Rorate Caeli

SSPX-Rome: Écône theology professor responds to Opus Dei vicar general

In a response to the article of Mgr. Ocáriz "On adhesion to the Second Vatican Council", published in L'Osservatore Romano, Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, professor of theology in the International Seminary of Saint Pius X in Écône, Switzerland, and who also took part in the doctrinal discussions between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), wrote the following text, published at Courrier de Rome, and made available by DICI shortly before Christmas. We post the excerpt here now for the record of current events.


 “A Crucial Question”.
(…)  No doubt we could congratulate ourselves that we are finally seeing a theologian of the Holy See introduce all these nuances and thus deny quite formally, albeit implicitly, all the unilateral presentations which until now have presented the Second Vatican Council in a maximalist perspective, as an absolutely untouchable dogma that is “even more important than that of Nicaea”.  However, as seductive as it may be in the nuances and distinctions that it offers, such an analysis radically conveys a postulate that is far from being self-evident.  Msgr. Ocariz’ study thus avoids responding to the crucial question, which is still pending between the Society of Saint Pius X and the Holy See.  More precisely, the answer to this question seems to go without saying in the view of the Opus Dei prelate, so much so that everything happens as though it had never been necessary to address it.  Or as though the debate would never have to take place.

Yet this debate is more imperative than ever.  It is in fact far from self-evident that the last Council could impose its authority, in all matters and for all purposes, in the eyes of Catholics as the exercise of a genuine Magisterium, demanding their adherence at the different levels that are noted.  Indeed, if we recall the traditional definition of Magisterium, we really are obliged to observe that the proceedings of Vatican II hardly conform to them.  Much less so, given that this wholesale novelty of the 21st Ecumenical Council explains itself in depth in terms of absolutely unheard-of presuppositions. (…)
The fact of Vatican II:  new teachings contrary to Tradition
On at least four points, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are obviously in logical contradiction to the pronouncements of the previous traditional Magisterium, so that it is impossible to interpret them in keeping with the other teachings already contained in the earlier documents of the Church’s Magisterium.  Vatican II has thus broken the unity of the Magisterium, to the same extent to which it has broken the unity of its object.
These four points are as follows.  The doctrine on religious liberty, as it is expressed in no. 2 of the Declaration Dignitatis humanae, contradicts the teachings of Gregory XVI in Mirari vos and of Pius IX in Quanta cura as well as those of Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei and those of Pope Pius XI in Quas primas.  The doctrineon the Church, as it is expressed in no. 8 of the Constitution Lumen gentium, contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius XII in Mystici corporis and Humani generis.  The doctrine on ecumenism, as it is expressed in no. 8 ofLumen gentium and no. 3 of the Decree Unitatis redintegratio, contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius IX in propositions 16 and 17 of the Syllabus, those of Leo XIII in Satis cognitum, and those of Pope Pius XI inMortalium animos.  The doctrine on collegiality, as it is expressed in no. 22 of the Constitution Lumen gentium, including no. 3 of the Nota praevia [Explanatory Note], contradicts the teachings of the First Vatican Council on the uniqueness of the subject of supreme power in the Church, in the Constitution Pastor aeternus.  (…)
A new set of problems
In keeping with the [December] 2005 address [of Pope Benedict XVI to the Roman Curia], Msgr. Ocariz posits the principle of a “unitary interpretation”, according to which the documents of Vatican II and the preceding Magisterial documents ought to shed light on each other.  The interpretation of the novelties taught by the Second Vatican Council must therefore reject, as Benedict XVI says, “the hermeneutic of discontinuity” with relation to Tradition, whereas it must affirm “the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in continuity.”  This is new vocabulary, which clearly expresses a new set of problems.  The latter inspires the whole observation by Msgr. Ocariz:  “One essential characteristic of the Magisterium,” he writes, “it its continuity and its homogeneity over time.”
If we speak about “continuity” or “rupture”, this should be understood, in the traditional sense, to mean a continuity or rupture that is objective, in other words, related to the object of the Church’s preaching.  This is tantamount to speaking about the set of revealed truths, as the Magisterium of the Church preserves and presents them, giving them the same significance, without the possibility of a contradiction between present preaching and past preaching.  Rupture would consist of attacking the immutable character of objective Tradition and would then be a synonym for logical contradiction between two statements, the respective meanings of which cannot both be true at the same time.
But it is necessary to admit the plain truth and to recognize that the word “continuity” does not have this traditional sense at all in the current discourse of ecclesiastics.  They speak precisely about continuity with regard to a subject that evolves over the course of time. It is not a question of the continuity of an object, of the dogma or the doctrine that the Church’s Magisterium proposes today, giving it the same meaning as before.  It is a question of the continuity of the unique subject “Church”.  Moreover Benedict XVI speaks not exactly about continuity but about “renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.”  Conversely, he adds immediately afterward, “The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church.”  That means that the rupture must be situated on that same level:  it is a rupture between two subjects, meaning that the Church, the one subject [consisting] of the People of God, would no longer be the same before and after the Council.  (…)
The knot of the dilemma
In the logic of Vatican II and of the 2005 Address [to the Roman Curia], the object as such is relative to the subject.  In the logic of Vatican I, and of all the traditional teaching of the Church, the subject as such is relative to the object.  These two logics are irreconcilable.
The Magisterium, in whatever era it may be, must remain the organ of the deposit of the faith.  It becomes perverted to the extent in which it alters that deposit.  It is false to say that divinely revealed principles that have been made explicit by the previous Magisterium are not necessarily binding, on the pretence that the subject-Church experiences them differently through the contingency of history, or that the People of God finds itself being led to establish a new relation between its faith and the modern world.  Some principles that are applied in contingent matters (for instance those that form the basis of the whole social doctrine of the Church) are not contingent.  No doubt, the substantial immutability of revealed truth is not absolute, because the conceptual and verbal expression of that truth can acquire greater precision.  But this progress does not involve any calling into question of the meaning of the truth, which only becomes more explicit in its formulation.The principles are still necessary principles, whatever the different concrete forms they may assume when they are applied.  This distinction between principles and concrete forms proves to be artificial with regard to the social doctrine of the Church;  when Benedict XVI resorts to it in his 2005 Address [to the Roman Curia] in order to legitimize the Declaration Dignitatis humanae, he does so in vain.
To return to Vatican II:  the fundamental question is to determine the first principle that must serve as the ultimate rule for the activity of the Magisterium.  Is it the objective data of divine revelation, as it is expressed in its definitive substance through the teaching authority of Christ and the apostles, to which the ecclesiastical Magisterium is only the successor?  Is it the communitarian experience of the People of God, the trustee (and not just the recipient) of the gift of the Truth as the bearer of the meaning of the faith?  In the first case, the ecclesiastical Magisterium is the organ of Tradition, and it depends on the divine-apostolic teaching authority as its objective rule;  the question then is whether the objective teachings of the Second Vatican Council are those of a constant Magisterium and an immutable Tradition.  In the second case, the ecclesiastical Magisterium is the amalgamating spokesman of the communal awareness of the People of God, charged with establishing the spatial-temporal cohesion of the expression of the sensus fidei;  Vatican II is then for the subject-Church the means of expressing in conceptual language its sensus fidei, experienced and updated with respect to the contingencies of the modern era.
Hermeneutic and reinterpretation
In Msgr. Ocariz’ view, the teachings of Vatican II are novelties “in the sense that they make explicit some new aspects which were not yet formulated by the Magisterium but which, on the doctrinal level, do not contradict the preceding Magisterial documents”.  An accurate exegesis of the documents of the Council would therefore apparently presuppose the principle of non-contradiction.  But appearances are deceiving, since non-contradiction no longer has the same meaning at all as it did until now.
The Magisterium of the Church has always understood this principle to mean an absence of logical contradiction between two objective statements.  Logical contradiction is an opposition that is found between two propositions, one of which affirms and the other denies the same thing predicated of the same subject.  The principle of non-contradiction demands that if this opposition occurs, the two propositions cannot be true at the same time.  This principle is a law of the intellect and only expresses the unity of its object.  Since faith defines itself as intellectual adherence to the truth proposed by God, it verifies this principle.  The objective unity of the faith also corresponds to an absence of contradiction in its dogmatic statements.
The hermeneutic of Benedict XVI now understands this principle in a sense that is no longer objective but subjective, no longer intellectualistic but voluntaristic.  “The absence of contradiction” is a synonym for continuity at the level of the subject.  Contradiction is a synonym for rupture, at the same level.  The principle of continuity does not demand first and foremost the unity of the truth.  It demands first and foremost the unity of the subject that develops and grows over the course of time.  It is the unity of the People of God, as it lives in the present moment, in the world of this time, to quote the suggestive title of the Pastoral Constitution [on the Church in the Modern World], Gaudium et spes.  This unity is expressed solely through the authorized word of the present Magisterium, precisely insofar as it is present.  Msgr. Ocariz underscores this:  “An authentic interpretation of the conciliar documents can be made only by the Church’s Magisterium itself.  That is why the theological work of interpreting passages in the conciliar documents that raise questions or seem to present difficulties must above all take into account the meaning in which the successive interventions of the Magisterium have understood these passages.”  Let us make no mistake about it:  this Magisterium which must serve as a rule of interpretation is the new Magisterium of this time, the one that resulted from Vatican II.  It is not the Magisterium of all ages.  As it has been rightly remarked, Vatican II must be understood in the light of Vatican II, reinterpreting in its own logic of subjective, living continuity all the teachings of the constant Magisterium.
Until now the Magisterium of the Church has never compromised itself by begging the question in this way.  It has always wanted to be faithful to its mission of preserving the deposit [of faith].  Its principal justification has always been to refer to the testimonies of the objective Tradition which is unanimous and constant.  Its expression has always been that of the unity of the truth.  (…)
That is why nobody could be content today with the so-called “spaces for theological freedom” at the very heart of the contradiction introduced by Vatican II.  The profound desire of any Catholic who is faithful to his baptismal promises is to adhere with complete filial submission to the teachings of the perennial Magisterium.  The same piety demands also, with increasing urgency, a remedy for the serious deficiencies that have paralyzed the exercise of this Magisterium since the last Council.  To this end the Society of Saint Pius X still desires, now more than ever, an authentic reform, meaning that it is up to the Church to remain true to herself, to remain what she is in the unity of her faith, and thus to preserve her original form, in fidelity to the mission that she received from Christ.  Intus reformari. [To be reformed inwardly.]  (Source : Courrier de Rome – Emphasis in bold added by the editor.   – DICI no.247 dated December 23, 2011)


  1. Gratias6:34 AM

    The Gordian knot of this debate is our obligation of obedience to the Pope. It is distressing for me to think that so many Catholic Faithful will be separated over rethorical arguments. I have come to appreciate so many good SSPX faithful here in Rorate - Long-Skirts to mention my most admired one. Benedict XVI's Papacy has been directed at this reunification in my view. Much has been offered, I pray the SSPX can just say yes, and join us Una Voce types in fighting from inside the Catholic Church.

    Have a Happy New Year. Worry not at what appear to be great differences on the surface. How many people dependent on the Traditional Latin Mass do you know?

  2. Fr. Gleize's analysis is impressive but how does indefectability survive his commentary. What is or where is the locus of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church this side of heaven?

  3. I wish that this author had attempted to grapple with the real issue, which is the kind of assent required of the faithful to VII and Magisterial documents.

  4. Thank you for your readership, Your Excellency. Please, pray for us in this new year!


  5. There's one thing I've never heard straight: What does the SSPX want to do with the Second Vatican Council? Say the mentality is adopted by the majority of the Church - are we just to ignore the councils documents as an embarrassing collection of texts best not spoken about?

  6. "I pray the SSPX can just say yes, and join us Una Voce types in fighting from inside the Catholic Church."

    Whether you like it or not, it is now no longer as simple as this.

  7. FXdeR1:10 PM

    I am very glad that assent to Monsignor Ocariz's assertions is not a pre-condition for membership of the Church, because I would find it impossible to sign up to them. I am a "Novus Ordo" priest in good standing with the Pope and my diocesan bishop, and I believe that the SSPX are right to ask for clarifications from Rome before committing themselves to an agreement. It's all that they can do. After all, aren't we always told these days that conscience is important? In conscience I certainly couldn't assent to any preamble based on the principles proposed by Monsignor Ocariz.

  8. Bill Phelan1:26 PM

    May I humbly suggest that readers explore the sufferings and works of St. Athanasius who stood alone against the Arian Heresy when most of the Church, including very possibly the Pope, becsme Arian in the Fourth Century? It helped to convince John Henry Cdl. Newman that the Church was True as it became clear that Athanasius was Divinely guided. Arianism taught that Christ, while an heroic figure, was not God.

  9. CMI: Not a bad idea.

  10. Indefactible1:38 PM

    That Jesus promised to protect the Church from error is basic Catholic dogma (indefactibility).

    Indefactibility, for me, is most evident, when it is not separated from the Evangelium inherited and taught in Tradition, before it was updated by V. Council 2.

    The definition of the meaning of Magisterium, for me, is twofold. On the one hand, it means the Pope teaching in union with the bishops, and on the other hand it is what they teach, that is, what has been taught by the Church "always and everywhere, or the deposit of Faith."

    The concept of Magisterium cannot be limited to its human constituent alone as Msgr. Ocariz seem to understand the "living Magisterium." Christ picked Judas as an Apostol yet we know Judas was defectible.

    The inventor of Liberation theology and his friends in a number of Latin American Bishop's Conferences have been defected, but other part of the Magisterium are still fully orthodox, consequently the promise of Jesus that he will be with his Church still stands, the Church is indefectable in that sense, no?.

    The present state of the Church is best described by the history of the wandering tribes of Israel after escaping from Egypt. They too inculturated their worship in the absence of Moses with idol worship. When Moses returned he did away with idol worship. He had it easy, the Jews believed Moses was an agent of God in matters of religion.

    Benedict XVI is no Moses but he is trying to mitigate the most negative effects of V2 innovations (reform of the reform). However, he is obstructed in this by a majority of the current bishops' conferences. He could use some help.

    Specifically, the Holy Father might declare the teaching of "inculturation" of the Mass a schismatic concept. If lex orandi really means lex credendi, than inculturated worship cannot be the way to salvation in the long run.

    Indefactibility of the Church will be most evident when the Magisterium has teachers who teach what Catholics believed at all times and everywhere until Vatican 2 obscured the original message with hyper-nuanced documents.

  11. Michael2:07 PM

    Perennial Magisterium vs. New Magisterium: the SSPX makes this division and then decides which Magisterium is owed obedience and which is not.

    Question: on what authority does a priestly fraternity make these judgments concerning the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church of the 21st century?

    If the pope really is the pope and he says the current Magisterium is indeed the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, on what theological basis does the SSPX protest?

    The notion of obeying only the Magisterium of the past and not of the present is at the very least a schismatic orientation.

    Rev. Fr. Gleize accuses the Holy See of logical contradiction. Here is a logical contradiction in his own position which he does not address.

    Who has the authority to declare that there are two Magisteriums, an authentic one recognized by the priestly fraternity of the Society of St. Pius X, and an ersatz one recognized by the Vicar of Christ on earth?

    This is a legitimate question. Can anyone answer from Roman Catholic theology and Canon Law?

  12. The one thing that SSPX must understand is that the Vatican cannot affirm that Martin Luther was right, namely that Pope and Councils are fallible. If they do this, then they declare that Catholicism is a sham and all the SSPX has tried to preserve can safely be ignored as what the Protestants call "the traditions of man".

    Had the VII been held and not officially ratified by the Pope, one could ignore the council. But this was not the case.

    Like it or not, both Rome and the SSPX need to deal with VII, just as we need to deal with "the Robber Baron Council" (Second Council of Ephesus) and and the first Nicene Creed which was so problematic that another Council was required to fix it.

    Pope Benedict XVI has offered one way of dealing with VII. IMO, it is not enough, but it is a start, that either he or a subsequent Pope can complete. IMO, I think a Syllabus of Errors on Vatican II is needed, at least on the most troublesome aspect of Vatican II. For instance, "Dignitatis humanae" does not contradict or supercede the teachings of "Mirari vos". Pope throughout the ages have condemned both indifferentism and forced conversions. Yes, there is a tension, just as there is a tension between Docetism and Arianism (both are true in what they affirm but false in what they deny), but if anyone states that "Dignitatis humanae" affirms indifferentism, let him be anathema.

    The SSPX also needs to deal with VII. It is not enough to say VII is wrong, one still has to deal with it in a way that doesn't put into suspect all previous councils and doesn't render "the Robber Baron" council potentially valid. Unless they do, the SSPX will go the way of the many schismatic groups have gone before.

  13. Pedro2:49 PM

    I'd say, in response to Gratias, that many of us consider ourselves to be members of the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, but at the same time expect to receive a clarification on a non-infallible act of the Magisterium that is, if not "in logical contradiction" with Tradition, as Fr. Gleize calls it, at least tremendously ambiguous, almost criminally so. While the Magisterium of the Church refuses to do so, how could we give any kind of assent to a doctrine that has at least the appearance of contradicting the constant teaching of the Church? Even if an angel from Heaven came we couldn't give assent to such a doctrine! Does that make us 'less' Catholic, or somehow separate us from the Church?

    One is a member of the Church by Baptism, Faith and Authority. We have Baptism, we have the Faith, and the very fact that we are almost importunately asking and demanding from the Authority of the Church shows that we recognize that Authority, for if we did not, we would not need an answer from it, since it would have no value for us. But it has; and we await, almost as if we were in an escathological drama, comforting ourselves in this thought: the Church is indefectible, and while the gates of Hell shall prevail against many things, the Church will not be among them.

  14. "Pope (s) throughout the ages have condemned both indifferentism and forced conversions. Yes, there is a tension..."

    Anil has nailed it--this is precisely the tension involved in some of the docs of VII.

    This is the fullness of the Truth that Benedict XVI, in my opinion, is trying to save.

    Heretics always take one side or element of the Faith and distort it until its full-blown heresy.

    SSPX: bow to Peter; fight within the Ark of Salvation.

  15. CMI-yes, just let SSPX ignore Vatican II; what novelties in it bolster the faith?

    I would submit the novelties in it water-down the faith.

    Msgr. Gherardini has even said that the documents of Vatican II are even infused with the ideas of Modernism; that is, heresy.

    It is not caving to protestantism to say as much. No one said Vatican II is infallible. It is absurd to say, for instance, that Vatican II's decree on social communications is relevant in the internet age.

    It is, however, protestant to say a dogmatic council, such as Trent, is fallible.

  16. "The notion of obeying only the Magisterium of the past and not of the present is at the very least a schismatic orientation."

    The notion that the current one can contradict those of the past makes all of them a sham. His ENTIRE point is that if Vatican II IS dogmatically true, since it contradicts earlier councils, then any meaningful talk of tradition is moot and the Church is bogus. Allegience to Peter means zip if Peter gets to redefine truth in logical contradictions as societal demands require. The only answer is for the MAgisterium to disavow Vatican II's dogmatic authority. To officially define it as dogmatic is to officially define the Church's authority as entirely subjective and situational. Good luck with that.

  17. JFM, all very true. However, the Church has always maintained that Vatican II is pastoral, and that the only dogmas in it are reiterated dogmas from past councils and popes.

  18. Brian5:12 PM

    The Gordian knot of this debate is our obligation of obedience to the Pope. It is distressing for me to think that so many Catholic Faithful will be separated over rethorical arguments.

    Please re-read Fr. Gleize. The argument is not a matter of rhetoric, but logic. His argument is similar to that raised by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange in the 1940s.

    Perennial Magisterium vs. New Magisterium: the SSPX makes this division and then decides which Magisterium is owed obedience and which is not.

    Actually, Michael, it was the New Theologians, including the periti who drafted the documents of Vatican II, who declared that the Papal teachings and scholasticism of the prior hundreds of years was overly dogmatic, outmoded, one-sided, and in need of renewal.

    Through their supposed ressourcement, these New Theologians brushed aside generations of Papal teaching and claimed to go back to the “sources” to re-discover what they claimed to be the perennial magisterium.

    Avoiding debate with the leading scholastic theologians of that time, such as Garrigou-Lagrange, they arrogantly declared that over a century of Papal encyclicals was rigid, one-sided and out of touch with “modern man.” They then proceeded to brush aside Papal encyclicals and scholastic theology and to “overhaul” Catholic teaching in favor of aggiornamento, the novelties which they embedded into the documents of Vatican II.

    Now the strategy has shifted. Though a kind of nuanced double-talk, now it is insisted the only (the post-Vatican II) Magisterium can interpret Catholic theology. Amazing.

    Now the innovators claim that unquestioning submission is owed to the novel ideas which were embedded into the documents of Vatican II. Some even insist that the “Integrists” and “Lefebvrites” who question the recent innovations and hold to prior Papal teachings, are no different than Protestants.

  19. M. A.5:16 PM

    JFM: "Allegience to Peter means zip if Peter gets to redefine truth in logical contradictions as societal demands require."

    Exactly. I, too, would never err in anything if I could redefine terms and rules and conditions.

    What the SSPX should respectfully request is a solemn, authoritative, infallible pronouncement from the vicar of Christ, much as the late Abbe de Nantes tried to obtain.

    An assertion by Monsignor Ocariz will not do.

  20. Enough of this nonsense of the SSPX being outside of the ark of salvation, those who make these assertions would do well to read St Robert Bellarmine and Bl Cardinal Newman on the limits of papal power or are they also going to assert that these two pre-eminent theologians are at best theologically suspect or at worst heretical? But why even bother with this nonsense tell me if the SSPX are outside the ark what of the many liberal and modernist bishops and priests? Those who allow clown masses, do not believe in the divinity of Christ, the ascension etc.. and who believe in the ordination of women, will they so readily state they are also outside the ark of salvation? Or are they going to try to claim that whilst the SSPX is not in union with Rome, these bishops are?

    As for those who put forward the assertion that the SSPX only obey the magisterium of the past, since when did the words past, present and future apply to the magisterium? There is simply the magisterium now and for always, if something that was previously believed and was not infallible and this something is condemned as wrong or changed it is not that the magisterium was wrong it is that this something was never part of the magisterium in the first place. That in itself is a very rare occurrence even for the ordinary and non-infallible magisterium, if it were not, if the church could simply teach at the highest levels truths for 200 years and in some cases since apostolic times, which were entirely consistent with the magisterium but which are now believed to be wrong, what use then are Christ's promises that the church will be led to all truth and that the gates of hell shall not prevail?

  21. His ENTIRE point is that if Vatican II IS dogmatically true, since it contradicts earlier councils, then any meaningful talk of tradition is moot and the Church is bogus.

    This begs the question of whether or not Vatican II really contradicts earlier councils.

  22. JFM, as I have stated above, I don't think there is a contradiction, but more work needs to be done to explain why.

    But let's assume you're correct. Four Pope have ratified Vatican II, virtually every bishop now in place either was part of Vatican II or (more likely) ordained after Vatican II. Essentially, Catholicism has been lost.

    It's actually worse than that, if what you say is true, there's clear empirical evidence that Vatican I was also wrong and every bishop involved in Vatican I and every bishop afterwards is invalid. This means Catholicism can't even be salvaged by splinter groups like the SSPX. As such, even concilliarism can't save Catholicism.

    That leaves you two choices, either Protestants are right and there never was a visible Church, or the Orthodox are right that Catholicism went into heresy around the time of the Great Schism, or the Oriental Orthodox are right that the Catholic/Orthodox Church went into heresy with Chalcedon, or the Assyrian Church of the East is right that the Catholic/Orthodox/Oriental Church went into heresy when it disavowed the "Robber Baron Council".

    In short, you have an unholy mess with objectively authoritative way to resolve it.

  23. "But why even bother with this nonsense tell me if the SSPX are outside the ark what of the many liberal and modernist bishops and priests?"

    JMJ, Ezekiel 3:16-4:17 has the answer to your question. In short, it was far better for them to not be a bishop and go to hell than to become a bishop and lead people to hell.

  24. "In the logic of Vatican II and of the 2005 Address [to the Roman Curia], the object as such is relative to the subject. In the logic of Vatican I, and of all the traditional teaching of the Church, the subject as such is relative to the object. These two logics are irreconcilable."

    For too many years SSPX logic rooted in the 15th century has disrupted Faith and Reason inside well meaning Catholic academia. It is preposterous that the 'logic' formed in the Apostolic era should become unknown till Vatican II.

    In addition, Pope Benedict XVI in December 2005 clearly communicates the mandatory 'free will' beliefs of the Apostolic, martyrdom era. There was no whisper of 'state sponsored' church till Constantine imposed control.

    Furthermore, we have been afflicted by the instrument of state sponsored church in Ireland where 500 years of 'Landlord Terrorism' could not subdue Roman Catholicism. However the Church in Ireland self-destructed in the last 30 years directly related to state sponsorship of Catholic schools, orphanages, etc.

    Michael F Brennan
    St Petersburg Florida

  25. The argument that many seem to be putting forward here is that Vatican II does not contradict the teacher of the earlier popes and councils because it can't, because if it does then the claims of the Catholic church to be preserved from error fall apart. That is a powerful argument if you are already inside the church. But what if you are outside it and wondering whether or not the church's claims are valid? In that case, the argument from authority is of no use. In that case you have to rely on reasonable arguments to persuade your hearer that two thousand years of horror at heresy and unbelief are not inconsistent with the teaching and practice of the past fifty years. And I honestly don't see how that can be done. I don't mean to be provocative. I would sincerely like to be taught, but from the outside the church of Vatican II and what preceded it seem to me to be two different churches. And without demanding a simple leap of faith, how can you go about persuading a reasonable person that they are in fact the same church?

  26. Fr. Gleize demonstrates to me without any doubt that the documents of Vatican II are not in accord with other documents of the perennial, Magisterium. Therefore, the principle of non-contradiction in Logic applies and the problematic, and some would say, heretical statements must be disavowed. The concept of Jesus allowing His Church to employ contradictory statements as part of the Magisterium is just too preposterous to believe. As well the concept of magisterial teachings changing to meet the times, as is the basis of modernism, is also too preposterous to believe.

    You build a theological house on sand (shifting sands of time and circumstance) and it will fall, no doubt about it! But the real question is why this burden is being placed on the FSSPX to defend the Faith? Why are they being pictured as the "bad guys" by the institutional church? Why are they the ones being forced to accept a "doctrinal preamble" in order to gain "canonical jurisdiction and faculties" while heretics and schismatics abound elsewhere even, it seems, in the bosom of the Church? I know why and I think a majority of readers and participants to this blog know why - two words intellectual pride and a refusal to submit to what holy mother church has always held, taught and professed to be true.

  27. Bill Phelan8:06 PM

    To all: The writers of the 16 Vat II documents have admitted themselves that the documents are deliberately AMBIGUOUS as the viewpoints of the two major factions are IRRECONCILABLE. The dichotomy was between DOCTRINAL and PASTORAL. For 2,000 years the Councils were doctrinal. Now we live in a pastoral institution. The dilemma? many Catholics do not accept the pastoral approach as everything becomes subjective.

  28. A way out8:08 PM

    Of course, the entire logical framework can be made to work if Vatican II was pastoral in nature only. Then we merely have a situation that could be best described as a "state of emergency" where, for several decades, a great multitude of bishops and priests failed to pass on Tradition, but without a defect in Tradition itself.

  29. John Lamont8:24 PM

    I don't see any discussion of the actual argument that Fr. Gleize is making here, which is an important one, and is concerned with the account of doctrinal continuity given by Mgr. Ocariz, not with the question of whether or not certain teachings of Vatican II are continuous with previous magisterial teachings. His point is that Mgr. Ocariz is maintaining that these teachings are continuous with the previous teachings by redefining the notion of continuity in a way that does not require actual absence of contradiction in the older, logical sense. This is a strong and extremely important point, and we should be grateful to Fr. Gleize for making it. I think he may be right in ascribing this view to Mgr. Ocariz. The question is whether Benedict XVI on a personal level also holds this view and is acting in accordance with it. (He cannot hold this view in his official capacity as Pope because it is heterodox.) Is this what Benedict XVI had in mind in his famous discourse to the curia? Or does he hold the older view of continuity? This is the crucial question not only for the SSPX in deciding whether to accept some form of canonical regularisation, but also for the whole Church in deciding whether Benedict XVI really means to work for a restoration of the faith.

  30. The main premise of Gleize's thesis remains unproved, that is, that the CVII contradicts the deposit of Faith. All he does is the typical "A contradicts B, C contradicts D, etc." list, without further demonstration. But each one of the points that the SSPX considers problematic require a lot of study before one could say that they are in fact heretical or solemnly condemned by previous magisterial teaching.

    Just as an example of this, we can see Professor Thomas Pink's essay regarding religious liberty. There we can see that this single issue is infinitely more complex than just "Dignitatis Humanae contradicts Mirari Vos".

    And the other argument is simply too weak: "John XXIII said this, Ratzinger said that", etc. That is not a serious theological argument. When Dignitatis Humanae says "This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom", this is clearly magisterial language, used to put forward a doctrinal proposition.

    So, if the SSPX desires to advance this debate, they should better start focusing on the individual issues, instead of putting all of them in the same bag.

  31. For 2,000 years the Councils were doctrinal.

    Except for the Oecumenical Council of Vienne, which issued hardly anything of a doctrinal or dogmatic nature, instead focusing on the pastoral/disciplinary matter of the Knights Templar.

    Now we live in a pastoral institution.

    The Church has always been a "pastoral institution" -- the sheepfold of Christ, the Good Shepherd, with the Roman Pontiff the chief shepherd of the whole Church. A big part of the problem is the notion that there can be a dichotomy between doctrinal and pastoral. When Vatican II declared itself to be "pastoral," that didn't make it non-doctrinal, but that declaration was itself an instantiation of the ambiguity that is found throughout the council's documents.

  32. Anil pray tell me where do you get the idea that the sspx are leading people to hell? Not from Rome nor any of the congregations so where then? It couldn't be that you are commiting the same sin you believe the Society guilty namely disobeying Rome?

    But let's stop this nonsense if you believe that those assisi 1-3, the novus ordo, clown masses, the destruction of our churches and all matter of heresies are in the Church and the society are not I confess I am confounded.

  33. And as for those who say it requires a lot of study, it has been 50 years, how much longer do you say we need? Should we perhaps wait another 50?

    Besides which his statement is not intended to be an indepth theological document, those who criticise it for not being indepth enough they are simply being disingenuous and unjust. Those who want an indepth study should purchase one of the books of Angelus press or read or listen to one of the sermons of the Society.

    Aside from this one does not need 50 years of study to say that if one document says something and another forbids it, the two contradict each other. That the last 50 years of trying to reconcile vatican 2 with previous councils have been an abject failure speaks for itself.

  34. Amos Moses10:57 PM

    The principle of contradiction is not exactly what the author thinks it is. he says that it says that the same predicate cannot be affirmed and denied of the same subject. This is only PART of the principle. The full version will add "... at the same time, in the same respect". Let me explain the difference:
    I am a son
    I am not a son
    This would seem to contradict, yet both are true, as can be seen when we flesh it out:
    I am a son (of my parents)
    I am not a son (of my children)
    So, we can see how difference of respect can make a seeming contradiction NOT a contradiction. The author of this piece would like to say "No, pay no attention to time/respect, that is too subjective" but, unfortunately for him, consideration of time and respect are part of the principle.

    And so falls the foundaton of his argument.

  35. Jordannes551 said:

    "...but that declaration was itself an instantiation of the ambiguity that is found throughout the council's documents."h/t P. Madrid

    Fr. Richard McBrien’s (ALWAYS in FULL Communion) recent commentary ( on the new translation revolves around the notion that there is war being waged for control of the Mass between so-called “right-wing” Catholics and those “for whom Pope John XXIII is a hero and Vatican II was a great event.”

    “To be sure, the advocates of the “reform of the reform” have won only a partial victory with this new translation (for example, “I believe …” rather than the more communal “We believe …” in the Credo). But the Mass is still in the vernacular; the altar is still turned around; the great majority of people receive Communion in the hand; and there are more likely to be altar girls in the sanctuary than boys.”

    Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Mysterium Fidei, given in September, 1965, shortly before the conclusion of Vatican II:

    It is only logical, then, for us to follow the magisterium of the Church as a guiding star in carrying on our investigations into this mystery, for the Divine Redeemer has entrusted the safeguarding and the explanation of the written or transmitted word of God to her. And we are convinced that “whatever has been preached and believed throughout the whole Church with true Catholic faith since the days of antiquity is true, even if it not be subject to rational investigation, and even if it not be explained in words.”
    Greater Clarity of Expression Always Possible

    25. They can, it is true, be made clearer and more obvious; and doing this is of great benefit. But it must always be done in such a way that they retain the meaning in which they have been used, so that with the advance of an understanding of the faith, the truth of faith will remain unchanged. For it is the teaching of the First Vatican Council that “the meaning that Holy Mother the Church has once declared, is to be retained forever, and no pretext of deeper understanding ever justifies any deviation from that meaning.”

  36. JTLiuzza1:55 AM

    "I am a son"
    "I am not a son"

    That statement is apparently contradictory but your further explanation clarifies.

    If even a humble sinner was to say "I am a son AND I am not a son," and to stop there leaving it to people to either reject as gibberish or figure out on their own, I would say that that person has no interest in conveying clarity or truth and should henceforth be ignored.

    For the Magisterium to communicate in such a way, through conciliar documents no less, is alarming.

    That explanation is a de facto admission of a lack of necessary clarity which demands correction.

    We're talking about way more than just a poorly written piece of secular legislation here.

    I am optimistic, though. To quote a great Cardinal, "If the Church were not Divine, this council would have buried Her."

  37. Ralph Roister-Doister2:29 AM

    What is a contradiction? An instance of two statements that cannot both be conceived to be true. At any given moment, a thing must be either a tree or not a tree. It can’t be both. Why? Because we find it impossible to conceive that it could be both.

    Well, that seems simple enough, and that understanding has worked over centuries. But in the late 18th century it was turned on its head by the likes of Hegel, Schelling, and a barge load of acolytes, among them latter day theological hero of V2 ecclesiasts, Karl Rahner, who worked so closely with our present pope at the great council that they co-authored a book on “collegiality.”

    In the modernist understanding, the salient point is not that contradictions cannot both be true, but that each point of the contradiction is true in its own time and its own way, and that from their juxtaposition springs not chaos and nonsense, but a greater, richer, finer, and more exalted sense of reality than could otherwise be dreamt of. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis, and reconciliation of opposites: from contradiction springs a greater truth.

    That last part is especially important: truth is not transcendent, absolute, and everlasting; it springs from below, out of interactions of “opposites,” specific situations, and has no greater a shelf life than those situations.

    The foregoing is a major facet of the modernist mindset. It saturated the thought of manny of those who became the periti of the second Vatican council. It underpins the attitude of those who sought to have the Church embrace the world, throw open the windows, embrace the antithesis. Mgr Ocariz’s document is shot through with it. And it is hard for me to avoid the conclusion that Pope Ratzinger’s logical hall of mirrors is as well.

  38. "This begs the question of whether or not Vatican II really contradicts earlier councils."

    Well, I guess it does, but honestly, I think you have to be willfully blind not to see that Vatican II quite clearly does contradict earlier teachings.

    Tawser below hit that nail on the head, but Catholics won't face the impact:

    " ...the church of Vatican II and what preceded it seem to me to be two different churches. And without demanding a simple leap of faith, how can you go about persuading a reasonable person that they are in fact the same church?"

    That is an elephant you see sitting in the consistory with the cardinals, but if we pretend it isn't there long enough, I guess it means it isn't. Likewise, I suppose the Church officially believes in inerrancy even if no one from the pope on down even pretends to teach it it? Come on. Someone needs to buy the entire house shots of realism.

  39. Michael said: "Question: on what authority does a priestly fraternity make these judgments concerning the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church of the 21st

    If the pope really is the pope and he says the current Magisterium is indeed the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, on what theological basis does the SSPX

    The problem is that at present it is far from clear who or what the Magisterium, current or otherwise, subsists in.

  40. Anil Wang said: "The one thing that SSPX must understand is that the Vatican cannot affirm that Martin Luther was right, namely that Pope and Councils are fallible."

    Interesting. What about the situation in which Luther is pronounced 'right' according to a certain V2 document on religious liberty, and later is 'rehabilitated' as having been misunderstood, and then later still canonized?

    Yes, that is a hypothetical question, yet it is not far off the mark. A positive attitude to Luther according to the above terms has been present in certain circles of the Church which are in 'full communion' for quite some time. It is not a question here of
    isolated aberrations, but of fully reasoned arguments and well developed postions that claim to be based on the teachings of V2.

    Just one more example of the contortions, conundrums and convolutions, not to mention mental labyrinths, that one is obliged to wade into if one wishes to make sense of the post V2 Church.

  41. Amos Moses said: "I am a son/ I am not a son...I am a son (of my parents)/ I am not a son (of my children)".

    That is quite a promising beginning, but the train of thought then goes pear-shaped. The difference of respect is not the same as the difference of time and to lump them together willy-nilly, far from 'explaining the difference', only serves to obfuscate.

    Neither is there anything subjective in stating "I am a son (of my parents) I am not a son (of my children)". That is an objective and logical explanation of how "I am a son/ I am not a son" can both be true.

    Mind you, it is not clear whether the supposed position of the 'author of this piece' on subjectivity - and by what powers of clairvoyance can that be determined, pray tell? - are also those of of Amos Moses, and whether he considers that position a good or a bad thing, and as 'part of the principle'.

    And so falls the foundation of his argument.

    JTLiuzza nails it when he says: "For the Magisterium to communicate in such a way, [I am a son/ I am not a son] through conciliar documents no less, is alarming."

  42. Louis4:32 AM

    Tawser said...

    ...without demanding a simple leap of faith, how can you go about persuading a reasonable person that they are in fact the same church?

    In two words, you can't...and that is a reason for the existence of the SSPX. As the late Fr. Fred Schell S.J. put it, the Pope is the head of two churches (the God-centered Catholic Church, and the man-centered "Conciliar Church".) It is not easy to see the Catholic Church nowadays but it is still here, and always will be. The SSPX is not the Catholic Church, but it is part of it.

  43. That sounds suspiciously similar to the Protestant "invisible church" ecclesiological error.

  44. Fr. Richard McBrien’s (ALWAYS in FULL Communion)

    That is by no means clear or indisputable . . . .

  45. "In short, it was far better for them to not be a bishop and go to hell than to become a bishop and lead people to hell."

    Which bishops do you mean, Anil Wang? Archbishop Rembert Weakland and many others like him perhaps?

  46. Bartholomew1:46 PM


    Serious question: Is there any evidence that any bishop has publicly questioned as to whether or not Fr. McBrien is in full communion (as many have regarding the status of the SSPX)?

  47. I find it impossible to believe that one can be a son and not a son at the same time if words are taken for what they say. There is no added qualification to those words so it is a contradiction. Are the people in the pews expected to add these "qualifications" to the ambiguous statements of the Vatican II documents? People in the pews, I daresay for the most part, are not schooled in the nuances of Logic and syllogisms. Rather, they depend on the Church to speak with a clear voice and that simply has not been done. However, again, I bring up the point that it is not the FSSPX that should be signing a doctrinal preamble but those who do not speak with a clear voice.

  48. Bartholomew, I don't know if any bishop has questioned Dick McBrien's status vis a vis communion with the Church, but the U.S. bishops did severely critique his book on Catholicism for its numerous doctrinal errors, and (if I recall correctly) had its imprimatur removed. Since it is apparent that Dick McBrien does not hold the Catholic Faith, it is impossible to say that he is in full communion with the Catholic Church.

  49. Joe B6:47 PM

    It is possible to legally be a son but yet the father disowns him. So you could at the same time be a son and not a son, depending on your pastoral view, legal or familial.

    So, once again, explain how the controversial documents are consistent with tradition and stop tilting at windmills - as yet, SSPX has not said they are heretical, only that they appear to contain them as written and they are certainly being implemented as if they do. Over to you, Vatican. Been waiting over 40 years while the church disintegrates. When do you address the issues and stop tilting at windmills?

  50. Jordanes551 said:

    "Since it is apparent that Dick McBrien does not hold the Catholic Faith, it is impossible to say that he is in full communion with the Catholic Church"

    That's just your opinion "that Dick McBrien does not hold the Catholic Faith," how can you possibly know what's in that man's heart?


    Fr. McBrien has also said...

    "Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward."
    Read at:


    Fr. McBrien –
    In your suit and tie-silk
    Thank heavens you’re old
    Soon to die with your ilk.

    For I’m Catholic Mother
    Nursing legions breast milk
    In the cradles of Latin
    Where their souls you’ll not bilk!

    Today,"What is white is considered black and what is black is considered...not so dark."

  51. That's just your opinion "that Dick McBrien does not hold the Catholic Faith," how can you possibly know what's in that man's heart?

    There is no need to read hearts. If he believes the things he wrote in his book on Catholicism, and the things he writes in the National Catholic Distorter -- and he either does believe those things, or he is playing a gigantic and gigantically stupid joke on everyone, or he is insane (okay, he might be insane AND believe those things) -- then he obviously does not hold the Catholic Faith.

  52. Devastated in the Vineyard6:46 AM

    IMHO, it will take at least another 75 – 100 years before the magisterium makes any definitive interpretation of Vatican II, if ever. The reason is that our current Holy Father and bishops are of the generation that is too emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually “attached” to Vatican II. One has to understand the nature of this “attachment” to understand the present crisis. It is more than simple nostalgia. For Ratzinger, Wotyla, & Co., “The Council” was the defining event of their lives. For them it was truly a New Pentecost and it seemed so evident at the time that God was taking the Church in a new direction and everything now had to be done differently (the abandonment of the anathema in magisterial teaching, the changes in liturgy, religious life, seminary training, and the application of the novelties of ecumenism and religious liberty, etc.). I believe that their experience of “The Council” has largely blinded them to the fact that the seeds of the ensuing crisis lie in the documents of Vatican II itself. Even the younger “JPII generation” of priests and future bishops are attached to Vatican II via their close identification with JPII and all he stood for. The fact that he is now a beatus (with many hoping for a quick canonization) only cements his influence among the current generation and into the next, and by extension, the “attachment” to Vatican II will continue. It is this “attachment” which makes any present and near-future solemn clarification of the overall non-dogmatic nature of Vatican II impossible. On the other hand, it is proof-positive to me of the indefectibility of the Church that while for human reasons the current magisterium cannot bring itself to proclaim Vatican II merely pastoral and non-binding, neither can it proclaim, for heavenly reasons, Vatican II to be dogmatic and binding in all its novelties.

  53. Ultimately, the basic problem with The Vatican Councils of the 1960s is that the Devil is in the details which are its ambiguities and which still require clarification.The outcome itself illustrates nearly 50 years of devastation: liturgical and pastoral chaos demonstrates objectively that it is long after time to revisit what took place and to restore what we have lost. Unfortunately, the hierarchy can no longer recognise the truth.

  54. Ralph Roister-Doister has written clearly and one can understand what he intended to communicate. Obviously, he is not of the New Theology; oh, and as a bonus, he is right.

    All technical arguments aside, it is quite clear that a revolution within the Form of Catholicism has occurred and insisting that one must cotton to this revolution is cotton-picking crazy.

    I have been nearly completely and totally alienated from the Catholic Church I was born into in 1948 and I an't done the alienating.

    The actions of the Papacy since 1962 are almost totally severed from the actions of every single one of the about 260 Popes who proceeded the V2 Popes; the V2 Popes and their effete ecumenism with protestant, jews and muslims has completely alienated me and telling me that continuity has been preserved is leading to the ruination of my liver because I can not stand to listen to such claims sober.

    The Mass is the most obvious form of radical revolution and alienation from the pre V2 Catholic Church but there is also the revolution of the sacraments and the revolution of the religious orders and the revolution of the new catechism which is the first universal Catechism in the history of the Catholic Church to identify one person as one who gave scandal - a serious sin.

    And that person identified as one who gave Scandal?


    The new Catechism charges Him with giving scandal. TWO TIMES !!!

    That is simply an abomination of monumental size and it is a serious sin of The Catholic Church to have made that indefensible and scandalous accusation against Our Lord and Saviour.

    Those entries alone caused me to angrily cast the Catechism to the floor and invent some incandescent invectives when I read it and to this day I consider the Catechism a grave scandal and the idea Our Lord and Saviour is going to Bless His Church when it publishes such execrable scandal about Him is insane.

    Jesus in the Head of His Church He established and the New Theology, in its attempt to minimise the extent to which the jews were guilty of deicide has gone so far off the track of Tradition that it resulted in identifying Jesus as one who gave scandal.

    Lord have Mercy when His Church takes the decision to teach the world that He, Jesus, placed the jews on the horn of a dilemma (look-up the meaning of that word).

    The New Theology and The Universal Catechism; Effete ecumenism in its most execrable existence.

  55. To both Devastated in the Vineyard and I am not Spartacus, my sincere applause for your posts. You are spot on. To "Not Spartacus": please moderate your drinking unless it will actually damage your liver.

  56. SSPX Wannabe6:48 PM

    I Am Not Spartacus,

    I share your disgust and concerns.

    If I may ask you: I am edging ever closer to leaving my parish and throwing in my hand with SSPX, lock, stock and barrel.

    Any solid reasons you would offer for me to reconsider thie course of action?

  57. SSPX Wannabe said...

    "I am edging ever closer to leaving my parish and throwing in my hand with SSPX, lock, stock and barrel."

    Two things to remember: 1) each of us must obey his local Ordinary in all things not sinful or unjust; 2) the SSPX is not the Church (but is part of it) and like all human institutions has its share of nutty members.

    With these caveats in mind, I have avoided the faithless, communion-in-the-hand, diocesan priests like the plague, and count myself blessed to have attended the TLM offered by SSPX priests - and other faithful priests - for 20 years.

  58. Gideon Ertner12:28 AM

    I'm sorry, but this response is pure b****cks in my opinion. I thought there was something that did not quite ring true in Mgr. Ocariz's piece and I actually expected a lot more from the FSSPX. But this really brings out the stark weaknesses in the FSSPX position.

    Fr. Gleize points out that there are elements of Mgr. Ocariz's argumentation that are not quite self-evident. If that is true, it is certainly also not self-evident that "On at least four points, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are obviously in logical contradiction to the pronouncements of the previous traditional Magisterium" Saying it is so doesn't make it so. Fr. Gleize has to prove it, and he makes no attempt to do so.

    Then Fr. Gleize goes on to denounce the Pope's way of defining continuity as of a subject (the Church) whereas traditionally continuity was thought of as of the object (the teaching of the Church). But he fails to take into account that there is not necessarily any contradiction: obviously in arguing that the Church is the same before and after the Council, the Pope is arguing that its teaching must also be the same. For the Church is not the Church if she does not teach what the Church ought to teach, namely the everlasting Truth. The reason the neo-Modernists speak about a "new Church" is that they think that the Church now proclaims a "new doctrine". If there was not an ontological unity between subject and object, both sides would find the talk of a "new Church" completely irrelevant.

    Finally Fr. Gleize denounces Mgr. Ocariz's idea that the Magisterium that must interpret Vatican II is "the new Magisterium of this time, the one that resulted from Vatican II... not the Magisterium of all ages." But there is no "new Magisterium" after Vatican II, and Mgr. Ocariz never claims there is. The Magisterium which is now is an integral part of the Magisterium "of all ages" - there can be no contradiction between these two subjects any more than there can be a contradiction in the Faith they teach, and to claim a contradiction is to claim a rupture in the temporal unity of the Church, which is a heresy. It can only be the Magisterium which is now that is tasked with defining what is Catholic Truth for our day - not the Magisterium of a hundred years ago, for that is no more, or rather it lives on in the current Magisterium, as the two are simply one and the same, though composed of different men at different times.

    In short, Fr. Gleize misses the point completely and makes himself (and the Society) out to be foolish and dangerously close to heresy.

  59. Ecclesia Militans1:20 AM

    SSPX Wannabe,
    I will speak from experience.

    With the Society you are sure to receive only the Catholic Faith. With the diocesans, however, you could easily be in a situation of having to constantly discern Catholic teaching from un-Catholic teaching and silently flinching when you hear a modernism (un)disguised.

    There is a world of difference whether the diocesan priest has been delegated to accomodate the "charism of the traditionalists" or if he indeed tries to be traditional and therefore celebrates the Mass of All Ages (this is a different breed but I wouldn't hope to find many of these).

    The fact of the matter is, a diocesan priest celebrating TLM is usually the same as his fellow priests celebrating the New Mass, especially if he has been delegated, and most especially if he regularly also celebrates the New Mass.

    The nonchalance exibited to the rubrics and regulations of the Church is often distressing. Examples range from intentionally wearing the wrong liturgical color, wearing a shirt and pants instead of a priestly habit, to frequent mistakes in celebrating Mass and the inescapable improvisation. And this is just the priests with good will.

    And to top it off, you probably cannot ask him for advice on anything traditional - you will either get a modernist answer or no answer at all, as it is probable you already know more about the matter than he does.

    All of the above is the consequence of bad training and bad theology in the seminaries and there is really nothing one can do but turn to Tradition and to the lion of Tradition - SSPX.

    You will find no compromise there, only Catholic Truth.
    And the Truth shall set you free...

    Again, I speak from experience.

  60. SSPX Wannabe12:55 PM

    Louis & Ecclesia Militans, thank you for the replies.

    One follow-up for you: how viable an option do you consider FSSP to be? Would you say SSPX is a superior choice? Why or why not?

  61. Dear sspx wannabe. I have always maintained the bonds of unity in worship, doctrine,and authority & that is a necessary minimum requirement for one to remain Catholic; any action that severs that union is indefensible.

    I lived in a dead Diocese and I was part of a Trad Study Group whose membership was implacably committed to maintaing those bonds until death.

  62. To whom does the Church grant the authority to definitively declare that a Council has promulgated contradictions?

  63. Tradical5:20 PM

    Hi Enoch,

    re: ... authority to definitively declare that a Council has promulgated contradictions?

    My understanding is that in the end game only a subsequent Pope and/or Infallible Ecumenical Council could clarify the problems by restating Church Teaching.

    For example: Obliterating the word subsist could be done by simply stating that the "true Church of Jesus Christ is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church".

    A definitive binding (de fide) statement such as this would resolve a number of problems immediately.

  64. Tradical5:25 PM


    "... how does indefectability survive ... "

    In my opinion this would depend on whether or not what the Church 'taught' in the Second Vatican Council that was novel is considered 'de fide'.

    I look forward to your thoughts on this topic.

  65. Thank you Tradical, but I did not mention anything about Church teaching or clarification of problems.

    I asked to whom does the Church grant the authority to definitively declare that a Council has promulgated contradictions.

    Fr. Gleize, SSPX, states in this article that..."On at least four points, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are obviously in logical contradiction to the pronouncements of the previous magisterium."

    By what authority of the Church is Fr. Gleize, SSPX, allowed to definitively declare that a Council of the Church teaches contradiction?

  66. Enoch said: "I asked to whom does the Church grant the authority to definitively declare that a Council has promulgated contradictions".
    In the the story, "The Emperor's New Clothes", to whom did the Emperor grant the authority to definitively declare that the Emperor did not in fact have any clothes on?
    Alas, the child did not have any such authority granted to him. He just stated the bleeding obvious.
    Some people are doing the same with regard to problems with Vatican II. The FSSXP is not doing anything other than stating that previous popes have already condemned these errors (such as religious liberty)in encyclials which in turn merely restated the perennial teaching of the Church.

    Similarly, Catholics all over the world have had to teach their children the truth from old catechisms, not the "new" one. They did not need to be granted any authority to do this or to criticise the errors in the new catechism. Again, it is just a matter of common sense.

  67. Enoch, so in your estimation a Catholic cannot recognize an obvious contradiction between two logically irreconcilable statements (e.g. the Syllabus of Errors and the Decree on Religious Liberty) until the pope gives him permission? I know you are only trying to be a good Catholic, but you really aren't making Catholicism very attractive.

  68. Tradical10:55 PM

    Hi Enoch,

    " ... By what authority of the Church is Fr. Gleize, SSPX, allowed to definitively declare ..."

    1. Fr. Gleize is using the same authority as Msgr Gherardini and others who have said basically the same things.

    2. Fr. Gleize's statements are not 'definitive' in that you must believe them with faith. They are the opinion of a theologian.

    3. As said earlier common sense. I've started a comparison of the points mentioned (pre and V2) and the contradictions are in some cases quite apparent.


  69. Tradical10:56 PM

    Hi Enoch,

    "I asked to whom does the Church grant the authority to definitively declare that a Council has promulgated contradictions."

    With regards to this, my previous answer still stands. Only a subsequent Pope or Council can condemn a previous Pope or Council.


  70. Anonymous10:33 PM

    "On at least four points, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are obviously in logical contradiction to the pronouncements of the previous traditional Magisterium ...."

    To those several who asked, by whose authority does the writer make this judgement, for pete's sake, would you read it? In the very next paragraph, Father Gleize lists the four points and lists after each the encyclicals or letters of the magisterium with which Vatican II is in contradiction! Will you not simply read those sources? All are easily available! And they are ample! And VII is clearly, so clearly in contradiction to them. So when we get to that point, where the wording of the Council lines up side by side, as Gleize does, with the teaching of tradition, then of course they have to change the meaning of contradiction.

    Just new sophists! You cannot fly an airplane on contradictory data, or program a tool and die cutter, or bake a cake. I just don't think they'll be able to wave away contradiction, unless the idiocracy is really here.

  71. apstemp6:57 PM

    It seems that things may come down to this. If Vatican II truly has logical contradictions in its teachings and it is binding upon the faithful, then it follows that:
    There is a pre-conciliar Church and a conciliar church, or there is a pre-conciliar Magisterium and a conciliar magisterium, or the controversial teachings of Vat II are reformable.

    The two-church proposition cannot be true due to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the promises of Christ. In the case of the two magisteriums, if true, the new magisterium must be discarded; if not, then both magisteriums are subject to doubt and error. The third option, that the teachings of Vat II are reformable, must be the case, since the council: was explicitly non-dogmatic, was novel in its ambiguity, and included teachings that contradict the perennial Magisterium.

    The only other option is that the teachings of the council do not truly contain logical contradictions, and must be able to be interpreted consistent with the perennial Magisterium.

  72. I went to read the sources listed for the four main topics on which Abbé Gleize says there is contradiction. I must admit that clear contradiction is hard to find there. I found different presentations - yes. But 180 degree diametrically opposed contradictions - well, I can't say for sure I found them.

    I wonder if the word "oblique" would better describe the way these presentations of doctrine differ.

    Just one more thought: I wonder how one can justify or prove a claim that one's interlocutor in a discussion is really denying the principle of non-contradiction. This analysis of Abbé Gleize is tremendously interesting, but how does one prove a statement like the following:

    "...non-contradiction no longer has the same meaning at all as it did until now... The hermeneutic of Benedict XVI now understands this principle in a sense that is no longer objective but subjective, no longer intellectualistic but voluntaristic. “The absence of contradiction” is a synonym for continuity at the level of the subject."


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