Of Ordinariates, the SSPX, and the gravitational pull

Benedict XVI, the Pope of Christian Unity, has made it possible by his provision in Anglicanorum coetibus, for Anglicans to enter into Holy Church in new Ordinariates.  Their liturgical traditions are being codified and approved by the Holy See and implemented.  As my friend Fr. Blake points out:

Perhaps the deepest liturgical changes are those which affect the calendar, so it is interesting that Rome’s latest moves on the liturgical front is to restore the more ancient usage, but for the Ordinariate.

  • As in England, Ordinary Time will no longer be referred to, being replaced by Sundays after Epiphany or Sundays after Trinity, [The later is an Anglican thing.  Romans talk about Sundays after Pentecost.] thus ensuring the whole liturgical year is now explicitly anchored and referenced to the mysteries of salvation.
  • The three “-gesima” Sundays are restored.
  • Rogation days before Ascension, and the Ember days in the four seasons of the year are restored.
  • The Octave of Pentecost is restored, [Huzzah! Huzzay!  See my PODCAzTs about the Octave.] to be marked properly except for the readings which will be of the particular weekday.

Already the Ordinariate have announced its liturgy should be eastward facing.

The liturgical rites of the Ordinariate will exert a “Gravitational Pull” on the rites of the Roman Church.

Imagine what impact the influx of priests of the SSPX could have on the revitalization of our liturgical worship?

The establishment of Ordinariates for Anglicans simply has herald what would be possible for the SSPXers.

I have a sensation in my bones, much as I do when weather changes, that something might be coming along soon from the Holy See about the SSPX.  May I ask you to stop and say a prayer NOW for they reconciliation as a group?

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection,
implored Thy help or sought Thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto Thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother;
to Thee do I come, before Thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petition,
but in Thy mercy hear and answer me.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Denita says:

    I pray for the same thing..

  2. Bill Russell says:

    I fear that the psychology animating much of the SSPX will never accept any reconciliation. For many, the Liturgy is a cipher for other issues such as the authenticity of Vatican II, and Anti-Semitism.

  3. Pingback: MONDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | ThePulp.it

  4. Geoffrey says:

    I pray for the conversion of the SSPX.

  5. Andy Milam says:

    There is a great interview with Louie Verrecchio which I found to be very enlightening. I was given this by my friend Heather. Take a few minutes to get a very clear and clean view of the SSPX.

    My prayer is that the Holy Father responds favorably. If Pelosi, Sebilius, and this Johnson woman can all be defended by leaders in the Church and upheld as Catholics, then why can’t the SSPX, who are clearly Catholic in every sense of the word.


  6. AGA says:

    @ Bill Russell,

    Likewise many in the Church may never accept reconciliation with the SSPXers. For many, the New Liturgy is a cipher for other issues such as sexual libertinism, magisterialism, and syncretism.

    Maybe both sides should just focus on Charity toward each other and bear with each other for the sake of Our Lord.

  7. John Pepino says:

    Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,

    The following item may add grist to your hope: in Ajaccio, Corsica, the local bishop gave the sacrament of confirmation in an SPPX chapel:

    Respectully yours,
    John Pepino

  8. MarkA says:

    Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genitrix. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.
    AGA – I second your call for charity.
    Geoffrey – “conversion of the SSPX” – from what, may I ask?
    FatherZ – I hope your bones are correct.

  9. Pingback: Of Ordinariates, the SSPX, & the Gravitational Pull « Fr Stephen Smuts

  10. JohnB says:

    As a member of a continuing Anglican parish intending to join the Ordinariate, I’ve got to say that whatever the Ordariate currently represents, it’s almost entirely still theoretical, and insofar as there is concrete implementation, it seems to be getting smaller and more disappointing by the week. The most optimistic estimates of members from around mid-2011 were around 3,000. There’s been steady attrition among parishes, and the current estimated membership of US parishes and groups still in line to be received is perhaps 1,200. This is, of course, smaller than the membership of a single medium-sized US Roman Catholic parish. Earlier estimates of possibly 100 or more Anglican or Episcopal priests intending to go into the Ordinariate have shrunk to aoubt 60 actively participating in the priestly formation program. (A Roman parish of 1,200 would, I think, have at best two priests, which says something about the oversupply of continuing Anglican and Episcopal clergy.)

    The main thrust of Anglicanorum Coetibus had been for parishes to be received into the Ordinariate as a body, with their clergy. It appears that the practical obstacles to this are bigger than had originally been assumed — the Episcopal Church, for instance, has been (with a few exceptions) highly aggressive in pursuing lawsuits against parishes that intend to join other denominations. As a practical matter, continuing Anglican parishes are proving to be smaller and flakier than Episcopal parishes, and they don’t have the talent pool of successful business and professional people on their vestries to provide competent lay leadership in the transition.

    In my continuing Anglican parish, there have been two votes in which over 80% of the membership elected to join the Ordinariate. However, the dissidents have been persistent in mounting challenges to this process, and at this point, my parish’s entry to the Ordinariate is on indefinite hold. My interaction with the Chancellor of the Ordinariate in trying to determine what might be done here has been extremely disappointing — her position seems to be that since there’s no money for lawyers, any parish’s reception must be completely without risk.

    The result seems to be that right now, the Ordinariate looks good on paper, and it may even have a salutary influence on Roman liturgy, but as a vehicle for saving souls, it looks to be pretty disappointing.

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    JohnB, we are not disappointed with you. We are longing to welcome however many want to be in full Communion with the Church founded by Jesus on St Peter. The parable of the sower comes to mind. There is no disappointment in regards to the precious wheat that does grow and produce thirty and sixty and a hundredfold. Let us thank God.

    I am VERY excited to hear these liturgical developments for the Ordinariate.

  12. Glen M says:

    Both sides need each other. Please God bring them together soon.

  13. Edward C. Yong says:

    with respect, ‘Sundays after Trinity’ are not an Anglican thing but a common alternative Mediæval way of numbering Sundays of the year. Sarum did this, as did York and all the other British uses, and several of the Continental uses.

  14. Dominicanes says:

    Sundays after Trinity Sunday are a Dominican thing, too. The influence of the Sarum rite.

    These changes in the Anglican ordinariate have me scratching my head. What is “wrong” with us that we can’t have this, too! ? :-(

  15. Han says:

    I know this is unkind of me, yet I cannot help but snarkily observe that the liturgy of Cranmer is apparently more in line with ancient Roman practice than the current practice of Rome.

  16. Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    Re: The Dominican calendar

    “Sundays after Trinity,” although the medieval practice in our Rite, has not been used by Dominicans since the 1600s, when “Sundays after the Octave of Trinity” was adopted. This was used (most recently in the 1933 Missal) until 1960, when “Sundays after Pentecost” was adopted. The later is what appears in the 1965 Dominican Missal.

  17. acardnal says:

    I can’t wait to assist at a Mass of the Ordinariate here in the USA. Moreover, I wholeheartedly agree with your statement Fr. Z that “The liturgical rites of the Ordinariate will exert a “Gravitational Pull” on the rites of the Roman Church.” And that’s a good thing!

    I also desire very much that a solution is found for the SSPX – Holy See dilemma, but I am concerned that their problems with ecumenism, religious liberty and the Second Vatican Council in general are so entrenched that reconciliation is not envisioned in the near future. Pope Benedict XVI is trying none the less. I pray that the Holy Spirit inspires the Holy Father with the grace to find a solution.

  18. ContraMundum says:

    @Glen M

    No. The Church does not need SSPX. For that matter, the Church does not need the Jesuits or the Franciscans or even the Augustinians. These organizations may be nice to have, and if they behave properly they help the Church to flourish in ways that other organizations may not, but the Church can go on without them, just as the Church went on after the suppression of the Jesuits.

    Those groups that persist in separating themselves from the Church, on the other hand, eventually become ridiculous. This applies as much to the so-called “Old Catholics” as it does to any Protestant group, and SSPX will be a nuthouse in 100 years if they choose to go their own, separate way.

  19. ContraMundum says:

    I would like to hear how any different liturgical rite is going to have a “gravitational pull” on priests who say the black, do the red. However good the ideas and practices may be from the Ordinariate, to the extent that they contradict with the OF they are not to be done in the OF, and to the extent they contradict with the EF they are not to be done in the EF. Maybe you mean they would affect new missals that might come out in another 40 years? That’s a gravitational effect like the one Jupiter exerts on Earth — real, but too small to notice. Or do you have something in mind more like the Moon exerting daily tides on Earth?

    Heck, if anything is going to have a “gravitational pull”, I’d like to see the Great Litany from the Litany of St. John Chrysostom be used as the petitions of the faithful (which I think might be possible). It covers everything that is really needed and is much better than, “That government and civic leaders would cherish and protect the natural world, let us pray to the Lord.” The Litany of St. John Chrysostom has been around longer and is more widely practiced than the Anglican Use; if it can’t exert a pull, why should I believe the other can?

  20. Geoffrey says:

    “‘conversion of the SSPX’ – from what, may I ask?”

    Aside from their attacks on Vatican II, Blessed John Paul II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the “Christian Warfare” prayer book that was published by the SSPX includes as items to consider when making an examination of conscience before Confession:

    “Have you attended and actively participated in the ‘New Mass’? Have you received Holy Communion in the hand?”

    Say what you will, but if the SSPX considers Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite and the reception of Holy Communion in the hand as sins that need to be confessed in sacramental confession, that is a rather large problem. I do not like the idea of reception in the hand, but it is not a sin, as it is permitted by an indult of the Holy See.

    ContraMundum said it best: “The Church does not need SSPX.”

    Neither does the Church need the traditional Anglicans, but, Deo gratias, the traditional Anglicans realized that they needed Holy Mother Church. The SSPX does not think they need the Church; they think that the Church needs them.

    If memory serves, the traditional Anglicans signed a copy of the Catechism when they petitioned the Holy Father for reunion. Would the SSPX do this?

  21. mamajen says:

    It never ceases to amaze me when commenters think they know better than Father Z and the Pope.

  22. acricketchirps says:

    Right mamjen. The pope alone, ok.

  23. ContraMundum says:


    Be more specific. Your comment as it stands is meaningless.

  24. MarkA says:

    Geoffrey – ““Christian Warfare” prayer book that was published by the SSPX …”
    I looked in my copy of Christian Warfare and could not find the quote you later reference.
    If you have a specific reference, can you please provide it?

    Also, “If memory serves, the traditional Anglicans signed a copy of the Catechism when they petitioned the Holy Father for reunion. Would the SSPX do this?”
    Is this a serious question? The SSPX is Catholic, not Protestant, like the Anlicans.

  25. ContraMundum says:


    Yes, it’s a serious question, and a good one, too. Nancy Pelosi objects to some parts of the Catechism. Richard Williamson objects to others. Both call themselves Catholic, but…. These Anglican converts, on the other hand, are Catholic with no buts.

  26. MarkA says:

    ContraMundum – With all due respect, can you please specify to what parts of Catholic Catechism Richard Williamson objects?

  27. ContraMundum says:

    I suspect Williamson would object in particular to 2104-2107.

  28. AGA says:

    ContraMundum, is that really the best you can do?

    There are priests in good standing within the Church who criticize elements of the modern Catechism..

  29. Geoffrey says:


    My apologies. I had intended to include the page number. It is page 289, under the heading “Third Commandment”.

    “The SSPX is Catholic, not Protestant, like the Anlicans.”

    That is debatable. Many would say that the SSPX often act like Protestants.

  30. ContraMundum says:

    AGA, is that really the best you can do? There are priests in good standing who conduct puppet masses.

    If it makes you feel better, I give Williamson just as much respect as I do them.

  31. acardnal says:

    @Mark A.: Please read the book published by Angelus Press (SSPX publisher in the USA), 2nd Edition, 2011, “Most Asked Questions About the Society of Saint Pius X” , chapter XIV, specifically addresses the SSPX’s concerns with the CCC. A statement which I find particularly concerning is
    ” . . . this Catechism is not an authority of Catholic belief because of the modern deviations which it encompasses.” (page 87).

  32. AGA says:

    SSPX’s main fault is not doctrinal; it’s moral. (To suggest SSPX has a doctrinal problem is going to open up a can of worms that you cannot win. For every controversial paragraph from the modern catechism, the SSPX can produce reams of stuff from just the popes alone [never mind the saints, doctors, and other councils] which contradict the new catechism.)

    The moral problem the SSPX has is a lack charity toward the human elements within the modern Church. When the SSPX moves beyond offering a critique of modern “doctrine” and starts judging the princes of the Church, they sin against charity and the unity of the Church.

  33. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr. Z it struck me after reading your statement “Benedict XVI, the Pope of Christian Unity”, I realized that it is because of TRADITION that these lost sheep (Anglicans etal.) have returned (or are returning) to unity with the Church.
    Indeed many of these churches are running from all that is modern, enlightened, and worldly. They are running from the very things that in the Spirit of V-II we were told, would make the Church whole again. What are we to believe?

  34. MarkA says:

    @ ContraMundum – With all due respect, you have not answered my question. You made a statement that “Richard Williamson objects to others [parts of the catechism]” and when asked for a specific instance, you cite your suspicion (“I suspect Williamson would object in particular to 2104-2107”).
    Again, with all due respect, the links you provided are only some person’s opinion.
    Can you please any specific references to Richard Williamson’s objections to the Roman Catechism?

  35. ContraMundum says:

    It does open up a can of worms, but it cannot be avoided. To suggest that SSPX has NO doctrinal problems just introduces all kinds of other problems. There certainly are doctrinal tensions, and I doubt these can all be resolved as other than contradictions.

    I’m afraid that the main problem with SSPX is not just a lack of charity, it’s pride. It’s one thing to be frustrated with things that are poorly written, incomplete, or prone to misunderstanding; those things are bound to be present in just about any council or document. It’s another to set yourself up with veto power over the pope and councils. Likewise, it’s entirely possible to doubt the wisdom of any number of decisions — like, for instance, the lax rules for fasting that now apply, or the permission to allow meat to be eaten on most Fridays if something else is substituted — but another to deny the fact that rightful authority can make foolish decisions that are nevertheless binding.

  36. AGA says:

    @ Contra,
    You’re missing a big distinction –
    The priests who conduct puppet masses are in good standing and Bp Williamson is not. What gives? Why the double standard? Is Williamson a bigger threat to the Church than the puppet master priests? If so, why?

  37. AGA says:

    I don’t follow your argument… “…but another to deny the fact that rightful authority can make foolish decisions that are nevertheless binding…”

    They are not sedevanctist. they pray for the Pope Benedict at every Mass. They even route their clerical legal issues (laicizations, etc.) through the various apostolic dicasteries. So,, they clearly do not “deny the fact that rightful authority can make foolish decisions.” Indeed just the opposite. They clearly acknowledge that rightful authorities make foolish decisions, and that acknowledgement is the nut of the problem.

  38. Maltese says:

    The Church does need the SSPX like never before. Sometimes she needs great defenders of the faith in times of great crisis (ala St. Athanasius).

    No SSPX, no FSSP and no Summorum Pontificum. To imply that they could go the path of the Old Catholics is insulting and ludicrous.

  39. Han says:

    A more serious comment than my previous one:

    I don’t think that the situation of former Anglicans now in the Ordinariates are similar in substance to the SSPX situation. From ContraMundum’s posts, it appears to me that the SSPX is currently less concerned with liturgical matters as such, but rather with what they believe to be heresies within the Roman Catholic Church either caused by or manifest in the new Mass. In contrast, I get the feeling that the former Anglicans who have submitted to Rome see the Roman Catholic Church as the bulwark against the heresies they see in Anglicanism. The former Anglicans of the Ordinariates then are saying, “We believe what the Roman Catholic Church currently teaches,” whereas the SSPX cannot similarly affirm this. I get the sense that those former Anglicans who have availed themselves of the Ordinariates would have become Roman Catholics even without them.

    An interesting counter-example is the recent synod of the TAC, wherein they bishops ousted Abp. Hepworth and rejected his Rome-ward moves. Notwithstanding the existence of Anglicanorum coetibus, the TAC bishops committed themselves to being “fully Anglican,” which must therefore mean something other than traditional Anglican liturgy. What we have here is a serious disagreement on ecclesiology. The TAC bishops realized that Rome does not see them as heads of authentic Churches. The TAC bishops thought that they were talking about re-union, and discovered that they were being offered absorption. As someone put it, they thought Rome was buying used cars, and discovered that she was buying spare parts to incorporate into cars that she would build herself. In any event, this situation with the TAC seems to me to be similar to that of the SSPX. In both cases, the real division is a result of doctrinal disagreement; liturgical concerns are not important as such, but rather are relevant only to the extent that they are manifestations of the underlying doctrine.

  40. ContraMundum says:

    I’ll know where they’re going when they get there. I suspect that we may have something similar to the Anglican situation: some come back in, others do not. Maybe I’m too pessimistic.

    As a rule, I think bishops are more dangerous than priests. Bishop Milingo probably did more damage than Fr. Cutie. Other than that distinction, no, I would not say that Williamson is more dangerous than a puppet priest. But my point is that “good standing” just means the local bishop, or some other relevant authority, has not gone for the jugular.

  41. Geoffrey says:

    “The priests who conduct puppet masses are in good standing and Bp Williamson is not.”

    No one could even pretend to say that. There is no double standard. Both are in the wrong, but for very different reasons. One could say that both pick and choose what they want to believe and do.

    For example, the quotation: “. . . this Catechism is not an authority of Catholic belief because of the modern deviations which it encompasses” is a perfect example of the difficulties involved, and how the SSPX views authority.

    Holy Mother Church sees the “hermeneutic of continuity” in the light of Sacred Tradition. The SSPX sees only rupture, and the “puppet Mass presider” is a whole other story… both having issues with authority.

  42. MarkA says:

    @Geoffrey – Thank you. I can confirm the quote you stated on page 289. Thanks again for the reference. I understand their point, but I don’t agree with it as a sin (I have plenty of other faults and sins of my own to worry about this one :-) ). I understand your point.

  43. AGA says:

    Geoffrey, what do you mean “there is no double standard”? What do you call it then?

    Bp Williamson is canonically marginalized, while Bp Gumbleton is in good standing.

    The priest in VA who denied Holy Communion to the Buddhist Lesbian has his faculties suspended, but Alinskite priest in Chicago, Fr. Phlager, is in good standing.

    What do you call it when priests of traditional stripe are subject to the most unjust applications of Church law; while priests with outrageously scandalous, heterodox behavior are permitted to act freely, with no sanctions from the Church?
    If not double standard, what do you call it?

  44. Maltese says:


    “We believe what the Roman Catholic Church currently teaches,” whereas the SSPX cannot similarly affirm this. [They believe 99% of what the Catholic church teaches, but you are correct that they have deep concerns with some non-dogmatic doctrines from Vatican II, and, separately from the new mass. On their deep concern with the latter please see The Problem of the Liturgical Reform ]

    …it appears to me that the SSPX is currently less concerned with liturgical matters as such, but rather with what they believe to be heresies within the Roman Catholic Church either caused by or manifest in the new Mass. [“Heretic” and “heresies” are words that should be carefully used. Let’s take Vatican II’s document on ecumenism for instance. It is a current doctrine of the Church since it was taught by a valid Council. But since there are no new dogmas declared in Vatican II, it is not a heresy to question or even deny novelties in Vatican II. It is admittedly not necessarily prudent to do so, however, since, though pastoral, Vatican II was a council attended by over 2,000 Bishops, and we owe deep respect to it. SSPX’s position is that there are a few areas that, in conscience, they can’t give assent. They acknowledge VII to be a valid Council, but if, for instance, they can show that certain areas of it contradicts the Church’s understood doctrines, I think they should be heard. And they have, which is why recent doctrinal discussions with Rome were a good forum to air ideas and arguments on all sides. But this is a far cry from them saying that heresies are to be found in the Roman Catholic Church–which is why they were “doctrinal” discussions, and not “dogmatic” discussions.

    The Novus Ordo, again, is a different beast all together. It was not approved by a Conciliar event, but was a “banal, on the spot…liturgy by commission” in the words of then Cardinal Ratzinger. The Church hasn’t declared an offertory of prayer before a meal (the NO’s) versus an offertory of Sacrifice (the TLM’s) to be dogmatic, or vice versa, so the word “heresy” doesn’t come into the equation (you must deny a dogma to be a heretic). But I think the current thinking in Church laity speaks for itself, with only 30% or so believing in the Real Presence.

  45. Mitchell NY says:

    Prayers for the Pope, the SSPX and Holy Mother Church. Regaining Catholic identity and Traditions are so needed in today’s world. Unity could not come to soon.

  46. Geoffrey says:

    @MarkA – You are welcome! Certainly one could argue that violating rubrics is sinful, but not something like receiving Holy Communion in the hand (which, unfortunately, is currently legal). It is things like this that make me “uneasy” and hence pray for a “conversion” or “change of heart” on the part of the SSPX. If they were regularized and I happened to go to Confession to an SSPX, am I supposed to confess receiving in the hand in my youth and that I attend the “new” Mass every Sunday and many weekdays?! :-o

    @AGA – My meaning is that both sides would be in the wrong. Just because the SSPX are “traditionalists” does not make them paragons of virtue, nor does it make them better or worse than any one else who goes against the authority of Rome, for whatever the reason. I would venture to guess that both Williamson and Gumbleton have issues with Rome and ‘The Catechism of the Catholic Church’, but for very different reasons.

    As to why the Church sanctions some and not others, I could not venture to guess. Democratic mentalities can make it is very easy for laymen to think that they know better than the Hierarchy. I can only think of the many saints who were treated “harshly” by Holy Mother Church and remained obedient (Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, etc.), who only raised them to her altars later. The great spiritual masters speak often of obedience. Such is the mystery of the Cross.

  47. acardnal says:

    @Geofrrey and Mark A: wasn’t the quote “. . . this Catechism is not an authority of Catholic belief because of the modern deviations which it encompasses” from my post? Just trying to be honest here. This is a Catholic blog after all. :-)

  48. ContraMundum says:


    Interesting stuff about the TAC. I think, though, that the Ordinariate is not intended to be a one-generation thing. Sure, there is the intention of transitioning to unmarried priests, but otherwise I think the Ordinariate will keep going. I would also expect it to gain in strength as time goes on — at least to the point where geographically nearby bishops will be less inclined to think of priests from the Ordinariate as being temp help they can use to fill up needs in their own dioceses. It’s pretty clear that some bishops really do see them as “spare parts” for now, but I think this will change as time goes on.

  49. BobP says:

    I’m going to disagree here. You can fault the SSPX for a lot of things but I don’t know if you can fault them for believing that attending a non-Catholic service has to be confessed. Now that was explicitly stated in the old missals under examination of conscience. If all you’ve attended in your whole life was the Latin Mass, then naturally you would view an English Mass as strange and suspect. And if the service SEEMS non-Catholic to you, then for all intents and purposes you would be advised to avoid it. You have to be obedient to your conscience, even if it’s faulty. At least this was taught prior to Vatican II. The whole idea of confession is to get things off your conscience, even if they are false beliefs. I’m sure priests have heard a lot worse than attending the Novus Ordo in their confessionals.

  50. Alice says:

    I was listening to a Polka Mass on YouTube because I needed mortification or something one night and suddenly I was shocked to hear the priest launch into the Great Litany instead of the normal Prayer of the Faithful. It was the most reverent part of the Mass!

  51. acardnal says:

    @Alice: I am sure the the Great Litany (whatever that is) WAS the most reverent part of the polka Mass. It’s all very sad. And I’m from Wisconsin, too. Let us pray.

  52. Alice says:

    Except, that attending the OF is not a sin in and of itself, no matter how it seems. If it’s a sin to attend a service that does not seem Catholic, I’d have to confess going to my mother-in-law’s church because it seems awfully Orthodox and I’d have to go to confession for attending High Mass in the EF because it seems awfully Episcopalian (seriously, my first thought the last time I went to High Mass) and I’ll have to confess going to an Anglican Use parish if I ever get a chance to visit one. And, don’t get me started on the non-Catholic services I’ve had reason to attend that SEEMED more Catholic than Mass. Thankfully, there’s an objective standard here and it behooves me to form my conscience by it so that I don’t just avoid what SEEMS sinful but instead avoid SIN.

  53. Han says:

    @Maltese – With regard to the doctrinal differences between the SSPX and Rome, however minimal you might find them to be, these differences are of such import to both sides that it has resulted in a breach of communion. Furthermore, this is a breach of communion over belief, unlike the recent short-lived spat between Moscow and Constantinople over the Church of Finland. The same Roman Church which invites me to receive Communion in their little disposable missalettes at RC churches without so much as a profession of faith that includes the filioque, apparently wants some assurance from the SSPX that they adhere to the teachings of the CCC as a precondition for the restoration of communion with them. Clearly what we have here is a suspicion on the part of Rome that the SSPX is not simply guilty of mere schism, but rather that the SSPX holds to a different ecclesiology than Rome, for if it were not so, no profession of faith would be required. Of course, at Vatican I, the Roman Church dogmatized not simply Papal Infallibility, but also actual administrative obedience to Rome in the declaration that the Pope has ordinary universal jurisdiction over the entirety of the Church, so the current Roman position is understandable. On the flip side, the fact that the SSPX is reluctant to jump go along with this CCC based reconciliation suggests that they believe that Rome has been afflicted by heresy in a non-trivial way. If it were otherwise, they would have no problem reconciling with Rome because they could write off individual heretics within the Church as deviations from the teachings of the Church–as many Catholics (e.g. Fr. Z) currently do. The refusal of the SSPX to do this implies that they believe that these deviations from proper doctrine have so greatly compromised the Roman Catholic Church that they must, for the sake of conscience, break with the Pope of Rome, who is the head of this same Roman Catholic Church. My personal opinion is that their prayers for the current Pope is a defense mechanism to prevent their entire theological system from collapsing under them because they believe both that Rome has fallen into heresy (i.e. doctrinal problems of significant magnitude to justify maintaining a breach of communion) and yet maintain that the Pope is infallible in accordance with Vatican I–a contradiction that cannot stand, and which, I believe, will result in members of the SSPX eventually deciding that Rome was correct and getting on with the program like good ultramontists, or decide that the Roman errors pre-date the aftermath of Vatican II and go the way of the Old Catholics.

    As you may have guessed, I don’t really have a dog in this fight, believing as I do that y’all (both Rome and the SSPX) left the true Church at least a millennium ago. I am just trying to call it as I see it from an outsider’s perspective, and from my perspective, I have to disagree with Fr. Z that the Anglican Ordinariates portend reconciliation between Rome and the SSPX [Hey! I didn’t say that! Read what I wrote.] because the situation of the former is one of doctrinal agreement in liturgical diversity whereas the situation of the latter is one of doctrinal disagreement with a liturgical manifestation.

  54. Alice says:

    This is the Great Litany. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKO9o_kX1as This clip is from an Orthodox parish but I think the only difference is that Catholics pray for the Pope as well. The Polka Mass priest was using the Ukrainian tone, which I couldn’t find, and praying for the Pope in the proper place.

  55. acardnal says:

    Aahh….the Litany of Peace from the eastern rite. Not something done in the Latin Rite.

  56. Han says:

    Regarding the long term existence of the Anglican Ordinariates, it is an interesting question.

    Far be it from me to suggest the Uniatism is any sort of model for re-union, but at least with the Uniates, Rome has some historical support for maintaining their position that they are separate Churches with whom the Roman Church communicates. In contrast, the idea that there existed a Church of England that had been in communion with a Church of Rome until the time of King Henry VIII (or, probably more accurately, Queen Elizabeth I), as opposed to a Church in England that was part of the Church of Rome seems to me to be (1) Anglican ecclesiology and (2) something that the Roman Catholic Church is not prepared to adopt.

    What then is the ultimate purpose of the Ordinariates? I suppose a better question is, What is the essence of the “Anglican Patrimony” as distinct from the patrimony of the Latins? The BCP, after all, is no more than a watering-down of the historical Latin liturgical patrimony as found on the island of Great Britain in the 16th Century, and a nice translation of the same–except for the really explicitly Protestant parts, which I am summing that Rome is disinclined to adopt. Assuming that liturgy in the vernacular is a particularly “Anglican” contribution to the Latin ethos, the Ordinariates are not bringing anything to the table since Rome adopted this back in 1965. Other than vernacular liturgy, the other unique aspect of Anglicanism–that there is a Latin Church that Rome could be in communion with but distinct from Rome–is, as I wrote above, something that Rome is unwilling to concede. I think that the Ordinariates will either be a leaven to the Roman Catholic Church in English-speaking countries (sad when the watered down liturgy of Cranmer is so much less watered down that Rome’s own recent innovations), and therefore should and will eventually disappear, or they will be liturgical curiosities–because there is no Anglican spirituality that is significantly distinct from Latin spirituality in general–for a generation of Anglican converts, and will therefore disappear.

  57. oblomov says:

    I dedicate my nightly rosary to the full return of the SSPX to the Church.

  58. dominic1955 says:

    That is what I wonder about the Ordinariates as well. How are they going to be anything other than basically ethnic parishes and how are they going to be sustained in a generation or two? I am very glad they want to join us and am super happy about their more “traditional” liturgy but I wonder what will come of them.

    Also, I wonder about this whole “patrimony” thing as well. The true Anglican (as in English) liturgical patrimony is the local usages of Salisbury, York, and Bangor (among others probably) but primarily Salisbury (Sarum) which seems to have become the “standard” of sorts before the Protestant revolt. I cannot see the BCP as being any sort of legitimate “patrimony” of the Catholic Church, coming as it did from the mind of the heresiarch Cranmer and really only being an oversimplification of the Sarum Rite with Protestantism stuck into it. Are we going to have priests presiding from the North end in a surplice in the ping-pong table fashion that was adopted after the revolt? That’s “Anglican Patrimony” too, I suppose.

  59. Fr Jackson says:

    I have the same feeling in bones too!

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