Saturday, April 9, 2016


Copied from Rorate Caeli:

Main Vatican (Ecclesia Dei) official: Vatican II disagreements no obstacle to SSPX structure

Abp. Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, spoke to the semi-official daily of the French episcopate, La Croix, on the relations between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X, and among other relevant things said the following:
"The difficulties raised by the SSPX regarding Church-State relations and religious freedom,the practice of ecumenism, and the dialogue with non-Christian religions, of certain aspects of the liturgical reform, and of its concrete application, remain the object of discussion and clarification, Abp. Pozzo [of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei] added, but they are not an obstacle for the canonical and legal recognition of the SSPX."


Mark Thomas said...

La Croix has the story:

From Novus Ordo Watch:

Certain Conciliar Texts Can Be Objects of “Discussion” With the SSPX, According to the Vatican

By Marie Malzac, April 7, 2016, 3:43 p.m.

Days after the meeting between Pope Francis and the superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX), Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, indicated that “Vatican II documents (should) be welcomed according to the required degree of adherence.” The acceptance of the texts on relations with other religions [Nostra Aetate] does not constitute a prerequisite for juridical recognition of the Lefebvrist society and certain questions will be able to remain “objects of discussion and clarification,” he explained to La Croix.

The meeting, on April 1, between Pope Francis and Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Lefebvrist line, falls “within the context of the SSPX’s progression towards full reconciliation, which will come with canonical recognition of the institute,” which was explained to La Croix by Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which is in charge of relations with Tradition inside of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“At this moment, it is especially important to work towards creating a climate of trust ... to overcome the hardness of distrust, which is understandable after so many years of distance and fracture,” continued Archbishop Pozzo, assuring he wants to “dispel” it in order to rediscover “the reasons for unity and for promoting the integrity of the Catholic faith and the Tradition of the Church.”

Different degrees of adherence are required

For the person in charge of discussions with the SSPX, it is fitting to recall the three essential points which make a person Catholic: “adherence to the profession of faith, the bond of the sacraments and hierarchical communion with the pope.” This is what the Doctrinal Declaration will contain, “which will be submitted to the adherence of the SSPX at the appropriate time.”

“In what concerns the Second Vatican Council, the course taken in the meetings of the last years has led to an important clarification: the Second Vatican Council can be sufficiently understood only within the context of the entire Tradition of the Church and its constant magisterium,” Archbishop Pozzo specified.

“The affirmations of truths of faith and of sure Catholic doctrine contained in the Second Vatican Council documents must be welcomed according to the degree of required adherence,” the Italian bishop continued, who repeats the distinction between dogma and certain decrees or declarations containing “directives for pastoral action, orientations and suggestions, or exhortations of a practical-pastoral character,” as is notably the case with Nostra Aetate, in its opening to dialogue with non-Christian religions.

Not an obstacle for canonical recognition

These “will constitute and be part of, after canonical recognition, a subject of discussion and further deepening, in view towards a greater precision, in order to avoid misunderstandings or equivocations which, as we know, have become widespread in the present ecclesiastical world.”

“The difficulties raised by the SSPX regarding questions of Church-State relations and religious liberty, the practice of ecumenism and dialogue with non-Christian religions, certain aspects of liturgical reform and their concrete application, remain objects of discussion and clarification,” Archbishop Pozzo added, “but do not constitute an obstacle to the SSPX’s canonical and juridical recognition.”

The SSPX is asked “to accept that the magisterium of the Church is the only one to whom is confided the deposit of the faith to be guarded, defended and interpreted.” “I believe this clarification can constitute a fixed point for the SSPX.”


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald, I have not read the Apostolic Exhortation. But I am troubled about the Exhortation in the following sense: There are rational, non-sensationalistic people who have read the Exhortation and have insisted that, at least in parts, the Exhortation is troublesome.

Father, on the one hand, you have described the Exhortation as "wonderful". On the other hand, again, rational, non-sensationalistic people have offered reservations about the Exhortation.

Example: Crux has partnered with the Knights of Columbus. I am confident that the Knights would not associate with a news organization that would misrepresent the Church. That said, here is what I just read on Crux:

Pope's family treatise starts strong, but then unravels

"Amoris Laetitia, the most anticipated apostolic exhortation in history, is like a novel that begins in crackling fashion, with brisk and even lyrical prose. The plot deepens; the characters develop; the tension builds. Themes weave together as subplots strain toward the unknown end. And then ... crash. It begins to unravel and entire sections falter.

"There’s a concerted push at the end to wrap it up nicely, but the damage is done.

"I do think that Francis has invested much papal capital into making some sort of changes — pastorally, without a doubt — for those who are in irregular marriages (or what the exhortation calls “irregular” situations, with quotation marks, as if they really aren’t, for some reason, actually irregular).

"That investment is evident in this text, which is where the story weakens and crumbles.

"Unfortunately, the chapters on “pastoral perspectives” (ch. 6) and “accompanying, discerning and integrating weakness” (ch. 8) are often problematic, even contradictory.

"Many of those divorced and in “a new union,” says Francis, have “proven fidelity, generous self-giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins”.

"This curious statement is followed up by a footnote that casts direct doubt on the realistic possibility of such couples abstaining from sexual relations — by referencing a passage from Gaudium et Spes that has nothing at all to do with those divorced and civilly remarried. Other footnotes also puzzle.

"There are constant calls for “discernment” and references to impediments and problems that mitigate responsibility and culpability, to the point that one wonders if any married person has ever really committed an actual sin."

Father McDonald, that doesn't sound "wonderful" to me. Again, I haven't read the Exhortation. I don't know what to believe in regard to the document. What is clear to me is that something is terribly wrong when a Pope offers a document that people read, then offer interpretations of said document that differ wildly.

What happened to the days when a Pope said "X" and everybody understood that "X" was "X"?


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

It is interesting to me that Father McDonald referenced the Apostolic Exhortation and the SSPX in the same headline. The reason is that I find the Exhortation and SSPX related in the following sense: Confusion swirls about each entity in question.

Pope Francis' Exhortation has been labeled "wonderful" by Father McDonald and additional commentators. Conversely, many others have read and labeled the Exhortation as "problematic"...and that's being charitable.

Something is terribly wrong within the Church when — the following didn't originate with His Holiness Pope's a staple of the Vatican II Era — in regard to the Exhortation, mass confusion has swirled about the document.

"The Exhortation is, it opened the door to Communion for adulterers...Pope Francis said "X", he said "Y", he said "A" but he really said "B", he said B", but really meant "C"...

How is it possible that time and again during the past 50 or so years, document upon document released by Rome has generated one controversy after another? Catholics read a Vatican document, then disagree with each other vehemently as to that which they had just read. It is unbelievable.

The current Apostolic Exhortation is "wonderful", it's, it's not heretical, but it is not very good in's very clear in its, it's often unintelligible.

The same problem applies to the SSPX..."the SSPX must accept the Council", it's..."the SSPX is free to question certain parts of the Council"...the SSPX does not exercise legitimate, one is free to assist at Mass offered by the SSPX and to receive from them the Holy Sacrament of Penance...

...bishops teach that we must shun the SSPX...the Bishop of Rome noted the SSPX's "good faith and sacramental practice..."

For century upon century, Rome said "X". Everybody understood clearly that "X" was "X". Sadly, that surety has weakened greatly during the past 50 or so years.

We have reached the Jimmy Akin Era of Catholicism. Rome said "A" but really meant "B"...even though Rome said "A" clearly, "A" equals "B"...although Rome also meant "C" when Rome said "A"...

It is beyond belief.

I will say the following for the SSPX, and this is why they are beloved by many Catholics: The SSPX presents the Faith in pre-Vatican II Era fashion. That is, they present Catholicism in clear, unmistakable fashion.

I long for that Era to return throughout the Church.


Mark Thomas

Marc said...

I'm interested to see if the exhortation or the SSPX's relations with Rome are mentioned at Mass tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I hope with this Exhortation i am entering a new phase of deeper trust in Peter!

George said...

I have to say Mark Thomas,that what is in your comments above is important and of concern to me. The thing is, until he no longer occupies the Chair of Peter, the Pope we have is the one we have got. This will all have to play out. Our prayer in this Year of Mercy is that God will have mercy on the members of the Church, the Body of Christ, and also on those outside of her.

Anonymous said...

I have since converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, but while a Catholic I was an avid reader of Southern Orders. I still will occasionally read it, which is obviously why I'm posting on here. It seems that things are the same after all the years that I have been away. I was on the very tail end of my conversion when Francis was elected to the papacy, and looking back I don't regret my decision to leave at all. Looking at the ancient patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandria, etc., then looking back to Rome, I now see the danger of putting too much authority in one person. I'm sure there will be some on here who claim I am a schismatic and going to Hell, but I have more peace now than I ever had as a Catholic. I do miss the Church sometimes, and still have many friends in the RCC, but being on the outside looking in, nothing has changed, still banal liturgy and all the other mess in the Church, and every time I come on Southern Orders it confirms one of those two things

George said...

From Pope Saint John Paul II's Familius Consortio paragraph 83, which explicitly forbids the sacraments for the divorced and civilly remarried:

"Together with the synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the church, for as baptized persons they can and indeed must share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God's grace. Let the church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother and thus sustain them in faith and hope.

However, the church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon sacred scripture, of not admitting to eucharistic communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the church which is signified and effected by the eucharist. Besides this there is another special pastoral reason: If these people were admitted to the eucharist the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of penance, which would open the way to the eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the convenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.

This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons such as, for example, the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."

Pope St John Paul canonized the "Apostle of Divine Mercy", St. Faustina. and instituted the Feast Day of Divine Mercy.

Mark Thomas said...

George, you are correct without doubt that His Holiness Pope Francis is our Pope.
I love Pope Francis. I am certain that he is far holier than I.


Mark Thomas

Unknown said...

'Twould appear I have a twin. Anon @ 1;56, do you live in Middle GA?

Anonymous said...

Flavius, no middle Georgia for me, I live in Texas

Anonymous @ 1:56

Unknown said...

Are you on Reddit? There's several Texan Orthodox on there lol. Several former Catholics too.

Mark Thomas said...

Bishop Fellay has offered the following information in regard to his meeting last week with His Holiness Pope Francis:

-- Pope Francis will never condemn the SSPX.

-- Pope Francis insisted that the Society is Catholic.

-- Pope Francis will extend beyond the Holy Year his recognition of the SSPX's administration of the Holy Sacrament of Penance.

-- Bishop Fellay has been encouraged to establish a seminary in Italy.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Yea I'm on rOrthodox quite a bit ha

Marc said...

No mention was made at Mass today of the Society's relationship with Rome, for what it's worth.

George said...

Anonymous@1:56 PM

"Looking at the ancient patriarchates of Antioch, Alexandria, etc., then looking back to Rome, I now see the danger of putting too much authority in one person."

There are some that say that about the President of the United States, but few have renounced their citizenship. As bad as some of the occupants of that office have been, I can't see eliminating the position and letting Congress run the show.