Card. Castrillon (Ecclesia Dei) to CELAM: the time has come

His Eminence Darío Card. Castrillón Hoyos delivered an address at the meeting of CELAM in Brazil.  

Here are some of the good bits.  My emphases.  The less than smooth translation is not mine.  I have fixed it in a couple places only.

Dear and venerated brothers:

I afford to present a brief report on the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and on the state of the pastoral reality that the Holy Father has put under its competence.

Undoubtedly, the most important determination, which concerns the whole Church, is the search of putting an end to the schismatic action and reconstructing without ambiguities, full communion. The Holy Father, who was for some years a member of this Commission, wants that it become an organism of the Holy See with the proper and distinct purpose of maintaining and preserving the value of the traditional Latin liturgy. But it is necessary to affirm with all clarity that it is not an issue of turning back, of a return to the times previous to the reform of 1970. It is an issue, on the other hand, of a generous offer of the Christ’s Vicar who, as expression of his pastoral will, wants to put at the disposal of the Church all the treasures of the Latin liturgy that for centuries has nourished the spiritual life of so many generations of the catholic faithful. The Holy Father wants to preserve the immense spiritual, cultural and aesthetic treasures tied to the ancient liturgy. The recovery of this wealth joins to the no less beautiful of the current liturgy of the Church.

For these reasons the Holy Father has the intention of extending to the whole Latin Church the possibility of celebrating the Holy Mass and the Sacraments according to the liturgical books promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962. For this liturgy, which was never abolished, and that, as we have said, is considered a treasure, a new and renewed interest exists today and also for this reason the Holy Father thinks that the time has come to facilitate, as the first Commission Cardenalicia had wanted it in 1986, the access to this liturgy, doing of her an extraordinary form of the only Roman rite.

There are some good experiences of communities of religious or apostolic life erected by the Holy See recently that celebrate in peace and serenity this liturgy. Around them there congregate assemblies of the faithful who frequent these celebrations with happiness and gratitude. The most recent erections are the Institute of Saint Felipe Neri in Berlin, which works as an Oratory and has become present also, with good reception, in the Diocese of Treveris; the Institute of Good Shepherd in Burdeos who gather priests, seminarians and faithful, some of them that have gone out of the Fraternity of San Pío X. The steps are very advanced for the recognition of a contemplative community, the Oasis of Jesús Sacerdote, in Barcelona.

In Latin America, since it is well-known, we must be grateful to the Lord for the return of a whole Diocese, that of Campos, earlier a Lefebvrian one, that now after five years, presents good fruits. It has been a pacific comeback and the faithful who have registered in the Apostolic Administration are glad to be able to live in peace in his parochial communities; even more, in fact some Brazilian dioceses have made contacts with the Apostolic Administration of Campos that has put at their disposal priests for the pastoral care of the traditionalist faithful in local churches. The project of the Holy Father has been already partially proved in Campos, where the pacific cohabitation of two forms of the only Roman rite in the Church is a beautiful reality. [YES!!  side by side!  Peaceful!] We have the hope that such a model produces good fruits, also in other places of the Church where both catholic faithful live with liturgical diverse sensibilities. And we hope, also, that such a way of living together should attract also those traditionalists who are still far.

The current members of the Commission are the Cardinals Julián Herranz, Jean-Pierre Ricard, William Joseph Levada, Antonio Cañizares, and Franc Rodé. The Undersecretaries of some Dicasterios are consultants.

Till now several dispersed communities in the world have been under Ecclesia Dei. 300 priests, 79 religious men, 300 religious women, 200 seminarians and several hundreds of thousands of faithful. Curiously, the interest of the young people in France, the United States, Brazil, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia and China are increasing. Since the moment of the return of Campos, 50 priests have passed, approximately fifty seminarians, 100 religious ones and 25.000 faithful.

Today the group of the lefevrist consists of 4 Bishops who were ordained by Mons. Lefebvre, of 500 priests and 600.000 faithful. Joined to the group are several contemplative monasteries and some religious masculine and feminine groups, they have parishes (they call them prioratos), seminars and affiliations. They are present in 26 countries.

Let’s ask the Lord that this project of the Holy Father could be realized soon for the unity of the Church.

 

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95 Responses to Card. Castrillon (Ecclesia Dei) to CELAM: the time has come

  1. Legisperitus says:

    This is excellent news! Even if the MP is not coming out this month, it will be a hugely positive sign if the Holy Father leaves a trail of such announcements in his wake wherever he goes.

  2. Somerset '76 says:

    I am watching these developments with guarded interest.

  3. Father Bartoloma says:

    These posts wake me up better than a cup of coffee in the morning! Another very important speech by a very important prelate who has very important insights into a very important matter.

    Fr. Z: A question -> When the Motu Proprio is released where do you feel the first official announcement of it will come from? The Vatican press office? Or perhaps would you forsee the Holy Father making a direct reference to it in a sermon or audience talk. The Holy Father has already given two previous Motu Proprio, approving the publication for the Catechism’s compendium and another pertaining to the Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls. Father Z, did those Motu Proprio just pop up out of from the Vatican News Service or were they “announced” in some other way prior.

  4. Cerimoniere says:

    Well, I didn’t see that coming! Happy feast, everyone!

  5. Somerset '76 says:

    P.S. Let me further expand on the remarks I made in the thread on then-Cdl. Ratzinger’s 1988 conference to the Chilean bishops below.

    I really need to sit down and carefully compile a thorough list of the significant issues needing to be resolved so that I and others in the SSPX milieu who are not closed-minded out of subcultural loyalty would be convinced that the time has come to deem a working (as opposed to a merely theoretical) relationship with the Holy See feasible. But, clearly, one of the major issues is what exactly to believe about the typical edition of Paul VI’s Missal.

    As I’ve mentioned before, in 2001 the Society went on record, in an official position study called The Problem of the Liturgical Reform [PDF of the entire text here], to declare that the essential problem with that Missal lies not in a validity issue, but rather one of legitimacy. Starting with a detailed anaylsis of the departures from traditional theology it sees manifested in the Missal’s official text, the study’s second part is devoted to what the Society believes is the theological genesis of the new Missal: a neo-Modernist understanding of “the theology of the Paschal mystery.” The third part considers the question: “does the liturgical reform constitute a dogmatic rupture with Tradition?” and puts forth the argument that it does. In the study’s conclusion, the Society more or less declares that owing to its heterodox foundations, the new Missal is not a legitimate liturgy of the Church nor can it ever be.

    [Cf. ¶122: "... the new missal no longer propagates the lex credendi of the Church, but rather a doctrine that smacks of heterodoxy. That is why one cannot say that the reformed rite of Mass of 1969 is 'orthodox' in the etymological sense of the word: it does not offer 'right praise' to God. Equally, one cannot say that the rite of Mass resulting from the reform of 1969 is that of the Church, even if it was conceived by churchmen."]

    Personally, I no longer so boldly agree with a notion of the new Rite’s irreformable illegitimacy. Nonetheless, the Society in this position paper asks many good questions about the new Missal. Is this analysis stunted by the Society’s holding on to Scholasticism and simultaneous rejection of all modern schools of philosophy and theology? Or does it have several good points about its claim of a rupture with Tradition?

    This post will go too long if I go on to consider the Society’s approach to marital annulments, which in a nutshell, involve what I have come to believe is an overextension of the principle of supplied jurisdiction, and one that does much to reinforce the Society’s internal tendency to ghettoization….

    Nonetheless, as I’ve said before, there are those of us who will listen if Rome will take the time to dissect, one by one, the Society’s issues and show a decent respect for traditional continuity in making a case that the Society’s approach up till now is the wrong one.

  6. Anna says:

    “…and also for this reason the Holy Father thinks that the time has come to facilitate, as the first Commission Cardenalicia had wanted it in 1986, the access to this liturgy, doing of her an extraordinary form of the only Roman rite.”

    Wow. 2 things:

    First, it is nice to finally see an acknowledgement of the fact that way back in 1986 a Commission of Cardinals concluded that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated or forbidden. Why was this conclusion never published these last 21 years if they knew this to be the truth of the matter then?! Because it was “not the right time”? What does that mean? Is waiting 21 years to correct a known injustice just or charitable?

    Second, from the Cardinal’s words: “…doing of her an extraordinary form of the only Roman rite” it is evident that the path of bi-ritualism in the Latin Rite is not the path that will be taken. That is good. However, I have a problem with calling the Tridentine Mass an “extraordinary form” of the Latin Rite. What does that mean exactly? That will be the key in the Motu Proprio.

    Let us pray that soon the Tridentine Mass will once again be “the norm” in the Church.

  7. Ryan says:

    The Mass “and the sacraments”? Does this mean being able to use things like the old order of Baptism, or of Extreme Unction, in addition to the classical Liturgy?

    I haven’t heard, but does any of this point to the use of the old Office as well?

  8. Victor says:

    Father Z.,
    Even if you wouldn’t have mentioned that the translation is not yours, I would have guessed it. There are still some Hispanisms which are poorly translated; perhaps you could correct them:
    I believe the “Commission Cardenalicia” is meant to be a “Cardinal’s commission”. “Saint Felipe Neri” is probably “Saint Philipp Neri”. The cities of “Burdeos” and “Treveris” are also known as “Bordeaux” (in France) and “Trier” (in Germany – don’t know whether there is an english proper name…).
    In other news, really rather excellent news! I can’t wait until the MP is published…

  9. gravitas says:

    Well, I’ve been a skeptic of the MP for quite some time. But, IF true, and IF this is not all ruined by some kind of language that gives bishops the ability to stop it, this would be huge. What stands out most to me is that H.E. Hoyos never once refers to the MP as the liberation of the “Mass: — it’s always the Liturgy or, blatantly, the all the Sacraments.
    That’s huge for those of us that have the Mass but our prelates have been denying us the sacraments. This could
    be a great moment in the church. It could also mean the seperation of the German bishops from the Church …

  10. Jordan Potter says:

    For some time there has been no reason to be a skeptic of the existence and signing of the Motu Proprio. It has already been confirmed by Cardinal Kasper that the MP has been signed. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos’ comments give us a good idea of what the Motu Proprio will do, or what it is intended to do. His comments are another example of Pope Benedict XVI “priming the pump” and getting the Church ready for the public announcement of the MP, which is already Church law since he has already signed it.

  11. Nathan says:

    +JMJ

    Father, this is indeed big news. For the first time I’ve seen, a senior Cardinal in the Curia has given an indication on the Holy Father’s method for freeing the traditional liturgy. If Campos and the 1986 commission are the basis, then the structure allowing for the Traditional Mass would perhaps also allow for the full sacramental and parish life according to the 1962 rites. Deo Gratias!

    Wow, I hadn’t seen the current number of the faithful in the SSPX chapels—600k is, I believe, larger than the laity regularly attending Mass in a number of U.S. dioceses. What a tremendous move for the unity of Holy Mother Church if the Holy Father can affect the reconciliation. St. Joseph, pray for us that it may happen soon!

    In Christ,

  12. Brian says:

    “For this liturgy, which was never abolished”

    Has the Vatican ever stated this in such an outright fashion?!?

  13. Beautiful! Isn’t it nice how knowing that this is really going to happen makes the stress level go down? While the final word will come straight from the pope, this is a clear, unambiguous statement, from someone who really knows, that this is REALLY going to happen. I guess this puts the last nail in the coffin of the oft used phrase “rumored motu proprio”.

    Nice that I received my brand-new 1962 Missal just yesterday!

  14. Paul Haley says:

    Success or lack of it IMHO depends on whether the local ordinaries are able to derail the presumed initiatives of the MP and whether all sacraments can be celebrated in the traditional rite. Questions having to do with the “reform of the reform” are important but do not need to be solved immediately, rather, time and constructive discussions would more probably be the better course. We have already seen moves in this direction with the papal masses. Again, IMHO, the important point is what the SSPX decides to do in the wake of the issuance of the MP. The time has come to put polemics aside, enter into full communion to more perfectly fir into the constructive mold.

  15. Ioannes says:

    Great news! Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos makes me proud to be Colombian!
    Now, if we could get a Latin Mass in Colombia – it would be great!

    The CELAM bishops must be gnashing their teeth.

  16. Jordan Potter says:

    Carolina Publican said: “While the final word will come straight from the pope, this is a clear, unambiguous statement, from someone who really knows, that this is REALLY going to happen.”

    Like I mentioned above, we already have Cardinal Kasper’s affirmation to a Jewish group in Germany that the decision the Pope has made cannot be unmade. That’s a clear, unambiguous statement, from someone who knows, that this is really going to happen. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos’ comments are the first Motu Proprio news we’ve had since before the Pope’s Brazil pilgrimage, a signal that the public announcement is not long to come.

  17. jmgarciaiii says:

    What caught my eye in reading further along His Eminence’s statement was this little gem:
    Curiosamente aumenta el interés de los jóvenes en Francia, Estados Unidos, Brasil, Italia, Escandinavia, Australia y China.

    [Literally: "Curiously, there is an increase of interest among the youth in France, United States, Brazil, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia and China."]

    I am struck by the “Curiously” as well as by the places where this interest is noted. It seems…er…interesting, that in those places where said interest has become manifest, are places where the society is particularly secular-hostile and where the Church is in trouble of one kind or another.

    Still, this is good news.

    AMDG,

    -J.

  18. gravitas says:

    jmgarciaiii:

    He said “curiously” because even the head of Ecclesia Dei is still shocked every time he sees the pews at traditional
    Masses filled by young families with tons of kids. He’s still in the old liberal mindset that only old people
    with a “nostalgia” for the old Mass would want it. I’ve read his words about this many times. Although he’s a
    good man and the best we have fighting for us, he still celebrates the new mass, and doesn’t fully understand
    why many of us are so determined to restore the traditional Mass and Faith.

  19. RBrown says:

    It could also mean the seperation of the German bishops from the Church …
    Comment by gravitas

    I don’t think so.

    Such a move would normally be an act of German nationalist pride against foreign intervention. But it’s different because the pope is a German. Undermining a German pope would actually undermine the same nationalist pride–as well as German prestige throughout the world. I have been told by a German friend that BXVI’s press in Germany is very good, much better than the press of Cardinal Ratzinger.

    You must understand that the Germans, despite their almost unequaled respect for education and culture, despite their wealth and generosity, despite the BMW and Mercedes, despite the beer (“It’s der best beer in der vorld!”), realize that for much of the world Hitler is still considered The German. A German pope uber alles has the chance to change image.

    Further, such a separation would create massive economic and legal problems for the bishops. Not only would there be a mess with Church property, but also with Church income. In Germany the source of Church income (incl clerical salaries) comes from income taxes rather than weekly collections, with each German declaring his religious preference. If there were separation, that income would be in jeopardy.

    I have to say that raising up a German pope, who is not only saintly but also an extraordinarily intelligent, courageous scholar to deal with the situation in Germany is one of God’s more brilliant moves in the past few years.

  20. RBrown says:

    It could also mean the seperation of the German bishops from the Church …
    Comment by gravitas

    I don’t think so.

    Such a move would normally be an act of German nationalist pride against foreign intervention. But it’s different because the pope is a German. Undermining a German pope would actually undermine the same nationalist pride–as well as German prestige throughout the world. I have been told by a German friend that BXVI’s press in Germany is very good, much better than the press of Cardinal Ratzinger.

    You must understand that the Germans, despite their almost unequaled respect for education and culture, despite their wealth and generosity, despite the BMW and Mercedes, despite the beer (“It’s der best beer in der vorld!”), realize that for much of the world Hitler is still considered The German. A German pope uber alles has the chance to change that image.

    Further, such a separation would create massive economic and legal problems for the bishops. Not only would there be a mess with Church property, but also with Church income. In Germany the source of Church income (incl clerical salaries) comes from income taxes rather than weekly collections, with each German declaring his religious preference. If there were separation, that income would be in jeopardy.

    I have to say that raising up a saintly German pope, who is not only courageous but also an extraordinarily intelligent scholar, to deal with the situation in Germany is one of God’s more brilliant moves in the past few years.

  21. Ave Maria says:

    If a TLM were able to be celebrated near me, anywhere within 30 miles, I would be there in a heartbeat. However not only do I not expect to see this happening any time soon in my diocese, I do not know how many priests in my whole diocese are willing/able to offer the Holy Sacrifice in Latin. Our bishop has not allowed the indult thus far and will likely not be pleassed to see the return of the TLM. However, he retires next year!

    Ave Maria!

  22. RBrown says:

    He said “curiously” because even the head of Ecclesia Dei is still shocked every time he sees the pews at traditional Masses filled by young families with tons of kids. He’s still in the old liberal mindset that only old people with a “nostalgia” for the old Mass would want it.
    Comment by gravitas

    Quit being so picky.

    During the last papacy, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, while still the prefect for clergy, made serious attempts to get the de-restriction lifted for the 1962 Missal.

  23. RBrown says:

    He said “curiously” because even the head of Ecclesia Dei is still shocked every time he sees the pews at traditional Masses filled by young families with tons of kids. He’s still in the old liberal mindset that only old people with a “nostalgia” for the old Mass would want it.
    Comment by gravitas

    Quit being so picky.

    During the last papacy, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, while still the prefect for clergy, made serious attempts to get the restriction lifted for the 1962 Missal.

  24. Brian says:

    …the Holy Father believes that the time has come to ease, as the first Cardinalatial Commission of 1986 had wished to do, the access to this liturgy, making it an extraordinary form of the one Roman Rite.

    This leads to a very interesting observation, one already made by a commentator at Rorate-Caeli blog:

    The address also confirms, for those who still had any doubts about its existence and findings (which had been confirmed by one of its members, but in a more informal setting), that the Cardinalatial Commission of 1986 recommended that the restrictions on the Traditional Rite of the Church be eased. Naturally, it is extremely frustrating to once again see that such an important step could have been taken 21 years ago, and could have preserved so many priests and faithful from so much pain…

    Add to this the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger was studying the issue of inherent problems of the Novus Ordo and the universal reintroduction of the Tridentine Mass during the late 1970′s and early 1980′s, and had even held a meeting and published a document on its reintroduction in 1982.

    These two facts combined lead to a conclusion that, contrary to the accepted wisdom in certain trad circles, Archbishop Lefebvre was not responsible for preserving the Tridentine Mass, but for delaying its reintroduction by 20 years or more.

  25. Mr Neutron says:

    Bah. I’ll believe it when I see it. I drank the Trappistenbier I had saved for celebrating the MP release long ago. In the meantime I’ll continue boning up on my Latin.

  26. Maureen says:

    “curiosamente” means both “curiously” and “interestingly”.

    It is kinda quirky, you must admit, to find that a Mass associated by one generation with the young is not as loved as the Mass which that generation associated with the old folks. But life is weird and interesting, just like its Creator! :)

  27. Tom Burk says:

    I have a problem with calling the Tridentine Mass an “extraordinary form” of the Latin Rite. What does that mean exactly?

    Anna: That caught my eye too. Perhaps it means wildly prolific, as in when “extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion” was conceived!

  28. Somerset '76 says:

    These two facts combined lead to a conclusion that, contrary to the accepted wisdom in certain trad circles, Archbishop Lefebvre was not responsible for preserving the Tridentine Mass, but for delaying its reintroduction by 20 years or more.

    Brian – Given that it was Archbishop Lefebvre, above all, who gave to the traditional Latin Rite Mass most of what public exposure it had in the 1980′s, your assertion just doesn’t wash. The revolutionaries were hoping it would die silently; it was the Archbishop’s public actions which prevented that and thus kept it alive as an issue.

    It was his 1988 episcopal consecrations which, of course, directly occasioned the last motu proprio on the subject, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. Tell me that would have ever seen the light of day without that event.

  29. thomas tucker says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I suspect 99.9% of practicing Catholics will continue going to the NO Mass.

  30. thomas tucker says:

    ANd, having said that, I’ll add that I would much prefer to see the Holy Father make some changes to the NO Mass, such as mandate the ad orientem posture and return some of the traditional prayers and gestures of the TLM, while giving us accurate translations, rather than bring back the TLM itself. Again, because the TLM indult will affect about 0.1% of Catholics, and it’s the vast majority who need to see a more reverent Mass. But, it’s obvioulsy not up to me.

  31. Janet says:

    Somerset 76:
    By being in a schismatic group which consciously turns its back on the Pope and the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church as expressed in the 2nd Vat. Council, you are in essence denying Christ’s own words. He said He would be with His church always and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. The Church Militant is suffering in many ways, and restoring the TLM alongside the existing Mass will provide much healing.

    But to have tossed Mother Church out the window as you have done… you are denying that the Holy Spirit even now still guides the Body of Christ. You’ve gone off and are playing your own game by your own rules. What do you think Jesus will say to you when you are finally face to face with Him? Do you REALLY think he’s going to say “well done good and FAITHFUL servant!”??

    Old Simeon waited very many long years to finally see Emmanuel, “God with us”, and hold Him in his tired old arms. But he waited, IN the temple! He waited and prayed and suffered quietly and with faith for the coming of the Redeemer. Simeon didn’t grow impatient and leave the temple. Simeon didn’t act out of arrogance and pride by going off and forming a splinter group because conditions within the Temple weren’t to his liking.

    I hope you’ll think about these things, Somerset76. I know it’s not my place to say any of this, but I just felt it in my heart so strongly I just had to say it.
    Fr. Z, please forgive my impertinence, and if you wish to delete my message, I will understand completely.

  32. Dan says:

    Thank God for Pope Benedict. Is there any other “Papabile” Cardinal who, as Pope, would have had the will and the power necessary to, as my anti-spam security “word” puts it, “Free the old Mass”? Even with all the stature and gravitas that Pope Benedict has, it’s an uphill struggle. I agree with RBrown, that this is an instance of “raising up a saintly German pope, who is not only courageous but also an extraordinarily intelligent scholar…”

  33. Jordan Potter says:

    Somerset 76 said: “It was his 1988 episcopal consecrations which, of course, directly occasioned the last motu proprio on the subject, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. Tell me that would have ever seen the light of day without that event.”

    You missed the point, which was that were it not for his schimsmatic, illegal consecrations, the Church would have likely gotten a much, much better Motu Proprio than Ecclesia Dei adflicta. Also, traditionalist-minded Catholics would not have fallen under the shadow of schism or suspicion of schism, and bishops might not be as apt to think so little of traditionalist Catholics (when they think of them at all, that is).

  34. ALL: Please… don’t once again turn my living room into a mud pit.

    Use some respect for me and others. Make your points without thinking first about how they will be received on the other screen.

  35. Tom S. says:

    Fr. Z,
    Is there any formal procedure in place that allows the Pope to promulgate such a document to all of the Bishops privately? That is, without, or rather before any public announcement? This may be SOP for all I know. Either way, it seems like a good idea.

    Also, given this news, it might be a good time for you to repost your rules for how to react to the announcement of this motu proprio.

  36. Has there been a shift here? Before, many of us were agreed that this was about the liturgy, the Mass itself, both availability of the classical form of the rite and a reform of the reform, with the SSPX thing as a tangential bit. This address by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, and some other stuff I’ve read recently, suggests that regularizing the SSPX is more than just a tangential concern.

  37. Sub Umbra Mortis says:

    This indeed sounds hopeful. But what will the Church’s restrictions be on an “extraordinary Rite?” Would that be like “extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist”, still totally at the whim of the Bishop/pastor? We shall see. Unless the classical rite is truly freed from the tyranny of revisionists’ bishops nothing will change. Many bishops will not allow the traditional rite to co-exist with the new rite. They will remain obstinate regardless of what the Pope says.

    At least if the MP does succeed, even partially, perhaps Archbishop Lefebvre will be vindicated. If it were not for him and his sacrifices, the Traditional rite would have been lost completely. I hope the Holy Father doesn’t wait too much longer.

  38. danphunter1 says:

    To anyone who watched the Papal Mass,s in Brazil.
    I heard they were horribly done.Any truth to this.
    God bless.

  39. Somerset '76 says:

    This address by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, and some other stuff I’ve read recently, suggests that regularizing the SSPX is more than just a tangential concern.

    Exactly, which is why I’ve elaborated on that subject in this thread, by pointing out to a readership not as likely to be familiar with the issues as SSPX people see them what, from that viewpoint, are going to be some of the issues Cardinal Castrillon and his colleagues are going to have to address to make headway. It will not be easy to persuade people from positions that their believers can buttress with many arguments from our traditional patrimony.

    I’m sorry if my rejoinder to Brian looked in any way personal; it was not meant to be. On the other hand, those who in a moment would call me “schismatic” might do well to remember the first essential element in a schism: the explicit and deliberate intention to refuse even a theoretical subjection to the successor of St. Peter, which I never have had.

    And, again, I fail to see where Archbishop Lefevbre’s actions in the 80s could be blamed for this long delay in a general permission for the ’62 Missal when he was virtually alone in that decade for promoting its cause and thus being the one making an issue of it.

  40. RBrown says:

    The word in Rome in the late 80′s was that JPII’s decision to back off the complete de-restriction of use of the 1962 Missal was due to the protest by German and French bishops. It had nothing to do with the Lefebvrist consecrations.

    It seems that the same tactic was tried this time, but BXVI didn’t bend.

  41. Trust the Holy Father to give it to us at just the right moment in time. He must have his reasons. Trust him. Remember , he is surrounded!

  42. Brian says:

    Comment by Somerset ’76: It was his 1988 episcopal consecrations which, of course, directly occasioned the last motu proprio on the subject, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. Tell me that would have ever seen the light of day without that event.

    When Lefebvre committed the disobedient act of consecrating 4 bishops instead of one in 1988, he destroyed the momentum of efforts such as Ratzinger’s 1982 meeting, the 1984 Indult, and the 1986 commission to restore the TLM. No wonder Ratzinger viewed the failure to convince Lefebvre to return to full communion as such a catastrophe. It was not because, somehow, Lefebvre was “right” while the Church was “wrong,” but that Ratzinger saw the damage it would do to something he held so dear.

    And it has taken 20 years to reverse the damage inflicted on the traditional Catholic movement by Lefebvre’s disobedeince.

    In the end, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, may well get credit as the protector of the TLM and the man responsible for the counter-reformation of the early 21th century which began the restoration of traditional Catholicism, and Archbishop Lefebvre will become just another good and holy but disobedient footnote in Church history.

  43. SMJ says:

    “To anyone who watched the Papal Mass,s in Brazil.
    I heard they were horribly done.Any truth to this.”

    I’m brazilian and I watched everything about the Pope. I think that the oppening
    mass of CELAM in Aparecida and the Rosary in the Basilica were terrible.

  44. RBrown says:

    When Lefebvre committed the disobedient act of consecrating 4 bishops instead of one in 1988, he destroyed the momentum of efforts such as Ratzinger’s 1982 meeting, the 1984 Indult, and the 1986 commission to restore the TLM. No wonder Ratzinger viewed the failure to convince Lefebvre to return to full communion as such a catastrophe. It was not because, somehow, Lefebvre was “right” while the Church was “wrong,” but that Ratzinger saw the damage it would do to something he held so dear.

    So you’re saying the 1988 consecrations affected the 1986 decision not to go ahead with the de-restriction?

  45. Maynardus says:

    Brian, Jordan, et al:

    Undoubtedly some of Archbishop Lefebvre’s actions provoked a hardening of attitudes in certain circles against the traditional Mass. However it is very difficult to believe that either the 1984 indult, the 1986 finding of the commission of cardinals, or any other initiaives – e.g. Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1982 document cited by Brian, would have been seen as necessary had it not been for Lefebvre.

    Certainly there were others who retained the TLM, with or without the approbation of their superiors. Archbishop Lefebvre bristled at being called the “leader of the traditionalists” but in fact he served as a rallying point around which many and various groups and individuals coalesced. Those in the Vatican who were implacably opposed to any move in favor of the TLM could ignore the others, but a bishop of the stature of Lefebvre could not be so easily dismissed.

    Also, Lefebvre could do what none of the others* could do: ordain more priests. And the fear that he would eventually consecrate a bishop was undoubtedly a factor in various concessions designed to neutralize him by reclaiming his adherents. Bottom line: no pressure from Lefebvre, no indult!

    (*Bishop Antonio de Castro Meyer of Campos was virtually unknown and not perceived by the Vatican as an imminent threat in the same way as Lefebvre)

  46. gravitas says:

    danphunter1: “To anyone who watched the Papal Mass,s in Brazil.
    I heard they were horribly done.Any truth to this.”

    Yes, it was terrible — if you know what to look for.

    In Brazil, and i can’t understand why, the Holy Father didn’t even use the “Roman” Canon, but one of the made-up “Eucharistic prayers.”

    I love he’s doing this MP, but i think it’s long overtime that he pray the traditional Mass for all to see and
    really send a message that it’s not just “extraordinary” but totally acceptable — even preferable — to the NO Mass.

  47. Brian says:

    Comment by Maynardus: ‘it is very difficult to believe that either the 1984 indult, the 1986 finding of the commission of cardinals, or any other initiaives – e.g. Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1982 document cited by Brian, would have been seen as necessary had it not been for Lefebvre.”

    look at how advanced the Vatican response was to liturgical abuse already in 1982:

    Old News, Old Commission, Old Mass

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006
    Rorate-Caeli blog

    In today’s edition of Le Figaro, Sophie de Ravinel tells us that her paper has had access to the minutes of a 1982 meeting of curial cardinals that dealt with the abrogation, or not, of the Traditional Mass.

    The Commission, lead by then Cardinal Ratzinger, concluded, inter alia, that the “Roman Missal, in the form which was used up to 1969, should be allowed by the Holy See to be used, in the whole Church, for Masses celebrated in the Latin language.”

    Beyond that conclusion, the Commission recommended a series of steps aimed at curbing liturgical abuses, and a possible reunification of the the Old and New rites, which Mrs. de Ravinel connects to the so called “Reform of the Reform”.
    posted by Al Trovato

    Those kinds of deliberations did not pop up in a vacuum. They had to have been the subject of study for quite some time prior to 1982. The 1984 indult and 1986 Commission did not happen in a vacuum.

    The 1988 indult may well have been a more “universal indult” if not for the backlash against Lefebvre’s imprudent & disobedeient consecrations.

  48. RBrown says:

    Here is the chronoloyg:

    1984: Quattor abhinc annos–the beginning of the indult.

    1986: Commission of nine Cardinals to decide on whether to make available mass using the 1962 Missal. The word is that 8 of 9 voted yes (Gantin is said to have voted no because he had to deal with the bishops).

    1987: European bishops descend on Rome to protest the de-restriction of the Missal. JPII shelves the 1986 norms determined by the commission.

    1988: Lefebvrist consecration of bishops (cf. the shelving), followed by Ecclesia Dei Adflicta.

    1989: European bishops once again descend on Rome and any possibility of using the Ecclesia Dei Commission to de-restrict use of the 1962 Missal is disrupted.

  49. RBrown says:

    The 1988 indult may well have been a more “universal indult” if not for the backlash against Lefebvre’s imprudent & disobedeient consecrations.

    Nope, see above.

  50. gravitas says:

    Maynardus: (*Bishop Antonio de Castro Meyer of Campos was virtually unknown and not perceived by the Vatican as an imminent threat in the same way as Lefebvre)

    He had an entire diocese assisting at the traditional latin Mass!!! And he could ordain. That’s powerful.

    Just curious to the rest of you, are those of you that are new massers obligated to go to Mass today for Ascension Thursday or has that been wiped out too?

  51. Brian Mershon says:

    wiped out. Indult parish not celebrating it either. But yesterday, we did have the TLM and the Vigil of the Ascesion at 7 a.m. No Ascension Mass until Sunday though, and even then, Novus Ordo only.

    Makes a lot of sense, huh? Thank God for the Maronites for tonight’s real feast day.

  52. Maynardus says:

    Brian stated “look at how advanced the Vatican response was to liturgical abuse already in 1982″

    Is it not reasonable to infer that it was a response provoked by Lefebvre?

    Additional chronology:

    1970 – SSPX canonically erected

    1974 – Vatican begins attemts to suppress SSPX

    1976 – Lefebvre refuses to use new missal, suspended a divinis

    1978 – After meeting with Lefebvre, Pope John Paul II apparently intended to remove all restrictions on the TLM but was talked out of it by curial cardinals.

    As Brian stated: “Those kinds of deliberations did not pop up in a vacuum. They had to have been the subject of study for quite some time prior to 1982. The 1984 indult and 1986 Commission did not happen in a vacuum.”

    Quite true. And it is difficult to see anything else (other than Lefebvre) that could have been motivating the Vatican to make any sort of concessions in favor of the TLM between 1975-1988.

  53. Mark says:

    Gravitas:

    I thought today was a holy day of obligation, so I went to my local parish and was disappointed that they moved Ascension Thursday to Sunday.

    Apparently, this decision was at the diocese level – Seattle in this case. The excuse was that it is better to reach more people on Sunday than have low attendance during the week.

    Here again the “Church” bending to the will of the people, rather than the will of people bending toward God and the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

  54. Brian says:

    Comment by RBrown: Here is the chronology: 1984

    You missed an important one (important because it involved Cardinal Ratzinger):

    A Reported 1982 Document on the Tridentine Mass

    December 12, 2006
    By the sea blog

    As the Ecclesia Dei Commission meets today at the Vatican, reportedly to discuss the anticipated Motu Proprio to extend the use of the Tridentine Mass, Le Figaro reported today that ,b>the Pope’s efforts to reform the Mass and to re-introduce acceptance of the Tridentine Mass, together with full acceptance of the Mass of Pope Paul VI, date to 1982.

    According to Le Figaro, when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then Cardinal Ratzinger organized a meeting of the principal cardinals of the curia, in which they unanimously agreed that the Tridentine Mass should be allowed. Based upon the reported private November 16, 1982 meeting, attended by 5 cardinals and 1 bishop, Le Figaro states that there was a proposal to initially prepare people for the concepts behind that change, followed by a papal document to diminish abuses and to rehabilitate the old liturgy. According to that article, Cardinal Ratzinger also wanted to synthesize the old and new liturgies in a “reform of the reform.”

    Le Figaro reports that it has obtained a copy of the report of that private 1982 meeting, which was previously not made public. It is not clear when or how Le Figaro obtained the document, whether the Vatican now intends to make it public, or how certain its authenticity might be. The timing of the Le Figaro article, coming on the day of the previously reported meeting of the Ecclesia Dei meeting, after a few weeks with little news about the Motu Proprio that was mentioned in early November, raises questions in my mind (as I finish this post and hurry out the door). Was the document given to those attending the Ecclesia Dei meeting today and passed on to Le Figaro, or — perhaps more likely — has Le Figaro had the document for a while and published its story now as attention was drawn by the Ecclesia Dei meeting and rumors that a papal post-synodal document on the Eucharist is already in the hands of translators.

    As reported by Le Figaro, the document does not specifically mention the LeFebvrists, although they were already a concern. The Society of St. Pius X had then existed for 12 years, although excommunications would not occur until 1988.

    The document also reportedly stated that those who are devoted to the old Mass must not oppose the new Mass (Novus Ordo) and must not imply that the new liturgy is heretical or impaired in any way. Le Figaro mentions that Archbishop André Vingt-Trois, who just presided over a celebration of the Tridentine Mass in Paris this past Sunday, strongly insists that those who prefer the Tridentine Mass must not make such contentions.

    The final stage is reported to have been a synthesis of the two missals, doing away with some exaggerated innovations that have developed since Vatican II, while preserving the Council’s liturgical restoration.

    Le Figaro quotes Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, questioned last week, as saying that 40 years after Vatican II, it is “normal, understandable and possible” that we want to make an assessment and to recalculate things, to last.”

    hopefully, with the passage of time, Cardinal Ratzinger realized just how imprudent it would have been to attempt a “synthesis” of the two missals; every report to date regarding the motu Proprio would indicate he has.

  55. Brian says:

    Comment by Maynardus: “Quite true. And it is difficult to see anything else (other than Lefebvre) that could have been motivating the Vatican to make any sort of concessions in favor of the TLM between 1975-1988.”

    Forgive me, but this is purely Lefebvrist myopia. It appears Cardinal Ratzinger was just as concerned about the liturgy as Lefebvre, but worked from within the Church for change.

    History will tell which approach worked best.

  56. gravitas says:

    Sorry guys, that stinks. We have a decent indult in D.C. so we have a Cantata tonight with full choir and chant.

    But, what kills me, is if the excuse is it will be low attendence, why don’t they just remind them the previous
    Sunday about the pain of mortal sin and going to Hell if they miss it???

    Brian, I’ve read your stuff for a couple of years. Good friend of mine writes for the Remnant. I’m suprised you
    still go to the NO Mass. No indy chaple down there? At least for days that the TLM isn’t offered? One thing we
    don’t have at my indult, of course, is a daily Mass or Good Friday. So I go to an independent chapel in VA.

  57. Sid Cundiff says:

    Somerset ‘76: Tell me, myself sunk deep in the Egyptian Night, what’s wrong with “The Pascal Mystery”?

    Everyone: I think it’s really going to happen. Do I behold the first sign of Aurora in the eastern sky?

  58. gravitas says:

    Brian: Forgive me, but this is purely Lefebvrist myopia. It appears Cardinal Ratzinger was just as concerned about the liturgy as Lefebvre, but worked from within the Church for change.

    I think you’re a little off here and Maynardus is right on the money.

    Card. Ratzinger was concerned — of course he’s concerned about the liturgy. But he also was at Vatican II, vested in a shirt and tie, and leading the way on “reform.” So yes, he may be concerned, but in no way was he
    as staunch a defender of tradition and the traditional Faith and liturgy as H.E. Lefebvre.

    That’s like saying Card. Law did as much to protect children as John Walsh. He may have tried to protect some
    in interesting ways, but not like the guy who started America’s Most Wanted.

  59. gravitas says:

    Brian: Forgive me, but this is purely Lefebvrist myopia. It appears Cardinal Ratzinger was just as concerned about the liturgy as Lefebvre, but worked from within the Church for change.

    I think you’re a little off here and Maynardus is right on the money.

    Card. Ratzinger was concerned — of course he’s concerned about the liturgy. But he also was at Vatican II, vested in a shirt and tie, and leading the way on “reform.” So yes, he may be concerned, but in no way was he as staunch a defender of tradition and the traditional Faith and liturgy as H.E. Lefebvre.

    That’s like saying Card. Law did as much to protect children as John Walsh. He may have tried to protect some
    in interesting ways, but not like the guy who started America’s Most Wanted.

  60. Gemelli says:

    THE PROPOSED NORMS OF 1986 In the summer of 1986, a commission of eight curial Cardinals was established ad hoc to consider whether the Indult of 1984 was capable of functioning. It found that in practice the Indult had been shown to be “not very helpful” and it presented some detailed recommendations for a new regulation for the whole Church. The substance of these recommendations can be summarized as follows:

    1. In the offices of the Roman Rite, the honor due [debita honor] to the Latin language should be accorded it. Bishops should ensure that on Sundays and ferial days at least one Latin Mass should be celebrated in each important locality of their diocese. However the readings could also be said in the vernacular.

    2. For their private Masses all priests can, at all times, use the Latin language.

    3. For every Mass celebrated in the Latin language – with or without the faithful present – the celebrant has the right freely to choose between the missal of Paul VI (1970) and that of John XXIII (1962).

    4. If the celebrant chooses the missal of Paul VI, he should observe the rubrics of that missal.

    5. If the celebrant chooses the missal of John XXIII, he must observe the rubrics of that missal, but he may also: * use either the Latin language or the vernacular for the readings * make use of the additional prefaces and prayers of the Proper of the Mass contained in the missal of Paul VI, and introduce “preces universales” (bidding prayers).

    6. The liturgical calendar for feasts will be that of the missal chosen by the celebrant.

  61. Le Renard says:

    Does it occur to anyone here that Lefebvre also signed off on Vatican II???

  62. gravitas says:

    Le Renard: “Does it occur to anyone here that Lefebvre also signed off on Vatican II???”

    But he did so under protest.

    Read “The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber.”

  63. Gemelli,

    I’ve seen that before. Does anyone have a citation for it? Boy, that would have been great then, probably, and it would be great now. Now, I think we have the people to pull it off. In 1986, maybe we didn’t. Which points to the ultimate issue here: we need better bishops (and priests). Don’t change the liturgy or the MP to suit the German and French and other bishops; change the bishops to suit the liturgy.

  64. Le Renard says:

    Don’t change the liturgy or the MP to suit the German and French and other bishops; change the bishops to suit the liturgy.

    If that’s to be the case, might as well aim for a democratic process wherein the bishops are elected by and for the people, but why stop there? Might as well conduct such an election for the Pope as well!

    (yes, I know; he is ‘bishop’, too; however, I am attempting to convey a point concerning the notorious vox populi, vox Dei attitudes here.)

  65. Boko,Gemelli’s facts can be verified on the website of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales where you can find what they say is the Universal Indult of John Paul II (but never issued).I believe it but Fr.Z probably would know .They claim it came from Ecclesia Dei.Dr.Alice VonHildebrand told me that in an audience with PJP she asked him about the indult which the heads of the Episcopal conferences of France,England,Geramny,and Belgium had protested.He replied that it was on his desk and would be issued when the time was more suitable (when the episcopal clamor died down).People I have had the fortune to know well such as Cardinals Gagnon and Oddi as well as a former secretary to JPII,told me that JPII was concerned about the liturgical reforms (see his apology for the way they were implemented in Inaestimable Donum)and wanted to restore the older liturgy to some degree regardless of Lefebvre. By the way the Archbishop was not forced to sign.By whom?Especially when there were those who did not sign.He could have voted “with reservations” but he did not.People should read some of his addresses on the liturgy after the council but before the NO.He was in favor of the first part of the mass in the vernacular and facing the people.This was brought up by the americans who left the SPPX and founded their own group.By the way Lefevb.was not suspended because he used the old missal but because he ordained priests after being told no to by Pope Paul V1.

  66. John Topolosky says:

    If we get the M.P. Many U.S.bishops and priests will try and block it, just as they do now. Some dioceses still do not allow it. I am not very optimistic in my lifetime.

  67. jmgarciaiii says:

    To clarify my previous comment:

    1- I find it interesting that His Eminence cited the places he did in discussing the growth in interest of the “Tridentine” mass among the youth.

    2- I further find it interesting that those places are experiencing that kind of growth in interest, ESPECIALLY among the youth.

    3- Even further than that, I find it interesting said growth has been such that even the Vatican has noticed it.

    AMDG,

    -J.

  68. Breier says:

    Brian,

    I think you’re neglecting the fact that God allows evils to bring a greater good out of them. Unless you’re a consequentialist, there’s no difficulty is saying that the SSPX is the reason we have Indult, or that without the SSPX the Tridentine Mass would have been utterly destroyed. That doesn’t necessarily justify any of their actions. Error, mistakes, bad judgments, are often the occasion for great goods. Without Protestants there would have been no Council of Trent. Without Arians no Nicea. To say that “something better” would have inevitably come out, or that evils simply drag down history and can never have a positive impact, seems wrong to me. I think you’re arguing more from first principles than history.

  69. gravitas says:

    More from the good cardinal. I hope this finally settles it:

    Regarding the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, Castrillón said:

    “They are not schismatics, the priests are under a suspension for illicit exercise, and the Bishops are excommunicated because the ordination of new bishops without a permission from Rome received this punishment latæ sententiæ.”

  70. Brian says:

    Comment by Breier: ‘I think you’re neglecting the fact that God allows evils to bring a greater good out of them. Unless you’re a consequentialist, there’s no difficulty is saying that the SSPX is the reason we have Indult, or that without the SSPX the Tridentine Mass would have been utterly destroyed. That doesn’t necessarily justify any of their actions. Error, mistakes, bad judgments, are often the occasion for great goods. Without Protestants there would have been no Council of Trent.”

    You have made the points I have been thinking but have not written on this thread, though I have elsewhere, and it causes some angry responses.

    In my mind, I DO think the SSPX is the reason we have the Indult, in the same way that Luther is “responsible for” the counter-Reformation. In other words, in both instances, disobedience was used by God to bring about some good.

    Unfortunately, most defenders of Lefebvre do not respond well to this kind of critical thinking and analysis, and descend very quickly into ad hominem when this issue is broached.

  71. gravitas says:

    Brian:

    While I don’t assist at an SSPX chaple, although there is a SSPX-friendly chaple very near by my house, I do
    think you’re a little of on H.E. Lefebvre.

    I choose to go to an indult. I disagree more than I agree with my prelates, yet I choose to be loyal. But, there
    seems to be a tendency with some on this site to think that obedience means being blind — or going along no
    matter what is happening.

    Throughout time, if churchmen just kept going along to get along, God only knows where we’d be. St. Athanasius
    once said that the church would reside in the smallest of chapels and not the cathedrals and basillicas. St. Bridget
    made her thoughts known very well and loudly about calling popes on the carpet when they were wrong.

    Sometimes,in extreme instances, true obedience means disobeying man and obeying the Faith and God. And I think
    that’s exactly what we’re seeing now from Cardinal Hoyos as he says over and over there is no schism. In fact,
    that’s a perfect example. The last pope said they were in schism. Now a cardinal says a pope was, basically, wrong
    and they’re not in schism even though the last pope never lifted that decree.

    That’s on a smaller scale but still shows that pope’s are not infallible in everything they do.

    Fr. Le Floch, superior of the French Seminary in Rome, announced in 1926:

    “The heresy which is now being born will become the most dangerous of all; the exaggeration of the respect due
    to the Pope and the illegitimate extension of his infallibility.”

  72. RBrown says:

    Card. Ratzinger was concerned—of course he’s concerned about the liturgy. But he also was at Vatican II, vested in a shirt and tie, and leading the way on “reform.” So yes, he may be concerned, but in no way was he as staunch a defender of tradition and the traditional Faith and liturgy as H.E. Lefebvre.

    Comment by gravitas

    I’ve seen pictures of him in coat and tie, but they weren’t taken in Rome.

    In many European countries, if priests didn’t wear the cassock or a religious habit, they wore a black suit and tie. Why? They didn’t want to look like Protestant clergy, who wore what is now referred to as clerical clothes (black suit and Roman collar).

    It is oversimplification to say that Ratz was simply a reformer at VatII. Generally, he was in favor of the de-Romanization of theology–as a Thomist, so am I. Theology, whose roots are in Scripture and Tradition, has a rich history (Fathers, Medieval, and Modern) that must not be reduced to Roman Law.

  73. RBrown says:

    Brian,

    1. I didn’t miss it. I thought it better to start with the 1984 indult. As a matter of fact, I was told that JPII wanted to de-restrict the 1962 Missal just after he was elected. But he was advised against it by a very famous conservative Cardinal who said such a move would be spitting in the face of Paul VI.

    2. I am familiar with the history of the SSPX because I spent a lot of time in France in the first half of the 70′s. When I first went there in 1972, the SSPX stood in good stead with the Church–in fact, it was encouraged by Rome. But Catholic life in France was collapsing, much more radically than it did in the US. The was a mass exodus from the priesthood and no vocations. NB: In Paris in 1970 there were 2700 priests (867 dioc); in 1980, 1980 (879 dioc); in 1990, 1554 (616 dioc). In Bourges (where I was confirmed), the number of diocesan priests went from 351 to 230 to 175. In Amiens (home of the famous cathedral), it went from 324 to 253 to 178–in 2004 there were 106 priests.

    The French bishops employed the loser’s MO and blamed the SSPX for their problems because most of the vocations were going to Econe, then returning to work in France, thus muddying the bishops’ liberal wells. Those bishops had access to the pope because Paul VI was a Francophile and had a French Sec of State. And so they convinced Rome to order Lefebvre to shut down his seminary. He didn’t and was then suspended. Following the suspension, Lefebvre’s position hardened.

    My point is that the problems did not begin with Lefebvre nor with the SSPX–but rather with the liberal French bishops who couldn’t broach any opposition to their policy of destroying the Church in France.

  74. Ryan says:

    I find it interesting that gravitas refers to that picture of Ratzinger in a tie. RBrown provides the reasonable explanation.

    The picture of Ratz. in the tie is used about 10 times a day over at the crazed sedevacantist site Taditio. Every time they comment on Ratzinger, thy include the same picture of Ratzinger in tie over and over and over again to show what a “reformer” he is. Traditio is very tiresome to say the least.

    And it should be noted they NEVER link to sources or to the articles they claim to be summarizing. They don’t include links because they usually lie about what is said in the articles and sources they claim to be analyzing.

  75. Brian says:

    Comment by RBrown: “…in 1972, the SSPX stood in good stead with the Church—in fact, it was encouraged by Rome…

    …The French bishops employed the loser’s MO and blamed the SSPX for their problems because most of the vocations were going to Econe, then returning to work in France, thus muddying the bishops’ liberal wells. Those bishops had access to the pope because Paul VI was a Francophile and had a French Sec of State. And so they convinced Rome to order Lefebvre to shut down his seminary. He didn’t and was then suspended. Following the suspension, Lefebvre’s position hardened.

    My point is that the problems did not begin with Lefebvre nor with the SSPX—but rather with the liberal French bishops who couldn’t broach any opposition to their policy of destroying the Church in France.”

    This is a great perspective, RBrown, one that younger trads like myself lack, and our opinions suffer from this poverty of historical perspective.

    Thank you for sharing this. Its obvious now that where my views above deviated from your first hand knowledge posted on this thread, I really was in error.

  76. Jordan Potter says:

    “The last pope said they were in schism. Now a cardinal says a pope was, basically, wrong and they’re not in schism even though the last pope never lifted that decree.”

    I’m not aware that John Paul II ever said the SSPX is, or was, in schism. Rather, he formally characterized Msgr. Lefebvre’s illegal consecration of bishops as a “schismatic act.” In my view, if the SSPX isn’t formally in schism, it’s dangerously close – but the fact is that, so far as I know, there isn’t any official statement from Rome saying the SSPX is in schism. Their official stance is that they aren’t in schism, but that there is an schism of Msgr. Lefebvre to which it is possible to adhere.

    “That’s on a smaller scale but still shows that popes are not infallible in everything they do.”

    It’s not in dispute that Popes aren’t infallible in everything they do. We’re not Ultramontanists. In fact, most of what Popes say and do isn’t infallible. But in regards to our duties towards the Pope, Catholics aren’t bound to submit only to ex cathedra definitions, but in all things that he lawfully decides and decrees for the Church.

  77. Brian says:

    Comment by Ryan: “The picture of Ratz. in the tie is used about 10 times a day over at the crazed sedevacantist site Taditio. Every time they comment on Ratzinger, they include the same picture of Ratzinger in tie over and over and over again to show what a “reformer” he is.”

    I have read several times that following WWII, German clergy wore a suit and tie instead of the Roman collar in general; it did not have anything to do with being a “spirit of VII” ‘reformer.’

    Can anyone corroborate?

  78. RBrown says:

    Gravitas,

    If the picture is on the Internet, then I suggest you post a link. Otherwise, you are asking us to subject ourselves to your faulty memory.

    All I am saying is that I have views on Cardinals who wear suits and ties. That’s it, and no explanation is going to make me think otherwise. It’s modernism and it was unheard of until recent history.

    If a Cardinal wears clerical clothes (which seems to have your nihil obstat), how can you tell him from Protestant clergy?

  79. gravitas says:

    RBrown:

    Here’s a link to both pictures. And i was actually wrong, the picture of him in a suit and tie is from 2006, after he became pope.

    http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A168rcRatz-Suit.htm

    “If a Cardinal wears clerical clothes (which seems to have your nihil obstat), how can you tell him from Protestant clergy?”

    If cardinals would stop wearing protestant suits and collars and go back to wearing cassocks there would be no problem telling them apart.

  80. gravitas says:

    Also, a disclaimer on the last post: i have no idea what else is on that site. I’ve never been on it nor am I endorsing it. I just did a quick google search and that was the first of many sites that came up with that photo.

  81. berenike says:

    People, find something important to worry about! One of the piousest and soundest priests I know goes about in a turquoise blazer, foul loud ties and a little wooden cross on a string aroud his neck. Secular clergy don’t have to wear a habit, and least of all in private. Are you going to complain if it gets out that the pope likes green pyjamas?

  82. gravitas says:

    berenike:

    I agree with you, to a point.

    There are much bigger things to worry about and my original comment was one in passing and in no way should have taken up this much time. But what our clergy wears is important. Priests who walk around in public who don’t look like priests send a negative message to laity — a message that they are on the same level as laity, which they are not! They are, or should be, alter Christos — another Christ. Christ would not wear a loud tie.

    While what a priest wears may seem unimportant to modern Catholics, it symbolizes exactly what many priests have
    become since Vatican II — mere presiders over the Mass and Liturgy. And that is a real problem.

  83. I believe priests in Germany and other German related areas wear ties because of the Kulterkamph.If my memory is correct it was a law passed by Bismark.

  84. Brian says:

    Comment by fr.franklyn mcafee: “I believe priests in Germany and other German related areas wear ties because of the Kulterkamph. If my memory is correct it was a law passed by Bismark.”

    That’s it! Thank you.

  85. gravitas says:

    Comment by fr.franklyn mcafee: “I believe priests in Germany and other German related areas wear ties because of the Kulterkamph. If my memory is correct it was a law passed by Bismark.”

    All due respect, that has nothing to do with what a priest does in the US or what the Pontiff does in Rome.

    Ok, I’m going home! Father McAfee, there’s a nice wine tasting tonight at Mount Vernon if you’re free :)

  86. Iamdudum says:

    Rowing about what clothes the Pope wears en famille! This is getting silly! How about starting a discussion about what pyjamas he wears or whether he should sleep in full pontifical regalia (complete with tiara)?

  87. gravitas says:

    the tiara has also been retired. another post concilliar abomination.

  88. A Non says:

    I think Naspoleon was the one who insisted on clerical dress, when secular clergy generally dressed as “sober gentlemen”.

  89. Beth v. says:

    The picture of Pope Benedict and his brother Georg in civilian clothing was taken during their vacation the year before he became Pope. I believe that the use, out of context, by this Trad web site has been debunked several times in the past. Sorry I don’t have the links but other photos were taken during the same vacation showing the same outfits. I’m pretty sure they are on the Papa Ratzinger Forum site in their photo archives.

    So, please, enough on the wardrobe.

  90. Brian says:

    Comment by gravitas “the tiara has also been retired. another post concilliar abomination.”

    Ain’t that the truth!

    If a tiara was good enough for Jesus when He walked this earth, then His Vicar should wear one too!

    (Uh…nevermind.)

  91. In England Catholic priests traditionally have worn black clerical suit rather than cassocks. There were possibly three reasons for this:

    1. During the recusancy advertising you were a Catholic priest was a BAD idea.
    2. It was illegal for Catholic priests to wear clerical dress in public even after the worst of the persecution came to an end.
    3. They might, heaven forbid, be mistaken for Anglicans.

    There is nothing at all ‘untraditional’ about English priests not wearing Cassocks in public. I have seen enough pre-Conciliar photographs to know that.

  92. RBrown says:

    If cardinals would stop wearing protestant suits and collars and go back to wearing cassocks there would be no problem telling them apart.
    Comment by gravitas

    I too would like to see the clergy in cassocks or religious habit.

    On the other hand, my understanding is that in the 19th century (long before VatII) the Church in the US restricted wearing them to at home (rectory, priory, etc) or in Church. In public all clergy wore clerical clothes. I think only the Franciscans were exempt and could wear the habit in public.

  93. RBrown says:

    the tiara has also been retired. another post concilliar abomination.
    Comment by gravitas

    Of all the problems in the Church that need reform, the papal tiara is way down the list.

  94. RBrown says:

    Re clerical clothes and Protestants: Some years ago I met a man wearing clerical clothes in St Peter’s Square. I thought he was a priest, but he told me that he was a Lutheran minister on the way to make reservations for the Scavi Tour. As he walked through the Holy Office Gate (on the left as one faces the Church), I noticed that the Swiss Guard saluted, thinking him a priest.

  95. thomas tucker says:

    “Christ would not wear a loud tie.”
    That’s the funniest thing i’ve read in over a year!
    Certainly the Gospels attest that Christ’s taste in clothes was exquisite.
    Didn’t He buy his clericals at Gemelli?