Tornielli on Protestant Traditionalists

Beyond the interview with Card. Canizares, Andrea Tornielli added a rather explosive entry to his blog:  The Liturgy and Traditionalist Protestantism.  (My translation.)

Let’s just say it: many (or some, or few, you decide) traditionalists do not love Pope Benedict’s hermeneutic of continuity, because, basically, they hold that the Council should be abolished.  Because they hold that the liturgical reform should be completely abolished.  They come to say that it is necessary that Rome be reconciled with Tradition.  But what Tradition?  The one they decide.  Tradition has always been living, and as Christianty is constitutively an event which enters into history – God who becomes flesh, dies on the Cross for our sins and rises, opening for us the doors of Paradise and promising us one hundred fold here below.  The Church updates herself, lives the challenges of time.  She seeks to present perennial truths in a suitable manner.

Look, I fear that a certain traditionalism could really slide into the exact opposite, Protestantism.  Or better, Gallicanism.  Who gives the right to this or that traditionalist to say: “this is Tradition, Rome is getting it wrong”?  Who gives them the authority to decide?  Traditionalism, is not the Magisterium.   Who gives the the right to throw Vatican II into the sea, sometimes with derision and distain?  Perhaps recourse to the authority of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (may he rest in peace), presented now in a hagiographical way, as a holy father of the Church?

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  1. Cosmos says:

    He is right in a sense, but he misses the point.

    First, he misses the fact that much of the criticism is practical. Whatever the intention of the Council and its correct interpretation, it is both supersticious and ahistorical to claim that a council cannot be counter-productive. When you look at the ambiguities in the text and the theological and liturgical confusion that emerged in its aftermath, do you have to be part of the Magesterium of the Church to connect the dots? Do we believe that the council fathers and magesterial theologians they have special insight into the Traiditon that is unavailable to outsiders? Did Bishop Levada recieve special intellectual powers when he was raised to his office? Are mere lay people completely reliant on Church authorities in this regard even when they are not speaking authoritatively?

    Second, this Council was apparently “pastoral,” so it is not exactly clear how it is to be understood as far being a lens for interpreting established Tradition.

    Third, just because Tradition is living does not mean (a) what is currently taught as development of the Tradition actually is a legitmate development of the tradition or (b) what is current is always best or even good in approach or practice.

  2. THREEHEARTS says:

    I was an altar boy from 7 to 13 in the 40’s and 50’s. I served almost continuously at the morning mass 6 days a week. Canon William Percival Hayes was the celebrant mostly and I was rarely absent. That is a lot of Latin masses. I have no wish to rain on anyone’s parade but ages ago on my blog I asked a question in whose interest is it to split the Church with the Eucharist and that bis what is happening. Also when I look at the differences it is a class struggle. Symphony Concert against Rock. Also some of the traditionalists are more inclined to the superstitious than the devout religious they claim. As long as the consecration is said and performed exactly then leave me alone in my worship. By the way at the Novus Ordo during the Kiss of peace or sign of peace I believe in the teachings of Pius 10th. and believe therefore in the Contagion of Sin. Let me tell you this so many rush from around the Church to make me do this non obligatory action. I am literally from the force of the touch, punched. The smugness of the deliverers after mass is disgusting.

  3. Anonymous Seminarian says:

    As much as I agree with Gueranger’s 12 characteristics of the “antiliturgical heresy”, I’m quite sure that, as odious as these things are, they cannot be called heretical in a strict sense. Tornielli seems to be tuning into no. 4: “the contradictory principle that operates from an affectation for antiquity that seeks to ‘reproduce divine worship in its original purity’ while spurning development later in liturgical Tradition and yet introducing new elements of ‘incontestably human’ origin” (Reid’s Org. Devlpnt. p. 58), although this would seem to apply more to Bugnini and his toadies than even the most Xtreme Traditionalist I’ve ever met. Sometimes I forget that the Modern Rite does exactly what its proponents accuse traditionalists of: namely, picking a point in the past and saying ‘this is pure/perfect liturgy, let’s throw out everything after that.’ This would seem to be a double-edged sword that I wouldn’t wield if I were a progressive antiquarian.

    I don’t think you can actually have a liturgical heresy is because the various Rites themselves differ in many striking ways, even as the theology stays the same. It would be fantastically inappropriate for a priest, say, of the Roman Rite (who was not ‘bi-ritual’) to start celebrating the Byzantine Rite, or any such other; similarly, it would be inappropriate, and gravely harmful, but not heretical in any way, for the Pope to instruct the whole Roman Church that he was surpressing the Roman Rite, and substituting a new Rite in it’s place, be it that of Byzantium or… some new creation that apes the Eastern Rites as much as it tries to channel the supposed primitive liturgy of the Early Church.

    So, odious as they are as well, the Xtreme Traditionalists aren’t heretics until they deny a dogma. It is also worth pointing out that, unlike the development of doctrine, the development of liturgy has taken missteps before that have been corrected. Writing on the eventual rejection of the Quignonez’ breviary, Reid states that it “is the preeminent demonstration in liturgical history of the priority organic development of the Liturgy enjoys over approbation by competent authority” (p. 38). These days, this example should be emblazoned upon our minds.

  4. THREEHEARTS says:

    I missed a point about the sign of peace and I wonder just who are these people who think they are capable to give peace, that is Christ’s peace to anyone. Is this conceit or pride from so many and how does this action done with such smugness by some affect the Charity of the Sacrifice. Certainly this sign is not amongst the workings of the Virtue of Religion. Thai if many of you know how charity and the virtue of religion are in unity. The Church teaches always have that without the Virtue of Religion there is no Charity. So if any of you do go to confession say an act of Charity afterwards just in case.

  5. jlmorrell says:

    I will refer Mr. Tornielli to Msgr. Gherardini’s recent comments on the matter. According to the latter, it is the very notion of tradition which must be settled.

    From Msgr. Gherardini’s recent interview published by Messa in Latino:

    “The ‘punctum dolens’ of all the controversial issues is called Tradition. Each side calls attention to it constantly, while simultaneously having a totally different conception of it…”

    Msgr. Gherardini later in the interview refers to the “‘living tradition’ of the neo-modernists”. Certainly, one must admit that the term “living tradition” has been used to justify anything so much rubbish this past 40+ years. I still hear people arguing that all kinds of non-sense is an “organic growth” in the Church.

  6. Aaron B. says:

    When I first saw the title “Protestant Traditionalists,” it reminded me of something I saw this Christmas season: a few Protestant churches of various denominations had signs up that said things like, “Worship Service: 9:00am. Traditional Service: 11:00am.” I guess Catholics aren’t the only ones getting fed up with modern worship silliness.

    Anyway, to answer the point of the article: What gives me the right to say Rome was wrong in allowing Communion in the hand, for instance? Well, the fact that I have eyeballs and God-given reason. I can watch the body language of people receiving that way and compare it to that of people receiving on the tongue. I can read the polls that show how Catholic belief in the Real Presence has dropped since it was introduced. I can read what Pope Benedict and others before him have said about the proper reception of the Sacrament. I can consider my subjective experience: how I blithely received on the hand for years in a state of mortal sin, never making a Confession, but took one look at that Communion rail and realized I couldn’t do it that way until I got my soul cleansed.

    I can put all those observations together and use reason to connect the dots, and confidently say, “Sorry, maybe this was done with the best of intentions, but it was a bad idea.” I could be wrong, of course, but it’s a long way from saying “I could be wrong” to saying “I should never criticize.”

    That doesn’t make me a Protestant, or mean that I’m trying to freeze Tradition in 1955 or whatever. Sometimes Rome makes mistakes. Church teaching on infallibility makes that clear: since certain circumstances are required for infallibility, then clearly the pope and Magisterium are not infallible in other circumstances.

  7. Andrew says:

    The Church updates herself, lives the challenges of time. She seeks to present perennial truths in a suitable manner.
    The Church changes with times, but it cannot be so completely flexible as to be diluted and unrecognizable. Some basic characteristics, some foundational elements must hold to make Her recognizable as a concrete charismatic and juridical institution. The Church is not just an organ that “presents perennial truth”. A university or a publishing house could do that. The Church is God’s presence in society. And some chief elements, such as the Church’s foundation on Peter and the establishment of the Holy See in Rome are not negotiable. Those were set up by divine providence.

  8. dad29 says:

    It’s not just “the Council’s reforms” that some resist. (N.B. that I use the term ‘Council’s reforms’ strictly speaking–that is, what SC specifically advocated, not the abominations which eventuated here and elsewhere.)

    I’m acquainted with a priest who rejects some of the reforms of Pius XII, and those of Pius XI and even Pius X. Ironically, the fellow is Gallican by birth.

    Tornielli has a point: we are dealing with a certain anti-nomianism when duly constituted authority is flat-out disobeyed.

  9. EXCHIEF says:

    It is not a matter of throwing Vatican II “into the sea”. It is more a matter of aligning the Church with what Vatican II REALLY said and REALLY intended which was NOT the free for all abandonment of tradition that far too many made it to be.

  10. kgurries says:

    I think Tornielli makes a good point insofar as it is the Magisterium that is the sole interpreter of divine revelation (including both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition). The Protestants argued for the private interpretation of the former — while some “traditionalists” seem to argue for the private interpretation of the latter. Part of the confusion is that many “pastoral” (prudential) and contingent decisions are often confused for “Tradition”. We don’t have to agree with every “pastoral” decision with an assent of Faith. But neither do we have the right to simply ignore it. So, I think there is a balance to strike in all of this.

  11. asperges says:

    I confess that I find some of the aforegoing comments a little surreal. No matter. I struggled through the Italian article and fond it inconclusive. “La Chiesa è più grande delle nostre opinioni” seems to me both true but also a bit of a “cop-out.” How many times was this thrown at us in the 70s when we dared to question whatever madness had just come on the scene?

    I agree however that there is a real problem of becoming what the French call “sectaire” and SSPX are dangerously close to this. Also this is the first time I have ever seen a commentator quote Plinio Correia de Oliveira of the very strange TFP, albeit just to dismiss him.

    Of course we follow Peter and this Pope’s Hermeneutic of Continuity seems a plausible (if not always convincing) way of squaring the circle. Having had to swallow for decades the “New Ways” of Vat II, now we are to accept that no-one ever intended to do anything but to affirm Tradition. OK. Well I’ll drink to that, and 40 years as a Civil Servant taught me now to worry too much about new policies and their presentation.

    Please God, this is the line we will continue to take and not revert to the old ways (meaning “new” – since black and white changed places somewhere) under the next Pope. Like many I have grave doubts about Vat II and believe that history will not judge it kindly. But things are better now than they have been for many years and the rubbish that was peddled from the 70s is dying the death we always thought it would.

    Most of all, we must have faith in the Holy Ghost and His promises to the Church. It has been a long, hard struggle though in the last 40 years.

  12. M.D.R. says:

    In reading over the google translation of this article, what caught my eye was the comparison between Archbishop Lefebvre and St. Padre Pio. The article says….

    “If Lefebvre was a saint in 1988 had told the Lord: “My God, I did everything I could to save the authentic tradition that I feel in danger, and fight for what they truly believe to be a departure from the true Catholic liturgy. Now I am faced with a dilemma. Disobeying the Pope to ensure the contunuity of the society of St. Pius X, consecrating new bishops, or accept his invitation and let it go…..” “Here is a saint (as Padre Pio, the saint of Pietrelcina) would never have disobeyed the Pope, would never have broken the unity of the Church. He said to God: “I trust in you. If you want to contunue this work, you have to get ahead, because I have done everything humanly possible, but now I cannot disobey your vicar.”

    I would like to add that in addition to this astute comparison, in my opinion, Padre pio was unjustly persecuted due to false information being given to the pope about him. Knowing this, Padre Pio did not complain, or speak out against the pope or anyone else. In fact, he did get upset when others tried to criticize the pope or others in the Magisterium. Padre Pio believed that even if he was treated unfairly, it was still somehow the will of God, working through his superiors. He once said…”If my superior tells me to jump out of the window, then I will jump out of the window!”
    Even when he was confined to near-isolation for three years, he asked for prayers, so that he could endure it without becoming sorrowful or disheartened. This is the attitude of a saint.

  13. Brad says:

    Threehearts et al,
    Is the kiss of peace within Mass to be most correctly understood as being an act of Christian forgiveness (straight out of the Our Father) between people who have some actual offense between them (e.g. I have offended my mother-in law and thus at the kiss I apologize and she forgives me)? Thus there is little — not zero, we understand, but little — point of me turning to john q public beside me at Mass and giving him this greeting?

  14. Cosmos says:

    The problem with talking about the Magesterium’s authority vs. “private interpretation” in these matters is that the Magesterium is not out making official pronouncements. What you actually have is men in cloaked with various positions of authority unofficially doing all kinds of different things for completely different reasons with the same text.

    And it is one thing to demand an interpretation of the Council in line wiht Tradition, it is another thing to pretend that the Church fathers all intended it to be that way and only later genreations unconnected to its drafting have distorted it. The Council was also crafted, at least in some part, by men who intentionally used vague and open-ended language maleable to a progreesive agenda.

  15. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Tornielli is criticing the “sola Traditio” crowd, who actually do want Vatican II discarded. They are not interested in interpreting it correctly, or even calling it a too-ambiguous, or “pastoral” Council. And they don’t care what level of Magisterium defends or teaches Vatican II–if any document of the Pope/bishops defends Vatican II, that also must be held up to derision. They just want the whole thing nixed as a joke and a disease on the body Catholic.

    And Tornielli asks a very good question. “Who died and made you God?” Or simply put, if in the name of Tradition we can subject papal authority and the Magisterium to your evaluation based on your reading of Denzinger, and subject present authority to your inquisition, you may appear to be some kind of a super-Catholic, but have actually just gone the way of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, but acting out in a different form.

  16. TNCath says:

    Tornielli has only reiterated what I have always thought: the Lefebvrites and other “more Catholic than the Pope” sects ARE Protestants. They may retain a lot of the traditional trappings of Catholicism, but, in the end, reject papal primacy and the Magisterium.

  17. SimonDodd says:

    I agree with Tornielli and with what Exchief said above at 1:52. A lot of the mischief attributed to the council—by both fans and detractors—simply isn’t in the teaching agreed on by the council.

    Cosmos says:

    Do we believe that the council fathers and magesterial theologians they have special insight into the Traiditon that is unavailable to outsiders?

    No, but when there is doubt about or division over the content of that tradition, it is the witness of the bishops qua succesors that is authoritative. (See, e.g., Orsy, The Church 70 (1987).)

    Anonymous Seminarian says:

    the Xtreme traditionalists aren’t heretics until they deny a dogma

    They deny (or attempt to whittle away) the teaching authority of a Church Council in union with the Pope.

  18. kgurries says:

    To be fair, I think we need to admit that this “protestant” mentality can affect both extremes within the Church. Those who embrace a “hermenuetic of rupture” (of either variety) with respect to Vatican II seem most at risk.

  19. prairie says:

    I’m a convert and admittedly don’t know much about this whole debate. But… I have seen among *some* traditionalists (and many liberals in the Church) a very protestant attitude. It is the attitude that says, “I don’t care what the pope says, I don’t care what my local bishop says, I think they’re wrong so I’ll do/teach what I want.” ANYTHING can become justification for this attitude. “The pope and bishops are oppressive to gays.” “The pope and bishops are too permissive and have tacitly condoned homosexuality and other immorality.” “My priest forces non-traditional music on me and I therefore have the right to sit in the pews and complain and roll my eyes and make jokes about it to my spouse, and make snide comments to other people in the communion line about the crappy music.” (That’s a real-life example, which I’m sorry to say, I’m regularly tempted to fall into.) “My priest uses chant and I hate chant, so I’m going to complain endlessly about the chant that I don’t like.”

    I have regular conversations about the Catholic Church and her teachings with my Presbyterian husband and if I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times: “I just wish the pope would have said X about this issue.” “I wish the Church would teach Y about that.”

    There’s a place for criticism from lay faithful, and from priests to their superiors, etc. And there’s an even bigger place for those who are willing to work and pray for change. But I do think the spirit of Protestantism is very easy to catch. It’s called pride. It takes quite a bit of humble pie to become a Catholic convert (praise God that He serves humble pie), and to be a good Catholic requires truckloads of humility. God help us all.

  20. NCtrad says:

    Please lay out, with supporting sources, which dogma’s of Holy Church “more Catholic then the pope” trads reject. Your runoff at the mouth can’t go unchallenged. Please show how “rad” trads are Protestant.

  21. SonofMonica says:

    Excellent post, prairie. Your temptation is mine as well. But by gum, they keep breaking out the tambourine! It seems almost served up like a softball and my spouse gets a kick out of it. The worst was when I flipped my imaginary long hair back on both sides like Jan or Marsha Brady while the tambourines were shaking during the processional. And then once I sang something about Old Tom Bombadil while the guitar/flute combos were wistfully playing some sort of LotR music before Mass began. It was wrong, but it just seemed so right at the time.

  22. kgurries says:

    I think the hermeneutic of rupture is closely connected with the idea of Protestantism. It is an assertion that the Papal magisterium, as such, has departed from the truth of Faith. In this sense, the protestant appeals to the “authority” (really private judgment) of sacred Scripture or sacred Tradition as the basis for his determination. Ultimately, it is a private judgment that replaces the role of the Magisterium in the authoritative interpretation of Scripture and Tradition.

  23. teaguytom says:

    I do not condone the protestant trads or libs that want to make up their own doctrines. Having said that, I think we need to understand the mainstream trads point of view on the council and understand what “living tradition” means. We can’t use living tradition to mean that the Church makes itself relevant to the world every so often. That was tried at Vatican II. Most traditionalists are not protestant, but that have a healthy criticism of what Vatican II came up with. You can’t have a “magesterialism” that many conservatives of today do. Anything that comes from the mouth of the magisterium is automatically orthodox and can’t be criticized. Accepting something as legit is one thing, but never criticizing things that fly in the face of traditional doctrine is just blind. We need to have a healthy diologue from Rome on how to reconcile certain documents with Catholic life. We still have no clue as to what “pastoral” meant. There is also no mistake that well known liberals ran the Council panels and wrote key documents. Suens, Koenig, and Bea were liberal champions and promoted the seeds of liberalism in the Council. Fr Bugnini and Daneels also helped write Sacrosantum Concilium. Many bishops went home and promoted liberal changes even before the new mass was promulgated. This is why I believe many traditionalists who aren’t for throwing out the entire council still cling to the Missal of 1962 as a fly in amber. They fear that although 1962 isn’t the perfect missal, the liberals will take the remaining vestige from before the council and destroy it as well. We need to recognize legit doctrines and laws and practice them but have healthy criticism of things that are vague and not in line with trad doctrines.

  24. TNCath says:


    The “rad Trads” (your term) reject the dogma of the primacy of the Pope when they reject the validity of the Novus Ordo and the Second Vatican Council. While they may still be technically Catholics, depending on which cardinal or sacred congregation you ask, they nonetheless challenge the authority of the Holy Father and the Magisterium with the same gusto as the “We Are Church” and “Call to Action” movements. Hence, they are “protesters” or “protestants.”

  25. jamesthedisciple says:

    I hate to do this guy, but let’s face facts. […] [I hate to tell you, but I cut the rest of your post. Since you didn’t address this to anyone else, I assume you addressed it to me, and I am not “guy” on this blog. That’ll be “FATHER ‘guy'” to you. o{]:¬) You can repost your comment and astonish us all with your insight, which we look forward to reading.]

  26. Geoffrey says:

    “Tornielli has only reiterated what I have always thought: the Lefebvrites and other ‘more Catholic than the Pope’ sects ARE Protestants. They may retain a lot of the traditional trappings of Catholicism, but, in the end, reject papal primacy and the Magisterium.”

    Amen, amen, and I dare say it again: Amen!

  27. jamesthedisciple says:

    Fr. Z, there was supposed to be “guys”, not “guy” It was generally adressed to everyone replying as I would never disrepect a priest by simply calling him “guy”. Having said that, I didn’t happen to save a copy of my post as this was my first time posting on your blog and I wasn’t aware I needed to save one. Do you still have access to my original?

  28. NCtrad says:


    Thank you for your response. Allow me to remind you that the SSPX, whom you addressed with the derogatory term “Lefeverites”, in a previous post in no way reject the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae nor the validity of the Second Vatican Council, whatever that means, nor Papal Primacy properly understood. So my question stands and I look forward to your response, which dogmas of Holy Mother Church do Trads(sspx) reject to earn the title “Protestant.” Also please instruct me what you mean by the “validity” of VII(a pastoral council.) Thank you. As an aside, I could find plenty of examples of prelates in “full communion” with the pope flirting with outright heresy. Are they protestant or does their being in “communion” with the pope make their Catholicism beyond scrutiny?

  29. Jason Keener says:

    I think that Rome should be somewhat open to the critiques that are offered from the so-called Traditionalists. The Pope himself was critical of some of the conciliar texts and at one time even called parts of Gaudium et Spes “downright Pelagian.” The Pope also criticized important aspects of the liturgical reform. In Ratzinger’s “Feast of Faith,” he wrote that the New Missal “was published as if it were a book put together by professors, not a phase in a continual growth process. Such a thing never happened before. It is absolutely contrary to the laws of liturgical growth.” (pg. 86) How can Traditionalists now be derided for criticizing a Missal that according to the Pope’s own words was “absolutely contrary to the laws of liturgical growth?” Moreover, I wonder where one can find the fruit of the liturgical reform? In the wake of the Council, do Catholics better understand the Mass? Do Catholics have a greater reverence and appreciation for the Eucharist? Has there been a Renaissance in Catholic architecture, music, or sound Liturgy?

    There are other difficult questions that should be answered in the wake of the Council, for example, on the issues of religious liberty and ecumenism. How is it that Pope John Paul II could have taken ecumenism to the extreme where he actually encouraged Muslims to live their faith (speech to Immigrants in Mainz, Nov. 17, 1980) and prayed that St. John the Baptist would protect Islam (visit to Wadi Al-Kharrar, March 21, 2000) , a religion that denies the Trinity and Christ’s Divinity? Both of these speeches are available on the Holy See’s web site. I bring up these things not to be critical of Pope John Paul II but to highlight some of the real concerns that more traditionally-minded Catholics have. Unfortunately, I don’t think Pope Benedict’s “Hermeneutic of Continuity” can solve all of these problems. Deeper issues remain.

    Finally, I think it is unwise to say that there is nothing good in the Council’s documents, but I think it is also unwise to proceed as if the so-called Traditionalists do not raise some important questions about the work of the Council and its aftermath that must be met head on.

  30. anilwang says:

    The key thing to note is that many of the things people (both Liberals and ultraditionalists) claim Vatican II authorized, and many of the things that ultraditionalists balk at as being against tradition have firm rooting in tradition and complain about the wrong things. Translation in the vernacular for instance is firmly planted in tradition. The main reason we even have a Latin mass, and not a Hebrew or Greek mass is precisely because Latin was the vernacular of the Roman Empire. The key problem with modern translations is not that they are translations but instead they are irreverent poor translations. The first communion (the Last Supper) and the Passovers before were all in the hand. The key problem with communion in the hand is not where the communion is made, but the attitude of the one receiving communion.

    This attitude extends even to (especially to) the ultratraditionalists who would balk at the traditional Ethiopian Liturgical rite which includes drums and liturgical dance. And when they see a clown mass that somehow managed to be sacramentally valid, they’re more focused on picking out ever single liturgical violation instead of falling down to the floor in awe because Christ is willing to mocked and be presented as a sacrifice yet again (If you’re the King of the Jews, save yourself).

    Our focus must always be on Christ. When we forget this and focus on “those people”, we become Donatists and Novatianists.

    Don’t get me wrong. We need to expunge all the liturgical abuses according to hermeneutic of continuity. While low liturgy might sometimes be a necessity (e.g. it’s hard to have a high liturgy in a military fox hole and it’s hard to have a high liturgy when it’s the Sunday after your Church burned down and the only space available is a storage room), it should not be the default. The liturgical saboteurs of the “(evil) spirit of Vatican II” have a lot to answer for. The fact that the faith has been willfully withheld from most Catholics in the name of “charity” (aka cowardice and sloth) or “being up the the times” (aka not trusting that Jesus is what he claimed) is a tragedy that needs remedy. We need the fire of SSPX within the Church where it belongs.

  31. prouddaddy says:

    As Catholics, do we not have the right to a Mass properly said? And is not this right protected by canon law? I am disgusted and outraged by the liturgical abuse and sacrilege that occurs during the Novus Ordo Mass said in many of the parishes in my diocese. So I opt to attend the Extraordinary Form Mass instead. Now does that make me a traditionalist? No, I think it just means I am a Catholic.

  32. Aaron B. says:

    Most of the trads I know think the NO is valid, though many of them avoid it themselves, and think it is missing important features and has been harmful to the spiritual health of millions of Catholics. But I guess that as long as there are any sedevecantists out there denying the NO or Vatican II, we can all expect to get painted with the same “many traditionalists” brush and called Protestants or worse. So tiring. Why not just call a sede a sede and a trad a trad, instead of lumping them together?

    Sometimes I forget that the Modern Rite does exactly what its proponents accuse traditionalists of: namely, picking a point in the past and saying ‘this is pure/perfect liturgy, let’s throw out everything after that.’ — Anonymous Seminarian

    And everything after it. Fr. Chad Ripperger makes a good point about that: if the purpose of the new liturgy was to be “living” so it could change with the times, then why is everything about it — the music, the vestments, the banners, the language — stuck in the 1970s?

  33. SimonDodd says:

    NCtrad, you’ve hit on a common hedge that Vatican II critics use, asking TNCath to explain certain concerns about the council–before immediately adding a parenthetical which I infer is intended to be restrictive: Vatican II was, you remind us, “a pastoral council.”

    I never understand what exactly is meant when people emphasize this, and I wondered if you might explain? (It comes up all the time; you’re the second person in this combox.) What work is it supposed to do? Is it supposed to imply that anything done by the Council that is not “pastoral” is in some way ultra vires and void? That seems to be the implication, but it begs the question of who gets to decide what is beyond the scope of “pastoral,” which is precisely the point TNCath seems to be driving at. And in any event, quite aside from whether John XXIII meant to limit the council, doesn’t the point rest on a shaky premise? Viz., that the Pope has the authority to convoke a council with a limited purpose, but in doing so binds himself for the duration, divesting himself of the authority to indulge the council a broader scope should he and the fathers determine it is necessary. Is that a concept of papal authority that is accepted?

  34. teaguytom says:

    I agree with Aaron B. & Jason Keener. As Jason points out, Josef Ratzinger was the peritus to Cardinal Frings at the council. It is said that he was shocked when the second session of the council began because it had changed so much from what was supposed to take place. He also had reservations about the human-centric nature of some of the documents. As Aaron makes known, you can’t paint a broad brush on the term “traditionalists” to include sedevacantists and other far out schismatics. You have to use specific terms because they are not the same. Fr Chad Ripperger wrote an article on traditionalists vs conservatives that really explains the difference between this. The term traditionalist should be applied to people who hold true to the traditions of the Church from both before and after the council. They are basically mirror the old school Conservatives that were in place before and during the Council. The new conservatives are more neo-conservative. Whatever is considered orthodox today by the magesterium is being conservative, regardless of whether it contradicts previous documents. Finally you have the liberals who before the 1960’s would have been called modernists or possibly heterodox.

  35. LaudemGloriae says:

    The difficulty in talking about “traditionalists” is that this encompasses many groups of people – from the FSPP to those of a “sede vacante” mindset. It would be wrong as a fact and uncharitable, perhaps even calumny, to say or imply that they are all protestants. Preferring one valid form of worship over another is not a sin. Preferring one style of music over another is also not a sin. Loving the history of the Church and wishing to see it preserved is not indicitive of imminent schism. I cannot understand the hostility and downright paranoia toward those who make a choice for older forms.

  36. jlmorrell says:

    “I never understand what exactly is meant when people emphasize [the council as pastoral], and I wondered if you might explain? (It comes up all the time; you’re the second person in this combox.) What work is it supposed to do?

    Paul VI said at the end of the council, in 1965, that it was not infallible except when it presented those dogmas previously defined. It dealt primarily with the application of the Church’s teachings – with their presentation. This is what I, and others, I think, mean when we say that the council is pastoral.

    Furthermore, there is a strong case to be made that this presentation of the Church’s teaching (and opening up to the world) has been an utter failure. I can provide numerous statistics to back up this claim, but it is pretty obvious to any Catholic with their eyes open.

  37. NCtrad says:

    By Pastoral Council I mean that neither John XXIII, Paul VI or the Council Fathers set out to define any dogmas. Contrast this with Vatican I where the dogma of Papal Infallability was defined or when Pope Pius XII defined ex Cathedra the dogma of the Assumption. V-2 defined no dogmas. The purpose of V-2, so we are told, was to help communicate the message of the Church to the modern World and let a little “fresh air” into the Church. So I believe it is a fair question to ask; what is meant by “accepting” V-2? This appears to be a red herring. Modernist prelates use V-2 to justify all sorts of abuse and novelty. We all know what it means when we hear the “spirit of V-2” The documents are problematic in their ambiguity. V-2 must be “accepted” in the spirit of Tradition, in light of what the Church has always taught. This is why the SSPX and Rome are currently in discussion. This is a short over-simplification of the issue but I hope I have made my point.

  38. Hidden One says:

    Andrea Tornielli wrote an excellent post. I was able to read it in full via Google translate and my limited grasp of Interlingua.

    Pride is the greatest of the traditionalist vices, as it is of the liberal vices. The liberal chiefly expresses it in the form, “We are awesome”; the traditionalist in the form “You are horrible”. When an on-the-offence article like Tornielli’s is written, I never consider it a good sign if I feel the need to defend myself/my group against it. That just about always means that I’m doing it out of pride.

  39. Mitchell NY says:

    Sometimes, not all, Traditionalists simply restate what has been said by the Magesterium by setting examples to the Hermeneutic of Rupture the Holy Fahter has spoken about. Traditions in the Church more often than not speak for themselves. If it was there before and gone now than a Tradition has been lost or suppressed. Eg: the use of the Sedia. Part of the issue is that Rome often speaks about Rupture but provides no verbal examples. If they disagree with Traditionalists than an Encyclical is in order or something definitive to clear up what is Tradition and what’s not. There are reasons I guess why Rome won’t take on the topic too literally. There is alot that can be said to clear up any ambiguity and goes unsaid. That leaves Traditionalists, as well as liberals and progressives to interpret it as they wish. If Rome would say A., B., C., and D., is a Tradition and A., B., C., and D., is not it would go a long way to shutting both sides up.

  40. Denis says:

    The author (Tornelli?) asks: ‘Who gives the right to this or that traditionalist to say: “this is Tradition, Rome is getting it wrong”? Who gives them the authority to decide? Traditionalism, is not the Magisterium. Who gives the the right to throw Vatican II into the sea, sometimes with derision and distain?”

    The problem with this sort of criticism is that it ignores the fact that VII is itself responsible for the traditionalists’ strategy. VII was a break with Catholic tradition on many counts. As a result, the post-VII Church is a place where revolutionary change can take place. It is, then, very much in the spirit of the VII church to hope, as the traditionalists do, for yet another change: a “cancellation” of VII.

    And here’s another issue: it “protestant” to refuse to affirm the decrees of a council because one believes them to be Protestant? If you’re protesting against the protestants aren’t you more counter-Reformational than protestant?

    All the same, I don’t approve of the SSPX’s continued refusal to repair relations. They’d be in a much better position to defend tradition from within the church than from their self-imposed exile. Even the Holy Father has questions about VII. (Does that make him a “protestant”, I wonder?)

  41. Cosmos says:

    I agree that it is somewhat exhausting to have so many people talk about the pride of traditionalists (holding themselves up as perfect examples of obedience and psychological balance) when many of the ideas traditionalists hold came from men like Cardinal Ratzinger, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, John Henry Newman, etc.

    But it has to be acknowledged, that Traditionalists are not railing against “official” Church teachings. If that were the issue, the case would be opened and closed. The problem is that the Church has allowed a multitude of contradictory and hostile views to co-exist within the Church with the support of people cloaked with Authority while never really making definitive judgments for or against them. For example, my former Cardinal Arch-Bishop wrote and signed a letter concerning the Church’s relationship with the Jewish people that clearly contradicted the Tradition but was defended as a development within it. When pushed, he retracted and stated that the letter was merely a theological exploration (though there was no indication that this was the case on its face). Similarly, whenever Vatican II is used for mischief someone will always fall back on the truism that the Council is valid and can, as a matter of faith, be interpreted in line with Tradition. Great! But that is not what its best at!

    When a new Pope is elected you often hear people say that he was selected for the office by the Holy Spirit. However, they disregard the reality of all the horrible medieval popes who were validly selected. The reality of the Holy Spirit’s action in the process is not so obvious. Similarly, what does it mean to say that the Holy Spirit guides a council? It is one thing to make a clear statement like the Church will never err in proclaiming a dogma. It is another thing to say that the Holy Spirit was the source of the pastoral insight of the church fathers gathered for the fallible portions of Vatican II.

    It is not such a zero sum game. It is simply a fact that past councils have been superceded because they were ineffective or too open to mischief, even if they were valid and authoritative. There are also many stories of saints confronting Popes (all the way back to Paul confronting Peter). I, for one, do not know enough theology to simply state that the entire Council is inspired in light of the express assertion of so many that it was different than other Councils whose infallible portions generally consisted of limited, precise (and often negative) statements.

    I also don’t know what it means to accept “all” of Vatican II. For example, Gaudium Et Spes contains an Introductory Statement concerning “The Situation of Men in the Modern World.” It states that “To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. . . .We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics. Some of the main features of the modern world can be sketched as follows.” Is the description that follows something I have to accept as basically inspired? Do all Catholics now believe, as a matter of faith and discipline, that “Now, for the first time in human history all people are convinced that the benefits of culture ought to be and actually can be extended to everyone. . . . Still, beneath all these demands lies a deeper and more widespread longing: persons and societies thirst for a full and free life worthy of man; one in which they can subject to their own welfare all that the modern world can offer them so abundantly. In addition, nations try harder every day to bring about a kind of universal community.”

    None of this is ever explained because we are all too busy insulting each other.

  42. TNCath says:


    The SSPX doesn’t reject the Novus Ordo or Vatican II or papal primacy? Really? So then what was Archbishop Lefebvre objecting to when he broke away from the Church?

  43. paulbailes says:

    Dear LaudemGloriae, three points:

    1. For many of us, the difference between the TLM and the NOM is not merely one of preference, it but rather that the NOM is, while valid, such a defective mode of (re)presenting Christ’s sacrifice that we may not assist at it.

    2. That said, it would appear all the more remarkable that even the mere preference for the TLM over the NOM is resisted by the liberals. Perhaps they (the liberals) know better than some of us how bad their product really is, if it can’t bear any kind of free competition against the TLM.

    3. And, while we’re at it, don’t forget who it was that declared the TLM abolished in favour of the NOM. Shouldn’t the hyper-obedience crowd who “prefer” the TLM have thought twice before even harbouring their preferences, in disobedience to Paul VI?

    Happy Xmas

  44. paulbailes says:

    Dear Denis, TNCath [others to whom it may concern]: you [continue to] claim the SSPX is outside the Church … I’ll continue to remind you that:

    1. the SSPX has never claimed to be outside the Church

    2. rather it was the Vatican authorities who made those claims

    3. in fact, the same Vatican authorities who falsely claimed that the TLM was restricted (a myth thankfully dispelled by our current HF in SP) were the ones who maintained (also falsely I would say) that the SSPX was, as you seem to imply still is, outside the Church

    One wonders what motivates people to keep shouting “SSPX outside the Church” … what kind of behaviour do they want to engender??


  45. dominic1955 says:

    Tornielli is being far to loose with language, its basically just a tirade. Exactly who is he speaking of? It would seem by the context that it is the SSPX he’s referencing, but without specifying, he is gunning for anyone who could be considered a “Traditionalist”.

    A love for the “hermeneutic of continuity” is no signpost of orthodoxy or the lack thereof. Actually, the idea itself is frankly of dubious value. Does something become “traditional” by official approbation or because it gets dressed up in some of the trappings of what came before? Does the NO all of a sudden become “traditional” because its done in Latin, ad orientem, etc. etc? No, of course not. Just like its revered ancestors, the neo-Gallican rites, its made up and nothing can change that fact. There should really be no need to read something through a “hermeneutic of continuity” if there are in fact no problems with it. The fact that we have to construct some certain way of looking at Vatican II, the liturgical “reform” etc. is itself an admission of the existence of real problems that are not going to go away because we gloss them over with an artificial construct viewpoint.

    One must be careful when they say that the Church changes to meet the challenges of the time. Yes, this is true, however just because this can and does happen does not mean that all changes in the Church are therefore productive and good. Part of this change happens when certain failed reforms and changed disciplines are themselves stamped out and the former uses restored, i.e. the Quinonez breviary.

    The proper error of Gallicanism was its assertion (and it wasn’t the first philosophy to say this) that the temporal power can and usually does outrank the spiritual power in church matters, i.e. the King has to approve a papal bull in order for it to have any weight in France. The liturgical side of it, with the neo-Gallican rites, did have a certain anti-Roman bias however this isn’t necessarily bad.

    There was a tendency (that happened for a number of reasons over many years) to adopt Roman customs over even ancient and venerable local customs. I think of the Archdiocese of Lyons as a perfect example. The gradual change from Lyonese customs to more Roman/Italianate ones forced usually in power struggles between the archbishop and the canons was most unfortunate. There is nothing inherently better in a Roman style of, say, canon choir dress than that of a local usage. Obviously none of this touches on a moral or doctrinal issue.

    This might seem all well and good, but we must remember that tradition is not the result of how its done in Rome. One might think it was all well and good when this sort of kowtow to Rome happened in the good old days but think of the result. When the post-Vatican II “reforms” happened, who didn’t kowtow to Rome and adopt the wacky new rites without hardly a whimper?

    As such, when one says “Rome” needs to come back to tradition as long as this is “little t” tradition, it is perfectly true.

    As to Vatican II, we need to stop treating it as a sacred cow. There is no need to try to get it “condemned”, let’s just ignore it and move on. Its a perfectly valid, authentic, etc. exercise of the Magisterium that is also a pretty inferior exposition of the Catholic faith.

  46. Sixupman says:

    As someone who is not the ‘flavour-of-the-month’ in certain SSPX circles, let me defend, to-the- hilt, the late and esteemed Msgr. Lefebvre. When his fully authorised original seminary was seen to be flowering, the Germanic and Swiss hierarchy acted against him. Eventually a vacillating Pontiff, almost by default, allowed those hierarchies to have their way. His one mistake was the Consecration of +Williamson, better a less intellectual English speaking more humble priest., like Fr. Black.

    Recently, on the Angelqueen web-site, I came across an history of Mother Church, given in ‘family tree’ form. This indicated the consequences arising from a split from The Church. Unless SSPX remedies its semi-detached status with Rome, the same will happen to it as with all other splits, it will fragment. Indeed, it is already fragmenting and +Fellay is now faced with the same dilemma as BXVI, captaining a ship with a squabbling disparate crew. It is still a matter of [lack of] trust of the diocesan bishops, the basis of which being more than amply exemplified by the situation regarding the monks of Papa Stronsay. There, they abandoned their semi-detached status, against criticisms from element of SSPX of being traitors, and yet their Local Ordinary has refused to give them full faculties. Presumably his Conference confreres would not like it.

    The problem for BXVI [and ourselves] is not SSPX, but, in the UK, an hierarchy which is not Catholic in its actions and the clergy, who follow the Magesterium and Believe in the Real Presence soldier-on in the hope of better days. My own parish priest criticises Pope and Magesterium from the pulpit and his bishop, as far as I can tell, has only appointed like-minded clerics to the parish. Such emulating the CofE practice of high, medium and low church vicars.

    But on the main point, I agree that elements of the SSPX have Protestant tendencies and uniquely demonstrated, in the USA, where a cleric and his parishioners preached against an individual from the pulpit, viilfied him on church premises and possibly worse. Thereby emulating that extreme Protestant sect the Wee Free Brethren of Scottish fame for such activity.

  47. NCtrad says:

    You (not so artfully) completely dodged my question. In a previous post you accused the SSPX of rejecting the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae which I showed you is not the case. So you simply ignored that and continued on with “They reject the Novus Ordo” which is certainly true in certain regards. Many good prelates at V-2 also rejected Bugnini’s mass. So I will state again. Since you accuse the SSPX and their adherents as being protestant, please detail which dogmas they reject to earn the title. Please stop with the tired neo-cath talking points and ignorant accusations of “you reject the pope!” and give us some meat to back up your accusation.

  48. NCtrad says:

    I also addressed your “you reject V-2” comment as well. You seemed to either not read it or didn’t understand it.

  49. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Please note, the Ordinary Form of the Mass is not “defective.” Neither is it a “product.”

  50. Sarto says:

    Quote from Banjo picking girl: “Please note, the Ordinary Form of the Mass is not “defective.” Neither is it a “product.””

    Quote from (at the time) Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger:

    “What happened after the Council was totally different: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy.

    We left the living process of growth and development to enter the realm of fabrication. There was no longer a desire to continue developing and maturing, as the centuries passed and so this was replaced–as if it were a technical production–with a construction, a banal on-the-spot product.”

    So, let’s not be too hard on people who call the New Mass things like a product, or who even go so far as to say that it is banal and fabricated.

  51. Sarto says:

    Sorry, forgot to include the source: It is from Cardinal Ratzinger’s preface to La Reforme liturgique en question, by Klaus Gamber, Editions Sainte-Madeleine, courtesy of

  52. TNCath says:


    I am neither ignorant nor evading your question. Rather, I will not fall for an obvious attempt to entrap me into saying that the Lefebvrite movement (the SSPX, the radical traditionalists, or whatever you wish to call it) is in communion with the Catholic Church, and does not reject the validity of Vatican II or the Novus Ordo,

    Consider the following excerpts, taken from the SSPX website.

    On the Novus Ordo:

    This does not necessarily follow from the above defects, as serious as they might be, for only three things are required for validity (presupposing a validly ordained priest), proper:
    *and intention.

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

    “Therefore, these Masses can be of doubtful validity, and more so with time.”
    “However, regardless of the gravity of the sacrilege, the New Mass still remains a sacrilege, and it is still in itself sinful. Furthermore, it is never permitted to knowingly and willingly participate in an evil or sinful thing, even if it is only venially sinful. For the end does not justify the means. Consequently, although it is a good thing to want to assist at Mass and satisfy one’s Sunday obligation, it is never permitted to use a sinful means to do this. To assist at the New Mass, for a person who is aware of the objective sacrilege involved, is consequently at least a venial sin. It is opportunism. Consequently, it is not permissible for a traditional Catholic, who understands that the New Mass is insulting to Our Divine Savior, to assist at the New Mass, and this even if there is no danger of scandal to others or of the perversion of one’s own Faith (as in an older person, for example), and even if it is the only Mass available.”

    On Vatican II:

    “It consequently cannot be denied that Vatican II attempts to constitute a new religion in radical rupture with all of Catholic Tradition and teaching, a new religion whose principal purpose is to exalt the natural dignity of the human person and to bring about a “religious” unity of mankind. However, the subtle cleverness of this operation must also be noted. It is the traditional hierarchical structure of the Church, its Mass, its devotions and prayers, its catechisms and teachings, and now even its Rosary that have all been infiltrated with the principles of the new religion. This new religion has been swallowed down unwittingly by many Catholics precisely because it hides, as a caricature, behind the outward appearance of Catholicism. The end result is a strange mixture of Catholicism and the new religion.”

    While there have most definitely been abuses of both the implementation of the Novus Ordo and the interpretation of Vatican II, to wholeheartedly reject them (and, in the case of the Novus Ordo, to call attending a Novus Ordo Mass at least a venial sin) is a rejection of the primacy and authority of the Pope and the Magisterium, and, is a rejection of the Church, which is protestantism.

  53. catholicmidwest says:

    “None of this is ever explained because we are all too busy insulting each other.”

    Best line of the day. 100% correct. Vatican II was a slugfest and it still is. What a mess!

  54. NCtrad says:

    So in order to prove your point that the SSPX considers the N.O invalid you post information from their own website stating the contrary. As far as the doubtful validity of some abusive NO masses, the use of invalid matter or defective intention or improper form will affect the validity of the Mass. I have seen things that look like large sugar cookies used as hosts which are obviously invalid.

    As for V-2 being a rupture, one whould have to be blind to not see the break between Tradition and what passes for Catholicism now. The ambiguity of the documents was intentional and is directly responsible. The Church use to speak Si Si and No No. When the Church intentionally neuters it’s proclamations you get what we have now. This is the point of the SSPX/Rome doctrinal discussions. Let us pray that these questions are resolved.

    Your OPINION of the SSPX as protestants seems to go much further then what the Holy Father says about them or their situation.

  55. TNCath says:


    The answer regarding the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass by the SSPX is not clearly stated. In fact, the response suggests that, more often than not, a Novus Ordo Mass will very likely be invalid. Of course, there have been invalid Novus Ordo Masses attempted over the years. A host the size of a sugar cookie may or may not be a valid host depending on its contents. A sugar cookie used as a host is clearly invalid. And definitively, attending a valid Novus Ordo Mass is never a venial sin.

    As for Vatican II being a rupture, it was not the Council itself that created the rupture but, rather, those who took advantage of the moment to push their agendas through, the fallout from which we are still trying to recover.

    Finally, my opinion of the SSPX as protestants is indeed my opinion and may indeed go much further than what the Holy Father says about them or their situation in general. I use the term in a general sense, and not as a denominational one. While I certainly hope and pray that the SSPX will one day be reconciled with the Church, I am also realistic in recognizing the fact that there is and always will be a group within the SSPX that will never ever do so. Eventually a line in the sand will have to be drawn.

  56. M.D.R. says:

    Andrea Tornielli wrote:

    (Quote) “Who gives the right to this or that traditionalist to say: “this is Tradition, Rome is getting it wrong?” Who gives them the authority to decide? (Unquote)

    A fraternity of priests and bishops (even if they are not suspended, as the SSPX are) do not have the authority to proclaim that the official Mass of the Catholic Church is sinful to attend. From where do they believe they derive authority for such a proclamation? They do not have it from the lawful and visible magisterium of the Catholic Church, which is the only lawful authority given by God to interpret sacred scripture and tradition, so where is it from?

    Do they believe that they automatically gain authority when some in the Church engage in or promote liturgical abuse? When the SSPX or their supporters are confronted with views that they do not agree with, they always point to the problems that they see in the Church to justify their position. It really is the only thing they do to defend their position. Do they believe that their authority comes from the fact that sugar wafers have been used as communion? Or that the pope kissed the koran, or that clowns and guitars are used in some masses? While it is unfortunate that some of these things do occur, they do not in themselves impart authority. It is only the visible magisterium of the Church which gives authority.

  57. JeremyB says:


    I agree with you that some day the line will be drawn in the sand. However, in charity, let us not draw that line before it needs to be drawn. The idea of the hermeneutic of continuity, while not being new in theory to the history of this discussion, is new in the sense that there are concrete steps being taken by Pope Benedict to teach the Church what that means. I do not think it is by accident that the Pope is doing the things he is doing and in the order he is doing them. Behind the often defensive rhetoric of the SSPX are many valid points, even if they arrive a conclusions that are unsavory. If they positively refused to accept the hermeneutic of continuity in principle, I don’t think that they would be entering into these discussions. Doubting that Vatican II can be reconciled with Tradition is not the same as rejecting the possibility. While I believe that it can be, I can also understand some skepticism about this for the simple reason that we have heard this for years without seeing many concrete results, aside some of the Pope’s and the CDF’s recent statements. However, I also think that, due to the ambiguities present in Vatican II, the scholarship involved in showing this continuity will make the actual document from Vatican II irrelevant and the clarification will become the standard. We are only just beginning to learn from the Church what it means to interpret Vatican II in light of Tradition.

    In short, the hermeneutic of continuity is still relatively new. The discussions with the SSPX are still new. Let us see where these things lead us before we draw the line in the sand.

  58. Jack Orlando says:

    “Please lay out, with supporting sources, which dogma’s [sic] of Holy Church ‘more Catholic then [sic] the pope’ trads reject.” NCtrad

    The canons of Pastor aeternus, Denzinger, 40th ed., 3055, 3058, 3064, 3074, 3075

  59. NCtrad says:

    Jack Orlando-
    So are you submitting that trads of the SSPX persuation reject the dogma of Papal Infallibility as laid out in the document you reference? If so you better re-read when and under what circumstances the Pope is infallible. But since you mention Pastor Aeternus, I found the following a little hard to square with recent papal actions:

    Chapter 4: 6. For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

    Hard to square that with the ambiguity of the V-2 documents, or JP II’s extreme and previously condemned hyper-ecumenism. I can’t see St. Pius X, or any pre-conciliar pope for that matter, engaging in the scandalous activities that post-V-2 popes have engaged in: Assisi 1 and 2, kissing Korans etc. If only neo-catholics would open their eyes to the destruction and the obvious causes instead of providing cover fire for the extreme modernists seeking to destroy the Church.

  60. Denis says:

    To paulbailes: I did not mean to suggest that the SSPX is “outside of” the church, whatever that means; but it also can’t be denied that the SSPX must take further steps to be fully regularized. Furthermore, it cannot be denied that the SSPX will be more effective in defending tradition when it becomes fully regularized.

    The SSPX is at its best when working from the bottom up, running parishes, schools, seminaries. I understand the SSPX’s reservations about the Novus Ordo and other results of VII. However, these things can only be repaired from the bottom up, by showing tradition at work at the local level. It is unrealistic and counterproductive to expect, as some SSPX defenders seem to do, that the Pope will one day nullify VII and the Novus Ordo.

  61. paulbailes says:

    Dear M.D.R.

    You are mistaken to assert that the NOM is “the official Mass of the Catholic Church” – it is one rite among many. As such, its promulgation did not meet the preconditions for infallibility.

    Moving along, who really believes that the NOM was a fruit of the Holy Ghost?


  62. paulbailes says:

    Dean Denis

    Thanks for your kind reply.

    My essential response to your position is that any problem with the SSPX’s connection with the Church, or its effectiveness, is that the problem lies with those who have a problem with the SSPX. For example, the HF could regularise the SSPX today, if that was his will. But for some reason it isn’t.

    Re. nullification of the NOM, that’s my prayer. The NOM is the fruit of revolution, from the diabolical spirit of which the Church must be purged, by its complete and blatant eradication. I would say get rid of anything that Abp. Bugnini had a hand in.


  63. muckemdanno says:

    People like Mr Tornielli need to first start out with certain fundamental principles before they leap to conclusions. They are always speaking as if there can be no question of obedience to the pope, regardless of what he commands, or of acceptance of what the pope teaches, regardless of what he teaches.

    All of us must obey the commands of all lawful authorities…the parish priest must obey his bishop, the bishop must obey the pope, the pope must obey God. No one disputes this. The moral problem comes when someone in the hierarchy breaks the law and disobeys his superior authority.

    Hypothetically, if the pope commands that communion must be given in the mouth, and the bishop commands that in his diocese, communion is to be given in the hand, whom is the parish priest to obey? If he gives communion in the mouth, is he guilty of disobedience to his bishop? The answer is NO! The bishop did not have the right to issue that command, therefore, the priest has no obligation to obey.

    The same principle applies to obedience to the pope. Should he issue a command in violation of a higher law, no one has any obligation to obey. And no one should be scandalized at this…popes are not infallible in all of their actions. They can do bad things, and no one is obliged to follow them when they do.

    Tornielli and his ilk try to turn ‘traditionalists’ into Protestants on account of the ‘traditionalist’s refusal to go along with one command or another. I do not know if they are fascists at heart – who believe that blind obedience to unjust commands is a virtue (such as the defendants at Nuremberg.) Probably they are not. Much more likely, it is that they don’t want to acknowledge (in this case) that disobedience to a superior is sometimes necessary because then the specifics of the case are opened for discussion.

    For instance…Abp Lefebvre was punished for disobedience for using the old missal – which he said was never lawfully abolished – and 40 years later, Pope Benedict made clear that the old missal was never lawfully abolished and was therefore always permitted.

    Why is it that they are so scared to say the this poor man was mistreated?

  64. BenedictXVIFan says:

    I would be very interested if anyone who agrees with the statement “The end result is a strange mixture of Catholicism and the new religion” from the SSPX website regarding Vatican II could point out, not isolated, but numerous — and overwhelmingly so — examples found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Show us this new religion, please. I’m serious — even at the risk of learning something I’d probably rather not learn.

  65. M.D.R. says:


    The NOM is called, nowadays, the Ordinary Form of the mass. But if you want to call it the NOM, that’s okay. Perhaps I’m wrong about it being the official mass of the Church, since it is one rite among several. However, the OF is the one celebrated most widely in the Church today.

    Regarding the supposed preconditions for infallilbility not being met in the promulgation of the NOM/OF, who is it ultimately decides that this is true? It’s one thing to discuss the issue (which I have no interest in), but by what authority do you and I have to make the decision that preconditions for infallibility were not met? Notice that I’m not asking WHY the preconditions were not met. That’s another subject.

    I don’t know how to answer the question: who believes that the NOM was the fruit of the Holy Ghost? But I will say that, for some reason that we can’t really be sure of, God allowed Vll and the promulgation of the NOM. He could have stopped it, but He didn’t. Certainly the OF does not have the same level of great reverence for Our Lord. But He is still there anyway. And it OF does have more of a focus on the people in the pews. But still, Our Lord is present. Sometimes it can be a little difficult to see Him if we get upset over things such as EM’s, altar girls, and goofy music. But perhaps Our Lord wanted it this way; I don’t know why. You know, I have been told that before Vll, many Catholics did not revere Our Lord in the TLM as they should have. So maybe Our Lord took it away until such a time as the TLM would be appreciated again….such as now.

  66. Jason Keener says:


    Hi. I don’t have a lot of time to respond right now; however, one example of what the SSPX considers to be part of the “New Religion” ushered in by the Council and the recent Popes is the Church’s approach towards those of non-Catholic religions. For example, it seems that Pope John Paul II encouraged Muslims in the practice of their false religion in a speech that he gave to immigrants in Mainz, Germany (Nov. 17, 1980). Also, in another speech, Pope John Paul II asked St. John the Baptist to protect Islam, a religion that denies the Trinity and Christ’s Divinity. The SSPX wonders why Pope John Paul II and the “New Religion” did not instead point out the errors of Islam and ask Muslims to convert to the True Catholic Religion, as would have been done in times past. I could multiply examples, but I don’t have the time right now. I’ll check back later to see if you responded.

  67. NCtrad says:

    Another resource referencing traditional Catholic teaching with V2 side by side:

  68. BenedictXVIFan says:

    Jason, thanks, but I was requesting examples one could identify within the text of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I would be much alarmed if definitive evidence of this new religion conspiracy could be clearly demonstrated there. I suppose I am also curious how SSPX thinks the Rosary has been co-opted by this alleged new religion. Do they mean the Luminous Mysteries proffered by JPII? If so, I’d need some illumination on their problem(s) with the newest mysteries, as I detect no trace of a new religion in them individually or collectively. Thanks again for your reply.

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