Rorate Caeli

Rome-SSPX - Important - With the Pope's own signature: Vatican II and the post-conciliar Magisterium must be accepted in full

A transcript of a conference given by the French bishop of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bp. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, in the priory of Saint L.M.G. de Montfort (Maine-et-Loire, France), on September 16, 2012, was made public by French forum Un évêque s'est levé. The main excerpts, according to the available transcript, dealing with the Rome-SSPX negotiations are the following:

"[T]he agreement considered in 2011-2012 lasted for six months, it has not been blessed by the Blessed Virgin. (We had prayed rosary after rosary, and we keep doing that, that is very good.) But the Blessed Virgin was clearly not behind this idea. She did not walk this path, because on June 30 (it's a secret that I reveal to you, but it will be made public), on June 30, 2012, the Pope wrote with his own hand a letter to our Superior General, Bp. [Bernard] Fellay, signed personally: 'I confirm to you in fact [that], in order [for you] to be truly reintegrated into the Church  [Tissier says:] (let us move beyond this expression), it is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium.'

"It is, as a matter of principle, a stopping point, because we could not accept it anyway; we would not sign it anyway. One can enter into details, because the Council is so vast one can find good things in it, but this is not the essence of the Council."
"Evidently, we could not sign it. Because we are required to sign it, the agreements do not move forward. I would say that [if] on this point there is no agreement, there will be no agreement.

"This is all I can tell you, I do not think Rome will let us go. The Modernist Rome [sic] will come close to us [once again], it is inevitable. They are determined, they are persistent, they want to lead us to the Council, therefore pray. Personally, I would never sign things like that, that is clear."

In Gianluigi Nuzzi's book filled with Vatican leaks published earlier this year, Sua Santità, a specific chapter was devoted to the 2009 "Williamson crisis", and, in it, mention was made of the note of the Secretariate of State made public by L'Osservatore Romano on February 4, 2009 (we provided a translation of the Italian original text as soon as it was published). Nuzzi included this in his book:

"...[T]he entire phrase 'the Holy Father does not intend to leave aside an indispensable condition' [in the Secretariat of State's draft] was cancelled by Benedict XVI and replaced with, [in his own handwriting,] 'For a future recognition of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, the full acknowledgment of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and of the same Benedict XVI is an indispensable condition'." (Gianluigi Nuzzi, Sua Santità, Chiarelettere, 2012, page 208)

It is unclear if this same content was merely mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI with a reference to the 2009 note in the June 30, 2012, letter mentioned by Tissier de Mallerais, or if the 2012 letter has more precise demands on the matter.

[French forum content also reported by Andrea Tornielli for La Stampa - in Italian]


  1. Again, for the umpteenth time, what does the following mean?

    "it is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium."

    The Society has always and everywhere accepted the Second Vatican Council and the authority of the Post Conciliar Popes.

    Some clarity please!

  2. I look forward to the suppression of secular ideology and mannerisms from the Church's both past, present, and future actions.

  3. Spero4:12 PM

    I thought that, at least among Gheradini et al., the question was not whether Vatican II could be accepted, but whether accepting Vatican II is compatible with recognizing real problems in the text. On the other hand, in reading Cardinal Journet's "Theology of the Church," his section on the divine assistance to the canonical power of ecclesiastical jurisdiction definitely raises some questions in my mind on this point.

  4. Jason C.4:17 PM

    The Holy Father's teaching on Vatican II has been firm and clear: The Second Vatican Council may seem to conflict with prior magisterial teachings on some points but, if it does so appear, you're doing it wrong. The SSPX has the answer, albeit a conclusory one: Vatican II is not in conflict with what came before. The SSPX would accept that solution if proclaimed infallibly (if it has not been already). What the SSPX asks, and what the Holy Father has yet to provide, is to show his work, i.e., how he reaches the conclusion/solution that what seems conflicting is not in conflict.

    Then again, does the Holy Father need to show his work, or does his ipse dixit not suffice? I am inclined toward the latter.

  5. Anonymous4:19 PM

    "Some clarity please!"

    Indeed. Reading this gobbledygook, I sometimes feel like Br'er Rabbit in full-wrestle with the Tar Baby.

  6. It all depends on what considers the "magisterium" to be or consist of. If it is in accord with Tradition, fine, if not, then we are not talking on the same frequency.

  7. dominic19554:30 PM

    I don't see what the issue is and why they cannot delve into what that "acceptance" means.

    I accept all the Ecumenical Councils, including Vatican II and the whole Magisterium, including that of the post-Conciliar Popes. I do not accept what some hippy-dippy Modernist or liberals say these things are.

  8. "it is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium."

    From what I have read from SSPX on how it understands what the term "magisterium" comprises — it ain't really "magisterium" if it contradicts pre-Vatican II teaching — it seems SSPX might be able to agree to this formula.

    It all hinges on the meaning of "magisterium"

    Is that why the Vatican (and of course Benedict XVI) formulated it this way? That it's sufficiently vague to please everyone?

  9. Will The Catholic Twilight Zone Ever End4:41 PM

    Should I just throw my hand in with SSPX? Why not? Seriously. By all appearances, my faith is far closer to Bishop Tissier de Mallerais' than to Pope Benedict XVI's.

  10. Papae fidelis4:41 PM

    Reminds me of a famous quote: "I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe."

  11. St. Michael's supplicant4:55 PM

    Our Crucified Divine King instructed prior to giving His Life to fulfill His Father's Will: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."

    May the most noble, glorious souls of the SSPX be infused with Our Divine Savior's own Holy Spirit that they may begin to understand their Divine Master's words and actions which reveal the essence of what it is to be a true Child of God.

    "Veni Sancte Spiritus" through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel!

  12. Hilltop5:00 PM

    I cannot help but think that Rome's insistance that " is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium." amounts to its desire to have it both ways: 1)the SSPX back in full communion as a matter of good external housekeeping and 2) a then-silent SSPX so as to avoid the clear need for internal housecleaning.
    In other words, first, silence the Society, then admit it into "full" communion and command its continued silence.
    (But, how can a full communion BE silent?)

  13. JTLiuzza5:17 PM

    I'm also a little confused.

    By "accepting" the council are you not simply "accepting" that the council was a legitimate, non-infallible pastoral act of the magisterium?

    What's the problem there or am I over simplifying?

  14. "David said...
    Goodbye FSSPX."

    What do you mean David?

    How can Bishop Fellay sign on to something that is so vague as?:

    "it is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium."

    Maybe if Pope Benedict was specific, in this case, the FSSPX and we would have a better idea of what we are commanded to do.

  15. What is the point of asking the Holy Father to personally confirm his wishes if it has already be rejected in principle? Bishop Tissier says it could never be accepted in any what does it matter to the SSPX a directive comes directly from a Pope or his collaborators if the result is the same?

  16. From the Popes letter. I wonder if I am "truly integrated into the Church", and mny many other non FSSPX.
    I know many FSSP and other Ecclesia Dei priests that really believe that there are serious errors in of the VII documents.

    I guess they are not "truly integrated into the Church".

  17. @ What's Up,

    Let me put it this way.

    I truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-Conciliar Magisterium. In other words, I accept the Rome of the time in which I now live, not an abstract and idealized "Eternal Rome". I do not accept any heresies against the Catholic Faith put forward in the name of the Second Vatican Council and which were never taught by said Council, nor by the Magisterium since the Council. Rome does not teach heresies. I accept Rome because I am a Catholic. While I share Bp. Tissier de Mallerais's reservations about the contested teachings of Vatican II, it is clear to me that Bp. Tissier de Mallerais and I do not share the same communion of Faith.

    If the FSSPX goes the way of Bp. Tissier de Mallerais, I say: Goodbye FSSPX.

  18. Pancho5:45 PM

    Archbishop Lefebvre said he could accept Vatican II "in the light of tradition". It seems the position of the SSPX has hardened and changed since his death. Sad!

  19. Stephen M5:46 PM

    Is there anywhere one can find a full list of the chapters, paragraphs, sentences of the texts of VII that the SPPX disagree with, why they are wrong and how they should be modified? Everything is argued in such general terms, e.g. I accept / reject VII.

    Surely these need to be more explicit, so we can all assess where we stand. Most of the rhetoric I hear from the traditionalist community centres around what priests and bishops are/were doing, not what the church was teaching.

  20. @ What's Up,

    To "truly accept" Vatican II means I accept the fact that Rome, not the FSSPX or anyone else, will resolve the issues that disturb me about the Council. It means I accept the possibility that these issues might not be resolved in my lifetime.

    If the FSSPX cannot accept this, then goodbye. They are outside the Church.

  21. Barbara5:56 PM

    "it is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium."

    I wonder what the word "truly" implies?

    What a shame this all is. But the "cat is out of the bag" so to speak, for many tradition- minded Catholics, since it was Pope Benedict himself who opened it with the liberalisation of the Old Mass and the withdrawal of the excomunications in the FSSPX. I, like many, I am sure, investigated the reasons the Old Rite had been taken from the people - and it was a shocking discovery to know what had happened at that Council - and the "new" Catholicism that was ushered in afterwards. So now it is not only the FSSPX who have problems in "truly" accepting Vatican II Council and the subsequent magisterium. I have problems accepting it and have spent the past 5 years in "unlearning" a lot of strange and foolish ideas that were passed onto me in by the postconciliar Church.

    So does that mean I am not "integrated" in the Catholic Church - just because I have questions about that confusing Council? Not on your life - always loyal to Peter!

    The ongoing mess since that council is still all around us -- and I was so much hoping in the full help of the FSSPX to restore our bedraggled and practically lost Catholic identity. Does not seem fair to me.

  22. "The SSPX has missed the time of its visitation... Having rejected the opportunity to accept Full Communion with this Pope, the SSPX is living a pipe dream if they think some future Pope will kowtow to their demands.

    Ultimately, its all in the hands of the Pope's direct superior.

    Personally, I'm more interested in BXVI's reconciliation of the First Commandment with VII's declarations on ecumenism....

    ....and settling the question in my own mind as to whether Paul VI's statement on the smoke of Satan entering the Church was a lamentation or a simple observation.

  23. "...If the FSSPX cannot accept this, then goodbye. They are outside the Church."

    Every man his own Pope, indeed.

  24. Stephen6:07 PM

    Maybe the sign from the Virgin was that the Vicar of Christ asked them to accept the Council.

    Think about that dear SSPX.

  25. The whole modernist Rome thing is getting kind of old. The holy father believes in what the sspx stands for and wants unity, or else wouldn't have labored so much for a reconciliation. The question is if the sspx believes in the holy father. The church and the faithful are starving for traditional priests and the true mass. Even the late Michael Davies said that sooner or later the sspx would have to return for it's good and the good of the church.

  26. Clario6:12 PM

    Stephen M, read this:

    The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church by Fr. Matthias Gaudron

    Get it at Angelus Press.

  27. Ivan K6:15 PM

    The SSPX are "not fully integrated"? "Not fully integrated" is how I feel when I attend my local Novus Ordo Parish. No argument can persuade me that my 95%-protestant-in-spirit parish is more licit, valid, legitimate, or Catholic than what the SSPX offer.

  28. It took three years to arrive at this?

    The Holy See knew the FSSPX position for decades.

  29. +Bishop Tissier said:

    "it's a secret that I reveal to you"

    If it's a secret, your excellency, then why do you reveal it? I will wait until I hear from the Superior General, his excellency +Bishop Fellay.

  30. Hilltop6:35 PM

    Amazed by how many comments read to support outright expulsion! Lots of handwashing to be seen above...
    Excommunication and/or announcement of formal Schism is not likely to happen and good thing that none of you are in position to effect it.
    I am not an SSPX adherent, but I can recognise the silencing and suppressing tendencies of one party who says "we'll talk after you agree". And I can recognise frustrated sincerity in one party attempting to make important points to another whose reply is, "we promise to listen later, but sign here first".
    So, for all ye who would easily dispense of our brethren:
    "...The governor said to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying: Let him be crucified.
    And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, taking water washed his hands before the people, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just man. Look you to it."
    - Matthew 27:23-24

  31. Padraig6:46 PM

    David said the SSPX are outside the Church.Which Church does he mean?Is it the Church which celebrates a service that the Catholic Martyrs of Ireland, England and Wales refused to partake in? I thank god for the holy Priests of the SSPX who are a beacon of light in a faith which is practically drowned in a sea of modernism, ecumenism and where everything and anything is permissible in the sanctuary up to and including so called female Protestant Clergywomen preaching to Catholic congretations.

  32. That syllabus of errors in the interpretation of Vatican II that Bp. Schneider requested would be quite useful. It is frustrating that Pope Benedict is more willing to spend his time writing books like "Jesus of Nazareth", in which he states in the prologue that the book is not an act of the magisterium and that, thus, anyone is free to disagree with him. In time of peace, such leisurely and scholarly endeavours such as these books would be fine; but in time of crisis? We need definitive teachings to clear up the most ambiguous council in the history of the Church. Please, Holy Father, this is pure madness.

  33. @ Hilltop,

    I do not wish to see the FSSPX declared schismatic. Unfortunately, if Bp. Tissier de Mallerais is representative of the FSSPX response to Rome, I see no other outcome. But perhaps Rome has other plans. We shall see.

  34. @ Padraig,

    I made very clear what Church I meant. If you want to pretend otherwise, that's your problem.

  35. Which Church does he mean?

    What sort of Catholic asks this question?

    Needless to say, "he" means the Church he sees, the one headed by a Pope, in Rome.

    "Diabolical disorientation" is a term that gets thrown at Rome a lot these days, especially from FSSPX strongholds. Hmmm ... careful with that stone.

  36. Is this a claim that Bishop T de M has said that the Holy Father has used the phrase: "the post-conciliar Magisterium"? Really?

  37. Cross Examiner7:32 PM


    Your viewpoint is shocking and saddening. I think the issues of break from Tradition, as well as the scandal of over 45 years and multiple popes passing without the kind of definitive doctrinal clarification that is called for and necessary are flagrant scandals.

    Yet beyond all that, let me try to grasp for one particular citation of injustice that I'm hoping even you'll agree with here.

    If this is the requirement for SSPX to be integrated, then surely it is only just that all who are already 'integrated' be called upon to affirm this as well. And those who do not or cannot in some way should be shown the door, stripped of their licitiness, and put in to the same ecclesial limbo as SSPX.

    That's only fair, right?

    Remember, when called upon to accept Second Vatican, that will mean, from Lumen Gentium alone, affirming papal primacy, papal infallibilty, and ALL of the dogmatic definitions of Florence and Trent. How many Catholic clergy and religious in 2012 will make this cut?

    The fact that only SSPX alone, as far as I can tell, is being required to affirm this, that in and of itself, is a scandalous affront. That's how bad this truly is. SSPX ironically can probably affirm as much or more of the council than many others.

  38. Inquisitor7:38 PM

    "it is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium."

    *sigh* What does that phrase even mean? What teachings that the SSPX reject are taught by VII? Does the SSPX have to acknowledge all of the teachings of VII as infallible in order to truly accept the teachings of VII? Do they only have to accept the parts which are infallible? If they only have to accept the infallible parts, which parts are infallible? Can the SSPX acknowledge that all documents of VII are valid conciliar documents, but then argue that certain teachings are not infallible and can thus be rejected?

    If the Holy Father is going to make the demand that the SSPX must "truly accept" VII, it seems to me that justice would require the Holy Father, to promulgate a definitive syllabus delineating which teachings of VII must be accepted to be in communion with the Church.

    You can't expect anyone to accept an agreement that nobody understands.

  39. Our Lady's little child7:38 PM

    Bp. Tissier de Mallerais is quoted as saying: "But the Blessed Virgin was clearly not behind this idea."

    When souls FAIL to PERSEVERE to communicate amongst each other to reach the Will of the Holy Trinity which is the humble meeting of souls for the Honor and Glory of God. . .how DARE THEY SAY that the Blessed Virgin is not supportive of her children coming to an agreement for the salvation of ALL of her children's souls.

    With St. Judith of the Old Testament, Our Lady would have her children recall the words the Holy Spirit put on St. Judith's lips: "15 Although it may not be his will to help us within the next five days, he has the power to protect us for as many days as He pleases, just as He has the power to destroy us before our enemies. 16 But you have no right to demand guarantees where the designs of the Lord our God are concerned. For God is not to be coerced as man is, nor is He, like more man, to be cajoled. 17 Rather, as we wait patiently for Him to save, let us plead with him to help us. He will hear our voice if such is his good pleasure."

    Those who are to rise up to ACT under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, let them be called forth through the sacrifices and prayers of the Mystical Body of Christ.

  40. Patrick7:41 PM

    "it is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium."

    If they accept this now then the question arises why they ever made it into an issue in the first place, much less established a movement, consecrated bishops and set up communities. Benedict XVI has finally taken off his affable mask and is no different than Paul VI and JPII -- which presumably he glories in. All this talk and they are right back where they started from.

  41. If BXVI is convinced as to the status of Vatican II, within Mother Church, let him state Infallibly that that acceptance of Vatican II documents, in their entirety, is De Fide.

    Then I will know I have been expelled from The Church - and I am not of an SSPX congregation.

  42. Absolutely unacceptable!

    Anyone who really thought it would be otherwise does not understnad Pope Benedict XVI through his written works.

  43. Romanitas8:11 PM

    Like so many here I am grasping to discern what the "post-Conciliar magisterium" is. I attend an Easter Melkite-Catholic Church, and they are required to accept less of the dogmatic definitions of any council than the SSPX; they must accept the dogma and view the definition as valid, even if they prefer some other manner of considering the dogma (ex. the Assumption/Dormition of the BVM). When many Eastern churches were seeking communion with the Apostolic See in the 15th-18th centuries they were required to agree with the Roman Pontiff on certain points:
    -the valid use of the "filioque" in the Latin rite Credo
    -the validity of Eucharists celebrated with un-leavened bread
    -western holy orders
    -the possibility of purgatory
    -any dogmae defined since 1054

    When has Rome ever presented so exact a list of items to the Society? Even when Anglican clergy become Catholic, seeking ordination, they are often permitted to simply sign a Catechism. So why does Rome still insist of such ridiculous, obscure standards for a fraternity of priests who are entirely orthodox? Moreoever, what post-Conciliar dogmatic definitions or teachings have there been, which the Society—or any Catholic—must accept?

    Rome seems to want to turn the SSPX into another FSSP or IBP: just a group of quasi-diocesan priests who say the old Mass where the local bishop invites them to do so. I love the FSSP, but there are great limits to what they do. Case in point: they have not opened a new church since 2008 and will probably have too many priests and not enough faithful in the near future.

    I would second Bishop Scheinder's idea for a syllabus of errors concerning specifics surrounding the Council and the post-Conciliar church, but this Pope seems to prefer to teach the People of God like a college professor: through long, protracted seminars which lack a clear end message. To this Pope, whom I love, we are beyond "yes" and "no" teaching.

  44. Unfortunately, when Bishop Fellay claimed The SSPX could be regularised and not have to accept the entire Council I knew he was wrong. He needs to read Benedict XVI's conciliar-centred writings and he would know. This is an impossibility. He has been seriously wrong-footed.

  45. Ummm...didn't Abp LF sign the Council documents? So, one of his Bishops is refusing to sign something he did? Right?

  46. Romanitas said:
    Case in point: they have not opened a new church since 2008 and will probably have too many priests and not enough faithful in the near future.

    Romanitas, I do not know where you got your information from but my local FSSP parish in Phoenix, AZ was opened just two years ago...

  47. Pascendi9:46 PM

    backtothefuture, if you really believe Benedict believes in the same thing as the SSPX, then you need to read this:

  48. @ Cross Examiner,

    Sorry that my view shocks and saddens you. There's a lot said on this board I find shocking and sad, too.

    Of course I would love to see all of the modernists and heretics called to account. We differ not in that fond wish. However, it must be pointed out that if the FSSPX are in ecclesial limbo, they put themselves there. The lifting of the excommunications in no way fixed the extreme irregularity created by the illict episcopal consecrations. This and this alone makes it necessary for the FSSPX and Rome to wrangle over doctrinal preambles and the like. I'm sorry if you find it unfair, but Rome is acting within her divinely constituted rights. The fact that Rome acts like a wanton trollop doesn't change the basic juridical principles at stake. Our Lord Jesus Christ, by virtue of his Incarnation, left us a Church with very real, visible, and incarnate structures by which the members of the Mystical Body are bound to the Head. This is what is at stake. The FSSPX refuse to submit to those structures, why, because they happen to be "right" about Vatican II? Sad indeed.

  49. Those who state that priests of the FSSP, ICK, or others friendly towards tradition also have problems with documents of Vatican II are forgetting one thing. Those priests are doing so within the official structure of the Church. They are obedient and submit to the authority of the Pope. The SSPX are outside that official structure and do not accept the authority of the Pope. It does not count to say you accept his authority in word while ignoring it in action. One of the great friends of the SSPX, the late Michael Davies, obviously had issues with Vatican II and his writings are oft cited by members of the SSPX. Despite this he disagreed with Archbishop Lefebvre's decision to consecrate the Bishops and he remained within the visible structure of the Church. He taught in Archdiocesan schools up until his retirement. He preferred to work with groups like Una Voce of which he was at one time president.

    I see this whole thing ending soon and the SSPX isn't gonna like what happens to them. So then when Pope Benedict exercises his lawful authority what will everyone say.

  50. I really do want the SSPX to rejoin the Church but in this obsessive nit picking the SSPX seems to have lost all sense of proportion and to assume that it is negotiating as if it was a separate Church rather than its professed position that it is a part of the Church.

    SSPX simply have to accept that this cannot go on much longer. Increasingly in his Blog SSPX supporters are criticising the sincerity of Pope Benedict and suggesting that SSPX will have to wait until the next Pope. Sorry Guys, Wake Up, Grow UP and get realistic.

    The fact is If SSPX does not reconcile with the Church under this Pope then it is unlikely that the next Pope is going to bother. SSPX will be regarded as being like the "Old Catholics" who split from the Church in 1870 ie a schismatic group dealt with like all other Christian Churches as part of the Ecumenical work of the Church. I think even the Traditionalists in the Church will decide that enough is enough and decide that everyone simply has to forget the SSPX and get on with restoring tradition within the Church without them.

    And before anyone brings up the old canard that the SSPX is not in schism let me point out that if itis not now then certainly it will have to be within the next ten years.

    SSPX has 4 Bishops Fellay aged 54, Galarretta aged 55, Tissier aged 67, and Williamson aged 72 and therefore in the next 10 years it is going to have to face up to needing to ordain some new Bishops.

    If SSPX is not regularised by then then any Bishops ordained will be in a very different position to the present 4. When the 4 were ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre he was without any doubt a legitimate Bishop of the Catholic Church albeit performing an unauthorised and hence illicit (NB NOT invalid merely illicit) ordination.

    Arguably that was an act of Schism but if those illicitly ordained Bishops go on to ordain illicit Bishops of their own then there can be no doubt that a formal Schism will exist.

    SSPX has to realsie that this hair splitting "will they, won't they" dance simply cannot go on indefinately.

  51. Louise10:40 PM

    I sked a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham if they had to accept Vatican II when they became Catholics and he said "certainly not, we would not have become Catholics if we had been asked to accept it."
    Why one rule for them and another for the SSPX?

  52. JTLiuzza11:36 PM

    "The fact is If SSPX does not reconcile with the Church under this Pope then it is unlikely that the next Pope is going to bother. SSPX will be regarded as being like the "Old Catholics" who split from the Church in 1870 ie a schismatic group dealt with like all other Christian Churches as part of the Ecumenical work of the Church."

    I see this bandied about quite a bit. I still have trouble understanding the basis for such an assertion.

  53. Francis11:42 PM

    The conciliar church (and its modernist and relativist novelties) are slowly dying, its empty seminaries and religious orders confirm this. Therefore, in twenty years, most practicing Catholics will be of a traditional nature. Let God, and nature take its course and cleanse Holy mother Church of the modernists.

  54. Laudate12:01 AM


    The FSSP purchased a church building in Phoenix 2 years ago, but Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix is much older than the newly purchased edifice.

    Perhaps Romanitas simply meant that the FSSP has not started a new parish or mission since 2008. I don't know if this is true, but if it is, that's very sad.

  55. Tradical12:14 AM


    I think you need to look at what constitutes a schismatic act.

  56. [T]he agreement considered in 2011-2012 lasted for six months, it has not been blessed by the Blessed Virgin. (We had prayed rosary after rosary, and we keep doing that, that is very good.) But the Blessed Virgin was clearly not behind this idea. She did not walk this path, because on June 30 (it's a secret that I reveal to you, but it will be made public), on June 30, 2012, the Pope wrote with his own hand a letter to our Superior General, Bp. [Bernard] Fellay, signed personally: 'I confirm to you in fact [that], in order [for you] to be truly reintegrated into the Church [Tissier: let us move beyond this expression], it is necessary to truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium."

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that if he is truly revealing a secret that was not in his authority to reveal then I don't think the Blessed Mother is gonna be behind him. Furthermore here is a little more to consider. It is without a doubt that the confessions heard by a SSPX priest are invalid, not merely illicit but invalid. That means that for the past 20 some years a great majority of the adherents of the SSPX are not absolved of their sins. This would have to mean that quite a few mortal if not serious sins committed by followers, Bishops and priests of the SSPX are still out there. Do we really think the Blessed Mother is going to heed the prayers of those persisting in such a state of sin?

  57. Matamoros12:37 AM

    Wait another lifetime for the received interpretation of Vatican II to be laid to rest? I should think not.

    One of the correspondents noted the very demanding attitude taken by the Vsatican with regard to the SSPX compared with Eastern Churchs like the Melkites. This is because the SSPX is not really outside the fold and th Vatican acts accordingly.

    Another correspondant mentions the existence of numerous members of the St. Peter Fraternity who have similar qualms as the SSPX concering Vat II. This is one of the main reasons for the negotiations perhaps. The Vatican would like to limit contagion from the SSPX - but the horse bolted a long time ago.

    Already in 1976 it was "Goodbye SSPX" Every conservative worth his salt wrote off then a Society of a few dozen with no future. Now it is much bigger, and more importantly, it has a large degree of influence over the traditionalist movement which has grown up in the broadchurch, largely because of its contagion effect. Clearly its influence goes much further than the smells and bells to which the Vatican wishes all obedient Catholics to restrict themselves.

    The probem with the Council is that while Arshbishop Lefebvre said he could accept it interpreted in the light of tradition, and the current Pope uses the same expression, we are still waiting to see what that means for the contentious sections of that affair. Since Benedict XVI has never refuted the received interpretation with regard to the thorny clauses, and to all intents appears to go along with them, what else can Catholics be expected to do but ask him to stop being part of the problem and to unreservedly be the solution.

    Unfortunately we live in a time where the living magisterium, while at times so encouraging, has these relapses like recurring Alzheimers. In the meantime the only possible path for the SSPX is to continue to provide unpasteurised traditional life, making these valuable microbes available even to those who should know better. This is not obstinacy or splitting hairs. These questions of the Church and society came under attack from the modernists long before the liturgy etc was affected. The new liturgy is the result of a new mentality and cannot be divorced from it.

    Meanspirited attacks on the SSPX, often by people who were not even born in 1976, yet have benefitted from this Society, were also experienced by religious orders which were catalysts for renewal in times of crisis, like the Jesuits, the Dominicans and the Franciscans.

    The Vatican showed its hand during the recent negotiations. But it's never waste of time because the truth will out and everybody learned a lot. The SSPX might not have a goody two shoes attitude about it, but it won't end up as breakfast for aging modernist crocs either. Deo Gratias.

  58. I agree with those who have already said this: a lack of precision about what it means to accept the Council and the post-concilar magisterim is part of the problem.

    Does the Holy Father himself interpret the Council and post-conciliar magisterium as 100% infallible? Based on his comments as cardinal and as pope, it seems he may not.

    So, as long as certain questions are considered "open," the Society should be able to disagree, and express its disagreements, in RESPECTFUL and CONSTRUCTIVE ways.

    But this is the other part of the problem. Some of them, including Bishop Tissier himself, seem incapable of taking this approach. They consistently have recourse to terms like "heretic" and "heresy," which are specific legal terms with specific legal meaning in the Church. Aside from being inflammatory, the SSPX does not now and never will have the juridical authority to throw such terms about. The divine constitution of the Church has reserved that authority to the Pope and his collaborators alone.

    They CAN and SHOULD point out issues about controverted points in a constructive way, respecting proper authority, as has happened many times in the history of the Church. But they need to stop acting as though they possess a juridical authority that they do not.

    Even if the Pope and certain persons in authority agree to a certain extent with some of their concerns, Rome is never going to allow a body like the SSPX to arrogate authority to itself that it does not possess. Nor should it.

    In practical terms, otherwise good men like Bishop Tissier would do well to utilize a bit of prudence and reserve. Yes, Rad-Trads, I agree that souls are at stake. But many of the lost sheep in the world today are in that state due more to ignorance than malice. Just as they were in Our Lord's day, or 500 or 1000 years ago.

    It's just my humble opinion, but it seems to me that the inappropirate approach of some SSPX folks will just guarantee that the lost sheep will never pay a shred of attention to them. Railing about women in slacks, or girls going to college, or a sweet movie like the Sound of Music, will probably result in few, if any, listening long enough to hear the parts of the message that are really important.

    Such people are written off as cranks, and tuned out. And rightly so.

  59. David says:

    To "truly accept" Vatican II means I accept the fact that Rome, not the FSSPX or anyone else, will resolve the issues that disturb me about the Council. It means I accept the possibility that these issues might not be resolved in my lifetime."



    The SSPX is right on so many things and wrong on the only one that is, finally, certain.

    However this disaster is finally remedied, it will be remedied aboard the Ark.

  60. Skeptico12:56 AM

    Look at all the stinking compromisers here. And you let them post at will. Nauseating.

  61. Juxtaposition12:59 AM

    The SSPX is following the Apostle Paul's command to stand fast and hold to tradition. When push comes to shove, the Holy Father lands on the side of the progressives. We are at an impasse, humanly speaking. The time has come for a miracle. I believe the miracle is months, not years away!

  62. "... syllabus of errors in the interpretation of Vatican II that Bp. Schneider requested would be quite useful..."

    I agree completely.

  63. "The Second Vatican Council may seem to conflict with prior magisterial teachings on some points but, if it does so appear, you're doing it wrong,"

    No, Vatican II is not dogmatic, despite it's claims to be, and it's not a religion, therefore I don't believe in it anymore than the SSPX does. It's only Catholicism itself that is without defect, and if it seems to be defective, yes, you're doing it wrong. Vatican II was just a beurocratic set of papers bound to their passing decade, which were defective from the start and perverted by the end. It's clear from all this that the crisis in the church has far from passed. Vatican II is a destructive event in the life of the church from which only great evil has come. This fraud of a council will have to be worked over and adjusted eventually, either before or after the entire edifice of the church collapses around it, so I think the Society is quite correct to keep its distance, and to keep doing what worked. I grew up in the years immediately following the council, in the culture that it enabled, encouraged, and empowered. And while I have always, and still believe in the indefectability of the church, I have never, nor will I ever believe in the correctness of Vatican II, and I will ever work to squelch it and undo its terrible consequences for the Catholic church. Being a church employee, I have not been without my effect, and I may yet succeed to even larger degrees. But I'll never give up, with Our Lady's help.

  64. This insistence that the Emperor Vatican II continues to have clothes is almost now impossible to maintain. I predict that the post-conciliar church will fall in my lifetime, and if that it what must be, then it must be. I don't mean to sound pessimistic, just resigned to the will of God. After all, the church wasn't created overnight with St. Peter's basilica going up instantaneously. But I think we may as well face it, we might have reached the end of a cycle in the church, leading to a period of downsizing and rebuilding. It could be worse. We might not have ever known what it is we're trying to rebuild. As it is, the way ahead is clear.

  65. So we must accept that Muslims believe in the "one true God";and that Hindus are on a "loving, trusting flight towards God"?1

  66. Matamoros2:09 AM

    Unclne Claibourne said of the SSPX: "They consistently have recourse to terms like "heretic" and "heresy," which are specific legal terms with specific legal meaning in the Church. Aside from being inflammatory, the SSPX does not now and never will have the juridical authority to throw such terms about. The divine constitution of the Church has reserved that authority to the Pope and his collaborators alone."

    On the contrary any Catholic who knows his catecism may throw such term about with complete freedom. Any person or text which denies a dogma of the Faith is heretical. So we have the representatives of various heretical organisations like the Anglicans and the Lutherans.

    One does not need a legal act from the church in order to state the obvious when it come to heresy, for example in the statement that there are four, or two persons in the Divinity or whatever. The official heretical status of members of the hierarchy (this would be a question for someone with jurisdiction) is not of so much interest to the SSPX as alerting the faithful to their dubious pronouncements. Do they use strong language? Read the history of the Church and discover what just about everybody who was anybody, including saints, had to say about each other in times of crisis.

    What's important when the dust settles is who has kept the faith. Some say keeping the faith means being jeek by jowl with the Pope and his collaborators. What - and into the Mosques etc too?

    With VatII it's true it's not so clear, (because it's contradictions with the Church's past concerned different levels of teaching) but Archbishop Lefebvre generally held the line that some aspects favoured heresy. Here again, nobody is trying to take over the Church's authority to issue anathemas, only to alert people to dangerous flaws in teaching and practice today.

    Will we need jurisdiction to establish that two and two make four? When confronted with authorites who insist after 50 years that two plus two make five, what else can we do but incense them and refuse to agree?

  67. Teddy2:18 AM

    Horrible! It's all collapsing.

  68. John McFarland2:25 AM

    Let me offer some crucial language from the July 19 post-Chapter statement of the SSPX, with some comments in block caps:

    "The Chapter believes that the paramount duty of the Society, in the service which it intends to offer to the Church, is to continue, with God’s help, to profess the Catholic Faith in all its purity and integrity [NOTHING ADULTERATED OR OMITTED], with a determination matching the intensity of the constant attacks to which this very Faith is subjected nowadays."

    "For this reason it seems opportune that we reaffirm our faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the unique Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation nor possibility to find the means leading to salvation [REJECTION OF ECUMENISM]; our faith in its monarchical constitution, desired by Our Lord himself, by which the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth [REJECTION OF COLLEGIALITY]; our faith in the universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of both the natural and the supernatural orders, to Whom every man and every society must submit [REJECTION OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION]."

    The Society continues to uphold the declarations and the teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church in regard to all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors [FOR EXAMPLES OF THE ERRORS, SEE ABOVE], and also in regard to the reforms issued from it [THE POST-CONCILIAR MAGISTERIUM]. We find our sure guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its teaching authority, transmits the revealed Deposit of Faith in perfect harmony with the truths that the entire Church has professed, always and everywhere.

    The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities."


    So the Society is on record still another time as maintaining that all the things for which Vatican II is most remembered are erroneous.

    It follows that the notion that the Society could or would "truly accept the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium", whatever the exact form of words, is absurd. You must think that Bishop Fellay and his confreres are either prevaricators or idiots -- and that being one or the other is a virtue.

    But many of you clearly think that the solution to error and equivocation is MORE equivocation. This is traditionalism?

    A few of you even think that the Holy Father has a magic wand by which he can the later of two inconsistent teachings infallible, thereby enabling him to cast the Society forth into the exterior darkness. This is infallibility as explained and defined by Vatican I?

    I'm fresh from being banned from a Williamsonite website for my taking exception to unsupported allegations that Bishop Fellay is presiding over the liberalization of the SSPX and a sellout to the modernists.

    Like those folks, many of you folks are living in a dream world in which what you want trumps what is true. You just have different tastes in fantasy.

    Last but not least, let me castigate you still another time for your complete ignorance of what the Society actually teaches, and your implicit determination to stay ignorant.

    Anyone who has not read at least Fr. Gaudron's "The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church," which is justly touted in one of the posts above, and persists in holding forth on the Society, is at best flirting with rash judgment.

  69. Scott Quinn2:29 AM

    Wow, this is as I had suspected: B16 was behind this bait and switch. He'd led the SSPX along the path with his little gestures, but, in the end, he's willing to sacrifice the Truth as taught by the Church for nearly 2000 years on the altar of Vatican II/modernism. Quite sad, really. He's being quite selfish. I wonder if, under that pure white papal vestment, there isn't a smart-looking secular suit. At least there is intellectually and theologically.

    Still, I don't buy the claim that the SSPX risks becoming irrelevant if they don't come to terms with Rome. The demographic tsunami that will smack the Church over the next 15 years--both lay and religious--is going to be huge. We already know there is no appetite for post-VII Catholicism. I predict and pray that the SSPX will see a major increase in lay support and in vocations. The last of the people who even care about VII's "success" will be dead or too sick to matter. Perhaps we must wait until then to rebuild the Church. One thing is certain: B16 ain't the answer.

  70. Two things:

    1. I repeat again the plea of Msgr Gherardini, Prof. de Mattei, Fr. Livi, and the others to the Roman authorities and others that if we all must give religious assent of mind and will to every bit of Vatican II, then please in your charity explain and clarify in reasonable detail the difficult parts to us so that we can take this step. Given the tenor of the times and culture in which we live, it is unreasonable to demand that people would simply exercise the kind of blind obedience that prevailed in the 19th century to notions that seem to contradict what were thought to be well-defined notions in the very same 19th century. Otherwise, if you want to apply 21st century principles of faith, then ask also for 21st century types of obedience.

    2. It took the ROCOR 80 years to reconcile with the Moscow Patriarchate; why should it take less time for the SSPX to reconcile with the Roman authorities? And please don't waste our time with supposed distinctions such as "they [the MP] were in league with the Commies, etc."

  71. The core of the problem arrives:

    FSSPX is going to be crushed by the will of power changed in a magisterial act.

    Is not the truth on the table, not a theological matter, but the submision to the Pope will in modern view.

    Rome does not care about the theological implications about the conciliar text in order to truly futhfill the demands, but about the answer to the demmand of the Pope beside he is right or not.

    Will of power is the final practical problem of the modernity and FSSPX is not viewing that or at least not explaining his non possumus in this point.

  72. Romanitas3:49 AM

    @ Echo:

    What I meant to say was that the FSSP has not opened any new projects since 2008 (or at least as of last year they had not). I know they recently acquired a basilica in Fribourg, but had already existed in that city. Same for when they changed parishes in Rome four years ago. They are a marvellous fraternity of priests, but there is a limit to what they can do.

    Some commenter said that since SSPX confessions are invalid Our Lady would not give them direction. Does this sound like Our Lady?—the "Mother of Mercy" who sorrows at sins which offend Her and Her Son? Would Our Lady not take pity on sinners and at least direct them in the right path? Say that the Society's leaders are misguided or flat-out wrong if you wish, but please do not assume so boldly that almost every SSPX priest or Mass-attendee is in mortal sin and that the BVM would not listen to them.

    Also, can we be absolutely certain Society confessions are invalid? Ordinary jurisdiction seems to be against it, but the Holy Ghost must act in places of need. While I was in college I could honestly say every priest in my area was a heretic: one said Our Lord was a homosexual, another priest was a homosexual, and another told me that my mortal sins were not mortal sins and I was worrying too much. There was no SSPX chapel in town, but if there was I would have attended without qualm. Some may say I would have been better off going to the diocesan dissident since he could offer a legally valid absolution, but would my soul have emerged from the confessional in better condition than had I gone to an orthodox but irregular priest? I am not necessarily arguing that all Society confessions are valid, but the view most have that they are not is usually informed by a very legal, un-supernatural view of the world. Some of the holiest men with the best Catholic instincts I know have gone to SSPX priests for confession. Also, when the IBP, FSSP, and SSJV regularized were they told their confessions were invalid due to canonically irregular status? They same could be asked of medieval monks who were often at odds with their local bishop. Be careful in your assumptions concerning how the Lord bestows His graces.

  73. Romanitas3:54 AM

    One other note: despite the Society's irregularity Rome has maintained that they are not in schism. Yet so many on this combox seem to immediately place them in schism like the "old Catholics" and other irrelevant groups. I am beginning to think that many WANT the SSPX to be in schism for disagreeing with the Pope. What the heck?

  74. "So we must accept that Muslims believe in the "one true God";and that Hindus are on a "loving, trusting flight towards God"?"

    Over my dead body.

    Christianity, namely Roman Catholicism, is the one true faith. Judaism has been supplanted, Islam is a hideous distortion of Christianity, and Hinduism is paganism.

  75. "The conciliar church (and its modernist and relativist novelties) are slowly dying, its empty seminaries and religious orders confirm this.

    "Therefore, in twenty years, most practicing Catholics will be of a traditional nature."

    No way. Not even close.

    The "Conciliar Church" is filled with hundreds of millions of Catholics who prefer "modernist and relativist novelties" to Holy Tradition.

    Traditionalists form a tiny group within the Church.

    Sorry, but that is reality.

    Pope Benedict XVI made it clear five years ago that as the years go by, the Novus Ordo will continue to influence Catholics in far greater fashion than the TLM.

    His Holiness declared the following:

    "The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often.

    "Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful."

    The "concrete" reality is that few Catholics have contact with the TLM.

    Twenty years from now, that will remain the case.


    1. I believe that in twenty years, being catholic will be harder than ever, in the whole world and especially in the U.S, and only the true catholics will publicly display their faith. The vast majority of catholics that you see today, will care to much their own skin and interest to risk it. The churches will be emptier. The ones remaining will not put up with watered down catholicism. Time for feel good religion will be long gone.

  76. Andrew G Russo4:54 AM

    If Benedict "truly" accepts Vatican II and its decree on the liturgy, he would immediately abolish the New Mass, Mass facing the people, tables instead of altars, altar girls, communion-in-the-hand, communion under both kinds, standing instead of kneeling for Holy Communion, Eucharistic ministers, clown and banjo Masses,
    dancing girls, and every other insane liturgical practice NEVER authorized by Vatican II. Are you going to step up to the plate Holy Father and "truly" accept Vatican II?

  77. What would Jesus do with these intransigent and intractable traditionalists if He were still on earth?

    The way He dealt with His apostles and disciples gives some clues. He spoke with great clarity. He used parables, yes, but that was to make His message easier to understand, not to confuse. Yes, some of His sayings were hard sayings. He let the apostles know that following Him would not be easy - "take up your cross and follow me". Yet He was aware and understanding of their weaknesses, such as in the case of the apostles falling asleep in the garden of Gethsemane, or of them running away through fear, or of Peter denying Him, or even of them getting too zealous on His behalf. He taught that they too should have clarity in their dealings - "let your yes be a yes and your no be a no". And last but not least He led by example, demonstrating
    that as their shepherd He was prepared to die for them, and to die in order to do the will of the Father.

    We also have clues from the way He dealt with those not His apostles and disciples. He recognised the sincerity of the centurion and the faith of the woman from Canaan, and was therefore moved to help them. But His attitude was different towards those who tried to play word games and mind games with Him. In such a case He either 'outsmarted' them with clear and concise answers that brooked no contradiction, or He maintained silence. He commented on the deceitfulness of Herod in very
    unflattering terms. And to those who with the tacit approval of high clerical authorities brought abominable practices into the House of God He gave a taste of His just anger.

    What is totally *not* to be envisaged is that Jesus would have dealt with His apostles and disciples as a 'Joker': keeping them in the dark in order to keep them in their place, or playing cat and mouse games with them, or deliberately treating them unjustly in order to break their spirit, or manipulating them in order to 'test' their loyalty.

    Such methods are more in keeping with Gnostic and Masonic sects and other esoteric cults where the neophyte - if he aspires to be accepted into the ranks - has to
    undergo a process which includes being deliberately deceived and made a laughing stock. Jesus was made a laughing stock and humiliated and He expected that His followers would be prepared to do the same for His Name's sake. Yet He Himself never made a laughing stock of anyone, nor did He humiliate them. It would be blasphemous to think that He, who is the essence of Truth and Justice, would use such devious
    ways to extract obedience from His followers.

    On the question of filial piety we have the words of the Holy Ghost: "Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they be discouraged."

    That is Catholic way and that is how a Catholic Father is expected to behave.

  78. The position of the SSPX concerning collegiality is completely irrational.

    Whilst they complain that the power of the Pope has been diminished, they both staunchly refuse obedience to him in this matter, and they engage in the PRECISE misconduct that they supposedly condemn !!!

    When you set yourself up as if you are some kind of independent authority or parallel magisterium, then complaints against others about the illicitness of exactly this sort of behaviour are not rationally cogent.

  79. Concerned Catholic8:06 AM

    The way the SSPX is going, it seems that what was once put glibly might just come to pass: the "SSPX Smackdown." Now none of us want this to happen, but the SSPX's inability to work with Rome might precipitate their ultimate exclusion from Holy Mother Church - and that would be nobody's fault but their own.

  80. Transitionalist8:20 AM

    "The conciliar church (and its modernist and relativist novelties) are slowly dying, its empty seminaries and religious orders confirm this. Therefore, in twenty years, most practicing Catholics will be of a traditional nature."

    Francis, try reading about the Church in Africa and Asia -- these are rapidly growing but hardly 'tradition-minded'.

  81. David of Glasgow9:38 AM

    Jason C,

    Then again, does the Holy Father need to show his work, or does his ipse dixit not suffice? I am inclined toward the latter.

    Since the mere ipse dixit of the Holy Father is not preserved from error by the charism of infallibility with which Christ endowed His Church then - yes - he should show how the problematic teachings of the Second Vatican Council do not conflict with previous magisterial teachings

    To all those who insist that the Society of St Pius X must now submit to the Pope's request or else be regarded as schismatic I would ask them to consider the following. The obligation of faith, that is the unconditional adherence to the truths revealed by God, is not the obligation to obey a command from a superior but, rather, the obligation to believe the testimony of a trustworthy speaker, namely He "who can neither deceive nor be deceived".

    The unconditional assent that we owe to the truths infallibly revealed by God is not thusly owed because God is Sovereign but because God is Truth Itself and that we can have no doubt that the propositions in question are true.

    Then let us consider the assent that is owed to the non-infallible teachings of the Second Vatican Council. This assent is, analogically, derived from the testimony of the authentic magisterium (that is, the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him) that these teachings are true and not from the mere fact of the authority of the Pope and the Bishops to teach.

    Since we are not even called to give assent to the irreformable truths of the faith based upon God's sovereignity but rather upon his guarantee that these are indeed truths we certainly are not called to give assent to the reformable teachings of the authentic magisterium based upon their mere authority.

    Hence, to demand assent to the problematic teachings of Vatican II (such as that on religious liberty) without trying to clarify how those teachings cohere with prior (infallible) magisterial teachings is a species of violence based upon the mistaken notion that assent of the intellect and will to a proposition is owed in response to a command rather than to the assertion of a trustworthy speaker (cf. 1 John 5:10).

  82. The Pope said that the Church will become small and loose many of her institutions and her influence. VII is definitely helping the process.

    The question is, were these prophetic words of the Pope or are they the VII marshalling plan? Is this the way that VII intended to wipe out the Apostolic Tradition in favour of a new modern world tradition based on man?

    Quote of Ratzinger 1969:
    The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.

    She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members….

    It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

    And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

  83. MariaEtPatria11:13 AM

    I frequently contact people in a street apostolate. As a Catholic, I come across Protestants who accuse me of all types of rubbish like worshiping the Saints etc. I often try to get the conversation around to authority and tell them that Jesus founded the Church, saying he would be with it always and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. This taken to mean He would not allow us (the Catholic Church, under the Pope) to go into doctrinal error - even promising us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. How do people in the SSPX explain this traditional doctrine of the Church to people when it believes that Vatican II and the post Vatican II magisterium is in doctrinal error? Is the SSPX the new Catholic Church?
    There is a great book out at the moment. The Council in question Fr. Aidan Nichols Moira Dooley

  84. Observer11:23 AM

    Thank you, New Catholic, for hosting and facilitating this discussion, allowing for a wide range of opinions, and especially for the apparent broad leeway you have furnished for accepting a host of comments and views that are strongly critical of the Holy See and the Supreme Pontiff.

    May God have mercy on us all.

  85. I just do not understand. If the SSPX has issues with the Second Vatican Council documents, why does it not just publish a book where a group of the SSPX scholars annotates each sentence of the documents so the entire world will understand what the SSPX is saying is wrong with the council?

  86. Gustaf af Donner, Helsingfors2:02 PM

    Vatican II is probably fully accepted by the SSPX. However, the modernist interpretation of the said council is fimly rejected. And as long as the Vactican doesn't care to set down its foot against liberation theology and liturgical dance, any reconciliation is likely out of the question for years and generations to come.

  87. Mlivohi2:16 PM

    “If the SSPX has issues with the Second Vatican Council documents, why does it not just publish a book where a group of the SSPX scholars annotates each sentence of the documents so the entire world will understand what the SSPX is saying is wrong with the council?”
    Answer: because there is nothing wrong with the Council, and they are not capable of doing it anyway. Suffice it to see their “theological” examination of the New Mass.

  88. The English version of the Vatican Insider story mistranslated a fairly key statement of Bishop Tissier. In French and Italian he says that he thinks the New Mass is "often" invalid. In English they translated it as "it lacks validity". The word "often" is not just a nuance - it's a very important difference!

  89. SSPX Catechist2:51 PM

    Maria Et Patria:
    No, SSPX does not think it's the new church. The SSPX position seems to be that the Church cannot infallibly define doctrine that has error, but on a non-infallible basis, doctrinal teaching could have error. And in the case of Second Vatican Council, SSPX holds, the new non-infallible teachings have error.

    Ric: SSPX has produced a flood of material, a myriad of books and articles on their problems with Second Vatican and the aftermath, going back a few decades now. There is absolutely no shortage of SSPX material explicating their positions.

    Gustaf af Donner, Helsingfors: Your assertion appears to be untrue. SSPX has said that it is the Second Vatican documents themselves that have serious problems and errors, that this is not just a matter of poor interpreation. Besides, if such a poor interpreation can be given to such writings, does that not, in itself, point to a serious flaw in the writing of the documents?

  90. Jason C.3:08 PM

    "The unconditional assent that we owe to the truths infallibly revealed by God is not thusly owed because God is Sovereign but because God is Truth Itself and that we can have no doubt that the propositions in question are true."

    I am inclined to agree with this, but I don't know that those categories are mutually exclusive as you seem to suggest. I think it's an admixture of both insofar as, with respect to the Society's few intractable sticking points in Vatican II, we aren't dealing with directly revealed truths, but rather with the centuries-old developments of doctrine of a very mature Church that has reflected on those long-ago revealed truths and seeks to apply them to new controversies. Collegiality, ecumenism, religious liberty, etc., are relatively young controversies faced by our Holy Mother.

    So assuming your magisterial categories are the sole ones to be considered, the authority principle*, as opposed to the revelation-as-Truth principle, has a stronger voice than you might suspect in this discussion between the Society and the Holy Father.

    Can he, or can he not, teach as he does? Can we, or can we not, trust his teaching, even where he provides us only with an answer ("hermeneutic of continuity," i.e., there is no contradiction) without showing how he can logically arrive at that answer.

    Woody makes a brief, but fantastic appeal for why teachings today have to make common sense, and I agree with him--but at the same time, do we trust the authority principle, a principle which is divinely revealed (Mt 16:18)?

    *(and I shouldn't have irreverently called it ipse dixit, because of course all agree the Holy Father lacks raw, naked power to teach apart from what he has received)

  91. Matamoros3:24 PM

    MariaetPatria said: "He would not allow us (the Catholic Church, under the Pope) to go into doctrinal error - even promising us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. How do people in the SSPX explain this traditional doctrine of the Church to people when it believes that Vatican II and the post Vatican II magisterium is in doctrinal error?"

    Errors come in degrees. After Vat II we are dealing with liberalism, which is worse than heresy because by nature it can't stand making dogmatic assertions about anything much except the need to tolerate everything. So while of course the Pope hasn't lost the Faith, there is a liberal spirit everywhere still. Until this goes, there won't be peace.

    So we have a Church which is still the Church, but all is not well - it wouldn't be the first time. The Church in France in the seventeenth-century was permeated with Jansenist spirit, but few enough actually took the step of becoming Jansenist to a heretical degree. Post-conciliar Catholicism suffers from a liberal spirit at all levels, but it hasn't abjured the Faith. That's comforting enough, but it's also very hard to deal with - anyone who says otherwise just isn't being realistic.

    Papal infallibility and Church indefectibility don't prevent our leaders from making mistakes or foolishly running after fashionable worldly ideologies. Let's hope and pray they get things on track sooner rather than later. It's great that everyone is talking about the SSPX and their critique of the conciliar experiment. But, as we all know, it's a small organisation and it can't be responsible for the crisis in the Church. Those with power and responsibility should be the target of righteous anger, not a group of priests and faithful who take the Faith seriously.

  92. Marsaili3:55 PM

    All I want ot know is this: Is Bishop Fellay gonna sign on the dotted line....or what?

  93. Clario5:49 PM

    Ric, get The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church by Fr. Matthias Gaudron.

  94. Pascendo5:57 PM

    For some time now, I've stuggled to understand what this new term "tradition-minded" means. I now get it. Being "tradition-minded" is about being lukewarm, about giving one room to compromise with the conciliar catastrophe and its poisonous fruit.

    For instance, the "tradition-minded" man in "full communion" will allow himself to attend a "reverent" Novus Ordo. Moreover, they happily embrace newspeak such as "Extraordinary Form." Additionally, when it comes right down to it, they believe that obedience trumps the supreme law of the Church, namely, the salvation of souls. They need to understand this:

  95. Francis6:24 PM

    Transitionalist said: "Francis, try reading about the Church in Africa and Asia -- these are rapidly growing but hardly 'tradition-minded'.

    Sad but true.
    I was primarily referring to the West Ie Europe, North and South America.

    I think you're wrong overall, especially in the West. Yeah, in Asia and Africa Vatican II Catholicism is probably going to be the norm for the forseeable future, and I agree, there will always be neocon and Neo-Catholics who adhere to the conciliar religion in the West, but will there be enough of them who go into the seminary or to religious life or even to novus ordo service to sustain the Western Latin Church? I doubt it. In France they are projecting that in twenty years there will be more PRACTICING traditional Catholics than PRACTICING conciliar Catholics. Once the Vatican II generation is gone we will see who fills the vaccuum, especially in the West.

  96. The Holy Father has made a good offer to the SSPX and the SSPX should accept.

    If they accept the legitimate Catholic Magisterium, they can be a great help in promoting liturgical reverence, and fixing the aggressive secularism that infected Catholic universities, the laity, and even some religious and priests.

    But if the SSPX insists that only they have the true catholic Faith, and know better than the Magisterium, then they will continue to do more harm than good - by associating the extraordinary Mass with schism, religious intolerance and ultraconservative politics.

  97. Bookworm7:10 PM

    I sense that those who advocate compromise haven't done much study of the errors of Vatican II. It would be interesting to see if they've read, for example, these books:

    -Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the Twentieth Century

    -The Popes Against Modern Errors

    -The Rhine Flows into the Tiber

    -Revolution and Counter-Revolution

    -The Great Facade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church

    -One Hundred Years of Modernism: A Genealogy of the Second Vatican Council

    -Open Letter to Confused Catholics

    -The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church

    -The Ottaviani Intervention

    -Work of Human Hands

  98. Justin9:33 PM

    Why should we trust the words of a man who is LIVING IN SIN like the bishops of the SSPX.

    The absolutions of SSPX priests are INVALID, they are in mortal sin - no wonder they are in error about this important issue. One mortal sin opens the slippery slope to even greater sin.

    And now they are in formal heresy as well.

    Not long now till formal schism.

    The bishops of the SSPX make me so mad. They are leading souls towards hell and away from Christ and his Vicar.

  99. Ivan K9:39 PM

    Less than a year ago, the catechism and liturgy of the Neocatechumens were approved. I have great respect for the Holy Father, but I cannot force myself, psychologically or emotionally, to believe that the Neocatechumens are "in full communion" but the SSPX are not, just because the Holy Father declares it so. Why must anyone "accept" VII. The root of all of these problems is Vatican II. The Neocatechumens are the perfect expression of the post-VII changes and to "accept" VII is to affirm those changes. The Holy Father may have expressed the view that VII was problematic in its implementation but not in the content of its documents, but if he believes that the Neocatechumens are unproblematic then he also believes that the implementation of VII was unproblematic, because the Neocatechumens are the archetype of that implementation.

  100. Bookworm said...
    I sense that those who advocate compromise haven't done much study of the errors of Vatican II. It would be interesting to see if they've read, for example, these books:

    I've read some of them and heard them oft cited. There is also another one I have read that is not on the list. It is actually more important then any of them. It is The Catechism of the Catholic Church and it clarifies some of the problematic texts of Vatican II and how they should be properly interpreted.

  101. Mlivohi10:14 PM

    No one can say that his fellow human being is in mortal sin. For the latter to be the case it is not enough to commit an evil act but one has to know with sufficient reflection that what he does is an evil act, and has to choose it freely. And these two aspects are known to God alone. We can only establish that an evil act has been committed, and leave the judgment of a person to God.

    Probably, most of the SSPX priests are in ignorance. We must give them the benefit of doubt and say that their ignorance is probably invincible; they are victims rather than sinners. Only God knows if their ignorance is invincible.

  102. From an interview of Archbishop Lefebvre on the SSPX Asia website, "The idea that all truths are equal, all religions are the same, consequently, all the moralities are the same, that everybody's conscience is equal, that everybody can judge theologically what he can do - these are really humanist ideas – (the idea) of total license with no discipline of thought whatever which leads to the position that anybody can do whatever he likes. All of this is absolutely contrary to our Catholic faith."

    Can anyone quote where exactly in a document of Vatican II that this is written.

    Further I find it extremely ironic that the reason given by members of the SSPX for not accepting the offer from the Pope is that to do so would violate their conscience, the same freedom of conscience they they object to in Dignitatis Humanae.

  103. @Ivan KThe root of all of these problems is Vatican II.

    Archbishop Lefebvre also said in the same interview I mentioned above, "I would not say that Vatican II would have prevented what is happening in the church today. Modernist ideas have penetrated everywhere for a long time and that has not been good for the church.

  104. Matamoros11:39 PM

    Dear Justin and Mlivohi,
    please spare us all your pompous self-righteousness. Speculations on whether or not the Bishops of the SSPX are in a state of mortal sin indeed! This sectarianism is such a joke. After all, it isn't they who are trying lead us into mosques and synagogues. The biggest joke of all is that "conservatives" accuse the SSPX of being outside the Catholic Church, when their main crime is insisting that the Catholic Church is the only religion that has real rights before God.

  105. Francis said..."Tom,
    I think you're wrong overall, especially in the West.

    "Yeah, in Asia and Africa Vatican II Catholicism is probably going to be the norm for the forseeable future, and I agree, there will always be neocon and Neo-Catholics who adhere to the conciliar religion in the West, but will there be enough of them who go into the seminary or to religious life or even to novus ordo service to sustain the Western Latin Church? I doubt it."

    Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear that the Apostolic See is moving forward with the Novus Ordo as the primary Mass of the Latin Church.

    (The "Latin Church" is, of course, the Church that features vernacular Masses almost exclusively.)

    The Pope described Summorum Pontificum as a mere act of tolerance for the relatively few Catholics who are attached to the Traditional Roman Mass.

    The Pope declared that important requirements to offer the TLM — "liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language" — are not "found very often" throughout the Church.

    I wish that the opposite were true, but the reality is that our Churchmen are determined to promote Novus Ordoism to the hilt.

    The Traditional Roman Mass will remain on the sidelines.

    Novus Ordoism Catholicism will continue to rule the Church during the next 20 years — and beyond.


  106. Professorio12:07 AM

    Vatican II fans, assume that I accept all Church teaching prior to Vatican II. Therefore, if Vatican II doesn't diverge from those teachings, don't I accept all the teachings of Vatican II? Why then do I need to declare that I support the teachings of Vatican II? Isn't it because I'm being asked to embrace novel teachings?

    Think very carefully before you answer these questions.

  107. Bookworm12:10 AM

    John, unfortunately there are strong reasons to doubt whether the Catechism of the Catholic Church is actually Catholic. Please study:

    Notice that the notorious paragraph 841 need not even be mentioned.

    1. I'm sorry Bookworm but I've heard it all from the SSPX and their answer to everything, and if they are right, the gates of Hell have prevailed.

  108. Romanitas12:18 AM

    @Justin: calm the heck down, you're talking nonsense.

    I understand the caution many here are feeling towards the SSPX, particularly their bombastic language of "apostasy" "lost the faith" "truth" etc. Understand also how these priests are trained: they are not academically minded; Lefebvre was a missionary and I bet that model and spirit flowed into his seminaries. The priests know enough Latin to say Mass, enough theology to confer the Sacraments, and have a great amount of zeal, which in political and bureaucratic settings can go quite awry.

    I would not be concerned about Bishop Fellay's refusal to sign on the dotted line without any specific requirements about what "accepting" the Council means. What does concern me is what comes after Fellay and Schmidberger. The priests ordained now in the Society have never known a "regular" status. I support Bishop Fellay's efforts and I think he is right in not signing the agreement last presented to him (given what little we known about the proposed structure and about ascent to the Council) but he should work with urgency before the next generation takes charge, in which there will be no normalization.

  109. Scott Quinn12:25 AM

    I, for one, apologize to Bishop Williamson for dismissing his warning. He was correct all along. I don't share his ultra-rigid view (I find it lacking in charity), but he got this right. In the days after the episcopal consecrations in 1988 and the formation of the Society of St. Peter, it was Bishop Williamson who warned of a bait-and-switch and, well, we all know what happened: Bishop Williamson was correct about what the modernists would do them. He was correct then and he is correct now. He knows Ratzinger/B16 very well.

    1. And what exactly happened to them.

  110. Clario1:19 AM

    Tom, don't forget that Benedict also invented some newspeak - "Extraordinary Form" - to make sure that the traditional Mass remains marginalized.

  111. Iratus1:28 AM


    "Archbishop Lefebvre said he could accept Vatican II "in the light of tradition". It seems the position of the SSPX has hardened and changed since his death. Sad!"

    ## The reason may be that Rome has become no healthier or less scandalous than it was in 1991. The SSPX would be acting irresponsibly if it pretended the history of the CC & acts of the Popes were frozen 21 years ago. If scandals are still happening, it can hardly pretend they are not.

  112. For the life of me I can't understand the insistence on the pope and the clergy promoting the novus order. We have all seen what disaster this has been. Th restoration of the liturgy will come about by the new generation of catholics, both priests and laity. Heck, the majority of people clamoring for the latin mass are young.

  113. John McFarland3:30 AM

    Dear Scott Quinn,

    There is no evidence that the Holy Father intended to lead the SSPX on and then insist again on the acceptance of Vatican II at the last minute.

    Bishop Fellay's best guess, as of aand conference in Adelaide, Australia, in early August, is that the fierce opposition to regularization caused him to fall in line with the CDF. Bishop Fellay's insistence on confirmation of the Holy Father's position in writing indicates that he thought that the no-strings regularization was indeed on offer.

    Bp. Williamson's problem is not so much charity as truth. He maintains that because of the Vatican's errors, the SSPX can have no dealings with the Vatican, and has no obligation to obey the Vatican; and that putting itself under the authority of the Vatican would be an evil thing.

    I think that this can most charitably be described as flirting with schism.

    Furthermore, he has appealed to Abp. Lefebvre's statements in support of his principles. But as a matter of historical fact widely known among those familiar with the history of relations between the Society and Rome, after making the statements that Bp. Williamson cites, ++Lefebvre continued dealing with Rome.

    He is yet another man who lets what he would like to be true trump the actual truth.

    He is far from the only SSPX member who was concerned about the dangers of regularization. But only he and a tiny handful (at last count, two) of other notorious loose cannons has adopted a course of deliberate defiance of, and calls for rebellion against, the leadership of the SSPX.

    He can no longer be taken seriously. The only issue is whether as a practical matter the Society will dismiss him or enter into some sort of more or less amicable withdrawal. The latter would not be easy, since defiance of the SSPX and claims that he himself represents the true spirit of ++Lefebvre are about all that he has left.

  114. I must say how appreciative I am for this discussion for by it I am confirmed even more in the error of the SSPX. I have quoted a couple places an interview with Archbishop Lefebvre and here is one more, "At this stage it is relevant to remind Catholics allover the world that obedience to the pope is not a primary virtue.

    The hierarchy of virtues starts with the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity followed by the four cardinal virtues of justice, temperance, prudence and fortitude. Obedience is a derivative of the cardinal virtue of justice. Therefore it is far from ranking first in the hierarchy of virtues."

    This is correct from a certain point of view. However he is far from correct by implying that it is thus lacking in significance. Here are some quotes I find highly relevant to the situation at hand.

    ”Saint Paul commands us to obey all superiors, even those who are bad. Our Blessed Saviour, His Virgin Mother, and Saint Joseph have taught us this kind of obedience in the journey they took from Nazareth to Bethlehem, when Caesar published an edict that his subjects should repair to the place of their nativity to be enrolled. They complied with this order with the most affectionate obedience, though the Emperor was a pagan and an idolator, so desirous was Our Lord of showing us that we should never regard the persons of those who command, provided they be invested with sufficient authority.”
    --Saint Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church

    “Obedience unites us so closely to God that in a way transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His. If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God.”
    – St. Thomas Aquinas

  115. Mlivohi12:12 PM

    Dear Matamoros, I have to apologize for the typing oversight at the end: the last word “invincible” should have been “vincible”. As it now stands the assertion makes no sense. But now to the subject.

    To use your words and phrases: do "please spare us of all your pompous self-righteousness” by which you accuse us of “sectarianism”. “After all, it isn’t" us who are dissociating ourselves from the Church as the Bishops of the SSPX do – what this dissociation would be if not a sinful act by all standards of traditional moral theology. It is them who who accuse the Church for “trying to lead us into mosques and synagogues” – this accusation is a sinful act too.

    Of course that the SSPX is outside the Church. It is a traditional teaching that the visible community of the Church consists in communion in belief, government and worship, while the SSPX are clearly out of it: they pick and choose to believe only what suits their ideas and ignore or reject the rest; they govern a group of people and lead them in worship, as if the hierarchy did not exist, in opposition to it in fact. I am not saying that they are fully out because there is still, thank God, something or much in various degrees, of what they share with the Church – and that is the reason why the Holy Father has tried his utmost to reintegrate them.

    Their status is similar to that of other Christian bodies (the difference is that these are substantial religious bodies or churches, while the SSPX are a sect), which all, in various degrees, have something at least, in common with us – and the objective of Catholic ecumenism is exactly to reintegrate them fully, not of course into the Church as conceived by one or another Catholic but into the Church as she conceives herself.

    Jews too have much in common with the Church, and the object of visiting their “synagogues” is not to “lead us into” them, but to strengthen the bond with the Jews in all elements which we have in common with them, in the hope that God – the same God in whom we believe – will eventually make as all see the light: them, that they establish a full communion with the Church; us, that we become mature and worthy of receiving them, because we – I do not mean the Church to which we belong - evidently aren’t as the things stand now. (Similar principles are applicable to the Moslems, but I wouldn’t go into it here.)

    The “main crime” of the SSPX is NOT in “insisting that the Catholic Church is the only religion that has real rights before God”, but in their “pompous self-righteousness” by which they identify the Church with their erroneous notion of the Church, and the Church’s “real rights before God” with their own erroneous notion of what these “real rights” are about, and the ecclesiastical status of separated Christian bodies as the Church understnds it with their (SSPX) own caricature of it.

    As for myself I am not involved in “speculations on whether or not the Bishops of the SSPX are in a state of mortal sin”. It is indeed a calumny! You seem to be confusing mortal sin with the mortally sinful act, or if you wish: formal mortal sin with the material mortal sin. In fact, it is you who are involved not in a mere speculation but in categorical belief that they are NOT in mortal sin, while only God knows what is the case.

  116. ventilabruminmanusua3:44 PM

    "Why must anyone "accept" VII."
    Because it was an oecumenical council, convoked and presided over by the Pope, and consisting of the body of the world's bishops.

    Really, this is basic stuff.

    (Also, before anyone starts blubbing about it being a "pastoral" council, it contains two documents specifically called dogmatic constitutions, and Paul VI did *NOT* say that it was non-magisterial: he said it avoided making use of the EXTRAORDINARY magisterium. There is a difference.)

    John: No, because no document does. Rather, Dignitatis Humanae (as I recall) contains an expression of the belief that other religions can contain elements of truth. This should not be a shocking idea: to the extent that they agree with Catholicism, such religions contain truth, just as, by corollary, to the extent to which they disagree with Catholicism, they contain falsehood. We can certainly say that the Muslim is correct in saying God is One; we can also say that they are incorrect in denying that God is also Three. But in the minds of Lefebvrites, that's saying that all religions are true.

    Matamoros: "This sectarianism is such a joke."
    Physician, heal thyself!

    "After all, it isn't they who are trying lead us into mosques and synagogues."
    I have yet to meet a Catholic bishop who is "trying [to] lead us into mosques and synagogues", and I have seen no evidence of the Pope doing so, either. This rhetoric is as ludicrous as it is laden with falsehoods.

    "their main crime is insisting that the Catholic Church is the only religion that has real rights before God."
    No. Their "main crime" is disobedience, made manifest in their continuing to illicitly, and in some cases, invalidly, perform the sacraments while suspended a divinis by the Vicar of Christ (Benedict XVI now gloriously reigning, by the way, not +Fellay, or +Williamson, or +de Galaretta, or +Tissier, regardless of their relative personal qualities).

    Iratus: Name me one period of the Church's history when there has been no scandal. One.

  117. @John

    This is a more complete explanation of the principle that Archbishop Lefebvre was following.

    "...What is the first principle to know what we must do in this circumstance, in this crisis in the Church? What is my principle?

    The principle of the Church, it is the principle of St. Thomas Aquinas. It is not my choice; it’s not my favor; it is not my personal desire... I am nothing... I merely follow the doctrine of the Church. This doctrine is expounded by St. Thomas Aquinas.

    So what does St. Thomas Aquinas say about the authority in the Church? When can we refuse something from the authority of the Church?

    Principle: Only when the Faith is in question.

    Only in this case. Not in other cases... only when the Faith is in question... and that is found in the Summa Theologica (II II Q.33, a.4, ad 2m): St. Thomas' answer is that we cannot resist to the authority; we must obey:

    "Sciendum tamen est quod ubi immineret periculum fidei." Periculum fidei, i.e., the danger to our faith,..
    "etiam publice essent praelate a subditis arguendi.", i.e., the subject can be opposed to the authority if the Faith is in question ("periculum fidei");
    "Unde et Paulus, qui erat subditus Petro, propter imminens periculum scandali circa fidem, Petrum publice arguit," i.e., St. Paul opposed St. Peter because it was a danger for the Faith (cf. Galatians 2:11).
    That is the principle (of St. Thomas), and I cannot harbor another motive to resist the pope… it is very serious to be opposed to the pope, and to the Church. It is very serious, and if we think that we must do that, we must do it (resist the Holy Father) only to preserve our Faith, and not for any other motive.

    We must now do an application of the principle. For me I think that the liturgical reform of Pope John XXIII has nothing against the Faith. You can take the Pontificale, the Rituale, the Breviary, the Roman Missal, and… what is in these books of Pope John XXIII that is against the Faith? Nothing! And so [in an urgent tone]: ...I cannot refuse this book (of Pope John), because he is the pope, and the pope gave me this book (and I must obey).

    It is quite another thing with the reform of Pope Paul VI… in this book of reform of Pope Paul VI is a very grave danger to my Faith... it is precisely "Periculum Fidei". So I refuse it, because ecumenism is the idea and motive of this reform… and this ecumenism...they say themselves, Pope Paul VI, Bugnini, etc., all say the motive of their reform is ecumenism, and this ecumenism takes away all (Catholic) things which are displeasing to the Protestant.

  118. Athapius6:21 PM

    John, what do you think of St. Athanasius?

    John has also reminded of that quote about obedience being used as one of the devil's tricks. What's that quote exactly?

    1. I think he was a great saint. I don't know the quote. Please share.

  119. Matamoros7:34 PM

    The main crime of the SSPX IS that they insist that only the Catholic Church has rights before God. If Archbishop Lefebvre could be characterised as a man of disobedience with a pompous self-induced idea of what the Church is, then obviously he would have had enourmous trouble with the Church before Vat II, when it clearly knew a lot better than it does today what it was on about. Yet this man's career before the council was exemplary - supportive of the Popes, and supported by them - hardly the usual starting point for a malcontent wishing to start his own Church.

    Since those who issue anathemas against the SSPX claim to be so Pope-centric, how can they deny that the Pope entering Synagogues and Mosques is a terrible example in these times (when one of the main errors is precisely the tendency towards relativism), and one that could be, and is, followed by bishops, priests and laymen. It is also a scandal - remember that many of our suffering brethren in the Middle East and elsewhere have been killed for refusing to perform such an action. Unfortunately, "leading" is the right word, and one that is it no pleasure to have to use.

    Mihlovi has taken over not only the magisterium of the Church, but just about every other other aspect of its government it would seem. Please inform us what authority in Rome, conciliar or otherwise, claims that the SSPX has the same status as another Church (referring to Anglicans, Lutherans and others who have been in apostasy for centuries). Surely he can't be ignorant of the fact that excomunication is a punishment consisting of separation from the body of the faithful - it does not necessarily mean (even when valid) the creation of a new religion. The practice of the Church towards the SSPX and all those associated with it demonstrates the truth of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos' statement with regard to it: that this "is not really a schism". The Church says there are irregularities (i.e. episcopal concecrations, and, since 1976, ordinations) and the need to get with the spirit of Vat II. Therefore we have been "punished". Look at the history of the Church. For every excommunication marking the start of a schism, there are countless others that have to do with the government of people the Church wants to bring into line, and sometimes the Church appears to get it wrong.

    In any case, as a layman who has attended SSPX Masses since childhood, I can vouch for the fact that diocesan priests and Bishops treat us as members of the Church, providing us with any sacraments we ask for, including marriage. Is this the practice of the Church towards members of the Lutheran Church? I should hope not, because if it is, we are in real trouble!

    The SSPX hasn't separated themselves from the Church. They have only refused to follow the idiocies that are still in fashion within it from the top down. They have provided for the education, the sacraments of those others who wish do the same and they refuse to follow the liberal mantra that the only real sin is intolerance (when the very first consequence of the existence of light is intolerance of darkness) For this they have earned the undying hatred of those who led this pseudo-reform. Their numbers are small and they are not the Church, just a part of it. Yet they have "won" (for the sectarians who write on this page who are determined to see things in these terms) because everything they wished to preserve has been saved. In the 1970s this was not at all obvious. Thank you Marcel Lefebvre.

  120. Whatever may have been the case in the past, we have all grown up in the culture that we have, bad as it is; and in the light of that, and also too much experience on both ecclesial and political, and all too often personal levels, today blind trust will not do for almost all of us. The best practically available is summed up in the old phrase from President Reagan, "trust but verify".

  121. Mlivohi,
    Careful, you are showing your hand.

    When the SSPX demand that the Catholic Church hold on to perennial teachings, and fight against corruption and error as befits the Church Militant, and exercise rightful authority in doctrinal and pastoral matters, and pass on the deposit of Faith faithfully, your response is to call that “pompous self-righteousness” and to unceremoniously dump them "outside the Church".

    When the Jews demand that the Catholic Church change its traditional prayers, that the Church change doctrinal and pastoral positions that have been held for centuries, that the Church remove liturgical practices that have been the lifeblood of the faithful, when they even most insolently and publicly - and blasphemously - suggest that the Church should change what is written in the Gospel, your response in relation to them is to express the hope "that we become mature and worthy of receiving

    I would be asking the question - which attitude is the pompously self-righteous one in truth?

  122. Mlivochi7:23 PM

    (A)„ that only the Catholic Church has rights before God.” – The assertion, as it stands, might not be present in any document of the Church. But even it is present somewhere, it is clumsy and misleading.

    (1)First, it would be necessary to define what the Church is – my guess is that you think it is the body of those who are somewhere on record in Catholic parishes; and then what are her boundaries – again the records in Catholic parishes.

    This criterion is difficult to reconcile with the doctrine on Mystical Body, because the parishes are visible and the fact that the Church is Mystical body is not visible, and you can’t see who is in or out.

    Also difficult would it be to reconcile it with the dogma of “no salvation outside the Church”, because if the Church is conceived your way, nobody could be saved if he is not on record in Catholic parishes, which is an obvious nonsense.

    (2)Another clumsy element is to use the language of rights as if the rights, which properly belong to persons, belong to institutions. Institutions as such do not have rights: the rights belong to persons as individuals who constitute the institutions. The “rights” of the latter are the rights of persons who belong to them.

    It all boils down to the assertion that only those on record in Catholic parishes have the rights before God and that only if they hold the truth, which would make God appear cruel and unjust, because an overwhelming majority of those who are “out” are so through no fault of their own, but because the Church who was set up to evangelize them has done very little to reach them.

    (B)“the Church before Vat II…clearly knew a lot better than it does today what it was on about.”

    How do you know when you are a post V2 child? Ecclesiology is a relatively new discipline of dogmatic theology. The Dogmatic Theology by Pohle-Preuss which was published, in several editions, during the second and third parts of the last century, doesn’t even have a volume on Ecclesiology. Two drafts of the Constitution on the Church which were prepared for discussion at V1 have never discussed (except the Pastor Aeternus), because of the war. There were two encyclicals (Leo XIII, Pius XII) on some aspects of the Church; the latter has practically superseded the former, and was soon itself suffocated by massive theological research, which had to be evaluated and systematized. V2 was in fact the Ecclesiological Council: with Dogmatic Constitution LG as a sort of centre, but all the other documents were in one way or another related to it in their introducing dogmatic chapters. This body of dogmatic teaching has superseded almost everything that preceded it as you can see from the CCC.

    (C)Archbishop Lefebvre was a great missionary bishop, but poor theologian (look at his Critical Study of the draft of the New Mass) who simply couldn’t cope with the volume of research that has been done in his absence. The Church will always be grateful to him for his missionary work, and for his work on preservation of the TLM, but it is a pity that he had to associate the latter with the unjustified objections to the V2. There were many heresiarch who, in spite of their competence, have lost control over themselves and eventually ended in separation from the Church.

    (D) SSPX, and you it would seem, are excellent specimen of the Pope-centrism, because your obsessive subservience to few obsolete 19/20th encyclicals goes so far as to attribute them the status of dogmas, which the popes concerned have never dreamt to propose. With the anathema attached against any attempt to interpret them in the sense their authors had in mind, fully overlooking the solemn doctrine (including that of Pius XII) according to which the authentic interpretation of tradition is entrusted exclusively to the living voice of the Magisterium. (How this pervert position makes them analogous to the Protestants – see my debate with Picard in an earlier Post (SSP ROME Schmidberger).

  123. Matamoros9:56 PM

    Hello there Mihlovi,

    No, one does not have to give a chapter and verse definition of the Church every time one mentions it. If I have expressed any errors in what I've said about the Church and who is a member of it, by all means alert me to it - otherwise let your imagination run free in more productive areas please.

    The word Right is appropriate enough. God has rights (things that are due to Him), Christ's Mystical body has rights, the Church militant as an institution has rights. Nobody was mentioning individual rights like the right to life etc. Obviously what is disputed by liberalism are the exclusive rights before God due to His Church to fulfill its role as the sole legitimate religion. No red herrings thanks.

    If reading books on ecclesiology has blinded you to the fact that the Church is in danger of falling apart because of the triumph of currents of thought that were wisely kept in check before Vat II, that is not my problem. Change books perhaps.

    Arbishop Lefebvre was not only a great missionary but also a theologian accredited with a doctorate in Rome. His obervations on the Novus Ordo were preceded by those of other theologians like Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci (perhaps equally poor at theology and out of touch with events according to our commentator) who were in Rome in the thick of change as it happened.

    The great nineteenth and early twnetieth-century encyclicals dealing with the Church and the world are not obsolete (no comparison with Protestants who were harking back to a mythical early Christianity which they knew little about). The Popes correctly identified the great errors of our times - liberalism and secularism - and, true to the practice of the Church, went against the error of the day without compromise. After Vatican II we have the strange and unprecedented situation of the Church not only changing course but gowing with the flow, accepting, rationalising, "reinterpreting" a spirit which the whole of previous Church teaching and practice insisted was the main danger for the Church and the salvation of our souls. If we are not dealing with dogma here, then all the better! However it doesn't change the fact that the Church's leaders have made an almighty mistake since the Council in following the world in this regard. The consequences are there or all to see. And it's far from being fixed.

    It was all very foolish - to get carried away by 1960s optimism and its secularist anthropocentric view of the world. This was never the way of the Catholic Church which would always deal with the error of the day responding to a challenge by reforming what needed to be reformed and then fighting a battle of anihilation against the error.

    If, as Mihlovi claims, the nineteenth-century enclyclicals are non-dogmatic and their message can be contradicted by current Popes, then perhaps things are not serious for the Church after all. All our generals here in Rome have to do is go back to the "obsolete" strategy quick smart ( but it could be hard for old men to admit the damage they have caused for forty years).

    The current "interpretation" of the field is wrong! The regular army is stuck in a quagmire and only a few guerillas are able to keep the fight going.

  124. Mlivochi said: "Institutions as such do not have rights: the rights belong to persons as individuals who constitute the institutions. The “rights” of the latter are the rights of persons who belong to them."

    Of course institutions have rights! There are all manner of legal entities, and these entities have rights. When the first university came into existence in the 11th century it was set up as a legal entity with its own rights, such as the right to autonomy, the right to protection from papal authority against local interference, and so on.

  125. Mlivochi said:
    "V2 was in fact the Ecclesiological Council: with Dogmatic Constitution LG as a sort of centre, but all the other documents were in one way or another related to it in their introducing dogmatic chapters. This body of dogmatic teaching has superseded almost everything that preceded it as you can see from the CCC."
    Although LG and Dei Verbum are called "dogmatic" conciliar documents, please point out which "new dogmas" are contained in them specifically, apart from what has always been believed. They nowhere proclaim a certain truth to be held as dogma and less so resort to the "anathema sit" formula. It was Ratzinger himself who in a conference in South America, diminished the importance of VII by those that viewed it as a Super Council, when in fact it "proclaimed no new dogmas"

  126. Mlivohi11:30 AM

    RE: your comment on 30 September, 2012 08:27
    See in the post on Rome and SSPX (Schmidberger) my comments to Picard 21st Sept. at 19:18; 23rd Sept. at 7:20 and 19:49; 25 September at 14:08. Also to you 25 September at 06:27, first two paragraphs. I can't go over the same ground again. If interested peruse it, buy it or leave it. I stand by what I have said.

    There you should find answer to your questions if you make an effort to grasp the points, as Picard did. He was really a rewarding correspondent, because he made effort to understand what I say, and helped me to formulate the difficult matter in a clearer way. But is isn’t easy, I admit. Theology is not an easy subject. You may also wish to have a look at Dave K comment on 21st at 23:25. He grasped the point straightaway.

    I am aware of your subsequent comments, there are many others as well, but I cannot get time even to read it all. If an occasional brief comment comes in to which I can provide a brief answer I am happy to do it.

    RE: 01 October, 2012 03:37. The rights of institutions are the right of those constitute them. Institution is not an intelligent person with free will. The language of rights is a bit ambiguous anyway. See Grisez Vol.I, Ch.10, App 2. The SSPX, for instance, confuse the „right to“ with the „being right“.

  127. Mlivohi12:01 PM

    The term „dogmatic“ is generally used in manuals for all doctrine that deals with what the Church believes or holds, not only for what is held DE FIDE DEFINITA. The LG is dogmatic in that sense, as different from „pastoral“ which is about how the faithful should be taught and guided in the life of the life of the Church. The LG is predominantly dogmatic, but it contains much of what is pastoral. The same applies to the DV. Other documents contain dogmatic introductions and then go on to pastoral matters, but the Pastoral Constitution GS is the sole document which is explicitly called „pastoral“ and even that document contains a substantial body of important moral doctrine (conscience, marriage etc.). I have read all the V2 documents, and have never noted (although I might have overlooked) an assertion that that Council is “pastoral” (exept that “pastoral” Constitution).

    I did not say that the LG contains „new dogmas“. Still, you are mistaken if you think that for a proposition to be a dogma it must have the anathema attached. If it were so, the whole Catholic Faith could be put on one A4 sheet of paper and the rest could be optional; and what you believe here and now while reading this comment could be put in few lines.

    And even that could be challenged on the ground that there is no defined dogma that lays down the rule that the presence of an anathema proves that a proposition in consideration is a dogma.

    Besides, the main body of what we believe is a non-defined dogma - that is particularly evident in the massive body of moral teaching - but it is nevertheless a dogma because it has been constantly taught by the Universal Ordinary Magisterium.

    As for Ratzinger's statement, I would like to see it in full, and the word he used (in the language he spoke there) for what you refer to as „proclaimed“. Also, whether he spoke in an official capacity or as a „private doctor“.

  128. @Mlivohi or Mlivochi:
    "The term „dogmatic“ is generally used in manuals for all doctrine that deals with what the Church believes or holds, not only for what is held DE FIDE DEFINITA. The LG is dogmatic in that sense, as different from „pastoral“ which is about how the faithful should be taught and guided in the life of the life of the Church. The LG is predominantly dogmatic..."
    Well, as you interpret Dogmatic in LG (what the Church believes or holds), then it is a useless document, since it reiterates what the Church has always believed or held. And yes, what the Church believes could be contained in a A4 sheet: simply by stating the Creed, if possible in CAPITAL LETTERS. I will google the quote by then Cardinal Ratzinger for you, because apparently you never read it.

  129. Matamoros10:20 PM

    The right of institutions is not simply that of the individuals which make them up. Where did this come from? Any corporate body, whether it be the family, a town, a professional organisation, a religious order, the Catholic Church or the corporate instition par excellence, the Mystical Body of Christ, is not the sum of its members. Once again, where did this stuff come from?

    Not only does this make half of canon law obsolete (dealing as much of it does with corporate institutions), but civil law as well. You're really backing a loser on this one, Mihlovi. The mish-mash of ideas and notions which you have put forward is an eloquent demonstration of the old saying that a little knowledge is dangerous.

  130. Mlivohi2:50 AM

    It is not “as you (i.e. myself) interpret Dogmatic”, but have a look in any manual of dogmatic theology and you will find there much more than a mere catalogue of definitions.

    You claim that LG is "useless" because it "reiterates what the Church has always believed or held". - So, according to you, any dogma would be useless too, for the same reason. A dogma does not come up with a new teaching, but formulates and develops what is already, in one way or another, contained in Revelation and believed as such by the Church; otherwise the dogma would be impossible.

    If by “reiterates” you mean “verbally repeats or paraphrases” that is only a part of the LG. Even that would not be useless, because in the context of development of doctrine which in the LG is striking, it comes as an useful assurance that no intention is involved to abandon the received teaching. Other documents, not only V2, do the same. One should read it, and a competent commentary would be helpful.

    As for the creed on A4 sheet, it is an example of dogmas without the anathema attached. But it isn’t clear to me what you want to say. The creed is far from sufficient: there is no Marian dogmas there, no sacramental doctrine, no doctrine on grace, Last Things, infallibility, no moral doctrine, and the assertion of Divinity of the Holy Ghost is – muted.

    I am looking forward to see the quote from Ratzinger.

    Matamoros, you seem to think that the Church as Mystical Body is visible in earthly society, and that it would still exist and had “rights” even if all its members happened to vanish. Well, the point of view…

  131. Mlivohi,
    I have read everything you have written. And no, you have not answered my questions. Of course, you have no obligation to answer them. I can live with that :)
    God bless you.

  132. Matamoros11:18 AM

    Mivlohi, Illogical as it may seem to you, civil and ecclesiastical law and thought does envisage and regulate the life of all kinds of institutions and their rights, considering them as entities distinct from the members which make them up. That's life. I'd still like to get an answer to my question - Where did you get your notion concerning corporate institutions from? I'm curious, because your ideas on this subject are not only not traditionally Catholic, even the modernists would probably not follow this.

    It would also be gratifying to receive an answer to my other question: what authority in Rome claims as you do that the SSPX has the same status in their eyes as a non-Catholic Church? Here too, probably everybody would appreciate a straight answer, not more circular arguments, and above all not more references back to old sections of your blog dissertations.

    Otherwise, I will have to lead a student revolt and declare that you have acquired your doctorate in theology off the back of a Cornflakes pack.

  133. Mlivohi8:15 PM

    I found the quote of Ratzinger in another post.

    Ratzinger is perfectly clear: V2 DEFINED no dogma, which doesn’t mean that, as part of the Universal Ordinary Magisterium, it does not authoritativly participate in a PROPOSITION of a dogma if its teaching on any particular subject can be eventually shown to articulate an universal consensus of the episcopate, of which he is a member, i.e. the consensus that the particular subject is to be “held definitly”. If such consensus is reached the proposition under consideration is a dogma.

    LG 25: “Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.”
    What is the case may be difficult to prove, but IT CAN NEVER BE RULED OUT. For this reason, no Catholic may reject the V2.
    Besides, even the non-infallible propositions are binding the Catholic conscience. A dissent is gravely sinful.

    Nota Praevia: “The rest of the things which the sacred Council sets forth, inasmuch as they are the teaching of the Church's supreme magisterium, ought to be accepted and embraced by each and every one of Christ's faithful according to the mind of the sacred Council. The mind of the Council becomes known either from the matter treated or from its manner of speaking, in accordance with the norms of theological interpretation."

    LG 25: “Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent.

    "This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.”

    Ratzinger as quoted by you: “"It is a necessary task to defend the Second Vatican Council against Msgr. Lefebvre, as valid, and as binding upon the Church.”

    BVI has recently confirmed how it works: the SSPX can’t be received into full communion unless they accept the V2. In other words: their refusal is to their peril. The Church is not a police state, she conts with our assent and cooperation.

  134. Mlivohi6:56 PM

    I am not disputing the obvious, the corporate bodies, institutions etc. Nevertheless, the Church without members is an abstraction. Say, French government came to an agreement with the Church in France, and subsequently all the members left the Church, the agreement would turn obsolete because the Church in France would cease to exist. There is no such thing as Church without members. In other words, the “rights” of the Church are also the “rights” of its members, directly or indirectly. If in a society only Catholic Faith has the right “before God”, others having only the right to be tolerated, then only you as a Catholic have the right to profess your faith, and your next-door neighbour, who is not a Catholic, doesn’t: his profession of faith may only be tolerated … If that is what Pius IX really means, and you believe it – you are the supreme specimen of Papalism.

    As for the SSPX, I did not claim to speak in the name of authority in Rome (All I know is what JP2 said in Ecclesia Dei, i.e. that the violators committed an “act… of disobedience… in a very grave matter … and of supreme importance for the unity of the church”, which he referred to as a “schismatic act”; and that this judgment has not been changed. The excommunications were the penalties for it, subsequently lifted for pastoral reasons, but did not change the schismatic status of the violators.), nor did I use the words “the same”.

    You have a false notion of excommunication. It is not the „separation from the body of the faithful“ but a medicinal penalty by which, briefly, the unfortunate individuals are deprived of sacraments and of acting involvement in their celebration, and some other aspects of the Church's life. They remain members of the Church but wound her.

    My view on SSPX is based on doctrine of the Unity of the Church. See L.Ott, p. 302-303 - the book that “has blinded” me; obtained in late seventies, at one of the Mass Centres, and contains a chapter on ecclesiology. (I wonder where did you get your knowledge of the Catholic Faith when you are so much afraid of being blinded by books.) It is more than clear that they are not in full unity with the Church in any of the three elements which constitute the unity. This is what the Church in these days refers to when speaking of “irregularity”; it is a material fact that has to be “de-materialised”, and can’t be removed by a decree.

    They have to accept the V2 and the teaching of the post- V2 popes, submit to the Church canonical authorities, and participate in sacraments, the first of which is of course – Reconciliation.

    The point that follows is continuation of my earlier comment (A-D).

    (E) “our suffering brethren in the Middle East and elsewhere have been killed“ (if you know of an example really), NOT „for refusing to perform such an action“ , but for refusing to convert. What the Pope has done has nothing to do with conversion, and nobody present was so stupid to believe that the Pope's gestures were anything but a gesture of respect. He might have gone over the top when kissing Quran; even that, however, was a gesture which the Moslems perhaps appreciated, most likely laugted at, but in no way took as the change of Catholic position on Islam.

    Catholic position on Islam is in NE, and you can find there a reference to the Pope „heretic“ Gregory VII's letter to Anzir the King of Mauritania, 1076. Find it and read it.

  135. Matamoros7:06 PM

    My goodness, it's like extracting hens' teeth.
    Since nobody mentioned abstractions such as a church without members, why bring up red herrings? Nice to see an admission at last concerning corporate institutions and their rights. The rights of the Church could indeed be shared by its members but the rights of the church are still not the same thing as the rights of individual members as such. This is pretty basic. What's the problem?

    Well the lifting of the excomunications HAS changed the status of those four bishops (as far as the Vatican is concerned). Now Mihlovi that you have given up on his previous statement that the status of SSPX is like that of a non-Catholic Church, please run off and find an official declaration from the Vatican (not Fr. Lombardi please) to the effect that that the status of the SSPX is that they are in schism.

    Excomunication means separation from the community of the faithful. What's the problem here Dr?

    Nobody's afraid by books, but the reality of the Church does not depend on the theories contained in books - regardless of the effect they have on you. Silly books have done a great deal of damage to the Church. In a forum like this it would be better to show an understanding of one is talking about than bandying about titles of books.

    Yes many have ben killed in the Middle East and elsewhere for refusing to go into mosques. In general all are expected, including non-muslims, to show respect for their religion as a good and holy one. This is precisely what the Popes' visits to mosques and synagoques does. It tends to relativise religions (it's not merely a question of showing respect for members of other religions) and belittles the sacrifices made by so many generations of Catholics there to avoid such religions and places like the plague. There are no good religions outside our Catholic Church.

  136. Mlivohi11:22 AM

    "What is the problem?" - It's yours, because you think that without members there will remain some kind of mysterious creature which could have "rights".

    Re: schism, excommunication, I stand by what I have said. Read it better. I do not know of any official statement that the SSPX are not in schism; do you know of any?

    "Silly books have done a great deal of damage to the Church." - Of course. The best evidence are the Lefebvrists' commnents on this Blog.

    Re: Moslems. Now having found and read that letter you have the benefit of yet another pope on your list of heretics. - On the other hand, how many people you know that the Pope's visit to the mosque has damaged their faith. Sure, it did not damage yours (because of your strength).

  137. Matamoros9:34 PM

    Hello there. Only you Mihlovi is talking about a Church without members. Remember you started that talk because of my phrase to the effect that the only real "error" of the SSPX was that it held that only the Catholic Church has rights before God". You took exception to this saying that institutions do not have rights, only individuals. A couple of pronouncements ago, you seemed to have retracted your bizarre denial of the existence of corporate institutions with rights, but obviously it still rankles.

    If the SSPX is considered by the Church to be in schism, then yes an official statement is required in order for your statement to that effect to be anything more than hot air. To the contrary, both you and me will have to trottle off to the relevant Church authority for accreditation of continuing membership of the Church every five minutes.

    The Church is not dealing with the SSPX as members of another religion, but as Catholics with displinary and canonical issues as well as points of disagreement on VatII etc. Whatever one thinks about these issues, they are not being dealt with by the relevant curial commissions that occupy themselves with other churches and religions. I and other attendees of SSPX chapels have always received any sacraments we asked for from diocesan clergy.

    We don't have to make excuses for not being dazzled by yet another book by an expert. Yes, these silly books do damage. In this forum it's more useful to try to use the arguemts expressed in such works if you can, rather than quoting them as authorities, because this Catholic at least does not blindly accept any expert as an authority.

    The visits of recent Popes to Mosques does damage the faith of Catholics because it is a scandal. This firstly because all past generations of Cathoilcs avoided such things like death and secondly because if they change their previous attitude and come to accept the innate goodness of such religions, this is in itself a weakening of their faith. Such an acceptance is false.

  138. Mlivohi11:55 AM

    Please, stop sitting on a fence, and admit that you as a Catholic have “rights”, which your next-door neighbour hasn’t because he is in error, and error has no rights.
    There is no official statement that the SSPX are not in a schism. You do not understand the difference between a schism and the membership of the Church.

    Regarding the Church’s “dealing with the SSPX as members”, she treats them in a pastoral way taking them as misguided individuals, and, giving them the benefit of doubt, considers them to be in an invincible ignorance. That explains also the attitude towards those who are not the members of the SSPX, but only supporters. Hundreds of people who do not accept the doctrine on contraception are treated in the same way too.

    Regarding the books, I was referring to the silly literature that is available in the Mass Centres, and lefebvrists’ essays and comments on the Internet, produced by quasi experts, and offered to naïve visitors, who are uncritically buying them for truth.

    Your last paragraph is a product of phantasy, without any factual support.

    But, please, do not take what follows as an offence: I frankly not want to continue this debate; which means that should you respond again I will not reply, nor will I read the text if I see it.

  139. Matamoros11:33 PM

    Hello there mihlovi. You're not the only one who reads this blog so in the interests of clarity you'll get an answer anyway.

    Please, admit you have a fish farm in your backyard producing red herrings. What on eath has this got to do with the original point?

    Nobody, including the SSPX needs declarations from the Church to the effect they are not in schism. Explain what it is that is misunderstood here.

    Whatever the motives, the Vatican treats the SSPX and its supporters as Catholics, members of the Church. What's the problem? This is very repetitive.

    I think I mentioned silly books first, because of your reverence for some work on ecclesiology by an "expert".

    As for your last point - whatever.
    I'm not offended at all, just a bit bored with this. Hopefully that's it.

  140. Vatican II said this in it's Constitution Dei Verbum:
    "Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence."

    Vatican II showed that traditions should be kept with loyalty.

  141. What is the Novus Ordo Mass, what really defines it? No one can truly say for no one, honestly be sure that their experience of the ceremony and its meanings are what another Catholic have experienced, and these differences have been crucial in the past, and perhaps even now. What is the Vatican II Council? No one knows for sure, it certainly is not coherent in spite of some welcome suggestions here and there. It too is not coherent. The SSPX know that the Church of Rome is broken, but evidently not in same way that the Orthodox Church sees its fellow Christians under a leadership that shifted them out of the mainstream of the first 1000 years or so of Christianity. I have often wondered, but necessarily recommend, why the SSPX priests haven't considered becoming Orthodox. JT


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