Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Court of King Caracticus

Like the court of King Caracticus, "they keep passing by". This is a video of the entry procession of the recent SSPX ordination in Germany. Apparently there are, according to the Pope's letter to the bishops of the world on the reconcilliation 500 priests of the society, there are also a number of religious houses and orders who are not directly united to the SSPX throughout the world, there are seminarians who are not attached to the SSPX who study at their seminary, presumably a number of those who were ordained priest (8) or deacon (10) are not all for the the society.

If you watch the video, like me you will be amazed at the youth and number of the young men in the procession, if you compare it to the average diocesan Chrism Mass procession in most dioceses, these men seem thirty or forty years younger. I understand that in the whole of Ireland there were no more than a dozen ordinations this year, there will have been a similar number in the UK, their average age will be older than the SSPX, there were ordinations at other SSPX seminaries, at at least one, the Seminary in Winona, 13 new priests were ordained.

From the simple perspective of numbers one can see why the the Holy See is anxious to reconcile the SSPX, there is also an important lesson that at least the bishops of Europe can learn from them about being fruitful in producing vocations, and exciting young men to think about placing Christ first, especially in what is becoming increasingly a missionary environment.


Crux Fidelis said...

From the simple perspective of numbers there are very few members of the SSPX by comparison with the mainstream church. I know that the Holy Father is keen on reconciliation (as I am) but how many members of the SSPX or their adherents are as keen? At the very least they say that the Holy Father is in error and in the extreme they say he is not truly Pope. For forgiveness there has to be repentance. I haven't heard much of that from the SSPX. Ut unum sint.

George said...

Proof that the Latin Mass of Ages, fidelity to the Magisterium and Catholic Orthodoxy are a sure-fire winner in fostering and developing that still small voice in the heart of young men which says, 'Come, follow Me'.

Roll on the reform of the reform - Papa Benedict we love you, the SSPX must become reconciled to Rome, we need them desperately.

Liberals - Your time is up, what have you contributed to the 'Life' of the Catholic Church over 50 years - NADA, Ziltch, Niet, Nic, Nothin', oh sorry, almost forgot there's - Kum-ba-ya, Michael's row boat, values free morality, pro-choice on abortion & contraception, liberal theology, 'Barney Bear' liturgies, Pitta bread monstrance, glass wine pitchers, whicker cane baskets.... oh, OK, sorry Lord, back to the confessional!!!!!

gemoftheocean said...

As far as I am concerned the SSPX can pound sand.

They are schismatics, who insist that the mondern popes are in error. The pope has generously allowed the Latin Mass to be said by any Roman
Rite priest, and there are societies such as the Fraternity of St. Peter strictly devoted to the liturgy in the Latin language.

These people are cultists, who do NOT desire to be lead by the pope.

Once again, they can pound sand and eat dirt. I don't care how many men they have for "dress up." These SSPX types treat their women like chattel.

Ches said...

Gem of the Ocean,

I am myself very frustrated at the one-eyed logic and inflexibility of the SSPX, but 'go pound sand'? I'm sorry but that just sounds like Pharisaism to me. Are you so perfect as to pronounce sentence?

My father is a faithful adherent of the SSPX and yet does not treat my mother like chattel. Two of my brothers likewise are faithful adherents and yet respect their wives. Of course there is a mad minority in the SSPX; they are usually the loudest in any group. Most of the SSPX supporters are made up of deeply disappointed Catholics who feel they have been betrayed, are just plain sick to death of hoping and waiting for things to be different, and have stopped listening to an all too frequently incoherent hierarchy. Sad, wrong, but excusable. At least, let's hope their faults are excusable, and let hope mine and yours are too.

Incidentally, Fr Ray, I believe this is Econe in Switzerland. I'd know that gradient anywhere.

big benny said...

From :

First, contrary to some reports, the Catholic Church does recognize these ordinations, by which we must understand, though, that 13 more men have taken the priesthood of Christ illegally from bishops acting in a schismatic manner. While there is no excommunication associated with such priestly ordinations per se (as there is for episcopal ordinations contrary to 1983 CIC 1382), objectively speaking, participation in these ceremonies was still gravely sinful.

Second, any comments that I might have offered concerning excommunication for (what seem clearly to be) new acts of schism under 1983 CIC 1364 seem pre-empted by Rome's gratuitous lifting of the excommunications against SSPX leadership last January. Indeed, I am hard-pressed to think of any canons that Rome appears willing to enforce against the SSPX.

But these two points suggest an ironic Third: the fewer sacramental acts that Rome defends against SSPX appropriation, the more the SSPX seems to resemble the Orthodox Churches and a few other groups--Rome recognizes the validity of their orders, too, but (per 1983 CIC 1) it does not attempt to impose canonical penalties on them for conferring those orders outside of its communion.

I thought lifting the SSPX excommunications was meant to bring them closer to Catholic unity; instead, it seems to confirm their drifting more distant.

gemoftheocean said...

Ches, I say "pound sand" because there have been viable options for these priests of Baal to join, but they keep flocking to these illegal seminaries. So for that, yes: pound sand. These people are NOT WITH ROME any more than Orthodox clergy are. What's there to "dialog" about-- either they will come to the fullness of the faith and accept the pope as legitimate and acknowledge they were and are in error, or they set themselves up as "equals." Well, they are NOT "equals" if they refuse to accept the authority of the pope.

Ches said...


But the SSPX don't contest the pope's power in principle; they say that the pope has used his power wrongly. Now, given that there is no charism of impeccability which preserves the pope from practical error, that accusation is not a principled rejection of papal authority. It is not without reason that even the Vatican itself has toned down talk of 'schism' on the part of the SSPX. I rather think you are being more Catholic than the pope on this one.

In any case, my point is simply this: that though some of their ranks are barking mad, many of them are sincere people, badly led, but desperately disappointed and trying to do their best. I know many SSPX priests and whilst I would not so much as allow them to bless me, I recognise their goodness, and the mistaken but genuine passion that drives them. I dare say that's one of the things that the pope recognises too.

Priests of Baal? That is just silly.

Volpius Leonius said...

By their fruits you shall know them springs to mind.

gemoftheocean said...

Ches, they are arrogant in not asking for forgiveness for their schismatic ways. The pope has MORE than gone out a limb for them (and looked Mighty foolish, IMO, over the Williamson business) but they are still moonbats as far as I am concerned.

It's up to THEM to say "sorry, we were wrong, we will answer to the pope's authority." But they're not. You don't get to commit a sin and then expect to be forgiven for it without admitting to wrong doing. Or do these freaks think the pope is going to resign so they can elect someone of THEIR chosing? There's no making these people happy in the Church. They don't want to belong, which is manifestly evident.

Anthony Bidgood said...

Dear Father,

The SSPX have many young priests and seminarians but so do orthodox orders and priestly fraternities within the Church. While I hold no brief for them, the Legionnaires of Christ have many young priests and seminaries. I am more concerned that the Legionnaires do not become so disillusioned following the latest revelations concerning Father Macias that their adherence to the Church is adversely affected. To my way of thinking supporting the Legionnaires at this moment of crisis is of more importance than the endless speculations about what the SSPX will do next. Perhaps they should imitate the Transalpine Redemptorists?

If numbers are to be used to improve an argument than the Legionnaires have more priests and many more seminarians than the SSPX, all loyal to the Magisterium.

In Christo,
Anthony Bidgood

Ches said...


Priests of Baal, moonbats and now freaks? I'm beginning to think the quality of mercy is all too strained for you. I'm afraid you're seeing this in essentially partisan terms. You label the entire group because of the sins of a few leaders or loudmouths.

Now I would agree there is a certain arrogance among them, and a very insular insensitivity to the consequences of the events of last spring for the Benedict papacy. But is end-game posturing and namecalling likely to bring about sensitivity? The pope doesn't think so, and that is why he's allowed these theological talks to take place.

The SSPX have lost the habit of being in the universal Church. To demand that they show it again instantly, without the Vatican trying to sort through the problems that brought it about, is too harsh.

The hierarchy lost control badly in the last few decades. A group like the SSPX was - however wrongly - trying to help those people this hierarchy so badly let down. The ongoing nature of those problems has allowed the SSPX to rationalize many of its good instincts into wrong-headed ideology. And its a shepherd's job to pick apart the good from the bad, and to remember that much of the bad was a reaction to failure on the part of the shepherds in the first place.

Your harshness reminds me of those people who never wanted to understand why the working classses embraced socialism. Socialism is a wrong-headed ideology, but it fed richly from the all too real sufferings of the working classes and the all too serious failings of the wealthy. When authority has let its subjects down, the weakest line of attack is to insist on unquestioning respect for authority.

And that incidentally is why Benedict is such a wise pope.

old believer said...

I found the clip chilling and it reminded me of the 'Lord of the Rings' triology and the armies of Mordor marching against the free world.

Lefebvrism of course wishes the Church to convert to its way of thinking and indeed Fellay and Tissier have stated as much when asked about the purpose of the doctrinal discussions.

What is disturbing is the hold these people seem to have on Pope Benedict. (Again an analogy with LOTR springs to mind with the baleful influence on King Theoden.) Pope Benedict, I understand, blames himself for the failure of the 1988 Protocol. However those of us unfortunate to have met Marcel Lefebvre know that he was both cantankerous and self-contradicing, it is no particular surprise he changed his mind about the Protocol.

What is urgently needed is for Pope Benedict to 'snap out' of whatever is confusing him and act responsibly to avoid any further fiasco like the Williamson one. At the moment, as the post above referring to Ed Peters notes, the SSPX break Canon Law with impunity and, it seems, the tacit blessing from Rome.

Volpius Leonius said...

His Holiness Pope Benedict is a wiser man than you Old Believer, thanks be to God.

Dan Hunter said...

"As far as I am concerned the SSPX can pound sand"


You are apparantly not a Christian then.

English Pastor said...

I know many people attached to the SSPX and a couple of their priests. These are sincere, dedicated people. If there is to be an admission of error it has to come from both sides. The SSPX need to admit to over-the-top remarks about Vatican II (which had a smattering of truth to them but were OTT never the less) and the recent popes -talk which has fanned a smouldering fire into a brush for some members/followers.
Those 'loyal' to Rome on the other hand, need to admit their compliance with and in some cases persuance of a hermebutic of rupture which only gave the SSPX 'evidence' for their stand. I believe both 'sides' of this are sincere, dedicated people, and am unhappy with remarks that fail to see the good will and sincerity in both sides.

gemoftheocean said...

Chas: Socialism thinks it can take the place of God and his good works. The nomenclatura of socialism sets itself up as the font from which all blessing flow. it is inherently anti-clerical and anti-religious. The so-called working classes who fall for it are "worshipping strange gods." You don't get something for nothing -- not in THIS world.
It's no accident that when the iconoclasts in Russia tried to throw God out, they replaced the corner icons in the home and classrooms with a portrait of Lenin.

As for the SSPX having more misguided "shepherds" take more people over the cliff is no answer. These people are the equivalent of Catholic moonies.

Ches said...


Now, they're moonies! Priests of Baal, moonbats, freaks and moonies as well! Has it not struck you that the more you label these people, the worse you make Pope Benedict's search for unity look? Perhaps you don't care how it looks anyway. I'm still persuaded that he knows what he's doing on this issue, but perhaps you've lost faith in his wisdom. You would not be the first.

You don't get something for nothing? Is this supposed to be a measured response on your part to want and indigence? Haven't you read Rerum Novarum? That is hardly a confirmation of your principle. In any case, you have entirely missed the point of the comparison, as you have entirely resolved to stamp on the smouldering flax and break the bruised reed.

Nobody said the SSPX had the right answer. They have, however, been asking some very good questions for a long time. Benedict understands this because he is not a partisan thinker but a 'cooperator of the truth', as his motto proclaims.

I think this exchange between GOTO and me has come to its useful end. Thanks, Fr Ray.



"I think this exchange between me and Goto and me has come to its useful end."

Goto is the only one here with charism of impeccability which preserves from pactical error.

Thanks GOD Goto is not GOD otherwise we would be all lost!

Holy Mother of Perpetual Help pray for us.

gemoftheocean said...

ON & Ches: The pope MORE than tried to welcome them into the fold. IT's up to THEM, now to accept the olive branch that was offered. The point was they won't admit wrongdoing.

If I committed fornication and went to the priest in confession and I said I did that and had no intention of not doing it again and in fact intended to do it again, the priest could not give me absolution. Even GOD does not forgive when the person is hell bent on not changing his/her ways.

old believer said...

‘English Pastor’ suggests that a hermeneutic of rupture’ has given the SSPX evidence to make their stand against Church authority.

What strikes me very much is the hermeneutic of rupture that Pope Benedict has created, no doubt inadvertently, with his approach to the SSPX. His predecessor was very clear about the illicit consecration of bishops by the SSPX in 1988 in his motu proprio Eccesia Dei adflicta (

John Paul II clearly taught that “this act was one of disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church… such disobedience - which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy - constitutes a schismatic act?” The Pope went on to confirm the latae sententiae excommunication of the consecrating bishops and those consecrated (#3).

As GOTO has said (and, IMHO, has been unfairly castigated here for doing so) nothing has changed on the SSPX side since 1988. When Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication against the four surviving bishops the response by the SSPX is to still refer to the “so called excommunications”. They are not even giving a hint of remorse for their actions hence canonists like Ed Peters raising the question of whether the removal of excommunication can be valid. Pope Benedict has bent over backwards to accommodate the SSPX and yet his actions may result in his papacy been regarded by history as a damaging one for Church unity, particularly as the ‘Williamson fiasco’ is not going to go away, despite his intent for quite the opposite. No doubt he was advised poorly and, if reports are true, Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos, will be retiring this weekend; he has certainly been very quiet since the Williamson interview.

I do not doubt ‘English Pastor’s view that there are some good people in the SSPX but why can’t they follow the example of the ‘Transalpine Redemptorists’ if they are sincere in what they say? However the SSPX as a body seem intent on standing as their own Magisterium to correct the ‘errors’ the Church.

old believer said...

Sorry, I should have added to my previous post that the danger now, as I see things, is that a 'liberal' Episcopal Conference could decide not to accept Rome's Episcopal appointment and consecrate bishops themselves without papal mandate.

Considering the SSPX situation would not such bishops reasonably conclude that latae sententiae excommunication is no big deal and that the next papacy would probably reverse such an sentence anyway?



People with your attitude are the ones who push away the faithful away from the church.

Satan sentences us to hell at the moment we are born, but GOD sent His Son to save us and the Lord will not abandon us, even though we walk in the valley of darkness, He has the last word.

I believe in GOD's mercy.

Goto where is your Faith, Hope and Charity?

"Blessed are the merciful" "Go and learn what this means, JESUS said. 'I desire no sacrifice'. For I came not to call the righteous but sinners."

"Blessed are the Peacemakers".That is what the Pope is doing to bring peace and unity to the church.

May GOD bless our Pope.

gemoftheocean said...

O.N.: The pope GAVE the SSPXers all the faith, hope and charity they need, and they refuse to accept the olive branch. Do they take it? No. They reap condemnation on themselves for that. God will judge them. But HOW will He judge them, given that they are manifestly willful in disobedience? "Free will" has its consequences.