Vatican's court, I don't know what is. He did mention that in talking with Roman officials (in his visit to Cardinal Levada?), the response to complaints about the German excommunication burlesque and suchlike was, in effect: we don't control those guys. No news there, either.

    The context of Bishop Fellay's remarks in the Zenit interview doesn't help you; it refutes you. The interviewer says that Bishop Fellay is not averse to a deal, and then quotes H.E. saying things that make it quite clear that he thinks the next move is the Vatican's. And now he's said the same thing in front of half of traditionalist America.

    More generally, I think it very naive to believe that Cardinal Castrillon necessarily speaks for the Pope in his various maneuverings. He wants to have a deal as his swan song so bad that he can taste it, and it could well be that he's trying simultaneously to sell both Bishop Fellay and his boss on something, anything.

    Be that as it may, Bishop Fellay clearly thinks that it's the Vatican's turn. If he didn't believe that, what possible advantage would there be in saying it?

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  190. Anonymous11:49 PM

    On Romanus's answer:

    Sorry, the reason for the change in 'prophecy' is that I had forgotten that Fellay was still in the U.S.A. in the first prediction. He can't submit something in Rome when he's in America.

    Again, I am hoping that he will submit it this week.

    P.K.T.P.

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  191. Anonymous12:04 AM

    McFarland's words:

    "likely we won't hear from Rome until after the summer, and what we'll hear is anybody's guess"

    These words of Fellay are obviously in reference to the doctrinal talks. It doesn't mean that he isn't considering requesting a canonical structure.

    McFarland continues:

    "The context of Bishop Fellay's remarks in the Zenit interview doesn't help you; it refutes you. The interviewer says that Bishop Fellay is not averse to a deal, and then quotes H.E. saying things that make it quite clear that he thinks the next move is the Vatican's. And now he's said the same thing in front of half of traditionalist America."

    McFarland is very general here, not saying what things put this in the Vatican's court. He means the adequate protection. All Fellay is saying is that, should a Vatican proposal protect the Society adequately, he'd consider taking it. But that is entirely a separate matter from requesting some structure. In other words, he could lodge a request for a structure which would provide adequate protection but not necessarily take what the Vatican eventually offers (although both parties would work hard to reach an agreeement on it). However, from the moment he lodges the request in good faith, temporary faculties could presumably be granted. Remember, the Transalpine Redemptorists have lodged their request over a year ago and still have no canonical structure--and yet they have faculties.

    So this in no way refutes what I have written.

    Don't try to twist it. Fellay has never before said that he would consider any structure on any basis prior to the conclusion of "necessary" talks. Now he is saying that he would "consider . . . definitely" a temporary structure which would afford adequate protection. Again, add this to his January statement in the "Angelus". He says there that the Society only rejected the structure in January because it was pushed too urgently by Cardinal C.H. This is entirely consistent with his words to Zenit in Toronto.

    Will he request a temporary structure this week? I admit that I cannot possibly know. I can only pray that he will. Sure, I'll go further and predict it, but it's mostly a hope.

    I agree entirely with what you write about C.H. He is running out of time and wants a victory before the impending m.p. cuts him out of his job. In my view, he manœuvre until the last momemnt to get the structure. But I do think that he has the ear of the Pope and will be backed by the Pope on this.

    P.K.T.P.

    ReplyDelete

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