Card. Kasper on the talks between the SSPX and the Holy See

Apparently our Catholic identity is involved.

This is from Reuters with my emphases and comments:

Vatican talks with splinter group difficult

 By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) – Vatican talks with a controversial splinter group have been difficult and the ultra-traditionalist Catholics will have to make concessions if an accord is to be reached, a senior Vatican cardinal said on Wednesday.

The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), whose four bishops were readmitted to the Church last year after a ban of 21 years, cannot conduct the doctrinal discussions on their terms, but only on those of the Vatican, Cardinal Walter Kasper said. [It is not, of course, a dialogue between "equals".]

The closed-door talks are a key issue for the Catholic Church because, although the SSPX is small, its return to the fold has been so stormy. [And now for an entirely irrelevant tangent...] One readmitted bishop, Richard Williamson, is a Holocaust denier convicted and fined for hate speech in Germany.

Pope Benedict’s eagerness to rehabilitate the SSPX, despite its rejection of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) reforms, troubles Catholic critics who see them as anti-Semites who want to turn back the clock on 40 years of dialogue among religions.

"Dialogue with them is not easy," Kasper, who heads the Vatican department for relations with other Christian churches and with Jews, told a news conference during a visit to Paris.

"The main problem with them is not the Mass in Latin," he said, referring to the SSPX’s insistence on the pre-Council liturgy, "but the concept of tradition. Do we want a living tradition or a petrified one?"

"I’m for a dialogue, but on our conditions, not on the traditionalists’ conditions," he added. The SSPX had to accept the Council reforms, the "sine qua non" of any accord.  [Although we have no idea what "accept the Council reforms" actually means.]

Without an accord, the group will have no official status and its clergy will not be recognised as Catholic priests or allowed to exercise their ministry. [That is not quite accurate.  The priests are recognized as priests but they have no permission from the Church to exercise a priestly ministry.]

Benedict, who has promoted a return to Catholic tradition and identity during his five-year papacy, said in January that the talks among three theologians from each side were held up over "doctrinal problems" he did not specify.

The SSPX, numbering several hundred thousand members, insists it represents the true faith and the Vatican and the vast majority of the Church went off the rails at the Council.

POPE’S SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

Even while its theologians meet Vatican experts every other week to seek a common understanding of the Council, its leaders have been criticising key doctrines of that historic event.

SSPX head Bishop Bernard Fellay said in March the Vatican theologians "wish the Church well but also want to save the Second Vatican Council — that’s like squaring a circle."

Williamson, ignoring a gag order Fellay imposed on him after his interview denying the Holocaust, dismissed the Vatican talks in January as a futile bid to harmonise irreconcilable views.

"Either the SSPX becomes a traitor, or Rome converts, or it’s a dialogue of the deaf," he said.

In recent months, the SSPX head in Germany has criticised Benedict for visiting the Rome synagogue and the French district head said dialogue with other faiths was ruining the Church.

A former colleague, German theologian Wolfgang Beinert, told Der Spiegel magazine last month that the pope had told him the SSPX issue "robs him of his sleep." He did not think Benedict would compromise at any cost with the ultra-traditionalists[Pope Benedict is the Pope of Christian Unity.]

Kasper, the second-highest German at the Vatican after Benedict, said the SSPX has staunchly opposed the dialogue with other Christian churches for which he is responsible.

"They’ve attacked me as a heretic," he said with a smile.

Asked why the ultra-traditionalists opposed ecumenical dialogue so strongly, he said: "Some people feel threatened in their Catholic identity when we speak with Protestants.

"We need to have a Catholic identity," he said. "But we need an open and mature identity, not a closed one. That’s not a mature identity."

(Editing by Tim Pearce)

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47 Responses to Card. Kasper on the talks between the SSPX and the Holy See

  1. “We need to have a Catholic identity,” he said. “But we need an open and mature identity, not a closed one. That’s not a mature identity.”

    Catholic identity as defined by whom? Let me guess… aging ecumaniacs?

    As recently as March 6, 2010 when Cardinal Kasper was in Atlanta, GA to deliver a speech, His Eminence said on a local NPR affiliate during an interview, “We have given up this ecumenism of return.”

    That is Kasper’s identity, it is not Catholic identity. There is no ecumenism other than an ecumenism of return, and I don’t know one single solitary “ultra-traditionalists” or faithful Catholic better stated, that opposes authentic ecumenism; i.e. that which has as its goal visible unity within the Holy Catholic Church.

    It is time for the good Cardinal’s retirement party.

  2. Nathan says:

    Would anyone with a good knowledge of curial functions, relationships, and poltics be able to comment on 1) How much would H.E. Card. Kasper know about the details of the talks between the CDF and SSPX, and 2)How much intra-curial politics may be playing out in Card. Kasper’s comments?

    In Christ,

  3. moon1234 says:

    This article is slanted on so many levels it is not even funny. The SSPX are constantly demonized for practicing the same faith that and Catholic traditions that were in force just 50 years ago!!!!!

    What is wrong with these cardinals who issue such statements? They come out and constantly “talk” to the Jews and other “faiths” with no push for them to convert to Catholocism. We are only saved thru the Son and the church he established, not without him.

    The article is very disengenous as it does not properly frame the SSPX and their position. The SSPX are not anti-semites. They clearly state that they want the proper focus of ecumenism to be bringing those who are seperated from church into her. This MUST be the primary purpose for ecumenism otherwise it is meaningless.

    There are Many, Many other issues that are much clearer once you hear BOTH sides of the story.

    I guess the liberals are scared as they are now starting to sound authoritarian. As if the Church started just 50 years ago.

  4. mpm says:

    Unfortunately, the SSPX is not entirely faithful to the Catholic Faith and Tradition as practiced 50 years ago. That is why they are where they are right now.

    I agree the article is slanted.

    Who is suffering worse from “hoof and mouth disease”, Bishop Williamson or Cardinal Kaspar? Who should know better, given that Williamson is a convert?

  5. Oleksander says:

    I, for once, agree with Cardinal Kasper. Having dialogue with non-Catholic Christians exposes them to the True Faith in a way which otherwise they would not have gotten. I am not talking about bhuddist love fests, but talking with Nestorians for example – our dialogue with them has diminished their fear of big bad imperial Rome, and even one of their bishops in America with his flock converted to Chaldean Catholicism. There is also the Anglican Ordinates. These things would not have happened with out ecumenism. Sure it is wasted a lot but it dose have its good side – dialogue with the Russian Orthodox has greatly lessened persecution of Catholics within Russia. I think ecumenism is a great way to expose Catholicism is a benevolent setting to groups who would otherwise would be vary wary about us. Not to mention various protestant converts (both lay and theological) in American come to mind, particularly some Methodist theologians whom I do not think would have become Catholic if they didn’t witness our faith during ecumenical dialogue.

    SSPX, and I was a sympathizer, is a reactionary force the falsely claims they represent true Catholicism before the 1960s. Things got really bad in a lot of Western countries of course (I think communist infiltrators to the Church in France during mid20th century played a large role,) but orthodox Catholicism lived on as always in many other parts of the world.

    If SSPX has its way then there would be trouble in Russia and even more so in China and other countries with anti-Catholic goverments. I take dialogue, without loosing or compromising our Catholic identity which exposes nonbelievers to us in a nonbelligerent way, before in your the in your face “you’re a heretic enjoy hell” approach.

    /iamreadytobeflamed

  6. teaguytom says:

    It’s amazing how they are talking about the SSPX like they are some cultist protestant wing. I’m not understanding this idea of “Benedict won’t compromise at any cost”. Well how are we supposed to have fruitful dialogue with sspx if we say do it this way or tough.

  7. Oleksander says:

    sorry for grammar errors :/

  8. Mike says:

    Two things:

    1) I agree the slant on the article is anti-SSPX.

    2.) I think that as much as I sympathize with SSPX, they should see that some of their “positions” fall into prudential categories, ie, since when do Catholics have to love–equally!–every document of Vactican II?

    They would do the Church and themselves much good if they accepted some compromise on issues that many, many faithful Catholics have a spectrum of legitimate takes on.

    I mean, is Nostra Aetate worth a single Traditional Mass?

  9. mpm says:

    When Wolfgang Beinert says that the pope had told him the SSPX issue “robs him of his sleep,” does the “SSPX issue” mean “the talks” or the whole status of the SSPX? That was in Der Speigel and I don’t read German. And the reason I ask is that the Pope may be worried about something different than what worries Cardinal Kaspar?

  10. asperges says:

    Of course the dialogue is difficult: it is the result of NO dialogue for so long.

    SSPX have emmeshed themselves in a cocoon of intransigence and the Vatican has to come terms with 30 years of almost spinning off the disc with outrageous departures from what used to be the norm. Now we have a Pope of Unity who is capable of squaring this circle, but it will not be easy.

    The way of evaluating Vat II as not departing from tradition (hermeneutics…) is really quite new and not an easy circle to square with those who have had their noses rubbed in the opposite point of view. We must not be afraid to talk of the Emperor’s New Clothes and see much of what has happened over many years as often just that. It’s time for a realistic evaluation.

    With the grace of the Holy Ghost, a way will be found through these difficulties and it will be eventually to the great profit of the Church.

  11. tzard says:

    “Petrified” is an provocative term. I’m certainly glad this cardinal is not part of the talks.

    “Kasper, the second-highest German at the Vatican…”

    I did not know they ranked those at the Vatican by their german-ness. (Or is it perhaps in terms of height?). Altitude? Vocal pitch? ;)

  12. Hieronymus says:

    Scratch a liberal, find a tyrant.

    When was the last time words like this came out of Casper the Friendly Ecumenist? Suddenly, when talking about traditionalists, he has this conception (a badly distorted one) of a Catholic identity to which the SSPX need to adhere or they will not be accepted; in fact, if they will not “dialogue” on Rome’s terms, they will not be allowed to “dialogue” at all! What a pile of rubbish! This man’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  13. robkphd says:

    Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia. Wherever Peter is, there is the Church.

    I will continue to lash myself to the ship with Peter at the helm. The SSPX plays at the side of the barque. In these talks, I am sure that more humility (and love) is needed by all. I would argue this is especially true for those closer to the gunwales.

    The Cardinal is absolutely right that our Tradition is alive, not petrified. That is not an endorsement of all things modern. I trust that all Catholics of good will want the fullness of the Catholic faith, but it is not a petrified (i.e., dead) faith. There is a maturity required in dealing with the mysteries of faith and the infinite God that we can never fully comprehend. Is this a problem for the SSPX theologians? I pray that it is not. I have witnessed it among some traditionalists, but cannot speak of the leaders. One worries that the problem is more than the vociferous when we hear Bishop Williamson and other ninnies who presume to lecture the pontiff. Though hope is rekindled when he is corrected.

  14. sejoga says:

    I love that Cardinal Kasper thinks it’s NOT necessary for non-Catholics we “dialogue” with to come in any way closer to the Catholic faith, but it IS necessary for Catholics like the SSPX to conform in more or less every way. It seems that legitimate Catholic practice should be where diversity is tolerated, whereas conformity should be sought where heresy and error abound. But what do I know?

  15. GoZagsGo says:

    As others have said, this is a crudely researched and slanted article — doesn’t really deserve much consideration. One thing I would point out is that the SSPX does not “number several hundred thousand members”… If the journalist had done their homework they would know that the SSPX is a priestly fraternity, and that those faithful who attend their masses and support them are NOT members. It is a small distinction, albeit an important one. It is just one of the many gross generalizations that the article makes…

  16. EchoRomeo says:

    In the article: »Asked why the ultra-traditionalists opposed ecumenical dialogue so strongly, he said: “Some people feel threatened in their Catholic identity when we speak with Protestants.«

    Yes, may be, your Eminence. However, iI know more people who feel threatened in their Catholic identity when the Vatican speaks with the SSPX. I would have loved more if you had issued a call for prayers.

  17. Maltese says:

    I have the great good fortune to be reading “The Ecumenical Vatican Council II, a Much Needed Discussion.” A forward is given by Archbishop Ranjith. These is no trash-treatise on VII, but i from a respected theologian working within the Vatican.

    In it, Msgr. Gherardini spells out such things as that Vatican II, though an Ecumenical council, may not have had Holy Spirit guidance directing the council inasmuch as men’s wills can drown out the Holy Spirit at such a council! So, Kasper is off his own rails thinking Vatican II was some sort of super-council:

    The SSPX, numbering several hundred thousand members, insists it represents the true faith and the Vatican and the vast majority of the Church went off the rails at the Council.

    Kasper: The SSPX [have] to accept the Council reforms VII was a legitimate, pastoral Ecumenical council, possibly fallible in many places, and given it’s deleterious effect on the Church, what, exactly, must they accept? I pronounced no new Dogma, was possibly fallible and without the Holy Spirit’s guidence; so, what must they “accept” that wasn’t accepted before the Council?

  18. LouiseA says:

    Error-ridden article. On a positive note, if Cardinal Kasper is taking the time to speak out against the SSPX, things must be going well between the SSPX and the Pope!

    Keep praying those Rosaries… 19,100,000+ so far.

  19. You have to really hate the SSPX to completely skip over the obvious hypocrisy to lash out at individuals who are proving far more positive and charitable than Kasper the Friendly Ecumenist. I’m just saying.

  20. asophist says:

    “Tradition”, by its Latin root, means that which is handed down. As such, it cannot be changed. Well-formulated and Tradition-consistent new things can be handed down, but the previous content of Tradition cannot be replaced by them, and it cannot be discarded. I’m afraid that by “Living Tradition”, people may often mean a Tradition that changes by replacement or discarding (which is a false concept). Let’s discard the term “Living Tradition”. It can be too misleading. What’s wrong with calling Tradition by its traditional name: “Sacred Tradition”? I know: that phrase scares the pants off the neo-Modernists (e.g., Cardinal Kasper). The SSPX is trying to preserve Sacred Tradition amid a stormy sea of modernization and I thank them for it. I believe they are sincere and well-meaning and that they have been unfairly suppressed. Bp. Williamson does not speak for the SSPX, so let’s not listen to him. He seems to have gone off half-cocked.

  21. Andrew_81 says:

    This article shows two major problems:

    (1) How far journalism has sunken — This report was sourced from one interview with a secondary source (with Cardinal Kasper – who isn’t a part of these discussions), and plagiarizing quotes from other interviews. The author had to make one phone call and do a five minute internet search to write this. Furthermore, what is newsworthy about this piece? Of course the talks are going to be difficult, but this article presents nothing new about the talks except a few rumors and quotes taken out of context, plus, as Father points out, an irrelevant tangent about Bishop Williamson which has no bearing on the rest of the article.

    (2) The real problem with Vatican II — Cardinal Kasper’s sound bite about “petrified” and “living” tradition is exactly the loose and problematic terminology that forms the basis for the problems that came out of the Council’s documents. What does “living” mean? From what he has said in the past, it seems that the good Cardinal thinks that this means that the Church’s position on doctrinal or near-doctrinal matters can change. That’s not the Catholic position. Of course, our methods of approaching non-doctrinal matters might change. Custom and discipline may “evolve”, but the fundamental truths don’t. That’s perhaps “‘Petrefied’ Tradition” — tradition based on Peter, “the Rock” and firm on certain fundamental points, with liberty for how to approach and teaching these truths. Clearly the approach of those promoting the Catholic Social Principles from the time of Leo XIII on, represents not new doctrine, but a fresh approach and “living tradition”. Still the fundamentals have to be fixed like stone. It is such ambiguous terminology, however, which is the hallmark of the “new theology” and many of the documents of the Council. That’s why we are where we are.

  22. Maltese says:

    The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), whose four bishops were readmitted to the Church last year after a ban of 21 years.

    Though I think “ban” is the wrong word-choice, I do think Rome being re-welcomed back into the Church, after Rome realized its wrongness, and SSPX’s rightness in the struggle to preserve Tradition within the Body of Christ. And who was on the vanguard of this Traditional, but also progressive, carrying forth of the Grand Traditions of the Church? FSSPX!

    Now, I’m not a member of their order; but give credit where it is do: without them, the Catholic Church would have literally lost all of its traditions. And we ARE NOT protestants! Traditions ARE important to us! In this respect, FSSPX has done our Church an invaluable and immesuarable service.

  23. Mitchell NY says:

    We have to keep praying for the Holy Father, for there is only really one way forward, and that is unity. He needs alot of strength to make this happen. The article does seem slanted, as if the SSPX has no say in any discussion. It is too absolute. There are many things that will be brought up that Rome will find hard to answer and face. It has not been a bed of Roses and everyone knows that since the close of the Council. I suspect there will be flexability on both sides even if they are not equals sitting down to start with. Even some of the Greatest Emperors and Kings, with all the might that positions of power entail have admitted mistakes and learn from them. Sometimes it has made them greater. Reading the article the first time one could think the SSPX were summoned with a list of demands to submit to every one ending in a period. Even if so I think there are some commas and “howevers” there. Never underestimate the Grace of God and the intelligence of Christ’s Vicar. Just pray, that is our part in this.

  24. james says:

    +JMJ+

    My opnions:

    “Catholic Identity” was destroyed by Vatican 2. Would any Pope prior to ( and inmcluding) John XXIII recognize the modern “Church” as Catholic?

    There is much hope in the FSSP, Clear Creek, SSPX & IKCSP. Hope for the restoration of Catholic Identity.

    When I read rubbish like this above by Cardinal Kaspar… my sympathies for the SSPX grow.

    Vatican 2 Ecumenism is not Catholic.

    It seems many post V2 clergy hate the Church prior to V2. And have passed this down to their flocks… using the MSM as a tool. “Be In The World… and Of The World.”… This is the post Vatican 2 “catholicism”… very favourable to the MSM and the modernist/liberal/humanist/anti-Catholic elitists. Perhaps intentionally – or so it seems…

    iHs

  25. Mike says:

    Is bad taste heretical? Seriously. “Rain Down” at Communion? The medium is often the message.

  26. Oneros says:

    “Although we have no idea what “accept the Council reforms” actually means.”

    Because we don’t know what “the Council reforms” actually means.

    Were they merely disciplinary reforms? If so, discipline is flexible, and the SSPX could certainly be given a dispensation to not, internally, follow them (as they obviously already would be with the Liturgy). And they (like all Catholics) are already free to disagree with any disciplinary reforms and advocate for their reversal, as long as they do not disobey them for as long as they do, in fact, remain in force.

    Or, are we supposed to believe that there were substantial doctrinal reforms? I can’t swallow that. Doctrine is not reformed, only defined. I don’t see any dogmatic statements coming out of Vatican II, and things like ecumenism and religious liberty are merely prudential questions and I think both sides need to admit that. Vatican II’s teaching on them wasn’t dogma, but neither was the Syllabi’s. It is not that kind of question (if it were, we’d be stuck with the problem of two equal authorities saying opposite things).

    But, there is no doubt that the institutional Church, after Vatican II, approached these practical questions in a new way. Which was well within their rights (the situation changed, the prudential approach could change). But the SSPX is also within its rights to vehemently disagree with that and advocate against those decisions and to not believe they were the most prudent approach for our times. If anything, we need that sort of open debate and dialogue about non-dogmatic administrative and disciplinary policy questions in the Church. The lack of that discussion is what caused the whole Crisis with the cover-ups and everything.

    Sadly, both sides seem to be ideogogic about these questions instead of admitting that different opinions on non-doctrinal matters can co-exist.

  27. Oneros says:

    “Is bad taste heretical? Seriously. “Rain Down” at Communion? The medium is often the message.”

    Bad taste is not a heresy. But Iconoclasm is, sort of, though of a kind that touches on practice more than teaching.

    There is a reason that the Eastern Churches specifically commemorate the ending of iconoclasm as the “Triumph of Orthodoxy”…and that is because, while the other ancient heresies were merely “theoretical” and involved essentially just incorrect verbal formulas, iconoclasm was a dangerous attitude that effected praxy.

    Is destroying any one icon iconoclasm? No, obviously sometimes they must be destroyed in monastery renovations, etc. Is altering any one aspect of an icon or a traditional design iconoclasm? No, obviously there is legitimate experimentation and development. And yet…a policy of destroying all icons, or many at least, or of changing them TOO much…well, it’s sort of an “I’ll know it when I see it” sort of thing, but it’s definitely bad.

    And I don’t see how anyone can call what they did to the liturgy after Vatican II anything less than the most grievous iconoclasm.

    It’s why priests shouldn’t worry (and should never have worried) about doing the Old Rite even before SP, even without an indult. No one is required to go along with an Iconoclastic program (and what greater Icon did we have but our Liturgy).

    And it’s very insidious since it is a matter of praxy and not doxy…and so they cannot be accused of any specific heresy (even if the Pope weren’t infallible) and yet their ACTIONS are iconoclastic.

  28. The Cobbler says:

    “…but give credit where it is do: without them, the Catholic Church would have literally lost all of its traditions. And we ARE NOT protestants! Traditions ARE important to us! In this respect, FSSPX has done our Church an invaluable and immesuarable service.”
    I love Catholic tradition; the more times I go to the NO, the more I realize that every true argument for a healthy Catholicism is better fulfilled by the traditional Mass.

    And the article is certainly slanted, and does nothing to distinguish between true and false ecumenism.

    However, I fail to see where the Church’s traditionalists could not have retained knowledge of her traditions without a bishop ordaining more bishops without permission and the lot of them labelling Catholicism en masse heretical merely because abuse of a vague idea of ecumenism was rampant, unless there was some burning in Rome of all copies of the old missal and I haven’t heard of it, or unless knowledge once unknown to common Catholics cannot be made known to them again (which I sincerely hope nobody seriously believes; it would require, what, that Catholicism be biologically inherited, like a oneupmanship of Calvinist predestination?); and furthermore without such true necessity the argument that this need justified disobedience (already questionable at the fundamental, theoretically-ever-possible level!) is worthless rubbish.

    Credit where credit is due: the SSPX bishops have wrongly disobeyed Church authority and unnecessarily reinforced the stumbling-block aspect of traditionalism. They are probably right on the whole about the NO and certainly right in theory on false ecumenism (though they would do well on that last one to watch the generalized accusations!); and it is good to denounce claims that the Spirit of Vatican II is the true Faith that they are obviously in rejection of. However, they do not help the Church or her members by acting like a second Church needs to be set up to rectify this, regardless of any appearance on the surface to the contrary. I say this as a Catholic striving to live in obedience to the tradition and the magisterium that God has ordained will (not should) pass it down.

    I should also note that I would be perfectly happy if the Church threw back out every abusive false notion that snuck in under Vatican II’s sloppiness and perfectly happy to have the SSPX canonically functional in the Church; I only maintain that the past action on their part was anything but heroic and was an act of damage, not aid.

  29. Geoffrey says:

    Cobbler,

    Very well said!

  30. Sixupman says:

    The fight is at parish level. The genie, of the ‘priesthood of the laity, can not be easily put back into the bottle and many parish priests and congregations are overtly Protestant and like it that way. At another level many of the hierarchies are similarly neo-Protestant, or worse. Msgr. Fellay has stated it will take generations to resolve and on the above basis he may well be correct. Congregations have been tught to hate that which I was taught in my youth, and, clergy who gave their lives to Mother Church. The English & Welsh Martyrs are but nothing and some of ‘traditiona’ leaning have not even heard of them. I have heard clergy actually criticise their forebear pastors as outmoded bigots.

    As for SSPX, in the Uk we are blessed with “the worst District Superior” ever [not my words but an SSPX adherent. The Province has become a haven for Msgr. Williamson sycophants. Then we have the UK hierarchies who, for years, have spouted heterodox nonsense and unfortunately Rome has refused to deal with the issue.

    The NOM can be made acceptable if as practicised by the Orotarians abd demonstrated at The Holy Name Manchester, where both rites are celebrated, but both ‘ad orientem’.

  31. Spiegel is a bit liberal, so you’ve got to expect reporter bias. I don’t know that they do the Euro news thing of making up/conflating-to-taste their quotes from celebrities, but keep that possibility in mind.

    I can believe that the SSPX estrangement does keep our pope awake nights. He was there at the breaking point, literally, as a cardinal, trying to get LeFebvre not to make bishops. He probably blames himself for not succeeding in his mission back then. He probably dreads what the Good Shepherd will say to him, unless he gets these sheep back before he dies.

    I hope everybody can come together on this. It’s a terrible thing, for brothers not to be together in unity.

  32. mpm says:

    Suburbanbanshee,

    Thanks for your thoughts about “sleepless nights”. I share your view of the “sleepless nights” interpretation: not the talks specifically, but the whole goal of reconciliation. Pope Benedict is shouldering the responsibility of reconciliation, as fulfilling a duty of the papal Petrine ministry.

  33. Bornacatholic says:

    The Mass is the single greatest Treasure of The Catholic Church on Earth and at any point in time the action of The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the single most important act occurring on Earth and everybody knows we Catholics would not have the Immemorial Mass were it not for the SSPX.

    That alone is reason enough for Modernists to despise them yet that alone is enough to justify a reconciliation.

    As to Vatican Two…whatever.

    Pope Gregory the Great told his contemporaries to ignore an Ecumenical Council, Constantinople Two, because it had caused so much confusion.

    Someday we Catholics will have a Pope who was not a participant or peritus at Vatican Two and, for me, that will be a welcome day.

    As it is now, I can’t pretend that everything is Jake and that The Catholic Church after Vatican Two is the same as The Catholic Church prior to The Council.

  34. robtbrown says:

    Kasper, the second-highest German at the Vatican after Benedict, said the SSPX has staunchly opposed the dialogue with other Christian churches for which he is responsible.

    “They’ve attacked me as a heretic,” he said with a smile.

    I don’t attack him as a heretic. On the other hand, having read some of his books, I question his theological competence.

    “The main problem with them is not the Mass in Latin,” he said, referring to the SSPX’s insistence on the pre-Council liturgy, “but the concept of tradition. Do we want a living tradition or a petrified one?”

    I too would be interested in knowing what exactly does the Cardinal mean by “living” tradition vs “petrified”?

  35. mpm says:

    robtbrown,

    Not only do I question what he means by “living” and “petrified” tradition, but also whether what “we want” should have anything to do with it, unless it is merely a figure of speech.

  36. MichaelJ says:

    Cobbler,
    Speaking of “generalized accusations” ….

  37. Sedgwick says:

    This article is an insulting disgrace. I would like to know what Cardinal Kasper really said in context, not with the jerry-rigged quotations of Reuters. OK, WDTPRS readers, let’s have a poll and count the number of red herrings dutifully hoisted up in this article. I’ll give you three hints: “ultra-traditionalist,” “Bishop Williamson,” “anti-Semite.” Tawk amongst yourselves.

    If anyone would like a far less propaganda-ridden assessment of the state of these talks, try this:

    http://www.dici.org/en/?p=4524

    robtbrown, the SSPX has addressed this “living tradition” nonsense as well. It’s the same scam as treating the US Constitution as a “living document” – i.e. the leftist code for “let’s interpret this to conform to the exigencies of the modern world.” Which, in turn, is code for “Let’s establish our New World Order to replace and obliterate the despised Judeo-Christian Western Civilization.”

  38. Sedgwick says:

    I also think you can view this as the opening salvo of the internal enemies of the Church against the SSPX talks. Please note the tired predictability and continuous hollow deceit of their arguments. Interesting timing as well: now that the orchestrated world media campaign against Pope Benedict has subsided somewhat, let’s keep up the pressure on another front…

  39. robtbrown says:

    Someday we Catholics will have a Pope who was not a participant or peritus at Vatican Two and, for me, that will be a welcome day.
    Comment by Bornacatholic

    Papa Ratzinger is well aware of the flaws in the VatII documents. He is also aware that for some years every pope is going to have to invoke the name of the Council to try to convince people that it was not a Liberal Fest.

  40. robtbrown says:

    robtbrown, the SSPX has addressed this “living tradition” nonsense as well. It’s the same scam as treating the US Constitution as a “living document” – i.e. the leftist code for “let’s interpret this to conform to the exigencies of the modern world.” Which, in turn, is code for “Let’s establish our New World Order to replace and obliterate the despised Judeo-Christian Western Civilization.”
    Comment by Sedgwick

    The problem with the SSPX, however, is that they want to maintain the old By the Numbers Church of the Counter Reformation.

    On the other hand, the “living tradition” crowd seems to think that doctrine is unchangeable, but the protections of doctrine (e.g., Latin, ad orientem) should be changed.

  41. Tradster says:

    Just curious. Obviously, it would cause a firestorm against the discussions if they did so now. But theoretically, political and public relations considerations aside, does the negation of the excommunications mean the SSPX could ordain more bishops without incurring the same penalty?

  42. MichaelJ says:

    The problem with the SSPX, however, is that they want to maintain the old By the Numbers Church of the Counter Reformation

    Presuming that this is true, the problem with this would be…?
    Not to be flippant, but if either the Church or modern man must change, I do not understand why it is the Church that must change.

  43. robtbrown says:

    The problem with the SSPX, however, is that they want to maintain the old By the Numbers Church of the Counter Reformation

    Presuming that this is true, the problem with this would be…?
    Not to be flippant, but if either the Church or modern man must change, I do not understand why it is the Church that must change.
    Comment by MichaelJ

    1. The By the Numbers approach is programming not formation. It is great for an army, not so good for priests or religious (unless they’re Jesuits).

    2. Train everyone in By the Numbers, change the Numbers, and presto!, You’ve got the mess of the present day.

    NB: I said the By the Numbers approach was from the Counter Reformation. That means that the Church had changed to accommodate man.

  44. MichaelJ says:

    Ahh,
    I see that we had a different understanding of what the phrase “By the Numbers” meant. Perhaps a similar difference in understanding is at the root of your concerns about the SSPX?

  45. catholicmidwest says:

    Oh come on. That’s not their real problem with the SSPX. They just found one thing that has become their “target issue,” their paradigm that they can yell about. They’ve been fishing for one for years.

    Remember that wicked old sob story about the pregnant 9-year old raped by her dad that has fueled the abortions of millions of children conceived by able bodied women in hotels and back seats of Chevys? You couldn’t really argue in 1973 that a slut in a hotel bed ought to be able to get an abortion on demand, but you could argue that a totally fictional pitiful little waif, the proported victim of a crime, should be able to get one–to certain secular people of a therapeutic turn of mind. But yet, how many such 9-year olds were there? And how many sluts in hotel rooms and back seats? I ask you. You know what this supreme court decision has been used for.

    It’s the same strategy. And people with decent minds should be able to see through it. It’s a sham.

    Let’s be honest. They hate the SSPX because the SSPX:
    a) uses the Latin mass
    b) prays like the dickens and everyone knows it
    c) forces examination of their precious Vatican II which was pastoral in nature, and cannot supplant the previous 20 ecumenical councils no matter how anyone tries to force fit it to do so.

    I’m not SSPX. I have no interest in becoming SSPX, but I have the decency to recognize that they’re not exactly the hordes of demonically-inspired miscreants they’re made out to be by progressives. Indeed, some progressives fall far closer to that description. This has been a sad chapter in church history.

  46. catholicmidwest says:

    “As it is now, I can’t pretend that everything is Jake and that The Catholic Church after Vatican Two is the same as The Catholic Church prior to The Council.”

    And yet it is, Bornacatholic. Straight from the pope’s mouth to your ears: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2005/december/documents/hf_ben_xvi_spe_20051222_roman-curia_en.html

    You can safely ignore anybody that tells you otherwise. The hermeutic of rupture is a mistake and anything that purports to be the case but evokes the hermaneutic of rupture is clearly another mistake.

    As for me, when I hear the words Vatican II, my ears shut off. I don’t want to hear about it. Until they get this mess settled and figure out exactly & precisely what’s infallible and what’s not, I’m not sure there’s anything to hear. And if they can’t figure it out, I think I’m not responsible for it. I’m not even in Rome. I’m in the woods in Michigan.

  47. robtbrown says:

    I see that we had a different understanding of what the phrase “By the Numbers” meant. Perhaps a similar difference in understanding is at the root of your concerns about the SSPX?
    Comment by MichaelJ

    I don’t know. What do you mean by By the Numbers?