Rorate Caeli

Third Vatican-SSPX meeting

The third official meeting of the representatives of the Holy See and of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) for doctrinal talks took place was announced yesterday in Rome, with the customary discretion. The meeting is to take place on Monday.

Let us keep praying.


Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

I can't wait to hear/see the audio/video of these talks. Rome must come back to the Faith!

Anonymous said...

Br. Anthony,

I think we will never see the audio/video, as the purpose of recording the meetings is to create written proceedings.

Anonymous said...

OH God be in between them, please, give us the grace and the joy of unity

quirinus said...

"Br. Anthony",

do realize that your words are extremely offensive to all loyal Catholics. The way you talk it is you who have to come back to the faith, not the Successor of Peter!

That said, let's hope that the prayers of 22 years will be answered. I pray that these talks will lead to FSPPX's full communion. We desperately need the help of the many good priests they have. Granted there are also a few extremist nutjobs among them, but for the most part they're good people with the head screwed in the right direction. Besides, with all the whackos we have tolerated in the last decades it's getting harder and harder to see why only Econe has to remain separated.

Crouchback said...

Well recent feed back in SSPX settings, conclude with as far as I could see..."We have to help the Church"..??
The problem for the SSPX, is that the Church, at lest at local level, doesn't seem to think it needs help. Despite being in ruins.
A nightmare scenario is we have an agreement with the Vatican, but an unconcerned shrug of the shoulders and a "So what" from the Bishops.
Then we get another 10 or 20years of in action.
They haven't exactly set the heather alight with Summorum Pontificum....did they..??

Champion said...

Has the Roman Church left the faith Br. Anthony? Did the gates of hell prevail? What do you mean? It would be nice if you would speak with more precision.

The Church which Jesus Christ founded is indefectable and thus will last till the end of the ages. Second, the Bishop of Rome cannot error in his office of supreme and universal pastor of all the faithful when he teaches on faith and morals. To deny that would be to deny Pastor Aeternus of Vatican I and the entire tradition of the Church.

Fr Jack Russell said...

Yes, let's keep praying. The SSPX has one of the most intensive Catholic youth apostolates on the planet- scout camps, catechism programmes, schools, etc. etc. And not a single priest in jail for "the usual". Why? Because the SSPX has never suffered the self-inflicted identity crisis of the Novus Ordo celrical establshment. It's priests value their celibacy as a gift from God, and live it generously and faithfully. No wonder the Pope wants them on board.

Vox Cantoris said...

There are many enemies to the success of these talks. Reading between the lines of the Holy Father's letter to Ireland one can see how high and entrenched is the level of dissent, disobedience and independence from Rome. Maybe the Holy Father is realizing this now too. I hope that he will act even quicker than he has on some other matters and take a deep personal interest in these talks. All Catholics need clarity brought to the Documents of the Second Vatican Council. I for one am glad that the Society of St. Pius X has taken on the task on behalf of the whole Church. Without them doing this, who would?

Peter said...


Anonymous said...

Let me fix that for you Br. Anthony.

I can't wait to hear/see the audio/video of these talks. The SSPX must come back to the faith.

Isn't that better. Now say with me ten times slowly. The SSPX is not the Church. The SSPX is not the Church....

Anonymous said...

Given how widespread the Traditional Latin Mass is these days, it would not be earth-shattering to the liberals if Rome declared that Society Masses 'count', and Rome could use this recognition to pressure some more bishops to comply with S.P.

The time is now right for the Pope to take that step. If he is hesitating, it is because the liberal press is trying to paint the Society as an organisation of fascists. Rome still listens too much to the press. It should be ignored.


Marc Dillon said...

Br. Anthony, I too wish whole heartily for full communion with SSPX; however, with all due respect and charity, it is precisely the attitude of "Rome must come back to the Faith!" that has allowed this rupture to exist for the last 22 years. As your brother in Christ, who partakes of the same Body and Blood, I humbly remind you that Church of Rome is the Magisterial authority of truth, not you, and not SSPX.

Marc Dillon said...

Crouchback, what you say is correct; I really believe that once "full communion" is reestablished between Rome and SSPX, many faithful Catholics will flock to SSPX's chapels for daily and weekend Masses. I think the local ordinaries will be hard pressed to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

"I pray that these talks will lead to FSPPX's full communion."

Members of the S.S.P.X. aren't in "full communion" with the Church?

They are not excommunicated. They are free to receive Holy Communion (in light of each member's state of grace).

Why are they not in full communion with the Church?

Matthew said...

Nothing is going to happen. At best the SSPX will accept being restored to full communion. The SSPX will continue to grow, like all the other Traditional entities, and the Vatican2 crowd with the Novus Ordo afficionados will continue to decline in numbers and their Novus Ordo churches will continue to close. The present condition of the Catholic Church in America is too far gone. Unless you live for another 150 years, you will not see any reformation, and much less a restoration.

ToS said...

quirinus wrote:

“do realize that your words are extremely offensive to all loyal Catholics. The way you talk it is you who have to come back to the faith, not the Successor of Peter!”

Rome doesn’t equal the Pope. Your argument fails.

Anonymous said...

Instead of "Rome" I'd say the Vatican, which I find more accurate and less confusing.

The SSPX can't come back to the faith because they didn't move to anywhere. It was the Vatican who moved to somewhere far from Rome and therefore who must come back to full communion with the Catholic teaching.

Viva Cristo Rey,
Donoso Cortés.

Anonymous said...

Fr Jack Russell I beg to differ with you. The SSPX has had their share of problems with their priests concerning pedophilia, I know this for a fact. No they are not in jail, the SSPX just dismisses them so it is not their problem any more.

St. Rafael said...


You get it wrong. Pastor Aeternus teaches along with Church tradition, that the Pope cannot err on faith and morals when he speaks with infallibility. He has to speak ex-cathedra on faith and morals. He has to invoke his right to be infallible.

Guess what? No Pope has done so since Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary. Any Pope after Pius XII is fair game and there is nothing preventing the Popes after Pius XII from erring in faith and morals.

Usually this doeas not happen because Popes usually just reteach what the Church has always taught. Their teaching is infallible not because they are teaching it, but because it is part of the ordinary Magisterium and was already infallible.

But when was the last time many of the post VII Conciliar Popes actually taught what was taught before VII? They spend a lot of their energy defending VII doctrine, theology, and novelty.

Jordanes said...

Rome must come back to the Faith!

"For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished . . . For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Savior to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." (Pastor Aeternus 4.2, 6)

Well before Vatican I, a doctrinal proposition that Pope Sixtus IV explicitly condemned was: “The Church of the city of Rome can err.”

"Rome must come back to the Faith!" is not a traditional Catholic sentence.

Anonymous said...

Mark Dillon writes:

"Crouchback, what you say is correct; I really believe that once "full communion" is reestablished between Rome and SSPX, many faithful Catholics will flock to SSPX's chapels for daily and weekend Masses. I think the local ordinaries will be hard pressed to ignore it."

I agree with the closing sentence here but not the first conclusion: yes, the local ordinaries would not be able to ignore it. However, I don't think that thousands would flock to the Society chapels. For one thing, the Pope would at least ask that faithful not repair to the Society until full regularisation be achieved. He would allow the Society Masses but at least recommend against them.

Secondly, in most countries, the approved Masses outnumber the Society Masses. Even where this not the case (e.g. France), most dioceses that have a Society Mass also have an every-Sunday approved Mass. Mostly, the Society people will stay where they are and so will other traditionalists. Some regularistas who happen to live close to a Society chapel might repair to the Society.

What counts, howeve, is episcopal reaction. Such a recognition by Rome would pressure some bishops to stop obstructing S.P. They would stop obstructing because they don't want the Society to become a tower of resistance in their sees. Most bishops care most about appearances, esp. media appearances. They don't want to look weak in their own bailiwicks.


John L said...

'The SSPX has had their share of problems with their priests concerning pedophilia, I know this for a fact. No they are not in jail, the SSPX just dismisses them so it is not their problem any more.'

And it is not the problem of their parishioners any more either, since they are no longer in danger of having their children molested by their priests. I would be glad fo further confirmation that the SSPX adopts this policy - would that bishops and other religious superiors had done the same thing!

Veritas liberabit vos. said...

I am afraid that anonymous is right - there have been and are ongoing scandals concerning FSPX priests and sex abuse, both of minors and adults. Not all have been dealt with by expulsion though - the usual "remedy" of transferring the priest and hushing up the affair has sometimes beeen applied. I am aware of at least one case from my personal experience, However, not all the cases have been successfully covered up; at least one FSPX priest has served a prison sentence and been active in ministry after his release.

It gives me no pleasure to retail these sordid tales, believe me. But they idea that traditionalist priests of one sort or another are immune from this scourge is a dangerous one. It has sometimes put children and vulnerable adults in dangerous situations and kept them there. Parents and those in loco parentis should always be on their guard (in a reasonable and prudent, not an obsessive manner) and realise that a facade of virtue and an apparently irreproachable priestly persona can - in relatively rare cases - hide a vicious reality. Satan prowls about, seeking whom he may devour, even in traditionalist circles.

Anonymous said...

"do realize that your words are extremely offensive to all loyal Catholics."

It is the SSPX who remained loyal despite the hate of people who think they can do anything as long the Pope is doing the same.

Anonymous said...

There is a well known case of a homosexual priest expelled from the SSPX. When it was clear that he intended to reconcile with Rome, bishop Williamson issued a letter of warning to the diocesan bishop, but his letter was ignored. So the priest began to molest children under Roman auspices.

Anonymous said...

The loudest sexual scandal, probably the first in traditional communities, was in the Institute of Christ the King - a strange institution, by the way.

Anonymous said...

why all the secrecy about these meetings? I am still baffled by this talk of 'discretion' etc.
With all the secrecy over the abuse scandals destroying the fabric of the Church, why more of the same silence? Jesus preached without this silence, this discretion which was not part of the apostolic Church. What is there to fear ? So why the secret meetings, the tendentiousness on the part of all concerned.
The greater body of the Church is the non-silent, suffering.
Why pamper to the few who started this whole schismatic trend in the first place?
I really wonder why the schismatics are being treated with such baby gloves.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it would be very dangerous and foolish to imagine that Tradition is immune to these problems. However, if a seminary teaches that the clerical celibacy is based on Apostolic practice and that it is something to be lived, loved and defended, then there is a good chance that those who receive this formation will be better motivated to be faithful to the promises they make at ordination. If, on the other hand, seminarians are constantly being told that obligatory celibacy is just a disciplinary norm that was only imposed in the Middle Ages and that it should probably be dropped in the name of Aggiornamento, then they probably won't feel so bound to honouring their commitment. And remember, unlike many modern priests, Traditional clergy still believe in hell, which when all else fails is another good motivation for avoiding mortal sin!

Tim said...

Veritas liberabit vos (sic):

This is just pure slander, far from any "veritas". No SSPX priest has ever been connected with sex abuse. Apparently, people like you are not satisfied simply by dragging the Holy Father's name into the mud with sex abuse scandals, but would like to implicate traditional Catholics as well.

If you speak about SSPX priests and "prison sentences", at least be fair enough to tell the whole truth. Yes, a priest has been convicted by French (freemason-influenced) courts, after 4 unfortunate boy scouts he was in charge of drowned during a boating trip:

The parents of the dead boys actually testified in favour of the priest. With their support, he is today again back (after 18 months in prison) carrying out his priestly duties:

The "vicious reality" is rather the one exposing your hatred for traditional faithful priests in charge of souls, which you are trying to destroy with your calumny...

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Okay. Let me be more precise. Pope Benedict XVI, as pope and prior to becoming pope, has taught errors contrary to the perennial Magisterium of the Church. Therefore, he must abjure these errors and follow his predecessors in the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

Flambeaux said...

Thank you for the reminder. With all the commotion in the United States right now, I'd forgotten that these talks were still going on.

As I needed to refocus my prayer intentions, this is serving as a salutary reminder.

Anonymous said...

Mr Perkins,

Competant Roman authority has already, on several occasions,stated that FSSPX Masses fulfill the Sunday obligation.
At present time it is not the Holy Father himself who declares this, but is rather within the jurisdiction of the Holy Office. Formerly the P.C.E.D. ruled upon this.
I have in front of me a letter from the P.C.E.D. and signed by Monsignor Camille Perl staing that the Masses of the FSSPX fulfill the Sunday and Holy Day obligation.

This is verified in current code of Canon Law, so there is no need for further verification on at least SSPX Masses fulfilling the obligation.
Rather what is needed now is an official declaration from the Holy Office that FSSPX confessions and the witnessing of marriages are valid.
On your point about more licit TLM'S now being offered than FSSPX Masses, well it seems to me that although this is true, many of the licit TLM's are offered in an Novus Ordo community and there is not a TLM community there that has access to a traditional life, such as traditional Benediction, a traditional catechism program traditional processions, traditional conferences etc.
Mostly we just see, at best, a once per week TLM, which is great, but that is it not a satisfying proposition to the majority of traditional Catholics.
That is why many will want to flock to FSSPX and FSSP chapels, where there is the fullness of tradition in the community.


dcs said...

It would be interesting to see some statistics on the growth of the SSPX. For example, how many priests does the SSPX have today vs. 10 years ago? Twenty years ago? How many chapels? Of course in the current climate even little/no growth is an accomplishment.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...


Pastor Aeternus defines the conditions required for infallibility. If ALL of these conditions are not met, then the pope MAY be erroneous in what he teaches.

FranzJosf said...

Regarding the topic of this post, namely, the recent meeting: Has the Holy See or the SSPX issued a press release? Has anyone seen one?

John McFarlaned said...


Brother Anthony has now refined his formulation.

Do you agree or disagree with his assertion?

Gerard said...

Champion wrote: "Have the gates of Hell prevailed?" Well, it certainly is obvious that the gates of Hell have not crumbled. Christ gave no guarantee that the gates of the Church would prevail either.

The proper understanding is that the gates of Hell will not prevail WHEN the Church finally attacks them. Stopping that offensive attack is the focus of the Devil's efforts. It's a simple strategy: The gates of Hell can't prevail and the Church won't fall completely so prevent the attack from coming for as long as possible.

biggus_headdus said...

Br. Anthony, why back down on what you said? "Rome" is not the Church - so I would agree - Rome needs to come back to the Catholic Faith.

All the gaspers who are offended at such talk must come to terms that the Pope is not the standard of Catholicity. He is the guardian of the deposit of Faith among other things - yes, but as you say - He's not infallible all the time and is subject to making mistakes like the rest of us and he's not impeccable. If we lived under the reign of Benedict IX people would have a different viewpoint - a more realistic one - of the papacy - that the Holy Father is not necessarily the standard of Catholicity.

To those who nearly choked at what Br. Anthony said:

When people say "Rome must come back to the Faith" it is in reference to the heterodox bureaucrats in the hierarchy (certain Cardinals and Bishops come to mind) who have kept tradition under their heel for the last 40 yrs. Nobody is implying the Spotless Bride of Christ needs to convert back to the Faith.

St. Rafael said...


I have heard others peddling this nonsense before on another forum and I even was part of a big debate about it.

"Rupture theology" is a pure invention that came out of someone's mind. It has no basis in theology or history. Some armchair lay man inventing his own theology. This thinking is ignorant of Church history and has theological errors.

It is the same type of errors made by Sedevacantists. If someoneone seriously holds these ideas, sooner or later he ends up a Sedevantist because of his mistakes.

Just one example: Of coarse Popes can fall into heresy. We had a heretical Pope in our Church history. Pope Honorius was declared an official heretic by an Ecumenical Dogmatic Church Council and by two later Popes.
The 6th Ecumenical Council of the Church, which was the Third Council of Constantnople condemned the bishop of Rome as a heretic. This was also done later by Pope Leo II.

The comdemnation of Pope Honorius by the Third Council of Constantinople was used in debates at Vatican I in order to help define Papal Infallibility and it helped craft Pastor Aeternus.

Paul Haley said...

How did the topic of this thread turn into a discussion of whether there has been abuse within the SSPX?

As to Rome coming back to the faith, is it not reasonable to assume that it means to that which the Church has always and everywhere held to be true? It appears to me that anyone who has seen the devastation in the Faith that has occurred within the last 50 years would welcome that development without concluding that it applies to the pope personally. Remember what Pope Paul VI himself said about the "smoke of Satan" and pray that it will be expunged.

You know, dear friends, that there is the possibility these talks will fail because of bitterness and the influence of the Evil One pitting one side against the other. Let us pray this does not happen.

Oliver said...

The opinion within the Society is that Rome needs to convert and abjure her conciliar reforms. The vision of V2 documents being burned outside St Peter's is commonly shared. Again, so many folk here regard the Society as some kind of prodigal son seeking a way to return to his father. However, they never left the Church and the father has turned delinquent!

Jordanes said...

Do you agree or disagree with his assertion?

Prescinding from the question of whether or not Pope Benedict in fact teaches or has taught errors, his more precise formulation is in accord with Catholic doctrine on the impossibility of the Church of the city of Rome erring.

Anonymous said...

"The vision of V2 documents being burned outside St Peter's is commonly shared. "

Never heard of that one.

I think we must be very careful about some comments, which seem to be made to provocate.

Ever heard of trolls?

Anonymous said...


I have one of those letters too. They are not part of the law and only apply to the addressees. A private admission of this is not the same as a public one in law.

As for the Code, this subject has been mentioned many times before. The problem is how to interpret "Catholic" in the Canon in question. The matter is disputed and therefore needs official clarification.


Anonymous said...


I don't have the figures before me but have seen them before. The S.S.P.X is experiencing what I wuold call moderate to slow growth, much slower than was its growth in the early years. They have 500+ priests.


Anonymous said...

Women in town are condemned, intimidated and castigated as evil for wearing slacks. A cadre of Society women dressed in old-fashioned ankle-length dresses performs this Godly duty. The Society campaign against pants-wearing women has been fomented by issues of Bishop Williamson's newsletter, Letter from Winona. All sources agree that women who wear pants are condemned from the pulpit at Mass. In addition, there is the evidence from the "Pledge of Modesty: Sodality of the Immaculate Heart," circulated in St. Mary's, which begins by specifying "no slacks or shorts."

This is what I mean about the SSPX.

There is seriously something wrong


I have also encounter the same thing but in the mind of Rorate Caeli you Traditionalist are right and everyone who disagrees with you is lying or doesn't know what they are talking about.


Jordanes said...

I have also encounter the same thing but in the mind of Rorate Caeli you Traditionalist are right and everyone who disagrees with you is lying or doesn't know what they are talking about.

Rorate Caeli has seven contributors/moderators, so speaking of "the mind of Rorate Caeli" is not quite accurate, unless you're referring to the mind of the blog founder and owner, New Catholic. Nor is it safe to make assumptions about what someone's thinking is on any particular subject. It's better to ask them so you can be sure.

M. A. said...



Be careful. The sin of detraction is a mortal sin. In the ONE instance to which you are probably referring, the guilty priest was PROMPTLY dismissed.

It sounds to me like you have an axe to grind, so it would be best to keep your personal insulting opinions of no substance to yourself.

John McFarland said...

Anonymous 6:47,

I would be very careful about taking Culture Wars as your guide in anything, and least of all anything to do with the Catholic Faith. A lot of what E. Michael Jones knows about Catholic doctrine ain't so. I have my differences with some of the moderators of this blogspot, but they are St. Thomas by comparison with Mr. Jones.

It is certainly the case that the SSPX disapproves of pants on women. Can you explain to me why you believe that this puts it outside of sane and civilized society? Pants on women represent (1) masculinization and
(2) random sexual stimuli, both of which seem to be obviously bad things.

Paul Haley said...

Pants on women? How did we get there from the topic of this thread? Modesty is the key I think and whatever mode of dress one wears, if it can be taken to be immodest, and I'm talking about both women and men, then it is inappropriate in church. For heaven's sake have a little common sense.

Now as to the topic of this thread may I say that interminable discussions will prove to be worthless in the final analysis. What I think most Catholics want is a meeting of the minds, some common ground on doctrine among the participants. After the upside-down, topsy-turvy world of the 60s and 70s, the Church seemed to be heading for shipwreck and division instead of the Unity foreseen by Christ in his final words to the apostles.

It would take an almost infinite amount of patience for me to participate in such talks with the Catholic world literally hanging in the balance. But I'm not a patient man and that's one of my most grievous faults.

I would be tempted to throw up my hands and say: "Look, fathers, we are either Catholic or we are not and we either believe the same truths of the Catholic faith or we do not, so let us define those truths right now and call an end to this supposed disharmony or go our separate ways." The time is short, the ends critical and the means less and less plentiful. Bottom line - there is no need for interminable discussions IMHO.

Tim said...

Latest interview with Bishop Fellay now available in English as well:

John McFarland said...

Mr. Haley,

Well, since none of the interlocutors seem to share your impatience, you're probably best served to curb it.

On the other hand, the Lord our God is full of surprises, and not the least when it comes to conversions. My son recently told me a story about Father Lacordaire, the great 19th century French Dominican preacher. I may not have it entirely right, but here goes. Once a lady came up to him and thanked him profusely, telling him that a sermon of his had led to her beginning to live a much better Christian life. He asked her if anything in particular that he had said had caused her conversion. She said that the crucial words were: "Now passing to my second point...."

John McFarland said...


Thanks for passing along the link to the interview with Bishop Fellay.

For those who hope for or fear the SSPX full communion/sellout, Bishop Fellay has -- for about the four dozenth time -- showed that your hopes are in vain, and your fears unfounded.

Here's the punch line, bilingually:

Il n’est pas question de déclarations communes.

Joint declarations are out of the question.

Paul Haley said...

John McFarland said...
Mr. Haley,

Well, since none of the interlocutors seem to share your impatience, you're probably best served to curb it.

John, I'm not so sure none of the interlocutors share my impatience but that is not important. What is important, in my view, is that these discussions do not continue interminably. We are a heartbeat away from a Third World War with Iran on the precipice of having nuclear weapons and Israel taking pre-emptive action. We are a heartbeat away from a complete loss of Faith amongst young people who see the Church as nothing but a bunch of useless windbags. We are a heartbeat away from complete apostasy amongst even the highest levels of the Hierarchy. All this and we can't even agree on what it means to be Catholic in terms of doctrine? Sorry, but I'm a "kick butt and take names" kind of guy and if I had the power that Pope BenedictXVI has, I'd stop this nonsense in a Vatican munute. How? Grant immediate faculties and status to the SSPX, announce a mandatory return to the TLM in all Roman Parishes of the Latin Rite and schedule a worldwide consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with all the bishops on May 13th, 2010. Oh, yes, and one other matter - all Catholics holding public office who do not uphold the Catholic teaching that human life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death have, ipso facto, excommunicated themselves latae sententiae and such persons are not to be allowed to receive Communion in any Church, offertory or chapel of the Catholic Church until and unless they frepent publicly of their position.

Yeah, I know, I've been drinking that elixir of insanity again but so be it - that's how I feel.

Anonymous said...

" be it - that's how I feel."
HUZZAH Mr Haley!!!
That is exactly how I and many, many other Catholics feel.
You are most certainly not alone!
God bless.

Mr Haleys number one supporter.

John McFarland said...

Mr. Haley,

The issue is not what you want, or I want, or Bishop Fellay wants, or the Pope wants, but what the Lord our God wants.

He has permitted a level of decadence in the Church that no sane man would have predicted on the day that Vatican II convened. There is no guarantee that he will not permit things to get still worse.

But the one necessary condition, in good times or bad, is the Faith. Without the complete and unadulaterated Faith, we are all going to Hell, and that includes such monuments of piety as you and me.

Until Rome again teaches the complete and unadulterated faith, things are not going to get better.

Until Rome again teaches the complete and unadulterated Faith, it will have neither the brains nor the guts to implement so much as a fraction of your wish list.

I do not know God's game plan, but I do know what he said through the mouth of Isaias:

My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts. As far as the heavens are above the earth, are my ways above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.

As we live through this Gethsemane, we must watch and pray, and enter not into temptation.

Paul Haley said...

John McFarland said...
Mr. Haley,

The issue is not what you want, or I want, or Bishop Fellay wants, or the Pope wants, but what the Lord our God wants.

True enough, John, but the concept that He wants continued division and interminable discussions while the entrie world hangs in the balance is, to me at least, a non sequitur.

We are at a stage in my opinion where the entire civilized world, and I use that term loosely, could be destroyed in a moment and not by God Himself but by incredibly stupid human hands. The idea that this could happen while fathers are seated at the table discussing fine points of doctrine is rather incredible but that's where we're at right now. And, I have to say it: "I don't believe either side wants to reach an agreement, or a mutual understanding." I say this only because we have been given no indication, absolutely none, of any progress. In fact, we don't even know specifically what they've been discussing up 'til now.

John McFarland said...

Mr. Haley,

You think that fine points are what are at issue between Rome and the SSPX.

You couldn't be more wrong.

Rome believes in coming to an understanding with the world.

That belief is contrary to the spirit and the letter of the gospels.

If Rome does not give up that belief, nothing of any consequence will change.

It is not to be ruled out that when Gabriel's trumpet blows, the situation may not be much different than it is now, and could well be worse.

How it plays out is in God's hands, and so far He does not seem inclined to take the all-American, plain rough man approach to which you incline.

There is a very fine piece in the March Angelus by Father Garrigou-Lagrange about consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which was written in 1932. It offers what I think is the one human input that makes any sense:

"God wills not to accord certain benefits except in answer to fervent supplications, except when a certain number of souls will have truly given the first place in themselves to supernatural charity and sanctification, above and beyond natural activity."

I submit that if you and I want, in good American fashion, to DO SOMETHING!, what we should do is to be among those souls.

Paul Haley said...

Mr. McFarland said:

I submit that if you and I want, in good American fashion, to DO SOMETHING!, what we should do is to be among those souls.

Of course, and nothing that I've said implies anything different. I pray every day for the success of the discussions and for the intentions of the Holy Father. There is a difference between my impatience with the interlocutors and the realization that I have that all is in God's Hands.

If Gabriel's horn were to blow this minute, we'd all have to accept the fact that God has seen enough of his wayward children doing what they do. In the interim, I'll continue to advocate for real progress and action, not words and interminable discussions.

As to whether they're discussing "fine points" or not, I'll leave that up to history to reveal since we know absolutely nothing about what they have discussed. You see, in my mind, doctrine was settled a long, long time ago so what's the big deal? On the other hand, if one side or the other is waiting for their opponent to come crawling on their knees begging forgiveness, then stalemate is the logical consequence of such thinking.

"Rome believes in coming to an understanding with the world."

"That belief is contrary to the spirit and the letter of the gospels".

"If Rome does not give up that belief, nothing of any consequence will change."

Case closed as far as I'm concerned. Readers, you can judge for yourself.

John McFarland said...

Mr. Haley,

I am totally nonplussed by your response.

The SSPX believes that the doctrine of the Church was settled long ago. You and the Society are thus on the same page.

The Roman authorities do not believe that the doctrine of the Church was settled long ago. The Holy Father's hermeneutic of reform/continuity is precisely a rationalization of the proposition that the doctrine of the Church is not settled. He therefore is not on the same page with you and the SSPX, and shows no inclination to get on the same page.

In December, Bishop de Galarreta, the leader of the SSPX participants, gave the following summary of the topics of discussion:

"The subjects, the themes, of which we shall treat have been well established; they are the ones concerning all the questions, all the themes, we have been critiquing for forty years, especially religious freedom, the modern liberties, the freedom of conscience, the dignity of the human person—as they say—the rights of man, personalism, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, inculturation, collegiality–the egalitarianism, the democratism, and the destruction of authority that have been introduced into the Church; as well as all the notions of ecclesiology which have totally changed what the Church is: the question of the 'self-consciousness' of the Church, the Church as communion, the Church as sacrament, the Church as the People of God; and all these new ideas about the relation between the Church and the world. Then there is the question of the Mass, the new Mass, the new missal, the liturgical reform…"

Do you think that these concepts --virtually all of them novelties never heard of in the magisterium before Vatican II, and many of them condemned before Vatican II --are just quibbles?

You can't believe that.

What am I missing?

Paul Haley said...

Dear Mr. McFarland,

I believe the topics enumerated by Bishop de Galarreta can and should be discussed but discussion, in and of itself, means nothing. What I am concerned about is the sentiment that the SSPX holds all the cards and the Roman participants, even including Pope Benedict XVI, have nothing to offer except capitulation.

I am also concerned that these discussions will go on interminably, therefore meaning no hope that progress is being made. As I've said before, I wouldn't allow this to happen were I a participant especially with the salvation of so many souls at stake. But, then, I'm not a participant, just a lowly layman expressing his opinion. This opinion apparently is not one that you agree with. Fine. Let's leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

SSPX are a bit like early protestants...they know better than the rest of us!!!???

I truly pray for reconciliation without triumphalism.

Anonymous said...

Some anonymous states, "SSPX are a bit like early protestants...they know better than the rest of us!!!??? " the one blog commentator is apt to say so often.

The prots errors can be and have been refuted. The NO can not, has not and likely will not say that about the SSPX, simply they are not prots. They are Catholics and hold to the perennial faith.

I see you put many loud question marks behind your statement, good at least you are wondering out loud.

The Church will triumph in the end.

pjj said...

"It would be interesting to see some statistics on the growth of the SSPX."
Here you are: General statistics: evolution of the priests number (accidentally, I was just looking for SSPX numbers...)

Anonymous said...

"On his return from the First Vatican Council, the Archbishop of Munich held a meeting with all the professors of his theology faculty and invited them to work for the holy Church. One of them, Dollinger, drily replied: 'Yes, for the old Church.' 'There is only one Church,' replied the Archbishop; 'there isn't a new one or an old one'. 'A new one has been created,' retorted Dollinger." -- Yves Congar, “Challenge to the Church: The Case of Archbishop Lefebvre.”

Dollinger and his 'Old Catholic' schismatics felt the same way after Vatican I as Lefebvre did after Vatican II (and they made all the same melodramatic distortions and damaging obfuscations as well). Episcopi Vagantes (vagabond bishops) are not new in the history of the Church -- nor are the pride, arrogance and theological error that accompanies them.

Anonymous said...

Some anonymous persists about comparing the SSPX to those 'separated brethren'.


First of all, the SSPX also reject old Catholics for their error and accept Vatican 1 infallible pronouncement.

They also accept V2 but question those parts seen to be as errors. This is a common position among Trads of all stripes - for example the FSSP priests I know and even some conservatives (you know those whom think the new mass is acceptable though needing a repair shop).

The SSPX ask the Pope to clarify what they see as errors in the new theology, in the the new church, the new mass, the new catechism. The Pope has agreed.

Secondly, it is the Pope, Cardinals and Bishops of the conciliar church who have said over and over and over....V2 is new, it is new theology, a new mass.

Only Pope BXV1 has said that it is the hermeneutic of continuity. Pope Paul V1 did not and promoted the NO as completely new. Bugnini said in 1964 or 1965 Vatican newspaper (OR) article the same.

In my experience the two masses, two forms, two theologies, two catechisms are different - they are not the same and I don't see how they can be? This apparent lack of 'unity' has to addressed and dealt with PROPERLY by the highest authority. Code word for infallible statements not 'pastoral' encyclicals.

Paul V1 was wrong (yes I believe popes error). A protestantism mass makes protestants not good Catholics. Look at the fruit brother, the fruit. Taste and see. Peeow.

"V2 is the best council the prots ever had!" quoting someone else not too impressed with V2 and it's fruit.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous quotes Yves Congar - an adherent to the new theology promoted for the last 100 years and which found a home in V2.

Congar was a modernist who believed that Revelation unfolds inside each man, and in the events of society and history. His buddy Rahner is speaking out against the Pope.

Thank God for Archbishop Lefebrve who believed in the deposit of faith.

"Revelation, which constitutes the object of the Catholic Faith, was not completed with the Apostles."

Since the decree Lamentabili of July 3, 1907, the Catholic treatises on Revelation included a paragraph about how Revelation closed with the death of the last Apostle. The condemned proposition was formulated as follows:

"Revelation, which constitutes the object of the Catholic Faith, was not completed with the Apostles."

The target of this condemnation was a concept of Revelation which, like that proposed by Loisy, considered Revelation to be the religious intuitions of mankind, a perception that broadens and becomes more perfect in relations between man and the unkown God. Or the mystical view of Tyrrell for whom Revelation relies on an interior act, an appeal or prophetic message that continues to appear in the religious consciences [of men].

Tyrrell admitted, however, that "the revelation given by Christ and the Apostles, independent of further theological reflection, already contained everything necessary for the fullness of the life of faith, hope, and charity. With the death of the last Apostle, the regulatory, classical period of Christian inspiration closed. Not in the sense that revelation - which is to a certain degree the privilege of each man - would have ceased abruptly, but in the sense that every further revelation needs to be controled and checked in accordance with apostolic revelation."

It is a concept very similar to the correct position that we find in Henri de Lubac, Edward Schillebeeckx, and Karl Rahner.

(Yves Congar, La Parole et le Souffle, Paris: Desclée, 1984, pp. 96-97.)

Jordanes said...

Pope Paul V1 did not and promoted the NO as completely new. Bugnini said in 1964 or 1965 Vatican newspaper (OR) article the same.

Let's have the exact quote.

Anonymous quotes Yves Congar - an adherent to the new theology promoted for the last 100 years and which found a home in V2.

Not just an adherent of la nouvelle theologie, but one of its originators and proponents.

Congar was a modernist


who believed that Revelation unfolds inside each man, and in the events of society and history.

I guess it depends on what one means by "Revelation unfolding"? Is it like the Paraclete leading us into all Truth?

His buddy Rahner is speaking out against the Pope.

Rahner died in 1984. It's Hans Kueng who has been speaking out against the Pope, not the deceased Karl Rahner.