SSPX not in schism

Michael Voris and his initiative Church Militant have been militating pretty hard these days against the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX – a society of priests, not lay people, having a less than perfect canonical status).

Michael is pushing hard that the SSPX is schismatic.

I have been saying for years that the SSPX is not.  Canonically screwed up? Yes.  Schismatic? No.

So, in a recent piece (HERE) Voris provides the headline:

CM EXCLUSIVE: A Canon Lawyer Speaks on the SSPX
Former canonist for Holy See confirms Society is in material schism

But if you read that piece, which is an interview with a good canonist, Marc Balestrieri, you find that you could post the headline:

Former canonist for Holy See confirms Society is not in de iure schism

Material schism is vague.  Maybe they are in material schism.  Maybe they aren’t.  Formal schism, on the other hand, is not fuzzy.  We should not throw “schism” around and about the heads of the SSPX, even though we also should not deny that they are in a decidedly bad canonical situation and confusion abounds about their status.

Some excerpts:

It is the more probable opinion among approved authors that refusal of obedience of a Catholic to the Pope which is not predicated upon a rejection of the principle of his authority as Roman Pontiff as Caput Romanae Ecclesiae constitutes material, not formal schism. However, if those lay faithful receiving the Sacraments from them at any one point in time also severed themselves entirely from, or refused submission in principle to, the Roman Pontiff and per can. 1330 of the Code of Canon Law manifested in word or in deed externally such actions, then they are presumed to have descended into formal schism.

I don’t think SSPX members or followers do that. At least the sane one’s don’t.

The Prefect’s use of the term de facto emphasizes the factual divide in communion between the Holy See and the SSPX Bishops. If he had intended to emphasize clearly the existence of formal schism on their part, he most likely would have employed the term de iure given the context of the assertion.

The absence of the use of such term on his part, however, does nothing to mitigate the gravity of the material schism by which souls are at grave risk of not being saved for as long as the situation perdures.

Agreed.  The SSPX is canonically screwed up.  But they are not formally schismatic.

Concerning the invalidly of absolution involves, he explains what “common error” is and what it isn’t.

SSPX priests are presumed at Universal Law only to possess jurisdiction or the faculty to absolve from sin in two exceptional circumstances.  First, pursuant to the norm of can. 976, “Any priest, even though he lacks the faculty to hear confessions, can validly and lawfully absolve any penitents who are in danger of death, from any censures and sins, even if an approved priest is present.” “Any priest” according to this norm would include validly ordained SSPX priests. Second, in conformity with the norm of can. 144, § 1, whenever (1) Common Error of Fact or Law and (2) Positive and Probable Doubt of Fact or Law have been verified to exist in a certain fact pattern, the Church “supplies” a iure universali the faculty required for SSPX priests to absolve from sins validly. “Error” in this norm means a state of erroneous judgment; “doubt” in this canon means a grave, positive and probable doubt asserted by numerous doctors of Canon Law of unimpaired reputation extant on the part of the SSPX priest acting as confessor.

While canonists find no controversy in the assertion that SSPX priests who are validly ordained and not otherwise impeded have the faculty to absolve the faithful from sin in danger of death of a penitent (cf. can. 976), the jurisprudence of the Roman Rota does provide some rare official light into the other question of whether SSPX priests possess the jurisdiction required to witness marriage validly.

The canonist lays out really well the situation of priests of the SSPX and that they don’t possess faculties (right now) validly to absolve and they cannot witness marriages (thus, making them invalid because of lack of form. He explains that judgments of the Church’s highest tribunal on marriage has consistently ruled that the marriages were invalid because SSPX priests cannot witness marriages.

The thrust here is that the judgments of the Roman Rota has found SSPX marriages invalid because of lack of form.  This provides a parallel for understanding also that the SSPX also don’t have faculties to hear confessions.  “Error” of judgment is excluded, because the teaching of the Holy See has been clear.  “Doubt” is excluded because canonists are in line.

Canon 144 only refers to the Church supplying “potestatem regiminis executivam”, the “executive power of governance”.

Keeping with confession as an example, and one that involves internal forum, can. 144 covers instances wherein a priest who lacks the faculty to hear confessions at all, or he just lacks them in a particular place or situation, nevertheless believes he has the faculty and the penitent also believes he does.   Thus, it doesn’t quite cover the situation of SSPX priests, who know very what proper authority as instructed about their state: they lack faculties.  They, however, do not obey proper authority.   They might honestly believe that they can receive confessions because of some state of “emergency” that the Church is in, but, intellectually, they know that the Church has told them that they don’t.  They aren’t ignorant of the facts, though they – even with sincerity – may not accept them.  Some lay people are up to date on the controversy, though most are not.

More HERE.

I thank Mr. Voris, because he laid out with this interview many of the issues that plague the sacramental life of followers of the SSPX and he explodes the claim that the SSPX is formally schismatic.

I’ll repeat also what I have written may times.  I look forward to the complete reconciliation of the SSPX.  They have great contributions to make.  I also think that Pope Francis might be the one to resolve this formally.  It took Nixon to go to China.

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  1. acardnal says:

    I don’t think Pope Francis would have given faculties to forgive sins to a schismatic group. There are other so called Catholic groups for which the Pope did not grant faculties during the Year of Mercy, e.g. Society of Pius V.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Pope Francis formally reconciles the SSPX and recognizes them canonically. Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan conducted an apostolic visit to two SSPX seminaries at the request of the Holy See this year. (Bp Schneider is a friend of tradition and the TLM. He has a great love for the Holy Eucharist and wants to return to communion on the tongue only.) He said in a recent interview, “To my knowledge there are no weighty reasons in order to deny the clergy and faithful of the SSPX the official canonical recognition, meanwhile they should be accepted as they are. ”

    Source: HERE

  2. boredoftheworld says:

    I’m not driven to comment very often but I just unsubscribed from Church Militant because they’ve been on this SSPX fetish. With all the other problems in the Church RIGHT NOW, I don’t think beating the SSPX to pieces is very productive. Not that I’m a Society adherent but I am a sympathizer.

  3. rahook says:

    So even if an SSPX priest truly believes that he has the faculty to absolve sins due to what he perceives to be a state of emergency in the church, that would not qualify as erroneous judgment?


  4. Mike says:

    The prospects of Eucharistic and/or liturgical abuse at this week’s large public Masses, under the eye and at the hands of the Supreme Pontiff, are loathsome. A Church that could countenance such acts, as it did in the Philippines some months ago, may not be in an “emergent” situation, but is in a pretty weak position to argue otherwise.

    All that said, I don’t gainsay the gravely irregular position of the SSPX. Neither, however, do I think they deserve what Voris is dishing out, and like boredoftheworld have cancelled my subscription to

  5. Ann Malley says:

    I thank Michael Voris for confirming his organization’s “need”, perhaps psychological, to make a group of priests cry uncle for issues his supporters would rather see swept under the carpet rather than a desire to root out the basis for the irregular canonical status – to include reviewing “all” facts and context without any spin.

    Much like expert witnesses in a courtroom, canonists can and do do differ on interpretation of the law. But what doesn’t vary at CMTV is the unprecedented and unprovoked vitriol spinning the vortex out of control.

    Such a sad decline.

  6. jlmorrell says:

    Voris and CMTV have taken a sad and disappointing turn these past 2 years. Such a loss for the counter-revolution. I have also canceled my premium membership and have no interest in continuing to follow their programs.

    [This is one of the reasons why we will never unite and accomplish goals, whereas libs set aside small differences and… take over. We need to draw together! Leave aside small differences.]

  7. dbonneville says:

    Monthly Fr. Z. supporter here…

    “I thank Mr. Voris, because he laid out will with this interview many of the issues that plague the sacramental life of followers of the SSPX and he explodes the claim that the SSPX is formally schismatic.”

    You don’t have to publish this question. I just can’t read this paragraph clearly. Should “will” be “well”? [Of course!] And what does the phrase “explodes the claim” mean? I’ve re-read this many times and can’t tell what if you are saying something negative or positive about CMTV. Are you saying that Voris inadvertently destroys his own claim in the process of trying to make it?

    Like many other former CTMT supporters, I too terminated my monthly support last month over this still-unexplained and vexing fixation on the SSPX. They blocked me on the site after getting fresh with me in some personal email communications entirely unprovoked. I’m still scratching my head wondering how things for CMTV escalated so quickly and negatively with rampant banning of even their monthly supporters. It still makes no sense.

  8. wannabetraditional says:

    Whether the SSPX is formally or materially schismatic makes no difference. The fact is, there is a schismatic mindset within the rank and file of the SSPX. Look around on their website…on the home page the have a picture of the Pope, but dig deeper and you will find that they do not consider the Novus Ordo to be valid. [Ummm… I would be surprised to see that. If I am not mistaken, the SSPX line is that the Novus Ordo is valid, but, for various reasons, it can be spiritually harmful.] There is an intense dislike for the FSSP for a number of reasons, not only because the Fraternity was founded by Pope St John Paul, but because after that they lost people and priests to the Fraternity;furthermore, the Fraternity agreed to say the N.O. when asked by the local ordinary. I know a family, the father of which grew up in the SSPX (way before the excommunications). [He didn’t grow up in the SSPX, since the SSPX is a society of priests.] Once our diocese started offering the TLM, they stopped going to the SSPX chapel….the majority of the father’s siblings still attend the SSPX chapel and are adamant about the invalidity if the N.O. The father has recently stopped coming to the TLM and now takes his family to N.O. Masses so that he can drive the point home to his children that they are valid. It’s all very sad.

    I know that not all people that attend the SSPX chapels are like this, there are the “sane ones”. But I am not sure they are in the majority. I agree totally with Bishop Morlino’s early draft, when he warned people to stay away from the SSPX…He was not talking about individuals who are obviously sincere about their faith, but the group as a whole. Honestly, why on earth, in dioceses where the FSSP is present or where diocesan priests are saying the TLM, do people stay with the SSPX? In Phoenix, where you just mentioned the SSPX built a new church, they have the FSSP, as well as diocesan priests saying the TLM. Why bother, unless the mindset is significantly different…

    Sorry if I am offending anyone here. I too look forward to the day when the situation with the SSPX becomes regularized. I agree that we shouldn’t try to be divisive, especially at a time like this…I wonder, though, how many in the SSPX desire as much as we do to be regularized ( and to not be divisive).

  9. Brendan says:

    It would be interesting, Fr. Z., to get your take on the marriages in Campos before they were regularized. What about those? Those, too, would have been invalid. Did they receive some kind of non-publicized sanatio in radice?

  10. CradleRevert says:

    I admire much of what CMTV has accomplished, but I have to admit that I am a bit confused as to why they choose to focus obsessively on certain choice topics. Of all the problems going on in the Church, and given that the SSPX seems to be getting closer and closer to obtaining full canonical regularization, I just don’t understand why CMTV would now choose this hill to die on.

  11. Geoffrey says:

    I have often been critical of Church Militant, but I am grateful for their extensive coverage on the SSPX. Whether or not the SSPX is in schism is above my pay grade, but Lefebvre caused tremendous damage to the unity of Holy Mother Church when he disobeyed the Vicar of Christ. The SSPX continues to lead souls astray. Kudos to Church Militant for spreading the word.

  12. JabbaPapa says:

    I would not be as harsh as Mr. Voris and the CMTV team, but then again nor would I be so harsh against them either.

    Mr. Voris’ bombastic journalistic approach has its flaws certainly — but it cannot be denied that it has great qualities as an attention-getter.

    It’s rather sadly ironic, though, to see some SSPX supporters cancelling their subscriptions to CMTV, as a trivial echo of the SSPX refusal of Communion with the Holy See. I agree with Father Z’s analysis that the Society is not in formal schism, but it can hardly be denied that to deliberately set oneself apart from other Faithful Catholics belongs to the schismatic mindset.

    I have done what was possible in the weeks preceding this past one to try and get some mitigating elements into their heads, but I do wish that I’d had more success.

    CMTV has for example completely downplayed the current status of the Fraternity of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary as an Association of Diocesan Right, enjoying all of the rights and benefits of that status, which cannot exist extra Communion with Rome and the Holy Father — though to be fair, the SSPX has itself kept mostly quiet about this development too, which remains a local one not fully relevant to the general situation of the Society.

    What I most disagree with in the CMTV approach to these stories is a certain lack of hope, of charity, of mercy towards the situation of the SSPX priests and their congregations — who, despite the multiple errors of their ways, and despite a certain schismatic mentality that exists undeniably among these groups, are first and foremost our Catholic brethren in Christ.

    Such harsh approaches as that of CMTV and of the more radical SSPX clergy and supporters partake equally of the same “us and them” schismatic mentality that is denounced in these CMTV stories.

  13. JabbaPapa says:

    Geoffrey :

    Whether or not the SSPX is in schism is above my pay grade

    It’s above the pay grade of everyone but the Holy Father :)

  14. JabbaPapa says:

    It would be interesting, Fr. Z., to get your take on the marriages in Campos before they were regularized. What about those? Those, too, would have been invalid. Did they receive some kind of non-publicized sanatio in radice?

    I’m not Father Z, obviously … ;o) … but as far as I know, each individual marriage contracted outside the Church is considered individually in principle, so that there is no one-size-fits-all ruling for all marriages contracted in illicit circumstances.

    It’s true OTOH that anyone in an illicitly contracted marriage could, BTW somewhat easily after the motu proprio comes into effect, obtain annulment of that marriage.

    However, the Church does still consider all married couples, including those married only civilly, to be married in fact (materially, that is), and in many cases individually, in practice, can even accept that a couple married before a Christian minister outside the Church is in a state of Sacramental Union despite the clear lack of proper form, so that no formally Catholic wedding is required of them.

    So you see, there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding illicitly married couples, which changes not a iota of the fact that SSPX clergy do not, in general, have faculty to be the ordinary witnesses of the Matrimonial Rite, emergency situations outstanding ; nor of the fact that Catholics who are aware of this situation should marry validly before a Minister with the proper faculties, or if married before SSPX clergy should seek to have the Matrimony co-validated by their parish priest or his superior.

  15. Phil_NL says:

    The ‘schism’ issue will continue to pop up, and it’s tiring to say the least.

    Are the SSPX in schism in a canoncial sense, in a legal sense? Probably not. Moreover, he SSPX – as a society – have at least never expressed the desire to be separated from the Pope. The justifications the society gives for its actions and those of its members are often contrived, poor in judgement and/or just plain wrong, but it never descended – formally – to the point “because we say it’s best”.

    Now, let’s look at it from the point of view of an interested Catholic who’s not versed in canonical matters. That viewpoint will not be shaped by intricate legal arguments. It will be informed by behavior. And there the ‘because we say it should be like this’, a schismatic attitude, can be found regularly. Then the analysis simply becomes: “If it walks like a duck, waggles like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck….” And many of the society’s members and many of those faithful affiliated with the SSPX do a mightily good duck impression.

    That alone excuses the use of the term schism by all but legal scholars. Especially since the worst schisms – the great one, with the Orthodox, and the protestant one, originally lacked the intention of producing a schism. Luther was initially a reformer; the excommunications in Constantinople – with dubious jurisdiction to begin with – were at first personal. Such situations can be in limbo for decades.

    The next question is whether the use of the term is productive. That at least is clear: it isn’t. It annoys the SSPX and those around them. As they are not a monastic order with humility as a prime component of their charism, and therefore have plenty of people with substantial ego’s, it can be outright damaging. So as a courtesy, it would be a good idea not to plaster the term around or push those buttons. After all, the aim should be to get them on board again in the fullest sense, not to push them further away. Educating them by raising this thorn is not going to work anyway. Educating other Catholics on the errors made by the society, especially in their claims of emergency and jurisdiction, is another matter, but for that you don’t need to talk about schism.

  16. JamesM says:

    I have been very concerned with Church Militant’s take on this.

    While it is clear there are problems with the SSPX, the fact is Rome has jumped through all sorts of complex hoops to avoid declaring them to be in schism. Time and time again, the question has been asked, and yet Rome still hasn’t declared the society to be in schism.

    What concerns me is that Church Militant, is on this point, setting itself above Rome.

    Joseph Shaw (hardly a “rad trad”) wrote a very good piece on this here :

  17. jflare says:

    I have a rather different take on this situation, I guess.
    It may be that SSPX takes great umbrage with being branded “schismatic”. I certainly understand their angst. On the other hand, considering that SSPX or their supporters seem quite frequently willing to brand their “opponents” as “heretics”, I’m not going to get super concerned about how people are aggravated by particular terms. Seems to me that both sides are, well, guilty as sin. …And seem to have every intention of remaining so.
    I understand that Rome hasn’t declared SSPX to be schismatic or other priests or bishops to be heretics; unfortunately, for practical purposes, both charges might be quite appopriate.

    If it’s the case that Rome has gone out of it’s way to avoid branding SSPX in this manner, it does not appear to me that SSPX has taken the hint. Neither has the other side.

    If SSPX would be reconciled by Francis, but nobody–“modern” or “traditional”–changes their view, we may wind up with a horrid situation. Both sides may ultimately reject each others’ viewpoints AND the pope.
    I keep wondering if we might ultimately slide backward into schism by virtue of both sides insisting that the other side is wrong. Certainly both “modern” and “traditional” seem quite eager to blame the other side.

  18. Anne 2 says:

    It seems that people are getting in the weeds rather than the big picture – which is that
    the SSPX holds NO MINISTRY within the Catholic Church (except for the Sacrament of Confession for one year starting Dec 8, 2015.)
    ” Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church. ”
    Pope Benedict – March, 2009.
    ” I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.”
    Pope Francis – Sept 1, 2015
    (Note this is the Sacrament of Penance only for one year, and changes nothing regarding SSPX other Sacraments or their Masses.)
    This means that when/if the SSPX tells people that they hold a legitimate ministry within the Catholic Church – they are duping them.
    And this is dishonest.
    Only a Pope can change this.
    Personal opinions of all the canonists in the world make no difference.

  19. acmeaviator says:

    October will see the Pope play both sides (as usual) with formal recognition and integration of SSPX and a path to the Eucharist for divorced and remarried.

  20. SanSan says:

    Official Church definitions:
    CCC: ” 2089
    INCREDULITY is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.
    HERESY is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same.
    APOSTASY is the total repudiation of the Christian faith.
    SCHSIM is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” (is not the SSPX refusing submission to the Roman Pontiff?)

  21. robtbrown says:

    While canonists find no controversy in the assertion that SSPX priests who are validly ordained and not otherwise impeded have the faculty to absolve the faithful from sin in danger of death of a penitent (cf. can. 976), the jurisprudence of the Roman Rota does provide some rare official light into the other question of whether SSPX priests possess the jurisdiction required to witness marriage validly.

    In fact, the point of canon 976 is not that all priests have the faculty to grant valid absolution in danger of death. Rather, it is that even though they lack the faculty, they nevertheless absolve validly.

  22. Ferde Rombola says:

    The principle objections of Archbishop Lefebvre to Vatican II was its Dignitatis Humanae, the document on religious liberty, and the changes to the Mass. I have read that document closely and there is no question it deviated significantly from the dogmatic pronouncements of prior popes and councils. As to the Mass, to assess the Archbishop’s concerns, we need look no farther than the results, which in my opinion are disastrous..

    Can anyone tell me whether the Church has ever responded directly to the Archbishops objections? I am unaware of any such response and, if there is none, I’d like to know where the alleged schismatic behavior can be found.

  23. StWinefride says:

    Geoffrey says: “The SSPX continues to lead souls astray.”

    I have been critical of the SSPX in the past, even though I sympathise with their plight. But I changed my mind when I watched a video from the Remnant a few weeks ago. Bearing in mind that Cardinal Suenens was known to have said: “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church!“, this is what Michael Matt from the Remnant newspaper has to say from 6.50 onwards in video linked to below, and it’s worth listening to the whole 19 minutes.

    It’s the Revolution that is to blame, and this is the thing we need to get into our heads, it’s the Revolution that has blown apart mothers and daughters, fathers and sons and yes, good Priests from all over the world. There are good men in the various Traditional Orders who are doing good work and we must slow down, drop our perfect little narrative, as though we have everything figured out. Drop all of that and recognise what they are doing , these Priests, even the ones who serve the Orders we don’t necessarily cotton to, they’re serving souls and they are victims of the Revolution….”.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

  24. Imrahil says:

    Dear robtbrown,

    but how is this valid absolution logically possible? By the fact of the law conferring the faculty upon them for this case; this is implied, even if not explicitly spelled out.


    there is no such thing as a material schism. Not unless we, say, should distinguish between a person consciously walking away from the Catholic Church, and someone baptized (as a child or without actual perception of the Catholic claims as reasonable) into a non-Catholic church, and call them a formal and a material schismatic respectively (with a bit of speculation about the latter’s innocence in the matter). We’re free in our definitions; we can define what we would like to call a material schismatic.

    What we cannot do is look for the term “schism” in the lawbooks, state correctly – with regret – that it doesn’t apply to group XY, and then extend it and add a second category of “material schismatic” to serve our purpose and include XY. In this sense: there is no such thing as a material schismatic.

    (There is a “material heretic”: which, as far as I know, means a person disagreeing with Church doctrine without knowing it is Church doctrine. – It should caution us not to speak too disparingly of “material schismatics”, whoever we define them to be, seeing that the definition of “material heretic” describes such an illustrious saint as St. Thomas [on the Immaculate Conception]).

    Dear Phil_NL,

    I have never heard “because we say it should be like this” from among the SSPX; they prefer “because the Church used to say it should be like this”, in which they regularly are provably right or at least plausible, and “as you know, we don’t really trust the younger Magisterium – unless of course in its infallible utterances – because of all that reasons we have numerously made clear”. That is, however justified or unjustified it is, certainly different from a “because we say it should be like this” attitude… and that includes the rank and file.

  25. APX says:

    From what I have noticed, The recent attack on the SSPX by Michael Voris seems to have started when the SSPX in the USA released a video online for its followers telling them that the Novus Ordo is offensive to God and that Catholics who know this must not attend the Novus Ordo, even if it means not going to Mass on Sunday. In such circumstances, Catholics should stay home and pray the rosary and read the Mass readings.

  26. APX says:

    This is the video that seemed to have started this all:

  27. Phil_NL says:

    Dear Imrahil,

    I was paraphrasing, of course, but I think it is an apt way to put it. The crucial element is that the SSPX and its adherents give themselves the authority to determine what is part of the magisterium and what isn’t. Thereby they might – and, as I understand it, often do – deny that certain positions are within the realm of Catholicism. From the Novus Ordo to hope of salvation outside the strict membership of the Catholic Church, the positions of Jews… the list is long.
    This way, they place themselves on the seat of St Peter; the Holy Father is the sole authority to make those calls. That they tend to base themselves on older understandings of doctrine ensures – up to a point – that they don’t start proposing things themselves that are unacceptable, but they do tend to, implictly or explicitly, accuse others, up to the Pope, of doing so. That in itself is usurping proper authority, and therefore a variant of “because we say it should be like this”. It boils down to authority.

    Look at it from this perspective: if someone can take any point in time in the past two millenia, and say that doctrine as it was understood right then is in fact the only proper way to see doctrine, then all developments of doctrine, since that starting place, including many infallible statements and many traditions, would be null and void. Nothing new would have been introduced, but the regression in understanding would be enormous. (and implicitly, one claims the freedom to develop doctrine from that point, as it is utterly impossible not to develop it. The Divine Will is not clear to us humans, and we won’t stop reflecting on it). This is a freedom, even without development, that is broad enough that, if claimed, you’ve reached “because we say it should be like this.”

  28. Tantum Ergo says:

    What is needed now with the SSPX situation is not a divorce lawyer, but a marriage counselor. Blessed are the peacemakers. Pope Francis has taken two major steps as Counselor.
    1.) Confirming the SSPX’s authority to adjudicate a priest’s trial in Argentina
    2.) The gift of faculties to hear confessions validly during the Year of Mercy
    Does anyone really believe that Pope Francis will allow those valid confessions to end at the stroke of midnight on November 20, 2016 when the Year of Mercy ends?

  29. Maybe the SSPX isn’t officially schismatic by labels or decrees, but acting like schismatics, having the ‘schismatic mindset’ may accurately describe the SSPX. Wouldn’t it all resolve nicely if the SSPX simply rejoined the Church and submitted to its bishops? Gosh. So simple.

    Most who are soft on the SSPX didn’t live through Archbishop Lefebvre’s confusion and the changes at Econe, or witness how the SSPX has changed even from Lefebvre’s intentions. Today we only hear the SSPX’s cleaned-up version. And how would ya know whatcha don’t know?

    Why the attacks on CMTV? Maybe they are confused and adamant. They also do a tremendous lot of good work. [oh tell me how much good work the SSPX does in spite of their lack of faculties and other difficulties – so that’s okay, but CMTV has to be perfect?]

    How about if everybody calms down, stops pointing fingers, fights the real enemy, and looks to their own personal salvation, and reacts gratefully to whatever truths and support we can scrape together in this day and age? I see good in both followers of the SSPX and of CMTV. I don’t need to reiterate how terribly heartbreakingly hard life is right now. Why this too?

    Maybe the real culprit to all this confusion is ROME? No clarity. No decisions. Hemming and hawing. Obfuscation. The sheep are scattered. No leadership. We make up our own rules – who is in, who is out, who is good, who is bad. Repeating again, this is a crisis of authority. We don’t know because authority is silent today, we are not being told. Where is Rome in all this?

    All the while the SSPX propaganda machine is healthy and adamant, and more efficient than Vatican or most diocesan communications. What I mean is, the SSPX works hard to promote their view – there is another side, many in fact, but we don’t hear it anymore.

    Will the SSPX ever re-join the Church? – they have billions and billions [this attested by Lefebvre himself] continuing to grow along with much property, bank accounts, followers, and generous donors, and now a powerful CFO. Is the SSPX willing to give that up to the Church upon reunification? Money and holdings were one of the biggest obstacles to reuniting the Church of England and our Holy Church. Sometimes its not doctrine and theology and differences at all. It aint’ Vatican II – Archbishop Lefebvre signed every document [yes the copies of his signatures exist] and he never spoke against Pope Paul VI and all of his shenanigans. I don’t think the lay SSPX followers are standing in the way. And it ain’t CMTV either.

    Bishop Schneider may be right – what can be keeping us apart?

  30. JamesM says:

    @Anne 2

    “It seems that people are getting in the weeds rather than the big picture – which is that
    the SSPX holds NO MINISTRY within the Catholic Church (except for the Sacrament of Confession for one year starting Dec 8, 2015.)”

    This is something I have read several times and I don’t think it is terribly relevant. People seem to conflate “not holding any legitimate ministry” with schism.

    Anne, do you hold any legitimate ministry in the Church? I, as a layperson, do not. That doesn’t mean that I am outside the Church, or in schism, or excommunicated or anything else. All that means is that I do not exercise any legitimate ministry.

  31. JamesM says:


    “SCHSIM is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” (is not the SSPX refusing submission to the Roman Pontiff?)”

    The SSPX would maintain that they do submit to the Roman Pontiff. Go to any SSPX Chapel and one will find a picture of the Holy Father on the wall. They will pray for him in the canon.

    They will make the case that submission is only required in so far as the Holy Father could legitimately ask for it. As an example, if the Holy Father asked any of us to kill someone, we would not be bound to obey him. That submission doesn’t extend to binding anyone to commit a sin. They have an argument to justify their position.

    Are they correct? I don’t know. That is above my paygrade. All I am doing is stating what I believe is their argument. I believe this argument is why they haven’t been declared to be in schism. I could be wrong. All I know is that the whole situation is very complex. I can’t declare they are in schism, neither can Michael Voris, or anyone else other than the Holy See. They might be in schism, but in all charity, that isn’t my judgement to make.

  32. Geoffrey says:

    “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church!”

    That may be the view of arch-traditionalists like the SSPX and readers of “The Remnant”, but not of Pope St. John Paul II or Benedict XVI, the Pope Emeritus. Go to the Council documents themselves. The Council was co-opted by various factions with their own agendas, much like the papacy of Pope Francis:

    “There was the Council of the Fathers – the real Council – but there was also the Council of the media… the Council that reached the people with immediate effect was that of the media, not that of the Fathers… for the media, the Council was a political struggle, a power struggle between different trends in the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of those who seemed to them more closely allied with their world” (Pope Benedict XVI, 14 February 2013).

  33. vandalia says:

    An honest question: Does this mean that the “Western Schism” was not in fact a schism?

    I believe at no point did anyone in Europe doubt the existence of or nature of the office of Supreme Pontiff, they just disagreed on who actually held that office.

  34. JKnott says:

    Father Z is right. The liberals rarely engage in infighting. Why do orthodox Catholics? I find this very distressing.
    However, it’s just a guess, but I think perhaps the CMTV is worried that if the results of the Synod are disastrous, it may cause orthodox Catholics to flee in droves to the SSPX, and Voris is trying to head it off because he has clearly demonstrated that no one should leave the authority of the Pope.

    Also, the link provided above by APX : This is the video that seemed to have started this all:
    Kind of off the wall when they are saying that the NO does not fulfill our Sunday duty

  35. StWinefride says:

    Geoffrey, you misread what I wrote: it was Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens (Malines-Bruxelles) who said that Vatican II was the French Revolution in the Church!

    I am familiar with the Council documents and am aware that the Council was hijacked but, just as an example, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is also on record as saying that ” Gaudium et Spes represents on the part of the Church, an attempt at official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789.”*

    He even called Gaudium et Spes a counter-Syllabus (which Pope Pius IX had issued, along with Quanta Cura, in 1864.)

    *Joseph Ratzinger: Principles of Catholic Theology.

  36. Jack007 says:

    The WHOLE situation is sad…
    As far as CMTV, and Mr. Voris… I was an early cheerleader. Even bought some of his DVDs. But a few months ago I cancelled and unsubscribed. So I know nothing of the latest controversy. What I do know is that it doesn’t surprise me. The tone at CMTV just got too negative and depressing to listen to on a daily basis. I’m as hard core as they come, but we all have our limits. Personally, the tipping point for me was when Mr. Voris made some sort of error in reporting from Rome (I don’t recall so it was obviously nothing monumental) . He took to the airwaves the next day making over the top apologies and even going into detail of how he had gone to confession and received absolution over it.
    Was that really necessary to discuss publicly? It struck me as overly dramatic. I was a bit jaundiced after that, and eventually had to cut the cord.
    I’m not boycotting CMTV, and I’m sure Mr. Voris has the best of intentions, but until they temper their approach with a little cheer, I must avoid them for now.
    Prayers for all involved; CMTV, SSPX, and Fr. Z who has to ride herd on the combox. Good thing chapel veils wasn’t in the mix too! ;-)
    Jack in KC

  37. Ann Malley says:

    Geoffrey, with all due respect, whether VII represents a revolution is no matter of opinion. You can spin it to be “arch” traditionalist or whatever you’d like. The proof of whether or not such a charge is so is in comparing what the documents actually teach (that is what they really say, not how they can be interpreted) against what came before. And sloppy, compromise language intended to appease, language deigned as pastoral is the problem. The fruits bear testimony to this reality, even with all of the clean-up crew talk to gloss over the issue.

    And while some may describe the disconnect as a media circus, look to the October Synod. Is that the medias doing? Are the media “creating” the image of divergent views – Catholic vs. anti-Catholic (…or should I say “Pastoral”). Or are the Synod fathers all on board with promoting that which is wholly and fully Catholic. Really. Let’s engage intellectual honesty here. (Another reason why I applaud those who support Truth who have disassociated themselves with CMTV. It is not a matter of being an SSPX'(er), a made up word, but rather a matter of not supporting yellow journalism and sensationalism intent on dividing those forces that should be allied. Especially now. (Look to how the deck is being stacked for “official” change of praxis that will slowly, but SURELY change teaching….. and the minds of our children. )

    As for CMTV’s obsession and the FSSP, I suggest others look to the elephant in the room that if the Society is accepted as they are – that, in retrospect, makes the FSSP who left for fear of schism (…something to avoid, to be sure.) rather moot. And if the Ottaviani intervention that spoke at the start of the dangers of the Novus Ordo Missae were taken to heart – that is folks did consider his words to be true as are now evidenced by many fruits – would that not be logical that a Society would stick with that assertion?

    And the Societies video regarding the Novus Ordo Missae did not “start the whole thing.” I’ve got emails from CMTV telling me that I should look forward to summer ’15 when they’d let everyone know about the SSPX. Well, the SSPX’s view on the Novus Ordo Missae is precisely what Fr. Z described above, and it has been that since the beginning. So the sensationalized schism-fodder tossed out by CMTV was precisely that. A prelude to sensationalism wherein CMTV attempts to usurp the very papal authority they say they uphold to declare schism where there is none, to twist/negate the assessment of His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider (Not to mention wasting his time asking for a clarification of that which was perfectly clear.), twisting Bishop Morlino’s words and now completely ignoring his correction of his letter. Not good.

    But, to this Catholic, such absurd obsession shows me that there is nothing but fear over what an honest analysis of the Society’s position might produce. Not an opinion either. Just a clear revelation of truth. For while we focus on the horrific, heretical machinations that we are being made privy to about the October Synod’s what in Heaven’s name leads us to believe that such machinations weren’t part and parcel of VII and the creation of the Novus Ordo Missae? Is it that we now have media coverage and then we didn’t? Really?

    Let’s stop being divided over petty issues as Fr Z. recommends. Look for truth and defend it, not superior fidelity status based on an obviously biased week long report that suspiciously doesn’t countenance legitimate discussion on its forum (blackballed anyone) or go to primary sources when attempting to describe the position of another group. That’s dangerous.

  38. JabbaPapa says:

    Geoffrey :

    “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church!”

    That may be the view of arch-traditionalists like the SSPX and readers of “The Remnant”, but not of Pope St. John Paul II or Benedict XVI, the Pope Emeritus.


    Such a view is also IMO redolent of the Gallicanist and ultra-clericalist factionalism that has been plaguing the Church in Western Europe since the late 15th Century — such as it manifested in the old Sorbonne theologians attempt to wrest the control of Catholic doctrine from out of the Pope’s hands and into their own 500 years ago, to more recently in Action Française and the allegiance between the French far right and the ultra-traditionalist fringe of the SSPX.

    The tendency to sedevacantism of that fringe is simply their continuation of the old Gallicanist Error, that is very similar to the original nature of the Anglican schism.

  39. wannabetraditional says:

    Father, with respect to what the SSPX says about the Novus Ordo, here is an exerpt from Perhaps I was incorrect in saying that they don’t believe the Novus Ordo is valid…but it sure sounds that way to me…

    “Is the Novus Ordo Missae invalid?
    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).
    Therefore, these Masses can be of doubtful validity.
    The words of consecration, especially of the wine, have been tampered with. Has the “substance of the sacrament” (cf., Pope Pius XII quoted in principle 5) been respected? While we should assume that despite this change the consecration is still valid, nevertheless this does add to the doubt.”

    “Are we obliged in conscience to attend the Novus Ordo Missae?
    If the Novus Ordo Missae is not truly Catholic, then it cannot oblige for one’s Sunday obligation. Many Catholics who do assist at it are unaware of its all pervasive degree of serious innovation and are exempt from guilt. However, any Catholic who is aware of its harm, does not have the right to participate. He could only then assist at it by a mere physical presence without positively taking part in it, and then and for major family reasons (weddings, funerals, etc). ”

    You can read the whole thing here: The following link,, has all of their FAQs, including how they feel about the FSSP.

    You can read them to check the veracity of my comments. (BTW, I don’t exactly disagree with their objections to how the N.O. was invented, promulgated, etc. – but I think you would agree they go too far in saying it is of “doubtful validity”, and the fact that it depends on “personal faith” of the celebrant). Please understand my aim here is not to stoke the flames of division, but it seems we are placing so much emphasis on the arguments that “if only the Pope would just let them come back, we’d all be one big happy family”. The mindset they have is not going to change overnight. I do think it wonderful that Benedict extended the olive branch, and I hope Francis will do the same. The question is, will the SSPX accept it?

    Finally, it is important for us to do what Cardinal Burke recently said, as the Church seems to more and more rapidly be going to hell and a handbasket: “Stay faithful!’ We need to pray for the strength stay on the barque of Peter no matter what, because it doesn’t matter on what side we fall off – the left OR the right – either way, we will perish.

  40. Ann Malley says:


    “…The tendency to sedevecantism? That fringe?”

    The clamor to wrest authority from the Pope, or rather use one Pope as a means of wresting the truth out of Catholic praxis, is the work of conciliarists, JabbaPappa.

    So wax on about the notion that the desire to stick to clear Catholic teaching as it was handed down is somehow indicative of usurping Papal authority while completely ignoring the Bishop’s conferences that are, in fact, coming out to change Catholic doctrine. (….Cardinal Marx anyone?)

    One must understand, friend, that the Pope’s duty is to defend the Deposit of the Faith. Or will you similarly lay the straw-man charge of “…a tendency toward Sedesvecantism” at the feet of those who are being stacked in the upcoming Synod in an effort to promote the evolution of doctrine? A modernist heresy? Or does having papal approval make that okay now?

    That said, which is more evil or divisive? Thinking perhaps that the Pope is not really a true Pope (…and I am not a Sedesvecantist) or to pretend fidelity to the Church and the Pope for the media while secretly treating the Pope as one’s personal marionette while behind the scenes the plan all along is to unhinge Catholic practice from the Rock of Faith while smiling for the cameras?

    Good grief, man, but we are obliged to obey in all but sin. The Pope, too. Or would you brand Cardinal Burke as a Gallicanist or ultra-clericalist for his clarion call to defend the Catholic doctrine concerning marriage should the need arise?

  41. Ann Malley says:

    And JabbaPapa,

    This supposed similarity to the Anglican schism is way off base. The Anglicans threw off the Pope in order to throw off the Deposit of the Faith. They changed the Faith and ushered in Anglicanism. They gave us the King James Bible which left off a lot of integral truths.

    Those who are in an irregular canonical situation at present are not throwing off the Deposit of the Faith, but rather throwing off the seeming disconnect that would have them accept that which, whether you agree or not, seems at the very least ambiguous to the point of obfuscating the Faith and at the very worse a complete departure in certain areas. Areas that are bearing bad fruit as a testament to that departure. (Do the vines in the vineyard need to be ripped out and tilled under for folks to understand there’s something amiss?)

    ….and lest you forget, the Catholic Church is planning a shared “official” celebration of Luther’s revolt come 2017. Such displays do not make for the demonstration of the unchanging truth to be found within Holy Mother Church.

    Believing Catholics, especially in these times of crisis, need to look to allies in the Faith, all of the Faith. And that’s not something that can be done by comparing “full communion” cards or making out those who hold to pre-Vatican II beliefs as the new Anglicans. That’s silly.

  42. Vincent says:

    I should like to add two points: Quoting the US SSPX website is like quoting a national Bishops’ Conference website. Does what it says on there have to be the ‘official’ position of the Church? Oddly enough, no. The US SSPX website doesn’t even agree with many SSPX priests I know in my own country, let alone the ones in charge.

    Secondly, CMTV, although they do much good work, had no business going down this road. They’ve obviously put a lot of effort into their work, but most of their ‘evidence’ comes from interviews with various clerics. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I were interviewed about something to do with my job, I do not think that that would represent the official position of my employer… (and they would be at pains to point that out).

    I really do agree with Father’s final comments. Why do we have to fight each other? Something Bishop Schneider mentioned in his clarification to CMTV (and something they very much ignored…)

  43. Jason Keener says:

    I think all of us here have long grown tired of the questions surrounding the status of the SSPX. I find it hard to see why the SSPX shouldn’t be considered to be in full communion with the Church, as the Church has always allowed a legitimate diversity of opinion on liturgical and theological matters. Should the SSPX really be denied their right to exercise legitimate ministry in the Church because they have some questions about the Church’s stance on religious liberty and ecumenism? Should they really be denied their right to ministry in the Church because they question certain aspects of the Ordinary Form? I don’t think so.

    If I might make a suggestion, perhaps Father Z or someone else reading this blog who is well-connected could begin a formal online petition campaign asking the Holy Father to finally regularize the SSPX. Perhaps it could be something like the recent online petition asking the Holy Father to uphold the Church’s teachings on marriage at the upcoming Synod. That petition was signed by Cardinal Burke and many other well-known and lesser known Catholics. I think the Catholic faithful concerned about this SSPX issue should finally make their wishes known in a unified voice, as is our right under the Code of Canon Law. If no one else takes up this cause, maybe I’ll begin the petition myself.

  44. iteadthomam says:


    In fairness “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church” is also the view of some fssp priests I’ve heard. Audio sancto features a homily on said matter by such a priest.

  45. Auggie says:

    Bishop Schneider is a good bishop. He says the SSPX should be “accepted as they are.”
    Michael Voris, like all good Catholics, should humble himself before the words of a good bishop.
    Let Pope Francis and the good bishops figure out how to get the SSPX accepted. Please, CMTV, don’t make things more difficult.

  46. jflare says:

    “Anne, do you hold any legitimate ministry in the Church? I, as a layperson, do not.”

    JamesM, that may not be entirely true. If you have ever acted as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, if you have ever been a lector, if you have ever been a choir member, if you have ever been a catechist of some sort, you have exercised a degree of ministry within the Church. Granted, I use that term with caution, I don’t believe in labeling everything as a “ministry”, but these are roles that people fill that cause the message of the Church to spread.
    Even if you have never filled any of these roles; even if you’ve simply been a layman attending Mass in the pew, that’s still a fundamentally different situation from that of the SSPX.

    If you haven’t exercised a legitimate minsitry within the Church, neither have you been explicitly forbidden from doing so. Unfortunately, the priests and bishops of SSPX, by virtue of lacking appropriate faculties to exercise ministry, HAVE been forbidden. I know people object to using the word “schism” and the Vatican has been dodging using it, possibly for diplomatic reasons. I think though, when you act in a manner that openly rejects the pope’s authority to rule on these matters, I don’t believe you can legitimately call it anything else. I have yet to see a competent reason for why “irregular canonical status” differs from “schism” in any manner except legalism and diplomacy.

  47. JabbaPapa says:

    Ann Malley :

    Or will you similarly lay the straw-man charge of “…a tendency toward Sedesvecantism” at the feet of those who are being stacked in the upcoming Synod in an effort to promote the evolution of doctrine? A modernist heresy? Or does having papal approval make that okay now?

    I am bemused as to why you ask me such questions, as they appear to be entirely divorced from what I’ve written.

    This supposed similarity to the Anglican schism is way off base

    Sorry, but that’s incorrect — and I was referring to the “original nature” of that schism, not to what it later became.

    The Gallicanists wished a “Gallican Church”, based in France, and independent of subjection to the Pope, which is near-identical to the original impetus among English clerics that motivated the Anglican schism ; whereas the Gallicanists were defeated. The extreme right-wing SSPX community centred around Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet in Paris is extremely similar in its outlook to that of the Gallicanists– which is most certainly NOT to say that every SSPX priest or supporter is as they are.

  48. JabbaPapa says:

    Jason Keener :

    I find it hard to see why the SSPX shouldn’t be considered to be in full communion with the Church, as the Church has always allowed a legitimate diversity of opinion on liturgical and theological matters

    In great part because the Society rejects such diversity, and claims it to be illegitimate.

  49. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says:

    Dear robtbrown,

    but how is this valid absolution logically possible? By the fact of the law conferring the faculty upon them for this case; this is implied, even if not explicitly spelled out.

    Your interpretation contradicts the canon, which explicitly says they do not have the faculty. It does not say that in danger of death any priest has the faculty.

    1. A diocesan priest is given the faculty for Sacramental Confession by his bishop (in virtue of his jurisdiction)
    2. Every diocesan bishop has jurisdiction limited to his diocese.
    3. Any priest can validly absolve outside the diocese where he has been given the faculty.
    4. Also: Non Catholic marriages are considered valid–even though obviously jurisdiction is not applicable.

    In all three of the above examples is the validity a matter of an arbitrary decision of the law? Or is it a recognition of the nature of the Sacraments (salus animarum)? IMHO, it’s the latter.

  50. Mother says:

    I have a hunch, that MV is laying out the SSPX in such a clear and succinct manner, as to prepare the faithful, who now and in the very near future, may contemplate the dire landscape of Holy Mother Church and attempt to leave in droves– perhaps into the very arms of the SSPX, in response to the aftermath of the upcoming synod.
    (“as one crying out in the desert…”) comes to mind.

  51. Ferde Rombola says:

    The SSPX created the schism problem for itself when Archbishop Lefebvre ordained four priests as bishops against the specific prohibition of the Holy See. That’s the only thing I take issue with, but continuing to ostracize them for something that cannot be undone seems, in its best light, uncharitable and marginally spiteful. I think the Church should just wipe the offense from the books and start over. The SSPX are traditionalists who defend the teaching of the Popes and Councils prior to Vatican II, as should all Catholics.

  52. Ann Malley says:

    Mother, I have a hunch that MV is laying out his bias against the Society in an unprecedented authoritarian manner that usurps papal authority, the magisterium, and common sense (as stated by His Excellency Bishop Schneider) because he is attempting to polarize Catholics. Something that is crafted to make CMTV out to be the “the” source for truth.

    That is why his painting the “arms of the SSPX” as being schismatic and containing disobedient Christs is wholly divisive and off target. That is also why Bishop Schneider, not once, but twice, publicly asked CMTV to cease and desist. (Will CMTV portray Cardinal Burke as a disobedient if he takes legitimate issue with any forthcoming “official” policy that undermines marriage?)

    This pretense of CMTV to be holier or more concerned for souls than Bishop Schneider is absurd. Much like it is absurd that they should promote the idea that His Excellency wasn’t aware of the Societies position regarding the Novus Ordo Missae prior to making his requested assessment – an assessment requested by the Vatican. That last in itself is linked to having proper authority – not the off the wall smear campaign of MV attempting to speak on behalf of the Holy Father because “CMTV”, seemingly unlike anyone else, is concerned with souls.

    It’s called fear mongering, Mother, and calumny. That and the communist tactic of attempting to control the conversation by promoting a party line, sticking to it, stacking the party with those who “agree”, editing those who disagree, making use of bits and pieces to support one’s agenda, and then black balling any/all discussion of the fallacy of the position they erroneously assert.

    One cannot say that they support the Holy Father and then preempt his authority to declare schism on his behalf. That’s acting as if there is no Pope. And not even the SSPX does that. Another reason why folks are leaving CMTV in droves, that is thinking folks, not just the hollow echo of SSPX. It’s called, why are you so afraid to discuss the truth, all of it, to include the Ottaviani intervention, CMTV’s own program “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, and CMTV’s own flip flop that supporters know about.

    Voris is just a scourge of truth. But the truth will out. It always does. And the hate fest is only pointing to the reality that there is much that folks want to keep hidden.

  53. robtbrown says:

    iteadthomam says:


    In fairness “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church” is also the view of some fssp priests I’ve heard. Audio sancto features a homily on said matter by such a priest.

    I don’t think it’s that much of a controversial opinion. The French Revolution was a response to certain historical circumstances. Unfortunately, it was a murderous, anti-Catholic project to destroy Western Civilization and the Church.

    Likewise, Vat II was a response to certain historical circumstances–the end of the By the Numbers Counter Reformation Church. Like the French Revolution there were those who used it as the occasion to destroy Catholic life.

  54. Uxixu says:

    I do appreciate CMTV taking this one and agree with their argument as presented. SSPX supporters are most… interesting in some of their arguments. In a sense, they are even less consistent than the sedevacante crazies in that they deny the authority and rights of the diocesan Ordinaries while ostensibly being more correct to the Holy Father. Even the worst heterodox Novus Ordo bishop IS a bishop with all the rights and responsibilities under Canon Law.

    While our reverend host is correct, they are not in formal juridicial schism, they operate every day as if they are in de facto schism and they will continue to operate indefinitely if they don’t seek reunion soon. Except for their leaders and older members, their younger ranks have never known a normal situation and this is where the danger of formal schism sets in. If/when the torch passes, why will this younger generation of leaders ever want a normal situation? It brings nothing but negatives without any positive outcome for them materially (though the spiritual consequences are obvious!). For the good of their own souls and to the aid Mother Church so badly needs from their voice inside Her to counter the heterodox German bishops, Jesuits, etc, they need to be regularized. Outside, their voice is marginalized as fringe crazy trads and all but ignored.

    That they never had canonical right to ever exist outside of a single diocese and their presence in so many diocese is a violation of the Council of Trent, if not the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (for the US, anyway) which enjoined the requirement of a priest to present his credentials to the Ordinary of a diocese (cf. Vagrant Clerics). SSPX behaves as if it as all but a self contained Church who has little to no relation with the rest of the larger Church. This attitude is most manifest in how they discourage the FSSP on their US site, who accepted the agreement Abp. Lefebvre signed on May 5 (before repudiating it after, much as he did with the Vatican II documents themselves). Whatever their equivocation on the authority of the Holy Father, they utterly reject the authority of the diocesan bishops… or all bishops but theirs. What is that but schism?

  55. Ann Malley says:


    You state:

    “…For the good of their own souls and to the aid Mother Church so badly needs from their voice inside Her to counter the heterodox German bishops, Jesuits, etc, they need to be regularized. Outside, their voice is marginalized as fringe crazy trads and all but ignored.” (Certainly not ignored by the Vatican or CMTV.)

    The only one attempting to marginalize the Society as fringe crazy trads are heterodox bishops and those Catholics who seem to want to believe themselves in somewhat of a superior position. That said, Uxixu, while regular relations with Rome is the ideal and what every Catholic should desire, you contradict yourself.

    For, friend, what need have you of crazy fringe folks whose only crime is to hang onto the entirety of CLEAR Catholic doctrine? Even if you do not agree that VII has vague elements to it or that the Novus Ordo Missae is anything but wholly Catholic, what, pray, do you think is being employed by the heretical factions within the Church to advance their heterodoxy? False ecumenism perhaps? A misinterpretation of what constitutes cociliarism? How about the bending and twisting of pastoral to mean teaching and/or allowing that which goes against the Faith to continue with the stamp of “full communion” emblazoned upon it to the detriment of the flock? I truth, you say that the Church stands in need of these “fringe folks” precisely because they have the Catholic Faith, minus the compromise!

    You strain out the gnat but let in the camel, friend. You uphold the letter to negate the spirit. Whatever “Smoke of Satan” was let into the Church via VII or just noted during that time period was let in somehow. Stomping one’s foot and insisting that there is/was no opening that could let in the obvious smoke that is choking souls is not Catholic, rather it is the approach of the very idealogue condemned by the Holy Father. (Why do you think His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider spoke the way he did? Because the Society doesn’t have the Catholic Faith? Let’s be honest, friend. For if we want to elicit true help, we shouldn’t adopt the superior attitude that we supposedly disdain in others.)

    So stick to the legalism and fear of looking at the facts – all of them – and stick to the road of defaming the character and spiritual fruits of those whom you “say” you need. But you will never discover the truth of a relationship by listening only to a disaffected spouse and/or a clutch of girlfriends intent on defaming the big baddie. For even now you say we need to band together to defend Holy Mother Church from heterodoxy and bad bishops, but by doing so, you pretend that the evil forces just arrived at the front door without having parked the car at the curb. (Translation: don’t discount those faithful Catholics who identified the thugs and the revved up getaway car at curbside. For there are some Catholics who won’t believe crisis is afoot until they are convinced they must confess the sin of speaking openly against the evils of sodomy because it’s isn’t charitable. Those “faithful” will label you all manner of nonsense for daring to speak the truth, or act in opposition to those lovely heretical bishops who hold the stamp of “full communion.” But it’s coming, friend.)

    “…SSPX behaves as if it as all but a self contained Church who has little to no relation with the rest of the larger Church. This attitude is most manifest in how they discourage the FSSP on their US site.”

    This, friend, is how you’ve been told to interpret what the Society has on its website and holds to be true. But again, the Society has held its position consistently, not so the FSSP. Take that as you will. But if one truly holds that the Novus Ordo Missae is a departure from that which is Catholic, then it is the group that is consistent that gets my attention. Especially when matters are coming to a head as they are.

    Support truth – all of it.

  56. Ann Malley says:

    Ferde Rombola,

    Just as there is a decided stacking of the deck and executive action going on now, you must try to understand that at the time that Archbishop Lefebvfe, a very sick and elderly man, did what he did to counter the obvious machinations of the Vatican stall machine. That is to stall long enough in approving those who were to be elevated to the episcopacy in anticipating of +Lefebvre’s dying which would render the process moot. The Society would have died out.

    What I would really like to know is why the FSSP has been waiting so long – since they were begun in fact – for the bishop they were promised. Could it be, just maybe, that the plan to provide for this traditional group of priests was undermined by those very bishops we now must fight because of their heterodoxy?

    I mean, really. The FSSP was promised their own bishop. Who, pray, could have stopped that promise from coming to fruition but the heterodox bishops that aided in the protraction of the “approval” process for the bishops of the SSPX? Kind of like those bishops who intervened in ’12 to require a last minute preamble that would disavow any real issues with VII documents (…precise ambiguities we know to have borne rotten fruit) prior to receiving the “full communion” stamp.

    I applaud your Catholic thinking, Ferde, but one must think clearly about the real “why” involved in the actions of a holy prelate who, for some odd reason, elevated 4 men to the episcopacy without papal approval – so that they could uphold Catholic tradition. Catholic tradition that we can all clearly see is under gross and rampant attack from within Holy Mother Church.

  57. Ann Malley says:

    Jabba Papa,

    No, Sir, my comments were not divorced from what you wrote, rather they are divorced from what you believe yourself to be communicating.

    There is none and has never been any desire of the Society to be devoid of papal authority. If you notice there is disaffection in a certain faction of the Society, that is not the same as saying that viewpoint represents the core of the Society or the basis upon which it was begun. To intimate as much is to either misunderstand or rather to misrepresent for some other purpose. Surely, it cannot be for the purpose of true charity.

    To further explain: You yourself describe the community centred around Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet in Paris as “the extreme right wing.” That, Sir, may be the truth. But a “wing”, again, doesn’t represent the core and or the basis for any group as evidenced by Rome’s own issues.

    By your logic, I could state on an open forum that the the purpose of the Catholic Church is to make herself Protestant like Luther. Such is definitely the case with regard to certain individuals, and certain factions, but to ascribe such a motive to the whole of the Church – as you did regarding the Society – would be a misstatement of the grossest order. I could further explain my statements by pointing out the extreme “left wing” in Germany.

    That is why I wrote what I did, Jabba Papa. It was necessary after your post.

    No need to continue being bemused.

  58. Ann Malley says:

    Jabba Papa writes:

    “….In great part because the Society rejects such diversity, and claims it to be illegitimate.”

    Then would it not be a grand gesture of Rome to assert Her authority to make a decision to accept the Society as she is rather than, by your statement, seeming to adhere to the assertion of a mere faction that diversity is illegitimate?

    Again, JP, you seem to contradict yourself. The Church can act where and when She pleases in accordance with the Deposit of the Faith. So whereas you lay blame on the child for being disaffected, the authority resides with the parent, no?

    It seems that there are decided factions within Holy Mother Church who do not want the aid of anyone with a mind to stick to the truth that Catholic teaching should remain firmly Catholic.

  59. Mother says:

    Ann Malley,
    I’ve read your response to my post, (among the other verbiage you apparently are compelled to leave for others.)
    Which leaves me suspecting that the size of the diatribe is equivalent to the plank?

  60. Uxixu says:

    Ann, you’re conflating agreement of SSPX with FSSP. They accepted agreement Abp. Lefebvre signed before repudiation. That’s said, Fr. Bisig and Fr. Berg would make excellent bishops and FSSP is about the size that SSPX was in 1988. Mostly, though there had been no need as there has not been a shortage of Ordinaries willing to provide traditional Sacraments for the Fraternity.

    I did no such thing, Ann. I sympathize with their position, even if I find their equivocation on the authority of the Holy Father inconsistent and the disregard to the diocesan Ordinaries abominable. St. Ambrose did not behave so to the Arians nor did St. Augustine to the Donatist. Do you have any answer to the utter disregard shown to the diocesan Ordinaries who SSPX intrudes on? If they were in the Church, they could lay formal accusation per Canon Law. Indeed one wonders at the indifference to not use Canon Law to justify themselves and allow false shepherds to lead so many astray…

  61. Ann Malley says:

    Mother, there is no diatribe, but rather an attempt to put forward the other side’s actual position. Has it come to that, wherein Catholics need to assert that telling the actual truth of another’s position is looked upon as a plank?

    Or do you believe it to be Christian to sit idly by and say nothing to counter the unwarranted smearing of another? We’re not here to whip up hate or fear monger, are we?

  62. Ann Malley says:

    No conflating, Uxixu. As to there being no shortage to local Ordinaries for the FSSP, there is in fact no shortage precisely because the FSSP is given entree to counter the SSPX. (….even so the FSSP is too often marginalized by those Bishops who “welcome” it.)

    As to the utter disregard you mention, it would be utter disregard if there were no conflict as to whether or not the Novus Ordo Missae constituted a departure from that which is Catholic. But therein lies the disagreement. And, as we all know, myriad bishops stand staunchly against Catholic tradition and the TLM. To look back to the USCCB under +Bernadin is to see a can-o-worms. Lest we forget the times in which actions were put into motion.

    So since the Society holds that the TLM was never abrogated, which was true, and that the Novus Ordo Missae, even with a reverent exercise thereof, is a departure from that which is solidly Catholic in form, she provides where necessary – out of necessity. So while the ordinaries wrangle about the necessity to submit to their authority which requires the submission of offering the NO, or at the very least the agreement that the NO is just fine, they raise the obstacle. And the obstacles go right back to VII ambiguities and the creation of the Novus Ordo Missae.

    The Society has been consistent in its position, friend. As to the spreading of chapels, that has occurred due to the expressed desires of the faithful who have a right to that which is thoroughly Catholic. And there’s the rub. And there is also the trail of the burgeoning FSSP. A rather symbiotic relationship. And yet another reason why there should be unity, or at the very least, a cease fire between those who stand with Catholic tradition.

  63. Uxixu says:

    You’re deflecting, Ann. Are the bulks of the Catholic bishops still Catholic or aren’t they? You can’t have it both ways. If they’re valid bishops, the SSPX is committing a grievous offense against the dignity and authority of these bishops and will have to answer for that when they approach the throne of Judgement. At least as much as these bishops will have to answer for the reduced solemnity in the liturgy…

    Ultimately it all comes down to the Holy Father. The Supreme Legislator has the authority to adjust the form with no higher earthly authority to answer to as a thousand years of Catholic apologetics against schismatics attest. Disregarding for the moment whether it’s right (I wager we both prefer the TLM). The Novus Ordo is valid or it’s not. The trick with the SSPX is that they distinguish between validity, which they would acknowledge in the affirmative, but would claim it’s illicit (much as the Vatican says the SSPX is valid and illicit).

    Today, there is no reason for the SSPX to not drop polemic and invective and humbly submit to the authority of the jurisdiction of the heirs of the Apostles. It’s not like they couldn’t just go back into rebellion if things should turn against them. In the meantime,

  64. Ann Malley says:


    It is you who are deflecting. Or at the very least not getting the issue at hand.

    This is not a matter of whether or not the “bulk” of Bishops are Catholic. For while you assert the primacy of authority, you negate the reality that authority has limits. And when that which is asked is perceived as and, in the case of resulting fruits, is demonstrably problematic or sufficiently ambiguous, the clear line of obedience points to the requisite obedience to God and the Deposit of the Faith.

    It is precisely understanding that obligation that leads this group to do what they are doing – because they know that they will be held accountable for this requisite obedience, despite being perceived as being disobedient to the local ordinary. (….there is more to the issue than merely the idea of reduced solemnity in the liturgy.) You act as if those involved do not have a grasp of the seriousness of what is being asserted. They do, Uxixu.

    Your wager is also one that would be lost for my adherence to the TLM is not based on preference.

    Ultimately, in the situation between the Society and Rome, it comes down to matters of doctrine. That is why these ultimatum analyses, especially by those who attempt such declaration without discussing in full with the parties involved, are off target. So too are your assertions of “tricks”, your continuation of asserting the erroneous term “schismatics.” But your closing argument that, “It’s not like they couldn’t just go back into rebellion if things should turn against them. In the meantime,” is disingenuous. Kind of like a marriage of convenience, not a true union or submission.

    Such an attitude is consistent when someone is holding out due to something that really doesn’t matter much to them. But matters of Catholic doctrine do matter. They are worth being defended. But the idea of “humbling submitting” is completely inconsistent with holding a reservation of just going back into “rebellion” if necessary. That is precisely what girds the reality that the position they take is a serious one, not a teenage rebellion wherein the parties involved do not know that they will have to answer at the Judgement seat. Quite the opposite.

  65. JabbaPapa says:

    Ann Malley :

    If you notice there is disaffection in a certain faction of the Society, that is not the same as saying that viewpoint represents the core of the Society or the basis upon which it was begun.

    Lucky for me, I said no such thing.

    I am not responsible for your willful misreadings, nor does the onus fall on me to defend any positions that do not belong to me.

  66. Johannes Quinque says:

    The preference for one version of the Missal over another is not a doctrinal issue. The Missal is not part of the deposit of faith and should never be exalted above the Magesterium and submission to the Holy Father.

  67. robtbrown says:

    Johannes Quinque says:

    The preference for one version of the Missal over another is not a doctrinal issue. The Missal is not part of the deposit of faith and should never be exalted above the Magesterium and submission to the Holy Father.

    The doctrine in a Missal is part of the Magisterium. Further, it is no secret that one reason for the Novus Ordo is doctrinal–the introduction of the Mass considered as a memorial of the Last Supper (thus a meal).

  68. patrick wells says:

    When the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney (Latin: Administratio Apostolica Personalis Sancti Ioannis Mariae Vianney) was established on 18 January 2002 by Pope John Paul II for traditionalist Catholic clergy and laity within the Diocese of Campos in Brazil was there even a single measure executed for the marriages of those lay members who had been previously married by the SSJV? Or was it a moot point entirely?

    That will tell us the real and practical truth regarding SSPX performed/witnessed marriages. Everything else is a waste of time.

  69. Ann Malley says:

    Jabba Pappa,

    The onus falls on you to clarify what you implied, if, that is your intention is to be clear…. and accurate when you post. If there was confusion, it would be a simple matter of you stating that you had no intention of implying that the Society as a whole is similar to what you later attributed to a right wing faction.

    I am glad you do not hold that erroneous position as it does no good to misrepresent or conflate.

    God bless.

  70. Johannes Quinque says:

    The Mass is a representation of the sacrifice on Calvary and the Passover meal. It is a both and also the Resurrection to new life after partaking of the Sacrament.

    The real problems in the Church today have nothing to do with the Missal. It is people: lay, religious, and clergy, refusing to submit to the Holy Father and to the Magesterium. Whether that be the homosexual, woman priest, contraception, abortionist, liturgical abuse, or liturgical self-righteousness rebellion. They are all damaging to the Body of Christ, which weaken our guard against the real enemy!

  71. robtbrown says:

    Johannes Quinque says:

    The Mass is a representation of the sacrifice on Calvary and the Passover meal. It is a both and also the Resurrection to new life after partaking of the Sacrament.

    You’re right about the mass re-presenting Christ’s Sacrifice. But you’re wrong about its relationship to the Passover Meal. The PM is the antetype of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is not, as you say, a Christianized Passover Meal. (cf Cardinal Ratzinger’s writings)

    The real problems in the Church today have nothing to do with the Missal. It is people: lay, religious, and clergy, refusing to submit to the Holy Father and to the Magesterium. Whether that be the homosexual, woman priest, contraception, abortionist, liturgical abuse, or liturgical self-righteousness rebellion. They are all damaging to the Body of Christ, which weaken our guard against the real enemy!

    I suggest you read Sacrosanctum Concilium, esp. no 10, which says the liturgy is the Source and Summit of the Catholic life. That means the Catholic life is the direct consequence of the liturgy.

    Cardinal Ratzinger also disagrees with you (cf his Memoirs):

    “I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived of etsi Deus non daretur: as though in the liturgy it did not matter any more whether God exists and whether He speaks to us and listens to us.

    “But if in the liturgy the communion of faith no longer appears, nor the universal unity of the Church and of her history, nor the mystery of the living Christ, where is it that the Church still appears in her spiritual substance?”

  72. Johannes Quinque says:

    From the CCC, regarding the Eucharist being a meal, the Lord’s Supper:

    1329 The Lord’s Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.143

    The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meat when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,144 above all at the Last Supper.145 It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,146 and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies;147 by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.148

    As I said, their are liturgical abuses, and problems with people and liturgical snobbery, but not the Missal.

  73. JabbaPapa says:

    Ann Malley :

    If there was confusion, it would be a simple matter of you stating that you had no intention of implying that the Society as a whole is similar to what you later attributed to a right wing faction.

    I wrote, very clearly, “extremely similar in its outlook to that of the Gallicanists– which is most certainly NOT to say that every SSPX priest or supporter is as they are

  74. Pingback: Great Analysis of the Spin of Synod on the Family - Big Pulpit

  75. Johannes Quinque says:

    Just to be sure, the Novus Ordo did not introduce the idea of the Eucharist being a meal… This is the witness of the Apostles and early Church fathers. From the Roman Catechism:

    The most ancient Fathers, following the authority of the Apostle, have sometimes also called the Holy Eucharist by the name of Supper, because it was instituted by Christ the Lord at the salutary mystery of the Last Supper.

  76. robtbrown says:

    Johannes Quinque,

    The phrase usually used is that the Eucharist was instituted at the Last Supper and is a memorial of Christ’s Sacrifice. The reason for this distinction is that its first celebration looks forward to the Sacrifice, which had not yet been consummated.

    In an attempt at syncretism inspired by Protestant ecumenism Pope Paul at a Wednesday audience said that it was also a memorial of the Last Supper. This approach not found in the catechism.

    Thus, any Supper reference does not refer to what it is but when it was initiated. The exception does not refer to temporal events but rather is eschatological–the Heavenly Banquet.

    Every Sacrament has a three-fold reference–past, present (grace and the virtues), and future (Aeternal life). The past reference for the Eucharist is the Sacrifice–not the Last Supper.

  77. robtbrown says:

    Also: It depends on what is meant by Missal.

    There have been legitimate criticisms of the Novus Ordo, e.g., the very short Offertory and the vague language it contains (e.g., spiritual drink).

    That notwithstanding, it must be asked whether “Missal” includes vernacular, versus populum celebration.

    If it does not, then I tend to agree with you, despite the above criticism of the Offertory. I have written here that, IMHO, if the Novus Ordo had been adopted while preserving Latin ad orientem celebration, 90% of the problems of the past 50 years would never had occurred.

    On the other hand, if the Novus Ordo includes vernacular, versus populum celebration, then it has to be said that it can be blamed for the crisis in the Church.

  78. Johannes Quinque says:

    So the first Eucharist, instituted by Christ at the Last Supper, preceded his death on the cross. The Mass recalls both the Last Supper and the Passion which followed. Are you trying to deny that the pascal meal Christ shared with his apostles was the Eucharist? Is this not plainly stated in Scripture and Catholic tradition? Here is a small excerpt from the Haydock notes from Matthew 26:26

    — Catholics maintain, after the express words of Scripture, and the universal tradition of the Church, that Christ in the blessed sacrament is corporally and substantially present; but not carnally…”This is my body.” By these words, and his divine power, Christ changed that which before was bread into his own body; not in that visible and bloody manner as the Capharnaites imagined. (John vi.) Yet so, that the elements of bread and wine were truly, really, and substantially changed into the substance of Christ’s body and blood.

    Anyhow, my original point was that it is not anti-Catholic to acknowledge the “meal” aspect of the Eucharist, which is clearly present in Scripture, Tradition, and Magesterium. Remember, God transcends time and space. God alone sees the bigger picture. If we eschew the Magesterium, what is the point of being Catholic? I am not referring to anyone in particular here, but simply pointing out the error that corrupts the very foundation of our Catholic identity when one hearkens to groups who speak negatively of the Church to convince each other their opinions are right.

  79. Johannes Quinque says:


    I posted my last comment before I read your last comment. I think we are more in agreement than I realized.

    There was a lot of unwarranted radical changes in the Catholic Church post Vatican II. As you mentioned, Priest facing the people and disregard to the Latin language, especially in the ordinary.

    If this wasn’t enough, add on poor Biblical and liturgical translations, Biblical footnotes that obscured the faith, and all kinds of liturgical abuses of varying degrees depending on your location.

    I believe these things led to an identity crisis for many Catholics. But these things were not intrinsic to the NO Missal or the documents of Vatican II. I hope all Catholics will be united soon. There has been much liturgical reform lately, especially with Liturgiam Authenticam, the more accurate translation of the Missal, and an upcoming revamp of the NABRE translation (that will match the liturgy and traditional Catholic interpretation, also revised annotations.) God desires reverent worship and study so we can better serve Him! We (ALL CATHOLICS!!!) need to UNITE against liturgical abuses and promote Catholic unity under the Holy Father and the Magesterium!

  80. robtbrown says:

    Johannes Quinque,

    The problem is that the Novus Ordo was said in the vernacular, versus populum, before the promulgation of the Latin Missal (editio typica). John Pepino, my former colleague at the FSSP seminary and an occasional contributor on this blog, points out this indicates that the Novus Ordo was intended to be said in the vernacular, versus populum, with a Latin ad orientem as an option–rather than the other way around.

  81. Ann Malley says:

    Jabba Pappa,

    With all due respect you are still not reading what you wrote, but what you “think” you wrote:

    “…I wrote, very clearly, “extremely similar in its outlook to that of the Gallicanists– which is most certainly NOT to say that every SSPX priest or supporter is as they are“

    When you state “its” you are implying the Society as a whole, not a right wing faction. And when you state, “NOT to say that every SSPX priest or supporter is as they are,” you are indicating that is the individual priest or mass attendee that is NOT similar to the Gallicanists.”

    In other words, you misrepresented the Society as a whole to be similar in nature as Gallicanists who desire to be free from papal authority and then make assurances, for whatever reason, to excuse individuals. That is backwards, friend.

    I received the meaning of what you actually WROTE loud and clear. As for your protestations now, they are overmuch, Sir. For whatever reason you misrepresented, by your words, the core of the Society as being desirous of having no papal authority, using your experience of the “right wing” as you term it to define the whole.

    Again, if you withdraw from that flawed position, great. There is no reason to misrepresent others. And there is similarly no reason to huff and attempt to attribute intentional misreading to others when those biases are called out for correction.

  82. Supertradmum says:

    Michael Voris is pushing the envelope, as usual, but the video on the Net of the SSPX priest basically encouraging people to commit mortal sin and not go to Mass on Sunday, rather than going to an NO Mass is an argument I heard as early as 2007 from SSPX Mass-goers.

    There is, among some laity who go regularly to the SSPX Masses, a real tendency towards schism and being more Roman than Rome. IMHO, the Summorum Pontificum made the SSPX redundant and they all could have come in at that promulgation of the motu proprio. Why they did not is the real question of them staying “outside”, the so-called doctrinal differences some hold concerning the documents of Vatican II.

    Let us be real about this group and note that they do not encourage their congregations to go to local TLMs even when these are located a mere few blocks from the SSPX chapels. That attitude, in itself, is not only dubious, but smacks of material schism.

  83. Ann Malley says:


    If it were only a matter of having the TLM available then Summorum Pontificum would make the SSPX redundant. Although Summorum Pontificum is not obeyed across the board, far from it. IMHO, you are spot on when you say, “Why they did not is the real question of them staying “outside”, the so-called doctrinal differences some hold (It is not a matter of some holding these views, but the Society itself.) concerning the documents of Vatican II.”

    So being “real” would be precisely to understand that there are underlying doctrinal issues at play. Issues that need to be addressed or at the very least acknowledged as being at the root of the problem instead of having the matter dismissed. This is no group risking schism and souls on a lark. To continually imply as such, again IMO, especially in light of Bishop Schneider’s assessment and the objective reality that there is no schism is reckless.

    Think of it as one would a pathology. Issues will not be resolved if individuals and groups are summarily dismissed as just being difficult or having an attitude problem readily attributed to a more easily identified malady. There are real, serious objections/concerns about critical documents that effect the Church. And serious Catholics who identify with these issues are very serious in objecting to what they see as a deviation in the clarity of Catholic teaching which came before. (That is not to say that the only serious Catholics are associated with the Society. No.)

    The perception of “attitude”, that is believing others feel themselves more Roman than Rome, may seem to result. It is a misdiagnosis for lack of data. First impressions are the most striking, but often are completely wrong.

    I had an aunt once who used to make herself up so well for the doctor that she looked fabulous instead of like the very ill woman she was. An old world habit of not complaining being ingrained from birth would also make it difficult as Auntie would dismiss her health issues and present an image of all-is-well. To the world, she appeared quite together and on top of everything. This was patently false. One must look deeper.

    So the “smacking of schism” needs to be looked at carefully and assessed against the criteria of, “Is there schism.” The answer is no. But Michael Voris’s envelope pushing will not render a proper diagnosis. Rather it will inflame relations to such a degree as to preclude proper diagnosis and perpetuate division and misunderstanding and outright hostilities. Hostilities that are taken from CMTV and spread not only across the web at assorted Catholic sites, but hostilities and ridicule that are inserted into family situations, degrading relations even more.

    So, yes, let us be real about “this group.” This group is comprised of serious, faithful Catholics who desire to adhere to and preserve the Deposit of the Faith, whole and entire. They seek to rear their children in the Faith of their Fathers. That is what is real. That is also why asserting that the Society is encouraging the faithful to commit mortal sin is also erroneous. You may not share the view that the Novus Ordo Missae is offensive, but if you did, then it would be sinful to participate.

    Much like it may soon be a matter of conscience to resist any novel practice that would give the impression that those in second marriages without benefit of annulment are welcome to receive the Blessed Sacrament. What to do? Remain faithful to the Truth, of course, but that is increasingly being punished – and from inside the Church itself.

  84. Supertradmum says:

    Ann Malley, I do not understand why you are writing of first impressions. I have no first impressions of the SSPX being aware of them for a very long time, having friends who regularly go or went to their Masses, and attended three myself years and years ago, only to hear tirades against then Pope Benedict in very hateful obvious statements.

    I do not see a love of the Church among those I know who attend those Masses, and imho, the parents of those who are raising their children totally within those chapels are teaching a divisive gospel.

    The Novus Ordo is not offensive and is valid, as are all priests ordained in the revised rite, a critique I heard from SSPX priests, some who deny the very orders of their fellow priests.

    No, they all should come into the main parishes and bring their good will with them. Sadly, I hear and see too much rancor and criticism against the Church Christ instituted.

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