Countdown: accord between Holy See and SSPX

The very reliable Andrea Tornielli of the Italian daily Il Giornale is reporting that

My translation of the blog post with my emphases and comments.

Countdown: accord between Holy See and SSPX

The countdown has started for an accord between the Society of St. Pius X, founded by the French [archbishop] Marcel Lefebvre, and the Holy See, as I write in Il Giornale today.  The Lefebvrites, who asked for the revocation of the excommunication, must respond by 28 June to the proposals presented on behalf of Benedict XVI by Dario Card. Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".  At issue are five points to be signed off on, which once clarified the SSPX can enter again into full communion with Rome.  It is an one time offer (irrepetibile): for quite a while the Lefevbrites were asking for the derestriction of the old Missa, and Pope Ratzinger gave full citizenship back to the pre-Conciliar rite with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum cura, and the recent "catechesis" coming from Papal Masses, with the recovery of some traditonal elements, can’t be denied.  The Society must accept the Second Vatican Council and the full validity of the post-Conciliar liturgical rite (both these points were already accepted by the same [Archbishop] Lefebvre in 1988), and concerning its canonical arrangement, it could be set up as a "prelature".  It is known, however, that there is internal resistance: Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior of the SSPX, will have to seek to overcome this in the upcoming days, on the occasion of the General Chapter.  Now that the old Missal has been derestricted – even though there were many difficulties and noisy disobedience – many faithful traditionalists don’t understand why the SSPX will not enter into an accord with Rome, returning fully into Catholic communion.  In all probablity such favorable conditions will not come again.

The longer article in Il Giornale adds that a few days ago Bp. Fellay and some other SSPX members met with Card. Castrillon but doesn’t say much more that new than this brief blog entry.

I would point out that, if this story is accurate in its details, they are talking about perhaps setting up a canonical structure for the SSPX along the lines of what Opus Dei enjoys, a "personal prelature".  Think of a "personal parish" in a diocese, fully a parish but without geographical boundaries, such that it overlaps other territorial parishes, designed for the needs of, say, German speaking immigrants or, as Summorum Pontificum provides for, people who want the older forms of Mass and sacraments.  Extend that model out to a "personal diocese", much like that of the aforementioned Opus Dei or, perhaps, diocesses for military personnel and their families.  This would not give absolute autonomy from local bishops, but it would provide great freedom to work and a structure for administration and, most importanly faculties to marry and hear confessions, say Mass licitly, etc.

As I have been saying all along, the issue of the excommunications and the canonical structure are relatively easily resolved.  I think they will even be likely to sign off on the affirmation that the Novus Ordo is valid.  They aren’t, after all, being told they have to like the Novus Ordo.  They won’t be told they have to celebrate it.  They just will have to say it is valid. 

After that, the theological issues will have to be hammered out.  The Council’s document on Religious Liberty and probably on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et spes) will provoke tough discussions. 

However, I don’t see why those can’t take place over time after an accord.  After all, the Church’s teaching on religious liberty is not a dogma of faith like the Holy Trinity or the two natures of Christ.

I am very happy to read about this.  I trust that you, together with me, will pray in a special way for the positive outcome of the SSPX General Chapter.  I will especially invoke their guardian angels to help them in their deliberations, St. Peter and St. Paul to guide all they do concerning the unity of the Roman Church and the Roman Rite.

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79 Responses to Countdown: accord between Holy See and SSPX

  1. “After all, the Church’s teaching on religious liberty is not a dogma of faith like the Holy Trinity or the two natures of Christ.”

    What is it then? I’d welcome other answers, but I’m particularly interested in that of the good Father. I’m not picking a fight here, just curious.

  2. RBrown says:

    Accord between the SSPX and Rome would enhance the growth of Latin liturgy in Germany and elsewhere because the antipathy of certain bishops toward providing Latin mass would become irrelevant.

  3. Father E says:

    Shoud be interesting. Of all the structures Canon Law has the personal prelature seems the most resonable one for the SSPX and Pope Benedict can remove the need to ask permission of the local ordinaries if he wants. If I were Bishop Fellay I would take this deal and negotiate for more. They can do more good within the Church’s structures than outside and their vocations will skyrocket. Even the Fraternity of St. Peter’s could have more seminarians if they had more professors and rooms. Just about all of the traditional orders will be much bigger in 10 years. Heck! There are some dioceses they could take over in ten years because there will e very few priests. Very very very interesting and fun. I’m praying hard.

  4. Franzjosf says:

    There is an update over at NLM. The SSPX has confirmed that such a proposal exists.

    Of course, you’re right about religious liberty and GandS. I must say, that when I finally read major parts of it about a year ago, it provoked in my neither. It too, however, does not rise to the level of dogma, if I understand correctly.

    At any rate, I hope that things can work out. The SSPX has stated repeatedly that the Novus Ordo is valid. I just hope that the Holy See will not be more demanding on allowing the SSPX to criticize non-dogmatic things than she is with others in full communion who criticize from a different perspective.

  5. Patrick A says:

    RBrown,
    I suspect that an accord would have a positive impact on the availability of the TLM, but for different reasons. Some Bishops might be much more proactive about providing the Gregorian Rite if only to keep the SSPX out of their diocese. Something to ponder.

  6. John Enright says:

    With leaders such as Bp. Williamson, I have my doubts about this. I’ll pray for success.

  7. Petrus says:

    I hope this goes through. I’ll keep them in my prayers.

  8. Brian Mershon says:

    If at least some of the SSPX bishops/priests accept this agreement (of course we do not know what is in it, but I would bet it is similar to what Archbishop Lefebvre signed, then reneged upon, in 1988), this will be the death knell to the misinterpreters (and many of them in “conservative,” “orthodox” clothing) of the Second Vatican Council.

    They myths about its theological importance/significance in order to be an obedient Catholic will be stripped away. The emporer will have no clothes.

    Prayers that an accord is reached amicably and that then entire SSPX is officially acknowledged as being in full communion by the Holy See.

  9. RichR says:

    I am surprised the Holy See would force the SSPX’s hand after such a long and patient rapprochement. Nevertheless, the SSPX may never have this opportunity with another Pope. The longer they wait, the more comfortable the Society’s members will be with their de facto denial of papal jurisdiction.

    I, personally, think they could help save more souls in the Church if they came back into full communion.

    I’d go to one of their chapels if they came back.

  10. Paul Haley says:

    If this is true, I hope that further negotiations will take place outside of the realm of public discourse, i.e., the media. Also, I have in mind many independent traditional groups not associated with the SSPX. What is to become of them? In any case I shall continue to pray for a good outcome.

  11. Paul Goings says:

    I’m sure that this would have to be spelled out in whatever accord is being developed by the Holy See and the S.S.P.X., but I wonder what provision would be made for existing S.S.P.X. chapels, canonically? It’s my understanding that a personal prelature would permit a certain freedom from diocesan bishops, and that’s a good and necessary thing for the time being, at least in my opinion. Nevertheless, it is required that the local ordinary grant permission for a personal prelature to be established in his diocese. I presume that the existed chapels would be grandfathered; it’s hard for me to imagine that some (or perhaps many) of them would have to be closed if a regularization occurred.

  12. Paul: But consider the possibilities in places where there are too many churches and chapels for the available number of priests. In France, for example, there are priests who have a dozen or more churches under their charge.

  13. malta says:

    *The Society must accept the Second Vatican Council.*

    That’s easy: They don’t have to find it infallible–as it was a pastoral council– or like it, just that it was a valid council. There have been council which, in hindsight, should have never happened, to paraphrase then Cardinal Ratzinger.

    I completely agree with Fr. Z that the notion of religious liberty as found in VII is non-dogmatic; i.e. the Church’s present understanding could change. If you look at Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors, it implies quite the opposite of what VII states.

    So, SSPX could re-enter into full communion, continue their criticisms, respectfully, if you will, of VII (although the less said, the better, for know, probably.)

    I think it would be an absolutely tremendous mistake for SSPX not to jump at this. The Church dearly needs them in Her bosom, and SSPX needs to regain full canonical stature with the successor of Peter–as that is essential to be Catholic, and not, say, Anglican, Orthodox, or Old Catholic.

  14. LCB says:

    “and concerning its canonical arrangement, it could be set up as a “prelature”…”

    My tea almost hit the screen when I read this. Brilliant move by the Holy See. The implications of this could be VERY far reaching. I happen to think the timing is perfect. After all, if a personal prelature can be set up for one a group dedicated entirely to a specific Rite, surely such consideration can be made for our Anglican brethren who seek to maintain certain books of prayer…

    (http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=59220)

    In addition, very few Popes are ever able to heal schism. Not only would a schism be healed (always a good thing), but tens of thousands of faithful, traditional Catholics would now join in supporting the Pope. We need the reinforcements!

    As for recognizing the Novus Ordo as valid: it seems to me that, if the Pope is indeed the supreme legislator (as Trent affirms), then the new mass is valid. If they acknowledge the Pope, they must acknowledge this. If they refuse to acknowledge this, then they believe the See is Empty, and the differences between us approach being irreconcilable. Two decades is enough time for the SSPX to decide on this matter, either there is a Pope or there isn’t.

  15. malta says:

    “Truefaith” at New Liturgical Movement wrote:

    *If the SSPX were to accept whatever they’ve been offered by the Vatican, and supposing one of the particulars to be the establishment of a personal prelature–which if my understanding is correct, would involve the permission of the local bishop to operate, how will this really aid the Church in it’s recovery of tradition? Given the documented hostility of numerous bishops towards the old Mass, the SSPX would find little welcome, as well as a very difficult if not impossible operating environment awaiting them.*

    That is a very good point. Hmmm… Any thoughts?

  16. Paul Goings says:

    Father,

    I’m not sure of your meaning. Are you saying that the S.S.P.X. clergy would be of help in staffing those parishes in France? If so, that would be wonderful! (This would mean a change to the E.F. for some people, though, as I can’t really imagine asking the newly-reconciled S.S.P.X. clergy to offer the O.F., at least not right away.)

    But I was actually referring to the various dioceses in the U.S. where the S.S.P.X. is already established. For example, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia there are three locations where the E.F. is celebrated in full communion with the Holy See. None of these is a Sung Mass or High Mass, and there are no week-day services. There is also an S.S.P.X. chapel, which has a Sung Mass on Sundays and some week-day services. Will its continued existence be mandated by the agreement, or will those who attend there be expected to disperse to what’s on offer at the other three locations? Will this be entirely within the grant of His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop, or will Rome make some provision directly?

  17. Gerard says:

    At issue are five points to be signed off on, which once clarified the SSPX can enter again into full communion with Rome.

    I wonder what those five points actually are. And who has is demanding the clarification? Also, “enter again into full communion” assumes something that the SSPX denies.

    It is an one time offer (irrepetibile):

    I suspect that isn’t true. Bishop Fellay made it clear he was willing to wait 20 years more if necessary. The fact that he is so young works to his advantage when it comes to the political hashing.

    for quite a while the Lefevbrites were asking for the derestriction of the old Missa, and Pope Ratzinger gave full citizenship back to the pre-Conciliar rite with the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum cura,

    Actually, there are still very limited restrictions concerning the number of TLMs in a given parish. So, it is not yet in accord with both Vatican II and the TLMs previous station. It is not yet the equal of the Novus Ordo in terms of “rights.”

    and the recent “catechesis” coming from Papal Masses, with the recovery of some traditonal elements, can’t be denied.

    When the Pope starts condemning, outright condemning liberal errors, the situation will be truly right for the SSPX to be restored canonically.

    The Society must accept the Second Vatican Council and the full validity of the post-Conciliar liturgical rite (both these points were already accepted by the same [Archbishop] Lefebvre in 1988),

    What does “accept” mean? Accept the historical fact of the event? And what’s the “full-validity” compared to the “partial validity” of the Novus Ordo?

  18. Cliff says:

    I think I’ll throw a little party on that auspicious day!

  19. Jrbrown says:

    Here are possibly the 5 points (or at least it wouldn’t be surprising):

    1. Request for lifting of excommunications
    2. Acknowledgement that V Council II is ecumenical council, including Lumen Gentium 25 and requirement of religious submission of mind and will to Magisterium, but only in light of Tradition and ‘hermeutic of continuity’.
    3. Acknowledgement of validity and basic doctrinal rectitude of New Mass, going only so far as to say that it is valid when properly offered, with right intention, and that priest can do so without sin.
    4. Agreement that while criticism of New Mass and V Council II, and post conciliar Magisterium, can continue, all polemics must be avoided, including implication that Rome is Modernist, New Mass is evil, and so forth
    5. Reaffirmation of obedience to the Holy Father and his Magisterium, interpeted in light of Tradition

  20. Woody Jones says:

    “However, I don’t see why those can’t take place over time after an accord. After all, the Church’s teaching on religious liberty is not a dogma of faith like the Holy Trinity or the two natures of Christ.”

    Well said, Father. They really need (and the Church really needs them) to come back in from the “cold” and fight the good fight from inside. If they have a good enough juridical arrangement, now is the time. There might not be another for a long while.

    Oremus–and hard.

  21. John Paul says:

    I guess I don’t know what “accept Vatican II” really means, any more so than
    accept the Motu Proprio, or accept the need for inter-religious dialogue,etc..
    Nothing that I can see is universally accepted, except the basic articles of
    faith and dogma. Heck, as has been stated repeatedly here and elsewhere,
    Catholics don’t even agree on the theology of the Eucharist anymore, and yet
    no one is getting excommunicated over that tragedy.

    Whether SSPX “accepts” it or not, or continues to speak against VII or not, I
    can’t see what the difference would be, just like now with bishops who oppose
    the MP. So I hope they accept and return. I fear a further split, which is
    how both the FSSP and SSPV were created.

  22. Kradcliffe says:

    My husband and I were just wondering what this would mean for us in our Archdiocese. We have an elderly retired priest saying Mass on Sunday morning, but he’s not in the best of health and he also goes away for the summer. We won’t have a licit Mass for July or August… and we were thinking, “Well, this could solve the problem of where to go…” but that got me to thinking about other things. There are other reasons I avoid the SSPX chapel, beyond them being in schism. I am disturbed by some of the, well, tin-foil-hat stuff. I would hate to see our Archbishop abandon us to the SSPX. What if this undermines what Cardinal Castrillon was saying about the Pope wanting the EF in ever parish?

  23. RBrown says:

    Actually, there are still very limited restrictions concerning the number of TLMs in a given parish. So, it is not yet in accord with both Vatican II and the TLMs previous station. It is not yet the equal of the Novus Ordo in terms of “rights.”

    The FSSP already has some parishes with nothing but Greg masses.

    The Society must accept the Second Vatican Council and the full validity of the post-Conciliar liturgical rite (both these points were already accepted by the same [Archbishop] Lefebvre in 1988),

    What does “accept” mean? Accept the historical fact of the event? And what’s the “full-validity” compared to the “partial validity” of the Novus Ordo?
    Comment by Gerard

    Do you think that “accept” should mean for the SSPX anything more than it means for the bishop in Quebec?

    Also: If a formal offer is going to be made to the SSPX, I would think that it serious informal negotiations have already taken place.

  24. The return of so many traditionalists would give an enormous boost to the traditionalist movement generally, and greatly aid the spread of the TLM. And a special canonical structure will go a long way to solving at least some of the potential problems. So we should pray hard for it.

    But I think it will be very hard for many in the SSPX at all levels to accept this. The reality is that many of them don’t think the novus ordo mass is valid, and say so loudly to anyone they can find to harrass. We still get occasional ‘evangelisers’ visiting our TLM and attempting to get people (occasionally with some success) to defect to them.

    Accordingly, I do think the time has come for them to decide once and for all if they are in schism or not…

  25. B. says:

    For the Vatican “accepting Vatican II” means saying “I accept Vatican II”. That’s all that is important, nobody cares how you interpret it.

    The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary interpret Lumen Gentium to say that everyone who is not a baptized member of the Catholic Church will automatically go to hell – that’s OK with the Vatican.

    Many bishops interpret the demand that all seminarians must learn latin so well that they can study the original documents in that language to say that they don’t need to learn latin at all – OK, too.

    Pope Paul VI interpreted the demand that Latin must be retained to mean that Latin should be done away with – No problem.

    SSPX says: Well, there’s a problem with Vatican II. – Oh the humanity, they don’t accept Vatican II!

    This whole “accepting Vatican II” stuff is completely ridiculous when considered that many Catholics, including many, many priests and almost certainly also bishops (although I wouldn’t venture to estimate their number) outright reject Vatican I, Trent or even the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople and yet absolutely nothing is ever done about that.

  26. Legisperitus says:

    Before the accession of Benedict XVI, Bishop Fellay used to disapprove of the idea of a personal prelature because he said it should be made clear that traditional liturgy was “for the whole Church,” not just a special case for a little isolated group. I think Summorum Pontificum and the pronouncements of Cardinal Castrillon may have helped with that particular difficulty.

  27. Michael R. says:

    Isn’t a personal prelature a step down from the apostolic administration they said they were offered under John Paul II?

  28. Franzjosf says:

    The statutes of the SSPX do not require a bishop to be the superior; a priest can be the superior. An Apostolic Administration, as the name implies, requires a head in the Apostolic Succession, a Personal Prelature does not. I hadn’t thought about that until now. Interesting.

  29. RBrown says:

    I’m not sure of your meaning. Are you saying that the S.S.P.X. clergy would be of help in staffing those parishes in France? If so, that would be wonderful! (This would mean a change to the E.F. for some people, though, as I can’t really imagine asking the newly-reconciled S.S.P.X. clergy to offer the O.F., at least not right away.)

    But I was actually referring to the various dioceses in the U.S. where the S.S.P.X. is already established. For example, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia there are three locations where the E.F. is celebrated in full communion with the Holy See. None of these is a Sung Mass or High Mass, and there are no week-day services. There is also an S.S.P.X. chapel, which has a Sung Mass on Sundays and some week-day services. Will its continued existence be mandated by the agreement, or will those who attend there be expected to disperse to what’s on offer at the other three locations? Will this be entirely within the grant of His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop, or will Rome make some provision directly?
    Comment by Paul Goings

    I think those SSPX houses will be regularized.

    NB:

    Can. 331 The office uniquely committed by the Lord to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, abides in the Bishop of the Church of Rome. He is the head of the College of Bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the Pastor of the universal Church here on earth. Consequently, by virtue of his office, he has supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church, and he can always freely exercise this power.

    Can. 332 ß1 The Roman Pontiff acquires full and supreme power in the Church when, together with episcopal consecration, he has been lawfully elected and has accepted the election. Accordingly, if he already has the episcopal character, he receives this power from the moment he accepts election to the supreme pontificate. If he does not have the episcopal character, he is immediately to be ordained Bishop.

    Can. 333 ß1 By virtue of his office, the Roman Pontiff not only has power over the universal Church, but also has pre-eminent ordinary power over all particular Churches and their groupings. This reinforces and defends the proper, ordinary and immediate power which the Bishops have in the particular Churches entrusted to their care.

  30. JAP says:

    H.E. Bishop Fellay presented a sermon given on the occasion of the nine ordinations to the Diaconate at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, MN, June 20. In this sermon, His Excellency discusses the responsibility of Deacons to witness to the Faith by their preaching and he mentions an ultimative the Society recently received from Rome. An audio of this (56 min) sermon has been added to the
    “Special Events” page of Voice of Catholic Radio Long Island.

    http://www.voiceofcatholicradio.com/

  31. Sid Cundiff says:

    Everyone: Do four things:

    1. Pray for reconciliation with the SSPX. We need these people.

    2. Exercise extreme custody of the tongue (and the keyboard). The next few days will be full of very sensitive negotiations. Don’t say something that will be disruptive.

    3. Don’t gaze into crystal balls and try to foretell the future.

    4. Be from Missouri.

  32. I am not Spartacus says:

    For a long time I have been a vehement opponent of the sspx schism. If an agreement is reached (I think there is a greater chance the next Pope will be a Japanese woman named Miko)I will shut-up.

    So, there will be additional unexpected good news for many in here.

  33. Alcuin Reid says:

    Let all priests who are able offer a votive Mass ‘pro Ecclesiae unitate’

  34. Tiny says:

    Some would say this is would be “compromising” tradition. I’m not so sure, in my view this is BETTER than the pre-suppresion status quo.

  35. Thaliarch says:

    I pray that Bishop Fellay keeps insisting that the Vatican and traditionalists harmonize their understanding of Catholic doctrine as expressed in the documents of Vatican II.

  36. David says:

    “However, I don’t see why those can’t take place over time after an accord. After all, the Church’s teaching on religious liberty is not a dogma of faith like the Holy Trinity or the two natures of Christ.”

    My faith has been renewed in you, Fr. Z.

  37. Domine Non Sum Dignus says:

    Sounds very encouraging.
    Let us pray that God’s will be done in this regard.

  38. Fr. Marie-Paul says:

    Let’s hope the SSPX gets it act together and comes home. I am tired of the “SSPX Magisterium” telling the real Magisterium (and us) how to interpret Tradition.

  39. Jayna says:

    I would be ecstatic beyond words if this comes to fruition. There is an SSPX chapel about five miles away from my house. No more hour long drives for a proper mass for me!

  40. Why is the Opus Dei model now more desirable than the Campos one?

  41. Michael R. says:

    “Why is the Opus Dei model now more desirable than the Campos one?”

    Good question. An apostolic administrator is an ordinary. The head of a personal prelature is not.

  42. Jason says:

    Well, http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2008/06/fellay-on-ultimatum.html has some distressing news about this… I’m not familiar with the personalities, but it seems like they’re viewing it as an ultimatum rather than an opened pathway home.

    –Jason

  43. LCB says:

    Perhaps it IS part olive branch… and part ultimatum? The SSPX appears to be fracturing. If they don’t come back now, they may spiral and divide into absurdity.

  44. Matt Q says:

    Malta wrote:

    “The Society must accept the Second Vatican Council.

    That’s easy: They don’t have to find it infallible—as it was a pastoral council—or like it, just that it was a valid council. There have been council which, in hindsight, should have never happened, to paraphrase then Cardinal Ratzinger.

    I completely agree with Fr. Z that the notion of religious liberty as found in VII is non-dogmatic; i.e. the Church’s present understanding could change. If you look at Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors, it implies quite the opposite of what VII states.

    So, SSPX could re-enter into full communion, continue their criticisms, respectfully, if you will, of VII (although the less said, the better, for know, probably.)

    I think it would be an absolutely tremendous mistake for SSPX not to jump at this. The Church dearly needs them in Her bosom, and SSPX needs to regain full canonical stature with the successor of Peter—as that is essential to be Catholic, and not, say, Anglican, Orthodox, or Old Catholic.

    )(

    Yes, Malta, that’s true. I like to look upon V2 as one of those “needless councils,” but that’s my opinion.

    I pray this works out for SSPX. This would be a great seminal moment in the Church. The ground-laying of Summorum Pontificum and now the hoped-for agreement. It would put to rest ( but like roaches, they’ll always be around ) the whining and nay-saying by all the liberal odd ones who think Vatican II took on Bolshevik qualities, and also tells these whack-job “Sede Vacantists” there really is a Pope on the Throne of Peter, legitimately there even after Saint Pope Pius X.

    After full communion, they certainly could carry on their struggles for Catholic purity. It then would be no different than the lefties who carry on their wars against the Church from within! The SSPX would then have more ground, more legitimacy because they would then be in the Church and shows how their struggles bear fruit. Unlike the liberals who cause everything to wither away into foolishness and falsehood.

  45. Phillip says:

    A had this dream a while back, and it may come true: The SSPX finally comes back home and is reunited with Peter. For a grand celebration for this triumphant return, the Holy Father will celebrate a TLM at the altar where St. Pius X’s body rests below. He would be assisted by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos and Bishop Fellay. Lets pray to see something like this, God willing, nothing is impossible!

  46. FranzJosf says:

    The SSPX is already home; is Cardinal Mahony? It depends how one looks at that question.

  47. Geoffrey says:

    “Why is the Opus Dei model now more desirable than the Campos one?”

    “Good question. An apostolic administrator is an ordinary. The head of a personal prelature is not.”

    The Prelate of Opus Dei reports directly to the Pope. Perhaps an ordinary does not (at least directly)?

    I have doubts about the SSPX reuniting with Rome. They have more than their share of hostile voices…

  48. Gerard says:

    I find the pre-supposition that the SSPX “needs to come home” exactly the type of language that shows just how far the gap is in the part of the Church that actually thinks that is an accurate description.

    Let’s get this straight.

    This is a situation where the Church is in a crisis of faith of global proportions. We’ve got apostasy of unimaginable scope.

    It was allowed to happen by the Popes, starting with John XXIII’s absolutely foolish policy of “mercy” towards error. It has been fostered by the Popes ever since.

    This is a papal problem. They are in charge of guarding the deposit of faith. They have failed miserably in the last few decades.

    Until the Pope comes to the conclusion that the “Hermenuetic of Continuity” absolutely must, I repeat “must” include the condemnation of the errors of Liberalism, and the suppression of heretics, the crisis will not subside and the Pope will be suspect of complicity with the liberals.

    Until then and only then, the SSPX would be fools to agree to any kind of language that hamstrings their efforts to save souls from the abuse of liberals, be they priests, bishops, cardinals or Popes.

    The Pope can regularize them without demanding anything. He should do it, because it’s the right thing to do. No other reason. He doesn’t have to exact a price from the SSPX. He knows exactly what he has to do to make the SSPX respond. Why he doesn’t do it, is problematic and troubling. He can have their obedience at the snap of his fingers with a loyalty that would make the Jesuits of old look indifferent by comparison.

    If I had the opportunity, I’d offer the Holy Father this advice to consider: CRUSH THE LIBERALS AND THE CRISIS ENDS! We are, always have been and until the second coming will be in a war. Give the Church Militant a war with an enemy in front of us and not among us, slowly poisoning us. Blow the smoke of Satan back out of the Sanctuary. Clear the air and seal up the windows. Only then will we be comfortable with the smell of incense wafting towards heaven.

  49. Atlanta says:

    Thank you for this article and all these comments. As an Orthodox, it is good to have somewhere to direct my traditionalist Catholic friends to. They are convinced they are right. It seems to be a very clear issue, they are not in communion with Rome and they need to be. It doesn’t appear to be productive to argue with them. Its not about negotiation, its about obedience.

  50. Dominic says:

    Be careful about that mention of the General Chapter. It is a wish that needs prayers to become a reality. As of just a few days ago, there was certainly not one planned.

  51. Limbo says:

    Our very beautiful Mass was offered for this intention today.
    This is very good and exciting news!
    I could just hug that pope of ours !!!!!!!!!!

    Deo Gratias.

  52. Oliver says:

    Don’t waste your breath and ink on thinking that the SSPX people want to be absorbed by a Rome now further down the modernist track. Rome no longer has the faith and is an alien place for those traditionalists who want more than to parade in lace. If nothing else the SSPX continues to be a powerful reminder of the pre-conciliar church and its very strength is in continuing to be independent of the awful conciliar programme.

  53. Malta wrote:

    I completely agree with Fr. Z that the notion of religious liberty as found in VII is non-dogmatic; i.e. the Church’s present understanding could change. If you look at Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors, it implies quite the opposite of what VII states.

    I don’t think that the real question is whether V2′s teaching on religious liberty is dogma (i.e., was an infallible teaching by the council). Nobody on either side claims that it was. So it is at least theoretically possible that Vatican II and Pope Paul VI erred in some passages of Dignitatis Humanae.

    The real question is whether the pre-V2 teaching — which was critical of religious liberty, and was expressed in various documents (e.g., the Syllabus of Errors) — was itself a dogma. Because if it was then, it is now! And in that case, it would follow that Vatican II and Paul VI were not merely incorrect in Dignitatis Humanae, but were actually teaching material heresy. And in that case, it is very hard to see how Vatican II could have been a true council. (This is precisely the argument made by many sedevacantists and others who reject Vatican II outright.)

    In my opinion, the best solution to this problem is clear: The pre-V2 view was never taught infallibly, and neither was the V2 view taught infallibly. Therefore, the discussion of this question can continue, but in a respectful way, and in full recognition that all the popes and councils since Pacem in Terris have been strongly in favor of religious freedom. It follows that, while discussion on this point may continue, the two views are not equally deserving of religiosum voluntatis et intellectus obsequium as of today. In other words, further development of this doctrine ought not to happen through critics who refuse to give due respect to the non-infallible magisterium of the Church.

  54. EnglishCatholic says:

    The SSPX split has always upset me, and like most readers of this blog,
    I would like to see them return to the fold.
    However, I have become less sanguine over time about the desirability
    of this happening on anything less than strict and carefully thought-out terms.
    I think the constructive and positive-minded traditionalists the Church
    needs have already returned to the fold (FSSP etc.).
    Those who remain, as one other reader so aptly put it,
    contain far too many of the ‘tin foil hat’ brigade.
    An encounter I had recently with a couple of them only confirmed my suspicions.
    And the outrageous comments of Richard Williamson in particular disgust me.
    The Church should always leave the door open to those who wish to return,
    but perhaps the time has come, as the deadline suggests,
    for the SSPX to put up or shut up.
    Sorry if this offends anyone. But then, if you find this very offensive,
    you are probably part of the problem.

  55. Kradcliffe says:

    OK, this may sound a bit crazy, but I really do think that the day is coming when saying “I’m a practicing Catholic” will go down about as well as saying, “I’m a member of the KKK.” We are going to be technically tolerated, but marginalized as a “hate group” with an evil agenda, mainly because of our beliefs about homosexuality, but also because of our beliefs about abortion and euthanasia.

    When I think about that, I really wish that I knew more conservative, orthodox Catholics. It would help to have a network of support for our family. Particularly as I am considering home schooling our children. I have tried to find them by attending the Latin Mass here in Glasgow, but the fight with the SSPX has made it very difficult. I hear there are many young families attending that Mass. I know some of them home school. I wish I could join them. But, I won’t cross the threshold of their chapel until/unless everything is copacetic. Meanwhile, those of us who try to do the obedient thing are harassed on both sides. The Archbishop has not been particularly supportive and we will not have a Latin Mass while the regular priest is away for the summer. There has been an argument among the laity over whether it would be best to carpool to Edinburgh, go to the best Novus Ordo we can find, or go to the SSPX chapel. I fear that, come September, the number of people at the diocesan Mass will be even smaller.

    I dare to hope that an agreement would make a lot of this problem go away. On the other hand, I still don’t know how comfortable I’d be going there.

  56. Kradcliffe says:

    English Catholic:
    You’ve expressed my feelings exactly. (I just had the thought “Tin Foil Mitre brigage. *giggle*)
    It may be that the point of this deadline isn’t really to bring the SSPX back in, but to force them to admit where they really stand. One thing I dearly hope is that, come what may this weekend, we’ll soon be past the point of arguing over the real intention of the Monsignor Perl letters. I hope there will be a definite statement, one way or the other, so that other traditionally-minded Catholics won’t be so easily tempted to leave the authority of the Church when there are bumps in the road.

  57. If what I am seeing here is indicative of the type of dialogue going on within the SSPX, it is simply shocking how far people will go to avoid being under Petrine authority.

    A fallible Ecumenical Council? Bishops in communion with the Pope of Rome gathered as an Ecumenical Council teaching error? Some folks here are starting to sound more and more like the Orthodox not-in-communion with Rome. I belong to a Byzantine martyr Church that suffered for this communion. It went underground and many, many people (grandmas, grandpas, youths, husbands, wives, priests, bishops, etc etc) risked and lost their lives for it, when all that would have been required was to burn incense before the Soviets and abandon communion with Rome for Moscow. So many died out of love for the Catholic Church and communion with the Apostolic See. (During my ordination this weekend, I was able to gaze out from the altar through the iconostasis to the mosaic icons in the choir loft of many of these martyrs who were looking down upon us from heaven!) The great martyr-bishop Josaphat was one of the first to die for this union many centuries before. I was honored to venerate his relics in Rome 5 years ago, not too far from the incorrupt relics – yes, you read that right – of Blessed John XXIII. Some Society members (certainly NOT all) talk as if they have suffered for the Catholic faith, but what they really do is relish their feeling of supposed superiority brought on by a martyr complex. Show me one true Society martyr if you please. We have literally tens of thousands in the 20th century alone.

    Rome has made an offer. It seems to offer everything except the “freedom” to pick and choose the Catholic teachings and Councils you like. I hope the good people I know in the Society work hard for the acceptance of this offer. There are those who – while appearing to take a courageous stand – are really only posturing to maintain control without accountability (aka “schism”).

    May God have mercy on the members of the Society who are of good will and on the good Pope Benedict, Successor of St. Peter and Servant of the Servants of God.

    In ICXC,

    Father Deacon Daniel

  58. Craigmaddie says:

    Yes, things haven’t been easy in Glasgow. It seems that the Archbishop would be quite happy if the traditional Latin Mass was no longer celebrated in his Archdiocese – effectively driving a sizeable number of those (“hankering after nostalgia”, as he sadly described us) who still attend the diocesan traditional Mass to the local SSPX chapel. I am not sure how readily I would go to the SSPX chapel – even after a possible reconcililation. There seems to be so much self-righteous indignation amongst the more vocal members that, at the moment, such a prospect is very unattractive to me.

    The words “the anger of men does not produce fruits acceptable to God” (James 1:20 – Ronald Knox translation) come to mind for me. People will only be attracted to orthodox Catholicism by joy and genuine humility of those practising it – not by irascible self-righteousness (which sadly seems to be exhibited by a vocal minority of those attending Society chapels).

  59. Michael B. says:

    New update from Rorate Caeli:
    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/
    April 28 clarification confirming Gerard’s comments:
    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2008/04/urgent-fellay-sspx-cannot-sign.html

    I think, Craigmaddie and others suffering under Bishops “in communion” with Rome, that this is the crux of the SSPX problem: why are Bishops who defy the Pope and Catholic teaching in good standing with Rome? Indeed, how can my bishop in the midwest USA possibly think that his deformed idea of Catholicism has anything to do with the Catholic Faith? Because the crisis of the last nearly fifty years has had this result. I dare say that it would be very easy to convince Fellay et al of Vatican II’s orthodoxy should the guns of Papal discipline be decisively turned toward the Bishops.

  60. prof. basto says:

    “Why is the Opus Dei model now more desirable than the Campos one?”

    Because Campos is local; and the SSPX a worldwide entity.

    Even Military Archbishops, while not “local”, are “national”, and not international in their jurisdiction.

    Creating a worldwide Ordinary would be akin to creating an Ecumenical Patriarchate for the SSPX. A huge authority like that should not be delivered into the hands of bishops who have said what they have said about Rome, and who aren’t that submissive to the supreme ecclesiastical authority.

    For the sake of Catholic unity Supreme Pontiff should remain the sole worldwide Ordinary.

    That’s why, in the case of the SSPX, the Campos model of ordinary jurisdiction seems impracticable. The international character of the SSPX recommends against it. The Opus Dei is a worldwide body, so its structural model presents itself as a fine alternative.

  61. I am not Spartacus says:

    I pray that Bishop Fellay keeps insisting that the Vatican and traditionalists harmonize their understanding of Catholic doctrine as expressed in the documents of Vatican II.

    Thaliarch. I think that presents an enormous problem for those who call themselves traditionalists. It is a tautology that every Ecumenical Council is interpreted within Tradition.

    The deal-killer is that men like Fr. Fellay understand that if Vatican Two is interpreted within Tradition (It is) then that means that Vatican Two IS Tradition.

    There is no way those who succor the SDSPX will stand for that reality.

    BTW, I notice that there are calls for silence on the part of those of us who oppose the SSPX Schism while there is never a call for those who succor the SSPX schism to stop attacking The Pope, The Council, and The Mass.

    If the impossible is realised – a reconciliation – I will shut-up fully knowing that any deal will be viewed by the SSPX as a surrender on the part of Rome and any such reconciliation will result in the war against the Divinely-Constituted Magisterium will now be waged within the Body of Christ.

    I am unable to understand how it is I ought desire that.

  62. Jordanes says:

    Michael B. said: I dare say that it would be very easy to convince Fellay et al of Vatican II’s orthodoxy should the guns of Papal discipline be decisively turned toward the Bishops.

    Even so, the disobedience and failings of others cannot justify my own disobedience and failings.

    If the comments of Gerard and Oliver are any indication of the general opinions and views of the SSPX members and their lay adherents, then reconciliation is highly unlikely any time soon.

  63. Matt of South Kent says:

    I wonder if after the dead line, Ecclesia Dei will be merged into another organization, maybe Christian Unity, Divine Worship, or something else.

    There are a lot of smart people at ED (past and present) and they could be used else where.

  64. Jrbrown says:

    It might be good if everyone just ‘shut up’ and prayed that God’s Will be done here, and not try to have a political argument over something concerning the salvation of souls! I continue to be amazed by the apparent willingess of people, no matter their perspective, to let an ideological perspective get in the way of both faith and reason, and most of all grace and God’s Will. Please pray for a successful resolution, and perhaps even send a message to SSPX that we pray for their regular and approved status to be restored.

  65. I think praying is a good idea.

    I also think “I Am Spartacus” makes an excellent point, as usual. One hopes that reconciliation with the Pope and Church of Rome will quickly extinguish the schismatic spirit. But I fear that it is deeply ingrained in quite a few vocal members, some of whom are in leadership.

    As to the question of why Rome has not had rampant excommunications of dissident/heretical bishops, priests, deacons, religious, laity and theologians, I would say that one need only point to the illicit consecration of bishops and the fact that the Society is an international organization to which one can belong – sort of a parallel ecclesial body. Very rarely do the heretics form such parallel bodies, in part because they are already in positions of power canonically. But I agree that the Society is full of many people of good will who legitimately desire to see an authentic restoration of all things Catholic. It is a tragic circumstance of history (but also part of the mystery of iniquity on both sides) that those who are of the Church often place themselves outside the full visible communion of the Church, to paraphrase Augustine.

    I hope the issue is resolved soon, and the schismatic spirit of the Society members is replaced by a filial spirit of trust, hope and love.

    In ICXC,

    Father Deacon Daniel

  66. Matt of South Kent: Ecclesia Dei will be merged into another organization, maybe Christian Unity, Divine Worship, or something else.

    Yes. This is a very real possibility… eventually. It seems the most normal thing that the Commission eventually be integrated into Divine Worship. However, I don’t think we will see that any time soon.

  67. Malta says:

    *This is a situation where the Church is in a crisis of faith of global proportions. We’ve got apostasy of unimaginable scope.*

    *The Pope can regularize them without demanding anything.*

    Good points Gerard, and good comment. I’m curious what the five points really are. I suspect that Rome will not demand adherence to the tenants of Vatican II, but that SSPX agree to continued respectful dialog regarding VII. There is no reason SSPX can’t exist as they are, within the Church, and without subscribing to VII, because, like you said, we are in a crisis of faith, an Vatican II teaches no new dogma (unlike Vatican I, which taught Papal Infallibility, which led the Old Catholics away from the fold.) In the modern Church, only 30% believe in the Real Presence, and 90% of Catholic couples contracept, arguably a mortal sin. With the SSPX faithful, the numbers are at least reversed. There are Priests and even Bishops who would kiss the Pope’s ring, but disagree with doctrines and dogmas of the Church. Every, or nearly every, member of the SSPX believes in every dogma of the Church. So where is true faith? I’m sure the Holy Father knows this.

    I’m hoping that the “five points” are less demands than interim conditions under which SSPX and Rome can both work, given their respective differences.

  68. Gerard says:

    Father Deacon Daniel wrote:

    If what I am seeing here is indicative of the type of dialogue going on within the SSPX, it is simply shocking how far people will go to avoid being under Petrine authority.

    I’m afraid that is not an accurate portrayal of the circumstances. We are talking about issues of true obedience and the abuse of the papal office. Specific causes of specific controversied endorsed by specific Popes as a result of the Council and post-conciliar policies.

    We’ve got a problem when Popes are the ones who are avoiding exercising Petrine authority and “communion” is only a meaningless phrase since heterodoxy is no impediment to “communion.”

    A fallible Ecumenical Council?

    A council with no good fruit. It doesn’t have to be defining something to be no good for the Church. Vatican

    Bishops in communion with the Pope of Rome gathered as an Ecumenical Council teaching error?

    Were they teaching doctrine? Or were they “rephrasing” doctrine in a way to (supposedly) to make it more accessible to “modern man?” If so, it was a failure. It can and should be scrapped.

    Some folks here are starting to sound more and more like the Orthodox not-in-communion with Rome.

    Guilt by association. The Orthodox are heretics. Perhaps it would be fair by your standards to accuse those who don’t accept the teaching of the Church on true and false obedience as “moonies.”

    I belong to a Byzantine martyr Church that suffered for this communion.

    Which “this” communion? The post-Vatican II policies imply that that martyrdom was a waste of blood. There is no unity worth fighting liberalism for. Heretics have a place in the post-conciliar Church now. Truth and error are brothers.

    It went underground and many, many people (grandmas, grandpas, youths, husbands, wives, priests, bishops, etc etc) risked and lost their lives for it, when all that would have been required was to burn incense before the Soviets and abandon communion with Rome for Moscow.

    Why? John XXIII reached an agreement with the Soviets that Communism wouldn’t be condemned at the council? Perhaps they should have “dialogued” with Moscow. Plenty of incense is being burned to the Chinese Gov’t. Rome doesn’t seem to think that is worth martyrdom.

    So many died out of love for the Catholic Church and communion with the Apostolic See.

    That leads to the question of what “communion” really means. Are we talking “communion” in faith, sacraments and heirarchical structure or are we talking about “communion” in the Karl Rahner sense?

    (During my ordination this weekend, I was able to gaze out from the altar through the iconostasis to the mosaic icons in the choir loft of many of these martyrs who were looking down upon us from heaven!) The great martyr-bishop Josaphat was one of the first to die for this union many centuries before.

    Congratulations on your ordination. I’ll be praying for you. Martyrs usually die so that they may save their own souls, there must be a reason for that,like there is no salvation outside of the Church that they were trying to maintain unity and integrity with.

    I was honored to venerate his relics in Rome 5 years ago, not too far from the incorrupt relics – yes, you read that right – of Blessed John XXIII.

    John XXIII was embalmed.

    Some Society members (certainly NOT all) talk as if they have suffered for the Catholic faith, but what they really do is relish their feeling of supposed superiority brought on by a martyr complex.

    That’s very presumptuous of you. You don’t know the battles that have been fought, the heartache, the families torn apart, the abused elderly. When your traditions get trashed, when the shepherds do far more harm to souls than good, when your beloved and beautiful and orthodox liturgy is illegally suppressed by the Churchmen in charge, when the Divine Liturgy is scrapped and replaced by a Clown Mass in English, then tell me there is no suffering to maintain the Catholic Faith.

    Show me one true Society martyr if you please. We have literally tens of thousands in the 20th century alone.

    Bishop Williamson has described the current dry martyrdom and warned that the time may come for a wet martyrdom,and not too far in the future. The dry martyrdom of archbishop LeFebvre and Bishop Castro de Mayer are two examples.

    There are many SSPX priests in Africa and South America who are in grave danger currently. I hope you’ll pray for them, for their safety and if that is not God’s will that they will have the courage of martyrs. An SSPX priest, Fr. Gonzales was shot at in my own chapel several years ago while saying Mass. The bullet bounced off his shoe and landed on the altar. St. Micheal’s in Farmingville NY was desecrated, the tabernacle torn out, the altar smashed, Our Lord strewn along the ground. Had Fr. Burfitt been there at the time, who knows what kind of danger he’d have been in. The Catholic League of course turned a blind eye to it.

    Rome has made an offer. It seems to offer everything except the “freedom” to pick and choose the Catholic teachings and Councils you like.

    I would love for you produce a Catholic teaching denied by the SSPX.

    There are those who – while appearing to take a courageous stand – are really only posturing to maintain control without accountability (aka “schism”).

    Name them.

  69. Brian Sudlow says:

    Gerard, Father Gonzales was shot at by some crazy guy with psychological problems, wasn’t he? Hardly odium fidei, is it?

  70. All discussion of the “five conditions” should continue here.

  71. RBrown says:

    Don’t waste your breath and ink on thinking that the SSPX people want to be absorbed by a Rome now further down the modernist track. Rome no longer has the faith and is an alien place for those traditionalists who want more than to parade in lace. If nothing else the SSPX continues to be a powerful reminder of the pre-conciliar church and its very strength is in continuing to be independent of the awful conciliar programme.
    Comment by Oliver

    Although I am very sympathetic to the liturgical practices of the SSPX, nevertheless, I find some of their theological positions erroneous oversimplifications. For example, this from their website:

    8) Salvation
    There is an explanation of the supposed unity of the human race. It is the teaching on salvation contained in the document on the Church and the modern world, Gaudium et Spes, in the infamous §22 that proclaims the new humanism. The thesis is that by His Incarnation God saved every human being, uniting every man to Himself by taking our human nature: “For, by his incarnation, he, the son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.” No longer is there any need for faith, the keeping of the commandments, or for love of the Cross to be united with God.

    http://www.sspx.org/Catholic_FAQs/post-conciliar_church_a_new_religion.htm

    Now I’m not a fan of G&S–I consider it to be full of naive optimism. But the comments above incorrectly interpret the text. The union of the Creator with the Creation is a theme of Pope St Leo the Great (the Doctor of Christology), and I doubt that anyone would think that he insists that the faith is not necessry, nor the keeping of the commandments, nor the love of the Cross.

    After reading the Q&A on the SSPX site and the comments of Spirit of Vat II, I feel as if I’m living in an insane asylum.

  72. Michael says:

    Father Z., It is not helpful to the cause of unity to suggest that the Orthodox position can be reduced to a bond between the “identity and liturgy”, unless by the identity one means a doctrinal identity. The Russian Patriarch has publicly welcomed last year the Summorum Pontificum not because the Tridentine Mass is in Latin nor because there is so much silence in its Low form – the reasons why most of our traditionalists welcome it, but there is no such silence nor Latin in the Byzantine Liturgy – but because it is doctrinally sound, which is not the feature of the NO.

    You would resent what I say about the NO, because by the NO you probably mean the Missal and the related instructions. I don’t. The Missal is not the Mass. The Mass is an event each time when it is celebrated. From the viewpoint of the Missal=Mass, there is hardly any Event=Mass that is without one or another abuse. But from the viewpoint of the Event=Mass, these “abuses” are a standard. As one commentator – can’t find him now – observed: if we remove all abuses we might as well abolish the NO. Nothing would be left, because, statistically, the “abuses”are what the NO is all about as an observable phenomenon and the reason of the Archbishop Lefebvre’s outrage which led his excommunication.

    If in the NO the doctrinal identity and liturgy went “hand in glove” the Orthodox would have begun “to rethink their positions and how they relate to Rome” long time ago. But as it stands the NO is an ecumenical disaster: as long as it is with us we can forget about the restoration of unity. Can you imagine the Russian Patriarch concelebrating with the Pope and facing people?

    Still less helpful is to reduce their position to the fear of Islam “in the culture/identity/survival struggle”. They might even find this allegation offensive, and, in any case, it does not reflect the facts. Their liturgy is too beautiful, pious, doctrinally rich and emotionally uplifting for the Russians, Georgians, Ukrainians and the Balkan nations, all of which border the world of Islam – to be attracted by the latter, and the Orthodox in the Near East have been living in the sea of Islam for thirteen centuries.

    In this respect the “stronger friendship with Rome” would not be “of great benefit” to them, because it is we who are loosing to Islam, not them. Surely, devotion in a mosque compares favourably to that in an average NO Mass; not to mention the recent post showing an immodestly dressed woman during the Mass celebrated by a bishop. Also recently, in one of the traditional blogs, a photograph was shown of a wedding in FSSP church, in Rome I believe: two bride’s maids were shown walking along the nave, with very low cut necklines, and a woman nearby with semi-exposed breasts. The reporter commented that the ceremony was “beautiful”. A decent Moslem woman would be ashamed.

    Now, whatever we might think about the “theology” of the SSPX, the devotion with which they offer the Holy Sacrifice is exemplary, and they have strict rules about modesty. Can you imagine them in semi-autonomous status in dioceses under jurisdiction of the NO bishops, as you suggest ? To accept it would mean for them to sign a death sentence. Nothing but an absolute autonomy, directly under the Holy See would save them from disintegration.

    I know them well, and to correct you: they do not reject Vatican II, but insist that the ambiguities be clarified; they do not dispute the validity of the NO, but insist that it is de facto a danger to the faith – and who can argue it?; that the DH is a problem is not your discovery – it was so from the very beginning, but for some reasons the Holy See seems to sit on a fence, reluctant to clarify how the social doctrine of the 19th and early 20th cent. popes relates to it; ecumenism is the problem too, and the Holy See aggravates it, again, by a reluctance to clarify the status of the Church vis-à-vis other Christian communities; you don’t think that the excommunications are a problem, I think it is, because the Holy See would be unwise to entrust any office to their most vociferous Bishop.

  73. Gerard says:

    Brian Sudlow wrote:

    Gerard, Father Gonzales was shot at by some crazy guy with psychological problems, wasn’t he? Hardly odium fidei, is it?

    Brian,

    I don’t know how anyone who would do any harm to an innocent priest wouldn’t have psychological problems on some level. Fr. G was simply saying Sunday Mass when he was attacked. Now, it’s definitely true that something happened to his attacker when he went away to college. But Fr. was simply acting in the role of priest and that was the catalyst for the attack against him. He hadn’t been servicing the chapel long enough to actually make an enemy on a personal level and Fr. Gonzales is an incredibly good man, so hard working and he presents a sunny outlook in spite of the Crisis.

    The larger point was that it’s not like the SSPX doesn’t suffer for their position. Fr. Pfeiffer when building St. Isidore’s used to sleep in the pews. SSPX priests know how to “rough it.” Fr. Malachi Martin once said that they don’t know the toll their zeal will take from them because they are in general so young.

  74. It’s hard to believe that anyone else besides Benedict is shrewd enough to pull this off. This proposal allows people on both sides of the debate to exit gracefully without feeling like they’ve been exposed as fools.

    http://sspx.agenda.tripod.com/id16.html

    http://voiceofcatholicradio.com/walk,080622,tom_gabriele,six_pts_of_fr_fahey_plus_auriesville_pilgrimage,ss.mp3

    Benedict has shown that he can deliver more than what we pray for. Remember when we were asking for a universal “indult?”
    How long ago was that?

  75. Supertradmom says:

    Question for all of you out there in blog-land. Some SSPX priests and some of the people in the pew have doubted the validity of the new rite of Ordination. Is this a block? Are the priests who hold these ideas and their congregations deviating from official SSPX statements in this regard?

    God bless all of us and I really do hope my brothers and sisters in the SSPX and all of trads will be truly reconciled soon.

  76. Supertradmon: This is really off topic, but I don’t think that too many of the priests of the SSPX will state openly that ordination in the new Rite is actually invalid. I think they would say that it is valid, but flawed.

    I will start a new thread on this, so that we don’t go down a rabbit hole here.

  77. Jrbrown says:

    Once again, I would encourage everyone to pray and avoid doing or saying anything which contributes to lack of charity or otherwise impedes the activity of God’s grace. This is a critical period for the future of the Church, regardless of the immediate outcome here. The foundational issue in all of this seems to be whether one can defend and promote the traditional doctrine of the Church, and read Vatican II and post Conciliar Magisterium in light of Tradition, without at the same time injuring the unity of the Church, the papal office or charity in general. I think the answer is fairly clearly ‘yes’, since otherwise one is presented with a conundrum of holding fast to Tradition while undermining the very office intended by Jesus Christ to defend and uphold it. There is a difference between boldly proclaiming truth, and even pointing out flaws and apparent problems in certain acts of the Magisterium and governance of the Church, and attacking the Magisterium itself, as represented today by the Pope and bishops, and injuring the unity of the Body of Christ rather than strengthening it. In conscience no Catholic can do the latter under any circumstance-remember that there was both a LEGITIMATE criticism of theological tendences like ‘laxism’ and excessive casuistry, and an illegitimate one (i.e., Jansenism)-the substance of their arguments were similar, but one avoided injuring unity while the other did not. There is no such thing as being excessively orthodox, but there definitely can be excessive or inappropriate criticism of the failure of the PERSONS occupying the leadership of the Church that it actually spreads to an attack on the OFFICE held by that person.

  78. Cerimoniere says:

    Concerning Vatican II: the problem is that all the teachings of the Council, as well of the Popes before and since, are acts of the ordinary magisterium. Vatican II itself teaches that: “…loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and sincere assent be given to decisions made by him, conformably with his manifest mind and intention, which is made known principally either by the character of the documents in question, or by the frequency with which a certain doctrine is proposed, or by the manner in which the doctrine is formulated.” (Lumen Gentium, 25.)

    It’s very hard to know what to make of the tensions between the pre-conciliar magisterium on issues of religious liberty and ecumenism; for example, how the later teaching could be a genuine development of the earlier. This is the essence of the FSSPX’s concern, and they certainly won’t be silent about that, until the Pope provides the authentic clarification that only he can. However, it’s clear that saying the question is “still open to debate” does not do justice to the complexity of the situation.

    What we must all hope for, is that the FSSPX will voice this concern in a manner consistent with the “religiose obsequium” that the Council and the recent set of “conditions” require.

  79. Mark says:

    It seems to me that the Vatican has decided to resolve the SSPX problem once and for all. This operetta has been dragging on for much longer than necessary.

    I’ll continue to pray for their return to the Church, but at the same time, let’s not forget to pray for the Traditionalists in the Diocese of Chicoutimi.