SSPX leaders to receive document from the Holy See on 14 September

Andrea Tornielli has a piece in his Vatican Insider (English, Italian) about what is supposed to happen tomorrow when the SSPX Superior, Bp. Fellay and his assistants, go the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio in Rome, which houses the CDF and the PCED.

In brief, they will be given a summary of the Holy See’s position on the doctrinal discussions they have had with the SSPX.  The Pope, apparently, has seen the document and approved it.   The SSPX will have to make a response in some reasonable period of time.  As a response they can either ask for clarifications or accept the document.

I lefebvriani, insomma, dovranno prendere posizione: potranno chiedere nuovi chiarimenti alla Santa Sede, ma non potranno più tergiversare. L’accettazione del documento è considerata nei sacri palazzi la condizione imprescindibile per la piena comunione, che prevede anche una sistemazione giuridica per la Fraternità fondata dall’arcivescovo Marcel Lefebvre, probabilmente attraverso la costituzione di un ordinariato simile a quello già previsto per gli anglicani.

The Lefebvrites, in short, have to take a stand: they can ask for new clarifications from the Holy See, but they cannot dawdle any more. Acceptance of the document is considered in the offices of the Holy See to be a indispensable condition for full communion, which also provide for the juridical arrangement for the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, probably through the establishment of an ordinariate similar to the one already provided for the Anglicans.

And we haven’t yet gotten past the next “Assisi Meeting” on 27 October.

There is a great deal of ground to be covered yet, it seems.  But the hour is drawing near for some decisive moves.

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

14 September is an auspicious day for a next step.  Don’t forget in your prayers to pray for a good outcome.

UPDATE:

Our friends at Rorate also wrote about the story, above.  However, they have under another entry, a blurb from Le Figaro.  Here is part of the Rorate translation, with my emphases and comments.

The great novelty comes from the Roman side. Le Figaro has learned that the Holy See could, for the first time, admit that these aspects fought by the “Integrists” [This is a term commonly used in French and Italian circles for traditionalists of a certain strong stripe.  I can't tell you how many times that word was shouted at me while in seminary in Rome.  And I wasn't.] are not considered as “essential” to the Catholic faith to the point of keeping outside the Church those who do not admit them. And that what is foundational to the Catholic faith for twenty centuries is the sole [aspect] considered fundamental for communion with the Holy See, and not the interpretation from the last Council to this day.

All along I have been saying it.  All along.

People of good will can differ on theological points and still remain in unity.

People of good will can attain unity even when they disagree on matters which are by no means clear.

The history of the Church’s great Councils underscores this fact.

How many times have I written that the so-called “Feeneyites” were able to be in union with the Church but without having to abjure their position about extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.  The theological problems the SSPX has with the Second Vatican Council or the Holy See or anything else, don’t necessarily need to be the absolute obstruction to unity.

Questions of the role of the Church in the modern world or religious liberty are really hard.  There is room for debate and disagreement.  It is possible for people of good will to disagree about whether or not the fruits of Vatican II were all wonderful.  There is a precedent for closer union even when we consider the theological concerns some SSPXers might be harboring.

Slowly but sure the climate has been changing.  Hopefully we have come to a point where hearts can also be moved to open.  And there must be a willingness on the part of the SSPX to submit to the Holy Father’s authority… which he is exercising in very good will in their regard.

Again, it is possible for people of good will to disagree on very hard questions and still be in union.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Our Catholic Identity, Pope of Christian Unity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to SSPX leaders to receive document from the Holy See on 14 September

  1. danphunter1 says:

    I really believe that it will be good, both for the Church and the Society.

  2. Fr_Sotelo says:

    It would be wonderful if the SSPX were given the generous terms of an Ordinariate and if they seized the opportunity for complete reconciliation.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    This is a time for all of us to pray and do some penance for this great unity to occur. The Triumph of the Cross would indeed shine through. I am confident something good will come of this.

  4. Andy Milam says:

    Ya know…

    I think that the SSPX has been wanting to submit for a long time. The problem is that they have felt conscience bound to hold a hard line to the traditional view, because of “difficulties” with regard to Vatican Council II and the reforms after.

    If Rome would simply espouse the second part of your blog post, I think that it would go a long way toward unity. The Church has nothing to lose by doing this, but everything to gain…

  5. Thom says:

    Again, it is possible for people of good will to disagree on very hard questions and still be in union.

    Just about any happily married man can attest to that!

  6. leonugent2005 says:

    The history of the Church’s great Councils underscores this fact……. The overall impression that I get in listening to the debate that is going on in the Catholic church is that there are 2 great councils, Vatican II and Trent. Forgive me if I’m mistaken.

  7. everett says:

    This article sounds much more promising than the previous one posted. So long as the truth is not compromised, there are many areas within the Church that are still open for debate. If union can be achieved, the Church will be better for it. May SSPX return to full communion, the sooner the better.

  8. Andy Milam says:

    @leonugent2005:

    You’re mistaken…they are just the two most germane to the conversation. I would hardly call Vatican Council II a “great council.” Trent was, not because of the liturgical reforms it spurred, but rather the doctrinal issues it dealt with regarding the Protestant Revolt.

    There were far more important Councils….Constantinople I comes to mind in 381; as does the Lateran Council IV in 1215; to name two…

  9. Andrew says:

    May they follow the example of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, Campos, Brasil.

  10. Glen M says:

    If I was the mediator, here’s the proposal I’d put on the table.
    SSPX Ordinariate: You don’t have to celebrate the O.F. but stop criticizing it. As for Vatican II, it was pastoral. There’s no doctrine to be opposed. It happened, it can’t unhappen, so just ignore it and carry on.

    There are bigger issues facing the Church today than traditional orders. There are serious problems in Ireland, Austria, to say nothing of the 75% baptized Catholics who don’t attend Mass.

  11. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    I’m still a little concerned with all this. Has the Vatican and the Pope really done their research on SSPX? A couple times before, specifically with Williamson, the higher-ups didn’t use the Internet to its full potential and they got slammed, not knowing he was anti-semetical (or at the very least, a partial Holocaust denier via the gas chamber comment). Yes not everything on the Net is true, but I hope the Vatican has, this time, done a thorough checkup on the SSPX and sites that provide valid criticism, considering many have fled the society due to harassment or “cultish practices/behaviours”.

    I’m worried on this angle: If the Pope just openly accepts them into an ordinate, and SSPX schools and chapels like the ones in St. Mary’s Kansas, the Chicago mission, and the Toronto chapel continue to operate the way they do, and just one of those parishes/schools does something that attracts the media’s attention, it’ll come smack in the face to the Church as well as those who are supportive of traditional Catholicism.

    While fine, if there’s an ordinate the olive branch is extended, but I hope the Vatican has done a full scale investigation of the SSPX like that of the Legionnaires of Christ before giving this 2 page document.

  12. dcs says:

    I do not think a comparison of the SSPX to the Legionaries of Christ is helpful.

  13. Andy Milam says:

    @ Glen M;

    “You don’t have to celebrate the O.F. but stop criticizing it. ”

    There are a good number of Catholics who are not in the situation the SSPX find themselves who criticize the NOM. It is not above reproach. There are many issues….to simply put a moratorium on it is to effectively end the “hermeneutics” conversation. That can’t happen.

  14. “And that what is foundational to the Catholic faith for twenty centuries is the sole [aspect] considered fundamental for communion with the Holy See, and not the interpretation from the last Council to this day.

    Is this an ingenious way of saying that blanket (and essentially mindless) “acceptance of Vatican II” is no longer an absolute requirement?

    If so, it could have ramifications that extend beyond mere SSPX matter, and could be a step towards putting the spirit of Vatican II as a uber-council behind us.

  15. albinus1 says:

    There are a good number of Catholics who are not in the situation the SSPX find themselves who criticize the NOM. It is not above reproach.

    No, it certainly isn’t; but I think this might be one of those times when the principle “Only Nixon could go to China” might apply: any constructive criticism of the OF that might actually be listened to and might bear fruit will have to come from those who haven’t made a career out of loudly bashing it in public at every opportunity. Since the SSPX have made criticizing the OF one of their signature issues in public, it’s not surprising that they might be asked to backtrack, or at least back off, on that in a way that other groups or individuals wouldn’t be.

    For that matter, as much as I love the EF, it isn’t above reproach, either. Nothing made by human hands is above reproach. I have always felt uncomfortable at a strain I have occasionally noticed within traditional Catholicism wherein the EF is regarded as divinely ordained, absolutely perfect in every detail, and beyond any possible criticism, constructive or otherwise. To me, this is the Catholic analogue of the attitude seen in some Evangelical Protestants that treats the King James Bible as if it was handed down from Heaven, as is, with the words of Christ printed in red, and is thus a perfect artifact beyond any possible reproach.

  16. Mike says:

    albinus1:

    However, Catholic liturgical tradition, as B16 as emphasized, must grow organically, not by fiat from a committee or even the Pope himself! As well, there are genuine aspects of Sacred Tradition preserved by the liturgies of the Catholic Church which must be reverenced with great devotion, and handed down.

  17. Mike says:

    May the SSPX come into full communion and proper canonical status due to their charism and the will of the Holy Father!

  18. Matariel says:

    Is there anywhere we can read the Holy Father’s ultimatum? Does anyone know what it contains? Really, considering Vatican II was pastoral and didn’t define any doctrine, there is nothing for the SSPX to accept besides what they’ve always accepted.

  19. tecumseh says:

    Many people who attend SSPX masses would find no problem at all in agreeing with Fr Z on this one, thanks for the Rorate article Fr, I’m away there now to check it out.

  20. leonugent2005 says:

    The SSPX would do well to make a deal now. There is very little chance that the next pope will be as sympathetic to the traditionalist cause as Benedict has been.

  21. Maltese says:

    I would go further and say that Vatican II is deleterious to the Faith inasmuch as if the Council had never happened, the Church would be in a much better position to fight modernism, church attendance would be higher, and the Faith of the people stronger.

    It should be as plain as day that a purely pastoral council contains nothing necessary to the Faith. To maintain the Faith, one must accept all of her dogmas, not, for instance, Vatican IIs decree on social communications in the modern age, or its statement that Hindus are on “a love, trusting, flight towards God”!

  22. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    leonugent2005: what are you saying: The college of Cardinals is liberal and corrupt, with exception of Crdl. Arinze and a couple of select others so the Church is going to get worse next papal election?

  23. kat says:

    leonugent2005, that could actually be problematic (“there is very little chance that the next pope will be as sympathetic to the traditionalist cause as Benedict has been.”) So…then what happens? The SSPX “reenters the fold” (to those who believe it is not in it). Then along comes a new Pope who has no sympathy for the traditionalist cause. And does he now start putting all kinds of restrictions on the SSPX, priests, bishops, etc., essentially cutting off its work…which would then lead to people having to escape the modernist influences once again? What a terrible thought.

    Praying hard to the Sacred Heart for the hearts and minds of all who have to make serious decisions, and that they are open to the Holy Ghost’s inspirations (and that Lucifer is kept away by St. Michael.)

  24. Jucken says:

    I repeat my comment from a few months ago: I don’t think the Fraternité will be reconciling to the Church in the foreseeable future because:

    – important theologians within the Fraternité openly preach that it is a mortal sin to be even in remote communion with anyone in communion with the Pope (especially the local ordinary);
    – her current leadership has a monarchist/maurrasianist political agenda to carry on;
    – she inherited Abp. Lefebvre’s belief that they have magisterial authority equating themselves with the Church (extra fraternitatem nulla salus).

    Not to mention there are other important unsolved issues: most of the Fraternité questions the infallibility of canonizations and the validity of the new rites of confirmation and ordination. I don’t see the Fraternité reconciling until she sorts out this stuff, at least not without a big chunk of her members turning against her and eventually breaking off.

  25. JMJT says:

    I think to call Fr. Feeney’s position (which was essentially one of Baptism by Water alone) a “strict” interpretation of the Dogma on salvation–is misleading and is being misinterpreted by some of the readership to mean that Fr Feeney somehow was right to insist on the error/ distortion of the Dogma –ie, to deny the implicit revealed truth that Christ *has* saved the “non-baptised-by-water” saints (which we know according to Tradition and scripture) and that He, God has chosen to do at times to work in ways that supply for men at times what is lacking in what He normally requires–That God is all powerful has always been the Church’s teaching from the time of the Gospel account of the Good Thief as well as from the time of Augustine, St Bernard of claiveux, all of whom taught the Baptism of blood or Baptism of desire in a manner. These all prove that “Baptism by Water alone” is ERROR. I feel some of your readers commenting do not understand the error of Feeney. Certianly it is good news when a dissenting group is “regularized” and is back into the fold (as with Feeney’s original group and the splinter groups formed from them.) but it really does not help matters when those received back into the fold insist that the latitude afforded them means they were correct, when in fact they were clearly in error in some way. Teaching and Denying the non-water Baptisms the Almighty chose to mercifly bestow on St Dismas, and other certain Canonized Saints and Martyrs is error and is just as dangerous as the other heterodox views of modern times.

  26. leonugent2005 says:

    @Young Canadian RC Male I never said that The college of Cardinals is liberal and corrupt, with exception of Crdl. Arinze and a couple of select others so the Church is going to get worse next papal election. I said that There is very little chance that the next pope will be as sympathetic to the traditionalist cause as Benedict has been.

  27. chcrix says:

    Perhaps the SSPX could agree to say that the ordinary form might be considered schlecht though not boese?

  28. Oneros says:

    “to deny the implicit revealed truth that Christ *has* saved the ‘non-baptised-by-water’ saints”

    No, the CDF agreement with the Feeneyites basically states that Revelation neither INcludes NOR excludes God saving people outside water baptism. Basically it means that Revelation is silent in such a way that hope is not excluded, but nothing is guaranteed either.

    “(which we know according to Tradition and scripture)”

    Scripture, no, because everyone you’re probably thinking of died BEFORE Christ in the Old Dispensation, so the question of baptism was irrelevant (for example, invoking the Holy Innocents as an example of baptism by blood is silly; these were circumcized Jewish boys 30 years BEFORE the death of Christ, so there is no need to invent a “baptism” for them. St. Dismas, likewise, died before Christ. Accounts of catechumen martyrs are not de fide, and besides it is possible they were baptized at the last minute. Surely if someone was there to remember and write down their story, there was thus also the possibility of quickly sprinkling some water on their head, etc).

    “I feel some of your readers commenting do not understand the error of Feeney.:

    Well, the CDF under Ratzinger disagreed with you. The only “error” the Feeneyites had to renounced was that of insisting that their rigorist interpretation was the only one possible, or the one required by Revelation, or that speculation about God using unrevealed means was heresy. But as long as they recognized that other interpretations were tolerable too, that the dogma didn’t require their rigorist one (though it doesn’t exclude it either)…they were allowed to come back in and NOT considered “in error.”

  29. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    leonugent2005, yes your right, but now you have me fearful of the future of the Church. Even with the assertion in Matt 16:18, that doesn’t prevent institutional corruption.

  30. Panterina says:

    Wow! To me, this sounds quite like a breakthrough. It’s also quite sensible. I didn’t even think that finding a common ground on these terms was possible. I’m eager to hear the SSPX’s response and hope and pray that they will not harden their hearts any longer by perceiving this outstretched hand as an ultimatum.

  31. leonugent2005 says:

    @Young Canadian RC Male never fear all will be well, Christ has promised this

  32. GregH says:

    Maybe we can finally put to rest the nonsense that if the Second Vatican council had actually been implemented we would have had a golden age of Catholicism

  33. Legisperitus says:

    I would shed tears of joy if all this came to pass.

  34. Geoffrey says:

    “Has the Vatican and the Pope really done their research on SSPX?”

    I worry about this too. I own a prayer book “Christian Warfare” published by the SSPX. In the examination of conscience before Confession, two items listed are attending the “new” Mass and receiving Communion in the hand. I cannot imagine that the Holy See would be okay with the fact that the SSPX believes that attending Mass in the Ordinary Form and receiving Communion in the hand (which is legally permitted, like it or not) are sins that need to be confessed!

    I am not sympathetic to the SSPX… disobedience to the Vicar of Christ is never the answer… but I would like to see them reconciled. I just do not see how it is possible without changing their ways. The Holy Father has been more than generous with the SSPX by meeting their two “conditions”: Summorum Pontificum and lifting the excommunications. The SSPX still believe that they are in the right. I thought repentance, contrition, humility, and obedience were essential to Christianity?

  35. The SSPX have nothing to renconcile too. They are not the ones that have betrayed the Faith of our Fathers. They are not the ones that have allowed or participated in blasphemy, heresy, and sacrilege. Rather, the SSPX should be working (as they have always been) for the conversion of Roman officials back to the Catholic Faith.

    Marcel Lefebvre, ora pro nobis.

  36. Well, I hope something can be worked out sooner than later. The SSPX bishops aren’t getting any younger, and there is no guarantee any one of them will live to a certain age. What happens when the last SSPX bishop is gone? Ordinations now are illicit, but not invalid. There would be no ordinations at all after the last bishop is gone…. unless they were brought back into communion. Think about that for a moment, and fast forward to 100 years from now, with the SSPX reconciled, perhaps as an ordinariate, which would seem appropriate.

    What was that about the Pope of Christian Unity? ;)

  37. vivaldi says:

    @ Acatholiclife: Here, here! I couldn’t agree more!

  38. StellaMaris says:

    I am really concerned about the comments here. It shows clearly that people outside the SSPX have little or no understanding of the SSPX. There are so many issues surrounding the crisis in the Catholic Church, but one word will attempt to sum it up. That word is modernism. I don’t believe that modern Catholics really recognize what it is. The position of the society is not simply one of rituals, like most people here seem to suggest. It is not simply about altar girls, COH, etc. These things which characterize the modern Catholic Church are just symptoms of modernism. At a deeper level is some of the things the Popes have said in recent years, i.e. Heaven is not really a place but a state of being, and some of the current understandings of things, such as accepting people of other religious faiths without attempts to convert them. These things are FOREIGN to the Catholic Faith. These ideas are MODERNIST in their origin. The SSPX, since its inception, has been resisting modernization. IF the Society is regularized, will our priests stop giving us sermons on the errors of modernization, including the dangers of television, mothers working outside the home, children disobeying their parents, the lives of the saints that were martyred fighting to protect the Sacraments from the Protestants etc. Will we have to accept weddings at the altar between non-Catholics and marginal Catholics? What will it say about the Society? Will the Society have to accept that the Novus Ordo Mass is valid, something they have questioned for so long? Personally, I don’t think this will happen. IF Archbishop Fellay makes too many compromises, their will be a schism of huge proportions within the Society. Personally, I am not optimistic. The Pope will NEVER admit that Vatican II was the worst thing that happened to the Church. He will NEVER admit the obvious errors erupting from that council. And the Society will never ACCEPT that Vatican II was good and useful. All we can do is pray. And wait.

  39. robtbrown says:

    A few points:

    1. I don’t think it can be assumed that the next pope will be less interested in reunion with the SSPX than BXVI. This for several reasons: a) There will be fewer Western liberals (e.g., Murphy O’Connor) among voting Cardinals; b) BXVI was not a stealth candidate; c) The continuing revelation of sexual scandals more discredits the Montini Church; d) Despite all the talk about vocations picking up, they are still below replacement level in W Europe and N America.

    2. After the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, it won’t take a man of the status of Papa Ratzinger to continue the policy.

    3. To re-state what I wrote a few days ago: If VatII was only Pastoral, why do two of the documents (Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum) carry the title Dogmatic Constitution?

    4. I object to putting the SSPX under a microscope while giving a pass to the Novus Ordo clergy. Substantial objections could be found in 90% of the NO priests with whom I’ve had contact.

  40. Centristian says:

    I have to say, I think the leadership of the “SSPX” will find themselves bewildered by the suggestion that they should assent to a document from the Vatican. The Lefebvrists have always been of the mind that it is “Modernist” Rome that must submit to their interpretation of “tradition”, not that they, the Lefebvrists, need to come around to anything. It’s the mainstream Catholic Church that needs to convert, not the “SSPX” and their followers.

    StellaMaris puts forth the Lefebvrist mind very succinctly in her post, above. An excerpt:

    “IF the Society is regularized, will our priests stop giving us sermons on the errors of modernization, including the dangers of television, mothers working outside the home, children disobeying their parents, the lives of the saints that were martyred fighting to protect the Sacraments from the Protestants etc. Will we have to accept weddings at the altar between non-Catholics and marginal Catholics? What will it say about the Society? Will the Society have to accept that the Novus Ordo Mass is valid, something they have questioned for so long?”

    This is typical. When I was with the “SSPX” I would have uttered a similar litany of concerns. See what for a Lefebvrist constitutes “tradition”: No television, no career women, no mixed marriages, no “Novus Ordo” (&c). It’s not quite the same thing as what mainstream Roman Catholics mean when they reference “tradition”.

    My initial impression of this development: endgame. The Vatican must know by now that the Lefebvrists aren’t going to budge, so they present them with an ultimatum: accept this document or it’s all over. The “SSPX” say no, and the Vatican can finally wash them out of their hair.

    They could have done so a long time ago, of course, but perhaps Rome now finally understands better what the Lefebvrists are. I don’t think Rome quite understood them in the past. I think they gave the Lefebvrists more credit for being reasonable than they deserved. I think the whole Williamson blow-up may have at last clued them in to the fact that they’re dealing with a group whose agenda stretches far beyond the traditional liturgy and problems with Vatican II. I think it showed them that there is a darker side to the “SSPX”.

    Young Canadian RC Male has expressed a very legitimate concern that I certainly share. My hope is that the Vatican did have its eyes opened after it got stung by Williamson and that they did, in fact, begin to take a much closer look at the “SSPX”.

  41. irishgirl says:

    I pray that this situation is resolved, and that the SSPX can come into full communion with the Church.

  42. “IF the Society is regularized, will our priests stop giving us sermons on the errors of modernization, including the dangers of television, mothers working outside the home, children disobeying their parents, the lives of the saints that were martyred fighting to protect the Sacraments from the Protestants etc. “

    Perhaps n0t. But, then, more exotic statements than these are not uncommonly heard from mainstream Catholic pulpits. What, indeed, is so zany that it cannot be heard these days?

    At any rate, I don’t see much constructive about repetitive axe-grinding regarding who should not be admitted to the fold unless they are forced to toe a more rigid line than any other group in the Church is held to.

  43. jrotond2 says:

    Centristian,

    I too was an SSPXer back in the ’90′s and matriculated through their “premier” school in the US, St. Mary’s Academy. I am quite familiar with the subculture (whether good or bad) and the darker side of the SSPX especially in the larger parishes. I stopped affiliating with them 12 years ago and count myself among those who currently can live out the full liturgical and spiritual life according to the 1962 books in peace and within the legitimate authority of the Church.

    That being said, I pray wholeheartedly for a reconcilation. I think some of the things mentioned such as ditching the TV or having mothers stay at home are good and compelling messages that should be promoted. Do these equate to Catholic Tradition and doctrine? No, but they are good and worthy things we ought to consider as we try not to let the prevailing culture influence us; rather, I see some of the SSPX’s cultural messages as a legitimate means to have Catholics take charge of and change the culture. This is a good cause. It need not be polemical, and we can legitimately disagree on particular points. Still, it is not wrong to promote an elite (for lack of a better word) spirituality (e.g. not watching TV) just as long as it isn’t equated to doctrine.

    Some of the other positive elements to come out of the SSPX are:

    1. A true living of the liturgical life – for example, most SSPX parishes feature congregations which sing the applicable parts of the Mass in fulfilling specific goals presented by St. Pius X and Pius XII. Their culture is not one to carbon-copy the 1950′s Low-Mass mentality.

    2. Retreats – I’ve searched far and wide, and to my best knowledge, the SSPX is the only organization in the US which offers 5-day Ignatian Retreats (with the Tridentine Mass) multiple times a year and in multiple locations.

    Will I change parishes if they reconcile? No. Will I, as a parishioner of the first diocesan all-Tridentine Parish in the US (i.e. Mater Ecclesiae) have many more options for assisting at Mass when I travel? Yes! And will I try to avail myself of an annual Ignatian Retreat 3 hours up the road in Ridgefield, CT? Absolutely! 12 years have given me an objective perspective to sift through the good and bad of the SSPX.

    John

  44. robtbrown says:

    Henry Edwards says:

    But, then, more exotic statements than these are not uncommonly heard from mainstream Catholic pulpits. What, indeed, is so zany that it cannot be heard these days?

    Exactly. Just last Sunday the celebrant’s entire homily was about a priest who was a known dissenter on moral doctrine (homosexuality). Multiple times he was referred to as “a saint”. BTW, the celebrant regularly omits the word “sacrifice” from the Orate Fratres.

    If anyone wants to play the Williamson the Anti-Semite card, it’s easy to counter that with Abp Weakland, who used the diocesan treasury to pay hush money to his boyfriend. Recently, I read another story of a pastor embezzling parish funds. Legal troubles there. According to US law, it is permitted for a bishops to embezzle diocesan money, but not for a pastor to do same with parish funds (cf. diocese as Corporation Sole).

    And then there was Keith Symons, who resigned as bishop of Palm Beach because he had a homosexual relationship as a young priest. He was replaced by Bp O’Connell, who must have been a respecter of Tradition because he then resigned for the same reason as Symons.

    Or Bp Gumbleton, the raving liberal in Detroit. And how about the Teddy Kennedy beatification mass?

    And then there was a pastor in this town who was his own marriage tribunal–people would apply for annulments, and he would grant them. His boyfriend was a known homosexual in a college town (who lived a few houses away from close friends). He is still a priest of this archdiocese.

    I c0uld go on and on. The point is that if the light of criticism is pointed at the flaws of the SSPX, it can be just as easily pointed at the Montini Church.

  45. Supertradmum says:

    Stella Maris, and others

    The nature of separation is to separate again and again, and one must see that some SSPXers will never come back. But, um, this discussion is not about comparing flaws or even gross sin, but serious differences of viewing the Pope, the Church, the Teaching Magisterium, and the history of the Councils. I am very excited about the possibility of a complete healing of relationships. That liberals have seemed to get away with gross abuses, which are all in the Hands of God, does not permit the Vatican to act too softly, softly with a a large group of Catholics, some of whom may or may not want to be part of the Universal Church. I applaud this Pope highly and wait with great anticipation the results of all talks. Let us hope for the best and not compare how the parent treats one child over another.

  46. Centristian says:

    robtbrown says:

    “I c0uld go on and on. The point is that if the light of criticism is pointed at the flaws of the SSPX, it can be just as easily pointed at the Montini Church.”

    The “Montini Church”.

    *shakes head*

  47. robtbrown says:

    Centristian,

    The phrase “Montini Church” comes from Cardinal Gagnon, whom I got to know during my Roman years.

    Feel free to continue shaking your head.

  48. Jucken says:

    The SSPX have nothing to renconcile too. They are not the ones that have betrayed the Faith of our Fathers.

    There’s also this thing I forgot to mention, this sola fide that plagues the whole Fraternité. They think faith alone is enough and forget that they need works as well. Complete submissiveness to the Roman Pontiff and the hierarchy is necessary, as shown by Pope Saint Pius X in his Catechism:

    “Those who do not acknowledge the Roman Pontiff as their Head do not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ.”

    “He who refuses to accept the solemn definitions of the Pope, or who even doubts them, sins against faith; and should he remain obstinate in this unbelief, he would no longer be a Catholic, but a heretic.” (the Fraternité does not accept post-conciliar canonizations)

    “Every Catholic must acknowledge the Pope as Father, Pastor, and Universal Teacher, and be united with him in mind and heart.” (and not just in mind as does the Fraternité)

    “All the faithful, ecclesiastic and lay, should be united heart and soul with their Bishop, who is in favour and communion with the Apostolic See.”

    It shows clearly that people outside the SSPX have little or no understanding of the SSPX.

    Neither do people inside the Fraternité. Most of the faithful do not realise they are being brainwashed to follow some political agenda.

    I object to putting the SSPX under a microscope while giving a pass to the Novus Ordo clergy.

    You should object to not putting the modernist clergy under a microscope, and not to putting the Fraternité.

    You see, that’s the problem with the integrist mentality, it’s a bit like feminism. Women see men go promiscuous and they demand the right to go promiscuous too instead of demanding that men be well behaved.

    If anyone wants to play the Williamson the Anti-Semite card, it’s easy to counter that with…

    This is a “tu quoque“. Two wrongs don’t make a right, sir. Nothing gives the Fraternité the right to invade churches, conceal war criminals, promote the cult of nazis and neo-nazis, deny the Holocaust, und so weiter

    The point is that if the light of criticism is pointed at the flaws of the SSPX, it can be just as easily pointed at the Montini Church.

    This is outrageous. It is like when Luther attempted to justify his “reforms” on the alleged widespread malpractice of bishops selling indulgences.

    I rest my case.

  49. randomcatholic says:

    I respectfully disagree with Fr. Z and defenders of the SSPX.

    The question of religious liberty isn’t “hard.” Its a matter of justice. And Vatican II is an ecumenical council that takes priority over the Syllabus of Errors for goodness sake.

    People start arguing that it is time to criminalize Judaism and Protestantism and other religions in Catholic countries I am OUT OF HERE. I don’t say that lightly. If the Church turns its back on Vatican II on issues like religious liberty it would prove to me that councils can err, and that the Church’s authority is simply a sham. Furthermore, I would not subscribe to a faith that preached legal intolerance towards other religions. I abhor what goes on in Muslim countries. The hypocrisy of taking the same stance that they do vis a vis religious minorities would be too much for me to stomach.