Prefect of CDF about SSPX and LCWR

The National Catholic Register (not the National catholic Reporter, aka Fishwrap) has an interview with the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbp. Gerhard Müller.   Part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE. The interview touches on several topics, especially having to do with Vatican II, its anniversary, its interpretation, including the SSPX.

Here is a slice about the SSPX (there’s more which you can find there):

NCREG: In view of all this, are you nevertheless confident and optimistic there will be reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X?

Müller: I’m always confident in our faith and optimistic. We have to pray for goodwill and for unity in the Church. The SSPX is not the only breakaway group in the Church. There are worse ones on the opposite side, too. [That's for sure!] These movements are worse because they are often denying essentials of Christianity. We must work for unity, and so it is also my task to invite all to come back into full communion with the Catholic Church, which is led by the supreme shepherd, the pope — who is the Vicar of Christ.

NCREG: If they do come back, what positive aspects could they bring to the Church?

Müller: They could underline what Tradition is, but they also must become broader in their perspective, because the apostolic Tradition of the Church is not only about a few elements. The Tradition of the Church is large and wide. On the other hand, there must also be a renewal in the celebration of the liturgy, because we have had a lot of abuses of the liturgy, which have damaged the faith of many people.  [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

NCREG: Could they perhaps help correct some of the abuses?

Müller: That is not their task, but ours. One extreme cannot be the equivalent of the other. The extremes must be corrected by the center.

At the end, they touch on the situation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR – a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns):

NCREG: Finally, what is the situation regarding the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)? The congregation recently issued a doctrinal assessment calling for a renewal of this American organization. Is there a continuing struggle between the CDF and the organization?

Müller: There is no struggle between the Holy See and this organization, but we do want to help the LCWR in its renewal of religious life — precisely because of the importance of religious life for the Church. In our times, such renewal will only be possible if there is a renewed commitment to the three vows [chastity, poverty and obedience] and a new identification with our Catholic faith and life. We cannot fulfill our mission if we are split, everyone speaking against one another, working against one another, or accepting ideas from outside that don’t belong to our faith. And we cannot accept doctrines about sexuality that don’t respect the fundamental essentials of revealed anthropology. So we must find new ways to serve the society of today, not waste our time with “civil wars” inside the Catholic Church. We must work together and have confidence.

But it is important to remember that at no time in the history of the Church has a group or a movement in one country ever been successful when it has taken an attitude against Rome, when it has been “anti-Rome.” Setting oneself up against “Rome” has never brought authentic reform or renewal to the Church. Only through a renewed commitment to the full teaching of Christ and his Church, and through a renewed spirit of collaboration with the Holy Father and the bishops in communion with him, will there be renewal and new life in the Catholic Church and a new evangelization of our society. Preaching the Gospel of Christ to a weary world so desperately in need of its liberating truth — this must be our priority.

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58 Responses to Prefect of CDF about SSPX and LCWR

  1. catholicmidwest says:

    The word “struggle” is open to interpretation, I imagine. ROFLOL. Maybe it’s not a struggle if the actual physical howitzers don’t come out?

  2. Johnno says:

    “These movements are worse because they are often denying essentials of Christianity.”

    —Then please, your grace, correct their erroneous interpretations of Vatican II in line with Tradition.

    “They could underline what Tradition is, but they also must become broader in their perspective, because the apostolic Tradition of the Church is not only about a few elements.”

    —Then please, your grace, define the boundaries as to how ‘broad’ we are allowed to be.

    “That is not their task, but ours.”

    —Which is why the SSPX have been telling YOU to do it all along and are looking for YOU to take the lead, and for YOU to address their concerns rather than just demanding blind obedience first. Refute the SSPX’s and other Catholics concerns about Vatican II, or correct them or clarify them or however you want to think of it, but please for the love of God do it! Only YOU can! You don’t convert people by walking up to them and saying “Covert! Or else!” You must demonstrate to them why and answer all their difficult questions!

    “There is no struggle between the Holy See and this organization”

    —Oh rly?

    “And we cannot accept doctrines about sexuality that don’t respect the fundamental essentials of revealed anthropology”

    —Should we not also emphasize God’s revealed Truth and laws as well whereby which anthropology and the sciences must be correctly interpreted by? Otherwise this is an opening whereby which other secular interpretations of such ‘antropology’ may be used to argue otherwise. Science does not trump God’s revealed truth and moral law. In fact it cannot.

    “But it is important to remember that at no time in the history of the Church has a group or a movement in one country ever been successful when it has taken an attitude against Rome, when it has been “anti-Rome.” ”

    —And historically, the only time Rome has ever ‘lost’ is when it was its own worst enemy. And when it leaves itself open whereby which those looking for an excuse receive the opportunity.

    “Only through a renewed commitment to the full teaching of Christ and his Church, and through a renewed spirit of collaboration with the Holy Father and the bishops in communion with him, will there be renewal and new life in the Catholic Church and a new evangelization of our society.”

    —Then please make sure ALL the bishops are equally in union with the Pope. I can accept the harsh disciplinary actions against the SSPX more seriously if you could show that there is equal action being taken against dissident bishops too, even if they ‘claim’ to be in union with the Pope and VII. BecauseI hear rumor there are a good number who feel quite at home telling and even threathening the Pope and Church what they must do with regards to discipline and the SSPX situation, which makes the SSPX’s ‘demands’ tame by comparison.

  3. Southern Catholic says:

    That is not their task, but ours. One extreme cannot be the equivalent of the other. The extremes must be corrected by the center.

    That is the truth.

    The Bishop’s LCWR comments made the subscribers of fishwrap go ballistic over there. Especially the following statement, “we cannot accept doctrines about sexuality that don’t respect the fundamental essentials of revealed anthropology.” Although, I would of preferred him to say we also don’t accept it based on scripture and revealed theology as well.

  4. traditionalorganist says:

    @Johnno,

    Then please make sure ALL the bishops are equally in union with the Pope

    And how is anyone supposed to do that? The problem started with the SSPX’s FORMAL ACT of disobedience. The SSPX didn’t just say “we disagree,” they disobeyed direct orders. When you’re not given command of the whole army, you can’t make a decision for the whole army. You’re letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. If the Holy Father says that you must accept VII in line with tradition, then you have a duty to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t understand VII any more than the next guy, but I trust that I may be missing the bigger picture.

    The SSPX is losing its credibility by continuing to mount the useless campaign against Vatican II instead of against the illegitimate reforms of VII. Rome acknowledges we need to examine our tradition…Rome is not going to just rewind the clock and forget VII ever happened. Let’s be realistic now!

  5. Johnno says:

    traditionalorganist

    There is a problem however, a very complicated one. Obedience to the Pope is obviously necessary. BUT the Pope does not have the authority to make us obey error! Now IF, and I’m just arguing here IF, there are, as the SSPX and other faithful Catholics still in union with Rome point out… issues, errors etc. with VII, which we’ve been told over and over is not a ‘dogmatic council’, but a ‘pastoral one’, then the Pope cannot command obedience of them! The Pope can be mistaken, as Peter was when Paul corrected him. And MAYBE that is the case here with VII. And maybe this discipline levelled against the SSPX may be one wrongly levelled, no different than similar judgments pronounced against saints like St. Joan of Arc for example, that were later rescinded. Now I don’t have the authority or the knowledge to make that claim here. I’m offering that possibility that this is another example of beaucracy in action and possiblly a moment where the Church leadership has not excercised sound judgment. And it would not be unfaithful to think this, after all we’ve only recently had the sorry state of the sex abuse scandal to show that the Church is indeed run by fallible human men in many areas. But Church history should be suifficient enough to demonstrate that as well.

    From what I’ve been led to understand, the SSPX is pointing out errors that prevent them from obedience, because they cannot obey it, and therefore Rome must demonstrate and show the SSPX that they are wrong before then demanding obedience. But it seems this is happening the opposite way and efforts to reopen VII’s debate are being stonewalled by many suspicious places.

    One imagines that maybe in the interests of the VII anniversary ‘celebrations’, top officials at the Church are trying to drown out all criticism to put on a happy face and avoid any mentions of ‘crisis’ or ‘problems’ like good politicans do… Somewhat like Cardinal Dolan putting all the HHS and moral issues aside to invite Obama and secular personalities to enjoy the Al Smith Dinner. So Our faith and teh difficulties facing it are taking a backseat for awhile.

    Frankly I find the SSPX’s concerns reasonable and I want to know the truth as well. Rome must clarify VII and demonstrate why the critics are wrong, or if the critics are right acknowledge this and take steps to protect and properly define the faith, and which documents are addressed to who and outline the proper way to interpret them. That is after all their job! And the Catholic faithful have a right to petition the Holy Father to address this issue definitively.

  6. Cavaliere says:

    Then please make sure ALL the bishops are equally in union with the Pope

    And the Pope is doing just that as evidenced by several recent dismissals. But the SSPX is acting like a child if it makes such a demand of the Pope as a precondition for their being obedient. What “traditional” parent would allow his child to insult his authority by allowing child to say, “you can’t punish me because you haven’t punished Bobby yet and what he did was wrong too.”

    The SSPX says that Vatican II was a break from Tradition, i.e., the traditional teachings of the Church. The Popes since Vatican II all say that is not true. Vatican II in its opening states that where apparent discrepancy exists that the new must be interpreted/understood in light of the old. The SSPX insists that they are right and proceed to insult the Pope(s) and refer to them in such pleasant terms as Modernist Rome. Now on what basis does the SSPX declare that they alone are the true keepers of the Faith and “Tradition?” They by and large disdain and spit on groups like the FSSP or the ICK who otherwise share similar criticisms of Vatican II. Woe to anyone who ever went to an Indult Mass, pre-SP, you had just compromised with the Devil and were playing right into the Bishops dirty scheme of destroying Tradition. So on what authority again do they claim to pronounce that Vatican II officially breaks with “Tradition?” The answer, their own personal authority. And ultimately what that boils down to is the judgment of their own “conscience.” And they justify their disobedience by arguing that they are being obedient to Eternal Rome, not Modernist Rome. But again they have no authority to determine what constitutes Eternal Rome. So I find that the ultimate irony here is that a major element of Vatican II which the SSPX disagree with is in the document Dignitatis Humanae, that says a person cannot be coerced into acting against their conscience. So they refuse to accept the Popes authority because it would violate what their conscience tells them is the true Tradition of the Church.

  7. Denis says:

    ” There is no struggle between the Holy See and this organization [the LCWR]”

    Of course not. A “100% fully regularized Catholic” is permitted to deny every other Catholic doctrine, as long as he or she also affirms the wisdom and inerrancy of “Vatican II”. Like an ee cummings poem or a work of Jackson Pollock, that council’s words are left up to you to interpret; you can choose the hermeneutic of continuity or one of modernist disruption, it’s all the same, as long as you praise it. Consequently, the LCWR, the Neocats, the Charismatics…they’re just as regularized as the ICK, the FSSP; actually, more regularized if one considers how much room for growth is given by the Holy See and the episcopacy to these respective groups. On the other hand, the SSPX are anathema. Catholic teaching has been reduced to pleasant words about Vatican II.

  8. Cosmos says:

    “One extreme cannot be the equivalent of the other. The extremes must be corrected by the center.”

    That is not the truth. Its actually a really destructive way of understanding things.

    What would this mean, for example, in the abortion debate? What would it mean in terms of doctrines of Christology? This is where democratic (compromise to the center) and hegelian/evolutionary philosophy (thesis, antithesis, synthesis) have really done damage. Truth is not defeined dynamically by distoritions of it.

    I think he is suing the “flip side of the coin” argument too loosely as well. Rejecting the authority of the Church because it conflicts with your personal beliefs and the spirit and wisdom of the age is not closely related to rejecting the authority of theologians and clerics to undermine the aTradition of the Church. They are very, very different problems. The only thing they have in common is that they are both thriving because the hierarchy refuses to teach clearly and consistently in many key matters.

  9. dominic1955 says:

    I think the reason the treatment of the SSPX seems harsher is that they have set themselves up in the traditional manner. What really got them into trouble was a very simple disobedience to Canon Law in the ’88 Consecrations. They have a clear (at least from the outside) chain of command and a hierarchical set up. Not as if they were a parallel church, but as an organization. They can be countered in the old way, and they respond in kind.

    The various rag tag groups of leftist heretics do not have the same set up at all, its usually just a nameless mass half-baked theological notions, heresy, stupidity and underground activity. We could probably all name at least half a dozen clerics or laics who hold positions in our local dioceses who should be run through the Inquisition but from a different angle, they keep it plausibly deniable. Pinning some of them down on something you could let them swing for is like nailing jell-o to the wall. The few that do manage to do something like fake-ordain women as bishops or priests gets excommunicated too, but they bloviate off into hippy-dippy land and we rarely hear from them.

  10. Johnno says:

    “The Popes since Vatican II all say that is not true.”

    Sure. But they also have to address the criticisms specifically. Otherwise just saying, “It’s not true”, and not infalliably speaking, isn’t convincing. Most of the problems are blamed on poor implementation, and heretics not following the documents, which is all true. But there are things that go much beyond that and specifically in the documents themselves. Things with regards to Religious Liberty and Ecumenism and the standing of other religions in contrast to the Catholic faith. Things that are worded very vaguely and even to the point of possibly contradicting the Church’s Tradition and mission. Things the Vatican is refusing to amend or clarify.

    I’ve looked into it and what I’ve come across is from some VII apologists defending the council is that several such documents that appear problematic and in ‘contradiction to Church Teachings’ are documents not addressed to the Catholic faithful to follow, but documents specifically targeted to and written for secularist governments about how to be ‘properly secular’ etc. In which case if that is so, then why are the SSPX being made to accomodate such practices as toning down traditional Church teachings to the benefit of preserving peacful relations with other religions? etc. etc.? Particularly with respect to the Jews and Muslims? Which documents then are authoritatively binding on Catholics to observe and which aren’t? Which ones are addressed to the secular world and which aren’t? And in any case what business does the Catholic Church have to tell the secularists how to be secular, any more than telling the Hindus how to be better Hindus? Is not the Church’s job to be about converting them?

    Is it just some bizarre conincidence that older priests I encounter pushing the view that all religions are equal and don’t need to convert to Catholicism, claim this is Vatican II and it was taught to them in the Seminaries? That Modern Jews, Muslims and Catholics worship the same God??? How did such serious misinterpretations come about from the council documents? Some blame improper interpretation and false spirit of VII shenanigans from rebels in the Church. Some say statements about equating all religions is only for secularists to follow to maintain equality for peace but which generally Catholics are to ignore it. Groups like the SSPX on the other hand are claiming being told that it is binding on all Catholics and they must obey it and live it, which is why they fight it. So which is it? Are these not serious thigns the Vatican should address for teh sake of teh faithful? For the sake of true unity?

    The Catholic World would like to know and put this matter to rest! I’d personally like to know! And the only authority that can clear up the confusion, the Pope, and the current Magisterium, simply continue to say,”everything is a-ok” and nothing more to clarify anything! And this has been going on for 50 YEARS without any clarifications??!!! What is going on? Have I missed something?

  11. Denis says:

    “What really got them into trouble was a very simple disobedience to Canon Law in the ’88 Consecrations.”

    That act is not an issue at the moment. The excommunications that were a penalty for that act of disobedience have been lifted. At the moment the issue is the SSPX’s refusal to sign the doctrinal preamble, which is all about preventing the SSPX from continuing to criticize and question Vatican II and its consequences. The preamble is an example of the Vatican getting very tough on a very questionable issue.

  12. Glen M says:

    One of the intentions of the fourth decade of my daily rosary is the reunification of the SSPX. After that, for the same reason I don’t keep current with my wife’s soap opera (Y&R), I ignore most of these updates. I’ll pay attention when the deal is done. In the meantime there is enough catechesis to catch up on that I wasn’t taught in school, personal spirituality to develop, and overall battle with the Enemy to occupy my time and energy.

  13. Cavaliere says:

    which is all about preventing the SSPX from continuing to criticize and question Vatican II and its consequences.

    You have no proof of that. I doubt that the Pope has any problem with discussing legitimate criticisms of Vatican II. However, the SSPX has gone beyond simply criticizing the Council to declaring it at complete odds with the previous 1960 years of the Church.

  14. Imrahil says:

    I doubt that the Pope has any problem with discussing legitimate criticisms of Vatican II.

    I also doubt he has – if the criticism is not done by a group which confesses to dislike Vatican II in the first place. Here’s the problem: and mind-you that is not a slander versus our Holy Father: there is some sense, though perhaps no necessity, in allowing a man who likes the Council to critizise it while forbidding a man who dislikes it…

    On the other hand, the SSPX (excepting, as we must, always some popularistic terminological confusions which most-time come from the adherent layfolk and not the SSPX themselves) does not declare Vatican II at complete odds with the previous Church. (She altogether, and not wholly justifiedly in my opinion, goes along the “mixture-in-between”, “ambiguities”- etc. path.) What she, rightly or wrongly, does want is freedom to discuss it, without duty to adhere to a result fixed previously to the discussion (as “mostly traditional” or “totally traditional” or “possibly totally traditional with some marginal need of traditional interpretation”, and so on, would be.)

  15. Denis says:

    “the SSPX has gone beyond simply criticizing the Council to declaring it at complete odds with the previous 1960 years of the Church.”

    That’s true, but many groups have made claims about this or that being false, and this has included basic teachings about the Trinity, the Real Presence, etc. Yet none of these have needed to sign a doctrinal preamble in order to be “regularized.” The LCWR, “Catholic” professors of theology who spread heresy, and many others are fully regularized, yet only the SSPX are treated harshly. This is bad for all Catholics. It gives the impression that Catholic doctrine is reducible to one item: that one must never say that this or that teaching or change introduced by Vatican II is a radical break with tradition. That implication of the treatment of the SSPX is disasterous.

  16. AnnAsher says:

    Amen on Tradition and SSPX. Then he seems to intimate that SSPX does not deny essentials but that the “other side” do. Wouldn’t LCWR be the “other side”? Why then does he say, there is “no struggle” between the Holy See and LCWR. Is that accurate ?

  17. Fr.WTC says:

    Cavaliere, the society does not reject all the documents of the council, how could they, the Archbishop accepted all but two of the concil documents (by the way, two American bishops rejected ALL of the documents of the council). They accept the canonical statues of the council. What the SSPX do not accept is an interpretation of the documents that in their estimation supersede the declared intended limits of the council as stated by both Pope John or Pope Paul, and invest them with an authority that they never were intended to posses. This is the real issue.

  18. robtbrown says:

    johnno says:

    “These movements are worse because they are often denying essentials of Christianity.”

    —Then please, your grace, correct their erroneous interpretations of Vatican II in line with Tradition.

    I’d rather they were corrected according to Catholic doctrine

    “That is not their task, but ours.”

    —Which is why the SSPX have been telling YOU to do it all along and are looking for YOU to take the lead, and for YOU to address their concerns rather than just demanding blind obedience first. Refute the SSPX’s and other Catholics concerns about Vatican II, or correct them or clarify them or however you want to think of it, but please for the love of God do it! Only YOU can! You don’t convert people by walking up to them and saying “Covert! Or else!” You must demonstrate to them why and answer all their difficult questions!

    This is an excellent point. Rome must be more than a publishing house, producing documents. There must be implementation.

    “And we cannot accept doctrines about sexuality that don’t respect the fundamental essentials of revealed anthropology”

    —Should we not also emphasize God’s revealed Truth and laws as well whereby which anthropology and the sciences must be correctly interpreted by? Otherwise this is an opening whereby which other secular interpretations of such ‘antropology’ may be used to argue otherwise. Science does not trump God’s revealed truth and moral law. In fact it cannot.

    I’m afraid you don’t understand what he’s saying. By anthropology, he’s not referring to cultural or physical anthropology but Christian anthropology–what Revelation says about man. That’s why he uses the phrase “revealed anthropology”.

  19. Cavaliere says:

    Yet none of these have needed to sign a doctrinal preamble in order to be “regularized.” The LCWR, “Catholic” professors of theology who spread heresy, and many others are fully regularized, yet only the SSPX are treated harshly.

    This is simply a canard. The SSPX was directly told not to consecrate the four bishops in 1988 and did it anyway. For that they were justly excommunicated. The LCWR has not yet defied the Vatican in the same manner. However since the recent investigation of their group and the clear directive from Rome that they needed to get their house in order I have no doubt if they persist on their current path that they will incur some form of punishment. Regardless I addressed this in an earlier post.

    It gives the impression that Catholic doctrine is reducible to one item: that one must never say that this or that teaching or change introduced by Vatican II is a radical break with tradition

    Again the SSPX has gone far beyond simply suggesting that their is a break from tradition or even a radical break. From SiSiNoNo of the SSPX addressing errors of the council,

    “In general, the mentality at the Second Vatican Council was little if at all Catholic.”
    From Fr. Schmidberger “We cannot recognize this hermeneutic of continuity,” he said, using a theological term for Benedict’s view that the Council’s reforms were consistent with Catholic tradition.
    The Society insisted on its right to continue to denounce some Council reforms as grave errors and always have at least one bishop chosen from its own ranks, he said. Other sources have gone so far as to name these grave errors as outright heresy. They have repeatedly shown themselves unwilling to openly discuss with Rome the problems with Vatican II but have insisted that Rome must eventually, “come to them.”

  20. Denis says:

    “This is simply a canard. The SSPX was directly told not to consecrate the four bishops in 1988 and did it anyway. For that they were justly excommunicated.”

    Again, you are conflating two issues. The punishment for the consecrations was excommunication. That excommunication has been lifted. The current “irregular” status of the SSPX is exclusively a consequence of their inability, in good faith, to sign the doctrinal “preamble.” It is all about the SSPX’s views on Vatican II. The LCWR depart from Church teaching on doctrinal matters far more than do the SSPX, but they have not been required to sign a “preamble”. The Neocats depart from Church teaching on the sacrificial character of the Mass, yet they were not required to sign a “preamble.” What is the difference between these two groups and the SSPX? They do not criticize the Second Vatican Council. What is one to conclude from these facts? That there is only one sine qua non of Catholicism: “affirmation” of V2, where “affirmation” is a moving target.

  21. JesusFreak84 says:

    If +Muller wasn’t being sarcastic the times he says, “a little bit” in this interview, then he is naive beyond all comprehension. Europe isn’t “a little” in trouble; it’s as if the continent was never Christian at all! And the Church hasn’t “a little” lost Her way in Her human elements since VII; souls have gone to ***HELL*** because of this baloney, and yet if you say it, you’re “not with Rome” but the pantsuit feminazi Sisters of Judas ARE! This interview’s left me even less convinced than I already was that +Muller inhabits reality. =-(

  22. cyrillist says:

    cavaliere: “The SSPX says that Vatican II was a break from Tradition, i.e., the traditional teachings of the Church. The Popes since Vatican II all say that is not true.”

    From “Duck Soup”:
    Mrs. Teasdale: Your Excellency, I thought you’d left!
    Chicolini: Oh no, I no leave.
    Mrs. Teasdale: But I saw you with my own eyes!
    Chicolini: Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

  23. Imrahil says:

    Dear @JesusFreak84,

    if there is one thing certain it is that Europe does not look as if it never had been Christian at all. I doubt that ever can be possible in a country (even Turkey; though that comes nearest to it because basically the whole culture and population was over time exchanged there from Greater Greece to the Turk invaders). It is at any rate not so in Europe. That need not necessarily be a praise of Europe; there is a saying that corruptio optimi is pessima; but it is so…

    That said, it is the habit of our clergy to -whatever it is: play down, or cut down to proper size – the present crisis, taking the argument that the history of the Church was ever troublesome… The mere thought that the good old times may have been just that, and our times are in a definite way worse, seems to be too shocking to believe. Oh, I do not know whether that is true. But I do see that it has all appearance that they don’t even include it among the propositions to be examined for truth; and that seems odd, you know…

    It must, though, be said that Europe is no unity, although there does exist a political body called the European Union. Hungary, Croatia, South-Germany*, Former-GDR*, Austria, Rhineland, North-Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Spain, Poland, Scandinavia, the Ukraine, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Czechia, Slovakia (enumerated without order) are all different countries. An ordinance from the European Union to banish the Cross from the public life has met the organized disobedience of the Italian barkeepers. Not all is lost.

  24. The Masked Chicken says:

    I am confused.

    Archbp. Muller said:

    Müller: There is no struggle between the Holy See and this organization, but we do want to help the LCWR in its renewal of religious life — precisely because of the importance of religious life for the Church…. We cannot fulfill our mission if we are split, everyone speaking against one another, working against one another, or accepting ideas from outside that don’t belong to our faith.

    Aren’t the two statements I’ve italicized exactly the definition of struggle: two sides contending for a point of view?

    The Chicken

  25. Jack Orlando says:

    Everything suggests that it’s over. The Society will not be regularized now nor in the next 50 years. (I wish my prophecy will be proven wrong!)

    The Traditionalist Movement now is now dividing int two positions:

    1. The Ultra-Traditionalist position, which says
    (a) V2 is a against the Tradition,
    (b) that all the abuses that came after V2 were caused by V2,
    (c) it’s better to be in schism but with truth than in union with error.

    In reply:
    (a) is usually argued not from the texts of V2 but from a conspiracy theory, or is argued from ambiguity in the texts. The former is irrelevant, for what counts is the texts themselves; the latter can be clarified, and the Clarifier can be only the Magisterium.
    (b) is presented almost always as post hoc.
    (c) is Protestant.

    Worth quoting from Ratzinger to Lefebvre thirty years ago: “In the third paragraph you speak of ‘statements or expressions of the Council that are contrary to the Magisterium of the Church.’ Then you list three texts of the Council incompatible, according to you, with the Magisterium, adding even an ‘etc’. […] But you cannot assert the incompatibility of the Conciliar texts – which are magisterial texts – with the Magisterium and Tradition. You can say that personally you do not see this compatibility, and to ask for explanations from the Apostolic See. But if, on the contrary, you assert the impossibility of such an explanation, you are deeply departing from the fundamental structure of the Catholic Faith (emphasis added)

    2. the Conservative Traditionalist posiition, which says
    a. The texts of V2 are within a hermeneutic of continuity with the Tradition, and what might be ambiguous in V2′s texts can be clarified by the Magisterium (see Ratzinger above).
    b. The Tradition goes back much, much further than the 19th C, and the papal documents of the 19th C which are usually quoted by the Ultras were themselves pastoral, not dogmatic, addressing a particular situation.
    c. The calamity that happened after V2 was not caused by the texts of V2 but by Liberals with their own agenda, who, when they referred to V2 at all, twisted those texts to mean what they don’t say.
    d. Unity with the Successor of St. Peter, and the current Successor, is itself a dogma; those who oppose that unity in the name of a assumed “Truth” are de facto heretics.

  26. Cavaliere says:

    @cyrillist Mrs. Teasdale: But I saw you with my own eyes!
    Chicolini: Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

    I presume that your use of this quote implies that you are saying that you see errors in Vatican II and therefore are trusting your own opinion over that of the authority of the Pope. Fair enough, my assessment of the SSPX comes from “my own eyes” after attending their chapels and teaching in their schools for several years.

  27. dspecht says:

    Jack Orlando:
    (a) is usually argued not from the texts of V2 but from a conspiracy theory, or is argued from ambiguity in the texts. The former is irrelevant, for what counts is the texts themselves; the latter can be clarified, and the Clarifier can be only the Magisterium.

    You, Jack, and others seem to make two mistakes:

    1. What f.e Wiltgen or de Mattei documented is not a “conspiracy theory” but historical facts. We have express testimony of Rahner, Vorgrimmler etc. and best documented other facts that there was a “conspiracy” of the nouvelle theologians from the Rhine-countries. Wiltgen or de Matei are serious writers and historians, not “conspiracy theorists”

    2. The ambiguities were intended ones, purposely created to let a door open for a not Catholic interpretation. (Therefor we have also this historical evidence and more than enough testimony).
    So they are not harmless but evil – deserving (at least!!) the censure “captiosi/-ae”.

  28. dspecht says:

    So to interprete this (deliberately desigend [to leave a door open for a not-Catholic interpretation]) ambiguities in a Catholic way does not heal them. They – and the whole context – are evil.

    It is evil to speak intentionally in a ambiguous way of things that the Church had decided et determined before or even condemned (nouvell theology, modern existientialistic and transcendental philosophy, rel. liberty, etc.), so that were not free theological opinions – and in a way that She had condemnded (not scholastically, in some nouvell-theology-modern-philosophy-ambiguous-language!) . But as exactly this happend at Vat. II and also after Vat. II that is evil. Perhaps much more evil than a clear-cut heresy!

    Cf. the condemnation of the Synode of Pistoia – exactly many (intentional) ambiguities were condemned there (as captiosi, or haeresim sapiens, haeresi[s]/-m fovens/favens/inducens in etc.). So not only heresies are evil. A purposly designed ambiguity (in matters that are not of free theological opinion or even yet condemned) is also evil. As said, in some respect more than a heresy!

  29. dspecht says:

    Müller:
    re SSPX: …after 30 or more years of separation from the Church… The SSPX is … breakaway group.

    re LCWR: There is no struggle between the Holy See and this organization, but we do want to help the LCWR in its renewal of religious life

    So it’s clear were Müller stands (and that he is not even a “conservative”).

  30. Cavaliere says:

    @dsprecht Müller:

    re SSPX: …after 30 or more years of separation from the Church… The SSPX is … breakaway group.
    re LCWR: There is no struggle between the Holy See and this organization, but we do want to help the LCWR in its renewal of religious life
    So it’s clear were Müller stands

    It is not unusual for defenders of the SSPX to piece together quotes out of context to prove their point. What Archbishop Muller actually said in the above text is, “The SSPX is not the only breakaway group in the Church. There are worse ones on the opposite side, too. [That's for sure!] These movements are worse because they are often denying essentials of Christianity. .
    As to the first part of the quote used, “after 30 years or more of separation from the Church” I cannot find it in any of the 3 recently linked articles. Perhaps I missed it.

    Let me throw this out there. I do not say this in defense of the LCWR’s oft erring ways but just perhaps the hammer has not fallen on them (yet) because to quote Luke’s Gospel, “Many sins are forgiven her, because she has loved much.” Despite their involvement in many non-Catholic issues, “Save our Wetlands” comes to mind they have nevertheless done much good work serving the sick, poor, etc. But the Vatican seems to be attempting to correct them and get them focused back on what they truly should be involved with. However, if they persist in being simple social justice workers I think that the Vatican will not long continue tolerating their dissent.

  31. Cavaliere says:

    So here is the full quote that dsprecht partially mentioned above. I didn’t catch it the first time reading the article.

    Part of the problem is that, after 30 or more years of separation from the Church, some groups or persons can be very closed in their own dynamic, in their own groups, and very fixed on these points. I believe that these questions will be resolved in the long term.

    And where he is wrong in his analysis? Look at the SSPX US website, http://www.sspx.org and I think you will find a strong case for what he is saying.

    To those making a comparison between the SSPX and the LCWR and why the former is made to sign a preamble to regularize their situation in the Church while the other does not, can you answer these questions?

    Did the LCWR consent to a visitation by authorities of the Vatican to assess their overall organization and religious houses, institutes, etc.?

    Have they, albeit begrudgingly, accepted to work with the Vatican in resolving the concerns of the Vatican?

    Would the SSPX consent to a visitation by authorities of the Vatican to assess their seminiaries, religious sisters, etc.?

    Would the SSPX agree to any demands of the Vatican based on the investigation of said organizations?

    Obviously the answer to the first two questions is Yes, and the answers to the third and fourth is no.

  32. A Sinner 2 says:

    On Bp. Williamson:

    ” …denies all that the Nazis had done against the Jewish people, their exterminations. How is it possible to be so cold-hearted about this? It is absolutely unacceptable…”

    …and Muller has defended Liberation Theology. (Pol?) Pot meet kettle.

  33. A Sinner 2 says:

    “Would the SSPX consent to a visitation by authorities of the Vatican to assess their seminiaries, religious sisters, etc.? ”

    http://www.sspx.org/SSPX_FAQs/q4_archbishop_lefebvre_suspended.htm

  34. Jack Orlando says:

    Well, dspecht, we’ll count you in the group #1, the ultratraditionalists. I’m sorry to add that we’ll also have to count you in the realm of the unreal, of fantasyland, and of hopeless wishes. V2 will never be repealed. Period. Fullstop. Expect sooner the restoration of the Legitimist, Jacobite, and Carlist pretenders and the re-establishment of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Your argument is also specious. It’s quite irrelevant what intentions were or the characters of the principals. It’s what the text literally says. The texts of V2 say no heresy. And if the texts be ambiguous, they can be clarifed.

  35. Cavaliere says:

    “Would the SSPX consent to a visitation by authorities of the Vatican to assess their seminiaries, religious sisters, etc.? ”

    Thank you for the link which provided further evidence of the disobedient spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    June 12, 1976

    Archbishop Benelli (Secretary of State) writes Archbishop Lefebvre, telling him not to ordain priests without their local bishops’ permission.

    June 29, 1976

    Archbishop Lefebvre goes ahead with the foreseen ordinations.

    July 1, 1976

    The illegal suspension of Archbishop Lefebvre and his newly ordained priests is declared.

    So the Pope’s number 2 man tells you not to ordain priests, you proceed, you are punished but you deem their actions illegal. I’m sensing a pattern.
    Of course your reference gives the SSPX consent to a visit that occurred while it was still fully within the Church. Ironically it was from this visit and the subsequent findings of the commission which could be said to have set in motion his ultimate excommunication from the Church. However my question stands with the current position of the SSPX and their irregular status. Would they now accept a visitation?

  36. cyrillist says:

    @Cavaliere: “I presume that your use of this quote implies that you are saying that you see errors in Vatican II …”

    No, that wasn’t my point. As you said, the SSPX sees Vatican II as a break from tradition, while the post-conciliar Popes claim that that’s not the case – and leave it at that. If there’s been any serious papal clarification as to how the apparently non-traditional aspects of the Council actually do jibe with tradition, I’m not aware of it, and such clarification would be like a cool glass of water in the desert, to say the least. Hence, the Vatican’s demand to the SSPX for blind “acceptance of Vatican II” doesn’t seem like such a far cry from “Who you gonna believe…?”

    (As for what your own eyes have seen of the SSPX, I don’t doubt it, as fallen human nature turns up just about everywhere.)

  37. Cavaliere says:

    @cyrillist, thanks for clarifying that for me. I wasn’t certain which direction you were going with that quote.

  38. A Sinner 2 says:

    “Thank you for the link which provided further evidence of the disobedient spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre.”
    You seem to have a misunderstanding about the state of the Church at that time. Bishops, theologians, and many in the Church hierarchy were in a state of open rebellion, and the Church was in a complete state of chaos. Had there been a few more bishops “disobedient” in the sense of adhering to Tradition, to confront those intent on jettisoning it, perhaps the Church wouldn’t be the smoldering ruin it is today.

    Try doing some research on Cardinal Villot.

  39. Cavaliere says:

    @ A Sinner 2 says, Try doing some research on Cardinal Villot.

    I have but is there any information that doesn’t came from a conspiracy theorist? And how about any information on events that took place that isn’t exclusively the Archbishop’s version of events? However this isn’t germane to the topic at hand so rather than risk chastisement from Fr. Z, I will return to the discussion of Archbishop Muller.

  40. Cavaliere says:

    Archbishop Muller is criticized by the SSPX for his teaching on the Eucharist, some equating it with heresy. He said,

    On the Eucharist, he stated: “In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality. Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine.”)

    The late Abbot Vonier of Buckfast Abbey in England who was a well known theologian and writer in the 1920′s had this to say about the Eucharist,

    It might almost be said that if at any moment in the sacramental process, Christ in his natural condition were to step in, the sacrament would at once be made meaningless. He must be there in specia aliena- in a condition different from His natural one – in order to safeguard the character of the sacrament as a sign.

  41. robtbrown says:

    Cavaliere says:

    “Would the SSPX consent to a visitation by authorities of the Vatican to assess their seminiaries, religious sisters, etc.? ”

    Thank you for the link which provided further evidence of the disobedient spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    Good. You’re absolutely correct.

    Now explain why Paul VI presided over the mangling of the liturgy (i.e., de-Catholicizing it). While you’re at it, explain why Paul VI did nothing about Hans Küng or Karl Rahner. Why he appointed one liberal bishop after another (his buddy Abp Marty destroyed the archdiocese of Paris). And why he made Jean Jadot the Apostolic Delegate to the US.

  42. Cavaliere says:

    @RobTBrown

    There is no answer to the question you ask other than God has allowed it to happen according to His Providence. And I’m not going to lead this post down a rabbit hole by answering it further.

  43. robtbrown says:

    Cavaliere says:

    Archbishop Muller is criticized by the SSPX for his teaching on the Eucharist, some equating it with heresy. He said,

    On the Eucharist, he stated: “In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality. Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine.”)

    Why couldn’t that explanation also be applied to the Lutheran Eucharist?

    NB: There is a reason why Transubstantiation is used to describe Christ’s presence.

    The late Abbot Vonier of Buckfast Abbey in England who was a well known theologian and writer in the 1920?s had this to say about the Eucharist,

    It might almost be said that if at any moment in the sacramental process, Christ in his natural condition were to step in, the sacrament would at once be made meaningless. He must be there in specia aliena- in a condition different from His natural one – in order to safeguard the character of the sacrament as a sign.

    Abbot Vonier was a highly respected man, but I don’t think the above text adequately represents his thought..

    Christ was present at the Last Supper, and He didn’t seem to think it was meaningless when He said “This is My Body . . . This is My Blood”.

    The Eucharist doesn’t merely make Christ present–even substantially. If so, it would be just Eucharistic adoration. The Eucharist is the Sacramental reenactment of Christ’s Priestly Act of offering His own Suffering and Death, and actually receiving His Body and Blood.

  44. robtbrown says:

    Should be:

    Cavaliere says:

    Archbishop Muller is criticized by the SSPX for his teaching on the Eucharist, some equating it with heresy. He said,

    On the Eucharist, he stated: “In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality. Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine.”)

    Why couldn’t that explanation also be applied to the Lutheran Eucharist?

    NB: There is a reason why Transubstantiation is used to describe Christ’s presence.

  45. Cavaliere says:

    Abbot Vonier was a highly respected man, but I don’t think the above text adequately represents his thought..

    The text was taken from his book, A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist. I think it represents his thought quite well. The whole section dealt with the subject. He says in a following paragraph,

    “If we were met by Christ in Person in our churches, such encounters would have nothing in common with what is called the Sacramental Presence .”

    Again I see nothing substantially different between what Archbishop Muller said and what Abbot Vonier said in 1925 in what is regarded as a classic writing on Eucharistic theology.

  46. robtbrown says:

    Cavaliere says:

    @RobTBrown

    There is no answer to the question you ask other than God has allowed it to happen according to His Providence. And I’m not going to lead this post down a rabbit hole by answering it further.

    You have avoided the main issue.

    During the papacy of Paul VI there was a project, engineered by the pope’s progressivist, liberal humanist buddies, not merely to reform the Church but rather to transform it radically from its Ecclesial Salvific Mission to a Community of Man organization. Latin Liturgy and the Eucharist as Sacrifice had to go–their absence would trigger other radical changes. Vat II was used as the excuse for dismantling the Church.

    Anyone who opposed the program was persecuted. The main group that actually opposed the program was headed by Abp Lefebvre. Unfortunately, his group was also clinging to a Counter Reformation approach.

    Was Abp Lefebvre disobedient? Certainly. But much of what the SSPX was saying no to was part of the project to rid the Church of whatever was distinctively Catholic. And so it is simple minded to describe the situation just as a case of the disobedience of the SSPX.

  47. robtbrown says:

    Cavaliere says:

    The text was taken from his book, A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist. I think it represents his thought quite well. The whole section dealt with the subject. He says in a following paragraph,

    “If we were met by Christ in Person in our churches, such encounters would have nothing in common with what is called the Sacramental Presence .”

    Again I see nothing substantially different between what Archbishop Muller said and what Abbot Vonier said in 1925 in what is regarded as a classic writing on Eucharistic theology.

    I definitely agree with you on that–you don’t see it.

  48. Pingback: Prefect of CDF about SSPX and LCWR – What Does The Prayer … | Nail It To The Cross

  49. VexillaRegis says:

    @Cavaliere & robtbrown: It’s a pleasure to follow your discussion, thank you! :-)

  50. cyrillist says:

    @robtbrown: Your criticism of the SSPX as having taken a Counter Reformation approach is intriguing and suggestive, much more so than the usual cries of “Protestant!” from other critics. Might I ask what approach you would find preferable and more effective in countering the modernist revolution?

  51. Horatius says:

    Might it be suggestive of an imperfect analogy? When SSPX demonstrates the achievements of the Counter Reformation, not an air tight historical category, to be sure, but i am happy to go with it for the sake of argument, and do so within the space of several decades, maybe the analogy will hold. That leaves thirty or forty years to go, by which time I may be dead. Ergo, I remain semper cum Petro, FSSP, and devout Benedictines, to name just three examples of the fullness of truth, and I pray for the return of these separated people.

  52. Cavaliere says:

    I definitely agree with you on that–you don’t see it.

    Then again robtbrown, perhaps you see something there which does not exist?

  53. robtbrown says:

    cyrillist says:

    @robtbrown: Your criticism of the SSPX as having taken a Counter Reformation approach is intriguing and suggestive, much more so than the usual cries of “Protestant!” from other critics. Might I ask what approach you would find preferable and more effective in countering the modernist revolution?

    The approach of St Thomas.

  54. robtbrown says:

    Cavaliere says:

    “I definitely agree with you on that–you don’t see it.”

    Then again robtbrown, perhaps you see something there which does not exist?

    I’ll re-state the question I asked above re the Mueller text:

    Why couldn’t that explanation also be applied to the Lutheran Eucharist?

  55. cyrillist says:

    @robtbrown: Oh dear. Didymus, Aquinas, Tocaima, Becket, Villanova…? (cf. “The Feast of Padre Chala” by Thomas[!] Walsh.) If #4, are you recommending martyrdom? A time-honored solution, if four hot-headed knights are available. Or do you mean the Angelic Doctor? Not to venture into a rabbit hole, but would you kindly flesh that out a bit for me?

  56. dspecht says:

    @Cavaliere:

    ????
    - Everybody could have looked up the context of my quotes, because they were posted here in the main article by Fr. Z. So how can say I quote out of context??? ??? Don´t you think the readers here can read??? ???
    My only point was: whilst Müller obviously has struggles with the SSPX he expressely says re the LCWR:
    “There is no struggle between the Holy See and this organization”

    That´s beyond all pale, isn´t it?! NO struggles with LCWR – ughh?! but with the sspx…- Who has eyes to see shall see.

  57. Cavaliere says:

    @dspecht
    That´s beyond all pale, isn´t it?! NO struggles with LCWR – ughh?! but with the sspx…- Who has eyes to see shall see.

    Yes, and some shall only see what they want to see!

  58. Cavaliere says:

    @dspecht
    Everybody could have looked up the context of my quotes, because they were posted here in the main article by Fr. Z.

    Piecing together parts of different quotes in order to present a predetermined conclusion and then expecting others to go and fact check is dishonest.