Rorate Caeli

"A return to orthodoxy, a true reformation, is a long and arduous path"

DICI has just published an interview with Fr. Niklaus Pfluger, First Assistant of the SSPX. Fr. Pfluger has the following to say on the question of a possible "compromise" by the SSPX in the course of its ongoing discussions with the Holy See:

Some have accused the SSPX of working towards a compromise. Do you see reasons for such fears?

Those are fears without foundation. They are mostly complaints from people on the outside who believe they can judge internal questions of the Society. Those are fears that do not bear witness to a spirit of faith. The authors of such allegations–mainly people close to sedevacantist ideas–simply do not want to admit that something has changed.

Or they simply have a wrong idea of how this terrible crisis of faith is to be overcome. They think the modern church will turn Catholic again in a single day; it is the illusion that one falls asleep as a modernist and wakes up a Catholic. If it were that easy! A return to orthodoxy, a true reformation, is a long and arduous path. It took decades before the reforming decrees of the Council of Trent were applied to some extent. The regions which had turned to Arianism in both West and East only slowly and gradually became Catholic again.

The SSPX does not compromise; Bishop Fellay has no secret plan, strategy, or policy regarding the Faith in dealing with Rome. We have to respond to a new situation. We have to say to this “conciliar church”: “Stop! You cannot continue this way. There is a big problem in the Church. The Council is the reason for this apostasy, and not the solution to the crisis.” Some want to retreat to a kind of ghetto thinking that they can wait until the crisis is over. This is not a Catholic position; it is rather a weakness of faith. The light has to be placed on a candlestick, and must not be hid under a bushel, says the Lord in the Sermon on the Mount.

It really is only a small minority of priests and faithful who are afraid. The large majority trust the leadership of the SSPX and the Superior General. In early July we had a meeting for several days between all the superiors in the SSPX at Ecône. We have to thank God for the profound unity of the SSPX in all essential matters. This is not easy in such stormy times.


The rest of the interview can be found on the DICI website (LINK).

141 comments:

  1. The SSPX, founded by the saintly Archbishop Lefebvre with Church approval, for the defence and restoration of the Catholic Faith in our time.

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  2. Anonymous4:24 PM

    The Council of Trent was a reafirmation of Catholic faith. The II Vatican Council was an attack on Catholic faith. An Ecumenical Council is the highest form of magisterium, can any post-Vatican II pope have the power to turn back Vatican II? It seems that only another Council would be able to reafirm Catholic faith again. If this is so, how long will it have to pass until the next one: 100 years, 200 years?

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  3. Anonymous4:38 PM

    Well said Fr. Pfluger!

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  4. Anonymous4:40 PM

    Fr. Pfluger said:

    "They think the modern church will turn Catholic again in a single day; it is the illusion that one falls asleep modernist and wakes up Catholic."

    It is obviously Fr. Pfluger's belief that the Church is not Catholic. As long as there are SSPX priests who deliver this message, the Catholics who attend Society chapels will live in great fear of the Church. In keeping their adherents in fear, the SSPX can maintain their stand pretty much indefinately.

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  5. Anonymous5:37 PM

    Fr. Pfluger's forthrightness is like a breath of fresh air.

    I think that he is reiterating that the S.S.P.X will not be accepting a juridical solution before there is a theological solution, and the latter is not in sight. Again, this does not preclude the possibility that the Holy Father will take unilateral action at least to recognise Society Masses publicly and at law as fulfilling the Sunday obligation (probably couched in all sorts of warnings). I don't think the Holy See will go further and admit Society faculties because that would seem to 'give away the farm'. In terms of diplomacy, the Pope must make it look as if he's gone as far as possible but not too far before these 'wayward sheep' return.

    It's all smoke and mirrors; it's all illusion. As I've explained before, a public recognition of Society Masses really would be 'giving away the farm', so the trick, for the Holy See, is to make it seem otherwise by making it look as if major concessions (regularisation or recognising all Society faculties) are being refused.

    This sort of game-playing is what Rome must endure if she would seek to include the S.S.P.X while, at the same time, claiming that she is also including the modernist heretics. This is the sort of game the Pope must play if his strategy is a slow and gradual conversion of the Modernists back to Catholicism in order to prevent an enormous schism on the left. The problem is that he risks the opposite: a slow a gradual conversion of the rest of the regularised Church to Modernist heresy. Hence the Society keeps her distance so that there may be an oasis where the Faith is pure.

    There are those who say that the loss of millions of heretics is a necessary purification. I think that His Holiness takes the view that he is responsible for all the sheep and there is a need for a gradual conversion and restoring stability.

    Part of the problem is that even this Pope--especially this Pope--continues to be infected with conciliar error himself. Sometimes you have to cut off a limb to save the body. It may not be pleasant but it might need to be done. But the surgeon must also know where to cut and why. He himself cannot cure a problem if his own eye is afflicted with the same problem.

    What is really needed is a firm and clear identification of the errors of the conciliar period and an rejection each by anathema one by one. Since this is not humanly possible, we can pray for it.

    P.K.T.P.

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  6. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Regarding my last post, the following still stands, of course:

    (1) The S.S.P.X does not claim to be the Church, only a part thereof. So it remains possible (and arguably better) to work within existing juridical structures to restore the Faith.

    (2) It remains arguable (and I argue it) that any emergency justifiying rightful disobedience has now ended objectively, meaning that the Society should accept regularisation before resolving all the doctinal issues.

    (3) While the Pope may choose to recognise Society Masses publicly, for the good of souls, there are also other measures he could take to protect tradition in the Church, such as setting up juridical structures for the existing traditionalist societies and orders.


    Having reiterated all of this, the purpose of my last post was to assess likely outcomes in light of where the parties stand. As Fr. Pfluger has clarified, the Society is not about to take a structure before doctrinal problems have been resolved, and such resolution does not appear to be in sight.

    We must not confuse our desires with our assessments. We can pray for a reconciliation but, at least in human terms, to expect one would be unrealistic. This is something our Lady might deliver through her prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; it is not something our arguments can accomplish.

    Finally, while saying that the Pope himself might be infected with some of the errors, this does not mean that he misunderstands the problem entirely, only partially so. Therefore, there is much he can do to help Holy Church in this time of crisis. The problem is that modernist error is growing fast and faith is declining today; it is happening now. The Church is collapsing before our eyes in much of Europe and in Quebec and other places. In Latin America, we can now see that the changes that came two decades ago in civil law (on abortion, e.g.) are now overwhelming those countries, and they are starting to fall, just like dominoes falling one after the other.

    It would be rude to correct rampant error; it would be impolite. But I say 'morals before manners'. I am very unEnglish to insist on this. Sir Humphrey Appleby would be most displeased with me.

    P.K.T.P.

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  7. I heard Father Pfluger speak in the UK earlier this year and was greatly impressed. They truly see themselves in a position to serve the Church in bringing the reasons for the crisis to the authorities in the Church. Let us pray for the success of these talks.

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  8. John McFarland6:25 PM

    Anonymous 16:40,

    The Church is the Mystical Body of Church. It is by definition Catholic.

    Nowadays the everyday teaching of what used to be called the Teaching Church is at odds with the full and unadulterated doctrine of the Church.

    That is not something that the SSPX is scaring anyone with; that is simply the case, and something that the faithful need to understand in order to comply with the supreme law, the salvation of souls.

    To be sure, it is quite scary, and unprecedented, and hard to explain. That is why there are liberals and conservatives and hard traditionalists and soft traditonalist and sedevacantists and those who have apostatized in confusion and disgust (and God help those who have scandalized them into unbelief).

    But it certainly cannot be explained by behaving as if the SSPX is condemning the "Church." The Society and its faithful are undoubtedly in and of the Church. The problem is not with them; it is with those who teach things at variance with the faith delivered once for all to the saints, and complete since no later than the death of the last Apostle.

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  9. John McFarland6:51 PM

    Mr. Perkins,

    You are begging a very important question; viz., whether the Pope has a program to bring the modernists back into the fold.

    I myself see no evidence that the Pope is at all concerned about the far left. Just to give the most obvious example, he seems neither indignant nor solicitous concerning the state of the mind and soul of his old friend Hans Kueng, much less inclined to do anything about it.

    The far left accepts Vatican II, and therefore many sins (if you'll pardon the pre-conciliar metaphor) are forgiven it. If anyone on the left has have ever been characterized by conciliar Rome as being not in "full communion," it has escaped my notice.

    The SSPX does not accept Vatican II, and so it is not in "full communion."

    The only reunion the Pope aspires to is reunion in Vatican II.

    If the SSPX wants to embrace some dubious hermeneutic of V2 -- or even a downright zany one -- that would be fine with the Pope. It can't be any zanier than how some of those on the left interpret it.

    But accept V2 it must, or remain outside of the full communion in which Father Kueng and his ilk luxuriate.

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  10. It is not at all apparent that Hans Kueng is in full communion with anything or anyone but himself, unless we count "communion" with hell.

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  11. Anonymous7:08 PM

    "Who or what is Rome? The pope, the curia, the cardinals, certain prelates? It is difficult to assess; distinction is urgently needed."

    Are the SSPX still struggling with this question! It sounds like practical sedevacantism. What is the distinction that is urgently needed in this regard? The Pope's legitimacy?

    "We can judge things from the outside"

    "the withdrawal of the ridiculous excommunication"

    Who chooses the SSPX spokespersons? Smoke and mirrors is right.

    The crisis in the Church continues to be used by the SSPX to mask their own identity crisis.

    SSPV (1983) --- sspx --- FSSP (1988)

    2010 ... It is time to make up your mind.

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  12. Anonymous7:13 PM

    "...the Catholics who attend Society chapels will live in great fear of the Church'

    Anon,
    I assist at both Society and diocesan Masses, and I am not nor do I know anyone one who assists at Society Masses who lives in "fear" of the Church, rather we love Her and are confident in Her.

    Cruise el Groove.

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  13. Anonymous7:13 PM

    One thing is for sure: As long as Bishop Williamson is still speaking in the public square and is still within the official fold of the SSPX, there will be no juridical solution/regularization offered by Rome. None. It would be politically impossible. Period. I'm surprised this isn't more readily acknowledged in these discussions.

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  14. Anonymous7:16 PM

    Jordanes,

    So if I assisted at one of Father Kungs Mass's, it would be an illicit Mass?
    If I wanted to have my confession heard by Fr Kung I could not because he does not have faculties?

    Cruise el Groove

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  15. Anonymous7:22 PM

    "I don't think the Holy See will go further and admit Society faculties"

    Mr Perkins
    Well this would kind of be pointless then, since one cannot recieve God substantially if he is in a state of mortal sin, and many SSPX Mass goers do not have access to regularised confessions.
    The SSPX priests offer confession right before every single Mass, sometimes minutes before, and many men do actually commit serious sins Saturday night.
    We all already know that SSPX Masses fulfill the Holy day obligation.

    Martin

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  16. "If anyone on the left has have ever been characterized by conciliar Rome as being not in 'full communion,' it has escaped my notice."

    Here are two recent examples:

    Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was excommunicated in 2006 for consecrating bishops without a papal mandate. (Sound familiar?) He was subsequently laicized.

    Maryknoll Father Ray Bourgeois was excommunicated in 2008 for participating in the simulated ordination of a woman.

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  17. Anonymous7:38 PM

    Mr. McFarland,

    I think what you meant to write in response to anon 16:40 (me) is that the Church is the mystical body of Christ. But that's not what Fr. Pfluger states.

    He believes that the Church is not Catholic. Whether this is in line with what he himself believes regarding the Church still being the mystical body of Christ is
    not mentioned.

    Does the rest of the SSPX leadership agree that the Church is not Catholic? Haven't they also, at various times said the same thing?
    Why, then, would they want to enter into doctrinal discussions with a Church which they think is not Catholic? They might as well enter into doctrinal discussions with Protestants, Muslims or Jews. They, too, are not Catholic.

    I don't believe that the SSPX has any intention whatsoever in reconciling with Rome....ever. But they need to make it look as if they might have an interest in doing so, so as not to appear as sedevacantists.

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  18. Cruise, it is not at all apparent that Hans Kueng celebrates Mass or hears confessions, though it's possible that he might. In any case, validity and licitness of a priest's sacraments are one thing, being in communion another. Thousands of priests the world over validly confect the Eucharist and hear confessions despite their impaired or absent communion with the Catholic Church. And I cannot validly confect the Eucharist or hear confessions despite my communion with the Catholic Church -- because I'm not a priest. The fact that the heretical priest Hans Kueng can validly confect the Eucharist and hear confessions has nothing whatsoever to do with the state of his communion with the Church.

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  19. Melchior Cano8:04 PM

    Jordanes,

    What in the world are you talking about? Has the man been declared a heretic formally? If not, how can you say he's outside communion with the Church? Has he been excommunicated? Or are you simply saying that his beliefs and actions don't line up with the Church's teachings? And that he should be excommunicated?

    Because of course, that's what those of us favorable to the Society say. How in the world is the Society "outside communion with the Church" and yet, men like Hans Kung receive no censure in these regards. Similarly, how are the ignorant faithful to know that Hans Kung is "outside communion?" Hans Kung is one of thousands of similar priests operating with correct jurisdiction throughout the Church at large. And the men in the Church do nothing. Does this not prove the very state of necessity in which we find ourselves? Your very argument against Kung proves our point.

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  20. Kathleen8:27 PM

    There are some within the SSPX that are a problem.

    There are some outside the SSPX that are a problem.

    One thing they have in common is that their loud and proud voices seem to take up a disporportionate share of the various internet forums.

    I'll count Fr. Pfluger among the good. Not perfect, but we don't get perfect. We're fallen, and we liven in an age that's taken fallen to a whole new level.

    He and the society need prayers. Holy Mother Church needs them.

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  21. The SSPX need to be reminded that their bishops and priests do not have authority over the faithful, as they are not in union with the Holy Father. Suspension, whether we like it or not, is still in force.

    The power of jurisdiction comes from Our Lord through his Vicar. The Gallican position became untenable following Pius XII's Mystici corporis.

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  22. What in the world are you talking about?

    Whether or not the heretical priest Hans Kueng is in communion with the Church.

    Has the man been declared a heretic formally?

    Not that I'm aware of. He has, however, been forbidden to hold himself forth as a Catholic theologian on account of his heresies.

    If not, how can you say he's outside communion with the Church?

    Because to be in communion with the Church, you must hold the Catholic faith. It's blazingly obvious that Hans Kueng, who consistently advocates in favor of several heresies, does not hold the Catholic faith.

    Has he been excommunicated?

    Not formally, but because he espouses heresies, his communion is, to put it mildly, seriously impaired.

    Or are you simply saying that his beliefs and actions don't line up with the Church's teachings? And that he should be excommunicated?

    Whether or not he should be formally, publicly excommunicated is not up to me, but I can't help but notice that as a public heretic he is no more in real communion with the Church than a plot of peat moss.

    Because of course, that's what those of us favorable to the Society say.

    It's also said by those who aren't favorable to the SSPX.

    How in the world is the Society "outside communion with the Church" and yet, men like Hans Kung receive no censure in these regards.

    To the extent that SSPX members are in or out of communion, the status of the SSPX can be spoken of as in or out of communion -- though it's really the members' communion under consideration, not the status or relationship of a religion organisation. Since the Catholic Church suppressed the SSPX, there is canonically no such thing as the SSPX -- the SSPX does exist, of course, but since it is not an approved fraternity, it is not in right relationship with the Church and thus is not Catholic properly speaking, even though its members are Catholics.

    Kueng has received some censure, even though he's not be publicly excommunicated -- but he did not seek or receive unlawful ordination and has not formally affiliated himself with an unrecognised, irregular religious group that functions without meaningful reference to the Catholic Church.

    Similarly, how are the ignorant faithful to know that Hans Kung is "outside communion?"

    By being educated or educating themselves about what the Church teaches and what Kueng teaches and noticing that they are diametric opposites.

    Does this not prove the very state of necessity in which we find ourselves?

    No. A look at history will reveal that such a sad and scandalous state of affairs has been more the rule than the exception for embarrassing stretches of the Church's life here below. If there is now a "state of necessity" due to widespread dereliction and even heresy within the hierarchy, when hasn't there been one?

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  23. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Whether or not the heretical priest Hans Kueng is in communion with the Church.

    Jordanes, Küng is not in communion with the Catholic Church. He is just regularized with the Church. There is a huge difference between communion and regularization. Thanks to the latitudinarian Catholic Church he has been allowed to continue to be regular.

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  24. John McFarland10:57 PM

    Jordanes,

    Ah, but has there ever been a hemisemidemiquaver of a hint of a suggestion from Rome that Father Kueng is in less than full communion?

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  25. John McFarland11:04 PM

    Matthew,

    Rome does indeed excommunicate those who purport to ordain woman, and the occasional friendless goofball like poor Archbishop Milingo.

    But if there's any important doctrine of the Church that Father Kueng hasn't contradicted, it's not coming to mind; and yet for all one can tell from Rome, he is still within the bosom of the Church.

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  26. John McFarland11:15 PM

    Anonymous 16:40/19:38,

    You are simply wrong. The SSPX and its faithful believe what the Church teaches (that is, the faith delivered once for all to the saints), and recognize the authority of the Pope. They are Catholics if anybody is. They may be wrongheaded and even culpably wrongheaded Catholics, but they're Catholics.

    The hierarchy, including the Pope, is constantly saying things that it is difficult if not impossible to square with what the Church teaches.

    Now it's not easy to talk about the Church, the spotless bride of Christ, without talking about its (under the best of circumstances) less than spotless representatives on earth. So it's very difficult to talk about the current mess without saying things that cause scandal.

    But the real scandal is not the things that get said, but the things that the hierarchy has said and done over the last generation.

    As Bishop Williamson famously formulates the matter, authority and truth are separated.

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  27. Anonymous11:48 PM

    What if the Holy Father simply reinstates the FSSPX formerly? I doubt it would make much difference with the modernists and luke warm Catholics. The ripple would die down and then it will be back to business as usual.

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  28. Amos Wang1:08 AM

    The key problem with anyone claiming that Vatican II is invalid is that it places all ecumenical councils in doubt. The faith is thus an invention of men as Protestants assert. And if the Pope is teaching error, then any hope of salvaging Catholicism is dead since it died long ago. You can't have one without the other.

    That being said, how many people hear have actually *read* Vatican II. It doesn't claim anything that I've heard detractors of Vatican II say it does. Liberal bishops took advantage of the chaos of the 60s and Vatican II to promote their own agenda, but that "Spirit of Vatican II" was just that, spirit (i.e. vapour) without substance of justification. And contrary to what Ultra-Montanists might claim, the Pope does not have dictatorial powers to "fix things now" -- he has shepherding power that will take time. But it's nothing new. Look at the council of Trent's liturgical reforms. It took about a century to weed out the abuses and fully implement.

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  29. Anonymous1:45 AM

    Isn't that just great!
    I can recieve all the sacraments validly from a priest who does not believe in the Virgin Conception and birth and doubts other dogmatic truths of the Church, and who has consistently taught heresy,
    yet, I cannot validly recieve absolution from a priest who believes and teaches everything that Holy Mother Church has always and everywhere taught.
    Some kind of an injustice exists here.

    Martin

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  30. Anonymous1:54 AM

    It seems that no matter what the post is, the argument always leads to SSPX=Good because X=Bad. In this case X=Hans Kung. In some cases X=the FSSR; or X="Fr" Raymond Gravel; or X=Pope. No matter what, the SSPX must use the same equation to justify their position.

    Just because X=Bad in some cases that does not mean SSPX=Good. If X=Pope than SSPV=Good.

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  31. Anonymous1:56 AM

    Pascendi said..."The SSPX need to be reminded that their bishops and priests do not have authority over the faithful, as they are not in union with the Holy Father."

    They are not in union with the Holy Father?

    Is that correct?

    My understanding is that the Society's bishops and priests are very much in union with the Holy Father?

    Tom

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  32. John McFarland2:26 AM

    Anonymous 21:39,

    So Fr. Kueng is not in communion with the Church (presumably because he is a heretic), and nonetheless in good standing?

    Do you have any theories on why the Holy Father has not given him the bum's rush, and gave him a couple of hours of his valuable time in November 2005, on the same day that he gave Bishop Fellay about three quarters of an hour? Or why, to the best of my knowledge, he has never uttered a cross public word about the good Father?

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  33. I thank God ever day for the SSPX, the Marine Corps of Catholicism!

    Were it not for Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX, Tradition would have died in 1965.

    Semper Fi

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  34. PKTP: "Part of the problem is that even this Pope--especially this Pope--continues to be infected with conciliar error himself. Sometimes you have to cut off a limb to save the body. It may not be pleasant but it might need to be done. But the surgeon must also know where to cut and why. He himself cannot cure a problem if his own eye is afflicted with the same problem."

    You are cogent, and I can't disagree with you!

    Without this current Pope, and without the FSSPX, what do we have, really?

    Let's pray for them both....

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  35. Anonymous3:47 AM

    "Were it not for Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX, Tradition would have died in 1965"

    Were it not for Achille Cardinal Liénart we would not have Archbishop Lefebvre. Three cheers for Liénart.

    Props to the SSPX from 1965 to 1988. Props to the FSSP after that.

    Tradition cannot be kept alive without jurisdiction, it is one of the Keys after all. The SSPX does not share in the power of the keys and therefore cannot be credited with keeping Tradition alive (unless the keys have been left unattended...but then the SSPV should be credited for keeping it alive).

    If only we had the Third Secret.

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  36. Anonymous4:15 AM

    PKTP: "Part of the problem is that even this Pope--especially this Pope--continues to be infected with conciliar error himself. Sometimes you have to cut off a limb to save the body. It may not be pleasant but it might need to be done. But the surgeon must also know where to cut and why. He himself cannot cure a problem if his own eye is afflicted with the same problem."

    Knight of Malta said: "You are cogent, and I can't disagree with you!

    Without this current Pope, and without the FSSPX, what do we have, really?"

    I think you misread his statement. I think what he was trying to say is that His Holiness Pope Benedict the XVI, our Sweet Christ on Earth, being "infected with the errors of modernism" is not in the position(!) to resolve the crisis in the Church today; that no matter how much sincere and honest efforts he makes to gradually bring about the much needed revitalization of the traditional Catholic faith, he still has to be denounced because he took part in that unfortunate council called Vatican II. That's why he said: "Sometimes you have to cut off a limb to save the body. It may not be pleasant but it might need to be done. But the surgeon must also know where to cut and why. He himself cannot cure a problem if his own eye is afflicted with the same problem."

    On his second post he said: "Finally, while saying that the Pope himself might be infected with some of the errors, this does not mean that he misunderstands the problem entirely, only partially so. Therefore, there is much he can do to help Holy Church in this time of crisis." Oh I thought the surgeon himself suffers from the cataract that is modernism? Sending mixed messages? Go figure.

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  37. Anonymous5:15 AM

    "As Bishop Williamson famously formulates the matter, authority and truth are separated."

    If authority and truth are separated then the Pope is separated from the truth. Again, it is hard to comprehend how the SSPX are not sedevacantist. What is a Pope without Truth? No Truth, no Pope.

    If the Pope is only "infected with conciliar error", as some suggest, than why remain as judge on the outside? Judge of what? Whether the infection causes apostasy or whether it will be cured? The SSPX is delusional if they think they can cure anything without jurisdiction.

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  38. Anonymous5:34 AM

    "I thank God ever day for the SSPX, the Marine Corps of Catholicism!"

    That is funny. Can you imagine the Marine Corps engaged in power projection outside their jurisdiction or without the permission of the Commander-in-Chief!! That would be scary. I certainly would not want to attend that mission.

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  39. Anonymous5:39 AM

    Could someone please explain how a Pope can be infected with the errors of modernism (the sum of all heresies) and the seat not be vacant as a result. Seriously, please explain.

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  40. "The Council is the reason for this apostasy, and not the solution to the crisis.”

    This is the crux of traditionalist rationale against the hermeneutic of continuity. The post-conciliar pastoral and liturgical paradigms are the novel exerience of postmodern new catholics led by their compromising and profoundly divided hierarchy with its consequent ecumenical and inter-religious disorientation. Conciliar thinking has poisoned its adherents with liberal modernist philosophies aggravated further by its novel un-Catholic liturgical rite. The subsequent apostasy is no longer silent but cries out to us from the very heart of Rome and has spread throughout the visible body as a cancerous rhizome.

    Who will rid us of this evil?

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  41. Anonymous8:32 AM

    Anon 01:54
    "It seems that no matter what the post is, the argument always leads to SSPX=Good because X=Bad."

    True, true, true.
    I first thought this was a pro FSSP especially because the only priest named asa contributor is Rev. Fr. L. Demets, FSSP. This made me think it was more or less FSSP backed and, being so, would reflect the Catholic and correct direction.

    But it rather as you said, and not so good. We constantly hear, especialy in the combox, the strong "SSPX=Good because X=Bad" senario. And the SSPX elements (all good guys that they surely are) have taken over. It's a shame because this, I used to think, was a great blog; now it seems to be bent on a "SSPX-Good because X=Bad" focus. AQ has moved in?

    In this particular Fr. Pfluger post my own take is that, while it is good, and indeed very good, that the SSPX is softening (albeit graced with appropriate clumsy barks of 'We IS not changing!') it does appear they are melting a little and coming around. This is good. But let's admit that it is a softening and Bp. Fellay is managing their slalom so far.

    EXCUBITOR

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  42. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Anon.:

    "Could someone please explain how a Pope can be infected with the errors of modernism (the sum of all heresies) and the seat not be vacant as a result. Seriously, please explain."

    Not all error is heresy and not all heresy is formal heresy. Jurisdiction is not lost unless the heresy be formal.

    P.K.T.P.

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  43. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Martin, re Confession:

    I have not said that Society confessions are invalid and nor has Rome. She has not ruled on this officially; she merely warns that, sans jurisdiction, there can be no valid confession. Whether the Society has supplied jurisdiction, however, is the issue. The new Code of Canons is large enough you could drive a truck through its statutes. There is great irony there: the Code the Society refuses is the Code that prevents its exclusion from the Church. I think that the joke is delicious.

    Of course, there is the other side: you can get away with just about anything in NewChurch and not get thrown out. Hence Raymond Gravel. What would I do with that man, in particular? Well, we need to start with a bonfire . . . . Prayer is the first recourse but prayer has been tried. He's impervious to prayer on his behalf.

    P.K.T.P.

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  44. Anonymous10:31 AM

    To respond to Mr. McFarland:

    I don't think that it is a matter of just wanting the leftists to become Catholic again or wanting the S.S.P.X to realise that they are 'mistaken'. This assumes that the Pope is entirely on one side or the other. I never suggested that. I think he regards the leftists as being people in need of conversion, but not conversion to the fullness of the Faith as traditionalists see it; rather, conversion to a sort of moderate conservatism. Put another way, there is a gap between what the Pope thinks he's doing and what he's actually doing.

    P.K.T.P.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Anonymous11:17 AM

    This is ridiculous. What organization in their right mind which though smaller still is the most noble expression of an idea or keepers of a magnificent tradition and heritage would nevertheless enter into talks with another larger, powerful group with the possibility of having to discard part of this magnificent hertiage to accomodate the larger group. Noone except an organization whih was desperate.

    I can assure you, that the SSPX is not desperate for reunion with Vatican II Rome and the Vatican II Papacy. It is the other way around. Because the Vatican II Catholic Church sees the SSPX as a growing, strong, and flourishing remnant of the beautiful Catholic tradition that entire Catholic Church once was....and they want to stamp it out....absorb it. Imprision it in an accord whereby this magnificent heritage will be slowly snuffed out.
    They see the wreckage of their own Vatican II church, and the flourisihing Church of the SSPX, and are still not willing to admit that Vatican II and everything that came from it has been and always will be a disaster and a betrayal of Our Lord and the Faith of the ages. So they wish to "play nice" with the SSPX, hoping they are stupid enough to take the bait.

    Only if the Vatican II Church totally capitulates, and more or less acknowledges that the Vatican II Church is in ruins, and the cause was the Council itself, would the SSPX agree to such an arrangement. This scenario, though unlikely, is more possible now under Benedict XVI, who has all but said (although in a round about way) that the reforms of Vatican II have been a disaster, especially in the Mass.
    But when he is gone....hopefully not for 6-10 years, it is possible (but not necessarilly probable) that we will get another Vatican II cheerleading Pope, such as John Paul II.
    Then the SSPX will be thankful that they did not fall for the Vatican II Church's bait.

    That is why the SSPX is not stupid.
    They are willing to wait.

    The Vatican II crowd in the Vatican is by and large supremely aged, and have few supporters below 50.
    It is only a matter of time.
    The SSPX is flourishing and can wait. The Vatican doesn't have that luxury. Their Church is a wreck.
    The SSPX knows it. That is why they will never accomodate.
    That is why they are not stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anonymous12:07 PM

    Amen! Viva Cristo Rey! Margaret

    ReplyDelete
  47. Ronald Devins12:14 PM

    "Could someone please explain how a Pope can be infected with the errors of modernism (the sum of all heresies) and the seat not be vacant as a result. Seriously, please explain"

    No-one can. As someone have pointed out, if both the Pope and the ecumenical council are in error, all previous ecumenical councils in doubt, at least all Catholic ecumenical councils. As a result, anyone who claims this cannot be Catholic in any sense of the word. They might be Eastern Orthodox or Coptic (assuming they don't claim these are heretics too), but they can't be Catholic. And if they do claim the Eastern Orthodox or Coptics are also teaching error, the Church died a bit after Jesus instituted it. Christianity is a sham.

    Let's make this clear. I've read Vatican II. Nowhere does it disallow Latin mass or even require any bishop to even allow any non-Latin mass. Nowhere does it require communion on the hand or even state that it is allowed as the default practice (it was allowed as an exception in the US since it was asked for decades before). Mass was still to be ad orientum. If Vatican II had actually been put into place properly, there would be no SSPX since they would have nothing to complain about. What the council and the Popes since approved of was not what was actually implemented by the bishops. This is the real issue that needs addressing. Everything else is just a liberal distraction (yes I mean liberal).

    It's pretty simple what happened. To quote Edmund Burke "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" and Yeats "The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity."

    In short, conservatives fell asleep and liberals were full of vigor. So what else is new. It's the story of the Church. Tell that to St Francis and all the other true reformers of the Church. Unlike the SSPX, they never claimed that the Pope and Councils were invalid. They never left the Church. They just held the Pope and the bishops over the fire to make them live up to the great deposit of faith that has been handed down can kept safe within the Church. They were truly Catholic. Ultrapurist that preferred to separate themselves from the Church such as the Donatists were not.

    ReplyDelete
  48. The SSPX is flourishing and can wait. The Vatican doesn't have that luxury. Their Church is a wreck.

    And yet it is the Vatican's Church who enjoys the promise that the gates of hell cannot prevail against her. The SSPX enjoys no such guarantees.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Anonymous12:48 PM

    "Their Church is a wreck."

    You mean the Church founded upon the rock that is Peter and that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given the promise to NEVER APOSTATIZE (Matt. 16:18)

    Who do you want us to believe? Our Lord Jesus Christ or you?

    Who do you want us to be under, Lefebvre or the Pope?


    You can never fool us.

    Another telling sign, that the SSPX is indeed in schism.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Jordanes, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

    ReplyDelete
  51. The real crux of the issue is this parallel "church" business that keeps cropping up. There can be no return to "orthodoxy ..." unless statements such as the following are repudiated by the SSPX:


    “What remains of the magisterium in the Church? It is a matter of faith that Our Lord endowed His Church with a living and perpetual Magisterium, that is to say a papal and episcopal voice which, in every era and at the present time, is the echo of divine revelation and the relay of tradition. Well, this magisterium, at least as regards the truths denied by the conciliar hierarchy, lies in Mgr Lefebvre in whom it can be found in a certain manner. He is the veritable echo of tradition, the faithful witness, the good shepherd whom simple sheep have been able to identify from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Yes, the Church still has a living and perpetual magisterium and Mgr Lefebvre is its saviour. The indefectibility of the Church can be seen in the inflexibility of the Archbishop.”

    Tissier de Mallarias, Fideliter, 1989 (No. 72, p10) With Mgr. Lefebvre dead, where does this "magisterium" reside today????

    ReplyDelete
  52. Father Pfluger said: "Some want to retreat to a kind of ghetto thinking that they can wait until the crisis is over. This is not a Catholic position; it is rather a weakness of faith. The light has to be placed on a candlestick, and must not be hid under a bushel, says the Lord in the Sermon on the Mount."

    Anon@11:17 said: "The SSPX is flourishing and can wait. The Vatican doesn't have that luxury. Their Church is a wreck.
    The SSPX knows it. That is why they will never accomodate.
    That is why they are not stupid."

    So are you saying that this SSPX who contradicted your statement in the face is stupid? Please tell me, how you as an SSPX supporter (I suppose) will reconcile your angst-ridden statement with that of this wise SSPX priest? Contradictions. How exciting!

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  53. Anonymous1:57 PM

    "And yet it is the Vatican's Church who enjoys the promise that the gates of hell cannot prevail against her. The SSPX enjoys no such guarantee

    This is true, though the gates of hell have tried to destroy the Roman Catholic Church with Vatican II.
    The Roman Catholic Church has the gurantee of lasting until the end of time. The reforms of Vatican II and the corruption than followed it do not. It is dying already.

    One example is the 90% of new religious Orders being founded which either try to live religious lives and liturgical lives as close to pre-Vatican II as possible, or are actually new Orders that use only the Tridentine Latin Mass and all the old Catholic traditions and disiplines.

    There may be some isolated new lunatic groupos of priests or nuns which are trying to keep the "Spirit of Vatican II" alive....such as the so called "Intecessors of the Lamb" (read about them....recently investigated by their Diocese, and today their foundress was forced to resign and their "Order" placed under re-organization for spiritual, financial, and liturgical misdeeds.)

    The Vatican II Catholic Church is a passing phase which won't survive.
    The SSPX knows it.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Isn't that just great!
    I can receive all the sacraments validly from a priest who does not believe in the Virgin Conception and birth and doubts other dogmatic truths of the Church, and who has consistently taught heresy,
    yet, I cannot validly receive absolution from a priest who believes and teaches everything that Holy Mother Church has always and everywhere taught.
    Some kind of an injustice exists here.


    Martin

    Yes, Martin, there does indeed seem to be an injustice here. The Holy Father, however, has the authority to correct this injustice by acting unilaterally under his supreme authority as Vicar of Christ and Head of the Universal Church.

    I am not one that believes he cannot set right the abuses prevalent in the aftermath of Vatican II. He can issue encyclicals clarifying any of the doubtful or ambiguous interpretations attached to the Vatican II documents. He could do this with the able assistance of the traditional orders including the FSSPX and I suspect they would be more than willing to help him. We must pray that this rapprochement happens and soon.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Anonymous 19:13,
    Since when has the Church been a political entity?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    As long as Bishop Williamson is still speaking in the public square and is still within the
    official fold of the SSPX, there will be no juridical solution/regularization offered by Rome. None. It would be politically impossible.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Mr. McFarland,

    Love the musical analogy - a sort of musical 'iota unum'. However, it should be 'hemidemisemiquaver' :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anonymous3:01 PM

    It seems to me that a number of commentators on this discussion board, especially re: Hans Kung and his ilk, are falling into a kind of donatism wherein they are scanadlized by the ability of a less-than-perferct Catholic priest to administer the Sacraments. But this was settled by St. Augustine's anti-Donatist writings long ago.

    A priest does not have to be good to confect the Sacraments, he does not need to have a correct theological understanding of it, he simply needs to intend to do what the Church does; and this intention need not be specific but can be quite vague. Otherwise only brillian theological minds, who have mastered sacrarmental theology could say a valid Mass. But poor students can be great priests.

    The validity and power of the Sacraments come from the atoning death of Christ, not the personal goodness, or doctrinal erudition and orthodoxy of the priest. (Come to think of it, there are Pelagian tendencies to accompany the Donatist ones).

    At bottom: People are not Catholic because they are smart, or traditional, or progressive, or dumb or even personally holy. They are Catholic because they recieved a valid Baptism. Being Catholic is fundamentally an ontologocal condition, not a set of beliefs. This is a difference between us and most protestants. And this is why Pope Benedict has to be patient with liberals and reach out to SSPX: they are both ontologically Catholic. He, as shepherd, has to keep the flock together, even the sheep he probably doesn't like.

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  58. I hope they get the best deal possible. Many diocesan priests would love to celebrate the TLM but are hamstrung by their modernist bishops. The SSPX should be allowed to incardinate any such priest and should also operate, like Opus Dei, as a personal prelature, free from the interferance of hostile bishops.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I can receive all the sacraments validly from a priest who does not believe in the Virgin Conception and birth and doubts other dogmatic truths of the Church, and who has consistently taught heresy, yet, I cannot validly receive absolution from a priest who believes and teaches everything that Holy Mother Church has always and everywhere taught. Some kind of an injustice exists here.

    Perhaps there is an injustice, but if so, it would more likely be in the lack of firmer discipline upon the heretic rather than in the suspension of the disobedient and illicitly ordained priest. We aren't privy to all the facts and factors behind the discipline meted out to the heretic, just as there's no way to be sure that every SSPX priest is perfectly orthodox.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Anonymous3:16 PM

    "Not all error is heresy and not all heresy is formal heresy. Jurisdiction is not lost unless the heresy be formal."

    I assume this means that the phrase "infected with conciliar error" means non-heretical error. Could you give an example of a non-heretical error manifested by the current Pope that would provide sufficient grounds for a Catholic bishop to refuse submission to the Pope.

    Again, I am just trying to make sense of the SSPX position. I understand the FSSP position and the SSPV position but fail to see the logic in the SSPX position.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Papal Cornation Oath (taken by popes throughout several centuries):

    "I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition, and nothing thereof I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors, to encroach upon, to alter, or to permit any innovation therein;

    To the contrary: with glowing affection as her truly faithful student and successor, to safeguard reverently the passed-on good, with my whole strength and utmost effort;

    To cleanse all that is in contradiction to the canonical order, should such appear; to guard the Holy Canons and Decrees of our Popes as if they were the divine ordinance of Heaven, because I am conscious of Thee, whose place I take through the Grace of God, whose Vicarship I possess with Thy support, being subject to severest accounting before Thy Divine Tribunal over all that I shall confess;

    I swear to God Almighty and the Savior Jesus Christ that I will keep whatever has been revealed through Christ and His Successors and whatever the first councils and my predecessors have defined and declared.

    I will keep without sacrifice to itself the discipline and the rite of the Church. I will put outside the Church whoever dares to go against this oath, may it be somebody else or I.

    If I should undertake to act in anything of contrary sense, or should permit that it will be executed, Thou willst not be merciful to me on the dreadful Day of Divine Justice.

    Accordingly, without exclusion, We subject to severest excommunication anyone -- be it Ourselves or be it another -- who would dare to undertake anything new in contradiction to this constituted evangelic Tradition and the purity of the orthodox Faith and the Christian religion, or would seek to change anything by his opposing efforts, or would agree with those who undertake such a blasphemous venture."


    It is clear from this papal oath that a pope CAN lose the Faith and apostasize. He is not an absolute monarch, but a monarch subservient to Our Lord and His Holy Church. Therefore, he can teach false doctrine, make bad laws, and make bad decisions (e.g., excommunicating Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre).

    Let us not attribute powers to the man occupying the Chair of Peter which he does not possess.

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  62. To Ronald Devins,

    Now that you have read the Vatican II documents may I suggest that you read "The Rhine flows into the Tiber - a history of Vatican II" by Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, a respected
    journalist and historian who was a priest in full communion with the Church. 'Thorough and honest', 'balanced and factual', 'the best contemporary account', 'one alone
    stands out for its objectivity'; these are just a few examples of the profuse eulogies this book has received.

    Why did the book achieve such a credible and creditable result? One reason is that for the 281 days that the Council was in session Fr. Wiltgen interviewed two Council Fathers each day - that makes 562 Fathers. Another is that as head of the Council News Service he had access to all official correspondence, documents and working papers received by the Council Fathers from the Council's Secretariat.

    There are other reasons as well.

    Undoubtedly the most dramatic line in the whole book is on p. 232. "Pope Paul, realizing finally that he had been deceived, broke down and wept." Can you grasp the implications of that one line?

    You say that what the bishops did (presumably after the Council) is the real issue that needs addressing. But I say that what the bishops did during the Council to make the Holy Father break down and weep at is an even 'more real' issue, and if you don't address that first you will not be able to grapple with anything else.
    (To be continued)

    ReplyDelete
  63. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Anon at 11:17 wrote:

    "If only the Vatican 11 Church only capitulates, and more or less acknowledges that the Vatican 11 Church is in ruins, and the cause was the council itself, would the SSPX agree to such an arrangement."

    Anon, you are probably correct about the SSPX agreeing to an arrangement only if there is an acknowledgement that the Vll Church is in ruins, and the cause is the council itself. This is the heart, perhaps, of the problem. The SSPX has made conditions for reconciliation that are impossible for Rome to meet. This is because the Church since Vatican ll is not in ruins, as the SSPX and its followers believe. Certainly there has been a crisis in catechesis, and other problems, but is the "Vll church" in ruins? No, it is not. And the problems began long before Vll.

    The SSPX maintains its stand based on upholding, as examples, the worst abuses that have occurred in the Church since Vll. There's a word, which I can't now remember, for taking a position such as this.

    It also is continually repeated by SSPXers that there would be no TLM in the Church if not for Archbishop Lefebvre. But we don't really know that for sure. What if Archbishop Lefebvre had not ordained the four bishops in 1988, and had, instead, been obedient? What if, for example, he had submitted to what he felt was "unfair," regarding having not having a bishop or bishops provided by Rome for his fraternity? What if he had submitted, in humility, in obedience, in sacrifice, love for Our Lord, and the belief that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church? Surely, something good would have come from that.

    If the TLM is pleasing to God, as most of us believe it is, then it would have continued anyway. But it takes great faith, humility, and sacrifice to understand this.

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  64. Anonymous 15.01
    "Being Catholic is ... not a set of beliefs". Do you realize what you have said here? Well then, let's ditch the Creed for starters, then let's ditch the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Birth, The Assumption, you name it we'll ditch it! Then we can all be one ontological happy family together!

    Pardon me, thanks but no thanks.

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  65. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Ronald Devins is mistaken when he says,
    "Unlike the SSPX, they never claimed that the Pope and Councils were invalid. They never left the Church."

    First of all the FSSPX do not say that V2 was/is invalid. Factually speaking Bishop Fillay has stated that about 5% of V2 is problematic and needs clarification by the Pope post haste. V2 happened and is a valid council though with serious problems within its documents and by implementation. This is what the FSSPX state. They also do not say any of the conciliar popes are invalid popes. Perhaps you are confusing them with sedevacantists.

    Secondly, the FSSPX have never left the Church - this idea s patently false. I won't bother to quote the many Church authorities and sources stating that the FSSPX are perfectly Catholic, it is rather insulting to keep churning this over and over. The FSSPX are Catholic, though irregular, and I think justified before God. I thank God for them every day.

    As to St. Francis, he understood obedience but would never imperil his immortal soul. I dare say he would find the present chaos in the Church untenable with the faith of our fathers. I speak as a Third Order Franciscan. I left the SFO (modern Third Order) because they have become something quite different from what St. Francis intended.

    God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  66. "Perhaps there is an injustice, but if so, it would more likely be in the lack of firmer discipline upon the heretic rather than in the suspension of the disobedient and illicitly ordained priest".

    Perhaps??? You've got to be kidding and using such unnecessarily harsh terms against the Society priests is uncalled for in the context of the current discussions between Rome and the SSPX. When you continue to remind people that they are (1) disobedient and (2) illicitly ordained, you don't help things along IMO. Yet, the fact remains that were it not for the SSPX and groups that were born out of that organization, the TLM and traditional praxis would have long ago been but a distant memory.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "Being Catholic is ... not a set of beliefs". Do you realize what you have said here? Well then, let's ditch the Creed for starters, then let's ditch the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Birth, The Assumption, you name it we'll ditch it!

    Your conclusion do not follow from your premise. The fact that being Catholic is not mere intellectual agreement with a list of propositions does not require us to conclude that one may freely dispense with any or all teachings of the Catholic faith.

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  68. Jordanes,

    I was not engaging in a formal syllogism but using hyperbole to highlight the absurdity of a certain statement. Not every argument is a syllogism :) However, my 'argument' is not with you, but with Anonymous 15.01. You have extrapolated a certain meaning from what he/she said and that's that.

    A 'set of beliefs' is absolutely seminal to being a Catholic. The Sacrament of Baptism, which is the Sacrament that 'makes' one a Catholic, is only conferred after the Baptismal Promises have been affirmed and if the Baptismal Promises aren't a 'set of beliefs' I don't know what is. There is no 'ontology' without a 'set of beliefs'.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Mar:

    "Since when has the Church been a political entity?"

    Since Day One, although it's been losing political prestige and power for some time now. That, after all, is one of the SSPX's main concerns.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Mar, Anonymous correctly said:

    People are not Catholic because they are smart, or traditional, or progressive, or dumb or even personally holy. They are Catholic because they recieved a valid Baptism. Being Catholic is fundamentally an ontologocal condition, not a set of beliefs.

    He is right -- being Catholic is not fundamentally a set of beliefs.

    You incorrectly reasoned that this means one may freely dispense with Catholic teachings. "Hyperbole" is not the right word for your error.

    You are correct, however, that one would be wrong to describe the Church as a political entity. Not that politics doesn't go on in the Church, or that the Church doesn't deal with earthly politics as part of her mission, but that does mean such temporal concerns are anywhere close to the Church's real identity and nature.

    When you continue to remind people that they are (1) disobedient and (2) illicitly ordained, you don't help things along IMO.

    And in my opinion, we don't help things along by ignoring those things, especially when one attempts to compare the heretic priest Hans Kueng, a real person, with a hypothetical SSPX priest.

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  71. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Mar: An infant, who is incapable of believing or making the Baptismal promises, is although someone makes a promise in his place. Your view, taken strictly, would undermine the practice of infant baptism: a baptised four year old, with no understanding of the Creed, would not be a Catholic.

    I might be clearer if I emphasized the word 'ontological' -- I am talking about the indelible mark on the soul that Baptism makes. No amount of error can wipe that away. Once a Baptised Catholic, always a Baptised Catholic, no matter how far a person wanders intellectually or physically from the truth.

    My statements don't undermine the importance of doctrine, but rather flow from the doctine. And it is a mistake to exclude or downplay 'ontological talk' in these discussions, since the Church and her Sacraments are often explained in those terms. 'Transubstantiation' is also ontological talk.

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  72. Anonymous5:48 PM

    Jordanes;

    The FSSPX exist as an entity and is acknowledged as such by the Vatican from the Pope on down. Reference, the SP letter to the Bishops for example.

    There is no mention of late about the so called dissolution/suppression of the society by the NO bishop near Econe back in the day which you refer to.

    I would say that you have a biased view on these matters.

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  73. Why were they or are they disobedient? That is the question. Did they believe that they would be able to practice the Faith according to what Holy Mother Church has always held, taught and professed to be true in the Novus Ordo environment? Did they believe they would be incardinated by NO bishops and allowed to practice in the Traditional manner? Did they believe that Rome was simply waiting for ABL to pass on so that the Society would disintegrate and die on the vine following the death of their leader?

    Now, you may not believe this but I was told by my own NO bishop that the last statement above not only was true but was the intention of the Pope at that time, John Paul II. This was the same bishop who refused to allow the celebration of the TLM in the diocese and characterized a local traditional group (which grew out of the SSPX) as outside the Church because they would not drink of the modernist Kool-Aid and submit to an order to celebrate the new mass.

    Those are facts and, please God, He will see that Justice prevails for these holy and dedicated men and women whose only goal is to practice the Faith in the manner that it had always been practiced before the modernists went ballistic and changed things. I appeal to a higher authority, God Himself, to convince His Present Vicar on earth to administer Justice and do it without delay.

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  74. Anonymous5:53 PM

    To Anon 05 19:38:
    The word Catholic as originally used did not mean universal, as is now proposed, but was referred to the various "churches" or jurisdictions of Asia Minor that adhered to sound Church teaching. I think that it is in this sense that Fr. Pluger speaks to differentiate sound Catholic teaching to what is now taught post VII.
    To Amos Wang: Who has read VII documents? I have. It is pompous eclessiastical talk, self congratulatory and extremely naive, with an exaggerated optimism and adulation of the dignity of man, his scientific and technical accomplishments (Gaudium et Spes) and various other foolishness. The very BXVI has expressed the opinion that this document (GS) should not have been issued. The Abbè de Nantes has characterized VII as the "religion of man vs. the Religion of God".
    As to the "hermeneutics of continuity", the same BXVI has stated that Lumen Gentium corrected the Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX, that he argues was issued to counter the excesses of modernism after the French Revolution. The implication is that the SE was the reponse to a historical situation that is no longer existent. This ignores that there were three syllabus (see Iota Unum) in addition to Pius IX:
    those of Pius X and Pius XII, right before VII. These documents although not purporting to be infallible, express magisterial teaching in a very solemn and taxative way (be anathema!). So if we believed something pre-VII and now are asked to dismiss it, were we wrong then?
    The trick of the writings of VII is not what it states, but what it allows (see Christopher Ferrara's discussion of Sacrosantum Concilium).
    In summary, how can we understand the dilemma of an infallible ecumenical council versus solemn magisterial teaching of various Popes and Councils (the Council of Trent)? How can an infallible council correct another one?
    I do not know the answer, but to arrive at a definite response, we would have to know what went on in the conclave that elected Paul VI, which of course is secret. The Abbe de Nantes has expressed that the modernist clique that dominated the Council, elected PVI on the condition that he continue the Council summoned by John XXIII, who by some accounts was discouraged by the course that the Concilium was taking.
    If this is true, it seems that the Pope was sequestered by this clique and submitted to their exigencies.
    The foregoing would put into doubt the very validity of the Counci.
    CM

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  75. May I ask the "conservative" Catholics who recently have flocked to this blog:

    After (1) the entrenchment of the post-conciliar pedestrian Mass, stripped (as much as possible) of the language of sacrifice; (2)the structural destruction of the distinction of the ordained priesthood by the institutionalization of "collaborative lay ministry" and the subsequent "extraordinary ministers" of everything except offering Holy Mass and the Penitential Sacraments (3)altar girls; (4) the admixture of modernist theology throughout seminary curricula and the resultant dumbing down of ordained priests.....

    Tell me....just what is it that you're "CONSERVING"?

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  76. Jordanes,

    You say that Anon. correctly said: They are Catholic because they recieved a valid Baptism.

    And I say: Absolutely. And before they received a valid Baptism they affirmed the Baptismal Promises. And the Baptismal Promises are a set of beliefs.

    As to my hyperbole, which you call 'error', have you ever heard of the word 'irony'? I think you have because sometimes you write "sarcasm off" after a comment that
    you have made. I did no such thing as saying that one may freely dispense with Catholic teachings - I was being ironic. If you can't tell the difference well that's
    that.

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  77. Anonymous6:40 PM

    Alright Jordanes,

    Let us compare Fr Kung with a real flesh and blood FSSPX priest: Fr Kenneth Novak.
    I have been to many Masses that Fr Novak has offered and heard him preach on everything that the Church has always and everywhere taught.
    To the best of my knowledge I have never seen Fr Novak vary from the rubrics of Holy Mass.
    What is so bad and disobedient about a priest like this?
    Now I do not know if Fr Kung abuses the rubrics of Mass when he offers it, but I do know that he has taught and adheres to heresy.
    Of course, as validly ordained priests they both confect the Blessed Sacrament when they use the correct matter, form and intent, but why is one priest suspended from offering Mass [fr Novak] and one is not [fr Kung]

    Ontologically, what has Fr Novak done wrong in becoming a priest?
    In other words, and let us get to the bottom of the matter here, why were the FSSPX, aside from a couple priests, declared suspended?
    What did they honestly and tangibly do wrong to endanger mens souls of hell-fire?
    What?

    Dan Hunter

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  78. Anonymous7:29 PM

    Sean asked, "Tell me....just what is it that you're conserving?"

    Is it really a matter of obligation for the faithful to "conserve" the Church? What is it that we, as Catholics, are obligated to do?
    Firstly, to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. In professing love for God, we also love His ministers here on earth, even if they are flawed or in error. We can correct them if we have the humility to do so charitably. If not, then we need to remain silent.

    If we witness things that are going on in the Church which go against Church teaching, then we can try, in humility, to correct them. Things such as altar girls, extraordinary ministers, collaborative lay ministry, and the like, while not keeping with tradition, do not go against the teachings of the Church. I am fortunate to attend a diocesan Mass where these things don't exist, but if I had to attend parish where they exist, I would have to work hard, in prayer and sacrifice, to try to change it. Not fun, and not easy. But it would probably be good for my soul, if done in a spirit of humility and patience.

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  79. I said: Since the Catholic Church suppressed the SSPX, there is canonically no such thing as the SSPX -- the SSPX does exist, of course, but since it is not an approved fraternity, it is not in right relationship with the Church and thus is not Catholic properly speaking, even though its members are Catholics.

    Someone replied: The FSSPX exist as an entity and is acknowledged as such by the Vatican from the Pope on down. Reference, the SP letter to the Bishops for example.

    Yes, as I said, the SSPX does exist.

    Just not as a canonically recognised, regular Catholic group. Summorum Pontificum does not recognise the SSPX as canonically regular and endorsed by Holy Mother Church.

    There is no mention of late about the so called dissolution/suppression of the society by the NO bishop near Econe back in the day which you refer to.

    So what?

    I would say that you have a biased view on these matters.

    That's nice, but you have not shown that I am wrong.

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  80. Brian8:00 PM

    Jordanes,
    I am having trouble following your point:

    You quote, Being Catholic is fundamentally an ontologocal condition, not a set of beliefs.

    And state, He is right -- being Catholic is not fundamentally a set of beliefs.

    Earlier you wrote
    It is not at all apparent that Hans Kueng is in full communion with anything or anyone but himself, unless we count "communion' with hell."

    Are you saying that Kueng is a heretic who is not in communion with the Church but rather is in "communion with hell;" but, nevertheless, is still fundamentally in the ontologocal condition of being Catholic?

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  81. Anonymous8:02 PM

    "That's nice, .."

    Really?
    How is that nice?

    Martin.

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  82. Anonymous8:03 PM

    Comparisons between priests are not relevant. The whole SSPX = good because of NO abuses is not a logical argument. It would be nice to hear from an SSPX spokesperson who could discuss their position without reference to these arguments (perhaps a commenter here can suggest even a single instance of this type of address since 1988).

    Yes, it would be nice to study closely the VII documents and revisit works like Fr. Wiltgen's and Iota Unum; however, this has been done for the last 40 years. Some conclude that the Pope is legitimate others conclude that the seat is vacant; but the SSPX live as if those two positions can be reconciled. They cannot. They live a lie.

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  83. Mar, I don't feel like playing your game today. What you said was neither hyperbolic nor ironic -- unless you were being sarcastic or were parodying a position with which you did not agree, what you said was simply wrong. It simply does not follow that because adherence to a set of beliefs is not the essence of being Catholic, therefore one may dispense with Catholic teachings.

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  84. Ontologically, what has Fr Novak done wrong in becoming a priest?

    He received ordination from someone who has no permission from the Church to ordain. The Church did not call him to ordination (that is, he did not confirm his vocation with his Mother), but he was ordained anyway.

    In other words, and let us get to the bottom of the matter here, why were the FSSPX, aside from a couple priests, declared suspended?

    For receiving Holy Orders illicitly from bishops who have been told by the Church not to ordain anyone.

    What did they honestly and tangibly do wrong to endanger mens souls of hell-fire? What?

    Illicit ordination attacks the integrity of the Church's magisterial hierarchy, weakening her credibility and introducing confusion into the minds of believers and unbelievers.

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  85. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Jordanes,

    Maybe my question should have been: why was this Society that ordained men to the Catholic priesthood, apparently unjustly suspended?
    Aside, from, or along with the "Because the Church said so" reasoning, what actual wrong did Archbishop Lefebvre commit to have this happen?
    Should the good bishop not have ordained priests, but instead leave these men in an uncertain limbo after 6 years of seminary?
    What should have become of these seminarians?
    Should they have been ordained by another bishop who would incardinate them into a diocese where they would most likely have been persecuted for adhering to everything the Church teaches and barred from practicing their ministry and offering the only Catholic Mass that they had been taught to offer?
    Just wondering.
    Dan Hunter

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  86. Louis9:39 PM

    Jordanes,as a non-Catholic (irrelevantly subjected to a Catholic infant baptism without the knowledge or consent of anyone in my family) I assure you that the ontological significance of baptism is no less a belief of Catholics than a person's being Jewish by having a Jewish mother is a belief of Jews.No one belongs to a religion without believing in it!

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  87. Anonymous11:29 PM

    "May I ask the "conservative" Catholics who recently have flocked to this blog..."

    Dear Sean,

    "Conservative" Catholics is a term usually given to groups like Opus Dei and EWTN. I am not sure to whom you are referring in this particular comment box.

    The only flocking that is going on here in Rorate Caeli land is that some Traditional Catholics are getting tired of the pro-SSPX and pro-Sedevacantist domination of this blog. Perhaps that makes you uncomfortable.

    The sad part is that Fr. Demets of the FSSP has his name displayed on the "front page" of the blog. I wonder if he knows how the FSSP are treated "behind his back".

    Rorate Caeli is a great source for news, no doubt; however, readers must recognize the pattern: article about the great SSPX followed by an article about the terrible NO abuses (or the betrayed FSSR, ICRSS, or FSSP). It is a classic case of manufacturing consent (but I am sure the moderator will let this comment through).

    As far as what is being conserved by non-SSPX and non-SSPV Traditional Catholics, for example, it is the entirety of Catholic faith...including submission to a legitimate Pope and respect for both Keys of the Kingdom (two pretty important parts of Tradition).

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  88. Anonymous11:53 PM

    Dan Hunter, did Archbishop Lefebvre ordain the four bishops because he was primarily concerned about his seminarians? Would he have been willing to incur excommunication just for that?

    To my knowledge, the Archbishop requested a bishop(s) a year or two before the actual consecrations took place. But the Vatican was slow in responding to the request. Then, when the Vatican said they would provide a bishop, the Archbishop was worried about the orthodoxy of whomever was to be provided (as bishop).

    What is certain, however, is that Archbishop Lefebvre wanted his fraternity of priests to continue after the Archbishop left this world, and bishops would be needed for this.

    Here's my question: does an Archbishop have an intrinsic or legal right to ordain bishops without permission, just because he believes he needs to do so? My understanding of how the heirarchy works is that permission MUST be given from a superior before consecrations can take place. No matter what the reason is for why bishops are needed, there must ALWAYS be permission. Even if it is deemed "unfair," that permission is not given, this still does not justify ordaining priests as bishops without a mandate.

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  89. Anonymous1:07 AM

    Anon,

    I was referring to the suspension of the FSSPX that occured 12 years,[1976] before the excommunications, [1988].
    Dan Hunter

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  90. M. A.2:11 AM

    "Should the good bishop not have ordained priests, but instead leave these men in an uncertain limbo after 6 years of seminary?
    What should have become of these seminarians?"

    Dan, one only has to look at Abbe De Nantes' community to see what would have happened to those seminarians: They'd still be seminarians!

    The Abbe De Nantes had as clear a vision as that of Archbishop Lefevbre in seeing the diabolical disorientation of Churchmen in high places, the disorientation of those who set the church in "auto-demolition" mode. But he chose a different path. He chose to remain obedient. Now he is dead and his seminarians are still seminarians, aging men who remain virtually ineffective in the great combat to save souls. Rome likes it that way; they are easily ignored!

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  91. Anonymous8:49 AM

    What person contributing comments here or what cleric of any rank in a regular situation in the entire Catholic Church in over forty years has been able to get Rome to appropriatley discuss the problems attributable to Vatican II? The key word is appropriately, meaning in light of what Rome has consistently taught. The view from here appears to be zero.

    Now that dastardly group that goes by the name of the SSPX has been able to do it but they are not in a regular situation. For them to be in a regular situation they must accept Vatican II first. By that way of reckoning, I doubt that St. Pius V, St. Pius X, or Pope Pius XII would have passed muuster to be regular.

    I would bet that it bothers a fair number of commentators here that the SSPX has been the only group to get the Roman authorities to the table. And I don't believe the Sedevacantists are either happy or indifferent to the situation.

    Awaiting the return fire,

    A.M. LaPietra

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  92. Anonymous 06 October 2010 19:29 writes:

    “Is it really a matter of obligation for the faithful to "conserve" the Church?.... Things such as altar girls, extraordinary ministers, collaborative lay ministry, and the like, while not keeping with tradition, do not go against the teachings of the Church.”

    My response:

    You fail to grasp the vital reality that grace builds on nature. Where the visible structures of the Church fail to protect and convey Her doctrine, it breaks the ability of the soul to learn Truth through the senses. Therefore, this fracture between the supernatural realities and the natural instruments which make them “incarnate” to the world endangers the One True Faith itself.

    By all means, pray for the abuses to end as well and for those who perpetrate them. However, there is no virtue in remaining silent in the face of Modernism’s undermining of the Faith.

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  93. Jordanes,

    'Far from playing a game' I have repeatedly explained my position to you. 'Far from playing a game' I have repeatedly explained my position to you. Yet you continue to accuse me and to insist on misconstruing what I say.

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  94. Anonymous1:45 PM

    IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN:

    Hummes is gone. It has been announced this morning Alleluia! The curia now belongs entirely to Benedict XVI. The Red Star and the Politburo no longer have a voice at Rome.

    P.K.T.P.

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  95. "VATICAN CITY, 7 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

    - Appointed Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, as prefect of the same congregation. He succeeds Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit."

    Archbishop Piacenza is a VERY GOOD friend of tradition. How good? Let's just say that I'm elated.

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  96. John McFarland2:27 PM

    Having committed traditionalist bishops is of course better than not having them as a practical matter.

    But that is not the issue. The issue is whether Archbishop Lefebvre was within his rights to conclude that given the dreadful state of the hierarchy, he could and should consecrate.

    It seems to me quite obvious that he made the right decision, but that is certainly not self-evident. Life is full of judgment calls, and this was a crucial one. That is what the natural and supernatural virtues of prudence are all about, and they were virtues that the Archbishop had in abundance.

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  97. Anonymous2:38 PM

    Sean, thanks for your response of 11:28. I must reply that the visible structure of the Church has not failed to protect and convey her doctrine. That there have been Catholics in the visible structure who have been weak in their duty in teaching is true, but it is not system-wide that this has occurred. Otherwise, there would be no Catholics who understood their faith.

    After I stopped attending an SSPX chapel, I was surprised that that were so many devout Catholics outside of traditionalism. That could not happen if the Church had failed in its duty. The reason I stated that we should remain silent if we cannot be charitable when attempting to correct an error is that the recipient of the correction is not going to listen at all if we are uncharitable.

    I myself wrote to the Vatican last year to complain that our diocesan bishop was celebrating Mass in a Protestant Church, but I had to complain in a charitable manner. Thanks be to God, our new bishop is very devout and even more supportive of the TLM than our retiring bishop.

    I must also say that it is wrong to leave the visible structure of the Church because there are problems. Wouldn't be better to stay and help, through prayer, kindness, sacrifice, and a witness to Truth?

    After all, why did Our Lord allow Vll to happen? There must have been a reason. I can't imagine that leaving the visible structure of the Church would be one of them.

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  98. Anonymous2:55 PM

    "I would bet that it bothers a fair number of commentators here that the SSPX has been the only group to get the Roman authorities to the table."

    It should not bother too many commentators here on Rorate Caeli.

    I think it was St. Francis who said something like "Preach always, by words if necessary".

    Bringing Rome to the table to dialogue is the least likely way to bring about any change. Toiling in the devastated vineyard is more likely to bear fruit.

    The SSPV, SSPX, and FSSP all share the same goal ("to restore all things in Christ") but have chosen to pursue it in different ways. What exactly has the FSSP compromised on? How can the SSPX claim entire fidelity to Tradition while eschewing two key parts of it? How did the SSPV get a hold of the Third Secret without anybody knowing?

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  99. Oliver3:10 PM

    The sedevacantist perspective is no different to the current SSPX one. Rome is not going to revert for some time, if ever according to Bp. Williamson. The difference between the two is about whether one should associate with the conciliar replacement whilst practising the old religion. Hardliners say no; softliners keep open a link and suffer the confusion.

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  100. " Where the visible structures of the Church fail to protect and convey Her doctrine.."

    The complex question of embodiment particularly with the liturgy is essential where this point is concerned.

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  101. Let's face it - the SSPX is an itch that begs to be scratched and its position vis-a-vis status and faculties allows it to function in a much more insistent way than the regularized orders.

    That is why the Holy See agreed to the discussions IMO and why the excommunications were revoked. Do you believe we would be seeing any of the moves towards Tradition, small though they may be, in the last several years were it not for the SSPX question which labors in the mind of the Holy Father? I, for one, do not think so. Let us pray that the "itch will soon be scratched" to the edification of both sides.

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  102. Oliver and my Anonymous Friend:

    It isn't a matter of "hardliner" vs. "softliner;" nor is it a matter of leaving the visible structure of the Church (you completely misunderstood me there). It's a matter of refusing to live amidst intellectual and visual contradiction. Both of you underestimate the spiritually debilitating effect that relentless contradiction has on one's own rational soul and on the souls of millions of others.

    Contradiction is at the root of many kinds of emotional displacement -- especially that of anger. It is the reason why Catholics of tradition often sound angry. Rational anger is the appropriate response to contradiction. Many, however, have not the capability of sorting through their emotions utilizing the proper reflection mechanisms of the intellect. This leads all too often to spiritual chaos. Hence the tragedy.

    In this crisis, however, the intellect often produces a rational fear and, as St. Thomas the ultimate psychologist teaches, fear drives anger. It is the type of anger that the Creator has provided to promote and aid the defense of oneself and one's loved ones in the face of acute danger. But there is no place to put this anger. Railing at the mean-spirited antics of the local bishop and the clowns in his chancery is an exercise in frustration and, in the end, weakens oneself and probably the Church as well.

    So, some of us have decided to do exactly what you, Anonymous counsel: to pray and perform penance for our own souls and for the good of the Church. We will not do it, however, in the environment where intellectual and visual contradictions and disconnects surround and overwhelm us. The SSPX provides an oasis from the plethora of those evils.

    Does it take a toll? Yes. None of us enjoys being estranged from the Bishop of Rome. The contradiction of trying to preserve the traditional Faith while being estranged from the Bishop of Rome is its own source of anger. But here is a legitimate case for employing the moral doctrine of the lesser of two evils.

    The difference between us and those who profess fidelity to the Office of St. Peter while doing everything possible to undermine the traditional Faith is that we want PETER TO BE AND ACT LIKE PETER. The others want him to essentially abdicate that which is his Divine and historical mandate: to pass on the Faith he has received, and which has always and everywhere been believed.

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  103. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Sean, I appreciate your response of 16:34, and have to say that it is one of the most thoughtful and honest posts by an adherent of the SSPX that I've seen in a long time. I hadn't before thought about the difficulties of some Catholics in dealing with the confusion associated with contradiction. I get that now, I think.

    I myself recently dealt with a similar situation when, in order to meet my Sunday obligation, had to attend an NO Mass in Branson, MO, while on vacation. I had no expectations that the Mass would be anything like the TLM, but I wasn't prepared for the fact that there were altar girls there, which I'd never before witnessed. In order to stifle the anger and anxiety growing in me as the Mass began, I asked Our Lord and Our Lady to help me to not get upset. And it worked! By the end of the Mass, I actually felt sorry for those little girls, who obviously did not want to be there. And even more surprising - the sermon was actually quite good! I try to think of St. Francis and the leper in these situations.

    We cannot deal with these sorts of things alone, on our own. We absolutely have to seek divine help; it is essential.

    I understand that many want to seek an oasis in order practice their faith, but as Catholics, are we not called upon to sacrifice comfort and, instead, embrace, with love, discomfort for the sake of Him that made us, who loves us, and suffered on the Cross for us?

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  104. My Dear Anonymous Interlocutor of 17:36

    You only had to face the situation in Branson once. Imagine having nowhere to go week after week -- which is the situation of the majority of Catholics.

    To appeal to the grace of Our Lord to assist us against the contradictory dysfunctions of those who govern His Church is too much akin to the "Me & Jesus" routine of Protestantism.

    Those who govern the post-conciliar Church can very easily disrupt our Catholic conscience by a false appeal to obedience. They want us passively or actively to participate in the destruction of the Church we love by being quiet about the abuses we witness in our parish life, and participating in the support of our parish school and catechetical programs, RCIA, etc. etc. ad infinitum -- all though which heterodoxy is effectively disseminated. Our Lord and His Church (and those who hold the offices which He established for its faithful transmission of His Revelation) are NOT easily compartmentalized in the mind -- because they were never meant to be. That is why the SSPX bishops offer us the opportunity to respond in obedience to shepherds which, though unregular by the legal standards of canon law, work to preserve the Faith. If what they teach is not the authentic Faith, then we have another problem.

    It's so difficult with limited space and time to convey all of the nuance which surrounds this discussion. But I think you understand the essential point I'm attempting to make: the soul is meant for the peace which Truth imparts. We are not disembodied creatures. We are as the good God has created us to be. The Church was never intended to be something that was our duty "to rise above" regardless of the mass apostasy which surrounds us. If we do not register the normal reactions of Catholics living in constant fear for the survival of their faith (which is meant to be safeguarded by the validly appointed shepherds of the Church -- not jeopardized by them) and act toward spiritual self-preservation, the consequences will endanger our salvation.

    God bless you...and may we meet in heaven.

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  105. Anonymous8:15 PM

    I agree completely with M.A. 07 02:11
    If some on this blog think that various commentaries are off the mark regarding the orthodoxy of VII and of Popes Paul VI, JPII and BXVI, they have not read the Book of Accusations by the Abbe de Nantes against the first two Popes quoted above and the commentaries on some opinions of BXVI, besides his rebuke of several VII documents which he calls openly heretic, plus calling PVI and JPII heretics and schismatic. Not only that but he defied the CDF to accuse him of heresy or schism, and they refrained from complying.
    I also concur with him as to the inefficacy of his position, by which he obeyed his bishop orders to withdraw from exercising his priestly faculties and his seminarians remained such without any hope of being ordained. They simply left the Abbe in the freezer waiting for his death, that recently took place with the obvious purpose that his movement would die with him.
    That is why I agree with the blogger's opinion that the same would have happened with the SSPX had Archbishop Levebre waited for permission to ordain bishops.
    I also think that the FSSP and the Institute of Christ the King also run the risk that they be sidelined in the hope of death by attrition.
    C.M.

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  106. Anonymous11:51 PM

    Pius XII, Address to Italian jurists, Dec. 6, 1953:

    "The affirmation: 'religious and moral error must always be impeded, when it is possible, because toleration of them is in itself absolutely immoral,' is NOT valid absolutely and unconditionally . . .
    The duty of repressing moral and religious error cannot therefore be an ultimate norm of action. It must be subordinate to higher and more general norms, which in some circumstances permit, and even perhaps seem to indicate as the better policy, toleration of error to promote a greater good."

    "Toleration of moral and doctrinal error may, then, be permitted as God permits evil in the world, if the advantages -- such as the good accruing to the community of nations -- outweigh the evil effects." -- 'The Christian Life' by Francis L.B. Cunningham, O.P., Priory Press, Dubuque 1959 (PRE-Vatican II Theology textbook)

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  107. Anonymous12:03 AM

    1) The dual charisms of indefectibility and infallibilty rest with the See of Rome and the Bishop of Rome (not with any errant prelate or theologian).

    2) Fatima is not de fide, nor does it -- or any apparition -- possess any authority to bind our conscience.

    3) The Church has the right to change pastoral strategy, change disciplinary laws, and alter the liturgy as it sees fit. This is not legal positivism. It's an ontological reality of the Church's very existence.

    4) The decree Haec Sancta is a fundamental part of the Church's tradition (a tradition the SSPX purports to be loyal to) -- and it explicitly states that the highest authority in the Church rests with an ecumenical council, which Vatican II was.

    From Haec Sancta:

    "First it declares that, legitimately assembled in the holy Spirit, constituting a general council and representing the catholic church militant, it has power immediately from Christ; and that everyone of whatever state or dignity, even papal, is bound to obey it in those matters which pertain to the faith, the eradication of the said schism and the general reform of the said church of God in head and members.

    Next, it declares that anyone of whatever condition, state or dignity, even papal, who contumaciously refuses to obey the past or future mandates, statutes, ordinances or precepts of this sacred council or of any other legitimately assembled general council, regarding the aforesaid things or matters pertaining to them, shall be subjected to well-deserved penance, unless he repents, and shall be duly punished, even by having recourse, if necessary, to other supports of the law."

    So obedience to an ecumenical council is part of the Church's tradition . . . so much for the SSPX preserving tradition . . .

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  108. Pace pro- and anti-SSPX commenters—as well as anyone here who is indifferent to it, if such a critter exists—it needs saying once and for all that describing the fraternity as being outside the "visible structure of the Church" is true only in the narrowest, most literal sense. In any larger sense it is utter bosh in some cases, a deliberate calumny in many more.

    One of the SSPX's most striking characteristics is its conscious conformity with as many aspects of the post-V2 discipline and faux magisterium of the conciliar church as it possibly can conform with. (Father Cekada and Bishop Sanborn are only two of the many who have censured the society for this "inconsistency"—in certain ways not an unfair characterization.) Only with regard to matters that impinge on doctrine and on doctrine alone does the SSPX withdraw obedience and conformity, and it does so for the salvation of souls.

    Just to take a few homely examples, note how the SSPX does not require its faithful to reject the current liturgical calendar's treatment of holy-day-Mass-attendance obligations (if such a word can be used with a straight face of so nondemanding a set of requirements). To the best of my knowledge, the society encourages adherence to the old calendar's guidelines but does not demand them under pain of sin. Nor does it similarly expect Friday abstinence from meat or even a three-hour abstinence from food and drink before communion. The dislike of many, if not most, SSPX priests for the 1962 missal has never been a secret. Still, given what the society sees as the legitimacy of the missal's propagating authority, it has cast its lot with this seriously flawed but not doctrinally unsound publication.

    In contrast, it's no secret that a great many Motu Trads—some of whom regard the society priests and faithful as SV'ers who are simply too dishonest or cowardly to accept the label—consider refusal to observe Friday abstinence a deal breaker. Who's calling whom an outsider?

    The list could go on almost indefinitely. The point, however, transcends particulars. The SSPX is as truly Catholic as the twelfth-century Carthusians were, and they are so in a world where the attacks on the Faith from within would have flabbergasted Saint Bernard and his monks.

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  109. Bruno T.O.cart2:54 AM

    "In any larger sense it is utter bosh in some cases, a deliberate calumny in many more."

    It is nothing of the sort to say that the SSPX do not have jurisdiction and do not submit to the Holy Father as Catholics are bound to do.

    This has nothing to do with the laity and the need for a nearby oasis (there are no lay SSPX). This is simply a discussion resulting from Fr. Pfluger's interview. In the interview, Fr. Pfluger speaks like he is outside of the Church (judging things). His interview does not resemble your explanation. The SSPX withdraws obedience over jurisdiction (which is not doctrinal). The conformity of which you speak is not the issue.

    "Motu Trads"? - I thought that we were all supposed to give credit to the SSPX for the Motu (along with everything else good about Tradition today). Are you trying to insult Traditional Catholics by their appreciation for SP?

    "Who's calling whom an outsider?" Read the interview (along with any official SSPX statement). It is the SSPX who act and speak like outsiders.

    If the SSPX can be truly Catholic without jurisdiction and submission to the Holy Father then of what value is the Vicar of Christ?

    The SSPX are as truly Catholic as St. Bernard was truly a Carthusian.

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  110. To Anonymous 08 October, 2010 00:03,

    Re Haec Sancta

    1. Haec Sancta was promulgated by the notorious anti-pope John XXIII at the Council of Constance (1414-18).

    2. Haec Sancta is frequently used - including our own times - as an argument against Pastor Aeternus which was issued by Vatican I and which defined four doctrines about the primacy of Peter.

    3. The 'Council of Constance' was in fact *two* Councils (or *two* separate parts of a Council). Both were convoked by John XXIII. The first, although it styled itself as 'ecumenical', was not considered such by the true Pope of the day. The second was ratified by Pope Martin V and was recognised as 'ecumenical'.

    4. Haec Sancta was promulgated at the *first* (or the *first* part of the) Council of Constance, that is, the 'non-ecumenical' one.

    So much for trying to beat the SPPX about the head with Haec Sancta. Dodgy, to say the least.

    Footnote: The reason Pope Paul VI broke down and wept at Vatican II had much to do with the issue of the primacy of Peter and led directly to the Nota Praevia.

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  111. A propos a set of beliefs these ontological Catholics don't seem too concerned:

    http://sandberghans.blogspot.com/2010/09/swedish-bishop-we-are-building-church.html

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  112. Quite right, Bruno. It was very careless of me to have typed Bernard for Bruno. Mille scuse.

    None of your other comments carry similar weight, however. For example, I am by no means the only Trad that considers SP a less than laudable document, to put it mildly. Indeed, I am not alone in thinking it more a betrayal of Tradition than a buttress of it.

    I wonder, incidentally, whether you are aware of Bishop Fellay's stated view of SP, a view far friendlier than my own and one that is ipso facto the official SSPX position on the document. (Look it up if you don't. It shouldn't take you more than a minute or so to find it on the SSPX site.) Its generosity of spirit, I believe, shows your comments to be, shall we say, rather less informed by accuracy than they might be.

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  113. Reading some of the remarks made by some here, as elsewhere, concerning the SSPX, what I can state is absolute gratitude for the sacrifice of Archbishop Lefebvre and his wonderful priests who gave my parents and eventually me a traditional sanctuary away from the tyrannical liberal modernist brouhaha of demented un-Catholic liturgies which continue unabated and undisciplined; de facto schismatic presbyters and their supporting but misled bishops who both then and now mock The Roman Catholic Faith and remain undisciplined; abomination after abomination and a feeling of total desolation at seeing churches ransacked; tradition lampooned; monasteries & convents we had known become the haunts of the amoralists, the relativists and young homosexuals and lesbians which has still not abated and most of which has never been disciplined. All the while noting how the three notable popes of the post-conciliar period have pandered to this complete and utter disaster which has resulted in a new church of liturgical, financial & moral chaos that has precious little in common with the pre-conciliar Catholic Church.
    Laudamus Te! Benedicimus Te! for this fine Confraternity which has continued to propagate the traditional Roman Catholic Faith and fearlessly give a definite body to the opposition against the disgraceful protestantising shambles represented by the NO and its post-conciliar pastoral and liturgical paradigms. It has also sheltered many of us from becoming sedevacantist when to all intents and purposes it has often appeared as though St Peter’s Chair was indeed vacant.
    Some need to understand this. It is not an ecclesiastical era for the faint-hearted nor for those who strain gnats but swallow camels. These are, as a cardinal once said, unusual times when the church no longer seems capable of justice. One can argue the finer points of doctrine as much as one desires but the SSPX & other independent traditional Catholics, have sounded the tocsin – danger to the Faith! We had better believe it.

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  114. LeonG said in part...

    "Reading some of the remarks made by some here, as elsewhere, concerning the SSPX, what I can state is absolute gratitude for the sacrifice of Archbishop Lefebvre and his wonderful priests"...

    Thank you, Leon, for expressing what I believe is the wonderful contribution of the Archbishop and the Society to the salvation of souls in our time. May it please God that at some point in time His Vicar on earth would reward them for their actions rather than criticizing them.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Anonymous12:45 PM

    The fear of contamination the entire traditionalist movement (SSPX and otherwise) exhibits towards The Church is so very judaic. It's as if ritual purity exists only in the traditionalist milieu -- and that milieu has become engaged in a recursive paranoia which has increased over time. Fear of the world has locked the traditionalist into a praxis of external ritual that has eclipsed the simplicity of The Gospel.

    Say what you want about Hans Kung or Pierre Teilhard de Chardin -- at least they were never foolish enough to seek consecration outside The Church or to create a static, inert parallel magisterium by such action.

    ReplyDelete
  116. I commented yesterday, but it did not appear. Perhaps it is in line waiting. Could you please delete this comment if it is a duplicate? An anonymous commentator wrote, "Bringing Rome to the table to dialogue is the least likely way to bring about any change. Toiling in the devastated vineyard is more likely to bear fruit." I want to say, as a dedicated long-time pro-life activist, nothing is further from the truth! It is the 5% toxic teaching in Vatican II on 'freedom of conscience' that enables Catholic politicians to defect from Catholic teaching. Nancy Pelosi cited her responsibility to maintain such freedom in the civic arena by her vote, on Meet the Press two years ago. Joe Biden the same. I'm sure Senator Durbin--I know what kind of Catholic he was raised because I went to school with him-the same. This month a Philippine politician named Santiago cited Vatican II in her support for the absolutely devastating HR bill there that President Aquino traded Obama for, for aid. Vatican II is absolutely all over pro-life work. We cannot win with the teaching of Vatican II in place.

    Catholics fund and volunteer at 'crisis pregnancy centers' all over the US. Thousands of ladies fold baby clothes and empty change donation bottles shaped like baby bottles and give a chunk of their social security--and for what? They believe that Catholicism is being taught in those centers. But not. Women who need Christ more than anything else in the world--get baby clothes and secular 'counseling.' The women folding the clothes on the volunteer side think the clients are getting Catholicism. But thanks to the ecumenism of Vatican II, they are not. It is that teaching that hamstrings all our apostolic efforts! We no longer teach Christ, we teach 'goodness' and 'kindness.' Etc. Virtues acceptable to the secular state that five percent of Vatican II endorsed. I've been in the counseling rooms. No one is invited to the actual Catholic Church or to receive the real sacramental help She has for them.

    But you know what? That commentator wasn't talking about actually winning anything down there in the vineyard, just toiling. I really have to doubt he's ever set foot in one. Anyone with a brain can see the connection!

    Nothing matters more in the vineyard than fixing Vatican II. Fix it! Please fix it!

    ReplyDelete
  117. To Anonymous 12.45,

    Judging by the hornet's nest that has been stirred up in some blogs by the very mention of their name, inert is the last thing you could call the SPPX - more like a catalyst.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Anonymous 08 October 12:45 said:

    "The fear of contamination the entire traditionalist movement (SSPX and otherwise) exhibits towards The Church is so very judaic. It's as if ritual purity exists only in the traditionalist milieu"

    That is unfair. It's not a fear of contamination; it's fear of the spiritual effects of contradiction (as I tried to explain above). If the post-conciliar Church hierarchy were truly concerned about the welfare of those Catholics with the redundant label of "traditional," they would be true shepherds and attempt to demonstrate for us the resolution to the perceived contradictions which have been articulated for the past 40 years. Instead, we are victimized by their unrelenting political agenda of reconciliation with the intellectual vision of the Enlightenment. It would seem that they are most content to have us marginalized because then they don't need to even acknowledge our questions (let alone attempt to address them in this charitable "civilization of love" they claim to be building).

    Lastly, what you refer to as "ritual" is not peripheral when it comes to matters of faith. Your tone indicates disparagement of the very word. Go back and reread "Leviticus" and "Numbers" and let me know how the Lord reveals His attitude toward ritual; ritual is vital to His Self-revelation and unveiling. This is the reason why Catholics of tradition are unrelenting in their commitment to the ancient Mass: because it protects and promulgates the Faith in its fullness -- in a way that the New Mass cannot.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Brainless Loser5:01 PM

    "But you know what? That commentator wasn't talking about actually winning anything down there in the vineyard, just toiling. I really have to doubt he's ever set foot in one. Anyone with a brain can see the connection!"

    This is not very kind. You do not know this commentator well enough to say such unkind words about his/her efforts in the vineyard of the Lord. It is implied in the word toil that one seeks to gain fruit out of the work.

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that all the toiling that the pro-life movement has done, to date, has been worthless because politicians refer to VII documents in order to crush the pro-life effort. This is only partly true. Who can deny the great fruit of a single baby being born through the efforts of single pro-life activist.

    In the realm of Traditional Catholicism, who will deny the great fruit of a NO priest deciding to be trained in the TLM and then offering it in his parish. A few loaves and fish, perhaps.

    But this was not really the issue. The original comment was an attempt to illustrate, once again, how the SSPX should be considered the cream of the Traditional crop because they, ALONE, have been able to "bring Rome to the table". This comment was more deserving of your label "brainless". The subsequent comment by the person you called brainless simply was meant to highlight that there are other ways to foster a restoration of tradition.

    Nevertheless, your pro-life analogy is helpful because it illustrates for us what might have been if the FSSP had not decided to remain faithful to the Holy Father. Can you imagine if all the pro-lifers decided to stay on the outside judging things and relying on doctrinal talks alone!! All those millions of baby souls that have been saved by toiling pro-lifers would have been sacrificed in the name of "talks" with politicians. Some toil, some talk.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Dear Brainless,

    You are so quite right--I didn't mean to imply that fellow was brainless, but that he lacked experience in the vineyard, to say that problems are better solved there than in any kind of 'talks.' I did get a tad carried away, but please forgive for it, winter is coming when the wind on that abortion site corner is particularly bitter. We'd like to make some progress toward criminalizing abortion, when it bites.

    But my point stands totally: the 5%Vatican II 'problems' that must be talked out make out work virtually moot. We save a few lives every month and lose about three thousand, if I have that figure down. We've lost fifty million over all, that one's easy to remember, and why? Because Catholic politicians are using the toxic doctrine of Vatican II to wiggle out of voting Catholic.

    And out of the lives we save from immediate physical death, whose mothers come to the crisis pregnancy center and get car seats and clothes, we offer none of them, whether baptized or not, from whatever background, nothing but material goods and a Christmas party that stars Santa Claus. Even those babies we save, in other words, we leave in desperate spiritual circumstances, and I mean really desperate at times. When we could make instruction in the Faith as part of the deal, a very natural and loving part of the deal, which of course it is.

    But dear heart, we don't, because of Vatican II's few little, rather important, changes. Now, the math just doesn't work out. Yes, Catholics are out there (a very fair proportion of them SSPX)saving a few lives. That's not winning. We are losing millions, and souls, too.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Anonymous6:24 PM

    I agree with the bloggers on this site who have expressed that the Church is in ruins, both morally and doctrinally. With the scandals of pedophile and homesexual bishops and priests, plus the doctrinal errors of VII, the situation nowadays is similar to that of St. Francis, when our Lord appeared and requested of him to rebuild his Church.
    If anyone has any doubts, please access the following commentary by Msgr. Brunero Gerardini on the situation in the Church that appeared in the DICI site:
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:_vebk-5f6u4J:www.dici.org/en/documents/msgr-brunero-gherardinis-judgement-on-the-theological-debate-between-tradition-and-vatican-council-ii/+brunero+gherardinis&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a
    C.M.

    ReplyDelete
  122. M. A.6:46 PM

    "Say what you want about Hans Kung or Pierre Teilhard de Chardin -- at least they were never foolish enough to seek consecration outside The Church or to create a static, inert parallel magisterium by such action."
    ____________

    I have to agree with you here, that the above mentioned were not foolish. Indeed, such as they, are cunning in their tactics to change the Church from within.

    I do not disparage the SSPX. Furthermore, God has not revealed to me His will for the four bishops. I can only applaud the good that I see them do. Who can dispute the goodness that they dissimulate? I could give you numerous examples of which I have personally become aware, but for now, I cite only one, the one which I find most impressive, i.e., the tremendous results of Fr. McMahon in his work with the LaSalette boys' school. We follow his work closely and financially support him in that endeavor.

    But like the Kungs and the de Chardin's, I believe that we also need courageous and wise souls to work from within. Thus, three cheers also for the ICK, FSSP, and the others. There are also, souls such as the late Sr. Lucia, whom God's good pleasure was to keep within the N.O. Hers must have been a dry martyrdom the agony of which we will only know in heaven.

    Let us pray for the elect whoever they are and wherever they may be!

    ReplyDelete
  123. Bruno7:46 PM

    Dear pclaudel,

    Sorry, I just could not resist the Bruno/Bernard reference.

    Regarding the weight of my other comments, I am confused. All I stated was that it is the SSPX who act and speak as though they exist outside the authority of the Church. I am not making this stuff up. It is quite evident.

    The letter by Bishop Fellay given at Menzingen on July 7, 2007 does not provide any sense of contradiction to my comment.

    I would not go so far as to say "generosity of spirit". Bishop Fellay is very, very thoughtful (or cautious) in his statements (more so than Bishop Williamson or Fr. Pfluger). This diplomacy is necessary for anyone in a position of leadership -- it is not necessarily generosity of spirit (it could be ... his confessor knows).

    You seem to be correcting me for my objection to your use of the derogatory term "Motu Trads" but then pointing me in the direction of Bishop Fellay who, in turn, corrects you about your use of the term "Motu Trads". So be it.

    The rest of my arguments referred specifically to the words of Fr. Pfluger which carry their own weight as well as providing the weight to my simple comments about them.

    Be that as it may, it is highly unlikely that the Rorate Caeli comment box will be the location where the Church crisis will be resolved; nevertheless, I just though it might be nice to defend Motu Trads, Indult Trads, FSSP Trads, FSSR Trads, ICRSS Trads, and any other Trads (past and present) that, for some unknown reason, cannot even get a crumb off the "glorious" table of the SSPX.

    To anyone who frequents this blog, it should be quite obvious that when a non-SSPX Trad stands up there are two attacks launched.

    First, it is the "NO/VII abuses attack" where someone will point out an abuse and then conclude that the SSPX are the only option/oasis in our day. This is followed by the "Lefebvre attack" where someone will preclude any Trad from laying claim to the faith without first bending a knee to Archbishop Lefebvre.

    Neither attack provides a logical defense of the SSPX position. But both attacks ridicule the position of all Traditional Catholics who remain within the jurisdiction of the Pope.

    It seems as though the SSPX would like to patent Traditional Catholicism in the name of Archbishop Lefebvre (making theirs the "Real" and only thing). This is not possible. He is not the saviour. The "Lefebvre Effect" is an entirely speculative argument that will not be clarified until the Last Day.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Bruno7:51 PM

    It is highly unlikely that the Rorate Caeli comment box will be the location where the Church crisis will be resolved; nevertheless, it might be nice if Motu Trads, FSSP Trads, FSSR Trads, ICRSS Trads, and any other Trads (past and present) could get a crumb off the "glorious" table of the SSPX.

    To anyone who frequents this blog, it should be quite obvious that when a non-SSPX Trad stands up there are two attacks launched.

    First, it is the "NO/VII abuses attack" where someone will point out an abuse and then conclude that the SSPX are the only option/oasis in our day. This is followed by the "Lefebvre attack" where someone will preclude any Trad from laying claim to the faith without first bending a knee to Archbishop Lefebvre.

    Neither attack provides a logical defense of the SSPX position. But both attacks ridicule the position of all Traditional Catholics who remain within the jurisdiction of the Pope.

    It seems as though the SSPX would like to patent Traditional Catholicism in the name of Archbishop Lefebvre (making theirs the "Real" and only thing). This is not possible (or even Catholic). The "Lefebvre Effect" is an entirely speculative argument that will not be clarified until the Last Day.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Anonymous8:42 PM

    Attn. to: Brainless Loser

    I made the comment that only the SSPX has been able to get Rome to discuss the problems of Vatican II. I never said they were the cream of the crop as inferred. It is a very important fact however that does not seem important to people like yourself. I did not denigrate any other group in my comment. What perplexes me is the vitriol the SSPX receives even by commentators on this blog. I was defending them beacause they have accomplished many good things. It seems the more they accomplish the more the vitriol. Why? What nerve do they strike or is people like myself who do this? Even FSSP priests seem to be grateful for what the SSPX has accomplished.

    A.M. LaPietra

    ReplyDelete
  126. Bruno8:44 PM

    Sorry about the double posting of the last portion of my comment. The first version received a "rejected" response when I submitted it (apparently because it was too long). So, I split it up and tried to resend.

    I guess it is time to move on to the latest posting about Bishop Fellay's point #9. Exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Brainless10:51 PM

    A.M. LaPietra,

    I am sorry. I thought the vitriol was going the other way. Perhaps Rorate Caeli could have a vitriol meter to see which group launches more vitriol.

    I must be brainless because your comment "sounded" rather typical:

    "...I doubt that St. Pius V, St. Pius X, or Pope Pius XII would have passed muuster to be regular".

    "I would bet that it bothers a fair number of commentators here that the SSPX has been the only group to get the Roman authorities to the table."

    Perhaps I am too brainless to comprehend the meaning of your choice of words. But then why would you await "the return fire" for something that "did not denigrate any other group"?

    ReplyDelete
  128. John McFarland11:10 PM

    The basic issue is whether the SSPX is right in its assessment of the state of the conciliar and post-conciliar magisterium -- that is, that in considerable part it cannot be reconciled with the faith delivered once for all to the saints.

    The second question is whether, assuming the correctness of the first assessment, the practical course the Society has taken is at least a permissible one.

    If the answer to either or these questions were no, there would be no good in whatever the Society has allegedly done for the Church. The end does not justify the means.

    The more important question is the first, and it is the one that is most neglected, even by those who are sympathetic to the Society.

    ReplyDelete
  129. M.A. said:

    "I cite only one, the one which I find most impressive, i.e., the tremendous results of Fr. McMahon in his work with the LaSalette boys' school. We follow his work closely and financially support him in that endeavor."

    It's a good man/woman you are M.A. and Our Lord will bless you abundantly and may our Lady be with you on your death bed.

    In March of 2004 (go to URL below)

    http://sspx.org/RCRpdfs/2004_rcrs/march_%202004_rcr.pdf

    Fr. Michael McMahon, SSPX, Headmaster, now at Notre Dame De LaSalette Boys Academy in Olivet, IL, took our Catholic High Scool boys to pray the Rosary while Buddhist Monks prayed in St. Adalbert's Basilica's sanctuary in Grand Rapids, Michigan where the Buddhist Monks had been invited by the Grand Rapid's "Catholic" Bishop. Every March since, Fr. McMahon takes our boys back to St. Adalbert's to pray the Rosary thanking our Lady for victory that cold March day.

    My boys are and have been being prepared by the fearless SSPX Priests to become future Fathers of the hearth and Altar. Viva Christo Rey!!


    FIGHTIN'
    FATHER
    McMAHON

    St. Patrick saved the Irish
    Columba...monks he gave,
    Flanigan built up Boys Town
    Where boys their souls could save.

    Bur have ya heard the story
    Of fightin' Father McMahon
    Who battled back the Buddhists
    The way a Catholic can?

    The True Faith yes he stood for
    A Christ-like priest so humble.
    The Buddhist "monks" stood clueless
    And then began the rumble.

    But not the kind of rumble
    From God-less violent deeds
    No pagan chanting mumble
    But roaring Rosary beads.

    And then the wind she blew
    A rapid grand tornado
    When fightin' Father McMahon
    Intoned our Catholic Credo!

    So gather round my children,
    All false faiths we must ban
    From Holy Mother's Churches...
    Like
    Fightin'
    Father
    McMahon!

    ReplyDelete
  130. Anonymous2:40 AM

    Attn. Mr. Brainless:

    I will stand by what I wrote earlier. Which group did I denigrate? You didn't answer that.

    Are you of the opinion that Saint Pius X would pass the Vatican II muster after writing and making mandatory the Anti-Modernist Oath for all new ordinations?

    Do you believe the SSPX has not accomplished many good things?

    I was awiting return fire becauseI perceived an uneasiness by others that only the SSPX was able to get Rome to the table. And now they must pay for it. I believe this one accomplishment alone to be a momnumental achievement. How else are we to get to the truth if we are not discussing the errors of Vatican II?

    A.M. LaPietra

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  131. A propos the question of ritual and The Roman Catholic Faith: from Sacred Tradition may be found the ritual which embodies The Roman Catholic Faith facilitating the authentic lex credendi. Thus, we may demonstrate using the chief indicators on contemporary church norms, values and mores that the lex orandi is no longer in equilibrium but on the contrary has so changed that the the NO liturgy & post-conciliar pastoral model demonstrably propagate protestantism and other beliefs foreign to Roman Catholicism.

    Contamination is no longer the appropriate description. Rather it has reached the level of terminal disease. Numberless closures of seminaries, convents, churches, chapels and the rapid exponential decline in regular Sunday attendance with vertiginous increases in clerical & episcopal criminal behaviour illustrate objectively enough how far the process of demise has gone.

    ReplyDelete
  132. A propos the question of ritual and The Roman Catholic Faith: from Sacred Tradition may be found the ritual which embodies The Roman Catholic Faith facilitating the authentic lex credendi. Thus, we may demonstrate using the chief indicators on contemporary church norms, values and mores that the lex orandi is no longer in equilibrium but on the contrary has so changed that the the NO liturgy & post-conciliar pastoral model demonstrably propagate protestantism and other beliefs foreign to Roman Catholicism.

    Contamination is no longer the appropriate description. Rather it has reached the level of terminal disease. Numberless closures of seminaries, convents, churches, chapels and the rapid exponential decline in regular Sunday attendance with vertiginous increases in clerical & episcopal criminal behaviour illustrate objectively enough how far the process of demise has gone.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Anonymous6:28 PM

    LeonG wrote:

    "A propos the question of ritual and The Roman Catholic Faith: from Sacred Tradition may be found the ritual which embodies The Roman Catholic Faith facilitating the authentic lex credendi."

    It would be more appropritae to say that you are erroneously equating a Romanized Catholic Church with The Catholic Church, and you have made the Tridentine heteropraxis the static norm upon which all rites and all traditions within the Church must conform. The Catholic Church -- not merely the Romanized Catholic Church (whose externals you have elevated to dogma were not constants, but variables) -- has rejected the thought process you and the traditionalists engage in.

    The Catholic Church is far broader and richer than just the Romanized Catholic Church you have become accustomed to as a result of cultural conditioning, romanticism, and nostalgia (and traditionalist propaganda). The total restoration of the Mystical Body will be something far more profound and spectacular than a mere retread of a narrow, insular praxis from a particular period in the Church's history and pertaining merely to its Western, or Romanized, expression. No entity has any power or authority to stop this restoration, and I can assure you that Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI possessed and possess the vision to take the necessary steps to achieve this. The cross-pollination of the more experiential theology from the East is evidence of this and something Roman Amerio failed to grasp.

    Your difficulties in understanding the magnitude of the Council and its aims have precedence in scripture when many of Our Lord's followers simply could not understand how He was the Living Bread who came down from Heaven and walked away at that teaching. Do not walk away, and do not confuse Church/State models, which were, indeed, contingent accidents of history with the providential action of the Holy Spirit moving The Church towards total and absolute unity.

    The SSPX did not "bring Rome to the table." Rome is enduring the SSPX out of charity, the way a parent endures an obstinate child who persists in error. The SSPX should pray that their parents' patience doesn't wear thin.

    The Church will be one -- with or without the SSPX.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Anonymous 09 October, 2010 18:28

    I'm mesmerized by your "history as poetry" post.

    Now....can this blog return to non-fiction?

    ReplyDelete
  135. While pantheists may protest otherwise social reality illustrates that
    the Councils of the 60s are a demonstrable and lamentable failure from all perspectives - liturgically; pastorally; ecumenicaly and on a inter-religious basis. Furthermore, its protestantising fruits have generally undermined seminary and community life in religious houses as many close and numbers dwindle to unsustainability.
    On the contrary nothing is moving toward unity. The consequences of a liberal modernist movement imposing itself on outcomes has been to relativise The Faith; disembody the liturgy and destroy the common identity Roman Catholics had enjoyed until the post-concliar epoch.

    ReplyDelete
  136. It is SSPX who brings Rome to the table because the issues raised are substantiated in the chief indicators that signal failure & decline in the new post-conciliar pastoral and liturgical paradigms. Such indicators cannot be brushed off as extraneous variable factors. They are integrally bound up with the rule of prayer and belief. What transpires today are postmodernising eccentric forces productive of excessive individualism and materialistic egocentrism. The belief that we are somehow moving toward a deeper understandng and a pantheist-type unity is ideological but little more than that. It is certainly not demonstrated by outcomes.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Anonymous7:14 PM

    LeonG,

    Your litmus test for Catholic success and estimating the strength of the Church is quantitative and not qualitative. By that measure the "Novus Ordo" sect is a billion-plus success and the traditionalists are in the ghetto. This mirrors an Islamic notion of victory in a mind that equates temporal acquisition of numerical growth and power with holiness. It's a deformed Catholic version of Sharia law. As a matter of practical reality all traditionalists exhibit Feeneyism to a greater or lesser extent which leads to a refutation of all Christian behavior and charity if it doesn't come from a Church that exhibits Trent's externals. Christian behavior is not invalid if it occurs in a model which doesn't resemble Trent. Vatican II corrected the rigid, rabbinical excesses of Trent. And you want to return to that phariseeism with Lefebvre as your Grand Rabbi. I assure you, the mutual lifting of the excommunications between Paul VI and Athenogoras I was not merely an ideological act. It occurred in reality and has real ramifications towards total unity. Of course, if all one has is Michael Davies on their bookshelf and an Angelus in their mailbox, the calumnies against the Church will continue on in the post-Mass SSPX basements and cafeterias where the paranoid delusions continue unabated. Get out of the ghetto. The Church is bigger than you think. And America -- a country anathema to the SSPX -- has a Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration movement light years beyond any other country in the world. Of course, this can't be seen if one willfully remains in the ghetto repeating the same lines over and over again.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Picard8:18 PM

    Brainless,, Hugo:

    My experince here is that there are SSPX-defenders as well as SSPX-defiers (or critics). So what´s the problem?!?

    Brainless - the vitriol was also going the way against the SSPX - and perhaps better to say: it was going both ways.
    And there are not only attacs of the SSPX-friends as you deplore, but also attacs against them of people like you and other SSPX-critics.

    So yes, perhaps we should have a vitriol meter ;-)

    Or better: not talk about vitriol and lament the number of pro- or counter-SSPX statements -- BUT discuss to the points, discuss the arguments! ;-)

    Better to have essential discussions with regard to contents than such about how many critics or fans of the SSPX are commenting or vitriolize each other!

    ReplyDelete
  139. Picard8:25 PM

    Anon:

    It does not matter what reasons Rome had for discussing with the SSPX. "Enduring out of charity", ok.

    That does not change the fact that the SSPX brought Rome to the table.

    Why does it seem to be so difficult for many here to accept&honour this?!

    ReplyDelete
  140. Part I anonymous said

    There is objective evidence in abundance on a qualitative basis throughout the archives that attests to the validity of the quantitative. There are many splendid books, articles and pictorial matter by commentators many of them priests & some of them good theologians themselves. This site has exemplified many of the worst trends in the modern church, particularly liturgically and pastorally. You are on very unstable ground there Mr Anonymous Said;
    Moreover, I have accumulated an immense quantity of qualitative data on the Neo-Catechumenal Way & the so-called charismatic movement during the 1880s & 1990s. I was actually invited to diocesan discussions about parishes within it where the Neo-Cats were very disruptively active. I know what they teach at their catechesis and so on. They were banned from the diocese subsequently. It is incredible that such a movement can be seen as in full communion with Rome. They can be more severely critical and judgemental of the NO than sedevacantists are of the modern church. In addition, I have witnessed many new catholic churches in North America, Europe, Africa & SE Asia. It is utter confusion between one and the other with little one might construe as Catholic unity within. My experiences and findings corroborate what Fr Paul Marx OSB (RIP) stated about the church as being in total chaos.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Part II

    Furthermore, I was active as a third order member in a once thriving traditional monastery with 40 members which tore itself to pieces after the Councils and now remains with 12 or so ageing representatives who some years ago were scandalised with public media headlines by their sodomite abbot and his friends within. This is not the only religious community I know similarly embarrassed. In addition, I have tried my vocation in seminaries which once thriving were close to closure and from what I observed in my time in them, I was not the slightest part surprised.
    Add to this twenty often intense years musical work with the NO liturgy & its obvious protestantised shortcomings while coming into contact with various men & women who were considered “liturgists” but most of whom had very little understanding of what the liturgy meant theologically and who had little knowledge of its rubrics. I was well-acquainted with the new catholic church from within.
    I could never forget either, Mr Anonymous Said, the numerous priests I have known personally who have left their vocations without permission for unapproved marriage (even with a divorcee in one case) who have had adulterous affairs and who have committed sodomy or had alcohol problems and various nervous disorders. Indeed, all this since the Vatican Councils. Scandalous too the way in which my faithful Roman Catholic parents were persecuted and ridiculed by clerics and lay alike because they would not go haring liberal with the crowd. I have witnessed and read about much more than you can understand. It includes insults, lampoons and contemptuous comments about the traditional faith from modern catholics ignorantly disdainful of tradition.
    Indeed, Mr Anonymous Said, I have much more empirical quantitative & qualitative, primary & secondary evidence than you think. Although I am not a member of the SSPX Confraternity I know many of its fine priests and lay members through the wonderful sanctuary they gave countless traditional Roman Catholics [a term you obviously dislike but loved by many] who have suffered much in rightly guarding Sacred Tradition in The Church against the liberal modernist and quasi-socialist new catholic membership.

    ReplyDelete

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