SSPX Bp. Fellay delivers a long “state of the question” address

On 28 December 2012, SSPX Superior Bishop Bernard Fellay gave a long address in English to what sounds like good sized mixed crowd at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Ontario, Canada.

He unloaded a lot of information.

The talk is 1’37″.  He rambles a great deal.  In between the rambling is some interesting information.  I cannot say if all of it is entirely accurate.  That is not the point.  The fact is Bp. Fellay thinks it is accurate and he is willing to tell people about it.

Some of you might work together to provide a) a précis – not a transcript, and b) a timeline of what Fellay recounts about his dealings with Rome over the last year and a half. These could be very useful. I suggest sharing the work.

The audio page is HERE but I will also try to create a player, below. Since the talk is long, it might take a while to download.

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133 Responses to SSPX Bp. Fellay delivers a long “state of the question” address

  1. Cool Catholic says:
  2. steve jones says:

    Rambling is scarcely the word! It is bordering on the incoherent if not absurd. He should have fought harder to keep RW on board and played his hand more astutely during negotiations. Things went too quickly and he should have used the 2009 RW problem as a delaying tactic.

  3. Jack Orlando says:

    First reactions after hearing the tape:

    * Now the Society clearly has said “no” to Pope Benedict XVI, and said it definitely, unequivocally, and finally. “They treat us as excommunicated”. No they haven’t. Soon they will; and they will so de jure.

    * The possibility of reconciliation of the Society with Rome and the regularization of the Society no longer exists. This speech shows that Fellay and the Society know this and are planning to proceed accordingly. Müller’s appointment shows that The Church knows this too. The Society, as are the Old Catholics and Anglicans, is outside The Church, a different church. I say this with sorrow.

    * Fellay’s argument is “I get confusing signals. The Curia doesn’t do what the Pope wants.” I don’t believe him. The Church has repeatedly said clearly this: “You cannot deny the Council. If a statement in the Council needs clarification, or has not yet been clarified in subsequent teaching, it can subsequently clarified. But if your position is to reject adamantly the Council, and to reject intransigently the possibility of clarification, then you reject the Magisterium of the Church itself, and then it’s over and we go separate ways.”

    * He who is not with Rome is not Catholic. By rejecting Rome, the Society places itself out of the Catholic Church and is now in schism. It is now just a matter of time before The Church declares this schism and imposes excommunications.

    * I question the Free Masonry charge, the charge of German threats, and the charge of Communists in the Church. Soon Fellay will go to Wheeling West Virginia, make a speech to the Republican Women’s Club, take a piece of paper out of his cassock, and say that he has in his hand a list of 205 Communists/Jews/Masons/Protestants in the Curia. (I know that some of you are too young to understand this reference.)

    * The attempt to compare the Society’s situation to the Eastern Church is fallacious.

    * Equally fallacious is the attempt to blame the bad situation in The Church, whether in France or elsewhere, chiefly on the Council — thus a post hoc fallacy, thus ignoring the Sexual Revolution, ignoring the secularism of the past three centuries, and ignoring that in the last 20 years our culture is in fact becoming less secular.

    * “You are Protestants” “You are Modernists”. The idea that Benedict XVI is a disciple of Loisy is absurd.

    * “We must be accepted as we are!” = “We are our own Magisterium and Rome must accept this”.

    * Fellay says that the correct term to describe of the new Mass is not invalid or illicit but “evil”. This cements the parting of ways. None of us in the Church can say the new Mass is categorically and unconditionally evil and then remain in the Church. (The new Mass isn’t what the Council wanted anyway.)

    * I stopped listening at 1:17 when the Jews are called “enemies of the Church”. Williamson is no exception in the Society. There is now no chance of reconciliation. We now need to devote our time to what in fact can be done: the advancement of the Extraordinary Form.

    I regret that I am blunt. St. Flannery, in explaining why she had the element of the grotesque in her work, said “When people are deaf, you have to shout.”

  4. AGA says:

    St. Flannery, really?

    Fellay is right on almost all counts, yet still wrong in his conclusion. That the SSPX is in schism from Holy Mother Church is beyond doubt.

    But Fellay’s criticisms of the Church are mostly accurate. This is what the conservative Catholics don’t get. When you criticize the SSPX (and it rightly deserves criticism), don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. All you end up doing is driving more souls into schism.

  5. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Jack Orlando,

    as long as the SSPX does not say it is in schism, and the Holy See does not declare in a formal manner that it will hold it schismatic if it does or refuses to do something,

    it is not in schism. Schism is not “a bit going too far with disobedience [notwithstanding that disobedience itself is too far]“. It is a specific crime of its own.

    [That was no answer to all of your comment but only to that little part of it.]

  6. Geoffrey says:

    @Jack Orlando: Thank you very much for the succinct summary! I didn’t have the time to listen!

    The whole situation is very sad. The Holy Father offered so much of what the SSPX demanded (Summorum Pontificum, the lifting of the excommunications, etc.), and still they speak this nonsense?! The Holy Father showed them such mercy and charity, and this is how they respond?

    Sadly, the day is coming when the Holy Apostolic See will have to do something definitive regarding the SSPX… and not just to the bishops of the society, but also the priests and perhaps even the lay faithful attached to the movement. Very sad, but something needs to be done.

  7. Mike says:

    Jack,

    A few comments on your comment:

    1. If you mean Flannery O’Connor, she’s not been canonized.

    2. There are many obstacles to a healing of the SSPX/rift, but there are also many positives too, ie, on many, many things, they hold the Roman Catholic Faith where other Catholics literally have no idea what the Faith is!

  8. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Jack Orlando, I resist to the temptation to write an, if possible, SSPX-friendly answer to your comment.

    Ad 1. “Treating as excommunicate” is a question of behavior. Auxbp Fellay is entitled to the view that they are treated as excommunicate; as far as the diocesan level is concerned, I tend, with few exceptions, to agree. (Some might say this is an appropriate treatment.)

    Ad 2. Agree (sadly) as far as the possibility of reaching an agreement is concerned. That does not mean they are schismatic; they are in tolerated suspension.

    Ad 3. We have here a very sad example for these face-saving etc. things; certainly on the side of the SSPX, probably on the side of the Curia. The Curia insists that the SSPX must accept the Council. The SSPX insists that it must be able to call their points of criticism, which in themselves are mostly of the nature allowed to a Catholic faithful**, “rejecting the Council”.
    [** It happens to be wrong here but is possible that a Council in its fallible parts, that is in the case of Vatican II the whole of it, contains even outright errors. It is possible and, indeed, correct that a Council brings problems with itself. -- Of course, which is a bit overlooked: That a Catholic faithful may do a thing which at least borders on distancing oneself from the Church, need not necessarily mean that a canonical association may do it.]

    Ad 10. I actually guess that, even though this was English, it is a translation from the French issue. “Evil” means “malicieuse”, but I’d doubt Auxbp Fellay would have said malicieuse in a French talk. He’d have said “mauvaise”, as does the German SSPX (“schlecht”), which translated into English is “bad”.
    It is their opinion that the liturgy reform was objectively an intrinsical evil. Yes. They use this principle to deduce some wrong deductions, but these are, at first, just errors (and on the non-heretical level).

  9. robtbrown says:

    Geoffrey says:

    Sadly, the day is coming when the Holy Apostolic See will have to do something definitive regarding the SSPX… and not just to the bishops of the society, but also the priests and perhaps even the lay faithful attached to the movement. Very sad, but something needs to be done.

    When do you think something definitive will be done regarding poorly formed priests and religious and the sad state of the liturgy?

  10. Julian Barkin says:

    @Jack Orlando,

    As a young buck involved in serving the Latin Mass in my diocese, THE very diocese that THAT guy adminstered “confirmations” to young children in, and CONDITIONAL confirmations to adults (as their Novus Ordo Confirmation was of ‘improper’ matter or defective) this past weekend, I must say that I whole heartedly agree with your assessment of the situation. I will have to devote some time to hear the whole speech (should I have the patience to quell my anger), but it is a good general summation. They are done with negotiating.

    Further I am sick of how they go around administering empty sacraments, that are NULL and VOID due to these guys NOT being under the jurisdiction of their bishop. So no matter what these children and adults think, they are being LIED to, regardless of how beautiful their sermons on the sacrament are. I am tired of the lies they spew. Another former acquaitance of mine even thought that under pang of mortal sin you must fast friday from attending their “services” when Canon Law of 1983 has removed such (but oh wait! It’s a POST VATICAN II Canon law so it doesn’t apply!)

    Anyways Jack Orlano, don’t let yourself be discouraged by these SSPX hard liners. They simply sing the tune they’ve been taught to hum and do it willingly if they took the bait and deserted from the True and Valid Church under the Magisterium and the Holy Father for the mere “appearance” of traditional Catholicism. In fact, part of why I started my Blog Servimus Unum Deum, amongst other things about those happenings in my Archdiocese of Toronto, was to promote VALID AND LICIT DIOCESAN Latin Mass efforts be they parish or lay-orgnaized, so that people in our diocese will come to know the Latin Mass, if interested in serving do so, and not be swayed to likely schism as even the PCED in the last communication warned that attending SSPX “Masses” can lead one to do so. And Canon law makes schism a latae Sentitiae excommunication, meaning “you knowingly do it, bye bye salvation.”

    Everyone, please save your souls and stay on the barque of Peter. It might have taken some mighty blows and its officers have mutinied in the past, and some are still doing so (but are dying of old age gradually), but the Captain Benedict XVI and our King Jesus still reign the waters of our world. It is getting better. Young people in my generation and the next are waking up, and bit by bit, we are coming back and getting bolder with our faith. We are evangelizing. But please, as tempting as it is to want to go to their “Masses” with pomp and circumstance and all the fancy visuals, many of your dioceses have the same things starting up. Support those efforts, and more will follow.If you put your money and time into the SSPX, those efforts will be crushed or die, and there will be no one to blame but you, when you did not look after your Catholic brothers who fought valiantly and lost. Furthermore, what will happen when the Pope excommunicates once again the SSPX or makes the final doctrinal blow on them? Will you then wish you had supported your local diocesan TLM?

    As for those who aren’t lucky, then support with money and your feet those Novus Ordo parishes that are more orthodox and defend their pastors in writing and your donations! Get involved on liturgy committees and parish councils and with your knowledge of Vatican documents and scripture and the Catechism, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! Worse case, offer up your sufferings to the Lord, but do not stray from the path. The gate is wide but the path is narrow. And you can fall off BOTH sides of the path, liberal or ultra-trad. In addition, remember, most of all, Matthew 16:18. Our Lord will NEVER allow the Church (not necessarily the institutional aspects) to fall to the Devil. Pax Tibi Christi everyone.

  11. HighMass says:

    Great Points robtbrown!

    Alot of us have wondered that for many years!!! And Righfully so…..I guess I have just missed the “SPIRIT OF VII!

    And lets not Forget Bugnini’s N.O.! SSPX have valid complaints but one learns quickly you are looked at and labeled, being from a different planet when you speak up…..there are those of us who remain in the Church but have wondered what in the world happened…….Masons??? Most likely.

    The Holy Father Is a Wonder Priest, Bishop, Pope, WE need to Pray that the Holy Ghost guides him…

    Viva Il Papa!

  12. James Joseph says:

    I listened to whole talk. No offence intended but it was rambly and I feel that his opinions kind of smacked of Modernism.

  13. Emilio III says:

    Fr, this is in the old iTunes podcast only, as was Bp Arinze’s. I guess we need to stay subscribed to both and later delete the duplicates…

    Jack, I understood the reference to Senator McCarthy, and consider it despicable.

  14. Dismas says:

    “There cannot be faith in the Holy Spirit if there is not faith in Christ, in his sacraments, in his Church. A man cannot act in accordance with his Christian faith, cannot truly believe in the Holy Spirit, unless he loves the Church and trusts it. He cannot be a coherent Christian if he limits himself to pointing out the deficiencies and limitations of some who represent the Church, judging her from the outside, as though he were not her son.”
    (Christ is passing by, 130)

    I find the idea of masons within our Church, Judas is nothing new, much less disturbing than those who find themselves outside our Church and whom, I suspect, Karl Marx would be pleased.

  15. jhayes says:

    Here is a complete transcript with some time markings.
    http://www.cathinfo.com/catholic.php?a=topic&t=22232&min=45&num=5
    Then go to page 10 and look for a very long post by Matthew
    At the end it says: Posted Jan 2, 2013, 2:03 am

    The members of the group transcribed individual sections which were then assembled by the moderator. I haven’t compared this against the audio so, if you quote from this transcript, I would first go to the time point in the tape and satisfy yourself that the transcription is accurate.

  16. SSPX and Bishop Fellay bashing at Fr. Z’s blog? Shocking!

    Know that they will hate you…

  17. robtbrown says:

    Jack Orlando says:

    * The possibility of reconciliation of the Society with Rome and the regularization of the Society no longer exists. This speech shows that Fellay and the Society know this and are planning to proceed accordingly. Müller’s appointment shows that The Church knows this too. The Society, as are the Old Catholics and Anglicans, is outside The Church, a different church. I say this with sorrow.

    Why do you think Abp DiNoia was appointed?

    Equally fallacious is the attempt to blame the bad situation in The Church, whether in France or elsewhere, chiefly on the Council — thus a post hoc fallacy, thus ignoring the Sexual Revolution, ignoring the secularism of the past three centuries, and ignoring that in the last 20 years our culture is in fact becoming less secular.

    It is true that many of the problems in the Church are simply continuations of trends before the Council, esp between WWI and WWII. It is another question whether Vat II effectively dealt with the situation.

    The Society, as are the Old Catholics and Anglicans, is outside The Church, a different church. I say this with sorrow.

    Do you think the celebrant in this town who still refuses to use the word “sacrifice” in the Orate Fratres is not outside the Church? How about priests who favor the ordination of women? Or the election or pro abortion politicians?

    I agree with you that the constant harping about Jews and Masons by the SSPX is not good–it is little else than garden variety French Nationalism. No one did more damage in the Church than Karl Rahner, and he was neither a Jew nor a Mason.

    BTw, the German episcopacy is virulently opposed to the TLM. For that matter, we also know of its opposition to the prohibition of Communion to those in bad marriages. The Church in Germany is in bad, bad shape.

  18. Geoffrey says:

    “When do you think something definitive will be done regarding poorly formed priests and religious and the sad state of the liturgy?”

    Equally soon, I hope and pray! Though the situation isn’t entirely dire. It is a generational issue. The “biological solution” and the up and coming “JPII generation” will change things dramatically. “Brick by brick”!

    The SSPX problem is a different issue altogether. Pick any bishop that you think was not a good bishop; regardless of what they did or didn’t do, they were not about to consecrate another bishop without the Pope’s permission. That is the risk and the danger with the SSPX.

  19. Emilio III says:

    Jack, I beg your pardon for my last remark. It was out of place.

  20. Cathy says:

    If the transcripts posted above are correct, Bishop Fellay’s complaint that the Curia is not doing what the Holy Father has requested seems to have little weight. SSPX has issued a definitive “no” to the Holy Father. I honestly believe that Summorum Pontificum was issued, not as an answer to demands made by SSPX, but as a demand by Christ through the Church. Lifting the excommunication of the bishops in SSPX was a generous offering by the Holy Father. A definitive “no” to his request to reconcile SSPX to the Church is tantamount to their own self-proclaimed excommunication. Just plain sad.

  21. contrarian says:

    I don’t pretend to be an eminent expert on things SSPX, but I know more than your average traditionalist Catholic blog-reading nerd, I suppose. After listening to the talk, me thinks that Fellay sounds pretty much on point. It was interesting to get his story.
    I suppose I have to respectfully disagree with every point made by Mr. Orlando on this thread.
    Rather than start an argument, though, I simply want to add: I didn’t mind the rambling. It showed that he wasn’t using a political and sanitized script. He sounded very human and…in earnest. Certainly he was redundant and rambling at times, but who cares? That’s how people talk in real life when they talk from the heart on a matter of urgency. He was never cryptic. Which is more than can be said of the Council he’s criticizing.

  22. Jacob says:

    I love His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay. I hope Rome and the SSPX can come to some sort of an agreement soon so I can go to FSSP and SSPX chapels when I travel.

  23. Gratias says:

    2012 was a sad year at multiple levels. For me the refusal of the Pope’s offer by SSPX was tragic. It will make the efforts of those that seek to expand Diocesan TLMs much more difficult. SSPX was offered an arrangement that would have included all other Taditional masses. Pride is a terrible sin and it will set back efforts in many parishes for some time. Christ have Mercy.

  24. Jack Orlando says:

    Emilio III: Apology accepted.

  25. 2012: SSPX — out; LCRW still in; Go figure!

  26. JonPatrick says:

    Thinking about what Gratias said above, if the SSPX was to be placed under an Ordinariate such as was done for the Anglicans, and that Ordinariate was to include all traditional groups that currently attend Diocesan TLM’s, that might be a step backwards in some ways. The provision for dioceses to host TLM’s has the advantage that it integrates them into parish life and has at least the possibility of exposing the average Ordinary Form attending parishioner to the reverence and beauty of the traditional form, an opportunity that will be lost if the diocesan TLM is ghetto-ized along with the former SSPX (and probably the FSSP as well) into an Ordinariate of St. Pius X or whatever they call it.

  27. You see, JonPatrick, we don’t want to be integrated into a “parish life” that includes altar girls, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, disrespect for and desecration of holy things, bowing instead of genuflecting, banal liturgical music, errors preached from the pulpit and printed in the bulletin, in short, an entirely different religion from what we traditionalists believe and practice. I belong to an FSSP apostolate that shares a church with the novus ordo, and what I’ve learned over the years is that I practice an entirely different religion from those who attend the novus ordo. I believe and do things completely different from them, and I really don’t want anything to do with their “parish life”. Thanks, but no thanks.

  28. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Well, I’ll happily stomp all over the SSPX too once my bishop stops selling Joan Chittister, Hans Küng, and Richard McBrien books out of his denuded cathedral (among other things). Of course, his collapsing diocese has an SSPX church and school that is awash in children and young people.

    Clean up the mess and restore the devastated vineyard, and this SSPX problem goes away. In the meantime, I suppose they will continue to be a thorn in Rome’s side, prodding them to step up their efforts to deal seriously with the crisis. Vatican II anniversary celebrations look silly until the crisis is resolved. Perhaps the 100th anniversary in 2062 will be a happier one.

  29. Johnsum says:

    Bishop Fellay sounds sincere, isolated and demonstrating once again a total lack of political acumen. Were he willing to say YES and think NO at the same time his Society would have been given canonical standing a long time ago. But he stubbornly thinks right makes might not the other way. Is he wright? I do not think I know enough to tell whether he is or not. His use of English coupled with low political skills leaves a poor impression of the discourse he gave in Ontario.

    Yet, in my heart I believe the Holy Father may surprise many on what he does with this situation. The forthcoming encyclical on Faith will be the opportunity for him to address Cardinal Muller’s remark concerning dissent in general but in a more credible and formal manner than Cardinal Muller could do in his ad hoc remarks. In the encyclical, the Pope may say something that the SSPX needs to find a modicum of humility to allow its members to finally accept the invitation for reunion on terms they can live with. Not very likely but it is possible.

    If the SSPX opts for reunion on the Pope’s terms it would solves half the dissent problem facing the Church , today. Then would Cardinal Muller work equally hard to correct the other half of the schism: healing the rupture created by the “spirit people” during the last 50 years?

  30. pmullane says:

    David Werling, genuine question, do you want to be part of the Church? If you believe that the Catholic Faithful are a ‘different religion’ to that which you follow, do you think that there is any genuine hope for reconciliation? Would it be better if the Pope formally decreed that the SSPX and the laypeople who attend at their Masses are no longer part of the Church, and that we all go our seperate ways?

  31. Cathy says:

    David, I know of a diocese in the US, Lincoln, Nebraska, where the Novus Ordo and FSSP exist in both the same diocese and are the same Church. I am old enough to know that the decision to ok altar girls, EMHC’s and the rest of what you find objectionable did not come as an instruction in the Novus Ordo or from the Holy Father. The Bishop in Lincoln did not have to break from Rome in order to keep the order of relationship within the diocese both well and subordinate to himself as well as the Holy Father. In fact, the Bishop of Lincoln openly declared SSPX and its lay supporters excommunicate. SSPX and its supporters are on the wrong side of history not because they did not allow altar girls or EMHC’s or banal liturgical music, but, for the same reason as I stated above. They complain of others in the Church refusing to be subordinate to the Holy Father while rejecting the same subordination themselves. You simply can’t remove the splinter from your brother’s eye when you have a plank in your own.

  32. anilwang says:

    Hieromonk Gregory says “2012: SSPX — out; LCRW still in; Go figure!”

    Not quite.
    2012: SSPX stubbornly choosing to staying out despite the Pope’s best efforts; LCRW: shape up or ship out.

  33. CharlesG says:

    David Werling said: You see, JonPatrick, we don’t want to be integrated into a “parish life” that includes altar girls, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, disrespect for and desecration of holy things, bowing instead of genuflecting, banal liturgical music, errors preached from the pulpit and printed in the bulletin, in short, an entirely different religion from what we traditionalists believe and practice.

    And so having the example of the extraordinary form and its rubrics, orthodoxy, etc. widely present in parishes to serve as an example to counteract all those things you mention (most of which are abuses and not requirements of the ordinary form) has to be foregone because you hyper purists don’t want to be even in close proximity with parishes in which the ordinary form exists, possibly with some common and prevalent abuses. Sounds like Donatist arrogance to me. I have never understood those Traditionalists who don’t remain loyal to the Pope and the Church and work to counteract abuses from within. I don’t encounter such an offputting ghetto purist attitude from FSSPers generally – more usually it comes from SSPX types who are juridically outside the pale. I don’t think you necessarily speak for all FSSPers. I attend a diocesan extraordinary form mass, which does happen to take place in a parish that offers the ordinary form, and we have had several friendly visitations from FSSP clergy and seminarians. Heaven save us from the Traditionalists that cannot coexist with, deal with, and help to move in the direction of greater orthodoxy the vast multitude in the Church who attend the ordinary form. Moreover, the Pope is correct and you are wrong on the subject of whether the Vatican II Council created a new religion. This is where you radical traditionalists and the liberal modernists are in the same boat — to say the Council created a new religion is to reject the Magisterium. The Council documents must be interpreted according to a hermeneutic of reform in continuity, as the Magisterium posits, and if this is done, there has been no fundamental change in the essential teachings of the Catholic Church. Some disciplinary changes, and a heck of a lot of abuses, but that doesn’t change Catholic teaching. One must learn to make the distinction.

  34. Athelstan says:

    Hello Jack,

    Equally fallacious is the attempt to blame the bad situation in The Church, whether in France or elsewhere, chiefly on the Council — thus a post hoc fallacy, thus ignoring the Sexual Revolution, ignoring the secularism of the past three centuries, and ignoring that in the last 20 years our culture is in fact becoming less secular.

    No, to be sure: Too many traditionalists are too sanguine about how the Church would have fared in the 60′s and beyond had there been no Vatican II. The cultural revolution of the 60′s in the West would have happened either way – and the Church is not hermetically sealed-off from society.

    But let’s not get carried away. The dropoff in vocations, mass attendance, resort to the sacraments is dramatic beginning in 1965 – the last year of the Council. To suggest that the Council played *no* role – or even just a very minor role – in these disastrous developments requires some very special pleading. Especially when so many of the “innovations” and dissent readily cherry-picked propositions in the conciliar documents as warrant for what they wanted.

    The Council was valid and proper. But that doesn’t mean that everything it said was prudent, or well thought out. And because of that, it ended up triggering a revolution of sorts within the Church itself.

    Within the SSPX itself, I find that opinions vary. There is not much love for the Council anywhere in the Society, to be sure. But there is a sizable minority which is de facto schismatic (and even sedevacantist, if not sededeprivationist) in its mindset. There are others, however, who are not.

  35. mamajen says:

    @Jacob

    There is no reason why you cannot go to FSSP chapels now. They are in full communion with Rome, and SSPX despises them for it.

  36. onosurf says:

    Nothing new here:

    SSPX won’t accept VII — of which, they made clear all their concerns
    Vatican demands acceptance of VII — they have yet to address the SSPX concerns
    Conservatives and Liberals – outraged at the disobediences to the curias VII acceptance demands
    Traditionalists – Happy that SSPX didn’t compromise on the problems of VII

    If the Vatican addressed the SSPX concerns, they would either a) expose the heresy of VII or b) show the SSPX as being heretical. Don’t you see why the Vatican refuses to address the SSPX’s concerns? They know. A better tact is to demand obedience. The irony.

    And the Father Z crowd will be OUTRAGED for this “disobedience” and call for schism — for what, who knows? Surely its not disobedience to Tradition and the Word which has guided the Church for 1962 years. Who has been disobedient to that?

  37. Imrahil says:

    Dear @CharlesG,

    sounds like Donatist arrogance to me.

    Not quite to me.

    The Donatists rebelled against the scandal of a sinner (nay: it turned even out to be only a person wrongfully suspected of the sin) being promoted to holy orders.

    The SSPX rebel against what they perceive as an ongoing bad situation.

  38. Gulielmus says:

    Athelstan, while I agree with your point, I must point out that the decline in Mass attendace in the US began in 1958, and the sharpest drop happened between 58 and 65. The CARA statistics do not agree with most anecdotal sources, and overall demonstrate that the crisis is too easily attributed solely to Vatican II.

  39. pmullane says:

    Onosurf – you are aware that ‘the Vatican’ ie the Holy Father – has teh deposit of faith, not the SSPX?

  40. Anulwang,

    The only way LCRW will shape up is when they all are in a wooden box. Until then they will still be around.

  41. Supertradmum says:

    The crisis was brewing in the 1930s and the types of men entering the seminaries in the 1950s were already progressives.
    One must understand that ecumenism was seen as the only way to combat Marxism and Nazism. Protestantizing of the Mass was seen by many as a way to strengthen Christianity…wrong priority.

  42. Sam Schmitt says:

    If the Vatican addressed the SSPX concerns, they would either a) expose the heresy of VII or b) show the SSPX as being heretical. Don’t you see why the Vatican refuses to address the SSPX’s concerns? They know. A better tact is to demand obedience. The irony.

    If Vatican II is heresy, then why try to negotiate with the Rome, which accepts Vatican II? But then the SSPX claims that is does accept Vatican II, so it must not be heretical. Sounds to me like the SSPX is thoroughly confused about its own position. If the SSPX thinks it is going to “bring Rome back to Tradition,” then again, it has set itself up as the judge and arbiter of the Faith in place of Rome, and no, Rome is not very interested in discussing that. If you don’t believe that Rome has the authority to teach the true Faith, then you have put yourself outside the Church.

    And the Father Z crowd will be OUTRAGED for this “disobedience” and call for schism — for what, who knows? Surely its not disobedience to Tradition and the Word which has guided the Church for 1962 years. Who has been disobedient to that?

    If Rome is not faithful to tradition, then it is no longer Catholic, and it is better to abandon Rome and go your own way. If this is what the SSPX really thinks, then you’re right – there is a reason why Rome won’t “address the SSPX’s concerns.” No one is “demanding” schism, just opining that this is the situation “de facto.” Again, the SSPX seems confused about where they themselves stand (or maybe it’s just those who claim to speak for them).

  43. Andrew_81 says:

    A few point to consider:
    1. The whole SSPX matter revolves around the content of the Doctrinal Preamble (DP).
    2. The Society apparently rejects an agreement using the DP as presented to them.
    3. If the DP contains only matters of dogma/doctrine, the SSPX’s rejection may be heretical.
    4. If the DP contains only matters of the Pope’s authority, the SSPX’s rejection may be schismatic.
    5. If the DP contains other matter, the SSPX’s rejection may justified.
    6. We do not have the explicit content of the DP, so can’t make any call ourselves.
    7. Even if we had the text, we lack the competence to decide whether the SSPX is heretical or schismatic.

    Remembering these points will help stop the emotional rollercoaster that seems to begin every time there is some major statement about the SSPX-Holy See matter.

    For instance the last two are of import. We don’t know what exactly the SSPX is rejecting. We can only speculate. Do we really wish to censure the Society and its faithful for perceived wrongs, or “not playing nice”? Without further information, that is all we can do.

    Further, in order to assess the matter holistically, we cannot take Bishop Fellay’s commentary out of the context of the recent words (in late November) of Archbishop Müller. From these it sounds as if the DP may have demanded the SSPX accept the disputed points in the texts of the Second Vatican Council as orthodox as written (but interpreted in a heterodox way by many).

    If so, that is not a matter of faith (and so there would be no heresy in such a rejection), nor would there be a rejection of the authority of the Pope (and no schism). In fact, such a rejection would be justified, because it not only ignores the points of dispute (which could be tollerated), but is an ipse dixit of the worst order which cuts off further examination and clarification. It makes the problem worse, not better.

    And this argument (if Archbishop Müller is to be taken at his word) means that the various theologians that have come out to ask that the Second Vatican Council be re-examined, are proximate to heresy. This would certainly include Msgr. Gherardini, who wrote, for instance, “the content of the preceding Magisterium finds neither continuity nor development in that of Dignitatis Humanæ“.

    This just shows that no one should want a recognition of the SSPX without very clear principles in place. This goes for the SSPX and for other Catholics as well. This question is the nucleus and impetus for the clarification of Vatican II. If such an agreement does not solve the questions about Vatican II, at least sets in motion the process of clarification, there will remain no impetus to handle such problems.

  44. robtbrown says:

    Acct to the proposed canonical structure of the SSPX there would be no possibility that there would be any Novus Ordo/SSPX parish mixture. I have been told that the SSPX is very satisfied with the proposal–they will be for all intents and purposes independent of the bishop. NB: the society owns its own parishes and schools.

  45. Andrew_81 says:

    Sam,

    You wrote:

    If Vatican II is heresy, then why try to negotiate with the Rome, which accepts Vatican II? But then the SSPX claims that is does accept Vatican II, so it must not be heretical … If the SSPX thinks it is going to “bring Rome back to Tradition,” then again, it has set itself up as the judge and arbiter of the Faith in place of Rome, and no, Rome is not very interested in discussing that. If you don’t believe that Rome has the authority to teach the true Faith, then you have put yourself outside the Church.

    You are mostly correct, except the conclusion does not follow.

    “Heresy” a very precise theological term. The SSPX does not assert there is heresy in Vatican II, and as Bishop Fellay said “accepts 95% of it”. The difficulty is on a few points which seem to contradict the preceding Magisterium. They have called these, at times, “errors”. “Error” is not “heresy”. Whether these “errors” stem from the text itself, it’s ambiguity or its interpretation has yet to be addressed. Only ipse dixits have followed (i.e. mere assertions that “the Council is in continuity with tradition” without any explanation).

    What there is to negotiate is to what extent the SSPX is permitted to critique the Council and assert the Magisterial teachings from the past.

    Further, the SSPX does accept that Rome has the authority to teach the Faith. The problem is authority does not mean that those with the authority are doing so. What the SSPX means by “bringing Rome back to Tradition” is to get the Holy See back to using this authority to teach the Faith as it has been taught for nearly two millenia.
    That’s not a rejection of this authority, nor is it “setting themselves up as arbiter”. I have never heard any Society priest assert that he rejects Vatican II or some statement or act of the Pope because he judges it to be wrong, but instead because it conflicts with what other Popes have said or done.

  46. onosurf says:

    pmullane – Are you aware that VII was not a dogmatic and infallible council? Are you aware that there are 1000s of religious (cardinals, bishops, priests and nuns) that give dogmatic teaching and the pope the middle finger? Are you aware of the SSPX’s oath of allegiance to the pope?

    All the SSPX ask for is clarity on this non-dogmatic council. The destruction caused by VII doesn’t validate their concern?

    Nah…Let’s excommunicate ‘em!

  47. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Sam Schmitt,

    If Rome is not faithful to tradition, then it is no longer Catholic, and it is better to abandon Rome and go your own way.

    Forgive me to be frank, but sometimes I have the strange feeling that some people, which in this case (I’m sorry) includes you, are from times to times validating the bogeyman which Protestants habitually make of the Catholic. Please do not be offended!

    Yes, there is such a thing as infallibility. But no, it is not present in everything any superior does, and this is no “concession to more liberal views” or so but plain reality.

    Yes, we are subordinate to our lawful clerical superiors, the Pope to begin with. But no, we do not follow even the Pope (in ordinary matters) in the manner of blind sheep. Obedience and theologial subordination of mind, yes; childliness, yes; blindness only towards Our Lord himself, and perhaps the Pope in the limited area of infallible utterances (of which we do not talk here).

    Cadaver obedience may perhaps be a legitimate sacrifice next to other legitimate sacrifices within the religious estate; it must not exist as general principle.

    Whether or not “Rome” in the sense the SSPX uses the word – i. e. the actual personnel responsible for the day-to-day actions which often have implications of wide practical importance, and as regards the ulterior motive which need not necessarily be in the said persons’ consciousness – is actually faithful to tradition or not, it is firmly Catholic doctrine (!) that it could possibly be both.

  48. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Sam Schmitt,
    may I add after this highly subjective first paragraph that I know and respect that you only said this in expression of your personal obedience towards the Holy Father, which is most honorable. I did not forget this, but I thought I had better explicitly say it.

  49. pmullane says:

    Onosurf -”Are you aware that VII was not a dogmatic and infallible council? ” And who decides that?

    “Are you aware that there are 1000s of religious (cardinals, bishops, priests and nuns) that give dogmatic teaching and the pope the middle finger?” – And so what? That others are disobediant to the Pope allows the SSPX to be disobedient to the Pope and pointthe finger at someone else. Try that at your judgement and see how far it gets you.

    “Are you aware of the SSPX’s oath of allegiance to the pope?” Oaths are easy to say and difficult to live by. You want to show allegiance with the Pope? Accept that he has the authority to teach – not you. That means when teh Pope allows something you dont like you dont stamp your feet and go home.

    “All the SSPX ask for is clarity on this non-dogmatic council. The destruction caused by VII doesn’t validate their concern? ”

    They dont ‘ask’, they demand. Whats more they abuse the Holy Fathers concern for their souls to try and push their agenda. If they submitted their will to that of the Church they could be fully reconciled with Holy Mother Church and work to faithfully interpret the Council. They have blackened faithful Traditionalists with their behaviour and their attitude, and make it harder to spread faithful Catholicism.

    “Nah…Let’s excommunicate ‘em!”

    Nah…they excommunicated themselves by consecrating bishops without the permission of the Holy Father.

  50. I’m a hyper-purist who doesn’t want to be part of the Church? Is this the charity that the Holy Father called for in his letter that accompanied SP?

    I’m simply making an obvious observation. For example, by observing young traditionalist families and young novus ordo families, you would be hard pressed to tell me there is no difference in belief between the two regarding contraception. Obviously, in general, one group considers contraception a norm (and NFP is contraception), and the other is open to what the Church has always taught about the nature and end of marriage. I don’t think anyone needs me to spell out which group is which.

    But it’s not just moral differences, but real dogmatic differences in belief that is revealed by observing the differences in practice. By observing the demeanor of people before the Blessed Sacrament or how they handle the sacred vessels for the Mass, you would be hard pressed to tell me there isn’t a difference in belief regarding the Real Presence. Even if you could say both groups believe in the Real Presence, there is an obvious difference in Christology. I’m sorry, if this upsets you, but one group obviously regards Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament as the Man-God, perfect Man and Almighty God, and the other regards Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament as something less, as is evident by how they treat Him and how they behave in our Jesus’ presence.

    You can’t gloss over the fact that there are real and substantial differences in piety, liturgy and as a consequence, belief. Just look at the Collect for the Feast of St. Ambrose! Your new translation contains theology that is radically different from what you find in the traditional Collect for the same day, a theology that is radically different from what the Church has always taught. There are countless more examples of radical differences. Why? Why do you question my beliefs, but fail to explain why there are these radical differences? The only conclusion that I can come to is that you believe differently now than how Catholics believed before the advent of the new liturgy.

    This is obviously the distilled neo-Modernism of Tielhard de Chardin and his post-WWII disciples (Rahner, di Lubac, Küng, etc.) that has been filtering down to the pews through the novus ordo ever since the 1970s. That erroneous Christology can be found even in Joseph Ratzinger’s writings, and whether you like it or not, it is significantly different from what the Church has always believed and taught. Liberalism has been enshrined by Pope Benedict XVI in address after address, in homily after homily. The human mind cannot endure contradiction, it will either work it out the problem, judge one proposition true and the other false, or it will ignore the contradiction, no matter how devastating such ignorance is. Obviously, novus ordo conservatives have chosen to ignore the contradictions, and the effects have been indeed devastating.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize which group would be easily recognizable by a St. Francis de Sales or St. Leonard of Port Maurice or St. Terese, and before you ask me whether or not I want to be part of the Church, perhaps you should seriously ask yourself why your liturgy, and your practices, and your beliefs wouldn’t be recognized as Catholic by the same saints. That to me is a pretty big plank. Wouldn’t you say, Cathy?

    The SSPX, and I for that matter, do not represent the radicals. Those are the sedevacantists and fringe conclavists. The SSPX under Bishop Felley, and I, are devoted to the Church’s Magisterium and the office of the pope and the bishops. We fully realize that the remedy that will overcome the obvious dichotomy isn’t, ultimately, going to come from traditionalists or traditional Catholic communities. The solution will come from Rome, and when it does I’m sure it will come as resounding condemnations of the errors espoused by today’s church leaders. However, until that day I’m not going to sit here with my head in the sand and ignore the obvious, nor am I going to expose myself or my children to the errors that will be condemned. I’m going to preserve the sacred icon that is the Church’s Tradition, just as the holy monks did during the Iconoclasm controversy. I opt for the religion of St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Terese, St. John of the Cross, and Sts. Peter and Paul, and I urge you to opt the same way and join us, because we are truly happy.

  51. onosurf says:

    “They dont ‘ask’, they demand. Whats more they abuse the Holy Fathers concern for their souls to try and push their agenda.”

    Yes, I like that better. They are demanding for clarity. Clarity is a virtuous, yes? What is their agenda?

    “They have blackened faithful Traditionalists with their behaviour and their attitude, and make it harder to spread faithful Catholicism.”

    If you assume that the “They” in the above sentence is VII crowd and change “Traditionalists” for “Catholics”, that sentence is honest and truthful. Let’s look at the evidence instead of your opinion. Traditionalism is growing.

    “Nah…they excommunicated themselves by consecrating bishops without the permission of the Holy Father.”

    Now you abuse our Holy Father, he lifted this excommunication in 2009.

  52. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    A dear Vietnamese lady at our N.O. parish is noteworthy for her conduct on church property, but yet her demanor is so humble, so gentle, so joyful and serene, that at first, you don’t notice that you notice her actions.

    She is always beatifully and immaculately dressed for Mass. You can see she doesn’t have much of a clothing budget, but she is dressed as if for a job interview for a professional position: conservative, coordinating, nice skirt with jacket, nice shoes, hair tied back neatly.

    She teaches her school-aged sons to stop briefly before every statue of Jesus and of Mary that they pass, to make a bow of the head, and to make their sign of the cross before going on their way.

    Before, after, and throughout the entire celebration of Holy Mass, this dear lady always has the palms of her hands joined together in prayer. You wouldn’t dream of interrupting her, or of chit-chatting with her while in the pew, in the way that so many disrespectful persons in church do.

    Even after Mass is over, this lady does not speak or greet anyone until she reaches the vestibule of the Church. There, after giving so precious an example of how to behave, does she hold forth and lecture all the rest of us on our sad lack of propriety in the Church . . . no! Just the opposite: she hugs all the ladies and the children whom she knows at all well, and she greets everybody with a radiant smile. Even if they have not dressed themselves with the same care she has herself; even if they sometimes talk in the church, daydream, fidget, receive Communion in the hand. She speaks about herself, or about anything, really, except that she is so glad to see you!

    Now many of the girls and younger women while in church, look for her, to see how she behaves, and imitate her.

    Mark my words, her example, combined with that of our wonderful pastor, will convert our entire parish.

    How sad that so many of our venerable and devoted Traditionalist brothers and sisters, who might do so much good in parishes full of sheep left unattended, separate themselves and go away, because not enough will follow them, because the dough remains unrisen, because the light is hidden under a basket.

    Jesus doesn’t ask why not enough will follow us. He expects us to remain on the field, no matter what others do or don’t do.

    Milites Soldiers! Members of the Church Militant, Jesus will ask us why we took it upon ourselves to quit the field of honor, . . . without awaiting His command.

  53. Athelstan says:

    The crisis was brewing in the 1930s and the types of men entering the seminaries in the 1950s were already progressives.

    Everything I have read and heard confirms that, supertradmum.

    The crisis was already upon us before the Council. The Council merely gave it its opening to full manifest itself.

    In this respect, the Council Fathers only partially read the “signs of the Times” (Gaudium et Spes). They understood that there was a problem. But they didn’t fully appreciate the nature of that problem – or how to fix it.

  54. Athelstan says:

    Hello Gulielmus,

    Athelstan, while I agree with your point, I must point out that the decline in Mass attendace in the US began in 1958, and the sharpest drop happened between 58 and 65. The CARA statistics do not agree with most anecdotal sources, and overall demonstrate that the crisis is too easily attributed solely to Vatican II.

    Not what I have seen, but…I have had a hard time finding reliable mass attendance numbers for those years. Do you have a link?

  55. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    P.S. I wonder if our dear merciful Savior, seeing so many of His faithful absent themselves from the N.O. parishes, allowing themselves to be driven away by these distressing infidelities which trouble all of us, instead of remaining at their stations to provide at least an example, has at last resorted to bringing in many from overseas to provide the example of reverent fidelity in these same N.O. parishes, that our indigenous faithful ones so often assure us that they have deserted! Leaving Him with no one to teach them.

  56. anilwang says:

    David Werling says: “I’m simply making an obvious observation. For example, by observing young traditionalist families and young novus ordo families, you would be hard pressed to tell me there is no difference in belief between the two regarding contraception. “

    Not a fair comparison. Remember Humanae Vitae was rejected by the bulk of people who had no experience with Novus Ordo.

    The people who go to TLM today are a self-selected group of people who want to be faithful to Tradition. A far better comparison would be to compare Traditional TLM Catholics and Traditional Catholics that go to a faithful and reverent Novus Ordo masses. I’m willing to bet that the numbers are equivalent since the reasons for both choices are identical. If the Novus Ordo masses were abolished today, Traditional Novus Order Catholics who never stepped into a Latin mass and would have no idea what to do would have no qualms about accepting the Pope’s will.

    I’m firmly convinced that if the Novus Order did not exist, TLM would have been infected by altar girls, communion in the hand, ad populum, and other abuses that infected the Novus Ordo. Those abuses would have crept in the way other abuses such as confirmation before first communion (yes, it is an abuse…confirmation is *not* a Catholic Bar Mitzvah and was unheard of before the “Enlightenment” French bishops started it). Namely, first the abuse happens where bishops are negligent and grow until no bishop can stop it, then enough bishops give up that the Pope eventually gives up trying to stop it, then it becomes the norm. If you listen to Father Hardon’s lectures you can clearly here the transition from “The Pope has clearly told me that altar girls will never be allowed and he is clamping down” to the comment “The Pope told me he gave up because he has no longer power to stop the abuses since they are so wide spread, and there are bigger fish to fry”.

    So ironically, the Novus Ordo help preserve the pristine TLM, so it could anchor the Church and provide a reference for the Novus Ordo to return to sanity (assuming it will still be around in 100 years).

  57. pmullane says:

    Onosurf, I’m sorry if I was short with you before, I find the disobedience of the SSPX vexing and it pains me that they cause pain to our Holy Father, but it helps no one to be impolite, and I suspect that’s where our conversation is heading. Perhaps it’s best if we just leave it there.

  58. Gulielmus says:

    Athelstan, I should provided a link, thanks for the reminder.

    http://tinyurl.com/bys2wur

    The pertinent graph is on p. 2. Now, of course there are other considerations in any polling data, but the drop between 57-65 is intriguing. The simar drop after 65 includes those who left after Humanae Vitae, and the introduction of the NO began a fairly stable stretch!

    There are other trends not involved here, like seminary attendance. But again, the “conventional wisdom” about VII and its effects is not entirely supported by the facts. And blaming it, without investigating why the decline predates it, doesn’t address the real situation.

  59. jhayes says:

    At about 1h22, Bishop Fellay says (I have cleaned up the false starts and repeats)

    I give you another example which is little thing but can tell you something. You know that just before he became pope, Benedict XVI gave Communion to a Protestant, to Roger Schütz. It was at the funeral for John Paul II. Cardinal Ratzinger went and gave Communion to Roger Schütz of Taizé. Now, a little bit later on, he said to people close to him what were his thoughts. And you know what – what was he thinking about when he was giving Communion to Roger Schütz? He said to them, to his close people “I thought,’What’s the Society going to say?”’ So you see, we are in his mind, his conscience – his BAD conscience (chuckles).

    Roger Schütz (Brother Roger) was the founder and Prior of the Taizé ecumenical community. His biography in Wikipedia explains his religiou affiliations:

    “From a Protestant background, Brother Roger undertook a step that was without precedent since the Reformation: entering progressively into a full communion with the faith of the Catholic Church without a “conversion” that would imply a break with his origins. In 1980, during a European Meeting in Rome, he said in Saint Peter’s Basilica in the presence of Pope John Paul II: “I have found my own identity as a Christian by reconciling within myself the faith of my origins with the mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking fellowship with anyone.”

    He took Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist every morning at the Catholic Mass in Taizé, and he received the sacrament from both the current and former Pope, seemingly in contravention of canonical prohibitions on administering the sacrament to those not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.[1] According to Cardinal Walter Kasper this was accomplished as though there was a tacit understanding between Brother Roger and the Catholic Church “crossing certain confessional” and canonical barriers through what brother Roger called a gradual enrichment of his faith with the foundations of the Catholic Church including “the ministry of unity exercised by the bishop of Rome.” [1]

    Bishop Fellay’s “example” unwittingly reveals his view of the SSPX as “more Catholic than the Pope”

  60. anilwang says:

    jhayes, I don’t know the specifics of the Roger Schütz of Taizé case, but on the face of it it does appear that the Pope erred, perhaps in the hope that the Taizé community would eventually become fully Catholic. The gospels and tradition make it clear that we are not doing anyone a favour if we give them full communion and they are not Catholic and not free from mortal sin. We are severely harming them (see 1 Corinthians 11:30).

    Given that Roger Schütz died on August 16, 2005 and Pope Benedict XVI became pope on 19 April 2005, it’s unclear whether he was Pope at the time (and thus obedience the Pope John Paul II) or acting on his own authority or even aware that Roger Schütz was a Protestant until after the fact (the Taizé community apparently contains Catholics as well).

    In any case, you’d he hard pressed to find any Pope who was free of weakness, error, or poor judgments. Pope Honorius I was actually condemned by an Ecumenical Council for such a poor judgment. The key thing to focus on is not one off poor judgments or weakness, but has the Pope betrayed the faith by changing doctrines (e.g. extending communion to any Protestant that believe in the real presence in an encyclical). If one think that any Pope has, one has placed oneself outside the Catholic faith.

  61. David Werling:

    When you say you ordinary Catholic parishioners observe “an entirely different religion from what we traditionalists believe and practice,” you are saying only one of you is Catholic, and the other is not. That is an extreme statement.

    Now, perhaps you said more than you meant to say–in which case, a clarification would be in order.

    But if you really meant to say that the ordinary Catholics at an ordinary parish aren’t, actually, Catholics, then I might ask, what makes you so sure you can render such a judgment?

    No question many Catholics are practicing contraception. Do you suppose that there was ever a Golden Age of Catholic belief and practice, in which there were not large numbers of Catholics who were either ignorant of something essential, had a distorted understanding, or else were lax in observance of some particular point? If there was, please substantiate your claim. Please identify the time and location of this Golden Age, so that your claim can be examined carefully.

    My point is, I am skeptical that any such Golden Age existed. Scripture knows nothing of it. When, from the first call of God on humanity, did humanity really “get” it? How long after being led from Egypt, did God’s People bow down before a golden calf? How long after a man after God’s own heart was enthroned, did that man sin grievously–not once but many times? How did his son, given all wisdom, work out? How did God’s People manage after the Exile? Under the Macabbees? How did the Lord’s own recruiting and training work out? And so it goes.

    God’s patience, and his light hand at the tiller of Providence, is maddening. Why does he allow it all? I have no idea.

    But I will say I am grateful for all the ways the SSPX has preserved the faith, and kept to tradition. That is all good, and part of God’s inscrutable plan. But please stop claiming only you are actually Catholic. That’s not helpful. It’s not true.

    Finally, given the tenor of your comments, your comment about NFP cannot be left alone. If, in dubbing NFP “contraception” you mean to say it is intrinsically evil, in the same fashion that what is usually termed contraception is certainly evil (which the Church continues to teach, notably by Pope Paul VI), then you are gravely mistaken. You are simply wrong.

    If you insist otherwise, then you have a problem. Do you maintain that periodic abstinence from marital relations is evil? Good luck with that. Our Lady and Saint Joseph had a true marriage, yet abstained entirely. Couples abstain, quite licitly, for any number of legitimate reasons.

    Will you maintain that knowledge of the operations of the body is sinful? Again, good luck with that.

    The intention can be evil–that is correct. And thus the Church teaches that making use of NFP must have a legitimate motive. (The same could be said, after all, from extended abstinance.)

    You seem to be unaware that the techniques of NFP are equally useful to ensuring conception as they are to avoiding it. That alone makes your claim that NFP is contraception erroneous: couples seeking to conceive use NFP in order to maximize their hopes of a child. Hardly “contraception.”

    Finally, I will simply say that the spirituality of NFP is anything but contraceptive. It is about respecting and appreciating ourselves as creatures who cooperate with the Creator in giving life, and have that as our vocation. While I can’t rule out someone using NFP solely as a “contraceptive,” and excluding the good of children from his or her marriage, I think that is an oil-and-water combination. I reject any suggestion that NFP would give rise to such a mentality, even if someone can sustain that mentality while using only NFP. You are welcome to believe what you like, but some support for your contention would add credibility. For example, if you’re right, there should be some data, of some quality (even anecdotal) that points to couples practising NFP exclusively, having families no bigger, and even smaller, than users of contraceptives. My experience has always been that NFP couples have larger families–and not because it doesn’t work; but because they tend to desire larger families. But again, if you can offer something more, please do so.

  62. Anilwang, Jhayes:

    Canon 844 says that the ordinary of a diocese can give permission for a non-Catholic to receive the sacraments of penance, anointing and the Eucharist, provided certain conditions exist. It’s not important to go into them here, but only to say, if Canon Law provides for narrow circumstances in which someone who is not formally in communion with the Church, to receive the Eucharist, and if the Ordinary can authorize it, then–until someone shows otherwise–I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt and assume the incident in question was in compliance.

    Of course, Bishop Fellay and the SSPX may not like that canon, but that is another matter. Pope Benedict may not like it, either; but he may have very good reasons for not changing it at this time.

  63. Anilwang: “So ironically, the Novus Ordo help preserve the pristine TLM, so it could anchor the Church and provide a reference for the Novus Ordo to return to sanity (assuming it will still be around in 100 years).

    Correct. Most here are too young to remember the 1960s. But many or even most of the abuses now common in the Novus Ordo were seen in celebrations of the TLM several years before the Novus Ordo was introduced in 1970, before most people had even heard that a New Order was on the way.

    Where I was in the 1960s, abuse-free relevant celebration of the TLM had disappeared before we ever heard of the Novus Ordo. Had the Novus Ordo not been introduced, this disintegration of the TLM would undoubtedly have taken place universally, and typical parish celebration of the “traditional Mass” today would probably look pretty much like the typical parish celebration of the Novus Ordo looks. With the likely result that the “pristine” TLM–as the fortunate among us now know and enjoy it, and to which so many of our young priests and seminarians are attracted–would simply no longer exist. (I understand that even Archbishop Lefebvre had gone down the slippery slope of the vernacularized 1965 interim Mass before the Novus Ordo impelled him to take the harder line the SSPX now exhibits; I will no doubt be corrected if this is an over-simplification.)

    What happened historically is that a general collapse of liturgical discipline–meaning faithful adherence of priests to norms and rubrics–occurred not as a result of the Novus Ordo, but before there was a Novus Ordo. Only after the Novus Ordo had been promulgated as an official “new rite” was it possible to begin to get the pure TLM celebrated again as an “old rite”. In effect, only when the Novus Ordo was the ambient culture could we have a “ghetto” in which the pristine TLM could be preserved–like the proverbial fly stuck in amber–and therefore be still available for Pope Benedict to liberate with Summorum Pontificum. So I think it is something more than a literal truism to say that, without the Novus Ordo, there would have been no Summorum Pontificum, and no TLM today within the Church (apart from within isolated groups not in complete communion).

  64. sciencemom says:

    onosurf says:

    Are you aware that VII was not a dogmatic and infallible council?

    I don’t understand this comment at all, though I have heard variations on it elsewhere. What would make an Ecumenical Council, properly called / ratified by the Pope, “not infallible”?

    anilwang says:

    A far better comparison would be to compare Traditional TLM Catholics and Traditional Catholics that go to a faithful and reverent Novus Ordo masses. I’m willing to bet that the numbers are equivalent since the reasons for both choices are identical.

    I completely agree. My family has attended a parish with faithful and reverent “Novus Ordo” Masses for many years, and it is filled with large families. Incidentally, only boys serve at our parish — and the parish has an abundance of altar servers.

    An thank you, Fr. Martin Fox, for correcting the erroneous claim that “NFP is contraception”!

  65. MichaelJ says:

    @ Jack Orlando
    Did Bishop Fellay actually characterize the new Mass as “categorically and unconditionally evil” or were those your embellishments to his words? If you added the words “categorically and unconditionally”, I frankly find it to be disingenuous as they significantly change the meaning .

  66. norancor says:

    pmullane or someone stated that “The Vatican, ie the Pope, has the Deposit of Faith, not the SSPX.”

    To be accurate, the Deposit of Faith is a set of beliefs that exist independent of any one pope, or any particular person clerical, religious or lay. What I am saying is not splitting hairs, it is not a small matter, and I’m not nitpicking. Divine Revelation, the actions of the Holy Ghost, has given us the Deposit of Faith over the course of hundreds of popes and thousands of fathers, doctors, priests, prelates, council documents and papal documents, plus endless centuries of pious beliefs, devotions, practices, and immemorial customs.

    Catholicism is Catholicism. It is the sum of our unchanging beliefs and immemorial practices. Catholicism isn’t what any one man says it is. That is an alien mindset, an unorthodox belief in Catholicism, and objectively speaking I cannot but see it as a heretical belief. I am hoping that I am simply misunderstanding that person.

    Sadly, I don’t think I’m misunderstanding, and I think that this mindset, if it truly is that person’s mindset, isn’t atypical amongst conservatives. As I see it, we have entered an age of the advent of a new heretical belief amongst conservatives. The conservative sees Catholicism as something to be wielded by authority — the “Magisterium” — as if the exercise of the teaching and governing office has not become this new independent entity. It is typified by words like “Living Magesterium” where Catholicism has developed a new, third “pillar.” We seem to have, amongst many conservatives, three pillars: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the “Magisterium.”

    Obedience has been elevated to be on par with faith, hope and charity. This is a perversion of the moral order. Obedience is a matter of justice. I obey because it is just to do so. I OWE that to a superior to obey, because I act in justice to do so. I do not obey because my superior has some sort of right to lord it over me and act unjustly, arbitrarily, or capriciously, deciding what is and isn’t my Faith for me, or anyone else. A superior decides matters of Faith according to Tradition, not according to personal preference, nor fad of the age. I do not have to obey the unlawful command, the sinful command, because the obedience to His Deposit of Faith, His Sacred Tradition, His Holy Scripture, His Church, is the principle obedience we owe. That is expressed normally exercised by obedience to the Church’s bishops and priests and the popes, but we live in an unusual time, where we have to resist, or disobey, in order to obey.

    This sort of appeal to false obedience is not, however, a Catholic belief. It is a modern, post-enlightenment, unorthodox belief. It flows from the mindset of liberal, atheistic “will-to-power.” It seems that obedience, in an age of disobedience by liberals and progressives, has itself turned into an equal, yet opposite, heresy.

    The traditionalist sees Catholicism as something inherited, to be protected and handed on, intact, and with its full integrity. Trado, tradere, tradidi, traditus is the root word of tradition. It means to hand over or surrender. That is what Catholicism is. It isn’t a will to power of obedience and authority. It is the humble protection of that which you have been given, so that you might protect it and surrender it, INTACT, to the next generation.

  67. jhayes says:

    Fr. Martin Fox, anilwang, my view may have been misunderstood. I think it is obvious that the Pope can give Communion to anyone, Catholic or not, that he feels should receive it.I think Bishop Fellay’s criticism is inappropriate.

    When Brother Roger was assassinated, he received a Catholic funeral Mass celebrated by a Cardinal and concelebrated by four Catholic priests from the Taizé ecumenical community.

  68. I am originally from a post-communist Eastern European country and in 30+ years there I saw maybe one Mass celebrated in Latin and ad orientem. But that is because in my native country the (OF) Mass has not been turned into some weird, scarcely recognisable monstrosity. We do not have Extraordinary Ministers, all sorts of paraliturgical events like the taking of the gifts to the altar or the “procession of children” at Offertory; there is no Communion under both kinds; there is no banal music, liturgical dance and all these other horrible things one hears about from the US (and sometimes sees here in the UK, where I live now). In my native Eastern European country the OF Mass is celebrated with the same dignity and reverence as the TLM in the UK – only in the vernacular and versus populum. People receive in the hand – but they receive from the hand of a priest and they are taught to receive reverently (none of the “snacking-on-the-go” type of Communion people do here). People don’t chat in church before and after Mass; churches are open all day and people visit the Blessed Sacrament. Because of this there is no reason for people to gravitate towards the TLM. But despite the OF being practically the only form of Mass there are many Catholics who are uncompromisingly faithful to the Magisterium (including using no contraception at all) and there was a steady flow of vocations both to the secular priesthood and religious life.

  69. pmullane says:

    Norancor, it was I whose quote you remembered, and it read:


    Pmullane
    Jan 02 – 9:43 am
    Onosurf – you are aware that ‘the Vatican’ ie the Holy Father – has teh deposit of faith, not the SSPX?”

    And apart from the awful spelling for which I apologise, I can set your mind at rest that I (at least) and I can reasonably assure you the ‘Conservative Catholics’ do not believe that our faith is just what one man says it is, we are, luckily enough, well able to appreciate that the faith is that which is handed on to us from the apostles. I don’t know anyone who thinks that the faith is just what the pope says it is, and in sure you will rejoice at the news that we are not under the burden of the ‘heresy’ you felt belaboured us.

    My quote above, was an answer to someone who I felt was saying that the Pope had to justify the beliefs of the Church to the SSPX. To be honest I was being a little snarky, as the ‘more Catholic than the Pope’ SSPX apologists I find very difficult to suffer. I apologise, sincerely, to my brother in Christ for the lack of charity.

    The thing is, in the discussion over the SSPX, the society says one thing, and the Church says another. Your correct that Catholicism is Catholicism, and that includes the council and the new Mass as well, and the Popes since John XXIII. We must interpret the council within the hermeneutic of continuity, and we must look to the Petrine office to guide us, and if the choice is Fellay or Peter I choose Peter.

  70. mamajen says:

    I also would like to thank Fr. Fox for his comments on NFP.

    And I would like to mention that I wholeheartedly resent it when people count the number of children in a family and decide whether that family is holy or not. I have one son who is 4 1/2. When he was just a toddler I had a person from a so-called “traditional” parish ask me “Is he your only one?”, eyeing me suspiciously. My husband and I do not contracept, nor did we bother with NFP after the birth of our son. However, it wasn’t until four years later that I became pregnant again. And today at my 20 week appointment I learned that my pregnancy may be high risk and/or something may be wrong with the baby. You people who count children and equate that to holiness should be embarrassed and ashamed to admit it. There are examples of very large families and very small families in the bible. I know of large families full of lapsed Catholics and tiny families that produced a priest. Having as many children as is physically possible is not automatically laudable. There are many couples who are prevented from having large families for a variety of valid reasons, none of which are anyone else’s business. I hate to think that because I attend a NO parish and have one child in the pew, that people are making assumptions about my husband and me.

    I realize that this has become a rabbit hole, so I will not comment further on the matter.

  71. pmullane says:

    Mamajen, without wanting to go off topic, prayers to St Gerard Majella for your little one. My wife is expecting at the moment and even the thought of a problem makes me feel sick. May God always go with you.

  72. Jack Orlando says:

    jhayes, you deserve a standing ovation for your post at 1:48pm. For you seem to have actually listened to the Fellay tape, and the whole tape. Some of you people commenting seem not to have done so and have chosen instead to tear into each other or to repeat tired and worn out arguments. Fr. Z put the tape up for us to comment on what Fellay is saying in the tape. So (and to follow St. Flannery’s dictum of needing to shout to the deaf) LISTEN TO THE TAPE! Then comment on it. Yes, it’s long, windy, rambling, and tiresome. Soldier on to the end anyway.

    I’d better practice what I preach. I said above that I stopped listening at 1:13. In the meantime I poured myself a drink and heard the tape to the end, or at least to where Fellay starts singing. I and my blood pressure are sorry that I did.

    jhayes, with respect to the late Roger Schütz, has already demonstrated the Fellay is wanting with the facts. Consider these two additional claims by Fellay:

    First the claim in Fellay’s address that the tomb of Paul VI’s mother has Masonic symbols on it; Fellay says he has a photo. (“I have a list of 205 Communists in the State Department.”) Well, WHERE’S THE PHOTO? Show it to us. Then we’ll send an independent – and less prejudiced – investigator who will photograph the tomb to collaborate Fellay’s claim. Heck, tell me in what cemetery and in what section of that cemetery the lady is buried, and I’ll take the photo myself the next time I’m in Italy. I’m not holding my breath for Fellay to come up with a photo. (Forget that supposed Masonic symbols on a tomb do not make Paul VI a Mason. Fred Fisher, call your office.)

    Second, and even worse, is the claim with no proof that Paul VI was a Soviet agent in Pius XII’s curia. Sorry, Emilio III (and you are a gentleman), but this is literally McCarthyite. There’s not a shred of evidence offered to back up this claim.

    After hearing Fellay on Schütz, on the tomb, and Paul VI’s supposed Communist infiltrating, I want to go on record that I now doubt everything that Fellay has said in this address. I doubt his claims to have heard different things from Vatican officials, doubt that he has heard them from highly placed sources including Holy Father’s secretary, doubt his numbers regarding priests in France, doubt his percentage of priests not believing in the Real Presence, doubt his claims that the young are flocking to his group. I wonder if I should doubt even that he’s said “no” twice. Joseph Welch, call your office.

    The real calamity of McCarthyism was that it made anti-Communism contemptible and anti-anti-Communism respectable. Yet anti-Communism was very respectable, and anti-anti-Communism was very contemptible. So with Traditionalism, something very respectable; Fellay and Williamson have made it unjustly contemptible in the eyes of many. With friends like these …

    I’ve stopped praying for the regularization of the Society. With defamatory tactics like these, we don’t need them in The Church; we don’t need them in our Traditionalist ranks. We’re better off without them.

    Again, sorry to be so blunt. Yet, as St. Flannery says ….

  73. GregH says:

    Henry
    What abuses did you see in the TLM in the 1960s?

  74. MichaelJ says:

    pmullane, until the Petrines office *actually* provides guidance about how to interpret the council within the hermeneutic of continuity, I will be left to my own devices and will search for guidance wherever I can find it. To date, the only “official” guidance I have been able to find is a rather gratuitous assertion that the Vatican II council “conforms with Tradition”.
    I accept, in a rather Orwellian fashion, that the Vatican II council *does not* contradict what the Church has taught before (although I fail to see how ). What I am left with, then, is that the Vatican II council was largely irrelevant, pollyannahish, and of no practical use to me.

  75. cpaulitz says:

    Fr Fox: Do you suppose that there was ever a Golden Age of Catholic belief and practice, in which there were not large numbers of Catholics who were either ignorant of something essential, had a distorted understanding, or else were lax in observance of some particular point?

    Yes Father, and it wasn’t long ago. If you walked into an average Catholic parish pre-1950 you’d see large families as the norm, not the exception. I’d say that’s a golden age compared to now when the latest poll showed 98% of Catholics disagreed with the Church teaching on contraception.

    And you don’t just need a “legitimate” reason to thwart conception, you need a serious reason. And sending mom to work to afford a nicer house or second car isn’t one.

    I know there are extreme cases like a mother’s life being at risk why NFP is valid. But let’s not act like its some beautiful thing that brings couples closer to God. No, that’s what having children does. NFP is a last resort and we should feel bad for the couples who are forced to use it because of their extreme circumstances.

  76. MichaelJ says:

    jhayes, are you sure about that? As Fr. Fox noted “Canon 844 says that the ordinary of a diocese can give permission for a non-Catholic to receive the sacraments of penance, anointing and the Eucharist, provided certain conditions exist”.
    Do you really think this means that the Pope can give Communion to anyone he feels like?

  77. benedetta says:

    jhayes I do not think you have complete facts regarding the reception of communion by Br. Roger of Taizé. For instance he had reconciled himself with the Catholic faith and had been receiving Catholic Eucharist for quite some time prior to the points you mention.

  78. Southern Catholic says:

    I can set your mind at rest that I (at least) and I can reasonably assure you the ‘Conservative Catholics’ do not believe that our faith is just what one man says it is, we are, luckily enough, well able to appreciate that the faith is that which is handed on to us from the apostles. I don’t know anyone who thinks that the faith is just what the pope says it is, and in sure you will rejoice at the news that we are not under the burden of the ‘heresy’ you felt belaboured us.

    I agree, nobody has written here that faith is what one man says it is.

    @norancor , forgive me if I’m mistaken, but are you suggesting that traditionalist are the Catholics, and everybody else is not?

  79. onosurf says:

    @ Sciencemom

    Regarding non-dogmatic/fallible VII council (Lifted from a debate on this very topic on Fisheaters Forum)

    Quote from: Vatican II (de fide)

    “Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly declare to be binding.

    No where does the Council openly declare anything to be binding. Now Popes may have used their authority to implement changes, but they are under no obligation, so a future Pope could just as easily place the whole council on the Index.

    Fallible (i.e. can have errors)
    Quote from: Pope Paul VI
    “There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.”

    Pastoral
    Quote from: Prefect of the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith
    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.”

  80. onosurf says:

    pmullane, no worries. It wouldn’t have gotten personal on my side. I love the pope and pray for him daily. I, like the SSPX, pray for clarity as VII has been a disaster (e.g. 90% of “catholics” defy the pope and take contraception, that is, if they ever get married — tragically, a huge apostasy). Souls are being lost.

  81. Gulielmus says:

    The Fisheaters forum is the last place I would turn to as an authority on this subject. Allow me to submit that “proclaiming in an extraordinary manner” refers to defining new Dogma. New. That does not imply that the Council was not infallible, nor does it mean that its declarations were not Dogmatic, only that they were not being newly promulgated.

  82. Gulielmus says:

    The Fisheaters forum is one of the last places I would turn to as an authority on this subject. Allow me to submit that “proclaiming in an extraordinary manner” refers to defining new Dogma. New. That does not imply that the Council was not infallible, nor does it mean that its declarations were not Dogmatic, only that they were not being newly promulgated.

  83. Imrahil says:

    Dear @David Werling,

    on NFP everything necessary to say has been said, especially by the Rev’d Fr Fox.. (Except perhaps the one thing: I do not believe getting the world population in order is, unless many other reasons including legitimate convenience-seeking, and of course personal hard fates, not a reason. Why not? Because, excuse the frankness, we have a War of the Wombs to fight, and a faithful Catholic couple who takes care to think about these questions is precisely the very latest couple to be called to contribute against even actually existing overpopulation.)

    As to the demeanor of people before the Blessed Sacrament or how they handle the sacred vessels for the Mass, I would indeed be hard pressed to tell me there isn’t a difference in belief regarding the Real Presence if I compare the usual type of SSPX altar server with an altar server who plainly does not even think there is a Tabernacle around, etc. (An abuse which is, I’m sorry to say, fostered to a degree by official liturgical directives to disregard the High Altar altogether when celebrating at the People’s Altar…) But there’s something in between, which (I guess) can be found at the SSPX too, and which is quite prevalent in parishes if only you take the effort to tell them.
    I have to confess that most of the time I treat my Lord, present in the Tabernacle, like I would treat an benevolent Captain/Chief of Company in a historically Catholic (and thus, according to well-learned people such as the knight Kuehnelt-Leddihn, familistically organized and quite unlike a Marine Corps boot camp) army. I’d salute and stand at attention (this is a metaphor), but I’d allow myself a smile on the face and always expect to be ordered “cut the report”.

    Dear @Marion Ancilla Mariae, with all due respect for heroic deeds, if we want to remain in military terminology, the Sunday Mass is not meant to be the battlefield. It is meant, quite literally if you come to think of it, to be the community food reception. And I guess the old soldier saying is true in the heavenly fight also: Without chomp, no fight. (“Ohne Mampf kein Kampf.”)

    Dear @sciencemom,
    the wikipedia quote (which in turn quotes Vatican I) is that papal infallibility (which more-or-less mutatis mutandis and supposing Papal recognition is also true about the, theoretically distinct, Conciliar infallibility) is given iff
    1.the Roman Pontiff
    2. speaks ex cathedra (“that is, when in the discharge of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority”….)
    3. he defines
    4. that a doctrine concerning faith or morals
    5. must be held by the whole Church.
    In Vatican 2, practically only No. 1 is true, although the bishops were solemnly assembled and could have possibly defined dogmas (“in discharge of the office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians and by virtue of supreme apostolic authority define as something to be held by the whole Church).

    Dear @jhayes,
    the Pope obviously must not give Holy Communion to one unbaptized, or a grave sinner at least (being no theologian I want to leave that undiscussed) without a reasoned supposition that his sin is merely objectively grave. Whether he might or might not do it in Br Roger’s case, I leave undiscussed, but on a general principle, the Pope too is bound to natural and divine law.

  84. Imrahil says:

    Cut that unless in my first parenthesis. I meant other than.

  85. Imrahil says:

    Also, cut the do not on the same place. And please, in your friendliness, pardon me.

  86. onosurf says:

    Nothing from VII was proclaimed ex cathedra…your opinion doesn’t mean anything.

    Always the same with you guys, you refuse to look at the fruits of VII — so very protestant.

  87. benedetta says:

    mamajen, well said.

  88. jhayes says:

    MichealJ, Canon 844#4 delegates to a diocesan bishop the right to decide that a “grave and pressing need” exists for a non-Catholic who meets certain criteria to receive the Eucharist.

    So, your diocesan bishop could have decided to give the Eucharist to Brother Roger if he came to a funeral, wedding or some other affair in your diocese. Whether he could decide to allow Brother Roger to receive every day, I’m not sure.

    But the Pope doesn’t need the delegation under 844#4 to deal with these issues. He has plenary powers in his own right.

  89. Gulielmus says:

    Onosurf, surely you know that not only things declared ex cathedral are regarded as un fallible, don’t you?

    And who here has refused to look at the fruits of the Council?

  90. Gulielmus says:

    Onosurf, surely you know that not only things declared ex cathedra are regarded as infallible, don’t you?

    And who here has refused to look at the fruits of the Council?

  91. jhayes says:

    Benedetta, I have the feeling that you think I agree with Bishop Fellay when. In reality, i disagree with him. Please note that it is Bishop Fellay who called Brother Roger a “Protestant”.

    Brother Roger’s own view was more nuanced:

    “Brother Roger undertook a step that was without precedent since the Reformation: entering progressively into a full communion with the faith of the Catholic Church without a “conversion” that would imply a break with his origins. In 1980, during a European Meeting in Rome, he said in Saint Peter’s Basilica in the presence of Pope John Paul II: “I have found my own identity as a Christian by reconciling within myself the faith of my origins with the mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking fellowship with anyone.”

  92. jhayes says:

    Benedetta, here is part of an interview of Cardinal Kasper by Sandro Magister:

    “Q: Brother Roger often described his ecumenical journey as an “inner reconciliation of the faith of his origins with the Mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking fellowship with anyone.” This road does not belong to the usual categories. After his death, the Taizé Community denied the rumors of a secret conversion to Catholicism. One of the reasons those rumors arose was because Brother Roger had been seen receiving communion at the hands of Cardinal Ratzinger during the funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II. What should we think about the statement that Brother Roger became “formally” Catholic?

    A: Born in a Reformed family, Brother Roger had studied theology and had become a pastor in that same Reformed tradition. When he spoke of “the faith of his origins,” he was referring to that beautiful blend of catechesis, devotion, theological formation and Christian witness received in the Reformed tradition. He shared that patrimony with all his brothers and sisters of Protestant affiliation, with whom he always felt himself deeply linked. Since his early years as a pastor, however, Brother Roger sought at the same time to nourish his faith and his spiritual life at the wellsprings of other Christian traditions, crossing certain confessional limits in doing so. His desire to follow a monastic vocation and to found for this purpose a new monastic community with Christians of the Reformation already said a lot about this search of his.

    As the years passed, the faith of the prior of Taizé was progressively enriched by the patrimony of faith of the Catholic Church. According to his own testimony, it was with reference to the mystery of the Catholic faith that he understood some of the elements of the faith, such as the role of the Virgin Mary in salvation history, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharistic gifts and the apostolic ministry in the Church, including the ministry of unity exercised by the Bishop of Rome. In response to this, the Catholic Church had accepted that he take communion at the Eucharist, as he did every morning in the large church at Taizé. Brother Roger also received communion several times from the hands of Pope John Paul II, who had become friends with him from the days of the Second Vatican Council and who was well acquainted with his personal journey with respect to the Catholic Church. In this sense, there was nothing secret or hidden in the attitude of the Catholic Church, neither at Taizé or in Rome. During the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger only repeated what had already been done before him in Saint Peter’s Basilica, at the time of the late Pope. There was nothing new or premeditated in the Cardinal’s act.

    In a talk he gave in the presence of Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Basilica during the young adult European meeting in Rome in 1980, the prior of Taizé described his own personal journey and his Christian identity with these words: “I have found my own Christian identity by reconciling within myself the faith of my origins with the Mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking fellowship with anyone.” In fact, Brother Roger never wanted to break “with anyone,” for reasons which were essentially linked to his own desire for unity and to the ecumenical vocation of the Taizé Community. For that reason, he preferred not to use certain expressions like “conversion” or “formal” membership to describe his communion with the Catholic Church. In his conscience, he had entered into the mystery of the Catholic faith like someone who grows into it, without having to “abandon” or “break” with what he had received and lived beforehand. The meaning of some theological or canonical terms could be discussed endlessly. Out of respect for the faith-journey of Brother Roger, however, it would be preferable not to apply to him categories which he himself considered inappropriate for his experience and which, moreover, the Catholic Church never wanted to impose upon him. Here too, the words of Brother Roger himself should suffice for us. “

  93. benedetta says:

    jhayes, Thanks for that, I have seen those links and excerpts before. I don’t really have a dog in the discussion about Fellay as I don’t question the validity of VII or the ordinary form of the Mass. But I think your citation of Brother Roger’s reception of communion and his reconciliation with Catholicism is not supportive of your assertion that communion may be given to whomever one wants. I see you have modified that assertion in other comments.

  94. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: counting kids —

    You can’t tell just by looking how many miscarried kids a couple has. And that was true back in the old days, too. My mother’s side of the family had some awful small numbers of kids who lived, but my mom and her cousin have done some awfully shrewd calculating from various remarks here and there. Lots of miscarried kids, sad to say, and a few infants who died young, have showed up in their genealogical research.

    So yeah, if folks dare say anything snide about numbers of kids not being sufficient, they should prepare their flapping jaws to eat some grieving father’s fist someday. Possibly some of their own teeth, also. Possibly some crow if they ever share that sorrow.

  95. PA mom says:

    Dear mamajen-I was thinking of you earlier this week, hoping all was going well with your pregnancy. Will pray for you.

  96. jhayes says:

    Benedetta,, you wrote “….is not supportive of your assertion that communion may be given to whomever one wants.”

    Before any starts to believe that I said that, let me point out that what I actually said was:

    ” I think it is obvious that the Pope can give Communion to anyone, Catholic or not, that he feels should receive it.”

    I still think that is so.

  97. Fr. Fox, I’d like to clear up three misconceptions that you took away from my comments.

    1. What I’m saying is simply that modern, novus ordo Catholics don’t believe what Catholics used to believe; you can draw whatever conclusion you want from that, but please don’t put those conclusions in my mouth. Take one specific example: Did you pray the new translation, novus ordo Collect on the Feast of St. Ambrose? If so, then you must believe that human science ought to be joined to faith. Catholics used to believe that human science ought to be subjected to faith, as the traditional Collect clearly indicates. By praying the newly translated novus ordo Collect you demonstrate a belief that is very different from what Catholics used to believe.

    2. I did not mention anything about some “Golden Age” of the Church. In fact, I don’t know any traditionalists who speak of some golden age they are trying to recapture. Rather, traditionalists are more apt to speak of times of great crisis in the Church’s history (i.e. Arianism, the Great Western Schism, etc…) in order to point out that failure of church leaders is a common thing, and this is usually in response to the tizzy novus ordo conservatives go into when we criticize the post-conciliar Church (i.e. “Theeeen the gates of hell haaaaave prevailed! Ewww! Eeeeeh!”).

    3. Once again, I’m afraid you’re putting words in my mouth regarding NFP. I never said that NFP is intrinsically evil. NFP is used for contraception, in other words, to prevent pregnancy. That is what contraception is, a method to prevent pregnancy. Just because it can be morally permissible under certain extraordinary conditions, doesn’t make the use of NFP to prevent births anything less than contraception. It is now common practice in the mainstream Church to teach NFP to couples before they get married, and it is billed as an alternative to artificial contraception (I know because I took the classes!). Why? Because preventing births in general is be deemed as something good. Once again the practice belies the belief. That is very different from what Catholics used to believe. Catholics used to believe that married couples should have as many children as possible. My wife and I have used NFP in the past, albeit to get pregnant and not to prevent, but I’m fully knowledgeable of NFP nonetheless, and to attach a spirituality to it… well, that IS definitely very different from what Catholics used to believe! It used to be that Catholics attached a spirituality to marriage, because, after all, it was marriage, and NOT sexual intercourse, that was raised to a sacrament!

    And to those of you who point out those nice novus ordo parishes with large families and reverent liturgy, etc. Are these anything more than exceptions to the rule? If your 1 out of 10 parishes examples are good enough to back up your argument, then those 9 out of 10 parishes that are the rule, rather than the exception, provides much more proof to back up my argument. Indeed, you are only proving my point. Such antidotes are exceptions and not the rule.

    Antidotal to the contrary, my parish is certainly not that exception and that despite the TLM mutually enriching away. I could go on forever giving you examples of how the relationship is more confrontational than enriching, and, no, it is not because traditionalists are mean spirited or judgmental; its actually been quite the contrary. As our chaplain said from the very beginning (and he’s FSSP), it is best to “let them do what they do, so they will let us do what we do in peace”. The point here is that antidotal evidence is just that, and quantitively, antidotal evidence backs up the traditionalist critique.

  98. benedetta says:

    jhayes, your clarification isn’t really different in substance from the other rephrasing, but thanks for your restatement. Again though, you did modify that statement, in whatever words used, in subsequent posts. But like I said, the citation of Brother Roger’s reception of communion would not seem to support what you believe to be true, on the basis of what you cited alone. I also don’t see much to support Fellay’s assertions either. What he cites about the matter is in the form of idle gossip or hearsay.

    I was going to write that this is a bit of a rabbit hole altogether as it’s something of little substance included in Fellay’s long and as people noted rambling remarks. However I do find it interesting that ideally our pastors would know us, and know of our spiritual states, and know of our general worthiness or readiness to receive communion. It isn’t the fact of certain outward identity that assures our pastor that we are ready. Of course in most American parishes today we are quite anonymous and barely if glancingly known to our shepherds at all. Which refers back to Fr. Z’s other post today about the importance of confession. The onus is on ourselves to ready ourselves interiorly for the reception of the Eucharist, not upon others’ observations of us and what they make of it.

  99. “So yeah, if folks dare say anything snide about numbers of kids not being sufficient, they should prepare their flapping jaws to eat some grieving father’s fist someday. Possibly some of their own teeth, also. Possibly some crow if they ever share that sorrow.”

    That is just downright wrong, especially if directed to me (as the father of three miscarried children, two of which were ectopic pregnancies). To wish violence on someone? Is this the charity called for by the Holy Father in the letter that accompanied SP?

  100. Granny says:

    Contrarian Thank you.. well said. I too thought he sounded sincere and sad that the situation ended like it did.
    Hieromonk Gregory Exactly! Although I believe the SSPX is better off on their own
    David Werling PERFECTLY said! Just went from a NO parish, to a diocesan TLM and it’s like night and day, BUT I have been to SSPX parish and I envy them the total package of church and school.
    BaedaBenedictus Yep! TLM where I go now is packed with families and young people. It’ is beautiful to see and be around. Profoundly different than the NO.
    Johnsum the Holy Father is surrounded and insulated from what is happening. HE of all people should know that he’s surrounded by scoundrels. He needs to bring back his valet and fire some of those cardinals he has running around. Bust them back to parish priest and send them out to work or fire them.
    Best scenario…Get Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz to retrain our NO Bishops! Vatican 2 isn’t the total problem, it’s the Bishops here in the US that didn’t hold the line like he did. SSPX isn’t the total problem either and at least they are standing up for what they believe. You have to be in a parish where you’re told that “Jesus can take care of himself” when you approach the priest with a concern about someone you’ve seen not consuming the Host but biting it allowing VISIBLE crumbs to fall to the ground. When you are told it would be rude to interrupt the Communion line to get to and protect those crumbs till they can be properly collected… How can the priest possibly believe that the Host is the Body and Blood and SAY something like that!
    The SSPX would be a blessing to the church, to help parish priests that have been so abysmally trained that they would make fine protestant preachers. They could help with our schools… especially parish schools that show little Catholicism and way too much socialism. Perhaps they could even bring back the Catechism to the schools??? SHOCKING thought that. Kids growing up learning about their faith instead of making posters and sock puppets.
    The SSPX is could be the medicine that the ailing church needs. Undoubtedly it would be a bitter pill to swallow for the church to admit that anything the SSPX says is true but if the church would do a honest examination of her conscience she would take that pill and be grateful.

  101. robtbrown says:

    David Werling says:

    Take one specific example: Did you pray the new translation, novus ordo Collect on the Feast of St. Ambrose? If so, then you must believe that human science ought to be joined to faith. Catholics used to believe that human science ought to be subjected to faith, as the traditional Collect clearly indicates. By praying the newly translated novus ordo Collect you demonstrate a belief that is very different from what Catholics used to believe.

    I think you are referring to the changed Collect of St Albert rather than that of St Ambrose: “in humana sapientia divinae fidai subiicienda” was changed to “in humana sapientia cum divina fide componenda”. Although reason is certainly subject to divine faith, the relationship is one of negative governance. Thus the use of componenda not only does not contradict subiicienda, it might even vaccinate the Collect against the Cartesian tendencies that found there way into the Church.

    Once again, I’m afraid you’re putting words in my mouth regarding NFP. I never said that NFP is intrinsically evil. NFP is used for contraception, in other words, to prevent pregnancy. That is what contraception is, a method to prevent pregnancy.

    By definition NFP is not contraception, but it does not guarantee good intention. Simply put, NFP is not materially immoral–it is not ontologically evil.

  102. sciencemom says:

    @onosurf, @imrahil – Thank you for your responses, but now I am more confused than ever.

    As Vatican II itself explained, “Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly. This is so, even when they are dispersed around the world, provided that while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves and with Peter’s successor, and while teaching authentically on a matter of faith or morals, they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church. Their definitions must then be adhered to with the submission of faith” (Lumen Gentium 25). – Source

    Of course this was not a new doctrine but a re-statement of existing doctrine. But doesn’t this mean that Vatican II, as an ecumenical council, does posess infallibility in what it teaches? Or are you just saying that that infallibility was not so-to-speak “exercised” by the Council because it did not in fact teach anything new? (In which case, how could it teach “errors”?) Yup, I’m confused.

  103. Imrahil says:

    Dear @sciencemom,

    they keyword in your Vatican II quote is “definitions”. These were absent in the whole body of the Vatican II documents… which does not say the said documents can be neglected. They are ontologically the same as (not sermons, as the SSPX sometimes says, but) encyclicals; and this in a more solemn form.

    The rest is about the infallible cases of the Ordinary Magisterium, about which the Catholic Encyclopedia has the nice phrase that “in so far as the very special question of infallibility is concerned, it may be neglected” (although… that was before Pope Bl. John Paul II formally stated that this Magisterium had previously taught all-male priesthood). Basically, Inf. O. M. means that all bishops up to a certain time in unison teach a thing. It need only be a moral majority, i. e. some may be silent; but it needs to be more than just some saying a thing and the other not caring, or also some obeying a Papal doctrine in itself not infallible.

  104. moon1234 says:

    Wow have the comments been all over the place.

    I can sympatheize with Bishop Fellay. I have felt much the same way as he feels about many aspects of VII. I hold many of the same views, but I will not wear them publically due to the severe backlash from many who think VII is a super dogma.

    The whole idea of the TLM and traditional practices being a Ghetto is just fine with me. I like my “Ghetto”. I don’t sneer at people who come to the TLM in our local parish. I usually will offer them a red missalette for the TLM when I see them grabbing the NO version. I want them to be welcomed and feel at home. Usually they get very distressed and I have seen some walk out seeming confused. Some have stayed and come back.

    What usually happens though when you try to engage anyone who attends the NO is a severe backlash of negativity. How the TLM is in a foreign language (This gets VERY old), the priest is not facing us, etc. It all is so superficial that after years/decades of this type of behaviour you just want to retreat and be part of traditional Catholic family without these issues. There is enough “internal” debates in the traditional crowd to keep me busy.

    As to all of the “justifications” that I hear from NO friends about their use of NFP, etc. I just roll my eyes now and don’t listen. It usually starts out with a complaint or astonishment at our family size and then goes on to people saying something along the lines of “Ohh you must be a more conservative (traditional or other pejorative) Catholic.” How should I understand that statement? It is usually a loaded negative question. Why not just say “Ever heard of condoms” or “Learn NFP man, why all the kids?”, at least that would be more honest.

    As to NFP, many traditionalists will see it as contraception, because that is how they see and hear their friends using it. I have heard people BOAST that they just don’t want any more kids, or are saving for a vacation. They openly admit that they use for specifically contraceptive purposes. I have only heard negative comments ONCE about small family size in the open for people outside the TLM to hear. I have heard MANY times, from TLM members, not to judge as we do not know the medical problems or reasons others may have. What I DO hear is people bragging that they are not having any more kids. They OPENLY publicize this fact.

    At the end of the day, I just want to go to Mass where I know the litugy will be the TLM, the sacraments will be the same as they were before VII and the theology sound. That, for me, is my local parish that says the TLM. I don’t attend the N.O at the same parish as I find it distracts me and takes away from spirituality. You can call me whatever you want, but I am comfortable here.

    I can travel and search out the ICRSS, FSSP and even the SSPX and know I will have the Mass said reverently, the people will be respectful and I won’t need to worry about the whims of the local pastor and his liturgical novelty. THIS is what I desire and THIS is what I can be assured of in the traditional circles.

    I am almost positive that this is what is weighing heavy on the heart of Bishop Fellay. The peacefulness that comes from clear, unambigious truth.

  105. onosurf says:

    @ Sciencemom

    Great questions! This is a confusing topic that stirs emotions.

    The best thing to do is to jump off of this board and do some research. Find out why there are those who say Vatican II was great (National Catholic Reporter, Catholic Answers, etc) and then find out why there are those that say vatican II is problematic (SSPX.org, remnantnewspaper.com, audiosancto.org, etc).

    VII debate is typically broken into 3 camps:

    Rupture from the past (it’s a good thing) – modernist/liberals (LCWR, non-catholic religions, etc)
    Rupture from the past (it’s a bad thing) – Traditionalists (SSPX, FSSP, ICKSP, etc)
    Hermeneutics of continuity (Rupture? There ain’t no stinking rupture) – Conservatives (Pope, Fr. Z, etc)

    It is fun and interesting stuff to learn about, and it would benefit you greatly to learn the arguments for/against all three of these — it will bring to light all those things you sense if you go to Mass regularly. Enjoy!

  106. onosurf says:

    Also, make sure as you do this research, pray the rosary daily (if you are not already doing it). You will need the guidance of our Holy Mother. She will help you avoid error. This is paramount.

  107. irishromancatholic says:

    Bishop Fellay made a reference to the Mass in the ordinary form as being “evil”. This point was part of a heated debated back in forth by traditionalist leaders back in 1997. Micheal Davies wrote a book published by the Neumann Press which discusses these in a very interesting way. He decisivley crushes the idea that the New Mass is “evil”. This heated debate and all the relevant sources are covered. Here is a link http://www.neumannpress.com/iamwityoual1.html

  108. mamajen says:

    @pmullane and PA Mom – Thank you very much for the prayers!

  109. Imrahil says:

    Dear @onosurf,

    this is an aside, but:

    Vatican II:

    There ain’t no stinking big rupture (which is a good thing).
    Neither there is no rupture at all (which is, purely systematically, a good thing, because otherwise why a council).
    There was a necessary correction of a creeping error or semi-error (religious liberty), about which it is sad that the other position was not ruptured away once and for all in binding terms (such as “we abrogate what has previously been said to the contrary”). However, what the Council did say here was much exaggerated afterwards. The Council said: tolerance for the non-Catholics; the distinction between tolerance and liberty, so much played upon by the SSPX, is a non-issue. The interpreters, totally without basis in the document and contradicting earlier documents, turned that into equal treatment of religions, to the point of giving up the position of religion of state in Italy and elsewhere.
    Even part of the rupture towars a more human-friendly, good-intentions-presuming, and less fearful approach in morality was a good thing – though it was totally unfounded in the documents, of course. (But… it was argued for with the wrong reasons. “World responsibility instead of world contempt”, I hear. But everyone should see at once that whatever to be said about world contempt, world responsibility is the harder thing!)
    The most practically effectual document, Sacrosanctum Concilium, was highly traditional (and was disregarded) most of the times it went into detail. Nevertheless, outside the details, it did call for ruptures, in rare cases in detail (the Prime, e.g.), and all in all in general calls for “immediate rewriting of the liturgical books” and so on and so on. Also, how “open the Treasure of the Word of God within liturgy farther” without not minor but major changes?
    There was a highly interesting summarizing document about a thing hitherto not theoretically treated, i. e. “Why missionize if Fr Feeney was not right?” This document, Ad gentes, is to me personally the Council’s most important one. It seems to be one of the most neglected ones.

    Oh how I wish I could join a camp! (This is no irony!)

  110. onosurf says:

    @Imrahil

    I think 95% of the people that come to this blog will immediately reject the rupture/liberal interpretation.

    I haven’t planted my flag (yet) in one camp. But I have a hard time with hermeneutics when the evidence is otherwise, despite what the pope says. He wouldn’t be the first pope to have been wrong. There have been predecessors popes that have even been heretics. I have full respect for the office, I just don’t want to get into Papal-idoltry and follow his thoughts if the evidence is to the contrary. And there are plenty of highly respected theologians, both dead and alive, that make a great case that he is wrong. Hence, I’m leaning heavily towards rupture/bad thing.

  111. GregH: “Henry, What abuses did you see in the TLM in the 1960s?”

    I regard most of what we call “abuses” as merely symptoms of a certain “ethos” that is (correctly or incorrectly) associated with the Novus Ordo, and has been described by David Werling and others in this thread.

    This ethos–evidencing a collapse of both liturgical and moral discipline–had been present in elite circles of the Church before Vatican II, was brought out into the open by the Council, and pervaded the Church down to parish level during the mid to late 1960s, before the Novus Ordo itself had seen the light of day.

    There’s a question of cause versus effect. Many or most today may think of it as a “Novus Ordo ethos”. However, in the liturgy, I see the as ethos coming first–and resulting in things like versus populum celebration, Latin propers replaced by vernacular folk songs, feed-sack vestments, audible vernacular EP, communion while standing, etc. in the 1965 version of the traditional Mass, several years before the Novus Ordo was unveiled, but which are now associated exclusively with the Novus Ordo. So it’s arguable that the Novus Ordo was a result of this already prevailing ethos, rather than its cause.

    Indeed, among Paul VI’s reasons for promulgating the NO was undoubtedly the argument that it was necessary to stop the hemorrhaging in the liturgy and bring some order to the chaos that prevailed in the late 1960s–when many of us saw a loose leaf binder instead of a bound missal on the altar, and the extemporaneous-sounding EP the priest read from changed almost weekly (it seemed). There were probably dozens of mimeographed home-brewed EPs floating around in those days, and the EP at least reduced the acceptable number to four fairly well crafted ones (at least in their Latin originals), so many of us did in fact see things settling down at least a bit after the Novus Ordo was introduced.

    Thus the Novus Ordo may have originated–partly, and only partly–as a solution to the problem, though both the “solution” and the “problem” are still with us today, and indeed now seem almost inextricably intertwined. Though my own view is that this ethos is associated mainly with a certain generation (or two) of priests and laity themselves, rather than with their missal.

  112. RJHighland says:

    Moon1234 said:
    “I can travel and search out the ICRSS, FSSP and even the SSPX and know I will have the Mass said reverently, the people will be respectful and I won’t need to worry about the whims of the local pastor and his liturgical novelty. THIS is what I desire and THIS is what I can be assured of in the traditional circles.”

    Amen, amen, amen. It use to drive me crazy when I was attending the Novus Ordo that when we traveled and would go to a local parish you had no idea what kind of mass you would run into or what kind of homily would be said. Would it be orthodox or filled with progressive theology? It is wonderful to seek out the TLM in whatever city we go to and we pretty much feel right at home. When I came into the Catholic Church from the Baptist faith that’s what I thought the Church was. Once I was received in the Church and we travelled or even attended mass at other parishes in our City I was shocked at the difference in postures and homilies. If I wanted this kind of unity I could have stayed a Protestant. Michael Davies books cleared a lot of this up for me.

    I have begun to realize however that everyone is on their own journey to find a closer relationship and understanding of God and I feel blessed to be where I am today and I pray for all believers to seek God’s will and not that of self or mankind. I pray for the Church that it is unified in the Truth and not divided by false teachings and the cult of personality. I Pray for wisdom, I pray we are united against the lies and divisions fueled by the Evil One in our Church and in the world we live. As I once told a priest that was the diocesan vocations director as I looked at our empty seminary. “You will know them by their fruits.”

  113. norancor says:

    @Henry Edwards,

    The people that created the NOM, the members of the Concilium, also issued the 1963 and 1967 intermediate instructions for the existing Missal, and it is well documented how they disseminated the desire for liturgical experimentation amongst liturgists around the globe. The instructions, which systematically removed a veritable boatload of rubrics, can be found on the documents section of the Adoremus website.

    It seems apparent, in retrospect, that the NOM was envisaged as more radical departure than it ended up being. The Holy Father and colleagues in his school of thought, the Communio branch of Ressourcement, were quite vocal about their trepidations with the work of the Concilium and its support of wide ranging experimentation. In addition, the Pope has been quite vocal about the deformations that took part in the name of “liturgical reform” since the 1960s. As others have said, the Pope is strident in defense of the ordinary character and legitimacy of the NOM, but at the same time wary of the ethos of abuse that surrounds it.

    The missal as it existed in 1968 was the basis of the so-called “Ottavianni Intervention” where the working draft of the NOM was actually “re-Catholicized” in certain aspects due to the threats by Cd. Ottavianni to publicly declare the new Missal sacramentally invalid. I don’t have that pamplet on hand, but the PDF of it is readily available on the internet. Read it.

    Fr. Annibale Bugnini and others characterized the 1960s as a time where they were able to accomplish more than their expectations, at least according to his own memoirs, of which I thankfully have a copy: Liturgical Reform 1948-1976.

    So, given the givens, I’m not sure trying to say that the NOM of 1969-70 was a stabilization is a shoe that fits. The ethos that permeated “liturgical reform” in the 1940s and 1950s bore its fruit during and after the Council, and had to. You cannot affect serious change in the Catholic Church without fundamentally disturbing and altering the liturgy. Switching to the vernacular wouldn’t be enough, because the heavily Catholic propitiatory sacrificial language and negative theology of sin and our utter reliance on God had to be purged. We needed to be happy. This was only reenforced by the wretched, and now obsolete, gloss known as the ICEL translation of 1970.

    I’m loathed to source a sedevacantist, but Fr. Cekada’s mathematical calculation that only 17% of the prayers of the 1962 making it to the 1969 missal untouched cannot really be debated. It isn’t opinion. A prayer is a prayer. In addition, he calculates that another 17% made it through, but heavily reworked. As for the other 64%, they went bye bye. Like I said, I don’t like referring to sedes for argument, but his calculations (the result of a LOT of work) aren’t really a matter of opinion… they are just cold numbers.

    It isn’t an accident that the schema on the liturgy was the only one of the 72 prepared before the Council that was kept, because it was written by a progressive, and the “experts” like Chenu, Rahner and Schillebeeckx found it the only one “acceptable” to use. It was enacted first as Sacrosanctum Concilium, and then the Pope formed the Concilium in order to bypass the traditionally-staffed Congregation of Sacred Rites – now the Congregation for Divine Worship – so that the liturgical reformation could occur unfettered. It is noteworthy that the Concilium was created in November of 1963 and dissolved in November of 1969, its “work” completed.

  114. norancor,

    You provide some of the historical detail underlying the fact that the Novus Ordo was a product of a reform ethos that pre-dated it (and also the Council), rather than in itself a cause of this ethos. In addition to the sources you allude to, and Fr. Cekada’s book–which has been favorably reviewed by Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, the current executive director of ICEL and the farthest thing from a sedevacantist–the most complete and invaluable source on all this is Nicola Giampietro’s The Development of the Liturgical Reform: As Seen by Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli from 1948 to 1970. Antonnelli was, along with Bugnini, present for the liturgical reform right through from Pius XII’s liturgical reform commission through the preparatory liturgical schema for Vatican II (which Bugnini largely crafted) and the Council’s own commission that (sans Bugnini) reshaped it into Sacrosanctum Consilium, to the post-conciliar Novus Ordo consilium that Bugnini effectively controlled.

  115. acardnal says:

    David Werling, NFP is not just about avoiding pregnancy. NFP has been used quite successfully to become pregnant, too!

  116. David:

    I appreciate your clarifications, however I think if you are claiming to be put upon in this thread, you are exculpating yourself too easily. It was you who threw down the gauntlet when you said, point blank, that the rank-and-file Catholics in non-traditional parishes are not, in fact, Catholic–but you are. The proofs you offered to support your claim don’t hold up. It was you who equated NFP to contraception. And in that context, it only supports your claim if NFP is equated morally–i.e., that it’s intrinsically evil. If you didn’t mean that, then I accept your retraction of your statement equating them. When you point to people’s postures toward the Eucharist, that doesn’t prove your point either. That’s a weak argument that I shouldn’t have to refute, really–it should be obvious how weak that is. And then you point to a collect for Saint Ambrose. Or is it Saint Albert? I don’t know; but that’s a pretty obscure point. I suppose if I set aside my other duties for awhile, I could adequately dig into the question; but really, that’s a bit much.

    May I see the paper that delegated you to sit in judgment of such matters? Of the orthodoxy of translations or revisions to prayers? Of the orthodoxy of your putative fellow Catholics? Did it ever occur to you to question your certitude about exactly which measures you use to in making these definitive judgments about who is Catholic, and who is not?

  117. David:

    My point about the Golden Age was that when you discern other putative Catholics around you don’t believe all the things they should, you might consider that the same thing might be found in any age of the Church. It’s not a good thing, but do you really think it’s all that unusual? So maybe your conclusions are rash?

  118. Imrahil says:

    Dear @onosurf,

    thanks for your kind answer… before this becomes all too much off topic, I just want to put in some unconnected thoughts and clarifications:

    “rupture” is here much of a language issue (and thus, a non-issue). It is obvious that Vatican II did not totally leave everything unchanged. The Holy Father says nothing different when he, sometimes, speak of a hermeneutic of reform (within continuity). At any rate I did not allude to anything else when I spoke of some little changes, and, for argument’s sake, called them little ruptures.

    Then, although I have not learnt Old Greek in school, still I’m quite certain that hermeneutics means manner of interpretation. Thus, there is no question at all (!) whether “the hermeneutics of continuity is true”; the hermeneutic is a thing brought to the texts from the outside. The Pope did not err when he said that the documents must be interpreted in continuity; nor was this an attack on the traditionalist camp: it was purely an attack on the (English-language) liberal camp; and it was a self-evidence. Of course a magisterial document must as far as possible be interpreted in continuity (as also a statute of law, for comparison and because lawyers have some skill in interpretation); nothing more does the expression “hermeneutic of continuity” say. A hermeneutic to look with magnifying glass for anything that may look like a rupture is, for the Church just as for practically anything else (but for the Church especially), plain nonsense; that it could arise at all is strange enough.

    On the other hand, it must be acknowledged that an outside observer, even a nominally Catholic (English-language) liberal outside observer, just will not see the difference between Vatican II and tradition*. [* I'm using the word colloquially and do not mean Depositum fidei.]

    Another thing,
    There have been predecessors popes that have even been heretics.
    I do not believe that this is known to be true. (Honorius? No. That was a Greek exaggeration. He was merely accused of fighting heresy less than he could have.)

  119. MichaelJ says:

    Fr. Fox, with respect, I think you may have gone too far with your rebuke. Are we not obgligated to draw reasonable conclusions about observed events? Does discernment apply only to us as individuals or can we not use it to identify what is and what is not Catholic, what is and what is not orthodox?

    I can see how you or anyone else could infer that David meant “that the rank-and-file Catholics in non-traditional parishes are not, in fact, Catholic”, but to be fair, he did not actually state that.

    I think it entirely appropriate to identify where another has drawn an erroneous or unreasonable conclusion and where they may be falling into rash judgement but to imply, as you seem to have done, that judgement of the particular orthodoxy of a specific thing requires some sort of delegation of authority is a mistake in my opinion.

  120. Michael J,

    You must have misread. David said:

    “I practice an entirely different religion from those who attend the novus ordo.”

    I think we can safely assume that David considers himself to be Catholic, therefore he considers “those who attend the novus ordo” to be of a different religion, therefore non-Catholic.

    There isn’t really any inference at all. It’s just what David plainly stated.

  121. MichaelJ says:

    Actually, I missed it entirely. I withdraw with apologies, much of my criticism. The other point I was trying to make still stands though. It is entirely appropriate to identify flawed logic or rash judgement, but not by suggesting (If that, in fact, was intended) that someone needs specially delegated authority.

  122. Michael:

    Well, my point is, there is a wide difference between saying something like, “The gulf between how I practice the Faith, and how so many other Catholics do, is something I find troubling and very hard to explain,” and a statement such as, those other people are of a “different religion.”

    Look, it’s obvious that not all priests practice the Faith the same way. Do you suppose I could make the former statement about many of my fellow priests? You bet I could! But would I presume to say, they are not actually Catholic? No, I would not so presume. (In part, because many things our Lord said come to mind, reminding me that I might not be so Catholic as I suppose, either.)

    Without much more to support his claims, I think Mr. Werling should not make such presumptions, either.

  123. Texas trad says:

    Jack Orlando:
    You are woefully uninformed about the Masonic Lodge and it’s history with and within the Vatican. Do yourself a very big favor and study this very dark relationship still in existence. I am a Catholic convert from a Masonic family. My father was a 32 degree Mason, from a long line of 32nd degree Masons and I know first hand their thoughts, dealings and actions with regard to the Catholic Church. They were present as advisors during Vatican II. This is no secret. They seek the destruction of the Catholic Church and if you do not believe this, read an excellent book called Freemasonry Unveiled by the Cardinal of Chile. After you have educated yourself about them, study the close relationship they had with Pope John 23rd and Pope John Paul II. If you believe they are a simple fraternity who drive go carts in parades and raise money for charity, then they have you exactly where they want you.

    To say that everything Bishop Fellay said in his sermon is false, tells me that you have not followed his writings, sermons and the very situation of the SSPX these many years. Yet you have decided that you know him well enough to call him deceptive. Knowing Bishop Fellay, I believe it would be impossible for him to tell a lie ever, about anything. He is a man of impeccable character. Humble, gracious , prayerful, incredibly intelligent yet you denounce a man you have not met? You should ask yourself why his accounting of the last year makes you so angry and stunningly judgmental when you do not know the facts. You were not there and do not know the mental games that were played against the SSPX. You would also be startled to know how much the Holy Father admires Bishop Fellay…more than people know. Yours is a cruel disservice to a kind and holy priest whom millions of Catholics find inspiring.

  124. sciencemom says:

    I hope this is not a rabbit hole, since Vatican II does seem to be pretty central to the problem as SSPX sees it. Anyway, …

    @ Imrahil, thanks again, but I don’t see that the word “definitions” is the only key part. What about this right before:

    bishops [as a college] … can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly … provided that … they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church.

    If I am reading this right, it says that when the bishops of the world teach in a unified manner on faith and morals, and especially at an ecumenical council, their teaching is infallible on any point they teach must be held conclusively. This is just the nature of the protection from error that an ecumenical council enjoys.

    So, I would suggest that something like “Vatican II did not propose any new dogmatic / infallible definitions” would convey the idea more accurately than saying it was not a dogmatic / infallible council.

    @onosurf, thank you. I made my total consecration to Jesus through Mary recently, and we do pray the rosary regularly. But really, what is the use of a Magisterium if I have to figure out when and whether to trust it? At the very least, Vatican II was an exercise of the ordinary magisterium of the Church. So as far as I am concerned, I submit to its authority as I would to any other judgment / decree of the ordinary magisterium.

    Now of course, there is still a question of how to interpret it … and it seems quite clear to me that it must be the hermeneutic of continuity. Not because that’s what Fr. Z or even the Holy Father teach — although, quite obviously, they are both much more knowledgeable than I — but because it cannot logically be otherwise. The “rupture” idea effectively means that VII started a new church (yes, I have heard it put that way), and that would mean that the gates of hell have prevailed. Impossible conclusion, therefore impossible premise.

    Pax et bonum!
    PS Mamajen, praying for you also!

  125. A Sinner 2 says:

    Regarding the questioning of a couple of Bp. Fellay’s statements, as for Paul VI and his dismissal as Vatican Secretary of Undersecretary of State, see The Latin Mass Magazine interview with Alice von Hildebrand in which she refers to a book by Don Luigi Villa:

    http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/articles/articles_2001_SU_Hildebran.html

    I am currently reading that book, and just this morning came upon pictures of Paul VI’s mother’s family tomb in it. The entire book can be downloaded here…

    http://padrepioandchiesaviva.com/Paul_VI_Beatified_.html

    The pictures can be found near the end of Chapter IV.

    As for Senator McCarthy, he was crucified for the crime of exposing Communists in the government, back before we had talk radio and the internet to expose Communists in the news media. Today of course, a Congresswoman could make credible allegations of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the State Department without being attacked, couldn’t she?

    Ann Coulter, a smear victim herself, provides the rest of the McCarthy story (including the fact the he NOT involved in the investigation of Hollywood entertainers, which was conducted by the Democrat-controlled House Un-American Activities Committee).

    Please use Fr. Z’s button on the right, rather than the link below, if you plan to purchase THIS.

  126. jhayes says:

    Bishop Fellay’s speech contains the first precise statement I have seen of the requirements from the Pope that he refused to accept.

    He says that, after getting many conflicting indications from other people in he Curia, he wrote directly to the Pope and received an answer directly from him:

    “And so I write him: “Please tell us what you really think! What you want!” I also request an audience, but of course [chuckle] this was not granted. But I got a letter, an answer to that. It’s the first time that the Pope does answer me, [0:55:00] anyway, and in this letter which is dated from the 30th June [2012], we have these following points.

    First he says: “I did agree that we change the text.” Then he said: “There are three points which you must accept, so that you will be recognised. The first is that it is the Magisterium which is the judge of what is Traditional [sic] or not.” And, well that’s true, that’s point of Faith, so. But if we say yes they will use it against us, of course, so it’s dangerous. Second point: “You must accept that the Council is integrante[sic] part of Tradition.” That the Council Vatican II is traditional! Imagine! [0:56:00] During forty years themselves have said the contrary. Now they say it’s traditional. And we say “Beg your pardon?” We say, “Look at the reality!”

    And the third point, we must accept that the New Mass is valid and licit. But that point I told them, “Well, we rarely use the word licit, we just simply say about the New Mass that it is evil.”

    And that’s the situation. I say, with this clarifications, things are cleared but everything is blocked”

  127. robtbrown says:

    A sinner 2,

    It is one thing to say that Communists had infiltrated the govt. It is quite another to say that Sen McCarthy was anything but a disaster as the anti-Communist point man. Whitaker Chambers thought it was suicide for anti-Communism to tie itself to McCarthy.

  128. robtbrown says:

    1 Although probably there was infiltration by Masons and Communists (and sympathizers), nevertheless, the study of doctrine and theology is never a Whodunit. Whether Bugnini was a Mason or simply someone who sold out to the Community of Man ideology without being in league with a Lodge like P2 is irrelevant to the current liturgical mess.

    2. I don’t know whether there was ever a Golden Age of the Church, but I do know that these post Vat II years cannot be considered a candidate for the title.

    3. Rome seems to want a pro forma “acceptance of VatII” by the SSPX but to let the Society criticize not only the present liturgical situation but also certain particulars of the documents as well. The irony is the Church is populated with priests who speak in favor of VatII, while at the same time contradicting its particulars (e.g., the infallibility of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and the importance of Latin liturgy).

    4. Yesterday I drove over for a visit to the SSPX American Headquarters–I just discovered that they are in the Missouri hills, a few miles from here (about 15 from the Coffee clatch with Fr Z a few years ago at Latte Land).

  129. acardnal says:

    robtbrown wrote, “Rome seems to want a pro forma “acceptance of VatII” by the SSPX but to let the Society criticize not only the present liturgical situation but also certain particulars of the documents as well. The irony is the Church is populated with priests who speak in favor of VatII, while at the same time contradicting its particulars (e.g., the infallibility of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and the importance of Latin liturgy).”

    Couldn’t agree more with your statement. I would add that in addition to priests there are also some members of religious orders and groups (e.g. LCWR leaders) who behave the same way and yet they are canonically recognized.

  130. Lynne says:

    A sinner 2, thanks for the link to the book about Pope Paul VI! That’s a very interesting website…

  131. Pingback: Logos and Muse: Thoughts on Bp. Fellay and the Ugliness of Schism