POLL: Who has done more damage to Holy Church?

For this poll, I want to echo something Fr. Ray Blake posted at his blog, St. Mary Magdalen, his parish in Brighton.  He picked up on observations made by Fr. Sean Finnegan of Valle Adurni.

Who has done more damage to the Church?

The late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his lot?

The renegade dissenter Fr. Peter Kennedy in Brisbane, Australia and his lot?  Check for background here and here and here and here.

Archbp. Lefebvre has, obviously, had a much wider impact than the one priest in Brisbane.

But Fr. Kennedy is simply one of many of his kind of dissenter.

So let these two emblematic figures represent groups.

Think about it.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who claimed to be passing on what he received, and ordained four bishops without the authority of the Holy See. Apart from this act of disobedience, which he claimed was a necessity, he claimed to have denied nothing of the Catholic faith.  Nevertheless, he started a movement which could result in permanent schism of many followers.


Fr Peter Kennedy, the parish priest of St Mary, South Brisbane, Australia who baptises, not "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" as Our Lord told us to do, but in the name of "Creator, and of the Redeemer and of the Sanctifer," or some such formula.  Hundreds of these baptisms were declared invalid by the Holy See.  Fr Kennedy also blesses homosexual unions, opens his Church to a Buddhist prayers, states publicly his lack of belief in key scriptural doctrines such as the Virgin birth, the Resurrection of Christ and Life after death.


Think carefully. Take your pick.  Share your reasons why in the combox.


Who has done more damage to Holy Church?

  • Fr. Peter Kennedy and his lot (91%, 1,673 Votes)
  • Archbp. Marcel Lefevbre and his lot (9%, 160 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,833


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Mitch_WA says:

    Heresy is always worse then schism, or semi-schism. I will take Lefevbre over Kennedy just as I would take Orthodoxy over Pentacostalism any day.

  2. Jason says:

    I’m sorry Father, but I believe this question is at best silly, and at worst divisive. [Then I invite you to pay attention to something more worthy of your time!] When we attempt to quantify the damage done by either of these ‘sides’, we’re only quantifying the damage to souls, which only God can know.

    You’ve said yourself that the ‘Catholic Road’ has holy people on either side of the debate, and at the edges of the road, there are ditches that people fall into… Quantifying which ditch has more people in it is something only the Devil can find more joy in. Our job is only to reach into the ditches, and try to help people out of them… to identify if the person in front of us is in a ditch, and help them… that’s what the Good Samaritan did…

  3. Maureen says:

    As with the pickles, I fear I must plead the Catholic both/and.

    There are probably more hipp-etics (to coin a word), and thus they have covered more ground and done more unmaking of Catholicism.

    However, we expect more from the staunch Tertullians of this world. When they crumble or stab the Church in the back, they drag other staunch people with them, depriving the flocks of some of its toughest old rams and ewes. Who knows how much damage that has done?

    So I’m afraid that though it’s sixty of one, half-dozen of the other — it’s roughly the same amount of damage done either way.

  4. Actually, though I consider myself a progressive, I still believe that the major doctrines of the Church need to be held in order to remain Catholic. Some of them, I may have problems in totally accepting, but I do the best I can and I believe that God accepts and blesses my efforts and struggles.

    To publicly dissent as Fr. Kennedy has done is wrong and is difficult to reconcile to remaining Catholic and because he has such an influence over his parishioners, he is also responsible for them.

    As for Bishop Levebre: I believe the Church has a wide enough umbrella to accept him as well as me.

    Please be kind in your remarks…

  5. its a hard choice to make. Disobedience or… disobedience?

    One is rebellion based on rigid adherence to teachings of the Church, and to one’s own interpretation.
    One is rebellion based on rejecting adherence to anything the Church teaches and re-making it according to one’s own interpretation.

    The SSPXers at least are taught Church history and catechism and traditions and music.
    The Kennedy type creates a complete rupture and disdain of anything traditional.

    Both need to understand obedience and docility. However, in both cases there is a breakdown of high-up authority that allowed both of these factions to grow.

    I wonder if the Kennedy-type follower might be easier to convert, aside from hardness of heart? Once these followers are introduced to the true interpretation and practice of the Faith, they might recognize their practices as false, so different from what the Church actually believes. Whereas the SSPXer already may think he knows it already.

    The hardest to convert are those who think they already know it all, maybe?

  6. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Perhaps the unpopular choice, but Archbp Lefevbre.

    Firstly, both groups have done damage to the Church and both, potentially, have many souls to answer for.

    However, Fr Kennedy is at least under discipline (for the moment). The fact that his ordinary took so long to act is the bishop’s fault, not Fr Kennedy’s. At least within the Church our bishops have, even if they do not exercise it, the power to preserve unity and protect the faithful. He has not, based on reporting here, nor have his flock incurred excommunication. Nor have many like him.

    Archbp Lefevbre, on the other hand, has. Holy Church pronounced him excommunicate although, God be praised, his followers are now returning to Rome. But this does not validate his initial actions. A less gracious Pope than Benedict may have left his followers outside the Church.

    Both groups have caused great scandal and provided the enemies of the Church with much ammunition. It just so happens that parts, I repeat only parts, of the SSPX have given more powerful ammunition to those who hate the Church.

    This debate could go on forever, except that it does seem a third option should have been available. Our bishops. Yes priests have a duty to guide the faithful but bishops have a duty too, and powers to guide the priests under their care. Both of these groups represent the failure of the majority of bishops, good-meaning and hard-working no doubt, to care for the Church. Had most of our prelates been more strongly attached to the Truth then neither of these unfortunate situations would have arisen.

  7. Janice says:

    As you say, Fr. Peter Kennedy is but one of many. The likes of Fr. Kennedy are in every diocese of the world. The baptized souls under their care are often led astray, or never given a chance to fully understand their faith, let alone live it.

  8. Flambeaux says:

    Fr. Kennedy and his lot because they have worked to actively undermine the Faith, prevent souls from being saved, interfered with the action of God’s grace in the world, betrayed the sacred trust entrusted to them at ordination, and worked actively to destroy, rather than hand on, what they received.

    Archbishop Lefevbre, for all his faults, acted to hand on the Apostolic Faith as he and Holy Mother Church understood it.

    I think it a sad comment that he was the only significant excommunication in the post-V2 era. With nitwits like Reggie Cawcut, Milingo, etc. running around working to destroy the Catholic faith they were charged with transmitting…and it’s Marcel Lefevbre who incurs the wrath of the Holy Father.


  9. Mitch_WA: Heresy is always worse then schism

    Is it?

  10. Bob K. says:

    Anyone who teaches a faith other than the traditional Catholic faith does way more harm. Fr Kennedy was nothing more than a Protestant who claimed to be Catholic. And that is way more dangerous to souls than an Archbishop who stood for traditional Catholic teaching and ways of worship.

  11. Laura Lowder says:

    I voted for Fr Kennedy. The way I see it, the cult of personality is so akin to the evangelical world I left. It deliberately dumbs down our liturgy and our theology, tells the laity that the Truth isn’t important, that their own poorly informed consciences are adequate for showing them the truth –

    I’m concerned about the SSPX, and I remember seeing you, Fr Z, say that you can fall into a ditch on either side of the road – but it seems to me that the abuses demonstrated by Fr Kennedy have a far greater, mass appeal. People drawn to the SSPX are looking for something hard, demanding, perfect; people drawn to a more lacksadaisical experience are more common – seeking an easy way to follow, based on what ‘feels good’ rather than what’s idealistic.

  12. LCB says:

    It was a very close decision for me. The scales tipped to Fr. Kennedy doing more damage for these reasons:

    1) It is better for a soul to be in imperfect unity and be validly baptized than to be outside Christianity entirely (as Fr. Kennedy and his wayward flock appear to be) and be invalidly baptized.
    2) Though Msgr. Lefevbre is no St. Athanasius, I believe there is a strong argument to be made that a state of necessity existed in France, Switzerland, and Germany. That being said, the Pontiff offered to ordain another Bishop, but Msgr. Lefevbre declined.
    3) The actions of Msgr. Lefevbre were (in part) a reaction to the intentional and systematic attack of the Fr. Kennedy’s of this world.

  13. I never heard heard of Archbishop Lefevbre celebrating invalid sacraments. That sounds like the much more important issue.

    To be sure, schism is a serious thing. It usually leads to heterodoxy. But is heterodoxy without schism worse than schism without heterodoxy? I tend to think so.

    Add to that the stated desire of the Archbishop and his successors not to be in schism, and their present actions to resolve their situation in favor of unity with the See of Peter, and I have to go for the innovative hippie — and his ilk — as having done more damage.

  14. Subvet says:

    I opt for Fr. Kennedy because he flies so low on the radar of the Church. His kind get little if any press compared to Archbp. Lefevbre, thus their efforts go unnoticed for a longer period of time and their contagion spreads with greater ease.

  15. Bob K. says:

    And from an article by Fr Blake. Quote: “As Fr Sean suggests… For the last forty years, in one way or another, to a greater or lesser degree, we have been following Fr Kennedy’s course and decrying Archbishop Lefebvre’s”.

  16. Brian Day says:

    I chose Fr Kennedy and his lot. Not so much Fr Kennedy per se, but the lot he represents: Fr Charles Curran, Fr. Richard McBrien, and countless others that have enabled a generation of Catholics to be “cafeteria Catholics” or “cultural Catholics”. Contraception and abortion have caused a great deal more damage to the Church and to society that cultural Catholic inflict than the disobedience of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the SSPX have ever done.

  17. Coletta says:

    I think this is a good question. We can measure the media response to each and see that the enemy rejoices and emphasizes all done to dilute and confuse the truth and beauty of the faith.

    We can also see where the line of compassion is/should be drawn and the line of division based on the truth.

    Also true that we pray not to fall into either error but the liberals tell us to allow anything las do the passivists politicians. They have used that argument to chip away at the faith.

    “Sure, just lay down your arms. The government will take care of all your concerns. We’ve got your back.”

    It is becoming clearer that these politicians are in a relationshipe with at least some of the liberal “catholics” I’d rather say in league with them.

    yeah, right. I don’t believe them.

    We cannot relinquish the Faith in the name of tolerance.

  18. Andrew wrote: “it does seem a third option should have been available. Our bishops. Yes priests have a duty to guide the faithful but bishops have a duty too, and powers to guide the priests under their care. Both of these groups represent the failure of the majority of bishops, good-meaning and hard-working no doubt, to care for the Church. Had most of our prelates been more strongly attached to the Truth then neither of these unfortunate situations would have arisen.”

    I think that this is a very good point. If the bishops of the world had not been so quick to attempt to suppress the ancient mass, most of us would never have heard of Archbishop Lefevbre. And if the bishops of the world enforced orthodoxy, they would prevent the Father Kennedy’s from getting anywhere with mischief like his.

  19. YoungCatholicSTL says:

    I voted for Archbp Lefevbre. I thought long and hard before voting, but ultimately had to choose based on two factors: 1. Long lasting effect and 2. Organization of movement.

    I think everyone can agree that Fr. Kennedy is much further from the Church than Archbp Lefevbre ever was, but that’s exactly why Lefevre does more harm. Anyone with even the slightest notion of what the Catholic Church believes can see right through Kennedy. In fact, I would bet that Fr. Kennedy himself knows that he is acting outside the Catholic Church, but he continues to do so anyway. Plus, because Kennedy takes the “I can believe anything I want” approach, his movement will never gain coherence. If anyone can believe anything they want, no uniformity of purpose can ever be reached. Without uniformity, the movement will eventually die out or splinter into disarray.

    On the other hand, Lefevbre always claimed to be acting within the confines of the Church, and thus providing justification for Catholics to join his movement. As a result, he has led half-a-million people to the verge of schism. SSPX beliefs are firm and defined, and the movement, for the most part, has stayed strongly together for over 20 years now since the bishop consecrations.

    In my opinion, it is much more damaging to pretend you are in the right while leading people astray, as Lefevbre has done, than to openly state the Church is wrong, that you don’t care, and that you’re going to do you’re own thing regardless, as Kennedy has done. The devil’s best work is done through those we believe to be our friends.

    Again, a very tough choice. I pray that both sides eventually reconcile with the Church.

  20. DG says:

    It is one thing to deny the need for the pope and the trappings of the Church, which is clearly, demonstrably wrong; it’s quite another to deny and attack the legitimacy of a pope and claiming the mantle of the true church.

    Schism *is* worse than heresy.

    I voted Lefevbre.

  21. Marc says:

    What a strange comparison, Father. One is Catholic, the other is not. One is preserving, preaching, and bringing to future generations the Catholic faith, the other is taking people away from the Catholic faith, i.e. leading them away from salvation, and if I understand correctly cheating them of a valid baptism! Reasonable people may disagree over some of the history of SSPX, but would Summorum Pontificum exist without Mons. Lefebvre? Would the FSSP and all the other Traditional apostolates exist without him? Would each and every priest have the right today to celebrate the Holy Mass in the “Extraordinary Form” today had the episcopal consecrations not taken place in 1988? I sincerely doubt it. In the 1970’s, the break only happened because SSPX wax firmly ordered to stop using the traditional missal. Archbishop Lefebvre argued that the 1962 missal had never been abrogated, and that every priest had the right to celebrate in the traditional form. It is only in 2007 that this was (magnificently and courageously) affirmed by the Successor of Peter, after so many years of incomprehensible official intolerance towards what had been our most sacred deposit of faith. Deo Gratias, et oremus pro Pontefice!

  22. LCB says:

    Brian makes an excellent point.

    What has been worse, Msgr. Lefevbre breaking away, or Fr. Richard McBrien having a column in a great many diocesan newspapers for decades, and Thomas Groome’s fundamentally anti-Catholic and neo-Marxist “Shared Christian Praxis” approach being used for years in almost every diocese in America, completely and totally destroying the faith of an entire generation and telling them that sin doesn’t exist?

    The logical conclusion that Msgr. Lefevbre represents at least has individuals believing in God. The logical conclusion of Fr. Kennedy is a denial of God and a denial of sin.

  23. Brian says:

    The “and his lot” was the key phrase for me.

  24. YoungCatholicSTL says:

    I see a lot of posters talking about the damage done to individuals. I agree that Kennedy has done more harm to individuals, but the poll asks about damage to “Holy Church”.

    My vote would be for Kennedy if this was about individuals.

  25. Anne Marie says:

    Kennedy gets my vote. Ask this question 60, 50, 40, 30, or even 22 years ago…. Archbishop Lefebvre is simply practicing Catholicism the way it was handed on to him. However, Fr. Kennedy’s actions would be unthinkable to Catholics just a generation ago.

    While I am not a member of the Society, by any means, the reading I have done about him and by him have taught me a lot about my faith. Things I was not taught in RCIA 10 years ago. My family attends the TLM every weekend because he was willing to preserve the Faith.

    However, I do not have any real chance or opportunity to lead my family members into the True Faith b/c they witness the antics of Protestant Fr Kennedy and company and literally believe there is no difference between their faith and mine. My mother never balked to attend the OF when she was visiting me. The first time I took her to the EF, she reacted very strongly and very negatively and refuses to attend again. There is a difference there, and it makes her very uncomfortable. She no longer thinks my Catholicism is the same as her Protestantism and I was only able to convince her of that by exposing her to the gift I received, via the FSSP, from Archbishop Lefebvre – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the ancient and venerable rite.

  26. Not being baptized validly seem more a horror than the other ramblings of a priest. While God would surely have mercy for those not validly baptized and receiving the sacraments, it is still robbing people of grace and foundational sacraments for spiritual health.

    While Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his party may be full of drama and great content for Catholic blogs, I’m more worried about the spiritual health of my brothers and sisters in Christ. His party still does the sacraments validly, as far as I know. They just give a bad image for people that listen and assume they are part of the Holy See ran Church.

    I think the point of this post should have been focused on the people’s spiritual well being and not divisive, unless I am picking up some other implied nature of this post. I believe posts like this aren’t really helpful to the Church (of which we are a part of) either.

    The question should be “what would be the best way to help” instead of “which has done the most harm”. Christ came to heal and save, not point fingers.

  27. Steve K. says:

    I picked Father Kennedy and his ilk, and for this reason, because there is no comparison in scope between the two movements. If we use health as a metaphor, the Lefebvrist schism could be compared to a nasty gash – painful, bloody, but localized and relatively easily bandaged and no existential threat to the body as a whole. The progressive schism-that-dare-not-speak-its-name is like a late cancer that has metastasized and spread itself to many parts of the body, nearly omnipresent, and that will prove fatal to the organism as a whole if left untreated. It can’t be cured with a bandage or some other trivial treatment, but only through major, radical, intensive therapy.

    Really, the SSPX number well less than one million souls, and this in the Church with over one billion – do the math – yet on the other side, the devastation of the leftist/progressive revolt can be seen everywhere and easily attested to by the statistics. In the US alone, 1965 something like 80% of Catholics assisted at mass, today the figure is under 25%, so many have fallen away, and great numbers do not even know the basics of the Faith, and many more hold beliefs in direct opposition to Catholic teaching. I could go on and on – the precipitous drop in priestly vocations, the near extinction of religious life in the US (where it was blossoming from 1965 and earlier), the closings of parishes… we are all familiar with the litany. And all this is clearly, absolutely clearly the fruit of the progressive movement, the implementation of the “Spirit of Vatican II” after the Council. And it is vastly worse in Europe.

    You would have to drive long and look hard to find an SSPX chapel. I would wager the vast number of Catholics have never even heard of them, much less know what they are about. But the felt-banner progressives you can find in nearly every parish, and certainly in every diocese.

  28. Muscovite says:

    Although I hate to say it, it seems in the long run, Protestantism (schism) has done more harm to the Church than, say, Jansenism (heresy), and therefore my vote is *sigh* for Lefebvre.

  29. Coletta says:

    ” my opinion, it is much more damaging to pretend you are in the right while leading people astray, as Lefevbre has done, than to openly state the Church is wrong, that you don’t care, and that you’re going to do you’re own thing regardless, as Kennedy has done. The devil’s best work is done through those we believe to be our friends.\” YoungCatholicSTL

    May I suggest the those who we have been told are “our friends” and “pretending to be in the right” are those like Kennedy? Is this not so in many parishes? So many Catholics are taught heresy within the Catholic education system, RCIA, and faith formation , not to mention homilies.

  30. Steve K. says:

    And I think this further bears pointing out: without the progressives, there never would have been an SSPX and its attendant schism. The Kennedy gang are sui generis, or at least had their origin outside the Church, whereas the Lefebvrists came to be precisely because of the progressives. Cure the one sickness, and the other goes away of its own accord.

  31. JD says:

    Who cares? Both are tragedies and asking which is worse or more damaging is like asking whether you would like your ice cream ruined by adding sand or by adding gun powder – either way your ice cream has been ruined.

  32. TomMcB says:

    I voted for modernism, “the synthesis of all heresies”, as having done the most damage. In fact, it’s my belief that SSPX counters this great heresy. May God grant them a speedy return.

  33. Confiteor says:

    I’m appalled at the number of WDTPRS readers who believe that the Society of St. Pius X has damaged Mother Church, and, worse, who believe that the Society has caused more damage than a liberal revolutionary priest who is destroying the Church from within. Pope Pius IX warned that LIBERAL CATHOLICS are the worst enemies of the Church. The wound that we see today in Mother Church was put there by the liberal revolutionaries. Archbishop Lefebvre deepened the wound with his schismatic act of ordaining bishops against the express will of the Pope, yet the wound was already there. Now, the SSPX and Pope Benedict XVI are working together to heal the wound. What is Fr. Kennedy doing? Adding salt to the wound, day after day.

  34. Baron Korf says:

    Kennedy and his ilk have done more damage. However, I think since +Lefebvre and his group pulled so many staunch conservatives away from the main stream, they all share a burden for letting it happen, albeit remotely.

  35. Irish says:

    I don’t want to start a flame war, but I truly believe that without the concrete, physical evidence of “good fruit” produced by the SSPX in the past 20 years, that it would have been much more difficult for His Holiness to advance Pontificum. By good fruit, to use Pope Benedict’s own words to describe SSPX, I mean belief in Real Presence, mass attendance, seminarians, etc.–all the ways the traditionalists show growth while the NO shows decline. I know we have great success among traditionalist groups within the Church –FSSP, ICK, and others as well. But I think that without the SSPX, it might have been considered just another theory that restoring our tradition would restore the Church and all the arguments brought up against the MP by its enemies might have carried more weight. God works in mysterious ways. Maybe it was meant to be this way for a reason.

    “Don’t it always seem to go, that you dont know what you’ve got till its gone…”

  36. Irish says:

    Supposed to be Summorum Pontificum. Sorry

  37. Breier says:

    This is certainly bringing all the traditionalist haters out of the woodwork. The idea that the SSPX, a force for orthodoxy and orthopraxis, Catholics in communion with the Holy See, could be worse for the church than Modernism responsible for our present day apostasy is crazy! Thank God the votes bear this truth out better than the comment section!

  38. Tina says:

    Neither. I think in context, both are equally harmful. If it wasn’t for the Internet, I would have never have heard of either of these people or their groups.

    I think it is the priest or sister or brother or lay worker that says something stupid, insensitive, or clearly wrong on a day to day basis that does more damage to the Church. I left because of a string of insensitive priests, not because I disagreed with the Church’s teachings.

  39. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Kennedy is a formal heretic whereas Lefebvre was only a material schismatic.

    Kennedy is malignant whereas Lefebvre was benign…truly! Did you ever hear Lefebvre speak?! The guy was extremely softspoken even in his most inflammatory statements.

  40. Mark says:

    This may be disallowed…but I vote for myself.

    Therefore, rather than single out this or that person, I prefer to vote for yours truly.

    Aware that I have damaged the Church via my words and actions — how many times have my words and deeds turned off other people…people who probably thought…”Look at him…he’s a Catholic…look at what he just did…what he just said…that’s why I don’t believe in the Catholic Church” — I have to vote for myself.

  41. Brian Walden says:

    I was raised in the mindset of Fr. Kennedy. My parish wasn’t nearly as flagrant as his, but it was the same type of squishy, fluffy, obfuscating approach to Catholicism that allowed him to become the epitome of the “Spirit of Vatican II.” I’ve seen what this has done to my generation. It wasn’t until I learned that what I was raised to believe wasn’t real Catholicism that I had any faith at all. And upon finding the Faith, I flirted with rejecting too much and going the SSPX route. I can sympathize with Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers; they made the choices they did because they were scandalized. I can’t come up with any reasons that lesson the culpability of those who have used the council to justify all kinds of sins against the Church. Fr. Kennedy’s camp is far more evil in my book.

  42. Breier says:

    To really know what people think, we don’t need the red herring of Fr. Kennedy. I think the following questionwould yiled the same answer.

    Who has done more harm to the Church:

    Archbishop Lefebvre?

    Pope Paul VI?

  43. Michael Kramer says:

    Fr. Peter Kennedy, who will Our Lord willing and Mary interceding soon be Mr. Peter Kennedy (this of course supposes he doesn’t convert) gets my vote.

    Fr. Peter Kennedy, in his present beliefs is an apostate. He has totally rejected the Catholic Faith and should be stripped of every dignity of office and every rank at worst. At best (should he convert) he should remain a priest in good standing and do pennance for the rest of his life in a monastery.

    Fr. Peter Kennedy destroyed souls with each heresy he preached that entered into the minds and hearts of his listeners.

    Baptizing invalidly in my opinion is one of the most horrific things a priest can do. Can you imagine the proper authorities hunting down those that were baptized invalidly, only to find that some had already died?! We know that Ecclesia supplet, and we can certainly hope in God’s mercy for them, but this is absolutely satanic. These people then went on to receive Our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist (presuming the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered by Father Peter Kennedy is valid or that they went somewhere else), went to confession, received confirmation, etc, all in an irregular state in the external forum, never having received proper Baptism. This man destroyed faith, lives, generations of families.

    Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s actions (I won’t argue wether or not the “excommunications” were ever valid as some people won’t want to hear that on here) had fruits that include the Fraternity of St. Peter! As a direct result of His Grace’s action, the FSSP was created. I’ve said for a number of years that on that day, Archbishop Lefebvre won twice, he was able to assure the continuity of the SSPX AND provided the grounds for the founding of the FSSP. Lies, scandals and absolute calumny were used against this GREAT man by some inside the Vatican both during the reign of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. It wasn’t so much the principles of Archbishop Lefebvre that caused any sort of “division” as much as it was the persons and circumstances of the administration in the Vatican at the time. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is still surrounded by wolves but in my humble opinion, he is better at shutting them out. Let us not forget that Archbishop Lefebvre tried repeatedly to come to some sort of understanding, and was close many times, only to be twarted by those involved in the negotiations, or in circles closely relating to them.

    There is an old saying that schism leads to heresy, and that heresy allows for other heresies. We do not see that with the SSPX, their so called “schism” has produced no heresy. In various places throughout the Societies existence, they have been invited to offer so called “indult” Masses and in others actually had Diocesan Bishop’s take part in their ceremonies. The Society, though shoved aside due to the intervention of wolves, has always remained close to the heart of the Church.

    Each document that comes out on liturgical discipline, the SSPX is in compliance with, while those supposedly in Communion with Rome reject, ignore, and mock them.

    Seperate from local bishops tyrannical reign’s the Society has managed to maintain liturgical and doctrinal purity that would have been nearly in every case impossible otherwise, in a sense it coud be argued that the Society was PROTECTED in its state by the so called “schism”. Think about this. The liberals left the Society ALONE for the most part and went to work elsewhere while the Society continued to preach the Catholic Faith. A structure was preparred that allowed modernism no entrance, and now, the society will be called to mend the wounds inflicted on the Church during this horrible time. This doesn’t sound like a schismatic group to me.

    I could go on forever but this is already too long. Archbishop Lefebvre will be canonized, and if Father Kennedy doesn’t convert, he will be laicized.

    Let me say in closing, I am not a frequenter of Society chapels, or an apologist for them, I’m simply calling it as I see it. This is comparing St. Athanasius to Luther. God Bless!

  44. C.L. says:

    Kennedy has again been in the news.

    That link features a picture of the man himself sitting on the steps of the formerly glorious altar. His dog’s butt is parked there as well.

  45. Breier says:

    This is nothing about personal culpability. The SSPX, whatever its flaws, is a positive force for the renewal of the Church that the Holy Father recognizes. The Fr. Kennedys of the world are wolves in sheep’s clothing, in the worst way.

    Paul VI, apparently, saw Archbishop Lefebvre as the greatest threat. He went after Archbishop Lefebvre with a nevgeance, wouldn’t that he could have saved some condemnation for the Fr. Kennedys who were wrecking the church!

    The new pontificate is reversing this old policy. The Pope recognizes that what was always approved can not suddenly be despised.

  46. Coletta says:

    The altar the Holy Father consecrated in Australia during WYD08 comes to mind during this discussion for some reason.

  47. I am not Spartacus says:

    I voted for Kennedy and the lot.

    Both movements are/were schismatic (which St. Augustine taught was never justifed) but legion are Fr. Kennedy and his ilk.

    At Least Mons Lefevbre was trying to preserve not change the Catholic Faith.

    Now, how about excommunicating all the Fr. K’s and their ilk at the same time the SSPX is reconciled?

    The Church will be smaller and much more orthodox. Who can complain about that?

  48. Paul Haley says:

    As I understand it, Archbishop Lefebvre desired unity not schism and was acting to protect his Society by providing for the ordination of priests who would carry on Tradition in liturgy, practice and belief. Unfortunately, he did not realize (apparently) that consecrating four bishops without a papal mandate was a schismatic act because he viewed the situation as one of necessity.

    Do I agree with his thinking? No, I’m afraid I do not advocate defying the Pope, the Vicar of Christ? But, I can understand particularly with his advancing age, declining health and delays on the part of the Vatican why he did it. To me this is quite different from Fr. Kennedy leading his flock to openly defy the rubrics for the Mass and to deny legitimate episcopal authority. I guess one could say it’s a case of apples vs oranges.

  49. Xpihs says:

    I voted: Archbp. Marcel Lefevbre and his lot.

    Those who leave the Church who actually have something to offer is more disasterous to the Church than those who leave who were never with us to begin with, thus Schism is worse than Apostasy for the Church.

    The irregularity of the SSPX is a greater scandal for the Church by perpetuating the hermeneutic of discontinuity than the scandal of open rebellion in matters of Faith and Morals by those who should be Catholic but by all externals manifest that they are not.

    Now from the perspective of PR and how the Church is viewed, the apostates and heretics do more damage, because they are more well liked by the media.


  50. Tominellay says:

    I’ll say Kennedy, because his damage is likely harder to fix…

  51. Joaquín says:

    Fr. Z:
    I find this poll ofensive. [whatever… ] Archbishop Lefebvre, although his decision to ordain 4 bishops without Pontifical mandate is at least problematic, was always guided by the love of the Roman Catholic Church and his doctrine.

    Peter Kennedy, on the contrary, does not accept catholic doctrine. In other words, he’s not catholic.

    Please take this into consideration [I did.]

  52. Prof. Basto says:

    Heresy is always worse then schism, or semi-schism. I will take Lefevbre over Kennedy just as I would take Orthodoxy over Pentacostalism any day.

    Agreed, although the Orthodox are also heretics (they, for instance, do not accept the dogmas of Vatican I). But anyway, schismatics are a lesser evil compared to heretics, and heretics who agree with most dogmas are a lesser evil compared to those that espouse a greater number of errors.

    And, between Lefebvre and Kennedy, there is no doubt Kennedy is way, way worse, and has done more harm to the Church universal.

  53. Prof. Basto says:

    The first paragraph in my comment above was a quote and should be in italics, sorry.

  54. TJB says:

    Bp. Lefebvre for sure.

  55. Prof. Basto says:


    I don’t see the post as offensive. It clearly goes to show (and is intended to show) that there are greater evils then the disobedient Archbishop, and that those greater evils were not as persecuted, and are not as taboo in some quarters, as the Archbishop.

  56. Breier says:

    SSPX about to reconcile…

    Diocesan chanceries…?

  57. Jayna says:

    I went with Fr. Kennedy. There’s something more destructive, more invasive about what he and people like him are doing to the Church. This isn’t an issue of interpretation, this is outright rejection of basic Christian, not just Catholic, beliefs. The common foundation of belief still exists in the SSPX, which points to a better chance of reunification. Fr. Kennedy, on the other hand, has so completely rid himself of anything smacking of Christianity that I really do not believe there is any hope for him nor for anyone he has managed to convince of his views. Fr. Kennedy’s bishop may have dropped the ball on disciplining him, but the situation shouldn’t have existed to begin with.

  58. JaneB says:

    I see the results of Kennedy and his ilk every day: watering down the faith to the point that Catholics don’t know what the Church teaches anymore. I have lost count of the disagreements I have had with fellow Catholics (including everyone in my extended family, except my father-in-law, and my husband), about contraception, abortion (this one with an ex-nun),Mass attendance (even if you don’t like the priest), confession, and on and on. Catholics faithful to Church teaching are a small minority where I live. These people have thoroughly bought in to the “spirit of Vatican II,” because of dissenters like Kennedy.

  59. sparksj3 says:

    Regarding the schism vs. heresy argument:

    That which results from an addition to something else surpasses that thing either in good or in evil. Now heresy results from something being added to schism, for it adds corrupt doctrine, as Jerome declares in the passage quoted above (1, ad 3). Therefore schism is a less grievous sin than unbelief. (St. Thomas, Summa Theologica, IIa-IIae, q.39, a.2.)

  60. Peter says:

    Archbishop Lefebvre SAVED the Church and Tradition!!! If it were not for him and the FSSPX:

    1) All the ‘Ecclesia Dei’ communities would not have existed.

    2) The Traditional Roman Rite would not have been declared to have NEVER been abrogated.

    3) The ‘ambigous’ texts of VII would not have been addressed and critiqued… and now hopefully clarified or abandoned.

  61. Tommy Q. says:

    On the one hand, you have a schism (or potential schism) that fragments the Church but otherwise keeps the Faith. On the other hand, you have an outright rejection of the moral and doctrinal foundations of Christianity. I can see how membership in the SSPX could lead one to live a life of holiness and become saints. I don’t see holiness as an aim of Fr. Kennedy’s ilk. If I had to guess, I would say there are far more Orthodox saints in Heaven than there are “liberal” Protestants who were unfaithful to the apostolic faith. That’s why I voted for Fr. Kennedy.

  62. A crucial question with an easy answer.

    Don’t mess with the Sacraments 100’s of thousands of babies (probably an overstatement, but one baby unbaptized is one baby too much) are invalidly baptized with Fr. Kennedy and even worse, there could be other Sacraments that would have been invalid.

  63. Johnny Domer says:

    I think that, individually, Marcel LeFebvre probably caused (I think with good and motivated-by-a-desire-to-be-a-faithful-Catholic intentions) more damage than Fr. Kennedy. For every one invalid Baptism Fr. Kennedy performed, the SSPX in its entirety must have performed thousands of invalid Confessions and witnessed thousands of invalid Marriages. Such invalid Sacraments would not have taken place had LeFebvre made different choices.

    However, if we’re adding in “their lots,” there is no question that Fr. Kennedy’s lot of liberals are far more numerous and far more likely, I think, to endanger the eternal salvation of souls. It’s an interesting question.

  64. chironomo says:

    I do NOT think this is a silly question… it is an extremely relevant and important question to consider. I don’t understand those who answer both, for the following reason.

    Lefebvres goal was the preservation of Holy Mother Church.

    Kennedy’s goal is the destruction of “Catholicism” as it was understood in the past.

    You tell me which is more harmful….

  65. tecumseh says:

    Help Ma Boab….and other Scottish oaths…..I voted Archbishop Lefebvre had done more damage

    STRIKE THAT FROM THE RECORD. I made a ghastly mistake

    Can I go and vote again..??

  66. Clinton says:

    Baron Korf makes an excellent point above. As does Irish in the post following. The Fr. Kennedys of this world have done
    an astonishing amount of damage to the Church in the past forty years. Yet they might not have been so destructive if
    so many Catholics devoted to tradition had not been sidelined by the SSPX and out of their way. However, we are given an
    indisputable demonstration of the bankruptcy of the hermeneutic of rupture, and of the vitality within the hermeneutic of
    continuity. We’ve paid a steep tuition — please, let’s learn the lesson.

  67. tecumseh: I did write: “Think carefully. Take your pick. Share your reasons why in the combox.”


  68. Tina says:

    After some more thought and looking at some various comment boxes attached to articles about Fr. Kennedy and SSPX, I’m still going with both are harmful to the Church. Why?

    1. No one outside the Church understands what excommunication is and I’m tempted to say many in the Church don’t understand it either. This leads to all sorts of problems. With the SSPX, you get the appearance of approval for anti-Semitism. With Father Kennedy, people see him as being inclusive and all that fuzzy love stuff, so when he is brought into line, they see the action as unChristian.

    2. Both instances bring out rabid hordes of anti-Catholics.

    3. Both take the focus off more important details and invite all sorts of gross simplifications. This one is a stretch but let’s think about it. The discussions I have been reading at multiple places boils this all down to vestments. That’s right. The SSPX was excommunicated because they want to wear really old vestments and Father Kennedy doesn’t wear them.

    4. Somewhere in the arguments about tolerance, unity, love and forgiveness the reality of the rules gets lost. No one is forcing anyone to become Catholic or stay Catholic. You don’t like the rules, leave. I may not agree with the Church on all things, but I know what the correct teaching is and when i do get into discussions about these things I try to make clear the difference between my personal beliefs and what the Church believes.

  69. Nathan says:

    This is difficult for me because of the phrase “and his lot.” If you interpret the phrase broadly, as in “Fr. Kennedy and all the churchmen who pushed an “spirit of Vatican II” model onto the Church, including all the bishops who committed injustice against those who fed off the traditional Faith and Sacraments,” it leads to a conclusion. If you interpret the same phrase as “dissenters on the left who got in hot water with their bishops and/or the Vatican,” one might come up with a different conclusion.

    Likewise, if you define Archbishop Lefevbre “and his lot” broadly, i.e., “those who have been in the eccesiastical wilderness for forty years because of their difficulties with the postcouncilar liturgical and theological changes”, you may come up with a slightly different conclusion than if you did “four bishops and those priests formally affiliated with the SSPX.”

    I tended to define the “lots” broadly in my vote–a number generally sympatheic to Fr Kennedy’s approach to the Catholic Faith have been in many positions of authority since the Council and have overseen huge damage to the Church. Up to the last few years, though, there have been precious few individuals who have openly professed difficulties with the postconcilar changes and been a position to do much of anything. The SSPX is as unpopular as it is in some circles simply because they didn’t “shut up and color” like they were supposed to in the 70s and 80s, as was the LMS in Britain, or was Michael Davies and Una Voce. Following that definition, the damage of a group leading some 100,000 people into potential material schism seems lesser than leading a quarter of Catholics out of the Church (as a number of works suggest happened in the postconcilar changes).

    In Christ,

    In Christ,

  70. Geoffrey says:

    I voted that Archbishop Lefebvre and his lot did more damage to Holy Mother Church, and here’s why:

    First, both are in disobedience, however Lefebvre’s was much greater in that he ordained bishops without papal approval… actually, he did so in direct defiance. Bishops running around loose without papal mandate are very dangerous (look at Milingo, etc.).

    However look at it this way as well: What if Lefebvre had obeyed? The Holy See was trying to come to an agreement with him and the SSPX. What if the SSPX had been regularised much sooner, say 20 years ago? Look at the time wasted.

  71. Therese Z says:

    I voted for Fr Kennedy because he damages people’s faith in tiny increments, and they don’t know he’s doing it, they can’t tell what’s made-up and what’s true.

    Archbishop LeFebreve was openly defiant, Fr. Maciel was openly historically wrong. They flung their positions out publicly and I have to believe that people had to think over whether or not to agree with them.

    The Fr. Kennedys nick and chip away at people’s teaching and pretty soon it falls into shambles. Mine did for awhile, more due to my own sins, but I was friendly with a group of religious priests who were openly heretical and sinful, but seemed so convincing in their position, that I fell off of mine.

  72. Mike says:

    In the end I chose Fr. Kennedy – but only after much thought and a decision to exclude Bp. Williamson from “Lefebvre’s bunch”. This seems reasonable since Williamson’s odious, oddball historical theories on the holodcaust, 9/11, etc. are in no way intrinsic to the Lefebvrites’ aim of maintaining catholic tradition.

    An interesting alternate poll would be to individualize the question by asking who has personally done more damage to the church, Fr. Kennedy or Bp. Williamson. Here the choice seems obvious – exactly because it now makes sense to ask that question.

    Through his arrogance and, in the kindest interpretation, his astonishing failure of prudence, Bp. Williamson has handed Kennedy’s bunch exactly the weapon they needed to destroy what should have been a triumph for Pope Benedict’s project of strengthening church tradition and catholic identity, and to deeply harm the Holy Father in the process.

    Remember that recently sources were predicting that relations between the church and the SSPX would be regularized quickly, in fact on Candlemas. The priest at the TLM I attend regularly was clearly moved by the prospect and asked for prayers that this would, indeed, come to pass. Given the times, what a wonderful gift to the church this would have been.

    The Monday came and went and I’ve seen no predictions of a quick resolution since.

  73. Therese Z says:

    Sorry, I meant that Bp Williamson was openly and loudly historically wrong, but Fr. Maciel was a whole different ball of confusion.

  74. As a Lutheran myself, I doubt that my opinion is worth much on the subject. And yet …

    The Lefebvrists are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They claim to pass on a tradition while in fact rejecting much of its substance — the canons of a council and communion with the pope. People go to their churches believing that they will fin d continuity, and in fact are served a profound discontinuity.

    Kennedy (and we all have our Kennedys, by the way, and we all get frustrated by them) is a wolf in wolf’s clothing. One look — literally, from that picture — and you can see that he is attempting to redefine the faith he claims to represent. It makes him an easy man to avoid. Those who seek him out are clearly seeking the sort of discontinuity he offers.

    Give me the enemy I can recognize at a glance any day.

  75. tecumseh says:

    Clinton, there was no where for them to run. Even now, today, when everyone can see the damage done, the Powers that be are in total denial. At least they are in England and Scotland. Every diocese worth its salt should have a Traditional parish within a reasonable distance of the majority of the faithful.
    All the other Parishes should still say the Novus Ordo, but the priests should be instructed to teach their parishioners about the catastrophe that has swept the church over the last 40 years.
    Every year 5% of the Novus Ordo parishes will stop the Novus Ordo completely and will return to Tradition. That way the Church will return to health. If not, then it is curtains. For the Novus Ordo parishes at least.

  76. At the risk of sounding simplistic, I offer the following:
    Lefebvre was disobedient to Church authority, but he never denied dogma.
    Kennedy has been disobedient to Church authorities and has taught heresy; denying the divinity of Christ, etc.
    SSPX involved many souls, but Kennedy is one of a group that teaches this heresy, thus multiplying the effect.
    Kennedy wins (loses) hands down.

  77. Marc says:

    “What if Lefebvre had obeyed? The Holy See was trying to come to an agreement with him and the SSPX. What if the SSPX had been regularised much sooner, say 20 years ago? Look at the time wasted.”

    Actually, had an agreement been signed, it would have been the triumph of the “Spirit of Vatican II” aka the “Conciliar Church” as Cardinal Benelli called it. It is clear that today we would not have Summorum Pontificum, the TLM would be very rare, and the very real questions raised by the SSPX ignored. It would be a sad world.

    One cannot compare a bishop that keeps the faith in a tempest with heretics, lunatics and real schismatics. Benedict XVI sees this clearly. Yes it is shocking that it took the disobedience of an Archbishop to help preserve the Catholic Faith, but what if Archbishop Lefebvre had “obeyed” in 1974 when he was told to shut down the SSPX for no good reason? What if he quit in 1976 when he was suspended a divinis?

  78. Chris M says:

    I think it’s too early to tell. Both have damaged the Body of Christ. If someone is tipping the Barque too far to port, the proper response isn’t to make everyone go off the starboard side. In the short term, I think Kennedy and his ilk have done more harm, if only by causing the overreaction from Lefebvre et al. The thing is, though, the folks who cling to the Fr Kennedy’s of the world are likely lukewarm to non-Catholic anyway. The folks who cling to Lefebvre, otoh, would be good, solid, in-full-communion Catholics in a more perfect world. So in the long run, I think Lefebvre’s schismatic actions will have done more harm since the breach he created weakened the core body of Catholic believers.

  79. Karen Russell says:

    Looking at the two men as individuals, Archbishop Lefebre’s influence was far more widespread than Fr. Kennedy’s and as an individual, he did more damage.

    But looking at the two men as representatives of two different approaches to the faith, Fr. Kennedy’s ilk have done tremendous and almost worldwide damage–we’ve all seen it and a number of previous posters have touched on it.

    Since Fr. Z. asked us to consider them as groups, I have to vote for Fr. Kennedy.

  80. Nancy says:

    …”Anyone with even the slightest notion of what the Catholic Church believes can see right through Kennedy.”

    I think that’s exactly why guys like Kennedy are so dangerous. For 40 years people have gotten mis-information, and don’t even know it. The point is, many people *cannot* see through a Kennedy!

    I read a blog yesterday in which the writer (purportedly a “journalist”) was complaining that the words of the pre-Communion prayer were being changed from “…I am not worthy to receive you…” to “…I am not worthy that you should come under my roof…” Her complaint was that with the “new” wording, it “lost all its meaning.” She didn’t even know why the prayer was originally added to the Mass, what it meant, where it came from… and now she was stricken because it was going to be *changed back* to what it had originally been. She had no clue. And she was sharing her misinformation with the world.

    And that’s a very small issue compared to the truth of Transubstantiation, or married priests, or women priests, or the divinity of Jesus…

    And honestly, Lefebre took the Anti-modernist Oath, and I guess he meant it. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to stick to my guns, had I been in his shoes. Saints have died for as little.

  81. Erin says:

    As much damage as I believe the SSPX has caused, Fr. Kennedy has put many souls in danger through his invalid baptisms and teaching of heresies. Denial of the trinity is much more serious, in my opinion, than schism or sedevacantism could ever be. Fr. Kennedy is not just not Catholic; he’s not Christian.

  82. Thomas says:

    I think Fr. Kennedy. Honestly, Archbishop Lefebre impacted only a small amount of Catholics, while Kennedy and his ilk have done GLOBAL damage, including the potential loss of two entire generations.

    A point that has been on my mind since the lifting of the excommunications: are we to fear that Archbishop Lefebre, having died outside of the Church, is in hell? I pray to our merciful God that he is not, but he did die while excommunicated. Any thoughts?

  83. Tiny says:

    In a way the Kennedys in the Church are responsible for the Abp. being on the outside. If we didn’t have decades of incomprehensible odyssey on the left then perhaps the Abp. would have dialed back some of his rhetoric (and to be fair, certain prelates in the Church share some of the blame for the position of the Society)

  84. mpm says:

    I voted “for” Fr. Kennedy!

    I cannot fathom what has done more real, supernatural evil, obviously.

    When you want to do the postivistic analysis, you use the hegelian thesis, antithesis, synthesis. In that light what got Msgr. LeFebvre started? Some posters have claimed it was Paul VI. I think it was Paul VI’s innermost “handlers”. I don’t think they were the kind of men I would want any of my children emulating, and they could be very unjust, all in the name, of course, of Pope Paul VI. I think if Msgr LeFebvre had been more of a saint like Padre Pio, he would have obeyed John Paul II, and left it in the hands of the Holy Spirit, and that would have been overall a better thing to do. I don’t judge him, I’m just saying… I very much hope that he has received a full measure of Christ’s mercy, as I hope for myself.

    As for the Fr. Kennedy’s of the world, they are legion. The scandal they have wrought was addressed by Archbishop Burke in his article about Canon 915. Paraphrasing, it is present when polls say that XX% of Catholics say they think Jesus would approve of “unworthy reception of Communion” because Jesus is meek and humble of heart. That opinion is not just scandalous; it IS the scandal (i.e., objective harm) wrought by the lack of clarity in teaching/learning Catholic doctrine.

    It is a terrible thing to feed our children, born or unborn, to Moloch, and then blame the culture.

  85. Alli says:

    I voted Kennedy — it seems more dangerous for a priest who (for all intents and purposes) was until recently in good standing with the Church, to continue openly and freely with his heretical carryings-on. That opens up a door for any priest to say “Well, Fr Kennedy can do it and still stay in good standing, I suppose I can too.”

    The SSPX has for a long time been considered kooky and out-of-touch by most Catholics, and less attention is paid to them because most people who have a cursory knowledge of them think they are schismatic. Probably not true, but all the same… We don’t need priests like Fr Kennedy setting a bad example for priests or encouraging the laity to think that such heretical inclusiveness is acceptable.

  86. mpm says:

    Give me the enemy I can recognize at a glance any day.

    Comment by Rev. Michael Church — 10 February 2009 @ 12:40 pm

    Dear Rev. Church,

    God bless you. I agree with the idea. The problem is that with the objective
    scandal that exists, many \”Catholics\” cannot recognize the difference!

  87. Mafeking says:

    It has to be Fr. Peter Kennedy and his lot any day. Outside circles like this blog no ones even heard of Lefevbre. They only have 1 million followers compared to the 100’s of millions who would have been influenced by Fr. Kennedy and his fellow travellers. Ask anybody in the pew next to you if they’ve heard of Lefevbre and they’ll say no.

    There is no equivalence between the dissent on the right and the dissent on the left. For the left it’s always been about changing doctrine. For the right it’s always been about maintaining doctrine.

  88. marylua says:

    para alguna persona de buena voluntad.

    si alguien pudeira traducir se los agradeceria mucho..les doy la liberad de traducirlo y despues compartir mi comentario en ingles y espanol..
    desde ya mil gracias y que Dios les bendiga…

    Si,considero que esta encuesta es ofensiba,
    totalmente ofensiba.
    y quien no lo concidere asi es simplemente por que aun no entiende de amor divino,
    ni misericordia, ni de perdon..

    El santo padre nos invito a usar los medios de comunicacion para santificar y bendecir.

    No es digno de un hijo de Dios especialmente
    cuando estamos viviendo en tiempo de gracia y magestad..
    un tiempo en que Dios ha sido bueno y misericordioso con nosotros..
    por que apezar de la tormenta llegara la calma .
    por eso El es Dios!!
    fuerte y poderoso,
    bueno y misericordioso,
    fiel y justo.

    estoy totalmente de acuerdo con Joaquin,
    y en mi consepto de respeto a la libertad que uno tiene para hablar libremente de nuestra firme opinion
    una contestacion como [whatever… ] no es digna de dar…
    no se puede comparar y estoy segura que el mismo Santo Padre si se pudiera bajar un poco y leer SOBRE ESTA ENCUESTA ,El mismo tendria dolor en su alma al ver que somos tan ignorantes de el amor total de un padre celestial que solo sabe amar
    y que pide a sus hijos…
    “amense como yo los he amado”

    El padre celestial igualmente que el santo padre decean ver la unidad de su Iglesia.

    un dia el padre celestial nos llamara y nos jusgara segun el amor,
    no nuestro conocimiento.

    mi nombre es mary, soy Catolica ,siempre luche por ser y dar lo mejor ..
    vivi sin vivir y me nutria sin nutrirme.
    confeciones sin fruto por que no entendia de gracia .
    vivia ciegua,sorda y muda ante una realidad que no ha cambiado mucho ..
    asta este momento en que Dios ha tenido clemencia de nosotros..
    todo lo que ahora se, vivo y entiendo es por el valiente testimonio de familias que silenciosamente aun sin saberlo me ensenaron de ser fiel a la Iglesia Catolica,
    amar al Santo Padre,OBEDECERLO.
    vivir mis sacramentos ,
    obedecer los mandamientos,
    amar a la madre y atesorarla
    dentro de mi alma y todo mi ser……..
    de ellos aprendi a defender a mi familia,
    mis hijos y no permitir que el mundo me arrebatara su alma..
    Ellos, segun ustedes los de afuera
    le dieron a mi alma el sentido de vivir siendo Catolica y amando el don de mi Fe..

    Ellos, desde afuera le dieron vida a mi vida y ahora soy una enamorada porque estaba muerta y he vuelto a la vida…
    ahora tengo una meta y es regrezar al hogar la casa paterna..
    y lucho dia, con dia para que esta posibilidad sea un hecho en mi vida..

    por eso agradesco con toda mi alma a este grupo de hermanos mios que permanesieron fieles a lo que un dia se les dio.

    atravez de ellos conoci lo que ahora vivo
    mi amada misa de siempre ……….

    Padre Z con todo el respeto que usted merece ;pero en la escuela de Maria la Madre Reyna del Cielo y la Tierra estas cosas averguenzan el alma y la llenan de dolor…

    El Corazon de la Madre ya esta demaciado agraviado como para que nuestras tonterias lastimen mas su Corazon de Madre que solo pide hacer lo que su hijo nos pide y que nos amemos de tal manera que luchemos por la salvacion del alma del pecador…..

    todo lo ofresco por ellos mis hermanos,
    y rezo por los 4 obispos de la fraternidad de Pio X;especialmente que el Espiritu Santo sigua bendiciendo al Obispo Fellay y que el Obispo Williamson pronto regrese junto a sus seminaristas que tanto necesitan de El…

    a Ellos, todo mi amor y repeto.
    a Ellos, todas mi oraciones y todo lo que sea digno de ofrecer..Ellos son dignos de que los llame hermanos tambien ellos son hijos del Dios celestial y como tal debemos tratarlos.

    esperando su bendicion.

  89. mpm says:

    For the right it’s always been about maintaining doctrine.

    Comment by Mafeking — 10 February 2009 @ 1:42 pm

    I like to think of maintaining doctrine as “the center”.

  90. bernadette says:

    The Father Kennedy types have their tentacles spread throughout the Church. I had the misfortune of belonging to a parish headed by priests who taught the same kind of heresy that Kennedy spouts and I came within a hair’s breadth of losing my faith and leaving the Church. When the SSPX excommunications took place, the SSPX was fairly isolated in my neck of the woods.We never heard much about them. I certainly have gratitude toward the SSPX for holding on to the truths of the faith while the Kennedy types would have us be clones of the Episcopal church or the Unitarian church.

  91. k3vin says:

    Corruptio optimi pessima. By this principle it would seem that Lefebvre is the greater danger since he will lead a lot of people who would have been loyal to the Church and Pope away from them precisely in the very age (post V-II) when we need them the most. Kennedy and his lot of fruits and nuts, however, can go an hop in a salad; does not take much to see that they are anti-Catholic and avoid them.

    That said, my thoughts seem to be assuming – by and large – a common and shared of the Catholic Tradition communicated through authentic Catechesis. This is simply not the case. After decades of being held hostage by “loyal dissenters” to the “Spirit of Vatican II”, it is ironic to see that thanks to SSPX (though largely to JPII and BXVI) we may finally be arriving at an authentic interpretation of the Council.

    In the end, then, Kennedy and his ilk seem more dangerous to me. The cafeteria club continually undermine not only the discipline of the Church but also her doctrine, confusing and imperiling lives and souls. It is hard to say the same thing of the Lefebvrites. Also, SSPX was in a significant way a reaction to the conscience cult; the reverse is not the case. Advantage Lefebvre.

  92. Alice says:

    It’s a hard choice. A Catholic “both and” would work, since, to go on someone else’s ditch analogy, the ditch on the right and the ditch on the left are equally dangerous. I chose Abp. Lefebvre because I almost fell for him, while I wouldn’t fall for a kook who can’t even baptize correctly.

  93. RBrown says:

    Rather than who did the most damage, how about who did the most good.

    Archbishop LeFebvre and the SSPX preserved the Roman Liturgy. He also consecrated Cardinal Thiandoum.

    Father Kennedy??????

  94. Fr. Kennedy. What if somebody he had invalidly baptized had gone on to take Holy Orders before the invalid baptism could be caught?

  95. Geoffrey says:

    Marc said: “Actually, had an agreement been signed, it would have been the triumph of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ aka the ‘Conciliar Church’.

    Only traditionalists maintain such divisive terms as “Conciliar Church”. There is ONE Church… always has been, always will be.

  96. I think I’m being a hypocrite because I keep saying how much worse schism is than heresy, and the sort of quasi-schism that Lefebvre began is definitely a very serious rupture. That said, I think the biggest threat to Catholicism today is the likes of Kennedy, the people who have decided that Catholic no longer is a meaningful identity of any sort and that we can do whatever we want and still call it Catholic. Of course, Kennedy is actually on the verge of being a schismatic, so I suppose that lessens my hypocrisy, but either way, that sort of religion that he practices has nothing to do with Catholicism, it is almost anti-Christ like, and it is a terrible threat to the Church largely because it is so popular.

  97. Lee Bohannon says:

    I voted that Archbishop Lefebvre did more damage. I love Mother Church and all the great traditions, including the Latin Mass. By going into schism (o.k., near schism), the Archbishop put the undeserved stamp of extremism on people like me. Yes, I know that many of the bishops and priests went loopy after Vatican II, but the Church belongs to God, and He will preserve it. I believe that the actions of the Archbishop, rooted in disobedience, were used by Satan to inflame the enemies of the Church and confuse her friends. The Archbishop’s actions slowed — but did not stop, thank God! — the “reform of the reform.”

  98. Loren Z says:

    Father Kennedy is by far the worst for good reasons already discussed here. I know various people who were raised in parishes not as bad as Kennedy’s who ended up being lost to the faith as atheists or agnostics. Those who did find Christ usually did so at an evangelical prostestant congreation.

    For all his virtues and faults, the only reason that the Tridentine mass survived and is now flourishing is because of Archbishop Lefebvre. Look at the fruits. The only reason the church still exists in France and various other locations (albeit at small numbers) is because of him. He led souls to Christ and thankfully his order is reuniting with Rome.

  99. Satan has done the most damage, but why worry when she will stand against the very gates of hell? Let’s worry not for things that are in God’s hands.

  100. Chris Guinane says:

    If one falls off the road on the left or on the right, they have still fallen from the road.

  101. The Feds says:

    I guess that I would rather be thought of a illicit rather than invalid. While the SSPX are wrong for separating themselves from Peter, at least they aren’t leading those who follow them into out and out heresy.

  102. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    With regard to heresy vs. schism, I have to disagree with St. Thomas on this one and side with St. John Eudes (unless St. Thomas is limiting himself to those clearly outside of the Church who can not be heretics without being schismatics). During the Jansenist heresy in France, some priests were being disobedient to legitimate authority because the authority was Jansenist. St. John Eudes insisted that schism is worse than heresy because heresy is a sin against Faith, while schism is a sin against Charity and Charity is the higher virtue.

  103. John says:

    There are many ways to look at this vote. Bp.Fellay is bringing back hunreds of thousands of Catholics when he is finally reunited with us. Since the Vatican Council 2, millions of Catholics, including thousands of religious , priest, and bishops aposthesized. Many of them left but some of the more militant dissenters are still with us. A few of the latter are officials of various bishops’ conferences.

  104. I will be in the minority here and say Lefebvre. Just contemplating numbers alone. Kennedy’s noisy little gray-haired mob are seen as kooks — an isolated incident of parish lunacy here in Australia. LeFebvre’s MOVEMENT spotlighted legitimate frustrations and unfortunately led droves out of the Church with its “non serviam!” in response to tough times in the Church.

  105. Schism (which includes the acts leading to it, short of the formal act itself) is generally worse than heresy. Heresy can be corrected, as the offender remains in the fold. Schism cuts the offender off from the fold, to the extent that it occurs formally, thus correction and healing of division is more difficult, if not impossible.

    Someone wrote: “For all his virtues and faults, the only reason that the Tridentine mass survived and is now flourishing is because of Archbishop Lefebvre. Look at the fruits.” Well, what Rome herself referred to as “a schismatic act” was not a good fruit, hence the penalty. Happily, it has been removed.

    The above being said, how to vote is a tough call. At least for me.

  106. Breier says:

    I am incredulous how anyone can maintain that the SSPX is more harmful than Modernism in the Church.

    Especially since the SSPX is on the verge of reconciliation. Can you say that about the liberal/modernists you know?

  107. irishgirl says:

    I voted [for] Kennedy.

    He denies central truths of the Faith.

  108. Breier says:

    Who is more responsible for the Culture of Death?

    Who is more responsible for a lost generation of fallen-away Catholics?

    Who helped elect a pro-abortion president?

    The SSPX and the Catholics who attend Mass there are our brothers! The only thing that separates them is some canonical irregularity, nothing in doctrine, nothing in belief, nothing in morals. They are Catholics in communion with the Holy See. And there are plenty of sympathetic facts in history as to how we came to this pass.

    This poll reminds me of ecumenists who prefer negotiating with pro-abortion mainline Protestant bodies, but abhore traditionals like the Traditional Anglican Communion.

  109. Laura Lowder says:

    I want to try this again. Fr. Kennedy is promoting a form of religious experience that is grounded in what entertains and superficially satisfies his congregation. He\’s trying to re-invent not only liturgy but also the theology behind it. He\’s teaching his congregation that it doesn\’t matter what you believe, or how you worship, as long as it feels good and makes you happy. This is a pernicious infection in the church today.

    The SSPX, on the other hand, whatever their faults and excesses, has roots in history and tradition. Perhaps they have tried too hard to cling to the past, perhaps they have been obstinate. But there is a fidelity there, even though misguided.

    But what are the fruits of their works? People who attend SSPX chapels tend to be extremely orthodox and orthopraxic (sp?) – people who follow the spirit of Fr. Kennedy (we see this too much in the U.S.) want guitars, clown masses, free-for-all \”liturgy,\” everyone up around the altar to take part in the Consecration, women priests, guilt-free sex outside of marriage and the contraception to protect them from the consequences… Where is it going to end?

    Shall we let them go unchallenged to hell because they\’re \”not as bad\” as the schismatics?

    Or, perhaps, has our severely compromised sense of Church, here in the U.S. (the West?) made us complacent to what Kennedy is doing?

  110. Matthew Hysell says:

    Why must it be either/or? Why not both/and? Both ecclesiastics have been disobedient. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  111. Mitch_WA,

    Augustine said exactly the opposite, that schism is far worse than heresy. Not that he is the final word, but I thought I would throw that out there.

  112. I think it just dawned on me why I’ve taken the stance that I do. I really do believe schism is worse than heresy. However, I think we’re in a unique circumstance here in that a lot of these heretics, like Kennedy, like Bourgeois, really have moved towards direct schism, but the Church simply hasn’t acted to cut them off as they should. If anything, I think I find fault in the Church expressing too much patience with the heretics, which while preventing technical schism, has really served to create severe disunity within the Church.

  113. Cyril from CA says:

    When I converted to Catholicism (former Evangelical) 20 years ago, I knew nothing of Archbishop Lefebvre or of the old mass. What I saw was a spiritual wasteland where good Catholics were easy pickin’ for Evangelical Protestants because they knew so little about their own faith. Archbishop Lefebvre and his lot gave traditionalism a bad name, but the pathetic condition of the average parish had a lot more to do with wolves in wolves’ clothing. I vote Fr. Kennedy.

  114. Willebrord says:

    While I wouldn’t want to assist at Holy Mass at an SSPX parish (before they’re reconciled), I would undoubtedly feel more comfortable at an SSPX Mass than at a Mass celebrated by such a priest. The SSPX aren’t saying anything heretical, while Fr. Kennedy is. That’s enough for me.

  115. Steve K. says:

    “However, I think we’re in a unique circumstance here in that a lot of these heretics, like Kennedy, like Bourgeois, really have moved towards direct schism, but the Church simply hasn’t acted to cut them off as they should.”

    Well said. In my earlier post I called it the schism-that-dare-not-speak-its-name, really I believe many progressives, and the progressive movement itself are/is in a state of de facto schism, it just has not been openly recognized as such, neither by the Vatican, probably out of fear of open civil war in the Church, nor by the schismatics themselves, as that would negatively impact the effort to undermine the Church from within.

  116. Marc says:

    Geoffrey said: “Marc said: “Actually, had an agreement been signed, it would have been the triumph of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ aka the ‘Conciliar Church’.

    Only traditionalists maintain such divisive terms as “Conciliar Church”. There is ONE Church… always has been, always will be.”

    Precisely: my sentence did not end with “Conciliar Church” but with “as Cardinal Benelli, called it.” As you may recall, Cardinal Benelli, far from being a traditionalist, was the “sostituto” in the Secretariate of State who wrote to Archpishop Lefebvre in 1976 that he must make allegiance to the “Conciliar Church”. Archbishop Lefebvre replied that he did not know any Conciliar Church but only the Catholic Church. It is good that the Holy See no longer talks of the “Conciliar Church”, but it has been a long road, and many have again invoked the “Conciliar Church” again in their criticism of the lifting of the excomunications.

  117. Matthew Hysell says:

    This question is like asking me, in the late fourth century, to choose between an Arian and a Eunomian chapel in Bithynia. I’d rather take the long walk to the Chapel of the Anastasis Constantinople where St Gregory of Nazianzus is.

  118. Jacques says:

    Once the Lefebvrites will be back in full communion with Rome, estimates are that ONE THIRD of the seminarists in France will be taught in trad seminaries.
    Who can say that is a bad new while currently the official catholic seminaries are almost empty or upon to be closed.
    One should rejoice to welcome these new priests. At least they will have less extravagancies in the NO masses and the TLM will spread.

  119. Marc says:

    The exact quote on the “Conciliar Church” from Cardinal Benelli in his letter dated 25 June 1976 to Archbishop Lefebvre

    « S’ils (les séminaristes d’Ecône) sont de bonne volonté et sérieusement préparés à un ministère presbytéral dans la fidélité véritable à l’Eglise conciliaire, on se chargera de trouver ensuite la meilleure solution pour eux ». (If they (the Econe seminarists) are of good will and seriously prepared to a presbyteral ministry in true fidelity to the conciliar Church, one will later find the best possible solution for them).

    Frightening enough. Should really Archbishop Lefebvre have abandoned his seminarists to the “conciliar Church”?

  120. MargaretC says:

    “Father” Kennedy is an extreme representative of a group of unknown dimensions, technically within the Church, but ignoring or undermining its teachings. The Lefebrists will probably be reintegrated into the Church fairly soon. Reintegrating Kennedy and others of his ilk is unlikely, barring a road-to-Damascus event.

    Both the Lefebrists and “Father” Kennedy illustrate one of my favorite management maxims: Personnel problems only get worse if you ignore them.

  121. Fr Ricardo Isaguirre says:

    There is no way to compare Msgr. Lefebvre (and his disciples and followers) to Fr. Kennedy (and his accomplices and victims), it’s the case of apples and oranges, etc. The Archbishop was a man of God, Fr. Kennedy is just a trendy man. The Church needs more Lefebvre’s, and no Kennedy’s at all, as the Holy Father perfectly knows and is trying to promote.

  122. Patrick says:

    My reasons for choosing Kennedy et al as the most damaging, simple, they are heretics, pure and simple. Exactly what kind may be hard to determine, it looks like a bit of this and a bit of that with a hefty dose of Modernism.

    Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX are disobedient, and may be deluded at times, but they do not shop heresy about.

  123. Jason says:

    Are you sure you’re not drawing a false distinction? Both Fr. Kennedy (and his like) and Archbishop Lefebvre (and perhaps more so, his followers) decided that their understanding and interpretation of the Church and its teachings are more authoritative than that of the Church itself. Both groups are, to varying degrees, pictures of pride in action.

    On the other hand, if the question is whether it’s better to be reactionary or (flaccidly) revolutionary, to follow a hermeneutic of stasis or of rupture, obviously I have to choose the former; if the Church was right to start with, staying put for a while won’t hurt, while uncontrolled change is almost always harmful.

    And, Father, you have to admit your wording of the question is a little tendentious . . .

  124. Jason says:

    And now I see that you borrowed the wording from Fr. Finnegan via Fr. Blake. My mistake.

  125. Curmudgeon says:

    I’m simply appalled at the answers above–that so many commenters above can’t think this through, apply a sensus Catholicus, and arrive at the plain answer. In these comments, I see no grasp of the history of Holy Mother Church…not just since 2006 or so but for the last fifty…and the last two thousand…years!

    Obviously in a time of hostility, a breach of discipline is far less serious than deliberate treason and outright sabotage.

    And obviously in a race, understeering to stay on course is more likely to get one to the finish line than a sharp jerk of the wheel into a ditch.

    And obviously in the Church Militant, obstinancy in clinging to tradition is better than freelancing in faith, morals and liturgy.

    What those of us who belong to the canonically regular traditional communities have must be credited to Abp. Lefebrve. Without him, and without his priests, the Bishops would have no incentive to meet our pastoral needs, and event the Ecclesia Dei indult would not have come about. What those of us who belong to sane novus ordo parishes which try to follow the “reform of the reform” have must be credited as well–the old liturgy that Lefebvre’s movement kept alive served as a counterbalance to the hootenanies. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that is not only uncharitable…he’s irrational.

    (I speak from experience, as a current member of an FSSP-served community, and a former member of the only litugrically sane novus ordo parish in Kansas City at the time)

    I, a non-SSPX adherent say with

  126. Curmudgeon says:


    I, a non-SSPX adherent say with Cardinal Oddi, “Merci, Monsigeur!”

  127. boredoftheworld says:

    It is precisely the future Fr. Kennedy’s of the world who Abp. Lefebvre was pointing at 40 years ago as a sign of the direction the Church was headed, so the answer to the question is fairly obvious to me.

    I know we don’t like to acknowledge it, but the Church is jam packed full of Fr. Kennedys running parishes, seminaries and dioceses. We like to say that’s all behind us but it doesn’t really seem like it to me.

    I’m reminded of another parable about two sons… one who said he’d do what he was told but didn’t and one who said he wouldn’t but did.

  128. ssoldie says:

    As an old timer who’s daughter started her own church, because she didn’t like Catholic doctrine or tradition, this was as the young say a ‘no brainer’.

  129. Paul Bailes says:

    In 1988, wasn’t Rome still maintaining that the TLM was forbidden unless under indult, an untruth decisively dismissed by Summorum Pontificum 19 years later?

    Now that the Holy Father has courageously promulgated SP and thereby Rome’s acknowledgement at last of the truth about the TLM, Bp Fellay’s growing trust in Rome seems reasonable.

    But under the circumstances that prevailed in 1988 (ie the continuing illegitimate suppression of the TLM by Rome), it seems entirely reasonable for Abp. Lefebvre to have concluded that he could not then trust Rome in an agreement to sustain the SSPX and its work.

    Make no mistake – the 40-year attempt to suppress the TLM represents a truly horrifying abuse of authority; and would it really have been the right thing to have trusted its perpetrators or those who were at least then appearing to perpetuate the suppression?

  130. contrarian says:

    what if Mons. Lefebvre didn’t “disobey” the pope? well, more spirit of the council nonsense. Popes are popes because they have to fulfill the will of God. The moment they deviate, they should incur reprimands from the flock who also should know better. if Paul did not rebuke Peter, the ministry of the apostles would have been left to the Jews alone. Popes are guardians of the deposit of the faith. This papolatry or thinking that the pope could not do wrong or is surrounded by inept advisers does not excuse them. Greater judgment will fall upon those who have greater responsibilities especially in Holy Mother Church because their office has divine grace which they should use to discern the best path for Church to traverse the world. It is not in their power to recognize any other God but He who is the Alpha and the Omega. The Lord Jesus was simple and clear in his commandment: baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Is that too much to ask? God has his way of using all of us to fulfill his will. even sinful popes he will use to show us the error of our ways. Let us pray for this Holy Father as he has much of the responsibility of Vatican II in his hands. But let us also pray for the common people that they understand the doctrines and teachings of the Church well enough for them to guard it against heretics, innovators and modernists, whether of the papal kind or the clergy.

  131. Hank says:

    Fr Kennedy and his ilk.

    Because of the public notice on the SPXX many of the faithful pass the SPXX by even though they don’t understand the issues.

    However many in good faith show up at parishes like Fr Kennedy\’s because it is the “Catholic” church in neighborhood.

  132. Daniel Latinus says:

    It should be pointed out that Abp. Lefebvre (or Traditionalists in general), until recently, have had virtually no effect on Church life. They have had a limited following, and in any case, were forced outside the structures of the Church where the mainstream could, and did largely ignore them. And by condemning them, a liberal prelate could prove he had limits to his tolerance, and was capable of enforcing the rules, while a conservative prelate could prove his loyalty to Vatican II.

    Moreover, without Abp. Lefebvre we probably would not have had the widespread return of the TLM, and the present Pontiff’s “Marshall Plan” would be progressing with more difficulty.

    (For my part, I sided with Abp. Lefebvre until he rejected Rome’s offer in 1988 and consecrated bishops. And I note, from that point forward, the traditionalist movement that wouldn’t gather with Rome began to founder and drift into dangerous waters.)

    Father Kennedy, and people like him, have often held official positions in the the Church, they infest Church educational institutions, they run workshops that train parish leaders, they hold advanced theology degrees, and sit in endowed chairs in Catholic colleges and universities. Until recently, they were all too often the people called by the media to provide a public face for Catholicism.

    Back in the 1970s, when the Lefebvre affair was only beginning, an editor at National Catholic Register suggested that “worse evils would come from disobedience.” But in an authoritarian (and I do not mean that as a pejorative) institution like the Roman Catholic Church, the worst evil is for the levers of authority to be in the hands of unfaithful stewards.

    So I vote Fr. Kennedy the worse or the two.

  133. Mark says:

    Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre knew that his actions would result in excommunication. He proceeded with them anyway, thus weakening the Traditionalists within the Church, and associating all of Traditionalism with schizmatic behaviors. A mistaken grand gesture. A fox of Europe he certainly wasn’t.

    This weakening didn’t allow for an inside early and spirited response to the progressive faction within the Church. They gained strength in the absence of effective opposition. Only now is the tide beginning to turn, after the Church sustained much damage.

    I’m more concerned with allies who desert, or allow themselves to be maneuvered out of, the field. Thus I’m surprised at this vote, since in my mind these two issues are dependent on each other.

  134. Malta says:

    I couldn’t even vote. SSPX has actually done great good for the Church. Summorum Pontificum, the survival of Tradition in the Church. Maybe we’ll see a Saint Lefebvre ala Saint Athanasius, who knows?

  135. Curmudgeon says:

    Mark suggests, then, that Abp. Lefebvre is the cause of the Fr. Francis phenomenon?

  136. swck says:

    My vote goes to Father Kennedy and others of his lot, but this was not without considerable thought.

    Both options run the severe risk of administering invalid sacraments, since my understanding is that the SSPX do not have faculties to hear confessions or witness marriages. But I think the Fr. Kennedy side has greater consequences down the road in that a non-baptised person does not validly receive other sacraments. It’s theoretically possible that someone invalidly baptised by Fr. Kennedy could end up “ordained” a priest and thus could unwittingly, invalidly attempt to provide the sacraments to others. Only the Lord knows how many people would end up denied the Sacraments in such a situation, and we may end up having to turn all Sacraments into occasions where you need 3 priests to administer them licitly to guard against one or two imposters (cf. the consecration of a bishop). It’s hard to quantify the risk to souls given the complexity of the situation.

    But, what clinches it for me is that priests like Fr. Kennedy are out there everywhere in the “mainstream” church. And while many on this forum are smart enough to avoid such parishes, a shocking number of people probably wouldn’t even notice the irregularity if their child was baptised with an invalid formula. Whereas I suspect that those who frequent SSPX chapels are more likely to know their faith and have an awareness of the general situation and the irregularity of the Society.

    In other words, John and Mary AverageCatholic aren’t likely to just stumble upon an SSPX chapel and hatch, match, and dispatch their kids from there. They are more likely to stumble on St. Happy’s parish, Fr. Kennedy Pastor, and get stuck in the spiritual quagmire.

    So, my vote is for Fr. Kennedy and his lot, because they’re often hidden in plain sight and can inflict their damage more easily. Which makes them more dangerous and their consequences much more dire.

  137. Mila says:

    Having attended Masses where the celebrant was of the “In the name of the Creator, the REdeemer and the Sanctifier” type–as well as other gatherings where prayer was initiated in the same fashion and, although there were several priests present, none of them made a move to correct or explain why this was wrong–I voted for Fr. Kennedy. The harm people like him have done to souls makes me want to cry.

    Let us take in to account that, due to poor or absent catechesis, a good number of Catholics cannot tell you what is wrong with that formula. I have found many good people who find it “inspiring” (their words), and who would not believe me when I explained why it was wrong.

    We must pray for the Holy Father, that he will be able to carry on his “Marshall Plan” for the good of souls.

  138. Tiny says:

    Mark said “This weakening didn’t allow for an inside early and spirited response to the progressive faction within the Church. They gained strength in the absence of effective opposition. Only now is the tide beginning to turn, after the Church sustained much damage.”

    I believe you are quite wrong on this point. You see, you seem to have focused your point on 1988; by that time the “progressive faction” had already reached it’s apex and was on the decline under Pope John Paul II. This would be corroborated with your typical trad literature (The Rhine Flows into the Tiber; Iota Unum). For an “inside early and spirited response to the progressive faction” you would necessarily have to look further back than 1988; where you see in fact that Abp. Lefebvre did indeed provide such an early and spirited response as a member of the International Group of Fathers; opening the Econe seminary; et cetera.

  139. Daniel Latinus says:

    Archbishop Lefebvre’s actions in 1988, as wrongheaded as I believe them to have been, led to Ecclesia Dei. To me, the amazing thing that happened after Ecclesia Dei, was that it gave conservative Catholics, who sometimes could be harder on the traditionalists than the liberals, it gave conservative Catholics permission to be traditionalists, and it allowed them to do so within the bosom of Mother Church!

    This development had more of a positive influence on the Church, and gave more impetus to the traditionalist cause, than any negative fallout from Abp. Lefebvre’s actions.

  140. Geoffrey says:

    “Maybe we’ll see a Saint Lefebvre ala Saint Athanasius, who knows?”

    With comments like this, plus the vast difference in the polling numbers, it appears this blog has been invaded by traditionalists!

  141. Kellen says:

    As another voter for Archbishop Lefebvre (and a small minority, apparently), I will offer up my rationale. Some other people have given their reasons – good ones – but I want to draw attention to a single point.

    It’s easy to bash on Fr. Kennedy, because he obviously gets most of our goads (or we wouldn’t be reading this blog). Some have contrasted heresy vs. schism and judged which is better or worse. I will say that, in the history of error and the Church, ISTM errors that remain within the Church tend to be “absorbed” much better than those that remain without. While heresy springs up in the Church, schism is an enabler for heresy, allowing it to grow and thrive since it is untethered. There’s no reason to desire or return to Rome, thus they don’t. That’s why only few schismatic groups have ever returned, and when they do it tends to be because of external forces and not an internal desire to reconcile. Heresy within the Church tends to die out. At least that’s my POV.

    And to those of you who say that he has done good by leaving – think of how much evil he has caused those who remained within the Church, think of how much good could have been accomplished if he had never left! Lefebvre has effectively hamstrung tradition within the Church by removing some of its most ardent supporters from the Church, and making Tradition seem like an outsider instead of a valid voice within.

  142. Piers-the-Ploughman says:

    No doubt the modernists have caused worse damage.

  143. I went with Kennedy and his lot, mainly because they lead the flock further away from the Faith of the Apostles.

  144. Seamas O Dalaigh says:


    Not really a terribly difficult decision.

    James Daly

  145. Steve K. says:

    ““Maybe we’ll see a Saint Lefebvre ala Saint Athanasius, who knows?”

    With comments like this, plus the vast difference in the polling numbers, it appears this blog has been invaded by traditionalists!”

    Are you new here Geoffrey?

  146. YoungCatholicSTL says:

    Some are saying, “Fr. Kennedy-type priests are everywhere, but SSPX priests are rare.” But I see that as a reason Lefebvre is more at fault. If he hadn’t pulled (literally) several hundred priests, and half-a-million laity away from the Church, maybe a counter-reaction to Kennedy and his lot would have started much sooner. When all the traditional Catholics leave a parish and flock to places like those run by the SSPX, it just gives the Kennedy lot all the greater ability to run wild. Its time traditional Catholics quit running away and stand up and fight.

  147. Alex says:

    I’m with Paul Bailes. That John Paul II imposed an indult on the Mass of the Ages, which our current Holy Father declared was never abrogated and was never in fact forbidden constitutes a major crisis in my mind. I don’t agree with Archbishop Lefebvre’s final decision to consecrate four bishops, but I can see how he sincerely felt bound to do so.

    I can also see how this question can be very offensive to faithful of the Society of St. Pius X, and even priest of the Institute of the Good Shepherd who still support the late Archbishops decision. You might as well have put John Paul II on the list for allowing men like Cardinal Mahony and the like to run amuck. Mistakes have been made on both side between Rome and the Society. Please God, let’s just put that behind us!

    “We must remember that if all manifestly good men were on one side and all the manifestly bad men on the other, there would be no danger to anyone, least of all the elect, being deceived by lying wonders. It is the good men, good once, we must hope good still, who are to do the work of Antichrist and so sadly to crucify the lord afresh… Bear in mind this feature of the last days that this deceitfulness arises from good men being on the wrong side.”
    -Fr. Faber

  148. Daniel Latinus says:

    Heresy within the Church tends to die out. At least that’s my POV.

    Heresy in the Church, if it is not stamped out, almost always leads to schism. At least I can’t think of any situation where it didn’t.

    And to those of you who say that he has done good by leaving – think of how much evil he has caused those who remained within the Church, think of how much good could have been accomplished if he had never left! Lefebvre has effectively hamstrung tradition within the Church by removing some of its most ardent supporters from the Church, and making Tradition seem like an outsider instead of a valid voice within.

    I respectfully disagree. When the Lefebvre Affair started in the 1970s, the hierarchy was out to destroy Abp. Lefebvre, and really left him no room for any activity within the Church. It was that simple. At no point did Lefebvre make “Tradition seem like an outsider”. I’m afraid the powers that be in the hierarchy, from Paul VI himself, through the Curia, through the bishops, and all the way down to pastors, CCD teachers, and parish activists, drove “the ardent supporters of Tradition” into the outer darkness, and often before anyone outside of Econe had even heard of Abp. Lefebvre. There are among the older traditionalists a lot of people, who had tried working within the Church, tried going through the channels, and got badly burned. And Abp. Lefebvre was definitely one of them.

    I still believe that the seeds of Abp. Lefebvre’s rejection of the May 1988 Protocol were in the contempt heaped on Abp. Lefebvre by the other French bishops, when Bl. John XXIII appointed him to a diocese in France in the 1950s.

    As I pointed out earlier, after Abp. Lefebvre was excommunicated, John Paul II issued Ecclesia Dei, and from that, there was an explosion of traditionalist activity within the Church. In a way I suppose, the Archbishop’s lapse freed JPII, and tradition-friendly elements within the Church, to take initiatives that might never had been taken. And at the same time, some of the more extreme elements were quarantined in the SSPX, where they couldn’t interefere.

  149. Mark says:

    Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers certainly are not the cause of the progressive affliction. However, he deliberately chose to leave the battlefield, to retreat behind some imagined safety of a spiritual “Maginot line”. Recently, we’ve all had the opportunity to see how well his troops have fared in this “safety zone”.

    In this context, the cardinal mistake is to allow yourself to be maneuvered out of the Church. Progressives seem to know this much better than some Traditionalists. Communists also knew this very well, and would entice bishops and above with all sorts of promises, if only they would weaken or sever ties with Rome.
    On the opposite side of the spectrum, thank God for FSSP who gets it.

    I agree with Kellen – progressivism within the Church is expiring naturally. Certainly intellectually it’s spent, but it does retain some raw power. On the other hand, if any part of Traditionalism wonders outside the Church, it will always hurt the part that remains within the Church, even in the absence of any progressive forces. We should strive to be one.

  150. Martin T. says:

    +Lefebvre missed the chance to be a saint- a maryter for the TLM. instead he chose to be “right”

  151. Alex says:

    “This Mass is not forbidden and cannot be forbidden… If a priest were censured or even excommunicated on this ground, the sentence would be absolutely invalid… We can celebrate it and the faithful can attend it with complete peace of mind, knowing furthermore it is the best way of maintaining their faith.”
    -Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

    Until July 7, 2007 our birth right as Roman Catholics was subject to conditions and the whims of our Bishops.

  152. Daniel Latinus says:

    You know, I’ve never gotten this worked up about this in a long, long time. And I’ve been a critic of Abp. Lefebvre since 30 June, 1988.

    Some are saying, “Fr. Kennedy-type priests are everywhere, but SSPX priests are rare.” But I see that as a reason Lefebvre is more at fault. If he hadn’t pulled (literally) several hundred priests, and half-a-million laity away from the Church, maybe a counter-reaction to Kennedy and his lot would have started much sooner. When all the traditional Catholics leave a parish and flock to places like those run by the SSPX, it just gives the Kennedy lot all the greater ability to run wild. Its time traditional Catholics quit running away and stand up and fight.

    I seriously doubt the SSPX pulled all that many people from the Church. The more likely situation is that those who adhere to the SSPX would have left the Church entirely, and some never would have joined in the first place. Most of the men who became SSPX priests, if they hadn’t been driven from the Church, would never have been admitted to seminaries, or if admitted, would never have been allowed to be ordained. (A that leaves aside the question of how many of those who might have been admitted would have been corrupted by the bad theology and immorality that infested too many diocesan and religious order seminaries.) Both the layfolk and the clergy would have been plowed under.

    And people like Father Kennedy (and his enablers) effectively dominated the situation by the early 1970s. It was a choice between withdrawing to a teneable position, going underground, or being massacred. It was easy for any who objected to “the changes” to be written off as a nut case, and no help could be expected from the bishops or even, perhaps especially, from Rome.

    It really has only been within the last 20 years that Rome seems to be taking serious notice of abuses in the field.

    However, he deliberately chose to leave the battlefield, to retreat behind some imagined safety of a spiritual “Maginot line”. Recently, we’ve all had the opportunity to see how well his troops have fared in this “safety zone”.

    This is not a fair assessment. Whatever may said about the rightness or wrongness of Abp. Lefebvre’s actions, they hardly constituted a retreat to a safe position. And he definitely did not leave the battlefield.

  153. David Kastel says:

    The only thing separating SSPX from so-called “full” communion with the Church (now that the decree of excommunication of the Archbishop has been annulled) is the canonical suppression of SSPX, which resulted from the old mass being [WRONGLY] declared abrogated.

  154. RBrown says:

    And to those of you who say that he has done good by leaving – think of how much evil he has caused those who remained within the Church, think of how much good could have been accomplished if he had never left! Lefebvre has effectively hamstrung tradition within the Church by removing some of its most ardent supporters from the Church, and making Tradition seem like an outsider instead of a valid voice within.
    Comment by Kellen

    That’s a common misunderstanding of the LeFebvrist history. The troubles of the SSPX goes back to mid 70’s and the opposition of the French bishops, who knew that LeFebrve’s work was interfering with their plan to destroy the Church in France. Paul VI was a Francophile with a French Sec of State. The French bishops won (the Church lost), and L was suspended.

    Keep in mind that a few months after this happened Paul VI named Rembert Weakland as Archbishop of Milwaukee. Yes, that’s the same Rembert Weakland who later used diocesan money to pay off his boyfriend.

  155. Warren Anderson says:

    As far as obedience (to the Magisterium) is concerned, we’re comparing apples and apples. BOTH the SSPX AND the Fr. Kennedys of this world should be held accountable for the damage done.

  156. Megan says:

    I voted Fr. Peter Kennedy. Although I disagree with the manner in which it was done, I have always sympathized with the SSPX in their love of tradition. No, they should not have rebelled and ordained their own bishops, and yes, sometimes their mindset is too…prideful? Arrogant? Anti-Vatican II? – Not just having reservations about, but actually *anti*-VII. – Yes, they have regrettably caused a schism in the Church, but perhaps it’s better to err on the side of tradition and conservatism than err on the side of liberalism, mis-baptizing an unknown number of infants, drawing people back to “the Church” yet giving them anything BUT the Church, and causing scandal on the side of “progress”. Unfortunately, Fr. Kennedy and those like him have drawn people away from the Church and into a false religion they unfortunately still call Catholicism. Personally, I would much rather have to calm the fire of the SSPX (misguided though it may be) than inflame the lukewarmness of nominal Catholics led astray. Many prayers are needed, both for the SSPX and for Fr. Kennedy. Every heart needs to be constantly reminded of Christ’s calling, and EVERY heart always needs a conversion to Him.

  157. Megan says:

    1. Sorry about the strikethrough, I didn’t know that would happen. Should have previewed first ;-)

    Mr. Anderson, that’s an interesting point. Yes, both groups need to be held accountable, and certainly both have weakened the Body of Christ. No one is without blame. However, if we look at the amount of damage done, perhaps we’ll find a different story. I’ve already made my comments on that matter, but that’s an interesting thought indeed.

  158. Using Firefox 3 on this Vista 64 bit computer doesn’t allow voting or viewing the results to work. Any hints as to why? I have allowed all javascript (the noscript addon) on WDTPRS of course.

    When taken from an intent perspective, Fr. Kennedy is far worse, since he wants to be God and define his own church. He wants to follow the same old lie first mentioned in Genesis. Relativism, the religious thinking that was kicked off by Martin Luther and Protestantism. Abp. Lefebvre’s intent is focused on maintaining the doctrine because he said the Church blew it in the maintenance process, that is on the how, not the what. I disagree with his solution, but his intent is true. Moral actions cannot use bad means to achieve a good end.

    From an individual effect perspective, Abp. Lefebvre has certainly done more damage by getting people to break from Rome and reject parts of Church teaching. He has more influence and a lot longer time at it (publicly).

    From the ilk perspective, the modernists like Fr. Kennedy have done far worse damage, which of course is the reason Abp. Lefebvre did what he did. As we heard in 1972, the smoke of satan has entered the Church. Pretty obvious now. So it’s our calling to clean it up.

    So the winner of the worst is Fr. Kennedy and the modernists – by a long margin.

  159. jeff says:

    How anyone with even a rudimently understanding of the battle for the faith since Vatican 2 could consider Archbishop Lefebrve worse than this clown I’ll never know.

    If Archbishop Lefebrve had been ‘Obedient’ to his superiors he would have shut down his seminary in 1975 sent the seminarians off packing.

    Does anyone really think that Paul VI was concerned about preserving the traditional Liturgy?

    He behaved as though he were attempting it’s destruction.

    John Paul 2 in 1984 released the first ‘Indult’ Quattuor abhinc annos in which he consulted with the world’s Bishops about the old rite, which clearly reveals the Holy see’s intention of banning the Ancient missal.

    “The result of the consultation was sent to all bishops (cf. Notitiae, n. 185, December 1981). On the basis of their replies it appeared that the problem of priests and faithful holding to the so-called “Tridentine” rite was almost completely solved”.

    By solved the Pope presumably means forced into accepting the Novus Ordo. As the current Holy Father points out in ‘Summorum Ponticum’ the old right was never in reality banned.

    So in this case ‘Disobedence’ has in fact preserved the Tradtional rites for us of which I for one am most grateful and consider the Archbishop quite justifed in taking this stand.

    With regard to the Consecration of the bishops, up until that time the Old mass was almost extinct other than than the SSPX and associated groups.

    Only after this act do we see Rome forced to make a more serious effort to accomadate tradtionalists and growth of the tradtional movement within the offical stucture of the Church.

    So regardless of what you think of his decision to Consecrate the Bishops the result has left us in a much better posistion than if he had been ‘Obedient’ from the begining.

    Fr Z: Does that count as a rant?

  160. Geoffrey says:

    “Are you new here Geoffrey?”

    Actually no, I’ve been around here since the very early days, but I have not seen so much pro-SSPX comments as I have been recently.

  161. Clayton says:

    UGH. Wow that was wretchedly disheartening. Thanks Archbishop Lefebvre, Fr. Kennedy, Everyone, et al.

    Thanks. I feel sick.

  162. Unitas says:

    I’ve rolled over the schism+orthodoxy vs. unity+heterodoxy and determined the two are oxymorons. St. Paul speaks much of unity in faith, in truth, in doctrine. You cannot claim unity and be heterodox at the same time. The same goes for Lefebvre; If there is orthodoxy, there is unity in faith and in truth. No matter how many people could accuse schism, if there is unity and fidelity to the Catholic truth in your heart then there is no true schism. And God alone reads hearts.

  163. Michael UK says:

    Consider this:

    “I am only a bishop of the Catholic Church who continues to transmit its doctrine. ….. I have delivered unto you that which I have received.” Msgr. Lefebvre.

    Upon his ordination and consecration he entered into binding and sacred vows. How many of his peer prelates have violated those sel-same vows. I believe those latter prelates must have underlying psychological problems, in regard to such violation. One UK archbishop has been reported to have repented, of such, on his death-bed and for the damage perpetrated on Mother Church.

    Msgr. Lefebvre was allowed to set up his first seminary and resulting from its effectiveness drew adverse reaction from the Rahner/Kueng clan and moves for its closure. He was then surrounded of Protestant/Catholics and became isolated – PaulVI did nothing to help.

    Also consider his life as a missionary priest and his development of Mother Church in Africa. Look around at your own Bishops’ Conferences and ask yourself exactly what have they achieved within Mother Church – other than self-advancement.

  164. teresa says:

    Fr. Peter Kennedy and his lots did more damage to the Church, because he has cheated many souls and get these innocent people in the danger of losing their salvation.

    And he did it by using the name of the Church too, and endangerd the purity of the Christianism.

    Bp. Lefebvre could have had created a shism, but he saved the Tradition and the Doctrine of our Mother Church. And should the modernists take over the power, then we would all be in danger of losing our religion for ever. I pray God that they will not win.

    We fight back.

  165. RBrown says:

    Only traditionalists maintain such divisive terms as “Conciliar Church”. There is ONE Church… always has been, always will be.
    Comment by Geoffrey

    Incorrect. I recommend you read the article by the liberal theologian at St Ambrose.


  166. Patrick says:

    Evil makes you do stupid things. Things like mess with the words of Baptism, or defy the Pope. These two are both wrong and both very bad for the Church. The personal advantage I suppose is with Fr. Kennedy who at least has the ability to repent before he dies. It is a very bad idea to die while excommunicated.

    Modernism is a bigger problem in the Church. It’s just a shame that the SSPX had to adopt modernism in an effort to defeat it.

  167. boredoftheworld says:

    “Modernism is a bigger problem in the Church. It’s just a shame that the SSPX had to adopt modernism in an effort to defeat it.”

    Dude… seriously. I know it’s after 5pm somewhere but it’s too early in the day for me to start drinking so please explain that rather bizarre statement without resorting to the phrase “Great Boo’s up Edmond.”

  168. Ottaviani says:

    As a Lutheran myself, I doubt that my opinion is worth much on the subject. And yet …
    The Lefebvrists are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They claim to pass on a tradition while in fact rejecting much of its substance—the canons of a council and communion with the pope. People go to their churches believing that they will find continuity, and in fact are served a profound discontinuity.

    You know Rev. Michael – we invite you to find communion with the successor to St. Peter too ;-) Hint hint…

  169. Ottaviani says:

    Geoffrey: What if Lefebvre had obeyed? The Holy See was trying to come to an agreement with him and the SSPX. What if the SSPX had been regularised much sooner, say 20 years ago? Look at the time wasted.

    This is a complete white-wash of history of relations between the SSPX and Rome. Archbishop Lefebrve and Cardinal Eduoard Gagnon (the papal visitor from Rome) DID agree a settlement during the 1987-8 negotiations. It was the Secretariat of State that vetoed the agreement (perhaps through fear that Tradition would spread more easily with a canonical approval).

    Also the seminary at Econe was set up with canonical approval of the Bishop of Fribourg, in 1970. The seminary was slandered by French bishops, who were jealous of the success that Archbishop Lefebrve had with vocations, while being unmoved at the failure of their implementation of the post conciliar reforms.

    Do your research before coming up with rash statements, like the one quoted above…

  170. Joaquín says:


    I don’t see the post as offensive. It clearly goes to show (and is intended to show) that there are greater evils then the disobedient Archbishop, and that those greater evils were not as persecuted, and are not as taboo in some quarters, as the Archbishop.
    Comment by Prof. Basto — 10 February 2009 @ 12:02 pm

    If that was the intention, i missed it, and i retract what i said before.

    Fr. Z: I’m a constant visitor of this blog, although i read much more than i write in this blog. If you considered my previous post out of line, i apologyze.
    Also, i’d like to tell take this opportunity to tell you that i appreciate your efforts in promoting catholic doctrine and discipline in liturgy.
    Keep up the good work!

  171. Pharisee says:

    Both systems are based on an exterior faith, a pharisaical belief in reality of things outward rather than a faith in Christ in the inner heart that leads to external expressions of that faith.

    Ultra Traditionalists— A belief that somehow if we cling to rubrics and teachings in their exterior manifestation out of fear of everything falling apart somehow this will make us good Christians, we will be saved, we can construct a salvation for ourselves. Anyone who doesn’t adhere to this system is condemned, judged, worthless to the church. You are like whitewashed tombs over which people unknowingly walk because you maintenance appearances and put faith in exteriors but inside you are enslaved to sin, judgment, hypocrisy, violence. You judge your neighbor for sin when in your own heart that sinful judgment swells. And in your heart you know the faith of Christ does not reign. Out of fear you cling to externals loving things in themselves that are not loveable but rather should be loved out of an interior faith. An exterior sign of an interior reality. Your adherence to signs as if they were holy in themselves comforts your fear of your own sin; your fear and selfishness in not embracing your own worthlessness without Christ. If you are so grand how can your neighbor stand the critique, but if you are a sinner your neighbor can be loved. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you!

    Of course if we adhere to rubrics and teaching out of a genuine faith in Christ in our inner hearts that is true Catholicism and it manifests in a love of our neighbor even if they don’t adhere to the teaching, nay, especially if they don’t.

    Progressives — Liberals put an exterior faith in what they think of as love which is really more like contemporary tolerance. This exterior peace they cling to is based on the appearance of a Christian attitude without the substance of Christian faith. In order to feel good and not bad we must all tolerate each other and appear to be very happy, clap hands, sing stupid songs, love, love, love, never an unkind word. We must serve the poor, this is big for them! It is an exterior reality to which they can easily cling and anyone who doesn’t serve the poor like they think they should or walk around cheerful and “positive” like they think they should is condemned, judged, worthless. Liberals can’t face conflict because they fear the conflict of sin in their own heart and do not want to confront it, so they put faith in tolerance, the appearance of love, and service, the appearance of virtue. You are like whitewashed tombs over which people unknowingly walk because on the outside you adhere to social justice, to love, to tolerance, but on the inside you judge your neighbor only because you yourself are in the conflict of sin that is too fearful for you to confront. Have faith in Christ and accept your worthlessness without him, and your neighbor will appear as you are, a sinner in need of mercy. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you!

    Of course if we love our neighbor and serve the poor out of an interior faith, and work towards loving relationships we are expressing on the outside what is true and holy on the inside. And even if others don’t do the same we can understand because we know the difficulty of this fallen world, that it is really hard to accept Christ, to love, to serve, to smile.

  172. boredoftheworld says:

    “Ultra Traditionalists—- A belief that somehow if we cling to rubrics and teachings in their exterior manifestation out of fear of everything falling apart somehow this will make us good Christians, we will be saved, we can construct a salvation for ourselves.”

    May I be the first to say “nice strawman you just knocked down there”? Did you come up with the definitions yourself or is someone peddling these offensive mischaracterisations as insightful analysis?

    Progressive liberals disgust me to the core but if I believed they were such moronic simpletons as portrayed above I’d just buy each one of them a cat toy and never be bothered again.

    Returning to ultra traditionalists: OH COME ON! No wonder we’re so easily dismissed if that’s what is thought of us. However painting everyone you disagree with as a mindless dingbat may make you feel some sort of secure superiority but it doesn’t actually address any real issues.

    To recap: I’ve neither met nor even reasonably heard of any person who is so shallow as to fit into either of the categories defined by Pharisee.

    I’m very sorry that I’m displaying rather a lot of outrage here but general acceptance of those definitions would set meaningful discussion back irreparably.

  173. Pharisee says:

    Bored of the world,

    Hum, No comfortable superiority here. I share in these weaknesses.

    “Painting everyone you disagree with.”

    Don’t assume I see myself as above these things. Also there are potential goods in both weaknesses but the problem is that they have become exterior extremes that put the inner life to death. I’m very much involved in the same hypocrisy, we are all sinners.

    The categories are foils or descriptors that help us to zero in on weaknesses that need to be addressed; obviously human beings are far more complex than categories.

    Sometimes when one is outraged they need to ask why, and “is the answer really the ready made line that I present so easily to myself?”

    In Christ,


  174. Alan F. says:

    I don’t think +Lefebvre could have done any more damage than invalidly baptising hundreds of people and turning them into heretics.

  175. Geoffrey says:

    Ottaviani said: “Do your research before coming up with rash statements, like the one quoted above…”

    I simply posed some questions, sir. I think that comment directed at me was out of line. Comments like that confirm what I have long suspected of traditionalists, and thank God I am not one of them. Ioannes Paulus Magnus, ora pro nobis!

  176. boredoftheworld says:

    You miss the point, the “foils or descriptors” are wrong. They are not mere oversimplifications for the sake of convenience, they’re just flat wrong.

    It’s not that you do an injustice to ultra-trads (which would be my group) but you do an injustice to progressives, and that’s what was most outrageous to me.

  177. Paladin says:

    I sympathize with (and share) the frustration of other TLM-ers who see heterodox liberal priests and bishops smash the Church’s liturgy, doctrine, and discipline like square-dancing bulls in Tiffany’s Crystal Boutique… and I’ll say right away that I voted for “Fr. Kennedy and company”, but: are we seriously going back to the “Archbishop Lefebvre’s action was necessary” claim? Mr. WAC gave the best reply to that, so far:

    “Oh Happy Fault! Oh necessary sin of Marcel, that won for us so glorious an indult!” Nope-I don’t buy it. That’s a materialistic cause-and-effect argument to justify a means to an end. To do evil so that good may come about is never justified. The indult, et. al., are examples of the grace of God bringing good out of evil. We have Lefebvre to thank for nothing but a whole lot of misery and pain in the Body of Christ.

  178. Ottaviani says:

    Geoffrey – you clearly said: The Holy See was trying to come to an agreement with him and the SSPX. What if the SSPX had been regularised much sooner, say 20 years ago? Look at the time wasted.

    Thereby implying, that it was the SSPX was the big bogeyman, scupppering all the negotiations. This is simply not true and I have provided with the facts that state otherwise. Are you now going to complain because someone has stopped you spreading incorrect information on a series of events.

    The Society can hardly be blamed of being suspicious of Rome, when history has shown that she has been all too keen to please the “fifth column” (as Dietrich von Hildebrand put it) by pacifying them, while coming down hard with disciplinary measures on the traditionalists, that exceed those meted out to the former. Just look at the intense scrutiny the FSSP were subjected to in 1999 by the PCED, for merely objecting to having to say the new mass out of doing violence to their conscience. Did Rome ever taken the same concern over the innumerable seminaries around the world that house homosexual-friendly clergy as well heretical theologians and professors?

    Paul VI, surrounded himself with advisers that told him nothing short of outright lies about Archbishop Lefebrve and what the Econe seminaries were doing. The treatment received by Lefebrve has not given to any other party, who had far more guilty crimes. And John Paul II, for all his supposed greatness/awesomeness, could have ushered a more favourable climate for reconciliation to take place if he had been more strong willed like his successor. We could have had a universal indult under JP II, if he had not allowed himself to be taken in with the whining of the French and German episcopate about how it would create “division” and how “unfaithful” it would be to the unsuccessful reforms of Paul VI. JP II allowed the rift to grow, while pursuing a failed policy of ecumenism of non-return with pro-abortion Anglicans and apologizing to the world for the church being Catholic in the centuries past. A pope who fails to do something that would have been right, because of what his bishops might say – is that a pope you call “great”?!

  179. boredoftheworld says:

    “Comments like that confirm what I have long suspected of traditionalists”

    What have you long suspected of traditionalists that makes you thank God you are not one of us?

    There’s a story about John Paul II signing a document as Joannes Paulus and when told “Holiness, latin has no J” replied “It does now”.

  180. Patrick says:

    I heard he said, “Quod scripsi, scripsi.”

    Also, your comment to me above was stupid, and unfunny. I realize you may be outraged, but find a different outlet, and maybe try treating others with some respect.

  181. boredoftheworld says:

    “your comment to me above was stupid, and unfunny.”

    Yeah, I realized after the fact that I had misspelled “Edmund”.

    Seriously though, I fail to see how what I wrote was any stupider than your application of modernism to the SSPX. The word does have a meaning after all and the hoops you’d have to jump through to apply it to the SSPX would be worthy of the most cunning plan Baldrick ever had.

  182. ALL: Two things.

    1) Be careful to maintain respect and charity.

    2) If you are engaging someone, the put their “handle” or “nom de plume” as the first word of your comment. That is necessary.

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