Yes it's been quiet here on S.U.D. That's mainly because of me being squeezed out between my work, and wedding preparations. Only 2 weeks to go! That doesn't leave me much time for entries. But finally, I have something for you ..... something concerning ... yet it is Latin Mass/Traditional Catholicism related.
My basis started after I read a post on the great, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's WDTPRS blog. It was reported here on these Orthodox "Glad Trad" blogs (e.g. Southern Orders, Fr. Z), and the RMT sites that I will not hyperlink to (e.g. Rorate Caeli), with confirmation on the Vatican's major news portal (see here: http://www.news.va/en/news/press-office-confirms-pope-francis-meeting-with-ss) that Pope Francis had a meeting with the current head of the Society of St. Pius X, "Reverend" Bernard Fellay. That is as far a title I will allot to him, because he and the other "priests" of the Society of St. Pius X are NOT in communion with Holy Mother Church. Also, pastors of Christian churches can be called "Reverend" so it's not just the SSPX. Turns out the SSPX leaked that their leader, "Reverend" Bernard Fellay, had a meeting with Pope Francis.
I couldn't believe this, and it got my wheels turning, so I started to draft this in response. After multiple starts and stops, an interesting article surfaced yesterday on Southern Orders blog run by Fr. Allan J. McDonald of the diocese of Macon in the USA. He featured an article from once-Boston Globe associated CRUX news about possible reconciliation between the SSPX and the Church. I took an alternative viewpoint in the comments box, which only further proved what I am about to say, and makes this posting more prominent in terms of its timing.
Throughout his papacy, there's been interesting news about Pope Francis and who he is choosing to extend his "Mission of Mercy" to. Now, while I take a lot of what the Radicals Misrepresenting Traditionalists (RMTs) (and Catholics everywhere,) say on their armchair thrones from their domiciles or workplaces, with a heavy grain of salt, there is something that has been going on that has me deeply concerned with whom Francis is possibly bestowing "Mercy" to.
Allow me to remind you of the status of the society as to WHY they are not in communion with the Church, and why I will NOT call Fellay a bishop, despite technical or formal jargon and processes, or not. This is important because this post and its follow up in Part II, concerns the news that has been floating around, and it's highly concerning for the future of the Church.
Background as to why to be deeply concerned with the SSPX's re-entry ...
As per Benedict XVI's lifting of the censure of excommunication from Fellay and his fellow "bishops", De Mallerais, Williamson (who is now likely RE-EXCOMMUNICATED for consecrating bishops without the authority of Pope Francis and the Holy Catholic Church), and Alfonso de Galarreta, ".... As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church...."
The only absolute exception is recently, with Pope Francis' granting of temporary faculties for confession until November 20th this year for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. As for their Eucharists, those done by the SSPX ``clergy`` are ALWAYS consecrated illegally, in disobedience to Holy Mother Church, but is likely valid due to the odd canonical situation of the Society. One, however, should not play with the safety of their salvation and consume it, due to its questionable status.
The SSPX became "non-canonical" due to then Vatican II council father and founder of the SSPX, Marcel Lefevbre, and a co-consecrating bishop (who had since reconciled with Holy Mother Church,) illicitly consecrating bishops without a papal mandate from John Paul II in 1988. Regardless of whatever supposed politics between the two parties happened, the four men above, including current head Fellay, were the illegally consecrated bishops. When this happened, the SSPX (that is, its clergy) incurred the status, having NO sacramental jurisdiction in the Church, and Lefevbre, that bishop, and the four "musketeers" being excommunicated (until Benedict's intervention for the four & the co-consecrator's reconciliation.) The Sacramental jurisdiction comes from being under the authority of a bishop, even one from Rome in the Church as part of a personal prelature or missionary order (e.g. Opus Dei, Fraternal Society of St. Peter.) Sadly, Lefevbre NEVER reconciled with the Church, which is a very concerning statement for the foundation of the Society: one founded on disobedience and rebellion to Holy Mother Church.
In current day, the SSPX STILL has not reconciled with the Church. While Benedict XVI tried with negotiations in 2012, they ended in failure because once again, the SSPX refused to submit doctrinally to Holy Mother Church, and it is rumored the log in their eye, Vatican II, was to blame. The refusal was supposedly against a direct order from Benedict XVI, a condition which if not filled, would not allow them to reconcile with the Church. Currently, they operate two major "seminaries" with their major one in the birthplace where its establishment began, Econe, Switzerland, and have numerous chapels (I will NOT call them parishes, that's only reserved for those priests and communities in canonical validity with the Church) as well as private schools.
More Holier than Thou ... or how the SSPX are Protestant in the Sense of Church Hating ...
However, in existing in the world, they adhere to an education that is almost 100% how it was "pre-1962" with its strictness, teaching methods, and application of such methods in strict authority. Unfortunately, coupled with all this is the teaching to their "adherents," a twisted theology that attacks Holy Mother Church, the Novus Ordo Mass, Pope Francis, even professing incorrect teachings that are not in force in the Church. An incorrect teaching, for example, I take from a former friend now with the SSPX, who told me it was a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays. He goes to the chapel in my archdiocese (obviously NOT under the jurisdiction of ++Collins,) and never went to their schools, so this is likely where he learnt this error. This is entirely incorrect. The current Canon Law in the Church and its Catechism, do NOT state this, nor any document in the Church's history. Furthermore, our current Canon Law of 1983, clearly states that this version of the law is in effect, not this AND/OR any other version of Canon Law, here in Section 5, subsection 1:
``Can. 5 §1. Universal or particular customs presently in force which are contrary to the prescripts of these canons and are reprobated by the canons of this Code [of Canon Law promulgated in 1983] are absolutely suppressed and are not permitted to revive in the future. Other contrary customs are also considered suppressed unless the Code expressly provides otherwise or unless they are centenary or immemorial customs which can be tolerated if, in the judgment of the ordinary, they cannot be removed due to the circumstances of places and persons.``
As to hating the Novus Ordo, I turn to these YouTube videos: " Should Catholics Attend the New Mass? - Part I or II - Episode 14 - SSPX FAQ Series." and the second part in episode 15 with the similar title. I will not link to it, so you will have to do the grunt work, but if you do, watch it with caution and concern. I am merely watching these videos for the most relevant parts to this post.
First, at 2:19-2:30, the collared cleric begins to weave the web of confusion about the necessity of avoiding the Novus Ordo to be necessary. He tells the viewer that while the Church obliges all Catholics to attend Mass, it is "according to the Human Condition" and that there are occasions that might make attendance at Mass on a Sunday "impractical." This cleric's word choice is interesting. He does not say the more appropriate "unavoidable," but rather "impractical," meaning if it doesn't fit one's routine or personal needs, it is not necessary.
While continuing on in part I, the cleric correctly addresses common reasons for dispensation from the obligation, and the parish priest's ability to dispense the obligation when the situation falls outside common reasons or scenarios.
Part II is where the conspiracy theories and the hate train begins. They set you up in part I with the "basics" which are mostly correct. However, like how the Devil twists truths or things good to bring out malicious intention and sin, likewise the SSPX does so to go into part II to say why you should reject and hate the Novus ordo.
Immediately, as RMTs are wont to do, it goes for the conspiracy theory angle, implying that Pope Paul VI was directly responsible with Annibale Bugini, to create a Protestant, heretical product: ".. under the influence of Fr. Annibale Bugnini and Pope Paul VI, both of whom wanted a liturgy that was ecumenical and would not be a “stumbling block” to Protestants. This goal was accomplished with the new liturgy by obscuring or even removing from its prayers the Catholic doctrines concerning the propitiatory nature of the Mass, the sacrificial and mediatory character of the priesthood, and the dogma of the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist."
Further, the cleric goes on to say about the Novus Ordo:
"... the New Mass departs from the Catholic Faith “as a whole and in its details .... this new liturgy has confused or destroyed the Faith of millions of Catholics since the 1970’s to the point that most churchgoers today have an erroneous understanding of the Catholic doctrine of the Mass and sometimes do not even believe in the real presence .... The Church cannot ask her members to endanger their Faith. This is the reason why Catholics are not obliged to attend the New Mass to fulfill the Sunday Precept. In fact, for those who have knowledge of its inherent problems, the New Mass is to be completely avoided, as they understand that it is also an offense to God ...."
So let's see, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the most POWERFUL form of prayer in the world, that which Christ has asked his Holy Priests to perform for all time, is a product hellbent on destroying the faithful of Millions?
There is so much fault at this explanation I'll only briefly wax over it.
First of all, I quote from Scripture from the NRSV-CE the Gospel of Luke 11:9-13:
"9 “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for[e] a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit[f] to those who ask him!”
I may be no JCD or P.hD, but I'm pretty certain that tied into the OH SO FAMOUS Matthew 16:18-19, that Christ would NEVER let the Church be destroyed by Satan, and above, would never seek to purposely poison his sheep. Think about it, if the Church, were to do so, then clearly Christ lied in establishing His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, it would NOT be guided by the Holy Spirit, it would not bear the mark of HOLY, and at best Jesus as God made Flesh, reflecting God, would be nothing more than like the Greek Gods of old, who sometimes looked after humanity, but also sometimes had fun playing around with them, like in Oedipus Rex and other Greek tragedies.
Also fine you might go on about the whole Bugini thing and such. First, the general Church did NOT have the Internet to propagate information as quick as a button, so the majority of priests, lay leaders, etc., had to rely on whatever was taught/handed down to them. Liberal influences and people clearly got a hold of that to curb things in their favour. Secondly, the translators used dynamic equivalence, more meaning vs. literal translation in other words. That definitely screwed up the translation. Final point on the propagation of such a "malformed" product: If it was that bad, wouldn't the Church have more quickly closed up shop in multiple (arch)dioceses already, with barely a physical presence in the world today, with only Latin Mass parishes, Byzantine parishses, etc. surviving? If it was truly a product of the Devil, and we can trust our Lord to only give us truly GOOD gifts, as per His Holy Words above, wouldn't he have allowed rapid and quick destruction of those institutional parts of the Church with this new Mass to die immediately? Did he not also tell His Disciples that He would separate the wheat from the chaff, and cursed a fig tree producing no spiritual fruit to show that that which is not of God will wither and die?
Further to add, despite the calumnies of the SSPX against Holy Mother Church and the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, it STILL brings in converts and new faithful every year, around the world, at the Holy Triduum's Saturday Easter Vigil. If this Mass was clearly poison to the lay faithful, then why does the bosom of Holy Mother Church, continue to entice people to join her? Why then, would other noted apologists and lay leaders, such as Scott Hahn, Dave Armstrong, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Jimmy Akin, Marcus Grodi, etc. who are CONVERTS, attend such a "bastardized" form of the Mass, only to spread the faith and do their absolute best to bring other people into the Church, with their apologetics and Internet websites?
Now, listen, it's one thing to analyze the Masses properly, and state what has been gained/lost from prior forms/updates. It's also one thing to state that "Form X has a temptation to allow priests to become entertainers due to versus populum and factors a, b, c, in the Church." However to imply that the form itself is defective, as this "priest" has said, even if the statement does or does not literally say so, contains in itself heresy and hate for the Church.
On a final note, as for the Pope Hate? Once Pope Francis ascended to the Seat of Peter, Fellay had calumnious words for Pope Francis that he was practicing heresy by being a modernist from a sermon he did, and put it publicly for distribution on the SSPX regional websites, also committing the grievous sin of detraction, as well as what Pope Francis has called the Devil's work: gossip.
Conclusion Part I
With this history, and a gander of what these "fine" folks will bring into the Church with regards to their vicious stances against the Novus Ordo and Pope Francis, contravening Scripture and other important facets of the Church in the process, these are the "gifts" they will bring into the Church when they come in.
So then, with these gifts in mind and their current stance on our modern Church, why should the SSPX not be receiving the gift of mercy, unchecked, in having their canonical validity and status restored in Holy Mother Church?
That, my dear friends, and enemies and their fanboys/fan-maidens (I know you are watching me,) will be for Part II, which shall be scheduled for release this evening. But before I bid you adieu, Due. to the nature of this post, judging by the reaction I received here, in prudence, comments will be closed for this posting.
Ta Ta, and Pax.
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