Wednesday, May 27, 2015


The Jews had a very good reasons for this golden calf and their gifts they offered to it!
It wasn't completely the fault of the Eastern Church that led to the Great Schism. The Western Church often provoked it. But nonetheless the Eastern Church went into schism. They thought they were right and on some things they were. But was schism necessary? Evidently they thought so and thus disobeyed the Lord in His great farewell speech in John's Gospel. Fortunately not all the Churches of the east went into schism (a fact the orthodox fail to acknowledge) as well many of those Churches that did go into schism repented and returned to the full Communion of the Catholic Church with the pope as the Supreme Pontiff. The Western Church bent over backwards to make this happen.

There there was the Protestant revolt what is called the Reformation. Martin Luther and the others he inspired to break with Rome were not completely at fault. Politics and religions were inextricably tied together and secular rulers and kings used Martin Luther to break from the political shackles of the remnant of the Roman Empire now headed by the pope in Rome. It didn't help that corruption had entered the Church's clergy, liturgy and simony as it concerned the sacraments and indulgences exacerbated the reformers.

After Vatican I when papal infallibility was defined and dogmatized (it had always been a doctrine), the Old Catholics went into schism over it. They thought they knew better. I am sure at the beginning they thought they were carrying on the true traditions of the Church.

Then in the last century, I think, someone correct me, some of the Polish Catholics in the USA were not too happy with the primarily Irish Church in America. There may have been other reasons but they went into schism and formed the Polish National Catholic Church, not in union with Rome but with valid sacraments and priesthood.

After the Second Vatican Council a similar schismatic act occurred under Archbishop Lefebrve. He thought he knew better than Rome and in defiance of Pope John Paul II ordained bishops without papal approval. Thus he was excommunicated and the FSSXP soon evolved as a reform movement within the Church (as they  claim) but clearly censured by the Church's magisterium first with excommunications of all the bishops (not the priests and laity) which Pope Benedict lifted. But the priests and bishops had and have a serious censure that of suspension a divinas. This is serious stuff.

The FSSXP have experienced division too and other groups have spun off from them claiming the same legitimacy as the FSSXP in terms of being in full communion with the true Church.  It sounds like what Martin Luther wrought. Initially he simply saw himself upholding what Christ wanted for his Church but still as a Roman Catholic but all that cascaded into a full blown breach that then led other reformers as proud or more proud than Martin Luther to put forward even more sterile reforms and a hatred for Rome.

I suspect in 100 years the FSSXP will be just like the Old Catholics after Vatican I, insignificant and completely something different than what they at first intended to be.

As for me, I remain a papist even if I question this, that or the other. I just thank God I'm not the pope or a bishop. It's hard enough just being a plain old priest! In the end, it will all come out in the wash and we'll know which popes are in hell, which popes are saints (the currently unproclaimed ones) and where the Church took detours.

The Magisterium will be judged as will rank and file laity. Ireland and every local Church from the time of Christ to His second coming will be judged and the sheep and goats separated.

It will be a day of reckoning similar to what Moses would do on coming down from the mountain with the 10 Commandments only to find the Chosen People in a state of idolatry worshiping a golden calf. 


Anonymous said...

Father, you are always judge and jury, condemning Catholics who actually believe everything the Church has taught for the past 2000 years. You jump hoops trying to rationalize everything this pope says just because he has the title pope in front of his name. Wrong is wrong no matter who says it, and even the pope can't make something that is objectively sinful into some kind of merciful act. You have shown time and again that your theological views are at best problematic: example, your believe that their are major and minor mortal sins (that is completely made up and not a teaching of the Church), and just the other day when you tried to rationalize sodomite "relationships" (just because somebody freely chooses to live in an objectively sinful way of life for years does not mean there is anything good about that. That is called being obstinate in sin. That's the teaching of the Church). You are always accusing believing Catholics as being pseudo Protestant. News flash to you, making the pope into some kind of Demi God, even referring to yourself as a papist is in fact Protestant. The pope is not some all knowing godlike figure to be adored and worshiped. We don't have to believe that everything he says or does is on a par with the Ressurection. When the pope says something weird, heretical, heterodox, Protestant, modernistic, that does not mean we have to fall in line and follow his lead. It simply means he is a weirdo, or a heretic (and if a heretic then not really pope, but I digress), or a Protestant or a modernist. In short it means he is wrong. If Pope Francis tries to teach that people living in adultrey can receive communion without amendment of life and sacramental confession and absolution then he is wrong. If Pope Francis try's to teach that there is some good in an objective evil like active sexual activity outside of lawful marriage then he is wrong. We don't obey a pope who is wrong. If he deviates in any way from de fide teachings of the Church then he is wrong and I don't care what color shoes he wears. You need to get a grip and stop rationalizing error.

Anonymous said...

From the Eastern (Orthodox) perspective, it was Rome which separated itself from the then (mostly) undivided Church. It was the pope who laid the bull of excommunication at Saint Sophia---not the patriarch taking the first step and saying "we're outta here." The Orthodox also point out they had no Reformation---unlike the West from whence come the Lutherans, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Church of God, Church of Christ, Congregationalists, Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists...and so on. And the Orthodox have not had the "worship wars" of the West---no debates on women serving on the altar, whether the altar should be in the front or the back, whether we use form ABC or DEF of the liturgy...of course with each side claiming to be the "one true church", it is no wonder there has been little ecumenical progress among the two in the last 50 years, a lot of talk and some dialogue, but that is it.

Lefebvrian said...

Do you think that anyone cares what your opinion is of the SSPX when you have so often demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of their founder, their history, and their position? At this point, it seems like you're aiming for publicity a la Fr. Paul Nicholson. No one is going to be influenced by your opinion of the SSPX, just as no one is influenced by Fr. Paul Nicholson. The reason: in both instances, it is clear the priest giving his opinion doesn't know what he is talking about.

Also, wasn't it just last week that you were commending a commenter who pointed out something from St. Thomas saying it is grave matter to rashly judge people's interior disposition?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Orthodox Churches are a part of the true Church, just in schism. They have valid sacraments, priesthood, diaconate and bishops (apostolic succession. The pope is the one who can excommunicate as he did, no one can excommunicate the pope though.

I hope for a reunion and the Eastern Rite of the Church is the way.

The orthodox have their own schismatic sects, they're just not called Protestant. And oddly enough the Orthodox have had for along time ecumenical ties with Protestant denominations especially the Anglicans.

rcg said...

Did you mean to blend SSPX and FSSP? They are related but very different. I changed to FSSP and will probably stay as long as they stay with Rome. I will return, if that is only alternative to a NO parish. I just needed the fresh air.

Anonymous said...

Not odd at all that the Orthodox have had ties with the Anglicans, but from Orthodox accounts of such debate, one problem is the ambiguity of Anglican teachings, the seemingly wide latitude they allow (such as the old "high church" vs. "low church" division---the "high version" more Catholic in its worship, the "low version" more Protestant with less emphasis on the sacraments). And the ordination of women as priests and bishops and increasing support for same-sex marriage has pretty much ground any Orthodox/Anglican unity to a halt---though some Anglicans have joined Orthodoxy's "Western Rite."

As for hoping a reunion is on the way---I don't see it. I'm not even sure what terms would be acceptable to both sides to make it happen (Catholic and Orthodox). Which is not surprising since the two sides have very different views on the papacy, the Creed, Immaculate Conception, purgatory, indulgences, divorce and birth control, distribution of communion (both species vs. one). Too often Catholic observers think there isn't much separating the two---like just a matter of church government on the papacy and finding an acceptable wording for the creed. Not so...if things were that simple, reunion would have happened long ago, but it is not closer today than it was 50 years ago.

Joe Potillor said...

Anon at 1:10, I agree a reunion is not on the way, but not for the reasons you cite, rather, I tend to think that it's more politics that will not allow it to happen. Legally speaking since there are no excommunications, if we wish to get technical, we're one...politics separate the East and the West.

There's room for theological diversity within the Church, she is not limited to Thomism and Scholasticism, or merely the Roman perspective on virtually everything. The first thing for the Church to be officially one is they need to respect their own theological traditions and not try to impose them on each other.

I don't like the word schismatic when it comes to the Orthodox situation...rather I'd prefer a political irregularity.

Anon at 8:19, you're absolutely right, the Pope is not God, and when he's wrong, he's wrong. Theologically, I think this is one of the advantages of things from the Eastern perspective. Instead of viewing things from the top down, their viewed from the bottom up. The Pope is indeed the head of the Church (visible) and does teach infallibly on faith and morals when speaking ex cathedra, but he uses those powers rarely (and for good reason)....but often so much weight is put on the Pope, the other Bishops forget to do their jobs locally.

And of course that bull of excommunication was completely invalid as the Pope was dead.

Anonymous said...

Lefebvrian said: "No one is going to be influenced by your opinion of the SSPX,..."

Well, I am. I mean, I agree with what Fr. McD has to say about it. I'm just a small fry nobody lay person, but I'm influenced by what he says.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Father, I was reading that if a Pope makes a public heretical statement he automatically becomes a heretic and, therefore, is no longer Catholic and no longer Pope. Apparently it only takes a group of bishops to declare that the Pope has committed heresy. I don't know where it goes from there. I imagine there aren't too many cases where a Pope has made a heretical statement. I would be interested to know what would happen in that instance. Would we have another election for Pope or what could happen?


Lefebvrian said...

Well, Bee, I stand corrected. I would urge you, though, if you are interested in actually learning about the SSPX and what they think, to seek out sources that have actually encountered them or read anything they've written. Or you could do so for yourself.

Templar said...

Odd though that if the SSPX is to disappear into the annals of history, that in it's roughly 50 year history it has experienced nothing but growth, and in fact it continues to grow at ratios which proportionally are higher than NO Parishes in the Western World. The Old Catholics could never claim that. I think you're mistaken about the SSPX Father, they have a greater shot at being the future of the Catholic Church than does the Main Stream NO establishment, in my opinion anyway.