Declaration of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” about the SSPX and the discussions

From VIS:

The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” takes this occasion to announce that, in its most recent official communication (6 September 2012), the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X has indicated that additional time for reflection and study is needed on their part as they prepare their response to the Holy See’s latest initiatives.The current stage in the ongoing discussions between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity follows three years of doctrinal and theological dialogues during which a joint commission met eight times to study and discuss, among other matters, some disputed issues in the interpretation of certain documents of Vatican Council II. Once these doctrinal dialogues were concluded, it became possible to proceed to a phase of discussion more directly focused on the greatly desired reconciliation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X with the See of Peter.

Other critical steps in this positive process of gradual reintegration had already been taken by the Holy See in 2007 with the extension of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to the Universal Church by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and in 2009 with the lifting of the excommunications. Just a few months ago, a culminating point along this difficult path was reached when, on 13 June 2012, the Pontifical Commission presented to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X a doctrinal declaration together with a proposal for the canonical normalization of its status within the Catholic Church.

At the present time, the Holy See is awaiting the official response of the superiors of the Priestly Fraternity to these two documents. After thirty years of separation, it is understandable that time is needed to absorb the significance of these recent developments. As Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI seeks to foster and preserve the unity of the Church by realizing the long hoped-for reconciliation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X with the See of Peter – a dramatic manifestation of the munus Petrinum in action – patience, serenity, perseverance and trust are needed.  [Not to mention prayers.]

[01402-02.01] [Original text: English]

Consider that, just a while ago, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbp. Müller, gave an interview during which he used less than optimistic language about the SSPX.  Soon after, Archbp. Müller walked that back a bit with more optimistic language.  Then the SSPX expelled SSPX Bp. Williamson from their fraternity.  He had been making waves contrary to reintegration.  Now the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” (under the CDF) issues this statement with the indication that the original text is in English.

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian unity.

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77 Responses to Declaration of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” about the SSPX and the discussions

  1. acardnal says:

    I think it is interesting – and encouraging – that the SSPX has not replied formally to the PCED yet. That means they are still deliberating. The door is not closed. The Church often moves very slowly in these matters compared to the secular world.

  2. msproule says:

    This is encouraging. A sensible, classy move on the Commission’s part in light of the bizarre, discouraging public discourse that has taken place in the last months. But at the same time, I was surprised (rather, woefully disappointed) to see PRAYER omitted from the list of “needed” actions: patience, serenity, perseverence, and trust.

  3. msproule says:

    This is encouraging. A sensible, classy move on the Commission’s part in light of the bizarre, discouraging public discourse that has taken place in the last months. But at the same timetime, I was surprised (rather, woefully disappointed) to see PRAYER omitted from the list of “needed” actions: patience, serenity, perseverance, and trust.

  4. msproule says:

    This is encouraging. A sensible, classy move on the Commission’s part in light of the bizarre, discouraging public discourse that has taken place in the last months. But at the same time, I was surprised (rather, woefully disappointed) to see PRAYER omitted from the list of “needed” actions: patience, serenity, perseverance, and trust.

  5. jacobi says:

    Can’t see what the problem is. The Pope has said that no new doctrine was defined by Vatican II and that all interpretations are to be in continuity, that is continuity with two thousand years of the Church’s ever growing infallible understanding of Truth.

    Now that does’nt rule out a bit of friendly discussion on further deepening our understanding, provided it doesn’t hold up the real business of spreading the Good News again after the, now, what’s the word, eh, lets say shambles, of the last 40 + years!

  6. SPWang says:

    Time.
    Enough time with pass by within this period that regular folk won’t even bat an eyelid when the SSPX are declared to be ‘in communion’. The Holy Father is the chess master. He has warmed the water before. He knows how to cook a goose.
    July 7 2013 anyone?

  7. I hope that the SSPX will move towards the Pope and realize, that the secular(!) freedom of religion is not giving up the dogma “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus” but logical correct because God granted us the free will to follow Him or to follow “false gods” and to repudiate Him.
    The forma ordinaria is a liturgy established rightfully under the authority of Pope Paul VI., but it is allowed to ask and discuss if this form is the inevitable product of Sacrosanctum Concilium (which I don’t think ->Missale 1965) and if it guides the faithful into a better understanding of the Eucharist and the missal sacrifice or if it fails to do so (which I think, because destroying the altar rails, the slight of altar steps etc is damaging our faithful recognition who God is in relation to us).

    My fear is, that a part of the SSPX and their followers want that “Rome” submits to their doctrine and state, that archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX was always right. And in coincidence with that they will ordain a new bishop as replacement for Williamson, fostering that this is necessary, because Pope Benedict wants “to dry out the SSPX when their bishops will die, like Rome tried it with Archbishop Lefebvre”.

    I pray for Pope Benedict, that he will be granted the health and power by God to lead us for the coming years and can reintegrate the SSPX into the Una Sancta, and I pray for those bishops who want to marginalize the “traditional elements” that they realize that these are living and not dying parts of the church and realize which theology fosters vocations and a fruitful life in faith and which not.

  8. MKR says:

    What’s July 7, 2013?

  9. acardnal says:

    The delay could be because they are still debating the language, words, semantics of the accord so that a word means one thing to one party and the same word means something else to the other party. You know . . . kind of like the Vatican Two documents.

  10. Jack Orlando says:

    Rome keeps the door open, and open with patience.

  11. Dismas says:

    Not only does this communique render the situation back to a proper order and perspective, it restores and renews my resolve to patience, serenity, perseverance and trust.

    Roma locuta est, Petrus officio gratias (grammar?).

  12. mrsmontoya says:

    I will continue praying, and abstainence, for this intention.

  13. Floreat says:

    Rome is well aware of the six conditions established by the SSPX General Chapter in July.

    If HH BXVI is prepared to accede to these conditions, then reintegration will take place:-

    (1) The Society must be guaranteed freedom to proclaim and transmit the fullness of Catholic Truth, and must be unrestrained from prohibiting, correcting and reproving, even publicly, those who foment the errors or innovations of modernism, liberalism, the Second Vatican Council and their consequences.

    (2) The Society must be permitted to continue use of the 1962 Liturgy and must preserve the sacramental practice that it presently has.

    (3) The Society must maintain at least one bishop.

    (4) The Society should possess its own ecclesiastical tribunals in the first instance.

    (5) Exemption of the houses of the Society of Saint Pius X in relation to the diocesan bishops.

    (6) That there be established a Pontifical Commission in Rome for Tradition answering directly to the Pope, with the majority of its members and governing board in favor of Tradition.

    In view of public statements from HH BXVI, Abps di Noia, Mueller and others in the Curia to the effect that the Society must accept Vatican II in its entirety if it is to be permitted to return to full Communion, it would be little short of a miracle if the Society’s response were favourable to its return during this pontificate.

  14. AnnAsher says:

    I’m hoping perhaps Müller’s remarks reflected the absence of a necessity to have further talks as opposed to the initial impression of a refusal and a dead end.

  15. Imrahil says:

    Very well… first we have a Consistory whose most important personnage is one that is not created Cardinal (probably still will be; but neverthel.),

    and second we have a confirmation that the original text is in the mother language of not the President but the Vice President; nor any neutral language such as Latin or Italian.

    Don’t dare to think I know the Curia; but in what I’ve heard from rumours about how the Curia functions this is, if I tame my language also, a degree of distanciation from Archbishop Müller that would not be expected as few months after his appointment to the post of Prefect of the CDF.

    Mind you I’m not slandering against him, for whatever the SSPX says and what in some points I might say too about points of theology, and in spite of that I’d wish him to have a more positive basic attitude towards SSPX (his basic attitude is dislike; and as we are dealing with human beings that is not the best preliminary condition), still he undoubtedly did a great job in the Diocese of Regensburg; I’m analyzing; and surprised at the result.

  16. Allan S. says:

    I’m sorry, but no – not going to happen. After the public humiliation of Bp. Fellay when he arrived in Rome to sign the agreement, only to have an entirely different one than what was negotiated put in front of him, the SSPX is in ” fool me once, shame on me…fool me twice? Shame on you!” mode.
    This was of course immediately followed by the appointment of an openly hostile (to the SSPX) Bp. as CDF head, and several door-closing comments from same.

    In response – has everyone forgotten? – the SSPX held a general chapter meeting that imposed severe restrictions on the ability of Bp. Fellay to sign a deal (in fact, he no longer has personal authority to do so), followed by numerous statements about how things are back to square 1, etc.

    If you move in these circles, you know that the SSPX has moved on, and will simply continue to do what they have always done: preserve the authentic Catholic faith, keep it safe, and – when Rome wants it back – the Society will gladly turn it over to them (“Here. We saved this for you in case one day you wanted it back. No need to thank us, glad to do it, etc.”)

    But I sincerely believe that they have no faith that there is any since desire to have them back. Why would they? Believe what people do…not what they say.

    I truly wish it were otherwise. I prayed so much for a reconciliation. Bp. Fellay showed up with his pen out, ready to sign and got laughed out of the building. He won’t be back.

  17. Imrahil says:

    There is a great deal of talk about how obedient the SSPX is.

    I think it (i.e. those members who have not been expelled by now, recent times included) is obedient enough not to say “Fool me once, etc.” if the Vicar of Christ calls. Though they have, as ever, resolved to take a close look at what the Pope wants if he does call.

  18. Sam Schmitt says:

    So a priestly fraternity should have authority to dictate to the Holy See the terms of its reconciliation? The Holy See “must” do this and that, make the fraternity exempt from the authority of local bishops, etc.? Ubi petrus, ibi ecclesia. If the SSPX refuses to reconcile with Rome, it will be cut off from the Vicar of Christ on earth, despite its protestations of “obedience.” (My children often claim they’re obeying me when what they’re really doing is giving me excuses and lip service. It’s not that hard to figure out.)

    I’ve always wondered how this distrust of the Pope is “traditional.” Likewise the talk of the SSPX preserving “the authentic Catholic faith” which Rome can have back when it’s ready. What sot of weird hubris is this? I’m trying to think of a saint who had the same attitude.

  19. Floreat says:

    Sam, the SSPX is completely obedient to the will of the Holy Father – insofar as compatible with the Faith.

    If you truly want to understand the situation of the SSPX, take a look at the Council of Trent, and particularly:-

    “If anyone says that all Christians [lay people] have the power to administer the word [read at Mass] and all the sacraments [give out commnion], let him be anathema.” [Canon 10, Session VII, March 3, 1547]

    “If anyone says that the Rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the Canon is pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned, or that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only…let him be anathema.” [Canon 9, Session XXII, Sept. 17, 1562]

    “If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church… may be changed by any pastor of the Churches to any new ones: let him be anathema.” [Canon 13 on the Sacraments,Session VII, March 3, 1547]

    Still think the Hermeneutic of Continuity has legs?

  20. jacobi says:

    Floreat,

    Are your conclusions not a bit pessimistic? After all the SSPX conditions (as you set them out) are not unreasonable.
    They want to have a separate identity and status within the Church, as many other groups do.
    They claim the right to condemn errors of interpretation of Vatican II. Well me too, being I trust, a loyal member of the Church.
    They want to use the 1962 liturgy. Well me too, (although my missal is actually 1956), when I attend the Mass of St Pius V, which I try to manage every other Sunday.
    Conditions 3 – 5 surely are not a problem since they again must apply to other groups in communion?
    A Pontifical Commission for Tradition would be an excellent thing.

    Finally, none of this presupposes problems in accepting Vatican II in its entirety since as the Pope has said, it declared no new doctrine and therefore SSPX, by definition, have nothing doctrinal to complain about.

    A little time is required, but we will get there.

  21. Benedict says:

    It would be good to join with the Dominicans according to the recommendation of the vice president of Ecclesia Dei to pray the Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds for the reconciliation of the SSPX!

  22. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Sam Schmitt,
    I’m trying to think of a saint who had the same attitude.

    You always have the difference between correctness and incorrectness; but if we leave all that aside which, in fact, does not have anything to do with obedience, Bl. Francis Jägerstätter would be the one you look for.

    He was more or the less told by competent clerics to fulfil the positive-law obligation to fight in the German Armed Forces; and he refused (save for service as a medic, which was denied to him), believing (correctly) that it fought for an evil cause; and for that he was executed. Some decades after, he was beatified.

  23. Dismas says:

    Dear Floreat,

    The SSPX’s complete obedience to the will of the Holy Father remains to be seen in the official response of the superiors of the Priestly Fraternity to the Pontifical Commission’s doctrinal declaration together with the the Pontifical Commission’s proposal for the canonical normalization of its status within the Catholic Church.

    It seems to me you arbitrarily have difficulty separating the actions of certain ministers and communities from that of the supreme authority of our Church. Furthermore, the understanding of the holy and living tradition of our Church did not cease 500 years ago with the Council of Trent.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s1c1a2.htm

    1124 The Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles – whence the ancient saying: lex orandi, lex credendi (or: legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, according to Prosper of Aquitaine [5th cent.]).45 The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.46

    1125 For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community. Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy.

    1126 Likewise, since the sacraments express and develop the communion of faith in the Church, the lex orandi is one of the essential criteria of the dialogue that seeks to restore the unity of Christians.47

  24. Floreat says:

    “The SSPX’s complete obedience to the will of the Holy Father remains to be seen…It seems to me you arbitrarily have difficulty separating the actions of certain ministers and communities from that of the supreme authority of our Church. Furthermore, the understanding of the holy and living tradition of our Church did not cease 500 years ago with the Council of Trent.

    Dismas, every Catholic has a duty of obedience to the Pope, even the Kungs and Schoenborns. The SSPX takes its duty of obedience even more seriously, but it will not – and should not – prioritise obedience over the Faith.

    I do nothing ‘arbitrarily’ – I have analysed and studied and questioned extensively to arrive at the conclusion that I agree with the position held by the SSPX and its founder, Abp Marcel Lefebvre. The supreme authority of our Church had no right to suppress the Mass of All Time; to replace the sacrifice with a communal Eucharistic supper; to rip out the altars and desecrate the altar with Clown Masses…..I could go on, but you get the picture.

    To your point, the living Tradition of our Church did not end with the Council of Trent, but nor did it begin with the Vatican II; a Council which established no new doctrine but sought simply to re-express the Magisterium without changing it one iota. The above Canons of the Council of Trent remain a part of that Magisterium.

    That being the case, it’s hard to understand why the complete adherence of the SSPX to Catholic is insufficient for complete regularisation. After all, if Vatican II is merely an expression of the pre-existing Magisterium and established no new doctrine, what’s the difference?

  25. Floreat says:

    Typo

    “…why the complete adherence of the SSPX to Catholic Tradition is insufficient for complete regularisation.

  26. Floreat says:

    1126 Likewise, since the sacraments express and develop the communion of faith in the Church, the lex orandi is one of the essential criteria of the dialogue that seeks to restore the unity of Christians.47

    While the sacraments express and develop the Communion of Faith in the Church, they themselves are not subject to change. Any dialogue that seeks to restore the unity of Christians that is not based upon the precept of the Indefectible, One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church, founded upon Peter, is simply false ecumenism.

  27. Therese says:

    “July 7 2013 anyone?”

    Let’s hope it’s not 7/7/2017.

  28. Dismas says:

    Floreat,

    Are you sure it was the supreme authority of our Church that implemented the abuses to which you refer, or was it more truly the actions of certain ministers and communities? Who are we to say that any changes that were actually implemented by the supreme authority of our Church were not done in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy under direct guidance and assent to the Holy Ghost? Please forgive me but I find your objections and arguments specious, none of which change the fact that the SSPX’s complete obedience to the will of the Holy Father remains to be seen in the official response of the superiors of the Priestly Fraternity.

    On the bright side we do however, appear to agree, that the living Tradition of our Church did not end with the Council of Trent, nor did it begin with Vatican II. This agreement would indicate a recognition of the true presence of the third person of the Holy Trinity throughout our Churches history which gives me hope.

  29. JARay says:

    I am hopeful that all of the point-scoring will be over soon and that the SSPX will become part of mainstream Catholicism.

  30. Potato2 says:

    With all the bad news lately with this situation it is odd that this is worded like it is. But very encouraging. But i just cant quite get sucked in to all the optimism yet. Not after all the hullablaoo of the summer.

  31. Floreat says:

    Are you sure it was the supreme authority of our Church that implemented the abuses to which you refer, or was it more truly the actions of certain ministers and communities? Who are we to say that any changes that were actually implemented by the supreme authority of our Church were not done in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy under direct guidance and assent to the Holy Ghost? Please forgive me but I find your objections and arguments specious, none of which change the fact that the SSPX’s complete obedience to the will of the Holy Father remains to be seen in the official response of the superiors of the Priestly Fraternity.

    Dismas,

    John XXIII called the Council with three stated objectives: The better internal ordering of the Church; the promotion of world peace; and unity among Christians. He also famously said that the council would be the means to open the windows of the Church to let in the fresh air of the Holy Spirit, with the proviso :
    “The greatest concern of the ecumenical council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine be guarded and taught more effectively.

    The decrees and documents of the preceding 20 Councils add up to 810 pages. Those of Vatican II run to 315 pages alone and are a closed book to the vast majority of Catholics. Even theologians struggle to give clear, unambiguous interpretation to much of the material, and there remains the issue of reconciling those who see VII as a ‘hermeneutic of rupture’ with those who seek to establish a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ and those who see no possible reconciliation between opposing principles.
    It is hard to see this as the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

    In her role as teacher, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, and yet Vatican II specifically declared no new teaching. Paul VI specifically qualified it as a ‘pastoral council’.

    Among many similar comments from progressive Council Fathers, Cardinal Suenens’ saw VII as the French Revolution of the Church; As Cdl Ratzinger, a former peritus to the Council, Pope BXVI defined Gaudium et Spes as “a counter-Syllabus” and that it represented on the part of the Church, “an attempt at official reconciliation with the new era, inaugurated in 1789″. The former Cardinal of Krakow, later JPII, speaking at the Council, saw the Council as a means of “ending the Constantine era of the Church” and said “Above all, it will serve to give more value to the authority of each Bishop and to promote decentralization within the Church, as well as to return to the principle of collegiality, re-evaluate pastoral methods in force until now, and effectively introduce new methods and ways – at times most audacious ones”.

    The fruits of the Council included a loss of 50% of religious within 10 years of the Council, the suppression of the Mass of All Time, removal of altars and reorientation of prayer from the East, and the substitution of a communal remembrance supper for the Holy Sacrifice. A simple comparison of the wording of the 1962 Mass against the Novus Ordo shows just what was lost. As Martin Luther well knew, to change the Mass is to destroy the Church.

    In the past 50 years, these fruits have been abundantly visible and their causes well-known to the hierarchy…as far back as 1968, Paul VI said:

    The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called self-destruction. It is an interior upheaval, acute and complicated, which nobody expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking itself. We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of conceptions which matured in the great sessions of the Council. But one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect. It is as if the Church were destroying herself.” (Address to the Lombard Seminary at Rome, December 7, 1968)

    It would be wrong to expect that the SSPX would accept the Council insofar as it departs from Tradition…..and equally wrong to expect that they could be forced to do so by exacting false obedience of them.

  32. Spork says:

    Floreat says:
    27 October 2012 at 2:07 pm
    Sam, the SSPX is completely obedient to the will of the Holy Father – insofar as compatible with the Faith.

    If you truly want to understand the situation of the SSPX, take a look at the Council of Trent, and particularly:-

    “If anyone says that all Christians [lay people] have the power to administer the word [read at Mass] and all the sacraments [give out commnion], let him be anathema.” [Canon 10, Session VII, March 3, 1547]

    “If anyone says that the Rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the Canon is pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned, or that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only…let him be anathema.” [Canon 9, Session XXII, Sept. 17, 1562]
    “If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church… may be changed by any pastor of the Churches to any new ones: let him be anathema.” [Canon 13 on the Sacraments,Session VII, March 3, 1547]

    Still think the Hermeneutic of Continuity has legs?

    Administer the Word == preach a sermon/homily.

    Administer all the Sacraments. Even the non-Baptized can administer the Sacrament of Baptism with the proper form, matter and intent. The ministers of Holy Matrimony are the husband and wife, not the priest. Your interpretation of this passage from the Council of Trent appears to be incompatible with Catholic dogma regarding the Sacraments.

    Where do the rubrics for the Ordinary Form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass state that it is to be said in the vernacular only?

    Liturgies approved by the Church (i.e. Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Forms of theLatin Rite, Hispano-Mozárabe…) can’t be changed by individual pastors. Liturgical abuse is condemned. How has this changed?

    I would rather be in union with the Pope regarding the hermeneutic of continuity regarding the Second Vatican Council rather than be guilty of the “hermeneutic of rupture” and separating myself from full union with the Catholic Church.

  33. Dismas says:

    Floreat,

    Clearly you are well versed in recent Church history, but none of what you cite convinces me any of this is the fault of our Church more than it is the fault of personal human free will. Furthermore, Catholicism is not an easy religion and our Savior, Jesus Christ, never promised us it would be. Jesus did, however, promise us the Cross.

    Regarding the SSPX and our Church, regardless of your personal views, the fact still remains that 1124 The Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it.

  34. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says:

    and second we have a confirmation that the original text is in the mother language of not the President but the Vice President; nor any neutral language such as Latin or Italian.

    Sadly, the original texts from the Pope or Curia are usually not written in Latin.

    The original text of the catechism was French. Then it was translated into Italian. The Latin (editio typica) was produced from the Italian. Further, if memory serves, it was published in various languages before the editio typica was promulgated.

  35. Imrahil says:

    Whenever I hear that Catholicism is not an easy religion and that Our Lord never promised us it would be, I feel a flush of sympathy for whomever the speaker is arguing against.

    And, in this case, it even appears – if I read the comments correctly – that these sayings do not even serve as an answer to a question actually posed (such as “Is Catholicism really so difficult?”), nor as a rebuke to a rebukable really uttered (such as “Morality is too hard for me”).

    Said Our Lord: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Our Lord did prophecy (please: not promise) the Cross; but he did also, in general with possibility of exception, prophecy well-being (“even though under persecutions”) (Mc 10,30.)

    There is a tendency around to glory in hardship for its own sake. This is a thing very different from 1. submitting to hardship in the spirit of sacrifice and 2. taking on free will, or in obedience to a Church commandment of fasting, some hardship upon oneself. (1) and (2) are perfectly Christian and meritorious; but this attitude where I imagine a grim face that with hidden satisfaction presses forth words such as “Never said it would be easy” is – without any moral judgment of mine – not commanded by Christianity, and not the most natural thing on Earth.

    To put it in another way: There certainly is such thing as a Cross. But Christ never said we could not lament it, and should rebuke those who do as if in need of a moral catching-up.

  36. Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam says:

    I think the expulsion of Bishop Williamson was a mistake that will cost the society; how and when remains to be seen.
    Having said that; I think if the SSPX were not important (ultimately, for the sole reason that it is the keeper of the one, holy, Catholic, apostolic Faith) then Rome wouldn’t give a hoot whether it were re-integrated (the more accurate word is “assimilated”) or not. Rome would let it go on its merry way because to Rome, it would be of no spiritual consequence.
    But, Rome DOES indeed give a hoot because Rome needs to assimilate the SSPX to rid itself of this last, very large thorn in its side, which prevents the seeming destruction of the only (visible) antagonist preventing religious indifferntism and utter paganism to reign supreme.
    I will continue to pray for the Pope and the clergy of the SSPX . We are in an unending battle against demonic forces. (Said Christ: I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.)

  37. robtbrown says:

    I remain fairly optimistic that reunion will take place. And I’ll say again that the phrase “accepting Vat II” needs to be explained.

  38. jhayes says:

    Floreat said

    In her role as teacher, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, and yet Vatican II specifically declared no new teaching. Paul VI specifically qualified it as a ‘pastoral council’.

    It defined no new dogmas but, with the Pope, it enacted many new teachings to clarify statements of earlier councils and Popes. For example, its statements on ecumenism, the revision of the Mass, etc.

  39. Floreat says:

    It defined no new dogmas but, with the Pope, it enacted many new teachings to clarify statements of earlier councils and Popes. For example, its statements on ecumenism, the revision of the Mass, etc.

    jhayes, perhaps we understand different things in using the word “teachings”.

    According to the two popes of the council, VII was merely pastoral in nature and is not to be accorded the authority of the essential Magisterium of the Church. In holding that understanding, Catholics are simply obeying the words of the two popes themselves.

    Vatican II, therefore, as a pastoral council, has no dogmatic force and can be held to be imprudent or even in error, with no compromise to one’s Catholic faith.

  40. Floreat says:

    Post Script

    “The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of ‘superdogma,’ which takes away the importance of all the rest”
    (Cdl Joseph Ratzinger, 1988 Address to Chilean Bishops).

  41. acardnal says:

    jhayes said, “. . . it enacted many new teachings to clarify statements of earlier councils and Popes. For example, its statements on ecumenism, the revision of the Mass, etc.”

    Clarify?? More like obfuscated.

  42. jhayes says:

    Floreat, as Benedict said, the issue is to distinguish between principles and statements about their application to particular situations of past times.

    In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church’s decisions on contingent matters – for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible – should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.

    On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change.

    Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts caChristmas Address to the Curia 2005

  43. jhayes says:

    The end of the quote should have read:

    Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts can change.

    — Christmas Address to the Curia 2005

  44. Magash says:

    It is quite true that the Council defined no new dogma, however that does not mean that portions of Council documents that reiterated dogmas or sought to clarify them lack Magisterial authority.
    Out of context quotes from Trent notwithstanding it is a fact that the Mass has changed over the centuries. At the time of Trent the so-called Tridentine Mass was not universally used throughout even the Roman Rite, nor was it ever used among the various Eastern Catholic Rites, many of which were said in the vernacular of their particular regions (and still are today.) The ability to modify the actual ritual text and actions of the Mass (the Red & Black) has always rested in the Magisterium. Specific changes are certainly open to discussion as relates to their usefulness or not, but it is without a doubt that the Magisterium has the authority to make changes, as they did when they standardized the Mass after Trent.
    As for the Fruits of the Council the fact is that many people are of the opinion that things would be different if only the Church had not instituted any changes after VII. The fact is that no one knows for certain what would have happened had the changes after Vatican II not taken place. Society was changing. One should remember that most priests accused in the horrible sexual predator scandal was a priest before Vatican II or at lease already in seminary. The so-call purple mafia was already entrenched in the priesthood of the United States before Vatican II. In other words the Church in America was already in trouble. The trend of the future was already entrenched in American culture. Almost every one of the organized crime members in the prohibition era was a non practicing Catholic. So much of a cliche was the father who strayed at home on Sunday morning while the woman of the house took the children to Church that Norman Rockwell used it as a subject of one of his Post covers.
    Does that mean that I think that the changes in the Church that were not mandated by the Council were good, or have no detrimental effect. Of course not. Heretics and progressives used the Council to attempt to undermine the institutional church. They were pretty successful at selling the “Spirit of Vatican II” thing. That caused a lot of damage.
    But to say that the decline of marriage, the pervasiveness of pornography, the rise of secularism was caused by Vatican II gives the Church much more authority in the secular world than it has ever had in the United States, where in up until the 1960s it was not even considered possible that a Catholic could be president. (Note that only happened because Kennedy threw his Catholic faith “under the bus” otherwise he never could have gotten elected.)

  45. Floreat says:

    In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church’s decisions on contingent matters – for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible – should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.

    With all due respect, jhayes, that reads like one of the more obfuscatory texts from the Council. Please, let your speech be si si no no and I’ll endeavour to respond.

  46. acardnal says:

    I agree with your last statement Floreat. If he is quoting a document, he should post the citation. I have NO idea what that statement means or is trying to convey. Wow!

  47. acardnal says:

    Aaahh, a citation was provided. My oversight. Needless to say, huh? applies.

  48. Floreat says:

    It is quite true that the Council defined no new dogma, however that does not mean that portions of Council documents that reiterated dogmas or sought to clarify them lack Magisterial authority.

    The original doctrine was already quite clear. VII has authority only in the restatement of existing teachings, and only insofar as that authority is in clear accord with the prior Magisterium. Where the original meaning is obfuscated by in the VII materials, as is so often the case, we should view the Council pronouncements with reservations.

    Out of context quotes from Trent notwithstanding it is a fact that the Mass has changed over the centuries. At the time of Trent the so-called Tridentine Mass was not universally used throughout even the Roman Rite, nor was it ever used among the various Eastern Catholic Rites, many of which were said in the vernacular of their particular regions (and still are today.)

    I’m not sure why you found the specific Canons I quoted above to be “out of context” – they are given entire and are quite clear. The principal purpose of the Council of Trent was specifically to define Catholic doctrine and established standards which remained effectively unchanged until VII, 500 years later. The Council absolutely established dogma which cannot be disregarded, particularly in the form of the Mass. The author of the new Mass was Fr. Annibale Bugnini – an individual worth researching, as are his reasons for changing the Mass. Why he was permitted to do so, bearing in mind the doctrinal strictures of Trent, is incomprehensible. As for the Eastern Catholics, they were effectively in schism from 1054 until the 15th Century and saw their adherence to the Byzantine Rite as a means of healing the ongoing schism between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. You’re correct that they did not and do not use the Roman Rite….the reasons for that date back to the Western and Eastern Roman Empire, so I’m not sure how this equates to Bugnini changing the established traditional rite of the Western Church to something else again.

    The ability to modify the actual ritual text and actions of the Mass (the Red & Black) has always rested in the Magisterium.Specific changes are certainly open to discussion as relates to their usefulness or not, but it is without a doubt that the Magisterium has the authority to make changes, as they did when they standardized the Mass after Trent.

    As you say, the Mass was standardised at Trent. After that point no changes were open to discussion, nor did there exist any ability whatsoever to modify any part of the Mass. The Magisterium does not and never has permitted any ability to modify the teachings of a Sacred Council, inspired by the Holy Ghost.

    As for the Fruits of the Council the fact is that many people are of the opinion that things would be different if only the Church had not instituted any changes after VII. The fact is that no one knows for certain what would have happened had the changes after Vatican II not taken place.

    It seems to have been plain enough to Popes Paul VI, Benedict XVI, Abp Lefebvre and others who assisted at the Council what its fruits were. When I contrast the history of the SSPX with the path of the Church over the past 50 years, the divergence in trajectory seems quite apparent..

    Society was changing. One should remember that most priests accused in the horrible sexual predator scandal was a priest before Vatican II or at lease already in seminary. The so-call purple mafia was already entrenched in the priesthood of the United States before Vatican II. In other words the Church in America was already in trouble.

    The Church was of the world, but not in the world. VII changed that when it “threw open its windows to let in some fresh air”, but the infiltration of the Church by those who wished to neuter or destroy it by no means began with Vatican II. The same forces that acceded to power in Russia in 1917 were already active in Rome in the 1870s. Bella Dodd, who sat on the Council of the CPUSA, subsequently testified to Congress that the Communist Party had been infiltrating agents into the seminaries since at least the 1930s. There is no reason to doubt that this was also happening in other countries, or that these individuals were well entrenched by the 1960s.

    Does that mean that I think that the changes in the Church that were not mandated by the Council were good, or have no detrimental effect. Of course not. Heretics and progressives used the Council to attempt to undermine the institutional church. They were pretty successful at selling the “Spirit of Vatican II” thing. That caused a lot of damage.

    Agreed.

    But to say that the decline of marriage, the pervasiveness of pornography, the rise of secularism was caused by Vatican II gives the Church much more authority in the secular world than it has ever had in the United States

    I don’t say that the decline in social and moral standards in the secular world were caused by VII, however, in allowing herself to be influenced by worldliness and modernism the Church lost a great deal of authority and influence that could and should have been used to counterbalance the prevailing trends, rather than succumb to them. VII itself was, in my opinion, an echo of that social and moral decline in the wider world.

  49. jhayes says:

    Floreat and acardnal,

    The quotation is from Pope Benedict.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2005/december/documents/hf_ben_xvi_spe_20051222_roman-curia_en.html

    Perhaps a convenient example is the statement made by Spork, above:

    “If anyone says that the Rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the Canon is pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned, or that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only…let him be anathema.” [Canon 9, Session XXII, Sept. 17, 1562]

    That is a contingent statement that related to the situation at that time. It is not a statemnt of an unchangeable principle that the Canon should never be said audibly nor the Mass never celebrated in the vernacular. Similarly, the Syllabus of Errors and encyclicals such as “Qanta Cura” contain many contingent statements relating to specific issues of their time and should not be proof-texted as enduring principles.

    My understandng of Benedict’s statement is that it is necessary to distinguish between the enduring and the contingent in interpreting past statements of the church.

  50. acardnal says:

    Many, if not all, the statements of the Council of Trent and its Catechism are “if-then/let” statements and, therefore, contingent. Does that mean they are not necessarily doctrinal or dogmatic? I don’t think so.

  51. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Floreat,

    VII has authority only in the restatement of existing teachings, and only insofar as that authority is in clear accord with the prior Magisterium. Where the original meaning is obfuscated by in the VII materials, as is so often the case, we should view the Council pronouncements with reservation.

    There you would be wrong. The Council did not use dogmatic authority. It has (arguably with higher “rank of document”, but not with essential difference) the same authority that a Papal encyclical has. In other words, quite a bit.

    Having this authority, it cancelled all contrary previous doctrine that was no dogma (if there was such). And a theologian may only question it after thoroughly asking his conscience, and in a friendly manner.

    (Was that yes yes, no no enough?)

    Of course, that depends on finding a precise contrariety. According to the nature of the Conciliar documents while any person competent of language can do so with the Tridentine canons, for the II Vatican Council you need a person unafraid of reading himself and thinking himself through some not totally short texts (not, I’d still say, an expert, though he should be an expert in non-wishful-thinking and sticking-to-what-it-says).

    Note, also, that I spoke of the Council’s doctrinary contents. It also contains disciplinary measures. With these we may disagree just as much as with any law, civil or canon (if merely positive law). Positive law is about compliance, not about consent.

  52. jhayes says:

    acardnal wrote:

    Many, if not all, the statements of the Council of Trent and its Catechism are “if-then/let” statements and, therefore, contingent. Does that mean they are not necessarily doctrinal or dogmatic? I don’t think so.

    I don’t think the grammatical construction is what he means by “contingent” Rather, whether the statement was issued in response to a situation that existed then but has since changed.

    In case of doubt, the Pope gets to make the decision – either alone or in approving the decisions of a Council like VII.

  53. acardnal says:

    Speeches of Popes do not carry the weight of the Magisterium unlike encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, letters, motu propios and bulls. They are his personal opinion.

    The documents of V2 are vague, deliberately ambiguous and intentionally written to be open to interpretation, thus making them very susceptible to “contingent situations.” I am not comfortable with that, but I am with the declarative statements of the Council of Trent and its Catechism.

  54. jhayes says:

    acardnal said:

    I am not comfortable with that, but I am with the declarative statements of the Council of Trent and its Catechism.

    The Catechism of the Council of Trent was published in 1566. It was replaced by the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992 (French version) and 1997 (Latin version)

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081997_laetamur_en.html

  55. acardnal says:

    I would not characterize it as being “replaced.” Can Truth be replaced?

  56. jhayes says:

    acardnal, that is, of course, the argument that the SSPX makes becuse it wants to ignore certain parts of the decisions of VC II. However, as JP II said in approving the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    THE DOCTRINAL VALUE OF THE TEXT

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the kingdom!

  57. acardnal says:

    I think you misunderstand my position. I haven’t denounced the CCC. I read it and use it. But it does NOT REPLACE the Catechism of the Council of Trent. What was true about the Trinity and other truths 500 years ago is still true today.

  58. acardnal says:

    Everyone should have and read the Catechism of the Council of Trent. It is still in print. It is quite clear with no ambiguity regarding Church teaching and belief for hundreds of years. Everyone should also have and read the Baltimore Catechism, Vol 1 thru 3. It, too, is still in print.

    Perhaps if all Catholics did read the above, we wouldn’t have the malaise of belief and “cafeteria catholicism” among the laity and some clerics that we have today.

  59. Magash says:

    Which is why it is permissible to discuss Council documents and their meaning through the hermeneutic of continuity. My problem with your statement is with the interpretation of Trent more that VII. Not every pronouncement at Trent is doctrinal either.

    And there is the point. Trent’s pronouncements about the Mass, that is especially their suppression of Mass Rites less than 200 years old, were a response to the Protestant Reformation and the fear that Protestant theology would be introduced into the varied rites that were used throughout the Western Church. They were a specific response to a specific problem. The Eastern Churches and their rites are important because the fact that they exist, as well as the other rites older than 200 years that Trent allowed to continue is that they speak against an absolute dogmatic standard for the Mass in a single unchangeable form.

    I am not going to make this about +Bugnini’s. Whether you think he did a good job or not, he was appointed by the Pope, who has the authority to alter the Liturgy, within the limits set by the Holy Spirit, in ways that do not change the doctrinal or dogmatic under pinnings of the Mass.

    That is simply not accurate. Urban VIII issued a revision, as did Leo XIII. Pius X made even more changes. Even John XXIII made changes. The fact is that changes were made to the Mass. That fact that it was in Latin and most of the laity did not know or understand that changes were made doesn’t change the fact that the Mass was not unchanging. Various popes felt they had the authority to make changes and did. Sometimes they issues papal bulls to back up those changes and sometimes they didn’t.

    The point is that the structure of the Mass, excepting those parts which are dogmatic, was not a Sacred Teaching of the Holy Spirit, but a matter of Authoritative Teaching. That is, the ministers of the Mass and those assisting(the laity) are bound to follow the books of the liturgy as they are promulgated by Rome for the time and place they are in. Trent dealt with it because it was germane to the time and place of that council, just as other points which are not dogmatic were dealt with at other councils which are not permanent matters of faith and morals, such as Lyons requiring the Cistercians to pay tithes.

  60. Magash says:

    Sorry about the confusing indention. I obviously messed up my html tags.

  61. Floreat says:

    There you would be wrong. The Council did not use dogmatic authority. It has (arguably with higher “rank of document”, but not with essential difference) the same authority that a Papal encyclical has. In other words, quite a bit. Having this authority, it cancelled all contrary previous doctrine that was no dogma (if there was such). And a theologian may only question it after thoroughly asking his conscience, and in a friendly manner.

    I’m sorry to push back on this, but that is just not the case.

    There was nothing conditional about the doctrine established by Trent concerning the Mass. The canons say very clearly “if anyone does this…..then let them be excluded from the Communion of the Church”. It’s just the language of the time, but it doesn’t change the meaning.

    The Canons relating to the Mass are very clear as to what is and is not permissible…..no word of the Mass may be added to or removed…..Mass may not be said in the vernacular….etc. This is Church dogma and the fruit of the Holy Ghost. Nothing and no-one, let alone a pastoral council may contradict this without becoming….well….anathema.

    Unless, of course, the Church now believes that the Holy Ghost can be in error?

  62. jhayes says:

    Floreat, I think you have brought up exactly the point which Benedict clarified in his 2005 speech and subsequent statements.

    The Trent Canon condemned a statement that Mass should be said only in the vernacular.

    At that time, the policy of the Church was that the Mass for Roman-rite Catholics should be said only in Latin. It condemned a statement that rejected this policy. In effect, it said that the Church had the right to establish that policy and that its decision must be acceptef.

    It did not say that the Church could not later change its policy and allow (or even require) Mass to be said in the vernacular.

    Therefore, Trent’s condemnation was contingent and applied only as long as the policy of the Church was that the Mass should be said only in Latin. It was not a statement of an unchangeable principle that Mass should never be said in the vernacular.

    That is the difference between contingent statements and principles that Benedict pointed out.

  63. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Floreat,

    no word may removed or added means by those that are under authority (viz. celebrants), not by authority itself. For, while I do believe a matter of common sense that the Rite changed with the Liturgy Reform in a way of special distinctiveness, still it is true that in a technical sense it has been reformed and reformed again during the decades and centuries, and that is after 1570.

    In all the Church for a very short time, in the Holy Roman Empire up to 1806, in Austria-Hungary up to 1918, the Emperor was mentioned in the Canon (!). Then that was dropped. In 1962 St. Joseph was inserted. All the time propria, and sometimes I guess prefations were added. You get the idea.

    And I repeat that this does not mean (as some seem to deduce from these facts) that the Liturgy Reform was just business as usual; but the words “nothing may be added or removed” seem clearly to mean another thing.

  64. Imrahil says:

    Which is also why the SSPX never said that the 1570 Rite is frozen for ever. Their problem with the Liturgy Reform is more complex than simply that it was a change. They do not claim it as a violation of a supposed Tridentine dogma that the Rite may no longer be changed.

  65. robtbrown says:

    Floreat says,

    The Canons relating to the Mass are very clear as to what is and is not permissible…..no word of the Mass may be added to or removed…..Mass may not be said in the vernacular….etc. This is Church dogma and the fruit of the Holy Ghost. Nothing and no-one, let alone a pastoral council may contradict this without becoming….well….anathema.

    Those are disciplinary statements, not dogma.

  66. Floreat says:

    Robt, if you won’t take my word for it, how about Cardinal Ottaviani?

    Letter from Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to His Holiness Pope Paul VI
    September 25th, 1969

    Most Holy Father,

    Cardinal Ottaviani, head of the Holy Office having carefully examined, and presented for the scrutiny of others, the Novus Ordo Missae prepared by the experts of the Consilium ad exequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel it to be our bounden duty in the sight of God and towards Your Holiness, to put before you the following considerations:

    1. The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.

  67. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Floreat, while the Ottaviani Intervention contains to my view besides genuine concerns (such as its remarks on the new Offertory), some very witty and down-to-earth observations (such as that the II Eucharistic Prayer is simply too short) also some overly fearful elements (such as that the reduction of the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity is supposed to diminish the Holy Mass’s role as praising the Most Holy Trinity), still let’s just take it and see what the part you cited means.

    1. the Novus Ordo represents [… ]a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass.
    Which means that the Cardinal does not mind change as such, but this precise sort of change that was to take place, not for the reason that it was change, but for the reason that it was in his opinion change to the worse.

    2. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.
    Which means that the Old Rite had included barriers which made it impossible to be interpreted in a heretic way, and that the New Rite does not have these precise barriers. Nowhere is implied that the New Rite is therefore forbidden under anathema by Trent.

  68. Floreat says:

    With all due respect, imrahil, you speculate that Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci ” don’t mind change as such”. There is nothing in Cardinal Ottaviani’s writings that suggests he accepts any change to the Order of the Mass of any description.

    Cardinal Ottaviani states that the Novus Ordo is “a striking departure” from the Catholic theology of the Mass, i.e. that it is not in accordance with said theology. No more, no less than that.

    When he says that the Canons of the Rite fixed at Trent provided an insurmountable barrier, he means precisely that, and in specific relation to the Usus Antiquior. The Novus Ordo is a different Rite altogether.

    If you compare the text of both Rites, it is quite clear that the strictures of Trent were set aside when the Novus Ordo was promulgated.

  69. jhayes says:

    Floreat, Cardinal Ottaviani made his argument to Pope Paul VI, who was not convinced by it and approved the text of the new Mass.

    Surely you are not arguing that 40 years later the views of Cardinl Ottaviani have more importance than those of Paul VI.

    As robtbrown pointed out, the Canons of Trent were disciplinary statements, not dogma. A current example would be the rule that Latin-Rite priests cannot marry. That is a disciplinary rule that the church could change at any time. In the same way, the Church could (and did) change the disciplinary rules established by the canons of Trent.

  70. Imrahil says:

    Thank you, dear @Floreat, for your kind answer, however you are misunderstanding what I am saying and, so far as I see, also what dear @robtbrown was saying.

    I was merely deducing. I said that Cardinal Ottaviani said that the change done to the Rite in 1969 1. amounted to the creation of a new rite, 2. was a change very much to the worse. And that is also what you are giving arguments for.

    I could argue that even taking the striking departure from Catholic theology without further investigation, this still does not mean not in accordance (but: “less clear in expressing and taking away some protection walls of orthodox faith even though in itself orthodox also”), but the thing is that this is not the point.

    The point is that Cardinal Ottaviani advised against the New Rite for reason of being less good than the Old Rite, not for reason of being a New Rite.

    There may be nothing in the Intervention that suggests he accepts changes; but nor is there anything to the contrary, nor is there any sign that he would be vividly against any of the changes that have been made up to and including 1962 (insertion of St. Joseph to the Canon, to be silent of propria).

    The anathema of Trent is threatened to
    1. him who denies that
    2. the Church may, and can validly, and did at the time of the Council of Trent, forbid
    3. to add or remove a word in liturgy as established by competent authority.

    The forbidding in (2) is a disciplinary norm. He who acts against it sins, but is not anathematized. Competent authority is allowed to both to take away this norm (2), and to change what the norm forbids a simple celebrant to change (3). A problem with doctrine, and the attached anathema, only comes up when someone, as did Protestants, denies that the Church has this authority (1).

  71. Floreat says:

    jhayes,

    I don’t see truth as a relative thing, or dependent on this or that individual.

    Objectively, I find the Canons of Trent to be quite clear in content, scope and effect.

    Objectively, I can find no support for the idea that the teachings of a Sacred Council are somehow relative or temporary things.

    Objectively, I can see the changes that were made to the Sacraments, and particularly to the Order of the Mass by the second Vatican Council.

    Objectively, I can understand the supernatural effect and intent of the Sacraments.

    Objectively, in comparing the text of the Mass of All Time with that of the Novus Ordo, I can see the intent and the effect of the changes.

    Objectively, I agree with everything that Cardinal Ottaviani wrote.

  72. Floreat says:

    …and as quoted above (and again below) I rather suspect that Paul VI came to agree with Cardinal Ottaviani in time:-

    “The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called self-demolition [auto-destruction]. It is an interior upheaval, acute and complicated, which nobody expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking itself. We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of conceptions, which matured in the great sessions of the council. But … one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect. It is as if the Church were destroying herself.

    ” We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation…. We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned, instead, was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, of searching and uncertainties”.

  73. Floreat says:

    Sorry, Imrahil, we must have posted at the same time, and I missed this:-

    The point is that Cardinal Ottaviani advised against the New Rite for reason of being less good than the Old Rite, not for reason of being a New Rite.

    No. He says that the new Rite is “a departure”, i.e. it has departed from, or left behind the Usus Antiquior. He makes this still clearer with other remarks in his ‘Intervention’, such as referring to the Novus Ordo as “a grave break with tradition”.

    “There may be nothing in the Intervention that suggests he accepts changes; but nor is there anything to the contrary, nor is there any sign that he would be vividly against any of the changes that have been made up to and including 1962 “

    Again, I disagree – he makes his strong disagreement quite clear in the ‘Intervention’.

    The anathema of Trent is threatened to
    1. him who denies that
    2. the Church may, and can validly, and did at the time of the Council of Trent, forbid
    3. to add or remove a word in liturgy as established by competent authority.
    The forbidding in (2) is a disciplinary norm. He who acts against it sins, but is not anathematised.

    I’m sorry, but your meaning is unclear. Where anathema is threatened for a specific course of action, then anathema is incurred in the commission of that action. He who commits the action certainly sins….and is to be anathematised for it.

    Competent authority is allowed to both to take away this norm, and to change what the norm forbids a simple celebrant to change. A problem with doctrine, and the attached anathema, only comes up when someone, as did Protestants, denies that the Church has this authority.

    That is not the case. Trent was a Sacred Council, inspired by the Holy Ghost. Its pronouncements have the force of dogma and, as such, are not open to discussion several hundred years later. The Holy Ghost cannot err – nor is His truth relative or temporal. The implications of this are fundamental.

  74. Floreat says:

    Typo above…should read without italics:

    That is not the case. Trent was a Sacred Council, inspired by the Holy Ghost. Its pronouncements have the force of dogma and, as such, are not open to discussion several hundred years later. The Holy Ghost cannot err – nor is His truth relative or temporal. The implications of this are fundamental.

  75. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Floreat,

    Was Trent a Sacred Council?
    Yes.
    Can we discuss Trent again?
    No.
    Is that true for what Trent actually says, or about what dear @Floreat thinks it actually says?
    The former.
    What does Trent actually anathematize?
    That somebody denies, etc.
    Does a priest incur excommunication who forgets to mention St. Cletus in between St. Linus and St. Xystus (and thus, omits a word), or thinks says surrexit at some place where the text says resurrexit (ant thus, changes a word), or misguidedly thinks that St. Joseph is to be mentioned in the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas (and thus, adds a word)?
    No, of course not, that’d be awkward. He quite possibly sins (objectively surely), but Trent did not think to anathematize him. Tell that to the bishops that you think they have said such a thing; I wonder what stare you would get.

    Note that I said take away the norm which the dogma says the Church has a right to decree. I never said take away the dogma.

    On the other hand, what did Cdl Ottaviani mean when he said departure from tradition? Did he mean (a) that the New Rite was something very much different than the Catholic Mass previously stood for, or did he mean (b) that no matter how New and Old Rite differ, the problem was the change as such?
    (a).

    I’m always inclined to say “of course”. Sorry, forgive if this comment sound a bit harsh or condescending. All due respect, etc.; but I simply do not know how I could make it plainer what I consider to be as plain as a pikestaff.

  76. robtbrown says:

    Floreat says:

    Robt, if you won’t take my word for it, how about Cardinal Ottaviani?

    Letter from Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to His Holiness Pope Paul VI
    September 25th, 1969

    I’m well aware of (and mostly in agreement with) the Ottaviani and the criticisms contained within it.

    You, however, said something different–that disciplinary statements re, e.g., the vernacular, are dogma. Such an attitude reduces dogma to little else than marching orders and contradicts Catholic doctrine, which holds that the Act of Faith is a free act of the intellect.

    And the text, which you correctly quoted above, you later distorted. It refers to those who say the mass should ONLY be celebrated in the vernacular, not that it never should. Personally, I think mass never should be celebrated in the vernacular, but Trent doesn’t go that far.

    I know of no Vatican document that says that mass should always (or almost always) be celebrated in the vernacular.

    NB: Neither the Council of Trent nor Vat II promulgated a Missal. Trent closed in 1563, 7 years before the promulgation of the 1570 Missal by Pius V, who was not elected pope until 1566. Vat II closed in 1965, and Paul VI promulgated the Missal in 1970.

    BTW, on my first visit to Rome in 1972 I attended Benediction done by the nearly blind Cardinal Ottaviani, then met him afterwards. It was in a little church, either Santissimo Nome di Maria al foro Traiano or Santa Maria di Loretto (can’t remember which).