SSPX Bp. Fellay says they say “No” to unity with the Holy See

On the site the SSPX seminary, St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, Minnesota, there is a sermon of SSPX Bp. Bernard Fellay for Candlemas. It is a real dissapointment, to say the least. Fellay said that the Priestly Society of St. Pius X is “obliged to say ‘no’” to the proposal of reconciliation which came from the Vatican.

In a time when more and more we need Catholic unity, after reading Bp. Fellay’s words it is hard to understand how the SSPX is not on a course to formal schism.

So let’s go to the SSPX seminary website (my emphases and comments):

Extract from the Sermon of Bishop Fellay on February 2nd, 2012
Listen to the entire sermon (MP3 format)

In the following transcription, reviewed by His Excellency Bishop Fellay, we have retained the quality of the spoken word.

The Society of St. Pius X has been founded by the Church and in the Church, and we say this Society continues to exist, despite the fact that there is a pretense that it does not exist; that it was suppressed in 1976 (but obviously with total disrespect of the laws of the Church itself). [I know he believes that, but I don't think that is true.] And that’s why we continue. And our dear Founder insisted many, many times on the importance of this existence of the Society. And I think, as time evolves, we must keep this in mind – and it is very important that we keep this Catholic Spirit. [Which doesn't, apparently, include unity with Peter.]

We are not an independent group. [It may be harder to make that claim after this sermon.] Even if we are fighting with Rome, we are still, so to say, with Rome. We are fighting with Rome; or, if you want, against Rome, at the same time with Rome. And we claim and we continue to say, we are Catholic. We want to stay Catholic. Many times I say to Rome, you try to kick us out. [?] And we see it would be much easier for us to be out. We would have many more advantages. You would treat us much better! Look at the Protestants, how they open the churches to them. [He has a good point there!] To us, they close them. And we say, we don’t care. We do things in front of God. We suffer from the Church, fine. We don’t like that, of course. But we ought to stay there in the truth. And we have to maintain that we do belong to the Church. We are Catholics. We want to be and we want to stay Catholic, and it is very important to maintain that.

It’s also important that we don’t finally imagine a Catholic church which is just the fruit of our imagination but which is no longer the real one. [Which is not the fruit of their imagination?] And with the real one we have problems. That’s what makes it even more difficult: the fact that we have problems with it. That does not allow us, so to say, to shut the door. On the contrary, it is our duty to continuously go there, knock at the door, and not beg that we may enter (because we are in) but beg that they may convert; that they [THEY] may change and come back to what makes the Church. It is a great mystery; [No, it is something, I'll grant that, but it isn't a mystery.] it is not simple. Because at the same time we have to say, yes, we do recognize that Church – that’s what we say in the Creed, I believe in the Catholic Church – so we accept that there is a pope; we accept that there is a hierarchy, we do accept that.

And practically, at many levels, we have to say no. Not because it does not please us, but because the Church has already spoken about that. Even many of these things it has condemned them. And so, in our discussions with Rome we were, so to say, stuck there. The key problem in our discussions with Rome was really the Magisterium, the teaching of the Church. Because they say, “we are the pope, we are the Holy See” – and we say, yes. And so they say, “we have the supreme power,” and we say, yes. They say, “we are the last instance in teaching and we are necessary” – Rome is necessary for us to have the Faith, and we say, yes. And then they say, “then, obey.” And we say, no. And so they say to us, you are protestant. [?] You put your reason above the Magisterium of today. And we answer to them, you are Modernists. You pretend that the teaching of today can be different from the teaching of yesterday. We say, when we adhere to what the Church has taught yesterday, we, by necessity, adhere to the teaching of the Church today. [So what is the problem?] Because the truth is not linked to time. The truth is above it. What has been said once is binding all times. These are the dogmas. [Are they claiming that everything they disagree with Rome about is a dogma?  The SSPS disagrees with Rome about dogma?  Is Rome not being faithful to some dogma?  Does Bp. Fellay and the SSPX now determine what is dogma and what isn't and how it is to be expressed and what to believe?] God is like that; God is above time. And the Faith is adhering to the truth of God. It’s above time. That’s why the church of today is bound and has to be like (not only like) the Church of yesterday. And so when you see the present pope say that there must be continuity in the Church, we say, of course! That is what we have said at all times. When we talk about tradition, that’s precisely the meaning. They say, there must be Tradition, there must be continuity. So there is continuity. Vatican II has been made by the Church, the Church must be continuous, so Vatican II is Tradition. And we say, beg your pardon? [To what point was he playing to the crowd?]

It goes even further, my dear brethren. That was during the discussion. At the end of the discussion, comes this invitation from Rome. In this invitation there is a proposition of a canonical situation that is to regularize our situation. [Did you get that?  Rome offered them something concrete.] And I may say, what is presented today, which is already different from what was presented on the 14th of September, we can consider it as all right, good. They fulfilled all our requirements, I may say, on the practical level. So there is not much problem there. The problem remains at the other level – at the level of the doctrine. But even there it goes very far – very far, my dear brethren. The key is a principle. Which they say, “this you must accept; you must accept that for the points that make difficulty in the Council – points which are ambiguous, where there is a fight – these points, like ecumenism, like religious liberty, these points must be understood in coherence with the perpetual teaching of the Church.” “So if there is something ambiguous in the Council, you must understand it as the Church has always taught throughout the ages.”  [Go back and read that again, if you have to.]

They go even further and say, “one must reject whatever is opposed to this traditional teaching of the Church.” Well, that is what we have always said. Amazing, isn’t it? That Rome is imposing on us this principle. Amazing. [No, it isn't amazing.  The Holy See would do that with anyone.  It is a Roman thing to make sure all i's are dotted and t's crossed.  You see to details on both sides of the issues: "accept what we accept and reject what we reject".] Then you may wonder, then why don’t you accept? Well, my dear brethren, there is still a problem. The problem is that in this text they give two applications of what and how we have to understand these principles. These two examples that they give to us are ecumenism and religious liberty, as they are described in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, which are exactly the points for which we reproach the Council.  [So, we can extrapolate from this that they - like the Anglicans when they received Anglicanorum coetibus - were really only asked to accept the Catechism of the Catholic Church?]

In other words, Rome tells us, we have done that all the time. We are traditional; Vatican II is Tradition. Religious liberty, ecumenism is Tradition. It is in full coherence with Tradition. You just wonder, where do we go? What kind of words will we find to say, we agree or we don’t? If even the principles which we have kept and said, they say, yes it’s ok you can say that, because this means what we mean, which is exactly the contrary of what we mean.

I think we could not go further in the confusion. In other words, my dear brethren, that means that they have another meaning with the word “tradition,” and even maybe even with “coherence.” [The SSPX gets to decide what "tradition" is apart from Rome?] And that’s why we were obliged to say no. We’re not going to sign that. We agree with the principle but we see that the conclusion is contrary. Great mystery! Great mystery! [No.  Whatever this is, it isn't a mystery.] So what is going to happen now? Well, we have sent our answer to Rome. They still say that they’re reflecting on it, which means they’re probably embarrassed.  [And that could be rash judgment on his part, in a public sermon, which is scandal.] At the same time I think we may see now what they really want. Do they really want us in the Church or not? We told them very clearly, if you accept us as is, without change, without obliging us to accept these things, then we are ready. [That has always been my point of view, btw.  That which they disagree about is so hard to figure out that there should be room for the SSPX view.  But it is not proper for them to impose their view on Rome, which actually has authority to teach, which the SSPX entirely lacks.] But if you want us to accept these things, we are not. In fact we have just quoted Archbishop Lefebvre who said this already in 1987 – several times before, but the last time he said it was in 1987.

In other words, my dear brethren, humanly speaking, difficult to say how the future will look, but we know that when we deal with the Church, we deal with God; we deal with divine providence, and we know that this Church is His Church. Humans may cause some disruption, some destruction. They may cause turmoil, but God is above that, and He knows how to, out of all these happenings – these human happenings – these odd lines, God knows how to direct His Church through these trials.

There will be an end to this trial, I don’t know when. Sometimes there is hope that it will come. Sometimes it is like despair. God knows when, but really, humanly speaking, we must wait for quite a time before hoping to see things better – five, ten years. I am persuaded that in ten years things will look different because the generation of the Council will be gone and the next generation does not have this link with the Council. And already now we hear several bishops, my dear brethren, several bishops tell us: you give too much weight to this Council; put it aside. It could be a good way for the Church to go ahead. Put it aside; forget it. Let’s go back to the real thing, to Tradition. [Okay.]

Isn’t that interesting to hear bishops who say that? That’s a new language! It means that you have a new generation which knows that there are things that are more serious than Vatican II in the Church, and that we have to go back to this more serious, if I may say so. Vatican II is serious because of the damage it has caused, yes it is. But as such it wanted to be a pastoral council, which is over now. We know that someone who is working in the Vatican wrote a thesis for his academic grades and it was about the magisterium of Vatican II. He himself told us and nobody in the Roman universities was ready to take that thesis. Finally a professor did, and the thesis is the following: the authority of the magisterium of Vatican II is that of a homily in the 1960’s. And he passed!

We shall see my dear brethren. For us it’s very clear. We must stick and hold to the truth, to the Faith. We are not going to give that up – whatever happens. There are some threats, of course, from Rome now. We shall see. We put all these things in the hands of God, and in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Oh, yes, we have to continue our crusade of rosaries. We count on her, we count on God. And then whatever happens, happens. I cannot promise a beautiful spring. I have no idea what’s going to be in this spring. What I know is that the fight for the faith will continue, whatever happens. If we are recognized or not, you can be certain that the Progressives will not be happy. [Oh yah?  Today is like Christmas morning for them, I fear.] They will continue and we will continue to fight them too.

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130 Responses to SSPX Bp. Fellay says they say “No” to unity with the Holy See

  1. Supertradmum says:

    What is it that the SSPX have to approve, when so many in the Church disapprove of so much? Who is pushing the SSPX into the wall? Why can’t they just be accepted as is? There are some priests who do not accept some things which happened after Vat II and they are in the Church. I do not accept some of the wording in the Catechism, which I have taught, and which even some of my students found dubious concerning ecumenism. I cannot understand why they just cannot be accepted, period. We need the SSPX in the Church. If it is the question as to whether the Novus Ordo is valid or not, keep discussing that point. I cannot believe it is only that issue.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    I wanted in the first line to write SSPX “members”, which would mean have instead of has. Which leads me to another question. Is the non-approval from Bishop Fellay and the bishops, or from groups within the SSPX?

  3. Legisperitus says:

    I don’t read it as saying “no” to unity with the Holy See.

    The context seems to indicate they are saying “no” to the Vatican II formulations on religious liberty, ecumenism, collegiality, etc., “… because the Church has already spoken about that.” So it would be “no” to the first draft of the doctrinal preamble, but not “no” to unity.

  4. It’s been awhile since I followed this story, but this doesn’t illuminate what the current crux of the problem is. What is it…exactly?

    Is SSPX publicly rejecting the validity of Vatican II? It’s my belief that only the Holy Spirit may convoke a council.

    The line about rejecting obedience seemed odd to me. SSPX must understand the importance of obedience in the life of the Church – so what specifically are they disobeying?

  5. Sixupman says:

    Rome does nothing concerning Ireland, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, et al, where contra-Magisterium policies are promoted and enacted. Collegiality and the rise of ‘National’ Churches with only lip-service to Rome, not felt to be a problem. But face-saving by Rome is required above The Magisterium. The jealous action against Msgr. Lefebvre and his first seminary, by Modernist bishops does not bear scrutiny as to such compliance with the laws of Mother church. With one exception, the UK Hierarchy are pathetic, unwilling to break the masonry of the Bishops’ Conferences. +Fellay is broadly correct. Rome’s face-saving strategy, beyond belief.

  6. Ralph says:

    After reading Bishop Fellay’s homily, I think I understand the real reason that there will be no unity. That is pride. Bishop Fellay wants it his way or nothing. “Yes, we believe in the authority of the church, so long as it confirms our convictions.” Humble yourself Fellay!

    Is the Holy Father Peter or not?? You say “yes” Fallay, but then you refuse to listen to his instructions. This is a contradiction. I feel you ignore him at your soul’s peril.

    Were I a priest of the SSPX, I beleive that I would be contacting the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter about crossing the Tiber. I sadly feel that hope is lost for a reunification through the Bishops. Rome and the Holy Father have bent backword for the SSPX. How much longer can we expect them to do so before they decide that it is fruitless?

    I am a lay man in a married vocation. I am FAR from the theological debates that mark this disunion. But, I can tell you, on the ground where I live among the lay people, this entire situation is scandle of the first degree. The SSPX caused the layity to be confused and distorts our ability to follow the truth. This must end.

    Holy Mary pray for us!

  7. bourgja says:

    My reading of the SSPX position is that they (mistakenly) believe that the teachings of early 20th century popes that rejected ecumenism and religious liberty are infallible dogmas of the Church. They prefer to stay loyal to the teaching of past popes than to the teaching of the present one, and indeed regard the Church as in a state of heresy (specifically that of modernism) for changing its positions on these issues. They justify their situation by claiming that the Church is in a “state of emergency” that makes it necessary for them to resist the current magisterium of the Church until such time as the Church will renounce its errors and return to the previous teachings. Obviously they will never accept full unity with the Church as long as these attitudes prevail.

  8. irishgirl says:

    Oh, this is awful.
    Rome has stretched out the hand of reconciliation, and the SSPX is swatting it away!
    I don’t know how many more times the Holy Father will bend over backward to persuade Bishop Fellay and the Society to come back to the Church. I always thought that Bishop Fellay was more amenable-looks like that’s not the case, from reading this sermon! (Thank you as always, Father Z, for your incisive ‘emphases’ and ‘comments’-your ‘black’ and ‘red’!)
    I’m with you, Supertradmum @ 10:25! What you said!

  9. tzard says:

    So sad. I can’t even put my thoughts together.

  10. mrose says:

    bourgja,

    The crux of the contention is that the teaching of the 19th and early 20th century Popes on ecumenism and religious liberty were not simply teachings proper to that time period, but reflections of the perennial teaching, and Faith, of the Church over Her whole history. The Holy Father is not some autocrat who can do absolutely whatever he likes – he is not God. He cannot teach authoritatively on a subject in contradiction to the perennial teaching of the Church, and he ought not teach nor act in contradiction to the Church’s teaching and practice on even “prudential” questions such as ecumenism and religious liberty.

    irishgirl,

    I think Bp. Fellay would be concerned about the Holy Father’s “bending over backwards” for seeming indifferentism at Assisi and for the lutheran Neocatechumenal Way.

    Sixupman,

    Good points indeed.

  11. jarhead462 says:

    I don’t know. I am not comfortable with this position. As much as I agree with the SSPX about most things, re: tradition- I am starting to get the feeling that the Society is infected. They speak of obedience, but will only be obedient on their terms. it seems to me, if you are Catholic, then you MUST trust that the Holy Spirit will protect the Church, no matter how bad things have been these past five decades. The SSPX’s behavior suggests that they do NOT trust the Holy Spirit, and that is frankly an untenable position for them, since they fashion themselves as more Catholic than the Pope.
    I will keep praying for reconciliation.
    Semper Fi!

  12. Denis says:

    The Neocats are acceptable but the SSPX aren’t. Perhaps the SSPX have a point, after all.

  13. NoTambourines says:

    I’ve known about SSPX for a number of years, but I’m fairly new to the full scope of the issue.

    Is SSPX really rejecting Vatican II, or the so-called “spirit of Vatican II” invoked as an excuse for taking liberties in the liturgy? Do they acknowledge any distinction? I’ve heard time and time again that the liturgy that resulted bears a striking lack of resemblance to what was intended.

    And is SSPX really rejecting “ecumenism” in the genuinely Catholic sense, or the way it has gone off the rails to focus on “common ground” at the expense of truth vs. untruth? Pope Benedict XVI just said this last week:

    “Today, we see quite a few good fruit from ecumenical dialogues, but we must also recognize that the risk of a false irenicism and indifference, quite alien to the mind of Vatican II, which demands our vigilance. This indifference is caused by the increasingly widespread view that the truth is not accessible to man, and therefore there is a need to find rules for a praxis capable of improving the world. So then faith would be replaced by a moralism without any deep foundation. The center of true ecumenism, however, is the faith in which man finds the truth that is revealed in the word of God. Without faith the whole ecumenical movement would be reduced to a form of “social contract” adhered to in a common interest. “

    Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-crisis-of-faith,-a-challenge-even-for-Ecumenism-23816.html

  14. Supertradmum says:

    I am sorry, but I think there must be some intransigence in the Vatican. The SSPX must stay or come into the Church, as one sees it. More prayer, more fasting.

  15. Legisperitus says:

    Rorate is now saying what I said above. The SSPX said “no” to the first draft of the doctrinal preamble and sent a counterproposal, and that’s all. We already knew this.

  16. ContraMundum says:

    No surprise here.

    Time to reinstate the excommunications. SSPX is not Catholic any more than the Russian Orthodox Church is Catholic; both have valid sacraments, but SSPX is by far the less consequential of the two.

    Sometimes when the kid moves out and makes a huge mistake, you have to let him go. You can watch the road hoping for his return, but he’ll have to go starve in the pig-pen by himself before he’ll understand his error and repent.

  17. iowapapist says:

    Bishop Fellay’s homily is too smug, too self-righteous and proud in tone to be directed at Christ’s Vicar on earth. Had he merely outlined the doctrinal differences, without editorializing, eventual agreement would not appear to illusory. In a related matter, as a layman I fail to understand why the so-called ambiguities continue to exist. One would think that the Holy Father, as the Supreme Legislator of the Church on earth, could issue clarifications of those ambiguities. Like most of you, I want to see the SSPX in full communion with the Church. Bishop Fellay’s homily gives me pause to wonder if that is what he, or the Society, really want. My Jesus Mercy.

  18. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    ContraMundum, interesting comparison, as both the Orthodox and the SSPX believe that they are the guardians of the unchanged deposit of faith, and for the former teaching authority as well. Of course, the Orthodox have no contradictions to contend with on the authority/obedience issue as the SSPX does, inasmuch as the filioque is recognized even by Rome as an innovation, whereas the SSPX wants it both ways.

  19. mrose says:

    ContraMundum,

    The SSPX do not deny Original Sin, Papal Infallibility and Universal Jurisdiction, or the Indissolubility of Marriage; they do not habitually engage in the sacrilege of simulating other Sacraments; they do not allow for contraceptives to be used.

    To posit an equivalence between the SSPX and the Schismatic Russian Church is unjust and slanderous.

  20. Phil_NL says:

    Well, Bp Fellay and I agree about one thing: that it’s all about obedience. And he doesn’t ever bother to cloak it:

    Because they say, “we are the pope, we are the Holy See” – and we say, yes. And so they say, “we have the supreme power,” and we say, yes. They say, “we are the last instance in teaching and we are necessary” – Rome is necessary for us to have the Faith, and we say, yes. And then they say, “then, obey.” And we say, no.

    .

    In other words, they admit that they are disobidient, that they are rebelling against authority they’re bound to recognize, and that they will only recognize the Pope’s authority when he says what they want to hear. In fact, it sounds awfully similar to many lefty groups within the Church (well, barely) and indeed protestants. One could even say the SSPX is the worst of the lot since they consacrated bishops without permission, which the lefty loons never did. (a real bishop in such manifest disobedience is worse than a non-priest womenpriest, if you ask me; in the latter case you at least know immediately what you’re dealing with).

    The worst of the whole thing is that – presumably – the only obedience that was asked of the SSPX was that they recognized that the rest of the Church is in fact Catholic, adding insult to injury.

  21. Johnno says:

    This does expose the sad state of the Church. The Church certainly does display that it is more favorable towards unorthodoxy and tolerant of heretical groups, protestants, public apostates, etc. whereas many orthodox and traditionalists are bearing the brunt and feeling abandoned and neglected in their concerns. There is a heavy modernist influence inflicting the Church on many levels. There are the scandals raging from apostasy and open defiance of Church teachings, cozying up to government and clearly anti-Church groups to the point of funding them, to the sex abuse and cover ups to the failure of Vatican II’s implementation and correct instruction and its vagueness all for the sake of approaching the modern world, and also further back to the inept inexplicable failure of the Church’s handling of Fatima with regards to not releasing the 3rd secret when it was asked to back around Vatican II’s origin, and not consecrating Russia solely after several failed attempts, and the sorry state of Fatima today alongside Assisi as pan-religious gatherings under the banner of ‘ecumenism’ that the Holy See seems to be turning a blind eye to despite all the scandals.

    The concerns of the SSPX are valid. Their rationale of the Church being in formal error and not having a valid pope are simply not. It’s mere speculation to try and justify their actions or as a feeble attempt to understand the situation which is extremely complicated. This isn’t the first time the Church seems to be in such a state (although arguably it’s far worse today than it’s been in its history due to the immense sophistry and deceitfulness of the errors and immorality that plagues it from within), and likewise it was also the same during ancient Israel’s time.

    I think the only solution here where the SSPX are being stubborn is for the fiahtful still within the Church to start openly stating and restating the traditions and dogmatic teachings of the Church more boldly, with less tolerance and care for whose feelings we are hurting in the world. In other words,we need to get back to that harsh, impolite, rhetorical, hellfire and brimstone stuff. We need more of the Michael Voris approach, clear, concise, uncompromising, and if necessary just go about it like Vatican II never happened. After all if Vatican II was only pastoral and didn’t change any of the Church’s Tradition or teachings or introduce new dogmatic statements, then there is no problem, correct?

    Also more traditional masses, more Tridentine stuff, better liturgy. And all new priests need to be given a backbone and given the means by which to exercise absolute power over their staff and those in their diocese to do this, which will mean being rude to certain people when need be and just saying, “no.” Also institute more apologetics and classes as a mandatory thing for parishioners. I myself am thinking of trying and doing this on my own. I don’t have any fancy degrees, nor am I comfortable standing in front of others, but if no-one else is going to do it then I guess I’m better than nothing. I could also spend money on videos and Catholic lecture series and donating them. Heck maybe I’ll buy our parish a subscription to RealCatholicTV and get them to stream stuff, though how many will show up I wonder? We should all try doing the same when we can…

  22. They say sin makes you stupid.

    What did we expect? An organization of priests who daily objectively commit a grave sin of sacrilege when they say Mass. Then, they (presumably) make confessions to confessors who do not have the faculty to forgive their sins. The whole of the SSPX is infected with sin and it clouds their judgement and draws them away from Holy Mother Church.

    I hope that the Holy Father will apply appropriate canonical pressure to remedy this situation. They are either in the Church or outside of it. Presumably, we can all agree that the most recent official statement on the SSPX by the Church has never been officially altered and still holds true, namely that “the whole Lefebvrian movement is to be held schismatic.”

    How sad…but not surprising.

  23. Jason Keener says:

    While I sympathize with some of the SSPX’s positions, it is becoming clear that Bishop Fellay and the Society will not humble themselves and accept the Holy See’s judgements about how religious liberty and ecumenism are to be understood and practiced in today’s world. Unfortunately, Bishop Fellay is also showing himself to be fanatically rigid and even somewhat theologically inept with his narrow view of Tradition. Contrary to what Bishop Fellay seems to believe, the Catholic Church has made many adjustments to its policies surrounding religious liberty and ecumenism at various times in the Church’s history, not just after the Second Vatican Council. The history of the Church proves that there is some flexibility with regards to how the doctrinal truths surrounding religious liberty and ecumenism are applied in practical circumstances over time. Unfortunately, if the SSPX does not understand this, they are not as well-versed in the realities of historical theology as they claim to be. I pray that Fellay will somehow humble himself and open up to the idea that his understanding of Tradition is too rigidly narrow.

    P.S. Father Brian Harrison, S.T.D., has done a wonderful job demonstrating how Vatican II’s concept of religious liberty is in essential continuity with the past. Please see his book “Religious Liberty and Contraception” and his other articles on the Roman Theological Forum web site.

  24. Rich says:

    Will they release the doctrinal preamble they are refusing to accept now? I would like to see these precepts which, by offering SSPX the status of a personal prelature upon the acceptance of them, Rome was apparently trying to “kick [SSPX] out”…

  25. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    mrose – you attend the NO Mass then on a regular basis, is it safe to assume, and have no quarrels, problems or issues with it? If you say anything other than yes, you reasoning lacks logic, btw.

  26. Mary Jane says:

    I cannot believe it…I’m speechless. This makes me so sad. I was really hoping and praying they would accept. This letter (as “beat-around-the-bush” and ambiguous as it is) seems to indicate they will not reconcile. For the life of me – and I read the letter carefully – I can’t figure out why they won’t! It seems like they’re picking nits that don’t exist.

  27. “You would treat us much better! Look at the Protestants, how they open the churches to them. [He has a good point there!]”

    Umm, kindof, yes. But nearly all Protestants today are Protestant in good faith. That is much harder to say with regard to Fellay et al.

  28. Johnny Domer says:

    Am I the only one who finds it odd/inappropriate that Bp. Fellay uses homilies (and, apparently, homilies that aren’t very well prepared) as occasions to “update” people on the SSPX-Rome negotiations?

  29. Dismas says:

    It seems to me that any logical and right thinking member of the SSPX would recognize how convoluted and contradictory Bp? Fellay’s remarks are and not walk, but run to the nearest ordinariate. Yes, I suppose this may sadly result in official schism, but I think first, within the SSPX.

  30. anilwang says:

    I don’t read his comments that way at all.

    He responded to the Vatican and the ball is in its court now. For all we know, the Vatican has accepted his criticism. It would be shear stupidity or pride to say now now.

    I read his comments as a defense against the charges that they are Protestants. They aren’t, or course, since Protestants have stripped away tradition. The most one can say is that they are non-Chalcedonian since they think the Catholic Church abandoned tradition in a particular council. But since the SSPX hasn’t outright dismissed the hermeneutic of continuity, it would be unjust to call them non-Chalcedonian-like as well.

    In light of a lack of official response rejecting the doctrinal preamble in any way shape or form, we need to be cautious. Negotiations are at a critical stage. The last thing we need is for the SSPX to become entrenched because of anger or frustration or pride.

  31. Denis says:

    Very little was demanded of the Neocats, and yet they are fully regularized. The SSPX are disobedient because only they are required to submit to some sort of ‘preamble’–obedience is required only of them, no one else. Where is the preamble for so many liberal and protestantizing groups within the Church? Where is the preamble for the Neocats? For all of those groups that, allegedly, misinterpreted Vatican II, and implemented the hermeneutic of disruption in the liturgy? It seems that everything is permitted but the questioning of Vatican II. There is, it seems, only one sine qua non; only one rubicon; only one infallible doctrine: the sanctity, perfection, permanence of every letter, article, every period, colon, question mark of the documents of Vatican II. The Church did not begin to exist before Vatican II which is why no one who questions anything that happened at this highest and most sacred of all events can be one of us. I cannot interpret the decision to keep the SSPX out in spite of their intransigence as anything but a disaster for the Church; as anything but a confirmation that there is something fundamentally rotten in the Vatican. I do not believe that the Holy Father continues to be in control. First the Neocat news; then Fr. Becker decision; and now this. What a disaster!

  32. TheAcolyte says:

    The Rorate Caeli blog says it all:
    Holy See-SSPX: Reading comprehension skills urgently needed
    Some, in the Italian media and elsewhere, are having quite a hard time understanding the very plain words of the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, in Minnesota. He did not say that the Society said “no” to the Holy See definitively – but that there was a “no” to the first draft of the doctrinal preamble. This is not even news – everyone who is following this process know that the Society responded negatively, but sent a counter-proposal, that is currently being studied by the Holy See.

  33. Denis says:

    I would like to see someone, somewhere address this question: Why is the SSPX ‘preamble’ necessary? It makes no sense given the lack of discipline in most Church institutions today. Most Catholic religion departments simply ignore the ‘mandatum’. Why are they fully regularized. The selective doctrinal rigidity is…actually, I’m in no mood to reach for the nearest adjective.

  34. wmeyer says:

    Denis, I am with you. Three weeks ago, we were told that for the first time since our parish began using the new Mass setting, we would sing the Gloria as written. They had been breaking it up into verses and refrain! Well, the “straight” version lasted exactly one Sunday, and the next week we had a refrain again, though not the multiple refrains from before.

    Also, I have observed that the responsorial psalms almost invariably disagree with the text given in the new Missal. Phrases are deleted, word order altered, I wonder if anyone else has observed similar, and whether there is a reasonable explanation?

  35. tcreek says:

    What should loyal Catholics do, — follow the direction the Church of the ages or change direction based on the thought of contemporary leadership? When do we stop changing direction? There was a huge direction change during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. The seeds were sown earlier but he made us feel good about ourselves and the Church as the collapse continued. If our pope is popular and loved by all, if he draws huge crowds, we must be headed in the right direction, right?

    Sadly, Pope Benedict will not be around long enough to re-change the direction. Pray that the next popes will follow his lead and Shepherd the (few) Faithful, not be concerned about attracting the popularity of the masses, Christian and otherwise.

  36. Johnno says:

    That is because the sad case is that those who try to be faithful and orthodox are to shoulder heavier burdens than those who clearly celebrate error and immorality yet claim to be faithful. That is the way it is unfortunately. It is not new… and those who want to be faithful must recognize and shoulder this burden. What wrongs did Christ do? Yet see how He was treated before us… So let us persevere and expect it. But I’ve got to tell you, although I do believe that in the end the Church will triumph… I am also highly pessimistic about the path there… I fear we are going to lose a lot and the future looks terrible. There is a reason God foretold us that the apocalypse will happen, not because it is arbitrary, but because the Church will have largely failed in its mission and will be surrounded by enemies on all sides. There will be much suffering. And likewise this is the start of the Passion before the violence of Scourging and Crucifixion and before the inevitable Resurrection. It is a pattern the Church is destined to go through, where abandoned and alone by the many who came to her, it is chastised, be on the verge of death, but then rises.

  37. trad catholic mom says:

    Quote: So it would be “no” to the first draft of the doctrinal preamble, but not “no” to unity.

    That was how I read it.

  38. Joseph-Mary says:

    How the ‘neocats’ and others are dealt with is besides the issue. They never chose to go into disobedience and schism for example.

    The SSPX seems to be determined that all must be their way or the highway and they separate themselves from the Church. Yes, I know they claim to be the Church but which of the 4 bishops is their pope? They are just like the protestants some of whom also claim to be the ‘real church’. I have had some sympathy for them but no more.

  39. EucharistLove says:

    One can separate oneself from the Church and become heretical on either the left or right side of the road. There is no difference between the SSPX and the protestants. Both groups refuse to obey and subject themselves to Holy Mother Church. Although I am not a “Neocat”, I have not heard or read anything that would suggest they are not in full communion with the Holy See or otherwise not being faithful to the Magisterium. I believe we need a good housecleaning (i.e. excommunications) of both the left and right shoulders of the road coupled with a renewal of the liturgy.

  40. Pingback: FRIDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | ThePulp.it

  41. kgurries says:

    I think all can agree with Bishop Fellay that this is the key problem:

    “The key problem in our discussions with Rome was really the Magisterium, the teaching of the Church. Because they say, “we are the pope, we are the Holy See” – and we say, yes. And so they say, “we have the supreme power,” and we say, yes. They say, “we are the last instance in teaching and we are necessary” – Rome is necessary for us to have the Faith, and we say, yes. And then they say, “then, obey.” And we say, no. And so they say to us, you are protestant.”

    In fact, Bishop Fellay submitted along with his “response” to the Holy See a study that affirmed the following with respect to the Magisterium:

    “…the Church’s Teaching Authority is always assisted by God, and this assistance is necessary to assure the indefectible transmission of the deposit of faith. In this sense, the merely ordinary teaching authority also benefits from a ‘certain charism of truth.’”

    http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2012/01/sspx-response.html

    That is quite an affirmation. The study continues to explain, however, that those teachings containing errors against the faith (Vatican II, etc) are not recognized (by SSPX) as true and legitimate Magisterial acts, properly speaking. Only true teachings are recognized as authentic acts of the Magisterium. In any case, that’s how the logic goes….

  42. Fr. Thomas Kocik says:

    I fail to see how the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on the Church and ecumenism, for example, breaks with Tradition. Granted, the council said that the one Church of Jesus Christ “subsists in” the Catholic Church, but this is not to suggest that the body of Christ is broader than the Catholic Church. Rather, it is to acknowledge elements of the one Church, the Catholic Church, beyond the Church’s visible boundaries (e.g., valid baptism, sacred scripture, the Eucharist in those communions having apostolic succession, Christian witness—these, the council says, are elements of the one Church and impel toward Catholic unity). The terminology may be novel, but not the doctrinal content. In practice, the Church has always recognized “degrees of communion” with the one Church of Christ, which is “most fully and rightly ordered” (as Fr Richard John Neuhaus often put it) in the Catholic Church governed by the successors of St Peter. Were that not so, we would baptize unconditionally all non-Catholic Christian converts to Catholicism (in the council’s language, our separated brethren seeking to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church).

  43. NoTambourines says:

    Wmeyer– As far as I know, the verse/refrain thing on the Gloria has been an issue of the setting. Our parish’s current setting comes with both options. We chose the “through-composed” version because it is more prayer-like and less of a musical production.

    The responsorial psalm settings are quite often just a freakshow, a microcosm of the novelty-for-novelty’s-sake problem, and need to be brought back in closer reference to chant, or at least to “common practice” or “functional” harmony (as dominated from roughly 1650-1900). More Vermeer, less Jackson Pollock.

  44. wmeyer says:

    Jackson Pollock is pretty much what I face each week. I love my new Missal, but am not sure it won’t simply increase my dissatisfaction with the irregularities.

  45. Captain Peabody says:

    “I understood that our efforts, no matter how great, are not pleasing to God if they do not bear the seal of obedience…. I understand, O Jesus, the spirit of obedience and in what it consists. It includes not only external actions, but also one’s reason, will and judgment. In obeying our superiors, we obey God..”
    -St. Faustina

    “The will of the Bishop is the will of God.”
    -St. Padre Pio

    ”The more we see that any action springs not from the motive of obedience, the more evident is it that it is a temptation of the enemy; for when God sends an inspiration, the very first effect of it is to infuse a spirit of docility.”
    –Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

    ”He who follows his own ideas in opposition to the direction of his superiors needs no devil to tempt him, for he is a devil to himself.”
    –Saint John Climacus

    ”See God in your superiors; so shall you learn to revere their will and follow their commands. Be well assured that obedience is the safest guide and most faithful interpreter of the Divine Will. Pour out your hearts to them as freely as water, mindful that they are charged with the direction of your souls. . . . Above all, do not be your own master, relying on your own prudence, contrary to the caution of the wise man.”
    –Saint Ignatius, Father of the Church

    We must put aside all judgment of our own, and keep the mind ever ready and prompt to obey in all things the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, our holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.
    –Saint Ignatius of Loyola

    ”God is more pleased to behold the lowest degree of obedience, for His sake, than all other good works which you can possibly offer to Him.”
    –Saint John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church

    “Satan can even clothe himself in a cloak of humility, but he does not know how to wear the cloak of obedience.”
    St. Faustina

    Vos omnes angeli et sancti, orate pro nobis.

  46. Wade says:

    Come on Captain. Dredging up old Saints and Doctors of the Church to make your point? ; )

  47. Charlotte Allen says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The SSPX will not “obey” Rome until Rome disavows the Second Vatican Council. This despite the fact that Pope Benedict has bent over backwards to accommodate the SSPX (a “personal prelature”–what more could any group want?).

    I say this with great sympathy to the vision of the Church that the SSPX would like to sustain. I’d love it if the Church returned 100 percent to the old Mass and the old self-confidence that made the Church and its institutions robust and impregnable to the incursions of modernity (also highly attractive to converts). As Valentine’s Day approaches, for example, I ask myself: What on earth got into the Church to ditch the time-honored feast of St. Valentine and let the day turn into a wholly secular celebration–at a point in history when we need more than ever a reminder of the Christian dimensions of human love? (Plus, it seems fairly well-attested that there was at least one early Christian martyr named Valentine who deserved not to be turned into a non-person.) There ought to be a place in the Church for insistence on the continuity of traditions that other factions in the Church have gleefully jettisoned.

    Sadly, though, in its 40 years of beleaguered existence, the SSPX has become intransigent–and since its leadership seems to interpret overtures by Rome as signs of weakness, it is likely to become even more so. I’m willing to bet anyone on this thread a dinner of my own boeuf bourguignon (not so good as Fr. Z.’s sounds, but close!) and underrated California cabernet franc that a Rome-SSPX reconciliation never happens, at least under the current SSPX leadership. Eventually, though, I predict an exodus to Rome of the SSPX rank and file as the Church moves back to its liturgical roots, which strikes me as equally inevitable. The new Mass translation is an astonishingly positive development whose effects are already apparent even in the most progressive of parishes.

  48. robtbrown says:

    catholicservant says:

    Is SSPX publicly rejecting the validity of Vatican II? It’s my belief that only the Holy Spirit may convoke a council.

    And what is the basis for that belief?

  49. robtbrown says:

    kgurries says,

    The study continues to explain, however, that those teachings containing errors against the faith (Vatican II, etc) are not recognized (by SSPX) as true and legitimate Magisterial acts, properly speaking. Only true teachings are recognized as authentic acts of the Magisterium. In any case, that’s how the logic goes….

    That has been covered by the Commission, which admits that there are ambiguities in Vat II. Those ambiguities can be inter one way and contradict teaching, but they also can be interpreted another way and not contradict it. That’s why they’re called ambiguities.

  50. robtbrown says:

    I don’t consider the Fellay text all that big a deal. It is very to the followers of the SSPX that Mgr Felley et al not accept the conditions so easily.

  51. ContraMundum says:

    You’re right: the comparison between the Russian Orthodox and SSPX is not very accurate.

    The only reason the Russian Orthodox are split from us is because of a decision by their ancestors a thousand years ago. Those culpable for SSPX are still alive.

  52. Denis says:

    @Fr. Kocik: ‘I fail to see how the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on the Church and ecumenism, for example, breaks with Tradition….’

    I can see how one might make arguments on either side of the ecumenism question. What I am puzzled by is the idea that the SSPX must sign a preamble that requires them to agree that V2 teaching on ecumenism is not a break with Tradition. Why is that necessary? At a time when even theology professors aren’t required to sign the mandatum, why are the SSPX being required to sign a ‘preamble’? If an orthodoxy test is now a prerequisite for regularization, why not apply it universally? Why not have a contract that includes a complete, exhaustive list of all of the doctrines that no Catholic cleric may question, and have every every priest, bishop and cardinal sign it? The problem, of course, would be what to include on that list, which is why this ‘preamble’ is so unjust: it includes only those items that trouble traditionalists.

  53. Peter in Canberra says:

    I agree with Iowa Papist – the tone of the ‘sermon’ (political statement more like) is what is most troubling.

  54. rfox2 says:

    It’s incredibly difficult to understand, given all of the sound bites that we receive from the discussions between the Vatican and the SSPX, just how complex the issues are that are under discussion. The Pope has gone a long way to clarify a primary point about this discussion, which is a hermeneutic concern. The primary interpretive question is one of the authority of the Second Vatican Council. The Council fathers, the pope who approved the Council (Paul VI) and prelates and members of the Curia have self-described the Council as being primarily “pastoral”. What does this mean? That is one question. The answer to that question will help to determine other questions that need to be asked such as the authority of individual assertions of the Council documents. Only then can the question of what it means to “accept” the Second Vatican Council be answered. It can easily be demonstrated that specific assertions within the documents of the Council are novel in the history of the Church. But, if the authority of those statements are simply speculative or “pastoral”, then they can be put aside. If they are put forward as de Fide, then it is legitimate to question how that can be the case when they apparently contradict previous assertions of the Magisterium. At that point, it is entirely appropriate to challenge the current Magisterium’s interpretation of “Tradition”, if by that concept is entailed a notion of change.

    I think that is at the center of the SSPX criticism of the Council and the subsequent implementation of the Council. If “change” is entailed in the current interpretation of what Tradition means, and the Vatican is asking the SSPX to accept a voluntaristic meaning of Tradition (e.g. – that the current, living Magisterium can reinterpret and redefine what individual dogmas entail despite the constant teaching of the Church on those issues), then I think they have a legitimate concern and should challenge that. In challenging that, though, I don’t see how it entails schism. That makes Rome sound tyrannical: if they wish the SSPX to accept whatever interpretation of Tradition they say should be accepted despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

  55. kgurries says:

    rotbrown, there are two opposing “logics” that have come head-to-head. In fact, both sides agree on the “major premise” — but then the logic goes in different directions. Check it out here…..

    http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2012/02/tale-of-two-syllogisms.html

  56. Denis,

    The “other people are doing really bad stuff too and you’re not getting mad at them” argument is weak.

    That said, I have no problem making all excommunicated or suspended priests who wish to reconcile with the Church sign the same type of comprehensive agreement. Of course, such a requirement would apply to a relatively small number of priests.

  57. Peter in Canberra,

    I agree the tone does not sound like someone who is diplomatically trying to move toward reconciliation. It sounds like someone who is really made that his “side” didn’t get everything they were looking for.

    When he speaks and writes in such a way, it makes me wonder if he is really all that intelligent. After all, if he truly desires to be reconciled with the Holy Father, he is not going about it very well.

  58. Mary Jane says:

    @ kgurries – I think the SSPX might want to take another look at what an “authentic act of the Magisterium” actually is.

  59. Denis says:

    Patrick,

    Respectfully, I’m not applying anything like ‘The “other people are doing really bad stuff too and you’re not getting mad at them” argument’.

    It’s simply a fact that a great deal of freedom of discussion and questioning is permitted, on a wide range of issues–so much so that there is no official orthodoxy test. Why pretend that there is one in the case of the SSPX?

    It’s not even clear what the orthodoxy test would be on ecumenism, for example. What are the authoritative documents–and, more importantly, the authoritative interpretations of those documents–on ecumenism? It would be wonderful if you could point to them, because I’d like to make sure that I’m fully regularized myself.

    This entire ‘preamble’ process is odd, and seems like a ruse invented to keep the SSPX out. Unfortunately, I think that Bishop Fellay has taken the bait. If the SSPX were just a bit less pigheadedly naive–just a bit more ‘Roman’–they’d come up with some jesuitical way of signing the document without committing themselves to any restrictions on their behavior or speech.

  60. I continue to hope against hope that the situation is not as bad as we’re worried. There are few things I want more right now than for the SSPX to be reconciled with Rome. This worries me though- I don’t interpret this homily as a definitive rejection, but I still think it’s rather negative and I’m not at all pleased.
    I have to wonder how much Tissier de Mallerais and de Galarreta influenced this. It seems from the personal statements that have been made that Fellay is quite a bit more open to discussion than they are. Williamson too, seems more on the anti-Rome side, but he seems to be kind of out of favour with the Society in general.
    I guess I’ll continue to wait and pray.

  61. rfox2 says:

    kgurries: the syllogisms presented at the Opuscula site are too simplistic. The minor premise of the “SSPX argument” doesn’t address the possibility, which should be considered legitimate, that the Conciliar documents are a non-binding act of the ordinary Magisterium (accept where they clearly reiterate previously defined dogma), and thus many statements if not entire documents can potentially be “reformed” by future Magisteria. If the contestable statements are non-binding, they are debatable, and the SSPX or any Catholic can legitimately question their teaching.

    By the way, I can find only one Magisterial reference to the notion of “religious assent” prior to Vatican 2, in one of the encyclicals of Leo XIII (I think). “Religious assent” is usually the catch phrase applied to statements from Vatican 2 which are clearly not de Fide. It seems to me that this seemingly novel phrase is being used as leverage when questions arise regarding the juridical and/or binding nature of possibly novel Vatican 2 statements. Can anyone give the pedigree of what “religious assent” means as opposed to “divine and Catholic faith”?

  62. kgurries says:

    rfox2, read this from the SSPX study that was submitted to the Holy See:

    “Likewise, then, the assent due to truths proposed by the Teaching Authority [magisterium] may also be understood as admitting of varying degrees. Infallible solemn definitions ordinarily set formally or virtually revealed truths, which require an assent of divine faith. Other non-defined teachings require religious inner assent, which implies, over and above the assent to the truth properly so-called, a certain element of obedience toward the magisterial authority. Finally, acts of the magisterium may contain elements that, being extraneous to a particular teaching, do not command as such any assent.”
    ==================================================

    So, all doctrine proposed by the authentic Magisterum is “binding” on the faithful insofar as it demands our “assent”. Only those non-doctrinal elements demand respect — but not assent, strictly speaking. This is part of the “incontestable principles” affirmed by the SSPX (so, an extension of the major premise).

  63. Centristian says:

    “The Society of St. Pius X has been founded by the Church and in the Church, and we say this Society continues to exist, despite the fact that there is a pretense that it does not exist; that it was suppressed in 1976.”

    Right there, in the very opening sentence, is the key to understanding why the Lefebvrists, as a body, just aren’t going to be reconciled. They cannot be reconciled because they look at fiction as truth and at truth as fiction. They are in denial. They believe that their pretense of a SSPX that still exists, despite the fact that it was legitimately dissolved by authority decades ago, is reality and that the reality–that the SSPX was suppressed–is but a pretense on the part of Rome. They do not–they cannot–acknowledge that the make-belief lies with themselves.

    What are they saying? What they have always said, essentially: “We do not like the fact that we were dissolved in the 1970s…in fact we are so displeased that we were dissolved that we have decided that we were NOT, in fact, dissolved. So there! Furthermore, we have now decided that the current upheaval in the Church empowers us to continue to ordain priests and act as though we all had faculties to offer the Sacraments, even though we have not. Even furthermore, we have decided that these circumstances have made it necessary for us to consecrate a few bishops for ourselves so that we can continue to ordain priests once Monseigneur passes on to his eternal reward. Furthermore, we have decided that we can do almost anything we want to do, since we have decided that our ‘supplied jurisdiction’ gives us the authority to establish ‘Catholic’ schools and universities, to establish Carmelite convents and Benedictine monasteries and Dominican priories. Why…we can even give the papal blessing (yes, yes, they do) to the laity that follow us around because the pope WOULD give it to them…if he were in his right mind. Since God would not want the papal blessing denied to the (true) faithful (the ones that follow us) we can even do that, too.”

    That’s what Fellay is saying, and no one ought to be astonished by it; there’s nothing new, here. The Lefebvrists, beginning with Lefebvre, have been in denial of a reality that they don’t like from beginning to end, and their fantastic imaginings of what God personally grants them authority to do in spite of Peter just get more and more elaborate, year after year.

    When they can create and then elevate their own communities of “Benedictines” and “Dominicans” and other religious orders, when their bishops can pontificate without shame in the manner of ordinaries, when their priests can presume to extend the Papal Blessing at the end of Ignatian Retreats, then it can only be acknowledged that they are all living in one big fantasy world, where realities simply do not need to matter at all, and indeed do not matter at all. They, the Lefebvrists, decide what is real and what is not. They will happily submit to Rome when Rome acknowledges that the Lefebvrist fiction is reality and that reality is fiction.

    I pray for their conversion…individually. They cannot be reconciled as a whole. The SSPX doesn’t even exist, for one thing, and what it pretends to be is just a monster. The truth is that it has by now become a weird cult. I think, by now, Rome may have begun to finally understand that…that they are dealing with very confused people, some of whom, sadly, haven’t got all their marbles about them any longer. I think one can discern in Fellay’s remarks a certain exhaustion, a certain confusion, and something approaching a bewildered despair. It’s almost as if he is growing tired of calling up “down” but just can’t stop it; it’s all he knows any more.

    I continue to pray that well-meaning Lefebvrists of upright heart and intention will hear the call of the Holy Spirit to come out of that unfortunate fraternity of denial and find their home and mission within the visible and undeniable Body of Jesus Christ. It is my further hope that those good former Lefebvrists will act as agents for a reform of our visible Church, which, admittedly, has problems of its own. Don’t keep your distance any longer; come home…we need you to help in the clean-up effort. You want a Church cleansed of the messes that were made inside of her? Good. Turn around, step back inside, and pick up a mop like the rest of us.

  64. Centristian: Terrific post! Especially, the first 2 paragraphs. Well done.

  65. Maltese says:

    Captain Peabody quoted: ”God is more pleased to behold the lowest degree of obedience, for His sake, than all other good works which you can possibly offer to Him.”
    –Saint John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church

    Yes, but Truth is above Authority, as St. Athanasius can attest: They can take our churches, but they can’t take our Faith.

  66. Mary Jane says:

    Centristian, I had a feeling you’d start your post off with those first paragraphs. :)

  67. Centristian says:

    “Centristian, I had a feeling you’d start your post off with those first paragraphs. :)”

    Oh, man…that’s so embarrasing that people who don’t even know me know me so well. ;^)

    I’m changing my used ID to “BrokenRecord”.

  68. AnnAsher says:

    How is the SSPX suppressed yet excommunications lifted which would then validate all of their ordinations? How are they suppressed yet Rome has given permission for participation in their Masses by the faithful?

  69. LawrenceK says:

    In Bp. Fellay’s next-to-last paragraph, he mentions an unnamed person, currently “working in the Vatican”, wrote a thesis (for an unspecified degree or license) at an unspecified Roman university. The main point of his thesis was that the magisterial weight of Vatican II was equivalent to “that of a homily in the 1960’s.”

    Does anyone here have any idea who this unnamed person might be?

  70. Centristian says:

    “How is the SSPX suppressed yet excommunications lifted which would then validate all of their ordinations?”

    While I’m sure Mary Jane already knows what my response would that would be, let me just say that the mere lifting of an excommunication from four souls wouldn’t validate anything. That having been said, Rome has never suggested that their ordinations were invalid in the first place.

    How are they suppressed? Because the bishop of the diocese in which the SSPX was established didn’t renew their charter back in 1976, that’s how. He allowed it to expire. Rome stood by that. Boom. They expired. The charter was not renewed. How are their ordinations valid anyway? Because they have valid orders from a validly consecrated bishop or from one of that bishop’s four validly (but illegally) consecrated bishops. That’s how.

    Rome has given all of us permission to partcipate at their Masses? Are you sure “Rome” simply didn’t say it was allowed under certain circumstances but not generally advisable?

    At any rate, bear in mind that “not excommunicated” does not equal “wonderful” and “permitted” does not equal “encouraged”. The Devil isn’t excommunicated, either, and I am permitted to vote Democratic.

  71. robtbrown says:

    kgurries,

    I agree with rfox–your syllogisms are oversimplifications. Further, I disagree with your clarification. How can we be required to assent (even with obsequium religiosum) to ambiguities?

  72. robtbrown says:

    Actually, the devil is excommunicated from heaven. He was excommunicated from the Church because he was never in it.

  73. jeff says:

    They say, there must be Tradition, there must be continuity. So there is continuity. Vatican II has been made by the Church, the Church must be continuous, so Vatican II is Tradition. And we say, beg your pardon?

    Fr, here +Fellay was summarizing the argumentation in Fr Gleize’s response to Mons. Ocáriz’s article. Namely, that in the traditional understanding of the Magesterium there was continuity due to unity of what was taught (ie, unity of Object), but the VatII understanding is that there is now unity of CHURCH (ie, unity of subject) and not necessarily of object/deposit of faith.

  74. AnnAsher says:

    I regret asking questions and expecting dignified intelligent replies. I’ll confine my communication to only Fr Z in the future.

  75. LawrenceK says:

    Denis asked:

    What I am puzzled by is the idea that the SSPX must sign a preamble that requires them to agree that V2 teaching on ecumenism is not a break with Tradition. Why is that necessary? At a time when even theology professors aren’t required to sign the mandatum, why are the SSPX being required to sign a ‘preamble’?

    This is consistent with how the Church has always done things. When a validly baptized Protestant becomes a Catholic, he must publicly proclaim at Mass that “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.” Cradle Catholics do not have to recite this.

    Canon law prescribes that excommunication is the penalty for ordaining bishops without approval by the Holy See; Lefebvre and the four bishops he appointed — who are, at present, the only bishops in the SSPX, I believe — were excommunicated. When the excommunications were lifted in 2009, that did not remove the schismatic character of the SSPX (any more than Pope Paul VI lifting the 1054 excommunication in when he met the Orthodox Partriarch restored communion between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches). The lifting of the excommunications was clearly explained at the time to be one of many steps towards bringing the SSXP back in union with Rome.

    (I know that some will argue that the SSPX is not in schism, but the fact is that they reject not only Vatican II, but also Lateran IV. Lateran IV commanded Catholics to confess their sins in a valid sacramental confession once per year, and yet it appears that the bishops of the SSPX have not complied with this rule by confessing to a priest with valid faculties for the past twenty-four years.)

    Your comparison to theology professors has some validity, but there are also significant dissimilarities. There are certainly some theology professors who are further from Church teaching than the SSPX is. On the other hand, many theology professors are also priests, and none of them are as disobedient to their bishops as the SSPX priests are. There are over 500 priests in the SSPX; every one of them says the name of their local ordinary in the Canon of the Mass every single day, and yet not a single one of them is obedient to that ordinary in any matters whatsoever. Most of them don’t even both to meet with this local ordinary whom they claim as their bishop!

  76. LawrenceK says:

    AnnAsher asked:

    How is the SSPX suppressed yet excommunications lifted which would then validate all of their ordinations? How are they suppressed yet Rome has given permission for participation in their Masses by the faithful?

    The assertion regarding the SSPX being “suppressed” applies to the organization per se, not to its members.

    Consider: In 1773 the Jesuit order was suppressed. But every single priest in that order remained a valid priest, in full communion with Rome. Every one of the continued to celebrate Mass, and those Masses were completely valid.

    The SSPX’s status was revoked in 1975, and when they appealed, the Apostolic Signatura denied their appeal. At that point, canonically they ceased to be a canonical organization. But none of them were (at that time) excommunicated. All the Masses celebrated by SSPX priests remained, and remain to this day, valid. What changed in 1976 was the issue of obedience. When the Jesuits were suppressed in 1773, each former Jesuit no longer owed obedience to his superior in the order — he now owed obedience directly to the local ordinary. Similarly, when the SSPX was dissolved, its priests were now obligated to obey their local ordinaries rather than the leaders of the organization. Sadly, many of them did not follow that obligation.

  77. jacobianflaherty says:

    Hello Fr. Z, everyone,

    Just a few thoughts on all of this. I guess I come at this in a unique perspective; I have been an English Novus Ordo Mass attendee my entire life, mostly because I didn’t know anything else. But then my 29-year old brother and his wife got involved in the SSPX chapel…mostly due to the fact that when he was in Graduate School, he (who was never really a very zealous Catholic before) had a really difficult time finding a church in town that didn’t drive him crazy with terrible, irreverent Masses and quasi-heretical teachings and practices. I disagreed with him greatly at the time – as a matter of fact we got in a few huge arguments about it…so much that I said I wouldn’t “recognize” his wedding.

    Things cooled off, and I began to see something in my brother – a care about Catholicism that I had never seen before when we attended Catholic grade school and high school together. He wanted to learn about chant, started attending Confession more often, would get up at 2 A.M. and go do a weekly Adoration hour, etc… I STILL don’t agree with his way of dealing with things and his overall outlook; that things are hopeless and the Church is a mess, etc… I believe, with a cheerful hope, that the Holy Spirit can and will restore in the Church sanity, but it may take a little more time and patience than we desire; “chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed…”
    But I do think he and his wife and kids love the Lord, love our Blessed Mother, and despite what comes out of their mouths, they just want SOLID ANSWERS to the questions that have plagued almost all followers of this blog: How can the Bishops not see some of the HUGE problems that are going on right now, particularly liturgically, and not seek to do something credible? I think people experience disgust that the leaders aren’t, in all cases, leading, and, in seeking to encounter the transcendent, they sometimes play ‘Follow the Leader’ with the wrong leader.

    Out of an 8th grade graduating class of 19 students, 17 of whom were Catholic, 5 kept the Faith. That number was unusually high, I’m afraid. It is very difficult to raise children to keep the Faith when there is so much timidity and weakness out there. While I reject their methods, it may take somebody with a little fire to finally whip the people of God in the Church into ‘game shape’. With all that’s going on with the HHS and Obama Administration, we might need that kick in the rear to remind us that being a faithful follower of Christ is not all coffee and doughnuts after Mass.

  78. jcr says:

    And so they say to us, you are protestant. [?] You put your reason above the Magisterium of today.

    What do the SSPX and protestants have in common? Private judgment. The latter apply it to Scripture, the former to Tradition. In both cases the interpretation of an individual or of a group is preferred to the interpretation of the Magisterium, because one is so sure of being right that the Magisterium just has to be wrong. The Magisterium is not above Scripture, nor is it above Tradition, but its authority to interpret both is superior to that of any individual or group, no matter how erudite and devout they may be.

    Rome says, such-and-such a statement in Unitatis Redintegratio can and must be read in continuity with the Tradition. The SSPX replies that it cannot, that it contradicts such-and-such a Pope. Rome says, look, here is how these statements can be reconciled. The SSPX replies, that does not convince me, look at these documents and reconsider your position. And now we are waiting to see what Rome will say. There is a question of diplomacy, but in the end it comes down to this: in the event of a disagreement, which is superior, the judgment of Rome or the private judgment of the members of the SSPX?

  79. Rachel K says:

    Supertradmum asks why the SSPX can’t be accepted as they are- I think their position is different from that of others who dissent from certain teachings of the Church because the SSPX did so publicly and formally. A such they set themselves up as a group which is defined and which has specific, clearly articulated grievances. I suppose they are most similar to those groups who promote the ordination of women and who hold mock ordinations, except that in the case of the SSPX there is validity of some sacraments but they are not licit. (Perhaps Fr Z could clarify this for us as I am never sure that I am quite clear about this point?)

    Personally I am not surprised to see the rigidity of Bp Fellay’s sermon, but it is nonetheless very disappointing as recent discussions seemed to have been bearing fruit. I think that having followed the peculiar rantings of “Bp Williamson” and others well before that all became public I concluded that if one follows the path of dissent to it’s conclusion, it is possible to arrive at insanity. Somehow, once we give licence to our own interpretation over that of the truth, we open ourselves up to all kinds of outlandish thoughts and beliefs. In some cases this may not cause too much damage- ones natural reasoning can defend us from some of the more lunatic conclusions- but if there is some potential for psychological frailty, the results have no limits!

    We all need to pray a great deal- if one part of the body suffers, it suffers as a whole- let’s hope there is still the goodwill for reconciliation on the part of the SSPX. The Vatican has bent over backwards for them, it’s time they reached out in return.

  80. robtbrown says:

    LawrenceK says:

    This is consistent with how the Church has always done things. When a validly baptized Protestant becomes a Catholic, he must publicly proclaim at Mass

    It is not necessary that be done at mass.

    that “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.” Cradle Catholics do not have to recite this.

    I don’t know of any text fitting that category that the SSPX denies.
    The question is whether certain texts from Vat II fit that category.

  81. robtbrown says:

    Centristian,

    I disagree with your analysis. The SSPX is no more in denial than Rome has been. Is it reality that Roman permission (or encouragement) of vernacular liturgy was promoted as being Catholic? IMHO, that is a fiction. The same is true for the Mass as Meal concept and its corollary, habitual concelebration.

    No doubt the SSPX has its warts, but its position has been that in those two very important components of Church life, the Society is in Communion with the Church.

    I’ll restate what I have noted here many times: Moral Authority and Juridical Authority are not necessarily the same thing. Did the pope have the juridical authority to promulgate a new missal? Certainly, he did. On the other hand, did he have the moral authority to suppress the historical Roman Rite (as well as the Dominican, Carmelite, and Carthusian Rites)? The answer to that can be no more positive than “probably not”.

    The law of the Church is not merely human law. No pope or Council can merely decree that what is not (and has not been) is in fact reality.

  82. irishgirl says:

    mrose-I said absolutely nothing about Assisi nor about the NeoCats. I wasn’t even thinking of them when I mentioned about the Holy Father ‘bending over backwards’ to accomodate the SSPX.
    I never really liked those interreligious meetings (yes, they can breed indifferentism), and I wish that the NeoCats were reigned in regarding their odd ways of saying Mass.
    My only hope is that the Society sees the error of their ways (being intransigent) and takes the hand of reconciliation. We need priests and religious of the SSPX’s caliber in the Church!

  83. Denis says:

    @jcr: ‘What do the SSPX and protestants have in common? Private judgment. The latter apply it to Scripture, the former to Tradition. In both cases the interpretation of an individual or of a group is preferred to the interpretation of the Magisterium’

    Opinions like this one are often expressed by Catholics attempting to explain the unusual situation the SSPX, but I have no idea what any of it means. In what sense is the SSPX applying private judgment to Tradition? They accept tradition as something objective, which is precisely why they have trouble with some post-VII developments.

    @jcr: ‘Rome says, such-and-such a statement in Unitatis Redintegratio can and must be read in continuity with the Tradition. The SSPX replies that it cannot, that it contradicts such-and-such a Pope. Rome says, look, here is how these statements can be reconciled. The SSPX replies, that does not convince me, look at these documents and reconsider your position. And now we are waiting to see what Rome will say. There is a question of diplomacy, but in the end it comes down to this: in the event of a disagreement, which is superior, the judgment of Rome or the private judgment of the members of the SSPX’

    What an odd condition! Being a Catholic is now reduced to having a settled view on a rather esoteric discussion of whether or not some Vatican II document can be read in the light of Tradition. This is unprecedented. If a priest-theologian at a Catholic University were to make the argument to one of his colleagues that the this decree on ecumenism cannot be read in the light of Tradition, would that priest-theologian now lose his faculty for hearing confession? Would he now have the same status as a priest of the SSPX? If he wanted to be regularized, would he have to sign a document to the effect that Unitatis Redintegratio can be read in the light of Tradition?

    Hundreds of Austrian priests are in open rebellion, bishops all over the world are refusing to implement Summorum Pontificum; the Archbishop of Westminster is permitting gay Masses–to name just a few things going on at this very moment–and the Vatican is worried about whether or not the SSPX believe that Unitatis Redintegratio can be read in the light of Tradition. What strange times we are living in!

    The problem isn’t that standards are being applied unevenly. The problem is that the standards being applied make no sense. Since when is having a belief about the correct interpretation of some relatively peripheral decree–one that has nothing to do with the faith–a condition of being in the Church? It is hard to understand the comparison between protestantism and the SSPX’s skepticism about a decree that has nothing to do with doctrine.

  84. Denis says:

    Take the following passage from Unitatis Redintegratio:
    ‘On the other hand, the separate Communities have sometimes developed certain aspects of the revealed truth better, so that in the situation of division, the Catholic Church cannot fully and concretely develop her own catholicity…’

    How does one interpret this claim–that ‘separated bretheren’ have developed certain aspects of revealed truth better?

    If you accept that claim, then why not be open to the possibility that the ‘separated’ SSPX have developed certain aspects of Catholic doctrine better than the officials in the Vatican who are now putting obstacles in the way of their regularization? Or is it only the separated Christians who reject Tradition altogether who are able to interpret it better than the Church? Quite the paradox, isn’t it?

    In many places in the world, bishops interpreted the V2 documents on ecumenism as saying that it was no longer necessary for protestants to become Catholic. In some dioceses, Bishops refused to accept protestants for that very reason; those who insisted on converting went to the SSPX. Given the odd language of Unitatis Redintegratio, one can see why it was interpreted as saying that one no longer needed to be Catholic.

  85. jcr says:

    @Denis
    First, let me correct myself: having reread parts of Bishop Fellay’s homily, what is at issue seems not to be UR as such, but the parts of the CCC that teach about ecumenism and religious liberty.

    There is no question of the fact that Tradition is something objective. Scripture is also something objective, and, indeed, rather better defined, in that I can have all of it in a single book. Private judgment is not a question of the objective data but of their interpretation. It is the principle that one’s own judgment can and should be preferred to a contrary judgment of the Magisterium, and it is poison, which will sooner or later lead to ruin, no matter how orthodox one might be at the beginning.

    100 years before the SSPX, another group of Catholics, resisting what they claimed were innovations contrary to Tradition, broke away from the Church. I am speaking of the Old Catholics, who today can be found attempting to ordaining women. Certainly, the case is not a perfect parallel, but it should be a salutary warning. Only union with and obedience to Rome can guarantee orthodoxy in the long run.

    It is quite true that the SSPX is inclined to private judgment is not the worst problem that exists in the Church, but if they want to be trusted with an Ordinariate, they have to demonstrate that they are obedient.

  86. Denis says:

    @jcr ‘Only union with and obedience to Rome can guarantee orthodoxy in the long run.’

    I disagree. ‘Rome’ makes pronouncements on all sorts of matters that have nothing to do with the faith–solar energy, the wonderfulness of the European Union, etc. It is irrelevant whether you cite the Catechism or the Vatican II documents on ecumenism because the former refer to the latter. Either way, there is a deeply troubling, open-ended, contradictory, and even paradoxical character to many of the pronouncements of VII–and, more importantly, many of the ways in which those pronouncements have been implemented–just think of some of the scandalous things done in the name of ‘ecumenism’ in the last five decades.

    The ‘preamble’ requires the SSPX to commit to something on which there is no settled view and which can hardly be called an infallible teaching. Monsignor Gherardini recently published a book entitles “Vatican Council II: a Debate That Has Not Taken Place”. Having published that book, should he, now, sign a ‘preamble’? Is he failing to obey ‘Rome’? The Holy Father expressed the view that Vatican II was a pastoral council at which no new dogma was defined. In what way is it heretical or protestant to criticize the declarations of a pastoral council, especially when they are so deeply flawed? Certainly the passage that I cited above–expressing the view that separated christians might interpret revelation better than the church–is impossible to make sense of in light of tradition. There; I’ve said it. Where is my preamble?

  87. dspecht says:

    “Does Bp. Fellay and the SSPX now determine what is dogma and what isn’t and how it is to be expressed and what to believe?”
    “But it is not proper for them to impose their view on Rome, which actually has authority to teach, which the SSPX entirely lacks.”

    Same old accusation re the SSPX, but not hitting the point.
    It is not the SSPX vs. the Roman authority, not the SSPX´s opinion against (and imposing…) the teaching of Rome-

    It is the Roman authority against the Roman authority, the old one against the new one, the ancient Papal teaching against the new.

    As someone wrote:
    “My reading of the SSPX position is that they (mistakenly) believe that the teachings of early 20th century popes that rejected ecumenism and religious liberty are infallible dogmas of the Church. They prefer to stay loyal to the teaching of past popes”
    - that hits the nail, we have only to add: not only of the early 20th c., but of the last houndreds of years. – And therefore NOT MISTAKENLY, but rightly seen as infallible.

    btw., if these old Roman teachings are not infallible, why should the new teachings be?!?!
    And if the new weren´t – then why blaming the SSPX for rejecting them?!?!

  88. dspecht says:

    One might object re my argumentation above:

    No, it is not the ancient Papal teaching against the new – but only the sspx´s interpretation of the ancient Papal teaching against the new.

    So we still have the problem that the sspx wants to impose their view, their interpratation.
    It is not the teaching authority of the old Popes against the new, but only the interpretation of the sspx, that has no teaching authority, of the old teachings against the new teachings, that have authority.

    But then I would answer with a sed-contra:

    If it is only the sspx´s interpretation of the ancient teaching and therefore lacks of authority – then it is also only your interpretation of the modern Papal teachings, carrying no more authority than the sspx´s one.

    And if you would now object: Oh no, it is not just my private interpratation, but the very words of the modern Popes themselfe, clear and unambiguously –

    then guess what I or every other discussion-parttaker logically would bring as counter-objection??

    Yes, exactly…..!!

  89. St.Justin says:

    Johnno says:
    3 February 2012 at 12:04 pm
    “Their rationale of the Church being in formal error and not having a valid pope are simply not.”

    This so typical of people who argue against the SSPX. They don’t even know the facts. They seem to just mouth what they have heard. The SSPX has never been sedevacantist.

    Another other comment I would like to make is that the SSPX does not rely on its understanding of the teachings of the Church but relies on 2000 years of what Popes, Saints and theolgians have taught and said. Contrary to what some say the SPX is not its own arbiter of Truth but rather it relies on th perennial teachings of the Church. The real question is can these things be changed and the answer should be obvious.

    and one other comment is about obedience. If someone in authority ask you to do or believe something that is immoral you have an OBLIGATION to be disobedient. So contrary to all the quotes above there are cases where one must be obedient to a higher power.

  90. St.Justin says:

    dspecht,

    You seem to be forgetting that Rome has said it knows it has changed its position from the perrenial teachings but claims it has the authority to do so. So it is not a question of the SSPX misunderstanding or appling their own interpretataions to the continual teachings of the Church, quite the contrary.

  91. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    dspecht,
    Where has Rome said it has changed its position?

  92. St.Justin says:

    Cheesesteak Expert,

    Everytime it trys to defend Vii with its hermeneutics of continuity.

  93. robtbrown says:

    Denis says:

    Take the following passage from Unitatis Redintegratio:
    ‘On the other hand, the separate Communities have sometimes developed certain aspects of the revealed truth better, so that in the situation of division, the Catholic Church cannot fully and concretely develop her own catholicity…’

    I found the second half of that text (so that . . . ), but I did not find the first half ( . . . revealed truth better) in UR.

  94. brianvzn says:

    For over a year, I have been trying to understand how the documents of Vatican II (yes, I have read them more than once), and the teachings of the New Catechism, are in continuity with past councils and the encyclicals of past popes. Mortalium Animos by Pope Pius XI and Syllabus of Errors by Pope Pius IX come to mind as two documents that seem to have teachings that are in complete contradiction with the actions, teachings, speeches, and writings of Vatican II and its popes. Does anyone have a suggestion on a book that explains how there is a continuity? Even Ratninger himself said there can be no return to the syllabus. I am confused and fear the Church of Vatican II is a different religion the Catholic Church (33-1962).

  95. wmeyer says:

    brianvzn, not sure this will help, but you may wish to read Michael Davies (pretty much anything he published), as well as Msgr. Wrenn’s Catechisms and Controversies and Flawed Expectations. The worst I can speak of the documents of Vatican II is the loopholes and vagaries which are there, the elements Davies referred to as time bombs.

  96. Denis says:

    robtbrown,

    My apologies. The quote was from the following document:

    Unitatis Redintegratio: A New Interpretation After 40 Years, by Cardinal Walter Kasper. The full quote is:

    ‘On the other hand, the separate Communities have sometimes developed certain aspects of the revealed truth better, so that in the situation of division, the Catholic Church cannot fully and concretely develop her own catholicity (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 4; Ut Unum Sint, n. 14).’

  97. robtbrown says:

    Denis,

    Which shows that as bad as UR might be, Cardinal Kasper is even worse.

  98. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    St. Justin-then you are Eastern Orthodox, I take it? For logically and intellectually honestly, you’d have to be, if that is your position, as the Orthodox claim that Rome first changed regarding the filioque. The SSPX in this view are, to paraphrase Malcolm Muggeridge, liberals who have only just been mugged by reality.

  99. St.Justin says:

    Cheesesteak Expert,

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06073a.htm.

    You might want to read what is at the above link as it will show you that what you are asserting is incorrect.

  100. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    St. Justin – perhaps you didn’t read all the way down to the bottom of your link, where the author does allow – however mildly and obliquely to tow the line – a certain insight into the actual change to the creed which the Roman Popes finally accepted at the rather strong, even threateningly demands of the Franks (which dynamic the author conveniently ignores). Anyway, here’s the end of your quote, which is not much different than the discussions of Rome and Catholic traditionalists today, is it not?
    from you link:
    “Had not Rome overstepped her rights by disobeying the injunction of the Third Council, of Ephesus (431), and of the Fourth, of Chalcedon (451)?

    It is true that these councils had forbidden to introduce another faith or another Creed, and had imposed the penalty of deposition on bishops and clerics, and of excommunication on monks and laymen for transgressing this law; but the councils had not forbidden to explain the same faith or to propose the same Creed in a clearer way. Besides, the conciliar decrees affected individual transgressors, as is plain from the sanction added; they did not bind the Church as a body. Finally, the Councils of Lyons and Florence did not require the Greeks to insert the Filioque into the Creed, but only to accept the Catholic doctrine of the double Procession of the Holy Ghost.”

  101. St.Justin says:

    Again Cheesesteak Expert you just don’t get it. In the case of the teaching of the “Filioque” the Church had always held this to be so. The Greek argument was about inserting it in the Creed, which by the way didn’t happen until 1054. There is absolutely no similarity between the “filioque” and this trumped up hermeneutics of continuity.

  102. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    St. Justin – if the Church had always held this to be so, why was it not in the Creed until 1054 or thereabouts, as you say? Does that not suggest that reciting the Creed “sans filioque” has the greater claim to antiquity and catholicity, as all of the great centers – including Rome – NEVER said the filioque until the tenth century?

    I bet you did not know that, to this day, when the Pope says the liturgy or Creed even in Greek, he does not use the filioque, a nod to both Greek as the first liturgical language of Rome and the antiquity of that usage.

    And, regarding the similarity between the filioque and post-Vatican II events, do you honestly see none when modern Rome says “there are two types of the same rite, the Ordinary and the Extra-Ordinary Form, but you must accept both” and Rome a thousand years ago said “you can say the Creed with or without the filioque, but you must accept both”? In both cases, what is paramount is submission.

  103. St.Justin says:

    Cheesesteak Expert says: “if the Church had always held this to be so, why was it not in the Creed until 1054 or thereabouts, as you say? Does that not suggest that reciting the Creed “sans filioque” has the greater claim to antiquity and catholicity, as all of the great centers – including Rome – NEVER said the filioque until the tenth century?”

    Cheesesteak Expert, Apparently you didn’t read the link. In the early Church there was no argument about how the Holy Ghost proceeded. So when the Creeds were drafted it was not necessary to include it. The main thrust of the early Creeds was to combat Arianism. In fact if you notice the Anthanaian Creed has things that the Apostles Creed doesn’t. Just as most(all but one) General Councils of the Church have been called to correct or clarify the teachings of the Church, the Creed can be added to also.

    AS to: “reciting the Creed “sans filioque” has the greater claim to antiquity and catholicity”.
    antiquity; Yes catholicity; No

    Cheesesteak Expert says: “And, regarding the similarity between the filioque and post-Vatican II events, do you honestly see none when modern Rome says “there are two types of the same rite, the Ordinary and the Extra-Ordinary Form, but you must accept both” and Rome a thousand years ago said “you can say the Creed with or without the filioque, but you must accept both”? In both cases, what is paramount is submission.”

    What is paramount is one is a matter of a De fide teaching and one is a matter of Church discipline.
    Apples and Oranges. One can lawfully be changed and the other cannot.

    Cheesesteak Expert says: “I bet you did not know that, to this day, when the Pope says the liturgy or Creed even in Greek, he does not use the filioque, a nod to both Greek as the first liturgical language of Rome and the antiquity of that usage.”

    I will bet that you are wrong on this one too. You statement may be refering to “Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have recited the Nicene Creed jointly with Patriarchs Demetrius I and Bartholomew I in Greek without theFilioque clause. I your statement is correct , please provide the source.

    You really ought to read up on topics before you just throw things out there just because they sound good.

  104. ipadre says:

    Bp. Fellay rants on about Vatican II breaking with tradition, but never gives one concrete example. He says ecumenism and religious liberty, but what in that teaching is so different.

    We all need to continue praying, the Lord can open doors that we can seem to pierce.

    “Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia!”

  105. St.Justin says:

    ipadre,
    We can start from here: The Syllabus of Errors
    III. INDIFFERENTISM, LATITUDINARIANISM
    15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862; Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.

    16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. — Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1846.

    17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. — Encyclical “Quanto conficiamur,” Aug. 10, 1863, etc.
    ipadre
    18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. — Encyclical “Noscitis,” Dec. 8, 1849.

    By the way I have never heard Bp. Fellay rant about anything.

  106. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    St. Justin – if there was no argument about how the origin of the Holy Spirit, why did the fathers of the early Councils see fit to mention that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father, and not mention anything about the Son? That was how it was recited in Rome until the ninth century.

  107. St.Justin says:

    Cheesesteak Expert says: if there was no argument about how the origin of the Holy Spirit, why did the fathers of the early Councils see fit to mention that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father, and not mention anything about the Son? That was how it was recited in Rome until the ninth century.

    I am not really sure what you are trying to say. As to the no argument, I was referring to between the East and the West.
    There was ideed arguments with heretics as I said before, the Arians and Nestorians in particular.
    The first Eastern opposition, if you want to call it that, wasn’t until 642-653

    AS to whether or not the Creed with the “filioque” was recited in Rome, that is immaterial The liturgies were different through out the Church until the Council of Trent. It was in use throughout the West as early as 767.

  108. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    No, St. Justin, it was not. Leo III rejected Charlemagne’s demands to have the filioque said in Rome well after 800 AD. The point is this – from the Council of Nicea in 335 to at least Leo III, no Pope EVER said the Creed with the filioque. Now that Creed – sans filioqe – was deemed by the fathers of the two Councils immediately following Nicea I to undergo no changes except by another Council, and to this the Popes of the first millenium assented. The Popes of the second millenium who decided by Papal fiat to insert the filioque argued that they could do so using the same rationale as did Pope Paul VI when rolling out the Novus Ordo. To reject the Novus Ordo is to reject that rationale. Further then, by accepting the rationale to insert the filioque is to be forced to accept the Novus Ordo. Thus, the issues of the limits and scope of Papal authority vis a vis the Novus Ordo (promulgated by a Pope and with the blessings of his two immediate predecessors) and Vatican II was first seriously dealt with by the Orthodox. Obedience and authority, etc.

    Now, one proof of any analysis is how accurate it can predict the future, so you heard it hear first if you haven’t already. Catholic traditionalists will be faced with a choice; choose the Pope and Papal authority in its arc from the filioque to the Novus Ordo, and your TLM will be more “novus ordized” than Mass of Paul VI will be “TLMed”. It will be changed and amalgamated into some combination, as this construct of an ordinary and extraordinary rite is new and represents one more element of change.

  109. cheekypinkgirl says:

    And meanwhile, the rest of us are just trying to figure out how to live a somewhat holy life in the face of the modern world. Must be nice to have all this time to argue about subparagraphs of subparagraphs, or who said what in which decade and with what intent? Elitism at its worst.

  110. St.Justin says:

    Three imprtant things you seem to be missing:
    1. The Catholic Church has always been more than physically what is in Rome.
    2. The Creed with the “filioque” has been said in Masses since at least 767 and probably well before that..
    3. The debate, if you want to call it that, between Rome and the SSPX is not just about the Tridentine Mass.

    Now as to the Mass. The Tridentine Mass was fixed by the Council of Trent. Quo Primum guaranteed that it could be said in perpetuity and that no one can prevent a Priest from saying it. Just to clarify that point Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum saying the same thing.

    You seem to be full of personal opinions with nothing in Church documents to support your opinions.

    Now to the Creed. When a Council says you can’t change something it means that you can’t make it say something contrary to what has already been defined(that is known as infallibility). Adding the “filioque” did not change any infallible definition it only clarified what was already there.

    The SSPX has never said that the NO per se is invalid. So I don’t know what your problem is in that regard.

  111. St.Justin says:

    cheekypinkgirl says:
    And meanwhile, the rest of us are just trying to figure out how to live a somewhat holy life in the face of the modern world. Must be nice to have all this time to argue about subparagraphs of subparagraphs, or who said what in which decade and with what intent? Elitism at its worst.

    You are aware of course that if this were not the case we would have no Creed and no Dogmas and we would all be running around like a bunch of Prots. You live in your church and I’ll, to the best of my ability , will live in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    Have you ever read the discussions between St. Augustine and St. Jerome as to how the Bible was to be translated.

    In any case when what someone believes is incorrect it is far better to quote the sources when refuting their errors then give ones own personal opinions..

  112. cheekypinkgirl says:

    “You live in your church and I’ll, to the best of my ability , will live in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

    How utterly smug and assumptive. I surely must be anti-one, anti-holy, anti-Catholic, and anti-apostolic is I dare question the amount of intellectual time spent arguing over the finer points of the finer points.

    This is why many abhor traditionalists.

  113. St.Justin says:

    cheekypinkgirl says:: “You live in your church and I’ll, to the best of my ability , will live in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

    How utterly smug and assumptive. I surely must be anti-one, anti-holy, anti-Catholic, and anti-apostolic is I dare question the amount of intellectual time spent arguing over the finer points of the finer points.

    This is why many abhor traditionalists.

    Whatever. Your attitude certainly sounds prot. to me. “I don’t care what the Church says, I’ll just believe what I want anyway.”

    By the way, what is your definition of a “Traditionlist”? It would help me to know if you abhor me.

  114. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    St. Justin, yes of course the Church is more than what is in Rome, but surely you’re not saying that the proclamations of bishops and Churches other than that of Rome are to be dealt with the same consideration?
    Antiquity, catholicity in both space and time, apostolicity – these are the characteristics by which The Church teaches to discern, yes? So how is it material that a few places in Spain said the Creed for the first time with the filioque in the 8th century? Not much. What does matter is when Popes after Leo III changed his admonition to NOT add the filioque.
    And puhleeze, all you offered was NewAdvent and 100 year old content by way of documentation. I think we both have enjoyed this dialogue knowing we can both assume a baseline set of understanding without taking the time on a blog to footnote everything. But perhaps it’s just me.

  115. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    cheekypinkgirl: How are we so different? St. Justin and I are have a good, solid, respectful dialogue on issues of mutual importance. Are you not also interested in knowing why you believe what you say you believe? That is what our conversation is about, with thanks to Fr. Z for allowing us this space on his blog.

  116. And I have been wondering about the relevance of all this to the entry.

  117. St.Justin says:

    Cheesesteak Expert says:
    “St. Justin, yes of course the Church is more than what is in Rome, but surely you’re not saying that the proclamations of bishops and Churches other than that of Rome are to be dealt with the same consideration?”

    Yes and no. Rome, or the Pope, ruled very lossely in the early Church. The liturgy was different in all of the different locations (Diocese).

    Cheesesteak Expert says:
    “Antiquity, catholicity in both space and time, apostolicity – these are the characteristics by which The Church teaches to discern, yes? So how is it material that a few places in Spain said the Creed for the first time with the filioque in the 8th century? Not much. What does matter is when Popes after Leo III changed his admonition to NOT add the filioque.”

    In point of fact his admonition to NOT add the filioque was only directed at the Churches physically in Rome as opposed to other Diocese. Also up to that time the Churches physically in Rome didn’t even say the Creed at Mass.
    I missed the first part of this section. What matters to me is that almost all of the Fathers of the Church, including the Eastern ones, that taught on this matter taught the “Filioque”. When it was added to the Creed or said during the Liturgy is not really germaine as to whether or not it was a doctrine of the Church.
    Cheesesteak Expert says:
    And puhleeze, all you offered was NewAdvent and 100 year old content by way of documentation. I think we both have enjoyed this dialogue knowing we can both assume a baseline set of understanding without taking the time on a blog to footnote everything. But perhaps it’s just me.

    If you have more recent documentation that points to the contrary please bring them forth.
    You are correct I too have enjoyed the dialogue. In fact I was just thinking how civil this has been.
    Actually I have studied all of this for someime but when I post I like to use sources so I don’t screw up the wording. You are right no need to quote the sources foot note style unless one questions what was posted. In this discussion I have actually used WIKI a lot because it has everything handy.

  118. St.Justin says:

    Fr. John Zuhlsdorf says:
    And I have been wondering about the relevance of all this to the entry.

    Father, I really believed it all boiled down to Papal authority. Now let me be very clear I fully accept Papal authority. I just don’t feel that arguments given were correct. Any way I have found the discussion enlightning and have enjoyed it and like Cheesesteak Expert says thanks to Father for allowing us this space on his blog.

  119. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Fr Z- a shared concern for the role of liturgy in our lives, the interplay between tradition, obedience, discernment, conscience and authority, the decline of faith in our time coincident with great changes to liturgy – is that not at the root of the entry?

  120. Vincent Ferrer says:

    @Centristian aka BrokenRecord

    You wrote “The Devil isn’t excommunicated, either.”

    The devil can’t be excommunicated. See my reply to you (somewhat belated) on this and other matters under the recent blog “SSPX Bp. Williamson says, “I would rather be a schismatic sedevacantist than a Roman apostate”.”

  121. Vincent Ferrer says:

    @Fr. Thomas Kocik:

    You said: “The terminology may be novel, but not the doctrinal content. In practice, the Church has always recognized “degrees of communion” with the one Church of Christ, which is “most fully and rightly ordered” (as Fr Richard John Neuhaus often put it) in the Catholic Church…”

    This simply isn’t true. The idea (not just the terminology) of “partial communion” is a novelty of the Vatican II era, invented perhaps by Yves Congar, the architect of the “new ecclesiology” of the council.

    The Church has never considered ecclesial communion (as in “the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints”) as susceptible of degrees. Either you are in or you are out. It has always been possible for those outside the Church to possess and misuse sacred things which belong by right to the Catholic Church: the Bible, the power of Sacred Orders, baptism itself. A burglar who steals your silverware does not become, by that fact, a member, or “partial member,” of your family, nor does the possession of Catholic things cause any communion with the Church.

    As St. Augustine taught and as reaffirmed by Pope Leo XIII in the encyclical Satis Cognitum, “The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as OUTSIDE CATHOLIC COMMUNION, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium.” (This, of course, also holds for those who recede from due submission to the disciplinary authority of the Church, i.e., schismatics.)

  122. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Vincent Ferrer, are you saying that those who reject the Novus Ordo on doctrinal grounds should nonetheless accept it for the sake of submission to authority?

  123. Vincent Ferrer says:

    @cheesecake

    Are you saying that authority can require acceptance of new doctrines?

  124. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Vincent,
    Indeed, the SSPX claims exactly that, that Rome is requiring acceptance of new doctrine.

  125. Vincent Ferrer says:

    @Cheesesteak Expert

    But what are YOU saying? Are you saying that authority can require acceptance of new doctrine?

  126. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    No, certainly not. What say you?

  127. Vincent Ferrer says:

    @Cheesesteak

    No, authority cannot impose new doctrines. It exists in the first place to preserve what has been handed down. Therefore the position of the SSPX and the basis of the traditional movement depends entirely on doctrine, not on obedience.

    My earlier post illustrates both of these factors: one of the numerous new doctrines at issue, and the citation of Leo XIII in regard to doctrinal innovation. (I notice there has been no response from Fr. Kocik to justify his claim.) The attempt by the authorities at Rome to impose innovations by a mere invocation of authority (contrary to Pope Leo XIII and all tradition) by itself shows their discontinuity with Catholic Tradition.

  128. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    What then, are we to make of the Church’s response vis a vis the filioque? Rome accepts Nicea I and Constantinople I, which promulgates the Creed sans filioque. Pope Leo in the ninth century, despite significant pressure from Charlemagne, declared that it should never be recited in the Creed. A few generations later, it was. More recently, it’s been noted that no filioque equivalent is used during those special Masses when the Mass and Creed is said in Greek in Rome. Are there not parallels here regarding tradition and doctrine, obedience and authority?

  129. Vincent Ferrer says:

    @cheesesteak

    You keep bringing in the Filioque. Either you think that is a doctrinal issue; in which case you are backing Eastern heresy.

    Or you don’t think it involves a doctrinal issue; in which case it is irrelevant to this discussion (which, the last time I looked, had to do with the SSPX and their doctrinal differences with the people at Rome).

    The latter are trying to impose, in some (unclear) sense, their dubious innovations by a mere appeal to authority, without any sanction either in Sacred Tradition or in ex cathedra definitions.

  130. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Vincent – who are these people in Rome to which you refer? The Papacy?