My call to the SSPX as Francis begins.

Gentlemen, I now repeat, on the first full day of the pontificate of Francis.

The entire SSPX should gather in St. Peter’s Square, crawl on hands and knees to the Apostolic Palace and beg the new Pope to allow them to kiss his foot, knee and hand and promise obedience.

Given the new pontificate, what a gesture that would be. And it would provide a HUGE does of credibility to those who desire to maintain continuity with tradition.

The self-proclaimed leaders of the defense of tradition should lead that way. Get out in front of everyone.

Let the SSPX help Francis be the Pope of Christian Unity.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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131 Responses to My call to the SSPX as Francis begins.

  1. M. K. says:

    This may sound crazy to some – and it is certainly counterintuitive – but last night I thought that if Pope Francis really decided he wanted reconciliation with SSPX and acted accordingly, he could make it happen in a way that unfortunately was not possible during the last pontificate, purely because it would go against all the preconceived notions people have right now. “Only Nixon could go to China,” in other words.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Please, dear St. Francis and St. Ignatius Loyola, intercede for this to happen soon.

  3. CatherineTherese says:

    Amen, Fr. Z! This will be among my specific prayer intentions this week, and for Pope Francis’s early reign.

  4. David in T.O. says:

    I’d like to think that our Papa Emeritus Benedict said to him today, “Holy Father Francis, please undertake to do that which I could not and bring home the spiritual sons of our brother Marcel” and Pope Francis answered, “I promise you that it shall be done before Pentecost!”

  5. RobertK says:

    I would love to see that Father. But realistically, I doubt it will happen. His relationship with the SSPX, when he was a Cardinal in Argentina, was not that good from what I have read. You need to come up with a new slogan Father. Because “Save the Liturgy Save the World”, really doesn’t fit in with this pontificate. Maybe “Pray More and Save the World” or “Live the Gospel and Save the World” would be better. God Bless Pope Francis!. The Pope of Prayer and Living the Gospel:).

  6. Yes, SSPX, please, for the sake of the faithful who still have not seen the rebirth of traditional worship, PLEASE become reconciled.

    Look. Those of us who still live in liturgical wastelands are in for some punishment. You can bet the liberals are looking at this new Pope’s style and crowing over what they think is the end of Benedict’s liturgical reforms. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear that in places where things are already bad, they are going to get worse. Priests of the SSPX have got to come down out of their mountain fastness and help us in the trenches. You can’t do that if you are canonically irregular. We need you HERE. Please reconcile.

  7. catholicgauze says:

    SSPX has a Twitter account (@SSPX). Should we start a #comehomesspx hashtag. Maybe if they get a bunch of kind hearted e-mails and tweets it might do some good. Maybe not but it would go well with our prayers.

  8. RobertK says:

    Communiqué from the SSPX’s General House on the occasion of the election of Pope Francis

    With the news of the election of Pope Francis, the Society of St. Pius X prays to Almighty God that He abundantly bestow on the new Sovereign Pontiff the graces necessary for the exercise of this heavy charge.

    Strengthened by Divine Providence, may the new pope “confirm his brethren in the Faith”[1], with the authority which St. Pius X proclaimed at the beginning of his pontificate:

    We do not wish to be, and with the divine assistance never shall be aught before human society but the Minister of God, of whose authority We are the depositary. The interests of God shall be Our interest, and for these We are resolved to spend all Our strength and Our very life.[2]

    St. Francis of Assisi, whose name the new pontiff has taken, heard the Crucified Savior say to him, “Go, Francis and rebuild my Church.” It is in such a spirit that the bishops, priests, and religious of the Society of St. Pius X assure the Holy Father of their filial desire “to restore all things in Christ, so that Christ may be all and in all”[3] according to their means, for the love of the Holy Catholic and Roman Church.

    Menzingen, le 13 mars 2013

    [1] Luke 22,32
    [2] Saint Pius X’s Encyclical E supremi apostolatus (4 October 1903)
    [3] Eph. 1,10 and Col. 3,11

  9. RichR says:

    The SSPX shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for a rapprochement from this Pope. I agree with FrZ’s advice. Get out in front.

  10. Allan S. says:

    I see I was beaten with the whole “Only Nixon could go to Chine” theme, which occured to me last night.

    But let’s develop this a little: A reconciliation with the SSPX was so very close, yet stumbled right at the finish line – why? Well, one possible (and reasonable) line of speculation goes like this: Benedict had spent all his political capital on this issue and was facing robust opposition and perhaps even theats of resignations, followed by schism on an order of magnitude that just made it undoable. Too many died-in-the-wool V2 Bishops and Dioceses not ready to see a perceived capitulation to the SSPX.

    But now? Could this Pope – in a grand gesture (possibly motivated by planned future moves in the opposite direction) – simply with a wave of the hand confer regularization on the SSPX without any preconditions or preamble?

    Actually, yes, – I think Pope Francis could, in fact, get away with this without any subsequent fracture by the progressive wing who will want to see where the rest of the pontificate will go.

    Now, this of course would raise other issues – not the least of which would be a permissive ecclesiology that was indifferent and embraced clown and traditional liturgies together as “equal”. Two Rites? Heck, why not 22? of 122? or even do away with Missals all together?

    Anyway, could we have a Nixon goes to China moment? Yes. Yes we could. And no crawling through St. Peters would be necessary. The fly in the ointment this time could instead come from the Society, which may push itself even further away in its search for “eternal” Rome.

    Personally, I cannot seem to get past those first three grouped beads on my Rosary today. I have nothing left in any of them.

  11. The Masked Chicken says:

    I would be very surprised if there were a reconciliation. I suspect that the SSPX is not a high priority with Pope Francis. I would not be surprised to see them cut off, in fact. Nixon is gone. Ford is in office.

    The Chicken

  12. RichR: I think you are right. Looking back on how HH Francis handled his own brother Jesuits who were off the reservation in his province consorting with Liberation Theology and stuff of that ilk, I can’t help but think the tiring hair-splitting and statement parsing on the part of the SSPX trying to dictate to the Holy See what their moving target ‘conditions’ are will fall on deaf ears.

    I’m thinking, if they had been able to get around their pride and “more Catholic than the Pope” stance during Benedict, this would be a moot issue, but, can’t help thinking that ship has sailed.

    Sadly, since we need their charism of traditional practice and belief, but not their stubborn pride which admits to no acknowledgment of the ultimate authority of the Pope. Oh, they may mouth the words, but, by their actions, starting all the way back in ’76 under Paul VI, through JP-I/II, and Benedict, even for those of traditional bent who have held to faithfulness to the Church in our sinfulness, it’s really getting old. Either get on board and work from within, or have the intellectual honesty to publicly set yourself up as a splinter branch, which would be a de facto admission of what has gone on up to now.

  13. Ralph says:

    I spent yesterday in fear of what might be. I read the horror reports of Argentina.

    But, today, in the new light – I am filled with hope. Our new Francis is humble and loving. We have an opportunity to learn from him. Yes, we may not get what we want and what we were hoping for, but I believe that in the end, all will be well. Christ will prevail.

    I think Father Z is right on with his suggestion. (In fact – it is one of the very first things I thought of after the news of the election – Father Z’s warning better be heeded soon while time is still available) But, alas, I think it will be ignored.

  14. cdupre says:

    “Only Nixon could go to China”

    +1, the same thought occurred to me as well. Ave Maria…

  15. phlogiston says:

    Reconciliation of SSPX is not going to happen, as desirable as that would be. Not with stories and pictures on rorate caeli about how the then archbishop knelt to accept a “blessing” from a group of Protestant ministers. (Yes this is the internet, where anyone can say anything, and yes, I am well aware that Photoshop could be used to show anything from how Pope Francis was on the graasy knoll, to being responsible for the Lindbergh kidnapping. But if any portion of that story is true it is deeply, deeply disturbing.) There will be a hardening of positions, not a softening of them. Not when the election of this pope only reinforces previous ideas on how out of whack “ecumenism” already is, or how TLM is treated like a red-headed stepchild among the ecclesiatic elites.

  16. Hidden One says:

    I have said before that the humble members of the SSPX will come, and I still believe this to be true.

  17. Father Z., do you think that it is within the realm of possibility that the SSPX may change their approach in minor ways, with a rather different pope to deal with? This is pure, and perhaps farfetched speculation, but maybe they adopted a rather harder line with Benedict, who was closer to a kindred spirit, but when faced with someone (at least perceived to be) not as friendly to them, they would be willing to be somewhat more ‘conciliatory’.
    Just a thought.

  18. And yet the SSPX had a lovely call to prayer for the beginning of this new Pontificate. Its seems that Pope Francis is more the Bishop of Rome and a pastor than the emphasis on Roman Pontiff and Supreme Pastor. That being said perhaps he has the heart to embrace with whom he may not personally agree. One cannot help but be moved by his recollected manner at liturgy, and his ability to touch many people. I pray that he can follow wise counsel and be open to those for home the doors may be closed, even if it is through their own doing. If he can embrace AIDs patients and prostitutes with love and compassion, his embrace of others should seem to follow in kind. I will certainly pray for His Holiness and that God will use the gifts of the new Bishop of Rome to advance the cause of Christian unity with those who hold to Christian morals and Faith.

  19. Gaetano says:

    I see the “Nixon to China” moment being Pope Francis bringing the Jesuits back into the fold.

  20. Shellynna says:

    Let me tell you a story of what happened in my diocese:

    Back in 1984, when John Paul II first allowed bishops to permit the Tridentine Mass, the then bishop of this diocese was the first out of the gate to permit it in the U.S. The Tridentine was offered every Sunday without fail until Summorum Pontificum superseded the old indult in 2007. At that time, the local Tridentine community had been going strong for nearly 25 years. So, in short order, the succeeding bishop erected a personal parish for the Tridentine community and invited the FSSP to administer it.

    Now, by this point, the successor was near retirement age, and will in fact retire this year. Within the year of being invited to administer at the parish, the FSSP asked this bishop for permission to establish a canonical house in the diocese. The bishop granted their request, and in so doing, firmly established the FSSP’s right to remain in this diocese no matter who his successor might be.

    Well, we have a coadjutor now, and he recently visited the local FSSP parish, happy to visit the parish and to meet the families who are registered there. But the FSSP could not know then that they would get a succeeding bishop who would be friendly to their concerns. So they took appropriate measures to reach out to the bishop who had extended a welcome to them while there was yet time to do so. And they ended up rewarded with a successor who will very likely continue in his predecessors’ footsteps in providing for the pastoral care of those devoted to the Tridentine Mass.

    Would that the SSPX had been as wise as their erstwhile confreres in the FSSP.

  21. JayneK says:

    Considering the huge online outpouring of trad negativity to the election of Pope Francis, we should all crawl to him and promise obedience. That is what I want to do. I feel ashamed to be associated with traditional Catholicism after seeing what I saw yesterday.

  22. JayneK says:

    I should add that the SSPX response to our new Holy Father stood out by being appropriate and classy. How ironic.

  23. Stumbler but trying says:

    JayneK says:
    14 March 2013 at 2:48 pm
    Considering the huge online outpouring of trad negativity to the election of Pope Francis, we should all crawl to him and promise obedience. That is what I want to do. I feel ashamed to be associated with traditional Catholicism after seeing what I saw yesterday.
    I should add that the SSPX response to our new Holy Father stood out by being appropriate and classy. How ironic.

    Well said and I agree wholeheartedly. Now, I will start to pray more earnestly than before and stay away from all the negative commentary as I want to remain joyful, grateful and hopeful trusting ever moreso in God’s divine providence. May His will be done.

  24. the_ox says:

    JayneK: Considering the huge online outpouring of trad negativity to the election of Pope Francis, we should all crawl to him and promise obedience. That is what I want to do. I feel ashamed to be associated with traditional Catholicism after seeing what I saw yesterday.

    I too have tired of the trads because I have grown so tired of the constant, selfish bickering and liturgical snobbery. I was once of this mindset, but am no more. I saw that I loved the liturgy more than I loved the cross. I have given up on caring about the politics of left and right Catholicism as distractions of the world. This occupation of my mind and emotions did nothing to help me love my faith. Quite the opposite. I see it now.

    I welcome this direction. The Holy Spirit has guided the selection of a pontiff whose humility, simplicity and calls to personal holiness should cause us all to consider ourselves in the light of judgement.

    A relevant quote our Holy FAther from his first homily:

    “The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.”

  25. Denis says:

    I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but things are looking quite grim for the SSPX and traditionalism in general. The SSPX might think it wise to preserve their independence for a little while longer, even if the cost is not being “fully regularized” for the time being.

  26. Jayne, I think I know you. ;) You are the ominous kitten, yes?

    I am also not fond of the noisy sort of traditionalism that has rather quickly sounded the alarm bells. It does not represent the kind of person I am, nor does it represent my traditionalist preferences.

  27. HyacinthClare says:

    After what the SSPX was howling yesterday, I think the chances of that are between zero and none. They’ve waited too long, methinks. It’s just not that important to them anymore. Isn’t that always what happens when somebody “gets mad” at the Church and pulls away? I think of myself as as “trad” as they come but I was scandalized by the venom.

  28. Geoffrey says:

    If they didn’t crawl to Benedict XVI, I don’t see them crawling to Pope Francis. Even though their official statement was cordial, I would venture to guess that many on the inside of the SSPX echo the atrocious comments spewed online yesterday.

    Non-Catholics were instantly attacking the Holy Father for his (shock!) Catholic views. We Catholics need to get behind him and support him.

  29. HyacinthClare says:

    Do I apologize? Was it not the SSPX that was so upset yesterday, but other traditionalist groups? Have I slandered them in ignorance? I’m reading this thread now and think I may have jumped to judgment (as usual, darn it!)

  30. MarkA says:

    “The entire SSPX should … crawl on hands and knees to the Apostolic Palace and beg the new Pope to allow them to kiss his foot, knee and hand and promise obedience.”

    Father, with all due respect, I pray we all receive the fruits of the 1st two Joyful Mysteries – Humilty and Charity.

    Your coverage of “Card. Bergoglio, in 2007 after Summorum Pontificum, TLM within 48 hours” is shallow and an totally inaccurate portrayal of the subject. I love the Pope and pray for him, but I wait to see actual evidence of his support of the TLM (as your piece “Conclave concludes: Mass in the Sistine Chapel with Cardinals” demonstrates). I’m afraid I see a lot of wishful, emotional thinking on this topic.

    I don’t understand why you have an axe to grind with the SSPX and why you continue this meme of the SSPX crawling, etc. It seems very disrespectful to the faithful religious of the Society and generates very angry and uncharitable comments from your readers. I don’t even know what it would accomplish in any practical terms, other than make your readers feel good.

    In all sincerity, I would like to personally thank you, Father, for an article you posted two years ago on the SSPX hockey game in Winona. Since then, I have been attending Mass at the SSPX Chapel near me exclusively and my spiritual life has profited immensely.

    My prayers for you, Father, and your readers.

  31. kat says:

    @ HyacinthClare. I do not know what venom you saw from the SSPX yesterday. If you are referring to Rorate and other blogs, those are not run by the SSPX and do not speak for that group. The SSPX has their own website, and I have looked at it. They have pictures of the pope going to Our Lady today, and ask for prayers for him.

  32. Sixupman says:

    Father,

    With respect, I am unable to comprehend the basis for your obsessive judgemental attitude [?!?]towards the +Fellay led SSPX – of which I am not a supporter in the UK. If you were to give consideration and let us have your informed view as to the “Catholicism” of the German, Austrian and Swiss Bishops’ Conferences, it would likely prove to be most informative.

    [I am afraid you need to work this out yourself.]

  33. Andy Lucy says:

    “Look. Those of us who still live in liturgical wastelands are in for some punishment. You can bet the liberals are looking at this new Pope’s style and crowing over what they think is the end of Benedict’s liturgical reforms. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear that in places where things are already bad, they are going to get worse. Priests of the SSPX have got to come down out of their mountain fastness and help us in the trenches. You can’t do that if you are canonically irregular. We need you HERE. Please reconcile.”

    Truly. They can’t get into the fight if’n they ain’t on the battlefield. And if’n they ain’t in the fight, they ain’t doin’ any good.

    Here’s hoping they do indeed make that last few metres on their knees, and beg for regularization.

  34. HyacinthClare says:

    Thank you, kat. I ask forgiveness from all SSPX readers.

  35. anj says:

    I would be interested to hear Fr. Z’s reaction to the Rorate Caeli blogger’s arguments and point of view. I must say, it does look pretty grim. I would not be surprised to see the SSPX formally excommunicated under Pope Francis. They had their chance with Pope Benedict XVI – that time is over.

  36. catholicmidwest says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if there were a reconciliation.

    Look, Christ spoke to the Samaritan woman and he ate with Zaccheus. This doesn’t mean that they became apostles like John and Mark, nor does it mean they became perfect overnight, nor does it mean that they attained any level of stature as mature Christians. Not everyone does. But Christ spoke to everyone; everyone can be a follower, no matter how humble, no matter how flawed, no matter how miserable. It is not our place to say who can and who cannot know mercy.

  37. Liam says:

    It appears that too many here are conflating our gracious reverend host’s call to the FSSPX with what is appearing on various blogs in traddyland.

    I confess, like a dog having returned to his vomit, that tradosaurus old Adam reared his ugliness in me when our new Supreme Pontiff appeared on the loggia. For that I am ashamed. The Holy Father needs our charity and prayers. His office demands our support and obedience.

    What Fr. Z appears to be calling for is this latter–quite distinct from the immediate ugliness on some websites–as a public witness of true Catholic behavior in these troubled times. The FSSPX for their own good and the good of the Church need to make a public act of submission to the Office of Peter, an act that is clearly ACT and not merely words. They owe a double debt on this count in amends for both their history of grave disobedience and their history of rash judgment and calumny against the Apostolic See.

    Further, if I am reading Fr. Z correctly here, such public act by the FSSPX would present a model for imitation for all Catholics.

    Those who live in traddyland love to swoon nostalgically over the papal monarchy in the medieaval and Counterreformation eras, but shy from actually behaving towards the Pope as would be expected before an Innocent III or Boniface VIII. Let the sons of Marcel Lefebvre be that public example today to this Jesuit Pope as the sons of Ignatius Loyola were in the 16th century.

  38. MarkA says:

    anj – ” I would not be surprised to see the SSPX formally excommunicated under Pope Francis.”
    What would be their reason/justification for such an excommunication? Would it appear arbitrary to people other than those that read this blog?

  39. Geoffrey says:

    “What would be their reason/justification for such an excommunication?”

    I would think their refusal to be regularized under the conditions that Benedict XVI proposed would suffice. If not that, it is only a matter of time when the aging SSPX hierarchy will plan another round of illicit episcopal consecrations.

  40. boko fittleworth says:

    Rumor has it that the SSPX were ready to sign Benedict’s agreement but then someone (not Benedict) pulled the old switcheroo. The SSPX and Benedict were both victims of curial malfeasance. Perhaps cleaning up the curia is a necessary prelude to regularization.

  41. Montenegro says:

    After reading the shocking content – both blog and comments – over at Rorate the past 24 hours, I think the SSPX will be unlikely to do as Fr. Z suggests.

    Do adherents and members of SSPX chapels realize their sacraments are invalid? This is a huge problem.

  42. Jenelle says:

    I remember when our beautiful Benedict resigned and Father, you put up a similar plea to them then. You worded it perfectly and seeing that gave me a glimmer of hope that they may give Papa some relief from the pain that the whole situation has caused.

    The fact that they could not see past themselves and go to our Holy Father at that time, in the exact way you described, says a lot in my opinion. We were blessed beyond words with one Pope of Christian Unity and with our prayers, we may have another. But, it works both ways. SSPX failed Benedict and for that, it is heartbreaking.

  43. kat says:

    @HyacinthClare: We all make mistakes. People are seeking info from all over, and there is a lot going on.

    We all need to really pray for Pope Francis. Whatever his faults, he obviously has good also. Grace of state can help Him. And God always draws good from any evil that occurs too. If he is as bad as many are fearing, then we need to pray and sacrifice more. But no one knows what he will be like as Pope. So let us wait and not judge rashly. God is not be pleased with uncharitableness.

    As for SSPX, that requires prayers too. What good comes from people-bashing?

  44. NBW says:

    I hope and pray all turns out well.

  45. mamajen says:

    I fear that the ranks of the SSPX will grow, thanks to the smear campaign and dire prognostications disemminated by some traditionalists as soon as our new pope’s name was announced. I really hope I am wrong.

  46. McCall1981 says:

    This isn’t specifically pertaining to the SSPX, but since it relates to the Liturgy:

    I saw the following quote about Pope Francis on another Catholic blog, but I don’t know anything about Fr. Fessio or the Adoremus that it mentions. Could someone fill me in on what this quote refers to?

    “One thing which does speak highly in his favor is that Fr. Fessio, who founded the Adoremus – Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy speaks highly of him. Specifically, he stated when asked his thoughts: “You’ll love him. The other Jesuits hate him. I’m ecstatic.”
    With that kind of endorsement from someone in Fr. Fessio, SJ who is obviously faithful and orthodox, and also who deeply cares about the Liturgy, I am hopeful that Pope Francis will continue reforms in the area of the Liturgy with the path that Pope Benedict started.”

  47. pseudomodo says:

    Has the SSPX awakened and found themselves on the other side of the fence?

  48. LouiseA says:

    It seems to me that Fr. Z. is asking everyone to put on a thick pair of rose-colored glasses and keep them on for the duration of this Pontificate.

    Meanwhile, the SSPX will keep plodding along keeping the Faith intact. Deo Gratias et Mariae.

  49. Denis says:

    One can only hope that Pope Francis does not share the views of some of those who are cheering his election, and who seem to anticipate with joy the excommunication of everyone associated with the SSPX. Is it any wonder that traditionalists tend toward pessimism?

  50. Mary Jane says:

    The comment-box people over at Rorate are having a field day…ugh.

    HyacinthClare, love your screen name. :) Just finished watching that movie the other day!

    LouiseA, that’s not what Fr Z is saying at all. Oh and by the way, we ALL will plod along and keep the Faith intact.

  51. St. Louis IX says:

    I think all the Lutherans should come crawling on their hands and knees begging God`s forgiveness for following the ARCH HERITIC Martin Luther. then apologize to Catholics enMasse for the confusion they have sowed through him, and his champions in the Church.

  52. Mary Jane says:

    Montenegro, just a clarification – their masses are not invalid. Illicit, though, yes.

  53. APX says:

    JayneK

    I made the mistake of reading Rorate right after the pope was announced and went into “the sky is falling” mindset and catastrophized the entire situation. I cried and convinced myself SP was going to be thrown out the window, and worst case scenario, the FSSP would be disbanded, etc. etc and that we would all be doomed to irreverent liturgies (my friend assured me it wouldn’t likely happen.)

    Now that I have mentally sobered up and rationalized my cognitive distortions regarding the situation, I am good and I managed to not scandalize my newbie Catholic roommate in the process when she texted me asking “what’s a Jesuit” and “is this a good thing?”

    After reading the comments here and on Rorate, I am fearful to go to Mass tonight, as I expect the wrath of our priest.

    Nevertheless, I plan on starting this new pontificate off right and will be going to Confession tonight.

  54. APX says:

    Mary Jane, he said sacraments, so while their Masses aren’t invalid, their absolution is, as would be marriages, and confirmation is questionable.

    Nevertheless, our bishop here has banned Catholics from attending their Masses, this doing so would be gravely sinful of them.

  55. Jan B. says:

    I don’t understand why you associate Rorate with SSPX! They are FSSP if anything!

  56. Andrew says:

    I feel very sympathetic to the Pius X society, but I am starting to wonder if they have forgotten that it isn’t the society that “keeps the Faith intact” This is Jesus’ Church, and the Holy Spirit keeps the Faith intact. There is no shame in any group, person, etc… of any bend getting on their hands and knees before the successor of Peter in the Church Jesus founded.

  57. Mary Jane says:

    APX – understood, and yes I was aware of the other sacraments. I just wanted to make the distinction that they do confect a valid (albeit illicit) Eucharist.

  58. Allan S. says:

    @Montenagro asked “Do adherents and members of SSPX chapels realize their sacraments are invalid? This is a huge problem.”

    In charity, I wish to correct you and also to beg correction of others if I, myself, am in error. I believe that, even from the official perpsective of the Holy See, the status of the SSPX is that they are in an “irregular situation” and their priests, while validly ordained have suspended faculties. The effect of this appears to be that their masses, while illicit, are in fact valid as transubstantiation occurs and the Eucharist is validly confected under both species. The sacrament of penence, however, is a different matter as the absolution (again, from the Holy See’s perspective) is invalid and illicit, except in the case of danger of death or other valid necessity and possible in some cases of ignorance on the part of the penitent.

    All of which is a long way of saying that blanket statements to the effect that “SSPX sacraments are invalid” are not an accurate statement of the facts as Holy Mother Church states them.

    Now, if the SSPX are in fact declared to be schismatics then, ironically, they will immediately gain a very strong case that their sacraments are valid. After all, the Church fully recognizes the validity of many sacraments performed by heretics and schismatics; my Protestant baptism, for example, has been deemed “valid” by the Church, and I believe many of the Orthodox Churches’ sacraments are equally recognized as valid.

    Even now published reports confirm that in one diocese (Buenos Aries, I believe) the local Cathedral has been “validly” used by other religions (ecclesial communities?) for their celebrations and “sacraments”. So, in a way, the official declaration of schism against the SSPX might actually result in much closer bonds of fraternal and ecumenical relations. This is bad?

  59. MAJ Tony says:

    This seems more likely to happen before the SSPX submits.

    I think all the Lutherans should come crawling on their hands and knees begging God`s forgiveness for following the ARCH HERITIC Martin Luther. then apologize to Catholics enMasse for the confusion they have sowed through him, and his champions in the Church. -St. Louis IX

  60. Allan S. says:

    One must respect, in a way, the views of any person who acknowledges that their souls will be judged by God, and that hell may be the result, and declares that in full charity and truth they absolutely believe that (fill in the blank – SSPX, etc.) is an absolutely correct and necessary path to follow for their salvation. God will judge, of course, but there was such a time as when the Church was actually the home for all of these people. Perhaps one should reflect why this is no longer the case?

  61. Supertradmum says:

    Some of my best friends are in the SSPX. Some people I love dearly are. I am hurt by the negativity here, as if one keeps wishing or saying something will not happen, such thinking becomes wishful negative thinking.

    I think we need the SSPX badly. Those of us who lived with horrible abuse in liturgies and still do not have the TLM regularly long for such beautiful Masses.

    If one cannot see that the Church needs them, there is something terribly wrong with one’s spiritual eyesight.

  62. discipulus says:

    “Mary Jane, he said sacraments, so while their Masses aren’t invalid, their absolution is, as would be marriages, and confirmation is questionable.”

    Regarding SSPX confirmations, if it is done by one of their bishops, the sacrament would be valid but illicit, as a bishop has the power to confirm by virtue of his consecration. However, if it were administered by an SSPX priest, then the sacrament would be invalid, because a priest requires delegation from his local ordinary to confirm.

  63. MarkA says:

    Allan S. – I’m afraid your arguments are too rational and not emotional and superficial enough. God bless you.
    A.M.D.G

  64. MarkA says:

    From a Father Z approved source – The Hermeneutic of Continuity:
    An apology to Rorate Caeli and a correction on TLM provision in Buenos Aires
    http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com.br/2013/03/an-apology-to-rorate-caeli-and.html

  65. ckdexterhaven says:

    Supertradmum, haven’t we all suffered from abuse in the liturgy? If you were a Catholic in the 70’s and 80’s, you probably suffered. My goodness, my parents are still suffering in the rural Southwest with liturgical abuse. If they commented on this blog, they and their fellow parishioners could write pages and pages. Like I said, it’s rural, the closest TLM is probably 200 miles away. They would be thrilled with a Mass that didn’t have applause break out. They do a lot of offering up….

  66. GAK says:

    “I don’t understand why you have an axe to grind with the SSPX and why you continue this meme of the SSPX crawling, etc. It seems very disrespectful to the faithful religious of the Society and generates very angry and uncharitable comments from your readers.”

    MarkA, perhaps you don’t mean it this way, but those sentences come across as incredibly passive aggressive.

    To think that one person’s actions *generates* the reaction of another person is absurd. It’s along the lines of, “you made me do it.”

    This unfortunately smacks of what is one of the worst qualities of certain (by no means all, or many) traditionalists. “You MADE us leave the Church”

    Nonsense.

    There is nothing that Fr. Z or anyone on this blog can write that GENERATES crappy behavior from others.

    Seriously. For the 2nd time in less than 24 hours, my input is: let’s grow up.

  67. Allan S. says:

    Thank you. May I ask that we all pray for Father Z? He has laboured for so long, and spent his entire self, to see a restoration of faith and beauty and truth and now – though he in filial obedience will not say – there is, objectively, uncertainty and anxiety around the question as to whether or not this will all be undone. Can you imagine the harm and suffering this may be inflicting on this fine priest who has been so good and so charitable to all of us for years? So, pray for him – that he not flee for fear of the wolves, as…others…have done.

    God chastises those He loves. I conclude therefore He loves faithful, traditional Catholics very, very much.

    Lord, have mercy….

  68. Jenelle says:

    the_ox says:
    14 March 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I too have tired of the trads because I have grown so tired of the constant, selfish bickering and liturgical snobbery. I was once of this mindset, but am no more. I saw that I loved the liturgy more than I loved the cross. I have given up on caring about the politics of left and right Catholicism as distractions of the world. This occupation of my mind and emotions did nothing to help me love my faith. Quite the opposite. I see it now.

    I welcome this direction. The Holy Spirit has guided the selection of a pontiff whose humility, simplicity and calls to personal holiness should cause us all to consider ourselves in the light of judgement.

    Thank you for your comment Ox. I would love for FatherZ to allow a guest post of your kind because I know I struggle with getting caught up in the ‘issues’ so much that is distracts me from my faith and I would probably not be alone in this at all. I would love to know how to do this and stop getting caught up in all the drama and just be at peace. :(

  69. Montenegro says:

    @AllanS thank you for the fraternal correction. :) Now I remember that is the case – it is the sacrament of penance that is invalid and illicit as performed by SSPX priests.

    (That’s what happens when I post in the morning before having a coffee.)

  70. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I suggest that we read St. Clement’s letter to the Corinthians, and meditate on his comments on little things like… oh, obedience, and about talking smack about our shepherds… stuff like that.

  71. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Here’s a good place to start:

    “….we feel that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the points respecting which you consulted us; and especially to that shameful and detestable sedition, utterly abhorrent to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-confident persons have kindled to such a pitch of frenzy, that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be universally loved, has suffered grievous injury.

    “For who ever dwelt even for a short time among you, and did not find your faith to be as fruitful of virtue as it was firmly established? Who did not admire the sobriety and moderation of your godliness in Christ? Who did not proclaim the magnificence of your habitual hospitality? And who did not rejoice over your perfect and well-grounded knowledge?”

  72. MarkA says:

    GAC – “perhaps you don’t mean it this way, but those sentences come across as incredibly passive aggressive. ”

    Mea Culpa. I’m sorry if I offended you.

    However, I sincerely believe the whole “crawl on hands and knees” meme is incredibly insulting (active aggressive) towards religious that I personally know go through incredible personal hardships to deliver the “old evangelization” and sacraments to those in need at prisons, hospitals, hospices and even sick calls at people’s houses.

    I personally see no need for these fine priests to “crawl on hands and knees” . The last time Father Z posted a “hands and knees” post, I saw the most vile, active aggressive comments towards the SSPX. I submitted similar comments to Father Z then and I stand by the sincere desire for humility and charity from all.

    I’ve witnessed such humility at “His Hermeneuticalness”, Fr Tim Finigan (An apology to Rorate Caeli and a correction on TLM provision in Buenos Aires
    http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com.br/2013/03/an-apology-to-rorate-caeli-and.html). I pray for the virtue of humility everyday for myself. I’m sorry if I failed and offended you.

  73. Fr_Sotelo says:

    In a typical Hispanic family, and the Argentinians are Hispanic, a grandfather or family patriarch avoids harsh or severe discipline towards the black sheep among his progeny. However, deep down he may seethe at their arrogance before authority and disobedience, and will do absolutely nothing to indulge it or enable it further. On the other hand, if they apologize and wish to amend their ways, he will receive them with embraces and affectionate kisses.

    In that vein, I do not believe Pope Francis will attempt to punish the SSPX. They are his sons and he loves them. However, neither will he tolerate or approve for even a second the behavior which would preach at him, tell him how to run the Church, or instruct him on proper liturgy. If they continue in that arrogant vein, unlike Benedict, Pope Francis will simply have nothing to do with them. At all. He will turn and shower his full attention on the Catholic Faithful, as well as the publicans, whores, and tax collectors, and all huddled masses who are eager to receive from the bread of his teaching and comfort.

    The whores and tax collectors, and all urchins of the slums, are a far easier group to deal with, and unlike proud and obstinate, perfect Catholics, they don’t slap and bite the hand which is outstretched to feed them.

  74. kallman says:

    I will be surprised if any of the SSPX hierarchy are seen in the papal chambers any time soon. As for the pope, I can’t imagine it will be a high priority for him.

  75. GAK says:

    MarkA, this is exactly what I mean about growing up. Perhaps I mean toughening up?

    You didn’t offend me. As an observer, I decided to let you know how you are coming across. For your benefit, not mine. I do appreciate your attempts to set it right, but the crux of the communication impasse remains.

    Personally, I take the whole “crawl on their knees” thing with a grain of salt, except for when I don’t.

    1) It’s meant to shake people up & make them think. It is strong, figurative language. Let’s not get our undies in a bunch over it.

    Simultaneously:

    2) It’s not just figurative language. It’s meant to say, flat out, in your face, WE HAVE A SUCCESSOR TO ST. PETER. IGNORE HIM AT YOUR PERIL. There are an awful lot of us who save our deepest thanks, emotion, and gratitude for the Church who has held us by the hand through a sick and depraved post-modern world. Sure, many aspects of that Church are not perfect. By our loyalty lies with HER. ]That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the faithfulness of those who for whatever reason (some of them reasons for which I personally have much compassion) have stepped outside of her mantle.] But in the respect that my loyalty lies with my MOTHER I certainly do feel like they should come crawling on their hands and knees and beg to be taken back. For Pete’s sake (heh) has it ever occurred to some of you that we would LOVE to have you fighting strongly on our side instead of sucking the lifeblood out of us with never-ending complaining, hand-wringing, and moaning?

    I get it. You have valid points. You also need to toughen up.

  76. MarkA says:

    GAK – “It is strong, figurative language.”

    With all due respect, you didn’t address my point. It’s insulting language that gives the appearance to people that read this blog that it’s OK to be insulting to fine religious. I have seen no reasonable response to my original question, “what would it accomplish in any practical terms”

    “sucking the lifeblood out of us with never-ending complaining, hand-wringing, and moaning?”
    It is the SSPX that first posted a prayer for our new Pope. I did not see one here.

    “WE HAVE A SUCCESSOR TO ST. PETER. IGNORE HIM AT YOUR PERIL.”
    The SSPX has done that without “crawling on their knees” with prayers and Masses.

    You are completely correct, “It’s not just figurative language”. It’s something that has been done before, with a reaction of vitriol in the comments section of this blog.

    With all due respect, please explain to me how anything from the SSPX has been “moaning” regarding Pope Francis.

    “You also need to toughen up” – I agree that it cuts both ways.

  77. onosurf says:

    SSPX…undiluted Catholicism. If the last 24 hours (and past performance) is an indicator, expect their numbers/vocations to continue to swell while, sadly, “in full communion” conciliar church continues to shrink.

    Let us pray that the pope aborts this VII cancer from the mystical body of Christ. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  78. Joboww says:

    @Allen

    I can understand your frustration but whether or not Fr. Z and all that he has done has been for not probably does not matter to him. I remember a certain Thomas in the 13th century or so after recieving a vision of Christ considering all his great works nothing more than straw. Seem to remember a certain Paul saying something of the same. As Mother Teresa would say: We are called to be faithful not successful. Whatever happens he is in control and that is what we should all be greatful for whether “traditional” or just plain Catholic. By the way why are we allowing ourelves to be herded into different camps, seems like something the enemy wants

    +JMJ+

  79. Mary Jane says:

    “SSPX…undiluted Catholicism.”

    onosurf: they’re not the only ones who are “undiluted”. It IS possible to be in full communion and not be diluted.

  80. Jason Keener says:

    The fact that some find the idea of the SSPX and their adherents crawling on their knees before the Holy Father to be an insulting proposition simply proves how arrogant and far from the Successor to Peter the SSPX truly is. For all the good that the SSPX does, they are simply too hardened in their positions and too arrogant to ever fully submit to the Roman Pontiff. That, unfortunately, has become clear. No true Catholic would have a problem showing their obedience to the Successor of Peter by crawling on their knees and kissing his foot, even if the Successor of Peter was not perfect. The Catholic Faith is largely about obedience to the hierarchy of the Church, even when things are not going your way or you do not fully understand the reasons for this or that. What a pity that the SSPX clergy will not humble themselves! They would have so much good to offer the Church!

  81. GAK says:

    MarkA, I didn’t address all of your points because I don’t intend. I’m not interested in doing so.

    I was just trying to let you see how you are coming across. You can take it or leave it.

    If you want to think that some of us here are intentionally insulting holy religious, go ahead. I think that’s whining. I’ve told you so. There’s not much more to say.

    Either you get that we got a successor to St. Peter yesterday, who we love & revere, or you don’t. Either you get that everyone who professes to be Catholic should be thankful for that, or you don’t.

    Setting all kinds of other emotional fires in sub-discussions here doesn’t help your case.

    I didn’t comment here because I wanted to argue with you until the cows come home. I commented to make certain points that certainly you are free to take or leave.

    Other than that, I just don’t have the time or the desire. Good luck. And with prayers. I mean it. I trust you are praying for me, too.

  82. MKR says:

    I would be astonished if the SSPX were reconciled under Pope Francis.

  83. MarkA says:

    GAK – Thank you. My prayers for you too.

  84. onosurf says:

    Mary Jane – I agree, it is possible, just more rare than a habited nun. Some of my favorite priests are from the FSSP, Independent Churches, and this lone diocesan priest down on the Mexico/Texas border near El Paso.

  85. ChuckShunk says:

    What part of “undiluted Catholicism” countenances disobedience to the authority of the Pope? Has not belief in the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff been a constant feature of the Catholic Church, from apostolic times even before Latin was the language of the Mass? I feel that it is a love for “undiluted Catholicism” that drives Fr. Z to call for repentence from the SSPX, because looking at the history of “undiluted Catholicism”, that’s what the Church called disobedient and schismatic sects to do.

    And make no mistake, the SSPX *is* essentially a schismatic group–or at least, that’s what we would have called it before Vatican II when the Church adopted a more concilliatory strategy towards its enemies, allowing us to use weasel words like “irregular status” rather than thunder denunciations like “schism!”. I don’t particularly like the Vatican II concilliatory/diplomatic
    strategy towards evangelization (judged by its fruits, I’d say it looks like a failed strategy to me, for the most part), but I find it mind-bendingly irrational to denounce the squishiness of post-Vatican II leadership while taking advantage of this squishiness to justify your own actions.

    If you must be a rigorist about Catholic tradition, then please be consistent enough with this rigor to see that it makes *no sense* to describe people as “fine religious” who are living in disobedience to the Vicar of Christ on Earth. In the old days, the SSPX would have been quickly labeled schismatic for their obviously schismatic actions, and probably all quickly excommunicated. And that’s some “undiluted Catholicism” for you.

    This sounds a bit harsh, but hey–I love the undiluted stuff as well. I love the traditional Latin Mass, and I love unapologetic adherence to the Deposit of Faith and the the whole patrimony of the Catholic Church, handed down through the ages. And this is what you cannot have if you reject the Vicar of Christ. You can’t take all the doctrine and discipline that you like and reject the one doctrine that you don’t, because if you reject on doctrine of the faith, you reject the Divine authority with which *all* of them are to believed and to be obeyed.

  86. JabbaPapa says:

    phlogiston : Reconciliation of SSPX is not going to happen, as desirable as that would be. Not with stories and pictures on rorate caeli about how the then archbishop knelt to accept a “blessing” from a group of Protestant ministers.

    phlogiston, there’s nothing heretical about a simple blessing, as you should be well aware.

  87. Pingback: Friday Morning Update on Pope Francis I | Big Pulpit

  88. irishromancatholic says:

    Let us obey our Holy Father’s words of last eve and pray for him. I just finished a rosary and a chaplet with our new Holy Father, Francis as the primary intention. Charity calls us to prayer and penance for our new Papa.
    Let’s also be realists; outside of a miracle the SSPX is not coming to full communion with the Church. Just look at the photos below in the following story. I expect many Catholic priests and bishops to come out with statements against the SSPX or demanding them to come back crawling to the new pontiff. Regular priests have a boss to answer to. They have faculties to protect and by condemning or demanding the SSPX come crawling they make it clear to the authorities that they are not one of those wretched SSPXers and have no sympathies for SSPX. On the contrary, the SSPX now stand to gain many, many faithful and priests. If the signs persist (and it is early, very early) from this new pope, the SSPX will grow and prosper, sadly outside of full communion.

    Cardinal Mahoney was elated and overjoyed at the outcome of the conclave. The candidate he wanted in 2005 finally won. The SSPX is thrilled at the prospect of a giant surge of Pope Francis boat people. Anything disturbing about this picture?

    I have had the great grace and blessing to witness many miracles and blessings in my lifetime. But you have to pray hard. Now is the time for prayer and penance. SERIOUS PRAYER. SERIOUS PENANCE. Offer up the COMPLAINING. NO COMPLAINING. Complaining and whining could make matters much worse. If we are persecuted by the authorities let us love those who persecute us and offer it as penance. Let us also state the TRUTH. No sugar coating things to make them look rosy when the realty is grim. Truth and Charity after seeing the grim truth, not lashing out, not complaining, and not judging is the solution. St. Pio didn’t lash out or complain when his superiors unjustly took his faculties to say Mass in public or hear confessions away for ten years.

    I am confident that enough will respond to God’s call and Francis’s call for prayer. Do so now (especially before appointments to the Curia are made) and we will avoid much misery from emboldened liberal authorities.

  89. papist says:

    The entire SSPX should gather in St. Peter’s Square, crawl on hands and knees to the Apostolic Palace and beg the new Pope to allow them to kiss his foot, knee and hand and promise obedience.

    I don’t think our current Holy Father would appreciate that kind of display of respect for his authority. He seems to be more low keyed.

    If the SSPX wants to offer him a sign of good will – perhaps offer him in person a spiritual bouquet of rosaries. Or gather alms and offer to donate it to a charity of his choice. I don’t know, just show something that would appeal to his sense of prayer and charity for the poor. Show him a side of traditionalism that isn’t associated with the negative stereotypes of aloofness and over concern with ceremonial pomp and pageantry.

    Now as for reconciliation… I just don’t see it happening during this pontificate.

    The SSPX won’t budge on issues like religious liberty, ecumenism, the New Mass, and, more importantly, their notion that Vatican II was a break with the previous tradition of the Church. It would be nice if they could accept regularization with the caveat that these things are open for debate – but they simply will not. They are taking the stance that it is Rome who must change to their understanding of things (a stance which is contrary to tradition itself).

    We definitely must pray and offer sacrifices so that hearts will change on both sides.

    I would be lying if I said I’m not worried. This pontificate has caused me much anxiety in these past two days and I believe there are reasonable grounds for it.

    Pray.

  90. ejcmartin says:

    A number of commentators have been mentioning the “only Nixon could go to China” theme with regard to the SSPX. I was thinking the same thing only with regard to the reform of the LCWR. Here is a new Pope known for his care for the poor etc., but as he stated in his first homily yesterday we can’t just become some NGO we must do it with the Cross of Christ. Who better then to shake up the Nuns on the Bus than the Pope on the bus?

  91. MarkA says:

    Quick question to all.

    If, as FatherZ’s friend – Fr Tim Finigan is now reporting, that it appears that Summorum Pontificum was blocked and trampled on in Buenos Aires by Cardinal Bergoglio, then Cardinal Bergoglio was disabodient to Pope Benedict’s motu proprio’ Universae Ecclesiae?

    In that case, should Pope Francis crawl on his hands and knees to Pope Benedict as penance for his disobedience to Pope Benedict?

  92. Imrahil says:

    If not that, it is only a matter of time when the aging SSPX hierarchy will plan another round of illicit episcopal consecrations.

    Well, in 1986 or so, Abp Lefebvre was quite hopeful about the SSPX’s future after his passing away. “There will always be bishops to ordain them”, or so. Unfortunately he came to a different conclusion some two years later. The SSPX present need not necessarily do so again, not with their own bishops being around 55 years old, and with Emin. Ranjith, Burke, Exc. Haas, Hanke, etc. around.

    Dear @ChunkShunk,
    all things the SSPX accuse the Holy See of are technically possible according to Divine revelation. There are detrimental things which Our Lord promised the Petrine ministry will not do; but there are, also, detrimental things which the Holy See might do. It is only of the latter ones the SSPX thinks to be present.
    Whether they are actually present in this moment is, however much we might disagree with the SSPX, a mere factual question that has nothing to do with the faith.

  93. Allan S. says:

    “Cardinal Mahoney was elated and overjoyed at the outcome of the conclave. The candidate he wanted in 2005 finally won. The SSPX is thrilled at the prospect of a giant surge of Pope Francis boat people. Anything disturbing about this picture?”

    Well, Hans Kung is all over the news explaining how “ecstatic” he is at this election. He was also, if I recall, “thrilled” at the resignation of Benedict. So, we now have Cardinal Mahoney and Mr. Kung in the best possible spirits. Are these men mistaken? Or are they perhaps correct?

    The Bitter Fruit Award

  94. JonPatrick says:

    I don’t know what to think about the SSPX. It bothers me that they didn’t seize the opportunity when Pope Benedict offered them reconciliation, although I realize he may have been undermined by those in the Curia that opposed this. However I also believe that without them we probably woudl never have has Summorum Pontificum.

    I do think though that whatever happens, the move to a more traditional liturgy will continue for a couple of reasons. Whatever Pope Francis’ liturgical bent, I do believe that his holiness and humility will be a good example for the Church and that he will succeed in bringing reform to the Church as he was able to do with his Jesuit order in Argentina. This in turn will strengthen the faith of the laity in the church. Also as the secular war on the Church intensifies (Pope Francis’ election will insure that), Catholics will need to “fish or cut bait” and there will a thinning out of the lukewarm Catholics. As the Church becomes smaller but more faithful, there will be a move toward Masses that are more reverent because more of the faithful will be taking their faith more seriously.

    I am not sure where the SSPX fits into this. Perhaps a smaller and more faithful Church will make it easier for them to finally reconcile. That is my hope.

    Jon

  95. JonPatrick says:

    Sorry that should be “we probably would never have had Summorum Pontificum.”.

    After 2 cups of Mystic Monk. No excuse.

  96. Traductora says:

    It would be wonderful if the SSPX could make some gesture – and I think the best gesture would be for them to undertake some charitable activity, to indicate that they realize the Church is about more than simply how much lace one wears on one’s sleeve – to indicate a willingness not merely to talk but to act.

    However, one thing that unfortunately is going to come up again, particularly since this Pope is from Argentina, is antisemitism. Bishop Williamson was probably not the only anti-Semite in the SSPX and Argentina is very sensitive to this. Don’t forget things like the terrible (Arab terrorist) bombing of the Jewish Center years ago and the fact that some ex-Nazis undeniably managed to take refuge in Argentina and live long and comfortable lives in there; this has given the Church in Argentina a particular sensitivity to the issue. I read that one of Pope Francis’ first acts, in fact, was to write to the Chief Rabbi of Rome and invite him to come to his installation. So a Pope who is going to put a lot of emphasis on relationships with the Jews may need more assurance from the SSPX that they have dealt with this problem. And you know that the press, even though it is antisemitic and pro-Arab itself, will be waiting to pounce if this issue isn’t cleared up in advance.

    I know Bp. Williamson is no longer with the SSPX – after having done his damage, since the revelation of his fetid antisemitism was one of the things that seriously embarrassed BXVI and compromised his ability to get the support to make a generous offer to them – but I think the new Pope, being an Argentinian, is going to need even more evidence that the SSPX has confronted and renounced this current.

    Again, actions, not words. And the act could even be something like a very public (and beautiful!) mass of reparation.

  97. Imrahil says:

    Thing is, the SSPX won’t (nor should) depart from their position that actual and instantaneous conversion of Jews is desirable. And while this is (and some other things are) the case, whatever organized body can colloquially be called “the Jews”, will not give their placet to acceptation of the SSPX by the Catholic Church.

    Nor can I see them accepting a “part of the Catholic fold, but does not mean the Holy See endorses all their positions” distinction.

    Nor, for that matter, the beatification of Ven. Pope Pius XII.

  98. ChuckShunk says:

    @imrahil

    all things the SSPX accuse the Holy See of are technically possible according to Divine revelation. There are detrimental things which Our Lord promised the Petrine ministry will not do; but there are, also, detrimental things which the Holy See might do. It is only of the latter ones the SSPX thinks to be present.
    Whether they are actually present in this moment is, however much we might disagree with the SSPX, a mere factual question that has nothing to do with the faith.

    This is a straw man. I do not believe that the charism of infallibility protects the Holy See from making any bad decisions, or puts it above criticism, and I never said so. But even supposing all the criticism of the SSPX against the Holy See were right (and I do, in fact, agree with a lot of it) . . . at what point, according to the Tradition of the Catholic faith, does it then become OK to use this criticism as an excuse to disobey the authority of the successor of St. Peter and consecrate bishops in defiance of a clear directive from the Holy See?

    The answer to this question is clearly “at *NO* point”. To quote Vatican I, ” The sentence of the apostolic see (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon”, and this includes disciplinary matters as well as matters of faith and morals. And this *is* a matter of faith, as well as of fact, because the supremacy of the authority of the Roman Pontiff is an essential aspect of the Church as it was founded by Christ, and always taught in Tradition, and infallibly defined by Vatican I to be believed under pain of anathema.

    Thing is, the SSPX won’t (nor should) depart from their position that actual and instantaneous conversion of Jews is desirable.

    True enough. And neither should Fr. Z depart from his position that actual and instantaneous conversion of the SSPX is desirable.

  99. Gemma says:

    Amen. We need your support in the Traditional Mass now more than ever. Pope Benedict XVII probably saw this more than we will ever know. Times are coming!!!

  100. Mary T says:

    “I don’t know anything about Fr. Fessio or the Adoremus that it mentions. Could someone fill me in on what this quote refers to?”

    Lot of posts here so I don’t know if any one answered, but Father Fessio,S.J., is the head of Ignatius Press, the most faithful Catholic publisher, who has published just about ALL of Benedict XVI’s books. He was a grad student of Benedict and so attends those yearly meetings B16 holds. I have met him a couple of times, had dinner with him….he could not be MORE FAITHFUL. The Adoremus Bulletin is again an utterly faithful journal – I get it in the mail and it holds up the liturgy in the way B16 wanted it to be.

  101. Mary T says:

    “Cardinal Mahoney was elated and overjoyed at the outcome of the conclave. The candidate he wanted in 2005 finally won.”

    Umm, no. The 2005 “progressive” party was so so DESPERATE to stop Ratzinger that when their preferred candidate, Marini, wasn’t going anywhere, they got behind Bergoglio FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO STOP RATZINGER. They knew perfectly well that Bergoglio was FIRMLY in the “Ratzinger camp”. But they hated Ratzinger so much that ANYONE, even a “conservative” (in their eyes) would have been better, they thought. The idea was they could knock out Ratzinger, and then, move from there to get someone more amenable.

    Seriously, I understand most people ignore Latin America – I do not: I have family and friends in orders there and have for years thought it was preferable to the US in many ways – and I know it is hard for people who do not read Spanish or have Latin American Catholic friends to understand what is going on there. But a little prayerful research would show that a LOT of what people are slinging around couldn’t be more false. See George Weigel’s brilliant recent post on this issue (do a search).

  102. Mary T says:

    Sorry for the typo above, I meant “Martini” not “Marini.” The Weigel article is called “The First American Pope” and is available at the National Review Online. “It may be safely assumed that the coalition that quickly solidified and swiftly elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope in 2013 had little or nothing to do with the eminent cabal that tried to use him in 2005. Pope Francis was elected for who he is, not for taking the silver medal eight years ago.”

  103. mysticalrose says:

    In response to Supertradmum:

    With all do respect, the only thing the Church needs is Jesus Christ. The Churchndoes not need me, you, or the SSPX. I, too, am of a traditional mindset, but really we already have the FSSP in the fold to aid renewal.

  104. mysticalrose says:

    “The Church does . . . ” not churchndoes

  105. MarkA says:

    ChuckShunk – “True enough. And neither should Fr. Z depart from his position that actual and instantaneous conversion of the SSPX is desirable.”

    Conversion to what? Per Benedict XVI, they are Catholic, just canonically irregular. Are you now more Catholic than the Pope Emeritus?

    There is a significant “cult of personality” in the comments here. I’d be very interested in how many people here who write disparaging comments about the SSPX (and stating the ” instantaneous conversion of the SSPX is desirable.” is disparaging), have ever met in real life an SSPX religious?

    Perhaps some people here may be interested in a relevant comment from Saint Robert Bellarmine, SJ and Doctor of the Church:
    “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. 2, chap. 29, Opera omnia, Paris: Pedone Lauriel, 1871, vol. 1, p. 418)

  106. RMT says:

    I don’t think there is a single Cardinal who went into the conclave that the SSPX, et.al. would have been completely happy about. Even a more traditional Cardinal like Cardinal Burke has had run ins with the SSPX. When you get into the habit of criticizing Rome and illicitly celebrating the sacraments, it is a difficult habit to break.

    If they don’t show some humility among the SSPX leadership, I don’t think the new Holy Father will devote any time to them–at least he won’t be as patient with them as Papa Benedict was. I also feel that if they wait any longer, they will miss any opportunity they once had for reconciliation.

  107. Imrahil says:

    Dear @ChunkShuck,

    I begin to understand the Greek philosophers why they preferred to discuss theory and ideas, rather than facts. Because it is easier, and one can feel to have more certainty.

    All right then, let us, as you suggested, discuss theory. Supposing all the criticism of the SSPX against the Holy See were right, at what point does it then become OK to use this criticism as an excuse to [1.] disobey the authority of the successor of St. Peter and [2.] consecrate bishops in defiance of a clear directive from the Holy See?

    The answer ad 1 is clearly: At every point. Let us suppose that the Church leadership follows policies and practises which are clearly, directly, and exceptionlessly detrimental to the Faith and to disobey them would be clearly, directly, and exceptionlessly conducive to the Faith. Are we then obliged to obey? Certainly not. We may not be obliged to disobey – right or wrong, my Church; it seems to demand too much from a Christian if he should not only oppose the world, but his Church also -; but we are certainly allowed to do so.

    I grant that my hypothesis is very far-going. This, however, is the benefit of arguing in theory. Whether such a situation exists, is – however unlikely we hold and are, perhaps, bound to hold it in the spirit of trust and obedience – a factual question. (No estimation of likelihood has as great an impression on the human mind as the raw distinguishment of “possible” and “absolutely impossible”.)

    The First Vatican Council does not change that a bit. It says that Rome is the first see. It says the first see is judged by none (which is a legal, “constitutional” question, primarily directed against the States at the time, also against formal[!] appeals to “a Council or a Pope better informed”, as some then did, and simply has nothing to do with the private obedience or disobedience, even sinful one). It says that Rome is owed obedience, which is not part of the question here.

    Proof: the Code of Canon Law, penal parts, would simply make no sense if disobedience against a Papal law eo ipso constituted schism.

    This obedience is due to infallible measures and fallible measures. In the case of infallible measures, it is something special; there is no excuse for disobedience here. In the case of fallible measures, it is precedent to other obediences and more sacred, i. e. belonging to the religious sphere, than them; but not essentially different; i. e. ultimately not unlike other obedience, it is trumped in both precedence and sacredness by the obedience to Conscience, as Bl. John Henry pointed out.

    Of course the test for a case of conscience against Rome would be pretty high. But this is, fortunately, one of the factual questions. And I’m only discussing theory here. Even, though, if there was a direct decision to be disobedient, or if the thought “we have a case of conscience” stems from wrong estimation of facts, even if this wrong estimation has its psychological reasons in a spirit of rebellion, or so… even then we are not talking about breaking that of the rules of the Faith which is Roman primacy; we are simply talking about disobedience against lawful authority.

    As to part 2: This certainly is the problematic part. In fact there were a lot of priests in the SSPX who had no problem at all with its situation in 1987, yet left it after the episcopal consecrations. They are known as the FSSP now.

    I won’t go deep in that here.

    I do say – having been socialized by Hotzenplotz 3 and The Captain of Köpenick – that I firmly advocate that punished is punished and pardoned is pardoned. It’s no good always digging up some crime out of the past, which has long officially been handed over to oblivion.

  108. ocalatrad says:

    @JayneK
    Ashamed of your association with traditional Catholicism?!

    “Traditional Catholicism” is not a plank of the ecclesial party platform as so many would describe social justice, liturgical orthodoxy, theological soundness, etc. This is Catholicism 101: we derive our faith from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. We do not have a traditional camp and a non-traditional camp. This is so central to Catholicism but has been so distorted! The Holy Father is not a politician and it is not unreasonable to expect that he observe and enforce ALL aspects of the Faith entirely in all that he does.

    I, too, hope that the SSPX will come back and quickly. They need to be unleashed in the Church. However, I do not believe they will swallow the pill of the disastrous Second Vatican Council and I do not expect them to nor want them to.

  109. maryh says:

    The entire SSPX should gather in St. Peter’s Square, crawl on hands and knees to the Apostolic Palace and beg the new Pope to allow them to kiss his foot, knee and hand and promise obedience.

    I agree. Why do I think it is necessary? Because the SSPX is in direct disobedience to the Pope, and from all I can tell, it is the sin of pride keeping them away. As for the SSPX being the reason we have SP, be very careful there. God will use us to achieve his ends, whether we cooperate or not. For the SSPX to persist in direct disobedience to a command of the pope in an age of disobedience is not justified by the fact that God might have used it to bring about SP.

    Why do I think this is not a disrespectful request? The people of the SSPX must demonstrate, with concrete actions, that they submit to the Pope. Padre Pio submitted to the Pope. Saint Francis of Assisi submitted to the Pope. Why don’t they trust God and submit to the Pope as well?

    Finally, what do I think will happen if they do that? This is a Pope that kisses the feet of AIDS patients and drug addicts – our modern day lepers. I think if they start on their knees, they will never be given a chance to kiss Papa Francis’ feet. He’ll run to them and lift them up, and call for rings to placed on their fingers and fine garments on their shoulders and declare a feast day because his lost sons have come back.

    And then he’ll be able to trust them with their call to spread the TLM.

  110. John Zwicker says:

    AMEN! ( I wish I could increase the font size)

  111. onosurf says:

    So much rash judgement and detraction with regard to the SSPX. Every single Catholic’s duty is to God first, then the pope. Many on this board would have condemned St. Paul or St. John Christendom as schismatics. Thank God they didn’t crawl back on their knees and beg to acceptance (into error)! For those with eyes to see, clearly there is something wrong with the Catholic Church today.

    How many have actually listened to Bishop Fellay and gone to their website or learned what they gripes are? Reading these comments, its clear that most don’t know the issues.

  112. ChuckShunk says:

    @Imrahil
    Your understanding of the Catholic teaching on obedience appears to be malformed, unless maybe you are simply misexpressing yourself. Expressed in traditional Catholic terms, there are no circumstances under which it is acceptable to disobey *lawful* authority. This is not to say that there cannot be cases in which conscience demands disobedience to commands from a superior which go beyond his lawful authority. As put by the Catholic encyclopedia, “we are not bound to obey a superior in a matter which does not fall within the limits of his preceptive power.” So for example, the Pope could not command me to join a religious order, as the authority over personal vocation is not given to any Church office, and of course no command to perform a sinful action can be obeyed, as no lawful authority can contradict the divine law.

    But the Catholic way of saying this is not to say that there are cases where “disobedience against lawful authority” are justified. The right way to say this is that there are so-called “laws” which are defective: commands which exceed the preceptive power of the lawgiver and are hence *not* examples of “lawful authority” at all. The distinction is important, because pretending that there are circumstances in which it is allowable to disobey lawful authority makes every act of obeying lawful authority contingent upon your own assessment of the situation, which makes it not really obedience at all.

    In reality, the primary acts of disobedience of which the SSPX are guilty (ordination of priests contrary to the express command of the Holy See, and consecration of bishops contrary to the express command of the Holy See) cannot be thought of as rebellion against unlawful commands. No one doubts that the Holy See has lawful authority in those areas, so a justification of those actions is limited to arguing that the Holy See was commanding something sinful. Which is an absurdity, really, given that the Holy See was commanding an *inaction* in both those cases, rather than an action. If those actions could be defended as valid disobedience against unlawful authority, then there is really nothing that could not. I think some course of action will result in greater spiritual fruits than the course of action that the Holy Father wants to take? Hey then . . . I’m justified in taking this course of action! My judgement can trump the Church’s every time!

    Your distinction between obedience due in areas of infallible teaching versus in areas of fallible teaching is also incorrect. The Church has been quite clear that the obedience due to the Holy See is binding in conscience in both fallible and infallible areas. To quote again from Vatican I,

    Wherefore we teach and declare that,
    by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both
    episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful,
    of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this
    not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world.

    In this way, by unity with the Roman pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith , the church of Christ becomes one flock under one supreme shepherd. This is the teaching of the catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.

    Regarding schism, you are correct that not every act of disobedience is in fact an act of schism. I recommend the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the subject, and I think it’s clear given the distinctions presented in that article that the SSPX meets conditions for schism quite well.

    Finally, I’ll say that I do, of course, know about the FSSP and in fact I support them financially when I can, in preference to my diocese. So again, it’s not as if I disagree with you about many of the criticisms or the “facts” as you like to call them–we are in much of the same camp there.

  113. kevinm says:

    I don’t think the SSPX really wants reconciliation, they prefer being wooed and portraying themselves as victims. I think they enjoy, and prefer, gazing down from their self appointed mountain with their holier than thou arrogance. We have a Pope who appears to exude humilty; a virtue not often associated with the SSPX, and unfortunately the traditionalist movement in general.
    May God bless our new Pope and guide him.
    AMDG

    Kevin

  114. As someone else noted, the SSPX’s statement regarding the holy father was positive, warm and classy.

    How very different from the bizarre and repulsive reactions at Rorate Caeli. I am so very disappointed in that behavior. And, to be crystal clear: my point is not that there can be no criticism of the pope, or that one cannot be disappointed; but there needs to be prudence and temperance–well, and justice and fortitude! All four of those virtues seemed lacking in the vomitous reactions I saw from some self-described traditionalists.

    I fear I’m going to become a broken record. Folks who flail about like banshees about the end of the world, and the end of tradition, etc.–all because they think our new holy father won’t have the right approach to the liturgy! How little confidence they have in the power and beauty of what they say they love. (And I am simply skipping over the ludicrousness of not waiting to see what the holy father will say and do before waving him off.)

    Fortify yourselves! Oh yes, the liturgical down-dressers will make what they will. The National Schismatic Reporter will crow, if they think they can get away with it. But I’ve been noticing, in their coverage, they seem a little nervous.

    Meanwhile, the project of true liturgical renewal continues. I’m currently working on learning the Extraordinary Form, along with several priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and two deacons to be ordained soon for Toledo. (Pray for me; this old dog is not finding it easy.) No edict has arrived from Rome to tell us to cease and desist.

    And, I might add, that there are some other problems that need attention. One if preaching the clear message of Christ. On that score, the early signs (early though they be) from our new holy father could not be more positive–could they? He’s all about our Lord Jesus Christ, choosing him, choosing the Cross and being careful not to be worldly and end up following the devil. That sounds pretty solid to me–how about you?

    Finally, I can’t help noticing lots of comments, even in this thread, attempting to describe what the holy father might be thinking–about the SSPX and other things. May I say, in a kind way, that that seems a bit presumptuous?

  115. Peter in Canberra says:

    Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia.
    Am I a little anxious over the liturgy? Yes.
    Am I going to run screaming from the Church? No.

  116. priests wife says:

    Pope Benedict unified with the Anglican Ordinate and Summorum Pontificum – and this will continue in the West- I am praying that Pope Francis work with unity in the East- the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople will be at the coronation!!!

  117. theophilus says:

    I am much more eager to see the Holy Father bring some of his wayward Jesuits back into the fold. They are far more influential than the SSPX.

  118. jbpolhamus says:

    Bear in mind that I’m not a member of the SSPX, nor of the SSPV. I work in a diocesan church, and I’m VERY happy with my new bishop. BUT…if I were the SSPX, I would steer clear of this pontificate for all they are worth. The situation is likely to deteriorate fast and precipitously, and they would be well advised, I think, not to be tainted by it. Just before the conclave I had one cleric, diocesan, already tell me to get ready for an anti-Pope, which I found disturbing coming from a diocesan, but perhaps there may be something to it. Already, two days into the pontificate, the evening news is already reporting on how Bergoglio’s record of cooperation with the Argentine dictators – which he doesn’t deny – is already causing the Vatican to have to defend him, and their defense is, “It’s all lies, lies, lies, and fabrication.” They might want to discuss that rationale with the Pope. I don’t like the way this is shaping up at all. At all.

  119. Parasum says:

    “Given the new pontificate, what a gesture that would be. And it would provide a HUGE does of credibility to those who desire to maintain continuity with tradition.”

    ## It would be excessive – St. Peter objected strongly t0 something milder than that (Acts 10.25-26)
    And the suggestion misses the point – there are substantial theological issues that need to be resolved; until they are, the Society is not going to be satisfied of the orthodoxy of the CC. No gestures can compensate for, or take the place of, theological clarity, orthodoxy, and continuity in the Tradition of the Apostles. One of the great disappointments (for this poster) of the last pontificate was the then Pope’s failure to explain magisterially just what he meant by talking of an “hermeneutic of continuity”. Some kinds of continuity are not sufficient to preserve the Apostolic deposit; and without an unambiguous & full explanation, that phrase can mean anything, so an authentic & authoritative explanation of it is needed: IOW, a magisterial explanation. Given the importance of Sacred Tradition to the Church’s life, self-understanding, & (especially) her mission, that omission is grievously unsatisfactory. After all, Popes are meant to teach, & to strengthen their brethren. But that point was never clarified. Maybe this Pope will repair that omission. Why V2 was not supplied with a “Congregation of the Council”, like that which was set up to interpret the decrees of the Council of Trent, is not clear :(

  120. Parasum says:

    “But the Catholic way of saying this is not to say that there are cases where “disobedience against lawful authority” are justified. The right way to say this is that there are so-called “laws” which are defective: commands which exceed the preceptive power of the lawgiver and are hence *not* examples of “lawful authority” at all. The distinction is important, because pretending that there are circumstances in which it is allowable to disobey lawful authority makes every act of obeying lawful authority contingent upon your own assessment of the situation, which makes it not really obedience at all.”

    ## That is an entirely different issue. And important as that distinction is, it does not cover all cases. If a lawful authority – it is immaterial which, in Church or state – employs its authority to command what is morally wrong, it must be disobeyed. If the order is imprudent, that is a yet another different issue.

    If the order is given by a lawful authority, but can prudently be foreseen to be damaging in its results if carried out, it need not be blameworthy to refuse it, and might be laudable to do so. This is especially clear with Papal commands. Papal authority is not in any way autonomous – if the Pope is the “servant of the servants of God”, and not “Lord & Master & Sovereign of the servants of God”, he is as much subject to the Law of Christ the Lord as they are – more so, in fact, since the plenitude of authority he exercises over all of them in the Name of Christ (see Vatican I) is delegated to him, & to no other Christian. He therefore has even greater need to exercise this authority of Christ the Lord of the Church in a way that promotes the Kingdom of Christ, which is the Kingdom of God’s Righteousness and Peace – it is not a kingdom of this world, and must not behave like one.

    Unless the Pope is sinless and all-wise, the danger that the Messianic authority & power of Christ (the Greek NT uses the word exousia for both) will be turned to ends that tend to frustrate the purpose for which it is given will be real. There are too many instances of Popes using their authority for unworthy ends, or with too little knowledge for their orders to be prudent in the circumstances, to leave doubt of this. The Cadaver Synod of 897 would not have been possible without the command of then Pope – it was scandalous even so, because Pope Formosus, who died the previous year, was dug up, tried, condemned, and his corpse thrown in the Tiber. (The Pope who tried & condemned the corpse was overthrown and murdered.) One example of Papal unwisdom can stand for all – even one is enough to show that sometimes even Popes give commands that are better disobeyed – not order to spite Popes, but in order to prevent harm to the Church, & thus, to its mission, which is more important that the Church is.

    The point made by the quotation is valid only if obedience is a simple doing of what is commanded, regardless of the moral character of the command, the end served by doing it, and such side-effects as are prudently able to be foreseen. A silly example will make the point: someone has been told to set out the food for a children’s party. The person giving the order, does not know that some of the children are allergic to nuts. The person receiving the order, does know this. Should the order be obeyed, even though the person given the order can foresee that this will be a very dangerous course of action – or should the (defective, because incompletely informed) POV of the person giving the order, be the standard by which to measure the goodness of obeying the command ? There is more than one good to consult in giving orders – regardless of the authority or the eminence of the person giving the order. The formula “I command you”, even if the Pope says it, on a matter within & to those within the Pope’s jurisdiction, does not of itself guarantee that what is commanded is not wrong or harmful. To teat the Pope’s will as the sgtanfdard of right and wrong, degrades the Church into a unrighteous “kingdom of this world”, because it is very close to confusing the will of a man with that of Christ. The only true standard for what is right is His Will – our wills, whether of the Pope or of anyone else, have to conform to His Will. Without His Will as the standard for all wills, no will in the Church is of any account.

  121. jbpolhamus says:

    I would also add that I am willing, no, eager to be proved wrong in my suspicions, and I pray for the Holy Father every day, and hope for the Holy Spirit to pour out His grace upon him and the church. But I’m not going to water down my intuitional feelings about how this whole thing is breaking. And I think it’s breaking – if not bad – inauspiciously.

  122. robtbrown says:

    I would not say that Summorum Pontificum was blocked by Cardinal Bergoglio. I would say that he sponsored a minimalistic interpretation of it. Divine Providence provide the papacy of BXVI, with SP and the Anglican Ordinariate, before the election of Papa Bergoglio. I cannot see him trying to unwind either.

    I don’t think the SSPX should be wary of him, but I doubt their status will change. My guess is that he will just try to ignore them. BXVI offered them reunion, provided that they assent to the vague phrase of “accepting Vat II”. Unfortunately, they declined.

  123. Imrahil says:

    Dear @ChunkShuck,

    I may be misexpressing myself, but then as I see I do still disagree with you, perhaps not.

    So when I said “disobedience against lawful authority”, I meant disobedience against the one who bears lawful authority when he exceeds his limits. Of course.
    Yet as to your saying,
    The distinction is important, because pretending that there are circumstances in which it is allowable to disobey lawful authority makes every act of obeying lawful authority contingent upon your own assessment of the situation, which makes it not really obedience at all.
    Obeying lawful authority is contingent upon my own assessment of the situation whether the limit has been exceeded or not.
    Yes.

    I cannot just assess it has because I do not like the commandment, but yes, I assess whether it has been exceeded.

    When I drew a distinction between obedience to infallible and obedience to fallible commands, I did with no slight intention and, indeed, with no word imply that the latter did not exist. It does. Yet that there still is such a distinction is fairly obvious.

    Your own example makes that clear. Ordering a sin is perhaps one thing; but ordering such a valuable deed as to enter a religious vocation quite another (given that a vocation is a complex process with quite some parts on the natural soul). Isn’t that your assessement of the situation when you say, “no, that’s not part of his authority?”

    I agree it is not, but I still think it feasible if you find some way to express that it’s still the Pope you’re disobeying.

    I raise a glass to Conscience, first; The Pope, second.
    And then I have been brought up to hold Colonel Count Stauffenberg, a faithful Catholic who according to reports wore a scapular, as a hero because he attempted to kill the bearer of, according at least to his own opinion, lawful authority.

    As to the episcopal consecrations, I said precisely one thing and I’ll say it again: The acts have been punished first, and they have been pardoned second. It is, imho, no good always digging up some pardoned crime of the past to make someone’s position worse.

    Still if you think the SSPX thought it only “bringing more spiritual fruits” to ordain their own bishops and not also something along the line of making the only existing authentic Catholicism survive (do not ask me what to think of this, but it is an estimation of facts, and we agreed to look at the principal questions only), I think you are mistaken.

  124. Imrahil says:

    Read the paragraph that begins with “When I drew” immediately before the one that begins with “As to the episcopal consecrations”. Sorry for that.

  125. cyrillist says:

    @robtbrown: “Unfortunately, they declined.”

    I think that we need to wait until the contents of the doctrinal preamble (both the original version and the SSPX’s markup) are made public before we can determine whether or not the SSPX’s non-acquiescence was unfortunate. The existing doctrinal differences are very real, and, from all accounts, the dialogues between the Holy See and the SSPX did nothing to resolve them. It might be said with equal justice that the Holy See’s declining to regularize the SSPX without preconditions was also unfortunate.

    If the preamble was no more specific than to say “accept Vatican II,” then the SSPX would have been within their rights (and maybe even wise like a serpent) to request further clarification. Alas, the Holy See has not of late been very responsive to requests for clarification of the Council’s teachings (cf. Msgr. Gherardini).

    A regularized SSPX has the potential of doing the Church a world of good. It may well be that the Society has been imprudent and lacking in faith not to have achieved this regularization by signing the preamble without question. It may also be that the history of its dealings with the Holy See (and with then-Cardinal Ratzinger in particular) since the SSPX’s inception has rendered this sort of trust impracticable during Benedict XVI’s pontificate. May the Nixon-to-China hope expressed on this thread’s first post be fulfilled.

  126. Imrahil says:

    I did now read parts of the CathEnc article on schism, and it seems to confirm what I say.

    However, not every disobedience is a schism;, which we very well knew. But now here comes the actual difference! In order to possess this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command.

    It is beyond dispute that this is not the case with the SSPX. They do not deny their Divine right to command. They may be guilty of wrong assessment of facts; they may also be guilty of constructing cases of conscience with a rashness undue, very much undue possibly, for such actions; or, accompanied by that or not, simply wrongly; but they are not, not in any way, denying their Divine right to command.

    And as it says before,
    schism leads almost invariably to denial of the papal primacy.
    This is neither the case here.

    Let’s not construct such straw men as “effective schism judged by the actions”. Schism is, and is meant to be, something which has discerning quality in the internal attitude of the schismatic.

  127. MarkA says:

    This entire thread reminds me of a recent video about Obama, the sequester and Portugal:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3gXOV_XWJck

  128. cyrillist says:

    @MarkA : Well, re that video, I didn’t mind Bishop Williamson pardoning the doctrinal preamble, but he had no business sending it to Argentina.

  129. MarkA says:

    @cyrillist – I couldn’t have said it better myself. You are wise, like a serpent.

  130. Fr Jackson says:

    An untimely post. The time to evaluate the SSPX vis à vis the new Pontiff will come, but that time is not now. Be patient.

    Meanwhile, let’s keep an eye on Fr Z’s “brick by brick” meter: will the new Pontiff be adding bricks, taking them away, or completely ignoring the question?

  131. honoria says:

    why don’t you all leave sspx alone. they have kept the ”Mass of all time” alive for 40 years. why don’t you ask yourselves ‘why was it banned for 40 years’ ?? why do you care so much? you are happy enough with your clown masses, your altar girls, etc. so just leave us alone and go bother some protestants and worry about them…