Rorate Caeli

A February surprise?

From the interview granted by Father Claude Barthe to French conservative daily Présent (full interview, in French):
[Présent:] -What will happen to the discussions and to the future of the FSSPX [SSPX: Society of Saint Pius X]?

[Fr. Claude Barthe:] As unbelievable as it may seem, nothing is changed in the immediate future. I will make myself clear.

Everybody now knows that the Ecclesia Dei Commission sent a letter to Bishop Fellay [Superior General of the Society] on January 8, and that an answer is expected from him by February 22, the day of the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. The erection of the Prelature of Saint Pius X could be dated from this day, February 22. This would represent the true conclusion of the pontificate of Benedict XVI: the rehabilitation of Abp. Lefebvre. Can you imagine what thunderous roar [this would be] and even, indirectly, what weight this would have in the orienation of the events of March?

This startling response by Fr. Barthe is also mentioned today by Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli. Source: Présent, Feb. 16, 2013.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his Ash Wednesday homily, reminded the faithful of the great Lenten text of Saint Paul (yesterday's Epistle in the Traditional Mass):

"Well, now is the favourable time, this is the day of salvation" (2 Cor 6:2). The words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians of Corinth resonate for us with an urgency that does not permit absences or inertia. The term "now", repeated several times, says that this moment cannot be let go, it is offered to us as a unique opportunity that will not be repeated. And the Apostle's gaze focuses on sharing with which Christ chose to characterize his life, taking on everything human to the point of taking on all of man’s sins.


  1. I am confused again:

    Father Barthe says nothing is changed for the immediate future.

    Then he goes on to say that there might be a PP set up for the SSPX in the immediate future.

    Please forgive my lack of understanding nuance, but isn't this a change?

  2. Is there anything new here? It seems he is merely saying that this could happen if the SSPX agreed, which we already knew.

  3. Yes. Or no. Or perhaps. Likely. Or perhaps unlikely. Improbable?

    The pontificate ends in 10 days, not a long time to wait...

  4. Folks, nothing will happen. Pray for the pope and the conclave.

  5. I don't think any agreement will be reached between Rome and the SSPX before Benedict's abdication, but hey, who knows, God works in mysterious ways. What a joyous and historic Lent this would be if Pope Benedict XVI and the SSPX hatched out an agreement before this Pope left. And what a nightmare it would be for the leftist and modernist media, Cardinals and other like minded ilk who want nothing to do with the SSPX, the Traditional Latin Mass, or Catholic tradition.

  6. One kicker for the SSPX is that they basically promised to call another general chapter meeting before singing on any dotted lines, but that's hardly practical now...

  7. The only way I can see this happening is if it is totally unilateral (the pope declaring that they are legitimate etc, or possibly requiring something ridiculously basic, like signing the nicene creed or some other profession of faith without reference to anything Vat2-related). Anything else would require deliberation on the SSPX end so long that it would be impossible for an answer to be reached in time for February 28.

    Kyrie Eleison

  8. Although I don't think it's likely, I would love to be wrong, and am praying that I am. :)

    Immediately before the Conclave.... Our Holy Father and Bishop Fellay would certainly be setting the cat loose among the pidgeons, would they not?

  9. Whats Up! said, "Confused again."

    Yes, Father Barthe was inconsistent. Saying nothing had changed for the immediate future and then mentioning a Personal Prelature beginning on the date of the deadline for a reply, is a total "UH-WHAT?"

    The SSPX needs an Ordinariate rather than a Personal Prelature.

  10. Why is Rome so desperate for a deal? The SSPX are entirely nonchalant and appear to have resigned themselves to there being no deal for some time, so what leverage does Rome have? All seems very strange. ..

  11. "Why is Rome so desperate for a deal"?

    Because Catholic tradition and orthodoxy is growing, which includes the SSPX and all traditional groups such as the FSSP, ICKSP and others, and the conciliar novus ordo is dying, especially in the West. Rome needs the SSPX as much as the SSPX needs Rome.

  12. @lucas clover alcole asks, so what leverage does Rome have?"

    I'd say their leverage is in the fact that they know that every time an individual goes to an SSPX priest that the confession is invalid. That every time one of the SSPX priests says Mass it is an act of disobedience and materially a grave sin. That those who were married by an SSPX priest are not married in the Church. Seems like some pretty good leverage to me.

  13. "Why is Rome so desperate for a deal? The SSPX are entirely nonchalant and appear to have resigned themselves to there being no deal for some time, so what leverage does Rome have? All seems very strange."

    Pope Benedict XVI, as he loves his spiritual children, is "desperate" as he is dealing with the salvation of souls.

    Pope Benedict XVI has said that within the Society of Saint Pius X, one encounters "arrogance" and "sick elements." His Holiness stated that he has reached out to the Society to "prevent radicalizations."

    The Pope also said that we should not "calmly leave them to drift away from the Church."

    That is the primary reason a to why His Holiness desires that the Society of Saint Pius X enter into peace with the Holy See.


  14. I think Rome is "desperate" because, as history shows, the longer separations like this persist, the more likely they harden into schisms which last ceturies and centuries. The SSPX leadership today is generally reasonable and at least somewhat open to unity, but who knows what the future holds for them--as has been mentioned in articles on this blog before, indefectibility and infallibility was promised to the Apostolic See as the unshakeable rock, not to Econe.

  15. The SSPX needs to make a decision. Lefebrve and their society can either appear as misguided heroes or as stubborn schismatics who injure the unity of the Church. The ball is in their court, and I pray that God opens their heart to His grace. Accepting the validity of Vatican II and the decrees as valid decrees of an ecumenical council while being open to further doctrinal clarification of those same decrees is NOT an obstacle to unity.

  16. Nothing will happen on February 22nd, because the entire Roman Curia is in a week-long Lenten retreat, since yesterday (Sunday 17th).

  17. @tom: "Pope Benedict XVI has said that within the Society of Saint Pius X, one encounters 'arrogance' and 'sick elements.'"

    If that's the case, the SSPX should be regularized yesterday, as is. They'll fit right in!

  18. Benedict, in a new role, could be the bridge between the SSPX (and its bishop -- which has been demanded as a condition of return) and the new papacy. And, the answer to the "leverage" question is the Pope. For the SSPX to exercise a lasting legitimacy, they must return to Rome. The SSPX might not see it this way, given the length of their separation, and, if so, this is a sad way to conclude. Also sad, and potentially more dangerous, is the nearly schismatic groups of German and Austrian priests that continue to contest many Church social, and theological, teachings. The Germans seem to have little concern for the Pope, as very current literature is bringing to light. Benedict could still serve a vital role in strengthening Tradition, permitting the new Pope to be very firm in addressing the German clergy.

  19. Do we need to dance to the tune of the mainstream media? I say extend the interregnum by at least six months if not indefinitely. I see no point to a papacy at the moment.

  20. To Jean-Francois. I am a member of the SSPX. It took me two years of study to come to the conclusion that yes, the sacraments offered by the SSPX are valid. Here is a link to a great explaination to help you see for yourself: Not only are they valid, but remember, 9 Roman Cardinals decreed that the SSPX priests are valid (not excommunicated) and to attend their Masses fulfills your Sunday obligation. Please do not repeat these errors any longer.

    1. I probably studied more than you MBlanton. And I conclude that SSPX confession and marriage are invalid while their other sacraments are illicit.

      We're not ignorance.

      SSPX seems to be becoming the ghetto like the Sede.

  21. I would be great . .

    We are still with Bishop Fellay

    Tradidi Quod et Accepi

  22. This limping Church needs the Orthodoxy of the Pius X Society and the Holiness of Archbishop LeFebrve back in an age of modernist pandemonium, led on by the protestantization of the liturgy, sacerdotal unholiness, and episcopal scandals!!! Pope Benedict XVI is a great pope of intellectual orthodoxy, moral vision and liturgical holiness.
    Let us pray for unity again in the Church to the Most Holy Trinity through Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest Who gave His Life that "all may be one" in Him!

    Deus Adiuva Nos,

    J Hughes Dunphy

  23. Jean-Francois:

    The English & Welsh Bishops' Conference issued a document which, inter alia, stated: I could fulfill my Sunday/Holyday Obligation by attendance at the nearby CofE church or Non-Conformist chapel. But not SSPX?

    [If someone at Rorate would contact me I would let them have a copy.]

  24. Why is Rome so desperate for a deal? The SSPX are entirely nonchalant and appear to have resigned themselves to there being no deal for some time, so what leverage does Rome have? All seems very strange.

    Matthew 18:12-13. How strange Our Lord's words must sound to modern ears!

  25. The SSPX is wonderful. I have such gratitude to Abp. Lefebvre. Without the SSPX, there'd be no FSSP etc., the true Mass would be entirely gone, and the errors of Vatican II would have swept away 99.9% of the people instead of the current 98%. That 1.9% remnant is most important, as we're continuing to see. May this seed continue to propagate!

  26. I pray the our Holy Father will be generous to the SSPX.

  27. Jean aside from the fact your statement is wrong it also makes no sense, the SSPX believe (and rightly so) that their confessions are valid so that issue has no bearing to my question about leverage.

    Tom, you are naive and probably also trolling, there is another reason why Rome is so desperate, we just don't know what it is yet.

  28. I think this is very personal for Pope Benedict XVI because he is the center figure in the excommunication and removal of the excommunication on the Society. This is probably weighing very heavily on his soul. More and more members of the Church are coming closer to the Societies form of catechesis and practice of the faith which is completely different than what has been coming on in the Church as a whole since Vatican II. It was Pope Benedict XVI that was the first Pope since Vatican II to offer or Lord to communicants kneeling and on the tongue, think about it. He speaks of proper orientation, the importance of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. He is trying to lead the Church back to the traditions of the faith it is not the Society that has been moving. So why should the Society move toward error when the one they are supposed to be obedient to is becoming more like them? How about bring the society in as an ordinate and elevate Fellay to Cardinal so the Society can cast a vote for the next Pope. The Society has not suffered any of the turmoil that the Church has since Vatican II with the sex abuse, homosexual priests, misinterpretation of tradition. The faith has never changed for them. They have just been disobedient when they Church has gone against tradition nothing more nothing less.

  29. If Rome cannot get an agreement with the leadership of the SSPX they should reinstate the excommunications and document for the faithful the lack of Catholic orthodoxy on the part of the SSPX. Pope Paul VI warned Lefebvre of his warped ecclesiology and suspended him. Its time Rome lays out chapter and verse the failures of SSPX to live up to Catholic teaching making it clear to the layman why participating in their services and giving them support is unacceptable.

  30. Papa Benedict has given the SSPX all the tools they need to help take over the narrative of Vatican II. He has said that any interpretation of the Council that overrules or contradicts Tradition is erroneous. That means that the entire corpus of V2 merely needs to be systematically "read through" Tradition (and *not* the other way around!).

    All the SSPX has to do is agree. Then they will be regularized and can begin assisting the Benedictine forces in putting the House in order. What are they waiting for? Why are they waiting? Pride? Vanity? Arrogance? Stupidity? I can think of few other reasons.

    The Enemy is stretched thin. One good push and he breaks. Where is the cavalry? Why do they sit idle?

  31. MBlanton,
    Just because the SSPX argues that their priests absolve and marry validly, doesn't make it so. It is their opinion. The Church has NEVER supported their view on this.

    Neither you or the SSPX or myself get to make the determination on if this is true.

    The men with authority in these matters have made it crystal clear that these two sacraments are invalid when attempted by an SSPX priest. The only exception being confession and danger of death.

    Stop buying into the LIES of the SSPX. Stop spreading their LIES.

  32. a) excommunications will do no good, the sspx will ignore them like last time and the holy see will end up looking silly when the sspx is proven right, again

    b) they are waiting for an orthodox pope or a deal that doesn't leave them at the mercy of wolves, pope benedict xvi has hardly inspired confidence with his choice of prefect for the CDF or his refusal to accept that V2 had errors

  33. I tend to think that the time is now for the SSPX to reach an agreement with the Pope before he leaves. The more I dwell on it the more it seems reasonable that they will drift further and further away from the Church over the next few decades especially if the next Pontificate has other things on its' mind. And that is not good for the SSPX, Souls, and the Church. No one wins. Perhaps these mountains must be transformed back into mole hills and and the time has come for them to re enter the Church proper. Modernism is not going away and there will most likely not be a "more favorable" time to enter into full communion. And truth be told, I think this does way on Benedict's heart and soul. That goes a long way in a man to open the path of unimaginable forgiveness and a desire to settle things. It is time for the SSPX to bend just as much, if not more.

  34. David K,
    Really, Paul VI warned of the warped theology of the Society, that is almost funny if it was not so sad. This all happened because they would not offer his mass or accept several aspects of the Council he signed off on/concluded. The Society was not offing a new mass or altering the mass of 1962 in anyway. Pope Paul VI opened doors and windows he could not close that as HE stated allowed the smoke (i.e. confusion) of Satan into the Church. That is why he was in such torment at the end of his pontificate read his own words. The smoke has not entered the Society but the Church has been ravaged by it. The places that have true spiritual growth are those areas in the Church that have gone back to the TLM and classical catechesis. Could you imagine the impact the Society could have had on the Church without the excommunications and banishment by the modernists in the Church? Time will bare all of this out. Shoot, EWTN is even saying Novus Ordo Masses in Latin and having priests trained in the TLM. More and more people are kneeling to receive our Lord, dressing appropriately and wearing chapel veils. It was not that way 10 yrs. ago. Again who is changing, who has remained the same. It is not that complicated. I am so thankful to see these changes in the Church but again who has always been there as an example. The FSSP is an off shoot of the SSPX; the founders were trained in the seminaries of the Society. Talk to them of the struggles they have had with modernist bishops in full communion with the Church. My local Bishop considered the FSSP to be prejudice. The diocesan priest I was talking to would not clarify what he meant by prejudice. I did not understand until recently that my bishop perceived their screening of potential seminarians with same sex attraction issues to be a prejudice, that is the conflict my local bishop had with them, incredible but true. Yet that bishop is in full communion with the Church. Pray this divide is healed and the whole Church can benefit from the piety and faith of the priests, brothers and sisters in the Society of St. Pius X.

  35. dave k

    please my friend, defend for me the main tenets of V2 (reaching out to other religions with the intent on trying finding an accord with them instead of only worrying about converting them, telling those outside of the faith that they can be saved, telling Catholics that the Catholic dogma needs to adapt to the times (ie, what was true yesterday might not necessarily be true today, or at the very least, might have a different meaning), the separation of church and state, promoting religious liberty, etc, etc. (lets not even worry about the new mass). all of these above notions have been condemned by past popes at one time or another (most have been condemned multiple times). how do you reconcile this?

  36. Jabba Papa:

    Perhaps the Holy father gave the deadline as 22nd Feb BECAUSE the entire curia is off on retreat?

  37. @ Catholic,

    "Just because the SSPX argues that their priests absolve and marry validly, doesn't make it so. It is their opinion. The Church has NEVER supported their view on this."

    Would that be the same "Church" that told us for 37 years that the TLM had been officially abrogated? Maybe they're fibbing again. By the way, since the Church apologizes for everything, shouldn't they apologize for being deliberately mendacious about the legal status of the TLM for all those years?

  38. Epistle Babe:

    The Roman Catholic Church NEVER abrogated the TLM! Pope John Paul II instructed that all Catholic bishops were to permit and encourage a wide and generous usage of this form of the Mass. His bishops did not obey. This is now changing, thanks to the further clarification that Pope Benedict made with Summorum Pontificum. Woe to the Catholic bishops and priests who have refused to warn their faithful of the dangers of the SSPX, mainly out of disdain for the traditionalist movement in the Church. The penalties these prelates will face for their neglect and purposeful refusal to protect their entire flock will be severe. Their inaction has allowed the SSPX schism to grow and flourish unabated.

  39. arwiv,
    The teachings of Vat2 can be reconciled with tradition. They would never have been approved of by the magisterium if this were not the case. It is not my job as a layman to prove to you that the magisterium got it right. Either you accept the authority of the Church to teach or you don't.
    I find it ironic that you would ask me to defend the notion that it is not necessary to convert to the Catholic faith, that salvation is attainable outside the Church, or that Church teaching changes with the times. Doesn't the SSPX, which you defend all the time, believe all these things? They reject Church teaching when it comes to the teaching authority of the magisterium, the office of the pope, the indefectibility and visibility of the Church etc. Don't they have to convert? They seem to believe they can attain salvation outside the Church since the excommunications had no effect on their attitude or behavior. And since they no longer accept the teaching of the First Vatican Council on the office of the pope, the indefectibility and visibility of the Church, aren't they the ones changing doctrine according to the times?

  40. "The teachings of Vat2 can be reconciled with tradition."
    Dear Dave K,
    Yes, it is ironic how you attempt skillfully to dodge the bullet of the syllabus of errors. Just about every so called 'teaching' of conciliar magisterium is taxonomised into this category. So, if you do not follow the syllabus then obviously you lend your support to the revolution. You can't have your cake and eat it at the same time. You want to be some kind of trad on one hand, and on the other hand you follow the Novus Ordo. You are not consistent. You cannot possibly reject the past teachings and still hold the surname of Catholic. Modern hierarchy doesn't consist of trustworthy churchmen and fish has the same smell from the head to the very tail.

  41. If a somone leaves SSPX and returns to Rome are those that do that required to re-confess their sins or get remarried.

  42. "Catherine of Siena": John Paul II maintained the falsehood that some kind of special permission was needed for the TLM. Why wouldn't he tell the truth?

  43. Does anyone here have the learning to advise about the grounds that might be cited one day for the Council being declared an anti-Council; a false Council (which would allow its documents and all the later Magisterium based upon them to be removed from the official register)?

    What if it could be proved that the intentions of a significant body of the Council were evil (Masonic/Marxist infiltration)? Would that suffice?

    Any net links to serious past debates on this question would be welcomed.

  44. Dave K:

    ".. lack of orthodoxy on the part of SSPX ... ."?

    Do you live in complete isolation from the real world of diocesan Catholicism?

  45. Dave K,
    "The teachings of Vat2 can be reconciled with tradition. They would never have been approved of by the magisterium if this were not the case."

    O.K.., but shouldn't Rome put some effort into showing us how these teachings can be reconciled with tradition? Instead, the SSPX are told: this is the teaching of the Council, you have to accept it. There seems to be no effort of the Ecclesia Docens to show how the seeming novelties of Vatican II are actually contained in the unbroken line of Catholic doctrine down the centuries. Perhaps it is because the hierarchy of the Church, and theologians among themselves, are so divided on key doctrines that Rome is currently unable to give any coherent answers. That's a shame. We are always being told that Faith and reason go together, but it seems that when it comes to Vatican II it's a case of "Shut up and accept it. Asking awkward questions will be taken as a sign of counter-revolutionary attitudes and will not be tolerated." It smacks of fundamentalism.

  46. Epistle Babe said, "Would that be the same "Church" who told us for 37 years the TLM had been officially abrogated? Maybe they're fibbing again. By the way, since the Church apologizes for everything, shouldn't they apologize for being deliberately mendacious about the legal status of the TLM for all those years?"

    You'd think so but the "Church" apologizes for something only when there's major blow-back on the matter or a great PR issue has arisen, and like in all their other dealings, it's only the oddball, freaky stuff. Never has it been for the Traditionalists and/or the sake of Tradition itself. IMO.

  47. On the validity of SSPX Sacraments:

    For Confession, Marriage, and Confirmation, in addition to priestly ordination faculties are required.

    The SSPX simply do not have ordinary faculties.

    However, if the faithful are not aware of this the Church supplies extraordinary faculties to the priest - this is what we call 'common error'. The problem is that many SSPX faithful by now know there is a difficulty in this area; and also, priests who operate on this basis may be seen as participating in a deception of the people ('what they don't know won't hurt them').

    The second way for faculties to be supplied is in the case of grave necessity, for example, there is no other priest available within a reasonable distance, or the priest available is deemed heretical, or dangerous. I believe that on these grounds the SSPX has a better case. But not if there are reliable priests with ordinary faculties close at hand, e.g., FSSP or Institute, or even diocesan/religious priests who are sound. Indeed, we all have met SSPXers who go to Confession to non-SSPX priests because they do not want to be recognized by their own, or find their guidance too rigorist.

    My general conclusion is, then, it would be best not to base faculties as a matter of course on common error, since there is something inherently deceitful about it; but that in cases of genuine necessity SSPX priests will have faculties, and it is perfectly good to approach them. The necessity must be genuine, however!

  48. @Dave K

    "It is not my job as a layman to prove to you that the magisterium got it right"

    Then why do you insist on trying to prove it?

    Hush Dave, there's a good boy...

  49. The Editor
    The Southern Cross

    Dear Sir,
    A tale of two Commissions
    During his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI brought to a close two shameful episodes in recent Church History. The first concerned a Commission that WAS, and the second concerned a Commission that WAS NOT.
    In 1986, Pope John-Paul II’s Commission of nine cardinals determined that the Traditional Mass had not been abrogated and that all priests had the right to celebrate it, even without their bishop’s permission. This verdict was not made public by Pope John-Paul II and the false witness against the Traditional Mass, against the priests who celebrated it, and against the laity who attended it, was allowed to continue.
    This situation was ended by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 when he declared that there had never been any restrictions in celebrating that Mass.
    The second episode relates to the 1988 consecration of four bishops, by Arch- bishop Lefebvre, without a papal mandate. All bishops concerned were declared to be excommunicated. Had Pope John-Paul II set up a Commission to investigate that event at the time, it would have established that the conditions for excommunication were not met, in terms of 1983 code of canon law. Possibly, a lesser penalty applied. This was the opinion of theologians inside, and outside, the SSPX.
    This shameful situation was ended by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, when he declared that the “excommunications” no longer existed.
    These two rectifications by Pope Benedict XVI have gone into eternity for his spiritual benefit.
    Yours sincerely
    I have just sent this letter to South Africa's only national Catholic newspaper and the two matters mentioned relate to comments made on this site.
    I am papist. The Hand of Almighty God has reached out to us, in Cape Town, through SSPX. In 30 years of association with SSPX, I have not encountered anything which opposes my Catholic Faith. When I turn my gaze on the local, homosexual-friendly arch-diocese, I am appalled at what I see. In my life time, I have seen a whole new section of the Church develop so that today we have the Church of the Two SECTIONS, one modern and one traditional, both under the Pope
    Franko Sokolic

  50. Dave K said:
    “The teachings of Vat2 can be reconciled with tradition. They would never have been approved of by the magisterium if this were not the case. It is not my job as a layman to prove to you that the magisterium got it right. Either you accept the authority of the Church to teach or you don't.”

    Dave, I’m not member of SSPX and I’m not sure about their legal status, but in relation to V2 it is necessary to make some distinctions. You say: “Either you accept the authority of the Church to teach or you don't”, and that is true. But, problem with V2 is precisely in that that supreme authority of the Church wasn’t used.
    So, yes, I do accept authority of the Church, but if it is about novelty that is not proclaimed dogmaticly, than that acceptance is not unconditionally. Since V2 teach novelty without usage of charism of infallibility, than it can’t be argued that it can’t contain errors.

    Sorry for poor English.

  51. Jesus Christ gave the "Keys" to Peter. I don't see how the SSPX can get around that. Any Catholic is taking a real chance going to Confession to the SSPX.

  52. Faculties:

    The "Catch 22" situation par excellence! Granted by a local ordinary who may not even believe in Confession, Transubstantiation, much else and even the ordained priesthood [as does a bishop emeritus acquaintance of mine.], contradict the Magisterium and hold in com-lete disdain the pre-Vatican II Church.

    Logic defied.

  53. The Church made its opposition to religious liberty very explicit in the nineteenth century in response to liberalism, but it has always had the same attitude. Our Church has always been intolerant of error except in cases of necessity dictated by common sense. From the time of Emperor Theodosius in 380 AD (decreeing intolerance of other Churches) till Vatican II, the Church has been in total acquiescence (or inexplicably silent) on this issue.

    However this policy was not a dogma. Vattican II could and did muddy the waters to say the least - following the world and its liberalism, but neither is this mistake on policy a dogma. We are free to reject its contradiction of Church policy and practice on this isue. No doubt this subject will be cleared up properly once and for all in the future, as such matters always were in the past crises of the Church. But this is a crisis, and Vat II was only its start, not the last word!

  54. The only way I see this working out between the Vatican and the FSSPX is if the Pope, on his own authority and initiative, simply recognizes the Society as totally Catholic and leaves it for his successor to work out the details.

  55. The Holy Spirit OMNIPOTENTLY inspired the Holy Father to focus our dissipated attention and actions: "The term "now", repeated several times, says that this moment cannot be let go, it is offered to us as a unique opportunity that will not be repeated."

    "Veni Sancte Spiritus!" Let us beseech that His guiding actions would not be delayed. . .because His children had not IN THIS CRITICAL MOMENT EARNESTLY prayed.
    "Action follows being". . .We ask what kind of "children" are we as we look at our actions at this culminating moment of crisis in the Mystical Body of Christ.

  56. The 1960's loonies are out in numbers . .again, don't they have parishes ( plural sic ) to tend to . .??

    Oops, silly me, of course they don't.

  57. Common Sense,
    I do not accept your view that it is inconsistent to uphold the teachings of the so-called conciliar Church, the Church since Vat2, and that of the past. When you suggest this is inconsistent it is you who are proposing a Protestant theology of rupture rather than the Catholic view that the gospel has been faithfully transmitted by the Church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
    You mention the syllabus of errors as if the present day magisterium is unaware of it, or historical circumstances have not changed. Even the old Catholic Encyclopedia of 1912, when speaking on the subject of religious toleration or religious freedom, sounded like Vat2 and recognized adjustments were needed in the application of the faith to modern times. Here's a quote: “The final conversion of the old religious State into the modern constitutional State, the lamentable defection of the majority of states from the Catholic Faith, the irrevocable secularization of the idea of the state, and the coexistence of the most varied religious beliefs in every land have imposed the principle of state tolerance and freedom of belief upon rulers and parliaments as a dire necessity and as the starting-point of political wisdom and justice. The mixture of races and peoples, the immigration into all lands, the adoption of international laws concerning colonization and choice of abode, the economic necessity of calling upon the workers of other lands, etc., have so largely changed the religious map of the world during the last fifty years that propositions 77-79 of the Syllabus published by Pius IX in 1864 (cf. Denzinger, op. cit., 1777-79), from which enemies of the Church are so fond of deducing her opposition to the granting of equal political rights to non-Catholics, do not now apply even to Spain or the South American republics to say nothing of countries which even then possessed a greatly mixed population (e.g. Germany). Since the requisite conditions for the erection of new theocratic states, whether Catholic or Protestant, are lacking today and will probably not be realized in the future, it is evident on the basis of hard facts that religious liberty is the only possible, and thus the only reasonable, state principle.” This article was authored by Joseph Pohle who was a respected theologian and whose textbooks on dogmatic theology are admired by traditionalists.

  58. Dave k

    you supply a quote by pohle which seems to indicate to me a justification for the STATE to accept religious liberty. That excerpt by pohle, unless im seriously missing something, does nothing to alter the Church's teaching.

  59. DM,
    I think you are wrong about Vat2 not being an act of the supreme authority of the Church. When the pope and bishops of the world unite in an ecumenical council for the purpose of applying the faith to modern times and circumstances the authority engaged could not be higher. Pope Paul VI called the Council an act of the supreme ordinary magisterium. Catholics must accept the teaching of the ordinary magisterium just as they do acts of the extraordinary magisterium since both rest on the authority of the the Church to teach. The difference between the two is not the authority engaged, but the form the teaching takes. Extraordinary acts of the magisterium stand by themselves and are rare because they address an issue which is dividing the Church at a particular point in history. The purpose of the extraordinary act is to settle the issue with finality and restore the unity of faith. No heresy was inflicting the Church at the time of Vat2 so the ordinary magisterium was employed. Same Church authority, different form.
    I have to add that not all the teachings of Vat2 are on the same dogmatic level. We are only required to give assent to its teaching to the degree the Church demands. Pope Paul VI said of the authority of the Council; “This ordinary magisterium, which is so obviously official, must be accepted with docility and sincerity by all the faithful, in accordance with the mind of the Council on the nature and aims of the individual documents.” Sadly, the SSPX and other Traditionalist fail here.

  60. arwiv
    The teaching of the Syllabus had to do with the obligation of the state toward religion. Here are the errors condemned;
    “77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. -- Allocution "Nemo vestrum," July 26, 1855. “
    “78. Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852. “
    So, one hundred years ago theologians were teaching, with Church approval, that parts of the Syllabus no longer applied. The fact that some of the language the Syllabus uses, such as, “In the present day” shows how the Church applied its teaching to a particular time and circumstance without meaning it must be followed everywhere and always.

  61. Well Joseph Pohle was wrong wasn't he. His article shows that the Vat II Council's meanderings on religious liberty didn't come from nowhere. The English-speaking world was very weak on the question of religious liberty long before the Council, for obvious reasons. For him to confuse the confessional State with a theocracy seems to demonstrate incredible ignorance. If his article was written in 1912, then the Spain and South America to which he is referring contained less than .1 of 1% members of non-Catholic sects. The article is ridiculous.

  62. Dave K said...
    “Pope Paul VI called the Council an act of the supreme ordinary magisterium. Catholics must accept the teaching of the ordinary magisterium just as they do acts of the extraordinary magisterium since both rest on the authority of the the Church to teach.”

    Supreme ordinary magisterium is infallible when it teach what is already been thought always and everywhere in the Church. V2 indeed contain such teachings in its documents and it is true that rejection of such teachings can’t be justified. One example of such ordinary magisterium is statement:

    “Although the mystery of death utterly beggars the imagination, the Church has been taught by divine revelation and firmly teaches that man has been created by God for a blissful purpose beyond the reach of earthly misery. In addition, that bodily death from which man would have been immune had he not sinned ...” GAUDIUM ET SPES

    However, not even this statement is obligatory because V2 sad it, but because it was believed by all faithful, always and everywhere. V2 didn’t proclaim this statement for dogma (although it had authority to do so, but fathers didn’t use authority which they could).

    Of course, not all V2 statements are expressions of what Church has believed always, everywhere and by all. Some expressions are believed never, nowhere and by none. And this statement doesn’t go under supreme ordinary magisterium which binds catholics in their conscience.

    One of those statements is:

    “2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.” DIGNITATIS HUMANAE

    So, those two statements do not have same level of authority. None of them is proclaimed dogmaticly, but one is believed always, everywhere and by all, while other is believed never, nowhere and by none.

    Council fathers wanted to be cool and not to use those rigid dogmatic definitions with condemnations, and jet, they expect that documents be treated like it was used “anathema sit” on every single sentence. That is lunacy.

    Moreover, they expect of me to believe that authority of V2 is of same (or higher) authority than of Holy Bible (since almost all of them say that Holy Bible can contain errors while V2 can’t). It is lunacy^2.

    If purely pastoral, non-dogmatic, novel pronouncements of V2 are on same (or higher) obligatory level than those of Holy Bible, we must conclude that V2 was indeed new SuperPentacost, new Superdogma of Church. And also we must conclude that Church was inexcusably guilt for hiding (even opposing) that truths for all her history.

    Dave K, you quote Pope Paul VI: “This ordinary magisterium, which is so obviously official, must be accepted with docility and sincerity by all the faithful, in accordance with the mind of the Council on the nature and aims of the individual documents.” Sadly, the SSPX and other Traditionalist fail here.”

    It is the nature of documents that it prevent you or anyone else to say that they can’t contain errors. Of course, the fact that documents are not infallible doesn’t necessary mean that they contain errors, it only mean that they can contain errors. Like I said, to insist that documents of V2 are on same level (or higher) of Holy Bible, is pure insanity.

  63. Ben Carter :

    Does anyone here have the learning to advise about the grounds that might be cited one day for the Council being declared an anti-Council

    Yes -- it would require an Act of God.

    There is no higher mortal Authority whatsoever than an Ecumenical Council that has met in Full Communion with our Holy Father.

  64. I do not have the learning necessary to adequately answer Ben Carter's question...

    ...but, it seems to me that, in all areas of Vatican II that did not re-state prior infallible teachings, or are not part of the ordinary universal Magisterium, these teachings are non-infallible and are therefore subject to revision by the future Magisterium (although the religious submission is still presumed). The decree on Ecumenism, for example, I think could be fully "revoked" by a future Pontiff and/or Council. If that wasn't the case, we might have a bit of an issue because the Church's traditional anti-ecumenical stance could very well already be part of the Church's infallible ordinary universal Magisterium...that's a discussion for another day, but, at any rate, the current decree on Ecumenism is certainly "reformable" by the Church in the has to be possible: it's a non-infallible, pastoral, non-dogmatic decree.

    As a side note: minor "contradictions", if I may call it that, do not harm my personal faith in Catholicism if these are in the non-infallible arena.

    But declaring Vatican II an "anti-Council" is simply not going to happen, because it was lawfully convened and received the necessary consent by the Pope and the Bishops in union with him. The most, for example, that the SSPX could hope for is a syllabus of errors related to VII, similar to what Bishop Schneider is proposing (and something I myself would welcome). I believe it is certinly possible for the future Magisterium to declare certain aspects of Vatican II erroneous (if in the non-infallible arena), but not "the whole Council". The SSPX really needs to change its nomenclature in this regard, IMHO.


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