New CDF Prefect on talks with the SSPX

From CNA:

Rome, Italy, Jul 24, 2012 / 04:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).

Although the new head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is optimistic about reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, he says that the teachings of the Church – including the dogmatic content of the Second Vatican Council – will never be up for re-negotiation.  [I know this is a news report, but I think the SSPX would not reject the "dogmatic content" of Vatican II.]

“The purpose of dialogue is to overcome difficulties in the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council,” Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller told CNA July 20, “but we cannot negotiate on revealed faith, that is impossible. An Ecumenical Council, according to the Catholic faith, is always the supreme teaching authority of the Church.”  [Well... of course.  But we have to see whether or not everything in every Council is of equal weight.]

[...]

In a July 19 statement, the society said it had “determined and approved the necessary conditions for an eventual canonical normalization” at its recent General Chapter, but added that it still rejected “all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors” as well as “the reforms issued from it.”

The assertion that the authentic teachings of Vatican II formally contradict the tradition of the Church is false,” Archbishop Muller stated.  [Again, I don't know the language (I am on a bit of a break, but you will surely dig everything up), but who would reject the "authentic" teachings?]

He added, however, that between various texts of the council there are “gradations[There it is!] of teaching authority. By way of an example, Archbishop Muller drew a comparison between the council’s document on social communications, “Inter Mirifica,” which carries “less weight” than “dogmatic declarations” like the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, “Lumen Gentium.”

“Whatever is dogmatic can never be negotiated,” [Is everything in the document, therefore, dogma?] he said, while still expressing hope that the members of the Society of Pius X “can overcome their difficulties, their ideological restrictions so that we can work together to proclaim Christ as the Light of the World.”

[...]

A key problem for Rome in recent discussions seems to be the perception that the Society of St. Pius X often speaks about errors in the conciliar texts themselves.

[...]

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36 Responses to New CDF Prefect on talks with the SSPX

  1. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Is it just possible that what has been the blockage is the answer to this question: “What are the doctrinal teachings of Vatican II?”

    It seems to me also possible that the “formal” contradiction piece is a very carefully chosen expression.

  2. Bender says:

    “Whatever is dogmatic can never be negotiated,” [Is everything in the document, therefore, dogma?] he said

    No. But what is dogma is for the Magisterium to determine, not the SSPX.

    It is not for the SSPX to say that this in Vatican II is dogma and we accept it, and this is not dogma and we reject it. They are not the judge.

    All that is within the province of the SSPX is for them to say that they accept everything that is dogma in Vatican II, as such dogma in Vatican II is deliniated defined by the Magisterium, even if the SSPX might disagree on the Magisterium’s discernment of what is dogma and what is not dogma.

  3. servusmariaen says:

    Perhaps I’m being overly simplistic about this issue. What prevents Rome from taking Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s call for a new “Syllubus of Errors” seriously? Wouldn’t this be for the good of the whole church instead of demanding assent to “Vatican II” (whatever that means) and continuing on in ambiguity? I just don’t get it.

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider :

    “In recent decades there existed, and still exist today, groupings within the Church that are perpetrating an enormous abuse of the pastoral character of the Council and its texts… Keeping in mind the now decades-long experience of interpretations that are doctrinally and pastorally mistaken and contrary to the bimillennial continuity of the doctrine and prayer of the faith, there thus arises the necessity and urgency of … a sort of “Syllabus” of the errors in the interpretation of Vatican Council II.

    “There is the need for a new Syllabus, this time directed not so much against the errors coming from outside of the Church, but against the errors circulated within the Church by supporters of the thesis of discontinuity and rupture, with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application.

    “Such a Syllabus should consist of two parts: the part that points out the errors, and the positive part with proposals for clarification, completion, and doctrinal clarification.”

  4. Mike says:

    Last night I listened to a lecture by Fr. Ian Ker (go to Lumen Christi website; it’s under past events), and his lecture was titled: “Blessed John Newman and the Hermeneutic of Continuity”.

    He gave some excellent background on Newman’s take on Church councils, and Fr. Ian also mentioned Vatican I had some problems, on both sides of the spectrum, as had Vatican II. Ker makes passing reference to Archbishop Levebre several times.

    I think SSPX needs to pony up to Rome, and realize they are not the See of Peter.

  5. kgurries says:

    If there is any doubt about what in Vatican II pertains to the Faith and what is extraneous to it — then all we have to do is turn to the Catechism. If it’s in there — and it repeats, re-phrases or references a council text — then there is no doubt that it pertains to the Faith and Catholics ought to profess it.

  6. Bender says:

    demanding assent to “Vatican II” (whatever that means)

    It means assenting to the teaching authority of the Church UNCONDITIONALLY. It means assenting to the Magisterium, period, without first insisting that the Church define this, that, or something else.

    If the Pope and bishops say that Vatican II is about X, Y, and Z, and you or the SSPX disagrees with X, Y, and Z, then what? Do you put yourself before the Church? Or do you say in all humility, “Holy Father, you know better than I, and you are guided by the Holy Spirit. As such, my disagreement must be based, not in truth, but in my own inability to understand. Therefore, so be it.”?

    Either you stand with Peter and the Apostles (and the Holy Spirit), or you stand apart from and/or against them.

  7. anilwang says:

    > Is it just possible that what has been the blockage is the answer to this question:
    > “What are the doctrinal teachings of Vatican II?”

    That’s hard to nail down. The Church is not a “people of the book”. You can’t just look at the Bible and the texts of Ecumenical councils and the Catechism and say “that’s the faith”. Protestantism has more or less disproved that Sola Scriptura can define even “mere Christianity” since within 75 years of the Reformation, there were over 200 interpretations of the blatantly obvious phrase ‘This is My Body”. If those 4 words could be interpreted in such varied ways, what how easily could a document like Lumen Gentium be misinterpreted if you had a Sola Scriptura mindset. Lumen Gentium must be interpreted with “the mind of the Church”, in other words, according to the hermeneutic of continuity.

    Ultimately, I believe that the SSPX and the sedevacantist would not exist and Vatican II would be considered a rewarding council if “the Spirit of Vatican II” never existed, and the NO was a lot closer to the 1965 missal with no liturgical abuse, and Humanae Vitae was not rejected by the majority of Catholics and the priesthood, schools and universities didn’t apostatize, the LCWR didn’t exist, health agencies were faithful , the sex abuse crisis didn’t exist, vocations didn’t nosedive, and Assisi I/II never happened.

    *That’s* the problem. The SSPX and sedevacantist read the documents of Vatican II through the eyes of the Church as defined by all those events and see Vatican II as a break with tradition. Any dogmatic definition of Vatican II will still be read using those disapproving eyes.

    We inside the Church see all those events as the hijacking of Vatican II by forces that were intent of changing the Church into their own image (e.g. The screen play for “Change of Habit” was likely written long before the texts of Vatican II were ever made public, http://cantuar.blogspot.ca/2012/02/video-1969-elvis-presley-singing-in.html ). There may be issues with Vatican II, but they are not dogmatic issues since we read Vatican II with the eyes of the Vatican I church and read any ambiguity as being resolved in favor of Tradition not “the Spirit of Vatican II”.

    As the new CDF prefect states, the task of the negotiations is to get the SSPX to see that Vatican II can be read with the eyes of Vatican I, and the SSPX will not be suppressed once they reunite with Rome.

  8. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    “assent to “Vatican II” (whatever that means)

    It means assenting to the teaching authority of the Church UNCONDITIONALLY. It means assenting to the Magisterium, period, without first insisting that the Church define this, that, or something else.”

    This is, I trust, an exercise in satire! I’m not looking to cause trouble, but to assent to that which is clearly defined means to assent to that which is known; to assent to that which is not defined is not to assent in any meaningful way. Some say Christ is of like substance to the Father, while others claim He is of the same substance as the Father. I will happily accept what the Church teaches on the topic because I trust the Church, but I will summarily reject any teaching which purports to modify but harmonize with the teachings of the Church which is not then defined.
    To do otherwise is to fall into the absurdity of both accepting and rejecting the faith at the same time. We usually call that the “Spirit of Vatican II”.

  9. Bender says:

    Some say Christ is . . .

    What “some say” is irrelevant. I don’t care what “some say.” What is relevant is what the Magisterium says. If the Pope and bishops say X, then it is X. If the Pope and bishops say Y, then it is Y.

    I have not read all of the documents of Vatican II, I have not gone through each and every line. And I certainly have not read through the original Latin to ensure that the English translation conforms to it. But it is not necessary for me — or anyone — to go through the various documents and engage in some kind of extensive analysis to determine the various degrees of authoritativeness. Rather, it is merely necessary for me to either trust in the Holy Father and bishops — and thereby trust in the words of Our Lord that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit — or to distrust them and to, instead, be a pope unto myself.

    Likewise, it is not necessary for me to go read all of the documents of Trent or Nicaea or Ephesus or any other Council. Rather, I fully accept them in toto, unconditionally, because I TRUST THAT THE CHURCH IS, AS PROMISED BY CHRIST, PROTECTED FROM ERROR. As such, whatever the Pope and bishops say about Vatican II — whatever — I put my trust in them. To do any less is to call Jesus a liar.

  10. anilwang says:

    Chris Garton-Zavesky,

    It’s not satire. It’s the profession of faith new converts have to make and anyone taking charge of a Catholic institution is supposed to take according to Canon 833 ( http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2R.HTM ).

    As I’ve stated, Catholicism isn’t “a religion of the Book”, so not everything is explicit. If tomorrow, the Pope declared twenty more Marian dogmas, we’d have to accept them. Anyone who says “but that’s not what I signed up for, so I’m out of here” isn’t really Catholic.

    Your example points to a key misunderstanding of dogma that many Protestants have. Dogmas can only be additive, never subtractive. By this I mean, if it was declared infallibly to be true in the past, it can not be declared false now. As such, the Pope has much less power over doctrine than any Protestant or Liberal “Catholic” ever has and each successive Pope has even less power over doctrine.

  11. robkphd says:

    The problem very much in SSPXers and others in arguing that the documents themselves contain error as opposed to interpretation and implementation. I believe that is the crux of the issue.

    For example, the texts of Sacrosanctum Concilium, Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum, and Gaudium et Spes do not contain dogmatic errors, though though can be improperly interpreted or implemented. A Catholic who believes that the Holy Spirit guides and preserves the Church from error, especially through ecumenical councils, would adopt this position as an act of faith. I do not think that the traditionalists are willing to make this same act. Am I wrong?

  12. jhayes says:

    By this I mean, if it was declared infallibly to be true in the past, it can not be declared false now. As such, the Pope has much less power over doctrine than any Protestant or Liberal “Catholic” ever has and each successive Pope has even less power over doctrine.

    The disagreement with SSPX is about which aspects of earlier statements are truly infallible and which were responding to particular issues or understandings of their time. Benedict has pointed out the difference between principles and their contingent applications. Interpreting the past Magisterium has some of the same problems as scriptural scholarship. Proof texting doesn’t work in either case.

  13. Imrahil says:

    No offense to either you dear @Fr Z oder CNA, but…

    The name of the Archbishop is Mueller. (If the umlaut is not present, that is.)

  14. Imrahil says:

    or, of course. :-)

  15. jhayes says:

    In 2009, Benedict said:

    ” The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society.”

    He also said:

    “But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.”

    FULL TEXT

  16. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    anilwang,

    First, thank you for spelling my surname correctly. So few do that it merits mention.

    I’m sorry if I seemed to eliminate the possibility you raise, for being a convert I took that same pledge/oath/promise, and I value it greatly. I should note that the point isn’t that I know the definition (although that’s helpful) but that the Church does. Surely she can’t require me to accept the doctrine of the Trinity without defining it?

  17. Johnno says:

    “No. But what is dogma is for the Magisterium to determine, not the SSPX.”

    You’re right! The Magisterium should once and for all declare all the issues the SSPX take with Vatican II dogmatic then with full Papal infalliability! Unfortunately (or fortunately) they haven’t and refuse to (for what some might call obvious reasons…) If they do, then the SSPX won’t have any case. But this won’t happen because Vatican II has clear issues and isn’t dogmatic except where it references dogma from past councils.

    “It means assenting to the teaching authority of the Church UNCONDITIONALLY.”

    No it doesn’t. Assenting to Church Authority comes with the condition that it is not in error. That ‘Authority’ defined as the hermeneutic of continuity with previous concils and established dogma first and foremost. Superiors second. And of course what God Himself established trumps all, wherein the Church authority has no authority to change it nor command others to obey them against what God has established. This is what the entire debate and debacle is all about… Has Vatican II hindered and presented things contrary to what God and previous dogmatic councils have taught?

    It is similar to what Christ also said, to obey whatever the Temple Authority teaches from the Chair of Moses. But He too called them out on their hypocrisy and false traditions, innovations and errors. The ‘yeast of the Pharisees’ that He warned to beware of. It could well be the case that members of the Church could be falling into the same trap as Jerusalem did… The history of sin and Salvation is filled with these cycles and repetitions of history.

    There has been countless confusion about Vatican II and what constitutes dogma and what doesn’t. The SSPX are correct to demand that the Church Authority clarify the confusion and not simple wallow in the obscureness of the council documents.

    For the record, I feel Archibishop Meuller is being dubious here by trying to paint it as if the SSPX reject the dogmatic teachings of Vatican II. They don’t… The only dogmatic teachings of Vatican II are those already in line with previous councils. Vatican II also contains a bunch of other ‘pastoral’ documents that are not dogmatic, but many like to pretend they are and there are even some that are not meant for the Catholic Faithful to follow, but as addresses to the secular world over how to be ‘properly secular’ if you can believe it… From what I can see the SSPX do not reject the authentic dogmatic teachings reiterated in Vatican II, but rather the other stuff that the Church Authority and Magisterium does technically have authority to enforce, but whether it’s a good idea or not is a different story. That’s what this entire debate is about…

    Catholics have a right to request that the Vatican clarify all these issues, and not simply pretend that everything is hunky dory. We will gladly obey, but please tell us what it is we are obeying…

  18. robtbrown says:

    Bender says:

    “Whatever is dogmatic can never be negotiated,” [Is everything in the document, therefore, dogma?] he said

    No. But what is dogma is for the Magisterium to determine, not the SSPX.

    It is not for the SSPX to say that this in Vatican II is dogma and we accept it, and this is not dogma and we reject it. They are not the judge.

    All that is within the province of the SSPX is for them to say that they accept everything that is dogma in Vatican II,

    So what dogma is unique to Vat II?

  19. jlduskey says:

    Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller told CNA July 20:
    “An Ecumenical Council, according to the Catholic faith, is always the supreme teaching authority of the Church.”
    The supreme teaching authority of the Church is the Pope. Council documents do not become a new bible; they are always subject to the teaching authority of the Pope. The interpretation of Council documents belongs, first and foremost, to the Pope.
    During Vatican II, the assembled bishops regularly sent documents to Pope Paul VI to be sure they could gain his approval; they recognized Papal authority.
    Kgurries said: “If there is any doubt about what in Vatican II pertains to the Faith and what is extraneous to it — then all we have to do is turn to the Catechism. If it’s in there — and it repeats, re-phrases or references a council text — then there is no doubt that it pertains to the Faith and Catholics ought to profess it.”
    That is among the reasons the bishops asked for a Catechism to be written.
    So, if Pope Benedict XVI determined that was the process to be followed, then that is the process that should be followed. It is for the Pope to decide.

  20. RJHighland says:

    All this talk is simply saber rattling until the “Preamble” is published, actually can’t wait until all is in the open to see all the preambles and all the letters back and forth, to render a personal judgement on these talks. Just make a decision one way or the other. This tit for tat is so elementry school yard and it is embarrasing for the Pope and the Society. See the Pope is between a rock and a hard place. That is between the Progressives and the Traditionalist. The majority of the magisterium are Progressives, the numbers of falling but still they hold the political power. Sadly I believe it has been said by the Pope that his power stops at the door. All this would be solved if the Pope guided by the Holy Spirit defined for eternity the “dogma” in Vatican II in clear concise statements. It is ambiguity that got us into this mess only clear thinking and speaking will get us out. Hey if Padre Pio would not sign on to the Novus Ordo and the abiguities of VII why should anyone else have to, he is a saint right. Was he disobeint to the Holy Pontiff Paul VI? Did he have to sign a “preamble?” Just do it already and let the chips fall. It is ridiculous to get everybodies hopes up so high only for this. It is like the fireworks display in San Diego this year. A whole lot of build-up and because of technical difficulties there was about 2 minutes of a lot noise and light followed by great disappointment. Just do it for the Love of God and all that is good make the call. Holy Father the fruits of Vatican II and the Novus ordo and the fruits of the SSPS are clear just stand in the Chair, hold the septar and make the call, that is all we are asking. Either way there are going to be alot of upset people, all who are seaking salvation. Either upset the sisters with-out habits and the clown masses or those in cosacks, collared shirts and mantillas. Just make the call, please.

  21. CharlesG says:

    A key problem for Rome in recent discussions seems to be the perception that the Society of St. Pius X often speaks about errors in the conciliar texts themselves.And this really is the crux of the matter. Vatican II Council, just like the Vatican I Council, Trent, etc., was a duly convened ecumenical council of the bishops in communions with the successor of Peter, the acts of which council were ratified by such successor of Peter. I think the SSPX has to be much more careful how it speaks of magisterial documents. The hermeneutic of continuity can solve a lot of problems, and also there are different levels of teaching, e.g., more formal dogmatic statements and statements verbalizing teachings of the ordinary and universal magisterium are obviously of greater weight, while less dogmatic utterances or mere ordinary magisterial teaching may perhaps be reformable (although we still owe them religious submission of will and intellect). The history of doctrine often has competing principles that need to be interpreted and reconciled, e.g., “No salvation outside the Church” versus St. Paul on gentiles following the law of God written in their heart and the teaching on “invincible ignorance”. Vatican II on religious freedom can be reconciled with earlier teaching by drawing a distinction between the moral obligation to follow the true faith and the right to be free of coercion by the state. SSPX goes too far by rejecting Vatican II outright, since it is an attack on the magisterial authority of councils and popes, which is certainly an attack on Catholic teaching about such authority.

  22. robtbrown says:

    RJHighland says:
    The majority of the magisterium are Progressives, the numbers of falling but still they hold the political power.

    The Magisterium is the teaching Office of the Church. I think you mean to say that the majority of the hierarchy (bishops) is progressive. Even so, I don’t think it is true–most are Middle of the Road, status quo, non boat rockers.

  23. Bender says:

    So what dogma is unique to Vat II?

    By that question, you totally ignore the point that was made.

    It is for the Magisterium to say — if and when it so chooses — to say what dogma is unique to Vatican II. It is not for me to say, it is not for you to say, it is not for the SSPX to say.

    The only thing for you and the SSPX to say is to answer whether you accept the supreme authority of the Magisterium or not, regardless of what it might say about this council or that council?

  24. robtbrown says:

    CharlesG says:

    The history of doctrine often has competing principles that need to be interpreted and reconciled, e.g., “No salvation outside the Church” versus St. Paul on gentiles following the law of God written in their heart and the teaching on “invincible ignorance”.

    St Thomas solved that problem in the 13th century.

    But I agree about the SSPX. Their strategy is backwards. Instead of saying Vat II is wrong, they should have shown how liberals and .the liturgical “reform” are out of sync with Vat II.

  25. Pingback: Theology Pornography Msgr. William Lynn SSPX CDF | Big Pulpit

  26. Rick DeLano says:

    ++ Mueller speaks of “dogmatic” implications for V2 teachings on, for example, the Jews.

    Now.

    What new dogma was taught at V2 concerning the Jews?

    According to the Fathers of the council, *no new dogma was taught*.

    ++ Mueller continues to present a very disturbing figure in his new post.

    Bishop Fellay and the SSPX have certainly had much the better of this debate thus far.

    I agree with the posters here who indicate that we must see the doctrinal preamble.

    If I am to be bound with the authority of the magisterium to believe some new dogma concerning the Jews, then I have a canonical right to know *precisely* what it is.

    Please, ++ Mueller, no more bomfoggery.

  27. Bender used the term assenting to the teaching authority of the Church unconditionally. Well and good. But how can one expect the SSPX to do that wen sooooo many within the visible structure are teaching heresy or near heresy? The magisterium of Nuns are still in along with countless other screw ball modernists. The ecclesiastical field needs to be leveled for all its members. I think that is the crux of the matter.

  28. skypilot777 says:

    The Catholic Church convenes an eucumenical council and the pope writes the schemata. The devil conspires with heretics [most of the periti] to make his move against Christ’s Church and has the papal schemata thrown out. After that, the devil’s minions write their own schemata with intentional vaguaries and ambiguities and convince the attending prelates to approve of them.

    Here we see the Holy Spirit, according to the promise of Our Lord, protecting His Vicar on earth and a Council of the Church from promulgating error. The problem is that the actual text of the counciliar documents is so vague, that reasonable their interpretation produces disparate and problematic results. Truth has been preserved by the Holy Spirit in the teachings expressed by Vatican II, but Truth that is vaguely (and inadequately) stated leads to conflict.

    And it is with this conflict that Satan howls with evil delight. This conflict goes on today, 50 years later, all though the Church. It goes on here in this combox. Everybody arguing over interpretations, this way and that way, and with no clarification forthcoming from Rome, the conflict continues, and souls are lost, and Satan howls with evil delight all the more.

    Bp. Athanasius Schneider’s call for a Papal clarification of the teachings of Vatican Council II is exactly what is needed, and soon, very soon. Such a Magisterial clarification would answer the concerns of the SSPX perfectly, as well as end almost all of conflict that is tearing the Church apart to this day.

  29. Dismas says:

    I agree that many may be teaching heresy or near heresy, but our Church is clearly addressing these issues through Doctrinal Assessment and most recently under a specific Pontifical mandate which removed from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru the right to use the titles “Pontifical” and “Catholic” in accordance with canon law. Clearly the problem of the magisterium of Nuns and screw ball modernists are being addressed and are not the crux of the matter.

    What I see as the crux of the matter is the SSPX’s loss of the idea of Trinitarian consubstantiality when it comes to the 3 Pillars of our Church’s Authority; Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Living Magisterium.

    Wouldn’t you agree that the real ‘crux of the matter’ is the SSPX’s denial and loss of faith in the The True Presence of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, The Holy Ghost, promised our Church by Christ Himself, consubstantial with the Holy Trinity and found in the 3 Pillars of our Church’s Authority?

  30. acardnal says:

    Does anyone know if AB Muller has ever celebrated the TLM/EF ??

  31. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Dismas, you speak about a point worth noticing. However, the SSPX cannot be said to have lost faith in the Magisterium (“living Magisterium” is a pleonasm). It certainly quotes John Paul II’s Ordination Sacerdotalis as authority. It certainly will accept any infallible decisions of the same. It also quotes the 1983 Code (despite misgivings), Donum Vitae, etc. as authority if it comes to the topics.

    It may be said that the SSPX has to some degree lost trust in the activities of the present Magisterium insofar it is fallible. This, however, is not within the (imho to be strictly set) boundaries where we may speak about losing faith. It also is a moderation problem, and thus, a difficult problem. Whoever denies a dogma is a heretic. Whoever denies a non-dogma has on his side a little chance, however small it may be, that he is right after all. This is mathematics, and thus, easy. The thing is that all doctrine, not just the dogmas, are to be uphold by the Catholic, and he can only claim a case of conscience in exceptional circumstances; but this is ethics and common-sense, and thus, difficult.

    Another problem is also that the SSPX is opposed by very good Catholics who see the Magisterium and its claim to obedience as the only ally in a quite humanly hopeless case for defending Catholic orthodoxy against what in English regrettably is called the liberals. In this, however guiltless, they cannot evade to seem to downplay the First and Second Pillar. Fr Karl Rahner SJ, for all his (yes!) fervent faith and orthodoxy (I mean the person, not all he taught) is a good example in that he said: “The Old Testament, in itself” (without reference to the fact that the Son of God would be born to Israel, that is; but that meaning does not change the effect of the saying) “contains nothing any popular legend of another people would not also contain.” And there goes Sacred Scripture.
    And the New Testament? Is there anybody practically out there who does not only privately believe (I guess more do than we might suspect), but even arguments from the II Vatican Council clarification that the Gospels are historically accurate (cf. Dei Verbum 19)? Is there anyone practically out there who does not only believe but arguments from the fact that what we perceive first as the teaching of St. Paul or even of a disciple of his, is, by the very fact of its at least providential inclusion into the Canon of Scriptiore, a binding command and revelation of God to us?
    And many theologians explain the – in its proper place, right and even undisputable – concept of evolving Tradition in a way the ordinary and only practically important way of its evolving is Magisterial action. And there goes Sacred Tradition (insofar as it is a pillar of its own).
    In reality, Tradition is of course a mystery. It contains old magisterial declarations, insofar as they have ceased to be of the hot theological daily debate (now I’m not saying that the Magisterium can be debated, but in splitting between what we perceive as Magisterial decisions and what we perceive as traded down to us, you see what I mean), and (where the SSPX need a little correction) has not been revoked by later Magisterium. It also contains the lives (and writings) of the saints and, not to forget, the normal faithful. And of course it contains those writings of the Fathers who are not in Sacred Scripture.

    If the SSPX is, as they at least perceive themselves, asked to build their faith on Magisterium alone (“we explain our points and they just say: ‘obey’”, as they claim, and I do at least not think they subjectively lie), and even for all practical things fallible Magisterium alone, then there’s a problem. Indeed the Faith must be built on all three pillars.

    Of course, they must be told that in obeying what is demanded from them to obey they are not building on obedience alone, and especially they do not act contrary to either Sacred Scripture (which should be clear) or Sacred Tradition (a big psychological point).

    And sometimes, it in reality is but misunderstandings that need to be eradicated. Bp Fellay once said: “We do not have a problem with collegiality, as it is explained in the nota praevia. The nota praevia, we accept.” But your Lordship! Collegiality in the circumscription of the nota praevia is exactly and precisely what the II Vatican Council says on the matter! Yet still, it is commonly listed by them as one of their problems with the Council.

    Dear @acardnal, publicly no; privately I’d be much surprised.

  32. Dismas says:

    Dear @Imrahil, thank you, I appreciate your response. However, by virtue of the promises given our Church, by Christ Himself, of the Holy Ghost Councils of our Church can not and do not contradict themselves. Our faith is based on three co-equal pillars, Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium, or teaching authority of our Church. All three support one another and are understood in light of one another. Together they comprise the Deposit of Faith. Part of being Catholic is believing that what the Magisterium teaches regarding faith and morals is guided by the Holy Spirit and thus inerrant. Calling the Magisterium of our Church into question is to deny the True Presence of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity consubstantial with the Magisterium of our Church and what it teaches in it’s entirety.

    I may be guilty of pleonasm when I say Living Magisterium but I fail to see my fault as I am a member of the Church of the Living God, not a member of a Church which, the SSPX presupposes, died at the incarnation of VCII.

  33. jhayes says:

    Tornielli reports on he two points added to the Doctrinal Preamble:

    The latest version of the doctrinal preamble – discussed by cardinals of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by the Pope – is considered by the Holy See to be definitive and not subject to any significant changes. The Vatican has pointed out that those who claim that the preamble of 13 June essentially repeated what the initial version of the text (prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in September 2011) said, failing to take the Fraternity’s proposals into account, is wrong. A Vatican Insider source confirms that “the latest version acknowledges various proposals and suggestions made by Mgr. Fellay.”

    At the request of the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, two points were added again to the preamble: the first relates to the mass according to the Novus Ordo, the new rite of mass promulgated after the Second Vatican Council. Lefebvrians are asked to recognise not only the validity of the new mass but its legitimacy as well. This does not mean liturgical abuses cannot be criticised or that the post-Council liturgical reform and its implementation cannot be discussed.

    The other point is to do with the Council and its magisterium. The Holy See cannot accept the assertion that the Second Vatican Council documentation contains “errors” and is asking the Fraternity to distinguish between the Council texts and the interpretation of the Council texts, accepting the fact that the magisterium cannot be judged by another group – in this case the Society of St. Pius X – which would end up becoming a sort of “super-magisterium”.

    “The purpose of dialogue is to overcome the difficulties in the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, but we cannot negotiate on revealed faith; this is impossible. An ecumenical Council, according to the Catholic faith, is always the Church’s supreme magisterium,” stated the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Gerhard Müller, in an interview with Catholic news network EWTN News.” “The claim that the authentic teachings of the Second Vatican Council – he added – formally clash with Church tradition, is false.”

    As the Vatican awaits Fellay’s response, it has examined closely the circular letter (which is confidential but as usual has ended up on the web) sent by the General Secretariat of the Society of St. Pius X  to the various Districts summarising the position which emerged during the Society’s recent General Chapter. The three absolute conditions (“sine qua non”) the Society of St. Pius X has put forward for an agreement with Rome have been formulated in such a way so that it leaves some room for hope: for example the request for the exclusive use of the 1962 liturgy is reiterated, but nothing is said about the legitimacy of the new mass.

    The demand for the right to freely and publicly criticise “the promoters of the errors or the innovations of modernism, liberalism, and Vatican II and its aftermath” could in the end be interpreted in a less harsh way than expected. “It all depends on the response Mgr. Fellay will give to Rome,” the Vatican stressed.

    FULL ARTICLE

  34. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Dismas,

    thanks for your very kind response. I’m afraid mine might seem not so kind. What you are doing is throwing all the distinction between dogmas and non-dogmas overboard by declaring all the latter, insofar as they are Church doctrine, to dogmas also. This would be, as Bl. Cdl Newman once remarked, a too high burden for the officeholders of the Magisterium; and it would be easy to find some (yes, little, but one counterexample suffices for a proof of a negation) contradictions in the Magisterium through the ages.

    The SSPX claim the II Vatican Council has the authority of a sermon in the 1960s. They’re wrong. It has an authority equal to that when other Councils gave, in texts, their reasons for their dogmas, canons and anathemas – without the authority of the dogmas, canons and anathemas.

  35. Dismas says:

    @Imrahil – I’ve made my position clear. My position indicates nothing more or nothing less than assent to the Magisterium of our Church. You are certainly free, degrees of kindness notwithstanding, to interpret, misinterpret or critique my position whatever way your conscience dictates.

  36. acardnal says:

    Interview with AB Mueller and ZENIT News Agency.

    http://www.zenit.org/article-35261?l=english