ANGELUS: Interviews SSPX excomm’d bishops (part II: Tissier de Mallerais)

Here is a second part of the Angelus interview with three of the four excommunicated bishops of the SSPX.  Part One was here

Today we look at what SSPX Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais has to say, twenty years after the illicit consecrations in Ecône.

My emphases and comments.  I have changed some formatting.  Here is the interview with SSPX Bp. Bernard Fellay.  This interview is in the recent number of the publication of the SSPX called Angelus.

Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais

Q: Your thoughts on the state of the Church after 20 years of episcopacy?

Tissier de Mallerais: John Paul II did nothing to rebuild the Faith. [Nothing?] The great apostasy has been increasing; the youth are almost completely lost in impurity and drugs. The social kingship of Christ is completely destroyed by religious liberty and the rights of man. We are living the great apostasy of which St. Paul speaks to the Thessalonians: “venerit dicessio primum” (II Thess. 2:3).  [Rather apocalyptic.  Maybe so... maybe so...]

Q: What has changed, if anything, in the Society?

Tissier de Mallerais: What kind of Society? The Fraternity of St. Pius X? If this, sure, the Fraternity has grown, thanks to God, from 150 to 450 priests; double the number of brothers. Not many new priories; better to secure the common life of priests! But many new missions everywhere. Not many new countries which are not necessary. We must develop what we have begun. This is sufficient.

Q: How many countries have you visited since your consecration?

Tissier de Mallerais: Almost all the countries in which our priests work except Japan and Korea. How many would this be? Probably more than 30 or 40.

Q: What has impressed you about the faithful on your many confirmation circuits?

Tissier de Mallerais: Of course, the many families with the many children. Sometimes more than ten children—marvelous! It is the effect of the grace of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Also, with this come the many new schools for boys and girls, primary schools besides our priories in many places. Thus, church, priory and school are now the normal unit.  [An interesting demographic observation: This means that there are children of the first followers of Archbp. Lefevbre who have never known anything but conflict and harsh rhetoric about Rome and the Pope.]

Q: Consider how things might have been without the consecrations?

Tissier de Mallerais: We would have died: old priests, only old priests, old Brothers, old Sisters, seminaries empty and dead; and no Fraternity of St. Peter nor anything else. Tradition would have died. [Does this strike anyone as hubris?] So the bishops’ consecrations were “un acte saveur.” The “operation survival” has been a complete success, thanks to God and thanks to the heroic act of Archbishop Lefebvre!

Q: Is the situation with Rome more encouraging after 20 years?

Tissier de Mallerais: No, nothing has changed. Only the motu proprio of July 7, 2007, was an unexpected miracle, and it changes radically the practice of the Holy See towards the traditional Mass. But, practically, the return to Tradition is small among the priests. Only young priests, a few of them, are interested. [Perhaps more than a few.  But the point is that they tend to be young.] But as for religious liberty, [which is what I think is the true obstacle] the rights of man, the interest of Rome in our work: nothing has changed — induratio cordium! A hardening of the hearts, a blindness of the minds.  [On both sides... both sides are guilty.]

Q: What would you say to those who, in 1988, predicted the Fraternity of St. Pius X was creating a parallel Church? Has not history proved them wrong?

Tissier de Mallerais:  I answer: Where is the Church, my dears? Recognize the tree by its fruits. Where the fruits are, there the Church is. I do not mean that the Church is reduced to the Fraternity, but that her heart is in the Fraternity. [A subtle distinction, but I wonder if that isn't, again, a sign of a mentality that the SSPX has a "higher" Magisterium than the Roman Pontiff?  The SSPX is, like the Donatist view after the persecutions in the early Church, the "true" church of the "pure"?] The true Faith, the true teaching, the non-bastard sacraments: [Sacraments are either valid or they aren't, and they all have Christ as their minister.  From that point of view, what he said is very unfortunate, perhaps even verging on blasphemy.  But I think he is driving is not just the validity, but what the post-Conciliar rites convey or don't convey.] all this is in the Fraternity. Everywhere else, there is a mixture full of compromises because of liberalism and weakness of mind. The parallel Church is the Vatican II-Newchurch: her spirit, her new-religion or no-religion.  [It seems more and more that this fellows attitude is that the SSPX is the true Church with the true Catholic Faith and that anything else is simply false, a false religion.]

Q: What stands out as the most important development of the past 20 years? The death of the Archbishop? The election of Benedict XVI? The Motu Proprio?

Tissier de Mallerais: The answer is our perseverance, our existence. [A "siege" mentality?] The miraculous continuation of Tradition. The consecration of the bishops was only a means to this end. No, Msgr. Lefebvre’s death, the election of Benedict XVI, and so on were not events of significance. Really, no particular event happened during the past 20 years, but only the miracle of the survival of Tradition

Q: Many Catholics who began to fight alongside the Archbishop years ago now feel inclined to unite forces with a seemingly more conservative Rome by allying themselves with organizations with a more “regular status” within the Church.  [Meaning, probably, the FSSP, and perhaps even dioceses where the TLM is made available widely.]

Tissier de Mallerais: Yes, many losses. Because of lack of principles, unfaithfulness to the fight of the Fraternity, seeking compromises, wishing peace, desiring the victory before the time foreseen by God. [He is very focused on fighting.  Also, He seems to know God's will pretty clearly.  He also perhaps thinks that the people who leave off following the SSPX in favor of unity with Rome are rather stupid.] These poor people (priests, religious, lay people) are liberals and pragmatics. Seduced by the smiles of the people in the Vatican, I mean the prelates of the Roman Curia. [Probably meaning Card. Castrillon Hoyos.  Also the Holy Father?] People that were tired by the long, long combat for Faith: “Forty years, that’s enough!” But this one will last 30 more years. So do not cease, do not seek “reconciliation,” but fight on[There is a strong will to fight.  But for real unity?  I suspect very little.]

Q: What is your most memorable recollection of the Archbishop?

Tissier de Mallerais: When, on October 13, 1969, he opened to us the door at 106, route de Marly, Fribourg, Switzerland, alone, without any priests, receiving us nine seminarians in the two flats that he had rented from the Salesian Fathers. Alone and 63 years old, and beginning all things with us, poor young men! This was moving, to see how he took care of us, giving us spiritual conferences, very simple, theological, with St. Thomas Aquinas and his experience as a missionary. An archbishop, former superior general of 3,000 members, former Apostolic Delegate, and now alone with nine young men to begin something for the sake of the priesthood, something of which he did not even know the future. Realize this faith!  [Impressive in many ways.]

Q: What is the most memorable time in your seminary formation?

Tissier de Mallerais: Unbelievable! My first contact with the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas during the marvelous lectures of Rev. Fr. Thomas Mehrle, O.P., who would come every week from Fribourg to teach us Christ and God at Ecône. How delightful it was to hear Fr. Mehrle commenting on the Summa and we, at the time, reading our Summa in Latin, the wonderful Latin of St. Thomas. [That's wonderful Latin?!?] How many hours of delight, every day, from 8:15 to 9, at my table in my room, with the Summa to meditate and to learn! And now, I do the same thing, exactly the same!  [Then he reads more Thomas in one morning than most seminarians get in four years of major seminary despite what the 1983 Code of Canon Law requires!  But he had someone who helped him learn to read it.]

Q: Would you say that the fight for the Mass has changed dramatically since the consecrations?

Tissier de Mallerais: Absolutely not. Nothing has changed! The persecution against the actual young priests who retake the old Mass is the same as the persecution against the good priests, parish priests who, 40 years ago, remained faithful to the Mass of their ordination[Yes.  This is true.  But some of us had the steel to stay.]

With very few exceptions, the bishops are enraged against the traditional Mass. Their new religion is against the true Mass, and the true Mass destroys their new false religion, a religion without sacrifice, expiation, satisfaction, divine justice, penance, self-denial, asceticism; the religion of the so called “love, love, love” [or as I call it, "luv"] that is nothing but words.  [He has a point here, though he pushes it too far.  He seems not to accept that God can work through any means it pleases him to use.  I wonder if he isn't a bit of a theurgist.]

Q: Contrariwise, would you say that the fight for doctrine has become more important?

Tissier de Mallerais: It is the same fight: [fight fight fight]  ratio cultus, ratio fides. The rule of the Faith is the rule of the liturgy, and the rule of the liturgy is the rule of the Faith: lex orandi, lex credendi; lex credendi, lex orandi. The motto is reciprocal. [This is very true.  As I have written a hundred times on this blog and in my articles, there is a reciprocal relationship between how we pray and what we beleive.  Change the one, you change the other.] The traditional Mass is the most magnificent expression of the Kingship of Christ, while regnavit a ligno Deus– God has reigned by the wood of the Cross. The mystery of Redemption, as a perfect and superabundant atonement for the sins of mankind is expressed in the traditional Mass. On the contrary, this mystery is darkened and blurred by the New Mass[At least in the way it is celebrated in most places, certainly in the dreadful translations, and in some respects in the Latin prayers which were altered.  But it strikes me that the Novus Ordo was implemented as the books themselves contained in so few places that this is also somewhat unfair.  Still, I am very sympathetic to what he said here.]

Consequently, the fight against religious liberty cannot be separated from the fight for the Mass. [Interesting.] The same is true for the fight against ecumenism, because if Christ is God, so He is able to atone and satisfy by His Passion for all sins; also, He alone has the right to rule the civil laws according to the Gospel. I see no separation between the fight for the Mass, the fight for the Christian spirit of sacrifice, and the fight for the social kingship of Christ. The modernists see no difference between their new Mass, their refusal of the mystery of Redemption, [Well... that's just silly.] and their denial of the social kingship of Jesus Christ. [Interesting.] Tout se tient.  [This phrase refers to a system in which "everything is related" to the other parts.]

Q: What does it mean that, besides Bishop Rifan, Rome has not given traditional bishops to any of the Ecclesia Dei communities? Does this not vindicate the Archbishop’s decision?

Tissier de Mallerais: Yes, sure! The people in Rome (with some exceptions) do not want traditional bishops! They still do not want it. Occupied Rome [fight! fight!] cannot allow (to) herself traditional bishops existing in the Church. It would be the destruction of their destruction! Bishop Rifan had been duly brainwashed [!  Remember his comments about people who go over to Rome?  They are "weak minded".] before he was “reconciled.” He maintains the holy traditional Mass but no longer fights against the New Mass, religious liberty, and so on. He had to stop fighting. [fight!]

Ecclesia Dei communities had to accept never to criticize the Second Vatican Council and the New Mass. [I think that is simply not true.  V2 and the NO can be criticized by anyone!  But they cannot be denied.] They were silenced, and they accepted to remain silent. It was the price of their “reconciliation.”

So Archbishop Lefebvre was fully right, as he stated only totally Catholic and totally free bishops, free from any influence of liberal Rome, [but not free to agree with Rome, not free not to be forever at war with someone or something....] could work for the sake of the Church until the conversion of the Pope[Until the "conversion of the Pope...."  NB: "the conversion of the Pope".]

Q: What do you foresee as the greatest challenges facing the Society and the faithful in the next few years?

Tissier de Mallerais:  First of all, our perseverance in refusing the errors of the Second Vatican Council.

Secondly, our strength in refusing any “reconciliation” with occupied [!] Rome.

Thirdly, our growth in schools, academies, and colleges to sustain Catholic education and help families.

Fourthly, resisting any persecution from the civil authorities and proclaiming Christianity as the only source of civilization.  [I think this refers to problems in Europe and the "hate speech" that is more and more the accusation leveled against anyone who preaches a non-secularist, non-relativist message.]

Q: What do you think would be Archbishop Lefebvre’s assessment of the crisis as things stand in 2008?

Tissier de Mallerais: He would denounce not only liberalism — that was the case with Paul VI — but modernism, which is the case of Benedict XVI: a true modernist with the whole theory of up-to-date modernism! [So, for this fellow, Benedict XVI is an up-to-date modernist.]  It is so serious that I cannot express my horror. I keep silent. [This is keeping silent?] So Archbishop Lefebvre would shout: “You heretics, you pervert the Faith!” [Did Archbishop Lefebvre ever call Paul VI or John Paul II "heretics" or "modernists"?]

Q: What counsel would you give to parents rearing Catholic children in today’s world?

Tissier de Mallerais: Not only have children and many children, but rear them, educate them! Do not simply nourish them, do not simply feed them!  [Good advice.]

And send them to true Catholic schools where they will be not only protected against the corruption of the world but also formed as Christian persons. [Good advice.]

Q: What advice would you offer to young men and women contemplating the religious life?

Tissier de Mallerais: Do not “contemplate” it, do not even “try” it, but enter into it with decision and persevere in it! O God, poor wills!

Q: Which books do you think are most essential for the faithful in these days?

Tissier de Mallerais: For all, their missal (Mass book) and their catechism. For young men, books on the social kingship of Christ. For young ladies, books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home. [That's gonna be interesting.]

Q: What do you foresee in the next 20 years?

In Europe, Islamic republics in France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.  [Yah... I'm afraid so.  I am with Oriana Fallaci on this.]

In the United States of America, bankruptcy and social war.

In Rome, the apostasy organized with the Jewish religion.  [So, we're back to the Jews.]

In us, heroism, Christian heroism.

In the Society, the consecration of new bishops, if it seems necessary. I am getting old.  [I wonder if they, or some, in the SSPX are not concretely talking about consecrating more bishops.]

In Rome, a new Pope? Really, if he would become worse, there is no need. If he is to become Petrus Romanus, yes, indeed. This is my hope.  [NB: The reference to "Petrus Romanus" refers to the so-called prophecy about Popes attributed to St. Malachy.  "Petrus Romanus" is the very last on the long list cryptic phrases in Latin purporting to identify all the popes from that time to the end of the world.  Some of them are strangely accurate.  "Petrus Romanus .... Peter the Roman" will be the last Pope and at that time Rome is to be destroyed.  As I said at the very top, this guy is rather apocalyptic.]

Born in Sallanches (upper Savoy) in 1945, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, after several years of university studies which made him a Master of Arts, entered in October of 1969 the Seminary of St. Pius X then situated in Fribourg, Switzerland. Ordained priest at Ecône on June 29, 1975, he was immediately nominated professor at the Seminary of St. Pius X. He became Rector in 1979, and served in that capacity until 1983. After fulfilling the task of chaplain of the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Pius X at St. Michel-en-Brenne, France, he became, in 1984, the Secretary General of the Society. He was consecrated a bishop in 1988 and is currently at the Seminary of St. Pius X in Ecône, Switzerland. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais has made a specialty of critically analyzing the Declaration of Religious Liberty of the Second Vatican Council.


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289 Responses to ANGELUS: Interviews SSPX excomm’d bishops (part II: Tissier de Mallerais)

  1. Brian Kemple says:

    “Did Archbishop Lefebvre ever call Paul VI or John Paul II ‘heretics’ or ‘modernists’?”

    I don’t know if he called Paul VI either, but he called John Paul II a heretic, a modernist, and an apostate, in his March 30th/April 18th 1986 address to seminarians (http://sedevacantist.com/lefebvresede.html). He also said that many higher-ups in the Church hierarchy were Freemasons (http://www.sspx.org/miscellaneous/interview_of_ab_atlanta_ga_april_1986.htm).

  2. JPG says:

    Skimming rather than reading every word, I am still thunderstruck by the obdurate pride by which this man sets himself against the See of Peter. I would appreciate a precise and concise explanation as to how a council often accused by its detractors as being only a pastoral council, whose conclusions are not binding as Trent’s,whose disagreement on this point of Religious freedom would justify separating from the See of Peter? Do they think the Almighty is daft?
    Do they think He would allow invalid Sacraments on the bulk of His flock? We have not heard such argumentation since Luther and any other Protestent fool who would argue that from Apostolic times until the reformation Christianity was in bondage. Perhaps they are really Mormons who argue that the Scriptures were adulterated by the Church of Rome. My sympathies with regards to the old Mass and the horrific breakdown in catechesis are with them, but to suggest they are going or waitihg for the Pope to convert is just evil wicked earthly pride.
    JPG
    PS please explain this religious Liberty issue. At face value it seems like a molehill.

  3. schoolman says:

    According to Tissier, it would seem that Rome has indeed lost the faith and the Pope must be “converted” by the superior magisterium of the SSPX. This is shocking to read.

  4. T. Chan says:

    ‘Wonderful’ Latin due more perhaps to it being from St. Thomas, than the language itself? Though as a beginner in Latin, I appreciate its simplicity.

  5. prof. basto says:

    H-E-R-E-S-Y!

    This fellow (yes, illicitly consacrated Bishops don’t get the Excellency treatment until they are regularized) is a heretic.

    He speaks the words of a heretic! Conversion of the Pope? Occupied Rome? New Religion? The Fraternity (and not the Rock which is Peter, the Vicar of Christ) as the “heart of the Church”?

    This is a total denial of the dogma that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church and the Rock which is Peter, the principle and foundation of the Catholic Unity.

    Also, the SSPX cannot be the “heart” of the Church or hold a magisterium superior to that of the Roman See. It belongs to PETER to confirm his brethren in the Faith, and not to the SSPX. Thus, the SSPX cannot dictate doctrine to the Pope. The Lord didn’t say: Marcel, confirm the Pope in the Faith. That’s a mandate he gave to the Prince of the Apostles and to the Holy Apostolic See, not to the schismatic Fraternity! Hence the heretical propositions of this already schismatic bishop.

    It is a dogma of the Catholic Faith that THE ROMAN PONTIFF is the FATHER AND TEACHER OF ALL CHRISTIANS. From Pius XII’s Encyclical Ad Apostolorum Principis:

    45. Well known are the terms of Vatican Council’s solemn definition: “Relying on the open testimony of the Scriptures and abiding by the wise and clear decrees both of our predecessors, the Roman Pontiffs, and the general Councils, We renew the definition of the Ecumenical Council of Florence, by virtue of which all the faithful must believe that ‘the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold primacy over the whole world, and the Roman Pontiff himself is the Successor of the blessed Peter and continues to be the true Vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church, the father and teacher of all Christians, and to him is the blessed Peter our Lord Jesus Christ committed the full power of caring for, ruling and governing the Universal Church….’

    46. “We teach, . . . We declare that the Roman Church by the Providence of God holds the primacy of ordinary power over all others, and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate. Toward it, the pastors and the faithful of whatever rite and dignity, both individually and collectively, are bound by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in matters which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church spread throughout the whole world, in such a way that once the unity of communion and the profession of the same Faith has been preserved with the Roman Pontiff, there is one flock of the Church of Christ under one supreme shepherd. This is the teaching of the Catholic truth from which no one can depart without loss of faith and salvation.”[17]

    The Supreme Shepherd is not the Superior General of the SSPX but the Pope; any pretence of a superior magisterium violates this “teaching of the Catholic truth from which no one can depart without loss of faith and salvation” . Hence one cannot be a Catholic and at the same time hold a Faith that is not that taught by the Pope; one cannot hope for the conversion of the Pope to one’s personal view of what True Faith is.

    For the security of the faithful, the heretical standing of this bishop should be formally declared by the competent ecclesiastical authority, in my opinion.

    ****
    A word of caution regarding the ecclesial position of those Bishops already excommunicated. From Leo XIII’s Encyclical Satis Cognitum:

    From this it must be clearly understood that Bishops are deprived of the right and power of ruling, if they deliberately secede from Peter and his successors; because, by this secession, they are separated from the foundation on which the whole edifice must rest. They are therefore outside the edifice itself; and for this very reason they are separated from the fold, whose leader is the Chief Pastor; they are exiled from the Kingdom, the keys of which were given by Christ to Peter alone.

  6. Michael B. says:

    It is interesting to compare this interview with the latest post from the Transalpine Redemptorists:http://papastronsay.blogspot.com/
    Fr. Michael Mary, reflecting on his attitude towards the Popes over that last 20 years sees his attitude as a practical sedevacantism, then states: “Consequently, as soon as you recognise that Benedict XVI is without doubt truly the Pope; a new dynamic of Catholic life came into play.”

    Donatism sounds like a good analogy. The attitude that if you are not with the SSPX you are by definition a liberal or a modernist or weak-minded and not truly Catholic can be found all over the SSPX, not just here. (I’ve seen it on the Angel Queen forums, seems I’ve run across it in other SSPX interviews and writings.)

    It’s very frustrating that an alliance with SSPXers is all but impossible. I’m becoming more and more convinced that reconciliation will only come in splinter groups.

  7. Michael B. says:

    Here’s the Transalpine Redemptorists link again:
    http://papastronsay.blogspot.com/

  8. The Bible doesn’t make his reading list, except as digested for liturgical and catechetical reading. Kind of sad. At least Bp Fellay listed the Gospel.

    Q: Which books do you think are most essential for the faithful in these days?

    Tissier de Mallerais: For all, their missal (Mass book) and their catechism. For young men, books on the social kingship of Christ. For young ladies, books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home.

  9. schoolman says:

    Yes, this does sound like the very heresy recently denounced by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in connection with SSPX…

    “We hope that they will come to the full communion with the Church. But some people are going too fast to schism and to the heresy, because if they begin to be teachers of the Pope, this is not schism, this is heresy. And if it is confirmed, people going with that kind of movement will be excommunicated, too, because of the heresy. But now, they are not really in schism or heresy.”

    Interview following FSSP Ordinations – 30 May 2008
    Darío Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/HoyosInterview.htm

  10. Woody Jones says:

    As I said in the combox to the earlier post, I think the summary of Bishop Tissier’s interview is: they will be where they are for another 30 years, they will have to consecrate some more bishops, and they await Petrus Romanus. At least he knows the title to the USC fight song.

    One thing that I have found fascinating for a long time in the SSPX/counter-SSPX polemic are the somewhat veiled references to the French experience in World War II (the “Unnecessary War” as Pat Buchanan calls it, but according to Our Lady at Fatima, perhaps, the necesary war). It seems like the SSPX description of “occupied Rome” more or less matches de Gaulle’s description of Vichy. Thought of in this way, one can maybe understand their attitude towards the exommunications as well: de Gaulle said, on hearing of his condemnation to death, in absentia, “we will have to discuss this with those gentlemen when we regain control of France.”

    The ironic thing here is that the few French SSPXers I know loathe de Gaulle (for his “desertion” in 1940, the “epuration” of 1944, and maybe above all, Algeria). I do think that the latter two events which were truly traumatic (estimates of deaths in the “purge” – of not just collaborators but also just plain right wingers, or simple bourgeois, in a rampage of revenge by the left — range from the left’s 10,000 to the right’s 100,000) add a personal urgency to the French players’ actions here. If one is inclined to judge them, one might well remember these factors too.

    The Archbishop used to refer to the five French revolutions (really just outbreaks of the one Revolution – a thought also expressed by now-reposed ROCOR Archbishop Averky with respect to 1789 and 1917): 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871 and 1944.

  11. Ryan says:

    Right on, Prof. Basto.

    “Tissier de Mallerais: For all, their missal (Mass book) and their catechism. For young men, books on the social kingship of Christ. For young ladies, books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home.”

    People, this thing about furnishing homes is beyond stupid. This guy (there’s nothing excellent about him) can’t even distinguish between 19th-century bourgeois Victorian fads and Catholic values. This smacks of nothing more than nostalgia for the good ‘ol days when women (and Jews, I assume) were kept in their places.

    To hold out sewing and furnishing homes as some kind of hallmark of good Catholic reading shows what a depply ignorant and irrelevant person this man is.

  12. malta says:

    he’s got a point re the Sacrifice; the new mass fosters almost no belief in the Real Presence. That’s a serious problem [This can't stand. Everything depends on how the NO is celebrated. The NO was certainly not an obstacle for my coming to belief in the Real Presence. Again, much depend on how it is celebrated. - Fr. Z]

  13. Jason says:

    I wonder what the SSPX will look like in 100 years, if it still exists, and if it is still in the same situation as now with regard to the Church. There will be no living memory of the days before and after the Council. I was born in the mid-’80s and Vatican II could be Nicaea II for all I know. The Bishop’s comment about cooking and sewing suggests that he views things very much through the eyes of his culture and his era, which I’m sure we all do to a certain extent, but a lot has changed since his youth. If Church history has taught us anything, it is that each age passes away. Some controversies in the Church last, because they are based on the faith, but others are based on the culture and circumstances of the times. I really think that much of the controversy around Vatican II will pass away in a few generations. A lot of the controversy has to do with the peculiar years of the 1970s, and its strange social upheavals which lead many Catholics to lose their minds (or so history tells me). But that is a foreign time to me, and will be a foreign time to the majority of the Church in another generation. The Council will be understood according to its authentic meaning, because Catholics will no longer have the social baggage that accompanied the immediate years after the Council.

  14. Geoffrey says:

    I find this hard to take. Lord, save these people from themselves! The SSPX live in their own world. I would actually venture to call it a bubble. They are so negative. 20 years of this? A whole generation has been blinded by their rhetoric. I wonder if someone is forwarding these interviews to the Holy See?

    I pray for their return home to Rome. I know “all things are possible with God”, but I confess serious doubts…

    Malta said: “he’s got a point re the Sacrifice; the new mass fosters almost no belief in the Real Presence. That’s a serious problem”

    I’ve only been to the “old” Mass a handful of times. I find the “new” Mass conveys belief in the Real Presence. I see some reverence. People go to adoration. Things may not be perfect, but it is not as bad as the SSPX et al say. I’d go nuts thinking so negative all the time.

  15. Please, everyone, be measured in your comments.

    Use this entry to come to greater understanding of what is going on, what is stake.

  16. Bruce says:

    Pride, Pride, Pride…!

  17. Martin says:

    Malta said: “he’s got a point re the Sacrifice; the new mass fosters almost no belief in the Real Presence. That’s a serious problem”

    Geoffrey said: “I’ve only been to the “old” Mass a handful of times. I find the “new” Mass conveys belief in the Real Presence. I see some reverence. People go to adoration. Things may not be perfect, but it is not as bad as the SSPX et al say. I’d go nuts thinking so negative all the time.”

    I agree with you Geoffrey. This constant negativity is really wearing and extremely offensive. Malta’s comment, which is a favourite canard of those who dislike the OF is mis-leading and untrue.
    A February 2008 Survey by the Georgetown University Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA),[link=http://cara.georgetown.edu/sacraments.html]“Sacraments Today”[/link] reports these statistics on the issue of “Eucharist and Belief in the Real Presence.”
    Nine in ten weekly Mass attendees (91 percent) say they believe that Jesus Christ is really present in the Eucharist, compared to two-thirds of those who attend Mass less than weekly but at least once a month (65 percent), and four in ten of those attending Mass a few times a year or less (40 percent). Among Catholics attending Mass at least once a month, the youngest generation of Catholics (born after 1981) has similar beliefs about the Eucharist as Pre-Vatican II Generation Catholics (born before 1943).
    If one disagrees with the findings of this poll, I guess one would have to say that the tens of millions of Catholics worldwide who are regular Sunday Mass attendees are delusional and don’t really know what they are doing at Mass!

  18. Martin says:

    Sorry, Father Z. I’m such a slow typist that I did not see your reply to Malta’s comment before I posted. I just have gotten so tired of seeing this sort of comment.

  19. Louise says:

    Fight on, SSPX! God bless and keep you!

  20. Rose says:

    After reading this interview I felt compelled to go and re-view my recording of the Holy Father’s homily during the recent WYD Vigil (wasn’t that a wonderful WYD- everything about it was thoughtful, reverent and appropriate). The Holy Spirit is the principle of unity- where the Holy Father is the Holy Spirit will be (read the homily, I cannot hope ever to express it in my own words). What I saw there in Australia was the Church and seeing it helped to clean me of the despair I felt after reading this interview, which bristles and crackles with pride.
    I do not want to read the last of the three interviews.

  21. Tzard says:

    Is this representative of the SSPX? I find his arguments weak (aside from using inflammatory rhetoric) – and a sense of … desperation? Not really just urgency (as urged in the New Testament). (Is this the same tone we’ve always heard, or has it changed? Is there language or cultural issues which may make it sound harsher to an English speaker like myself?)

    The weak argument stand out in “Nothing has changed” – Again, an argumentative assessment – would St. Thomas express things in such absolute terms?

    One other side-note is that recent talk from Rome regarding religious freedom refers to the freedom of individuals to Choose the Faith, as is often denied them in Islamic countries. I’d like to understand more of what this issue of “religious liberty” is with him. Freedom, properly understood is the freedom to choose the Good, with the flip side of being free to choose the bad. Such is how God created us. What does he argue against here?

    “When God put Man in a Garden, he girt him with a sword, and set him forth a free knight that might betray his Lord….”

  22. Ancilla says:

    “An interesting demographic observation: This means that there are children of the first followers of Archbp. Lefevbre who have never known anything but conflict and harsh rhetoric about Rome and the Pope.”

    I can attest to that. Also to the more and more poisoned rhetoric. On the other hand I can also bear witness as to how in the early days of FSSPX people were practically persecuted for their act of conscience. Today however, the argument of such an act of conscience cannot be maintained. Today the damage done to the souls by the hate preaching that is constantly going on against the modern society in which any Catholic still has to live in and the Church, is bigger than what is gained by remaining outside of the Church.

    The point has been made. The descent – that is natural to any grouping of sectatorial nature – into hardlined, ignorant and blind intellectualism before charity and love and respect for the flock that is entrusted in them, can only bring misery. The antijudaism is just the external and most immediately recognisable sign of the lack of love within this community at this moment in time.

    That’s not what I grew up in, but it is what it’s become and why I have been forced under the greatest pains to find a way to return into what they call the Modern Church. Pray that others may do so as well and that they find ‘Modernists’ (as they say) that can convince them that they are not the devils as they are made out to be.

    Ancilla, Switzerland

    NB: I refrained from reading any other comments, or at least I did after the anachronistic heretic claim being thrown around.

    “Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another. Even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection.” (Colossians 3:13-14)

  23. Clayton says:

    “Q: Which books do you think are most essential for the faithful in these days?

    Tissier de Mallerais: For all, their missal (Mass book) and their catechism. For young men, books on the social kingship of Christ. For young ladies, books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home. [That’s gonna be interesting.]”

    It is clear that this SSPX bishop has been reading his St. Thomas, but not his St. Augustine. St. Augustine in his “Concerning Christian Doctrine” clearly considers the BIBLE the principal book which should inform Catholic instruction. To the former, I would say that young men would do better to study books about how to give more of themselves to understanding their vocation, and young women could sure use some reading on the value of prayer and the lives of the saints. Women need good examples, and men need to step up.

  24. Larry says:

    It is sad to read such outrageous remarks about the Church coming from one who has allowed himself to be duped. All the religious orders in the Church have a similar background; a leader and a core of followers. The difference is the founders of the Orders OBEYED the POPE. They did not always get their way or atleast not on the first try. But they persevered in OBEDIENCE and God guided them and the Church in the right direction. These men are more like Luther who “knew better” than to obey. It is interesting that they never specualte on the possibility that had Lefebvre obeyed John Paul II and not ordained these men then that JPII might then have gone ahead and okayed the ordination and things would have been far different. But they never speculate on that. THey are so proud of their really quite small accomplishments. But consider Opus Dei or the Legionaires of Christ, or even the Neo Cats. Huge growth with faithful followers and all IN the CHURCH, not outside claiming to be true. The bishop cites the often quoted: “By their fruits you shall know them.” Very few religious bodies have grown so little in so many years. I think perhaps the vine is truly full of sour grapes and reading their rantings does indeed set ones teeth on edge. One final thought. They are really upset over religious freedom; but, it is precisely this that they profess. That they are free to defy Christ’s Church by claiming He has failed to direct it through Peter. It is ironic and very sad. They are digging the hole deeper and deeper so that soon they will see no light at all.

    Yes Fr. Z it is in how the NO is celebrated that helps determine beliefs in the Real Presence; but, it is also how the priest and those around him act in the Presence when they are not celebrating the Mass. That is what made me begin to explore Vatican II to see if it somewhere denied the Real Presence. It did not and that made me a much stronger Catholic willing to go toe to toe with priest or bishop. Maybe we need a Novena of Rosaries by say a million people to ask our Lady to help redirect these souls that are placing themselves and those of their followers in grave danger.

  25. Hidden One says:

    So, once again, we all agree that we have spent to little time praying for the bishop.

  26. joe says:

    I find it interesting that Tissier de Mallerais says that John Paul II did nothing to rebuild the Faith. Ironically, he later states that some young priests are interested in the return of Tradition. Ironic because I’d bet that many of these young priests were very much influenced by JPII.

  27. Geoffrey says:

    “Ironic because I’d bet that many of these young priests were very much influenced by JPII.”

    Very true!

  28. Dob says:

    Joe
    I think you are very right. JPII was a starting point for many.
    I have to say, maybe its my feminine homemaking fixation, but I really hate this mess. It is a mess, a big mess, SSPX and Rome.

  29. quodvultis says:

    “[...] modernism, which is the case of Benedict XVI: a true modernist with the whole theory of up-to-date modernism!”

    This statement is very clear: and totally outrageous.

    Oremus pro Pontifice nostro BENEDICTO. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

    I am tempted to add, Deus conteret dentes eorum in ore ipsorum!

  30. In my translation of the Marcel Lefebvre biography by Tissier de Mallerais, I translated ‘the (non-)bastard sacraments’ as ‘illegitimate’ rather than as ‘bastard’. I also lamented in a translator’s footnote that this expression had always been translated as ‘bastard’ since the nuances in modern English are rather stronger than they are in French.

    The expression actually comes from Archbishop Lefebvre’s famous sermon Lille in 1976 when he referred to illegitimate sacraments issuing from an adulterous marriage between the Church and the Revolution. What the Archbishop meant – not that I agree, though I once did – was that since the Church at Vatican II had embraced the values of 1789, anything coming from that synthesis was as illegitimate as the children of an adulterous couple.

    The Archbishop could get quite rhetorical in his expression, and I think this is a good example of hyperbole which his hard-edged logician disciples have picked up and turned into an axiom.

    As for Tissier’s remarks, it’s sadly clear that ideology has overtaken his appreciation of how the Church is changing around him.

    If the pope still deals with the Tissiers of this world, it’s because of the good people still following him, rather than in the hope of making him see sense. Not that he doesn’t have many good points. He is just not prepared to submit them to the scrutiny of his peers or the adjudication of the Magisterium.

  31. That Lille reference can be found in Tissier de Mallerais’s ‘The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre’ (Kansas City: Angelus, 2004), p. 489.

  32. The argument about whether the SSPX is in schism has been repeated many times.

    But what I don’t understand is this: Why would a bishop who holds these views want to claim there is no schism? If his society has the only non-polluted version of “the true Faith” and “the true teaching”, why would he want to be in union with “occupied Rome” and her “bastard sacraments”?

    Yes, he says there are vestiges of truth in the Church led by Benedict XVI. But there are vestiges of truth in the Lutheran Church too, and the SSPX doesn’t claim to be in communion with them. Yet, by their own logic, the Lutherans who honesty but incorrectly are trying to follow Scripture are surely less blameworthy than a Rome that has “bastard sacraments” that are “without sacrifice”, but has deceived a billion Catholics into thinking that the heart of the Church is not possessed by the SSPX.

    I’m a loyal Catholic who will never join the SSPX or the sedevacantists. But between the two, at least the sedevacantists are consistent!

  33. athanasius says:

    Ecclesia Dei communities had to accept never to criticize the Second Vatican Council and the New Mass.

    This is simply not true. I know of plenty of priests who have criticized the Novus Ordo and Vatican II for their short comings. I know that Fr. Ripperger, FSSP wrote a series of articles in Latin Mass Magazine on the superiority of the TLM to the Novus Ordo extrinsically, Fr. Romanoski who was just ordained preached publicly on Vatican II’s shortcommings, and an ICKP priest I know publicly declared in a sermon that the crisis in the Church is caused by Vatican II’s ambiguity.

    The issue here is they do not argue the way some in the SSPX do. They do not say it is “intrinsically evil” which is wrong, and they do not say that Vatican II is in error as the Society does. They do not cross lines and distinctions which would lead to the conclusion the Church has given us a serpent when we asked for bread, which is impossible. That is really the issue.

    But as for religious liberty

    The other problem is they are totally unacquainted with what happened at the council. Fr. John Courtney-Murray did not convince the council fathers to accept all of his propositions, in fact they rejected many of them, whereas the SSPX would have you believe they incorporated all of his ideas. Properly read Dignitatis Humanae merely expresses the “toleration of error” in a different way, one that emphasizes the positive rather than negative approach. It is not hard to reconcile it with traditional teaching. They don’t seem to want to.

    I’m worried that the SSPX is finally becoming a parallel Church. A fellow on my blog recently said “I hope the Society doesn’t reconcile with Rome”, and I replied “how is that Catholic?” I think they have gotten used to being out of union so long, that it is becoming more acceptable, and even desirable. I find this among some SSPX faithful I meet and it worries me. We should fast and pray for them to take the right course.

    John Paul II did nothing to rebuild the Faith.

    My position concerning the late Holy Father is well known, but even I would not go that far. It is pure hyperbole. JPII was not the greatest Pope or in my opinion a “great” Pope, but he did in fact do things for the Catholic faith. His defense of Catholic social teaching and condemnation of Free Market Capitalism was nothing for the faith? His condemnation of fake women priest wannabee ordinations did nothing? His defense of human life was nothing for the faith? His exhortations for teaching and prayer were nothing for the faith? If we said he did nothing for liturgy but talk, I would agree wholeheartedly, but this is just over the top.

    Let us not forget, that in an 2006 interview Bishop Tissier claimed the Pope was guilty of professing heresies, the modernist diatribe is benign by comparison!

  34. Michael UK says:

    Msgr. Lefebvre may well have been ‘hard-line’ and called a- spade-a-spade, but he was possessed of very wide experience and wisdom. He was also charitable to those within the diocesan structures and orders who remained their, but had sympathy with SSPX. Charity is that which is missing within SSPX and their vitriol spewed-out against Fr. Michael Mary says it all. In America, an attitude, being imported into the UK, of SSPX is redolent of some of the weird sects extant within that country. Also, the attitude, adopted by Msgr. Lefebvre, must be considered in the context of what has and was taking place in Central Europe within Mother Church. SSPX, described by The Catholic Herald (UK), as being more Calvanist than Catholic – raises the question: ‘but what Catholic, that of the diocese of Linz, that of Msgr. Mahony’s archdiocese, et al. That list is endless. Even my own parish priest appears not to believe in the Real Presence and preaches of “communal meal” at “the table of the best cafe in town”. He may deny that he does not believe in that crucial tenet of Mother Church, but his preaching, his CofE accretions to The Mass all speak otherwise. Some aspects of SSPX are indefensible and indeed horrifying, but such relate to their outposts in America. However, SSPX must not be judged solely against that background, but against the mess clearly evident within Mother Church to-day. SSPX should now recognise that B XVI is on their side, if but they had the sense to know it, and that they have a common foe: national bishops’ conferences, national and diocesan priests’ conferences, modernists within the Curia, and, last but not least, those laity (and clergy) who see an equivalence with the ordained priesthood. Any objective analysis of the treatment of Msgr. Lefebvre, prior to ‘The Consecrations’, can only conclude he was harshly treated – as were many clergy who, to varying degrees, held out against the New Mass. Finally, clergy of the traditional orders have no experience of ‘parish life’ and on-the-ground-Catholicism, which is a great handicap. But one can also say that of a great number of diocesan clergy, who have never encountered the ‘sinning Catholic Church’, that to which they should be directing their energies.

  35. Manrique Zabala de Arízona says:

    I also had to refrain from reading more comments. To call them “heretics” is not gonna help as much as Louise calling for a “FSSPX-led Crusade”.

    The discussion is quite beyond doctrine, now, and has descended to the always muddy waters of politics. Yes, it’s not even about faith no more, but keeping a small reduct of power. The Motu Propio deprived the FSSPX as “preservers of the Old Mass” title -no matter how good was the FSSP and the other traditional institutes doing, because they are “liberal”, right-. I still remember the ranting over each and every Motu Propio-inspired mass in the blogosphere: “don’t go! it’s biritualism, heresy! Heresy!”, but at the end, those masses have spread and prospered. With little or no support from Bishops, true, but most haven’t actively obstructed.

    That’s why, since there is no more doctrinal discussion, it’s all about being “hardcore”, and showing their faithful that “Occupied Rome” can say what they want, but they will remain “the heart of the Church”.

    A friend, very much in contact with Eastern Catholics and some Orthodox, tells me that the FSSPX reminds him much of them: “They think they are right, they do not recognize the Pope as much as the bishop next door, and all their sacraments are valid to us”. May the superior of the Fraternity rule with iron hand, for if he fails, we will have at least four fraternities instead of one…

  36. Raphaela says:

    For young ladies, books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home.

    O antistes reverende, licetne libros tales saltem Latine scriptos esse? Aut putas, sicut abbas in Erasmi colloquio quodam, libros Latinos mulieribus non convenire?

  37. Dominic says:

    Please remember that not all of us SSPX priests are as extreme in our views nor in our expressions.

  38. Dougall says:

    This interview fills me with a lot of sadness.

    A comparison:

    Q: Your thoughts on the state of the Church after 20 years of episcopacy?

    Tissier de Mallerais: John Paul II did nothing to rebuild the Faith. The great apostasy has been increasing; the youth are almost completely lost in impurity and drugs. The social kingship of Christ is completely destroyed by religious liberty and the rights of man. We are living the great apostasy of which St. Paul speaks to the Thessalonians: “venerit dicessio primum” (II Thess. 2:3).

    with this:

    Q: What are your thoughts on the state of the Church after 20 years of episcopacy?

    Fellay: When we cast a look upon the Church in 2008, we don’t see that much has changed fundamentally in the state of the Church. All the principles which, in the past, have provoked the crisis of the Church are still at work. On one point only, we could say that there was some change which might bring about some further change in the future, I mean the opening caused by the Motu Proprio on the Tridentine Mass. [Summorum Pontificum] Yet, I must say again that the consequences of the principles inoculated into the veins of the Mystical Body at the Council are continuing to produce their disastrous effects. Now, maybe some prelates are more keenly aware of the damage done. Maybe some of them are looking for solutions, but they do not give us the impression of having found them. Among the younger clergy, a number of priests are very unhappy with the situation and are also looking for solutions and turning their eyes toward Tradition.

    And this:

    Q: Many Catholics who began to fight alongside the Archbishop years ago now feel inclined to unite forces with a seemingly more conservative Rome by allying themselves with organizations with a more “regular status” within the Church.

    Tissier de Mallerais: Yes, many losses. Because of lack of principles, unfaithfulness to the fight of the Fraternity, seeking compromises, wishing peace, desiring the victory before the time foreseen by God. These poor people (priests, religious, lay people) are liberals and pragmatics. Seduced by the smiles of the people in the Vatican, I mean the prelates of the Roman Curia. People that were tired by the long, long combat for Faith: “Forty years, that’s enough!” But this one will last 30 more years. So do not cease, do not seek “reconciliation,” but fight on!

    with this:

    Fellay: I would tell them that there is no such thing as a cause of the SSPX. There is the cause of the Church. There is the cause of Tradition. The Church cannot survive if she does not adhere strictly to her Tradition. The future of the Church is grounded in its past. Our Lord Jesus Christ remains the Head of the Church. He founded His Church on the rock, on a stone which is Peter. If, today, the Church wants to remain the Catholic Church, it cannot do without these cornerstones, nor without the teachings, the faith, and the life which come from Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are fighting to keep these heirlooms and treasures, not for us but for the Church. This is the fight we are leading. Merely to try to have situations regularized with the Church is probably just a waste of time as long as we don’t deal first with the major problems.

    The difference?

    One speaks like Archbishop Lefebvre.

    Another speaks like a sedevacantist.

    If the SSPX is not in schism, there is evidently a wing of the SSPX that is.

    “Great Apostasy,” “New Church,” are sede terms. I really hope that Bp. Fellay leads the SSPX in the way of the Transalpine Redemptorists. I don’t know if he wants to or not, but if he does, it’s going to take as much courage as the 1988 consecrations, knowing that there is a “right wing” even in the SSPX.

  39. Legisperitus says:

    We should also remember that the SSPX bishops (except for Fellay, who happens to be Superior General) are not the leaders or “hierarchy” of the organization. Only the Superior General and his deputies are the hierarchy, and Bishop Fellay has expressed a stronger desire for unity.

    It seems the whole issue in the “heresy” discussion centers around a simple question: can a Pope be mistaken about matters pertaining to the Faith when he is not solemnly defining a dogma? If this question were conclusively answered, the issue of heresy could perhaps be resolved.

  40. George says:

    “Fight!” All in life is fight.

  41. Raphaela says:

    Dominic: I can’t speak for anyone else, but for my own part I’m well aware of that. One of my online friends is an SSPX priest who likes my library… despite the complete absence of books on cooking/sewing/home decorating therein. :)

  42. Richard says:

    I pass over the bishop’s substantive comments in silence (enough has been said already) to confine my observations to one point.

    St. Thomas’s Latin – it is, well, sturdy, solid, easy to comprehend, and in this respect, it is “wonderful,” especially for a Latin novice. But no one has ever singled out Thomas for his prosaic or poetic capacity (and for his objectives, it was hardly necessary most of the time) – St. Augustine now, that’s a different story.

  43. Phil says:

    “I pass over the bishop’s substantive comments in silence (enough has been said already) to confine my observations to one point.”

    I think I’ll best do the same, or I would have to be very uncourteous. The one point in my case being that, sadly, Tissier de Mallerais confirms what I raised elsewhere: there are people in the SSPX – probably a lot – who have no desire for unity at all. Needless to so, this is a dead end. Communion with and obesience to the Pope is required, not to Tissier de Mallerais, regardless of the fact his words suggest the latter.

  44. The harsh words of the SSPX are like the sword which cut off the ear of the centurion. An ear cut off is an ear that cannot hear. They live by the sword and sadly many will die by it.

    A pattern I see amongst these leaders, and among some SSPX’ers with which I have encountered, is the harsh, angry rhetoric. From a human standpoint, some of the things they are upset about are justified like the watering down of our faith (not by the Church, but by individuals distorting everything from Vatican II to basic teachings), and how the sacraments have been celebrated (liturgical abuses). But, from the standpoint of grace, something is clearly lacking.

    Love for neighbor, which is ultimately rooted in love for Christ, should be manifested in speech and communications. It is not emotionally charged with harsh rhetoric. The number of times that Christ got firm to make a point are few. The number of times that He used gentle reason are many. He didn’t shake his fist at every person who rejected his words, nor did he insult them, throw digs at them or talk condescendingly.

    The grace associated with reason is just absent when the harsh rhetoric about the Church and Popes begins and is outright poisonous. This is when those who truly understand the problems within the Church, many of them shared with the SSPX, will simply blow them off.

    For there to be unity, the SSPX has to re-examine the lack of charity in it’s communications, public and private. No matter how great the cause, such lack of charity (condescending, insulting language) can never be compatible with Christ’s message and example.

    A child who grows up in a home filled with racism and bigotry may ultimately grow up to be a racist and a bigot, but this is not always the case. Among this group of children, are those who see it for what it is and rise above it. It is my hope that young people in the SSPX will see the incompatibilities to unity and christianity in the angry words of their leaders.

    I have hope because in God all things are possible. As long as SSPX leadership continues in this pattern, there will not be a blanket re-unification. But in greater numbers over time, those with pure hearts will set the sword down, come home, and join the efforts to convert the misled faithful from their ignorance and to reverent worship.

    They are all in my prayers.

  45. George says:

    Respectfully, I think the ‘evèque’ de Mallerais gives te impression of a very simple minded man. Please pray for him and for FSSPX.

  46. QC says:

    I don’t understand how this individual is not a sedevacantist since he says the Pope is a heretic, the institutional Church has fallen away and practices a new religion, etc.

    As an aside, here is an interesting article on the particular church of Rome–the SSPX seems to be giving themselves these traditional charisms that are divinely instituted in Rome (this reminds me a bit of soem Greek Orthodox who now attribute these charisms to Mt. Athos, since they of course now reject the Church of Rome).

    http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=608

  47. QC says:

    Essnetially, the SSPX sees themselve now as the particular Churches with which everyone must agree, whereas traditionally it is the particular Church of the city of Rome that has been the standard and indefectibly so.

  48. What can one say about this attitude and belief concerning the Church of Rome? These folks claim to be in and of the Church?

    I think he borders on honoring the tombs of the prophets while acting in ways completely in opposition to their teaching.

    I liked your commentary and observations on the siege mentality, Father Z. I suppose many see themselves as “confessors of the faith” and “martyrs” for the cause of Catholic truth. It all goes back to the martyr complex I mentioned several weeks back.

    Lord have mercy!

    In ICXC,

    Fr. Deacon Daniel

  49. Stan says:

    The rebellious bishops and their advisors are logical as Augustine the Manichee was logical, as Jean Calvin was logical. It is not logic as such, but first principles that they are lacking.

    Why are extreme traditionalists so quick to lay today’s apostasies at the feet of the popes since John XXIII, but not to blame the deaths of tens of millions of Christians under Stalin, Hitler, Mao, etc. on Pope Pius XII? Same reasoning should apply: crimes committed on a pope’s watch are the pope’s crimes. Thus Lefebvre et al.

    The essence of the neo-Protestantism that extreme traditionalism is evolving into may be seen in this one principle: that someone other than the pope shall determine what the pope should be teaching.

  50. Hugo says:

    But as for religious liberty, [which is what I think is the true obstacle] the rights of man, the interest of Rome in our work: nothing has changed — induratio cordium! A hardening of the hearts, a blindness of the minds. [On both sides… both sides are guilty.]

    \”Consequently, the fight against religious liberty cannot be separated from the fight for the Mass. [Interesting.]“

    I feel uncomfortable with any attempt to sympathize with the SSPX’s opposition to Dignitatis Humanae. I hope this is not the case in these quotes. Catholics are “bound” to respect the teaching of DH as contained in the very deposit of faith.

  51. jacobus says:

    “But no one has ever singled out Thomas for his prosaic or poetic capacity”

    Now this just cannot stand. Are we so far removed from our traditions that we’ve never heard or read the beauties of “Adoro te devote,” “Pange Lingua Gloriosi” (Thomas version), or “Lauda Sion”? What a tragedy that we have lost our heritage. [Wasn't he talking about the Summa? I think so. - Fr. Z]

  52. malta says:

    “90% belief” in the real Presence? Most statistics put it at 30%. Clearly this Bishop engages in to harsh rhetoric, but I agree with him that we are living through dreadful modernistic times in the Church. 90% of Catholics contracept. Most believe abortion is ok.! Calling a spade a spade is not enraging in unreasonable negativity. Catherine of Sienna certainly did that. Who blew Dante for criticising the pope? I love Pope Bxvi, and find Fellay’s comments more measured, but how did this Bishop endage in heresy? Where did he deny a dogma of the Church?

  53. Jrbrown says:

    Catholics are not bound to respect the teaching of Dignitatis Humanae ‘as if it were’ a part of the Deposit of Faith. That would raise it to the level of an infallible teaching, either as a defined dogma or otherwise a definitive doctrine, and either way to be held definitively. This is imprecise and, frankly, very unhelpful terminology. DH is an acknowledged novelty that must be read in light of Tradition-it does NOT claim to be definitive, infallible teaching. Rather, it would be on the level of the ordinary teaching authority of the Church according to the INTENT of the Council itself and, more importantly, Paul VI in confirming and promulgating that Council. As our present Holy Father has repeatedly noted, Vatican II was a pastoral Council and expressly avoided any dogmatic statements or new infallible decrees. Anything which is a novelty of expression thereby cannot be infallible simply because stated in the Council documents.

  54. In an age when the controversy of SSPX has been heightened and confusion seems to be spreading, “Considering Pope St. Pius X” is an excellent resource for solid information on the Church and this schism. The site explains the role of traditional Catholics in the Church and the need to remain faithful supporters of the Pope and the bishops of the Church. It further explains the many similarities and differences between the Latin Mass of the Tridentine rite and the Novus Ordo Mass commonly celebrated.

    Though many of the arguments of the Society of St. Pius X can be compelling, this site explains the danger of the errors which they promote. “In particular, ‘Considering Pope St. Pius X’ wishes to persuade members of SSPX to return to Holy Mother Church, and to dissuade all who might be tempted to join this schismatic group.”
    http://www.consideringpiusx.com
    Source: Catholic Culture

  55. Ben says:

    Dear Father Z.,

    I don’t know whether or not anyone caught it, but I found this very remarkable:

    “Q: Consider how things might have been without the consecrations?

    “Tissier de Mallerais: We would have died: old priests, only old priests, old Brothers, old Sisters, seminaries empty and dead; and no Fraternity of St. Peter nor anything else. Tradition would have died…”

    Notice that he calls the SSPX or the FSPX (whatever they are calling it now) the Fraternity of St. Peter! This, the FSSP, is the group founded by the Servant of God, John Paul the Great! Freudian slip?!

    Ben

  56. “For young ladies, books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home.”

    Oh, to hear what sharp rejoinder Saint Theresa of Avila might offer to that!

    Seriously, this seems to fit what I fear may be happening; as Rome moves closer to reconciliation with SSPX, some among the latter, out of self-preservation, find new reasons to resist. That doesn’t preclude reconciliation, but it makes it harder; and it may mean that some will refuse to be reconciled.

    The Church has always had splinter groups and disputes such as this; go all the way back to the earliest times, when the Church was but a mustard seed, and oh the sects and heresies (I’m not calling these folks heretics) that abounded! Thank the Incarnate Lord that it is in our ecclesial “dna” to be appalled by such splintering and to seek to overcome it; many of our separated brethren have lost a revulsion of schism.

  57. tertullian says:

    Tissier de Mallerais may take pride in his self-defined hardcore positions, but nature teaches us that anything incapable of bending ultimately breaks. My time in and around Bern has taught me, as reflected in the earlier post by Ancilla, that younger members do not reflect this stridency. I wonder if it will simply take the passing of these purists (I resisted using “jihadists”) before any meaningful reconciliation can occur.

  58. Jrbrown says:

    Ben
    No, I think he meant what he said. The FSSP exists due to the consecrations and the leaving of the SSPX of several priests who wanted to be at peace with Rome and avoid what was termed by the Vatican as the schismatic act of Archbishop Lefebvre. In all liklihood, they would not exist were there no consecrations, as neither the priests nor the Vatican would have had the strong motives to form the FSSP when they did. Of course, on the other hand, he seems to claim that Tradition itself would have died…a most disputable claim.

  59. dcs says:

    For young ladies, books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home.

    Speaking as someone who believes that young ladies should learn to cook and to sew, especially if they have a vocation to Holy Matrimony, this is just silly. One doesn’t learn to cook and sew by reading books; one learns to cook and sew by actually doing it, preferably under the watchful eye of someone else who knows what she’s doing.

  60. Michael B. says:

    Dominic,
    I hope there are many like you. Someone inside the SSPX will have to publicly repudiate the canard that all Catholics outside of the SSPX are modernists, liberals, or weak-minded and don’t believe there is a crisis in the Church. But beware: it will be the end of your association with the SSPX as it stands now.
    I noticed that Dr. Brian Sudlow has a blog reflecting the depths of his understanding of the SSPX as a former member: http://thesensiblebond.blogspot.com/

  61. Dougall says:

    “For young ladies, books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home.”

    Oh, to hear what sharp rejoinder Saint Theresa of Avila might offer to that!”

    I showed that to my wife. She had quite a chuckle. I think the more sedevacantist-leaning trads are starting to introduce a weird type of Calvinist Puritanism/Islamic stuff into the Church. I guess it’s a reaction to the craziness in a lot of Churches. I saw an article that argued for wearing a headcovering even outside of Church.

    Needless to say, this sort of fundamentalism isn’t Catholic. We can be traditional, faithful Catholics and drink beer and watch T.V.

    “Seriously, this seems to fit what I fear may be happening; as Rome moves closer to reconciliation with SSPX, some among the latter, out of self-preservation, find new reasons to resist. That doesn’t preclude reconciliation, but it makes it harder; and it may mean that some will refuse to be reconciled.”

    I agree Fr. What’s frightening is that you have one element that seems to want to come back, and one that seems to want to separate and join the sedes. I think Bp. Fellay will have to make a hard choice. Sadly, I think the Motu Proprio has drawn a lot of sensible people out of the SSPX. Not all the sensible people, but some of them.

    I think most younger sedes don’t really hold to sedevacantism, personally. I think they just want to go to the Tridentine Mass, and as it becomes more widely available, I see these sede sects dying out over time.

    “The Church has always had splinter groups and disputes such as this; go all the way back to the earliest times, when the Church was but a mustard seed, and oh the sects and heresies (I’m not calling these folks heretics) that abounded! Thank the Incarnate Lord that it is in our ecclesial “dna” to be appalled by such splintering and to seek to overcome it; many of our separated brethren have lost a revulsion of schism.”

    Amen, Fr. One bright spot in Bp. Fellay’s interview, was his emphasis on the rock of St. Peter. The other Bishop seems to be preoccupied with apostasy and conspiracy theories about Judaism.

    Weird.

  62. Aspen says:

    “Please remember that not all of us SSPX priests are as extreme in our views nor in our expressions.”

    It doesn’t matter how extreme the expressions are, as long as they honestly match the views! As our Lord said, let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. If you think that the pope is a heretic, then say as much so that we will know what you think and be done with you. If you think the pope isn’t a heretic, then say as much (and act on it!).

  63. gsk says:

    Well, leaving the liturgy to those who know best, I will only comment on the “wimmen and children” part, which has my knickers in a twist. I’m very sorry, but my only experiences with the traditionalists were horrific. Being an avid reader, I was censured by the other women in that crowd for being an “intellectual glutton”—reading things that didn’t bear directly on my vocation (which the good bishop reminds me to be “cooking, sewing, and how to furnish a home.”)

    Now we also have the comment about large families, and this, too, sticks in my craw. Many are blessed with large families. (Sadly, I only have five living children—God’s will in all things.) But I know many large families in the NO crowd, and some in the traditionalist crowd. The latter, I remember, would even have contests about who could have the most babies. Now that was done lightly, on one level, but combined with the lack of access to NFP (forbidden as birth control) and the expectation that women’s crowns in heaven were sized according to fertility, this was a heavy cross for many—especially those with infertility issues or prone to depression.

    Add to this the fact that said crowns were decorated with jewels in proportion to how well each woman kept her home and family, and that for men to help with housework or cooking would be to enable the women in sloth, I saw some pretty dire situations—especially post-partem or during medical emergencies. (Women gathered to bring meals for one young mother who had just had surgery, and we waited hand and foot on the husband, who later told us it was our duty; and if he had helped in any way, it would have undermined our vocation—and his.)

    The things that drew me to the true Church—respect for life, the firm teaching that marriage is ordered to procreation, the mutual gift of self in nuptial love, and the availability of NFP as a recourse in times of need—are all missing in the traditionalist homes I frequented. The nuptial mystery of Christ laying down his life for His Bride, the Church, in order for her to be fruitful, is likewise missing in Bishop Tissier’s theology. The families I saw leaned towards a perverse patriarchy because their theology leaned in that direction. I don’t see “their” Christ exercising a tenderness towards the Bride, but hunkering down in battle (fight! fight! fight!) and bellowing to the wife to bring him vittles and make more soldiers. Harsh and unfair assessment to many fine people, I’m sure, but my experiences were quite jarring.

  64. Dougall says:

    Fr.–

    Sorry if that sounded like a lecture. I would never try to lecture a priest.

    I just agreed wholeheartedly with your comment and wanted to use it to expand my own views.

    I really, really wish that only Bp. Fellay would speak. The finer points of theology and liturgy are one thing. The crazy stuff is something else entirely.

  65. Phil says:

    Malta, you asked “(..) but how did this Bishop endage in heresy? Where did he deny a dogma of the Church?”

    While I leave the issue of Dogma to those better schooled, Tissier de Mallerais does seem to be flagrantly contradicting Matthew 16: “(…) and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. Saying the pope is heretic is, in my understanding, in itself heretic. The holy father can be many things, not all of them good – plenty of examples in the medieval popes – but not a heretic.

    Another very problematic part of this is that it leaves Tissier de Mallerais place in the Church in even graver doubt, but now from his side: if calling the Pope a heretic isn’t tantamount to breaking communium with him, what is? Ofcourse’s he’s already excommunicated, but he seems to add the intention of being outside the Church. There’s quite a bit in the Church’s teaching about the dangers of that to one’s soul, and if I’m not mistaken that could indeed lead to him denying dogma.

    Many in the SSPX and their chapels are probably devout people and maintain the vast majority of the faith, and on average quite likely a lot better than those in the (rest of the?) Church. But denying one council or one Pope is one too many – it’s a simple as that. Sadly Williamson and now Tissier de Mallerais seem to make a sport of it.

  66. Dougall says:

    GSK,

    That stuff about women reading sewing books is ridiculous.
    And I would think 5 children, well, it’s a pretty large family, no? Trads I’ve known have forgotten that there are true believers at the Novus Ordo, too. In my experience, not as many, and a lot of them seem conflicted about the liturgical abuses they struggle with (I certainly was) but they are certainly there.

    This ultratraditionalism of prairie dresses and puritanical scrupulosity is madness. I was always under the impression that tradition was about good liturgy, sound teaching, and faithfulness. Pre-Vat II Catholic women didn’t walk around one step shy of a burkha.

    And with that, I step off the soapbox.

  67. Tzard says:

    Interesting… Do you think he’s perhaps a “child” of the 60′s just as much as the liberal counterparts (but his rebellion directed in a different direction)?

    “The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age. ” – G.K. Chesterton

  68. SMA alum. says:

    <b.Father Z said: An interesting demographic observation: This means that there are children of the first followers of Abp. Lefevbre who have never known anything but conflict and harsh rhetoric about Rome and the Pope.

    Don’t underestimate this point! I grew up “in and among” the SSPX and I am far less concerned about the priests and four bishops going too far off into the land of rhetoric and posturing than I am with the followers of the SSPX. To me it’s striking that many of the followers of the SSPX are ignorant on many points of the Faith, as many Catholics are these days, except that the SSPX partisans have a very warped idea of obedience to the Pope. They are taught that Faith supersedes obedience, which is true, but then are ill informed to apply that principle appropriately. The end result is the formation of the reflex principle that “if Rome says X is good, then not-X is actually what is good.” Of course, what makes this principle even more dangerous is that, as we know, it’s not always wrong! Please pray both for the clerics of the SSPX as well as their followers… a deal will more than likely be reached between Bp. Fellay and Rome in the next 24 – 30 months (certainly not in the next 18 months, though) and my concern is that a number of the SSPX followers will perceive it as a sellout and defect to groups like CMRI, SSPV, etc.

  69. SMA alum. says:

    Oops: the quote to which I was referring disappeared somehow. I was commenting on this:

    Father Z. said: An interesting demographic observation: This means that there are children of the first followers of Archbp. Lefevbre who have never known anything but conflict and harsh rhetoric about Rome and the Pope.

  70. John Fisher says:

    Please can we have some analysis on the question of religious liberty and why it is such an important question for SSPX?

  71. Baron Korf says:

    His rhetoric reminds me of someone who has been fighting many different enemies on many different fronts and now they have all blended together in his mind and he can’t distinguish an outside ally from an enemy. I kinda feel bad for him.

  72. JM says:

    “The parallel Church is the Vatican II-Newchurch: her spirit, her new-religion or no-religion.”

    What else do you call this but schism!

  73. Calleva says:

    This is very sad and discouraging, but we can take heart that when unity is reached, it will have been a work of the Holy Spirit alone.

    I wrote on another thread that the longer it remains obdurate, the more the SSPX runs the risk of becoming a historical re-enactment society. Expecting women to read books on cooking, sewing and furnishing a house smacks of the 1950s and has little to do with Catholicism, as people here have already noted.

    The TLM is indeed the Mass of Ages, but I bet if you went to Mass in 1650 in, say, Italy and another Mass in 1850 in (let us say) Scotland, the liturgy might be much the same, but there would be cultural nuances and other factors which made the experience different at each Mass. The prayer to St Michael the Archangel was added only in the late 19th century but became normative (and rightly so). So organic growth isn’t wrong, and to set the clock at, say, 1962 in perpetuity is unworkable. The practice of our faith becomes experimental archaeology (to use a good term Fr Z used when commenting on my earlier post).

    I accept many of the criticisms of the SSPX against modernists in the Church and the dreadful abuses in liturgy and catechesis, but setting up a rival ‘church’ within a church isn’t the answer. The longer the SSPX stays outside the fold of Peter, the more hardline it will get.

    I’ve been married for almost 30 years and have never read a book on furnishing a house. Do they even exist? My mother taught me to cook. A woman’s mind is a terrible thing to waste: “educate a man and you educate one person, educate a woman and you educate a family”. Mary of Bethany, at the feet of Jesus, wasn’t getting sewing lessons but spiritual solid meat, and Our Lord didn’t tell her to get back into the kitchen either!

  74. Michael B. says:

    SMA alum.
    Interesting point from your position. Fr. Michael Mary’s self-diagnosis of twenty years of practical sedevacantism seems to be on the mark.

  75. Calleva says:

    There have been several references to Fr Michael Mary – please could we have a link to whatever he has written? I’ve missed this.

  76. megotoaz says:

    Please can we have some analysis on the question of religious liberty and why it is such an important question for SSPX?

    The SSPX’s take on this topic can be summed up as follows: the ideas contained in the constitution on religious liberty passed by Vatican II are heretical in their conception and heretical in their execution, even if they are not technically heretical in the text of the document itself. This is because (1) the perennial teaching of the Church that outside the Church there is no salvation is clouded over by highlighting things that are objectively good in the various false religions, and (2) the redefinition of “The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church,” changing the previous definition of “The Church of Christ is the Catholic Church.” Some will argue that these two mean the same thing; “subsist” and “is” are two words with different meanings and implications which suggests a “development” in theology. If Truth can change on this point, where else???

    Ultimately, all of the points that the SSPX will raise about there being a crisis in the Church go back to questions about the meaning, interpretation, or allowance made by the documents of Vatican II, the results of which contradict what had always been held to be true.

    Does that help explain where they are coming from on this point?

  77. Lucia says:

    as one of those “youth” apparently “lost” to “impurity and drugs,” I’d like to point out that any “loss” of the Catholic youth results only in their influences. Perhaps if they were given better examples and guidance, they would not be “lost”.

    And just fyi? The Catholic youth are **not** “lost.” They are ever-prospering and any bishop who seeks to condemn them should be ashamed.

  78. Lucia says:

    (note: I meant to type “results from”)

  79. Phil says:

    Calleva,

    The link to that interview is here: http://papastronsay.blogspot.com/2008/07/supplied-jurisdiction-or-fresh-bread.html

    I won’t comment on Fr. Michael Mary’s earlier position, but he deserves major kudos for being bold enough to follow his newfound understanding to its logical conclusion.

  80. Sharon says:

    Fr. Z,
    We have had Anglicans, and Orthodox come to our TLM at a diocesan parish wanting to convert within the tradition of the TLM. They usually have seen/experienced the ordinary form and don’t want much to do with it. Our pastor (who doesn’t celebrate the EF, but is in charge of the parish where it is offered) makes them state that the ordinary form is valid before he will take them as a convert. Interestingly, I don’t think he goes to the RCIA and proposes that they state the validity of the 1962 missal, so it seems that there is a double standard/litmus test that obviously favors the ordinary form. Your thoughts?

  81. ekafant says:

    Father, I have to take exception to one comment that you made. I attended SSPX chapels for many years, and have 6 kids who up until a year ago, did not know anything else. That being said, I have ALWAYS made it a point not to bash bad priests or the Pope. I have seen it done too much, and in the end, the children will not have respect for any priest, traditional or modern.

  82. Phil says:

    Sharon,

    I’m not Fr. Z., but if you’d be interested in my 2c: There are quite a few people out there, at least in some quarters, who deny the validity of the ordinary form. I’ve yet to hear about someone who denies the validity of the EF. People may not like it, some bishops may oppose it, but denial of it’s validity would be a new one. Seems like a big non-issue to take preventative measures against a disease that isn’t present.

    and BTW, we’re drifting a bit offtopic here…

  83. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Fr. Fox,

    I have been around large Catholic families, both traditional and New Mass conservatives, and there is an absolute need for women to learn how to run a household. Many of these mothers are coming from homes where they were one of two or three children, and they have no idea how to run a household. Some have been on the verge of nervous break down trying to deal with it. A mother with six to twelve children, has a great need for practical information in running a house (I think that was what the bishop was referring to by saying furnish). The old system of being taught by your own mother is broken, because most mothers do not have the same challenges, unless they were raised in more traditional/conservative families. Also many new mothers came from homes where the children went to school, which is not an option for them. So they have to homeschool on top of all their other duties.

    I would be interested to know how many families you have at your parish with six or more children. I would also like to know what TV shows you would recommend for Catholic family viewing. As to drinking beer, I homebrew my own, and many of my batches of beer have been blessed by a priest from the SSPX (there is a beautiful blessing for beer in the old ritual). After which, he would always sit down with me and share a glass. So I have not seen the SSPX as being anti-beer drinking, but rather quite the opposite.

  84. gsk says:

    Christopher: I agree whole-heartedly. That’s why (from the outside) I love the Opus Dei approach, which takes the home seriously as a vocation. Edith Stein also took the education of girls very seriously since their lives would include the home. There’s something in the way that the traditionalists approach it that is such a turnoff: presuming that if you’re simply focused, diligent, and prudent it will all fall into place. Well, it doesn’t. And women are left to think that more humility and oblation would solve things. Not. (Though they certainly have their place :-)

  85. Ken says:

    “…no Fraternity of St. Peter nor anything else. Tradition would have died. [Does this strike anyone as hubris?]”

    No. It simply shows the SSPX doesn’t believe in magic. It was not a coincidence that the F.S.S.P. and the indult were formed at the same time the discipline for the bishops was issued.

  86. schoolman says:

    “Please remember that not all of us SSPX priests are as extreme in our views nor in our expressions.”

    Dominic, there seems to be a consistent flow of this from the SSPX leadership. When will the good priests in the SSPX say “enough is enough”?

  87. Mitchell says:

    It is all the more clear why the SSPX did not accept the 5 points towards reconcilliation offered but only a month ago offered by the Holy Pope. This borders on disrespectful remarks, whether direct or indirect. It seems the SSPX has just grown into something too big to handle. Also Bishop Fellay seems to not know how, or he can not, curtail the remarks within the very organization which he leads. Or at a minimum teach them to convey their points diplomatically…An Ambassador is one job none could apply for if and when they come apart at the seams. From the 30 year comment they seem content where they are….But I will continue to pray for a solution, as I do feel they would benefit the Church overall, if they can soften the rhetoric.

  88. Xpihs says:

    It had been pointed out in Fr. Z’s emphases and comments the mind set of fighting and not giving in to Modernist Rome.

    This could be interpreted of the SSPX that they are just picking a fight.

    However it could also be interpreted that they actually believe that the Faith is in danger and that it is worth fighting for.

    It should not necessarily be interpreted that the SSPX is fighting against Rome, but perhaps for the Faith.

    As for religious liberty and ecumenism, these are real issues. Issues not so much in theory as in practice.

  89. megotoaz says:

    It is all the more clear why the SSPX did not accept the 5 points towards reconcilliation offered but only a month ago offered by the Holy Pope.

    Where have you been getting your news? The “5 points” were from Card. Castrillon personally, carried no weight in the official negotiations, there was no protocol number attached to them, no legal definition or legislative text explaining the scope or with whom the agreement was being made, etc. This was simply an attempt by Card. Castillon — especially the lead to the media about it — to build media and popular pressure against the SSPX before his term in office is up. He got a deal with the F.SS.R and he desperately wants a deal with the SSPX because it would be a very nice feather in his cap before he heads off for retirement. There will be a deal but it won’t before next summer, in my opinion.

  90. mpm says:

    “Tissier de Mallerais may take pride in his self-defined hardcore positions,
    but nature teaches us that anything incapable of bending ultimately breaks.
    My time in and around Bern has taught me, as reflected in the earlier post
    by Ancilla, that younger members do not reflect this stridency. I wonder if
    it will simply take the passing of these purists (I resisted using “jihadists”)
    before any meaningful reconciliation can occur.

    Comment by tertullian — 24 July 2008 @ 8:25 am”

    It’s interesting (coincidental?) that is the same solution many have for
    the solution to the “progressivist” problem in the Church!

  91. Jason Keener says:

    John Fisher,

    You asked for an analysis of the question of religious liberty and the SSPX. Here is an excellent article:

    http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Dossier/00MarApr/continuity.html

  92. Memphis Aggie says:

    Where’s the love of God in this? He’s all “fight” and judgment. The MP is a miracle but the Pope needs conversion? This does not appear to be a man with an open heart or mind or one who entertains criticism. I doubt any overture from Rome could succeed when the most important thing appears to be the survival of the Fraternity.

  93. It seems to me that, challenges to the pope’s authority aside, most of what the SSPX bishops are saying is correct. Although anger perhaps weakens their expressions, it is certainly justified. They were there to experience 2000 years of tradition discarded, to see the Church weakened and virtually destroyed from within. They were excommunicated while heretics remain. Why shouldn’t they be angry?

    As a revert, I returned to churches that have been defaced, clap-happy Masses, and diocesan offices infested with liturgical liberals and Marxists. Outside of small groups who have maintained or returned to the faith, the Church continues its precipitous decline. Perhaps some of the commentors are so used to this state of affairs that it ceases to provoke outrage.

  94. gsk says:

    Concerning religious vocations, the bishop says: “Do not ‘contemplate’ it, do not even ‘try’ it, but enter into it with decision and persevere in it! O God, poor wills!”

    He could be carried away in his words, considering the lack of resolve many have, but I find this comment irresponsible. What about authentic discernment? A parent would more easily press children to give God the first fruits, if they could likewise trust that the novice directors would sift souls adequately. Could this have been the mindset that nailed many men and women to vocations they didn’t have, because they were shamed into thinking that leaving would indicate a “poor will?”

    The more I read his words, the more discouraged I get. Christ the King must reign, but we have to do our part as free and rational souls. Is this why many older folks I know shudder at “the good old days?”

  95. Jason Keener says:

    When one looks at how the greatest saints in the Church like Catherine of Siena and Francis of Assisi brought about reforms in times of serious crisis, it was always done with almost unfailing charity and humility. Unfortunately, we don’t see much of this same charity and humility coming from the SSPX bishops.

    The SSPX would do much better if they would further the cause of Tradition by using the motto of St. Francis de Sales:

    “Cook the truth in charity until it tastes sweet.”

  96. schoolman says:

    “Cook the truth in charity until it tastes sweet.”

    The motto here seems to be:

    “Cook our ideology in the ‘fight’ until we win”

  97. Jeff says:

    As he was dying, did not St. Thomas Aquinas say — presumably in Latin — “I submit all to the judgment and correction of the Holy Roman Church, in whose obedience I now pass from this life”?

  98. I am not Spartacus says:

    As long as the priests Fellay, wiliamson, and Mallerais are alive there will not be a reconciliation. I am happy about that. We really do not need the sspx and their extreme traditionalism. I think you will agree with me after reading what he thinks in his own words

    What does Fr. Mallerais really think about Pope Benedict?

    Read his own words in The Remnant. He thinks The Pope is a heretic. Fr. Mallerais is “HL.”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++ begin quotes ++++++++++++++++

    H: What more, My Lord?

    HL: Well, for instance, that this Pope has professed heresies in the past! He has professed heresies! \ I do not know whether he still does.

    SH: When you say “has professed,” do you mean he still does?

    HL: No, but he has never retracted his errors.

    SH: But My Lord, if he has not retracted them, does he not still retain them? Of what are you speaking? Can you be more specific? I must admit I am no theologian and I have not read any of his works. Was this when he was a cardinal?

    HL: It was when he was a priest. When he was a theologian, he professed heresies, he published a book full of heresies.

    SH: My Lord, I need you to be more specific, so we can examine the matter.

    HL: Yes, sure. He has a book called Introduction to Christianity, it was in 1968. It is a book full of heresies. Especially the negation of the dogma of the Redemption.

    SH: In what sense, My Lord?

    HL: He says that Christ did not satisfy for our sins, did not – atone – He, Jesus Christ, on the Cross, did not make satisfaction for our sins. This book denies Christ’s atonement of sins.

    SH: Ah, I’m not sure I understand…

    HL: He denies the necessity of satisfaction.

    SH: This sounds like Luther.

    HL: No, it goes much further than Luther. Luther admits the sacrifice…the satisfaction of Christ. It is worse than Luther, much worse.

    SH: My Lord, I must return to the beginning of this line of questioning: are you saying he is a heretic?

    HL: No. But he has never retracted these statements.

    SH: Well, then, what would you say, My Lord, that it was “suspicious,” “questionable,” “favoring heresy”?

    HL: No, it is clear. I can quote him. He rejects “an extremely rudimentary presentation of the theology of satisfaction (seen as) a mechanism of an injured and reestablished right. It would be the manner with which the justice of God, infinitely offended, would have been reconciled anew by an infinite satisfaction…some texts of devotion seem to suggest that the Christian faith in the Cross understands God as a God whose inexorable justice required a human sacrifice, the sacrifice of his own Son. And we flee with horror from a justice, the dark anger of which removes any credibility from the message of love” (translated from the German version, pages 232-233).

    SH: What other heresies, My Lord?

    HL: Many others. Many others. He has put up doubts regarding the divinity of Christ, regarding the dogma of the Incarnation…

    SH: This cannot be true…

    HL: It is very true. He re-reads, re-interprets all the dogmas of the Church. This is it. This is what he calls the “hermeneutic” in his discourse of 22 December 2005.

    SH: This hermeneutic is also known as the “living tradition…” It would interpret existing doctrines in new lights…

    HL: Yes, exactly. According to the new philosophy, the idealist philosophy of Kant.

    SH: These are very strong words, My Lord, but yet, the Society is not sedevacantist…

    HL: No, no, no, no. He is the Pope…

    SH: But these are strong words…

    HL: Ecclesia supplet. The Church supplies. It is even in the code of canon law: “in case of doubt, the Church supplies the executive power.” He is the Pope. Ecclesia Supplet. But we must know he has professed heresies.

    SH: My Lord…has there been such a dark time in Church history?

    HL: That is difficult to say. I would not say such a thing. It is sufficient to say that he has professed heresies.

    SH: My Lord, I must emphasize that the paper I am writing for has wide circulation in the English speaking world…are these the words you wish to use?

    HL: Yes. Yes. I have read Joseph Ratzinger, and have read his books. I can assure you that it is true.

    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/archives/archive-2006-0430-tissier.htm

  99. Hugo says:

    Jrbrown:

    The Church has made it clear that the principle of religious freedom belongs to the deposit of faith, and is binding upon Christians:

    “What is more, this doctrine of freedom has roots in divine revelation, and for this reason Christians are bound to respect it all the more conscientiously.”

    (DH 9)

    In faithfulness therefore to the truth of the Gospel, the Church is following the way of Christ and the apostles when she recognizes and gives support to the principle of religious freedom as befitting the dignity of man and as being in accord with divine revelation. Throughout the ages the Church has kept safe and handed on the doctrine received from the Master and from the apostles. . . . the doctrine of the Church that no one is to be coerced into faith has always stood firm.

    (DH 12)

    Remember the Notifications, Nov. 16, 1964:

    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.

    So please, reconsider your stance. You know that it has always been wrong for Catholics to coerce the wills of non-Catholics. A conversion gained by coercion is no conversion at all, as Gregory X said: “For, indeed, that person who is known to have come to Christian baptism not freely, but unwillingly, is not believed to posses the Christian faith.” Plain and simple: coercion excludes true faith.

    In time, the Church realized that instances of persecution against non-Catholics are coercive, and thus, undermined their capacity to freely and genuinely accept Catholic doctrine. This is why the Church now opposes persecution and coercion: precisely so that men can freely and genuinely fulfill their moral obligation towards the Catholic faith: “Men cannot discharge these obligations [towards religious truth] in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom.”

    True Catholic faith cannot exist without religious freedom.

  100. John Hudson says:

    I wonder what, in practical terms, is implied by a fight against ‘religious liberty’? What are they envisaging? A return of confessional monarchies? Something like Saudi Arabia only Catholic?

  101. Hugo says:

    John Hudson,

    Well, they would def. want to see Catholicism established in states (which is fine, and still very much a part of Catholic teaching). But the attack on Dignitatis Humanae is really an attempt to win for the Church the right to persecute non-Catholics, though the possession of that right does not compel the Church to ever actually exercise it (I believe Leo XIII said it is not always necessary or wise to punish moral error.)

  102. Christopher:

    I have no objections to large families, no objections to stay-at-home moms, etc. I thought my point was clear: I wondered what Saint Theresa of Avila, known for her tart tongue, might say to the idea that the, quote, “most essential” books for “young ladies,” among the faithful are “books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home.”

    It seems clear to me that many of the female saints of the Church read more than such books; we just celebrated St. Brigid of Sweden, mother of eight children, foundress of an order, and who wrote many things, as did Theresa of Avila and other women. I don’t know, but I suspect they focused their reading on other things than books on “cooking, sewing, and how to furnish a home”…such as, the Scriptures? The lives of the saints?

    So I was trying to say, with a little humor, that perhaps the bishop was being a little narrow in his recommendations to “young ladies.” Surely they can learn skills for keeping a home and study the Bible, the Catechism, etc.?

    As to beer, I have no objections to it, and if those comments were directed to me, I’m not sure why. It was Dougall who said something about drinking (or not drinking) beer.

  103. Rose of Lima says:

    What was the difference between the heretical group the Waldensians and the orthodox group the Franciscans?

    It’s not a trick question: It was obedience to Holy Mother Church.

    See the parallels, FSSP and SSPX. Let’s pray that SSPX will not make the same mistake that the Waldensians made and instead will return to full communion with the one true Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    Thank you Father Z for such a wonderful blog.

  104. I am not Spartacus says:

    (2) the redefinition of “The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church,” changing the previous definition of “The Church of Christ is the Catholic Church.” Some will argue that these two mean the same thing; “subsist” and “is” are two words with different meanings and implications which suggests a “development” in theology. If Truth can change on this point, where else???

    Megatoaz. Congratulations. You just made The Baltimore Catechism a Document of Modernism :)

    131. Q. How is the Church catholic or universal?

    A. The Church is catholic or universal because it subsists in all ages, teaches all nations, and maintains all truth.

    “Subsists” means to have existence..

    When Johannes Paulus Magnus excommunictated Mons. Lefevbre and the priests Fellay, Mallerais, Williamson, Galaretta, he was spot on in noting…

    4. The root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete, because it does not take sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, “comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth”.

    The SSPX specialises in an incomplete and contradictiry notion of Tradition to such an extent that, apparently, now even the Old Baltimore Catechism must be condemned because it is corrupted by modernism.

    Actually, because St. Augustine also used subsit, maybe he is too much a modernist too…

    This Godhead, then, which they wish to be understood likewise as the love and charity subsisting between these two [Persons], the one toward the other, they affirm to have received the name of the Holy Spirit.

    I wonder if I am the only one who is sickened when a schism routinely attacks Divinely-Constituted authority?

  105. John Hudson says:

    Thanks, Hugo. It seems to me that Our Lord’s directive to ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ applies to questions of religious liberty and religious persecution.

  106. Romulus says:

    John Paul II did nothing to rebuild the Faith. [Nothing?]

    The consequences of original sin ensure that lengthy incumbency in any office, secular or ecclesiastical, is bound to include numerous blunders and offenses against prudence, charity, etc. It’s not bashing to observe that the record of the late Holy Father is not without blemish. The same can be said of any pontiff, including Peter. Warts and all, JPII is in good company.

    Tradition would have died. [Does this strike anyone as hubris?]

    Yes. And as faithlessness in the promise of the Lord, and as a disordered notion of the Church as an institution relying, for its preservation, on human effort.

    induratio cordium

    Last Sunday’s gospel in the EF: “Deus, grátias ago tibi, quia non sum sicut céteri hóminum.”

    The answer is our perseverance, our existence.

    “We are Church”, right? Who knew?

    Their new religion is against the true Mass,

    Ergo the OF mass is “not true”. Condemned by his own words.

    until the conversion of the Pope.

    Perhaps he has in mind Luke 22:32: ego autem rogavi pro te ut non deficiat fides tua et tu aliquando conversus confirma fratres tuos.

  107. I wonder how Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais and Father Paul Aulaigner ended up so far apart after all these years? Weren’t they both in the 1st class that Archbishop Lefebvre ordained in 1975? From what I understand, Fr Aulaigner was extremely close to Archbishop Lefebvre….so why did he return to full communion while Bishop Tissier de Mallerais isn’t even close? What caused the change of heart in Fr Paul Aulaigner and why hasn’t the Bishop responded likewise?

  108. Pardon my misspelling…it is Father Paul Aulagnier

  109. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Fr. Fox,

    I am sorry, I did confuse your post with Dougall’s with regard to beer and TV. As to for young ladies the bishop is clear that all should read/study “their missal (Mass book) and their catechism.” I personally would recommend studying the catechism before scripture, and the missal is an excellent introduction to scripture. Too many Catholics today read the Bible with little understanding of the Faith, and end up practicing a form of sola scriptura without knowing it. If you know your catechism well, and also how the Church uses scripture in her liturgy, you will go along way in avoiding the errors so many Protestants fall into.

  110. gsk says:

    Father Fox: I’m so overwhelmed by the responses that I missed your original quip on dear Saint Teresa. Thanks! And then you offered this:

    “Seriously, this seems to fit what I fear may be happening; as Rome moves closer to reconciliation with SSPX, some among the latter, out of self-preservation, find new reasons to resist. That doesn’t preclude reconciliation, but it makes it harder; and it may mean that some will refuse to be reconciled.”

    This is quite insightful, and it offers lots of threads for thought. The easiest to put into words is that the big theological questions are being discussed with a view to a meeting of minds. And thus, the traditionalists (like any segment of a culture that isolates itself deliberately) could be reduced to grasping at accidents or matters of taste, and giving them more weight than they deserve. It then becomes reduced to, “Well, we simply like it our way.” To take it to the absurd, that Texas cult could lose its religious bearings and be reduced to defending themselves with, “But every woman looks better in our dresses!”

  111. Romulus says:

    Bonus quote: We are living the great apostasy of which St. Paul speaks.

    Unintentional Irony Alert.

  112. Christopher,

    What type of beer do you brew?

  113. Jrbrown says:

    Hugo,
    You are simply incorrect to assert that the specific novelty of DH, acknowledged therein to be ‘new’ formulation of doctrine, is infallible. It does not demand definitive assent of the faithful, according to any known statement of the Church, and is almost undoubtedly of lesser definitive authority than prior, more ancient and repeated statements of doctrine on the duties of men and nations towards the true religion. Since DH itself has ambiguities which make it difficult to understand, and which our Holy Father seems to have acknowledged in his famous Hermeneutic of Continuity speech on this very point, it seems quite unjust that the Council and Paul VI would claim no new definitive doctrine was promulgated, but actually do so in a text which to this day produces confusion among Catholic theologians of good will having nothing to do with SSPX disputes.

  114. schoolman says:

    Regarding religious freedom, the SSPX holds that the Church, in principle, must always and everywhere insist that the state repress the public display of non-Catholic worship. Such a universal principle has never been held by the Church.

  115. Jrbrown says:

    schoolman, that is incorrect. Bp Fellay himself has said that the SSPX more than likely would support public tolerance of religious error and non Catholic practice to a great degree, but within the context of officially Catholic states. This was also the policy of Pope Pius XII, and frankly the Popes since the latter part of the 19th Century. What SSPX would seem to insist upon is that objectively there is no right to religious freedom in so many words and, more importantly, there is a duty of nation-states to recognize the true religion officially, due to the social rights of Christ the King.

  116. I am not Spartacus says:

    Pope Paul VI: Address to the Roman Curia (April 23, 1966)

    “Whatever were our opinions about the Council’s various doctrines before its conclusions were promulgated, today our adherence to the decisions of the Council must be wholehearted and without reserve…
    “The council was something very new; not all were prepared to understand and accept it. But now the conciliar doctrines must be seen as belonging to the magisterium of the Church and, indeed be attributed to the breath of the Holy Spirit.’

  117. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Greg,

    I just started drinking a brown ale I brewed. I will be brewing a pale ale this weekend, and next week end I will be brewing a stout. I also brew bitters, India pale ales, and seasonal ales (Christmas, pumpkin, etc). I am hoping to try to brew my first larger this winter if I can maintain a proper temperature (I plan on converting a chest freezer to a refrigerator to avoid this problem, but that is a future project). I do not brew all grain, but rather from malt extract and specialty grains. I also do not use kits.

  118. Brian Kemple says:

    I know quite a few girls at my school who would not like being told that they are only or most importantly to read “books on cooking, sewing and how to furnish a home.” I don’t think those things can be learned by reading.

  119. megotoaz says:

    non-Spartacus: Pope Paul VI said (at the closing of Vat. II, I believe) that nothing new or extraordinary (infallibly defined) was done at at the Council. So, how does a purely pastoral Council have “conciliar doctrines [that] must be seen as belonging to the magisterium of the Church?” Moreover, how can reforms carried out in the name of a pastoral council legally result in a new liturgy which is a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass?

  120. Angelo says:

    At the Central Preparatory Commission before the Council, two schemas were submitted, one by Cardinal Bea under the title “Religious Liberty,” the other by Cardinal Ottaviani under the title, “Religious Tolerance.” The first filled fourteen pages without any reference to documents of the Magisterium. The second covered seven pages of text and sixteen pages of references, from Pius VI (1790) to John XXIII (1959).

    Cardinal Bea’s schema contained propositions not in accord with the perennial truths of the Church. We read, for example, “This is why we must praise the fact that in our day liberty and religious equality are proclaimed by many nations and by the International Organization for the Rights of Man.”

    Cardinal Ottaviani, on the other hand, set forth the question correctly: “Just as the civil power considers it right to protect citizens from the seductions of error, so it may also regulate and moderate the public expression of other forms of worship and defend its citizens against the diffusion of false doctrines which, in the judgment of the Church, endanger their eternal salvation.”

  121. Angelo says:

    The above, I believe, is the position to which the SSPX holds.
    Absolutely in accord to the mind of the Church.

  122. Christopher,

    Thanks for the info. Permit me another question (or two). Where do you obtain your ingredients and what equipment do you use? That is great that you brew stout – I love stout beer..especially Imperial stout. Puts hair on a man’s chest.

  123. I am not Spartacus says:

    Cardinal Seper writes to Mons Lefevbre in 1978:

    “And your ‘praxis’, objected Cardinal Seper to Mgr Lefebvre in his letter of 28 January 1978, does not correct things. Indeed, you ordain priests against the formal will of the Pope and without the ‘litteræ dimissoriæ’ required by Canon Law; you send priests ordained by you to your priories where they exercise their ministry without the authorisation of the local Ordinary; you make speeches calculated to spread your ideas in dioceses whose bishops withhold their consent; with the priests you have ordained and who in fact answer only to you, you have started to form, whether you intend it or not, a group that is on the way to becoming a dissident ecclesial community. In this regard one must point to the astonishing statement you made (press conference of 15 September 1976, published in Itinéraires, December 1976, p. 126-127) concerning the administration of the sacrament of penance by priests whom you have unlawfully ordained and who are not provided with the faculty of hearing confessions. You considered that these priests had a jurisdiction provided by canon law for cases of necessity: ‘I think, you said, that the situation we find ourselves in is not one of physical circumstances but one of extraordinary morals.’ Was not this to reason as if the legitimate hierarchy had ceased to exist in those regions where these priests worked?”

    The Abbe de Nantes (of whom I am not a fan) got it right back in the day:
    «Either there still exists on earth a visible, hierarchical, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, whose divine order is established and maintained in accordance with the rules of the Canon Law in force, in which case Mgr Lefebvre’s attempted justification is baseless: confessions and marriages without the ordinary powers of jurisdiction and, in the case of marriages without the parish priest’s personal delegation, are indisputably null and void in law.

    «Or else there is no longer a Pope in Rome, and no longer any bishops in our dioceses or anywhere else, other than Mgr Lefebvre alone. But in that case, why invoke Canon Law at all in such a shaky argument? If he is the sole successor of the Apostles today, then his authority alone must stand in the eyes of both men and God as the fount of law. Let him concede Powers to whom he will, wherever he wishes, as he sees fit throughout the whole world! But that is not his real thinking, as can be seen in the timid and hesitant justification we have just read, although it must be the thinking of a number of priests and faithful who follow him and who egg him on.

    «It is all extremely grave: for souls who receive absolutions that are invalid and who become acclimatised to this protestant subjectivism; for families that accept marriages which no ecclesiastical court would hesitate to declare null and void; for the undivided subsistence of Holy Church broken by this form of reasoning and behaviour which can only be called schismatic because that is exactly what it is and, sad to say, even more formally so than the latent schism of those who camp within the Church, taking advantage of the inertia and complicity of those in authority the better to destroy her.»

    And here is Mons Lefevbre in 1991:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ begin quotes ++++++++++++++++++++

    …“As long as the present Roman authorities are imbued with ecumenism and modernism, as long as their decisions and the New Code of Canon Law are influenced by these false principles, it will be necessary to establish substitute authorities, faithfully keeping the Catholic principles of Catholic Tradition and Catholic Law. This is the only way of remaining faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Apostles and to the deposit of faith transmitted to their successors who remained faithful until Vatican II.”

    Some examples of cases to be submitted:

    – mixed marriages – dispensations
    – marriage annulments
    – lifting of excommunication in the external forum
    * for those who take part in abortion, either physically or legally
    * or for other reasons.
    – dispensations from religious vows
    – authorisation for exorcisms
    – consultations.

    The choice of the permanent secretary residing at the General House is significant, even though he has no powers of decision.

    Hoping that I may still be of use to you in these responses, yours very devotedly in Jesus and Mary.

    Marcel Lefebvre

    +++++++++++++++++++++++ end quotes +++++++++++++++++++++

    Of course, the SSPX keep their supporters in the dark but internal SSPX communications (Cor Unum) were leaked and the schismatic/petit ecclesia beans were spilled.

    http://www.crc-internet.org/feb1b.htm

    http://www.crc-internet.org/mar1a.htm

    FINALLY. Read what Mons Lefevbre wrote in 1979. NINETEEN SEVENTY NINE… and compare it to Fr. Fellay’s recent response to the Five Points. NOTHING ever changes in the schism.

    Mgr Lefebvre’s response, whilst wholly pertinent on doctrinal questions, was far from being so on questions that would logically have led him to denying the legitimacy of the “Pope” and the “bishops” de iure (and not simply de facto). Mgr Lefebvre had remained vague in his reply of 26 February 1978, so Cardinal Seper put the same question to him, in almost identical terms, on 16 March and then again – in a more verbose manner – in the interrogation of 11-12 January 1979.

    At the end of the interrogation, Seper came back to the following question: “Can a bishop, which is how he referred to Mgr Lefebvre’s position, judging in conscience that the Pope and the Episcopate no longer in the main exercise their authority, and seeking to ensure the faithful and exact transmission and maintenance of the Catholic faith, legitimately ordain priests without being a diocesan bishop, without having received dimissorial letters and against the formal and express prohibition of the Pope, and assign to these priests responsibility for the ecclesiastical ministry in their various dioceses (…). Does this thesis conform to the traditional doctrine of the Church by which you intend to abide?”

    (The reply was obviously no. Particularly as Mgr Lefebvre himself, in a protest addressed to the Sovereign Pontiff on 18 October 1964, the eve of the third session of the Council, had refuted the theory of a power of universal jurisdiction deriving immediately from Christ, independently of the Roman Pontiff, by virtue of the sacrament of the episcopate (cf. English CRC no 202, August 1987, p. 28).

    Mgr Lefebvre’s reaction was immediate: “You are trying to trap me!” His more considered response was no better. At first it was pragmatism: “No. I have not acted on the basis of a principle like that. It was the facts, the circumstances I found myself in, that forced me to adopt certain positions.” Then it was an argument that condemned itself: “I think that history can provide examples of similar acts carried out, in certain circumstances, not ‘contra’ but ‘præter voluntatem Papæ’” (but Mgr Lefebvre was in fact acting ‘against’ and not ‘beyond’ the will of the ‘Pope’).

    Finally came the definitive and logical surrender: “However, this question is too serious and too important for me to answer immediately. I therefore prefer to suspend my response.” The discussions at the “Holy Office” would remain at that point, and there was to be no further response…

    Suspended response in 1979..still suspending response in 2008. Yet Fr Fellay and trhe schism dcxares accuse Rome of moving too fast.

    For those with eyes to see, the sspx is a schismatic petit ecclesia that will not reconcile.

  124. I am not Spartacus says:

    At Vatican Two, Mgr Lefebvre himself, in a protest addressed to the Sovereign Pontiff on 18 October 1964, the eve of the third session of the Council, had refuted the theory of a power of universal jurisdiction deriving immediately from Christ, independently of the Roman Pontiff, by virtue of the sacrament of the episcopate.

    That is; DURING the Council he argued in favor of the Traditional ” NO Jurisdiction. No Ministry” axiom.

    After The Council, when he became so wilfull, he changed his public position.

    He was for the Ecumenical Council before he was against The Ecumenical Council and he was for “No Jurisdiction No Ministry” before he was against “No Jurisdiction No Ministry”

    And that is the sort of thing that passes for preserving tradition.
    (In some quarters)

  125. torear says:

    Very disappointing. There is much good the SSPX could be doing without the artificial barrier that they don’t seem to have any sort of urgency to resolve. There is much I wish Bishop Fellay would have done, or will do, differently, but these comments, as well as those by Bishop Williamson, do show how difficult it would be for His Excellency to bring the Society back into the fold in one piece. It’s very hard to see this sort of rhetoric being squared with reconciling with the Church.

    Also, it’s unfortunate (though certainly not surprising) to see the continued hardening of hearts and positions towards the FSSP. I’ve attended FSSP parishes for years, and unless one defines criticism and upholding of the traditional understanding of Church doctrine as necessarily polemical, then the assertion that the FSSP is silent towards the Council and the crisis of the last 40 years isn’t viable. I can think of any number of sermons or classes that I’ve seen myself, but if someone wants to see something online, I think the best examples of this are Fr. Ripperger’s work and those of the Fraternity priests of AudioSancto.

    As difficult as it may be to see on many sides, 2008 is quite a bit different than 1988. The Society may not have been correct in 1988, but the lay of the land was a far different animal than it is today and their actions were at least more understandable. I can’t say that the situation of 2008 continues to justify an abject obstancy.

  126. Brian Mershon says:

    Fr. Z: “An interesting demographic observation: This means that there are children of the first followers of Archbp. Lefevbre who have never known anything but conflict and harsh rhetoric about Rome and the Pope.”

    This has not been my experience whatsoever in the SSPX chapels I have visited nor in the vast majority of the families with which I have interacted. The simply live, eat and breathe their faith. And with as many childre as these families have, there is not a lot of time spent getting involved in the controversies of the Church. They merely live the Faith. It is quite simple actually. Most of the SSPX priests simply pass on what they have been given–which was the downfall of the Conciliar Fathers and bishops, and dare I say, in some ways, the Popes following the Council.

    They refused to pass on what they had been given.

  127. Xpihs says:

    Religious Freedom was defined by DH as meaning: People have a right not to be coerced by the State. It did not detract from the traditional teaching that people do not have an innate right hold and diffuse error.

  128. Louis E. says:

    For all his rhetoric,I expect Bp Tissier de Mallerais is still a modernist heretic in the eyes of the SSPV and “Pope Pius XIII” of truecatholic.org…

  129. craig says:

    megotoaz writes: “…Pope Paul VI said (at the closing of Vat. II, I believe) that nothing new or extraordinary (infallibly defined) was done at at the Council. So, how does a purely pastoral Council have “conciliar doctrines [that] must be seen as belonging to the magisterium of the Church?””

    The obvious answer is that the Council indeed did not define anything new per se, but that the common pre-conciliar interpretation was a misinterpretation of the Church’s perennial teaching. It is analogous to the Church’s saying in one age that Christians should treat slaves as brothers in Christ, and in another that Christians ought not to own slaves; the second does not repeal the first, but corrects the misconception that the earlier teaching “blesses” slavery.

    “Moreover, how can reforms carried out in the name of a pastoral council legally result in a new liturgy which is a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass?”

    If you’re asking how the Church can produce words and rubrics that are inferior to express the content of her beliefs, that is the same as asking how she can produce music and art that are likewise. There is no divine assurance that the Church will be protected from bad taste or “low” forms of piety.

    If you’re asking how the OF mass can be valid, then the obvious answer is that what the Church intended with the OF is not what you presume she intended. The emphasis of the OF may be less focused on substitutionary atonement than the EF (indeed, I would speculate that the intent of the OF was to lessen the presumption that soteriology == substitutionary atonement), but the OF clearly announces sacrificial intent. By no means does the OF repudiate the sacrificial character of the mass (take it from me; I grew up Baptist, and I notice the sacrificial character of the mass quite nicely, thank you).

  130. schoolman says:

    “What SSPX would seem to insist upon is that objectively there is no right to religious freedom in so many words and, more importantly, there is a duty of nation-states to recognize the true religion officially, due to the social rights of Christ the King.”

    JrBrown, the Church still teaches the traditional doctrine that individuals and societies have a duty toward the one true Church.

    Yet, this does not give the state unlimited powers of coercion in religious matters or the unlimited right to repress false religious practices. There are “due limits” that apply both to individual freedom/responsibility and authority to repress sin and error. DH sets the boundaries on both sides of the equation.

  131. craig says:

    Since Xpihs has brought up DH directly, let me just append that DH’s correction was to the misinterpretation that said, “since people do not have a divine right to hold and diffuse error, they do not have a secular right to do so either”.

  132. Hugo says:

    Jrbrown,

    You are simply incorrect to assert that the specific novelty of DH, acknowledged therein to be ‘new’ formulation of doctrine, is infallible. It does not demand definitive assent of the faithful, according to any known statement of the Church. . .

    I understand your concerns, but Dignitatis Humanae repeatedly states that the doctrine of religious freedom comes to us from “the apostles,” is rooted “in divine revelation,” and that Christians are “bound” to respect it. It is clear the Church views the essential doctrine of religious freedom as an apostolic inheritance. Although DH asserted a certain “new” character to the doctrine, it understood its essential assertions to be eternally valid: “the doctrine of the Church that no one is to be coerced into faith has always stood firm.” (DH 12). This is the essential teaching of DH: “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.” (DH 2)

    “[DH] is almost undoubtedly of lesser definitive authority than prior, more ancient and repeated statements of doctrine on the duties of men and nations towards the true religion.”

    But Dignitatis Humanae leaves that doctrine untouched: “Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.” Both men and societies can and should acknowledge the true religion (e.g., establishing it, practicing it, advancing it). Vatican II freely acknowledges this. But that does not give any a license to COERCE non-Catholics. Although non-Catholics are morally obligated to make the same acknowledgment of Catholic faith, they can only do so if they are immune from coercion. Coercion renders any declaration of faith void. The two “doctrines” are linked.

    Thus, the papacies of Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI have issued dozens of endorsements and explications of the principle, and apologies to non-Catholics for past instances of persecution. “Religious freedom” is not the matter of one document alone; it has become an enshrined principle in magisterial teaching.

    Since DH itself has ambiguities which make it difficult to understand, and which our Holy Father seems to have acknowledged in his famous Hermeneutic of Continuity speech on this very point. . . .

    Of course, the holy father’s address to the Roman Curia in which he discusses his “hermeneutic of continuity” still firmly acknowledges the principle of religious freedom “as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction.” It also views earlier papal statements as addressing “contingent… practical forms of liberalism,” and inapplicable to the doctrine as presently framed.

    I cannot say with certainty where the principle of religious freedom ranks in authority (cf. the levels of authority in the CDF’s Doctrinal Commentary on the Proffessio Fidei), but I do know that the magisterium has so intimately connected it to the “deposit of faith” (by claiming it as an apostolic doctrine, rooted in divine revelation), that I would never feel comfortable questioning it.

  133. King David says:

    As I indicated on Dr. Sudlow’s wonderful site, for all this talk of the SSPX setting up a new magisterium, you’ll have to compare SSPX ecclesiology with conciliar ecclesiology – and then determine which is “new” and represents a hermeneutic of rupture (a hermeneutic of rupture cannot be indicative of development of doctrine in a Catholic sense for nothing new is Catholic; indeed, nothing new is traditional). In their teaching capacity, the four SSPX bishops have taught nothing new. If you accept Vatican 2, then you accept that the ordinary magisterium carries out its teaching amongst the Catholic Bishops dispersed throughout the world (Lumen Gentium 25). By that standard, we must examine lex orandi, lex credendi in the post-conciliar period. As a matter of practical reality communion-in-the-hand and communion-under-both-kinds have become an element of lex orandi. What does this teach about the Eucharist? Do these innovations (condemned by the church for good reasons) strengthen or diminish belief in The Real Presence? The Lex credendi has been changed and all Catholic polls reflect this. The priests and bishops of the world (and most of the conciliar popes) have given communion-in-the-hand. They have taught by their actions. They know the result of their actions (just as Paul VI knew the result of his actions). To continue acting in the same manner in the external forum can only imply an internal desire to teach something new. After all, in the name of conciliar unity, the Bride of Christ must now be made ugly so that She’s acceptable to all of her pagan/schismatic/heretical suitors. Without truth, what’s the use of unity? I don’t want to be united with error. What Catholic could? When Bishops of the world (like Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, D.C.) pray to Allah and are not reproved (because, of course, the Bishop of Rome himself is praying in a mosque) then are we not teaching something new? The new, non-Catholic law of prayer is reflected in the new law of belief. There’s no more striking example of this then the Arian nature of Eucharistic Prayer IV (“You are the one God, living and true”). What about the Son and The Holy Ghost? Sacrificed on the altar of unity, no doubt. How many times do we hear bishops pray to the “one God” implicitly denying the Trinity in an attempt to placate heretical and blasphemous sects. A lie repeated often enough becomes reality. This is what the conciliar hierarchy has been teaching. So who has a new magisterium? Not the SSPX, CMRI, or SSPV. I’d say it’s the conciliar Church that’s defining new doctrine. Does this new doctrine (diminished belief in The Real Presence and neo-Arianism) constitute a state of emergency? Any Catholic who’s been properly inoculated against error would have to say yes. This is why Ratzinger is petrified over the schism within the Anglican schism. In being forced to defend traditionalism, he will ipso facto have to deny the validity of a schismatical “faith community” — thereby denying the schismatic nature of the conciliar church or “NewChurch.” Ratzinger would love nothing more than to overturn Apostolicae Curae and declare Anglican orders valid – which would a) for all time legitimize (from a demagogic, not legitimate, action) the new rites of consecration and ordination, and b) legitimize the new mass (note how in both cases I said “legitimize” not “validate”). A Pope is bound by his predecessors. Anglican orders can’t be made valid by any conciliar stretching of the truth. It is a function of the Catholic faith that desire must conform to truth, rather than truth conforming to desire. Rather than ruminating on the reasons behind Lefebvre’s consecrations (the reasons — and answers — for which have historical precedence in the Arian crisis, since Divine Law — the salvation of souls — eclipses ecclesial law), we should examine what the conciliar priests, bishops, and popes are teaching by their actions.

  134. TAAD says:

    Hummm… they think they are the only ones have large families??? We were just at Catholic Familyland. The stats for a week of camping, Mass, many Confessions (keeping 6 priests very busy), Eucharistic Adoration, prayer, talks and much fun were: 140 families with a total of over 700 people. By far most were children with many families over ten children. The boys would arrive an hour half early for Mass everyday so they could get a cassock and surplus to be able to serve (no “altar girls” here!). The good bishop needs to expand his travels a bit more so he sees the whole picture. These are all JPII families who love the church and it’s teachings. They have 4 of these Family Feasts each year and may have to expand them because they are booked. By the way, the great Cardinal Arinze came to ours and celebrated his 50th anniversary. It was fantastic!

  135. Jrbrown says:

    Hugo,
    A simple acknowledgement that you have no statement of Church authority supporting the notion that DH made a new, definitive infallible statement would probably have sufficed. The precise statement by DH that ‘there is a right to religious freedom’ is not infallible. Even more specifically, it is not clear what status the following statement has: “Injury therefore is done to the human person and to the very order established by God for human life, if the free exercise of religion is denied in society, provided just public order is observed.” (DH, 3). This is a true novelty in the sense that it appears in no Magisterial statement prior to this time. yet, not 30 years later, we see the following in our own new Catechism:

    2108 The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error,37 but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. This natural right ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right.38

    2109 The right to religious liberty can of itself be neither unlimited nor limited only by a “public order” conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner.39 The “due limits” which are inherent in it must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority in accordance with “legal principles which are in conformity with the objective moral order.”40

    So…is the statement of DH that religious exercise can only be limited to maintain a “public order” infallible? If so, the CCC is heretical as it in fact takes THAT VERY PHRASE, due to criticism of the ambiguity of DH, and condemns the teaching that only a just order can justify limiting religious expression. You cannot possibly believe that this statement of DH is truly infallible, i.e., intended to make definitive statement of doctrine, and at the same time uphold the CCC. Clearly the one is reorienting the Church to what Tradition says, and not what isolated and non-infallible statements of DH MAY be implying.

  136. KOM says:

    Hugo: *Plain and simple: coercion excludes true faith.*

    So, the Man who said, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you shall have no life in you,” and, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me,” and many other quotes saying that unless one believes in Him he will not get to heaven, agrees with DH to the letter?

  137. schoolman says:

    Jrbrown, if you had the power to sucessfully repress the public expression of all non-Catholic forms of worship would you do it? DH reminds us that there are limits to the rightful use of authority — even towards the sinful and the erring.

  138. KOM says:

    IANS:

    *SH: These are very strong words, My Lord, but yet, the Society is not sedevacantist…*

    *HL: No, no, no, no. He is the Pope…*

    You should have made these portions of the interview boldface as well. The book you quote from was written almost forty years before BXVI became Pope. I sense extreme animus on your part towards SSPX.

  139. Jrbrown says:

    schoolman,
    As our Holy Father noted in his Christmas address, this is a question of changing historical circumstances vs. unchanging principles. The changing circumstances militate towards religious tolerance and limited freedom of expression. Further, as DH and the traditional doctrine of the Church notes, man must be free in his choice of faith-positive coercion to become Catholic is evil and violates the basic precept that belief in God must be a free will-act. On the other hand, what DH doesn’t discuss, but is also traditional doctrine, is the State’s DUTY to protect its citizens and alo the duty to recognize the true Faith, without forced conversions, etc. The limits of tolerance, i.e., the tolerance of man’s abuse of his freedom from coercion, is a question that is simply left silent in DH, and which was partially addressed in the CCC. This, I believe, is the area which in the future must be addressed by SSPX and the Holy See, as it is the real crux of the matter, not whether people in theory have a right to be free from actual coercion.

  140. schoolman says:

    “DH reminds us that there are limits to the rightful use of authority—even towards the sinful and the erring.”

    In other words, by defining the “due limits” of religious freedom DH has also defined the corollary — the “due limits” corresponding to the legitimate and righful use of authority. These are two sides of a coin and neither one has an unlimited scope or unqualified application. The due limits inherent in each of these rights must be excercised responsibly and with prudence according to the given circumstances.

  141. schoolman says:

    “On the other hand, what DH doesn’t discuss, but is also traditional doctrine, is the State’s DUTY to protect its citizens and alo the duty to recognize the true Faith, without forced conversions, etc.”

    DH does affirm these things. Check and see.

  142. schoolman says:

    “The limits of tolerance, i.e., the tolerance of man’s abuse of his freedom from coercion, is a question that is simply left silent in DH, and which was partially addressed in the CCC.”

    Again, the due-limits connected to religious freedom are spelled out in DH. You can look it up…

  143. Hugo says:

    Jrbrown,

    1. I am not suggesting that every statement in DH be “definitively” held. However, DH asserts that its essential teaching (i.e., that every man must be kept free from external coercion) is an apostolic truth, rooted in divine revelation, and consistently held by the Church (though sometimes obscured). Thus, in my original post, I merely expressed my angst at the attempts to sympathize with the SSPX in their dismissal of the doctrine in light of those assertions.

    2. One cannot argue that the teachings of DH and the Catechism are at odds with another. The CCC is merely elucidating the meaning of “public order” in DH (citing the very document). It condemns “public order” when “conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner”–which is not the case in DH. Rather, the CCC maintains that “due limits” of which DH speaks integrate “political prudence,” the “common good,” and “the objective moral order” (the last one being especially key, vis-a-vis “naturalism”). These norms first appear in DH, which states that government can limit religion only “by juridical norms which are in conformity with the objective moral order.”

    These norms arise out of the need for the effective safeguard of the rights of all citizens and for the peaceful settlement of conflicts of rights, also out of the need for an adequate care of genuine public peace, which comes about when men live together in good order and in true justice, and finally out of the need for a proper guardianship of public morality.

    The CCC corrects the false interpretations of DH by principles expressly related in the actual Declaration. It respects the teachings of DH in their fullness.

  144. Hugo says:

    KOM,

    Hugo: Plain and simple: coercion excludes true faith. So, the Man who said, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you shall have no life in you,” and, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me,” and many other quotes saying that unless one believes in Him he will not get to heaven, agrees with DH to the letter?

    Absolutely. It seems you too are confusing man’s moral obligation with civil coercion, DH explicitly refuses to do.

    Men are morally obligated to embrace Christ for salvation; else, they will be condemned at the judgment. But that does not mean that civil government should coerce them into that decision (e.g., by persecution). Quite the contrary, men CANNOT embrace Christ for salvation unless they make the decision freely. Again, Gregory X: “that person who is known to have come to Christian baptism not freely, but unwillingly, is not believed to posses the Christian faith.”

  145. Michael B. says:

    King David,
    “This is why Ratzinger is petrified over the schism within the Anglican schism. In being forced to defend traditionalism, he will ipso facto have to deny the validity of a schismatical “faith community”—thereby denying the schismatic nature of the conciliar church or “NewChurch.” Ratzinger would love nothing more than to overturn Apostolicae Curae and declare Anglican orders valid. . .”

    Really? What evidence, other than the extension of a line of reasoning, supports this? News reports seem to contradict the Independent report that played up an alliance between Pope Benedict and Rowan.

  146. Richard T says:

    When he refers to “bastard sacraments”, does he perhaps mean “bastardised”, in the sense of “lowered in quality”? Or even a slightly more obscure meaning, “deriving from more than one source or style” (to be found in architectural criticism, e.g. “bastardised Gothic”).

    This use would not mean that the Novus Ordo sacraments are invalid, merely that they are less beautiful than what has gone before. In particular the architectural use would mean that they have not been developed organically within their tradition, but by bolting on bits from other traditions – a criticism that most WDTPRS readers would agree with.

    Moreover although “bastardised” is a strongly critical term, it does not have the abusive connotations of “bastard”.

    Is this possible? Tissier de Mallerais is presumably not a native English speaker, and although his reading and vocabluary are clearly extensive he may have made a grammatical mistake here that gives his words an unintended connotation.

  147. Michael B. says:

    I think Brian Sudlow said that de Mallerais is a French speaker, and that bastard would be better translated as illegitimate, bastard doesn’t have the incendiary sense in French that it has in English. (It’s because of all those Monty Python skits with John Cleese screaming”you bastard”. . .)

  148. I am not Spartacus says:

    I sense extreme animus on your part towards SSPX.

    Like real Traditionalists, I hate schisms.

    Those who oppose Divinely-Constituted authority are not Traditionalists they are Neo-Pharisees lying in wait for Our Sweet Jesus on Earth to slip up or make a mistake they can pounce upon and charge him with breaking tradition.

    There is nothing new under the schismatic sun and that sspx is setting into the schismatic seas outside of the Barque of Peter. And Pride is the millstone dragging it down.

  149. Michael B. says:

    Hugo,
    Ah, our modern rationalistic desire to make all of our own decisions as adults. Not exactly true. God willing, and If I can help it, my kids will be Catholic despite themselves, thanks to their training in childhood, and not as a rational decision in adulthood.

    My people were brought the Faith over a millennium ago, I assure you the Poles in charge did not sit down and ask everyone to assent after a series of lectures, Deo gratias!

  150. Hugo says:

    “Ah, our modern rationalistic desire to make all of our own decisions as adults. Not exactly true. God willing, and If I can help it, my kids will be Catholic despite themselves, thanks to their training in childhood, and not as a rational decision in adulthood.”

    Yeah, we grow into it.

    \”My people were brought the Faith over a millennium ago, I assure you the Poles in charge did not sit down and ask everyone to assent after a series of lectures, Deo gratias!\”

    I know. My last name is a conversos name (Jews forcibly converted under Isabella). We can be thankful for the Christian faith we thereby inherited, but, John Paul II apologized for the use of force in the spread of Christianity with good reason.

  151. Michael B. says:

    Hugo,
    It’s also in the air we breath in a Catholic country, or in a Catholic neighborhood; in a Catholic culture, there’s so much important that happens between rationalistic acceptance and forced conversion. However the truth comes to us is a blessing. It’s almost always despite ourselves,

  152. King David says:

    King David,
    “This is why Ratzinger is petrified over the schism within the Anglican schism. In being forced to defend traditionalism, he will ipso facto have to deny the validity of a schismatical “faith community”—thereby denying the schismatic nature of the conciliar church or “NewChurch.” Ratzinger would love nothing more than to overturn Apostolicae Curae and declare Anglican orders valid. . .”

    Really? What evidence, other than the extension of a line of reasoning, supports this? News reports seem to contradict the Independent report that played up an alliance between Pope Benedict and Rowan.

    Comment by Michael B.

    Michael B.,

    Hello. The evidence lies in Ratzinger’s own quote when questioned about the Anglican break-up on July 12th: “‘I am praying so that there are no more schisms and fractures’ within the Anglican community, Benedict said.” This immediately begs a question: Why would a cohesive, invalid and schismatical community be more desirable to Ratzinger than a fractured, invalid and schismatical community? Why not pray FOR schisms within the Anglican community (as well as praying for its complete and utter end) — which would ensure more converts to The One True Roman Catholic Faith. Unless, of course, that would put the burden on Ratzinger himself to ensure that the “traditional” Anglicans found something tradtional in Roman Catholic dioceses in England. And therein lies the problem. Between hierarchically-endorsed ecumaniacalism (leading to Eurabia), and no talk of sin from the episcopacy, the “traditional” Anglicans might wonder what’s going on. They might even make a stink about it, forcing Ratzinger to act. Since Raztzinger’s as ecumaniacal as his Bishops it would be an “emporer has no clothes” situation. If, indeed, the See of Peter detests schism, why not embrace this moment and enthusistically call for mass conversions? No Catholic prays for heresy to continue.

    King David

  153. Michael B. says:

    King David
    Hello,
    It looks like the diplomatic words of the Pope covered a traditional reaction (the dirty work) by the Vatican representative at Lambeth (i.e. Spiritual Alzheimers
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/damian_thompson/blog/2008/07/23/anglicans_facing_spiritual_alzheimers_says_cardinal_at_lambeth)

    Doesn’t that put those words in a much less sinister light?

    It may be a better policy for the Pope to call for mass conversions, I would applaud it, yet that he hasn’t doesn’t mean that he considers Anglicans as legitimately Catholic as the SSPX, which he certainly does not. Apparently, there is a good deal of negotiating behind the scenes, and a call to mass conversion will not solve the complex problems of conversion in this case. Another case may be different.

    No doubt, there is trouble in the hierarchy concerning ecumenism, (among other things) it needs to be addressed sooner than later, but the remedy will probably take an approach more effective than mass firings, a new generation of orthodox bishops. Certainly, many of these bishops simply shouldn’t be in office, but this shows the weak position the present Pope has been left, not his desire to create an apocalyptic new religion.

    With warm regards,

  154. Jason Keener says:

    JrBrown wrote,

    “On the other hand, what DH doesn’t discuss, but is also traditional doctrine, is the State’s DUTY to protect its citizens and also the duty to recognize the true Faith…”

    DIGNITATIS HUMANE (Paragraph #1) does indeed discuss the duties of individuals and societies towards the True Faith:

    “So while the religious freedom which men demand in fulfilling their obligation to worship God has to do with freedom from coercion in civil society, it leaves intact the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ.”

  155. Jane M says:

    The unfortunate fact about children is that they don’t always learn what we adults try to teach them. If you take them from church to church trying to find one that has the truth they don’t necessarily learn what the truth is. They might just learn to sit in judgment wherever they go. If you never discuss the Pope that doesn’t mean your children haven’t learned to look down upon him. After all you didn’t think enough of him to discuss him while you discussed everything else. Children are very quick about things like that. They understand very clearly when they are different from others, and avoiding sins of pride or envy as a consequence are not so simple. The original SSPX may have had a deep and true love for what was being tossed away in the church. Their grandchildren will not see the same world; they will not experience the same things and they won’t think the same way.

  156. Joseph Johnston says:

    Woody Jones makes an excellent point about the significance of the 20th Century Wars and the Catholic Church.

    If Buchanan’s interpretation of history is correct, a one hundred years war began in 1905 with the signing of the entente cordiale and only BEGAN to conclude in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. Perhaps the election of Pope Benedict signalled the end of this conflict.

    What emerges from this period, is that the Vatican council was designed and implemented by many clerics who themselves remained traumatised by the century’s events. Do people know for example that Martin Boorman’s son became a priest, left the priesthood in the 1960′s and married a nun? I heard him being interviewed recently and he was like a caricature of a post-Vatican II ex-cleric. Rudolf Hess’ son was also interviewed in the same show and unlike the “catholic theologian” Boorman, was evidently far less traumatised by events. He also clearly had a far more jaundiced and realistic view of the “Allies”.

    People are in denial about what really started the war and the role of the Western allies in their provocation of Germany and Japan. Our Bishops, priests and theologians were in no fit state to participate in a Vatican council in 1962 for in 1962 lies continued to abound. The Catholic Church and the Council got caught up in it all.

  157. Jason Keener says:

    When we study “Dignitatis Humane,” we have to keep in mind that the document WAS NOT intended to be a full exposition of Catholic doctrine on the relations between the Church and civil societies. We shouldn’t get too worked up then if the document doesn’t say everything we think it should or could.

    For a proper hermeneutic of “Dignitatis Humane,” we should refer to the explanation given at the presentation of the final draft of DH by Bishop de Smedt in Nov. of 1965:

    “Some fathers affirm that the Declaration does not sufficiently show how our doctrine is not opposed to ecclesiastical documents up till the time of the Supreme Pontiff Leo XIII . . . . As regards the substance of the problem, the point should be made that while the papal documents up to Leo XIII insisted more on the moral duty of public authorities toward the true religion, the recent Supreme Pontiffs, while retaining this doctrine, complement it by highlighting another duty of the same authorities, namely, that of observing the exigencies of the dignity of the human person in religious matters, as a necessary element of the common good. The text presented to you today recalls more clearly (see nos. 1 and 3) the duties of the public authority toward the true religion (officia potestatis publicae erga veram religionem); from which it is manifest that this part of the doctrine has not been overlooked. However, the special object of our Declaration is to clarify the second part of the doctrine of recent Supreme Pontiffs — that dealing with the rights and duties which emerge from a consideration of the dignity of the human person.21″

    Clearly, the Council Fathers understood the duty of the state towards the True Religion. It had been emphasized by Popes for years. The Council Fathers were absolutely right, however, to also emphasize each person’s right to religious freedom, which they did in “Dignitatis Humane.” “Dignitatis Humane’s” emphasis on the individual’s right to freedom, in fact, has been shown to be extremely timely considering how many Communistic, Atheistic, and Islamic regimes have reared their heads against individual Christians and their right to religious freedom in the last 45 years. (We must keep in mind that DH had to speak to a broad and diverse world with all sorts of governments and histories. Not every country has an ideal Catholic monarchy.)

    Again, when read through the lens of Tradition with the hermeneutic of continuity, there is nothing wrong with “Dignitatis Humane.”

  158. malta says:

    Hugo DH says that no coercion however Small on the part of the part of the individual may be used. But didn’t Christ use subtle coercion when He threatened hell to unbelievers? Don’t parents use coercion when they mandate mass attendance for their children?

  159. King David says:

    MIchael B. wrote:

    “King David
    Hello,
    It looks like the diplomatic words of the Pope covered a traditional reaction (the dirty work) by the Vatican representative at Lambeth (i.e. Spiritual Alzheimers
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/damian_thompson/blog/2008/07/23/anglicans_facing_spiritual_alzheimers_says_cardinal_at_lambeth)

    Doesn’t that put those words in a much less sinister light?

    It may be a better policy for the Pope to call for mass conversions, I would applaud it, yet that he hasn’t doesn’t mean that he considers Anglicans as legitimately Catholic as the SSPX, which he certainly does not. Apparently, there is a good deal of negotiating behind the scenes, and a call to mass conversion will not solve the complex problems of conversion in this case. Another case may be different.

    No doubt, there is trouble in the hierarchy concerning ecumenism, (among other things) it needs to be addressed sooner than later, but the remedy will probably take an approach more effective than mass firings, a new generation of orthodox bishops. Certainly, many of these bishops simply shouldn’t be in office, but this shows the weak position the present Pope has been left, not his desire to create an apocalyptic new religion.

    With warm regards,

    Comment by Michael B. — 24 July 2008″

    Michael B,

    The Cardinal who made those remarks — Cardinal Ivan Dias — is the very same Cardinal who lit a candle to the Hindu deity Ganesha in Goa over 10 years ago. You can see a photo of it here:

    http://www.traditioninaction.org/Questions/B054_DiasHinduDeity.shtml

    It’s this kind of syncretism (speaking out of both sides of one’s mouth) that makes the conciliar hierarchy suspect. They pay lip service to Tradition one day and pray with heretics the next. This is not consistent behavior. It is schizophrenic behavior. It is also gutless behavior. Catholics — especially the hierarchy — are supposed to walk in contradiction to the world, not embrace or honor its errors. I would guess that Dias’ remarks were damage control. Ratzinger had to appease the ecumaniacal modernists by praying for an end to the schism’s schism, and Dias was called in to mop up the Traditionalists who knew that Ratzinger should have gone further.

    Christ’s Church can handle the truth. Why all this political two-stepping? To proceed with delicacy when squashing heresy is an insult to the drops of blood Our Lord lost on his way to Calvary. As Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.” I can’t think of any stronger condemnation of the occult syncretism coming from the Roman Curia. In the middle ages heretical priests were forcibly removed from the altar. Today they’re exalted as rock stars.

    In all charity and with best regards,

  160. malta says:

    to counter-balance those who call this fine (but flawed) Bishop a heretic, I offer the following:

    http://Www.YouTube.com/watch?v=ugagqfekl4u

  161. Andy says:

    What an awesome interview! What awesome comments Fr.Z.!

    A hardening of the hearts, a blindness of the minds. [On both sides… both sides are guilty.] – FAIR

    Fourthly, resisting any persecution from the civil authorities and proclaiming Christianity as the only source of civilization. [I think this refers to problems in Europe and the "hate speech" that is more and more the accusation leveled against anyone who preaches a non-secularist, non-relativist message.] – INDEED

    In Europe, Islamic republics in France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. [Yah… I’m afraid so. I am with Oriana Fallaci on this.] – AND THAT IS IT? SO, WE WILL JUST LEAN BACK AND LET IT HAPPEN?

    When Bishops of the world (like Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, D.C.) pray to Allah and are not reproved (because, of course, the Bishop of Rome himself is praying in a mosque) then are we not teaching something new? The new, non-Catholic law of prayer is reflected in the new law of belief. There’s no more striking example of this then the Arian nature of Eucharistic Prayer IV (“You are the one God, living and true”). What about the Son and The Holy Ghost? Sacrificed on the altar of unity, no doubt. How many times do we hear bishops pray to the “one God” implicitly denying the Trinity in an attempt to placate heretical and blasphemous sects. A lie repeated often enough becomes reality. This is what the conciliar hierarchy has been teaching. So who has a new magisterium? Not the SSPX, CMRI, or SSPV. I’d say it’s the conciliar Church that’s defining new doctrine. Does this new doctrine (diminished belief in The Real Presence and neo-Arianism) constitute a state of emergency? – Comment by King David — 24 July 2008 @ 2:33 pm – GOOD POINT

    Between hierarchically-endorsed ecumaniacalism (leading to Eurabia), and no talk of sin from the episcopacy, the “traditional” Anglicans might wonder what’s going on. – Comment by King David — 24 July 2008 @ 5:12 pm – WELL, WHAT IS GOING ON?

    Christ’s Church can handle the truth. Why all this political two-stepping? Comment by King David — 24 July 2008 @ 6:52 pm – INEEED

    No doubt, there is trouble in the hierarchy concerning ecumenism, (among other things) it needs to be addressed sooner than later, but the remedy will probably take an approach more effective than mass firings, a new generation of orthodox bishops. Certainly, many of these bishops simply shouldn’t be in office, but this shows the weak position the present Pope has been left, not his desire to create an apocalyptic new religion. Comment by Michael B. — 24 July 2008 @ 5:51 pm – FAIR

    From Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin today:

    “The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.”

    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07/full_text_of_obama.php

    In other words: It does not matter what you believe in! It does not matter what you call God! Hear the politicians preaching!

    This is the purest relativism and unmasks Obama as a freemason!

    WELL, THE HOLY TRINITY MATTERS TO ME!!!

    Blessed Marco d’Aviano pray for us.

    http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20030427_d-aviano_en.html

  162. Fr. Marie-Paul says:

    Well, this Bishop certainly speaks in keeping with an excommunicated schismatic. Unfortunately my dealing with SSPXers mirror his beliefs to a huge degree – none too pleasant.

    In any case, Fr Z, why not make a new blog entry for a DH discussion?

    To me, the DH issue is very simple. First, one cannot force a person to be Catholic because one cannot force a person to love. Even God doesn’t force a person’s free will. Love must be a free choice. Remember how Fr. Feeney was condemned – BEFORE VATICAN II – for his belief that one had to be a card-carrying Catholic to be saved? Now the scandal comes because those dissenters who do not follow V2 properly then take soundbites of DH and falsely claim that one can do whatever they want to be saved – that’s indifferentism. The similar process was used as to “follow your conscience.” The part conveniently forgotten about is that we have a responsibility to search for God’s Truth, which is course subsists in the Catholic Church, and to form our consciences according to said Truth. Then there is the false ecumenism corollary which suppresses various Catholic Truth’s in order to “get along” – to be not “divisive.” Again, this is not from V2 but a misuse of it. So the scandal of those dissenters upsets those with weaker faith. Yes, weaker wimpier faith. How many Apostles left the Church because of the massive scandals of Judas (unrepentant) and St. Peter (repentant)? NONE. No excuse today either.

    On the great apostasy comment, I am with him on that one. Look at the lousy level of faith among Catholics; lack of belief in the Real Presence, the cafeterianess of it all, contraception, divorce, abortions, etc, etc. Look at the amount of and depth of sin in today’s world – it is far worse than ever. We have gone backwards from a world guided by Christianity to neo-paganism, and the persecution is coming back even more. Not only in communist countries but everywhere who make it a hate crime to speak the truth about homosexual lifestyles.

    So what is said about Petrus Romanus (St. Malachy’s prophecy) will be easy to prove in the not too distant future. According to that prophecy, Pope B16 would be the Glory of the Olives, and he is already older. Petrus Romanus is the last named Pope. And of course the false prophet in the Bible has two horns (the mitre) but speaks with the power of the dragon – a good description of an anti-pope. So who will be the Pope and the false prophet will not be that long in coming based on St. Malachy’s prophecy since that occurs right after Pope B16.

    PS: Malta, your video link says “not found”

  163. Michael B. says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul,
    “To me, the DH issue is very simple. First, one cannot force a person to be Catholic because one cannot force a person to love. Even God doesn’t force a person’s free will. Love must be a free choice. ”

    With the respect due a good priest, I must disagree. This is not really the issue, this kind of thinking reflects the radical individualism of our time (modernity) and does not accurately reflect human nature. We are social individuals, we are born into a world given to us, that is why a thriving Catholic culture is so important (or as the SSPX remind us, the recognition of the Kingship of Christ in the world.)

    King David,
    Having grown up in a world informed by “conspiracy theory” explanations for everything, I know that it is easy to build a case that simply doesn’t exist. These Catholics praying in mosques, lighting candles, do not see themselves building a new syncretism, but are trying, I think foolishly and scandalously, to build bridges to other religions, misusing the Second Vatican Council, while holding the mental reservation that since they do not believe in these false gods, there is no harm in a sign empty of any significance other than making a gesture of openness to people of other religions (not their religion).

    I agree, it is long past time for these misguided gestures to end, they convey a lie rather than understanding. But that is not the same thing as building a new syncretic religion. That is why this poor Cardinal can light incense to a statue of a pagan deity (I’ve seen the photo) and ten years later make the comment about spiritual Alzheimer’s. This is all a terrible mess of mixed-up ideas. Notice that the people doing this are from an older, passing away generation, the young are not so easily confused, this will not continue much longer, and I am talking about Catholics who are not in the SSPX who recognize this problem for what it is. The talk about NewChurch and Syncretist Religion simply cloud the issue.

  164. dcs says:

    Remember how Fr. Feeney was condemned – BEFORE VATICAN II – for his belief that one had to be a card-carrying Catholic to be saved?

    He did not have such a belief and he was not excommunicated for heresy but for disobedience.

  165. Suzanne says:

    When reading the Bishop’s comments on appropriate reading material for women, I was reminded of this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjxY9rZwNGU

  166. Hugo says:

    Hugo DH says that no coercion however small on the part of the part of the individual may be used. But didn’t Christ use subtle coercion when He threatened hell to unbelievers? Don’t parents use coercion when they mandate mass attendance for their children?

    Again, we need to distinguish the moral obligations of the faith that impress themselves upon the human conscience (which include threats of eschatological judgment/damnation) from forms of external, civil coercion by governments (e.g., economic sanctions, corporal punishment). DH only condemns the latter. It’s a Caesar/God dichotomy. Caesar should not punish your unbelief; God will.

    Parenting is an interesting questions. The Church has never defined norms for how parents should deal with children who refuse to go to church, and what sanctions, if any, should be brought upon them. I think we can all agree it is a different circumstance, not least because the period of parenting is limited, where the period of being under the command of government is not. I wont presume to have a ready and simple resolution to that difficulty, except to say the Church does not draw an analogy between the parenting situation and government.

  167. Michael B. says:

    King David,
    Fr. Brian Harrison is always a reliable source of clear explanations. Here’s a link to an article of his on DH-scroll down past the first topic.
    http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt9.html
    Best wishes,

  168. Brian Kemple says:

    “With the respect due a good priest, I must disagree. This is not really the issue, this kind of thinking reflects the radical individualism of our time (modernity) and does not accurately reflect human nature. We are social individuals, we are born into a world given to us, that is why a thriving Catholic culture is so important (or as the SSPX remind us, the recognition of the Kingship of Christ in the world.)”

    Men are indeed social by nature; but they are also individual by nature. It is part of the complexity that is the human being, and is part of his being in the image and likeness of God, Who is both Three Persons, and yet one God; societal and yet individual (analogously speaking, of course). As Jacques Maritain put it, the society transcends the individual and the individual transcends the society. As you say, a thriving Catholic culture is important; but such a culture is composed of individuals, and individuals thrive in their Catholicity only through their own volition. Modern individualism is not about acknowledging the individual or what the individual is, but about affirming the individual for the mere sake of his individuality.

  169. Michael B. says:

    Brian,
    We don’t disagree, I am pointing out that the error of our time is the overly individualistic way modernity interprets “through their own volition”, denying the assent that comes from accepting a culture that one has “breathed in the air” and asserting that belief can only be apprehended and assented to in a rationalistic manner.

  170. Tony says:

    Dougall,

    “Pre-Vat II Catholic women didn’t walk around one step shy of a burkha.

    Mate – LOL!!! I’ll use that next time the occasion warrants. Some of these women – often urged on by their husbands, and taking a pretty fundy view of St Paul, dress like old crones waaay before their times. They seem to fear that smart/chic can be compatible with modesty! Plus the manner of dressing is really redolent of Amish and Mennonite communities; given the fact that these are Protestant sects, the irony of “Traditionalists’ dressing this way is pretty thick! It ain’t ‘traditional’, period.

    I liked your comments about faithful Catholics still managing to drink beer and watch TV, too! Go Dougall!

    Tony from Oz

  171. Tony says:

    Oops re ” They seem to fear that smart/chic can be compatible with modesty!” should read: They seem to fear that smart/chic is incompatible with modesty. And the preceeding sentence refers to such dress making these good wives looking old before their time (not times!). Oh the textual dangers of these wrap around com boxes!

    Tony from Oz

  172. pelerin says:

    Interesting comment from Tony regarding the dress code for women in the SSPX. The other day I googled one of the pilgrimage sites in France which I had visited many years ago as a tourist, and found a video showing a present day pilgrimage. Watching the pilgrims set off something struck me as odd about them. Perhaps it was an old film I thought but then I checked the date and found that it was quite recent. Then I realised what was so curious – all the women and girls without exception wore skirts or dresses!

    In today’s society if you were to take any group of women at random the majority of them would be wearing trousers (pants in american?) or jeans. Convenience of not having to replace tights was a big plus. If you stand at a bus stop today and watch women go past, it is soon obvious that only the older women still wear skirts. In fact a friend said to me the other day that she did not think she was old enough yet to go into skirts! Of course a heatwave is always an exception to this although even then it is surprising how many young girls still wear jeans then.

  173. Ancilla says:

    Yes, I can confirm the dress code which is intentionally preached within the FSSPX (skirt not shorter than just below the knee, open shirts no deeper décolté than two fingers below the collarbone etc.) Strict rules and you DO get the dirty looks and the incitations to go to confession more often if you do not fold to them. Believe me.

    The worst kind of development is the Tertian Order where married couples vow themselves to absolute chastity after two or three kids and the women start wearing the white mantilla again and really think they are following God’s commandments. Completely oblivious of the fact that they don’t and that they’re openly disengaging themselves from their marriage vows.

    And no, the younger generation that is coming into the thirties now that has grown within FSSPX have really no idea. I have seen the same mechanisms at work as in other anti-christian sects: the goal is to keep people as ignorant and as less self-thinking as possible. As a woman who went into Academia to become a specialist for Saint Thomas Aquinas and Albert the Great, I let you imagine what that did to my credentials in this respect.

  174. SARK says:

    Dear Ancilla,

    I am not sure where you are writing from but what you say bears no relation to what goes on in the SSPX in the European country in which I live with my wife (a chic and stylish member of the third order of the SSPX I would have to say) and children.

    JMJ

  175. I am not Spartacus says:

    Also, it’s unfortunate (though certainly not surprising) to see the continued hardening of hearts and positions towards the FSSP.

    Fr. Fellay refers to them as “experimental animals.” Cute.

    Fr. Ripperger’s work …

    He may be well intended but his personal opinions on Tradition are highly questionable when not flat out wrong.

    http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/distinctions.html

  176. I am not Spartacus says:

    A hardening of the hearts, a blindness of the minds. [On both sides… both sides are guilty.]

    Rome’s patience with these lunatics has been to the point where many of us who are Faithful Catholics have had it.

    Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have been EXTREMELY patient and kind and generous and solicitous towards these insufferable cranks and the reward for their efforts has been they have are repeatedly and savagely and personally attacked in public by these schismatics.

    For example. Here are some quotes by the gracious Mons Lefevbre.

    This conciliar church is a schismatic church because it breaks with the Catholic Church of the centuries …” This conciliar church is schismatic because it has taken as the basis for its updating principles opposed to those of the Catholic Church. The church which affirms errors like these is both schismatic and heretical. This conciliar church is thus not Catholic.

    (Um. If what he says is true then the fact he signed every single Conciliar Document means that he is both a schismatic and a heretic.)

    I entered these negotiations because Rome’s reactions in the second half of last year had raised in me a faint hope that these churchmen had changed. They have not changed, except for the worse. Look at Casaroli in Moscow! They have spiritual AIDS, they have no grace, their immunity defense system is gone. I do not think one can say that Rome has not lost the faith. As for eventual excommunication, its disagreeableness diminishes in time”

    (This is heresy on steroids)

    The See of Peter and posts of authority in Rome being occupied by Antichrists, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even within His Mystical Body here below.

    (Gosh. I did not know Pope John Paul II was an AntiChrist. This is apostasy tied to the Space Shuttle. It is out of our orbit crazy)

    But we did not stop there [ordaining priests] with our apparently illegal actions with regards to the particulars of the law, such as the hearing of confessions, [or] the blessing of marriages performed in our presence in the dioceses. Many of the things which we have accomplished are of themselves and strictly speaking against the letter of the law, but why do we do these things? Quite simply because we believed that which was undertaken against us was illegal and that they did not have the right to suppress our Order.

    (Sure. I broke the law; but I had my reasons)

    The plan announced in the documents of the Masonic Alta Vendita and published on Pius IX’s orders, is becoming a reality day by day beneath our very eyes. Last week I was in Rome, at the summons of Cardinal Gagnon, who handed me the enclosed letter A very well organized network is in control of all the Curia’s activity, inside and outside the Curia itself. The Pope is an instrument of this mafia which he put in place and with which he sympathizes. We may hope for no reaction to come from him, on the contrary. The announcement of the meeting of world religions decided on by him for the month of October in Assisi, is the culminating imposture and the supreme insult to Our Lord. Rome is no longer Catholic Rome. The prophecies of Our Lady of LaSalette and of Leo XIII in his exorcism are coming about: Where the seat of blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up for a light to enlighten all nations, there they have established the throne of the abomination of their wickedness so that having struck the Shepherd they may scatter the flock in turn….

    (Paranoia perfected)

    You will see, in the reply to our letter [again, that reply of Jan. 20 quoted above], that Cardinal Ratzinger is striving once more to make Vatican II into a dogma. We are dealing with people who have no notion of Truth. We shall from now on be more and more obliged to act on the assumption that this new Conciliar Church is no longer Catholic.

    ( Fidelity magazine notes re. Mr. Davies: “Among Pius X defenders, it is now common to refuse to admit that Lefebvre had gone into schism, or that he had really been excommunicated. Lefebvre historian Michael Davies, who at first denounced the June 30 consecrations, now defends them in a disappointing article (Angelus, December 1990). It is disappointing because Davies, for all his knowledge and intellect, descends to a swamp of special pleading to convince readers that 1) there was no schism, and, 2) there was no excommunication.”)

    Fidelity magazine notes:

    According to Martin Luther, “These [church laws] hold good only so long as they are not injurious to Christianity and the laws of God. Therefore, if the Pope deserves punishment, these laws cease to bind us, since Christendom would suffer.

    According to Marcel Lefebvre, “In the Church there is no law or jurisdiction which can impose on a Christian a diminution of his faith. All the faithful can and should resist whatever interferes with their faith…. If they are forced with an order putting their faith in danger of corruption, there is an overriding duty to disobey.”

    According to Martin Luther, “The Church of Rome, formerly the most holy of all churches, has become . . . the very kingdom of sin, death and hell; so that not even the Antichrist, if he were to come, could desire any addition to its wickedness.”

    According to Marcel Lefebvre, in his Aug. 29, 1987. letter to the four bishops-to-be, “The See of Peter and posts of authority in Rome being occupied by Antichrists, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even within His Mystical Body here below.”

    Back to more Lefevbre quotes:

    I have no hesitation regarding the legitimacy or the validity of Your election. I have already had to condemn these ideas and I continue to do so in the face of some seminarians who allow themselves to be influenced by ecclesiastics outside the Fraternity.

    I think that when a Pope or bishop honors God in this non-Catholic way, they have the intention of going to God as a non-Catholic, thereby renouncing the Catholic faith. Never has it happened in the Church before that he who sits on the throne of Peter has participated in the cult of false gods. Are we then obliged to believe that this Pope is not Pope? Because it seems impossible that a Pope could be a public and formal heretic.

  177. I am not Spartacus says:

    A hardening of the hearts, a blindness of the minds. [On both sides… both sides are guilty.]

    Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf. I emphatically disagree. From my private emails to you and in my public comments about you I have been very supportive and I think you know how much I love and respect you but I think you are flat out wrong when it comes to the sspx schism.

    Every time you put up a post about the schism or its leaders the responses generated are lengthier than any other subject. To what end? Cui Bono?

    The Pope, the Mass, and The Council get repeatedly trashed and Holy Mother Church is dragged through the mud. I have to say that I think you are not serving the Church by repeatedly citing the words of those who reject the Living Magisterium. They have their own sites.

    However, this is your site and you are, obviously, far more intelligent and better informed than am I and so I will just bow out and stop reading this site. I wonder if I am the only regular Catholic who thinks this way. I prolly am.

    I have no hard feelings towards you Fr. Z. I pray what you are doing is right. I am far too limited intellectually to see how these posts build up the Church.

    Good bye.

    Yours in Christ, IANS;

    Larry

    P.S. I will post a public address by then Cardinal Ratzinger. I think it is important because he makes it very clear what the sspx is all about and also makes it very clear one can not trash Vatican Two or even call it into question.

  178. Ancilla says:

    Thank you SARK. I great thank you, for once more showing the general inability of FSSPX followers to see a bit further than their entrance door. Thank you, for showing better than I ever could, the blind spot concerning your own congregation.

    Instead of feeling with me and praying against the misguided ones in FSSPX you find nothing better to do than doubt my statement, my experiences and the credibility of my opinion.

    I rest my case.

    Ancilla

    NB: I have grown up in the heartland of the Pius X. movement, under men that now lead this movement which I have prayed and actively lived my Catholic life under and been confirmed by Msg. Lefebvre himself. I really don’t need to justify my position as a first-hand one any further than that. And while I acknowledge that there are circles that are less misguided than others in the FSSPX (such as the difference between the germanophone district and the francophone one for instance), I doubt that either Tissier de Malerais or Fellay really still have the ability to see how much their flock’s Christian hearts are hardened.

  179. I am not Spartacus says:

    (Sorry. I dodnd’t have the original link anymore)

    Following is the translated text of an address by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, given July 13, 1988, in Santiago, Chile before that nation’s bishops.
    It is a remarkable statement regarding the living Magisterium, dogmatic truth, constructive criticism, and self-examination

    ++++++++++++++++++++ begin qoutes++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In recent months we have put a lot of work into the case of Lefebvre with the sincere intention of creating for his movement a space within the Church that would be sufficient for it to live. The Holy See has been criticized for this. It is said that it has not defended the Second Vatican Council with sufficient energy; that, while it has treated progressive movements with great severity, it has displayed an exaggerated sympathy with the Traditionalist rebellion. The development of events is enough to disprove these assertions. The mythical harshness of the Vatican in the face of the deviations of the progressives is shown to be mere empty words. Up until now, in fact, only warnings have been published; in no case have there been strict canonical penalties in the strict sense. And the fact that when the chips were down Lefebvre denounced an agreement that had already been signed, shows that the Holy See, while it made truly generous concessions, did not grant him that complete license which he desired. Lefebvre has seen that, in the fundamental part of the agreement, he was being held to accept Vatican II and the affirmations of the postconciliar Magisterium, according to the proper authority of each document.

    There is a glaring contradiction in the fact that it is just the people who have let no occasion slip to allow the world to know of their disobedience to the Pope, and to the magisterial declarations of the last 20 years, who think they have the right to judge that this attitude is too mild and who wish that an absolute obedience to Vatican II had been insisted upon. In a similar way they would claim that the Vatican has conceded a right to dissent to Lefebvre which has been obstinately denied to the promoters of a progressive tendency. In reality, the only point which is affirmed in the agreement, following Lumen Gentium 25, is the plain fact that not all documents of the council have the same authority. For the rest, it was explicitly laid down in the text that was signed that public polemics must be avoided, and that an attitude is required of positive respect for official decisions and declarations.

    It was conceded, in addition, that the Fraternity of St. Pius X [Ed. note: known in the U.S. as the Society of St. Pius X] would be able to present to the Holy See – which reserves to itself the sole right of decision – their particular difficulties in regard to interpretations of juridical and liturgical reforms. All of this shows plainly that in this difficult dialog Rome has united generosity, in all that was negotiable, with firmness in essentials. The explanation which Msgr. Lefebvre has given, for the retraction of his agreement, is revealing. He declared that he has finally understood that the agreement he signed aimed only at integrating his foundation into the “Conciliar Church.” The Catholic Church in union with the Pope is, according to him, the “Conciliar Church” which has broken with its own past. It seems indeed that he is no longer able to see that we are dealing with the Catholic Church in the totality of its Tradition, and that Vatican II belongs to that.

    Without any doubt, the problem that Lefebvre has posed has not been concluded by the rupture of June 30. It would be too simple to take refuge in a sort of triumphalism, and to think that this difficulty has ceased to exist from the moment in which the movement led by Lefebvre has separated itself by a clean break with the Church. A Christian never can, or should, take pleasure in a rupture. Even though it is absolutely certain the fault cannot be attributed to the Holy See, it is a duty for us to examine ourselves, as to what errors we have made, and which ones we are making even now. The criteria with which we judge the past in the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism must be used – as is logical – to judge the present as well.

    One of the basic discoveries of the theology of ecumenism is that schisms can take place only when certain truths and certain values of the Christian faith are no longer lived and loved within the Church. The truth which is marginalized becomes autonomous, remains detached from the whole of the ecclesiastical structure, and a new movement then forms itself around it. We must reflect on this fact: that a large number of Catholics, far beyond the narrow circle of the Fraternity of Lefebvre, see this man as a guide, in some sense, or at least as a useful ally. It will not do to attribute everything to political motives, to nostalgia, or to cultural factors of minor importance. These causes are not capable of explaining the attraction which is felt even by the young, and especially by the young, who come from many quite different nations, and who are surrounded by completely distinct political and cultural realities. Indeed they show what is from any point of view a restricted and one-sided outlook; but there is no doubt whatever that a phenomenon of this sort would be inconceivable unless there were good elements at work here, which in general do not find sufficient opportunity to live within the Church of today.

    For all these reasons, we ought to see this matter primarily as the occasion for an examination of conscience. We should allow ourselves to ask fundamental questions, about the defects in the pastoral life of the Church, which are exposed by these events. Thus we will be able to offer a place within the Church to those who are seeking and demanding it, and succeed in destroying all reason for schism. We can make such schism pointless by renewing the interior realities of the Church. There are three points, I think, that it is important to think about.

    While there are many motives that might have led a great number of people to seek a refuge in the Traditional liturgy, the chief one is that they find the dignity of the sacred preserved there. After the council there were many priests who deliberately raised “desacralization” to the level of a program, on the plea that the New Testament abolished the cult of the Temple: the veil of the Temple which was torn from top to bottom at the moment of Christ’s death on the cross is, according to certain people, the sign of the end of the sacred. The death of Jesus, outside the City walls, that is to say, in the public world, is now the true religion. Religion, if it has any being at all, must have it in the nonsacredness of daily life, in love that is lived. Inspired by such reasoning, they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches as much as they could of that splendor which brings to mind the sacred; and they have reduced the liturgy to the language and the gestures of ordinary life, by means of greetings, common signs of friendship, and such things.

    There is no doubt that, with these theories and practices, they have entirely disregarded the true connection between the Old and the New Testaments: It is forgotten that this world is not the Kingdom of God, and that the “Holy One of God” (John 6:69) continues to exist in contradiction to this world; that we have need of purification before we draw near to Him; that the profane, even after the death and the Resurrection of Jesus, has not succeeded in becoming “the holy.” The Risen One has appeared, but to those whose heart has been opened to Him, to the Holy; He did not manifest Himself to everyone. It is in this way a new space has been opened for the religion to which all of us would now submit; this religion which consists in drawing near to the community of the Risen One, at whose feet the women prostrated themselves and adored Him. I do not want to develop this point any further now; I confine myself to coming straight to this conclusion: We ought to get back the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what makes the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director.

    Aside from the liturgical questions, the central points of conflict at present are Lefebvre’s attack on the decree which deals with religious liberty, and on the so-called spirit of Assisi. Here is where Lefebvre fixes the boundaries between his position and that of the Catholic Church today.

    I need hardly say in so many words that what he is saying on these points is unacceptable. Here we do not wish to consider his errors, rather we want to ask ourselves where there is lack of clarity in ourselves. For Lefebvre what is at stake is the warfare against ideological liberalism, against the relativization of truth. Obviously we are not in agreement with him that – understood according to the Pope’s intentions – the text of the council or the prayer of Assisi were relativizing.

    IT IS A NECESSARY TASK TO DEFEND THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL AGAINST MSGR. LEFEVBRE AS VALID AND BINDING UPON THE CHURCH Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolate Vatican II and which has provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.

    The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.

    This idea is made stronger by things that are now happening. That which previously was considered most holy – the form in which the liturgy was handed down – suddenly appears as the most forbidden of all things, the one thing that can safely be prohibited. It is intolerable to criticize decisions which have been taken since the council; on the other hand, if men make question of ancient rules, or even of the great truths of the faith – for instance, the corporal virginity of Mary, the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the immortality of the soul, etc. – nobody complains or only does so with the greatest moderation. I myself, when I was a professor, have seen how the very same bishop who, before the council, had fired a teacher who was really irreproachable, for a certain crudeness of speech, was not prepared, after the council, to dismiss a professor who openly denied certain fundamental truths of the faith.

    All this leads a great number of people to ask themselves if the Church of today is really the same as that of yesterday, or if they have changed it for something else without telling people. The one way in which Vatican II can be made plausible is to present it as it is; one part of the unbroken, the unique Tradition of the Church and of her faith.

    In the spiritual movements of the postconciliar era, there is not the slightest doubt that frequently there has been an obliviousness, or even a suppression, of the issue of truth: Here perhaps we confront the crucial problem for theology and for pastoral work today.
    The “truth” is thought to be a claim that is too exalted, a “triumphalism” that cannot be permitted any longer. You see this attitude plainly in the crisis that troubles the missionary ideal and missionary practice. If we do not point to the truth in announcing our faith, and if this truth is no longer essential for the salvation of Man, then the missions lose their meaning. In effect the conclusion has been drawn, and it has been drawn today, that in the future we need only seek that Christians should be good Christians, Muslims good Muslims, Hindus good Hindus, and so forth. If it comes to that, how are we to know when one is a “good” Christian, or a “good” Muslim?

    The idea that all religions are – if you talk seriously – only symbols of what ultimately is incomprehensible is rapidly gaining ground in theology, and has already penetrated into liturgical practice. When things get to this point, faith is left behind, because faith really consists in the fact that I am committing myself to the truth so far as it is known. So in this matter also there is every motive to return to the right path.

    If once again we succeed in pointing out and living the fullness of the Catholic religion with regard to these points, we may hope that the schism of Lefebvre will not be of long duration.

    ++++++++++++++++ end of quotes +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Of course others would bold different parts of the text but it is undeniable the sspx is a schism, that Vatican Two is part of Tradition and that one can NOT blame the Church for the schism.

    Good bye

  180. Fr. Marie-Paul says:

    dcs says Fr. Feeney “did not have such a belief [no salvation for those who are not card-carrying Catholics] and he was not excommunicated for heresy but for disobedience.”

    Here is one account of the situation.
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/FEENEY.TXT

    And more which quotes Fr. Feeney’s books.
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/FEENEY2.TXT

    Yes, Fr. Feeney had heretical beliefs. dcs, do you follow Fr. Feeney’s beliefs?

  181. Brian Mershon says:

    Jane M.: Their grandchildren will not see the same world; they will not experience the same things and they won’t think the same way.

    Jane M. Might I ask how many children you have raised as a mother? Are you a child psychologist or psychiatrist?

    Someone else opined that the SSPX or the bishop said the SSPX families were the ONLY ones with large families. Really? Where did he say that?

    And… Catholic Familyland? Please…

    I am not a JPII family. We are a Catholic Family. We follow ALL the Pope’s authoritative teachings and we ignore the examples like Assisi I and Assisi II, which were, quite simply put, abominations.

    And to “I am Spartacus” and many others of you… I cannot wait to see your hysterical, judgmental reactions when the excommunications are lifted. We’ll see where your obedience lies then–to Pope Benedict XVI, or toward your own personal opinions about the SSPX bishops, Archbishop Lefebvre and the lay faithful who have not fallen for the post-Conciliar compromise of Faith and Liturgy.

  182. Brian Mershon says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul: With due respect to you as a priest, your sources are badly flawed. DCS is correct. Fr. Feeney was not excommunicated for reiterating infallible dogmatic Church teaching. He was excommunicated for refusing to go to Rome to discuss the situation at the St. Benedict Center. He was then reconciled with the Church–as well as many of his followers, without recanting his views, which of course the Catholic Church has always taught authoritatively, that “Outside the Church, there is no salvation.”

    DCS is correct. EWTN is incorrect. EWTN is not the magisterium of the Church, DEO GRATIAS!

  183. RBrown says:

    At Vatican Two, Mgr Lefebvre himself, in a protest addressed to the Sovereign Pontiff on 18 October 1964, the eve of the third session of the Council, had refuted the theory of a power of universal jurisdiction deriving immediately from Christ, independently of the Roman Pontiff, by virtue of the sacrament of the episcopate.
    That is; DURING the Council he argued in favor of the Traditional ” NO Jurisdiction. No Ministry” axiom.
    After The Council, when he became so wilfull, he changed his public position.
    He was for the Ecumenical Council before he was against The Ecumenical Council and he was for “No Jurisdiction No Ministry” before he was against “No Jurisdiction No Ministry”
    And that is the sort of thing that passes for preserving tradition.
    (In some quarters)
    Comment by I am not Spartacus

    Not really. The SSPX claims jurisdiction under Ecclesia Supplet, which is found in the classical understanding of Episcopal Orders.

  184. boredoftheworld says:

    Rome’s patience with these lunatics has been to the point where many of us who are Faithful Catholics have had it.

    Then maybe, and it’s long past time someone pointed it out, maybe, those “faithful Catholics” need to stop being “more Catholic than the Pope” and realize that they themselves are stretching the concept of “faithful” to the breaking point.

    Maybe, the people who are screaming “schismatic attitude” the loudest need to watch out that they aren’t developing in themselves exactly what they condemn in others.

    The people who call the SSPX Donatists sound more like Donatists than the actual Donatists did. Particularly telling is the refusal to acknowledge that the bishops of the Society are actually bishops. For that matter legalism and pharisaism are more evident in the accusers than in the accused. The wholesale attack against the Society has become a comedy of errors and it’s rapidly becoming material for a Python sketch. The outrage against the SSPX seems more hysterical than realistic, which indicates that (to mangle Gertrude Stein and bring the insanity full circle) there is no there there.

    others would bold different parts of the text

    Hopefully others wouldn’t prooftext at all. That it IS prooftexting is clearly proven by the fact that in context one of the largest bolded citations isn’t saying what the person quoting it thinks it’s saying:

    “There is a glaring contradiction in the fact that it is just the people who have let no occasion slip to allow the world to know of their disobedience to the Pope, and to the magisterial declarations of the last 20 years, who think they have the right to judge that this attitude is too mild and who wish that an absolute obedience to Vatican II had been insisted upon.”

    That’s talking about people who think the Holy See needs to take a hardline approach to the SSPX. Seems like there are all sorts of unlikely allies in this fight.

    The bottom line, for me, is that any time a bishop of the SSPX says or writes something that gives me pause their detractors write something so absurd that I am forced to consider that maybe the SSPX is on to something after all.

  185. Brian Mershon says:

    I am not Spartacus said: “Of course others would bold different parts of the text but it is undeniable the sspx is a schism, that Vatican Two is part of Tradition and that one can NOT blame the Church for the schism.”

    Except, of course, that the Church says no such thing and you continue to promulgate publicly this calumny.

  186. Malta says:

    Bishop Tissier is actually a very devout, humble, and seemingly holy man:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=UGAgQFeKl4U

    This contrasts with a true heretic, Cardinal Kasper.

  187. Matthew M. says:

    What never fails to surprise about to-the-hilt defenders of the SSPX like Brain Mershon is that they never specifically defend the prodeful, blatantly schismatic, and somtimes ..nutty words of the SSPX bishops. They instead viciously attack folks who point these things out.

    I would find their position much more convining if somehow the words of Bp Tisser et al were treated seriously by them.

    I can imagine, to be an SSPX-friendly traditionalist, you have to plug you ear fairly often, and pretend you can’t hear what they’re saying, that you never heard it before either, the context was misunderstood, the translation was bad, that the stuff about Jews and Women was said with fingers crossed, that Tissier/Williamson/etc was just ‘having a cranky day’.. I can only imagine the mental acrobatic involved to justify taking the SSPX bishops seriously.

    Or maybe it’s easier just to change the subject to sneering at ‘neo-cons’ and ‘neo-cathts’

  188. Jrbrown says:

    “If once again we succeed in pointing out and living the fullness of the Catholic religion with regard to these points, we may hope that the schism of Lefebvre will not be of long duration.”

    We must now ask ourselves whether, since 1988, did the Church’s pastors live out the fullness of these points raised by our Holy Father 20 years ago? We are just now beginning to address the liturgical question, despite the fact that the ‘liberation’ of the traditional Mass had been rumored for over 25 years by the time SP was issued last year. There are still aberrations, such as what occurred at WYD with loin-cloth wearing ‘aboriginals’ (who were apparently clerics and seminarians, not deep-woods tribesmen), but on the whole things are markedly improving. On the other question, namely indifferentism and the duty of men and nations to the true religion, there is no question that our Holy Father has made efforts (including, in my opinion, the correctives contained in the CCC regarding religious freedom), but still we find ourselves arguing if states have an objective duty to embrace truth officially (they do, although prudential judgments allow for variances). While there are no more Assisi-type meetings, which were clearly being subtly criticized by Ratzinger in 1988, interfaith dialogue still has vestiges of confusing language and occasionally ‘exuberances’ by prelates who no longer see an obligation of ALL people to become Catholic (including Jews and Muslims).

    So, in other words, we are still not at a point where
    the fullness of the Catholic religion on these points is being pointed out fully or lived fully in the Church, so far as I can tell. And I suspect the doctrinal discussions, following the lifting of the excomms, will do much to resolve these issues if Benedict XVI personally involved himself.

  189. Matthew M. says:

    exactly, Malta – don’t try to defend the outrageous words in the Tissier interview… Just post a youtube video and chnage the subject to Cardinal Kasper…

  190. Brian Mershon says:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/07/guest-contribution-qa-with-the-pont-comm-ecclesia-dei-about-sspx-schism-and-sacraments/

    SSPX is NOT in Schism. From the PCED, the official commission of the Holy See which deals with these matter.

  191. Matthew M. says:

    It is understandable that Cardinal Castrillon and Pope Benedict are doing everything they can to reconcile the SSPX to the Church. Part of doing this is putting the… most charitable construction on the words of the SSPX leadership, and ignoring obviously schismatic statements.

    God willing, a reconciliation could happen – but it’s clear from these Angelus interviews (and numerous other sources) that the attitude and beliefs of the SSPX bishops is the greatest obstacle.

    In two interviews, the Fellay and Tissier have both mentioned consecrating new bishops. This would obviously be a futher schismatic act, and further marginalize the SSPX. And remarks from Tissier about the future of the Church like “In Rome, the apostasy organized with the Jewish religion.” can hardly be reconciled with the belief that all the Pope needs to do is lift the excommunications and the ..separation? will be closed.

    Perhaps the strategy of Benedict & Castrillion is to a) encourage the hopeful conversion of the hearts of the SSPX leaders, but at minimum b) pull off peices of the SSPX. And furthermore, to undercut the principles that distinguish the SSPX from reconciled groups to the barest minimum. Thus, at some point, the only thing you will find in the SSPX that you can’t find in a FFSP parish or even many diocesan parish will be narrowed down to: ‘lack of a Pope’ and ‘good healthy jew-baiting’

  192. Brian Mershon says:

    Matt M.: “What never fails to surprise about to-the-hilt defenders of the SSPX like Brain Mershon is that they never specifically defend the prodeful, blatantly schismatic, and somtimes ..nutty words of the SSPX bishops. They instead viciously attack folks who point these things out.”

    Mershon: It is NOT my job to defend every interview nor every word of SSPX bishops. I in fact do not always agree with much of what they say. I tend to side with Bishop Fellay’s view of things much moreso.

    But that is really irrelevant, isn’t it? To be a formal schismatic as a priest or bishop means the Holy See has to pronounce you as such. In fact, the Holy See, through the PCED, has repeatedly said the SSPX is NOT in formal schism. Therefore, I am merely defending what the Church teaches. You, and others, instead engage in calumny and detraction in a public forum regarding the “obedience,” “sins” and innumerable other accusations against priests and bishops whom you do not know.

    Just because someone is “negative” or engages in public polemics does not mean they are schismatic. Just because their worldview does not match yours (Ever really read the texts of what happened at Assisi I and II?)does not mean THEY are the schismatic ones. The PCED says they are not.

    I would find their position much more convining if somehow the words of Bp Tisser et al were treated seriously by them.

    And by doing such publicly, you are committing sins of pride and displaying prideful behavior that is truly approaching being “more Catholic than the Pope.”

    Do the SSPX bishops and priests hold the Catholic Faith? I would say that based upon what I have read and my limited experiences at SSPX chapels–YES. Unreservedly.

    Do they violate the precept from Vatican I regarding the universal juridical authority of the Pope? Again. My opinion, which is merely a lay opinion, is YES. However, due to the current Code of Canon Law, riddled with post-Conciliar loopholes as it is–they believe they can use various canons to defend their positions, at least as it appears to them subjectively.

    You don’t have to like the SSPX bishops. You don’t have to like the priests. It doesn’t mean they are in formal schism because you don’t like them.

    Instead of lying about them in a public setting, why not pray for them? Why not pray for their canonical regularlization and for the decrees of excommunication to be lifted.

    The excommunications will be lifted soon! Then, who will be more Catholic than the Pope?

  193. David Clark says:

    Fr. Feeney was NOT excommunicated for heresy.
    He was excommunicated by Ottaviani for disobedience.
    Feeney was called to Rome but wouldn’t go w/o being
    told the charges against him (his right under Canon Law)

    I tend to go more with the SSPX on this issue than the
    Feeneys, but at least I ackowledge (unlike the EWTN crowd)
    that this is not YET a settled issue.

  194. Prof. Basto says:

    Oh, Mr. Mehson, but the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts did say back in 1996 that SSPX clergy are formal schismatics.

    And that was a general document, issued to the whole Church, that is currently avaliable online at the Vatican website, and not a private response, like verbal statements from Card. Castrillon or letters to private individuals signed by Mons Pearl.

    But wether or not Tissier is a formal schismatic, he now reveals himself as a heretic.

  195. David Clark says:

    There is going to be a lot of screaming if the excommunications are lifted.

  196. Brian Mershon says:

    Yes, Prof. Basto. Back in 1996, they did say that. However, if you will read the letter I received from the PCED dated May 23, 2008, Msgr. Perl said the views expressed in his letter are those of the Church today AND that no other curial organization of the Holy See will say anything different than in his letter.

    Soooooo, Prof. Basto, you can continue to cite these findings repeatedly as I have seen you do on blogs elsehere too, but the CURRENT teaching of the Church, in as an official capacity as can be cited, according to the PCED President and Vice President, is that the SSPX is not a case of formal schism.

    If you can produce some document that is more recent than May 23, 2008 which contradicts this, then I would certainly be open to chaning my understanding of the matter.

  197. Matthew M. says:

    Brian, you are misrepresenting what I’ve written, and using it for another soapbox. So let me be clear:

    It would of course be silly to say the SSPX is in formal schism. [Whatever it may be, it is not silly. It is a very difficult issue.] The Church’s representatives have clearly refrained from making such a statement.

    However, many statements from these guys, even from their bishops, are quite frankly schismatic in nature. And indeed, the further consecration of SSPX bishops under present circumstances would be a clear act of schism.

    Decrying the outrageous views of the SSPX leadership is not intrinsically ‘prideful’, nor is it unfair. If the excommunications were lifted tomorrow, those problems would still remain, and would be substantial. Listening to Bp Tissier talk of Rome is a lot like listening to Hans Kung… except one might hope for better from a fellow who was a protege of Abp Lefebvre.

    And yes – the point of view of SSPX defenders would be heard much more sympathetically if these defenders would listen to an SSPX bishop with 1/3 the critical ear that they listen to un-excommunicated bishops of the Church.

  198. Matthew M. says:

    Brian – on a personal level, accusing people like myself of lying and identifying personal sins of pride.. is rather a hysterical reaction. Please be civil and stick to the issue.

    Nobody is going to deny the letter you have from Msgr. Perl (though Fr. Z helpfully pointed out the fairly low level of authority it possesses. [I did? - Fr. Z] ) What we’re talking about is the schismatic and heretical statements of SSPX bishops in their recent interviews. Nobody would be happier to have these guys in the Church that I would, but it does nobody any good to deny the very disturbing nature of their words.

  199. I am not Spartacus says:

    “While it is true that participation in the Mass at chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute “formal adherence to THE SCHISM” (cf. Ecclesia Dei 5, c)

    I just checked-in to see if there was a response to my saying good bye that would require a response and Mr. Mershon did post such a response accusing others of calumny etc.

    Mr. Mershon. That is in the PCED text you linked to. So, which schism was the text referring to? Maybe the text was referring to a an informal adherence to a non schism?

    When Paul II called it a schism and when Card Ratzinger publicly told the Bishops of Chile it was a schism and when the CDF recently wrote to the Bishops of Sri Lanka the sspx was a schism (fr fellay complained about this, btw) were they engaging in calumny?

    Seeing has NO agreement has been reached with the SSPX since the times these public statements were made who are you to claim others are engaging in calumny ESPECIALLY after you just posted the link to where it WAS called a schism.

    And I know you know that because you ALWAYS write “formal” before schism.

    You ain’t fooling anyone.

    And now, good bye,,,for good

  200. gsk says:

    “As one worships, so one believes.”

    It may be beneath the scholars here to take this into the family, but that’s where the the liturgical chickens come home to roost. Thus, my beef. Brian, dear, this is nothing personal because I’m fond of you. But do you defend the Traditionalist view (as touched on by the bishop) that women are suited to reading books only on domestic affairs? That they are to remain only in the home and quiet about things “beyond their ken.” (This has been my experience with SSPX’ers.)

    Do you subscribe to the notions of JP2 in Mulieris Dignitatem concerning “the feminine genius?” Today, of all days (anniversary of HV), when the battle is being waged over chastity and the very definition of marriage, will you assure me that your companions in these groups can see their way to joining forces to restore dignity to the family?

    All I see is a circling of the wagons and casting aspersions on the very Church that is to be the model of the Bride. To slash at her yourselves inhibits her ability to speak with authority about the pressing societal concerns. That the Bride is assaulted by her own children when she is longing to light the lamp for her wayward bairns is unconscionable.

    I know you folks think this is off topic, but THIS is how the schism becomes manifest at the family hearth that concerns me. (Pardon me: “informal” schism)

  201. schoolman says:

    Brian, this also from the PCED:

    “Up to now, the Church has sought to show the maximum charity, courtesy and consideration to all those involved with the hope that such a declaration will not eventually be necessary.”

    In other words, the only thing preventing a “formal decree” is the charity and pastoral patience of the Holy See. In strict justice, there is nothing to prevent such a “formal decree”. In fact, the same letter goes on to warn the faithful about regular attendance at SSPX. Why? Because they could easily imbibe the “schismatic” spirit and mentality. We also should recall the recent interview given by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos where he recognizes the existence of schism and heresy in connection with members of the SSPX.

    “We hope that they will come to the full communion with the Church. But some people are going too fast to schism and to the heresy, because if they begin to be teachers of the Pope, this is not schism, this is heresy. And if it is confirmed, people going with that kind of movement will be excommunicated, too, because of the heresy.”

    Interview following FSSP Ordinations – 30 May 2008
    Darío Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/HoyosInterview.htm

  202. Brian Mershon says:

    Mr. Matthew M.,

    You continue to cite “schismatic and heretical” statements by SSPX bishops.

    Do you know what true schism and heresy are? If so, please cite the specific statements that show the SSPX denies the authority of the Pope. Please show the obstinant heresy in their statements of a denial of a de Fide dogma of the Church.

    In the meantime, perhaps you should brush up on what true schism is by reading an article by Fr. Brian Harrison, http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/archive-disobedience_schism.htm

  203. Brian Mershon says:

    GSK: Thus, my beef. Brian, dear, this is nothing personal because I’m fond of you. But do you defend the Traditionalist view (as touched on by the bishop) that women are suited to reading books only on domestic affairs?

    BCM: Bishop Tissier’s personal opinion on what women should read is not a matter of Faith and Morals, nor is it “the Traditionalist” view. It is his personal opinion.

    I would say that in today’s environment, many young women are not ready to raise a large family and homeschool, if that is what they are called to do due to lack of authentic, affordable true Catholic education, so reading and learning how to do these domestic duties is very important. I do not believe they are the ONLY things they should read nor do. That they are to remain only in the home and quiet about things “beyond their ken.” (This has been my experience with SSPX’ers.)

    Is there a specific problem with this approach if some families choose it? Is it to be looked down upon and scorned with derision? What do you think God will think with regards eternity those women, small in number in today’s culture, who tend to their state in life by raising numerous saintly children and educating them? I would think this part of “feminine genius”. What do you think, G?

    GSK: Do you subscribe to the notions of JP2 in Mulieris Dignitatem concerning “the feminine genius?”

    BCM: I have read this more than once. What is the specific question? I have asked my wife and eldest daughter to read it and study it.

    Again, what is your specific question on this?

    GSK: Today, of all days (anniversary of HV), when the battle is being waged over chastity and the very definition of marriage, will you assure me that your companions in these groups can see their way to joining forces to restore dignity to the family?

    BCM: We most likely will not join some “movement” in order to “unite our forces” on this issue. We will follow our spirifual Fathers and the unbroken teaching of the Church to attempt to raise our children and families to be saints. We may do it in a more isolated fashion than some people think is wise, but that is up to the parents to weigh the consequences and decide based upon their own particular situation. I would say that in Greenville, SC, despite there being very few Traditionalist Catholics, but many Catholics who are part of the culture of life, we are making tremendous headway against the culture of death and in building God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”

    But our state in life is to raise our families and provide for them and then, somehow figure out how we should provide for their Catholic college education at an authentic Catholic college–with or without the support of our parents, grandparents and/or Catholic priests, deacons, etc.

    GSK: All I see is a circling of the wagons and casting aspersions on the very Church that is to be the model of the Bride.

    BCM: Specifics?

    GSK: To slash at her yourselves inhibits her ability to speak with authority about the pressing societal concerns. That the Bride is assaulted by her own children when she is longing to light the lamp for her wayward bairns is unconscionable.

    BCM: Who is doing this? Who? Constructive criticism is often how things are improved and righted. Again, specifics, G?

    GSK: I know you folks think this is off topic, but THIS is how the schism becomes manifest at the family hearth that concerns me. (Pardon me: “informal” schism)

    BCM: My experience has been that the children, both boys and girls, are well functioning, respectful, INNOCENT children. Just like Fr. John Hardon and Fr. Joseph Fessio repeatedly said: Homeschooling is like the monasteries or convents of the 20th century.

    Monasteries and convents are what helped spur the culture of Christendom in Europe for hundreds of years. Hundreds and thousands of monasteries and convents–praying, avoiding the world, and becoming holy.

    When these “monasteries and convents” of traditional and conservative homeschool families and children reaches critical mass, the culture will be changed quickly.

    Then it will come down to the Catholics that are left and the Muslims. The WASPS will have sterilized themselves into oblivion.

    Let’s not fool anyone. The culture in the U.S. is going to get far worse for quite some time before it gets better.

    I will not expose my children to the culture of death for risk of their souls.

    We have a deep identity crisis, G, as you know, in true manhood and in true womanhood. A deep crisis of authenticity.

  204. Fr. Marie-Paul says:

    Michael B says “With the respect due a good priest, I must disagree. This is not really the issue, this kind of thinking reflects the radical individualism of our time (modernity) and does not accurately reflect human nature. We are social individuals, we are born into a world given to us, that is why a thriving Catholic culture is so important (or as the SSPX remind us, the recognition of the Kingship of Christ in the world.)”

    I must strongly disagree. It is at the heart of religious freedom and love that one cannot be forced into Truth. Isn’t it true that God never forces our free will? God’s nature is such that love must be a free choice, and in His image our nature reflects that. That is why there is sin, because the freedom of choice can be used wrongly. And yes, there are consequences for said choices. We are judged as individual souls, are we not? There is no social anything at your particular judgment – just Jesus and you – radically individual, right?

    Do you follow Feeney’s beliefs – that those who are not baptized Catholics are certainly going to hell? In any case, it would help to read the references on Feeney that I posted above.

    Your comments also remind me of the Jews who rejected Jesus. They wanted a political kingdom setup and their religion forced upon others and the world conquered. Jesus, in humility, setup a Kingdom of Love. The Jesus rejecting Jews could not believe that God would come down to earth and be just like one of us (in all things but sin). Hey, isn’t that guy the son of the carpenter? But in faithful humility is how the Church grew – by the love that Christians showed to others – not by force. In contrast, Islam spread by force and armies and war.

    Now it is certainly true that a really Catholic culture is a great enabler to live a holy life and be a defense against evil. (How far from that we are today!) Certainly DH and religious freedom did not say to remove Catholic culture, although dissenters do. But again, while that is a great enabler, not our force (do you use guns or clubs or what?) but our true practice of Christian love is what converts hearts. Look at how the monastaries helped convert the barbarians into Christians after Rome fell.

    Refusing to force someone to choose Catholicism is neither rejecting the Kingship of Christ. Those who do accept Him as King, and live accordingly, are the true witnesses of the Gospel. The only reason the whole world is not converted is because how few Catholics really live the faith. The devil was forced to admit during an exorcism that if there were three St. John Vianney’s at that time then the world would be converted. We need a lot more nowadays due to the magnitude of sin.

    God allows for ignorance and He watches how a soul follows His Law which is written in the human heart – all human hearts. If you want a real Catholic convert, you love him and do not force him with whatever weapon you like to wield. As St. Francis of Assisi said “preach the Gospel always and use words as necessary.” That means the example of lived faith is the real answer.

    So form your Catholic culture first in your own family, then spread out to the local community, and that will light up the world, as a spreading fire, the Fire of His Love.

  205. Brian Mershon says:

    Schoolman, I read the interview, more than once now, of Cardinal Castrillon at the FSSP ordinations.

    Can you cite for all of us where he was referring to anyone associated with the SSPX?

    His statements may indeed be true. They are true for lots of Catholics of all stripes. Where did he mention the SSPX?

  206. Matthew M. says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,

    When I wrote:

    Nobody is going to deny the letter you have from Msgr. Perl (though Fr. Z helpfully pointed out the fairly low level of authority it possesses.

    I was referrring to your posting of Brain Mershon’s ‘Guest post’ here:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/07/guest-contribution-qa-with-the-pont-comm-ecclesia-dei-about-sspx-schism-and-sacraments/

    Brian wrote of Msgr. Perl’s letter:
    7. Again, the correspondence from the PCED can be accepted and acted upon with “docility and moral certitude” by Catholics. The specific questions I asked were broad enough in nature to constitute an official response for Catholics to use as guidance.

    and you added: [But they are not more than that. They are not definitive or official. They have weight and people can act on them with confidence.]

    As you have pointed out, the private communication from Msgr. Perl to Brian Mershon can be acted on with moral certainty. But you say this is not a ‘definitive or official’ position. I should have been more clear when invoking you, but didn’t have a moment to look for the quote.

  207. King David says:

    This talk of schism is interesting.

    Schism from which Rome?

    The Rome of de Chardin, Kung, de Lubac, Shillebeeckx, Lienart — you mean THAT Rome? The Rome of phenomenology, the errors of which JPII was so enamored with, and a philosophy whose application naturally leads to violations of natural law (which all men, regardless of religion, are bound to follow)? That’s hardly the Rome of Augustine, Chrysostom (I know he’s from the East), Scotus, Aquinas, Suarez, Bellarmine, and Garrigou-Lagrange.

    The Church is not a democracy. If every bishop in an ecumenical council votes that 2+2=5 they’d still all be wrong. Their vote wouldn’t make the error a truth.

    Regarding Dignitatis Humane, the Church cannot force belief, nor can the state. We all have free will. Our free will is inalienable (i.e., it’s part of our being). When we make a bad choice, however, we alienate the good. Do we have any right to believe that 2+2= 5? I’m well aware of the maximum and minimum demands placed on the state vis a vis DH as expanded upon by Fr. Harrison, but error never has rights. The State might tolerate error, but the state can never give error the right to exist (as DH attempts to do). If one could build a bridge or an airplane based on the principle that 2+2=5 nothing but calamity and misery could result. That’s why the ordinary magisterium was always clear on this for centuries, as Pius IX states in QUANTA CURA: “They do not hesitate to put forward the view which is not only opposed to the Catholic Church, but very pernicious for the salvation of souls — an opinion which Gregory XVI, Our Predecessor, called absurd. This is the view that liberty of conscience and worship is the strict right of every man, a right which should be proclaimed and affirmed by law in every properly constituted state… When they rashly make these statements, they do not realize or recall to mind that they are advocating what St. Augustine calls a liberty of perdition.”

    The quote from QUANTA CURA demonstrates the constancy of teaching on this matter over the centuries from Augustine, to Gregory XVI, to Pius IX to Leo XIII (in Immortale Dei) to Pius XII, whose Ci Resce, by the way, does not sanction error as a civil right; in fact, it outright condemns it as well: “that which does not correspond to truth or the norm of morality objectively has no right to exist, to be spread, or to be activated.”). Nothing new is Catholic, remember?

    Indeed, not just regarding religious liberty, but the other documents of Vatican II do, indeed, seem to clearly indicate a hermeneutic of rupture. For instance:

    V2′s decree on Ecumenism contradicts Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos, Eugene IV’s Cantate Domino, the 4th Lateran Council, Leo XIII’s Satis Cognitum.

    V2′s decree on the Liturgy contradicts Pius XII’s Mediator Dei in which he reproved “the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing law and rubrics” (Seriously, how much “development” could possibly have occurred between Mediator Dei and the convoking of V2?).

    V2′s decree on non-Christian religions contradicts various canons of the First Vatican Council (infallible) as well as the Syllabus of Errors (part of the Ordinary Magisterium).

    Again, The Church is not a democracy. If every bishop in an ecumenical council votes that 2+2=5 they’d still all be wrong. Their vote wouldn’t make the error a truth.

    So, who really is in schism?

    St. Pius X’s EX QUO NONO of Dec. 26, 1910: “It is well-known that to the Church there belongs no right whatsoever to innovate anything touching on the substance of the sacraments.”

    Pius XII’s SACRAMENTUM ORDINIS of Nov 30, 1947: ” . . . the Church has no power over the substance of the sacraments.”

    Why would the Church, guided by Holy Ghost, bother to proclaim the above unless the Church was well aware that someone might actually have the temerity to do so? In matters of Mass and Sacraments it is not a past pope that binds a present pope but Christ that binds both.

  208. Jane M says:

    Brian,

    Just FYI because you asked. I have four children. I married late. My oldest is 19. I homeschooled for 11 years. Many of the homeschool families around here are dealing with older children now. I base my comments on that experience as well as my eight brothers and sisters and their experiences. All of my brothers and sisters still go to Mass though not all my nieces and nephews do. My children, for better or worse, won’t experience the ’60′s as I did. (Thank God for that.) It is just common sense to recognize that. I have seen parents be deeply oblivious to aspects of their children’s growth. I assume it is true also of myself. And you.

  209. schoolman says:

    Brian, of course the Cardinal is responding here (the interview) to questions about the status of the SSPX. The heresy involves placing one above the Pope — as a “teacher of the Pope.” That is why we also saw one of the 5 conditions put to Bp. Fellay to formally recognize that the SSPX would not claim a “superior magisterium” over the Pope.

  210. Brian Mershon says:

    Jane M: “I have seen parents be deeply oblivious to aspects of their children’s growth. I assume it is true also of myself. And you.”

    Well, thank you. I didn’t know we had met and discussed the finer aspects of child psychology and development…

  211. Brian Mershon says:

    “That is why we also saw one of the 5 conditions put to Bp. Fellay to formally recognize that the SSPX would not claim a “superior magisterium” over the Pope.”

    Which I believe Fr. Z and others reported as Cardinal Castrillon receiving Bishop Fellay’s response and being pleased with the contents and response, right?

    Hmmm…

    Boy will this place be a mad hen zoo when the excommunications are lifted and the conservative Catholic haters of the SSPX realize the SSPX bishops, priests and laymen who attend their Masses are really as authentically Catholic as they are.

    Instead of rejoicing, we will have gnashing and grinding of teeth. Mark Shea may just go apoplectic.

  212. Brian Mershon says:

    By the way, Jane. I have a 23-year-old who was homeschooled for 4 years, attended government schools early on, and Catholic school for 3 years in high school.

    He is now in the Navy nuclear school in Charleston, SC, after gaining a baseball scholarship for college baseball.

    The transition hasn’t been perfect, but… Children have free will. And every child is different.

  213. Michael B. says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul,

    We are really quite close in our understanding of the issue, this comment box format makes easy communication difficult. The main point I am trying to emphasis is that the error of our time is not the coercion of confessional states, but the danger of radical individualism in an era of secular nation worship. It is far too easy for us moderns to misunderstand the quite orthodox statements you are making in the light of that radical individualism.

    No, I’m not a Feeneyite, a Pharisee, nor a rueful monarchist, for that matter. I do believe there is long a history of the Catholic Church’s teaching about the role of the Church and the state, which should inform our understanding of the latest teaching of the Church on this problem. I think that development of doctrine is not the same thing as repudiation of doctrine.

    It goes without saying that a state well-ordered to the truth is more desirable than a disordered state.
    It does not follow that forcing an individual to love God against his will is a necessary action of a well-ordered state. It does follow that the culture which forms this state will tend to raise Catholics who more or less follow what they were given from birth, with love. This happens now in the secular state, children learn to love the things of the world without the club or the gun, it is simply what the culture provides them with the state’s blessing.

    I don’t think much of anything here is in opposition to what you have presented in your comment.

    I hope that clarifies my defects in communication.
    With warmest regards,

  214. schoolman says:

    Brian, I hope Bishop Fellay did respond positively as reported in some places. Yet some vocal members of the SSPX rejoice
    that the SSPX did not “give in” to the demands of the “ultimatum”, etc. After all, they will not be made to “shut-up”, correct? Bishop Fellay himself only said that it was not true that his response was a “total rejection”. What does that mean? Maybe that is something that the Cardinal could be happy about given the circumstances. Why not disclose the actual response for the world to see?

  215. Fr. Marie-Paul says:

    Mr. Mershon,

    Who said that EWTN is the Magisterium? Not me. Why do you erroneously infer such things?

    So just quoting a web article written by Fr. William Most (RIP) which happens to be on the EWTN website means that it is a “badly flawed source”? Did you actually read the material in my reference or did you out of hand reject it because ewtn was in the URL? Will you be honest enough to answer that question? Would you like to provide your detailed comments on Fr. Most’s commentary? (Would is be accurate to say that you are of the EWTN a Network Gone Wrong book supporter?)

    Here is another source not from EWTN:
    http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=963

    Are you also one who says that those who are not baptized Catholics are guaranteed a hot spot in hell? A simple yes or no will do.

    Here is a Feeney text – do you agree? ” , p. 330 (“Reply to a Liberal”, by Raymond Karam, published in , Spring, 1949– according to page 274 of : “Father Feeney supervised and gave his final approval to ‘Reply to a Liberal’ by Raymond Karam. ‘”: “The only remedy against original sin is baptism, and all those whom God predestined to salvation, He draws them to this remedy. All the children who die unbaptized and all the adults who die ignorant of baptism, or who, having been drawn to it by God’s Providence, refuse it, are not predestinate, but will perish eternally”.

    How about this Feeneyism? “The Waters of Salvation” p. 380, Feeney himself says of Baptism of desire: “That is heresy!” And on p. 384: “Q. If you got into the state of justification with the aid of ‘Baptism of Desire’ and then failed to receive Baptism of Water, could you be saved? A. Never.”

    Isn’t it true that the Jesuits dismissed Fr. Feeney?

    How about these Magisterial texts?
    Pope Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, (1863: DS 2866): “God. . . in His supreme goodness and clemency, by no means allows anyone to be punished with eternal punishments who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault.

    Holy Office, Aug 9, 1949, Suprema haec sacra, specifically condemning the doctrines of “the Cambridge group” (Fr. Feeney) as presented in From the Housetops, vol. 3.: (DS 3870): “It is not always required that one be actually incorporated as a member of the Church, but this at least is required: that one adhere to it in wish and desire. It is not always necessary that this be explicit. . . but when a man labors under invincible ignorance, God accepts even an implicit will, called by that name because it is contained in the good disposition of soul in which a man wills to conform his will to the will of God.”

    Vatican II, Lumen Gentium DOGMATIC Constitution on the Church #16: “For they who without their own fault do not know of the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but yet seek God with sincere heart, and try, under the influence of grace, to carry out His will in practice, known to them through the dictate of conscience, can attain eternal salvation.” Do you reject Vatican II?

  216. gsk says:

    BCM: Bishop Tissier’s personal opinion on what women should read is not a matter of Faith and Morals, nor is it “the Traditionalist” view. It is his personal opinion.

    GSK: I think you’re actually restating my thesis, Brian. I say that his personal opinion on the relationship between the sexes and the feminine vocation is distilled SPECIFICALLY from his liturgical stance. That’s the whole point. I’m working this backwards to say that the practical application of these SSPX priests belies the disharmony in their view to papal authority. Unsophisticated, near-illiterate, superficial–perhaps I am. But the dysfunction in the bishop’s view of women is a red-flag for something.

  217. Jordanes says:

    Brian Mershon said: Boy will this place be a mad hen zoo when the excommunications are lifted and the conservative Catholic haters of the SSPX realize the SSPX bishops, priests and laymen who attend their Masses are really as authentically Catholic as they are.

    I would strongly advise against holding one’s breath waiting for the excommunications to be lifted and for the SSPX to be recognised by the Church as an “authentically Catholic” priestly fraternity. Judging from these interviews, the SSPX is about as far from reconciliation and regularisation as ever.

  218. Rolf Hartleb says:

    If Scott Hahn says they’re nothing but Protestants, that’s good enough for me!

  219. schoolman says:

    So far these interviews do not seem to reflect an attitude that complies with the conditions put to Bp. Fellay by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos:

    1. The commitment to a response proportionate to the generosity of the Pope.
    2. The commitment to avoid every public intervention which does not respect the person of the Holy Father and which may be negative to ecclesial charity.
    3. The commitment to avoid the claim to a Magisterium superior to the Holy Father and to not propose the Fraternity in contraposition to the Church.
    4. The commitment to display the will to act honestly in full ecclesial charity and in respect for the authority of the Vicar of Christ.

    On the other hand, we have not seen the Williamson interview. He may surprise us…

  220. Tomas says:

    Ralph:

    I think I ruptured something in my gut after reading your response. That had to be tongue-in-check

  221. Brian Mershon says:

    Jodanes and Schoolman: “Judging from these interviews, the SSPX is about as far from reconciliation and regularisation as ever”

    I doubt very much that the Holy See and the PCED are judging the lifting of the decrees of excommunication on what “interviews” show up in blogosphere.

    And Rolf Hartleb, your comment says it all. Scott Hahn, the magisterium of the Church… But what if what Scott Hahn says is contradicted by what the PCED and the official teaching of the Church is regarding the matter of the SSPX being “an internal matter” of the Church and “not one for ecumenical dialogue” as they recently have said? What about that?

    Scott Hahn as the magisterium????

  222. Brian Mershon says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul,

    Do you adhere to these three infallible, dogmatic teachings of the Church? I do. All Catholics are required to.

    “Outside the Church there is no salvation” is a doctrine of the Catholic Faith that was taught By Jesus Christ to His Apostles, preached by the Fathers, defined by popes and councils and piously believed by the faithful in every age of the Church. Here is how the Popes defined it:

    “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)
    “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)
    “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

  223. Brian Mershon says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul,

    Fr. William Most, RIP. I used his work in my master’s thesis. As for his articles on the Feeney situation, I believe the good Father misunderstood Fr. Feeney’s position, whom Archbishop Fulton Sheen called, the best theologian in the Church today.

    Here are some links that have authoritative documents regarding Fr. Feeney and his followers. It is clear the CDF and the Church allow for a more strict interpretation of the meaning of EENS, which is why his followers, many of which are reconciled with the Church, continue to promote the importance of this doctrine in this age of religious indifferentism.

    http://www.catholicism.org/micm-status.html

  224. Brian Mershon says:

    GSK: You said: “I say that his personal opinion on the relationship between the sexes and the feminine vocation is distilled SPECIFICALLY from his liturgical stance.”

    BCM: So to be a priest who offers only the TLM means one is necessarily a mysogynist? Am I understanding this here?

    Seems to be a stretch. And again, is there a problem with women who want to stay at home, have as many children as God allows WITHOUT using NFP and educating them at home. Is this problematic for these women to do so? And if so, wouldn’t it be great if they learned how to manage the house most effectively as part of their educational training?

  225. Brian Mershon says:

    Did you actually read the material in my reference or did you out of hand reject it because ewtn was in the URL?

    BCM: Yes. I have read it more than one time.

    Will you be honest enough to answer that question?

    BCM: Yes, I am being honest.

    BCM: Would you like to provide your detailed comments on Fr. Most’s commentary?

    No. I do not have time, but it would be a worthy endeavor. Perhaps my next article on the document issued a year ago justifying traditionalist claims (by the CDF) on the Catholic Church being the one true Church might be something you would like to read. It should be in one of the August issues of The Remnant.

    (Would is be accurate to say that you are of the EWTN a Network Gone Wrong book supporter?)

    BCM: That would be inaccurate to say. I have not read the book, but neither am I an avid supporter of EWTN.

    Here is another source not from EWTN:
    http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=963

    BCM: I disagree with this catechetics’ instructor’s article. I believe the Church teaching I provided in the three dogmatic statements is very clear on what the Church’s teaching is.

    Are you also one who says that those who are not baptized Catholics are guaranteed a hot spot in hell?

    BCM: Outside the Church, there is no salvation. Hopefully, some who are not baptized will somehow be so before they are saved. How is the evangelization program in your parish going in order to rescue those who are outside the Church, Father?

    A simple yes or no will do.

    BCM: My answer is above.

    Here is a Feeney text – do you agree? ” , p. 330 (“Reply to a Liberal”, by Raymond Karam, published in , Spring, 1949—according to page 274 of : “Father Feeney supervised and gave his final approval to ‘Reply to a Liberal’ by Raymond Karam. ‘”: “The only remedy against original sin is baptism, and all those whom God predestined to salvation, He draws them to this remedy. All the children who die unbaptized and all the adults who die ignorant of baptism, or who, having been drawn to it by God’s Providence, refuse it, are not predestinate, but will perish eternally”.

    BCM: I think that Sacred Scripture and the Church’s dogmatic teaching on this is pretty clear. Since this is prooftexting, it would be unfair for me to comment on this specific text without reading much more of what Fr. Feeney has said. I think the above text is perfectly in keeping with the authoritative dogmatic teaching of the Church and Sacred Scripture.

    How about this Feeneyism? “The Waters of Salvation” p. 380, Feeney himself says of Baptism of desire: “That is heresy!” And on p. 384: “Q. If you got into the state of justification with the aid of ‘Baptism of Desire’ and then failed to receive Baptism of Water, could you be saved? A. Never.”

    BCM: Do you have a specific question on this text? Father, do you believe that everyone who dies UNBAPTIZED has baptism of desire? Do you believe it is possible that all men are saved and that heaven is empty? A simple yes or no to these two questions will do.

    Isn’t it true that the Jesuits dismissed Fr. Feeney?

    BCM: I don’t know. What is the point? The Jesuits have not exactly been a model of orthodox Catholicism for some time now.

    How about these Magisterial texts?
    Pope Pius IX, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, (1863: DS 2866): “God. . . in His supreme goodness and clemency, by no means allows anyone to be punished with eternal punishments who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault.

    BCM: Obviously. But it does not say that those who die without original sin wiped away by baptism are saved, does it?

    Holy Office, Aug 9, 1949, Suprema haec sacra, specifically condemning the doctrines of “the Cambridge group” (Fr. Feeney) as presented in From the Housetops, vol. 3.: (DS 3870): “It is not always required that one be actually incorporated as a member of the Church, but this at least is required: that one adhere to it in wish and desire. It is not always necessary that this be explicit. . . but when a man labors under invincible ignorance, God accepts even an implicit will, called by that name because it is contained in the good disposition of soul in which a man wills to conform his will to the will of God.”

    BCM: Fr. Feeney was reconciled with the Church without recanting his views on the dogma.

    Vatican II, Lumen Gentium DOGMATIC Constitution on the Church #16: “For they who without their own fault do not know of the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but yet seek God with sincere heart, and try, under the influence of grace, to carry out His will in practice, known to them through the dictate of conscience, can attain eternal salvation.” Do you reject Vatican II?

    BCM: CAN does not mean WILL or DO. There is no dogmatic statement in LG that has not been defined previously. Its title is not indicative of the theological status of every sentence in it.

    BCM: I understand the documents of the Second Vatican Council in light of Tradition.

    If you are asking me for a statement of my Faith, I adhere to the Nicene-Constanipole Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Apostle’s Creed, the Credo of the Council of Trent and the Credo of the People of God by Pope Paul VI.

    Do you, Father, adhere to the Athanasian Creed?

  226. Jordanes says:

    Brian Mershon said: I doubt very much that the Holy See and the PCED are judging the lifting of the decrees of excommunication on what “interviews” show up in blogosphere.

    Why the scare quotes? Surely you don’t mean to suggest that these interviews are spurious. Anyway, there can’t be any reconciliation and regularisation until the SSPX makes some kind of admission of fault and/or promise not to stop acting outside the Church’s visible structure. Sad to say, but these interviews indicate that the SSPX leaders aren’t there yet. There is no reason to expect the SSPX problem to be resolved any time soon.

  227. Jordanes says:

    “All the children who die unbaptized . . . will perish eternally.”

    “God. . . in His supreme goodness and clemency, by no means allows anyone to be punished with eternal punishments who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault.”

    I’ll go with the latter. There’s no doubt which one is endorsed by the Magisterium (and no, I don’t mean Dr. Scott Hahn — Rolf’s comment has got to have been tongue in check, or at least I hope so).

  228. Brian Mershon says:

    Jordanes: You have no idea what will be required of SSPX leadership for them to be received with full canonical regularization into the Church.

    Scare quotes? You obviously did not address my point. The Pope and Cardinal Castrillon are not judging the SSPX on interviews in a publication with a limited publication to their readership.

    It is quite certain that they are more concerned about larger issues of Faith and Morals than things that show up on blogosphere. That is my only point. Or do you deny that?

    Scare quotes? Weirdness.

    Jordanes, the two sentences you pull quoted are not mutually contradictory not exclusive.

    Remember, the Church interprets its doctrine, not you. It must be in conformity with Sacred Scripture and Tradition, not what “seems” or “feels” right to you.

  229. Oliver says:

    Blah, blah, blah. I see no reason why some here think the SSPX wants to cut a deal with (modern) Rome any day soon. Nothing, repeat, nothing has changed in Rome. Post-Ratzinger, she will though lurch much further into heresy and accept contraception, abortion, homosexuality and women priests aplenty. The planet most people here reside on floats above the reality of two opposing forces: the liberalism that Ratzinger breathes and promotes and the firm attachment to undiluted Catholicism that is the essence of Lefebvrism. People like popes to be clowns; an uncompromising bishop comes along that disturbs … but people listen!

  230. Brian Mershon says:

    I am Spartacus: While it is true that participation in the Mass at chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute “formal adherence to THE SCHISM” (cf. Ecclesia Dei 5, c)

    Mr. Mershon. That is in the PCED text you linked to. So, which schism was the text referring to? Maybe the text was referring to a an informal adherence to a non schism?

    BCM: I don’t know how this can be the case. I do not know how one can eventually “adhere to a schism” that does not exist. This is perplexing.

    Perhaps you could write to the PCED and ask for clarification. As for me, it is obvious from the letters I have received that a Catholic can frequent SSPX chapels to fulfill one’s Sunday obligation and one is committing no sin nor incurring any delict by doing so.

    That is all I can control in order to make my decision. I think I’ll attend the Mt. Holly SSPX chapel to fulfill my Sunday obligation with my family this weekend.

  231. Brian Mershon says:

    I am Spartacus… Just for the record, I reject the views of Oliver. I am first and foremost–Catholic. Apparently, Oliver is not and has been drinking some strange Kool-Aid.

  232. dcs says:

    Wow, this discussion has gotten off track. I simply wanted to point out that Fr. Feeney was not condemned. I had no intention of getting into a long discussion about his views or the interpretation of the dogma “there is no salvation outside the Church.” Fr. Feeney was not a heretic, if he were then he could not have been reconciled without recanting. Likewise, his followers could not have been reconciled themselves without recanting – nor could they now enjoy regular status while teaching and preaching the very same things that he taught and preached. One of his followers is now a mitred Abbot! We would do well to consider the Holy Father’s words in the letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum:

    “Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.”

    If the Holy See does not see fit to condemn Fr. Feeney or his followers, then why should we?

    As far as Fr. Most, RIP, is concerned, he may have been a great scholar of Scripture but on the subject of Fr. Feeney I can only think that he was misinformed. That is the most charitable assumption.

  233. Jordanes says:

    Brian Mershon said: You have no idea what will be required of SSPX leadership for them to be received with full canonical regularization into the Church.

    Wrong. I have a good idea that what will be required of them, if reconciliation is ever achieved, will be somewhat like what the Church has been requiring of other irregular traditionalist groups.

    Scare quotes?

    Yes. You put the word “interviews” in scare quotes, giving the impression that you don’t think they are really interviews, or that you don’t think the interviews are genuine, or something. I was just wondering what the scare quotes meant.

    The Pope and Cardinal Castrillon are not judging the SSPX on interviews in a publication with a limited publication to their readership.

    Maybe, but I doubt that’s anything more than a guess on your part. I wouldn’t be surprised if their words in these interviews are noticed by the Pope and Cardinal Castrillon. In fact I’d be surprised if they weren’t noticed.

    It is quite certain that they are more concerned about larger issues of Faith and Morals than things that show up on blogosphere.

    Oh, there’s no doubt about that — but that doesn’t mean the comments the SSPX bishops make in public don’t influence the Church’s attempt to heal the breach with them.

    Jordanes, the two sentences you pull quoted are not mutually contradictory not exclusive.

    One sentence says babies who die unbaptised will perish eternally, the other sentence says those who die without the guilt of voluntary fault (which includes babies, whether baptised or not) will certainly not suffer eternal punishments. The only way to reconcile the statements is to stipulate that “perish eternally” excludes eternal punishments — though eternal perdition is itself a punishment, exclusive of any pains or torments that the damned suffer in hell.

    Remember, the Church interprets its doctrine, not you.

    Yes, and not you either. Anyway, the Church has manifestly interpreted its doctrine in a way that endorses the second statement and does not at all favor St. Augustine’s opinion that babies who die unbaptised suffer punishments in hell. I do not know if Feeneyism allows for the traditional belief in Limbo, though.

  234. dcs says:

    One sentence says babies who die unbaptised will perish eternally, the other sentence says those who die without the guilt of voluntary fault (which includes babies, whether baptised or not) will certainly not suffer eternal punishments. The only way to reconcile the statements is to stipulate that “perish eternally” excludes eternal punishments—- though eternal perdition is itself a punishment, exclusive of any pains or torments that the damned suffer in hell.

    The word “supliciis” which is the one used by Bl. Pius IX can also mean “torments.” So those who die in Original Sin only go to hell, as declared by the Council of Lyons and the Council of Florence, however they do not suffer eternal torments.

    I do not know if Feeneyism allows for the traditional belief in Limbo, though.

    Of course it does. In fact the text cited above (“Reply to a Liberal” by Raymond Karam) defends the traditional belief in Limbo and suggests that those Fathers who appeared to argue against it (namely St. Augustine and St. Fulgentius) may have gone a bit further than they should in their zeal to combat Pelagianism.

  235. Jordanes says:

    Then I’m probably more in line with the Feeneyist position.

  236. Brian Kemple says:

    Brian Mershon:

    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4066.htm#article11
    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4068.htm#article2

    The Church always has and always will hold that extra Ecclesiam nulla salus; what Feeney denied was that there exist the Baptism of Desire and the Baptism of Blood, i.e., the salvific power of the Holy Spirit. “And such a man can obtain salvation without being actually baptized, on account of his desire for Baptism, which desire is the outcome of ‘faith that worketh by charity,’ whereby God, Whose power is not tied to visible sacraments, sanctifies man inwardly.”

    To bring, for instance the words of Pope Eugene IV, to light, pagans, heretics, Jews, and schismatics may all be joined to the One, True, Holy, and Apostolic Church by means of invisible sanctification, before they die.

  237. Jordanes says:

    Then I’m probably more in line with the Feeneyist position.

    To clarify: I mean on the question of the fate of unbaptised babies. I find the longstanding, common Limbo teaching to be much more in keeping with Catholic doctrine than the more recent attitude that allows us to hope that God remits the sin of unbaptised babies in some way that is not known in the revealed deposit of faith. But on the questions of baptism of blood and baptism of desire, I think Feeneyism is undulying restrictive.

  238. Jordanes says:

    “Undulying”?? Where did I find that word?

  239. Romulus says:

    There’s no shortage of authorities suggesting the “ex ecclesia nulla salus” should not be narrowly construed.

    From the Roman Catechism (Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests) issued by order of Pope Pius V:

    The Third Degree Of Prayer: The Prayer Of Unbelievers A third degree of prayer is that which is offered by those who have not as yet been illumined with the light of faith; but who, when the divine goodness illumines in their souls the feeble natural light, are strongly moved to the desire and pursuit of truth and most earnestly pray for a knowledge of it.

    If they persevere in such dispositions, God, in His mercy, will not neglect their earnest endeavours, as we see verified by the example of Cornelius the centurion. The doors of the divine mercy are closed against none who sincerely ask for mercy.

    From the Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore (Encyclical of Pope Pius IX) August 10, 1863:

    7. Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching.

    There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.

    From Singulari Quidem, also by Pius IX:

    “The Church clearly declares that the only hope of salvation for mankind is placed in the Christian faith, which teaches the truth, scatters the darkness of ignorance by the splendor of its light, and works through love. This hope of salvation is placed in the Catholic Church which, in preserving the true worship, is the solid home of this faith and the temple of God. Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control.”

    I should also mention highly relevant comments in the same pope’s allocution Singulari Quadam (note the almost identical name), dated December 9, 1854:

    “It must, of course, be held as a matter of faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved, that the Church is the only ark of salvation, and that whoever does not enter it will perish in the flood. On the other hand, it must likewise be held as certain that those who are affected by ignorance of the true religion, if it is invincible ignorance, are not subject to any guilt in this matter before the eyes of the Lord. Now, then, who could presume in himself an ability to set the boundaries of such ignorance, taking into consideration the natural differences of peoples, lands, native talents, and so many other factors? Only when we have been released from the bonds of this body and see God just as He is [1Jn 3:2] shall we really understand how close and beautiful a bond joins divine mercy with divine justice. But as long as we dwell on earth, encumbered with this soul-dulling, mortal body, let us tenaciously cling to the Catholic doctrine that there is one God, one faith, one baptism (Eph. 4:5). To proceed with further inquiry is contrary to divine law.
    Nevertheless, as charity demands, let us pray continually for the conversion to Christ of all nations everywhere. Let us devote ourselves to the salvation of all men as far as we can, for the hand of the Lord is not shortened [Is 59:1]. The gifts of heavenly grace will assuredly not be denied to those who sincerely want and pray for refreshment by the divine light. These truths need to be fixed deeply in the minds of the faithful so that they cannot be infected with doctrines tending to foster the religious indifferentism which We see spreading widely, with growing strength, and with destructive effect upon souls.”

    Finally, I recall what Saint Augustine has to say on the matter, at the start of his 43rd Epistle:

    “The Apostle Paul hath said: “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”(2) But though the doctrine which men hold be false and perverse, if they do not maintain it with passionate obstinacy, especially when they have not devised it by the rashness of their own presumption, but have accepted it from parents who had been misguided and had fallen into error, and if they are with anxiety seeking the truth, and are prepared to be set right when they have found it, such men are not to be counted heretics.”

  240. Cindi says:

    Hello!?

    Has any one been reading the research from the past 45yrs?
    A couple SHOULD be using NFP from the OUTSET, no matter what they think their plans are!
    It’s the one sure way to understand God’s design for them.
    For your enlightenment, may I recommend ANY of Gregory Popcak’s books on this matter.

    I would NEVER have suspected such ignorance on a “catholic” blog!!

  241. Matthew M. says:

    Cindi,
    I’m not sure why you think any rejection of NFP is ‘ignorance on a catholic blog’. There is one good reason to reject NFP: if you and your spouse have ordinary functional fertility and desire to have children as God wills them.

    NFP should not be used as a ‘planning’ substitute for contraception, unless the couple has grave reasons to limit the size of their family. It is, however, sometimes a useful tool for couples who have fertility problems to assist in getting pregnant.

    As for Greg Popchak, would you allow that one can dissent from this good fellow, sometimes, and still be a good Catholic? For example, when he recommends that young boys learn about women’s biology by tracking the cycles of their sisters (!!?), would you mind if a few of us decide to take a pass?

  242. Dougall says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with the SSPX on every issue or anything, but I’m a little put off by the level of anti-SSPX criticism we see these days. It’s like the Motu Proprio and the prospects of reintegration have intensified the issue in a negative way.

    IF the SSPX are in schism, is it more important than other Schisms? Baptist preachers run down the Catholic faith constantly and we don’t say anything about that right? They are our separated brethen.

    Of course, the SSPX isn’t in schism. The level of intensity I’ve seen against the SSPX. It’s just flat out weird. So these people want only the traditional Mass and have a particularly traditional take on doctrine. Is that such a big deal when the liberal forces in the Church are on such a rampage these days?

    Of course, I’ve seen some of the same people arguing against the SSPX argue against the Orthodox teachings against the faith on other forums.

  243. SARK says:

    Dear Dougall,

    From a purely rationale perspective you are right.

    However, my feeling is that the disproportionate hostility displayed by mainstream Catholics against the SSPX has largely psychological rather than intellectual roots. Is it not often said that civil wars are the most “bloody”. There would be an interesting thesis to write on the many motives for these attitudes.

    Having said that the SSPX do themselves few favours when they engage in such clumsy and volatile rhetoric as seen by the Bishop here in this interview.

    Things do seem to be heating up within the SSPX itself – the hardline position held by Bishops TdM and W is increasingly at the margin – the centre of power is definitely Bishop Fellay and his excellent deputies. They seem to be taking a more constructive approach. Perhaps this explains why Bishop TdM appears so het up in the current interview.

    I speak as a committed supporter of the SSPX of twenty years standing living in Europe.

  244. athanasius says:

    Fr. Feeney was not a heretic, if he were then he could not have been reconciled without recanting. Likewise, his followers could not have been reconciled themselves without recanting – nor could they now enjoy regular status while teaching and preaching the very same things that he taught and preached.

    This is an important point. He was condemned for disciplinary issues, namely for failing to obey Cardinal Cushing. The Still River Group, the nuns and the brothers who operate at the St. Benedict Center, do so with the permission and knowledge of the Vatican and the diocese of Worcester (that’s Wooster for you non-New Englanders). This means that even if we have reservations about Fr. Feeney’s teaching, the Vatican has not condemned Feenyism as such. The issue still needs to be studied and questioned. It is not wrong or schismatic to be a Feenyite, as the Church has not yet ruled on the issue.

    That said, I believe Fr. Feeney’s teaching on justification and salvation horribly novel and unfounded in Tradition, and that the possibility of extra-sacramental salvation, no matter how rare, is indeed a possibility contrary to his teaching. Yet, in spite of that, Feeney bore fruit, he backed up what he believed with works. He preached, and preached, and brought secular humanists, Jews, and anti-Catholics into the true faith. If only traditional Catholic communities would work for converts with a tenth of the zeal of Fr. Feeney!

  245. Michael says:

    Brian Mershon,

    May I suggest, that it is not revealed to you how the Magisterial propositions should be authentically interpreted, but to the Magisterium itself; more precisely, to the living Magisterium in any given time of the Church’ history. As from one side, you seem to interpret the word “outside” as denoting all those who are not on records in Catholic perishes, as baptized or received into the Church; and from another, you are evidently knowledgeable of the Magisterial documents, could you provide evidence from the Documents themselves, whether already quoted by your or others, that would support your understanding of the word “outside” ?

    Dei Verbum – the dogmatic constitution of the Vatican II, says in No.10: “The office of interpreting authentically the word of God, whether scriptural or traditional, has been entrusted exclusively to living voice of the Church’s magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” The references provided are to the Vatican I and Pius XII.

  246. Michael says:

    Cindi, the word “ignorance” in this context is not conductive of a dialogue, and in any case, it doesn’t contribute to your argument. Fr.Z keeps telling us to be restrained.

    But that aside, could you quote any Magisterial document or any sound manual of Moral Theology in support of your thesis that a “couple SHOULD be using NFP from the OUTSET, no matter what they think their plans are” ?

    “Has any one been reading the research from the past 45yrs?” you ask. Morality is not about how or what the things are, but what they ought to be. A “research”, I presume you mean empirical research, can only tell you what the things are, and predict, within certain limits, how the things will be if one does or fails to do this or that; but can’t tell us anything about morality of what one does or fails to do.

    God has given us some knowledge of the NFP to use it, in a married life, in a morally acceptable way, not indiscriminately. The NFP can easily turn into what is, from the moral viewpoint, not merely physically, a contraception, if it is practised with a contraceptive will.

    It is very important not to make of the NFP – the eighth sacrament.

  247. gsk says:

    above GSK said: You said: “I say that his personal opinion on the relationship between the sexes and the feminine vocation is distilled SPECIFICALLY from his liturgical stance.”

    above BCM sai: So to be a priest who offers only the TLM means one is necessarily a mysogynist? Am I understanding this here?

    GSK: It’s all about authority, Brian. A woman submits to her husband, knowing he submits to legitimate authority. The men have their hierarchy, both priests and laity. When the priests (and bishops) haven’t submitted (for whatever reason) then the “great chain of being” (medieval term, excellent concept) is corrupt. No matter how perfectly the rubrics are observed, the heart is misplaced; the ideology spills into the personal and the mysogyny results.

  248. gsk says:

    BTW, same way that women, who reject legitimate authority, promote misandry. I don’t want to single out men as worse. Only in the Church–adhering to the structures–do we find the correct balance…

  249. Tomas says:

    Cindi:

    If we were to wait up Rip van Winkle and have him listen to your Popquack-he might be fooled into thinking the Church now had an 8th Sacrament or a 10th commandment.

  250. Malta says:

    *Vatican II, Lumen Gentium DOGMATIC Constitution on the Church #16.*

    People get confused by the word “dogmatic” before “constitution: it DOES NOT teach new dogma.

    btw, here is the link I tried, but failed, to post earlier on Bp. Tissier:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=UGAgQFeKl4U

    contrast the words of this seemingly holy, truth-filled man, with the drivel spouted by Kung, who is “a priest in good standing” with the Church. Ironic, that a blatent heretic is in “good standing,” while Tissier–clearly a devout, fully Catholic Bishop, who affirms every dogma and doctrine of the Church–is “excommunicated.

  251. kgurries says:

    This discussion on Religious Liberty is the crux of the matter for SSPX. I decided to make the following available on my blog for those interested in checking out the treatise by Bishop Von Ketteler (1862) on the matter. Not widely known to English readers, this study provides some important theological and historical keys to Dignitatis Humanae. Enjoy!

    This is Part 1 of 4…

    http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2008/07/on-religious-freedom-part-i.html

  252. RBrown says:

    “Has any one been reading the research from the past 45yrs?” you ask.

    Morality is not about how or what the things are, but what they ought to be. A “research”, I presume you mean empirical research, can only tell you what the things are, and predict, within certain limits, how the things will be if one does or fails to do this or that; but can’t tell us anything about morality of what one does or fails to do.

    Although there are certainly some “oughts” in Morality, that is not a appropriate description of Moral D. Thomists have long objected to such an approach (known as Deontological [duty] morals).

    There are prescriptions and proscriptions. Although the prescription here can be said to be the preservation of the openness of the act of conjugal love to procreation, it is better considered as a proscription–one cannot interfere with the openness of the conjugal act to procreation.

    God has given us some knowledge of the NFP to use it, in a married life, in a morally acceptable way, not indiscriminately. The NFP can easily turn into what is, from the moral viewpoint, not merely physically, a contraception, if it is practised with a contraceptive will.
    It is very important not to make of the NFP – the eighth sacrament.
    Comment by Michael

    NFP is objectively morally acceptable. Is it possible that an intention to contracept accompany it? Yes, but that is not the same as saying “NFP can easily turn into into . . . a contraceptive will”.

    NFP functions within the natural fertility cycle and demands periods of abstinence within its practice. Unlike contraception, which acts against the fertility cycle, this abstinence instead manifests respect it. That is why NFP is not to be seen as possibly easily turning into a contraceptive will.

  253. Cindi says:

    Sorry for using the word “ignorant” or sounding judgemental but a lot of people are misinformed on this topic. I could also refer you to the material available from Jason Everett at True Love. He has shown that NFP doesn’t require “serious” nor “grave” reasons- only JUST reasons.

    I will be spending probably a lot of time going through the EWTN archives today looking for a Mitch Pakwa show from last year. On that show, there was a lady who shot down the whole notion of “using NFP for the wrong reasons.” All she had to do was ask, “Well, what do you mean by ‘wrong’ reasons” and the caller got real quiet.

    There has been a huge increase in the amount of knowlege we all have in this area thanks to Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body (I recommnend Christopher West’s work before trying to understand TOTB)and work done by a lot of dedicated lay people.

  254. RBrown says:

    Rome’s patience with these lunatics has been to the point where many of us who are Faithful Catholics have had it.
    Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have been EXTREMELY patient and kind and generous and solicitous towards these insufferable cranks and the reward for their efforts has been they have are repeatedly and savagely and personally attacked in public by these schismatics.
    Comment by Not Spartacus

    Rome should be patient because it was Rome that was the cause of the problem. The program for the destruction of the liturgy carried out during the papacy of Paul VI brought with it the persecution of anyone who objected.

    Everyone now should know what I suspected before: For years homosexual priests (including those molesting altar boys) were treated better than good priests who wanted to use the 1962 Missal, or even say the NO in Latin.

    Papa Ratzinger well understands the damage done by the persecution campaign against the SSPX by bishops, beginning with Paul VI. He also understands that it is folly to think that somehow a wand can be waived, and the damage done to the relations between the SSPX and Rome would be suddenly repaired.

  255. Michael B. says:

    Kgurries,
    Thanks for the great link.

  256. Michael says:

    Cindi, but we still do not know of a Magisterial document that supports your thesis. Could you come off the fence ?

    If you have digested Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body, why not give an answer if it is there, instead of coming with recommendations as to what we should read.

    I wouldn’t have been silenced by that “lady who shot down the whole notion of ‘using NFP for the wrong reasons’”, but would have asked her about the right ones. The wrong reason is certainly the contraceptive intention, which can be involved even if one uses NFP. You can find about it in the Vol. II (Living a Christian Life, p.510) of the Grisez’ manual of Moral Theology (The Way of the Lord Jesus). He gives reference to the Pope’s Address to the Participants in the Course on Natural Family Planning in December 1990.

    Contraception in marriage is an evil act. The NPF can be if used indiscriminately, with a contraceptive intent. I do not share the view of those who maintain that a recourse to it should be so limited as to amount to celibacy, or make of a marriage exclusively a breeding unit.

  257. gsk says:

    But NFP with the “wrong” intention (what some would call selfishness) is simply a lack of generosity, not a mortal sin. There is a big difference, still, between NFP badly used and contraception. The beautiful thing about NFP is that even when the couples are perhaps more reticent than they should be about creating new life, the graces of the sacrament of matrimony still flow freely. That’s why so many who use it conservatively often have a change of heart and have another child anyway. Contraception entrenches a couple in sin that is hard to overcome without the graces they should be getting.

  258. Tomas says:

    Cindi:

    What would your “lady on EWTN” have to say about this from pope John Paul II?
    http://www.audiosancto.org/auweb/20040718-Holy-Matrimony-and-NFP.mp3

  259. Jim Dorchak says:

    Michael, Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is clear. Extra in Latin means “outside.” It does not mean “without” as some prominent “conservatives” have tried to interpret it. Dogma is defined to clarify. I understand exactly what the magisterium is stating in the three dogmatic declarations and I submit to the magisterium. Do you?

    GSK: I see you have refused to answer my questions regarding if it is possible for a wife to have lived her vocation fully by being generous by being open to life and raising and educating her children in a saintly fashion without any other professional interests outside the home. Is this included in “feminine genius”?

    I don’t think too many traditional Catholic moms I know need defense from those “conservative” Catholic moms who think they are more up-to-date and defending them from their “mysogynist” husbands. It is really kind of hubris, really, not to mention off-putting and somewhat judgmental.

  260. Antiquarian says:

    The magisterial statement is not “outside the church there is no salvation” but “extra ecclesiam nulla salus” and that is a more nuanced phrase than some would apparently like.

    “Extra” can indeed mean outside of, beyond, without, apart from, or except for. (The phrase “extra iocum” is conventionally translated “joking apart, for example.) Likewise, the elliptical nature of Latin usage in which the verb can be understood makes EENS a more subtle challenge to concretely translate.

    The Church is not expressing a simple idea, and has not expressed it simplistically.

  261. Brian Mershon says:

    GSK: Using NFP for purely contraceptive reasons without grave reason (putting aside the silly “”just” reasons argument, certainly could be gravely sinful.

    NOT Jim Dorchak, but Brian Mershon from Jim Dorchak’s computer, just as the other post was with his name on it.

  262. Brian Mershon says:

    Dogma is meant to define. The three dogmas are very clear. For those of you who want to parse dogmatic definitions with your own commentaries just like the historical-critical Scripture scholars do, be my guest.

    The Church allows for the interpretation that Fr. Feeney held to, along with his theological speculation, and therefore, since my own understanding is more allowing for explicit Faith, and maybe, implicit Faith, understanding.

    In any case, dogmas define. Read the dogmas listed above. Dogmatic definitions are meant to clarify. Those three are clear. Commentaries or nuances on the dogma which end up changing the dogma are quite questionable.

    Outside the Church, there is no salvation. Invincible ignorance neither saves nor damns a person.

  263. gsk says:

    Heavens, is this backwards Brian. I’m not being judgemental. I’m a stay-at-home mother who homeschooled many years. No one is saying that’s wrong or “non-genius.” The burden is in the other direction. It’s the stay-at-home crowd who say that it’s the only way. They’re the ones being judgemental, and the bishop confirmed it with his “private opinion” (which I contend is common among his flock, flowing from the liturgical situation).

  264. Michael says:

    Jim Dorchak, I wouldn’t venture the claim that I “understand exactly” what the “magisterium is stating” if you mean that you rule out any misunderstanding, because it would imply infallibility. If you don’t imply an infallibility, you have to admit the possibility of error, and if so, all you can only say that you think that you understand exactly.

    Like Brian, you seem to interpret the word “outside”, or whatever other expression you might find adequate to render the Latin (Antiquarian lists four), as denoting all those who are not on records in Catholic perishes, as baptized or received into the Church. If not, what do you mean by the “Church” and who is “outside” in the context of the Church thus conceived? If yes, I am asking you as I did Brian: could you provide evidence from the Documents themselves, whether already quoted by him or others (other documents), that would support your understanding of the word “outside”? It is easy to find an English word in a Latin – English dictionary, but this is not what I asked Brian.

    I, of course, submit to the Magisterium, and it is exactly for that reason that I do not want to attribute to the Magisterium that meaning which I think is attributable to it, which is, by the way, far from being “clear” in the dogmatic documents referred to by Brian, and even if it were “clear” I would say: it is clear to me, and wouldn’t venture a claim that it is what the Magisterium actually means. Otherwise, I would claim infallibility.

    To Brian Mershon – I have just read his new contribution to the subject – all is even “very” clear: just “Read the dogmas”! But he still doesn’t tell us whether those who are not on records in Catholic perishes, as baptized or received into the Church, are “in” or “out”; nor does he provide a document that would endorse his view to that effect.

  265. Cindi says:

    I was told I’d be wasting my time trying to discuss Salvation of Desire or NFP within a providentialist framework. I shouldn’t have been so skeptical.

    I quit!

  266. Bryan Dunne says:

    Here is an extract from the letter that Pope Paul VI opm sent to Mgsr Marcel Lefebvre on 11th October 1976

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/letters/1976/documents/hf_p-vi_let_19761011_arc-lefebvre_lt.html

    To me the words of Pope Paul VI below: “quam «Romam ad neo-modernismum
    et neo-protestantismum proclivem» esse criminaris…”
    indicate to me that Pope Paul VI felt that Mgsr Lefebvre
    was accusing him of being a neo-modernist and neo-protestant.
    The whole of the letter sheds great light on the issues.

    An extract from http://www.vatican.va

    Modus denique agendi tuus non sibi constat; siquidem, ut dicis, pravis usibus,
    quibus Ecclesia foedatur, vis mederi; quereris quod auctoritati in Ecclesia
    non satis honoris habetur; tutari vis fidem authenticam, existimationem
    sacerdotii ministerialis et animorum ardorem ad Eucharistiam, in eius plenitudine
    acceptam, quatenus est sacrificium et sacramentum: qui zelus Nostram per se mereretur
    probationem confirmationemque, quia de rebus agitur, quae, una cum evangelizatione
    christianorumque unitate, sunt vigiles curae Nostrae, intima ratio ministerii
    Nostri apostolici. Verumtamen quomodo, ut hoc munus impleas, potes simul asserere
    te officio teneri repugnandi Concilio recens celebrato — idque contra Fratres tuos
    in Episcopatu — diffidendi ipsi Sedi Apostolicae, quam «Romam ad neo-modernismum
    et neo-protestantismum proclivem» esse criminaris, oboedientiam Nobis debitam aperte
    denegandi? Si revera, ut in postrema epistula privata asseverasti,
    «sub auctoritate Nostra» vis operari, oportet in primis finem imponas huiusmodi
    ambiguitatibus atque discordi ac discrepanti agendi modo.FINIS

  267. RBrown says:

    Here is an extract from the letter that Pope Paul VI opm sent to Mgsr Marcel Lefebvre on 11th October 1976

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/letters/1976/documents/hf_p-vi_let_19761011_arc-lefebvre_lt.html

    To me the words of Pope Paul VI below: “quam «Romam ad neo-modernismum
    et neo-protestantismum proclivem» esse criminaris…”
    indicate to me that Pope Paul VI felt that Mgsr Lefebvre
    was accusing him of being a neo-modernist and neo-protestant.
    The whole of the letter sheds great light on the issues.
    Comment by Bryan Dunne —

    Msgr Lefebvre wasn’t the first to accuse Paul VI of being inclined toward Protestantism. In the famous Ottaviani/Bacci intervention of 1969, the Protestant influence on the liturgical changes of Paul VI is noted more than once.

    http://www.fisheaters.com/ottavianiintervention.html

  268. Michael says:

    Malta 23rd July says, “ the new mass fosters almost no belief in the Real Presence”, and Fr.Z comments:
    “This can’t stand. Everything depends on how the NO is celebrated. The NO was certainly not an obstacle for my coming to belief in the Real Presence. Again, much depend on how it is celebrated.”

    It wasn’t an obstacle to Fr. Z because he learned about the Real Presence and accepted it not from the Mass but in his study of doctrine; then he read it into the text of the NO – all my guess.
    He seems to identify the Mass with the Missal and other instructions. Of course, these can be interpreted in a Catholic way, and the Mass celebrated accordingly.

    But they don’t have to, and frequently aren’t. Malta might have got his/her figures too high, but the fact is that complaints are coming from everywhere, and Malta evidently has the Mass in mind not the Missal, which is a bunch of papers. The Mass is an event each time when it is celebrated, not the book, which tell us what it is and how it should be celebrated.

    And from the Mass–as-celebrted viewpoint, it may well be that the properly celebrated Mass is an exception rather than the rule, which raises the question what is the properly celebrated Mass. If the papal masses are taken as a standard, the Mass ad orientem is an “abuse”, for example..

  269. Brian Mershon says:

    Michael, You seem to be the one obsessed with personal commentaries about the dogmas. You keep wanting my commentary on it. Every book I have read, starting with Denzinger’s, for one, has it read “Outside the Church, there is no salvation.” This included, before they die, those who are visible members who die in the state of grace, and those who may be invisible members by an explicit Faith. Some posit an “implicit” Faith being capable of saving, but I am not so sure.

    Again, I can resubmit the three dogmatic statements. They are clear. They need no deconstructing nor commentary for better “explanation” by me, by you, nor by anyone else.

    I assent to the magisterium as expressed in these dogmas. Any “development” that might have occured along the way, I understand “in light of Tradition,” which means, let’s go back to the dogmas.

  270. Michael says:

    Brian Mershon, kindly do not use the attributes like “obsessed”.

    It seems to me, not that much of what you say is, in fact, a commentary – that is evident to me; but that you do not realize it, and believe that your commentary is “clearly” what the “dogmatic” statements assert.

    I have asked for explanation, that is supported by documents themselves, as to who is “in” and who is “out”, and instead of receiving a reply that is clear to you and will be clear to me, I am left to make a guess that the “visible members” are in, that the “invisible members” with an “explicit Faith” are or might be, and about others, presumably the non-members with and “implicit Faith” you are not sure. If my guess is right, could you provide evidence from Documents for your assertions; if wrong, could you correct me, and provide evidence from Documents that my guesses thus corrected are true.

    Which members are “visible”, which are “invisible”, and what the “Faith” is in this context?

    Could you provide evidence from Documents that the “dogmatic” statements referred to by you are really “dogmas”? What is “Tradition”? What does it mean: “go back to dogmas”?

    I can assure you that I accept all the dogmas whatever they are, as well as assent to the “non-infallible” teaching the Magisterium; including, of course, what has been taught on this subject by Pius IX, Pius XII (Holy Office), Paul VI (Creed) and Vatican II (LG 14), whereby the latter is the key for understanding what preceded it, not the other way round.

    “The office of interpreting authentically the word of God, whether scriptural or traditional (Ref. to Denz. 1792 (3011)), has been entrusted exclusively to the living voice of the Church’s magisterium (Ref. to Denz. 2314 (3886)), whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” (DV 10/2)

    My commitment is to the present or the most recent magisterium on any given subject, which I try to grasp and make my own, to the best of my abilities, never claiming to make magisterium of myself.

    If there is any lack of clarity in my position I will be happy to explain.

  271. Fr. Marie-Paul says:

    Dear Mr. Mershon,

    I adhere to all the teachings of the Church as INTERPRETED BY THE MAGISTERIUM, not as interpreted by my own personal opinion, or as interpreted by self-appointed “guardians” like excommunicated schismatic SSPX Bishops. Reading Tradition (including encyclicals, council documents etc) in the light of personal opinion and judging the Magisterium is one monstrously proud soul. It is the Protestant process applied to Tradition rather than the Bible as Protestants do (who jettison Tradition as well).

    Following the Protestant process is what the devil did when tempting Jesus. The devil took sound bites of God’s own Word and quoted it to Jesus. So when you hear these sound bites (is it “read bites” for blogs?) standing on their own, one can personally interpret erroneously. That’s why only the Magisterium interprets the teachings and it does so in the light of Tradition, taking into account not only the sound bites but all the doctrine. (Others have quoted some details above already). Trads and Feeneyites fall sucker to this devil’s process. It is sadly laughable that individual persons take one sound bite of Tradition and compare it to other sound bites and then claim the Church went wrong, and their personal interpretation of Tradition is right. What wide-road behavior. That is why there are 30000+ denominations who fracture from Bible interpretation. Give us 500 years, and there will be 30000 SSPX groups too, unless they reunify with and under Peter.

    Vatican II is the latest official interpretation of no salvation outside the Church dogma. Lumen Gentium did not declare *new* dogmas, but only repeated existing ones. So as the ordinary and universal Magisterium, what did LG 16 teach? That it is possible for non-baptized people to be saved. Now it is certainly much less likely given the lack of access to Graces that Catholics have. But it is possible. Nor does Vatican II recommend that one stay in their own religion. It says that one cannot be forced into Catholicism against their will. Real conversions are never forced anyway – they are chosen. Now dissenters also take the sound bite approach and misapply the teachings as a lie. And this scandal of certain modernists is what drives people into trad doctrinal positions, unfortunately.

    Did St. Athanasius leave the Church and found his own group? NO. Did the other Apostles and Disciples leave because of the scandals of Judas Iscariot, or St. Peter? NO. Why does SSPX?

    Due to length, I quote only about half of the Holy Office’s letter to Archbishop Cushing regarding Feeney and MICM (Aug. 8, 1949):

    After having examined all the documents that are necessary or useful in this matter, among them information from your Chancery, as well as appeals and reports in which the associates of “St. Benedict Center” explain their opinions and complaints, and also many other documents pertinent to the controversy, officially collected, the same Sacred Congregation is convinced that the unfortunate controversy arose from the fact that the axiom, “outside the Church there is no salvation,” was not correctly understood and weighed, and that the same controversy was rendered more bitter by serious disturbance of discipline arising from the fact that some of the associates of the institutions mentioned above refused reverence and obedience to legitimate authorities.

    However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church.

    Therefore, no one will be saved who, knowing the Church to have been divinely established by Christ, nevertheless refuses to submit to the Church or withholds obedience from the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth. (LG16 has this in it also)

    In His infinite mercy God has willed that the effects, necessary for one to be saved, of those helps to salvation which are directed toward man’s final end, not by intrinsic necessity, but only by divine institution, can also be obtained in certain circumstances when those helps are used only in desire and longing. This we see clearly stated in the Sacred Council of Trent, both in reference to the sacrament of regeneration and in reference to the sacrament of penance (, nn. 797, 807).

    However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God.

    These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, (AAS, Vol. 35, an. 1943, p. 193 ff.). For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members, and those who are united to the Church only by desire.

    Toward the end of this same encyclical letter, when most affectionately inviting to unity those who do not belong to the body of the Catholic Church, he mentions those who “are related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer by a certain unconscious yearning and desire,” and these he by no means excludes from eternal salvation, but on the other hand states that they are in a condition “in which they cannot be sure of their salvation” since “they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church” (AAS, 1. c., p. 243). With these wise words he reproves both those who exclude from eternal salvation all united to the Church only by implicit desire, and those who falsely assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion (cf. Pope Pius IX, Allocution, , in , n. 1641 ff.; also Pope Pius IX in the encyclical letter, , in , n. 1677).

    From what has been said it is evident that those things which are proposed in the periodical , fascicle 3, as the genuine teaching of the Catholic Church are far from being such and are very harmful both to those within the Church and those without.

    Therefore, let them who in grave peril are ranged against the Church seriously bear in mind that after “Rome has spoken” they cannot be excused even by reasons of good faith. Certainly, their bond and duty of obedience toward the Church is much graver than that of those who as yet are related to the Church “only by an unconscious desire.” Let them realize that they are children of the Church, lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments, and hence, having heard the clear voice of their Mother, they cannot be excused from culpable ignorance, and therefore to them apply without any restriction that principle: submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation.

    The Magisterium has spoken.

    Your statement that Fr. Feeney was correct in his theological position is based simply on your personal inference that the discipline where Fr. Feeney would normally publicly recant his position was not demanded. Let’s hope he did recant in his heart.

    Fr. Feeney could refuse to deal with Rome, and so accept the consequences. We know what pleading the 5th is all about, don’t we? Avoid self-incrimination. In such a case the last official position stands, and thus the letter quoted (in part) above deals with the doctrinal issue. Fr. Feeney was wrong.

    Lumen Gentium states the official Magisterial position on the matter, in concord with the 1949 (before Vatican II) letter. That is the teaching that I follow, and the one that all Catholics should follow. Unfortunately you repeat the same SSPX error of thinking that your interpretation, as set against the Magisterium, is right. Change your thinking for your salvation.

  272. Brian Mershon says:

    Fr. Paul Marie: “Vatican II is the latest official interpretation of no salvation outside the Church dogma.”

    Funny, I thought dogmatic statements were meant to clarify. I didn’t know they needed further “interpreting.”

    From Vatican I: “Hence, too,that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.”

  273. Brian Mershon says:

    Michael, The Church has visible members and perhaps, some who are invisible members. Only God knows those who might be invisible members.

    Pope Pius IX, A.D. 1846-1878: “It is necessary that you inculcate this salutary teaching in the souls of those who exaggerate the power of human reason to such a point that they dare, by its power, to investigate and explain the mysteries themselves, than which nothing is more foolish, nothing more insane. Strive to call them back from such a perversity of mind, explaining indeed that nothing was granted to men by God’s Providence more excellent than the authority of the divine faith, that this faith is to us like a torch in the darkness, that it is the leader that we follow to Life, that it is absolutely necessary for salvation, since “without faith it is impossible to please God,” and “he that believeth not shall be condemned (Mark 16, 16).”" (Singulari Quadam)

  274. Dominic says:

    One of my friends, a teacher in a SSPX school, made a witty little remark to me after reading Bishop Tissier’s remarks:

    “…we have to have an end game strategy that does not involve Petrus Romanus.”

    I thought that was a good one-liner that says it all!

  275. Jordanes says:

    Brian Mershon said: Funny, I thought dogmatic statements were meant to clarify. I didn’t know they needed further “interpreting.”

    Now you do.

  276. Brian Mershon says:

    Jordanes: Perhaps this is the “clarification” you are referring to. Seems clear to me. Apply it to the new interpreters of EENS.

    From Vatican I: “Hence, too,that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.”

  277. Patrick says:

    Brian,

    How is the current “version” of EENS any different than the old one?

  278. Jordanes says:

    Brian, your comment has nothing to do with my point, which is that there is no such thing as a clarifying statement that needs no interpretation. Understanding dogmatic statements is impossible without interpretation.

  279. Brian Mershon says:

    Patrick, Joran(es),

    As long as this from Vatican I and this from Pope Pius XII are the lens from which we view the three dogmatic definitions, then I believe we are in conformity with Church teaching. Dogmatic defitions do not need to be PARSED nor DECONSTRUCTED. THEY are the clarifying element, NOT the deconstructionists nor commentators explanations.

    If we understand “the current catechism’s” and “Vatican II’s” teaching on EENS in light of these texts (through this lens, and especially with the dogmatic definitions as the basis (not vice versa as nearly everyone does nowadays), then there is no problem.

    From Vatican I: “Hence, too,that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.”

    From Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis: “27. Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.[6] Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian faith.”

  280. Jordanes says:

    Brian, I must disagree in part. Dogmatic definitions do need to be “parsed” sometimes, but they should never be deconstructed. For example, in the definition of the Assumption, some people miss that the question of whether or not the Blessed Virgin died was left unaddressed. A closer reading brings that out.

    If we understand “the current catechism’s” and “Vatican II’s” teaching on EENS in light of these texts (through this lens, and especially with the dogmatic definitions as the basis (not vice versa as nearly everyone does nowadays), then there is no problem.

    Yes. Even so, what Vatican II had to say is a magisterial and authoritative exposition of EENS. Consequently the simple declaration, “Outside/apart from the Church is no salvation,” must be understood in light of what the Church herself, gathered in oecumenical council in union with the Roman Pontiff, has most recently said about it.

  281. Brian Mershon says:

    Jordan(es),

    Not trying to be coy, but what specifically did the Second Vatican Council say about it in a doctrinal fashion?

    Lumen Gentium touched upon it in “subsistit in,” but the Vatican’s clarification document last year merely affirmed what traditionalists have said along.

    And Nostra Aetate and some other document said some platitudinal things about the Jews and Muslims, but other than mentioning these followers of false religions by name, there is nothing really binding or new here–and these documents–apart from the dogmatic definitions and previous doctrinal teachings certainly cannot stand on their own–which is unfortunately how nearly everyone–including seminarians at the NAC read them.

    Vatican II can be understood as the Pope has said, only “in light of Tradition,” but if no one in seminary reads much else besides Vatican II and the Nouvelle Theologians alongside the Bible, how is this going to present a balanced picture.

    Again, the dogmatic definitions are clear. And DEFINITE. The commentaries and “explanations” are NOT. They actually have very little authority at all.

  282. Brian Mershon says:

    Another way to understand our discussion, and apparent differences is this. You want to emphasize that the dogmas must seen through the “lens” of Vatican II.

    I want to make distinctions among the various levels of authority of magisterial teaching and then read MOST of Vatican II (if we have to) through the lens of TRADITION and the higher theological level doctrines/definitions.

    Nostra Aetate, for instance, if most likely a very low level authority document. Whatever disagreements it causes among its interpreters is cleared up when it is measured against Tradition, Sacred Scripture and defined dogmas.

    Does this make sense?

  283. Michael says:

    RBrown,
    while involved in an exchange with Cindi and others on the NFP, I somehow overlooked your comment on the subject, on 26th July. Had you started with my name I wouldn’t have skipped it.

    “Although there are certainly some “oughts” in Morality, that is not a appropriate description of Moral D. Thomists have long objected to such an approach (known as Deontological [duty] morals.”
    I didn’t even think on duty morality; it is a misunderstanding. As Cindi referred to the recent research in her stand for an indiscriminate (at least that is how I understood her) NFP, and I took the word “research” as referring to an empirical research, I wanted to say that a morality is not to be derived from it, because the empirical research can only tell us what the things are, and a leap from it to what the things ought to be is logically impossible. Morality is about choices for good or evil, i.e. what ought to be done or ought not to be done, as different from a research which leads to knowledge of what is or is not. The recent research about fertility/infertility can only help us forecast an outcome of intercourse during fertile or infertile times, not what is morally right (i.e. ought to be chosen) or morally wrong (ought not to be chosen). Duty can be a motif of what ought to be done, love can be another, social convention yet another, internalization of parental attitude also, fear of punishment too. All these motives come under “ought” or “ought not”, and are distinguished from empirical discoveries of what the things are or are not.

    What you refer to as prescription or proscription, is, I believe, the same as positive and negative norms. The latter are binding always and in all circumstances, the former are binding always in principle, but not in all circumstances. I do not think we have an issue with it.

    I said: “NFP can easily turn into into . . . a contraceptive will”, and you object. Again, I think it is a misunderstanding, for which I apologize, and I am grateful for your comment. I have no objection to what you say, as far as it goes.

    My point is that the morality is primarily in our will to choose this or that. If one’s will is to kill somebody, and chooses to do so, he has committed an evil choice regardless of whether he has managed to execute this choice or not.

    Contraception is evil because it involves an anti-life will – it is an act against conception. This anti-life will can be involved in the NFP, if it doesn’t differ, I mean if the will doesn’t differ from the anti-life will of a contraceptor.
    This should not be the case in a reasonable recourse to the NFP. As you say: “NFP functions within the natural fertility cycle and demands periods of abstinence within its practice. Unlike contraception, which acts against the fertility cycle, this abstinence instead manifests respect it” In these cases the will is not directed against the coming to be of new life (and, by the way, if a conception takes place the couple with a will which is not directed against life will not have a recourse to an abortion).

    But I said and say that the “NFP can easily turn into into . . . a contraceptive will” if what God has given us as gift to both strengthen the bond of marriage and to procreate, turns into a will to enjoy life and set the procreation aside. Pope John Paul II referred to this in his address to Participants in a Course on NFP in December 1990.

    Extreme example for illustration of how I understand this. A young, say 20, couple chose to promote a carrier at work, they spend time and resources making a house a cosy place to live, have long holidays without commitments etc, choose to put off family until a wife is approaching an age when one can expect complications with pregnancy; and, in the meantime engage in as much sexual life as the NFP permits it…. their will is, I mean their will as such is, de facto directed against conception, and doesn’t differ, I mean the will doesn’t differ from the will of those who do the same but use contraceptives. Their physical behaviour is different, but the will – and a morality is primarily in the will – is the same.

    Now, between the reasonable recourse to the NFP and this extreme behaviour, there are gradations, which only those involved can analyse between them and determine when their will has turned into a contraceptive will. On the other hand, they should not turn their life into a forced celibacy, or run a risk of adultery, as some suggest in their comments. It is here that the conscience comes in – they are alone before God.

    Cindi seemed to be enthusiastic on NFP, and I agree in principle, but we must not, by putting all hopes in it, turn the NFP into the eighth sacrament..

  284. Jordanes says:

    (Brian)es,

    You asked what specifically the Second Vatican Council said about EENS in a doctrinal fashion. You will find your answer in the Council’s dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium 14-16. I won’t quote those paragraphs here to save space.

    And Nostra Aetate and some other document said some platitudinal things about the Jews and Muslims, but other than mentioning these followers of false religions by name, there is nothing really binding or new here

    True, nothing really new. But nothing really binding? You mean a Catholic may freely reject them?

    these documents—apart from the dogmatic definitions and previous doctrinal teachings certainly cannot stand on their own

    The dogmatic definitions and previous doctrinal teachings certainly cannot stand on their own either. But just because they cannot stand on their own, that doesn’t mean they aren’t true or are not binding on the conscience of Catholics.

    Again, the dogmatic definitions are clear. And DEFINITE. The commentaries and “explanations” are NOT. They actually have very little authority at all.

    Lumen Gentium is not a theologian’s commentary, but it does give explanations, and it has very great authority, and it is a dogmatic constitution of an oecumenical council formally approved by the Roman Pontiff.

    You want to emphasize that the dogmas must seen through the “lens” of Vatican II.

    No, I don’t. I just want to understand and believe everything that the Church has formally taught on this subject.

    I want to make distinctions among the various levels of authority of magisterial teaching and then read MOST of Vatican II (if we have to) through the lens of TRADITION and the higher theological level doctrines/definitions.

    I also want to make distinctions among the various levels of authority of magisterial teaching. However, I also want to read ALL, not just most, of Vatican II through the lens of Apostolic Tradition and the higher theological level doctrines and definitions. Reading Vatican II through the lens of Apostolic Tradition is not optional. It’s the only way properly to understand Vatican II, and the only way Vatican II can possibly be of any benefit to anyone. And accepting the validity and authority of Vatican II is also not optional, just as it will not be optional to reject the next valid oecumenical council that builds upon or even hypothetically rescinds in whole or in part the pastoral provisions of Vatican II.

    Nostra Aetate, for instance, is most likely a very low level authority document. Whatever disagreements it causes among its interpreters is cleared up when it is measured against Tradition, Sacred Scripture and defined dogmas.

    True. Still, even an oecumenical council’s low level authority documents are pretty weighty in terms of authority. I’ve also found Nostra Aetate very easy to read in the light of Tradition, Scripture, and prior Magisterium. It’s Dignitatis Humanae that present the real challenge, though with that document I’ve found the examinations and syntheses of Father Harrison, David Palm, and Thomas Storck to be of great help.

    Does this make sense?

    Yes. I think I see what you’re getting at. I hope my meaning is clear too.

  285. Michael says:

    Brian Mershon, I have asked who are the “visible members”, and received no reply. Could you come off the fence ?

    How do you conceive the “Church”, what does the “has” mean in the context. How do you conceive the “members” ? What do you mean by “invisible members”. Ghosts? Those who are not baptized ?

    If all this is clear to you but not to me, what is the point to continue if you do not want to explain the meaning of the words you use ?

    I did not rule out a lack of clarity in what I said last time, and expressed my willingness to explain my position. But now I am beginning to wander whether your accept DV 10, which I quoted.

    Re: Pius IX, I accept all that, and I knew all that, but see no relevance in the context. Could you explain where you see the relevance.

  286. Brian Mershon says:

    Michael,

    Michael: Brian Mershon, I have asked who are the “visible members”, and received no reply. Could you come off the fence ?

    BCM: Fence? Those who are incorporated into the Church through baptism, receive the sacraments from those apostolic successors and their priests and recognize the authority of them and obey (in matters of faith and morals and discipline) and hold the Faith.

    Weird. Read St. Robert Bellarmine for the conditions of being a Catholic or “member” of the Church.

    Michael: How do you conceive the “Church”, what does the “has” mean in the context. How do you conceive the “members” ? What do you mean by “invisible members”. Ghosts? Those who are not baptized ?

    BCM: Members? See above. Those “invisible” members may be those who sincerely desire to be members of Christ’s Church and/or seek truth to the best of their ability and live a life and die in God’s grace. A pretty tall order. This is “baptism of desire” so called.

    Michael: If all this is clear to you but not to me, what is the point to continue if you do not want to explain the meaning of the words you use ?

    BCM: Outside the Church, there is no salvation. It is clear it is our duty to witness to others and to evangelize to bring them to the Faith of the Church. Those “invisible” members are God’s duty to judge, not ours–either for heaven, nor against.

    Michael: I did not rule out a lack of clarity in what I said last time, and expressed my willingness to explain my position. But now I am beginning to wander whether your accept DV 10, which I quoted.

    BCM: What is the relevance of Dei Verbum?

    Michael: Re: Pius IX, I accept all that, and I knew all that, but see no relevance in the context. Could you explain where you see the relevance.

    BCM: Many today spend so much time explaining the unexplainable mystery of the “exceptions” of the possibility for salvation for those who are not formal members of the Church, they spend 99% of their time assuring people those people probably can/will be saved, that they neglect the clear meaning of the dogma–Outside the Church, there is no salvation. Souls are in jeopardy if we don’t try to plant seeds to bring them to the Church and the Truth.

    The “meaningless formula” Pius XII warns about was the ruminations of many of the nouvelle theologians writings on EENS, who then inserted their “meaningless formulas” into some of the texts of the Council, and now, into the new Catechism.

    That is the way I read it. Also with regard to the Vatican I declaration on “seeking a more profound meaning” of the dogma of EENS, when the three dogmatic definitions are quite clear.

  287. Michael says:

    Brian Mershon,

    Your concept of members is perfectly applicable to the Orthodox, and unless the omission of the Pope is done inadvertently, you seem to suggest that for the full membership it is not necessary to accept the supreme power of the Pope in all matters pertaining to the faith, morals, discipline and government.

    I still don’t know how do you conceive the Church; and as for the members in this question I meant what is your concept of membership. Is it a membership like that of a golf club or political party?

    Do you accept Pius XII and the Vatican II doctrine on membership? Do you accept the doctrine on salvation as proposed by Paul VI in the Credo, and by Vatican II in LG. ?

    Is a sincere atheist who lives according to the natural low and not guilty for being atheist a member of the Church, or he will perish in eternal fire for being what he is through no fault of his own.

    I still do not know who is, according to your view, identifiably Outside the Church.

    I still do not know whether you accept DV 10, which I quoted.

    And there are also some other points I raised in the course of this exchange and received not response.

    To answer your question, the DV 10 is highly relevant, because all that pertains to the deposit of faith: scripture, worship, life of the Church, Fathers, Doctors, documents of the Magisterim throughout the history, inclusive of documents you quote about salvation, is authentically interpreted for us here and now by the living Magisterium, i.e. the present Pope and Bishops who are in communion with him, which is neither your nor me. It is a traditional moral principle that we have to assent to all teaching of the Magisterium even if not proposed infallibly. And this teaching on any particular subject is impossible without interpretation of teaching of the earlier Magisterium on the same subject. It is our moral obligation to accept the former, regardless of what we might make out, as private persons, about meaning of the latter. If our understanding of the latter seems clear to us, and we cannot accept the former, we have to ask ourselves: are we really in communion of faith with the former, because when dogmas at stake there can be no communion of two irreconcilable faiths.

    Do you accept it or not? If you do, we can continue a dialogue, if you don’t there is no point of continuing because we are operating on different pitches and cannot understand one another. From your viewpoint I will perish because I do not accept what you call the “clear” meaning of what your conceive to be the “dogma”, in spite of the fact that your have put it to me on a plate as a generous gift – so, no invincible ignorance is possible; from my point of view if I perish it will be because of other things; and if I were to accept your understanding of the dogma on salvation as clear, I would certainly perish, because it would be the sin against Faith.

    We seem to be irreconcilably far apart. I think this is a fair statement of facts.

  288. Brian Mershon says:

    Michael said: Your concept of members is perfectly applicable to the Orthodox, and unless the omission of the Pope is done inadvertently, you seem to suggest that for the full membership it is not necessary to accept the supreme power of the Pope in all matters pertaining to the faith, morals, discipline and government.

    BCM: This included the Pope.

    Michael: I still don’t know how do you conceive the Church; and as for the members in this question I meant what is your concept of membership. Is it a membership like that of a golf club or political party?

    BCM: http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=1357

    Do you accept Pius XII and the Vatican II doctrine on membership?

    BCM: As far as I can discern, the terms “conversion,” “membership” and some other key terms used in the Bible, with the Fathers of the Church, and nearly all pre-Conciliar encyclicals, are strangely missing in the Vatican II documents. I do not believe any Vatican II document, including Lumen Gentium, talks about “membership.”

    Michael: Do you accept the doctrine on salvation as proposed by Paul VI in the Credo, and by Vatican II in LG. ?

    BCM: Yes. In light of Tradition, and especially, the three dogmatic definitions on EENS. Which part of LG are you referring to?

    Michael: Is a sincere atheist who lives according to the natural low and not guilty for being atheist a member of the Church, or he will perish in eternal fire for being what he is through no fault of his own.

    BCM: God gives everyone signal graces and the opportunity for salvation. If he is a “sincere” atheist, then it is very difficult for it to be “through no fault of his own.”

    Only God knows. Why is this so important for you to know? Pius IX explicilty stated we are not to inquire about the individual salvation of specific people. Do you hold to Pius IX’s admonition?

    Michael: I still do not know who is, according to your view, identifiably Outside the Church.

    BCM: Go back the membership article. The Church includes the Church militant, suffering and triumphant. Read St. Robert Bellarmine and the link I included. It is not MY view. I have no view other than the Church’s.

    Michael: I still do not know whether you accept DV 10, which I quoted.

    BCM: There are nearly 300 posts here. I don’t have time to scroll for it. If you want me to read it, repost it. I doubt that DV 10 is infallible in any regard. I think that Dei Verbum has some serious theological shortcomings compared to the Church’s ordinary and universal teaching prior to the Council. I don’t know why you think DV 10 is so important.

    Michael: And there are also some other points I raised in the course of this exchange and received not response.

    BCM: Probably there are. Would you like me spoon feed you. If you want ‘em, list ‘em. You could e-mail me at bcmershon@juno.com rather than boring everyone here.

    Michael: To answer your question, the DV 10 is highly relevant, because all that pertains to the deposit of faith: scripture, worship, life of the Church, Fathers, Doctors, documents of the Magisterim throughout the history, inclusive of documents you quote about salvation, is authentically interpreted for us here and now by the living Magisterium, i.e. the present Pope and Bishops who are in communion with him, which is neither your nor me.

    BCM: Post it again. Methinks you overstate DV’s magisterial authority based on your previous post.

    Michael: It is a traditional moral principle that we have to assent to all teaching of the Magisterium even if not proposed infallibly.

    BCM: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… And you are hear to test me, right? Are you my local Ordinary? What authority do you have to test me on my adherence to the Faith? Somewhat presumptuous perhaps–bordering on pride?

    Michael: And this teaching on any particular subject is impossible without interpretation of teaching of the earlier Magisterium on the same subject. It is our moral obligation to accept the former, regardless of what we might make out, as private persons, about meaning of the latter.

    BCM: Huh?

    Michael: If our understanding of the latter seems clear to us, and we cannot accept the former, we have to ask ourselves: are we really in communion of faith with the former, because when dogmas at stake there can be no communion of two irreconcilable faiths.

    BCM: Oh my goodness gracious… Who said anything about two irreconcilable faiths? We have documents with different levels of teaching authority. You want to wash all that away and act like one part of DV is infallible. I would like for us to return to the dogmatic definitions that everyone ignores nowadays. Definitions are meant to clarify. The three dogmas on EENS are clear–crystally.

    Michael: Do you accept it or not?

    BCM: The Grand Inquisitor!!! Are you a Dominican friar perchance?

    Michael: If you do, we can continue a dialogue, if you don’t there is no point of continuing because we are operating on different pitches and cannot understand one another.

    BCM: Accept what? Your reasoning that you are holding up as magisterial? All based upon DV 10?

    Let me make this crystal clear, in ALL of the Vatican II’s documents that involve matters of Faith and Morals (much of it does not), I accept as understood in light of Tradition. How is that?

    Michael: From your viewpoint I will perish because I do not accept what you call the “clear” meaning of what your conceive to be the “dogma”, in spite of the fact that your have put it to me on a plate as a generous gift – so, no invincible ignorance is possible;

    BCM: Invincible ignorance neither saves nor damns a person.

    Michael: from my point of view if I perish it will be because of other things; and if I were to accept your understanding of the dogma on salvation as clear, I would certainly perish, because it would be the sin against Faith.

    BCM: Michael, seriously… What in the world are you talking about?

    Michael: We seem to be irreconcilably far apart. I think this is a fair statement of facts.

    BCM: OK. If you say so. Don’t read my commentary. Read what the Church teaches authoritatively and infallibly and definitively in the three dogmatic statements. They don’t need commentary from me nor anyone else–unless some dogmatic definition of a higher authority clarifies them again–which I doubt is coming any time soon.