Wednesday, August 31, 2011


When I was in the seminary in the 1970's much of the theology if you want to call it that, contained in the story below, was being taught to us as the theologians of that day really, really wanted and really, really believed that in the 21st century all of the things they were really, really promoting would officially be accepted, really. WRONG!

I would love to know the average age of these rebels. I bet you a million dollars that they are all my age and much, much older, bet ya!

It is all so, so sad on many levels. Excommunicate the hell out them, I say!

Austrian Catholic Priests Rebel, Demanding Church Reforms

Yahoo! News


VIENNA - There is open rebellion among the clergy of Austria's Catholic Church. One highly placed man of the cloth has even warned about the risk of a coming schism as significant numbers of priests are refusing obedience to the Pope and bishops for the first time in memory.

The 300-plus supporters of the so-called Priests' Initiative have had enough of what they call the church's "delaying" tactics, and they are advocating pushing ahead with policies that openly defy current practices. These include letting nonordained people lead religious services and deliver sermons; making communion available to divorced people who have remarried; allowing women to become priests and to take on important positions in the hierarchy; and letting priests carry out pastoral functions even if, in defiance of church rules, they have a wife and family.

Cardinal Christoph SchÖnborn, Vienna's Archbishop and head of the Austrian Bishops' Conference, has threatened the rebels with excommunication. Incidentally, those involved in the initiative are not only low-profile members of the clergy. Indeed, it is being led by Helmut SchÜller - who was for many years vicar general of the archdiocese of Vienna and director of Caritas - and the cathedral pastor in the Carinthian diocese of Gurk.


qwikness said...

Why do these people even call themselves "Catholic"? Is it because they like the word? Its discouraging how the Pope is working to bring folks back in like the Anglicans, the SSPX and hopefully (please God), the Orthodox, then these guys split.

Robert Kumpel said...

I find it almost ironic that in the latest instruction on the TLM, Universae Ecclesiae, we find this phrase:

"The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church."

While I agree with it, I find it almost humorous because the majority of "Catholics" who are against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church are the uber-liberal rupturistas who keep insisting that Vatican II was a "reform council" and that we haven't taken the "reforms" far enough.

It would also follow, as a matter of logic, that if it is required that Traditional Catholics, to be in full communion with the Church must accept the validity of the New Mass, then it would also follow that those attached to the New Mass cannot support or belong to groups that which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Older Form.

Will any instruction requiring THAT affirmation for the modernists be coming our way soon? Don't hold your breath

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As I've said before, ultra conservatives tend to be more organized and authority oriented than ultra liberals or progressives, so the conservative schisms, like Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve tend to actually be successful whereas progressive schisms aren't.

Templar said...

What Schism?

A schism is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization or movement religious denomination. The word is most frequently applied to a break of communion between two sections of Christianity that were previously a single body, or to a division within some other religion.

This definition does not apply to Archbishop Lefebrve or the SSPX. While their status is irregular, and they have legitimate questions about certain doctrines, there is no division. The maintain their status as part of The Church, Loyal to the Pope. There has been no break in Communion.

Wikipedia lists 33 Christian Schisms, and oddly Lefebrve and the SSPX are not among them.

Anonymous said...

Schism is not "a division between people." Schism is "the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." (Canon 751)

When Archbishop Lefebvre refused to submit to the Roman Pontiff in the matter of Lefebvre's illicit ordination of bishops, he took himself and his followers into schism.

By this act he also incurred excommunication "latae sententiae."
The excommunication was later lifted.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me they should not fight about this but put them in contact with Rowan Williams as part of an exchange program. If these people feel so strongly then they can easily get everything they want by joining a church with the same beliefs, which are legion.

It reminds me of something I heard during the cold war. An exchange of prisoners was arranged with the Soviets where they got four members of the Weather Underground and an assassin, and we got two poets and Nobel Laureate in Physics.

Of course this is quite serious from the impact on their congregation and parishioners. They are likely already corrupted to large degree. However, when they experience the manifestation of their misguided pastor's teachings and see, hopefully, the rejuvenation of their previous parishes, I expect a significant number will return.


qwikness said...

I thought the SSPX were in schism before the excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict. Now they may be "irregular".

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Although the only ones that were excommunicated were Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve and the bishops he ordained and any others after he died, and even though that excommunication has been lifted, Roman Catholics are not permitted to attend their Masses as they are irregular or "schismatic." One becomes schismatic when one does not acknowledge the rightful authority of the local bishop appointed by the Holy Father. Their priesthood is valid as are the ordinations to the Episcopacy,as well as all of the other Sacraments including the Mass but illicit.

Robert Kumpel said...

The Lefebvre/SSPX situation is one of the most puzzling situations one could imagine. I do not disagree at all with Fr. Mac's assessment of them. The only problem is, there are conflicting assessments, and they could be considered valid too.

For instance, Cardinal Castrillon has said:

"The Fraternity of St. Pius X is not a consolidated schism per se, but its history has included some schismatic actions..."

He has also affirmed what Fr. Mac affirms, while at the same time insisting that the SSPX is NOT schismatic:

"The bishops, priests and faithful of the Society of St Pius X are not schismatics. It is Archbishop Lefebrve who has undertaken an illicit Episcopal consecration and therefore performed a schismatic act. It is for this reason that the Bishops consecrated by him have been suspended and excommunicated. The priests and faithful of the Society have not been excommunicated. They are not heretics."

He also said:

"We are not confronted with a heresy. It cannot be said in correct, exact, and precise terms that there is a schism. There is a schismatic attitude in the fact of consecrating bishops without pontifical mandate. They are within the Church. There is only the fact that a full, more perfect communion is lacking — as was stated during the meeting with Bishop Fellay — a fuller communion, because communion does exist."

Further, Castrillon's own Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei published these comments, which, I believe reflect the Holy See's view of the SSPX canonical situation:

Regarding the faithful who sympathize with the SSPX, we must insist that

we are dealing with Catholic faithful who — provided they have performed no explicit actions — in no way wish to leave the Roman Catholic Church;

attending Masses celebrated by priests of the SSPX is not in itself a delict and does not bring about excommunication;

only those of the faithful who see the SSPX as the only true church, and who make this visible externally, incur the penalty of excommunication;

it is consequently not at all appropriate to regard as non-Catholic the children baptized in the chapels of the SSPX, and to treat their marriages to another Catholic as mixed marriages;

when baptism by a priest of the SSPX is attested in writing and the parents of the newly baptized do not see the SSPX as the only true church, then this attestation suffices for registration of the baptism in the Liber Baptizatorum of the parish of baptism, under the running number 0. On the basis of this registration, a baptismal certificate can be issued.

Confusing? You bet. But, if anything, I think this makes it all the more apparent it is to formally heal this mess once and for all and end the confusion for Catholics. If the Holy Father is able to pull this off, it will be a great sign for the rest of the Church about the importance of welcoming Catholics who love their traditions, instead of treating them like lepers.

Anonymous said...

What a complete lack of integrity by Anthony Ruff at PrayTell. He puts all of these positions out there, paints them in a favorable light, condemns anyone who comments negatively about them, and then will hide behind the "I am just putting this out there for discussion." It sickens me more and more every time I decide to venture to those pages.

Templar said...

Anon/Ignotus: Poppycock!! It's a sin to lie Father, find yourself a confessor.

Never, at any time, has anyone, but YOU apparently, claimed that the followers of the SSPX were in Schism. Even the Vatican never claimed such. As for Archbishop Lefebrve and the Bishops consecrated, their excommunications have been more. Get over it.

Were it not for his heroic actions in an emergency situation the Traditional Deposit of the Faith that is "THE MASS" would have been lost to us, beyond the reach of Pope Benedict to resurrect in 2007. And I bet that must bother the hell out of you.

And Father McDonald, your statement that Catholics can not attend Mass at SSPX Chapels is erroneous. It fulfills a Catholics obligation to attend Mass there.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Templar, you are simply wrong about the SSXP. Anytime a person or a group of persons breaks communion with the Church they are in schism. For you to marry outside of the Catholic Church, you are in personal schism with the discipline of the Church, although you are not excommunicated.

Tensions between the society and the Holy See reached their height in 1988, when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops against the orders of Pope John Paul II. However, dialogue between the society and the Holy See has been ongoing for some years, and in January 2009 the Holy See remitted the excommunications of the Society's bishops that it had declared at the time of the 1988 consecrations and expressed the hope that all members of the society would follow this up by speedily returning to full communion with the Church.

The canonical situation of the SSPX has been subject of much controversy since the 1988 Ecône consecrations. In his letter of 10 March 2009 concerning his remission of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of St Pius X, Pope Benedict XVI declared: "Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers - even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty - do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church."[29] The Society claims to possess "extraordinary" jurisdiction.

For Catholics, assistance at Mass celebrated by priests of the Society is not in itself a sin. However, assistance at Mass celebrated by a priest not in good standing with the Church "deprives participation at Mass of that fullness of communion with Christ and his Church which the Mass, by its very nature and in all its forms, is called to express".

One can only fulfill one's Sunday obligation by attending Mass where available in a Catholic Church in full communion with the Church. Only when there is no such Church can a Catholic fulfill their obligation by going to an Orthodox Church which has valid Orders or a SSXP.

Templar said...

Father, I stand by my statements that assistance at Mass at an SSPX Chapel fulfills the obligation of Sunday Mass for ANY Catholic because the PCED says so. As reference I provide a link (the text is much to long to copy and paste) to Father Z's blog wherein a letter from Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on the subject of the SSPX dated 2008 is "frisked". The letter is dated 2008 and pre-dates the lifting of the Excommunications of the Bishops, so even then Mass attendence fulfilled a Catholic's obligation.

For the record, I never posted that any other Sacraments at SSPX Chapels were valid, so your comment on Marriage may have been intended for someone else

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

While the PCED is important, it is not as important as what Pope Benedict declared (which is highest authority well above PCED, in 2009 which I reprint:

"Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers - even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty - do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church."

You miss one very important element too, what our local bishop legislates which is binding on a our diocese. Since we have no SSXP's in our Diocese as far as I know, I know of no legislation. However in those places where there is SSXP, it would be incumbent upon any Catholic to know what the bishop as "ruled" in that diocese concerning Mass attendance at a SSXP chapel. I'm sure you have always done this or will do it before taking it upon yourself to defy a local bishop who is charged to "teach, rule and sanctify" in his local diocese.

Anonymous said...

Templar, while I agree with your assessment of the fulfillment of our Sunday obligation by attending SSPX Masses, I also agree with Fr. M's sentiments. Although I sympathize with the SSPX (to a degree). I would think long and hard before going to their chapel because of the danger of going even a slight step out of the Church.

I would suggest the FSSP. Traditional Mass and Sacraments in communion with the Church. Also their parish is relatively close to Macon.

Anonymous said...


Talking about the SSPX is a diversion and not the point of Father Jim"s blog entry. Let us get back on track -- the problem most Catholics, as a practical matter, face is from clerics who profess opinions similar to what the Austrian troublemakers do and then hold these out as the truth, in effect creating an alternative magisterium.

I've seen it grwoing up -- we would learn one thing in our catechism classes growing up, and then when we attended a "catholic" university we would be told that those truths we learned in our catechism classes were:
a.) Medieval;
b.) one truth among many optional truths;
c.) a matter of opinion that was no longer in vogue amongst the "experts;"
d.) pre-Vatican II and therefore could be disregarded.

Father Jim is right. If these bad people were forced out of the Church, they would not survive because the left's philosophy of questioning and undermining the truth would inevitably be applied against them -- nothing angers a liberal more than the use of their own tactics against them to question their so called "alternative magisterium."

Want proof? Just look at the double standard applied on the Pray Tell blog within their recent section on an article on Eucharistic adoration. The discussion thread wanders of course from the start, by attacking the concept of transubstantiation. Those who hold it are ridiculed throughout the thread.

James Ignatius McAuley

Anonymous said...

What I learned about the Catholic faith in religion classes in grade school and high school was not what I learned in college and graduate school.

And this is a VERY good thing.

In grade school I was taught about Adam and Eve and I thought they were historical figures. In high school and college I learned that a Catholic is free to believe the creation accounts literally. A Catholic is also free to believe that the creation accounts are not literal, but "figurative language." (Catechism of the Catholic Church no 390)

Our consideration of Limbo, which I heard about in grade school, was a matter of opinion and speculation, although I did not find out that it was opinion/speculation until I reached higher education in Catholic Colleges and graduate schools. (See Catechism no 1261 re: unbaptized infants)

My sister was expelled in the early 1960's from a Catholic high school for attending a Protestant funeral for a classmate's mother. (When, the next day, my father and the parents of others who were also expelled protested, the girls were re-admitted immediately.) This was pre-Vatican II when the Church's discipline did forbid participation in such rituals under pain of sin. That, too, has changed, and I say "Thanks be to God."

The Truth does not change. The manner in whuich the Truth is taught to different age groups and in different historical circumstances, does change - it must.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I agree that growth in the faith is important. But we all know that many Catholics do lose their faith when they go to Catholic universities because core elements of the truth are pooh-poohed or outright ridiculed, especially the hierarchy and the respect due to legitimate authority. Often this sounds like a person grooming a child for untoward purposes, castigate and marginalize their legitimate authority figures in order to have your way with the person.
The Catechism of the Church is the bench mark by which we can judge what is being taught to us either by priests, nuns, monks or lay Catholics. If there is a discrepancy in what they teach and what is in the catechism, the catechism wins pure and simple!

Templar said...

I will say my final piece on this SSPX subject and leave it to rest.

The Pope's letter from 2009, which dealt with his rationale for the lifting of the Excommunications wherein Father's quoted passage comes from, does not change the PCED's repeated (at least 5 that I could find that post date and pre-date the Excommunications) statements that Catholics can fulfill their obligation at an SSPX Chapel. The Pope states they exercise no legitimate Ministry, well and good, not disputed. But their Priests perform valid Masses, and valid consecrations, and while they may be illict they are not invalid. The Pope never once corrected the PCED for these statements, BEFORE or AFTER, and teh PCED has stated that it is a MORAL CERTITUDE that they have rendered their decision. The Pope's letter to the Press explaining why he lifted the excommunications doesn't defacto over ride the PCED's decisions since the PCED is charged by the Pope to make such decisions. Surely if the Pope disagreed with rendered findings issued by his Council charged to make those findings, even more so when issued with MORAL CERTITUDE, he would have moved to correct it, clearly and explicitly, and not via a press release about the lifting of Excommunications. He has not.

Furthermore, no Bishop, no matter how powerful their authority within their Diocese can over ride the PCED's decision in this matter as doing so is beyond that Ordinary's authority and would itself violate his obligation to follow the Hierarchy's decree.

For the record, there are no SSPX Chapels in this Diocese, nor FSSP for that matter since someone recommended it. I do not attend SSPX Chapels, never have, and don't plan too. But I can not stand to see them constantly riden down as Heretics and Schistmatics when they are clearly not Heretics and have not even been declared in Schism (save her Bishops at one time, now lifted). The constant attacks against the SSPX make me wonder exactly what it is the Church fears from them?

Marc said...

I agree with you completely, Father. However, one cannot deny that it is sometimes difficult for any Catholic (laity and priests alike) to simply read the Catechism because it can sometimes be a little vague.

Here's an example from Anonymous's post above: He or she says, "In grade school I was taught about Adam and Eve and I thought they were historical figures. In high school and college I learned that a Catholic is free to believe the creation accounts literally. A Catholic is also free to believe that the creation accounts are not literal, but 'figurative language.' (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 390)"

So, which is it? Is the creation account figurative or literal? Well, back in 1880, Pope Leo XIII wrote, "We record what is to all known, and cannot be doubted by any, that God, on the sixth day of creation, having made man from the slime of the earth, and having breathed into his face the breath of life, gave him a companion, whom He miraculously took from the side of Adam when he was locked in sleep." (Arcanum, 5).

Now, what is someone like Anonymous supposed to believe? I am not arguing that those two statements cannot be reconciled as they can surely be reconciled. What I am saying is that one can easily become confused about how to reconcile them.

Here is the problem stated simply: the Modernists in the Church don't want to reconcile these positions because they want to advance the Modernist position, i.e. let's all believe what seems right to us as individuals. The "Traditionalists" don't want to reconcile these positions because they want to advance the Traditionalist position, i.e. the Church has changed teachings.

Both of these groups are in error for different reasons. The main difference is that one is a heresy (the summation of all heresies) and one tends toward schism and sedevacantism. Both are bad relationships to be in vis-a-vis the Church!

For those of us who want to be Catholic (with all that entails), we need to know exactly what to believe and we need it stated very clearly without an errant agenda. Priests (whether Modernists or schismatic Traditionalists) who fail to do this will have to answer for that failure. We should pray for them and that their Bishops will respond to them in an appropriate manner to avoid the loss of souls amongst the laity.

I gather this is your point, Father: that the ultra-Traditionalists criticize the Modernists and in so doing oftentimes end up doing the very things for which they criticize the Modernists - that is, trying to change the Church! Thankfully, the gates of hell shall not prevail!

Anonymous said...

INTERDICT ...and fast...

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Cardinal Hoyos or someone from a Vatican Congragation that although not encouraged, the Faithful do indeed complete their obligation if attending a SSPX Mass as long as it is not in defiance or disobedience to the Holy Father or the Magesterium? There are many who go to these Masses because of the horrid and offer with doubts about validity in the way the Pauline Mass is celebrated in many, many parishes. Not doubting the validity of the Mass at all but simply the shenanigans that go on. Or simply can not find a Dioceasean Tridentine Mass in their area. Someone surely can find that document, maybe a Dubia, that states that the Faithful who attend SSPX Masses have fulfilled their obligation as long as the reasons cited above are not invoked. I have read it several times but can not find the link at this time.

Anonymous said...

THE MASS is celebrated in every Catholic Church. It is THE MASS when it is celebrated in Latin, Elglish, Arabic, or any other language. It is THE MASS whether the priest is wearing fiddle-back or monastic cut vestments. THE MASS can include Gregorian chant or music written last year.

I am hardly the only one who has pointed out that the SSPX was/is in schism. Were I the only one making such a charge, Cardinal Castrillon would harly have had cause to say, with Clintonesque clarity, that SSPX was not "in schism" although some of its members (all of them?) had committed some schismatic actions. (Can one not be an adulterer if one commits aduolterous actions?)

Priests and congregations who follow the rubrics of the Ordinary Form of the mass are faithful to the Church, her expectations, and to Christ. Those who deny the validity of the Ordinary Form have separated themselves from the Church and stand in need of reconciliation.

Gene said...

Ignotus again...

Anonymous said...

Mass skipper again . . .

Gene said...

Ignotus, see my reference to you in the first topic today...LOL!

Pater Ignotus Was My Pastor said...

Pin,could you please instruct the ignorant(me) about your reference to Pater Ignotus. Was it your comment on September 3rd about the "close association between Left Wing liberals and nut case progressive Catholics. They eat from the same trough. These people are the enemy, folks. If that sounds too harsh, then you don't get it."? If so, you nailed it.

Gene said...

Ignotus Was My Pastor, Yes,that was the reference.