Saturday, April 14, 2012


As my generation of Catholics age and those older than me begins to forget and die off, we are losing people who are "bridge" Catholics, those who remember quite well the Catholic identity of clergy and laity prior to the Second Vatican Council and who lived through the storms of so-called renewal after the Council. Pope Benedict is on the dying end of those Catholics who were clergy prior to and during the Council. There are not than many left and the new pope, whenever he is elected, may well be a person who can remember the pre-Vatican II Church only through the eyes of a child, not an adult.

Why is there so much animosity by Catholic progressive elitists towards SSPX? Because SSPX presents a younger face and younger experience of Catholic identity and practice prior the the Second Vatican Council, both its good and bad aspects and keeps it alive, far from being dead and buried. Catholic progressive, elitists hate their ancestry and thought that it would be relegated to history and this group (SSPX) that started in France shortly after the Council by a rebellious archbishop keeps alive all that secular, progressive, elitists Catholics want to see relegated to history as a bad memory. It is the apex of self-loathing by these secularist elitists in the Church.

The following I lift and copy from the blog Chiesa:

Sandro Magister today offered comments and published an article by John R T Lamont (For the Lefebvrists, It's the Last Call to the Sheepfold.) Lamont uses a response to the Holy See by Fr Jean-Michel Gleize FSSPX to summarise the difficulties that the SSPX has with a few texts from Vatican II. He then lists a number of conciliar texts on the scriptures, the Church, the Eucharist and marriage and points out that in fact the SSPX accept all of these and that far more of the teaching of Vatican II than many theologians in Europe, North America, and Australasia. He then says:

The vast majority of theologians (secular, progressive, elitist Catholics) in Catholic institutions in Europe, North America, and Australasia would reject most or all of these teachings. These theologians are followed by the majority of religious orders and a substantial part of the bishops in these areas. It would be difficult, for example, to find a Jesuit teaching theology in any Jesuit institution who would accept a single one of them. The texts above are only a selection from the teachings of Vatican II that are rejected by these groups; they could be extended to many times the number.

Such teachings however form part of the 95% of Vatican II that the FSSPX accepts. Unlike the 5% of that council rejected by the FSSPX, however, the teachings given above are central to Catholic faith and morals, and include some of the fundamental teachings of Christ himself.

The areas where SSPX would disagree with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are based upon their belief that these Vatican II teachings actually contradict previous Catholic doctrine and authoritative papal teachings and these are as follows:

In a response to a study of the doctrinal authority of the Second Vatican Council by Bp. Fernando Ocáriz, Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize FSSPX has listed the elements of that council that the FSSPX find unacceptable.

"On at least four points, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are obviously in logical contradiction to the pronouncements of the previous traditional Magisterium, so that it is impossible to interpret them in keeping with the other teachings already contained in the earlier documents of the Church’s Magisterium. Vatican II has thus broken the unity of the Magisterium, to the same extent to which it has broken the unity of its object.

"These four points are as follows.

"The doctrine on religious liberty, as it is expressed in no. 2 of the Declaration 'Dignitatis humanae,' contradicts the teachings of Gregory XVI in 'Mirari vos' and of Pius IX in 'Quanta cura' as well as those of Pope Leo XIII in 'Immortale Dei' and those of Pope Pius XI in 'Quas primas.'

"The doctrine on the Church, as it is expressed in no. 8 of the Constitution 'Lumen gentium,' contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius XII in 'Mystici corporis' and 'Humani generis.'

"The doctrine on ecumenism, as it is expressed in no. 8 of 'Lumen gentium' and no. 3 of the Decree 'Unitatis redintegratio,' contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius IX in propositions 16 and 17 of the 'Syllabus,' those of Leo XIII in 'Satis cognitum,' and those of Pope Pius XI in 'Mortalium animos.'

"The doctrine on collegiality, as it is expressed in no. 22 of the Constitution 'Lumen gentium,' including no. 3 of the 'Nota praevia' [Explanatory Note], contradicts the teachings of the First Vatican Council on the uniqueness of the subject of supreme power in the Church, in the Constitution 'Pastor aeternus'."

My final comments:

I have always loved the Church since I can remember and was fascinated by the liturgy of the Church. When I was 3 years old we moved from Naples, Italy to Atlanta, Georgia and attended two churches there, the Catholic chapel on Fort McPherson Army Post and St. Anthony Church in Atlanta's west end. Both had priests and pre-Vatican II Masses that captured my imagination. Then we moved to Augusta in 1960 and attended a small parish, called St. Joseph Church which was 1950's modern architecture but had a priest who cared about the Mass and attention to detail in the pre-Vatican II Mass and emphasized Catholic identity in a Protestant culture.

Most if not all of my close friends in that period were Protestant. I was proud to be Catholic because Catholics were different and we had a unique Mass. We had unique customs and we were "universal" not parochial as the Protestants of the south were.

The biggest thing I noticed in the changes in the Church after Vatican II in the south, especially as it regards its liturgy and identity is that we as Catholics were tying to become more Protestant in faith and worship than Protestants were tying to become more Catholic. In fact we had priests preach from the pulpit that the Catholic Church was dead wrong on many things that led to the Protestant Reformation and that the Protestants were right. (This would have been quite shocking to hear from the pulpit!) Of course this was said from the pulpit where people could not ask questions or seek clarification. So it sounded like to most of us poor, dumb lay people that we Catholics had been wrong all along and the Protestants were right all along and that we had to become more Protestant as Catholics because that was the right way and would lead to the eventual reunion of Catholics and Protestants. (This is a simplification, but I think I convey the gist of what many of us at that period felt we were being taught and why this led to such a loss of Catholic identity and confidence in what had been the rock of our lives for so long--our strong Catholic identity based upon our rock solid belief that the Catholic Church is the true Church. That was certainly undermined in the 1960's!)

Then there was in the 1960's a powerful explosion of the Charismatic movement that was clearly Pentecostal Protestant in thrust, ecclessiology, spirituality and interpreting the Scriptures. Many very traditional Catholics gave up on traditional "rigid" Catholic identity, spirituality, devotion and belief and aligned themselves with this rather ugly form of Protestantism although remaining Catholic. These charismatics became very divisive in their parishes and alienated many of their Catholic brothers and sisters. But the hierarchy seem to embrace them and their Protestant ethos, so Protestant Pentecostalism with its anti-Catholic bigotry seem to be embraced even by the bishops of the Church through the charismatic movement! That was the perception, right or wrong. You can understand how that perception would undermine traditional Catholic identity!

Then there was the movement toward a new ecclesiology (understanding of the Church) that was more democratic. The laity were given a voice and a vote especially through parish councils and committees galore. We actually thought we could vote a "new Church into being!" The sense of the faithful (regardless of the fidelity of the faithful) was the working of the Holy Spirit. Today, listen to modern, secularized, elitist Catholics decry the "monarchy" of the Church as they try to reshape the Catholic Church into a secularized institution embracing the ethos of the radical wing of the democrat party!

And then it appeared that the Second Vatican Council was teaching that the Catholic Church wasn't the true Church and that it only "subsisted" within the Church and that Protestants were on an equal footing with us. It also appeared that the Second Vatican Council was embracing Universalism, that is, that people could be saved by their own gods and religions independently from Christ and the true Church.

Is there any wonder why SSPX came into existence with all that was happening in the 1960's and 70's? The five percent of what I described above that I am an eyewitness to and experienced is the 5% that has led to the loss of Catholic identity in about 80% of Catholics who no longer bother to come to Mass, have their children baptized or claim any Catholic identity whatsoever and the 20% who do come to Mass don't realize that they do not experience the fullness of Catholic identity and if they saw it expressed in SSPX they'd think that the SSPX experience of Christianity is a "cult" just like the Protestants believed of Catholics prior to the Council. Interesting no?

Today, though, Catholic, progressive elitists are no longer embracing Protestantism and through it striving to reshape and re identify the Catholic Church, they are embracing secular, political progressiveness which has its own gods and ways of worship. It is based upon a non-Christian, anti-Catholic approach to sex, medical ethics and human behavior under the guise of "love" and "inclusiveness." It is about sex without pro-creation and between any variety of consenting adults, it is about same sex marriage and multiple partner marriages, it is about abortion, artificial contraception, and sterilization if one chooses these options, guilt free, it is about euthanasia, medical experimentation and creating Utopia. It is about post-Catholicism. They must be stopped!

Pray for our Holy Father, pray for the Church but be hopeful. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. The Church of 2012, the true Church, will remain, smaller but purer and with a very clear Catholic identity and SSPX may well be the vehicle God has prepared since the Second Vatican Council to make that happen. God works in mysterious ways. Just pray that SSPX will be purified of any antisemitism, over-reaction rigidity and fascism of any type. These are works of the devil that thwart the otherwise good work they have accomplished in preserving the best of Pre-Vatican II Catholic identity.


Anonymous said...

Third photo down, Second nun from the left: is that 45 ACP in her hand?


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I didn't see it until you pointed it out, but it must be a notebook or the dreaded ruler!

Vianney1100 said...

You summed up the attitudes toward Vatican II nicely. I agree with your 5% figure compared to what progressives would think if they actually read the documents of Vatican II. Therein lies the problem, progressives rely on what they think the Council said, not what it actually said.

As for the SSPX side, I have read Vatican II and just got done rereading the sections that they have a disagreement with and I can't find anything in there that is objectionable. I can only surmise that they are interpreting it wrongly. However, I don't have the previous documents that they are comparing them to. Could you elaborate further on their exact objections and the specific lines in Vatican II that they don't like?

Anonymous said...

You do not exaggerate. Our pastor shows nothing but hostility towards the EF and calls it "Hitler's Mass". The photos are funny, but they also demonstrate the deep attitudes that we are up against.

"Liberals" and "Progressives" are digging in their heels deeper than ever because they are at least awake enough to see their version of the Church is slipping away quickly. If and when the agreement with the SSPX is reached, liberal priests will probably handle it the same way they handled the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum: They will ignore it and never speak of it. If you bring it up to them they will get angry and dismiss it as some "private thing" between the pope and some "extremist Catholics" that the next pope, their long hoped-for liberal (who never gets elected, thanks be to God) will reverse.

Prayer and sacrifice. Now more than ever.

Hammer of Fascists said...

Regarding the four points to which SSPX objects: I actually have a discussion of why this is a potential crisis for the entire Church (not merely SSPX) and open invitation to help resolve the problem on my own blog, which I invite everyone here to consider. The address is

Anonymous said...

Vianney1100 has an interesting point. The most solid objection to Vat-II is that it being interpreted in many different ways. SSPX is a conservative and relatively recent variation on that idea. The Liberals took the lead on the interpretation and seized the initiative proclaiming not only what was allowed, but what should be done. We now know they were at least half wrong. People are looking to the Vatican to help interpret Vat-II and help find the line that constitutes abuse.

ytc said...

The SSPX sent their response on Wednesday.

Gregorian Mass said...

Nuns in habit and Priests in Cassock is a beautiful external sign of Catholic identity. Walking down the street seeing them illicits a smile or perhaps a conversation for a bit of their time and advice. Or even a quick prayer from us lay folk for their religious life and health. All this goes lost when they look like everyone else. I agree that the externals are just that, the externals, and is not what determines how good a nun or Priest is. BUT externals are not only for the religious, they help and inspire the lay Faithful in a sense of unity. We feel not so alone when living in a big city and may run across a nun or Priest on a city street or subway. It also reminds one of their faith in a moment when one may not be thinking about it. Suddenly, there it is, in habit, right in front of you, without words. Brings the Faith the the forefront of the mind. How can wearing a habit do anything but help bring the Faith constantly to our minds. Some would say, we don't need habits to do this, or at least we shouldn't. Well, the hard fact are we do. Most people would not re-decorate the interior of their homes with beauty and elegance and leave the external, outside to look like a shambles. It wouldn't make sense. The external should match the internal. If you like traditional or colonial furnishings, you wouldn't live in a house made or glass or really modern on the outside, they would clash. Same goes for habits.

Anonymous said...

This is powerful stuff because it is true. Growing up in the Chicago Archdiocese, I clearly recall what a shock Vatican II was. Our Cardinal John Cody resisited all VatII precepts until a direct decree from Rome prevented denial of it any more. It was obvious to all that the new system was heresy. Look at holy orders since then. Frankly, I think the number of men entering the priesthood is fueled by a great many who see it as a sanctuary from economic reality rather than a calling, while women are more accepted in the business world, which has caused the number of new nuns to plummet. And what about those supposedly stodgy, grumpy, child swatting old ladies? The ones I knew were some of the happiest, cleverest, most wonderful and inspiring people I have ever known. They loved to have fun in truly godly ways. They taught me how to clearly, humbly walk in the light of Christ. They endured sufferings like wearing habits and black wool in oppressive heat with a remarkable sense of joy. Exactly who made the rule that "you can't go back to the old ways" as a religion or a society?? Certainly not God; obviously it's satan's minions of secularists unknowingly doing his will in the style described so succinctly by Khruschev as: "useful idiots."