Could Pope Francis be the one to reconcile the SSPX?

At CMR Pat Archbold offers that, if Pope Francis can reach out so cordially to Protestants gathered at a conference, even send a video, then why shouldn’t he reach out to the priests and bishops of the SSPX.

A darn good question.

The Protestants, doctrine-challenged as they are, are much more distant from us than the SSPXers – who still are us, until some time when the Holy See officially declares them to be in schism.

It is interesting to note that Archbold had originally posted this at the National Catholic Register.  But the Register removed the post.  That’s something you might expect of the Reporter (aka Fishwrap), but of the Register?  Pat Zummo described what happened at American Catholic HERE.

I don’t understand what the problem was.  I am left scratching my head: does the Register not want greater unity of Catholics in the Church if that unity includes the SSPX?

Here is what Archbold wrote:

I have great concern that without the all the generosity that faith allows by the leaders of the Church, that this separation, this wound on the Church, will become permanent. [He is right to be concerned about the SSPX. I think that a lot of the priests would welcome greater manifest unity (and faculties).   But now there are children of SSPX followers growing up who have never known clear union with their local churches.] In fact, without such generosity, I fully expect it. Such permanent separation and feeling of marginalization will likely separate more souls than just those currently associated with the SSPX.   I have also come to believe that Pope Francis’ is exactly the right Pope to do it. In his address to the evangelicals, he makes clear his real concern for unity.  So here is what I am asking. I ask the Pope to apply that wide generosity to the SSPX and to normalize relations and their standing within the Church.  [Is that what got Archbold's post removed?] I am asking the Pope to do this even without the total agreement on the Second Vatican Council. [Right!  If the Fr. Feeney and followers could be reconciled, why not the SSPXers?] Whatever their disagreements, surely this can be worked out over time with the SSPX firmly implanted in the Church. I think that the Church needs to be more generous toward unity than to insist upon dogmatic adherence to the interpretation of a non-dogmatic council. [Is that what got Archbold's post removed?] The issues are real, but they must be worked out with our brothers at home and not with a locked door.   Further, Pope Francis’ commitment to the aims of the Second Vatican Council is unquestioned. Were he to be generous in such a way, nobody would ever interpret it to be a rejection of the Council. How could it be? This perception may not have been the case in the last pontificate. Pope Francis is uniquely suited to this magnanimous moment.

I don’t see anything wrong with this desire.  Do you?  Of course the SSPXers would need to cooperate.  They would need to submit to the Holy Father’s authority.  But were the Pope to reach out to them, directly, in the manner in which he reached out to that Protestant group… what bad could happen?

I say:

¡Vaya lío!

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56 Responses to Could Pope Francis be the one to reconcile the SSPX?

  1. Hank Igitur says:

    + Fellay’s remarks earlier in this papacy indicating it was a good thing they did not reconcile under B16 in light of the Bergoglio papacy would take a fair bit of undoing. And after all, traditionalists have been described as “selfish retrogrades” recently. The FFI matter would also not give the SSPX any confidence.

  2. Bob B. says:

    I hope this would happen, it would be good for the Church.
    Your mentioning of Fr. Feeney (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus) was strangely coincidental, as well, having just finished a book on that whole business – there are some similarities.

  3. mamajen says:

    I think the Vatican II comments (not requiring full acceptance) were the reason the article was axed. Which is not to say that they needed to remove the article. I guess if you wanted to be hyper-sensitive you could say it was critical of the Pope as well.

    Yes, I think Pope Francis should reach out to them, and I bet he will. He will not, however, let them in under the terms Archbold is suggesting. To do so would send a bad message. And issues with Vatican II are part of the reason the FFI are under the gun.

  4. Siculum says:

    “But now there are children of SSPX followers growing up who have never known clear union with their local churches.”

    Dang right, and it’s a hellish, major heartbreak.

  5. Patrick-K says:

    If they rejected the offers of Benedict there is no reason to think that, even if Francis were to do this, the SSPX would go along with it. It’s ironic, and sad, that you are more likely to hear nasty things about the pope from the “true Catholics” in the SSPX than you are from Protestants like Tony Palmer. The pope knew when he reached out to him that he wouldn’t get burned. He doesn’t know that about the SSPX.

  6. Joseph-Mary says:

    I don’t know if this reconciliation can happen in the near future although it would be good. But Mr. Archibald seems to be leaning a little traditional and so seems to be experiencing some persecution from some quarters.

  7. Priam1184 says:

    Call another Council. And this time make it dogmatic (and liturgical) so that we can finally start to get over the wishy washiness produced by the ‘pastoral’ Council and everybody will know where they stand and whether they are in or they are out. The Second Vatican Council wasn’t the be all or end all of anything. The endless and stupid debate over the vague and amorphous wording of many of its documents and their effects has left the Church running in place while the world burned down around her. There is a remedy for this: call another ecumenical council and clarify once and for all to a world that no longer knows her just what the Catholic Church is, who founded her, and why. Maybe then we can shut down the circular firing squad that has decimated the Church over the last half century and get on with the business of preaching the Gospel to all nations.

  8. Marc M says:

    I’m no expert on this debate, but it seems to me that beyond the interpretation of various aspects of Vatican II, disagreements that can be reasonably argued among faithful Catholics, there remain issues here that are beyond the type of reconciliation that Archibold is describing. I just checked to be sure, and yes, the SSPX seems to be of the official position that the NO Mass is of “doubtful validity” and that attending a NO Mass does not meet a Catholic’s Sunday obligation (here: http://sspx.org/en/faq-page/what-wrong-novus-ordo-missae-1987)

    If we were just talking about “dogmatic adherence to a non-dogmatic council,” I would tend to agree with him. But a rejection of the validity of the NO is not the kind of thing that can be worked out with a simple “come on back, guys, let’s all be friends again.” Should the Church countenance priests telling their congregation, “you’d better not go to that ‘other’ Catholic church in town! They aren’t really Catholic!”?

  9. Uxixu says:

    Isn’t Bishop Fellay outright calling out the Holy Father as a Modernist on the SSPX US website?

  10. Uxixu says:

    I am sympathetic to some of the aims of SSPX specifically WRT the TLM, but I can’t recall reading anything quite so… overtly hostile… from Archbishop Lefebvre.

  11. Father Z, with due respect, I do not think Pope Francis will desire to reconcile the SSPX. Firstly, the majority of the time he has done his liturgies with regular, Novus Ordo style and practice, though rare occasions of ad orientem have been noted. Secondly, as a friend of mine noted, the Jesuits have a regard to liturgy, whereby they approach it depending on how best to be “pastoral” to those in their care. If they want grand liturgy, the Jesuit will accomodate that request. If they are of simply liturgy, they will get simple liturgy. The Pope knows that the majority of the Church attends the Latin Rite Novus Ordo liturgies, if they go at all. Third, it is clear that the Pope is not in favour of radical traditionalism, with evidence clearly present in the FFI debacle and the comment about the “spiritual bouquet” of counted rosaries where it was meant with some humour. Fourth, it is clear based on the reactions of the Vatican, via Cardinal Muller, that basically it’s “we’ll negotiate when YOU [the SSPX] show up at our doorstep and want to talk [as well as accept Vatican II as a dogmatic council and swear loyalty to the TRUE Papacy and the ordinary bishops in your dioceses.]. So it’s their move and by the looks of it, they are stubborn and will NOT move to re-open negotiations with Rome. If anything they seem to be closer each day with setting up EVERYONE, their “laity” included, for formal declared schism.

    Personally, I wouldn’t want him to reconcile with these radical traditionalists and their mental/spiritual poisons. We’ve got enough of them who aren’t bonifide SSPXers (or possibly even, occasional attendees) in the regular diocesan/canonical Church, both online and in person who are spiritually damaging the Catholic faithful. Despite being a minority of traditionalists, they are wielding unbalanced and unchecked influence in the communities they are part of (online included). I can speak on that as I myself have suffered some spiritual damage from even occasional association with this part of the Church involving the EF, though I’ve not stepped foot once in an SSPX chapel/building or attended an SSPX Mass. It would, to me, just make things worse and more divisive, despite the need for the EF to bring more order to the Church’s liturgical aspects of the so-called “crisis of Faith.” As much as the Church needs the EF in a greater capacity, in this case, the “cure” might be more damaging than the disease.

  12. Correction: Vatican II as a VALID ECUMENICAL council (of the 21 in history), not a dogmatic council.

  13. Mike says:

    The NCR was wrong, I believe, to pull the article. I have known many Orthodox Catholics who when “Latin” or “EF” or “SSPX” are brought up in conversation simply freak out. I guess that may have happened with this, sadly.

  14. Magpie says:

    It’s a mighty darn good question and it is Pope Francis real test. Let’s see what happens.

    Oh yeah, the way he referred to that Protestant minister as a ‘brother bishop’ and yet the SSPX are out in the cold. I’m not in any way associated with the SSPX, but I feel the chill and it’s awful.

  15. Guido03 says:

    I would love to see the expression of some gathering of the SSPX to a similar presentation of an iphone recorded greeting like he did to the Pentecostals the other day. Something tells me it would not be celebrated in the same way.

    Also, the tone of the SSPX just rubs me the wrong way. Take a look at their American website. I don’t think calling the Pope a “genuine modernist” is going to help their cause. While I hope for a reconciliation for their sake I think the church would benefit more if we all continued to request the EF in all of our parishes and support it accordingly as best we can.

  16. majuscule says:

    In some Catholic forums around the web I’ve seen topics started about the SSPX that are immediately shut down by moderators because (from past experience) discussion soon turns uncharitable (both sides).

    Maybe the Register didn’t want a combos war? You know, the old rabbit hole…

  17. MaryL says:

    But – the Popes consistently have reached out to SSPX with the creation of Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter FSSP and Pope Benedict’s clarification of the Latin Mass. The ball is clearly in the hands of individuals of SSPX to stop thinking they are bigger than the Magisterium of the Church, and to be humble and come back to the true practice of their holy Catholic faith. Everything is there. I too have been drawn to the traditional Mass, but when I am unable to attend, I know that the Novus Ordo is still offering up Christ’s sacrifice to the Father in reparation of our sins, regardless of what anyone else there thinks it is. Imagine how much strength the Church would gain, if in humility and obedience, all the members and priests of SSPX were to rejoin us.

  18. Hank Igitur says:

    Even if this Pope genuinely were to offer reconciliation to SSPX 1) they would not accept it, +Fellay has called him a modernist and 2) even if they did the Pope’s intermediaries would again derail the process as previously.

  19. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I think that, if I were Pope, I would unilaterally declare the SSPX to be okey-doke and under my personal oversight. And then I would oversight a bit. (Ix-nay on the Olocaustdenial-hay would be my major message.) But mostly I’d just let things be, and hope for a good outcome for most.

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that some would insist on leaving anyway. But at least that would clarify matters a bit.

  20. Palladio says:

    True, Mary L. I’ve spent time reading over the words and deeds of the Popes re SSPX, and I see a mountain of virtues in their dealings.
    To be clear, FSSP is the Church as much for the world as any other aspect of the Church. They are an order 25 years old: please consider that V II is but twice as old. In little more than three short years, Summorum Pontificorum will turn 10. To me, that puts things in perspective. Am I alone in thinking that time’s a wasting–in SSPX?

  21. McCall1981 says:

    @Priam1184,
    While your idea of another Ecumenical Council to clear up the ambiguities of Vat II is very interesting, the thought of Pope Francis leading a Council is terrifying.

  22. Giuseppe says:

    Pope Francis preaches Confession. It’s not that hard to come back to the Roman Catholic Church. Just as long as the Luminous Mysteries aren’t obligatory.

    1. Jesus speaks. (First word: “oo-rah.”)
    2. Jesus walks. (Not on water. Just his first steps.)
    3. Jesus wins the Pinewood Derby. (He’s his father’s son.)
    4. Jesus is Bar Mitzvahed. (Torah passage from Isaiah – spends the party calling himself DJ Wonder-Counselor)
    5. Jesus takes Latin in high school (and masters 3rd declension i-stems).

  23. Palladio says:

    I think, too, I would want to echo Julian. For some, that the Pope defined One Roman Rite with two Forms is not enough. They want one Form, the Extraordinary one. They are starting to say so–online. Heedless, in my opinion, of the Pope’s wise stewardship of the Church in Summorum Pontificorum, they are, I think, not only defeating their own just cause but also damaging Catholics spiritually and threatening to splinter the Church more than it already is. I hope that I am wrong. That I am mistaking enthusiasm for … I don’t know what. I simply fail to see how instituting Benedict XVI’s wishes is anything but a great improvement in a Church which need just that.

  24. tzard says:

    This pope does thing differently – and that is maybe what is needed here.

    We’ve already tried through negotiations and documents and proposed structures. We’ve been betrayed by statements from the pulpit and press releases. Were Francis reach out, he wouldn’t do so with a solution, but with a pastor’s touch. He is, after all, the Holy Father – and they need shepherding as much as you and I. I bet he considers them as lambs at least as much as the Pentecostals.

    Perhaps he can melt hearts by having us all look at The Faith for a moment – and the formalities can come later.

    A benefit to Francis is he might not care what people say about it and just do what’s right and let the chips fall where they may.

    A hopeful thought if there ever was one.

  25. robtbrown says:

    1. The situation of the Franciscans of the Immaculata has little to nothing to do with any negotiations with the SSPX. The former is under the Congregation of Religious, the latter would be like Opus Dei.

    2. If the SSPX agrees to reunite, but afterwards Rome tries to force them into being a Novus Ordo Institute, the Society could just return to their former status.

  26. Netmilsmom says:

    To quote Patrick Archbold who wrote said article…
    “We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that there would never had been an SSPX if the Church had acted with mercy toward tradition.”
    I think the point that he was making was that there are people there who are being neglected in the faith because people think of them as one huge group. Where is the Christian charity on this thread? We “Rebuilt” our parishes to attract non-Churched people yet forget the Catholics who are the children and grandchildren of the marginalized. My parents had a rock dropped on their heads filled with guitar strums and felt banners. They didn’t leave but they didn’t participate any more. They shut down as did many Catholics in the 60s. I’m not sure that if an SSPX chapel was available, they would not have run to it. Pitifully.
    If your child hurt you, abandoned you and pushed you away, would you continue to just forget about their children and their children? Is it better to say, “My way only” and never see them or to try to find a place where everyone could agree and get to those grandkids? Work the problems out with them, find common ground, see what we can all agree on. HELP them.
    The SSPX is a group of people lead by a stubborn person. We need to afford them the same love as everyone else the Pope is reaching out to. THAT was the point of the article.

  27. robtbrown says:

    Hank Igitur says:
    Even if this Pope genuinely were to offer reconciliation to SSPX 1) they would not accept it, +Fellay has called him a modernist and 2) even if they did the Pope’s intermediaries would again derail the process as previously

    So who hasn’t Fellay called a modernist?

    Unlike JPII and BXVI this pope is an administrator, and he’s not isolated in the Papal Apartments.

  28. robtbrown says:

    Netmilsmom says:
    To quote Patrick Archbold who wrote said article…
    “We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that there would never had been an SSPX if the Church had acted with toward tradition.”

    Mercy? How about Justice?

  29. Mojoron says:

    The only problem I see concerning SSPX is that how can they forgive all the apostate popes from PVI to Francis I? THAT to me would be the reason to keep them in Kansas.

  30. Legisperitus says:

    robtbrown says:
    Mercy? How about Justice?

    If the Church had acted with justice toward tradition, there would have been no changes to speak of in the first place.

  31. Vecchio di Londra says:

    McCall: you and me both.
    In this respect, the Synod should prove interesting. We have until October to pray very hard.
    As to SSPX, their separatist rhetoric seems rather embittered, though liturgically I can summon up some broad understanding of their viewpoint. There are some parishes where the OF Mass is said in such a loose and unedifying way that I often have to tell myself quite sternly that it is entirely valid, despite all appearances (and utterances) to the contrary.

  32. lana says:

    I am with Julian,

  33. Sonshine135 says:

    @Netmilsmom
    100% agree. I have often believed that the SSPX made some very valid points. It saddens me to think that the Pope easily dialogs with Protestants, but not with the SSPX. A little bit of love and compassion could go a long way here. For crying out loud, we can create an Anglican Ordinate,so why not find a way to help the SSPX.

  34. RJHighland says:

    All I will say is don’t blame traditionalists for the fracturing of the faithful, it will be the traditionalists that save this sinking ship. Recover the liturgy, you recover the priesthood and you save the Church. The last 40 yrs. are a proof that when you lose the liturgy, you lose the priesthood and religious orders and you kill the Church. The Church should spend less time beating up on traditionalists and take care of the infestation of homosexual bishops and priests in the Curia and the Church as a whole. Who is more damaging to the Church the SSPX or the Lavander Mafia? Check out the Front Line episode on the Vatican on PBS of all places. It is amazing that PBS sees it but Pope Francis does not. I really don’t think the SSPX is Pope Francis’ biggest problem, infact I think they would be the solution to the problem. If I’m on the hit list of this group I am pretty sure I am in the right place. So please don’t blame the fracturing of the Church on those that are trying to maintain the traditional teachings and mass of the Church place it were it belongs with the smoke created by Vatican II. There is an awful lot of red in that smoke.

  35. Phil_NL says:

    “The only problem I see concerning SSPX is that how can they forgive all the apostate popes from PVI to Francis I? THAT to me would be the reason to keep them in Kansas.”

    Mojoron nails it.

    It matters not one bit what Francis offers, as the only thing that would satisfy the SSPX (in the sense that they would come over as a body, rather than split in lots of fragments) would be His Holiness saying “you were right, we were wrong, can we please reconcile to you?”

    The on hurdle that cannot be overcome is that the SSPX is traditionalist in just about every way, but in a sense protestant when it comes to the position of Peter. They think they know better, and have the right to rebel. The first might be true, but the second isn’t – and no Pope will change that (if they could, which they can’t, really).

    Now there is a whole lot of history on this issue, very little of it pretty, and with understandable reluctance and anger on the SSPX side, but all that is a side-show. At the end of the day, it boils down to one question: who has the Keys? That is the one theological point where ways part, and without which the entire issue will stay unresolved.

    And in that sense it’s only logical that there is an easier dialogue between the Holy See and protestants than with the SSPX: protestants needs correcting on a whole lot more points, and are a whole lot more numerous, so therefore more important as an ally (we do need those from time to time, and more so in the future, I fear). With the SSPX, there’s eally just one point to talk about, and it’s clear that point is going nowhere. That kinda deadens the conversation quite quickly.

  36. DaveH says:

    Much like the sun rising in the East, the conversion of Russia and the Second Coming of Our Lord, the reconciliation of the SSPX will be forthcoming. All the world sees – or should see – the dichotomies of the tacit allowance by Rome of outright dissension and rebellion to the moral laws and Teachings of the Church by Bishops, nuns and dioceses in “full communion” and the unyielding rigidity with which the SSPX is being held accountable. It makes no sense – for either side – to remain in such isolation. The world is laughing at the Church behind Her back for this and its time the gossip fence was torn down.

  37. Vincent says:

    Ah, well. I normally run for the hills when I see the letters SSPX (Nothing personal Father, I just don’t agree with you often on this one). So, I was brought up (and still do) going to SSPX Masses (oh mummy, look at the two headed schismatic!) along with many others (LMS, NO).

    What you say is absolutely true –
    “I think that a lot of the priests would welcome greater manifest unity (and faculties). But now there are children of SSPX followers growing up who have never known clear union with their local churches.”

    There are a lot of young people who attend SSPX Masses who have a somewhat ‘warped’ view of the Society and the ‘conciliar’ Church. And yes, many of the priests would welcome full unity. It’s a great shame that these young people have been brought up without the connection to the Church that’s necessary for a full Catholic life – but it’s a far cry from many of the young Catholics I’ve met at university.

    Many of the young catholics I’ve met here are, shall we say, an odd bunch. I’ve talked to quite a few who don’t accept the reality of transubstantiation, who don’t accept all sorts of things. Mainly to do with contraception, of course. These people claim to be Catholic and yet they manifestly don’t accept (in some cases) dogmatic teaching, sometimes simply the moral teachings of the Church. The point is, they don’t accept what we believe. But hey, “who am I to judge?”

    Which leads me onto the Pope. There are a lot of people who don’t like the Pope. Traditionalists, liberals, journalists who actually realise that nothing’s changed.. (I was watching a BBC programme about Argentina the other week “despite the Pope being much more liberal than his predecessors, the Church still maintains its controversial teachings, from contraception to homosexuality”. I was at a talk given by Bishop Fellay in June – and he said that the Pope could well bring the Society back into full union, because he is not of the Curia, he doesn’t work within the boundaries that Benedict did, he doesn’t *have* to follow the ‘proper’ processes (as evidenced by a certain canonisation).

    Some people in the Society do not want to go back to Rome. Others long for it but they will not go if they are asked to accept and most importantly celebrate the NO. There’s a hardness of heart on both sides, although the Bishops and priests of the Society definitely accept the authority of the Pope on matters of faith and morals.

    Cardinal Bergoglio, it was reported early in his reign, had not allowed the vetus ordo to be said in Buenos Aires, but had allowed the Society to set up churches and dealt with them freely. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point he invites the Society into full union. On the other hand, I also wouldn’t be shocked if nothing at all happens with regards to the Society.

    I shall continue to pray for the Pope, he has many more important things to worry about than the SSPX (they’re relatively inconsequential compared to Argentina’s failing Faith, to name but one country)…

  38. Jim Dorchak says:

    I so agree with this article. My family and i have become one of those who are now attracted to the SSPX. Why? For us like so many others here in Chile (and elsewhere) we can not find the old Mass that is supposed to be made widely available, often, and legal. I would take my family to the diocese EF if it was available, BUT IT IS NOT AVAILABLE!
    Does this make me less Catholic? The joy that my family and I find at the EF is just not found at the NO. last Sunday we attended the Mass at the SSPX chapel in Santiago. This was the first time we could assist at the EF in the past 8 months, and when i looked over at my wife in the middle of Mass she was in tears (so was i) for the beauty of the Mass. HOW CAN WE GO BACK TO THE N.O. ? We can not. So what are we left with? Emptiness.
    I am reminded of the prodigal son. Where is the SSPX’s fatted calf?
    I am reminded of our Lord telling Peter to feed his sheep. We are dying of hunger.
    What is the answer?

  39. kkroll says:

    Julian B. … I am so sorry to hear of your unhappy associations with the SSPX. I live near a large community and attend some of their functions, as well as utilize a bookshop they operate, although I am a regular attendee at an FSSP chapel. I also attended the Angelus conference last year, and I was blown away in the BEST sense by what I heard there. I came away realizing how starved I had been for authentic Catholic expression outside my little sphere. My respect for this group took a big upturn. Cordial, knowledgeable, joyful, friendly … No where did I see the poison you mention. Heck, the attitudes you describe I’ve encountered in the Novus Ordo I used to attend (to which I will never, ever return).

  40. dans0622 says:

    I think something more modest would be more likely: a similar video message sent to the SSPX. Since it seems like there aren’t even any formal communications between the Holy See and the SSPX, this sort of video would be a good first step.

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  42. Nancy D. says:

    Do members of the Jewish and Islamic Faith worship the same God that Catholics do or is that a statement that was lost in translation during Vatican II?

  43. David Zampino says:

    “Of course the SSPXers would need to cooperate. They would need to submit to the Holy Father’s authority.”

    Father Z., you hit the nail on the head.

  44. Magash says:

    Nancy D.
    I would hesitate to conflate Jews and Muslims.
    Jews unquestionably worship the same God, even though they reject his triune nature. The Triune God that we (Christians) worship is the God of the Old Testament. The Son did not spring into being when God became incarnate. Like the Holy Spirit He always existed. His fingerprints and that of the Spirit are all over the Old Testament. The fact that most modern day Jews don’t see that does not invalidate their legitimate worship of the Godhead, embodied as we understand it primarily in the actions of the Father.
    Muslims on the other had are a trickier subject. Defense of the divinity of Jesus often uses the deity, liar or madman defense. In the case of Islam I would propose prophet, dupe, madman or liar origin. As a Christian I do not believe that God sent the angel Gabriel to speak to Muhammad. This leaves three choices. I suspect many Christians would suppose, as they do for America’s own Joseph Smith, “liar” is the correct answer. However madman might also be their choice. I think that, probably because of the inherent danger in the modern “tolerant” secular world to be either ridiculed or threaten for bringing it up, supernatural intervention is to readily discounted.
    Perhaps Muhammad did meet an angel, bright and possessed of great power. Certainly the god described by Islam, a being of will instead of love. A powerful master, rather than a loving Father is more in character and nature like the Enemy, than like the Triune God. That would make Muhammad dupe rather than a liar or madman. (I suspect my life in now in peril. I request Fr. Z keep my real identity secret while I arrange to go into witness protection.)
    Note I do not seek to impune the faith or good intentions of any follower or Islam. Just as present members of the Protestant communities can not be held to the same standard as the Catholic heretics who caused the Protestant Reformation, so too modern Muslims cannot be held responsible for the actions of Muhammad.
    And there is the problem. If a modern Muslims believes that they worship the same God as Christians and Jews, and their own theological documents claim that they do, then how can it be claimed that they do not? We can certainly claim that they, like Jews, and like many non-Catholic Christians are mistaken in their beliefs on the exact nature of God. A nature that we admit we do not fully understand and know only because of divine revaluation. That being the case I believe it is tenuous at best to claim that Muslims do not worship the same God, irregardless of the exact origin of their faith. It is much more productive to take the stand that they are mistaken in their beliefs on God’s nature and what He wants and requires of His people.
    As for Francis and the SSPX the phase that comes to my mind is the old political chestnut, “Only Nixon could go to China.”

  45. CrimsonCatholic says:

    PatrickK is right, they rejected the Pope Emeritus’ offers and they would only reject Pope Francis’ offers if he were to make any based on past experience. You have to want to be reconciled, which they do not.

    [It must be nice to be psychic. o{]:¬) ]

  46. CrimsonCatholic says:

    [It must be nice to be psychic. o{]:¬) ]

    Mea culpa.

  47. Robbie says:

    Considering Francis has already referred to traditionalists as self absorbed retrogrades, promethean neopalagians, and a whole host of other less than flattering terms, I highly doubt he’s even remotely interested in saying the letters S-S-P-X in that order. If he were to offer some sort of deal though, would that mean he’s joining the “fad” that is the TLM?!

  48. Magpie says:

    I was really offended by the fad/addiction comment on the TLM by Pope Francis. To me it shows how utterly out of touch he really is with the pastoral needs of the people, the little people like me.

  49. Vince K says:

    I asked the Register why the article was taken down. The Managing Editor said, “The bottom line is that there was one last theological review in order because the post covers a sensitive topic. There was a miscommunication about this and the post went up without that review. Once it went live the situation took on a life of its own. Pat’s call to extend grace for reconciliation is laudable and we certainly have no disagreement with it. As it is, the related challenges that ensued resulted in the perception that we disagreed with Pat’s expressed desire for the healing of the schism, which is not at all the case.” I then asked, “Is it possible that the article will be posted after a satisfactory theological review or has it already went through the theological review and was found lacking? In either event, I believe some sort of public clarification is in order, in my humble opinion.” He stated, “Patrick posted the article on Creative Minority report. So we won’t be posting that particular one. But you can be sure we will have similar pieces from him and others down the road.”

  50. New Sister says:

    @ Marc M – the SSPX does NOT hold that the NO “is of doubtful validity” nor does the link you yourself provided state that. You changed their words.

  51. New Sister says:

    @ Marc M – however, you’re correct that they sate this – SSPX.org
    “Are we obliged in conscience to attend the Novus Ordo Missae?
    If the Novus Ordo Missae is not truly Catholic, then it cannot oblige for one’s Sunday obligation. Many Catholics who do assist at it are unaware of its all pervasive degree of serious innovation and are exempt from guilt. However, any Catholic who is aware of its harm, does not have the right to participate. He could only then assist at it by a mere physical presence without positively taking part in it, and then and for major family reasons (weddings, funerals, etc).”

  52. Palladio says:

    @ New Sister. As the Spartans replied, “If.”

  53. St. Corbinian's Bear says:

    Vatican II — all dicta, no holding. If anyone can go through and pick out apodictic propositions that are not vitiated elsewhere, then, please, give it a shot and produce some good old anathemas so we’ll know what “dogmas” Vatican II established. I can spin any Vatican II document either way in under two billable hours. Okay, forgot how long they were. Make it five.

    Now, I’m just a dumb Bear, but I sleep at night because I take Vatican II at its word — it’s a pastoral council. And oh, hermeneutic of continuity. Sometimes on my blog I put up quizzes: Vatican II or Council of Trent. Of course, by framing various V2 pericopes as proper anathemas they sound as Tridentine as anything in the actual Council of Trent. I am confident Vatican 2 didn’t erase anything in the Council of Trent, and if it weren’t for the Liturgical Abuse outbreak that mysteriously followed, it we would all be reading it as Church Thinking Out Loud. At least that works for me.

    As for Pope Francis. he sure does talk a lot, and some of the things he says sound strange to me. But until he goes infallible, I give it respectful consideration and smile, knowing that it is impossible for him to contradict previous infallible teaching. Yes, Pope Francis and Bishop Tony do kind of sound like they’re reading from the same script, but whatever. I’m off the Pope Francis merry-go-round. I have a delicate constitution for someone who can finish off a horse at once sitting.

  54. kkroll, It’s even worse than that, as it’s not the SSPX: ” … we’ve got enough of them who aren’t bonifide SSPXers (or possibly even, occasional attendees) in the regular diocesan/canonical Church, both online and in person who are spiritually damaging the Catholic faithful. Despite being a minority of traditionalists, they are wielding unbalanced and unchecked influence in the communities they are part of (online included) …”

    The partial damage dealt was with some members of the EF in my diocese, who attend EF parishes but are also associated with EF organizations as it were. They also have supporters online who also say things in a similar tone and rhetoric.

    While I do acknowledge the SSPX’s existence did keep the EF lingering in the Church, the examples of attitudes and actions their close “allies“ or facsimiles in diocesan Church EFs, are not ones I support. That would include:
    - A pseudo/false patronizing of the Holy Father. In other words, yes we acknolwedge him as Pope but (…. pick your insult or false accusation here).
    - purposeful harassment of perceived liturgical violators, which can be an individual layperson of any age, all the way up to bishops and their offices.
    - Disgusting tone to things associated with the Novus Ordo and/or liturgical worship (e.g. I witnessed a blog post by one author near the end of this past Xmas, calling two little girls at his 8am mass “cross-dressers”)
    - High preference that you are with their group/church for the EF as others can’t do it right.

    So basically, based on my experience with these people, whether they also attend SSPX Masses, support them, or are even card carrying members too, I cannot support Pope Francis reconciling with the SSPX and bringing more of the same kinds of divisive “Pharisees” into the Church. The EF has to be led and done with a spirit of true Catholic joy and Charity, with clergy and laity with the right frame of mind. It CANNOT have people involved as I’ve described or others like Fellay and co. in such leadership, who have also down through their priests , have mis-educated their adherents. We already have enough “sour-pusses” misrepresenting Catholic Traditionalists and the EF, and we need to clean house here first inside and put a stop to what these people do, before we could ever think to handle more of the same mindset. Otherwise as Fr. Z hinted a long time ago … we could lose everything we have strived to gain.

    As much as I’d like to expand more, some of those people do come here to Fr. Z’s and monitor this blog, and likely, my activity as well.

  55. Pingback: Clarification on Archbold’s Story | Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

  56. Marc M says:

    Dead thread, but as I was called out by name.

    @New Sister- here is the rest of the context from the link. There is a statement to the effect that we can’t automatically assume a NO Mass is invalid. Then this (maybe I’ll commandeer our illustrious host’s emphases):

    “However, the celebrant must intend to do what the Church does. The Novus Ordo Missae will no longer in and of itself guarantee that the celebrant has this intention. That will depend on his personal faith (generally unknown to those assisting).

    Therefore, these Masses can be of doubtful validity.

    The words of consecration, especially of the wine, have been tampered with. Has the “substance of the sacrament” (cf., Pope Pius XII quoted in principle 5) been respected? While we should assume that despite this change the consecration is still valid, nevertheless this does add to the doubt.

    Are we obliged in conscience to attend the Novus Ordo Missae?

    If the Novus Ordo Missae is not truly Catholic, then it cannot oblige for one’s Sunday obligation. Many Catholics who do assist at it are unaware of its all pervasive degree of serious innovation and are exempt from guilt. However, any Catholic who is aware of its harm, does not have the right to participate. He could only then assist at it by a mere physical presence without positively taking part in it, and then and for major family reasons (weddings, funerals, etc).”

    Sure seems to me like the link I provided states exactly what I claimed. Doubtful validity. Does not meet Sunday obligation. Even further! Simply to show up at a NO Mass is described in terms that make it sound sinful, and if you have to because Aunt Rita died and is having a NO funeral, you can be present but you can’t “positively take part,” whatever that means.