Vatican to SSPX leader: let's talk

And they will, on 14 September, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

From CNS:

The head of a group of traditionalist Catholics will meet with the Vatican Sept. 14 to continue a series of doctrinal discussions.

The Vatican confirmed Aug. 23 that Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, will travel to Rome in mid-September to meet with U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The superior of the society in Germany, Father Franz Schmidberger, said on the group’s website that the meeting would discuss the results of doctrinal dialogues from the past two years.

The priest, who is not expected to attend the September meeting, said the discussions will focus on the society’s “point of view of canon law,” adding that the atmosphere of previous talks had been “very good.”

The talks were launched in late 2009 in an effort by Pope Benedict XVI to repair a 21-year break with the society. The pope said that full communion for the group’s members would depend on “true recognition of the magisterium and the authority of the pope and of the Second Vatican Council.”

However, Bishop Fellay has said the society has been using the talks as a means to show the Vatican the contradictions between the church’s traditional teachings and its practices since Vatican II.

The dialogue with the Vatican was not a search for compromise but “a question of faith,” Bishop Fellay said in February.

Father Davide Pagliarani, superior of the society in Italy, said “the canonical situation in which the society presently finds itself is (the) result of its resistance to the errors that infest the church.”

“Consequently, the possibility of the society arriving at a regular canonical situation does not depend on us but on the hierarchy’s acceptance of the contribution that tradition can make to the restoration of the church,” he said in an interview published in English Aug. 13 on the society’s website.

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69 responses to “Vatican to SSPX leader: let's talk”

  1. Good. I hope they work it out. If folks who don’t believe any of the Church’s teachings on sexuality can run Church institutions and be influential figures – why can’t the SSPX? If folks who defy the Church’s instructions on liturgy every single Sunday can be in charge – why can’t the SSPX have a voice?

    Those who would through fits about this really need to think that through and confront your possible Double Standard on Diversity.

    (Many of them- SSPX – won’t come back anyway since they are practically sedevacantists – but the Pope is reaching out to those who *want* to be back in full Communion.)

    Diversity, people!

  2. This is great news. Let’s hope that the Sept. 14 talks are fruitful. There is so much to admire and emulate in SSPX, and so much good that they could do the Church at large, if they were more officially recognized by it (that is, recognized without the asterisks). Sure, they have a few, er, *curious* fellows in their midst. Though, I suppose every group has their curious fellows.

  3. “If folks who defy the Church’s instructions on liturgy every single Sunday can be in charge – why can’t the SSPX have a voice?”

    Because the people who defy the instructions don’t openly say the Church’s councils are invalid and consecrate bishops without papal approval, that’s why.

    The people who mess with the mass need to be corrected and disciplined, but the people who mess with doctrine need a bit more than that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really hope things go well (and am more sympathetic to the morality and such espoused by the the SSPX than the wishy washy liberals), but if the Superiors of the SSPX think not only that Vatican II has been abused (which is obvious) but that it was not valid at all, and aren’t willing to discuss the matter, then we probably won’t get anywhere any time soon.

  4. “Many of them- SSPX – won’t come back anyway since they are practically sedevacantists – but the Pope is reaching out to those who *want* to be back in full Communion.”

    Those in SSPX who want to come back have come back. They belong to the Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri

  5. There is more information on as well. In particular”

    “The proposal which has been studied by the Vatican, would allow Lefebvrists the establishment of an ordinariate similar to that offered by the Pope to Anglicans who wanted to come into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. In this way, the Fraternity would depend on the Holy See (and specifically on the Ecclesia Dei Commission) and could retain its characteristics without having to answer to the diocesan bishops.”

    Here’s hoping it works. I think this would be a good way to handle the situation at this point, assuming everything else can be figured out.

  6. Jacob,

    I would argue that the SSPX don’t really “mess with doctrine”. Rather, they pose the threat of schism because of the illicit consecrations. Their view of VII is al little more nuanced than “it was not valid at all.”

  7. I’m with Jacob! There’s a big difference between infractions against rubrics–whether intentional or the result of ignorance or laziness–and denying the validity of an ecumenical council of the Church and ordaining bishops in express defiance to the Pope. But I guess heresy on the right should get a wink, whereas heresy on the left ought to vigorously fought, right?

  8. Harold, you mean like (previously) excommunication and ongoing sanctions, that sort of wink?

    I have little patience for the SSPX’s intransigence, but that being said, it is laughable that they have they have gotten some sort of pass while “heresy on the left” (whatever that means) has been vigorously pursued.

  9. Now, my objections having been voiced, I do agree with Jacob that the talks probably will not go anywhere, at least not any time soon. The SSPX leadership, especially a few individuals, appear to be (as I wrote above) intransigent.

  10. Some clarification about the infallibility of the Second Vatican Council.

    There is a lot of confusion about what constitutes infallible magisterium. There are three levels of magisterium: Extraordinary (Infallible – Ex Cathedra, Ecumenical Councils), Ordinary (Infallible – acts that arein continuity of teaching of successors of Peter ie tradition of the Church of Rome), Authentic (fallible).

    The difficulty with V2 is that the Council Fathers and Popes did not invoke the extraordinary power of infallibility that normally would mark an ecumenical council. As stated by Pope Paul VI

    “In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any
    extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document.”General Audience, 12 January 1966

    Under these conditions in order for the council documents to have the mark of infallibility they need to have a continuity with the past. That which contradicts the past is not infallible and there are major issues with some of the parts of the documents.

    That which is infallible is irreformable. If for example the
    Syllabus of errors is part of the Ordinary Magisterium, then there is no alteration possible.

    Another example is the gap between Ecumenism as practiced in the Church (Church as Communion – wherein the Protestants are in partial communion) with paragraph 14 of MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI

    Hence the problem that the ‘traditionalists’ have with certain aspects of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

    Ultimately,the ‘intransigence’ of the SSPX is about the Truth.

  11. @Joe
    Diversity, people!

    Really, what do you mean by this ‘diveristy’?

    The Church isn’t about ‘diversity’ … it is about Unity.

  12. Please everybody, have some charity. The SSPX folks are not outside the church, they are fellow Catholics. No need for diversity. We are united with them. Their clerics act illicitly when saying Mass but the sacraments they provide are valid.

    I hope the Holy Father will offer the SSPX clergy canonical status as rumored. We need their full participation in teaching the faith to the next generation.

  13. The position of the LeFebfrists most difficult to defend: That the Holy Spirit guided the Church and its magisterium all the way from Pentecost until: (pick one!) 1958 with the death of Pius XII; or 1963 with the start of Vatican II.
    If the Church could be guided by the Holy Spirit through the conquest of Rome by Charlemagne, the “iron age of the papacy (886 to middle of the 11th Century), the “Babylonian exile” in Avignon in the 14th Century, some of the abuses by Italian families in the fifteenth – sixteenth centuries and the conquest by Napoleon; What stress from outside comparable to those earlier difficulties has occurred since 1945?
    Something to ponder.

  14. SSPX should stop their little rebellion and get in line. If you don’t follow the Pope and mis Magisterium, then you’re just another lukewarm Catholic.

  15. I agree with John:

    “Please everybody, have some charity. The SSPX folks are not outside the church, they are fellow Catholics.”

    I get the constant and undeniable impression that “conservatives” hate the traditionalists far more than the liberals do.

    Perhaps they are just devoid of charity to begin with?

  16. Just as in getting engaged, the couple should look before they leap.
    Everyone should read the Southern Povery Law Center’s expose on traditionalist organizations. The SSPX comes off a whole lot better than most. But, there is no difference between what Lefevbre did and what Luther did. They both defied the Pope. They spat on Peter.
    Just as for Protestants who are received into the Church, there must be contrition, confession, and satisfaction. Protestants are in schism. The SSPX is in schism until it does the three-fold process of reception.
    Has the SSPX expressed any contrition for its rebellion?
    No. Has it made the full expression of faith in the teaching of the Magisterium, which includes the authority of ecumenical councils? No.
    It is still under the delusion that it is here to ‘correct’ the Church.
    Can people who spit on Peter correct Peter?
    The Church does not need the SSPX. It has the fulness of revelation, the throne of Peter, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit can be ignored by individuals or groups of individuals, but the Church Herself is His Spouse.
    She, like her Spouse, needs nothing. She is fullness itself.
    Time for the SSPX to make friends with its knees. They must bend to Peter.

  17. Sept 14 is the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross – let’s pray that indeed The Cross of Christ Triumphs over those who refuse obedience to the Magisterium of the Christ’s Churdh and the Papacy established by Him. It’s difficult to understand how some can be so obviously in error as SSPX leaders and yet believe that the entire Church is in error. As someone wrote, it’s Luther all over again. He later admitted that he actually had no intention of causing a schism but found to his sorrow that this is exactly what occurred, and swiftly enveloped the world w/heresy to this very day. Just think where we’d all be if Jesus disobeyed his Father re the Cross. Admittedly, Jesus struggled in the Garden of Agony re this issue, even prayed that it be taken away, yet in the end submitted saying, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” Let’s pray that SSPX leaders have the humility to do the same.

  18. Nobody should become a drone for Peter. We have intellects and wills for a reason.

    At first everyone said the Council is great and will bring great things. Now everyone says the Council is great and many have misinterpreted it and abused it. Tomorrow everyone will say the Council was well-intentioned. The day after tomorrow everyone will say the Council went wrong, which is what the SSPX and others have said all along.

  19. The members and friends of the SSPX think every one and anyone who does not think like them is a heretic who is not a member of the Church. Only they have the total monopoly of what is right, both doctrinally and in liturgy. For them to be satisfied, they entire universal Church would have to be their clones.

    And then they don’t even agree with one another! Look at their history of constant internal bickering, dissent and splintering.

    They do not want to admit that wheat and weeds are growing side by side even inside each one of us, and that the militant Church is a hospital where we are all sick souls in need of conversion.

    Oh no! They and only they are in possession of absolute truth and God likes their Masses better than anyone else’s, so they go lecture the Pope on doctrine and liturgy.

    Admit the fact: they are gone and they do not want to come back.

  20. The Pope is humbly reaching out and all I hear from the SSPX is a rather arrogant,
    >>However, Bishop Fellay has said the society has been using the talks as a means to show the Vatican the contradictions between the church’s traditional teachings and its practices since Vatican II.

    The dialogue with the Vatican was not a search for compromise but “a question of faith,” Bishop Fellay said in February.

    Father Davide Pagliarani, superior of the society in Italy, said “the canonical situation in which the society presently finds itself is (the) result of its resistance to the errors that infest the church.”<<

    I'll pray for them that they come to a humble recognition that they need to practice the obedience they preach. I won't hold my breath about it though. The above statement reinforces the perception that the SSPX have set up their own Magisterium and won't listen to anyone else about it.

    The good news is there are many formerly schismed religious orders that are returning to the Church. The Holy Father is calling home the wanderers, may God reward his efforts and faithfulness.

  21. Of course I would LOVE to see the SSPX reunited with Rome as they have preserved some very precious Rites and Catholic Culture!

    However, when I sometimes read what their leader has written I ask myself, do they need to be RIGHT or do they need to be CATHOLIC and in union with Rome.

    If they seriously think Rome will pretend Vat II didn’t happen, well, that’s just wishful thinking. On the other hand, if they realize as have some of the rest of us have that much of what came out of Vat II was neither intended or sanctioned. Much was played up the the mainstream media and then people ran with it! Much of the clergy and religious ran with things that were never meant to be and we have all paid the price for that.

  22. Did someone just cite the Southern Poverty Law Center as a source to be consulted? Surely this is satire and I just don’t get it. The SPLC is a liberal rag that tries to classify those with which it disagrees as “hate groups”.

    Regarding the SSPX, there must be only a few here who have any knowledge of the history of Archbishop Lefebvre, the SSPX or the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II. The SSPX does not deny the validity of Vatican II and they are not in schism.

    The SSPX is Catholic, but operates without an official position in the Church due to the suspension issued by Paul VI in the 1970’s, the justness of which is highly dubious and a story unto itself. The situation was exacerbated in 1988 when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated 4 bishops without papal mandate. The Holy See referred to this as a schismatic act and has never stated to my knowledge that the SSPX are in schism. Furthermore, the Holy Father said the following in his letter to Bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum: “It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.” This interior reconciliation is surely, at least in part, referring to the SSPX.

    It also must be reiterated that the problems confronting the Church today, as the SSPX repeatedly points out, does not just concern the Liturgy. It is first and foremost one of doctrine. It is obvious, for those wishing to see, that there has been a drastic change in the Catholic Church over the past 40-50 years. These changes are not just in appearance, but are the result of confusion over doctrine. Anyone who has read the pre-Vatican II encyclicals, apostolic letters and council documents (namely, Trent and Vatican I) can see this. Msgr. Gherardini, canon of St. Peter’s Basilica, points this out in his book; Vatican Council II: An Open Discussion as does Enrico Radaelli in a recent article published by Sandro Magister. Even Bishop Athanasius Schneider (not affiliated with SSPX or FSSP) has called for another Syllabus to condemn the errors resulting from Vatican II.

    What I find so infuriating is that “conservative” Catholics, just like the liberals and modernists, continue to act as though the Church never existed prior to 1960 (or existed from 33 A.D. to 400 A.D. and ignore the 1,550 years in between).

  23. @Magnus
    “I’ll pray for them that they come to a humble recognition that they need to practice the obedience they preach’

    There are a lot of things in your post that I find annoying. I will stick with this part.

    The Magisterium is there to teach the Church what is necessary (faith and morals) to save our souls.

    When the Magisterium is not doing its job there is a major problem. When the Magisterium contradicts itself – what are you to believe?

    In this situation, Catholics who don’t know their faith are at a serious disadvantage.

    As a person who attends Mass at an SSPX chapel I have been called several things in the last year:

    Protestant (aka heretic)

    None of which I like.

    However, practicing the virtures of patience, kindness and charity – I have removed the prejudice by earnest discussion. I have not sought to ‘convert’ people but to give them a broader understanding of the crisis in the Church.

    That is what I seek here in this and other blogs. Honest discussion where people will discuss the points at hand and not attack individuals.

    If I’m wrong – convince me.

    Calling me names and making statements like ” SSPX is a rather arrogant” doesn’t help.

    There are souls at stake here – Millions if the SSPX is wrong and Billions if they are right.

    If you think they can’t be right – then you are sorely ignorant of Church History.

  24. I am reading so many false statements and am getting frustrated.
    Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Not one SSPX priest or faithful will disagree with that statement. Is Vatican II a valid council = yes. But validity doesn’t equate goodness. SSPX was started after VII with the permission from the Vatican and the local bishop. Their mission was to carry on the faith and the Holy Mass the way it has always been practiced. If the SSPX was around 70 years ago they would be the norm and would not be the result of all these negative news stories. Those attending SSPX Masses are Catholics. Their is no such thing as partial communion – you are either a Catholic or a non-Catholic. “hi my name is ____ and I am partially Catholic” – that does not make sense.

  25. I came to the Faith as a direct result of the missionary efforts of the SSPX. I doubt it would have happened otherwise. God bless Archbishop Lefebvre and the society he founded.

  26. If you don’t understand what happened at Vatican II and the results in the church after that then you don’t understand the actions of Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX. Once you know the reasons given in the books by the Archbishop then it all fits into place:

    We also have warnings from Our Lady of Fatima, Akita, Good Success about problems in the church as well. As Our Lady of Akita warned:
    The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The Church and altars will be vandalized. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

    Only the Pope, by obeying Our Lady of Fatima’s request to consecrate “Russia” with all the bishops, will there be a period of peace in the world. Watch videos at:

  27. If a Pople tells you not to ordain some bishops, and you do it anyway, you are disobedient.
    If you mount a Rave Mass in the sanctuary of a church, you are disobeying the rubrics of the Holy Mass.
    If you tolerate a bishop in your ranks who denies the Holocaust, and only discipline him after the press has exposed him, you are ignoring the teaching of the Pope the SSPX defied who called anti-Semitism “racist sin”.
    Guys, the SSPX is not in a position to correct the Church.
    Jesus is head of the Church. It’s His correction we need to look for. And he will correct us through His Vicar.
    You may not like it, but you have to clean out your barn Christ’s way.
    You’ll feel better later.
    Also, it was the SPLC that exposed the background of that principal at a New York Catholic school who was a racist.
    You don’t have to like the SPLC, but facts are stubborn things.

  28. Hi Magistra,

    You have really been selective in the items listed, especially since they don’t really help your argument a whole bunch since most of them are red-herrings.

    The point in question is whether or not the SSPX is correct in its dubia concerning the council. Since the SSPX is arguing from the point of prior magisterium they are putting forth Catholic Truth.

    The fact that the Holy Ghost protects the Church does not give anyone an excuse to sit back and watch the show. If you know of an error as a Catholic you have an obligation to correct it. This obligation weighs even heavier on the shoulders of the Princes of the Church (Bishops)

    Archbishop Lefebvre is the only Bishop who took action on an international level.

    Keep in mind that …
    a. it was not his choice to enter the fray. He was begged to come to the assistance of seminarians after the council.

    b. his seminary was founded canonically but labelled a ‘wildcat’ seminary by the liberals which called for the apostolic visitation

    c. the ‘visitors’ freaked out the seminarians by denials of various truths of the faith ‘you don’t really believe the tomb was empty … etc’

    d. When the Ossertore Romano published his ‘declaration’ they conveniently left out the last paragraph. Why don’t you go have a read of the full text?

    e. The definition of tradition found in Ecclesei Dei Adflicta (sp) has some very striking similarities to the condemned modernist definition found in Pascendi. If you think I’m wrong I’m ready to discuss it with you.

    Looking forward to your thoughts on these points.

  29. It’s important for Catholics to do a background check on anyone or anything holding forth for Catholic tradition. It is routine for SSPX-ers, and SSPX-wanna-be’s to preach against the Council. This is beyond merely holding doubts about the Council. This is an attack. Catholics should accept the documents and decrees of the Vatican II Council. Not just because they’re really cool; but because that’s what the Church teaches. This has nothing to do with pretty liturgies and reverence at Mass. This is what the Church is asking of all of us. You can’t have the EF without accepting the authority and dignity of the Council. In a recent instruction on the motu proprio Universae Ecclesiae, the faithful are told clearly what attitude to adopt: “19. The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.” The validity and legitimacy of the OF comes from the Council which created it. You’re gonna have to choose. So, too, will the SSPX. Just sayin’. Peace out.

  30. “Catholics should accept the documents and decrees of the Vatican II Council.”

    Magistra Bona,

    You refuse to address, even in a cursory manner, the issues raised by Tradica and others. Regarding your call for Catholics to “accept the documents and decrees of Vatican II Council”, please tell us what there is to accept. What new dogma or doctrine was defined? What is there that Catholics must believe in 2011 that they didn’t have to in 1960?

    The problem with the documents of Vatican II is that the were purposely written in an ambiguous fashion. The liberals of the Council intended this – read “The Rhine Flows into the Tiber” – you might find it useful. It should be pretty obvious that the documents are ambiguous since we, 45 years later, are still arguing about what they mean. Why would Bishop Athanasius Schneider be calling for a new Syllabus of Errors if the meaning of the documents was so clear cut?

    John M.

  31. By the way, just about everyone, including the SSPX accepts that the Council was valid. The argument concerns certain problematic passages which certainly can and have been interpreted in a modernist and heretical light.

    John M.

  32. I hope that the SSPX does not get a corporate reunion. Individual reconciliation with the Church, yes; regularization of the order, no. Some (not all, but some) of the SSPX priests and bishops have made anti-Semitic statements in the past. I don’t want this hatred in my Church. Let’s move forward with inter-religious dialogue, and not backwards. Letting the SSPX in without change is a tacit approval of their hatreds.

  33. @JM
    “move forward with inter-religious dialogue”
    Now that is interesting given that the Anglicans had to circumvent the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (ie Cardinal Kasper) in order to gain entry into the Church.

    I didn’t realize that anti-semitic statements (such as the Jews particularly the Sanhedrin were responsible for the crucifixion) were added to the Decalogue as a sin against God.

    Could you expound upon the ‘approval of their hatreds”.

    Is it hatred to want to see the conversion to the Church of those outside of Her?

    Truly you paint people with a very very wide brush.

  34. @Magistra
    – This has nothing to do with pretty liturgies and reverence at Mass. –

    You are correct – this has nothing to do with the EF (ie Tridentine Mass for the rest of us) it has to do with the Faith:

    ‘It goes much further than Latin or Gregorian, with which I have no problem. They (the supporters of the Tridentine Mass) use a missal which pre-dates the Council, in which there are prayers which speak of a vengeful God, rather than a God of love. There are prayers for the conversion of Jews, who are portrayed as the ‘bad guys’ who killed Christ. It is an outdated theology, of a false vision from which, thankfully, we have broken free,’ Bishop Gaudin said.”

  35. Tradical and others are hell-bent on bashing the official teaching of the Church. I ask: Do SSPX-ers learn, accept, and teach what the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, says? Probably not.
    In that Catechism, usually rejected and villified by SSPX-ers, all the faithful are told to reject anti-Semitism, holocaust denial, and hatred of Jews, Muslims, and all persons of other religions. In fact, they are told to regard the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) as kindred faiths.
    I just can’t imagine converting a Jew by calling him or her a murderer. I mean, would you want to join a church that held onto hate speech and Jew bashing?
    We just don’t need the SSPX in the Church. They despise the rest of the 1.6 billion of us anyway. They’ve prospered outside of communion. Excommunication has been good for them. They are only ‘dialoging’ to provide enough spin for their own members, so that they stay with the SSPX. As I’ve said above: The Church does not need the SSPX. Can’t we all go home now?

  36. Hi Magistra,

    Once again red-herrings.

    Let’s take a couple of your points:

    The CCC is rejected by the SSPX etc – this is false but they rightly point out where Catholic Truths are only half stated or ambiguous:

    Case in point:
    841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

    Contrast this with the Catechism of Pope St. Pius X:
    11 Q. Who are they who are outside the true Church?
    A. Outside the true Church are: Infidels, Jews, heretics, apostates, schismatics, and the excommunicated.

    12 Q. Who are infidels?
    A. Infidels are those who have not been baptised and do not believe in Jesus Christ, because they either believe in and worship false gods as idolaters do, or though admitting one true God, they do not believe in the Messiah, neither as already come in the Person of Jesus Christ, nor as to come; for instance, Mohammedans and the like.

    Magistra: Can you see the difference?

    Just in case you think that this Catechism has been outmoded since V2:
    “The faith, as such, is always the same. Therefore, St. Pius X’s catechism always retains its value” Cardinal Ratzinger

    Church does not need the SSPX:
    Really – what Church do you belong to?

    All we are pointing out is the inconsistencies between pre and post Vatican 2 teaching and you want to condemn us to Hell. Not very charitable.

  37. @Tradical, #36

    odern biblical and late antiquity research has conclusively demonstrated that only the Pontius Pilate, and the Roman authorities in Judaea at that time, are responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. Sure, there might have been a small number of Judean Jews at that time who advocated for a death sentence for Jesus. The Sanhedrin had little judicial power, and certainly not the right to execute. Pontius Pilate was a vicious procurator who thought nothing of executing scores of men for even the slightest hint of rebellion. Jesus was probably executed for similar reasons.

    The Church’s teaching in Nostra Aetate that the Jewish people, throughout all time, are never guilty of deicide. This is not said to “make nice” with Jews. This is a statement based on sound historical research.

    I love the Latin Mass. However, the Extraordinary Form has to evolve just like the Ordinary Form. The anti-Jewish parts of the EF need to be revised. Only then can the EF be at peace with itself and the moral and ethical intent of Vatican II.

  38. @JM
    1. Red-Herring

    2. To answer your Red-Herring the question you have to ask yourself:

    Whose is the greater sin (John 19:11)? Pilate or the people who handed him (physically) over to Pilate?

    To resolve the red-herring by refocusing the subject:

    What I (and others) have been pointing out is the inconsistency between pre and post V2 teaching etc.

    What you need to do is provide relevant pre-V2 docs that are aligned with post-V2 docs – thereby invalidating our claims.

    Keep in mind that the topic I quoted was pertaining to who is ‘inside’ vs ‘outside’ the Church. Not the culpability of the persons involved in the Crucifixion of Jesus.

    Last point: The interpretation of rupture has now been put aside by Pope Benedict XVI, you now need to demonstrate an interpretation of continuity with pre-V2 Church teachings.


  39. @Tradical, #42

    Prooftexting Pope St. Pius X’s Catechism isn’t a secure apologetic strategy. It’s important to note a few points that have come to light in the past 2000 years.

    First, the Gospel of John was written at the end of the first century or the beginning of the second century AD. This era was very painful, not only for the Judeans who witnessed the destruction of the Temple in 70 under Titus, but also for the Christian community in Jerusalem. This is the early period when Jewish believers in Jesus were not sure if Gentiles should be a part of the new movement. John’s vilification of “the Jews” (or, “The Judeans”, could be either in Greek) could be a remnant of the early Jerusalem community’s trouble with Judean Jews and also the political turmoil.

    Also, it’s important to remember that Augustine and John Chrysostom’s anti-Judaism is also predicated on period historical issues. This doesn’t absolve either theologian from their statements or the hatreds these statements have caused. Still, we’re reminded that much of the anti-Jewish/anti-Semitic prejudice we’ve absorbed over the centuries is based on subjective judgement, and not the actual behavior of innocent Jewish people. The blood libel and accusations of well poisoning in the Middle Ages is another example of scapegoating without evidence (or, perhaps with the prejudiced, superstitious “evidence” of a pre-medical, pre-scientific society).

    Now, per the Pius X Catechism:

    You do not mention one point.

    The Church has always taught that Jesus Christ died “for the many” (pro multis). In English, this is better said “for all people throughout history, now, and in the future.” In fact, the Church struggled for a few centuries against a heresy called Jansenism, which taught that only some people could be saved. No Catholic presumes to know what “for the many” means — this is for God only to decide. An observant Jew who sincerely believes that he/she is following the right path might well recline on Abraham’s bosom. We just don’t know. The surest first step on the path to salvation is through dying with Christ in regeneration and justification (Baptism). That does not mean that we know for sure that only the baptised will eventually see the beatific vision.

    The great error of the SSPX and other rad-trad schismatic groups is the presumption that God the Father and God the Son have to hate someone for Catholics to be special. We are special because we choose to believe. That belief is manifested in respect for others, even those who do not agree with us. Jesus loves even those who reject his sacrifice. Let’s do as He does.

  40. @JM

    The point being made (again) is the is the inconsistency between pre and post V2 teaching etc.

    If you have a problem with that teaching that is another issue.

    Regarding the red-herring:

    … First, the Gospel of John was written at the end of the first century or the beginning of the second century AD…

    Are you denying the veracity of St. John’s eye witness account.

  41. @JM #43
    Actually, the statement you made may be a blend of the red-herring and straw-man fallacies.

  42. Even before the Council, Catholic bible scholars began to licitly apply the historical-critical method to New Testament studies. Read Pius XII’s encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu (1943). c.f. particularly para. 24 in context.

    The modern Church is not opposed to biblical criticism so long as the doctrine of the Church is not impaired. The modern Church no longer advocates for a biblical exegesis model akin to “eyewitness account” or the biblical literalism encouraged in certain evangelical Protestant denominations, for example. Note that Divino Afflante Spiritu supersedes Leo XIII’s biblical literalism in Proventissimus Deus. Pius XII refuted many of the sanctions against “Rationalists”. Read these documents. They’re “pre-conciliar” after all!

    The synoptic passion accounts, and John especially, could not have taken place within the implied span of time. Executions in Roman Judaea did not take place in this manner. This, and the “predictions” of the fall of the Temple in the Gospel for example, show that the Gospels are retrospective and subjective texts influenced by politics, the experiences of Jesus followers, relationships between Jesus followers and other Judeans, etc. The Evangelists weren’t there with camcorders, live on the scene.

    When the SSPX’s arguments in support of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism are eroded with logic and educated argument, only bare hatred remains. It’s not that the Church has “moved on”. It has, through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, realized a fuller truth of Scripture and our relationship with Jews and Judaism.

    Sorry to belabor this, Deacon Greg. Great blog!

  43. @JM #46

    Deacon Kandra – I also do not wish to belabour the point – however the point is that JM still has not addressed the point.

    The point that JM keeps on diverting from by use of red-herrings and straw-man fallacies is:

    Infallible (ergo irreformable) Pre-V2 teaching is being either suppressed or neglected or just plain contradicted.

    An example of who is inside vs outside the Church was shown in #39.

    If JM wants to refute assertion instead of making the ‘proof-texting’ comment he should demonstrate (at least) with texts from the CCC that I am wrong and that the complete Catholic Teaching is explicitly declared. Providing the paragraph number would be a kind consideration.

    If he believes the teaching is no longer valid then he (or she) should declare so and provide evidence to backup the assertion.

    Regarding the statements about the ‘retrospective … etc’. While interesting is not relevant to the point in question.

    So to conclude tonight’s posting:

    JM does not appear to have evidence to support his or her assertions.

    Just in case JM has forgotten what the subject is:
    Refute statement made in #39 that:

    “The CCC is rejected by the SSPX etc” – this is false but they rightly point out where Catholic Truths are only half stated or ambiguous …”

    Looking forward to an on-subject response (but not really expecting it).

    Last thought is: Is JM Catholic?

  44. Okay. I will only cite the CCC.

    Proof 1: The category of “infidel” does not have any effect on the Paschal Mystery.

    CCC 542: […] But above all in the great Paschal mystery – his death on the cross and his Resurrection – he would accomplish the coming of his kingdom. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” Into this union with Christ all men are called. (my bold, ellipsis)

    nolite putare quoniam veni solvere legem aut prophetas non veni solvere sed adimplere (Mt 5:17). Even our Lord did not come to label his people “infidels”, but merely to magnify the law given to Israel at Sinai.

    The Paschal Mystery is inclusive. That is, no nation or ethnicity is excluded from the invitation of Christ’s saving grace. Normally the path to salvation begins with baptism. However, that is not necessarily always true.

    How can Christ die for all people in the Paschal Mystery and yet curse specific groups of people as infidels? Christ’s grace cannot be conditional on ethnicity or religion. The word “infidel”, as in a group of people beyond the chance of salvation, is in itself a contradiction of Christ’s infinite grace at Calvary and at Holy Mass.

    Proof 2: Baptism by water is not strictly necessary for salvation; i.e. ‘infidels’ are not beyond salvation. A refutation of the Feeneyite heresy, i.e. extra ecclesiam nulla salus; EENS.

    CCC 847: […] Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation. (my ellipsis)

    CCC 1257: The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; […] God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. (my bold, ellipsis)

    It’s not surprising that Leonard Feeney, who erroneously preached that only sacramental baptism afforded salvation, was a rabid anti-Semite. It is a heresy to preach that a person or persons know for certain that certain people are definitely excluded from salvation. This is why I say that the SSPX and other schismatics have placed themselves above God the Father, the LORD. That is the ultimate sin of pride.

    I am a Catholic. I prefer the Extraordinary Form, but now I worship at the Ordinary Form. I do not particularly like the reformed Mass, but it is a valid liturgy of the Church that I must respect. I also believe in all of the tenets of the Second Vatican Council, and especially in Nostra Aetate and Dignitatis Humanae.

    Please, return to the Church in its fullness. The Lord calls us not to hate, but to live in his unending love for us re-presented at Holy Mass.

  45. JM thank you for this response. I will endeavour to do justice to your arguments.

    My apologies for the length of posting, but as much as possible I included full quotations in order to provide full context.

    It appears from your arguments and quotations that you believe the SSPX to adhere to the Feeneyite heresy. This is incorrect the SSPX teaches that which the Church has taught concerning salvation / justification. What the SSPX condemns is the teaching that everyone is saved automatically in spite of their intentions, actions and will. This concept is usually called Universal Salvation.

    To highlight Church teaching on this matter:

    Membership of the Church is necessary for all men for salvation. (De fide) Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma Dr. Ludwig Ott, pg 312, Fourth Ed 1960, reprinted Tan Books 1974)
    The members of the Church are those who have validly received the Sacrament of Baptism and who are not separated from the Unity of the confession of the Faith, and from the unity of the lawful communion of the Church (Sent. certa) Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma Dr. Ludwig Ott, pg 309, Fourth Ed 1960, reprinted Tan Books 1974)

    Pope Pius IX said is best:
    By faith it is to be firmly held that outside the Apostolic Roman Church none can achieve salvation. This is the only ark of salvation. He who does not enter into it, will perish in the flood. Nevertheless equally certain it is to be held that those who suffer from invincible ignorance of the true religion, are not for this reason guilty before the eyes of the Lord. (Pius IX Allocution Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854 ,Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fourth Ed 1960, reprinted Tan Books 1974)

    Pius XII provided a little more information about who is inside and outside the Church in case there was any doubt.
    Par 13: identifies the Church of Church as identical to the Roman Catholic Church.
    Par 14: I would propose that this is counter to the concept of partial communion as outlined by Cardinal Kasper.
    Par 22: Outlines who are members of the Church of Christ.
    Par 102: Call for conversion to the Church of Christ
    Par 103: Outlines the effects of baptism of desire and invincible ignorance as well as outlining the danger to their souls.

    13. If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ – which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church [12] – we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression “the Mystical Body of Christ” – an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the Holy Fathers.

    14. That the Church is a body is frequently asserted in the Sacred Scriptures. “Christ,” says the Apostle, “is the Head of the Body of the Church.”[13] If the Church is a body, it must be an unbroken unity, according to those words of Paul: “Though many we are one body in Christ.”[14] But it is not enough that the Body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum asserts: “the Church is visible because she is a body.[15] Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely “pneumatological” as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are untied by an invisible bond.
    22. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. “For in one spirit” says the Apostle, “were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free.”[17] As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith.[18] And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered – so the Lord commands – as a heathen and a publican. [19] It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.

    102. Likewise, We must earnestly desire that this united prayer may embrace in the same ardent charity both those who, not yet enlightened by the truth of the Gospel, are still outside the fold of the Church, and those who, on account of regrettable schism, are separated from Us, who though unworthy, represent the person of Jesus Christ on earth. Let us then re-echo that divine prayer of our Savior to the heavenly Father: “That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”[193]

    103. As you know, Venerable Brethren, from the very beginning of Our Pontificate, We have committed to the protection and guidance of heaven those who do not belong to the visible Body of the Catholic Church, solemnly declaring that after the example of the Good Shepherd We desire nothing more ardently than that they may have life and have it more abundantly.[194] Imploring the prayers of the whole Church We wish to repeat this solemn declaration in this Encyclical Letter in which We have proclaimed the praises of the “great and glorious Body of Christ”[195] and from a heart overflowing with love We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation.[196] For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church. Therefore may they enter into Catholic unity and, joined with Us in the one, organic Body of Jesus Christ, may they together with us run on to the one Head in the Society of glorious love.[197] Persevering in prayer to the Spirit of love and truth, We wait for them with open and outstretched arms to come not to a stranger’s house, but to their own, their father’s home. (Pius XII Encyclical Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943, St. Pauls Editions)

    So this in a nutshell is the teaching of the Church that I adhere to and I can attest that the SSPX teaches.

    CCC 542
    1. This clearly states that all are called or invited. This is not the point in contention. The point is that all people are called to the Catholic Church however, Men have free will and can refuse to answer this call. The Catholic Church has always taught that Our Lord’s Sacrifice of the Cross provides superabundent graces for the salvation of all people in all time, and that not all will comply with these graces. One mortal sin is sufficient to gain an eternity in Hell.

    2. Regarding the use of the word “Infidel” this is the word that the Church used for unbelievers who were not baptised.

    CCC 847

    1. Agreed, this is Church teaching those too may achieve eternal salvation. Keeping in mind that they ‘may’ achieve eternal salvation, it is not a certainty.
    2. As discussed by Pius IX and Pius XII baptism of desire (in the case of the unbaptised) and invincible ignorance (in the case of heretics, schismatics) are possible means of salvation.
    3. It is important to understand that the baptism of desire does not confer the sacramental mark which admits the person ‘actually’ into membership of the Church. Also baptism of desire implies the desire of sacramental Baptism. So this extra-sacramental salvation.

    CCC 1257

    1. This was an interesting one and I had to go do some research.
    2. If you think that this quotation means that ‘Baptism assures’ salvation in those who have reached the age of reason – that would be an error. Anyone who commits a mortal sin after baptism and dies in that state will be damned. (CCC 1861)
    3. If you think this holds out for Baptism of Desire and the theological possibility of justification for those who die unbaptised before the age of reason. No problemo.

    So in the end, what the SSPX teaches concerning those outside the Church (Heretics, Schismatics, Infidels etc) is that they may be saved but are in grave danger of damnation because they do not have the sacraments etc.

    This is a very old accusation, we can pursue this at a later time if you desire.

    The Lord calls us not to hate …

    This is correct (obviously) however it is important to keep in mind that it is not Charity to leave someone in their sins. To admonish sinners and instruct the ignorant are Spritual Works of Mercy.

    The orientation of Ecumenism under the leadership of Cardinal Kasper did not fall into either of these categories since he did not see the end of his work as conversion of those outside the Catholic Church.

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

  46. Oops:
    So in the end, what the SSPX teaches concerning those outside the Church (Heretics, Schismatics, Infidels etc) is that they may be saved but are in grave danger of damnation because they do not have the sacraments etc.

    Should have added:
    … which is what the Catholic Church teaches.

  47. Something I missed last night:
    “It is a heresy to preach that a person or persons know for certain that certain people are definitely excluded from salvation.”

    To sum up:
    The Church teaches authoritatively the objective and subjective conditions for salvation. If a person does not meet these conditions there is no hope that they are saved.

    We can be certain of the objective (external) measures, but not the subjective (internal) measures.

    For example a little less than 2 hours before he died Luther affirmed his belief in his heretical doctrine. Objectively, assuming that he kept these sentiments to his actual death, he is damned.

    Subjectively, it is possible that he received a grace to recant and make a perfect act of contrition. But there is nothing to indicate that this occurred. So he is termed as dying unrepentant.

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

  48. The gist I’m getting from your posts is that the SSPX is afraid that the post-conciliar Church is sliding towards universalism by not insisting that corporate membership and a pious life in Christ’s Church (the See of Rome) is the path to salvation.

    The new Catechism is clear that the primary and sure path to Christ is trough baptism and the sacraments of the Universal Church. The post-conciliar Church has not backed down from this (c.f. Dominus Iesus). However, the Church does implicitly admit that the Orthodox impart sacramental grace even though they are in a state of legal schism from the Roman patriarch. Most often Orthodox doctrines and dogmas can be interpreted as valid from a Roman standpoint, even though the Western church uses different terminology. DI does not, however, affirm that Protestant communities are grace-imparting. I do not see why the SSPX continues to doubt the good faith of the Holy See regarding ecumenism, even after this affirmation of Catholic orthodoxy.

    The SSPX’s intransigence on the role of the Church in postmodern democratic societies (Dignitatis Humanae) strikes me as anachronistic. Does the SSPX expect a Catholic monarchy or Francoist Catholic confessional state to reappear? DH does not encourage Catholics to deny their faith. Rather, we are encouraged to respect the plurality of religions in postmodern democratic societies and the exercise of free speech. In fact, the Church’s reversal of individuals and societies “always and forever subject to the Holy See” (Innocent III?) is liberating. We are called to be witnesses through freedoms of speech, press, and assembly granted by constitutional states with rules of law. Why is the challenge (and reward) of being a Catholic witness in the postmodern world so threatening to the SSPX?

    And finally, why is anti-Judaism/anti-Semitism so prevalent in the SSPX? Is it because the passion narratives must be read literally, and not from a historical-critical standpoint? Is this a matter of supersessionism (i.e. the New Covenant of the Paschal Mystery must destroy both Jews and the Mosaic Law?) SSPX members should know that their views on this subject are repugnant to most modern Catholics. And yet, many in the SSPX cling to this hatred. Is there a fear that Jews will be saved without becoming Catholic? I really just don’t understand how anyone can hate an entire group of people (and even deny their genocide) because of abstract theological views.

  49. Also,

    I sense that the SSPX is very afraid that the church will one day wholly affirm the covenant at Sinai as sufficient for salvation. This is a huge debate in Catholic theological circles (dual-covenant theory). However, must supersessionism lead to hatred?

    Something tells me that SSPX anti-Judaism/anti-Semitism results merely from an uncritical reading of prejudiced texts from previous papacies. It’s almost as if hatred is necessary because Vatican II endeavored to improve relations with Judaism and other religions. In other words, the SSPX prefers oppositional defiance rather than a close reading of Vatican II documents. Perhaps the SSPX thinks it is best to take up an unequivocal rejection of interreligious reconciliation rather than face the possibility of ambiguity in doctrine. The collateral, however, is the destruction of welfare and dignity inherent in hatred towards another group of people.

  50. Hi JM,

    Thank you for the tacit acceptance (I think) of the statements made.

    Fundamentally, what I believe the SSPX expects is for the Church to state, in as charitable a manner as possible, the whole Catholic Truth irregardless of human respect. If that evokes the ire of modern Catholics, then so be it.

    As far as what the SSPX fears, I believe it is the denial of the Faith in the form of Neo-Modernism by both the hierarchy and laity.

    For example in post 46 you wrote:
    The synoptic passion accounts, and John especially, could not have taken place within the implied span of time. Executions in Roman Judaea did not take place in this manner. This, and the “predictions” of the fall of the Temple in the Gospel for example, show that the Gospels are retrospective and subjective texts influenced by politics, the experiences of Jesus followers, relationships between Jesus followers and other Judeans, etc. The Evangelists weren’t there with camcorders, live on the scene.

    In the above words are examples of their fear being embodied in espoused beliefs by the faithful. These assertions, especially that executions “didn’t take place in this manner” seemed to deny the veracity of the Gospel of St. John and caused me to experience a cultural dissonance. In other words something struck me as odd and I had to go look at it.

    The assertion that the ‘predictions’ are not predictions at all that seems to imply that the “fourth Gospel exaggerated miracles not only in order that the extraordinary might stand out but also in order that it might become more suitable for showing forth the work and glory of the Word lncarnate.”

    When you wrote that the “Gospels are retrospective and subjective text …” I believe that you are making the claim that the “narrations of John are not properly history, but a mystical contemplation of the Gospel.” and that the “discourses contained in his Gospel are theological meditations, lacking historical truth concerning the mystery of salvation.”

    Finally, when you wrote that the “Evangelists weren’t there with camcorders, live on the scene” seems to mean that while “John claims for himself the quality of witness concerning Christ. In reality, however, he is only a distinguished witness of the Christian life, or of the life of Christ in the Church at the close of the first century.”

    These are all condemned modernist these’s – see Lamentabili Sane (Pius X, July 3, 1907).

    The last two paragraphs of post #52 and #53 mix in a lot of different issues. You make a lot of assertions of rampant anti-semitism, hatred of people of Jewish heritage, that these alleged views are repugnant to modern Catholics and finally end up a supersessionism. Hatred seems to be a big theme in your writing.

    I will answer the first three assertions by paraphrasing Church teaching:
    Jesus Christ, the Son of God was crucified by the Roman soldiers who were convinced to do so by religious authorities of the Jewish people. While neither the Romans nor the Jews involved are held blameless, the Blood of the Lamb is also on our hands as every time we sin we crucify Our Lord again. Our guilt is considered even greater in that while the Roman’s did not know Jesus was God and the Jews responsible for getting the Romans to execute him did not believe Him to be the God, we Christians profess to believe Him to be God and yet continue to sin thereby our guilt is greater due to our fuller knowledge of our actions.

    If this teaching results in hatred, the person involved has a complete misunderstanding of Catholicism.

    The second issue which you brought up was supersessionism. First, the correct understanding of supersessionism is that the New Law or Everlasting Covenant instituted by Jesus Christ has replaced / superceded the Old Covenant. This does not involve in any way the destruction of the Jewish people. That the Old Covenant has been abrogated is a matter of infallible Church teaching in both the Ordinary Universal and the Extraordinary Magisterium. To support this I would refer to the Council of Florence, Ex Quo Primum (Benedict XIV), Mystici Corporous Christi (Pius XII), there are other references but these would be sufficient.

    This does not amount to hate, but a statement of fact and Faith. Pius XII demonstrated true charity when he wrote “and from a heart overflowing with love We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation.”

    If a modern Catholic finds this repugnant, then he has a problem with the Church, not the SSPX.

  51. Dear Deacon Greg,

    I pray for healing with the SSPX and welcome the efforts of Pope Benedict XVI, the Pope of christian unity. However, my brother deacon, as you know, they do not have room in their ecclesiology for you and me.

    Here is an excerpt where they assign all married men ordained to the Order of Deacon to the state of having excommunicated ourselves:


    “These deacons, of course, are in good faith.2 They do not know that by an imprescriptible law, they have incurred the penalty of major excommunication, from which they cannot be delivered until they either abandon their wives, or agree to be reduced to the lay state. Moreover, they live in the lay state, in a state of ambiguity which allows clerics to cast off the outward sign of their consecration the very day they have solemnly put it on. The new priests have taught the new deacons that it is normal to lay away in the closet, as a symbol too embarrassing to be worn, the sacred garment that separates its wearer from the world. Yet the Councils of Agde (France), in 506 AD, and of Constantinople (Quinisext), in 692 AD, voted a decree of excommunication (which seems never to have been abrogated), against clerics in major orders who fail to wear clerical garb. This rule has been so universally recognized that even Pope Paul VI felt it necessary to remind them of this obligation.”

    “The Catholic bishops, moreover, are practicing a deliberate deception in the rite of ordination they use for married clerics, for they follow the solemn ceremony reserved to clerics who bind themselves to celibacy.”

    More at the link where they even refuse to send materials to permanent deacons:

  52. Dear Deacon Kandra and Fournier,

    In the defense of the SSPX position on Permanent Deacons, they point out the inconsistency of your situation with not their ecclesiology but that of the Church prior to the council.

    If the Second Vatican Council is not a ‘rupture’ with Tradition. Then you appear to be in a grey area created after the council.

    My apologies if this offends you, but at least they are consistent in applying their principles.

  53. Tradical,

    The Church prior to Vatican II clearly had no problem with the validity and liceity of the ordinations of clergy in the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Eastern churches in communion with Rome. Therefore, the SSPX is the entity which is in rupture with tradition. And BTW, it is also a rupture with tradition for a group which pretends to be Catholic to implicitly claim the right to judge the orthodoxy of papacy.

  54. Hi Nat,

    re married permanent deacons etc.

    If you are going to make an assertion as such you need to present references that support your position. Frankly, this is a side issue.

    re: rupture etc.

    The SSPX simply states the contradictions with pre-V2 Magisterium and when souls are at stake, after making private efforts – then you have no choice but to make a public effort.

    Just because the Holy Ghost protects the Church from Teaching error does not give you permission to sit back and watch the show. (Keep in mind that Teaching has a special meaning in the context of the Church)

    If the SSPX is wrong then there is about 2 million souls at stake. If the SSPX is right then there is about 1.5Billion souls at stake, not to mention the 3.5Billion souls that are sitting outside the Church.

    The stakes are very very high.

  55. Tradical,

    I think it is common knowledge that no issue was raised about oriental clergy. Certainly when I was growing up pre VatII my schoolmates and I were taught that the Orthodox sacraments are kosher. So the onus is on anyone who wants to assert the contrary.

    As for “contradictions” between pre-Vat II Magisterium and post, I think we have to rely on the reflex principle of the infallibility of the Church when some splinter groups start claiming that she is teaching error.

  56. To put it another way, if something a pope said, rightly understood, is contradicted by a teaching of an ecumenical council, rightly understood, the council trumps the pope’s opinion.

  57. Hi Nat,

    re 59:
    You are confusing married clerics with validity of Sacraments.

    The side issue is married Permanent Deacons in the “Latin” Rite Church. Not the validity of Orthodox Sacraments or the allowance for them to marry (pre-ordination).

    As far as contradictions pre/post V2/infallibility, look at post #10.

    re 60:
    Provided that the Pope was only issuing his private opinion I agree.

    This is the case when Bl. Pope John Paul II stated that the Mosaic Covenant is still in force. See post #54.

    However, if the Pope has taught this ex-Cathedra or is echoing a number of past Pontiffs then again there is a problem since we are touching on the Infallible Ordinary and non-infallible Authentic Magisterium. In these cases it isn’t simply a case of private opinion.

    To paraphrase Cardinal Felici in giving a theological note of the Second Vatican Council (prior to Paul VI). That which pertains to prior infallible statements we must accept. That which has the mark of novelty, we must approach with reservations.

  58. But if the married deacons in the Latin Church are not validly ordained, then heither are the married clergy of the Eastern churches. If Rome was right to accept the orders of the Eastern churches, the Rome is not wrong to accept married Latin Rite deacons.

    the Syllabus of Errors is part of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church, it still needs to be correctly understood, andits meaning can be clarified, as was also the case with “extra ecclesiam nulla salus.”

  59. naturesetz:

    Re: clarification of “extra ecclesiam nulla salus.”

    For me the Fathers of Vatican II clarified that statement in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 16. After affirming that salvation is possible for Jews, Mohammedans (sic) and also seekers of an unknown God (Acts 17), the document states:

    “Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.”

    Interesting, a footnote in this section (#59) cites a letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston (1949), which I found from a Google search:

    “Therefore, that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is necessary that at least he be united to her by desire and longing.”

  60. HMS,

    Just so.

    In their letter to the Archbishop of Boston, which you linked, the Holy Office, with the approval of Pope Pius XII declared, “However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church.”

    That principle applies, of course, not only to the doctrine that “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” but to every other teaching of the Church. It was the unfortunate insistence of Abp. Lefebvre, continued by the current SSPX, on clinging to his own notion of the meanings of doctrine rather than listening to the teaching authority of the Church in his own day that led to and maintains the schism. If only the members of the SSPX would read and ponder these words and apply them to themselves!

  61. Hi Nat,

    The principle is that Doctrine was clearly enunciated pre-V2 and is being contradicted post-V2. The Second Vatican Council didn’t suddenly efface prior Magisterium.

    Let’s take Ecumenism as practiced by Cardinal Kasper with the blessing of Bl. Pope John Paul II:

    “The decision of Vatican II to which the Pope [John Paul II] adheres is absolutely clear: Today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being ‘catholics.’ This was expressly abandoned by Vatican II.”

    Quoted in:

    This is a Cardinal providing an interpretation of Ecumenism that is clearly in contradiction to the pre-Council Magisterium. He even says it. In case you are wondering who he is contradicting – Pius XI – Mortalium Animos.

    How about Supersessionism. Have a look at the end of posting #54. Then read ‘Witness to Hope’ pg 515.

    Hence the pre-Benedict XVI interpretation of rupture.

    Do you think we’re making this stuff up?

    Really, I’m not that creative.

  62. Further example of ‘rupture’ post-V2. Coming from Cardinal Kasper … again.

    Baptism is fundamental in all of this. It is the sacrament of faith through which the baptized are incorporated into Christ’s one Body, which is the Church. Non-Catholic Christians are therefore not outside the one Church, but on the contrary, belong to it already in a rudimentary way (cf. Lumen Gentium, nn. 11; 14; Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 22).

    This unfortunate missive is also clearly in contradiction to prior Magisterium.

    He is missing a particular point – can you see it?

    Read Mystici Corporis, look at the Catechism of Pope St. Pius X quoted in #39.

    Can you see the explicit difference between pre-V2 teaching and post?

  63. By way of clarification:

    To teach that a person can be saved extra-sacramentally is not the same thing as saying that a person will be saved.

    People outside the Church can still commit mortal sin (natural law). In order to be saved extra-sacramentally a perfect Act of Contrition will be required in either case.

  64. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the Catechism of Pope St. Pius X:

    17 Q. Can the absence of Baptism be supplied in any other way?
    A. The absence of Baptism can be supplied by martyrdom, which is called Baptism of Blood, or by an act of perfect love of God, or of contrition, along with the desire, at least implicit, of Baptism, and this is called Baptism of Desire.

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