ALERT TO PARISH PRIESTS: Interesting interview with a pastor on his experience of the Traditional Latin Mass

The traditionalist newspaper The Remnant interviewed by good friend Fr. John Echert, pastor of St. Augustine’s in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  St. Augustine was the single parish in that Archdiocese where people could find approved celebrations of the traditional, the extraordinary, the classical, the older form of Holy Mass. 

Fr. Echert, a friend of many years, is a fine fellow and usually holds no punches when he speaks.   Let’s see what he had to say to The Remnant.

My emphases and comments.

Interviewed by Michael J. Matt
Editor, The Remnant

Mass at Holy Trinity since 1969
Editor’s Note: We are very pleased to present the following interview of Father John Echert— pastor of the Church of St. Augustine (site of the Indult Mass here in St. Paul/Minneapolis since 1984) and the Church of the Holy Trinity (So. St. Paul).  Ever since Pope Benedict XVI released his historic motu proprio in July of this year, we have maintained that not only the prayers of traditional Catholic laypeople have been answered, but also those of countless tradition-minded priests within the diocesan structure of the Church.  It is also our contention that a seismic shift in the direction of Tradition is taking place.  [Another good image.]  As persecution of the Church throughout the world becomes imminent, [hmmmm] it shouldn’t surprise any Catholic that God in His mercy would allow this dramatic restoration of the Old Mass (even on a daily basis) as part of the process by which we might all strengthen our resolve and prepare our souls for whatever eventuality may be in the offing.  Fr. Echert’s courageous compliance with the wishes of the Holy Father is well worth considering and perhaps could be seen as a model for other diocesan priests trying to return to Tradition during these turbulent days in the life of the Church. MJM

____

Michael Matt: Can you give us some background on your priestly career thus far, i.e., your areas of expertise and maybe a word or two on the apostolates you’ve served?

Fr. John Echert: I was ordained twenty years ago, though my awareness of a vocation to the priesthood goes back about forty-five years (I just turned fifty).

Even as a little boy I knew that I wanted to be a priest, and expressed that dream to my parents and any priest who would listen.  Without doubt my vocational awareness was awakened by the traditional form of the Mass, even at that young age.  My parents were in the church choir and I have lasting memories of the beautiful music, the smell of incense, and the graceful movements of the priest in the sanctuary.  Were it not for those early experiences which occasioned a very strong desire in me to be a priest, I do not know that I would have found sufficient inspiration in subsequent years.

As for my assignments as a priest: after having served three years in a large suburban parish, I was sent away for studies in Sacred Scripture to the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem, after which I spent a dozen years teaching in my field at the local major seminary and Catholic university.  During this period I also served as a Catholic Chaplain in the Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard, and was twice deployed to desert locations in connection with the War in Iraq.  Five years ago I began assisting at the local Indult Parish, and a bit over two years ago I was assigned as pastor of two parishes, one of which is that same Indult Parish at which I had assisted.

MJM: So, how is life these days for a tradition-minded priest serving in the military chaplaincy?

Fr. Echert: I have been connected with the military since 1975, at which time I enlisted in the Air Force right out of high school.  Years later I received a commission as a Catholic Chaplain.  With regard to the issue of serving as a priest in the military, it is not without its complexities.  When we are serving our own religious communities we have full freedom to operate as we would with any civilian congregation or individual.  But when we function within the context of the broader military community, there are limitations.

Recently, as a response to a Protestant Chaplain who was too evangelical with troops, the military curtailed many aspects of our public function as chaplains.  This actually seems preferable to having the troops exposed to evangelization by non-Catholic chaplains and to requiring Catholic chaplains to dumb-down their invocations to the lowest common religious denominator—which is now quite low, given the plurality of religions and chaplains in the military.

The military follows the principle of “religious liberty”:  one has the right to any religion, but no religion is favored or excluded—unfortunately! Once in Kuwait I had a Satanist request to use the chapel altar, and in Qatar I had Wickens request religious support. In both cases I did not accommodate them but these are examples of “religious liberty” at its worst. Still, at least one fourth of our military troops identify themselves as Roman Catholics on their dog tags (whether or not they attend Mass), and we represent the largest single religious group.  Let me add that with regard to the present situation in Iraq, over time I have reconsidered my position on the war and its aftermath; still, my months of priestly ministry to the troops there were rewarding.  As they say, “there are no atheists in foxholes”—or behind sand dunes.

MJM: So, some years ago you began offering the Traditional Mass.  Why?

Fr. Echert:  I began offering the traditional form of the Mass about five years ago, at a time when there was a need for a priest to assume primary responsibility for the weekly Indult Mass.  I had the advantage of college Latin studies and so my language skills were functional.  I was encouraged by close traditional friends to learn the Mass and request permission from the local bishop to say the Mass at the Indult parish.

I learned the Mass through videos, attending the Tridentine Mass itself, and with the assistance of a priest friend who was steeped in tradition.  For weeks I offered the Mass in private and, once comfortable and after approval, I began offering the weekly Indult Mass.  [See, folks.  It just isn’t a huge mystery.  You study a little, get a little help from resources and people and then… JUST DO IT.  It is not rocket science.] Beyond my love for the traditional language and form of the Mass, I was also becoming more familiar with aspects of traditional thinking, through books and publications (to include The Remnant) and conversations with tradition-minded Catholics.

MJM: In the first sermon you preached after July 7, 2007, you said something that hadn’t, to my knowledge, been considered before:  You said it is well within the spirit of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio for a priest to actually initiate with his parishioners the discussion of the benefits of restoring the old Mass. Can you explain?  [I agree.]

Fr. Echert: The Holy Spirit works in many ways and through the instrumentality of human beings.  If we are called to evangelize the nations with regard to Christ and the Church, it is also legitimate—and imperative, may we say—to evangelize with regard to tradition, including the traditional form of the Mass.  [A good way to put it.] In other words, instead of waiting for the Holy Spirit to whisper to the souls of the faithful or for someone to stumble into the world of tradition, should not traditional parish priests be inclined to introduce the souls entrusted to them to the traditional form of the Mass?  It seems to me that the allowance of the Holy Father that any priest can privately offer the traditional Mass without restriction, at which the faithful may be present, suggests this as support for this view and even a means to accomplish this end of the evangelization of tradition.  [Reasonable approach.]

MJM: You recently restored weekday Masses according to the Traditional Rite both in your Indult parish [Not "indult" any more!  Hurray!] as well as in the other parish (non-traditionalist!) you serve as pastor (thus providing Catholics with daily access to the Traditional Mass).  Can you tell me why you took this dramatic step [normal step, to me] in accord with the MP?

Fr. Echert: The past model for the now defunct Indult system [right] often became the means to contain, control and restrict the traditional Mass and Sacraments—the “leper colony” approach.  [I think I prefer the "nutty aunt locked in the attic" image.] The new model allows for an expansion of the traditional Mass and Sacraments to any parish or community which desires it, with minimal restrictions (faithful who request it and a priest capable of offering it).  While I could have continued with the old model and scheduled all additional traditional Masses at the former Indult parish, I didn’t do that because I see a positive value in introducing this venerable form of the Mass into my other parish as well, with the consequence that more Catholics will have contact with and access to the Tridentine Mass.  Again, it is a method of the evangelization of tradition.

Thus, I used the following strategy:  [PRIESTS: pay attention]  in the former Indult parish, I changed some weekday Masses to Tridentine; but in the other parish, I also added some Tridentine Masses to the existing schedule.  In both cases, I have heard very few complaints from those accustomed to English Masses only—many of whom are now attending both forms of the Mass and learning more about tradition every day.  I suspect that Pope Benedict XVI sees value in having the Novus Ordo and the Tridentine forms of the Mass side-by-side in parishes in order that contact with the traditional Mass by the faithful will eventually lead to a reform of the Mass of Paul VI or a complete return to the traditional form.  [He is correct, of course.  This is the "gravitational pull" I talk about.  It is all part of Pope Benedict’s "Marshall Plan" to rebuild the Church’s identity from within.] 

MJM: Communion rails are reportedly being reinstalled and table altars permanently removed from some churches that now offer the old Mass around the world (most recently, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin designated St. Kevin’s church in Dublin as a chaplaincy where Mass will be celebrated regularly using the 1962 Missal, and the priest in Dublin is now permanently restoring the interior of the church building to accommodate the Traditional Mass.)  What are your thoughts on this development and how do you account for such a strong desire among priests to implement Benedict’s MP that they’d voluntarily renovate their sanctuaries to facilitate this initiative?

Fr. Echert: In my own parishes, this is being accomplished even now.  In the former Indult parish we have eliminated the free-standing altar completely, even for the Novus Ordo Masses.  By the grace of God and with many words, my Parish Council (with only one traditionalist among the dozen members) was recently persuaded of the value of this change.  [This is quite an accomplishment.]  Many parishioners who attend only English Masses urged me to eliminate the free-standing altar, and several guest priests who have assisted us at the English Masses later told me that saying the Mass ad orientem was a most reverent experience for them.  [You see?   "Gravitational pull".   This is how it is done.  Bit by bit.  Patiently.   "Brick by brick, my citizens."]  In my other parish, which has only now been introduced to the Tridentine Mass, we are presently soliciting funds to restore the Communion Rail that was discarded decades ago.  Again, even from among those who are only familiar with English Masses, there are many who support this restoration plan[Priest friends tell me that when project like these are presented as "restoration", they go over pretty well.]

Two months ago, I had our parish carpenters rebuild the front steps to the High Altar, which, ironically enough, they were quite happy to do since a previous pastor had long ago directed these same men to remove them.

MJM: On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, you compared the Church’s rediscovery of the traditional Mass to the rediscovery of the true Cross in AD 312.  This is a fascinating analogy and I wonder if you would be good enough explain what you mean by it.

Fr. Echert: It is the comparison of something which is most sacred and precious that had been lost—or taken—that has now been restored to its rightful place.  In one case it was the most sacred relic of the Church:  the True Cross of Christ; in the other case it is the most sacred worship of the Church: the Traditional Mass.  Just as our Lord taught in the parables recorded by Saint Luke (chapter fifteen): there should be great cause for rejoicing when that which is lost has been found!  In many ways, having been nearly without the traditional form of the Mass for forty years (practically speaking), I anticipate that as this Mass is more widely restored to its rightful place, the faithful will appreciate it all the more—that is the experience of many already.

MJM: Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis was, I believe, the first bishop to introduce daily Masses according to the old Rite after the MP (I’m told he’s now set up a program to teach Latin and the old Rite to the many young priests requesting instruction, as well).  Bishop Finn, who himself recently offered the Old Mass in Kansas, also seems to be looking in that direction, as does, obviously, the Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland.  Is such a thing possible here in St. Paul, and is there any move to establish traditional personal parishes here?

Fr. Echert:  Thus far there has been no official communication to priests in this diocese with regard to the implementation of the motu proprio.  I am not complaining about that silence, as it is preferable to other dioceses in which there have been directives which may thwart its implementation.  I know of several priests—mostly young—who are interested in learning the Tridentine Mass and hope for opportunities to say it publicly. I have an open invitation to them to offer Mass in my two parishes.  [YAY!]

 For the short term, then, it appears that in this diocese my parishes will remain the primary parishes to serve traditional faithful, though I know of Catholics in many other parts of the diocese who are requesting the traditional Mass of their pastors.  This is the beauty of the motu proprio: it falls to the faithful and pastors (the grass roots) to bring about the resurgence of this Mass, rather than from the top down—which did not work well or at all, in countless dioceses.

As to personal parishes (those which are strictly and fully traditional), I pray that such parishes will be allowed in every diocese and region worldwide.  It is a very complicated matter to have a fully functioning mixture of Novus Ordo and Tridentine faithful and Sacraments in the same parish and it would be preferable for both pastor and congregation that there would be exclusively traditional parishes.  My hope is that one day I will serve as pastor of such a parish.  Locally we have had the support of the Ordinary for a limited use of the Tridentine Mass since the Indult was first granted; pray for a generous response to the allowance of the Holy Father for bishops to establish personal parishes in their dioceses.

MJM: In an interview with Vatican Radio on September 13, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos explained that Pope Benedict’s MP affirms the right of any priest to use the "extraordinary form" of the Latin liturgy even without his bishop’s permission. The Cardinal seems intent to prevent certain liberal bishops from frustrating the Pope’s plan to restore the old Mass as they did with John Paul’s 1988 MP Ecclesia Dei.  Why do you suppose the Pope is so determined to establish wider use of this Mass that he would even encourage his priests to offer it without their bishops’ permission if it comes to that?

Fr. Echert:  The Pope is affirming a universal right which belongs to all clergy in good standing with the Church, as is fitting for his supreme office and the matter at hand.  [Yes.   I contend that the MP is especially about priests.One thing I learned in the military:  a subordinate authority does not have the right to countermand the law of a higher authority.  In spite of the fact that Pope John Paul II asked for generosity on the part of bishops in establishing Indult parishes in their dioceses, this approach did not work.  In my own state, there were only two Indult parishes with weekly Sunday Masses, which meant that many Catholics had to drive incredible distances to attend a Tridentine Mass (one man drove 500 miles round trip to my parish).  Had this motu proprio entrusted primary responsibility to the bishops to establish the traditional Mass, there is no reason to believe the outcome would have measurably exceeded that of the Indult in the past.

In spite of incredible pressure to the contrary—as was widely reported—the Holy Father entrusted responsibility for responding to the needs of the faithful into the hands of pastors.  [YES!]  And while there will be many pastors who will not comply, there are many more parishes than dioceses, and traditional Masses will soon be found scattered everywhere.

MJM: There are a few traditionalists who still argue that so-called “approved” traditional priests are more or less in business only to undermine “unapproved” traditionalist priests.  Judging from your sermons, however, undermining anyone except modernists and liberals doesn’t seem to enter your mind.  You seem to have a good relationship with the priests in the SSPX, for example, and I’ve heard you recommend The Remnant from the pulpit.  Is it fair to say, then, that you offer the old Mass because you regard its restoration as vital for the life of the whole Church and that you are not attempting to undermine anyone?

Fr. Echert:  I offer the traditional Mass for its own value and for what it has to offer to the faithful and the future of the Church.  [RIGHT.   The value of the older form of Mass is centered within the rite of Holy Mass itself.  If you argue for its value from advantages external to the rite, you risk devolving the Mass into a kind of spectacle, interesting, beautiful, but devoid of mystery.]  I have never offered the traditional Mass with any ulterior motive of undermining other expressions of tradition.  I am on good terms with priests who belong to the SSPX and have worked with the local Society pastor on some pastoral issues of mutual concern.  I am an avid reader of The Remnant and many other traditional publications and books.  These are difficult times and sadly there is much discord among traditionalists.  [No kidding.  I seems that so many people are interested in defending their own little slice of the pie, as if it were a zero sum pie, that they have not been able to function together well and be a serious lobby for change in the Church.  Hopefully some of this will rinse away under the laver of the Motu Proprio.] Even at my Indult parish there is not universal agreement on many of the fine points of liturgy, theology and strategy, and so the issues get battled out in the parking lot or at coffee and donuts in the church hall.  I know that there are many Catholics and clergy in particular who view the Indult as a means to keep Catholics from SSPX and other expressions of tradition but this has never been a motive or goal for me.  I believe that the multiplicity of adherents to tradition has collectively helped to bring about this important step of Pope Benedict.  As you note, I principally go after the modernists, who should be the common enemy of all traditionalists—and all Catholics!

MJM: Father, put your prophet’s hat for a moment. How’s all this going to end?  If the Mass is restored widely and throughout the whole world, would that change everything, or is it too late?

Fr. Echert:  It is never too late, unless we are living in the end times, of which I am not yet convinced.  It will be like seed which is widely scattered but in a variety of difficult and sometimes extreme conditions.  Here and there a seed will take root but it will be some time before the field is clothed in the mantel of tradition.  There will be many clergy who will resolutely oppose it and refuse it to the faithful, but there will be others who will enable it.

There are certainly some initial hurdles, but, over the course of years—less than a blink of the divine eye—this Mass will be widely found throughout the Church. One of the looming questions is what impact it will have upon the Novus Ordo Mass.  Will there be a “reform of the reform,” as some suggest, or a replacement of the reform with the traditional form?  One concern I have is that some priests—including some good-willed priests who are misguided—will offer Tridentine Masses in their parishes, but may allow some modern practices to infiltrate the traditional Mass: altar girls, the new lectionary, Communion in the hand.  Hopefully, clarifications from Rome will prohibit such aberrations.  [Yes.  As discussions in other entries of this WDTPRS blog reveal, we do need clarifications.]

Let me sum up my hope with this biblical lesson:  forty is often a number of testing (Israel in the Old Testament, our Lord in the New Testament).  We have wandered through a veritable desert for forty years but now have a glimpse of the Promised Land (forgotten land).  We have not yet arrived, by any means, but we have taken a giant step in the right direction.  May the Lord now speed us on our pilgrimage back to tradition!

MJM: If you had to choose one rite of Mass to offer exclusively every day for the rest of your life which would it be, New or Old?  Why?

Fr. Echert: The traditional Mass, hands down!  It was the Mass which first inspired in me a vocation to the priesthood and it is the Mass which I intend to offer until my last breath on earth.

Editor’s Note:  Please forward this interview to as many priests as you possibly can.  Also, The Remnant is giving out free physical reprints of the interview upon request.  Those requests can be emailed to editor@remnantnewspaper.com, requested by telephone at (651) 204-0145, or sent via snail mail to:

The Remnant
PO Box 1117
Forest Lake, MN 55025

You can nearly hear the jubiliation bounce out of the words of this interview.  At the same time, while "modernists" take it in the chin (justly), it doesn’t degenerate into cheap shots.

This is an excellent interview.   It is constructive and hopeful.  It demonstrates that a modicum of good will on the parts of bishop, pastor, and flock can produce very good fruits.   It might take a little time, but obstacles can be gently displaced.

I was intrigued also at the interviewer’s comment at the beginning that he sees a persecution of the Church on the horizon, and that the derestriction of the older form of Mass is timely.  Later in the interview, Fr. Echert mentions the end times, though says I thinks they are not imminent.   OVer the last couple weeks in my travels, more than one person with whom I have spoken has made a comment about the end times in relation to the older form of Mass.  Food for thought.

I am delighted by the picture presented at St. Augustine’s.  I am maybe a little jealous too!  

To my friends Fr. Echert and Mr. Matt, I solemnly tip my biretta.

o{]:¬)

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44 Responses to ALERT TO PARISH PRIESTS: Interesting interview with a pastor on his experience of the Traditional Latin Mass

  1. danphunter1 says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,
    Father Echert states what I have always believed will happen to the Ordinary Rite.
    “…or a complete return to the traditional form”.
    Even when priests offer the Novus Ordo reverently,ie:EWTN, yourself, Father Trigilio,
    It is still the fabricated Novus Ordo, and is not giving the best to God Almighty.
    Just look at the difference betwixt the propers, the 2000 variations on the Roman Canon,the weak, weak, weak bidding Offertory prayers in the Ordinary as opposed to the Powerful and sacrificially anticipatory prayers in the Tridentine Offertory.
    Pope Benedicts plan is exactly this: to free up the Classical Rite in order that it almost by reflex absorption eliminate’s the far weaker Ordinary version.
    The dunce who sits in the corner with cap perched upon cranium will even recognize tht the Novus Ordo cannot hold a candle to the far more apropriate form of sacrifice and worship that is offered in the Usus Antiquor.
    God bless you.

  2. Angelo says:

    The bottom line of the novus ordo missae is that
    it was fabricated by Annibale Bugnini with the
    assistance of six protestant pastors to make it
    ecumenically palatable to non-catholics. This fact
    alone is sufficient to cast a dark over it.

    Secondly, there is no offertory in the new mass.
    Only the “preparation of the gifts”, having been
    replaced by a Talmudic formula of sorts.

    Consequntly, this is the mass at which my protestant relatives
    have no problem assisting.

  3. William says:

    Over the last couple weeks in my travels, more than one person with whom I have spoken has made a comment about the end times in relation to the older form of Mass.

    This might be an interesting, if highly speculative, topic of discussion. I don’t know about end-times, but I do think that we could be living in a time of purification. Right now it is socially acceptable to be a Catholic, since most Catholics conform more to the World than to Christ. What happens if the hierarchy fully returns to tradition in the next decades? I suspect it would then become very difficult to be a lukewarm Catholic in western societies. People might very well abandon the Church in droves – leaving behind a true remnant, reviled as fundamentalist, selfish, bigoted, homophobic and facist by wider western society.

  4. Angelo says:

    should read: “to cast a dark shadow over it.”

    These above posted facts above posted should be
    relentlessly hammered into the consciousness
    of the faithful.

  5. danphunter1 says:

    Angelo,
    Everything you say is true except in my experience I have seen that protestants, because they are completely deficient in the stunning sacrifice and liturgical awe department, find themselves drawn to the Classical Rite Mass.
    Once they are exposed to the True Catholic Mass they are drawn into its magnificence, by the Power of the Holy Ghost, in a manner they have never experienced before.
    Just look at conversion statistics from the United States in 1965 as opposed to 2000.
    In 1965 about 200,000 protestants converted to the Church.
    In 2000 aproximately 45,000 converted to the Church, in America alone.
    God bless you.

  6. Henricus says:

    Father Echert states what I have always believed will happen to the Ordinary Rite. “…or a complete return to the traditional form”.

    You can usually come up with almost anything you want in the form of an anonymous quote. So I reflected the other day when I saw Bishop Fellay quoted as saying “Vatican officials” admit privately that the ordinary form will be gone in a generation. He said he himself thought they were too pessimistic (or optimistic, whichever), that it would probably take a couple of generations.

    I myself think it more likely that, instead, due to Father Z’s “gravitational pull”, in due course the ordinary form will have evolved to a point closer in both text and ceremony to the extraordinary form than to where it is now, but still still celebrated commonly or largely in the vernacular (though with the Gloria, Credo, etc. frequently in Latin). While the extraordinary form will remain about where it is now, especially in those glorious celebrations of sung Masses that are probably more the norm now in TLM communities than they were in pre-Vatican II parish days.

  7. Martha says:

    ” ‘Over the last couple weeks in my travels, more than one person with whom I have spoken has made a comment about the end times in relation to the older form of Mass.'”

    “This might be an interesting, if highly speculative, topic of discussion. I don’t know about end-times, but I do think that we could be living in a time of purification…”

    I have some strong intuitions about this. Here are my thoughts: If I were to say that in my back yard, there was an apple tree, with APPLES on it, this mention of the apples, would be an indicator of season, or time. Remember when Sr. Lucia described the scene of the third secret, with the bishop in white ascending towards a cross of the wood of a cork-oak WITH ITS BARK ON..? and he was killed? Isn’t it interesting that she mentioned “with its bark on’? I maintain that a stripped tree is an allusion to the stripped Mass–the N.O.; the Tridentine Mass being the “cross with it’s bark on”. Do you follow me? I do believe God is preparing us for chastisement. And well-deserved, I would add.

    I would also add, that we must evangelize with an urgency for the salvation of souls, so that many will be saved in the upcoming purification.

  8. David Kubiak says:

    Since the question often comes up, I might say that the red Gothic chasuble the priest is wearing in this picture is exactly — and only — type I remember ever seeing from the time I began serving Mass in 1956.

  9. EDG says:

    The point about priests is enormously important. I think they are really the ones the Pope has “commissioned” to go out and do this, and it will be through their steady, bit-by-bit incremental increase in the use of the traditional rite that more laypeople are exposed to it, begin to like it, and begin to ask for it. Or simply start going to Fr. Traditional’s mass while Fr. Modernist’s mass is nothing but empty pews.

    The priests have to be brave enough to do what the Pope has asked, though. He has said in the MP that he will support them and I think the laypeople who are working hard to get these masses have shown that we are willing to support them. They may suffer some ill treatment at the hands of the bishops, but then, isn’t that to be expected for one following in his Master’s footsteps?

  10. danphunter1 says:

    Father,
    Good priests will use their common sense and understand that the Classical Rite Mass can be likened to the finest of offerings, Abels offering was a type of the Classical Mass.
    And the Novus Ordo,common sensically is a less than grand offering, albeit an worthy one.
    It does come down to common sense:The Tridentine Mass is the stronger athlete, so to speak, and the stronger, and swifter athlete garners the laurels.
    God bless the Church.

  11. Angelo says:

    Danphunter1,

    You make an extremely important point
    which I failed to take into account.

    Thank you,
    Angelo

  12. John Hudson says:

    You know not the hour or the day…

    Anyone thinking about the end days would do well to read up on the history of millennarianism in Christianity, because throughout our history there have been people convinced that they saw signs that the apocalypse was coming soon, real soon. It is an often tragic, almost always sad history, frequently characterised by a descent into occultism as feverish minds try to interpret the portents they imagine all around them, to uncover through human means what only God knows. Millennarianism formed part of my studies in mediaeval heretical movements at university, and left me very wary of individuals, groups or publications that dwell on the end times and on notions like a ‘purification’. For every one of us, as for all those dead Christians who, in their own times, thought that the end was nigh, our concern should be our own end, not this world’s, of which God alone knows the time. Our Lord told his disciples that not even He knew, but only the Father. So have faith, trust in His mercy, and strive to live holy lives and die holy deaths. God has put those things in your hands, and given you the grace to accomplish them. Everything else is in His hands.

  13. Jim McM says:

    Everything you say is true except in my experience I have seen that protestants, because they are completely deficient in the stunning sacrifice and liturgical awe department, find themselves drawn to the Classical Rite Mass.
    Once they are exposed to the True Catholic Mass they are drawn into its magnificence, by the Power of the Holy Ghost, in a manner they have never experienced before.

    Indeed, I am one of them and I have been lurking her almost daily since then. (It overwhelmed me at the Christmas Midnight Mass and I wanted to return the following Sunday. The differences between “tradition” and modern Roman rites and many other matters became part of my conversion education, overseen initially by my cradle Catholic wife.)
    This web site has been the calmest voice in the traditionalist chorus. That is why it tops my favorites list under the listing of “Christian” web sites.

  14. techno_aesthete says:

    “…traditional Masses will soon be found scattered everywhere.”

    Amen.

  15. Cacciaguida says:

    Didn’t Pope John Paul say, as clear as a bell, that Archbishop Lefebvre, the bishops he ordained w/o permission, and (more to the point here) all who adhere to this schism are excommunicated?

    I suppose there’s room to lawyerize about what “adhering” means, but look, the readership of this blog is a theologically sophisticated bunch, as non-professionals go: pleas of ignorance or confusion sound unconvincing coming from us. If we know a particular chapel is SSPX, and we go anyway, I can’t see how we’re not “adherering.”

    What am I missing, Fr. Z? (For the rest: please feel free not to tell me that Count Neri Capponi says Lefebvre et al. aren’t excommunicated. I really don’t care what Count Neri Capponi says when the Pope says the exact opposite.)

  16. Cacciaguida: I am not a canonist. His dictis

    When the late Archbp. consecrated bishops without the Pope’s permission, they incurred, latae sententiae the excommunication foreseen in the 1983 Code. This was confirmed by the Congregation for Bishops.

    However, there are a couple problems. First, I don’t believe that that confirmation of the excommunication was ever officially published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. I am unclear about that. And if it wasn’t, I am unclear about what difference that would make. I suspect no difference at all: it was latae sententiae and very public. There isn’t any question that they did what they did and had been told, by the Supreme Pontiff not to do it!

    A second point is that I understand that the parties who incurred the excommunication appealed to Rome for a hearing. They wanted a process to review the excommunication. I am unclear about this level of canonical procedure. However, something in the back of my head suggests that if there is an appeal, there is some change in the terms of the censure until the thing is resolved. I don’t know this for sure. I am a just a theologian and a patristicist at that. However, I don’t believe they were ever given their day in the tribunal. If that is so, that is an injustice, either wat.

    Still… they committed the violation, they new what they were doing, they knew the Pope’s mind, they knew the law, and they did it anyway.

    That sounds fairly clear as it stands. Until the Holy See says they are not excommunicated, in my mind they are excommunicated ever bit as much as a duck is really a duck.

    We really have no idea what the status of lay people who hang around their chapels might be. They get every benefit of doubt.

    However, it is tougher with clergy. They accept ordination. They accept checks. They take orders. All from men who seem surely to be excommunicated. They are surely suspended. Are they too excommunicated for adhering to schism? That depends on if the excommunicated bishops are really in schism. Some argue they are not. Some say they are. I think the Holy See wants the question to go away. They want a group photo before working through the real theological issues that keep them away from Rome (things like religious liberty).

    It is a mess. About the schism thing… they need the benefit of the doubt. But some of them really muddy the waters by their attitude and actions.

    PS: In Ecclesia Dei adflicta, Pope John Paul II used the word schism.

    FWIW.

  17. woodyjones says:

    Bearing in mind the need not to anticipate the action of the Good Lord, one can neverthless note certain signs, among which I would list (a) Marian warning apparitions (which if real are certainly to be noted, and if only imagined may be taken as a profound sign of the unease of the faithful), (b) rise of forces inherently hostile to Christianity, (c) revival of traditional modes of worship and faith in many Christian groups, most notably the Orthodox, where a general revival of conservatism is taking place, seen most recently in the reunion of the ROCOR with Moscow, and (d) certain “warning voices” (pace “The Cypresses Believe in God”), including this one, from commencement day, June 1978, at my old school:

    “IF the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge, we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era. This ascension will be similar to climbing onto the next anthropologic stage. No one on earth has any other way left but — upward.” (A. I. Solzhenitsyn, “A World Split Apart”, given at Harvard College, June 8, 1978, emphasis added)

    And of course (e) Der Wanderer reading Der Remnant sympathetically.

  18. Jacob says:

    Re: The End Times and Catholic persecution

    Certainly when you reach out, you’ll find those of the O’Brien frame of mind, to reference to Michael O’Brien and his book ‘Father Elijah’. Personally, I tend to be more of the ‘The Name of the Rose’ sort who views predictions and feelings of the impending arrival of the End Times with a grain of salt as so many past predictions have come to naught.

    I’m of the opinion that the MP and the renewal of the 1962 Missal are too easy a temporal landmark to base ideas of an impending crisis. The End Times will come in God’s good time and not with any kind of prelude like the MP: it’s just way too obvious.

  19. Serapion says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf:

    To the best of my understanding, which is not great, it is not exactly correct to say that the clergy of the SSPX “take orders,” etc, from the four bishops. If this were so, then the question of schism would be easily answered, since the Society would then be setting up an ecclesiastical hierarchy outside the Church.

    As with any priestly society, they are led by a Superior General. Consider the Society of Jesus, whose Superior General is Fr Kolvenbach: he is the one that “gives orders” to his brethren, even though there are (I would estimate) dozens of Jesuits raised to the episcopal state. It is true that the current Superior General of the SSPX, Msgr Fellay, is a bishop, but this is only accidental. His predecessor, Fr Schmidberger, was a simple priest.

  20. FranzJosf says:

    My grandmother, who was Lutheran, told me in later life that she almost converted because of her sister, who was Catholic. Then they started having the Mass in English. (At that time the Lutherans still used hieratic English.) So she decided not to convert. “Our English Mass is more beautiful than their English Mass.”

  21. Chironomo says:

    All the talk of millenialism aside, I am in agreement that the Usus Antiquitor will eventually either replace or so influence the Novus Ordo that it will become a new form of the Usus Antiquitor, whatever that might be. How long… who knows? It might take a generation, maybe two. What is certain is that we are in a time of REAL change in our Church’s liturgy and in the nature of our faith. I have heard it said so many times on various blogs, articles, etc.. that this is just the beginning of a long process with many steps, and this view is borne out by the evidence. Our Holy Church has, throughout history, had periods of crisis followed by reform, and the eventual move back towards Orthodoxy and “purification” if you will. That is where we seem to be right now. There will be some strife (actually, there already is strife!) but the eventual outcome, if we turn to God for guidance rather than our own desires, will be a triumphant Church. Pray always.

  22. Cacciaguida says:

    Back to the SSPX schism issue (which implicates THE REMNANT as well, since it sympathizes with the SSPX, and that comes within the outer perimeter of “adhering,” imho):

    I’m not a canonist either, but I teach American constitutional and criminal law. Here are two nuggets from my fields that may (or may not) be applicable.

    A defendant who has been convicted of a criminal charge has a constitutional right to an appeal — but he does not become “un-convicted” during the pendency of the appeal. Even the presumption of innocence ends with the guilty verdict.

    Outside of criminal cases, the right to an appeal depends on whether there is anything to have an appeal about. Applying this to the Lefebvre case: the Pope said, you and your buds are excommunicated if you do x — and then they went and did x. So there’s nothing to appeal about the facts. About the law, then? But the Pope is the supreme legislator of the Church. He announced the “law of the case” before the facts took shape. So again, what’s to appeal? (I ask this of any canonists who may be reading, not of Fr. Z.)

    For an entertaining, Scalia-written constitutional opinion on an asserted “right to a hearing” when, under applicable law, there is nothing to have a hearing about, see Michael H. v. Gerald D., 491 U.S. 110 (1989). For present purposes, see esp. footnote 5.

    The only reason I’m kvetching about this, Fr. Z, is that you showed us an admirable, wonderful priest who seems to have only two questionable tics: he chills with SSPXers, and he reads THE REMNANT.

  23. Maureen says:

    The magic words here are “for pastoral reasons”. Anybody who’s SSPX, Protestant, Wiccan, atheist or whatever — if they’re human and they live within the bounds of the man’s parish, he’s obliged to be responsible for their souls. The other magic words are “you catch more flies with honey”. A pastor has a good amount of leeway to find creative ways of herding his sheep. If he can keep one person from sinning or help one person get the Sacraments, he has a right to make that happen.

    The rest is for the bishop and the Lord to judge.

  24. dcs says:

    Cacciaguida writes:
    If we know a particular chapel is SSPX, and we go anyway, I can’t see how we’re not “adherering.”

    There is at least one case of a diocesan bishop attempting to excommunicate certain people for their “adherence.” These people weren’t merely attending their chapel but were giving them financial support, arranging for one of the SSPX bishops to come to the chapel for confirmation, etc.

    The excommunications were declared null by then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

    (Google “Hawaii Six” and see for yourself.)

    So clearly assisting at an SSPX chapel is not “adhering to the schism.”

  25. Martha says:

    “The only reason I’m kvetching about this, Fr. Z, is that you showed us an admirable, wonderful priest who seems to have only two questionable tics: he chills with SSPXers, and he reads THE REMNANT.”

    Goodness! I read the Remnant; I have friends to whom I am very nice, and who attend an SSPX chapel. Am I contagious?

  26. Cacciaguida: The only reason I’m kvetching about this, Fr. Z, is that you showed us an admirable, wonderful priest who seems to have only two questionable tics: he chills with SSPXers, and he reads THE REMNANT.

    This sort of reminds me of the complaint leveled against the Lord that he ate with sinners.

    I don’t subscribe to The Remnant but some of my friends do. I read it once in a while and look at their site occasionally. I don’t belong to the SSPX or actively seek their members, but I have occasionally met priests of that Society and have found them to be, at least those whom I met, good and diligent men trying to do what in their eyes is right.

    I think there are times when articles in The Remnant step over the line of what ought t to be written by people claiming to be Catholic. I won’t recommend to people that they frequent chapels of the SSPX.

    However, if ever there were groups of people to whom by the Motu Proprio the Holy Father sought to extend healing and an open hand, they would be readers of The Remnant and the SSPX. Both of these groups of people have members who have truly suffered for decades. At the same time, in their own ways, they helped to keep the older form of Mass in the spotlight.

    At this point, I think we can cut them a little slack and, in the spirit of Pope Benedict’s provisions, hope for better days.

  27. EVERYONE WHO READS THE REMANANT, etc.: Relax. Let’s keep the visceral reactions (e.g., “Am I contagious?”) to a minimum. These will just sharpen the tone in these comments, and not really sharpen the thought.

  28. William says:

    I don’t think there is any problem going to an SSPX chapel occasionally for non-schismatic reasons. For example, my FSSP pastor recommended attending an SSPX chapel in the case that one is traveling and there is no other traditional latin mass available.

    Here at home I know which “Ordinary Form” masses I am willing to attend and which I am not. On the road, who knows what you will find? At least with the SSPX, you know what you will be getting.

    On the other hand, if the SSPX chapel is your regular “parish” and you are wary of any and all non-SSPX masses, then there might be a problem.

  29. James says:

    Re: a time of purification…?

    Imagine the joy in England when Queen Mary and Cardinal Pole in 1553 rescued the Church from the savage upheavals brought in under Henry VIII and Edward VI.

    Here in 2007, with Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum, we can taste that joy of 1553.

    But then in 1558 Mary and Pole both died, and Elizabeth I was crowned, and Archbishop Cranmer renewed the protestant destruction, far worse than before. How much misery England has suffered since! Restoration cannot be taken for granted.

    But no need for history to repeat itself. Perhaps we should ‘watch’ so that the current return to loving tradition that we are now anticipating is not washed away by a deluge far worse than that wreaked by the liturgical vandals let loose after Vatican II.

    There is so much good news on your site, Fr Z! It must be causing many hearts to rejoice in the Lord.

  30. Athelstane says:

    Hello Fr Z,

    Fr. Echert: In my own parishes, this is being accomplished even now. In the former Indult parish we have eliminated the free-standing altar completely, even for the Novus Ordo Masses.

    I (naturally) applaud this idea whole-heartedly. But is this permitted under the GIRM under these circumstances?

    More specifically:

    299. The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. The altar should, moreover, be so placed as to be truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns.116 The altar is usually fixed and is dedicated.

    Obviously this would not obtain in non-ciocesan settings, or in traditional personal parishes. But Fr. Echert’s is a regular diocesan parish.

    Don’t get me wrong – I hope he’s able to do this without any difficulty. I’m just curious, that’s all.

  31. BWest says:

    Father Z,

    Thank you for your commentary and your work! I can always get a good laugh from you too.

  32. William says:


    Fr. Echert: In my own parishes, this is being accomplished even now. In the former Indult parish we have eliminated the free-standing altar completely, even for the Novus Ordo Masses.

    I (naturally) applaud this idea whole-heartedly. But is this permitted under the GIRM under these circumstances?

    This is just too much – go to the main WDTPRS page and scroll down a few articles. Your question was answered less than a day before you asked it! And here’s the link Father Z provided in that article to an even earlier article of his.

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2006/04/what-does-girm-299-really-say/

  33. John says:

    I am no canonist either so if someone who is knows the answer to this question please help me out. Violations of canon law, like mortal sins, have certain criteria which can lessen or absolve from guilt. Consecrating a bishop is a schismatic act, masturbation is a mortal sin. However not every time a person commits a mortally sinful act are they guilty of a mortal sin. It might only be a venial sin or no personal sin at all. If a person consecrates a bishop w/o consent of the Pope he has committed a schismatic act. If however that person believes that, due to circumstances, this action is necessary then whether that fear is justified or not means he might not necessarily be in schism but deserving a lesser punishment. If that is true then looking some of the Bishops appointed in the past would confirm this fear. It has been argued that the timing for the document freeing the TLM had to wait until there were more Bishops who would accept it. If that is true than one can imagine what kind of Bishops might have been put in charge of the SSPX especially when looking at how badly Ecclesiae Dei was implemented. Further a latæ sententiæ excommunication can only be lifted by the Pope. I am not aware of any announcement issued by the Vatican, Bishops etc. stating that anyone guilty of attending a SSPX Mass must submit themselves to the Pope before being admitted back into communion with the Church. In fact I have heard of Bishops telling people that they must promise not to attend in the future which is clearly insufficient if the punishment is automatic exomummication of a latae sententiae excommunication.

  34. John says:

    Father you need to space the preview and submit buttons so clods like me don’t post before we are finished. I am not a SSPX attendee and I do share your thoughts on them. I find it sad though that many priests and lay persons would have no problem “concelebrating” or particiipating in an ecumenical service with Protestants but would be horrified at talking with a person who goes to a SSPX Mass. Everyone is saved but members of the SSPX.

  35. RBrown says:

    I am no canonist either so if someone who is knows the answer to this question please help me out. Violations of canon law, like mortal sins, have certain criteria which can lessen or absolve from guilt. Consecrating a bishop is a schismatic act, masturbation is a mortal sin. However not every time a person commits a mortally sinful act are they guilty of a mortal sin. It might only be a venial sin or no personal sin at all. If a person consecrates a bishop w/o consent of the Pope he has committed a schismatic act. If however that person believes that, due to circumstances, this action is necessary then whether that fear is justified or not means he might not necessarily be in schism but deserving a lesser punishment. If that is true then looking some of the Bishops appointed in the past would confirm this fear. It has been argued that the timing for the document freeing the TLM had to wait until there were more Bishops who would accept it. If that is true than one can imagine what kind of Bishops might have been put in charge of the SSPX especially when looking at how badly Ecclesiae Dei was implemented. Further a latæ sententiæ excommunication can only be lifted by the Pope. I am not aware of any announcement issued by the Vatican, Bishops etc. stating that anyone guilty of attending a SSPX Mass must submit themselves to the Pope before being admitted back into communion with the Church. In fact I have heard of Bishops telling people that they must promise not to attend in the future which is clearly insufficient if the punishment is automatic exomummication of a latae sententiae excommunication.
    Comment by John

    So where’s the question?

  36. Martha says:

    Fr. Z,

    Re: your comment,”EVERYONE WHO READS THE REMANANT, etc.: Relax. Let’s keep the visceral reactions (e.g., “Am I contagious?”) to a minimum. These will just sharpen the tone in these comments, and not really sharpen the thought.”

    I am sorry if I offended anyone. Yes, it was a gut reaction. Anyone who has ever been persecuted for being traditionalist can readily understand my natural reaction.

    I have been married for many years to a Baptist, and no fellow-Catholic to whom I have made know the fact, has ever batted an eye. EVER! However, I have seen jaws drop when in our travels, I have asked Catholics the location of the nearest Tridentine Mass. THAT reaction is hard for me understand. It is not natural.

  37. Cacciaguida says:

    Commenter William has a balanced view that sounds right to me.

    Commenter John says some wise and important things. I would only add that, just as the person who commits a materially mortal sin w/o full knowledge (and for whom it may, therefore, not be mortal) should be told the full truth, rather than be allowed to languish in spiritual danger on the theory that ignorance is bliss, so too the schismatic who has a “good excuse” needs to be told just how few good excuses for schism there really are.

    THE REMNANT: I’m a convert from Judaism. Try to imagine converting, with Jewish friends and family warning you you’re joining an anti-Semitic religion, telling them that’s not the case — and then seeing a few issues of THE REMNANT. My faith survived, but in spite of, not because. I thought that was worth bringing up, since we’re talking about “gut reactions,” and about people “who have truly suffered for decades.”

    I think it’s also my Jewish background that gives me an appreciation of the Extraordinary Rite. Protestant worship is a lot like Synagogue worship, which of course was all the Jews had left after (in God’s good time) the Temple was destroyed. The Ordinary Rite was a move much too far in that direction. In the E.R., by contrast, I sense what worship must have been like in the ancient Temple! I could expatiate, but I’m sure most of you know what I mean.

  38. John says:

    R Brown,

    I guess the “question” is not so much a question as a verification that my reading of canon law is correct and that there are possible mitigating circumstances which could reduce the penalty due to Archbishop Lefebvre and the others.

  39. TerryC says:

    I actually find the comment on persecution throughout the world being imminent as quite a reasonable statement. In many countries in Europe secular governments are attempting to muzzle Christians on issues like homosexuality and gay marriage. Statements condemning deviant practices become legal hate crimes which will basically force good Christians to become law breakers to continue to preach the Gospel.
    At least one country is attempting to force religious orders to accept what are really no more than cross-dressers augmented by technology into positions for which they are theologically prohibited. Refusal to play along may make ordinaries chargeable under law.
    In the United States Catholic organizations have already been forced out of the adoption ministry because they will not place children with deviants in long term same sex arrangements.
    Soon we will find a situation where governments will tell us we have religious freedom to worship any way we want, but will have outlawed all of our Christian Churches and taken all of their assets.

  40. Discipulus Romanus says:

    Just because the Pope excommunicates a given person for a given reason, does not make the excommunication valid in the sight of God, because there has to be just and grave cause. And since as the MP says it is a necessity for the Church to adhere to the ancient forms of liturgy, there is undeniably some justic on the Archbishop’s side.

    If we don’t admit that much, we are not being honest.

    Furthermore it is a fact that JPII did not address the substantial evidence that Paul VI denied the SSPX an appeal to their “suppresion” and the shenangegans surrounding the visitation of their seminary by officials from Rome.

    It would not be honest, therefore, that JPII evident refusal to review this matter, was just grounds at least in the internal forum for the SSPX and the Archbishop to refuse his direct command not to ordain bishops, because by omitting this, he showed himself prejudiced to injustice.

    Therefore it is very wrong, I believe for anyone to declare them to be in schism or to refuse an honest and open discussion of the licety before God of their excommunication.

    We need to put politics aside, ands its subsequent pharaseisms, and go back to the basis of our Faith, the teachings of Christ regarding holiness, charity, and justice among the faithful.

  41. Brian says:

    Regarding the issue of how to reconcile John Paul II’s statement in Ecclesia Dei adflicta that the adherents to the SSPX are in schism versus recent statements that they are not, it comes to my non-theologically-trained mind that perhaps the apparent contradiction is resolved by differentiating those who committed the (possibly) formal schismatic acts that initiated the SSPX, and the (possibly) material schismatic acts of those who are secondary “adherents” to the SSPX out of love a deep love for the liturgy. Indeed, in section 5c of Ecclesia Dei adflicta the Holy Father stated that “everyone should be aware that formal (my italics) adherence to the schism is a grave offense against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law.” In fact, such an understanding is also consistent with nullification of the decree of excommunication against the “Hawaii Six” in which Archbishop Cacciavillan declared on the then Cardinal Ratzinger’s behalf that their acts were not “formal schismatic acts in the strict sense” and therefore “do not constitute the offense of schism.”

    The sticky wicket of course arises as to what degree of sinful cooperation/disobedience separates the heroic defender of the authentic liturgy from froward schismatic. For all practical purposes, perhaps it is only the sedevacantists or others such as the Orthodox who can clearly be recognized as having crossed the line, not accepting the existence or the primacy of the Pope, respectively. This would in my understanding prevent the vast majority of adherents to the SSPX from being considered schismatic.

  42. Scott says:

    Someone above mentioned that the SSPX were not given a hearing because there was nothing to be heard…. Well let’s just transport ourselves back to the confusion and anxiety of the 1970’s and then realize what was going through the mind of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    The mass was being abused, doctrine was being perverted into socialism. The faith was being challenged on all levels from the laity to theologians to the clergy.

    And to top it off the Pope was not willing to deal with it and did not give the smallest sign that he was willing to do much about it. In fact he was the cause of some of
    the confusion himself, remember Assisi? and Assisi2? Scandal if there ever was any…

    These were the conditions that influenced his decision and which form the basis of his excuse of necessity…
    This is surely enough reason to give a hearing…. and a problem that the Vatican still doesn’t really want to acknowlege and deal with.

  43. Chris says:

    Scott,

    Excellent point! Things have perhaps gotten better, but we need to look through the lens of time and discern what subjective reasons Lefebvre had for his actions. Remember, St. Athanasius was “excommunicated” by Pope Liberius in the fourth century (even if it was under durees). Athanasius was one of the only orthodox bishops left during the Arian crisis; was exiled, and is now a saint. It is conceivable that the excommunication against Lefebvre could someday be lifted, and he could be declared a saint. Stranger things have happened in the Church. Was Lefebvre heroically defending the faith during the heresy of modernism, much as Athanasius was heroically defending the faith during the heresy of arianism?

  44. danphunter1 says:

    Archbishop Lefebvre will be exonerated soon.
    In ordaining the four bishops he thought he was doing the best thing he could for the Church.
    He really should have put his complete trust in God, but just as Lot was lacking in the complete trust department but was still a righteous man, so the Archbishop is was a righteousman.
    What Archbishop Lefebvre did, in ordaining the four bishops,carries under Canon 1382, the penalty of excommunication,subject to various excuses from culpability under Canons 1321-23.
    One of these excuses is that the offender acted out of necessity or to avoid grave inconvienence.
    Another is that the offender sincerely believed,however mistakenly,that his action was justified and he was thus not subjectively culpable for the offense.
    Given the current chaotic state of the Church, Lefebvre argued that his action was necessary to preserve some semblance of Catholic tradition.
    Also, in 2000 when the Catholic Patriotic Association illicitly consecrated five bishops-one more than Lefebvre-without a papal mandate, you did not get the same immediate condemnation from the Vatican that was issued after the Lefebvre-Castro Meyer ordinations.
    The CPA ordinations did not receive the same blasting as the SSPX ones, and the CPA IS INDEED IN SCHISM since they preach direct disobedience to the authority of the Pope. They deny his authority in those words.
    I wonder why this is?