Card. Canizares (Prefect CDW) on Vatican II and SSPX

From CNA with my emphases and comments:

Cardinal Canizares: Vatican II was not a break in Church’s tradition

Lima, Peru, Aug 15, 2011 / 05:55 pm (CNA).- The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, recently explained to CNA that Vatican II “was not at all a break” with the tradition of the Church.

The cardinal’s comments came in response to a question about the main obstacle preventing dialogue between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X.  In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication against four bishops ordained in 1991 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who died excommunicated.

The Lefebvrists have held since their founding that Vatican II was a break with the Church’s tradition, and therefore they have rejected the magisterium of every Pope beginning with John XXIII[Is that accurate?  I wonder.]

The Spanish cardinal said the main obstacle is that the Lefebvrists do not accept “that there has been no break at all with tradition; tradition continues to be alive and open, and Vatican II is (part of the) tradition.”  Unity in the Church cannot be achieved by ignoring the council’s place in the Church’s tradition, he said.

Cardinal Canizares explained later that while he is unfamiliar with the specifics surrounding the dialogue with the Lefebvrists, “I do know one thing, which is that the Pope and the Church are very willing and have a great desire for there to be unity and for those who have left the Church to return to full communion.”  [That point cannot be underscored enough.]

Society of St. Pius X

On July 5, after the Society of St. Pius X ordained 20 men to the priesthood in Switzerland, Germany and the United Sates, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNA the ordinations were illegitimate. [But they were valid.  They will illicit, but valid.] He reiterated what the Vatican said in 2009, “As long as the Society does not have canonical status … its ministers do not exercise a legitimate ministry in the Church.”  [Except … with they do?] Fr. Lombardi added that such status could not be defined “until doctrinal matters are clarified.”

[…]

The rest rehashes some older news.  You can read it there if you are not familiar with the issues.

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57 Responses to Card. Canizares (Prefect CDW) on Vatican II and SSPX

  1. shane says:

    “Unity in the Church cannot be achieved by ignoring the council’s place in the Church’s tradition, he said.”

    I disagree with his Eminence. In fact many Ecumenical Councils do end up practically ignored. Vatican II will go the same way (and to a certain extent already has). The then Cardinal Ratzinger observed that several Councils must be regarded in the last analysis as having been a waste of time. Fr Hunwicke wrote an excellent series on ecumenical councils and their importance a while back. It could be argued that Vatican II is already obsolete even in its own terms since the world it spoke to (the ultra-optimistic post-war Europe) no longer exists. The world of today is VERY different from the world of the early 1960s (…mostly for the worse).

  2. St. Rafael says:

    Isn’t this the same Cardinal Canizares who tried to water down and derail Universae Ecclesiae?
    With friends like these who needs enemies? The cardinal is clearly out of the loop when it comes to the discussions.

    He clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about: and for those who have left the Church to return to full communion. He completely discredits himself when he says something so idiotic. In the last 3 years, Cardinal Hoyos when at Ecclesia Dei, made it known at least half a dozen times in print, that the SSPX were not schismatic, not outside the Church, but Catholics in a canonical situation that was in-house. Pope Benedict himself called it an internal matter.

    For a more accurate, fair, and knowledgeable assessment about the SSPX and the talks see the interview with Fr. Davide Pagliarani, SSPX District Superior of Italy:
    http://www.sspx.org/news/fr_davide_pagliarani-marco_bongi_interview_7-2011/fr_davide_pagliarani-marco_bongo_interview_part1.htm

    As far as Father Federico Lombardi blowing his usual smoke, let me remind him that it was the Vatican who requested the SSPX move their ordinations from Germany to Econe with no problem on the part of Rome concerning them. Someone should also ask Cardinal Canizares and Lombardi why is it that the SSPX bishops and priests have celebrated the TLM at St. Peter’s at the side altars with full approval and blessing during the discussions? “illegitimacy” is just a game being played by the enemy because in reality, for all purposes, it really doesn’t exist or is bothred with between Rome and the SSPX.

  3. Ezra says:

    What about Melkites who are treated as being in full communion, despite saying that all the councils after the first seven were not ecumenical – with a specific reference to Vatican I? Why is it that we don’t get constant reminders of the illegitimacy of Eastern Orthodox ordinations when Catholic prelates comment on Catholic-Orthodox encounters?

    I think St. Rafael asks a good question too. If the SSPX are outside full communion with the Catholic Church, rather than simply in a situation requiring canonical regularisation, what are we to make of their being permitted to celebrate Masses in St Peter’s? Are non-Catholic sects now permitted to use Catholic altars for worship in the best-known Catholic basilica in the world?

  4. Tom Ryan says:

    Are there other examples of illegitimate ordinations? I understand the valid vs illicit distinction but what would make them illegitimate?

  5. vivaldi says:

    The SSPX are Catholic, the real deal. Anybody who thinks the SSPX are schismatic need their head looked at. Seriously, why do people wabt to attack the SSPX who are faithful to the sacred traditions and doctrines, the organisation that in large part has preserved the traditional Priesthood yet the say nothing about Bishops that openly preach error, enourage married priests, female ordination, false ecumenism let alone a Pope who kissed the Koran…SSPX ordinations are the least of the Church’s problems! SSPX schism…get real.

  6. robtbrown says:

    The Vatican is in a tough position, having to defend Vat II in toto. The truth is that there are elements in Vat II that are in continuity with tradition. There are also elements that are not.

  7. Pachomius says:

    Ezra: Your quotation appears to come from a test for chidren on the website of a particular eparchy, not any official document. However, I agree the statement might by problematic, but it may be that while not considering it ecumenical, the Melkite church conisders its teaching nevertheless authoritative, perhaps.

    However, with that said… a quick glance at wikipedia suggests that Vatican I created problems with the Melkites at the time (and Pius IX decided to play hardball to a level I would have thought suicidally unwise). The document was apparently signed by the Melkite patriarch, but only with the inclusion of a clause from the Council of Florence. I also found a comment from a Melkite online saying they accept the dogma but noth the definition, though a comment from one Melkite is hardly an authoritative (or necessarily accurate) one. So I think the answer is… confused.

    It may help to remember that while the Melkites are under the authority of the Vicar of Christ, they are not under the authority of the Patriarch of the Latin Church, or the Latin Rite and our traditions in general. I think questions of hats (pointed, conical, and mushroom-shaped) probably come into play here.

  8. Legisperitus says:

    The SSPX do not “reject the magisterium” of the recent Popes. Some of the topical articles on their North American website rely on writings of John Paul II.

  9. Andy Milam says:

    The SSPX sure seems to bring out buzzwords. First it was schism. Then it was excommunicated. Now it seems that the latest word to use is illegetimate. I’m not saying that they are legitimate, but it sure does beg the question, why?

    It almost seems as if some of the leaders in the Vatican are constantly trying to ammend their position to keep the SSPX suppressed. It seems as if for every step the Holy Father takes forward, some try to drive it back 3 steps.

    It has been PAINFULLY clear that there are irregularites with regard to the SSPX. But, over the last 10 years or so they really have been working toward reconciliation. Let’s not forget that this is just as much about them learning and being catechised as it is about the Church conceding anything. Catechesis takes a long time, and for those who are well versed in traditional Catholic theology, which is still legitimate (ironic, no?), it can be VERY difficult, because the rupture with Sacred Tradition has been so very great.

    It is also very clear that Card. Canizares was caught and made a statement without full understanding. He admitted as much. I don’t fault him for not knowing, I do fault him for not knowing and still saying something. It was imprudent and could create another layer which must be unwrapped.

    At this point, IMO, it would seem that any conversation about the SSPX should be left to those who are immediately involved. They are trying to reconcile. The Church wants them to reconcile, but it certainly seems as though there are many who don’t want the drama to stop.

    Also, I think that alot of these people who are trying to keep the SSPX suppressed should probably take the splinter out of their own eye, before going after the plank that is in the SSPX’s eye. If given a choice (which exists, btw) is it better to assist at an SSPX Mass which is illicit or to assist at a Novus Ordo Mass which is illicit? I’ll go where I can be certain of the ACTION, as opposed to having to wonder and question. I can know that the “illicitness” comes not from the liturgical action itself, with regard to the SSPX Mass. I can’t know that from an illicit Mass when it comes from a set of liturgical actions which have been explicitly condemned by the Church and are ignored. Both are disobedient, but one is from the desire to do what the Church wants, the other is from a desire to do what the individual wants.

  10. Ezra says:

    Your quotation appears to come from a test for chidren on the website of a particular eparchy, not any official document. However, I agree the statement might by problematic, but it may be that while not considering it ecumenical, the Melkite church conisders its teaching nevertheless authoritative, perhaps.

    Might be problematic? Vatican I was an ecumenical council which defined dogma, and yet a Melkite eparchy’s official catechetical materials (“questions… posed to the Melkite youth as a way of reinforcing our Parish Educational Programs”) deny that it was such. And you say that might be problematic?

    If a Melkite eparchy can teach its youth such falsehoods while enjoying canonical regularity, why can’t the SSPX – who don’t deny that Vatican II, which defined no dogma, was an ecumenical council – enjoy canonical regularity? Is thinking Vatican II was the Best Council Ever more important for those aspiring to communion with Rome than believing that Vatican I was actually an ecumenical council?

  11. Ezra says:

    Then again, perhaps it is the SSPX’s alleged anti-Semitism which causes there to be so many seeming roadblocks to their canonical regularisation. I imagine their public statements such as:

    The Jews are very skillful in their propaganda, so much the more because they hold in their hands the reins of opinion. They modify the facts as they wish, and know how to exploit every word in favor of their political interests.

    and

    The actual and collective responsibility of the Jews, who condemned and killed our Lord—even though the death was voluntary—is an undeniable historical fact. Jews of all times and all places recognize that fact. The Bible and the Liturgy also assert it in explicit and severe terms. Why is there today a desire to acquit them of this crime? The Church today is made to bear the responsibility for the errors committed at other times by some of its men (the abuses of the Inquisition, St. Bartholomew’s Day, the Albigensians…); people are made to bear the responsibility for errors committed at other times by their ancestors or by certain ones of their leaders. Why does one not wish to have the Jews bear the moral responsibility for a crime committed by their ancestors and the leaders of their nation? Is it to prevent their being persecuted? But it isn’t for this crime that certain peoples reject them nowadays; it is for reasons that are social, racial, economic, political, etc. Now that the pope himself feels the need and the appropriateness for not acquitting men of the Church of errors of other times, why is there an insistence on officially acquitting the Jews of the blood of Jesus Christ, whom they crucified? Why is there an insistence on this official declaration of their innocence, when they themselves, through the mouths of their ancestors, said in the Gospel, “His blood be on us and on our children” (our posterity)?

    …have probably caused some in the Roman Curia to be nervous about the possibility of restoring canonical status to the- what? Those quotes aren’t from the SSPX? They’re from the Melkites too?

    Oh.

  12. acroat says:

    The SSPX members in our area insist Vatican II would have to be renounced before they would returned (and I suspect Bl John Paul II’s beatification).

  13. Ezra says:

    Acroat,

    Are those “SSPX members”, or laity who go to Masses offered by SSPX priests? The SSPX is a priestly society, and I’d be surprised if you’d heard SSPX priests use such language. On the other hand, if we’re going to go by what lay people at Mass believe, then I think you’d find that while SSPX-supporting laity may want Rome to renounce Vatican II (which defined no dogma), plenty of laity at Novus Ordo Masses have already personally renounced the dogmas defined at previous councils (Nicaea, Florence, Trent… to name but a few of the more commonly denied).

  14. Pachomius says:

    Ezra: As I said, the position of the Melkites in relation to Vatican I (and it seems to be V1 in particular) seems to me confused.

    However, with regard to the SSPX, I once again restate that while the Melkites are subject to the Vicar of Christ, they aren’t subject to the Bishop of Rome, and as an Eastern Rite must be (and have been, since at least the reign of Leo XIII) allowed certain differences in approach to the Latin Rite, which may be relevant to this. An obvious one here is transubstantiation: must they accept the Thomistic explanation (as opposed to, if you will, the basic doctrine of the ‘change’ taking place) because Paul VI promulgated it, despite the fact that this is quite alien to the Eastern liturgical tradition, with its emphasis on the liturgy as a diachronic event? The issue is not simple.

    And as I said, the Melkites continue in practice and theory to accept the authority of the Pope and to defer to the Holy See’s decisions. They have accepted a version of Vatican I’s teachings which includes a phrase from the Council of Florence about the rights of the Eastern Patriarchs.

    By contrast, the SSPX is a suppressed pious union and under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, which, while it officially existed, decided it would not follow the canonical rules governing a pious union: far from setting up a public or semi-public church or oratory, they set up a seminary. Far from staying within the bounds of the diocese they were set up in, they started seeding themselves all around the world.

    The problem with the SSPX is as much that they seem to believe that canon law doesn’t apply to them as that they have issues with church teaching. The SSPX also does not defer to the Holy See, but while claiming that they are loyal to Rome and pray for the Pope and all the rest of it, cheerily ignore the fact that they are suppressed and all members are suspended a divinis and their bishops quite happily accuse the Supreme Pontiff of teaching heresy.

    So, to be clear: you are conflating a group (a) who disagree with a conciliar teaching about the authority of the Roman Pontiff but continue to pay him due heed and deference, and (b) a group who claim an entire cuoncil was modernist heresy, accuse the Pope of teaching heresy, whose organisation is suppressed and whose members are suspended a divinis, and who continue to behave without regard to the rule of canon law on their kind of society (pious union) regardless of their suspension.

    I’m sorry, I see quite a difference here.

  15. wolfeken says:

    With all due respect to their offices, Cardinal Canizares and Father Lombardi ought to be ashamed of themselves. What was the point of their comments? Isn’t the Vatican working with the SSPX to regularize the Society? Isn’t that what the pope wants? Does this help?

    There are ongoing negotiations.

    I wonder if the cardinal and Jesuit would be saying these things with respect to the schismatic Orthodox.

  16. Ezra says:

    Pachomius,

    I fear it is you who are confused. The Melkite catechetical materials are perfectly clear: they recognise seven ecumenical councils, and assert that at least one subsequent council was not ecumenical on account of there being no Orthodox participation. (One imagines that the same logic would apply to those other councils post-Schism which were held, either without Orthodox participation or, in the case of attempted reunion, without lasting Orthodox approval.)

    Now, you try to hang a lot on the distinction between relating to the Pope as Bishop of Rome, and relating to him as Vicar of Christ. Yet Eastern Catholics, like Latin Catholics, are subject to the authority of the Roman Pontiff, as the very ecumenical council those Melkite materials attempt to downgrade stated unambiguously:

    Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.

    Those things which were defined by any of the twenty-one ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church as de fide are not somehow de fide in the West, but de opinione in the East. They are dogma. Eastern Catholics are as bound as Latin Catholics to accept all that is required by the dogma (not particular theological schools’ explanations) of transubstantiation – namely, that Christ becomes present in the Eucharist by the bread’s whole substance being transformed into His Body, the whole substance of the wine into His Blood, and that the accidents of bread and wine continue after this change of substance. They are similarly bound, as Latin Catholics are bound, to accept all that is required by the dogma (not particular theological schools’ explanations) of papal infallibility. A man who knowingly denies a dogma defined in one of the Church’s twenty-one ecumenical councils falls away from the Catholic faith – no matter whether he’s Eastern or Latin.

    You point to the canonical irregularity of the SSPX’s position, but those who agree with those Melkite catechetical materials are not only denying the authority of fourteen of the Church’s twenty-one ecumenical councils – they are also promoting teaching contrary to the clear contents of the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches:

    Canon 51 – §1. It is for the Roman Pontiff alone to convoke an ecumenical council, to preside over it personally or through others, to transfer, suspend or dissolve it, and to confirm its decrees.
    §2. It is for the same Roman Pontiff to determine matters to be treated in a council and to establish the order to be followed in the same council; to the questions proposed by the Roman Pontiff the fathers of a council can add other questions, to be approved by the same Roman Pontiff.

    Canon 52 – §1. It is the right and obligation of all and only the bishops who are members of the college of bishops to participate in an ecumenical council with a deliberative vote.

    I am not conflating the two groups. The SSPX do not deny that any of the Church’s ecumenical councils were such, nor do they believe that it is necessary for schismatics and/or heretics to attend an ecumenical council for it to constitute such. Yes, the SSPX are in a canonically irregular situation, but they make appeal to a perceived state of necessity, for which canon law does make a provision. The strength of that appeal can be debated. That Vatican I was an ecumenical council of the Church, and that dogmas promulgated by the Roman Pontiff and ecumenical councils of the Church after the Schism are binding on all Catholics, cannot.

  17. John Nolan says:

    In Brussels two years ago I found nothing remotely Catholic (one historic church occupied by political protesters, another with a modern free-standing altar not used because the priest preferred to celebrate at a coffee-table, Mass in the cathedral celebrated without chasuble and in a rite that I did not recognize) so I repaired on Sunday morning to the SSPX church (a fine building in the Leopold quarter) for a Missa Cantata with full participation from the congregation (Lux et Origo) led by a female schola who sung the GR propers, and an excellently orthodox homily. There were many young families present and the confessionals were occupied and hearing confessions in a number of languages. Enough said.

  18. Centristian says:

    “On July 5, after the Society of St. Pius X ordained 20 men to the priesthood in Switzerland, Germany and the United Sates, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNA the ordinations were illegitimate. [But they were valid. They will illicit, but valid.]”

    But justified? What is the justification for this annual ordination of priests in defiance of the Holy See? How many priests do they need, do they suppose? When will they have enough? And, incidentally, how many more lives have to be ruined and souls imperiled with weddings, annulments, and confessions of dubious validity presided over by illegitimate priests without faculties to witness marriages, grant annulments, and hear confession?

    It would seem to me that if the SSPX were acting in good faith, they would not ordain any more men until the matter was settled. But they continue to because, of course, they are persuaded that the Holy See has no right at all to tell them they may not ordain men to the priesthood. The “crisis” in the Church gives the SSPX the freedom to ignore the Holy See, altogether, whenever it seems meet to them to so ignore it…which is in every case. They worship like Catholics but behave like Protestants.

    [Well! That oughta calm things down.]

  19. robtbrown says:

    Pachomius,

    As I have said here multiple times, the Church has not adopted the Eucharistic theology of St Thomas. In 1215 Lateran IV referred to Transubstantiation–ten years before the birth of St Thomas. I know of no document that has adopted his use of Accidents–the reference is usually to Appearances.

    Although you’re certainly right about the juridical problems of extending the SSPX beyond their original diocese, IMHO, two points need to be made: 1) In the beginning there were no objections to those extensions. 2) Although the SSPX has made it clear that they have multi-faceted objections, nevertheless, the Society is primarily concerned with the propagation of the Mass of Pius V–which use by definition extends beyond any single diocese.

  20. JuliB says:

    I read a book by ‘Fr.’ Avery Dulles called ‘Models of the Church’. While it wasn’t what I expected, and I skimmed most of the book, it seemed that the hierarchical model was greatly diminished by V2. Instead, ‘church as community’ was elevated (so to speak). Leaving out my uneducated opinion, it would seem that this was a HUGE change, and caused much grief. Perhaps it wasn’t explained at the time? Perhaps if it had been, there would still have been strong disagreement?

    Changing the ‘model’ may not have thrown out Tradition, but it seems to have had that affect when all was said and done.

  21. Centristian says:

    [Well! That oughta calm things down.]

    ;^) I should have concluded my remarks with the British government’s wartime mantra, “Keep calm and carry on.”

  22. Centristian: I invite you to check out this fine line of WDTPRS swag:

    For real!  I was using one of these shirts today while doing some gardening stuff, as a matter of fact.

  23. Centristian says:

    LOL! Brilliant! I love the way you’ve replaced the Crown of St. Edward with the Papal tiara, too. Excellent touch! Love it!

  24. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Perhaps it is not prudent for more comments to be made about the SSPX’s “illigitimacy” (sounds like they’re being called bastards). At the same time, the SSPX leadership does not come out smelling like a rose during these discussions. The SSPX bishops continue to use various preaching opportunities to speak of the “illigitimacy” of Vatican II as their stumbling block to regularization. Just google any of their bishops and read their latest interviews and homilies.

    If prudence is good for Vatican cardinals during delicate negotiations, is the same prudence and restraining of the tongue not good for the SSPX bishops also?

  25. Ezra says:

    Centristian,

    [H]ow many more lives have to be ruined and souls imperiled with weddings, annulments, and confessions of dubious validity presided over by illegitimate priests without faculties to witness marriages, grant annulments, and hear confession?

    Weddings and annulments are the big problem – though I suspect an SSPX “annulment” is probably harder to get than your average US one! With regard to confession, the bizarre thing is that your concerns don’t appear to be shared by everyone in Rome. While some Roman prelates have said that SSPX confessions are invalid, priests of the Society have said, and Bishop Fellay has confirmed, that in those cases where Society priests have been presented with sins incurring automatic excommunication (the lifting of which is reserved to the Roman Pontiff), they have followed the usual procedure in absolving the penitent and referring the matter to Rome for examination. Just last year Bishop Fellay told an audience that,

    “Every time – absolutely every time – we have received an answer from Rome that the priest who took care of this confession did well, that it was perfectly in order, and it was both licit and valid.”

  26. Pachomius says:

    Ezra, I’m afraid it is you who is reading rather too much into a very thin basis in evidence. You quote a single, very abbreviated grammatically, question-and-answer on the website of a single eparchy as being proof that the Melkites are heretics. This is, to put it mildly, shoddy argumentation. Having looked at the rest of the website a bit, I found the following quotes from the section Bishop John Answers.

    The first quote is about the First Vatican Council, and “post-schism” Councils in general:
    Patriarch Gregory II Youssef-Sayour occupied the Melkite throne of Antioch for thirty-three years (1864-1897). At Vatican I, the Patriarch gave an impassioned plea to the assembled bishops in defense of the prerogatives of the ancient patriarchs. He said: “The Eastern Church attributes the highest and most complete power to the Pope, but in such a way that the fullness of his power is in harmony with the rights of the other Patriarchal Sees. (Mansi 52,cols. 133-137). Patriarch Gregory finally signed the document Pastor aeternus but only after adding the phrase made famous at the earlier Council of Florence that expressed his reservations. He added: “salvis omnibus iuribus et privilegiis patriarcharum”. {saving all of the rights and privileges of the patriarchs}.

    While the first seven ecumenical councils enjoy a place of prominence, especially in the East, both the Churches of the East and West have experienced local councils and synods throughout their rich histories. The early ecumenical councils met to resolve and articulate important Christological doctrines. The Melkite Church participated fully in Vatican I and Patriarch Gregory spoke clearly to his affirmation of the fullness of power enjoyed by the Petrine Office. The Patriarch was very concerned that the exercise of papal powers be “in harmony with the rights of the other Patriarchal Sees.” The second Vatican Council is seen to have completed the unfinished business of Vatican I with its special emphasis on ecclesiology, specifically on the nature of the Church.

    Recent theological speculation has developed the concept of “communion of churches” with promising results for ecumenism and rapprochement with the Orthodox. It would be a simple rekindling of the old controversy of conciliarism to suggest that some councils are less ecumenical than others. With the promulgation of the Holy Father, the doctrinal content of the various councils is a part of the sacred magisterial teaching of the Church to which Melkites in full communion with the See of Rome give wholehearted assent.

    The second quote is on the Melkite view of the Council of Trent:

    Although the Council of Trent was convened in order to meet the challenges of the Reformation in the west, the recapitulation of dogma concerning the sacraments that came from the Council has been an enriching source for the Churches of both east and west. Indeed, you will note that many Eastern theologians have reacted in various ways to the decrees of the Council of Trent. As Catholics, we are bound to all of the decrees of the councils that have been promulgated by the Holy Father. In some instances, the decrees of the Council have direct application to the discipline of the west only. Usually this can be discerned either by the decree itself or by its logical application to the discipline of the west.

    Link: http://www.melkite.org/bishopQA.htm

    Furthermore, I note that the website “Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Centre” ( http://www.mliles.com/melkite/index.shtml ) lists the First Vatican Council as the Twentieth Ecumenical Council.

    I note that on two occasions when this question has come up on Catholic forums, the answer has been given that it is to the term “ecumenical”, not to the councils themselves, that the Melkites object.

    You appear to have manufactured a denial that is not there on extremely shaky grounds. I don’t think the rest of your post(s) really need(s) dealing with in the light of this, but you might offer any Melkites reading an apology for scandal-mongering.

  27. danphunter1 says:

    “Cardinal Canizares explained later that while he is unfamiliar with the specifics surrounding the dialogue with the Lefebvrists, ”

    I wonder if using the term “Lefebvrists” is not meant as an derogatory term when it is used this way by the writer?
    Many people use this term as an insult when addressing Catholics who are members of the Fraternal Society of Pope St Pius X.
    Maybe this is like referring to this group of Catholics the way Dominicans or Redemptorists are referred to, but there are some who attempt to insult the FSSPX in this way.

  28. danphunter1 says:

    “What is the justification for this annual ordination of priests in defiance of the Holy See? How many priests do they need, do they suppose? When will they have enough? And, incidentally, how many more lives have to be ruined and souls imperiled with weddings, annulments, and confessions of dubious validity presided over by illegitimate priests without faculties to witness marriages, grant annulments, and hear confession? ”

    Centristan,
    I agree.
    That is why it is very important, in my opinon, for the Holy Father to regularise the Society[unilaterally if needed] as soon as possible.
    The many people that repair to SSPX chapel are Catholic and as Catholics we all need the sacraments to breathe.

  29. Ezra says:

    Pachomius,

    Now you are resorting to straw men. My point in raising the Melkite case was not to attack Melkites, and it is simply dishonest to claim that I said that “Melkites are heretics”. If anyone should be apologising, it’s you to me for saying as much.

    It is a simple matter of fact that the Eparchy of Newton (which, for those unaware, covers the entirety of the United States) teaches, in official materials for youth, that there were only seven ecumenical councils, and that the reason that Vatican I should not be considered an ecumenical council is that the Orthodox did not participate. This was taught in the 2005 Melkite Challenge (cited above), and in the 2007 Melkite Challenge. Other teaching materials on the same website identify only seven ecumenical councils. These materials are produced by the Eparchy of Newton’s Office of Educational Services, and the Melkite Challenge is described as consisting of “questions are posed to the Melkite Youth as a way of reinforcing our Parish Educational Programs”. The words you have quoted from elsewhere on the same website do not change this message – nor do they offer an adequate reason for refusing to identify more than seven ecumenical councils. The post-Schism ecumenical councils were not “local councils and synods”, as anyone who accepts the definition of ecumenical councils given in the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches will readily perceive. As to the material I cited being “very abbreviated grammatically”: I think this concision is a function of the catechetical format. It hardly explains why fourteen ecumenical councils have been ignored/downgraded.

    The Melkite site you link to, which identifies Vatican I and II as the twentieth and twenty-first ecumenical councils, is of course correct. I imagine and hope that the majority of Melkites agree. Nonetheless, that is an unofficial site, whereas the material I’ve noted is being produced by the Eparchy of Newton for the education of the future generation of American Melkites. I have no idea how much of it is actually used on the ground. Let us hope those entrusted with the task in local settings have access to better material.

    Anyway, the point in my raising this example, in case it was not clear, was a simple one: if Catholics criticising the SSPX want to be taken seriously, let them apply the same standards across the board. If an eparchy can enjoy canonical regularity and Roman approval while teaching its youth that there were only seven ecumenical councils, it is unclear to me why a priestly society which affirms all twenty-one, while expressing doubts about the wisdom of the last, cannot enjoy the same regularity and approval.

  30. Mouse says:

    RE: Vivaldi’s comment that SSPX are Catholic and the real deal

    The Pope has clearly stated that the SSPX are not in full communion with Rome, which is post-Vatican II-speak for schismatic. For example, when Protestants come into the Church now, instead of saying “some schismatics came back to the Church,” they say, “they returned to full communion with Rome.”

    The Holy Father has also reaffirmed in his last public statement on the matter, that the SSPX clergy “have no legitimate ministry” in the Church. You can find that on vatican.va if you search under SSPX.

    That means that no Catholic can attend their Masses or seek sacraments from them. It also means that no good Catholic would want to.

    If the Pope says you are not in union with Rome, you are not in union with Rome.
    If the Pope says you are not allowed to minister in the Catholic Church, you are not allowed to minister in the Catholic Church.

    Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

    I find that SSPX supporters seem to be unable to understand obedience. Which is the issue. It doesn’t matter how right you think the SSPX is, or how much you think the Traditional Latin Mass is the only right way to celebrate Mass in the Church. What matters is that throwing one’s lot in with those who will not obey the Holy Father is NEVER and I repeat NEVER the right thing to do.

    There is a great deal of false information, distortion, etc., on certain trad sites about this, even up to misquoting of letters from magisterial congregations. I am quite traditional myself, but no good Catholic can excuse that. As with suspended priests in general, unless you are in danger of death and there’s no Catholic priest in good standing around and you need to confess a mortal sin or something, you should not seek them out for anything. Would you have gone to a Lutheran service in the time of Luther, when the priests were still validly ordained and could confect the eucharist (had they wanted to), just because you preferred what they were doing? The disobedience is the same. Yes, it really is the same.

    God rewards obedience. You will get more graces from going to a poorly celebrated Novus Ordo Mass under obedience, and God will better hear your prayers for restoration in the Church if you yourself are faithful, instead of throwing in your lot with the disobedient.

    What’s worse than tepidly celebrated liturgies, female altar servers, lousy hymns and eucharistic ministers? DISOBEDIENCE!

    THERE IS NO SAFETY BUT IN THE BARQUE OF PETER!!

  31. Pachomius says:

    Ezra, nice try, but you once again ignore anything which doesn’t fit the tale you are spinning so furiously. I quoted directly from the website of the Eparchy of Newton stating their acceptance of the teachings of both the First Vatican Council and the Council of Trent. You are not demanding rigour, you are simply muck-raking.

  32. robtbrown says:

    Centristian says:

    It would seem to me that if the SSPX were acting in good faith, they would not ordain any more men until the matter was settled.

    And what do you think should happen with those men who spent 6 years studying for the priesthood?

  33. danphunter1 says:

    Mouse,

    As Fr Zuhlsdorf has said many times himself, the Masses of the SSPX fulfill the Holy day obligation for Catholics under current Canon Law and PCED allows for this as well.
    Therefore the SSPX is Catholic.
    A Catholic cannot fulfill his Sunday and holy day obligation at an Methodist service, but they can at an SSPX Mass.

  34. Andrew says:

    On one of Fr Z’s regular What is Your Good News posts recently, I mentioned that in the adjacent parish to my own, is now a priest, who recently left the Society of St Pius X, and now celebrates both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite. Fr Arthur has been kind enough to share with me his letter of resignation that he sent to Bishop Fellay at the start of this year. I can tell you that he is perfoming a sacramental ministry in the Catholic Church, (after having his orders cleared by the Ecclesia Dei Commision) now because he does not believe that the group he was a part of are in communion with them. Maybe the term schism is not appropriate, but really all this is semantics. To be a Roman Catholic means that the Holy Father has both a primacy of honour and jurisdiction. The SSPX claims this as well, but not in practice, by operating outside the visible structure of the Church, and by showing disobedience to its directives. This is not to say that there aren’t good elements operating inside it, but it is fallacious to say that they are in any way part of the visible Church. So in this argument, my money is with Cardinal Cazinares-Llovera, the man called “little Ratzinger”, in his native Spain, in his affirmation that the Holy Father wants these people to return to the Church. Fr Arthur prays for this, as well.

  35. Ezra says:

    Pachomius,

    Most readers will be able to see that “accepting the teachings of X” and “recognising X as an ecumenical council” are not the same; the latter entails believing those teachings to be protected from error, while the former does not. I accept what I am taught by my parish priest on a Sunday, but that doesn’t mean I consider the 10am at St Redacted’s to be an ecumenical council. I know Catholic-minded Episcopalians who would say that they agree with the teachings of Trent while denying that it was an ecumenical council (due to lack of Orthodox participation). Catholics have to accept their ecumenical councils as such, which is why the Eastern code of canons contains a section making it clear what constitutes an ecumenical council.

    If you’re only interested in imputing sinister motives, you can spare yourself the trouble of a response.

    Andrew,

    Again, we’re faced with mixed messages from Rome on this point. When Cardinal Castrillón was President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, he gave an interview to Die Tagespost in which he said:

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

    Since that interview, the excommunications imposed on the four bishops have been lifted.

  36. Centristian says:

    Fr_Sotelo:

    “Perhaps it is not prudent for more comments to be made about the SSPX’s “illigitimacy” (sounds like they’re being called bastards). ”

    The very thought.

    “If prudence is good for Vatican cardinals during delicate negotiations, is the same prudence and restraining of the tongue not good for the SSPX bishops also?”

    Quite evidently not, in the eyes of many SSPX supporters. Some will wail like banshees about this cardinal’s mild statement while letting slide (and even endorsing) every appalling and intemperate remark of the bishops and clergy of the SSPX. We aren’t talking about anything that makes sense, here, though, are we?

    danphunter1:

    “I wonder if using the term ‘Lefebvrists’ is not meant as an derogatory term when it is used this way by the writer?”

    My thoughts return to the term that Fr_Sotelo expressed concern over. Perhaps “Lefebvrist” isn’t so bad, really.

    “I agree.
    That is why it is very important, in my opinon, for the Holy Father to regularise the Society[unilaterally if needed] as soon as possible.”

    We don’t quite agree. The shephered doesn’t protect his flock by declaring the wolves “sheep”. Because of the obstinate attitude and cult-like character of the Society of St. Pius X (that is not a cavalier smear, mind you, but rather my personal observation of many years…and one that I fully acknowledge is open to debate), the solution, it seems to me, is not at all for Rome to attempt to regularize the SSPX but, rather, to dismiss the institution altogether for what it actually is and actively warn the Catholic faithful who adhere to it and the SSPX clergy of goodwill inside of it to get out of it, to stay away from it, and then to individually reconcile with the established hierarchy (to whatever degree of a formal reconciliation may be required in each individual case).

    The Holy Father, as I see matters, would not, by publicly “regularizing” the SSPX, be doing any good service at all to those poor, confused but well-meaning Catholics who cling to the SSPX because they have been persuaded that there is nowhere else for them to go. Not that the Pontiff could do that, in any case, because he isn’t in the driver’s seat in this case, is he?

    The SSPX aren’t interested in being “regularized” by “Modernist Rome”. As we all know, the SSPX imagine that they are “regular” and that it is Rome and the establishment Church that are irregular and need to be regularized. It is the Church hierarchy that needs to convert to the SSPX’s position, after all, and not vice-versa. The official Church must submit to “Tradition”, and it is the SSPX that is competent to define “Tradition”.

    “The many people that repair to SSPX chapel are Catholic and as Catholics…”

    And as Catholics they need to be reminded that Christ the Lord built his Church on Peter and prayed that Peter’s faith not fail; that He promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church. They need to be reminded that it is not Marcel Lefebvre’s role nor is it Richard Williamson’s Role nor is it Bernard Fellay’s role nor is it Dr. David Allen White’s role nor is it their own role to “save the Church.” We do not “save the Church.” The Church saves us.

    Robtbrown:

    “And what do you think should happen with those men who spent 6 years studying for the priesthood?”

    They should not have been recruited and misled in the first place, of course.

    “Cardinal Canizares explained later that while he is unfamiliar with the specifics surrounding the dialogue with the Lefebvrists, ‘I do know one thing, which is that the Pope and the Church are very willing and have a great desire for there to be unity and for those who have left the Church to return to full communion.’

    Notice that the cardinal points out that it is the desire of the pope and the Church that those who have left the Church return to it. Not that this departure from the Church called the SSPX be formally institutionalized, as though such a thing were possible or in any way desirable.

  37. robtbrown says:

    JuliB says:

    I read a book by ‘Fr.’ Avery Dulles called ‘Models of the Church’. While it wasn’t what I expected, and I skimmed most of the book, it seemed that the hierarchical model was greatly diminished by V2. Instead, ‘church as community’ was elevated (so to speak). Leaving out my uneducated opinion, it would seem that this was a HUGE change, and caused much grief.

    I agree that the hierarchical model was diminished by VatII, but the Church was only that highly centralized for about 400 years–and that doesn’t mean that Progressivism and Ecumenism with the Protestants should now dominate the Church. Even if we say that the top down model of that epoch has been replaced by the Communio model, there is still the obligation of unity among communities–one parish with all parishes, one diocese with all dioceses, one monastery with all monasteries, one priory with all priories. Thus: one community must oppose women’s ordination because it must be in Communion with other communities, whatever the locations involved. NB: The push toward women’s ordination is only an issue only in a few nations.

    Further, although Latin liturgy can be considered a means of union with the Pope, it is also a means of union between communities. Anyone who has ever traveled internationally has seen this. Mass is mostly now in the respective national languages. Any traveler not knowing the local language does not, acc to liberals, participate actively in the liturgy.

    Also: No doubt you learned from the book that the medieval monasteries and orders (e.g., Dominicans, Franciscans) have never been so highly centralized. Provincials and Priors are elected by vote rather than appointed by someone in higher authority.

  38. robtbrown says:

    Ezra wrote:

    The shephered doesn’t protect his flock by declaring the wolves “sheep”. Because of the obstinate attitude and cult-like character of the Society of St. Pius X (that is not a cavalier smear, mind you, but rather my personal observation of many years…and one that I fully acknowledge is open to debate), the solution, it seems to me, is not at all for Rome to attempt to regularize the SSPX but, rather, to dismiss the institution altogether for what it actually is and actively warn the Catholic faithful who adhere to it and the SSPX clergy of goodwill inside of it to get out of it, to stay away from it, and then to individually reconcile with the established hierarchy (to whatever degree of a formal reconciliation may be required in each individual case).

    I am no an apologist for the SSPX, nevertheless:

    1. If you want to talk about wolves, let’s mention the likes of Weakland, Bernardin, and other bishops and priests who have in general opposed the Pope and said, among other things, that the women’s ordination question is still open, that homosexuality is in some way good, and who let their seminaries turn to garbage. They did much more damage to the Church than the SSPX.

    2. When I was in Rome, I was aware that there were many in the Vatican, some with red hats, who thought that the current situation of the SSPX is the consequence of Vatican persecution. Further, the influence of the SSPX exists only because of incompetent leadership of the Catholic hierarchy.

    “And what do you think should happen with those men who spent 6 years studying for the priesthood?”

    They should not have been recruited and misled in the first place, of course.

    That answer is a non sequitur.

    Notice that the cardinal points out that it is the desire of the pope and the Church that those who have left the Church return to it. Not that this departure from the Church called the SSPX be formally institutionalized, as though such a thing were possible or in any way desirable.

    I certainly think it is desirable–so does the Pope.

    And why is it not possible? My understanding is that various possibilities for the formal institutionalization are still on the table.

  39. danphunter1 says:

    Centristan,
    What is it you would say to all of us Catholics who desire a reverent Mass and have tried to assist at diocesan Novus Ordo Masses but find they are very irreverently offered and noisy and not conducive to prayer, some of them are even offered using made up words and rubrics?
    What would you say if it becomes a near occasion of sin or a sin itself to assist at these Masses because of the great impatience and anger that these Masses move the faithful to?

    What do you say to these faithful Catholics who desire at least a modicum of reverence at Mass, and have tried the Eastern Rite DL, various diocesan Masses, but can only find it in the TLM?
    What do you say to these faithful if the only TLM within physical access of them is offered by priests of the FSSPX, since their diocese does not have the FSSP, ICRSS or any other Ecclesia Dei group?
    What do you say to these men that have petitioned for an every Sunday TLM at a diocesan church, through first the pastors then the Ordinary then Ecclesia Dei, but have not recieved a Mass?
    My personal spiritual advisor is an out of state FSSP priest who advises me to assist at an SSPX Mass, not because I desire to seperate myself from the Bishop and the Holy Father, but because I love the TLM and want to pray well.
    Thats right, I love the TLM and want to pray well.
    There are many like this that I have met that assist at SSPX Masses for these reasons.
    Believe you me if a regularized TLM was offered every Sunday, that I had access to, within a reasonable driving distance I would be there.

  40. Centristian says:

    @Robtbrown:

    “And why is it not possible [to regularize the SSPX]?”

    Because it is impossible to institutionalize within the Church a rebellion against it.

    “1. If you want to talk about wolves, let’s mention the likes of Weakland, Bernardin, and other bishops and priests who have in general opposed the Pope and said, among other things, that the women’s ordination question is still open, that homosexuality is in some way good, and who let their seminaries turn to garbage. They did much more damage to the Church than the SSPX.”

    Wolves hunting sheep on the right of the fold are no less dangerous because of wolves hunting sheep on the left.

  41. Byzcat says:

    @Centristian, there is neither left nor right in the Church. There is heterodoxy, and there is orthodoxy. In many places the Vatican II documents were written in ambiguous language that lent itself to manifold interpretations. Certain doctrines of the Church, such as the doctrine that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church and, the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX, were jettisoned by the post Vatican II Church. These things are an absolute break with tradition, in my opinion (and obviously in the opinion of the Traditionalists). “New Theology” advocates like Hans Kung interpreted the documents to justify the demolition of the “Constantinian Church”, a process that involved severely modifying the Liturgy and the structure of the Church. The SSPX is a reaction (and a necessary one) against these abuses. There are those of us in the Church who find the Novus Ordo liturgy painfully banal when compared to the majestic and sublime Tridentine Liturgy or the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom.

  42. John Nolan says:

    Any Catholic can attend an SSPX Mass in good conscience provided he does not do so as an act of defiance to the Holy See. BXVI was too much involved with Vat2 to say too much against it, but his successor will not be subject to the same constraints. St Nicholas-du -Chardonnet in Paris feels authentically Catholic as do the London and Birmingham Oratories and life is simply too short to put up with sloppy liturgy which may well mortify the flesh, but has the effect of putting me off my lunch.

  43. “The SSPX is a reaction (and a necessary one) against these abuses. “

    Let’s not forget that the competent authority in the Vatican declared officially that there is “no necessity.” So, that argument is off the table. Unless you believe a small collective of suspended priests has authority to overrule the official teaching of the Church.

    Also, despite what various Cardinal’s may have mentioned in newspaper interviews, the official published stance of the Church remains that the Lefebvrist movement is held to be “schismatic.” I’m sure that for diplomatic and political reasons the word used in press statements is “irregular” but that doesn’t overrule or change a motu proprio and its authoritative published declarations.

    No one seriously thinks that if a bishop or cardinal gave an interview in which he changed the wording of Summorum pontificum, that it would change the meaning of the motu proprio. Neither should we think that a cardinal’s public remarks in any way alter the substance of Ecclesia dei. It seems to me that the official teaching of the Church on the subject stands until it is changed.

  44. robtbrown says:

    Centristian says:
    @Robtbrown:

    “And why is it not possible [to regularize the SSPX]?”

    Because it is impossible to institutionalize within the Church a rebellion against it.

    1. NB: My comment above that there are people in Rome working to institutionalize the SSPX.

    2. State any Church doctrine that the SSPX opposes. Further, the Society is dedicated to the historical Roman Rite and Latin, hardly indications of rebellion. Compare that to the average US priest who thinks–and preaches–that the mass is a meal and/or who omits the reference to sacrifice in the Orate Fratres.

    Obviously, there are serious problems with the relationship with Rome, incl schismatic episcopal consecrations. There are, however, thousands of clerics who seem not to be in violation of the juridical link to Rome but who regularly disseminate (implicitly or explicitly) false doctrine–they are (implicitly or explicitly) in rebellion against Rome.

    Wolves hunting sheep on the right of the fold are no less dangerous because of wolves hunting sheep on the left.

    While in Rome Abp Weakland conspired to destroy Catholic liturgy, then worked similar magic on the Milwaukee archdiocese, and finally siphoned archdiocesan money to pay off his boyfriend. And the Bernardin destruction of Chicago was such that 5 prominent US bishops turned down the job.

    If you’re of a more European slant, I might mention Cardinal Marty of Paris, under whose governance regular mass attendance in Paris went from over 75% to about 25%. If you know anything about France, you know that the success of the SSPX was due to the Church’s collapse in France.

    Then there was Abp Bugnini.

    Vat II? Sacrosanctum Concilium says that clerics must read their office in Latin, but 99% don’t.

    It is silly to think all those situations are somehow the equal of the SSPX?

  45. Mercer says:

    “You cannot invoke the distinction between dogmatic and pastoral in order to accept certain texts of the Council and to refute others. Certainly, all that was said in the Council does not demand an assent of the same nature; only that which is affirmed as an object of faith or truth attached to the faith, by definitive acts, require an assent of faith. But the rest is also a part of the solemn Magisterium of the Church to which all faithful must make a confident reception and a sincere application” (Letter to Archbishop Lefebvre from Pope Paul VI, Nov. 10, 1976).

  46. Fr_Sotelo says:

    There is no longer just a theological problem between the Church and the SSPX, nor merely an issue of rebellion to papal authority, nor is it just a problem of canonical regularity. I see the more serious problem being one of ill will. Beyond the questions of who is wrong, or who is to blame, is the question, “can I stand to be in the same Church as these people? Even if we could solve our theological and liturgical differences, do I even want to put up with these people?”

    That is sad to say, but I think there is truth to it. One of the great joys with working with the FSSP priests is the sense that in spite of their struggle to preserve the riches of the traditional Roman Rite, they seem to be joyful priests, and happy to be under the papal obedience, even if they don’t always think that makes life easy for them.

  47. Mouse says:

    @danphunter1

    Look, I’m sorry, but it is not true that the Magisterium is ok with us going to SSPX Masses. Just because they have said to certain people in response to specific individual questions that the person who does this will not be excommunicated if their intention was not schismatic, does not mean it’s ok in general, and the letter in which that answer to a question was given (which is touted by traddies out of context) told the recepient that though he was not excommunicated, that he should remedy the situation as soon as possible. IE, stop going.

    In certain types of emergency or total non-availability of any Sunday Masses at churches in communion with Rome, there can be certain kinds of exceptions that are RARE for approaching groups that still have valid though illicit sacraments – which Methodists never ever would, even if a Methodist church was the only one left on earth. But these exceptions have nothing to do with what you folks are talking about, which is a matter of preference of disgust with aberrations, not the non-availability of any Mass said by a priest in communion with Rome.

    Perhaps I shall just give up on these comboxes – personally, I am appalled at what I see at some NO Masses, but to take up with those who refuse to submit to the Pope is totally unacceptable, and no sincere Catholic can be at peace with doing that.

  48. danphunter1 says:

    Mouse.
    To give the canon that allows for fulfilling the holyday obligation at an SSPX Mass:

    In the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church can. 1248 says:

    “1. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.”

    The SSPX offers Mass in a Catholic Rite.

  49. Ezra says:

    to take up with those who refuse to submit to the Pope is totally unacceptable, and no sincere Catholic can be at peace with doing that.

    Unfortunately, some people live in areas where it’s a choice between going to an SSPX Mass, and going to a Mass at which they will be exposed to heretical preaching and sacrilegious abuses. Can you really blame those – especially those with kids – who opt for the former?

  50. Ezra says:

    Also, despite what various Cardinal’s may have mentioned in newspaper interviews, the official published stance of the Church remains that the Lefebvrist movement is held to be “schismatic.”

    This strikes me as a bit muddled. In the preceding paragraph you appeal to “the competent authority”… in the case of the SSPX, the competent authority until very recently was Cardinal Castrillón. His words in an interview intended for public consumption are therefore relevant, and reflect the changing relationship between Rome and the SSPX. Ecclesia Dei Adflicta referred to the episcopal consecrations as a “schismatic act”; it didn’t refer to the clergy of the SSPX, still less the faithful attending their Masses, as “schismatic”. In any case, given what’s happened in the last 25 years, it seems pretty clear that Bl. John Paul II’s motu proprio has been superceded: the Extraordinary Form has been liberated, the excommunications have been lifted.

  51. Centristian says:

    “…the Extraordinary Form has been liberated…”

    Thus rendering the SSPX completely unnecessary, incidentally (if liturgy is the issue, that is). Thanks to Summorum Pontificum, the priests of the SSPX could do everything they are doing, now, if they were diocesan priests…couldn’t they? They don’t need to belong to the SSPX in order to celebrate Mass and the Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form, exclusively. They don’t even need to belong to the Fraternity of St. Peter, or any other such union. Today, any parish priest in any parish can celebrate Mass and the Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form.

    But as Fr_Sotelo points out, it doesn’t matter, because the SSPX have so demonized the post-Vatican II Church that they simply can’t stand to be in the same Church with “Conciliar” Catholics. The SSPX continues to exist not because it is in any way needed, but because Lefebvrists could simply not tolerate the idea of sharing the Church–its buildings, its altars, its confessionals, its pews, its very community–with non-traditionalists. They WANT to be apart.

    It’s unfortunate. I can imagine what it might do to the vitality of the Church if alot of these men were to leave the SSPX and become regular parish priests, celebrating Mass and the Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form. Can you imagine? The problem would be, in many cases, getting them to refrain from preaching their typical repertory of fringe topics (“The Holocaust is a lie,” “Women must not wear slacks,” “The Pope may be a heretic,” “Masons have infiltrated the Vatican,” “Television is intrinsically evil,” “The New Mass is of dubious validity,” &c, &c, &c), because an adherence to the fringe (and the politics thereof) is a part of what it means to be a Lefebvrist just as much as adherence to traditional liturgy is.

    Perhaps that, really, is why the SSPX stays intact: not because of the need for traditional liturgy; that can be celebrated anywhere, in any church. Perhaps it stays intact because, outside of the SSPX, you can’t preach fringe to the faithful. Standing in the pulpit at Our Lady of Lace and Incense Traditionalist Chapel-With-Bells, you can tell women that they shouldn’t have careers or wear slacks and they’ll all smile and nod, whereas down the block at Blessed John XXIII Diocesan Church-With-Bingo, you can’t. You have to behave.

    And I think that’s what it’s all about.

  52. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Centristian:

    “Standing in the pulpit at Our Lady of Lace and Incense Traditionalist Chapel-With-Bells, you can tell women that they shouldn’t have careers or wear slacks and they’ll all smile and nod, whereas down the block at Blessed John XXIII Diocesan Church-With-Bingo, you can’t. You have to behave.”

    Talk about hitting the nail on the head.

  53. danphunter1 says:

    “Thus rendering the SSPX completely unnecessary, incidentally (if liturgy is the issue, that is).”

    Centristian,
    Except in those areas where the faithful desire the TLM but have no other physical recourse to it other than the FSSPX.

  54. Alice says:

    Centristian,
    When my family was considering the SSPX truth claims, we heard that we should not trust anything published/proclaimed/imprimatur-ed (I know it’s not a word) after 1958. Since you were a seminarian with them, do you know if this is their official policy? I am fairly certain I read it one of their books, written and published by them and also heard it on tapes of talks by their priests. If it is true (and they certainly act like it), it seems that they DO reject the magisterium of the popes after Pius XII.

  55. vivaldi says:

    Can’t the Romans see how awful the Novus Ordo is? It is such a depressing state of affairs.

  56. vivaldi says:

    Alice, I have heard SSPX Priests quote John Paul II and Benedict XVI in a positive manner. To suggest the SSPX reject the Magesterium because they reject the heresies in many post conciliar books is ridiculous. Sadly we have Bishops who preach error too and to reject the error is not the same as rejcecting the Majesterium. Indeed we have an obligation to avoid the error. Assisi prayer meetings for example are not acts of the Magesterium and can therefore be rejected by faithful Catholics.

  57. Centristian says:

    @Alice:

    “Centristian,
    When my family was considering the SSPX truth claims, we heard that we should not trust anything published/proclaimed/imprimatur-ed (I know it’s not a word) after 1958. Since you were a seminarian with them, do you know if this is their official policy? I am fairly certain I read it one of their books, written and published by them and also heard it on tapes of talks by their priests. If it is true (and they certainly act like it), it seems that they DO reject the magisterium of the popes after Pius XII.”

    One might encounter individual Lefebvrists who will say things like that (one will encounter individual Lefebvrists who say alot of strange things), but, no, I have never, ever heard the SSPX make any such statement about Catholic books published after 1958 (or after any other date, for that matter). I’m sure that they have no such policy. Bear in mind, after all, that the Missal they use, exclusively, was published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII.