A thaw in the cold war at Amiens

Several people alerted me to this interesting note posted by our friends at Rorate, a blog I look at every day, who seem always to be on top of this sort of thing.

FSSPX [This is the SSPX] Celebrates Mass at Amiens – in the Cathedral!

Having spent 63 Sundays celebrating Mass in the streets after being evicted from their chapel of 23 years in November of 2007, the FSSPX community of Amiens, France was invited into the Cathedral on Sunday to offer Mass at the altar of St. Joseph. The charitable gesture was made by the pastor of the Cathedral as the outdoor temperature dipped to 14ºF (-10ºC) creating a hazardous icy condition at the usual Mass site in front of church of St. Germain. The community thanked the pastor for his kindness.

Although the pastor’s motives are being debated in some quarters, let us pray that this is the start of a camaraderie between the local diocese and the FSSPX that will culminate in the finding of a permanent home for them in Amiens.

Amiens, des catholiques à la rue (photos)

Brique sur brique, mes amis.

I hope earnestly that the priests and followers of the SSPX were cordial and charming to everyone at the Cathedral.

Photos.

Samples:

Look full to you?

Nice side altar…

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86 Responses to A thaw in the cold war at Amiens

  1. josephus muris saliensis says:

    Extraordinary and wonderful news. What charitable rapprochement!

    Judging by the photos of servers in anoraks and the people huddled in mufflers, it was not much warmer inside the cathedral than out, as so often in France, but at least dry!

  2. They are certainly cordial and charming to everyone here in Lourdes.

  3. Matthew says:

    Truly amazing and encouraging in every way! Too bad Father Z did not post some of the photos of the Mass. When I lived in France I NEVER saw this many people in attendance at Sunday Mass, let alone young people and children!

  4. Brian Mershon says:

    Apparently, according to sources who were there, they were not exactly invited in. Word is the priest simply refused to expel them and was none to happy about the impromptu visit. Seems like we should hope that instead of the SSPX priests being gracious and warm, that perhaps the pastor of the place was “gracious and warm,” which, apparently, he was not.

    Probably didn’t like seeing the sight of so many children attending Mass in one place. No too many places where that happens in France–or all of Europe for that matter.

  5. Paul Haley says:

    With all due respect to the positions of those involved, I believe it is high time for the Holy Father to say enough, the excommunications and suspensions against the SSPX are hereby vacated and they have every right to celebrate the sacraments in the EF in Catholic Churches, shrines and oratories throughout the Latin Church. Until he does this, the motives of those in power will be suspect and the remnant of faithful Catholics who have held to the faith throughout the last 40-50 years will not be vindicated. To have to celebrate Mass in a street while churches are available is, in my humble opinion, incredibly cruel and vindictive. The church can be welcoming to all the Protestants, Buddhists, Hindus, Mohammedans and others, but it strives to marginalize the SSPX? This cannot be! Egads, it boggles the mind.

  6. SARK says:

    Dear Father Z,

    L’abbé Olivier Bertaux the celebrating priest in you photos, a former soldier and current headmaster of one of the best Catolic boys schools in the world (St Jean Baptiste de la Salle, Pas de Calais), is a jewel amongst the many wonderful SSPX priests in France – I’m sure he handled the situation with great skill.

    JMJ

  7. Antiquarian says:

    Brian Mershon–

    For what it’s worth, your sources and mine disagree. Two friends of mine and their families were there and spoke warmly of the pastor’s invitation. They also passed along that some in their company were suspicious of his motives, but that whatever the reasons he was nothing but kind.

  8. EJ says:

    Paul Haley – I can truly appreciate where you’re coming from, I’m in agreement with many of your points, but unfortunately there is ill will from both sides – still much of the establishment within the French episcopate would rather see their cathedrals and churches empty and rented out for concerts and cultural activities – than to offer gestures of good will as evidenced in posts above. It struck me profoundly how that side altar was built and dedicated precisely for that rite of Mass in particular, and how many decades must have passed since that altar was last used for the purpose it was built for. Anyone who has lived in France cannot possibly deny that it is in the traditional communities (FSSP, SSPX, Le Barroux, IBP) where you will find church interiors bursting to the seams – and unfortunately, this is not so among many of the Novus Ordo communities. I happened to stumble upon the Church of St. Nicolas du Chardonnet (not aware it was SSPX) and attended there on most Sundays – the people were extremely welcoming and kind, and went out of their way to accomodate me, without involving any polemics. I spoke to alot of people there, and most would say that they attend there not in defiance to the Holy Father or the bishops, but simply because it is the EF Parish that is most convenient to them (the FSSP church is on the other side of the city, St. Nicolas is in the Latin Quarter). I hope this act of good will in Amiens will become a weekly gesture for the benefit of all.

  9. Brian Mershon says:

    Antiquarian, Good to here it. We must pray for the lifting of the excommunications.

  10. Paul Haley says:

    EJ said in part: “unfortunately there is ill will from both sides” and that is, of course, true enough but what I concentrate on is not the personalities or the rhetorical bombs from this or that person, be it SSPX or NO, but the sacraments and what they signify. Surely, Our Lord is not pleased with His ministers having to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the street or a road cutout outside the shrine while a church or chapel remains vacant. I believe that if both sides would concentrate more on the sacraments and what they signify, there would be more common ground and possibly a means to reconciliation (what a concept!). Meanwhile, the Devil wreaks his mischief pitting both sides against each other while he gleefully considers the results of his work. Are we not our own worst enemies? And I mean this to both traditionalists and NO advocates.

  11. alex says:

    Wether the praish priest did not expel them or allowed them use it was an act of charity since this group IS NOT in communion with the Church. Secondly, just because the Holy Father has lifted the restrictions on the Extra-Ordinary form of the Mass doesn\’t mean there are any other issues which need to be worked out before the reconciliation with SSPX. I truly hope this happens and from what I have read is a fervernt desire of His Holiness. Lastly, it is not the form of the Mass used but how the Mass is celebrated that draws or repels people. That there is higher attendance at the TLM is not surprising because it is celebrated properly. Mass celebrated properly in the Ordinary Form can do the same thing. How do I know? Because I am privileged to belong to a parish which follows the rubics and the priests celebrate Mass with the proper intention, respect, and reverence

  12. Bernie says:

    Faithful remnant catholic Paul,

    Some of your revolt is understandable. However, your post makes me
    sure that if a bunch of catholics, sorry, I mean “NOers”, where celebrating Mass, sorry, I mean the “NO service”, in such frigid conditions, the society and their remnant TRUE catholics would kindly ask the NOers to go inside their chapel and give a shot at an ad orientem NO service.

    I know, I know … no need for anyone to start a litany of examples where our bishops have been beyond unjust and uncharitable to anyone seeking the EF or any form of orthodoxy for that matter.

    Want to celebrate EF in every corner? Have you heard of Ecc Dei, Summ Pontificum, FSSP, IKC ?

    Yours,
    Unfaithful Bernie who, apparently (not being a member of One Holy Catholic and Apostolic SSPX), have not held the catholic faith for the past 40-50 years.

  13. Whatever with the four bishops, and whatever about the reality of the situation for the rest, priests and laity (which various exegencies make it difficult to judge), we have to stare long and hard at the phrase used by our Holy Father: “reconciliation within the Church”. Then we have to do something about it.

    Step one: Don’t dwell on ill treatment, ever. That just leads everyone to hell.
    Step two: Do dwell on the Mass that our Lord completed on the Cross.
    Step three: Be cordial and charming.
    Step four: For those like me, go to Confession after any failure in the previous steps.
    Step five: Go to heaven with the many.

  14. Prof. Basto says:

    With all due respect, I simply cannot understand why you all are so excited to see that Mass was celebrated in a Cathedral by a priest who, in virtue of his illicit ordination, is under the penalty of suspension a divinis and therefore cannot legitimaly celebrate the Sacraments or exercise priestly ministry.

    It seems that you are overjoyed that Canon Law is being ignored, and that the penalties imposed by the Church are not being enforced.

    Frankly, I find it lamentable that a group in irregular standing (the SSPX) has such a large following in spite of the warning contained in the last paragraph of the Decree of Excommunication issued against their Bishops, and that permission was granted for the celebration of an illicit Mass within the walls of a Cathedral.

    The situation is even more grave and deplorable if the rumors that the SSPX priest and faithful “invaded” the Cathedral turn out to be true. This is a total disregard to ecclesiastical authority.

    And, before anyone says anything, I also deplore when Anglicans and other groups outside communion with the Church are allowed to celebrate within Catholic church buildings.

    But, unless and until the statements made in the Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, in the 1988 Decree of Excommunication issued by the Congregation for Bishops, and in the 1996 document by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts ”on the excommunication for schism which the adherents to the movement of Bishop Marcel Lefebvre incur” are formally rescinded, the SSPX priests, who without doubt are suspended a divinis, should not be allowed to celebrate in Catholic churches.

  15. Brian Mershon says:

    Prof. Basto, With all due respect. You have made your views known here an umptenn number of times. Isn’t it about time to give your exaggerated hyperbole a rest?

    Seriously…

  16. ken says:

    Well said, proffy.

  17. Paul Haley says:

    Bernie said in part: “Unfaithful Bernie who, apparently (not being a member of One Holy Catholic and Apostolic SSPX), have not held the catholic faith for the past 40-50 years.”

    I never said one had to be a member or affiliated with the SSPX or even an SSPX sympathizer to have kept the faith the last 40-50 years although I can see how one might get that impression from my post. Allow me to say, therefore, that anyone who holds to what the church has always held, taught and professed to be true is in my opinion part and parcel of that Remnant.

    Yes, even those in the NO can be part of the Remnant and there are many good priests who celebrate the NO reverently and according to the rubrics. Indeed, it could even be said that these NO attendees may deserve even more credit for what they have had to put up with since Vatican II for they had little choice but to follow their bishops.

    My point is only regarding the sacraments and what they signify and I do believe that continued marginalization of the SSPX and lack of FSSP and ICK bishops does little to advance the cause of unity. There is always the possibility that without a juridical structure the modernists will have their way.

  18. John says:

    Prof Basto:

    Nice of you to ride in on your high horse. As to why the SSPX has such a large following, could it possibly be due to the thirst among so many for the traditional Catholic faith, which they cannot find in “mainstream” Roman parishes? Could it be the thirst of souls longing for objective truth, rather than for immanentist self-expression?

  19. Cory says:

    I don’t want to delve much into this argument (Which Fr. Z should monitor), but I get the feeling that for those who love the EF (myself included), too much is expected in too short a time. It took the city of Rome centuries to grow into the powerful Roman Empire. It took a fraction of that time to bring it down by the Goths, Visigoths, and Lombards. Listen to the message that Benedict is giving us, “Live in hope.” Whenever the Church undergoes a trial, God will raise up men to save Her. We need to pray for another St. Francis of Assisi or a St. Catherine of Siena.

  20. 1. Unity is, of course, wrought within the law, which always provides that one is to assume the best of the other.

    2. A publically known lack of faculties makes for the invalidity of marriages and absolutions which no claim to necessity can reverse, for the faculties must be based on the bishop’s mandate from the Pope, but that is lacking. Knowingly providing the simulation of a sacrament can bring an excommunication on the priest. Yet, many do not think clearly.

    3. The provision of a church property (the same happens here in Lourdes with all four bishops in attendance) for the celebration of Holy Mass is rather a different thing for those who are in the process of being regularized (and that process has begun).

    4. Our Holy Father follows everything regarding the FSSPX here in France in fine detail. I would assume that this is his decision.

    5. It is not true in every case, and certainly not in this case, that to “assume” all of this makes an “ass-” of “-u-” and “-me”.

  21. pdt says:

    What I notice most prominently is the large number of young people who were invited out of the cold and into a Catholic church. Perhaps a small seed has been planted in some of their minds.

  22. W. Schrift says:

    Frankly, I find it lamentable that a group in irregular standing (the SSPX) has such a large following in spite of the warning contained in the last paragraph of the Decree of Excommunication issued against their Bishops, and that permission was granted for the celebration of an illicit Mass within the walls of a Cathedral.

    Everyone, the reason why the Mass took place inside the Cathedral is because the temperature outside was in the negative Celsius degrees! (From Rorate: The charitable gesture was made by the pastor of the Cathedral as the outdoor temperature dipped to 14ºF (-10ºC) creating a hazardous icy condition at the usual Mass site in front of church of St. Germain.) Surely the celebration of an illicit Mass can be justified by principles of charity. (Luke xiii,14-15.)

    This is a good sign because it shows that the SSPX, a group with noble aims, is being treated with compassion by the Church in France.

  23. Brian Mershon says:

    Father George,

    If what you say about the Holy Father following the SSPX, especially in France, is indeed true, that is certainly consoling to hear–even though I am an American living in the U.S.

    Also, your statement that “the regularization process has begun” is spot on. Thi sis something that many, for some reason, still fail to see clearly.

    They are still stuck in the Summer of 1988 under a different pontificate.

    I have said this before, and I will say it again: The angst of those “conservative” “obedient” Catholics will be like a wildfire when the SSPX excommunications are lifted or declared null and void. For some reason, the “conservative” Catholics will spill much venom that the Holy Father will have had the audacity to do such and outlandish thing.

    How unecumenical of them…

  24. Hugo says:

    A lot of people are intimidated by the prospect of reconcilliation with the FSSPX including some of superstar converts mentioned on another thread.

    Take some lessons from Fr. Z and Mr. Murshon before you wind up with egg on your face.

    I say that as someone who has lost a lot of money betting when the FSSPX would come in..

  25. Geo F. says:

    What a beautiful Cathedral. My favorite picture is of the priest giving the final blessing in front of the enormous statue of St. Joseph and the infant Jesus ad this side altar.

    Ite ad Joseph

  26. Hugo says:

    Brian:

    I don’t think they “will spill venom on the Holy Father”

    Following their previous pattern, they will most likely ignore the event (like the Good Friday Prayer rewrite) or claim that they always thought this was the right way to go. Those capable of reminding them of their previous statements won’t have their letters to the editor published and will get cut off if the try to get on Catholic Answers Live with Jimmy Aiken.

    Fr. Z will be fair as usual with his aim to save souls coming first.

  27. RBrown says:

    2. A publically known lack of faculties makes for the invalidity of marriages and absolutions which no claim to necessity can reverse, for the faculties must be based on the bishop’s mandate from the Pope, but that is lacking. Knowingly providing the simulation of a sacrament can bring an excommunication on the priest. Yet, many do not think clearly.
    Comment by Father George bloggingLOURDES —

    I don’t think it’s that cut and dried. The principle of Ecclesia Supplet (Canon 144) makes valid SSPX marriages and absolutions a possibility.

    Because the purpose of the CIC is salus animarum, the nature of this principle demands a generous interpretation–esp. in these times.

  28. Prof. Basto says:

    John,

    You write Could it be the thirst of souls longing for objective truth, rather than for immanentist self-expression?

    What is the “objective truth” that is being taught by the SSPX? That the “Roman Authorities”, Pope included, are all Modernists? That Rome needs to be converted by Econe, as if Rome had lost the Faith? That, until such conversion, all decrees and all the teaching issued by Rome must be screened by Econe, only to be accepted if Econe grants its “ok”?

    Is that kind of ecclesiology compatible with Catholic Dogma? Should kids, for instance, be subjected to that kind of teaching?

    I know, of course, that there are many priests in regular canonical standing who are also teaching false doctrine without incurring the same penalities that the SSPX has incurred due to the schismatic actions of its Founder. I concede that. And I also grant that, if it were my decision, I would have already lifted the sanctions, as was done vis a vis the Orthodox. But the decision isn’t mine.

    And, what unsettles me is that we, in the traditional movement, always criticize the Novus Ordo parishes, priests, faithful, when they deviate from tradition, from the rubrics, from Canon Law, etc, because we want to see the rubrics, Canon Law, and Tradition UPHELD.

    But then, when it comes to the SSPX, there are those among us ready not only to turn a blind eye, but to commend and applaud every illicit act, to justify every violation of Canon Law, to go along with a certain new ecclesiology in which Econe is held in all practical effects as superior to Rome, etc. For my part, I don’t want to fall into that trap. That’s why, until the Pope lifts the sanctions, I don’t treat them as irrelevant, and until there is reconciliation, I don’t treat the SSPX as an entity in good standing. I do it out of obedience to Rome, and because I hold most sacred the place and pre-eminence that Rome has in the Church.

    Last year, I prayed very hard for reconciliation, when Card. Castrillon made the Pope’s offer. And we all saw (and read about, here in this blog), the stupid reaction on the part of the SSPX, a reaction that is deeply linked to their particular ecclesiology that is borderline on heresy, and which is incompatible with the ecclesiology of Mother Church. Econe is not superior to Rome. Econe must submit to Rome. Before that happens, even if the sanctions are lifted, attending an SSPX Mass is akin, in many respects, to attending Orthodox Divine Liturgy instead of the Catholic one.

  29. Hugo says:

    Brian M:

    In Pedagogy, the Law of Primacy says that one holds hardest the things learnt first.

    “They are stuck in the Summer of 1988 under a different pontificate”

    Does it come as any surprise that many of these SSPXfobes came of age or entered the Church around this time?

  30. RBrown: “In these times”…

    That may or may not cover it. The Canon you cite does cover both ignorance on the part of, for instance, the penitent, and doubt on the part of the priest, but it’s just that most FSSPXers are pretty well clued in, as are the priests. Yet, as I say, many do not think clearly. You’re right about “these times.”

    Now, this is only hearsay (though the original reporting is very trustworthy), that at least some few FSSPX priests go so far as to say that if they purposely decieve the penitents into thinking that faculties are possessed, then the Ecclesia supplet principle kicks in. That fad is probably already over.

    It just takes coming back. We pray for openness to study the fine points of ecclesiology, etc., instead of a remaining in entrenched positions of emotion that dwells on past wrongs.

    I, for one, am eagerly waiting their return, and their participation in the priests councils and deanery meetings of today’s dioceses!

  31. therese b says:

    On a different note, I couldn’t help but notice that a fair few of the ladies are bare-headed, which surprised me in the context of an SSPX gathering.

  32. Brian Mershon says:

    Prof. Baston said: “when Card. Castrillon made the Pope’s offer. And we all saw (and read about, here in this blog), the stupid reaction on the part of the SSPX, a reaction that is deeply linked to their particular ecclesiology that is borderline on heresy, and which is incompatible with the ecclesiology of Mother Church.”

    Huh? Fr. Z said here, and others reported as well (but not the mainstream media of course), that Cardinal Castrillon was pleased with Bishop Fellay’s answer to the supposed “ultimatum.”

    So if Cardinal Castrillon was pleased, what gives Professor? Your “obedience”? To whom?

  33. SARK says:

    Dear Therese b,

    In my experience in France and francophone Belgium, ‘tradi’ ladies are somewhat more chic and somewhat less veiled than their anglo-saxon counterparts. Where veils apply Hermes is ‘de rigueur’.

    No seriously, there is certainly a little more lattitude among the SSPX clergy over issues of female dress in church in France than for instance, the UK or US. I personally think they strike the right balance. There is no contradiction between modesty,feminity and style!!

    JMJ

  34. Paul Haley says:

    Prof. Basto said in part:

    Last year, I prayed very hard for reconciliation, when Card. Castrillon made the Pope’s offer. And we all saw (and read about, here in this blog), the stupid reaction on the part of the SSPX, a reaction that is deeply linked to their particular ecclesiology that is borderline on heresy, and which is incompatible with the ecclesiology of Mother Church. Econe is not superior to Rome. Econe must submit to Rome. Before that happens, even if the sanctions are lifted, attending an SSPX Mass is akin, in many respects, to attending Orthodox Divine Liturgy instead of the Catholic one.

    Professor, what was the pope’s offer you are referring to? I know of no such offer and, instead, there were demands that the SSPX had to meet for even further dialogue to take place. And, if you would, what heresy are they practicing in their particular ecclesiology? Are they not preaching what the church has always held, taught and professed to be true? How is this heresy? If you are referring to the novelties in liturgy, practice and belief that are often found in the post-conciliar church, do they not have a duty under canon law and also a right to object to such novelties based upon their competence in such matters?

    Now, we all know that obedience to a religious superior is required, especially of the pope, but to obey one must be sure that the demands and strictures must be in accord with Faith and Morals for no one can require obedience and assent to policies, programs and practices which go against Faith and Morals. To say that because one objects to these novelties and refuses to give assent to them makes him a heretic is, in my opinion, a non sequitur and is the basis for the disagreements that have lasted all these 20 years. We should not have such disagreements within the Church and the overriding question is why? Why do we have them? Is it a desire to be disobedient? Methinks not. Instead, it is a wrong turn taken by the church leadership following Vatican II and a refusal to admit to same.

  35. RBrown says:

    What is the “objective truth” that is being taught by the SSPX? That the “Roman Authorities”, Pope included, are all Modernists? That Rome needs to be converted by Econe, as if Rome had lost the Faith? That, until such conversion, all decrees and all the teaching issued by Rome must be screened by Econe, only to be accepted if Econe grants its “ok”?
    Comment by Prof Basto

    I am not a Traditionalist but am a sympathizer with the liturgical cause of the SSPX.

    Objective Truth? We can start with two: First, the Church runs better on the liturgical engine of the historical Roman Rite than on something that is liturgical innovation. Second, the same is true for Latin rather than the vernacular.

    What we’ve seen for 40 years is the splitting of Latinitas from Romanitas. Econe embraced Latinitas but finally rejected Romanitas. And Rome continues to embrace Romanitas but has permitted, even encouraged, the rejection of Latinitas.

  36. RBrown says:

    That may or may not cover it. The Canon you cite does cover both ignorance on the part of, for instance, the penitent, and doubt on the part of the priest, but it’s just that most FSSPXers are pretty well clued in, as are the priests. Yet, as I say, many do not think clearly. You’re right about “these times.”

    I am not saying, as the SSPX does, that their marriages and absolutions are valid. Nor am I saying, as some do, that they are invalid.

    Rather, I am saying that c. 144 opens the possibility of validity.

    Now, this is only hearsay (though the original reporting is very trustworthy), that at least some few FSSPX priests go so far as to say that if they purposely decieve the penitents into thinking that faculties are possessed, then the Ecclesia supplet principle kicks in. That fad is probably already over.
    Comment by Father George bloggingLOURDES —

    Reto told me you were in Lourdes.

  37. Hey Robert,

    1. O.K. O.K.

    2. But Reto isn’t the one who told me that. Reto is always his incredible self at gloria.tv.

    Off topic: — Just a coincidence, I’m sure, but I said a prayer for you the other day along with a prayer for my mom (RIP), remembering that the both of you were voracious readers, and shared many authors in common. I remember you talking with her about this on one of her trips to Kentucky back in the day.

  38. Amy says:

    I guess hell finally froze over.

  39. Amazing. To think they were still celebrating in the streets. Shows something for their character and devotion. Even though they dont agree with rome, WE AS CATHOLICS in communion with Rome should definately take notes.

    we have to remember most of all to be Charitable towards the SSPX. Otherwise, we become the guilty party. Yes, make them bend to Rome, but you will do that by showing that the church, is still the Church of Jesus Christ. Our behavior shows alot for our liturgy. These people loved the liturgy so much, that they were willing to stand up (where as they were still wrong, one has to have obedience). There should atleast be admiration there.

    Remember in every arguement there are two sides, which both have truths. The way I see it, there struggle is more with the goofiness that came across from vatican II, with masses. Granted there is religious tolerance and such which they also dont agree with, but I think in time, and teaching from our Holy Father, they can be shown the light. If any man, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, can fix this, Its Papa Benedict.

    Is the SSPX wrong in some regards, yes. But, I think they can teach us alot. Remember, the FSSP came from them.

  40. vox borealis says:

    Patrick Finley,

    “Remember in every arguement there are two sides, which both have truths.”

    Really? You mean like in the debate about gay marriage? Abortion? This is a nice-sounding platitude, but it’s really just a form of relativism.

  41. Not really. No one mentioned either of those items

    The SSPX is wrong about a great many things, but, they did keep the traditional liturgy going. There would be no Ecclesia Dei without them, whether purposely or not.

    There was one Church in 33 A.D. . There is still one true Church, with separated brethren. we should as christians be saddened by that, and work on both sides of the Fence to fix the gap. We ended up with the gaps, because one person or another didnt do their part to show the Beauty of the Church to those people. Had some people been more charitable in their attempts to modernize the liturgy, rather then steam rolling ahead, the SSPX would never have had their motivation. it doesnt make them right, but it is an observation. The term “Reckovation” comes to mind.

    When you show the Church for what it is, you dont have to give one inch. People will jump to be a part of it. That’s why the traditional mass (and Novus ordo done RIGHT) are so popular. Its the true church. People want that, its pure, its Holy, its God given. Why wouldnt people want that.

    Please dont misunderstand me, I am not in any way saying the SSPX is not in the wrong on many things. Nor am I accusing the Church of being wrong (which as a Knight, I cannot). What I am saying, is what will solve the SSPX issue first and foremost is Love for our fallen away brethren, Charity to welcome them back to us, And understanding of what must be done to reach Love, and Charity.

    I dont like the fact that their Superior mocks the Holy father. I dont like the fact they put themselves in the situation they are in willingly. But, I also dont like to see people who are on the right side, treat anyone callously. There seems to be some of that in the Traditional side that is in communion with Rome. We have to show charity, otherwise, we fail our first charter, to go out and teach all nations the Gospel. Christ’s Gospel IS one of love, a love so deep, that he willingly sacrificed Himself for us. We cannot do anything less then love if we are following him.

  42. vox borealis says:

    Patrick,

    You said “every argument” has two sides that each contain truth. That is a bogus assertion, which is what my post meant to say.

    As to the present discussion/debate, both sides may indeed have valid points, each side with truths. This does not justify or prove your general platitude about ALL arguments.

  43. Point taken. But read my post. My general point is, its not in our right to look down our noses at the SSPX. That’s arrogance, thats un Christian. Let God judge them. Let us do the work to try to make it right.

    Perhaps I should have said “almost every argument”, so thanks for pointing it out.

  44. vox borealis says:

    Fair enough…it is just a pet peeve of mine and I was being a bit picky.

  45. Bob K. says:

    I would and have rather attend an Orthodox Divine Liturgy or SSPX Mass vs a happy clappy guitar playing (mainstream) NO Mass. I’m not a liberal and never will be!.

  46. Franzjosf says:

    As one Vatican prelate remarked upon witnessing the SSPX Pilgrimage to Rome in 2000: “These people are Catholic! We must do something for them.” Uh, yeah! They and I simply want to be allowed to practice the faith as it has always been practiced, that is, at it had been practiced until the Innovators began ripping everything from us that we hold dear in the new Springtime of Love and Tolerance. (French Revolution, anyone?)

    It should be remembered that there are things with which we can disagree with the Holy Father without being accused of propounding some new ‘objective truth’ (-Prof. Basto) For instance, I imagine that I disagree with him on capital punishment, but I am still in full communion.

    The same goes for Bishop Fellay. Not long ago he incensed Cardinal Castrillon by saying, in Paris, that “The Pope is a liberal.” (And that may have irritated the Holy Father, as well.) But he didn’t propound it as ‘objective truth.’ He stated a non-ultramontane opinion. In fact, I think that Bishop Fellay and the Holy Father agree on everything in the Deposit of Faith (Truth revealed once and for all). They disagree on other things, and the good Archbishop Lefebvre had the temerity to do it when the Innovators were in full battlecry and in vogue with powerful people.

    Once cannot practice the Apostolic Faith of our fathers without bishops. As the Archbishop neared his end Rome wouldn’t give him any, so out of necessity he made some. You must remember the times of the late 80′s.

    I don’t deny that there is a mess to be sorted out, but you must remember that the SSPX faithful have been reviled, persecuted, cast aside, denied the possitility of having a Traditional Requiem for their parents by the local ordinaries, unsuccessfully excommunicated in Hawii,et al. It is completely logical and natural to me that they would be grateful to priests who have been looking to the salvation of their souls while the Innovators have no time for them, no charity for them, many-times consider them enemies. Faculties aren’t supplied? I don’t believe it. They are simply trying to practice the faith of innumerable saints. In fact, I’m glad that when I appear before the Judgment Throne I won’t have to say that I kept Catholics out of Catholic Churches. (I’ve done enough to keep myself out of heaven without trying to keep others out.)

    I love what it says on Archbishop Lefebvre’s tomb, quoting St. Paul: “I have passed on what I received.”

    Amen.

  47. tradone says:

    No matter what one thinks of the SSPX, they sure have spunk!
    I admire their commitment.

  48. Malta says:

    tradone, yes, and Truth!

  49. David Kastel says:

    “the same penalities that the SSPX has incurred due to the schismatic actions of its Founder.”

    FALSE!

    The SSPX priests were suspended initially in 1976 when the SSPX was “de-established” by the Church. (Their suspension has nothing to do with the decree of excommunication issued against Abp Lefebvre, which occurred in 1988.) The only reason the SSPX was “de-established” in 1976 was because the priests there continued to say the traditional mass.

    The Holy Father has now ruled that the old mass was “never juridically abrogated” and, in consequence, was “always permitted.” Therefore, the “de-establishment” of SSPX is invalid, as it was based on the false premise that the old mass was abrogated; and therefore, the suspension of the SSPX priests is also invalid since it is based on the unjust “de-establishment” of SSPX.

    You cannot pass judgment on SSPX without considering the facts of the case, and you can’t consider their case if you begin in 1988. You have to go back to the beginning – which was long before anything that happened in 1988.

    If you accept that the old mass was legally abrogated, then you are bound to conclude that the SSPX priests were wrong in 1976 for saying the old mass and the Church was right in suppressing the Society and suspending the priests.

    If you do not accept that the old mass was legally abrogated, then you must conclude that the SSPX priests were not wrong in continuing to say the old mass, and that the Church therefore acted unjustly in suppressing the Society. (The question would then be whether such suppression is valid. I would think, eventually, the suppression would be ruled null and void.)

    As it is, at least we are making progress…in the 1980′s the Archbishop pointed out that Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Protestant, and Muslim services were allowed to take place in the great Cathedrals of France…all services were allowed except the traditional Catholic Mass. Due primarily to his efforts in maintaining this mass, at least the old mass is once again allowed.

  50. David Kastel says:

    It’s almost like sentencing a man for escaping from prison to 5 additional years in prison for the escape, even after it has been proven that he was not guilty of the original crime.

    How about some common sense justice?

  51. Jordanes says:

    David Kastel said: The only reason the SSPX was “de-established” in 1976 was because the priests there continued to say the traditional mass.

    No, I think the actual reason it was juridically suppressed had something to do with the actions of its superior, who had been suspended for ordaining deacons in the diocese of a bishop after that bishop had withdrawn his permission. Another reason the SSPX priests are suspended is because they were ordained by a bishop, and then by bishops, whose faculties to ordain had been suspended: thus, although they were validly ordained, their ordinations were illicit and so they were ordained and suspended from the priesthood in the same moment.

    The Holy Father has now ruled that the old mass was “never juridically abrogated” and, in consequence, was “always permitted.” Therefore, the “de-establishment” of SSPX is invalid, as it was based on the false premise that the old mass was abrogated; and therefore, the suspension of the SSPX priests is also invalid since it is based on the unjust “de-establishment” of SSPX.

    But since the suspensions of the SSPX priests was never based on the Church’s former, now superseded judgment that the traditional Latin Mass had been abrogated, that means their suspensions remain in force at this time.

  52. Joe says:

    EJ: I’m glad you found S Nicolas du Chardonnet welcoming. Did you ascertain who the church building actually belongs to, or who the government considers is actually in charge of it? The people who welcomed you have usurped the legitimate authority of the Church, who has graciously declined the offer of French authorities to send in police and return it to the control of the Church. Apart from any canonical matters, which I leave to those who know better than I, the people currently in St N du Ch walked in one day and took over. That’s not nice.

  53. Breier says:

    In France, don’t all church buildings belong to the government?

  54. Peter says:

    “the people currently in St N du Ch walked in one day and took over. That’s not nice.”

    The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. – St Matthew 11:12

  55. SARK says:

    Dear Father Z and all,

    Have you seen the video post of the Holy Mass in the cathedral on gloria.tv.

    http://www.gloria.tv/?video=pvjdb7dg4qrhbs9gvu11

    It looks really, really cold!!

    JMJ

  56. A thaw in the cold war at Amiens sums up the result. Great!

  57. Bob K. says:

    What are they trying to do? Freeze them out?. Or does this have to do with Russia/Ukraine gas problem.

  58. A beautiful liturgy in a beautiful church and a beautiful gesture of charity on the part of the pastor. Let us hope such charity continues, and perhaps take more concrete form on both sides.

  59. Phil (NL) says:

    It boils down to two things:

    - Are the SSPX priests suspended and hence shouldn’t celebrate, let alone in a cathedral? as noted above: yes they are, no they shouldn’t – though they’ll see that last part differently.

    - But given their backbone (or stubbornness, if you want, but one has to admire the tenacity of these people), is it the chartiable thing to allow them in during the coldest winter in a decade? yes, ofcourse! The first point is very important, but any arguments based on it to deny charity in these circumstances fall flat.

    One can rehash the arguments over and over again, at any occasion. Some occasions are suited for it, some aren’t – and this is one of the latter, I’d say. There’s hoping and praying this will warm at least a few hearts as well as fingers; the rest is stuff for another day.

    PS: @ Bob K., this has nothing to do with any gas problems. France is not affected in any major way.

  60. Tyler says:

    By David Kastel:
    “It’s almost like sentencing a man for escaping from prison to 5 additional years in prison for the escape, even after it has been proven that he was not guilty of the original crime.”

    That is common sense justice. The man broke the law. If a cop asks why I stole a diamond ring and I tell him that I was legally allowed to be in the store, he’ll say thats nice and take me down to the jail. Right in one instance does not necessarily follow from right in a previous.

    In talking to a FSSP priest, who has, as such, had encounters with both SSPX priests and people who attend Mass at SSPX chapels, it seemed clear that the SSPX are out to prove a point, not to just uphold Truth. The fact that, as he said, the SSPX views the FSSP as traitors, shows a lot about their true colors.

  61. Manrique Zabala de Arízona says:

    The gesture is most welcome, sure. Now it’s time for humility of all parts involved, and keep praying for the Roman Catholic Church. Caritas, Fides et Ratio!

  62. Tyler says:

    Double post I know, but I forgot to talk about the usage of the Cathedral.

    There are two sides here, as Phil mentioned above me. Not supposed to celebrate, and charity. However, I respectfully disagree with your conclusion Phil. After all, two males are not supposed to get married, but out of charity we should allow it. It doesn’t follow.

    And I hate to call out the SSPX again, as I have had no direct contact with them, but I have to imagine that, based on that Cathedral, Amiens is more than a tiny hamlet. You are telling me that with all those attending, not one of them knows of an indoor place they can say Mass? Nobody has a large room in a house, or a business they could make room in for 1-2 hours a Sunday, or any such option. It seems hard to believe that a group like that could not find a building, at which point I must conclude that once again, they are outside in front of a Cathedral, not of necessity but of protest and wanted martyrdom(figurative, not literal) for their cause.

  63. Ottaviani says:

    Tyler: It seems hard to believe that a group like that could not find a building, at which point I must conclude that once again, they are outside in front of a Cathedral, not of necessity but of protest and wanted martyrdom(figurative, not literal) for their cause.

    People should not have to attend mass in a hotel or someone’s living room. The proper place for a mass to take place is a church, on a consecrated altar.

    I still cannot believe how some so-called “conservatives” won’t bat an eye-lid, when the Arch-layman of Canterbury is allowed to preside over his services in Catholic churches and yet will still get their knickers in a twist, when the SSPX celebrate mass in a cathedral on altars that were built for that purpose.

  64. Phil (NL) says:

    Tyler,

    I think the analogy you use is a bit over the top: the sacrament of marriage cannot unite two men, ever. The SSPX could see the errors of their ways and ask for reconcilliation (the Papa Stromsay community is a good example of how that can be handled). The bishops themselves are another matter, but they aren’t involved directly here. So this is an area where charity may have positive effects. And even without those effects, the people involved are Catholics. They follow priests and bishops of dubious or no standing, but I don’t think we can state they left the Church completely. By that alone, opening the doors under these exceptional circumstances would be a good act.

    Now I will not deny that it is very likely this group is trying to make a point, and is outside probably because of some conflict that would make the normal options seem like giving in. I don’t know the details, and quite frankly, I don’t care. But if we are to embark on the road where we cynically judge every action as in instrument, one could also say that there is no benefit in allowing the SSPX even a mild form of ‘martyrdom’ by half freezing outside. Even on that score it’s probably better to do it this way – if they want to make a point against the Church, they at least have less ammunition this way.

    The only real problem here is that it should be made clear this is a temporary thing. Come spring, they should either they seek reconcilliation or be on their own again – and if they still want to make their point outdoors, so be it.

  65. Bernie says:

    Paul wrote: “I never said one had to be a member or affiliated with the SSPX or even an SSPX sympathizer to have kept the faith the last 40-50 years although I can see how one might get that impression from my post. ” … then on explaining a very sensible position on Catholics who do their best to keep the faith with or without the EF.

    Thanks Paul. And even though your post did lead me into that interpretation you got some heat from me also due to my own lack of hope for any reconciliation.

    As for your point regarding the lack of FSSP and ICK bishops I am with you 100%. As for the marginalization of the SSPX I disagree however. She does a lot more to marginalize the pope and us “NOers” “followers of the modernist religion”. I remember when Pope B XVI wrote his first encyclical and the sspx site in my country was quick to post a long criticism “catching” all the humanist and modernist “influences” in the encyclical.

    I was fortunate to attend, even for a brief time in my life, a Latin NO. Don’t even get me started on what sspx sympathizers had to say about it. Basically a travesty, the horrendous NO clothed in Latin, to prevent the faithful from going to the true Mass. Seriously, after hearing that which is consistent to Williamson and Fellay and followers, can I really believe things will change?

    We have our share too. Sometimes our bishops makes me wonder how long it takes for things to change but I have at least a sense of “brick by brick”. On the sspx side I see total immobility. Actually, drifting further away as a new generation grows completely detached from diocesan life and any sense of communion with Rome.

    Sorry for my gloomy mood, Paul.
    God bless and thank you for your kind reply.

  66. I just had another thought. They are celebrating mass at the Altar of St Joseph, a Saint associated with “silent obedience”. Maybe the good Rector was trying to do his part to teach that too, through his charitable act, and possibly implant that in the SSPX mind. I just wonder if it was purely accidental where in the cathedral they allowed the celebration. I dont know the space that well, do they have other side altars? I know most Churches have atleast 2, I would think a major cathedral would have atleast that if not more.

  67. dymphna says:

    It was so cold in that church that you can see the priest’s
    breath. Rather than knocking the SSPX I have to thank God
    that so many people were willing to worship.

  68. Bernie says:

    From previous post: I love what it says on Archbishop Lefebvre’s tomb, quoting St. Paul: “I have passed on what I received.”

    It is moving… but not true. He, the archbishop, also received the Council and did not pass it on. It is very, very efficient (marketing wise) how the “I-am-doing-what-we-have-always-done” crowd selectively choose a point in time where Tradition is then fixed and hang to it as if there were absolutely no way of being Traditional if one accepts a iota from that point on.

    My anti-spam word is “viva il papa”. I wonder if a SSPXer can hail these words with the same love and excitement that I do, or perhaps the same love, pride, admiration and excitement that I’ve heard them hail “viva Lefrebve”!

    The writing has been on the wall for too long.

  69. Michael J says:

    Jordanes,

    I think you’ll be hard pressed to find an actual judgement by the Church that “the traditional Latin Mass had been abrogated”. Many people, I’ll grant honestly thought this was the case, but there was never an actual abrogation by the Church.

    The Holy Father seems to believe that this is the case, because he states, in part that the tradional Mass “was never abrogated” not that the prior abrogation is superceded.

  70. Joe says:

    Brier, yes, in France all the churches belong to the government (I don’t know about new ones). But the government recognizes the Church’s control over them, and so asks the Church what the Church wants done in these matters. When illegal immigrants without papers were lodging in churches the State asked permission to go in and take them out.

    My suggestion at the time was for the ‘sans-papiers’ to declare themselves Lefebvrists and then the Church would let them stay, wiht St N du Ch as a precedent.

  71. Brian Mershon says:

    “On the sspx side I see total immobility. Actually, drifting further away as a new generation grows completely detached from diocesan life and any sense of communion with Rome.”

    I have heard this refrain before and it is not without merit, however…

    I am not so certain that having “diocesan” or “parish” life is necessarily a divine edict. I think that perhaps keeping the Catholic Faith, whole and entire, in both doctrine and in ecclesiastical traditions is VERY important.

    Unfortunately, in today’s Church, I am not so certain that if I lived in certain dioceses, or even in other parts of my own, I would be engaging in “diocesan” or “parish” life. Much of what passes for “diocesan” or “parish” life nowadays is a proximate occasion of sin and an invitation to damage the Faith.

    In any event, again, I understand the concern, but Catholics are not called by divine edict to “parish” or “diocesan” life. They are called to embrace and keep the Faith and be obedient to their bishop in matters of Faith and Morals when their bishop orders them to do so.

    I haven’t seen many bishops “order” anyone to do anything in the past 30 years other than “warn” people against attending SSPX Masses and telling them they do not fulfill their Sunday obligation, which of course, is not true.

    Difficult to discern nowadays when the local Ordinary speaks authoritatively. It appears most of them let the USSCB speak for them. Deo Gratias that most of the things emanating from the USCCB are not matters of faith and morals.

  72. Prof. Basto says:

    Mr. Mershon, you said: “I am not so certain that having “diocesan” or “parish” life is necessarily a divine edict”.

    But, if one does not have a “diocesan” or “parish” life, how does one participate in the external, visbile, organized, hierarchical society of the Church?

    Certainly not by attending a canonically irregular Lefebvrite chapel presided by a priest who is under canonical sanctions, and who is not in hierarchical communion either with the local parish priest, or with the Diocesan Bishop, or with the Supreme Pontiff.

    You also said: “They are called to …be obedient … in matters of Faith and Morals”

    What about matters of ecclesiastical discipline?

    And, regarding Faith and Morals, what about that portion of the Church’s Magisterium (for instance, the teaching of certain Vatican II documents) that the SSPX refuses to accept? After all, in a post-Summorum Pontificum world, isn’t it true that the “doctrinal questions” are the big problem still separating the SSPX from Rome, and that the SSPX itself considers a doctrinal debate necessary?

    If that is so (the fact that there are doctrinal divergences between the SSPX and Rome), then one can conclude that either Rome is wrong on doctrine and is not keeping the Faith (which, per dogma, is not possible) or that the SSPX is not holding to the fulness of the Catholic doctrine, as taught by Rome.

    Again… Econe is not the rock on which Christ built his Church.

  73. Bernie says:

    Brian,

    Your refrains have some merit too. However I do not see diocesan life and dismal as you. I’ve lived in three different countries in my adult life and have seen horrors in every one. And great bishops and parishes too. I still believe it is worth fighting the fight from within. I like to believe that’s exactly what the pope thinks too and what he’d like his flock to do. I also like to believe thatthough not divine edict diocesan or parish life has not damaged the ability of many to keep “the Catholic Faith, whole and entire, in both doctrine and in ecclesiastical traditions”.

    Perhaps that’s where we differ. My view of the catholic world is not that of the Novus Ordo Watch website. I see the crisis but do not feel compelled to hide in a sspx chapel, especially now when the EF has gained some traction and yet the position of the sspx is one of “nothing has changed”.

    The arrogance and complete disdain the society has for our bishops including that of Rome mirrors the disdain I got from your post towards diocesan and parish life. The same disdain and unworthiness directed by many SSPX sympathizers to the “converts”, the “conservatives”, the not-so-bad but still lacking in so much EWTNs, Catholic Answers, Jimmy Aiken’s of the world. I know unfair disdain and lack of charity has been directed to the sspx by many bishops. I know. I admit it. I guess it is tit for tat then.

    By I digress. My point is that despite the long list of serious problems I could write along with you regarding certain dioceses and the USSCB I am glad and thankful that we have parishes and bishops we can trust, EWTN, the “converts”, an the like. Maybe they, we, are not as traditional and doctrinally orthodox as we could be. Maybe. But as we remain in Peter’s bark I believe the necessary corrections will be made when and how the Holy Spirit so desires, never dividing the Church under some far-fetched assumption of necessity.

  74. Paul Haley says:

    Let us all come together and realize that it is not up to us lay people to legislate what happens in the discipline of the church. However, we have been told that the Holy Father has on his desk a document which removes or annuls the excommunications levied against the SSPX. The question I have is why hasn’t this document, if it in fact exists, been promulgated? Does the Holy See expect the SSPX to state en masse they were wrong and schismatic to pursue the course they have taken since 1988? What about those former members of the SSPX who left and joined the FSSP, SSJMV, ICK or TAR and were regularized without any need for a wholesale recantation and whose confessions and marriages were accepted as valid? Exactly what is it that is being required of the SSPX that prevents this document from being implemented? Do we not have a right to know the answers to these questions? It would seem to me that the salvation of souls requires definitive action on this matter and days, weeks and months go by and nothing happens. It boggles the mind.

  75. Brian Mershon says:

    Prof. Basto asked: What about matters of ecclesiastical discipline?

    BCM asked in reply: I am personally referring to the laity only. Which specific order of ecclesiastical discipline have Catholics who frequent SSPX chapels broken?

    Prof. Basto asked: “And, regarding Faith and Morals, what about that portion of the Church’s Magisterium (for instance, the teaching of certain Vatican II documents) that the SSPX refuses to accept?”

    BCM asked: What specific documents or parts of documents are you referring to? So far, there has been no authoritative magisterial document outlining which parts of the Decree on Ecumenism or the Decree on Religious Liberty are infallible, binding Church teaching. In fact, most people, including theologians like the late Fr. William Most, consign the teachings in those two documents as having a lesser authority. Thus, the need for theological dialogue. If things with the Institute of the Good Shepherd or the Traditional Redemptorists from Stronsay are andy indication, I doubt that much more than “We accept Vatican II in light of Tradition as a historicla fact” will be required of the SSPX. The don’t deny it was a General Council of the Church after all.

    Prof. Basto asked: “After all, in a post-Summorum Pontificum world, isn’t it true that the “doctrinal questions” are the big problem still separating the SSPX from Rome, and that the SSPX itself considers a doctrinal debate necessary?”

    BCM said: Yes. That is what the SSPX, but many other traditionalist also, claim to want. For some reason, the Magisterium appears to have been avoiding the tough questions on religious liberty and ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue and collegiality since… 1965.

    Bernie: By the way, for the record. I attend the Traditional Latin Mass weekly at a diocesan parish. When we have holy days or when I travel, my family attends either a diocesan or FSSP or ICR church that is closest to where we are traveling. If none are available, we will frequent SSPX chapels.

    I am the father of 7 children who was brought up in the banners and butterflies of the 70s and 80s and 90s. My children WILL NOT experience any of this nonsense if I can help it. If the Church cannot provide a safe haven (both spiritually and physically), then we will seek reguge elsewhere. “Battling it out” within has drained me for the past 15 years. My family and I go to church for spiritual solace and to be with Our Lord–not to engage in battles with priests and other laity. It has been too draining and de-edifying. It is truly miraculous, from a purely temporal standpoint, that the Catholic Church has survived temporally, based merely on how I have seen it is run financially, communications-wise, pastorally, etc.

  76. Prof. Basto says:

    Brian,

    Reading the last paragraph of your latest intervention, I can understand your standpoint and even say that I sympathize with your feeling of being tired of the current mess.

    Nevertheless, the propostion “If the Church cannot provide a safe haven (both spiritually and physically), then we will seek reguge elsewhere” seems linked to your understanding that having a life within the visible society of the Church, in communion with the parish priest, the Bishop and the Pope, isn’t necessary. (A position expressed when you said in your previous post: I am not so certain that having “diocesan” or “parish” life is necessarily a divine edict.

    However, aren’t we bound to be members of the visible society of the Church, and isn’t it True that that visible, external, organized and hierarchical society was established on Earth by God’s will?

    That’s why we can’t simply go “elsewhere”. We must stay with the society of the Church willed by Christ, in the bonds of Communion with the lawfully constituted Pastors.

  77. Jordanes says:

    Michael J. said: I think you’ll be hard pressed to find an actual judgment by the Church that “the traditional Latin Mass had been abrogated”.

    Pope John Paul II in Ecclesia Dei adflicta and related documents indicated his judgment that the Mass had been abrogated. Otherwise it would be unintelligible for him to deal in a regime of indults. He even turned aside the judgment of a commission of Cardinals that the old Mass had never been abrogated. Pope Benedict disagreed with that judgment, however, and has overturned the notion that one needs an indult to celebrate the traditional Mass. In his judgment, the previous pontiff’s judgment was erroneous.

    Many people, I’ll grant honestly thought this was the case

    Among them apparently was the Church’s supreme legislator.

    but there was never an actual abrogation by the Church.

    Yes.

    The Holy Father seems to believe that this is the case, because he states, in part that the tradional Mass “was never abrogated” not that the prior abrogation is superceded.

    It’s not an abrogation that has been superceded, it’s the judgment that it had been abrogated. There was no abrogation.

  78. Matt Q says:

    What wonderful shots of a group beautiful people and our fellow Catholics. Sixty-three Sundays, huh? There are only 52 in a year. Only now some charitable act came their way? It does speak of a greater issue: REFUGEES in our own Church. From the tone of a lot of you, you’d rather have them and the poor kids slum it in the streets. Better that than break any “RULE.”

  79. Séminariste says:

    According to gloria.tv, “Le curé visiblement mécontent, n’a pas perturbé l’office et n’a pas fait évacuer les lieux. Qu’il soit remercié.” Translation: “The pastor was visibly unhappy, but he didn’t disturb the service and he didn’t have the place cleared. May he be thanked.”

    During his homily, the celebrant mentions, “We didn’t come here to find a little corner of warmth; it’s as cold inside as outside. We came to find an altar on which to celebrate our Sunday Mass for our community.”

    It looks absolutely frigid in that cold, damp church.

  80. Matt Q says:

    Séminariste said, “It looks absolutely frigid in that cold, damp church.”

    )(

    So true, and ( if statistics are correct ) about as visited as US car dealerships. At least there’s a “stable group” there to use it.

    Nice altar and statue of Saint Joseph and the Child. That looked like a quaint Mass.

  81. Prof. Basto says:

    Matt Q,

    It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tallest Cathedral to be completed in France.

  82. Brian Mershon says:

    Prof. Basto,

    Again, my comments about “seeking refuge elsewhere” have to do with traveling and when we are outside of our own parish/diocese. In other words, there is no list of which I am aware of “reform of the reform” Novus Ordo parishes where travelers can seek safe refuge. Even if there was, the “reform of the reform” of the Novus Ordo liturgy means many different things to many different people.

    However, I can easily find a list of SSPX chapels online, as well as diocesan and FSSP and ICR Mass sites. Therefore, when traveling, or when the TLM and traditional liturgical calnendare, which I understand Catholics now have a juridical “right” to, is not available in my area, I will go, in good conscience to the next available option.

    I will hold the theological virtue of Faith regardless of whether the diocesan Ordinary or the local Pastor do or not. In many cases, they do not. It is evident to all. The “emperor” has no clothes and I will not expose my children to his pathetic nakedness.

    I believe firmly in the thrice-defined dogma “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus” and hold it firmly, so there is no chance of my joining a heretical or schismatic sect.

    Thankfully, the PCED and Cardinal Castrillon have clarified that for us that the SSP is not in formal schism.

    Again, Professor, I ask you, which ORDER or ecclesiastical discipline have Catholics who attend SSPX Mass centers periodically, refused to obey?

  83. ssoldie says:

    God bless, RBrown, Brian Mershon, Paul Haley, you speak truth.

  84. Prof. Basto says:

    Mr. Mershon,

    The following, among others:

    1) “The priests and faithful are warned not to support the schism of Monsignor Lefebvre, otherwise they shall incur ipso facto the very grave penalty of excommunication”. (Decree of Excommunication issued by the Congregation for Bishops)

    Here we have a warning followed by the threat of an ipso facto sanction for those who disregard it. Hence the priests and faithful are ordered to behave in a certain way, and he who is a regular at a SSPX Chapel disregards that warning.

    2)”I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfil the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement . Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law”.(Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei Adflicta);

    3)Can. 209 §1. The Christian faithful, even in their own manner of acting, are always obliged to maintain communion with the Church.

    §2. With great diligence they are to fulfill the duties which they owe to the universal Church and the particular church to which they belong according to the prescripts of the law.

    Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

  85. Brian Mershon says:

    Prof. Basto: The parts you did NOT bold include the following:

    “Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law”.

    As Cardinal Castrillon and Msgr. Perl has repeatedly stated within the past 3 years and more, the case of the SSPX is not a formal schism.

    Therefore, it would be quite difficult for laity to “adhere to the schism,” which the Church defines through the PCED as believing that “outside the SSPX, there is no salvation,” when no such formal schism exists.

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

    and

    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mershon/080711

    I realize the the Ecclesia Dei document you cite has more ultimate authority than the private interviews of Cardinal Castrillon and correspondence from Msgr. Perl.

    However, I would state that the now current position of the Church and the Holy See, through the PCED, is different now, 21 years later, in 2009, than it was in 1988.

    The position has shifted and has been further clarified.

    Like Vatican II requested, I will be obedient, and continue to read “the signs of the times” in good conscience by being obedient to the Living Magisterium.

    Thank you for your concern. Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI. He is the current Pope and Cardinal Castrillon speaks as the authority on things traditional for the current Pope.

  86. Paul Haley says:

    This post is long but I believe it’s necessary to cut through all of the confusion on the issue and to quiet voices intent on bashing the SSPX as a schismatic group totally out of communion with the Holy See.
    The indented quotes are taken from an article by Michael Davies at http://www.stas.org/apologetics/defense/sdavies.shtml

    Where obedience to any superior is concerned, St. Thomas Aquinas gives us these principles as a rule of thumb. If our superior commands us to do something that is wrong, we have a duty to disobey. If a superior makes an unjust command we have a right to disobey. We are not obliged to disobey, but could submit humbly to the unjust command. Every ruler including the Pope is bound to rule his subjects justly. The Pope has supreme authority, but he does not have absolute or arbitrary authority. During the debate which took place at the First Vatican Council prior to the promulgation of the dogma of infallibility, objections were made that this would endow the Pope with arbitrary power and he would be able to rule the Church in a tyrannical manner. The relator to the Council, the bishop charged with explaining the meaning of the proposed dogma, stated that the Pope’s power was not arbitrary, and that the principal restriction upon it is that he must use his position only to build up the Mystical Body, and must do nothing that could undermine it. The Pope is bound to ensure that al1 his teaching and all his legislation build up the Mystical Body, and that he rule his subjects justly.

    Among the rights of the faithful which the Pope is bound to respect according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law are the right to make known their spiritual needs to the pastors of the Church; the right and even the duty to manifest their opinion on matters that pertain to the good of the Church; the right to receive help from the sacred pastors out of the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the Word of God and the Sacraments; the right to worship God according to the prescriptions of their own rite; the right to a Catholic education; and the right not to have their reputation damaged or their privacy violated.

    As has been explained the Pope has an absolute obligation to rule justly. St. Thomas and the consensus of Catholic theologians and canonists teach that legislation, and this would include liturgical legislation, is unjust if it is not conducive to the public good or is too burdensome for those subject to it, which means that it must not only not be impossible to carry out but not too difficult or distressing. The liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council was unjust. lt was not conducive to the public good, and was too difficult and distressing to be accepted by countless faithful Catholics as it robbed them of their greatest spiritual heritage, the traditional Mass of the Roman Rite. After the Council these faithful made their spiritual need for the traditional Mass known to the sacred pastors. They asked above all to be allowed to have recourse to the traditional Mass of the Roman Rite that goes back in all essentials to the pontificate of Pope Gregory the Great at the end of the sixth century. The faithful asked for bread and were given stones.

    Of all the bishops in the world, only Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer, of Campos in Brazil, refused to compromise in any way with the revolution masquerading under the guise of reform and which was manifestly destroying the Church. Archbishop Lefebvre established a seminary, with the approval and encouragement of the Holy See, in which priests could be trained to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. Its immediate success evoked the fury of liberal bishops who pressured the Holy See into ordering the Archbishop to close his seminary in a manner that not only ignored the requirements of Canon Law, but those of natural justice. The Archbishop refused to comply unless he was accorded the canonical hearing which is the right of every Catholic, a request which was ignored. This gave rise to the painfully ironic situation of a respected prelate being condemned without a trial for an offense that had not been specified, and then having his amply justified refusal to comply cited as an offense to justify his condemnation!

    Archbishop Lefebvre has been compared rightly to St. Athanasius. He is the Athanasius of our times. Like St. Athanasius and like St. Eusebius of Samosata, he went into the dioceses of bishops who were not acting as good shepherds, to give the people the instruction, the sacramental grace, and the pastors that they needed. For one bishop to intrude into the diocese of another is a very serious matter. It can only be justified if there is a state of necessity. A state of emergency, urgency, or necessity occurs in the Church when its continuation, order, or activity are threatened or harmed in an important way, and the emergency cannot be overcome by observing the normal positive laws. The emergency would relate principally to teaching, the liturgy, and ecclesiastical discipline. An interesting reference to such a situation occurs in a study of the Church’s divine constitution by Dom Adrien Grea, OSB, in his examination of the extraordinary powers of the episcopate.

    Canon 1323, 1983 Code:
    Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:

    1/ a person who has not yet completed the sixteenth year of age;
    2/ a person who without negligence was ignorant that he or she violated a law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance;
    3/ a person who acted due to physical force or a chance occurrence which the person could not foresee or, if foreseen, avoid;
    4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;
    5/ a person who acted with due moderation against an unjust aggressor for the sake of legitimate self defense or defense of another;
    6/ a person who lacked the use of reason, without prejudice to the prescripts of cann. ? 1324, §1, n. 2 and ? 1325;
    7/ a person who without negligence thought that one of the circumstances mentioned in nn. 4 or 5 was present.

    The decree by Cardinal Gantin, I submit, does not override the prerogatives of the Supreme Legislator, now Pope Benedict XVI who, through his spokesman, Cardinal Hoyos, has said the SSPX is not in schism but simply not in full communion. Additionally, we have been led to believe that there is on the pope’s desk a document which would vacate the excommunication based on a perceived state of necessity (see can. 1323, subpara 4 above). Let us all pray for a reconciliation and stop this nonsense of bashing the SSPX and their supporters. Defend the Faith wherever it is found and hold dear all those who practice it be they SSPX or in the diocesan pews.