Guilt by Association …

Some time ago,

A reader commented that Catholic Truth is not included in the list of British Catholic Blogs  (BCB) and remarked “you’re probably too Catholic for them!” I took a quick look and agreed – there’s everything up there from “Auntie Joanna” (Bogle) to Medjugorje.

Some time later…

I decided to approach the BCB and on 21 June, sent a very short email to say “Hi” could we be included on their list, giving the website address.  That’s it. That’s all I wrote. Charming to a fault, straight to the point. That way, I thought, everyone who visits our website will see the link to our petition, which is not exactly winning any popularity prizes right now (tell your granny to sign). Good thinking, or so I thought.

Then today, the following reply arrived:

Thank you for your e-mail…

While I share your love of the Extra Ordinary Form of the Mass I can’t in good conscience include a blog on the list that seems to tell Catholics they cannot attend the Novus Ordo Mass. I understand the concerns mentioned by the SSPX article but I must remain with Rome rather than Menzingen.

It gives me considerable pain to write the above but my opinion will not change for as long as Catholic Truth supports or appears to support the SSPX position. Please pray for me, as I will pray for you.

 Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Malcolm Mann

Is it not very sad indeed, that even now, even NOW with the Church in tatters around us, there are still people like Mr Mann who cannot see the wood for the trees?

I did fire off an email, markedly less charming if every bit to the point,  to argue my case. I’m nothing if not persistent. I said, in words of unmistakeable candour, that it seems incredible that there are still people in this world (I refrained from saying “numpties” – I mean, would I?) who do not connect Our Lady’s plea-cum-prophesy at Quito in the 17th century (requesting  Sister Mariana to pray that her Son would send a priest to restore the priesthood in the 20th century) to the late and great Archbishop Lefebvre.  I mean, if that prophesy wasn’t about Archbishop Lefebvre, who, pray was it about?  I lived through to the end of the 20th century and can’t think of any other possible candidate. Can you?  Clarification: I lived to the end of the 20th century, but wasn’t there at the start…

Anyway, is it too strong to say that we at Catholic Truth are being discriminated against because we “support the SSPX position” – that is, because we adhere to the entire Faith, and reject modern errors and heresies? We certainly have no intention of suing. That would be the wrong thing to do (wouldn’t it?) but we’re interested in your opinion on this…

Was our reader correct to say that we are “too Catholic” for the  British Catholic Blogs” list?

Recommended answer: yes…

48 responses

  1. If Mr. Mann is saying that the SSPX is not Catholic then he is saying more than Rome has ever said. Yes, we are opposed to the New Mass in favour of the Mass that sanctified the saints and martyrs, but we have never called the New Mass invalid. So Mr. Mann bans Catholic Truth on the basis of its absolute fidelity to the Tridentine Mass and for no other reason. There is no sin in refusing a New Mass that was never imposed by the Pope to begin with, but there may well be sin in persecuting Catholics faithful to the Mass of all time.

    Hmmm! I think Mr. Mann should ask himself who exactly has changed the Faith of our Fathers to the great detriment of the Church these past 50 years. It certainly has not been the persecuted and reviled SSPX, which merely holds and practices unadulterated the faith handed down.

    And if he hasn’t compared the Encyclicals of the pre-conciliar Popes against false ecumenism and religious liberty, which he is bound in conscience to do before upholding such innovations, then it is he and his ilk who are the deviant Catholics, not we who stand by the authoritative teachings of the magisterium. Talk about blindness!

    • Exactly, Athanasius. All spot on. Spot -absolutely – on.

      I sent Mr Mann the link to this thread, so let’s hope he ends up more educated in the Faith than he is at the present time.

  2. There exists a Graucho Marx comments regarding club membership which is appropriate, but having imbibed but two glasses of wine, I cannot recollect the wording of the same. Hic!

  3. I’ve discovered an elusive Groucho Marx comment, which is,
    I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.
    But, don’t tell anyone, Sixupman, I’ve had 2 glasses of wine too.

    .

    • Talking about wine, I think Mr. Mann and his fellow conciliar reformists are looking at the Church today through rose-tinted glasses. They certainly don’t appear to see the tragedy that has unfolded these past 50 years since the “New Pentecost” hit us!

      • I’ve just skimmed the script of today’s Michael Voris video.

        Now, nobody could accuse Michael Voris of being a “traditionalist” – he is opposed to the SSPX * and he admitted himself during his talk here in Scotland a few weeks ago that it was only when Pope Benedict spoke about the filth in the Church that the scales fell from his eyes and he realised they had to change their video focus from their Obama and the “secular versus the Church” emphasis because “WOW, the crisis is in the CHURCH! WOW!” (“Gerragrip, one thought!”)

        Anyway, even non-traditionalist Michael Voris speaking from Rome, said on this very day, the following:

        “One Cardinal in fact was so concerned and disturbed recently .. that he went back to his home country and told some confidantes that there was no faith left even in Rome .. a slight exaggeration to be sure .. but an exaggeration pointing to a fearful reality.”

        Clearly, he’s not quite there yet or he would know that it is not much of an exaggeration at all to say that there is no faith left in Rome – if there IS any faith left in Rome, let’s see it. A succession of lectures about helping the poor doesn’t cut it.

        The point is, Voris has a bit to go – like Mr Mann – before he realises that God has catered for precisely this eventuality, by gracing Archbishop Lefebvre to see us through this beyond-crisis period of the Church’s history. Pray for him, because he’s a well-meaning and very articulate young man who will do wonderful things for the restoration of Catholic Tradition when that final “WOW” moment dawns…

        * The young man who organised the Voris visit rang to ask me if I would be willing to be interviewed by Michael (having wracked his brains and not been able to think of anyone else. No offence taken, I thought!) I agreed, in all humility, to share my good looks, my wit, my all with his viewers, and sat back and waited for the Dear Jane phone call. I knew fine well that when Michael heard I was guilty of attending Society Masses, that would be the end of my TV career with Church Militant. And, surprise, no surprise, I was right. In due course I was informed that they didn’t have access to the internet while here so couldn’t do the interview. I was so tempted to say “don’t fib – speak the truth” but what’s the point. It’s sad, but, as I say, I do believe Michael will eventually see the light and humbly admit his error about the SSPX. Anyone who is genuinely seeking the truth in the midst of this crisis, cannot come to any other conclusion.
        Here endeth the lesson…

        • One Cardinal in fact was so concerned and disturbed recently .. that he went back to his home country and told some confidantes that there was no faith left even in Rome ..

          More blabbermouthing. I hope that cardinal has found some more reliable confidantes who can keep their mouths shut.

          • Eileenanne,

            Like the Bishops who kept quiet and moved sex predators around different parishes, you mean?

  4. That last pay rise is going to go for a Burton, just when I was deciding what to spend it on, but in fairness the blog isn’t being accused of not being Catholic. Mr. Mann said I can’t in good conscience include a blog on the list that seems to tell Catholics they cannot attend the Novus Ordo Mass. His later reference to the SSPX position, I’m sure, refers to this, and not to the Society’s lack of catholicity. Well, you’ll have to face it, many, many times bloggers have advised others not to go to a Nervous Disorder Mass. Mr. Mann doesn’t complain, either, about bloggers saying the NO is invalid – I’m sure he knows quite well that we don’t say that.

    I’m getting onto the wine as well – it might deaden the pain of the rolling pin.

    • “I must remain with Rome rather than Menzingen”

      Sounds pretty like we’re being accused of not being Catholic enough right there, Christina…

      Now, where’s that rolling pin? Oh yes…

      Bang! Bang!

      • I notice that the petition is very slow, as it says in the article above, and reading on I wonder if there are people not signing because they don’t want to be associated with Catholic Truth, due to the link with the SSPX?

        I’m sure a lot more people visit the website than the 200 + who have signed the petition, so why are more not signing? Or do they disagree that canon law should be enforced in this way?

        • Probably a combination, Josephine. Thousands visit our website every month so there’s no excuse at all for the small numbers signing the petition. The thing is, some of them will be unwilling for me to know they’ve signed, but I don’t see the email addresses anyway, and in any case I do not take signing the petition as support for our work.

          The fact is, nobody who cares about the scandal involved will fail to sign that petition.

  5. I forgot to say it might have been better to put another name as petition sponsor if people are so against Catholic Truth, just to get more signatures.

    • Absolutely not! Anyone who is so full of hatred for Catholic Truth, should garner whatever tiny amount of integrity they possess and stop reading the newsletter and stop visiting our site. I’ve no time for people who allow us to spend money printing and posting a copy of our newsletter to them, when they do nothing to support us, not even sign a petition which takes a matter of seconds, and is really nothing more than a piece of “symbolic action” to quote the (pre-Vatican II) Legion of Mary handbook. Petitions don’t change anything. They are there to make a point. Catholics who don’t want to make the point that MPs voting for same sex marriage should not be approaching for Holy Communion, are a very strange kind of Catholic indeed. Heavens, I’ve even had LAPSED Catholics asking me to sign their names on the petition, because they are outraged that priests are disobeying such an important canon.

      So, no. We will continue to put our name to our projects. Anyone who is opposed to us can take the proverbial hike…

  6. Here’s one for the Double Standards Inspectorate. Under the “About the BCB list” tab I spotted the following:

    “Please note, however, except in extreme cases I am unlikely to delete a blog on theological grounds. In the case Catholic dissenters though they may seem far from the Church, who knows how far they have come even to be where we find them? Only God knows, and as I do not know His mind, would much prefer to err on the side of inclusion than make an unfair statement about faith by removing them too quickly.”

    You might break that one down for us Mr. Mann. “Dissenters” and “prefer to err on the side of inclusion.” Quite. The “theological grounds” laxity obviously allows Madjugorje blogs.

    Obviously there is a different standard altogether when it comes to Tradition, Catholic Truth, and the Society.

    “Only one offense is now vigorously punished, an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.”
    – Saint Basil the Great, Epistles of St. Basil, n 243

    “The body of bishops failed in their confession of the Faith… They spoke variously, one against another; there was nothing, after (the Council of) Nicea (325 AD) of firm, unvarying, consistent testimony, for nearly sixty years. There were untrustworthy Councils, unfaithful bishops; there was weakness, fear of consequences, misguidance, delusion, hallucination, endless hopeless, extending into nearly every corner of the Catholic Church. The comparatively few who remained faithful were discredited and driven into exile; the rest were either deceivers or deceived.”
    – John Henry Newman, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine, p.77

    • Leo,

      Do you know, I’d read that magnanimous tolerance of dissent and heresy and forgot all about it when writing the blog article. What a hypocrite, right enough. Many thanks for posting that nugget. And the rest, of course – every one of your posts is a treasure trove.

      Signed: The Green-Eyed Monster…

  7. I also accept requests [to have a blog included on the list]from people who are not Catholics but are in sympathy with the teachings of the Church.

    Of all the things Mr Mann writes on his blog, I find this the most perplexing.

    • Somewhat confused application of ‘in sympathy with teachings of the Church’. If there’s a prevailing argument he disagrees with why not even put a wee health warning by the link – could sure do with one for Medjugorje!

      Is there now a party line/editorial policy on never attending the NOM? I must’ve missed that memo and will now be subject to censure for my dissenting behaviour. Can you recommend a good blog for me off that list editor…no need, your inclusive blog has the foot in both camps thread to cater for my likes – surely a worthy reference for inclusion in such a libertarian directory.

    • Petrus,

      I’m not so sure this is a true example of the diabolical disorientation. I suspect Mr. Mann is just trying to keep in with the right people, whatever the cost. It reminds me of the Parable of the unjust servant.

  8. Athanasius,

    No. Not like that at all. I don’t think we should divert this topic into yet another rehash of that issue, but we both know that much of the criticism levelled at the Church for its handling of sex abuse accusations is unjust.

    • Eileenanne,

      I don’t understand your latest post. Are you answering Athanasius’ post of June 26, 10.01?

      This “reply” system isn’t as straightforward as I would like!

        • I don’t understand it – it’s a “hit and miss” thing, which is annoying. I’ll get webmaster to check to see if there is any way we can prevent it but I guess it’s one of those blips that occur from time to time.

      • I do find the new site a bit unwieldy as the comments are not added according to date and time, making it hard to follow the flow of debate.

        And, yes, it does seem a bit hit and miss when the “Reply” option appears under a post.

        • I tend not to bother checking dates and times unless searching for something but I’ll get webmaster to check out the settings to make sure all is as it should be. I did pester him to get this new site up and running after the fall of the old site so he did so, and promised to finish certain things asap. He now tells me that finishing the blog is top of his list when the holidays begin.

    • Eileenanne,

      Ok, I’ll put it another way. But first a reminder of your post:

      “One Cardinal in fact was so concerned and disturbed recently .. that he went back to his home country and told some confidantes that there was no faith left even in Rome ..

      More blabbermouthing. I hope that cardinal has found some more reliable confidantes who can keep their mouths shut.”

      Pope Francis obviously hasn’t. That’s why he won’t live in the Vatican. Things are pretty grim when the Pontiff himself is giving the Curail prelates a body swerve.

  9. I can’t in good conscience include a blog on the list that seems to tell Catholics they cannot attend the Novus Ordo Mass. I understand the concerns mentioned by the SSPX article but I must remain with Rome rather than Menzingen
    —————————-

    Which begs the question (of Mr Mann) how can he, in good conscience, promote websites which discuss Medjugorje as fact – a stance which is at loggerheads with the various official statements made by the Church on the subject.

    So much for “remaining with Rome”, then.

    His view would at least be worthy of respect, either way, if he was consistent.

    • Exactly, Gabriel Syme – it is his lack of consistency which lets his bias towards the SSPX show!

  10. Speaking as someone who doesn’t attend an SSPX chapel, I must say that there is an awful lot of hypocrisy on the subject of the Society.

    The constant refrain of “Protestant” against the SSPX for withholding assent to some of the more doubtful teachings of the Second Vatican Council is entirely misplaced since it has never been the case that Catholics are obliged to give unconditional assent to a teaching of the “authentic magisterium” (to use the terminology in use since the 1950’s). Where a teaching of the authentic magisterium is either unclear, such as that on ecumenism (since no definition of that term is even provided), or where it gives every appearance of contradicting previous magisterial teaching on the subject, such as that on religious liberty, assent may be withheld pending a more authoritative clarification from the Church.

    Here are some quotes from pre-Vatican II theologians on the nature of assent due to teachings of the authentic magisterium (sometime called the non-infallible ordinary magisterium):

     Fr. Nicolas Jung: “This is why we owe the “authentic” Magisterium not a blind and unconditional assent but a prudent and conditional one: Since not everything taught by the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible, we must ask what kind of assent we should give to its various decisions. The Christian is required to give the assent of faith to all the doctrinal and moral truths defined by the Church’s Magisterium. He is not required to give the same assent to teaching imparted by the sovereign pontiff that is not imposed on the whole Christian body as a dogma of faith. In this case it suffices to give that inner and religious assent which we give to legitimate ecclesiastical authority. This is not an absolute assent, because such decrees are not infallible, but only a prudential and conditional assent, since in questions of faith and morals there is a presumption in favour of one’s superior….Such prudential assent does not eliminate the possibility of submitting the doctrine to a further examination, if that seems required by the gravity of the question”. (Le Magistère de L’Èglise, 1935, pp.153,154)

    Fr. Hurter, S. J.: “If grave and solid reasons, above all theological ones, present themselves to the mind of the faithful against decisions of the authentic Magisterium, either Episcopal or Pontifical, it will be licit for him to fear error, assent conditionally or even suspend assent. – Theol. Dogm. Compl. Vol. 1. Pg. 

    Fr. B. Merkelbach OP:“Where the Church does not teach with infallible authority, the proposed doctrine is not of itself irreformable; that is why, if per accidens in an hypothesis (albeit very rarely); after the most careful examination, there seems to be very grace reasons against the proposed teaching, it would be licit without temerity to suspend internal assent.” Summa Theologiae Moralis, Vol. 1, p. 601. 

    Fr. Joseph C. Fenton: “The fact of the matter is that every doctrine taught by the Holy Father in his capacity as the Vicar of Christ must, by the very constitution of the Church militant of the New Testament, be accepted by the faithful for what it is. If it is an infallible declaration, it is to be accepted with an absolutely firm and irrevocable assent. If it is a non-infallible statement, it must be accepted with a firm but conditional mental assent“. Infallibility in the Encyclicals, AER, 1953

    The hypocrisy is that whereas the SSPX are constantly labelled as “schismatics” etc for not giving assent to these non-infallible teachings, others are given a “free pass” for not giving assent to teachings that do possess the notes of infallibility, such as the inerrancy of Scripture and the dogma that outside of the Church there is positively no salvation. In fact, I suspect if you surveyed most priests in Scotland they would not give their assent to either of these de fide teachings.

    The problem is, of course, that the law of the Church has been employed against the Society of St Pius X who withhold assent to that which only conditionally requires assent (the novel, non-infallible teachings of the Second Vatican Council) and not against those who withhold assent to that which unconditionally requires assent (namely, the Deposit of Faith).

    • Superb, Augustine. Absolutely superb. I agree with every second word (kidding!)

      Very clear post – and thanks for those extremely useful quotes.

  11. Sos, Leo, that should read 12.12 pm.

    I too find the new site a bit whacky. But, think on the bright side: we might have NO blog at all and where would that leave us?!

        • Definitely, Editor.

          Now I hope that was the right answer to the right question.

          You do know, Editor, how many psychoanalysts it takes to change a light bulb?

          Only one- but the light bulb really has to want to change.

          • Very funny, and while we’re on the (off topic!) subject of psychoanalysts what about this one:

            Psychiatrist to patient: “You have nothing to worry about – anyone who can pay my bills is certainly not a failure!”

    • “…we might have NO blog at all and where would that leave us?”

      With more free time, semper!

  12. Having NO blog at all might well leave us with more time on our hands. But, this blog is a thorn in the side of those who spout ecumenism, religious liberty and whatever errors abound.

    With excellent comments from some of our most prolific bloggers, who can fail to learn something of the Catholic Faith and Tradition.

    • Well thank you Missy Theresa Rose, thank you kindly!

      I’ve noticed that your own comments come into the “excellent” category so thank you for YOUR contribution to teaching the Faith.

  13. Editor,

    I have just visited the Bigoted Catholic Blog and found my own wee blog listed – of which I was totally unaware. I have asked he remove it due to his own inconsistency with his avowed “open door” policy yet obvious illiberal liberality vis-à-vis his apparent anti Traditional stance and failure to keep on message regarding the SSPX being within the Church – as clearly stated by HH Benedict XVI et al.

    Honestly the sacrifices I have to make for Catholic Truth………… Time for another glass of excellent Rioja.

    • You are a STAR Benedict! You are now definitely moving up the pay scale – fast!

      Why not post your own blog link here so we can take a look – it’s bound to be one of the best blogs in Britain, now that it’s no longer on the BCB list!

  14. Hello Everybody,
    I am new to the blog. I attend SSPX Mass once a month. I am fascinated by the comments above and hope to add my own soon.
    Best Wishes,
    Marguerite

    • You are very welcome Marguerite Finn, but may I express the hope that you will comment on all our topics, and not just those concerning the SSPX. Speaking generally, this is a weakness of certain SSPX Mass-goers. Too often, I’m afraid, too many of them take no interest in what is going on outside of the Society. Entirely the wrong attitude, lacks an apostolic spirit and – in some cases – might be regarded as evidence of the dreaded “schismatic spirit”. There are, sadly, some misguided souls who appear to believe that “outside the SSPX there is no salvation” – heresy with a capital “H”.

      So, welcome aboard, Marguerite Finn – look forward to reading your contributions in due course.

  15. I am sure I do not have to check but the English Latin Mass Society is on British Catholic Blogs, and many of them will never attend a Novus Ordo. What is more I am on the British Catholic Blogs and I have arrived at the stage where I am wrestling with the whole concept of the Novus Ordo. I am so mixed up I am saying that the Mass has to be valid `de facto` and not `de iure`. A clever distincition I learned from St John Ogilvie. The Fathersof the Council wanted some changes in the Latin Mass but they never envisaged a full Vernacular. But out of nowhere there came this Novus Ordo,nobody was consulted, we were all just told iit was VAtican II. Now I listened to the words `for you and for all` for many years without thought until the recent change to `for you and for many`. It was the violent opposition to these words that got me thinking. There was not just a minor debate here but a theological one. Were we all now justified as Protestants say and on the say to heaven. I know that priests in Germany have kept `for all` and since this is for theollogical reasons and we cannot any longer excuse ignorance there Masses must be invalid. But that means that what we had was a heretical Mass. Sorry, my mind just can`t take it. Sometimes I prefer not to think. Perhaps I will be removed from Catholic Bloggers..

    • j.kearney,

      You sound like a very honest person – so you will probably be removed from the British Catholic Bloggers roll!

      I don’t think many people know that the German Bishops kept “for all” – how can they do that?

      And yes, I do believe changing the words of consecration invalidates the Mass. Are you sure about them not using the new translation?

  16. j.kearney and Josephine

    Some Catholics do indeed believe that the changes in the words of Consecration invalidate the Mass, and for the following reason. The Catechism of the Council of Trent (Q.XIX – XXII), following the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, says that the form for the Consecration of the bread is This is My Body and for the wine For this is the Chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many to the remission of sins.

    So far this seems to prove that you are correct in your assumption of the invalidity of the consecration in the NO because of defect of form. However, Michael Davies in Pope Paul’s New Mass has explained that a consensus of theological opinion and the common teaching of theologians before Vatican II was that a distinction must be made between the complete consecration formula (as above) and the essential form which is “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood” which were Christ’s own words when he instituted the sacrament in specie. These words, according to Msgr. Joseph Pohle (writing in a pre-Vatican II manual of Dogmatic theology) …effect the real presence of the Body and Blood of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. Therefore these words effect the presence and constitute the essence of the sacramental form of the Eucharist. In the rubrics to the Roman Missal the form for the consecration is given in the full form as in par.1 above, but further states that any alteration in the form which changes its meaning invalidates the consecration, whereas changes which do not affect the meaning will allow the sacrament to be confected but constitute grave sin on the part of the celebrant.

    Another reason for distinguishing between the ‘form’ as used in the Roman Rite and the ‘essential form’ is that there exist in the Church other liturgies (known to the Fathers of Trent and those who wrote the rubrics of the Roman Missal) which have different but valid consecration formulas.

    From this it seems, j.kearney, that the use of the words “for all” instead of “for many”, probably don’t invalidate the consecration. They do, however, contain an important element of Catholic theology – the distinction between the sufficiency and efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice which was indeed sufficient ‘for all’ but efficacious only ‘for many’, i.e. the elect – members of His Mystical Body. In view of the possible doubt, it is as well that the new translation has removed this deplorable mistranslation of the Latin text of the NO Missal.

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