Friday, September 28, 2012

SSPX's Problems

Recently the SSPX Bishop Tissier de Mallerais revealed during a conference a letter written by Benedict XVI which says an agreement between the SSPX is dependant on their acceptance of Vatican II and subsequent Magisterial teaching. I really can't see the problem.

The difficulty is in the "how" the accepting of the Council and subsequent teaching is to be done but I am sure that the good bishop has no problem with Humanae Vitae for example. Bishop Fellay has said that the SSPX accepts 96% of the teaching of VII, but those bishops and priests with whom Pope Benedict might normally concelebrate I suspect would, if they were ever questioned, accept far, far less, not because they really disagree, but because of ignorance or failing to understand what the Church is really saying.

Ultimately, our faith is not about accepting propositions, (though it has been frequently about denying them) except for one: the Church teaches without error. And if you want to know what the Church is: it is simple, it those in communion with Peter and his successors. Though even here, many Catholics, now and in the past, would not be able to voice that belief.  It seems as if the real problem with the SSPX is that either it sees the Church as erring, or it doesn't recognise Benedict  is Peter. Regrettably there is a sede vacantist streak in the SSPX, it is the fruit of Gallicanism.

It can be dressed up as a dispute over aspects of Vatican II teaching but in its essence it is simply about whether the Church in communion with Benedict is the Church of Jesus Christ or not. 
Unless of course one disputes that Vatican II was a valid Oecumenical Council; Orthodox friends certainly would, one of mine dismisses it as a "Western Synod" but that doesn't seem to be a real option for Catholics as it has been continuously defined as an Oecumenical Council by subsequent Popes. Did they err in this? Catholics must answer, "No", or find a new way of defining our Catholic understanding of "Catholic". 
However, ever since the Council we have disputed how to interpret it and what it meant and what weight to give its teaching. In that sense it is a singular Council, it itself anathematised no-one if they didn't accept its particular teachings, even if they rejected those central documents labelled "Dogmatic Constitutions". Did the Fathers expect us to treat every word or sentence as de fide, in the same way as we are bound to accept the Canons of Nicea, or even Trent, no-one has ever suggested that, except the maddest diocesan catechist who has never read the documents. On the contrary, Pope Benedict has continuously taught that VII can only be interpreted by previous teaching.


credidi propter quod locutus sum said...

I always beleived the current pontif was the pope of bridges, bringing two unlinked teachings together under the guise of hermeneutic of continuity, releasing the old form of mass by sayning that it was nether abrogated.
If there is no rupture between the previous and the current magesterium, and that the SSPX hold on to the previous, why is the Holy Father asking adhearence to the current, as it should be contained or be the logical following of the previous magesterium?
It leaves me sligthly confused.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Because there cannot be two Magisteriums, an old one which is true and new one which is false or less true.

Either the Church is free from error or is not.

John Nolan said...

I think that SSPX are quite right to bide their time. A complete reconciliation at this time would be problematic for Benedict XVI in regard to the liberal wing - yes, they're a pain in the **** and I would be happy for them to decamp to other denominations, but then I'm not the Roman Pontiff.

Bishop Fellay has said that it takes 70 years for the dust to settle after a General Council. In twenty years time no-one who had anything to do with Vatican II will still be around. Marcel Lefebvre can then be beatified. He was the only one to stand up against the prevailing madness, and I'm sure the Pope is well aware of this.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I fear a Liberal schism and the reconciliation of the SSPX is likely to hasten that but I also fear for the SSPX, in 20 years are they likely to be able come back or will they established their own ecclesial community, like numerous the Old Catholic sects?

Pablo the Mexican said...


The Holy Mother and her Son sent five Priests to stop the Surrender of the SSPX to Apostate Rome.

They met in Vienna, Virginia, USA.

Even the Holy Father has recognized them as the reason the SSPX did not sign an agreement with Rome.

As for the SSPX, one Priest of that Society saved the SSPX from utter destruction by God's hand.

He placated God in his sermon given at the Winona, Minnesota Ordinations earlier this year.

The leader of this group is Father Joseph Pfeiffer.

If you want the Truth of the SSPX situation, I suggest you call him.

He currently is in the Philippines.

The number is: 639151862442

Their are too many souls at stake for you not to call him and discuss Padre things.

Padre Pfeiffer is a most beloved son of Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de Guadalupe.

Please call him.


Fr Ray Blake said...

Souls are indeed at stake! To abandon the barque of Peter, to choose to be out of communion with him is a serious sin which leads to damnation.

Bottom-line: I am in communion with the successor of Peter because when I die Peter, and Peter alone will unlock the gate of Heaven for me.

credidi propter quod locutus sum said...

Archbishop Lefebvre used to say that when he would die, he did not want to hear the reproach from St Peter asking him:'did you stand idle whilst my church was being distroyed? what did you do for my church?'
In the past we have a Pope who was posthumously condemned for standing idle whist the church was being destroyed by the airians, for the sake of peace.
Standing up to the successor of Peter does not mean that you break unity with him. Look at St Paul standing up to St Peter.
I am still slightly mythed as to why the Holy Father put down conditions that he new would be unacceptable to the bishop Fellay and the SSPX. Expessialy as these conditions don't seem to define who we are a catholics accept the bits that had previously been held sacred. I am confused!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Because either VII is a Council of the Church or it is not, Fellay et al has to decide.
Either one criticises it from outside the Church as a non-Catholic or from within as a member of the Church.
There are plenty of problems with it, see the post here "Vatican II: A discussion that can no longer be stopped", these will not be solved by distancing oneself from the Church.

John Nolan said...

ewsFather, the so-called Old Catholics who established themselves in Germany and elsewhere in the wake of Vatican I were quick to advertise their schism by vernacularising their 'liturgy' and dropping from the Canon of the Mass the references not only to the Pope but also to 'Roman' martyrs. Rest assured that the SSPX has no intention of doing either.

If, as sometimes happens, the choice is between a Novus Ordo Mass replete with the most gross liturgical abuses but which is judged by the local Ordinary as being legitimate, and a Mass offered by the SSPX which any orthodox Catholic would see as simply mainstream, I would have no compunction in choosing the latter. I am loyal to the Magisterium, but in the 1960s it had no right to turn 1500 years of history on its head and order me to worship in a radically different way. Forty-odd years later it still rankles.

Fr Ray Blake said...

John I would say that it had every "right" it was however reckless to exercise that right.

My problem with people attending the SSPX is that they easily absorb a culture that takes lightly communion with the Holy See. This is plainly not the mind of Christ nor Catholic Tradition.

I feel for those, especially with children, who Sunday by Sunday are in a situation where they are either disedified or even scandalised in their parish or drawn into the SSPX, what is the worst evil?
They are lucky ones for many the only alternative is not to go to Mass and that is sinful.

John Nolan said...

I would suggest that SSPX takes communion with the Holy See very seriously indeed, unlike the liberals who are openly disobedient and heretical. Gallicanism is often misuderstood; the sticking point for Louis XVI was the 1790 Civil Constitution of the Clergy; neither he nor the queen would accept the 'sacraments' of the illicit state Church, and many clergy loyal to Rome suffered the same fate as they did. Had Lefebvre been around then he would have willingly gone to the guillotine.

It is difficult for the present generation of Catholics to imagine the atmosphere of the 1970s. When Lefebvre visited London he had to celebrate Mass in a function room of the Great Western Hotel, Paddington, despite the fact that he was a prelate in full communion with Rome and before founding his seminary at Econe had been careful to obtain the approval of the local Ordinary.

The last ten years of Paul VI's pontificate were a disaster for the Church and we are still living with the fall-out. The disintegration of the liturgy (Ratzinger's words, not mine), the collapse of the religious orders, the misguided Ostpolitik exemplified by the shameful treatment of Cardinal Mindszenty - I could go on. I have had to spend my entire adult life going out of my way to attend authentic Catholic worship (and I'm by no means an EF purist). It's not funny.

Pablo the Mexican said...

My problem with people attending the SSPX is that they easily absorb a culture that takes lightly communion with the Holy See. This is plainly not the mind of Christ nor Catholic Tradition.


The SSPX is simply Catholicism carried on without interruption.

That they take lightly the Holy Father is not factual.

It is simply Catholicism uninterrupted.


Fr Ray Blake said...

Pablo, Without union with the Bishop of Rome, it might be very nice but it isn't Catholicism, at least not as Christ knows it.

Dr Frederick Jones said...

The SSPX seem to be very good Anglicans as they obviously believe the crucial parts of Article XXI which states of General Councils "when they be gathered together(forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed by the Spirit of the Word of God)they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God".

credidi propter quod locutus sum said...

I'm afraid the more one reads into the whole business, the more one is astounded by the lack of simple logic and by the abandonment of the principal of non-contradiction.
There is a contradiction between the previously magesterium and the current that cannot go away simply because we wish it to.
And to beleive the Pope cannot be wrong is simply not Catholic. The Holy Father is asking not for a unity in truth but in acceptance of something doubtful, even erronous that contradicts previous magesterium. Surely Father you can see this. The SSPX cannot abandon its first principals so as to retain a visible unity. Besides the SSPX is united to Rome in the same way a son is united to his father, the blood line runs deep, the fact SSPX is pushing for truth in its entierty, shows a greater depth of love and honour to the Pope than those who for the sake of unity have adopted the tactics of compromise and/or deceite.

David Joyce said...

Because either VII is a Council of the Church or it is not, Fellay et al has to decide.

Father, Bishop Fellay has never denied that VII is a Council of the Church. However, that doesn't mean that every word is binding in the 16 decrees, constitutions and declarations, especially the parts that appear to muddle what was previously clearly taught. Usually, Councils of the Church would state canons that are binding. There are really none of this in the documents of VII. This makes their interpretation a continual problem. Once this has been solved, the "problem" of the SSPX will disappear.

What, then, does the Holy Father mean by having to accept the Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium? Is it simply recognising their validity, or is it a means of silencing the voice of the SSPX (considering that this requirement appears particular to the agreement with the SSPX)? Unfortunatley, the two sides are speaking a different language a lot of the time, so in accepting something so vague, Bishop Fellay would be doing the SSPX a serious disservice.

Again, why does the Pope make this a make-or-break issue, when as Cardinal he said: "The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat
it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest." Why are we required to accept, wholesale it seems, something that is of pastoral importance? Something which has left the Church in ruins?

Sadie Vacantist said...

"Took part" in a NO liturgy today. I read at the Mass: an incomprehensible reading from the Book of Numbers (the extract barely constituted coherent prose). Then listened to an inane sermon complete with an idiot reference to the pre-Vatican II Church. All accompanied by a four hymn sandwich and a gloria, composed recently to welcome the new translation, so dire as to exhaust the vocabulary of acceptable insults.

Just another Sunday and anyone who criticizes is told they are scum.

John Nolan said...

Went to the Oxford Oratory this morning - decent OF Solemn Latin Mass although the music leaves a lot to be desired. I glanced through the booklet on the history of the church (St Aloysius) and under the heading 'Cultural Revolution' was shocked to read that in the aftermath of Vatican II the then incumbents burnt all the relics and gave away to theatres the collection of mitres they had, some of which had been worn by Pius IX.

I can find nothing to celebrate about Vatican II. Everybody knows how the agenda was hi-jacked and a weak Pope was suborned by the Modernists. Can we please get real?

Sadie Vacantist said...

An eminent physicist once remarked that "the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." This is a falsehood. The greatest failing is the inability to understand the derivative. We are living in the era of the ‘derivative’. The theology which underpins the Catholic Church today contains toxic values no different in toxicity to those toxic assets packaged up by investment bankers and then pinged around the World economy by ether. Even the latest translations of the Mass mirror the financial crisis and constitute yet another bailout for the Second Vatican Council. This whole process is humiliating.

Long-Skirts said...


They cancelled all color
Sanctuaries stripped
First Communions were duller.

No crinoline whites
Pale hues they stressed
“Only pearled-Pharisees
Are ever so dressed.”

Roses, carnations,
Flowers, all manners
Left just to wither
‘Gainst assertives’ beige banners.

Pillars of marble
Corinthian styles
They decided to paint
Like pink bathroom tiles.

Cassocks of red
Habits blue, white,
Robes of distinction
Extinct over night.

Missals with pages
Embossed in gloss-gold
Latin in tint
English-black often bold.

Even the ribbons
To mark scriptural prayers
Were of green, yellow, silvers
So to keep us from errors.

The soft votive flames
The red opaque glass
Gave an aura of stillness
Like time could not pass.

Yet time it passed,
Vividness drained
And populations without color
Cannot be sustained.

So those underground
With red blood in blue veins
Birthed knowledge, the arts
Great virtues they gained.

They did not decay-
God’s colors kept green
For the day up above
Once again to be seen.

Except for those beige
Gray fertility fades
In their black open minds.

Catholic Mission said...

The Society of St.Pius X (SSPX) cannot criticize a Vatican Council II in agreement with the Syllabus of Errors and the salvation dogma.

They have a right to criticize a Council with a false premise ( the dead are visible on earth) that leads to a new doctrine and new conclusions. Without the dead are visible to us theory the Council has an interpretation which is traditonal.So how can the SSPX criticize this interpretation?

With the false premise the Council becomes a break from tradition. So obviously the SSPX should criticize the false premise which leads to this break from tradition.

The criticism should not be just of the Council but of the new irrational premise of being able to see the dead visible .

The liberal interpretation of the Council is based on this false premise of the visible dead, so Lumen Gentium 16 is seen as an exception to the salvation dogma and the Syllabus of Errors.

The SSPX could focus on Lumen Gentium 16 . Can we see cases on earth saved in invincible ignroance and a good conscience? We cannot!

So the liberals cannot use LG 16 to create a Council with a break from Tradition. i.e the dogma and the Syllabus.

Yet this is also the interpretation for the SSPX. They also can only see the Council with a false premise. So they criticize the Council in general and not the false premise in particular.There is a blanket criticism of Vatican Council II without identifying the premise of the visible dead saved on earth, which is a complete irrationality and is repsonsible for the interpretation of the Council which the SSPX criticizes.

It was Cardinal Richard Cushing and the American Jesuits in Boston who used this premise at Vatican Council II and created confusion and ambiguity.Identify this premise and one can have a traditional Vatican Council II. All the complications and critical reports on Vatican Council II can be traced to this one simple wrong premise.

Without the false premise Vatican Council II (AG 7) says outside the Church there is no salvation. If you use this as a premise then you interpret Vatican Council II texts differently.-Lionel Andrades

Catholic Mission said...

November 29, 2012
Vatican Council II does not contradict itself or the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. We cannot see the dead.- Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments,Vatican

Today morning I had an appointment at the office of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments,Vatican with an official representing Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera. It was raining at St.Peter's Square where work on the crib has begun.

Yesterday I visited the office and asked for 10 minutes to ask two questions on Catholic doctrine related to the liturgy.

Today we spoke in English.We agreed that we could not see the dead. The dead saved in invincible ignorance, a good conscience, seeds of the Word, imperfect communion with the Church, elements of sanctification etc were known only to God. So these cases could not be cited as exceptions to Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II which says all need 'faith and baptism' for salvation.He agreed that Vatican Council II does not contradict itself.Lumen Gentium 16 does not contradict Ad Gentes 7.Neither does Vatican Council II contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus or, Tradition in general.

So is this an impediment for the priest offering Mass, if it is known and denied in public?

If the priest knowingly denies Vatican Council II(AG 7), the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and the Nicene Creed (I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins) then this was an issue for the local bishop. The Congregation leaves this issue for the bishop to decide he said.

He offers Mass daily, he said, and he knows that the dead are not visible and these cases are not exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and neither does Vatican Council II contradict itself or the dogma on exclusive salvation.

He said he wanted to restrict himself to the liturgy only, as instructed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and so did not want to talk about the doctrinal issue of the Society of St.Pius X (SSPX).

The message was clear - a priest, bishop or cardinal who offers Holy Mass should not deny Vatican Council II (AG 7),the Nicene Creed and the thrice defined dogma with alleged explicit implicit salvation.

No Magisterial text states that the deceased saved are visible to us on earth or that they are defacto, explicit exceptions to the traditional teaching on salvation. This is falsely implied by the media.

The clarification by this official is important for the present SSPX canonical issue.Since it means that Vatican Council II does not contradict the SSPX position on other religions and ecumenism.

The ecclesiology of Vatican Council II is ecclesiocentric.

Vatican Council II is not a break from the past since implicit salvation is never explicit; there is no known salvation outside the church in 2012.

This is an issue based on universal reason (we cannot see the dead) and not on theology.-Lionel Andrades

Catholic Mission said...

Doctrinally the SSPX is in agreement with Vatican Council II without the false premise: if they don’t genuflect before the Chief Rabbi is another issue

The Society of St.Pius X (SSPX) must continue to reject the Jewish Left version of Vatican Council II which uses the dead man walking premise.

The ADL-approved Vatican Council II is modernist, irrational and non traditional.

It’s built upon the straw man logic of implicit salvation being visible to us as ‘seeds of the word’, ‘invincible ignorance’, a good conscience’, ‘imperfect communion with the church’, ‘elements of sanctification’, ‘good and holy’ non Catholics who are saved etc.

The leftist version of Vatican Council II assumes that these are personally known cases in the present times (2013).So for the left they become exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. They are for the Left, exceptions to the traditional teaching of the Church, on other religions.

The SSPX today, like Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, correctly rejected this false, irrational and non traditional version of Vatican Council II.

Without the false premise, on which the leftist version of the Council depends, Vatican Council II is doctrinally in agreement with the SSPX position on other religions. It is this rational version of Vatican Council II which the SSPX could accept.

With the support of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and the military and political support of Israel and its allies, leftist rabbis, ADL and leaders of Jewish organisations, who are opposed by conservative Jews, are threatening the Vatican and telling Catholics what they should believe and what they should reject.

On March 10, 2009, concerning his remission of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, Pope Benedict XVI said : "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."

Judging from media reports, the pope is referring to the Jewish Left version of Vatican Council II which the SSPX must accept and which contains the false premise of being able to see the dead saved in invincible ignorance etc.

Without the false premise which creates a new version of Vatican Council, the Council is traditional and in accord with the SSPX values on other religions, ecumenism and religious liberty.
-Lionel Andrades

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