Will the SSPX use Pope Benedict’s Good Friday changes?

According to some sources, the SSPX priests will not adopt Pope Benedict’s change to the Good Friday prayers for the Jews.

The rad-trad Catholic Family News states "that on Sunday February 17, Bishop Fellay stated publicly at Ridgefield that the SSPX will not adopt the new Good Friday Prayer."

This, if true, doesn’t really surprise me. 

SSPX priests have been independent agents for quite a while now. 

The situation of "less than easily defined union" with Rome (to avoid the "S-word") has continued long enough now that young people who frequent their chapels and enter their seminaries and convents have never known or had much contact with the Catholic Church’s mainstream. 

It would require a shift of world view that many of these folks will not be able to make. 

I am not saying, thereby, that any of them are "bad".  As a matter of fact I admire many of the SPPX followers and priests I have met.  I am saying that it simply might require, now, such a radical change of views that many won’t be able to do it.  I many of them have generational deeply entrenched attitudes of self-sufficiency.  I don’t know if they can do it.

"But Father!  But Father!" you might be saying.  "Do what?"

Seek true unity with Rome and not just apply lip service.

If SSPX priests won’t use the new Good Friday prayers, I will be sad but not surprised.  This would be another sign of the increasing distance between their minds and hearts from the person of the Roman Pontiff. 

But this raises another issue, doesn’t it?

The superiors of the SSPX don’t really have any jurisdiction to say what prayers a priest can use and what they can’t use. 

Their Society is not a Church.  They don’t have any line of proper authority or any jurisdiction.

If an SSPX priests wants to use the new prayers, he could.   No one with real ecclesiastical authority can stop them from using the new prayers or impose real censures if they decide not to run with the pack.

I guess that only the threat of displeasure from their congregations or the cutting off of their pay checks can, ultimately, keep priest close to the "party line" in such times. 

Frankly, I don’t expect that many SSPX would choose the buck the "party line". 

But some might.

Furthermore, who knows what version of the Missale Romanum priests of the SSPX will use for the Triduum?  They are individually their own authorities after all.  They can do what they want to do according to their own tastes or the pressure of the majority.

Will most of them use an edition prior to the Pius XII reform of Holy Week?  I am guessing yes. 

Will some of them use an edition after the Pius XII reform, but before John XXIII’s reforms?  I am guessing, yes, a few.

Will some use the 1962 edition as printed in 1962 with the Benedictine changes?  I am guessing, yes, but very few indeed.

Will some have the guts use the 1962 edition with Pope Benedict’s revision? 

In my opinion such a priest would be taking a step closer to acknowledging that Pope Benedict XVI is truly the Vicar of Christ, Successor of Peter, Bishop of Rome, and Supreme Pontiff with full and supreme jurisdiction in the Catholic Church by Christ’s own concession. 

In that step, he would seriously challenge the increasingly entrenched view of many followers of the late Archbishop.

My prayers are with them all.

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  1. danphunter1 says:

    That is horrible that Bisop Fellay has stated his refusal to use the new Good Friday prayers.
    True colors coming across.
    I do know that the Transalpine Redemptorists will use the current and new Good Friday prayers.
    If the Holy Father has mandated that the Church has officially changed Her Good Friday prayers than to not use them would constitute a schismatic act.
    Would it not?
    This is a cryin’shame.
    Actually worse.

  2. Joshua says:

    Father can I point out a few things?

    1. The SSPX as a rule uses the 1962 Missale for Holy Week. That is what I have witnessed when I have attended their chapel near my house as well, which being their priory meant that all their priests in Southern California obey the directives of their society on this matter. I am sure some deviate from this, but unless you have evidence to the contrary I think it is unfair to imply that the majority of SSPX priests don’t even follow the rules of the Society

    2. The Transapline Redemptorists, who have close relations with the SSPX adopted the new prayer.

  3. Steve says:


    An excellent analysis. This move by the Holy Father to bring the TLM back into the continuity of liturgical development has had, it seems, an interesting consequence: the stakes for the SSPX have been raised.

    This hadn’t occurred to me before now and I’m glad you pointed it out.

  4. Joshua says:

    I would also point out to danphunter and others, that to act like children and just insult the SSPX is not a very Christian way of dealing with this.

    Regardless of what one feels about the SSPX, this itself would not be schismatic. Not every act of disobedience is schism.

    The implication of such juvenile reasoning is that any purposeful change or refusal of change in the liturgy is schism. But that is absurd. They may be wrong, even sinning in disobeying, but to equate that with schism is to hurl the name of one of the very worst sins about as if it were nothing.

  5. totustuusmaria says:

    The statements from our friendly Cardinal Kasper and from other curial officials has sufficiently demonstrated that a priest can pray the new prayer without *any* intention of praying for the conversion of the Jews. Cardinal Kasper recently harped on that fact in a letter to a Rabbi. The prayer can be seen simply as an escatological prayer without any reference to missionary activity or concurrent conversion.

    Fundementally, I believe both those who use the new prayer and those who don’t are acting in obedience. The question is to what are they being obedient. In the one case they are being obedient to the Vicar of Christ and supreme juridical authority in the Church. In the other case they are being to the explicit proclomation of the doctrine of the Church, to the immemorial custom of the universal Church, and the consistant rules of the Papacy when seen as a historical as well as current position.

    In lieu of this state of affairs, and in lieu also of Cardinal Ratzinger’s comments in the preface to The Organic Development of the Liturgy, it seems that the Pope’s authority over the Liturgy has not been sufficiently defined to convince everyone that they *ought* to be obedient to an act of the current Pontiff even when it breaks immemorial custom, opens the door to doctrinal confusion, and introduces novelty in the place of tradition.

    The question is thus not whether the Pope has liturgical authority, but of what this consists. Lest people think I’m oversimplifying things, this is not the first time the Pope has tried to change the liturgy and his changes have not been universally accepted. In some previous occurances, the Pope’s changes have eventually become universal, in some they have failed and been reversed. It seems plausible to me, as one not offiliated in any way with the SSPX and desirous of being obedient in every proper way to the current Holy Father, and even of erring on the side of obedience, that the history of the Church leaves the door open for justifying obedience to tradition and the general consensus of the Supreme Authority in certain cases. Obviously some people think this is one of them.

  6. Joshua: If the SSPX has such rules, then I suppose they are adhered to as a sort of “gentlemen’s agreement”. Also, I am not sure you can really posit that all the chapels do the same thing. That may be the case, of course. It may not be. Who knows?

    I would welcome some information from members of the SSPX about what editions of the Missale Romanum are in use in their chapels.

  7. David says:

    I am saddened at this news, I heard it last night. I find myself in a quandry at the moment. I attend an SSPX chapel because of my background in Gregorian chant and there is nowhere else for me to go right now to sing the music of the liturgy in the liturgy. I am now having great difficulty determining if I shall be there on Good Friday (the priest at this chapel has indicated after the conference in Winona that they will NOT be using the new prayer of Pope Benedict) or not. My option is a very excellent liturgy at a diocesan parish with as much Latin as possible but in the Ordinary Form and of course the 1970 Prayer for the Jews, but we’re not sure for what.

    I can’t help but think that if this is true it is an opportunity lost. What better time to “carpe diem” and show some reciprocity for the Motu Proprio (acknowledging of course that there was more to SP than the SSPX). Surely, “filial obedience” would go a long way to showing that they really do want “full communion” some day. You can’t clean up the house unless you’re in the house and if the SSPX does not make a move soon, then they will become as irrelevant as the Old Catholics of Utrecht. Why? Because Summorum Pontificum will take on a life of its own and the Traditional Mass will spread within the Catholic Church. Yesterday, a civic holiday, I attended an Extraordinary Form low mass at midday in a local parish which has been offering it since last September. About 60 people attended, half of them under 50 and about half of them under 30 and some teenagers! So you tell me how this is not going to grow. It is a grace from God and it cannot be stopped. We can thank the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre because I firmly believe without him there would have been no PCED, FSSP, ICK, etc. but Tradition will be restored and over time the Ordinary Form will morph into the new Missal of Pope Benedict and the Traditional will grow organically to incorporate the true and valid change such as bidding prayers, perhaps a sung Pater Noster by all, etc.

    While my presence at the Chapel is not from a “schismatic mentality” on my part; it is because I prefer, at least on Sunday the Extraordinary Form and I sing Gregorian chant and there is no where else for me to sing at this time; if I am there on Good Friday, I somehow think now that I will feel as if I am a “protestant” as there is no justification for this refusal on the part of the SSPX. It is filial “disobedience” no different than any other “protestant” except for real sacraments.

    This division is not from the Holy Spirit; it is diabolical; it must end!

  8. totustuusmaria says:

    “This move by the Holy Father to bring the TLM back into the continuity of liturgical development has had, it seems, an interesting consequence: the stakes for the SSPX have been raised.”

    This is not necessarily a good thing. First one must note the relationship between the law of prayer and the law of belief. The law of belief has not changed, thus the previous law of prayer must in theory still be valid (even if not licit). On the other hand, if the new law of prayer seems to indicate a change in the law of belief (such as a merely escatological conversion of the people of Israel, effected by God without missionary attempts), even if this only seems to be indicated and the prayer can be interpreted according to the hermeneutic of continuity, some people will cry that the law of belief has also changed. The Pope, of course, cannot change the doctrines he has received, so some would say that he cannot change a prayer that would open the door for denying what has been received.

    This argument leaves aside completely this issue of the exact relationship of Papal juridical authority and Papal authority over the liturgy; but even with this argument, you can see that the Pope has effectively made it more difficult for those who simply believe that the prayers of the Church should clearly reflect her doctrine, to submit completely to the authority of the Pope: an authority which they want to submit to but feel unable to.

    Thus for the Pope to bring the older Mass into conformity with the Liturgical development is not necessary a good thing, because many see the liturgical development as either making cloudy or even seeming to deny parts of the law of belief.

    The stakes for the SSPX have been raised: are they now willing to say a prayer that is ambiguous simply to demonstrate their obedience to the Pope. That’s not a good situation to be in.

  9. Jrbown says:

    Perhaps we should wait for an official statement of the SSPX before excommunicating them anew, along with all of their congregations. It is probably worth noting that many FSSP and ICK attendees may also object to this prayer based on Cardinal Kasper and Archbp Ravasi’s comments, the ONLY official interpretation of the prayer so far from Vatican officials. Surely they are not outside of communion for questioning the precise nature of the Vatican’s change and why no official explanation has been given to those who actually might use the prayer, as opposed to various rabbinical groups and media outlets. And, of course, let’s not forget that we have priests, bishops and cardinals who routinely ignore and defy the Vatican’s clear instructions on various matters, with no consequence.

  10. Prof. Basto says:

    In spite of what many prelates have been stating in interviews regarding the status of the SSPX, only two official canonical documents have been issued on their status:

    – the first is the Decree of Excommunication issued on July 1st, 2008 by the Prefect of the Holy See’s Congregation for Bishops;

    – the second is the Apostolic Motu Proprio Letter Ecclesia Dei adflicta, issued on July 2nd, 2008 by the Roman Pontiff.

    The decree contains the following passage: “The priests and faithful are warned not to support the schism of Monsignor Lefebvre, otherwise they shall incur ipso facto the very grave penalty of excommunication”.

    The Apostolic Letter contains the following passage: “Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law”.

    So, appart from references to schismatic act , those formal canonical documents also speak of schism . And, in spite of the the opposing views expressed in informal circles such as newspapers by high ranking prelates, until those documents are changed or a clarification is made by another official document, what is contained in those documents is still the official canonical position of the Petrine See. And therefore, it is proper to speak of schism in relation to the SSPX.

    And this move on the Good Friday prayer, if confirmed, only highlights what other actions had already made plain: that the SSPX is indeed guided by a schismatic spirit of independence towards the Apostolic See.

    Such spirit, in my opinion, borders heresy, since, if you examine Fellay’s statements, you will see that he clearly sees Ecône as the redeemer of Rome, to the extent that, Rome being presently “hijacked” by modernists, Ecône’s approval is necessary for everything that Rome does. Every Vatican action is scrutinized by the Superior General, that then decides if the Society is going to abide by it or not. That, clearly, is an usurpation of the power of Governance of the Supreme Pontiff that is totaly contrary to the teachings and canons of the First Vatican Council. This vision of Ecône as the keeper of Tradition, instead of the Holy Roman Church, is totally contrary to Catholic Ecclesiology. For all pratical purposes, Fellay keeps passing judgement on the Supreme Pontiff, and, although he denies it, he acts over the SSPX as if he were the supreme ecclesiastical authority.

  11. TNCath says:

    According to their website, the SSPX considers attending a Novus Ordo Mass even in the event of an emergency at least a “venial sin.” (http://www.sspx.org/Catholic_FAQs/catholic_faqs__traditional.htm)

    If the SSPX won’t yet accept the validity of the Novus Ordo, they certainly aren’t going to use the Holy Father’s revised prayer. This clearly indicates what I have suspected all along: the SSPX’s real issue is not (and never has been) so much about the liturgy as it is (and always has been) about authority and obedience. The SSPX considers itself “Catholic” and not in schism. There are even those in the Church who agree they aren’t. Well, fine and dandy, but, one thing is certain: like other “Cafeteria Catholics,” the SSPX picks and chooses what they want to accept or believe. Interesting. While I truly believe that Summorum Pontificum will eventually bring significant numbers of those currently attending SSPX Masses back to the Church, I also believe, as I have said many times before, there will always be a group that, no matter what the Holy Father does for them, will never return because, quite frankly, they’ll never be satisfied.

  12. I understand the SSPX uses the 1962 Missale Romanum with the second
    Confiteor at the Communion.

    It also follows the simplified 1960 calendar.
    I don’t think its priests would be allowed to use the pre-1955 Missal.

    It begins to look as though there will be no rapprochement with Rome in the near future.
    I understand the SSPX are waiting to see clearer evidence from Rome of a return to tradition.
    After all, this is their raison d’etre, isn’t it ?

  13. Different says:

    David…Wonderful comments.

    It seems that this Good Friday prayer is forcing the SSPX hand. Perhaps this was part of the Holy Father’s intention. I think he is looking for a signal that they are willing to “get on board” with Rome. The fact that they are apparently refusing is not a good sign.

    I wonder if the response from Rome to their failure to submit (on such a little issue!) will be to become increasingly “hardline.” It would seem that the window for the SSPX to come home is beginning to close. I hope they have sense enough to come back or else they will become like the Old Catholics and all its subsequent splinters.

  14. Antiquarian says:

    I qute agree, I think that the Holy Father’s decision on the Good Friday prayer was as much a challenge to those who freely pick and choose their obedience as it was a concession to any other concerns.

    The sspx.org website is either infuriating or it’s a riot, depending on your point of view. The mental gymnastics required to claim fidelity and then oppose it at every turn are entertaining in a sad way. By the way, note the article claiming that priests not ordained by the Society must be “provisionally re-ordained” before being allowed to say Mass for “Traditional communities.” Hmm, how many posting here would that apply to?

  15. A postscript.

    Isn’t it a little soon to be comparing the SSPX with the Old Catholic Church ?
    The Old Catholics went into schism in 1870.
    The SSPX bishops were excommunicated in 1988.
    What about the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Church which has been in schism since 1949.
    Its bishops were excommunicated in 1959.
    And now Rome is seeking rapprochement with them, despite the existence of the “underground” Catholic Church loyal to Rome ?

    But unlike the Old Catholic Church, and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Church, the SSPX recognises the supremacy of the Pope.

    So what’s going on ?

  16. Paul, South Midlands says:

    “Furthermore, who knows what version of the Missale Romanum priests of the SSPX will use for the Triduum? They are individually their own authorities after all. They can do what they want to do according to their own tastes or the pressure of the majority”

    This of course is exactly the situation regarding which liturgy is used in Church of England services.

  17. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    The Dallas SSPX chapels, which are staffed by Texas SSPX clerics who do a Texas circuit, use the 1962 Missale Romanum and no Second Confiteor.

  18. Flambeaux says:

    Dr. Fratantuono,

    Does that include the Fort Worth/N. Richland Hills location?

  19. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    Yes, they have a site in N. Richland Hills and one in Sanger. I’ve been to both; the priest comes from El Paso.

  20. LCB says:

    Has anyone ever written a book detailing the theological claims of the SSPX?

    I have a great deal of trouble nailing down just -WHAT- the SSPX believes… especially relating to the authority of Vatican II.


  21. Brian Mershon says:

    “If an SSPX priest wants to use the new prayers, he could. No one with real ecclesiastical authority can stop them from using the new prayers or impose real censures if they decide not to run with the pack.”

    Father, I haven’t noticed there has been much of any “ecclesiastical authority” stopping anyone or ensuring anything is done in the manner they have determined for the past 40 years. I don’t know why the SSPX case would be any different or more special.

    Look at what the new head of the German bishops’ conference just said in his interview.

    Direct defiance to the Sovereign Pontiff from his own bishops in his own country. What will happen to them?

    I’ll betcha I can guess…

  22. Paul, South Midlands says:

    PS – I would also add that it is about time many within the catholic church observed the 1962 rubrics properly and stopped the second confetiors – that is just as bad

  23. moretben says:

    A certain amount of nonsense being bandied about here (to nobody’s great surprise).

    1) ALL SSPX chapels and oratories use the 1962 books, as agreed between Rome and Mgr Lefebvre. This is universal in the Society – a matter both of internal discipline and of maintaining the substance of such agreements on the liturgical question as have already been established. Those who insisted on continuing to use the pre-62 books were smoked out as sedevantists mostly, and expelled from the Society many years ago.

    2) Let’s be honest, shall we? The only Curial Cardinal to hacve made a qualifying statement on this new prayer has declared that it maintains what he insists is the correct reading of the Council – that the Jews are not required to convert, and that the church has no mission to convert them. He has spoken in an official capacity. No-one has reproved or contradicted him.

  24. Crusader says:

    Why are we so ready to condemn the SSPX as schismatic for trying to be “more Catholic than the Pope”, when there are SO MANY more people in the Church who delight in being “less Catholic than the Pope”? Which is worse for the Faith? Disobedience in support of Tradition, or disobedience in support of Modernism? Why the heavy hand from the Vatican in the first case, and not in the second? Isn’t this evidence that a true state of crisis exists in the Church (as the SSPX maintains), and that the Vatican has been infested with Modernists?

  25. Antiquarian says:

    “He has spoken in an official capacity. No-one has reproved or contradicted him.”

    Does that mean we should accept Bishop Williamson’s idiocies as official SSPX teaching? He has often spoken in his official capacity on such subjects as denying the Holocaust, 9/11 conspiracy theories, and The Sound of Music’s evil influence, and no one from the Society has reproved or contradicted him.

  26. Brian Mershon says:

    Dr. Lee Fratantuono,

    If you are somewhere near Dallas, TX, I would like to talk with you offline if possible.


  27. Brian Kiernan says:

    The situation described below — although not identical to those recently discussed on this site about the Good Friday prayer, second Confiteor, and the like — somehow comes to mind. The early church historian Eusebius described a dispute in the earliest days in the Church over when to celebrate Easter. St. Polycarp, a disciple of John the Apostle, following the ancient tradition of the Apostle. John, would not follow the directive of Pope Anicetus in the matter. Eusebius account relied on a now lost letter of St. Irenaeus.

    As quoted from the New Advent website (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05228a.htm):

    “A letter of St. Irenæus . . . shows that the diversity of practice regarding Easter had existed at least from the time of Pope Sixtus (c. 120). Further, Irenæus states that St. Polycarp, who like the other Asiatics, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, whatever day of the week that might be, following therein the tradition which he claimed to have derived from St. John the Apostle, came to Rome c. 150 about this very question, but could not be persuaded by Pope Anicetus to relinquish his Quartodeciman observance. Nevertheless he was not debarred from communion with the Roman Church, and St. Irenæus, while condemning the Quartodeciman practice, nevertheless reproaches Pope Victor (c. 189-99) with having excommunicated the Asiatics too precipitately and with not having followed the moderation of his predecessors.”

  28. TNCath says:

    Moretben wrote: “Those who insisted on continuing to use the pre-62 books were smoked out as sedevacantists mostly, and expelled from the Society many years ago.”

    What’s the difference between being a sedevacantist and not obeying the Holy Father? What’s the point in acknowledging a Pope you aren’t going to obey? Saying, “Oh yes, you are the Successor to St. Peter but we don’t accept your Novus Ordo Mass or some of the other things you do, but we’re Catholic, by golly!” The SSPX seems to behave much like some of the “High Church Anglicans” who want all the window dressing, smells, and bells of the Faith and yet are not willing to accept the authority under which they must place themselves. Amazing.

  29. Pope rules says:

    Dear Father,

    I’m writing from Germany: In his explanatory letter to the bishops on Summorum Pontificum the Pope says: “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.” And now childish people are crying and accusing the FSSPX of disobedience to the Pope, although they only fullfill what he said! They retain the holy prayer as generations of generations for about a thousend years billions of catholics did before. I mentioned that regarding the Second Confiteor too! God bless you!

  30. Brian Day says:

    Dr. Lee Fratantuono,

    Are you sure about that? I have been to both Sanger and NRH chapels (although it’s been awhile) and I do remember them using the second Confiteor.
    (Fr. Katzaroff is a good priest, although his sermons do drag on quite a bit.)

  31. Some things to consider:

    Prof. Basto kindly gave us the text of the decrees. The word ‘schism’ is used, but it does not say exactly WHO is in schism and this is an issue much debated. We know that anyone that participated actively in the illicit episcopal consecrations is excommunicated. But what about the average SSPX parish priest, or the laity? Are they in schism as well? Was there any definitive statement on this?

    As well, here’s something interesting from the Infalliblity Blogspot:

    “So what level of assent must we give infallible and non-infallible teachings?

    1. Divinely revealed truth: Requires a response of faith, with the opposite being heresy: Solemnly defined through the extraordinary magisterium, such as an ex cathedra papal pronouncement, or definition proposed in an Ecumenical Council, or a teaching “manifestly demonstrated” to be taught definitively by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. Includes such things as the Creedal confessions, the Blessed Trinity and the Assumption.

    2. Definitive non-revealed truth: Requires firm ascent, with the opposite being error. Proposed as Infallible matters of faith and morals that “even though not revealed themselves, are required to safeguard the integrity of the deposit of faith, to explain it rightly, and to define it effectively.” There is a “Necessary and intrinsic relationship to the truths of faith.” These are truths such as the numbering of the sacraments at seven, which are based on Christ’s words and deeds, and what we believe about him and his action in the Church. Such truths must also be manifestly demonstrated, with a burden of proof on the magisterium to be clear that infallibility has been determined. Once known, however, a person who disobeys or rejects such teachings is in schism.

    3. Authoritative but not irreformable teaching: Requires respect and obedience, with the opposite being dissent. A doctrine or non-definitive teaching to aid a better understanding of Revelation or make explicit how some teaching is in conformity with the truths of faith. A prime example of this is Humanae Vitae. A person can dissent in thought and practice, and still call oneself Catholic. However, the individual is asked to seriously consider if their disobedience is rooted in conscience, or pride. Like it or not, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis falls in this category, as demonstrated by the Pope’s use of an Apostolic Letter, rather than an Apostolic Constitution, his failure to address the whole Church in the letter, and his use of the first person singular to signal his intent to be understood as speaking not ex cathedra, but as a fellow bishop.

    4. Disciplinary Rules: Requires obedience, with the opposite being disobedience. Universal laws of the Church, particular laws of a diocese, liturgical norms, and Church practice. An example of this is fasting on Good Friday, or joining religious life under the rule of a saint. It is not erroneous to question these disciplines, but may violate obedience to act against them.

    5. Theological Opinion: Invites agreement, with the opposite being difference of opinion. An example is limbo.

    6. Pious Practices and Devotions: Invites imitation, with the opposite being personal preference. An example is the Rosary.

    Only a very clear denial of the first category publically made and acknowledged as incorrect by those in authority to issue an excommunication can earn one the title of heretic in its literal sense, though we can certainly feel free to ask each other if an opinion does not tend toward a particular heresy. Even schism can be only be declared by proper Church authority. Note that withholding assent or even offering dissent and disobedience is quite a bit different than actual heresy.

    While it may feel fun to call each other heretics, only a bishop can actually make such a determination.”

  32. moretben says:

    Helloooo? May I point out that Bishop Williamson is not the head of a Roman dicastery – an official spokesman for the Holy See?

  33. danphunter1 says:

    You may delete my comment but I have been asked by my pastor to locate a tenebrae candle holder for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
    Does anyone know where I can find one?
    I am sorry about the change of subject but I need a hand.
    Thank you and God bless you

  34. Kevin says:

    I don’t know if this issue of the SSPX merits the grave
    tone in which it is always discussed. A far more serious
    matter is that, of the four marks of the Church – that she
    is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic – I see none
    satisfied in the so-called “mainstream”. The simple
    matter for very busy laymen who have little time for
    abstruse wrangling over the minutiae of canon law, is
    that God, the Supreme Being, the Creator (I have to be
    clear whom I am talking about here) became Man. Really. In human
    history. About 2,008 years before the time of this posting.

    That Revelation is the fullness of Revelation. There is no
    new Pentecost (unless you can prove it), no false god
    called “Spiritofvaticantwo”, no sanctimonious
    build-the-world-a-home-and-furnish-it-with-love pantheism.
    These are all frauds. Revelation is objective,
    historical and (accords with) metaphysical fact. I can
    see that SSPX respects that fact. If anyone else wants to
    do so, they are welcome to make themselves known in
    clear, rational terms.

    Is Catholicism to be the only part of human learning
    that rejects logic as its foundation?

  35. Gregor says:

    M.J. Ernst-Sandoval,

    I don’t have much time now, but what you quote from this blog does not seem correct. When the new professio fidei was prescribed, the CDF under Card. Ratzinger issued a “magisterial note” explaining it. Strangely, it’s on the Holy See website only in German and Portuguese. Here are the links : http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_1998_professio-fidei_ge.html and http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_1998_professio-fidei_po.html

    This note defines the categories differently. It also clearly states that the teaching of ordinatio sacerdotlalis belongs to the second category, i.e. it is “definitive tenenda” and who does not hold it is not in full communion with the Church. The sacraments, contrary to what this blog states, belong to the first category.

  36. Paul says:

    I really don’t understand how a prayer that calls on Jews to recognize Christ as their savior can possibly be interpreted as saying Jews can be saved outside the church. Cardinal Kasper’s interpretation is incorrect, and it doesn’t take an official rebuke to make that obvious.

  37. Sylvia says:

    “The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess.” (Luke 18:11-12)

  38. Kevin says:

    “A stitch in time saves nine.” (proverb)

  39. totustuusmaria says:

    “I really don’t understand how a prayer that calls on Jews to recognize Christ as their savior can possibly be interpreted as saying Jews can be saved outside the church. Cardinal Kasper’s interpretation is incorrect, and it doesn’t take an official rebuke to make that obvious.”

    It isn’t obvious. The document says that Jesus is the savior of all men, and asks that all Israel be saved as the fullness of gentiles enter the Church. There isn’t a word about conversion there except in the title of the prayer. So the title of the prayer indicates that the prayer is for the conversion of the Jews. But the question still remains what that conversion consists of. The prayer can easily and faithfully to its content be interpreted as saying that the conversion prayed for is an escatological event. In other words, one can easily pray the prayer *without any intention of praying that Jews alive today come to the Church*. I think Cardinal Kasper’s interpretation is perfectly valid, and that means that the SSPX stance makes a lot of sense just from the standpoint of doctrine, without even taking into account the authority of immemorial tradition.

  40. Jonas says:

    These are sad news (if they are confirmed). I am afraid, but that would only confirm that FSSPX is really in schism. Actually, something that I personally did not want to believe (especially, after all recent clarifications of Castrillion Cardinal Hoyos, etc.). Well, it may appear that we are quite far away from becoming one again.

  41. doozerdog says:

    I wanna know, which I always have tried to unerstand, is why do church officials back away from saying that non-believers should be saved? I have never, ever understood why catholics get so upset (and I’m talking about priests, bishops, cardinals, etc) when there is even any mention of converting others, let alone the jews. Isn’t this loving our neighbor as ourself, bringing them to Christ and saving them? Who can explain this?

  42. totustuusmaria says:

    I actually don’t think that saying one prayer differently makes one in schism. If that there the case, that almost every Novus Ordo Mass I’ve assisted at has made me a schismatic. To break a rubric or change an accidental text is at most a mortal sin, it isn’t a schismatic act. Period. In this case, though, I doubt it’s even a mortal sin because the sinful part of breaking a rubric is disobedience, and in this case the changing of the text is done in a spirit of obedience to the Church’s tradition. For it to be a mortal sin, I think it would have to be made clear by the Church that obedience to the current Pontiff, even in matters of novelty, supersedes obedience to Tradition in every case.

  43. Breier says:

    Why are people praising a move to palliate Jews than aggravates the SSPX?

    People seem to be happy that the “bar has been raised,” as if interposing obstacles
    to full communion were a good thing.

    Shouldn’t the Jews have been the ones challenged, instead of the SSPX?

    Isn’t it better to remove as many unncessary obstacles as possible to full communion
    with the SSPX?

    It would be wrong to tell the Eastern Churches to Latinize in order to “show their

    So why are you happy that there is now something to scandalize the SSPX? Wouldn’t
    it be better to leave things as they were?

  44. Kiran says:

    On the other hand, I think we should be rejoicing in the fact that the Cisalpine Redemptorists are using the new prayer.

    The SSPX from all accounts seems to have a rather divided personality. Some priests are perfectly charming and only want to preserve the Faith. Others have a ghetto mentality (in the Mary Douglas sense of the term), and a rather strong dislike for the Pope. And on the other hand, as can happen with any ghetto, there is a rather strong pressure to conform, and periodic exclusion.

  45. Brian Sudlow says:

    Breier, I think Father Z’s point is not that the SSPX must give up something essential or even something they are cuturally attached to. If, however, they are to operate within the mainstream again, they must at some point show they are capable of submitting to rulings of a legitimate authority which they do not necessarily approve of entirely. Let alone the theological issue of submission to the Roman Pontiff, how else can the Church operate practically except by the willingness of her children accept her practical rulings? For the SSPX, this is all the more the case at the moment when the pope has really shown great courage and skill in facing serious opposition to his liberation of the Extraordinary Form.

    All that said, while there are always wicked people within the Church, I am reluctant to believe that the SSPX are the worst. Their sins are those of excess, and it is hard to blame them in a period when diocesan chancelleries have shown such indulgence towards the wackiest of ideas and agendas and such intolerance towards those whose confidence in the Church was rocked by the irresponsibility of Churchmen.

    The SSPX will, in my opinion, never return en masse. The most we can hope for is a reunionist breakaway. If anyone doubts the staying power of French-led ‘groupuscules’, let them reflect on the fact that ‘la petite Eglise’ which separated at the time of the Napoleonic Concordat, still exists, and that the Gallican Church can – I understand – still be seen in operation at the church of St Rita’s in Paris.

  46. Michael says:


    I agree. I wonder how people would feel is tomorrow the Pope surpressed the Tridentine Mass forever. Would people be rejoicing because the bars had been raised and the SSPX had a new oppurtunity to show their obedience to the Pope? Maybe we could change the Byzantine liturgy and raise the bars for the Orthodox Churches too.

  47. Scott Smith says:

    Of course the Roman Church is going to develop organically, but at what point in the drive for ecumenism is it really fair to say, “hey we’re over here now, catch up!” Is it fair to the Orthodox to say they’ve just got to swallow the other Ecumenical Councils without a dialogue because Rome has spoken?

    Obviously the situation with the SSPX is delicate. After all they are critical of many things in today’s Church.

    If the refusal of the SSPX to use the new prayers in the TLM on ONE day of the Liturgical year is indicative of their schimatic nature, then what of all the Bishops who have said that the Summorum Pontificum is a dead letter in their dioceses?

    Is there one standard for the SSPX and other for Bishops?

  48. Daniel Latinus says:

    I attended the Good Friday service at the SSPX chapel in St. Marys, Kansas in 1988. I distinctly remember the priest (IIRC, Fr. Herve de la Tour), actually stopping and making a point of adding the Latin word for “perfidious” to the Good Fridays prayers. Otherwise, he followed the 1962 Missal.

  49. Humility is a hard thing to do. It’s the sin of pride in which many of the things that go wrong can be based.

    On that note..It saddens me to see the SSPX not using the Holy Faither’s new prayer for the converson of the Jews.

    Sometimes people are looking for clear substance in everything that we do as Catholics. In Prayer, in Catechesis, etc…

    Something may not say…”For the conversion of Jews” but it’s still there if understood properly.

    Yes, Cardinal Kasper’s right, the prayer could be said without the intention for any Jews alive to come to the Church…But that can technically be said about any prayer. If you don’t intend as the Church intends, that questions validity. Example: If you say the consecration, but don’t intend to do what the Church intends, that can bring into question the vailidity of the consecration. In otherwords lip service won’t cut it. What I think Cardinal Kasper’s saying is that it can be said in lip service and not with any intention, but I could be wrong. I’m not perfect

  50. Gregor wrote : “I don’t have much time now, but what you quote from this blog does not seem correct. When the new professio fidei was prescribed, the CDF under Card. Ratzinger issued a “magisterial note” explaining it. Strangely, it’s on the Holy See website only in German and Portuguese. Here are the links : http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_1998_professio-fidei_ge.html and http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_1998_professio-fidei_po.html

    This note defines the categories differently. It also clearly states that the teaching of ordinatio sacerdotlalis belongs to the second category, i.e. it is “definitive tenenda” and who does not hold it is not in full communion with the Church. The sacraments, contrary to what this blog states, belong to the first category.”

    I think you may be mistaken. Granted I only know Spanish, but the Portuguese (which is similar) didn’t seem to have anything relavent to the issue at hand.

    Here is the English translation of the title from the Holy See’s website (the actual document, as you know, is only in German and Portuguese):

    “Formula to be used for the profession of faith and for the oath of fidelity to assume an office to be exercised in the name of the Church with the Illustrative doctrinal Note of the conclusive formula of ‘Professio fidei'”

  51. totustuusmaria says:

    The attitude that the most we can expect is to fracture the SSPX is exactly what the SSPX accuses us of. They are suspicious of everything which comes out of Rome and those faithful to Her precisely because they think its intention is to fracture traditionalism. It’s essentially the same complaint the Orthodox have against the Eastern Catholic Churches. This, however, goes further than the Orthodox complaint, because Rome has not dictated that the Eastern Catholics temper their liturgy with novelty, and she would accept the Orthodox back without demanding any liturgical changes. But with the SSPX, she’s seemingly demanded (remember, it hasn’t been published in the acta) that the SSPX accept novelty. There is no faster way of building disunity than to say: ‘The way you worship God is forbidden. You have to change.’ If it’s good and pleasing in itself, I think it should be permitted.

  52. Jrny says:

    Fr. Z,

    Back in late ’90’s, I was the Head Master of Ceremonies at a large SSPX parish. Being on the front line of their liturgies, I can attest to the following for Holy Week ceremonies:

    1. Officially, the 1962 Missale is employed throughout the Triduum. Same for the Breviary concerning the Office of Tenebrae.

    2. The actual books themselves were 1956 editions, not 1962, meaning that the “perfidis” was still contained in the text from which the celebrant was singing the Good Friday prayers.

    3. Not one priest who celebrated the Triduum omitted “perfidis”. The deacon at the liturgy refused to genuflect at the prayer for the Jews, even though the Celebrant and all of the servers did genuflect.

    4. At the “Exsultet” on Holy Saturday, one SSPX priest one year who was performing the role of Deacon, inserted the name of “Bernard” at the place for the name of the Ordinary. The Ordinary’s name was actually Michael.

    Leaving aside point #4 which hints at sedevacantism, it would be fair to say that the SSPX uses the original, 1956 version of Pius XII’s Holy Week.

  53. prof. basto says:

    Is there one standard for the SSPX and other for Bishops?

    At least the Bishops are canonically appointed to discharge valid jurisdiction,
    have been consacrated by will of the Vicar of Christ, and hold their sees because
    the Pope has chosen them.

    None of that can be said of the SSPX bishops.

    Yes, there are double standards.

    When you try to say that you are the champion of tradition but still fails to
    recognize the Pope’s authority in simple matters such as this, criticism is more
    than necessary. For all pratical purposes, the SSPX is outside of the Church.

    Lefebrvre said in the sermon of the illicit consacrations: “far be it from me
    to set myself up as your pope”. Well, in all practicallity, that is what his
    successor is doing.

    Dear Fellay, repent, and believe in the Gospel. There is no salvation outside
    the Church. Bear that in mind, and submit to the Roman Pontiff.

  54. Garrett says:

    But what, really, are good Catholics to do when a Pope introduces novelty to the liturgy, at the behest of Jews? A prayer which, like it or not, is ambiguous at best in terms of calling Jews to convert. Should we really accept this ambiguous novelty, throwing out a 1600 year old prayer for one a few weeks old that is not as clear as the former on praying to God that the Jewish people accept Christ as Savior *now*, and not just hopefully at the end of the world?

    Is this really obedience to Christ?

    I don’t know.

  55. Gregor says:

    M.J. Ernst-Sandoval,

    I’m not mistaken (I’m a native German speaker). The doctrinal note that follows the professio fidei (which itself refers to the different categories of truths) is where to look. You will find it all there. I remember when it was published, it was extensively discussed then. You will find all I stated above (and more) in that note. The blog entry is definitely not correct.

  56. Malta says:

    Byzantine Catholics in communion with Rome are allowed to use their own liturgy; some Latin Mass communities use earlier versions of the Tridentine Rite and are still in communion with Rome. This “big news” is a red herring. Let SSPX use the pre-existing 1962 Missale for unity’s sake; most Catholics won’t mind using the revised version. But, really, this is not a big deal.

    It seems there is a double standard: Eastern Catholics are coddled, and allowed to use whatever rite they drag into the Church with them, but when it comes to SSPX, exacting standards are imposed. Quite picking on them. Let’s let them back into full unity with the Church NOW, and quite nit-picking about inconsequential matters that really have no significant impart. We are talking about millions of very traditional Catholics who we are casting out into “outer darkness” merely based on their unwillingness to fall into line with modernist tendencies in the Church. They love our God-given Church; give ’em a break for goodness’ sake!

  57. Joshua says:

    Leaving aside point #4 which hints at sedevacantism, it would be fair to say that the SSPX uses the original, 1956 version of Pius XII’s Holy Week.
    Comment by Jrny

    No, it would not be fair to say that. It would be fair to say that a certain large SSPX parish does that. It would probably be fair to extrapolate and say that probably more do so as well.

    The parish I had attend last year and the year before, which is also rather large (being the main one for the region) did not deviate from the 1962 books. And they used Rogerus for the Ordinary

    My experience is just as indicative of the whole as yours, in others words not much. It shows only that some do obey the Society on this, some don’t.

    In France especially one would probably see obedience on this matter. Heck, they don’t even have an issue doing vernacular readings, rather than chanting the Latin, at High Mass is parish. I think it is true that the Anglo branch of the SSPX is more extreme. Williamson, the SSPV are all Anglos, and hence in America you will probably run into more pre 1962 celebrations. But the majority? I will repeat the comment I made to Fr. Z. It is simply pure speculation to accuse the majority of SSPX priests of disobeying their own society on this matter. We can only say that some do, but the majority? That would require more evidence

  58. Jonathan Bennett says:

    Interesting that the Transalpine Redemptorists, a group affliated with the SSPX, has stated that they intend to use the Benedictine revisions.

  59. David says:

    Dear Fr. Z,

    So the SSPX priests are more loose and wild with the rubrics than the majority of post-Vatican II, Novus Ordo priests? That hasn’t been my experience.

    From what I’ve heard and read there is far more dissent regarding the new Good Friday prayer among Novus Ordo Catholics than there are SSPX priests and people who attend their Masses combined. It doesn’t really matter to me what individual SSPX priests do or don’t do, and it shouldn’t matter to you either. The real issue is how do we jive this prayer as being a valid expression of the faith with the attitudes and opinions of the majority of “mainline” Catholics. My guess is that here is where the real fight is, and always has been.


  60. schoolman says:

    The SSPX would made a huge mistake to ignore this order from the Pope. It does not matter that we agree or disagree with the prudential decision to revise the prayer. The true test of obedience comes when we choose to obey those decisions that we don’t particularly agree with. If we toss out the principle of Papal authority then what is separate us from the Protestants who are ruled by nothing other than their own private judgement?

  61. Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. says:

    Jonathan Bennett wrote: “Interesting that the Transalpine Redemptorists, a group affliated with the SSPX, has stated that they intend to use the Benedictine revisions.”

    Knowing the C.Ss.R. Rules and Constitutions which they follow it is really no surprise that they would make their own decision. I hope I can explain this intelligibly…it’s something that is “picked up” along the way and I’m not sure I’ll explain it well, but I’ll try. As religious with vows seen in the Alphonsian tradition they are “vowed to the rule.” This is easier to understand if it is remembered that Redemptorists are Missionaries (think parish missions) and according to the traditional way of living the rule were bound to observe it even when taking up residence in a local to preach a mission. Thus, the rule is always lived unless there is express permission otherwise. This was one of the great qualities of the traditional rule and why it was often referred to as the “rule of saints.” Now, the rule called for obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff as did S.P.N. Alphonsus in many of his writings, both ascetical and moral. Therefore, given that the revisions are not contrary to faith or morals, they must be followed if issued by legitimate authority with jurisdiction.

    My own supposition is that while the Transalpine Redemptorists are closely allied with the SSPX and it’s bishops, said bishops have no authority over them given that their ordinary is their Vicar General, and it is he who makes the decision for the Congregation, not the bishops of the SSPX.

    Joe of St. Therese wrote: “Yes, Cardinal Kasper’s right, the prayer could be said without the intention for any Jews alive to come to the Church…But that can technically be said about any prayer. If you don’t intend as the Church intends, that questions validity. Example: If you say the consecration, but don’t intend to do what the Church intends, that can bring into question the vailidity of the consecration. In otherwords lip service won’t cut it. What I think Cardinal Kasper’s saying is that it can be said in lip service and not with any intention.”

    I think you’ve got it. Every priest must intend what the Church intends. The intention of the Holy Father is, as I understand it, for the conversion of the Jews here and now for there is, as he has asserted, no salvation outside the Church. Thus, when praying the revised prayer for the Jews, this is the Church’s intention and so the priests if he is faithful to his priesthood. One could argue that this doesn’t apply since no sacrament is confected, but this does not follow. A priest is obliged to be always of one mind with the Church. Sadly, many aren’t, including Cardinal Kasper, as he himself has demonstrated as recently as his statements on the Good Friday prayer. Any priest who does not pray this prayer with the mind of the Church commits sin. So, can a priest intend otherwise and give lip-service? Yes. But he could do that with the older prayer as well by making the intention not to intend what the prayer says and then giving voice to it.

  62. Christopher says:

    Peace be with you.

    Question to analogously propose something: Is it required that the FSSP and ICK use the new Good Friday prayers? It seems that they are not since their particular charism is that one particular liturgy, not simply the “Extra-ordinary Form of the Roman Mass.” If they are not, then there is no reason the SSPX should be guilty of (possibly further) disobedience to the Holy Father and movement to disunity with the Church.

    May God bless you.
    Holy Mary protect you.
    In ICXC,

  63. Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. says:

    Schoolman wrote: “The true test of obedience comes when we choose to obey those decisions that we don’t particularly agree with.” AMEN!

  64. Scott Smith says:

    Prof. Basto:

    I understand your point that the whole situation with the SSPX is irregular while Bishops generally are regular.

    At the same time, however, a refusal to use a prayer changed by the Pope is completely different from refusing the implications of his Motu Proprio.

    In the latter the Pope states that what has been is valid still. In the former the Pope, for whatever reason, has decided to edit a prayer, just as had been done by Pius XII.

    It is one thing for a group already in an irregular situation to hesitate on accepting what may rightly appear to them as a politically motivated innovation and quite another matter for a regularly appointed and ordained bishop to completely negate the manifest mind and will of the Pope. What is the SSPX compounding? Little, their situation is unchanged, hope may be less, but it was all speculation anyway. What changes when a lawful Ordinary disregards the will of the Pope? The faithful suffer.

    It makes little sense to me that the Pope has chosen to modify a prayer for the Jews in the climate of suspicion already in place. The Jews, and perhaps some who claim to be Catholic, desire a hermeneutic of discontinuity with regard to the Church’s past teachings.

    Do we pray to the Jews or to God, who is God even of the Jews? Does Christ will his Church to change her intentions for the Jews? Does the new prayer hint that the Church’s intentions are different than before? If so, then it is a scandal. If not, then there is no problem essentially. At the same time, if it isn’t a big deal, then it shouldn’t have been changed in the first place.

    Why is it that once a change has been made, it still isn’t good enough? Pius X changed the Psalter so that it would be prayed in its entirety in a week without increasing the burden of the Office. Not a hundred years goes by and it is completely discarded because it was “still” too burdensome! Now the “official” Office doesn’t even use all of the psalter, and it is called a restoration. Pius XII drops the perfides from the prayer, it still isn’t good enough so that when tradition is recognized, it has to be changed again, and, of course, those who cried the loudest still are not appeased.

    Is it universally recognized that GOD is more honored by his Church in praying the newly revised prayer? This should be the question in my opinion, not whether the Jews or the SSPX is happy with it, because it shouldn’t be about them. This is where the TLM movement may be headed in the wrong direction. If the SSPX doesn’t want to be in union with the Pope, there isn’t any thing Benedict XVI can do to change that, not that he should be giving them excuses either. I surely hope that Benedict augmented the prayer for the greater glory of God rather than for politics.

  65. Aussie Paul says:

    Why don’t we stop acting like members of some overly-flatulant debating society and start behaving like the children of God, faithful members of the Body of Christ, docile to the fatherly decisions of the Roman Pontiff?

    All the confusion over this new Good Friday prayer: whether we are pandering improperly to the Jews or not; what was explicit has now become implicit; whether it means converting the Jews now or just hoping they make it somehow in the end; accepting or rejecting the advice of the properly appointed Cardinal Kasper who assures us, and the Jews, of the latter and says therefore there will be no praying for successful missionary activity and who continues to enjoy the confidence of the Holy Father without correction; whether the Preacher to the Pontifical Household, Fr Cantalamessa, is correct or not when he preached over two years ago that we Christians have lost the right to evangelise the Jews because we have been mean and nasty to them in the past but who maintains his position without correction; obedience or disobedience; schism; tradition; what the FSSP did do, are doing, or will do; same about the SSPX; blah, blah, blah, etc, etc.

    What about we stop treating the Church like some political party and the Holy Father like some cheap presidential candidate in election year. Enough useless and opinionated speculation!

    Let us expect from Benedict XVI, in accordance with the dignity and charism of his office, what we believe is in his heart – a fatherly love for his spiritual children, the love of a true shepherd – for this is what he is, isn’t he? He will not give us stones when we ask for bread. If he found it in his heart, as a true father to all, to deliver a kindness even to those who are stubborn unbelievers and fast track a change for this Good Friday, then surely he will answer our call too.

    To help us also to have a clean heart, let us ask the Holy Father, straight and simple: when priests intone his new prayer this Good Friday and we faithful Catholics join our minds and sentiments to theirs, are we to intend by it the conversion without delay of the Jews, those living here and now, to the Holy Catholic Church? Surely, given the world-wide scandal and confusion, he will, in his fatherly way, treat this plea from his faithful children with the same urgency so all is clear in due time.

    To effect this, we could call upon Fr Z, another true father to his flock, and who from time to time alludes to his connections in high places, to have such a missive (or dubium) delivered to the Holy Father with the plea for an answer well in time for Good Friday.

    C’mon Fr Z, will you do it?

  66. Grigor wrote: “I’m not mistaken (I’m a native German speaker). The doctrinal note that follows the professio fidei (which itself refers to the different categories of truths) is where to look. You will find it all there. I remember when it was published, it was extensively discussed then. You will find all I stated above (and more) in that note. The blog entry is definitely not correct.”

    If it’s not too much trouble, could you point me to the relevant paragraphs? I’d be curious to read what’s relevant, however I am having trouble with the nuances of the Portuguese. I will need to consult my dictionary and do not have time to translate the whole thing.

  67. The stand-off between the Vatican and Archbishop Lefebrve should never have gone on as long as it did, not should it have reached the denouement it did, this while the Church was tolerating all manner of abomination on the left. The time to rehabilitate Lefebvre is long overdue. I wonder whether Pope Benedict’s recent glances backword may be inspired, at least in part, from feelings of guilt as to Cardinal Ratzinger’s role in the Lefebvre affair.

  68. John says:

    Many priests and probably even some bishops and cardinals change prayers in the Novus ordo. I can personnally attest to this. So, where does that leave these priests? Are they schismatic? If not why not? Just asking.

  69. Kiran says:

    There is a case for treating the Byzantine/Eastern liturgies in a different way to the SSPX. Saying that we should treat the SSPX the same way as we should treat the Byzantine’s is a bit like saying we should treat our own misbehaving children the same way that we treat our first cousins twice-removed. The SSPX, by their own claim, are part of the Roman Rite, and as such are under the Patriarchal authority of the Pope. The Eastern Churches have their own patriarchs.

  70. Curmudgeon says:

    Well, I don’t understand why anyone would celebrate (a) a snap decision, made within a matter of weeks (b) at the behest of a group outside the Church, the loudest member of which is actually an apostate Catholic, (c) announced in an irregular manner by publication in a newspaper of a directive from a curial office which does not have primary competence in the the subject matter. This is not an organic development of the liturgy; it doesn’t mean that the ancient rite is alive. An organic development takes decades, not weeks, and it comes from below, not above. This is the first move in the co-option of the ancient rite.

    And (while I do understand neo’s who bash the SSPX at every opportunity), I don’t understand why anyone (including Fr. Z) who is hopeful for a rapproachement can be at all surprised or dissapointed that the SSPX, which is justly skeptical and mistrusting of Rome, and is taking the skeptical, mistrusting approach to this fiasco. Frankly, I’m delighted the SSPX is not likely to acuiesce (and I’m not just saying that because I’ll have somewhere to go when my FSSP priest joins the herd taking orders from the Abe Foxman). We need them to stand strong and firm, for the long-term integrity of the ancient rite. Better yet, have them take a step back from the Bugnini-ite precipice and do the 1945. Now a groundswell of folks drifting to the ’45 over the course of a decade or so…that would be an organic development.

    Anyways, instead of eagerly pointing fingers at the SSPX for standing firm (which stance is exactly why we eventually got the ancient rite back … for a few months at least … lest we forget), let’s point fingers where they belong…at Rome. This issue wasn’t a test of the SSPX. It was a test of the Holy Father. And maybe it’s “schismatic,” in the eyes of some, to call ’em as they come, but frankly the Holy Father botched this one. He emboldened the enemies of the Church by giving them an ear, and he’s increasing mistrust and discord among those who would be his stanchest allies if only he would give them a reason to trust him. Yes, the Holy Father botched it.

  71. Richard says:

    As usual, these comments from left and right, from priests, scholars and ordinary laypeople on both sides of the divide are all very, very interesting but also very, very confusing. So what’s a person to do? Who’s right and who’s wrong? With that in mind, I don’t see how anyone can be wrong to pray the way the Church has prayed for so many centuries before Vatican II.
    I think Ferdinand is onto something. When I think of all the questionable “dignitaries” recent Popes have received in audience, it becomes harder and harder not to blame them for creating the situation we’re in today. They refused to invite Msgr. LeFebvre, a brother bishop, in a few times to see if things couldn’t be settled quietly, diplomatically and charitably, but Hanz Kung is welcome!

  72. Tom says:

    Aussie Paul suggests we should ask the Pope: ‘when priests intone his new prayer this Good Friday and we faithful Catholics join our minds and sentiments to theirs, are we to intend by it the conversion without delay of the Jews, those living here and now, to the Holy Catholic Church?’

    Aussie Paul, I think Pope Benedict has already answered you. Not only in this prayer, the meaning of which, as many have pointed out, is fairly evident – witness all the liberal outrage – but in his highly important General Audience address of March 15 2006 – see


    There the Pope says that

    “the message of Jesus is completely misunderstood if it is separated from the context of the faith and hope of the Chosen People: like John the Baptist, his direct Precursor, Jesus above all addresses Israel (cf. Mt 15:24) in order to “gather” it together in the eschatological time that arrived with him.”

    So, as many have pointed out, in Pope Benedict’s view, eschatological time is now, in the time of Christ’s Incarnation, not simply at some future, not-yet-at-arrived at end. So Christ’s message is addressed to the Jews now.

    For Christ, according to the Pope, addresses the whole People of God, in whom there is neither Jew nor Gentile. The Apostles’ “mission (the Pope says) is not isolated, however, but is situated within a mystery of communion that involves the entire People of God and is carried out in stages from the Old to the New Covenant.”

    The mission is intended to involve all humanity, Jew and Gentile. as one People of God, through the Old Covenant, of which the New is presented as a continuation and fulfilment, and then through the New; so the New is not a discontinuous replacement of the Old, but nor pace The Tablet et al, is the New a distinct, dual Gentiles-only covenant that merely accompanies the Old and fails to address the Jews.

    “From the first moment of his salvific activity, Jesus of Nazareth strives to gather together the People of God. Even if his preaching is always an appeal for personal conversion, in reality he continually aims to build the People of God whom he came to bring together, purify and save.” So Christ’s and the Church’s mission is to unite Jew and Gentile in one people of God, all the while addressing the conversion of each individual person.

    “In choosing the Twelve [Apostles], introducing them into a communion of life with himself and involving them in his mission of proclaiming the Kingdom in words and works (cf. Mk 6:7-13; Mt 10:5-8; Lk 9:1-6; 6:13), Jesus wants to say that the definitive time has arrived in which to constitute the new People of God, the people of the 12 tribes, which now becomes a universal people, his Church. With their very own existence, the Twelve — called from different backgrounds — become an appeal for all of Israel to convert and allow herself to be gathered into the new covenant, complete and perfect fulfilment of the ancient one.”

    Why is Kasper left free to muddy the waters, as it seems? First, although the Cardinal is often evasive in his utterances, one thing he is clearly not is an heretical proponent of dual covenant theology. That’s clear from Kasper’s defense of the 2008 prayer, which really does rule out such a theology, as much as did the 1962 prayer. Indeed, Pawlikowski, one of the dreary US liberal Catholic proponents of dual convenant theology, explicitly recognises that Kasper is not on his side – see Pawlikowski’s slanted but nevertheless rather revealing ‘Reflections on Covenant and Mission Forty Years After Nostra Aetate’


    On the other hand, Kasper is clearly not keen on a mission specifically to the Jews. But perhaps neither, at least pragmatically, and at least for now, is the Pope. For there is a genuinely difficult issue here. Our prayer is for the conversion of the Jews, in God’s time, which is now as much as any future date. And our duty as Catholics, with the Church, is to witness Christ as Saviour of all to all – something that Kasper himself is fairly clear about. (He makes precisely this point in his recent interview, after disavowing any mission to the Jews on the same level as a message to the pagans or heathen.) But does witnessing Christ to all mean (what Archbishop Ravasi too has just quasi-officially disavowed, in Osservatore Romano) ‘a programme of missionary conversion’.? That is, are we for example to target the unconverted Jews specifically as unconverted Jews, putting out ads and leaflets addressed to them directly (delivery straight to Golders Green, say)? That sort of targetted mission specifically to the Jews, in the present post mid-20th century context, might be fairly counter-productive – witness the huge sensitivity that Jewish community leaders are showing in relation even to prayers for their conversion.

    What is going on in the Vatican is clearly a balancing act. Pray for conversion and deny any dual covenant separating Jewish salvation from Gentile salvation in Christ. But realise that conversion is God’s work first; and that it may require, thanks to a ghastly and unhappy recent history, a certain avoidance of explicit or targetted ‘programmes of missionary conversion’ aimed specifically at Jews on our part, at least for now, and that it may require reassuring the Jewish leaders that their conversion will be God’s work in God’s time, not the occasion of a flood of leaflets from us now. What Benedict is doing is preserving the dogma of the need for Jewish conversion – while trying to do so in a way that does not deepen the division between Christian and Jew, when the point of Christ’s sacrifice was to unite them.

    Whether or not one likes the fudge and evasion, it is grotesque of anyone to criticize Benedict’s prayer, which is a powerful expression of Christian orthodoxy and clearly intended by its author as such. It is also disloyal to the Vicar of Christ on earth, and anyone in the SSPX or elsewhere who continues creating about this beautiful new prayer for Jewish conversion deserves the contempt of all good Catholics.

  73. Ian says:

    To follow up on Jrny’s comment earlier … I am the musical director for one of the largest SSPX Churches. We have a “head MC” who is quite thorough, so I have a great deal of knowledge passed to me about liturgical and rubrical issues.

    1. During Holy Week it was the practice of Archbishop Lefebvre since the founding of the SSPX to use the OHS (revised in 1955).
    2. Part of the reason was practical, as one needs more than just a Missal to perform the most solemn ceremonies of Holy Week, and the 1955 Revision was the most widely available.
    3. The official practice of the SSPX has been to follow the practice of the Archbishop. A decree from the General House years ago solidified this.
    4. A number of SSPX priests are likely either unaware of the decision or may choose to do their own thing. It does not seem it is a “front-burner” priority (nor should it be) to ensure liturgical uniformity at every Mass site.
    5. The technical term that the General House uses is that the SSPX follows the revisions enacted by “Maxima Redemptoris” in grosso modo.
    6. The 1955 Ceremonies are nearly identical to the 1962 Ceremonies save but for a few minor rubrical changes (e.g Gloria Laus and knocking at Palm Sunday Procession, Good Friday Prayer for the Jews).

  74. moretben says:

    If we toss out the principle of Papal authority then what is separate us from the Protestants who are ruled by nothing other than their own private judgement?

    Holy Tradition – that’s what! One hears this argument all the time, but it’s no more than a willful evasion of the very heart of the issue (it would perhaps make more sense if schoolman were to subtitute “Orthodox” for “Protestant”. Clearly the Orthodox are not Protestants). Is Holy Tradtion objective content, or is it a power of the Magisterium? The answer, of course, is that it’s both, and that one cannot pit the one against the other. On the other hand, the climate of ultramontanist exaggeration that many appear to mistake for authentic Catholic orthodoxy has been disastrous for the Church. The most radical damage to her peace and unity in the past 100 years was inflicted by the Popes.

  75. moretben says:

    Sorry – what I meant to say is that the subtitution of “Orthodox” “Protestant” reveals the hollowness of these accusations of mere private judgment.

  76. LPD says:

    The Transalpine Redemptorists, an affiliate of the SSPX, will use the new Good Friday prayers. See here: http://papastronsay.blogspot.com/2008/02/solemn-prayers-of-good-friday.html

  77. cg says:

    Hmmm… bit of an aside but I can’t helping thinking of the controversy over the Vatican’s ruling that the phrase “pro multis” should be rendered as “for many” in all new (OF) translations of the Eucharistic Prayer. There was noteable criticism of that decision from high ranking prelates, open dissent by some presbyteral councils followed by requests to local bishops to promote with the Vatican the possiblity of continuing to translate the expression in the Missale Romanum as “for all” (as detailed by Fr. Z in the relevant section of this blog). If leeway (tacit or explicit) is given for continued use of the mis-translation in the NO (and certainly, leeway has been given for open critisism of this Vatican directive), well, it would be reasonable for the SSPX to expect a similar level of tolerance if they elect to use the older form of the Good Friday prayer.

  78. Peter says:

    Dan P Hunter wrote: “You may delete my comment but I have been asked by my pastor to locate a tenebrae candle holder for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
    Does anyone know where I can find one?”

    A temporary solution we used before constructing a tenebrae hearse was to arrange benediction candelabra for 7 candles and sloping up (coming up on either side) on a table with a single candlestick in the middle. Not ideal but a way to get the requisite number of candles in the right shape.

    (In our case the candelabra detach from their bases and we ultimately made a frame into which they could be placed)

  79. Peter says:

    Dan P Hunter wrote: “have been asked by my pastor to locate a tenebrae candle holder for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
    Does anyone know where I can find one?”

    A temporary solution for the tenebrae hearse we used was to place 7 candle benediction candelabra either side of a single candlestick on a table or bench. It the candelabra simply go from high to low you have the effect of a 15 candle triangular hearse.

    (In our case the candelabra detach from their bases so now rest in a purpose built wooden stand for Tenebrae)

  80. Gregor says:

    Tom — 19 February 2008 @ 11:21 pm:

    An excellent exposition, thank you very much.

  81. Gregor says:

    M.J. Ernst-Sandoval:

    It’s a bit tricky to “point you to the relevant paragraphs”, as it always is to take passages out of their context. Still, you might want to look at numbers 6 (especially the last sentence, “Quem as negasse, assumiria uma atitude de recusa de verdades da doutrina católica e portanto já não estaria em plena comunhão com a Igreja Católica.”), 8 and 9 of the “Nota doutrinal explicativa” regarding the second category of truths, and especially at no. 11 which gives examples of the truths belonging to the respective categories and explicitly lists the teaching of ordinatio sacerdotalis among the second categroy.

  82. C.M. says:

    People seem to be happy that the “bar has been raised,” as if interposing obstacles to full communion were a good thing.

    What’s going on here seems to be expressed best by Gavin’s comment on a recent thread:

    “The fact is now that the holier-than-the-pope-Jesus-and-Mary trads will die out with the boomers…Like the boomers, the sooner the rad-trads are out of control, the better off the Church will be.”

    In other words, it’s a fight for “control” over the future of the extraordinary form. Traditionalists are holding for the older uses, while the new liturgical movement faction is aiming for an implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium on top of the 1962 Missal. The problem with the latter is that they are tempted to steal the gift of the 1962 Missal and put it to that use, rather than do the ground work to establish a separate permission from Rome. The fight is exacerbated by real differences in ecclesiology which presumably fall under one or some of the categories of difference delineated in M. J. Ernst-Sandoval’s first post above.

    BTW, it is a serious error to say that the “rad-trad” faction will die out on its own, because they have large families and Apostolic succession. There must be reconciliation–now–or a great and long-lasting schism may be perpetuated.

    Also, and this should be obvious, the less traditional the regular 1962 Missal is changed to become, the stronger will be the pull of the more traditional liturgical services, whether canonically regular or not–we have seen this already on this very board.

  83. Ottaviani says:

    Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.: The intention of the Holy Father is, as I understand it, for the conversion of the Jews here and now for there is, as he has asserted, no salvation outside the Church.

    So why hasn’t the Pope repudiated anything that Cardinal Kasper has said off-hand? Surely if it is the Pope’s intention to pray for the Jews to convert now, a note would have come out with Cardinal Bertone’s annunciation of the prayer saying so?

    The fact that the old prayer was discarded and the one from the New Rite was not, should give you a clue as to what the Pope really thinks. He says the Novus Ordo Good Friday prayer every year and as Pope has not taken any steps to correct it. The silence over that issue speaks for itself.

  84. maria humphrey says:

    I am not SSPX but I understand that they recognise the POPE, is it
    possible for the Pope to have made a mistake regarding the Good Friday
    prayer for conversion? The Jews are still not happy and SSPX are further
    alienated. Obedience is a dangerous thing especially when a ruling by a POPE
    has detrimental consequences for faith. I’m not convinced that POPE Benedict
    personally changed/authorised the change. I see no document with his signature
    authorising the change. Knowing what we know about authority in ROME we have every
    reason to be sceptical until HE confirms that he has actually changed it.
    The Jewish alternative route to salvation was coined at Vatican 2 as I understand it.

  85. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Aussie Paul points out the problem with this prayer very clearly. It could (and is by Aussie Paul) interpreted as a denial of Catholic dogma. I would never hold up tradition with a lower case “t” against the teaching of a Pope, however we have to remember that popes just like all Catholics are bound to the definitions of past popes. The Jews have a right to be evangelized by the Church, just as all people do. It is not a fitting “compensation” to the Jews for our past sins, that we sit back and allow them to go to hell, without offering them the gifts of Christ and His Church.

    I personally agree with Fr. Bailey and his understanding of the pope’s mind on these matters. The doctrinal note on Missionary activity from the CDF does not exempt any non-Catholics from the missionary obligation of the Church. However, I would not say that Fr. Bailey’s interpretation is the only one possible. If a priest feels in conscience that by using the new prayer, he is denying (even implicitly) a dogma of the Faith, I could understand his not using the new prayer, and would not judge him. However, when doing this, he must appeal to more than the traditions of certain theologians (even the most eminent ie St. Thomas Aquinas), and must base his “disobedience” on the firm rock of unchanging Catholic dogma. He must also realize that he will be judged for his disobedience by God, Who reads the heart. Any priest not using this prayer should be conflicted and filled with great sorrow because his conscience informed by his intellect will not allow him to obey. His heart and instinct should be to obey, and should only be stopped by his reason. Of course I fear that this is not the situation that all priests who will refuse to use this prayer will find themselves in, but that is no reason to think that there are not priests that will find themselves in this very situation. This is just another reason why I am glad that I am not a priest.

    BTW the Pope could very easily clear this matter up and remove any ambiguity in the prayer by issuing an official clarification stating the Jews are not in a salvific covenant with God, and that after the promulgation of the Gospel, all Jews have an obligation to seek and to enter Catholic Church in order to be saved. If this were done the meaning of the prayer would be clear. For that matter the meaning of the prayer in the New Mass would be clear.

  86. Fr. N says:

    Underneath all those layers of Catholic clothing, the SSPX is simply another sort of “protestant”. The pope of Rome is replaced by a man named Fellay.

  87. Brian Mershon says:

    Fr. N. I guess you will be among the most surprised then when the excommunications are lifted sooner rather than later, won’t you?

    What a firm grasp of “ecumenism” with the traditionalists. What an exercise in Christian charity.

    Fr. N. You don’t happen to offer the Traditional Latin Mass at your parish, do you? Or perhaps you continue to cling to the idea that the missal of 1970, because it was promulgated by Pope Paul VI, IS traditional?

    Just wondering, Fr. N. Just wondering.

  88. Ottaviani says:

    Fr. N, I take it you do not know the definition of a “protestant” – as in one who clearly rejects a revealed dogmatic teaching of the church.

    The SSPX do not reject anything in the “depositum fidei”… and no Vatican II did not define anything new to be included in the deposit of faith.

  89. Mike Williams says:

    “Fr. N, I take it you do not know the definition of a “protestant” – as in one who clearly rejects a revealed dogmatic teaching of the church.”

    a member of any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope — Merriam Webster

    member of church rejecting papal authority– Encarta

    Of course, the SSPX SAYS they don’t reject or deny the Pope’s authority. Except when they don’t like what he says.

  90. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Dear Fr. N.,

    Only a person who does not understand the necessity of submission to the Roman Pontiff for salvation could make a statement such as yours. Do you really believe that your flippant remark will do anything to help heal the wound between Rome and the SSPX? or perhaps has your statement made the wound deeper? Pius XII was ready to drop “perfidious” from the prayer for the Jews, because he felt it would make their conversion to the Church, outside of which there is no salvation, more difficult than it needed to be. This was a noble sentiment on the Pope’s part, and one motivated by a zeal for the salvation of the Jews. Can you honestly say that your statement was motivated by such a noble sentiment? Perhaps, such an horrid statement could be justified in a private conversation with someone, but to put forth this statement on a message board frequented by people attached to the SSPX, will do nothing but make the SSPX dig in their heels more deeply. Your statement does not even have the benefit of being true, in the unqualified way in which it is written. I would remind you that there is an art to being an apostle, and that a first principle in that art is not to offend a potential convert unnecessarily. I pray that you do not speak to other potential converts with so little tact, and truthfulness.

  91. Habemus Papam says:

    If this comes from Bishop Fellay its sad. I had hoped he and Pope Benedict were working towards reconciliation. BTW was it really Cardinal Ratzingers fault that the talks with Arch. Leferbvre failed? I think the stubbornes of John Paul II and the hot-heads around the Archbishop were more responsible. Anyway, ancient history now. Quibbeling over details belong in the past, I’m hoping many SSPX priests are obedient to Benedict XVI for if this rift continues much longer it really will become irreperable.

  92. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Dear Mr. Williams,

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your copy and paste did not function correctly when you posted the definition of protestant from Merriam-Websters. Here is the entire definition:

    a: any of a group of German princes and cities presenting a defense of freedom of conscience against an edict of the Diet of Spires in 1529 intended to suppress the Lutheran movement b: a member of any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth; broadly : a Christian not of a Catholic or Eastern church

    Notice the “and” after the part you quoted. “And” in this case means that what follows is essential to the definition. You should be more careful in the future, for someone could assume you are being deliberately dishonest.

  93. Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. says:

    Ottaviani, in response to your question, there is only one way to know…. ask the pope. Perhaps he felt there was no need to write a letter explaining his position. Who knows? I don’t. As I said, it’s how I interpret the situation in light of the Sacred Tradition. I don’t have any solid reason to believe that the pope intends anything else.

    I don’t think that the Holy Father hasn’t yet changed the prayer in the N.O. Good Friday Liturgy changes the intention with which he prays it. Just because the words of the prayer (and they are horrible and very problematic, especially in the ICEL translation) don’t express Sacred Tradition does not change the intention of the Church which must be to pray for the conversion of the Jews. If the Church doesn’t see a need, indeed a moral imperative, to pray for their conversion (and indeed that of all men) then she has no reason to exist, for it means she is not necessary to salvation.

    Please see this as my own thoughts and opinions. I can often come across as authoratitative when I don’t intend to be. In this discussion I’m no authority, but someone struggling to be faithful to Christ and His Church. I’m sure there are many valid arguements to support differing opinions. This is an expression of my thoughts and reasoning.

    I wish the prayer hadn’t been changed, but sadly it has been. I hope there will be a drastic revision of the N.O. to bring its texts into accord with Sacred Tradition, but doubt that will happen. So, I must be faithful to the Church and her teachings as expressed in Sacred Tradition and pray that God’s will be done. I must also put my own wishes aside and be obedient unless I am asked to be perfidious or immoral. So, I offer my hopes and wishes on the paten that Christ might transform them into something useful for His purpose. This gives me some peace.

    Perhaps a penetential practice for Good Friday for all of us might be to obey the Holy Father and use the revised prayer with the explicit intention of praying as the Church intends, offiering up our personal feelings to the Father with Christ’s sacrifice.

  94. Brian2 says:

    Interesting thread. But I think that the big issue has been obscured. The questions turn on ambiguity, and more importantly, responses to ambiguity. So we have two questions:
    (a) is the prayer (or VII) really ambigious in its meaning
    (b) how do we interpret this ambiguity.
    Only then do we come to (c)How do we respond to this interpretation (i.e. questions of obedience)

    In the case of SSPX the answer to (a) is YES. As I understand it, they hold that the documents of VII and the new Good Friday prayer are insufficiently clear in matters of faith and tradition. Not that they outright reject them, but that it isn’t clear one way or the other. So this brings us to (b). How does one respond to this ambiguity. This is where SSPX turns away from the ‘conciliar church’ choosing to interpret the purportedly ambigious texts in the least charitable light possible, often calling as witnesses unofficial comments from Church officials (e.g., +Kaspar) to support their position.

    So, to my mind, before questions of obedience and what that means arise, one has to first ask about hermeneutics: do we have a hermeneutics of charity, that seeks to give the best possible interpretation to purportedly ambigious texts from the Vatican or a hermeneutics of suspiscian that finds sellouts, unfaithfulness and so forth behind the texts.

    I am not attempting to answer the question, but simply to raise it: how does SSPX read these texts, with charity or which susipcian?

  95. evangelical_catholic says:

    It is amazing in this debate over the status of SSPX how much an individual’s bias lurks behind everything (for example that the Novus Ordo is at its core defective and just what that might mean for an individual’s state of grace). I just don’t understand how, at a certain level, how one can defend the SSPX putting itself outside obedience to particular aspects of papal authority yet claim they are being faithful to Roman Catholicism. While some might characterize this as merely toleration of liturgical diversity, the principles at stake go much deeper.

    Perhaps comparing the SSPX to Protestants is an inaccurate analogy, but the society’s rejection of the post-V2 church certainly seems to align them to the Protestant view that “popes and councils do err”. If the society and its followers think their interpretation of tradition or Tradition is better informed than the Holy See, what else would one call it? It certainly comes off has personal preference or judgment versus obedience to the Holy Father.

    To compare SSPX to the Orthodox or Eastern Catholics is a red herring — for example, if Protestants ever do come home to Rome, they will do so as part of the Roman rite, just as SSPX is and will be if the estrangement is ever resolved. I agree that until the Holy See declares SSPX schematic, they are not.

  96. evangelical_catholic says:

    Err, that would be schismatic, not schematic (my engineer profession slipping through.)

  97. Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. says:

    Mr. Hunter (danphunter1),

    Many places that rent items for weddings have floor candelabra that hold 15 candles. They usually have adjustable height and often the candles (tube candles) are provided with the rental. if you go this route, you may need to ask for a second (and third) set of candles depending on the length of Tenebrae.

    A Tenebrae Hearse can also be easily made by someone with basic woodworking skills using a 4×4 for the shaft and 2x4s to build a base and the triangular support for the candles. Wooden candle cups (sockets) can be purchased at craft stores. Metal sockets can be purchased from church goods suppliers. The sockets are attached to a triangular piece of wood which is attached to the triangular support. The entire hearse is painted black. You actually still have time to build one if you or someone you know has the skills.

  98. Mike Williams says:

    “I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your copy and paste did not function correctly when you posted the definition of protestant from Merriam-Websters.”

    Why, thank you, Mr. Sarsfield. Unfortunately for your kind observance that some might consider me dishonest, that wasn’t a copy-and-paste. I refer you to MW’s Collegiate Dictionary, 9th edition, from which I transcribed definition (2) in totality.

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt as well, and assume that you simply are used to relying solely on the internet for sources. But I would urge you to take care with making assumptions of this sort, as some might assume you are being suspiciously defensive.

  99. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Dear Mr. Williams,

    I would than assume that your edition is defective (some sort of printer’s error) or that they changed the definition to be more precise. For my 10 th Edition of MW Collegiate Dictionary, gives the same definition as the one I posted from MW Webster online. It is curious that the online version of encarta also gives a fuller definition than the one you used:

    1. member of church rejecting papal authority: a member or adherent of any denomination of the Western Christian church that rejects papal authority and some fundamental Roman Catholic doctrines, and believes in justification by faith. The formulation of Protestants’ beliefs began with the Reformation in the 16th century.

    Notice again that the words immediately before the “:” are not meant as full definition. What follows the “:” gives the full definition (as opposed to giving a new or different one which would be preceded by the number “2.”). This definition is in agreement with the one MW, and properly includes the rejection of “some fundamental Roman Catholic doctrines doctrines” and a belief “in justification by faith.” If we used your incomplete definition of protestant, then all the Orthodox would also have to be considered Protestant. That the Orthodox are Protestant is something of course that no knowledgeable Catholic has ever maintained.

  100. Mike says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the SSPX face accusations of disobedience to the Pope’s lawful authority for many years because they celebrated the 1962 Missal without permission from the local bishop? And didn’t the current Holy Father in Summorum Pontificum confirm that, after all, no permission had actually been necessary all along (“was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted” – Accompanying Letter to Bishops). Consider this: a number of priests in good standing (and I mean very good standing) with the Church authorities celebrate the 1962 Missal with the second Confiteor and Absolution before Communion. This of course they should not do to be completely in conformity with the rubrics of the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, although prudence might suggest otherwise. Are they also not in true unity with the Pontiff, then? If they are, explain the difference, please.

  101. “Holy Tradition – that’s what! One hears this argument all the time, but it’s no more than a willful evasion of the very heart of the issue…”

    …which is, who determines Holy Tradition?

  102. Tom says:

    Brian2 asks: ‘is the 2008 prayer really ambiguous in its meaning’, and reports that the SSPX think that it is.

    Actually there’s no serious ambiguity. But to the extent that ambiguity can be manufactured (for different motives) by the evasive liberal or the neurotic tradi, surely there is no less ambiguity in the 1962 prayer. In either case a perverse interpretation can deny that we are praying for Jews to be saved (2008) enlightened (2008) or relieved of their blindness (1962) _now_, and interpret the prayer as concerned only with some future time. At least the 2008 prayer is clearer on one issue that is only implicit in 1962 – that the enlightenenment of the Jews as to Christ’s true nature as universal saviour is desired for and bound up with their salvation. So 2008 clearly and explicitly rules out dual covenant theology.

    Notice too that the perverse interpretation is clearly not the Pope’s, who has already given the clearest possible statement that the call to Jews to convert is a call addressed to them _now_. As I posted above, just read the address of March 15th 2006,


    andt _think_ about its content. Then follow Peter and quit all the bleating, as it’s not Catholic, it’s not helpful to the Faith, and it’s not very clever.

  103. Brian Mershon: Father, I haven’t noticed there has been much of any “ecclesiastical authority” stopping anyone or ensuring anything is done in the manner they have determined for the past 40 years. I don’t know why the SSPX case would be any different or more special.

    Amen. I too wish that our Holy Popes would have exercised some tough love and discipline in a more timely fashion. How I long for the Holy Father to reach out and take away just one red hat… just one… once. Would that get people’s attention! I think we have to admit that those on the liberal side were treated with a special leniency.

    Look at what the new head of the German bishops’ conference just said in his interview. Direct defiance to the Sovereign Pontiff from his own bishops in his own country. What will happen to them?

    Nothing will happen in front of the cameras and microphones. But I imagine there will be consequences down the line. We might not know what they are and, frankly, even though that bishop made public statements, it is not our places to know everything that takes place between the Pope and the bishops.

    I very much hope for the more even application of discipline.

    However, just because some liberals didn’t get disciplined, that does not mean that it was wrong to discipline traditionalists when they erred. Does it seem fair? Not really, no. But if the traditionalists did something wrong (and they did), and they incurred the ecclesiastical censure foreseen by law (and they did), they have no one to blame but themselves.

    We must hope, pray, and work for a resolution of all these problems. But we won’t get anywhere by avoiding calling things as they are.

  104. totustuusmaria says:

    Dear Tom,

    You say there’s no serious ambiguity. How then that the first time I read it (and I read it in latin and immediately picked up the use of the present participle in the ablative absolute) I predicted that interpretations would immediately come out saying that this prayer would be interpreted the way it has been. The prayer is inherently ambiguous since calling Jesus the savior or all men can mean either that all must be converted to Christ (at least implicitely) to be saved, or that all who are saved even without conversion are saved through Christ, and the ablative absolute about the gentiles entering the Church can easily be translated in many different ways. The old prayer had no such ambiguity. I disagree. The very fact that we’re arguing over whether it’s ambuguous shows it’s ambiguous. But no one doubted what the old prayer meant.

  105. I can still remember quite clearly that when VCII began an Italian bishop (cardinal?)was quoted in the press as saying “It will take the Church 50 years to recover from this pope [Blessed John XXIII of happy memory].” It’s beginning to look like that observation was about right.

  106. Antiquarian says:

    I’m amused that no one has challenged Ottaviani for leaving out part of the definition of “protestant,” but I suppose it’s too much to ask for even-handedness in these matters– it’s easier to claim that dictionary entries that don’t support your position must be misprints. Just for kicks here is the sum total of the definition from an earlier edition-

    1. One who protests

    2. Of or pertaining to the faith and practice of those
    Christians who reject the authority of the Roman Catholic
    Church; as, Protestant writers.
    [1913 Webster]

  107. Prof. Basto says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf: …How I long for the Holy Father to reach out and take away just one red hat…

    Me too! And if I could choose just one to nominate for deposition from the Cardinalate, I would have a hard time choosing.

    Perhaps Mahoney, perhaps Martini, and the list goes on.

  108. Christopher Sarsfield says:


    Ottaviani I believe gave his own definition of Protestant. He made it up, so obviously I have no idea what he could have left out. With regard to the definitions I cited, I did so only because I checked the source cited. As a Catholic I have a problem with all definitions cited. A protestant is first of all a Christian, I do not know any of the definitions that listed that (except the one you gave from 1913). Secondly, historically they come from a break during the time of the reformation, some dictionaries listed that. Third, they all hold that the Bible is the sole rule of faith. All these I believe are essential to the definition. I guess the problem comes from trying to obtain theological definitions from a secular source.

    Finally, as I said earlier, my strongest objection to Fr. N’s comment, was that it did nothing to heal the wound, and probably deepened it. It was unnecessarily harsh. I know many non-Catholic Christians that reject the term “Protestant” being applied to them, so I refrain from using it. I will call them anything they like, as long as they do not expect me to call them saved!:)

  109. Scott Smith says:

    When was the last time a Bishop was Deposed by the Pope? Anyone know? I don’t mean re-assigned either.

  110. Aside from taking away a red hat, the Holy Father–more importantly–can elect not to bestow one in the first place. Pacelli for example refused to elevate Montini after the latter was recycled to Milan. (Had Montini been making noises to Pacelli about an ecumemical council?–the idea of a council surely didn’t occur to Roncalli out of the blue.)

  111. I should have spelled it out: ” . . . Milan, thereby assuring Montini would not be papabile in the next conclave.”

  112. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Thank you, Bishop Fellay, for refusing to accept the Zionist 2008 Edition of the Good Friday Prayers. Of course, a pseudo-traditionalist rag such as the Wanderer (which has wandered far from truth), will not like this.

    I sent a message to the Society regarding this matter. Their secretary wrote back that the 2008 revision does not apply to them in any event, since all Society priests use the 1955 books for the Triduum Sacram. Since the 2008 revision only purports to alter the 1962 version (vide the text of the Nota), it obviously cannot affect those using an earlier version.

    I note that we, as Catholics, must recognise that the 2008 revision is licit and legitimate, since it was given by the Supreme Legislator of the Church and is not contrary to the norms of Moral Law. However, this only means that we must say or do what the related law says we must say or do; and we lose the right to demand that the 2008 revision not be used. But laics, at least, are not required to receive or use the 2008 revision. Good Friday is not a holyday of obligation. So laics can licitly pray the 1962 words (in Latin or the vernacular) as the priest intones the 2008 words in Latin. Thank God Baronius Press has printed countless thousands of 1962 Missals. I bought one recently and will soon buy another. Laics can also repair to a S.S.S.X chapel for Good Friday prayers because, under the 1983 Code of Canons, we can attend even Protestant services without restriction, and Good Friday is not a holyday of obligation. This is now the third time that the liberal authors of the 1983 Code have shot themselves in the foot: if we can now go to a Protestant Good Friday Service, we can certainly attend an S.S.P.X one!!!

    The S.S.P.X works under a claim of supplied jurisdiction during an emergency. That does not mean *no* jurisdiction but supplied jurisdiction. Between 1970 and 1976, before the suspension a divinis, they were recognised by Rome. Therefore, whatever norms were in place in those six years would continue under the supplied jurisdiction, provided that the supplied jurisdiction is legitimate. I would say that the very subjective norms of the 1983 Code make it legitimate, but that’s another story. There is a question as to whether or not there can be a claim of supplied jurisdiction after Rome has offered them a way out of the emergency. I would say ‘no’ to that and conclude that the legal state of supplied jurisdiction ended in the year 2000, when Rome, according to Bishop Fellay himself, offered them an ordinary and universal structure.

    Hence I wish to make it clear that I am not supporting their claim of supplied jurisdiction. I merely point out the Society’s point of view on this.

    I am not required, as a laic, to receive the 2008 revision, and I refuse it. One way to avoid it is to attend an Eastern Divine Liturgy on Good Friday, which is what I shall do this year. Another way is to attend a S.S.P.X Good Friday liturgy. Another is to stay home on Good Friday, in which case we can, alone or in a group, pray parts of the 1962 or even the 1955 words as private devotions. That is perfectly licit. A priest could even lead such private prayers. There is no law against it.

    We are also perfectly within our rights to pray the 1962 words while the priest intones the Zionist revision of 2008. Even on a holyday, we need only ‘hear Mass’. But on a day that is not a holyday, we need only abstain from any unfitting or inappropriate behaviour, such as praying for something that is evil or praying in a heretical way. Using a prayer that is hallowed by 1,000 years of tradition does not fall into this category. The most the Pope can do is to enjoin us to use the 2008 prayer.

    The case of a priest who resists is harder. In law, if he is assigned to a traditionalist group which uses the ‘extraordinary form’ in a certain place, he could simply refuse to offer any Good Friday prayers at all. Those prayers are not among the liturgies any priest must offer for the people, even if he is a parish priest. Ironically, if the bishop complains, he can say that he was afraid of œcumenical implications! After all, the Jews also reject the 2008 revision!

    Why resist this new prayer? It is not because of its content, although the 1962 words are vastly superior to those of 2008 both in content and style. No, the reason is that this sets a precedent by which the Vicar of Jesus Christ amends the Sacred Liturgy of the Holy Ghost specifically at the request of infidels. That has never happened before, and it is an outrage and an abomination. Yes, John XXIII should not have made a change in 1959, but at least he did so on his own initiative. In contrast, the 2008 revision was done in response to a request lodged by the two chief rabbis of Palestine. Are we to change the Liturgy of Truth at the behest or demand of the partisans of error? I refuse this 2008 revision above all as an act of love to the Church. I don’t want the Church to be harmed by this bad precedent. The Church should be informed by the Holy Ghost, not by the petitions and demands of infidels.


  113. Fr. N says:

    Brian Mershon – I do indeed celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, and much prefer it to the N.O. However, yes, I accept (and celebrate) the N.O. as a valid Mass because it was promulgated by the bishop of Rome, the Supreme Pontiff, Paul VI, a legitimate successor of Peter.
    As for my definition of “protestant”, it does, at least, include the definitions posted above by Mike Williams (thanks, Mike). I do not think that rejecting the legitimate authority of the Bishop of Rome is a minor thing. I do believe it one major component of what is thought of as “protestant” in the sphere of religion. Disobedience is disobedience whether from the right or the left or wherever. At the present time Benedict XVI is the supreme pontiff.

  114. I wonder…when Jesus will returns will he find anyone who loves?

  115. Ottaviani says:

    Fr. N: As for my definition of “protestant”, it does, at least, include the definitions posted above by Mike Williams (thanks, Mike).

    Mike’s definition was woefully incomplete and drawn from secular sources. A look at the New Advent page for Protestantism will tell you that the main tenents of the “Protestant” are:

    The Protestant goes directly to the Word of God for instruction, and to the throne of grace in his devotions… – which the SSPX doesn’t!


    From this general principle of Evangelical freedom, and direct individual relationship of the believer to Christ, proceed the three fundamental doctrines of Protestantism — the absolute supremacy of (1) the Word, and of (2) the grace of Christ, and (3) the general priesthood of believers. . . . – which is not what the SSPX believes!!!

    So how on earth are they “Protestant”???!!!

    (Apologies to Fr. Z for diverting the thread topic if I have done…)

  116. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    The S.S.P.X is not Protestant. Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos calls them Catholic, and the Pope, according to reliable witnesses, discussed the matter of supplied jurisdiction with Bishop Fellay at the beginning of his pontificate and specifically asked how this argument could apply in current conditions. Clearly, he treated them as Catholic. Also, the Campos group was always treated as Catholic before it accepted a jurisdiction, and was never required to renounce an erroneous situation.

    The only question is whether or not the Society is schismatic, like the Old Catholics.

    My own view is that there is a least an objective state present today which requires them to ask for a jurisdiction and accept one from the Holy Father. It seems to me that, once the Holy See offered them an ordinary jurisdiction in 2000, any claim of emergencies and supplied jurisdiction became void, at least objectively.

    As to the meaning of the term ‘Protestant’, the Church does not impose a definition, even for the restricted purposes of Canon Law. Therefore, common use ultimately determines its meaning. The best authority of this in English is the Bibliographical Oxford English Dictionary, but the one of 1933, not the merely descriptivist one of today.


  117. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Professor Basto:

    In ecclesiastical law, one only incurs excommunication for schism by adhering to a parallel hierarchy or claims of exemption from legitimate jurisdiction. That is the meaning of a *formal* schism. It takes more than independent operation to make for such a hierarchy, although, over time, one can fall into schism by adhering to a schismatic mentality. According to “Ecclesia Dei Adflicta”, “formal adherence to schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication”. The P.C.E.D. has made a finding that, as long as one does not adhere to schism, one may attend a S.S.P.X chapel even to fulfil the Sunday obligation, and that one may even make a small donation to the chapel when the collection plate is proffered (Protocol 539-99).

    In law, if someone is excommunicated and goes on to consecrate another to the episcopate, the second person incurs the penalty without the Holy See having to issue a separate decree. Well, the four Society bishops went on to consecrate Bishop Licínio Rangel of the Priestly Union of St. John-Mary Vianney. Later on, Bishop Rangel and his entire Union were reconciled to the Holy See and were granted a juridical structure. Why, I wonder, were they not required to make a profession of faith or to recant any schism? Why did Rome not claim that they were schismatics even prior to reconciling them?

    Many canonists, including the eminent Count Neri Capponi, argue that the declaration of excommunication of 1988, while valid as an act of law, are inapplicable on the grounds that those mentioned in the decree were protected by Canon 1323.4. I agree. How ironic it is that the lax Code of 1988–a Code that the S.S.P.X despises–is its protector! You could drive a truck through its liberal statutes. Of course, even if the decree is inapplicable, this does not mean that the Society’s disobedience is rightful. That is a separate issue.

    I note that, in his official capacity as representative of the Pope, Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos refers to the Society and its supporters as “Catholic”. And when the Pope had a conference with Bishop Fellay, His Holiness only pointed out that, under current conditions, there can be no claim of emergency to invoke supplied jurisdiction. From that claim, it can be at least inferred that the Pope himself regards them as Catholic, because a claim of supplied jurisdiction would not apply to true schismatics, those adhering formally to a schism. The Holy Father, as far as I know, did not say *why* a claim of emergency is not possible, but I suppose it to be the fact that Rome has offered the Society ordinary jurisdiction, and the Society has not yet accepted this. In my view, any argument for supplied jurisdiction ended in 2000 when Rome offered the Society an apostolic administration ad personam under Canons 371.2 and 372.2. Bishop Fellay even admitted that it was a “Rolls Royce” structure equivalent in law to a diocese but existing everywhere. But there is the subjective aspect as well. Also, I suppose the Society could say that the offer was only suggested and not formalised. But that was only because the Society dug in its heels at that point.

    There are good arguments for the Society’s position. Certainly, salus animarum lex suprema est, and there is such a thing as ‘rightful disobedience’ in law. The Pope is a supreme monarch but not a tyrant; therefore, he is subject to his own laws at least until he amends them (according to Gratian’s decretals and St. Thomas’s Treatises on Law).

    Fr. Z. notes that the Pope should discipline liberals and traditionalists alike and treats the two as if they are comparable. They are not. There have been countless cases of heretical statements made by liberal prelates–even by cardinals–over the past three decades. To compare traditionalist to them is like comparing a mouse to an elephant. This elephant is in our drawing rooms and our kitchens. It is very difficult to get past him in order to brew a pot of tea.


  118. Integer Vitae says:

    From the OED online (also hoping this isn’t off-topic here)


    2. a. A member or adherent of any of the Christian churches or bodies which repudiated the papal authority, and separated or were severed from the Roman communion in the Reformation of the sixteenth cent., and of any of the bodies of Christians descended from them; (now also more generally) a member of any Western Christian church outside the Roman communion. Opposed to Papist, Roman Catholic, or Catholic in the restricted sense.

    So while not true of the SSPX in any strict sense, their repudiation of Papal authority (when it disagrees with their wishes) makes it an hyperbole not entirely without rhetorical value.

  119. Different says:

    Mr. Perkins,

    Unfortunately the authority in the matter, the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts finds that there is no necessity.

    “Doubt cannot reasonably be cast upon the validity of the excommunication of the Bishops declared in the Motu Proprio and the Decree. In particular it does not seem that one may be able to find, as far as the imputability of the penalty is concerned, any exempting or lessening circumstances. (cf CIC, can. 1323) As far as the state of necessity in which Mons. Lefebvre thought to find himself, one must keep before one that such a state must be verified objectively, and there is never a necessity to ordain Bishops contrary to the will of the Roman Pontiff, Head of the College of Bishops. This would, in fact, imply the possibility of “serving” the church by means of an attempt against its unity in an area connected with the very foundations of this unity.” 24 August 1996

    The Vatican team of canonists who has authority in this matter found that there is no necessity. So, until a Vatican document states otherwise (not a magazine article) the necessity claim is invalid.

    The PCILT also stated:

    “As long as there are no changes which may lead to the re-establishment of this necessary communion, the whole Lefebvrian movement is to be held schismatic, in view of the existence of a formal declaration by the Supreme Authority on this matter.”

    Maybe some of the will come home. I doubt that they all will. Not after refusing to adopt a perfectly good, validly promulgated prayer.

  120. Timothy Clint says:

    I have read the account of Bishop Fellay which was make at the Priest’s meeting held in Winona, Minnesota. He clearly maintains that there is nothing wrong with the words of the new prayer for the Jews. However, he stated that the SSPX would not adopt the changed formula because the Prayer is one of the oldest in the Roman Missal and secondly the reason for the change was motivated again as always by politics. The new prayer still begs for the conversion of the Jews just as the older form. Some of the adjectives have been removed from the new prayer. Since when do the Jews have the ability to insist that the Roman Catholic Church change it’s prayers? I believe that Cardinal Kasper said that the Roman Catholic Church is not about converting the Jewish people. And I say then why are we “going forth and making desciples of all nations.. baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. We have all been given a mission to bring souls to Christ.

  121. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To Integer Vitæ

    The S.S.P.X does not repudiate papal authority. That’s why it has not established a parallel hierarchy. But papal authority needs to be understood in a Catholic sense. It is not a tyranny but has an end, which is the salvation of souls and the building up of the Mystical Body of Christ. The S.S.P.X recognises the Pope and disciplines sedevacantists in its rank; in fact, it expels them. But the Society holds quite rightly that even a Pope cannot abuse his power. Now, I contend, the Pope himself has indirectly admitted that a predecessor in this matter abused his power. How do we know this? Because “Summorum Pontificum”, 2007, directly contradicts “De Missali Romano”, 1971. The latter purported to abolish any right to celebrate the old Mass except in the case of ageing and retired priests. The former, however, admits right in its text that the old Mass was never abrogated and therefore, remains, in principle, allowed. These two cannot be reconciled. Even two popes cannot make two plus two equal five.

    My question then, is this: If justice means giving every man is due, where is the recompense for all those priests who were ILLICITLY and ILLEGALLY thrown out onto the streets for celebrating the precious traditional liturgy, a Mass hallowed by centuries of use and never abrogated? Resisting this ILLEGAL suppression constitutes rightful disobedience and NOT schism. The Society, unlike so many of our bishops, is Catholic.

    According to Pope Innocent IV, the papal authority cannot be exercised contrary to its end, which is the building up of the Church and not the destruction of that which is sacred: “The Apostolic See in its holiness cannot destroy; it can only build. This is what the plenitude of power means: it can do all things to edification.

    Those who have studied the principles of kingly power (a parallel) know that it is the *Protestant* doctrine of the divine power of kings that regards any human authority as absolute. Ironically, the refusal to obey even the most insane orders from Rome in the 1960s is evidence of a Protestant mentality, not a Catholic one. It is as if all those people had been reading Hobbes and agreed with him. The Catholic mediæval notion of authority is much less simple.

    Many faithful have been trying to keep the faith in difficult times. Those who support the S.S.P.X are among them. They have never claimed to be the Church, only to be part of her, and they recognise Benedict XVI as the Sovereign Pontiff. If you want to find Protestants clothed as Catholics, look to the college of cardinals and the college of bishops. You will find many specimens of that malaise there.

    And how can you explain the case of Fr. Raymond Gravel, M.P., a Canadian priest who enters politics without the needed permission and then proclaims on television that he supports abortion and inverted marriage? What has happened to him? Nothing, that’s what. Where did Gravel come from? As it turns out, he was a male prostitute working in a ‘gay leather bar’ before he was admitted to seminary. Two, three years have passed. The Pope does nothing. The papal nuncio does nothing. Bishop Lussier of Joliette, his ordinary, supports this man, who is less Catholic than Osama bin Laden.



  122. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Hello there, Mr. Vere. Well, I suppose that after “Summorum Pontificum” contradicted “De Missali Romano”, anything is possible, so we shall have to see on this.

    As for magazine articles, it would seem that a certain article quoting Cardinal Stickler, R.I.P., was right after all–as I argued so long ago. I say now what I said then: immemorial custom had to be the origin of the right to celebrate the old Mass, not “Quo Primum Tempore”.

    I wonder why Bishop Rangel was received and given a jurisdiction? He was consecrated bishop by three of the four supposedly excommunicated bishops and yet never had to recant anything or swear any profession of faith.


  123. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    One more thing, Mr. Different, Canon 1323.3 does not restrict itself to necessity but also mentions “grave fear … or by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience”. I would say that Archbsihop suffered from grave fear that souls would be lost if he didn’t take action.

    Anyway, I agree that the statement does cover all causes in regard to imputability. So we shall have to see. I suppose that you will want to declare that Archbishop died as an excommunicated schismatic.


  124. C.M. says:


    Without any doubt, the problem that Lefebvre has posed has not been concluded by the rupture of June 30[, 1988]. It would be too simple to take refuge in a sort of triumphalism, and to think that this difficulty has ceased to exist from the moment in which the movement led by Lefebvre has separated itself by a clean break with the Church. A Christian never can, or should, take pleasure in a rupture. Even though it is absolutely certain the fault cannot be attributed to the Holy See, it is a duty for us to examine ourselves, as to what errors we have made, and which ones we are making even now. The criteria with which we judge the past in the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism must be used — as is logical — to judge the present as well.

    One of the basic discoveries of the theology of ecumenism is that schisms can take place only when certain truths and certain values of the Christian faith are no longer lived and loved within the Church. The truth which is marginalized becomes autonomous, remains detached from the whole of the ecclesiastical structure, and a new movement then forms itself around it. We must reflect on this fact: that a large number of Catholics, far beyond the narrow circle of the Fraternity of Lefebvre, see this man as a guide, in some sense, or at least as a useful ally. It will not do to attribute everything to political motives, to nostalgia, or to cultural factors of minor importance. These causes are not capable of explaining the attraction which is felt even by the young, and especially by the young, who come from many quite different nations, and who are surrounded by completely distinct political and cultural realities. Indeed they show what is from any point of view a restricted and one-sided outlook; but there is no doubt whatever that a phenomenon of this sort would be inconceivable unless there were good elements at work here, which in general do not find sufficient opportunity to live within the Church of today.

    — Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, address to the bishops of Chile, July 13, 1988

  125. C.M. says:

    Integer Vitae: So while not true of the SSPX in any strict sense, their repudiation of Papal authority (when it disagrees with their wishes) makes it an hyperbole not entirely without rhetorical value.

    That is disgusting.

  126. When the “Catholic traditionalist movement” (as it was then called) first made its presence felt after VCII, there was much made of the bull Quo primum of Pope St. Pius V. Visitors to this board are aware of the pope’s fulminations therein. I never managed to find out with what slight of hand the post-VCII Church swept this utterance under the proverbial rug. Would anyone know?

  127. Malta says:

    I am dumbfounded by this whole discourse:

    Saints for centuries have taught that it is a tough road to get into heaven. The entire structure of our Church is structured around the Sacraments as efficacious to get us into heaven: is it meaningless to take the Eucharist, go to Confession, have Holy Orders, the Anointing of the Sick, etc.? Or are these efficacious? If they are efficacious, then the prayer for the conversion of the Jews is mercy, and love. Yet, the modernist Church has, through politics, lost its essential mission. We now care more about political correctness than the saving of souls.

    Really, though, do you believe the Church’s age-old teachings or not? Or, are you a merely political Catholic in your heart? Remember, our Lord tells us that some of those who go to hell thought they were using our Lord’s name:

    22 Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. (Matt. 7:22-23)

  128. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Mr. Gajewski:

    The fulminations of past popes, howsoever severe, cannot, in themselves, bind future popes. The Pope did not lack the power to override “Quo Primum Tempore”. It is arguable whether or not he had the power to override immemorial custom. However, ultimately, I think that the Pope’s power here is only limited by Moral Law. Look very carefully at the wording of the preamble to “Summorum Pontificum”. The Pope writes repeatedly of a venerable right that is a moral good. A Pope can make small changes to the liturgy but one can argue that, should he try to re-write it and revolutionise it, he would be destroying the work of the Holy Ghost. That would be a violation of Moral Law. St. Thomas taught that, when an ordinance of positive law (such as the Canon Law) violates a precept of Moral Law, the former is not bad law; rather, it fails to qualify as law at all.

    But before considering this matter in more detail, I ask bloggers to read the introduction to S.P. and then tell me if the right of priests to celebrate the old Mass is grounded in immemorial custom and protected by Moral Law.


  129. . . . and here is the text of Quo primum. I haven’t checked the translation:


  130. Dear Mr. Perkins,

    Thanks for that. But you seem to be saying St. Pius V misspoke when he used the word “perpetuity.”

  131. Ferdinand: I think you are confused about what “perpetuity” means in the context of such a juridical document. It only means up to the point at which changes are made to the laws or the objective of the laws. In this case, the Missale Romanum as issued by Pope Pius V could be used “forever” right up to the point when Pope Clement altered it. Then that edition, of Pope Clement was to be used. “Perpetuity” in this situation does NOT mean “forever” as in “without bounds of time and without consideration of future editions future Pontiffs might issue”. Remember a Pope can change what a previous Pope has issued, unless of course it concerns infallible teaching about doctrine or morals.

  132. Matt Q says:

    Father Z wrote:

    “If an SSPX priests wants to use the new prayers, he could. No one with real ecclesiastical authority can stop them from using the new prayers or impose real censures if they decide not to run with the pack.”


    Very true, Father, but this also true of clergy inside the Church whom do as they please. Rome does nothing about anything already. I believe this is the reason the Church finds Herself in the present circumstances. For me, wondering about whether the SSPX will use the reformulated GF prayer is a non-issue. As you did say though, our prayers are with them all.

  133. danphunter1 says:

    Now that I consider it, it does seem incongruous that such a hullabaloo is made over, an albeit disobedient act, as to not use the new Good Friday prayers, but not over the fact that Novus Ordo priests invalidate the Consecration by using either invalid form and or matter.
    We never hear an official Papal pronouncement condemning the blasphemous practice of the reception of our Lord in the hands, or altar females, not to mention Extraordinary Ministerette’s and heretical sermons.

    It would be apropriate if there was a Papal proclamation changing these abominations against the Sacred Godhead.
    Kyrie Eleison.

  134. Different says:

    Mr. Perkins,

    You stated:

    “He was consecrated bishop by three of the four supposedly excommunicated bishops and yet never had to recant anything or swear any profession of faith.”

    According to L’Osservatore Romano (6 February 2002) Bishop Rangel did indeed make a profession of Faith: “The Papal Letter, at the request of the Holy Father, was presented to Bishop Rangel in the course of a celebration in the Cathedral of Campos on Friday 18 January, by Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. During this celebration, Bishop Rangel made his profession of faith and took the oath of fidelity to the Supreme Pontiff, declaring at the same time that he accepted all the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.”

    I would guess that this would be the same format for regularizing the SSPX.

    Also, I am not Mr. Vere as you seemed to indicate.

    How does Summorum Pontificum contradict De Missali Romano?


  135. Different says:

    Mr. Hunter,

    I think that most bishop’s do take seriously instances where priests are actually invalidating consecration. Is such a thing really all that common? I have never witnessed such an action. Even the more liberal bishops will demand that priests not change the actual words of consecration.

    Also, doesn’t Redemptionis Sacramentum sort of address abuses? Or do you mean we could use something more direct from the Holy Father himself?

  136. Antiquarian says:

    C.M. elliptically emphasized–

    ” So WHILE NOT TRUE of the SSPX in any strict sense, their repudiation of Papal authority (when it disagrees with their wishes) makes it an hyperbole NOT ENTIRELY WITHOUT RHETORICAL VALUE.

    That is disgusting”

    Perhaps if you quoted in context and your emphasis was accurate your disgust would abate. Try adding “in any strict sense” in the context of the OED citation– meaning that in a general sense, it is true. The SSPX also sifts statements and documents in order to tease out meanings that aren’t there, but I wouldn’t follow their example if I were you.

  137. danphunter1 says:

    I have seen leavened cookies used at the Consecration,literally dozens of times, also cookies with raisen’s in them on four seperate occasions .
    I have heard the consecration invalidated three different times by priests using made up words. Twice by the same priest after I had reported the first incident to his bishop.
    If I have witnessed this, I am sure that many others have as well.
    Yet these priests continue to have “jurisdiction” and and are in full “communion” with their diocese whereas the FSSPX, who are not commiting these abominations are not.
    The Holy Father makes direct statements about other things, why not about this?
    I find this curious.
    God bless you.

  138. D. Sp. says:

    Laudetur JS CHS!
    (Sorry for my English, I am German)

    Puh. So many points to discuss. So first to Rev. F. Z. (2.32) and all the others, that question on which principle the old rite is and was allowed or not:

    As I think one or two commentators still stated, the old rite was generally forbidden before Summum Pont. but the SSPX did not obey and now even the Pope Himselfe says, that it was not forbidden. So why not beeing the same in this case (Good friday)? – Well, I know, that is not the best argument for justifying disobedience, it was also not inteted to be so (I will bring some reals arguments later), but it shows the confusion of the modern days, even in Rome.

    Because of CIC c.20 it is clear, that the old rite was abrogated. There is also no valid argument of immemorial custom, because a written law, as the old rite was, does not fall (canonical) under the case of custom. (see also my commentar to More Second Confiteor Thoughts or elsewhere – or am I not right in this case? Perhaps then Prof. basto or an other person can correct me.)

    Well, if the authority would have wanted to introduce a totally new rite, then, yes, the old one is not abrogated – but then also not because of custom, but because the new law would not touch the old. but that was not the intention of authority/law-giver (P Paul VI), it was not the intention to put a totaly new rite beside the [old] roman rite, but to reform and thereby replace the old rite or, as you can say, the older form.

    Therefor you needed an indult to use the older form (that´s the proof that is was abrogated!). Thanks GOD that many priests or a great society did not obey (by not beeing law-positivistical) and held on using the old form without having an indult! But that was disobedience, it was contra legem!

    Even the Pope Himselfe states the opposit now, it is, sorry, not right – or if, then all is allowed, then you can do all things contra legem, you are justified to disobey like you want. But that can´´t be. So with the intention to reform the roman rite (not to create a new rite beside the roman rite) of H.H.Paul VI it´s clear that the old roman rite/form was abrogated (in connection with c.20). I can´t understand why even the Pope or Card.Stickler do say the contrary. Well, I can understand, but that leads us to a point I want to come to: they tried to circulate a triangle or quadrate the circle: they liked the old rite so much (and disliked, at least in some points the nwe rite, that they surched for a possiblity to show that it was totally just (in sense of positve right) and no disobedience to celebrate it also without indult – but that is just wrong!

    So by positive law the old rite was not generally allowed but abrogated and without indult you could celebrate it only by disobeying the positiv law. And thats the point: the only way to hold on celebrating the old rite in general (and rejecting the new rite, or some points in it) was by disobeying the positive right and declaring it as unjust.

    And thats the point: a positive law, positive right, even (a) ecclesiastical, can be – objectively – unjust. And therefor disobedience can be justified. That´s old catholic doctrine!

    I realy wonder, that so many of You, even rev. F. Z. or Prof. Basto, seem to be or at least to tend to be law-positvists (according to ecclesiastical laws) or ultramontanists in a wrong, not catholic way. See all the great doctors of the church, see St. Thomas, Card. Cajetan, Th. de Vio Cajetan, Bellarmin and so on and you will see: even eccl. laws can be unjust, even the Pope´s ones (laws, prescriptions, …) and disobedience can be just/justified and in some cases even a duty!

    Only on this base we can discuss furthermore – if you go behind this point, then a discussion is impossible, then I am and we all are only wasting time.

    In CHo per Mam


  139. D. Sp. says:

    laudetur JS CHS!

    To my recent/precedent comment:

    I know that H.E. Card. Stickler was lawer, so therefor an authority of law-questions. But I can give you also an other authority, if you intend on that, for example Prof. Georg May, emeritus of the Joh.-Gutenberg Univerity of Mainz (Germany), who was teacher there for canon law.

    He had the same opinion as I referred before: He told me that he cant understand why the Pope does say so or tradtitonl groups. He also presumed that the Holy Father was influenced by Card Stickler, but then Prof. May staded, that he can´t understand why Card Stickler says so (that the old rite would not have been abrogated canonicaly). It would be clear by c. 20.

    And so Prof. May writes in his book about the old and new rite (ed. UNA VOCE): the old rite is canonicaly abrogated by introducing the new (there is no doubt about the intention of the law-giver [Paul VI]). The only way to argue for the old rite is to show that this introduction of the nwe was an unjust law. And May gives good reasons for beeing so. He himselfe argues for that – that it was an unjust law and you therefore do not need to obey, You should or at least are allowed to reject it.

    In CHo per Mam


  140. Mr. Hunter, please note that I am not defending their actions or excusing priests who make up the words of institution, but recall that the essential form for the consecration of the host is “THIS IS MY BODY” and of the chalice is “THIS IS MY BLOOD.” As long as they used these words the form was essentially valid, however they did commit mortal sin and cause scandal among other things.

    I am more concerned about invalid matter, especially for the host. Its use is nigh on upiquitous in many places. I don’t mean illicit in that leavened bread is used, I mean invalid in that ingrediants other that pure wheat flour and water are used to make the hosts. It doesn’t seem that invalid matter for the Precious Blood is much of an issue in my experience, but even if the matter of one of the two is invalid, grave sacrilige is committed and it is questionalble as to whether the Mass is valid.

    But the issue that scares me the most is that of defect of intention since the priest rarely makes his intention public. How can priests who don’t believe in the Churches teaching, indeed Christ’s teaching, on the Eucharist have the intention necessary to confect the sacrament? Such priests and bishops are everywhere. The bishops do nothing because they are part of the problem. They too lack faith.

    To me these bishops and priests are on par with the SSPX, but if I had to choose, I’d take the SSPX. The lack of fidelity of the priests and bishops I spoke of is, in my opinion, greater than that of the SSPX. But both lack fidelity and so both should receive equal censures. What’s good for the goose…

    I hope the Holy Father will always remember that he cannot serve two masters. That being said, we must pray for him, for he, as is every priest, is responsible to Christ for every soul in his care, and to whom much is given, much will be required.

  141. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Bailey: But both lack fidelity and so both should receive equal censures.

    Would that they did! If the unfaithful bishops and priests you refer to had long since received the “equal censure” they deserve, the Church surely would be in much better shape today.

  142. Sylvia says:

    Fr. Z: I think we have to admit that those on the liberal side were treated with a special leniency.

    Perhaps they have been treated with a special leniency because it is needful for them and not for us.

  143. Different says:

    Fr. Bailey,

    I think that as long as the priest intends to do what the Church does then the consecration is valid. Even if he mistakenly believes that the Eucharist is only symbolic, as long as he intends to carry out what the Church desires then the Sacrament is confected. At least that is my understanding.

    Please correct me if this is wrong.


  144. Maureen says:

    We will also pray for all the folks in this thread who obviously need to examine the documents and encyclical section of the website.

    “Something should be said about….”
    Dominus Iesus says that. It’s been out for years and years.

    “Something should be said about….”
    That’s in such and such instruction — remember all the whining when it came out?

    Honest to goodness, people. I realize that it would be more satisfying if the Swiss Guard Ninja Elite were to show up at various dissidents’ houses and leave highlighted copies of the docs on their pillows, but that ain’t gonna happen. (Unless it does happen, all the time, and it’s Covered Up. They’re Swiss Ninja, after all.) But if you’re worried that the Vatican doesn’t publicize these things enough, then publicize them! Start by learning about them yourselves.

  145. D. Sp. says:

    Laudetur JS&Ma!

    So on the base of what I said above, I can come to the next point:

    I realy wonder, that most of You do have a so hard judice to disobedience in commen and to the disobedence of SSPX in special. As I stated it is an old catholic teaching that also an eccl. law, also a episcopal or even papal prescription (etc.) can be unjust and disobedience can be justified or a duty(!).

    So lets come to the new Good-friday prayer: there are lots of reasons, that can lead to the result that it is an unjust law/prescription (the introducing of the new prayer). But the main problem is really the ending of the prayer that gives it the unacceptable eschatological turning, as I stayted also earlier in other comments on Your page (see there!). I´ll come to that.

    but first thanks to the comments of P.K.T.P., moretben, Jrbown and especiall totustuusmaria. Real good – read them!

    So for many reasons, but especially for the reason of the eschatological problem, the FSSPX (or, as you commonly say SSPX)is fully justified to reject the prayer, to disobey. If you see the whole context, the whole crisis, then there is no doubt that it is for the moment the better way (even in cases of doubt, but I don´t think we have a very doubtfull case here…) to reject new things than to obey. For reason to keep the catholic faith, not become haeretic! Because that is the problem, that nowdays the danger is much bigger to become a heretic by obeying the laws than by disobeying.
    So I am not in fear about the SSPX that it is heretic (or schismatic – because I am, like every Catholic should be, not law-positivist!), but I have to fear about all those, who join the new liturgy and do not reject it, so about those, who are obedient!!

  146. D. Sp. says:

    So as I staded, I am not in fear that the SSPX is heretic (or schismatic or in a non-justified way disobedient by rejecting many modern laws and prescriptions) but in contrary I am in fear -and you must be so – of/about all those who are obedient. And that is the best justification of the disobedience of the Society: the danger of losing your faith, of becoming heretic (or heretical thinking) by obeying the new laws, by following them. Thats the horrible case nowdays in the church, the daramatical crisis, we are all suffering from…

    So as also the canon law says “Salus animarum suprema lex” you are perfectly justified to reject some modern rules/lawes/… and also the new Good friday prayer – if you can show that they entail a danger for the faith.

    Well, now you will say: But there is no danger for the faith – not in the new prayer and perhaps not in any new prayer/law…. So we have to discuss this point. But if, then hold: You are fully justified to disobey. And even there were no such strong reasons (danger for hte faith), you can also be justified in disobedience by other reasons – catholic doctrine, I must repeat, is not that positivistica!!

    In CHo per Mam

  147. D. Sp. says:

    Laudetur JS&Ma!

    So to show that there is a real danger for faith obeying some new liturg. laws, including the new prayer for the Jews. And in answer to TNCath (19.feb. 12.45), Prof. Basto (´´ 12.45) and esp. David (´´12.37), who staded “…This division is not from the Holy Spirit. It is dabolical”:

    Well, this division is diabolical, but the fault lies on the Vatican side, not on the Society´s. From the side of SSPX the division – the disobedience – is not diabolic, but it is from the Holy Spirit. For contrary, obedience here is diabolic. As I stated, in Catholic doctrine it is not that easy that all obedience is good and all disobedience is diabolic. It can be vice versa!!

    Let us take the 1970 prayer for the Jews f. e. : Even in its latin original it is more than ambiguous and within the whole context you have to say it is somthing like “inducends in haeresim”., “haeresi(m) fovens/favens”, “haeresim sapiens” or at least willingly ambiguous (but then therefor again leading to heresy – “inducens in haeresim” etc. ). And remember, a willingly ambiguity, if you had a unambiguous formula before, is not ok. That is not the same case of an common ambiguity perhaps every formula has, as some comments stated. Thats not the same (conf., f.e. ,the condemnation of the synod of Pistoia).

    But worse, f. e. in the German approbated text the prayer is (implicit) heretic. So, by the way, at least this text is intolerable, there can be no reason to tolerate it only a second longer (see also some older comments of me to the case of Good-friday-prayer!). And the Pope knows that – he is German! So we have an example for a case, in which disobedience is duty and obedience is diabolic, leads to hersy, is dangerous for faith.

    So, remember, this prayer is not changed. And it is introduced by eccl. laws. And still under the new Pope you have the duty to recognize it. – But if you do so, you commit a mortual sin, tend to heresy. So if it would be right that you are not allowed to disobey the Pope, if you law-positivsts would be right, then you could also pray this 1970 prayer – and, as I said, at least in Germany you commit a morutal sin and support heresy.

    So I am glad that the SSPX does not think that positivistic. And I hope you see now, that this positivistic few is a danger for the faith and not the view of SSPX. The society´s few is totaly catholic – the view of their critics, as I tried to show, only seems to be (at the first glimps) but is not. It is not catholic doctrine that you should obey if you commit a sin by obeying and on contrary that you sometimes have the obligation/duty not to obey. So thanks to SSPX reacting this catholic way.

    Well, perhaps you might say now: yes, the 1970-prayer is a problem, here it might be right to refuse, to reject [But I say: not might be, but it is your duty to do so, otherwise you are sinning] – but in the case of the new prayer there is not such a danger for faith. It is totaly orthodox.

    Well, I´ll come to this point. But for the moment hold this, that thanks the Outweighted catholic thinking of the priests of SSPX many people have been confirmed in the catholic faith and not been lead to heretical thinking and v.v. many of the “conservative catholics”, who think it is not allowed to disobey the Pope, have been in danger to lose their faith and some of them really lost it, became heretic!

    In cHo per Mam

  148. D. Sp. says:

    So to the new prayer:

    As I stated there are several problems and therefor several reasons to reject it (as an unjust law). But the main problem is that it is only praying for the conversion of the Jews at the end of time – the eschatological problem (that makes the law unjust in the very specific and important sense of supporting heresy or something like that – at least in the sense that it lost an essential point that it had had before – I´ll come to this).

    And sorry, it is not right what You said, Tom, to ambiguity or You, Rev. F. Scott Bailey (19. Feb. 9.21) or Paul (2.49), that you should read the prayer not in the interpretation H. Em. Card. Kasper has given.

    At first an ambiguity would be enough to reject the new prayer, because the old was not or not in the same way ambiguous.

    But second the new is not ambiguous or at least more than ambiguous: the natural/common interpretation is this of Card. Kasper. It is not an evil or misunderstanding reading, not a far fetched interpretation, but is the interpretation which is self-suggesting by the text istselfe.
    The traditional interpretation of Rm 11 is that of end of time. So there is no wonder that Card. Kasper interpretates it this way. Also Archb. Ravari does use the term “eschatological” f. e.

    So not the one who gives this interpretation is violating the text, but every other interpretation. Or you must bring very good reasons to have an uncommon reading of it not intending end of time. The burden of proof does not lie on those who interprete the new prayer in the eschatological sense like Card. Kasper but on those who try a sophisticated interpretation the other way.

    I wonder that you do not seem to recognize that: the common, natural and traditional interpretatin is this of card. Kasper. That is what the words say (in common reading). (WDTWRS!) Therefore the new prayer does not essetially say the same like the old, but lacks of a very important point. I also wonder that You, rev. F. Z., do not seem to see that problem.

    But, well, some of the comments are right, that this does not mean that the new prayer or even H. Em. C. Kasper support the heresy of teaching the Jews are in a valid covenant and do not need JESUS. Nether the prayer nor C. Kasper says so. For contrary, they both are CHristocentric – and that´s good, I am happy. – But don´t forget that there is an other, let me call it, semi-modernistical error, that says: ok, all men need CHrist, but its not so necessary that they convert to Him explicitly, it is enough only implicitly and we can be very optimistic that (nearly) all persons are implicitly CHristians (“anonymous catholics”).
    So that´s the theological problem of the text: It – and most clear in the modern context (don´t forget this context!) – supports or at least can be very easily interpretated in this way.

    But at least it lacks of an essential point: to pray for the Jews actually living.

    And at least till there is no comment out of Rome correcting Card. Kaspers interpretation (that is the common and normal interpretation!) you are allowed or the more have the duty to reject the prayer as an unjust law by the reasons a) that it lacks of an essential point the prayer before entailed and b) beeing dangerous for the faith because of easily beeing read as supporting the salvation-optimism towards those who not convert explicitly.

    That is the catholic reaction – because the “salus animarum” and the more the “Dei gloriam” are the highest laws, and if a lower law is in conflict with them, it is not catholic to obey this laws, but it is catholic to reject them. Thanks to SSPX for thinking in such a catholic way. And please, dont think in the uncatholic, positivistic way. That is not supported by the tradition! That´s not catholic!

    Laudetur JS&Ma

  149. D. Sp. says:

    To Different and Rev. F. Bailey:

    It is right that the intention to do what the church does (or even CHrist wants to be done) is enough. And also if you have/hold f.e. a concrete error (or heresy) you can still have this sufficient intention. The only problem is, what happens if you have a real contra-intention or better: what a contra-intention means. When do you have such a contra-intention, that makes the sacrament invalid?

    But in many cases, I think, even the priests are heretic, dont believe f.e. in the Transsubstantiation, they have no strict contra-intention to do what the church does and therefor the consecration must be presumed valid.

    in CHo per Mam


  150. Maybe my question to Fr. Z, about the use of the word “perpetuity” by Pope St. Pius V in the bull Quo primum, should have been worded thus: was Pius V mindful that a future pope could override him? If so, how do we know that? And if so, why did Pius V make a fool of himself by using the extreme language he did in this bull?

  151. RBrown says:

    I am more concerned about invalid matter, especially for the host. Its use is nigh on upiquitous in many places. I don’t mean illicit in that leavened bread is used, I mean invalid in that ingrediants other that pure wheat flour and water are used to make the hosts. It doesn’t seem that invalid matter for the Precious Blood is much of an issue in my experience, but even if the matter of one of the two is invalid, grave sacrilige is committed and it is questionalble as to whether the Mass is valid.

    We answered this some time ago here.

    Added ingredients to the host do not necessarily produce invalid matter, only if the additives mean that it cannot be considered wheat bread. Generally, I think 50% is usually considered the line of validity. If the additives mean that the wheat flour is less than half of the ingredients (minus water), then invalidity is likely.

    But in cases like the addition of honey (which was common), invalid matter is not the result.

    But the issue that scares me the most is that of defect of intention since the priest rarely makes his intention public. How can priests who don’t believe in the Churches teaching, indeed Christ’s teaching, on the Eucharist have the intention necessary to confect the sacrament? Such priests and bishops are everywhere. The bishops do nothing because they are part of the problem. They too lack faith.
    Comment by Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

    IMHO, your concern is most easily assuaged by the Sacramental Theology of St Thomas. According to him, Christ is the Principal Celebrant in every celebration of every Sacrament, and the minister is His Instrument.

  152. D. Sp. says:

    I think that many of You didn´t read my comments under other rubrics because I was always some late. Therefor I copy here my comment of Feb. 14th under the rubric of feb. 5th: WDTPRS:The new Good friday prayers for the Jews…(see also there or on other rubrics some more comments of me – and also my excusing for my bad English, that I repeat here):

    Laudetur JS CHS!

    Because my comment a few minutes ago was a little bit long, I try a summary:

    1. a) I agree: the Pope has principially the right and power to change things
    b) also in the old rite, and that in principal is even good to show the old rite is not antique but living inside the church.
    c) In doubt You have to obey.
    2. I agree (nearly) that some parts of the prayer, espec. in the introduction, say [nearly] the same things (as the old), only in other words, at least they say good things. (Even there are some problems…)
    3. One bigger problem is/are the circumstances/the context of the changing (as often commented)
    4. But I tend to say [But I must think more about that point – so therfore “tend”]: as far as this problems concerned – as far there is no big problem in the text itselfe or a real essential problem, that is a loosing of an essential point, then You have to obey the Pope (as I said in 1.: He has the right to do so – and in doubt You have to obey!).
    5. But there is such a real problem in the text, an essential point: The new prayer prays only for conversion of the Jews at the end of time. It should pray and the old did so for all the Jews without restriction to a special time or under special condition (“as/when the fullness of the peoples enters…”). That´s an essential loss. So it says not the same like the old. And more: it fails the very point, the very intention of the prayer: to pray for all the Jews now living!
    6. Thats obvious and not doubtfull: therefore You can`t or at least should not (at very least need not) obey the Pope.
    7. And at least together with the whole context and the other problems and with comments like Card. Kasper´s (read!), the rest of a doubt, that You should reject the changing, must be off.

    I realy do not understand why You haven´t stressed that yet, I realy wonder why most of You do not stress this only essential point in the discussion.

    In CHo per Mam

    D. S.

    Comment by D. Sp. — 14 February 2008 @ 8:19 pm

  153. Ferdinand: why did Pius V make a fool of himself by using the extreme language he did in this bull?

    He didn’t make a fool of himself. His language is technical. The only people making fools of themselves are those who charge in with wild assumptions about what technical language means without really understanding what they are doing. This is, alas, fairly common over this word “perpetuity”.

  154. What does “technical language” mean? Where is the style sheet Pius V was using?

  155. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To Different:

    All right. Rangel did sign a Profession of Faith. This would not be difficult, since he had never denied the faith, obviously. Agreeing to Vatican II is also not impossible, since it is open to an orthodox interpretation, which is the correct one (well, with the one problem of Dignitatis Humanæ but, even there, it’s not a problem since Vatican II documents are not infallible). But he never recanted the very firm position of the Priestly Union and its famous statement rejecting the reforms that had followed the Council; and he never denounced any excommunication he must have incurred by accepting episcopal consecration from three presumably excommunicated bishops. Did Rome declare that she had lifted an excommunication that he had incurred? I never heard of that. Perhaps Rome only lifted any “penalties” that “might obtain” to cover it.

    In regard to “De Missali Romano”, this Instruction, and not the constitution “Missale Romanum” was the document cited by Paul VI to assert that the New Mass was mandatory (cf. his Consistory Allouction of 24 May, 1976). D.M.R. asserts, “From the day on which the definitive translation must be adopted in the celebrations in the vernacular languages, those who continue to use the Latin language *must* [emphasis added] uniformly make use of the renewed texts, whether for the Mass or for the Liturgy of the Hours [Divine Office]” (No. 2). No. 3 then goes on to make exceptions to this, essentially for ageing and retired priests. Hence D.M.R., which was published in the A.A.S. on 14 June, 1971, is contradicted by “Summorum Pontificum”, para. 5 of its introduction: “As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a Forma Extraordinaria of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted”. Now, Benedict XVI is using the term “abrogated” here in its wider sense, the one found in the Code. It covers obrogation and derogation; otherwise, D.M.R. would have obrogated it. Obviously, D.M.R. could not require priests to use the N.O.M. if the use of the 1962 Missal “was always permitted’.


  156. Jordan Potter says:

    Peter said: Obviously, D.M.R. could not require priests to use the N.O.M. if the use of the 1962 Missal “was always permitted’.

    I guess it depends on what “uniformly” means, but why couldn’t the Church tell priests to use the revised Missal even if the previous Missal was still permitted?

  157. Michael says:

    How about instead of attacking the SSPX, we demand (or earnestly plead) that our Holy Father who supposedly willed and executed this change to explain himself. I’m not a priest, but if I was, I would want to be sure of who exactly is giving the commands here. As for the idea that Pope Benedict did this to “test” the SSPX, I say nonsense. But if that were true, it is a big mistake and disingenuous. How could he expect the SSPX to obey his novel change to a very old prayer when he doesn’t even discipline the rest of his flock. I personally think that it was an imprudent personal move (for a reason I have no idea and don’t intend to speculate on). Regardless of the Holy Father’s motives, one thing is certain. We must pray even harder for him because he has such a great responsibility.

  158. Jordan Potter says:

    Ferdinand, why did God make a fool of Himself by telling the Hebrews to observe the ordinances of the Torah “in perpetuity,” and then turn around and send His Son who abrogated all of those “perpetual” ordinances?

  159. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To Jordan Potter:

    The legal text says “must … use”. Do you know what the verb ‘must’ means? I hope so. Do you know what ‘uniformly’ means? It means always and everywhere to the same extent. It’s as clear as a pikestaff.

    Let us all become Clintonians and wonder aloud what ‘is’ is. In Canon Law, words carry the ordinary meaning unless the contrary is manifestly clear (Canon 17). As people try to squirm over this obvious contradiction between D.M.R. and S.P., I invite a more Catholic approach, one which takes into consideration the suffering of countless thousands or even millions as we debate what ‘is’ means or what ‘must’ means. What it really means is that Paul VI fouled up. Guess what, you Catholics with Protestant Hobbesian idea of kingly authority, he is only infallible in matters of faith and morals (under certain circumstances) and not in matters of law. Sometimes popes err in matters of law. Whoops! Did I just deprive millions of people of the priceless treasure of the Mass of the Ages. Sorry about that.

    But I’d like to see some of these priests who were illegally deprived sue for reparation before the tribunals. Shortly before his recent death, the good Cardinal Stickler admitted that there were at least fifteen cases over the years that made it on appeal to the Apostolic Signatura. IN EVERY SINGLE CASE, he alleged, the decision of the local tribunal was reversed. I wonder how this was hushed up over the years? I had only heard of one such case, in the Archdiocese of Sydney, many years ago. The priest died in the early 1980s. I imagine that the threat from the Holy See to the priest went something like this: Reveal the outcome of your legal victory, and we shall have to pass a law that really will abrogate the old Mass!

    That would work.

  160. Jordan Potter says:

    Peter said: The legal text says “must … use”. Do you know what the verb ‘must’ means? I hope so. Do you know what ‘uniformly’ means? It means always and everywhere to the same extent. It’s as clear as a pikestaff.

    Of course it’s clear — the Church directed that Latin Rite priests use the new Missal. There’s no possible dispute about that, nor is there any dispute that the Pope had and has the authority to do that. The teaching of the Church is absolutely clear that he does. Re-read Mediator Dei if you doubt he does.

    But what’s not clear is that the Church thereby abrogated and utterly suppressed the 1962 Missal.

    Or do you claim to know more about the Church’s laws, and to have more legal authority, than the Holy Father? Because it sounds to me that’s what you think.

  161. To Jordan Potter (peace be upon him):

    It’s possible to look at historical documents without trying to advance a personal agenda. That would be unscientific and improper, wouldn’t it? My interest in Quo primum is purely academic. Does modern scholarship throw any light on whether Pius V would have thought, when using “in perpetuity,” that it meant what it means, or would he have thought it meant “in perpetuity until I or one of my successors change our minds”? I’m still (merely) curious.

  162. PS to Jordan Potter

    God’s doings are a different kettle of fish. Do you really think I think I know the answer to the question you posed?

  163. D.Sp. says:

    Laudetur JS CHS!
    To J. Potter:

    P.K.T.P. is all right.
    The old form was abrogated by c.20 CIC. That´s also proofed by the circumstance, that you needed a special indult to celebrate the old form of the rite.
    Cf. also my comments of 21. Feb., 10.07 and 10.30.

    In JS&Ma

  164. Different and R. Brown,

    I understand about intention, but I wonder if someone who doesn’t believe what the Church believes about the Eucharist intends to do what the Church intends.

    Then again I went to a seminary where matter form and intention were never taught and belief in the Real Presence as the Church believes it was laughed at.

    If it weren’t for Our Lady and St. Alphonsus I’d probably be one of them.

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