Alleanza Nazionale petitions “Tridentine” Mass

I know you have seen this already, but we should have some dicussion about it. 

You know that right wing politics in France is tied to the older form of Mass is.  Now Italy?

The story is from CWN.  If you don’t subscribe to CWN, you ought to:

Italian political party petitions for Latin Mass 

Rome, Dec. 13, 2006 (CWNews.com) – Italy’s National Alliance party is leading a petition drive among Catholics in the Liguria region, asking the bishops there to allow at least one Sunday Mass each week celebrated in the Tridentine rite.

The National Alliance, concerned about the steady influx of immigrants from South America and Eastern Europe into Liguria, argues that the use of the 1962 Missal would be an effective way to help integrate the new residents into the region’s traditional culture.

Formed by an alliance of the Italian Social Movement with members of the defunct Christian Democrat party, the center-right National Alliance has moved sharply away from its historical connection with Benito Mussolini’s fascist movement, and now frequently sides with Catholic Church leaders on public-policy issues.

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110 Responses to Alleanza Nazionale petitions “Tridentine” Mass

  1. David says:

    I’m glad if anyone supports the Traditional Roman Rite; however, in this case it seems that they are not interested in the Tridentine Rite as the Holy Sacrifice but as a political tool. I have to say that this makes me somewhat uncomfortable.

  2. Papabile says:

    You are right. Use of the Mass as a political tool should always make one uncomfortable. I don’t particularly care whether one is using it as a political tool for right-wing or left wing politics…. It is NOT the RITE that dictates misuse of the Mass.

    http://www.the-tidings.com/2006/0331/immigration7.htm
    http://www.launionaflcio.org/news/06-04-04_cesar_chavez_rally.html

  3. Dennis says:

    Thats just the way the cookie crumbles. The Tridentine
    rite has been a ‘badge’ of the political Right for a
    long time.
    Whats interesting is to see this story break now; the
    opposition has been unable to kill the Motu Propio, so
    they are aiming to wound. Expect more of the same.

  4. Jordan Potter says:

    I agree about the comments above regarding politics. Still, I have to agree with their proposal — the Tridentine Latin Mass could well help immigrants in Liguria to assimilate, promoting a real catholicity. I expect even the Latin Novus Ordo would do that, if it were the norm instead of a rarity.

  5. Gregory Mercer says:

    Father,

    I hope you do realize that you are making an association that may, or may not, be true, but is certainly not necessary. You are helping the enemies of the Mass by making that association.

    You are also implying that “Right Wing” is always synonymous to Mussolini, Petain, and maybe even Hitler, aren’t you?

    But, Father, sometimes “Right Wing” also means “Reagan”, “Franco”, “Escrivá”.

    Archbishop Lefebvre’s father was a monarchist, which you’d probably call a “Right Wing” position. At the same time, René Lefebvre worked for the French Resistance and British intelligence, and died in a Nazi concentration camp, did that make him a “lefty”?

    Come on, Father, sometimes I wander on which side you are really on.

  6. Gregory: Uncalled for comments. You have not the slightest idea what you are talking about in my regard. I posted this for discussion. You attacked me personally.

  7. CDB says:

    Gregory,

    I don’t know if you travel in political circles in the U.S., but “right wing” is not a term of derision among activist conservatives working in politics. There is no reason to assume father meant it as a pejorative. When evaluating politicians, activists, etc., “good right-winger” or “solid right-winger” or even “right winger” is colloquially a complement.

  8. Patrick Rothwell says:

    To which Italy are these immigrants supposed be assimilated to? I’m afraid to ask.

    *puke*

  9. AC says:

    Let’s not get too wrapped up in who is pushing for this or why. It’s not important — anyone pushing for this
    and bringing attention to it is a good thing. Most catholics don’t even know there was a traditional Mass so
    exposure of any kind is a good thing.

    But, father, just curious if you have indeed heard anything on the traditional sacraments being freed up along
    with the Mass? And is this really going to come before/on Christmas or are we looking at another situation like
    back in April when we all thought it was certain to come on Easter?

  10. AC: I have not heard anything specifically about this. Given the problems in the past, however, I suspect that the upcoming MP will also address those things.

    Still, it might be pretty hard to get confirmed with the old Pontifical if the bishop refuses to do it.

  11. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    Come on, Father, sometimes I wander on which side you are really on.

    By the nature of his vocation, I think Father is on the side of Christ. I would submit, Mr. Mercer, that you are reading way too much into Father’s post. I urge you to reconsider your remarks.

    Vivat Iesus,
    Stu

  12. TJM says:

    It is unfortunate that somehow the Tridentine Rite is
    being associated with politics in any form. Let’s keep
    in mind that both the political left, middle, and right
    worshipped under the Tridentine Rite for centuries with
    no fighting over the Rite itself. It was indeed a
    “sacrament of unity” where people of different political
    stripes could worship in this way. Although not intended,
    if any Rite is susceptible of “politization” it’s the Novus Ordo Missae, i.e.
    “inclusive language, “gay masses, etc, etc, etc. Tom

  13. AC says:

    Father, thanks for the response.

    I believe we’ll be able to have our first child baptised in the old rite — we just may have to travel to
    Baltimore to do it, where the bishop allows it. But you’re right on confirmation. At that point, if the local
    bishop does not allow it, we may be forced to begin assisting at the independent chapel not far from us so
    Bishop Williamson can come in and confirm our children. It’s not a step we wish to take, but with the choice
    being between the traditional rite and the new rite, it’s a no-brainer for us.

    Also, what i don’t understand is how Rome claims we are the universal Church, yet our rules, even our
    sacraments, are not universal? For example, here in Washington, DC, there are no traditional sacraments
    allowed, nor are they in neighboring diocese of Arlington. BUT, travel further down Virginia to the diocese of
    Richmond, or east to the diocese of Baltimore, or north to the diocese of Scranton in PA, and they all
    allow the traditional sacraments.

    How can we possibly claim to be universal, Catholic, if even the sacraments are different wherever you go?
    That’s the very definition of protestant!

  14. Dan Hunter says:

    Any exposure of the Tridentine Mass to any organization ,group or peoples is alway’s quite welcome.
    Jesus will spread His goodness by any means available,and by some that are unavailable.The truth speaks for itself,is magnetic and will draw all men unto itself.
    Father Zuhlsdorf would this Motu Proprio need the permission of the pastor of a particular church.In other words,if a pastor of a church does not offer the Tridentine Mass,and does not personally aprove of it, can a visiting priest ,who does offer the Mass offer it at that church?
    At our parish,the pastor disaproves of anything associated with Catholic tradition,ie:Gregorian chant, Benediction,Stations of the Cross etc.
    But many of the faithful want all these and the Tridentine Mass.
    Would the Motu Proprio provide for a situation like this,when it is released?
    Thank you,and God bless you.

  15. Jacob says:

    On the language issue, language in the Mass has always been a topic of debate when it comes to society. I remember reading somewhere that back when the Mass went from Latin to the vernacular, certain African bishops in countries with many local dialects were quite upset. Latin had been a source of unity for the various tribes. Not only that, but their poor dioceses could hardly afford to organize and print materials in all the different dialects that would be needed. They’d have to pick and choose and end up offending one group or another.

  16. El Jefe says:

    Not really to the point of most posts: I didn’t know that Italy had immagrants from South America. That is quite good for Italy. many Argentinians are of Italian extraction (Argentenian spanish even has a bit of an Italian Accent) This is good new though — better Central and South American (i.e. Western, Catholic) immigration than some of the alternatives. If I were “Italy” with my shrinking demographics, I would be sending planes and boats to get as many willing immigrants from the Americas as I could. As far as inculturating them goes — I don’t see how a Mass in Latin will teach them to speak Italian, although I am for the Tridentine Mass — I’m sure that within a generation or two, they will be just as Italian as any other: given the common religious and cultural heritage, it is more a question of details than substance.

  17. Geoffrey says:

    I heard that the FSSP is more than willing to help bishops with the traditional Rite of Confirmation, and that many bishops do not know that they don’t need to say the Tridentine Mass; Mass can be said in the presence of a bishop (the FSSP realizes some bishops may allow the support the old rite, but worry about having to say it themselves).

    Regarding politics in the USA, Pat Buchanan has made his support of the Tridentine Mass well-known. I would
    like to think that the Italian National Alliance party is made up of those who are truely devout, and perhaps they are hoping that their unity and “position of power” will bring a positive response from the bishop.

  18. dcs says:

    It would not only help immigrants be assimilated into the traditional culture, it would also help unify parishes with diverse populations. It’s a lot easier to give a sermon in two languages (or give it in one and publish it in another) than it is to celebrate two Masses, one for each language.

    There’s no reason why the traditional Mass can’t be a “political tool” in addition to everything else that it already is, as long as one doesn’t see it as solely a political tool. The Christian monarchs of Europe used the Faith as a “political tool” for centuries.

  19. The news piece says: “the use of the 1962 Missal would be an effective way to help integrate the new residents into the region’s traditional culture.”

    I am sure this means nothing other than that Latin, since it does not favor any one group, would make it possible for many groups to be in contact all at the same Mass in the same parish. Given the issue of clergy shortages, this is also a practical way not to multiply Masses and isolate language groups.

  20. Dan Hunter says:

    Could anyone please answer my question about Tridentine mass permission in a church where the pastor disaproves of this mass.
    Thank you,and God bless you

  21. Woody Jones says:

    I forget whether I have posted this excerpt from George Weigel’s 1994 “First Things” interview with George Lindbeck, a Lutheran observer at Vatican II, but it is apropos of this discussion:

    Weigel: Speaking of politics, how much of the venomous character of the controversy between the nouvelle theologie people and their critics in France had to do with the fact that the former had a rather more positive view of the Fourth Republic, indeed of democracy, than the latter?

    Lindbeck: There is some fascinating history waiting to be written here. You’d be sitting around drinking wine with the French, and just as you pierced the surface, they’d start talking about Action Francaise and all that. The French allies of the curial party, the French integralists, were more likely to have been in sympathy with Action Francaise, which the nouvelle theologie people never were. By and large, most of the integralists had not been sympathetic to the Resistance during the war, as de Lubac and others in his group had been.

    So there was this deep personal estrangement between the nouvelle theologie people and their critics, who believed that they had betrayed true French Catholicism, understood in monarchist terms. De Lubac illustrated the intensity of it when he quoted a critic of his to the effect that John XXIII had chosen Congar and de Lubac for the conciliar preparatory commissions because the Pope was wise enough to remember what had happened after Vatican I (1870), when the “old Catholic” schism occurred, and wanted to make sure that dissidents didn’t leave the Church this time around.

    Weigel: So in that specific French sense, the pre- conciliar conflict goes back even further than the Modernist crisis, and reflects the fault line that runs through French society from 1789 on?

    Lindbeck: I always found it desirable at any dinner party to find out where people stood on the Revolution before getting into any other discussion.

  22. AC says:

    Dan, father may no better than I, but without Divine Intervention i could never envision a time, especially
    this universal indult, allowing for a pastor to be trumped by another priest who could come in and say the
    traditional Mass. Even though I’ll never walk into a Novus Ordo Mass again in my life, I would rather the Holy
    Father do away with the Novus Ordo than allow a pastor to be trumped by another priest. However, I would be for
    a pastor being trumped by his bishop.

    But one thing we’re all missing here is that 99% of the churches can’t even hold a traditional Mass! At worse,
    the overwhelming majority do not have a high altar, a tabernacle anywhere in sight, an altar rail, etc. Most
    lutheran churches would be more available to the true Mass than most Catholic churches. At best, they all have
    the masonic table, or harvest table, or whatever it is which prevents prayers at the foot of the altar, is
    very distracting, etc. So unless the pope forces churches to return to their original form, and new churches
    to construct the necessary items mentioned above, a traditional Mass cannot, and should not, be said in most
    modern Catholic churches.

  23. Paul Murnane says:

    To Father’s point about many groups coming into contact at the same Mass in the same parish, in Los Angeles, the lack of Latin (not a single Latin NO as far as I know) as a unifying language has led to a proliferation of vernacular Masses (http://www.archdiocese.la/directories/language/index.php) that has created a very compartmentalized Catholic community. This is particularly seen in the parishes that celebrate Masses in 3 languages, yet there is minimal interaction between ethnic groups. I can’t imagine that was the intention of the V2 bishops.

    While I am uncomfortable with the TLM being used by a political party, I find it ironic that they see it as an integrative force before the bishops. It makes you wonder who’s minding the store.

  24. Dan Hunter says:

    Thank you very much AC.This is sad news indeed since the Bishop of Rockville Centre Diocese would never,without divine intervention trump our local pastor,unless he was saying the Tridentine mass.
    Maybe what is happening in Italy with the political party throwing thier hat into the liturgical ring will make the politically minded US bishops take note.
    Thank you again AC,God bless you and yours,and pray for Father Altier and all Gods clarion voices.

  25. AC says:

    Our church in DC is the same way. It’s the only preserved church in the entire city, and that’s only because
    they didn’t have the money to trash it like they did at the other churches (of course it’s in a bad area.
    aren’t all indults???) But the point is we have the true Mass, a Chinese mass and an English mass. And no one
    at either Mass could tell you a single name of a person who attends the others. I’d love to pray next to my
    Chinese bretheren, but that will never happen — because of Vatican II.

  26. Dan Hunter says:

    AC.Be of good cheer,
    inevitably we of all nationalities will all stand next to each other and offer the Tridentine mass through Christs holy priests at His altar of Sacrafice.
    It has to happen the faulty always breaks dow and the quality continues trun towards it’s final destination.Our Lord promised this,and the gates of Hell shall not prevail.They have opened a little wider in the last 5
    decades or so but Jesus is getting ready to slam and lock them for good
    In Hoc Signo.

  27. trm says:

    AC,

    Even though most churches aren’t ideal for the traditional mass, you can still make do with many of them. Our cathedral doesn’t have a high alter or alter rails, but once a year our Latin mass community has a traditional mass there. (In fact Father Z was the homilist at the last one). We just setup the free standing alter with all the stuff it needs (alter cloth, candles, cards, crucifix, etc…) and we bring our own portable alter rail. It’s not ideal, but as long the church hasn’t been completely wreckovated, you can make do.

  28. AC says:

    TRM:

    In your case, in a cathedral’s case, yes, you can make do. However, have you seen most churches built recently?
    Most are horrific. Many are circular, the altars do not face east (how could they when they’re in the middle of
    the room!) and there is no where to even build an altar rail. What we must remember isn’t whether it simply can
    be said, but that it would be an insult to the traditional Mass for it to be said in most of the new churches.

  29. AC says:

    And, before anyone brings up Mass in salt mines of Poland, or in private houses in France during the
    revolution, that is when true Catholic churches couldn’t be entered. That was not the church’s choice — today,
    it is the church’s choice, and they’re choosing to build churches that even protestants would have scoffed at
    years ago.

  30. dcs says:

    This is sad news indeed since the Bishop of Rockville Centre Diocese would never,without divine intervention trump our local pastor

    But of course this does not rule out His Excellency assigning a chaplain to a community that does not meet in a parish church. It would be nice if we could all have TLMs and all of the Sacraments in their traditional forms at our parish churches. I don’t see this happening.

    Tabernacles, high altars, and altar rails are wonderful, but they are not absolutely required for the traditional Mass. At the Shrine of St. John Neumann here in Philadelphia, there is a little museum dedicated to the Little Bishop; one of the things on display is a medium-sized bureau on which St. John used to celebrate Mass when he was a missionary priest in New York. Portable altar stones, linens, candlesticks, altar cards, missals, and sacred vessels and vestments are all that’s really required.

  31. Mike says:

    “…if the local bishop does not allow it, we may be forced to begin assisting at the independent chapel not far from us…”

    I’m in the same boat – if we don’t start allowing women into holy orders
    and being more inclusive with the gay members of our faith community
    then I’m packing off to the Unitarians.

    Now who’s left and who’s right?

    m

  32. Jon says:

    Although I see he hasn’t peeked in lately, I don’t think my friend Henry Edwards will mind if I share some pictures with you all that he sent me. I think they’re very appropriate to the conversation.

    You can find them here: http://www.knoxlatinmass.net/gallery/2Advent2006/2Advent.htm

    I was blessed to attend High Mass at this very church as a guest of Henry back in October. As you can see, the church itself is quite modern, however any difficuties that might pose have been easily overcome. Also, in a Mass celebrated “in the presence of a bishop,” it’s apparent that a bishop unfamiliar with the TLM has very little to fear as there’s very little for him to do but kneel in his place of honor.

    Another point of interest – many of you regulars of the blogosphere probably know that Bishop Kurtz is the top rumored candidate to become the next Bishop of Pittsburgh. A prelate from such a visible see could be a very valuable friend indeed!

    Oh, and Father Z, Henry assures me that Father Orr’s Roman chasuble isn’t blue, it’s just a trick of the digital lens. Surrre…

  33. Paul Haley says:

    Celebration of the traditional mass cannot be anything but good as I inferred in my post elsewhere, to wit: “If the TLM becomes more widespread and is said with reverence and adherence to the rubrics by devoted priests and adoring faithful, will God Our Father recognize the prayers of His Beloved Son – by the priest, in persona Christi, to restore all things in Him? Will He shower graces on His Beloved to the extent that hearts are moved and minds are bent to His Holy Will? Will He fashion bishops with hearts of compassion rather than stone? Will He silence the modernist critics, clear the smoke of Satan from His sanctuary and bring His lost children back to His embrace that have long since left His Loving Arms?”
    We could also add in this case: Will He so impress newcomers (i.e., immmigrants) that they will run to His loving embrace through His church here on earth?

  34. El Jefe says:

    Church Architecture is slowly getting better. Where I live — which is a liturgical mess more or less — there seems to be a move away from Churches in the Round towards more traditional Latin-Cross designs, with peole seated one 3 sides of the altar — the 4th side being the wall. Certainly, these churches still have much that is lame, but the structure doesn’t prevent reonvation in the future, if things go well. Perhaps some day a document will come out mandating that churches be built to suit bothrites fo the mass, and we could have altar rails again. Even when they aren’t use dfor communion, they can be very very pretty.

  35. El Jefe says:

    I mean’t “both versions” — Technically, Tridentine and Novus Ordeo are two versions of the same rite. Correct?

  36. AC says:

    “I’m in the same boat – if we don’t start allowing women into holy orders
    and being more inclusive with the gay members of our faith community
    then I’m packing off to the Unitarians.”

    Mike, you must be uniformed. The independent chapel I speak of is St. Athanasius in Virginia. It’s not SSPX,
    but it is close with the Society. It is not even comparable with Unitarians. In fact, it’s more Catholic than
    the indult Mass i currently attend. Remember, Cardinal Hoyos himself, as well as his secretary Msgr. Perl, have
    both confirmed our sunday obligations are met by assisting Mass at independent chapels such as the SSPX as long
    as they’re not sedevaticanist churches.

  37. Ben D. says:

    AC,

    Why not compare it to salt mines in Poland, etc.? If a traditionally-minded priest finds himself in a parish with an ugly and horribly-designed church, but has all the other things (knowledge, permission, etc.) required to offer mass in the classical Roman rite, would you rather that he refrain until the church can be rebuilt or until he is reassigned to a church with more fitting furnishings (of which, in many American dioceses at least, there are very few, as you yourself indicated above)?

    Seems to me, that would be a bit like refusing to say mass on a battlefield because the surroundings were too muddy. The ugly churches aren’t going to be torn down or renovated any time soon; that’s just a sad fact.

    Paul Murnane,

    The NO is offered in Latin three times a day (twice on Saturday) at Thomas Aquinas College (in the hills between Santa Paula and Ojai in Ventura County). Not a parish, I realize, but it’s there if you’re interested. On Sunday mornings at 7:30 they have a Gregorian schola, and at 9 am a polyphonic choir. The early mass on the second Sunday of each month uses the classical Roman rite:

    http://www.thomasaquinas.edu/

    Also Ss. Peter & Paul, in San Pedro (which, by the way, is a beautiful church), has a Latin NO:

    http://www.sppc.us/

  38. Mike says:

    AC,

    “Independent” is not in communion with the Successor of Peter.
    When there is an immediate danger of death, baptism may be confirmed by
    anyone – even a pagan (who is also quite independent of the Holy See).
    St Athanasius ( the old Andrew Chapel) is 10 minutes from my house and
    I pass it on my 1 hour commute to St Marys in DC for the indult mass. For what Christ
    & Peter suffered, the least we could suffer is bad liturgy or a long drive.

    m

  39. Sean says:

    I was blessed to attend High Mass at this very church as a guest of Henry back in October. As you can see, the church itself is quite modern, however any difficuties that might pose have been easily overcome

    The old mass is pretty much all that a modern church requires to bring it spiritually alive. I think the only real problem would be the level of the sanctuary in a stadium-style church. The rest I can see regaining a Cistercian-like simplicity and beauty at very little cost.

  40. AC says:

    Mike, i’m also at St. Mary’s indult every Sunday! But I, and others, on occasion assist Mass at St. Athanasius
    when our holy days of obligation aren’t met or aren’t until 7 pm when we are still working. We are in immediate
    danger, and there is a crisis, which is why even the Vatian (Ecclesia Dei) has said we can assist Mass at these
    chapels. If you haven’t see the letter to that fact, i can post it. And, go to St. Athanasius some time and you’ll
    see where many of our former parishioners went after Fr. Harris came in with his distain for the traditional Mass.

    And Ben, any church, except maybe the circular fiascos, can convert back just like when they were originally
    gutted. If the parish priest really wanted to say the true Mass, he could easily, and cheaply, install an altar
    rail, a wood high altar, a tabernacle, etc. If he doesn’t feel that is necessary, however, then I’d find another
    church to go to. Remember, independent chaples, while not ideal, are loyal to the Catholic Faith. Blind loyalty
    to man is not the same as the loyalty Christ called for to Him. Even St. Athanasius said that the true Faithful
    will find themselves outside the cathedrals, but the Faith will still reside in them.

  41. Mike says:

    AC

    Hogwash. Is not the greatest scandal in our church our division?
    I’ve got a standard RC church within a 5 minute WALK of my house and
    I can barely keep my breakfast down when I’m “Forced” to attend there.
    But you do what you have to do to support THE church and to maintain
    unity. The smoke of Satan abounds indeed within and without, but
    a house divided…
    “Assisting” in division is what I say. As for your “needs” – reevaluate
    them along with your scruples.
    “Blind loyalty
    to man is not the same as the loyalty Christ called for to Him” THE CHURCH
    IS CHRIST AND CHRIST’ SUCCESSOR IS PETER (B16).
    “If the parish priest really wanted to say the true Mass, he could easily, and cheaply, install an altar
    rail, a wood high altar, a tabernacle, etc.” SO THE TRUE MASS COMES DOWN
    TO FURNITURE?

    btw Fr Harris’ so called disdain for the mass is rather his unfamiliarity
    with the rite. He tries. I suggest you run this rationale of yours by
    Mnsr Pope for his opinion – he’s willing to talk.

    m

    M

  42. AC says:

    When are you “forced” to go anywhere? Someone hold a gun to your head? If you choose to go there, fine. But
    you have alternatives.

    You need to speak to some people at church before you dismiss the fact that Fr. Harris doesn’t even know the Mass
    after 6 months of saying it. First, he refused to go to Clear Creek Monastary as Msgr. Smith and now Fr. Grimm
    both did to learn the Mass before saying it. He simply got up there, screwed it up, and didn’t care. So we had
    seminarians come in from the FSSP to assist him. After two Sundays, he made them leave, and told them they were
    in the way. Then, after insulting the biretta by repeatedly calling it a “silly cowboy hat,” some good priests
    got together, bought one for him and forcefully requested he wear it.

    And again, if it’s so wrong to go to an independent chapel, then why has the head of Ecclesia Dei said it is
    not only fine to do so, but that it fulfills our Sunday Obligation? Before simply lashing out at me, just think
    about it. Either the Vatican, for which Ecclesia Dei speaks, is right or it’s wrong? The Vatican says it’s ok but
    you know better? There’s no reason for this argument. They’ve rules. Now can’t we all just get along?

  43. Mike says:

    AC, Brother,

    This priest, that priest – we can bitch and moan about personalities
    all day long. Good church, bad church – whatever. There is still the one
    true church. Even when she is wrong she is the one true church.
    You love your mother even when she stumbles. Your mom is a mess – do you
    avoid her and hang out with the neighbors ma – you know, the lady with
    the clean house and the nice clothes? No. You love your mother no matter
    what. We’ve also got an uncle with a game leg and the worst latin
    pronunciation ever heard – Hey, he’s our uncle. A little wierd – but
    our uncle. Our church is our family and it is the true church under the
    supreme papa. Is is our salvation. The greatest voice in the wilderness-
    John the Baptist – still the least of them in Heaven is greater than him.
    We have sight of heaven but WE NEED EACH OTHER to get there. Unity brother.

    m

  44. El Jefe says:

    Just to add to what Mike said; OK, so Ecclesia Dei said that it is OK to go to independent chaples and so forth. Under what conditions? It is also OK for me go to a Russian Orthodox church — if and only if there is no Catholic church around. It is probably the same for these independent chaples. But there are BIG ecclesial issues? Is the Catholic Church unity based just on a shared faith? No– that is Calvin’s Docrtine of the ‘invisible Church.’ combined with a Tridentine Mass. Unity with the See of Peter is part of what it means to be Catholic. Yes yes yes, the sacraments are valid — or as e as far as we know, but really, who keeps track of these indpendent chaple clergy? But they aare totally illicit.

    Man up and make the drive to the Indult church, offer up your annoyances at a NO for the souls in purgatory, pray for that priest you are running down and thank him for his service to the church(btw: did you consecrate your entire life to the service fo Christ and his church as priest, with promises of obediance to the Bishop); and if all that fails, lookint an Eastern rite Catholic church.

    I hope this doesn’t sound harsh, but actions like that give partisans of the Tridentine mass a sbad name. Maybe he would have kept up with the Mass is people encouraged him, thanked him and said hey: this is hard, give him time to get up to speed. Based on your descriptions, I would guess that the priest feels threatened and unappreciated by the people surrounding him. If he doesn’t want to where a birretta, how does it hurt you?

  45. Paul Murnane says:

    Ben D.,
    Thank you for reminding me about Ss. Peter & Paul (in Wilmington, btw, not San Pedro). I had forgotten that the Norbertines took over in July to continue the great work started by Fr. Irving. I had heard that they wanted to offer a Latin NO and am glad to see it is on the 3rd Sunday of the month. Interesting to note that no diocesan parish (or priest for that matter) in LA publicly celebrates the Latin NO; in fact, I was told by a young priest, that it is a taboo subject that even established priests won’t broach.

    Regarding TAC: someday I’d like to get up there for Mass, a tough 5 hour round-trip. I’d also like to get up to Mission San Buenaventura, which is the only place that has a weekly Indult TLM. Do you happen to know if they offer the traditional sacraments?

  46. Jordan Potter says:

    “And again, if it’s so wrong to go to an independent chapel, then why has the head of Ecclesia Dei said it is not only fine to do so, but that it fulfills our Sunday Obligation?”

    I’ve read that letter, and you are misrepresenting what it says. It certainly is not an unequivocal green light to join schismatic chapels such as the one you attend. Msgr. Perl wrote:

    “Our letter of 27 September 2002, which was evidently cited in The Remnant and on various websites, was intended as a private communication dealing with the specific circumstances of the person who wrote to us. ”

    In other words, the letter applies specifically to one person’s situation, and was not intended to give all Catholics the go-ahead to cooperate with schism. This letter must also be read in the context of previous correspondence with that person, something that those who assist at illegal Tridentine Masses don’t do.

    Msgr. Perl also wrote:

    “We have already told you that we cannot recommend your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why. If your primary reason for attending were to manifest your desire to separate yourself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him, it would be a sin. If your intention is simply to participate in a Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin.” ”

    Sounds like Msgr. Perl isn’t approving regularly assisting as illicit Masses, but delineating what is and isn’t wrong about assisting at illicit Masses.

    http://www.unavoce.org/articles/2003/perl-011803.htm

  47. Jordan Potter says:

    I should have posted the whole letter from Msgr. Perl, found here:

    http://www.unavoce.org/Protocol539-99.htm

    “1. The priests of the Society of St. Pius X are validly ordained, but suspended, that is prohibited from exercising their priestly functions because they are not properly incardinated in a diocese or religious institute in full communion with the Holy See (cf. canon 265) and also because those ordained after the schismatic episcopal ordinations were ordained by an excommunicated bishop. They are also excommunicated if they adhere to the schism (cf. Ecclesia Del, #5, c). While up to now the Holy See has not defined what this .adherence consists in, one could point to a wholesale condemnation of the Church since the Second Vatican Council and a refusal to be in communion with it (cf. canon 751 on the definition of schism). Further, it is likely that these priests, after eleven years in a society whose head is now an excommunicated bishop, effectively adhere to the schism. . .
    “2. Concretely this means that the Masses offered by the priests of the Society of St. Pius X are valid, but illicit i.e., contrary to Canon Law. The Sacraments of Penance and Matrimony, however, require that the priest enjoys the faculties of the diocese or has proper delegation. Since that is not the case with these priests, these sacraments are invalid. It remains true, however, that, if the faithful are genuinely ignorant that the priests of the Society of St. Pius X do not have the proper faculty to absolve, the Church supplied these faculties so that the sacrament was valid (cf. Code of Canon Law c. 144).
    “3. The situation of the faithful attending chapels of the Society of St. Pius X is more complicated. They may attend Mass there primarily because of an attraction to the earlier form of the Roman Rite in which case they incur no penalty. The difficulty is that the longer they frequent these chapels, the more likely it is that they will slowly imbibe the schismatic mentality which stands in judgement of the Church and refuses submission to the Roman Pontiff and communion with the members of the Church subject to him. If that becomes the case, then it would seem that they adhere to the schism and are consequently excommunicated.
    “For these reasons this Pontifical Commission cannot encourage you
    to frequent the chapel of the Society of St. Pius X. On the other hand it
    would seem that you are among those who attend Mass in chapels
    of the Society of St. Pius X because of the reverence and devotion which they find there, because of their attraction to the traditional Latin Mass and not because they refuse submission to the Roman Pontiff or reject communion with the members of the Church subject to him. At the same time it must be admitted that – this is an irregular situation, even if the circumstances which have caused it have come about through no fault of your own, and it should be remedied as soon as circumstances permit.”

  48. Dan Hunter says:

    This letter says that it is not a sin to assist at holy mass if it is done out of love for the older rite.
    I live in an area where there are two catholic churches in a 120 mile radius from home,the closer,both of them are diocesan,is 40 miles from me.
    I have been to confession to both catholic priests,and on both occasions they abused the,or didnt even use the sacrament.
    The first time the priest informed me half way through the confession thatthe Church no longer teaches that masturbation is a mortal sin.i HAD TO BEG HIM FOR ABSOLUTION.He told me that I needed Counseling if I think this fleshly transgression is sinful.
    The other diocesan church is much more distant.
    After hearing my confession the good father said,”May God fill you with absolution and peace and I bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
    Now if these are not cases for for the Bishop to amend I don’t know what are.
    I wrote to His Excellency repeatedly about these abuses,but I have heard from friends recently that they are still taking place.
    So I think you can understand the disgust our brethren feel at our Holy Mother Churches suffering,and why people attend Society Mass’s and get valid absolution and loving Christlike advice from these holy men.

  49. AC says:

    First, Mike makes a good point about good people stumbling. And the Church stumbling. But at some point, you
    don’t following blindly into sin. Can anyone here honestly say that many NO Masses don’t lead to evil and sin?
    Not that the NO Mass is evil or sinful in and of itself, but that it leads to evil and sin in many cases? Of course
    we know that’s true. Or do we all just go to the traditional Mass because it smells nice and we prefer it?

    But to compare an indpendent chapel, which is identical to every church around the world before Vatican II, to
    the Russian Orthodox is insane. And unfounded in any kind of intellectual honesty. Ecclesia Dei, whether it was
    a private message or not, said you can fulfull sunday obligation, even give a contribution to the SSPX (I bought
    my Christmas cards from them this year). But he would not, unlike most local bishops, ever say a Russian Orthodox
    Church service would fulfill a sunday obligation.

    At St. Athanasius, Fr. Ringrose prays for the Pope each Sunday and uses his name in the Canon. And, he’s still
    a priest in good standing in the diocese of Baltimore. In fact, he just had his faculties renewed by the
    archbishop! And yes, they do know where he is and what he’s doing. He’s even met with the archbishop.

    I recommend one thing to everyone wondering about true obediance and what that really means, and whether it is
    to man or to God. Read “Priest, Where is Thy Mass? Mass, Where is Thy Priest”. It’s not only a great read, it
    will enlighten you. The stories of these priests will also terrify you.

  50. Joshua says:

    “The early mass on the second Sunday of each month uses the classical Roman rite:

    Regarding TAC: someday I’d like to get up there for Mass, a tough 5 hour round-trip. I’d also like to get up to Mission San Buenaventura, which is the only place that has a weekly Indult TLM. Do you happen to know if they offer the traditional sacraments?”

    1. Normally we have a Sung Dominican Rite Mass on the second sunday (technically the priest has permission to say the Dominican rite whenever, but we relegate it to the time we had before his arrival for an indult Mass). If it is the 1962 Missal it is low

    2. The Mission, starting last May, now usually has a sung Mass solemn form. Once a month a Sung Dominican Rite (same priest, from TAC). The other Sung Masses are 1962 from a Fr. Nealy, O.S.A. A very holy man. Only one of the three priests does a low Mass, but he is a great priest and good homilist.

    The traditional sacraments are not to conferred in the LA archdiocese. They used to give permission for weddings and funerals, but they stopped a few years ago. Now a religious priest (at least the Dominicans) can do a traditional wedding without bishop’s permission if they have their superior’s permission (as the chaplain at TAC does). But they probably wouldn’t do it without consulting the bishop and seeing that he isn’t opposed, out of prudence

  51. El Jefe says:

    So Father So and So prays for the Pope. Some of my Anglican friends do too. But in any case, there is an important and crucial difference between the Indpendent chaple and Anychurch in the 1950’s: the Church in the 1950’s was in union with Rome, and the Indpendent chaple is not.

    As far as Orthodoxy goes, I wasn’t comparing your chapel with the Orthodox church, but comparing the situations and the rules: there are sturcutal commonalities: valid sacraments, no union with Rome. And, as with the Orthodox, the lack of union is due to a percieved break with tradiion on the part of Rome.

  52. AC says:

    But again El Jefe, the sacraments are not in question. And even Cardinal Hoyos, head of Ecclesia Dei, told SSPX
    churchgoes not to worry about the issue of scism because “”[t]he situation of the members of [the SSPX] is
    an internal matter of the Catholic Church.”

    To compare them to Anglicans or anyone but Faithful Catholics is simply wrong. Is their situation perfect? Of
    course not. But that’s why they’re talking with Rome and why we’re all clamoring for this indult. But at the
    same time, there’s no chance of perfect communion with the orthodox or anglicans because they’re not Catholic,
    as the SSPX is.

    And, if this is not a crisis sufficient enough to go to an independent chapel, what is? Let’s say in the next
    two years, because the seminaries are empty, we have women priests? Are you telling me it would be more important
    that we blindly follow Rome because they say it’s OK than to go to an independent chapel? Of course not. Just
    as it’s not OK to receive Holy Communion from a woman in a NO Mass, or while standing, or while in the hand. ALl
    of these acts would have been considered heresy 40 years ago. Now, because Hannibal Bugini, the cardinal who wrote
    the new mass and was then stripped of his duties and sent to the Middle East when they found out he was a Mason,
    said it’s OK to receive the Lord in the hand while standing, now it’s OK? Of course not. This is where modern
    Catholics are completely confused on the issue of true obedience.

  53. AC says:

    Catholic News Agency finally broke the mainstream Catholic media blackout on the Ecclesia Dei meeting:

    Cardinal Medina says Pope set to restore Mass of St. Pius V

    Dec. 14, 2006
    CNA

    Vatican City – At the conclusion of the Ecclesia Dei commission this week, which is responsible for maintaining dialogue with the Lefevbrist movement, the former head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Jorge Medina, said Pope Benedict XVI it was “very probable” that Pope Benedict XVI would issue an indult for the celebration of the Mass of St. Pius V.

    The Mass of St. Pius V, which was celebrated universally before Vatican II, can currently be celebrated only with the permission of the local bishop. According to Cardinal Medina, the Pontiff may issue a “Motu Propio”—a document released on the Pope’s own authority—that would authorize the universal use of the missal without the need for diocesan approval.

    “The publication of a Motu Propio by the Pope allowing for widespread celebration of the Mass in Latin according to the missal of St. Pius V is very near,” the cardinal said.

    “The matter has been calmly studied and it was discussed for more than four hours, resulting in some corrections to the text of the Motu Propio,” he added.

    The next step for it to be definitively published will be taken by Cardinal Dario Castrillon, president of the commission “Ecclesia Dei, who will present the text to the Pope for his final approval.

  54. El Jefe says:

    If you read what I wrote, I granted that the sacraments were valid. But they are illicit. What part of illicity isn’t understood. If it was perfectly OK for us to go their, if SSPX was not in schism, then the Vatican woudln’t bein negotiations with them for reunification. You want to say You say everything if fine, but the words used: “indpendent chaple” “reunification’ “Negotiaion” and so forth testify that the situation is not fine.

    Your though-experiment is a non-starter: the Catholic church can’t ordain women a
    the seminaries are getting filled again. Lets take a more modest thought-expirement: married priests. [Do I want a married priesthood in the Latin rite: No]. If tomorrow the Pope said, OK lest ordain married guys, would I follow him: Yes. That would be a change in discipline not doctrine. In anycase, your original though teperiment shows that you believe the Pope could lead us into heresy. So much for the doctrine of infallibility.

  55. AC says:

    Do I belive the pope could be a heretic? OF COURSE! Pope Honorius I was excommunicated and deemed a heritic. This
    is where most modern Catholics, as i have said, have no clue about what infallibility even means. It doesn’t
    mean that a heritic pope isn’t the pope — he is. But he can be one in the same:

    The Roman Catholic Church Condemned Pope Honorius I as a Heretic and Excommunicated Him

    Introduction

    Pope Honorius I (625-38) was posthumously condemned as a heretic and excommunicated from the Church by the ecumenical Council of III Constantinople (680-1). He promoted the heresy of the Monothelites, who taught that there is only one will in Christ; the orthodox doctrine is that Christ has separate wills in his human and divine natures.

    Honorius actively maintained the heresy in official papal letters written to Sergius I, patriarch of Constantinople in reply to a formal consultation and to several other individuals. He did this at a crucial time, when Sergius was backing off before the objections of St. Sophronius. Thus began a tragedy that would afflict the whole Church. The Monothelites were able to argue that all the teachers of the orthodox faith had confessed their doctrine, including Sergius of Constantinople and Honorius of Rome.

    III Constantinople condemned Honorius in his official papal capacity as the bishop of Rome, not as a private theologian. The council specifically stated that Honorius had advanced heretical teachings, approved of them, and in a positive sense was responsible for disseminating them (and was not merely negligent, as some apologists still lie.) It condemned him by name as a heretic, anathematising him as such and excommunicating him.

  56. Jordan Potter says:

    “This letter says that it is not a sin to assist at holy mass if it is done out of love for the older rite.”

    It also says it is NOT a good thing to do, that it should only be a very temporary stop-gap remedy if done at all.

    “Catholic News Agency finally broke the mainstream Catholic media blackout on the Ecclesia Dei meeting”

    Do CWN and EWTN count as mainstream Catholic news media? This is from Tuesday (it’s now late Thursday where I live):

    http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=74204

  57. Jordan Potter says:

    “Pope Honorius I was excommunicated and deemed a heritic.”

    First it was a posthumous excommunication, which means it was canonically meaningless and purely symbolic. Second, the judgment that he was a heretic was not itself infallible, but was a disciplinary ruling theoretically appeallable to the Pope. The Pope at the time approved the judgment, but in theory a future Pope could overturn the verdict.

  58. Brian says:

    “Do CWN and EWTN count as mainstream Catholic news media? This is from Tuesday (it’s now late Thursday where I live)”

    EWTN does not write its own news stories, it simply posts articles from CWN, CNA, ZENIT, and VIS. EWTN simply reposted the CWN report.

    CWN is the ONLY Catholic media outlet that reported on this up till this afternoon. With the exception of the conservative CWN, none of the other mainstream Catholic media outlets have touched this till a full TWO DAYS after the meeting.

  59. ThomasMore1535 says:

    It is exactly the type of comments that AC has been posting that have given the Old Rite a bad name ever since 1988. It is an embarassment that some individuals selectively quote statements from the Holy See to actually try and pretend that the Society of St. Pius X is not in schism, and that these individuals are willing to overlook the gravity that schism is.

    I’m always amused when people try and argue that the Society isn’t in schism because they pray for the Pope. Whenever I hear this argument, I’m reminded me of something someone said 2000 years ago:

    “Not everyone who says unto me “Lord, Lord” will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.”

    Any reading of Vatican I will show that disobedience to the Holy Father even in matters of discipline is impermissible. It’s amazing some people still like to pretend it is otherwise.

  60. Jordan Potter says:

    “EWTN does not write its own news stories, it simply posts articles from CWN, CNA, ZENIT, and VIS. EWTN simply reposted the CWN report.”

    Obviously. That’s why I gave the EWTN link but referred to both CWN and EWTN. It’s because EWTN has picked up the story from CWN, thereby spreading the story beyond CWN’s readership.

    As for CNA taking two days to report on the story, that sounds about right for CNA’s timeliness. They’re always slow to update their website with new stories.

    “CWN is the ONLY Catholic media outlet that reported on this up till this afternoon. With the exception of the conservative CWN, none of the other mainstream Catholic media outlets have touched this till a full TWO DAYS after the meeting.”

    Except for EWTN, that is. . . .

  61. Brian says:

    “some individuals selectively quote statements from the Holy See to actually try and pretend that the Society of St. Pius X is not in schism”

    The Holy See itself has been avoiding the word “schism.”

    Most recent statements from the Holy See simply state the SSPX is in an “irregular juridical status.” And part of the upcoming process of liberalizing the Tridentine Indult appears to include a negation of the excommunications.

    As soon as that happens, can we all follow the lead of the Holy See and stop using the word “schism” in regard to the SSPX? And until then, can we all just follow the lead of the Holy See and characterize the SSPX as in an “irregular (juridical) status”?

    I’m no fan of the SSPX, but refusing to set aside inflammatory rhetoric and follow the lead of the Holy See in this regard, at this pivotal moment in history, is not too much to ask, is it?

  62. Dan Hunter says:

    Thomas More please tell me where I can recieve all the Sacraments of the Catholic Church in the traditional and correct manner,since whenever I go to a Novus Ordo priest he abuses the sacrament.See above posting Thank you for your advice and God bless you

  63. Brian says:

    “Except for EWTN, that is. . . .”

    I should be more clear. By “mainstream Catholic media outlets,” I’m referring to “mainstream Catholic NEWS media outlets.”

    EWTN is not a news service. I guess it is a media outlet per se, but it does not write its own news stories like CWN, CNA, CNS, VIS, ZENIT, etc.

  64. Brian says:

    “please tell me where I can recieve all the Sacraments of the Catholic Church in the traditional and correct manner”

    Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos says the present indult includes all 1962 sacraments. Hopefully the upcoming Motu Proprio will make that more clear…and enforce it.

  65. dcs says:

    It is an embarassment that some individuals selectively quote statements from the Holy See to actually try and pretend that the Society of St. Pius X is not in schism

    What’s embarrassing is those who are willing to say that “the SSPX is in schism” when the Holy See is not.

  66. ThomasMore1535 says:

    Hmmmm….I think Ecclesia Dei itself is quite clear on this matter, that they are in schism, and that anyone
    who supports them is in schism. And since the Pope’s judgments in this area are subject to nobody’s reversal
    except for the Pope himself, it really doesn’t matter what subordinates say, is it?

    And besides, since you all feel that the Holy See is infiltrated by Modernists, I’m surprised you’re even bothering to cite any Cardinals or any decisions by them. Talk about being selective. You all will conveniently ignore what the Supreme Pontiff has said regarding the Society in Ecclesia Dei, but then hop on any ambigiuous-at-best statement that a member of the Curia may make. Real consistent.

    And as for where one may receive the sacraments in a traditional manner, well, come to St. Louis. ICKSP (who, by the way, have no difficulty asserting that the Society is in Schism) offer the sacraments in a traditional manner.

    But more important than that, so long as you can validly receive the sacraments, even if there are abuses, you have no excuses. You cannot complain that you can’t attend b/c of irreverence, because it is a valid mass, and the graces of the sacraments are open to you.

    And for the record, I attend plenty of reverent Novus Ordo masses where there are no abuses, here in St. Louis. but even if there are abuses, I offer them up in reparation. This is exactly what St. Josemaria Escriva did after the Novus Ordo was promulgated. And before you all jump in on the fact that he got an indult to say the Old Rite, I’ll have you know that while he continued to say the Old Rite privately, this saint had no problem saying the Novus Ordo publicly. He also mandated that Opus Dei, the organization that he founded and that had become his very life, would say the Novus Ordo. If this canonized saint doesn’t have a problem with the Novus Ordo, then you can’t either.

    Now, this certainly doesn’t mean that you don’t have a rightful aspiration for the Old Rite. I love the Old Rite and attend it regularly as well. But to say that you can’t attend the New Rite because of the abuses reflects an unwillingness to suffer for the sake of Christ.

    Read the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei. It says everything that you would like to pretend is not. Furthermore, because the Society is in schism and their masses are illicit, their confessions and marriages are invalid as well. This is a basic tenant of canon law.

  67. ThomasMore1535 says:

    And finally, for all of you who think SSPX isn’t in schism, I suggest you look at the actions of Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz from 1996 (a Bishop, by the way, who has been the biggest supporter of FSSP in the US), when he announced that in the Lincoln Diocese, anyone who is a member of the Freemasons, Call to Action, Planned Parenthood, or the SSPX is excommunicated in that Diocese. The Holy See has upheld this decision. It’s interesting to note that Freemasons are already excommunicated automatically, but Bishop Bruskewitz nevertheless excommunicated them. I would say the Society is in a similar position.

    Where, pray tell me, was Cardinal Hoyos, who has supposedly saying that the society is not in schism? Why has he not decried these actions of Bishop Bruskewitz? Why has he not demanded that the sentence be reversed? After all, you have all shown that Cardinal Hoyos knows the truth–that the Society is not in schism! And yet Bishop Bruskewitz had the audacity to excommunicate these faithful Catholics!

    Seems as though if Cardinal Hoyos really meant what you all claim he meant, he would have informed Bishop Bruskewitz of his mistake. But as far as I know, that isn’t happened.

  68. Jordan Potter says:

    FYI, it’s Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos.

    Pardon my pedantry . . .

  69. ThomasMore1535 says:

    My apologies for the absence of “Castrillon.” I’ve always been a bit confused about how to print Spanish-type names (which is particularly pathetic since I took Spanish for about six years.) ;)

  70. Dan Hunter says:

    Thomas More.
    At the same Catholic church I went to and was,”filled with absolution and peace.The priest at the consecration intoned,”This MEANS MY BODY,THIS MEANS MY BLOOD”.What should I do now after writing the bishop of this and no change occuring.Is this a valid confection?
    God bless you.

  71. El Jefe says:

    This is my last post on this topic. My ‘thumos’ got the best of me in previous posts — seeing people run down priests, even one’s with bad taste and questionable theological acumen lights my fuse — so I’m going to back off; although I stand by everything I said. But in any case, the fact is that SSPX is ‘negotiating’ to come back into ‘communion’ or ‘union’ with Rome, or if you prefer ‘regularize their status’ — but whatever spin one puts on it, the existence of these negotions assume a state of irrgularity, disunion, non-communion.

    But lets face it: no one is likely to be convinced here online

  72. ThomasMore1535 says:

    Dan,

    You raise a good point, and my apologies for not looking at your eariler post better.

    If there is no other Catholic church around, and assuming that the priest is using a defective sacramental form which results in an invalid mass at your church, then I think you would be permitted to go to an SSPX mass and receive communion, just as a Catholic in Russia would be permitted to go to a Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy and receive communion if there is no valid Catholic mass being offered.

    Regarding confession, it’s more difficult, because I am pretty positive that excommunication renders both marriage and confessions invalid. I know canon law talks about this.

    But regardless, my apologies for not reading your post more carefully. You are clearly in a very difficult situation, and I will pray for you that it will improve. Particularly the part about what your priest said on masturbation is disgraceful and scandalous. I will pray for you, that you will be strong and vigilent, and that you will soon find yourself in a better sitaution.

    But as for AC, he has no excuse. There are plenty of masses in DC, and I also know for a fact that one parish in Virginia nearby offers a very reverent Sunday Novus Ordo in Latin, with Gregorian Chant (and incidently, it’s the parish of Justice Antonin Scalia and his family, so I guess that brings us back to the politics discussion of the article!)

  73. Paul Haley says:

    In order for the SSPX to be in schism they have to intend to be in schism for the actions were adjudged latae sententiae (or what naturally follows) in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. The leaders of SSPX have indicated they did not intend to be in schism and took their actions solely for the salvation of souls, the supreme law of the church and the following: Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept: 4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls.” What was their grave fear – that they would not be able to provide for the salvation of souls using the new rite of sacraments. The eminent canonist Count Neri Capponi concurs with this interpretation of canon law. With the holy father currently working to bring the SSPX into full communion with him, talking about the SSPX being in schism is foolhardy at best.

  74. AC says:

    Thomas, you can disagree with us on the SSPX, but please stick to the truth. No one,
    in B16’s hierarchy has ever, EVER said the SSPX is in schism. In fact, they’ve bent
    over backwards to say they’re NOT. I love how when it’s something liberal the pope
    is infallible but when it’s something traditional he’s not!

    And, it kills me that you bring up the rediculous excommunication of the SSPX by
    Bishop Bruskewitz. He listed them along with Call to Action (pro-abortion group).
    If you noticed, the Holy See ruled on his excommunication last week, and it
    only upheld it in the case of Call to Action. No mention whatsoever of the SSPX.

    So while you are free to criticize the Society, for which I am NOT a member, at
    least stick to the truth. They’re our traditional brethern and deserve our respect.

  75. ThomasMore1535 says:

    I will respect them as people made in the image and likeness of God, but you have just shown why I have no respect for their positions. You are now using your own personal judgment against the official decree of a Bishop that has never been reversed by the Holy See, and you are putting your own personal views of canon law above the judgment of the Holy Father, whose decision is appealable to NO ONE.

    It is NOT TRADITIONAL to refuse obedience to the Holy Father, even in matters of Discipline. Your schismatic attitude is becomming more and more clear. I suggest you read Vatican I.

    It is perfectly right to group them with Planned Parenthood. They divide the Body of Christ and mock the Holy Father’s authority.

    And your attempt to spin how the Holy See didn’t mention SSPX but only A Call to Action last week further shows how you are spinning the fact. They only mentioned A Call to Action because that was the only group that appealed the decision. Theey didn’t mention the Freemasons. Are you saying THAT excommunication is invalid?

    More and more you are proving the schismatic nature of the society. And if you really think that Bishop Richard Williamson embodies tradition, you yourself have major problems.

  76. ThomasMore1535 says:

    AC, perhaps the reason that nobody has ever said that SSPX is in schism in Benedict’s hierarchy is because John Paul the Great (and I’m sure you’re scandalized by my use of that term) clearly ruled on that in his capacity as Supreme Pontiff in 1988, and there’s no need to repeat oneself over and over again on a matter that has already been settled.

    I’m not quite sure what you mean, furthermore, by your comments of when it’s something liberal the pope is infallible but if it’s something traditional it isn’t. Regardless, I suggest you try and reconcile your position with the decree of the First Vatican Council:

    8. Since the Roman Pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole Church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful [52], and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment [53]. The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon [54]. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff.

    9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

    Nobody is permitted to overrule the Pope, even in matters of discipline. Even if what you say is true about comments in the Roman Curia (and I do not grant you that–they are ambiguous at best), they do not have the authority to revise John Paul the Great’s declaration in Ecclesia Dei. Only Benedict XVI has the authority to do that, and he has not done that.

    But, I’m sure you’ll stick to your Protestant way of only accepting authority as long as you’re comfortable with it, and figure out a way to convince yourself that the INFALLIBLE declaration of the First Vatican Council doesn’t apply to SSPX. Good luck.

  77. ThomasMore1535 says:

    Finally, Paul Haley, while it may be true that the Holy Father is working to bring SSPX, back into the Church, it does not follow from this that suddenly we can pretend that they are not in schism at this very moment. They are. I will rejoice indeed if they are brought back, but to pretend that everything is just fine and dandy is to ignore the truth.

    I find it interesting you cite a canonist regarding SSPX’s status. Please re-read Vatican I, which infallibly declares that nobody may lawfully pass sentence on a judgment of the Holy Father. It is the Holy Father, not some canonist, who authoritatively interprets the discipline of the Church. You are thus in a very Protestant-like matter substituting somebody’s own personal interpretation for the authoritative tradition of the Supreme Pontiff, the Successor of St. Peter, to whom alone Our Lord bestowed the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, whose Church alone the gates of hell will never prevail against, outside of which there is no salvation.

  78. AC says:

    A Freemason wrote the Novus Ordo! Man, comparing the SSPX to Freemasons and
    abortionists, and JP the Great to boot. Wow. Do you know you’re on a traditional
    site? The one for folks who want gay priests and women deacons is over on ETWN
    if you got lost.

  79. Trop le mauvais le dégagement de nouvelles n’a pas été écrit en Français!

  80. Jordan Potter says:

    “A Freemason wrote the Novus Ordo!”

    There is no proof that Bugnini was a Freemason, although it seems likely that Bugnini’s enemies led Paul VI to believe he was. Anyway, even if Bugnini was a Freemason, it wouldn’t necessarily justify attending an illegal Mass. After all, in Acts 17 we see that God used some Greek pagan poets to compose some words that subsequently would become inspired scripture when St. Paul quoted them and St. Luke quoted St. Paul. So God could, if He wanted to, use a Freemason to reform the liturgy, a task much less divine that the inspiration of Holy Writ.

  81. AC says:

    You don’t think he was a Mason? Gee, i guess it’s just a coincidence that every
    Catholic chuch these days looks just like a masonic lodge? And no, God wouldn’t
    use a Mason. But the devil would, and did. Even P. Paul VI said the “smoke of Satan”
    has entered the council.”

    And, for the Love of God, SSPX Masses aren’t “illegal.” I think you’re looking for the
    word illicit, but i digress. The Vatican has ruled on this, it’s done. And they
    obviously don’t put much faith in what The Great said about them since they’d
    never say we can fulfill our sunday obgligation at SSPX Masses if they considered
    them schismatic.

  82. dcs says:

    The Holy See has upheld this decision.

    No, the Holy See upheld the decision to excommunicate pertinacious members of Call to Action in Lincoln. The SSPX doesn’t have a presence in Lincoln any more, so that question is moot.

    The SSPX bishops were judged to have committed a “schismatic act” for which they were declared excommunicated. It does not follow that the SSPX as a whole is schismatic or excommunicated.

    And as for where one may receive the sacraments in a traditional manner, well, come to St. Louis. ICKSP (who, by the way, have no difficulty asserting that the Society is in Schism) offer the sacraments in a traditional manner.

    Sure, I’ll pack my bags and hit the road over the weekend. ;) Seriously, I am lucky enough to belong to a traditional parish.

    I guess I don’t have any argument with those who want to say that the SSPX bishops are in schism . . . although I don’t necessarily think they are. But no penalty has been declared against any other members of the SSPX.

  83. dcs says:

    I should add: it would be best to stop calling the SSPX ‘schismatic’ if the Holy Father is actively seeking their reconciliation. Catching flies with honey instead of vinegar and all that.

  84. AC says:

    DCS:

    Agree 100%. Yes, the SSPX’s situation is irregular — but is it any more irregular
    than the Messes performed in the new churches? I don’t think so.

  85. Andy says:

    The Mass must be the focal point and center of any healthy society. From that standpoint it is quite political, and I, for one, am quite in favor of making it more available by an and all means. Thank God we have people in politics supporting such a noble task.

  86. Elizabeth says:

    Let’s get on with the publication. We have waited long enough.
    It is my hope that our Priests will take the time to learn to offer
    it. As a child , I never had a problem with the Latin. We all had Missals and used them.

  87. Dan Hunter says:

    Hear,Hear Elizabeth
    God bless you.

  88. Paul Haley says:

    ThomasMore1535,
    I believe you are taking an incorrect interpretation of Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. The Holy Father, John Paul II, did not publish a decree of excommunication. He said that the Archbishop and the bishops he consecrated incurred latae sententiae excommunication for the schismatic act of consecrating bishops without a papal mandate.
    The Archbishop and the SSPX bishops immediately invoked the canon which says the the salvation of souls is the supreme law of the church and they did what they had to do out of a state of necessity. The bishop of Honolulu attempted to excommunicate six individuals for attending SSPX masses and was reversed by the Holy See.
    There can be no finality to this matter without a trial and there has been none such event thus far. You comment; “You are thus in a very Protestant-like matter substituting somebody’s own personal interpretation for the authoritative tradition of the Supreme Pontiff, the Successor of St. Peter, to whom alone Our Lord bestowed the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, whose Church alone the gates of hell will never prevail against, outside of which there is no salvation” is out-of-bounds for I am merely quoting a person well-versed in canon law which even the pope, by the way, is subject to.
    The authority of the pope, while extensive, is not unlimited for it is subject to the confirmation of the All-Good, All-Just, All-Perfect God who cannot confirm that which is unjust or imperfect.
    Finally, who are you to accuse me of acting in a Protestant-like manner? Did I accuse you of anything? No, I merely stated my opinion which I have a perfect right to do but it evidently got under your skin.

  89. Jordan Potter says:

    “No, the Holy See upheld the decision to excommunicate pertinacious members of Call to Action in Lincoln. The SSPX doesn’t have a presence in Lincoln any more, so that question is moot.”

    Only Call to Action appealed the bishop’s decree, so the Holy See only dealt with Call to Action. The SSPX did not appeal, therefore the bishop’s decree remains in force for them in that diocese.

    However, what Bishop Bruskewitz actually said is that Catholics who remain in those organisations will incur automatic excommunication. He did not say, “All Catholics in those groups are hereby excommunicated.” As I understand it, that’s not how excommunication works. Thus, according to Bishop Bruskewitz — and unchallenged by the Holy See — involvement with the SSPX is incompatible with the Catholic faith. That seems to agree with Msgr. Perl’s strong recommendation that Catholics never assist at the SSPX’s illegal Masses.

    As for whether or not to call the SSPX “schismatic,” the “flies and honey” statement is sensible. The Eastern Orthodox are not usually referred to as schismatics any more, since we’re working to end the schism. And yet it is very common for, say, Catholic newspapers to refer to the SSPX as schimsatic even though they have much more in common with the Catholic Church than the Orthodox do, and have been separated from the Church for much less a time. It is probably kinder, more “pastoral,” to avoid calling the SSPX “schismatic.”

  90. dcs says:

    The SSPX did not appeal, therefore the bishop’s decree remains in force for them in that diocese.

    As I pointed out, it’s moot because the SSPX doesn’t have a presence in Lincoln any more.

    That seems to agree with Msgr. Perl’s strong recommendation that Catholics never assist at the SSPX’s illegal Masses.

    But it does not seem to agree with Msgr. Perl’s statement that assisting at SSPX Masses out of devotion to the traditional Missal is not a sin.

  91. RBrown says:

    There can be no finality to this matter without a trial and there has been none such event thus far.

    Untrue. The pope is the final authority.

  92. RBrown says:

    According to Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, the consecration of bishops was a schismatic act. But that is not the same thing as saying that those in the SSPX are schismatic.

    Regarding confession, it’s more difficult, because I am pretty positive that excommunication renders both marriage and confessions invalid. I know canon law talks about this.

    I disagree. It is a matter of Ecclesia supplet, which concerns jurisdiction, on which valid marriages and confessions are based.

  93. Jordan Potter says:

    “It is a matter of Ecclesia supplet, which concerns jurisdiction, on which valid marriages and confessions are based.”

    Of course Ecclesia supplet only applies to those who genuinely are ignorant of the fact that SSPX priests have no right to exercise priestly ministry. If they don’t know that SSPX priests are in an “irregular” situation, then the confessions and marriages are valid. If they know that the Church has not granted the priests faculties, then the confessions and marriages are invalid.

  94. Paul Haley says:

    There can be no finality to this matter without a trial because the SSPX bishops have invoked the state of necessity and supreme law of the church condition meaning the penalty (excommunication) has been placed in abeyance according to: “Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept: 4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls.” As far as I know our holy father, Benedict XVI, has not made a definitive ruling on this matter. How could he without a formal appeal and/or trial running its course? I’ll stand on what I said previously – that talk of the SSPX bishops formally being in schism is foolhardy at best and flies in the face of meetings between Cardinal Castrillon and Bishop Fellay and the Holy Father himself. Why don’t we wait and see what Benedict XVI has to say, formally, about this before we laypeople assign verdicts with finality? I wish Fr. Zuhlsdorf would weigh in on this matter and say what he believes the situation to be and what the rights of the individuals concerned are.

  95. RBrown says:

    “It is a matter of Ecclesia supplet, which concerns jurisdiction, on which valid marriages and confessions are based.”

    Of course Ecclesia supplet only applies to those who genuinely are ignorant of the fact that SSPX priests have no right to exercise priestly ministry. If they don’t know that SSPX priests are in an “irregular” situation, then the confessions and marriages are valid. If they know that the Church has not granted the priests faculties, then the confessions and marriages are invalid.

    Incorrect–doubt is sufficient.

    Canon 144 applies “in common error, whether of fact or of law, and in positive and probable doubt”.

  96. RBrown says:

    There can be no finality to this matter without a trial because the SSPX bishops have invoked the state of necessity and supreme law of the church condition meaning the penalty (excommunication) has been placed in abeyance according to: “Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept: 4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls.” As far as I know our holy father, Benedict XVI, has not made a definitive ruling on this matter. How could he without a formal appeal and/or trial running its course? I’ll stand on what I said previously – that talk of the SSPX bishops formally being in schism is foolhardy at best and flies in the face of meetings between Cardinal Castrillon and Bishop Fellay and the Holy Father himself. Why don’t we wait and see what Benedict XVI has to say, formally, about this before we laypeople assign verdicts with finality? I wish Fr. Zuhlsdorf would weigh in on this matter and say what he believes the situation to be and what the rights of the individuals concerned are.

    It is one thing to say that the consecration of new bishops was a schismatic act (cf Ecclesia Dei Adflicta)–but another to say that the SSPX is in schism.

    How could he without a formal appeal and/or trial running its course?

    The authority of canon law–here, a trial–exists because the pope promulgates it. And so a pope can properly decide not to have a trial.

  97. Priests have the power to forgive sins by reason of Holy Orders. However, they may not exercise this power without the authorization of the Church. Priests need the “faculty” from proper authority to receive sacramental confessions. Canon Law states that a priest does not validly… validly… receive sacramental confessions if he lacks the faculty. Sometimes the circumstances give the priest the faculty, such as danger of death. In that case even “laicized” priests can validly absolve. However, if a validly ordained priest does not have the faculty to hear confessions, the absolution is INVALID. This does not speak to the graces a person who is in all good will might gain from the experience. Still, that is the law. Dura lex, sed lex.

    Similarly, marriage must be have the proper form. Part of the form of marriage includes that the minister who witnesses it on the part of the Church be authorized to do so. Lack of form can invalidate a marriage. No proper minister, no proper form.

  98. Paul Haley says:

    What is the basis for saying: “The authority of canon law—here, a trial—exists because the pope promulgates it. And so a pope can properly decide not to have a trial.” Are you saying the pope can do what he wants and is not subject to the same canon laws as everyone else in the church? Once again, has Pope Benedict XVI, the reigning pontiff and Supreme Legislator made a definitive judgment on this issue? When you say the pope can properly decide not to have a trial, what is your basis for saying this? I’ll tell you one thing – I’m glad lay persons are not in charge of canonical jurisprudence. Sorry, but I detect a distinct bias against the SSPX here and I’m not at all sure Fr. Zuhlsdorf shares your viewpoint.

  99. Practically speaking, the Pope follows the laws he promulgates. However, the Pope, inasmuch as he is the Legislator, is not bound by those laws in the same way we are. It is not that he is “above the law”, but,… then again…, it is. If the Pope wants to make a change to the law, he can. However, because it is law we are talking about, and not caprice, he would need to make sure everyone knows what he is doing and that what he is doing also has the force of law. As a result, practically speaking, if he wants people to know what is legal or not, he therefore must use legal instruments in order to make clear what his mind is.

  100. Paul Haley says:

    So Fr. Zuhlsdorf, what about the SSPX situation? Has Pope Benedict XVI made a definitive ruling on the claim of necesssity and supreme law of the church invoked by the SSPX bishops in defense of their actions? Then, too, there is the claim of “supplied jurisdiction whereby the church supplies faculties in an emergency” (related to the state of necessity). Has a definitive ruling been made on this issue or have the sacraments confected by the SSPX clergy been ruled valid but illicit? My belief is that until we hear definitively from the holy father on the SSPX situation we cannot say they are in schism. Do you share that viewpoint? By the way I do not attend SSPX masses but do wish their situation would be clarified and, hopefully, they will be brought back into “full communion” whatever that means.

  101. RBrown says:

    Priests have the power to forgive sins by reason of Holy Orders. However, they may not exercise this power without the authorization of the Church. Priests need the “faculty” from proper authority to receive sacramental confessions. Canon Law states that a priest does not validly… validly… receive sacramental confessions if he lacks the faculty. Sometimes the circumstances give the priest the faculty, such as danger of death. In that case even “laicized” priests can validly absolve. However, if a validly ordained priest does not have the faculty to hear confessions, the absolution is INVALID. This does not speak to the graces a person who is in all good will might gain from the experience. Still, that is the law. Dura lex, sed lex.

    The faculty to hear confessions flows from jurisdiction, which is given to the bishop by the pope. In fact, St Thomas, following a long tradition, locates it in the power to bind and loose.

    As you note, in cases of extreme emergency (danger of death) even priests without the faculty can give valid absolution. In those cases, the faculty being granted via canon law (976) from the pope himself.

    Re in cases of confusion (144): In errore communi de facto aut de iure, itemque in dubio positivo et probabili sive, iuris sive facti, supplet Ecclesia, pro foro tam externo quam interno, potestatem regiminis exsecutivam.

    (In the new code potestas regiminis is often used interchangeably with potestas iurisdictionis–I confess I don’t much care for the new verbiage.)

    Now I am not insisting that absolution from an SSPX priest is obviously valid. But I am also not saying that it is invalid. To me according to c 144, it is more probably valid than invalid.

    Cur? Summa lex salus animarum.

    BTW, I had an extended conversation some years ago with our mutual friend Fr Albert Gaultier (RIP) quondam decanus facultatis iuris canonici PUST in Urbe.

  102. RBrown says:

    What is the basis for saying: “The authority of canon law—here, a trial—exists because the pope promulgates it. And so a pope can properly decide not to have a trial.” Are you saying the pope can do what he wants and is not subject to the same canon laws as everyone else in the church? Once again, has Pope Benedict XVI, the reigning pontiff and Supreme Legislator made a definitive judgment on this issue? When you say the pope can properly decide not to have a trial, what is your basis for saying this? I’ll tell you one thing – I’m glad lay persons are not in charge of canonical jurisprudence. Sorry, but I detect a distinct bias against the SSPX here and I’m not at all sure Fr. Zuhlsdorf shares your viewpoint.

    My bias is toward legitimate papal authority.

  103. RBrown says:

    BTW, I had an extended conversation some years ago with our mutual friend Fr Albert Gaultier (RIP) quondam decanus facultatis iuris canonici PUST in Urbe.

    addendum: concerning the question of the validity of SSPX absolutions and marriages.

  104. RBrown says:

    One other point: The phrase ecclesia supplet is often used to refer to someone who misses mass due to sickness, etc., yet is able to receive the fruits of the Sacrament.

    In fact, the phrase has a very specific theological meaning: Ecclesia supplet potestatem iurisdictionis* in matters where a priest is needed but one is available with potestas ordinis but not potestas iurisdictionis.

    *or in the new code potestatem regiminis.

  105. Jordan Potter says:

    I said, “If they know that the Church has not granted the priests faculties, then the confessions and marriages are invalid.”

    RBrown said, “Incorrect—doubt is sufficient.”

    Um, if I’m reading you correctly, then we seem to be in agreement.

  106. RBrown says:

    I said, “If they know that the Church has not granted the priests faculties, then the confessions and marriages are invalid.”

    RBrown said, “Incorrect—doubt is sufficient.”

    Um, if I’m reading you correctly, then we seem to be in agreement.

    I’m thrilled.

  107. Jordan Potter says:

    Glad to bring you some joy on Gaudete Sunday! :-D

  108. dcs says:

    If they know that the Church has not granted the priests faculties, then the confessions and marriages are invalid.

    Common error is different. The point isn’t whether X thinks that Fr. Y has faculties, the point is whether the common people think that Fr. Y has faculties. X might realize that Fr. Y does not, yet X’s confession to Fr. Y is still valid because the common folk think he has faculties. However, Fr. Y is objectively sinning by hearing confessions without faculties even though jurisdiction is supplied. This is very clearly spelled out in (for example), Moral Theology, Fr. Jone, §582.

    I don’t know whether jurisdiction is supplied for X if only X believes that Fr. Y has faculties.

    For myself, under ordinary circumstances I would probably not approach an SSPX priest for confession.

  109. Jordan Potter says:

    “X might realize that Fr. Y does not, yet X’s confession to Fr. Y is still valid because the common folk think he has faculties. . . . I don’t know whether jurisdiction is supplied for X if only X believes that Fr. Y has faculties.”

    And I don’t know why X would want to confess to Fr. Y at all, except in a life-or-death type of situation.

    Anyway, thanks for providing the additional insight and clarification. It is very helpful.

  110. Dennis says:

    I know of cases where SSPX priests have witheld absolution
    (for sins which would usually be absolved).
    This discussion on validity is therefore very interesting
    though the question of faculty vrs jurisdiction is not
    at all clear to me!