Skip to main content

"Schismatic sect" update


It truly is amazing that ecumenical niceties suddenly disappear when a certain "schismatic" "sect" is involved. From the official publication of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia (tip C.P.):

The St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in a rural area of Buckingham County is operated by the Society of St. Pius X, a schismatic sect which is not in communion with the Holy See.

Catholics who attend Sunday liturgy there do not fulfill their Sunday obligation and the sacraments offered are not valid in accordance with the Vatican.

There is an element of confusion among some Catholics about the validity of the liturgy and the sacraments at the seminary which opened a year ago.

Father Anthony Morris, pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Farmville, says that his church office frequently gets calls from people, some of whom express excitement, and want to know if the seminary Mass is an alternative to the regular Sunday Mass at a Catholic parish. It is not.

“I have announced it from the pulpit to our parishioners,” Father Morris told The Catholic Virginian.

In addition to St. Theresa’s in Farmville, Father Morris is pastor of the adjacent parishes of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Blackstone, Sacred Heart in Meherrin, and Nativity in Buckingham.

The seminary in Buckingham is affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X, an international sect founded in 1970 by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

Pope Benedict XVI has declared that, for doctrinal rather than disciplinary reasons, the Society of St. Pius X has no canonical status within the Roman Catholic Church and the ministries exercised by its ministers are not legitimate.

Fine, the largest Catholic seminary being built in America is the work of a "schismatic" "sect" not in communion for "doctrinal" reasons - like the Eastern Orthodox, then. Can we at least grant them the same treatment? From the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, Unitatis Redintegratio:

There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart. For it is from renewal of the inner life of our minds, from self-denial and an unstinted love that desires of unity take their rise and develop in a mature way. We should therefore pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace to be genuinely self-denying, humble, gentle in the service of others, and to have an attitude of brotherly generosity towards them. St. Paul says: "I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace". This exhortation is directed especially to those raised to sacred Orders precisely that the work of Christ may be continued. He came among us "not to be served but to serve".

The words of St. John hold good about sins against unity: "If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us". So we humbly beg pardon of God and of our separated brethren, just as we forgive them that trespass against us.
___________________________________

Well, if those in Buckingham Co., Virginia, wish to find a real Catholic church, they can always travel across the country and visit the Jesuit parish of San Francisco, St. Ignatius:

On Wednesday, June 27, the United States Supreme Court handed down two decisions—on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Amendment –that eviscerated legal marriage in the United States. The following Sunday thus offered Catholic priests a matchless opportunity to articulate the Church’s definition of what marriage is, and what it is not. Indeed, since the decisions had such civilizational import, such articulation was less an opportunity than an absolute obligation.

One priest did choose to address the issue. At San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Church, the 9:30 AM Mass on Sunday, June 30 was celebrated by the church’s pastor, Fr. Gregory R. Bonfiglio, SJ. But rather than presenting Church teaching to his audience, rather than, for instance, stating the simple truth that properly ordered sexuality leads to the creation of new life, while sodomitical relations lead, as San Franciscans know all too well, to physical death and to spiritual death, Fr. Bonfiglio chose to read a letter written by Fr. John D. Whitney, SJ, of St. Joseph’s Church in Seattle. In the letter, which is titled “Why Am I In The Parade?” and which runs to 1,098 words, Fr. Whitney justified his presence in Seattle’s “Gay Pride” parade. The letter was published in St. Joseph’s June 23, 2013 parish bulletin. Given the content of the letter (Fr. Whitney absurdly equated Church teaching on homosexuality with Old Testament dietary restrictions, and ignorantly repeats the long-debunked assertion that the word “faggot” derives from “faggots” of wood), and the timing of Fr. Bonfiglio’s homily, the Sunday immediately after the legalization of counterfeit “marriage,” the homily can be seen as nothing less than support of homosexual “marriage.”

During Fr. Bonfiglio’s reading of the letter, the Church was eerily quiet. At least one parishioner was seen leaving the church in tears. When queried she said “It’s not his church! It’s the Catholic church! I should be able to just go to Church! I want to go to a Catholic Church!” (Source: California Catholic Daily, via The Curt Jester)