SSPX seems poised to confirm a formal schism

I read at Rorate about a strong speech given by SSPX Bp. Bernard Fellay which is effectively a denunciation of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict and – yawn – you know the rest.

Here is a sample:

“The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”

[Bp. Bernard Fellay] said this in an address at the Angelus Press Conference, the weekend of Oct 11-13 in Kansas City. …

Bishop Fellay alluded to the SSPX/Vatican drama of 2012: “When we see what is happening now we thank God, we thank God, we have been preserved from any kind of Agreement from last year. And we may say that one of the fruits of the [Rosary] Crusade we did is that we have been preserved from such a misfortune. Thank God. It is not that we don’t want to be Catholics, of course we want to be Catholics and we are Catholics, and we have a right to be recognized as Catholics. But we are not going to jeopardize our treasures for that. Of course not.”
He continued, “To imagine that some people continue to pretend we are decided to get an Agreement with Rome. Poor people. I really challenge them to prove [what] they mean. They pretend that I think something else from what I do. They are not in my head.”

As for the discussions with Rome: “Any kind of direction for recognition ended when they gave me the document to sign on June 13, 2012. That very day I told them, ‘this document I cannot accept.’ I told them from the start in September the previous year that we cannot accept this ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ because it is not true, it is not real. It is against the reality. So we do not accept it. The Council is not in continuity with Tradition. It’s not. So when Pope Benedict requested that we accept that the Second Vatican Council is an integral part of Tradition, we say, ‘sorry, that’s not the reality, so we’re not going to sign it. We’re not going to recognize that’.”

“The same for the Mass. The want us to recognize not only that the [New] Mass is valid provided it is celebrated correctly, etc., but that it is licit. I told them: we don’t use that word. It’s a bit messy, our faithful have enough [confusion] regarding the validity, so we tell them, ‘The New Mass is bad, it is evil’ and they understand that. Period!’” Of course the Roman authorities “were not very happy with that.

He continues, “It has never been our intention to pretend either that the Council would be considered as good, or the New Mass would be ‘legitimate’”.

Imagine! Some people will dictate to the Supreme Pontiff the terms by which they will be Catholic.

I’m sure we will hear more about this.

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165 Responses to SSPX seems poised to confirm a formal schism

  1. RidersOnTheStorm says:

    The tail still trying to wag the dog.

  2. Legisperitus says:

    Actually, he’s warning that this papacy may provoke others into schism:

    “If the present pope continues in the way he started, he is going to divide the Church. He’s exploding everything. So people will say: it is impossible that’s he’s the Pope, we refuse him. Others will say: ‘Wait, consider him as Pope, but don’t follow him.’ He’s provoking anger. Many people will be discouraged by what people in the Church do and will be tempted to ‘throw it all away.’”

    (The quotation marks used by Rorate in that paragraph were confusing and I’ve tried to correct them to the extent possible.)

  3. StWinefride says:

    “Definitely we need the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What (we) are experiencing is the Secret of Fatima. We know what we have to do: pray, pray, pray, and penance, penance, penance. To pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the means given to us precisely in these hard times; and to pray the Rosary.

    “Be certain,” says Bishop Fellay, “The next [Rosary] Crusade is not far off. Go to the Rosary. Pray it every day. We live in very dangerous time for the Faith, and we need this Heavenly protection.”

    Bishop Fellay
    St Vincent de Paul Church, Kansas City, 13th October 2013

  4. tcreek says:

    I believe Bishop Fellay feared this abo0ve all. Is it coming true?

    Martini Pope. The Dream Come True.

    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350623?eng=y

  5. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    The rejection by some Catholics of the teachings of the First Vatican Council (1869-70) led to a 19th century schismatic sect, the so-called Old Catholics, the sad history of which would appear analogous in some ways to certain features of the development of the SSPX.

    Lengthy, but instructive read at Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11235b.htm

  6. cajuncath says:

    Before getting riled up, I think we should thoughtfully give considered deliberation to some basic questions to hone in on the relevant issues here.

    1) Does our faith have authoritative objective content, or does it consist of nothing other than what the most recent pope or popes believes, does, likes, teaches, and affirms?

    2) Whose theological beliefs and ideas more closely conform to the fullness of the authentic traditional Catholic faith in its wholeness throughout the ages, Bishop Fellay’s or Pope Francis’?

    I think there is quite a bit of complexity to this situation and we are best served by recognizing it in its entirety.

  7. Phil_NL says:

    It all boils down to whether the SSPX can accpt the Petrine office. If they can, they will have to admit that the NO is valid and licit, not to mention that a whole lot of the stuff of VII which they detest is within the realm of the Church and her teachings.

    That they may prefer a stricter interpretation of many things for themselves is not a problem, but this incessant sniping at the rest of the Church (‘confusing about validity’, for crying out loud) has gone on more than long enough. Either one accepts that the pope has the authority to do a whole lot of things one doesn’t like, or one begins his own church as a schismatic. There’s no middle way.

  8. phlogiston says:

    “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.” If that is correct, then Bisop Fellay and the rest of the SSPX have every right to follow their conscience, even in opposition to the Pope’s…err…the “Bishop of Rome’s” words. If that statement is not correct, then the Bishop of Rome is teaching error and Bishop Fellay is correct when he says Francis is a modernist. Either way, the SSPX holds a very logical position. Each of us has a right and a duty to oppose error.

  9. samwise says:

    Ocotber 15th, 1988 marks the day that JPII gave canonical recognition to the Fraternity of St. Peter, “protectors of the EF”. The fact that SSPX refuses that recognition is their own dwarfish stubborness

    catholichistory.net

  10. KevinSymonds says:

    I wonder if it was the Bishop’s actual quote to say the “original” prayer of Pope Leo XIII to St. Michael mentioned Satan & Rome.

    Such would simply be historically inaccurate. The St. Michael Prayer we know from the Leonine Prayers was the first prayer composed by Leo XIII (that we know of). If you count the short prayer towards the end of Humanum Genus (1884), then we still come up short on the Bishop’s [alleged] claim.

    I suspect the prayer in question in Fellay’s mind is the “Exorcismus” prayer from May, 1890. Can anyone verify that?

  11. phlogiston says:

    Or perhaps the SSPX is simply heeding the call to “make a mess.”

  12. M.D. says:

    Unfortunately some do not recognize of what is bound to happen (sooner or later) when one separates from Rome. One side of the coin is those who wish to be liberalized from Rome (see preaching of homosexuality from gay Episcopalian bishops. Freedom from sin…) or the flip side of the angry rhetoric of those who demand to cleanse Rome from doctrinal impurity.

    See:
    http://popemichaelfilm.com/watch
    http://youtu.be/ablhSj0vuRs

    Pray for those of good will to see the spiritual dangers presented.

  13. Ed the Roman says:

    Bishop Fellay’s statement is not that of someone who intends to be reconciled. It is that of someone who is prefparing his followers for severing relations.

  14. pmullane says:

    “Any kind of direction for recognition ended when they gave me the document to sign on June 13, 2012. That very day I told them, ‘this document I cannot accept.’ I told them from the start in September the previous year that we cannot accept this ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ because it is not true, it is not real. It is against the reality. So we do not accept it. The Council is not in continuity with Tradition. It’s not. So when Pope Benedict requested that we accept that the Second Vatican Council is an integral part of Tradition, we say, ‘sorry, that’s not the reality, so we’re not going to sign it. We’re not going to recognize that’.”

    They couldnt accept Razinger, and they are trying to package that in a way that blames Francis. And they seem to think thats a good thing. But it wasn’t Francis that they couldnt deal with, it was Benedict.

    I felt during Benedicts pontificate that the Society was wasting its best chance of full participation in the life of the Church, and instead of grabbing hold of the chance, they wanted to push the negotiation too far. Benedict put himself out on a limb for these people, and they walked away. Do we think any other Pope will give them that chance, not in your lifetime , Bishop Fellay. Now they are breathing a sigh of relief that they can pidgon hole Francis as a progressive, seemingly vindicating their choice to remain outwith the full participation of the Church.
    I welcome a proper definition of the relationship of the Church to the society, even if that is likely to be a negative decision, in terms of formal schism. An offer to individual priests (amd bishops) of the society to reunite with Rome would be nice, but not necessary. I suspect it wont come until they try and consecrate more bishops, illegally, and invite on themselves the just penalty for such an act, again.

  15. Cosmos says:

    It seems to me that it is not really a hard call: you have to stick with Rome. On the other hand, its a pretty easy time to ask whether Rome is really doing its job and preserving the Tradition. It seems like its all Hegel these days.

    Therefore, the SPPX position is neither tempting nor compelling to me. But I certainly sympathize with their confusion and frustration.

  16. snoozie says:

    Scalfari: “Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?”

    Pope Francis: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”

    Scalfari: “Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that’s one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.”

    Pope Francis: “And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

    With a good deal of emotion, Bishop Fellay said of the Pope’s response: “That’s really not Catholic! Because whatever I think has absolutely no value if it does not fit with reality. We have a conscience, but it will only lead us to Heaven if our conscience is a mirror of God.” The conscience must be formed according to God’s law. “So to pretend that anyone can full his own idea is just rubbish,” said Fellay, “It has nothing to do with Catholic teaching. It is absolute relativism.” (end citation)

    Which one sounds like the Catholic??? Sorry, read Fellay’s whole speech. You can deny all you want…he’s right. I just got done reading Pascendi…it reads like a playbook of current times in the Church, and is, quite frankly, a vivid warning of what we’re seeing and hearing already in this inchoate papacy. Most of the bishops and even the pope at the time called Athanasius a heretic and schismatic….which one is the Saint?

    They are not excommunicate; they are not sedevacantists; they are not (yet) in schism; they are not here without the permissive (if not the actual) will of God at work. Might they be Pella? I think whoever would quickly and reflexively shout “NO!” at me, take a moment to read the words (extensively!) of the two men (Fellay and Bergoglio), and ask themselves from the depths of their hearts, which is safeguarding the Tradition passed down? Also, reread Pascendi….I don’t care how many times you’ve already read it, reread it today with fresh eyes and an open, honest heart.

  17. iPadre says:

    Very sad! Any schism is a grave wound that harms us all. Unity, we need unity with Peter! Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclessia!

  18. ecs says:

    Last question. In response to the comment above, why is Pascendi all but ignored? I would have to agree that what is described in Pascendi is what I see today. Modernism is a defined heresy and it appears to have taken almost complete hold of the Church. It is the sum of all heresies and the Church completely ignores its reality.

  19. TNCath says:

    No surprises here. I’ve said all along that I didn’t believe that the SSPX had any desire to ever reconciling with the Church because refuse to submit themselves to the authority of the Pope. It’s ‘just that simple. While they are at the other end of the spectrum of groups such as the LCWR, the Women’s Ordination Conference, and Call to Action, they are on the same path to self-destruction as a result of their hard headedness and refusal to obey the Holy Father.

    It may be just as well they DIDN’T sign any agreement under Pope Benedict XVI because, after being welcomed “back in the fold,” they may have made even more trouble for the Church.

    I think it’s time to just let them go.

  20. Titus says:

    “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.” . . . If that statement is not correct, then the Bishop of Rome is teaching error . . . .

    This is a false dichotomy. The pope’s statement is ambiguously incomplete at best, but it is not a teaching by the Bishop of Rome. It’s a personal musing—perhaps ill-advised and ill-formulated—just as if he were to express an opinion on how to cook scallops. The Holy Spirit makes him right only when he teaches authoritatively, not when he gives interviews.

  21. DumSpiroSpero says:

    Christ promised the gates of hell would not prevail against The Church–We have always known that in the end, The Church will be a Remnant…We have also been warned in approved apparitions such as Fatima, Akita, etc that corruption and Satan will creep into the “highest levels” of The Church–What is the definition of “highest levels”? We have had anti-popes before in our history…is it possible that we are experiencing that now? Is it possible that the warnings from Our Lady are being played out in front of us today? Read Windswept House–this whole situations seems all too familiar and calculated–is it possible for these scenarios to actually be happening without violating Christ’s promise to His Church? I don’t know the answers to these questions…I do know one thing though, the SSPX seem to be preaching authentic, orthodox Catholicism as it was taught through the ages. The current Pope is confusing at best and downright scary and worrisome at worst.

  22. Pingback: Should the SSPX Be Excommunicated Again? | Ad Gloriam Ecclesiae

  23. Woody79 says:

    I grow weary already of these discussions. I do not agree with the SSPX but I can’t say that the remarks by Bishop Fellay are incorrect. Pope Francis is following his own words in that he is creating a mess. However, it is not a good mess. It’s a mess that someone else is going to have to clean up.

  24. Dennis Martin says:

    DumSpiroSpero:

    Luther could not have said it better than you just did. He insisted he was preaching authentic, orthodox Catholicism as it was taught through the ages and that the present pope of his day was not. That he was leading the authentic tiny remnant of the last days. That his tiny remnant was God’s way of preserving the True Church from the error-filled Papal Church. Just one tiny wrinkle: he had to abandon the successor of Peter to do it. Luther was a conservative schismatic.

    So is the SSPX, unless it’s leaders have a change of heart.

  25. ecs says:

    Didn’t Luther run off with a nun? Did Luther not despise the Catholic Mass? Did Luther not reject various Church teachings and dogma. Such as the teachings on the Holy Eucharist? I don’t know, trying to draw a parallel between Luther and the SSPX seems tenuous at best. Even the dispute with Rome differs greatly. A bit of revisionist history in order to hammer a particular prejudice I think.

  26. codefiend says:

    It does seem as if we have a modernist as Pope. “I don’t believe in a Catholic God, There is no Catholic God” P.Francis says.
    Bp. Fellay’s comment about our Holy Father, “What we have before us is a genuine Modernist,” is more or less a truthy statement. Pope Francis will say things contrary to one another, one day he will say obey your conscience, the next he will say something completely orthodox… causing a lot of confusion.
    I’m not SSPX, but I believe Bp. Fellay is completely right. We must not follow this Pope when he makes comments like the ones above…. hold fast to the traditions you have been taught… 2 Thess 2:14

  27. KevinSymonds says:

    Wasn’t it proven that Scalfari “doctored” the text according to recollection and not a recording?

    If so, we ought to be more cautious quoting from that interview.

  28. Fr AJ says:

    Bishop Fellay sounds like a classic Protestant reformer. We have the truth and Rome is evil. Sigh.

  29. Cordelio says:

    Almost every criticism here of Bishop Fellay and the SSPX seems to be premised on an implicit belief that a Catholic can never be justified in resisting the Pope in any matter. I’m sorry, but that is simply not a Catholic position.

    Phil_NL is at least thorough enough to set forth a specific grounds for alleged schism; namely, the failure to admit that the NO is valid and licit. The SSPX does – and has always – admitted the validity of the NO, when offered in its prescribed form. However, the SSPX has consistently denied its liceity and insisted on their right not only to say the Tridentine Mass, but to reject in conscience saying the NO.

    Phil_NL shares the same position as the sedevacantists in this respect, who cite to certain canonists (who never had to consider anything like the present debacle, incidentally) taking the position that universal liturgical laws partake of secondary infallibility. This teaching is by no means de fide, however.

    On the other hand, the sedevacantists do not deny reality and perceive the many rotten fruits of the NO. Following their position to its logical conclusion, then, they deny that the NO popes were popes, at all.

    The SSPX position – while not somehow their exclusive property – is the only one that seeks to accept both reality and Peter. They still recognize Our Lord in the bloodied and disfigured Mystical Body, and seek to stand by it with Our Lady – while refusing to actively participate in the torture, or pretend that the torture isn’t really torture.

  30. trad catholic mom says:

    So, the Pope never really means what it sounds like he said, but Fellay does.

    Got it.

  31. pfhawkins says:

    @KevinSymonds: “Wasn’t it proven that Scalfari “doctored” the text according to recollection and not a recording?”

    Whether it was doctored or no has little bearing; Pope Francis had an opportunity to prevent the interview from being published, and did not take it. He also has not indicated any problems with it since then. Supposing that Scalfari did doctor the text, the Pope is still responsible for the text as published.

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  33. ecs says:

    It’s not that you can’t resist any pope. Every pre-Conciliar pope pretty much is being resisted today. It seems to be a belief that you can never resist a sitting pope. It’s positivistic thinking. Might makes right.

  34. pmullane says:

    1 – What can the Pope say that justifies abandoning Holy Mother Church

    2 – Has Francis said anything that would fit the description of 1?

    3 – In this instance, is Francis a conveniant red herring? The Society couldnt deal with Benedict, not Francis.

    As an aside, the way in which many ‘traditional Catholics’ are willing to wilfully misinterpret or give the worst possible interpretation of Francis’ words (siding with the MSM against the Pope) is both telling and chilling.

  35. Choirmaster says:

    phlogiston makes an interesting point:

    “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.” If that is correct, then Bisop Fellay and the rest of the SSPX have every right to follow their conscience, even in opposition to the Pope’s…err…the “Bishop of Rome’s” words. If that statement is not correct, then the Bishop of Rome is teaching error and Bishop Fellay is correct when he says Francis is a modernist. Either way, the SSPX holds a very logical position. Each of us has a right and a duty to oppose error.

    I think phlogiston means it “tongue in cheek”, since we have here a case of the old saw: “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Of course, if Pope’s Francis’ words were a true statement about objective morality, and reflected the Catholic sense of right and wrong, then Fellay would have every right to continue on this path. That the Pope is adding to the confusion is certainly not helping, yet there is no excuse for Fellay to instigate a schism.

    I don’t have any suggestions for them, other than for each to say much, much less about the other. That goes for the Pope’s “off the cuff” comments about Rosary crusades and “particular sensitivities”, and for Fellay’s public insults about the Pope and the Church.

  36. Robbie says:

    I must disagree with Father Zuhlsdorf. Bishop Fellay is merely stating reality. The Pope is a VCII modernist who seems to have few kinds words when it comes to the conservative/traditional wing of the Church he leads. In the past few months, he’s called them restorationists, triumphalists, pelagians, and legalists. He’s also warned that love of the TLM can become an ideology. On top of that, he also banned the FFI from saying the TLM based on the complaints of just of few of its own members.

    Given that, it’s easy to understand why Bishop Fellay is happy the deal was never finalized. Who’s to say, had the deal been signed, the new Pope wouldn’t have come in and done to the SSPX what is currently being done to the FFI. Maybe the two aren’t exactly analogous, but does any really believe the current Pope and the SSPX are even on the same planet? In all honesty, could two groups be more diametrically opposed than they are on the issues that divide them?

    While the SSPX has made mistakes over these past decades, it’s the actions and comments of the Pope that have caused so much unease and tension. His comments are the ones that have raised the eyebrows of those on the right. The SSPX, until now, has had little if anything to say.

  37. dominic1955 says:

    ” I think whoever would quickly and reflexively shout “NO!” at me, take a moment to read the words (extensively!) of the two men (Fellay and Bergoglio), and ask themselves from the depths of their hearts, which is safeguarding the Tradition passed down?”

    The one with the auctoritas and the Keys, full stop. That’s the way it works in truly traditional Catholicism. The person with the actual authority to do something is the one who does it. It does not matter a fig if the individual thinks some bishop consecrated without papal mandate (and thus having no auctoritas) is more charismatic, or “says the right things”. True tradition looks to the authority (Ubi Petrus…) not to who wins if we are playing Traddy word bingo with their speeches.

    “Also, reread Pascendi….I don’t care how many times you’ve already read it, reread it today with fresh eyes and an open, honest heart.”

    Oh, so now we read things and wait for the burning in the bosom. Sheesh, go from Evangelicalism to Mormonism in one post. Oh well, that is American religiosity in a nutshell.

    “We have also been warned in approved apparitions such as Fatima, Akita, etc that corruption and Satan will creep into the “highest levels” of The Church–What is the definition of “highest levels”?”

    Now we go to the other pilar of American religiosity-snake oil and handlers. If only Catholics would clear out the temple of all this private revelation nonsense! Even the fully approved ones we do not have to put any stock in, let alone contingently approved ones and absolutely nothing on the unapproved ones. Praying the rosary with the Fatima prayer, observing the First Saturdays, doing prayer, pennance, and reparation etc. is as far as a person should go. Those are all very good things. However, when you start appealing to them to justify implying that the current Sovereign Pontiff might just be an antipope you’re a few more missteps ways from fashioning tin-foil hats in a Montana bunker or participating in a phone-in Conclave.

    As to the current story, the SSPX has built a little empire on playing one tune and now it is getting tiresome as they are not even playing that one tune well. In reality, the tune isn’t “orthodoxy” either-its separation. The SSPX thrives on being separate from Rome with the appeal to “Eternal Rome” much like the Seventh Day Adventists raison d’etre seems to be the Whore of Babylon in Rome. Should Rome have fallen, I would think that hardcore SDAs would probably wonder around aimlessly now that they no longer have anything to rail against. The “orthodoxy” enshrined by the likes of the SSPX is a very inelegant paint-by-numbers sort of “orthodoxy” that seems more intent on preserving a snapshot of time rather than really bolstering the doctrines and dogmas of Holy Mother Church and thus truly preaching Christ to the world. Orthodoxy is more than throwing in the right buzzwords to ease the minds of the black and white simple.

  38. Fool_for_Christ says:

    The SSPX has so much as said that they are waiting for the Pope and the rest of the Church to reconcile with them, that they are waiting for that imaginary day “when Rome returns to Tradition and to the Faith of all time.” (from their “SSPX’s Bishops’ declaration for 25th anniversary”). So they believe and openly profess that the Roman Catholic Church is no longer the true Church, that she no longer passes on Sacred Tradition and the deposit of the Faith, but that only the SSPX does this…

    My sense is that the SSPX Bishops are preparing to ordain more Bishops which will renew their excommunication latae sententiae. That will be another sad day.

    Maria, Mater Ecclesiae, ora pro nobis!

  39. anilwang says:

    Sad but unsurprising. They do have some points. As then Cardinal Ratzinger stated in the Spirit of the Liturgy, there are limits to papal authority wrt the liturgy since it is part of Tradition. So a synthetic liturgy (which is what the NO explicitly claims to be) stretches that authority and risks betraying that Tradition. And if the Pope faces those limitations, bishops do more so. IMO, that declaration will be made in a future Papal infallible decree or ecumenical council (perhaps as a prelude to reunion with the Orthodox, since a proper understanding and preservation of Tradition is a non-negotiable for them). In the mean time, we have to live with what we’ve got, and do our part (with God’s Grace), to bring about that future and preserve what we can.

    But in response, the SSPX goes into the other extreme that basically denies the Development of Doctrine that has been at the heart of the Church since St Vincent of Lerins first clearly stated it. Without it, all developed doctrine such as the Trinity, Immaculate Conception, Eucharist, and Canon of Scripture must be rejected and ultimately all Church councils that went beyond administrative decrees. You end up first with “loyal descent”, then denial of the Magesterium, then denial of the Papacy (to the extent that it is the Anti-Christ or irreformably influenced by the demonic), and ultimately the authority of Ecumenical Councils (to deny the authority of one Ecumenical Council is to deny the authority that made all possible). All you’re left with is a fragment of Tradition. It may be “The Bible Alone”. Or it might be past Councils (e.g. Vatican I) reinterpreted through the near sacred writings of the groups founders. But in any case, it is a truncated Tradition of Man that ultimately drifts further and further way from the True Faith. The SSPX has been going down this path for a while, although this is the first time I’ve heard them hint that the Pope is the anti-christ or under his control (i.e. the mass apostacy of the Apocalypse starts at the top of the hierarchy and we are in those final days).

    I honestly don’t see the logic of assuming Catholic Tradition after the Great Schism (or the Chalcedonian Schism) is valid, since it depends on a papal infallibility that would deny the authenticity of any future schism or deny that you need to be under the authority of a Bishop in union with Peter.

  40. dominic1955 says:

    “It does seem as if we have a modernist as Pope. “I don’t believe in a Catholic God, There is no Catholic God” P.Francis says.”

    This is a perfect example of the simple minded orthodoxy I referenced in my last post. Who, praytell, is the “Catholic God”? Now, before rushing in to answer, think for a second…

    The Most Holy Trinity is God, full stop. Saying one believes in the “Catholic God” might have the meaning that they believe in the Most Holy Trinity but the implication it gives is that He’s a tribalist who only matters for the subset of humanity called “Catholics”. We have the most complete and correct understanding of the One God but He’s God and Father of us all.

  41. Robbie says:

    One more thing. Some say the SSPX couldn’t even accept Ratzinger so why should we take them seriously. Well, two things. First, Ratzinger was hardly a traditionalist. At VCII, he wore a suit and tie rather than his cassock. By all accounts, he was a 1950′s liberal Catholic. He was certainly sympathetic to many of the long lost traditions, but he was not a traditionalist. Regardless, he was not simpatico with Lefebvre.

    Second, some of the reporting at the time the deal collapsed suggested it was those around Ratzinger who scuttled the deal. In the days leading up to the collapse, many articles said a deal was close at hand or all but finished. Then, it was dead. I don’t think the SSPX rejected Ratzinger. Instead, I think many around Ratzinger may have worked against his wishes. If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Ratzinger, in a meeting with Fellay, suggest his authority ended at the doors to his room?

  42. Cordelio says:

    Dear Father AJ,

    In your view, would anyone who publicly criticized the Pope sound like a classic Protestant reformer?

    As I recall, all of the Protestant reformers did not stop at criticizing the Pope (e.g., nobody considers Savonarola a classic Protestant reformer), but also put forth their own doctrines that denied authoritatively defined ones taught by the Popes. Is that the case with the SSPX, in your view? What Catholic dogma do you think they are denying?

  43. Captain Peabody says:

    “You ought to have suffered anything so as to avoid rending the Church of God. A martyrdom borne for the sake of preventing a division of the Church would not have been more inglorious than one endured for refusing to worship idols; nay, in my opinion at least, the former would have been a nobler thing than the latter. For in the one case a person is martyred for his own soul, whereas in the other case he is martyred for the sake of the whole Church.”

    -St. Dionysius of Alexandria, Letter to Novatus, 3rd century

    This fills me with anger. I will not say any more.

  44. mamajen says:

    anilwang,

    Well stated. It is certainly a slippery slope that the SSPX are on.

  45. mamajen says:

    I wish commenters who are affiliated with the SSPX would come out and say it instead of trying to be sneaky.

  46. Robbie says:

    I’ve never been to a SSPX Chapel, but I’m certainly sympathetic to their concerns. Even sneaky Cardinal Ranjith has said something similar. Here’s a quote from John Allen’s piece on him last Spring. “In 2006, he said of the Lefebvrists that he wasn’t a fan, but that “what they sometimes say about the liturgy, they say for good reason.”

  47. dans0622 says:

    I saw a statement from Bishop Fellay in a SSPX chapel bulletin, this past July. Some of the comments were similar and made me realize that this situation is not getting better and I honestly don’t know how it can end well. It requires a miracle.

  48. pmullane says:

    Robbie:

    “One more thing. Some say the SSPX couldn’t even accept Ratzinger so why should we take them seriously. Well, two things. First, Ratzinger was hardly a traditionalist. At VCII, he wore a suit and tie rather than his cassock. By all accounts, he was a 1950?s liberal Catholic. He was certainly sympathetic to many of the long lost traditions, but he was not a traditionalist. Regardless, he was not simpatico with Lefebvre.”

    I’m not getting into a debate about terms. Benedict was as sympathetic to the Society as any Pope is likely to be in the time either of us are alive. He spent a great deal of his capital as Pope trying to bring the Society back into the Church. He gave the Church Summorum Pontificum. If the society are waiting on a ‘traditionalist’ Pope, more sympathetic to their cause than Benedict, they will die waiting.

    “Second, some of the reporting at the time the deal collapsed suggested it was those around Ratzinger who scuttled the deal. In the days leading up to the collapse, many articles said a deal was close at hand or all but finished. Then, it was dead. I don’t think the SSPX rejected Ratzinger. Instead, I think many around Ratzinger may have worked against his wishes. If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Ratzinger, in a meeting with Fellay, suggest his authority ended at the doors to his room?”

    You give us rumour, I give you Bp Fellay:

    “I told them from the start in September the previous year that we cannot accept this ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ because it is not true, it is not real”

    Here the head of the Society explicitly rejects one of the central themes of Benedicts Pontificate. He could not accept it. He could not accept that the council can be read in continuity with tradition. Essentially, he says that for the Society to return to the Church, it must deny the Council, the Popes since the Council, and the Novus Ordo. In essence, this statement actually proves the rumours you give us as being false, unless you are willing to believe that Benedict was willing to concede that the Council was wrong, that the New Mass was ‘evil’ etc, and if Benedict was going to do that, then the men in the grey suits did him a favour by scuttling such a document.

    In honesty, Fellay is playing to the crowd here. He knows that the chance is gone, and he has to rouse his base. I have low opinions of the Society already, by my opinion of them would diminish further if they took advantage of Francis’ relative unpopularity in their quarters to provike him into some kind of juridicial action against them, most likely by consecrating more bishops.

  49. Darren says:

    Re:TNCath While they are at the other end of the spectrum of groups such as the LCWR, the Women’s Ordination Conference, and Call to Action, they are on the same path to self-destruction as a result of their hard headedness and refusal to obey the Holy Father.

    I think it’s time to just let them go.

    I agree totally with TNCath’s statement. How can one support a group, formal schism or not, that is celebrating all sacraments illicitly or invalidly? People are getting married by SSPX priests, but are not really married. People are receiving absolution for their sins from SSPX priests, but really are not. Can they claim ignorance? I don’t think so for the majority. They choose to defy Peter, and therefore, to defy Christ.

    Re:mamajenI wish commenters who are affiliated with the SSPX would come out and say it instead of trying to be sneaky.

    I agree mamajen! I once asked out of ignorance why there is such a love affair among some with the SSPX. But now, much less ignorant, I still wonder why. I was thinking of the parallels with Luther before I even read any such thing above. We now have thousands of reasons why Luther was in error.

    Fellay and friends are quite possibly throwing away their own salvation, just to make a point. So sad. Pray for them and all who follow them.

    I’ll close with a quote from St. Catherine of Siena which I have posted in the past at other times. Her words do not carry any authoritative weight other than by the wisdom which she had. I think they are wise words to consider when one condemns ANY pope: “Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.”

  50. JohnH says:

    ” The want us to recognize not only that the [New] Mass is valid … but that it is licit … we don’t use that word. It’s a bit messy, our faithful have enough [confusion] regarding the validity.”

    Wait, what? SSPX faithful are “confused” about the term “licit.” This cannot be the case. How is it possible that their well-formed flocks are confused about a basic principle of Sacramental Theology? This is a cop out. Basically he is saying he doesn’t want to admit the New Mass can ever be licit or valid, nor does he want to say otherwise. He knows both statements would rend his own flock, and be a clear declaration of dissent. I’ll be praying for the SSPX today. Lord have mercy.

  51. Geoffrey says:

    “The New Mass is bad, it is evil…”

    Evil?! With beliefs like that, I do not foresee the SSPX ever coming home to Rome.

    I feel bad for the Pope Emeritus in all this. Benedict XVI did everything in his power to reconcile the SSPX, offering them olive branch after olive branch.

  52. pfhawkins says:

    mamajen – I wish that you wouldn’t make a blanket accusation that commenters here are hiding an affiliation with the SSPX. You can’t prove a negative.

    As for me, I have never attended an SSPX chapel and have no plans to.

  53. nanetteclaret says:

    Pope St. Pius X’s Encyclical “Pascendi Dominici Gregis,” published in 1907, condemned Modernism as a heresy and describes Modernism found in every facet of thought, from philosophy to theology. “Pascendi” built on previous Encyclicals condemning Modern Errors issued by Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Leo XIII. Pope Francis is a walking, talking demonstration of Modernism and as such he is spouting heresy, as defined by Pope St. Pius X. Pope Paul IV’s Encyclical “Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio” makes it clear that any prelate – including the Pope – who promotes heresy has no authority because he does not teach what the Church teaches, and therefore everything he says is null and void. I don’t see how anyone can read these Encyclicals and come away with any other opinion than that Pope Francis is a heretic and that as such he has no authority.

    Many of the actions of the Church since Vatican II, such as the Assisi prayer meetings, fall under Pope Pius IX’s “Syllabus of Errors” Section III “Indifferentism and False Tolerance.” Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical “Mortalium Animos” expands the Church’s stance against this Error.

    Anyone who reads “Quo Primum” and “De Defectibus” both by Pope St. Pius V understands that the Novus Ordo cannot be valid. It is intellectually dishonest to say that it is valid, just because the Vatican says it is. I can “say” I am the Queen of England, but that does not make it true.

    The only way that anyone can accept that the Novus Ordo is valid and that Pope Francis speaks with the voice of the Church is to totally disregard the Encyclicals of previous Popes. But if one does that, is one still a Catholic?

  54. pannw says:

    “On him (Peter) He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep, and although He assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet He founded a single chair (cathedra), and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity…. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he (should) desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” St. Cyprian Of Carthage (“On the Unity of the Catholic Church,” 251 A.D.)

    When the Pope declares officially that abortion is approved, or homosexual activity is no longer a sin…, then I will consider my options. Until then, I will try to learn the Faith more fully, so that I may not be led astray by off the cuff remarks that are either wrong, or spun to seem wrong, etc… since not every word muttered by a pope, (any pope) is binding, and there have been some pretty shady popes before now (and I don’t think Pope Francis is shady, though he does make or present the opportunity for a mess). For now, I stand with Saint Jerome. “I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none, but the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails.” St. Jerome (“Letter 15,” 396 A.D.)

    That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

    Is it any wonder that fewer and fewer believe?

    God have mercy.

  55. BBJohn says:

    Well, couldn’t we say that this is not a big issue Fr. Z?
    Because in a few years, we will start having ecumenical meetings with the SSPX and Old Catholic groups and reminding ourselves that they are not guilty of any schism but brothers and sisters in Christ.

  56. cajuncath says:

    @anilwang
    SSPX does not reject development of doctrine. There is a real difference between authentic development of doctrine and introducing changes and novelties to doctrine and seeking to pass it off as development.

    Ecumenical councils are not cut from whole cloth and are not indistinguishable from one another.

    @mamajen
    I am not affiliated with nor a member of any SSPX chapel, religious order, subsidiary or any other entity of theirs, nor do I attend SSPX mass. I do consider myself a sympathizer.

  57. Robbie says:

    pmullane

    Trust me, I’m not saying Fellay has clean hands. I also agree it’s likely we’ll probably never see in our life times another Pope as sympathetic to the SSPX as Benedict was. If they missed their best opportunity, so be it. But saying Benedict was sympathetic to the SSPX doesn’t mean those around him didn’t want to scuttle the deal.

  58. StWinefride says:

    Mamajen: I wish commenters who are affiliated with the SSPX would come out and say it instead of trying to be sneaky.

    I quoted Bishop Fellay but I’m not SSPX. I was for 6 months but left, however I understand their concerns. If I quoted Bishop Fellay it’s because I think that when he says:

    pray, pray, pray and penance, penance, penance

    it’s exactly what every single Catholic needs to hear right now.

    Holy Mother Church is going through her Passion, we all know that. Let’s do our bit and let God do the rest.

  59. pmullane says:

    Robbie, I agree, but in the end, Fellay couldnt accept the Hermeneutic of continuity, he wanted all or nothin’, and he got nothin’. So there was nothing to scuttle, the SSPX are as entrenched as ever they were, are setting themselves up for breaking into schism, are tearing into the Pope. As someone who loves the traditions of the Church and works in my parish trying to convice good God fearing Jesus loving Catholic people to try and embrace the treasures of the Church with their time and treasure, I can tell you that Bishop Fellay and the SSPX, whatever good they may once have done, are now enemies of tradition in the Church.

  60. Tony McGough says:

    The Form of the sacrifice of the Mass has changed relatively frequently through the centuries; the Last Supper was in Aramaic, we are told, and the Apostles presumably celebrated in Aramaic too. Then there came forms in Greek, Latin, and many liturgies which seem exotic to us: Coptic, Ethiopian, Byzantine, Ukranian…. and on and on. All licit and valid in their time and place. If some of these liturgies were used by people who later turned schismatic, that was not the fault of the liturgy.

    Which form of the Mass should we be using? Why, the ones authorised, of course: Old form and New form, saying the black and doing the red. Who authorises? The Pope.

    It’s all pretty simple. Obey the competent authority. Bishop Fellay is not the competent authority in this matter, in spite of his piety and devotion. So he can usefully remain silent.

  61. wmeyer says:

    I wish those who are so dismissive of the SSPX showed more evidence of understanding the position of Abp. Lefebvre. I am not SSPX, but I recognize that the man had deep integrity and a very troubled conscience.

    Perhaps Fellay will lead them into schism; I pray he will not.

  62. liquidpaw says:

    There has never been anything contrary to the Orthodox Catholic Faith ever taught by these (SSPX) men. They never asked or claimed to separate themselves from Rome. Rome pushed them away, yet always has a strong desire to have them back. Why? So perhaps they can squash them out and end all truly orthodox Catholic voice of reason is my guess. Honestly, who would you rather have teaching your children the faith…Popes who have prayed in Buddhist temples and accepted protestant “blessings”, or priests formed in those seminaries founded by Archbishop Lefebvre? What lacks truth in anything said or mentioned in that statement by Archbishop Fellay? I support FSSP strongly, but also admire SSPX, as they have had to remain in their position, because they would not be able to otherwise vociferously counter the misleading teachings sadly coming from many of our Church leadership. I am not an SSPX person either, but continued movement in this direction by Church leaders will see many moving that direction if the nonsense keeps going on. Think many orthodox priests aren’t upset as well? Read Fr. Rutler’s latest. In my diocese recently, I also heard a beautiful homily from a fearless priest making it clear as to what is right, not to be confused by all of the ambiguous and confusing statements we have recently heard. May God protect these brave priests and everyone read “Open Letter to used Catholics”…you will see how all of these questions sadly pertain to today.

  63. JabbaPapa says:

    Fellay has now repeated his accusation against the Holy Mass as being “evil” — given that he is in a particular situation whereby his state of Communion with the Catholic Church is reserved to the Holy See and to the Pope, I cannot say what I normally would, but his whole little speech represents no more and no less than a catechism of protestant schism.

    He is walking in the footprints of Luther.

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  65. tcreek says:

    I am not SSPX and never will be, but I suspect that their adherents are much more accepting of the moral teachings of the Faith then the typical Catholic, especially those who NOW claim to “love” this new pope.

  66. Eliane says:

    Bishop Fellay has a history of trying to reconcile with the church under Pope Benedict, but there are suggestions that their communications and good intents were sabotaged. At this point, Pope Francis seems to reject SSPX Catholics for his part, or at least that is the message he projects with his many hurtful, arrogant comments and gestures. He certainly goes out of his way to be unpastoral toward those who share the SSPW views Some of us accept the Petrine insults as necessary for a greater good. Bishop Fellay is not among those. And I cannot imagine how anyone could say that VatII was anything but a rupture with Catholic tradition. I never believed that Benedict really believed otherwise, but for his moment in history didn’t feel the time was right for saying so. The time will come; it must. But probably not in our lifetimes.

  67. Phil_NL says:

    Cordelio

    I do take offense (yet forgive) at being compared to a sedevacantist without proper acknowledgement that my position is anything but. And I have not mentioned infallibility at all in my post, so the comparison doesn’t hold anyway.

    I do subscribe to the position, however, that the Pope needs to be obeyed in matters where he makes a law or governs the Church. In fact, I hold that position even on matters that have nothing to do with infallibility. I do not subscribe to the idea that there is, ever, cause for resistance against the pope in these matters, even if his holiness would make a silly, stupid decision (as occasionally happens). The point is that none of us is capable of passing judgement on the Pope. Charlemagne realised this, and it holds today all the same, when the accusations are of a different nature. We can disagree, we might object, we can certainly in many cases ignore (anything ccoming out of the Vatican on economics is usally in that category) but we cannot work against the Pope.

    All of it really follows from that. For exmaple, it is not a problem that the SSPX prefers the EF. It’s not a problem they think the NO is defective. But it is a problem when they say that the NO is intrinsically evil, in fact placing it outside the Church. That’s not their call to make.
    Either one allows the Pope to do his job, or one assumes that position himself.

    Maybe I can summarize it in a way that would resonate among the American readership here:
    “My Pope, right or wrong!”

  68. mburn16 says:

    Disappointing, but not surprising. Of course any group which describes the NO as “evil” is going to be particularly difficult to bring back into the fold….at the same time, one can hardly be surprised that Pp. Francis’ behavior and conduct is creating rifts, even less so that those rifts will be felt most where much larger rifts already exist.

    “He gave the Church Summorum Pontificum. If the society are waiting on a ‘traditionalist’ Pope, more sympathetic to their cause than Benedict, they will die waiting.”

    Summorum Pontificum was a big advancement as far as traditionalist worship is concerned, but it wasn’t the first time a Pope had moved to be more accommodating. It would have been interesting to see how things would have worked out if Benedict had been elected five, or even ten, years sooner. He had a more baroque style, and was accommodating….but he never really made any forceful moves to restore traditionalism, either. Remember, he is the first Pope who took the Tiara off his coat of arms.

    I’m also skeptical that he is as traditionalist a Pope as we’ll see, for two reasons: first, in any type of higher office, time has a way of correcting – even overcompensating – for past actions. The most enduring legacy of Francis may well be that we don’t see another Jesuit Pope for a very, very, very long time. Benedict was, more or less, a member of the ecclesiastical generation that brought us VII – and Francis is a Priest of the 1970s, with all the discord and tackiness that came with it. It would not surprise me at all if the next Pope, or the Pope after him, were far more traditionalist, orthodox, and dogmatic than any Pope since VII. Eventually, I expect we’ll see some kind of restoration of Papal ceremonial, eventually we’ll see another revision of the liturgy, etc.

  69. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Speaking of Tradition, if Catholic vocabulary is to be properly employed in its traditional sense, we have had a formal schism since 1988.

    Cardinal Hoyos et allii just made it fashionable to employ Vatican euphemisms like “irregularity” as if all the SSPX needed was Metamucil. And now we see the result, long term, of coddling schismatics.

    It blows up in our face.

  70. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. Bisig’s words to Hoyos, “Don’t tell me not to use the word schism (re SSPX). If that’s not a schism, I would never have left them! !”

  71. MikeM says:

    Cordelio said: “Almost every criticism here of Bishop Fellay and the SSPX seems to be premised on an implicit belief that a Catholic can never be justified in resisting the Pope in any matter. I’m sorry, but that is simply not a Catholic position.”

    There’s a big difference between saying that it can sometimes be appropriate to resist the Pope on some limited matters and saying what Fellay said. A BIG difference.

  72. Fr AJ says:

    Bishop Fellay may be talking tough to reaffirm his position in the SSPX after some were upset about reunion talks with Rome last year but calling any form of the Mass “evil” is totally irresponsible. Whatever respect I had for this man is gone after revealing such a warped belief.

  73. Sailor says:

    I’m sorry but no matter how I see it the church is crumbling since Vatican II. If things were different I would be on the side of defending the Popes in this whole thing, but instead they insist on trying to keep alive something that was never suppose to be part of our faith, they want to Dialogue with other faiths and have been mingling with them for decades now and for what??? Mass attendance is tragic, vocations are dangerously low, births are nothing compared to the amount of people dying, almost every “Catholic” I know is comfortable in believing what they want about the faith without any criticism. I could go on and on and on but its pretty clear all the glaring problems in the church.
    Seriously, there has to come a point where everyone realizes that modernism has infiltrated the church, it stinks but it happened and we need to deal with it. You can only defend the Popes actions for so long, I don’t doubt good intentions, but the current track they are taking is no where near what Popes in the past were like, if the fruits were good I would think otherwise, but with the current state of the church, you would have to be blind to not see the correlation between the disaster in the church and Vatican II.

    Michael Voris is right in his video regarding the crisis, its only a matter of a decade or two before we REALLY see a true crisis in our face.

  74. samwise says:

    The majority of parishoners around the world do not have this debate between schism/unity. This debate is largely full of very politically geared pop-corn gallery catholics who have never played sports or done manual labor.
    For that matter, neither have any members of the SSPX, whereas Francis has! That settles it for me.
    Go out and dig ditches or something people!

  75. Geoffrey says:

    Is it me, or does the SSPX seem to ignore this article of the Tridentine Profession of Faith:

    “Sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Romanam Ecclesiam, omnium Ecclesiarum matrem et magistram agnosco, Romanoque Pontifici beati Petri Apostolorum Principis successori ac Iesu Christi Vicario veram obedientiam spondeo ac iuro”.

    ["I acknowledge the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all Churches; and to the Roman Pontiff, the successor of the blessed Peter, Prince of Apostles and Vicar of Jesus Christ, I promise and swear true obedience".]

    They can find it in the appendix of the 1952 Rituale Romanum.

  76. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “Anyone who reads “Quo Primum” and “De Defectibus,” both by Pope St. Pius V, understands that the” SSPX “cannot be valid.” There, I fixed it for you.

    “Quo Primum” describes the same process that set up the Novus Ordo (albeit the chosen men weren’t chosen quite so well): “We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites… When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses.”

    Trent swept away of a lot of valid, ancient, well-loved Uses and Rites in the Church. The first edition of Trent’s Missal stunk on ice, despite all the care attempted. But you didn’t see people back then whining about it, much less threatening successive popes with schism.

    And here’s what the good Pope St. Pius X says about the SSPX: “Finally, and this almost destroys all hope of cure, their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.”

    “Pascendi” for the goose is “Pascendi” for the gander.

    I have all kinds of sympathy for the SSPX’s wrongs, but I have absolutely no patience for their shilly-shallying to accept opportunities for good, and their speed to find anything not absolutely to their standards to be Evil Incarnate. And they have no set standards; that’s the beauty of it. They have no victory conditions; they just keep moving the goalposts out beyond the Himalayas.

    If they were rock stars, they’d be the ones insisting on purple M&Ms, served only in bags of organic hemp woven by tiny looms operated by heirloom breeds of trained hamster rescued by time travel.

  77. cajuncath says:

    Phil_NL, my pope right or wrong is not a pious thoughtful Catholic belief.

    Popes have made errors, even serious errors, in the past. No, we’re not required to follow them and subscribe to their errors. Does everybody forget St. Paul confronting St. Peter? St. Catherine of Siena rebuked a pope for a matter that wasn’t even directly related to faith and morals. And Pope John XXII was challenged for his error regarding the beatific vision.

    Our faith has objective content and integrity. Your approach seems to say that your faith consists solely of whatever the present pope, or perhaps handful of most recent popes, believes, teaches, does and says. It appears your faith has no substantive moorings, and you are prepared to toss most anything out the window as soon as a pope tells you to do so.

    What about when a pope participates in pagan worship, evidently as an interpretive application of the last ecumenical council? Should we celebrate the occasion and imitate his example, especially if he is about to canonized?

    Or what about a pope who tells us that separation of church and state is a proud Christian achievement, flying in the face of authoritative Church teaching? What about Fr. Chad Ripperger, who has nothing to do with SSPX, who in public homily stated that Catholic teaching is the opposite of this and essentially said that Pope Benedict XVI apparently is wrong? Is that priest a schismatic? Or a heretic? Or a protestant wannabe?

    Whatever disturbing, questionable and debatable elements there are with SSPX’s beliefs and conduct, traditional Catholics have every right to fully affirm and uphold the fullness of the traditional Catholic faith. It is the fullness of the traditional faith imparted to us from Christ through the Holy Spirit that is our rightful barometer of truth, not how slavishly we can desperately adhere to, spin, and defend the problematic statements and actions of our most recent popes while trying to luxuriate in pre-1955 amnesia.

  78. Cordelio says:

    Dear Phil_NL,

    You claim that acceptance of the liceity of the NO is a sine qua non of accepting the Petrine Office. You, as is clearly implied by my previous post, do accept its liceity. The sedevacantists agree with you on the matter of principle involved (i.e., you can’t accept the Pope without accepting the NO), the difference being that they do not accept its liceity and hence deny that the post-NO popes are popes. With which part of my general point did you disagree?

    With respect to specifics – I admit that I misunderstood your position, provided you have accurately expressed it in your second post. You seem to be saying that Catholics cannot disobey the Pope even when it would be sinful to obey. That would be totally irrational (although consistent with the absurd position taken by Decatur in the altered quote you offer), however, and I hope you really hold the position I imputed to you – that, in the matter of liturgical law, the Pope is prevented by a special charism of his office from imposing a liturgical rite that it would be sinful to conform to.

    Dear MikeM – that is really the question of principle involved here, isn’t it? Is the disobedience practiced by the SSPX outside of the scope of areas where disobedience can be offered to the Pope? If it is not, as a matter of principle, then it is pointless to simply hurl accusations of schism at them without addressing their underlying positions.

    Dear nanetteclaret, you would appear to be one of those who Bishop Fellay correctly identifies as confused about validity.

  79. Eonwe says:

    The SSPX claim that we are in a state of emergency that necessitates their actions. They claim modernism reaches to all parts of the Church and has a very strong hold. They claim that, while valid, the OF is illicit because it is a New Rite, and past Popes have said no new rights. They also say that it is intrinsically evil because it is man centered.

    I used to be much more sympathetic to the SSPX because of their staunch adherence to tradition and orthodoxy. And because of all the modernism in the Church and radical ecumenism. I also had serious problems with OF (for the typical reasons). My family is very traditional so I have been getting a certain perspective for years.

    Well, I got a big wake up call (that’s what a good girl does for you). The recent changes to the OF helped me out a lot (thank you Pope Benedict 16) and doing more reading on my own. God is still the center of the OF, even if I don’t prefer every liturgical practice (women alter servers, so much focus on the priest, etc…). I read both sides of the issue more carefully. I learned that if a Pope promulgates and puts into action a law that it cannot be intrinsically evil, but must be good. Despite the legalistic arguments I read on the SSPX side, it was clear to me that Paul VI did this. Along with reading other things about how one must be obedient to the Pope, even if one does not have to like everything he says or does.

    True, much of the aftermath of VII has been very bad, ambiguity does that and so does watering down things. But I know that there are still so many good fruits in the Church today. I am younger and many of my friends who are not trads (as I am) are still every bit as good Catholics as myself (most likely better). They go to the OF etc… and they pray, believe, and live their faith. One must also look at the difference between “T” tradition and “t” tradition. In general, I prefer traditional stuff because I believe it elevates one towards God more, that is why I prefer the EF over the OF. However, that does not make the OF bad. I have been to Byzantine liturgies, and although I liked them a lot, I still thought that the EF elevated me more towards God. Does that make the Byzantine liturgy bad, despite some difference emphasis? No, it is the Mass and it is directed towards God. The argument about the Black Mass is a straw man. The OF is said to praise God and it does, not to cause sacrilege.

    Even if there is as much modernism as the SSPX believe, wouldn’t it be better to be united to the visible head than not? They would be able to do much more good in the way of orthodoxy that way. How can you consistently follow what Christ said about the papacy, Vatican 1, past saints, and other councils and not be united to it? Sure, one could talk about what Christ said about the end of times (will there be anyone of faith left etc…), but isn’t the Church where Peter is? It is clear to me that the OF is here to stay, so how can one say that 97 percent of the Church has been and will continue, for the long term foreseeable future, to celebrate an illicit/evil Mass? That is where the SSPX have no ground to stand on.

    Sorry for the rant, but I have to deal with this debate almost everyday with my family. I respect that the SSPX wish to remain true to tradition and that they are orthodox in living their faith. However, one can still do this and remain within the visible Church. I think they need to put more trust in God’s plan for the Church and not there own.

  80. phlogiston says:

    Regarding the refusal of the SSPX to accept that the Novus Ordo is “licit” is that really so different from the position of the FSSP or other “authorized” sources of Vetus Ordo/TLM/Extraordinary Form Masses? Those of us who attend (or I suppose, say) such Masses, do so because we believe that it is superior to the Novus Ordo. That it is more fitting for worship of Almighty God. That there is something in the Vetus Ordo that is lacking in the Novus Ordo. I know of no one who attends the Vetus Ordo for a mere “change of pace.” Can anyone who attends a traditional mass really dispute that? And if something in worship of Almighty God is lacking, what does that make it? So given that, is Bishop Fellay’s statement that the Novus Ordo is “bad” really that far beyond the pale? (In the interests of full disclosure as requested earlier, I do not regularly attend SSPX Masses, but have done so in the past, including Bishop Fellay’s Mass this past Sunday (an entirely beautiful Mass by the way), and have every intention of doing so in the future when circumstances permit it.)

  81. RJHighland says:

    All these comments comparing the SSPX to Luther or Protestant heretics is ridiculous. The SSPX has not changed a thing, Protestant reformers claimed a return to an ancient faith that never existed. The SSPX is simply maintaining what was in place prior to Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, don’t ever forget that or twist that. The are more in the line of St. Theresa of Avila, whose feast day is today. She restored the Carmelites back to their traditional rule, just as the Benedictines in the Society maintain the traditional rule of the order unlike many of the post Vatican II Monasteries. Or how the Bishops and priests in the Society maintain the traditional doctrine and teachings of the Church. Who has changed the Pope’s and Bishops of the Church or the Society? The Society has been the rock unchanging as Rome and the Catholic Church weathers the intense storm of modernism, just as Athanasius anchored the Church at Nicea. Only history will see who was right and who was wrong and we all have planted our flags let us look to the future with hope and when we look back the truth will be known. But when you look honestly at the statements of Pope Francis and those of Bishop Fellay who sounds like he is promoting the historical teachings of the Church and who has modernist tendancies? Be honest now.

  82. joan ellen says:

    Wow!!! Clarity, and the Church with a single heart and thought, is more elusive currently, not apparent, so difficult to find, no matter the time spent to sift and sort and separate all of the words…i.e. heartfelt intentions and thoughts.

    On the other hand, in his strong speech Bishop Fellay is still calling for “Prayer, Prayer, Prayer.” especially the Rosary, and “Penance, Penance, Penance.” and for us to do “our daily duty.”

    I surely hope and pray that that call can increase the certain and decrease the uncertain. That call is perfectly clear.

  83. Cavaliere says:

    Members of the SSPX and their followers can call people heretics, call the NO Mass “evil” and countless other derisive and uncharitable things and then exclaim their feelings are hurt when the Pope makes statements which they, by the way, have taken out of context . Bishop Fellay’s decision was made last year before Francis ever became Pope. What it boils down to is really very simple. Bishop Fellay believes that Vatican II is a rupture with Tradition and that everything that follows is subsequently evil. Pope Benedict believes/believed that there is a hermenuetic of continuity. Bishop Fellay is in effect saying I believe I am the true Pope because my statement is infallible. There is no possibility I am wrong and that all true believers must agree with my position or risk eternal damnation. Sorry but I will keep the real Pope and not a pretender. Martin Luther started out to address legimate abuses too before pride took hold and he abandoned the Faith though I doubt that Bishop Fellay would go that route. More likely they will wind up like the Orthodox Churches, maintaining an outward appearance of the True Church, believing they are the sole keepers of true “Tradition” yet still in schism. Given the harsh things our Lord had to say about schism I would rather not go down that road.

    you would have to be blind to not see the correlation between the disaster in the church and Vatican II.

    The actual blindness is not seeing that the Church was headed for disaster before Vatican II. That the modernist heresy that Pope St. Pius X was successful in suppressing was not destroyed and was merely waiting for an opportunity to rise up again. Vatican II did not appear in a vacuum. The problematic documents of the council were written by priests with an agenda and they were a very strong force in the Church whose influence would have increased regardless. Catholics in America like to look at the pre-Vat. II Church and see all roses, the situation in the rest of the world was very different. Two world wars, the rise of communism were devastating for the Church in the rest of the world. Catholics in America knew the Baltimore Catechism but few really knew there Faith. Ask most adults who grew up in the 40′s and 50′s and they can still repeat the answers to the questions from the catechism. That is the problem, they knew the answers, they didn’t know the meaning. Then the 60′s came along and their children began rejecting everything. Look at pictures of bands like the Beatles in 1962 and then again in 1968, there was a worldwide cultural revolution which pre-dated the New Mass and had nothing to do with the Council. Most people have no interest in understanding the complexities of Dignitatis Humanae. Cardinal Ottaviani’s “criticism of the NO is oft quoted as a rejection of that Mass. But is there anything that he wrote criticizing DH? The rejection of Humanae Vitae came before the Novus Ordo which I would argue has caused significantly more harm than any of the documents of Vatican II and was certainly not a consequence of a those documents. Millions of people were and continue to commit mortal sin by their use of artificial birth control. (to be clear regardless of individual culpability the act is itself mortally sinful) The priests and bishops who looked the other way cannot claim that any teaching of Vatican II allowed them to reject HV. The crisis in the Church following Vatican II is the result of sin and disregard of Church teaching, not because of Church teaching.

  84. pmullane says:

    Cavaliere has it right.

    The SSPX may feel that they are ‘preserving tradition’ and ‘not changing a thing’. Well where in tradition does it state that the Novus Ordo is ‘evil’? What other infallible pronouncements does bishop Fellay have up his sleeve? Are the other sacraments ‘evil’? Who is in charge now? Who is the Pope of ‘eternal Rome?’

  85. Robbie says:

    The attempts to compare Fellay to Luther are wildly off the mark. Luther wanted a revolution in the Catholic Church. Fellay and the SSPX want to maintain the pre-VCII Church from which Luther broke away. Now, it’s certainly fair to criticize Fellay’s claim NO is evil, but to associate him with Luther is just as wrong as what Fellay said about the NO.

  86. Justin Martyr says:

    Cavaliere,

    EXCELLENT post…exactly on point. If Vatican II is a complete rupture with nearly 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition, then how do we explain the men (popes, bishops and priests) responsible for Vatican II? They weren’t dropped out of the sky by aliens with a mission to abolish the perfect Catholic Church that was in existence in 1958.

    Every one of the bishops and priests responsible for the Second Vatican Council were raised, educated, ordained, and consecrated in the pre-councilior church. They all attended and then later celebrated the Tridentine Mass…for decades prior to the council. Almost all the bishops at the council were raised to the episcopacy by Pope Pius XII and his predecessors.

    Clearly had there been no council in the 1960′s, there would still have been a host of problems and issues in the mid-late 1960′s and 1970′s. There were thousands of priests and hundreds of bishops with “modernist” ideas hiding beneath the outward appearance of the traditional, pre-conciliar church. There were already homosexuals and communists in the priesthood, already priests already abusing thousands of children (and if they were caught, having it covered up by the pre-conciliar hierarchy of the church), already millions of Catholics who secretly disagreed with many tenets of the faith (and priests who agreed with them).

    It wasn’t the Catholic utopia some seem to believe it was pre- 1960. The seeds were planted long before the council was ever proposed by Pope John XXIII.

  87. nanetteclaret says:

    Cordelio -

    Have you read the Encyclicals which I referenced?

  88. Phil_NL says:

    Cordelio

    I disagree with dragging in the sedevacantists in response to me, without making clear that I’m nothing of the sort. Your post was vague on that, and there are few odours within Christianity that smell as foul as sedevacantism in my book.
    I do hold that the Pope would be prevented by a special charism of his office from imposing a liturgical rite that it would be sinful to conform to. That said, I think we should not use the word ‘sinful’ too soon. Many things can be a bad idea, but not be sinful. In fact, a pope would have be extremely far off the path before promulgating something that would be objectively sinful. Frankly, I have read many examples in history of popes sinning themselves, but ordering sinful behavior? I can’t think of anything. Moreover, my point remains: who is allowed to sit in judgement at St. Peters and condemn the Vicar of Christ? I would recommend a very strong presumption that whenever the pope orders something (not to be confused with the pope doing something himself), the person declaring it to be sinful would be wrong, rather than His Holiness.

    cajuncath

    I reject the claim that my faith has no moorings. That’s nonsense, and I hope you do read my posts in their entirety, including my reply to Cordelio above, as I get the idea you’re seeing things in it that aren’t there. There is objective truth in the faith, the has to be the very essence of it. I do see quite a bit of room for difference of opinion within the faith, however. And the judge here on earth of what still belongs within and what is outside, is the Pope. That doesn’t mean Pope’s can’t sin, or can’t get things wrong. It does mean however, that actively resisting the Pope (in those areas where he governs the Church) requires a judgement that as far as I’m concerned simply doesn’t pertain to us mortals. Even if his Holiness is wrong, we can strive to right the ship, but never abandon the ship, nor mutiny against its captain. And that’s exactly what the SSPX and many around them try to justify.

  89. A Sinner 2 says:

    Had the good Catholics of the 60s and 70s resisted as the progressive/modernists took over the Church while the pope looked the other way, there would have been no need for the SSPX. But instead, Apb. Lefebvre stood almost alone against the heretics. Now as we ready for a repeat, what do I see among the “good” Catholics who post on this blog: “my pope right or wrong.”

    Very depressing.

  90. Fr_Sotelo says:

    The SSPX has most certainly, and radically, introduced a poisonous change into the body Catholic. They have attempted to freeze, and crystallize into amber, the vibrant, life-giving, breathing fruitfulness of the Catholic faithful. The have, in their small minded world, shut down all advance of Catholic theology and the development of doctrine, all right of the Church to give development to the Sacred Liturgy, all attempt to advance the missiology of Catholicism as it reaches out to new cultures, every desire of the Church to make peace with her adversaries, the rightful of the Church to reform her interior life and give birth to new initiatives of holiness, etc. etc. etc.

    1 Thessalonians 5:19 clearly states “Extinguish not the Spirit” and Our Lord asked why we can read signs in the skies about weather but we fail “to know the signs of the times.” Of those Catholics who use the Tradition of the Church as a way to beat and bat down the Church’s eternal youth did Our Lord speak well: They wish to pour New Wine into old wine skins (Matthew 9:17). A schismatic cannot handle the Church ever-renewing and ever-reforming life. They burst and pop with anger and intransigence.

  91. Dennis Martin says:

    Robbie wrote:
    “The attempts to compare Fellay to Luther are wildly off the mark. Luther wanted a revolution in the Catholic Church. Fellay and the SSPX want to maintain the pre-VCII Church from which Luther broke away. Now, it’s certainly fair to criticize Fellay’s claim NO is evil, but to associate him with Luther is just as wrong as what Fellay said about the NO.”

    Sorry, but you could not be more wrong. Luther did NOT want a revolution. He was the conservative among the Protestant reformers. He retained devotion to Mary and the saints, he retained a doctrine of objectively efficacious sacraments, he retained real corporal presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Zwingli was the radical (real absence), Calvin, the Anabaptists all more radical.

    And, to ecs: Luther did not despise the Catholic Mass. To this day high Lutherans celebrate their Liturgy ad orientem.

    Was Luther wrong in the end? Yes. Did he start out all wrong? No. There is a pious but very false image of Luther very common among traditional Catholics. Falsehoods never help.

    Luther was a conservative Catholic reformer, fully within the Catholic reform tradition of the 15th century, UNTIL he was confronted, politely, by Cardinal Cajetan acting as legate for the pope. The crisis was intenstified by meddling from the Catholic emperor who insisted on turning a theological debate into a heresy trial.

    Luther put himself on a tragic path when, in response to Cajetan, he starting yammering, “I’m biblical, you are not.” That was fall 1518. Within 2 years he was calling the pope the antichrist. His doctrinal heresy only came after his ecclesial break.

    IN OTHER WORDS: Luther was doctrinally fully orthodox. Cajetan never accused him of heresy, merely of theological error with regard to his theses on the sacrament of penance. At that point, INSTEAD of backing off, asking himself, hey, “am I perhaps, as a theologian, theologically error,” he got his back up, started calling Cajetan and the Pope “”modernists” (well, he called them “unbiblical” but it’s a move exactly parallel to the SSPX insistence on labeling Benedict XVI a modernist). From that it was a short step to total renunciation of the successor of Peter, in the name of being God’s instrument to save the true Remnant Church from the errors of the unbiblical Papacy.

    ONLY THEN did Luther start modifying doctrine in serious ways. Only then did he start denying 5 of 7 sacraments. Only then did he start attacking the whole idea of bishops in apostolic succession. And he never abandoned devotion to Mary, objective sacramental efficiacy for baptism and Eucharist and many other positions more conservative than Calvin or Zwingli or the Anabaptists.

    The parallels with the SSPX are clear.

    My point is simple: just because one is conservative and believes one is doctrinally faithful, does not mean one cannot slip into schism. Schism and doctrinal error and doctrinal heresy are not the same thing. But one often leads to the other. Doctrinal error can lead to schism, we all know that. But crossing the line into schism, even if one believes that the bad old error-ridden pope has “forced” the schism, is always wrong.

    Read Cyprian of Carthage, On the Unity of the Church, please.

  92. Joseph-Mary says:

    I understand the grievances of the SSPX. But there is only ONE Pope, one Vicar of Christ and to leave Peter is to leave the Roman Catholic Church. Period.

    And some of the smack down to the FFI came because some of them got involved with talks to help the reconciling of the SSPX with Rome and this so angered some that we have seen the results. No one can help the SSPX; if they do not wish to be united to Rome, they will not be and they can float off into their own splits like other Protestants do.

  93. cajuncath says:

    Your statement, Fr_Sotelo, regarding SSPX insofar as faith and morals is concerned is just plain untrue. They have not shut down anything in this particular area. They insist on authentic development.

    Let’s please dispense with generalities and get to some specifics. When Pope John Paul II participates in pagan worship, is that a laudable advancement of that faith? When Pope Benedict XVI says separation of Church and State is a great achievement, is that a wonderous, rapturous renewal of the faith?

    Reaching out, making, peace, following the spirit? At the expense of the normative fundamentals of the faith? Seriously?

  94. Fr_Sotelo says:

    cajuncath:

    The attempt to shut down the Papacy’s divine right to reform the liturgy is an attack against faith, because it overthrows the papal primacy and questions the indefectibility of the Catholic Church in regards to her Mass and sacraments. And the attempt to shut down the Papacy’s right to have outreach and initiatives with both Protestants and non-Christians is an attack against morals, because making peace where possible is a moral imperative from Jesus Christ. St. Paul dialogued with the pagans of the Areopagus without accepting their paganism.

    St. John Paul did not participate in pagan worship. He permitted pagans to pray in his presence. And Benedict’s acknowledgement of the separation of Church and state was a pastoral application of the doctrine of Our Lord: Render to Caesar’s what is Caesar’s, and to God, what belongs to God.” That later popes decide to subsume the State under the supervision of the Church via the papal monarchy was not dogma, nor by any means a doctrine grounded in Divine Revelation.

  95. LarryW2LJ says:

    So much contention here! At least this isn’t like the Middle Ages where you had more than one Pope!

    Oh, wait a sec ……………..

    (Please pardon my poor effort to lighten things, just for a second.)

  96. Cavaliere says:

    @A Sinner 2 says, Had the good Catholics of the 60s and 70s resisted as the progressive/modernists took over the Church while the pope looked the other way, there would have been no need for the SSPX.

    Yes but the reason the good Catholics of the 60′s and 70′s didn’t resist is more involved than the fact Vatican II happened. I doubt highly that most Catholics left the Church because of a few disputed paragraphs of Dignitatis Humanae. (See earlier post) No they left for the same reason that most Catholics left the Church to follow Henry VIII during that glorious period of the church history known as “pre-Vatican II”, they really didn’t know their faith and it was the easier thing to do. In other words just as in the Gospel story of those who excused themselves from attending the master’s banquet they were more concerned with the things of the world as is so well expressed in one of those wonderfully catchy tunes of the post-Vatican II era.

    my Pope right or wrongWell, yeah! Actually most of those here who do stand by the Pope are not unwilling to express criticisms or complaints of certain statements from the Pope. But is one thing to say we wish the Pope would have said something differently and quite another to call him a heretic, modernist, etc. Besides it is quite ironic that those who accuse us of blindly obeying the Pope (a false premise) treat every offering of the SSPX bishops as though it were divinely inspired. Bishop Fellay right or wrong and all that.

  97. Cavaliere says:

    Here is the link I referenced above, it will either boil your blood or if you can take a joke just might at least make you smile. http://youtu.be/tW_vdsU_Bb8

  98. Cordelio says:

    Dear nanetteclaret,

    Yes, I have read the encyclicals you reference. There is nothing in them that would support a position that the NO mass is invalid – i.e., that the Sacrament is not confected.

    Dear Dennis Martin,

    It would be more accurate to say that Luther was the least theologically coherent of the Protestant reformers, than that he was the most moderate. Also, I’m not sure that celebrating a liturgy ad orientem automatically clears one of despising the Catholic Mass. Luther certainly despised the Catholic priesthood and its claims to exclusivity in offering that Mass. Also, Lutherans deny transubstantiation, whatever direction they may face.

    Certainly, though, it was the Protestant reformers who – following the pattern of virtually all heretics – advocated for radical changes in liturgy and belief in the name of a lost primitive Christianity. It is certainly interesting to note that the modern liturgical reformers who gave us the NO justified their radical changes based on their ideas about how liturgy was in the primitive Church.

    While the SSPX does certainly appeal to an earlier magisterium in support of their position, it is somewhat unique – if they are advocating doctrinal error – that they appeal not to teachings of the primitive Church or the Bible, but to teachings of the Popes immediately prior to the period in question.

  99. q7swallows says:

    An affectionate reminder to all about obedience to and treatment of ANY pope brought to you by some . . . saints:

    “Christ Jesus left you this sweet key of obedience; for He left His Vicar, whom you are all obliged to obey until death. And whoever is outside his obedience is in a state of damnation.”
    –St. Catherine of Siena
    (MCH cf. 374)

    ========

    “I am moved to obedience to that See by this fact especially: that, on the one hand, every enemy of the Christian faith makes war on that See; and, on the other, no one has ever declared himself an enemy of that See who has not also, shortly afterward, shown that he was the enemy of the Christian religion.”
    –St. Thomas More
    (“Epistle Against Bugenhagen,” STM p.129)

    =======

    “All Catholics agree that it is possible for the Pope, even as Pope with an Ecumenical Council, to err in controversies of fact which depend on human testimony; secondly, that it is possible for him, even in universal questions of faith or morals, to err as a private teacher from ignorance, which happens to other teachers. Next, all Catholics agree that the Pope, with an Ecumenical Council, cannot err in framing decrees of faith or morality; secondly, that the Pope, when determining anything in a doubtful matter, whether by himself or with his own particular Council, whether it be possible for him to err or not, is to be obeyed by all the faithful.”
    –St. Robert Bellarmine
    (“De Romano Pontifice,” pt.5)

    ========

    “If anyone condemns the dogmas or decrees promulgated for the Catholic faith and the correction of the faithful by the one presiding in the Apostolic See, let him be anathema.”
    –Pope St. Nicholas the Great
    (Nicholas the Great: DNZ: 326; Council of Rome)

  100. Phil_NL says:

    Fr Spoleto, LarryW2LJ

    Well said, both of you.

  101. Cavaliere says:

    The comparison of Bishop Fellay to Martin Luther has less to do with a goal of reform versus trying to preserve teaching than their mistaken belief and arrogance that they are absolutely right and that everyone else is wrong. Bishop Fellay in his rejection of Pope Benedict’s offer has declared his understanding of Church teaching to be superior that of the Vicar of Christ. Further he has expressed that it is Rome that must change and not the SSPX.

  102. anilwang says:

    cajuncath says: “SSPX does not reject development of doctrine. There is a real difference between authentic development of doctrine and introducing changes and novelties to doctrine and seeking to pass it off as development.”

    And by what criteria do you use to discern the difference? Take the Council of Jerusalem. Deciding that Gentiles could be full members of the Church without keeping the Mosaic laws is a pretty big break from Tradition. Okay, perhaps the apostles had the authority to say the Gentiles only had to follow the Noahic Covenant (i.e. only eat meat without blood, etc) which was made to all man kind. But later councils allowed for Gentiles to join the Church without obeying the Noahic Covenant which was made even to Gentiles by God. By what authority could they introduce this innovation? But let’s push this aside. Later councils started accepting neo-Platonic and neo-Aristotilian ideas into Catholic Theology. By what authority did these councils have in introducing these innovations? The concept of substance, nature, and even personhood were foreign to the apostles and were an enormous source of confusion and division in the Early Church. Getting into councils, by what authority do you judge that the Robber Baron Council was false, the Council of Chalcedon is valid, the Fourth Council of Constantinople (Roman Catholic) of 869 is valid, the Fourth Council of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox) of 879 is invalid, the Council of Florence is valid, and the First Vatican Council is valid and the Immaculate Conception is dogma? The Orthodox, Copts, Assyrian Church of the East, and Old Catholics, and Roman Catholics have different answers to these questions. The only criteria that works for these cases and all the cases above is Peter.

    If Peter does not have the sole authority to validate an Ecumenical Council and even parts of an Ecumenical Council (e.g. no Pope has ever accepted the Pentarchy outlined in the Council of Nicea), and all of the above blatant innovations, then Catholicism is a sham at its core. Given that several Popes have validated Vatican II and Pope Benedict XVI proposed thehermeneutic of continuity as the correct way to understand Vatican II, by what authority does anyone claiming to hold to the Catholic patrimony have to reject Vatican II as a valid council?

    One can say that the documents of Vatican II are irredeemably flawed and should be gutted. One can say that the new mass, even when celebrated correctly, while valid is irredeemably flawed since it was synthetically created not organically grown as it has been for 2000 years and so it should be gutted. One can even say that every decision since Vatican II needs to be undone otherwise the Church will collapse into a tiny remnant.

    But to deny the validity of an ecumenical council approved by several Popes and masses approved by several Popes cuts at the heart of Catholicism.

  103. Maria says:

    Let us pray for unity. Our disunity wounds our Mother Church. Satan is happy when these things happen. Our unity is something reckon if we are united in our struggle in upholding marriage, family and life.

    May our unity give witness to our love for our Blessed Lord who gave His life for us.

    May our Blessed Lady, Queen of family, bind us all to the sacrificial life of Her Son.

    God’s blessings of peace and joy!

  104. Sword40 says:

    Man, listening to this sounds like I just stepped into a chicken coup full of excited hens. So many ideas being expressed all at once. WOW. Think I’ll sit this one out.

  105. SpittleFleckedNutty says:

    I hate Pope Francis.

    There. It’s in black and white: I hate him.

    Not a vile wish-him-ill hatred. I hate him like I hate raw scrambled eggs… it’s not conscious on my part, its just my reaction to him. I read the things he says and it turns my stomach. I’ve tried to reconcile his thought and read him through Benedict. I come out the other end more convinced that Vatican II was an attempt to infiltrate the Church by its enemies and that it set in motion much evil.

    But where else am I going to go? Who else has the words of eternal salvation? I don’t understand, Lord. I just don’t. Why would you bring me back to your Church by showing me the beauty of its intellectual Truth, only to have this man who spouts his Modernist beliefs and philosophy (and they are Modernist – don’t waste anyone waste their breath convincing me otherwise) occupy the chair of Peter?

    I cannot penetrate Your Wisdom, my Lord. You have promised to protect Your Church. I have no where else to go, and I desire to be no place else but in Your Body. You were my first love; you are the love that didn’t abandon me when I thought all hope was lost; you are my only love.

    Keep me by your side and show me the way, Lord. And show me how to love Pope Francis.
    Amen.

  106. Dennis Martin says:

    Cordelio:
    “Also, I’m not sure that celebrating a liturgy ad orientem automatically clears one of despising the Catholic Massy

    Nor did I say that it did. I offered that true evidence to show that of the Protestant reformers, Luther was liturgically the most conservative. That’s a simple fact. Only the artificial 7thc Anglo-Catholics exceed high-church Lutherans.

    Nevertheless, at the time that he went into schism, Luther did not despise the Mass. He came to despise the Sacrifice of the Mass, after he first came to despise the pope as the Anti-Christ.

    And that was my point. Doctrinally he was orthodox. His path into heresy arose out of hot-tempered anger at theological disagreement, saying that the pope was doctrinally heretical. Sorta kinda like saying Benedict XVI is a modernist. I”m sorry, but it simply is false to say that about Benedict XVI. There are plenty of Catholics who are and have been modernists. But Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger-Benedict XVI is not one of them. It is calumny to say he is. And someone who says that is teetering on the edge of schism.

    The rest of your comment follows the same pattern. Yes, Luther became heretical on apostolic succession, priesthood and other matters. But the red line for him was willingness to attack the pope doctrinally rather than to reconsider his own theological, doctrinal positions when asked to do by the pope’s legate.

    Straw man arguments are not helpful.

    I would be a fool to deny that Luther became a heretic. But I never denied that. I made a claim about the process by which he became a heretic. My claims are based on the research of Jared Wicks, S.J. In my view he has the single best understanding of Luther’s path into heresy. But, of course, he will probably be dismissed by SSPX adherents as also a modernist. I suppose I am a modernist for pointing out some nuances about Luther’s path.

    And that’s the problem. A refusal to make distinctions, to care for nuances; nuclear blasts about modernist popes and evil NO. These are, not heresy, but imprudent, foolish, unwise, intemperate. And if not addressed, they will lead to formal schism. The SSPX was warned. Benedict offered them a path back. Bishop Fellay seems now to be adamantly rejecting it, indeed, tells us that he rejected it almost out of the box.

    No good will come of this.

  107. KevinSymonds says:

    @pfhawkins,

    Thank you for your feedback. I understand your point, and it does color the entire discussion. However, I would still urge caution as the text was doctored, no matter how one looks at it.

  108. Priam1184 says:

    I have to agree 100% with Fr AJ: far from being traditional Catholics, the SSPX have merely become Martin Luther and John Calvin redux. They claim that they have the truth and that the See of Peter can go hang. It will not end well for them if they keep on this path.

  109. mburn16 says:

    “But where else am I going to go?”

    Indeed. We have to at least find comfort in the fact that the faith cannot leave you – only you can leave the faith. That said, the first six months of the Franciscan Papacy have left me with the feeling that I’m in exile from my church. But, this, too, shall pass.

    And there is a case to be made, a good one, I think, that we will see traditionalist advancements in the coming decades that, BECAUSE of Francis, will be far greater than what we would see otherwise. Of course we must wish good health and long life for our Holy Father, but, eventually, there will be another Pope – and it cannot be lost on the cardinals that there will be a need to reconcile with the traditionalists. A need that would was not as obvious, for example, under someone like Pope John Paul II, who was doctrinally extremely orthodox, but did not have the same yearning for the traditionalist worship style.

  110. Palladio says:

    Sounds like ‘schism by desire.’

    “Imagine! Some people will dictate to the Supreme Pontiff the terms by which they will be Catholic.” This is also one formula to express protestantism.

    It is instructive to watch EWTN try to minister, as recently as last night, to Catholics more Catholic than the Pope, plenty of whom are not members of SSPX. EWTN clearly reads the blogs and knows the score. I pray SSPX renounces its pseudo-Catholic puritanism and that we can lovingly counsel it to do so and welcome it back. I pray as much for all those Catholics more Catholics than the Pope that they mend the error of their way.

  111. ecs says:

    Palladio – it is not that difficult to be more Catholic than the pope. That nice little quip intended as an insult really is not much of an insult. In a lot of cases it very well may be true.

  112. janeway529 says:

    In this telling interview with Fr. Thomas Rosica, Bp. Fellay even says that when they were excommunicated that they “didn’t see it as an excommunication” and that the only reason they initiated the reconciliation with Rome was because “someone told us to do it.” They were not ready to reconcile.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XhhM8WXjFA

  113. cajuncath says:

    Fr Sotelo, I am simply stunned that you apparently hold such a pliable view of the faith. I never cease to be amazed at the deviations and contortions people will engage in as a gambit to defend the most recent popes at all costs. Almost as though 230 popes before them seemingly had little to no clue what they were doing, or were some set of dastardly ecclesial Darth Vaders.

    Pope John Paul II, by his own admission, participated in pagan worship, one of the most scandalous events in papal history. Let’s not try to rewrite history, shameful as the facts may be.

    Separation of church and state is an official, papal, magisterial condemned proposition, as any reasonable reading of official authoritative papal encyclicals during the 1800s and first half of the 1900s shows. This does not clash with our Lord’s injunction in any way. Church and State having distinct competencies does not mean they are not to be tightly interrelated in unified action on behalf of each other. No pope, including Pope Benedict XVI, has any authority to alter such teachings, or even on a non-authoritative basis to cause scandal by making public pronouncements at various with the Kingship of Christ and His just, binding claims over governments and government leaders.

    Popes have no business seeking to make peace with material schismatics and heretics when it entails contravening authoritative church teaching regarding the wretched state of those churches and communities [formally declared doctrinally in the Catechism of Trent], their culpability for the separation, and the failure to call for their rescinding from their errors, proper repentence, and a formal entry into the Catholic Church.

    Based on your apparent worldview, it seems a pope can teach most anything he wishes, and it can qualify as development.

    By the way, I said nothing about the mass and liturgy.

  114. The substance of what Bp Fellay had to say was spot on, even if there were a few points where he went a bit too far. I sympathize with their position, but do not agree with them.

  115. cajuncath says:

    anilwang,
    You seem to be labeling a whole slew of things as novelties and deviations that are nothing of the sort.

    “Deciding that Gentiles could be full members of the Church without keeping the Mosaic laws is a pretty big break from Tradition.”

    Since when? Where and when, prior to the Council of Jerusalem, did the Church officially, authoritatively teach and declare that gentiles had to keep the Mosaic laws in order to enter the Church? I’m not familiar with anything like that. If I am correct, than this is not a break of any kind but a completely proper development of what was already implicitly there in the faith, even if it wasn’t clearly understood by everybody prior to it becoming an explicit, declared/defined article of faith.

    Same with most everything else I believe you mentioned prior to Second Vatican. New things that are in line with tradition and enrich tradition are developments with proper Church approval. They are things that do not clash with what the Church has traditionally stood for and officially defined and taught.

    That is different from clashing with tradition. And that is the prospect of what we have witnessed in the past 50 or so years. You cannot really square Ut Unum Sint and Unitatis Redintegratio as teaching wholly in line with the traditional teaching we received on the subject from the Catechism of Trent, Satis Cognitum, and Mortalium Animos.

    Yes, Peter is the key and Peter is critical and necessary, as you rightly point out. But that is not sufficient. What is also needed is Peter acting in full accord with Church teaching and tradition and not failing to give them proper heed.

  116. Cavaliere says:

    Pope John Paul II, by his own admission, participated in pagan worship, one of the most scandalous events in papal history. yet despite my personal concerns over that event it is Pope John Paul who will be canonized a saint. Of course that too is cause for concern among a certain segment of Traditionalists. You know the ones, they deny any authority but their own, or maybe Archbishop Lefebvre.

  117. Cavaliere says:

    What is also needed is Peter acting in full accord with Church teaching and tradition and not failing to give them proper heed.

    And who is ultimately responsible for deciding that? You? Me? or the Pope? St. Catherine is often mentioned as one who challenged and criticized the Pope. She certainly did and I believe that she was in the right to do so despite another bloc of Catholics that believe anycriticism of the Pope is wrong. But when he rejected that advice (perhaps unwisely?) Catherine didn’t go off and start badmouthing the Pope or demand that we should disobey him until he returned to his senses.

  118. Old Guard says:

    “Imagine! Some people will dictate to the Supreme Pontiff the terms by which they will be Catholic.”

    Shouldn’t the terms of being Catholic remain consistent from one Supreme Pontiff to the next? Of course. The terms of being Catholic under Pope Pius XII cannot be different under Pope John XXIII or Pope Francis. Hence the legitimate dismay of many good Catholics since VCII at the ground continually shifting under their feet.

  119. cajuncath says:

    Cavaliere, so are you saying there is no such thing or can be no such thing as the pope not giving proper regard to teaching and tradition? If so, are you not saying any pope can, in principle, teach most anything of his choosing, and we’re supposed to accept it? Is content of the faith truly that cryptic? Should we have just accepted what Pope Honorius I and Pope John XXII were teaching?

  120. phlogiston says:

    I found this quote from Pope Benedict XVI on on Sandro Magister’s blog. It seems applicable to the current discussion:
    “It seems very important to me that the Catechism, in mentioning the limits of the power of the supreme authority of the Church with regard to reform, should call back to mind what is the essence of primacy, as it is emphasized by Vatican Councils I and II: the pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but rather the guardian of the ancient Tradition [one of the two sources of divine revelation - editor's note], and the first guarantor of obedience. He cannot do whatever he wants, and precisely because of this he can oppose those who intend to do whatever they want. The law to which he must adhere is not that of acting ‘ad libitum,’ but obedience to the faith. Because of this, with regard to the liturgy, he has the task of a gardener and not that of an engineer who builds new machines and throws out the old ones. The ‘rite,’ meaning the form of celebration and prayer that matures in the faith and life of the Church, is a condensed form of the living Tradition, in which the sphere of the rite expresses the whole of its faith and prayer, making it possible at the same time to experience the communion among the generations, the communion among those who pray before us and after us. Thus the rite is like a gift that is given to the Church, a living form of ‘paradosis.’”

  121. Cavaliere says:

    If so, are you not saying any pope can, in principle, teach most anything of his choosing, and we’re supposed to accept it?

    What I’m saying is that if it comes down to a Pope Benedict or the rest of the conciliar Popes saying that the council can be interpreted in continuity with Tradition then I am going to believe them over you. Further with regards to the two popes you mentioned I believe the Church continued despite them and without the assistance of a group such as the SSPX.

  122. tcreek says:

    History 101 & a little Chesterton:
    Shortly after Trent in the 1560s, St. Pope Pius V issued the Roman Catechism and a revised Roman Breviary and Missal thus standardizing the (Tridentine) Mass. This was to prevent Protestant ideas from being introduced into the liturgy after the Reformation.

    It lasted 400 years until the Glorious 1960s.

    There have been 36 popes since the end of the Council of Trent up to Vatican Council II. It would be interesting to know those popes’ thoughts on our modern liturgy.

    I doubt that the many “Moderns” of our age would give a d—. The world of the Church began for them on the day of their birth.

    “Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead…Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.” — G.K. Chesterton

  123. chonak says:

    Can anyone clarify whether the speech was given in English or French? Is there an original text we should be looking at?

  124. Jack Orlando says:

    Let the schism come. Sadly, it has become a necessity. The silver lining is that the schism will take out of the Church stubborn malcontents who claim to know better than the Magisterium of the Church. One can be in the Church and ask for clarity. One can be in the Church and point out problems. One can not be in the Church and claim to know better than the Church. Tertia via non est.

  125. phlogiston says:

    Chonak, the speech was given in English. (I was there.) I doubt a transcript will be published. It was a rather extensive talk.

  126. MarkG says:

    I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Bishop Bernard Fellay’s Pontificial High Mass on Sunday. I was able to schedule a stopover on a business trip to be there for Sunday morning.
    The Pontificial High Mass was very nice – one of the best ones I’ve been to. Was worth the trip for sure.
    As others have pointed out, and as far as I can tell, there isn’t any new information that hasn’t been in the handouts over the last year at the SSPX Chapels (correct me if I’m wrong here). Those handouts aren’t on the internet as far as I can tell, so maybe they just aren’t publicized.

    My personal opinion is that the SSPX in a really tough place. A reconciliation with Rome would just mean that the splinter groups (such as Bishop Williamson) would just pick up the slack, essentially placing the SSPX and FSSP would be joined with Rome, and Bishop Williamson and his followers would be the “new SSPX”, and we would be back to the present situation.

  127. Gail F says:

    So sad. I hope they can reconcile, I really do. Those people do NOT need to be out there by themselves.

  128. Palladio says:

    “FSSP would be joined with Rome.” To be clear, it always has been: Blessed JP II supported its foundation, which is celebrating 25 years. Cum Petro is on its letters and mailings. Catholics interested in the fullness of tradition should consider being a member of it, C. S. P.: Confraternitas Sancti Petri.

  129. Denis says:

    Didn’t F1 say “I expect a revolution …Shake things up…make a mess…disturb complacency.”

    Bishop Fellay is doing just that. Why the hate?

  130. Palladio says:

    I don’t hate Bishop Fellay, I pity him. His victory, perhaps already overdetermined by his schism by desire, will be a Pyrrhic victory if the break is made formal. I doubt anybody hates him, no matter how irritatingly protestant he acts or is.

  131. Suburbanbanshee says:

    SpittleFleckedNutty —

    You’re a darned good Catholic, and admire your will of faith. Let’s pray for each other.

  132. boko fittleworth says:

    Why don’t territorial bishops just grant faculties to SSPX priests active in their dioceses? Just tell them, “We’re in communion.” What negatives would result that aren’t already being accepted or ignored when they originate from the left? Heck, invite Fellay in to do Confirmations. He wouldn’t be the most outspoken crazy (I don’t think he’s crazy, but let’s just say that he is for the sake of argument) outside bishop mouthing off in other people’s dioceses, not by a long shot. And bishops put up with that. Whenever Fellay makes an assignment, the territorial bishop should send the SSPX priest an unsolicited letter giving him that same assignment. Why not?

  133. JuliB says:

    Cajuncath said “Separation of church and state is an official, papal, magisterial condemned proposition, as any reasonable reading of official authoritative papal encyclicals during the 1800s and first half of the 1900s shows. ”

    If something is in an encyclical (or many), does that automatically mean it is dogma/doctrine and cannot be changed? Is this a case of faith or morals? The answer appears to me to be ‘no’ in both cases.

  134. Johnno says:

    Wow! According to some of you here, St. Paul was behaving like a schismatic himself for daring to tell St. Peter about his behavior, because he had the termity to think that one could “dictate to the Supreme Pontiff the terms by which they will be Catholic.” In another era, another lifetime, some of you would’ve been Arians, because after all, the Pope is never wrong!

    I understand why many want to come to Pope Francis’ defense, but remember, that Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ. He’s not the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. And is therefore not impeccable and can make mistakes. Mistakes and ill advised speaking without clarifications that are not only causing more division amongst Catholics, but are also scandalizing the Protestants and Orthodox as well. That can’t be good for ecumenism now can it?

    Pope Francis opened his own mouth of his own accord to say these troublesome things, or he has been gravely misquoted but for some reason approved these misquotations of himself as good for publication? The Vatican PR apparatus continues to perform admirably…

    I don’t see anything in Bishop Fellay’s statements that imply he wants a schism, other than that recent actions of Pope Francis as of late are highlighting the nuttiness of the Vatican II pastoralism methods. Rorate also reported that Benedict himself said the Pope’s actions with regard to the Fransicans as being out of touch with Summorum Pontificum. I guess Benedict XVI is also behaving schismatic? I guess we can’t read Francis through Benedict anymore…

  135. prayerisouronlyhope says:

    I admit to being a member of the SSPX, and I thank God for them. My parents realized when I was young that the Church was changing, and they did not think it was good. Our local Msgr. agreed to celebrate the TLM for them (and those of like minds), and did so until he retired. I still attended the parish I grew up in, until the day the priest said in his sermon, “If you believe it is a sin, then it is. If you believe it is not, it is not.” I have not gone back there (except for funerals) since. My parents and some of their friends started a SSPX chapel close to where we live. I was a non-practicing Catholic (always believed, though) for several years, but I know that it was the prayers of my parents that brought me back to the fullness of the Church. All of my children (and all but 2 of my grandchildren) have been raised in our SSPX parish. They have been taught more about their faith than I ever was in 8 years of Catholic school. They understand right from wrong (even if they don’t always do right!) and they know the teachings of the Church. They defend their faith to their friends, and have the ability to do so quite clearly. I have NO doubt in my mind that if I (and they) had continued in our local NO parish, none of them would still be following Catholic teaching. I’m sorry, I have not read all the encyclicals, and cannot quote any of them. All I do know is that our SSPX parish, and our priests, have taught us all our Catholic faith. We do believe the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, and we love our Lord and His Church. I do not believe that makes us schismatics, or heretics, or Lutherans. I truly hope the SSPX and Rome will be fully reconciled, but I don’t “feel” like I am outside the Church. I am a Roman Catholic, and I fully believe everything I pray every Mass in the Nicene Creed. I shudder to think what our beloved Church would look like today if the SSPX had never been. Do you think the TLM would have been restored without them? (I hope this doesn’t get me kicked off the board!)

  136. prairiecatholic88 says:

    At least there’s still a pot to call the kettle black.

    And I agree with the commenter “SpittleFleckedNutty” 110%.

  137. RJHighland says:

    It amazes me how so many on here try to make the SSPX out to be some Protestant movement when the mass that is celibrated everyday at every chapel is the approved extra oridnary mass that has been celebrated fundimentally unchanged since the Council of Trent that was written to insure no Protestant error would enter the Church. The Novus Ordo written by Bugnini who was basically exiled to Iran shortly after his mass was accepted by Paul VI. A mass that was influenced by Protestants and more than likely Masons in its design and those that attend the many different and often bizzare varieties of this mass through-out the world are Catholic, fascinating. Between President Obama and Pope Frances I truly believe we are in Bizarro World.

  138. Joshua Mincher says:

    I have some honest questions for those who know more about the sspx:

    If Archbishop Lefebvre signed the council documents, and also is known to have said that the new missal is valid and that one could attend it in good conscience if it is said reverently and according to the rubrics, then why does Bishop Fellay now say that the council cannot be reconciled to tradition in any interpretation? And that the new missal is evil?

    Also, though we concede, as I do, that the Holy Father gives scandalous interviews, and says things that seem modernist, does that legitimize disobeying him when he governs the Church? Has John Paul II, Benedict, or Francis, by saying stupid or scandalous things annulled their authority to make prudential decisions regarding the ordaining of bishops, the ruling of Sees, and interpreting canon law?

    It would seem that the only way a scandalous action or statement by a Pope could legitimize ignoring his governance would be if he was a manifest heretic and therefore not pope according to canon law. This is the argument sedevacantists make, and is logical.

    How is it logical to say that the Pope is still the pope, yet when he orders us not to ordain this or that man, we can ignore him? How does the pope being stupid or imprudent mean that I can baptise whomever, whereever, or shrive or marry or say Mass in a diocese that is not my own, without faculties?

    Couldn’t any layman say, “the pope is not speaking according to the deposit of faith. I will begin baptising people in my house. Or marrying without witnesses, etc.”

    How does the SSPX have the right to disobey direct orders from the Pope, and to intrude in other bishops diocese, even if the pope is stupid or imprudent?

  139. Joshua Mincher says:

    that said, I’m not sure tradition would be returning in the Church as well as it is without the sspx being the goad from without. Having read alot of Ratzinger from years back, I do think he would’ve issued Summorum Pontificum regardless of the SSPX, though.

    The rationale for the SSPX being ‘irregular’ ended with Benedict. SP reiterated Quo Primum, and protected the right of all Latin priests to say the traditional Mass. Benedict also made it clear that they are two missals. The new missal was long thought to be (and the GIRM still makes out that it is) a new edition of the Tridentine missal, but SP says otherwise, and Ratzinger, in his private works, says it is not.

    However, Paul VI clearly said that he saw the new missal as a development of the old. He did not see himself as promulgating novelty, but as developing the liturgy. He was wrong, but he was not “teaching novelty”. Benedict has clarified the matter, it seems to me.

    If Lefebvre could reconcile with V2, and sign it, how the hermeneutic of continuity be impossible? How is promulgating a new missal any different than when Quignonez’s Divine Office was promulgated? That was a novelty, but it didn’t strip the pope of his authority and make him a modernist.

    It seems more and more that the SSPX is in the business of being a parallel magisterium, not of honestly debating V2 and liturgical theology and discipline.

  140. Geoffrey says:

    Adding more fuel to the fire… SSPX steps in to bury Nazi War Criminal Erich Priebke:
    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.552563

  141. jhayes says:

    prayerisouronlyhope wrote: I still attended the parish I grew up in, until the day the priest said in his sermon, “If you believe it is a sin, then it is. If you believe it is not, it is not.”

    Sounds as if he was explaining the difference between objective sin and subjective sin. As the Catechism explains:

    “1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.”

  142. phlogiston says:

    Geoffrey, according to the story, Priebke had confessed and been absolved. It might not have been politically expedient to give him a funeral, but was morally incorrect?

  143. jhayes says:

    Chonak, the speech was given in English. (I was there.) I doubt a transcript will be published. It was a rather extensive talk.

    There is a recording at http://sspx.org/en/media/audio/fatima-sspxrome-pope-francis-2583

    And a partial transcript at: http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/fellay-pope-francis-genuine-modernist-2599

  144. Geoffrey says:

    phlogiston:

    The story also says that a funeral was denied by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome. We do not really know if Priebke confessed his beliefs in denying the Holocaust, which this issue seems to be about. No doubt Bishop Williamson goes to confession, and yet still maintains his Holocaust-denying beliefs. I’m sure Priebke could have had a very quiet / private funeral Mass, but the fact that the SSPX did this certainly does not help their cause.

  145. RafqasRoad says:

    Dominic 1955,

    As a former SDA of 21 years I concur with you wholeheartedly.

    As one who was raised in SDA’ism from the age of 13 until my final exit in 2005 just four months shy of my 35th birthday (spending the first 13 years of my life a Sydney Anglican), I know a thing or two about Remnant theology and the possession of ‘Present Truth’ both as such pertain to the Seventh Day Adventist church in relation to Catholic Christianity (read the contents of the classic ‘Revelation Seminar’ to know that the shyny face of SDA’ism you may see at an inter-faith dialogue meeting or ecumenical Christian conference is just the public side they would like you to see) and in terms of SDA’ism to itself re the wider church and the SDA reform Church, Heritage Adventism, Last Generation theology etc. having spent a fair amount of my SDA life mixing with ‘Independent Ministries’ types and not the friendly, merciful likes of Des ford and friends, but the Brothers Standish, the late Pr. George burnside etc., I know the old argument started by Abp. Lefebvre. and continued on by Bp. Fellay, as they are more alike than either party would care to admit to.

    As far as SDA’ism’s concerned, transitioning to Catholic Christianity (confirmed a Maronite Catholic on 8 Oct 2011) via a five year detox in Anglicanism, I have fulfilled 2 pet 2: 22 – never mind that the Seal of God’ is NOT the keeping of the Seventh Day Saturday Sabbath and mark of the beast Sundaykeeping, but the SOG IS THE HOLY SPIRIT!!

    A bit of SDA history; the SDA’s went through their own VII style rupture in the 70′s and 80′s with the writings of Des ford and questioning of the doctrine of the Investigative Judgement. From this sprang rupture re the place of Ellen White’s teachings, health laws, and even wholesale rejection of the 1985 hymnal as watered down and heretical (only the 1948 hymnal will do). Similar re EGW writings published after a certain date watered down and infallibility of holy-spirit led teachings/pronouncements of the General Conference president. Even as late as 2004, I questioned the GCP in SDA company in the final year of my SDA’ism and was censured for doing so.

    We need to remember this, within the SSPX, SDA’s and SDA reform movement are sincere and intelegent dear souls who have been led to believe that they are the remnant and leaving said institution to join the wider group again or horror of horrors, become Catholic after being a Sev will lead to loss of place in the Kingdom of God. Pray for the men and women on the ground who are merely pawns of destructive theologies. and pray for our Church leaders that any error they may be mistakenly promulgating is corrected, and that we over and above all else, remember that though the enemy would think himself the prince of this world, the snake’s head is under the foot of Mary!! Our Lord when crucified, dead, buried, risen and ascended defeated the old father of lies.

    Pray for me as a former SDA that the enemy will stop rattling my cage (only cult exit converts to Catholicism truly understand this) and that Christ’s will be done.

    Love and God’s blessings,

    Soon to be South Coast Catholic (Aussie maronite).

  146. jhayes says:

    Bp. Fellay also spoke in Ontario last December about the negotiations with the Vatican

    About the NO he said: “Well, we rarely use the word licit, we just simply say about the New Mass that it is evil.”

    He confirmed that he received the three requirements directly from Benedict by private letter:

    And so when I got this letter, this new proposal from the 13th of June, I wrote a new letter to the Pope, where I said that, I said: “Knowing, you know that we’re opposed to the Council, and nevertheless that you want to recognise us, I had to conclude that you were ready to put aside the problem.” And I gave a historical example, because it would not be the first time that that would have happened in the Church. I gave the example what happened in the decree of union with the Greek, at the Council of Florence. At the Council of Florence, that is in the Middle Ages, well the late Middle Ages, say Renaissance, you had documents where the Church did really manage to re-unite the Greek Orthodox and the Armenians. They did! You have the decree there signed! What happened then is when the people came back to the East, to Constantinople, to Russia, they were kicked out, say the people refuse what they, these Patriarchs had signed. But they did. And there is one point that is very interesting with the Greek, the Greek Orthodox. There was one point where they were not able to be, to come in agreement. And it was about the marriage. The Orthodox say that if a part is in unfaithful in the marriage, this marriage can be annulled, can be broken. The Catholic Church says no, can’t do that. But they were not able to find an agreement, so what did they do? They made an agreement dropping the case. They did not talk about the problem. If you read the decree on the Greek and the decree on the Armenians, you will see the difference because with the Armenians they mentioned the problem. But with the Greek they just dropped it.

    And so I mentioned the case, say maybe that’s what you do, you just leave the problem at the side in order to go ahead, say, well, maybe that’s what you want. And then I continued: “But now, as you put these things again, I have to conclude that I was mistaken.” And so I write him: “Please tell us what you really think! What you want!” I also request an audience, but of course [chuckle] this was not granted. But I got a letter, an answer to that. It’s the first time that the Pope does answer me, [0:55:00] anyway, and in this letter which is dated from the 30th June, we have these following points.

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

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

    http://www.therecusant.com/fellay-conf-dec2012

    The numbers in the text are timing marks to the recording here:

    Audio Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZrOMMfW5n0

  147. jhayes says:

    “You must accept that the Council is integrant[sic] part of Tradition.”

    He is speaking in English but using a French expression “partie intégrante”

    “You must accept that the Council is an integral part of Tradition.” would have been better.

  148. APX says:

    Those of us who attend (or I suppose, say) such Masses, do so because we believe that it is superior to the Novus Ordo. That it is more fitting for worship of Almighty God. That there is something in the Vetus Ordo that is lacking in the Novus Ordo. I know of no one who attends the Vetus Ordo for a mere “change of pace.” Can anyone who attends a traditional mass really dispute that?

    Actually, I can dispute the aforementioned. I don’t normally attend the EF when I am visiting my home city because I find that the EF is not offered rubrically correct and it just isn’t all that reverent compared to the one in the city I normally live. Instead I’d rather attend one of the newly ordained priest’s Mass. However, I recently discovered the Anglican Use Mass, both the sung Mass and the low Mass. I prefer the Anglican use sung Mass to an EF high Mass for my main Sunday Mass because there is so much exterior active participation on the side of the laity with singing all the hymns and sung Mass parts, as well as saying the deep prayers, that it helps me to better actively participate interiorly when I receive communion. I find the Anglican Use Penitential Rite and Prayer of Humble Access very spiritually provoking, and they can’t really be rambled off mindlessly. However, I have decided that I can attend the EF immediately following the AU Mass and use the change of pace as a means of making a good and thorough thanksgiving for my previous communion reception and Mass attendance.

  149. Rachel K says:

    Wmeyer: “I wish those who are so dismissive of the SSPX showed more evidence of understanding the position of Abp. Lefebvre. I am not SSPX, but I recognize that the man had deep integrity and a very troubled conscience.”
    A troubled conscience, yes, but deep integrity? No, no, no.
    The word integrity comes from “integer”, meaning oneness, unity. There was no internal or external unity with this man. He deliberately disobeyed the Holy Father by the ordinations he carried out and has caused decades of dissent and confusion since, still continuing long after his death.
    What kind of integrity is this?

  150. Imrahil says:

    You cannot really square Ut Unum Sint and Unitatis Redintegratio as teaching wholly in line with the traditional teaching we received on the subject from the Catechism of Trent, Satis Cognitum, and Mortalium Animos

    You can; which is why the SSPX themselves say their real disagreement is about Dignitatis humanae.

  151. Long-Skirts says:

    WOUNDS
    OF
    OCTOBER

    In October
    Finally spoke,
    Snubbed brown-nosers
    Have awoke.

    Hissy-fitting
    Must impress
    Wanting to
    Be part of “mess”,

    Wanting to be seen
    As loyal
    Thirty pieces
    Is their spoil.

    Watching Truth
    Be crucified –
    If they’ve got theirs…
    Then satisfied.

  152. cajuncath says:

    @Imrahil
    SSPX’s issues with Second Vatican are not confined to Dignitatis Humanae. They have issues with UR and aspects of some of the other documents.

    @JuliB
    No, everything in an encyclical does not automatically qualify as authoritative Catholic teaching. However, when something like the separation of Church and State is explicitly condemned as a pernicious error and evil, you can bet that it isn’t some personal opinion, prudential judgment, or pastoral advice. It’s core official Church teaching that is highlighting something grave to be avoided. In fact, if there are folks who want to start to relativize parts of official Church teaching because some recent popes have turned a blind eye to them and seemingly dislike them, then there is really nothing stopping a future pope from changing Pope John Paul II’s teachings against abortion and contraception in Evangelium Vitae, if this future pope believes a more pastoral approach is called for.

    Still more, official explicit papal condemnations in teaching documents are infallible according to the meta-doctrinal interpretive norms of Franzelin and, if I’m not mistaken, Van Noort as well. These have been important, priceless, traditional frameworks for understanding the faith that have also, it appears in large measure, been tossed out with the trash after Second Vatican.

    @Caveliere
    The issue isn’t who is or isn’t saying that there is or is not a hermeneutic of continuity but what the facts show. I challenge you to show me such a hermeneutic on behalf of the debated teachings of the past 40 years that doesn’t, when its abstract framework is developed to it logical conclusion, lead to a theoretical implosion of the faith.

  153. phlogiston says:

    Re: Bishop Fellay’s “Thank God” comments.

    This would be the SSPX’s situation if there had been an agreement, and it may yet be the FSSP’s: http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-way-to-exile-purge-against.html

  154. Imrahil says:

    Dear @cajuncath,

    which is why I said “real disagreement”. No doubt they critizise UR rather harshly as a piece of romanticism and so on and so on… nevertheless when the rubber hits the pavement, it is both an actual truth that there is no direct contradiction with previous Church documents (and there is generally no such thing as an indirect contradiction), and this said truth has also been admitted by SSPX affiliates (meaning specifically one SSPX affiliate, see here in German: http://antonloehmer.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/die-hermeneutik-der-kontinuitat-denkbar-in-puncto-okumene-unmoglich-in-puncto-religionsfreiheit/). Though I may have been rather unscientific and abbreviating in taking one statement I knew of for an SSPX position.

    As for DH, they rather more vigorously claim a break with a tradition. This has, I guess the reason, that their position itself is far more vigorous here; though here, too, many statements of the previous Magisterium can be reconciled with the Conciliar Magisterium either in the same way (e. g. the entire Syllabus), or by additional assumptions (e. g. Pius XII’s statement that tolerance is the exception which needs a justification by the additional assumption that metaphysically this is the case, however this justification is always given in practice by the need of having freedom to freely embrace the true faith), there are, here, some assertions in encyclicals of Gregory XVI which are apparently only by reinterpretation, and certainly in pre-conciliar theology which are indeed not at all in any way, reconcilable with the teaching of the II Vatican Council.

    Only that these previous teachings were fallible, and that whatever may be said about theological dissent, the position of authority is the one of the more recent Magisterium which, so to say, abrogated the former teachings. From the teaching of the present Magisterium, the former was an error – which it is of course very good to erase.

    This latter of course the SSPX don’t say. But this is why I called DH the “real issue”, though there’s no denying the SSPX doesn’t particularly like UR (and others) as well.

  155. Random Friar says:

    Oh, how many choice words I just uttered under my breath.

    This position basically brooks zero, zero chance of reconciliation. Prayers ascending.

  156. RJHighland says:

    phogiston,
    Thanks for the link, fascinating article. Figured it would not be long until the modernist take over of the Friars of the Immaculate Heart started an overt assault on the traditionalists. Just like a traditional convent in Kansas is required by the local Bishop to celebrate the Novus Ordo once a week whether they want to or not. It will be interesting to see if the FSSP comes into the cross hairs of the moderinsts in Rome. Something like this happened in a community in Brasil that had never changed to the Novus Ordo, since they have it has been come a mess.

  157. Cavaliere says:

    The issue isn’t who is or isn’t saying that there is or is not a hermeneutic of continuity but what the facts show. Well yeah it kinda does matter. Because it is your opinion that the “facts” show one thing. It is the opinion of the Pope that they show another. So no offense to you but I will trust in what the holy father has to say. And since the Popes have all said there is no break then when and if it becomes necessary for me to have to explain this or that particular teaching I will do so in the context of its traditional interpretation. And if the Vatican doesn’t approve then they can correct me where I am wrong since they are the ones who say there is a hermeneutic.

  158. anilwang says:

    cajuncath says: “Since when? Where and when, prior to the Council of Jerusalem, did the Church officially, authoritatively teach and declare that gentiles had to keep the Mosaic laws in order to enter the Church?”

    Remember that before the Council of Jerusalem, the Church was Jesus and before his birth, the Church was Israel and those who sat on the seat of Moses (as Jesus confirmed). Its clear that Peter and the apostles were not told by Jesus that the Gentiles didn’t need to convert, except in a dream which was confirmed by the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles he visited in response to the dream. At the time, God Fearing Jews were allowed to worship God in the Court of the Gentiles (which is why Jesus threw the money changers out of the Court of the Gentiles), while Jews worshipped in the inner courts, and only the High priest could enter the Holy of Holies. The Psalms and prophets repeat again and again that all Gentiles would come to worship at the Temple, but that Jews still had an exhaulted place and Gentiles needed to convert to become full members of Isreal. The Council of Jerusalem’s decision was a break from Tradition. It’s true that Jesus the authority to refine this Tradition, but clearly Jesus left no instructions to do so with the apostles. The only thing that was clear was that the apostles now sat on the seat of Moses and the Church was the new Isreal, and that by Matthew 16:18, Peter had the authority to bind and loose with God’s approval.

    cajuncath says: “Yes, Peter is the key and Peter is critical and necessary, as you rightly point out. But that is not sufficient. What is also needed is Peter acting in full accord with Church teaching and tradition and not failing to give them proper heed.”

    I don’t know your background, but I’m a revert after spending a few decades in Stoic/Platonic/Aristotelian philosophy, so my way back into the faith was that of an outsider of even Christianity. Determining where truth lies is not nearly so clear cut. Every single schismatic group I enumerated used precisely the criteria you mentioned to separate. All have stated that they held on to Tradition. Talk to the Orthodox about the Filioque, and you’ll get an earful about how Rome fell into heresy and broke away from the Pentarchy. Talk to any of the other apostolic churches and you’ll arrive at the same litany of Peter departing from the faith.

    What has happened to the Church since Vatican II is troubling, but there is no way to avoid being yet another schimatic without accepting Vatican II and the new mass as valid. It will be reconciled, otherwise Catholicism is a sham, but I would not be surprised if it won’t be resolved by the end of my life. And if you do some digging, most Ecumenical Councils failed at what they were trying to accomplish, so I would not be at all surprised if a future Pope reverses some of all the Vatican II changes and revises the council documents to more clearly express Tradition. It’s not at all impossible to even now annotate the texts so that de fide doctrines are bolded, practical policies such as religious freedom are italics, and emphasize easily misinterpreted texts such as LG 16 (people tend to read the first part and ignore the later part).

    (NB: WRT religious freedom, it has always been the case that Catholics disavow the union of Church and State when Catholics are persecuted as in the case of pre-Constantine Rome or mission fields, and assert the eschatology vision of Revelation 21, namely the Catholic State. But even in the Catholic State, non-Catholics such as Jews and Muslims were never coerced into converting or stop practicing their faith. There was religious freedom, so long as the freedom did not violate Catholic Morality).

    What is clear is that although its clear there were currents of the current crisis since Pope Pius X first addressed modernism, and those currents continued to grow, despite all the precautions of Popes before Vatican II. If Vatican II did not happen, I’m not sure we’d be any better shape. For instance, if you take the Orthodox as a reference point of an Apostolic Church that did not change the Mass or have a council during the 60s, they seem to be experiencing many of the same issues (in Western countries at least) as we are (see http://www.aoiusa.org/barbarians-among-us/ ).

  159. prayerisouronlyhope says:

    jhayes wrote: “Sounds as if he was explaining the difference between objective sin and subjective sin.”
    You may be correct, but that is not the meaning I took away from it. This was many years ago. I was a teenager at the time, participating in and enjoying the NO. But I knew that what he said (at least the way I took it) was wrong. To me (and I don’t remember the whole sermon), what he was saying was a rationalization of sin. For example, I’m in love with my boyfriend and he is in love with me, so it can’t be wrong to be intimate with him. Or, God knows I can’t afford any more children now, so using contraception would not be a sin. I don’t think it is, so therefore, it’s not! Convenient way to get around the 6th Commandment. As I said, maybe you are right in your interpretation, but that is certainly not how I understood it.
    Anyway, that was the last NO Mass I attended (again, except for funerals), so maybe I should be grateful?

  160. Per Signum Crucis says:

    Sorry to be flippant but, now that one of the burning questions of the ages has seemingly been decided (“Is the Pope Catholic? No, the Pope is Bp. Fellay”), is there any chance we might get a definitive answer soon on whether bears defecate in the woods?

    Seriously, the language coming out of the SSPX is decidedly undiplomatic. Added to which, if you don’t uphold the teachings of the Church through Popes and Councils, you might as well question the legitimacy of conclaves as being the work not of the Holy Spirit but of men. You see where this is leading? The trouble with any sort of conspiracy theory is that, once you buy into one, you have to buy into them all.

    Schisms are not pretty but, in this day and age, it’s far more easy to set up shop elsewhere than it ever was in Luther’s time. Maybe that’s what the scriptural adjunction to beware false prophets means…

  161. jhayes says:

    The SSPX is stepping up their campaign against the canonization of J-P II and John XXIII. On the DICI website today they complain that while Francis and the Vatican are putting out all sorts of material to the press on other subjects, some contrary to Catholic teaching, the SSPX hasn’t received any response to the objections they have been raising for the past three years.

    “Le pontificat du pape François est caractérisé par une communication tous azimuts, faite de déclarations à la presse écrite et audio-visuelle, d’appels téléphoniques personnels relayés par les medias, de correspondances privées divulguées par les journaux… Certaines de ces déclarations reprises complaisamment par des journalistes aux convictions religieuses inexistantes, paraissent des brèches ouvertes dans le dogme et la morale catholiques, comme les propos sur les divorcés remariés, les comportements contre nature, l’exaltation de la conscience individuelle…
    Tout ce bruit contraste avec le silence complet qu’observe le Vatican sur les graves interrogations qui lui ont été soumises par la Fraternité Saint-Pie X, dès 2011 et par trois fois, au sujet de la béatification de Jean-Paul II. Ces doutes sérieux, appuyés sur des faits avérés et des arguments théologiques, demeurent sans réponse depuis trois ans. Ils sont intacts à la veille de la canonisation du pape polonais qui doit avoir lieu, avec celle de Jean XXIII, l’an prochain. Sont-ce les faits rapportés du pontificat de Karol Wojtyla qui embarrassent les autorités romaines ? Sont-ce les arguments théologiques avancés dans cette étude qui gênent à ce point qu’on ne peut leur opposer qu’un silence total ?

    Pourra-t-on indéfiniment faire taire ces faits et bâillonner ces arguments ?”

    http://www.dici.org/actualites/le-silence-romain/

    Background article: http://www.dici.org/?p=28364

  162. acardnal says:

    jhayes says:
    prayerisouronlyhope wrote: I still attended the parish I grew up in, until the day the priest said in his sermon, “If you believe it is a sin, then it is. If you believe it is not, it is not.”

    Sounds as if he was explaining the difference between objective sin and subjective sin. As the Catechism explains:

    “1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.”

    “[C]omplete consent” can be interpreted as meaning that one was not forced to commit an immoral act, e.g. no one held a gun to one’s head. It does not mean that a sin was not committed just because one has an opinion that differs from divine revelation or the teaching of the Magisterium. Moreover as the canon states, “Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.”

    prayerisouronlyhope is correct. This priest is not talking about objective vs subjective sin, but rather he is giving the impression that there is no such thing as objective evil! He needs to go back to seminary.

  163. jhayes says:

    More push-back from the SSPX?

    La Porte Latine, the SSPX French website, announces a conference on “Pope Francis – a New Papacy. From the pictures on the poster, looks as if some criticism may be coming:

    http://www.laportelatine.org/district/aumoneries/trevoux/conference_dominicains_131103/nouvelle_papaute.php

  164. Lin says:

    If anyone is still reading this thread perhaps they can tell me if there is any truth in the following information that I found very disturbing.
    “The commission was headed by the Progressivist Fr. Anibale Bugnini and included six Protestants. Therefore, the commission that threw overboard the ancient Latin rite and centuries of accumulated Catholic tradition, and made up a brand new one, was headed by a Progressivist and included Protestants. Their intentions? Dr. Smith, one of the Lutheran representatives at this commission, later publicly boasted, “We have finished the work that Martin Luther began.” And Fr. Bugnini stated that his aim in designing the New Mass was “to strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.”

  165. Lin says:

    I have not attended a TLM since pre-Vatican II but would if I could. The SSPX should have tried to work within the Church and I pray that they can be reconciled. But if they could not work it out with Benedict XVI, chances are slim with Frances. The NO mass has not changed my faith and love of our faith. Only when the priest inserts his progressive anomalies into the Mass, do I go over the top crazy! Like music during the Eucharistic prayer!!!! I have read a lot on this subject as well as many of you have, and it appears to me that there were a lot of Unintended consequences to VII. And well-meaning priests did not see it coming? Or did? Not sure but we need to work with what we have and make it better. It saddens me that Catholics and non-Catholics are able to interpret Pope Francis to suit their needs. But that has always been the case since in the end we are all responsible for our own well-formed conscience. So after reading al of your posts, I pray for our Church, our Pope, and all of you! Earlier this evening, I was as confused as hell. GOD stepped me through it!