Saturday, January 28, 2012


The schismatic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre thought he and his movement was more Catholic than the pope.
The schismatic priests in Austria and other European countries think they are more secular than the Episcopalians.

The left's schism is heretical and disobedient; it mocks the sacraments especially Holy Orders and the Mass. The right's schism is not heretical but it is disobedient and creates not unity but division.

A defective way to view morality is choosing the lesser of two evils when the good is present. I would recommend Catholics who dislike the Catholic Church in union with Rome to be disobedient in the form of the right's disobedience. At least it is not necessarily heretical in what counts.

The left's disobedience leaves one scratching one's head. Why not just become Episcopalian? Perhaps the Anglican Communion under the Archbishop of Canterbury should make a Catholic Ordinariate. But what the heck would their liturgy be? I don't think they'd like the Book of Common Prayer too much. But then the Anglicans might allow the Catholic Ordinariate Book of Uncommon and Weird Prayer and Sacraments?



Marc said...

This is a good clarification of your post of earlier today, which would have offended my traditionalist sentiments if I had thinner skin.

The left's heresy (actually. closer to apostasy in most cases) is very different from the traditionalists, who in most cases are the staunchest supporters of the Holy Father and the Church. Yes, that includes the SSPX, who are not in schism or excommunicated.

Those on the right who lodge disagreements with the Holy Father on those things that are open to disagreement see themselves as the modern day St. Athanasius and St. Catherine - saints who stood against the hierarchy, including the Pope himself, when the hierarchy acted against the prior deposit of faith and against Tradition. I know you do not think the current hierarchy has done that (and I am not expressing my opinion on that one way or the other), but that is the position of those in the Traditionalist camp. So, there is historical precedent from Catholic saints for disagreeing with the Holy Father when he needs to be disagreed with.

The danger is not in the disagreeing (given the clear precedent for it), but in the very determination that the hierarchy has done something that needs to be disagreed with. That must be a very considerate enterprise. I am not qualified to make that determination and I don't think many people (including most priests and bishops) are qualified to do so.

Clearly, those on the left do not care for the authority of the hierarchy or the Magesterium. They have not adequately considered their disobedience. Furthermore, it is not based in a desire to follow authentic Catholic teaching or rooted in Tradtion. It is simply an espousing of heresy. These things differentiate the apostasy of the left from the valid considerations that concern most Traditionalists (i.e, concerns that many priests and bishops are covert or overt Modernists who want to see the Church collapse: in essence, supporters of those on the disobedient left who are publicly spreading heresy and apostasy).

Carol H. said...

This is very sad. As I said in a previous post, I beleive were it not for her right arm, the entire Church would have been in this state.


We need to pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and work to educate the masses in the truths of our Faith. If the average parishoner receives more information from the liberal media, and from liberal school systems than he does from the Church, is it any wonder that the pews are leaning to the left.

Only prayer and education in the Truth will solve this problem.

Anonymous said...

I would not want to wish hurt on the Austrians, but they should give it a go. I think I recently read of a Catholic priest who moved to the Episcopal Church. While this is sad, it is at lest civilised and grown up. I suppose there is a chance all this silliness is actually a cre de coeur. then these poor souls should be relived of their duties and helped.


Anonymous said...

I will agree with Marc. Aside from the fact that dissent from the left is far, far more rampant that dissent from the right, and is thus a bigger concern in every respect, those on the right make principled arguments from authorities that would be recognized and accepted in every age of the Church. A sizable amount of the dissent on the left breaks with that completely--not merely the positions, but the very denial of the authoritativeness of the tradition itself.

To put this another way, the right's dissent generally goes only to disciplinary, prudential, or other non-doctrinal matters (and generally give excellent arguments from tradition why they do so). The left's dissent goes not only to doctrine, but to the authority of the Magisterium and the hierarchy.

You may say that when we knock the NO Mass, we're being disobedient. But was Paul VI's act of promulgating that Mass rise to the level of infallibility? As Marc noted, some of the Church's greatest saints are remembered for their challenges to episcopal and papal actions--challenges that yet remained loyal to the traditio and the deposit of the faith. And even so, I don't think anyone here has ever challenged the actual validity of the NO Mass, whatever problems we may have with it. (That is what I meant in my earlier long post when I noted that maybe someday the Church will look back on this time and condemn some of the non-doctrinal things it has done.)

As for the left's rejection of the past--well, Athanasius and Catherine of Siena are saints, but the Church's failure to canonize Luther is no accident.

Anonymous said...

Kinda funny and ironic--the "womynprysts" don't seem to like lace on their albs! No, that's only for old "hard-tail" conservatives like Lefebvre!

Sometimes vestment styles do "communicate" attitudes. . .

pinanv525 said...

These Leftists do not leave the Catholic Church (even though they hate it) bcause they are perpetually angry and need an antagonist. The bigger the antagonist, the more attention they receive and, thus, the more perceived validation. These kinds of movements also provide undesirable women with a means of getting the attention no man would ever give them...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

We should also keep in mind that the right who are disobedient to the Holy Father and the bishops in union with him have a tendency to be fascists and even support Nazi sentiments. Remember the Holocaust denying bishop scandal in the SSXP?
On the left, these can be political leftists also, supporting liberation theology and Marxist sentiments, preferring communism and extreme socialism democratic principles, although many on the left prefer democratic principles to remold the church in a democratic way.

So there is danger in supporting extremes and separating from the True Church and all of her teachings including authoritative papal teachings on Social Doctrine, the Liturgy and the nature of the Church and Catholic action in the world including politics. When there are three choices, two of which present choosing the lesser of two evils, (right and left and I'll leave it to you to decide which is the lesser of two evils)and then there is the True Church in union with the Holy Father and accepting his jurisdictional and legislative authority, why choose the lesser?

Anonymous said...

Fr, good point about the Fascist element in the Church. This is always aggravating for me when dealing with Israelis as, of course, this is often their view of the Church because of the prominence of European Catholics in that part of the world. This is a disease that has been identified and is being dealt with especially when one considers how few people follow that Holocaust denying Bishop. Yet it is a strong disease and should be pursued fiercely.

The danger the Left presents today is that it is supported by society at large and all governments while the problem with Fascism is settled. On of the most appealing aspects of Catholicism is the ability to self evaluate. This happens through the intercession of the Holy Spirit, of course, and will eventually isolate and explain the flaws of the Left as it has with the Right.

The problem we have is with large and powerful organisations that are vying for control of people and view the Church as a threat. One weapon they use is to equivocate the extremes so as to claim they offset each other and somehow return equilibrium, or that one is wrong and the other just when neither is the case. They use that as a reason to either not retreat (fairness) or advance (agenda).

We dilute our energies looking back while trying to move forward. The solution for the Fascists is known so they can be dealt perfunctorily while we are still devising solutions to remove the cancer of the Left without killing the patient. We refer to 'the Left' and 'the Right' and would consider how we organise any problem that prevents us from working on the issue simultaneously. You pick on and put all of your effort into solving it while periodically checking the other.


Templar said...

Oh my. Father, I can't believe you just said those on the right have a tendency to be fascists and support Nazi sentiments. That's no better than someone saying all "main line moderate priests have a tendency to be homosexual". Neither statement is true and both paint with far too broad a brush.

Anonymous said...

There is not a tendency toward fascism in Traditonalist circles. There is one SSPX bishop who made remarks that tended to minimize the atrocities of the holocaust. One can hardly say that one bishop out of so many bishops, priests, and laity is a "tendency". (I have a theory that 1 out of every 12 bishops will not be a very good bishop - I'm thinking of calling it The Judas Principle of Wasted Episcopacy, but I am open to naming suggestions).

If we are going to base tendencies off of limited cases, I'll go out on a limb and say there is a tendency amongst those who claim to be in union with the Holy Father (the safe group in your argument) to minimize the holocaust of abortion both in the US and abroad.

I bet the number of bishops that I'm calling out that are "in communion" with Rome greatly exceeds the number of traditionalist bishops (which includes the SSPX bishops, who are also in communion with Rome) favoring fascism (i.e., one).

Note - I am not an SSPX supporter. I've never been to their Masses and never actually met an SSPX priest. I don't have any ties to them at all other than having looked briefly at their website on a few occasions. I also would not go to their priests for confession because I do agree they lack jurisdiction as I don't buy their supplied jurisdiction argument. Further, I think they need to get in line with the Holy Father completely as they sometimes seem to be practical sedevacantists. That said, they are not the only force for Traditionalism in the Church. Oh, and their bishop shouldn't have made those remarks about the holocaust publicly as we can still see how it is hurting the a traditionalist cause by the very fact we are having to now discuss it!


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The SSXP movement in Europe is more about recovering a France as it existed before the French Revolution. It is built upon rigid authority and unthinking acquiescence to that authority all the while calling into question the legitimate authority of Holy Church and the Pope, i.e. Vatican II and subsequent papal decrees. The veneer of solid a solid Catholic identity built upon pre-Vatican principles is present, there is no doubt, but also present are some pre-Vatican II sentiments in many Catholics of that period and especially in Europe of blaming the Jews for all the ills of the world and thus "antisemitism" ran wild in Europe and enabled the "denial" of the Holocaust as it was actually happening and by people, many of whom were Catholic, not just Lutherans, who knew it was happening but chose to look the other way or to be complicit in it.
Not all SSXP's are fascists or holocaust denying, but they do embrace the culture of antisemitism that was present in the Church and quite rampantly prior to Vatican II--I know this first hand because my father who was a good man instilled some of that antisemitism in me and justified it from Church teachings prior to the Council, but he certainly changed his attitude from the change of course the Church took toward Jews after Vatican II. This cannot be denied.

Anonymous said...

Father, I cannot deny your personal experience. I really think this is more of a European thing than a Traditionalist thing (or even Catholic thing), though.

I guess I wonder what the culture prior to Vatican II was that you are talking about? Was there something particularly Catholic about your experience?

To make claims based on race, etc. is one thing (as is throwing around claims of deicide). This is cealry anti-Semetic and outside the scope of theology and not rooted in Church teaching.

To point out the Chuch's teaching on non-Catholic religions and the need for the conversion of Jews (the Traditional Good Friday prayer, for example) based in their no longer being the chosen people as that status is given now to the Holy Church. This is theological truth and needs to be said (in the proper pastoral way of course).

I really don't think the phenomenon you're talking about is a particularly Catholic thing. Maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part, though, as my Catholic experience is limited! :-)


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, Jews were denounced from the pulpit for having killed Christ and there was little or no room to make the interpretation that this including present day Jews who would be condemned forever for what they did. The Good Friday Prayer that Pope Benedict revised in the EF Mass and which was so vehemently decried by those who feel that Mass with that prayer should not be changed, is but one good example.

Father Shelton said...

Pope Pius XI said the following in a 1938 address to Belgian pilgrims: "Mark well that in the Catholic Mass, Abraham is our Patriarch and forefather. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with the lofty thought which that fact expresses. It is a movement with which we Christians can have nothing to do. No, no, I say to you it is impossible for a Christian to take part in anti-Semitism. It is inadmissible. Through Christ and in Christ we are the spiritual progeny of Abraham. Spiritually, we are all Semites."
(See Taylor Marshall's "The Crucified Rabbi")

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree with what Fr. Shelton has quoted and yet I don't see any problem at all with the old version of the Good Friday prayer: it's a prayer for the conversion of the Jews. That is something we should pray for for them and all people, including the continued conversion of Catholics, including ourselves...

Now, the accusations of deicide thing, I never really understood. That seems like a pretty big stretch of logic used to justify an existing hatred. So, I get that one being wrong.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Keep in mind that Martin Luther a former Augustinian priest remained virulently anti-Semitic and evidently didn't think that his position on that needed to be reformed. It was an attitude that he kept from his Catholic upbringing. Now, certainly the Catholic Church teaches to love everyone, not to commit murder, not to steel and to honor the Lord's day and we have documents to back that up, but in reality many Catholics do all these things and sometimes it is inbeded in the culture of things and the way we pray. Keep in mind that the phrase "perfidious Jews," which had appeared in the Good Friday liturgy, was removed by John XXIII from his first Good Friday service as pope in 1959. Good Pope John XXIII knew that the law of prayer is the law of belief and if the prayer is corrupt so will the belief be and this can have devastating consequences for people.

Anonymous said...

Fr. the wondrous part of this is that what your father thought was in Church teachings was not and he could be taught otherwise within the same unaltered teachings of the Church. Even to a simple backward child as myself I knew Christ and most of the apostles, Mary and Joseph!, were Jews. There are so few actual quotes from Christ, yet one in particular, "Salvation comes from the Jews", is paramount. The modifier, 'perfidious', was a discriminator among the just Jews, e.g. Paul. People who are looking for trouble always find it. The Romans were not big supporters, either, yet that's where the Pope is. This is another example of people changing something rather than understanding it. It's good that Pope John XXIII helped as he did, but it should be more clear. I wonder if the deep seated anti-Semitism of Europe made him afraid of losing followers just as the American Church is afraid to come down hard on the Left.

FWIW, one of the old guys in my childhood parish walked with a severe limp the Nazis gave him before he was sent to the camp. He was a 'good old boy' who may have never met a Jew in his life before the camps. But he knew who the enemy was.


Anonymous said...

I understand your law of prayer, law of belief argument. I have one more question though: does the Church believe the Jews are "perfidious"? If so, why was this taken out of the prayer (appeasement, ecumenism, etc.)? If not, why was it in the prayer for so long in the first place (the reverse of the law of prayer is law of belief)?

I'm not arguing about this. Sadly, I find this stuff fascinating! I could talk about these things all day, if only someone would pay me for that! I dont know what that says about me...


pinanv525 said...

Marc, You're a lawyer...what do you think they say about you? LOL!

Did you know that in Trappist sign language the sign for Jew is a combination of the signs for crafty and greedy?

Anonymous said...

As the anonymous ti whom I believe Fr. McD was responding when he wrote the comment that caused the "fasism" discussion, I'll note two things: 1) I don't have much of a problem with his points, since he makes many good ones, except to note that thinking people can make arguments for pre-VII theology without also buying into fascism and anti-semitism. Just because some SSPX folks refuse make this distinction doesn't mean we cant.

I'll also note that when I submit comments here about the state of the Church, I usually am referring to the Church in the USA since I know its socio-cultural history much beter than I do that of the Church elsewhere. I just get tierd of having to write the term "the Church in the United States." European baggage, in this respect, is somewhat different from American baggage, though some can spill across the ocean in both directions, of course.

I think one common aspect to left and right--and it is a perversion whenever and whereever it happens--is to adopt either Catholicism, or a particular religious tradition/stance within/related to it, in order to achieve some socio/cultural goal. In shrt, if I wish to use the Church (or SSXP or whatever) to further some agenda of mine, that is not a valid reason to be Catholic or to push a theology. With these right-wing fascists under discussion, there's probably a lot of that going on. With the left there certainly is. But stip out the agendas, and you can get valid theology and liturgy from the trads. With the left both are often in poor taste, more often doctrinally questionable, and sometimes outright invalid.

Finally, re Fr. McD's statement about "accepting [the pope's] jurisdictional and legislative authority," I think everyone here does that. I do not dispute the authoritativeness of Paul VI's promulgation of the NO, or of any authoritative papal teachings onsocial doctrine. Nor do I dispute the NO's validity. But I do believe (and am willing to be corrected if wrong) that the promulgation of the NO does not rise to the level of authority that cuts off discussion about the NO's relative merits or of undesirable Protestant influences within it.

Bill Meyer said...

I am exceedingly sorry to see a link claimed between rightist or traditional positions and the Nazis, who were, after all, socialists and leftist totalitarians.

I consider myself very conservative, and rightist, and am deeply opposed to the extreme left of whatever name, be they Nazis or Obama-worshipers.