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It's The Humility, Stupid

I am struck by the contrast between two different stories on the subject of Christian unity that I noted yesterday. The stories are of two groups, ostensibly seeking full union with the Holy See. One is a group that professes to be part of the Church although there exists some degree of mutually imposed separation. With that said, this group professes to be working ardently for the goal of unity This is the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The other is a group that is clearly outside the church, a splinter group originally part of the Church of England that split from unity hundreds of years ago. They now seek full union with the Holy See. This is the Traditional Anglican Communion.

The first story (as I linked on SummorumPontificum.net) was about the response of the SSPX to the revised prayer for the Jews as promulgated by Pope Benedict just a while ago. Pope Benedict recently made a huge gesture toward the society when he released his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. This was one of the major "conditions" set by the SSPX as a pre-requisite to unity. When the Pope, for his own prudential reasons, decided to amend the prayer for the Jews, many in the traditionalist camps and those not so inclined turned their eyes to the SSPX to see how they would respond. Would they respond to the Pope's decision with humility, submission, and respect and accept the Pope's judgment on this matter or not? The answer, while not official, seems to be not. There have been some reported comments by Bishop Fellay seems to indicate that they will not be using the new prayer. This does not mean, as some would suggest, that this proves once and for all that the SSPX is schismatic. It doesn't. What it does prove is that we have a long way to go to achieve the desired unity.

The other story I wrote about here yesterday. This story is about the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). A break-away group of Anglicans who have come to realize what they have lost when they lost unity with Rome. Now they want it back. To this end, the Bishops of the TAC reportedly all signed a copy of the Catechism and sent a letter to the Holy See seeking full, corporate, and sacramental union with Rome. Since they have made the request, they await a response with promised silence and in what the Primate of the TAC referred to as "a prayer filled quietness." Acknowledging that the path to unity requires toughness, patience, and above all humility.

As I look at the public disposition of these two groups that seek unity with Rome, I must admit that I have greater hope for the group that is on the outside than the one on the inside. I know that many people can and will defend the various SSPX positions from a moral or legal standpoint. I am no expert and so I will not claim that the SSPX is cutting itself off with such actions and responses. I suspect that many of their "demands" may be legitimate and I definitely have a soft spot for them as I too love the ancient liturgy and despise modernism. But my money, right now, is on the Traditional Anglican Communion. If you care to know why, my answer is very simple. It's the humility, stupid.

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Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I think you are right on.

A Simple Sinner said...

The Trans-Alpine Redemptorists - which are affiliated with the SSPX - have already come out on their blog in support and filial obedience to the Holy See and have declared that in their continued celebration of the old rite, they will use this modified prayer.

It isn't that hard, and no one is questioning the Fathers of Pappa Stransay's "traditionalist orthodoxy" on this matter.

The SSPX have made their hearts hard, and are rather recalcitrant. Short of an amazing miracle, I largely suspect it is far to late for a corporate re-union with Rome saying "God bless this mess!" It has been for years. No one much likes to talk about it, but they have something like 500 ordinands out in the world no longer with them... Some re-uniting to Rome, some going sede-vacantist, some being, I dunno... yoga instructors...

With the SP, the FSSP, the Institute of Christ the King, Society of St. Vincent Ferrar, The personal prefacture of St. John Vianney in Brazil... Well with all of this it is getting harder and harder to justify the erection of chapels without - and certainly usually against - the blessing and approval of the local ordinary... the hearing of confessions without facilties... the likely consecration of additional bishops in the future... the review of marriages and granting of "annulments" internally...

They have been off reservation for so long, the mindset is probably too much to overcome.

I think Rome can call their bluff - they wanted a return to the Mass, they got it. But now they will likely demand more and more. Rome can only do so much to appease roughly 1M Catholics in canonical limbo served by 1,000 uncanonical priests in uncanonical chapels.

frival said...

This makes me think of two things. One, the old saying that fights within the family are the most bitter and the longest to heal. Two, this may just become a classic 90/10 issue, with 90% of the split taking 10% of the time to solve and the remaining 10% of the issues taking 90% of the time.

One does wonder what Abp. Lefebvre would have had to say at this juncture. Sometimes it is harder for the followers of an iconic leader to admit it is time to be done with the fight than it would have been for that same leader - they don't want to be seen as giving up on the movement or insulting his memory. It will certainly take strength to get through this.

Anonymous said...

I think that this post is comparing apples and oranges. I have been part of the Traditionalist Movement for many years now. I have never supported the S.S.P.X or attended its chapels (ever) but do support most of its goals. As for the TAC, I know some of those people well because I am a member of the Monarchist League of Canada, and we used to meet regularly in the TAC church's basement in my area. Many of them are members of the League, which fights to keep Canada a monarchy.

I oppose the Good Friday revision by the Pope and have explained why all over the Internet by now. I accept that it is a valid act of the Supreme Legislator; however, we are not bound to receive or use the new prayer because current law does not (and cannot) require this. (I can explain this in detail for those who need to know why. The simplest but not only reason is that Good Friday is not a holyday of obligation or even a day on which priests must offer public prayers). The reason for opposing the change is not a matter of the text but the bad precdeent that it sets when a Supreme Pontiff amends the Sacred Liturgy of the Church, the Work of the Holy Ghost, specifically at the request of infidels. I can also expand on this, but not in this shorter post.

If you look at the Nota of the Secretary of State, you will see that the Pope only intended to amend the 1962 text. But the S.S.P.X, in an e-mail to me, explained that this does not apply to it in any event, since it uses the 1962 texts generally but has always used the 1955 texts for the Triduum Sacram. Put another way, by specifying that he was only amending the 1962 text, the Pope was deliberately excluding applicability to the S.S.P.X, probably so as not to jeopardise negotiations with it.

Regularised traditionalists rarely acknowledge that everything they have came from S.S.P.X resistance to liberalism and Modernism in the Church. The 1984 Indult came as a result of Archbishop Lefebvre's refusal to stop ordaining priests after he was suspended a divinis, a suspension that was unjust because he was not given the recourse to an appeal and because his seminary was accepted by the visitation of the 1970s, led by Cardinal Gagnon.

The 1988 motu proprio would not exist had Archbishop Lefebvre not consecrated four of his priests to the episcopate. This also resulted in the foundation of the F.S.S.P., by far the largest traditionalist society of priests.

There would have been no Campos deal in 2001 had Rome not been trying to woo the S.S.P.X with an ordinary jurisdiction. And "Summorum Pontificum" would not exist had not the Society asked for it. In that document, the Pope de facto admitted that his predecessor, Paul VI, had abused his authority. He did so because the old Mass was never abrogated, and yet Paul VI claimed to have abrogated it in "De Missali Romano", 1971, and because many priests were persecuted for resisting an abuse of power.

The leaders of the Society do not stand firm because they are haughty or proud, and you, Mr. Archbold, have no window into their souls. They stand firm because they love the Church and pray for the restoration of that which is good. For them, this is a sacrifice, not a joy.

More on my next posting!

Peter Karl T. Perkins

Anonymous said...

I am being nice today and it is Lent. So I will skip over most comments with which I disagree. I would like to make a small correction to one poster's information, however. The Campos was not given a personal prefecture or prelature but a personal apostolic administration. This is crucial. It is the structure that was needed for the Campos and which has been offered to the S.S.P.X. I believe that, once this offer was made to the S.S.P.X in 2000, its claim of supplied jurisdiction arising from an emergency could no longer be justified even ni theory.


Anonymous said...

Frial makes a good point. In fact, what Rome offered the S.S.P.X in 2000 was *FAR* more than what Archbishop had been prepared to accept in 1988. Bishop Fellay even admitted this, calling the 2000 offer a "Rolls Royce" structure. In other words, Archbishop L. would have taken the 2000 offer of a personal and international apostolic administration in a heartbeat. So why hasn't Bishop Fellay? He and the other Society bishops say that conditions have changed. But, really, their worst objections today are those of 1988. I note that both 1988 and 2000 are years *following* the 1986 Assisi event, which is the Society's greatest complaint. It is time for the Society to accept at least a provisional structure during its discussions with Rome over doctrine. The Pope needs the Society's help. He needs its influence in a Rome still influenced very strongly by clerics who are liberals. Perhaps His Holiness will get some of that help from the TAC but the TAC is just too small to be an influenctial as the Society.


Anonymous said...

More on my first post: the TAC (no stops because it is an acronym, pronounced as a word).

I also know some of the TAC people fairly well. Like many of them here in Canada, I belong to the Monarchist League of Canada. We don't want our country to end up as a republic, like the horrid French Republic or, even worse, the U.S.A.

Of course, the TAC is waiting in silence for Rome's approbation. But the cause is not so much humility as fear. Mr. Archbold should check his facts before singing the TAC's praises.

The fact is that the TAC is so small and so poor that it has few churches to worship in. Take Canada as an example. It has over sixty parishes and even more priests but only seven churches it can call its own, and several of these seven are in remote places such as Chapleau, in the wilderness of Northern Ontario. It has no parish at all in Toronto, by far the most important city in Canada. What sort of Canadian church can call itself serious with not even a parish (with or without a church building) in Toronto?

The story is the same in the U.S.A., where the TAC is wealthiest. It mostly worships in funeral homes, hospice chapels, military base chapels, and even livingrooms in private houses. Several of its parishes have no resident priest and rely on lay readers to organise priestless Sunday worship.

The great majority of its claimed membership of 400,000 is in India. What happened there is that a judge made a mind-boggling decision that the TAC was the successor of the old Anglican Church of North India and therefore gets its property. (The Church of North India was absorbed into a larger Protestant body but some of its members had refused the merger.) Many of its supporters there are just Christians who happened to live nearby those churches. They have no idea that they belong to a church which exists to oppose woman priests in the Anglican Church (although they would no doubt support such a church).

In England, the TAC is so small that it has only two parish churches for its more than fifteen parishes. It has no parishes and no churches and no clergy at all in Scotland. In Ireland, it has three parishes and zero churches. One of the three is in the Republic; the others are in the six counties. In New Zealand, the TAC consists of one parish at Auckland. It worships in a military chapel.

I am not attacking the TAC. I really like them and hope that they enter into union with Rome. If they do, they will have somewhere to worship while they grow, for they will then be able to ask the Roman ordinaries for use of their churches.

Another consideration is that many of the conservative Anglican bodies in Africa and the Third World, called the 'Global South' group, could join the TAC once it is united to Rome.

The TAC needs a firm source of authority and access to some churches. It is not growing much. Anglicans who are disgruntled with the homo wars in the Anglican Communion are not joining the TAC but are joining the Global South group. There is a reason for this. The Global South people reject homo blessings but accept womanpriest, whereas the TAC was founded in the 1970s by Anglicans who reject womanpriest (as well as rejecting homo blessings). Simply put,the new anti-homo Anglicans are too prideful to join the TAC because that would amount to an admission that they were wrong about womanpriest in the 1970s. We must never admit they we are wrong, now, right?!


Patrick Archbold said...

You wrote "The leaders of the Society do not stand firm because they are haughty or proud, and you, Mr. Archbold, have no window into their souls."

I did not claim to have a window into their souls. I have not condemned them or judged them. So, respectfully Peter, I think you are objecting to a straw man.

I merely stated my opinion that unity with the TAC seems closer to me because of the humility evidenced by their behavior. I don't see the same type of humility in the behavior or statements of the SSPX. I know they have different issues so I am not comparing the two. Once again, my premise is that humility builds the bridge and there seems to be a difference in the public attitudes of these groups.

David L Alexander said...

"I don't see the same type of humility in the behavior or statements of the SSPX."

The late Cardinal Gagnon, in visiting the SSPX, didn't see "the same type of humility" among them either. You do not require a window into a man's soul to render an opinion of his actions.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any lack of humility at all in the attitude of Bishop Fellay, Mr. Archbold. Where is this coming from? Bishop Fellay did *not* reject the legal right of the Pope to alter the Good Friday prayer. In his love for the Church and in a spirit of true humility, the sort that risks being criticised for the love of the Church, Bishop Fellay has pointed out why he thinks that this revision is unfortunate and why it sets a very bad precedent. I note that, in his recent conference at Ridgefield, those present, one of whom I know well, said that he seemed to be confused and troubled in his statements. That does not sound to me like the consequence of arrogance. I think that he is a very humble man.

The charge that the Society has rejected the revision is false. The Pope quite deliberately restricted the revision to the 1962 books. His advisors must have told him that this would not affect the S.S.P.X, since it does not use the 1962 books for the Triduum Sacram in the first place; it uses those of 1955. Keep in mind that anything that might affect relations with the Society would have been taken into account, since the Holy Father clearly wants a reconciliation with it. He does not want to jeopardise his negotations with the Society.

If this charge of a lack of humility is not coming from a reading of souls, where is it coming from? Where is the evidence for it? To whom are you referring? I find that Bishops Fellay, Tissier de Mallerais, and, in particular, de Galaretta, have displayed admirable patience and humility. They are the bishops who have taken this Cross upon their shoulders for the love of Christ, and not because they like disobedience--however rightful--to the Pope. Some might point to Bishop Williamson but he is not the superior-general or even in the current council of the Society.

In the case of the TAC, you see true humility in its pious words. I don't doubt it. But I have pointed out that there is clear EVIDENCE of another motive for the TAC: need, even fear. The TAC is tiny and is not growing. It NEEDS Rome. If current conditions continue, it will die. It cannot even establish a parish in Toronto for its Canadian organisation. I really do love those people and want them in, but that is pathetic.

I would argue that the S.S.P.X also needs Rome, although it may not realise the extent of this need yet. Much of its need will follow from the success of "Summorum Pontificum". As the old adage goes, Be careful what you ask for: you just might get it.


Patrick Archbold said...

Thanks. I agree. I fear that Peter was reading more into my statements than are really there.

Peter, you seem to be saying that because the TAC is poor, it is fear and not humility that drives them. Does this particular observation require a window into their souls? Is this supposition on your part or fact? I think the former.

You reprimand me for not checking my facts when singing their praises. Yes, I praised their public statements and behavior surrounding this issue. My praise is an opinion based upon facts in evidence. Your facts are opinion based upon facts not in evidence.


Anonymous said...

PKTP does not see a lack of humility?
I wonder why? HAHAHAH

Patrick Archbold said...

For clarification. I did not say that the SSPX "rejected" the prayer nor did I make any legal argument that suggested that the SSPX is forced to accept it. What I said was "Would they respond to the Pope's decision with humility, submission, and respect and accept the Pope's judgment on this matter or not? The answer, while not official, seems to be not."

Humility, submission, and respect was the criteria I used. Obligated or not, they could have chosen to submit to the Pope's judgment in the matter. It appears that that they haven't. That is what I am referring to. I believe this to be an important distinction.

Anonymous said...

I don't see a lack of humility because there isn't one. I wonder if some bloggers would deign to argue instead of emote. That might help.

Mr. Archbold claims that he doesn't see into the souls of the Society leaders, and yet the title of his article is "It's the humility, stupid". I think that he is certainly inferring that there is a lack of humility in the Society leadership. That is his entire point in contasting the Society with the TAC. But he doesn't identify who he means. Is he referring to Bishop Fellay, the superior-general?

Mr. HAHA does not seem to realise that Bishop Fellay has not taken on the leadership of the Society because he loves rebellion; nor is there evidence of him being proud or arrogant. His reasoning, however mistaken it might be on some points, has been consistent throughout. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to assume that his motives are good, not the reverse. Show me the evidence for his arrogance and then judge his actions.

At this time of Lent, we need to consider that every sin has a subjective element. No one can sin unless he intends evil. My reading of Bishop Fellay is that he is beset by arguers on all sides in the Society and wants to regularise the Society. But he wants to defend truth more, and he wants to protect the Faith and save souls above all. Would that we could say the same for so many regularised bishops, who can't even protect children from predators in the priesthood; instead, they move them around and protect them so that they can rape even more children. Odd how we haven't heard of such problems in the S.S.P.X.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Archbold:

I regard to the TAC, if you read my post carefully, in regard to their supposed humility, I wrote "I don't doubt it" but then went on to produce extensive EVIDENCE that they may have *additional* motives.

For example, they may be facing extinction. That often works as a motive, don't you think? Note also that there is nothing immoral in wanting to join Rome so as not to become extinct. If you know your catechism, you know that fear of God is a legitimate motive for action, even if inferior to love. I am saying that there is evidence that fear is part of it. They have nowhere to worship and nobody is joining them. Except for India, most of their members are over the age of 60, and in the case of India (and Pakistan), it is unclear whether or not their members even know what it is they belong to. They just go to the nearest church, which a court awarded to the TAC.

You are the one who has not furnished us with evidence that the Society (who in the Society? Can organisations be humble, or just people?) is less humble. I suggest that true humility consists in more than humble words, such as those you've quoted from the TAC.


David L Alexander said...

"I don't see a lack of humility because there isn't one. I wonder if some bloggers would deign to argue instead of emote."

I was wondering the same thing myself. "I don't see it because it's not there" is not based on anything, ergo is not much of an argument, ergo it must be...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Archbold writes:

"Humility, submission, and respect was the criteria I used. Obligated or not, they could have chosen to submit to the Pope's judg[e]ment in the matter. It appears that that they haven't."

If someone does not oblige me to change my behaviour, does it follow that I am arrogant (the opposite of humble) because I have not changed it? You just don't get it. Apart from the issue in hand, the Pope deliberately amended only the 1962 words knowing full well that the S.S.P.X uses the 1955 text. Read the Nota of the Secretary of State!

The Pope has never demanded that the Society use the revised prayer, but it should be noted that nor has he enjoined them to do so and nor has he asked them to do so. They decline to use it for very good reasons, some of which I have explained under this subject and others in your blog.

When a Pope does something that undermines the Church, it is not humility but stupidity to follow him blindly. God does not want this. He wants us to use the brains He gave unto us!

I keep seeing on this blog and others this Protestant notion of papal authority as a Hobbesian absolute tyranny. That is completely opposed to the teaching of the fathers and to all previous popes. The authority of the Pope was established by Christ to build up the Mystical Body and to save souls; and it is limited by the end for which it was established It is supreme and universal and plenary and immediate authority but not absolute authority!

We should not use the revised prayer because using it supports an action of the Pope which undermines his own authority. It is an abomination to set a precedent by which we reform the Work of the Holy Ghost in the Sacred Litugy specifically at the behest of two leading infidels from Palestine.

It is out of love for the Pope that I refuse to receive and/or use this 2008 revision. Fortunately, I am legally allowed to do so as well, but that is a secondarly consideration.

Bishop Fellay, I am sure, wants to work co-operatively wtih the Holy See. But the Pope keeps doing unnecessary and harmful things to prevent a rapprochement. He prays in synagogues and mosques and such. I pray that the Holy Father will stop listening to infidels from Palestine and, instead, will work with those who love the Church!


matthew archbold said...

Oh. The TAC is poor? Forget them then. Jesus never wanted anything to do with the poor and neither will I.

Anonymous said...

David Alexander, quoting me, writes:

"I was wondering the same thing myself. 'I don't see it because it's not there' is not based on anything, ergo is not much of an argument, ergo it must be..."

I was making an observation and adding a *just* assumption: since I don't see any lack of humility in the Society leadership, therefore, in justice, I assume that it is not there.

This was in resonse to Mr. Haha, who simply emoted to the effect that there was obviously a lack of humility among the Society leadership, or else a lack of intelligence in me for not seeing it.

Really, though, I should not have bothered responding to Haha.


matthew archbold said...

"It is out of love for the Pope that I refuse to receive and/or use this 2008 revision." -PKTP

I love that philosophy. I'm going to try that on my wife. "Honey, it's out of love that I'm not going to listen to a word you say." Think she'll buy it?

Anonymous said...

In response to Mr. Archbold, that really depends upon what your wife has asked you to do. If she asks you to take your children out of a Catholic school on the grounds that her Jewish friends are offended by that school, you might very well refuse out of love for your wife and your children.

The important thing is that a valid refusal of legitimate authority can only be justified if the motive is good and holy. If the motive is defendable in principle, we should assume, out of love for its agent, that his will is good. And we should then try to persuade that person that he or she has made a mistake, while being open to persuasion that we are the mistaken party. But that's only if *we* love the other party; and being open to the possibility that it is we who are wrong, well, that requires real humility. Humble statements are somewhat less than that.


David L Alexander said...

"Think she'll buy it?"

Only one way to find out. Get back to us on it... from whatever hotel you're staying at that night.

Anonymous said...

Matthew Archbold, who is arch-bold indeed, writes this:

"Oh. The TAC is poor? Forget them then. Jesus never wanted anything to do with the poor and neither will I."

Where is this coming from? I never suggested that we should reject them on the grounds that they are poor. Nor did I ever suggest that their poverty was their sole motive for wanting a union with Rome. But I am suggesting that it is a very strong motive. There's nothing wrong with that motive. It is completely moral. But it is not the *same* as a motive of humility.

Before you misinterpret me yet further, note that I do not question their humility. But I suggest that it is not their only motive. Of course they want a union with Rome. Right now, most of them have nowhere to worship and little recourse to clerical ministration. They need help, and we should oblige them.

But humble words alone do not demonstrate that humility is their sole motive or their primary one. The idea that they are patiently and humbly waiting for the Holy See elides the fact that they are on their knees for other reasons, such as destitution.


Anonymous said...

It's Destitution, Stupid.

It is the Year of Our Lord 1976. After some liberal Anglican ministers have already jumped the gun (sound familiar: cf. Communion in the hand for us), the Anglican Church of Canada finally votes to admit women to its priesthood. This is possible, since its priesthood isn't valid in the first place.

A group of Anglicans who are traditionalist says, "No way, José. This is finally the straw that broke the camel's back." So they leave, forming the Anglican-Catholic Church of Canadam (the oldest body in the TAC). The 'Catholic' in the name refers to the Creed, not to any hope for re-union with Rome.

A year later, an American group leaves the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. for similar reasons. After three schisms, it eventually becomes known as the Anglican Church in America. In the 1980s, several others from other countries come together, and they form the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). They now have twelve national bodies in all, plus one lone parish in New Zealand under their general primate.

Now, let us engage in some fantasy. We can pretend to be, um, David Alexander (why not? I rather like the chap.) Let us suppose that millions of Anglicans had joined us, splitting the Anglican Communion in two over the issue of women's ordination. Let us suppose that the traditionalist victors got to keep the property of parishes where they were the majority. Let us suppose that they managed to pull sixty or seventy per cent of the property out of the now-liberal Anglican bodies. Does anyone here honestly believe that such a successful TAC would now be on its knees begging to be accepted as a Catholic uniate body? Not a chance. They would be trumphant.

But what really happened? Well, except for Northern India, they got zero property. And because their particular denomination had gone wildly liberal (and these are wealthy liberals, remember), they got very little support. Cast off by all as the off-scouring of the world, they had to go from desert to cave and from pillar to post, destitute and in need, to try to re-build.

But they are dying, ladies and gentlemen. Most of their members are over the age of 60. Young Anglicans in North America, Western Europe, and Australia, tend to come from very liberal families these days. Those who really do want back some religion join the evangelical branch of Anglicanism, which is foregin to most in the TAC. Thanks to an acceptance of artificial contraception de facto, most Anglicans of all stripes are dying.

Not only are their members literally dying of old age and leaving no successors, but rift and division have afflicted the TAC, especially in the U.S.A., where three competing bodies have excommunicated one another. They have few churches, few priests, few adherents, and little authority to ensure unity.

Without the unity that can only come from Rome now (as Constantiniple has proved unable to provide it among the Orthodox!), they are finished. So they are on their knees, humbly waiting for the Pope's approbation. They are humble all right. To a great extent, they have been humbled by circumstances.

Now, of course, if Rome lets them in, the future looks very bright indeed. But I'll save that for another post.


Anonymous said...

More on the TAC

Bloggers [is that a word?] have commented on the TAC. One problem in regard to it is that, well, there are forces in the Church who do not want the TAC. These are the Catholic liberals. For example, about two months ago, Walter Cardinal Kasper warned that the TAC's entry into the Church would be difficult. There are many obstacles, he said. If there are not, I'm sure that he'll dream some up, although he is about to turn 75, and rumour has it that he has already submitted his resignation as President of the Council for Promoting Christian unity. How ironic that someone with that title would want to obstruct Christian unity!

Why don't the liberals want the TAC? One reason is that they just don't want more conservative people in the Church. But there is a much more important reason. They also don't want them because the entry of the TAC would infuriate the regular Anglicans, including their leaders in England, America, and so on.

But why should the Archlaic of Canterbury care? After all, the TAC is tiny and has little property; it is poor. Ah, yes, but it is its potential for stupendous growth as a uniate church that worries Rowan Williams and that Schorri Woman. That would be growth at the expense of, um, the regular Anglicans. And regular Anglicans, who are radical liberals, are œcumenical buddies of, um, liberal Catholics, Catholics such as Kasper, Mahony, Lehmann, Daneels. Well, you get the picture.

Now let's put that picture in focus. Already, 800 Anglican ministers have said that they will join the TAC the instant it joins Rome. Of course, many of these are exaggerating and forgetting where their pensions are coming from. But even 200 would be a huge exodus. Inmage the effect if the 30 ministers in the TAC in England were suddently joined by 200 or 300 more in a day?

Far more important is the problem of the Global South Anglicans. These are archconservative Anglicans who dominate the Anglican churches in the Third World. They are a very large per centage of the whole and, unlike First World Anglicans, their numbers of growing. In fact, they are growing very quickly, while decline is just as fast in the West. It is now a contest to see if the Third World Anglican churches can grow at a faster rate than that at which the First World Anglicans are declining!

Take Nigeria, for example. Among worldwide Anglican bodies, it is the second most populous, after the Church of England. It has about 18 million Anglicans, and their 'primate' (not a monkey), Archbishop Akinola, has already suggested that he'll take all 18 million into a uniate church under Rome. Imagine that. 400,000 Anglicans join Rome. A week later, they are joined by 18 million others.

But it gets better. The Anglican churches in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Malaysia and Southern America are all set to join a uniate TAC (i.e. one under the Pope). Poof! One day, they're Anglican. The next day, they're Catholic with an Anglican style.

I don't think that it would happen instantly but it would happen soon. It would mean the end of the Anglican Communion as a noticeable international religious organisation. Kasper and Mahony et al. don't want that! They certainly don't want a huge infusion of traditional and conservative Anglicans into Catholicism! That would mean that millions of Anglicans would escape taking their liberal medicine, medicine charitably forced down their throats to make them more 'modern' and 'advanced'. WE mustn't have that!

So, we should pray that the TAC will be successful in its plea for union with the Pope.


A Simple Sinner said...

I hate to jump in the mix too much here... but honestly poverty and agining alone does not lead to Rome. Otherwise there would be a stampede of a dozen other micro-denominations that are far less well off in the Continuning Anglican/Old Catholic world.

As a matter of fact, there are a few micro-Lutheran denoms that have made similar overtures... The one I am thinking of off the top of my head though, is a little too "do-it-yourself" with a whole lot of clergy (way too many bishops) and way too few faithful. "Hobby" comes to mind.

Another splintering group that once enjoyed a little more success in numbers and organization is the Charismatic Episcopal Church. Several of their clergy (including one "archbishop") went Roman. But in the wake of the amagisterial disaster that was the original denomination, at least two new denominations were formed in addition to the parishes that stayed with the CEC... And several parishes went "Continuing Anglican" while at least two went "Western Rite Orthodox" under the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese. I digress...

Opportunities abound to remain non-Catholic, to re-align, to go quietly even...

So I a can't quite be as pragmatic as saying "their backs were agasint the wall" so to speak. If denominationalism in Protestantism has taught us anything, those with a view to NOT go to Rome can always find somewhere else to go.

Now, what Rome will do with them (and I very much DOUBT they would be brought in as a corporate whole!) is anyone's guess. My first best guess would be a Motu-like arrangement for wider opportunities to use the Anglican-use Book of Divine Worship already in place for convert congregations. But I definately think "sui juris" self-governing "uniate" status, with perennial rights to married clergy (something even Eastern Catholics outside their traditional homelands in the west have not secured) is out.

Honestly, I think a good part of whatever response is offered will hinge on creating an arrangement applicable to ex-Anglican-types world-wide. At some point more Anglicans still are going to realize that their quests for "alternate oversight" from the Southern Cone or Africa is just a pipe dream... and it will not save, protect or preserve them from the madness of modernity - only forestall it.

WHEN that happens, will there be enough of them left to bother with special arrangements?

A Simple Sinner said...

You bring up a good point! Again, the way I see it (a humble blogger of no importance or influence, my dad doesn't even read my blog...)

Well the way I see it, more than anything what would be most likely in a pro-TAC move would be the creation of a personal prelature or some such, perhaps even side-stepping local ordinaries who in some places have adamnantly refused to apply the pastoral provision to those seeking it.

I think B16 is pretty smart... He knows which end is up, when it comes to dialogue with "Global North Anglicanism" that ship has sailed. Why ANY tithe money gets wasted on Catholic bishops meeting up with the Anglicans for talks anymore, I cannot say. Perhaps they think that it could lead to some conversion privately? Corporate re-union (even if they agreed to re-ordination) is OUT....

Anonymous said...

To A Simple Sinner:

It is true that small groups such as the TAC splinter and fracture and amalgamate and re-amalgamate. However, they are all mostly facing extinction. The TAC does have its back to the wall. But it is also much larger internationally than most of the others, and it has a huge potential for growth. Others might be willing to accept eventual extinction; it wants to avoid this.

With the greatest of respect, I must disagree with your view that the TAC will not be admitted as a uniate body. It has proposed "full, corporate and sacramental unity" and that is clearly the road preferred by this pontificate. Its primate-general is also a good friend of Pope Benedict XVI. There is absolutely no question that the Pope will try, at least, to bring them in as one body. Rome has signalled this. Ironically, it even fits into Cardinal Kasper's heretical theory of convergence!

You are correct, however, about the matter of the marriage of clerics. But there are cracks in the Eastern façade. The 1929 rule for the Eastern churches has now been set aside. I ought to know. The former priest at my local Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church was the first priest to be both married and ordained in Canada. There are now two or three others.

A larger problem will be TAC's married bishops. TAC, however, has already declared that it will accept whatever Rome determines on this. To paraphrase its primate-general, who is married himself, If this will not be permitted, I will hang up my crozier and retire as a simple priest of a uniate TAC, taking my fishing rod with me.

I am sure that Mr. Archbold will seize on this paraphrase to support his argument on humility. That's fine. I have to give him something left to assert in peace.

I think that Rome will allow TAC to keep its married priests and deacons but then tighten current rules so that men who are Latin Catholics--even converts--may never enter a uniate TAC for ordination.

On the matter of married bishops, I'm not sure what Rome will do. Constantinople accepts Anglicans' married bishops as legitimate, whereas Moscow does not. So the orthodox are divided on this themselves (although all Orthodox agree, of course, that a male can be both a valid bishop and a married man. They are divided only on whether or not Anglican orders are valid in the first place.)

I'm not sure that Rome will want married bishops because, in the past several centuries, only the Assyrian Nestorians had them, and they gave them up about 250 years ago. In other words, Rome would be making a huge exception having an effect on all of Christendom.

Another problem for the TAC will be accepting the Sacrament of Penance as individual confession. TAC certainly has this but many of its members, given their background, simply do not repair to the confessional (of course, the same is true for us!).

TAC will also have to drop its devotion to 'St. Charles the Martyr'. He died for the faith but, unfortunately, it was the wrong one!

TAC now accepts all Catholic dogma.


Anonymous said...

Simple sinner:

Please avoid suggesting or even hinting at a "personal prelature". That is what Opus Dei has and, given Canon 297, it would be a huge disaster for ANY traditional group. Speak instead of a personal apostolic administration. It is equivalent in law to a diocese for its own subjects. Now, you're talking!

In the case of the TAC, however, it would not be a personal apostolic adminisration but a uniate church, like that of the Ukrainians or Maronites. It would be a sui juris church. This has already been decided, I'm told. But the delay is caused over the issue of marriage and ordination. And it goes further than my last post suggests. For example, they have clerics who were Catholic, were ordained as Catholic priests, defected to the TAC, got consecrated as TAC bishop. They have cases of divorced men who are clerics. It's complicated, but then that's why we have reams and reams of canonists at Rome!


bnwied said...


"When a Pope does something that undermines the Church, it is not humility but stupidity to follow him blindly. God does not want this. He wants us to use the brains He gave unto us!"

My question for you is: Will the new Good Friday prayer for the Jews undermine the Church? In what way? What does your superior brain tell us is the right course?--disobey the Pope...Right...That seems the best course, and the most humble.

David L Alexander said...

I'm wondering about this myself. Leaving aside the prudential judgment of this decision, EXACTLY what is dangerous to the Faith about the revised prayer? What does our answer say about the protection the Holy Father enjoys from erring in matters of Faith and Morals? Or must he speak "ex cathedra" every time he so much as gives a catechism lesson?

Anonymous said...

To bnwied:

My superior brain tells me that it is not so much the text of the prayer as the precedent it sets that undermines Holy Church. Supreme Pontiffs do not alter the Work of the Holy Ghost at the behest of infidels who don't believe their even is a Holy Ghost.

Secondly, I have never asked anyone to disobey the Pope; rather, I have pointed out that the change DOES NOT REQUIRE us to use the new prayer; in fact, it allows us to use the old one. Read what I write and then you, too, will have a superior brain.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Alexander:

What does the new prayer have to do with faith and morals? Has the Holy Father found the old prayer to be deficient in terms of faith and morals. He has not, or do you also have a secret window into souls, along with Mr. Archbold? I have never seen any suggestion from the Sacred Magisterium that this was about faith or morals.

But to answer your question without being fully thorough (no space for that here), documents of the Holy See on faith and morals have different degrees of authority requiring differing degrees of assent.

Not all infallible statements need to be ex cathedra statements. How neo-conservatives, who have so little respect for tradition, love that Hobbesian absolutist view! Read Vatican I, the better Vatican Council, and you will see that the ordinary Magisterium is also infallible when the Churh repeats something that has been taught always, everywhere, and by all bishops united to the successors of Blessed Peter.

In other cases, we have a right to withhold assent but not to dissent. This means that we cannot will disagreement, but we are not bound to will agreement either. In such cases, if we find that we do not agree with the Magisterium (a finding, not a willed rebellion), we are to pray for understanding so that we may have a perfect adherence. But until that adherence is there, we should not attack the Church's positions in public but maintain silence. An example of this would be the teaching contained in Rerum Novarum, the first social encyclical.

Other matters carry less authority. For example, the Church only favours the view that there is a limbo of infants. We can disagree openly provided that we should proper respect for the Church's preferred view.

Very few people realise that the documents of Vatican II are NOT infallible except when they repeat teachings that were held to be infallible before Vatican II was called. This is because the fathers at the Council declined (and sometimes even refused) to define the terms, a condition necessary to make a doctine infallible. Both popes of the Council pointed out that Vatican II was a pastoral council, not a dogmatic one. That means that we are not bound to adhere to any new doctrines found in it.

I get the feeling that you are a young man and new at this. Am I correct?


Anonymous said...

From Broadcast News:
Paul Moore: It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room.
Jane Craig: No. It's awful.

PKTP:"I get the feeling that you are a young man and new at this. Am I correct?"

Wow! Talk about condescension. I hope PKTP is a young man and is new to this. That way there is some hope he may yet grow out of it. You are not likely to win many hearts and minds the way you talk to people.


matthew archbold said...

I repeat to PKTP the name of this post. "It's the Humility, Stupid."

David L Alexander said...

"I get the feeling that you are a young man and new at this. Am I correct?"

I'm fifty-three years old. It's old enough to remember when "the Old Mass" was just "the Mass." It's old enough to bristle when some punk-ass kid who wasn't even BORN in 1962 tries to tell me how not to respond from the pews, and risks getting b****-slapped in front of the wife and kids. How's that for old???

If the change to the prayer does not endanger the Faith, then the Holy Father is within his authority. No, the original did NOT fall from the sky courtesy of the Holy Spirit (as you appeared to suggest elsewhere). The "organic development" of the sacred liturgy is not like a potted plant; there is a human element. I can give you all kinds of reasons why I would have preferred the Pope did NOT change the prayer. But they don't matter. He is not required to check in with me on these things

And sooner or later, the Holy Father is going to do something that you or I or some yutz from the SSPX is going to prefer he did differently. But we can't nitpick through the rules like some anal-retentive Talmudic scholar, over how to get around having to comply with something. (Ironic that I'd use Talmudic scholars, eh?) Nor can we go starting a jihad over every little thing.

And in the larger scheme of things, this is little. It does not endanger the Faith, and it calls for the conversion of the Jews. Otherwise, the Jews would have been happy with it. Since they're not, it must hit close enough to home.

David L Alexander said...

Oh, and another thing... old enough to already know most of what you told me about the teaching authority of the Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my apologies, Mr. Alexander. No, I was also alive and well long before 1962. I did not mean to be rude. I only noticed that you were asking some rather basic questions about things such as degrees of authority, so I thought that you must be new to all of this. Perhaps I simply assume too much. Not everyone is expected to have an extensive knowledge of such theological matters, and the subject is complex, after all.

No offence intended.


Anonymous said...

David Alexander wrote:

"If the change to the prayer does not endanger the Faith, then the Holy Father is within his authority."

I never suggested otherwise. I have explained my position on this time and again, but you don't seem to get it. I never claimed that he lacked the authority. I claimed that (1) the change was regrettable and a mistake and (2) we are not required in law to use the prayer, and nor should we. Why is it that you keep failing to address these very simple arguments? I can't understand it. Under the current law, even a diocesan priest can, in an extreme case, avoid the revision simply by not offering Good Friday prayers at all. Good Friday is not among the days he must offer them.

No, the original did NOT fall from the sky courtesy of the Holy Spirit (as you appeared to suggest elsewhere). The "organic development" of the sacred liturgy is not like a potted plant; there is a human element.

(2) I think I know a good deal about what organic development means, having read scores of books by liturgiologists (not mere liturgists). It means that forms grow by usage from existing forms and are later given approbation by legitimate authority. Of course, there's a human element. The Holy Ghost is the author of our liturgy, but He works through human hands, just He did in the case of the Scriptures. That is why we Catholics do not believe in 'sola scriptura'. There are three sources of knowledge about God: Scripture, Nature and Tradition. Organic growth in the liturgy is an example of the third.

This means that, in the Catholic Church, we do not dream up liturgical prayers; rather, they come from older forms and the changes have precedents. Try reading "Quo Primum Tempore" and notice the very different attitude of Pope St. Pius V in regard to the Work of the Holy Ghost, which he dared not touch. Next term, I am thinking of making my students read this in Latin and then translate it.

It is true that the Pope has the authority to make small changes, such as the 2008 revision. It is not the case that he has the authority completely to discard an established form or rite. But that is beside the main point here.

While the Pope does have the authority to make small changes, he should avoid this, according even to Vatican II, when the good the Church does not genuinely require it. Changes, especially additions to or revisions of established liturgical texts, are traditionally made only to protect the faithful from some new heresy or to clarify something essential (e.g the Prayer of Justinian added to the Byzantine Rite).

What we have in the case in hand is a Pope who set an even worse precedent--even worse than dreaming up or concocting a liturgical prayer. We have the first case ever of a Pope who amends the Work of the Holy Ghost specifically at the behest--nay, the demand--of infidels who do not believe that there is a Holy Ghost.

I have repeated this many times now. Nobody seems to be able to understand my point. People keep responding as if I had written something else. Hence my frustration. What is the problem here?


David L Alexander said...

"I claimed that (1) the change was regrettable and a mistake and (2) we are not required in law to use the prayer, and nor should we. Why is it that you keep failing to address these very simple arguments?"

Because I have to wade through the morass that is everything else you have written. If you'd confine yourself to the central argument, my eyes wouldn't glaze over so much. Now then...

(1) the change was regrettable and a mistake...

Regrettable, perhaps. But who are we to say it was a mistake? Other than our own opinion?

(2) we are not required in law to use the prayer, and nor should we.

If a decree was legitimate issued that says we are to use it, then we are to use it. No, Good Friday is not a day of obligation. But if a priest is celebrating the Presanctified Liturgy on that day in the Extraordinary Form, and the Holy See obliges him to use it, he must as a matter of obedience use it.

"We do not dream up prayers." Well, where do they come from? Like manna from heaven, or does some mere mortal at some point in time compose them? Let's make this simple: YES OR NO???

Authority over the sacred liturgy is with the Apostolic See. Now, what part of that don't YOU get?

David L Alexander said...

Mr Perkins, you do indeed that some human agent does enact the work of the Holy Spirit in composing the Sacred Liturgy. We have that assurance in this case then. The Holy Spirit, regrettably, forgot to check with certain others in the blogosphere. So there is the risk we will beg to differ.

That's where humility comes in.

Anonymous said...

I do not see any lack of humility in the SSPX. I believe that Archbishop Lebebvre was a truly humble man who reluctantly did what he saw he had to do to save tradition - and it worked. If he had not consecrated the four bishops and stood firm in the faith, I fear that we would have nothing but the worst VII nightmare now for a church - I don't even know if I could take it. The SSPX has walked a fine line for many years- as Catholics they must be loyal to the Pope, but their reticence has influenced Popes much for the better in the past. They have a HUGE responsibility to their million or so of faithful, but even more so to all Catholics, Christians, and humans in the world. They need the Catholic faith in its fullness. For many years it was the SSPX who preserved just that. Others did their parts and God bless them for that - but without the Society I am not sure that we would be turning back to tradition as we seem to be now (may God will that it continue). What I am saying is: don't be too hard on them if they don't act quickly on this - there is a lot at stake. For better or worse - what they do matters. They have done so much good. I am absolutely thrilled about the prospect of the Anglicans coming back where they belong. I don't know why we have to compare the two groups. I pray that we will all be one in the end (soon I hope).

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what Mr. Alexander's last post means. There is a verb missing there somewhere. (I'm not being nasty about this: it is an honest omission, a mere typo, but it leaves me in the dark about the meaning). The Holy Ghost inspires (breathes into) those who are prepared to receive His message. They are prepared by their own prayer and fasting; moreover, God chooses them for His own reasons and in accordance with their own gifts. As St. Augustine taught, everything begins with God, even our yearning for Him. The use of holy prayers over many centuries hallows them. The very fact that generations have found them to be efficacious and uplifting helps to make them so.

I am not sure what you mean. Are you denying the constant teaching of the Church that the Sacred Liturgy is the Work of the Holy Ghost? Is that what you are saying?

As for the Holy Ghost checking with people on blogs, I am a tad confused. Have I inadvertently proposed a prayer in place of one that is a part of the Sacred Liturgy? If so, I withdraw it.

Once again, I do not and have never doubted the Pope's power or right to make small changes to the Liturgy. Obviously the Vicar of Christ himself is an agent of God's holy work. The problem does not lie there; it lies with the precedent of making a change specifically at the request of infidels or heretics. If you don't see that as a problem, I can't help you, except in my own prayers. If you simply fail to see how that is a danger to the faith then, yes, we can simply disagree and move on.

Please clarify what principle it is you reject but I embrace.


Anonymous said...

David Alexander refers to a morass. What morass? The argument I have raised against the new prayer was simply and directly put. I have written on other topics here, such as the situation of the TAC. That is another subject. You don't have to wade through anything. Just keep one post separate from another.

(1) Yes, of course it's only an opinion that the change was a mistake. What else could it be but an opinion? But opinions can be correct, and they become arguments when furnished with evidence or reasons. I have provided very good reasons for my position. Let me guess. Now you are going to argue that, as a Catholic subject to the Holy See, I do not have a right to question the prudential decisions of the Holy See on matters of liturgy. More Protestant and Hobbesian notions of the kingly power of the Pope as being absolute rather than plenary. A pope cannot be a tyrant and nor can a Catholic king.

Why not address my arguments rather than merely point out the obvious fact that they represent opinions.

"If a decree was legitimate issued that says we are to use it, then we are to use it. No, Good Friday is not a day of obligation. But if a priest is celebrating the Presanctified Liturgy on that day in the Extraordinary Form, and the Holy See obliges him to use it, he must as a matter of obedience use it."

Again, you have failed to interpret my very clear words on this. You must make distinctions.

First, there is the distinction between the case of a priest and that of a laic. A priest can choose to use the 2008 revision or not say Good Friday Prayers at all. A diocesan priest may not, however, choose to use the 1962 words during a Good Friday Service, although he could use them in private prayers led by him on Good Friday. So I agree with you on this point. However, you lump yourself in with the priests. You might be a priest, but I am only a lowly university professor. I am a laic. And, for laics, the obligation of the law is different.

(2) In the case of the laic, he can entirely avoid the 2008 words, as I have explained in detail over and over and over again on this blog. There is no law forbidding us from using the 1962 words when the priest intones those of 2008, &c., &c. Need I repeat it all again? There are several other escapes: going to Eastern Catholic Good Friday services, staying at home, saying the old words in private but perhaps corporate prayers, even going to a S.S.P.X Good Friday Service (completely legal on a day which is not a holyday of obligation).


"We do not dream up prayers." Well, where do they come from? Like manna from heaven, or does some mere mortal at some point in time compose them? Let's make this simple: YES OR NO???

Specifically liturgical prayers properly come by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; they are not composed ad hoc by man. At any time, we don't know which those are. That's why we wait. Those that are found to be necessary and beneficial are then given approbation by the Holy See. The Holy See does not set up committees of Bugninis to concoct the liturgy. Unless, that is, we are talking about Protestant churches, which substitute their own unwisdom for the wisdom of the Holy Ghost as manifested by the adherence of generations of saints, scholars, and fathers over time.

But this is a red herring, once again. I have never said that the Holy Father's prayer is illegitimate. There is a difference between a reform that smashes a rite and a small change. Bugnini's reforms smashed a rite and were illegitimate; the 2008 revision is not that radical (in the literal sense here: to the root). The question is not if the Pope has the power to make the change but if we should receive it. We needn't, in law, and we shouldn't and I won't. If it were a change I needed to accept as a Catholic, I would, however regrettably, accept it in complete obedience. But my lord and master the Pope rules by a rulership of service to the Truth; he is not an Eastern potentate or a Protesant absolute monarch. His rule is absolute under certain conditions on matters of faith and moral, not on matter of liturgy.

On this point, once again, you need to make a distinction. We must accept the validity of the new prayer (meaning, for example, that we shouldn't complain if it's used and we shouldn't oppose someone who complains that the 1962 words were used illicitly). But we needn't receive or use the prayer, because the law does not require it.

This distinction is not that subtle. Please consider it carefully before posting a reply.


Anonymous said...

On our lAst anonymous poster, in regard to Archbishop Lefebvre's humility.

This was well put. I have never supported the S.S.P.X or attended its chapels. However, some semi-traditionalists and neo-conservatives like to fulminate against the S.S.P.X without due consideration. They forget that we would have no 1984 Indult without the S.S.P.X, no 1988 extension of that Indult, no F.S.S.P. or I.C.R. or any of our current 30 traditionalist societies or orders, no Campos arrangement for a personal apostolic administration, and no "Summorum Pontificum". None of it would exist were it not for the Society of St. Pius X and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. So, all you neo-conservatives out there, thank the Archbishop every night for all that you have. Without him, you'd all be chanting the Divine Liturgy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church or looking for one of those rare Novus Ordo Masses in Latin.


David L Alexander said...

"I am not sure what you mean. Are you denying the constant teaching of the Church that the Sacred Liturgy is the Work of the Holy Ghost? Is that what you are saying?"

No. I said that it WAS the work of the Holy Ghost, if through human agents.

"As for the Holy Ghost checking with people on blogs, I am a tad confused. Have I inadvertently proposed a prayer in place of one that is a part of the Sacred Liturgy?"

No, you have proposed nothing. But that it be so, is a conclusion that may be drawn by your challenge to the Pope.

"Once again, I do not and have never doubted the Pope's power or right to make small changes to the Liturgy.... it lies with the precedent of making a change specifically at the request of infidels or heretics."

Actually, doubting his power or right is all you have continued to do with respect to this decision. As to the precedent, you have no proof that this was done at the behest of non-Catholics.

Anonymous said...

David Alexander writes of me:

"Actually, doubting his power or right is all you have continued to do with respect to this decision. As to the precedent, you have no proof that this was done at the behest of non-Catholics."

I don't need proof, only reasonable evidence. This is not a scientific investigation. The evidence that he reacted to the publicly-announced letter of the two chief rabbis of Palestine, and the timing of that reaction, make it quite obvious. The Vatican would also have been aware of the appearance of a reaction owing to the timing. Get real.


David L Alexander said...

"The evidence that he reacted to the publicly-announced letter of the two chief rabbis of Palestine, and the timing of that reaction, make it quite obvious."

No, it makes it a coincidence. You don't have to worry about being accused of conducting anything scientific, Mr Perkins. "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" is not a maxim for establishing a causal relationship, only for acknowledging that one event followed another. You have not a shred of evidence that complaints by Jewish leaders were the cause of the Pope's decision. And even if you did (and that's a really big IF), the results did no harm to the Faith, and was still within his rights.

We're done, mister. I don't have to prove anything. The burden of proof is on the challenger, not the status quo. You haven't met the burden. YOU get real.