Tuesday, January 31, 2017


While I have had problems with the SSPX over the years, I have come to realize, as most intellectually honest Catholics have, that we have much much more in common with the SSPX as Roman Catholics than we have with Protestants of whatever denomination as well as the Eastern Orthodox where the more progressive Catholics are much more sympathetic and cozy than with there own brothers and sisters who are Catholic SSPXers.

That Pope Francis will be the pope to make the SSPXers fully integrated once again in the Church is an irony of ironies to say the less.

But Pope Francis who has to be intellectually honest, must know that if His Holiness is to reach out to the marginalized in the Church, he has to reach out and make regular the SSPXers who only disagree with the reform of the Mass, ecumenism and interfaith dialogue as well as VII's pastoral theology on religious liberty. Protestants for the most part reject all ecumenical councils of the Church not just some aspects of Vatican II. Eastern Orthodox don't accept any Catholic Councils after the Great Schism, but at least all seven sacraments are validly celebrated in Orthodoxy whereas not in any branch of Protestantism.

Thus, if Pope Francis is going to allow the SSPXer's to reject some aspects of Vatican II's pastoral theology as mentioned above as well as "spirit of Vatican II" developments after Vatican II, then it makes logical sense that the Pope could integrate into the full communion of the Church the Eastern Orthodox without making them accept the primacy of the pope or any developments in the Catholic Church since the Great Schism.

I have to say that it is a stunning post-Vatican II development that implied in the pope making the SSPXer's fully integrated in the Church the Magisterium is finally saying that it is not a matter of faith and morals to accept the pastoral theology of the Church in the areas of religious freedom, ecumenism and interfaith dialogue as well as dialogue with non believers. A Catholic with a good and well formed conscience could reject or accept these pastoral theologies. You would have thought, though, by practice, that these were infallible dogmas which of course they are not if we are to be intellectually honest. Neither is the suppression of the the EF Mass to be considered as anything that any pope or council could accomplish. 

For those who believe Pope Francis is acting in a stealthy way to make SSPXer's like the rest of the Church, Bishop Felay has stated that that will not happen. All they have to do is to revert to the status quo.

I fear, though, that the more radical and schismatic of the SSPXers will leave the SSPX and join a truly schismatic faction like those who say the See of Peter is vacant.


TJM said...

Pursuing ecumenism with the Anglicans, Lutherans, etc., is a fools errand. One example should suffice: women clergy. We would be better served spending our resources to re-evangelizing Catholics, starting at the top. SSPX probably is genuinely more Catholic than vast swathes of the Church today.

Jusadbellum said...

The thing that gets me is the inability of major bishops, cardinals and the pope to actually make the case for whatever opinion they might happen to have about X topic. It's as if they invoke authority and give a dusting of scripture and tradition as bland ornaments but not actually connecting the dots the whole way.

We're just supposed to accept the unspoken steps or fill them in on our own.

So for example, we've got Cardinal Tobin (whom I like, actually) claiming "there's no rational excuse for walls". Uh huh. Only the entirety of human history and the history of warfare but besides that, yep, zero rationale for walls!

Instead of 'I disagree with the US building a wall because of x, y, and z, he goes to the unsupported assertion of there being NO reason (other than bigotry and sin).

But that's balderdash. The Vatican has walls and 100 Swiss guard and 100 Vatican police and the state of Italy stations 100 paramilitary cops at all points of entry 24/7/365.... to guard 103 acres in downtown Rome.

300 heavily armed men on standby year round. They certainly believe walls and fences matter and make sense!

I'm getting to the point where I'd welcome heresy so long as the heretic actually takes the pains to argue for his point of view. I'd welcome it - but then dismantle it...but at least we'd be hashing out syllogisms rather than trading random opinions about which we can't offer reasons beyond temperament and taste.

The Egyptian said...

Why Saint Thomas Aquinas Opposed Open Borders

I would like to see some Bishops and priests argue that St Thomas Aquinas was wrong or sinful

I also again challenge anyone reading this to read Steve Bannon's speech to the Vatican on economy and Radical Islam
"The remarks — beamed into a small conference room in a 15th-century marble palace in a secluded corner of the Vatican — were part of a 50-minute Q&A during a conference focused on poverty hosted by the Human Dignity Institute"

whats wrong no one got an open mind, it might just shock you, the man is catholic and quite intelligent

rcg said...

I will apologize now for previous posts wondering what motives the Holy Father might have for this move. I do think he wants to have as many people as possible in the Church. I also think we are in an interesting era of mankind where we are renovating a society that was modeled after Catholic values but has fallen into disrepair and misuse. It seems that the most serious accusation against the SSPX is that they reacted strongly to something that should not have been done. It is not evident, however, he to the laity why the punishment for the apple of appointing a bishop was dealt with more severely than the orange of hiding child molesters.

I apologize for wondering about the money. The memory of wealthy and influential Catholic families chumming it up with bishops who supressed the Latin Mass and turned a blind eye to their benefactors very public debauchery and alignment with evil does attack Faith. Is it an effort to avoid the label "hypocrite" that we losen the restraints on the common man that the upper classes never had? What sort of bishop fears losing both his donors and his pew warmers to an antiquated value system that should be kept indoors anyway?

I do not accuse the Holy Father of these things. I sincerely believe he desires all followers of Christ under One Roof (however unfit we may be...). As with the Knights of Malta the stronger son can bear the stronger lash. A closer relationship with the rest of the Church will give exposure, a certain vulnerability, to the Kasperites and fellow travelers. So I hope Bishop Fellay continues to wear his gloves so as to politely cover the mail beneath.

rcg said...

For what it's worth the liberal icon Robert Frost believed good walls made good neighbors.

From a practical and tactical position I oppose the wall, too. But the concept of a controlled throughput with barriers and discriminators in place makes good sense. Another blunt point is that Mexico is becoming too wealthy and powerful to manage its people and territory irresponsibly. Mexicans are good, hard workers. Why would their government want to let them go on the cheap? They will get the respect for their people that they show themselves.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I think the title, "Why St. Thomas Opposed Open Borders" is misleading.

Read the Saint's comments.

More reflective of Aquinas is the CCC 2241 "The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church has much to say: "These people come from less privileged areas of the earth and their arrival in developed countries is often perceived as a threat to the high levels of well-being achieved thanks to decades of economic growth." (#297) We saw how this false notion was exploited in the last election.

CSDC "Regulating immigration according to criteria of equity and balance is one of the indispensable conditions for ensuring that immigrants are integrated into society with the guarantees required by recognition of their human dignity." The Church speak of integration, not assimilation.

Breitbart's/William's headline is not, I think, an accurate portrayal of Aquinas.

TJM said...

Sounds like Trump is doing just that!

I really think the Vatican should put their money where their mouth is and tear down that Wall! Flood Vatican City with Muslims, build them a Mosque!

Gene said...

The SSPX should run, not walk, away from any suggestion this Pope offers. Everything he touches turns to confusion and chaos.

Mark Thomas said...

The following is useful to the SSPX, and, for that matter, each of us.

In 2012 A.D., Rorate Caeli offered the following from Pope Saint Pius X. Rorate Caeli said that the following is a "hard message." But Rorate Caeli declared that the message in question "must be heard and obeyed by the clergy and by the lay faithful."

Rorate Caeli said that the following applies "any Pope."

Therefore, the SSPX, Rorate Caeli, and each Catholic must...

"Love the Pope!" - no ifs, and no buts:"

By the way, in regard to His Holiness Pope Francis, it is good to know that the folks at Rorate Caeli have practiced what they've preached. Rorate Caeli certainly has displayed unwavering love for Pope Francis. Uh-huh. Right.

Anyway, the Society of Saint Pius X would do well to obey the following from Pope Saint Pius X, as noted by Rorate Caeli:


Mark Thomas

Rood Screen said...

Faithful Catholics just want clear preaching of the Gospel and reverent worship of God. There's no need to worry about extremists such as silly deniers that there is even a valid pope.

TJM said...

No, you don't have to "love" the Pope. Grow up.

rcg said...

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Mark Thomas said...

Rorate Caeli: "In a cry coming deep from his holy heart, the Pope summoned all the Church to understand what love for the Pope,

*******any Pope,*******

the one who holds the Keys, truly entails: a hard message that, exactly one century later, must be heard and obeyed by the clergy and by the lay faithful."

If the SSPX heeds the above from Rorate Caeli's, which, in turn, goes to Pope Saint Pius X, then the SSPX will seek regularization immediately.

Tremendous joy will flow throughout the Church should the SSPX obey Pope Saint Pius X via regularization with the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis.

The time has arrived for the SSPX to do the right thing.


Mark Thomas

Pope Saint Pius X, 1912 A.D: "...because whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope."

"The Pope is the guardian of dogma and of morals; he is the custodian of the principles that make families sound, nations great, souls holy; he is the counsellor of princes and of peoples; he is the head under whom no one feels tyrannized because he represents God Himself; he is the supreme father who unites in himself all that may exist that is loving, tender, divine.

"When one loves a person, one tries to adhere in everything to his thoughts, to fulfill his will, to perform his wishes. And if Our Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself, "si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit," [if any one love me, he will keep my word - Jn xiv, 23] therefore, in order to demonstrate our love for the Pope, it is necessary to obey him.

"Therefore, when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed; when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough, almost as if he were forced to repeat to the ear of each one the will clearly expressed so many times not only in person, but with letters and other public documents;

"we do not place his orders in doubt, adding the facile pretext of those unwilling to obey - that it is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him; we do not limit the field in which he might and must exercise his authority; we do not set above the authority of the Pope that of other persons, however learned, who dissent from the Pope, who, even though learned, are not holy, *******because whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope."*********************

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

TJM, are you Catholic? You are to love God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself. These are the two greatest commandments which sum up all 12. Really, you don't have to love the pope? Where in the name of God and all that is holy to you get this?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

all 10 of course.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Very much so. I was reacting to the over the top, slobbering, drooling papalotry of Mark Thomas. I respect the office but I do not have to like the person holding the office. You can love someone without liking them. It is my opinion that Pope Francis is politicizing the papal office and has done it considerable damage. He has displayed viciousness towards Catholics who do not share his left-wing views. Maybe you should direct your question concerning love to Santita. My opinion regarding this Pope is shared by many serious posters here. If you want to limit your commentators to the papalotors and lefties, so be it.

rcg said...

. Apology accepted, TJM.

Gurgling noises and a heavy weight hits the floor.

Adam Michael said...

I sometimes disagree with Mark Thomas. However, he does reference traditional Catholic sentiment toward the office of the Papacy. In the midst of attempting to respond to the current confusion surrounding the exercise of the Petrine Ministry, I think we should retain the respect, reverence, and fidelity that such an office demands in the Church. It is much like the Ordinary Form of the Mass. While one does not have to prefer this rite or think highly of the manner in which it was developed, it is unacceptable to call it an incentive to impiety (such was condemned by the Council of Trent, Session 22: Canon 7) or call it names that are unworthy of an officially approved liturgical rite of the Church. The same applies to the person of the Pope. Just as we cannot condemn a lawful liturgical rite, we cannot condemn the person of the Pope (even if we voice our concerns and work for a better expression of the Papacy). Besides, for our spiritual peace, we should remember that all our bitterness and anger will not correct the problems in the Church. We are not in a position to effect this through our words or, to some extent, even our actions. And refusal to retain the traditional Catholic respect toward the Papacy will corrode our souls and will negatively affect our relationships with others. Prayer and penance with a peaceful spirit, which defends the Faith while retaining respect toward the Pope, will accomplish much toward aiding our growth in the spiritual life and even in securing the graces necessary for the restoration of Tradition throughout the Church.

Православный физик said...

Indeed it's quite possible to respect the office of the Pope, and not actually like him. I'm definitely with TJM on this. It's possible to love someone without agreeing with everything that they do.

To answer the question that is asked....Contain and destroy from within. I would much rather this not be the case.....I'd love to presume good will behind the moves, but Pope Francis has not earned trust on a human level from me.

A pope with no recourse to correction is a very dangerous pope. The pope may be a monarch, but a limited one, not an absolute one. The pope is not God, thank goodness!

Anonymous said...

TJM: "No, you don't have to "love" the Pope. Grow up."

Surely, a mature Catholic can distinguish between loving the papacy and loving a particular pope. The history of the Church shows a number of quite unlovable popes.

And surely one who really loves the papacy will not really like a pope who is demeaning it. The depth of one's love for the papacy might even be measured by the extent to which he laments a pope whose actions show him unworthy of the office he holds.

John Nolan said...

'The Pope is the guardian of dogma and of morals ...' Quite so. Not the interpreter of doctrine or morals, still less the obfuscator of doctrine and morals.

TJM said...

I respect Father McDonald for printing my response. I am should Father Ruff at PraySniff would not have done so.

I am deeply disturbed by this Pope. I keep praying he will change for the better and I keep praying for the strength to persevere in my Catholic Faith which I cherish. I remember the Catholic Church in all of its glory in the 1950s and early 1960s before Vatican Disaster II. Only the intellectually dishonest or delusional believe the Church is in a better spot today because of the "reforms." I recall reading a story in the Post back in 1962 as the Council opened and a Protestant intellectual argued we were crazy to change the Church and its practices. He said look no further to the Protestant churches in America if you want to see what catering to the world does to a church. I have NEVER forgotten that article. In truth, that man was a true prophet!!!!

TJM said...

Henry and John Nolan,

Thanks. You articulated my point far better than I did.

Anonymous said...


“I remember the Catholic Church in all of its glory in the 1950s and early 1960s before Vatican Disaster II.”

As do I, currently re-reading Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain, the story of his own conversion that played a role in my growth as a pre-Vatican II convert. He was just encountering Catholics and the Church, and remarks that

”there was something eminently satisfying in the thought that these Catholics knew what they believed, and knew what to teach, and all taught the same thing, and taught it with coordination and purpose and great effect.”

And describing the sermon at the very first Mass he attended,

”It was not long: but to me it was very interesting to hear this young man quietly telling the people in language that was plain, yet tinged with scholastic terminology, about a point in Catholic Doctrine. How clear and solid the doctrine was: for behind those words you felt the full force not only of Scripture but of centuries of a unified and continuous and consistent tradition. And above all, it was a vital tradition: there was nothing studied or antique about it. These words, this terminology, this doctrine, and these convictions fell from the lips of the young priest as something that were most intimately part of his own life. What was more, I sensed that the people were familiar with it all, and that it was also, in due proportion, part of their life also: it was just as much integrated into their spiritual organism as the air they breathed or the food they ate worked in to their blood and flesh.”

What a tragic collapse of both the faith and the worship of ordinary Catholics you and I have observed in the decades since Vatican II. Actually, in the first decade or two, as the disintegration of Catholic liturgy led directly to a disintegration of Catholic belief.

TJM said...


It has been painful to watch. Merton's book is excellent! I recall reading that Merton was not happy with most of the liturgical changes. Lex orandi, lex credendi!

Mark Thomas said...

SSPX regularization is "imminent"...maybe not.

From the SSPX's DICI web site (Google translation):

Interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay on Radio Courtoisie on January 26, 2017


Posted in News, Tradition

"On Thursday, January 26, 2017, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, gave an interview to Abbot Alain Lorans on Radio Courtoisie.

"Bishop Fellay discusses, among other things, the present state of relations of the Fraternity with Rome,

*******where there is no question of imminent agreements, contrary to what can be read in the press these days.*******

"It is clear that the question of a canonical structure is not the first, but that it comes after the "struggle of ideas" promoted by the Second Vatican Council, such as ecumenism and religious freedom.

"He confirms that the doctrinal encounters continue, and reiterates the need for the Fraternity to be able, as Bishop Marcel Lefebvre puts it, to "experience Tradition" freely and completely."


Mark Thomas

PRESS RELEASE: The International Marian Association: