Juxtaposition for your consideration

So… Card. Müller of the CDF meets with SSPX Bp. Fellay.  Some positive things are said after their meeting.

Then, Bp. Semeraro of Albano, where the SSPX HQ of Italy is, issues a Notification to warn people off from approaching SSPX priests (who are all suspended a divinis) for sacraments.  The timing of this raises questions.  Bp. Semeraro is the secretary of the “Gang of Nine” Cardinals.

Now watch this video, about the reparation the SSPX organized after the “Black Mass” event in Oklahoma City.

They sure sound dangerous, don’t they?

We might consider welcoming them.

Look… I am simply juxtaposing these things for your consideration.

Frankly, I think we need what the SSPX has to contribute. I pray for a reconciliation. Soon.

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107 Responses to Juxtaposition for your consideration

  1. Gabriel Syme says:

    Good post Father Z, I agree that the two mentioned events are incoherent when viewed together.

    Could it not be that the Bishops statement is the result of him promoting his own views with little regard for the rest of the Church, just as we saw with another Bishop and the initial draft of the synod document?

    It is in fact routine for Catholic Bishops to issue inaccurate and disparaging statements about the SSPX, though at times this may be due to ignorance rather than malice. An American Diocese (Richmond?) had to retract and clarify such a statement last year, but Pittsburgh Diocese made a similar declaration this year without retraction.

    It is irresponsible and negligent of Bishops to issue contradictory statements; it undermines their own credibility for a start.

    It is also common to hear people suggest that the SSPX harbours sedevacantists. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, the Society strictly forbids any such views.

    So, there’s a lot of rubbish banded about regarding the Society. Most disappointingly was the FSSP priest who, on his personal blog, recently described the SSPX as being “worse” than the Oklahoma Black Mass. That’s a view so deeply unreasonable that it is not even worth engaging with.

    If people take the time to study the SSPX for themselves they will see the reality. But some Bishops do not want people to do this, hence the devious / inaccurate statements aimed at muddying the waters, as we have seen.

    A big problem is that many (most?) Catholics these days are informed about their faith purely through the secular press – and so they are essentially ignorant. This is how Bishops get away with keeping an orthodox and traditional Catholic order in the dog-house, while permitting all kinds of disco-dancing, balloon-wielding, ecumenical lunacy under the “Spirit of Vatican II”.

    I go to the SSPX on Sundays and find it very edifying due to solid preaching, traditional liturgy and the strong sense of belonging to a community which – together – holds Catholic beliefs and values. That has not always been my experience elsewhere; many ‘Catholics’ seem to think Christianity = “anything goes”, that it is judgemental to holds ideals or values. I became tired of being criticised for my support of Catholic teaching, just as I am tired of ‘Catholics’ who spend all their time trying to think up novel ways to avoid their own doctrine.

    I pray daily for the SSPX to be granted a canonical status. (I do not say “reconciled” because there is no split to reconcile.)

  2. Joseph-Mary says:

    Yes, these true Catholics are indeed dangerous–to demons, to modernists, to those who wish to take the Church down a protestant path or compromise with the world. I do not attend the SSPX but if they are given to canonical status, then I might. Or if I lived in a place where I had to always endure liturgical abuse or listen to heresy, it would be the preferable alternative. My friends who live in a place of abuse have gone Greek Orthodox for example and have found a place to worship in peace. God bless the SSPX for holding the line and the traditions as those traditions are more and more desired by a new generation.

  3. Royse87 says:

    Welcoming them? No, no. That’s not the kind of welcoming progressives are talking about. You have to be very specific about who you present an opening of the Church to.

  4. Allan S. says:

    By their fruits, you shall know them.

    No SSPX? No FSSP, no PCED, no SP and no TLM anywhere for anyone. Ditto for basically all traditional devotional Catholic practices that otherwise would have been culturally annihilated in a single generation.

    The SSPX have been necessary, and I thank God for them. I do not wish them to take any actions that could lead to a surrender of their defence and preservation of the faith.

    God writes straight with crooked lines. They are a bomb shelter for the faithful, especially in those communities without any access to the traditional treasures they have preserved.

  5. Vincent says:

    But Father! Haven’t you seen a further matter for juxtaposition? Bishop Fellay said Mass in the basilica in Lourdes (with the permission of the ordinary) last Sunday.

    There’s a video on Vimeo

    And I agree, Gabriel Syme, the definition of “reconciliation” is different to what the Society thinks of itself as. If you go to an SSPX Mass, you will not hear anything heretical (or at least I never have, in 21 years). Go to the nearby parishes, and what do you find? In our nearest one there is no crucifix (at all), no holy water, the palms are ‘blessed’ by the local female (Anglican) vicar, and the priest departs from the text of the Mass on just a few occasions… In another nearby the priest decided to give an homily (diatribe) about the old fogeys who love the Latin Mass and how everything is so much better now, etc…

    And if you complain about the parish priest, purely from the point of view of actually getting a Mass read from the book rather than a Mass made up in the priest’s mind, the response is merely that you’re a “trouble maker”. And this is in a diocese where the Bishop is raved about by the trads and conservatives!

  6. Unwilling says:

    Domine, ad quem ibimus? Verba vitae aeternae habes. Io 6:68 There is no salvation separate from the Church. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. There is no Church (ἐκκλησία) separate from the Bishop of Rome. Leaving the Church to avoid heresy is heresy to avoid heresy. Absurd!

  7. Maltese says:

    I think the SSPX are an embarrassment to some modernist Bishops because some of the latter (the minority, of course) are forced to confront the banal man-centered superficiality of the novus ordo praxis.

  8. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    I’m on record for what I think is wrong about many traditionalists:
    1. ignorance of the Patristic revival, and thus a rejection of The Paschal Mystery and an Office for the laity.
    2. ignorance of Historical-Critical method with Scripture
    3. ignorance of the Jewish roots of the Faith, and thus neo-Marcionite .
    4. unwillingness to support the Ecumenical Movement, and thus ignorance of the efficacy of Baptism
    5. Knee-jerk reaction about anything to do with Vatican II and what liturgical good came out of it: e.g. the improved lectionary, the improved Office.

    Nonetheless, I endorse without reservation this: Frankly, I think we need what the SSPX has to contribute. I pray for a reconciliation. Soon

    We choose our opponents — and our allies. My opponents are the Liberals; my allies are the SSPX and obedient Traditionalists. Whatever problems exist with the SSPX can be dealt with after the Liberals are gone.

  9. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    The SSPX has so much to give the larger Church. No bishops’ conference. No Catholic Campaign for Pro-Abortion Activism, no politicians purchasing Holy Communion with taxpayers’ dollars.

  10. mamajen says:

    Yes, I do think it’s dangerous for Catholics to think they are receiving sacraments validly when they are not. Especially the Sacrament of Penance.

  11. SimonDodd says:

    On the other hand, look what was done to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate when the Bergoglio regime suspected that they had “drifted” in a “crypto-Lefebvrian direction.” One can only imagine what they might do to to the actual Lefebvrians given the chance.

  12. Siculum says:

    What about the SSPX having issues with the canonization of St. John Paul II and the beatification of Paul VI? Doesn’t that factor in too?

  13. Gerard Plourde says:

    While I wholeheartedly agree that reconciliation is desirable and believe that the Society of St. Pius X does not teach the heresy of sedevacantism, their history contains an act of defiance against the Holy See and the authority of the Church that cannot be ignored. Archbishop Lefebvre’s consecration of Bishop Fellay and his compatriots led to their excommunication and to the irregular status of the Society’s clergy. Archbishop Lefebvre’s act unmistakably challenged Papal Authority. The cited reason for his act, that he feared that to do otherwise would result in the extinction of validly consecrated bishops and therefore also the valid priesthood, indicates reservations about the authority, validity and integrity of the Pope and the Post-Conciliar Church and its hierarchy, reservations that echo those heard from Martin Luther, Cranmer, Calvin, Zwingli and Knox, who claimed that the Church of their day deviated from the Church that Christ founded. Without a clear, unequivocal acceptance of and submission to Papal and Church authority, the SSPX’s defiance is no different from that of the fringe elements on the Left espousing “Spirit of Vatican II” to justify their deviation from Church teaching and doctrine.

  14. Unwilling says:

    Sid Cundiff in NC. “many traditionalists”
    “Many”? How many?
    85% of all traditionalists? or 48%? or 4%
    or 85 individuals (est.)? or 48? or 4 that you have met?
    Without being explicit and precise, accusations are innuendo.
    How can anyone reply to so vague a statement?
    “Well, those criticisms don’t apply to me — and I am a traditionalist!”
    “Well, that’s true, but we (trads) have much more important things to offer.”
    “Well, I suppose some trads might be like that, but I don’t know them.”
    “There might be some like that, but hardly ‘many’.”
    “No are effectively no trads like that!”

    Instead, try to defend, in explicit terms, something clear and unambiguous, like the highly doubtful proposition that the actual 3-year lectionary (not a merely possible one) has greater value than the annual traditional one.

  15. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Father, I almost posted this in my comment yesterday about the wymynprysts. I find it curious that when satanists want to offend the Catholic Church and Jesus Christ, they perform a black mass which is based off the EF Missal (as far as I know, satanists did not have Bugnini revise their missal to bring it into conformity with the Novus Ordo missal). But I have never ever seen a video of a wymynpriest sacrilege the EF Mass, while the OF Mass seems particularly prone to sacrilege by wynynprysts.

    And I whole heartedly agree with your assessment of what the SSPX has to contribute. Just the simple fact of the number of engaged teen to twenty something single men in the video is a clear sign of what’s up. Where are the single young men on Sunday in the average OF parish? Where are single young men showing up for rallies and rosary brigades from the average OF parish? There are a few here and there to be sure, but not these numbers. Even the difference in this one data point between the OF and EF masses at my Midwest parish is amazing. At the EF Mass we have 20 servers sitting choir and a nave full of young families and single men. When I attend the OF Mass it’s a couple of servers, a handful of small families, and great hair everywhere else.

  16. Maltese says:

    Gerard, I think the SSPX’s “defiance” more echoes that of St. Athanasius than heretics such as Luther and Calvin. Those two denied Church dogma, but the case of Lefebvre is different inasmuch as he was striving to uphold dogmas which were being subverted in the post-Vatican II Church. Not that the blame is on that valid Council (pastoral in nature though it was), but certainly in the spirit thereof. Another commentator opined that we would not have wonderful groups such as the FSSP. How can such positive fruits come from evil? Did any such good fruits come from Luther and Calvin? My protestant relatives argue that these heretics encouraged the counter-reformation and Trent, but what directly did they contribute to the Church? Unlike Luther and Calvin, Lefebvre sought to uphold Tradition, and that which had been passed-on by the Apostles of Jesus Christ (and thus Christ Himself).

  17. RobS says:

    I desire that the SSPX should be reconciled with the Church.

    I echo what Mamajen and Gerard have said; if any other splinter group deigned to consecrate a bishop, and have said bishop ordain priests, it would (rightly) give rise to howls and gales of laughter and eye-rolling from the commentariat of this and many other blogs. But because they have the appearance of “true Catholics,” the SSPX gets a pass. It is exceedingly dangerous to imagine that one’s sins have been absolved and carry on with receiving Our Lord — by definition, unworthily — afterward.

    Beautiful display in that video, but the better act of reparation would be the humble act of rejoining the fold. Then we can all fight Satan TOGETHER.

  18. Legisperitus says:

    Atra Dicenda: “great hair”??

  19. RJHighland says:

    This whole thing comes down to Archbishop Lefebvre being disobedient to Paul VI and John Paul II. In the first 6 monthes of the SSPX being established they started coming under fire because they were drawing vocations and the seminaries in France were not. Young men desiring to serve the Lord that were horrified at the changes they were seeing in the seminaries. Laity that attend SSPX chapels you will find are those that fought for traditional teachings in their local parish but could not prevail against the modernist tide. I have met all three bishops of the SSPX and they are Holy, Catholic men spreading and overseeing the teachings of the Gospel. These men were trained by Archbishop Lefebvre, I never met him but have talk to many that knew him personnally and he was a humble holy man. What the Church has done to this society is horrendous for simply developing traditional Catholic priests when the Church and most of its leaders where trying to extinguish the mass and traditions that most on this web site love. I will take Bishops, Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Alfonso de Galarreta over Kasper, Bernardin, Mahoney, Law, Clark, Ochoa and the like elevated by now St. John Paul II. Archbishop Lefebvre got three out of four elevations correct, I wish our Holy Fathers had as good a track record our Church wouldn’t be in the mess that it is today. Pope Benedict XVI would probably be the closest at elevating Holy Men to the episcopate. Call me what you may but the SSPX is home for me, all those that attend the FSSP just remember those founders where trained by Archbishop Lefebvre and FSSP was created to divide not strengthen the traditional movement in the Church. As faithful we need to not allow those in Rome that hate the Church divide those that truly love it. That goes for both sides. The modernists have done an incredible job in destroying all that which is holy it is our job to restore it. I would love to see the SSPX in normal communion with Rome, but I do not want to be normalized with Rome and crushed like the Friars of the Immaculate. If you see what happened to them you will understand why Archbishop Lefebvre did what he did. Where is the founder of the Friars of the Immaculate these days? If there had been an FSSP parish near us when we needed it we probably would have been there but the SSPX was the only life boat availible at the time and I think that was God’s plan for us because we are home and we are ready to build. But all those attending TLMs whether, diocesen, FSSP, SSPX we all need to work together and not against each other we are of the same faith and worship in the same ways. Our common foe is modernism/progressivism inside and outside the Church not each other.

  20. Gabriel Syme says:

    MamaJen,

    Just to clarify something, regarding what you say about Catholics unwittingly receiving invalid sacraments.

    If this is the case, then Canon Law stipulates that the Sacrament is in fact valid – Catholics cannot be held to account for their own mistake or error in this regard. Most especially given how certain Bishops issue contradictory / inaccurate statements regarding the SSPX – it would be very easy for someone to make an error, one way or the other (certain Bishops seek to sow confusion with their statements).

    So, if someone asked an SSPX priest for confession – whilst being unaware the priest lacks faculties for confession, from the local ordinary – then that confession is valid under Canon Law.

  21. KM Edwards says:

    Here is my consideration:
    1. Bishop Semeraro is Pope Francis’ hand-picked favourite, the only Bishop in the ‘Gang of 9’ – the rest are all Cardinals. I doubt Bp Semeraro would make such a bold move without his all-powerful patron nudging him along.
    2. The cordiality with the SSPX and the Bp Semeraro event are part of the same strategy – pursue the discussions, and leverage your position. In short, the laity affiliated with the SSPX see that the Pope is open to discussions, but at the same time are given to know in no uncertain terms that continuing with the SSPX is bad, really really bad. This shores up the Vatican’s position and prevents the weak, the fearful and others tempted to look into the SSPX from stoking their ‘temptation’.
    3. Kudos to Fr Z for recognizing the banality of treating the SSPX as lepers within the Church – let us never forget that the reason SSPX priests are all ‘suspended a divinis’ is in truth for one reason alone – the SSPX condemns many *prudential* judgments of Vatican 2 (and no Pope or ecumenical council are infallible in their prudential judgements), and is rigidly and inflexibly devoted to the Vetus Ordo. That is IT!

  22. Legisperitus says:

    Gerard Plourde: “that he feared that to do otherwise would result in the extinction of validly consecrated bishops and therefore also the valid priesthood” – Untrue. Nowhere in his sermon at the consecration of the four bishops did the Archbishop impugn the validity of anyone else’s priestly ordination or episcopal consecration.

    What Lefebvre feared was that the SSPX would have nobody to ordain its own priests after he and Bishop de Castro Meyer were dead. That has nothing to do with questioning whether other bishops were “validly consecrated” or other priests were validly ordained. Misstating the facts on this matter helps no one.

  23. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Sid Cundiff in NC,

    Your reference to the Marcionites piqued my curiosity. These statements from the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia (courtesy of New Advent) particularly drew my attention. “They [the Marcionites] rejected the writings of the Old Testament and taught that Christ was not the Son of the God of the Jews, but the Son of the good God, who was different from the God of the Ancient Covenant…As they arose in the very infancy of Christianity and adopted from the beginning a strong ecclesiastical organization, parallel to that of the Catholic Church, they were perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known.”

  24. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Legisperitus,

    “What Lefebvre feared was that the SSPX would have nobody to ordain its own priests after he and Bishop de Castro Meyer were dead.”

    But why would this be an issue unless he had reservations about their licitness? Most congregations (e.g the Vincentians and the Paulists, to name two) rely on the local Ordinary or an Ordinary of a diocese in which they serve who is not a member of their communities to perform ordinations. When the Vincentian maintained a seminary in the Diocese of Allentown, the Ordinary there routinely ordained their members.

  25. Gabriel Syme says:

    Gerard Plourde,

    I was quite amused to read:

    “an act of defiance against the Holy See and the authority of the Church that cannot be ignored.”

    That was 26 years ago. ++Lefebvre is long dead, and the other SSPX Bishops have been free of penalty for several years now.

    ++Lefebvre openly stated he was acting on grounds that he considered the Church was in a state of emergency – Canon law allows for extraordinary action, in such a case. It is difficult to disagree about the “state of emergency”, with the benefit of hindsight.

    If you keep picking at a scab, it will never go away.

    The reason I was amused was that the post-conciliar Church is one seething mass of “acts of defiance against the Holy See and the authority of the Church” – why not get worked up about those – current examples – instead?

    For example, communion in the hand was introduced by rebellious, disobedient Bishops against the express wishes of the Pontiff. I live in Scotland, and – whilst JP2 was openly stating that the faithful are not permitted to touch the sacred species – our so-called ‘Catholic’ school taught us, (at the direction of our Bishops), that communion in the hand was “just the same” as receiving properly, and that “no-one can stop you” receiving in the hand. The Popes are still against communion in the hand, yet Bishops still permit it.

    I remember this clearly as it was about the sole faith-related teaching we received at ‘Catholic’ School, and it was heavily reinforced and continually revisited by our enthusiastic teachers, as we prepared to make our first communion.

    Eucharistic lay ministers is another example. Canon law states they should only be used when absolutely necessary – yet they are de rigeur in most parishes and the role has become mainly about making lay people (esp women) feel important, rather than as a help to the priest.

    Look at the “nuns on the bus” rabble in the States.

    And, goodness me, didn’t Pope Francis himself tell religious superiors to more or less “brush off” the authority of the CDF, if it ever intervened in their affairs?

    I agree disobedience is bad, but I think your radar is a bit wonky, if a very sincere and well-meant event from 26 years ago – long since smoothed over – is the most pressing example you can find.

  26. John Nolan says:

    I rarely attend SSPX Masses. In 1976 I heard Abp Lefebvre celebrate Mass in a function room of the Great Western Hotel, Paddington, all London churches having been denied him. In 1992 I attended St-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet in Paris (twice) – in those days it was the only Tridentine Mass in the entire city. In 2007 in Brussels (where the SSPX has the Belgian national shrine church) I found the only example of mainstream Catholicism which seems to attract people of all ages. In 2010 in Strasbourg I found a sung Mass for Ash Wednesday in a tiny SSPX chapel.

    The preaching everywhere was entirely orthodox. No ranting about Modernism and the ‘evils’ of Vatican II. Even some humour, as in this about God and Mammon: ‘Quelle carte de credit compte au Ciel? Aucune!’

    Look at the Mass Bishop Fellay recently celebrated at Lourdes. The entrance procession showed rank upon rank of young men. Following some strange unaccountable fashion ( cf Pope Francis)? I think not. Piero Marini, Baldisseri, Kasper, Madariaga et al. are the old guard; they may be having their swansong during the present pontificate but in a couple of generations’ time the Church will look very different, and the SSPX will be part of the new order.

  27. everett says:

    These comments suggesting that without the disobedience of Bishop Lefebvre and SSPX we wouldn’t have FSSP, SP and the EF strike me as a dangerous sort of presumption. We can’t know what would have happened had SSPX simply practiced obedience. Perhaps we wouldn’t have had to endure 30+ years without easy access to the EF, perhaps SP would never have been necessary. As much good as SSPX and Lefebvre did, we can’t ignore the sin of disobedience. God can bring about good fruit even from evil action.

  28. KM Edwards says:

    A somewhat off-topic sidebar to Sid Cundiff, NC re ‘traditionalists and ignorance of Historical-Critical method with Scripture’.

    You are either sorely misinformed or guilty of the same ignorance you accuse traditionalists of.

    I would encourage you to peruse Fr Brian Harrison’s and Monsignor McCarthy’s – who can hardly be accused of being ‘traditionalist’ as they are avid supporters of the Novus Ordo Mass, although they are definitely traditionalist in other ways – their articles under the Oblates of Wisdom website entitled ‘Living Tradition’ where the topic of Historical-Critical method is delved into in excellent detail in several articles. One excellent example is http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt76.html

    The Historical-Critical method is nothing short of an apostate bludgeoning of Sacred Scripture founded on a priori rejection of Scriptural Truth in all its 4 dimensions – the literal but also the moral senses. The Oblates of Wisdom offer the Neo-Patristic method as a faithful alternative.

    If anything, the ubiquitous praise heaped upon Historical-Critical method since 1962 by many princes of the Church – including, unfortunately in some instances, then Cardinal Ratzinger – is, in my view, a key indicator of what was to come during the council and a clear indicator of how the council’s often confusing words would be used after the end of the council and has to be considered one of the greatest calamities in the Catholic Church’s history.

    To close off this side bar, I do not believe that Historical-Critical method is a key distinguishing factor of the SSPX versus other Ecclesial groups, nor do I believe that a refusal to bow to that heretical approach is limited to liturgical traditionalists either. Many good Catholics of good will, traditionalist or other, reject this method, as every good Catholic ought to.

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    “So, if someone asked an SSPX priest for confession – whilst being unaware the priest lacks faculties for confession, from the local ordinary – then that confession is valid under Canon Law.”

    No.

    The Chicken

  30. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Gabriel Syme,

    The abuses you cite should not be excused. However, to refer to the direct disobedience of Archbishop Lefebvre to a Papal command and the consequent and ongoing turmoil as a “scab” is not correct. It is clear that the wound is still open and hurting the Church of Christ. It was, and still is, a source for undermining the legitimate authority of the Pope and of the rest of the hierarchy as much as actions by “Cafeteria Catholics” of the left are. The touchstone is always the statement of St. Ambrose: “Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, ibi Deus.”

  31. Rob22 says:

    I think the SPPX know how tenuous reunion would be and how can they be guaranteed the agreement won’t be broken? Pope Francis is appointing progressive bishops and the SPPX know this and they probably surmise, as some do know, that female deacons and ultimately priests are on the way. If not during this Pope’s reign then the next ones.

    The only solution I could see is an autonomous Rite for the SPPX. I don’t believe Rome will ever offer that.

    One alternative that I’ve heard discussed generally for orthodox Catholics in the West is the Orthodox Church setting up a “Rite” in the West based around the traditional Roman Mass. That has been done with the Antichan Orthodox church which caters in a big way to evangelicals wanting a liturgical church. Many in those congregations are ex-evangelicals.

    Might not work for the SPPX as they would have to give up the traditional teaching on the nature of the Papacy which they cling to but defacto don’t practice.

  32. Gerard Plourde says:

    Granted that we seek to build the Church that Our Lord established through the appointment of St. Peter and his successors and whose survival he guaranteed to the end of time. Shouldn’t our efforts be dedicated to supporting faithful Usus Antiquior congregations and orders like the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest?

  33. paladin says:

    Gabriel Syme,

    The Chicken already answered this, but: your statement about “innocently ignorant penitents receiving valid absolution from SSPX priests” simply isn’t true at all (save in cases where the penitent is in danger of death, at which point CIC 976 engages). No one but the local ordinary (or some religious superiors, and these must be in good standing) can grant the faculties for valid absolution to a priest who’s hearing confessions.

    It’s possible that God may grant an extraordinary grace of absolution, beyond the Sacrament itself (akin to receiving “baptism” of desire), in view of the penitent’s sincere contrition… but no one may presume that, and it’s beside the point.

  34. msc says:

    Judging from what the SSPX says on its official web sites [e.g http://sspx.ca/en/publications/letters/april-2014-superior-generals-letter-82-4128 ] I’d say they still have a lot of apologizing to do. Lefevre called JPII the anti-Christ: I know who I side with. I’d also need to know that the anti-semitism too many of its leaders have shown (Fellay called Jews “the enemies of the church”) in the past is an anomaly before I welcomed them back.

  35. Gabriel Syme says:

    Masked Chicken, Paladin

    You are incorrect above: if a lay person asked a priest without faculties for confession, while being unaware he lacked faculties, the confession would indeed be valid.

    In such a case, where a genuine mistake occurs, the Church supplies jurisdiction to make the confession valid. The only other outcome would be that the innocent lay person would lose out – and that’s not fair.

    Its exactly the same principle as supplied-jurisdiction in the case of danger of death. If someone was dying, they can scarcely pause to check out the priests canonical standing!

    Canon law is ordered toward the good and benefit of the faithful.

    Denying the validity of a sincere confession, made on an honest, innocent mistake, would not be ordered to the good and benefit of the faithful.

    In such a case the Church would be essentially punishing the lay person for an honest mistake, arising from intra-church politicking. That just wouldn’t be fair.

    But – I respect your opinion – let us not take the thread off topic.

  36. Gabriel Syme says:

    Msc,

    What evidence do you have for ++Lefebvre calling JP2 “the anti-christ”. I have never heard that before.

    I would not condone name-calling of Popes, (if that is indeed true), but a Pope should not allow himself to be photographed whilst kissing the Book of a false religion (as JP2 did with the Koran). Is that a good move, for the Vicar of Christ? I think not.

    I liked JP2, but he was prone to damaging confusion – as above. Introducing “girl altar boys” was another needless blunder on his watch, (pandering to secular sensibilities), especially in the middle of a vocations crisis.

    Towards the end of his life he stated he felt that he had not governed the Church as firmly or as effectively as he should have done. He was right about that.

    +Fellay is not an anti-semite. +Williamson is, and he was expelled from the Society for that.

    With +Fellays “enemies of the Church” comment, you have to understand the context. Anyone who preaches anything other than Jesus Christ is an enemy of the Church, in that they represent a competitor to the Church’s mission.

    Also remember that English is not +Fellays first language and it is likely he would have chosen a softer term (opponent? obstacle?) if using his native tongue.

    It amazes me that people have such hard attitudes towards the Society, whilst tolerating almost *anything* – just as long as it has canonical approval.

    I admire a lot about +Fellay, but nothing more than his statement that achieving canonical approval is not the first principle – the first principle is always maintaining Catholic doctrine and identity.

  37. paladin says:

    Gabriel,

    Well… suffice it to say that our host disagrees with you.

  38. Gabriel Syme says:

    Gerard Plourde,

    I agree with you about the FSSP and ICKSP etc – they are very fine traditional orders, who deserve the support of the laity.

    There is an FSSP priest based near my place of work, and sometimes I will attend his evening masses on Holy Days of obligation, before the drive home. He is a very good priest and I have a high respect for him and his order.

    I look at all the traditional orders / priests as being “the same” – not rivals. In the battle for traditional liturgy and orthodox teaching, I think it is important to fight on ‘both fronts’, if you will.

    Traditions biggest problem is factionalisation / disunity / rivalry. But, whether one attends a SSPX / ICKSP / FSSP parish, is immaterial – rather its a persons faith and what is in their heart that counts.

    We are all Catholics together and should stand should-to-shoulder against the wymn priests and the disco-dancers. We are not enemies or rivals, but brothers.

    Bear in mind that, often, the SSPX is the only group who cares enough to minister to traditional Catholics. In the Diocese where I live, the SSPX represents the only “serious” traditional provision. (I live in the Diocese which produced what Fr Z called “the most cold and negative” response to Summorum Pontificum).

    The Diocese provides one solitary Sunday TLM, in a rough part of town, transparently scheduled to try to disrupt the SSPX congregation (exact same mass time – yet the SSPX pulls approx 5 times the amont of people that go to the Diocesan TLM). The Diocese refuses to provide traditional sacraments / holy days in the same location – “no call for it”. The Diocese refuses to invite a canonically regular Traditional Order to the diocese – “no call for it”.

    And this “generous” provision only came after the former Bishop (Mario Conti) was defeated in his attempts to crush tradition – his efforts made the UK national press. +Conti was also responsible for destroying the high altar in his Cathedral, and hiding the tabernacle away in a side chapel – such that it cannot even be seen during mass (he was clearing space to cram in more ministers/shamen etc during his ecumenical services – Our Lord had to make way for the local wizards and witch-doctors etc -a disgrace).

    I attend the SSPX because I admire them, and they preach well and provide high quality liturgy and teaching. But – as you can see – even people who don’t know much about them, will be attracted to them if they live in a Diocese where traditional Catholics are “persona non grata”. And they are very many such Dioceses.

  39. Imrahil says:

    A note on the topic of illegal episopal consecrations:

    I don’t think one should continue to accuse someone of something when the offended party, the Holy See in this case, has chosen to forgive it, which happened in 2009.

    There were arguments to critisize Abp Lefebvre in 1977, which is the situation we’re now in again. The additional arguments of 1989 however have, thank God!, gone the way of all flesh.

  40. Gabriel Syme says:

    Paladin,

    Well….I was basing my arguments on Canon Law! :-P

    But – lets put this disagreement to bed, my friend.

    For what its worth – I attend confession at Diocesan venues, as I ‘know the score’ with regards to faculties and so have no recourse to claiming ignorance.

    A Diocesan priest, whom I trust and respect, advised me that I was perfectly entitled to attend Sunday mass at the SSPX – but that I should go to confession elsewhere. So that’s exactly what I do!

    Cheers!

  41. Gabriel Syme says:

    Rob22,

    How can you suggest female clergy are a possibility during this (or any) pontificate?

    Francis himself said “that door is closed” and it has been clarified numerous times that JP2 spoken infallibly when affirming male-only clergy.

  42. paladin says:

    Whoops… I’ll qualify my previous comment:

    If the penitent is sincerely ignorant of the irregular, non-faculty-possessing status of the SSPX priest, then yes, you’re right… canon law provides. (Sorry about that–I typed faster than I thought, there.)

    I don’t, however, see how this could possibly be the case in circumstances where a penitent has *heard* of the SSPX irregular status, and confesses to an SSPX priest anyway (perhaps refusing to believe it, for whatever reason). I could see this “Ecclesia supplet” engaging if the penitent were completely ignorant of the fact that the particular priest behind the screen was SSPX; but if his SSPX membership is known, I’d have a hard time believing that any but the very clueless (e.g. dear, doddering Aunt Fanny, steered into the confessional by her SSPX devotee nephew) could appeal to it.

    At any rate… I’ve muddled things enough, already, so I’ll take your suggestion! :)

  43. KM Edwards says:

    Anti-kudos to Everett for parroting what must be the refrain of every paedophile cleric to their hapless victims regarding “the sin of disobedience”.

    Obedience is a virtue in service of the truth. If a Pope commands you to commit murder, disobedience would certainly be a virtue. If your earthly father commands you to commit murder or adultery, you are in fact duty bound to disobey.

    The disobedience the SSPX founder and his successors and followers are marginalized for is the refusal to abrogate the Ancient Mass – Pope Benedict XVI’s SP has vindicated that position.

  44. Gerard Plourde says:

    Gabriel Syme,

    “the first principle is always maintaining Catholic doctrine and identity.”

    The first principle of maintaining Catholic doctrine and identity is submission to the Pope and the magisterium.

    “tolerating almost *anything* – just as long as it has canonical approval.” If it is our belief that something is not in conformance with the laws or teachings of the Church, it is our duty to bring that to the attention of the appropriate ecclesiastical authority. However, once something has received canonical approval we are called to humbly submit. This does not mean that one is required to attend a Mass in the Ordinary Form if a Mass of the Extraordinary Form is available. However, one endangers his soul if he regularly attends Masses and receives sacraments from priests who are not lawfully incardinated under a Catholic Ordinary subject to the Holy Father. It has always been a violation of canon law for a priest to be itinerant and priests of the SSPX fall specifically under that definition. Their Orders may be valid but they lack valid incardination,

  45. Rob22 says:

    Gabriel,

    I suggest this from the perspective of a convert to the church. Maybe that makes a difference.

    Douthat’s column (he is a convert too) best sums it up here.

    “The debate, encouraged and I think guided in a pro-change direction by Pope Francis, over whether to admit the divorced-and-remarried, people in unions that the church has traditionally considered adulterous, back to communion while they’re still in a sexual relationship with their new spouse. I’ve written at length, as have others more qualified than myself, on why this allegedly-pastoral change would, in fact, represent a substantial alteration of doctrine on a very consequential issue — either the doctrine surrounding marriage, the doctrine surrounding sin, confession and the Eucharist, or by effect and implication both.”

    This change should it happen will affect how some see the nature of the Church and papal Authority. As Douthat argues.

    The continuity would take a hit, the unchanging dogmatic nature as previously understood would take a hit and this is just the first salvo of the progressive element in the church. Female ordination is right up there but a more radical change so if it comes it will be down the road.

    But the implicit change in the nature of the church that would have occurred with a divorce/remarriage/communion stage will have set the stage for that.
    So if the change being debated were to happen, if the pope were to approve and promulgate it, that would seem like a Big Deal, with big repercussions for how people – myself, and others –

  46. Gerard Plourde says:

    KM Edwards –

    “The disobedience the SSPX founder and his successors and followers are marginalized for is the refusal to abrogate the Ancient Mass – Pope Benedict XVI’s SP has vindicated that position.”

    If that is the sole objection of the SSPX then, as you point out, SP has removed that impediment. Further, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of the irregularly consecrated bishops. Why has the SSPX not returned to the One True Church?

  47. pgepps says:

    I have to disagree with the tendency, *particulary* where it concerns OKC events. I am a parishioner at St. Francis, and have been acquainted with the unfolding of events here. I was deeply irked that after the Archbishop had so specifically laid out our response, and so clearly urged that we gather to proclaim the sovereign Christ and not merely to protest, both the secular media and the disobedient SSPXers were so eager to create the sort of head-to-head confrontation that treats Jesus as a totem–like the sons of Eli, taking the Ark into war without being bidden to do so, or the seven sons of Sceva, with we hope better results, and we fear no good ones….it is important not to behave like a Protestant with the Catholic faith.

  48. pgepps says:

    Having said which, I think that a serious devotion to the TLM, on the one hand, and to the Latin expression of the current Roman Missal, on the other, are both together necessary to inform and direct our practice of the current vernacular mass. Ignoring or forgetting them is a very costly error, at best. I, too, hope for a prompt reconciliation on terms that make fidelity and obedience clearly one again.

  49. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Gerard Plourde, the Marconites rejected not only the entire Old Testment but all of the New, except Luke-Acts and the letters of Paul. They rejected totally any connection to Judaism, thus ignoring what St. Paul himself says in Romans.

    Gabriel Syme, Paul in Romans does NOT consider Jews enemies of the Church. See chapter 3, vv 1-4 and chapter 9-11 and especially his analogy with the olive tree and his insistance that the Almighty will bring in all the Jews (future Christians!!!). Paul wrote Romans for the purpose of correcting any misunderstanding that he might be proto-Marconite.

    KM Edwards, the Historical-Critical method is simply faithful, and the most faithful, to the Literal part of the 4 fold Patristic Method. Thus to attack Historical Critical method is to attack the very thing that you are claiming to defend. Our host Fr. Z offers a much better analysis of the problems of H-C method: That Method (i) restores indeed what the text meant back then, yet (ii) leaves the text back then, which we cannot do. We need to have #i and need to avoid #ii. Serious scripture study must begin with #i and then, carefully, goes on (1) to apply the text typologically to Our Lord, (2) to consider the text present with us now and addressing our own time, and (3) to weave it into our own lives. One scholar on the Office, Reinhart Meßner, calls this the “anamnesic reading to scripture”. See his Einführung in die Liturgiewissenschaft pp. 189f and 231-235.

  50. Mary Jane says:

    Gabriel Syme, you said, “But, whether one attends a SSPX / ICKSP / FSSP parish, is immaterial – rather its a persons faith and what is in their heart that counts.” This is not true. It does matter where one attends.

    You also said, “Bear in mind that, often, the SSPX is the only group who cares enough to minister to traditional Catholics…” This is also not true. For instance, the FSSP is primarily ministering to traditional Catholics (they minister to all Catholics obviously, as all priests should, but what I mean is the FSSP priests only celebrate the EF).

    I think your examples are perhaps true for your area, but they do not hold for other areas. In my city, for example, there is an SSPX chapel and a FSSP parish fairly close to one another and the FSSP parish pulls hundreds of people each Sunday while the SSPX pulls dozens. I also think it is very dangerous for non-canon lawyers to presume that they know how to interpret canon law and apply it to sticky situations.

  51. paterscotus says:

    I agree that we need the SSPX. First of all, we would not have the traditional Mass if not for their “holding the line.” And they have done so, not only with regard to liturgy, but also as to doctrine, handed down from antiquity, yet, in some cases swept aside by novelties widely adopted “in the spirit of Vatican II” (e.g., ecumenism, religious liberty, etc.). In a way, the Society has been the “conscience” of the Church for the last 40 plus years.

    Secondly, we need each other. “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, . . . the powers, . . . the world rulers of this present darkness” (Ep 6:12) – as evidenced by the recent Synod. Satan would love to scatter apart similar-thinking, Tradition-loving Catholics. We need to be united in order to defeat the common Enemy.

    Finally, let’s not be satisfied with categorical representations. If Vatican II said it’s OK to shake hands with your Protestant neighbor and to even discuss Scripture with her, why is it not right and just to emerge from our preconceived notions and go out to meet these brethren of ours? I’ll tell you, to get to know their priests and people is to be immersed in an environment of love of the Church and willingness to suffer persecution for her.

  52. SaintJude6 says:

    Mary Jane,
    If it weren’t for the SSPX, you wouldn’t have an FSSP parish or an ICKSP parish. The Latin Mass would have ceased being celebrated.

  53. Allan S. says:

    For all those diving into the canonical rabbit hole of “Is the SSPX right or is it wrong?” ask instead “Is or was it necessary?” or perhaps “Would you rather live in a Church in 2014 where the SSPX had never existed?

    Then just say “thanks” to the good God who acted through them to give us what we all now have, but for the SSPX we would not have had. Chesterton wrote “We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.” Sounds about right.

  54. RobS says:

    For those saying “we need the SSPX because otherwise there would be no FSSP/ICKSP/Canons Regular/Latin Mass at all:”

    A) Nobody knows that. We do know that FSSP was formed in direct response to the outrageous disobedience showed by SSPX leadership, sure. But it is possible that Pope Benedict would have issued his motu proprio even without the existence of splinter groups. I don’t pretend to know what might have happened and you shouldn’t either.

    B) If it is true that Summorum Pontificum in some way “vindicated” SSPX and that this end is all they really wanted, then why did not rush back to Rome in September 2007? The answer is because there is something else at work, rotting beneath the surface and preventing reunification.

    C) I am happy to give full credit to the SSPX for any good fruits they bear after they rejoin the Church. I do not think it is out of line to put “I’m a faithful Catholic but I do so via SSPX” alongside things like “I’m a faithful Catholic but I don’t believe in transubstantiation” or “I’m a faithful Catholic but I don’t confess to a priest because God forgives sins without that;” the statements are simply incompatible. I’m a faithful Catholic AND I want SSPX to come home!

    D) Romans 6:1!!! The TLM is a great good and I benefit a great deal when I assist at one. But to rally for a particular mode of worship to the point where informal schism and disobedience to papal primacy are accepted is unthinkable. Romans 6:1!

  55. Mary Jane says:

    SaintJude6, we don’t know that for certain. But, I am fully aware of that possibility. Did I ever say anything to the contrary?

    I grew up in “independent”/SSPX circles. I have done a lot of personal research and I have talked to various priests. I know a lot about the SSPX’s history, situation, and position from the “inside out”, you might say. In the last few years I have grown to discover and realize (and accept, as hard as it was, since I grew up always thinking the opposite) that what Father Z says about the status of the SSPX and the validity of some of their sacraments is true.

    I would dearly love to see the SSPX given full canonical status. I wish all traditionally-minded Catholics would stop fighting amongst themselves, stop making jabs at one another, and stop playing living-room-arm-chair canon lawyers. The SSPX have much to offer, and so does every other EF group out there…if only we could all unite and together fight for what we love.

  56. Gerard Plourde says:

    RobS,

    Your comments speak very much for my position. I value the faithful who revere the Latin Mass in both the Ordinary From and the Extraordinary Form. I hope and pray that some day we may count the clergy who form the SSPX among them. For now, their failure to seek reconciliation with the Holy See makes me wary of their orthodoxy.

  57. Fr. Z: ”Frankly, I think we need what the SSPX has to contribute.”

    Apparently one thing they have to offer is “full, active, and conscious participation” by the laity at Holy Mass such as not commonly seen at either an OF or EF Mass. I took a look at the link

    http://vimeo.com/110112172

    provided by Vincent in a comment above, to the video of the solemn pontifical TLM celebrated recently by Bishop Fellay at the Basilica in Lourdes. It looked and sounded like entire congregation joined in full-throated singing of the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, etc). Lead by a Gregorian chant conductor at a podium up front—something I’ve never previously seen at an EF Mass. (Though of course it’s common to see—and hear painfully–a bellowing cantor up front at an OF Mass, nobody paying any attention to her furiously waving arms.)

  58. paladin says:

    KM Edwards wrote:

    The disobedience the SSPX founder and his successors and followers are marginalized for is the refusal to abrogate the Ancient Mass – Pope Benedict XVI’s SP has vindicated that position.

    That’s not quite true. Their end was good (the desire not to abrogate the Tridentine form of the Mass); but if some object [x] is good, that doesn’t logically imply that the preservation of [x] is obligatory… or that one is somehow justified in preserving [x] at all costs. (As a wild example: I think we’d both agree that Archbishop Lefebvre would not have been justified in, say, murdering Pope Paul VI in order to “safeguard the Ancient Form of the Mass”.) One might certainly say that any attempted suppression of a good and traditional form of the Mass is an evil (i.e. it’s never good to will it or to enact it), just as one might say that the unjust or rash persecution of a Saint by his/her bishop/priest/rightful authority is an evil; but it doesn’t logically follow that rebellion is therefore *good*. St. Padre Pio would not, for example, have been “doing good” if he’d thumbed his nose at the spiritual authorities who persecuted and stifled him; the sin of others does not give us license to sin in turn.

    Look at it this way: it’s always bad to disobey rightful authority; but on certain occasions, the principle of double-effect allows that evil (so long as it’s not intended for its own sake). Those conditions are strict ones:

    1) the intended action is good, or at least morally neutral
    2) the evil effect is not intended
    3) the good effect is not caused by the evil effect
    4) there is sufficiently grave reason for permitting the evil effect
    5) there is no other alternative available by which the same end may be achieved

    The SSPX rebellion (and forgive me, but that’s precisely what it was; one might try to argue that the rebellion was justifiable, but that’s another issue) clearly succeeds, I think, on point #1.

    All SSPX members of good will satisfy point #2, as well (I won’t address those who desired rebellion for its own sake–I hope they are few and fringe!).

    Point #3 gets into murky waters, since the SSPX did at least three things, at the outset: (a) refusal to stop saying the TLM, (b) publicly fomenting disobedience on that point, and (c) illicitly consecrating bishops. (Some SSPX members go further, repudiating the Second Vatican Council altogether; but I’ll not address that, here.) Action (a) seems, to me, to be the only action which could possibly be justified on the SSPX-stated reason of “we must resist evil commands”; action (b) doesn’t seem justifiable on that basis, and action (c) is completely beyond the pale, and it appeals to mere expediency (“if we don’t illicitly consecrate bishops, we’ll die out!”–which is a rather wretched failure of trust in the providence of God: “if we don’t make alliance with Egypt or Assyria, we’ll be wiped out!”). By action (c), the SSPX case fails the third requirement for the principle of double-effect.

    Condition #4 seems unfulfilled, since the existence of any particular FORM of the Mass doesn’t seem to be a moral imperative (deprivation of the Mass itself is not comparable to deprivation of a particular form of it; and the SSPX were fighting on behalf of the latter). This could possibly be argued… but I’ve yet to see any argument which, IMHO, was compelling.

    Condition #5 seems to fail from the word “go”; at worst, a simple refusal to stop using the TLM is the extent to which the SSPX should have gone (if we grant the premise that the absence of the TLM is such a grave evil that otherwise intolerable actions are warranted to defend it–and I do not grant that); at best, humble submission and prayer for those involved should have been their choice (cf. the Marto children at Fatima, the supporters of the Divine Mercy devotion via St. Faustina, the submission of the Jesuits [yes, I know!] in the 1700’s when their order was suppressed, etc.).

    Summary: this horse doesn’t run, from what I see.

  59. APX says:

    [Lefebrve]was a humble holy man.

    Consecrating four bishops in disobedience to Rome is not what humble holy men do.

  60. CrimsonCatholic says:

    Pope Francis is appointing progressive bishops and the SPPX know this and they probably surmise, as some do know, that female deacons and ultimately priests are on the way. If not during this Pope’s reign then the next ones.

    So you know this how? Are you God and you can read the minds of people?

    Furthermore Rob22, suggesting schism is a grave sin.

  61. Rob22 says:

    CrimsonCatholic,

    With due respect, I did not suggest in any way schism. I said and believe it is highly unlikely the SPPX reconciles with Rome. Short of their being give “Rite” status which I don’t see happening.

    Specifically, as a convert for me, as for Douthat and others, the “nature” of the church was key to my conversion. I went back and forth between Orthodoxy and Catholocism prior to formally converting.

    For me a change in what I perceive as the fundamental nature of the church as I understood it at the time might make me rethink things and perhaps reconsider Orthodoxy.

    The Orthodox church is not considered in schism as I understand it. The anathemas were “recanted” (maybe not the right word) a while back.

  62. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Legispertius: “great hair” was supposed to be “grey hair”.

  63. CrimsonCatholic says:

    Rob22,

    You do realize that what is being suggested by Cardinal Kasper is the Orthodox principle of oikonomia. That is that each case is different, and that each divorce/remarriage situation is handled by the priest. After some time for repentance, that person that divorced would be allowed to receive communion and get another marriage (in a nutshell). Fr. Z and others have written about how this is problematic.

    If you truly believed that the Catholic church is the Church that Jesus established through Peter, then you would know that the Church does not have the power to change doctrines that Jesus established. Have faith, the Truth and Christ’s Bride will prevail.

    Second, you leaving the Church for the Orthodox, and suggesting others do the same would be schism, It is a grave sin and spelled out so in Canon 751.

  64. Gerard Plourde says:

    Rob22:

    “the “nature” of the church was key to my conversion.”

    An essential component to that nature is submission to the authority of the Pope. Which relates to the status of the Orthodox Churches – even though the anathemas are rescinded, the schism remains recognized by both parties as they refuse to accept the Primacy of the Roman See and we deny their claim that the Patriarch of Constantinople is equal in authority to the Patriarch of Rome by their assertion that this was a decree of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. (One wonders how a Council can overrule Our Lord’s clear designation of the primacy of Peter and his successors.)

  65. KateD says:

    It is beautiful to see so many devout Catholic young people coming out in defense of Our Lord.

    I hope Pope Francis will forgive the SSPX for any transgressions, real or perceived. Holy Mother Church needs this good and holy order in full communion with her, so that we can turn as one whole body to fight the real enemy of the faith together.

  66. John Nolan says:

    When Marcel Lefebvre founded his seminary at Econe he was careful to obtain permission from the local Ordinary. The Vatican, under pressure from the French bishops, in effect ordered him to shut up shop. This, remember, was the 1970s when an exemplary and heroic witness, Cardinal Mindszenty, was also shabbily treated by the Church authorities. Both prelates are now dead. Both deserve a posthumous apology.

  67. Giuseppe says:

    While there may be reasons for the SSPX to continue in its irregular situation in some locations, the reason why a Roman Catholic would attend an SSPX church are diminishing as more dioceses have parishes that offer TLM.

    If a Roman Catholic has access to a TLM from a Roman Catholic church and a TLM from a SSPX church, and he then chooses to go to the SSPX church, how would this not be a sin?

  68. everett says:

    Paladin did an excellent job of covering this in his response to KM Edwards, but yes, the disobedience I was referring to was not that they kept saying what is now called the EF, but that they consecrated Bishops without permission, and having been explicitly told not to. That’s the sin of disobedience that in my mind is the most serious issue. Saints practice obedience in all things but sin (see St. Pio of Pietrelcina), and not consecrating Bishops would most certainly not have been sinful, and as Paladin walks through, the principle of double effect doesn’t apply.

  69. bmadamsberry says:

    I don’t attend an EF Mass even semi-occasionally. But I agree. We need these people.

  70. Gerard Plourde says:

    everett,

    You’re absolutely correct concerning serious offense represented by the direct disobedience manifested in the illicit consecrations and that Paladin’s detained comment does a masterful job explaining why the SSPX’s invocation of the principle of necessity cannot withstand scrutiny. The elephant in the room is the SSPX’s undefined objection to the Church’s requirement that the Society accept doctrinal preamble submitting to the Second Vatican Council’s decisions and documents as a valid expression of the Church’s teaching (not that they blindly accept all documents as equally binding nor that the definitive interpretation of all of the documents has been established).

  71. Gerard Plourde says:

    “detailed” not “detained” – Autocorrect is not always your friend.

  72. robtbrown says:

    Paladin,

    Interesting reflections, but nb:

    The problem was not that LeFebvre refused to stop saying the TLM. Rather, it was that he refused to close his seminary and disband the Society. That was why he was suspended a divinis.

    Then later came the episcopal consecrations, which were schismatic acts.

  73. Gabriel Syme says:

    Gerard Plourde ,

    “The first principle of maintaining Catholic doctrine and identity is submission to the Pope and the magisterium. ”

    There are very many quotes from Great Popes and Great Saints, which instruct us that should any future Pope teach novelties then we are not to follow him. Indeed, scripture tells us that even if Angels from Heaven should bring us new doctrines, we are to reject them.

    Since the Second Vatican Council, the Popes have begun to teach novelties which contradict the previous 2,000 years of the Catholic faith – this is undeniable. Religious liberty, false ecumenism etc etc. All of these represent new, novel ideas which contradict what went before.

    The SSPX recognise and submit to the Sovereign Pontiff, except when he teaches novelties.

    Popes are bound to guard the deposit of faith. They are not to tinker, or add or subtract doctrines, simply guard what is already there.

    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” – Galatians 1:8

    “If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him” – Pope Pius IX

  74. Gabriel Syme says:

    Giuseppe,

    “If a Roman Catholic has access to a TLM from a Roman Catholic church and a TLM from a SSPX church, and he then chooses to go to the SSPX church, how would this not be a sin?”

    SSPX Churches are Catholic Churches. The Ecclesia Dei Commission has verified that a Catholic can fulfill his or her sunday obligation at an SSPX Church, without incurring any sin or ecclesial penalty.

    Basically you can attend mass there, but not go to confession there (due to the priests lack of faculties).

    Additionally, in the mainstream “novus ordo” church, my experience is that Catholic parishes often encourage their parishioners to visit Protestant Churches (and vice versa) in the name of ecumenism. (I was raised in the novus ordo church and have only been SSPX aligned for some 18-24 months).

    It would be absurd to say its wrong to go to the SSPX, against this backdrop.

  75. Gabriel Syme says:

    Mary Jane,

    “This is not true. It does matter where one attends.”

    I agree it matters when it comes to confession etc – but otherwise its the same mass.

    One thing I like about the SSPX is their lack of political correctness – they can call a spade a spade, a heretic a heretic. The canonically recognised orders are perhaps less free to be so blunt / “to the point”.

    “This is also not true. For instance, the FSSP is primarily ministering to traditional Catholics ”

    I didnt mean to besmirch the FSSP – they do a brilliant job and I have a high respect for them. But they depend on Bishops inviting them into their Diocese.

    Where I live, the Bishop will not invite them – and so they have no part to play in ministry in my area. The Bishop doesnt invite them because he has no time for tradition.

    So the effect of this is that the SSPX is the only group present which is offering a fully traditional Catholic experience.

    “I think your examples are perhaps true for your area, but they do not hold for other areas.”

    Absolutely – you are correct. I was speaking from personal experience.

    We have an SSPX Church in our City, no other groups.

    But, 50 miles away, there is a City which has both the FSSP and SSPX – and both of these congregations thrive and indeed there is a good deal of overlap between them, with people often visiting both Churches.

    The FSSP priest (whom I know) refers to my city as an “impossible place” for tradition, thanks to the attitude of the local Bishops.

    “I also think it is very dangerous for non-canon lawyers to presume that they know how to interpret canon law and apply it to sticky situations.”

    Absolutely – I agree again. I dont hold myself up as an expert.

    I know little about canon law, but I read extensively on this subject, when I wanted to know if I could validly confess to an SSPX priest.

    The SSPX make good argument for their validity, but ultimately I go to the Diocese as “why gamble?” when it comes to confession?

    All the best!

  76. Lili of the fields says:

    Yes Father Z,
    I could not agree more: we need what they have to offer, and we need to pray for a reconciliation, soon. Some try to oppose the attachment to the old form of worship and the compassion needed to evangelization, but it is a disingenuous argument; we can have both.

  77. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Gabriel Syme: Since the Second Vatican Council, the Popes have begun to teach novelties which contradict the previous 2,000 years of the Catholic faith – this is undeniable. Religious liberty, false ecumenism etc etc. All of these represent new, novel ideas which contradict what went before.

    1. The Paschal Mystery is taught by the following: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Saints Peter and Paul, and the Fathers. Hardly a novelty. Hardly “since the Second Vatican Council”. Hardly “undeniable”.

    2. Religious Freedom. To force the faith is semi-Pelegian. Hardly a novelty. Hardly “since the Second Vatican Council”. Hardly “undeniable”. Hardly contradictory to the 2000 years of the Faith.

    3. Ecumenicalism is based on the efficacy of the Sacrament of Baptism. Hardly a novelty. Hardly “since the Second Vatican Council”.

    4. Philo-Judaic is taught by St. Paul in Romans. Hardly a novelty. Hardly “since the Second Vatican Council”.

    5. An Office for the laity and clerics was the practice of the 1st six centuries of the Western Church. Hardly a novelty. Hardly “since the Second Vatican Council”. Hardly “undeniable”.

    Thus the sad sight of those who claim to be defending orthodoxy who are the very ones who don’t know what it is. Without doubt there have damaging novelties, mostly in the liturgy of the Mass. For this reason we need the Society regularized in the Church.

  78. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Gabriel,

    I should not have been so glib in my one word answer to your statement about the validity of a vincibly ignorant SSPX confession made without faculties. I spill so many words in comments that I thought I would be pithy and shocking, for a change.

    I realize this is slightly off-topic, but only slightly. We need the SSPX, but we don’t need them to be confusing the Faithful with regards to their confessional status.

    If simple ignorance could make a sacrament valid, then one could argue that if an enemy substituted grape-colored water for wine at Mass, then the priest would validly confect the wine. This is not correct. The rule is that one cannot give what one does not have. The Church supplies (Ecclesia supplet), but only when there is a defect in something juridical that had a right to occur in the first place. The problem is not ignorance on the part of the penitent, it is the obdurate refusal of the SSPX priest to acknowledge that his confession is invalid. The Church has, definitively, refused them jurisdiction at the present time. It is under no obligation to supply it, in case of error, although it could, but this is not simply a case of error on the priest’s part, thinking he has faculties. That could trigger Ecclesia supplet, but ignorance on the penitent’s part does not. The penitent is hurt, but the priest is culpable, since no SSPX priest doesn’t at least know what Rome says with regards to their confessional validity, whether they choose to accept it, or not. Does the Church supply when the wrong words of absolution are spoken? No. The penitent must re-confess. Now, it falls on the SSPX to inform every penitent, by sign or spoken word, of their confessional status as specified by Rome, since to allow ignorance to enter the confessional is gravely scandalous. In addition, it is only slightly possible that the penitent has not heard of Rome’s ruling because of the Internet and other channels of information, so ignorance is not to be presumed on the penitent’s part. Now, God can forgive the person’s sins by extraordinary means in extraordinary cases, but this is not one of them. Ecclesia supplet triggers when there is a need for jurisdiction which the Church would reasonably provide. It is not reasonable to supply jurisdiction just because of ignorance, or else the canons would not be so clear and direct with regards to faculties for a valid confession. The confessor has the moral obligation, at the start of the confession, to inform the penitent as to what Rome says. To do otherwise is disingenuous and shows a contempt for authority. Certainly, in light of this, an appeal to Ecclesia supplet falls apart. There can be no ignorance in the confessional regarding the status of the confessor if one wishes to avoid scandal and this is all on the priest.

    Ed Peters, a renown canonist, has written on this very topic:

    http://www.canonlaw.info/2007/02/we-need-to-be-careful-with-notion-of.html

    Just so they are available, here are the Canons related to ignorance. Most show that ignorance cannot make an invalidating law, valid.

    Can. 15 §1. Ignorance or error about invalidating or disqualifying laws does not impede their effect unless it is expressly established otherwise.

    §2. Ignorance or error about a law, a penalty, a fact concerning oneself, or a notorious fact concerning another is not presumed; it is presumed about a fact concerning another which is not notorious until the contrary is proven.

    Can. 126 An act placed out of ignorance or out of error concerning something which constitutes its substance or which amounts to a condition sine qua non is invalid. Otherwise it is valid unless the law makes other provision [as in the case of faculties for confession – my comment]. An act entered into out of ignorance or error, however, can give rise to a rescissory action according to the norm of law.

    Can. 1045 Ignorance of the irregularities and impediments does not exempt from them.

    Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:

    1/ a person who has not yet completed the sixteenth year of age;

    2/ a person who without negligence was ignorant that he or she violated a law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance;

    I stand to be correct, but I cannot see how ignorance, if the SSPX priest truly wants to be fair and make full disclosure, can occur in not knowing the status of SSPX confessions either before or at the point of confession. Thus, I see no way to trigger anything that would make the confession valid.

    The Chicken

  79. Gabriel Syme says:

    Sid Cundiff in NC,

    I only mentioned religious liberty and ecumenism by name, not the other things you brought up.

    These are definitely novelties (you dont actually give any reason why you feel religious freedom isnt novelty)

    Jesus Christ is the only way – people do not have a right to error, hence religious liberty is bunk and indeed contrary to the faith and the mission of the Church.

    Ecumenism is bunk also – the Church never used to cosy up to heretics, much less pretend that it had something in common with them (it doesnt). This promotes religious indifference and reduces the Church of Christ to the same level as man-made false religions. Christ founded one Church – not tens of thousands of different Churches.

    The worst thing about these novelties is the incoherence they introduce to Catholicism.

    You know when something is askew, when the Church cant get enough of protestants – and often seems to desire to be protestant itself (remember them deciding on the truth by voting, at the recent synod?) – but is repelled by its own history.

    Cardinal Kaspar has long since openly admitted that Vatican II was deliberately ambiguous in places, such that novelty could be inserted over time.

    I used to wonder why I received no formal catechesis in my youth, but the reason is now very clear – it was planned that way, so that generations of post-V2 Catholics would be unequipped to recognise and question novelty. And the modernists very nearly got away with it too. Nearly.

    I certainly agree with you about novelties in the liturgy and that we need the Society regularised.

    All the best
    Gabriel

  80. Gabriel Syme says:

    Sid Cundiff in NC,

    I only mentioned religious liberty and ecumenism by name, not the other things you brought up.

    These are definitely novelties (you dont actually give any reason why you feel religious freedom isnt novelty)

    Jesus Christ is the only way – people do not have a right to error, hence religious liberty is bunk and indeed contrary to the faith and the mission of the Church.

    Ecumenism is bunk also – the Church never used to cosy up to heretics, much less pretend that it had something in common with them (it doesnt). This promotes religious indifference and reduces the Church of Christ to the same level as man-made false religions. Christ founded one Church – not tens of thousands of different Churches.

    The worst thing about these novelties is the incoherence they introduce to Catholicism.

    You know when something is askew, when the Church cant get enough of protestants – and often seems to desire to be protestant itself (remember them deciding on the truth by voting, at the recent synod?) – but is repelled by its own history.

    Cardinal Kaspar has long since openly admitted that Vatican II was deliberately ambiguous in places, such that novelty could be inserted over time.

    I used to wonder why I received no formal catechesis in my youth, but the reason is now very clear – it was planned that way, so that generations of post-V2 Catholics would be unequipped to recognise and question novelty. And the modernists very nearly got away with it too. Nearly.

    I certainly agree with you about novelties in the liturgy and that we need the Society regularised.

    All the best
    Gabriel

    PS – for all one hears about SSPX disobedience, they accept about 95% of Vatican II, as Bishop Fellay has stated. Theres just a few sticking points.

    But, walk into any Novus Ordo parish and ask about the Real presence, wymyn priests, contraception, homosexuality etc and you will find that very many of the people there place secular sensibilities above Catholic teaching.

    So, is it *really* the SSPX who should have a question mark over their Catholicity?

  81. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Gabriel Syme,

    “Since the Second Vatican Council, the Popes have begun to teach novelties which contradict the previous 2,000 years of the Catholic faith – this is undeniable.”

    Notwithstanding the detailed response given by Sid Cundiff in NC refuting your contentions, your comments raise a more fundamental difficulty. The implication of your contention is that the Popes (I posit that you refer to St. John XXIII, Bl. Paul VI, St. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis) are all teaching error in matters of faith and morals. This would mean that you are either –

    1. Rejecting the Dogma of Papal Infallibility declared by the Vatican Council in 1870 which teaches that the Pope cannot err when speaking in the areas of faith and morals and the express guarantee of Our Lord to Peter and his Successors that they will be preserved from error. In this case, in instructing the faithful concerning the interpretation of the decrees of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (to translate its official name – Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum).

    or

    2. Rejecting the principal of the Church’s overall infallibility, by positing that somehow the efficacy of the Holy Spirit has been thwarted in four successive papal conclaves, an Ecumenical Council and the four distinct pontificates.

    I suspect that you may invoke Bellarmine’s thesis concerning a theoretically heretic pope. Given that Bellarmine’s musings predate the promulgation of the formal definition of the dogma of papal infallibility, I would submit that Bellarmine’s thesis must be rejected where it is inconsistent with the tenets of the dogma.

  82. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Gabriel Syme:You don’t address my argument.

    1. You do not address my argument that anything other than religious liberty is semi-Pelagian. Faith is His free gift. It cannot be forced. To say otherwise is rank heresy. See the decrees of the Synod of Orange in your Denzinger, 43rd ed. §§ 370-397, decrees affirmed by the Pope. So I maintain that religious freedom isn’t a novelty; it is you who are incoherent with orthodox dogma. Not to mention that lack of religious freedom has had some very abhorrent results. The good citizens of Drogheda can tell you about these results; ditto the good burgers of Magdeburg. Cromwell and Wallenstein are bad company to be in, Mr Syme.

    2. You fail to address my argument that anyone baptized in the Trinitarian formula and with water is a valid Christian, be he Catholic or Protestant. To say otherwise denies the efficacy of the sacrament, and is thus also rank heresy. Thus to say that we have nothing in common with Protestants is what is the real bunk. It is the Orangemen think/thought that they had nothing in common with us; strange company for you keep, Mr. Syme.

  83. acardnal says:

    VIDEO: Today Pope Francis met with Old Catholic bishops and suggested reconciliation.

    http://www.romereports.com/pg158904-pope-to-old-catholic-bishops-of-utrecht-it-s-about-forgiveness-and-reconciliationen

  84. katholos says:

    I agree with Father Z that we need what the SSPX has to offer. Many years before I entered the Catholic Church I read “The Desolate City” by Anne Roche Muggeridge, may perpetual light shine upon her. She wrote with grace and clarity.

    In some quarters Mrs. Muggeridge’s positions were considered excessively pessimistic but her book brought the names of Annibale Bugnini and many of the architects of Vatican II to my attention. It also introduced me to the SSPX and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. In time I began to read his writings for myself and there is no doubt in my mind that his love for the Church and desire to preserve the integrity of the Mass were at the heart of all he did.

    In the first few years of my conversion I too encountered liturgical abuses in the novus ordo and clergy and religious with their own agendas. The fact that half my family is Catholic and some beautiful memories of my Catholic father’s parish and some wonderful Sisters who cared for a little Lutheran girl at the local Catholic kindergarten I attended made me dig in my heels when I converted. My Catholic heritage is my right. I am glad for the continuing witness of the SSPX. If there is room for the heretical agitators in the Church there is certainly room for the SSPX.

  85. Gerard Plourde says:

    Any road to reconciliation is going to be long and difficult for the Old Catholics.

    The story about the meeting between Pope Francis and the Union of Utrecht states that –

    “He [Pope Francis] then added that the separation between the two, triggered grave sins and human faults on both sides, but mutual forgiveness and humble repentance are key for reconciliation.”

    The Union of Utrecht broke away over the dogma of Papal infallibility. I doubt they’ll accept the Pope’s authority any time soon.

  86. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Katholos,

    The conditions for reconciliation were set forth by Pope Benedict who also lifted the excommunications that Bishop Fellay and his fellow bishops automatically incurred by receiving consecration without the mandate of the Pope. (In fact they unequivocally demonstrated disobedience by accepting consecration after having been specifically admonished not to.) To use a common expression – “The ball is in the SSPX’s court.”

  87. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Gabriel Syne,

    Above you asked msc to prove that Archbishop Lefebvre referred to St. John Paul II as the antichrist. I’ve located a quote from a site that supports Bishop Williamson that comes terribly close (verification or proof of its spuriousness sought).

    “The See of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome are being occupied by anti-Christs, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even in His Mystical Body here below… This is what has brought down upon our hearts persecution by the Rome of the anti-Christs. This Rome, Modernist and Liberal, is carrying on its work on the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord, as Assisi and the confirmation of the liberal theses of Vatican on Religious Liberty prove…” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Letter to the future Bishops, Aug 29, 1987)

  88. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I learn a lot reading the back and forth on these comments….

  89. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    acardnal,
    Thank you for the link!

    22 November will be the eighth anniversary of Dr. Joris Vercammen (the first person pictured shaking hands with the Pope in the video report) successfully promoting the offical formal sacramental “epicletic” [!] Old Catholic blessing of ‘same-sex unions’ in the Dutch Old Catholic Synod.

    In doing so he emphatically distanced himself from seeming to suggest such ‘unions’ enjoyed any equality with “the classic [!] marriage between a man and a woman”. Rather, he voiced “the recognition as a contribution to the mission of the Church [!] of the unions of baptized homosexual people based on exclusive and life-long fidelity”.

    The Dutch Old Catholic website provides what I take to be the successful Synod proposal, including, “The Dutch Old Catholic Church lays down no preconditions on the sexual lifestyle of believers for participation in the central sacraments of baptism and the eucharist” and “the whole lifestyle, including sexual practice, bears witness to faith, hope, and love according to the example of Jesus Christ, in obedience to God’s word, and to the service of one’s neighbor”.

    As far as I know, no objection to this was subsequently raised by the International Bishops’ Conference of the Union of Utrecht, presided over by… Dr. Vercammen.

    The late Laurence Orzell gives some good broader background here:

    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-04-056-r

  90. robtbrown says:

    Sid Cundiff in NC says,

    1. The Paschal Mystery is taught by the following: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Saints Peter and Paul, and the Fathers. Hardly a novelty. Hardly “since the Second Vatican Council”. Hardly “undeniable”.

    The SSPX objects not to Scripture but rather to the Paschal Mystery Theology that usually is thought to have originated with Dom Odo Casel of Maria Laach. IMHO, the objections of the SSPX are rooted in the Atonement Theory and applied to the Eucharist. My impression is that such an approach is fairly common in Counter Reformation Theology.

    I have an idea what it is that Paschal Mystery Theology is trying to say (a more comprehensive concept of the Redemption), but I don’t think it succeeds. I prefer St Thomas.

    2. Religious Freedom. To force the faith is semi-Pelegian. Hardly a novelty. Hardly “since the Second Vatican Council”. Hardly “undeniable”. Hardly contradictory to the 2000 years of the Faith.

    This is yet another of those matters that Vat II handled poorly. Certainly, it is true that by definition the Act of Faith is a free act.

    Politically, however, it is a different situation. Certainly, it is true that Religious Freedom must be asserted in non Catholic nations. There are obvious recent examples in the US. The Obamacare mandate that businesses must provide insurance that covers abortions and legal proceedings brought against bakeries that refused to sell wedding cakes to commemorate same sex unions.

    On the other, what about nations that are Catholic? Should there be religious freedom in those? The obvious answer is that there are now no nations that are Catholic. The SSPX is dreaming of some earlier era in French history.

  91. robtbrown says:

    Venerator Sti Lot says:

    The Dutch Old Catholic website provides what I take to be the successful Synod proposal, including, “The Dutch Old Catholic Church lays down no preconditions on the sexual lifestyle of believers for participation in the central sacraments of baptism and the eucharist” and “the whole lifestyle, including sexual practice, bears witness to faith, hope, and love according to the example of Jesus Christ, in obedience to God’s word, and to the service of one’s neighbor”.

    Why limit in to sexual lifestyle? Why exclude any behavior that is considered immoral? (BTW, God’s Word excludes homosexuality.)

    The proposal seems a grand example of Anti-Nomianism.

  92. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    robtbrown writes, “The SSPX is dreaming of some earlier era in French history”. I have no reason to think this may not be so, but if so, it must be an era – or eras – earlier, or later, than a lot of ‘Gallicanism’.

    As to, “what about nations that are Catholic? Should there be religious freedom in those?”, I suspect that, historically, Catholics enjoyed more freedom in the United States of Senator Charles Carroll, in some respects, than in the contemporary ‘Josephist’ Empire (where, as I recall, new editions of Missal and Breviery could not be published without State approval, lest the Office of some suspiciously anti-statist Saint might become available).

    ” Quas primas” (1925) is good to consider in this context: for example (24), “We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers.”

    “The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied” and “It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers”
    would seem to apply to a lot of ‘ Gallicanism’, ‘ Febronism’, and ‘Josephism’ .

  93. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    robtbrown,

    It does seem “a grand example of Anti-Nomianism”. But there also seems room for a different ‘nomos’ , a construction of ‘ justice’ which, for example, does not obviously look to criticize many a rigorously (if selectively) enforced state ‘hate-speech’ law.

  94. robtbrown says:

    Venerator Sti Lot,

    I intentionally used the word “dreaming” to indicate an era that didn’t necessarily exist. It might be said that those of the Right dream of an era that never was, and those of the Left dream of an era that never will (or could) be.

    Of course, there have been anti-Ecclesial moves by Catholic monarchs. In the 18th cent Emperor Joseph II suppressed Carthusian monasteries.

    As you know, despite the Swiss location, the SSPX has French roots. And secular French government has never been anything anti Ecclesial.

    There was great hope that secular democracies would purify the Church by eliminating any direct participation in government. That seemed to have been the case for some years, at least in the US, but involvement of governments in abortion and contraceptive programs was the beginning of the end of that situation

  95. robtbrown says:

    Venerator Sti Lot says:

    It does seem “a grand example of Anti-Nomianism”. But there also seems room for a different ‘nomos’ , a construction of ‘ justice’ which, for example, does not obviously look to criticize many a rigorously (if selectively) enforced state ‘hate-speech’ law.

    I’m not sure what you’re saying. Are you saying that Natural Law or the Commandments (which are not mutually exclusive) can be changed?

  96. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    robtbrown,

    I mean, I don’t think the (Dutch) Old Catholics would describe themselves as Anti-Nominan, but they would continue, in practice, to redefine out of all recognition the contents and interpretation of Natural Law and Scripture, and that (as far as I can see) they seem happy to go along with very presumptious statist positive law that, under the guise of opposing “unjust descrimination” would – or already does – selectively restrict freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly, among others.

  97. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear robtbrown,

    “It might be said that those of the Right dream of an era that never was, and those of the Left dream of an era that never will (or could) be.”

    I agree with your concise summation.

  98. KM Edwards says:

    The whole question as to whether the SSPX is “outside” or “inside” the Church is a real red herring used by the Vatican unjustly to continue to bash those affiliated with the Society.

    For if they declared the SSPX schismatic and outside of the Church, and therefore a separate ecclesial community, they would immediately be exposed as hypocrites. For consider how they treat the Eastern Orthodox, the Lutherans and the Anglicans. They have joint prayer services and the Holy Father kneels down at the feet of Evangelical pastors and asks for blessings from them. If the Vatican declares the SSPX outside of the Church – which as I stated in my last post – both BXVI and FI have negated very clearly – they would be compelled to be as open, and ecumenical with them as they are with other separate ecclesial bodies.

    So the SSPX is “within the Church”. Underlying that paradigm is that they ought not be called schismatic or needing “to return to the One True Church”. For they are already within it.

    But the hypocrisy of the Vatican still shines through. For, FrMiguel d’Escoto, the Marxist priest who praises Fidel Castro as the greatest Latin American saint of all time, 400 Austrian priests who signed a written declaration in favor of the female priesthood, and numerous other perverts and material heretics who are considered by our very Holy Father to be “within the Church”, there is nothing but love, mercy and feel-good.

    But for the traditionalist Franciscans of the Immaculate, none of that. And the SSPX faithful are threatened with excommunication for fleeing to a place of refuge where they know priests in the confessional will give them the perennial Catholic truth of faith and morals, and where the homilies will truly be faithful to the saints and doctors of the Church and the Mass will be the Apostolic one.

    So rather than straining the gnat and swallowing the camel, I urge many of you faithful brethren to reconsider your hardened hearts towards the SSPX. They are not disobedient, but the opposite. They, like you, love the Holy Father with the true love of wishing his salvation, rather than heaping vain praises. Read the history of +Lefebvre’s relationship with Paul VI and John Paul II to see an incredible degree of patience on his part. If one condemns his final act (the ‘illicit’ consecrations) do realize that he was in honest discussions with Cd Ratzinger to obtain papal approval, and was twice given a date that inexplicable fell through. This latter situation, with no confirmation of an actual date as to when he would be permitted to consecrate a successor, and seeing and feeling his imminent death, took an action he believed to be of a case of emergency.

    Tell people they will be excommunicated for assisting the SSPX all you want. But when Black Masses and other sacrileges and abominations abound, and the creme de la creme Catholic response is an SSPX Mass of reparation abounding with faithful youth decrying the sacrilege, I will personally have no issue at all assisting at that Mass.

    [What our commentator fails to realize is that the stupid things that other people do, people who have nothing to do with the SSPX, have ZERO bearing on the ecclesial, canonical status of the SSPX.]

  99. KM Edwards says:

    Dear Gerard Plourde

    you asked earlier “Why has the SSPX not returned to the One True Church?”

    You betray an ignorance of the true status of the SSPX. Both Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have made it clear that the SSPX is an “internal matter” for the Church. That is, the SSPX is not outside the Church, nor separated from her, but already within the One True Church.

    The issue with the SSPX is that there is a need for normalization of the society’s status within the Church. A very different issue altogether.

  100. KM Edwards says:

    One last comment.

    I can surmise that many on this blog are suffering greatly in their parishes. You have all experienced priests who have taught heresy from the pulpit, communion in the hand, priests who do not properly absolve sins in the confessional, or who indicate that ‘in particular circumstances’ contraception, vasectomies and sterilization and other moral obscenities, catholic schools that are going through a “queering” process, sex ed for grade 2’s, Masses where babels and cacophonies of female and lay eucharistic ministers are doing the job of our priests, and experiencing family members who tell you off for being more catholic than the Pope.

    What we may not see in the midst of that ‘forest’ of nightmares is the utter devastation of parish life at the common Novus Ordo parish level. Gone is the parish as the center of eucharistic life, gone the happy festa and the large Catholic family. It is rare in these parishes to see families with large numbers of children.

    I am not a member of the SSPX. In the last 22 years, I assisted only twice at a mass offered by them. But I know of families that suffered through the litany of abuses I describe above and who in the absence of the security of a holy priest or a good parish found refuge in an SSPX parish and have been nourished incredibly well. The parish support of mothers getting together to offer homeschooling to their children, of families getting together around a faithful feast celebration are all there and they grow spiritually. These are the fruits that I have witnessed with my own eyes. Bashing these faithful families with threats of excommunication is not the way.

    The key danger SSPX faithful are exposed to is a spirit that refuses to reconcile with Rome, ever. Or at some distant Camelot-ian time when “Rome will convert”. Bishop Fellay, to his strong credit, has admonished that spirit, especially in 2011-2012 as he convinced many of his followers that the SSPX can never ever stop hoping and trying to reconcile with Rome. As long as + Fellay’s message continues to hold sway over the society, there will be hope.

  101. KM Edwards says:

    One last comment.

    I can surmise that many on this blog are suffering greatly in their parishes. You have all experienced priests who have taught heresy from the pulpit, communion in the hand, priests who do not properly absolve sins in the confessional, or who indicate that ‘in particular circumstances’ contraception, vasectomies and sterilization and other moral obscenities, catholic schools that are going through a “queering” process, sex ed for grade 2’s, Masses where babels and cacophonies of female and lay eucharistic ministers are doing the job of our priests, and experiencing family members who tell you off for being more catholic than the Pope.

    What we may not see in the midst of that ‘forest’ of nightmares is the utter devastation of parish life at the common Novus Ordo parish level. Gone is the parish as the center of eucharistic life, gone the happy festa and the large Catholic family. It is rare in these parishes to see families with large numbers of children.

    I am not a member of the SSPX. In the last 22 years, I assisted only twice at a mass offered by them. But I know of families that suffered through the litany of abuses I describe above and who in the absence of the security of a holy priest or a good parish found refuge in an SSPX parish and have been nourished incredibly well. The parish support of mothers getting together to offer homeschooling to their children, of families getting together around a faithful feast celebration are all there and they grow spiritually. These are the fruits that I have witnessed with my own eyes. Bashing these faithful families with threats of excommunication is not the way.

    The key danger SSPX faithful are exposed to is a spirit that refuses to reconcile with Rome, ever. Or at some distant Camelot-ian time when “Rome will convert”. Bishop Fellay, to his strong credit, has admonished that spirit, especially in 2011-2012 as he convinced many of his followers that the SSPX can never ever stop hoping and trying to reconcile with Rome. As long as + Fellay’s message continues to hold sway over the society, there will be hope.

  102. KM Edwards says:

    One last comment.

    I can surmise that many on this blog are suffering greatly in their parishes. You have all experienced priests who have taught heresy from the pulpit, communion in the hand, priests who do not properly absolve sins in the confessional, or who indicate that ‘in particular circumstances’ contraception, vasectomies and sterilization and other moral obscenities, catholic schools that are going through a “queering” process, sex ed for grade 2’s, Masses where babels and cacophonies of female and lay eucharistic ministers are doing the job of our priests, and experiencing family members who tell you off for being more catholic than the Pope.

    What we may not see in the midst of that ‘forest’ of nightmares is the utter devastation of parish life at the common Novus Ordo parish level. Gone is the parish as the center of eucharistic life, gone the happy festa and the large Catholic family. It is rare in these parishes to see families with large numbers of children.

    I am not a member of the SSPX. In the last 22 years, I assisted only twice at a mass offered by them. But I know of families that suffered through the litany of abuses I describe above and who in the absence of the security of a holy priest or a good parish found refuge in an SSPX parish and have been nourished incredibly well. The parish support of mothers getting together to offer homeschooling to their children, of families getting together around a faithful feast celebration are all there and they grow spiritually. These are the fruits that I have witnessed with my own eyes. Bashing these faithful families with threats of excommunication is not the way.

    The key danger SSPX faithful are exposed to is a spirit that refuses to reconcile with Rome, ever. Or at some distant Camelot-ian time when “Rome will convert”. Bishop Fellay, to his strong credit, has admonished that spirit, especially in 2011-2012 as he convinced many of his followers that the SSPX can never ever stop hoping and trying to reconcile with Rome. As long as + Fellay’s message continues to hold sway over the society, there will be hope.

  103. robtbrown says:

    Should read:

    As you know, despite the Swiss location, the SSPX has French roots. And secular French government has never been anything except anti Ecclesial.

  104. St. Rafael says:

    The whole problem with the SSPX revolves around the problem everyone agrees with, that the SSPX priests lack ordinary faculties and ordinary jurisdiction. But here’s the elephant in the room, no one wants to address. The Vatican can give the SSPX canonical recognition anytime they want. Why doesn’t the Vatican just regularize the SSPX? Just do it and get it done already. The Pope and the Vatican can do it any day they please.

    Pope Benedict had the chance to do it at any time during his pontificate, especially after the lifting of the excommunications.

  105. KM Edwards says:

    Dear Fr Z
    Re your statement “What our commentator fails to realize is that the stupid things that other people do, people who have nothing to do with the SSPX, have ZERO bearing on the ecclesial, canonical status of the SSPX.]”

    I do not fail to realize that fact.

    My point is that the overwhelming ubiquitousness (sp?) of stupid things being done in so many parishes, dioceses and archdioceses throughout the world has created what may realistically amount to a true state of emergency for many Catholic families where these SSPX parishes are available.

    Rather than condemning them, I posit that the Church faithful and hierarchies opposed to this look and address the underlying root causes.

    Thank you for graciously permitting opposing viewpoints on your blog. I am very appreciative. God Bless.

  106. Supertradmum says:

    The problem with attending SSPX Masses now is that what I have seen is that regular attendance creates an attitude of separateness, antagonism and even pride. I wanted to go to SSPX Masses but the attitudes of the laity put me off. Too many felt holier-than-thou and couple said to me “Well, we don’t have to worry about problems like you do concerning liturgy or doctrine.”

    I am not sure about that. Some of my friends who went regularly to SSPX chapels came out with odd ideas, such as that women are completely subservient to men and cannot be heard in the home; or that women are the cause of all sexual sin; or that the NO is invalid. Sorry, but they were taught these things by their SSPX priests. Some have been told that the SSPX is not separated…amazing.

    The problem from being separate from Rome is exactly that. One becomes part of a bunker mentality, seeing everything in negative terms and not being open to the possibility that yes, God works through faulty human beings, not just saints.

    I am afraid that even though some of the bishops will come back, that many of the people will chose to go “sede”. Sedevacantism is becoming rife in even so-called trad circles. Being apart can become a goal in and of itself, with the we-they mentality becoming rooted in the psyche not only of individuals, but groups. I sincerely hope their is reconciliation soon. I believe there will be.

  107. Imrahil says:

    Dear Supertradmum,

    Some have been told that the SSPX is not separated

    which is the one thing of your list which the SSPX priests are in fact consistently saying.

    As it turns out, in what they intend to mean with the phrase they are right. They do not deny (to use their phrase) the SSPX lacks canonical status, that they lack actual jurisdiction (whence they make some canonical detours to still claim a “nevertheless” sort of validity for their Confessions and Marriages, but whatever to be said about these arguments, they do not deny they lack jurisdiction in the first place).

    What they do mean is that they are not in schism, which is true (as the Catholic Encyclopedia says): “not every disobedience is a schism; in order to possess this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command” and that they do not deny.

    Thus, the issue is (as many also on the side of the Holy See have said) an inner-Catholic issue. They are not following laws of the Catholic Church (claiming to have excuses in their conscience), but they are Catholics not following Catholic laws, and not non-Catholics.

    Anyway, if someone’s excommunication is lifted, how would it be possible to say that not only he was a non-Catholic before (not even every excommunicate is a non-Catholic, of course), but even that he remained a non-Catholic afterwards?