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Williamson of SSPX -- Yeah, That Helps

There was quite the uproar a few weeks ago— at least among those who follow the travails of the traditionalist group SSPX — when Bishop Richard Williamson in his weekly column ostensibly called Pope Benedict XVI an anti-Semite for changing the prayer for the Jews in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

This outlandish statement by Williamson — the latest in a long line of outlandish statements — caused quite a stir among comboxes here around the blogosphere. This statement apparently prompted the Catholic Herald to do a feature piece on Bishop Williamson attempting to prove that it is Williamson who is, in fact, the anti-Semite.

Williamson and the Jews

I do not wish to wade into the morass of debating Williamson's possible antisemitism but I was interested to see if he addressed the uproar over his comments in a subsequent article. He did indeed.

In fact his next article is entirely dedicated to the topic. He starts by congratulating anyone who has the wisdom to agree with him.
I congratulate them, because they had to be thinking with their Catholic minds instead of merely emoting with their (objectively) vile media.
One can be forgiven if one suspects that Bishop Williamson is not prone to introspection. He retreads some of the same ground from his previous column and insists that it is really he and not the Pope who loves the Jews. Just in case you need a refresher course in who the Jews are, Williamson reminds us that the Jews...
were responsible for the crucifying of Our Lord Jesus Christ -- "His blood be upon us and upon our children", Mt.XXVII,25 -- they have as a race and as a religion, always with noble exceptions, continued to reject him down to our day. Thus St. Paul observed that they not only "killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets", but they also prohibited St. Paul himself from "speaking to the Gentiles so as to save them". In brief, their behavior was such that "they please not God and are adversaries to men" (I Thess. II,14-16). Closer to our own time, it is a matter of historical record that the designing and launching of, for instance, Communism, to wrest mankind away from God and to replace his Heaven with a man-made paradise, was largely their achievement.
Jesus Christ Crucifying Commies. Yeah, that helps.

Williamson and The Pope

In his most recent column, Williamson responds to readers questions about the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The reader wonders whether the Church is really returning to its tradition or if this is merely a trap designed to dismantle the SSPX. Short answer: Trap. No worries mate, Bishop Williamson will steer the safe passage around it even if the Pope won't.
So any apparent benevolence shown by Benedict XVI towards the true Faith or the true Mass can only mean that he wishes them to be reconciled with the Conciliar religion and all other religions! Therefore if he is not a conscious agent of truth-dissolving Freemasonry, at any rate he has no understanding of the true Faith, and so he cannot grasp how absolutely opposed it is to the man-centered religion of Vatican II.
Agent of freemasonry or an idiot. Yeah, that helps.

The Gates of Hell Will Prevail

In a rare moment of lucidity, Williamson admits that the SSPX has no divine promise of indefectibility. This admission raises some interesting questions.
However, I have often made myself unpopular with colleagues in the SSPX by recalling the obvious fact that the SSPX does not have the guarantee of indefectibility that the Catholic Church has. The SSPX could fail. That is why, given what service it has rendered since 1970 to the Universal Church in guarding the Faith, and what service it can still render, Catholics must pray for it, especially for the leadership, that it may not fail.
While I am quite sure that there are myriad reasons that Williamson might be unpopular among many groups, I will leave that aside. What interests me is the admission that the SSPX has no divine promise of truth and his acknowledgment that the SSPX may very well fail in its mission. If, as Williamson puts it, the Church of Rome has "departed the true Faith" and the SSPX might fail in its mission would that not mean that the "Gates of Hell" had prevailed against the Church? I am pretty sure that somebody pretty high up on the food chain promised that would not happen. Williamson attempts to evade the logical conclusion of his own statements with this little escape clause:
[God] would offer to all sheep of good will, in some other form, all the guidance and support they would need to save their souls.
Yes. He would. He has. The Church, imperfect as it may be sometimes. If Williamson could learn this one lesson and have the humility to accept it, Williamson and all who look to him for guidance would be much better off. This one lesson. Yeah, that would help.

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53 comments:

David L Alexander said...

"If, as Williamson puts it the Church of Rome has "departed the true Faith" and the SSPX might fail in its mission, would that not mean that the "Gates of Hell" had prevailed against it?"

Unfortunately, this is where the spin control kicks in. The same wordsmiths who say things like, "Oh the New Mass isn't invalid, but..." and then proceed to make such a case, that they may as well claim that it is. They'll pick incidents where the Church has been in crisis, and attempt to draw comparisons between themselves and the great reformers. But the latter never played the victims, and the latter never forgot who held the keys to the kingdom.

Besides, if Williamson doesn't keep his followers all fired up, he'll lose his fan base, and no longer be a big fish in a little pond. Worse than that, there might be a reconciliation with Rome, and he'd have to stop shooting his mouth off when the mood strikes him.

Anonymous said...

I think that it might be helpful to look more carefully at Bishop Williamson's position in the S.S.P.X. In 2000, Darío Cardinal Castrilló Hoyos offered the S.S.P.X what Bishop Fellay admitted was, jurically "the Rolls Royce" structure (a universal and personal exempt apostolic administration--the Campos got it except for the universal part) . But the Society finally refused this until two pre-conditions had been fulfilled (viz. what S.P. delivered, plus the lifting of the declarations of excommunication). However, these two have morphed into three, really, the third being a negotiation over doctrine that might very well take years, even decades, to proceed.

In 2000, it was widely regarded that, as 'bad cop', Bsp. W. was prepared to break up the Society over Rome's offer. In one article in "The Remnant", he almost came out and suggested that, should the other Society bishops make an arrangement with Rome, he might just have to stage a revolt, thereby splitting the Society. This, it might be guessed (we don't know, of course), forced Bsp. Fellay back.

I suggest that one could misread Williamson here when he says that the S.S.P.X in not indefectable. I suggest that this is yet another veiled threat against the mainstream in the Society: make a deal with Rome and I'll split the Society in twain.

In other words, he is not suggesting that Rome is a safe authority, whereas the Society is not. He is suggesting that *he* is a safe authority, whereas both Rome and the Society are not.

When a rapprochement between Rome and the Society finally is reached, there will probabaly be a few in the Society who will reject it. The question, however, is how many that few will be. Statistics which I have collected suggest that a slow but growing groudswell in favour of S.P. is coming. The real question, in about two to five years from now, is whether or not anybody at all will need the Society of St. Pius X. I suspect that a small number will, but that's all.

It is in the interest of the Society bishops to make an arrangement with Benedict XVI as soon as possible. This may include Bsp. Williamson but he may find himself leading a revolt in the Society which only isolates wild extremists. The Society insisted on freeing all the priests of the Latin Church to celebrate the old Mass. Did they Society bishops consider that, should a Pope do it, it would put the Society out of business? An interesting consideration.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Archbold, using a very sarcastic tone in response to the admitedly bizarre comments of Bsp. Williamson, writes,

"Agent of freemasonry or an idiot. Yeah, that helps."

The reference to freemasonry on the part of Bsp. W. was indeed, well, way out there. But the idiot part here is not really what Williamson means. If you look at his other comments on this in the past, he has suggested that Pope Benedict XVI has "a Catholic heart but a Modernist's mind". He is referring to the theological positions of a liberal Pope versus the liturgical and ceremonial conservative tendencies of the same Pope. I think that he would say that the Pope's prayers at the Blue Mosque and at synagogues is an indication of his Modernist tendencies, which are not Catholic in spirit. Essentially, Williamson rejects Benedict XVI's adherence to the modern tendencies in œcumenism and so on. On one occasion, W. called the Pope "an Hegelian".

I have no intention of opening this can of worms here. I am only trying to explain what I think W. meant by this. He is not saying that the Pope might be an idiot. He is saying that the Pope is intellectually unCatholic but emotionally Catholic.

P.K.T.P.

Patrick Archbold said...

Mr Perkins,
Your thoughts about an alternative reading of the "indefectibility" comments are very interesting. I am not familiar enough with the internal politics of the SSPX to know if it is a probable interpretation, but interesting none the less.

As for your other interpretation that Bp. Williamson is referring to an emotional blindness rather than an intellectual one seems like trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear. I appreciate that you are earnestly trying to temper the Bishops comments. Would that the Bishop himself or the leaders of the society would do the same.

Patrick

David L Alexander said...

Good analysis, Mr Perkins.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that W. was implying that the gates of Hell would prevail against the church or that it wouldn't be able to ride out its current crisis in the end. But Mr. Perkins is probably right that he may be trying to justify splitting the SSPX at some point. Second topic: I do not think that the SSPX is soon to outlive its purpose: there's too much work to do, and its priests are well-trained to do it. I think ideally it would continue to exist within the church, but it would be the "gold standard" for tradition. There's a lot of liturgical abuse out there to counterbalance.

omnibussanctis said...

The Jews weren't responsible for Jesus' crucification; I was.

Anonymous said...

He admitted it!!! Get him!

Deirdre Mundy said...

Ok-- help me out here-- what "purpose" does the SPX society have?

Letting people think that it's OK to dissent as long as you do it for LITURGICAL reasons?

Luring traditional Catholics out of the Church (where they might have fought for good liturgy) into a schismatic movement?

I don't get it-- To me, asking if the SPX might still have a purpose is like asking if the Lutherans still have a purpose...

I guess so, if your purpose is to prevent the whole "That all might be one" thing from happening.

Get with the program. It doesn't matter whether you LIKE the pope or not (though personally I think we've had a rather good run recently -- but then I was born in 77, so my memories are limited to JP2 and Benedict.) There have been good popes and bad popes throughout the Curch's history. But the Church is still the Church.

If you seriously believe that the Church can be so corrupted that you have to leave, you might as well be a Mormom.

And if you ACTUALLY believe that the gates of Hell will not prevail, you should be in union with Rome.

How on Earth can you logically justify Schism?

Sorry for the Rant--- I just REALLY don't understand the Pius the X society thing--- to my mind it's just a disgrace to the memory of St. Pius X!

Anonymous said...

One blogger quite rightly remarked that there is still much work for the S.S.P.X to do. However, I should like to suggest that the situation of the Society has changed as a result of "Summorum Pontificum". I have kept a very close watch on the numbers for at least twenty years now, and once co-authored a weblist of regularised Traditional Latin Masses. My sense of things (backed by cold hard facts) is that the rate of growth for the Society was exponential from 1970 to 1990 but has slowed considerably since then, and may now be flat-lining. It might very well be entering a decline very soon.

In contrast, the rate of growth for regularised Masses, which saw an exponential growth from 1989 to 1993 but then slowed to a crawl, is now in the midst of another boom, this one much larger than the last. In fact, the growth is so substantial that it really puts the future of the S.S.P.X in jeopardy.

Let me give bloggers some examples. Take the case of Germany. It took eighteen years to gain every-Sunday Traditional Latin Masses in one-third of the German sees. In just seven months, the number has doubled to two-thirds. That is the sort of rise one sees when Apollo 11 lifts off at Cape Canaveral. But there's more. 150 German priests are currently learning the old Mass. There is a learning lag for this. As a result, an even faster rate of growth may be coming as these priests make use of the new norms.

In the U.S.A., 27 new sees have gained an every-Sunday T.L.M. in just seven months, a greater gain than that for the previous TEN YEARS!

In France, 80% of the sees have the T.L.M. on an every-Sunday basis now, and 84% of faithful live in those sees. The hold-out against tradition has always been centred in the leftist urban north-east (around the old royal capital of Rheims). Recently, Archbishop Jordan of Rheims invited the Institute of Christ the King (I.C.R.) to celebrate Mass there (not yet weekly, but it's coming). Another Bishop from the region, at Nancy, has helped provide every-Sunday Masses, and the Pope has just replaced the ageing liberal Bishop of Soissons, also in that area.

What counts more than anything else, however, is the situation in Latin America. Fully one half of all faithful live there. Under the 1988 m.p., there were almost no regularised Masses there. The Campos deal in 2000 opened the door a bit, but only for Brazil. To give bloggers some idea of the situation, consider that Mexico had not even one regularised T.L.M. every Sunday, and it is the second most populous Catholic country on the planet earth.

As a result of S.P., we now have an every-Sunday T.L.M. in the huge City of Monterrey, Mexico, and the I.C.R. has celebrated Mass at Mexico City. We have another in Lima, the hugely populous capital of Peru. The F.S.S.P. has arrived in Colombia, along with the regularised Institute of the Good Shepherd (I.P.B.)

Now, the S.S.P.X had a free hand in Latin America for nearly forty years and yet achieved very little. For example, it tried for decades to offer the old Mass every-Sunday at Lima. Even after having acquired a chapel for this purpose a few years ago, it still lacked the manpower and the support. But the Oratorians have, in just three months, started a regularised every-Sunday Mass there. Meanwhile, the Campos and I.P.B. are spreading the old Mass all over Brazil.

Latin Americans have a mindset which will not accept a Catholicism that is not blessed by the Pope. They will go over to the other extreme, Pentecostalism, but are not inviting to the S.S.P.X.

I could write much more on this. I have given only a taste of it. In Protestant North Carolina, fourteen priests enrolled in the F.S.S.P. training progamme for the old Mass. I am in contact with several of them. They are starting up T.L.M.s all over N.C.! In Poland and in the Philippines, reports are coming in of a groundswell. As a result of S.P., there are even every-Sunday Masses in Sweden and Estonia, for their tiny Catholic populations.

This puts the S.S.P.X in a precarious situation. Who needs tradition without the Pope's blessing when you can get it with his blessing? Now, of course, it's not that simple, and S.P. priests will need gradually to adopt and inculcate a true sensus catholicus in order to reverse the Age of Aquarius Revolution. But the signs are everywhere. Just this morning, I read about a priest in the U.S.A. who is now saying the New Mass versus solem orientem for ALL his Masses.

The S.S.P.X asked for a general permission and is now being overwhelmed by it. Be careful what you ask for: you just might get it.

At this point, while the Society is still strong, Bishop Fellay should gift the Church with a Society as part of a universal diocese for tradition. The Pope suggested this in 2000 for just the S.S.P.X itself. If he asks for this, he can get it for all of us, together with a protection for the Society's property. This is achievable today. But will anything be achievable tomorrow for the Society? Food for thought. He should ask himself how he can best protect tradition in the new conditions. I suggest that a regularised structure(s) is the way to go. This will probabaly cost him some Society hardliners. Such changes always have that result. But Bsp. Williamson should also ask himself if a rebellion is in anyone's best interest. I see no future at this point for a splinter group leaving the Society. It would go the way of the do-do bird.

The Pope must deal with many heretics from within the curia. The Society can help him the most by being a recognised part of the Church. As for Williamson's points about theology, yes, there are problems, at least it would seem, with the Pope's non-binding theological ideas. But this is just one relatively good Pope in the midst of a papacy that cannot be all that long. We have to think about the future and about how best to launch a counter-revolution.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

An addendum to my last post.

In the case of the U.S.A., the S.S.P.X offers every-Sunday Masses in the territory of 64 sees. The F.S.S.P. and I.C.R. combined offer it in 37 sees. However, when you factor in diocesan priests celebrating the old Mass, regularised Masses are offered every Sunday in 136 sees, more than twice the S.S.P.X number. And I think that that number will climb to 150 by September. Frankly, with the sole exception of the underpopulated and thinly-populated Diocese of Juneau, in Alaska, I think that there could be every-Sunday Masses in all the American dioceses fairly soon. That would be 175 sees.

In addition, many U.S. dioceses which already had the old Mass under the 1984 Indult are gaining far more. The question now for the Society is whether its continued independence will lead to decimation or only to a substantial decline.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Second Addendum to my postings on statistics:

In the case of the U.S.A., there are now only four dioceses which have an S.S.P.X Mass every Sunday but not a regularised one. These are the Dioceses of Gaylord (Mich.), Winona (Minn.), Crookston (Minn.), and Las Vegas (Nev.).

Las Vegas is by far the most populous and important of the four. It has a regularised T.L.M. one Sunday per month, an every-Sunday N.O. in Latin, and both Ruthenian and Italo-Albanian (!: one of only two in the U.S.A.) Byzantine Divine Liturgies every Sunday. So there are options to the S.S.P.X there for traditionalists.

There are now some regularised T.L.M.s in the Diocese of Winona but not yet on an every-Sunday basis. I think that that is about to change soon. The Bishop of Winona has avoided conflict with the Society in the past because Winona is the site of its U.S. seminary.

In the case of Gaylord, a priest is currently training to offer a regularised Mass.

That leaves Crookston to the S.S.P.X. It is one of the least-populous Catholic dioceses in America.

P.K.T.P.

N. Wansbutter said...

I won't open Pandora's Box by addressing the "antisemitism" question or the "big fish in a little pond" canard, but I am intrigued by Mr. Perkins' comments. If what he says is true (and I have no reason to doubt him) then one can't help but wonder if Summorum Pontificum wasn't a very clever tactic to attempt to destroy the S.S.P.X -- be careful what you wish for indeed.

The decline of the S.S.P.X in favour of diocesan Masses pursuant to S.P. could be very dangerous for the precise reason that the liturgy is only one very small part of the problem. It really boils down to a problem of doctrine -- and I daresay that as well intentioned as all the diocesan priests now offering the Mass of All Time are, none of them have the solid doctrinal formation that a truly traditional priest has. Remember, we had the T.L.M. in the 1950s, but because of lack of doctrine, we got Vatican II and the ensuing crisis. They could have kept the ancient Mass after Vatican II and we'd still be in a crisis because of the doctrinal errors that are rampant in the Church today.

I'm interested to hear what numbers Mr. Perkins has for Canada. There have certainly been none here in Winnipeg, despite a number of people asking for it.

Anonymous said...

To Dierdre: The SSPX is not in schism - and is not outside the church: the Vatican has said otherwise, on the record, several times. This is one of those falsehoods so often repeated that it passes for true. You may not know this, but the SSPX was founded by Archbishop Lefebvre within the church with the blessing of the local bishop and the Vatican, back in the early to mid seventies. It was not, like the Lutheran sect, created in protest of the Church at all or to lead people away from it, but to protect Her traditions and train priests in those traditions, which were in grave danger of being lost forever at that point. They didn't leave the Church, they were trying to keep its traditions alive from within. The society had already been around many years (more than ten years)when Abp. Lefebvre incurred the displeasure of the Vatican by consecrating bishops without permission of the Pope. He did this only because he knew that he did not have long to live. That is when the talk of schism began, but it was never explicit and how Cardinal Hoyos has gone on record as saying the SSPX is not, in fact, in schism. Abp. Lefebvre was a fine devout priest and wonderful bishop; Pope St. Pius X is not at all dishonored by him or by the majority of the fine priests of the SSPX now serving the Church. But the important point here is that the SSPX is not grounded in dissent or protest. It is to uphold tradition. Period. They do not consider themselves outside the Church and neither does Rome. Finally, Dierdre, you started out by saying "help me out, here" that sounded slightly facetious - but I hope you are sincere. The SSPX has probably helped you and all of us more than you will ever know. Kit.

David said...

Mr Perkins,

Very interesting posts on the statistics concerning "regular" celebrations of the TLM.

Are these statistics collated, published and updated anywhere? Or is it necessary to do the leg-work necesary to keep up to date onself?

Angelo said...

John Paul the Great, wanted to consecrate a Bishop to succede
Lefebre. The Archbishop presented
4 Priests of the Society. The Holy
Father did not accept either one.
and asked Lefebre to present more possible candidates, Lefebre chose
Schism. Now 20 years later we can
see the great wisdom of the Holy
Father. He was guided by the Holy Ghost. Those 4 guys have been nothing but trouble for Holy Mother
Church.

Lefebre messed up big time!

David said...

That's not quite correct, angelo. Lefebvre wanted to consecrate 4, JPII only wanted one, chosen through the ordinary episcopal selection processes. I don't think the for SSPX Bishops were ever "submitted and rejected" the way you describe.

Secondly, angelo, please tell me why His Holiness John Paul II was greater than 262 of the 264 Popes who preceded him.

He was a holy man, and full of virtue, sure. Maybe even a Saint. But only two popes in the history of Catholicism have "The Great" affixed to their titles. And may God have mercy on his soul, but Pope John Paul did nothing compared to Popes Leo and Gregory The Great. Even Pope St. Pius V, who saved The Church from the double threat of Protestantism and Islam hasn't been deemed The Great.

So what did we get? Brilliant writings? Well yes. Applied by those in power (Cardinals, Bishops..). Well, no (with a few honourable exceptions - Bruskewitz, Burke, Pell, Ranjith... how many more??). But wait... We did get the wonders of not one, but two "Prayer Meetings at Assisi." - kissing up to false religions and idol-worshippers. We got beautiful Papal Masses that had NOTHING to do with Tradition (but lots of bare boobies!). We got "World Youth Day" that had NOTHING to do with Tradition - but you could buy consecrated hosts on e-bay afterwards.... We got altar girls, and nothing done to stop communion in the hand. We got hand-outs in 1984 and 1988 for an "indult" Traditional Latin Mass, ignored by liberal bishops and never enforced. We got seminaries that brought the sodomites in by the droves. We got "Lavander Mafia" bishops who protected homo-rapist priests. We got wonderful men like Mahony, Weakland, et al.

And we've got a millions of Catholics who are contracepting and aborting their way to a very dark place, in defiance of the Church's (and JPII's) teaching, and even more who don't even believe in transubstantiation. Outside the "traditionalist movement" - the FSSP and the ICKSP - many seminaries are empty, and quite often hetereodox.

I always thank God for the late Holy Father - because without him, things could have got much worse still, but to call him "the Great" is really over the top.

A little more historical perspective, and a little less hagaiography, please.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wansbutter is correct in pointing to a doctrinal problem. However, it is my impression that most of the regularised priests learning the old Mass are either traditionalists or at least conservatives. This means that, in many respects (and, sometimes, in every respect), they are inculcating the True Faith just as surely as are S.S.P.X priests. I expect that trend to continue and note that the Society itself has always reiterated that it is not the whole Church, only (it says) part of her.

While Mr. Wansbutter makes a very good observation regarding principle, I think that it really is true that, as Michael Davies so often put it, for most faithful, it's the Mass that matters. Get the Mass right and other good things follow. That is because the Traditional Mass is the first and most immediate catechism of the Faith and leads priests and people to a stronger faith.

Mr. W. also asked about Canada. I am afraid that the sitaution in Canada, Australia, and Ireland (also in Scotland) has been very disappointing since S.P. was published. A priest here in my Diocese was just getting ready to offer it and was then suddenly recalled to Nova Scotia, at the other end of the country.

The Society is marginally ahead of regularised Masses in Canada in terms of numbers of sees (14 to 13) but more faithful are served by regularised Masses per diocese. 58% of faithful live in sees having regularised Masses every Sunday; 51%, in the territory of sees having Society Masses.

Regularised Masses are available every Sunday in the following 13 sees:

Montréal, Toronto, Québec, London, Hamilton, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, Sherbrooke, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines, and Saskatoon.

Society Masses are available every Sunday in the territory of the following fourteen sees:

Montréal, Toronto, Québec, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Trois Rivières, Winnipeg, St. Catharines, Victoria, Kamloops, Grouard-McLennan.

There are 63 sees in Canada, so 13 is only 21% if them; 14, 22%.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

To answer Mr. Alexander's question: I do the legwork myself on the numbers, and update notices of changes to the ctnJogues list. There are some very good sites out there now for statistics, such as Mr. Carl Schwalm's Mater Dei site for the U.S.A. and Canada (which I contribute to) and the Missa Tridentina Site in Germany.

P.K.T.P.

David L Alexander said...

Mr Perkins:

The person identified as "David" is another fellow of the same first name. I use my full name for identification here. By the way, I'd like to welcome a few more guys to the party. "O quam bonum et jucundum, est habitare cum fratribus in unum."

That was a toast my father taught me years ago. Anyone know where I got it?

Steve said...

So any apparent benevolence shown by Benedict XVI towards the true Faith or the true Mass can only mean that he wishes them to be reconciled with the Conciliar religion and all other religions! Therefore if he is not a conscious agent of truth-dissolving Freemasonry, at any rate he has no understanding of the true Faith, and so he cannot grasp how absolutely opposed it is to the man-centered religion of Vatican II.

When I read something like this, it makes me wonder why Bishop Williamson is even relevant to anyone interested in remaining Catholic. I've long taken a position of "sympathy, but not support" of the SSPX, but this is ridiculous.

Why not just go whole hog and proclaim the Pope a heretic? If the Holy Father doesn't have any understanding the true faith, how in the world can he stil be acknowledged to be in charge of it?

bnwied said...

David,

Psalm 132.

David L Alexander said...

132. Is that the Vulgata numbering, or the one we borrow from the Protestants?

David L Alexander said...

Hey, bnwied, I just looked it up. You win the holy card. In the BCP, it is entitled "Ecce, quam bonum." I'll have to make a note of that for the next time I check the Vulgata.

Deirdre Mundy said...

With respect to Schism---

Do you mean that the SSPX doesn't consider themselves in schism, or that the Church doesn't?

Because since it's considered sinful to attend a Pius X Mass
(http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CEDSSPX.HTM ) that seems to say that they are, in fact, in schism.

And the Protestants thought that they were merely "keeping tradition alivE" in the face of a corrupted church....

Also, I find you really undermine your arguments when you insist on acting like Vatican II wasn't a legitimate council....

I'm sure the Arians felt the same way about Nicea--

By arguing that a council you don't like was not legit, you seem to be saying that you ARE in schism.

I guess I might be less sympathetic because I live near Chicago--and I've met people who INSIST on sticking with SSPX even when John Cantius is a perfectly respectable parish......

Patrick Archbold said...

David,
I just noticed that you said that Papal masses under JPII had "lots of bare boobies!"

How did I miss that. I can take bad vestments and bad music if we can have nudity!

David L Alexander said...

"David, I just noticed that you said that Papal masses under JPII had 'lots of bare boobies!'"

In his dreams, perhaps. I believe this only happened one time, maybe twice (but I doubt it), in a part of the world where women attired in such a fashion would have been quite normal. That's a far cry from a burlesque show every time JPII was in town.

That would make a total of two, maybe four, bare.... you get the idea.

He's right about this business of calling him "John Paul the Great," though. It's a couple centuries too early for that, it's not official -- couldn't we at least canonize him first??? -- and they're already naming a new high school in northern Virginia that way. What if, 20 or 30 years from now, we learn something about his handling of the clerical sexual abuse scandal that was... well, not downright sinister, but not so Great either? How many set of stationary are going to have to be reprinted?

And why don't these idiots consult me sooner about things like this? Oy vey...

David L Alexander said...

"Do you mean that the SSPX doesn't consider themselves in schism, or that the Church doesn't?"

Strictly speaking, the SSPX is not in formal schism. HOWEVER, the consecration by Archbishop Lefebvre of four new bishops for the Society was described in the 1988 motu proprio Ecclesia Dei as "a schismatic act," and the current pope, while still a cardinal, made at least one reference in an interview to "the Lefebvrite schism." To sum up, no, they're not in schism, but some of their actions bear the characteristics of one.

As to fulfilling one's Sunday obligation at an SSPX chapel, a private correspondence with Msgr Perl of the PCED revealed a two-part answer. One, there are circumstances where one's obligation can be fulfilled in such a way, and two, it really isn't recommended. Most people (including the guy who got the letter) don't get past the first part. That's because they forget one canonical principle, over which even the PCED has no control:

One does not use an illicit means to accomplish a licit end.

Steve said...

In his dreams, perhaps. I believe this only happened one time, maybe twice (but I doubt it), in a part of the world where women attired in such a fashion would have been quite normal.

I'm not buying. The woman was obviously competent enough to read the epistle, so she was capable of reading a dress code.

(You can see a photo from the Mass here. I personally enjoy the expression on the face of the prelate in the front row, just behind her to the right.)

This was a massive failure on the part of the Vatican - whoever was planning the liturgy - and it led to widespread scandal, something too common under that papacy.

Anonymous said...

About attending a S.S.P.X Mass:

(1) It is definitely not sinful to attend one, unless one thinks it to be sinful and does in a spirit of rebellion. After the Council, the laws restricting attendance at non-Catholic services were relaxed. One used to be able to attend only to fulfil a social or a state function, and then required to avoid kneeling in prayer there. If one can attend a Protestant service under the new rules, one can certainly attend an S.S.P.X Mass.

(2) The issue is one of fulfilling the obligation, not a right to attend. The P.C.E.D. did indeed rule that one could fulfil the Sunday obligation there and even put money on the plate, provided one did not have a schismatic intent. However, since then, some canonists have said that the P.C.E.D. did not have the competence to make this determination and that this is incorrect. It all turns on the *canonical* meaning of the term 'Catholic' as used in Canon 1248.1

One could go to a Society Mass every Sunday and then attend a Byzantine Divine Liturgy every Sunday to fulfil the obligation, and one would be 'covered'--by going to two Masses every Sunday. On Good Friday (for instance) one could attend only a S.S.P.X Service to avoid the 2008 revision to that Service. That is because Good Friday is not a holyday.

The S.S.P.X is not in schism. According to Rome, only its four bishops are certainly in schism and excommunicated; however, priests and supporters risk falling into schism over time, as they imbibe a schismatic attitude. This is the position taken by the Holy See. Of course, it is not infallible but it is authoritative.

P.K.T.P.

David L Alexander said...

Mr Perkins:

Concerning item 2, I was indeed confining myself to the issue of fulfilling one's Sunday/Holyday obligation. I took care not to deal with issues of attendance, or of financial support. I also mentioned the two-part response with which I am sure you are familiar, and that most people do not get past the first part.

In this rare instance, you're like most people. Unless you can reconcile what you have stated with the canonical adage with which I closed my last post. I'll repeat it here:

"One does not use an illicit means to accomplish a licit end."

The gauntlet has been thrown, sir.

David L Alexander said...

"I'm not buying. The woman was obviously competent enough to read the epistle..."

...in her own language. It is reasonable her sense of a dress code would have risen out of the same culture. The planners should have taken some responsibility here, if only out of respect for the guests from out of town (including the poor old fellow in the good seats). But to blame the woman herself is unfair. For all we know, that's more white guys than she's seen in her entire life.

It's a big world out there. Not everyone lives the way you and I do. But we are obliged to spread the Gospel to them all.

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Alexander:

There is also the adage that, under Moral Law, a doubt gives consent; it does not forbid. There are two questions here. The first is whether or not a Society Mass fulfils the obligation. I do not have the answer on that one and, since the matter is doubtful, I *choose* not to attend Society Masses to fulfil the obligation. However, in Moral Law, this is merely my choice. Others could choose to attend without sinning.

While it is true that a Protocol of the P.C.E.D. only affects the addressee in positive law, it can affect everyone in Moral Law if the recipient makes the letter public (even though he should not have done so). In other words, there is no guarantee that the attendance of someone other than the recipient will be able to fulfil his obligation at a Society Mass; nevertheless, because the publication of the letter creates a doubt, such attendance can be done by others without committing sin, provided they do not have any evil intent.

Whether or not one has fulfilled the obligation is an objective matter. Whether or not one sins by not fulfilling the obligation must include the subjective factor. People constantly confuse this. Let us suppose, for example, that Mass is too far away to attend in order to fulfil the obligation. You will hear many people say that not attending it still fulfilled the obligation, since fulfilling it was impossible in law. That is incorrect. One should say that one did not fulfil the obligation--that one failed to do so--but that this was not sinful, since fulfilling it would have been impossible. One needs to separate the objective and subjective considerations.

To reiterate, whether or not attendance at a Society Mass fulfils the obligation objectively (in cases other than that of the addressee of the Protocol) is questionable in any particular case. However, because the publication of the Protocol created a state of doubt, one does not sin by attending such Masses to fulfil the obligation, even if one is, in fact, failing to fulfil it objectively.

The P.C.E.D. obviously knew that the recipient of the letter might publish it. I wonder if the Commission was creating a 'back door' for traditionalists who do not live near a regularised T.L.M. This is only speculation.

My own view is that, while doubt allows rather than forbids in Moral Law, we can still have a good choice generally to avoid those things which might give scandal to others. It is important in general for faithful to make clear that they do not disrespect the Holy Father or the Church. This can be done by avoiding unregularised Masses. This is a general norm, not an absolute principle. However, so far, I have never attended a Society Mass in my life.

P.K.T.P.

Steve said...

(had a problem - repost)

...in her own language. It is reasonable her sense of a dress code would have risen out of the same culture.

What's the literacy rate among tribes who haven't even reached the level of civilization where clothing is no longer optional?

I've heard - though I can't verify because the rumors come from a translation of a magazine that cited another magazine, in Italian - that this woman was a college student from Holy Trinity in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea.

Regardless, this is taking Sacrosanctum Concilium #38 a bit too far.

Bringing the Gospel to them is one thing. Having a papal nudie Mass is another. I'm sure the Jesuits found a way to include proper attire in their catechetics lessons to the "savages" of the world.

Anonymous said...

On this issue of chest-exposure, the photograph one blogger posted was not the one I had seen before. There is another one in which John Paul the Small is consecrating an enormous Host (it is the size of a small dominos pizza) right in front of topless African dancing girls, whose breasts are bouncing up and down.

Presumably, the recollection needed by the celebrant might have meant that he did not notice. But some priest at that Mass should have said, "Stop the music". Noboday did. It was a very grave scandal, although not nearly as bad as the one in which the Holy Father actually kissed the unholy and blasphemous Qu'ran.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Addendum in response to Mr. Alexander.

As a practical norm, Mr. Alexander, I like to adhere to the dictum that one should prefer to err on the side of caution. Since the matter of fulfilling the obligation at a Society Mass is at least doubtful, I avoid it.

However, it is important to recognise that this practical rule-of-thumb is not a Moral precept. Moral Law is more permissive here. When in doubt, in Moral Law, the action is allowed, provided that no evil is intended.

It follows that, if one thinks that one can fulfil the obligation at a Society Mass--or even if one thinks the matter is uncertain--one can attend a Society Mass to fulfil the obligation without committing sin, even if, objectively, it turns out that attendance does not fulfil the obligation.

This also respects knowledge in intent. I'll give you an example. There is a widespread belief today that attendance at a 'Liturgy of the Word' fulfils the obligation. It does not. However, those who honestly believe that it does do not commit any sin by attending one for this purpose. (By the way, what the law says is that *if* one can *not* fulfil the obligation, it is recommended that you attend a Liturgy of the Word, but you are never obliged to do so.)

P.K.T.P.

David L Alexander said...

"There is also the adage that, under Moral Law, a doubt gives consent; it does not forbid. There are two questions here. The first is whether or not a Society Mass fulfils the obligation. I do not have the answer on that one..."

...but the Church does, through her disciplinary laws concerning the Sacraments.

You have raised some good points. One Sunday, many years ago, it was a snow blizzard, and I had to attend Mass. The nearest one was a Romanian Orthodox church, so I went there. Due to the weather, I might have stayed home. But it was no less a "Catholic rite" than any SSPX chapel would have been (the contrary of which would come as a shock to the 2 percent of all Catholics who belong to Eastern churches).

That said, I think there's a danger in overcomplicating the issue here. I mean, do you think your average Joe Sixpack Catholic is going to split canonical hairs in the way we just have here? That may be acceptable on an academic level, but when it comes to the day-to-day living, one has to have clarity at the offset, then work from there.

We cannot doubt that a Catholic church operates within the law of the Church if it is to function... well, lawfully. That means it is in communion with the whole Church. An SSPX chapel, for all the trimmings and all the talk, is not. It does not answer to a bishop who is in communion with Rome. An SSPX bishop may say all the right things, but to stand before Peter and say "non serviam" is not one of them.

I admit there are situations where the only choice is between a parish which uses invalid matter for Mass, and the independent chapel down the road. It is those situations that were being addressed in the correspondence. They are not the norm. And the norm, is where we have to start.

David L Alexander said...

"I'm sure the Jesuits found a way to include proper attire in their catechetics lessons to the 'savages' of the world."

I'm sure they did too. Which is why I take the organizers of the events in question to task. But not having access to the rumors that you do concerning the identity of the woman, I'm inclined to give her (and only her) the benefit of the doubt.

And Mr Perkins, I don't think it's necessary to use this forum to refer to the recently deceased Pope as "the Small." For all we know, wherever he is, he might not even LIKE being called "the Great." Will you blame him because others do?

Anonymous said...

I will respond to Mr. Alexander point-by-point.


"You have raised some good points. One Sunday, many years ago, it was a snow blizzard, and I had to attend Mass. The nearest one was a Romanian Orthodox church, so I went there. Due to the weather, I might have stayed home. But it was no less a "Catholic rite" than any SSPX chapel would have been (the contrary of which would come as a shock to the 2 percent of all Catholics who belong to Eastern churches)."


This is the point of dispute after the issuance of the letter of the P.C.E.D. Some canonists have said that the P.C.E.D. had no competence in this matter and erred in law: only the P.C.L.T. (or a tribunal, or the Holy Father himself) has the competence to answer the dubium. According to many, "Catholic" in "Catholic rite" in Canon 1248.1 means a rite that is in communion with the Catholic Church. It is not only a liturgical referent. Hence your attendance at the Romanian Orthodox Church did not fulfil the obligation. However, if you did not know that or even if it were doubtful to you, it would not be sinful to attend the R.O.C. church in *any* event--even if there were regularised Catholic Masses available to you. (In your case, there was no question of sin because the snowstorm posed a unreasonable barrier to your attendance at a Catholic church).

Another consideration is that we must not forget about the sin of negligence. If someone is unsure, for example, whether or not attendance at a Liturgy of the Herd (as I call it) fulfils the obligation, there is an obligation to inquire about this as soon as practicable. You may attend the Liturgy of the Herd that is celebrated tonight--you are not obliged to pore through telephone directories to find canonists--but you cannot continue using doubt as an excuse perpetually.

In the case in hand, of the S.S.P.X Mass, the state of doubt is perpetual until this matter is resolved by competent authority.




"That said, I think there's a danger in overcomplicating the issue here. I mean, do you think your average Joe Sixpack Catholic is going to split canonical hairs in the way we just have here? That may be acceptable on an academic level, but when it comes to the day-to-day living, one has to have clarity at the offset, then work from there."

But that is precisely why Moral Law is so permissive. Joe Sixpack may not know what on earth to do. The law is as easy as possible on him. Incidentally, the principle of Moral Law which I mentioned, that doubt gives consent, is written into the 1983 Code as Canon 14. But even were it not there, it would still apply because Moral Law is above Canon Law--ALWAYS.


"We cannot doubt that a Catholic church operates within the law of the Church if it is to function... well, lawfully. That means it is in communion with the whole Church."

We may have reason to suppose that some churches' Masses are illicit. In such cases, we have not only the right but the obligation to avoid them to the extent that we realise this. Serious departure from the rubrics makes a Mass illicit. For example, I once attended a Mass in which a Franciscan priest composed his own Eucharistic Prayer on the spot (I was young and stupid in those days). Since I did not expect this in advance, I obviously did not sin by attending the Mass for the purpose of fulfilling the obligation. But it would (in my case: given my knowledge) to attend his Masses for that purpose--or for any purpose--again.






"An SSPX chapel, for all the trimmings and all the talk, is not. It does not answer to a bishop who is in communion with Rome. An SSPX bishop may say all the right things, but to stand before Peter and say "non serviam" is not one of them."

This consideration does not enter into the question directly. The faith is proper not to buildings or legal structures but to people. The Society priests, deacons, and supporters and even its bishops, whether excommunicated or not, are certainly Catholic.

The Society does celebrate Masses in a Catholic rite in the general sense but not necessarily in the sense meant in Canon 1248.1. The Society tries to get around this by arguing for supplied jurisdiction in a state of necessity. I think that it had a very strong case for this until 2000, when the Pope offered them complete independence from the local bishop in what is really an 'international diocese' of their own. When they turned this down, in my view, the argument from necessity disappeared.





"I admit there are situations where the only choice is between a parish which uses invalid matter for Mass, and the independent chapel down the road. It is those situations that were being addressed in the correspondence. They are not the norm. And the norm, is where we have to start."


There may be cases in which both the parish church down the road and the Society chapel down the road are to be avoided, and one must stay at home. When we say that doubt permits an action, it works both ways. It also permits us to avoid Masses--whether regularised or not--if we doubt that they are licit or valid. Some traditionalists may find that they may, without sin, abstain from both the Society Masses AND certain regularised Masses.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

In regard to 'John Paul the Small':

Of course, I was hitting back at the blogger who referred to that Pope as 'the Great'. It was meant to be taken as a joke. Obviously, no Pope has ever earned the epithet of 'the Small' and, if one were to get it, under tradition, it would refer to shortness of stature. Hence we have St. James the Less and St. James the Greater, to distinguish these two apostles by height.

None of this changes the fact one of the last 265 popes had to be the worst pope in history. In my view, that dishonour falls to Paul VI. As for J.P. II, well, let's just say that he was far from Great.

P.K.T.P.

David L Alexander said...

"In my view, that dishonour falls to Paul VI."

No. For my money, that dubious distinction (if you don't count the Borgias, and that would be too easy) goes to the Pope who was too soft on Arius. I really should remember his name but I can't. I only know that all the popes before him have been canonized, and he broke the pattern.

You can't get worse than that, can you?

David said...

Pope Liberius, the earliest Pope not canonized.

Some of the 24 Popes of the period 872-965 (about the time of the infamous "synodus horrenda" or "Cadaver Synod - the trial of the corpse of Pope Formosus) were real shockers, too.

For all of Paul VI's faults, he gave us Humanae Vitae...

Anonymous said...

Popes Liberius and Honorius I could be cited, so could Alexander VI.

But I refer not to the morals of Paul VI, which were apparently impeccable.

I refer to the damage he caused the Church. Even the Arian Schism, however terrible, probably did not undermine the Faith as much as the 1960s Revolution. On the contrary, the Arian Schism really made heroes of the laity and made the truth clearer.

As for Humanæ Vitæ, it was certainly better than a reversal, but is that saying much? Paul VI presented such a good case for his opponents in his opening section that many of his readers came to oppose his conclusion!

Casti Connubii, 1930, was by far the better encyclical on this issue. In fact, H.V. undermined C.C. because, in its formulations, it at least gave the false appearance that the procreation of children and the unity of the spouses were equal ends of the conjugal act. It did this by pairing the two in reverse order and never bothering to make clear that the procreation of children is the primary end and ALWAYS takes precedence over the unity of the spouses.

H.V. also did not even mention the third end of Matrimony, which is the avoidance of concupiscence. This was a serious omission. Thank the Good Lord that we can toss H.V. into the fireplace and teach and preach C.C. on every possible occasion. How superior it, and its author, Pope Pius XI, were to Paul VI.

No, I'd say that Paul VI was the worst pope ever and that the Holy Ghost protected the Faith and did not allow him to reverse the Truth in 1968. But the Holy Ghost did allow him to write a confusing encyclical which fudged the truth. It was followed immediately by defiance, such as the infamous Winnipeg Statement.

P.K.T.P.

David L Alexander said...

"I refer to the damage he caused the Church. Even the Arian Schism, however terrible, probably did not undermine the Faith as much as the 1960s Revolution. On the contrary, the Arian Schism really made heroes of the laity and made the truth clearer."

When it comes to history long past, it's easy to forget that we have the benefit of hindsight. Yes, things are bad now, but we also have at our disposal, the means of defending the Faith that the fourth century could not have imagined.

You're using one of them right now.

Dog said...

Maybe I am being ridiculously simplistic here, but I'll risk it. Does it really matter what the canonical status of the SSPX is and whether the masses are licit or illicit? The priests are validly ordained by all standards: they were ordained by Abp. Lefebvre or by bishops consecrated by Abp. Lefebvre, therefore they validly perform the sacrifice of the mass. And they have not been excommunicated. Now I realize that they have not been given faculties as priests in the dioceses in which they function. But does that make their masses invalid? My diocesan priest says not (I asked him). And if you have been to a valid mass on Sunday, then haven't you been to mass? Or is that too simple? Kit

Anonymous said...

Dear Kit:

Yes, that's a bit too simple. The Society Masses are indeed valid, whereas some regularised Masses are not.

However, we, as Catholic, also have an obligation (a) to seek the truth, (b) ordinarily, to remain loyal to the Pope and (c) to obey the Church's laws. One of those laws is to attend a Mass on Sunday which is valid, licit, and Catholic. Canon 1248.1 does bind us.

Now it may be that one can attend a Society Mass, fail to fulfil the obligation, and yet not commit a sin in doing so. But that does not change the principle; nor should it change our resolve to help the Holy Father restore tradition by supporting the traditional Masses which are authorised under his authority.

I prefer to err on the side of caution and, also, if possible, to show loyalty to the Holy Father. So I attend only regularised Masses.

Now, I think that the S.S.P.X had a very plausible position, and also a correct one, between 1988 and 2000. Still, I found that I could attend regularised Masses without threat to my faith, so I preferred to do that even then, and never went to a Society Mass.

The situation against the Society, it seems to me, has become stronger since 2000. You see, the plausible Society position was that, since 'salus animarum lex suprema est', and since the faith was under siege from the top down, one could hold the honest belief that a state of necessity obtained. This state conferred supplied jurisdiction for the S.S.P.X. The Society entered into a state of 'rightful disobedience' in order to protect the faith and tradition from the local bishops and their liberal chancery hacks. Cardinal Baloney and Fr. Bozo did indeed wreck havoc worse than has any Arian.

However, in 2000, Pope John Paul II ended that entire excuse when, through Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, he suggested that Rome could offer the Society a structure which was exempt, personal, ordinary, and universal. In essence, it would have been an international diocese with, for its subjects, those laics who were registered in its parishes and missions, and even other faithful could attend Mass there every Sunday to fulfil the obligation and go to confession. Bsp. Fellay even admitted that it was a "Rolls Royce" solution (his exact words).

But the Society declined this pending two, and then three conditions. The first condition has now been granted in "Summorum Pontificum". The second is that the Pope withdraw the declarations of excommunication and other penalties. The third, added after-the-fact (will there be a fourth, a fifth, &c.?) was that no regularisation would be accepted until all the doctrinal issues had been resolved, a process that could take decades.

Rome showed her good will in this by actually granting the same structure--except not as an international jurisdiction--to the Priestly Union of St. John-Mary Vianney. There are now two de facto dioceses in the Campos territory: the regular N.O. one and the traditionalist one. They are 100% independent from each other.

The Society still did not budge. Largely because of this, several Society priests left and accepted regularisation in 2006 as the Institute of the Good Shepherd (I.P.B.). It should be noted to the credit of Fr. Laguérie et alii that they were not granted the same independence that the Campos priests were and yet they still accepted this because they believed that, *in principle*, the Society should have accepted a Rolls Royce structure which was CONSIDERABLY MORE than what Abp. Lefebvre had been prepared to accept.

When it was pointed out to Bsp. Fellay that the structure being offered was far more than Abp. Lefebvre had been willing to accept, Fellay responded by saying that things have become worse since 1988. But have they? The major problem for the S.S.P.X was the horrible Assisi abomination. But note that this happening occurred in *1986*. While I am not a professor of mathematics, elementary arithmetic tells me that 1986 is *before* 1988. So if Lefebvre was willing to take far less in 1988, which is after the 1986 Assisi happening, why can't Bsp. Fellay do the same?

Anyway, the S.S.P.X has decided its position and would find it hard to back away from it now. But this may hurt it and hurt all traditionalists in the long run. The Pope needs the help of the Society to combat the liberals in the Church. The Society can be helpful to him in this holy work by accepting regularistion. On the other side, should it not do so, it could be decimated by the effect of S.P., as scores of priests learn the old Mass, making the Society less needful to most traditionalists.

I have a solution. The Society could agree to a *provisional* (ad experimentum) structure as a society of apostolic life (like the F.S.S.P.). This would continue during the period of doctrinal discussions, and could be dissolved by either party once a year (by non-renewal) if talks break down. As this would be only a conditional regularisation, it would not violate the Society's resolve to decline [full] regularisation until discussions have ended. But under this conditional status, all faithful could attend Society Masses to fulfil the obligation and even go to confession there (but not Baptism, Confirmation, Matrimony, or Orders, for these require stable jurisdiction).

But there's more. The Society, which has already shown its concern for *all* traditionalists by its demand for S.P., could do the same thing again. How? By asking that the 'international diocese' be granted not for the Society per se but as a structure in which *all* traditionalist priests and orders could find a place. But it would be flexible, so that, in particular cases, a group such as the F.S.S.P. could work under the auspices of the local bishop or under those of the new international structure, in accordance with convenience. The 'international diocese' would be headed by a prelate chosen directly by the Pope. It might be excluded from certain countries pending changes to concordats between those countries and the Holy See.

As for the Society's own society of apostolic life, it would be separate from the Society itself; the two would exist in tandem, just as do Opus Dei and the Prelature of the Holy Cross. That way, the Society could protect its property. The apostolates of the society of apostolic life would rent the use of S.S.P.X chapels for a nomimal fee of $1 / year. In a growing number of cases, the society of apostolic life would approach local bishops and ask to rent the use of his parish churches.

It is time for the Society to make a gift of itself to the entire Church. Working as a regularised body, it would give the faithful a complete option of avoiding NewMass, therefore keeping the liberal clowns in line.

Should a deal not be struck, the Society will have some growth problems if I read the latest statistics aright. And this is something I know a thing or two about. In fact, as S.P. spreads, there is a good chance that the Society will be reduced to insignificance within ten years. Who wants tradition without the Pope when he can have tradition with him? Should the Society delay too long, it may find that Rome no longer needs it--and no longer wants it.

P.K.T.P.

married2ajoseph said...

I've been reading as much as possible about the SSPX and the TLM over the past week... trying to figure out what is going on. It is such a relief to find pockets of sanity out there: Traditionalists who are appalled by the scandal of schism and who won't buy into the crazy nonsense spewed by bishops like Williamson.

Where I live, Glasgow, there is a licit Tridentine Mass. Two miles away, at the exact same time, there is an SSPX Mass. I cannot fathom why anybody could, in good conscience, choose the illicit Mass. The only possible reasons I can think of are rebellious and schismatic.

I think that, as the Vatican continues to remove obstacles to Traditionalists attending diocesan TLM's, we will see a lot of interesting things happen. The crazies that we all know lurk in the SSPX (with their conspiracy theories and anti-semitism) will be brought out into the light. The closet sedevacantists will be pressured to admit where their loyalties really lie.

Meanwhile, I pray that all Traditionalists prayerfully and patiently maintain charity in encouraging the Tridentine Rite in their dioceses.

David L Alexander said...

"And if you have been to a valid mass on Sunday, then haven't you been to mass? Or is that too simple?"

To say the least, yes.

Christ founded a church, not a loose conglomeration of free-lancers. Those who offer the Sacrifice of the Mass, are to do so in union with the whole Church. Those ten nasty little "laws" the Lord gave to Moses are meant to unify a people, to protect us from harm, and so we can be with Him in heaven. Subsequent "laws" have a similar purpose.

Christ gave his Apostles the authority "to bind and to loose," which they would have understood as a continuation of the rabbinical authority. If validity were enough, and licitness (lawfulness) of no consequence, why would He have bothered?

Anonymous said...

I commend married2ajoseph for some very perceptive comments. I would like to elaborate.

First of all, as regards anti-semitism, much as most of us will deplore it in any form, there are two varieties. One is a simple dislike of things Jewish, which is not necessarily sinful. There are people out there who are 'Sinophiles', by which we mean that they love Chinese culture. They might not have any Chinese ancestry but their houses are filled with Chinese plate and art. But if we can love or favour a particular culture, we can disfavour another without sin. Some people might love Chinese art but really dislike the art and culture of Arabia or of Lithuania. None of this is sinful.

Taken a step further, some people may dislike the general traits which they deduce from a particular culture. Such traits must exist; otherwise, we could not mean anything by saying that one person is a Jain or another is Cree or another is Portugese. At this point, the dislike becomes more problematical. While this position is morally possible, it is difficult because of a natural tendency to transfer a reaction from a general category of people to individual persons. This category of (for example) anti-semitism could be morally legitimate, but it is also likely to be offered as an excuse by hateful people.

Hatefulness against any person or group of people is, of course, morally disordered. That is where the second type of anti-semitism comes in.

Now, as regards Bsp. Williamson, I don't judge where he stands on such things. He is an extremely intelligent man, and his arguments tend to be very logical. The problem with his arguments is not one of internal logic but of judgement. Judgement is the ability to perceive the qualities of a thing or person or situation, and to see these qualities in an accurate order of importance; it is an ability to be reasonable or to see things as they are. Some of the most brilliant people have zero judgement, and some of those with very good judgement can have low intelligence (we call the latter 'street smart'). Williamson has often been accused of being wildly unreasonable and of having poor judgement. It's not something we can prove or disprove. To make such a finding requires an exercise of our own judgement! But, in this case, majority opinion does have a greater value. The majority of people cannot, by definition, be much above average intelligence. But they do tend, I think, to have fairly good judgement.

I note something rarely mentioned regarding Williamson, which is that he is 68 years old--much older than the other Society bishops. Two of the others are in their fifties; the third, just around 60. So W. will not be on the scene forever in any event. It will be interesting to see who the Society replaces him with seven to fifteen years from now.

In regard to anti-semites in the Society and elsewhere in the Church, they will not go away as if by magic. There will be many there indefinitely into the future. But I think that married2aJoseph is right in thinking that anti-semites will be more likely to split away from any Society which reconciles with Rome. That is also true of the sedevacantists said to be there. And it is also true of other 'extremists', such as as fascists, 'male chauvinists', libertarians, racists, absolute monarchists, and so on. When any organisation breaks from a mainstream on principle, it will attract a certain number of contrarians and extremists, who will then 'do battle' to some extent with the original rebels, some of whom might be very reasonable people who happened to be right to reject a general trend (such as post-conciliar madness).

If there is to be any rapprochement with Rome, there will certainly be some in the S.S.P.X who will not accept this, and who will leave. That is unavoidable: mergings nearly always cause splits. The question is whether only the real oddballs will leave or if a much larger group will. That is the problem being faced by Bishop Fellay. But the alternative, for the Society, is to face decline and then decimation under the onslaught of "Summorum Pontificum". He can do a great favour for all of us by gifting the Church with the Society but in a structure that affords all traditionalists with more freedom from the bishops. The Society's proposal should demonstrate real charity, just as its request for S.P. did.

At this point, we need to consider numbers. In one respect, our smaller numbers are an advantage. Were we a huge group in the Church, any separate jurisdiction for us could be a cause of serious division. But there is no chance of that in the foreseeable futue. While S.P. has caused an amazing doubling or even trebling of our Masses, this only means that we are now one-fifth of one per cent of the Catholic population, instead of one-tenth of one per cent of it. Rome traditionally considers separate jurisdictions for small groups of people who are distinct in some way. We fit the bill, just as the Byzantine Catholics of Greece (all 2,000 of them) do.

Essentially, what I am suggesting is an international diocese, a Campos writ large (vide Canon 372.1-2). Its subjects would be those who register in its parishes or missions; those who do not would remain subjects of the local ordinary but could still fulfil the obligation in the new structure and receive absolution and Extreme Unction from its priests. (Only subjects of a jurisdiction can receive the other Sacraments or burial in it, unless permission is given by the ordinary having jurisdiction.)

Traditionalist societies and institutes (e.g. the S.S.P.X, the F.S.S.P., the I.C.R., the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, the Benedictines of Le Barroux) could (a) work exclusively in the new structure, should their superiors prefer this or (b) work exclusively under the auspices of local bishops, or, best of all (c) work under the new structure or the local bishop in accordance with circumstances. The choice would be entirely theirs, but the new personal bishop would only be allowed to grant jurisdiction to celebrate the 'extraordinary form' of Mass (and use other books proper to that form).

Rome would appoint a prelate to head the new jurisdiction. The Pope would pick his own man for this, consulting whomever he wishes. It's his baby. It would be able to incardinate its own diocesan priests too, although this might be rare at first owing to financial constraints, but it would allow self-supporting independent communities, such as Fr. Finnegan's in Arizona, to come across. Let us call this structure the personal Diocese of St. Gregory the Great, and let Rome give it a cathedral in a symbolic capital, The City of Trent in Italy. It would be excluded from some countries pending changes in concordats.

Now, I have described the condition of a personal diocese, directly subject to the Holy See, which would be able to provide non-exclusive jurisdiction for differing groups of traditionalists. But what about the S.S.P.X itself? I would keep it generally (or else entirely) as it currently is, with the same title, but formed as by the Pope as an international public association of Christ's faithful (but "the diocesan bishop" in Canon 312.2 could refer either to the local bishop or the personal bishop for future Society chapels; present chapels would all be included directly by the Holy See). This organisation would continue to control its real property. But it needs a juridical structure subject to Rome. So we shall create for it a new society of apostolic life. Let us call it the Society of the Holy Face (a devotion liked by traditionalists owing to its direct attack on communism). The S.S.P.X clerics would be incardinated in this new Society of the Holy Face, which would be able to rent the use of S.S.P.X chapels for a nominal fee; however, the Holy Face Society would also be able to approach local bishops (and even Eastern-Rite bishops) to arrange the use of their sacred places for Mass. It would be flexible.

The Holy Face Society would be provisional or 'ad experimentum' during the period of negotiation with the Holy See. Its jurisdiction would be suspendable by either party once per year, during November (the month before the beginning of the next ecclesiastical year).

The S.S.P.X could exist in tandem with this new Holy Face Society simply because, in law, a parish is a group of people and a juridical structure; it is not real property. Parishes are always free to rent or accept offers to use space from others to celebrate Mass. I note that, for other reasons entirely, Opus Dei exists in tandem with the Prelatue of the Holy Cross. This can be done. The purpose would be to give the Society clerics the assurance that their original property can never end up in the hands of some futrue Cardinal Baloney or a Paul VI of the future. On the other side, however, the Holy Face Society would come gradually to rely less and less on Society chapels and more and more on diocesan venues, making it gradually harder and harder for the Society to return to a state of disobedience. Full return to disobedience would also be impeded more and more as new Society priests became accustomed to working under the Pope's authority, and as the Church moves further and further away from the post-conciliar insanity. Of course, the use of S.P. among ordinary diocesan priests would also deter the S.S.P.X from returning to disobedience. If people can get tradition from regularised authority, most will.

But, on the other side, allowing Society hardliners to control their own property will be at least a small check on any wild experimentation from the top down in the forseeable future. No Pope will want to unleash future Father Bozos if it might mean a rebellion.

For hundreds and hundreds of years, popes do what is natural, which is to keep everthing traditional. But once every five hundred years or so, they forget that this works and get fooled by some revolution in the secular world. They they pay the price for forgetting what works, and a period of recovery is needed.

P.K.T.P.

Marco said...

I find it laughable to hear people suggest that Pope John Paul II should be canonized, much less called "The Great." Equally laughable is any assertion that half of the world's Catholics reside it Latin America. I am Hispanic am married to a Brazilian, am fluent in both languages and have lived in both a Spanish speaking land and Brazil. Let me tell you that the overly optimistic statistics stating that 70% of Brazil is Catholic is extremely misleading. Neither is any Latin American country a thriving Catholic wonderland, much less the "future of the Church" as I have heard it called. The truth is, the party is over, the few Catholic holdouts are being decimated by the twin diseases of pentecostalism and liberalism/European style atheism. The disingenuous statisticians count the baptismal certificates which lay forgotten in archives while the person listed is busy writhing in a Pentecostal voodoo service in some palatial church. More reliable polls done locally by locals bear this out. I remember reading in a Puerto Rican newspaper the following "It is time to recognize that Puerto Rico is no longer a majority Catholic country." Duh. One only needs to walk through any neighborhood (Pick your choice of country, city.) to see the flourishing, aggressive Pentecostal churches bursting at the seams with ecstatic former Catholics spinning like dervishes, screaming like banshees and crying like Jimmy Swaggart. The Pastors line their pockets with the money lavished on them by peasants who can barely afford to feed their families yet turn over their meager earnings in droves because these charlatans promise them deliverance from the misery of their daily grind. They give the outward appearance of holiness but it is only a facade since as their numbers have grown, they have had to play up the therapeutic histrionics and dumb down the modesty and morality parts they were once known for. It doesn't matter... it's about quantity, not quality. These former Catholics may do as they please, as long as they do it in a Protestant church, because the devil has accomplished his task, he has broken the back of the Church in Latin America. The Churches are empty, pentecostal protestantism is the dominant philosophy that informs and influences the people. The Church has no voice, her tenets are ignored at best, ridiculed at worst by those who officially remain Catholics (dwindling daily) and have yet to give out. These former Catholics are taught to hate every aspect of Catholic teaching, praxis, etc. Even if a given person might be amenable to some idea or custom, he only needs to learn that catholics do it or believe it in order to turn 180 degrees and savage it. Watch John Hagee or R.C. Sroul and imagine them 100 times worse, on PCP and you will have an idea of what the average Latin American or African or Asian former Catholic or cradle Pentecostal is like (Former Catholics are the most vicious by far.) This is what the churchmen that brought us the fresh air of VII are up against. Perhaps that was their plan all along. We are harassed continuously, given no quarter and have nowhere left to run. All that is left are a few Charismatics and pusillanimous appeasers, and they too will be assimilated in short order. Forget about Latin America, we have lost it and they are too well indoctrinated to vomit uncontrollably at the mere mention of the word Catholicism. They will never give a Catholic apologist a hearing.
This all happened in earnest after VII and proceeded at breakneck speed under the pontificate of Pope JPII The Great, The Philosopher King. He did nothing to stop this hemorrhaging. To the contrary, he aided and abetted them. A L.Amer. Protestant that I know very well told me, and I quote..."Do you know what my greatest wish is? It is to see every one of these Catholic churches pulled down...and all of you converted lest idolatry fester like a disease. We are winning you know. A friend of mine in Brazil said that JPII has been the best thing that could ever have happened to us. He broke through that old Catholic reticence and allowed us to evangelize them. His example of openness to other religions made Catholics lower their guard, open up to us and consider that we might have something to teach them... now they are all becoming Christians, believers, crentes."

To have your supposedly unassailable leader be lionized so slavishly by your worst enemy who is busy annihilating you, (and yes, they are moving us down without even a fight)is damnable evidence that this man who did nothing to protect his flock and allowed the lavender mafia to remain unscathed after sodomizing our children in droves in confessionals was not great, but a terrible Pope and a terrible human being.
Why spirit away the chief criminal Bernard Law to a hideaway in Rome and honor with the title of Arch-priest? So that he would be far from the reach of the law and their pecadilloes would remain a secret.
I attend a local indult and am frankly getting tired of the rotating crew of priests thrown at us who speak to us contemptuously in their sermons telling us to not think that it is anything special to have the Latin Mass. That we should eschew daily communion, "don't do it because Padre Pio did it. You are not Padre Pio! Is the new message to ignore Sacred Scripture and not follow the example of the saints? I thought that was what we were supposed to do!
The problem with the MP is that we may have a Mass here and there but their is little that can be called Catholic in the teaching of most priests nowadays. A Mass without the Faith is just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Our children are exposed to their modernistic ideas and the outrages of the silly N.O. when we have to involve ourselves with the parish outside of the Mass (Preparation for the sacraments, etc.)

Call me schismatic? I don't care, That word has been thrown around so gratuitously and without justification so as to scare anyone who might dare say that the emperor has no clothes, that it has lost its sting. I have never joined any schismatic group, I don't go to the SSPX and I've never even seen a "Sede" Mass. I simply call them as I see them. If it looks like a duck...

I'm simply fed up, battle scarred and sitting in the middle of a wasteland looking at our sexually abused Catholic children, (I live in Boston) my friends and family wiggling and writhing their way to hell and wondering why the Shepherds did this to us. We have few young people in our community to marry our children to, no prospects for raising our children Catholic and it is all thanks to these wolves in sheep's clothing. Thanks. John Paul II the Great? Wake up. The Pastoral council VII a breath of fresh air? I think not, try "Robber Council." "You will know them by their fruits." Please understand that I love my Church and I and many others are simply tired of seeing her raped by those who were charged with protecting her, and the sycophants who make excuses for them while savaging with Boogey-man pejoratives those who have stood up to say that the emperor has no clothes! I am not affiliated with the SSPX or anyone else but the Roman catholic Church I was born into. Yet, I can understand why they fear being subsumed by the army of foppish bishops who make up our episcopate. I fear for them. The Bishops are very good at politics and deal in bad faith and smear tactics. Why aren't the armies of sodomite prelates and heretical theologians who openly mock/flout/rail against the Church's teachings, the Deposit of Faith, called what they are? Heretics and Schismatics. Are they not Heretics and Schismatics because they perform their sodomy and teach their heresies from the posh comforts of Diocesan churches? Must one only need to sin within the four walls of a Diocesan church in order to be "In Communion" and not be called to the carpet. I fear for my boys and what the future holds for them and for our Church. With good reason. Unfortunately most Bishops are politicians first and masters of divide and conquer tactics as well as smear tactics and pulling out the tired old excommunicated/schismatic boogey-man. I'd like to see these cowards and their enablers out in the blogosphere dare to call the Orthodox schismatics to their faces or the Protestants heretics to theirs. I'd like to see them declare Pelosi, Biden, Kennedy, and the rest of the apostate Catholic mafia politicians "ipso facto excommunicated". It will never happen because as we say in colloquial Spanish "Ellos saben con quienes se meten." They know with whom to tangle. It is thanks to VII and the latent liberalism it helped to spread like wildfire that we have an army of Catholic lawbreakers, I mean lawmakers that undermine, and destroy everything the Catholic faith holds dear and as unassailable truth while promoting everything She has proclaimed vile and sinful. From my New England vantage point, the once heart of American Catholicism, I can see that it was Catholics that have been instrumental in bringing about the great apostasy, contraception in the marital bed and in the classroom, abortion, gay marriage (Sodomy) etc.

Dante (no saint himself) saw and satirized the pecadilloes of the prelates of his time, as well as a few political enemies to be sure, so this isn't entirely new but we now face something unprecedented. The Arian disease may have nearly swallowed up just about every layman and Bishop alike, but the Pope was not found wanting. Athanasius could at least hold onto that. Have our recent Popes been similarly free of taint? Let's be real!

Since VII, Catholicism has lost its once brilliance luster and the air of irreproachable sanctity that it once had in the minds of the people. Before VII, The average honest non-believing man on the street might not have agreed with her, or even like her, but it was hard to imagine that her Bishops would be capable of the outrageous behavior and blatant apostasy that is their stock in trade. The Church has become a laughingstock.

Bishops have no tolerance for Catholic praxis and the tenets that they are based on, but plenty for Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Darwinism, etc. Korans are o.k., worthy of veneration with a kiss even (never mind that it calls for our subjugation/conversion or death.) The most sacred tilac is o.k., I get it. That is Catholic, Mahoney, Hans Kung, Father Pfleger etc. are in communion but the loyal opposition in the SSPX is not? Give me a break. The level of sycophancy is stifling. If it weren't for Archbishop Lefevbre, we wouldn't even have a Mass, we'd be attending a N.O. mess. Think about it well before contradicting Cardinals who have said that they are not schismatic and have praised their work. I for one am grateful. The only reason the indult was granted (with heaps of obstacles, disdain and abuse) was to undermine the SSPX. What we have, we owe to them. Folks can come with their tired old terse little contradictory quotes from this here and there to make excuses for them and for the disastrous sin that was VII but the truth is plain to see, at least if you aren't covering your eyes. Willful blindness.

Marco
moraddai@hotmail.com

VICARIOPUSDAY said...

COLEGIO RETAMAR: OPUS DEI EMBRACES SATANIC CULT.

Great souls pay much attention to spiritual quality and not to the material quantity.
Your spiritual opression and cult slavery have given birth and light to satan on earth.
Technology has been used as an instrument of Opus Dei culture of insane tortures.
The invasions on intimacy, privacy and property are proper of unholiness promoters.
Handling black money and founding illegal foundations have nothing to do with Christ.
Kidnapping and homicide attemps are not works of God, but criminal works of Opus Dei.
Assaulting public treasuries, health security and Madrid community are satanized works.
Identity thefts, suplantation, phishing and scams are insolent works and insolvent saints.
Hatred is your right Camino, Xenophobia is your Surco and permitted injustice is your Forja.
You have mistaken the WAY, your OPUS DEI WAY, the WAY of 999 WAYS, your CULT WAY.
Your real throne is earthly. It has been a shamless experience that you missed CHRIST WAY.
It is said that prayer is all powerful, but you pray to have the control of the Catholic Church.
The denial of truth that sets you free turns you into a slave of immorality and allied of evils.
The walls of the Vatican are too thick, but Opusist walls are bunkers for spiritual terrorism.
Opus Dei radicalism and control on the Vatican planet has given bright lights to liberalism.
The devils have arrived in the Vatican and sex scandals have rocked the Ratzingerism pillars.
Christianity has never suffered from such insolence. Faith on reason has been a treason.
Opus Dei represents the modern crusaders who hide and pray in invisible colourful cassocks.
The Opus Dei are modern terrorist monks who hide in invisible burkas and sanctify MAFIA.
PEPE is translated into a DOUBLE JOSÉ MARÍA, A WAR CRIMINAL one and an EX MARQUIS one. PEPE is OPUS DEI and OPUS DEI is PEPE (PP).
VICARIO/VICARIOPUSDAY/DON MOISÉS/MOISÉS IBRAHIM: EX OPUS DEI SUPERNUMERARY, EX EDUCATOR of COLEGIO RETAMAR in MADRID for THIRTY THREE YEARS, that are translated into TWO TRINITIES that HONOUR and DIGNIFY the EX MARQUIS in his TOMB.

VICARIOPUSDAY said...

COLEGIO RETAMAR: OPUS DEI EMBRACES SATANIC CULT.

Great souls pay much attention to spiritual quality and not to the material quantity.
Your spiritual opression and cult slavery have given birth and light to satan on earth.
Technology has been used as an instrument of Opus Dei culture of insane tortures.
The invasions on intimacy, privacy and property are proper of unholiness promoters.
Handling black money and founding illegal foundations have nothing to do with Christ.
Kidnapping and homicide attemps are not works of God, but criminal works of Opus Dei.
Assaulting public treasuries, health security and Madrid community are satanized works.
Identity thefts, suplantation, phishing and scams are insolent works and insolvent saints.
Hatred is your right Camino, Xenophobia is your Surco and permitted injustice is your Forja.
You have mistaken the WAY, your OPUS DEI WAY, the WAY of 999 WAYS, your CULT WAY.
Your real throne is earthly. It has been a shamless experience that you missed CHRIST WAY.
It is said that prayer is all powerful, but you pray to have the control of the Catholic Church.
The denial of truth that sets you free turns you into a slave of immorality and allied of evils.
The walls of the Vatican are too thick, but Opusist walls are bunkers for spiritual terrorism.
Opus Dei radicalism and control on the Vatican planet has given bright lights to liberalism.
The devils have arrived in the Vatican and sex scandals have rocked the Ratzingerism pillars.
Christianity has never suffered from such insolence. Faith on reason has been a treason.
Opus Dei represents the modern crusaders who hide and pray in invisible colourful cassocks.
The Opus Dei are modern terrorist monks who hide in invisible burkas and sanctify MAFIA.
PEPE is translated into a DOUBLE JOSÉ MARÍA, A WAR CRIMINAL one and an EX MARQUIS one. PEPE is OPUS DEI and OPUS DEI is PEPE (PP).
VICARIO/VICARIOPUSDAY/DON MOISÉS/MOISÉS IBRAHIM: EX OPUS DEI SUPERNUMERARY, EX EDUCATOR of COLEGIO RETAMAR in MADRID for THIRTY THREE YEARS, that are translated into TWO TRINITIES that HONOUR and DIGNIFY the EX MARQUIS in his TOMB.

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