Big Yawn

The whole…

…Oh, no we’re not, because this Cardinal said so even if that Pope said not, but it’s not really schism because it’s not formal schism and it can’t be because the Pope didn’t say so with the proper form of words, and also it may have been a schismatic act, but I’m not schismatic if I go to a schismatic Mass because it is a valid mass and lots of other masses aren’t licit anyway because of the bad music and the Novus Ordo being tacky and I can go where I want it is my responsibility to pass on the true faith and did you know that the other ruling on Honolulu said that Mass was not schismatic, so all of them are okay and another thing, I found some grafitti in the Vatican Museum when I was there which proves that the old Mass is the right one and Vatican II and another thing the third canon from the left on the decani side proves my case, and furthermore the consecration of Russia which hasn’t been done right and there was a conspiracy because Sister Lucy was actually somebody else because she was against Vatican II and another thing was smoke of Satan and Cardinal Bugnini and did you know about Freemasons and Protestants and Liberals and feminists and that Assisi prayer meeting what about John XXIII and the World Youth Day not really you know, and bad vestments and Cardinal Marini, not this good one, but the bad one and that wicked Julie Andrews not to mention Lassie and Timmy and Cardinal Mahoney and another thing, we’re not really schismatic you are, so there….

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04886340260525847592 Steve

    That isn’t humor, it’s baiting.

  • Anonymous

    Says Cardinal Ratzinger, the competent authority as the prefect for the Congregation of the Faith:His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph Antonio Ferrario with aforesaid Decree declared Mrs. Morley excommunicated on the grounds that she had commited the crime of schism and thus had incurred the “latae sententiae” penalty as provided for in canon 1364 §1 of the Code of Canon Law.This congregation has examined carefully the available documentation and has ascertained that the activities engaged in by the Petitioner, though blameworthy on various accounts, are not sufficient to constitute the crime of schism.Since Mrs. Morley did not, in fact, commit the crime of schism and thus did not incur the “latae sententiae” penalty, it is clear that the Decree of the Bishop lacks the precondition on which it is founded. This congregation, noting all of the above, is obliged to declare null and void the aforesaid decree of the Ordinary of Honolulu.- Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefectsays Fr. LongeneckerDid you know that the other ruling on Honolulu said that mass was not schismatic

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01562944653624224107 Adrienne

    Oh my – it is so much fun to be able to laugh about this. I spent over 6 years listening to this garbage, almost word for word.People, listen to me ’cause this is serious. People who get sucked into the SSPX and than manage to escape suffer scars. Humiliation for being deceived is number one on the list. The concept that a priest would actually lie to you is number two. There are many more. This is the first time in all these years I have witnessed a priest turning this into the joke it really is. Thanks Father Dwight – I owe you!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08110341406524333073 chimakuni

    Anonymous – and are there more than one? If you would turn from your “I have to be right” and seek to be in union with the Church in Rome, you would have a lot more time to practice your faith. Steve – lighten up! Adrienne – the scar is the toughest part of you – it reminds you of where you have been and gives you strength to move forward in truth. God Bless you -

  • david

    It is a very sad day that a priest would mock Pope Benedict in such a way. A very sad day indeed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    Dear Father Longenecker,If my long experience in these matters is any indication of the good things to come to you from your trenchant observations on the enormities and ironies of disobedience to the Pope undertaken–it is said–in defense of the authority of the Pope, then this is the moment to hire a food taster and someone to start your car in the morning before you leave the house.It turns out that unhinged monarchists and integrists don’t have much of a sense of humor. Sad, I know, but there it is.All the best. And do look both ways before crossing the street!

  • dr. knaak

    Father Newman,Don’t you have a parish to be running? Confessions to be hearing? Offices to be praying? Masses to be saying? Sick to the anointing? Dead to be reposing? Babies to be baptizing? In other words….. get off of the internet and be a priest, not a forum troll.

  • Anonymous

    Dr knaak…..Don’t you have things to do, people to “heal”, rounds to make, prescriptions to write, notes to transcribe. Get off the internet and be a real doctor, that is, if you are a real doctor.

  • Anonymous

    blogging is a hobby. Why shouldn’t a busy priest have some down time?

  • Anonymous

    Father Longenecker– you forgot the obligatory slam on Opus Dei… :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    Dear Father Longenecker and Gentle Readers,Re the post of Dr. Knaak:Quod erat demonstrandum.Now, I would love to linger, but I’ve gotta to run to a meeting for hatching the next Masonic plot to undermine the Catholic Church.Cheers!

  • Brad

    Fr. Newman is the pastor of one of the best parishes in the country. He faithfully leads his parishioners in beautiful worship every day and speaks much truth, that at times is hard to swallow, especially for the misinformed layman of the past 40 years. From my experience, Fr. Newman and Fr. Longnecker need not to be told to fulfill their priestly duties. They already do this daily. What they are trying to do is save a couple more souls with their spare time, by using the internet and some God given wittiness.Let them be faithful priests.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13669565372315999650 Jeffrey Smith

    Oy, veh.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04886340260525847592 Steve

    This is all so very edifying.Adrienne, if you think the sspx is the only place one will find lying clerics then you’re in for another shock. I could suggest you pour yourself a stiff drink to brace yourself, but that would be rude, insensitive and nasty. In short, it would be wrong. Some things are funny, some things are not.Chimakuni, twiddle with the dials on your sense of humor, it’s way the heck off kilter.Fr. Newman you wound me! I may be a Stewart but I am no unhinged monarchist. I know exactly where my hinges are, they’re in a bowl on the sideboard next to a copy of the Protocols and the jar with Charlemagne’s liver.No one has ever successfully accused me of not having a sense of humor. I hold advanced degrees in shenanigans, buffoonery and monkeyshines. Father, I studied funny: I know funny; funny is a friend of mine. Father, you’re not funny. A rapier is not a truncheon. Mel Brooks said “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” Please, for the sake of everyone, work on your comedic skills. (Now, for all you Newman fanboys out there who just had aneurysms, before you begin your howls of outrage “lighten up” and then isolate that feeling you’re having and examine it. If you are capable of stepping outside of yourselves for even a brief moment realize that the reaction you just had is the mirror image of the wounds you are inflicting on the people on the other side, as well people such as myself who are firmly on the fence.)Brad, ok you win, are you parodying a groupie or are you being sarcastic or are you being serious? From the other side of the operating table the witty surgical strike of a rank amateur often feels like a poorly aimed sledgehammer. Good lampoonery is only accomplished when the target doesn’t even know he’s being lampooned. If you know you’re being mocked then it’s just playground meanness, and who really wants to see priests doing that?

  • Anonymous

    You’re right Steve, you are funny. Thanks for the satire!Your parody of Mr Angry Religious Man is right on target!

  • dr. knaak

    I the last few years, Fr. Newman has taken a number of sick calls that can be counted on one hand. His parish has 8000 registered parishoners…..hmmmmm it does not add up.

  • Anonymous

    So Good Dr, you have the Newman watch this month? Please share with us how you spend you day tending to the marginalized of society? Remember if they do not live up to the standards that you have placed on others you too will be called forum troll.It’s so easy to cast stones……….

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01562944653624224107 Adrienne

    Good heavens….

  • dr. knaak

    Anon,Are you a complete twit? I have a doctorate in History. There are more doctorates in things other than Medicine. Get a grip on reality.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04886340260525847592 Steve

    First of all anonymous, if you can’t recognize “buck naked standing on the belltower roof” over “angry religious man” then there’s just no hope for you. ARM has to make 3 references to the Deity per paragraph and has to end with a note of despair for the eternal salvation of the people he’s haranguing.Dr. knaak, it seems like a low blow to “call Fr. Newman out” on something that will be your word against his. The people who want to believe it will believe it without verifying it and the people who don’t want to believe it won’t believe it even if it’s true. Even I know that the sick are being visited, pastoral care IS being provided. To the anonymice, er, anonymooses, any chance you could number yourselves “anon1″, anon2″ etc. or something like that? Or pick a name like “Fr. Newman killed a puppy” or “Fr. Newman raised my houseplants from the dead”. It’s difficult to keep score when half the comments appear to be the result of a drug induced multiple personality disorder.Why does every Greenville based sspx discussion (or food fight) have to almost immediately turn into a contest over who loves or hates Fr. Newman the most?

  • Anonymous

    Fr. Newman embodies false “traditional cafeteria catholicism” pure and simple.He picks and chooses things he wants from tradition and makes up the rest.He is no better than Cardinal Mahony.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04886340260525847592 Steve

    Ok so that last anonymous is of the “Fr. Newman killed a puppy” variety. Cardinal Mahoney and Fr. Newman aren’t even in the same category to make a comparison. I know Fr. Newman has angered, disaffected and estranged a lot of people, on more occasions than I can number he’s caused me to be furious beyond the ability to form complete sentences. Even so if I needed access to the Sacraments and my choice was His Eminence of Los Angeles or Fr. Newman I’d pick Fr. Newman without hesitation.

  • Anonymous

    That is the thing, one can go off the deep end in liberalism ala the wondeful Cardinal of LA or go off the deepend in Neo-Conservativism ala Newmanism.Both are not in the heart of the Church and are removed from communion with Her.We should not accept sacraments from either one of them as it would place our immortal souls in jeopardy to play with schism.

  • Anonymous

    “It turns out that unhinged monarchists and integrists don’t have much of a sense of humor.”How about sick and evil Americanists?God I can’t wait until Christ publicly castrates Uncle Sam!!

  • Anonymous

    It appears Fr. Newman has fallen pray to the heresy of Americanism condemned by Leo XIII in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae.We should pray for his conversion.

  • Brad

    Steve- I don’t claim to be any sort of satirist at all, which might make me an anomaly in this crowed, so let me clarify. Though I’d join the official fan club if there was one, I wouldn’t consider my self a Fr. Newman groupie, rather just a Roman Catholic seminarian who, growing up in a less than beautiful liturgical setting my entire life in a diocese that shall not be named, looks to Fr. Newman and Fr. Longnecker as good priests to learn from. I’m not going to lie. Reading these comments is rather depressing, not because of particular instances, though some comments have been off color, but rather because of the division they have so affectively portrayed. One anonymous says Fr. Newman is a “neo-con” who estranges the progressives. Another argues against his position against the SSPX as being sucked into the errors of Vatican II’s supposed relativism. What is a priest to do? Administer the sacraments? Preach the truth? Correct some ideologies that popped up post VII? Well from my perspective, he has done that. Forgive him if he isn’t a deluded liberal or schismatic traddie. In the end, I was just defending a priest of Jesus Christ, thats all! Is it not funny that, with all of the witty bantering going on (employed by both priest and layman), nobody knows when someone is speaking seriously.

  • Anonymous

    Father Newman. Is. Schismatic.He rejects the authority of Rome.He. Is. In. Schism.

  • B.

    chimakuni said in answer to me:Anonymous – and are there more than one? If you would turn from your “I have to be right” and seek to be in union with the Church in Rome, you would have a lot more time to practice your faith.It is really amazing how you quickly excommunicate me, because I quoted a ruling of the person who is now pope. Don’t you think this is a bit of a rash judgement? I have never in my whole life been to an SSPX mass (despite the fact that I could sleep longer on sundays because the SSPX chapel is nearer to my home).However I am aware of the fact that, despite the loopiness of some of it’s leaders (and yes, I thought the fake movie reviews were funny), there are many good people in the SSPX who have been driven there by their local dancing guitar mass, i.e. not by their own fault. Therefore I pray that there may be a solution to this sad problem instead of gleefully enjoying the “I’m catholic they’re schismatic” line, and in doing this I know myself to be of the same mind as the pope in this matter.I’m pretty certain, that if this whole affair would have to be dealt with by the Pope and Bishop Fellay alone, there would be a solution in no time. Unfortunately Bishop Fellay has to put up with the likes of Bishop Williamson and the Pope has to put up with the likes of Fathers Longenecker and Newman.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    No man enjoys being hated, but when a man is hated in nearly equal measure by the lunatic left and the unhinged right, it is a pretty good sign that he’s on the mark. A humorist I may not be, but I’ve become fairly accurate marksman.One of the reasons, my dear Rad Trad friends, why so few priests will stand for anything is that the few of us who do so quite quickly find ourselves brought low by the sort of people who leave hateful anonymous posts in public places. Or who send hateful anonymous letters. Or who stand on line at the grocery store or sit in dinner parties and repeat hateful accusations all of which are designed to communicate one thing: I would make a much better pastor than that fool.So, anonymous and pseudonymous correspondents (and those who give a name but no link to identify yourselves), I have a modest proposal: Come tell me to my face what you think I’m doing wrong, or stop saying about me what you don’t have the stones to say to me. Call the St. Mary’s Church Office, and my secretary will make an appointment for you at the first available time. Then you’ll have an hour to say or ask anything on your mind.Until and unless you are prepared to do that, please remember that everything whispered in secret will, on the Last Day, be shouted from the rooftops. Even bloggers will be laid bare, so take a care: We are all responsible for our words.Now here are some of my words: I have been reading and thinking and talking and praying about every dimension of Christianity for more than 25 years, all day, every day. Through this process, I have done the best I can to surrender every part of my life in the obedience of faith to the Gospel and to understand and assimilate Catholic tradition from every age in way that prepares me for the challenge of living as a faithful Catholic here and now. Because I am a sinner and a frail son of Adam, I have done these things badly, but I have done them. And the result is the shape of the public ministry I have carried on publicly every day for 15 years. In other words, the decisions I make today and the actions which flow from them are based upon principles established from decades of hard work–not whimsy, not humors, not personal crotchets–principles. So, any of you who find the integrity to come say to my face what you find disagreeable about my work, come with principles please, and leave the rest at home. Then we bid fair to have a conversation rather than a sand box dispute. I will wait for your calls.

  • Anna

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading both the blog posts and the comments, especially by both Fr. Newman and Fr. Longnecker.May you both have a blessed Holy Week.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04886340260525847592 Steve

    No man enjoys being hated, but when a man is hated in nearly equal measure by the lunatic left and the unhinged right, it is a pretty good sign that he’s on the mark. A humorist I may not be, but I’ve become fairly accurate marksman. I believe you’ve missed the mark. A person doesn’t have to be a lunatic or unhinged to disagree with you. Dismissing your opposition as cranks and loons is dangerous because you deny yourself the opportunity to examine whether they have a legitimate gripe.Demonizing everyone outside of your own point of view makes you look just as crazy as the people you’re trying to paint as madmen.You also paint with far too broad a brush, most of the people who might fall into what is the generally accepted “rad trad” category just moved on and got busy with living their own lives, your most virulent detractors are still sitting in your pews on most Sundays, their practice of Catholicism mirrors your own.Don’t believe everything you hear about what may have been said at a dinner party either, you’ll never hear everything that was said and the worst possible spin will be put on what may not have really been said in the first place. I’ve been at a few of those dinner parties.I’ve also spent my entire life surrounded either by married or unmarried clergy, the first half of my life was spent observing from the inside and the last decade has been spent watching closely from the outside. Not a day has passed in the last 11 years that hasn’t been directly impacted by a priest. I could continue to build my credentials to write what I’m about to write but we’d be here all day if I did:I am convinced, because the anecdotal has long since become empirical, that the unmarried clergy are fundamentally now incapable of functioning with, or relating to, the laity without superhuman effort and unending graces. To a man, without exception. I don’t know about the past and I know a universal married clergy is not the answer because that has a whole host of pitfalls of its own.This is one reason why the Fr. “Call me Bob(s)” in the Church became the theological shipwrecks they are today, because they recognized the problem, and responded by trying to become one with the laity. The problem isn’t “rad trads” and “loony liberals”. Several years ago Fr. you said the traditional rite of Mass was for the “walking wounded and the mentally unbalanced”, I didn’t have a response to that and I’m not sure that I’d even been to more than one or two at the time. Now I can say that every person who walks into a confessional is one of the walking wounded and every person who enters the doors of any church seeking salvation is seen by the world as mentally unbalanced. Until you appreciate that, you will continue to turn the walking wounded into “rad trads” and the mentally unbalanced into “loony liberals”.

  • Fr. Stephen Naas

    Steve, It seems you know how to wield the broad brush as well as anyone.But then you have pages and pages of some kind of credentials which makes it clear there is no arguing with you. I am an unmarried clergyman and as a result of your post, I think I must just either resign or something. Obviously, I am hopeless out of touch and of no value…I mean, if you are correct, that “to a man” we unmarried types are not likely to be of service to God or man. I will however continue to make my “superhuman” efforts and maybe even start praying for God’s grace.By the way, don’t call me Bob.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    Dear Steve,Thanks for your thoughtful reply; there is much wisdom in what you write. I ask no man to agree with me because I hold an opinion; in fact, I relish the mutual learning that comes from reasonable and spirited disagreement. But many of the anonymous observations in the blogosphere go far beyond disagreement with ideas into personal contempt and attack. When that happens, the Gospel is not served, no matter how clever the quip may be.I concede, too, that the discipline of celibacy in many ways complicates the relations of priests and lay faithful. Nevertheless, given that married clergy usually experience as many difficulties as celibates in the execution of their duties, I conclude that celibacy does not make it impossible for priests to relate to people without superhuman effort. Still, there are days when the solitude of this life feels like it will crush my bones into dust, and if the pope called tomorrow and announced that I was delegated to decide whether priestly celibacy in the Latin Rite would remain mandatory or become optional, I honestly don’t know what I’d say. I see great wisdom in this discipline, and I am loth to make my experience the measure of the universal Church’s judgment. But I do see your point.Finally, while I have in the past characterized Traditionalist Catholics as the walking wounded, I have never described them as mentally unbalanced. And I have not done that because I don’t believe it. Moreover, you are right that we are all the walking wounded; that is the fundamental truth about human nature revealed by God. And the medicine of immortality is the cure for what ails us. All of us.I don’t know a single priest who believes that he is the man or the priest he should be, and any priest who has spent even an hour in the confessional knows how small he is. But in a polarized Church where the very content of the Gospel is disputed, a priest who is not a sign of contradiction simply isn’t doing his job. How to sort out the difference between division flowing from a priest being a sign of contradiction and division flowing from a priest being a sinner in need of repentance is the key. And that is an art learned by trial and error, by clergy and laity alike.Finally, one of the greatest frustrations of pastors everywhere (not just me, and not just Catholic priests) is the habit of their congregation to talk about them rather than to them. It almost always leads to mischief of many kinds, and it is not a godly habit. But it is a perennial temptation, and murmuring is generally the favorite indoor sport of most Christians. I suppose it will be so until the Last Day.Of your charity, pray for this sinner and for priests everywhere that we may be instruments of grace, and not obstacles to grace, for those to whom we are sent. May the LORD be gracious to you this Passiontide and in the coming Triduum and Passover. In these days, may we all come to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus more faithfully. That, after all, is the only reason any of us are in this.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04886340260525847592 Steve

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04886340260525847592 Steve

    With apologies to our host don’t anyone ever get the idea that I am advocating a married clergy for the Church in the west. It is because I am the son of a married protestant minister that I made my first probings into Catholicism.Fr. Newman makes an excellent point about murmuring congregants, many of my childhood memories are of pressing my ear against my bedroom door listening to my parents discuss the backstabbings and betrayals that the people who shook my hand, smiled and tousled my hair on Sunday delivered to my father during the course of the week. I don’t wish those memories on anyone.I accept the correction of my memory on the matter of the mentally unbalanced, I’ve been as convinced of the accuracy of that recollection as I am of the names of my children. But then I sometimes call my children by the name of the cat.A doctor need not have cancer to treat it and a priest need not be married to save the souls of the married. I’m not particularly convinced that my own marriage gives me any special insight into any other marriage. That’s not what I’m referring to though. I thought I made that clear, Fr, Naas’ comment makes it clear that I did not.I don’t want to say “all priests barring miraculous intervention are social misfits outside of their own fraternity”. I don’t want to say that and I’m not sure I’m even trying to say that. Perhaps what I’m saying is the communication skills appear to be limited to the pulpit. I know this extends beyond the boundaries of the Diocese of Charleston, I don’t know the cause and I certainly don’t know the cure. I know priests who admit there’s something to it and some who say it’s not something exclusive to dealing with the laity but that it’s just as weird within the fraternity of priests.The solution is not, btw, further empowerment of the laity.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    With respect, Steve, I think its a red herring.In my experience of Anglicanism and Evangelical Protestantism and Catholicism, many ministers and priests of all stripes have communication problems. This applies to both the married and the celibate.I think it has more to do with the dynamic of particular personality types than Catholic v. Protestant; Married v. Celibate.

  • Anonymous

    “With apologies to our host don’t anyone ever get the idea that I am advocating a married clergy for the Church in the west. It is because I am the son of a married protestant minister that I made my first probings into Catholicism.”Yeah?? Well, I’m a traditionalist and I advocate a married clergy. The compulsion of celibacy pre-supposes the charism of celibacy being infallibly given by God to each and every celibate Latin-rite cleric, which it is not. No human legislator, not even the pope, can second-guess God’s decision to grant/withold the charism of celibacy in the context of an individual’s call to the priesthood.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13177183667215351026 James

    I would like to say a few words in support of priests. In my life, whenever I have needed a priest’s help I have always found them ready and willing to help in any way. Whether it is administering a sacrament or counseling following one of the worst betrayals a man can suffer clergy both celibate and married have been there for me. Thank you all for your faithful service.James G

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13177183667215351026 James

    Not to get the SSPXers all riled up again but in response to comment #2: One CDF ruling in one case does not a dogma or definitive declaration make. I don’t believe it’s been mentioned so far but Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska excommunicated the SSPXers in his jurisdiction. I haven’t read anything to indicate that that has been overturned. In fact the excommunication was upheld in the case of Call to Action, who were excommunicated in the same pronouncement. Just saying.James G

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04886340260525847592 Steve

    The Lincoln excommunications absolutely fascinate me in a train wreck kind of way. A member of CTA is forbidden the Sacraments in the diocese of Lincoln and yet can hop a few dioceses over to the west and be a speaker at a religious education congress. And both bishops are in communion with Rome. The excommunication explicitly dealt with members/membership when it probably should have dealt with adherence/adherents… if that’s even possible. What about a person who just up and moves to Omaha, does the excommunication evaporate? The decree also forbids all Catholics in and of the diocese of Lincoln to be members of the listed groups… “in and of”? What if a “member” of the sspx is on a plane flying over Lincoln? And if there’s an unladen swallow on board, what then? Which brings up a very important question: What IS the airspeed of an unladen sspx bishop?The anon poster who advocates a married priesthood seems to think ordination is a right and that God hands out vocations without giving the necessary graces to live ones state in life. Do you really believe that “God didn’t give me the grace to stay faithful to my wife” is an excuse that ANYONE is going to accept? If so, someone needs to get on the phone to the soon to be ex-governor of New York. Do I misunderstand, a man who breaks his promises does so because God threw him to the wolves? Moreso it sounds like you’re not primarily advocating the ordination of married men, but rather the marrying of ordained men. You couldn’t even justifiably call yourself a primitivist and support that because unless I missed something enormous that’s unheard of.Fr. Longenecker, you’re right, “communications skills” is a red herring.

  • Anonymous

    “The anon poster who advocates a married priesthood seems to think ordination is a right..”Sheer nonsense. Where the hell do you get that idea from??”… and that God hands out vocations without giving the necessary graces to live ones state in life.”You’re operating under the (demonstrably) false assumption that celibacy is a necessary concommitant of the priesthood. It is not.Christ does not automatically give the two graces of priesthood and celibacy to the same man. Yet that false assumption underlies the “law”.Anyway, this pope will repeal it.

  • B.

    James G. said:Not to get the SSPXers all riled up again but in response to comment #2: One CDF ruling in one case does not a dogma or definitive declaration make.I have already explained that I have never been to an SSPX mass, so why do you insist calling me an SSPXer?Many people here look at this affair in a black and white manner. Either you think they are in schism and you have to shout it from the rooftops, or you are an SSPXer.But I don’t think it’s that easy. I don’t think they are in schism (although there is way too much schismatic mentality, I’ll admit). That doesn’t mean I have to advocate the SSPX. All their priests are suspended and that is reason enough not to attend their masses. Nonetheless, having lived through the worst kind of masses and homilies were the priests ridiculed those who believed in heaven, or proposed that there was no difference between being a Christian and being an Atheists (all in perfect communion with the bishop), I can understand those who sooner or later end up going there.But coming back to your point: Yes, a single ruling does not a general decision make, and I never claimed that. I simply wanted to counter Fr. Longeneckers portrayal of the matter with what the decree really said.If you are looking for a general ruling, another case is more interesting, that was about a year ago, and made it to state TV in Austria. If you insist I can dig up the original text, but this *was* a general ruling prompted by the case of a schoolchild in Austria. The Vatican (besides re-stating that their bishops are excommunicated and their priests suspended) ruled that their faithful have to be considered Catholics and *ordered* that baptism done by the SSPX have to be registered as Catholic baptisms at the local parish.Now, Old Catholic baptisms arent’ registered at the local Catholic parish, and unless there is some strange theology that says that schismatic baptisms produce Roman Catholics in one case, but Non-Catholics in other cases this has to mean that the SSPX is not entirely in schism.Again, this does not mean I’m advocating them, this is simply a logical conclusion.Coming back to what I said earlier, perhaps everyone should read this story of the sedevacantist nuns of Spokane, and how they were treated by the Sisters of Charity. Now, who think they would have found their way back, if the Sisters of Charity had instead gone there, pointed their fingers at them and said:”You are in schism! Everything to the contrary is just hot air!”, even though the case was much clearer here?

  • Anonymous

    I’m with “B.” in not being in the SSPX, nor even having been to an SSPX chapel, but still thinking the question is not as “black-and-white” as either Fr. Newman or some of the other posters seem to think it. B’s example of the ruling from Austria, as well as the Honolulu ruling and the statements of the PCED officials seem to indicate that though the excommunications on the bishops still hold, the Holy See is not willing to simply call the entire society schismatic–at least its adherents. I also note that the letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum related that it was designed for an “interior reconciliation”–a phrase many have interpreted as meaning the regularization of relations with the SSPX. (I think,with many others, the phrase means much more than that, however it means at least that much.)For the sake of argument, however, let us assume that Fr. Newman is correct and that the whole lot of them is in schism and that they are the same as Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople. I propose we take the approach that Vatican II took in Unitatis Redintegratio and, subsequently, in Ad Totam Ecclesiam, the first directory on ecumenical relations by the Secretariat for Promoting the Unity of Christians, with papal approval. Given that the SSPX does have valid orders and apostolic succession, should it not be the case that they should be treated as Eastern Christians not in full communion are to be treated? After all, Eastern Orthodox Christians can stand as Godparents, receive the sacraments in Catholic Churches if their hierarchs approve, and even be seated in hierarchical ranking in some liturgies given the bishops’ approval. Not only that, but Catholic pastors are encouraged to offer their churches for use of the liturgy and to alert Eastern clergy if their parishioners are in Catholic hospitals. Similarly, Catholics can receive the sacraments in a broad number of circumstances from Eastern Christians and even participate, as clergy, with proper approval, in their liturgies. Finally, as UR proposes for Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians, we should treat them as dear and beloved brothers because of how much we share, and refrain from unkind and wounding expressions and work toward the day of full unity with them. For these reasons, I propose that whatever the status of the SSPX, all of us should speak respectfully to them, no matter whether they have views about monarchy or whatever that we consider ill-founded. And by the by, there are a lot of Orthodox brethren who have similar views.I also think that Fr. Newman should rethink labeling all those who favor the 1962 missal as “walking wounded.” I know a great many people who have come to reject the changes of the 1970 missal on quite rational grounds, including quite often the reading of the Vatican II Constitution on the Liturgy. In sum, however, I think the tone of these conversations should change on both sides. David DeavelP.S. Though my comments are directed primarily at Fr. Longenecker and Fr. Newman, be assured that I am a great supporter of all their work. When I visited Greenville last spring I quite happily attended St. Mary’s for Sunday Mass. I hope to get down there again, God willing.

  • Anonymous

    Could any of you get me proper references or links to the Austrian and Hawaiian Rulings? I think I can find the Bruskewicz one on my own. In fact, if any of you have other examples of such rulings I would appreciate an email at dpdeavel(at)stthomas.eduThanks.Dave Deavel

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    The essential difference between the Orthodox of our day and the clergy of the SSPX is that the former are not personally culpable for the sin of schism and the latter are. A central premise of the conciliar decree Unitatis Redintegraio is that we cannot impute to either Protestants or Orthodox of our time the delict of schism, but this is not the case with the clergy of the SSPX, which is why John Paul II was so emphatic in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta about the obligation of Catholics not to support the SSPX in any way. Seeking to heal a schism which began centuries ago is a different project that attempting to contain and turn back one which began in our day.And for the 10,000th time: This dispute has exactly NOTHING to do with the sacred liturgy; this is purely and simply about obedience to the Roman Pontiff and the making of bishops and priests according to ancient norms governing the life of the Church. And a careful investigation of the relevant literature discloses that the issues which, I fear, are almost certainly to prevent the return of the SSPX bishops and priests to the Catholic Church now surround their refusal to accept the teaching of the Second Vatican Council contained in the decrees Dignitatis Humanae and Unitatis Redintegratio.

  • B.

    Dave:The Hawaii ruling can be accessed here.I don’t think the Salzburg Archdiocese has released the original ruling, but the statement made by the Archdiocese after it recieved the ruling can be accessed. Download this file from the Archdiocese of Salzburg, open it, and open the 2006-05 pdf. There its on page 85.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for your response, Fr. Newman. I’m not sure I’m convinced by your argument, particularly given the various pieces of evidence others have presented, but it demands close thought from all those who have friends or acquaintances involved. Perhaps someone else has made this analogy, but it seems that the Holy See’s approach to the Patriotic Church in China is in many ways like the situation with the SSPX.Thank you, B., for those references.Dave Deavel

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    The two cases could not be more different:The Patriotic Church in China exists because a despotic Communist dictatorship makes it all but impossible for Catholics to live normal lives, and the Holy See is doing everything to possible to keep open communication with Catholics caught behind enemy lines until the day when normal life can be restored. When that day finally comes, there will doubtless be a great deal of sorting out to do (As there was in Europe for the Church in the nations behind the Iron Curtain.), but that is different in kind, and not in degree, from the SSPX schism.The SSPX exists because a small group of bishops and priests believe they know better than the Second Vatican Council and the last three popes what constitutes Catholic tradition and what does not. John Paul II wrote about this dimension of the SSPX schism in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta:”4. The root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete, because it does not take sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, “comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth” [5].But especially contradictory is a notion of Tradition which opposes the universal Magesterium of the Church possessed by the Bishops of Rome and the Body of Bishops. It is impossible to remain faithful to Tradition while breaking the ecclesial bond with him to whom, in the person of the Apostle Peter, Christ Himself entrusted the ministry of unity in His Church [6].”That curial officials like Cardinal Castrillon and Msgr Perle attempt to keep open communication with the SSPX to avoid the schism becoming permanent, first at the direction of John Paul II and now of Benedict XVI, should in no way distract any Catholic from the fact of the present schism. The bishops and priests of the SSPX are not in hierarchical communion with the Bishop of Rome or any bishop in the entire world who is in communion with the Bishop of Rome, and every sacrament they celebrate is both illicit and a schismatic act. And this breach is not the result of the oppression of a brutal totalitarian State; it is the work of the rebel clerics themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Fr. Newman,Those are good distinctions to make regarding the Chinese Church, but it might be objected that many in the underground Church considered the Patriotic Church to be in schism as well, since the bishops were chosen against the will of the Holy Father in many cases and consecrated by bishops who knew that the Holy See did not approve. Thus, formally speaking, there were schismatic acts–but the Holy See has chosen not to regard the Patriotic Church as in schism despite these difficulties. Again, you make mention of Cardinal Castrillon and Msgr. Perl attempting to keep the schism from deepening, but they (along with Cardinal Cassidy in his days with the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity) have assured us that the Church does not look on the SSPX as a whole as in schism, despite the schismatic acts. Another Newman once noted that schism is a difficult topic to treat in the Church because it often takes centuries to figure out whether what looks like a schism actually is. I admit you make a strong juridical case, but one of the things about Vatican II that many have noticed was an attempt to broaden discussions beyond the juridical. This is why sacramental sharing, despite the manifest schism, with the Orthodox Churches, was approved. Even at the start of Vatican I Bd. Pio Nono sent a letter to the Orthodox Bishops offering them their seats at the Council with no strings attached. They refused, but it complicates discussions of Pius IX and ecumenism, which is a complicated subject, I admit.I had one final thought about your rejection of my analogy with the Orthodox. You stated that the situations are different because those in the Orthodox Churches were born into their situations, while those in the SSPX were not. This seems to me complicated by the fact that: a) after twenty years or more, it’s not possible to say all priests were conscious adults at the time they entered into the Society; and b) Not all the Orthodox were born into their status either. Many Orthodox Priests (I think of Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon at Touchstone) were Catholic Priests who left. So one might use your reasoning to say that Vatican II was therefore wrong in treating the Orthodox that way, either. What I think we need is authoritative word from Rome.Dave Deavel

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    Dave,There is an authoritative word from Rome, and about its meaning there is no doubt. This word was given by the Successor of St. Peter, and no further authoritative word has come from the Chair of Peter, meaning that what follows below is still the law of the Church and binds the consciences of the faithful. The word was given on 2 July 1988 by Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei. There, in paragraph 5 section c, the Pope wrote:”In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfil the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement. Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law.”There is simply no way to justify attending Mass celebrated by a bishop or priest of the SSPX (or, for that matter, the celebration of any other sacrament), and there is simply no ambiguity whatever about this point: The Society of St. Pius X is not in communion with the Catholic Church, and every cleric who is a member of that Society is in schism from the Catholic Church. Yes, these bishops and priests do possess the sacramental character of the episcopate and presbyterate, but their ministry is illicit and contrary to the clearly expressed will of the Sovereign Pontiff. Nothing except danger of death and the absence of a Catholic priest could possibly justify the reception by a Catholic of a sacrament celebrated by one of these schismatic clergy.Trying to find a way around the plain meaning of the clear words of the Bishop of Rome in order to justify schism is a grave spiritual danger to which no Catholic should subject himself. Moreover, attempting to lead others into thinking that there is ambiguity in this matter is to induce them to the danger of grave sin by disguising schism as something else. Please be mindful of these simple facts in all public discussions of this matter.

  • Patrick

    Dave,In light of your comments on Ecclesia Dei, do you feel also that an authoritative statement is needed to clarify Summorum Pontificum. Are bishops free to disregard it and claim a need to “wait” for clarification?It seems to me that both documents are extremely clear. And Ecclesia Dei has the further benefit of being clearly interpreted by a Pontifical Council.

  • Anonymous

    Patrick: The statements of the Pontifical Council interpreting what is licit and what is not are what make me, along with others, dubious that the case is clear-cut. Fr. Newman: Please believe me, I have no intention of frequenting SSPX chapels nor have I ever been to one. Nor would I encourage anyone to fulfill their obligation at such a chapel. However, the passage you keep citing has a clear meaning: those who did the consecrations (Abp. Lefebvre) and those who took part in them (the four bishops) took part in a schismatic act. Priests of theirs are officially suspended because they are not incardinated. OK. But what “adherence to the schism” means is not clear to me, given the official responses of PCED. Apparently fulfilling one’s obligation at such a chapel for the same reasons one might do so at an Eastern Orthodox parish is allowed. Apparently being baptized by an SSPX priest without any intention of signaling that one adheres to schism allows one to be listed in a baptismal register–at least per one ruling. These official rulings of the Church, along with the numerous public though “unofficial” statements by Msgrs. Cassidy, Perl, and Castrillon to the effect that the SSPX is not in schism, allow one to have at least a reasonable doubt about their status. This is why I said before that we need a comprehensive official statement from PCED. But my guess is that, if the statements by the aforementioned clerics are correct, the Church doesn’t want to issue too many statements until there is more clarity. Till then, however, I don’t think you are justified in saying that one is not permitted to, at least, fulfill one’s obligation in a SSPX Chapel in certain cases. Just as one does with the Eastern Orthodox. Either way, schism or not, I’m not sure you can say that it is not possible to fulfill one’s obligation there in certain cases.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    Dave,I see that you, too, are a friend of Humpty Dumpty, who makes words to mean whatever he wants them to mean.What could possibly justify going to a schismatic and excommunicated cleric for a sacrament, except for the already identified exemption when in danger of death, when a Catholic priest is available? And if the answer is a personal preference for the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, that is no answer.And the possibility of fulfilling one’s obligation to attend Mass by going to an Orthodox liturgy only obtains when there is zero possibility of attending a Catholic Mass….as, for example, in parts of Eastern Europe where there are very few Catholics in places where the Orthodox are a vast majority. In this way, if a Catholic were in a place where only an SSPX chapel were present (say a remote island populated by traditionalists), then he could lawfully attend that Mass. But if it is possible to attend a Catholic Mass (even of the ordinary form), then there is zero justification for going to a schismatic SSPX chapel.

  • Anonymous

    Fr. Newman,I don’t recall attacking you personally, so I would like to ask that you refrain from any more insults of the “Humpty Dumpty” variety.I don’t think I can respond substantively except by noting again that the Church, through PCED, has said differently about the frequenting of SSPX Chapels in an official letter. I’m not sure why you don’t accept the word of PCED which was set up to answer such questions in the name of the Church. If you do accept these decisions, then I’m not sure why you do not acknowledge the ambiguity of the entire case.Second, the possibility of fulfilling one’s obligation at an Orthodox liturgy is not limited solely to the situations of death or life in Siberia. See Ad Totam Ecclesiam (the Directory for Ecumenical actions given by the then-Secretariat for Christian Unity) for various exceptions including family or public obligations, friendship, or even a simple desire to know more about the separated brethren. There are also various conditions under which one can receive the sacraments from the Orthodox. So, again, I’m not sure, even if you are right about the question of the whole society being in schism, why it would not be the case that the protocols governing old schisms involving valid apostolic succession (though not full hierarchical communion) would not be applicable to new schisms.These protocols, one might note, seem to be used for a relatively new schism of the West, namely the Polish National Catholic Church, which is little more than a hundred years old. Dave Deavel

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    Dave,My “Humpty Dumpty” reference was not meant as an attack ad hominem, but I forgot that this was not the thread where I had previously used that image. It was in a post made three or four before this conversation, and it was meant to be humorous. I apologize that it came across as anything other than that.Now to the fundamental point: those born into a schism which is 1,000 or 500 years old are in an entirely different position than those who join a schism that began twenty years ago. There lies all the difference in the world, and since the Second Vatican Council follows the lead of St. Paul the Apostle in declaring willful schism to be damnable, those who are tempted to support schism, let alone to join it, have to be warned. John Paul did that in 1988, and in instructing my flock today, I am following his example. The bishops and priests of the SSPX are excommunicate and schismatic, and no sympathy with their grievances can change that fact. The only thing which can change it is their repentance and return to the communion of the Catholic Church by surrendering their private judgments to the Magisterium of the Church, particularly as transmitted by the Second Vatican Council and the Bishop of Rome. Until and unless they do that, the SSPX will remain in schism, and those who give aid and comfort to schism are endangering their souls. Not so says Newman; so says Sacred Scripture, and so says John Paul the Great.

  • Anonymous

    Fr. Newman,Apology accepted. I don’t think you have successfully answered my objections, but you can have the last word. Thanks,Dave Deavel

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08625615756595049807 Read Moonstone

    What is the SSPX known for being schismatic about? what do they differ with Rome about? I’m sorry, I have been silently following this interesting debate, and I don’t understand exactly what the SSPX is… :) again, sorry…Moonstone

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05983835520470686424 Fr Jay Scott Newman

    Dear Moonstone,In 1970, a French bishop named Marcel Lefebvre formed the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) as a group of priests dedicated to preserving the form of the Mass codified by the Council of Trent, and for five years, the SSPX functioned within the Catholic Church. In 1975, however, the Society lost its canonical standing, and in 1976 Marcel Lefebvre was suspended from all priestly faculties. For twelve years, authorities in Rome worked with Lefebvre to prevent a permanent rupture, but in 1988—against the specific instructions of Pope John Paul II—Marcel Lefebvre consecrated four bishops for the SSPX, and by that act both Lefebvre and all four new bishops were excommunicated. This was an act of schism, a grave offense against the unity of the Catholic Church, and from that day in 1988, the bishops and priests of the SSPX have been in a state of schism and have incurred the penalty of excommunication. The clergy of the SSPX are truly ordained to the Orders of bishop and priest, but they have no faculties and are operating illegally and in a state of schism.In the years since the beginning of the schism, it has become ever more clear that the real source of the division is not a dispute over the texts of the sacred liturgy (which is most commonly the thing which receives public attention); rather, the clergy of the SSPX have grave reservations about many aspects of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, most especially on the topics of religious freedom and Christian unity.In 1988 and during the run up to the rupture, John Paul II made many attempts to prevent the schism from starting, and his point man in those efforts was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. No one understands the nature of this schism better than Benedict XVI, and he pulled the rug out from under the SSPX bishops with Summorum Pontificum. What is increasingly clear is that the SSPX bishops and most of their priests truly do believe that the pope and the College of Bishops have embraced heresy and are teaching false doctrine on the disputed points of Vatican II. Many of them hold that the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is sacramentally invalid and the most extreme of them hold that Benedict XVI is not a true Pope because his episcopal consecration took place in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.Whether or not the schism which began in 1988 can be ended is an open question, and the answer depends primarily upon this: When the four present SSPX bishops are nearing the end of their lives, will they illegally consecrate additional bishops (as their founder did for them) or not? I’m afraid that they will and that the schism will become permanent. Benedict XVI, like John Paul before him, is laboring mightily to prevent that. But the signs are not good that an end to the schism will come.

  • Anonymous

    “This was an act of schism, a grave offense against the unity of the Catholic Church”No it wasn’t, as the bishops were given no ordinary jurisdicton.Since St Athanasius denied specifically in a letter to Pope Liberius that they were in communion with each other (it’s a real embarrassment to ultramontanists), and intruded bishops he had consecrated without papal authority into already-occupied dioceses, how could Lefebvre have been in schism, who did less, when Athanasius was not?

  • Patrick

    Anonymous 6:08,I’ve got a decree issued motu proprio that says it was a schismatic act. What’ve you got?

  • Brian Mershon

    Dear Father Newman,You said: “Many of them hold that the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is sacramentally invalid and the most extreme of them hold that Benedict XVI is not a true Pope because his episcopal consecration took place in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.”Respectfully, in the interest of facts. I attended Holy Mass last Maundy Thursday in Mt. Holly, NC, with Fr. Novak, whom I believe you are well acquainted. After Mass, he told his lay faithful Catholics that they would be going on a “pilgrimage” to six other Catholic churches (with permission from each of the pastors) in the area to pray publicly in front of the reserved Blessed Sacrament, before returning prior to midnight to St. Anthony’s in Mt. Holly.He also told his lay faithful that in no uncertain terms that it has NEVER been the teaching of SSPX priests, bishops, nor His Grace, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, that the Novus Ordo Mass was invalid. In fact, Fr. Newman told his laity to rest at ease and to truly understand they would be adoring our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.He is the same Fr. Novak who is the Editor-in-Chief of Angelus magazine, and who recently ran a back-to-back theological commentary by a Dominican theologian explaining why the Novus Ordo Mass WAS VALID. This is the official English-speaking publication of the SSPX.Praying your Easter octave has been spiritually fruitful.

  • Brian Mershon

    Dear Fr. Newman: “In fact, Fr. Newman told his laity to rest at ease and to truly understand they would be adoring our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.”This shoud have read of course “In fact, Fr. Novak told his laity…”

  • Brian Mershon

    Blogging…I wrote: “He is the same Fr. Novak who is the Editor-in-Chief of Angelus magazine, and who recently ran a back-to-back theological commentary by a Dominican theologian explaining why the Novus Ordo Mass WAS VALID.”Corrected version: “He is the same Fr. Novak who is the Editor-in-Chief of Angelus magazine, and who recently ran a back-to-back theological commentary by a Dominican theologian explaining why the new rite of bishop ordinations WAS VALID.”Fr. Newman, you had indicated that it was perhaps the mainstream position of the SSPX that ordinations were INVALID. The official publication of the SSPX ran a series proving THEY WERE VALID.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08110491371985845560 kentuckyliz

    I don’t think a married Catholic priest is a good idea, because the Catholic Church teaches that artificial contraception is gravely evil, so parishes would have to support large priest families…and the parishioners would resent it because they can’t afford a litter of kids themselves and have to contracept to get by and feed their small families. Small parishes especially (like mine) cannot afford a married priest and his wife and fifteen children.A man who thinks he’s called to become a Catholic priest AND married should become Anglican first and then use the pastoral provision, or become a permanent deacon. We need more deacons!!!If he is already in the Eastern Rites they might welcome his vocation, but they frown on joining their rite for the purpose of becoming a married Catholic priest.Any priest who feels lonely isn’t doing it right. Without exception, all the priests I’ve known have had a lot of friends and the families have them over for dinner etc. Between the demands of the job and the social contact with friends and parish families, there’s hardly any time to be lonely.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X