I’m Dreaming of a White Propaganda

A distinction can be made between white and black propaganda.  White propaganda is basically an informercial.  You know someone is trying to sell you something and that they are going to spin the presentation in the interests of their sale.  Black propaganda, on the other hand, is false information from a source that pretends to be friendly but is actually hostile.

Leave it to the traditionalists to exploit Christmas for their anticonciliar views.  At least no one can fault them in this for a lack of transparency.

Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X promulgated a Christmas pastoral that impresses upon the faithful why the mystery of Christmas reveals to us the evils of the Second Vatican Council.  Merry Christmas everyone!

The King of peace, Rex pacificus. Here we would like to elaborate somewhat on this truth, which is so to speak at the heart of the crisis that is shaking the Church and affects the relations of the Society of St. Pius X with the Holy See.

Indeed, it seems to us that the basis for the current problem can be summed up as a loss of faith in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh! Of course many people protest that they believe that Jesus is God, but very few are ready to draw the practical consequences of that truth which will manifest itself in the sight of the whole world at the end of time.

Our Lord is the Head of the Church. But since He willed that His Church should be visible, after His ascension into heaven, He gave her a visible head, who is His Vicar on earth, Peter and his successors…. To him alone did Our Lord give the power to feed the sheep and the lambs, he alone has full, sovereign, and immediate authority over each and every member of the Church. That is why the Church has always proclaimed herself to be a monarchy, governed by one man. Certainly, the human character of government makes it quite understandable to seek counsel and the advice of wise persons, but a form of democracy imported into the Church by collegiality and by the parliamentary parody of bishops’ conferences allows all sorts of abuses and subjects to group pressure the decrees of Divine Law that declare that each diocese has only one head, the bishop of the locality.

Authority today is seriously shaken, not only outside, through the litigation of secular leaders who claim a share in government, but also within the Church, through the addition of a number of councils and commissions which, in today’s atmosphere, prevent the just exercise of the authority delegated by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The really unfortunate thing is that these kinds of ideas are gaining currency among those who are ostensibly “regular” and openly supportive of the present occupant of the Chair of St. Peter, as though Pope Benedict’s hermeneutic of continuity was a question rather than an answer.  Collegiality is anathema to the traditionalists because theirs is an elitist way of life in which the few have control over every aspect of the lives of the many.  “Who cares what the pope or an ecumenical council says if it does not confirm our airtight system of ideas?”

It is funny how everything, and I mean everything, points to the same conclusion, that the poor plebs in the pews should have more trust in Bishop Fellay than they should in Pope Benedict.  Aren’t you amazed that this little kernel of gold was hidden in the manger of Bethlehem?

It was news to me too.

132 thoughts on “I’m Dreaming of a White Propaganda

  1. Your article reminded me of the Lefeb types who claim to be infallibly Catholic but are actually as Protestant as was Luther himself. They buck and protest at the modern papacy while claiming to hold the remnant of fundamental Catholicism. On the other end of the spectrum are people who “love” their Catholic faith but pick and chose. The “cafeteria Catholic.” They are protestants of an unorthodox opinion. Like the FOX media mogul Sean Hannity. He is a major protestant. He just doesn’t know it.

  2. I believe it was Fr. Richard McBrien, a regular priest in good standing with the Universal Church who said “The best way to take down a ‘traditionalist’ is to get a ‘conservative’ to go after him.”

    If Marian chivalry has taught me nothing else… it has taught me to try and avoid these divisive terms “conservative”, “liberal”, “traditionalist”… when referring to the members of Christ’s body and His army. I have never seen you go after a Catholic bishop in this way before and I am rather surprised and somewhat disapointed that you have done so now. Would you attack another bishop in good standing who taught heterodoxy in this way? I would like to think you would. There is ample opportunity, you know. But would your superiors permit that?

    In bishop Fellay’s statement he tells you and I: “but a form of democracy imported into the Church by collegiality and by the parliamentary parody of bishops conferences allows all sorts of abuses and subjects to group pressure the decrees of Divine Law that declare that each diocese has only one head, the bishop of the locality.”, is in praxis, a correct summation of the type of collegiality we have today.

    Father, this type of parody and posturing is what allowed the bishops to equivocate… and finally loose the battle over federally funded abortion, which they subsequently lamented with a whimper. The same thing happened with so called “same sex unions” in NY… where the equivocation, ducking for cover, lying, and out and out running away by my own bishop was palpable indeed. It is the same kind of waffling which caused my own bishop once to write in our diocesan paper that “The state can make laws recognizing same sex unions”. A sentence which caused no small amount of confusion among many Catholics I know at the workplace who already hold pretty strange views on all the hot button issues because they have heard nothing at the pulpit for decades except pop psycohbabble and “separation of Church and State”.

    The best source of information if you wish to follow the money as it relates to the US Bishops Conference is RealCatholicTV.com: An organization that both Cardinal Burke and also your own fine order have actually given the “time of day”. That investigative reporting will most likely earn Michael Voris nothing but scorn from many of the ‘bishops in good standing’ in the USCC. Fortunately for Michael… he is a layman and so can not be threatened with suspension, interdict or ‘sensitivity training’ like so many who fight in the trenches but have taken vows. Is Fr. Michael Rodriguez one of these “trad baddies” you are referring to here?

    We live in an age in the Church where large percentages of monies collected in the pews help fund the “community organizer” who is presently occupying the White House… with the assistance of the USCC and that organization’s numerous and murky allies (The Catholic Campaign for Human Development or CCHD for example). It was Raymod Arroyo who informed us a few years back that he had discovered that “possibly more then half of the US bishops supported Mr. Obama’s election”. Collegiality, in it’s present form (and let’s not pretend that we have seen much of any other form in the last 40 years) subverts, suspends, dilutes and even perverts many of the intentions of this great pope and his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II. It does the same to many a man in the pew.

    This is not about the usus antiquior or so called “religious liberty”… it is about a loss of faith in all of us (myself included). That loss is the direct result of lack of catechesis… (lack of clear and unambiguous teaching) and you and I both know it.

    No! I, and many others dads found Bishop Fellay’s Christmas message far more relevant then we did our own ordinaries message. Why: Because he is right! I have never believed that the motto “pray, pay and obey” was essentially Catholic. Rather… as a Catholic man, father and protector of my family, intercessor for you and I and the whole Church… and fellow lover of Our Lady… I say “trust, but verify… AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO SEE WHAT I WE SEE” (as the rest of the saying actually goes).

    I have met many nut cases on both sides of this argument (so called “conservatives” versus so called “trads”). I am often shocked at how “conservatives” treat “protestant ideas” and “free-masonic institutions” with less contempt then they do for whatever they happen to consider a “traditionalist” at the time. I would not attempt to define any of these labels. Neither would I attempt to defend many of the bishops in the US or Europe who, through their effeminate silence have helped to bring us abortion, contraception, sodomy, divorce. Their silence and inaction over the decades has been deafening! We have Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s word for it when he said this about the gradual acceptance of abortion. He said “We cold not have done this without the SILENCE (emphasis mine) of the Catholic Bishops”. When Mother Angelica was bitterly persecuted by a ‘Cardinal in good standing” for simply defending Our Lord’s honor in the Blessed Sacrament… even the Holy Father could not protect her from the outrage of many bishops who hated her. I see her case and bishop Fellay’s case as similar, though not identical. Indeed, I remember when high ranking members of the US Bishops conference spoke to John Paul II publicly on one of his visits to the US… where their main spokesman (+Rembert Weakland), used high sounding words to chastise our beloved Polish pastor for attempting to uphold the dignity of marriage, the support of Humanae Vitae, the value of papal authority. You should read +Weakland’s book since he is a retired bishop in good standing. It is very illuminating if one wishes to be an active homosexual operating inside the Church.

    Let me conclude with this: I have never stepped foot in an SSPX chapel… and I will never do so until they are regularized. But I will never again as a Catholic say “pray, pay, obey”. And I will never deride our brethren in the SSPX in the way you have done here. At the same time… I honor and respect the OFFICE of my own bishop which is that of Christ. And I remind you also that that same respect afforded my bishop ought to be given to bishop Fellay. It is much easier to go after a bishop in his situation then to go after many others in “good standing” who hold far more absurd ideas then merely questioning “collegiality” in it’s present form.

    I have known you to be knight who is not afraid to take risks for Our Lady and for the whole Church at times. I have respect for your immense knowledge (which is greater than mine, I will happily admit). You and I can agree that “where Peter is… there is the Church”. You may have encountered some pretty nutty folks who call themselves “traditionalist”. I have encountered some pretty nutty folks who call themselves “conservative Catholics”. But deriding the plight of either of them for whatever reason is beneath you… and I can only hope that you were having a bad day. I am not perfect… and can lapse into rash words at times. If I have done so in the past… I am sorry. Nevertheless… I would not pretend that I believe Bishop Fellay’s intent was that “that the poor plebs in the pews should have more trust in Bishop Fellay than they should in Pope Benedict.”

    Ave Maria! Bob Fox and family

  3. If what Bishop fellay says is true, if the Pope appointed by Christ himself as the “Monarch”, the “protector of the flock”, the “feeder of the flock” decides to rely on collegiality, then it is so.

    Why is it that the inspiration of the Holy spirit in the Holy Fathers decisions are only acknowledged when it is in line with the dissenter’s point of view?

    I know this is essentially what you have already said but… I just had to weigh in.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. If Bishop Fellay (and +Fellay is indeed a Catholic bishop, like it or not) or any lay person is considered “the enemy” merely for questioning something as debatable as the modern day version of collegiality… then we have indeed become the Church of denial and silence.

    If we want 45 more years of demographic and moral implosion… then we ought not to question anything. We can become like dying Europe. Let’s just MAKE BELIEVE everything said by the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X is wrong!

    NOT!

    There would have been no liturgical reform without people like +Fellay or Mother Angelica (who was once forbidden to allow priests to offer the Mass ad-orientum… and who was asked to issue an apology for criticizing a Cardinal Mahoney “pastoral letter” on the Eucharist which borderlines on the heretical. Mother disobeyed that request which came personally from Cardinal O’Connor. Anyone who has been paying attention for the past 20 years knows the rest of the story there. If you don’t know the story then read Ray Arroyo’s account.

    In the end.. history showed us that Mother was like a kind of Joan of Arc. I believe that the greatest heroes in the Church were the men and women who fought for reform and risked their own vocations to do it. Some did it with obedience like Saint Dom Bosco. Others did it with painful defiance and the threat of excommunication, excloistration, interdict, suspension… etc. But both groups had one thing in common: An awareness of the Kingship of Christ which caused them to be ridiculed by ‘both sides’ in the battle.

    Though I do not agree with the Society’s ‘necessity defense’ as stated in Canon Law… I do understand it. I also know that even in the present day… men in the FSSP must be extremely careful when they teach against sins that cry out to heaven… lest the local bishop kick them out on account of their zeal. The SSPX, on the other hand… is free to preach the hard word in authentic charity. And if you look at the demographics… particularly in the French SSPX districts… you will see that the conversions are numerous… as are the vocations!

    If +Fellay is such a bad guy, then why did Pope Benedict write him a congratulatory letter when +Fellay was once again elected superior general of his order?

    It is good that bishop and layman are questioning modern day “collegiality”. Having dealt with some of these “committees” and “councils” at various times.. .I can tell you that they do indeed operate like pseudo assemblies which “allows all sorts of abuses and subjects to group pressure the decrees of Divine Law that declare that each diocese has only one head, the bishop of the locality”

    Servus, Bob Fox

  5. With respect, if any bishop refuses to acknowledge the authority of the Second Vatican Council (as bishop Fellay does) then he leaves himself open for criticism. I mean, really… the bishop can criticize the Pope and the Council but we can’t criticize the bishops’ views? Dissent is dissent whether it comes from radical liberals or elitist traditionalists. Same cloth.

  6. I believe it was Fr. Richard McBrien, a regular priest in good standing with the Universal Church who said “The best way to take down a ‘traditionalist’ is to get a ‘conservative’ to go after him.”

    The best way to critique anything is from the inside. Your statement proves nothing. Mentioning Fr. McBrien is guilt by association without the slightest evidence that such association is warranted. Do you really think that traditionalists are beyond critique? Frankly, in my long experience with traditionalists, if find this typical. McBrien simply capitalizes on the fact that he knows that traditionalists cannot sustain criticism. Their airtight syllogisms must stand unscratched or their whole ideology comes down like a house of cards.

    I have never seen you go after a Catholic bishop in this way before and I am rather surprised and somewhat disapointed that you have done so now. Would you attack another bishop in good standing who taught heterodoxy in this way? I would like to think you would. There is ample opportunity, you know. But would your superiors permit that?

    I am not going to try to prove to you my orthodox credentials. I really don’t care what anyone thinks about my choice to critique traditionalists, and I don’t care who I get mad at me. Traditionalists identify themselves as such, and the term sticks. There are plenty of those who stand outside the modernist fold that critique modernism for their traditional readers. Your complaint just proves the assumption of my post, that traditionalists are largely incapable of self-examination. I preach against the vices of the congregations (readers, viewers) that are present to me. I don’t bother to preach against other congregations’ vices in order to indulge the tastes of my own fold. I experience traditionalism up close and personal. I know it from the inside. It squirms when you put a finger on it.

    In bishop Fellay’s statement he tells you and I: “but a form of democracy imported into the Church by collegiality and by the parliamentary parody of bishops conferences allows all sorts of abuses and subjects to group pressure the decrees of Divine Law that declare that each diocese has only one head, the bishop of the locality.”, is in praxis, a correct summation of the type of collegiality we have today.

    There is no question that the nonsense perpetrated by bishops is your strongest argument and my weakest link. But traditionalist apologetics, history and theological analysis, ala Bishops Fellay and Williamson, Roberto De Mattei and Mons. Brunero Gherardini, are not efforts at straightforward intellectual assessment. There is always an axe to grind against the Holy Fathers and the Council. It is always propaganda, a syllogism bent to prove a predetermined conclusion: all at the expense of the position advocated by the Vicar of Christ.

    Bishop Fellay is not simply critiquing collegiality gone-wild. He sets up a straw man and engages in revisionist history. Traditionalists want to reclaim Christendom on the Medieval model, but paint that structure of society as though it was a centralized solution imposed from above by an absolutist monarchy. Regine Pernoud has pointed out that feudal obligations developed connaturally from one to one relationships between real men and were not imposed from above by a centralized authority. Nor were kingdoms absolutist centralized authorities. There were limits on the powers of all nobles. Even the obligations of military service were limited. A knight was obligated to only forty days a year of military service to his feudal lord. Pernoud makes a clear distinction between Medieval feudal kingdoms and modern absolutist monarchies.

    But Fellay and the members of the traditionalist intelligentsia are metaphysical elitists who believe that collegiality per se is anathema because they cannot tolerate any form of egalitarianism, even if it is simply based on the inherent dignity of the human person. The irony, of course, is that you and I are having this argument, which is essentially about the nature of the papacy, and I am defending the current holder of the keys, and you a bishop who was ordained without authorization and who currently holds no jurisdiction within the Church. Fellay supports an absolutist papacy but then decides when he will obey his king and when he will not. Nice.

    Father, this type of parody and posturing is what allowed the bishops to equivocate… and finally loose the battle over federally funded abortion, which they subsequently lamented with a whimper. The same thing happened with so called “same sex unions” in NY… where the equivocation, ducking for cover, lying, and out and out running away by my own bishop was palpable indeed. It is the same kind of waffling which caused my own bishop once to write in our diocesan paper that “The state can make laws recognizing same sex unions”. . . .

    The best source of information if you wish to follow the money as it relates to the US Bishops Conference is RealCatholicTV.com: An organization that both Cardinal Burke and also your own fine order have actually given the “time of day”. That investigative reporting will most likely earn Michael Voris nothing but scorn from many of the ‘bishops in good standing’ in the USCC. Fortunately for Michael… he is a layman and so can not be threatened with suspension, interdict or ‘sensitivity training’ like so many who fight in the trenches but have taken vows. Is Fr. Michael Rodriguez one of these “trad baddies” you are referring to here?

    [etc., etc.]

    It is another straw man to paint this argument as one between those who support Bishop Fellay and those who support modernist bishops. That is not what is going on here–not at all. I unequivocally support the Second Vatican Council and all its documents and completely accept the teaching of the conciliar and post conciliar popes, two of whom are blesseds and one of whom is a servant of God. Traditionalists and modernists have much in common, not least of which is to talk about their opinions as though they were dogmas and then to stuff them down everyone’s throat. The fact is whenever someone asserts an opinion contrary to that of the Vicar of Christ, whether the pope’s opinion rises to the level of infallible teaching or not, that person’s conviction is nothing more than a purely private opinion. You want to disagree with an ecumenical council and four popes (JP I would make five), who all line up in unwavering unanimity, then knock yourself out, but I for one will resist you just the way I resist the modernist. Your opinion is nothing more than your opinion. Good luck with that.

    I am glad you mention Michael Voris. I always thought he was bit of a well-intentioned blowhard, until I saw his video on Catholic Government and then the subsequent pseudo-retraction and finally a later interview in which he made it clear that he meant everything he said in the original video and had changed nothing. His ideology is fascism. And he is exactly like his modernist counterparts, capable of tyranny. I wrote him privately on the matter and he told me I completely misunderstood him. In fact, I was in his kitchen and he didn’t like it. Modernism is a plague, but I am not going to stand silent when extremists of another sort proclaim from the rooftops that they have the solution and everyone is duty bound to follow a exclusive group of intellectual elites.

    Let me conclude with this: I have never stepped foot in an SSPX chapel… and I will never do so until they are regularized. But I will never again as a Catholic say “pray, pay, obey”. And I will never deride our brethren in the SSPX in the way you have done here. At the same time… I honor and respect the OFFICE of my own bishop which is that of Christ. And I remind you also that that same respect afforded my bishop ought to be given to bishop Fellay. It is much easier to go after a bishop in his situation then to go after many others in “good standing” who hold far more absurd ideas then merely questioning “collegiality” in it’s present form.

    “Pray and obey” is a caricature of my position and it is traditionalist boilerplate that I have heard many times. I utterly reject it. Don’t bother using it with me.

    I was left in wonder, when after the September 14 meeting of the SSPX with the CDF, the blogs sympathetic to the society were overflowing with optimism and they all treated the hermeneutic of continuity of Pope Benedict like it was an invitation to question him on the point. Mons. Gherardini ten days later, republished his politically motivated open letter to the pope. The fact is that the society never showed the slightest sign that it was about to accept the hermeneutic of continuity or that it was willing to sign the doctrinal preamble, and the sympathizers of the SSPX are not merely sympathizing with the society’s rejection of modernist episcopal dereliction of duty, but with the its anti-conciliar and anti-papal ideas.

    I have known you to be knight who is not afraid to take risks for Our Lady and for the whole Church at times. I have respect for your immense knowledge (which is greater than mine, I will happily admit). You and I can agree that “where Peter is… there is the Church”. You may have encountered some pretty nutty folks who call themselves “traditionalist”. I have encountered some pretty nutty folks who call themselves “conservative Catholics”. But deriding the plight of either of them for whatever reason is beneath you… and I can only hope that you were having a bad day. I am not perfect… and can lapse into rash words at times. If I have done so in the past… I am sorry. Nevertheless… I would not pretend that I believe Bishop Fellay’s intent was that “that the poor plebs in the pews should have more trust in Bishop Fellay than they should in Pope Benedict.”

    Bob, I have been criticized for my style many times in the past, especially in respect to the Theology of the Body. You never complained then. My experience is that in these arguments critique of style is evasion of substance. I have never played dirty. I have never been intellectually dishonest. I fight fair. I say what I mean and put my name to what I say and am willing to defend my ideas without evasion and without pretending that my opinion is anything else than my opinion. I don’t care what anyone thinks of my style. Traditionalist ideologues like Fellay are precisely engaged in the effort to secure for themselves greater trust in their opinions on the part of the faithful, than is rendered to the Vicar of Christ. If you cannot see that you are a blind man.

  7. Bob @ December 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

    You are not the enemy Bob. Your comments are welcome. You don’t have to agree with me. I just don’t agree with you. And I don’t think anyone should treat your opinion or my opinion, or bishop Fellay’s opinion or anyone else’s opinion as though they had any special importance when compared to that of an ecumenical council (even if only pastoral) and the popes who unanimously defend it (complete with religious liberty, collegiality and liturgical reform). You want to have a different opinion, then knock yourself out. You and your traditionalist friends are not more Catholic than the pope. And there is not anyone on this planet who should think themselves the least bit obliged in conscience not to resist traditionalist ideology just the same way they resist modernist ideology.

  8. Agreed, Steve. At least the liberals are honest about their lack of moral certainty. Claiming that my objective truth is superior to yours is simply relativism of the right wing variety.

    This why Our Lord made a Pope in the first place. Trying to “take the helm” of the Barque of Peter is effectively mutiny, even if done through good intentions. If you believe that he does not have his eyes on the rocks it may be that you do not have key parts of the map!

  9. Fr.: Superb reply. Thanks for taking the time really.

    But you seem to be saying that anyone who has sympathy for some of the positions of Michael Voris or Bishop Fellay are… well… “traditionalists”. You also seem to be saying that all of the “traditionalists” you know seem at least to you to wholeheartedly and without exception completely reject the documents of the Second Vatican Council. We must agree to disagree on those assertions.

    I don’t have any “traditionalist” friends Father. Like you, I have friends who seek an orthodox catechesis and a priesthood which is not effeminate or Marxist or modernist. For that reason we drive many, many miles to go to confession or to assist at Mass in an approved (regularized) venue… and we read blogs of guys like you who really don’t care what people think of them. I think you have “pigeon holed” me (and possibly some of my friends who you may have spoken with) into the wrong hole. If you want to stick a label on me… please don’t call me a “traditionalist”. If you must call me anything but Bob… please call me an orthodox sinner in the Roman Catholic Church under Peter. It may be true that my family and I have a preference for the old (sung) Mass… but hopefully that is our only major sin. Please also remember that I returned to the One True Church though the New Mass back in my 20s… and am not ignorant of the flexibility and beauty which can also be derived from the celebration thereof (your own celebration of the divine repast being a very good example of the beauty which the New Mass can give us).

    I did not have a problem with what ended up being your TOB Compendium because it made sense, was consonant with what has always been believed, and it at no time made a ‘super theology’ out of Blessed John Paul II’s writings. But what impressed me most was the kindness you showed and the charity you displayed by never once questioning the motives or guessing the interior disposition of the person of Christopher West. You never said (sarcastically): ‘I’m glad that the world has finally unraveled the gem which is Christopher West’s take on TOB…”. You simply did your homework and gave it all you had for your flock (even those who are on the other side of the sound).

    I can not tell if you are saying you reject the notion of ‘pray, pay, obey’… or if you are rejecting the fact that I am using it as a means to simply point out that +Fellay makes some valid points… and that men of good will are free to discuss those points without being called “traditionalists”, “dissenters” or “upside-down protestants”.

    I am not intentionally trying to “evade substance”. I would not be engaging you if I did not believe I had something to learn from the exchange (which kind of proves that I’m no “traditionalist”… now that I actually think about it).

    I AM asking if you would take a regularized bishop to task in the same way you have done so with +Fellay. I am not trying to put you on the spot in an unkind way here… and you don’t have to actually answer me (it’s a rhetorical question). It is a difficult question in the sense that in the present day Church: “no good deed goes unpunished”. You seem to be evaluating his motives in a manner that I have never before seen you do with anyone else. And that is not consistent with what I know about you and the way you treat error. You usually have a much more… well… kind tone. You usually discuss the error and leave the person out of it as much as you can. That kindness is lacking here… and we are actually dealing with a Catholic bishop here… no?

    Finally, I (nor ANY of my friends) do not reject the Second Vatican Council documents. But I am aware that there are developments in the documents which seem to be a break with sacred tradition… and men of good will… when they are off on Christmas vacation… can legitimately discuss them. Even bishops… while waiting for regularization ought to be allowed to discuss them.

    Perhaps you are right! Perhaps this is really a discussion about the nature of the papacy. Well… fine… I’m listening.

    For now.. I’m going to read over a few more times… your more lengthy comment to me in the hopes of gleaning something of value that I did not know already. It is a lengthy and worthwhile discussion… and again… I thank you for the time you have invested. I imagine that both of us will soon have to get back to work on the real things which God calls each of us to do. But in the mean time (while basking in the glow of the Nativity), I wish you and all the people there a Blessed and Happy Christmas.

    IHJMJ Bob

  10. Robert Fox @ December 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    But you seem to be saying that anyone who has sympathy for some of the positions of Michael Voris or Bishop Fellay are… well… “traditionalists”. You also seem to be saying that all of the “traditionalists” you know seem at least to you to wholeheartedly and without exception completely reject the documents of the Second Vatican Council. We must agree to disagree on those assertions.

    Bob, I define “traditionalist” as someone who holds his opinion of Tradition, that is, his reading of Church documents to be the measure of judgment of the teaching of the reigning pope. I do not hold that it is never licit to question this or that teaching or this or that disciplinary norm, when it is done appropriately and with the intention of ultimate submission. Traditionalism is something else. It is a habit of mind, an airtight system of thought which sets itself against an ecumenical council and fifty years of papal teaching. I do not hold that a man is a traditionalist only if he “wholeheartedly and without exception completely reject[s] the documents of the Second Vatican Council.” I hold him to be a traditionalist because he engages in a hermeneutic of suspicion in regard to the Council and the conciliar and postconciliar popes. I would generally apply such a definition to someone who manifests such opinions publically as a change agent set against the living magisterium.

    For this reason, I believe “pray and obey” is a caricature of my position. There is nothing at all wrong or derelict about preferring prayer and obedience to an active resistance to an ecumenical council and the popes who have defended it, but such a preference in no way implies some necessary refusal to actively resist evil. Personally, with all due respect, I think such a suggestion applied to me is ludicrous.

    I think you have “pigeon holed” me (and possibly some of my friends who you may have spoken with) into the wrong hole. If you want to stick a label on me… please don’t call me a “traditionalist”. If you must call me anything but Bob… please call me an orthodox sinner in the Roman Catholic Church under Peter. It may be true that my family and I have a preference for the old (sung) Mass…

    I have no objection against the old Mass and am happy to celebrate it. However, I do not hold that that the Extraordinary Form ought to be the Ordinary Form. I do not believe it is superior to the novus ordo or that it is more pleasing to God than the new form of the rite. I know there are arguments to the contrary. They do not have the support of the Council or any of the conciliar or postconciliar popes. I will not fault anyone for their opinion on the matter, as long as they understand it is only their opinion. However, if they commit themselves to be a change agent on the basis of their belief, I will, in perfect good faith and with a Catholic conscience, resist them as the traditionalists they are. I do not believe one single Catholic anywhere or at any time should have the old rite imposed on them, and I happen to know for a fact, that there are many traditionalists who are precisely intent upon the abolition of the new rite.

    If I have applied the term “traditionalist” to you or your friends inaccurately, I apologize. I reacted on the basis of the exception you took to my critique of Bishop Fellay who is clearly a traditionalist and who makes no apologies for his traditionalism.

    I did not have a problem with what ended up being your TOB Compendium because it made sense, was consonant with what has always been believed, and it at no time made a ‘super theology’ out of Blessed John Paul II’s writings. But what impressed me most was the kindness you showed and the charity you displayed by never once questioning the motives or guessing the interior disposition of the person of Christopher West. You never said (sarcastically): ‘I’m glad that the world has finally unraveled the gem which is Christopher West’s take on TOB…”. You simply did your homework and gave it all you had for your flock (even those who are on the other side of the sound).

    Bob, my critique of Christopher West & Co., for better or worse, was laced throughout with sarcasm. Those I critiqued continually complained of my lack of charity. I don’t know what compendium you were reading. I was less combative when my opponents were not evasive and when they did not complain about being criticized. I have always realized that when I enter into a controversy of my own free will that my views are fair game and even my modus operandi is subject to critique. I have never complained that I was criticized, not even when I was told I had been uncharitable, though I may not have agreed with the criticism. My critique of Fellay is no different. As I said, your comments here are most welcome. However, in fact, I would say that compared to my critiques of, say for example, Father Loya, my critique of Bishop Fellay was quite brief and tame.

    I can not tell if you are saying you reject the notion of ‘pray, pay, obey’… or if you are rejecting the fact that I am using it as a means to simply point out that +Fellay makes some valid points… and that men of good will are free to discuss those points without being called “traditionalists”, “dissenters” or “upside-down protestants”.

    You are most free to debate whatever you want, just as I am free to critique Bishop Fellay. I don’t see how your point, on the one hand, justifies a generous and kit-glove consideration of Bishop Fellay and on the other hand invalidates my contention that his opinions when compared to an ecumenical council and the popes is really not worthy of my respect. I have no expectations of my opinions receiving any respect simply because they are my opinions. You can think what you want and say what you want about my opinions. Accept them or reject them. It is up to you. But anyone who freely criticizes an ecumenical council is fair game. You don’t like it. Too bad.

    I AM asking if you would take a regularized bishop to task in the same way you have done so with +Fellay. I am not trying to put you on the spot in an unkind way here… and you don’t have to actually answer me (it’s a rhetorical question). It is a difficult question in the sense that in the present day Church: “no good deed goes unpunished”. You seem to be evaluating his motives in a manner that I have never before seen you do with anyone else. And that is not consistent with what I know about you and the way you treat error. You usually have a much more… well… kind tone. You usually discuss the error and leave the person out of it as much as you can. That kindness is lacking here… and we are actually dealing with a Catholic bishop here… no?

    I think it is interesting that my critique of Bishop Fellay is really not under examination here, but the fact that I critiqued him at all, and especially that I did not do it nicely. That is fine by me because more important to me than his use of the mystery of Christmas for his propaganda purposes, is the traditionalist hermeneutic of suspicion that is incapable of self-examination and of tolerating outside critique. You do not seem to see the irony of being taken aback by the critique of a bishop with no jurisdiction to teach, govern and sanctify who has never hesitated to critique an ecumenical council and the popes who have defended it. He can critique the pope without being questioned, but I cannot critique him without being examined for my consistency? Ironic.

    I generally do not criticize bishops publically because I am a superior in an ecclesiastically approved institute that has policies that each member needs to respect. Furthermore, not only does the example of St. Francis not sustain such a habit of mind, my own experience leaves me with a particular responsibility that I will attempt to explain. I have been a religious in my community for twenty-five years or so and a priest for twenty. The problems that I deal with on a day-to-day basis are not modernist problems. If anything they are tradtitionalist problems. Anytime someone sets themselves against an ecumenical council and fifty years of papal teaching, they step out into the realm of personal opinion, which is never objectively binding on anyone’s conscience. At the very heart of my objection is the moral weight traditionalists attach to their opinions and the vigor with which they attempt to convict the consciences of others. I am not denying anyone’s right to their personal opinion, only asserting mine to resist them absolutely and without apology.

    As I have said the bishops are their own worst enemies and make my position hard to defend. I openly admit that. However, no one is going to die for modernism, but they will for traditionalism, and traditionalist absolutism is akin the fascist nationalism that is arising in Europe in the face of the secularist denial of Europe’s Christian roots. In fact, Catholic traditionalism is related philosophically to Perennialism, that both in religious and secular contexts is playing footsie with political fascism. BTW, anyone willing to think their way through Michael Voris’ argument for the disenfranchisement of the non-virtuous will know that such a thing can only be accomplished at the point of the gun. Do some research on the SSPX and you will find some very unsavory political connections. No, I do not, nor will I cultivate a hermeneutic of suspicion in regard to the magisterium in defense of fascists, schismatics and self-appointed elitists.

    My critique and my responses to you simply point out the irony of a man who stands on his episcopal dignity and who is defended for that reason, while he himself attacks the very basis for the authority he would have if he were actually a bishop with jurisdiction, which he is not. The whole thing drips with irony.

    I am not evaluating the hidden motives of Bishop Fellay. I am simply taking him and the society at their word. As late as April of this year he stated that the beatification of John Paul II and the day of prayer at Assisi would lead to the eternal loss of souls. The leaders of the society continue to consider the Council a rupture with tradition. Bishop Fellay uses the mystery of Christmas to promote his anti-conciliar views. His beef is not with the abuses of collegiality, but with collegiality itself. He has a problem with collegiality not because of the dangers of its abuses, but because he and his ilk are elitists.

    Finally, I (nor ANY of my friends) do not reject the Second Vatican Council documents. But I am aware that there are developments in the documents which seem to be a break with sacred tradition… and men of good will… when they are off on Christmas vacation… can legitimately discuss them. Even bishops… while waiting for regularization ought to be allowed to discuss them.

    Perhaps you are right! Perhaps this is really a discussion about the nature of the papacy. Well… fine… I’m listening.

    If you think that “there are developments in the documents [of Vatican II] which seem to be a break with sacred tradition,” then read Pope Benedict’s December 22, 2005 address to the Roman Curia. The CDF reasserted the principles laid down there in the doctrinal preamble. Pope Benedict continues to resist making the distinctions between infallible and fallible teaching, between dogmatic and pastoral, to be the hermeneutical keys to the interpretation of the Council. He insists on the distinction between the hermeneutic of continuity and reform as opposed that of rupture. But you know this.

    If anyone wants to publically call this into question, who am I to say that they can’t, but who are they to say that I am not free to resist and contradict them in good faith just as publically and even more vehemently? This I promise I will continue to do, and I will not be bothered with criticism of my style.

    A very Merry and Blessed Christmas, and may you be bathed in the light of its mystery and in the wealth of the blessings of the Second Vatican Council.

  11. Dear Fr. You make some excellent points which I promise I will chew on. I will indeed reread the Dec 22nd 2005 address to the Curia… and perhaps I will reread it with new eyes.

    Regarding the Mass… I see now… after 4 years of the motu proprio SP… that forcing the Tridentine rite on anyone is wrong. I may not have thought that back in 2007… but I do so now. I base this upon a variety of factors having seen the interesting and mixed reactions from priests, religious and lay men and women who much prefer altar girls, standing while receiving, more secular sounding music and an atmosphere which is entirely different from a sung High Mass. I’m not saying that with any judgement.. it just IS what it IS… and I know good “conservative” (whatever that means) Catholics who just feel that way. Do I think it’s kind of strange? You bet I do. But equally strange to me are those who only want to go to a Low Mass with no responses (no dialog at all), no Hymns and a very short homily.

    But I believe these things are an effect… not a cause.

    It’s funny that you have to struggle against ‘traditionalist’ problems as a superior… (and I take you at your word on that) but that I have to struggle against modernist problems here in my own role in life. Sin is sin and extremes are a part of sin.

    I understand your definition of a “traditionalist” now that you have clearly defined it… and I believe that at times (particularly after my parish was taken over by homosexual apologists in 2008) that it may have briefly hardened me into that. But I have also seen the “other side of the coin” which you describe… though thankfully, I do not have to deal with that every day. Also, I can see how “smells and bells” can be used by either extreme for the sake of a particular psychological/political agenda which is not necessarily that of the Holy Father’s plan nor that of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

    For whatever reason (my own density, perhaps), I did not “get” the sarcasm in your work on TOB. The only (snarky) thing I remember was a post you created AFTER Mr. West came back into “business” as it were… after a shortened hiatus (with more of the same). Beyond that… I thought you were pretty tame.

    It is true that I probably give the council (V-II) less importance then my pastor in Rome does… but at the end of the day… I have to try and get my small brain around what he is saying and doing. During my years of formation in a lay community… we spent days and nights reading and discussing the Second Vatican Council documents (as well as a few pre counciliar ones). Honestly, I have often found the more recent documents to be more confusing than earlier documents… and I am not faulting the Second Vatican Council for that… but I am saying they are less clear to me… their language being much more open to interpretation than older councils and documents of the Church in my poorly educated opinion. That is just my opinion… but it does not cause me to look with suspicion upon the Council or Benedict or John Paul I or john Paul II.

    I CAN see how believing that an absolute Christian (or any other) monarchy would only enforce someone’s bad interpretation at the point of a gun. That is true now more then ever. A the same time.. I have read historical accounts of the church quickly exiting the sphere of influence in governments in South America immediately after the Council (and for the sake if the ideals articulated in the council)… only to be quickly replaced by a Marxist regime there. And I remember the Puebla conference which was in 1979 and which was Blessed John Paul’s first big challenge in the Americas.

    I will indeed try and have a Merry Christmas. I have enjoyed discussing this with you and hope you forgive me for “jumping down your throat”. I still think that +Fellay makes (and has always made) some excellent points… and I am not surprised at all that he sent the “doctrinal preamble” back to the CDF. I would seriously doubt that the Holy Father would be surprised by that action either. Other then Rorate Caele… I really don’t frequent “traditionalist” blogs. And I don’t give much weight to the comments on Rorate… but rather just the news and the meditations for the liturgical season.

    I do hope SSPX are regularized soon since I believe that “a rising tide lifts all boats”. And by that I mean that any “broken family” being re-united represents a “rising tide”. The extremists (and I’m sure every SSPX chapel has some minority of them) will never come back… and they will end up sede vacantists. But I believe that as long as the CDF does not try and get the leaders of the order to sign on to V-II being some kind of “super council”, that they may have the courage to come back. And while I know that there are many bishops who would never wish to see them back in the fold (but who at the same time fall all over themselves when it comes to other Christian and non-Christian sects)… I also know that it would be best for all if they were regularized for more reasons then I have time to enumerate here.

    As a side note, when the secretary of E.D. under Cardinal Hoyos indicated many years ago that “one could fulfill their Sunday obligation at an SSPX chapel” as long as they were not “seeking to perpetuate separation”… I chose not to take my family there. My reasons for that are, and remain… due to the fact that there IS an “aura of suspicion” which hangs over anything new or different… and at times is hyper critical of the Council and the Popes. Though I do not consider the Second Vatican Council as exceedingly important compared to other councils… I still do not wish to subject my wife and children to a kind if habit of thinking which continually puts the present day magisterium under a microscope.

    So there you have it. I’m open to changes in my position on any of these things if you can show me a fault in my reasoning. I am not so “cock sure” of anything other then the fact that our problem in the world and in the Church is NOT a “crisis of culture”… but rather a “crisis of faith”. And that crisis is top-down or bottom-up, depending upon how you look at it.

    As for “blessings of the Second Vatican Council”… I still think it’s too early to tell. You may be right… since the “good-ol-days” weren’t really that good. But the present day isn’t much better and demographically I think we can both agree that it is worse. I say that because the clericalism which the council seemed to be trying to eradicate has only morphed from a kind of “conservative clericalism” into a kind of “liberal clericalism”. And here I am referring to both “lay” and professed states in life. I am referring to “career Catholicism”.

    So in the end… I agree with you on the dangers of “traditionalism”… though at one time, for a short time, I may have considered calling myself that. But as I live longer… I am beginning to despise the words “conservative”, “liberal'”, “traditionalist”… and so many of the other labels we use.

    Ave Maria! Bob and family.

  12. “Anytime someone sets themselves against an ecumenical council and fifty years of papal teaching, they step out into the realm of personal opinion, which is never objectively binding on anyone’s conscience. At the very heart of my objection is the moral weight traditionalists attach to their opinions and the vigor with which they attempt to convict the consciences of others. I am not denying anyone’s right to their personal opinion, only asserting mine to resist them absolutely and without apology.”

    For this stance, I am personally grateful. Thank you.

    Jesus in His infinite wisdom knew enough to not only send the Holy Spirit to guide us, but to put a vicar in charge with a group of apostles to help out. (This helps assure that we all don’t go on our own tangents as we discern the guidance from the Holy Spirit. ) Although at times I do look at some of the Orthodox and SSPX groups as having been more successful in keeping sacred reverence intact, every time I start to continue along that line of thinking, I come back to the notion that without St. Peter at the helm, we are all destined for a Protestant stance of some sort.

    p.s. These blogs are excellent at forcing me to grow in my faith. I have missed them. I had to look up “perennialism”, “collegiality”, “conciliar papal teachings” as well as “hermeneutics” – every time you use this term, I have to re-look it up! Pathetic of me, I know but I’m grateful to be forced to grow.

  13. BTW, interesting assessment of Mr. Voris. I have oscillated back and forth as to what I think of him and his ministry. At first, I was totally turned off and felt he had the obnoxious style of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. We haven’t gotten Foxnews in years but when we used to, I usually agreed with much of what they said but disliked HOW they said it. Anyway, I just didn’t care for Michael’s style. As my husband has often said, how a person states something is almost as important as what he states. The message can get lost with a lousy messenger or an abrasive one. But, I continued to listen to his free offerings on RealCatholictv.com and felt that I was learning things that I otherwise wouldn’t learn. My husband, however, really does not care for him and he doesn’t even agree wtih what he has to say at times. I really never thought of him as a fascist and must have missed some of the episodes to which you referred. Definitely disturbing. But, I’m not sure he’s REALLY suggesting this Catholic Dictatorship though he believes it would be ideal. He definitely likes the shock factor. I have commented on his abrasiveness before on Facebook and he (or his staff) didn’t have a very nice reply. Whatever. In the end, thank goodness for our non-Catholic Evangelical voters! I cannot even imagine where we’d be without them, I’m sad to say.

  14. Here is the thing: Bp. Fellay is right, the Second Vatican council was a disaster of historic proportions, and whining about it because they say things that make the author of this article feel bad doesnt change a damned thing.

    Collegiality is a heresy. Catholics — particularly Catholic hierarchs — should have the courage and the intellectual honesty to admit it so the Church can get back into the business of saving souls, and out of the business of avoiding the tough questions.

    In Christo per Mariam,

  15. All: I would not call collegiality a “heresy” (that would be historically inaccurate and would definitely put me against the reigning pope and all of his predecessors). However, I would describe the present type of collegiality as an utter disaster.

    As for the Council… there are some beautiful texts in the Council documents and there are some things which, from a linguistic/theological perspective are veritable time-bombs. Even some of the authors (now deceased) of some of these texts admitted post-facto that they were intentionally inserting language which could be taken in multiple ways. There are now some courageous bishops and even a few cardinals that are willing to call into question… not the council itself… but the novel interpretations thereof. I call them courageous because their intellectual honesty is not clouded by a sense of fidelity which can be emotionally confusing to some, scandalous to others, and can often cause a chilling and lonely effect when one questions the “status quo”.

    Not every word of a pastoral council is infallible. Not every thing a pope says and writes is infallible. But many Catholics go even further than infallibility and somehow think that impeccability is what they must ascribe to any utterance even remotely connected with the supreme pontiff.

    As for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass… I will only repeat here what the principal architect of the new Mass said: “We will make the new Mass inoffensive to even the most modernist of protestants”.

    It would go against my own sense of honesty if I tried to convince myself (for the sake of an exaggerated sense of obedience and the naturally human desire to get along) that the new Mass was some how pastorally equivalent to the Tridentine rite when it simply is not so. Does that kind of thinking in some way put me ‘against the pope and the magisterium’? NO. Even if I were to be accused of being an ‘agent of change’ as Fr. Angelo alluded to when defining a traditionalist… it would not make me an enemy of the Church or the Holy Father. Why? The whole MEANING of being a follower of Jesus Christ is to be an agent of change. In obedience to the Church we all do the best we can… and God in His Mercy accepts that. We must do that while being honest. And as a layman, I have no strings attached to me other then my own (regularized) confessor… who I most certainly run what I have learned by so that I do not slide down the slippery slope of perdition (a very simple thing for any Irishman, I can assure you).

    Has anyone here read in full Cardinal Ratzinger’s various writings on the liturgy? Has anyone here read Michael Davies? (I have not yet… but I plan to read all three of his books on the Mass). Also… has anyone here read the Holy Father’s motu proprio: Summorum Pontificum or the accompanying letter? (Tiny URL for that below):
    http://tinyurl.com/2uw5un

    How about the recent letter by the Cardinal Leveda regarding the Tridentine Rite called. This can be found here:
    http://tinyurl.com/3b7khct

    Before I do much else today.. I plan to read the address that His Holiness gave to the curia in 2005 (tinyURL below) which Fr. Angelo recommended:

    http://tinyurl.com/guu7f

    Have a Happy, Holy and Blessed New year all.

    IJM Bob

  16. Ceolfrid:

    You want to ditch collegiality, but follow the pope (I assume). However when the pope preaches adherence to collegiality, you somehow find a way to dismiss this teaching!!

    You are illogical sir, and the only whining I hear is you and the other traditionalists moaning about the Council which was ratified by the college of Bishops initially and supported by 4 popes. That sounds like the Magisterium speaking to me!

    Now I am no fan of some the crap that has been promoted since then “in the name of Vatican II”. But to blow off the council because of the modernists who took inappropriate advantage of it is both silly and dangerous. Bishop Fellay is putting souls at risk. We do not need more division right now.

  17. Modernism was an explicitly condemned heresy, that denied things like miracles, the divine mission of Christ, or the fact that Christ is even a divine person. It is defined explicitly by the church, it has been explicitly condemned by the church, it even had an oath against it for all clerics of the church.

    A modernest cannot go to heaven unless he is ignorant correct? Father are traditionalists disagreements sins against the faith and are people who adhere to them have there salvation in jeopardy? Where is the line in the sand?

  18. Noah,

    Modernism is the “synthesis of all heresies” and a modern form of gnosticism, an intellectual elitism, that sets itself against objective revelation. But traditionalism is rooted in some of the same intellectual traditions.

    In fact, there is a heresy called Traditionalism, most recently condemned by Vatican I. It was a reaction to the Enlightenment attack on faith and the assertion of fideism as a defense of belief in God and as a defense of traditional forms. There is also the philosophy of Perennialism, also called “Traditionalism,” that is also fundamentally anti-modern and posits a common primordial revelation beneath all traditional religions. Not all forms of traditionalism are the same, but they are all fundamentally anti-modern which make them appear quite distinct from Modernism. On the other hand, they are—particularly the traditionalism that I criticize—forms of intellectual elitism that set themselves against the magisterium.

    Traditionalists frequently argue that their brand of Catholicism (true Catholicism, Real Catholic) is the antithesis of Modernism. This seems quite plausible on the face of it for obvious etymological reasons. However, the magisterium does not use the term “traditionalism” to distinguish faithful Catholicism from Modernism. Not even Pope St. Pius X uses the word in Pascendi. He does use the word once in the Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique, but there not specifically in contradistinction to Modernism.

    Otherwise, I am not aware of anytime in which the papal or conciliar magisterium uses the term “traditionalism” in order to distinguish a line of thought contrary to Modernism. In fact, in his non-magisterial preface to Dom Alcuin Reid’s book on the lIturgy, Cardinal Ratzinger does not contrast the modernists and traditionalists but compares them.

    My experience of the reactions to my assessments of traditionalism, in which I have engaged for some time, though only recently in writing, shows me that there is a common thread and that I am on to something. Whenever I criticize traditionalism, Modernism is brought up as a far worse problem. This is perfectly understandable, but very often this observation is posited as a critique of my having even mentioned a problem with traditionalism. This also is understandable, because Modernism is a blatant denial of the faith and traditionalism appears to be a defense of the faith. But is it really? And is it not ironic that I have to provide such explanations when, in fact, I am not defending, nor would I ever defend a modernist bishop or abusive liturgical practice? I am merely defending an ecumenical Council and the popes who have taught and defended it.

    I find this terribly problematic, and the fact that my position receives little defense from orthodox and traditional circles to be a very bad sign, namely, a sign that instead of arriving at a solution to the problem of Modernism, we are cultivating the other extreme. As anyone familiar with extremes knows that opposites tend to converge in the middle. The common thread uniting Modernism and traditionalism is intellectual elitism that sets against the magisterium, or what we might simply call Modern Gnosticism.

    I would also like to see the SSPX return to regularity within the Church, but I am not going to pretend that resistance to an ecumenical council is true Catholicism because it stands at the opposite extreme to Modernism, nor am I going to pretend that the SSPX’s current refusal to sign the doctrinal preamble presented to them by the CDF is a virtue.

  19. I have never really understood the reasoning behind labeling SSPX and similar dissenting groups as “traditional” when they refuse to follow the Tradition of the One True Church. They even contradict what they claim to believe. For instance, by refusing obedience to the Pope and full communion in the Church they violate pretty much everything stated in the Baltimore Catechism #3, Lesson 11, which supposedly they follow?

  20. For what ever it is worth I would like to add my voice to that of Bishop Athanasius Schneider who has publicly put forth Proposals for a Correct Reading of the Second Vatican Council. Some have called this a Syllabus of the Errors of Vatican II. I understand what the SSPX is saying. I have read Vatican II. I do not understand what Vatican II is saying on the matters of ecumenism,religious liberty and collegiality among other matters. We need more clarification. I think Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s request is reasonable and needed before Catholics can rightfully take sides on this matter. The proposals can be read here: http://www.ewtn.com/library/bishops/schneider-proposte.htm If you have read this please pray one hail Mary for me. God love you!

  21. Marian,

    Adherence to Tradition and traditionalism are two different things.

    Michael,

    Bishop Schneider’s request may be reasonable in terms of a correct reading of Vatican II. His position, however, is not the same as that of the SSPX or, for that matter as far as I can see, that of Roberto De Mattei and Mons. Gherardini, whose open letter to the pope the bishop did not sign. The SSPX, De Mattei, M. Gherardini and the traditionalists as I have described them, dispute the possibility of a hermeneutic of continuity.

    Furthermore, underlying the “taking” the traditionalist “side,” implies not simply a clarification of but a repudiation of the new Mass, collegiality, etc. Even more, the principles of the SSPX and many of those who I personally know to be sympathetic to them, make it perfectly consistent for them to attempt to ram their elitist opinions and practices down the throats of faithful Catholics who disagree with them.

    Yes, of course, this has been the modus operandi of the Modernists for the last fifty years. I understand that. Hence, I keep pointing out the irony and reaffirming the fact that I have no intention of rolling over to tyranny, whether from the progressive left or the fascist right.

    Traditionalism simply is not to be identified with faithful, orthodox, traditional Catholicism. It is a private opinion, an aberration, to which no one is objectively bound in conscience, and with which no one ought to be subjected against their will. Again, modernism and traditionalism make strange gnostic bedfellows.

    • Father,
      Thank you for your time and thoughts. I believe I have a good understanding of the difference between what Bishop Athanasius Schneider is saying and what the SSPX is saying. My point is or my question is this: Is how the SSPX understands what Vatican II said on religious liberty what Vatican II intended to say? In other words the SSPX thinks that Vatican II taught that the human person has a “natural right” to religious liberty meaning built into man is a right from God to worship false gods as the Hindus do or to say that satanists have a “natural right” to worship Satan and have public parades in his honor ect. My question is did Vatican II teach man has such a right? As a laymen who talks about abortion often with non Catholics I can tell you if this is so it makes the Pro life work that much harder. If the Church is now said to teach that man has a “natural right” to break the 1st Commandment then why not 5th,6th and 9th in the case of abortion and calling sodomy marriage. What I am not clear on is did Vatican II really intend to and teach that.

      My hope was if Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s request was granted by the Holy Father these matters would be addressed along with perhaps a definition of ecumenism and it’s goals and something on collegiality again is what the SSPX thinks is being said in fact being said. The matter of the new Mass is less of a concern for me because as we have just seen the Church can and did make changes to correct any problems she sees in that Mass and that process may continue who knows?

      I will make one point on the New Mass. I can say clearly somehow that Mass does cause a uneasiness in my soul when I assist at it. Meaning if I attend an eastern rite liturgy or the Latin Mass daily then switch to the new Mass something in my prayerful ordination or my heart is off or distributed. I somehow am not the same if I go to the new Mass often. I ad that point as purely side note or an observation as a laymen. The new Mass disturbs my soul.

      On to the matter of groups or titles given in the Church. I completely reject the names “liberal” “conservative” “Traditionalist” “Modernists” “Traddy” ect to describe Catholics. Either one is orthodox or heterodox. One is either a Catholic or not these titles given to people serve only to divide us and I see in it the masterstroke of Satan. If you are saying the SSPX people are not Catholics I don’t know how we can say that. The excommunications have been lifted and Rome has said they can go to confession. Confession is for Catholics so you see my point. The SSPX are Catholics as I understand it but they are Catholics with a poor tone and attitude. If you reject the SSPX as holding a false religion known as traditionalism and say they do not hold the Catholic faith I think you would be saying something the Church has not said (at least not yet) The Church is a mess it is very sad that we even need to talk about these things. God love you! Please pray for me!

  22. Michael,

    I think that on the face of the matter, the idea that a ecumenical council confirmed by papal authority and defended by the popes for fifty years is actually teaching that there is a natural objective right to break the natural law, or that the Church is conceding that it has no objective coercive power, cannot be presumed, especially when the popes themselves continue to teach the Council’s version of religious liberty. I believe it is appropriate here to quote at length from Pope Benedict’s now famous discourse on the hermeneutic of continuity:

    It might be said that three circles of questions had formed which then, at the time of the Second Vatican Council, were expecting an answer. First of all, the relationship between faith and modern science had to be redefined. Furthermore, this did not only concern the natural sciences but also historical science for, in a certain school, the historical-critical method claimed to have the last word on the interpretation of the Bible and, demanding total exclusivity for its interpretation of Sacred Scripture, was opposed to important points in the interpretation elaborated by the faith of the Church.

    Secondly, it was necessary to give a new definition to the relationship between the Church and the modern State that would make room impartially for citizens of various religions and ideologies, merely assuming responsibility for an orderly and tolerant coexistence among them and for the freedom to practise their own religion.

    Thirdly, linked more generally to this was the problem of religious tolerance – a question that required a new definition of the relationship between the Christian faith and the world religions. In particular, before the recent crimes of the Nazi regime and, in general, with a retrospective look at a long and difficult history, it was necessary to evaluate and define in a new way the relationship between the Church and the faith of Israel.

    These are all subjects of great importance – they were the great themes of the second part of the Council – on which it is impossible to reflect more broadly in this context. It is clear that in all these sectors, which all together form a single problem, some kind of discontinuity might emerge. Indeed, a discontinuity had been revealed but in which, after the various distinctions between concrete historical situations and their requirements had been made, the continuity of principles proved not to have been abandoned. It is easy to miss this fact at a first glance.

    It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists. In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church’s decisions on contingent matters – for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible – should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.

    On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change.

    Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts can change. Thus, for example, if religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge.

    It is quite different, on the other hand, to perceive religious freedom as a need that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction.

    Whatever one’s particular concerns are relative to the proper understanding of religious liberty, the principles laid down by Pope Benedict enjoy more than a presumption in his favor precisely due to his office. Quite apart from the charism of infallibility, it is his competence to speak on the matter, and only his to settle it. The reason the SSPX disputes with the Vatican over religious liberty is not simply the specific issue relative to the topic, but their refusal to accept the underlying principles when the pope exercises his office in a matter that belongs to his competence.

    In response to what you would call “titles,” and what I would call “necessary generalizations,” I answer the following: generalizations bear an inherent weakness in that they tend to infer homogeneity on something that is actually heterogeneous. This is why when we use generalizations we need to be explicitly aware of the fact that that is what we are doing and we need to be frank about it with those to whom we are speaking. When one makes a generalization he needs also to indicate at the points at which the generalization breaks down.

    It this were not permissible and reasonable, then it would never have been possible to condemn Modernism in the first place. Pope St. Pius X himself formally taught that the heresy was hard to pin down because its adherents were all over the place and on many individual points would disagree. On this point, I would never get an argument from the SSPX or the traditionalists with whom I have a beef. None of them would dispute the validity of identifying and condemning Modernism.

    The problem perhaps is that the issues at hand are complex and not subject to facile explanations. But if this is the case and we abandon generalizations altogether, then there can really be no intelligent discourse on the subjects at all, and table talk will necessarily be useless at best and vicious at worst. If such were the case then nothing the SSPX says should be taken seriously. But I do not think that you are arguing for this.

    For example, it is true that the faith is neither liberal nor conservative. But everyone knows that the vast majority of Catholics who support abortion are political liberals and are operating on the principles of modern political liberalism. On the other hand, it is verifiably a fact that the traditionalists with whom I disagree and the growing “non-traditionalist” sympathizers that orbit them are conservatives, many of them of the radical right-wing stripe. According to Father (now Bishop) Anthony Fisher, OP, Archbishop Lefebvre himself had links with the counter-revolutionary movement Action Française, and “[p]rominent among his supporters and founders have been members of Europe’s old families who feel betrayed by a democratizing Church.” Father Fisher goes on:

    Lefebvre had offered as models of the Catholic Church and state Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Galtieri’s Argentina and Pinochet’s Chile. The last hiding place of Paul Touvier, who was quite recently arrested (circa 1990) and committed to trial for crimes against humanity, was a Lefebvrist monastery at Nice.

    There are many other examples that would secure the accuracy of my account. The point is that while this may not be homogenously true, it is generally true and establishes a point about which many traditionalist sympathizers are ignorant or simply choose to ignore, or about which they agree because they are also ideologues, namely, that this movement is not simply about liturgy and dogma. It is, on the contrary, a social, cultural and political ideology, one that is elitist and in my view leaning very far toward fascism.

    I would not be as alarmed by it if those who sympathized with traditionalism were willing to purge their ranks, but that is not really the case. Bishop Williamson did not get thrown overboard until rather recently. Even so, as far as I know, he is still in good standing with the SSPX, even if he has been marginalized. To the extent that Bishop Williamson has been corrected, it is really only because he has become a liability. For example, Christopher Ferrara has written that if traditionalists find it to be their duty to criticize the magisterium, then they must also criticize their own when necessary: “For to remain silent in the face of what Bishop Williamson has said would be to endanger the entire cause to which we have dedicated ourselves by allowing it to be attached to his errors.” All this being said, antisemitism remains the soft, white underbelly of the traditionalist movement. Internal criticism among traditionalists is rare, and then mostly because a lack of such criticism appears to weaken the traditionalist case. But most often it is feared that internal criticism will harm rather than protect traditionalist principles. Indeed, the first comment this post expressed a concern that my criticism of Fellay would do harm to the movement. I submit that honest criticism can never to any real harm. It is only the failure to deal with evil that causes harm.

  23. Father Angelo,
    It is amazing that you say this because in my distress as I would seek out knowledge on Tradition, I would come across (what I would call “Factions”). As you read their writings (or Black Propoganda as you put it) it would unfold to me as a spirit that was not of God. Strangely here I was seeking out something I thought might give me comfort and I didn’t find that at all. I would flee.

    “There are many other examples that would secure the accuracy of my account. The point is that while this may not be homogenously true, it is generally true and establishes a point about which many traditionalist sympathizers are ignorant or simply choose to ignore, or about which they agree because they are also ideologues, namely, that this movement is not simply about liturgy and dogma. It is, on the contrary, a social, cultural and political ideology, one that is elitist and in my view leaning very far toward fascism.”
    *
    This is very revealing and helps make sense of what was obscure to me before. One example of an individual would be Mel Gibson. Not only is he anti-semetic, he built his own “traditionalist” church. They are told what to wear etc. (as you mentioned Father)

    “All this being said, antisemitism remains the soft, white underbelly of the traditionalist movement. Internal criticism among traditionalists is rare, and then mostly because a lack of such criticism appears to weaken the traditionalist case. But most often it is feared that internal criticism will harm rather than protect traditionalist principles. Indeed, the first comment this post expressed a concern that my criticism of Fellay would do harm to the movement. I submit that honest criticism can never to any real harm. It is only the failure to deal with evil that causes harm.

    I think you have hit on something Father by peoples (my own included) reactions to the criticism you put forth. I pray this dialogue continue. I speak for myself. I was ignorant to any of this and what appeared to be good is a mask over evil.

  24. Father,
    The Church seems to be suffering from a bad case of what could be call “Cart before the horse syndrome” To speak of a “hermeneutic of continuity” or a “hermeneutic of rupture” before Catholics( many of whom try understand Vatican II) understand what Vatican II intended to say on religious liberty and other matters. This lack of clarity has caused what from my perspective looks like well intended men talking over each other about matters undefined. Even in your response to me on religious liberty you respond by saying “I think”. In a word you are not sure and neither am I. True the Holy Father has the authority and the gifts of his office. I hope only he uses them and gives us a Syllabus of the Errors of Vatican II and puts a firm end to all this.

    Wouldn’t it be honest to say we (most Catholics) really don’t fully understand what Vatican II intended to teach on certain matters. I think a Syllabus of the Errors of Vatican II is urgently needed and until a Pope gives us one in frank clear language in the tone of Trent I see no end to these problems. What is sad about all this is souls go to hell in the meantime.

    This “Cart before the horse syndrome” has been clearly seen in the area of ecumenism. I have never heard one good definition from those who take part in ecumenism on what ecumenism is. How can Catholics take part in something that is not defined. How can a final goal of ecumenism be set up when ecumenism itself is not defined and if it is those who take part in ecumenism don’t know what it is. Yet off they go head long into ecumenism. I see this as madness absolute madness.

    I would like to suggest something on the matter of “titles” given to Catholics by other Catholics. If we could get away from the subjective “necessary generalizations” as you like to call them and get to objective reality I think we would be better for it. In the case of “Modernists” it is not possible to be a “Catholic Modernist” yet everyday heretical Bishops,Priests and laymen are allowed to use the term Catholic. In the case of Traditionalists as you point out it is not possible to be a “Catholic Traditionalist” so why not say what is so.

    My concern is these “titles” like “liberal” “conservative” “Traditionalist” “Modernists” “Traddy” ect to describe CATHOLICS only prolongs our problems. If one be truly heterodox we would do well to simply say so and so is a heretic or so and so is a Catholic. Anything else in my judgment runs away from the real issue which is men are under the banner of Catholic yet do not hold what a Catholic must hold to be Catholic and we know from canon law when one except heretical doctrines they excommunicate themselves automatically.

    I think this brings us to a larger problem that Catholics are simply afraid to look at. The possible problem is clear in my eyes can a material or a formal heretic rightly hold the office of Bishop? I think many run from this problem because of fear that this could lend credence to the Sedevacantist error and frankly I think the fear that the crisis in the Church is much bigger and much worse than we would care to look at leads us back to the name calling game of “liberal” “conservative” “Traditionalist” “Modernists” “Traddy” ect when what we really need to do is come out of denial and face the reality of what the Church has become in our times and fix it.

    So to be clear do you believe and are you saying Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X and other members of the SSPX are not in point of fact Catholics but are in point of fact heretics? If so what doctrines have they rejected? What doctrines do they have wrong?

    To the matter of antisemitism. Please define antisemitism for us here. I like to know what I am talking about before I discuss matters. Some would say to if one says publicly that the “Catholic Church is Israel” and “all men Jews and non Jews must be Baptized to be saved” that these comments are antisemitism. Some would say that to point out if a Jews dies rejecting Jesus as Lord and Messiah that he will go to hell that this also would be antisemitism. So what is antisemitism? Thank you for all you do Father. Please pray for me. Know you are in my prayers.
    In Christ,
    Michael

  25. Father: Is the new constitution of Hungary, which now recognizes the dignity of marriage between a man and a woman, the value of fecundity in marriage, the religous tradition of the country which was rooted in Christianity… is this the kind of fascist thing you are concerned about when it comes to “traddies”? (In other words if a constitution can be written like this… then why not one which recognizes quite the opposite of these virtues). I am not being sarcastic here. I ask because it seems to be a use of government force in order to recognize the supernatural order’s dominion over family and state. At he same time… some believe it could be construed as being at odds with the Council’s document on religous liberty? I would have to go back and reread DH in order to tell really. But I would very much like to hear your take on the matter.

    Incidentally… your point in all of this discussion is not lost on me entirely. I now see the difference between liberalism, traditionalism and orthodoxy… and have a better awareness now of when I am beginning to think “suspiciously” about the present magisterium… and when I might be speaking and acting in a way which actually promotes division as opposed to harmony and understanding. So I hope you do not feel as though you have wasted any time in this.

    IJM Bob

  26. Thanks. I’m not trying to be annoying… but I would really like a way of cutting through the “demagoguery”. What I really would like is an orthodox way of articulating what the Church expects of us to believe in the way of understanding religious liberty. I have heard many variations… but none of the variations I have heard “ring true”. I can not put my finger on it… but on one extreme you have what is essentially Feenyism… and on the other extreme you have an a kind of mushy irenicism which implies that many groups have no need to convert to the one true faith.

    IJM Roberto!

  27. Mike and Bob,

    I think that this response may address both of your comments. Please forgive me if I do not always avert directly to your comments.

    Regarding my following statement:

    I think that on the face of the matter, the idea that a ecumenical council confirmed by papal authority and defended by the popes for fifty years is actually teaching that there is a natural objective right to break the natural law, or that the Church is conceding that it has no objective coercive power, cannot be presumed, especially when the popes themselves continue to teach the Council’s version of religious liberty.

    “I think” expresses the suggestion of a reasonable presumption, that is, a starting point at which one ought to begin the consideration of the teaching of an ecumenical council and fifty years of papal teaching. This would be my presumption, whether I knew a great deal about religious liberty or nothing at all, whether my approach was that of an intellectual or of someone that had to depend entirely on what he was being told him by bishops on the one hand, or intellectuals on the other. In my view, it is simply absurd to think that the Council is teaching that there is a natural right to break the natural law or that the truth has no objective rights. I also think that the opposite presumption, especially in the face of a fifty-year papal defense of religious liberty, is simply gnostic.

    The quote I provide from Pope Benedict states a fundamental perspective of the Council and one firmly rooted in sound Catholic teaching, namely, that there is a fundamental difference between the perennial principles of the faith their application in changing circumstances. Sometimes the relationship between principle and application is made simple by the nature of the circumstances or because of some intrinsic evil. Sometimes the application is more complicated. The Church’s relationship to the fact—not the potential, but the fact—of modernity is complicated. Is it possible for the Church to use its coercive power in every instance? Certainly. Is it is expedient? Will it be fruitful? That is not at all the same question as to whether the Church has the power or not. Does not the postconciliar popes’ continued insistence that the matter of the relation of Church and state concerning the question of religious liberty is complicated enjoy a presumption? And if one accepts the presumption that the matter is complicated, then why should one be surprised that the pope provides no airtight syllogism to universally solve every case?

    Michael, you say that the hermeneutic of continuity is putting the cart before the horse. But this is to miss the entire point of the hermeneutic of continuity. The Council, as Pope Benedict says, was not, nor could it be a constitutional convention. To suggest otherwise is to accept the modernist narrative. The whole point of the Council was to address the need for innovation in continuity, which, the pope says, necessarily required the introduction of a measure of discontinuity, that is, of change. But the change was a matter of the application of principles, not the principles themselves. The pope did not invent the hermeneutic of continuity. It belongs to the very structure and content of the Council. It is those, whether modernist or traditionalist, who decided to ignore the texts and read into it the modernist spirit that have pretended that it is not there, and that the concept was invented in 2005 by Pope Benedict.

    BTW, Bishop Schneider does not suggest that there should be a “Syllabus of the Errors of Vatican II,” but a syllabus of errors associated with the interpretation of Vatican II. Perhaps this was a slip of the tongue (keyboard), No?

    Michael, you say:

    If the Church is now said to teach that man has a “natural right” to break the 1st Commandment then why not 5th, 6th and 9th in the case of abortion and calling sodomy marriage. What I am not clear on is did Vatican II really intend to and teach that.

    Where does Vatican II suggest such a right? And why would you presume it’s the case? There is also no natural right to break the second commandment. Would you suggest that because the Church no longer pushes for the punishment of blasphemy that she is now teaching that there is a natural right to blaspheme? In fact, St. Louis IX of France in the 13th century punished blasphemy by whipping, and at least once by an even more severe punishment, namely, the branding by a hot iron of the offender’s tongue. Are you suggesting the restoration of such practices? And even if you successfully argue that such practices might be justified in the modern world, are you also really suggesting that it ought to be done, or that to refrain from doing so in the practical interests of religious liberty is an intrinsic evil or necessarily imprudent, lacking in courage and a dereliction of duty?

    The question of the Council’s teaching on religious liberty is really not as hard to understand as you make out.

    In the post-Vatican II era, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the then Cardinal Ratzinger, asserted that “lay involvement in political life to support policies affecting the common good,” “has nothing to do with ‘confessionalism’ or religious intolerance.” Furthermore, Pope John Paul II, rightly warned against the dangers that can result from the “confusion between the religious and political spheres”: “‘In practice, the identification of religious law with civil law can stifle religious freedom, even going so far as to restrict or deny other inalienable human rights.’” What Cardinal Ratzinger affirmed in 2002, as Benedict XVI, he has reaffirmed as a point on which the Council was exactly correct.

    I suppose we will have to disagree on the real difference—and similarities—between modernism and traditionalism, since you do not want to make the distinctions that are necessary to discuss the matter. As to exactly why you think I Have legitimized either modernism or traditionalism in the discussion is beyond me. You are the one that have referred to “Catholic Modernist” and “Catholic Traditionalist.” The only time I might use either of those terms is to distinguish the fact that I am not using modernism and traditionalism in the senses in which they are sometimes used that have no relation to the Catholic world.

    In terms of fixing the Church, every Catholic knows that following the pope is the divinely established way of doing that. You don’t think so? Knock yourself out. But I for one in good conscience and with a view of securing the common good will resist your belief. You would have to admit that the society is resisting the Holy Father and an ecumenical Council. If you think that is legitimate, then why I am suddenly on thin ice for criticizing the SSPX? Am I now under suspicion of being less than Catholic because I completely accept the ecumenical Council and the last fifty years of papal teaching? You ask what heresy is the SSPX guilty of? Have I suggested they are guilty of heresy? News to me. But what heresy are you suggesting I am guilty of? You are not? Then I guess we are good. I will support the pope and you can support the SSPX.

    In regard to antisemitism, I am a bit surprised that you seem unaware of the problem among traditionalists. You suggest that I don’t see any necessity to convert the Jews because I say that there is a problem of antisemitism among traditionalists. I even mentioned Bishop Williamson explicitly and Christopher Ferrara’s critique of him. Why should I be under suspicion of selling out the faith because I mention an obvious aberration?

    Actually Michael Voris himself gives a good example of the problem when he defines antisemitism as hating Jews “for their race, not their religion.” Actually, it is antisemitism to hate Jews for either their race or religion. For some traditionalist antisemitic gems see the following: from Bishop Williamson; from Maurice Pinay; from The Angelus Magazine. In Catholic circles the logical error and habitual paranoia of conspiracy theory always leads back to a Jewish plot.

    Bob,

    Since when do I have a problem with following the pope’s directives in regard to the use of the legal system to protect marriage and human life, etc.? Since when do I have a problem with parliamentary procedure, as it was exercised in Hungary in the adoption of their new constitution? Why would you imagine my support of this would be inconsistent with my repudiation of fascism? I simply don’t see the connection. What I object to is the elitist mentality that seeks to canonize an intellectualist sect as particularly suited to tell everyone else what to do, even the pope. I have seen it in action, up close and personal. I am not going to have anyone’s personal opinions in opposition to the Holy Father jammed down my throat. Period.

    As to your last point about religious liberty, the Council and the popes advocate neither extreme.

  28. Father,
    As often happens on the internet I am misunderstood because of this medium. First let me say clearly. I agree what is foundational to fixing the Church is a loyalty and an obedience to the Holy Father which I do have. Anything else is folly no matter how well they twist words.

    So we agree that the SSPX are not heretics. Do you believe them to currently be in a state of schism? The reason I am asking these questions is I am trying to understand how you see them. This helps shines light on your comments about them. Are they fellow Catholics or something other in your mind?

    Back to religious liberty. I want to be clear I agree that it cannot be presumed that Vatican II taught man has a natural right to violate the 1st Commandment (my point on the 6th and 9th Commandments ect.was not a slip of the keyboard it was pointing out “IF” THE COUNCIL DID TEACH THAT the same could also be applied to the other commandments) I do not believe it is possible for the Church to teach that. It sounds like on this point Father,you and I are in agreement. Interestingly this is also what the SSPX believes about what the matter. They say the Church does not teach man has a natural right to violate the first commandment. So where is the problem? Am I missing something?

    So I guess my sadness is in the fact that if this is so why does Rome simply not just say to the SSPX on religious liberty you misunderstand the council then Rome and the SSPX agree on religious liberty right?

    You asked “Where does Vatican II suggest such a right? ” I do not believe it can but the SSPX sees it in DIGNITATIS HUMANAE http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html they see this very right being taught here in paragraph 2 where it says

    “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

    The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.”

    The SSPX does not take issue with the first point that says “immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs” Meaning man can not be forced to convert just like a man can not contract a marriage under force. They say the Church always taught that.

    What they do object to is the language “whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits” Since due limits is not defined anywhere it leaves the door open they say to the masonic understanding. In their understanding the religion of the pagan can be “tolerated” but the pagan has not a “right” to this error “whether privately or publicly” they see DIGNITATIS HUMANAE as teaching this “right”

    I have never met a Catholic who would say or act like they hate Jews “for their race or their religion.” I have never encountered real antisemitism among Catholics. I have encountered real hatred of Muslims among Catholics who confuse Fox News for Rome. I have met Catholics that rightly reject the false religion of rabbinical Judaism and Zionism. Unfortunately when you look at the role of some Jews have in banking and in the influence that some Jews have over American policy in the middle east some people do not like what they see. I do not think that automatically becomes hatred of Jew but it could and has in the past. I reject hatred of Jews because of their race or false religion. God love you! Please pray for me.
    In Christ,
    Michael

  29. Father: I was not imagining that you thought that “…support of this would be inconsistent with your repudiation of fascism”. I was simply asking you if the use of government power as exemplified here was inconsistent with DH as you understood the document. (Alas, I will not find time to reread it until late Saturday). You have answered a resounding ‘No’ and indicated why it’s ‘no’.

    I do not have ‘lib/trad’ lenses on anymore (you have cured me of that). So I ask these questions with an open hand hoping to learn something.

    In fact, at this stage in the discussion I’m trying very hard not to imagine anything… since our imaginations seem to produce inaccurate pictures of one and other… and consequently misread each other.

    I’m simply trying to learn what good Catholic men of good will have believed about DH.

    I had additional questions… but you have already answered them by your answers to Michael Contaldi.

    Michael, I do not know who you are… but you have asked some of the questions I had not yet asked and so the discussion has been most profitable for me as a learning experience.

    I have much more studying & praying to do about this and so I will be quiet now unless either of you have anything else to add.

    I wish to thank every person who has contributed to this discussion. It has helped me look at the Society in a more Catholic light… and while I understand many of the points they articulate… I will also be a little more sensitive to what Fr. Angelo refers to as ‘having opinions stuffed down one’s throat’.

    Ave Maria.

  30. Dear Fr. Angelo,

    I understand that the Sacraments of the SSPX priests are valid but illicit. But I don’t know what that means. Could you explain it for simple people like me?
    And does attending Sunday Mass at an SSPX Chapel fulfill our Sunday Obligation? I asked a couple of Parish Priests and they said , “yes.” I sometimes go there to Mass on Sun. because I love the reverence and music of the Latin Mass and it’s not offered anywhere else in Miami or Broward Counties. And because some of the things that go on at our Parish Mass especially on Sunday’s makes me sad.
    I hope I am remaining faithful to the Pope and to Rome.

    Thank you for your faithfulness to Rome! The FI has always inspired me! I pray for you all, please pray for me and St. Matthew’s

    Ave Maria,
    Donna

  31. Donna,

    I would point you to the Holy Father’s Letter to the Bishops concerning the excommunication of the four SSPX bishops.

    Here is the pertinent passage:

    The remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline: the individuals were freed from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. This disciplinary level needs to be distinguished from the doctrinal level. The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. There needs to be a distinction, then, between the disciplinary level, which deals with individuals as such, and the doctrinal level, at which ministry and institution are involved. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

    This basically states that there are no canonical penalties for attendance at the SSPX Masses.

    In 2008 the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei stated the following:

    The priests of the Society of St. Pius X are validly ordained, but suspended, that is prohibited from exercising their priestly functions because they are not properly incardinated in a diocese of religious institute in full communion with the Holy See (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 265) and also because those ordained after the schismatic Episcopal ordinations were ordained by an excommunicated bishop.

    Concretely, this means that the Masses offered by the priests of the Society of St. Pius X are valid, but illicit, i.e., contrary to Canon Law. The Sacraments of Penance and Matrimony, however, require that the priest enjoys the faculties of the diocese or has proper delegation. Since that is not the case with these priests, these sacraments are invalid. It remains true, however, that, if the faithful are genuinely ignorant that the priests of the Society of St. Pius X do not have proper faculty to absolve, the Church supplies these faculties so that the sacrament is valid (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 144)

    While it is true that participation in the Mass at chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute “formal adherence to the schism” (cf. Ecclesia Dei 5, c), such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a schismatic mentality which separates itself from the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and the entire Catholic Church. While we hope and pray for a reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” cannot recommend that members of the faithful frequent their chapels for the reasons which we have outlined above.

    And again:

    His first question was “Can I fulfill my Sunday obligation by attending a Pius X Mass” and our response was:

    “1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X.”

    His second question was “Is it a sin for me to attend a Pius X Mass” and we responded stating:

    “2. We have already told you that we cannot recommend your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why. If your primary reason for attending were to manifest your desire to separate yourself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him, it would be a sin. If your intention is simply to participate in a Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin.”

    His third question was: “Is it a sin for me to contribute to the Sunday collection a Pius X Mass” to which we responded:

    “3. It would seem that a modest contribution to the collection at Mass could be justified.”

  32. Father,
    Do you agree with the SSPX on the doctrinal points of religious liberty,collegiality,the Jews & ecumenism. Yes or no. After lengthy responses from you where you stand is unclear. What do you mean “until the doctrinal questions are clarified” I thought the SSPX were not material or formal heretics. What am I missing?

    In Christ,
    Michael

  33. Michael,

    Are you a lawyer? I am not sure what is not clear to you about my position. Your beef is with the Holy Father, not me. The phrase “until the doctrinal questions are clarified,” is the Holy Father’s, not mine. But lest we continue in this confusion let me put the words in context:

    There needs to be a distinction, then, between the disciplinary level, which deals with individuals as such, and the doctrinal level, at which ministry and institution are involved. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church (emphasis mine).

    These words were written in 2009. Their meaning is made even clearer in the CDF’s communiqué concerning the doctrinal preamble:

    Given the concerns and requests presented by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X regarding the integrity of the Catholic faith considering the hermeneutic of rupture of the Second Vatican Council in respect of Tradition – hermeneutic mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI in his Address to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005 -, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith takes as a fundamental basis for a full reconciliation with the Apostolic See the acceptance of the Doctrinal Preamble which was delivered in the course of the meeting of September 14, 2011. This preamble enunciates some of the doctrinal principles and criteria of interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary for ensuring fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and to the sentire cum Ecclesia, while leaving open to legitimate discussion the study and theological explanation of particular expressions and formulations present in the texts of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium that followed it (emphasis mine).

    The Holy See has been consistent with the SSPX, not accusing them of heresy but requiring their acceptance of the doctrinal principles of the Council and its interpretation in continuity with Tradition. Beyond that “particular expressions and formulations present in the texts of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium that followed it” may be studied and discussed.

    Clearly, as plainly stated, the Holy Father is requiring the society to clarify its doctrinal positions before it can be given canonical status. He is not the one who is confused, unclear or in need of having his doctrine clarified.

    No, I don’t agree with the SSPX on any of the issues you mentioned, as I am sure is clear with most readers.

  34. Father,
    No I am not a lawyer (but my mother insisted I could have been one) I do not have a beef with you or the Holy Father. Clearly you can see the problem from an on lookers prespective with saying on one hand 1) “The Holy See has been consistent with the SSPX, not accusing them of heresy”. Then on the other hand saying 2) They must except “doctrinal principles” now making principles equal to doctrine.

    I wasn’t aware that Catholics had to except “doctrinal principles” I don’t even know what is meant by “doctrinal principles”. Are they defined anywhere? Do these “doctrinal principles” extend to laymen who belong officially to the SSPX? I was under the impression that in order for one to be Catholic they had to except the doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic faith whole and entire or at least be willing to do so. Now we have “doctrinal principles” as well? So the Creed is not longer enough?

    It seems you are holding to contradictory positions with the SSPX you along with Rome do not accusing them of heresy. Then you say “No, I don’t agree with the SSPX on any of the issues you mentioned”

    My questions are if the SSPX does not hold any doctrinal heresy how can you or anyone who wants to be Catholic disagree with them on religious liberty,collegiality,the Jews & ecumenism? I guess my point is as Catholics are we not bound to agree with one another on doctrine and dogma in union with the Pope? If the SSPX hold Catholic Faith in doctrine and dogma then are we not bound to agree with one another lest we or they fall into heresy?

    You may wonder why I care about this. I care because I am often invited to an SSPX chapel by a friend and I won’t go (at great cost and time) because my Bishop put a notice in the local diocesan news paper telling us not to attend.

    This situation with the SSPX if resolved could save my family money and time. We travel 1 hour round trip to attend a FSSP Parish for the Latin Mass. I have two small children. Gas costs about $3.65 a gallon again. I would love to be able at join the SSPX chapel that is 5 minutes from my house but can not do so until the canonical status is given to the SSPX.

    I understand the the tone and attitude of the SSPX is sometimes poor but the “Orthodox” who reject the Papacy and allow their people to practice the mortal sin of contraception are treated better than the SSPX that just baffles my mind.

    In Christ,
    Michael

  35. Michael,

    Is there really any point in continuing to talk about this when you say that you have no beef with the Holy Father and then attribute to me, exclusive of the Holy Father, the requirement of the SSPX to accept the Second Vatican Council? That is not my position. That is the pope’s position. Do you or do you not believe the Holy Father is “holding to contradictory positions”? If you do then your beef is with him. If you don’t, then you have no gripe with me.

    I do not pretend to be the Inquisition. Perhaps you should write the Holy Office and ask them if one who rejects the Second Vatican Council is a heretic, and if not why not.

    The Council was, as I have said over and over, not a redefinition of doctrine but an application of doctrinal principles to modern exigencies. The “doctrinal” question in dispute by the SSPX is whether such a pastoral adjustment is in itself a doctrinal compromise. The Holy Father says “no” and that the SSPX must accept that as a doctrinal principle consistent with Tradition. If they do not accept the pope’s judgment that the Council is a legitimate innovative application of perennial doctrinal principles, are they heretics? That accusation has not been made by the Church. However, on the contrary, members of the SSPX do accuse the modern Church of teaching heresy.

    Again, my biggest problem here is that I have to argue that it is okay for a good Catholic to take the pope’s side on this issue and that any questioning of the SSPX brings one’s orthodoxy into question.

    This is madness. If you want it, you can have it, but I will not sit for it, or apologize for saying its crazy. No one has to be a Catholic if they do not want to be. Everyone is free to believe what they want. You can even start your own religion if that is what you want. But a Catholic has to explain to another ostensibly orthodox Catholic why he thinks it’s okay to follow the pope? Nah. I am off this crazy train.

  36. Ave Maria!

    Fr. Angelo,

    Everything I have read on the subject indicates that Catholics have an obligation to first seek out Mass celebrated by a priest in good standing/full communion with the Church. One response is posted below –

    “a conscientious Catholic should not knowingly attend a Mass celebrated by a priest not in good standing with the Church. Doing so deprives participation at Mass of that fullness of communion with Christ and his Church which the Mass, by its very nature and in all its forms, is called to express.Therefore, the first thing to do would be to investigate the availability of Mass (in the ordinary or extraordinary form) in another locale during your visit. If it is not available, then you could attend any Eastern Catholic celebration.Only if there is objectively no alternative should one attend the Mass celebrated by a priest from the Society of St. Pius X. If one has to do so, then I would say that one may go in good conscience,”

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/Liturgy/zlitur366.htm

    Respectfully,

    Marian

  37. Marian,

    I am only quoting from the Church documents specifically addressed to the problem of the irregularity of the SSPX. The society is in a unique position in that the canonical penalties have been lifted, but its status remains illicit. Meanwhile the Holy Father is bending over backwards to bring the society back in.

    One may argue with the Ecclesia Dei provision delivered even before the lifting of the excommunication, but it is what it is. You quote the educated opinion of a theologian. I would favor it, but I would stop short of accusing any one of mortal sin if he did not interpret the Ecclesia Dei answers exactly the way the theologian does.

    It is an irregular situation, which means, by definition, that it is. . . er, well. . . irregular.

  38. Ave Maria!

    Fr. Angelo,

    However, the danger exists that a person could fall into sin –

    “While it is true that the participation in the Mass and sacraments at the chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute “formal adherence to the schism”, such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a mentality which separates itself from the magisterium of the Supreme Pontiff”

    .http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CEDSSPX.HTM

    Respectfully,

    Marian

  39. Ave Maria!

    Fr. Angelo,

    I was re-stating that point for emphasis. This paragraph is also very important to those who have expressed a desire to attend based on preference for the Latin Mass.

    “The Masses they celebrate are also valid, but it is considered morally illicit for the faithful to participate in these Masses unless they are physically or morally impeded from participating in a Mass celebrated by a Catholic priest in good standing (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 844.2). The fact of not being able to assist at the celebration of the so-called “Tridentine” Mass is not considered a sufficient motive for attending such Masses.”

    Respectfully,
    Marian

  40. http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/christ3-11.htm

    I thought I might post this link for our consideration and reflection. For myself, I have discovered (because of the words of Pope Benedict and Fr. Angelo) that I have not been very obedient, nor have I trusted in the Lord above all things, and have been critical of HIS Mystical Body. In my very disturbing experiences, I became that suspicious person that Fr. was talking about, all the while seeking comfort in Masses outside of the Novus Ordo forgetting (Satan loves that) that TRUTH was right there with me in my tribulations. I believe Our Lord and Savior is truly present in the Holy Eucharist at the Novus Ordo. I have stopped seeking consolation (the Tridentine Mass has not always provided me with that) and have resolved to offer my sufferings in union with the Lord’s sacrifice of the Holy Mass. Since I have come to this knowledge of myself and my behavior, doubt. criticism (and the list goes on), I have been set free to be with My Lord because He is always with me, especially in tribulation. And wherever He is there is Our Lady. What more do I NEED to bring me consolation in tribulation. Father is right. If only I defended Rome as quickly as we jumped on Fr. Angelo for speaking the truth about the irony of the SSPX Christmas letter. I will pray for the SSPX, offer sacrifices for their acceptance of what Holy Mother churchs asks of them for their return. Ave Maria! With Gratitude to Fr. Angelo.

  41. Michael,

    My simple mind must ‘sand’ things down to a simple state and I think there is a very simple state here! I think the simple state is this:
    1. You don’t want to attend anything but a Latin (Tridentine) Mass. You are therefore driving a far distance in order to do so.
    2. There is an SSPX Church close by that would give you this Latin Mass that you want.
    3. There are probably many other Catholic churches close by that provide Novus Ordo Masses that you aren’t interested in.
    4. You really want someone like Fr. Angelo to give you permission to attend this SSPX Church but he won’t and he shouldn’t.

    Perhaps to save gas, you could attend the Novus Ordo some weeks and the Tridentine other weeks. It’s a “valid” option. Quite honestly, your interest in the Tridentine Mass is not an excuse to go to an SSPX Church imho. it’s a preference but not a right and not mandated by Rome.

    I think Marian and Joanne gave some great links and quotes for you. I think sometimes we can start to split hairs. I, personally, prefer the Novus Ordo Mass … I know, some people think me possessed to say that! sigh. But, I speak English and therefore I understand things spoken and prayed in English much better. If I were to attend a Tridentine every week, I’m sure I would begin to more fully understand it. I do see that there is greater reverence at a Tridentine Mass but in the end, reverence is for YOU to own and there are churches that encourage such reverence. Perhaps you could take one week a month to ‘check out’ a different local Church.

    Back when I was a kid, you had no choice as to what Church you attended. Different neighborhoods were told which Church was theirs! Sometimes ‘choice’ can be very confusing but perhaps because we MAKE it that way. I do attend Mass 3 towns away and am happy to have that choice but if my life got too complicated, I would find a more local Church and try to work from within to ‘clean it up’ if necessary.

  42. Jennifer,
    Thank you for your thoughts. I was not looking for Fr. Angelo to give me “permission” to attend the Latin Mass at the SSPX Chapel closer to my home. He couldn’t do that.I was simply explaining to Father why I have a personal interest in the matter. I would love to see the matter with the SSPX taken care of so we Catholics can focus on the salvation of souls. I am also concerned with this for the sake of unity.

    I do think this idea that we are to go into New Mass parishes and “clean them up” is well intended but misguided. We are to go to the holy sacrifice of the Mass to worship almighty God not “fix people” or “clean up” parishes. We are to have a attitude of receptivity not a list of things to fix.That would surely be an near occasion of sin for me. The sin would be Pride. I lack the power and authority to clean up parishes and any attempt to do so would be folly on my part. Not to mention my peace of soul would go out the window.

    I attend a New Mass once a week or so and if my peace is too deeply upset by the irreverence, the immodest dress, the talking or the laymen going into the tabernacle I stay away for awhile. I guess what I am saying is focus on your duties in your state in life not “fixing” the Church. God love you! If you are interested in understanding this issue more check out: http://www.amazon.com/Catechism-Crisis-Church-Matthias-Gaudron/dp/1892331799
    In Christ,
    Michael

  43. I would not recommend reading material from the SSPX which is what the Fr. Matthias Gaudron book is. If one wants to under the issue better, start with the Holy Father, then the Council and then the Catechism. That is what Pope Benedict is recommending in this coming Year of Faith. See also document from the CDF.

    People are understandably confused about the crisis in the Church. The SSPX is not the answer and it does not have the answer.

    Just saying.

  44. Michael,

    You say, “I attend a New Mass once a week or so and if my peace is too deeply upset by the irreverence, the immodest dress, the talking or the laymen going into the tabernacle I stay away for awhile. I guess what I am saying is focus on your duties in your state in life not “fixing” the Church. ”

    At one point in my life, I was one who wore immodest clothing to Church and if not immodest, most certainly inappropriate! (Tight jeans and t-shirts to name just a few.) Fortunately, God was patient with me. I then began to feel called to dress more appropriately and started noticing others who weren’t and became somewhat judgmental. Not good. I now don’t let these people bother me. What I recall is that Jesus ate wtih the sinners – the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the uneducated and educated. I am not above that! I’ve been there and done that … who am i to judge? I have also learned that it is through those who went to Mass every week quietly being reverent that made me take notice and change, amongst other things. I noticed that very few people genuflected before the Tabernacle. In fact, for years I was one of them. There were a few who did and i noticed! So, I began to do the same and instruct my family as well. I’ve recently noticed that about 30percent of the parishioners now genuflect at the Tabernacle!! That’s up from about 2 percent I should think. That’s awesome to me and it would never have happened if those few people hadn’t stuck wtih all of us ‘irreverent and immodest’ lost souls. Praise God!! So, your beautiful sounding family may be just what is needed in some of these other churches and my be just where the Lord wants you!

    Yes, we must always focus on our duties but to say that we don’t try to be our brothers’ keepers is not at all true! To say that we just find that comfortable little spot where we always feel uplifted I don’t think is always the right way. I personally like to come to the Friary (where Fr. Angelo resides) to get a more reverent experience and get some meat and potatoes that I don’t always feel I get at my home parish. And yet, I have been praying for and working with our pastor now for almost 2 years. He jokes with me how I’m always challenging him … I’m sure at times he wishes I’d go away and I do try to give him a break. But he doesn’t seem to be annoyed by me and he has made a lot of subtle changes over time. I’m not going to take credit for them but I am quite sure that it is through his parishioners that he feels challenged to grow many times. Is that ‘fixing’ the Church? To me, yes … but in a very loving way (I hope). (Perhaps my wording of ‘fixing’ wasn’t really a great word to use.)

    So, I’m afraid I don’t see Christ so well in your statement. I think that statement, at least to me, means more that we cannot be busy bodies spending all of our time worrying about the Church and others instead of carrying out our own duties. But it doesn’t say to me that we avoid Churches that might very well need a few orthodox parishioners. It doesn’t say that we avoid those to whom Christ most wants to minister. Right now, our Church is in critical need of people who really care about their Faith and living holy, orthodox lives. Right now, there are many local parishes who probably need you and your family, Michael. I don’t think the SSPX Church is it.

    Of course, my opinion does not reflect those of the mediator of this blog!!! Just my humble thoughts.

    Good luck and God be with you as you discern all of this.
    -Jen

  45. Ave Maria!

    Dear all,

    Really, there is no point in the history of the Church or the history of the Mass where there were not problems. The Latin Mass was not without its problems/abuses either. Getting back to basics, though, we all know that Christ and the Church are One, as Bridegroom and Bride. We are where we are because the Holy Spirit has and always will be guiding the Church and protecting Her from error. I always think of Pentecost when this subject comes up and how important it was to God that everyone understand in their own language. The Holy Spirit makes no mistakes. The SSPX are preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:8).

    In Christ,

    Marian

  46. OMGOODNESS…I went up to the link I posted to find this chapter of the Imitation of Christ and I realized what website I had taken that from. Egads! well, no one will ever accuse me of is being TOO focused. LOLatmyself. So here is another Chapter that really hit me which I put up for consideration. I believe humility is the key. As Father Angelo said, our thoughts, opionions are irrelevant. Holy Mother Church takes care to guide us by the Holy Spirit.
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kempis/imitation.THREE.13.html
    Ave Maria! God bless you all.

  47. I believe our salvation and our proof of love for Jesus Christ is found more in Faith, obeying the commandments, and good works than worrying about things like ecumenism, religious freedom or collegiality.

    I am sorrowful that the weight of these matters, like ecumenism, are consuming the time and energy of many clerics and laymen, to the point of becoming false gods. Is anyone here saying that if ecumenism is repulsive to another, that person will go to Hell?

  48. Ave Maria!

    Well, I don’t think it is the best way to start out a week of prayer for Christian unity which begins on the 18th.

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/weeks-prayer-doc/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20110414_week-prayer-2012_en.html
    ______________

    “The current Successor of Peter is allowing himself to be called in the first person by this requirement and is prepared to do everything in his power to promote the fundamental cause of ecumenism. Following the example of his Predecessors, he is fully determined to encourage every initiative that seems appropriate for promoting contacts and understanding with the representatives of the different Churches and Ecclesial Communities. Indeed, on this occasion he sends them his most cordial greeting in Christ, the one Lord of us all.”

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/pont-messages/2005/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20050420_missa-pro-ecclesia_en.html

    It is the mission of the Church (John 17)

    In Christ,
    Marian

  49. dom. Noah Moerbeek CPMO,
    The matter of religious liberty matters. Why? the truth matters. When error is believed even by well intended souls that error also matters and has consequences.

    It would appear that many Catholics now believe knowingly or unknowingly that the human person has a natural right to break the first Commandment. It would appear that the Church is speaking about a civil right (coming from the state) and not a natural right (Coming from God). This is why many hope to have a clarification on what Vatican II intended to say about this matter. People are confused about this. It does impact the Church.

    In a resent pastoral letter Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton said this “Religious liberty, a right expressly recognized and protected by the First Amendment, is eroding before our eyes while “rights” which have no textual basis in the Constitution such as those that pertain to abortion are upheld”

    http://www.dioceseofscranton.org/2012/01/12/a-pastoral-letter-from-bishop-bambera-the-march-for-life/

    This idea that the Catholic Faith and the masonic principles of the French revolution are now some how no longer at odds come from an erroneous understanding of this text:

    “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

    The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.”

    DIGNITATIS HUMANAE http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html

    The well intended error held by many impacts the ways Catholic interact with souls lost in false religions. These new ideas that are not Catholic and very much impede Catholic evangelistic action. If one knowingly or unknowingly believes that all souls have a natural right from God to “religious liberty” then why insist that the Catholic Religion is the true one? Catholics wouldn’t want to violate a persons rights now would they? See my point. I believe this error is why we have endless dialogue and less converts. This error puts Catholics on egg shells.

    Our Lord said “[19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. St Matthew 28:19-20

    In Christ,
    Michael Contaldi

    o

  50. from Bill Foley

    Thank you, Father Geiger, for being such a loyal son of the Church by being so faithful to the papal magisterium.

    Those dissenters on the right are always contrasting past ecclesiastical documents with more recent ones, but they neglect the fact that it is the magisterium who can best interpret what the magisterium said or wrote in the past.

    Regarding the matter of religious liberty, I would suggest that the commentators look up two excellent articles that Vatican II does not contradict previous magisterial teaching. I do not have the exact references, but one is on-line in the homiletic & pastoral review by Fr. Regis Scanlon. The other is also on the Internet–an article by Fr. Brian Harrison.

  51. Thank you, Bill.

    I believe that the SSPX is operating on an anti-magisterial prejudice, based on the abuses of the last fifty years. Identifying the Council as the cause is plausible. The fact that there are many that have false and liberal views of religious liberty makes the attribution of causality the Council seem plausible on the face of it. In the process, though, an anti-papal and anticonciliar prejudice is accepted in relative innocence by those in the pews. Those who are the champions of “Tradition” speak courageously and are doing the more pious, faithful and reverent thing. It makes all of it much more easy to swallow. There is a subtle deception at work.

  52. Father,
    What appears to be a deception here is to say ” the SSPX is not the answer and it does not have the answer” Yet we admit they hold Catholic Faith & Morals and are free from heresy.The message to non Catholics is that we are divided when in reality we are not.The devil loves this.

    When the Holy Father,Father Geiger,The SSPX and the rest of us Pray “Our” Father or say Pray for “us” do we not mean “us” meaning all Catholics? Clearly the SSPX is in that “Our” and “Us”. May I suggest that we should stop attacking the body of Christ over matters that are above us anyway.

    Calling Michael Voris a “well intended blowhard fascist” helps who? Calling those who want a Catholic State “fascists” serves what good end?

    The deception comes when we say that Catholics who hold the Faith and are not guilty of any heresy yet you then say ” the SSPX is not the answer and it does not have the answer”. The SSPX has the answer but they do not have canonical status yet.

    A huge difference exists between saying the SSPX does not have the “answer” (some would understand that to mean the Faith) when all they lack is canonical status.This reminds me of 1984 “war is peace”. They are Catholics.

    I try to give all Catholics the benefit of the doubt. If a Bishop says something wrong that sounds liberal I try to think (maybe that is what he thinks is true) If a SSPX Priest says something that sounds anti-magisterial I try to think (maybe he is scandalized or was taught something wrongly) I guess what I am trying to say is we have to unite and be of one mind.

    Was St Athanasius operating on an anti-magisterial prejudice when he was excommunicated by a Pope for his refusal to adhere to the Arian Heresy?
    In Christ,
    Michael Contaldi

  53. Michael,

    You should apply the same analysis and standards to the writings of the members of the SSPX, which you do not.

    I find it breathtaking that you criticize my little description for Michael Voris. Have you ever criticized him for the invective he continually spews towards priests and bishops in every virtually every Vortex he produces? Resisting fascism from whatever quarter is good for everyone.

    I will follow the pope. You can follow the SSPX and Michael Voris. Good luck to you.

    I think at this point we have both made our positions abundantly clear.

    Michael, you are wearing out your welcome. This is your one and only warning. See Tower Decree in the sidebar.

  54. Micheal,
    I just want to say that as a Catholic, I don’t have any problem with the following statement nor do I walk on eggshells because of it.

    “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

    The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.”

    But I do have an issue with this….

    “The well intended error held by many impacts the ways Catholic interact with souls lost in false religions. These new ideas that are not Catholic and very much impede Catholic evangelistic action. If one knowingly or unknowingly believes that all souls have a natural right from God to “religious liberty” then why insist that the Catholic Religion is the true one? Catholics wouldn’t want to violate a persons rights now would they? See my point. I believe this error is why we have endless dialogue and less converts. This error puts Catholics on egg shells”

    and here is why (and anyone can correct me if I am wrong)…..
    How many people have you converted to Catholicism by coercion? Does it not rob them of their human dignity. How about anger at Holy Mother Church (which tone you can see in the writings of the SSPX and extremely traditional Catholics)

    Do you truly believe that God gave us free will without freedom of religion? I don’t believe that. I believe it was written in the Dialogues of St. Catherine of Sienna that God revealed to her that those who had the fullness of truth are held to the greatest level of responsibility which we can assume with trembling to mean Catholics. When Mother Theresa was picking up Jesus in the streets of Calcutta, do you think she spent her time banging them over the head that they had to become a Catholic or do you think she loved them as Jesus would love them? We all know the answer to that. Pope Benedict stated that his Pontificate was dedicated to unity amongst Christians. I believe he is loving as Jesus loves and his witness is stellar.

    I say these things because I got caught up in the abuses I was seeing and my heart became cold and suspicious (as Fr. mentioned) Last but not least, as I look back over the last year or so, it was the pious, reverent and sanctimonious Catholics that have caused me the most pain by their hardness of heart in their actions. I have a feeling I became one of those people and beg God’s forgiveness if I sent anyone to flee the fullness of Truth by my ignorance. Instead of mulling over documents that have little to do with my immortal soul, I would rather spend what little time I have with Jesus doing acts of Mercy for others which would convert long before my inadequate thoughts on Vatican II would.

    I say these things with love and peace in my heart. Ave Maria and God Bless you all!

    • Amen, Joanne! Wow! You know, I was speaking with someone earlier today about how both extremes in things contain parts of the truth and both extremes also contain danger. In this case, the extreme of Traditionalism, I think, contains the dangers of ‘elitism’ and ‘isolationism’. (It also, as Father noted, can lead to fascism.) How on earth can you evangelize those who do not know Christ if you come off as these? You see, I think Traditionalism evangelizes, or rather attracts, those who are already converted within the Catholic Faith. I can’t imagine that it would attract Protestants, whether ‘liberal’ or more evangelical/fundamental. I can’t see it attracting agnostics or atheists … correct me if I’m wrong.

      Truth presented by people who seem reasonable and ‘normal’ … that’s what is most attractive. That’s what Jesus presented. I realize that once you move into the realm of ‘gray’, avoiding extremes, murky water exists and thus confusion. That’s what makes extremes seem so attractive … we want everything to be BLACK & WHITE. But black & white, I fear, is for God alone … not us mere mortals. So for us, we have been given a Vicar to help guide us through the gray matter. It’s really the only thing that makes any sense to me and the main thing that rescues me when I fall into hellish doubt.

      thanks Joanne … very well said.

  55. “{I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them”

    “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”

    “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND”

    1776 or 33ad

  56. Ave Maria!

    The old is fulfilled in the new!

    Matthew 22:37 He said to him,* “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39k The second is like it:* You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40* l The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

    As members of the Body of Christ and through our annointing at Baptism we are joined to the mission of the Church through our Royal Priesthood.

    Our Holy Father –

    Benedict XVI affirmed, “The ecumenical task is therefore a responsibility of the whole Church and of all the baptized, who must make the partial, already existing communion between Christians grow into full communion in truth and charity. Therefore, prayer for unity is not limited to this Week of Prayer but rather must become an integral part of our prayer, of the life of prayer of all Christians, in every place and in every time, especially when people of different traditions meet and work together for the victory, in Christ, over all that is sin, evil, injustice, and that violates human dignity.”

    http://www.zenit.org/article-34143?l=english

    the CCC

    Toward unity

    820 “Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.”277 Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: “That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, . . . so that the world may know that you have sent me.”278 The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.279

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM
    .

    If you are in communion with the Holy Father and The Church then you are following God and honoring God in the best possible way.

    In Christ,

    Marian

  57. Ave Maria,

    Fr. Angelo,

    This may be a deviation from the overlying topic, but I think I would like to weigh in on the Michael Voris “issue”. I will agree that he (Michael Voris) may have been a little harsh towards some of the clergy but he has also sung the praises of others members of the clergy. This is true especially of our Holy father. It’s easy to perceive Voris as a blowhard during his Vortex episodes, but remember what the Vortex is. Its a platform to inform the faithful of lies and falsehoods being spread within the church.

    Voris, does not always use the same tenor in his other works. You may not like his style but I think that he does offer a media by which to teach and promote the faith. You should check out some of the other works on the site, if you haven’t already.

    God Bless
    Br. Hubert

  58. Just a thought and maybe a dumb question. When we are disturbed by the abuses we see and we seek out for example the Tridentine Mass over the Novus Ordo, is that not a form of self love? Preferring consolation over tribulation?

  59. Joanne Marie.
    Obey your confessor and your spiritual director in these matters and you can’t go wrong. If it is tribulation one wants at Mass I guess this would give a person their tribulation fix:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Lom28KSlg My question would be why would one want tribulation at mass does not life offer enough tribulation already?

    In Christ,
    Michael

  60. Ave Maria!

    It is sad when abuses occur in any form; however, it is wrong to blame the Ordinary Form or Vatican II for these abuses just as it is wrong to say the entire Church is in error because of errors individuals make in the Church. People error, the Church does not. The Pope makes it clear that both the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form are traditional in the proper sense of the word – both are part of the tradition of the Liturgy/Church and both are Sacred and should be revered. Our Holy Father celebrates the Ordinary Form beautifully. I have a preference for the Ordinary Form because I can interiorize it more since it is in a language that I understand. I love hearing the prayers of the Mass, especially the Liturgy of the Eucharist. I can appreciate the Mass in any language, though, because it is the center, source, and summit of the Faith and Jesus is made present.

    “In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy. The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.”

    and again –

    “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.”

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/letters/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_let_20070707_lettera-vescovi_en.html

    I think Michael offers some good advice to Joanne about speaking to your spiritual director if you have one. We are all called to evangelize but not everyone is called to do that in the same way. Some are called to pray and some are called to take a more active role. I have great faith in Our Holy Father to bring about reforms for the good of the Church! As I have heard it said the Liturgy will not be perfect until we are able to participate in Heaven. The Church is always striving for the most perfect of the imperfect. Hmmm…….. what would you do, Michael, if in Heaven the Mass is in Aramaic…….

    In Christ,

    Marian

  61. Marian,
    Of the New Mass, then Cardinal Ratzinger now Pope Benedict XVI said, “in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries and replaced it — as in a manufacturing process — with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.”

    The new mass is valid. The holy father does not see any contradiction between the new mass and the Latin mass that is true but he never said the new mass is an expression of tradition or “traditional” in the quote I offer above he said the new mass is a product of what he called a “manufacturing process” that gave us a “fabrication” which is the exact opposite of the traditional organic growth of the liturgy. The new mass is valid but not traditional.
    In Christ,
    Michael

  62. Dear Michael,

    I must be misunderstood in what I was attempting to bring across. I don’t seek tribulation but have found it during many Novus Ordo Masses I have attended, yet Our Lord is still present. In the midst of the abuses I witnessed, I left Our Lord (meaning becoming distracted by it all) and thought of my own feelings. I fled in search of peace. I again use the example of Our Blessed Mother in union with her Son on the road to Calvary. Was that road paved with consolation and peace or was it repulsive, violent and tore at her very soul? (yet, she continued forward). That is my whole point. If there was anyone who is worthy of consolation it is Our Lady, not us. Sometimes we are so focused on details that we miss the time of Holy visitation. Our Lady stayed focused on her Son. You drive many miles for consolation. That is just my thought and nothing personal. Ave Maria!

  63. p.s to Michael.
    I watched that video you posted and it truly is quite upsetting but I also read the comments about the Cardinal that followed. They were equally ghastly. How unkind, unforgiving, judgemental of a Cardinal no less. But I also couldn’t help but wonder, what that video has to do with my immortal soul other than I am called to reverence and pray for Holy Mother Church and her priests. To me, watching those sort of things are where we enter the danger zone unless of course we are looking for things to pray about. Most of us don’t have to go farther that our daily lives. God Bless you through Mary Immaculate. Ave Maria!

  64. Michael,

    You do not want me to use the word “traditionalists” but then you go off and commit their crime, which is cherry pick “magisterial” teaching in order to support their version of Tradition. There are several problems in this particular case:

    1.) Your quote is not from any magisterial statement of Cardinal Ratzinger, but from the preface he wrote to the French edition of Klaus Gamber’s The Reform of the Roman Liturgy. This is not to say that his statement is insignificant, but the distinction needs to be made for the sake of clarity and transparency. The statement has no value as “magisterium.”

    2.) Your quote is presented out of context, even without any reference to the work from which it was taken. Likewise, presented isolated from the Cardinal’s other writings, such as The Spirit of the Liturgy and his preface to Dom Alcuin Reid’s book, your quote presents an unfair and inaccurate account of Cardinal Ratzinger’s position, let alone that of Pope Benedict.

    3.) Without playing the protestant “where does it say it in the Bible,” game, confer the following statement in regard to your claim that, while Pope Benedict denies any contradiction between the two forms, he never claims that the novus ordo is part of Tradition:

    There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.

    The sentences in italics indicate what is proper to Tradition, namely, that what is handed on develops without undergoing a rupture with the past. For this reason there can be no contradiction between the two forms. If there is no contradiction between the two forms and no historical rupture, and if tradition is a “handing-on” of something through history without rupture, then why is the novus ordo not “an expression of tradition?” Or are you simply saying that it is not because the pope did not spell it out in so many words?

    4.) Finally, in the Cardinal Ratzinger’s non-magisterial preface to Dom Alcuin Reid’s book he writes the following:

    The pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law; rather, he is the guardian of the authentic Tradition and, thereby, the premier guarantor of obedience. He cannot do as he likes, and he is thereby able to oppose those people who, for their part, want to do whatever comes into their head. His rule is not that of arbitrary power, but that of obedience in faith. That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones on the junk-pile. The “rite”, that form of celebration and prayer which has ripened in the faith and the life of the Church, is a condensed form of living Tradition in which the sphere using that rite expresses the whole of its faith and its prayer, and thus at the same time the fellowship of generations one with another becomes something we can experience, fellowship with the people who pray before us and after us. Thus the rite is something of benefit that is given to the Church, a living form of paradosis, the handing-on of Tradition.

    Confer again the italicized portions. Following these remarks Cardinal Ratzinger states:

    [P]eople might reduce the “substance” to the matter and form of the sacrament and say: Bread and wine are the matter of the sacrament; the words of institution are its form. Only these two things are necessary; everything else is changeable. At this point modernists and traditionalists are in agreement: As long as the material gifts are there, and the words of institution are spoken, then everything else is freely disposable.

    Thus, the liturgical fabricators indicated by Pope Benedict are not only those who abuse liturgical reform, but also those who refuse it as a part of legitimate liturgical development.

    In the last analysis it doesn’t matter what you and I think. The Holy Father is the guarantor of Tradition and he alone.

    The fact is if a Traditionalist admits that the novus ordo is a part of Tradition, his whole grand theory for the reform of the Church falls down like a house of cards. Everyone’s theory can be examined for its orthodoxy, except a traditionalist’s, precisely because it is alleged to be traditional. The problem is that it is not.

  65. Father,
    Perhaps it will be easier to defend the new mass when we see an increase of Baptisms,Marriages ( that have lots children) and Saints coming from those who attend it. So far the fruit is lacking in the wider Church. The numbers show the crisis still continues. I am waiting for the fruit. Pray for me.
    In Christ,
    Michael

  66. Ave Maria!

    Not that I am defending moral decay we are facing in our present time, but solely using numbers to determine whether Truth is being taught is false reasoning. In John Chapter 6, when Jesus is teaching about the Eucharist, we see many disciples walking away. I think you are stepping into dangerous territory when you start blaming the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the ills of society. People in every age have fallen away from the Truth of the Church, but it is not because any error in the Teachings of the Church.

    In Christ,
    Marian

  67. Marian,
    The truth is not in question. The new mass is new. Our Lord told us to judge a tree by it’s fruit. Vatican II & the new rosary,the new mass,the new language and tone,the new catechism and the new evangelism have not given the good fruit that we are looking for yet. My point is perhaps when and if things get better in the Church it will be easier to defend Vatican II & the new rosary,the new mass,the new language and tone,the new catechism and the new evangelism.

    It really doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is the fruit. Where is it? I am still waiting for it. The truth doesn’t depend on the new mass and it’s success or it’s failure the Faith existed before the new mass.
    In Christ,
    Michael

  68. Ave Maria!

    MIchael,

    So by applying your logic would you, for instance, blame the reformation on the pre-Vactican II Liturgy? I mean, 33,000+ denominations. Fruit?

    Michael, there have been many changes in the Liturgy since the time of Christ. It isn’t the Mass according to Michael, it isn’t the Mass according to Marian. It is the Mass of the Church. The Holy Spirit guides the Church to meet the spiritual needs of the people in every age. Rest assured that if you are in full communion with the Church you are safely guided.

    If you are all about numbers, here –

    http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-31768
    Priestly Vocations Increasing Worldwide

    So, now you can accept everything the Church teaches and we’re all good. :-)

    In Christ,
    Marian

  69. Ave Maria!

    I just wanted to post a couple of links. There is so much beauty and wisdom in the words of Our Holy Father!

    Pope’s Address to Conclude Week of Prayer for Unity
    “Patient Waiting Does Not Entail Passivity” but a “Response to Every Possibility of Communion”
    http://www.zenit.org/article-34192?l=english

    Unity focus of Pope’s address to CDF plenary
    http://www.news.va/en/news/unity-focus-of-popes-address-to-cdf-plenary

    In Christ,
    Marian

  70. I know I had promised to shut up now in this discussion… but I have to remark on the Holy Father’s recent terrific address to the CDF.

    I’m linking to the only good English translation I can find right now:
    http://tinyurl.com/733kxd6

    This is tradition in the best sense. This is the language of Our Holy Father. The fruits of ecumenism for example are HALF A MILLION souls in the Traditional Anglican Communion who will be able to call themselves Catholics under the Roman Rite if they so choose thanks to the generosity of Pope Benedict XVI.

    Their liturgical preference will appear very much like our Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (particularly due the the use of the Propers instead of the acclamations… a liturgical orientation which I find most edifying).

    It may be true that except for the Dominicans of Saint Cicilia… that TLM orders right now seem to be growing at a slightly faster rate then those who are solely N.O. communities. But that is partly related to the presence of the FSSP who, of course, are in full communion. In contrast, we can not really yet count SSPX in that math unless and until they are regularized, I’m sorry to say. And diocesan numbers which are almost all the New Mass are indeed coming up!

    To me the bottom line here is that eventually, obedience and beauty will trump all the talk and posturing.

    Father, you and I can agree to disagree on our individual takes re: the intent of the +Fellay Christmas message… but we CAN agree on this: “He who hears Peter hears Christ”. As admirers of Saint Francis though… I think all of us (especially me) could use a good dose of charity and gentleness when dealing with these divisions which are lesions on the Body of Jesus. I am also painfully aware of the lack of charity exhibited by many who proclaim themselves to be lovers of tradition. It is a reason I hesitate to call myself a traditional Catholic (though I probably am in a good sense to the extent that I listen to the Holy Father).

    We all must fast, pray the rosary, offer our holy communions and little sufferings so that the Society of Saint Pius X will come and accept a version of the doctrinal preamble within which they can enjoy a similar juridical praxis as the TAC.

    The Holy Father has been just that… A FATHER. Let’s hope that his patience prevails. We need the FSSPX and they NEED us and regularization.

    IJM Bob

  71. Fascism: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.

    Blocking or filtering my comments is a classic example of fascism. Who’s the fascist now?

  72. I’ll try again.
    Marian,
    I do except everything the Church teaches. I think we need to remember that not all Catholics are Latin rite Catholics. Some eastern rite Catholics don’t have the same problems with the mass that the Latin rite has had since the 1960′s. Never in the history of the Church has the mass been changed in the way the new mass came about never. The history of the new mass is clear and very concerning. Yes it is valid. Does that mean all Catholics must or should attend it?

    I think the history of how the new mass came to us is often not known by those who discuss it:

    [deleted]

    In Christ,
    Michael
    Father,
    I kindly reject the charge of “my sophistry” I have no intention of deceiving anyone. I have not seen what you have seen in the novus ordo communities and parishes. I hope to see it soon. Heaven knows I looked for it.

    I find it unreasonable to think we had Vatican II & the new rosary,the new mass,the new language and tone,the new catechism and the new evangelism and to think all these new things had little or nothing to do with the crisis in the Church is just simply unreasonable. I don’t think the facts of the history show that.

    I don’t think it is unreasonable to see the massive decline and crisis in the Church as being in part linked to the Vatican II & the new rosary,the new mass,the new language and tone,the new catechism and the new evangelism if for no other reason that some read into these things error. I can read into these new things a Catholic view others can read into them grave error. This is the problem with Vatican II people read into to it what they want. This is why many prefer what came before because it is tested and trustworthy. These new things are new and may bear much fruit. Time will tell. The crisis is not over. That is reality. That is not sophistry or a Post hoc ergo propter hoc argument.

    [deleted]

    Pray for me.
    In Christ,
    Michael

  73. Ave Maria!

    Michael,

    I see beauty in both the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form and I don’t believe I have ever indicated to anyone which of two Forms of the Rite they should attend, just that I prefer to attend a Mass in a language that I can understand. Again, both Forms are Sacred and should be revered. I accept and embrace the Teachings of the Church and the guidance of the Pope on this matter.

    A false prophet is somebody who is teaching/promoting something other than what the Church teaches.

    Liturgical abuse and many other types of abuse have occured both prior to and after Vatican II, which is unfortunate because the entire Church suffers and that is when people lose faith and fall away from the Church.

    In Christ,
    Marian

  74. Father,
    I am not a traditionalist. I am a Catholic! Using divide and conquer tactics on Catholics is very curious to say the least. Where is the “dialogue” that we here so much about you said “You have had enough say” “dialogue” is supposed to be the highest of virtues among the “new” movement.

    (deleted)

    I guess “dialogue” is just for the antichrists,heretics and schismatics.

    To edit comments by removing links & withholding information from people is classic fascism which you claim to appose in Michael Voris and other Catholics who want a Catholic state and this is also very curious to say the least since you are doing to me what you claim to oppose in them. Interesting.

    War is peace. The links were edited because they shatter the doublespeak and doublethink that are so often among the tactics that are used by the wolves.

    No father the new is not old. War is not peace. Next time you want to go after a Bishop and then attack Michael Voris for doing the same thing perhaps you will refrain. Some of us are paying attention to everything. These kind of scandalous blogs posts only divide Catholics.
    In Christ,
    Michael
    PS: deleting this question was also very very curious.
    Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini? Who was Annibale Bugnini?

  75. Michael,

    The comment policies are published in the side bar. No one is forced to comment. Commenting access is generally open and in unmoderated, but obviously that does not suggest the blog is owned by everyone. You comment here, you abide by my rules. Period.

    It is interesting that you conceive of a blog as though it were a civil state, and that my control over the blog that I, and not you, produce is somehow control over your life. You consider my control over these comments somehow a threat to you, but you dismiss real threats of political disenfranchisment. Now that is really interesting.

    No one’s access to information has been limited, nor has your voice been limited, anymore than a heretic’s voice would be limited if, say, he was not allowed to preach from a Catholic pulpit. You have the whole Internet to play in. I am sure you can be clever and manufacture a nice little conspiracy about me and why I deleted the all so intriguing question “Who is Annibale Bugnini?”

    But I am going to let you play the martyr for your cause, Michael. You are officially banished from Maryvictrix. Adieu.

  76. How does one interpret this recent action on the part of the CDF?

    “In a letter of the 25th November 2011, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, recognized the repudiation of schism (abjuration) made by archimandrite Athenagoras Bogoridi-Liven. The Orthodox dignitary made the act on the first Sunday of Advent before bishop Bernard Fellay, the general superior of the SSPX, in the Benedictine abbey of Bellaigue (Auvergne). In his letter the cardinal prefect recognized the ecclesiastical dignity of Fr Bogoridi-Liven, naming him praelatus domesticus, a domestic prelate of His Holiness.”

    “Monsignor Bogoridi-Liven is currently staying at the Benedictine monastery of Our Lady in Bellaiague, which is connected to the SSPX. He came there in August of last year, asking its prior, Dom Placide, to receive him into the bosom of the universal Church. [Private source.]”

    Does this tell us anything about the relationship between the Society and Rome? In other words… do you believe Rome will eventually get fed up and dismiss the latest doctrinal preamble… or can something like this be considered a sign of cordiality and openness on both sides of the dispute?

  77. Ave Maria!
    Do you have any other sources to verify this information? I am seeing very little on this and everything ranging from the information being unfounded, deceptive, to stating that the letter doesn’t even exist.
    In Christ, Marian

  78. Marian: The report is indeed incorrect. Thank you for pointing this out. The original source of the misinformation is here:
    http://exlaodicea.wordpress.com/

    The FSSPX themselves responded rather quickly that the report was unfounded.

    According to the SSPX site… the response was: “The affirmation according to which the abjuration was received from the hands of Bp. Fellay and approved by Cardinal Levada is incorrect.”

    Servus, Bob

    PS: Happy Candlemas!

  79. Hello

    The source of the claim was what appears to be the Polish news site of the SSPX, as was clearly stated in my post. The title of my post had a question mark, and I added at the end first the source of the text I translated, and that *if* it was true, it was very interesting.

    I added a correction as soon as I learned that the original post had been wrong (or, as the original SSPX site’s apology and partial retraction reads, potentially misleading!): you will find an addition to my first post and an additional post, both with a link to an article wiith Rome’s comments.

    berenike
    (Laodicea)

  80. Ave Maria!

    I try to stick to the main Catholic websites for reliable news – like EWTN, NEWS.VA, Zenit, CNS. Catholic Culture is also one of my favorites. They offer a variety of educational topics and do a good job of reporting news, good and bad, in a way that is factual/unbiased.

    And, greetings to you on the Feast of St. Blaise!

    In Christ,
    Marian

  81. Ave Maria!

    February 03, 2012 5:29 PM

    SSPX leader: ‘we have to say no’

    The head of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has indicated that the traditionalist group remains at odds with the Vatican on key issues regarding the teachings of Vatican II. In a sermon delivered http://www.catholicculture.org/news/

    In Christ,
    Marian

  82. I believe, on the one hand, that SSPX must eventually obey. The longer they remain in a canonically irregular ralationship with Rome… the more danger there is of them setting up a kind of parallel magisterium. This is especially true if +Fellay dies before a return to regularization.

    On the other hand… when you look at the time line of the Church… 4 popes and 49 years is actually a tiny blip on the screen.

    In this line below… each hypen is 100 years starting from when Our Lord gave birth to the One True Church. Vatican II… and 49 years is about one QUARTER of the WIDTH of the period at the right end in the line below.

    ——————-.-

    What this means to me… is that there has not been enough time to really understand the council in perspective. We are still too close to it to see it in proportion to the rest of the time line of the teaching Church. That’s my stupid opinion on it and anyone is free to disagree with me. However, when I examine many of the comments on various ‘reliable news sites’… I notice one thing: The layman actually does believe in a super-dogma of Vatican II which can not be found in the council documents themselves.

    So here we sit… waiting… hoping… feeling the concern that only a broken family can feel really.

    For this ‘deal’ to go through is going to require much humility on both sides. I have followed the life of Joseph Ratzinger for almost as long as I have been a practicing Catholic. I have trust that he will bring this ship home as the Vicar of Christ. He is a good and humble servant who, I’m sure, never wanted this job… but fate and the Providence of Holy Ghost had quite different plans for him… and we ought to be grateful to God and to our Queen for him.

    We must pray for Bishop Bernard Fellay. I may not agree with what he is doing… but I certainly understand what he is saying.

    Mother of the Church, hear our prayer!

    IJM Bob

  83. Well … actually good ole WordPress changed to font… so each hyphen is now approx 330 years…. but you get the point.

    It aint over till it’s over. All I can say is I’m glad I’m a layman.

  84. Ave Maria!

    My apologies! I thought the link in my previous email would take you directly to the article but it didn’t so I am pasting it below.
    There was much about his sermon that left me scratching my head but the paragraph highlighted in the article was particularly perplexing. If his answer to these other points are truly yes, then there would be obedience to the Pope. Again, the claim of traditional but not really so. The keys of the authority given to the Pope – the unbroken line from the beginning.

    In Christ,
    Marian
    _________________

    SSPX leader: ‘we have to say no’
    February 03, 2012

    The head of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has indicated that the traditionalist group remains at odds with the Vatican on key issues regarding the teachings of Vatican II.

    In a sermon delivered on February 2 at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, Bishop Bernard Fellay said that the unresolved issue in talks between the SSPX and Rome is the Vatican’s insistence that the traditionalists accept the authority of the Council. “And practically, at many levels, we have to say no,” he said. Bishop Fellay elaborated:

    The key problem in our discussions with Rome was really the Magisterium, the teaching of the Church. Because they say, “we are the pope, we are the Holy See” – and we say, yes. And so they say, “we have the supreme power,” and we say, yes. They say, “we are the last instance in teaching and we are necessary” – Rome is necessary for us to have the Faith, and we say, yes. And then they say, “then, obey.” And we say, no.
    The SSPX leader said that his group’s latest response to the Vatican is still under study there.

    Additional sources for this story
    Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

    •Extract from the Sermon of Bishop Fellay on February 2nd, 2012 (St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary)

  85. Marian: It is perplexing. As Father said in the beginning of this illuminating discussion… the weakest link in Fr. Angelo’s argument are the abuses forced upon many by various bishops. And the anger and mistrust which we now see from those who are automatically suspicious of the present magisterium… is in many ways reflected in +Fellay’s response. The CDF for their part told Bishop Fellay that he could alter the doctrinal preamble… and so I’m sure nobody at the CDF is surprised that he actually took them up on that. It is clear to me that SSPX wants and needs regularization… but they are demanding a ‘get out of jail card’ on the matter of religious liberty (which the Holy Father could easily give them if he chooses to since it is not an infallible teaching and there is room for discussion as long as there is an intent to obey eventually).

    There are many people, both ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberal’ Catholics (gosh I hate using those terms these days)… who in their heart of hearts do not wish to see SSPX regularized. Shame on them! S h a m e o n t h e m ! For they are wishing for a continuation of a broken home.

    This all It proves one important thing to me though…. The core issue is not one of liturgy but of ecclesiology. The liturgical question, which the Holy Father rectified was addressed in SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM. If you have not already done so, I highly recommend a slow and careful read of the document.

    I know a few SSPXers and they are as varied in their outlook as many Catholics who enjoy regularization. But the one thing they have in common is a suspicion of the magisterium… and that is not entirely unfounded. I won’t bore you with the numerous examples. This was the thing which Father Angelo articulated which really hit home for me though. (I paraphrase:) “Am I suspicious. Do I trust that God and The Queen of Heaven will guide?” Unsettling questions and I’m grateful to be asking myself these questions and looking in the mirror!

    In the end… you are quite correct when you say obedience pays off both here and hereafter. The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) is enjoying the fruits of that obedience and they have a complete right within their order to celebrate the Usus Antiquoir exclusively. Are they perfect? No! But besides God and Our lady… what is?

    But here is the real tragedy: The beauty and dignity of the Tridentine rite gets completely lost when it is forced upon people as violently as the New Mass was forced upon so many back in 1965. The same kind of damage is done… only in reverse. The Devil is very clever. We must go slow and let love guide us. This is the truly masculine approach… gentle true and steady patience.

    My wife and children and I hope to some day move to a location where the old rite is celebrated exclusively. The FSSP has parishes like this throughout the world. It is by choice… nobody to force this on us. But it does not give me the right to look down on Catholics who somehow in God’s mysterious plan favor the Mass of Paul VI. Whenever someone uses that kind of force… they are committing a sin. Any time one derogates or denigrates the valid New Mass or those who prefer it… you do damage to the body of Christ. Do I prefer the Tridentine rite almost exclusively to the old rite? Yes! Do my teenage children and many, many young people today today prefer it as the Holy Father told us in his Motu Proprio? Yes! But you CAN NOT and MUST NOT use force in this matter as I’m sure you will agree. To do so will cause a rebellion and loss of faith.

    Some day, I wish to write WHY I so love the old rite. But that is a matter for another time, This is about obedience which is the proof of love.

    Keep praying for a reconciliation!

    Ave Maria. Bob

  86. Ave Maria!

    I guess I can only repeat what I have already said and that is Christ is one with the Church as Bridgeroom and Bride. We have His promise to be with the Church always (Matthew 28:20). So yes, suspicion is unfounded because the Holy Spirit is always guiding the Church. Now, those that won’t bow to the Pope, that’s another spirit working and that is where suspicion is rightly placed. I certainly will pray for the SSPX and all those who are separated from the Churh, that they return to full communion.

    There is much beauty in the Extraordinary Form and I totally respect your preference for it.

    This is an excellent conference by Fr. Angelo on a Year of Faith http://airmaria.com/2012/02/05/video-conferences-162-fr-angelo-mary-geiger-f-i-a-year-of-faith/

    God bless you!

    In Christ,
    Marian

  87. Robert Fox @
    February 5, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Robert,

    I am not sure where you found the news that the CDF offered the SSPX the opportunity to suggest modifications to the preamble. In fact, the sources I have checked, suggest the opposite. See for example:

    However, the heads of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada and Mgr. Guido Pozzo, are of the opinion that no substantial changes can be made to the document.

    Here are some other articles that indicate diplomacy continues (various twists suggested).

    The problem is that the preamble almost certainly affirms magisterial authority to settle all matters. The Pope and the Holy Office are not going to submit their decisions for the approval of “scientific theologians.” Furthermore, there is no indication that the Pope is going to submit the Council to scientific analysis to distinguish what is infallible from what is fallible. This is to concede to the SSPX on their principle point. On the contrary, the Holy See will require what it has always insisted upon, namely, that the SSPX accepts VII as part of Tradition, that they accept the hermeneutic of continuity, and then, and only then, can particular issues be discussed.

    All of these points belong to the essence of the discussion and it is precisely on these points that the society has refused to budge. It is most unlikely that the Holy See will permit revisions on these points and equally unlikely that the society has any substantial interest other than the modification of these points.

  88. Dear Father: The comments I refer to came from +Fellay. He states while being asked about the lack of information relating to the content of the preamble that came from Cardinal Levada’s office: in his 11/28/2011 interview the following:

    “This discretion is normal for any important proceeding; it ensures the seriousness of it. It so happens that the Doctrinal Preamble that was delivered to us is a document which can be clarified and modified, as the accompanying note points out. It is not a definitive text…”

    So unless the bishop is lying, I don’t think anyone seriously following this discussion was surprised at at least 3 iterations before regularization will be contemplated by His Holiness.

    Ave Maria!

    Bob

  89. Bob, I think if you follow the history of the dialogue you will find that the SSPX have made no concessions, and continue to act as though the benefit of the interaction is to be accrued by the Holy See which needs to learn about the true nature of Tradition from the society. I see no reason to suspect the contrary. I am open to evidence to the contrary. I have found none. Even in the quote you give, the direct inference is that if the preamble cannot be signed the defect is to be attributed to the CDF.

  90. Father: I have been following this history of the dialogue since the day of the illicit consecrations. I am aware of the same things you are with regard to those things which have been made public, and also a few things which have not been made public.

    As for “who made what concessions when”… in this long interval (a good portion of my own lifetime as a Catholic)… I don’t think either you or I are in a position to know… or as the saying in Rome has been for many hundreds of years “There are those who know… but do not talk… and then there are those who talk… but do not know”. You and I are both in the latter category.

    But we do know this: It is the Holy Father’s great work to bridge this gap and regularize these men and their flocks. Some will come back… a portion will not and they will be in grave peril who do not come back… for that door will lead to sedevacantism… and that is perdition!

    As to the blip on the screen which is this council… and particularly the present matter of contention, which is Dignitatis Humanae… I believe (opinion… warning.. opinion)… that this subject will benefit even further clarification as time goes on. This has partly been done already by this Holy Father as I’m sure you now. We must wait and learn from him and his successors.

    You are correct when you say that this dear pontiff is not going to dicker with or get into what words (in such and such a document) are infallible and what words are not. His goal is simply to heal a rift. I believe he will do it and I know God wills it.

    Just as you have had to deal with the “air tight” idiocy of real Traditionalism with a capital ‘T’… a much greater majority of men & women in the pew have had to deal with the equally pernicious and air tight clericalism of ecclesiastical conciliar-ism (that is: That the Church should be evangelized by the world, not the other way around). In some ways… we may be in danger of an opposite knee jerk reaction to this. And your ‘prophesy’ (If I may call it that), that a new fascism will arise if those of a ‘conservative bent’ (there’s those lousy labels again)… are permitted to discard those things which are most beneficial from the council documents (and also I would add Rerum Novarum and Centesimus Annus)… is actually a well fonded prophesy. (Good heavens… sorry about the run on sentence there). But we must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    As uncomfortable a thought as ‘SSPX regularization’ may be to many who dislike their attitude… it is a major goal of this papacy. But SSPX resistance is rooted in a well founded fear… which nevertheless is a fear they must overlook for sake of obedience in the end. You have to look at this as a family feud… where the father is trying to heal the rift… by not imposing too many restrictions.

    Will that happen? I don’t know. I do know that many of the “Justitia et Pax” types:

    (you know… the ones who like to draw stick figures of Our Lord on letterhead and who prefer to help fund Acorn like organizations and help CCHD and pro abortion politicians [especially Catholic ones] so that we can indirectly get the public to further fund Planned Parenthood sympathizers from the pews and also from our tax returns)

    will not be to happy to see a regularization of SSPX if and when it does occur. Sorry for the Donatistic language… but it is what it is.

    Here is the real shame though: So much psychological force and emotional capital is being exerted by well meaning people on both sides of this argument (I’m not talking about the Holy Father… I’m talking about folks in yours or my position)… that the value of the liturgical reform and the old rite is being lost on many. There is a kind of hardening of positions which makes our language toward each other so harsh that we will soon no longer hear each other for the shouting. We want to watch out for that.

    Solution: Pray, fast, work for beauty as you are already doing.

    Observation: Often, I have gone to a Low Mass and asked myself this: Does the lack of participation and the minimalism of the Low Mass differ from the banal experience of the most abusive Novus Ordo? No. Many will be turned away from the usus antiquior by a prideful, almost elitist silence of “non-participatio actuosa” where the poor man in the pew is a silent and mute spectator. THIS IS MOST HARMFUL especially to newcomers to the old rite. So if and when you do celebrate the old Mass… make it a SUNG HIGH MASS with well prepared propers, hymns and make sure the man in the pew knows that it is the mind of the Church for “them to participate in those responses which are appropriate to them”. Every man must have the Latin and English side by side for all the parts of the Mass. I know you use those little red books and they are good for a start… but the propers in English must also be available. I think your own excellent Liturgical website has the propers in English and Latin side by side. I was able to secure the rights for airmaria.com from another website (with no strings attached) and so they can easily be printed out for the man in the pew… and they ought to be. Many attendees of the EF do not know that the Church encourages them to sing the ordinaries and responses with gusto and love!

    Make use of sources which are not embroiled in this frightful discussion like the Church Music Association of America or CCWatershed. Send one or two men to the CMAA annual Colloquium (coming up this spring.. hurry if you wish to register)
    http://musicasacra.com/colloquium/

    God and the Holy Father will work this out… particularly if humble minds prevail. But in the mean time… keep working for beauty. If you have not taken the 55 minutes to watch the CMAA video on the Colloquium, then do so. What they do is good for the OF and good for the EF… hence it’s good for all of us. It will LIFT YOUR SPIRITS IN A VERY NON-PARTISAN WAY! Also… you will realize that there are young people who do not even remember the council controversies who work to restore chant and polyphony in both the EF and OF with equal fervor… with no ideological axe to grind! BIG PLUS! They have no axe to grind against the council, see it for what it is, and are totally faithful to the magisterium (it’s a one-two punch as one young gal in the video puts it… truth and beauty)

    We are in for a bit of happy suffering in all this though. But that’s OK, we are followers of Jesus and Mary… and we know a little bit about that, huh?

    IJM Bob

  91. Bob,

    Thank you for your comment. You make many good points. I do not want to belabor this much further. Perhaps we will just have to disagree and wait hopefully for a favorable outcome.

    I would simply say, that even considering the points you make, the central issue, namely, the doctrinal preamble, is a pretty simple one. You can be sure that the preamble is relatively short, and settles no particular theological issue and no practical issue whatsoever. It is a “preamble,” a simple expression of first principles, a bear minimum from which to proceed. Furthermore, it has been approved from the top. You can be sure that there is nothing there that the Holy Father did not want there. This is why I believe that, though the CDF will continue to work its diplomacy and make sure that the door is left open, what I quoted above from Cardinal Levada and Mons. Pozzo is accurate.

    There is no skating around the fundamental issues, and Pope Benedict has directed this dialogue in such a way that the discussion has been reduced to its essentials.

    I am not part of the dialogue. My job is not diplomacy. Where I live, I see it my job to point out some fundamental realities to those who I believe are giving traditionalism or traditionalist tendencies far more credit than they deserve. I think the SSPX is given far more credit for being the guardians of Tradition than it deserves.

    Just saying.

  92. Ave Maria!

    Robert, do you speak/understand Latin? When I have attended a Mass where there is a mix of English and Latin I find myself silently praying in English and then joining in with the Latin somewhere half way through after I have prayed the prayer in English because I don’t feel like I have prayed if I don’t know what I am saying, I may have recited the prayers but I don’t really feel like I have prayed/interiorized the prayers. This is particularly true if the Creed is prayed in Latin. That is an important profession of what I believe and I take it very seriously. There have been one or two times when we are at the point where we bow during the Creed and I have missed it if is prayed in Latin because I don’t understand the words and have felt very sad afterward. Again, I just don’t feel like I have prayed unless I understand what I am saying.

    In Christ,
    Marian

    • Marian – That’s my trouble, too! I have a very OLD missalette with both the English and Latin side-by-side but to be pitifully honest, I struggle following that since it’s laid out differently. So, I spend the whole Mass trying to figure out what on earth I’m doing that I cannot possibly spend time in true prayer. Or, I zone out and just do my own praying and basically lose the fact that I’m attending Mass. Both are serious compromises, I think. I”m sure I would eventually figure it all out, but how many prayerless Masses would I attend before that happened? Is the Mass beautiful? Absolutely. Is that enough? I don’t know.

  93. Father, Marian and Jennifer: I have profited enormously from this dialogue… and again thanks dear Father for your patience and tenacity (truly a Franciscan trait). Incidentally, I don’t entirely disagree with you on your point… just your emphasis… and it’s very much tied to what I deal with daily versus what you deal with daily.

    Father, Marian and Jennifer… I promise that I will write a simple summary of what I have gleaned as a “man in the pew” from the EF.

    No lay person should feel as if they are being left out in the cold at the Tridentine rite. No, you do not need to know Latin… but you will end up learning to recognize certain phrases accidentally, slowly, organically and painlessly. I will say that there are essential HINTS that the priest gives when offering Mass which I have found invaluable. Also… I will make it clear what parts are what. I’m no expert… but I know enough to help the guy or gal next to me… and I want to do that.

    I will take a break from my current book review and do this (via blog) especially for you both. It will take me a few weeks to do well… and I promise to keep it brief and free from any non-essentials.

    Father… perhaps you can check up on me from time to time and make sure I don’t get anything wrong. I’m a lowly software developer… not a liturgist.

    Ave Maria, Mater Ecclesiae, ora pro nobis (I bet both you “marys” know what that is saying).

    Cordially, Bob & family

  94. Here is Bishop Fellay on February 2. More or less what I expected:

    It goes even further, my dear brethren. That was during the discussion. At the end of the discussion, comes this invitation from Rome. In this invitation there is a proposition of a canonical situation that is to regularize our situation. And I may say, what is presented today, which is already different from what was presented on the 14th of September, we can consider it as all right, good. They fulfilled all our requirements, I may say, on the practical level. So there is not much problem there. The problem remains at the other level – at the level of the doctrine. But even there it goes very far – very far, my dear brethren. The key is a principle. Which they say, “this you must accept; you must accept that for the points that make difficulty in the Council – points which are ambiguous, where there is a fight – these points, like ecumenism, like religious liberty, these points must be understood in coherence with the perpetual teaching of the Church.” “So if there is something ambiguous in the Council, you must understand it as the Church has always taught throughout the ages.”

    They go even further and say, “one must reject whatever is opposed to this traditional teaching of the Church.” Well, that is what we have always said. Amazing, isn’t it? That Rome is imposing on us this principle. Amazing. Then you may wonder, then why don’t you accept? Well, my dear brethren, there is still a problem. The problem is that in this text they give two applications of what and how we have to understand these principles. These two examples that they give to us are ecumenism and religious liberty, as they are described in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, which are exactly the points for which we reproach the Council.

    In other words, Rome tells us, we have done that all the time. We are traditional; Vatican II is Tradition. Religious liberty, ecumenism is Tradition. It is in full coherence with Tradition. You just wonder, where do we go? What kind of words will we find to say, we agree or we don’t? If even the principles which we have kept and said, they say, yes it’s ok you can say that, because this means what we mean, which is exactly the contrary of what we mean.

    I think we could not go further in the confusion. In other words, my dear brethren, that means that they have another meaning with the word “tradition,” and even maybe even with “coherence.” And that’s why we were obliged to say no. We’re not going to sign that. We agree with the principle but we see that the conclusion is contrary. Great mystery! Great mystery! So what is going to happen now? Well, we have sent our answer to Rome. They still say that they’re reflecting on it, which means they’re probably embarrassed. At the same time I think we may see now what they really want. Do they really want us in the Church or not? We told them very clearly, if you accept us as is, without change, without obliging us to accept these things, then we are ready. But if you want us to accept these things, we are not. In fact we have just quoted Archbishop Lefebvre who said this already in 1987 – several times before, but the last time he said it was in 1987.

    Schism is in the bones.

  95. And this from the same link:

    There will be an end to this trial, I don’t know when. Sometimes there is hope that it will come. Sometimes it is like despair. God knows when, but really, humanly speaking, we must wait for quite a time before hoping to see things better – five, ten years. I am persuaded that in ten years things will look different because the generation of the Council will be gone and the next generation does not have this link with the Council. And already now we hear several bishops, my dear brethren, several bishops tell us: you give too much weight to this Council; put it aside. It could be a good way for the Church to go ahead. Put it aside; forget it. Let’s go back to the real thing, to Tradition

    (emphasis mine).

    Nah. They are not coming back any time soon.

  96. Father… since Dario Cardinal Castrillion has told us that the correct word for them is not schism… but rather a canonical irregularity… I think we ought to take him at his word. At the time (not very long ago)… Cardinal Hoyos was the competent authority on the matter. Much more recently (and much more importantly) the Holy Father used the words “Irregular canonical Status”. This precludes the word schism!

    So I will paraphrase to you what you often like to say (and you are right to say it). ‘Schism’ it’s your opinion, but not an opinion the Holy See shares.

    The FACTS are that they are in a canonical irregularity.

    When and if they are regularized… I would hate to be like the good son who rejects the other brother. The ‘prodigal son’ is an excellent touchstone here.

    Yes! Several BISHOPS have said that about the council. There are good things to take away from the council… and there are ambiguous things which the enemies of orthodoxy themselves have said they indeed used and continue to use. It is not the council they object to… it is this ‘super dogma’ that they have turned the council into.

    So, with respect, while you excoriate others about second guessing the Holy Father… that is exactly what you are doing now by proclaiming them schismatics. And… you are unwittingly undermining His Holiness’s efforts.

    You are free to disagree… but those are the facts… and I say them with love, but I say them nonetheless.

    Servus, Bob

  97. Bob,

    Actually, I simply said that “schism is in the bones.” If the SSPX is on the way into the Church by accepting the Council, then perhaps my comment is non-applicable. If however, they are digging their heals in, which every shred of evidence indicates, then exactly why should I not suggest that their tendency is schismatic? Unless, of course, you sympathize with their position.

    I have quoted BXVI on the status of the SSPX above and even indicated the wide birth given to them. I am not pretending to determine or modify their canonical status. I don’t seriously believe you think I am attempting such a thing. The excommunication was lifted as a means to bring them back into the Church, not to legitimize their irregularity or the course of events that lead them to it.

    My point is simply that Bishop Fellay and the other leaders of the SSPX simply do not accept the Council and will not. Period. There has never been any real indication that they would. In fact, they have given signs over and over again, that the dialogue was being used by them to convince the Vatican that the Council was wrong.

    Fellay says explicitly that the Council should be forgotten. Exactly why should I walk on eggs? Is Bishop Fellay walking on eggs and measuring his words about the Council and about the members of the Holy See, whom he says are embarrassed by their own alleged lack of fidelity to Tradition? This is whole reason why I don’t back down from all this. Why is the SSPX getting so much sympathy from orthodox Catholics? Because they offer a virile alternative to namby pamby Catholicism. The problem is that it is not the genuine article. Very few from these quarters will say much about it. I will not shut up. I might shut up if their poison was not being spread beyond the confines of their society, but it is.

    Again, I am not engaging in Vatican diplomacy. And I would have no problem signing anything the Holy Father gave me to sign in respect to Vatican II. Why am I, so to speak, on trial? Because I accept the Council without qualification? Does that make me suspect in respect to the true Tradition?

    You seem to suggest that because the Vatican is trying to make it easy for the SSPX to come back into the Church that I should somehow sympathize with their position; that what Pope Benedict is really saying is that there is some validity to the SSPX’s refusal to sign the preamble. This is simply fallacious.

  98. I’m simply saying that when it comes to discussing these things you ought to abide by your own verbal rules (I think they are good ones… and you laid them down when you shot down my ‘McBrien comment’ et. al.). Bishop Fellay has said nothing here that a few other bishops have not already said.

    Saying ‘schism is in the bones’ at an end of an otherwise good post mimics the same tactics you have accused me of. And more importantly… it is a ‘dialogue stopper’. I can’t imagine the Holy Father approving of that kind of talk in light of what he is attempting to do.

    As I said earlier… there are those who know, but do not talk. Then there are those who talk, but do not know. You and I are in the latter group.

    I’m moving on to something more constructive.

    Ave Maria! Bob

  99. Bob,

    I know that Bishop Fellay thinks the Council should be forgotten. I don’t care how many bishops say this. It is wrong, and plainly anti-papal. There is no good spin on this.

  100. Exactly how many councils do you think you and I can remember Father? Does that make you and I anti pope? I think the real problem is that you and I can ONLY remember Vatican II.

    THAT IS a problem.

    Gnite.

  101. Father: I’m sure you mean well, but you have officially and permanently lost me on this.

    I’m pretty sure it was the “schism in the bones” comment (we were actually having a real conversation before that). I’m beginning to think that you do not actually WANT them regularized as the Holy Father does.

    I do wish you the best of luck with this little council… (as you know… there were 21 coucils… I hope you have not forgotten any of them for that would make us “anti-papal”… right?).

    May the myopia induced by council number 21 serves you well. Time will indeed tell… but the demographics don’t look too good from here my friend. Oh… that’s right… I forgot… my own bishop tells me it’s a “crisis in CULTURE not a crisis in faith”. Well… he is my bishop and so he must be right!

    You may type the word “spin” all you like, but so many of my direct assertions to you regarding this sensitive matter have been left unanswered.

    I’m sure that you have your “amen corneer”. I am not in it.

    From where I sit… the ecclesiastical landscape shows three things:
    Banality, sterility, shrinkage.

    No need to ban me… I will just remove myself from the MaryVictrix e-mail responder.

  102. Ave Maria!

    Hi Jennifer, You express such an earnest deisre to pray I can’t imagine that God is not pleased by that. Yes, though, in one of the books I have read about the history of the Mass – I think it was a book titled the “HIstory of the Mass” by Robert Cabie – it mentions that people prayed the Rosary, Novenas, etc., during the Latin Mass. These devotional prayers, of course, are beautiful but should not be prayed during the Mass.

    I have been watching this Candlemass in the EF in one-hour segments (3 hours long – I am about 2 hours into it) from the link Robert provided. It has a sort of tutorial with it by a member of the FSSP so he explains what is going on which is nice. Of course, he is promoting the EF during his narration. It is beautiful if you have time to watch it. I think the postures really emphasize reverence. On the orientation of the priest during the Eucharistic prayer facing the east, I can see where that would be less distracting for the priest not to be facing the people and the symbolism, I believe, is that he is leading us. However, I also see the beautiful symbolism of In persona Christi expressed in the OF when the priest faces the people as Jesus would have been at the Last Supper.

    http://musicasacra.com/2012/02/05/latin-mass-archbishop-thomas-wenski-pontifical-solemn-high-mass-miami-candlemas

    In Christ,

    Marian

  103. +Dear Fr. Angelo and all, I hope you don’t mind me commenting late. This discussion has gone on and I would catch up when I could. First of all, I am eternally grateful for the original posting (with the sarcasm because it wouldn’t have hit me without it) and Fr. Angelo’s guidance and defense of the posting. It has brought to me (after a year and 1/2 of grief)…pacem! It caused me to look within, versus blaming our One Holy and APOSTOLIC Church and the Magisterium for the problems I would experience at the Novus Ordo Mass. You see, there is one thing I failed to see in all of the commentary on Fr.’s posting. That the blame should go on the weakness of men. On us. Has anyone ever considered that the culture and it’s pulls towards sin has had the greatest affect on the Catholic Church. Because after all, it is easier to give into it than to follow the laws of the Lord most High. Moving along and responding to something Mr. Fox said, “do I trust in God”? above all things? If I did then I would know that HE would not leave HIS vicar, HIS flock, me alone. I challenge anyone to find a writing by our beautiful Pope Benedict XVI that has led us away from the wont of holiness. To me, that is my discernment. I love the Traditional liturgy (because of the way my conversion took place) but I can now go to a Novus Ordo Mass on weekdays in peace and prayer, knowing that Our Lord would never leave us. He promised HE would not. The question is, do I believe that? I don’t believe that the SSPX believes that. If they did, they would have not separated themselves but remained. We are quick to be critical of our beloved Pope but somehow thing that the SSPX has the answers to the disturbing things we have experienced. I always go back to Our Lady on the road to Calvary. Why is it that we can’t suffer and offer? Why are we so quick to be critical of the Mystical Body of Christ? I can’t help but think of persecuted Christians especially during the 2nd world war….or Fr. Chisack (spelling may not be right) who celebrated Mass under the most meager of circumstances. Do we realize how blessed we are that we have the options that we do and under such great guidance as our Pope? Fr. Angelo, I am eternally grateful for the inner reflection you have afforded me by your posting (sarcasm and all). Ave Maria+

    • Ave Maria!
      Joanne,
      That was beautifully said …. gulp. You mentioned how grateful you were for the initial post with the bit of sarcasm in it because his message wouldn’t have hit you without it. Honestly, I think for most of us, that is the truth in a nutshell. I was recently talking to a friend about this who said that she likes the ‘gentle’ approach at reaching people. But I said how MOST of us don’t ‘convert’ our warped ways unless we’ve been hit with the 2×4 … we need what I call the ‘sting’. Are we ticked off at first sometimes? Yep. But when the dust finally settles, it is that painful blow that we are forced to address. Last year, I was talking about the church’s teaching on artificial birth control with an older fellow at my parish. He BIT MY HEAD OFF …. he yelled at me for WEEKS; scowled at me for months. I stood firm and insisted that this wasn’t MY teaching. A year later, he thanked me because he had realized that he had been taught things incorrectly and he was scared and angry when I suggested that he needed to see things differently.

      This is a lesson to us all … not to be uncharitable, but to speak the truth at all costs even though it’s initially taken as being uncharitable by those who disagree. Most times we don’t get that consolation that I got, but it’s the ‘sting’ that is needed to trip us while we’re skipping along on the wrong path.

      God bless you all for taking the time to comment on this subject.

  104. +Ave Maria.
    Jennifer, I have to tell you the sarcasm really upset me at first because a particular priest (wouldn’t have mattered who it was) was mentioned. I’ve heard alot of people talking about priests, whether this be among daily communicants or fallen away Catholics or agnostics. With the exception of one time (which by the way was at the first EF Mass, I attended) I have always spoken up. I would say something like “at the time of your death, our Lord will not ask you about the behavior of a particular priest. But I would guess most likely He will ask you why YOU judged His priests and then ask why you didn’t spend your time praying for him instead of criticizing him as He taught you to do.” I can tell you this is a lonely position. Just like the man about birth control, they battle you. I think it’s seeing that it’s not them that is battling you but their pride and we all know where that comes from…so you stand your lonely ground. Fr, Angelo standing his ground here forced me to look within. What I discovered is how judgemental i’ve been and how selfish that things have to be to my liking in something so Holy as the Mass. Wow! Also, why is it that we blame Vatican II and never look to the culture since Vatican II (for example, stores opening on Sunday and how damaging that was to the family). Granted the Catholic culture has changed but God never changes. How blessed we are to know this and (gulpx2) called to a greater responsibility. My thinking has been totally turned around by Fr.’s responses. By the way, this is the second time Fr. socked me out of clouded state by a post. The first one was about Lila Rose using deceptive practices to bring out the truth about Planned Parenthood. Deception (a lie) only adds to the evil even if your intentions are good. A lie is a lie. If we still don’t understand Fr. Angelo’s original post, I suggest we keep returning to it until we get it. It can change everything and enable us to see that what may appear to be good on the outside cannot be, if you look deeper into their words and intentions. God Bless you! Ave Maria+

  105. Pingback: Traditionalism and Liturgy « Mary Victrix

  106. Pingback: The Spirit of Summorum Pontificum « Mary Victrix

  107. Pingback: SSPX on the Brink « Mary Victrix

  108. Pingback: A Year of Faith or a Year of Doubt? « Mary Victrix

  109. Pingback: More on Patrick Archbold and Michael Voris | Mary Victrix

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s