SSPX statement on the “ultimatum”

This is from the website of the SSPX.  It seems to be an official statement.

My emphases and comments.

CONCERNING THE ULTIMATUM  [They are calling it an "ultimatum" also.]
of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos
Released on July 1, 2008 from DICI.

On June 4, 2008, at the request of Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, His Excellency Bernard Fellay, went to Rome accompanied the Second Assistant General, Fr. Alain-Marc Nely.

During the interview, he was given a memorandum in the form of an ultimatum, demanding an answer by the end of the month of June. On June 23, contrary to the established custom, [This is a subtle way of accusing someone working for the Holy See of having leaked the memo.]  the Italian daily Il Giornale revealed the existence of the ultimatum and, the next day, published its content in its online edition. In the days following, the information was broadcasted by all of the international press. Thus, to the urgency of the ultimatum was added media pressure.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos’ document expressed five demands: besides [5] a positive answer requested before the end of June, the Society of St. Pius X, in the person of its General Superior, had to commit itself (1) “to give a response proportionate to the pope’s generosity”; (2) “to avoid any public comment which would not respect the person of the Holy Father and would have a negative impact upon ecclesial charity;” (3) “to avoid claiming a magisterium superior to the Holy Father’s and not to set the Society in opposition to the Church;” (4) “to demonstrate its will to act in all honesty and ecclesial charity, and in the respect of the authority of the Vicar of Christ.”

We must observe that the very general — not to say vague[This is going to be a main point.] character of the demands singularly contrasts with the urgency of the ultimatum. [So, they are seeking to retrench by saying that the Conditions are "vague", and that they won't be hurried to sign off on anything vague.  They want concrete talks about issues.] The conditions seem to be meant to obtain an atmosphere favorable to a further dialogue, rather than imply any precise commitment on definite issues. The Society of St. Pius X wishes that the dialogue be on the doctrinal level and take into accounts all the issues, which, if they were evaded, [An slight hint that the Holy See is being evasive?] might jeopardize a canonical status hastily [There is the haste theme again.] set up. The SSPX considers that the preliminary withdrawal of the 1988 decrees of excommunication would foster serenity in the dialogue

The SSPX does not claim the exercise of a magisterium superior to the Holy Father’s, [Condition 3.  In a sense this fullfills that Condition.  But we shall see in the future what they actually say.] nor does it seek to oppose the Church. Following in the footsteps of its founder, it wants to hand down what it has received, namely “what has always been believed everywhere and by all.” It claims as its own the profession of faith addressed by Archbishop Lefebvre to Paul VI on September 24, 1975: “Jesus Christ has entrusted to His Vicar the charge of confirming his brethren in the faith, and has asked him to make sure that every bishop faithfully keep the deposit of the faith, according to St. Paul’s recommendation to Timothy.”

In a letter to Pope Benedict XVI, dated June 26, 2008, Bishop Fellay answered in this sense. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos acknowledged receipt of the letter the next day.

Until further details are available, we will make no comment.

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203 Responses to SSPX statement on the “ultimatum”

  1. Tom says:

    Pray!

  2. TJB says:

    why is it that every sspx statement gives me the feeling that they lack the humility to make a complete union possible?

  3. RichR says:

    At this point, all one can do is pray. It is out of our hands, and Bishop Fellay does not need the added pressure. In the end, I hope that his heart and mind tell him that this papacy is likely to be the best opportunity for reconciliation and removal of excommunication he personally ever sees in his lifetime.

  4. BobP says:

    I just hope all the publicity surrounding the SSPX-Vatican talks doesn’t ultimately destroy the TLM. I’m glad at least they’re leaving the Mass out of the equation.

  5. David Kastel says:

    TJB,

    Possibly because of preconceived notions due to your loyalty to the Pope.

    These conditions are vague. Remember, the widespread faulty interpretation of the vague documents of Vatican 2 have given us the liturgical mess and crisis in the Church today. (This is the thought of Cardinal Ratzinger, not me.)

    There is nothing wrong with asking for clarity in an agreement. Only a fool, or someone acting under duress, would ever sign a vague contract…especially when the other guy has better lawyers.

  6. Jason Keener says:

    I would be delighted to see the Holy See and the SSPX finally discuss the contentious issues of religious liberty and ecumenism. Each party should move toward the other by recognizing their own shortcomings that helped bring about the present situation.

    The Holy See has to do a better job in demonstrating how the Second Vatican Council’s teachings on religious liberty and ecumenism are in continuity with the Church’s earlier councils and encyclicals. With religious liberty and ecumenism, it is no easy task to reconcile the present with the past, although it can be done.

    On the other hand, the SSPX has to move away from the error of integralism, which they sometimes fall into. The term “integralist” was first used earlier in the century by the Popes to describe certain super-orthodox persons who rejected any accommodation with intellectual movements outside the Church and who took it upon themselves to ferret out heresy and heretics within it. Such traditionalism, however, is really a distrust of the Magisterium and its ability to authentically deal with, and occasionally incorporate, new intellectual currents and movements into the Church’s life. Only by guarding and holding fast to the Integral Faith is the integralist safe, rather than by holding fast to the living Magisterium. Had this been the attitude of the Church through the centuries, we would not have the neo-Platonism of Church Fathers, such as St. Augustine, or, the Aristotelian approach of Doctors, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, among others. Both these “views” belonged “to the world” before they belonged to the Church. But under the guidance of the Magisterium they were “baptized” and have been of great value to the Church.

    Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

  7. Craig says:

    I want to interpret this with the maximum possible charity, but even with that I am unimpressed, even dismayed. Pray that Holy Father Benedict will respond as the Holy Spirit prompts him, whether toward lenience or toward discipline.

    (1) “to give a response proportionate to the pope’s generosity”;

    The “ultimatum” basically asked them to concede nothing doctrinal but to confirm the goodwill necessary to negotiate further. Not to behead the messenger, in short. Point (1) tells SSPX that Rome believes it’s generous for not asking for any doctrinal agreements yet; I don’t think SSPX got the import of that.

    (2) “to avoid any public comment which would not respect the person of the Holy Father and would have a negative impact upon ecclesial charity;”

    This they can do if they have a mind to. Although I note that nowhere in this statement does the SSPX refer to Benedict with anywhere near the respect or affection that, say, President Bush did recently. It’s businesslike, even chilly.

    (3) “to avoid claiming a magisterium superior to the Holy Father’s and not to set the Society in opposition to the Church;”

    This they accept in word; the question is, do they accept it in deed, by accepting the teaching of a living Church on doctrinal matters? What is their position on, say, Fides et Ratio? Veritatis Splendor? Spe Salvi, perhaps — there is someone in Rome who might be interested? Would they personally sign the catechism on the altar, as did TAC bishops seeking communion with Rome? Or do they safely reserve their allegiance for only those popes whose bones will not contradict them?

    (4) “to demonstrate its will to act in all honesty and ecclesial charity, and in the respect of the authority of the Vicar of Christ.”

    Here I think they failed. The statement all but accuses Benedict of negotiating in bad faith. The position of “sign a peace treaty and then we’ll negotiate” does not evidence much charity or good faith, IMHO.

  8. fp hope says:

    It seems from the SSPX statement, and interviews during the last 10 or so days that everyone and anyone is culpable except the SSPX. (Of course this line of action goes back before this latest example)
    Is there any possibility at all that SSPX themselves released the news of the ultimatum/memorandum? Is it impossible to conceive of a reason for why they want to control the spin? Standing in the underdog position is certainly not a new maneuver for SSPX.

    The issue lies in the SSPX “hardness of heart.” It’s not that hard to understand why this is their tact given what they have been through. A modicum of understanding is what is being asked by the SSPX. The entrenchment that has occured over these better than forty years since V2 is no doubt well intentioned and defensive.

    However, I believe the time has come for BOTH sides to come to some sensical middle ground. No that doesn’t mean conceeding doctrine necessarily. There needs to be some bending – but not breaking.

    This whole situation is not unlike a ship at sea. It brings to mind the movie Crimson Tide (interesting if you think about the title and the Church.) IN the movie, misunderstandings, differing view points – old school vs new school play out until there is a conflict. Instead of working together to solve the problem, each forces their position ultimately backing into a corner to strengthen defenses. A mutiny ensues – something akin to a “scismatic act.” After a series of maneuvers, both parties (Captain and Executive Officer) come to an understanding, confirm a direction, and act in concert.

    Interestingly, during the trial and conclusion of the film, it is the judgement of the court that the mutineer “acted in the best traditions of the Navy and in the interest of the United States.” Nonetheless, they are both guilty for not working out the differences, and “maintaining the chain of command.”

    Many lines can be drawn from this film if one looks deep enough. SSPX could easily feel and be in the position of the Executive Officer in this film. They could easily say, “we’re not guilty of anything, but we’re doing the (prision) time.” Perhaps so. Providence may have deemed this necessary (for the protection of the Missale Romanum of 62).

    The SSPX is not unlike Joseph and Mary’s flight into Eqypt – they’re not guilty, but they surely paid the price of a forced exile. But was that flight and survuval in Egypt all bad? Surely not. It enabled the protection of Our Lord, as much as the protection of the Old Mass from the hands of (perceived) murderers.

    So what’s to be made of where we are and where we’re headed? To carry the analogy of the film further – settlement with the court, and a new command (assigment) for the Executive Officer. For the Captain – retirement. This is doable. But it takes perspective – on both sides. I think those who are saying this is the time are correct. I think SSPX know this – but they don’t have the exit strategy hammered out to come back.

    Perhaps the best person to help with that is His Holiness. He can work across curial boundaries and solve this. And he will, God willing. His hand is outstretched, and it appears the SSPX hand is coming out of the pocket. Can a “salute” be far off? More prayer – absolutely.

  9. bread says:

    FSSPX is toast!

  10. Geoffrey says:

    TJB,

    I agree with you 100%!

    I for one am growing very weary reading the same old arguments in defense of the SSPX. This will probably be the last time I view the comments on this topic.

  11. Patrick says:

    I would bet that Fellay’s letter to the Holy Father was not as snarky as this statement. But that’s just how they roll…two-faced. They say things one way to the Cardinal and the Holy Father, and then they say something very different to their followers. It reflects very badly on the character of their leaders. But hey, sin makes you stupid.

    Let’s pray this statement doesn’t reflect their true sentiment and is just a ploy to placate the tin-foil-hat contingent.

  12. Woody Jones says:

    Given the level of contentiousness here of late, perhaps this story, from Fr. John Whiteford’s (ROCOR) blog, will be edifying:

    From “The One Thing Needful”, by Archbishop Andrei of Novo-Diveyevo.

    The Word of God has the wonderful power to renew the soul of a sinner. I will not explain to you how this happens, but will simply tell you something that happened in St. Petersburg. Here it is:

    There lived a family — a grandmother and grandson. The grandson was an Imperial Guardsman. His parents had died when he was still young, and his grandmother took their place. They were magnates, incalculably rich, millionaires. Vladimir, as this officer was called, while still a young man become satiated with everything that only the life of wealthy Russians could provide at that time. Like the life of the rich man in today’s parable, his life was spent in gaiety and carousing. He had a good heart and his friends loved him as a person from whom they could always get anything they wanted. The word “no” did not exist for him.

    But once his grandmother called Vladimir and said: “Vladimir, after my death, you will have no one. Your friends will strip you of everything, and you will perish a lonely, unfortunate man. Get married.”

    Vladimir answered, “All right, Grandmother, I will get married.”

    The grandmother found a fiancée for him — a princess from an impoverished family. Vladimir danced with her two or three times at parties and proposed to her. And then, because the wedding was set for only after the Christmas season, and Vladimir’s life went on in its routine way — in a fog of merry-making and revelry — he wouldn’t even have been able to remember her name right away. And if he had met her on the street, he probably wouldn’t have recognized her.

    Yet the closer the wedding day approached, the more troubled his soul became. And finally came the second day after the Baptism of Christ. He had to go to his army office in order to get his salary and his vacation for the honeymoon. This was the first time he had gone out in St. Petersburg at such an early hour and, moreover, in a sober state. Usually, when he was traveling in Petersburg at this hour or still earlier, it was after a night spent in extreme debauchery, and then he was usually dozing off, oblivious to his surroundings. But today, as if for the first time, he saw Petersburg during working hours. On everything lay the impression of the businesslike seriousness of a morning in a metropolitan city. And upon his soul there lay, like a heavy stone, something unusually businesslike and serious: marriage, family life, obligations which he never had, never knew.

    Upon arrival at his office, he received his papers and money — his large purse was filled with gold coins. When he went out, he wanted to be alone and walk. He ordered the driver to follow him on the roadway, and he himself walked on foot. Without noticing it, he reached the cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. Just at that moment the bell rang. And for the first time, he felt drawn to enter church. Of course, he had been to church services, moliebens and pannihidas, but only because this was required by his social standing. But now, an inner need manifested itself. The cathedral was plunged in a cozy half-darkness. The Miraculous Icon was simply shining in brilliance. In spite of the winter season there were white lilies. The reading of the Akathist (Molieben — a petitionary service. Pannihida — a requiem service for the dead. Akathist — a service in honor and praise of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, or one of the saints.) was still going on. There was a deep prayerful singing, a multitude of candles and devotion lamps, and more and more people — praying, weeping. Vladimir froze. He had not prayed for a long, longtime. All he could say was: “O Mother of God! I am coming to a turning point in my life. If it has to be so, help me. But if all this is not necessary, stop it.” And here, he himself thought that this was no way to pray, that he didn’t even know how to pray.

    Suddenly someone tenderly touched his sleeve. It was a beggar woman with a child in her arms. “Sir, help me,” she whispered.

    He thrust his hand into his pocket, pulled out his large purse, and put it in her hand. Because of the weight of the purse, she almost dropped it.

    “Sir,” she exclaimed, “I cannot take it. People will say I have stolen it.”

    “Don’t be afraid, my card is in the purse. Say that I gave it to you.”

    “Sir, and what about you? You are giving away everything…and yourself?”

    “Don’t you understand, I have everything, I don’t need anything.”

    “All right, I will take it. But know this: you are saving two lives — mine and my child’s. How can I repay your kindness?”

    “You know what? Yes, you can help me. I don’t know how to pray; but I am in need of prayer, right now, for my soul. Otherwise I will perish.” She looked at him with a long, compassionate look. She bowed and disappeared into the crowd.

    But then he saw her again. She approached the Miraculous Icon, put her baby on one of the steps before the Icon, and started praying and making prostrations. Tears were streaming down her pale face. A shiver ran down his spine. He understood. This was a prayer for him. He quickly walked out of the church, went one block until he reached Great Konushenna Street. After the semi-darkness of the cathedral, the bright sun on the white snow blinded him. He felt a sharp, sudden pain in his eyes, then in his head, and he lost consciousness.

    When he recovered, he sensed that he was lying on a table in his full Guard’s uniform. He had fallen into a lethargic sleep (Lethargic sleep — a comatose condition in which all bodily functions become undetectable and the person appears to be dead), and now he was starting to wake up. He still couldn’t move, couldn’t open his eyes, but he heard everything. Only he thought that he had died, and everything he heard he accepted as if he were dead. And everyone around him was sure that he was dead, and they prepared him for burial.

    And now he understood the reverse side of life. He heard two voices — male and female. The man’s voice said: “At least for the sake of decency, put your handkerchief to your eyes. After all, he was your fiancé.”

    And the female voice said: “Papa, you know how I hated and despised him. Only your debts made me agree to this marriage. I cannot continue this comedy.”

    And then his friends approached. All of them were in debt to him. “How wonderful that Vladimir died, and I don’t have to pay back what he, good man that he was, loaned to me.”

    And so more and more all the hypocrisy of the life he had been living was revealed to him. The tears of only one person were sincere. His nurse, who had taken the place of his father and mother, was sobbing.

    Then they started to read the Psalter. Before, he had not understood them; but now, each word of the Psalms excited his awakening soul. All the depth of God’s Mercy was revealed to him. God’s Truth was revealed against the background of human lies. And then he heard a movement. He understood, the clergy had come and they were starting to serve the pannihida. And when they began to sing: “With the Saints give rest…,” and when they lifted his body to put it in the coffin, he caught his breath, recovered consciousness and began to move. Out of fear, the bearers dropped the coffin and ran out of the room. Vladimir remained alone. But by now he was not the same. In the middle of the empty room stood the renewed Vladimir.

    When everything had calmed down, he divided all his property. Half he gave to his fiancée and all the rest to the poor. And he forgave all the debts. Soon afterwards, he became a monk and finished his ascetic life as archimandrite of the Kostroma Monastery.

    This is how the Word of God renews a man!
    ******

    Although much could be said by way of explanation, I will just mention two things: the akathists referred to are sung standing (a-kathisma=”not sitting”)and as noted are not just the one akathist to Our Lady that we RCs are familiar with (sometimes and inartfully called by us [the Easterners might say: the Latins] “the Akathist Hymn”), but there is a very large treasury of these to Our Lord, Our Lady, many saints.

    The reading of the psalter refers to the custom of reading the whole of the psalter over the body of the deceased. In some Eastern churches this is also done on Good Friday/Holy Saturday, as parishioners take turns reading the psalter over the “shroud” of Christ through the night. It is a powerful thing to participate in, believe me.

  13. Pierre Hountet says:

    It is regrettable that many that many a poster find it fit to post such rabid messages against the FSSPX in general and against Bp. Fellay in particular. I don’t mean that FSSPX authorities are always free from sin and error; however, without the FSSPX, there would be no Ecclesia Dei indult, and even less the Summorum Pontificum general indult. [I reject this premise. Fr. Z] In fact, as I wrote in another thread as a response to other hateful messages, it is telling that such a small sacerdotal fraternity (400 priests maybe?) is nonetheless concentrating so much attention from the Holy See.
    In fact, everyone here should realize how much our Holy Father, when he was still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, has paid attention to the reconciliation process with the FSSPX. There is a reason why the Holy See is not treating the FSSPX as any other disobedient group (such as, say, some national conferences of Bishops?).

  14. Matt Q says:

    I am so hopeful and prayerful for the SSPX. I see more of a possibility of unity now than before. Things are moving, although perhaps not as quickly as some would like or as readily evident why not.

    ======

    TJB wrote:

    “Why is it that every sspx statement gives me the feeling that they lack the humility to make a complete union possible?”

    )(

    There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this SSPX/Rome matter, and that things don’t just skip back together again at the snap of a finger.

    ======

    Patrick wrote:

    “I would bet that Fellay’s letter to the Holy Father was not as snarky as this statement. But that’s just how they roll…two-faced. They say things one way to the Cardinal and the Holy Father, and then they say something very different to their followers. It reflects very badly on the character of their leaders. But hey, sin makes you stupid.

    Let’s pray this statement doesn’t reflect their true sentiment and is just a ploy to placate the tin-foil-hat contingent.”

    )(

    Let’s include that finger-pointing at Rome also. If Rome was so eager to mend fences with the Society, they’d move a lot faster and hold formal talks and liasoning with them than flicking “ultimatums” back and forth.

  15. prof. basto says:

    After the offer of those five lenient conditions, the Pope must be asking himself:

    Quid ultra debui facere tibi, et non feci?

    SSPX, quid feci tibi? Aut in quo constristavi te? Responde mihi.

    ****

    The anti-spam word is “toast”. The SSPX is toast. They were incapable of understanding the generosity of those conditions, that would, if accepted, have resulted in the lifting of the excommunications prior to any doctrinal discussions, exactly as requested by the Fraternity.

    The SSPX statement falls far short of meeting the requirements of condition 1, namely, an answer proportionate to the Pope’s generosity.

    Agios o Theos…

  16. Daniel Kirkland says:

    Woody Jones,

    Thank you for that post, which was indeed edifying. Like the old lady, let us approach Our Lady with trust and fervently offer our prayers (rosaries are always good) and sacrifices for the will of Christ, namely the unification of all Christians, and the SSPX in particular, with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

    JDK

  17. Daniel Kirkland says:

    Pierre Hountet,

    What an interesting view! I had not considered the impact of FSSPX in that regard. [But I think we must reject that premise. Fr.Z] Obviously it is not God’s will that there should be separation and schism in the Church, yet this is another example of how He can bring magnificent good out of a bad situation.

    JDK

  18. Dominic says:

    My understanding of the “leak” on June 23rd is that it was in response to Bishop Fellay’s sermon in Winona on the 20th. While the latter claimed that the 5 conditions were meant to make him “shut up”, the points at face value would not necessarily incline one to this conclusion. Hence the “leak” was, in fact, a clarification to allay fears as to what the Cardinal was really asking.

  19. Fr. Angel says:

    St. Alphonsus Liguori must be rejoicing and so proud of his spiritual sons. Perhaps the happy return of the Transalpine Redemptorists will provide a fresh, spiritual perspective for the SSPX.

    It sounds crazy, but perhaps Pope Benedict should lift the excommunications against the Bishops of the SSPX even before they accept his conditions. That would send a clear message from the Pope that, like Our Lord, “It is mercy that I desire.”

    Some may think that the SSPX are undeserving of such magnanimity. Yet the Holy Father is known for his holy boldness, and this boldness need not take on the form of severity against the Society. An even bolder step would be to have Cardinal Hoyos thank them for the good work they do for orthodoxy in their chapels and missions while he awaits further dialogue.

    The more signals from Rome and the Catholic faithful that the SSPX are welcome and wanted, I believe, the better they will be disposed to put aside anger or hesitancy.

  20. Calleva says:

    This whole thing is getting depressing. The five conditions are not deliberately vague, they were worded in such a way as to make it easy for the SSPX to agree – to sum up, do not diss the Holy Father in public. This is entirely reasonable to ask of any Catholic.

    Do we really have evidence that Summorum Pontificum and the earlier Indult were the direct result of Lefebvre’s disobedience? There is much made from supporters of the SSPX that they alone have been bastions against modernism and liberalism. I don’t accept that. I do accept that many if not most have acted in good faith, but I wish they’d remained within the church to work for orthodoxy – who knows if this would not have been more fruitful?

    One thing that gives me some heart – until the last moment the Transalpine Redemptorists were denying any rapprochement with Rome. Perhaps all the blog and media interest makes these sensitive matters more difficult to resolve. Those of us of who have some sympathy with the SSPX (which includes the Pope) would like reunion; maybe we need to chatter less and pray more? God forbid that all this speculation might actually be harming things.

    Fr Angel – if lifting the excommunications would do the trick, I think it should be done. However, I believe this would require a little more goodwill from the SSPX and so far we haven’t heard very much. So far it looks as if the initiative has been all from Rome’s side. I understand that Fellay is in a difficult position, but how serious is he about returning?

    I will continue to pray for a happy outcome.

  21. Perhaps this would be a good time for all of us to pause in prayerful reflection upon the parable of the Prodigal Son and ask ourselves:”Who do I most resemble, the repentant son, the Father abounding in love, forgiveness, and mercy, or the hardhearted older son. Pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy For Christ’s Holy Church throughout the world, and for those seeking reconciliation with our Heavenly Father. May the Holy Spirit the Consoler be our Guide.

  22. Anthony English says:

    This response in itself is an enigma, after the SSPX had said they wouldn’t respond to this ultimatum. They responded.

    Why would anyone object to the request from a legitimate ecclesiastical authority:
    - to show respect for the person of the Holy Father
    - to defend ecclesial charity (by which men know that we are Christ’s disciples)
    - to demonstrate a will to act with the virtues of honesty and charity?

    If ou don’t accept these demands from “Rome” which you think has strayed from the true Church, then accept the demands from Christ Himself, who also asks for these virtues.

  23. John Enright says:

    This is yet more evidence that SSPX is experiencing internal dissent regarding the substantive issues. Bp. Fellay’s statements and this statement neither accept nor reject the Holy See’s overture, and it seems to me that Bp. Fellay is simply playing for time. If that’s the case, there’s still hope that SSPX can get its house in order and accept the generous conditions outlined by Rome.

  24. Recidite Plebes says:

    Having left the Catholic church I actually find the battles between the SSPX and
    Rome as intriging as they are amusing.

    When I was a Catholic I have to confess having no great strength of feeling one
    way or the other towards the Trdentine Rite – I’d prefer it to a badly done Novus
    Ordo, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hear one. What I think Benedict has done
    is to shrewdly manouvre the church into a small step towards what I consider John23rd
    actually intended for Vatican 2, namely to democratise the church and hand it back
    to the people to whom it belonged, not the bishops and the Cardinals, but the average
    congregant. Think about it, the MP allows for a “stable group” to demand of their
    bishop that a right of their be exercised – a truely liberal (in the proper sense
    of the word) move. No wonder the bishops are enraged, and the sweetest irony is
    that the vehicle of liberalisation was the totem of arch-conservatism. No wonder
    the SSPX don’t know where to turn next. They have the absoloute right to say the mass
    ad orientem, but that was a liberalising move, not at what I suspect they want at
    all because they have their liturgy given back to them in the spirit of the very
    Council they detest.

    I wonder if Benedict hasn’t scored an amazing coup that will move Vatican 2 on an age?
    For years both ends of the liturgical and thological spectrum have waged war on the
    issue of whether we hear mass in Latin, or take part in it with puppets and dance while
    clapping like a bunch of lunatics on day release from the asylum. In all of that
    the greater strategic point has been missed – namely it is the same cabal of bishops
    running the church while keeping everyone else too busy arguing about liturgy to
    have noticed that irrespective of what camp the bishops position themselves in, there
    appears to be the same cosy gentleman’s agreement that they will continue running the church
    no matter what. What Benedict has done is prove that the laity are not ignorant and can
    actually be granted the power to decide for themselves what they favour without
    the church collapsing.

  25. rick says:

    I can tell you most assuredly that many people inside the SSPX do not like the current Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI nor have they favored Pope John Paul II nor any Pontiff since the Second Vatican Council. I know, I have been \’inside\’ the SSPX for years and Bishop Fellay takes many opportunity he can to swipe at the Pope in front of \”his\” faithful. Check any of their websites or YouTube and study Fellay\’s words carefully and you will find disdain for the Pope and the Vatican ( watch, they might block all these audio/video files if they catch this blog). In short, they do not trust the Pontiff and often create an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust amongst their people as to the Pope\’s motivations when he does almost anything even when he has returned the Tridentine Liturgy and is restoring other traditions of the Church. They don\’t trust Benedict and think that he is trying to trap them into returning into Rome\’s so called, according to Fellay: \”MENAGERIE\” of Catholicism where every group is a sort of circus act and the SSPX\’ers will have their place inside the circus tent if Rome has its way. These are Fellay\’s ideas and it trickles down throughout the ranks. There is little charity here, and there is superiority. Oh, they will say they are hurt and wounded by Rome and actions have been done \’against\” them by Rome or the recent Popes, but hardly do they hope to see where they have made mistakes or have become sclerotic towards hope and trust. Yes, it is good they want to remain faithful to the Catholic faith, we all should be, but if you come to think you are the only one who is faithful because you keep a tradition you are in error. The SSPX tells their people not to receive Holy Communion if they go to a Novus Ordo Mass, or not to go to a Novus Ordo Mass at all and they cast doubt privately about the validity of Sacraments such as The Eucharist, Priestly Ordination, Extreme Unction ( Annointing of the Sick and Dying) Confession ( Penance) and even Baptism according to the Church after the Second Vatican Council. These are realities of SSPX thinking. They have real doctrinal differences regarding the Church since Vatican II and they are deep, very deep. They do not believe the Church of Rome is Catholic anymore, they are the remaining seat of Catholicism, the Remnant Church, etc, etc. They are in a box they cannot get out of… they don\’t know how, they want to stay in the box, it is warm and comfortable, they know it, they do not know what is outside the box and they don\’t want to know what is outside. They want to stay where they are, and have Rome return to what they understand. When they see that they will be happy because the box will have been extended and they can take a longer walk outside. When they see that they will say okay to Rome. It is all very sad, very sad because they are good for the Church and they don\’t know how to apply themselves to the Church, so they stay outside where they know the territory. They need help. Benedict has been trying but they cannot see with their hearts what the Holy Father has been doing, they don\’t believe him and it is very sad. A few months ago when \”word got out\” that the Transalpine Redemptorists were about to \”cut a deal\” with Rome, they were frantic, top down, they didn\’t like it at all, their box was getting smaller. There was plenty of jibber jabber amongst SSPX\’ers not to support the Transalpine Redemptorists anymore. How terrible it was to hear this, how UN Catholic, how un-Christian, how not Christ like. But this is the SSPX reality, so sorry to say, this is the reality along with the fidelity to Catholic tradition. It is no different inside the box then it is outside, both have people, both have sinners, both have beliefs according to their own way. If the SSPX loves the Church then they have to take the plunge, dip the toe in the water. The box can grow larger it can encompass and permeate its goodness. It cannot get \”absorbed\” if its goodness is true. The Holy Ghost won\’t let it. What does the Holy Ghost want, what does God the Father want, what does God the Son want for the Church? Is that not the question to be asked by all? God have mercy on all.

  26. JPG says:

    It is scary, that last post. If true they may well be the Novationists revisited. The attitude seems more like some ranting fundamentalist Protestants who split off and found their own sect based on their own private interpretation of Scripture. Whether or not their positions are with or wothout merit pales next to the obdurate pride involved. It blasts away at the belief in a living magisterium. It is ultimately unCatholic.
    JPG

  27. peregrinus says:

    Although disappointing, none of the SSPX’s responses are surprising. The sad thing is that many of their adherents have bought into their line so deeply that there is an actual hatred of the Catholic Church there. It will be interesting to see what the response will be by Holy See.

  28. Habemus Papam says:

    You sure are a fickle crew! Bishop Fellay and SSPX were doing Gods Will only yesterday, now they are the hounds of hell. Which way will you be facing tomorrow?

  29. Recidite Plebes says:

    Perhaps Fellay has to reconcile the various degrees of barking mad extremism in the
    SSPX. For example, you have Richard Williamson who believes that the Twin Towers
    were broght down by controlled explosions as part of a Jewish plot for global domination
    and that the Sound of Music will rot your soul. The guy is nuttier than squirrel droppings.
    How do you get someone like that to be rational?

    I noticed that the author of this blog comments on the disunity of the Anglican Church,
    I can honestly say that the Roman Catholic Church isn’t so far removed, it just does
    a better job of the pretence of cordiality. It’s a relief to me to be viewing all
    of this from the ringside, though all concerned seem so wrapped up in power play
    that I doubt that even if more people did as I did and vote with their feet that
    the bishops or the societies would notice, or probably even care.

  30. JML says:

    Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.

    Pray folks, and then pray some more. The Evil One needs division in order to succeed against Holy Mother Church. Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins and seems, to me, to be one of the chief obstacles in the reconciliation.

    Pray that both sides approach each other in the Love of Christ and do what’s best for HIS church, and not for their faction.

    Pray for the Anglicans that the Holy Spirit will remove the blinders of pride and they see the will of God.

    Pray for the Holy Father that his mind and body stay strong in the battle against the Devil.

    Pray for our priests that they continue in their mission as good shepards to their flocks. Pray that Our Lady guide them in their daily lives that they may be wise stewards of their parishes and an example of holiness to their parishoners.

    And to you, Father, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

  31. Cathguy says:

    Habemus Papam,

    Good point, but I think it has to do with who is posting and who isn’t.

    Just a thought.

  32. Connie says:

    This irritates the living daylights out of me.

    So had this not been leaked, was Bsp Fellay going to play those who follow the SSPX for fools by making the so-called “ultimatem” into something it was not? By making Rome the “enemy” once again? By telling all the SSPX priests a dire story so they would go out to all their missions and spread the same untruth? This is how propaganda gets spread. Thank goodness the memo was leaked!

  33. rick says:

    Dear habemus papam,
    I understand how you feel, yesterday the jubliation at the letter released by the SSPX and other websites which was more positive towards a solution to the SSPX Rome issue. And it is so easy to go from happiness to sadness on this issue, but that is part of everyone’s mistake. It is not fickleness, it is not to bash or call another hounds of hell, this is the reality, it is not about which way one is facing today and then tomorrow. This is they way it is inside the SSPX, this is how they believe how they behave how they teach. It is not to condemn. But it is a big part of the reality. It is hard to swallow this tonic, but to look to a letter or a news story is not the solution. People don’t do things like accept an invitation graciously because they are angry or hurt, distrustful, won’t yield or are just plain mad. If a person does something wrong to another and they realize it and want to say ‘sorry’ and extends the hand, you don’t say, I won’t shake your hand today, maybe tomorrow, if I feel like, maybe tomorrow I trust you more, then I shake your hand. No, you shake the hand,that is the gentleman, the one with class the one with the big heart. You don’t stay hurt. You try. And if the one who extended the hand in the first place, makes a mistake towards you again, you say, I did shake your hand for peace yesterday but I see you hurt me again, so I have to tell you. This is the way of dialogue, to say ” NO COMMENT” I don’t want to shake your hand is they way of punishment and distrust and maybe, ‘I’ll make you suffer a little longer for me and till you beg me.’ This is the way of children, not men. This is all a psychological matter of human flesh, not a matter of spirit. It has to change. We can’t let ourselves be fooled to hear dialogue they are trying to save the faith and the church…it is not about this largely anymore, it is about human weaknesses, frailties everywhere.

  34. I assume the comments are by people very familiar with the SSPX. The impression that I get from the comments is of a society (the SSPX) that is quite dysfunctional, to say the least. Why then, if this impression is accurate, would we ever expect the SSPX to be a positive force inside the Church? There seems to be a contradiction here between very fundamental criticisms of the mentality and practices of the SSPX and the idea that this group would somehow be a positive force for renewal in the Church.

  35. Matthew Mattingly says:

    Nothing would be more valuable for the Church, than for the SSPX and the Vatican to start discussing substantitive doctrinal issues, as well as issues which are just ” of present practice” and not doctrinal….such as excessive ecumenism and inter-religious dialog. Both of which have contributed to the tearing down of the Roman Catholic Church, and giving the false impression that all these various Protestant groups, as wells as even Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and pagans are on equal footing with the Roman Catholic Church regarding finding salvation in God. All of which we (and the SSPX) knows is false.

  36. Tom S. says:

    Recidite Plebes seems to have the most interesting outlook so far. The episcopacy has been part of the problem all along, and I believe that his comments are hitting on the “ad intra” aspect of the Holy Father’s “Marshall Plan” for the church. (BTW, maybe we should call it “The Ratzinger Plan”)

    And if you doubt that, just reflect on the changes we have all seen in the past three years. So many seem to have forgotten them! And reflect on the fact that the pace of those changes seems to be accelerating. Then remember that all this has happened in less than 40 MONTHS!!!! How many of you, in July of 2004, would have laughed incredulously if you were told that a Cardinal of the curia had said publicly that the Holy Father would like to see the Old Mass celebrated in EVERY CHURCH??

    Other that a seething hatred of irreverence and liturgical abuse, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I am not a priest or canon lawyer or insider, but I am a business manager who has studied leadership and organization, and I must say that Pope Benedict is pure genius. I pray that God grants him many more years – decades – to complete his mission.

  37. I am not Spartacus says:

    Do we really have evidence that Summorum Pontificum and the earlier Indult were the direct result of Lefebvre’s disobedience

    No. It is much more rational to think those who remained in Communion with the Pope have had their Longanimity rewarded, but, one can’t expect a schism to credit their enemies.

    The fact, in 1984, four years BEFORE the schism, Johannes Paulus Magnus issued Quattuor Abhinc Annos and it was directed at those who maintain Communion with their Bishop and Pope.

    http://www.latin-mass-society.org/indult.htm

    There are facts – such as Longanimity and faithfulness being rewarded by The First Indult – and propaganda put-out by a schism which refuses to ever credit The Living Magisterium.

  38. Marie says:

    Rick, I don’t know what causes your disappointment in the SSPX and I want neither to judge you neither to argue with you : the SSPX is a society composed of human people… with human fragilities, and it would be very surprising to have her perfectly healthy when the Roman authorities are not !
    I was educated at least since the beginning of the eighties within the “Tradition” in France, and doubt I would less know the Society, her superiors and other congregations than you.
    And I could give, AT LEAST, the exact opposite testimony.
    It is not very honorable that some, because of personal disappointment I can understand, or very superficial and external views on the Society (I think about this very strange story about the shirt with such unacceptable words about excommunication !) gave publicly such “testimonies”.
    I am not sure at all that Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s intention, in this blog, though I often disagree with him, is to make easy statements on people, especialy priests, bishops, or even the Pope, but I know how difficult it is to understand things you didn’t live yourself and people you don’t know – or don’t know enough – this particularly when so many lies were uttered against Bishop Lefebvre’s fight : as is used to say one of my sisters-in-law, who was not educated as my brothers and I, and who, before her engagement, was very opposed to the views of her future husband, a normal soul is quite unable to imagine so many and so huge lies that poured out our good French bishops whose motto could have been Voltaire’s one : “Lie ! lie ! It will always remain something of it !”
    People within the “Tradition” try to be more and more opened to other catholics, and many other catholics try to do the same, as we can see daily on this blog and in many other places.
    Let us pray for each other and for the Holy Father, not fight one against another ! Our Mother, the Holy Church, has other REAL enemies…

  39. Kradcliffe says:

    Rick, thanks for your comment. It exactly supports my view of the SSPX from the outside looking in. Can I ask, why are you still in that box?

  40. Kradcliffe says:

    *Marie: It is not very honorable that some, because of personal disappointment I can understand, or very superficial and external views on the Society (I think about this very strange story about the shirt with such unacceptable words about excommunication !) gave publicly such “testimonies”*

    Marie, are you saying that it’s wrong for someone to speak honestly and publicly about their experiences within the SSPX? Why do you think that?

  41. I am not Spartacus says:

    There seems to be a contradiction here between very fundamental criticisms of the mentality and practices of the SSPX and the idea that this group would somehow be a positive force for renewal in the Church

    Mr. Sobrino. Excellent observation. I was hoping you’d post here so I could offer you kudos for bringing into the forefront the Holy Father’s letter stating groups may NOT refuse to offer the Normative Mass.

    Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.

    http://catholicanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/06/open-query-on-summorum-pontificum.html

  42. Recidite Plebes says:

    All of Marie’s talk of being “educated” and the adoption of the common noun
    “tradition” as if to make it a proper noun suggests that the SSPX is setting itself
    up as if it were some sort of secret society like the Masons or the “Illuminati”.
    All very cultish. I wonder if we will be seeing the SSPX loosing off hundreds of
    rounds from its complexes a la David Koresh or releasing Sarin on the underground
    in an attempt to bring ab out the end of the world like Aum Shinrikio did. Practically
    I doubt it, but it is only a small degree of seperation between this siege mentality
    and really, really loosing the plot (which I know Richard Williams probably already has
    based on some of the rantings I’ve seen on YouTube).

    I go back to my original point: the only difference between the SSPX and the “sandlaista”
    so-called liberals (who are anything but) is that while one likes to parade round in
    finest silk, lace, and gold, the other prefers “authentic”ally inauthentic knock-offs
    of ethnic design on their hemp vestments. What unites them both is a desire to dictate
    to people who see themselves as Catholic in areas where they lack competence or real influence.
    The Roman Catholic Church didn’t disintegrate when the people were given the choice
    about what liturgy they want in their parishes. OK, the SSPX would want to force people
    into hearing a Trid rite mass, the sandalistas would force people to hear mass by
    proxy using puppets and clowns and whatever else infects their thinking. To my mind
    they are both as bad as each other, even if in their minds they think they are saving souls
    or doing good works: remember that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    Personally I got so sick of the clergy, the manipulation, the brow beating, and the crass
    hypocrasy of the whole thing that I turned my back on it all. I miss elements of what I
    used to belong to, but there are others out there who may feel like I do but are
    actually looking for reasons to stay rather than go, and all the likes of Marie
    and her ilk can do is demonstrate that there is no room for ordinary people in amongst
    the factions of the Catholic Church. Liberals and Conservatives alike: you lot need
    to grow up and stop throwing your rattles out of the pram every time you don’t get your
    own way. The newsflash of the day is that of the billion or so Catholics in the world
    most are now well educated and just get turned off at the prospects of being dictated to
    by extremists at either end of the spectrum”!

  43. Rellis says:

    Could someone explain to me why this quasi-schismatic cult deserves so much attention anymore? It kind of reminds me of the Russian scholars looking for work after the Berlin Wall fell.

    In the pre-SP swamp, SSPX was a useful burr in the side of the Church establishment. They were rather like a political ally one didn’t want to drink with, but one enjoyed knowing they were working the streets on election day.

    Now, SP is starting to take root. The TLM is springing up in parish after parish, all over the world. Young seminarians and priests are very likely to be TLM-competent. The older, hostile bishops are being replaced with their more hardcore auxiliaries. Personal parishes. FSSP enrollment. De-wreckification. New hand missals. Benedictine altar arrangement. Papal Mass communion on the tongue. Chant. Things are inexorably getting better. Each day is brighter than the one before. We’re winning, and it’s a rout. As Jack Kemp used to say, it’s 1776 all over the world, baby.

    It just seems to me that the attention the SSPX is getting is not proportional to the facts on the ground. If they want to join the party, great. If they want to suffer the fate of the Polish National Church and the Old Catholic Church, they can go right ahead as far as I’m concerned.

  44. Brian Mershon says:

    Pope Benedict XVI will soon lift the excommunications against the SSPX. Rejoicing will be had in heaven!

    “Conservative,” “more Catholic than the Pope Catholics” as represented in an overwhelming number of comments here will then be pitted against the Pope and his decision.

    Wow! What warmth and charity on display here as a wound in the Church is about to be healed.

    Read the posts. Put yourself in the shoes of a Catholic who attends SSPX chapels. Then wonder why they sometimes behave the way they do.

    Why do “Conservative” Catholics who could not criticize even any of the most outrageous ecumenical shenanigans of the previous papacy harbor such assurance that their views and their version of “conservative” Catholicism is so correct?

    Pit yourself against the Pope and the PCED, people. More Catholic than the Pope?

    He is going to lift the excommunications next, and as I said on the previous postings, the hysteria against the SSPX in “conservative,” “orthodox” Catholic quarters will be assuredly frantic.

    World views being changed anyone?

    Obey the Pope! Obey Tradition! Obey all the Popes in matters of faith and morals!

  45. Do we really have evidence that Summorum Pontificum and the earlier Indult were the direct result of Lefebvre’s disobedience?

    This conclusion must seem obvious to most of us who have remained faithful and loyal to both Church and Tradition through thick and thin these past 50 years, and during all this time have followed these events closely as so many internet johnny-come-latelies do nowadays.

    Of course, having remained staunchly \”regular\” ourselves, we can hardly approve of everything done or said by those who have veered off into irregular status (or worse), and all the more do we therefore lament their present seeming intransigence.

    But having watched carefully as one event and decade after another unfolded — for instance, the Ecclesiae Dei indult as an immediate and direct result of Archbishop Lefebvre\’s breaking of the brief 1988 agreement, and the FSSP being formed to accommodate those SSPX priests who consequently \”returned\” to Rome — we see SP having come as a mostly direct, partly indirect result of the SSPX. In that without SSPX having existed, there likely would not be any SP which, though the purpose of the motu proprio is much broader — as Father Z has detailed repeatedly — it plainly came forth from Pope Benedict\’s personal concern (as Cardinal Ratzinger) with the SSPX problem sustained over a 20-year period.

    Of course, the divine liturgy received from so many centuries of development under the influence of the Holy Spirit would surely have survived somehow in God\’s Providence. It may or may not be a surprise that be that so weak and flawed a vessel as the SSPX was chosen for His purpose. But is the intermingling of good and bad ever really a surprise?

  46. Jacob says:

    Comment by Recidite Plebes — 2 July 2008 @ 7:57 am

    Recidite, you seem to have a story to tell. Why don’t you tell it instead of posting your ‘I got out because I don’t like to be dictated to by either side’ comments. Help us see your side.

  47. Rellis: Now, SP is starting to take root. The TLM is springing up in parish after parish, all over the world. Young seminarians and priests are very likely to be TLM-competent. The older, hostile bishops are being replaced with their more hardcore auxiliaries. Personal parishes. FSSP enrollment. De-wreckification. New hand missals. Benedictine altar arrangement. Papal Mass communion on the tongue. Chant. Things are inexorably getting better. Each day is brighter than the one before.

    Indeed! A wonderful summary of what’s happening. And perhaps only those old enough to have kept the faith through it all can fully savor “how sweet it is”.

  48. I am not Spartacus says:

    Why do “Conservative” Catholics who could not criticize even any of the most outrageous ecumenical shenanigans of the previous papacy harbor such assurance that their views and their version of “conservative” Catholicism is so correct?

    It is because those of us labeled “conservative” exercised the Traditional Orthopraxis of not publicly criticising or attacking Our Sweet Jesus on Earth.

    The fact the sspx schism and its supporters routinely and repeatedly publicly attacked Our Sweet Jdsus on Earth evinces the reality that they too became suffused with the very liberalism they decry.

    Publicly criticising and attacking a Pope is the sine qua non of the Tradition of Liberalism.

  49. Matthew says:

    Brian, it’s ridiculous to refer to all of the comments above as ‘hyseria’. Your post, as usual, paints with a broad brush. And by repeatedly writing of others (say, non-SSPXers with scare quotes around the words Catholic and Orthodox) has a snark about it that does not wear well with usage.

  50. boredoftheworld says:

    \”Oh, they will say they are hurt and wounded by Rome and actions have been done ‘against” them by Rome or the recent Popes, but hardly do they hope to see where they have made mistakes or have become sclerotic towards hope and trust.\”

    Well switch the names and particulars around and to whom does this not apply? Who among us isn\’t human? I have never seen a more obvious representation of the parable of the pharisee and the publican played out for all the world to see than in the reactions of the majority of the \”loyalists\” to the events of the last couple of weeks. What\’s particularly disheartening is that no matter what happens the fingerpointing just won\’t stop, the hatred just keeps boiling over.

    The worst possible spin is put on every statement, no effort is made to understand how complicated all of this is, no allowances are made for translation issues or the obvious fact that we in the public are not privy to all of the information.

    The level of rancor displayed by the rank and file is horrifying. Of course the really pitiful thing about that is it applies to adherents of both \”sides\”.

  51. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Sorry for the Latin lesson intrusion; I just want to be sure I’m reading these right:

    Quid ultra debui facere tibi, et non feci?

    What further must I have done for you, and not done?

    SSPX, quid feci tibi? Aut in quo constristavi te? Responde mihi.

    SSPX, what did I do to you? Or in what did I afflict you? Answer me.

    (Oh. These are from the reproaches, are they not?)

  52. Marie says:

    Kradcliffe,

    read again please my own words you stressed : I spoke about “very superficial” and “external views” on the Society.
    And I maintain.

    I could resume my thought with a joke Bishop Lefebvre said once to journalists, if remember well, about our Parisian church, Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet : “They are not fools, but all the fools are in !”
    How could we not laugh about it ? It is so true ! We have not the same kind of hissing ladies we read about yesterday (thanks to Fr. Zuhlsdorf for the very funny picture he put in the discussion !), but, be quiet, we have other phenomenons !
    We have also all the new converts from very different backgrounds, more or less educated as everywhere – not to speak about sedevacantists (much less than here, in the United States) of all kinds (not all insane) who haunt our chapels to always disagree with our priests and dream about subtle plots “from the enemies of the Church”…
    Are these the most representative of the “Tradition” ? Be serious ! All who have been educated within the “Tradition” or live in from some years make immediately the difference. But there is charity to preserve and we are not perfect ourselves.

    I could also add that all what is true is not always to say (I could give you a very beautiful poem of Fr. de Chivré O.P. on it – but unfortunately it is in French !), and we all know that if we were not in such a terrible crisis, we would have to be silent (at least publicly) when honestly possible, about many things – especially when speaking about priests.
    My opinion is that internet favours rumours, and we have to be VERY prudent about what we read and what we write.

    In caritate Christi.

  53. John6:54 says:

    To think that the Holy Father gave us SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM for the sole purpose of reconciling with the SSPX is complete folly.

  54. Sid Cundiff says:

    So the issue is doctrinal, not liturgical. Jason Keener’s point is well taken ”The Holy See has to do a better job in demonstrating how the Second Vatican Council’s teachings on religious liberty and ecumenism are in continuity with the Church’s earlier councils and encyclicals.”

    Well, I think the Holy See has done this job. I judge V2 with respect to religious liberty to be indeed in the Tradition. We need to publicize this continuity.

  55. Brian Walden says:

    Brian Mershon,

    You seem to have a peculiar view of “conservative” Catholics. I don’t know of any who don’t criticize the “outrageous ecumenical shenanigans” that have gone on in the Church. At the same time they see the problem not with a true spirit of ecumenism, of knowing that we have the truth and opening communication with other groups so that we can share that truth, but with the hijacked version of ecumenism which has been deliberatly distorted contrary to the documents of Vatican II.

    “Conservative” Catholics, while they may personally prefer an abuse-free OF Mass to the EF, want the EF to be easily available to all Latin Rite Catholics. This is slowly happening since the Motu Proprio. They also want Vatican II to be implemented in accord with Tradition, which is also slowly happening under Benedict’s leadership. But what “Conservative” Catholics don’t want it an interpretation of Vatican II that makes it as if the council never happened, which is what some (not all) in the SSPX want.

    I think if the Pope lifted the excommunications tomorrow, most conservative Catholics would welcome the SSPX back into full communion. I worry about what the SSPX would do, would they be able to prevent internal schism if they suddenly found themselves in a regular relationship with the Church?

  56. Recidite Plebes says:

    Jacob said: Recidite, you seem to have a story to tell. Why don’t you tell it instead of posting your ‘I got out because I don’t like to be dictated to by either side’ comments. Help us see your side.

    >>There’s nothing to tell (in any case I could do without the author of this blogs snarky red comments of “oh look folks another axe to grind/oh look folks another blah blah”).

    I don’t want to be a Catholic any more, but neither do I want to try and destroy people’s
    faith by trying to convince you all that you obey the whore of Babylon and arte all destined to hell or anything – it’s a matter for your individual consciences who you want to follow and I wouldn’t seek to change that. Equally I know that there are a lot of people who struggle with Catholicism for reasons other than just which language the mass is said in and what vestments a priest wears, or what music is fit for mass (though as a musician my inclination is towards a polyphonic aesthetic rather than a “cum by yah my lord”). For the vast majority of Catholics they honestly don’t care one way or the other on the OF/EF issue. What they care about are priests that actually understand the pressures of the modern world, who are sympathetic rather than judgemental, a church that cares rather than condemns, an open church that allows scrutiny rather than secrecy, all of which are wrong with the church. While the Catholic Church isn’t for me, I really would like to see it reform itself so that others could feel as if it is
    concerned with more than the idiotic fringe. So what if the SSPX want to go off and form therir own little cult? Let them, there are more “normal” people leaving the church on a daily basis than these lunatics will ever have influence over.

  57. Sid Cundiff says:

    Let’s show some sympathy with the SSPX people. When approaching my pastor to ask for a MEF at my church, I conceded immediately that some traditionalist Ultras are distrusting, cranky, angry, bitter, antipathetic, belligerent, contentious, adamantine, and hateful – even toward other Traditional-minded. But they may be this way because they were treated as lepers. And to treat someone as a leper is hardly a way to endear oneself.

    I’m Borderer-Backcountry (“Scots-Irish”), and we were treated as lepers, and so I know well these feelings.

    All of us who have supported the MEF over the years have been treated as lepers. We also ought know well how the FSSPX folk feel. The beginning of a reconciliation is to find a way, gently, (1) to acknowledge to those who were treated as lepers that their treatment was wrong, and (2) to stop treating them as lepers.

    Our comments should serve this end.

  58. Paul Haley says:

    This bashing of the FSSPX is really getting tiring especially when those of us who have no ties to the FSSPX are praying hard for the reconciliation. This blog is turning into something I prefer not to read anymore. Too bad, isn’t it, that hateful words have a way of turning respectful dialog into something else. Either you want the reconciliation or you don’t; it’s really that simple. So, until official word on this is received from the Holy See I bid you all goodday!

  59. vox borealis says:

    Brian Mershon,

    “Read the posts. Put yourself in the shoes of a Catholic who attends SSPX chapels. Then wonder why they sometimes behave the way they do.”

    I must confess that I simply cannot put myself in their shoes, because I cannot fathom attending a mass, prayer service, or whatever led by excommunicated clergy. This frankly blows my mind.

    So instead, I attend the most orthodox parish I can find. I grimace through OF masses that range from the mundane to the bizarre. I fortify myself against fuzzy preaching–rarely heretical but often lacking a distinctly Catholic tenor. When I can, usually when traveling, I attend EF masses. And at the risk of self congratulation, all the I fight the good fight, as St. Paul reminded us last Sunday on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. For I work from within to make things better.

    But attend a SSPX chapel, and do so regularly? To receive communion from a priest who is excommunicated by his very office, and who quite likely harbors a deep-rooted mistrust of the pope? I could no more imagine myself doing this than going to Baptist tent revivals. It is simply not within my conceptual framework to adhere to such groups, and as such I have a very, very difficult time “getting” their perspective.

  60. Cathguy says:

    I agree with Paul Haley. The attacks on the SSPX are getting out of hand.

    They are called “cultists” they are called “schizmatics” they are called “excommunicated.” The first two are just plain false. The third is true only of the Bishops who lead the order.

    The internet gives too much anonymity, and people post too hastily without thinking. The SSPX make some good points. Catholics these days are AFRAID. AFRAID to proclaim the truth, that Peter is the head of the Church that Christ himself founded, and that there are unchanging moral truths that will ALWAYS have to guide our lives.

    At least the SSPX appears less concerned about what people think, and more concerned about some of those unchanging truths.

  61. DM says:

    Mr. Mershon is very observant.

    This statement from the SSPX is terse but entirely reasonable, and it’s rather disgusting how eager so many are to see it in the blackest possible light.

    I’ve heard the SSPX likened to everything from Integrists to Jansenists to Gnostics to Monophysites to Protestants to… what is it now? Ah yes, Novationists and German Communists. And the Jews who crucified Christ. I must admit, those are new ones to me.

    Frankly, a lot of people don’t want the reconciliation to occur, just because it will force them to eat crow. The vilification of the SSPX is fundamental to their personal rhetoric and apologetic, and they won’t give it up easily. That they think themselves in a position to lecture anyone on humility is beyond rich.

  62. vox borealis says:

    Cathguy,

    “Cultist” may be false. “Schismatic” is not plain false; there is some debate on this matter. As for “excommunicated”, I was under the impression that being ordained by an excommunicated bishop was itself grounds for automatic excommunication. Perhaps a canonist could clarify?

  63. rick says:

    RORATE CAELI reports……

    Wednesday, July 02, 2008
    Castrillón satisfied with SSPX answer
    SSPX will give heed to the five points
    From the blog of Andrea Tornielli (Vatican correspondent for Il Giornale):
    I have learned from secure sources that, contrary to what has appeared in certain articles, the response of the Fraternity [of Saint Pius X - FSSPX/SSPX] to the letter of Cardinal Castrillón has not in fact been negative. The Cardinal is satisfied with it, has responded to Fellay, and has promptly delivered the letter of the Fraternity to Benedict XVI. After the deadline of the end of June, the Lefebvrists [sic] ask for time but – it seems – they will give heed to the five points.

  64. Recidite Plebes says:

    If, as Maria does, they wanmt to start expressing themselves as being \”educated in the Tradition”(sic) then they are beginning to sound more and more like a cult, or at the very least some form of covert ands exclusive society.

  65. RBrown says:

    Could someone explain to me why this quasi-schismatic cult deserves so much attention anymore? It kind of reminds me of the Russian scholars looking for work after the Berlin Wall fell.

    For several reasons: First, they are very influential in France, Germany, and Argentina, much more than in the US. Second, their followers are more attentive to Catholic doctrine than are 80% of US parishioners under the age of 60.

    In the pre-SP swamp, SSPX was a useful burr in the side of the Church establishment. They were rather like a political ally one didn’t want to drink with, but one enjoyed knowing they were working the streets on election day.

    Now, SP is starting to take root. The TLM is springing up in parish after parish, all over the world.

    Don’t get carried away by your own enthusiasm. Before SP there were three 1962 Latin masses in KC (none Novus Ordo)–one from the SSPX. A year after SP there are still the same three masses. Where I am currently living (at least an hour from each of the those three masses), there are 5 parishes within 10 minutes. None have anything close to a Latin Mass.

    Young seminarians and priests are very likely to be TLM-competent. The older, hostile bishops are being replaced with their more hardcore auxiliaries. Personal parishes. FSSP enrollment. De-wreckification. New hand missals. Benedictine altar arrangement. Papal Mass communion on the tongue. Chant. Things are inexorably getting better. Each day is brighter than the one before. We’re winning, and it’s a rout. As Jack Kemp used to say, it’s 1776 all over the world, baby.

    There have been a few stories here of taking the picnic table out the sanctuary, but I have not seen this happening around here.

    It just seems to me that the attention the SSPX is getting is not proportional to the facts on the ground. If they want to join the party, great. If they want to suffer the fate of the Polish National Church and the Old Catholic Church, they can go right ahead as far as I’m concerned.
    Comment by Rellis

    I have certain problems with the some of the positions taken by and attitudes of the SSPX. But I also realize that to a great extent those positions and attitudes are the consequence of the systematic persecution of the SSPX by Rome.

  66. Chris says:

    “Could someone explain to me why this quasi-schismatic cult deserves so much attention anymore? It kind of reminds me of the Russian scholars looking for work after the Berlin Wall fell.”

    No, it’s more like after the fall of Communism, all the liberals asking why we’re not gutting the military because “the boogeyman is dead.” Then came bin Laden.

    It’s the inability of people to see beyond their noses which has always been a problem.

    In D.C., we’ve had a weekly traditional Mass for 20 years. Guess what extra we have a year after the SP? Nothing.

    Let’s keep praying that the SP takes root everywhere AND that the SSPX comes into full communion. They will make the Church all the stronger once they’re fully in the fold.

  67. John Enright says:

    “Could someone explain to me why this quasi-schismatic cult deserves so much attention anymore? It kind of reminds me of the Russian scholars looking for work after the Berlin Wall fell.”

    Simple, really. Christian charity and the fact that we are our brothers’ keepers compel us to pray for the return of the Society to full communion.

  68. @David Kastel:
    Possibly because of preconceived notions due to your loyalty to the Pope.

    That seems unfair, David, because I got the same perception as TJB did and I am not Catholic. What is more, I’ve always been a bit favorable towards the SSPX just because I liked the traditional Latin Mass, even though I am (or was) an Episcopalian, and I knew that the SSPX opposed the “New Mass” (which I’ve never liked as much.)

    I certainly hope and pray that this division can be healed, and it certainly appears (to an outsider like myself, at least,) that Pope Benedict is making every effort on his end. Hopefully the SSPX will accept his apparent good will and find a way to end the breach.

  69. Habemus Papam says:

    If peoples view of SSPX depend on the tone of a letter one day and the tone of a news report the next, such people are fickle. And thats being charitable.

  70. Ken says:

    “however, without the FSSPX, there would be no Ecclesia Dei indult, and even less the Summorum Pontificum general indult. [I reject this premise. Fr. Z]”

    The founding superior general of the Fraternity of Saint Peter stated the other day that without the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre the traditional Latin Mass would have died. [I don't think we can accept that premise across the board. - Fr. Z]

    Whatever one’s view of the Society and the late archbishop, we should not discount the fact that they are the reason we are doing what we do today. It was not magic or a coincidence that the original indult happened.

    We can all agree that prayer is the only thing available to us at this point. But until a decision has been made, how about we knock off the SSPX-bashing? If it goes the way many of us want, the bashers will then have critized a priestly society in full union with Rome.

  71. Jacob says:

    >>There’s nothing to tell (in any case I could do without the author of this blogs snarky red comments of “oh look folks another axe to grind/oh look folks another blah blah”).
    Comment by Recidite Plebes — 2 July 2008 @ 8:55 am

    So why do you continue to come to this blog and post? No offense, but if you don’t like Father Z, no one’s making you come here to read his stuff.

  72. dcs says:

    I am not Spartacus writes:
    Mr. Sobrino. Excellent observation. I was hoping you’d post here so I could offer you kudos for bringing into the forefront the Holy Father’s letter stating groups may NOT refuse to offer the Normative Mass.

    Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.

    I don’t think the letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum has the force of law.

    Obviously the Holy Father believes that the SSPX would be a positive force in the Church since he has extended the olive branch to them.

  73. I am not Spartacus says:

    Wednesday, July 02, 2008
    Castrillón satisfied with SSPX answer
    SSPX will give heed to the five points

    That actually made me chortle. Give heed? That is all it took to get a positive response from Rome?

    Give heed…that’s it. The sspx refused to agree to the minimalist position that represents the sine qua non of Catholicism and Rome considers that satisfactory.

    That, to me, is revealing in that it discloses just how out-of-touch with Catholic reality Romes knows this schism is.

    Wow.

    Far from signaling how close it is to a reconciliation being accomplished Rome’s response of satisfaction highlights just how far Rome realises The SSPX are from even the initial steps they must take to begin to retrace its path back to Communion, to say nothing about simple sanity.

  74. Brian Mershon says:

    vox: Happily, when the excommunications are lifted by the Holy Father and acknowledged for all the world to see, then you will not have to worry about making that decision any more.

    Something to rejoice in huh? You “do the best you can within the confines of the Church.”

    Many will young families do not want to spend explaining to their children that Father’s homily was “somewhat fuzzy,” but lacking authentic Catholic doctrine/spirituality, nor desire to explain to them any more why Father does, and the choir does, the extraordinary ministers do, the silly things they do.

    It is called being authentic. You make your choices. Congratulations!

    Some people are not in the same boat you are in and have made different decisions for the good of their spirituality and peace of mind.

    Again and again. The Church teaches there is no sin nor canonical delict for fulfilling one’s Sunday obligation at an SSPX chapel. If you want to be more rigid in this regard than the Church’s official stance, then by all means, go ahead.

  75. Brian Mershon says:

    I am not said: “That, to me, is revealing in that it discloses just how out-of-touch with Catholic reality Romes knows this schism is.”

    So now YOU sit in judgement of the Pope and Cardinal Castrillon???.

    The Pope, as Cardinal Ratzinger, is more well aware of this than anyone else alive. He dealt directly with Archbishop Lefebvre.

    Cardinal Castrillon has been dealing DIRECTLY with Bishop Fellay now for 8 years.

    You certainly do not hold the Pope nor his direct report too highly “I am not Spartacus.” You seem to be publicly questioning the judgment of the Pope because of your axe against the SSPX.

    Perhaps it is your worldview that is too refined and too narrow?

  76. Matthew M. says:

    Brian,
    you seem to have an overly simplistic view of the danger of regularly fulfilling the Sabbath at a mass given by an excommunicated priest. I know of the documents kicked around in some quarters from functionaries at the Vatican. But there hasn’t been anything rising to the level of a definitive ‘official’ statement of the Church.

    In the absence of such a decision, one should surely listen to one’s bishop (I can here the sharp intake of breath, now…) I wonder how the bishops across the Church would feel about your statement of “…no sin nor canonical delict for fulfilling one’s Sunday obligation at an SSPX chapel.” Or perhaps you’ve decided to be the bishop for everybody in the traditionalist community?

  77. Brian Mershon says:

    Matthew:

    “Answers provided by this pontifical commission can be acted upon with moral certainty.” Vice President, Msgr. Perl

    I have two such letters in my posession as well as Msgr. Perl’s signature attesting to such.

    I never said that it is advisable, nor that the PCED “recommends” attendance at SSPX chapels regularly.

    I said there is no sin nor canonical delict (penalty). As such, each Catholic, with the aid of his spiritual director, can come to different conclusions about participating at SSPX chapels.

    As such, those who posit themselves as “more Catholic than the Pope,” thereby tellling everyone else what to do are in fact NOT in keeping with Catholic teaching, morality nor spirituality.

    They should ALL mind their own business.

  78. Chris says:

    Vox/Matthew:

    I understand ignorance on this matter from some, but not from people who are involved enough to read this good blog.

    The ONLY members of the SSPX who were excommunicated were the four bishops. That’s it. And even now that is nearly null and void as the Vatican routinely refers to the Society as merely in an “irregular” position but one that needs to be fixed, of course.

    Neither the priest or the laymen who assist at their Masses are excommunicated. And yes, in writing from Ecclesia Dei, one can both fulfill their Sunday obgligation and give money for the collection, week in and week out, at an SSPX chapel.

    You’re putting yourselves above the Church and doing so with falsehoods. Argue the merits just don’t spread false facts.

  79. Patrick says:

    It’s really not surprising that Card. Castrillon Hoyos found their letter to be satisfactory. After all, we haven’t seen their letter. Undoubtedly, it was sincere and humble and devoid of any of the snide insinuations that they usually make. See, they always write for their audience, even if it means bending the truth. So, they wrote a “sincere” letter to the Holy Father, and Card. Castrillon is happy. Then, they turn around and publish the official statement above – the one that rips the Church in several places.

    Let’s not forget that in past dealings, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos had to publish a public letter refuting 16 (or more) lies spread by Bishop Fellay. Apparently, Bishop Fellay is not real big on the truth. He just tells his followers whatever will motivate them in the direction that he desires.

  80. dcs says:

    Give heed…that’s it. The sspx refused to agree to the minimalist position that represents the sine qua non of Catholicism and Rome considers that satisfactory.

    Since you don’t know the contents of Bp. Fellay’s letter to Card. Castrillon, it seems to me that it is rash to judge whether or not His Eminence should find it satisfactory, even assuming that a Catholic layman has the right to judge in the first place. Since you have repeatedly stressed that we have no right to determine that the excommunications of the SSPX bishops are invalid, I would think consistency requires that we not be critical of the Holy See’s prudential judgments in this case.

  81. Patrick says:

    Chris,

    The priests are suspended. That is indisputable. When a suspended priest says Mass, he commits a mortal sin, with the Body and Blood of Christ no less.

  82. Recidite Plebes says:

    Jacob: at the risk of going off on a tangent, I look in on occasion when the subject matter interests me, which is why I read it. I disagree with a lot of what the author says in his blog, but I don\’t make a habit of commenting on threads for the sake of it because I see little point. Neither do I owe any explanations as to why I feel the way I do about the RCC. I mean that not in a perjorative sense, but I simply don\’t feel the need to explain myself beyond what I do.
    As for the author of this blog, I have never met him so could not comment on liking him or otherwise, except to say that I doubt very much that we would get on at all, but that is beside the point.

    The point is, and has been, the SSPX, and on that topic I\’ve said most of what I care to unless I see something that I would wish to respond to.

  83. DM says:

    Patrick:

    The letter does not “rip” the Church in a single place. Only if you read it in the blackest light with the highest degree of suspicion and a predetermined conclusion, will you find the necessary connotations, hidden subtexts and subtle choices of diction to support that conclusion.

    And why do we not like the SSPX? Oh yes, that’s right – their ranks are full of conspiracy theorists.

  84. anonymous in Michigan says:

    It’s really not surprising that Card. Castrillon Hoyos found their letter to be satisfactory. After all, we haven’t seen their letter. Undoubtedly, it was sincere and humble and devoid of any of the snide insinuations that they usually make. See, they always write for their audience, even if it means bending the truth. So, they wrote a “sincere” letter to the Holy Father, and Card. Castrillon is happy. Then, they turn around and publish the official statement above – the one that rips the Church in several places.

    Let’s not forget that in past dealings, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos had to publish a public letter refuting 16 (or more) lies spread by Bishop Fellay. Apparently, Bishop Fellay is not real big on the truth. He just tells his followers whatever will motivate them in the direction that he desires.

    What a strange comment. Amazing that you are able to make a judgment on the real motives of Bp. Fellay. It is rather tiring to read all these commentaries on the internet. So I suppose the first assumption we should have is that Bp. Fellay is really Machiavellian in his approach rather than sincerely desiring what is good for the Church?

  85. Matthew M. says:

    Chris and Brian Mershon,
    I notice neither of you mentioned my question about whether it was likely one’s bishop would countenance membership at an SSPX parish rather than a diocesan parish. Can I take it for granted that you recommend we only obey bishops when we agree with them? That seems to be a definitive SSPX attitude.

    Chris –
    with regard to my “falsehoods”, I would draw your attention to a letter from Brian Mershon’s correspondent, Monsignor Perl (of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission). It can be found on the Una Voce website: http://www.unavoce.org/articles/2003/perl-011803.htm

    He writes:

    The priests of the Society of St. Pius X are validly ordained, but they are suspended from exercising their priestly functions. To the extent that they adhere to the schism of the late Archbishop Lefebvre, they are also excommunicated.

    Concretely this means that the Masses offered by these priests are valid, but illicit i.e., contrary to the law of the Church.

    It seems you are the one spreading falsehoods, Chris. While the priests of the SSPX (and their masses) are valid, reverent, beautiful, and in many respects more Catholic that the liturgy of many diocesan parishes the fact remains that they are given by excommunicant priests led by excommunicant bishops

    I do hope Brain Mershon is correct, and this will be revoked. He seems to think this is a ‘done deal’.. well, we’ll continue to pray for it, won’t we?

    Furthermore, the letter from Msgr. Perl reads:

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

    Now, that is a more nuanced response than that of Brian Mershon’s above. Brian says it is simply no problem to go to the SSPX parish. But his friend Msgr. Perl is far more guarded: he cannot recommend it, and one could very well be commiting a sin, depending on intention.

    So as you see Chris, I may be a ninny about 100 things, but at least in this respect, I’m not putting myself “above the Church”. And once again I wonder, since the bishops are purported to have some useful role in the Catholic Church.. would you assume most bishops would says it’s okay to attend the SSPX parish instead of the Diocesan?

  86. Tobias says:

    “Wednesday, July 02, 2008
    Castrillón satisfied with SSPX answer
    SSPX will give heed to the five points

    That actually made me chortle. Give heed? That is all it took to get a positive response from Rome?

    Give heed…that’s it. The sspx refused to agree to the minimalist position that represents the sine qua non of Catholicism and Rome considers that satisfactory.

    That, to me, is revealing in that it discloses just how out-of-touch with Catholic reality Romes knows this schism is.

    Wow.

    Far from signaling how close it is to a reconciliation being accomplished Rome’s response of satisfaction highlights just how far Rome realises The SSPX are from even the initial steps they must take to begin to retrace its path back to Communion, to say nothing about simple sanity.”

    I am not Spartacus: Why must you transform good news into bad? Remember, you’re
    just an atom of hydrogen in a molecule of water whereas Pope Benedict (who no
    doubt gave his consent to Cardinal Castrillon) is a veritable Amazon River of theological
    understanding. Why don’t you give them the benefit of the doubt and just say,
    “Good then.” Bind yourself to the rock of judgment, and keep your own personal
    appraisals and opinions muted while people who know better and who have authority
    to deal with these things are doing things that they think are appropriate.

  87. dcs says:

    And once again I wonder, since the bishops are purported to have some useful role in the Catholic Church.. would you assume most bishops would says it’s okay to attend the SSPX parish instead of the Diocesan?

    I don’t know of anyone who has taken a survey.

    It is true that Masses offered by suspended priests are illicit. But it is the responsibility of priests to see that they offer Mass licitly, not the responsibility of the laity who assist at their Masses.

  88. Patrick says:

    DM,

    I am going off the fisk comments by Fr. Z. He noted the insinuations that they made of the vatican being evasive and hasty.

    anonymous,

    I am merely pointing out a very reasonable argument for why Card. Castrillon Hoyos may be satisfied with the reply. It would be helpful if we could read Bishop Fellay’s response.

  89. Richard says:

    RBrown,

    Don’t get carried away by your own enthusiasm. Before SP there were three 1962 Latin masses in KC (none Novus Ordo)—one from the SSPX. A year after SP there are still the same three masses. Where I am currently living (at least an hour from each of the those three masses), there are 5 parishes within 10 minutes. None have anything close to a Latin Mass.

    We should not get carried away – the labor is great and the laborers still far too few (and opposition in the vineyard not inconsiderable) – but neither should we underestimate what progress *has* been made.

    Pre-Finn/SP, Kansas City did indeed have middling liturgical scene – better than many, worse than some. Besides SSPX, there was the FSSP presence at Blessed Sacrament, and the rather indifferent diocesan TLM over on Gilham. Let us also not forget Our Lady of Good Counsel down in Westport, which does (or at least did) a semi-Latin traditional Novus Ordo.

    But Bishop Finn’s granting of a personal parish to ICK must be accounted a major upgrade over what obtained previously, as must his personal example in traditional devotions (to say nothing of cleaning out the chancery). Obviously, given the state of the priests it will take longer to have an impact in average parish life on either side of the state line – ultimately it may take until more young, Latin-friendly priests start making their way into the parishes and running them.

    Personnel is policy. We need more personnel.

  90. Theo says:

    From a thread on the TAR, from the most popular SSPX-friendly forum out there:

    Congratulations!!!… you are now in “communion” with a man who prays with heretics and schismatics ( which previous Popes had already declared an act of heresy in itself ).

    This will another added pressure that Modernist Rome will use to stick in the face of the SSPX.

    So basically, the Redemptorists — or should I say Br Michael Mary — lost their [his] nerve and gave up the fight by simply pretending it to be something different than they [he] previously knew and believed.

    And, just imagine, what souls shall now not be reached with the Word of God because of this weak-kneed defection in the face of controversy. Do they think that the Christian life is more true when one is not persecuted as Christ was persecuted ?

    The neocons and neo-trads may be “thanking God”, but they are blinded truly.

    They act as if modernistic post-Vatican-II Assisi-conferencing liberal Rome is identical with the Rome of Pope Eugene IV and Pope Pius XII. And read carefully – they also imply that the Redemptorists during their pro-SSPX allied time were somehow “in schism”.

    If people here are doubtful about the SSPX, this is why. I can’t see any alternate heavily SSPX sources out there that sing any different tune other than the “Modernist Rome, Liberal, Possibly Heretical Pope” one.

    Please explain to me why an infusion of this kind of sentiment is good for the Church.

    In my opinion the reason Benedict is doing this is in the hopes of peeling off those whose priority is the Mass and traditional Catholic devotional life from the leadership.

  91. RBrown says:

    Bishop Finn is a very good man, but he has inherited a mess. He followed one wishy wishy bishop (Bp Boland) and another (Bp Sullivan) who made Bp Boland seem like Pius XII.

    I have been to masses at all three places–the SSPX mass years ago. For me now to attend Blessed Sacrament takes about 4 yours.

    But my comment was a reply to someone who had said that Latin masses are springing up in parish after parish.

    BTW, years ago I often attend the 5:00 mass at St Peter’s on 64th and Holmes. The asst pastor left the priesthood and died of AIDS a bit later.

  92. RBrown says:

    Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.
    pontificum.
    Comment by I am not Spartacus

    Hasn’t this already been settled? The letter does not mean that everyone also has to celebrate acc to the 1970 Missal. The qualifying phrase “as a matter of principle” means the sentence refers to an attitude toward its validity.

  93. Vox Borealis says:

    Matthew M.,

    Thank you so much for your clarifying response, backed up by documents. This only reinforces my own conviction: that I cannot bring myself to attend mass said by excommunicated priests led by excommunicated bishops. And as far as the difficulty of having to explain Fr. Novus Ordo’s fuzzy homily to my family, I would find it even more difficult convincing them (and myself) that I was not adhering to schism by going to a SSPX chapel.

    I truly do hope and pray that the society will come back into full communion with Rome, for good of all involved.

  94. Alaskastan says:

    As a former radical-traditionalist who came to see that such a position is tantamount to neo-Protestantism (characterized by displacement of the magisterium into the personal realm), I suspect that the reason Rome has historically been more heavy-handed against traditionalists than against modernist heretics, generally speaking, is that the former are, because of their mostly orthodox position, more insidious. Other instances could be cited where Rome has intervened more readily because of a greater perceived similitude — e.g., in the case of Anglican ordinations (and not, so far as I am aware, with respect to Lutheran ordinations).

    I don’t see why the SSPX position is not at least dangerously close to schism, given the canonical definition of the latter as “refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him” (CIC 751). Nor am I relying on a simplistic understanding which construes schism as mere disobedience, but on the intended meaning of principled denial of the pope’s authority to command obedience in what in fact pertains to his office. Which most definitely includes matters of liturgical promulgation.

  95. Matthew M. says:

    Vox
    I would add, though: I sure would love to be able to include SSPX chapels in the list our family could attend. And what a blessing some of those priests and parishioners would be to the Church.

  96. Marie says:

    Recidite Plebes,

    could you be so kind as to leave your prejudices to one side ?

    I don’t know what you knew exactly here, in the United States, but I do know that when I was a little girl, in the seventies, my parents, little by little had to make choices.
    They saw my elder brothers and I getting bored with the New Mass, even though there were not yet scandals in our church, and we were close to our three or five priests (happy times !). But we saw great scandals when we had to go at mass with cousins.
    My parents were missing the Latin Mass, but they were afraid of what could think especially my father’s family.
    Once, as we were living in Versailles, my mother decided to go to the Royal Chapel where friends had told her there was the Latin Mass. A good priest, from the diocese, had obtained from his good friend, the French minister of Culture, André Malraux (a communist one, but who fought with him and their other friend, Charles De Gaulle – not the kind we like in “Tradition” – during the war), he obtained to celebrate the Latin mass at the Castle. His bishop did not dare to do anything. He was a very renowned organist and the re-discoverer of Lalande.
    It was Christmas, midnight mass. We all, children, came back enchanted, as if we were coming back from the antechamber of Paradise. My brothers began to dream about serving the mass there (quite an other thing than what they were used to do with our priest from the parish – who where not at all the worst ones). And when my mother asked us what we would prefer for our ordinary mass, to go back to the parish or to go now at the Royal Chapel we all shouted we wanted the Latin mass.
    In our catholic school, there was still a very good priest, and our school mistresses were quite all like us.
    And we continued to go sometimes to our parish, because it was at the end of the street, and we did not want to make our parish priests sad.
    When my mother lost her last baby, who was six months old, our parish priest refused to celebrate the mass for his funeral because it was unnecessary in the new liturgy. Our “latin” priest did it and was very delicate for my mother.
    We did not want to go to our parish any more.
    Then, my mother fall ill : we all spent a year in the countryside, in the South. My parents had heard about a very good Dominican school, and the young SSPX (we did not know directly before except for confirmation at Saint-Nicolas with Archbishop Lefebvre) had a school for boys very near.
    At the end of the year, my parents came back to Versailles and asked me if I wanted to come back to my school, near Paris, or to stay with my Dominicans, and they were very surprised to hear me asking to stay – though boarding school far from the family was not everyday easy.
    But the sisters were wonderful !
    News from home were the heretic catechism my little brothers had to learn in school (the school mistresses were not yet the same, except a very bad one, and the good priest have had to leave, because quite all good families had taken out their children). Jesus was only a star, a good sympathetic guy who preached LOVE and TOLERANCE, he thought that he was God, and his disciples believed in him. My little brothers were strictly forbidden to take the book home… in case my parents could see it (John Paul II in the beginning of the… nineties asked our bishop to change it… because of its heresies ! But a whole generation had already been taught with it !). My parents organized with other parents homeschooling and it was not very easy for all these families, with many children, and most of the time, not such a money…
    I heard also, I wasn’t there myself, but my whole family and our friends were, about one of our priest torn from the altar by the police… sent by Versailles’ bishop ! We will never be able to forget. The crowd of the faithful was there. Some policemen were so shocked that they did not dare to lay a hand on him and took refuge in the sacristy and cried… The secretary of our priest was severely wounded. Policemen took the tabernacle, with the Sacred Species in the police headquarters…
    Our bishop indeed had managed to take back the Royal Chapel when our main priest fall seriously ill – Malraux was dead – and he had to go to this other church He saved from ruin… though built by Louis XVI… Our main priest died, the bishop obtained that the respective congregations of the others called them back, and the faithfuls without shepherd had to ask the young Benedictine monastery of Le Barroux to rescue them.
    We continued nevertheless, during the holidays, to go to mass here and there with our cousins. In my mother’s family, my aunts quite always went to churches with old good priests when I was there. It was not the same with my father’s family, and the battle was very hard… for years… It was not easy at all for a very young girl, I can assure you, to genuflect during the consecration when all people looked at you as if you where a strange prehistoric animal. Not to speak of the communion. But these masses where “recognized” by the pope ! So…
    And I was the target of constant (not ill-intentioned) mockery from my uncles and aunts about mass, catechism, CHASTITY and SEXUAL EDUCATION (my cousins had in their schools)… No ! It wasn’t easy at all ! especially from people you loved !
    When John Paul II went to Lisieux, and after to Le Bourget (near Paris), we were all there.
    Personally, it is only when I was seventeen years old that I decided never to go again at the New Mass : my uncle and aunt (from my mother’s family), once, during the holidays, decided to go to mass with their friends, I don’t remember where. I was left to my eldest cousins… who decided, they, to go to Taizée, this very renowned oecumenical place not far from their home, near Cluny. I was very troubled… but I was used to think in the other places, that “the Pope was agreeing” with theses priests, and so it was here also, even if I have heard so many things about… I went there, because I had no choice, and tried to attend with the greatest attention I was able, trying not to have prejudices. It was disastrous ! I was not able to perceive any consecration nor anything of the Catholic mass, but a very Protestant “Cène”, as they call it (and you know, I suppose, how our Protestants, at least in France, Germany and Belgium are less conservative than yours). I felt more than ever trapped by the consequences of the “the Pope agree” sentences…

    I am sorry to have spoken about myself, but my experience is nothing but the very ordinary experience of most people who knew the “Tradition” in that time.
    I just can add that when on a morning, I entered the courtyard of the Sorbonne, and I heard a friend tell me that Archbishop Lefebvre was dead… I suddenly realized more than ever how we had to be grateful to him, to had taken such a terrible decision as the episcopal consecrations not to let us without priests again !
    You can laugh at my “education”, as you can laugh at the real prosecution we had from our bishops (I could tell you so much more, on the way, for example, my Dominicans, superior, priors, simple sisters, young and old, were put out into the streets, by the bishop of Toulouse, and so on…).

    You can laugh at this word we all needed to name the “Tradition”… to be sure that in discussions we knew about what we were talking.
    You can laugh also at the sweet name of “integrists”, our good bishops, journalists and politiciens gave us to make people think we were fanatics (just for you, I add that they all call you, Americans, with the same name, when they refer to the Christian religion of your country, to oppose you to our – also – kind Muslims).
    You can laugh at poverty so many of our families knew, because they were too stupid to take the pill, and they had everything to build again, from schools to chapels (masses in garages for years in so many places, did you know that, you, for Faith ?).

    You can laugh, but it is not Archbishop Lefebvre’s fault if quite all my cousins (quite a hundred, from “conservative” families) lost their faith more or less. The same in my friends families.
    You can laugh, but it is not his fault if France, and all Europe lost their faith, and from Catholic countries when I was a little girl are now an atheist ones, and turn to Muslim !

    I can’t laugh myself,
    and I prefer to think that you’re better than your sarcasms !

    In Christo.

  97. I am not Spartacus says:

    I never said that it is advisable, nor that the PCED “recommends” attendance at SSPX chapels regularly.

    And it is good you didn’t because the PCED decided just the opposite.

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

    Pontificia Commissio “Ecclesia Dei” January 18, 2003

    In a previous letter to the same correspondent we had already indicated the canonical status of the Society of St. Pius X which we will summarize briefly here.

    1.) The priests of the Society of St. Pius X are validly ordained, but they are suspended from exercising their priestly functions. To the extent that they adhere to the schism of the late Archbishop Lefebvre, they are also excommunicated.

    2.) Concretely this means that the Masses offered by these priests are valid, but illicit i.e., contrary to the law of the Church.

    Points 1 and 3 in our letter of 27 September 2002 to this correspondent are accurately reported. His first question was “Can I fulfill my Sunday obligation by attending a Pius X Mass” and our response was:

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

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

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

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

  98. Vox Borealis says:

    Matthew M.

    I agree, and that makes the situation all the more tragic. But I do think that we guard against the view that the SSPX is hunky-dory except for those four excommunicated bishops (and even that is a weird position, from my perspective: that one would willing adhere to a group led by excommunicated bishops…). The society as a whole is, well, awkward (to use a charitable term). The bishop-leaders are excommunicated. The priests are all excommunicated. Let us not dance around this any more. Moreover, citing the same letter from Ecclesia Dei, it is clear that although it is not wrong per se to fulfill one’s Sunday obligation at a SSPX chapel, it is certainly not the ideal situation. Indeed, my reading of that letter is that the Church rather frowns on the practice.

    I really do find troubling the argument that it’s ok to attend SSPX masses regularly “for the good of my family” because the priests are orthodox, preach clearly, etc. By that same logic, would it not be OK to attend, say, a High Anglican service, so long as the priest did not preach heresy? There is certainly a very good chance that the service would be liturgical reverent and beautiful, it would certain look Catholic, and there is also a great chance that the sermon would be orthodox even from a Catholic perspective.

    This is a society where essentially every member of the clergy is excommunicated. Surely this must trouble their apologists?

  99. I am not Spartacus says:

    Why must you transform good news into bad?

    Tobias. Well, first of all I wrote what I did because I thought my response was unique. Secondly, I wrote it because I think other’s “take” on the agreement to give heed was wildly off target.

    Now, if I am wrong I will be happy to admit I was wrong. For me that is as habituated an action as the lighting of an after dinner cigarette is for one habituated to nicotine.

  100. Joseph says:

    Painful to relate this, but looking back on years spent trying to build up the NO church as a choir director, and having spent time within the atmosphere of mushy morality preached week after week, hearing two or three such “homilies” a week from the pulpit, and having a new wife who was younger and thus (and I did not quite get this at the time) not knowing/integrating the older, more traditional Catholicism I had been reared with, (i.e., anyone under the age of 40-45 now) it became glaringly apparent upon reflection and all the more so retrospectively, that the very notion of what it meant to be Catholic, and in a Catholic marriage, was lost on her, and certainly was not being helped via the pulpit. Tradition based preaching would have also helped me as a husband. And when the marriage fell apart, given the societal influences and the tarot cards and whatever else, the staff of the church was just all too anxious to help initiate the “annulment” process. Kind of sick actually.

    So for those who smugly suggest that the NO church is the way despite its shortcomings and the SSPX is to be considered anathema, I would invite you to think again..The new morality preached, (or not preached or implied) is deadly. And I could relate many more stories as a church insider which would also adjust your thinking, just perhaps. (How about the Catholic school staffer who was relating/bragging to other teachers about her plans to secure strippers for her parents’ anniversary party, just so matter of factly; just one anectdote). Christ said it was those who did His will who would be considered his followers, not those who held titles.. and I don’t subscribe to sedavacantist leanings but if it were not for the SP and MP, I would definitely be in the EAstern rite church — and still may go that way, as the NO liturgical expressions are just way too hard to take now. I fought for that church of modernity, i.e., a better N.O., for years, but now I am like a reformed smoker,I cannot stand smoke (and mirrors to boot) and am way more intolerant than if I never took up smoking in the first place.

  101. Matthew M. says:

    Vox,
    I have to agree with you except one point: the canonical status of the priest and the mass between High Anglican and SSPX surely varies. The apostolic succession in the C of E is not recognized by the Church, and their serive is neither a valid nor licit mass. I might still take the family for the beauty of it though, not for Sunday obligation.

    You know, regarding the SSPX, they’re really a mystery to most of us – maybe a million folks, most W European. Surely not all of them are screaming Angelqueen types, with raving in mindless babble categories like ‘neo-con’ ‘neo-trad’ and ‘neo-catholic’?

    I guess the question is: to what extent have they internalized the spirit of protestantism, of setting themselves up as personal and local magisteria?

  102. Habemus Papam says:

    I am not Spartacus:Whenever I read your posts Im left with the impression that you resent what Pope Benedict is trying to accomplish because of the implicit criticism of John Paul II.

  103. Chris says:

    Matthew:

    Whether they are excommunicated as Msgr. Perl wrote, or only suspended as Card. Hoyos has said adding that only the bishops are excommunicated, the Vatican still gave full permission for laymen to fulfill their Sunday obligation at their Masses.

    This was done clearly and without conditions.

    You need to realize that, while you’re out there bashing the SSPX for whatever reason, the Holy Father cares so much for them and thinks so highly of them that he’s personally involved trying to get them back into full communion.

    I think you’d be wise to follow his example.

  104. Patrick says:

    Chris wrote: “the Vatican still gave full permission for laymen to fulfill their Sunday obligation at their Masses.”

    Can you post a link to that? I’ve never seen any official document from the Vatican that says this.

    Thanks!

  105. Vox Borealis says:

    Matthew M.

    Of course the canonical status is different. My point, I guess, is that many defend attending SSPX chapels to fulfill Sunday obligation on the grounds that I laid out: reverence, “real” preaching, orthodoxy, etc. But I find this position to be fundamentally at odds with the status of the society itself, namely the excommunication of the entire clergy. If this irregularity is not an impediment to attending regularly, to fulfill the Sunday obligation, then why stop there? Maybe my point is facetious, or I push the argument too far. But if these folks drive past various NO masses to attend an SSPX mass mainly for externals, then de facto they are separating themselves from the Church, the very motive that the PCED warns against.

  106. I am not Spartacus says:

    …would you assume most bishops would says it’s okay to attend the SSPX parish instead of the Diocesan

    Matthew. The Council of Trent teaches exactly the opposite:

    “No bishop is permitted under any pretext or privilege whatsoever to exercise episcopal functions in the diocese of another bishop, without the permission of the Ordinary of the place and with regard to persons subordinate to the same Ordinary. If any bishop does otherwise, he will be lawfully suspended from his episcopal functions . . .”

    and it certainly is contrary to what Abp. Lefevbre defended DURING the Second Vatican Council – NO JURISDICTION. NO MINISTRY

    So, how can anyone claim that the actions of the sspx are in any way defenisble? Well, one can’t; except to scream “state of emergency” even though Pope Pius XII and POpe John Paul II etc etc teach that a state of emerency can never apply to consecrating Bishops.

    There has never been a legitimate defense of a schism any where any time in 2000+ years of Tradition.

  107. KOM says:

    *without the FSSPX, there would be no Ecclesia Dei indult, and even less the Summorum Pontificum general indult. [I reject this premise. Fr. Z.*

    In the very least, you have to admit that SSPX held the torch for tradition; without them, there would be no FSSP or Transalpine Redemptorists, either. Would the Agatha Christi indult have kept the traditional Latin Mass alive? Doubtful.

  108. Brian Walden says:

    Joseph, do you think that the rest of us in the Church don’t experience those types of situations every day? No one says that they don’t exist. Instead we acknowledge that they exist and are wrong; we can demonstrate them to be so using Church teaching. There is orthodoxy brewing beneath the surface and Benedict is helping to bring it out. I belong to a very liberal parish, it was founded in the 70′s and has kept the 70′s mentality since then. But even here there are signs of life.

    A month ago I emailed a member of the parish staff because I was in the parish library and noticed that all the magazine subscriptions are for heterodox publications and offered to find better magazines to replace them with. I expected to be rebuked, but instead she wrote back that she was very happy that a parishioner brought this up and that she’d take it to the Parish Council. Just a few weeks ago at a parish dinner I met several other people who only receive communion on the tongue and long for this to become the common practice. From the surface, it may look like nothing has changed in my parish, but the seeds are being sown and soon they will start to flourish.

    I’m under 30, I’ve found that most of the people I grew up with have fallen away from the faith. I did for a time too. The ones who are here today are the ones who have discovered true Catholicism. I think this type of thing is happening all over the Church. The people who hijacked the Church after Vatican II are not able to reproduce themselves, their faith is false and it will die off as they do. Orthodoxy breeds vocations, orthodoxy breeds children who keep the faith, orthodoxy is slowly taking back the Church. It’s taken nearly 50 years to get to where we are now and it will probably take another 50 to fix the damage that has been done. But don’t lose hope.

  109. I am not Spartacus says:

    As Fidelity Magazine noted:

    The Society establishes seminaries, churches, chapels, and priories throughout the world without any reference to the local ordinaries in whose dioceses it carries out these acts. This is contrary to the Code of Canon Law (Canons 234, 237, 1215, 1223-1228).

    It ordains priests without the dismissorial letters required by Canon Law (Canons 1015, 1018-1023).

    It hears confessions and celebrates marriages without jurisdiction (Canons 966-976, 1108-1123).

  110. Brian Mershon says:

    Vox and I am not Spartacus:

    Again, the pastoral advice of the PCED is to not encourage Catholics to attend Mass there.

    They do not prohibit attendance, but their pastoral advice is against it.

    Is it sinful? No. Is it a proximate occasion of sin? I suppose it could be, but I have never heard anything remotely schismatic or disobedient from any SSPX chapel I have periodically attended.

    Therefore, we should listen to the authoritative voice of the Church on this question, the PCED, rather than the “holier than Thou” “more Catholic than the Pope” “conservatives” (What exactly have they conserved?)who are more narrow and rigid on this matter than the Pope because they have made a living of playing Hegelian semantics and positing the right and left on each side of them while they are in the (supposedly) safe middle.

    “False idea of a middle way between two extremes” is a logical fallacy.

  111. Chris says:

    Patrick, here’s the link to the letter.

    http://www.unavoce.org/articles/2003/perl-011803.htm

    And here’s what the head of Ecclesia Dei said about the SSPX back in 2005:

    INTERVIEW OF DARIO CARDINAL CASTRILLON HOYOS
    PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COMMISSION “ECCLESIA DEI”
    Interview with Gianni Cardinale, of 30 Giorni

    November 2005

    “Unfortunately Monsignor Lefebvre went ahead with the consecration and
    hence the situation of separation came about, EVEN IF IT WAS NOT A
    FORMAL SCHISM.”

  112. Michael J says:

    vox,

    In order to claim that “essentially every member of the clergy is excommunicated” it means that you must have made a prudential judgement about “essentially every member of the clergy” that they do, in fact, “adhere to the schism of the late Archbishop Lefebvre”.

    Obviously you cannot arrive at this conclusion based on some animosity or pre-conceived notion or belief that you have been granted some special insight into the thoughts and hearts of “essentially every member of the clergy”. I am not saying that your conclusion is unreasonable, only pointing out the fact that your conclusions, reasonable as they may be, must be based on some publicly observable behavior that indicates that the clergy have essentially excommunicated themselves.

    So far, especially given the current state of the Church, I can find little fault with this, but I’d like to turn it around a bit. If publicly observable behavior is the criteria, and I see no immediate reason why it should not, the same can be said of many of the Clergy. I won’t go as far as you do and claim that “essentially all” of the clergy have excommunicated themselves, but certainly it is not unreasonable to be wary of a Priest wearing a Mr. Potato Head puppet mask.

    So where does that leave the faithful?

    On the one hand we are faced with a Priest who is likely excommunicated due to schism. On the other, we are faced with a Priest who is likely excommunicated due to heresy.

    In a roundabout way, all I am trying to point out, that choosing where to attend Mass based on which is better “for the good of my family”, as troubling as it may be, is really the only option available. You have chosen to grit your teeth and be especially vigilant so that you can undo the damage caused by “Fr. Novus Ordo’s fuzzy homily”. Others have chosen to protect their Faith and their family’s Faith in a different way.

  113. EVERYONE: You need to moderate your tone. Please take a moment to consider if what you are about to post will really get your point across in a way that will produce more light than heat… and if it will be something that will make me want to delete it and ban you from the blog.

    Have a nice day!

    o{]:¬)

  114. Calleva says:

    Marie – thank you for your interesting and moving posts. I quite understand the pain your family has felt and the way that modernistic catechesis is depriving people of the faith. I returned to the church as a young adult in 1975 and had to teach myself the faith because it really isn’t taught very rigorously any more. Let us all hope and pray for reunion between the SSPX and Rome and for the many graces from heaven that would come to all of us from this.

    Some people have commented that the SSPX (cf. Angelqueen etc) sound so negative and anti-Pope that unity seems impossible. BUT… we need to factor in the Holy Spirit. Look at the Transalpine Redemptorists, they also used to say tough things but if you read yesterday’s statement from their Vicar General, it is suffused with the most intense joy that they are back in the fold, and it’s clear that graces are being poured out on them. I would imagine that a ‘post-reunion’ SSPX (or those members who don’t remain obstinate) would speak rather differently from the way it does now.

    I know on another thread I was a little more cautious – one’s hopes and fears are so bound up with this, and there is so much discussing and ‘decoding’ of recent rumours that so much is conjecture. Still, we know that Fr Z has a contact who is closer to the ground than we are, and there is reason to be hopeful. Let’s continue praying!

  115. I am not Spartacus says:

    AD APOSTOLORUM PRINCIPIS
    ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII

    We have heard that many such elections have been held contrary to all right and law and that, in addition, certain ecclesiastics have rashly dared to receive episcopal consecration, despite the public and severe warning which this Apostolic See gave those involved.

    Since, therefore, such serious offenses against the discipline and unity of the Church are being committed, We must in conscience warn all that this is completely at variance with the teachings and principles on which rests the right order of the society divinely instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord.

    38. For it has been clearly and expressly laid down in the canons that it pertains to the one Apostolic See to judge whether a person is fit for the dignity and burden of the episcopacy,[11] and that complete freedom in the nomination of bishops is the right of the Roman Pontiff.[12] But if, as happens at times, some persons or groups are permitted to participate in the selection of an episcopal candidate, this is lawful only if the Apostolic See has allowed it in express terms and in each particular case for clearly defined persons or groups, the conditions and circumstances being very plainly determined.

    39. Granted this exception, it follows that bishops who have been neither named nor confirmed by the Apostolic See, but who, on the contrary, have been elected and consecrated in defiance of its express orders, enjoy no powers of teaching or of jurisdiction since jurisdiction passes to bishops only through the Roman Pontiff as We admonished in the Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis in the following words: “. . . As far as his own diocese is concerned each (bishop) feeds the flock entrusted to him as a true shepherd and rules it in the name of Christ. Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying ordinary power of jurisdiction which they receive directly from the same Supreme Pontiff.”[13]

    40. And when We later addressed to you the letter Ad Sinarum gentem, We again referred to this teaching in these words: “The power of jurisdiction which is conferred directly by divine right on the Supreme Pontiff comes to bishops by that same right, but only through the successor of Peter, to whom not only the faithful but also all bishops are bound to be constantly subject and to adhere both by the reverence of obedience and by the bond of unity.”[14]

    41. Acts requiring the power of Holy Orders which are performed by ecclesiastics of this kind, though they are valid as long as the consecration conferred on them was valid, are yet gravely illicit, that is, criminal and sacrilegious.

    42. To such conduct the warning words of the Divine Teacher fittingly apply: “He who enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up another way, is a thief and a robber.”[15] The sheep indeed know the true shepherd’s voice. “But a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”[16]

    43. We are aware that those who thus belittle obedience in order to justify themselves with regard to those functions which they have unrighteously assumed, defend their position by recalling a usage which prevailed in ages past. Yet everyone sees that all ecclesiastical discipline is overthrown if it is in any way lawful for one to restore arrangements which are no longer valid because the supreme authority of the Church long ago decreed otherwise. In no sense do they excuse their way of acting by appealing to another custom, and they indisputably prove that they follow this line deliberately in order to escape from the discipline which now prevails and which they ought to be obeying.

    44. We mean that discipline which has been established not only for China and the regions recently enlightened by the light of the Gospel, but for the whole Church, a discipline which takes its sanction from that universal and supreme power of caring for, ruling, and governing which our Lord granted to the successors in the office of St. Peter the Apostle.

    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]

    47. From what We have said, it follows that no authority whatsoever, save that which is proper to the Supreme Pastor, can render void the canonical appointment granted to any bishop; that no person or group, whether of priests or of laymen, can claim the right of nominating bishops; that no one can lawfully confer episcopal consecration unless he has received the mandate of the Apostolic See.[18]

    48. Consequently, if consecration of this kind is being done contrary to all right and law, and by this crime the unity of the Church is being seriously attacked, an excommunication reserved specialissimo modo to the Apostolic See has been established which is automatically incurred by the consecrator and by anyone who has received consecration irresponsibly conferred.[19]

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

    Like the General who thought he had to destroy the Vietnam Village in order to save it, The SSPX destroys Tradition to preserve it.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_29061958_ad-apostolorum-principis_en.html

  116. Vox Borealis says:

    Brian Mershon,

    You play a little fast and loose with what the letter said and what it means. To quote:

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

    Thus, the *motives* for attending an SSPX chapel determine whether it is a sin. My argument above is that to knowingly attend a SSPX mass, especially to do so regularly to fulfill the Sunday obligation, despite the well-known status of the society’s clergy, is de facto an act of separation from communion with the Roman Pontiff.

    But even if we grant the strictest meaning of the letter, that it is OK to attend a SSPX chapel out of devotion for the 1962 missal, what about places that have a licit EF mass? This is the situation in my town, where a perfectly fine, easy to get to, conveniently scheduled “indult” mass lives alongside a SSPX chapel mass. In this situation, one can only conclude the vast majority of those attending the SSPX mass instead of the “legitimate” mass are doing so because they place the society itself above communion with Rome. And this would be sin, at least as I read Perl’s words.

  117. Matthew M. says:

    Chris,
    you wrote:

    Whether they are excommunicated as Msgr. Perl wrote, or only suspended as Card. Hoyos has said adding that only the bishops are excommunicated, the Vatican still gave full permission for laymen to fulfill their Sunday obligation at their Masses.

    This was done clearly and without conditions.

    I am open to what you say, but have seen no evidence at all that “the Vatican still gave full permission for laymen to fulfill their Sunday obligation at their Masses..clearly and without conditions.”

    Msgr. Perl’s note is extremely reluctant on this issue: “We have already told you that we cannot recommend your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why.” What other documentation has been offered that “The Vatican” has said this?

    Moreover, we all live in a diocese, governed by a bishop. I can’t imagine what possessed a Catholic to defy his bishop and worship at a parish that doesn’t recognize the authority of that bishop. As Spartacus points out, this would directly contravene the Council of Trent.

    Then you admonished:

    You need to realize that, while you’re out there bashing the SSPX for whatever reason, the Holy Father cares so much for them and thinks so highly of them that he’s personally involved trying to get them back into full communion.

    I think you’d be wise to follow his example.

    A) I am not bashing the SSPX. Is ‘bashing’ to point out that they are possibly excommunicated priests, led by excommunicant bishops, celebrating illicit masses?

    B) I will try my best to follow the Pope’s example, thanks. I won’t attend an SSPX mass until they are regularized, just as he doesn’t. But I’ll continue to hope for their reintegration with the Church.

  118. dcs says:

    Vox Borealis writes:
    But even if we grant the strictest meaning of the letter, that it is OK to attend a SSPX chapel out of devotion for the 1962 missal, what about places that have a licit EF mass?

    Msgr. Perl’s letter doesn’t mention it, so why read into it?

    There are other reasons that one might assist at an SSPX Mass rather than at an approved TLM – for example, if the only approved TLM is offered at an inconvenient time, or if there is little or no semblance of a parish life, or if it is offered in a bad neighborhood, or if one doesn’t want to give up the relationships one has developed at the SSPX chapel.

  119. Vox Borealis says:

    Michael J.

    Interesting and well reasoned. However, let us look at the famous PCED letter. To quote: “The priests of the Society of St. Pius X are validly ordained, but they are suspended from exercising their priestly functions. To the extent that they adhere to the schism of the late Archbishop Lefebvre, they are also excommunicated.”

    It seems clear to me that the letter says that ALL of priests are excommunicated because they adhere to schism. I do not see how it makes any sense to read it as “they are excommunicated to the degree that they adhere to schism (ie, if they adhere a lot, they are excommunicated, but if they don’t adhere much, they are not excommunicated). Isn’t the clear sense that the very fact they have willingly been ordained by excommunicated bishops following the path of Lefebvre means that they too are adhering to schism?

    And really, if we have to work so hard to determine the canonical status of the entire clergy of the society, isn’t that warning enough?

    I agree with you that a priest wearing a Mr. Potato Head mask *should* indeed be avoided, and he has likely excommunicated himself at some point for heresy. In my experience, however, most priests that I run into do not dabble in heresy, or even preach heresy. Their crime is mundanity and a failure to assert clear Catholicity. They are bland, but they are not heretics or schismatics, and they are quite likely not excommunicated, nor do they belong to a society whose central historical moment involved the excommunication of its entire leadership.

  120. I am not Spartacus says:

    Whenever I read your posts Im left with the impression that you resent what Pope Benedict is trying to accomplish because of the implicit criticism of John Paul II.

    I can’t account for your impressionistic conclusions given I have, repeatedly, taken the position I think the Pope has as his intent moving the schism to a fish or cut bait position.

  121. Vox Borealis says:

    DCS,

    “Msgr. Perl’s letter doesn’t mention it, so why read into it?”

    Because this, and all of the issues that you mention, speak to the motives for why one would regularly attend SSPX masses, which is key in determining whether or not such attendance is sin.

  122. Matthew M. says:

    Therefore, we should listen to the authoritative voice of the Church on this question, the PCED, rather than the “holier than Thou” “more Catholic than the Pope” “conservatives” (What exactly have they conserved?)who are more narrow and rigid on this matter than the Pope because they have made a living of playing Hegelian semantics and positing the right and left on each side of them while they are in the (supposedly) safe middle….“False idea of a middle way between two extremes” is a logical fallacy.

    Brian, I am too foolish to wrap my mind around your criticism. Who is charactizing themselves as ‘conservatives’ here? Who is being how narrow than the Pope? Has he ever said it’s A-Okay to ignore your join bishop and join an SSPX parish?

    You attribute this to ‘Hegelian semantics’ and the ‘false middle way fallacy’ but offer no analysis or examples to support this.

    Folks here seem to want to have the SSPX around, and would welcome an army of good loyal Catholics who respect Catholic Tradition. But stipulating: part of that Tradition is submission to the authority of the Pope and the bishops.

    On the other hand is the snideness, pope-bashing, nutty 911 and jew-baiting conspiracy theories, rants about women going to school, etc that is too often heard from SSPX leaders and supporters. I know it’s not you guys on this board who talk like that, but it’s not hard at all to document this kind of attitude in the SSPX. So you can understand a bit of the skepticism that is mixed with the hopefulness.

    I don’t think that sort of skepticism could be accurately characterized as ‘Hegelian semantics’

  123. I am not Spartacus says:

    I have often read supporters of the sspx state that Rome is trying to undermine the sspx because it approves an Indult Mass where the sspx already has Chapels.

    Is there anyway to finesse that so it does not indicate a spirit of schism?

    I wonder how many of those who go to an SSPX Mass could just as easily go to an Indult Mass in the same area. And, if they could go to an Indult Mass but don’t wouldn’t that indicate they are schismatic?

  124. Patrick says:

    The SSPX website warns their members not to attend “indult” Masses:

    “The Indult Mass, therefore, is not for traditional Catholics.*

    *One possible exception would be the case of those priests who happen to be saying the traditional Latin Mass under the Indult or with a Roman celebret (permissions given for the old Missal to priests applying to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, in the wake of the consecrations of Archbishop Lefebvre [QUESTION 11]) but would be saying it anyway if these were denied them.”

    Isn’t it amazing! Their rule of thumb for a “worthy” celebrant is whether that priest would disobey Rome if he could not secure permission. If he would disobey Rome, then yes, you can go to his Mass. But if he would actually abide by Vatican rules, well then, stay away!

  125. dcs says:

    Vox Borealis writes:
    Because this, and all of the issues that you mention, speak to the motives for why one would regularly attend SSPX masses, which is key in determining whether or not such attendance is sin.

    As I wrote above there are a number of reasons why one might prefer assisting at an SSPX Mass, even regularly, over an approved TLM. It does not follow from the fact that one assists at an SSPX Mass in lieu of an approved TLM that one thereby intends to separate oneself from the Holy See. In dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas and all that.

  126. Michael J says:

    Vox,
    Admittedly, I have always interpreted the PCED letter as having an implicit “if”.
    That is, if they adhere to schism, they are excommunicated, if not, they are not.

    I honesly had not considered that it was saying that the Priests were excommunicated because they adhere to schism. I’ll have to think about that a little bit more. In any case, while important, this is not central to the point I was trying to make.

    I was instead trying to focus on the difficult choices faced by the faithful, especially those that have small impressionable children. Consider what Brian Walden writes above: ” most of the people I grew up with have fallen away from the faith” or what Marie writes :’all my cousins (quite a hundred, from “conservative” families) lost their faith more or less’.

    I suspect that these people lost their faith not due to heresy but due to “mundanity and a failure to assert clear Catholicity”. But lets strip away the polite euphamisms. Those that have “lost their faith” or have “fallen away” are at a real risk of eternal damnation.

    Considering these stakes, I cannot find fault with those who are not quite strong enough to continue fighting.

  127. dcs says:

    Patrick writes:
    The SSPX website warns their members not to attend “indult” Masses:

    It would be surprising if the SSPX had done nothing blameworthy in the 20 years since Ecclesia Dei adflicta.

    I’m not sure that the above has any implications for how the Holy See ought to be dealing with the SSPX, though.

  128. Matthew M. says:

    Patrick, let’s hope those admittedly radical, schismatic items on the SSPX site are not ‘official’ positions (whatever that phrase means).

    One thing I wonder: why don’t we hear any of the vociferous defenders of the SSPX disavow the schismatic and outrageous statements made through ‘official’ channels like Bishop Williamson and the sspx website?

    If you bring this up, you’re much more likely to hear about a) Cardinal Mahoney, b) how you are a false ‘conservative’, and b) maybe you’re bound to ‘Hegelian semantics’.

  129. Patrick says:

    Vox and Michael J,

    This might shed a little light on the exact status of the priests of the SSPX:

    “6. In the case of the Lefebvrian deacons and priests there seems no doubt that their ministerial activity in the ambit of the schismatic movement is a more than evident sign of the fact that the two requirements mentioned above (n.5) are met, and thus that there is a formal adherence.”
    -The Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts (1996)

    In the Vatican’s opinion, they seem to have formal adherence and are therefore excommunicated.

    DCS,

    I think that the reasons you listed are not at all proportional to attending an illicit Mass said by a suspended (or excommunicated) priest. By your logic, I would commit no sin in consistently attending Mass said by Archbishop Milingo because he says Mass at a convenient time. Besides, if you really want the SSPX to come home, shouldn’t you pack the “indult” Masses and avoid the SSPX Masses, so that they will realize that they have nothing to gain by staying schismatic? If you really want a reunion, stop giving them money and stop filling their pews.

  130. Marie says:

    Patrick,

    be quiet : when I left France, some months ago, I never attended an “Indult-Mass” and always refused to do it, because I did not agree with the SSP whose constitutions say that Bishop Lefebvre and SSPX were schismatic. It would have been, for me, as if I would have agreed with this statement a true Catholic cannot bear !
    However when I left, I asked a priest of SSPX what he thought about my future situation : two hours to get to a SSPX, no car, very little money, but a mass in my town by a religious linked with the SSP.
    I added that I had only good comments on him from very reliable SSPX faithfuls, that he encouraged his faithfuls, at least privately to attend to SSPX mass when they had nothing else.
    The priest after some questions told me that there was no problem, and even recommended my to take spiritual direction.
    I can say that some others perhaps would not have told the same thing, but I can assure you that many at least would have given the same advice.

    Let your prejudices and please, pray for us. Pray for them and their superior. They need it ! As for the Holy Father and Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos.

    In Christo.

  131. Patrick says:

    Matthew M.,

    That quotation is from the official Q&A section of the SSPX website. It is only a small bit of the disturbing things on that site. Here are some more reasons why an SSPX supporter is warned against attending an indult Mass:

    “- by a priest who celebrates the Novus Ordo Missae on other days of the week or at other times,

    - using Hosts consecrated at a Novus Ordo Missae,

    - or with communion in the hand;

    - new lectionaries, Mass facing the people, etc.,

    - by a priest who was ordained in the New Rite,

    - by sermons that are modernist in inspiration (much to be feared if the celebrant habitually says the Novus Ordo Missae); or

    - by offering only the revised forms of the other sacraments, e.g., penance.”

    http://www.sspx.org/SSPX_FAQs/q10_indult.htm

    So, we know from these conditions as well as those above, that officially an SSPX follower is advised not to attend, say, a Mass celebrated by Fr. Z.

    Also, according to the SSPX website, if the only Mass available to you is the missal of 1970 or an indult Mass, you have no obligation to attend Mass.

  132. Marie says:

    To Matthieu M

    We’re not well informed. See there http://wwwanti-dinoscopus.blogspot.com/ if you want : this is certainly the most common opinion within the lines of SSPX faithful (I don’t speak about details).

    It is not because we have respect for our priests and superiors and we don’t want to disagree publicly that we don’t think and we do nothing.

    And how do you want us to obtain anything from some using the same way we wanted they don’t use with the Pope ?

    We have to be consistent.

    In Christo.

  133. Vox Borealis says:

    Patrick,

    Thank you for further clarification. So, it does seem that we can conclude pretty clearly that all SSPX bishops and priests–the entire clergy–are excommunicated, and are in this state because they adhere to schism.

    With this established, we can begin talking about valid and proportional reasons for the laity to attend regularly SSPX masses, and at what point this too constitutes effective adherence to schism.

  134. Habemus Papam says:

    I am not Spartacus: What exactly is a “fish or cut bait position”?

  135. Pierre Hountet says:

    Father,

    without the FSSPX, there would be no Ecclesia Dei indult, and even less the Summorum Pontificum general indult. [I reject this premise. Fr. Z]

    I thank you for having taken the time to address my comment. Since this weblog is yours and I am only a guest, I will not debate.

  136. Habemus Papam says:

    There is no longer such a thing as an Indult Mass and in light of Summorrem Pontificum there was never a need to grant an indult.

  137. Patrick says:

    Vox,

    It is helpful also to consider what Archbishop Burke wrote of receiving sacraments from excommunicated and schismatic priests:

    “The faithful who approach a schismatic priest for the reception of the Sacraments, except in the case of
    danger of death, commit a mortal sin.”

    Notice, he does not say, absent a proportionate reason, etc.

  138. Larry says:

    As to who “leaked” the document I think that it has become clear to the Vatican that many times what the Holy Fatehr or his Curia say or do are distorted by memeers of the Epsicopal College whether they be on the right or left. Added to that is the concept of transparency which has become quite popular so as to discourage the notion that things are being done in secret. THe American bishops found this out when some of them tried to mis represent what then C. Ratzinger had to say on the issue of Communion for “Cathoilc” politicians who support abortion. Bishop Felay and the Holy See may carry on private discussions But dont’t expect the Holy See to sit back and be manipulated by distortions of what it says or does. Pope John XXIII said something like, I trust everyone; but, I keep one eye open. THis is good advice for all Popes and apparently Benedict XVI has decided to do the same. The Angel of the Lord watch over the Vicar of Christ as he deals with his “brother” in the Episcopate.

  139. Habemus Papam says:

    Summorum Pontificum is not an indult, its a recognition that the 1962 Missal was never legally banned.

  140. dcs says:

    Patrick writes:
    I think that the reasons you listed are not at all proportional to attending an illicit Mass said by a suspended (or excommunicated) priest.

    What you or I think isn’t important.

    Besides, if you really want the SSPX to come home, shouldn’t you pack the “indult” Masses and avoid the SSPX Masses, so that they will realize that they have nothing to gain by staying schismatic? If you really want a reunion, stop giving them money and stop filling their pews.

    I’ve never assisted at an SSPX Mass so I guess this advice is for someone else.

  141. DM says:

    I think that the reasons you listed are not at all proportional to attending an illicit Mass said by a suspended (or excommunicated) priest. By your logic, I would commit no sin in consistently attending Mass said by Archbishop Milingo because he says Mass at a convenient time. Besides, if you really want the SSPX to come home, shouldn’t you pack the “indult” Masses and avoid the SSPX Masses, so that they will realize that they have nothing to gain by staying schismatic? If you really want a reunion, stop giving them money and stop filling their pews.

    Yes, because the SSPX is just like Milingo. Exactly. Right. That even tops “Novationist” and “Jews who Crucified Christ” on the ever-growing list of ridiculous things to which the SSPX is called by its detractors. Seriously, is any stick good enough to beat them?

    It’s also nice to see “Starve the bastards out!” suggested as the path of Christian charity.

    As for the website-diving and quote-mining, I’d suggest, for comparison, visiting the official website of any local diocese, following the links, and seeing how long it takes before you find something far worse.

  142. Patrick says:

    dcs,

    My apologies for my assumption. Thank you for the correction.

    I do think the advice on attendance (and money) is helpful for all those who desire the reconciliation of the SSPX.

  143. Brian Walden says:

    Habemus Papam, the phrase fish or cut bait means to decide one way or the other. So for example, I am not Spartacus thinks that the SSPX needs to stop being in an irregular situation and decide whether they want to be in full communion or in true schism.

  144. Patrick says:

    DM,

    The argument that there is “worse” stuff out there is weak. I’m sure there is, but it’s existence doesn’t, in any way, justify the SSPX.

    As for the comparison to Archbishop Milingo, I made no theological comparison at all. I was comparing their canonical status which is the same. He was excommunicated for episcopal consecrations and schismatic. Just as the SSPX bishops were, and the SSPX priests for adherence to the schism.

  145. I am not Spartacus says:

    I am not Spartacus: What exactly is a “fish or cut bait position”?

    http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20010612

    It appears to me that the position of the sspx is to do whatever it can to avoid being put in that position.

  146. Marie says:

    To Calleva

    Thank you for your very kind post !

    I am quite ashamed to have spoken about my family and me : I just wanted some, here, can understand what more or less ALL families in the “Tradition” lived since the beginning of the crisis and the condemnations of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    The SSPX is certainly not the Church, and would be nothing out of the Church : she is only an instrument of restoration. And an instrument can be left to one side when it is not yet useful, if God wants.
    The SSPX doesn’t work for herself but for the whole Church and God’s glory.

    I hope she will be soon able to say : “Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini Tuo da gloriam”, and why not, if God wanted, to be forgotten.

    SSPX without any doubt preserved the Faith, but she was not alone to fight, and many who thought they had to disagree with her fought also, even if in another way.

    Let us think about Saint Catherine of Sienna and Saint Vincent Ferrier : if I remember well, they were both saints, from the same order, but from different side – not to say opposite !

    Let us pray, dear friend, dear friends !
    God will certainly not abandon us ! He knows how we are fragile, and how the whole Church is ill from the illness of Her head ! Let us pray for the Holy Father ! God give him Strength, Light… and time to achieve this beginning of restoration !

    Let us pray also for all, hardened by the fight and sometimes lost : God drive them back on His ways ! I am afraid that many perhaps will stay on the side… and perhaps never will come back (I think especially about the sedevacantists). This crisis have been too dreadful. God don’t let them on the side !

    And thank you again, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, for the benevolent and thoughtful work you do !

    In caritate Christi.

  147. dcs says:

    Patrick writes:
    As for the comparison to Archbishop Milingo, I made no theological comparison at all. I was comparing their canonical status which is the same. He was excommunicated for episcopal consecrations and schismatic. Just as the SSPX bishops were, and the SSPX priests for adherence to the schism.

    Actually, their canonical status is not the same since Abp. Milingo’s excommunication has been declared and – aside from the SSPX bishops – no suspensions, much less excommunications, have been declared against the SSPX. We are permitted to receive the Sacraments from suspended priests for “any just reason” if the suspension has not been declared (see Can. 1335).

    Hope this helps.

  148. Breier says:

    Maybe the purpose of leaking this document was precisely to cause the kind of diabolical discord that we are witnessing here. It reminds me of that scene in the Fellowship of the Ring when everyone is arguing at the Council of Elrond in Rivendell. I can’t believe the kind of rancor I’m experiencing. Can people put aside past wrongs and look forward to the future? What does rehashing old debates from the last pontificate have to do with
    anything? You don’t have to speak every ill word you think is true, please
    exercise some custody and restraint!

  149. Patrick says:

    dcs,

    A few corrections:

    Both Milingo and the SSPX bishops were declared excommunicated by the Vatican.

    The Ecclesia Dei Commission has declared authoritatively that the SSPX priests are suspended. They have also stated that it is little doubt that there is formal adherence (which would mean they are excommunicated.)

    There is no legitimate dispute on either the excommunications or the suspensions.

  150. DM says:

    Patrick:

    Well, I could just as easily compare Abp. Lefevre to Patriarch Slipyj, who illegally (make no mistake about it – in defiance of every relevant canon law) consecrated bishops for what he believed were sufficient extenuating reasons.

    That angered a lot of people, but the Pope didn’t want to destroy a hero, so he declined to prosecute. Three decades later, one of the ordinands is a cardinal and nobody much seems to remember or care about the canonical controversy at the time, and the Ukrainian Catholic Church is much better off for that. Whether Slipyj’s extenuating reasons were valid or not is a non-issue.

    That could just as easily have been the story with the SSPX. Whether you find their justifications for the act convincing or not, a lot of people do, and they aren’t all crazy. Indeed, the justifications sprang from an obvious love for the Catholic religion, even if (mind you, I say if) they were insufficient.

    You and your like-minded commentators seem to think that a full reunion is only possible after the SSPX agrees to rub its nose in a pile of filth and beg forgiveness. Well, I think that if the reasons underlying its protest are rendered moot (by the liberation of the Traditional Mass, the clear reassertion of traditional doctrine, and the withdrawal of canonical censure) there really is no reason to demand that.

    Frankly, I don’t care “which side has been right all along”. Heck, if I had been Catholic in 1988, I’d probably have found the “state of emergency” argument compelling as well – so who am I to judge? Remove the obstacles, love each other and get over it.

    The only problem with that is that it would be injurious to the pride of those who have made vilification of the other side a key component of their self-justifying rhetoric. Which I see in a greater degree in the commentary above than in SSPX literature.

  151. vox borealis says:

    Patrick,

    You fight the good fight, but DCS (et al) will continue to ignore the fact that the SSPX clergy are all excommunicated. Meanwhile, if SSPX priest are “only” suspended, eery time they say mass or administer other sacraments, they violate numerous canon laws.

  152. Patrick says:

    DM,

    Was Patriarch Slipyj declared excommunicated?

    And no I don’t think the SSPX need to rub their noses in a pile of filth. They just need to say “we screwed up and we’d like to come home.”

  153. Habemus Papam says:

    So who is the fisherman, the Pope or the Bishop?

  154. Breier says:

    Patrick and Vox,

    Why don’t we hear from the President of the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei, Cardinal Castrillion. Here’s the Living Magisterium, the representative of Our Sweet Christ on Earth, from 2008:

    “OR: How is a return to “full communion” possible for people who are excommunicated?

    C: The excommunication concerns only the four bishops, because they have been ordained without the mandate of the Pope and against his will, while the priests are only suspended. The Mass they celebrate is without a doubt valid, but not licit and, therefore, participation is not recommended, unless on a Sunday there should be no other possibilities. Certainly neither the priests, nor the faithful are excommunicated. Let me reiterate in this regard the importance of a clear understanding of things to be able to judge correctly.”

    http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2008/03/interview-with-cardinal-castrilln.html

    Did you catch that? “The priests are only suspended.” “Certainly neither the priests, nor the faithful are excommunicated.”

    Patrick,

    The Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts is not the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei. Moreover, whatever “seemed” to be the case in 1996, we have very clear words from the Cardinal in the position to know. Let me reiterate the importance of that, so that you can judge correctly.

  155. dcs says:

    Patrick writes:
    Both Milingo and the SSPX bishops were declared excommunicated by the Vatican.

    I never claimed otherwise.

    The Ecclesia Dei Commission has declared authoritatively that the SSPX priests are suspended.

    I don’t think they have the authority to declare suspensions against errant priests.

    Vox Borealis writes:
    You fight the good fight, but DCS (et al) will continue to ignore the fact that the SSPX clergy are all excommunicated. Meanwhile, if SSPX priest are “only” suspended, eery time they say mass or administer other sacraments, they violate numerous canon laws.

    There is no “fact” that the SSPX clergy are excommunicated, only opinion.

    Whether or not a priest violates Canon Law does not impact the Faithful who assist at his Masses.

    If the Holy See is unwilling to state that SSPX clergy are excommunicated, I don’t see why I should take it upon myself. Nor do I see why other laymen, however well-intentioned they might be, should take it upon themselves to declare SSPX priests “schismatic” or “excommunicated.”

  156. Breier says:

    I’ll be the first to say that an illicit Mass said by a suspended priest is plenty to be concerned about. Is not as if being “not-excommunicated” means the same as being canonically regular. But that doesn’t justify unwitting calumny.

  157. dcs says:

    Patrick asks:
    Was Patriarch Slipyj declared excommunicated?

    It would be Card. Slipyj since he was never granted the title of Patriarch. If memory serves, it was only after Card. Slipyj’s death that Card. Husar’s consecration was made public.

  158. Patrick says:

    dcs wrote:

    1. “There is no “fact” that the SSPX clergy are excommunicated, only opinion.”

    2. “Whether or not a priest violates Canon Law does not impact the Faithful who assist at his Masses.”

    1. There is an opinion by a Pontifical Council that the clergy are likely excommunicated and are certainly schismatic (as the entire movement is held to be schismatic).

    2. According to Archbishop Burke it does. He says “The faithful who approach a schismatic priest for the reception of the Sacraments, except in the case of
    danger of death, commit a mortal sin.”

    So, SSPX priests are schismatic and we know from probably the top canonist in the world, that approaching such a priest is a mortal sin. That doesn’t sound like the canonical status “does not impact the Faithful.” Rather it seems the canonical status affects the Faithful profoundly.

  159. DM says:

    Was Patriarch Slipyj declared excommunicated?

    No. Because there is an obvious double standard at play.

    They just need to say “we screwed up and we’d like to come home.”

    Well, you’re not the one who gets to tell them what they need to say. The difference between you an I is that I am not so in love with the unimpeachability of my own position that I am offended by the existence of fellow Catholics who believe that the SSPX’s justifications for its own existence have have merit all along. If the developed situation makes the argument moot, then nothing but pride is served by playing a retrospective blame game.

  160. Breier says:

    Patrick,

    Here’s another statement from Cardinal Castrillon, the President of the Pontifical Commision Ecclesia Dei. The man was appointed by the Vicar of Christ for handling relations with the SSPX and traditionalists. What does the Pope’s representative to the SSPX have to say?:

    “The bishops, priests and faithful of the Society of St Pius X are not schismatics. It is Archbishop Lefebrve who has undertaken an illicit Episcopal consecration and therefore performed a schismatic act. It is for this reason that the Bishops consecrated by him have been suspended and excommunicated. The priests and faithful of the Society have not been excommunicated. They are not heretics.”

    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mershon/070410

  161. vox borealis says:

    Breier,

    Interesting. But did you catch something else:

    “C: The excommunication concerns only the four bishops, because they have been ordained without the mandate of the Pope and against his will, while the priests are only suspended. The Mass they celebrate is without a doubt valid, but not licit and, therefore, *participation is not recommended, unless on a Sunday there should be no other possibilities.* Certainly neither the priests, nor the faithful are excommunicated. Let me reiterate in this regard the importance of a clear understanding of things to be able to judge correctly.”

    So, by my reading of this, faithful should only attend SSPX masses as a last resort. Hmmm, interesting. So, some Ecclesia Dei documents claim that the society’s clergy are all excommunicated. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos says that “only” the bishops are excommunicated, but that all the priests are suspended, and that the laity *should not attend* their chapels.

    DCS (et al), you can dance around the word “schism” all you want. It seems pretty clear that the burden is on apologists to justify regular attendance at a SSPX chapel given Castrillon Hoyos’ words.

  162. dcs says:

    Patrick writes:
    There is an opinion by a Pontifical Council that the clergy are likely excommunicated and are certainly schismatic (as the entire movement is held to be schismatic).

    There is an opinion from Card. Castrillon that the clergy are not excommunicated and are not schismatic. Do you find it more charitable to believe that all SSPX clergy are excommunicated and schismatic?

    According to Archbishop Burke it does. He says “The faithful who approach a schismatic priest for the reception of the Sacraments, except in the case of danger of death, commit a mortal sin.”

    Right, but SSPX priests in general are not schismatic, so Abp. Burke’s statement does not apply – you are conflating priests who are suspended with those who are schismatic.

    Really, if it’s that cut-and-dried, is Card. Castrillon just playing mind games?

  163. Breier says:

    Patrick,

    If you trust the Pope’s spokesman regarding the SSPX, then no one in the SSPX is schismatic. The Cardinal said:

    “The bishops, priests and faithful of the Society of St Pius X are not schismatics.”

    Or are you in a better position to know that the Prince of the Church chosen by the Vicar of Christ to provide clarity on these issues?

    Moreover, assuming you dissent from the position of the President of Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei, it is not true that receiving a sacrament from a schismatic is always a sin. Canon law 844,2, allows it if there is a physical or moral impossibility of receiving sacraments from a Catholic minister. It says:

    “§2. Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided, the Christian faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.”

    Wasn’t Archbishop Burke talking about that Polish parish? It probably wouldn’t have helped to make distinctions when he was trying to get them in line.

  164. Patrick says:

    dcs:

    “There is an opinion from Card. Castrillon that the clergy are not excommunicated and are not schismatic. Do you find it more charitable to believe that all SSPX clergy are excommunicated and schismatic?”

    There is a published declaration that they are schismatic from the PCILT which (I would think) is more authoritative than Card. Castrillon’s comments in an interview.

    “Right, but SSPX priests in general are not schismatic, so Abp. Burke’s statement does not apply – you are conflating priests who are suspended with those who are schismatic.”

    As I mentioned above the PCILT declared the “entire movement is held to be schismatic.” That includes the priests.

    “Really, if it’s that cut-and-dried, is Card. Castrillon just playing mind games?”

    No, he is just really down-playing the schism in order to entice them to come home. He is working very hard to bring them back.

  165. Breier says:

    Vox,

    Participation is not “recommended”. That’s a rather softball way of handling it, don’t you think? If it was immoral, then you’d say participation is forbidden, or not allowed, or you should not, must not, can not, go there, etc. But this is in line with that previous letter of Msgr Perl that says it’s not a sin to a Tridentine Mass at an SSPX chapel if your motivation is based on devotion to the Tridentine Mass.

    I’m not shilling for the SSPX. I get enraged when I read the posts on Angelqueen just like you might. But I get equally frustrated with unfair remarks made about the SSPX. There are a lot of legitimate criticisms that might be made, but a lot of unhappy ones as well. I think it’s important to remember that there are many Catholics who basically agree with the SSPX positions on a lot of issues, but not with their canonical status, hard-line stances against the indult, etc. Sometimes these things get all conflated together in the debate.

    Personally, I wouldn’t go to an SSPX Mass because it seems to me that everytime a suspended priest says a Mass, he’s commiting an objective mortal sin, like an unworthy man receiving communion. Why would I want to go to a Mass like that? But who am I to judge the consciences of others? I’m not so bold to make my own decision a universal decree.

  166. Breier says:

    So Patrick,

    You think Cardinal Castrillon is a liar? I guess people who decide to trust the Living Magisterium and the Pope’s representative in 2008 are just bad Catholics then. Who would have known?

  167. vox borealis says:

    Breier,

    I think that we are closer in point of view than our posts indicate. But good heavens, the man said: “*there should be no other possibilities.*”

    Am I not understanding the quote? Should not go. Last resort. No other possibilities.

    Moreover, as Patrick points out, the PCILT has called the entire movement schismatic.

    We are not sola scriptura protestants who cherry pick the Bible to proof text. We need to approach this topic with common sense, looking at all evidence in context. Taken in toto, there appears to be very little justification for the laity to regularly attend masses at SSPX chapels; the bishops and (most likely) all of its suspended priests are excommunicated. The whole society and all of its apologist walk the edge of schism and use increasingly contorted arguments to drive by licit masses on the way to the nearest SSPX chapel.

  168. Breier says:

    Patrick,

    Or could the PCILT have been taking a harsher stance in 1996 that was subsequently backed down from? And really, how in the world can you get from the manifestly hesistant and subjective “it ***seems*** to this council” to saying that that the PCILT made some binding declaration on Catholics. Private judgment, perhaps? Integrism? I prefer to listen to the Pope’s representative. If you think he’s lying, or equivocating, or just flat our wrong, go ahead, but it’s pretty bold to condemn others who are a little less cynical.

    I remember a time when there were lots of arguments, from high places, that the Tridentine Mass had been abrogated or obrogated, and that it was forbidden without an indult. I bet you heard some of those in 1996. How surprising that the Vicar of Christ acknowledged that the Mass was always allowed, and had never been forbidden! How surprising that Cardinal Castrillon, the Pope’s Man, now says that the SSPX is not in schism, but that a schismatic act was committed. Development of doctrine, perhaps?

    Or are you saying that Cardinal Castrillon is really a dissenter, and doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

  169. Breier says:

    Vox,

    He said attendance is not recommended, unless there be no other possibilities.

    How do we unpack that?

    If there other possibilities, attendance is not recommended.

    If there are no other possibilities, attendance is recommended.

    Not recommending something is not the same as saying it’s forbidden, a sin, etc. It’s not about a counsel, advice, not a commandment! Now it may be very good advice, but it’s only fair to hold people to the law as so far as the law goes. If people make decisions we disagree with, I can argue that it’s a bad or potentially dangerous decision, but I can’t claim they’re being disobedient to the Church.

    As an example, I do not recommend that you read Von Balthasar, unless you have nothing else to read.

    I do not recommend that you attend an ad populum Mass, if there’s an ad orientam Mass to be had.

    I do not recommend that you attend an SSPX Mass, if there’s an indult available.

    What is this expressing? My opinions, my views, perhaps. But it’s a lot less judgmental that saying, “You can’t do this,” It’s wrong to that, etc.

  170. Hoka2_99 says:

    I worked with a lady member of the SSPX for a while, so have some knowledge of their lifestyle. It’s more like a very extreme form of protestantism [Exclusive Brethren, for example] than Catholicism. Would they expect us to adopt their lifestyle?
    Women always wear skirts and must cover heads in church. Women do not drive. Women obey husbands totally, even if it nearly kills them, for example: they are expected to go out to work [driven to work by husband], but also to make bread and do ALL the housework. Donations of redundant books from the school library are accepted but put out in the garden to be “decontaminated” before being read. Women and girls not allowed to wear jewellery of any kind – watch and wedding ring only.
    Tendency to live in isolated country areas so that they don’t have to mix with the rest of us.
    Boy children encouraged to act in loutish [ i.e. masculine] ways – for example, weilding heavy sticks and knocking people on the legs. Husbands argue with neighbours [if the next house is near enough] and resort to fisticuffs [masculine!], causing them to be arrested and to cool off in local police cell.
    No television in the house. Use radios, but prefer French stations for some reason – perhaps there’s an SSPX station in France?
    Puritanism? Sounds like it to me.

  171. Breier says:

    In fairness, the statement probably more plausibly means:

    I’m expressing my recommendation about attendance when you have other options. I’m not talking about situations where you don’t have other options.

    Which is probably what I’d say to a friend considering the SSPX. If you have a good parish to go to, I recommend going there. If you live in a hellhole of a diocese, I’ll be a little more hesitant to come down one way or another. Maybe a moral impossibility exists?

  172. Hoka2_99 says:

    Spelling correction: wielding. Apologies if there are any others. I am very tired after being in Rome for the inauguration of the Year of Saint Paul and seeing the delightful rapport between Benedict XVI and Patriarch Bartholomew. Wouldn’t it be more sensible to pray for unity between Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches rather than waste time bothering with the SSPX, which likes being different? Our beloved Holy Father so much desires the re-unification of East and West. Let’s pray for that and show our support for him.

  173. Breier says:

    Hoka,

    I can’t speak to your personal experience, but it would be radically unfair to transfer your experience of one bizarre family to a group like the SSPX. I’ve known Catholic families that dealt with divorce, spousal abuse or eating disorders? Does that mean all orthodox Catholics are unfaithful, abusers, and anorexic? SSPX’er are Catholics, saints and sinners, just the rest of us. If anything, the French traditionalists, many of whom appear to go back and forth between FSSP, indult, and SSPX communities, where the opposite of what you describe. I met smoking teenagers with noserings going to the Tridentine Mass. Over there it seemed like a big tent, not just conservative types like in the USA. But I think in a group of 1,000,000 people, you’ll have the Amish types, the luddities, the big homeschooling families, the working women, everyone. There’s no one sterotype that fits the Church, and there’s no one stereotype that fits a big organization within the Church, expect perhaps Tradition and love of the Catholic faith.

  174. RBrown says:

    Women . . . always wear skirts and must cover heads in church.
    Comment by Hoka2_99

    They didn’t make that one up–see St Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians.

  175. vox borealis says:

    They wore skirts in St. Paul’s day?

  176. Louis E. says:

    With regard to Breier’s post,there IS NO “scene in the Fellowship of the Ring where everyone is arguing at the Council of Elrond in Rivendell”.I have just checked Book 2,Chapter 2 in my 50th Anniversary Edition of TLotR (pages 239-271).Certainly there is debate,and competing schools of thought are brought into play.But never is there universal argument.

    If he refers to the recent cinematic perversion,he should not dignify that by the name of the original.Having seen it (the only one of Jackson’s trio I endured,having opposed all adaptation of TLotR in principle since before Bakshi;I justified attendance only because it was at an event I attended at no charge),I must say that was a singularly unbelievable episode.In a crowd of people all saying “I want it!” a diffident “Uh…I’ll take it” would be met by a chorus of “Like hell you will!” rather than “Great idea!”.

    But (p. 270) that’s not how it played out.Frodo spoke up after a prolonged silence,after Bilbo had asked whether people to be sent with the Ring should be named now or after dinner.

  177. Patrick says:

    Breier,

    I trust and respect Card. Castrillon Hoyos. I do not think he is a liar. I do think there is a significant “disconnect” between the published declarations of the Church and his comments in interviews. I think he deserves considerable latitude given his huge task of reconciling a group that claims to not be separated. It’s a difficult project. It’s sort of ironic that the Cardinal is using principles of ecumenism (ie. focusing on the common ground, rather than focusing on their “schism”) in order to draw them back in.

    My point is that we can’t go along with a happy innocent attitude that one is free and clear to attend SSPX churches if one so desires. One should really make every effort to avoid them. Archbishop Burke warned his flock to warn others lest they unknowingly attend the Mass of a schismatic priest. So, he thinks even unknowingly attending a schismatic priests Mass is dangerous. An SSPX priest could be schismatic (PCILT says it’s likely). Wouldn’t that “might” be reason enough to avoid a mortal sin? Also, since we know their priests are suspended, then we know that at the moment he pronounces the words of consecration, he is committing a mortal sin. Is that really an edifying moment?

    Have a good night.

  178. Marie says:

    To Michael J

    “I was instead trying to focus on the difficult choices faced by the faithful, especially those that have small impressionable children. Consider what Brian Walden writes above: ” most of the people I grew up with have fallen away from the faith” or what Marie writes :’all my cousins (quite a hundred, from “conservative” families) lost their faith more or less’.

    I suspect that these people lost their faith not due to heresy but due to “mundanity and a failure to assert clear Catholicity”.”

    Unfortunately, I can’t agree with you one that point – or we could agree partially…, but not without explanation.

    What you say was the case of the generation of my parents and already, I think, my grandparents (even if it was still undoubtedly time of faith : my great-grandfather was ordained priest after having educated ten children, among whom several future monks and nuns, and my grand-father obtained the grace he asked to die at Lourdes, in front of the cave – so many families, in that time were like that. Naturaly).

    The problem is that our bishops (the French ones, especially) were tired to fight and began to dream more or less consciously about Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, the motto of our “Glorious” Revolution. Modernism was in most of seminaries since the time of Saint Pius X.

    Father de Chivré, who died in 1985, used to tell that when he entered the Dominican order, in the beginning of the twenties, all his religious brothers were taking delight in Teilhard de Chardin and other theologians and writers condemned by the popes !
    Archbishop Lefebvre himself narrated that he had to reform his doctrine on several points, especially on Christ the King and separation of Church and State, although born in such a Catholic family !
    Father Simoulin (whose three sisters – on fourteen children – are among “my” Dominicans, the eldest one General Superior since a dispense for her young age by Pius XII until… quite ten years ago, and all others with great responsibilities in the congregation), Father Simoulin himself former priest of Saint Nicolas, director of the seminary of Econe, superior of district of Italy, and now quite retired since a heart attack because of an utterly exhausted state, told me, three years ago, that Father Calmel O.P., another great figure of the beginnings of the post council times used, just before or after (I am not yet absolutely sure) the Council to quite concelebrate with the sisters (who had to be in the future the greatest force, by the side of Archbishop Lefebvre, with the Benedictine monastery of Le Barroux, before his defection) ! This in all innocence, because they were not enough doctrinaly prepared, but experience in the community and with pupils demonstrated to them that they were on the wrong track.
    My godfather showed several times to me pictures of his boy scout camps, where priests celebrated obviously in their own way (face to people, with French here and there in liturgy itself), in the fifties (we know very well now how much these camps were an experimental field for innovators).

    To come back to Catholic families, I think that most of them, despite major political problems of the After War, were reassured when leaving the great pontificate of Pius XII, and faith became part of social education. On that point, I agree with you.
    But already most of them didn’t yet have a very substantial doctrinal background. And for family as my mother’s, whose a great number had members engaged to fight for the Pope in the nineteen century, the cult of the Pope had turn imperceptibly into something too sentimental to make them able to “let their traditions”.
    Most of them were so linked with their priests that they followed them in new catechisms, new celebrations and so on ! That’s why I am so severe with sentimental worshipers of the Pope ! That’s not true love ! That’s not Charity but childish sentimentalism, not at all worthy of God’s first minister ! Not to talk about the great injustice towards those who don’t do the same.

    That done, when priests, and very quickly, bishops themselves began to preach the new religion, which was only “Love” and “Don’t judge !”, not to add “We need to experience the sin (!)”, it is easy to understand that all dikes within a very short space of time literally shattered !

    How possible it is that in what was such a Catholic country, bishops didn’t do anything against abortion ! (The “don’t judge” thing).
    How possible it is that they began to preach the pill, on the specious pretext of “responsibility”, “health”, “blossoming of women”, “equilibrium of the couple”, and above all, LOVE ! And no problem with the very explicit sexual one, even against nature, quite (non openly) homosexual (after the pill, condom !) and so on ! We know the result !

    And when your behaviours don’t yet agree with our principles, you just have to change them !
    Everybody knows that Catholic church is the most intolerant one. We had to begin by admiring the wonderful protestantism – the true religion of freedom !
    And as our Archbishop of Paris didn’t yet know if he were Jew or Catholic – most surely both – and Judaism after the War began to be fashionable, many people turned to Judaism. In my father’s family, the husband of one of my aunts discovered he had some Jewish blood : my aunt had nothing to say. And as she had, as a good wife, to please to her husband (more than to God) – and there was no problem with our good archbishop religion – quite all children turned to Judaism (and several live now in Israel) !

    Here are the “fruits of the Council”, they used to say, this great “wind of Liberty”, this “breath of the Spirit”…

    And people wanted us to admit their protestant mass ? (Even if I agree with the validity, but the Church always used to stress in Her liturgy what was SPECIFICLY Catholic – because She always knew that a great part of Catholic people had no other catechism. And THIS is against Tradition).
    People wanted us to admit a Council who never was a dogmatic one (even if not all is to be rejected) and since the beginning had opponents among priests and bishops of the highest rank ?

    Let us see what say now our good bishops (I have the same echo from Italy since a year, where several bishops are openly fighting against Pope’s will). Our good Lords say naïvely they can’t permit the Tridentine Mass! Because the religion is not yet the same since their “glorious” council, where they brought the ideas of our non less “glorious” Revolution, this beginning of French history !

    If we want to understand this page of the history of the Church, we HAVE to study the French Revolution : all the roots are there ! We cannot understand without that ! And the doctrinal fights or the nineteenth century : there were the first great developments. But popes condemned the French Revolution and his principles.
    First, Leo XIII asked us to agree with the (Masonic) Republic. It was a political error (popes have to be at least extremely careful with politic – it is not doctrine !). Benedict XV renew this error with the Mexican Revolution. Political error too.

    Then, the principles of political opposition were beheaded. People began to try to think that they had to agree, politically, with their enemies. Then, they began to have not such principles. Then, to hope peace with government… and to hope peace… with the World, forgetting that Christ let us in heritage WAR from the world against Him and his disciples…

    Here we are !

  179. Dan says:

    Next to Fr. Z himself, I can think of no one as
    perspecatious at Brian Mercshon. I hope he hasn’t
    been scared away.

    He is absolutely right. There are a lot of people threatened by the reconciliation but I disagree that it is those who are trying to save face or feel they’ll have to backpeddle. Those folks have NO scrupples! How about the conservative “Reform of the Reform” pastors running magnet parishes in the inner city? Will they be able to pay the creditors when the bill comes for the renovations/extentions when the faithful feel free to attend the local SSPX chapel?

  180. Marie says:

    To Hoka2_99

    “I worked with a lady member of the SSPX for a while, so have some knowledge of their lifestyle. It’s more like”…

    Stop the joke ! It’s too funny ! My best specimen in thirty years of career didn’t arrive to the ankles of yours ! I’m afraid I will need three or five lives to find other like yours !
    Could I meet them ?!

    And… hum… My Latin Professor at university has no television… and use to drive his wife !
    He didn’t know that he is Catholic or even Christian, but he will be so happy, when I will tell him, tomorrow, he is a “Traditionalist” one, Amishstyle !
    I look forward to an answer like : “What would you want me to be ? You knew I was [in literary terms] conservative !”

    Thank you so much !

    And forgive me for teasing you !

  181. Chris says:

    Vox/Patrick:

    Breier has pointed out several direct quotes from the head of the office tasked by our Holy Father to represent him in these matters. I was not going to post those as father has asked for a more respectful tone.

    But at this point you seem to be putting yourselves above the Church to fit your agenda — the same charge you level at the SSPX.

    Read Card. Hoyos’ words. Just read them. They speak for the pope and interpretation on our part is not needed.

  182. vox borealis says:

    Chris,

    Please inform me what my “agenda” is. I assume that you have little idea as to what it may be. I will think about your encouragement about just reading words without interpretation. An interesting suggestion, though one that is worlds away from a Catholic perspective. Indeed, any decent Catholic apologist will argue that the very act of reading is interpretation, and therefore texts must be understood in light of their context (historical, scriptural) and in light of Tradition.

    But I will take your advice. So when Cardinal Castrillon says that the faithful should attend SSPX chapels only if “on a Sunday there should be *no other possibilities*,” I will take that at face value. Thank you for clarifying this in my mind.

  183. Patrick says:

    Chris,

    The point is there is a major disconnect between words said by Card. Castrillon in an interview and the published declarations of the Church. Please tell me why I am supposed to take his words over the published declaration that says, “the entire Levebrian movement is held to be schismatic.” It’s not like that needs to be interpreted. There is a tension between the two. And there needs to be clarification. They both can’t be right. Fortunately, I think we will have a reconciliation or a clear statement from the Church shortly. That should erase any ambiguity.

  184. Pierre Hountet says:

    Recidite Plebes,

    The newsflash of the day is that of the billion or so Catholics in the world
    most are now well educated and just get turned off at the prospects of being dictated to
    by extremists at either end of the spectrum”!
    Comment by Recidite Plebes — 2 July 2008 @ 7:57 am

    … and of course the perfect example of the educated one would be you indeed. From wherever you are right now, and where you evidently reached some yet unspecified perfect state of wisdom, you happen to know so well what a billion or so folks are thinking and feeling that you can lecture us all on the subject.

    I don’t know exactly what leaving the Church gave you, but it sure did not make you very humble, nor did it prevent you from being a despicable arrogant. Who said that leaving the Church amounted to becoming enlightened?

  185. Pierre Hountet says:

    … and of course I refrained myself in my comments above, because of charity.

  186. Pierre Hountet says:

    Hoka2_99

    No television in the house. Use radios, but prefer French stations for some reason – perhaps there’s an SSPX station in France?
    Puritanism? Sounds like it to me.
    Comment by Hoka2_99 — 2 July 2008 @ 5:36 pm

    No, not puritanism, just common sense. Television: if you still find that there is anything worth in this think, I am sincerely sorry for you.
    Radio stations: French radio stations are, without the faintest shadow of a doubt, immensely superior to American ones. Just try the find the equivalent of France Culture across the American band. Good luck.

    That said, if you enjoy HBO and the likes, there is not much I can do about it.

  187. Brian Mershon says:

    VOX: “So, it does seem that we can conclude pretty clearly that all SSPX bishops and priests—the entire clergy—are excommunicated, and are in this state because they adhere to schism.”

    Clear perhaps to you, but not to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who heads up the commission with direct responsibility to the Pope for these matters. Clear to you and Patrick and perhaps I am not Spartacus, but not clear to those within the Church charged with overseeing this.

    The PCED is the competent authority for these matters: not Archbishop Burke, not the Pontifical Council’s opinion from years ago giving its “interpretation,” and certainly not the reading of you guys who cannot simply read the words of Cardinal Castrillon and obey.

    Nope. You have to continue to sit in judgment over those who have made a different decision for themselves and their families in a matter that is not one of sin.

    So, psychologically speaking, what is the problem? You want everyone to know you are the perfectly obedient boys?

    Why not obey the Pope and the PCED and stop judging more rigidly and harshly on this matter than they do?

  188. Recidite Plebes says:

    Pierre, I am amazed that you could accuse me of arrogance, and then state that you toned down your condemnation of me (founded in misunderstanding rather than fact) and then quite glibly state that you did so out of “charity”.

    Let me give you a first hand example of what I mean. A while ago I sought baptism for my first daughter. For very practical reasons I asked that the baptism take place when she was about 2 months old. The parish priest decided that Canon Law stated that infant baptism must take place before the child is 4 weeks old, and he told me that Canon Law quite clearly stated this. in fact, Canon 867 (which is the relevant canon) says no such thing, only that parents are obliged to see that their child is baptised within the “first few weeks”. It is purposefully vague about what it means by the “first few weeks” to allow for pastoral provision. Now as it was, I would not have been able to be present if the 4 week rule that the PP had invented were true, and my wife not being a Catholic wouldn’t have gone ahgead without me being there (nor would I have wanted to miss the occasion). The PP stood firm and refused to baptise my daughter until I produced the relevant canon and threatened to go to the bishop, at which point he relented but told me that he was doing “what God wanted”.

    In my mother’s generation she was brought up to believe that what the priest said
    was “law” (not surprisingly her religious eductaion was by priests and nuns), and she would never have questioned an instance of a priest making canon law up as he went along. Neither would she have had access to canon Law the way we do now to investigate whether what she was being told was true, or a load of old BS.

    So when I say Catholics are better educated now, that is true. I am not suggesting that education brings about an “enlightenment” that has them all rejecting their faith in favour of new-found reason as you seem to imply, but that Catholics who when confronted with priests such as the one who runs my parish are now able to see for themselves when they are being fobbed off, and that does cause people to vote with their feet and leave. For the record, I will not be having my younger daughter baptised.

    Marie: you seem to have a bit of a siege mentality going on there. I find the story of priests being arrested in the 1970s for saying a Tridentine Rite mass incredulous. A couple of centuries previously perhaps, but in this day and age? in saying that, I’ll take your story at face value.

    I find the language of attending a mass as being in the “anteroom of paradise” saccarine and it sticks in my throat, but if it moves you to feeling thus, I won’t disabuse you of the notion nor would I seek to deny you the opportunity to attend a mas that has you feeling so eleated. I too was brought up in the 80′s, and when I was a catholic I went to a number of masses that were truely aweful and I hated them. I found that places like the Brompton Oratory were more to my taste in liturgy, but I have never had any great attachment to the Tridentine Rite. Some people do, and that’s fine.

    Where I am perplexed by your language, as I have said, is the creation of a proper noun out of the word “Tradition” as if to imply some form of seperatism, a distinct and exclusive practice born out of sectariansim. That is a dangerous thing as it divorces you from all practical reality. Having served as a soldier in places such as Norther Ireland and the Balkans as well as the middle east, I can tell you that it is such sectarian thinking that over years becomes violence. I have postulated in a previous comment that the SSPX is at the start of a road that many sects have trodden only to become violent in their means to get their extremism accross. I am afraid that the mainstream catholic will always feel intimidated, shocked, and put off from the SSPX and its hardline fundamentalism and seperatism verging on sectariansism. Whether you wish to remain in that position is a matter for you. Personally I got so sick of the RCC I left it behind, not because I was bothered about what language the priest prayed in but because the RCC was being… well.. the RCC. If you feel you want to belong to a bunch of extremist sectarian movement to find fulfillment then by all means do, but don’t be surprised when people don’t share your enthusiasm to belong to an extreme group.

  189. Tom Ryan says:

    <<<>>>

    Because they’re “more Catholic than the pope”?

  190. Tom Ryan says:

    Quote dropped.

    I meant those who wish to be more rigid and harsh than the PCED and the Holy Father.

  191. vox borealis says:

    Brian Mershon,

    Thank you for picking out quote from far up in the thread and ignoring subsequent discussion and exchanges. By the way, I will take the words of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos at face value and obey. To that end, please see a few posts up, my response to Chris. After reading it, I hope you obey as well.

  192. vox borealis says:

    Recidite Plebes:

    “Marie: you seem to have a bit of a siege mentality going on there. I find the story of priests being arrested in the 1970s for saying a Tridentine Rite mass incredulous. A couple of centuries previously perhaps, but in this day and age? in saying that, I’ll take your story at face value.”

    I cannot speak to the story that Marie relates, but such an event happened here in Quebec. The priest was technically not arrested for saying the old mass, but when he refused to stop saying the old mass, the bishop ordered him to vacate his parish. When he did not comply, the bishop ordered the authorities to go in. It was a cause celebre at the time, and whatever one thinks about who was right or wrong, it was certainly a very messy affair. You can read about it in Normandin, A Priest Out in the Cold (if you can find a copy).

  193. Chris says:

    Vox: “To that end, please see a few posts up, my response to Chris. After reading it, I hope you obey as well.”

    You’ve shown us nothing from Card. Hoyos that proves your point — the only thing you’ve said is that your Catholic nature forces you to interpret.

    I think St. Teresa would disagree.

    We have shown you the current teaching from the head of the PCED — effectively from the Holy Father himself, yet you dig in and refuse to submit. I find that interesting, giving this whole thing is about your problem with the SSPX not submitting. Sounds like a trip to the cafeteria to me.

    I’m done posting on this as you’re leading us down a circular path with no end and I’m sure father is about fed up with this.

    Pax.

    Chris.

  194. Patrick says:

    Chris and Brian,

    I can only speak for myself here. My point (as I’ve mentioned now 3 or 4 times) is not that I am above Card. Castrillon, but that there is serious ambiguity as to the Church’s teaching. Card. Castrillon says one thing, and the PCILT says quite another.

    Brian, FYI…the PCILT is the competent authority for interpreting Ecclesia Dei (since it was issued motu proprio, it is a legislative text), not (however ironically) the Ecclesia Dei Commission. It is their clarification of Ecclesia Dei that calls the SSPX movement “schismatic.”

    Now, I tend to give more weight to official Church statements rather than unofficial ones. That doesn’t make me a cafeteria Catholic. Why doesn’t Card. Castrillon issue a letter with the “no schism” clarification? Why not a decree of some sort? Also, it’s not as though I am relying on my interpretation as none is needed with the PCILT document. It’s clear enough. So, we have a written, published Church teaching plain as day and a Cardinal’s magazine interview. Which are we bound to follow?

    All of this underscores the need for a clear official statement from Rome regarding the status of the SSPX. Fortunately, the matter will be cleared up soon, as they either come back or reject the Holy Father’s hand.

  195. RBrown says:

    I find the language of attending a mass as being in the “anteroom of paradise” saccarine and it sticks in my throat, but if it moves you to feeling thus,

    In every Carthusian hermitage, there is an anteroom that the monk passes through before he goes into his cell. It contains a prie-dieu and an image of Mary, thus is called the Ave Maria room, after the Litany of Loreto that refers to Her as the Porta Caeli.

    I assure you that if you were to visit a Carthusian monastery in the dead of winter, the word “saccharine” wouldn’t occur to you as you knelt to pray in this unheated anteroom.

    Where I am perplexed by your language, as I have said, is the creation of a proper noun out of the word “Tradition” as if to imply some form of seperatism, a distinct and exclusive practice born out of sectariansim. That is a dangerous thing as it divorces you from all practical reality. Having served as a soldier in places such as Norther Ireland and the Balkans as well as the middle east, I can tell you that it is such sectarian thinking that over years becomes violence. I have postulated in a previous comment that the SSPX is at the start of a road that many sects have trodden only to become violent in their means to get their extremism accross. I am afraid that the mainstream catholic will always feel intimidated, shocked, and put off from the SSPX and its hardline fundamentalism and seperatism verging on sectariansism. Whether you wish to remain in that position is a matter for you. Personally I got so sick of the RCC I left it behind, not because I was bothered about what language the priest prayed in but because the RCC was being… well.. the RCC. If you feel you want to belong to a bunch of extremist sectarian movement to find fulfillment then by all means do, but don’t be surprised when people don’t share your enthusiasm to belong to an extreme group.
    Comment by Recidite Plebes

    1. Actually, there is a legitimate distinction in theology between tradition and Tradition.

    2. I think your’re sloppy in your references to Northern Ireland, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Everyone knows that those are land disputes, having almost nothing to do with religion. The Irish hate the English because England conquered and occupied Ireland. The conquerors were Protestant and the conquered Catholic–any Protestant is associated with the conquest.

    IMHO, your complaint is with the human lust for power, what St. Augustine called libido dominandi.

    Be sure to let us all know when you find a solution for it.

  196. Hoka2_99 says:

    In reply to the posts replying to mine, I’d just like to say that I was, indeed, only giving one example, which may have been extreme. By the way, this is in England, NOT America and our radio stations – Radio 3 and Radio 4 at least – provide high quality programmes all the time. Some television channels, such as BBC2, also provide excellent, reasoned documentaries, wildlife studies etc. There’s nothing wrong with television if you use it sensibly. I do know that people other than SSPX members have no television; I feel it’s often an affectation. I’ve known people who hide a set in a cupboard, because they don’t wish to be seen to own one – there’s none so snobbish as the English! I have a television and I have EWTN [which I watch in preference to anything else], but that’s my choice.
    A few weeks ago an SSPX lady [not from the family I mentioned], came into our church porch after Saturday morning Mass, knelt at the prie dieu, but refused to go into the church. I was only musing, in my earlier post, about what we would do if the SSPX does come back into the Church…
    I’m going now to watch Wimbledon!

  197. Michael J says:

    Patrick,

    Has the PCILT interpreted any other documents issued motu proprio? They may have, but I cannot find any. Barring that discovery, I am quite convinced that the PCLIT is not the competent authority especially given that Ecclesia Dei explicitly established the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei for the express purpose of managing the motu proprio.

    It all seems to be a rather moot point in any case as Cardinal Castrillon is also a member of the PCLIT. Whichever commission has the authority it is certain that the Cardinal himself has the authority.

    In any case, I find myself wondering what is wrong with Cardinal Castrillon’s clear and unambiguous statements? Why is what he has already stated regarding the status of the SSPX insufficient?

  198. Prof. Basto says:

    Michael J,

    The PCILT issued an interpretation of the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei in 1996, in reply to the question of a bishop about the excommunication incurred by those who adhere to the schism of Lefebvre. Thus, there was an official PCILT interpretation of a Motu Proprio, given that the warning regarding the excommunication of those who adhere to the Lefebvrite schism is contained both in the Decree of Ecommunication issued by the Congregation for Bishops and in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei.

    Althogh the request a formal “authentic interpretation”, which would need to be approved by the Pope, was rejected as not being pastorally necessary for the purposes of the questions asked by the petitioning Bishop, the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts decided to issue a “Note” on the Question of the excommunication incurred by those who adhere to the schism, and that Note was recorded in Communicationes, 29 [1997] 239–243 and appended to the Letter signed by the President and Secretary of the Dicastery.

    You can read the Letter and the Note in the Vatican Website:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/intrptxt/documents/rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_19960824_vescovo-lefebvre_it.html

    It confirms that at least all SSPX priests and deacons are formal adherents to the canonical crime of schism incurred by the SSPX bishops:

    “5. Come dichiara il Motu proprio n. 5 c), la scomunica latae sententiae per scisma riguarda coloro che « aderiscono formalmente » a detto movimento scismatico. Anche se la questione sull’esatta portata della nozione « adesione formale allo scisma » andrebbe posta alla competente Congregazione per la Dottrina detta fede, sembra a questo Pontificio Consiglio che tale adesione debba implicare due elementi complementari:

    a) uno di natura interna, consistente nel condividere liberamente e coscientemente la sostanza dello scisma, ossia nell’optare in tal modo per i seguaci di Lefebvre che si metta tale opzione al di sopra dell’obbedienza al Papa (alla radice di questo atteggiamento vi saranno abitualmente posizioni contrarie al Magistero della Chiesa);

    b) un altro d’indole esterna, consistente nell’esteriorizzazione di quell’opzione, il cui segno più manifesto sarà la partecipazione esclusiva agli atti « ecclesiali » lefebvriani, senza prendere parte agli atti della Chiesa Cattolica (si tratta comunque di un segno non univoco, poiché c’è la possibilità che qualche fedele prenda parte alle funzioni liturgiche dei seguaci di Lefebvre senza condividere però il loro spirito scismatico).

    6. Nel caso dei diaconi e dei sacerdoti lefebvriani sembra indubbio che la loro attività ministeriale nell’ambito del movimento scismatico è un segno più che evidente del fatto che si danno i due requisiti di cui sopra (n. 5) e che vi è quindi una adesione formale.

  199. Michael J says:

    Professor Basto,

    The assertion was made that the PCILT was the competent authority to interpret Ecclesia Dei by virtue of the fact that it was issued motu proprio. I was simply asking if this council had interpreted an other documents issued motu proprio which would give credibility to that claim.

    Your second paragraph confuses me a bit. I may be mis-understanding, but I I read you correctly you are saying that the PCILT did interpret Ecclesia Dei, but this interpretation was not authentic the request for a formal, authentic interpretation was rejected.

  200. Prof. Basto says:

    The Pontifical Council did issue an interpretation but that interpretation was not an “authentic interpretation” and thus does not have the same force and effect as if it was issued by the Legislator (the Pope) himself.

    Some jurists have used the term “authentic interpretation” in another sense, but to most jurists, and to Canon Law (Code of Canon Law, canon 16 §1), “authentic interpretation” is the interpretation of a statute by the Legislator himself, or by his successor.

    In Canon Law, authentic interpretation has the force of law, and they trump administrative decisions and judgements of the ecclesiastical courts.

    So, there are to kinds of interpretation: the “authentic” kind, and the regular kind . Ordinaries, administrative ecclesiastical bodies, and the Courts of the Church make regular interpretation all the time. Whenever a law is applied, that necessarily involves the act of interpreting its contents.

    In this case, a decision was made not to issue a full authentic interpretation. Thus, the PCILT’s interpretation is a mere administrative interpretation by a competent body, a guideline issued by a Dicastery that has the role of interpreting the Church’s law, but that interpretation is not raised to the same force and effect of the Law itself, as it would if it were issued as “authentic interpretation”.

    When an authentic interpretation is issued, it is usually in the form of question and simple answer, and the acts of authentic interpretation issued by the PCILT require approval by the Pope.

  201. Recidite Plebes says:

    RBrown says: I assure you that if you were to visit a Carthusian monastery in the dead of winter, the word “saccharine” wouldn’t occur to you as you knelt to pray in this unheated anteroom.

    If I did have cause to visit a Carthusian monestary in the dead of winter (which is never going to happen), I wouldn\’t be kneeling and I wouldn\’t be praying. I think you must have missed my earlier comments about renouncing the catholic church, so I suspect that the word saccarine would immediately spring to my mind.

    now I\’ll go out on a limb and venture that you have never served in the armed forces in any of the locations I have. What you reduce to land dispute has everything to do with what the protagonists perceive to be their ethnic identity, which is rooted in their religious beliefs and the cultures that those religious beliefs foster, and how they then translate into their views on their \”homelands\” and the god-given rights to occupy those lands. In my time on operations in the Balkans I lost count of the number of times I had to negotiate truces between warring factions hell bent on slaughtering the very people they had grown up alongside, gone to school with, worked with, and lived with until the various factional wars broke out where terms like \”our saints spilled their blood for this land\” were used in justification of their actions.

    So please, if you are going to try and make out I\’m wrong, I\’d appreciate it if you not only knew what the hell you were talking about, but also had just a tiny amount of actual first hand experience on which to draw.

    Yes, you are probably right, the thing that disgusted me most about all sides of the traditional/liberal spectrum of the RCC was the lust for power and control. The grand posturing of the bishops, self-elevation, and the siezure of the trappings of power of these men offends me. When I see the LMS dressing Cardinal Hoyos up in a \”cappa magna\” to make a \”grand entrance\” to Westminster Cathedral as \”befitting a Prince of the Church\” (their words from their website) it truely sickens me, to the same extent that the \”sandlaistas\” sickened me with their intellectual fascism dressed up as \”liberalism\”. This is the point where I could really go on to vent my spleen, and at this point I really don\’t want to.

  202. Marie says:

    To Recidite Plebes, Vox Borealis and Hoka2_99

    Please excuse me for being so late to answer.

    Just two things :

    - about the “saccharin” : I was six years old, so, you know, I think that this kind of “saccharin” is not prohibited at such an age ! And we all know how many people converted after their adolescent years or on their deathbed because they never had been able to forget things like this !
    It is something else, please, excuse me, that words like “our beloved Holy-Father” whose sentimentalism is absolutely loathsome and unworthy of pope’s character. Even “our Holy Father” appears to me far below the respect and true love this first minister of God deserves.

    - about the Port-Marly affair : or, Recidite Plebes, I am a barefaced liar, or… excuse me again, your suggestion is particularly disgraceful… !
    I found this, for you, on internet (excuse me, it is in French, but photos – in the second link – in that time, were hardly able to lie !):

    http://www.quid.fr/2007/Religions/Caracteristiques_De_La_Religion_Catholique/8
    “Port-Marly : 1986-28-11 église St-Louis occupée par des traditionalistes. 1987-30-3 expulsés par la police ; -dimanche des Rameaux : réoccupée (porte forcée). 1991-31-1 la cour d’appel de Versailles ordonne l’expulsion (non réalisée).
    Après 1988, le min. de l’Intérieur et des Cultes, à la demande des évêques de France, avait bloqué les demandes d’exonération des legs et succession au profit de la Fraternité St-Pie X. Le 24-1-1989, le Conseil d’État dénia au gouvernement le droit de refuser les autorisations. En sept. 2000, tous les legs ont été débloqués. De 1988 à 2000, la Fraternité Saint-Pie X avait gagné ses procès contre l’administration.”

    The fact is at least mentioned… with… the most incredible lies possible on it ! But we know our journalists…
    As I told you, the church who was abandoned and in danger of falling down was entirely restored by “Gaston Roussel”, our “Chanoine Roussel”, with, if I remember well HIS personal money and the money of the faithfuls. The bishop of Versailles did not care at all about it in that time ! In 1986, “Gaston”, as he was called, died after several years of cancer and an entire life of wonderful ministry. I narrated the manoeuvrings of the bishop until and after his death, and how the Abbay of Le Barroux had to send us a priest.
    One day, the bishop sent the police (our bishops have always been very good friends with government and politics since they promised to them to do nothing against… the abortion ! The fact has been reveiled recently. But it is another story). So the faithfuls saw the police arriving. The priest who did not know what he had to do decided to begin the mass, so that at least, this Sunday, we all had it. Then… the sacrilege occurred, during the Sacrifice. After evacuating the church by force, they bricked up the gates. The priest was not arrested but took away to police headquarters.
    But the faithful had no place to go and did not want to let their church (it was very rare, in that time, to have a real church for the Tridentine mass !).
    Fathers got together to see what they had to do. Faithful had mass on the road (a very important one to enter in the town, between the Seine and a very great hill) in front of the closed church. Police was unable to do anything without a huge scandal because the place was in open air and many people were in the street since a great part of the town traffic was blocked. They would have needed too many policemen… against families ! Some weeks after, fathers decided to force the gates and destroy the wall.
    And they never dared again to do anything against us.
    In the same link, you have words about an other story : a defrocked priest, married and very good friend with our good bishops as with politics obtained from the government, to put us down, to lay hand on inheritances : most people were enable to give sizeable money during their life, and these donations were of capital importance for our communities. This lasted several years – much more than what is said here…

    - here is the photo of the sacrilege :
    http://www.dici.org/thomatique_read.php?id=000281
    I am quite ashamed to show it to you… and to make you able to know the name of the bishop…
    God gave him to repent…
    I would not be surprised that he never realized what he did. We were… dogs… !

    Let us pray for them… The wind is beginning to turn… How will they bear to see all their efforts ruined… ?

    (I have to let the forum now : please excuse me if I will not have time to answer you any more
    And for Hoka2_99, I did not understood well what you were saying about this woman, but you know, I think that so many people have been deeply troubled by the crisis and their lack of doctrinal education, that we have all to be very indulgent and patient with each other…)

    In caritate Christi.

    P.S. Here are some pictures of the church itself : http://le-port-marly.net/pmmv/eglise/eglise4.htm, http://le-port-marly.net/pmmv/eglise/eglise3.htm
    With the mass, nowadays, with pictures of the interior : http://www.institute-christ-king.org/France-PortMarly.html, http://www.icrsp.org/Calendriers/Calendrier-2003/Mai%202003.PDF