Bp. Fellay interview by Radio Svizzera: didn’t totally reject the Conditions

On Saturday 28 June 2008, twenty years to the day after his illicit episcopal consecration at Econe, Switzerland which resulted in his excommunication and the split between the SSPX and the Catholic Church, Bp. Bernard Fellay, now Superior General of the SSPX has given an interview to Radio Svizzera, in Italian. 

I captured the audio, lest it cycle off of that website and become too hard to dig up. 

In the past few days some media outlets have picked up on something that Fellay said in his rambling sermon in Winona, MN on 20 June, as well as hard line comments of two of the other excommunicated bishops, Williamson and Galaretta, and have made the assumption that the SSPX, Fellay in particular, have rejected the Five Conditions offered them by the Holy See as a preamble to continuing fruitful dialogue.

I think the usual media suspects are somewhat misreading the situation.  For example, I parsed the report from AFP and from Reuters.  The Reuters story is a good example of how some reporters have misread the situation.

When I parsed Bp. Fellay’s sermon in Winona in this PODCAzT I gave my opinion that Bp. Fellay, under tremendous pressure from the hard liners both in the SSPX and from the "benefactors" (read: money), takes a hard line in sermons and public addresses to keep spirits high. 

Also, he is prone to ramble a bit in his preaching and, at a certain point, he works himself up and takes a swipe at the Pope and Curia.  This is probably well received by some listeners. 

Furthermore, Fellay is between a rock and a hard spot.  Or rather, several hardcore hard spots and the Rock who is Peter. 

Also, what he said at Winona, though it sounds very defiant and resolved, didn’t actually go so far as to violate explicitly any of the Conditions Rome offered and which Fellay and the SSPX haven’t still publicly renounced in an official way.

Then we learned yesterday that the Fellay and the SSPX decided they would write a letter to Rome to respond that they weren’t going to respond to the Conditions. 

Effectively, I think what this means is that they won’t accept the premise that they are doing anything wrong (big surprise there!) but that they still want dialogue.   In the future we will see if in action they change they style of speech about the Pope and their position on reunion in a more positive way

That is to say, though they are afraid to cause a split in the SSPX were they to sign off on those conditions openly, perhaps they could skirt the issue by saying they wouldn’t accept the premise of the conditions but then begin to modify their style a bit anyway.  

This is my speculation, now that it seems that we are not going to hear much more from them.

Now we have this Radio Svizzera interview.

I do not have a transcript of the interview and won’t make one myself.  But here are the essential points.

Bp. Bernard Fellay had an interview on the Radio Svizzera:

The interviewer put the first question in terms of the SSPX having rejecting the offer, that on Friday for an ordination, it was announced that the SSPX rejected the ultimatum. But Fellay corrected him saying that that is not quite accurate.  Fellay said that it is perhaps false to say that "reject".

"Maybe it is false to say so directly that I reject, that I have made a complete refusal.  That’s not true.  Rather, I see in this ultimate something very vague and confused.

But isn’t this the last chance to reunite with Rome, during this favorable time with Pope Benedict XVI?

Fellay repeated that this ultimatum makes no sense (non ha senso) because they do, in fact, have a dialogue with Rome,even if it is slow.  Rome wants to speed things up.

Fellay claims that they want to continue dialogue.  SSPX wants to continue the dialogue.  For Fellay dialogue might be "chilly" right now but it is not over.

The interviewer asked if Rome will lose patience, is the the SSPX at risk, will be it more and more marginalized?

Fellay said that more more people are coming to the SSPX.  They don’t want to break with the Church.  They desire to be accepted into the Church and do good for the Church.  They are defenders of tradition.

This interview is in Italian.  Maybe someone will make a transcript.

The bottom line:

The leadership of the SSPX are afraid of an internal rupture more than anything else.   They can’t explicitly reject the Conditions offered by the Holy See.  Therefore they are trying to steer a middle course by rejecting a seconday premise of the conditions which was explicitly state (Don’t speak disrespectfully about the Pope and put on airs about their own "magisterium") without rejecting the true premise underlying them (Who is the Bishop of Rome and who are you without him?).

The code language to listen for in future comments by the leadership of the SSPX will be things like "the conditions don’t make sense – we do have dialogue even though it is slow – what’s the hurry".

UPDATE 14:54 UTC

I got this from our friends at Rorate:

(Translation by Rorate Caeli)

Fellay: "I have already written a response
and we will see how Rome will react"


[17:45][Fellay:] Perhaps it is false to say, in such a way, directly, that I reject, that I propose a total rejection [of the conditions], that is not true. Rather, I see in this ultimatum a very vague, confused thing. But, in fact, I have already written a response and we will see how Rome will react.

[18:53] [Fellay:] For me, this ultimatum has no sense, because we have relations with Rome which go forward in a certain speed, which is truly slow. And it is true, on the other hand, that both the Cardinal [Castrillón Hoyos] and the Holy Father would wish for a rather accelerated speed. For me, the only meaning of this ultimatum is the expression of this desire of Rome to give it a little bit of hastiness. And for me it is not a reconsideration of all our relations.

[Interviewer:] "Then, you expect to continue in the dialogue, still?"

[Fellay:] Yes, yes, it is possible that there will now be a time of more, of coolness, but, frankly, for me, it is not over, no.

 

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138 Responses to Bp. Fellay interview by Radio Svizzera: didn’t totally reject the Conditions

  1. Garrett says:

    Bp Fellay, and the SSPX say they “want to be accepted into the Church and do good for the Church.” Ok. Good. But, only on their terms? They could do more good for the Church by working WITH Her to further their mission. Instead, the SSPX is robbing the Church of valuable time and resources. They believe they are the center of the world. God I hope they humble themselves and accept the Holy Father’s terms. As for Bp Fellay, If I were excommunicated (and I know SSPXers have the audacity to doubt the excommunication’s validity) I would certainly not wait 20 years to turn around. Maybe that’s from watching the totally awesome excommunication scene from the movie “Becket.”

    Let’s keep up the prayers for the SSPX

  2. Louise says:

    Quoting Fr. Z.: “The leadership of the SSPX are afraid of an internal rupture more than anything else.”

    And Fr. Z. knows what the SSPX’s deepest fear is…exactly how do you know that, Father? [But I'm probably right.]

    The biggest fear I have always heard them articulate is a fear of compromising the defense of Tradition. You are uncharitable and very wrong to accuse them of considering money (benefactors) to be the root reason for their critical decisions. Shame on you, Father! That is calumny in my book. [I guess that's a "no"vote. - Fr. Z]

  3. Louise says:

    Just say “no” to rash judging the intentions of others, Father.

  4. Ian says:

    Father,

    I would not call it uncharitable or calumny to say that money, benefactors or some split in the SSPX is the cause of the concern here.

    If one reads the documents surrounding the 1988 Consecrations, it is unmistakable to see that the preeminent concern of Archbishop Lefebvre was two-fold. He was concerned that he needed to provide for his spiritual sons, and not compromise the Faith in any way. The first Assisi had just happened and seemed to him to be blatant heresy. There was a great deal of mistrust on whether those whom the Archbishop was obliged to protect would be protected if there was an agreement.

    The second concern was visible unity, which the Archbishop did seem to want.

    I see money as having little to do with the SSPX\’s decisions. If it does, then it belies the whole of their principles: They would then be holding out on visible unity for the sake of money. They would be protecting their coffers, not their children.

    If you are not familiar with the documents of which I write, I would be happy to provide them. I do think they present some important perspective about 1988 and 2008.

  5. Garrett says:

    Louise, I wouldn’t call Father’s “judging” “rash.” Who’s the excommunicated Bishop? Bp Fellay. He’s already been judged…and not too positively i might add! Besides, being the leader of the SSPX, Bp Fellay must be concerned with the intentions of his benefactors. Otherwise, his faithful flock might mutiny, and find a new captain for the I.M.A. Shipwreck.

  6. Douglas Nesmith says:

    Louise, lets back up and take a look at the big picture. Fr. Z has always been very fair to all sides and I have never gotten the impression he is judging intentions… just actions. The SSPX say they want to return to Rome because any other stance set them up as their own Church, however they refuse any and all offer to return. They say they support the Pope but take every opportunity to swipe at him. They can’t have it both ways. They are either Catholic and support the pope or they reject him and become a High Protestant sect. I have always been an SSPX supporter but am wondering more and more lately just what they are thinking. The Church hasnt been this favorable to tradition in decades and they could do so much more fighting from the inside. The letter to Bishop Fellay made no mention of accepting Vatican II or celebrating the new Mass, just being respectful of the Pope as a good Catholic should. If they cant even agree to that(I cant stand the modernist ways that have infiltrated the Church but even I respect & support the Pope), then what exactly are they thinking? If the leadership of the SSPX and their priest are really as concerned about the welfare of souls as they should be they should look at the big picture and realize how many they could reach by re-joining Rome. I’m not ttrying to bash you but this whole us against them mentality is getting really old and needs to stop for the good of the Church. Thank you Fr. Z for all you do

  7. The suggestion of calumny is silly. Think about this situation.

    1. It is clear that the SSPX is trying to defend traditional Catholicism, doctrine and liturgical practice. That is a given. No one questions this. It is such an obvious point that it doesn’t need to be underscored ad nausesam. Better to get to the stickier points.

    2. Right now the SSPX is faced with a huge decision. This Pope is their best chance so far to gain what they need to maintain their identity as a group. But there are hardliners who have a terribly narrow view of the circumstances and probably not too clear a view about the reason for the existence of the SSPX.

    3. The SSPX, just like every other organization, needs money to continue. If there is a split among the priests, and a split therefore among the lay followers, that will seriously compromise the continued existence of the SSPX.

    When we look at the circumstances, we have to consider that this “middle course” the SSPX is trying to steer between outright rejection of the Conditions and seriously alienating Rome when there is a Pope who is so friendly and acceptance of the Conditions, which would no doubt split the group, we must consider what the immediate practical impact will be. Anyone who thinks that the material support of the SSPX isn’t being considered in this decision is naive.

  8. Fr. Z is attempting to explain the phenomena in the most reasonable way.

    You cannot deny the phenomena; you can choose not to explain them, or you can offer an alternate explanation, and let’s all see if it is reasonable.

    I find Fr. Z’s attempt to explain the phenomena to be eminently reasonable.

    Once one starts a movement, any movement, its going to organize itself around a new axis, and it’s going to seek self-preservation. Several people have predicted that the more Rome moves toward reconciliation with SSPX, the easier Rome makes it (now it’s, “be charitable” for heaven’s sake), the more defensive SSPX would become. What if the pope unilaterally lifted the excommunications and said, congratulations, welcome home? [The strain caused by the sudden change of conditions would probably cause the group to rip itself to shreds. Imagine: If some of their followers treat the Holy Father or non-SSPX priests with charity, why should we expect they will treat each other with charity? If they refuse union with the visible point of unity Christ gave us, Peter, how will they find a point of unity among themselves? - Fr. Z ]

    In any case, I would be very interested in Fr. Z’s critics offering an alternative hypothesis, so that we can analyze and critique that. Is anyone game?

  9. Mark M says:

    I must say I find the whole situation getting a bit confusing… so I can simply pray that Bp Fellay’s response was favourable.

    Louise (9:45): maybe you should consider the way you speak to Father? [Don't worry about it. Lana caprina!- Fr. Z]

  10. JM says:

    Bishop Fellay screwed up. Its as simple as that. This whining about “I see in this ultimatum a very vague, confused thing.” and ” For me, this ultimatum has no sense, because we have relations with Rome which go forward in a certain speed, which is truly slow.” Give me a a break. The request made of them is simple and straight forward and it does not influence how fast the negotiations occur directly, or tell them to “shut up.” There is nothing complicated, confusing, or vague about the five points. They are a “yes” or “no” question. Yes, I am (or want to be) Catholic. No, I am not Catholic. [Welll... I think it is mainly evidence of what a difficult situation Bp. Fellay finds himself in. He is between several hard spots and the Rock. - Fr. Z]

    If there are individuals (or groups) that are going to go into schism (with the SSPX) if the SSPX agrees to this utterly reasonable request, then those people are already in schism with the Church and nothing changes except that we explicitly know who they are by their actions. But they should not be a factor in answering such a fundamental question.

    Obviously, it is best that I’m not handling the Church side of the negotiations since I’ve lost all patience with the SSPX.

  11. Louise says:

    Quoting Fr. Z.: “The leadership of the SSPX are afraid of an internal rupture more than anything else.”

    Quoting Fr. Z. later: “Anyone who thinks that the material support of the SSPX isn’t being considered in this decision is naive.”

    The first quote is a problem because of “more than anything else”. That was unfair.
    The second quote backtracks and puts the consideration of money as just one of several considerations. That is less unfair, but still, where is the proof of such an accusation?

    I recall hearing or reading Bsp. Williamson saying several times that it wasn’t about protecting the SSPX, but the Faith. [When I state and restate that these are my opinion, and it is obvious that this is a BLOG and not your court of law, I need not "prove" anything. I say it as I see it. Perhaps the SSPX will eventually apply a little transparency and speak more about what is going on. Until then we all have the opportunity to develop our own theories about why they are doing what they are doing. What's yours? Or are you here only to carp? - Fr. Z]

  12. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    I hate to say this but in some ways it would be much better for the SSPX to tear itself apart because there are some people who will never come to Rome no matter what the Pope does. Let those people (and bishop(s)) go their way. It is really impossible to bring the entire SSPX back in the fold of the Church because of the hardliners. Bring those who want in in, leave those who don’t out. I know this isn’t the policy of the Holy See but still…..

  13. Rose says:

    It is no calumny to suggest that the SSPX might be concerned about “money”. Consider that the SSPX Bishop Williamson himself made specific mention, on his blog comments on the so-called conditions, of a letter sent to “friends and benefactors”. Sounds like he thought it was important to reassure “benefactors”, ie. those who contribute money….like a good journalist, Fr. Z picked up on that.

  14. Jordanes says:

    Louise said: The first quote is a problem because of “more than anything else”. That was unfair.

    You’re taking that quote out of context. Read it in context — Father is referring to what is probably weighing most of the minds of the SSPX bishops at this time, in the context of how to respond to the five conditions. He is not saying that monetary donations are always the most important consideration for them, or that they are the true motivation for their continuing to stand aloof from the Catholic Church. In context there is no contradiction between Father’s first statement and his clarification.

    That is less unfair, but still, where is the proof of such an accusation?

    It’s not an accusation, it’s a speculation, and a very reasonable one. As Father said, it is naive to assume that the SSPX leadership would not be concerned about the effect their acceptance of the five conditions could have on the corporate integrity of the SSPX. In fact, it would require us to conclude that the SSPX leadership is naive.

    I recall hearing or reading Bsp. Williamson saying several times that it wasn’t about protecting the SSPX, but the Faith.

    He and many other SSPXers may not see those two things as unrelated or contradictory — that is, they work to protect the SSPX because they think it is necessary for the success of their efforts to protect (their understanding of) the Faith.

  15. Tiny says:

    Father Z, great perspective; Greg, not a bad comment either. Remember, Bp. Fellay, in the past, has been characterized as the one most amiable towards Rome. [Right! And for this reason he really does need support of prayer. And also, because he is as you describe, he must be looked at with suspicion by the hardcore of the SSPX. There would be terrible pressure on him to make extreme statements in public to placate the rigid fringe. - Fr. Z]

  16. BobP says:

    I think Fr. Z is spot on with the benefactor issues.

    And with that, let’s put things into perspective a little bit. Didn’t the Church have its own problems recently with so many settlements coming from its own parishioners’ pockets? Or even with what she inherited? So far it seems the benefactors of the SSPX, even the $10 weekly donors, have rested assured that their money wouldn’t go into Church coffers to pay for these outlandish settlement fees. What are they to think now? Yes, let’s just give the Church more of this? C’mon, let’s be realistic here. The benefactors would want some reassurance, I would think, that their money is put to better use. Bishop Fellay is indeed between a rock and a hard place.

  17. Franzjosf says:

    JM: With all due respect, I don’t think it is straight-forward at all. For instance, No. 3 (putting themselves above the Magisterium). Is Vatican II pastoral only, not infallible, or infallible indirectly where it’s pronouncements happen to agree with already-infallible pronouncements? If so, anyone should be able to criticize religious liberty or collegiality free of censure. Or does criticizing some non-infallible statement rise to putting one ‘above’ the Magisterium, in the eyes of the Vatican? The Holy Father himself seems to be pulling the plug on certain interpretations of collegiality. (The Papal Throne at certain liturgies, the Motu Proprio, the Pallium different from that of the Archbishops, et al.)

    As for me, I am happy with the Bishop’s measured response. Clarifications, but willing to move forward.

  18. wayne says:

    I’ve been going to SSPX Masses since 1981. I’ve prayed for Archbishop Lefebvre for montrhs on end when I lived in a Carthusian Monastery years ago. Now they say things are “Truly slow” you don’t say..!!

    Well get the finger out and WORK. While you are at it get Angelqueen shut down, I’ve only come across that site 2 days ago, it is full of ranting Lunatics and imbeciles, that have not a clue.

  19. Garrett says:

    Greg, I think you make a good point. Whenever I argue with an SSPXer, we digress into technicalities almost immediately. Granted this is because I agree with them on a lot of issues and I end up trying to show them, for example, that the excommunications are indeed valid and that they are in schism. But, despite the technicalities, they are still separated from the whole of the Church. So, in order to ensure that the SSPX does not lead more astray, the Church could declare that anyone who joins the SSPX is a heretic and a Schismatic. Perhaps heretic is the wrong term, but refusing to acknowledge (by submitting to) the authority of the Chair of Peter seems heretical to me. I know plenty of individuals who still cling to the SSPX because there is so much ambiguity in terms of culpability with regard to the flock. I personally don’t get much of it either.

  20. Edgar says:

    Louise, do you seriously expect Bp. Fellay, Williamson or anybody in the SSPX to step up and explicitly say: “Our main concern is to keep the unity of the SSPX and our benefactors happy” because if you do I have a little steel tower in Paris on sale. Of course they will continue with their party line of “We only care about keeping the Faith, Tradition and the welfare of the Church and whatever happens to us is irrelevant” but that doesn’t make it true, I mean, what else can they say?

    If you stop for one minute to ponder the situation you will see that they are trapped by their past own words as they have proclaimed for many years that “Modernist Rome” is no longer catholic and that the new mass is intrinsically evil, they have hammered down that position so often into their faithful that it’s near impossible for them to just compromise with the “enemy” and keep their crew (Bishops, Priests and Faithful) from mutiny.

    It is obvious that for any organization to keep its existence it has to be financially viable (they need money to fund their schools, chapels, seminaries, etc.) so if their main benefactors (a.k.a. faithful) don’t agree/support the course Bp. Fellay is taking what do you think they will do? Don’t you think he doesn’t have to consider them after all these years they have been supporting the SSPX against all difficulties?

    I agree with Father Z’s view that Bp. Fellay is in a tight spot and I sincerely pray and hope he will find a way together with the Holy Father to find a solution and I believe that will only come through the aid of the Holy Spirit and a lot of humility and charity.

  21. Fr. Lane says:

    I think that it is obvious that Bishop Fellay is heavily weighing the consequences of returning to Rome and how that would impact the unity of the SSPX. Everyone already knows that within the SSPX there are true hardliners and even sede vacantist, and if we know that so does the bishop. It is a fact that if he accepts Rome’s generous offer, he will loose a bishop, some priests, and a lot of lay people. Bishop Fellay just needs to trust that he and whatever is left of the Society will be welcomed with open arms and they can potentially become a force for great good within the Church, not to mention that they will grown by leaps and bounds and more than make up for their loses. It almost becomes a matter of cutting his loses and doing the right thing.

    One conversation that is not taking place is what the FSSP is thinking right now. They might be quite nervous. Potentially they could come out on the loosing end if Bishop Fellay accepts Rome’s offer. I am already getting that impression from conversations with FSSP priests. Basically, the SSXP is the FSSP’s bread and butter (kind of)and if the SSPX is regularized the FSSP will have to completely reinvent themselves in order to survive. How do you “compete” so to speak with a personal prelature? What say you?

  22. Jeff says:

    I think that this is an intelligent decision by Bp. Fellay. If you think about it almost everyone here wants the SSPX back in full communion so that it can be a significant force of change in the church. Convcing its benefators, supporters, members and such of this need is going to take time. [Good point.] What BP Fellay does publically and what is said behind closed vatican doors may be two different things. Deep wounds take time to heal. I do agree with Fr. Z that both sides have valid points and perhaps both sides feel mistrust. In order for the SSPX to be productive in bringing about the restoration of tradition they must have strength in numbers. I spoke with a lay brother at Queen of Angels in Dickinson, TX and he stated that many american SSPX priest cannot wait for the day when they are no longer labled “schismatic”. Many of the French Priests though are putting up significant resistance. We will see. What is seriously needed though is prayer and understanding. One of the most important factors in a debate is attempting to fully understand BOTH sides of the argument. Kudos to Bishop Fellay. As much as we would love to see the Excommunications lifted on our own time scales, we must be patient.Rome operates on the scale of decades, not the few seconds it takes to refresh a webpage. [On the other hand, it is the Holy See that is now pressing the issue forward, trying to add some urgency to the discussion. - Fr. Z]

  23. Abe says:

    I must say that I am skeptical of the interest of the Society’s leadership in returning to union with Peter (which I trust will not prompt a flood of posts about the cottage industry devoted in the last two decades to proving, more or less magically, that the bishops ordained by Abp. Lefebvre were not excommunicated).

    It is, I think, plain that the paramount concern of the Society is avoiding a split in the movement launched by Abp. Lefebvre. The bishops were in the first instance chosen from the ranks of the most anti-Roman Society priests, a fact aggravated by the fact that at least two, Fellay and Williamson, have essentially no experience of the Church outside the Society. Twenty years of isolation haven’t changed that, or diminished the manifest battiness of Bp. Williamson, which was present when I heard him preach in the seventies–and here in the English-speaking world, it bears reflection that nearly all the Society priests are the products of Williamson’s quarter-century as seminary rector.

    Williamson is not going to go along with anything, as anyone who has read his published writings without blinders on should be able to tell, which effectively makes the question moot right there, long before one gets to the questions of the effect of seminary formation dominated by a seige mentality and the likely disposition of lay people for whom the Society is the sum of their Catholic experience or who have chosen to bypass the growing number of outlets for Catholic traditionalism in the last twenty years to attach themselves to the Society; for at least some in that last category, being out of communion with virtually everyone is a badge of honor.

  24. A couple of comments to highlight some of the real problems involved here. Someone commenting on my own blog pointed out that a real problem faced by the SSPX in this moment of decision is the nature of the canonical arrangement proposed for the SSPX. “With a personal prelature,” he wrote, “is it not the case that the bishop can prevent its operations in his diocese? If the SSPX had that status, very many bishops would promptly forbid their activity in their dioceses, including many where the SSPX has a considerable apostolate. I can’t see how the SSPX could prudently agree to this condition.”

    Another commentator wrote: “The only real out I see in this situation is the granting of canonical autonomy to the traditionalists that the Eastern rites enjoy within Western territories, i.e. they are separate dioceses altogether. That way, they don’t need permission of bishops to establish an apostolate or ordain men to the priesthood. The ‘traditionalist’ hierarchy would be on par with the Eastern patriarchs, and we could all get along like a big happy family (sort of). Alas, I think such a radical canonical solution is not in the cards, and that is why I am ambivalent towards these conditions and would not be surprised if the SSPX rejects them outright.”

  25. Franzjosf says:

    Fr. Lane: The sedes within the Society must be in the closet, don’t you think? I think Bishop Fellay would expel them if he knew who they were, as then-Father Dolan and his confreres were expelled some years ago. Maybe it’s not that simple.

  26. King Fisher says:

    Fr. Lane,
    From my limited perspective, I would say the SSPX is not the FSSP bread and butter. The FSSP have their own distinct quality that is attracting the “mainstream.”
    KF

  27. Jason says:

    Or does criticizing some non-infallible statement rise to putting one “above” the Magisterium, in the eyes of the Vatican?

    Pope Pius XII writes in “Humani Generis”:

    Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me”; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.
    I don’t know all the technical weight of the Council documents, but I would imagine most of them have at least as much weight as an Encyclical.

  28. Habemus Papam says:

    May the good sense of Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay prevail. Not easy to read between the lines as we don’t know what is being considered in private but if the Bishop sent his reply to Rome on Thursday we can take it that it wasn’t an outright NO. The ultimatum has a strange feel to it as does the fact that these Conditions found there way onto the internet, however there is hope. Pray. This could just work out. Yes there will be fall-out, inevitably.

  29. Franzjosf says:

    Jason: Thank you for that quotation, which I find troubling. Have you read Gaudium et Spes? Very troubling, indeed. I’ll have to look into this matter further, but, again, thank you.

  30. Fr. Lane says:

    Franzjosf…I completely agree. They are in the closet. But as a priest who has a “ministry” to the Traditionalist (I thank God for my wonderful Bishop), I do come accross these folks. They will never admit it, but it is in their heart.

    And King Fisher, what I meant more or less is that as long as the SSPX is out there, bishops will want the FSSP to come into the diocese and do what they do best, bring priests and lay people back to Rome. If the SSPX is regularized and as the TLM gains more ground throughout the county, where will they stand? That is what I meant about “reinventing” themselves.

  31. Jason says:

    Just to add to what I said above, I don’t think that there cannot be any theological discussion about the documents of the Council. But I think theological discussions have to start with respect for the authority of the Magisterium, and for the authority of her teaching documents, which seems to be what the Holy Father is asking of the SSPX.

  32. Jason Keener says:

    Some thoughts from Bishop Fellay on the SSPX’s dealings with Rome from an interview in Jan. of 2006. I think it sheds light on the consequences Bishop Fellay sees for the SSPX and its followers if a reconciliation with Rome occurs too quickly and openly:

    “I think we are making progress, but slow progress. This is due to several elements, I think that the element… one of the elements that is slowing things down is the psychological element. I tried to explain that to Rome saying: listen, the people who come to us are persons that have been hurt, scandalized and who, at a given time, took a step that cost them a great deal. That is, they found themselves before a choice, and the choice was either to carry on with a situation that was scandalizing them or to join us knowing that they would find themselves under Church censures. And that is never pleasant to find yourself censured by the Church. Nevertheless, they rather took that step than remain in the situation they were in. Now, how can you imagine, how can you think that these faithful find themselves again in their previous situation if nothing has happened in between? That is one thing, and there is also what I would designate under the word “mistrust”. In our circles we – in quotation marks – “do not trust” Rome and it takes quite something to overcome this mistrust, to take stock of the present situation to see what did move, what changed, in which direction it is heading. And all this takes time.”

    Of course, a lot has changed since 2006, but perhaps Bishop Fellay is still concerned about this “psychological element” and the backlash the Society could face from their especially fervent followers who came to expect mistrust of Rome and are now faced instead with the possibility of something else—full communion with Rome and all that entails.

    Change is extremely difficult for most people; however, I hope the SSPX will soften and they will accept the outstretched hand of Pope Benedict.

  33. Warren Anderson says:

    So often Bishop Fellay’s statements read like someone who is in denial. No matter what the Vatican says, Bishop Fellay sloughs off attempts to bring matters into focus by himself becoming vague.

    In a clear, certain and direct manner, the Holy See is telling the SSPX that this is the time. In other words – tell us now, are you in or out? Yet, the non-responsive responses coming from the SSPX appear to be a form of ecclesiastical brinkmanship. By contrast, the Vatican is not engaging in sabre rattling. The Church’s clear message is intended to stop the revisionist tendency within the SSPX which constantly fashions the discussion in the image of the SSPX. To restate the conditions for the return of the SSPX: “(There must be) a commitment to avoid the pretense of a Magisterium superior to the Holy Father and to not put forward the Fraternity [SSPX] in opposition to the Church.”

    Elsewhere we read that the Vatican is seeking “a commitment to a proportioned response to the generosity of the Pope.” Need one comment on the disingenuous statements that frequently form on the lips of SSPX clergy, and laity for that matter? Bishop Fellay’s non-responsiveness could hardly be characterized as generous.

    It is sad enough when non-catholics or other so-called christians refer to the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon. But, when certain groups who think themselves united to us criticize the Church as having drifted from its moorings, that challenges what Christ Himself promised Peter and the Church. By putting themselves above the Pope, such actions confirm that the SSPX has put themselves outside (around, next to, anywhere except but in) the Church. As other writers herein have said, it is not likely we’ll see the hardcore element ever surrender their erroneous belief that they are superior to the Magisterium of the Church. As Christian realists, let’s pray for those who secede from the SSPX and thereby succeed by returning to the One True fold of Christ. As hope-filled Christians, let’s pray for those who remain obstinate – that the Holy Spirit will guide them out of their willful disobedience and bring the rest of them home.

  34. AP says:

    “We have a collassal task ahead of us,” said Bishop Felley, in the State of the Church article in the June 08 Angelus. “We need many scholastic Doctors.”

  35. Mark M says:

    “Lana caprina”, Father? My Italian is not up to that; what does it mean?

    Just watched Solemn 1st Vespers on EWTN. Fantastic; and good to see the Ecumenical Patriarch there, and blessing the incense. Good gestures there; if anything is going to happen with the Orthodox I think it will be under this Pope!

    A blessed Pauline year to you…or however it should go – you know what I mean! :D

  36. Supertradmom says:

    One of the hardest things to do for all of us is to back down from a hard line position and accept something we said we would never do. Never is a word all should avoid. I see Fellay’s difficulty in accepting generous terms without losing support of all kinds, and also dealing with the division in the ranks of the SSPX, of which I have had personal experience. Many are “sedes”, as I have discovered among my SSPX friends. Also, is not argument and contention addictive? Do not we all sometimes fall into a sin of being recalcitrant out of habit? Addiction to dissent needs to be rooted out of the Church, both on the liberal and traditional ends of the spectrum. More prayers, please……..

  37. m.o.p. says:

    Pertinacious Papist points out the limits of a personal prelature. It was rumored some years ago (I don’t know if it ever was confirmed) that the Vatican offered an ‘apostolic administration’ to the FSSPX, IIRC. A P.A.A. would provide some canonical ‘protection’, but not 100% protection

    Another issue which might need to be clarified or resolved: Dario Cdl Castrillon, as head of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei removed Fr Josef Bisig as Superior General of the FSSP and imposed Fr Arnauld Devillers upon the FSSP as Superior General, in 2000. This was after the General Chapter of the FSSP re-elected Fr Bisig.

    ‘Who will be the next Superior General of the FSSPX, and who will select him?’ must be questions going through the minds of the four bishops.

    Abp Lefevbre consecrated the four bishops in 1988 to continue the experiment of Tradition. The four bishops, it seems to me, would not accept anything which would subject that experiment to danger or destruction.

  38. Calleva says:

    So what they are saying then is that it’s ‘business as usual’ – no change. The SSPX have been playing a cat and mouse game with the Vatican for years. They came so near to an agreement in 1988 but it fell apart at the last moment. I don’t know – I feel rather depressed about this. I’d rather have a direct answer. If there is no movement either way, eventually something must be done to clarify matters. We can’t go on like this.

    I will continue to pray for Bishop Fellay that he leads the SSPX back into full union with Peter. If they lose some of their hardline associates and benefactors, so be it.

    Meanwhile perhaps we might also pray for the Anglo-Catholics who must be in some turmoil at the moment. And pray that our bishops will be generous in responding to them when they request union with Rome.

    If ONLY we could get the majority of the SSPX and the Anglo-Catholics on board, think of the effect on the church! The devil doesn’t want this, so we can expect opposition. Let’s keep praying!

  39. Alex says:

    In response to the quotation from Pius XII and comparing encyclicals to the Second Vatican Council:

    “Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly declare to be binding.”
    (Nota Praevia of Lumen Gentium)

  40. My take on the whole SSPX response is this: They love and respect the Pope, but they don’t trust the liberal hierarchy in so many quarters of the Roman Church. They see Cardinals and Bishops defying the Pope on his liturgical reforms; thus can you blame them? Perhaps there needs to be further house cleaning of the Vatican underlings and the episcopate. As Fr. Z says: “Brick by brick.”

  41. Somerset '76 says:

    I need to reprise some themes I’ve made in recent comments and add something besides, chiefly surrounding the fact there is a tendency to oversimplified judgments on the part of people who speak of the Society without having been involved enough with it enough to really know what makes it and its supporters tick.

    First, the notion of placating the benefactors. Doubtlessly this is a legitimate angle … to a point. That would be a concern for Menzingen, of course, as well as District Superiors and the rectors of seminaries and schools. But those who see the Society at work at ground level for any length of time know that money is not a key preoccupation in sermons or chapel bulletins. It was ever my experience that the prevailing attitude there was “so long as we do our job well, God will provide whatever He means us to use.”

    Furthermore, note that in the letters issued by its superiors, their being addressed to “friends and benefactors” is actually a stylization: these letters are available to the general public, posted freely online, and are often used to make position statements reflecting the consensus within the Society. Such letters of the Superior General can, indeed, be taken as official statements of the Society itself.

    Even though I am now disassociated from the Society, I still get rankled at loose talk about it being “schismatic” from a standpoint of legal positivism, divorced from any consideration or understanding of their motives in assuming the positions and attitudes they have. The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article on “schism” makes clear that it takes more than simply acts of disobedience to Papal commands to constitute a “refusal of subjection”: this is rather an abiding attitude of principle, one that says “the successor of St. Peter has no right to command me.”

    The Society has never denied in principle the supreme authority of the Holy See. They rather insist that should a contemporary Pope resume the lines of governance, theology, liturgy, and Magisterium that were broken with the death of Pius XII, the conflict would immediately cease and the Society would be regularized without problem. Their sure response to any charge of serving as a “counter-magisterium” will certainly be something like: “Our standard is no more or less than the standard of the centuries of Popes through to Pius XII; we only pass on what we have received, as St. Paul said.” The only credible refutation of that argument that I can see is for contemporary Rome to demonstrate the lines of continuity with the past that the Society insists doesn’t exist.

    Whatever of unusual approaches the Society has developed, for instance in the realm of supplied jurisdiction, have been but a reaction to the “Poseidon Adventure” situation they find the Church to be in since the Council( i.e. everything turned upside down), especially since the Society was railroaded out of regularized status in 1975 thanks to the French episcopate and Cardinal Villot, with the compliance of Paul VI.

    That manifest injustice produced a side effect which could be the death knell of the Society in the end, something that has gotten remarkably little notice in these recent discussions. Now finding itself in a state of siege, the reactionary element in the Society became predominant, and for the sake of internal cohesion, the Society began to cultivate an subculture around itself that tilted decidedly to a neo-Jansenistic posture. Far more than concerns of pleasing benefactors, it is this element, the subculture, that is the greatest obstacle the Society faces in dealing with proposals for rapproachment in what it considers less-than-ideal conditions.

    Father’s comment here does correctly surmise that a deal right now would split the Society in two, but it wouldn’t be simply because of the overt issues (religious liberty, ecumenism, the liturgy, etc.). The Society, and particularly its more rigorist element, has a far more encompassing view of its mission than do the congregations under Ecclesia Dei; i.e., going beyond the questions of liturgy and even theology to say something to every aspect of life, including family issues, economics, technology, masculinity and femininity, and so much more. For these ideologues, there would seem to be a properly “Catholic” way of doing just about anything, and it is seen by them as an adulterating compromise to accommodate the modern world in one’s life more than bare minimum (while holding one’s nose at that). Not everyone who frequents Society chapels shares this vision, not by a long shot, but it is this line that has come to predominate its message, at least in the English-speaking world anyway. (I have little trouble believing this to be a worldwide phenomenon.) It is the people who subscribe to this vision of things who are going to be the most intransigent holdouts.

  42. Stephen says:

    Now what does this mean:

    Fellay “accepts to respect the pope and not take the place of the magisterium of the Church, except if there is something in the post-Council magisterium that is opposed to the magisterium of 2,000 years,” Lorans said. [Where is this from?]

    Seems to be me we maybe do have acceptance. So much double-talk going on. Rejection, rejection, and then this from the SSPX spokesman.

  43. Jane M says:

    Meanwhile, the children of those who have joined an SSPX chapel will undoubtedly grow up with an attitude about the Pope and the Magisterium in which they are above the Pope. If, for example, you church hop to find the perfect place, children don’t necessarily learn what is perfect. Sometimes they learn to be judges in a church with themselves always right.
    Though I am old enough to remember Latin Masses I did not like the one I went to on September 14. That is because I always went to dialogue Masses as a very small child, something I didn’t even really remember (how was I to know it was different). What happens when you are a child is very important. I have no idea about whether the SSPX is in schism now or not but in another twenty years there will be no question.
    Wasn’t Martin Luther originally trying to reform a church that was decadent and corrupt?

  44. Pierre Hountet says:

    Dear Father,

    I know you can read French, and that several people who come to this blog also can. Therefore, I am posting two links about the scandal that is currently taking place in the diocese of Chicoutimi: [This is rather off topic.]

    http://www.unavoce.fr/content/view/1003/1/
    http://motupropriochicoutimi.over-blog.com/

    Even though I would be rejoiced if Monseigneur Fellay were to sign the 5-point letter, we must recognize that blatant disobedience coming from bishops such as that of Chicoutimi are not (at this point, at least) repressed in a very energetic way, to say the least. This does not help folks at the FSSPX feel confident about the seriousness of the “Marshall Plan”.

    In any event, if people are interested in a translation of the letter from the bishop of Chicoutimi, I’ll be glad to post one here — with your approval, Father. [E-mail it, please. - Fr. Z]

    In Domino

  45. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    It is time to stop sympathizing with Bishop Fellay. This isn’t like a new bishop appointed to a diocese left in shambles by his predecessor. Totally different. Bishop Fellay knew what he was taking on when he was consecrated bishop 20 yrs ago and he knew what he was taking on as Superior General. In the grand American tradition it is time for him to MAN UP. If Bishop Fellay wants the Pope to “clean house” of all the bad bishops and theologians then it is time for him to do so in the SSPX. You don’t want the Pope to be soft on the lousy bishops & priests? – then don’t be soft on the hardliners in your own Fraternity. You can’t have it both ways. Clean house now. You have my prayers, but not my sympathy.

  46. Patrick says:

    The biggest obstacle for the SSPX is their identity. Contrary to what they say, they have not fashioned themselves FOR tradition, but rather, AGAINST the “conciliar” Church (as they call it). Their very identity IS protest against the Church. In many ways they are similar to a political party, that, instead of promoting policies, are merely dedicated to opposing the other party’s initiatives. If all of the sudden, the excommunications are lifted and they are back, they will have been stripped of their very meaning – opposition to the “conciliar church.” The only way they can keep their congregations is by telling them that Rome is corrupt and liberal. They make them think that there are thousands of clown masses every Sunday. They remind me very much of the schismatic sedevacantist nuns in Washington who had been told of the horrors of the “Novus Ordo” church, but then they watched the funeral of JPII and realized that tradition and reverence are still alive and well in the Church. So, they came back because they realized it was not corrupt to the core.

    Maybe it’s just me, but when Bp. Fellay says more people are coming to the SSPX, I call BS. Every week we hear of new traditional Masses being added in parishes around the country, but people are flocking to the SSPX in this post-SP world? Sorry, I don’t buy it at all. If anything, they are seeing a reduction in their already very small congregations.

  47. Romulus says:

    Fellay is between a rock and a hard spot

    Or perhaps between the Rock and some hard hearts.

  48. Emilio III says:

    Pierre Hountet:

    I cannot read French myself, but there was a post in this blog which may deal with the same subject here.

  49. Domine Non Sum Dignus says:

    Excellent analysis, Somerset’76.

    As one who has also frequented Pius X chapels (mostly when Fr. Carl Pulvermacher (a Franciscan who had a “gentleman’s agreement” — as he himself put it — to say Masses at their chapels) was still alive), I very much relate to your bringing up the neo-Jansenist posture of a number of Society priests and their “friends and benefactors”. I have heard the charge of Jansenism or “a tendency towards Jansenism” leveled at them time and time again over the years. (So perhaps there is something to this.) This would help explain a lot of what Bishop Fellay is up against.

    By the way, I phoned Fr. Carl right after Pope Benedict’s election on April 19, 2005, and he was simply overjoyed. “No question that this is the work of the Holy Ghost” (or words to this effect) is what he said. I was (very pleasantly) surprised at his response. Sensing this, he went on to say something like, “You have to understand this: Of all the candidates (in the College of Cardinals) the He (the Holy Ghost) had to work with, he was the VERY BEST CHOICE.” And then he said a few more things like, “He’s a friend of tradition” (while referencing his favorable decision in the “Hawaii Six” case, I believe) and “You’ll see.”

  50. Adrienne says:

    These people (SSPX) get waaaaaay more airtime then they deserve!

  51. Pierre Hountet says:

    Emilio:
    Yes, this is the same subject. Thank you for the heads-up.
    That said, for those who read French, the “Chicoutimi Motu Proprio” weblog is interesting. It appears that they last resort is the CED.

  52. Franzjosf says:

    Fr. Z: “where is this from?” (above)

    It is a quotation of Fr. Alain Lorans, Bishop Fellay’s spokesman, given to France-Press. You can find it over at Rorate Caeli. Scroll down to the Friday, June 27, entry.

  53. Franzjosf says:

    Oops, scroll down to the update under the initial entry. The quotation was given to Reuters.

  54. Matt of South Kent says:

    sspx deserves no air time. sspx’s day is past. They have nothing to offer.

    Pope Benedict XVI took the wind from their sails with the Motu Proprio. I hope Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will move to a more important role in the Vatican.

    I hope this is the last sspx post on this site. There are far more important issues that need attention (some of them raised by sspx). Labor on those issues will bear more good fruit than sspx will (at this time, given SSPX leadership and benefactors).

  55. SARK says:

    Dear friends,

    If the Holf Father really wants to quicken the pace of reconciliation why does he not make an absolutely clear and explicit statement setting out how he will address the the concerns of the FSPX (and all all other orthodox Catholics) vis-a-vis the modernist interpretations of the VII documents that have reaked so much havoc over the last 40 years. Why he has not done this, and why non-FSPX traditionalists (if you’ll excuse the term) are not asking for this, is a complete mystery to me. Can somebody who sees this from a traditionalist perspective explain it to me.

    In this sense the ball is completely in the Holy Father’s court. Why does he need the FSPX to come up with a form a soothing words first for this to be done.

    If such a statement was made (assuming it was consonent with Tradition) the problem would be solved in instant.

    By the way of course all organisations need money – but the suggestion (not from Father Z by the way) that is emerging on the blog that vested interests are at the heart of the FSPX’s position suggest a real lack of understanding of motivations of both the clergy and faithful.

    JMJ

  56. AP says:

    Sunday, June 29, 2008

    TRADIDI QUOD ET ACCEPI
    (Saint Paul the Apostle)

    Catholic Radio Presents an Interview with
    John Vennari, Editor
    Catholic Family News

    Father Henri LeFloch and his influence on the
    young seminarian Marcel Lefebvre

    Led by the Providence of God, the young Marcel
    Lefebvre was placed in the hands of Fr Henri LeFloch,
    the distinguished Rector of the French Seminary in Rome
    (founded by the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers in
    1854 of which the Archbishop later become its Superior General))
    where Marcel pursued his theological studies
    in accordance with the luminous teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas (Scholasticism)
    so often recommended by the Popes and by the Church’s Magisterium.
    And thereby receiving a solid formation for the priesthood.
    It was from Fr LeFloch that the young seminarian learned
    the principle “sentire cum Ecclesia” –
    think with the Church – a principle that guided Marcel
    throughout his priestly and episcopal life. It is thanks to
    Fr LeFloch that Marcel recognized the modern errors that
    were taking root in the Church and that the antidote to these
    modern errors was the teaching of Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors
    and the encyclicals of his four successors. Hence the moving plea, that was central to his sermon of June 30, 1988, launching Operation Survival:
    “It seems to me, my dear brethren, that I am hearing the voices of these Popes – since Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII – telling us: ‘ Please, we beseech you, what are you going to do with our teachings, with our preaching, with the Catholic Faith? Are you going to abandon it? Are you going to let it disappear from this earth? Please, please, continue to keep this treasure which we have given you. Do not abandon the faithful, do not abandon the Church! Continue the Church! Indeed, since the Council, what we condemned in the past the present Roman authorities have embraces and are professing. How is it possible? We condemned them: Liberalism, Communism, Socialism, Modernism, Sillonism.”
    Read in the refectory, the writings of Godefroid Kurth & Fr Deschamps
    also influenced the young Marcel to recognize the necessity of the social order
    to organized itself around the Social Kingship of Christ.
    The truth about Christ the King & Priest was the sacred
    deposit that Marcel Lefebvre was determined to pass on in his turn.

    http://www.voiceofcatholicradio.com/

  57. Abe says:

    I remain puzzled by Fr. Lane’s point about the FSSP’s “bread and butter.” Off the top of my head, I believe Fr. Bisig, the rector of their seminary in Nebraska, to be the only priest ordained for the Society among the four dozen or so they have working in North America. It is my strong sense that few if any of their current seminarians have any ties to the Lefebvre movement, and it is my sense as well that among lay people at their parishes and chapels, only the same limited percentage one finds elsewhere–one in four, perhaps–have any history with the Society or other irregular groups.

  58. megotoaz says:

    When I state and restate that these are my opinion, and it is obvious that this is a BLOG and not your court of law, I need not “prove” anything. I say it as I see it.

    It may be “just your opinion” Father, but it’s the opinion of a Catholic priest in Rome who is a conspicuous writer and blogger and who has access to Church personnel that the rest of us don’t. By virtue of being a priest and author your opinions carry more weight than the allegedly cogent musings of us. We have the luxury of shooting from the lip with little forethought with minimal moral consequences because we’re just laymen. If you haven’t noticed that lots of people take you blog opinions as being much more than “just one Catholic man’s opinion” then I respectfully request that you more clearly define when you’re speaking as a priest with moral certitude and when you’re speaking (writing) as “just another Catholic with a blog.”

    Thank you.

  59. Matt of South Kent says:

    megotoaz, Father Z is not in Rome – at this time. He is a Roman Catholic Priest and is entitled to his own personal opinions. That is one of the great gifts of Vatican II, clergy can speak their mind.

  60. Matt of South Kent says:

    JMJ,

    Most traditionalist (who remain faithful and obedient to the Holy Father) do not see a break with Tradition. Yes, there is the need to added clarity but that doesn’t excuse us walking out of the Church and say mean things about the Pope. That is what Luther did.

    Don’t forget, Pope Pius XII gave the liturgical movement the green light to go ahead with their plans and development. Vatican II changes did not occur overnight. They were brewing for years. The years that sspx look back so fondly to.

  61. Abe says:

    Not mentioned by either AP or John Vennari, of course, is the fact that Fr. LeFloch was removed from his post as seminary rector at the orders of that dangerous liberal Pope Pius XI, who believed that political reaction and Action Francaise were becoming too prominent at the seminary. Presumably that portion of the Archbishop’s formation is reflected in the Society’s current battiness about the mind-numbingly irrelevant topic of religious liberty.

  62. Paul Haley says:

    In an interview quoted on Rorate-Caeli blog of Friday, June 27, 2008, Fr. Lorans of the FSSPX Hq said:

    Fellay “accepts to respect the pope and not take the place of the magisterium of the Church, except if there is something in the post-Council magisterium that is opposed to the magisterium of 2,000 years,” Lorans said.”.

    In other words the post council magisterium or teaching authority of the church must not contradict what the magisterium has always taught over its 2,000 yr old history. Another way of saying this would be the authentic magisterium must be “in light of Tradition”.

    Now, how can the Vatican argue with this? Has not the pope himself said what previous generations have held as sacred, we do as well, or words to that effect? I believe this interpretation will be accepted by Cardinal Hoyos and by the Pope himself and it indicates de facto acceptance of the conditions. Time will tell, however, and prayer reamins a necessity.

  63. Franzjosf says:

    Man of South Kent: No, you’re wrong, your sneering tone notwithstanding. In the final analysis the SSPX has one motivating factor: looking toward a future of getting as many people to heaven as possible. Period. There is no more important issue than that one. I suggest you go to their web-site and read extensively, then maybe we’ll get less sneer and more substance.

    Incidentally, the first troubling liturgical developments came from German-speaking nations immediately after WWII. Some clergy who rightly opposed the Nazi’s wrongly understood the Sacred Liturgy to have a triumpalism similar to the Nazi idea of a supreme race. Experiments began, like having a white table with black cubes all around it for people to sit on, the vernacular, and all kinds of crazy things. The German Bishops tried to suppress those things, but they were over-ruled by Pius XII’s Sec. of State (!) Even then the Sacred Cong. or Rites was losing power, long before the Council. In the mid 50s came the Holy Week changes and a many others leading to the ’62 Missal.

  64. Jason says:

    In other words the post council magisterium or teaching authority of the church must not contradict what the magisterium has always taught over its 2,000 yr old history. Another way of saying this would be the authentic magisterium must be “in light of Tradition”.

    Now, how can the Vatican argue with this?

    I think part of the problem is, who decides what the Magisterium has always taught? Who decides what is and is not a legitimate development of doctrine? There can be theological discussion about such matters, but the final authority of the Holy See has to be respected.

  65. Jason says:

    *Sorry, the second paragraph there should be in italics as well. It is part of the post I was quoting.

  66. Matt of South Kent says:

    Franzjosf, Thanks for the advice but I have read their website. It really is really dated and lacks perspective. As usual, sspx supporters assume that only they have done their research because anything that does not agree to sspx must be wrong. My advice back, in charity, is open your mind.

    The liturgical movement wasn’t soley a German creation. Others aided such as the Parisian Centre de Pastorale Liturgique. Paris is in France.

  67. Supertradmom says:

    One point not covered by the hitherto very interesting and illuminating blogs is that of the SSPX’s abhorrence of false ecumenism. This liberal tendency, veering, if not falling into the abyss of the heresy of universal salvation or the heresy of eirenism, as addressed on the SSPX website remains a sticking point: “This attitude of ‘peace at all costs’ with heretics and schismatics, regardless of the points of doctrine which separate us, was condemned by Pope Pius XII in 1950 under the name of eirenism.

    These advocate an ‘eirenism’ according to which, by setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attacks of atheism, but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma (Humani Generis, no. 11).” (from the SSPX website)

    Apologies to anyone who has addressed this, but I do think this is a stumbling block, especially after Assisi. Symbolic actions of any pope are extremely important to the entire Church. Many of us have struggled with such misunderstandings and heresies at the local parish level.

  68. Paul Haley says:

    Jason said: I think part of the problem is, who decides what the Magisterium has always taught? Who decides what is and is not a legitimate development of doctrine? There can be theological discussion about such matters, but the final authority of the Holy See has to be respected.

    That’s the basis for follow-on discussions, Jason, but it indicates no refusal to submit to papal authority as far as I can see.

  69. schoolman says:

    The letter of “response” by Bishop Fellay was non-compliance. As he says, we will see how Rome will react to such non-compliance. Bishop Fellay gives very cryptic answers to his questions — as if he wishes to please all factions in the SSPX. On one hand he can tell the hard-line “seperatists” that he did not budge or give-in to “modernist Rome”. On the other hand he can pacify the “reunionists” by saying that he sort-of agreed (did not fully or directly reject) the content of the 5 points. The letter of response, however, is conveniently “confidential”. How very ambiguous! I suppose the response or “reaction” from Rome will give us better indications.

  70. Syriacus says:

    My own transcript of the interview:

    §

    Venti anni fa, per la precisione il 30 giugno 1988 si consumava lo scisma di Econe, con l’ordinazione di quattro vescovi senza mandato pontificio da parte di Monignor Lefebvre. Gino Driussi si è recato nel centro tradizionalista vallesano per fare il punto della situazione con il Superiore Generale della Fraternità San Pio X, il vescovo svizzero Bernard Fellay. Sentiamo:

    I.: Mons. Fellay: in seguito all’incontro da Lei avuto lo scorso 4 giugno con il cardinale Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Presidente della Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei, Roma ha posto cinque condizioni per consentire il rientro della Fraternità sacerdotale San Pio X nella piena comunione con il Papa. Il termine scade in questi giorni, a vent’anni esatti dalla consacrazione dei quattro vescovi, tra cui Lei stesso, da parte di Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre qui a Econe senza il mandato del Papa – un atto considerato scismatico da Roma e che ha comportato delle scomuniche. Lei, venerdì, in occasione delle Ordinazioni diaconali e sacerdotali qui a Econe, ha annunciato che voi non accettate l’ultimatum e le condizioni poste da Roma: ci può dire per quali motivi?

    F: E’ forse falso il dire così direttamente che rigetto, che faccio un rifiuto totale…; non è vero. Piuttosto, vedo in questo ultimatum una cosa molto vaga, confusa, ma..di fatto ho già fatto una risposta, e vedremo come Roma va a reagire.

    I: Comunque, credo di capire che la risposta sia piuttosto negativa. Ma: non pensa che questa era forse l’ultima favorevole occasione per riconciliarvi con la Chiesa di Roma, accettando la mano tesa del Papa e delle istanze vaticane… In fondo, nei suoi tre anni di pontificato, Benedetto XVI ha spesso preso delle posizioni che sono piaciute ai cattolici tradizionalisti.. Inoltre, quasi tre anni fa, ha accettato di riceverla.. e, un anno fa, c’è stata la liberalizzazione della Messa tridentina , che è sempre stato un vostro ‘cavallo di battaglia’, , senza contare i numerosi incontri avuti da Lei avuti dal 2000 con il Cardinale Castrillon Hoyos. Allora, si potrebbe quasi dire, “Che cosa volete di più?”

    F.: Per me, questo ultimatum non ha senso: perchè abbiamo relazioni con Roma, che si sviluppano a un certo ritmo -che, è vero, è lento- …E’ vero d’altra parte che, tanto il Cardinale come il Santo Padre, vorrebbero un ritmo piuttosto accelerato.. Per me, l’unico senso di questo ultimatum , è l’espressione di questo desiderio di Roma di dare un pò di più di fretta… Quindi, per me, non è una rimessa in questione di tutte le nostre relazioni…

    I.: Quindi voi sperate di proseguire il dialogo, allora?

    F: Sì sì. E’ possibile che adesso ci sia un tempo più …di freddo, ma.. francamente, per me, non è terminato.. no.

    I: Mons. Fellay, lei ha detto anche che c’è però il rischio che Roma “perda la pazienza”, e quindi a questo punto non ci sarebbe più niente da fare.. Non pensa che, in questo caso, il futuro della vostra Fraternità è a rischio -il rischio cioè che resti una piccola chiesa, sempre più emarginata, poco frequentata anche dai fedeli tradizionalisti -che magari non comprendono perchè la Fraternità non si accordi con Roma e ne resti separata, soprattutto adesso che è stata liberalizzata la Messa di San Pio V .

    F.: Ciò che vediamo fino ad adesso, è il contrario: significa che più e più gente si avvicina a noi… Perciò, ripetiamo, , non vogliamo fare rottura con la Chiesa; al contrario: ciò che desideriamo di più noi, è di essere pienamente accettati nella Chiesa. E’ vero che è ciò che desideriamo anche per il bene della Chiesa: perchè si vede che nella Chiesa c’è un problema, un problema gravissimo… e noi pensiamo che la soluzione l’abbiamo… e che non è un fatto che noi siamo ‘inventori’, no: siamo soltanto seguaci di ciò che la Chiesa ha sempre fatto, e che ha funzionato nel passato.. E’ tutto qua.

    §

  71. I am not Spartacus says:

    In 1988 Lefevbre complained that his hand was being forced in being asked to sign a letter submitting to the authority of the Magisterium (written by Card Gagnon, as I recall). He refused to sign it.

    In 1998 Fellay wrote to Card Castrillon Hoyos complaining his hand was being forced. He refused to sign that most reasonable of requests.

    in 2008, these past few days or so we read more on the same. He can’t sign this most pacific of conditions.

    Three strikes and you’re out – of the church.

    Now that this most reasonable of requests has been refused I pray the Pope formally declares the sspx and everyone of its supporters in schism and the Church can focus on reform inside of the Church.

    There are legions of us who maintain the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority who could, but don’t, label ourselves traditionalists, who are more than exasperated by this ceaseless sturm und drang and extra-ecclesiologoical theatrics.

    BASTA

  72. Matt of South Kent says:

    Supertadmon,

    The false ecumenism issue is the leading reason sspx should not be accepted back into the Church. It is also the driving reason behind most of the insults directed at the Holy Father.

    It really shows how baseless, empty and extremist sspx is (on a whole). Pope Benedict XVI has written extensively on the topic. He is the expert and just issued another book on it. If there any topic sspx should avoid, it is this as the Pope clearly out classes sspx.

    I can remember not being able to play with a little boy from down the block because he was a Methodist. If that is the Tradition you want to return to, be my guest. Leave the Church out of it. You should see the rants on other blogs over the Pope celebrating mass with the Ecumenical Patriarch. In the US, it comes from bunker mentality of anti-Catholic hatred NOT theology.

  73. Franzjosf says:

    Man of South Kent: “Paris is in France.” LOL. Yes, have you ever been to Saint Severin in the Latin Quarter? They removed the medieval windown and put in modernist atrocities. I was just giving an example where the Holy See was complicit in advancing the modernists and over-ruling the local bishops, long before VII. The SSPX would does not want to go back to that time, as you insinuate. It has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing, your bromides would do well to be replaced with nuance. Nothing personal; spirited disagreement is fine, as long as ad hominem is avoided. Your, “as usual SSPX supporters assume…” comes close. Not to mention the fact that whenever one groupthink it is statistically impossible. As in, “as usual poor people think,” or “as usual, people with black hair think,” or “as usual, all Benedictines think.” Whatever follows those statements will be untrue. We’re sons of Adam, afterall.

  74. Jason says:

    That’s the basis for follow-on discussions, Jason, but it indicates no refusal to submit to papal authority as far as I can see.

    When Bishop Fellay says he wants to discuss doctrine first, does he mean he wants to discuss doctrine, or does he mean he wants to teach the Holy See, and wait for her to accept his teaching? Is he willing to enter a discussion with a humble respect for the Holy See’s documents and teaching? Is he willing to admit the possibility that he is wrong on some points, and that the Church is right? I don’t know if he is or not, but I think that is the issue here.

    It seems that that is all the Pope is asking. There can be a theological discussion between the SSPX and the Holy See. The Church has discussions all the time. But there has to be a respect for the authority of the Church. And it cannot be just a theoretical respect. You can’t just go around attacking the Church, attacking her documents, attacking her laws, etc. There are ways to have a positive and fruitful discussion, and to disagree with the Church on some things, but there has to be Catholic humility. Even if you don’t technically hold yourself up as a counter-Magisterium, your actions can be scandalous and can lead others to see you that way.

  75. megotoaz says:

    That is one of the great gifts of Vatican II, clergy can speak their mind.

    Error has no rights. If a Priest is speaking as a Priest with anything other than the mind of the Church then that is a very, very bad thing. Ask Father — he’ll tell you it’s true as well.

    As a “mere Catholic,” if Father wants to speak his mind that is very different than speaking in his capacity as an alter Christus. He clearly vacillates between those two roles on this blog. It would be of benefit to us if we knew if he was speaking as a priest or a simple Catholic. When he’s speaking as a Priest, if he says something that seems out of step with the Faith I’m going to be very careful in my researching the point and most likely email him about it with my concerns (after all, it might just be me who is misunderstanding him). If, however, he’s saying something as “a simple Catholic” then he’s fair game to be called out in the comments like I’m doing to you right now.

  76. megotoaz says:

    When Bishop Fellay says he wants to discuss doctrine first, does he mean he wants to discuss doctrine, or does he mean he wants to teach the Holy See, and wait for her to accept his teaching?

    Hypothetical question: if the Holy See were clearly and manifestly out of line with dogmatically defined Catholic teaching, shouldn’t someone stand up and tell the Pope where he stands in relation to the Truth? Saint Catherine of Sienna called the Avignon Popes “anti-Christs” on at least one occasion. She most certainly told the Popes they were in error and needed to return to Rome and sound doctrine.

    I am not saying Pope Benedict is in clear and open error, but if he were I would hope that my local bishop and every local ordinary around the world would call him on it.

  77. I am not Spartacus says:

    In 1988 Mons. Lefevbrfe refused to respond to reasonable written questions from Card Gagnon having to do with his status vis a vis the Magisterium. He complained Rome was trying to force his hand.

    In 1998, writing to avoid accepting reasonable requests from Rome, Fr. Fellay wrote to Card Castrillon Hoyas complaining Rome was trying to force his hand.

    In 2008, refusing to respond directly to the conditions, Fr. Fellay complains about having his hand forced.

    Three strikes and you are out, right?

    Legion are those,like myself, who could, but do not, label ourselves traditionalists, and we are mightily exasperated by this ceaseless schismatic sturn und drang of the sspx towards Divinely-Constituted Authority.

    Legion are those, like myself, who have maintained the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority, who desire to stand athwart this ceaseless theater of the absurd yelling BASTA

    The sspx does not now, nor has it ever, represented Tradition. The idea a schism could represent or preserve Tradition is an idea acceptable only to those beholden to an ideology totally alien to the entire 2000+ years of Christian Catholic Tradition.

    If those in the schism, and its supporters, can not grasp this fundamental fact of Catholicism then of what use could they possibly be to the Body of Christ?

    This is a time of reform and renewal inside of the Church and those who think a schism can define Tradition ought remain where they are – outside of the Church.

    While they are alive, they will have time to repent of their errors and reconcile with the Church individually but the idea the sspx could ever be brought back corporately is an idea whose time has now come and gone.

    I pray Pope Benedict formally declares the sspx and all of its supporters schismatics and excommunicated from the church. There is such a thing as the medicine of excommunication and the sspx has repeatdly agitated for decisive acts of the part of the Holy See.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    I wish the folks in the sspx no evil. I desire they return to the
    Church established by Jesus in humility.

    What Christian Catholic can even stand for one minute to think it is permissible to willfully die extra-ecclesia?

  78. SARK says:

    Did the Holy Father set the Ecumenical Patriarch five conditions and an ultimatum before he con-celebrated with him?

    Is there a double standard at work?

    Any non-FSPX trads willing to comment?

    JMJ

  79. Paul Goings says:

    Did the Holy Father set the Ecumenical Patriarch five conditions and an ultimatum before he con-celebrated with him?

    Is there a double standard at work?

    Any non-FSPX trads willing to comment?

    1. Error of fact: There has been (and will not be tomorrow morning) any concelebration.

    2. Are you suggesting that Dr Fellay is eager to concelebrate with the Holy Father? Would he accept an invitation to do so? If not, what would be the point of such an invitation?

  80. Paul Haley says:

    When Bishop Fellay says he wants to discuss doctrine first, does he mean he wants to discuss doctrine, or does he mean he wants to teach the Holy See, and wait for her to accept his teaching?

    I would submit that he wants to discuss doctrine ’cause that’s what he said, but I have no way of reading his mind on this or any other issue. Why do you insist that he has some ulterior motive or that he wants to teach the Holy See and wait for her to accept his teaching.

    You know, Jason, there will never be a meeting of the minds unless these discussions take place in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding and, I might add, outside the glare of publicity. That is what I hope for and I presume you do as well.

  81. Supertradmom says:

    Again, and this time apologies to those who misunderstood my comment. I do not remember days of hatred against non-Catholic faiths,(although my Catholic dad was regularly stoned by the protestant boys in the neighborhood as he walked to school), having been raised in an extremely protestant area, where Catholics never numbered more than 15% of the Church-going population, and in an atmosphere of good fraternal charity at home. My concern is simply that what may seem important to the theologians, and us traditional Catholics on this blog, is not necessarily what scandalizes most of the SSPX laity, who get their religious knowledge from sources other than the Teaching Magisterium-like the media, and from, sadly, false teaching from the pulpit and RCIA groups, as I have discovered first hand. Many of my friends in the SSPX have serious legitimate concerns about false ecumenism. That the popes have condemned eirenism is a blessing of clarification. And, that our present Pope is so clear on these issues is an additional blessing.

  82. I am not Spartacus says:

    Megotoaz. St. Catherine referred to the Pope as Our Sweet Jesus on Earth.

    And here is a link to her Treatise on obedience

    http://www.cfpeople.org/Books/Dialog/DIALOGp5.htm

  83. Louise, again says:

    The SSPX has to buy Protestant churches to renovate or finance building their own churches because the mainstream Church would rather tear down their “extra” churches than sell them to the SSPX.

    The SSPX cannot appeal to Catholics donors in general (like the FSSP can) because of the “excommunication” stigma attached to them. So, the SSPX currently has a relatively small target audience to appeal to for funds.

    If the SSPX were reconciled with Rome, that would open up all kinds of funding doors and new supporters and they would be able to use local Catholic Churches rather than having to build or buy their own.

    Being “excommunicated” has HURT the SSPX financially, and reconciling with Rome would financially BENEFIT the SSPX.

    My question still stands: Most of you believe that the core benefactors of the SSPX will withdraw financial support for the SSPX if the SSPX reconciles with Rome. UPON WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU BASE THAT ASSUMPTION UPON?

    I am one of the SSPX benefactors, and I know how I and my friends would react. You are way off-base in your assumptions. I ask in Christian Charity you stop assigning unproven motives to others.

    Fr. Z., I agree that my opinion is worthless, but I urge you to step back and look at what you are doing with some objectivity. Hopefully you will see that you are judging the intentions of the SSPX with a measure that you would not want to be judged. Hopefully you will remember that just because you think someone has bad motives, as a Catholic you cannot speak of it without proof and necessity.

    Yes, call it carping. “Lana caprina!”

  84. AP says:

    Not mentioned by either AP or John Vennari, of course, is the fact that Fr. LeFloch was removed from his post as seminary rector at the orders of that dangerous liberal Pope Pius XI, who believed that political reaction and Action Francaise were becoming too prominent at the seminary.

    Abe,
    It is true the Fr LeFlock was removed as rector of the
    French Seminary because of rumors that were circulating
    the he had actively supported Action Frncaise, as you know,
    a controversial French intellectual movement founded by
    Charles Maurras in 1905.
    Strong opposition caused Pope Pius XI to condemned the
    movement. This action resulted in a great controversy in
    the French Seminary. The dismal of Fr LeFloch was not a
    solo action, but parat of a small purge. At the same time,
    Pope Pius XI succumbed to the demands of liberal voices
    and dismissed a prominent professor from the Gregorian
    University, Cardinal Billot. Cardinal Billot had earned
    a reputation as a disciple of Pope St. Pius X, refusing
    to permit any compromises with error, holding firmly and
    unyieldingly to the fullness of Catholic Truth. In his
    teaching, Cardinal Billot turned the stark spotlight of
    Catholic doctrine on the errors of modernism & liberalism.
    Such resolve marked him as a threat to the re-emerging
    “modern wing” of the Catholic Church. He could not be
    allowed to speak so clearly & vehemently to young minds.
    He left his post at the Gregorian at the same time that
    Fr. LeFloch left the French Seminary. These two faithful witnesses had done good work in their appointed time. Bishop Fellay continues
    the good fight, putting the spotlight on modernist errors
    that have suffocated the Church these past forty years.

  85. SARK says:

    Dear Somerset ’76

    Very nice and balanced post.

    I would be less than honest if I denied troubling puritan elements in the FSPX – although in twenty years I have come across them from only a few and I know many very well.

    However, recognising that there is such a thing as Catholic culture that should permeate every aspect of your family life does not make you a Jansenist – I thought it just meant you are a serious Catholic who tries to live the Faith in an integral and authentic way.

    Recognising that the modern media is opposed to Catholic culture does not make you a Jansenist just a sensible and prudent person who tries to avoid occasions of sin.

    I think the J word when applied to FSPX has taken on some of the elements of the F word (Fascist) when used by the politcal left to against the right. Perhaps we should only use it in its specfic and technical sense – which as far as I am aware does not apply to FSPX – They are extremely keen to have people receive communion as frequently as possible – assuming they are in a state of Grace of course.

    JMJ

  86. Jason says:

    I would submit that he wants to discuss doctrine ‘cause that’s what he said, but I have no way of reading his mind on this or any other issue. Why do you insist that he has some ulterior motive or that he wants to teach the Holy See and wait for her to accept his teaching.

    I’m not saying he has an ulterior motive. But I think the question is, does he so strongly believe he is right that he is not willing to admit the possibility that the Church is right, and that she has the final say? I think that is a necessary condition for an authentic discussion with the Church. I think the Catholic attitude is that we can have theological opinions on many things, but we should always have a certain deference to the Holy See. We should seek to learn from her, to evaluate our own thoughts in light of her teaching and her practice. We should not express ourselves in such a way that it seems we are the teachers of the Church.

    I do hope that Bishop Fellay is willing to have that Catholic attitude, and if he is, then I think the Church is more than willing to have a discussion of many things. But I guess we have to wait and see his long-term response. You will know them by their fruits, as Our Lord told us.

  87. I am not Spartacus says:

    SARK. I am willing to comment. No. There are not double standards.

    Our Sweet Jesus on Earth is a brilliant theologian and a kind and generous man and Father Knows Best what it is that is needed to force Fr. Fellay to confront the reality the sspx is a schism and to remove from his quiver any arrows of distraction he can fire at a straw man and have his supporters cheer he has hit the straw man right between the eyes.

    As John Adams was fond of saying, facts are stubborn things. The fact is the Pope made Fr. Fellay a reasonable request and Fr. Fellay is doing his best to avoid a straight answer. That is fundamentally a dishonest tactic and it is clearly meant to buy more time.

    This has no thing to do with anybody else. This is about Fr. Fellay and the sspx schism

  88. SARK says:

    Dear Paul Goings,

    Forgive my loose language. I’m not sure what the technical term when two priests lead vespers together. I’m not familiar with this way of doing things.

    My question was not really about what Bishop Fellay wants it was really about what the Holy Father has requested. I really meant did he request filial piety from the Patriarch (one schismatic) as he has done from Bishop Fellay (supposedly another schismatic). If not is that not a double standard. Or perhaps I am missing something.

  89. Matt of South Kent says:

    Does everyone remember that the Pope asked the Jesuits for obedience?

    But it is being picked on.

  90. Matt of South Kent says:

    Megotoaz, how are you fit to decide what an error is? Canon lawyer or arm chair sspx expert?

  91. Matt of South Kent says:

    Louise, again

    It makes good sense that SSPX buys protestant churches since it is a protestant church.

  92. AP says:

    A NEW THEOLOGY

    A new philosophy, which is no longer scholastic, entered the Church with the Second Vatican Council. When we say “scholastic,” we mean the traditional philosophical formation given in the Church which is based on Thomism and Aristotle. You many recall that, as a means of fighting modernism, St. Pius X ordered that all those who hold the title of “Doctor” in the Church must either study philosophy in the scholastic tradition, i.e., Thomism, or lose their title. If this were to be enforced today, probably 80 percent of today’s doctors in theology might lose their title. This speaks for itself! A new theology means a new way of thinking, accompanied by a new terminology. Bishop Henrici, secretary of the COMMUNIO movement, gave a very interesting conference.
    (Communio was founded by Cardinals Ratzinger, de Lubac & von Balthasar. It is essentially a think-tank where many bishops have been fomed over the past decades.) Bishop Henrici gave a conference on the maturation of the Council in which he described how, as a Jesuit, he studied before the Council and how he lived during this period. It is amasing to hear how clearly he dared to speak. He even asked good questions, but the way he answered them was quite surprising. For instance, he explained that when he was a thologian at the University of Louvain, a professor recommended to the most gifted students to read “the most prohibited of all forbidden books”: Lubac’s SUPERNATURAL. Henrici asked: Why did we read these books?” He clearly showed that he recognized this as an act of disobedience. Basically, his answer was: “We saw the Church and the religious congregations as an old train which was about to be discarded and replaced with a new train.” So they jumped into the new train without giving a thought to the old one.

    It is also very interesting to hear his reasons for adhering to new theories. He explained how, in their studies of dogma, they had learned about the evolution of dogmas; hence, they wanted changes even in dogma. This is pure modernism! Faith and dogma do not change. What is true once is true forever. God is above time & circumstances. The truths about God — the Faith — do not change.

    State of the Union Address
    The Situation in the Church &
    Relations with Rome

    HH Bernard Fellay
    The Angelus Press, June 2008

  93. Habemus Papam says:

    Patrick and Matt of South Kent must have some hot-line; not only does Patrick know the size of SSPX congregations but Matt knows what most traditionalists think! Wow.

  94. Matt of South Kent says:

    Thanks for the post from the excommunicated Bishop Felley.

    Do you have something from excommunitcated Bishop Williamson? He is sooo smart.

  95. Andy says:

    One thing: everyone analyzes why SSPX does this or that. One thing came to me: why the Holy See is pushing (or seems to be pushing) this matter just now?

  96. Matt of South Kent says:

    Habemus,

    Its easy to know what sspx thinks because every time there’s an soap box, some sspxer hops on top of it to lecture the Church.

  97. I am not Spartacus says:

    One thing came to me: why the Holy See is pushing (or seems to be pushing) this matter just now?

    It has been 30 years. It was time to fish or cut bait.

    The Barque of Peter sails safely past the Charybis of Modernism and the Scylla of Schism where, ship-wrecked on its shoals, the sspx is fellaying scad.

  98. megotoaz says:

    Megotoaz, how are you fit to decide what an error is?

    Did I say that I was the/an arbiter of what is error? I said “Error has no rights.” It’s a fundamental principle of philosophy. That which is erroneous isn’t worthy to be mentioned in a discussion of, or search for the truth.

    But since you raised the question let me answer by stating the obvious: we have a visible Church of real teachers who codify — sometimes dogmatically — what is and is not true. I don’t consider myself smart enough to determine on my own what is and is not error. But I can read and the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, the Scholastics and Doctors, the dogmatic Councils (the last one was pastoral… look it up), and the Popes when they speak as the Pope and with the manifest intention of binding all Christians everywhere for all time constitute this thing we call the Magisterium. If what someone — be it layman, Priest, Bishop — says something in contradiction to wha the Church has always taught then that person is in error. The only Charitable thing to do is to tell the person that he’s in error and teach him the Truth (spiritual work of mercy: instruct the ignorant). Letting them persist in error at the peril of their soul cannot be called good manners or Charity.

    Or to answer you another way: I’m not smart enough to come up with the Truth on my own: I just quote people whose names begin with “St.” and that’s good enough.

  99. Pierre Hountet says:

    It makes good sense that SSPX buys protestant churches since it is a protestant church.
    Comment by Matt of South Kent — 28 June 2008 @ 4:42 pm

    In charity, I must admit that I have not read such an idiotic statement about the FSSPX in a long while.

  100. RBrown says:

    It makes good sense that SSPX buys protestant churches since it is a protestant church.
    Comment by Matt of South Kent

    Acc to JXIII (Veterum Sapientia) Latin ties particular Churches (dioceses) to Rome. The SSPX uses Latin ;most dioceses, who consider themselves Roman Catholic, do not.

    Houston, we have a problem.

  101. Matt of South Kent says:

    RBrown, that seems to be the only thing that times sspx to Rome. Maybe it ties it to Rome but not the Roman Pontiff. There is more to being Catholic than Latin and vestments. Some of those things are far more important that Latin and vestments.

    And, there many Roman Catholic churches using Latin today. (Greek, too)

  102. Domine Non Sum Dignus says:

    Reading some of these comments, I can’t help but be (lamentably) reminded, of Our Lord’s words as recorded in the 24th Chapter of Matthew, when responding to the disciples that came to him in private asking for signs of His coming and of the consummation of the world, He said (at Verse 12):

    “And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.”

    We all need to pray and meditate on these words of Our Saviour to see if it does not often apply to our selves, don’t we?

  103. Andy says:

    The anniversary of the consecrations is not a good enough explanation for me for pushing an ultimatum just now. After all, it is just a date. Maybe it is just a reaction to one more sermon calling Holy Father “sick mind”, but I don’t think Holy Father would react in such a way. There must be some better reason or plan behind this, I just wonder what that might be. Don’t you?

  104. Habemus Papam says:

    Matt, still wondering how you know that most traditionalists do not see a break with Tradition?

  105. Matt of South Kent says:

    Habemus, Most traditionalist are in the Church. At least in the United States.

  106. AP says:

    Matt of South Kent

    Matthew, this is for your benefit as you request.

    It was as Superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers between
    1962 & 1968 that his (Archbishop Lefebvre)missionary
    visits to the South American continent gave him to see
    that Argentina might be the most suitable country in
    Latin America from which to launch the Society’s mission
    of forming priests for this once hugh part of the Catholic
    world. “Once huge part” because who has not heard of
    the ravages wrought amongst Catholics in Latin America by
    the Portestatn sects following Vatican II? On Archbishop
    Lefebvre’s first post-conciliar visit to Argentian in
    1977, he met with a number of distressed Catholics eager
    to defend (Catholic) Tradition against its destruction by
    the neo-modernists. These Catholics benefited from Argentina’s
    high level of Catholic culture, especially in the main
    cities of Buenos Aires, Cordova &Mendoza. In the following
    year, I can remember the good impression made by three
    Argentinian seminarians when they arrived at Econe in order
    to become priests with the SSPX. One of the three is now
    a bishop — His Excellency Alfonso de Galarreta.

    HE Bishop Richard William
    Letter from La Reja (Argentina)
    The Angelus June 2008

  107. rick says:

    Fellay said several months ago that all Rome wanted in regard to the SSPX was to have the SSPX as another menagerie under the circus tent of the New Vatican 2 church along with all of the special interest groups in the modern church, i.e. a little of this and a little of that, etc…. Well, Fellay is doing a great job of participating in the so called circus atmosphere. and his verbal acrobatics are quite ‘novel” for the SSPX. This SSPX response is a sham, a great disgrace to the Magesterium of the Church and to Our Lord. It covets supreme episcopal power and makes mockery of the order established by Our Lord Himself. Where is the charity of the saints here! It is lacking and furthermore this way of behaving tempts the world to make mockery of the Catholic Church. Not for one iota would I accept the notion that this was done in defense of the True Faith.
    Noblesse Oblige! The circus mask fell off when Alain Lorens, SSPX spokesman said Friday: “Fellay “accepts to respect the pope and not take the place of the magisterium of the Church, except if there is something in the post-Council magisterium that is opposed to the magisterium of 2,000 years.” The truth concerning SSPX motivations comes forward in the word ” EXCEPT” There is no “except” Its all hogwash SSPX jibber jabber for “we know more than you” and “we’re true to the faith and your not, so there!” Come on fellas, who do you think your fooling ?

  108. AP says:

    HE Bishop Richard Williamson

  109. Matt of South Kent says:

    Andy, MP-SP is really doing wonders for the Church. The Church and its tradionalist members do not need sspx anymore. sspx has served its purpose. As such, the Pope is cleaning up the lose ends. The Pope probably will consolidate ED into CDF or the Eccumenical Commission.

    Not saying everythings perfect, there is work to be done but good progress has been made.

  110. anonymous in Michigan says:

    I see a profound lack of charity and humility in some of the comments here. It is the hallmark of a soul close to God to try to understand the other instead of bashing them over the head with one’s over the top rhetoric. In addition, I think Christian charity demands that we try to give the benefit of the doubt to one whom one is in disagreement with. In correcting the other, how do we approach them? Equating SSPX members and the laity who support them Protestants in a rather bombastic manner does absolutely nothing to help the situation. It simply hardens positions and creates a bitter zeal.

    I am afraid while the internet is magnificent in the wealth of information it can give the diligent student it can also serve as a grave temptation to “mouth off” with an ease unknown in previous generations. Both sides need to think, pray, and be slow to speak (post).

  111. Justin says:

    megatoaz,

    “…the Holy See were clearly and manifestly out of line with dogmatically defined Catholic teaching, shouldn’t someone stand up and tell the Pope where he stands in relation to the Truth?”

    The Holy See cannot be out of line with dogmatically defined Catholic teaching because they define Catholic teaching.

    “Or to answer you another way: I’m not smart enough to come up with the Truth on my own: I just quote people whose names begin with “St.” and that’s good enough.”

    Saints can be wrong in expounding Catholic dogma. Popes cannot be wrong in expounding Catholic dogma.

    I’m not smart enough to come up with the Truth on my own: I just quote people whose names begin with Pope and that’s good enough.

    Tu es Petrus and all that. Unless Christ was a liar, his Church – the Holy Roman Church – will not fall into error.

  112. Mitchell says:

    All,

    This post seems a little harsh in the interpersonal attacks..Much more than I have read in the past. We are all obviously empassioned with this topic but can we bring down the tone a little. In fact Father Z, I am surprised you have allowed it to remain open. [Occasionally, I like to think that people can behave like adults. I see more and more easily why the Five Conditions were offered. - Fr. Z]
    I think this has a lot more to do with Pride than finance..Both sides of the financial benefits and detriments have been presented well, but I do think we need to move past that and deeper toward the root..And that word, PRIDE, keeps surfacing. Food for thought……..Peace and Prayers.

  113. Paul Goings says:

    My question was not really about what Bishop Fellay wants it was really about what the Holy Father has requested. I really meant did he request filial piety from the Patriarch (one schismatic) as he has done from Bishop Fellay (supposedly another schismatic). If not is that not a double standard. Or perhaps I am missing something.

    Is it true that the Holy Father has not asked of the Patriarch of Constantinople what he has asked of Dr Fellay and the S.S.P.X.? Yes. But then the Patriarch does not claim that he is a Roman Catholic and that he owes obedience to the Bishop of Rome; Dr Fellay does. Well, sort of, it would seem. To me it is simple:

    1. Are the infamous five conditions an unlawful command? I submit that they are not, and that this is clear from their plain grammatical sense. No one has shown any evidence that they are unlawful, save for complaints about what they don’t say.

    2. Is Joseph Ratzinger the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, and thereby entitled to issue such commands? I would say yes, but I suggest that many in the S.S.P.X. would deny this, for all intents and purposes. Thus, if one says, for example, that the Holy Father must be reconciled to the fullness of the Catholic faith then this implies that he is not Catholic (unless someone can be “kind of Catholic”), and therefore a heretic, and therefore not Pope, and therefore there is no Pope. But if this is not true, then what excuse can there be for not obeying lawful commands?

  114. Supertradmom says:

    Thank you anonymous is Michigan! Such a lack of charity on this blog merely shows us how we must pray for our betters to make the correct decisions about unity. Truly, we must be humble and pray for all concerned. God’s Will, I do believe, prevails if we listen in silence. On this day of the two greatest apostles, Peter and Paul, we have primary examples of differences regarding the Gentiles which were resolved by God’s intervention. The Acts, Chapter 10, verses 44-48: “While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word. And the faithful of the circumcision, who came with Peter, were astonished, for that the grace of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Gentiles also…Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized who, have received the Holy Ghost, as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they desired him to tarry with them some days.” Douay Rheims Version.

    I am praying for a miracle!

  115. megotoaz says:

    Justin: the Pope can say things in error. Review the definition of infallibility from Vatican I: not everything the Pope says is infallible. I can’t remember the name of the Pope now but I want to say it was the first of the Avignon Popes who taught error his whole pontificate but on his deathbed semi-recanted and said “I was only teaching as a private theologian.” Pope Benedict made it very clear that his recent book Jesus of Nazareth is a private work and not meant to be considered as a Papal teaching.

  116. RBrown says:

    Justin: the Pope can say things in error. Review the definition of infallibility from Vatican I: not everything the Pope says is infallible. I can’t remember the name of the Pope now but I want to say it was the first of the Avignon Popes who taught error his whole pontificate but on his deathbed semi-recanted and said “I was only teaching as a private theologian.” Pope Benedict made it very clear that his recent book Jesus of Nazareth is a private work and not meant to be considered as a Papal teaching.
    Comment by megotoaz

    That would be John XXII (John of Cahors). He held the error but never taught it, which was that the Blessed don’t enjoy the Beatific Vision until the Last Judgment. His successor Benedict XII formally cleared up the matter with “Benedictus Deus”.

  117. Matt Q says:

    Hey, folks, stop with the conniption fits about Father Z. He knows a couple of people in the SSPX or at least has had conversations with them. He’s mentioned that at one point, so he would have a greater insight to what the general sentiments may be in there. Temper your own ignorance of the circumstances with what we see transpiring in public. None of us know the full story. We’re not parties to the issue, nor are we privy to them.

    Many complain about the “Magisterium” of the SSPX versus That of Rome. Yet, many people do the same thing by quoting this or that citation from one Council or another, or from the Catechism, etc., to lay against the SSPX. Don’t claim superiority about them doing it and yet you do it yourselves.

    Cardinal Castrillon has said, the SSPX are not in schism, just canonical irregularity. Such irregularity is far more tolerable than the actual schisms suffered and perpetuated by the Orthodox and other such type.

    God bless everyone involved and pray for them.

  118. megotoaz says:

    That would be John XXII (John of Cahors). He held the error but never taught it… [emphasis added by megotoaz]

    Thank you for the name — now that I can Google the details, including the point that he did indeed teach this error. From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    In the last years of John’s pontificate there arose a dogmatic conflict about the Beatific Vision, which was brought on by himself, and which his enemies made use of to discredit him. Before his elevation to the Holy See, he had written a work on this question, in which he stated that the souls of the blessed departed do not see God until after the Last Judgment. After becoming pope, he advanced the same teaching in his sermons. In this he met with strong opposition, many theologians, who adhered to the usual opinion that the blessed departed did see God before the Resurrection of the Body and the Last Judgment, even calling his view heretical…

    The point remains: the Pope can teach error. Not everything a Pope says is de fide.

  119. Brian Walden says:

    Here’s my take: If the most modernist, liberal, heterodox, bishop in the world asked me to sign a paper saying that I recognize his position as a successor of the Apostles and I agree to give him the respect he deserves as such – I would do it on the spot, no questions asked. So when it’s the Pope who’s asking, I can’t see why any Catholic would refuse.

    If Bishop Fellay personally wanted to respond in the affirmative but did not because of concerns over an internal SSPX schism, I have little sympathy. The SSPX fostered this schismatic attitude over the years, they are the ones responsible if it comes back to bite them.

    I do hope that negotiations can continue but I have to feel that the SSPX has hurt themselves by backing into this. Imagine the ammo they would have against the liberals if they had enthusiastically accepted the Pope’s conditions. They’d be able to hold it over the head of all the liberals who would never be able to accept them. I think they’re in a dangerous situation now. With Pope Benedict at the helm and his Marshall Plan in place, the SSPX needs the Church more than the Church needs the SSPX. The Church has until the end of time to wait to reconcile the SSPX, how long does the SSPX have?

  120. Rose says:

    I get an uneasy impression that the SSPX leadership are behaving like insolent adolescents….
    they understand perfectly well what is being asked of them (in effect, to declare whether they are “sedevacantist” or not) but they pretend not to understand. Go to bed by 9? Does that mean going to my room (where my bed is) by 9 or does it mean climbing into bed by 9 and staying up to read, or does it mean going to bed and closing my eyes but having my earphones on or perhaps it means going to the couch which I treat as my bed by 9 and watching TV till I fall asleep….aw, Dad, I was just asking for clarification! Coming from the SSPX this kind of truculence must be doubly painful for the Holy Father.

  121. megotoaz says:

    I get an uneasy impression that the SSPX leadership are behaving like insolent adolescents….
    they understand perfectly well what is being asked of them…

    That is very naive. Words have meaning, especially in writing. Moreover, what is meant in spirit and what can be done by the letter of the wording can be two different things. This was the problem with Sacrosanctum Concilium and why it was approved by so many “traditional” bishops at the council. They signed the document with the understanding that it would be carried out in the light of tradition rather than being applied in the most liberal of terms possible. Here is an excellent article reviewing Sacrosanctum Concilim from the point of view of a lawyer looking for loopholes (the point is that there are many and they are immense).

  122. prof. basto says:

    The lack of a positive response is very unfortunate, even if the SSPX are saying that they reject but doesn’t completely reject the Conditions. Full acceptance of the Conditions would have almost certainly created the atmosphere required for a lifting of the excommunications.

  123. Martin says:

    “Thank you for the name—now that I can Google the details, including the point that he did indeed teach this error. From the Catholic Encyclopedia:”

    “In the last years of John’s pontificate there arose a dogmatic conflict about the Beatific Vision, which was brought on by himself, and which his enemies made use of to discredit him. Before his elevation to the Holy See, he had written a work on this question, in which he stated that the souls of the blessed departed do not see God until after the Last Judgment. After becoming pope, he advanced the same teaching in his sermons. In this he met with strong opposition, many theologians, who adhered to the usual opinion that the blessed departed did see God before the Resurrection of the Body and the Last Judgment, even calling his view heretical”

    megotoaz: Do you not think that selective quoting to make a point is dishonest? Why didn’t you quote the entire paragraph on John XX11′s so called heresy? The fact is that even the theologians who did call him a heretic agreed that he was only putting forward his personal opinion and on a teaching that was not yet fully defined as a dogma. It was that same pope who called a commission to more fully study the teaching of the Beatific Vision and only after his death was it formally defined as doctrine by Pope Benedict X11.
    It’s precisely this kind of half truths, mis-leading statements, heresay and often out-right falsehoods that cause many Catholics who might otherwise have some sympathy for your cause to shake their heads in disgust and wonder why on earth anyone bothers to waste time even attempting to have a civil discussion with the SSPX.

    Sorry. This is my first post and I don’t know how to highlight quotes.

  124. John6:54 says:

    I just spent an hour reading all the comments. It would have been better spent praying. Lord help us. Amen

  125. Pierre Hountet says:

    Father Z is making a very good point, in my opinion, regarding money (benefactors), but there is clearly more to the story (pride in particular). That said, even though I prayed for the success of this rapprochement, and I sincerely still hope for an unconditional signature of Monseigneur Fellay, one the other hand I understand his concerns. Suffices to look at how countless bishops and several conferences of bishops blatantly disobey what Rome is telling them to do, on a regular basis — and yet, they are not disciplined for their acts. The latest flagrant rebellion I read about occurred last week in Chicoutimi, Québec, but I am not well informed and would thus not be surprised that other similar cases occurred since then, under my (quite opaque) radar screen.

    Yes, I would love to see the FSSPX come back to the fold, but at this point of disintegration of the human part of the Church, Monseigneur Fellay may very well be doing the right thing. I just don’t know. At any rate I am just too much of a nobody to condemn him, and I am surprised to read so many uncharitable comments being thrown at him by laity who, as far as I am concerned, is just as much a nobody as I am. Just my 2 cents.

  126. SARK says:

    Dear megotoaz,

    I don’t think Rose is naive – but I do think that Bishop Fellay would be extremely naive to unreservedly accept conditions that were defined so losely unless they were accompanied by clear evidence that the Holy Father had started to address the doctrinal problems that are at the heart of the FSPX’s concerns and the crisis in the Church, or at least had set in place a framework for doing so. This of course may have been discussed in private.

    It should be coming soon if the optimist tradis are correct about the Holy Father’s intentions and plans. I hope thier optimism is justified.

    I do think it’s slightly amusing that people critise the FSPX in incredibly detailed legalistic terms about this breach or that breach, and then criticise them when they (the FSPX) in turn ask for a little precision in the wording of a crucial set of conditions.

    JMJ

  127. Atlanta says:

    I don’t see why Rome is dealing with the SSPX at all. Why not just ignore them?

  128. I just finished listening to se.veral talks by Bishop Fellay found on the Rorate Coeli web. In essence he knows the inner workings of the managerie called of the Vatican underlings. I can at least sympathize with his position. Church politics is nasty wherever you go. I am sure the presence of the patriarch and the pope did not set well with him, but then I know many Orthodox centers that would agree with him but for different reasons.

  129. Kradcliffe says:

    Atlanta wrote: \”I don’t see why Rome is dealing with the SSPX at all. Why not just ignore them?\”

    That\’s a very good question. My guess is that the Pope sees some real value in what the SSPX stands for, and what they have accomplished. So, they merit more attention than, say, the Flat Earth Society. Because the SSPX contain a bit of validity, they are a real threat to the Church: they mislead people who could be a powerful force for change within the Church. As I heard somebody say last week: they siphon off the cream of the crop. And, I would say that they poison the cream. I envision frustrated faithful Catholics who, unable to tolerate things at their local parish, find solace at the SSPX chapel. They find beautiful, reverent liturgy and people who have been where they\’ve been and can sympathize with them. Then, any misgivings they may have about disobedience are assuaged by the bizarre rhetoric. I think it\’s all rather cult-like. I have been tempted, myself, to attend the local SSPX Mass, but I just couldn\’t bring myself to cross that line. At the same time, I couldn\’t ignore the crazy, bitter stuff that comes from that direction. If I were to give in to temptation, I think I would be easy prey to The Crazy.

    Stay away from The Crazy, folks!

  130. BobP says:

    “My question still stands: Most of you believe that the core benefactors of the SSPX will withdraw financial support for the SSPX if the SSPX reconciles with Rome. UPON WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU BASE THAT ASSUMPTION UPON?”

    Well, there were a few (like Mel Gibson) who built chapels in order to have
    the Traditional Mass offered. I don’t know if he’s one of those benefactors.

  131. Justin says:

    megatoaz,

    “Justin: the Pope can say things in error. Review the definition of infallibility from Vatican I: not everything the Pope says is infallible. I can’t remember the name of the Pope now but I want to say it was the first of the Avignon Popes who taught error his whole pontificate but on his deathbed semi-recanted and said “I was only teaching as a private theologian.” Pope Benedict made it very clear that his recent book Jesus of Nazareth is a private work and not meant to be considered as a Papal teaching.”

    I never said the Pope couldn’t say things in error. But I was disputing your point about the Holy See which is the Holy Roman Church being as you put it “out of line with dogmatically defined Catholic teaching.” The Church of Rome IS the Church. Unless the Church herself can be ‘out of line with her own teaching’ in which case she ceases the exist and thus Christ would be proven a false prophet.

  132. Bob says:

    Louise said: “The SSPX has to buy Protestant churches to renovate or finance building their own churches because the mainstream Church would rather tear down their “extra” churches than sell them to the SSPX.”

    I have to chuckle at this statement, Louise. Here in KC, the SSPX has one church and elementary school that had been closed down by the local diocese. They approached the diocese with an offer to buy it and were refused. They then went through a protestant minister (Methodist Bishop?) who purchased the property and then turned around and sold it to the SSPX.

    Over in Kansas, they purchased a former Jesuit college in the Catholic town of St. Mary’s, Ks. Of course some question the catholicity of the Jesuits.

  133. John6:54 says:

    I don’t see why Rome is dealing with the SSPX at all. Why not just ignore them? ~ Atlanta

    You don’t ignore the SSPX because they are our brothers & sisters in Christ and part of the Holy Fathers flock.

    Do you ignore your children because they are confused or prideful?

  134. Stephen says:

    No mention of the letter or response at our SSPX Mass this lunchtime; none at all, not even a hint; if there had been outright rejection there would have been at least a little explanation why. I suspect we might be seeing something playing out; I think there is acceptance of the conditions, and some of the leadership are moving towards fuller agreement and others pulling away from Rome.

    What disappointed me in particular was our priest gave no mention of the Plenary Indulgence or the start of the Pauline year; this alarms me, since we seem to be losing some of our connection to the wider Catholic Church.

  135. Habemus Papam says:

    Justin: In a sense you have hit the nail on the head. If a Pope formally teaches error he ceases to be Pope, the sedevacantist position. Now, is the SSPX saying that the Pope, a Pope has ceased to be Pope due to formally teaching modernist errors? This has been skirted around for a long time and is probably behind this ultimatum.

  136. Matt of South Kent says:

    Stephen, you hit the nail on the head. CSPX is really moving away from the church or maybe it is the church that is moving away from CSPX. The Church has had 46 years of development and history from the 1962 missal. Popes now travel the world to feed, tend and care for Jesus’s flock.

  137. Paul in the GNW says:

    An interesting paragraph written by Joseph Ratzinger July 10, 1977 that seems to have SSPX in mind and may give some historical insight into Pope Benedict’s mind in this matter. I came across this in “co-workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year” by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Ignatius Press page 208 – The Meditation for June 29th somewhat appropriate.

    “It is not true that the Church has ceased to be Catholic. Nothing that is truly Catholic, nothing that is conformable to Catholic belief, has lost its place in the Church, and we must all strive together to make that fact apparent to every person who joins the living congregation of the Church without clinging obstinately to his own preconceived idea of what is thereby entailed. Nothing can be preserved, nothing can be gained, by division. For when the very quality that was once the form of the Church is now used against her, it is not longer the same. It has been cut off, has become the expression of someone’s own self-will and in the process, has been profoundly changed. Only unity can be fruitful. Augustine has illustrated this with great forcefulness with respect to the experiences of his African homeland…He exclaimed to the Donatists: Even though you have all these: the same Amen, the same Alleluia, that means the same canon and the same hymns, the same Credo there is one thing you do not have: by rupturing unity, you have destroyed love; but it is in love that the Holy Spirit dwells, and without him you have but an empty form.
    From: Ordinariatskorrespondenz, July 10, 1977

  138. Cathguy says:

    Some of these postings are bizarre. I grow tired of all the insults heaved at the SSPX: “The Crazy,” “Schismatics,” “why don’t we just ignore them” etc. etc. For the record, I belong to a Novus Ordo parish and I do not worship in the Gregorian Rite every week, because I love my parish community. I do not worship at SSPX chapels.

    HOWEVER (and I have made this point elsewhere but it is worth pointing it out again given some of these comments)according to recent polls 95% of the Catholic laity either a) disagree with, or b) don’t bother to live the Church’s teaching on the inherent evil of artificial contraception. Humanae Vitae you ask? No one around here as even heard of it. Preaching on it from the pulpit? No one around here has bothered.

    The 5% of laity who do live the Church’s teachings amount to a statistically insignificant portion of the Catholic population (polls like this have a + or – 5% margin of error.

    Catholics endorse new-age spirituality. There is a Yoga class at one local parish where I live predominately advertised in the bulletin. Reiki and other new age practices are allowed in the Church.

    Very few Catholics attend confession, but our entire congregation gets up to receive the Eucharist. Most if not all are contracepting. When we receive the Eucharist it looks as if we are on cue to get a cookie for all the reverence we show.

    The Church in the U.S. is sinking fast. Our numbers are down. The faithful showing up at Mass are all old, or women and children only. Young fathers especially are nowhere to be found. The Novus Ordo Church has become entirely feminized. It resembles a some a whole new religion. (I think this last sentence is a bit extreme… and tend to disagree… but I can understand where people are coming from)

    YET, the SSPX are “crazy,” ought to be “ignored,” and are “schismatics.” Does all this make any sense to anyone? Put down the Pete Vere / Patrick Madrid book. Its just entirely out of date… and WRONG. What are the fruits of the new Mass? What are the fruits of all the new innovations and protestantizations? Reiki and Yoga! Give me a break!

    Do you think 95% of those attending SSPX chapels are contracepting? Do you think there are Yoga classes and sessions of Reiki healing offered at SSPX chapels? Do you think their Bishops are trying to silence members of the faithful who actually resemble the Church militant? We need these people BACK.

    Meanwhile, the local ordinary has decreed that any priest wishing to add the Extraordinary Form on Sunday MUST consult with him first. Furthermore, even if a parish as 11 Novus Ordo Masses that fulfill the Sunday obligation, NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM CAN BE SWITCHED TO AN EXTRAORDINARY FORM MASS. The local ordinary (whom I owe my obedience… unless he works against the Holy Father and/or the higher Truth… we have higher accountabilities) seems to desire to work against the renewal being called for by the Pope.

    Yet, the SSPX are the enemy, and everything is hunky dory in the Novus Ordo Church? Patrick Madrid and Pete Vere? GIVE ME A BREAK! Posting insults at the SSPX when desperately need unity is just plain idiotic. They have suffered persecution enough.