SSPX “answer without response” to Vatican ultimatum

June 28, 2008

SSPX world headquarters logoThe schismatic traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has reacted to a Vatican ultimatum by challenging the conditions Rome set for its return to the Catholic fold. By sending this in a letter, SSPX leader Bishop Bernard Fellay partly fulfilled one condition of the ultimatum, i.e. answering by the end of this month. But he did not fulfill the more important other half of that requirement, i.e. that he respond positively. In fact, he told the Vatican that other conditions — to accept papal authority and not criticise the pope — were too vague to be accepted, according to SSPX spokesman Rev. Alain Lorans. As Lorans put it: “You can say he’s not responding, despite answering it.”

This is a clever way of ducking deadline pressure, but it doesn’t answer the real issues. It looked like the Vatican had the SSPX in a corner when the ultimatum of June 4 became known early this week. By wording the five conditions so vaguely that contentious issues such as the new Mass and the Second Vatican Council reforms went unmentioned, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos — the Vatican official dealing with traditionalists — may have thought they might win over the schismatics. Benedict had already taken the first step towards a possible accord last year by liberalising the use of the old Latin Mass that the SSPX has championed as its visible trademark. The ultimatum made a further conciliatory gesture by keeping the explicit requirements to a minimum.

Pope Benedict, 13 March 2007/Osservatore RomanoBut Benedict has his red lines too. Compare the current five conditions to the much more explicit five conditions that SSPX founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre accepted in May 1988 (with the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) but renounced the following month. The new list of conditions strips away the explicit demands of the 1988 document, but they basically remain implicit — a fact that Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi confirmed this week.

Fellay clearly saw that and spoke out bluntly against the ultimatum a week ago at an SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota. The eye-catching quote in that sermon was “They just say ’shut up’ … We are not going … to shut up.” He also offered a longer and quite vivid image of two icebergs. The tip of one iceberg is the old Latin Mass and its underwater part stands for Church tradition. The other has the new Mass at its visible tip and the underwater part is a symbol, he said, of Vatican II and of these modern ideas, what they call the spirit of the Council, which has come in with all these reforms which have almost kicked down the Church.” Referring to the restoration of the old Mass, he said:

“What happens with this motu proprio is as if they would have taken this tip of the iceberg. When we see this, we have the impression, OK, they take the tip, so they take everything which is below. That’s not exactly what they did. They tried to take the tip and to plant it on the other iceberg, the iceberg of the new thing. And so we have two tips and they say it’s only one tip. But if you try to go and see and look under the water, what is below, you will see that they maintain that the only thing you can have below is the new thing.”

Bishop Bernard Fellay, 13 Jan 2006/Franck PrevelThe text of that part of Fellay’s sermon and the full audio posted here show how firmly Fellay — who sharply criticised Benedict only days before meeting Castrillón Hoyos to discuss the Vatican’s conditions — is upholding the SSPX rejection of Vatican II reforms. Two other SSPX bishops (Alfonso de Galarreta and Richard Williamson) have also spoken out against the ultimatum. For his part, Benedict has changed the wording of the Vatican demands and partly conceded the old liturgy (“partly” because he supported it anyway). But he has not budged in principle on the Council that he himself attended and helped shape as a young theologian.

So it’s back to a rock and a hard place. Will either side blink? Fellay says he has plenty of time and the ultimatum showed Vatican’s in a hurry. He told Swiss radio RTSI (in Italian, from 17:44) Maybe it’s wrong to say so directly that I reject, that I totally reject (the ultimatum), that is not true. Rather, I see in this ultimatum a very vague and confused thing … we have relations with Rome that develop at a certain pace, which is really slow … there may now be a chillier period, but frankly, for me, it’s not finished.”

The Vatican conditions may be the best the SSPX can ever get and Fellay has replied positively to one-half of one condition out of a total of five. That’s just enough for him to get semantic and say that maybe it’s wrong to say he totally rejected the ultimatum. Well, he certainly didn’t accept it, or even come anywhere near accepting it. Is he just buying time waiting for the Vatican to blink?

It looks like the Vatican’s turn to reply. What’s next?

44 comments

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The great theologian, Cardinal Juan de Torquemada (1388-1468), citing the doctrine of Pope Innocent III, teaches that is is possible for even a pope to go against the universal customs of the Church. Torquemada writes, “Thus it is that Pope Innocent III states (De Consuetudine) that it is necessary to obey the Pope in all things so long as he himself does not go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, he need not be followed…” Cited from Father Paul Kramer, B.Ph., S.T.D., M. Div., A Theological Vindication of Roman Catholic Traditionalism, 2nd edition (St. Francis Press, India), p. 29.

Vatican II and the new “mass” went against the customs of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

For the faithful – you’re either in the camp that thinks the SSPX is wrong in how they’re going about their business, or you’re in the camp that they chose the right path, given the options they had. What are the fruits of these branches?

I prefer brilliant clarity and ‘immaculate’ truth vs. the Fog-thick-as-pea-soup, myself.

Posted by lou | Report as abusive

Seems to me the SSPX is as prideful as Satan himself. Traditional? HAH! All traditionalists know “where Peter is, there is the True Church.”

Posted by pita F | Report as abusive

What Archbishop Lefebvre Bishop de Castro Mayer did and their reasons for doing so were (and still are) brilliant clarity and immaculate truth. They upheld Catholic Faith, Truth, and Tradition; they kept it going. The last 5 popes did not and have not. Vatican II and the new “mass” were a break from Tradition; they went against what the true popes have taught.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

Where Peter is, there is the Church!!! Saying that the Novus Ordo goes against tradition because it uses vernacular language is an insult to our Orthodox and Eastern brothers who use their vernacular language for their liturgy! If the SSPX really want to go back to “tradition” why don’t we celebrate mass in Greek or Aramaic. Sure there are grave post Vatican 2 abuses but was it because these people obeyed the real Vatican 2 or their imagined “SPIRIT OF VATICAN 2″!

May I remind the SSPX that the sin of both Adam and the Devil is DISOBEDIENCE!

Posted by mj | Report as abusive

Well said, mj. Very succinct and true. Even Padre Pio and St. Jean Vianney were obedient at great cost as have so many others. It was disobedience that got us into the Reformation. There always have been and always will be “Protesters”. As with the scriptures….paraphrased…hold fast to BOTH the oral and written traditions.

Posted by JMJ | Report as abusive

The Catholic Mass is a meaningful celebration and memorial of love. It is a celebration of our redemption or liberation from the state Adam and Eve had placed us in by their act of disobedience. (Every sin is an act of disobedience). Perhaps, at that time they may have believed, for whatever reason, that they were doing the right thing. The Mass is a wonderful time for us, as a Church, to praise and thank our Father for his loving plan for us, our Lord Jesus for accomplishing that plan, and the Holy Spirit for the strength and blessings we receive to continue as faithful followers. The Mass provides us the opportunity to be in Communion with the Lord and with his Church.
The first Mass celebrated in the Upper Room was most probably conducted in Aramaic in accordance with certain Jewish customs. Why should it matter whether we use Latin, English, French, Chinese or whatever, or receive the body of our Lord faithfully in our hands or tongues, or whether we kneel, bow or stand? If there is love in our hearts it does not matter what language or respectful gesture we use. If it is made into a mere ritual with no love … it definitely does not matter.

Posted by Mal | Report as abusive

If one looks back over the past 2000 years of history in the Catholic Church, there is much that has changed.

The Church has been entrusted with the deposit of faith (the Truth) and she has the God-given duty to safeguard it. What people fail to see is that the things which are bound and loosed by Peter’s successor, are the way the Truth is expressed, only. The Truth never changes, because the Church has no authority to change the Truth. But she right-well has the authority to “express” the Truth any way she sees fit for any given age. These traditionalists are frozen in a 300 year old expression of the truth! That is it. Nothing more.

I’d suppose the SSPX would also have a problem with the wording of the Mass as is found in the Didache (70 AD).

The Truth be known, Vatican II never changed a Truth, only the way we express it. Moreover, in many cases, the Church went back to some of the more ancient forms of expression, those which go back much further than 300 years.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

Indeed Where Peter is there is indeed the True Church. But if Judas pretends to Peter we have aproblem do we not?

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

O,how I long to gather you my children,as a hen gathers her offspring,our dearest Jesus still cries :O,JERUSALEM…aren’t we all the new Jerusalem of His? We ought to answer this questoin to Him in private of our hearts.From face to face,looking into His eyes.There is just one Peter and one church,one leader,one command,obey him, means to obey Him.

The Mass is a holy Sacrifice, the way we are to worship as prescribed by Jesus Himself, not merely a “meaningful celebration and memorial of love”. God doesn’t want a hand-holding singalong on Sunday mornings, He demands the only acceptable Gift of atonement, that of Himself to Himself. Please, people! We aren’t Protestants! Get it right!

And the objection of the Novus Ordo is NOT the vernacular. Please stop that nonsense! That is about as stupid as those who think that the “Latin Mass” is all about the use of Latin. Dang, people! Wake up and know the facts! Know the Holy Mass! You people are scaring me!

The SSPX suffers from the sin of pride and lack credibility because of it. The Novus Ordo is a perversion of The Mass but the Sacrifice, by the guardianship of the Holy Ghost was never changed. Since the Pope, not the SSPX was given the power to loose and bind, and all the Popes have affirmed the validity of the New Mass, tongues should be silent. And even Fellay hasn’t cried sede vacante! So don’t be like the Apostles panicking in a boat seemingly about to be overtaken by the storm. Remember also to “Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.”

Please pray for all parties and pray for ourselves, our children and eachother. These are dangerous times for souls because so many voices are calling from out of the fog. Do you know which one is His?

Posted by rosie | Report as abusive

We have to pray a lot for SSPX, what a pity for SSPX. It does not matter which direction you go when your disobedient, left or right, you still will fall off the Barque. Bishop Felley\’s \”iceberg\” sounds like the titanic story. I\’d rather stay with the Rock, with Peter, to Jesus through Mary.

Posted by Tanya Wersinger | Report as abusive

If Judas pretends to be Peter, then the Lord will protect the Church from harm, but in all things, it is still best to be obedient to the authority God has put in place.

For those who do not like Vatican II, or its changes, well one needs to think about what would have happened if Vatican II never took place? The answer is we do not know. Things might have been much worse than what we experienced.

At any rate, the SSPX has now sbown that they are not interested in unity, but only division. The devil is the source of division. It is like breaking up a family, and saying, “hey, I’m trying to help us get back on track.” Well, division is not how wounds are healed, the Protestant movement is prime example of that.

The theology of the Novus Ordo is one and the same as the various Masses celebrated over the last 2000 years. Not one particular Mass is more correct than any of the others, regardless of rite. The pope has reached out; but SSPX pulled its hand back. Our Lord cannot be happy.

The Tridentine Mass in Latin was the result of the Holy Spirit revealing it to Popes and saints who had visions of the Heavenly mass going on at the same time. Therefore in times of more faith,these were incorporated to mirror the earthly Mass.The Mass as Tridentine is full of symbols and meanings that have not translated well when the priest is facing the people the whole Mass. There is too much social and not enough contemplation time.IMOPinion. We are like herds all doing the same thing rather than allowed time for individual prayer time, which used to be there in the olden days.

Posted by marylangdon | Report as abusive

That’s too bad about the SSPX. I was hoping they’d give it up. I mean, I feel their pain, but they miss the forest for the trees by being schismatic. I heard drum and synthesizer music at this Mass today and they took great liberties with the Agnus Dei in English. It said “Agnus Dei” but it was done most irregularly. Still, it doesn’t change who is in charge. We’ve had periods like this in Church history and those who left, missed the revival started by EWTN and pushed ahead with the increasing liberties for the obedient Latin Mass people. I think it would prove the SSPX people wrong if the Pope, instead of giving liberties to the Latin Mass people, enforced the order of the Novus Ordo. Even abuses happen under the watch of the more conservative bishops. Those Catholic churches, hospitals and schools are either controlled by the Church or use the name Catholic so a bishop could put his foot down on what the Church owns or sue the ones that use “Catholic” in their name and do otherwise. Despite EWTN and some improvements in public worship in many churches, these “irregularities”, to put it charitably, in most Masses, which scandalized a previous generation and the present one, don’t give the SSPX much reason to believe differently than they do about Vatican 2 and the Novus Ordo. If they like the N.O. Mass and Vatican 2 so much, why don’t even the conservative bishops not do anything about liturgical abuse and worldly teachers hired by Catholic schools? It doesn’t make the SSPX justified or right; just confirmed in their arguments.

BTW The Pope or Cardinal C.-H. should not require they do not criticize the Pope (or any other clerics) as long as it’s not done in a backbiting way. He is only infallible when declaring formal doctrine or in reiterating it. If you are only giving honest opinions about the job he and his post Vatican 2 predecessors are/were doing and not saying hateful things, lying or revealing secrets about him/them in doing so, there technically is no problem that I have come across in moral theology books. Please, correct me if I’m wrong!

Posted by Philip Sieve | Report as abusive

Protestants do not trust that the Holy Father and the Church are led by God Himself. SSPX is a form of protestantism by rejecting the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Here’s a clue SSPX people: Doctrine (truth) never changes, while dicipline (practice) can/does change in the 2000 year old visible church Christ founded. Maybe your problem is that you don’t trust Jesus the Head.

Posted by Thomas | Report as abusive

The Mass is truly a wonderful and meaningful memorial. Let us never forget that.
According to Vatican 11:
“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the centuries until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 47).
Should we not celebrate our redemption and our ‘future glory’?

Posted by Mal | Report as abusive

The Tridentine Mass has many wonderful symbols, but I weekly attend Mass of the Novus Ordo which is extremely reverent.

The symbols and expressions do not change the underlying theology of either rite. Many in the SSPX say how the Holy Spirit led the holy Fathers to the Tridentine formulation of the Mass, and I say, “yes,” of course He did. But He as well led the holy Fathers since to the Novus Ordo. It is what God decided is right for this time of ours.

But for the SSPX, the pope is willing to allow a traditionalist society exist within the Church, and it still isn’t good enough. All I can say is, Pride is a vice, not a virtue.

I always read w/ interest the response of Catholics who have left Tradition and/or who tolerate the abominable practices set up by the ‘spirit of Vatican II’. This unfortunate council trashed 2000 years of Church history and ‘absolute Truth’ in favor of innovation that has resulted in the praise of heretics- Rahner, Kung etc, the loss of schools and churches worldwide and a reduction of the liturgy to oftentimes little more than a floor show.

The response of Americanized Catholics intent upon their own viewpoint of things is oftentimes uncharitable and scorning to those of us who support SSPX in defense of the Church Traditions. Scorning is not a Catholic response; it is the response of Satan.

Prior to Vatican II, no pope ever invited false religions into a cathedral to pray after removing the tabernacle off the altar and substituting their idol instead. Jewish leaders who were invited had the good sense no to participate in such a blasphemy. John Paul II encouraged it…twice…even after an earthquake cracked the foundation of the church afer the first abomination.

Prior to Vatican II, for the most part, serious Catholics shunned birth control, would never support abortion, gay rights or euthanasia. Today we do do in even greater numbers than non-Catholics.

I could go on and on but one last bit of history will suffice to perhaps unclose the minds of the unreflecting herd caught in the web of Modernism that St Pope Pius X (the last sainted Pope) decried and warned his flock not to imbibe. This example has to do w/ illicit excommunications.

As is well known, a Bishop once proposed a heresy that said that Our Lord was not both Divine and human. At first, he was decried but he persisted and over time convinced not only all his fellow bishops but the pope himself. Only one bishop came to the defense of Truth and tradition and took up the fight against the assault on Our Lord. This bishop was excommunicated for his efforts.

Over time God tests his Church and allows evil to exhaust itself. In time, thru this excommunicated bishop, Truth was restored. The error was made anathema and Truth prevailed. Not unlike our time.

The bishop who promoted the error was Bishop Arius, father of the Arian heresy. Nice way to be remembered in Church history.

Oh yes, the excommunicated bishop? He is known as Saint Athanasius. Nice way to be remembered in Church history. His creed is know as the Athanasian Creed. In time, we may see the sainting of Archbishop Lefevere. We’ll see. I also doubt we will ever see a St. John Paul II.

As we enter a great period of chastisement, may I beg all Catholics to say a daily rosary and pray for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Posted by Gene Tullio | Report as abusive

I attend the Tridentine Mass with the F.S.S.P. order of Priests. I respect the Novus Ordo Mass, but I find more discipline where I am at. Why don’t the St. Pius 10th Group join the F.S.S.P. Latin Community? That would end all the CONTROVERSY! Sincerely in Christ, Magdalen Mauldin

There is little doubt that the closer we get to the traditional Mass, the more reverence we see in the Church. What I don’t understand is why the SSPXers are often so angry and self-righteous. The absolute lack of Charity in almost everything I see from them, including the embarrassing petulance displayed by their leading bishops in this situation, does not betray great love or devotion to Christ. B16 is reaching out, taking abuse without retaliating, and SSPX responds with pride and defiance. As an amateur but faithful Catholic, the witness of the Church is much more convincing, especially as B16 tries to restore reverence to the Mass. The “cleverness” of the SSPX response is also telling–seems like a stalling tactic, not an example of good-faith leadership.

SSPXers here are quoting Torqemada? What?!? And another claims that SSPX shares in the Athanasius narrative? Perhaps. But what if you’re not right about this? Do you know how many more rebels there have been in the Church who were convinced of the truth of their claims?

SSPX should show a great deal more humility. The extent to which they do is the extent to which they deserve to be taken seriously, and increases the likelihood of their being right, in any part of their claim. Pride does exactly the opposite and it is unfortunate that so much pride is evidenced in the writings of their leadership and followers. I pray for humility and Grace for all of us, that we break against His Truth, and do not demand our own.

Posted by Stephen | Report as abusive

When are you people going to learn. The SSPX is NOT a schismatic group. If you knew how to research and READ you would find that the Vatican has never declared them schismatic, nor excommunicated.

Your attempts to work for Satan astonish me.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

To all those who take issue with the RCC post-Vatican II, may I remind you; it is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church. When Jesus designated Simon as the rock on which he would build his church, he said: “…and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (the Church). I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matt 16:18,19) When Jesus spoke these words, he wasn’t speaking just to Peter himself, he was also speaking to Peter as the Father of the Church and subsequently to his successors. Given these two truths, it would seem obvious to me that even if you or I don’t agree with the Church on some matter, we are still obligated to obedience, to have faith that the Holy Spirit is leading the Church, rather than rely on our own interpretations and understandings.

Posted by Alyx | Report as abusive

I perfectly understand the pain of those who aspire for liturgical celebrations that express as perfectly as possible the celestial liturgies that some have been given a glimpse of.

And yet it seems to me that no human form of liturgy can ever be “perfect”! This obviously does not dispense us humans from giving the best of us to sing the glory of our merciful God!

The most beautiful and significant celebration of thanksgiving and of praise we can give is when we pray with the same heart and soul, united by the love and obedience of Jesus Christ Himself. I’m thinking about Christ’s eucharistical prayer for the unity of His Mystical Body.

I’m also thinking about the actual body of Christ. If God permitted that two thousand years ago the appearance of Jesus’s holy body should, in His final days be reduced to a state which made his own apostles flee from Him, why should He not allow the mystical body of Christ to live through a certain form of Passion? The repugnance we might feel toward some aspects of His Holy Church should however not occult our faith in God’s most merciful and redeeming love, ever present in what can at times be felt as almost sacriligious liturgical celebrations. We flee but God remains, nailed to the cross.

Do we realise that only our Lady and St John remained at the foot of the cross. Their faith, hope and love weren’t broken by the apparent miscarriage of Jesus’ mission. They saw beyond the form.

Let us join them there, very humbly, firmly rooted in Jesus’ words. He said that in spite of all appearances the evil one could do nothing to destroy his Holy Chuch. Do we really believe that Christ has taken the sting out of evil?

The visible liturgical form may not reach perfection on this earth nor may our lives. But nothing, nothing should prevent us from rallying around the cross and remain there, in faith, hope and love, until the time of resurrection. Christus vincit, regnat et imperat!

Our Lady must be in tears. Our Lord, very sad. Heaven in a state of regret for what we are doing to the church.

Posted by Gabriel Espinosa | Report as abusive

The problem is DOCTRINAL. The SSPX is saying, no more Assisi’s, no more “convergence, not conversion”, no more selling out the True Faith.
Benedict and his council rely on the “New Theology”, which is a contradiction of Mortalium Animos, the Syllabus of Errors, and countless examples of Papal teaching before the Council.
By upholding what the Church and Popes have taught for all the years up to the 60′s, it is the SSPX that is defending the Papacy.

Posted by Helen Westover | Report as abusive

I am sorry to say that if the SSPX does not open the door to talks that they will lose many of us who support them from outside the SSPX.

To many of us the chuch has put out the hand, and the door is open. The Holy Father has basically said “Lets talk” and if they say “NO”, it seems to many of us that the SSPX is not acting in humility, and saying “Ok lets Talk”.

Jim Dorchak

Posted by Jim Dorchak | Report as abusive

“Prior to Vatican II, for the most part, serious Catholics shunned birth control, would never support abortion, gay rights or euthanasia. Today we do do in even greater numbers than non-Catholics.”

Who’s this WE?
Catholics who practice birth control and espouse these other non-Christian practices may CALL themselves Catholic. Misguided pastors and even bishops may respect them as Catholic people. That doesn’t make it so.

Real Catholics embrace Catholic teaching, and real Catholics embrace the head of the Church on earth. Becoming convinced that you’re “holier than the pope” because he’s headed in an erroneous direction (in your eyes) is the essence of Original Sin. “I know what God wants, and it’s not what the post-Vatican II popes have done.” You know this? How?

Oh, that’s right. The serpent told you.

Pray, people. These divisions get us nowhere. We don’t need a “purer form of the Church” out there in disobedience…we need to purify the Church’s impurities from within.

JB

Indeed comparison of the 5 conditions now and then
is instructive as Mr Heneghan points out in his article
and if you go to the Vatican website and read
the letter of Paul VI opm to the late Archbishop Lefebvre of 11th October 1976 one sees that Paul VI was demanding the SSPX hand over control of all their seminaries to the Holy See — to give them regular canonical status and due to the fact that the SSPX has developed an attitude contrary to VII

” .. Haec porro ratio est, cur Nos…te iubeamus

committere Nobis officium et regimen operorum tuorum,

potissimumque seminariorum. Id tibi maximum sine dubio

sacrificium est, verum etiam experimentum tuae fiduciae

nec non obedientiae….

In English ” …..and this is the reason why We order you

to put the organisation and management of all your

houses into Our hands, and most especially the Seminaries.

This will doubtless be a very great sacrifice for you,

but also it will be a test of your fidelity and

obedience…”

In caritate Xp.,

Bryan Dunne

Posted by Bryan Dunne | Report as abusive

I think, if the SSPX rejoined, fully, the Church, we would have a lot more Latin Masses. We have a very brilliant FSSP priest. You can go to audiosancto dot org to hear his and his brother priests in their priestly order. They believe that Vatican 2, the updated official CCC and the N.O. are valid, but the pre-Vatican 2 versions were better. At one annual dinner, one community member said that it’s like Coke Classic. There was a formula, later called Coke Classic, before the newer formula. People missed the older formula so it came back as Coke Classic. Then, since more people bought Coke Classic, the formula went back to the previous kind and it returned to being Coca Cola again. That was a pretty good anecdote (laughing).

I do wonder if loopholes were purposely left in an officially without-errors bunch of documents (V2 and the N.O.) or if the smoke of Satan clouded minds and influenced loopholes that could be exploited by corrupted higher clergy. If we had a couple popes with mistresses, it’s hardly scandalous to question the judgment of the Vatican 2 and post-V2 clergy unless you question legitimate laws, doctrines, and such. I believe St. Thomas Aquinas and another saint questioned the idea of a dogma of a contemporary Pope of his time, but was obedient when formally declared.
I question the last pope’s management and say “What?” when I hear them add “the great”. While he was writing up new rosary decates and an unnecessary catechism, irregularities, irreverencies and outright abuses were going on in Masses around the world. People were leaving or doing their own thing and calling themselves Catholic. They were raising kids with little Catholic practices at home and sending them to “Catholic” schools in dioceses run even by conservative bishops where many would lose their faith as most their teachers are liberation theology (intentionally or not) or Protestant and Masses had songs like “Friends are like Flowers”. Yes, the last Pope may be a saint for personal holiness, but he and the bishops have really dropped the ball in his 25 years unless perhaps the Grunerites are correct and he was practically prevented.

I also have a problem with him having had anything to do with the U.N. When the nations are pulled together and a new Pax Romanus is rising under an NWO, the revelation about the Pope fleeing into exile will likely be by their hand or some NWO body that does not care to hear his ideas about how peace is best had by the Pope. Stop recognizing the U.N. as being useful for anything except the enemy of mankind with their false peace and say “Jesus can only bring world peace and, if peace will come through any institution run by people, he will do it through his bride, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Consulting scientists that question Genesis is another thing. I’m glad Popes haven’t conceded to theistic evolutionists, even, because they believe if there is no evidence for the story that can be replicated in a lab, so much for the Eucharist. You can’t study that with scientific instruments. For non-Catholics, you can’t study Christ’s resurrection in a lab. They do want to try to create people, though. Maybe creation wasn’t in 6 24 hour days (maybe quicker), but it has not been disproven so why burn bridges with fundamentalist Protestants over that and visiting the U.N. when we could make great ecumenical strides with many of them by avoiding such nonsense?

See, these things and abuses just give the SSPX and ones like them reason to believe what they believe–even though false (as we had the Great Schism and got over that with the succession of popes intact and still got great saints too). They will not learn from their mistakes. They let liturgical abuses and the things of “Ugly as Sin” by M. Rose continue. That was more of a scandal, I dare say, than the sex abuses because many more souls were led astray by allowing these to continue. Who went to World Youth Days? It probably wasn’t the children of confused or lax Boomers who were not called to task from the pulpit. I know how it is to be afraid of driving people away, but this was beyond some weak people. It was diabolically inspired, but I will not decide which human agents wittingly or unwittingly pushed it along. We saw the fruits of Vatican 2 and the N.O. If they will not be enforced, then it’s time to have them put away. It’s worthless to praise what they tried to do if you do not implement them. It’s worthless to cite Church Fathers and ignore their advice about Latin having pride of place in the Church.

Creating more divisions does the opposite of helping matters. The FSSP is free to do their thing so why not just rejoin full communion, if only in the administration’s minds, and so spread the most reverent Mass, art, music and architecture mankind ever offered to God as a community (even Hindus and Buddhists have theirs and even High Anglicans kept altar rails and even Gregorian chant–why did we drop it for entertainment and drop prayer services for community fun events?). Maybe then, in a generation or two, it will go back to the TLM.

In the SSPX’s defense, I have to say a member made The Rosary Album (the 3 classic decates with an infused Stations of the Cross and pictures for every bead and station) and others made “Dedicated Decades” (philomena.org) and neither rip on Vatican 2, the N.O. or anything else since those times, but instead have classic devotional thoughts, admonitions and prayers. Let’s all come together, without having to like the Vatican 2 documents, and make a positive change. We won’t fix things just griping about it.

Posted by Philip Sieve | Report as abusive

Traditionalists who are sympathetic to the SSPX have often said that they are not in schism. Ecclesia Dei is a very clear document, yet so many Catholics who ae supposedly loyal to the Holy Father reject it on its face. I urge all interested parties to re-read this document. The Rorate Caeli blog also has an excellent review of the events leading up to the break in 1988. It’s well worth reading. And if all of this were not enough, as soon as the SSPX began granting marriage annulments, they declared jurisdiction. This is a totally schismatic act, and they most certainly know it is, and these bishops are all educated enough to know the consequences of what they were doing. What kind of “emergency” necessitates this? It’s time for traditionalists who sincerely want to assist in the licit restoration of the Catholic Church to come home, to come back to the pews they left vacant, and work to respond to the call by the Holy Father to have Mass in the Extraordinary Rite be made available in EVERY PARISH throughout the world. Wake up and smell the coffee. Where there is anger and hatred – yes, hatred – holiness cannot flourish. The SSPX has been teaching for decades that the Sacraments of the Church are invalid and a major chastisement is coming to punish those who do not agree with them. Generations of children have been exposed to this rot and have been psychologically damaged by it. The SSPX will be bitterly disappointed when or if the chastisement they are hoping will come does not arrive. There is something very wrong with this group, that has now become increasingly like an insular cult. Just suggest that the group is in schism to a member – and then duck fast! They go apoplectic. Bishop Williamson absolutely DETESTS Rome – and that’s a sordid fact, I’m afraid.

Posted by Mary Teresa | Report as abusive

Hey ! mj , it was Eve and the devil not Adam on the obedience thing.

Posted by sharon stockard | Report as abusive

How many of you know about “false ecuminism”/ How many know about “religious liberity”. Please will some body show me the “FRUITS” of Vatican II. I want TRUTH not false or fabrication.

Posted by ssoldie | Report as abusive

I am a convert to the Catholic Church, and I did it because that’s where the total truth is. To those of you that are cradle catholics, you need to study more before making these ridiculous claims you’ve made. These are referring to your claim of “traditionalist”, which to you means someone who is too strict and not tolerant of other opinions. Wrong!
Anybody who calls themselves “catholic” needs to pass on the whole truth to future generations. This you will not find in the renewed church. The things that have happened since the 60′s happened during the “reformation” by Martin Luther and his pride. Look it up! Vernacular masses, communion in the hand, all churches have some of the whole truth, etc. Find a book which is about the First Vatican council, and you will see for yourself.
Since the 60′s, vocations have plummeted, as well as the faithful. Some people go to church for the readings and the singing. If you’re not going for the Holy Eucharist containing the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, you’d be better off staying home. And you need to examine yourself to see if you believe this, since many priests don’t!
Any one who does or says anything opposite to the centuries/old teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ is WRONG! Period. Even popes are’t exluded from this. They are still the pope, but they are bad, disobedient ones. Study, and study long and hard. Maybe your viewpoints will somehow change. Say the prayer to the Holy Spirit, and by this I mean the WHOLE prayer, to help you along.
Christ told the Apostles to teach ALL that he taught. If we are not getting ALL that he taught, we are being mislead. Help yourself and your children.
Ignorance of the entire truth is NOT an excuse.
Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth”.
Even Judas said, “I have betrayed innocent blood”.
Don’t be a Judas!

Posted by Jon Miles | Report as abusive

While we should of course all pray for a successful resoluation to this conflict, it is not accurate to portray the Catholic “right” and the Catholic “left” as both being of the same ilk.

As Dietrich von Hildebrand, the great philosopher whom Pope Pius XII called “the 20th Century Doctor of the Church,” it may be unfortunate that those of the “right” stick solely to St. Thomas’s philosophy and theology and shun all others, but it is not heretical. Those of the left are both heretics and schismatics. And despite what Reuters keeps saying, the Catholic Church has repeatedly said now that the SSPX is not in schism. I have more than one letter to that effect from the PCED, including all of the interviews where Cardinal Castrillon has stated as much.

Furthermore, the news coverage and the commentators, esp. Mr. Tom of Reuters, all going to very surprised when Step Two of this process, outlined now for several years by the SSPX, takes place shortly–the lifting of the decrees of excommunication.

Just because there is acrimony and disagreement on some non-essential principles of Vatican II (religious liberty and ecumenism are NOT DOGMA!) does not mean the SSPX will not be brought back into full communion with the Church.

The excommunications will be lifted soon, and then headlines like “schismatic,” “Catholic rebels,” etc. etc. will have to be replaced with the joy of full unity.

The Pope knows with whom he wants to do combat with the dictators of relativism. He knows the good that the SSPX and their laymen formed by them, can do for the good of the Church.

It won’t be an embrace of the nuts “on the left” any time soon. We also need to watch that we do not use political labels in the Church, as they often do not fit. Those on the left do not profess the Catholic Faith. Those of the SSPX, do profess the Catholic Faith–whole and entire–without the accretions of the misrepresented “doctrines” of the Second Vatican Council.

Posted by Brian Charles | Report as abusive

It has been said here that SSPX is arrogant. How is it arrogant to refuse compromise where long-standing Catholic teaching is in question? Bishop Fellay and the bishops hold their ground, staying true to those tenants held by SSPX since the group’s inception – formed to keep the traditional teachings in tact SOMEWHERE in the Church. (Hasn’t Our Lady said that there would be a small remnant of Faithful?) Because they’ve done so, the Traditional Mass of the Ages has been brought back to “regular” use, admittedly never abrogated – a lie perpetuated for about 40 years. Those of us who love this Mass owe them a debt of gratitude, at the very least.
As for them being minions of Satan, why is it so difficult to imagine that it may, in truth, be the Vatican and Church hierarchy that has been infiltrated by the evil one and his demons? Judge the tree by its fruit – mostly rotting, leaving a barren, unproductive, bend-with-every-wind emaciated twig with dwindling roots that cannot truly nourish any of its branches. Yes, the Holy Ghost will guide the true Church, and yes, the Holy Father is under His wing (notice, no ex cathedra statements on faith and morals – requisites for infallibility – for many years), but all of us are human, and we all have choices to make. Seems to me SSPX is making the right ones, remaining true to the Faith of the Saintsm, praying that the Pope will allow them to do just that without having to “give in” on some very vital issues.
Oh, and BTW – I believe Saint Padre Pio received permission to continue to say the Traditional Mass, never to offer anything Novus Ordo. What’s good enough for him is good enough for me.

Posted by Lori Mather | Report as abusive

The sspx is a demented cult with their leaders (wolves) antagonizing over their blind flock of brainwashees to further their agenda of hatred while promoting sixteenth century practices in or for a world that died long ago! Will Rome ever stop trying to deal with these agents of satan and let them perish as they so deserve!It’s never been about “Latin Mass” as they all claim, but rather a sick idealism of a return to fear and 14th century slaughter of everyone not catholic and submitting to them lords of Tradition!Yep, that’s what Jesus wanted!

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

I’ve always been appalled by the lack of humility of SSPX. Once a group of people believes they are in the right and the entire universe is wrong, dialogue becomes impossible. Post-Council liturgical and doctrinal excesses have greatly harmed the Roman Catholic Church but now we are coming back from it. Unlike other churches, the RC Church must remain consistent in its teachings, especially when the world is going mad.

Posted by Iggy | Report as abusive

Prior to Vatican II, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was said in Latin, and I could go anywhere in the world and go into any Roman Catholic Church and I was at home, Latin was the Universal language of the Church.

Holy Eucharist was not to be touched by any hands except
the consecrated hands of a Priest, I understood that Jesus was present. I knew and felt the very real presence of Jesus.

I never felt like a robot, I felt like I was part of the Mystical Body of Christ.

I was confirmed and I believed I was a soldier of Christ,
that I would defend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and hold to the traditions that I was taught.

Now it has been over 40 years since I have been to or found a Traditional Mass to attend, I have missed the
intimacy.

I didn’t understand why the Traditional Mass could only be said with permission, why would a priest have to ask permission to say The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, if it was Holy and Sacred than how was it not Holy and Sacred now. Pope Benedict says it was Sacred than and is Sacred
now, still why was it withheld so many don’t know about it and never experienced it. Also why the destruction of the Altar rails, the move of Tabernacle into the room on the side. Prior to the Novus Ordo or New Order what they
have done to the inside of the churches would have been
called descecration.

Anyway how do I reach these SSPX priests?

Posted by CKay | Report as abusive

CKay- look at their website sspx.org for information on chapels in the U.S. and abroad. They may not have everything exactly right, but I trust them over molesting priests, misleading bishops, and Protestantized masses any day.

I have attended an SSPX mass for nearly 20 years. During this time I have also visited local (western U.S.) as well as other locations for Novus Ordo masses in varying circumstances. Before I have attended each N.O. mass I have begged God for clarity, for some sign that the mass I was about to attend would be about Him. The last time I attended the N.O. mass I prayed this prayer- what a sad blow for my soul when I watched the deacon eucharistic minister drop a consecrated host on the ground and fumble about carelessly in retrieving the Sacred Species! Flashbacks of catechism lessons bolted into my mind- recalling the adoration one owes to that Precious Host and the reverence a priest should have towards it. But how could I be surprised when I watched a group of men and woman from the laity take Our Lord into their unconsecrated hands and distribute it themselves? I cannot receive communion in a church so blatantly irreverent. How is the SSPX supposed to achieve unity when it is now the norm to do so many once anti-Catholic things? St. Tarcisius, a young boy in ancient times, allowed himself to be martyred rather than let the wrong hands touch the Sacred Hosts that he carried…
My prayer is that God can show the correct way to unity- keeping our sacred truths and traditions in mind, and not allowing ecumenism to cloud true charity. What good does it do to encourage falsehood? Or to equate truth with error? Does that encourage souls to Truth, to God, to salvation?

Posted by JM | Report as abusive

After 2,000 years of tradition that grew our Holy Mother Church into the largest church in the world. Rightfully so as it is the ONLY Church that can be traced to Jesus Christ. Modernists commemdere a council and dismantle tradition thus damaging our Holy Mother Church.

Today we have “the mess” – molesting priests, feminists, lay persons doing the job of the priests and sisters, church closings, school closings, loss of vocations all in the “mainstream church” wheras the chapels and schools of SSPX grow in number. Now why is that?

If I have slandered, calumniated or otherwise backbit anyone, esp. clergy, I apologize. I get very irritated about all this. Jesus said not to be lukewarm. Phlegmatics may be naturally inclined to spiritual sloth, but I think a great many were disaffected by the imprudent pastoral experimentation that still has not worked.

The reason why is that the Mass is experimented with. You can have rosary rallies galore (to which the devout ones, not the majority of Mass-goers these days, will attend or their kids), but if priests are playing director of the Mass as merely an inspiration for his own musical, there will continue to be problems and not just for Catholics. There is a Twilight Zone show, or one like it, where a man does obsessive-compulsive actions that keep the world running–and it stops when he is sedated by his psychiatrist. The Masses around the world, our priest says, keeps the world in order if well done and causes disasters if not done properly (matter and form) and with respect as well (no electric guitar and drums version–even if they played a traditional song with those). In this case, of course, it’s not just the person helping keep the world as much in order as can be done in a fallen world, but God is in charge of the world as the priest is not a magician.

I think the Vatican’s ecumenical program with dissenters is like how many modern church-going-on-Sundays-only parents will do, they will not face the libertine kid and his problems and will even practically acknowledge his/her “lovers” or friends, with whom he/she commits fornications, in order to not lose him/her. They may think acceptance will keep him/her from doing something more extreme. Maybe they don’t have the know-how and feel helpless.

The less-afflicted son/daughter will be more of a headache (possibly due to his/her John the Babtist-esque resistance biting their consciences unless they’ve gone to the liberation theologists from luxuries or leaders) and will be expected to be around. The SSPX not only didn’t leave their space physically, but only recognized them as parents in the technical, but not any practical, sense. They may have even been muscled out in a hot war or cold one without having been kicked out and then split in anger and then practically split in anger. We see the dangers of rage when we see what happened in the SSPX wake and that cannot be sanctioned, but we see the dangers of letting the liberation theologist clergy and religious and those clergy who just fly under the heresy radar’s reach by slipping in irregularities, thus eroding any piety their confused flock after the ’60s had and religious who bring in government elected clergy from China. Where are the bishops (or recent Popes, when Catholic schools have become modernist and there’s bishops who do a little less than trying to ordain women priests)? If they think just tightening restrictions at the seminary, welcoming obedient Latin Mass clergy and having some rosary rallies will fix things, they’ve got another thing coming.

As is predicted about a Great Awakening for everyone before a 3 24 hour night chastisement, the bishops need to warn their clergy who play around with the Mass and then start giving those who are disinterested very uninteresting and uninfluential other things to do or just laicize them. This is not about kicking your son’s gay “lover” out of the house and wishing your son good luck if he goes too (and hopefully praying for him and trying to talk him back with no compromises); this epidemic effects families whose kids could fall to the gay or life of violence and it effects order in the world. Tough love, a la Pope Pius X, I believe, is in order here. If he was a hater, how was he a saint? This naturally should be easier for men (I know, but more men vote Republican even today as women are naturally more affected by feelings liberals play to and they fulfill a place there when men are being mensch as church leaders and family leaders).

Posted by philip Sieve | Report as abusive

Dorian…

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same….