Category Archives: FSSPX
I have read, and wholeheartedly agree with, a blog post on Ars Orandi pointing out that it is not true that Pope Benedict “bent over backwards” in an attempt to reach a reconciliation with the SSPX.
In my eyes, it is important to insist on what really happened in order to avoid a narrative that is becoming very spread, as in time the details are forgotten and the only concept more and more people remember is “Pope Benedict tried so hard”.
Well no, he didn’t. He didn’t at all. Rather, it appears to me very evident from the proceedings – richly documented and commented upon on this blog, so I will not get into it – that Pope Benedict first engendered the impression he would accept the SSPX opposition to the “innovations” of V II as a legitimate one, and at the last minute changed the content of the document (mind: he did it himself; not the wolves, or the gremlins come to that; he did it himself) at the basis of the reconciliation, asking the Society to accept the unacceptable. It is only some time later that the SSPX received the confirmation that the changes had come, let us write it once again, from the Pope himself.
I do not see in this any “bending over forward” whatever. The final phase of the proceedings rather left the very unsavoury impression the Pope first created the hope the SSPX might get their way – at least in the sense of being allowed to freely criticise V II – and then backpedaled at the last moment in order to cause strife and possibly a revolt within the society. In case your innocence made it difficult for you to contemplate this hypothesis, you might want to know the very same (then) Cardinal Ratzinger used exactly this strategy when he was the engine behind the creation of the FSSP, which in fact managed to cause numerous defections among the SSPX priests, and worked after the same principle: make them quarrel.
What I think was from the start the principal effect desired from the “negotiations” (the splitting of the Society) has clearly failed; but the second hoped for effect (letting the SSPX appear the stubborn ones) is getting traction, and frankly I think we should react to this.
The opposition to the novelties of V II is the reason why the SSPX exist in the first place. Pope Benedict and all those involved within the Vatican knew this perfectly well. As a consequence, negotiations aimed at seeing how the SSPX may continue its work after a reconciliation – and be it in the presence of disagreements concerning the Council – are perfectly legitimate, but three years of talks at the end of which, suddenly, the cards on the table are changed and the SSPX is asked to deny the reason why they exist is a behaviour that can be only be called, on a good day, disingenuous.
Let us remember this as the months and years go by and more and more people will confusedly remember, or will be told, that Pope Benedict “tried so hard”.
Oh, he tried hard all right. To cause strife among them and split them, that is (I know, many of you don’t believe me; alas, I suspect not a few do). Divide et impera.
If Pope Francis undertakes nothing in the matter of the SSPX, I will think this a more honest behaviour than the talks set up by Pope Benedict, very probably without any serious intention from the start, unless it was to test the SSPX’s cohesion. Please, please let us stop with the usual legends about the wolves, or the foreign governments forcing a Pope to behave badly, or the German bishops threatening schism, & Co. Besides being lame excuses with not a shred of evidence for them, they are deeply insulting of a Pope seen as not in control of his actions, and remote controlled by his own bishops, or even by foreign Governments.
Long live the Society. May they bury all the V II Popes until the glorious day when sanity returns in the matters of the Church, and true orthodoxy is defended in its fullness and not only when it is popular. We will, most probably, not live to see that day, but I personally prefer to die with open eyes.
Courtesy of si si no no, a well-thought and richly documented portrait of the mind of two of the red hats who participated to the 2013 Conclave.
It is worth your while to read this little expose’ in its entirety; firstly because it is very instructive in itself, and secondly because the part concerning allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to “receive” communion might well come handy in future, as the trendy troops try a new assault on the Vatican, hoping to find the gates open.
Cardinals Lehmann and Kasper have a very simple suggestion to this:
1) an “examination of conscience” (which they will, no doubt, find immaculate, if unjustly slandered by the Church), and
2) “a meeting with a prudent priest-expert” (which,besides being stupid in itself, means that many priests aren’t prudent, or expert of what Communion is).
These two shouldn’t be allowed to be altar boys, let alone priests.
To think they are Cardinals.
From the very long – and very fitting – letter #80 of Bishop Fellay to Friends and Benefactors: (emphases mine)
We beg Heaven and the authorities of the Church, in particular the new Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ, Successor of Peter, not to allow souls to perish because they no longer learn sound doctrine, the revealed deposit of the faith, without which no one can be saved, no one can please God.
What good is it to devote oneself to serving people if one hides from them what is essential, the purpose and the meaning of their life, and the seriousness of sin that turns them away from it? Works of charity done for the poor, the needy, the infirm, and the sick have always been a true concern for the Church, and we must not excuse ourselves from it, but if it becomes merely man-centered philanthropy, then the Church is no longer carrying out her mission, she is no longer leading souls to God, which can really be done only by supernatural means: faith, hope, charity and grace. And therefore by denouncing anything that is opposed to them: errors against faith and morality. Because if people sin, for want of that denunciation, they are damned for eternity. The Church’s reason for being is to save them and to help them avoid the misfortune of their eternal perdition.
“Mundabor”, the teacher would have said at school, “what does the author want to say”?
I am not at school anymore, but I think I know what I would answer: the author wants to say that there has been enough talk of simplicity, black shoes, iron crosses, and Argentinian newsagents, whilst the real issues continue to be happily ignored.
One month on, the silence of the new Pope concerning the new, exploding phenomenon of pro-homosexual legislation is deafening; but Heavens, we know everything about how he doesn’t like Papal Apartments, red shoes, mozzettas, or Roman cobblers.
The SSPX has certainly been prudent for a while, waiting to see how they can picture this Pontiff before speaking publicly.
Their decision to move to an open appeal clearly means they consider his silence as scandalous. Please read Bishop Fellay’s words again. They are clear enough.
Pope Francis has not justified the worst fears (up to now, at least), and has moved rather well on a couple of occasions (the LCWR comes to mind; actually nothing else of consequence comes to mind… one good homily here, one good idea there, things like that); but he has also lived dramatic weeks for world Christianity whilst doing basically nothing, or whilst letting us know how sensitive he is to his newsagent down in Buenos Aires.
God knows how much the French Catholics would have appreciated strong words of the Pontiff concerning the abomination of sodomy; it would have given – and would still give – the movement great strenght for the years of fight in front of them.
Instead, we haven’t heard one word. Not one.
I am sick and tired already to try to see Francis through Benedict. I see that Benedict was indecisive enough, and Francis can talk rather refreshingly if he wants, but he avoids to do it when it means grating the masses whose approval he is so sedulously seeking. Whilst the French members of parliament send the country’s soul to hell, he entertains us with the evil of gossiping.
Mozzetta or no Mozzetta, this is not good enough; this is no longer carrying on the Church’s mission, and allowing souls to perish.
It is a paradox that we had a Pope who saw the necessity of war but didn’t have the nerve to lead us into it; and we now have a Pope who probably has the strenght of character to lead us into any war he chooses, but seems not to think the unprecedented disintegration of the Christian fabric of the West is worth a war in the first place.
But hey, we know all about his cobbler.
We offer this mass for him [Benedict XVI], so that the Lord be with him, confort him, and give him great consolation. … The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit. Think of Pope John: he looked like a good parish priest, and he was obedient to the Holy Spirit, and he did that. But, after 50 years, have we done everything that the Holy Spirit told us in the Council? In the continuity of the growth of the Church that the Council was? No. We celebrate this anniversary, we make a monument, but do not bother. We do not want to change. And there is more: there are calls [voci, also 'voices'] wanting to move back. This is called being stubborn, this is called wanting to tame the Holy Spirit, this is called becoming fools and slow of heart.
Daily mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae – homily
April 16, 2013
This is part of a short homily, not translated in its entirety, and therefore the context is not entirely clear.
It’s already everywhere, so I will spend two words of comment.
“Have we done everything that the Holy Spirit told us in the council”?
There are two unwarranted assumptions here:
1) that the Holy Spirit told “us” anything at the Council (possibly, “shut up”. Or “for shame”. Or “I will make sure your arrogance is punished”. Or “There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth”. I am not sure, though. Probably he just didn’t say anything…), and
2) that we must also do “everything” the Holy Spirit told us. Now let me check the list: we have the butter, salt, milk, can you see if we also need the flour?
Up to here, it’s madness of the Seventies at its worst, and it shows once again why we have every reason to be scared this Pope will make a lot of damage.
But truly, apart from the reference to the “Holy Ghost” giving one the homework there isn’t much here. One can’t say it is addressed at the SSPX, or at the Traditionalists, at all. Actually, one can exactly in the same way think it is addressed to the LCWR, who would “go back” to the “revolutionary” nu-church of the Seventies and refuse the “continuity” with the pre-conciliar Church.
The LCWR had a big smackdown yesterday, this might well have been in the Pope’s mind.
This Pope generally hasn’t a problem in telling what he thinks, again yesterday’s slap in the LCWR’s face was eloquent enough. When he wants to criticise the SSPX, I am sure he will do them the courtesy of doing it openly. He will also get from them, absolutely free of charge, a good lesson in Catholic doctrine and liturgy, so I am not surprised he is silent about them at least for now.
I invite my three readers to worry more about the very real liturgical abuses of this Pope than of every possible interpretation of his words in a partial translation of a short homily.
Still, this is one who thinks the Holy Ghost left him a “to do” list after the Council. Unless he means the list was titled “dismantle absolutely everything and don’t even think of doing it again”, he can certainly use our prayers.
I have written only yesterday about what would have happened if the SSPX had been foolish enough to accept the Preambolo dottrinale in its latest version, which included the poisonous pills about the silent acceptance of Vatican II.
It is, perhaps, fitting to take stand on where – I think – the SSPX stays today, and why they should in my eyes congratulate themselves for having done the right thing back then.
I think the time will soon come when many who thought they could afford the luxury to criticise the Society will realise they can't afford this extravagance anymore. If this Papacy drifts towards the easy rhetoric and the avoidance of the difficult issues we are certainly authorised to fear, many will be those who understand the Church needs more than easy slogans, and it is time to show some charitable, but proper Catholic teeth. None does this better than the SSPX.
This is the more important because up to now I have noticed in Pope Francis' utterances a marked reluctance to frontally assault controversial themes. Please note that when the Pope wants to speak in defence of the poor – which he does, well, every time – he has no qualms in specifically and openly addressing the issue; whilst themes like abortion and sexual perversion are deemed to have been touched by some commenters, but have in fact been avoided up to now.
For example, the Pope intervened to defend Creation, and half an army of commenters was willing to remark that hey, Creation includes babies in the womb, so the Pope is speaking against abortion! No, he isn't: one speak against abortion by clearly saying that abortion is the legalised murder of an innocent life, not with convenient words about the very popular and utterly uncontroversial environment. Again, the SSPX does the clear talking admirably.
Then there is the matter of liturgy. Not only has the SSPX avoided a probable self-destruction by refusing to accept V II, but the FSSP and the other traditionalist organisations must be now overjoyed they did. If we look at the situation as it is, the continued existence of a dissenting SSPX is the only reason why the Vatican steamroller might not crush FSSP & Co., forcing the Novus Ordo down their loyal throats. Without the SSPX vigilant and ready to cry foul game – and to welcome, perhaps, the refugees – it is fair to say the moderate Traditionalists would very probably be all, liturgically speaking, on the death row by now.
Then there is the pure doctrinal matter. The SSPX have already publicly criticised the Pontiff pointing out to his V II, “dialogue” mentality, and will continue to do so. They are respectful, but pertinent. They cannot be dismissed as a motley crew of lunatics, and more and more people will understand in the coming years where real Catholic orthodoxy lives. They will be the wise cricket talking to… The Vatican Pinocchios about their mistakes, and will continue to rally and inspire admiration in sincere, orthodox Catholics. Once again, I cannot imagine a more powerful brake to the antics of the wreckovation supporters in the style of Cantalamessa then a strong and vigilant SSPX.
By deciding to stay put, the SSPX has been of excellent service to Traditionalism, to conservative minded Catholics and even to the common faithful in the pews. Many will continue to criticise them, whilst continuing to profit of their very existence. Many others will at some point understand what treasure of orthodoxy we have in them.
I think they are the biggest consolation sent from Heaven to help us overcome this difficult age. Long may it last.
It is a mild day in September 2012. The SSPX has decided the post-Conciliar Church has now become trustworthy, and under the lead of the wise Pope Benedict XVI is going to progressively mend Her ways. Yes, they have been asked to “accept” Vatican II; but in the end, what is the risk of that? It is clear the worst excesses are behind us, and the situation will in time adjust itself by its own dynamic. They have also been asked not to publicly criticise those manifestations of Vatican II they consider questionable, but why would this be so important? If one is satisfied that a self-healing process is already at work, does it make sense to insist in accelerating this process at the price of a painful laceration within the Church? Is it not so, that the advantage of being able to gain influence from the inside vastly overweights the small disadvantage of not being able to openly criticise the mistakes of Vatican officials and other influential prelates? Furthermore, would this silence not be more then compensated by the rapid increase in followers and weight a regularised SSPX would now have?
The SSPX priests then decide that the price is worth paying: they accept the Preambolo dottrinale as modified by Pope Benedict at the last minute, and decide the price to pay is high, but the rewards for the Church will be much higher. A sizeable minority thinks this is madness, but the majority of the moderates carries the day.
Fast forward to April 2013. Benedict is not the Pope anymore; in his stead, an Argentinian obsessed with social issues Is now in charge. This man never picked a fight with the SSPX in Argentina and on many issues appears to be fairly orthodox; but liturgically speaking he is, compared to Benedict, like Donna Summer compared to Schubert. He is not new to Pinocchio Masses, and doesn’t even think he is bound by the Church’s liturgical rules, which he evidently considers stuffy and of archaeological rather than pastoral value. Around him, there is open talk of destruction, and an almost revolutionary ferment is clearly perceptible.
The SSPX priests think of the September decision, and reflect on what has become of their hopes.
The liturgical abuses are not behind them. On the contrary, they are now coming from the very top, with Muslims or women put in the place that is properly reserved for bishops, or priests, or at least laymen. Our friends cannot say anything, as this would be seen as grave insubordination; particularly so, because coming from those who were long seen as disobedient.
The wreckovation is now going on in full force, and the Society is silent. With the most prestigious and influential voice for Tradition falling away, they notice they have become accomplices of the upcoming devastation, then their silence now makes them accessories in the same sins they have been denouncing for decades.
But what about their influence? Did they have even one Cardinal in the Conclave? No, they hadn’t, and for good reason. Utterly isolated and seen as dangerous hotheads, the SSPX have no friends in the Vatican, and the Curial knives are out for them; the more sharpened, because the Society would now not be able to resist their slaughterers without losing her face and reputation.
Perhaps there are good news from the front? No, there aren’t. The reputation is gone, because there is no reason anymore to be a priest or supporter or donor of the Society. Those priests who have recognised their mistake, or had voted against the agreement but did not want to abandon ship, are now going in droves. Why should they remain, when the SSPX is not anymore what moved them to join in the first place? Then, they might as well have joined the FSSP, who will now, so much is clear, better face the wrath of the Vatican corridors.
The priests of the SSPX sit in front of the ruin of a once proudly Traditionalist organisation, reduced to self-castration, humiliation and perhaps annihilation. They have lost face, and they know it. If they were to re-rebel now, no one would give them any credibility: like virginity, credibility is lost only once, and once gone there’s no way to have it back.
It’s too late now. The ship has sailed for the wrong destination, and there’s no hope she will be able to make it to a safe heaven. The voyage begun with such high hopes and confidence in the future has now proved to be a safe recipe for shipwreck.
They realise only now that their hopes, and their delusion, was exactly the same of Vatican II.
Fittingly, The punishment also looks the same.
In case you think it never happened before that a Pope goes around spreading heretical messages or beliefs (though not proclaiming them dogmatically; we are not there yet), this is a sobering reading from the always great priests of the SSPX.
You may want to take the time to read the SSPX “Letter to Friends and Benefactors” No. 78, of April 2011 in its entirety. You find the text in its original setting here. Please note this letter, in part, quotes an older text, which is why then Cardinal Ratzinger is called “your Eminence”.
I have allowed myself to reproduce here the parts which I think are relevant for today’s post. Emphasis in the original.
[...] On Sunday, December 11, 1983, the Pope preached in a Protestant church of Rome after having more or less invited himself to do so. [...]
[...] On May 10, 1984, the Pope visited a Buddhist temple in Thailand; he took off his shoes and sat down at the feet of a Buddhist bonze, who himself was sitting in front of the altar on which there was a large statue of the Buddha. [...]
[...] In his book The Ratzinger Report (1985), Cardinal Ratzinger claims that in extreme cases the other religions are “extraordinary” means of salvation. No, your Eminence: Jesus Christ and He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; nobody comes to the Father but by Him! [..]
[...] In August of 1985, the Holy Father proclaimed to young Muslims in Casablanca that we Christians adore the same God as they do—as though there is a Most Holy Trinity and an Incarnation of God in Islam! [...]
[...] A few days later, he went with some animist priests and their escorts to the outskirts of Lohomay, to a cult in the “holy forest” where “the force of water” and the divinized souls of the ancestors are invoked. And at least two times at Kara and Togoville—at Kara just before celebrating Holy Mass!—he poured water and cast corn flour into a dried-out cucumber skin, a gesture professing a false religious belief. [...].
[...] And now on January 25, 1986, he called upon all religions to gather together in Assisi to pray for peace. According to the newspapers, the date of October 24, the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, might be chosen. “What God are people going to pray to, who explicitly deny the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ? Truly the devil came up with that idea,” commented Archbishop Lefebvre. [...]
[...] Lastly, in the course of his journey to India, the Pope spoke only of dialogue and mutual comprehension between religions in order that they promote together human brotherhood and social well-being. [...]
We could, of course, go further back in history and find other examples of Popes just as bad. Pope Liberius excommunicated Athanasius, Pope Honorius was declared a heretic by the Third Council of Constantinople with the following words:
“And with these we define that there shall be expelled from the holy Church of God and anathematized Honorius who was some time Pope of Old Rome, because of what we found written by him to [Patriarch] Sergius, that in all respects he followed his view and confirmed his impious doctrines.”
It is, therefore, clear the concept of Papal Infallibility does not cover everything that a Pope teaches. This was clearly recognised during the First Vatican Council, when Papal Infallibility was given strict and well-defined boundaries.
How is, then, a faithful Catholic to react to the antics of bad, or very bad, or outright heretical Popes? The above mentioned Letter gives us a clear, perfectly Catholic answer to this (emphasis mine):
Do you think, my dear friends, that to lay out these things gives us joy? It fills us with grief to write them down, our sole concern being the welfare of Mother Church. Similarly, we are far from wishing to judge the Pope—we gladly leave this delicate task to a later judgment of the Church. We do not belong to those who hastily declare that the Papal See is vacant, but we let ourselves be led by the history of the Church. Pope Honorius was anathematized by the Sixth Ecumenical Council because of his false teachings, but no one has ever claimed that Honorius was not Pope. However, it is impossible for us to close our eyes in front of the facts.
Being a good Catholic does not consist in becoming blind, and stupid. Things are what they are. If we have to live with a bad Pope, well we have to live with a bad Pope. It does not help anyone (not the Church; not the Pope; not one’s own chances of salvation) to stick one’s head in the sand and pretend scandal is not happening. The Pope is not above scandal. In fact, no one is so much not above scandal as the Pope.
But to refuse to stick one’s head in the sand does not mean to cry that the end is near, the sky is falling, or the See is vacant. Honorius was Pope, and we do refuse to close our eyes in front of the facts.
As always, proper knowledge of history helps us to put things in the proper perspective. Unsurprisingly, as this generation neglects history it falls pray of the opposite errors of Papolatry and Sedevacantism.
You, my dear readers, will do nothing of all this. You will remain steadfast in your faith in our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church no matter what should happen. You know that no generation of Christians has not been challenged, and those who have been challenged the most have created a solid foundation for the faith in the centuries to come.
No panic, no desperation, and no Sedevacantism. This will be, very probably, a rough ride.
Il buon giorno si vede dal mattino, says the wise Italian: one sees the beautiful day from the morning. What kind of morning we had in the last weeks is too evident for me to waste words.
Let us be prepared for a bleak day, and pray the Lord that we may – if it pleases Him – be spared the worst punishment. If it should happen that the day is not so bleak after all, so much the better. Still, it’s wise to be prepared, and I think it’s fair to say the day of this Pontificate has no real chances of ever becoming the buon giorno we were hoping for before that fateful 13 March.
On the upper right hand side of this page is a link to an interactive Rosary, just one of the many ways you can join countless Catholics in this most beautiful devotion.
Let the Rosary by our sword against heresies and bad doctrines. We are only wretched sinners, and can do but little. Let us ask the Blessed Virgin to help us in this difficult hour.
A good Easter Monday to you all.
The SSPX issued a press release on Pope Francis’ election. Emphases not necessary.
With the news of the election of Pope Francis, the Society of St. Pius X prays to Almighty God that He abundantly bestow on the new Sovereign Pontiff the graces necessary for the exercise of this heavy charge.
Strengthened by Divine Providence, may the new pope “confirm his brethren in the Faith”, with the authority which St. Pius X proclaimed at the beginning of his pontificate:
We do not wish to be, and with the divine assistance never shall be aught before human society but the Minister of God, of whose authority We are the depositary. The interests of God shall be Our interest, and for these We are resolved to spend all Our strength and Our very life.
St. Francis of Assisi, whose name the new pontiff has taken, heard the Crucified Savior say to him, “Go, Francis and rebuild my Church.” It is in such a spirit that the bishops, priests, and religious of the Society of St. Pius X assure the Holy Father of their filial desire “to restore all things in Christ, so that Christ may be all and in all” according to their means, for the love of the Holy Catholic and Roman Church.
Menzingen, le 13 mars 2013
Beautiful initiative of the Society, who have on the site of their communication agency the Novena for the election of the Sovereign Pontiff.
Unfortunately I could not post this yesterday as per original plan; but though late, I hope this is not too late.
The collect (a part of the Novena) is as follows:
O Lord, with suppliant humility, we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most holy Roman Church a pontiff, who by his zeal for us, may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may ever be honoured by Thy people for the glory of Thy name. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Beautiful and very fitting.
The entire exercise takes just a couple of minutes.
The site has the texts also in Latin.
Father Lombard informed everyone today there are going to be no news in the matter of the SSPX, and the file will be transmitted to his successor.
It makes sense and in fact, a last – minute agreement wouldn’t have been smart. The SSPX priests who would have had to approve might have felt they are put under pressure (“accept this now, now! Or face tough action from the next Pope”), and the Pope himself would have exposed himself to the right remark that he acts now to escape from the unavoidable polemics following such an act.
Perhaps it is now the time to say that this almost messianic expectation of an agreement isn’t healthy. On the contrary, it creates a climate by which an agreement is seen more and more as indispensable, irrespective of its content. Besides, an agreement now might as short-lived as the rest of this papacy.
In my eyes, those who love the Society should train themselves to the exact contrary: resignation that they will die before an agreement is reached, and tranquil confidence an agreement will come when both the time and the content are right.
Fellay & Co. know what they are doing. They will not endanger the organisational autonomy of the Society or its doctrinal integrity, but will work an pray for the end of this unsavoury situation as soon as possible.
If you needed an additional confirmation that the SSPX has realised Pope Benedict’s resignation equates to a big card reshuffle, you can click on this link.
Besides the obvious fact that Pope Benedict will, in all probability, not make any parting gift to the Society – it is not logical that he should do so; he has been planning his departure for some months, and if he had wanted to act he would have done it before lest he gives the impression he acts at the last minute to avoid the criticism to his decision – what is interesting in this interview is Fellay’s suggested roadmap for a reconciliation.
The good bishop is very clear in saying that whilst he does not expect from the next Pope that he proceeds to an open, outright condemnation of Vatican II, the new Pope can accomplish a lot smartly and quietly, proceeding to a series of adjustments apt to eliminate a good part of the problems. To quote (emphasis mine):
As far as Vatican II is concerned, just like for the Mass, we believe that it is necessary to clarify and correct a certain number of points that are either erroneous or lead to error. That being said, we do not expect Rome to condemn Vatican II any time soon. She can recall the Truth and discretely correct the errors, while preserving her authority.
The message is very clear. It would be more than enough if the Vatican were willing to work toward the repair of the edifice without any admission that, so to speak, the architect was on drugs and the building company straight out of Greece. Quiet and discreet action – starting with immediate action on the very worst – can accomplish a lot.
Note that in this interview there is no trace whatsoever of an alleged fear of the Society that some terrible punishment may be inflicted on them by the next Pope. There isn’t, because there is no terrible punishment the Vatican can even try to inflict on them without – besides not reaching their scope – inflicting a much bigger damage on themselves.The Vatican can, simply, not credibly strike at orthodox Catholicism, and spotless obedience.
No, the only way the Vatican can try to neutralise the Society is by trying to blandish, seduce and divide them, dangling the carrot of “reconciliation” in front of their eyes whilst waiting for the division and strife this would cause; a game, this, already tried in a massive and open way both in 1988 and in 2012; on both occasions clearly engineered by the current Pontiff; and parlously failed twice.
The SSPX awaits the outcome of the Conclave from a position of unprecedented strenght and prestige. The progressive – if too slow – rapprochement of the Vatican to the positions held before V II in so many matters is a vindication of Archbishop Lefebvre’s brave fight. As the ideology of Vatican II continues to slowly wither, Traditionalism will grow in prestige and authority; if you say Traditionalism properly intended (that is: not mere liturgical preference, but defence of the entire patrimony of Tradition), you say first and foremost SSPX.
And so the SSPX should be, one is informed, scared of the new Pope crushing them, and should have accepted the poisoned bread offered to them by a, erm, rather scheming Pope.
Should they? Really? I am not persuaded at all. Let us see why.
Broadly speaking, the new Pope can only be one of three:
1) a modernist like Schoenborn.
2) a so-so, V-II nuChurch Pope like, well, all of them since Pope Roncalli.
3) A traditionalist Pope.
If 1) happens, you’ll see an explosion of sedevacantism, and as a result of the prestige and position of the SSPX who, whilst not being sedevacantists, are in clear opposition to the antics of nuChurch. Whatever this new Pope may order to them, the Society will certainly apply the blessed “first rule of the Italian army”: gli ordini sbagliati non si eseguono, “wrong orders are not carried out”.
I can, in fact, not imagine anything more promising for the growth of the Society than an utterly disgraceful Pope. Please reflect the likes of the FSSP would all be silenced in no time, and told they are lucky if they can keep the Tridentine Mass, and the Society would soon remain, to all intents and purposes, the only traditionalist shop in town.
The SSPX would then be seen as the last and only bastion of orthodoxy, and rightly so. They have the people, they have the money, they have the faith and the determination. Depend on that, they won’t take stupid orders by any stupid Schoenborn, Pope or no Pope. Amen.
2) So-so Popes can bark – with great effort – but they can’t bite. Therefore, your typical V II Pope would engage in endless “dialogue” without ever coming to any conclusion, which is why they engage in “dialogue” in the first place (besides trying to split the Society). There would be a gesture here and its contrary there, a Bux here and a Mueller there (well, not really; the man will hopefully be gone for good soon); but in the end, nothing would happen.
“You must accept V II”, the Vatican would say. “You must wake up and repent”, the SSPX would answer. Not the stuff of agreements, and it is probably good so as long as this situation persists.
3) If we are blessed by a traditionalist Pope (an event we as Catholics have by far not deserved), then the problem would solve itself by itself. We’d soon have the SSPX in full communion and – in time – Fellay as Cardinal ( I have joked about that in another post, but in this constellation I can’t see any other outcome). Case 3) is not a problem, but the end of all problems, and is therefore not worth discussing much.
What can, then, an hypothetical new and angry Pope do against the Society? A fat nothing, is the answer. The Society exists because the Papacy is in crisis. They will not do the Pope’s bidding when the papacy is even more in crisis than it has been in the times of Paul VI.
On the contrary, it seems to me that the decision of the Pope to go away is in fact a vindication of the SSPX policy. He will soon be gone, and the SSPX is still there. With Benedict, Mueller will soon go (not immediately, probably; the successor will allow him a face-saving time before he picks his own man). If there had been a (bad) agreement, how long had it lasted? Months? If the new pope is bad, than the SSPX was even more right in not wanting lazy compromises, and insisting on guarantees of freedom of criticism beside operational autonomy.
If you are smart, you talk with the Vatican but you don’t trust your own existence to their mercy. Bishop Fellay is very smart, and every agreement would have to be approved by the majority of the SSPX priests, so expect no surprises from there.
So: Pope Benedict will soon be gone. Archbishop Mueller will follow him soon after. The SSPX is still there, as solid as a rock, growing like a mushroom colony, and not scared of anything but lazy compromises.
I wonder who won?
Archbishop Mueller really can’t stay away from journalists. Not only does he like them, but they like him. They sense the man is always good for something politically incorrect, or controversial, or simply short-tempered. He always delivers, and they know it.
This time, Archbishop Mueller has given an interview to the German so-called prestigious German weekly Die Zeit, reported in English by Vatican Insider. As Vatican Insider is part of La Stampa, a highly professional Italian daily newspaper, I will not check that the English rendition faithfully corresponds to the main points of the German text.
Yours truly, who likes Yogurt inordinately (though he prefers Weihenstephan to Mueller) would like here to make some comments himself. The points of the interview I’d like to say two words about are the following ones:
1. Systematic media attacks on the Catholic church.
The Archbishop doesn;t mince words (he never does, anyway) and compares the anti-Catholic atmosphere created in many Western countries to anti-Jewish pogroms. Now this is Germany, and in germany when you compare yourself to the persecution of the Jews it means you are really angry and people have to pay attention to what you say, because of the all-present Vergangenheit, the past. This Vergangenheit is a bit of a joker you can employ on pretty much everything: illiberal laws, the persecution of Kreuz.Net, and the creeping Nazi attitude of German homosexualists and their friends.
The Cardinal points it out in general, but does not say what in wrong in particular. In a country whose biggest Catholic site has been more or less forced to silence by the Nazi attitude of politicians, media and homosexualists, this is not good enough. Alas, it seems the Archbishop wants to play victim without mentioning the bigger victims, because he happens not to like them.
2. No to so-called same-sex unions.
Same yogurt here. Read to the translation of the Archbishop’s words:
“It is impossible for the Catholic Church to accept a relationship between people of the same sex, as such relations cannot in any way be considered equivalent to marriage,”
Notice he doesn’t say such “relationships” are evil, perverted, satanic. He says they are (and I quote) “not equivalent”. This is exactly like saying that the Church does not accept pears being called apples, because pears aren’t apples. Then Church officials complain they are attacked. But it is so surprising they are attacked as backwards and bigots, if they even renounce to say why they are so opposed to perversion? If I were to tell you all day that you simply should not eat pears, would that be enough?
I also notice the Church in Germany has kept, in practice, shtum when the German Government legislated against marriage with the civil partnerships, and that the Archbishop himself never openly attacks those colleagues of him, like the infamous Cardinal Woelki, who express themselves in favour of such abominations. One gets the impression Mueller is rather willing to bully the SSPX, but not so aggressive when his own colleagues and countrymen are involved; and that in this he fully reflects the attitude of the German clergy.
3. Priest celibacy.
For what it’s worth, I give full notes to the Archbishop here. He points out not only to the role of the priest and why celibacy is important, but also makes a very counter-cultural statement, that sexual activity (outside of marriage) is not a natural necessity. Bravo.
4. Criticism of the “dialogue” between lay people and priests in Germany
This is one of those things people who live outside of German can not even easily grasp. Germany is a country where the laity think they must “dialogue” with the clergy about issues like (you got it) so-called priestesses, and the clergy think they must engage in the “dialogue” with the laity and discuss those issues again and again. Come on, this is not even Catholicism anymore.
The Archbishop points out to this, and adds he thinks this must stop. Again, kudos to him.
5. (Umpteenth) Warning to the SSPX
This is another (predictable) serving of yogurt turned sour. It truly seems the Archbishop can’t open his mouth without expressing his anger at the SSPX, an anger which has personal besides Church-political reasons. It also seems to contradict what the Archbishop had said previously, then if memory serves (and it serves) it was Archbishop Mueller himself who declared the talks failed and the door closed, whilst Archbishop Di Noia insists in saying the door is still open (if you drink the poison of V II, that is). Now Mueller takes Di Noia’s position, “we are still waiting for your answer”, but his attitude is diametrically opposite to Di Noia’s one.
I frankly this the Archbishop needs a reality checks if he thinks this kind of message will have any effect whatsoever on the SSPX. More probably, he knows it won’t, but he says it anyway. It might have been wiser to say that there is a man specifically appointed to the task (Archbishop Di Noia) and he would therefore prefer not to touch on the subject. This would have been, methinks, the more diplomatic and intelligent answer, and the Archbishop would have looked much better without giving away an inch. But again, he is short-tempered.
Reading on the Internet here and there one gets the impression the SSPX depends on the Vatican’s goodwill to survive. The reasoning goes along the lines of “the SSPX should take what is offered now, because the Holy Father’s patience is now rapidly depleting, and he is the last chance for them to reach an agreement, after which they will be crushed/declared schismatic/ordered to disband”.
It seems to me this kind of comment is made in ignorance of what the SSPX is all about. Let me explain.
The idea at the basis of the SSPX is that the fidelity to the teaching of the Church comes before the fidelity to the Pope. Whilst generally the two coincide, and obedience to the Pope is due every time fidelity to the Church is not in question, when the Pope insists in wanting something that is against the teaching, then the faithful find themselves in the necessity to refuse that obedience they continue to be ready to pay in all other circumstances.
This is not a Sedevacantist position, as the authority of the Pope and his legitimacy in being Pope is not put into question.
It would be very erroneous to think a Pope can never be wrong in doctrinal matters, because the Holy Ghost would strike him dead if he tried. Popes have been vocally and utterly wrong in doctrinal matters in the past (think of John XXII), and the protection of the Holy Ghost only kicks in in that the Holy Ghost will (predictably) strike the Pope dead before he imposes his error as a dogma of the Church. This has never happened up to now (not even with John XXII), and therefore the Holy Ghost clearly had no reason to strike any of the Vatican II Popes dead.
Another famous episode is the way Paul defended received truth (occasionally also against Peter). Paul doesn’t mince words:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. (Galatians 1:8)
Paul was an obedient follower of the Pope, but not a silent one, nor was his obedience unconditional, in a kind of blind Fuehrerprinzip. In Galatians we read, referring to the incident in Antioch
But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (Galatians 2:11)
Paul opposed Peter every time he thought it necessary, full knowing the latter’s position. He did so publicly when necessary. It’s not that Peter should have been struck dead by the Holy Ghost. Peter simply happened to be wrong on a couple of issues, and not even angels would have persuaded Paul that hey, he is the Pope so that’s what it’s going to be.
A third episode is the painful story of Athanasius, about which I have written already.
The obvious consequence of this is that the SSPX will give obedience to the Pope in everything possible, but refuse obedience whenever necessary. Not one, or one hundred, excommunications are going to stop them. Not any declaration the Vatican could make that the SSPX are Schismatics, or Muslims, or Buddhists, or cats, or dogs; not any order to disband; not even an angel coming down from Heaven and telling them to, pretty please, accept the Vatican II concept of, say, religious liberty. It’s just not going to happen.
Now, I fully agree that if the SSPX had been an organisation of people merely fantasizing themselves the defenders of orthodoxy, the old excommunication would have wiped them out in just a few years. But the fact is, they truly are the defenders of the orthodoxy! Many people see it, and see that far from being rebellious to the Pope, they are obedient to the Pope in everything, except in those things which not even an Angel could persuade them to do, because it would mean to be disobedient to the very Truth from which the Pope’s authority derives. This is why the SSPX grow and prosper, whilst the V II clergy shrink and become old.
Yes, of course the Vatican is wrong, and the SSPX is right. Peter was wrong, and Paul was right! The Vatican was wrong, and Athanasius was right! It has happened in the past, it will happen in the future. It does not mean we do not owe obedience to the Church and to the Pope, it simply means we must recognise we live in one of those periods in history in which a state of necessity may apply in certain circumstances; but again, it is a state of necessity due to obedience, not rebellion.
This is a difficult post: a blog post about what a French site says the Vatican has written to every SSPX priest, which has already been proved wrong because they wrote it to Menzingen ( SSPX headquarter) and they apparently copied and sent to every priest (boy, their photocopier must be good…).
You find the English translation of what the content might be at the usual Rorate Caeli.
My comment to the text are as follows:
1. Once again, Archbishop Di Noia writes over Archbishop Mueller’s head. Apparently (but see below) no fear of being drowned in yogurt there. Good!
2. Archbishop Di Noia appears to have posed, amidst the lines of a very long letter, the following conditions:
a) no discussion of V II in the media
I wonder what the Archbishop thinks, or if he just loves to write. The very aim of the SSPX is to fight against the distortions of V II. It is not a private exercise. The role the SSPX requires from her priests, which is the reason itself why the SSPX exists, is to say things as they are. This reminds me of Mussolini, who allowed dissident books to be published provided the run was limited to 1,000 copies. This is not going to work, full stop.
b) the SSPX does not establish itself as a parallel Magisterium.
This is not very intelligently formulated and I hope it does not come directly from Archbishop Di Noia’s pen. If the Archbishop thinks the SSPX want to establish their parallel Magisterium, he has a lot of studying to do. More probably, he means the SSPX must accept every cretinous statement of the V II church (religious liberty, and so on) as infallible Magisterium.
c) presents the objections in a positive and constructive manner
I have never read a criticism of the SSPX to V II that wasn’t constructive (though they were negative, as the matter deserves). Actually, I am still waiting for the minutes of the meetings with the Vatican to see who was more constructive. I think Archbishop Di Noia owes every conservative Catholic out there, because in my book a man is only as good as his word and the minutes of the meetings have been vocally announced. Let’s take the time to read it all and see who has the better argument and logic.
d) bases all analysis on a deep and wide theological basis.
This is offensive. It implies the SSPX has up to now not based her analyses on a deep and wide theological basis. From what I could read up to now, the SSPX shames every Vatican theologian you can care to mention, obviously starting from the Pope. But again, I am waiting for the announced minutes of the meeting to see who has the “deep and wide theological basis”. I bet three pints it isn’t the Vatican.
Personally, I’d say this new “smile offensive” from the Vatican can only be one of two:
1) Di Noia wants to make himself independent from Mueller (good!), and he is trying to establish his own negotiating credentials whilst, at the beginning, trying not to anger Mueller too much, lest he be drowned in yogurt. Therefore, unacceptable demands are posed, which in the meantime establish Di Noia as the interlocutor of the SSPX within the Vatican.
2) This is a remote-controlled Mueller initiative to, again, try to drown the SSPX in yogurt: “you will have your recognition”, they say, “and you will be able to criticise VII. Provided, of course, you shut up.”
Er, well, no.
This is not the SSPX everyone of us knows, and the SSPX will not accept any “compromise” which silences them, even if they are able to do their own thing and criticise Vatican II in a very hushed way in the bargain. This is pretty much what is already allowed to the FSSP, and the SSPX priests know why they do not join the FSSP.
I wish within the beautiful palaces of the Vatican they would start to accept that the decomposition of Catholicism in the West is the result of erroneous teachings, practices, and ways of thinking introduced during – and spread or magnified after and through – Vatican II. That, and only that, will be the beginning of the healing, whilst every Catholic insistence that V II be not wrong (a statement more ridiculous with every new day) is going to crash against the wall of orthodox Catholicism built by the SSPX, a wall that will certainly not be taken down against a promise of a reconciliation. Athanasius was never lured to compromise his position by promises of reconciliation.
Besides, Di Noia’s position appears contradictory in itself: “look what damaged goods we are”, he seems to say, “please damage yourselves with us and agree with our corruption, so that we can heal together”.
Again, more than a proposal this seems a provocation dipped in … yogurt. Still, this could be an erroneous rendition of those who made the synopsis.
I have already reported about the circumstances and the implications of Bishop Williamson’s exclusion from the Society of St Pius X. On that occasion, I had imagined that he might create a separate group, though due to age consideration he might have preferred to simply retire. Rumours of an alternative “SSPX Mk II” had briefly circulated in the few days after his exclusion, after which the matter had remained rather silent.
It would now appear a new organisation of priests alternative to the SSPX is being created, and you will find the details on a sedevacantist site here.
It is early days to see what line the new organisation will fare. For the moment it seems it will not even be able to dent the SSPX; of course things might change in the next months or years, but I wouldn’t bet my pint. Hopefully, the new group will not slide into sedevacantism, and will in fact constitute merely a more aggressive version of the SSPX. As I cannot imagine this initiative will seriously harm the SSPX either in vocations or funding, I am still unable to see any big downside from this new creation. What might well happen is that conservative Catholics will get, so to speak, two for the price of one, but with a bigger presence of traditional Catholicism particularly on the Internet. The SSPX also achieves the aim of getting rid of the very smart, but at times frankly embarrassing Bishop Williamson and of some of his most colourful followers, without selling out to the Neo-modernists in the Vatican.
This new group, if it survives, will also be not without some irony as the clear manoeuvring of the Holy Father to plunge the SSPX into disarray by splitting them down the middle would fail twice, and instead of a weakened SSPX he will now be confronted with a SSPX as strong as ever, and a second (if small) thorn on the Vatican’s VII side as a very special “thank you” from the Members of the Society.
If, on the other hand, the new organisation will slide into overt or covert sedevacantism, it is not difficult to predict it will soon – at the latest a few years after the death of his rather litigious but always entertaining founder – sink into irrelevance and then oblivion; which would be a pity, because I cannot avoid thinking two SSPX-like organisations (though the first will remain the truly important voice) shoot better than one. Let us hope they do not start quarrelling with each other, though, and that the new organisation takes a name acceptable to the SSPX and does not make of criticism of the latter the main reason of its existence.
For the moment, it looks they are so few (they talk of around twenty members, with hopes of enlarging the group; the SSPX alone has more than 500 priests) the SSPX might even afford the luxury of ignoring their existence, but again you never know how these things evolve.
I wish those who felt they could not remain under the banner of the SSPX well, though I cannot say I approve the decision or the thinking behind it. They will have some trouble in creating a strong organisation, as most people will see the SSPX as strong and uncompromising enough for any reasonable human standard; therefore, this new organisation runs the risks of becoming a refuge for cranky priests at war even with the SSPX – and then they will very probably slide into sedevacantism, and won’t live long – or a slightly more aggressive but loyal to the Papacy alter ego of the SSPX, and then the pressure to the reunification will become strong when they have understood the SSPX has no intention whatsoever to sell out to the VII troops and Bishop Williamson has died.
What, I think, is the interesting news is that at the moment it appears certain that the Vatican attempt to split the SSPX in the middle has failed parlously now, as it did when the FSSP ( a sound organisation, no doubt, but created with the aim of maiming and possibly killing the SSPX) was created.
For this 2013 I would like to formulate a very special but I think equally legitimate wish: the announced publication of the minutes of the meetings between the Vatican and the SSPX.
Again, besides having been announced (and therefore, in a way, promised) I am unable to see why this should be problematic for the Vatican: if the erroneous nature of the Society’s position is evident, the publication of the minutes will lead to the gradual isolation and withering of the organisation, and Vatican orthodoxy will in time triumph without the need for shocking measures that would never work anyway. If, on the other hand, the SSPX does have a case, it is only fitting that this case be heard back to back with the Vatican position.
What better occasion for millions of interested Catholics to properly instruct themselves!
OK then; I am waiting…
Around one month ago, the German site of “Kreuz.net” went offline. The German prosecutors were investigating against them, and it was widely believed the site had been shut down to protect the contributors from the official Gaystapo of the German Republic.
At this point, it is necessary to make my English-speaking readers acquainted with a rather scary trait of the German legal system and, I add unhesitatingly, of the German soul: the criminal offence of Volksverhetzung, “incitement of popular hatred”.
In Germany, if you are perceived to spread hatred against a category of people (or a single person, if this is seen as spreading hatred against a category of people), you can be prosecuted and sent to jail. Whilst this measure was traditionally understood as a defence against Nazi propaganda and was rigidly meant to be limited to those expression seeking to provoke actual physical violence against segments of the population (say: Jews), the dark side of the German psyche – characterised by an unquestioned acceptance of authority, whereas the ” majority” takes the role of the old “Fuehrerprinzip” and those who sharply disagree with it are seen as subversive, provided of course they aren’t Muslims – has recently extended the concept, at least tentatively, to… vocal and very outspoken Catholics.
A site like Kreuz.net, whose outspokenness puts even yours truly easily in the shade, did not escape the attention of the prosecutors, who are obviously incited by the new darlings of the nation, the militant sodomites.
The site was already “under observation”, which means the Gaystapo was waiting for a suitable opportunity to crucify them. The head sodomite in the country (an involuntarily funny but influential “Green” member of parliament, called Volker Beck; he is such a parody of a whining queen Sacha Baron Cohen might have taken him as a source of inspiration) launched the charge some months ago and, in pure German style, many others followed.
The casus belli was the death of another militant homo, the TV entertainer and homosexualist Dirk Bach. Bach died suddenly in his home at the age of 51, and Kreuz.net merited – in the eyes of the Gaystapo – prosecution for the following reasons: they said they believed he was now in Hell (you can’t say that in Germany, apparently, because this is “incitation to popular hatred” against a “segment of the population”) and they made a case for Bach’s death having been caused by a drug used by sodomites to lessen the pain of their posterior, caused by sodomite acts. This particular drug would – if memory serves – cause blood pressure to rise, a collateral effect particularly dangerous in the case of Bach, who suffered of high blood pressure already. The original post is not to be read anymore, of course, but it wasn’t worse than this; and this was probably less bad than the concrete realities of Dirk Bach’s life.
As the German laws about Volksverhetzung also protect the dead, the united perverts of the country launched themselves against the site like one… queen, and a publishing house for sodomites even set a bounty of, again if memory serves, 15,000 Euros on the author(s) of the blog post. The criminal investigation started pretty much in the same days, as the anger of the queens is the modern equivalent of the old crime of lèse-majesté.
Now, the people behind the site are very (as in: very) smart, and they ran the site on the strictest basis of anonymity. The widely held opinion conservative priests (SSPX and others) are involved in the operation, already evident in the particular style of the contributions (a sequence of short, detached sentences clearly meant to make the nationality and writing style of the writer unrecognisable) was confirmed when one of the contributors turned out to be a brave priest of a German diocese, who escaped prosecution as not the author of the Dirk Bach post and was in the end, and for all we know, only mildly rebuked by his Ordinary.
Do not think, though, the Church in Germany goes well out of this story. Not only did the notorious Cardinal Lehmann (a disgraceful appointment of John Paul The Not-So-Great) publicly asked for the site – who is very sharply critical of people like him – to be silenced; but after the site was shut down he even publicly thanked the sodomite publishing house and their perverted friends for the services rendered to…. well, him, really.
I followed the events closely, but had no real desire to post about them whilst “Kreuz Net” was shut down as this would smell of defeat. As it was to be hoped the site would appear again at some point under a different name as already happened in the past, I thought it wiser to wait for the site to return in a halfway permanent way before giving you the lowdown on the situation (including the unspeakable behaviour of the unspeakable Cardinal Lehmann).
It is, now, with great satisfaction that I announce to all of my seven readers that the site www.kreuz-net.info is on the net and has been permanently online for the last couple of days.
There can be no doubt the new site is the spiritual successor of the old one: the terms and style used are rather the same, the name is clearly a reference, even the header is identical but with now a green instead of a red background. As in the past, the site is joy to read: gritty and militant, but accurate and sound. You don’t need to be a genius to assume the contributors are largely the same and are people pretty fit in Catholicism and inclined to shun a cyber fight. My kind of priests, I must say.
Surprisingly, there is now an “Impressum” (company information) link with the address of an (even more surprisingly) Austrian company, a decided departure from the old system of companies located in exotic locations or in the USA for obvious reasons of protection from Nazi prosecutors. It is thinkable (but I do not have the details, nor have I found news on Google) the Austrian prosecutors have concluded their investigation (the German prosecutors had asked for collaboration, as at least one key contributor was thought to live in Austria; think of the waste of taxpayer’s money…) and have found the exercise perfectly legitimate; or perhaps the Austrian address is a kind of “fuse”, with the site being closed down again and reopened elsewhere at the first sign of new Sodonazi involvement.
To us living in countries where freedom of expression is still taken rather seriously the German/Austrian events of the last weeks are, obviously, extremely disturbing. But make no mistake, as long as the site and their authors continue to operate directly from German-speaking countries the risk of prosecution (that is: persecution) will always be very real, and if you ask me an acceptable degree of security from the Gaystapo will only be reached when the contributors operate from (and live in) the United States, or from another country without the German worship for homosexuals and the contempt of at least their prosecutors (how the judges would have decided in the end is a completely different matter) for elementary freedoms.
What is important now is that a very honest, orthodox voice for Catholicism could for the moment not be silenced by the combined attack of unrepentant perverts and German prelates, aided and abetted by complicit and subservient state prosecutors. Cardinal Lehmann has shown once again what a disgraceful person he is, and if the post-Vatican II church had a modicum of integrity he would not be allowed to be a Cardinal for long. On the other hand, if the post-Vatican II Church had a modicum of integrity one like Lehmann wouldn’t be allowed to be a Cardinal (or a bishop; or a priest, come to that) in the first place, so there you are…
Kreuz.net is dead. Long live Kreuz-net.info! Their existence as a free voice should be dear not only to us conservative Catholics, but to everyone – be he an atheist, or an agnostic, or even an unrepentant sodomite – who thinks freedom of expression, and be it strong and if must be offensive expression, is a value most worthy of protection. I kindly ask you to actively click several pages on the site in order to help them to go up in the Google ranking and thus be easily recognisable from the (vast) readership of the old site.
Kreuz.net was the biggest Catholic site in Europe, which fact alone tells you something of the illiberal madness of its persecutors, be they perverts, state functionaries or clergymen.
The Germans, whose blindly gregarious attitude has already in the past caused untold suffering to others and to themselves, should be particularly attentive to every issue of freedom.
Unfortunately for them, they do not seem to have learnt the lesson.
Most of you may already know that the Church has already gone through very troublesome periods. Many of you will be aware that the Arians were probably the biggest challenge the Church had to confront, at least before the challenge of V I I.
What,though, many of you might not know is that even Athanasius, the great champion of Trinitarian orthodoxy, was excommunicated by Pope Liberius, and that the same Pope Liberius actually demanded that his diocese (or perhaps the entire Church, not sure on that but it isn’t so relevant) does not use the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in public worship. In a word, whilst not proclaiming a heretic dogma or denying the Trinity as traditionally intended, Pope Liberius did try – and certainly intended – to silence orthodox Catholic understanding at least in some regions. He did it, we are told, to avoid “fractures” within the Church and to not upset those “good Catholics” who had a, erm, modern understanding of the Trinity and should not feel, erm, antagonised.
Mind, those progressive Catholics thought they had their heart in the right place and were, no doubt, the nicest and most tolerant chaps around. I do not doubt they thought they would, by getting rid of an embarrassing concept like a God-Man who is fully God and fully Man, make Christianity more, erm, relevant. They must have seen our Athanasius as an extremely inflexible, obviously “uncharitable” bloke, bent on slavish adherence to “the past” with no consideration at all for the “new times” and the necessity of being “pastoral”. No doubt, after the papal excommunication (let us say this again: papal excommunication) most devout Christians thought the good man had now nothing else to do than to bow to the superior rank and wisdom of the Pope and retract his strange fixation with the Trinity properly intended.
Ubi Petrus, and all that…
If you think Athanasius bowed faced with group pressure, think again. If Pope Liberius did, he didn’t. If you think he was afraid of the excommunication, or fearful for his own soul, I will have to disappoint you again. This saintly man simply knew he was on the side of the Truth the Church had taught from the start, and if an angel had come down asking him to believe different things than those transmitted to us by God through the constant teaching of the Church he would have simply refused.
Fast forward to the XX century. The Church at large adopts strange ideas which, whilst not (mostly) openly heretics, are certainly at variance with what the Church has always taught. The Creed is not abolished, but the sacredness of the Liturgy as such is under a great attack. A very strange (but very convenient) theology concerning religious liberty and the role of the Church is being introduced; mainstays of Catholic theology are “revisited” according to modern sensitivities, with Capital Punishment now largely perceived as intrinsically bad, and war as always wrong. The primacy of the Pope itself is under attack, now practically – if not formally – substituted by a thinking according to which the Pope is there to give some good counsel and wise admonition every now and then, but leaving the real business of governing the Church to his bishops as a body. Concepts like the Kingship of Christ are not officially abolished but willingly forgotten; the same happens with countless traditional devotions like the Rosary, the Litanies or the Vespers; even the Sacraments suffer unprecedented attack, with Confession now seen as an embarrassment by many priests and even the sancta sanctorum of Catholic dogma, Transubstantiation, being factually ignored by a growing number of priests and faithful who, like their Arian ancestors, simply feel too modern and enlightened to believe in such “old” things.
A bishop reacts, like Athanasius, to all this. Like Athanasius, he does not care what the clear majority thinks, preferring to side with the minority which includes Christ instead. Like Athanasius, he is not impressed at having the Papacy against him, and like Athanasius he gladly suffers excommunication at the hands of a Pope to allow true Catholic teaching to continue.
We all know who this brave Archbishop was. Please remember him with affection in your prayers, and ask him to help you in your daily tasks and toils if you think – which would not be surprising at all – that he is in Heaven and can intercede for us wretched sinners fighting not only against the lures of the world, but against a clergy apparently joyously intent in a ceaseless work of self-destruction, and of possible destruction of legal Catholic practice in many Western countries.
To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant, Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman famously said. To be even shallow in Church history is, if you ask me, to cease to be deceived by clericalism or, worse still, papolatry.
The Truth is the Truth is the Truth. We do not adapt the Truth to the thinking of the Clergy, but we measure the work of the Clergy according to its adherence to Truth. Pope Liberius’ mortal spoils have finished decomposing a long time ago, whilst the immortal Truth defended by Athanasius could never die. This our hero never forgot. Several times during the course of his very turbulent life he had to endure exile, humiliation, and physical danger. Never he wavered, knowing he had Truth on his side.
I suggest you remember Athanasius every time you are told the one or other bishop (or Society) must recant or repent or adopt a strange theology because… the Pope says so, perhaps under pain of excommunication.
Athanasius didn’t retract, because he defended the Truth and the Truth is defended against angels, let alone Popes. It is not clear to me why the thinking of the XX Century’s Archbishop or of his followers should be any different than the one of the great saints of the past.
Very strange contribution some days ago on Rorate Caeli, with Archbishop Gullickson writing about the controversy and saying that he is a friend of the SSPX, but clearly implying they are in his opinion behaving in a rather stubborn way, refusing to consider that not everything can be perfect in life and that one should be able to accept the one or other little inconvenience and injustice for the sake of a greater good.
Archbishop Gullickson is, from what I can read around, a good Archbishop and a friend of true Catholicism; but frankly, one cannot but be unpleasantly surprised at the mentality his message betrays. The idea – coming from one who described himself as their friend – that the Society would now be doing, in the end, not much less than throwing toys out of the pram for a laudable, but misguided desire of perfect justice is so out of touch with the reality of the last 40 years, that one must despair this generation of VII churchmen will be able to even get what is going on.
What the Archbishop seems unwilling to understand is that the SSPX is fighting against a very grave, fundamental corruption of the entire way the Church thinks and acts. Their opposition to the New Mass, for example, is not the result of the fact that they consider it sub-optimal, or a questionable way to celebrate the liturgy. Their opposition to the Mass is due to it being the result of a radically wrong thinking, which engendered a dumbing-down, a Protestantisation and a general loss of sacredness of which the Novus Ordo is but the most dramatic and most tragically wrong expression. Their refusal of the Novus Ordo is the result of the refusal of the entire poisonous mentality behind it. It’s not a matter pf wanting to be right in everything, or to have everything set up to perfection. It is a battle for the fundamental way in which the Church thinks and acts; or, to use an imagery I often employ, a battle waged to help the Only Church to regain soberness after the drunkenness of populism, bad or outright heretical theology and utterly manifest desire to please the world rather than convert it that we have witnessed in the last fifty years; starting with Paul VI, soon to be beatified in order than V II be beatified, and continuing (albeit in a generally less drunken way) in our own age, with Neocatechumenal Masses, Assisi III rubbish, and the like.
When, therefore, the Archbishop invites his “friends” of the Society to be a bit flexible and stop being a fuss already, he clearly misses both the nature of the problem and the concern it represents for orthodox Catholics like the brave priests of the SSPX.
For a “friend” of the Society, the Archbishop shows a rather alarming disregard of why the SSPX exists in the first place, and why the “solution” ventilated by him is utterly impracticable.
Friend or no friend, after 40 years of existence one would expect those prelates who write about the SSPX to at least have an in-depth knowledge about what the SSPX is about, instead of assuming they are making a fuss over, in the end, secondary matters.
And this is the knowledge of a friend of the SSPX, and I do not doubt a rather sincere one.
Imagine the enemies!
Punctually on the day in which it was expected, the announcement of Bishop Williamson’s exclusion from the SSPX has arrived. I have already written about how I personally see things and will not bore you a second time; I do hope, though, that the tones remain halfway courteous – I do not mean sugary and hypocritical, but not openly insulting- at least in public.
Strong minds will have strong opinions, and passionate people will unavoidably have strong feelings about this. But even the Italian Commies managed to split without a public and open war of insults.
Let’s hope and pray.
On the newly launched website of the new building for the St. Thomas Aquinas’ Seminary, you can see the future of Catholicism in the Western world.
Whilst the Vatican II church waffles itself into irrelevance and almost extinction, the sane parts of the Church not only resist, but grow and prosper. See the video below
to see what is happening.
It is difficult, very difficult not to see that traditional Catholicism is prospering and growing, whilst the (numerically still vaster) NuChurch is dying fast, sinking into irrelevance in the process.
The site and video explain to you nothing less than the future of Catholicism: solid, determined, serious. No laughing clowns in sight, no “daring” architectures, no waffle whatever.
Rorate Caeli not only has the video, but in a truly dramatic contrast has another blog post about the slow but perceptible decline of the Church in France. Besides the sobering statistical figures, the blog post has a rather telling photo of a huge (and, if you ask me, horrible, Le Corbusier or no Le Corbusier; see photo below) Dominican seminary now housing a dozen of seminarians.
For the dozen seminarians, the sense of decay must be palpable every hour of the day.
This is how the drunkenness of Vatican II is dying: leaving a lot of (mostly ugly) concrete in empty buildings, after deserting the Western world now under a massive attack from the forces of evil; forces of evil which the church continues to cajole and try to be friends with.
The two photos shown give a very clear idea of what the future of these two opposed vision of the Church will be, and which one of the two (the traditional, of the V II one) will survive.
The bill for the madness of the past is being presented very fast, and with the almost complete extinction of those organisations which have embraced the “spirit of Vatican II”-Zeitgeist (Jesuits and Franciscans come to mind; an awful lot of scrounging nuns; and who knows how many other minor orders) more and more bills will become due in the next decade or two.
In the meantime, serious Catholicism will continue to grow, until in one generation or two it will control the field again because of the literal, physical death of the opposing camp. A much reduced Catholicism it might be, but probably a much more effective one; than the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of priests and religious we have now aren’t doing much for Catholicism other than muddle the waters, encourage sodomy or support same-sex couples, desecrate the mass, abet heresy, being openly simoniacal and hobnob with the enemy.
In their blindness, they remind me of Erich Honecker, the deluded DDR Comrade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the DDR whilst the building was squeaking in a way impossible not to notice.
Honecker’s regime did not live to see the 50th anniversary.
Whatever the challenges of the future, we can be very confident the V II madness will not live to see the 100th.
If you click here you should be directed to the March 2012 edition of the SSPX magazine for the German Speaking countries.
Alas, I am not able to present only a part of it as I do not know how to cut .pdf documents, but if you slide down to page 40 there is a very interesting “special” concerning the Kirchensteuer, with a detailed instruction as to what to do and even ready declarations to give to your local priest.
Just as an aside, I notice the SSPX has prospered in Germany for decades now without one Pfennig (or Cent, as the case may be) of Kirchensteuer.
Why I do not agree with everything they write (they seem to mean the Kirchensteuer would be right if it was used correctly as everyone has the duty to contribute to the church’s maintenance; which is wrong or at least very badly expressed, as charity must not be imposed as a forced contribution, however good the intent) they provide the reader with a complete guide to the emancipation from the Kirchensteuer.
I suggest to my German readers they do proceed to the Austritt and give their donation money, if they feel this is the best use for it, in large part to the SSPX instead.
I have often written on this blog – with disbelief, sorrow and some amusement – about the rather numerous cohort of those for whom the Pope is always the one responsible when he does something they like, and the hapless victim of cruel, ice-cold, shameless corridor plotters when he does something they don’t.
It can’t work, you see. Either one has the shop under control (and then he is responsible), or he hasn’t (and then he is responsible too, incidentally…).
This strange disease by which the Pope is either the man in charge or the victim of the famous “wolves” (people he has chosen to stay or remain near him, without exception; this too is elegantly overlooked) according to whether we like what comes out of the Vatican reached frankly amusing proportions in the last months. On this occasion, the famous preambolo – of which it was clear that it had been approved by the Pope, then otherwise the SSPX would have never dared to run to the wall by saying it was - was given back to the SSPX with mysterious last-minute changes, which were and remain clearly unacceptable not only for the SSPX, but for everyone who love their work and the preservation of Tradition they so beautifully defend.
Ah, how the pious cohorts of Pope Benedict went to defend him! The wolves have betrayed him! They have profited when he was taking a nap and have changed the text of the preambolo! Perhaps they changed some key words whilst he was eating his Leberkäse ! And all under his nose! Shock! Horror!
It now turns out that rather smartly, the SSPX – in my eyes tired to be used and abused by the Holy Father, though certainly far too diplomatic to say so openly – have addressed a more or less direct request to the Holy Father asking him who was the responsible for the, erm, voltafaccia.
At this point, you can be as much the Pope as you like, but you are in a bit of a spot. If you do not answer, they will make it public that you have refused to answer, which will let you look extremely bad; if you say that it was someone else’s fault you have to find and agree the version with the poor scapegoat first – which knowing the Vatican means the entire planet will know about it it in a matter of weeks – and then you will have to go back to the text and change it again, losing face twice in one go; no, the only way to limit the damage is to tell the SSPX the truth and hope they sweep it under the carpet in the hope this nicety will spare them the “worse” (say, a renewed excommunication).
Unluckily for the Holy Father, the SSPX does not make this kind of calculation, does not appear to value his word much and wants the planet to know it, and has – I can find no other words – exposed the Pope by saying in a very diplomatic and gentle way, but still klipp und klar, that the Pope has confirmed the person responsible for the changes is – surprise, surprise – he himself.
Kreuz.net reports the interview with Father Schmidberger, the head of the German province of the SSPX. The interview is on Pius.info, and if you understand German you can listen from 3:25 to dispel every doubt as to who is responsible for what. As Father Schmidberger is a rather authoritative and prestigious source, I do not think there can be any doubt whatsoever – even for the “wolves party” of the conspiracy theorists – about how things went.
Alas, now the time to face reality has come, and all those who have accused those around of the Pope of being “wolves” must ask themselves why the Pope should, now that the truth has emerged, by considered by them any more gently than how they were considering those around him.
Like everyone else, I would so much like to believe that the Pope is on the side of a sensible restoration of traditional Catholicism and that he works, prudently but steadily, toward that goal. There was a time – in particular after Summorum Pontificum – when I have thought that this was more or less the case, at least that this was partially the case, in preparation of the successor who would then set the foot on the accelerator. My, was I wrong.
Not only is this Pope fully committed to the errors of Vatican II bar the worst modernist heresies; not only does he consider Vatican II as a whole so much above criticism that he will not allow the SSPX to work in peace whilst he allows wannabe Catholic Bishops and Cardinals all over the planet – particularly in Germany and neighbouring countries – to set forth their work of destruction undisturbed; but he will not even refrain from wilful deception to damage the SSPX, eating his own word in the hope to divide them in the process.
The game is now up, the SSPX has managed the crisis in a rather admirable way – they might lose Williamson and his “wing”, but will not be substantially weakened by internal strife; more a pruning than a falling – and Father Schmidberger’s claim that they are now more united make perfect sense in light of both the Papal behaviour and the clear absence of strife – apart from the Williamsonites, who aren’t very quiet at the best of times – within the Fraternity.
Kudos to the SSPX for having said – charitably but openly – what was clear enough but too many refused to see. This might well bring them a renewed excommunication – which might have come anyway, after letting them believe it won’t if they behave… – but frankly I do not think they are in the least afraid of it.
To say the truth, I think they don’t think much of the Pope, and want the world to know where they stand, and to know why; I cannot otherwise find a reason for their decision to tell urbi et orbi that the Pope has eaten his word at the last second; a statement as damning in his hard reality as it was gently expressed (see the interview again, and if you speak German enjoy the crystal clear subtext of the interview). Once again, the Holy Father was too clever by half.
Next time you complain about the collapse of the talks, please don’t take it out on Cardinal Bertone, or on Cardinal Levada. Rather, think how the Holy Father allowed them to be in the centre of the scandalised Catholic criticism for months, and whether the Holy Father would have ever told the truth if he had not been put in a rather tight corner by the Fraternity. Perhaps a prayer for them both (and for the Holy Father, who needs it most) is in order.
Below is the translation of the press release of the SSPX South American Superior. Translation courtesy of Catholic Church Conservation.
Superior de Distrito.