PODCAzT 49: Leo the Great on Epiphany; Lefebvre compared to Athanasius; feedback

Epiphany is our focus today, on this great feast.  We hear from St. Pope Leo the Great (+461) and explore the origins of Epiphany and some of the beautiful customs associated with it. 

Then I address some of your feedback.  First, I examine the claim made by some that the late Archbishop Marcel Lefevbre is like a modern day St. Athanasius (+373) about whom I spoke in the last PODCAzT

[HINT: I don't think so.]

Also, we hear voicemail from a famous blogger in England.

Throughout we hear some Gregorian chant for Epiphany, a slice of Respighi’s Feste Romane inspired by La Befana, an Italian children’s ditty about the same La Befana, and at the end, something a bit less serious. 

Well…. a lot less serious.


http://www.wdtprs.com/podcazt/08_01_06.mp3

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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114 Responses to PODCAzT 49: Leo the Great on Epiphany; Lefebvre compared to Athanasius; feedback

  1. Geoffrey says:

    Excellent PODCAzt, Father! I enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you for clarrifying the often-heared comparison between Saint Athanasius and Archbishop Lefevbre. It is long over-due. I often hear him being compared to Saint “Padre” Pio due to the fact that they were both “persecuted” by the Holy See. Of course, there is one major difference so often overlooked: Saint Pio OBEYED, and is therefore a model for us all. Again, excellent PODCAzT! :-)

  2. FGD says:

    Didn’t Saint Vicent of Lerins say that it’s legitimate to resist a pastor which destroy [or allow to] the Church? Disobedience is always a duty or is there any occasion that there’s an obligation to disobey?

  3. Leonard says:

    Dear Father! I like your PODCAzTs very much!!! It’s a pleasure to listen to them. This PODCAzT was again wonderful, although I disagree on the issue about Lefebvre. I think it is a little bit … say unreliable to striktly refer to canon law to justify the excommunication, but not to mention can. 1323 in that context. Best wishes! — Leonard

  4. Geoffrey says:

    “Do all within the Church, act only within the Church! We must beware of putting ourselves against our Mother… Sweet is the hand of the Church, even when it batters us!”

    —Saint “Padre” Pio of Pietrelcina, Il Calvario, Vol. I, p. 260

  5. Jordan Potter says:

    FDG said: Didn’t Saint Vicent of Lerins say that it’s legitimate to resist a pastor which destroy [or allow to] the Church?

    That’s one of the reasons why I am resistant to followers of Lefebvrism. I find them to be a force for division and de facto if not formal schism, which is destructive of the Church.

  6. Br. Anthony says:

    “Archbishop Marcel Lefevbre is like a modern day St. Athanasius.”

    Hint: I think very much so.

    Father, you will be proven wrong on this one, just like you will be proven wrong on your acceptance of the Novus Ordo Mass as a pleasing form of worship to God.

  7. Br. Anthony says:

    “Formal Schism!”

    Jordan Potter, are you putting yourself above Roman authorities such as Cardinal Hoyos? It sure seems so. For that, you are excommunicated!!!

  8. AJdiocese says:

    Yes a wonderful Podcazt Father, thank you for doing them!

  9. Traditio says:

    Who is Cardinal Hoyos????

    Do you mean Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos ??

    If so, please understand that Hoyos is his MOTHER’s name.

    Out of respect, please at least use his actual name.

  10. Richard says:

    The great French lay theologian and editor Jean Madiran was a long-time supporter of Archb. Lefebvre and agreed with him on most if not all of his criticism of the Council and its subsequent disastrous initiatives but he drew the line — correctly I think — at the consecrations of the bishops, a clear act of disobedience and a grave mistake. And he told the Archbishop publicly that he was wrong. There is no gainsaying Madiran’s argument: you are giving your followers a bad example and no good will come of it. Lefebvre should have followed Padre Pio’s example and let God work things out.

  11. Br. Anthony says:

    No disrespect to Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos was ever intended.

  12. Br. Anthony says:

    Please people! Stop using St. Padre Pio as an example of obedience vs. Archbishop Lefebvre. St. Padre Pio asked permission to not say the Novus Ordo and this permission was granted. Archbishop Lefebvre spent 18 years asking permission for Tradition and this was NEVER granted. If St. Padre Pio was refused, I can bet you dollars to donuts that he would NEVER say the Novus Ordo Mass. He would have DISOBEYED!

  13. FGD says:

    Jordan Potter: nice statement. You just need to give us some arguments…
    What about Saint Vicent of Lerins?

    Cardinal Castrillon says that the FSSPX needs a “full communion, but already there is communion”… and that “it is not the case of heresy or schism” (conf. 30 giorni).

    You, i think so, disagree with that position. I can’t agree with that position which says that Mons. Lefebvre ‘excommunication’ was valid, since there isnt a decree of excomunnication (as fr. Z says), but a recognition of excommunication by the bishops congregation (by the way, one may wonders if that congregation has ability about this topic).

    I ask you: is this declaration of excommunication susceptible of discordance? Have you ever read the book ‘Non lieu sur un schisme’, of abbe Hery, one of the founders of Good Sheperd Institute? (it’s sold in their oficial website: http://www.institutdubonpasteur.org/menu.php?item=publications). Oh yeah… they’re in full communion.

    And abbe Paul Aulagnier have just written two articles. One, after Summorum Pontifical, when he just say to the Holy Father, together with fr. Calmel, OP, that he ‘refuses the novus ordo’ and ask the Holy Father to show him where is the holiness of the new missal (http://la.revue.item.free.fr/regard_monde210707.htm). Oh, and please, don’t forget that Paul Aulagnier is one of the founder of GSI and was the superior of district in France of FSSPX. And one of those defenders of the episcopal consacration.
    The second article asks the Holy Father for the lifting of the excommunications of Mons. Lefebvre and Mons. Antonio de Castro Mayer, not for the SSPX, but for justice. (http://la.revue.item.free.fr/regard_monde281207.htm)

    And that’s full communion! E-mail him and tell he is excommunicated, because JPII says in Ecclesia Dei that nobody can adhere to Lefebvre’s cause…

  14. dcs says:

    St. Padre Pio asked permission to not say the Novus Ordo and this permission was granted.

    St. Pio died in 1968 before the Novus ordo was published. By the way, St. Pio’s devotion to obedience was legendary, I cannot imagine that he would have disobeyed a superior’s command.

  15. David says:

    Reverend Father–a necessary podcast, and well done. My grateful thanks.

    As a (former) fellow student of the Fathers, two minor points:

    First, Arians did in fact believe that Christ was God. The key Arian error was that they considered Christ’s Godhood to be an accidental property of a creature rather than an essential property of a Person of the Trinity. In their view, Christ, though a creature, had Godhood conferred on Him by the Father (if memory serves, as a reward for His perfection). For this reason, Arius would apply to Christ the term “God,” but not “true God.” Hence the Creed’s counter-formulation “Deum verum de Deo vero.”

    Second, Aius specifically refrained from saying “there was a *time* when He was not.” Rather, Arius said “there was when He was not.” Arius held that Christ’s creation was before the creation of the universe, and therefore before time. Thus Arius’ specific exclusion of the word “time” from his formulation.

  16. LCB says:

    St. Padre Pio was legendary for obedience. The man had two surgeries done on him without anesthesia because he was under obedience not to allow anyone to inspect his wounds– one of them was for a very serious hernia.

    If his superiors ordered him to jump higher than he was capable of, I have no doubt he would have promptly started levitating, simply to be obedient.

  17. Jordan Potter says:

    Anthony Bugnolo declared: Jordan Potter, are you putting yourself above Roman authorities such as Cardinal Hoyos? It sure seems so. For that, you are excommunicated!!

    I highly doubt that you have any authority to issue a decree of excommunication. Anyway, even if I disagree with the personal opinion of a Roman Cardinal — and it is by no means apparent that my comment is in conflict with Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos’ opinion — one cannot be excommunicated over matters of opinion.

    If St. Padre Pio was refused, I can bet you dollars to donuts that he would NEVER say the Novus Ordo Mass. He would have DISOBEYED!

    It’s pointless to speculate about what a deceased person might have done, but it remains the case that St. Pio’s example is in sharp contrast to that of Msgr. Lefebvre.

    FGD said You just need to give us some arguments…

    Arguments about what? Whether or not it is a sin to disagree with the followers of Msgr. Lefebvre? I’ve said that I am resistant to them, since I find them to be a force for division and de facto if not formal schism, which is destructive of the Church. Since you say St. Vincent de Lerins taught that in such cases where the Church’s unity and peace is in danger, resistance is appropriate, I would seem to have a saint on my side here.

    Cardinal Castrillon says that the FSSPX needs a “full communion, but already there is communion”… and that “it is not the case of heresy or schism” (conf. 30 giorni).

    Cardinals say many things, and sometimes what they say is good, other times not. Cardinal Castrillon is working hard to reunite the SSPX with the Church, which is materially in a state of separation if not formally so, and what he is doing is a very good thing. He may be right that it is not the case of heresy or schism. I hope so.

    You, i think so, disagree with that position.

    I’m not sure it’s right, but I’m not sure it’s wrong. Certainly the SSPX does many very bad things — illicit Masses, confession without jurisdiction, invalid annulments. But the Vatican does not want to declare a state of schism, and I don’t blame them, as formal schism is extremely difficult to heal.

    I can’t agree with that position which says that Mons. Lefebvre ‘excommunication’ was valid, since there isnt a decree of excomunnication (as fr. Z says), but a recognition of excommunication by the bishops congregation (by the way, one may wonders if that congregation has ability about this topic).

    I doubt the Church agrees with you on that point. Your argument doesn’t hold any water — a mere recognition of an automatic excommunication does not invalidate the automatic excommunication. Otherwise there would be no such thing as automatic excommunication.

    I ask you: is this declaration of excommunication susceptible of discordance?

    Yes, it is possible that discord can arise over the question of whether or not Msgr. Lefebvre’s automatic excommunication was valid. I’m pretty sure that quite a lot of discord has arise over that question.

    And that’s full communion! E-mail him and tell he is excommunicated, because JPII says in Ecclesia Dei that nobody can adhere to Lefebvre’s cause…

    Even Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos would say that adherence to Msgr. Lefebvre’s schismatic act would result in excommunication. And since it is his province to say so, not mine, I will let him or whoever the Pope designates do the emailing, if any emailing is to be done. Thanks anyway.

  18. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Fr Z,

    Great history on the Befana. I really enjoyed that.

    ===========

    The duress Liberius endureed was interpreted well by Athanasius.

    The trouble is that, today, everyone claims the benefits of being under any duress they want to imagine. Where, then, does one draw the line? That question signals the wrong approach. Instead, the question concerns how we can best be obedient even if we are under duress.

    Obedience in all things but sin… It is not a sin not to ordain bishops. But something is wrong if we do not believe the words of our Lord, who said: “God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (Mt 3,9; Lk 3,8). The idea that God cannot prepare anyone to become a faithful bishop and that, therefore, one must do this for God, against His Church, is, well, mistaken.

    Thanks for being a lightning rod on this and so many other topics, Fr Z.

  19. Timothy James says:

    Father Z, Thanks for your discourse on Lefevbre / Athanasius, it was right on, and very informative. You know as well as anyone how controversial it is and the ridiculous comments already on here attest to that. Thanks for your courage in standing for the truth!

  20. Jordan Potter says:

    Oh rats, I did it again! In my brain I keep mashing Brother Anthony together with Brother Alexis Bugnolo. Sorry about that!

  21. Mary says:

    Father, are you familiar with Savonarola? I would be interested in a comparison or contrast between the former and Abp. Lefebvre.

  22. I simply can’t believe no one is interested in hearing CHILDREN singing Gregorian chant.

  23. Mary: I know all about Savanarola.

  24. Malta says:

    “St. Pio died in 1968 before the Novus ordo was published.”

    This is true but the mass was vernacularized and changed in other ways before this time, but St. Pio still said the traditional latin mass exclusively.

    I think the comparison between Athanasius and Lefebvre is apt in the sense that each man was persecuted and excommunicated by the Church each loved, and for the sole reason that each man was trying to uphold tradition and truth. I think it is possible that Lefebvre might be a Saint within many of our lifetimes. If you look at the state of the Church, we are in unprecedented, dire straits. Lefebvre acted in the only way he knew how to preserve a semblance of the traditional Faith. Rorate Caeli is reporting that Benedict XVI himself may have said that a state of “necessity” exists in some countries:

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/

  25. Geoffrey says:

    Wouldn’t a “state of necessity” mean no sacraments at all, rather than the form? Everyone complains about the “new” Mass and new rites for the sacraments, but they are all perfectly valid and have the potential to be beautiful, they have just been abused. It’s not like people went without the sacraments at all. God would never allow such a thing; Holy Mother Church gave them her “stamp of approval.” Having the sacraments available in any form should be the most important thing.

  26. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Fr Z said: “I simply can’t believe no one is interested in hearing CHILDREN singing Gregorian chant.”

    Sorry, Fr Z, I guess I know so many gargantuan families whose children chant exquisitely that, well, I guess I’ve come to expect it! Of course, it’s always wonderful to hear.

    The chant and music you edit together — not easy, I’m sure — is always well apprecitated.

    Thanks, Fr Z.

  27. giovanni says:

    OK downloading my first podcast…I’m becoming a crazy trad, lok what you people have done to me! :)

    BTW, when I was down in Southern Italy, whenever I said “Padre Pio” (in my broken Italian) all the locals would correct me and say “SAN PIO”. Cheers!

  28. Sussex Catholic says:

    I do not personally think that two situations such as St.Athanasius and Abp Lefebvre have to be identical in order for commentators to legitimately draw parallels. The issue of duress is of course a relevant one although no doubt supporters of Lefebvre (of whom I am not one) would say that the postconciliar papacy is somehow constrained by the duress of the so-called “neo-modernism” which they claim has Rome in a stranglehold. In other words the duress from the civil society comes in a more subtle form but is present nonetheless and inhibits the freedom of the Church.

    Personally I think one cannot underestimate what Abp Lefebvre himself thought at the time about his own failing health and what would happen to safeguard his stand and his movement after his death. This is directly relevant to the issue of the defence of necessity which the present Pope has alluded to. In my opinion it is this which will give the Church the necessary room for manoeuvre to rehabilitate the Archbishop at some point in the future. How this is done will take some serious and inspired legal somersaults but if there is to continue to be an Ecumenical movement then it is an issue which surely cannot be ignored.

  29. Dob says:

    Fr Z.

    Automatic excommunication can be incurred as a result of Lefebvres actions, however as you pointed out there are other canonical rules that come into play which may render this excommunication defunct. In particular, the fact that “grave necessity was declared, no parallel church was established, recognition of Papal authority and adherance to the dogmatic teachings of the Church was maintained. The ordinary power to inflict penal sanctions on bishops has traditionally resided with the CDF, not the congregation for Bishops. Certainly the Congregation of Bishops declared that the excommunication was incurred. However, does this congregation have responsibility to declare it so? If not, can the statement of this Congregation be ignored on the basis that it is not the competent dicastery in these matters? Was a full investigation carried out by the competent authority responsible for disciplinary matters (CDF)?

  30. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Not to ignore, of course, that while a mistaken perspective and duress can be mitigating, neither justifies. There are saints in Rome, just as there are sinners, as everywhere.

    NO ONE, on whatever “side”, is constrained to do what is wrong. The Church and her members are always free. Individuals must use this freedom with true faith, whcih does not merely react to societal influence, but acts, in obedience, with truth and charity.

  31. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    There is no grave necessity to ignore papal authority so as claim adherence to papal authority.

  32. FGD says:

    Episcopal consecration isnt ‘per si’ a harmful act. Athanasius ordained bishops without papal aproval.

    What about secret ordenations by catholic bishops under the communist regimes? Automatic excommunication or state of necessity?

    What i’m trying to say is that these assertions that Mons. Lefebvre was excommunicated just because he ordained bishops withou papal aproval are ridiculous.

    And, please, Jordan Potter, if you can imagine that an institute created just ONE year ago, that sells books defending schismatic ideas, defending an excommunicated bishop, was aproved by the Pope himself (who says it is Fr. Laguerie) and by Cardinal Castrillon in record time (the GSI was founded in only 3 interviews) without their knowledge.. you’re simply saying that both the Pope and Cardinal Castrillon are incompetents that are putting the Church in risk just for… ecumenism with the followers of Mons. Lefebvre!

  33. FGD says:

    What a shame! As Michael Davies said, conservatives can jugde situations concerning Popes from the IV or V centuries, but when they’re talking about present…

    So, Liberius excommunication is diminished because he was constrained. But “NO ONE, on whatever “side”, is constrained to do what is wrong. The Church and her members are always free.”
    If this is true, then Liberius excommunication was perfectly valid. And Archbishop Lefebvre, that also didn’t recognized the excommunication, has a great company…

  34. Br. Anthony says:

    St. Padre Pio was told by a cardinal that a new order of Mass was going to be experimented with. This was around 1967. This experimental Mass was not much different from the Novus Ordo. St. Padre Pio went first through the normal channel, as any right thinking person would. He just so happened to be permitted to continue saying the Traditional Mass. To say that he would have obeyed in offering up God a bastard rite, which the Novus Ordo is, is preposterous!

    It seems that many people on this blog believe that we have to abandon reason in the name of obedience. This is completely false. If the pope began to teach that Christ never resurrected from the dead, it seems that many here would believe it in the name of obedience.

  35. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Torture can entirely eliminate freedom. I think that should be clear. No comparison. And, not conservative, which is rubbish: traditional Catholicism is the only Catholicism, with traditional meaning THE Tradition provided by the work of the Holy Spirit.

  36. Somerset '76 says:

    I’ll say it once again: the issue of Archbishop Lefebvre’s legacy and the SSPX is not going to go away unless and until those in authority address, in a dedicated and particular way, the key objections that the Society’s partisans raise: either to affirm that they really do have a point, or else show everyone beyond reasonable doubt, by theological argument, that they’re wrong. Thumping Canon Law isn’t going to do the job, and neither will declarative statements bereft of substantiative explanations.

    The Holy See need not enter “negotiations” with the Society to do this. The latter has certainly placed its positions on the public record for all to see.

  37. Habemus Papam says:

    Br. Anthony, is it true that under obedience Padre Pio attempted to say the 1967 version of the Mass but found it impossible to do so?

    Jordan Potter, I think you’re pronouncements on Lefebvre/SSPX are as subjective as everyone else’s (talk about confusion!). Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos (whats so wrong with using one’s mother’s name? You sound like a patriarchal WASP!) has said, has he not, that attendance at an SSPX Mass fulfills the obligation. So how can there Masses be “illicit”? And if Arch.Leferbvre BELIEVED there was a state of emergency necessitating the episcopal consecrations, he was acting within Canon Law. Really this is all so nit-picky, the man was trying to save the Church for God’s Sake.

  38. Paul Haley says:

    As Fr. Z pointed out, the case of Archbishop Lefebvre has not been fully adjudicated in the sense that a canonical trial has not been conducted, nor has a definitive decree been issued by the Supreme Legislator, the Vicar of Christ either Pope John Paul II or His Holiness Benedict XVI. Latae sententiae excommunications are incurred by virtue of the act itself, the illicit consecrations, and that was made clear in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta.

    However, there is in canon law 1323 an argument to be made for the state of mind or duress of the accused, which some call the state of necessity, as well as the supreme law of the church which is the salvation of souls. So, it seems that until a definitive decrees is issued on this matter by the Holy Father it’s unlikely that this debate will ever be put to rest. Suffice it so say that Justice requires that this matter be fully adjudicated and many of us are hoping that will take place very soon.

    One thing I am most convinced of – Archbishop Lefebvre would never intentionally seek to separate himself from the Vicar of Christ nor would he approve of intentionally maintaining division in the church – actions which it seems are prevalent in some quarters even today.

  39. Paul Haley says:

    In my previous post I should have written “decree is issued” instead of “decrees is issued” – my bad!

  40. dcs says:

    Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos (whats so wrong with using one’s mother’s name? You sound like a patriarchal WASP!)

    There’s nothing wrong with it but referring to His Eminence as “Cardinal Hoyos” is wrong since “Hoyos” is not his surname.

  41. Different says:

    To the posters above claiming “necessity” and that consecrating bishop’s without papal mandate isn’t “per se a harmful act”….

    Rather than look at splices of comments made by Card. Castrillon to magazines, or bits of comments made by Msgr. Perl to individuals in private letters, we should look to the authoritative documents from our Church. The first is a motu proprio (which you all know has the force of canon law). The motu proprio Ecclesia Dei declares the excommunication of Archbishop Lefebvre et al. So, you can drop the “congregation of bishops wasn’t the proper organization to declare excommunication” argument. The second document we have on the situation is from the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts which says: “the whole Lefebvrian movement is to be held schismatic, in view of the existence of a formal declaration by the Supreme Authority on this matter.” And also, “doubt cannot reasonably be cast upon the validity of the excommunication of the Bishops declared in the Motu Proprio and the Decree. In particular it does not seem that one may be able to find, as far as the imputability of the penalty is concerned, any exempting or lessening circumstances. (cf CIC, can. 1323) As far as the state of necessity in which Mons. Lefebvre thought to find himself, one must keep before one that such a state must be verified objectively, and there is never a necessity to ordain Bishops contrary to the will of the Roman Pontiff, Head of the College of Bishops.”

    So, we know from Ecclesia Dei and the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, that there are valid excommunications and a state of schism. 2 definitive decrees that clarify the situation yet some still claim that this situation is ambiguous or difficult to navigate?

    As far as consecration without papal mandate, Pope Pius XII hit that one head on in Ad Apostolorum Principis : “[T]hat no person or group, whether of priests or of laymen, can claim the right of nominating bishops; that no one can lawfully confer episcopal consecration unless he has received the mandate of the Apostolic See. Consequently, if consecration of this kind is being done contrary to all right and law, and by this crime the unity of the Church is being seriously attacked, an excommunication reserved specialissimo modo to the Apostolic See has been established which is automatically incurred by the consecrator and by anyone who has received consecration irresponsibly conferred.”

  42. Henry Edwards says:

    I simply can’t believe no one is interested in hearing CHILDREN singing Gregorian chant.

    http://www.knoxlatinmass.net/music/children/choir.jpg

    This is a picture of our TLM community children’s choir, taken after their debut on Gaudete Sunday, when they sang the Ordinary of the Mass, plus the Asperges me before Mass, plus Conditor alma siderum for the offertory, Adoro te devote and Ave verum corpus for communion, and Alma Redemptoris Mater at then end.

    Someone present might have been surprised, but ought not have been, because these little children sing the Mass with their parents in the pews when not in the choir loft.

    I know of an ordinary form parish where an 8th grade RE class is learning the Ordinary in Latin in preparation for Lent, and seem to love it. If today’s children and youth take to chant like fish to water, what else is new?

  43. Malta says:

    Different: “there is never a necessity to ordain Bishops contrary to the will of the Roman Pontiff, Head of the College of Bishops”

    Is that true in the case of Saint Athanasius, who completed ordinations while in a state of excommunication from Pope Liberius in order to have good pastors to minister to the people during the Arian crisis?

  44. Malta: The two situations cannot be properly compared. There is a huge difference between the state of the Church in the 4th century and the 20th century.

  45. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    “Interior reconciliation” — What does that mean, EXACTLY ?

    SP Letter:

    I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to make it possible for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: “Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return ‘ widen your hearts also!’ (2 Cor 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.

    Any clarification for “interior reconciliation”?

  46. magdalen says:

    To say that SAINT Padre Pio would have disobeyed conveys a great lack
    of knowledge and understanding of this great saint who was not great so
    much as for his stigmata but for his OBEDIENCE, in everything. He
    was obedient when he was told he could not longer write to his spiritual
    children. He was obedient when told not to offer public Masses or hear
    confession. He was nearly run out of the priesthood. In all things he
    was obedient as was St. Francis. No true Franciscan is disobedient to lawful
    Church authority.

    I know many say the excommunicated Archbishop is like St. Athanasius. I guess
    time will tell. But I know for a fact that many of his followers will NOT
    attend a Novus Ordo even if there is no other Mass. They say it is fine to sit
    home rather than attend. And so on. I understand what has driven many to this
    sect. But never do we leave the barque of Peter. That man did.

  47. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Fr Z, the chanting children on the PODCAzT… can you give us the name of the CD?

  48. Different says:

    In regard to St. Athanasius vs Arch. Lefebvre…we should consider the fact that Athanasius may have been canonized in spite of his disobedience and not because of it. Arch. Lefebvre undoubtedly performed admirable acts that helped to preserve tradition, but his schismatic act was not one of those admirable acts. The good that he did was in spite of his disobedience not because of it. We should also not forget that the real heroes in the preservation of tradition are the thousands of priests who worked to preserve tradition while remaining loyal to the Body of Christ.

    Magdalen…great post. St. Pio is a terrific example and it’s a shame that Arch. Lefevbre did not follow his lead.

    Malta…you ask about Athanasius consecrating bishops…I think Pope Pius XII’s words to be authoritative. If he says there is never a necessity, and if the Pontifical Council says that there is never a necessity, I am inclined to believe them.

  49. Fr. Renzo: I believe it was from Kloster Einsiedeln.

  50. Habemus Papam says:

    Different, perhaps you can tell me; has Ecclessia Dei, or Cardinal Castrillon stated that attendance at an SSPX Mass fulfils the obligation?
    Also is it not true that if the SSPX somehow accept Vatican II all talk of excomumications and schism would officially cease. I for one find it hard to believe that Rome’s attitude to SSPX has not changed, softened since the death of John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI. I can’t be the only one who sees Summorum Pontificum as being, in part a vindication of the “hardline” taken by Lefevbre 30 years ago.

  51. Bruce says:

    “For that, you are excommunicated”

    “offering up God a bastard rite, which the Novus Ordo is”

    Br. Anthony seems like such a delightful fellow.
    Extremists on the right sound
    as angry and uncharitable as extremists on the left.

  52. jacobus says:

    re: magdalen

    We should remember that different levels of obedience are required according to a particular person’s state of life. St. Pio was a friar and for friars obedience is much more important than it is for a bishop.

    Just as one cannot except the laity to say the entire Office everyday, one cannot expect the same qualities in a bishop that one does in a friar.

  53. Jordan Potter says:

    Habemus Papam said: Different, perhaps you can tell me; has Ecclesia Dei, or Cardinal Castrillon stated that attendance at an SSPX Mass fulfills the obligation?

    The Catholic Church says attendance at an Eastern Orthdox Divine Liturgy fulfills the Sunday obligation, but that’s not necessarily recommended as one’s first choice.

    Jordan Potter, I think you’re pronouncements on Lefebvre/SSPX are as subjective as everyone else’s (talk about confusion!).

    Thank you. And I think your pronouncement on my pronouncement is subjective too.

    Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos (whats so wrong with using one’s mother’s name? You sound like a patriarchal WASP!)

    Well, I like being patriarchal, but I’m afraid it’s your approach to his name that is WASPish, not mine. His name is Dario Castrillon Hoyos, but Hispanic surnames are different from the typical Anglo-Saxon name. Thus, “Castrillon” is not his middle name and Hoyos is not his surname — rather, his surname is Castrillon Hoyos.

    has said, has he not, that attendance at an SSPX Mass fulfills the obligation. So how can their Masses be “illicit”?

    The Church distinguishes between an individual’s fulfillment of the Sunday obligation and a priest’s faculties to say Mass. The Church says all SSPX priests are suspended, which means they are not authorised by the Church to celebrate Mass, so their Masses are illicit although valid. The Sunday obligation is fulfilled by assisting at a valid Mass or Divine Liturgy — the law does not require that they be licit. Thus, a lay person may assist at an SSPX Mass, but the SSPX priest shouldn’t be celebrating the Mass in the first place. That’s why I would only assist at an SSPX Mass if there were no licit Masses available within a reasonable and unburdensome distance from where I live. But I’ve never been in that situation — the closest SSPX Mass is in fact too burdensome to attend, and my diocese provides licit Johannine Masses much closer to where I live. Anyway, we don’t assist at Mass merely to fulfill an obligation and check off a box on our list of “barest requirements to keep from going to hell.” There are other things we should also keep in mind besides, “Is this Mass valid and am I fulfilling my obligation?”

    And if Arch. Lefebvre BELIEVED there was a state of emergency necessitating the episcopal consecrations, he was acting within Canon Law.

    I don’t know if he believed there was a state of emergency. I’m not privy to what was going through his mind. I do note, however, that Canon 1323 does indicate that it is never necessary to do something that is intrinsically evil, and consecrating bishops illicitly and without authority is intrinsically evil. Perhaps Msgr. Lefebvre didn’t know that what he was doing was forbidden and could never be justified, though I would find that hard to believe.

    Really this is all so nit-picky, the man was trying to save the Church for God’s sake.

    As was John Paul II when he announced his excommunication.

    Paul Haley said: So, it seems that until a definitive decree is issued on this matter by the Holy Father it’s unlikely that this debate will ever be put to rest.

    And until that decree is issued, the default position remains that Msgr. Lefebvre and the SSPX bishops are excommunicated.

    Suffice it so say that Justice requires that this matter be fully adjudicated and many of us are hoping that will take place very soon.

    I agree.

  54. Geoffrey says:

    I agree with you, Bruce. I have a hard time imagining the SSPX’s return to Rome when I hear things like that!

  55. Berolinensis says:

    Many defenders of Msgr. Lefebvre seem prone to fall into the error of consequentialism: “His acts led to the preservation of Tradition, hence they were justified.” Even if such a causality were true, “Such theories however are not faithful to the Church’s teaching, when they believe they can justify, as morally good, deliberate choices of kinds of behaviour contrary to the commandments of the divine and natural law. These theories cannot claim to be grounded in the Catholic moral tradition.” (John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, no. 76).

  56. Different says:

    Habemus Papam said:

    “has Ecclessia Dei, or Cardinal Castrillon stated that attendance at an SSPX Mass fulfils the obligation?
    Also is it not true that if the SSPX somehow accept Vatican II all talk of excomumications and schism would officially cease. I for one find it hard to believe that Rome’s attitude to SSPX has not changed, softened since the death of John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI. I can’t be the only one who sees Summorum Pontificum as being, in part a vindication of the “hardline” taken by Lefevbre 30 years ago.”

    The only source that I know that claims one may fulfill one’s obligations is in the private letter from Msgr. Perl to an individual. I know of no official statements that tell Catholics they are free to assist at the SSPX Masses. Considering that there are other “catholic rite” churches that are not in union with Rome, it would seem to be a slippery slope if Catholics could now fulfill their obligation at any “catholic rite” Mass regardless of the canonical status of the celebrant. This would mean one would be free to assist at a Mass held by suspended priests or bishops (think Arch. Milingo, etc.) – a dangerous precedent indeed. Let’s not forget that suspended or excommunicated priests who celebrate Mass are doing something gravely and intrinsically evil. They might seem like nice good guys, but in reality, nice guys don’t commit mortal sins when they say Mass.

    I agree with you that Rome’s stance toward the SSPX has softened to the degree that they are trying to draw them back in. They don’t tend to use the word “schism” but the official documents indicating such remain unchanged. I think Pope Benedict rightly realizes that if they are going to come back it needs to happen soon. SP was a big gesture and sent a message to the SSPX – “come back home and then let’s talk about the finer Vatican II theological points, interpretations, and difficulties.” The ball is clearly in the SSPX’s court. They need to make the next move. Luckily for the SSPX, Pope Benedict is taking a very ecumenical approach with them.

    I think viewing SP as a vindication of Arch. Lefebvre’s schismatic act is a pretty big distortion. The fact that the traditional Mass was never abrogated does not eliminate the evil of a schismatic act.

  57. Different: It is true that a person fulfills his obligation by attending Mass even at a chapel of the SSPX. The 1983 Code of Canon Law is the basis for this, not merely a letter from Msgr. Perl.

  58. Jordan Potter says:

    FGD said: And, please, Jordan Potter, if you can imagine that an institute created just ONE year ago, that sells books defending schismatic ideas, defending an excommunicated bishop, was aproved by the Pope himself (who says it is Fr. Laguerie) and by Cardinal Castrillon in record time (the GSI was founded in only 3 interviews) without their knowledge.. you’re simply saying that both the Pope and Cardinal Castrillon are incompetents that are putting the Church in risk just for… ecumenism with the followers of Mons. Lefebvre!

    I’m saying nothing of the sort, and I don’t know what the Institute of the Good Shepherd has to do with this. Just because the Church has regularised that Institute, that doesn’t mean the Church endorses eveyrthing that Fr. Laguerie says. You’re saying Msgr. Lefebvre’s excommunication was inbavlid and that he was justified to do what he did, but so far I haven’t found any of your arguments to be particularly convincing.

  59. Different says:

    Fr. Z,

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Does that mean that one can fulfill his obligation by attending any “catholic rite” Mass regardless of the canonical status of the celebrant. For instance, could one fulfill one’s obligation at a Mass by Archbishop Milingo or perhaps one of the “rent-a-priests”? Isn’t it understood that celebrant should be free from any canonical impediments?

  60. Berolinensis says:

    Father, since you have entered this discussion, I have to ask: please correct me if I’m wrong (which is entirely possible), but my understanding would be that while by attending at an SSPX mass I would fulfil the legal requirement to hear Sundy Mass, I would still be committing a sin, because the SSPX celebrant is manifestly suspended a divinis and thus says Mass illicitly. By knowingly attending his Mass without necessity (no licit Mass being available) I would act illicitly and therefore sinful myself. Isn’t that so?

  61. Berolinensis: I don’t think so. I don’t think the priest has to be in good standing for a person to be able to fulfill the obligation.

    You raise another point, however. Aside from the obligation is it good to go to a chapel of the SSPX? I would say, no, it isn’t, unless you are impeded for some good reason from attending a church or chapel in union with the bishop and Holy See. Such an impediment might be, geographical, or other physical, but it could be moral or psychological as well.

  62. Henry Edwards says:

    “Interior reconciliation”—What does that mean, EXACTLY ?

    From Fr. Calvin Goodwin’s extraordinary sermon at the TLM televised by EWTN on Summorum Pontificum day:

    “Today marks a great moment in the history of the Church in modern times. This Mass, offered today for the needs and intentions of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is a concrete and visible token of that ‘interior reconciliation’ within the Church which the Holy Father has both called for and made possible through his recent Motu Proprio which restores the traditional liturgical rites of the Church to a central place at the heart of the Church’s life.”

    “Surely no one now is unaware of the painful confusions and divisions which afflicted the Church’s interior life during recent years. ….. And so the Vicar of Christ, making use of that personal authority binding the universal Church which is his alone, has determined that the healing of those painful wounds must begin, and it must begin at the heart of the Church, in the sanctuary, in the Holy Sacrifice which makes present on the altar that very exaltation of the saving Passion of Christ which is commemorated in the feast which we celebrate here today.”

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/Liturgy/goodwinmass.HTM

  63. Henry: You comment and this issue of “interior reconciliation” calls to mind what I spoke of at the time Summorum Pontificum was released. The Motu Proprio would have an impact ad intra, it would affect Catholic identity, which is the foundation of the Church’s ability to shape the world, have anything to say ad extra.

  64. Berolinensis says:

    So, Fr Z, basically you agree with what I’ve said? You fulfil your Sunday obligation, but unless there is a case of necessity, it is still sinful.

  65. Berolinensis: I don’t know whether it is objectively sinful or not. I just don’t know. I think for the most part it is not prudent to frequent separated chapels. It may be that that act of imprudence is sinful. In any event, God knows the truth of a person’s reasons for going and He cannot be fooled.

  66. Wayne says:

    I heard Michael Davies nearly 20 years ago say that the SSPX was the future of the church, fastest growing congregation in history including the Cistercians and Franciscans…etc…etc… Michael Davies had his differences with Mgr Lefevbre in 1988. Michael Matt at The Remnant, has said that in 2002 Michael Davies told him that Cardinal Ratzinger would be the next Pope and that he was closer to Tradition than most people thought. There will be agreement with the Society and probably sooner than later I would guess. Fr Z got it right Mgr Lefevbre..nearly…nearly…reached agreement back in 1988, but was persuaded by “Young bloods” to hold out. This has had two beneficial consequences, the SSPX has proved that “it is from God” by not only surviving, but flourishing. Second we see clearly how deep the malaise in the church realy is when we see “Bishops” openly opposing common sence and The Pope in there silly childish rejection of the Traditional Mass.

  67. Wayne: This has had two beneficial consequences, the SSPX has proved that “it is from God” by not only surviving, but flourishing. Second we see clearly how deep the malaise in the church realy is when we see “Bishops” openly opposing common sence and The Pope in there silly childish rejection of the Traditional Mass.

    I think this could be disputed. Given the horror all Catholics must have of schism, or anything like schism, I wonderful how beneficial the division of the SSPX has really been for the Church. To my mind, something about it smacks of an officer abandoning his post. I have had conversations with progressivists who have quipped that they are true Catholics because they have not split de iure with the Church.

    I know this sort of discussion could drag on forever to no use, but we should hesitate before praising such an act.

  68. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z, might we perhaps separate the act from its consequences, agreeing that any act of schism is objectively bad, but that the consequences of this particular one seem to have been good. (I.e., setting aside motivation, means vs. ends, and all that.)

    On the other hand, we can never know whether, if Ab. Lefebvre had stuck to his initial 1988 agreement with Card. Ratzinger, the consequences of rapprochement at that time might have been even better. Might it be that Ab. Lefebvre’s intransigence, whatever it’s motivation, delayed the “interior reconciliation” that has finally begun?

    Or did the intransigence of the SSPX create the conditions necessary of the motu proprio? Who knows. (I don’t pretend to.)

  69. Henry: You raised good questions. Perhaps one day people will be able to sort them through to an answer.

    In the meantime, we have every reason to be grateful to the late Archbishop for the good he accomplished as a missionary. We are also grateful for the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Holy Father who gave it to us.

  70. Tim Ferguson says:

    Canonically, one fulfills one’s Mass obligation by attending any celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy “in a catholic rite” (c. 1248). That includes valid celebrations in Orthodox Churches, Old Catholic or Polish National Churches, and celebrations by the SSPX. As Fr. John points out, that which is per se permitted, is not necessarily virtuous, and with nearly any situation, the intention of the individual can render even an objectively virtuous action sinful, or insalubrious.

    To say that the actions of Archbishop Lefebvre have been beneficial to the Church because they brought about, eventually, the motu proprio does smack of consequentialism. One could similarly make the charge that Martin Luther’s actions brought about the Council of Trent, which was certainly beneficial to the Church. The excommunication of Archbishop Lefebvre is not something that was declared lightly, and one might possibly be able to argue that the conditions did not warrant the penalty that was declared, but there is real no way around the fact that it was declared, and declared by the authority able to do so.

  71. Somerset '76 says:

    Father – In the absence of a Magisterial “On the Errors of the Lefebvrists” -kind of document, can you recommend books or position papers that critically examine the Society’s doctrinal stances where these differ with postconciliar teaching?

    All of their actions, from resisting the decree of suppression of 1975 onward, they have taken on the basis of what they cite as a conscientious obligation to remain faithful to preconciliar (i.e. “traditional”) teachings on the disputed points (the Missal, religious liberty, ecumenism, etc.). That is why I insist to those who regard the Society as irregular or schismatic that arguments against it solely based on Canon Law or the theology of obedience do not adequately settle the issue.

    If their positions are to whatever degree wrong, this needs to be laid out, for the benefit of those who (like me) are inclined to see considerable merit in them, even if perchance we don’t avail ourselves of the Sacraments at their hands. Thank you.

  72. Tim Ferguson: Your’s is a good reminder. After incurring the excommunication latae sententiae (that is, the law itself says the censure is incurred by the very fact of committing the act of consecrating bishops without the Holy See’s mandate), to remove all doubt, the excommunication was then also declared by the Congregation for Bishops.
  73. Tim Ferguson says:

    Exactly – it is (in this canonist’s mind at least) unfortunate that the Latin Code retained the concept of latae sententiae, or automatic penalties. The Eastern Code has no such concept – all penalties are applied only after a process. Automatic penalties, in my opinion, leave too much room for confusion. In the Lefebvre situation, though, the question of whether an automatic excommunication was incurred by the ordaining and ordained bishops, was declared to have been incurred by the Congregation for Bishops on July 1, 1988. That excommunication was furthermore cited by the Supreme Legislator, the Holy Father, on July 2, 1988, in his motu proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta.

  74. Jordan Potter says:

    Wayne said: the SSPX has proved that “it is from God” by not only surviving, but flourishing.

    On that score, Mormonism has a stronger case than the SSPX.

  75. Tim Ferguson says:

    My comment should say: “the question of whether an automatic excommunication was incurred by the ordaining and ordained bishops was answered by the competent authority when it was declared to have been incurred by the Congregation for Bishops on July 1, 1988…

  76. malta says:

    Fr. Z, I know that the situations in the Church of the fifth century and the Church of today are completely different. In the former, there was on onslaught of the heresy of Arianism. Today, there is the onslaught of the heresies of modernism, indifferentism and syncretism. Thus, though different in kind and substance, the two situations parallel in this fact: In both epochs there has been a general falling away of the Church towards a heretical mindset, with just a handful of individuals holding the true faith. In both epochs, the vast majority of the Church: Bishops, Priests, even the Pope, in some way held or succored a non-Catholic mindset. Maybe some of the readers of this blog hold such a mindset, how would you know if you have it? Certainly your priest or even your Bishop isn’t necessarily going to be a help, because he too might have it. In the diocese where I live, our Monsignor had Imams giving chants in the Cathedral. Does he think he is holding to a heretical mindset? Of course not, he is living the “Spirit of Vatican II.”

  77. Deborah says:

    This is from a response letter sent to Una Voce by Ecclesia Dei, Msgr Perl. The intention of the letter was to give others the full context of a personal letter which had already been published publicly:

    “Can I fulfill my Sunday obligation by attending a Pius X Mass” and our response was:

    Ecclesia Dei: “1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X.

    His second question was “Is it a sin for me to attend a Pius X Mass” and we responded stating:

    Ecclesia Dei: “2. We have already told you that we cannot recommend your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why. If your primary reason for attending were to manifest your desire to separate yourself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him, it would be a sin. If your intention is simply to participate in a Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin.

    His third question was: “Is it a sin for me to contribute to the Sunday collection a Pius X Mass” to which we responded:

    Ecclesia Dei “3. It would seem that a modest contribution to the collection at Mass could be justified.

  78. magdalen says:

    to Jacobus: “We should remember that different levels of obedience are required according to a particular person’s state of life. St. Pio was a friar and for friars obedience is much more important than it is for a bishop”

    Well, it is true that once upon a time great disobedience would get you
    bounced out of an order, although in many cases that is no longer so. But
    great disobedience on the part of a bishops gets him…just a diocese where the
    faith is mostly lost. He can go on with impunity unless civil authorities can
    find reason to take him down and even then with enough money, it seems they
    can remain in place. Just my not so humble opinion.

    And as to the SSPX flourishing–yes, the remark on the mormons would give
    pause or any of the many evangelical protestant sects or even islam. The SSPX
    certainly has not ‘flourished’ as well as any of them.

    When the ‘olive branch’ is officially held out, some of the SSPXers will come
    home but many will not–they are too far gone and certainly I know of a
    number that are, well consider themselves, more Catholic than the Pope. Their
    priests say the Novus Ordo is a sin to attend and so on. And they are angry
    and bitter and they will not return; they have their own church now.

  79. malta says:

    magdalen,

    I think it is a matter of months, not years, before there is an interim Rapprochement
    There may be (perhaps understandably so) some angry SSPXers, but I would say the
    majority do love and want to serve the Pope. Every chapel has a picture of BXVI, and
    pray for his intentions. This is not a mere gesture. They desperately want regularizattion, at least in the majority. Requiring them to assist at a Novus Ordo mass is, of course,
    an absurd requirement since we have many exclusively eastern rite Catholics which are in communion with Rome.

  80. Jordan Potter says:

    Malta said: Thus, though different in kind and substance, the two situations parallel . . .

    The circumstances are quite different, in that the Church in St. Athanasius’ day was at an earlier stage of development of her understanding of Petrine authority, and in that there is no Christian Emperor today attempting to impose heresy and holding a metaphorical gun to the Pope’s head in order to bring about the excommunication of Msgr. Lefebvre and his bishops. As Fr. Zuhlsdorf said, the situations of St. Athanasius and Msgr. Lefebvre just are not comparable at all, and it’s a false analogy to justify Msgr. Lefebvre’s illicit consecrations by referring to St. Athanasius.

  81. Different says:

    Malta,

    But the SSPX are not of a different rite, they are latin rite priests and, as such, ought to be open to celebrating the two forms of the latin rite as clearly desired by the Holy Father. Note – this cuts both ways…all priests of the latin rite ought to heed the Holy Father’s words and learn to celebrate both forms. I must say on a practical level, I’m not sure Rome will welcome back the SSPX if they are saying “we will never, ever celebrate the novus ordo.”

  82. Wayne says:

    Henry: You raised good questions. Perhaps one day people will be able to sort them through to an answer.

    In the meantime, we have every reason to be grateful to the late Archbishop for the good he accomplished as a missionary. We are also grateful for the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the Holy Father who gave it to us.

    JUST….for being a missionary….on Irish T.V 1988 ( Late Late Show with Gay O’Byrne) Mgs Lefevbre’s Peritus at Vatican II Dr Michael O’Carrol said that while he could not agree with Lefevbre on the Consecrations….he said that he told him that “I will always defend your honour”. When we are faced with words like these we must at least cut Marcel just a bit of slack…??????.
    I’m an electrician, and an ex altar boy, if really pushed I could nudge a Novus Ordo priest on to the correct ways of the Traditional Mass…..for an SSPX priest all I would have to do was give him some hints about static electricity and NYLON vestments when the happy day comes that all restrictions are lifted on the Society. We are NOT going to see “Training Courses” on how to say Mass for SSPX Priests are we..????…..Q E D… Marcel got it right…!!!!!

    Canonically, one fulfills one’s Mass obligation by attending any celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy “in a catholic rite” (c. 1248). That includes valid celebrations in Orthodox Churches, Old Catholic or Polish National Churches, and celebrations by the SSPX. As Fr. John points out, that which is per se permitted, is not necessarily virtuous, and with nearly any situation, the intention of the individual can render even an objectively virtuous action sinful, or insalubrious.

    To say that the actions of Archbishop Lefebvre have been beneficial to the Church because they brought about, eventually, the motu proprio does smack of consequentialism. One could similarly make the charge that Martin Luther’s actions brought about the Council of Trent, which was certainly beneficial to the Church. The excommunication of Archbishop Lefebvre is not something that was declared lightly, and one might possibly be able to argue that the conditions did not warrant the penalty that was declared, but there is real no way around the fact that it was declared, and declared by the authority able to do so.

    Comment by Tim Ferguson — 7 January 2008 @ 1:30 pm

    consequentialism….????…for goodness sake….. What about that ” O Happy fault” mentioned in the Easter Liturgy….Adam and all them “consequences”…..unresolved after all, Eh….the Good Thief must have been awfully miffed…..!!!!!!!

  83. Malta says:

    Different: “I must say on a practical level, I’m not sure Rome will welcome back the SSPX if they are saying “we will never, ever celebrate the novus ordo.”"

    There are plenty of Priests already who are unwilling to celebrate the Novus Ordo, and who celebrate the Vetus Ordo exclusively, who are in communion with Rome. I know one myself, he’s a very hold and good Priest (in fact he was ordained by Lefebvre himself, but wanted to come back into full communion with Rome, but in conscience cannot celebrate the NO mass.)

  84. Br. Anthony says:

    “Br. Anthony, is it true that under obedience Padre Pio attempted to say the 1967 version of the Mass but found it impossible to do so?”

    Habemus Papam,

    This link has some information that may answer your question:

    Padre Pio and the Novus Ordo Missae

  85. Geoffrey says:

    Is there a source that was not written by the SSPX? I find most of their writings very one-sided and close to propaganda.

    I recall reading somewhere (I will look for the specific referencre) that Saint Pio asked for permission to continue saying the “old” Mass because his eyesight was failing and he had the “old” Mass nearly memorized.

    Incidently, another modern saint, Saint Josemaria, obtained permission to continue saying the “old” Mass, and he did so in private until his death.

  86. Different says:

    Malta, I know there are priests who do such a thing and it’s unfortunate. It goes directly against what the Holy Father has written. It is one thing to prefer one form over the other and to usually say one form, but it’s quite another to utterly refuse to say one form no matter what.

    What do you say about priests who utterly refuse to say the traditional mass? I say it’s not at all in keeping with what the Holy Father has written.

  87. Jordan Potter says:

    Wayne said: consequentialism….????…for goodness sake….. What about that ” O Happy fault” mentioned in the Easter Liturgy….Adam and all them “consequences”…..unresolved after all, Eh….the Good Thief must have been awfully miffed

    Oh, I guess you’re right. Okay then, let us do evil that good may come of it.

  88. Malta says:

    Different,

    I\’ve said this in the past, but I will say it again:

    The Novus Ordo Mass was created in a Liturgical Think-Tank, by a group called the Concillium, presided over by Archbishop Bugnini. It took approximately three years for this new Mass to be formed. It took 1,600 years for the Traditional Mass to be formed. The problem is this: The intentions of Bugnini. As you may know, Bugnin was shipped off to Iran (or Iraq, I can\’t remember) because of his suspected ties with the Masons, WHICH EVEN HE ADMITTED WAS THE REASON FOR HIS BANISHMENT, but of course he denied it all. In any case, it is undeniable that the Concillium consisted of six protestant \”observers\” which, it is generally acknowledged, did more than just observe. Since the time of the group of St. Severin in Paris in 1958, there was a real push for seeing the Mass as \”a meal.\” The Sacrifice has been diminished ever since. Protestants feverishly want to see the \”meal\” to the exclusion of the Sacrifice, because that is their theological position. The New Mass emphasizes the meal, and deemphasizes the Sacrifice.

    I\’m not a member of SSPX, by the way, and used to go to Indult masses, and now have a traditional mass to go to nearby, which is not an Indult–a concept no longer applicable after SP.

    But, really, the evidence is readily available and not in doubt: The New Mass was created in a liturgical think tank by a possible Mason with six protestant \”observers\” present who did more than \”observe.\” If some traditional Catholics want nothing to do with this liturgy, why not let them reunite with our Holy Father, and allow them to maintain their conscience in having nothing to do with the New Mass? I know our present Holy Father has said that we shouldn\’t say deny the holiness of the New Mass, but certainly come in the east feel that they cannot celebrate the Novus Ordo, and the Holy See has allowed them into the Church. In fact Pope Paul VI lifted the excommunication against the Orthodox patriarch. It is particularly ironic that a group clamoring for communion with the Holy See is denied communion just because they refuse to accept modernism, while Paul VI coddled the Orthodox who were excommunicated for much more legitimate reasons.

  89. Different says:

    Malta,

    I know that you see the Novus Ordo as deficient. I disagree with your opinion but certainly respect your right to hold that opinion. But I think (especially now) it is important for all of us to really look at the words of the Holy Father. He wants to expressions of one roman rite. He wants unity. Let’s strive for that. Let’s get NO priests to be open to learning the TLM and let’s get TLM priests open to saying the NO. Let’s get back to priests serving the spiritual needs of their flocks through both forms.

    As for Eastern priests saying the NO…they cannot because they are not latin rite priests so the situation is not the same with traditionalist priests. And the SSPX is not denied communion because they refuse to accept modernism. They are denied communion because they separated themselves through a schismatic act. They can come back anytime, just as the society of St. John Vianney did.

  90. Malta: New Mass was created in a liturgical think tank by a possible Mason with six protestant \”observers\” present who did more than \”observe.\”

    That statement gives a distorted view of the process by which the Novus Ordo was produced. There is little question that it was in many respects artificially cobbled together, but you vastly over simplified this.

    But this is really OFF topic. The entry, and the PODCAzT had topics. This is not one of them.

  91. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    I want to know how many parishes have children chanting. Anyone with good experiences?

  92. Habemus Papam says:

    Thanks to Different and Br.Anthony.
    Really interesting responses. I think the thing to do now, whatever past affilliations and predjudidices, is join our intentions with those of our Holy Father and as expressed in Summorrum Pontificum.

  93. Different says:

    Habemus,

    Great handle, by the way.

    I’m not sure how I like being lumped in with Br. Anthony, but so be it. Yes, people on all sides need to get on the SP train…and let’s not forget His Holiness’ accompanying letter that explains very clearly where his head is in all of this.

    If I may (apologies for the rabbit hole), this would be the SP clarification if I were Pope (and I know you are most grateful that I am not).

    “SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM CLARIFICATION

    Apparently, I was too wordy in Summorum Pontificum. So, to make it really simple here are the new rules (there are no other rules no matter what you hear or read):

    1. Any priest can make a decision at any time to offer either form of the latin rite Mass.

    2. All priests must not exclude one form or the other. If you only know one form, take the time to learn the other. If you claim your conscience won’t allow you to say one form, adjust your conscience. I’ll give you 1 year to make sure you know both forms because I’m generous like that.

    3. If more than 20 people request a specific form of the Mass, you MUST say it or find someone to say it. And I give you permission if necessary to offer 4 Masses on Sundays and Holy Days. If it’s less than 20 people, either say it, or help them find that form of the Mass somewhere else nearby.

    4. Bishops – your job is to make sure points 1 through 3 happen…all of them. It is not necessary to publish diocesan guidelines for SP. If you must publish something, write your diocese name across the top of this page and make some copies. If you have any questions, call me and I’ll walk you through it.

    Oh yeah, this clarification is itself a motu proprio…so, you know, force of law and all that.

    Peace my brothers!
    -Pope Benedict XVI”

  94. Habemus Papam says:

    Pope Different I: Many thanks for yet another MP. Although you would not want to go against the Spirit of the Greatest-Thing-Ever-To-Happen-In-The-History-Of-The-Whole-World-Ever, we must point out that since “more than 20″ obviously refers to less than 30 and “less than 20″ can only mean more than 10, all priests will have to show ability to divide fractions by percentages. We will decide who can count without using a calculator.
    Thanks again for the Memo,

    The International Episcopal Conference.

  95. Dan Hunter says:

    Different,
    According to the Motu Proprio there is no set number required to ask and get a Tridentine Mass.
    As far as we can read all that is required is 2 or more people requesting the Mass of the Ages to get ‘er done.
    Where did your “20″ amount come from?
    I already know of 2 people that have requested the Tridentine Mass of a parish priest who did not know the Mass, but has since learned it, and on the basis of those two requests is now offering the Tridentine Mass to a congregation of close to 50.
    From 2 came 50 and growing.
    Deo, Deo Gratias.

  96. Different says:

    Dan,

    I made up 20…I mean, who can’t get 20 people? Besides, if it’s under 20 the priest can still do it or help them find a Mass nearby. I’m not married to the number, but I think there should be one in that neighborhood.

    Habemus,

    That was awesome…and probably not too far off what the response would be? Hmmm…”we must have a group study what the Pope means by ’20′”

  97. Local Fan says:

    Fr. Z is off his rocker as are some of the people posting comments here. He has the nerve to post this garbage and probably won’t devote the same amount of time to talk about the apostasy of “Cardinal” Kasper. No thanks. I will no longer visit this site. Maybe when you’re in Rome you’ll have a Methodist liturgy with some female priestess and you will do out of “obediance.”

  98. Malta says:

    local fan,

    Perhaps you should spend more time formulating your arguments and less time being an angry bull in the china shop. You can be polemical and effective if you use reasoned argument and facts. I’m probably closer to your mindset than anyone else here, but, with all due respect, I think you need to be less angry and more reasoned. In our faith, we are taught faith and reason. I’m sure St. Athanasius wasn’t thrilled with being wrongly excommunicated by a Pope. But he never failed to use reason to support his position. Likewise, Lefebvre was not angry in the least, and used logic, love, and reason to support his position. Many, many, Saints were under tremendous strain, but used love and reason to persuade, not fist-pounding, or a demanding attitude. But, trust me, we have a long road ahead before the Church is restored. It takes much longer to destroy than to build-up.

  99. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Or is it: It takes much longer to build up than to destroy? Sorry, Malta, I couldn’t resist! Forgive me!

    Local Fan may not be here to read these comments, but here goes: Fr Z’s blog has twice (or more?) been responsible for changes in the USCCB. Not bad, that.

  100. LOL! Another truly substantive comment from a careful and thoughtful reader!

  101. Malta says:

    Fr. Renzo,

    Thanks, your correction is correct. But, Btw., how has Fr. Z been responsible for \”changes in the USCCB?\” Just curious…

    And, Btw, Fr. Z, you have had your fair share of fous pas as well, don’t be too quick to judge.

  102. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Meaning, what is churned out by the USCCB (read, by employee(s) etc.).

    1. The bit about the “stabiliter” not being in the official text, perhaps?
    2. The bit about Jewish-Catholic relations, about which Fr Z even received an email, perhaps?
    3. The bit about …

    Has Local Fan been successful in any way?

    Also, the push that Fr Z makes for the hermeneutic of continuity is, I think, having a profound effect right around the world, that is, in a step by step manner. He does this in such a gentlemanly, priests of priests way (that I still have to learn!) Thanks, Fr Z.

  103. malta says:

    Fr. Renzo,

    I really was just curious–it wasn’t a disparaging question. I know Fr. Z has done
    much good. Also, have you thought about the destruction of the Catholic Church since
    the council? On this subject, Fr. Bouyer, part of the original Concilium meant to
    change the liturgy (he left because he was shocked by what Ab. Bugnini was proposing),
    is a good read:

    “Unless we are blind, we must even state bluntly that what we see looks less like the hoped-for regeneration of Catholicism than its accelerated decomposition.” [Fr. Louis Bouyer, The Decomposition of Catholicism (Franciscan Herald Press, 1969), p. 3] This book
    received an Imprimatur.

  104. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Hey, Malta. Thanks.

    Just my opinion, but one of the heresies leading up to and rampant at and continuing after the Council is the heresy of unbridled, unrealistic optimism, by which everyone was so nice that no discipline was needed nor was God’s guidance needed any more… inasmuch as it was thought that we had arrived at the goal with everyone being nice together… in all their division… so that dialoguing forever is the goal already grasped in hand.

    Fulton Sheen, if I remember correctly, put it just a bit differently, replacing optimism for “tolerance”, saying that people have become so broadminded that now they are flatheaded.

    If you want to know what I think about destruction of things liturgical, look at the last few entries here:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/a-curious-point-in-a-usccb-press-release-on-catholic-jewish-relations/

    It hasn’t yet stopped… maybe… I’m thinking that the prayer for the Jews in the 1962MR on Good Friday may very well be replaced with that of the 1970MR, with its tendencies to dispensationalism. If so, that would summarize all the abuses of ecumenism and all the other rubbish to date.

  105. Mike Williams says:

    One of the things that I find perplexing about the admiration and approval given to Archbishop Lefebvre, is the refusal to acknowledge that at a time of strife– “crisis,” perhaps?– in the Church over its liturgy (and indeed its direction in general), he quite effectively removed many of those most dedicated to tradition from any relevance in the debate. By luring those who might have been the most eloquent defenders of tradition away from the mainstream of the Church, the SSPX played a part in facilitating the very trends it deplores. How much more courage and forbearance was shown by those who remained steadfast as voices of tradition even in the face of derision or condescension, without abandoning their fellow-Catholics in favor of the isolation of illicit activities more to their liking.

  106. RBrown says:

    Mike Williams,

    The entire Lefebvre situation changed after his suspension. He was left with too many hardliners.

    So if you want to blame someone, blame Paul VI. One of his numerous miscalculations (like stars in the sky) was thinking Lefebvre would give in. Instead, his position hardened.

    BTW, the suspension was triggered by the French bishops and their plans for destruction of the Church in France. They objected to Lefebvre and pleaded to Rome (Papa Montini was a Francophile and the Sec of State Villot was French) that L must be stopped.

  107. Richard says:

    Archbishop Lefebvre’s moment to become another St. Athanasias, if here ever was one, came and went long before his illegal consecrations of bishops. It came when it was his turn to sign the Constitution on the Liturgy, which he knew to be a Pandora’s Box that would release the smoke of Satan into the Sanctuary. Instead of standing fast on principle against all the other bishops, as St John Fisher did, he gave in to human respect and signed, knowing in his heart that it was wrong. That was when he could have and should have stood up for Tradition, but he blinked. I would have signed, too, I suppose, not wanting to spoil the party. I’m not saying it would have been easy being one against all the rest, including the Pope. But it would have been the heroic thing and the right to have done. And think how, afterwards, he could have, with every right, said, “I told you so. I alone saw it coming and that’s why I would not sign the tainted document.” He was a good and holy Bishop but not quite as great as his devoted followers claim. He had his moment and blew it, to be perfectly blunt. So let his Society put their priorities in order and admit that their founder brought the excommunication on himself and work with Rome from that starting point, still, though, demanding a careful theological review of all the other equivocal documents that have cause so much unnecessary confusion.

  108. Malta says:

    Richard,

    I agree with you, but any man can unmake the mistake he made. Afterall, St. Paul was a great persecutor of Christians in his day…

  109. Malta says:

    Fr. Renzo: “Just my opinion, but one of the heresies leading up to and rampant at and continuing after the Council is the heresy of unbridled, unrealistic optimism, by which everyone was so nice that no discipline was needed nor was God’s guidance needed any more… inasmuch as it was thought that we had arrived at the goal with everyone being nice together… in all their division… so that dialoguing forever is the goal already grasped in hand.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

  110. Mike Williams says:

    R Brown–

    I don’t see what your post has to do with what I said. Nothing about the circumstances of the Archbishop’s suspension alters the fact that by siphoning away from the Church its most traditionally-minded members– hardliners or otherwise– Lefebvre and the SSPX did (do) a disservice to their own stated cause. Perhaps that was one of the Archbishop’s own “numerous miscalculations.”

  111. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Athanasius is dead. Lefebvre is dead.

    Let’s make the discussion more actual, like about something that is happening in these hours?

    I ask, is there anyone alive in the Holy See willing to stand up for — dare I say it? — for prayers for the Jews that the veil over their hearts be lifted? It now seems, with word from Monsignor Perl, that a dispensationalistically interpreted 1970MR prayer for the Jews will indeed be inserted in the 1962MR at the appropriate time, not now, but when the numbers saying the 1962 prayer increase and it therefore becomes a problem. See:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/john-allens-on-the-older-good-friday-prayers-and-the-popes-usa-trip/#comments

    I mean, I’m just guessing, but I think that SSPX is paying CLOSE attention to all of this.

    God bless you.

  112. Jordan Potter says:

    Fr. Renzo said: It now seems, with word from Monsignor Perl, that a dispensationalistically interpreted 1970MR prayer for the Jews will indeed be inserted in the 1962MR at the appropriate time, not now, but when the numbers saying the 1962 prayer increase and it therefore becomes a problem.

    Father, that seems an awfully heavy load to place on Msgr. Perl’s comment, “It is not an urgent problem.” I’m not sure his words can bear that load.

    It is impossible for me to believe that the Church would, just months after desrestricting the traditional Roman rite, already begin to reform it all over again. It would hardly seem like the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite had really been granted equal honor if the extraordinary form must immediately been tweaked and snipped and edited. I just can’t see any such changes to the traditional Roman rite this year, or next year, or for quite some time to come, if ever.

  113. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Hey, Jordan Potter…

    I know.

    But distinctions are necessary.

    In response, please, see: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/john-allens-on-the-older-good-friday-prayers-and-the-popes-usa-trip/#comments which is my answer to Deborah there (12 January 2008 @ 1:43 am ).

    Thanks. God bless.

  114. Richard says:

    This has been a most interesting series of comments. While Fr. Z was correct to remind Malta that his remarks were off topic, I do hope that he will someday introduce it as a topic and allow a similar exchange of feedback.