SSPX Catholic rebels disappointed by Benedict

April 20, 2008

Pope Benedict at his Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York, 20 April 2008/Mike SegarI’m not sure if the timing has anything to do with Pope Benedict’s U.S. trip, but the schismatic traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X chose this weekend to announce its disappointment in the pontiff and its decision not to seek closer ties to Rome now. SSPX leader Bishop Bernard Fellay wrote in a “Letter to Friends and Benefactors” (here in French) that Benedict had not budged in his support for the Second Vatican Council despite his decision last year to allow wider use of the old Tridentine rite Mass in Latin.

The time for an agreement has not yet come,” Fellay wrote. The decree on the old Latin Mass was “not accompanied by logically co-related measures in the other areas of the life of the ChurchNothing has changed in Rome’s determination to follow the council’s orientation, despite 40 years of crisis, despite the deserted convents, abandoned rectories and empty churches.”

The letter is dated April 14 but was only published on Saturday by the SSPX information service DICI. Here’s our story and here’s a partial English translation of Fellay’s statement at Rorate Caeli (hat tip to Father Z for that).

SSPX Bishop Bernard Fellay, 13 Jan 2006/Franck PrevelFellay signalled his continued estrangement from Rome in February when he accused the Vatican of caving in to “foreign pressures” when it issued a new wording of the Latin prayer on Good Friday. In a FaithWorld post on that statement, I wondered out loud whether any or many SSPX parishioners would drift away from their churches to attend Latin Masses in their local parishes. From scattered comments I’ve heard since then, it seems that few if any of the people attending the (admittedly also few) old Latin Masses now seem to have defected from the Lefebvrist ranks.

Fellay isn’t the only one who might feel let down by Benedict. Michael Sean Winter had an interesting piece on Slate about “How Pope Benedict has disappointed the Right.” He recalls how conservative Catholics welcomed his election in 2005, only to find he didn’t crack down the way they hoped he would.

What do you think? Has Benedict been as conservative as you expected him to be?

98 comments

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“I agree that some in the Pius XXPX movement or whatever they call themselves are cultish and have not kept the tradition for the most noble of all reasons and that is to preserve the foundation and purpose, and the only genuine reason for religion in the first place, that of love – the love of God for us and our transmission of that love to and for others.” -posted by Charles

Charlie,
You’re full of horse manure! First of all, get your names right. The name of the priestly order we are talking about is the SSPX you idiot! That’s how you know, folks, that a lot of these anti-traditional morons are full of rubbish – when they can’t even properly identify who they’re bashing!

And if religion is all about love, you might as well be a pot-smoking, polyamorous hippie who doesn’t believe in SIN and promotes tree-hugging as a form of penance. May be you are exactly that, Charlie. Somehow, you’re still stuck in the Sixties!

Posted by Zorayda Nevada | Report as abusive

http://www.traditioninaction.org/bev/088 bev07-18-2007.htm

Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães

THE MOTU PROPRIO, AFTER THE EMOTIONS – Significant segments of the conservative and traditionalist movements received Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum released last July 7 with a strong emotional reaction. Such emotion, which now seems to be subsiding to a more reasonable level, can be explained.

Indeed, the expectations of so many who shed tears of joy when Card. Ratzinger was elected Pope desperately needed some pretext to expand.

Until now, Benedict had seemed to forget that those people who considered him a conservative were expecting him to say something they could applaud. They had been successively discouraged by a continuous chain of events. The following were Benedict’s landmark initiatives favoring Progressivism:
A democratic way of exerting his power as Pope;

His choice of Card. Levada, to lead the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith;
His support of Card. Law, maintaining him in several important situations at the Vatican;

His insistent attempts to unite with the Greek Schismatics no matter what offenses they make and doctrinal errors they sustain;

His constant praise of the Augsburg accord with the Protestants (drafted by Card. Ratzinger), in which the doctrine of Trent on justification was given away;

His visit to the synagogue in Germany, and obsessive support of Judaism on many occasions;

His presence at World Youth Day, “blessing” its many liberal procedures;

His four-hour visit with Fr. Hans Kung at the Vatican;

His abolition of the papal title Patriarch of the West;

A document permitting homosexuals in the seminaries;

His visit to the mosque in Constantinople;

His Encyclical Deus caritas est, which avoids dealing with the major problems of modern morality;

His initiative to fast-track John Paul II’s canonization;

His virtual abolition of Limbo; and so on.

Toward those naïve conservatives, Pope Ratzinger had showed himself heartless, doing very little to justify their hopes. Practically the only carrot hanging from the tip of the stick to sustain his myth of being conservative was the 2-year-postponed motu proprio.

So, when it came, and in fact allowed the Tridentine Mass to be said broadly, all those disappointed expectations experienced a sudden moment of decompression. Understandably, tears appeared in the eyes of many ladies, hurrahs spontaneously spurted from the mouths of many men. I fully understand this psychological need. Any civilized person respects the tears and sufferings of forgotten or mistreated children.

However, I cannot have the same complacence with some opportunists who are trying to manipulate this honest reaction in order to accomplish their own agenda of compromise. I cannot condone them. I will deal with them later, at another opportunity.

Given that some of those first emotions have settled down, I surmise it possible to offer a coherent analysis of the motu proprio (m.p.) and its introductory letter (i.l.).

THE BIG PICTURE
To be fair in one’s appraisal of the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI, the first element to take into consideration is that one should evaluate his motu proprio along with its monstrous twin sister. I am referring to the letter he released almost simultaneously delivering the ensemble of the underground Chinese Catholics to the Communist regime. The same Benedict who wrote one letter, also wrote the other within the period of just a few days.

Thus, in the West, Benedict opened the Tridentine Mass to a larger number of conservatives; in the East he delivered our heroic brothers in the Faith to the hyenas. With one hand he gave life, with the other he spread death. Conservative in the West, he could not have been more progressivist in the East. In my opinion, any appraisal of the motu proprio that skips the letter to the Chinese Catholics is incomplete. It shows only one side of Benedict’s face.

The fact that he wrote the motu proprio and the letter to the Chinese Catholics concurrently sets aside the naïve rumor that he is converting. No one who is converting delivers around 10 million of the Catholic faithful to Communism.

WHAT WAS GRANTED

Almost everyone has been talking about what will be granted to Catholics after September 14, 2007, but let me summarize the gains.

What was granted is that:
Without people present, a priest can say a Tridentine Mass according to the 1962 Missal without the permission of anyone (m.p., art. 2);
A particular religious institute may regularly adopt the Tridentine Mass at its own discretion (ibid, art 3);
With people present, a priest can celebrate the Tridentine Mass if permitted by the pastor of the church (ibid, art 4 § 1).
Item 1 opens the door for the Tridentine Mass to be said in private by any priest. Even though it had never been abrogated (ibid, art 1), it was practically forbidden after the Liturgical Reform of Paul VI entered into effect. Item 1 is turned toward easing the problems of conscience of those with scruples about saying the New Mass. Benedict wants to prevent them from taking a position of resistance.

It seems to me that item 2 is principally turned toward the SSPX after its possible agreement with the Vatican. It also applies to other compromised traditionalist institutes such as the Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, the Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney, the Institute of the Good Shepherd, etc. They can say the Tridentine Mass inside their institutions. It is not so probable that Jesuits or Benedictine will be saying Tridentine Masses in their Orders.

Item 3 refers to the normal life of parishes and establishes when a priest can say the Tridentine Mass for an ensemble of people. It depends on some conditions.

THE MISSAL OF 1962
Regarding the 1962 Missal, it is important to note that, as far as I know, it was one of the achievements of Fr. Annibale Bugnini. Indeed, to my knowledge Bugnini had five principal accomplishments during his career:
The 1955 reform of Holy Week services, under Pius XII;
The 1962 reform of the Missal and Roman Breviary, under John XXIII;
Also in 1962, the draft of Sacrosanctum Concilium, Vatican II’s document on liturgy, which was approved by the assembly with minor modifications;
The 1970 Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI;
The entire Liturgical Reform of Paul VI.
It is very beautiful to say, as Benedict did, that the 1962 Missal was made by Pope John XXIII, in contrast with the Novus Ordo Mass made by Pope Paul VI. It is a pleasant ruse, but it does not reflect reality, for both were produced by the same Fr. Annibale Bugnini. In the 1962 Missal, Bugnini was already preparing the New Mass to come. In it he introduced as many modifications as he could at the time.

This is not the place, however, to delve into details on the 1962 Missal.

DOCTRINAL CONDITIONS

The apparently conservative motu proprio has, nevertheless, some progressivist doctrinal demands:

The first demand is for the celebrant to accept the New Mass: “Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness” (i.l., at the end – the bold is mine).

This condition has already been in place for the priests in the mentioned compromised institutes that received permission from the Ecclesia Dei Commission to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. They must not only recognize the “value and holiness” of the New Mass, but have to say at least one New Mass a year to keep their celebret.

This first demand sets aside all priests who have doctrinal objections to the Novus Ordo Mass. If anyone imagines that a priest with such objections can appear in a church and ask permission to say the Tridentine Mass, such person is roundly mistaken. It will not happen. He “cannot, as matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to new books,” affirms Benedict.

The second demand is indirect. It refers to the acceptation of Vatican II. In the exposition of reasons for his motu proprio Pope Ratzinger invokes Vatican II. In his introductory letter he clearly states: “There is the fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, one of whose essential decisions – the liturgical reform – is being called into question. This fear is unfounded.”

Benedict foresees no risk that the moto proprio will cause anyone to call into question Vatican II, which necessarily means that one of the conditions for a priest to receive permission to say the Tridentine Mass is to agree with Vatican II.

He knows, as everyone does, that various institutes – the Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, the Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney, and the Institute of the Good Shepherd – have already agreed with Vatican II. So, this message is not directed to them, but rather to another association that is approaching an agreement. Regarding the latter, Benedict’s discrete reference to an “unfounded fear” is a message to the Bishops saying, “I will not allow anyone to receive such permission unless he agrees with Vatican II. You can be sure of that.”

So, if he fulfils these two conditions, any priest who has the juridical approval of the Diocese and knows his Latin and the rubrics of the 1962 Missal, can appear in any parish and ask permission to say the Tridentine Mass for a certain group of people. The pastor will assent if he is sure “that the welfare of these faithful harmonizes with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, avoiding discord and favoring the unity of the whole Church” (m.p., art. 5 § 1). That is, this is the moment for the pastor to check if the priest has objections against the New Mass or Vatican II. If he does, or the pastor thinks that such permission could displease the Bishop and jeopardize his career, he can simply refuse permission. If this occurs, priest and faithful can go to the Bishop, and if he does not allow it, then they can appeal to the Vatican.

Up until now – I write on July 17 – several priests have already publicly denied any Tridentine Mass for their parishes. Some Prelates, such as Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, have also refused permission. Card. Roger Mahony, through his spokesman, put out some statements that are very close to a general refusal for more Tridentine Masses.

If such cases become more general, the whole picture, apparently so favorable to conservatives, ends by being not so different from what has been permitted to this date, where the rare celebrations of the Tridentine Mass are relegated to inconvenient hours and places in order not to disturb attendance at the Novus Ordo.

DOCTRINAL OMISSIONS

Interesting enough, in neither the motu proprio nor his introductory letter does Benedict XVI say a word about the main doctrinal objections against the Novus Ordo Mass as favoring Protestantism, or against Vatican II and its fruits as being contrary to the previous Catholic Magisterium.

Instead, the increasing number of Catholics who are turning their backs to the Novus Ordo Mass and attending the Tridentine Mass were presented as a phenomenon of nostalgia for the rite “familiar to them from childhood.” Or, they would just be attracted by “the sacrality” of the Tridentine Mass. At most, their rejection of the New Mass is presented as a reaction against some ill-advised “arbitrary deformations.”

This picture is palpably incomplete. Benedict XVI purposely omitted mentioning a whole spectrum of doctrinal objections against the Novus Ordo Missae: it has a pronounced flavor of Protestantism, which is the same as saying it has the strong savor of heresy; it does away with the sacrificial essence of the Mass; it dethrones God and enthrones the people; it lacks respect for the Divine Majesty; it is deficient with regard to the Blessed Sacrament and the formulas of the Canon, etc.

It is my understanding that a well-intentioned Pope should first and above all try to resolve the serious doctrinal objections innumerable Catholics have against the Novus Ordo Mass and Vatican II. However, Benedict XVI did not do this. He flagrantly skipped over addressing any doctrinal objection.

STRATEGIC APPROACH

Since serious doctrinal objections were not addressed, the whole initiative is reduced to boosting good feeling, not to reinforcing good principles. More solemn ceremonies, more silence and recollection, more beautiful music, more incense, all these are good things, but they all can be found either in the 1962 celebrations or in the already approved New Mass said in Latin.

So, the motu proprio and its introductory letter can properly be understood as an effort to silence the true traditionalists: “Shut up with your doctrinal questions.” Also, as an effort to encourage all conservative Catholics who do not care about principles to accept one of the options now proffered: the Tridentine Mass according to the 1962 Missal, the New Mass in Latin, a solemn New Mass in the vernacular, or a modern New Mass.

These two documents, followed by another short document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that is surprisingly similar to Dominus Jesus – which I hope to analyze soon – constitute an enormous effort trying to stop the growing hemorrhage of Catholics from the Novus Ordo toward conservatism, and from conservatism toward traditionalism.

It is good for us to realize how much stronger and more important traditionalism has become, with the help of Our Lady. Also, it is indispensable to consider that now is not the moment to cede on the doctrinal principles to be satisfied with good feelings.

Posted by Zorayda Nevada | Report as abusive

Have the “gates of hell” prevailed? Certainly not. Catholics know that Christ cannot lie. The promise our Lord made was that the truth will win and that the church can not be destroyed but this Church resides, not in numbers, not in buildings, and not even of necessity in the hierarchy. The truth functions ex opere operatio. It resides in the faithful (the hierarchy must be “of the faithful,” before they can be “of the hierarchy.” Or as the theologians put it, members of the “teaching Church” (the Magisterium) must be first of all members of the “learning Church.”) Every baptized infant, according to the traditional rite, becomes a “member of the body of Christ.”

The Council declared the Church would henceforth not only be “open to the world,” but that it would “embrace” it! Its avowed aim and promise was aggiornamento to bring the Church “into the twentieth century” and make it part of, and acceptable to that world.

Many continue to accuse traditional Catholics – those that insist on retaining the fullness of the Catholic faith intact and who therefore refuse the new religion of the post-Conciliar Church, of being in “schism.” The accusation is a lie. In reality, the schismatic is one who removes himself from the truth, and not one who insists upon it. And if it is necessary to separate oneself from something in order to save the truth, long live Schism! But in reality, it is not the traditional Catholic who is in Schism, but those who are responsible for changing the Catholic faith.

Why are the True Catholics called schismatics? Traditional Catholics are not schismatics. They stuck with Tradition and Catholicism, while Rome and most of the priests and bishops broke with Tradition and started a new religion with Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae but kept falsely calling themselves “Catholic.” God doesn’t change and neither can the Church.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

Although this Society claims to be the true Church, it is schismatic. Martin Luther did not intend to create a separate church in the beginning, but ultimately, that is where his grievances against the Church led him and millions of others. Vatican II is not the problem. Vatican II is a good thing,not a bad thing. Respect for the Mass is not lost because of Vatican II, but because, as Pope Paul VI has said, the smoke from the enemy has even entered into the Church itself;smoke that appears as secular materialism, birth control,abortion,gay platforms,pornography. Pope Benedict XVI is the true and rightful successor to Saint Peter. There has never been a “vacant seat” in the Vatican. We have Christ’s promise on that. The Society of St.Pius X is in error and indirectly acknowledges this by seeking reconciliation with the Catholic Church,and then issuing statements of disappointment when its hopes are dashed. If the SSPX were the true Catholic Church, it could stand on its own with the guidance of the Holy Spirit promised by our Lord. Only the Church led by the Successor of St.Peter can do this, and that Church is the one under the guidance of Pope Benedict XVI. The SSPX is in itself a new “church” whose agenda is very similar to the early Reformers’: to “purify” the Church according to its own human designs. If the Society does not bend and reconcile with the Church, then it will go down in history as another sect that left the Church.

Derek,
Those who concocted Vatican II and the new “mass” in many languages (Babel) started the rebellion against true Catholicism. Vatican II and the new “mass” are the dressing up of the new religion.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

Only through the direct intervention of God will the Roman Catholic Church, the True Church of Christ, be fully restored to its traditional glory in liturgy and faith.
This will occur in the near future as the third part of the Secret of Fatima continues to unfold, and as the Medjugorje secrets begin.

Posted by Roman | Report as abusive

Wow, Kevin D. If that isn’t Modernism at it’s finest I don’t know what is. Wow!!!

Posted by Ruben | Report as abusive

I would just like to point out to those of you who are now attending the Indult, FSSP, IOCC, etc. You have Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX to thank for all of it. It seems a bit wrong to me to be criticizing and labeling Traditional Catholics for upholding the Traditional Faith and at the same time enjoying the fruits of many years of sacrifice, hardship, and calumny. Don’t worry, we will continue to hold to Tradition so you can enjoy it’s fruits and at the same time not have to suffer for the faith!

Posted by Ruben | Report as abusive

In my opinion, Pope Benedict has come to America to meet his “prodigal son/daughter” with love. As much as I personally dislike the the politically correct and new-ish, gobbeldy-gook, quasi-liturgical music…At least our Pope got to see what we crazy and rebellious Americans are doing to the mass. (God help us!) Now that he has seen us, and better understands us, he can reign us in and smack us into shape! I hope he will issue a gentle-but-firm statement requiring that America, in faith and obedience, return to the sacred liturgy with reverent liturgical music. He loves us. He really does. And we love him. You schismatics are also being just as disobedient. Come back and stop the silliness! One church, One Pope, One God! Lets get back to business and focus on healing as a church.

Posted by Maria Elena Ferran | Report as abusive

the pope came in a time when people are losing their job, roof over their head due to whats happening with the economy, immigration, health care, weakening dollar. it was doom and gloom for most and then all of a sudden here comes the pope and we became uplifted. all of the other negatives that we should be looking for like your topic is overlooked. his presence alone in our midst far out weighs what he should have done or what is supposed to do and all selfish reason that people are looking to hear from him. thats what i had observed the past 6 days being glued to my HDTV. i am sorry.

The SSPX is no longer Catholic by separating itself from the Holy Father and the Ecumenical Council, Vatican II. They are heretics, schismatics and must be named THE SOCIETY OF THE POPELESS FORMER CATHOLICS OF EXCOMMUNICATED BISHOPS. I do not recognize the Bishopric of Fellay. Who is he? How dare them criticize the Pope as if the period before Vatican II was problemless. The Church since the time of Jesus and the Apostles is always affected by problems of heresies, divisions, erring leaders, false teachers, disobedience to the hierarchy and immoralities. To blame all the problems of the Church now to Vatican II or to Pope Benedict is a pathetic reactions from these schismatics.

The more I look at the claim of SSPX the more I find it abominable. So, they claim that the use of vernacular languages is Babel. They want a single language, Latin. Well, the Old Testament is in Hebrew, Jesus & the Apostles spoke in Aramaic, the New Testament in Greek, the first Masses were in Greek then Latin and various languages in different rites. Buh, even the Holy Spirit and the Sacred Scriptures testify against them. Latin is good, the Church used it for thousands of years but never as the exclusive language in the Universal Church.

The other one claims that Paul the VI is not a real Pope because he refused the Tiara. Who says that the Pope is becoming a Pope through the Tiara? St. Peter was not crowned with Tiara and so many other Popes after him. This Society of the Popeless Former Catholics of Excommunicated Bishops are hallucinating.

If they don’t want to join us so let it be. Let them rot in the hell of schism where they are. Then they will see that gradually they are becoming like the OLd Catholics, the Orthodox, the Nestorians and the Eutychians who refused the decisions of the Councils of the Church in one time or another. TO THE SOCIETY OF THE POPELESS FORMER CATHOLICS — GOOD RIDDANCE!

Posted by Abraham | Report as abusive

Fellay is being disingenuous [if the report is true], he is unable to deal with the excesses of ‘wild card’ Williamson, yet he expects Benedict, at a stroke, to disarm the totality of Modernist hierarchies infesting the curia and diocese. It would require a miracle indeed, for an overnight change away from the delusions of Vatican II. Msgr. Lefebvre, himself, referred to Vatican II in the light of Tradition, the Novus Ordo was not part of Vatican II but a later accretion. The SSPX are now at a cross-roads, pray that they take the correct turning and give Benedict the support he so richly deserves for his courage.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

The SSPX sets THEMSELVES up to be the keepers and protectors of the Deposit of Faith, not the Pope and the Magesterium. This is clearly heresy. This prideful stance is what keeps me from ever believing that anything good comes out of the movement. Jesus said that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His CHURCH. The SSPX are OUTSIDE the Church. I DON’T CARE what the Canon Lawyers say. They are NOT the Pope and JPII declared them excommunicated. Period.

The SSPX can twist Church documents to justify their disobedience all they want, it only serves to show that they are nothing but Protestants who do the same with Scripture. I used to be a Protestant, and I see no difference between them and SSPX. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…

They need to swallow their pride and come back into communion with Rome, or they will die outside the Church like Lefebvre did. And we know there is no salvation outside the Church.

Posted by KaraLynn | Report as abusive

The SSPX hold fast to “tradition” according to their PRIVATE INTERPRETATION of it. Hmmmm, sounds a lot like the Protestant Revolters who interpret Scripture PRIVATELY. Look at the mess the Protestant movement is in. Jesus said a house divided against itself will not stand. If the SSPX were at all the “True Church” you would not see people leaving it to form their own movements. Just like the Protestants they are dividing.

Posted by KaraLynn | Report as abusive

One day Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre will be proclaimed a saint and all this will go away. But for now, keep on with the fight!

Pope John XXIII is already blessed, Pope Paul VI, John Paul I & John Paul the Great are candidates for sainthood. The present Holy Father is obviously a man of great humility and holiness and wisdom. These are the real saints. Lefebvre can go to Hell with his schism. He will be remembered in history like Arius, Nestorius Eutyches, Martin Luther and the rest like him. Birds of the same feathers.

Posted by Abraham | Report as abusive

yes indeed – the pope like Paul VI and JPII showed his true agenda and colors as he blessed the pagan, pro-abortion , Onew World Order Flag of the UN – wake up – Christ did not say follow man – even the elect will be deceived – Our Lady of Fatima, LaSallete and Good Success revealed these times. Yes the Catholic Church is the Only means of Salvation….However the True Church is in eclipse – the abomination of desolation is the Novus Ordo

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Many here try to correlate the Protestants with SSPX

The only difference they fail to understand is that the Protestants wanted to change the church to thier liking (hmmm…sounds a bit like the Vatican II “church” that the Pope supposedly presides over, changed to suit the modern world), where the SSPX and the traditionals only want to worship as Catholics have done for 2 millenia and NOT change

Those that try to claim “obedience” are in reality in lock step with the new church and why should they not be? If the “church” in just 40 years changed everything to make life easier for them such as the new catechism, new JPII canon law that permits annulments by the thousands, new mass, new customs, new translations of sacred scripture to be (less offensive!), and so on…why would you now want that

You figure who is “obedient” , those that demand to take the high road and “obey” what was Catholic for centuries or those that want the watered down version being sold as Catholic.

It is funny how the Pope goes so far out of his way to meet with rabbis , pray with Moslem clerics, and so on but wants nothing to do with the Trads. Maybe because he and the rest of the “church” for these past 40 years are slightly embarrased and have more in common with these false faiths now then they do with what was once Catholic

Well, opinions are sold for a dime a dozen. Either Pope Benedict XVI is the Vicar of Christ on earth and Successor of St. Peter, or he is not. Whether one does not accepts him as such at one time, and then recognizes him as such at another, does not change the truth (i.e., fact) that he is the Vicar of Christ. And being the Vicar of Christ, then those who do not recognize him as such are schismatics and have separated themselves from Christ’s Church. Let us keep them in our prayers and ask for mercy…for them that they may return, and for us that we may not stray.

Posted by Jorge | Report as abusive

As someone who grew up in a post Vatican II world, and until JP2′s death, had only known one pope, my opinion here is limited only to what I have seen and felt. I can’t help but see Benedict in the afterglow, in contrast, to his predecessor, and initially, I was hesitant to welcome him with open arms, as he was so different. That, however, was just my lack of faith in the Holy Spirit, because I now see this pope as one who, after 26 years of [the church] striving for ecumenism, wants to refocus The Church on her dogmas, her doctrines- who wants to bring Catholics, particularly fallen away catholics back into the fold; without overthrowing everything Vatican II did. I don’t see him as the pope of all the people, I don’t think his point and purpose is like JP2′s- to reach across the various boundaries of other faiths- I think it’s more to shore up, firm up what it is to be Catholic, what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ, of the Church that Jesus established. No, I don’t think Benedict is the hard-nosed traditionalist conservative that many were expecting. I think the notion of him being “God’s Rottweiler” in his former position does not and should not transfer over into his personage as The Holy Father. His job description as the latter is much more broad and needs a different approach, because he is no longer just the guardian, if you will, of Catholic doctrine; he’s the safekeeper of all things Catholic, including the flock. Rather than a ‘Rottweiler’, I like the idea of him as our “German Shepard”.
As for the Tridentine rite Mass, I’ve been to a few, and I like the solemnity of it, but since I’ve grown up with mass in the vernacular, I can’t imagine not having that option. I really like knowing that when I walk into church, I know every bit of the mass word for word- not just the sounds and syllables, but each word, it’s meaning, where they come from in scripture- I like that I can say the mass with the priest in my head; for me, that brings mass to a much more communal level with the Eucharist, which, of course, is the whole point of mass.
Further, of those “schismatics” who have ostricized themselves from our Holy Mother Church, I have to wonder in your faith in the Holy Spirit. Don’t you know it is the Spirit who dictates the Church? And what about sacred scripture? What about Matthew 16:19?

“I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you let loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Do you simply ignore that passage in scripture, the very foundation of our Church, simply because you do not agree with Her? The Catholic faith, its dogmas and doctrines are not ala carte; you do not get to pick and choose which ones you like and which ones you can live without. In that respect, you are no different from the secular catholics who pick and choose what doctrines they adhere to.
The most important thing to remember is, our Holy Father is indeed a holy man of God, guided by the Spirit, put there by the Spirit.

Posted by Alyx | Report as abusive

Do the members of a “SOCIETY OF POPELESS FORMER CATHOLICS” offer more than a million Rosaries for the Holy Father?

Do the members of a “SOCIETY OF POPELESS FORMER CATHOLICS” represent the single largest pilgrimage to Rome in decades?

And does the head (Bishop Fellay) of a “SOCIETY OF POPELESS FORMER CATHOLICS” get invited to visit with the Holy Father?

Your venom betrays you.

The Society is not schismatic. Rome excommunicated Archbishop Lefebvre and the four bishops he consecrated. Rome has said this. Rome has also said Masses offered by SSPX priests are valid; that Catholics may attend and may contribute. Cardinal Castrillion Hoyos has said numerous times it is not in the proper sense a schism. Moreover, he has also referred to Fellay as a “brother bishop.”

Bishop Fellay has asked Rome to lift the excommunications so the SSPX (which has been betrayed in the past by some Vatican authorities) will know that negotiations will have begun in good faith.

Is this too much to ask from Rome, when authorities at the highest levels have acknowledged the SSPX’s Catholicity, notwithstanding this “family squabble?”

Mr. Heneghan, perhaps serious journalism (especially that which impacts souls) is not for you.

Posted by RAM | Report as abusive

Thank God for the Society of St. Pius X. Without them, the Faith would be almost lost. Modernist Rome must come back to the true Faith!

So sad – locked into still bashing Vatican II — instead of being greatful for the last great holy, prayerful men in the chair of Peter. Praise God for all the pastors of other faith coming into and loving the real Catholic Church.

Posted by emily cavelle | Report as abusive

For all those Catholics who follow the Pope, most normally a good virtue, please know in the history of our Church there have been several times when the Pope has been in error. Why even St. Peter was corrected by St. Paul. Then there was the whole Arian heresy. While St. Athenesius (spelling?) stood out for being against the magestirium (and excommunicated), it was Rome, herself, in error. (St. Athenesius was later vindicated and made a saint by the Church) It is not the Pope, himself, that is infallable. It is the Church in Her dogmas that for over 2,000 have stood the test of time that are infallable. Vatican II, by the mercy of God, was an ecumanical council, not a doctrinal council and thus did not change anything in our Church’s doctrines. So still to this day the gates of Hell have not prevailed against our Church, as Jesus promised.
Vatican II has changed the way Catholics pray, and the most noteable way through the Mass. Check what used to be a beautiful scripture-filled (thus divinely written) Latin Mass, with the man-made, fabricated Mass of today. Is it any wonder there are few saints today? Apostacy is only too far appearant.

Posted by Nancy Nolan | Report as abusive

Respect, humility, truth, love, gentleness, and much more are the qualities of our beautiful Pope Benedict, he is a gift from God, which the Father has been preparing since the time of his birth. We must have respect, humility, truth, love, gentleness when we discuss our Pope. The saints have said anyone who put’s the Pope down in writing, their works are worthy of the trash can. Vatican II was a great work of the Holy Spirit, what man has done in some cases is distort that great work. The church is in the process of a new spring time, you should all join us under the Pope as we wait for this great gift, that is taking place now in the quiet and hushed way that the Father works. Praise the Holy Trinity and thanks for our Pope Benedict.

How our Dear Lord must be weeping over our beloved Roman Catholic Church! I would hope that for truth we have fidelity, and in our difference, charity.
I am a Catholic who attended a Norvus Ordo Mass at our prish until we were granted permission to have the beautiful Tridentine Mass. I havealso lost a daughter to SSPX, and I still love her dearly. This whole thing is just wrong. Our Holy Father has ben returning beautiful Tradition to the Church. For some this is not enough, for some he is seen as backward and stogidy. We need to be chartable torward SSPX. SSPX needs to embrace the Jesus, His Church, and His Shepard, Pope Benedict XVI. We need to look at the real enemy, and he is sure laughing with delight to see the Church of our Holy Savior, who bled, suffered and died a horrible death to save us and give us a visible Church and Shepard rip themselves apart wth our tongues and pride! We need to lift up Jesus and His Message of One Flock and One Shepard,and pray and love that Shepard. What a turbulent and hurting world we live in! I hope our Dear Lord Jesus will be merciful to all who are causing disention. Instead of standing up and shaking our heads, and even sometimes even fists, we need to be on our knees praying for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and each other, including our separated bretheren. Shame on us all!

Posted by Kay Marie Thomas | Report as abusive

How our Dear Lord must be weeping over our beloved Roman Catholic Church! I would hope that for truth we have fidelity, and in our difference, charity.
I am a Catholic who attended a Norvus Ordo Mass at our parish until we were granted permission to have the beautiful Tridentine Mass. I havealso lost a daughter to SSPX, and I still love her dearly. This whole thing is just wrong. Our Holy Father has been returning beautiful Tradition to the Church. For some this is not enough, for some he is seen as backward and stogidy. We need to be chartable torward SSPX. SSPX needs to embrace the Jesus, His Church, and His Shepard, Pope Benedict XVI. We need to look at the real enemy, and he is sure laughing with delight to see the Church of our Holy Savior, who bled, suffered and died a horrible death to save us and give us a visible Church and Shepard rip themselves apart wth our tongues and pride! We need to lift up Jesus and His Message of One Flock and One Shepard,and pray and love that Shepard. What a turbulent and hurting world we live in! I hope our Dear Lord Jesus will be merciful to all who are causing disention. Instead of standing up and shaking our heads, and even sometimes even fists, we need to be on our knees praying for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and each other, including our separated bretheren. Shame on us all!

Posted by Kay Marie Thomas | Report as abusive

PLEASE PRAY FOR SSPX

Posted by bernadette | Report as abusive

Even during his visit to the U.S. Benedict’s true colors came to be seen. In Washington, D.C. his mass used the tapers on the altars, while in NY the tapers were removed. Who is going to believe anything from this modernist Pope, in terms of intergrity? This man, and the conciliar Catholic Church, lack integrity. No wonder the Church is home to so many corrupt people.

Posted by Humboldt | Report as abusive

But Giuliani, he can comunier.

Posted by Francisco José | Report as abusive

Does anyone still read Aquinas? Before you go on and on about being “obedient” to authority, perhaps you folks should brush up on what Aquinas and other Saints have taught about “obedience”. Have you folks ever heard the terms “reckless obedience”, or “false obedience.” Furthermore, what “Springtime” are you folks talking about? Look around you. Open your eyes. We must obey God before man. I’m all for unity, but unity must be based on the truth! The Catholic faith in it’s entirety as it’s been handed down for two thousand years. Lastly, the SSPX is not Sedevacantist or Schismatic and your continuous assertions to the contrary betray your sincererity and reveal your true colors. Viva Cristo Rey!

Posted by Ruben | Report as abusive

How do you know for sure what you believe in is the truth? Who is it that you depend on to interpret what is truth or not? Yourself? Are you sure you are obeying God’s will and not your own or satan’s will? If you are really obeying God’s will, then you should obey His Vicar. Do you know how many bishops there are in the world in communion with the Bishop of Rome? Do you really think that they are all wrong and you are right? How naive and full of pride!

Posted by Quoc Anh Nguyen | Report as abusive

Although Summorum Pontificum enabled wider use of the Traditional Latin Mass for PRIESTS, this didn’t widen opportunities for the laity like myself, a 35 year old Catholic husband and father, to make us of the Motu Proprio. This was merely a bone for traditionalist priests to gnaw on for a while.

In the meantime however, those of us who are trapped like animals in the Novus Ordo cage have seen zero benefit in terms of liturgical reforms from Pope Benedict. I must admit, the areas needing the greatest attention with authentic Catholic leadership are in the ranks of the Novus Ordo mass – not with Traditionalists.

I implore Pope Benedict to please begin reforming the modern liturgy and spend some attention with the rank and file instead of reforming the traditional latin mass liturgy (Good Friday prayers). Raise the bar for the modernists and stop lowering it for the traditionalists.

Posted by S | Report as abusive

Jason
Don’t be daft, the church is constantly evolving so to say the church does not change is very naive. The modern church is very, very different to that of the Jerusalem council of the Acts of the Apostles.
As for Vatican II, it was inspired by God. The teachings of the Vatican Council are to be obeyed by all those who call themselves Catholic, and the church is entering into the greatest time, the harvest of the world.
Rebellion is just that, rebellion. You may wish to use the Latin variation, but its meaning does not change!!!!

Posted by Derek | Report as abusive

Who says that the Catholic Tradition is contained only in the Tridentine Mass or the use of Latin? Before the Mass in Latin was developed the Church was using Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek in its worship of God. So to say that Catholic Tradition is to return only to Tridentine Mass is deceived because from the Apostolic Time the CAtholic Church is multi-Rite. If the heresies of Martin Luther are SOLA SCRIPTURA & SOLA FIDE, the heresies of Lefevbre and the SOCIETY OF POPELESS FORMER CATHOLICS ARE: [1] SOLA TRIDENTINA AND [2] SOLA LATINA! and o, there is one more [3] NULLA PAPA! and another, [4] NULLA CONCILIA! Like the Orthodox they will never have a Council by rejecting a valid and ecumenical one.

Bye, bye from the Catholic Church rebels and heretics. We will enjoy Tridentine Mass and Latin together with our Pope and we will enjoy still the Byzantine, Maronite, Ukrainian, Ambrosian and other valid rites in the Church. The Novus Ordo is valid. I challenge the members of the SOCIETY OF THE POPELESS to point which part of Novus Ordo is evil or immoral.

Posted by Abraham | Report as abusive

Which side is being falsely obediant?

The thread has provided so much to discern that I just wanted to throw out some random thoughts.

Has the Novus Ordo accomplished its feat? Has it brought more into the fold or has it been a wolf in sheeps clothing?

There are more than a billion Catholics (a decent harvest) worldwide. And, I can see the beauty in having the Mass spoken in the multitude of languages and dialects. On the other hand, less than 15% of Catholics in the United States are actively participating (excercising the sacraments) in their faith (the statistics being worse in Europe). So, what is the fate of the majority of Catholics (the minimalists)? Is the harvest much less than suspected?

I suppose the crux of it all, from my perspective, is whether or not satan is capable of affecting the Church?

If not, then the Mass, Latin or New Order, in Chinese or French, does not make much difference. The Mass remains the Mass world over.

However, if satan is capable (to any degree), then it appears logical that an effort would be made to comprimise the Mass.

If, by being in Christ, we are above all things, and is the objection of satan, then, presumably, satan would make every effort to impede us from recieving the Eucharist.

So, which would be simpler, affect the masses/society to the point where they don’t appreciate recieving the Eucharist or affect the Mass.

My final question/point is, what was the motivation of the Church in altering the Mass? Could it have been fear? Was the Church afraid that if it didn’t alter its image that the its flock would continue to be depleted. And, if so, isn’t fear the weapon of choice for satan. Wasn’t it fear that lead to the fall of man? Wasn’t it fear that lead Abraham to bear Ishmael? Isn’t it fear that leads to seperation and division?

Posted by Jon_in_Charlotte | Report as abusive

Maybe, yes, God will have mercy on those who blindly follow the Pope as if he were infallable. But thank You, dear God, for allowing great saints like St. Paul, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Marcellus, St. Hermenegild and St. Athanasius. They all stood up against the pope of their day who was in error. Thanks to them, again the gates of Hell did not prevail against Holy Mother Church. Please do your research on Church history. Also please read up on the differences between the “New Mass” and the old Rite…..they even changed Jesus’ Words at the Consecration – now there’s pride.
While you’re researching, please look up the Church approved apparation of “Our Lady of Good Success” from the 17th century. Our Lady warned Mother Mariana that the 20th century would be a time when “heresies will flourish”. Mother Mariana, in fact, volunteered to be a martyr for our times so that God would send us a “prelate to stand up to the apostacy of those times and form good and holy priests.” Thank you Mother Mariana for suffering for us. And thank You, dear God, for sending us Archbishop Lefebvre in forming the SSPX. We humbly cling onto this lifeboat of the Faith, the Liturgy, the Tradition that has formed many, many souls for Heaven over 2,000 years.
It is only too obvious the Faith is lacking today and heresies flourishing. Where are the Catholic families of 8, or 10 or 12 children any more? It is a mortal sin to contracept without viable cause and dispensation from your pastor. Are all these 1 or 2 children family parents really in a state of grace? Are they truly obedient to God? Ok, so the present pope does have sentiments against birth control. I point this out as an all-too appearant showing of the loss of Faith. But what about going into a church other than a Catholic one, and praying with those of a different denomination? It is also a grave sin. One against the 1st Commandment. But where is the present ecumeniscism leading us Catholics to do? Obey God first, and Churchmen also, but only if they, too, follow Him. “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.” GA 1:8

Posted by Nancy Nolan | Report as abusive

Miss Nguyen, I don’t interpret anything for myself. I rely on the defenitions of two thousand years of Popes, Councils, and Saints. If something coming from Rome contradicts something which was previously taught, then we have a problem. It’s very simple and you don’t have to go back very far in time (late 19th, early 20th century)to read Papal encyclicals warning us about exactly was is going on today. The obvious difference between us Miss Nguyen is that I wish to stay loyal to God and the Catholic Faith passed down for two thousand years, and you wish to stay loyal to the Church since Vatican II regardless of the fact that it’s teaching contradicts the Faith which you claim to hold.

Posted by Ruben | Report as abusive

Is Latin or the Tridentine Rite the Mass of the Church from the very beginning of her existence or they also came later in the Church? The great saints of the Church like St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom and others composed anaphoras that later were adopted for use in the Church, how come the SOCIETY OF POPELESS FORMER CATHOLICS claim that the Church cannot composed new formulas or rites for the Liturgy? WHERE IN THE BIBLE OR IN THE DOGMAS OF THE CHURCH DOES IT SAYS THAT THE TRIDENTINE MASS IS UNCHANGEABLE? SINCE WHEN DOES THE CHURCH WAS STRIPPED OF HER POWER TO DEVELOPED HER LITURGY? The Novus Ordo as invention… Excuse me. Everything in Novus Ordo from Entrance Procession, Sign of the Cross and Final Blessings are all part of the Sacred Tradition of the Church. The followers of heretic and schismatic Lefebvre speak as if Vatican II or Paul the VI inserted human sacrifice in Novus Ordo. WHAT PART OF NOVUS ORDO IS NEW? EVEN THE TRIDENTINE MASS, WHICH I LOVE VERY MUCH, DID’NT BECOME PART OF THE LITURGY UNTIL LATER ON. THERE WERE MOMENTS IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH THAT THOSE SIMPLE ELEMENTS WERE NOT OBLIGATORY UNTIL THE POPES MADE LITURGICAL INNOVATIONS AND INSERTED THEM ALONG THE COURSE OF TIME.

Stop claiming that you are faithful to the two thousand Catholic tradition. You should instead reflect the fact that even the Tridentine Mass is once a novelty in the history of the Church.

To Nancy Nolan, it seems that you have forgetten that the Infallibility of the Pope or Papal Infallibility is a Dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. How dare you claim the great saints on your side. St. Paul disagreed with Pope Peter but he never made a schism away from him. Nonce of the saints that you’ve mentioned did what Lefebvre did.

Posted by Abraham | Report as abusive

I,m just one member of “the society of the popeless”,but after reading every response written here,I feel so much better being a part of the “sane” group. I for one, have no fear of believing like I do about the church,and the way I was taught,for 71 years. I don’t believe the Pope is a “bad” man,the SSPX church I attend prays for him every Sunday.But any so called “Novus Ordo” mass put together by Protestants,Masons and modernist catholics, any so called mass that has removed The Holy Eucharist from it’s place of honor on the Alter, and relagated it to a side closet, could not possibly be anything like the Church I was born and raised in.And this day and every day,till the day I die, no one will or can convince me, that the Novus Ordo is what our Lord desires. To me it is an abomination.

Posted by John70 | Report as abusive

John70, I am beginning to believe the way you do. The turning point for me was the change by Benedict XVI of the pray for the conversion of Jews of the 1962 Missal, which by the way it does not exist anymore. I also believe that the next logical step for Benedict will be to change the pray for the conversion of pagans and for the unity of the Church. It is the only logical road he left. I loathe these changes. He really shocked me.

Posted by Humboldt | Report as abusive

Abraham,

The pope being infallable is not a dogma. When he sits in the seat of St. Peter and proclaims a dogma of Faith, such as the Blessed Mother being immaculately conceived, then he speaks infallably. Ask your priest, I speak the truth. And I did not wish to imply that St. Peter was a heretic, just he was in error and corrected by St. Paul. Then again, there were times popes were in heresy and condemmed as heretics by subsequent popes. Check that with your priest, too. And, yes you are right, great saints along the way have added to granduar and glory of the Holy Mass, but the core of the liturgy has remained unchanged from apostolic days. That is, until the New Order Mass. The translation into English was not a literal translation. Certain prayers were omitted, and others changed to give ambiguous meanings. Ask Fr. Sommerfield (Mel Gibson’s priest from the Passion) whose job it was to help translate the Mass and who later went onto to renounce his services. Or ask the 6 Protestant ministers who helped the Vatican concoct the New Mass. I kid you not. In fact, go to just about any Protestant Mass these days, and you’ll feel right at home. It is virtually the same mass.

Posted by Nancy Nolan | Report as abusive

It’s not just the Mass folks. The Faith since Vatican II has been changed. Unfortunately, the picture is much broader that just the Mass. Perhaps some of you should read the Papal Oath to see what truly is the job of the Holy Father. As far as the Missal of Paul VI, have you folks even taken a look at it? What you attend on Sundays is a far cry from the Missal of Paul VI which is intended to be in Latin, with the Priest facing the tabernacle. Turn off EWTN for a couple of days and do some research. What you will find is that the Mass of Paul VI when translated into the vernacular languages waters down the faith & strips the Mass of all of it’s Catholicity. Secondly, even Vatican II states that the Mass should remain in Latin, so who approved all of these translations?

Posted by Ruben | Report as abusive

I just don’t understand your reasoning. So you don’t believe in the validity of all the saints and blessed the Church created since Vatican II?

To be Catholic, you have to embrace the Church’s entire teaching – you can’t just choose and pick what to believe or question what the Church should and should not do. That is the duty of the Magisterium. Your duty as sheep is to obey and follow her teaching.

You either believe that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and that the Church is the true Church or you don’t. If you do then you should trust in Christ’s promise as the Church can not err on matter of faith and moral. If you believe that she had been once the true Church established by Christ, then she is true yet, and shall be the true Church until the end of time – she just can’t be true until Vatican II and ceased to be true after, unless Jesus Christ has deceived us.

Posted by Quoc Anh Nguyen | Report as abusive

I think H. E. Bp. Fellay has displayed remarkable moral courage. Few people realize that the Modernists at the Vatican are offering him a red plastic “cardinal’s hat” the moment he hands over the SSPX to the Modernists. It is a grievous error on his part to imagine that Benedict XVI and his modernist Vatican organization has any real Catholic authority. However, having made this mistake (a common and typical one, to be sure) he has nevertheless quite commendably stood his ground and resisted a quite considerable pressure and temptation to hand it all over to them.
The issue is much bigger than merely the Mass (which Benedict XVI has admittedly taken some small steps to rectify), and it is good to see Bp. Fellay standing with his fellow bishops and clergy, flock, and most of all with the totality of God’s truth in the Historic and Universal Magisterium of the Church by also insisting on a repudiation and renunciation of Vatican II together with its works and pomps. It is Vatican II itself that has formally and publicly defined the Vatican institution as it exists today to be a “parallel hierarchy” to that of the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the real and authentic Roman Catholic Church. The complete and unconditional revokation of Vatican II and all that followed from it is the price of Benedict XVI and his organization ever being regularized back into the Church.
So many keep saying that Bp. Fellay is going to hand over the store. Well, he had his chance and he didn’t do it. So will those who keep saying that he will do such a thing please shut up? Despite his terribly mistaken and incomplete understanding of the present situation he has nevertheless behaved in it exactly as a real and legitimate Catholic bishop (which he is) should.

Miss Nguyen, I don’t recall ever mentioning anything about Saints since Vatican II so I’m confused as to where you are going with this. Again, I don’t pick and choose what to believe. I hold the same faith the Church Magesterium has taught since it’s inception. No more, No less. Regardless of what you may think, the duty of the Magesterium is to safeguard the faith, not to alter it. You may wish to follow blindly if you wish, but if you opened your eyes you might find that where you are being led isn’t exactly in the direction which you may want to go. How you don’t see the contradiction between what used to be mainstream Catholic teaching and what is being taught today is beyond me. If it was true before 1962, then it has to be true today. The truth does not change otherwise it would not have been the truth to begin with. So, are you ready to say that the Church since Vatican II is only now teaching the truth and that she erred for almost 2000 years. Do you really want to go there? You can’t have it both ways.

Posted by Ruben | Report as abusive

Were it not for the SSPX, we would not even have the Motu Propriu of the Holy Father, allowing for the unrestrained use of the Tridentine Mass.

Posted by Peter LaChapelle | Report as abusive