Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I've always considered myself  a middle of the road traditionalist. I'm very traditionalist when it comes to the liturgy and progressive, like Pope Francis, when it comes to pastoral sensibilities. I am orthodox but not rigid. I've adopted a live and let live theology although in-your-face sin and sinful ideologies annoy me.

We tend to obsess on sexual sins but harbor more resentment towards some types of sexual sins than others. I consider sin to be something that should be hidden and only bright to the light of the confessional and the seal of the confessional.  So I am annoyed with sinners who think they can live publicly as sinners, flout that sin and ask for acceptance of their sin and parade to Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin, although they want that label removed and the sin accepted publicly. That's down right wrong.

But when sinners for whatever reason present themselves for Holy Communion but no one really knows if they've been to confession or not and actually that is no one's business other than the sinner, then their additional sin in going to Holy Communion without absolution is between them and God.

I was taught as a child, when most people did not go to Holy Communion at any given Sunday Mass, that we should not judge why that person didn't go and simply presume they had broken the fast. Many of us knew very devout Catholics in second illicit marriages who went to Mass faithfully, prayed daily and sometimes went to daily Mass but never received Holy Communion because of their illicit sexual lifestyle. Some of these people may have been in closeted homosexual relationships. But most Catholics didn't stick their nose in other people's business and avoided the sins of gossip and calumny.

I think everyone was glad and edified by their piety and recognition of their sinfulness by not going to the communion rail during Mass.

Today, even many traditional Catholics are Jerry Springer types in wanting to expose and tell all of others sins and sinners are the same way with their own sins. This, as well as our casual blue jean culture has denigrated our  Catholic dignity at worship and in terms of humility.

But the more distressing element I have found with one or two who send comments, and perhaps they are trolls or schismatics belonging to a variety of breakaway groups, such as the SSPX, but they make an art of criticizing and denigrating Pope Francis. I'm scandalized by their coloring book catholicism which emboldens them to disrespect the current pope when all Catholics are called to respect not only  the office of the papacy but also its current occupant. We don't have to agree with any particular pope's style of papacy or personality, thus those progressive coloring book catholics criticized Pope Benedict, but their public rather than private criticisism is wrong. The same with those pseudo-traditionalists or conservative coloring book catholics who criticize Pope Francis and his style of papacy and personality. Disagree with it and denigrate it in private, don't bring one's disdain of another human being, be he pope or the janitor to the public realm. Detraction, calumny and uncharitableness are serious matter, even coloring book catholics should know this, and when done with full consent of the will and publicly (as well as privately, even in thought) is a mortal sin.

In the areas of faith and morals, we are obliged as Catholics to respect and obey the pope and his successors as well as the bishops in union with him in the areas of faith, morals and canon law. 

Our disagreement with any particular pope's style and personality or pastoral sensibilities should be respectful and sober. Thus I can say that I liked Pope Benedict's recovery of many elements of papal "bling" and would have preferred that Pope Francis would have maintained it. A progressive Catholic might say that it is high time that a pope start bringing simplicity and poverty back to the papacy as well as pastoral sensitivities that are inclusive and embracing of sinners.


Gene said...

Criticism and disagreement, even strongly stated, do not imply disrespect. I have immense respect for you Fr, for instance, but we disagree on some things, especially regarding the Pope…whom I also respect. But, while respecting both him and the office, every time he speaks my palms sweat.

Anonymous said...

Here's some of the names the Pope has actually called people: “pickled pepper-faced Christians,” “closed, sad, trapped Christians,” “defeated Christians,” “liquid Christians,” “creed-reciting, parrots
Traditional Catholics are “museum mummies,” the Pope says. Faithful nuns are “old maids,” and the Roman Curia “the leprosy of the papacy".
Francis has a real problem with faithful traditional priests as well. He has called some of them “vain” butterflies, “smarmy” idolators and “priest-tycoons.” He’s called seminarians "little monsters.”

So who is commiting a mortal sin here? He started, he continues it EVERY day and HE has set the example. People have minds and eyes and ears that work, FATHER. We also have computers that work and can read and hear every slander he makes and can back it up with proof. He is the one who is guilty of being uncharitable.

The members of the SSPX believe in the Faith as it has always been taught. But can the "Mary doubted and felt betrayed at the foot of the cross" Pope Francis say the same?

And I know you will not publish this comment because you CAN'T refute it because I have backed it up with that man's own words which you cannot deny he made. But honest people know the truth even cardinals are now saying publicly "we made a mistake". And someday so will you.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

He is correct in those generalities. Name on person he has said this to by name?

Gene said...

Fr, it does not matter that he did not specify any individuals. If I were to use the "n" word as a generality, you would turn flips and have a fit.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Holy Father as the God given authority to label individuals and groups as schismatic or heretical. This is not name calling. In a homily or exhortation he can also call all Catholics to be joyful and not like pickled pepper faces.

Catholic said...

Detraction consists in unnecessarily revealing the faults of others. At times, it has been necessary to publicly reveal the faults of priests, bishops, and even the popes for the good of souls that they not be led astray by confusing or erroneous (dare I say, heretical) statements.

I assume that was your point in making this post, in fact. You assume that those of us identifying with the SSPX position need to be warned against what you perceive as schismatic tendencies.

If you bothered to actually meet SSPX attendees or read their own publications, you would likely recognize your own error. Since you won't do so, I'll tell you that the SSPX USA District just recently put out a letter detailing how to avoid an erroneous sense of resistance, which is aimed at avoiding Sedevacantism in its adherents.

Anyway, your brazenness in condemning "the SSPX" is presumptuous and insulting. These are good Catholics trying to live the faith in this confusing modern world, just like most of your parishioners. Many, like myself, probably make a point of avoiding reading what the pope says or does because he doesn't really impact the day-to-day life of individual Catholics, as the liberals (and you, apparently) want us to believe.

Traditional Catholics believe what Vatican I taught, and we don't fall prey to the error of ultra-montanism like the Neo-Catholics, like yourself. This is the Catholic faith, and it is not controlled by the one man who happens to currently occupy the Chair of St. Peter.

Anonymous said...

Father, bye the bye, have you heard that Francis is apparently "angry" with the so called lavish living conditions of Bertone? If that is true, and he starts to try and force Bertone or any of the old Italian guard to give up their perks , well as the old song goes the party's over.....for Francis. Bertone and Sodano may have been behind the Italians defection from Scola, but only because they thought they could control Ralph Kramden. Sodano and Bertone know where all the bodies are buried, even Ralph Kramden has skeletons. And if you think, no, you know Father, how the Italian curial bishops are, let the undermining begin...... Get out the popcorn. The screaming, unfaithful tourists mob may adore a media creation, but Sodano and Bertone play hardball. It's not going to be pretty. I would say by summer we will hear that Ralph Kramden has moved into the papal apartments and has suddenly become very quiet, at least if he is smart.

Talk, discuss amongst yourselves.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

SSPX bishops and priests remain suspended ad divines because of their schism, but not the laity. However because of their suspension the marriages are invalid as well as Penance except in life or death situations. While Catholics in full communion with the church may go to Mass in a SSPX chapel it must be extraordinary due to no Unsuspended clergy available and under this circumstance they may receive Holy Communion and also in a schismatic Eastern Orthodox Church. However a Catholic May not go to Confession or jane their wedding in a SSPX church as these would be invalid.

Gene said...

Catholic, Well said.

Add to grocery list: popcorn

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald, the Anonymous of this thread seems most likely a troll, a lonely individual somewhere who represents nobody but himself.

Because in real life--as opposed to anonymous corners of the internet--schismatics on the right are elusive and very hard to find in the flesh, almost entirely outside the Church proper (and therefore in a sense of little concern), whereas schismatics on the left are a dime a dozen, ensconced in the bosom of the Church, crippling its worship and evangelization at every turn.

Whereas I don't know personally an SSPX (or other separatist) attender within 100 miles of me, I can locate extreme progressives within minutes in any direction.

So I suspect it's a waste of moral energy to get worked up over one or two rad trad sounding internet imposters, whackos who may not even exist as real live persons. Whereas the radical progressives are real persons present in almost every Catholic parish, cancerous lesions in the heart of the Church.

Catholic said...

That is your opinion about the SSPX, Father. I surmise it is based on limited data as you are not party to discussions between the SSPX and Rome. In fact, your opinion is contrary to the opinion of those who are privy to those discussions.

As for the Sacraments, this is an extraordinary time of crisis. If the Holy Church believed the people sinned by going to SSPX Masses in "ordinary" circumstances, the Church would say so. Since she hasn't said that, we must assume it is not sinful because that is the guiding principle behind canon law interpretation, that is it must be interpreted for the good of souls.

The same interpretation applies to Confession and marriage. Do you really believe that a schismatic Orthodox priest can validly absolve but an SSPX priest cannot, or that Protestants can have a valid marriage but those married in an SSPX chapel cannot?

Let me ask this another way: if I walk into a church and see a priest dressed as a priest, and he hears my confession, but he actually, unbeknownst to me, doesn't have jurisdiction to hear confessions there, am I absolved?

There is a crisis in the Church. You must remember that because it impacts this discussion.

John Nolan said...

Fr Allan, you are wrong. Archbishop Lefebvre and the priests he ordained were suspended 'a divinis' before Lefebvre's consecration of bishops which might be regarded as a schismatic act (but subsequent declarations and actions of the Holy See make it clear that the Society's status is irregular but not schismatic; I have argued this at length on this blog and am not going to repeat myself).

Their suspension resulted from Lefebvre's conscientious decision not to shut up shop because the French bishops had pressurized the Vatican into ordering him to do so. This was the 1970s, remember, when the Church was falling apart and, as we now know but didn't at the time, sexual delicts amongst clergy were at a peak. Perhaps the heterosexual priests who abandoned their vocation to get married (and there were droves of them) are more excusable than the homosexual ones who went on to abuse adolescent boys and young men.

I don't subscribe to the SSPX (they don't have much of a presence in England) but no-one, not even the Pope, will convince me that their authentically Catholic liturgies and orthodox Catholic preaching are to be shunned while it is acceptable to attend grotesquely distorted forms of worship and endure the heterodox opinions of those who remain in good standing.

Until, in the next two centuries or so, the Church has embraced genuine reform (which means, as it has always meant, the vigorous eradication of abuses) then the SSPX is well advised not to throw in its lot with a Vatican establishment which treated it so shabbily a mere four decades ago.

However, should it remove the Pope's name from the Canon of the Mass and declare itself (like the so-called Old Catholics) to be schismatic, thus betraying the ideals of its founder, then I would be justified in having no truck with it.

Catholic said...

I suspect that those who are most militant in their statements have never been to an SSPX chapel. Again, most people in real life who go to SSPX chapels are doing so because they are trying to save their souls and the souls of those in their charge. It isn't a political statement or a schismatic act. They simply want to believe, live, and worship as Catholics have for many hundreds of years. They are justifiably concerned about the current state of our Holy Mother the Church. So they seek out the oasis in the modern desert, the safe haven in these stormy times.

I view the situation like this: In every instance that a great heresy or crisis has plagued the Church, those who are ultimately shown to be wrong are those seeking to create change and break from the past. In some instances, that was the majority of the hierarchical Church.

Contra those errors, there is always a remnant of those adhering to the Faith as they received it. Importantly, they do not set up an alternative Church (as the sedevacantists do now) in reaction to the error (the modernism of our time). Nor do they become complicit in the error (as the Neo-Catholic ultra-montanists do today). They simply stay the course and preach the Gospel in season and out, sometimes being persecuted by even those at the heights of Church authority.

Today, that remnant is made up of many Catholics, some attend the SSPX Masses, some attend the Novus Ordo, some the FSSP, et cetera.

This is not schism: this is Catholicism.

Anonymous said...

Catholic, I respect the steadfast faith and loyalty of many SSPX priests and laity. Nevertheless, the SSPX itself remains, lamentably, at the present time outside the Church proper. So until it "comes home", I wonder whether it plays a sufficient role in Catholic affairs to deserve such extended discussion and space in a mainstream Catholic blog such as this.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - One cannot dismiss this pope and the office of the papacy by saying, "I, for one, would follow the Pope anywhere…but, only out of curiosity." (13 March 2014) and then turn around and then say you respect him and the office.

Catholic - Followers of the SSPX schism are not "good Catholics trying to live the faith." They have rejected essential aspects of that faith (unity) and, by continuing in their hard-heartedness, encourage others to do so.

Also, you call yourself a "Traditional" Catholic, clearly accusing the rest of us of not being Traditional. I am every bit as Traditional as you, but I am not a traditionalist, and there is a huge difference.

And there is no "crisis" in the Church that allowed Archbishop Lefebvre to ordain bishops illicitly, and no "crisis" that allows followers of the SSPX to continue on their erroneous path.

Gene said...

It is called humor, Ignotus. Get the cob out…

I'm sure people would follow you around…much as one might keep one's eyes glued to a train wreck...

Catholic said...

A few follow-up questions for Later Ignotus:

Where did you get the authority to label the SSPX "schismatic"?

Have you ever met an attendee of SSPX Masses to determine they are not "good Catholics trying to live their faith"?

If you have, how did you reach that judgment?

How has the SSPX rejected "unity" as the Church teaches it?

How is the SSPX "hard-hearted"?

Where did I label myself "Traditionalist"?

Where did I accuse you, who have heretofore not posted in this thread, of being "less traditional than me"?

What is the difference between "Traditionalist" and "traditionalist"?

Why do you think that difference, if it exists, is an important point for this discussion?

Is there a crisis in the Church at all, or just not a crisis supporting the SSPX's actions?

Either way, how have you reached that conclusion?

Are you familiar with the circumstances surrounding the consecrations of the SSPX bishops?

Are there any other times in Church history where bishops were consecrated under similar circumstances?

What is the SSPX's erroneous path, and how did you reach the judgment that it is erroneous?

Catholic said...

Henry, I agree that the SSPX gets too much "coverage" on this blog. I find that troubling because that coverage is almost universally lacking in charity and accuracy.

This blog's focus is generally on liturgical aesthetics and pope watching. It is at its weakest when attempting to discuss doctrine and the interplay of doctrine and liturgy.

Pater Ignotus said...

Catholic - I have not labeled the SSPX as schismatic. Both Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger did.

"In itself, this act [illicit ordination of bishops] was one of disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated. Hence such disobedience - which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy - constitutes a schismatic act" (John Paul II, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, 3).

If a person commits and adulterous act, he/she is an adulterer. If a corporate person (the SSPX) commits a schismatic act, it is schismatic.

"It is impossible to remain faithful to the Tradition while breaking the ecclesial bond [schism] with him to whom, in the person of the Apostle Peter, Christ himself entrusted the ministry of unity in his Church" (Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, 4).

One (individual or corporate) cannot reject the authority of the pope and at the same time acknowledge and claim filial adherence to the authority of the pope.

"In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfill the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement. Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offense against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church's law" (Ecclesia Dei Adflicta 5:C).

"Formal adherence to schism" cannot exist unless schism exists.

Cardinal Ratzinger also referred to the SSPX as a schism in his 1988comments to the Bishops of Chile. His statements are worth quoting at length:

"...the movement led by Lefebvre has separated itself by a clean break with the Church. A Christian never can, or should, take pleasure in a rupture. Even though it is absolutely certain the fault cannot be attributed to the Holy See. Thus we will be able to offer a place within the Church to those who are seeking and demanding it, and succeed in destroying all reason for schism. We can make such schism pointless by renewing the interior realities of the Church....If once again we succeed in pointing out and living the fullness of the Catholic religion with regard to these points, we may hope that the schism of Lefebvre will not be of long duration" (Speech to the Bishops of Chile, July 13, 1988).

Here is where you called yourself Traditional: "Traditional Catholics believe what Vatican I taught, and we don't fall prey to the error... " (earlier today)

To my knowledge I have not met an SSPXer. I do not need to meet one to know that SSPX is in schism and that those who are in "formal adherence to the schism" (see quote 3 from Adflicta above) are in schism.

Unity? (see quote 1 from Adflicta above)

"Tradition is the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living." (Jaroslav Pelikan) Traditionalism ignores the lived reality of the Church - that we are always developing and evolving. Traditionalism seeks to choose one era from the Church's history and make it the defining moment for all time and the basis for all judgments about the life of the Church before and/or after that time.

Erroneous path (see Ratzinger quote above) You can't blame the Church for the actions of the SSPX.

Anonymous said...

Catholic, your 10:53 am comment makes some excellent points that bear reiteration..

I suspect that those who are most militant in their statements have never been to an SSPX chapel.

Most likely true. The folks they'd see worshiping there would undoubtedly look quite different from the caricatures painted by self-appointed internet representatives of the SSPX.

most people in real life who go to SSPX chapels are doing so because they are trying to save their souls and the souls of those in their charge.

Undoubtedly true.

They are justifiably concerned about the current state of our Holy Mother the Church.

The Church likely is enduring the most widespread loss of faith among both laity and clergy in its history. So one must wonder whether and how any informed and faithful Catholic can fail to be concerned about its current state.

In every instance that a great heresy or crisis has plagued the Church, those who are ultimately shown to be wrong are those seeking to create change and break from the past. In some instances, that was the majority of the hierarchical Church.

This assessment seems historically accurate.

Contra those errors, there is always a remnant of those adhering to the Faith as they received it. . . . . Today, that remnant is made up of many Catholics, some attend the SSPX Masses, some attend the Novus Ordo, some the FSSP, et cetera.

True. Though I would suggest that the vast majority of this "remnant" is made up of loyal Catholics, especially young laity and clergy, committed to the restoration of faith and liturgy, working within the ordinary parish and diocesan structures of the Church.

Gene said...

Pelikan was a Lutheran. The distinction between "traditional" and "traditionalism" is an artificial one. It sounds pithy and all that, but it is a false construct. Tradition is living faith informed and instructed by and in continuity with the past. I don't know what "traditionalism" is…another ism.
Libs and progressives love the term "evolving." They think it gives them permission to mess with anything…the Bible, the US Constitution, laws, doctrine. They also love to say things like, "the Bible (or the US Constitution, etc.) is a living document." This is code for, "it can be messed with." Never trust anyone who uses these terms in relation to Holy Scripture or anything else unless he is a biologist talking about bugs or fossils. There are some absolutes; some things are chiseled in stone.

Catholic said...

Henry, as to the last point, I agree with you. Most of those who most strenuously desire a restoration of the Faith are working through the normal channels and structures. To the extent I implied otherwise, I'm pleased you corrected me.

I also think, though, that the SSPX provides a necessary compliment to those working within the normal structures. This is illustrated by their preservation of the Mass and adherence to perennial doctrine. Their being outside the normal structures gives them the ability and responsibility to be more overtly critical of the modern errors in the Church. Again, I see that as necessary to the eventual resolution of the crisis, and I think that was exactly the way Abp. Lefebvre saw the Society.

Anonymous said...

I cringe every time I see the SSPX referred to as "break-away".
How is remaining faithful to the Church as she was prior to V2 "break-away"? Who was it that ACTUALLY broke away from Holy Mother Church, those that remain with Her dogmatic Teachings and traditions, or those who followed the Novus Church, with it's Protestantized Mass bearing no Apostolic succession? ERROR IS NON-BINDING.
I cringe ever deeper when I see the SSPX called "schismatic", or "in schism": PCED confirms officially: Society of St. Pius X within the Church, not in formal schism; Catholics commit no sin nor incur any canonical penalty for Mass attendance.
Schism and no jurisdiction are far from the same. Deo Vindice.

Catholic said...

Pater Ignotus, it seems that, contrary to many of your citations, the living authority of the Church doesn't agree with you. That living authority to which you assert the SSPX is not adhering has proclaimed that the SSPX is not schismatic. In your failure to give credence to the living authority on this point, do you not fall into the same error as you believe the SSPX has fallen?

Moreover, as Gene points out, you've cited a heretic to support your damning judgment of fellow Catholics. Is this not "hard-heartedness"?

I have another question for you as well: Why are you so determined that the SSPX be labeled schismatic? Aside from what we've been discussing, what fault do you find with the Society?

Pater Ignotus said...

Catholic - If by "living" authority you mean human beings who are, at present, alive, then you misunderstand what the "living authority" of the Church means.

The words of Vatican One, which you heartily reference and adhere to, were spoken/written by men who are, all of them, dead as church door nails. Are we then free to overlook them because none of those men is "living"? Certainly not. Or do you think that their words have been superseded by the words of those now living?

The words of Vatican One are and continue to be the living authority of the Church. These, as the words of all ecumenical councils, constitute our "living authority.

Pelikan was not a heretic - he was a Lutheran who, a few years before he died, became an Orthodox Christian. He was also a world-class historian of Christianity and Christian doctrine. And I did not cite him in condemning anyone. I cited him only in reference to his description of the difference between Tradition and traditionalism.

Pin/Gene - Unless you discount the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments to the US Constitution, you cannot claim that 1) it is dead or 2) that is does not evolve.

Catholic said...

Pater Ignotus, you cited Pelikan's contrasting definitions in an attempt to show that the SSPX adheres to a false notion of traditionalism that discounts a lived tradition, which you say puts them at odds with the unity of the Church. This was part of your support for condemning them as schismatic.

Now in addition to my many questions remaining unanswered, I add: you contend that a Lutheran is not a heretic, but certain Catholics are schismatic based on that Lutheran's definition of living authority?

Rood Screen said...

It is my understanding that the SSPX does not exist in canon law, that their confessions, confirmations and weddings are invalid, and that sermons delivered by their clergy are illicit.

Anonymous said...

Pater never will define what he means by "traditional" anyway. He just throws the term around when it suits him. He. Claims to celebrate the traditional Mass without exposing what he understands the term "traditional" to add to the term "Mass."

Pater Ignotus said...

Anonymous - I have, several times, said what Tradition means. Simply, it is the entire deposit of faith revealed by God and handed on to us by the magisterium of the Church.

I do celebrate the Traditional mass as it is the mass handed on to me/us by the magisterium of the Church. The mass I celebrate is historically different from mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form. But it is the Traditional mass nonetheless.

Traditional and "historical" are not the same thing. Conflating these terms is a common error of traditionalists.

Catholic - I cited Pelikan to define the term "traditionalism."
I would think that the great majority of SSPXers are traditionalists, but not all traditionalists are SSPXers.

If you read the passages I cited from Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger, it would be obvious that the contention that SSPX is schismatic is based on their judgments, not Pelikan's definition of traditionalism.

Catholic said...

Pater Ignotus, it seems, though, that you must rely on Pelikan's definitions for your judgment that the SSPX is schismatic because they have been determined not to be schismatic by Pope Benedict, whose judgment remains since the current pope hasn't declared anything to the contrary.

I'm curious, still, why it is so important to you that the SSPX be labeled schismatic. After all, you are willing to substitute your own judgment for that of the Pope on this matter.

John Nolan said...

Pater Ignotus is recycling a comment he made a few months ago. The SSPX is schismatic because EDA said so, and Cardinal Ratzinger, in an admonition to the Chilean bishops, said so. End of story. You're not going to shake him. Of course, when the same Cardinal Ratzinger said that the current (1998) crisis in the Church was due in large measure to the disintegration of the liturgy, Ignotus has an attack of deafness. Crisis? What crisis?

There's no point in citing Canon Law, repeated statements from the PCED, the fact that the regularization of the SSPX is seen as an internal matter (which wouldn't be the case with schismatics), the fact that Benedict lifted the latae sententiae excommunications incurred by the SSPX bishops (an act which would be meaningless if they were schismatic), the fact that schismatic groups define themselves by words and actions which the SSPX has scrupulously avoided - Pater Ignotus has two quotations from the 1980s, one of them from a decree which is no longer in force (both QAA and EDA were superseded by Summorum Pontificum) and the other from a speech which has no official status.

If he thinks the SSPX is schismatic then this has all the juridical force of a private opinion. The term should not be used simply to express disapproval (this applies even to Prefects of the CDF). At the other end of the spectrum it's easy to brand 'RC Womenpriests' as being schismatic whereas they are simply Catholic laywomen who have incurred excommunication latae sententiae and are guilty of sacrilege. There is imprecise thinking even in the highest circles; talk, for instance, of the SSPX coming into 'full communion' as if there is such a thing as 'partial communion' or 'less-than-full communion'. There is not.

rcg said...

I suppose it is my ample arrogance that prevents me from thinking that Pope Francis is talking about me, or people like me, in many of the comments he has made. Yet in every sermon I find bits of myself if only in moments of my behavior. Those moments are notes of my character played on my soul, however, and I know those spots are tarnish on me. So I am not offended and see them as sort of reflection of at least a small part of me.

Bill said...

There is widespread ignorance of the SSPX, and few here are competent to speak of it with any certainty. I am traditional in my faith, and have never attended an SSPX chapel. I am old enough to have been raised with the Latin Mass, and therefore, what has been lost grieves me deeply.

It is not the language that is the loss, rather, there has been a destructive influence on the liturgy--there being exceptional cases, such as Fr. McDonald's Masses, which he has taken pains to make reverent--which has made too many believe that faith is a casual thing.

Faith is not casual, and living our faith is not easy. It calls for sacrifice, for a willingness to endure injustices, and to stand by those who need support. In the not so distant future, the severity of sacrifice may become much more than it now is.

I have grown tired of the sniping in which some here indulge; it does no good for the Church, nor for any community of faithful.

Fr. McDonald runs a very valuable and thoughtful blog. His articles enrich my thoughts. The same can be said for only a few of the comments I read, and in this thread, I find little apart from Fr. McD's comments and those from Henry, which being value to the conversation.

That, too, is a sad statement to make. Some of us, perhaps few, are Knights, and try with varying degree of success to comment as Catholic gentlemen.

Pater Ignotus said...

Catholic - I rely on the words of Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger, not Pelikan.

Ecclesia Dei Adflicta: 3 "Hence such disobedience (illicit ordination of a bishop) -- which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy -- constitutes a schismatic act."

SP has not superseded the canon law which makes illicit ordination of a bishop an illicit act that carries with the automatic excommunication.

And one cannot commit a schismatic act without being schismatic any more than one can commit an adulterous act without being an adulterer.

EDA 4: "The root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete, because it does not take sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, "comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit."

SP has not superseded the Church's own understanding of "the living character of Tradition." "The living character of Tradition" is what most traditionalists fail or refuse to comprehend.

EDA 4: "There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth"

Whether or not Pin/Gene likes it, "growth in insight" constitutes evolution/development of understanding. Our understanding of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are not chiseled in stone; hence they are subject to evolving.

Gene said...

RCG, the notes I played on your soul on my guitar tonight were B Flat and F Sharp Minor. Not encouraging…LOL!

Православный физик said...

God is neither, right, nor left, but IS. The fact that certain elements can be found on each side of the issue is due to the fact that elements of Truth can be found in any which direction.

The above said, is it really of good advice or praxis to ignore the reality on the ground? If we're perfectly honest in St typical's Roman Catholic parish, sexual sins aren't talked about, liturgy is abysmal, there may be gossip and other things going on, but it's not about peoples' lives but rather the latest "Game of Thrones" episode (I chose a random TV show, but you catch my drift)...

I respectfully disagree with the private vs. public criticism comments. In certain situations we have a duty to point out an error of a person, not because we're trying to expose them or be a jerk about things, but rather out of charity because everyone has a right to the Truth, and to not be scandalized by error. This is why it's a big deal that Pelosi et her elk should not be receiving Communion, and if they're spotted they should be denied Communion. As public "servants" the problem is that their errors are promulgated to the public, and this causes scandal. And error does not have rights. Now if Pelosi were a private citizen (she becomes such when she retires) and proclaims such things without a public eye...she can't be denied Communion in this situation obviously because all people have a right to a good reputation (sins of gossip, calmuty and such). If the situation is in the public sphere it's exposed for all to see....As the same applies to Pope Francis. His actions are public (whether he likes it or not...all things that have been published by the Vatican are for public record) and I can agree that the Pope has a right to the benefit of the doubt when it comes to situations, it's in the public record, so one can disagree (as long as it's a matter of prudential judgement and not a matter of Faith and Morals) and still honor the office. It is a type of scandal that the Pope insults those on the traditional side of things (even though no one person was explicitly mentioned that is besides the point)...point out what is wrong yes, name call, no...regardless of the intention.

As we often say, the ends don't justify the means...the road of good intentions leads to bad things happening. So as nice as it is to serve the disinfranchised and most certainly all of us are called to serve the poor in our capabilities, never should it come at the expense of good Liturgy, good praxis, good dogma, and fidelity to the rubrics of Holy Mother Church. The poor have a right to good Liturgy just as much as the rest of us. Is it not an insult to go to the poorest place, and project abuses on them and say, Oh, you're poor, so you don't deserve a faithful Liturgy? Would it not be even a bigger insult to God? All of the faithful have a right via canon Law to the Liturgy of the Church being celebrated faithfully by the rubrics. Even more importantly, God has a right to be worshipped in fullness and in Truth, and not according to our subjective tendencies (hence why rubrics exist in the first place).

End of semi-coherent rant.

Pax Vobis.