Rorate Caeli

Vatican names chosen?

According to French Vaticanista blog Osservatore Vaticano (followed by the website of Le Nouvelliste), the Vatican would have already chosen its team in the doctrinal talks with the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), which would be composed of Fr. Charles Morerod, O.P., Swiss, Secretary of the International Theological Commission, Dean of the Facoltà of Philosophy of the Angelicum; Fr. Karl Becker, S.I., German, a theologian who is close to the Pope and former professor at the Gregoriana; and Mgr. Fernando Ocáriz (Opus Dei), Spaniard, professor at Santa Croce (the Opus Dei university in Rome) and Vicar General of the Prelature.


  1. Anonymous5:03 PM

    So what are you expecting? Clarification of the Council, which the SSPX asks for, or an attempt to explain to the SSPX why the postconciliar Church is superior to the Dark Age lasting 2000 years?

  2. Cleric5:12 PM

    It seems that the first source was:

    where l'abbé Barthe makes some comments about the names

  3. What!!!???

    No Protestants like at Vatican Council II?

    How does the Holy Father intend to placate the VII warm and fuzzy, tongue-talking charismatics, and Freemasons, and so on, without Prods?

    And this is supposed to be a Catholic gathering?


  4. Anonymous5:35 PM

    I would have thought for sure they would have put Cardinal Mahoney on the panel.

  5. If only these doctrinal exchanges would take place (I won't call them discussions because I think exchange of documents is the way it is to happen). Having said that, I would much prefer face to face discussions televised or at least taped for our benefit. With all this preliminary chatter which gets a bit frustrating, I say: Bring 'em on and take your best shot! I know, I'm being too confrontational but isn't confronting the truth the purpose after all? Guess I would never make a good diplomat.

  6. What is the Opus Dei prelate like? OD is hardly known for being trad-sympathetic or supporting the motu proprio.

  7. Anonymous6:43 PM

    Actually I've heard rumors that many Opus Dei priests are closet traditionalists...

  8. As for Opus Dei, they are at least really orthodox, not like good old SJ

  9. Woody Jones6:47 PM

    I believe it was Fr. Ocariz (who is not the Prelate, of course, that being Bishop Javier Echeverria, but who is I think one of the two or three "right hand men" thereof) who largely drafted "Dominus Jesus", was it not?

    He is heavily published in Spanish but not so much in English.

    With due regard for the freedom that Opus Dei members, priests included, I think, have in matters that do not violate dogma and Church teaching on faith and morals, if we can assume that Fr. Ocariz is like a number of other priests of the Work that I have known, he is likely to be rather sympathetic to at least some of the concerns expressed by the SSPX that I am aware of. For example, I have heard more than one Opus Dei priest refer to "the Pope and the bishops who assist him", probably a formula that the SSPX could agree with.

  10. Woody Jones6:57 PM

    FWIW, as a non-member of Opus Dei, but one with some contacts, my guess is that Fr. Ocariz is probably the front runner to succeed don Javier as Prelate if, God forbid, don Javier were to pass on in the near future,
    and/or, if this work bears fruit, receive a red hat from the Holy Father.

  11. Hestor:

    While I have had limited exposure to them, I have found in my travels many priests in Opus Dei to be quite supportive of the M.P. - even learning it themselves and offering it on a daily basis.

  12. Opus Dei...hhmmm....sign of things to come..?? I do hope so. If the Society misses this boat, I see a decline in the future. They have played it brilliantly so far, here's hoping they can tame the wilder beasts and start working with the Vat II clegy who so need to grow up before it is too late on their side of the divide.

  13. "Fr. Karl Becker, S.I., German" What does S.I. stand for? Some website says it could be alternate of SJ, or for Society of the Immaculate?

  14. Louis E.10:11 PM

    Societas Iesu,I presume.

  15. Anonymous11:17 PM

    My concern is this, OD likes to think itself special within the church. Its not going to want to have the SPPX as a persoanl prelature.

  16. Fr. Becker is a Jesuit.

  17. Cornbreadcreg11:32 PM

    One would assume that the inclusion of an Opus Dei priest is, other than for his theological and doctrinal expertise, due to the fact that the SSPX will most likely become a 'personal prelature.' Whether OD likes that or not (they LOVE the fact that they are the only personal prelature) is a matter of different opinions within OD I assume.

  18. Some of my initial thoughts:

  19. What is the Opus Dei prelate like? OD is hardly known for being trad-sympathetic or supporting the motu proprio.

    That is ironic, since both Josemaria Escriva and many of the first priests in Opus Dei were highly in favor of the Traditional Mass. Escriva said the NO once and refused to say it again. When he sought approval for Paul VI for the apostolate, he asked for the indult for the whole OD apostalate, but was told if he did that they would never get far in the Church. In the end he opted for a personal indult for himself but not for OD.

  20. Melchior Cano1:10 AM

    Regarding Bishop Ocariz, it should be noted that he was on the original commission of 1988 which alongside Cardinal (at the time Fr.) Bertone negotiated the original Protocol of 1988 under the supervision of then Cardinal Ratzinger. Bishop (at the time Fr.) Tissier de Mallerais and Fr. LaRoche negotiated for the Society under the direction of the Archbishop.

    His inclusion then shouldn't be an occasion for surprise.

  21. Woody Jones1:40 AM

    The SSPX have their reservations about Opus Dei; I recall an issue of The Angelus some years ago (maybe 10) containing a very long article attacking Opus on several fronts, which, if I recall correctly, were mostly just a rehash of charges about recruiting methods and St Josemaria's temper made by ODAN and others, and the rather unfortunate inaccurate charge that by allowing non-Catholics (even non-Christians) to be Cooperators, Opus Dei was admitting them into the prelature. This latter is a real howling error; as anyone who has been in contact with Opus knows, Cooperators are very definitely NOT members of Opus Dei.
    And how soon the SSPX forgot the ability of many French traditionalist Catholics to work closely with Action Francaise, even though Maurras was an outright atheist at the time, and the movement generally followed that kind of line.

  22. Anonymous2:59 AM

    There are too many abbreviations used in these comments. Sometimes I don't know what is being referred to. I do not think that I am the only one. How is anyone to know what you mean when you use 2 or 3 letters to refer to something?

  23. As a former student of Fr. Ocariz I can say that he is very sympathetic to the Traditional cause, not only regarding the Mass, but also regarding the issue of religious liberty. He believes there are holes in Dignitatis Humanae and a bridge needs to be formed to somehow reconcile this document with previous Magisterial teachings. He was said to be a coauthor for Dominus Jesus, being at the right hand of then Cardinal Ratzinger during the press conference releasing the document. He also was said to coauthor the Catechism itself.

  24. John McFarland4:51 AM

    In re Msgr. Ocariz's membersip on the discussion commission:

    As Bishop Alvaro del Portillo (RIP), right-hand man and successor of Josemaria Escriva, the Founder of Opus Dei, told the story in his memoir of life with the Founder, Immersed in God, the Founder was enthusiastically learning to say the New Mass when Don Alvaro ran into his buddy Annibale Bugnini (as he explained, he and Bugnini used the familiar form of "you" in Italian to each other), who positively insisted that Msgr. Escriva accept an indult to say the Old Mass. Don Alvaro did not explain why Bugnini's insistence should cut any ice with the Founder, given the latter's enthuasiasm for the New Mass.

    The Founder's acceptance of the indult did not affect the other members of the Work, priests and laymen. For them the Founders' original dictum stood; we will love the New Mass as much as we loved the Old Mass.

    When I was a cooperator of Opus Dei, my spiritual director, a priest of the Work, told me that Don Alvaro had once told him and some others (probably, like my director, very traditional sorts) that within their lifetimes, they would see the Old Mass again. So after the Motu Proprio, I looked at the Opus Dei website periodically to see if the Prelate would mention it in his monthly letter, or it would otherwise be mentioned. There was no sign of it. After a while I gave up.

    If anyone has any reliable evidence of priests of the Work saying the Old Mass, particularly with official knowledge and without punishment, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

    I am not aware of any lay member of the Work who is active is traditionalist circles or attends the Old Mass. If anyone has reliable evidence of any who are, I'd also be interested in hearing about that.

    The Work is a down the line supporter of Vatican II. As far as I know, there has never been a squeak of official or semi-official criticism, although my former spiritual director was (or used to be) willing to offer private criticisms, and there's probably a few others like him.

    So at a minimum, I'd be a little slow to assume that Msgr. Ocariz's presence on the commission is a positive from the traditional point of view.

    As for Bishop Echevarria, I think that he is a cipher who is the prelate because he was the one who took personal care of Msgr. Escriva for about the last twenty years of his life, while Don Alvaro handled everything else. As for who actually runs things now, I don't know. The Work is very secretive. You might think of it as a Catholic answer to the Masons, using the Mason's tools; I think that that's how Msgr. Escriva thought of it. But in broad terms, the Masonic agenda is pretty clear. The Work's agenda is less clear.

  25. John McFarland5:01 AM

    Woody Jones,

    Your recollection of the SSPX article is incorrect. The basic critique in the article (as also contained in a few articles in French) is that Opus Dei touts a new "lay" spirituality based on work, whereas there is only one Catholic spirituality, and it is certainly not based on work. It's been a while, but I think that the things you mention are not mentioned in the article at all, and are certainly not its focus.

  26. Adeodatus5:40 AM

    If Opus Dei is involved with it then that makes me all the more hopeful. I think that they are careful and orthodox. And they are surely loyal.

    Unbeknownst to many in the Church (and hereabouts), loyalty is a sterling virtue.

  27. Anonymous8:44 AM

    "My concern is this, OD likes to think itself special within the church. Its not going to want to have the SPPX as a persoanl prelature."


    Totally wrong, there are already other groups and congregations with likewise structures.

  28. Anonymous11:28 AM

    On the other hand, it's well possible that the animosity of SSPX towards Opus Dei is mainly due to the fact that they both compete, in a certain way, for the sympathies of conservative catholics.

  29. Here in Argentina the general impression is that the OD is not interested in celebrating under Gregorian rite. At least traditionalist sites and blogs state that.

    It is new for me to learn that situation in North America is different.

    In general, it seems that in North America and Europe Gregorian Rite is more accepted and usual that in South America. Here to be a supportive of TLM or ask for it is quite weird for both laymen and priests / bishops.

    Juan Martín.

  30. there is only one Catholic spirituality

    I'm not aware of the Church ever teaching that there is only one Catholic spirituality, and I note that the Catechism says quite the opposite. I note that a quick search of the old Catholic Encyclopedia as well as the Vatican websites yields a very large number of pages, which taken together show that Catholics have been speaking of various acceptable and unacceptable "spiritualities" since long before Vatican II.

  31. Anonymous3:41 PM

    "Here to be a supportive of TLM or ask for it is quite weird for both laymen and priests / bishops."



  32. Anonymous3:41 PM

    St. Josemaria was not in the least enthusiastic about the NO. He was instead enthusiastic about the opportunity to obey and self-abnegate by using it. Of note, once he received the indult, he was back to the EF. Also of note, his directions to the priests of OD for celebrating the NO were basically to retain for the NO anything that was in the EF that was not specifically condemned or abrogated in the NO. He also instituted the use of the "Benedictine" altar arrangement long before we even had Pope Benedict.

  33. Gerard4:18 PM

    The issue isn't going to be Orthodoxy as much as it's going to be the necessity for an admission on the part of the Roman panel that there is a Crisis, then the discussion needs to explain the nature and cause of the crisis. The final necessary point will be what concrete condemnations are going to come from Rome regarding the Crisis. Bishop Fellay has always said, "Take care of your problem and you'll have no problem with us."

  34. Anonymous4:42 PM

    Dear John McFarland,

    "whereas there is only one Catholic spirituality,"

    Wow. That is a truly an ignorant statement. Maybe you should study some history, study the Eastern Catholic Churches, study various monastic order.

    Pray for me. I'll pray for you.
    A Catholic.

  35. Dan:

    There are many reasons:

    a. For average catholics, in Argentina TLM appears associated to the FSSPX, and FSSPX to schism.

    b. There was no visible movement towards TLM until Motu Propio (under Ecclesia Dei provisions).

    c. There´s no presence in Argentina of Institute Christ the King - IBP - San Pedro Society.

    d. Historically Argentine Catholicism did not give much care to Liturgy. The configuration of Argentine Catholic identity had to do more with Spiritual Exercises of San Ignacio.

    Anyway, after MP there´s a movement towards TLM, not so noisy but apparently constant.

    B Rgds,


  36. For them the Founders' original dictum stood; we will love the New Mass as much as we loved the Old Mass.

    But in practice OD makes every effort to distance itself from the EF. I know that in student halls of residence run by Opus Dei, to have any public liking for the traditional mass was more or less shunned. However I think that this attitude has largely disappeared with the motu proprio but whether it is because of a new openness or whether it is done grudgingly - I don't know.

  37. Abraham Cohen5:35 PM

    I still don't know what there is to discuss except for political maneuverings and diplomacy.

  38. Anonymous6:07 PM


    Thank you for the response.

    I am saddened. as a Catholic, to hear that the Liturgy is not cared for by the faithful in Argentina.

    Also I am saddened that the beautiful and ancient Traditional Latin Mass is not understood and appreciated in the continent of South America, where it brought countless souls to Almighty God and gave the Church many saints.

    May St Rose of Lima, St Martin de Porres and Blessed Miquel Pro pray for South America.

    God bless you.

  39. Dan:

    One thing to point out:

    I am not saying this is correct, just a description of facts (to my point of view).

    As a matter of fact, I would be glad that there where more TLM in my country and mi diocese.


  40. Dear Anonymous asking about abbreviations,

    SSPX or FSSPX: Society/Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X ('FSSPX' is more common in Europe since it corresponds with their French name)

    OD: Opus Dei (not an official abbrev.)

    ODAN: Opus Dei Awareness Network, a website critical of Opus Dei

    NO: Novus Ordo= Missal of 1970, 2002

    TLM: Traditional/Tridentine Latin Mass, Missal of 1962 or before


    John McFarland, I think your comment about looking at Opus Dei as "a Catholic answer to the Masons, using the Mason's tools; I think that that's how Msgr. Escriva thought of it" is interesting.

    I have some low-level in-person experience with them and I would say that those I know are more "Reform of the Reform or bust!" Totally conservative as distinct from either "liberal" or "traditionalist". I argued that we are in, if not necessarily the worst time in church history, one of the top ten along with the birth of Protestantism, Babylonian Captivity, etc. She said "No, it's always been like this." Since that day I've been unable to consider having a serious conversation with her...

  41. "...I still don't know what there is to discuss except for political maneuverings and diplomacy..."

    Dear Rabbi,

    Spoken with crystal clarity and a firm grasp of the situation.

    Yasher koach.



  42. Woody Jones10:47 PM

    Dear John MacFarland,

    I can attest to the fact that one Opus Dei priest here in Houston does celebrate the TLM from time to time, at the University of St Thomas chapel.

    I have not taken the time to try to retrieve the old Angelus article on Opus Dei (it is probably in the archives on their web site) so will take your word for the content. I would disagree with your statement that "Opus Dei touts a new "lay" spirituality based on work, whereas there is only one Catholic spirituality, and it is certainly not based on work" however. While it is not worth while to go into laborious detail, as I understand it, their approach stems from the universal call to holiness arising at our baptsim, so that while clergy and religious are called to holiness or perfection, within their states, so also are laity within their/our own lives, which of necessity entails work, as well as family life, all of which is to be sanctified by offering it to God and doing it very well. You will no doubt recall from your Cooperator days that St Josemaria used to say to husbands that their path to Heaven is through their wives, and vice versa, so just "work" as such is a little narrow.

    The interesting question is to what extent all of this was recognized in the Church before Vatican II, outside of Opus Dei and I guess some other groups. For this, I think the best source for further reading would be the new short book by Fr. Martin Rhonheimer (yes, a priest of the Work), entitled "Changing the World: the Timeliness of Opus Dei" [Scepter Publishers 2009]. I would just add that I seem to recall the pre-VII work "Theology of Christian Perfection" by Antonio Royo Marin, OP, written in the late 1950s, as suggesting this as well.

    In any case, all the best,

  43. Thomas Liang12:22 AM

    Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu, S.J. and S.I. or SJ, SI)

  44. Anonymous1:23 AM

    The FSSPX article in question is;
    “Opus Dei: A Strange Pastoral Phenomenon” Le Sel de la Terre (No. 11) by Nicholas Dehan.

    The author probes the OD and its beatified founder. It concludes with a response from the OD; a counter response from Mr. Dehan and a commentary about the approbation of OD by the Catholic Church.

    English translation by Suzanne Rini. The Angelus, September, 1995.

    I have the hard copy and could answer questions and queries.

    The article can be ordered at the following address:


  45. Anonymous1:55 AM

    I have been around Opus Dei for more than 20 years. They are discreet, cordial, quiet, and on fire with Charity for Our Lord, his Church, and his Vicar on earth. Nothing to do with Masons, that was an old slander started in Spain.

    Their priests are very holy, with normal human imperfections, but the holiness is there, it's real, a glow of the fire of charity. Their NO Masses are very reverent; they follow Peter, and with the freeing of the older liturgy, will more than likely gravitate more in that direction.

  46. Anonymous1:57 AM

    Considering that Opus Dei priest is working for the Pope on this one, and assuming that regularization is a desideratum of SSPX, the important question is not "What does SSPX think of OD" but rather -- "What does OD think of SSPX"

  47. John McFarland4:17 AM


    For fifteen bucks you can subscribe to Angelus Online, and get the entire Angelus archive as far as they've posted it (except for some of the Jewish stuff that was removed after the Williamson firestorm). One of the other posts identifies the Opus Dei piece.

    You correctly reproduce the basic Opus Dei concepts. The question is: what lies behind them.

    The universal call to salvation is not peculiar to the Work, and it is nonsense to claim that the Work discovered (or resuscitated for the first time since the death of St. John Chrysostom) the concept. When the priests of the Work recommended books to me when I was a cooperator, they were the same works on the spiritual life that the SSPX and other sound traditional sources emphasize.

    It is also not clear that the Work takes a more "mass line" approach to the spiritual perfection of the laity than the traditional religious orders. The real members of the Work are the celibate members; that's why they are called numeraries, and the married members supernumeraries. The Work roundly proclaims that the numeraries are lay; but functionally they are very much like religious, except that they hold secular jobs (or are supposed to. They just call the elements of their life by different names from the religious. Meanwhile, I never got the sense that the spiritual formation of supernumeraries was particularly impressive by comparison to, say, the pre-conciliar third orders.

    The traditional concept was of the duties of one's state in life. The question is whether the Work's approach to work is something different; and if so, whether it is something better.

    I can't go into great detail here, but let me mention a couple of things.

    The name of the "pastoral phenomenon" is Opus Dei. That is a term that has been used for centuries by the Benedictines to refer to the Divine Office. Msgr. Escriva surely knew this; what did he mean by taking the name, so to speak?

    In the late 60s, the Founder gave a sermon or speech (I can't remember which, and I don't want to wake my wife by fetching it) which the Work has entitled "Passionately Loving the World." It was not the Founder's title, but it fairly represents the tenor of the speech. When you see mention of the world in the gospels, do those references tend to be positive. In one of Fr. Faber's books, he puts them all together in a single paragraph. It is not positive at all. So what is the Work up to?

    I don't know Father Rhonheimer's book, by I know of him. He is three-quarters Jewish, and in a peace in First Things in perhaps 2002, in which he denounced the Vatican's pre-World War II views on the Jews, he confessed that he felt a great tension between his loyalty to the Church and his loyalty to his Jewishness. He did not say which side was winning the war.

  48. John McFarland4:52 AM


    And furthermore:

    I can't prove this, but I suspect that the Work is indeed intended to out-Mason the Masons: to generate an elite that will infiltrate the centers of power and take them over for the Church. Implicit in this is the Masonic distinction between the average Joes, who are told about getting to heaven by being nice to their wives, and the elites, who are told that by their work they will take over the world and raise it up to Christ. Escriva had an experience (1930?) while saying Mass in which he said Christ gave him to understand that his words, "when I am lifted up, I will draw all things to myself," had a special meaning for him: this lifting up of the world by the Work's elite. This is recounted in the third volume of the official biography of the Founder. I'd get you the cite, but that book is in the bedroom, too.

    Now you will note that the special meaning is more or less the exact opposite of what Jesus said. This suggests that for the elite, there is a gospel behind the gospel.

    Now perhaps your response is that I must be crazy. My reply is to ask: just WHO is crazy.

    I can't tell whether the Work has really followed up on this kind of gnostic elitism, because the Work is as secretive as the SSPX is transparent. The Founder had a mania for secrecy, coded messages and the like. The front door of its old Roman HQ, the Villa Tavere (things always have secular names in the Work), had a lock that it took five turns to open.

    I also suspect that the Work's abandoning its traditional side was part of the deal in the canonization of the Founder.

    One of the Work's prominent supernumeraries is the journalist Russell Shaw. He once responded to letters by another guy and me on a piece of his by saying sneeringly that we had "the ecclesiology" of 1910. (It was true of me, though not of the other guy.)

    A figure like Rhonheimer likewise looks like a harbinger of things to come.

    Another is a priest of the Work who five or so years back wrote a largely impenetrable account of the Neocatechumenal Way as another "pastoral phenomenon" like the Work that was achieving Church recognition. Neocatism is, of course, a heterodox nut cult -- with ecclesiastic approbation.

    But before we sneer at the Neocats, we might ask ourselves whether the Pope's intent in the discussions with the SSPX is anything more than adding Tradition to the conciliar ecclesiological zoo.

    There are no doubt many devout priests and people in the Work. But the same is true of the Legionaries of Christ, which is in many respects an Opus Dei knock-off. Now I'm not suggesting that the Work has the sort of dirty laundry that the Legion has. But I wouldn't rule out its having dirty laundry of other kinds. As the popes said about the Masons from the gitgo: if their activities are innocent, why aren't they done in the open?

  49. John McFarland5:19 AM

    To all you periti of comparative spirituality,

    The one place that all the masters of the spiritual life go is to the gospels; and there I don't find multiple spiritualities. The differences of approach involve -- or should involve -- different means to the same end.

  50. @ Cleric: got it (almost) right. The first source was Abbé Barthe: he secured the names and disclosed them in the article that he wrote for Disputationes Theologicae.

    This constant referring to the Osservatore Vaticano blog is unfair. Although the administrator of O.V. is known to be on excellent terms with Fr. Barthe, he is but a secondary source. Indeed, he explicitely refers to Fr. Barthe. As a result, I wonder why almost everyone on the blogosphere credits him, not Abbé Barthe, with the tip.

  51. John McFarland5:31 AM


    If Msgr.(?) Ocariz thinks that reconciliation is possible between DH and traditional doctrine, he will be no help at all. The whole point of DH was to CHANGE the doctrine of the Church.

    If he was a principal draftsman of Dominus Jesus, he is worse than no help. It is at odds with the traditional doctrine of the unicity of the Church.

    The catechism faithfully reproduces the novelty and equivocation of the acts of the Vatican Council, which is what got us into trouble in the first place. So here again, I am the opposite of comforted to hear about Ocariz's involvement.

  52. Anonymous5:40 AM

    @ Anonymous: "He also instituted the use of the "Benedictine" altar arrangement long before we even had Pope Benedict."

    Yes, the so-called "Benedictine" arrangement largely predates Benedict XVI but it was not developed by Msgr Escriva either.

    There seems to be a mass of misconceptions about this "Benedictine altar arrangement". It was the most common arrangement in the early stages of "legal" versus populum celebration. It is how Paul VI celebrated his very first public Mass in Italian (March 7th, 1965, at All Saints' Parish in Rome). And if you have a look at Notitiae and similar liturgical publications between 1965 and roughly 1968, you will see that this was very common. It was the first, relatively classical, versus populum arrangement. Only later on came what we now know: no more crucifix on the altar, asymetry etc.

  53. John McFarland5:40 AM


    As regards non-Catholic cooperators of Opus Dei:

    Opus Dei: Work of God

    Cooperator: a co-worker

    A co-worker in what, if not in the Work of God?

    So: Catholics working together in the Work of God with non-Catholics. Non-Catholics are part of the Work of God; no different, it would appear, from Catholic co-operators

    Doesn't necessarily follow, you say? True enough. But like swiping Opus Dei from the Benedictines, it's a strange business, and at a minimum doesn't give much comfort that the Work has it together.

  54. John L5:53 AM

    'I still don't know what there is to discuss except for political maneuverings and diplomacy.'

    Yes, exactly! Nothing the SSPX holds is incompatible with Catholic teaching (to put it mildly) or with any clear statement of Vatican II. There is thus no reason for Rome holding doctrinal discussions at all with the Society, since their doctrinal views are irreproachable. The only issue at stake is the current Vatican policy of suppressing or not putting into practice some of the Catholic teachings that the SSPX holds. Normalising the SSPX means abandoning that policy.

  55. Anonymous8:38 AM

    SSPX is critical about Opus Dei. And it is also critical of Rome!

    So why wonder? It seems the SSPX or a certain fraction of it is losing its sense of reality, captured in its own small world but thinks it has alone the truth.

    I used to support the SSPX, but now I am thinking else. Its self righteousness will be a great obstacle to its reintegration. And what's more, the hardcore members are drifting farther and farther away from Catholicism.

    I hope sincerely that the majority of the SSPX is willing to join Rome, because Rome is the Catholic Church. The hardliners say Rome has left the Tradition, not true. Who freezes the Tradition to a certain period of time, and claim it to be the sole Truth, will be left behind by the living Tradition which is maintained by the Holy Ghost alive in the whole Church.

    I have met so many holy priests in the Church, so that I can't in the least follow why the SSPX thinks only their priests are holy. And their members keep picking at the priests and orders in the Church, for what purpose I ask? I have also met very bad priests. But the Church contains sinners. We are not Calvinists who think only holy people can be members of the church. Throughout the whole history of the Church we have got good and bad priests. And I don't think it should be something special for our times and due to the "post conciliar" change.

    There are so many encouraging developments in the Church, so that I am convinced the Holy Ghost is with us.

  56. The one place that all the masters of the spiritual life go is to the gospels; and there I don't find multiple spiritualities.

    Perhaps it could be said that the four Gospels present four "spiritualities," though I'm not sure if that's quite the right way to describe the Evangelists differing perspectives on Our Lord.

    The differences of approach involve -- or should involve -- different means to the same end.

    Right. In any event, it's not true that there is only one Catholic spirituality. Catholics traditionally speak of multiple spiritualities.