Vatican to SSPX: sign here

According to reports from Rome, the Vatican has given the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X a formal “doctrinal preamble” listing several principles they must agree with in order to move toward full reconciliation with church.

From CNS:

U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave the statement to Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the society, Sept. 14 during a meeting at the Vatican that lasted more than two hours.

Although the Vatican did not give the society a deadline, in order to move toward full reconciliation, leaders are expected to study and sign the preamble “within a few months,” said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

The cardinal and bishop also discussed possible “elements of a canonical solution” for the society after “the eventual and hoped-for reconciliation,” said a statement issued by the Vatican after the meeting.

Father Lombardi said, “Today the most likely solution would be a personal prelature,” which is a church jurisdiction without geographical boundaries designed to carry out particular pastoral initiatives. It is headed by a prelate, who is appointed by the pope; currently the church’s only personal prelature is Opus Dei.

The document given to Bishop Fellay to sign “states some doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity” to the formal teaching of the church, said a statement issued by the Vatican after the meeting.

At the same time, the statement said, the preamble leaves room for “legitimate discussion” about “individual expressions or formulations present in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the successive magisterium” of the popes who came after the council.

Read more.

Comments

  1. Why does the Vatican want to compromise with splinter groups?

  2. It all depends on which side of the splinter you are standing on.

    The operative words are:
    hermeneutic of rupture (in force pretty much until 2005)
    hermeneutic of continuity.

  3. SSPX has been obviously important in the minds of the last three popes (Paul VI, JP II, BXVI), important enough to be a thorn on their sides and important enough to try to bring them back to the fold. Why such an importance? I don’t know really, perhaps someone can constructively comment on that. But the Vatican has even gone to the length of organizing the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) and appeal to traditionalists by making generous provisions for the Latin Mass. (for disclosure I go to a Latin Mass on Sundays). It puzzles me.

  4. johnplacette says:

    The Tridentine mass is a minor issue for me. Of more importance is the acceptance of the full tenets of Vatican II, especially the permanent diaconate.

  5. Because Christ willed that “all would be one”.

  6. For what it is worth, Pope Benedict has gone to great lengths on a number of fronts to bring about reconciliation with various groups, not just the SSPX. Think of traditional Anglicans, the advances — generally — with various Orthodox Churches. If we believe in the message of Christ, “Ut unum sint,” which JPII made a theme of this pontificate, then it makes sense. They are a not insignificant group who also act as an umbrella for other groups. Also, the schism is recent, which means it hasn’t had centuries to ossify, like that with the Orthodox. Finally, Pope Benedict is, to my mind, both rooted in tradition and forward looking. If we believe in some sort of plurality within a unity, why wouldn’t there be room for these people, too? Just a few thoughts …

  7. Excellent answer Iubilus and Thom!
    “May they be one” is one of the most important roles of the successor of Peter.

  8. @john placette
    re permanent diaconate – I think a distinction needs to be made.

    The SSPX has issues with a married permanent diaconate in the latin (Roman) rite.

    They don’t have a problem with celibate permanent deacons. Support for this assertion was provided by a deacon who posted on this blog that he was provided with a ‘mass kit’ from the SSPX – after it was clarified that he was single etc.

  9. @john placette
    you wrote: acceptance of the full tenets of Vatican II

    Why is this important to you?

  10. I am not theologian so I can’t argue hermeneutics and the like. But it seems to me to boil down to a few basic challenges

    * obedience to the holy father
    * acceptance / respect of church doctrine including the key documents of VCII that were accepted for the Church by the Bishops with the Bishop of Rome
    * holding them to the same standards as others when they publish / preach and mislead the faithful and public at large ( I point to the example of of the rubbish they have spewed about the jews – it was readily available on their website until the publicity during the more recent talks with the Vatican convinced them to remove such )and present it as acceptable ( or worse yet as the only correct way) within the church .

    Being conservative doesn’t give them a free pass in the ‘cafeteria catholic’ food line.

    It’s a big tent so lets hope they can they can find a way to accept and respect the pontiff and the beliefs of the church and celebrate the liturgy in a fashion that is both authentic and adds to the richness of the church.

    Otherwise, as they used to say back in the good old days before VC II “error has no rights” :)

  11. “May they be one!” That certainly is the goal, but with all the concessions being given, there is no oneness. I find it disheartening that these groups are invited to come back to Rome yet they can have their own liturgical traditions, texts, etc. If the SSPX is allowed to unite while being allowed to interpret VII in their own way, where is the unity there? This is all an absolute slap in the face to the Holy Spirit who is now being told she was wrong.

    And then there’s the rest of us who have been loyal to the Magisterium and Vatican II and now we get punished with a new and archaic Roman Missal. Any suggestions we had (i.e., Trautman) were simply ignored. The bishops had their legitimate authority taken away from them to translate their own texts… and now we’re going back to a “mystical language.” I guess we should all go back to the Latin because nobody’s going to be able to understand the High English anyway! Then we won’t have to worry any more about being challenged by prayers we can actually understand.

  12. We will pray until Vatican II documents are put in the index of forbidden books

  13. Factual history about Vatican II:

    –Some 2,500 bishops worldwide were eligible to attend. Some did not because of ill health; some came for one session and not for the rest. For instance, Cardinal Richard Cushing from Boston boycotted sessions 2/3/4 because he was not all that comfortable in oral Latin and was extraordinarily upset that the Council Fathers were not permitted access to the same spontaneous translation system that the visitors were allowed.

    –The highest number actually voting on any one of the finalized documents was 2,399.

    –In order to “pass” the council for forwarding to the Pope for his signature, a document had to receive a “placet” (“It pleases me”) from over 2/3 of those voting at that time.

    –LOWEST percentage of “PLACET” votes was the Decree on Social Communications: 2,133 voting; 1960 “PLACET” for a 92% approval.

    –HIGHEST percentage of “PLACET” votes was the Decree on the Laity: 2342 voting; 2340 “PLACET for a 99.91% appproval.

    Neither Popes John XXIII nor Paul VI over-ruled any of the final documents.

    Popes John Paul I and John Paul II were delegates to the Council and they voted “PLACET” for everything. (I know, none of the votes were recorded by delegate but knowing what history tells us about those two men, they were well within the majority).

    Pope Benedict XVI attended the council not as a delegate but as a “peritus” — a non-voting consultant/theologian. His impact on the final draft of many of the final documents is also a matter of documented history.

  14. You missed one fact:
    Before, during and after the council did not invoke the power of infallibility.

    The means that we are dealing with Ordinary/Authentic Magisterium.

    Anything that contradicts previous Magisterium is ergo in contradiction with Church teaching.

    From the point of view of the Traditionalists (SSPX etc) this contradiction would be manifested primarily in the documents on ecumenism, collegiality and religious liberty.

  15. @eric
    “yet they can have their own liturgical traditions”

    Ok let us be frank and open.

    The liturgical tradition that you have identified is the Churches and extends beyond the era of Pius V – he only codified it. So we are talking a liturgical tradition that has hundreds of years of foundation.

    The liturgical tradition that you appear to be upholding extends back to after the Second Vatican Council. While the creators of the Novus Ordo may have cherry picked components of the Old Rite that were not offensive to Protestants, nonetheless it is a ‘New Mass’ not an organic growth from the pre-counciliar liturgy.

    Beyond the Latin Rite, there are (if I remember) about 27 rites within the Church. When Pius V codified the Mass, those rites that could demonstrate at least a 200 year history were retained.

    Last point giving the Holy Spirit a female aspect is an example of the kind of thought that fuels the arguments of the Traditionalists (Obviously from my moniker, I count myself in that ‘group’).

  16. @Joe
    Being conservative doesn’t give them a free pass in the ‘cafeteria catholic’ food line.

    This is an interesting statement that I’ve seen a number of times.

    I think a key point is that the Traditionalists are refusing to give up Truths of the Faith. They aren’t cherry picking.

    For example, I read yesterday something about adhering to the thought that the Jews killed Jesus.

    Once again, it is a post V2 tendency to pick certain parts of a Catholic Truth and suppress others.

    Here is my paraphrase of the complete 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.

    A similar argument can be leveled at the CCC. In many cases it is completely true to Catholic Teaching, however in some cases it only states part of the truth.

    Here’s a contrast pre and post V2:
    CCC 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.”
    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p3.htm

    Contrast this with the Catechism of Pope St. Pius X (not the SSPX):
    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.
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/catechsm/piusxcat.htm

    Ultimately, Dogma does not change.

  17. eric,

    I think you underestimate the intelligence of most Catholics. We’ll be fine.

    I’ve been amazed at the intensity of the protest from people who want to keep the dumbed down translations of the (thankfully soon to be former) missal. Lots of us were sorry to see how much beauty was lost in the old ICEL paraphrase/simplification.

  18. This is an interesting remark made by eric: bishops had their legitimate authority taken away from them to translate their own texts

    The questions you have to ask yourself are:

    Are you going to obey the Pope?

    Really strange for a Traditionalist to be asking this question. Nice for a change.

  19. BTW: Re 16:

    This does not mean that the Muslims are not able to save their souls. There is Baptism of Desire.

    The point is that all are called to enter the Church which is the necessary means of Salvation.

  20. Tradical,

    The Catechism of St. Pius X is not dogma.

  21. Hi Nat,

    I was wondering if you would engage.

    You bring up a side issue regarding where the Catechisms fit in the infallibility scheme of things.

    The Catechisms are part of the Ordinary Magisterium as they represent the Universal Teaching authority. In this regard if they reiterate perennial teaching of the Church they are infallible because the perennial teaching of the Church is infallible..

    The counter point would be to find a section of the CCC that agrees with the quoted statement.

    In other words, I am stating that the CCC does not clearly state who is objectively outside the Body of Christ as was done pre-V2.

    If I am wrong, please prove me to be so.

  22. CCC 782: “One becomes a member of this body … by being ‘born anew,’ a birth ‘of water and the Spirit,’ that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.”

    Although heresy, apostasy, and schism — which do not occur without sin, wound the unity of the Body of Christ (CCC 817), those who are born into separated communities are also also brothers in Christ by their faith in Christ and Baptism (CCC 818). IOW CCC 782 includes them.

    But incorporation in its full sense includes only those who “accept … [the Church's] entire organization, and who — by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion — are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops.” (CCC 837,LG 14) IOW, for example, the SSPX are “objectively” outside the Body of Christ.

    On the other hand “even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.’” (CCC 837, quoting LG 14.) Because of this and because of the possibility of Baptism of Desire, it seems to me that although the question is certainly of interest to those who have placed themselves outside the Body of Christ, such as the SSPX, it is largely academic for the rest of us. Nevertheless, there it is in the Catechism.

  23. “In this regard if [catechisms] reiterate perennial teaching of the Church they are infallible because the perennial teaching of the Church is infallible.”

    The infallible perennial teaching of the Church can be restated from time to time in terms that are more apt, that better express the truth which underlies earlier formulations, and it can be clarified. Reiterating the perennial teaching of the Church is not limited simply to repeating the words used in earlier times.

  24. Here are a some direct quotes from the SSPX website teaching the faithful about the jews. ( as I noted earlier that have not be repudiated but were removed as inconvenient)

    For the record, the article was written in 1997:

    “It is public knowledge that the Jewish sector, relatively small compared to the Gentile sector which devotes itself to the creation of wealth, controls especially the financial power that is exercised through banks.”

    “Then these Jews, in the name of their Law, their Torah, and to serve the material interests of their nation and race, demanded the blood of Him who had been promised them as their blessing. They stirred up the Gentiles against Jesus. Using them to carry out their plans, they crucified the One who was to be raised up as a “sign of contradiction”.

    “Judaism is inimical to all nations in general, and in a special manner to Christian nations.”

    “Catholics are not to enter into commercial, social, nor political relations which are bound hypocritically to seek the ruin of Christendom. Jews must not live together with Christians because this is what their own Jewish laws ordain and also because their errors and material superiority have virulent consequences among other peoples.”

    Help me understand how this rubbish- that this group considers the actual ” truth” about the jews – belong anywhere near our church other then the garbage dumpster.

    I repeat- ” error has no rights ”

    http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?id=2D6AFB07-1438-5036-4F1C9D841C32199D

  25. Hi Nat,

    I have a couple of minutes:

    in terms that are more apt – You cannot change the meaning of an infallible statement – you can only deepen it if it isn’t extra-ordinary.

    No time for details but who is inside vs outside is stated clearly by Pius XII in Mystical Body of Christ. Since the SSPX is not in schism – they are not outside the Church. If you claim they are heretical – what truth of the faith have they denied.

    Hi Joe,
    Without going into details the third last paragraph (if memory serves) is a paraphrase or quotation from an encyclical.

    Gotta go!

  26. error has no rights:

    Too bad the original article is expunged – need to have context.

    Ok so let’s be specific. What is the error that you are condemning.

    Also, do you have the context for the statement? That would be exceptionally helpful.

  27. A few web folks capture the website and the links before the SSPX could cover its tracks and made them available at the time … I will try and find it and post it for “context”…..I read the entire document at the time and was sickening– Father Jim is not misquoting the original by any means

    I would love to understand how deliberate disobedience of an order from the pope not to ordain bishops outside his approval is somehow ” inside the church”. Please spare me hermetical talk – simple how does a bishop deliberately disobey the directive of a pope and ordain additional bishops and the group that supports this is not in syssem.

    “error has no rights” is my non theologian / sarcastic reference back to the wonderful pre-VCII church life that JXXIII rightfully saw needed some fresh air. The scandalous actions and sins that were justified in the church’s name for this reason are a black mark on the Church in the opinion of most. Alas, not the SSPX crowd

  28. last sentence para 2 s/b

    Please spare me hermetical talk – simply explain how does a bishop deliberately disobey the directive of a pope and ordain additional bishops and the group that supports this action are not in schism?

  29. I have seen the whole issue of Papal Infallibility being kicked around here in a number of ways.

    What that charism covers, and what it does not cover, was clearly spelled out by the abortive FIRST Ecumenical Council of the Vatican.

    Papal Infallibility does positively exist but has been defined as only in place for (1) Matters of Faith; or (2) Matters of Morals; and (3) Only when the reigning pope clearly states that he is speaking “ex cathedra” — from his seat (Much like a secular judge’s authority in law exists only when he is “on the bench.”)

    NOW, because of this, I am not at all surprised that none of the Vatican II documents were declared infallible — they did not fit the definition!

    Now, IMHO, it also means that NONE of the declarations of the previous councils — as councils — can be considered infallible either. Only the Pope could make that declaration. They might claim that infallibility but that claim will not hold any official weight unless those points were officially ratified by the reigning Pope.

  30. I agree with Joe Cleary. When Abp. Lefebvre ordained bishops in disobedience to the Pope he placed himself and his organization in schism. As the Code of Canon Law states it, “[S]chism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” (Canon 751)

  31. Yikes big sticks.

    Fiergenholt:
    For clarification, infallibility is divided into two classes: Extra-Ordinary and Ordinary.

    Extra-Ordinary:
    Pope ExCathedra
    Bishops Ecumenical Council

    Normally, an Ecumenical Council’s decree’s are infallible if the council was convoked by the Pope and the documents are signed by the Pope afterwards. (promulgated is the word used I think).

    The issue with the Second Vatican Council is before, during and after the Popes (John 23rd and Paul 6th) declared that the council would or did not invoke the power of infallibility in its work.

    Ordinary:
    Statements made by the Pope when stating the perennial teaching of the Church are infallible. For example the decree by Bl Pope John Paul II in which he declared the Church as not having the power to ordain Priestesses is infallible in this light.

    The Bishops (including the Pope) when they teach the same doctrine Universally (in time and space) are infallible. So in this case independent acts of the Bishops are not infallible. However, when all the Bishops teach something (faith and morals) and it is consistent (universal) with past teaching (Tradition etc) it is infallible. The key matter here is the consistency with the past.

  32. Hi Nat and Joe,

    … how does a bishop deliberately disobey the directive of a pope and ordain additional bishops …

    It is simple, consecration without Papal Mandate is not a schismatic act. Look it up under Canon Law. It isn’t in that section. How do I know this … I looked it up. Why did I look it up? A Cardinal (Lara I think) commented on this in October 1988.

    … The scandalous actions and sins that were justified in the church’s name for this reason …

    Ok, name them and we can go into Church History (not my forte but it will be educational for both of us)

  33. Hi Nat,

    What constitutes refusal of submission. Hint: It isn’t saying ‘No’ to the Pope.

    As this is crux of your argument you’ll need to look that one up and provide references.

  34. I don’t have to do anything on your say so. If you have relevant information, you are, of course, free to produce it.

    How does the fact that Canon 1013 is located in a different Book of the Code from Canon 751 affect whether or not it is a schismatic act? After all, the Code does not provide a list saying these are schismatic acts and these are not. All it does is give the definition of Canon 751.

  35. Unfortunately, this is not on the Vatican website in English, but it sounds to me as if it is taking as a known fact that Abp. Levebvre had disobeyed the Pope and that he and his followers were in schism.
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/intrptxt/documents/rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_19960824_vescovo-lefebvre_it.html

    But the underlying 1988 statement Motu Proprio of Bl. John Paul II is available in English.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/motu_proprio/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_02071988_ecclesia-dei_en.html

    This makes it perfectly clear: “3. In itself, this act [of unlawful ordination of bishops by Abp. Lefebvre] was one of disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated. Hence such disobedience – which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy – constitutes a schismatic act.”

  36. ok nat here goes:

    Submission has to include a denial of the Pontiffs Divine Right to rule. Disobedience such as consecration without Papal Mandate is simply a disobedient act. In order for it to be a schismatic act you have to do something extra. For example setting up a hierarchy of your own would be an excellent example – such as the situation in China. References: Catholic Encyclopedia.

    …followers were in schism…
    The Congregation for Doctrine and Faith provided some clear examples of what is not ‘adherance to schism’. The decision was signed by Cardinal Ratzinger. Google “hawaii six sspx”.

    … these are schismatic acts …. :
    That is why there are different sections. The ‘schismatic’ acts are covered under Unity of the Church (schism apostacy etc). As you noted canon 1382 referred to in 1988 is not found under this section. Cardinal Lara said this in October of 1988. He believed that the SSPX had been schismatic long before hand. Which also doesn’t make sense since ArchBishop Lefebvre was in discussions with the Vatican in order to obtain Papal Mandate. This is not the action of a schismatic.

    To bring things up to date:

    Before the lifting of the excommunication on numerous occasions (2007ish) Cardinal Hoyos said that the SSPX was not in schism. He was in charge of the PCED and was charged with relations with the ‘Traditionalist’ congregations.

  37. Oh jolly! The hawaii six aren’t excommunicated, but they could be placed under interdict, but it’s only Archbishop Cacciavillan, not Cardinal Ratzinger who raised that point.

    The Pope himself pointed to the fact that the episcopal ordinations were not simple acts of disobedience, but acts of a particularly grave nature.

    Your position is comparable to that of the person who asks ,”How far can I go before it’s a mortal sin?” A truly holy person would not want to go as far as possible before his sin became mortal. Neither would a true Christian be willing to wound the unity of the Church as much as possible and be as disobedient as possible without being technically in schism. So your defense of the SSPX amounts to “damning with faint praise.”

  38. If Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos says explicitly, in so many words, that the SSPX is not in schism, fine: then I withdraw my assertion that they are. But if all he says is something to the effect that the word is not helpful, that he prefers not to use the word or characterize the situation in such terms, that I would take it as a tacit acknowledgment that they are actually in schism.

    Whatever the correct way of characterizing the present situation of the SSPX, it seems to me that it is not a good one for Catholics to be in, that it is something that it is desirable to correct so that their status will be regularized. I hope that will happen, and sooner rather than later.

  39. … could be placed under interdict …
    The point is that Archbishop Cacciavillan had to retract the ‘interdict’ statement since it was not part of the suggestion by Cardinal Ratzinger.
    So … while culpable on other grounds their actions were not the basis for severe punishments such as excommunication and interdict.

    … episcopal ordinations were not simple acts of disobedience, but acts of a particularly grave nature …

    This does not discount the fact that by their nature consecration without Papal Mandate are not intrinsically evil and not inherently a schismatic act. Yes it was an act of disobedience, but one taken under necessity, at a minimum in the mind of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    … How far can I go before it’s a mortal sin? …
    You are truly missing the point and the motivations behind the act. Just because the Holy Ghost is promised to keep the Church from teaching error – does not give you permission to sit and watch the show.

    This is even more applicable in the case of Bishops. They have an obligation to safeguard and pass on the Faith.

    In this age, since the Council heresies that have been undercurrents have surged unchecked into the life the Church. Modernism – the synthesis of heresies being in the front. In one blog

    One example is the case of Cardinal Kasper, who is on record as questioning the scriptural account of the resurrection, Truth is of no consequence in the face of the Ecumenism.

    ………………………………………

    Another example is in ‘Vatican to SSPX Leader: Lets Talk’ under this blog JM made some statements espousing modernism – my response is here. It is a little long but it brings to light some of the subtle errors that are being espoused by laypeople.

    For example in post 46 you (JM) 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).

    So laymen as well as Prelates of the Church as contradicting the faith.

    Vocations have dwindled, for example: This year there are 0 count’em 0 ordinations in Ireland.

    The Church is obviously in a major crisis.

    This is the problem that Archbishop Lefebvre faced. A hierarchy that is replete with men who espouse heresy and are not rebuked by Bl Pope JP II. Instead they were promoted.

    What is a Bishop of the Church to do in the dereliction of duty throughout the hierarchy? Whether Bl. Pope John Paul II couldn’t or wouldn’t take action is irrelevant to the argument.

    A Bishop of the Church must take action to safeguard the Faith. This is the action that Archbishop Lefebvre took when faced with no other alternatives.

    If it were not for his actions the following events would not have taken place:

    1984 – Indult for Tridentine Mass
    1988 – Creation of the FSSP and PCED
    2007 – Summorum Pontificum acknowledging the right of the Faithful to have the Tridentine Mass
    2011 – Instruction giving the laymen a recourse in the face of Bishops who frustrate the intent of Summorum Pontificum.

    Its easy to sit in an armchair and say that Archbishop Lefebvre action was wrong. Put yourself in his seat and say the same thing:

    1. The Pope and hierarchy are contradicting the Church on numerous points, heresy is rampant, and you have unchecked sacrileges at Assissi 1. The Church is ripping apart at the seams.

    2. You know you’re going to die soon.

    3. The seminarians rely upon you for ordination

    4. The faithful rely upon you for priests and confirmation

    5. If you die without ensuring the future of the work begun (SSPX) then it will die

    6. You are the only Bishop in the whole world (at a minimum the Latin Rite) who is forming priests in the traditional manner of the Church.

    7. You’ve tried for months if not years to get Papal Mandate for consecrations. You sign a protocol, and then are told that eventually you’ll be able to consecrate a Bishop.

    What do you do?

    Look at that state of the FSSP, 23 years later they still don’t have a Bishop.

    You are about to meet God face to face. What would you have him say to you: Well done good and faithful servant … or the alternative.

    Archbishop Lefebvre’s choices were clear.

    I thank God that he had to presence of mind and grace of state to perform the act that he did.

    Without his decisive action, the Church would not have rediscovered its patrimony.

  40. Hi Nat,

    Our posts crossed in the ether.

    Yes Cardinal Hoyos said that the SSPX isn’t in schism.

    I also agree that this is not a situation that can be continued indefinitely.

    It is also important to realize that while the Mass is the expression of the Faith, the underlying issues are doctrinal. Hence the meetings for the last two years which culminated in the meeting of last Wednesday.

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