SSPX Building Up Vs Pulling Down…

From blogger, Gabriel Syme…

Bishop Huonder of the Diocese of Chur (Switzerland) has announced he will spent his retirement with the SSPX. He is 76 and has wished to retire for a while, Pope Francis having already rejected his resignation in 2017. I don’t know a lot about him, beyond the fact he seems quite solid and has previously been “in the wars” with the LGBT and secular movements.
Presumably he will still be able to carry out the functions of a Prelate and so this could be a real boon for the SSPX. Rorate reports that Pope Francis is “well informed” about the Bishop’s choice and personally approves of it.  

Editor writes…

Clearly, those who have spread the falsehood that the SSPX is in schism, are plain wrong – have been all along, of course, but it must be crystal clear, even to the slowest of “liberal” minds, that Pope Francis (of ALL popes!) is hardly likely to approve one of his bishops spending his retirement with a “schismatic” Society of traditional priests and bishops. There’s a limit to embracing “equality”, “diversity” and “tolerance”.  It seems as good a time as ever, then, to reflect on the closing chapter of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics, written just twenty years after the dramatic changes in the Church, in the years following the Second Vatican Council.  

Archbishop Lefebvre writes: Building Up Versus Pulling Down (from Open Letter to Confused Catholics)

Twenty years have gone by and one would have thought that the reactions raised by the Council reforms would have calmed down, that the Catholic people would have buried the religion in which they had been brought up, that the younger ones, not having known it, would have accepted the new one. That, at least, was the wager made by the Modernists. They were not unduly disturbed by the uproar, sure of themselves as they were in the early days. They were less so later on. The frequent and necessary concessions made to the spirit of the world did not produce the expected results. Nobody any longer wanted to be a priest of the new religion and the faithful turned away from their religious practice. The Church which tried to become a Church of the poor became a poor Church, obliged to resort to advertising to collect Peter’s Pence, and to sell off its properties.

During this time those faithful to Tradition drew together in all the Christian lands, and particularly in France, Switzerland, the United States and Latin America.
The fabricator of the new Mass, Mgr. Annibale Bugnini was himself obliged to recognize this world-wide resistance in his posthumous book,21 a resistance which is growing and organizing itself unceasingly and drawing support. No, the “traditionalist” movement is not “slowing-down” as the progressivist journalists write from time to time to reassure themselves. Where else are there as many people at Mass as at St. Nicholas-du-Chardonnet, and also as many Masses, as many Benedicitons of the Blessed Sacrament or as many beautiful ceremonies? The Society of Saint Pius X throughout the world owns seventy houses,22 each with at least one priest, churches like the one in Brussels and the one we have quite recently bought in London, or the one placed at our disposal in Marseilles; also schools, and four seminaries.

Carmelite convents are opening and already forming new communities. Religious communities of men and of women created fifteen or more years ago, who strictly apply the rule of the Orders from which they stem, are overflowing with vocations, and are continuously having to enlarge their premises and construct more buildings. The generosity of the Catholic faithful never ceases to amaze me, particularly in France.

The monasteries are centers of attraction, crowds of people go there often from far away; young people bewildered by the illusory seductions of pleasures and escape in every form, find in them their Road to Damascus. Here is a list of places where they have
kept the true Catholic faith and for that reason draw people: Le Barroux, Flavigny-sur Ozerain, La Haye-aux-Bonshommes, the Benedictines of Alés, the Sisters of Fanjeaux, of Brignolles, of Pontcallec, and communities like that of Father Lecareux…

Travelling a great deal, I see everywhere at work the hand of Christ blessing His Church. In Mexico the ordinary people drove from the churches the reforming clergy who, won over by the so-called liberation theology, wanted to throw out the statues of the saints. “It’s not the statues who are going, it’s you.” Political circumstances have prevented us from opening a priory in Mexico; so faithful priests travel out from a center at El Paso near the frontier in the United States. The descendants of the Cristeros welcome them warmly and offer them their churches. I have administered 2500 confirmations there at the request of the people.

In the United States, young married couples with their numerous children flock to the Society’s priests. In 1982 in that country I ordained the first three priests trained entirely in our seminaries. Groups of traditionalists are on the increase whereas the parishes are declining. Ireland, which has remained refractory towards the novelties, has been subject to the reforms since 1980, altars having been cast into rivers or re-used as building material. Simultaneously, traditionalist groups have formed in Dublin and Belfast. In Brazil, in the diocese of Campos of which I have already spoken, the people have rallied around the priests evicted from their parishes by the new bishop, with processions of 5,000 and 10,000 people taking to the streets.

It is therefore the right road we are following; the proof is there, we recognize the tree by its fruits. What the clergy and the laity have achieved in spite of persecution by the liberal clergy (for, as Louis Veuillot says, “There is nobody more sectarian than a liberal.”) is almost miraculous. Do not let yourself be taken in, dear reader, by the term “traditionalist” which they would have people understand in a bad sense. In a way, it is a pleonasm because I cannot see who can be a Catholic without being a traditionalist. I think I have amply demonstrated in this book that the Church is a tradition. We are a tradition. They also speak of “integrism.” If by that we mean respect for the integrality of dogma, of the catechism, of Christian morality, of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then yes, we are integrists. And I do not see how one can be a Catholic without being an integrist in that sense of the word.

It has also been said that after me, my work will disappear because there will be no bishop to replace me. I am certain of the contrary; I have no worries on that account. I may die tomorrow, but the good Lord answers all problems. Enough bishops will be found in the world to ordain our seminarians: this I know.

Even if at the moment he is keeping quiet, one or another of these bishops will receive from the Holy Ghost the courage needed to arise in his turn. If my work is of God, He will guard it and use it for the good of the Church. Our Lord has promised us, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.

This is why I persist, and if you wish to know the real reason for my persistence, it is this: At the hour of my death, when Our Lord asks me, “What have you done with your episcopate, what have you done with your episcopal and priestly grace?” I do not want to hear from His lips the terrible words, “You have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest of them.”   [Emphasis added]

21 La Riforma Liturgica: Edizioni Liturgiche Rome.
22 At present, in the year 2000, there are 135 priories, 6 seminaries, 75 schools, 3 universities, 3 nursing homes, 4 retreat houses, 4 bishops and 401 priests–ed.

 

Comment: 

I don’t think there can be any doubt in the minds of those who have lived through the years since Vatican II that the SSPX has, indeed, built up (and continues to build up) the Church at this time of crisis.  Thus, it is heartening to read this news of the Swiss diocesan bishop who has chosen to spend his retirement years  in the Society.   Will other bishops follow the example of  Bishop Huonder?

It seems very clear that the Pope is trying to regularise the SSPX in a variety of ways – is there a  local bishop in your neck of the woods who may assist this process?  Why don’t the local bishops invite the Society priests to (“Mass-less”) diocesan events, for example?  Would the Society priests accept? Is there, in your opinion, scope for a sort of informal regularisation within dioceses to help normalise the SSPX situation?  

71 responses

    • Mary Anne,

      Yes, indeed, hope springs eternal. I’m glad you welcome this post – albeit that you are in a minority of three!

      Still, that’s not a problem. I stopped making jokes about minorities ages ago – I just refuse to make fun of smiling Glaswegians!

    • Lionel,

      It is, indeed, very good news. Let’s pray for more of the same! And here’s something to make you smile – we’ve got miserable weather over here, icy cold, so it’s time for a smile…

  1. I hope other bishops will follow the example. Priests too. Regarding dioceses inviting the SSPX priests to events, I think the priests might accept, at least initially. However, I can’t see any of the Scottish Bishops inviting them to anything.

    • Petrus,

      I’m not sure about the Scottish Bishops – some (like our friend Bishop Keenan of Paisley) is so keen (so to speak!) to be seen as “all things to all men, women and children” that he just might do some inviting, and I keep hearing praise for the Bishop of Dunkeld, Bishop Robson, who, rumour has it, is more than a little sympathetic to Catholic Tradition – at least one of his priests offers the TLM on a regular basis, or so I’m told.

      So, who knows what the future might bring. Never say never… Or, put another way…

    • RCA Victor,

      Generally speaking, certainly with reference to those who have attending the SSPX church for many years, the attitude is, in my experience, almost entirely negative. But then, the bishops have been almost entirely modernist.

      • Editor,

        That has been my experience as well. In fact, “negative” would be a euphemism…

        So refresh my fading memory: why would a mainstream bishop want to retire among a society where he is despised? (Apparently things are a bit different in Switzerland. Must be the altitude…or the yodeling…or maybe the legacy of St. Francis de Sales still lives in them there peaks and valleys.)

  2. I wouldn’t think that, in the circumstances, he would be despised. On the contrary, I think they’d consider his wish to reside with them as a feather in their Swiss hats.

  3. It’s worth recalling that this bishop is not the first to retire to the SSPX. Bishop Salvadore Lazo (R.I.P.) spent a number of years with the SSPX after retiring. He remained active for a number of years promoting the ancient Mass of the Church, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, etc., etc. Once he looked into the history of how the New Mass came into being he refused to ever celebrate it again. There are many good bishops in the Church still, at least with their hearts in the right place, if not always their heads!

      • RCA Victor,

        Interesting that you should say that, but just a couple of evenings ago I saw a clip of former President Bill Clinton in campaigning mode before he won the election, and guess what he promised to do – verbatim? You got it…

        MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

        Silly Hillary must have forgotten that because I recall her rebuttal to Trump’s slogan, when she said “America has always been great” or words to that effect, no need to talk about making American great “again”.

  4. I’m very glad that the SSPX clergy continue to forge ties with the “mainstream,” as evidenced by this announcement. I hope the SSPX laity all get on board this train as well, as many of them are…shall we say…presently not.

    Regarding the endemic attitude among SSPX laity toward the mainstream (personal observation from my former parish, not a comment about bloggers here) I liked very much Father Pagliarani’s concluding statement at the end of this new interview:

    “What is the role of the Society of Saint Pius X in this context?

    The Society of Saint Pius X’s place is to continue to love the Church. To love the Church all the more since she is disfigured, since she is suffering from this state of affairs. The role of the Society is to continue to love the Church, to pray for the Church and to pray for the triumph of the Catholic truth that is the truth of the Church. The role of the Society is to continue to serve the Church by denouncing with charity, but also with clarity these errors that cause the Church to suffer.”

    https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/congr%C3%A8s-du-courrier-de-rome-video-interview-fr-davide-pagliarani-44163

    This recalls another previous discussion here, the question of why Francis would be so generous to the SSPX, when his agenda is so clearly and consistently destructive of the Church and the Faith which he scandalizes daily.

    I think Bishop Fellay had it right, many years ago (either from early in the Pontificate of Benedict XVI or very late in the Pontificate of JPII, I forget which) when he suggested that the Vatican would like to keep the SSPX in a prominent cage in the zoo…where they are prominent, but well-contained. I have to wonder if that policy is still in force, in the unlikely guise of Pope Francis.

  5. I agree it is heartening to see a “mainstream” bishop make a move which indicates a high opinion of the SSPX.

    And all these little moves involving the SSPX are clearly a form of incrementalism, a tactic normally used by the unfaithful trying to change attitudes. How pleasant to see the method being used for good, on this occasion.

    Maybe some Bishops might follow this example, but certainly none in Scotland. That shower would mostly be like a fish out of water in such a Catholic environment. It is to be hoped that this development bears fruit, in terms of further positive news stories and exposure for the SSPX.

    It is clear the SSPX is operating as a de facto personal prelature. By this stage, only someone wholly ignorant of the facts – or deliberately malicious – could continue to question if the SSPX is Catholic, or if it is permissible to associate with / support them.

    Yet, it is surprising how many people fit these descriptions, even today. I was involved in a discussion on Fr Z’s blog, where we were discussing that some people’s regard for canonical statuses is reminiscent of papolatry. In that, they will accept everything and anything, from a person / group formally in “good standing”, yet will always flee from the SSPX in spite of everything their senses are telling them.

    I think the difference between SSPX supporters and many (by no means all) in the mainstream Church, is that (i) SSPX supporters ‘think’ and (ii) they make it their business to be well informed and ‘up to date’.

    If I was a Bishop and had the SSPX in my Diocese, I would certainly extend the hand of friendship and pursue co-operation. If ++Tartaglia had an ounce of sense, he would offer the SSPX in Glasgow the use of a Church in one of his failing parishes (meaning he would be spoiled for choice). He would not need to sell the building, just permit use of it – and see it flourish. Of course, thanks to his best parish priest, he already knows that tradition boosts parishes hugely, but he will not act on it. Not enough scope for ecumenical nonsense etc.

    I have long fancied St Columbas, Hopehill Road, for the SSPX – and my hopes were boosted when the Dominicans left. But no developments yet. There is also St Patricks, Anderston, but that building has an unfortunate history and – because it’s right on the motorway – can be noisy. That said, I once attended a mass there said by a priest of the IKCSP and the traffic noise was not too bad.

    With the Church, in Scotland and elsewhere, being in such a moribund and failing state it is time to pull together and “get the finger out” and so links should be forged and common ground sought.

    The SSPX priests in Scotland were invited to a clergy dinner when Bishop Schneider visited a Glasgow parish, but I do not know if they were able to attend. That is the kind of generous offer which can end alienation and get everyone working together to get the Church where it needs to be.

    • It is indeed heartening that Bishop Huonder has chosen to spend his retirement with the SSPX. This Bishop is indeed traditionally minded. And it seems that he asked Pope Francis to grant priests of the SSPX faculties for confession, so a source in the Diocese of Chur told Rorate Caeli.

      https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/05/pope-decides-to-let-tradition-friendly.html

      Gabriel Syme,

      I am sure I read what you said on Fr Z’s blog (you do get around). I agree with what you say. Living in the same Diocese that you do, If ever the Archbishop hands over an empty Catholic Church, not being used for any reason, I doubt he would hand it over to the SSPX. There would need to be a blue moon in sky before that happens.

      True St Patrick’s has an unfortunate history and as far as I remember following two particular things that happened there, The Church was never re-consecrated.

      • Theresa Rose,

        If ever the Archbishop hands over an empty Catholic Church, not being used for any reason, I doubt he would hand it over to the SSPX.

        Very true.

        However, If / when the SSPX does finally receive a canonical status, then the common episcopal policy of ignoring or undermining the SSPX would naturally need to come to an end.

        I wonder if that is (one of) the reason(s) why a canonical recognition is so slow to materialise.

        • Sad to say that the Archbishop is unlikely to hand over a Catholic Church to the SSPX. I wonder how many churches in Glasgow have fallen into disrepair or even sold, only to be used for some other purpose, rather than what it was consecrated for – That is the Sacrifice of the Mass.

          Hopefully we will see more Bishops coming out in favour of the Traditional Mass and Teaching.

          I wonder if/when the SSPX will finally receive a canonical status. Will the episcopal policy policy of ignoring and/or undermining the SSPX come to an end? Good point.

          Or will the Archbishop and priests be pulled into recognising that canonical status of the SSPX, kicking and screaming?

          I wish I knew. A canonical recognition for the SSPX is slow to materialise. Who knows how long it will take for it to happen. Perhaps it will take a miracle to change attitudes.

        • Gabriel Syme and Theresa Rose,

          Two questions regarding the hoped-for moment when the SSPX is finally regularized:

          1. Will the corrupt hierarchy accept this decision, or will they react as so many of them did to Humanae Vitae and Summorum Pontificum? That is, will they ignore it and continue to treat the SSPX as they do now?

          2. Will the SSPX laity accept regularization, or will they leave the Society in droves because they want “nothing to do with Modernist Rome” (i.e. the mindset of many of them)?

          • RCA Victor,

            In my opinion:

            1. I think a good many Bishops may well keep treating the SSPX as they do now. For one thing, It would require humility to change course and many of them lack humility. At least, we could expect attacks on the SSPX to stop and, if not, then the Society would have recourse to the authorities.

            2. Obviously my impression is limited to my own local experience, but I do not think many lay people would desert the Society. I think anyone inclined to go, has already done so in past years. For all the modernist problems in the Church, I do not think it is healthy to flee from the Vatican.

              • RCA Victor,

                I certainly hope that large numbers would not desert, in any location.

                All that would achieve is helping to dissolve what has been built up and keeping the balance of power with the modernists.

                Of course no-one wants to be within “the modernist fold” but if authentic Catholicism is to overcome modernism, then surely there must be some form of engagement. A spiritual battle must be joined.

                • Gabriel Syme,

                  I’ve given up trying to understand people. At my old SSPX parish, a family who lived right next door to the church left, and now travels some 30 miles north to a sedevacantist church.

                  Interestingly enough, some of the people whose theme was “have nothing to do with Modernist Rome” are also those who have numerous ties with sedevacantists.

                  You would think, since we are in the midst of the Passion of the Church, that such people would stay at the foot of the Cross, rather than try to excuse themselves from it.

                  • Why does attendance at a next-door SSPX Mass centre mean that one is ‘at the foot of the Cross’ while travelling 30 miles further is ‘excusing themselves’ from the so-called ‘Passion of the Church’? I don’t follow your argument there.

                    • Alan

                      If I am reading RCA Victor’s comments correctly, his point is that sedevacantists are copping out of the fight by just writing Modernist Rome off as schismatic. That way they can concentrate solely on themselves while others continue to recognise the Church’s legitimate authorities and try to find a way through the conflict.

                    • Athanasius,

                      a genuine question, in my ignorance, but what would be the difference (in the eyes of the Church) from attending an SSPX Mass and a Mass offered by a sedevacantist priest?

                      To be clear, I would never attend a Mass offered by a sede priest although I wouldn’t hesitate to attend an SSPX priest, but how to explain the difference, is beyond me, so I’d appreciate your advice.

                    • Alan,

                      Athanasius has answered well. Allow me to add: rejecting the Church in her Passion is equivalent to rejecting Our Lord in His Passion, i.e. the complete opposite of staying at the foot of the Cross. This rejection of the Church’s Passion is also a rejection of our chastisement, a rejection of suffering..

                      Or, to put it more simply, it is this attitude: “I didn’t do anything wrong – it’s all the clergy’s fault! It’s all Vatican II’s fault! It’s all the Masonic/Communist infiltration’s fault!”

                      Guess again, finger-pointers….

                    • Fidelis

                      Please forgive the long delay in response to your question, I’ve been very busy with work recently.

                      I think the difference is that the SSPX and its priests refuse to accuse the Church’s hierarchy of being malicious heretics, choosing instead to allow the benefit of the doubt on the basis that only God knows what’s in men’s hearts. So the SSPX takes the correct position of assuming material heresy while concentrating its efforts of doctrinal resistance and correction.

                      Sedevacantists, on the other hand, have no such inhibitions. For them, if the cap fits you wear it. They do not distinguish between material and formal heresy, assuming the worst possible motives in the souls of the conciliar Popes and bishops and declaring accordingly. This is forbidden judgment born of bitter zeal and it is absolutely schismatic. No subordinate on earth has the authority to declare the Pope and the bishops to be deposed heretics, the very idea is a fantasy.

                    • Al*n

                      You don’t follow the argument because you’re weighing it in human rather than supernatural terms. The miles travelled to a chapel is not important, it’s the doctrine held and taught by the priest at the chapel that’s important and which makes all the difference between being at the foot of the Cross in union with the Church or being there to hammer in the nails.

  6. I have had the honour and pleasure in meeting Bishop Huonder in the past and I can assure you he is indeed a very holy and humble servant of God. He often made the journey to the FSSP seminary in Wigratzbad in Germany to carry out ceremonies from tonsuring to priestly ordinations.

    I am not surprised he has retired to live with the SSPX; a blessing for both in my honest opinion. If you look at the statistics for his old diocese you can see he has left it in very good order.

  7. Thanks for the replies but I am still puzzled. Our Lord’s Passion was an historical event which took place in a physical location. It was possible to be at the Foot of the Cross, or not. The ‘Passion of the Church’ is a metaphor for the problems faced by those of us trying to remain Catholics in difficult times. In some ways it is an apt analogy but it is not exact: we must be careful not to suggest that legitimate Catholic authorities could themselves direct (rather than suffer from) the mystical Passion of the Church. My original question was answered with further assertions rather than with a clear explanation. I’ll add a further question, namely: Why does not recognising Francis as Pope – but nevertheless attempting to lead as good a Catholic life as possible (with all the privations involved) – represent ‘a rejection of our chastisement’ etc, while the SSPX position of recognising Francis as Pope in theory – but in practice ignoring, criticising or condemning his every word or action and acting themselves without any reference to him or his hierarchy – represent being ‘at the foot of the Cross’. Interestingly, I’ve heard many conservative novus ordo types or indult fans accuse SSPX supporters of ‘abandoning the barque of Peter’ by not staying in parishes and opposing ‘Extraordinary Ministers of Communion’, as Editor once did. Everyone likes to have an enemy on the right I suppose!

    • Alan,

      I don’t know what you mean by your closing remark but I’ll return to that in a minute.

      There is a manifest difference between attending an SSPX Mass where we pray at the appropriate point in the liturgy – along with the whole Church – for the pontiff, and attending a Mass where the priest doesn’t believe the pope is the pope. That’s one reason, off the top of my head, which would prevent ME from ever attending a sedevacantist Mass.

      You criticise the SSPX for resisting Pope Francis’ errors, which you misrepresent as “recognising the Pope in theory, but in practice ignoring, criticising or condemning his every word or action and acting themselves without any reference to him or his hierarchy…”

      No. Every SSPX church hangs a photo of the reigning pope in their sacristy, and Pope Francis is no exception. Nothing theoretical about that. And the only criticism I’ve ever heard of him from any SSPX priest, is perfectly valid criticism – more accurately described as “correction” actually – such as his comments about marriage which undermine Catholic teaching.

      Do you believe that Saint Paul did not recognise the first Pope “in theory” when he “resisted Peter to his face”, challenging him “because he was to blame” (Galatians)? Surely not.

      Again your accusation of “acting without any reference to him or his hierarchy…” is wide of the mark. The only reason the SSPX is still in an irregular situation is NOT because the Society is in any way contradicting any element of Catholic doctrine or morals, but because the entire Church, just about, is in the grip of the “diabolical disorientation” of which Sr Lucia spoke, presumably quoting a prophesy from the lips of Our Lady herself. The Society is patiently (a bit too much so for my liking!) providing the Sacraments and preaching the Faith in an attempt to provide a “lifeboat” for us, until the Faith is restored.

      Sedevacantists, on the other hand, have decided that they’d sooner break from the apostolic succession; I mean, they seem to be saying, it’s one thing to have had bad popes all those years ago in history, but, whoa! not today, not in our times. Thus, they’ve, sadly, it seems to me, placed themselves outside the visible boundaries of Christ’s Church, which He promised to be with always, to the end of time, expressly telling us that the gates of Hell, while they may (and have) come close, will not prevail against her.

      Remaining faithful, clinging to Tradition in times of crisis, as exhorted by the 5th century Doctor of the Church, St Vincent Lerins, IS to remain at the foot of the Cross. Hiding away, like the cowardly apostles until the crisis was over is not an option for any Confirmed Soldier of Christ.

      Turning now to your closing remark, in which my unworthy self is mentioned:

      “Interestingly, I’ve heard many conservative novus ordo types or indult fans accuse SSPX supporters of ‘abandoning the barque of Peter’ by not staying in parishes and opposing ‘Extraordinary Ministers of Communion’, as Editor once did. Everyone likes to have an enemy on the right I suppose!”

      Are you saying that I once accused those who attended the SSPX or indult Masses of “abandoning the barque of Peter”? That they should have stayed in parishes and opposed the liturgical abuses? Is that what you claim? Please clarify this asap. Thank you.

      Finally, IF, Alan, you are a sedevacantist, please tell us because our policy is NOT to enter into any extended exchanges with sedevacantists on that subject. They are in exactly the same category as the Medjugorje followers I (and others here) have encountered over the years – impossible to convince of their error. At the moment, I’m assuming that you have used the sedevacantist position for the purposes of argument, but if not, please let us know that, so that we may excuse ourselves from further exchanges – life’s too short!

    • Alan,

      My understanding of the Passion of the Church is that it is a corporate re-creation (within a much longer time frame) of Our Lord’s Passion and Death, which will result, as in Our Lord’s Passion, in the apparent death of the Church. In other words, metaphysically, Our Lord’s Mystical Body is analogous to, and one with, His Physical Body, and must undergo the same trials and sufferings…and eventual victory.

      As I understand it, the Passion of the Church serves a dual purpose: one, to confirm her union with Our Lord; two, as our chastisement. It is not being directed by any human agent, but by Divine Will. In other words, the corrupt and disoriented clergy who are the instruments of the Church’s Passion are unwitting agents of the Divine Will.

      My argument that sedevacantism (as well as the more extreme elements within the SSPX) is a rejection of our chastisement is a polemical one, based on the above analogy. In fact, it is also a rejection of Our Lord’s union with His Church!

      As for your statement that one can lead a good Catholic life while rejecting a Pope, I do not believe that is possible, since it violates the obedience due to the legitimate authority (no matter how corrupt) of the Church.

      Finally, the SSPX does not recognize the Pope “in theory,” but in fact (de jure as well as de facto). Nor do they “act without any reference to him or his hierarchy.” They actually pray for the Pope daily, while pointing to and correcting his errors – in fact, the errors of the entire post-Conciliar period.

      If that is as clear as mud, perhaps some other bloggers will chime in….

    • Alan

      “Why does not recognising Francis as Pope – but nevertheless attempting to lead as good a Catholic life as possible (with all the privations involved) – represent ‘a rejection of our chastisement’ etc, while the SSPX position of recognising Francis as Pope in theory – but in practice ignoring, criticising or condemning his every word or action and acting themselves without any reference to him or his hierarchy – represent being ‘at the foot of the Cross’.”

      I will answer to the first part of your question with a question:

      If the maxim is true that “where Peter is, there is the Church”, then it follows that the opposite is also true, which is to say where Peter is not, there is not the Church. Hence, if Peter’s successor is not Francis, elected and recognised as Pope by the conclave of Cardinals and accepted as such by the entire Church, then where is Peter and what has become of the Church?

      The consequences of declaring in the negative runs a lot deeper than many people imagine. For example, pre-Francis sedevacantists will argue that none of the Popes from at least Paul VI onwards were Popes. Or, they argue that they lost the papacy when they embraced heresy.

      Now, let’s take such foolishness to its logical conclusion. What they are saying, in effect, is that since these men were not Popes the men they raised to the Cardinalate were subsequently not true Cardinals. That means the entire hierarchy today, regardless of Francis, though probably including him as a non-Cardinal in the conclave that elected him, cannot be Pope. The upshot of it all, then, is that the legitimate succession from Peter and the Apostles has disappeared from the face of the earth and the Church with it. To put this in its blasphemous context – Jesus lied because the gates of Hell have prevailed because today’s hierarchy is entirely made up of heretical imposters. You see the madness?

      Now, before I point out the error in the second part of your question please allow me to correct your mistaken view that the SSPX recognises Francis and the present hierarchy in theory but not in practice.

      The SSPX recognises all declarations and decisions of the Pope and bishops which they issue by their legitimate authority, provided such issuances do not contradict Tradition and consequently endanger the faith. Hence, for example, the SSPX accepts and uses the 1962 missal of Pope John XXIII as well as the hierarchy’s transference of various Holy days of obligation to the nearest Sunday.

      There are many other such examples, but siffice it to say that if your assertion had any basis in truth then it would be fair to state that Pope Francis and the hierarchy must have missed something very significant, given that Pope Francis has been sending envoys to Menzingen and pretty much welcoming Bishop Fellay to Rome for personal discussions. Furthermore, it would be an odd thing indeed for a Pope to declare valid confessions at the SSPX in the full knowledge that this institution undermines his authority at every point. I’m sure you can see the fallacy of your argument here. The SSPX challenges only those things which endanger the faith, nothing more or less.

      This brings me to the foot of the Cross. Like St. John, the SSPX does stand with the Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross, publicly grieving the Passion of His Mystical Body while suffering derrision at hte hands of His enemies and executioners. The SSPX has never been fearful in its fidelity to Christ and His Church.

      However, there are others who, like the SSPX, grieve this Passion, yet they do so from a distance, fearful of being identified and punished. Then there are those who have fled entirely in terror, scandalised and disillusioned by what they see and cannot understand. These hide in an upper room, so to speak, afraid of their own shadow.

      St. Peter was one such fearful soul along with 10 of the other 12 Apostles. Indeed Peter went so far in his fear as to deny His Lord and God before men. Now imagine if Our Lord had the same mindset as the modern day sedevacantist. How might we imagine His response to this betrayal would have been. Is it not fair to say that He would have condemned these men as treacherous apostates who had deposed themselves from office by their own words and actions? Yet Our Lord acted completely to the contrary. Yes, He upbraided them for their weakness and unbelief, but then, having won them back, he confirmed them in their positions and sent them out renewed and heartened to convert the world. This is the difference between the SSPX and the sedevacantist.

      As regards being a good Catholic while renouncing the legitimacy of Francis’s Pontificate, I’m afraid that really doesn’t work. One cannot remain Catholic while rejecting the Successor of St. Peter on whatever grounds. The Protestants, in many cases, genuinely believe themselves to be good Christians while rejecting the See of Peter, but we all know that in fact they are cut off from the true Church as a result. The same applies to any Catholic who, relying on his own judgement, instead of hoping and trusting in God’s promise concerning His Church, thinks to sanctify himself while rejecting the one to whom the Keys are given.

      Remember, it is the office that counts, not the man!

        • Al*n

          “Why does not recognising Francis as Pope – but nevertheless attempting to lead as good a Catholic life as possible (with all the privations involved) – represent ‘a rejection of our chastisement’ etc, while the SSPX position of recognising Francis as Pope in theory – but in practice ignoring, criticising or condemning his every word or action and acting themselves without any reference to him or his hierarchy – represent being ‘at the foot of the Cross’.”

          I will answer to the first part of your question with a question:

          If the maxim is true that “where Peter is, there is the Church”, then it follows that the opposite is also true, which is to say where Peter is not, there is not the Church. Hence, if Peter’s successor is not Francis, elected and recognised as Pope by the conclave of Cardinals and accepted as such by the entire Church, then where is Peter and what has become of the Church?

          The consequences of declaring in the negative runs a lot deeper than many people imagine. For example, pre-Francis sedevacantists will argue that none of the Popes from at least Paul VI onwards were Popes. Or, they argue that they lost the papacy when they embraced heresy.

          Now, let’s take such foolishness to its logical conclusion. What they are saying, in effect, is that since these men were not Popes the men they raised to the Cardinalate were subsequently not true Cardinals. That means the entire hierarchy today, regardless of Francis, though probably including him as a non-Cardinal in the conclave that elected him, cannot be Pope. The upshot of it all, then, is that the legitimate succession from Peter and the Apostles has disappeared from the face of the earth and the Church with it. To put this in its blasphemous context – Jesus lied because the gates of Hell have prevailed because today’s hierarchy is entirely made up of heretical imposters. You see the madness?

          Now, before I point out the error in the second part of your question please allow me to correct your mistaken view that the SSPX recognises Francis and the present hierarchy in theory but not in practice.

          The SSPX recognises all declarations and decisions of the Pope and bishops which they issue by their legitimate authority, provided such issuances do not contradict Tradition and consequently endanger the faith. Hence, for example, the SSPX accepts and uses the 1962 missal of Pope John XXIII as well as the hierarchy’s transference of various Holy days of obligation to the nearest Sunday.

          There are many other such examples, but suffice it to say that if your assertion had any basis in truth then it would be fair to state that Pope Francis and the hierarchy must have missed something very significant, given that Pope Francis has been sending envoys to Menzingen and pretty much welcoming Bishop Fellay to Rome for personal discussions. Furthermore, it would be an odd thing indeed for a Pope to declare valid confessions at the SSPX in the full knowledge that this institution undermines his authority at every point. I’m sure you can see the fallacy of your argument here. The SSPX challenges only those things which endanger the faith, nothing more or less.

          This brings me to the foot of the Cross. Like St. John, the SSPX does stand with the Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross, publicly grieving the Passion of His Mystical Body while suffering derision at the hands of His enemies and executioners. The SSPX has never been fearful in its fidelity to Christ and His Church.

          However, there are others who, like the SSPX, grieve this Passion, yet they do so from a distance, fearful of being identified and punished. Then there are those who have fled entirely in terror, scandalised and disillusioned by what they see and cannot understand. These hide in an upper room, so to speak, afraid of their own shadow.

          St. Peter was one such fearful soul along with 10 of the other 12 Apostles. Indeed Peter went so far in his fear as to deny His Lord and God before men. Now imagine if Our Lord had the same mindset as the modern day sedevacantist. How might we imagine His response to this betrayal would have been. Is it not fair to say that He would have condemned these men as treacherous apostates who had deposed themselves from office by their own words and actions? Yet Our Lord acted completely to the contrary. Yes, He upbraided them for their weakness and unbelief, but then, having won them back, he confirmed them in their positions and sent them out renewed and heartened to convert the world. This is the difference between the SSPX and the sedevacantist.

          As regards being a good Catholic while renouncing the legitimacy of Francis’s Pontificate, I’m afraid that really doesn’t work. One cannot remain Catholic while rejecting the Successor of St. Peter on whatever grounds. The Protestants, in many cases, genuinely believe themselves to be good Christians while rejecting the See of Peter, but we all know that in fact they are cut off from the true Church as a result. The same applies to any Catholic who, relying on his own judgement, instead of hoping and trusting in God’s promise concerning His Church, thinks to sanctify himself while rejecting the one to whom the Keys are given.

          Remember, it is the office that counts, not the man!

  8. Thanks again for your replies.

    To clarify: I believe that Editor was involved in a campaign many years ago to persuade parish priests to stick to the novus ordo rules on the use of Extraordinary Ministers, which would have restricted but not eliminated their deployment. If I am mistaken about that, then I apologise. I was not intending to comment on her stance at that time on the SSPX.

    I was associated in one way or another with the SSPX for around 30 years and I don’t ever recall seeing a picture of JPII, Benedict or Francis on display anywhere. Yes they were mentioned in the ‘una cum’ prayer in the Canon but, other than that, they were usually either criticised or ignored. Such a course of action is entirely understandable but difficult to square with protestations of filial loyalty.

    True, RCA Victor, obedience to legitimate authority is necessary. But when does the SSPX ever show this obedience to the authority it holds to be legitimate? Does it secure the permission of the Vatican or of local diocesan ‘authorities’ for Society Mass centres, schools, confirmations, ordinations?

    Here’s an important question for you and all on this blog: Do you accept this solemn pronouncement made by Francis last October, and does the SSPX accept it?

    “For the honour of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Paul VI to be a saint and we enroll him among the saints, decreeing that he is to be venerated as such by the whole Church. In the name of the Holy Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

    • Alan,

      “I believe that Editor was involved in a campaign many years ago to persuade parish priests to stick to the novus ordo rules on the use of Extraordinary Ministers, which would have restricted but not eliminated their deployment. If I am mistaken about that, then I apologise. I was not intending to comment on her stance at that time on the SSPX.

      Thank you for that clarification. I was concerned that you appeared to suggest that I had “accused” the SSPX of “abandoning the barque of Peter” – something I have never thought, let alone said or written at any time.

      You are right about the early days of Catholic Truth when we were effectively part of the “reform of the reform” movement, working to get priests to end liturgical abuses in the new Mass. I can’t recall ever condoning Extraordinary Ministers but, along with everything else, I was trying to reconcile these – what I now recognise as scandalous abuses – with the integrity of the Church’s authority. As I have openly admitted in our newsletter – and am “shamefully happy” to do here again – it took me a very long time to get to the point where we had to change our by-line, so to speak, from aiming to restore orthodoxy to aiming to contribute to a restoration of the full traditional Catholic religion. The newsletter was launched in 1999, but I think it was 6 or 7 years later before the penny fully dropped in my pretty little head that only a return to the Faith of our Fathers, Mass and undiluted dogma, would lead to what we had set out to contribute to restoring: orthodoxy in teaching and preaching, plus liturgical fidelity.

      I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently, because it strikes me that even those members of the Catholic Truth team who were already attending SSPX Masses did not pressurise me. Looking back on those days, when I would ring our then Media Officer and moan about the fact that my Sunday had, yet again, been ruined by the shenanigans at Mass that morning, he would sympathise and listen, and, I realise now, must have been biting his tongue to keep patience with me, so “foolish and slow of heart” (to quote Our Lord Himself).

      And the reason I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently, is because, sorry to say, I am not so patient myself with novus ordo attending Catholics, especially those who express certain concerns, whether it’s about the clergy child abuse scandals or the dreadful teaching programmes in Catholic schools – see my article in the current, January, newsletter, responding to Barbara Coupar, Scottish Catholic Education Service, who seeks to justify the influence and input of the LGBT / Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) lobby in Catholic schools. I find myself less than patient that they fail to see the root of the problem – the link between the loss of the ancient, traditional Catholic Faith and loss of the moral sense. I need to remind myself, often, that they are acting according to the lights they enjoy at this time. In God’s good time, they will find that missing piece of the jigsaw and see the whole picture.

      One thing to say in conclusion, Alan, and it is of central importance in this conversation. Those of us who believe we have been given the grace to see that “whole picture”, however long it took to find that missing jigsaw piece (as in my own case, the best part of ten years between launching the newsletter and seeing the need to fulfil my Sunday obligation at the Traditional Latin Mass / kiss goodbye to my parish for the foreseeable future), must guard against the danger of spiritual pride.

      We, you and I, are no better than any novus ordo-attending Catholic in the land.

      The difference is simply this: that, with the grace to research the recent history of the Church, the machinations at the Second Vatican Council and see it all in the light of Catholic Tradition, and thus the grace to recognise the truth about the new Mass, we have been blessed to have been brought to a realisation that, by returning to the ancient Mass, we know that we are giving God the worship which pleases Him. It doesn’t mean that we are any better than anyone else, and it is a very fine line indeed between being thankful for that grace, and adopting a superior attitude to others.

      Take our teacher from the other thread – Pauline Gallagher. She has risked her career by writing publicly in Scotland’s only Catholic newspaper, to express righteous concerns about the LGBT dominance in Catholic schools. Every bishop in the country will have read that article. Be sure of it.

      Yet, I’m struggling to think of any traditional Mass attending teachers who have done, or would do, the same or similar, but I can think of more than one who seems addicted to the virtue of “prudence” to excuse their complicit silence. Having said that, there ARE teachers who do what they can in their schools and at meetings, so I’m not meaning the above as a blanket criticism, but there is no question that there are some who keep a low profile for very human reasons who would, nevertheless, consider themselves superior to Catholics attending their local parish Mass.

      So, thank you for that reminder of the early days of Catholic Truth and our well-meant but pointless (I now realise) efforts to “reform the reform”. My only positive thought on that score is that perhaps, having “been there, done that” has helped me to avoid that silly “spiritual superiority” (which is a contradiction in terms of course) that I am sorry to say I’ve sensed in some of those who, much more quickly than I, to their credit, saw the need to return to the traditional Mass. I’ve noticed in some – for example – a tendency to dismiss anything good achieved by Catholics still trying to live with – perhaps even those who have embraced – the post-Vatican II “reforms” (more accurately, “revolution”). It’s silly. It’s un-Christian.

      I’m rambling again – sorry!

  9. Alan,

    You keep moving the goal posts…in circles. To resist and refuse to accept the numerous doctrinal errors of Vatican II is not to refuse obedience to authority, since (a) the documents of Vatican II are not dogmatic, but “pastoral,” and therefore have no doctrinal authority, and (b) obedience to God comes before obedience to human error, within or outside the Church. Having been around the SSPX for 30 years, you should have learned that principle long ago.

    Likewise, the same principle holds for their refusal to offer the Novus Ordo, since it undermines the Catholic Faith and our Catholic identity, despite being promulgated by the authority Paul VI. By the way, the promulgation of the Novus Ordo has also been disputed as a deception by Father Gruner, RIP, who claimed, in one of his videos with John Vennari, RIP, that no new Rite of Mass was promulgated, but only some new Eucharistic Prayers.

    Not only that, but you have reversed the canonical situation completely by asking “Does it secure the permission of the Vatican or of local diocesan ‘authorities’ for Society Mass centres, schools, confirmations, ordinations?” Are you somehow not aware that the SSPX has tried continuously to secure that permission, but has been refused it (at least publicly) because they were first required to sell out Tradition?

    Which would you prefer, (a) that the SSPX surrender to the Vatican II insanity and be accepted in the mainstream Church, or (b) that they hold to Tradition and preserve it, despite being punished for it?

    As for your question on Paul VI, given the completely compromised process into the sanctity of a proposed saint, no, I do not accept that Paul VI, the second worst Pope in the history of the Church, is a saint. I do hope he made it to Purgatory, though. Further, I don’t know what the SSPX position on that “canonization” is, since I am no longer with the SSPX.

    But let’s examine this statement of Pope Francis, using reason:

    1. Please tell us how Paul VI promoted the “honor of the Blessed Trinity,” as he presided over, and facilitated, the demolition of Tradition.
    2. Please tell us how Paul VI “exalted the Catholic faith” as he extolled the virtues of the Satanic UN, for example, and gave away his tiara.
    3. Please tell us how Paul VI “increased Christian life,” as his actions caused Christian life to be devastated by his “reforms,” churches emptied, the priesthood and the religious orders decimated, etc.

    Lastly, I would appreciate your straightforward answers to these questions, as I am beginning to suspect that you are a troll.

  10. Ha, ha. Three posts and an ad hominem attack. Why do I need to answer three questions about Paul VI to prove I’m not a troll? I don’t believe he is a saint any more than you do. What you say about him is entirely correct.

    You and I cannot accept that Paul VI is a Saint, as to do so would be contrary to reason.

    But can’t you see the problem? Francis is clearly using his purported ‘authority’ to assert that Montini is a saint. He says: “… by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own…”

    Whatever happened to ‘Roma locuta; causa finita est’?

    Now we are required to second-guess solemn statements from a source which should be our sure guide according to Catholic teaching. Instead traditionalists prefer their own instincts, or the opinion of Father Gruner or Michael Matt. Doesn’t that tell you something? Who says the Vatican II documents carry no authority? The ‘legitimate authorities’ say they do.

    As far as the ‘flawed process’ argument goes; there was no settled process in the early period of the Church. Surely a ‘legitimate authority’ can be trusted to change the process? Surely a ‘legitimate authority’ can be trusted to tell us who is a saint?

    Regarding the SSPX: if it has sought permission, this has not deterred it when permission was refused. I am very familiar with SSPX apologetics having frequently used them myself. In fact I was expelled from the Latin Mass Society Committee here in the UK for my support of the SSPX. But one lives and learns.

    • Alan,

      I was expelled from the Latin Mass Society Committee here in the UK for my support of the SSPX

      Wow thats crazy!

      Without wishing to pry, I presume this was “some time” ago, before the Society’s status began to steadily improve (thanks to the authorities having to continually roll back and soft their stance)?

      I have always like Dr Shaw of the LMS and have found him to be fair minded and just towards the SSPX, often defending them in the face of calumny – so I would be shocked if this had happened under his chairmanship.

  11. Some very good news has just arrived in my inbox…

    FROM A READER IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND…

    I thought you would be interested to know that on Friday 8th March, St Michael’s [SSPX] school will receive the visit of the diocesan bishop, the Very Reverend Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth. The bishop has expressed his hope that he will be able to pray the rosary together with staff and pupils.

    Bishop Egan is one of the more conservative bishops in England&Wales. END OF EMAIL…

    It seems that, as the crisis in the Church worsens by the nano-second, the SSPX is, more and more, being “normalised”.

    Or am I being over-optimistic?

    • Editor,

      That is indeed good news and I do not think you are being over-optimistic by highlighting the normalisation of the SSPX (against the context of the increasing chaos in the mainstream Church).

      What a good example from Bishop Egan – both by his visit and also by the humility he shows (via “expressing hope” of being able to pray with the staff and pupils) – let us hope other Bishops follow suit.

      I just don’t know if Archbishop Tartaglia could make it up those treacherous stairs outside of St Andrews, Renfrew St?

    • I think, or hope, the wish of Catholics who follow the traditional rite would be to re-convert, if that’s a useful word, the Catholics who follow the Novus Ordo. Assuming we are agreed on this objective, meeting, talking and praying together can only be good. Those who think otherwise, and I know a few, had better be careful what they say and beware of “sins of the tongue”.

      • RuddyFarmer,

        I agree about talking to Novus Ordo Catholics with a few to “re-converting” them but in my own experience, they tend to think the Church began at Vatican II and so anyone not going along with the new Mass etc are rebels or extremists. It’s very difficult to get them to understand the issues, frankly, as they think “denying” Vatican II is the crime of the century, LOL! You’re not a Catholic if you question it.

        • That’s my experience as well – when you mention this blog or the Catholic Truth newsletter, novus ordo Catholics think they are extremists and that has to be because they discount anything that happened in the Church before Vatican II.

        • Margaret Mary
          That’s all very well but if you don’t try, try and try again you are not carrying out the mission Our Lord gave us. In any case we have Bishop Egan who is willing to meet, talk and pray so why not support this initiative?

          • RuddyFarmer,

            Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear – yes of course, we have to keep trying and keep talking to novus ordo Catholics at every opportunity. I just meant that my experience has been that they think if you don’t like Vatican II or criticise it in any way, you are not a faithful Catholic.

            I am very pleased about the Bishop Egan visit to the SSPX school, so I am sorry I gave the wrong impression. I wish more bishops would follow his example.

          • RuddyFarmer,

            I am same as Margaret Mary – I didn’t mean that we shouldn’t speak to novus ordo Catholics. We really must, as you say, “to carry out the mission Our Lord gave us” – hear hear!

  12. Is this the same Bishop Egan who described Amoris Laetitia as ‘a magnificent document’, adding, ‘On behalf of the Diocese of Portsmouth, I wish to welcome this document and to thank the Holy Father.’

    Naturally he tried to spin it as being in line with Catholic teaching. But his attempt to square the circle by interpreting it in an orthodox fashion puts him at odds with other so-called conservatives, who, instead argue that AL is not magisterial and can be ignored or, possibly ‘clarified’ in some way.

    Is it the same Bishop Egan who, last year, was considering plans to create a joint Catholic/Anglican Trust to run academies in his diocese?

    Philip Egan appears to be a very agreeable individual and it is true that he has said many things which CT readers would find acceptable; thereby distinguishing himself in the company of that least distinguished of groups, the English ‘hierarchy’. But this is a man who says the new mass every day and is not a ‘traditionalist’ by any stretch of the imagination.

    How will pupils at St Michael’s School view his visit?

    Editor: Two paragraphs deleted for promoting sedevacantist nonsense.

    I wonder if a picture of Francis will be put up for the occasion?

    Editor: not “for the occasion” – because the SSPX is not schismatic, and recognises the Pope to be the current pontiff, there is always, to the best of my knowledge, a photo of the reigning pope in all Society sacristies.

    • Alan,

      I don’t recall Catholic Truth offering any uncritical coverage of Bishop Egan or the other English Bishop reputed to be traditional leaning, for the reasons you have given, among others. When we learn of a bishop – anywhere, any time – who is offering a traditional parish or even speaking positively about the ancient Mass, we praise them. Criminal, I suppose, really, in the eyes of The Perfect Traditionalist. Thankfully, unlikely to be so in the mind of God.

      What is of interest to anyone of average intelligence, is that – given/despite the anti-SSPX propaganda which has been peddled for years now – we are seeing a bit of a trend where some diocesan bishops demonstrate that the Society is NOT in fact, in schism. We hear of a couple who have chosen to retire to live with the SSPX clergy and now we have one in England paying a visit to a Society school and expressing the hope that he may pray the Rosary with staff and pupils.

      It would be a very long wait, would it not, if the SSPX refused to meet with or pray with diocesan bishops unless they were, er, thoroughly orthodox, if not traditional.

      I mean, cough, cough, isn’t it a tad LESS likely that such bishops would be enabled to return to the full traditional Catholic Faith if the Headmaster of the school had said, “shock horror, NO! We’re not praying the Rosary with YOU!”

      In short, Alan – gerragrip.

      • Editor,

        “It would be a very long wait, would it not, if the SSPX refused to meet with or pray with diocesan bishops unless they were, er, thoroughly orthodox, if not traditional.”

        I believe that is precisely the “official” position of the “resistance-to-nothing” sect and their bitter leader, Bishop Williamson.

        • RCA Victor,

          You are absolutely correct. It is also, sadly, very likely the position of some others within the Society who are quite happy in the irregular situation, which Archbishop Lefebvre lamented and did not want to last for long, precisely to avoid such a schismatic mentality. All very sad.

          • Editor,

            Yes, I didn’t want to add that note about “others within the Society,” since I’m afraid I’m starting to sound like a Johnny-One-Note, but my experience with the SSPX verifies that in spades.

    • Al*n

      We proceed with charity and good will towards Bishop Egan. He is clearly misguided in many things but that’s where we Traditional Catholics are called to do our duty by trying to correct his errors. Cutting him off as though he were a leper will produce only bitter fruit. That’s not the Catholic way.

      • Athanasius,

        I agree – we must always engage with anyone in the diocesan churches who will speak with us – otherwise, how are they to come to an understanding of where it all went wrong? All of the modern Catholics I’ve met in recent years, including family and friends, appear to think that the Church only began in 1962. As Pope Benedict pointed out, this is a huge error, this belief that at Vatican II the Church began from zero. Wrong!

        • Editor

          Absolutely right. And it is worth remembering that many in the Church, even bishops, have been raised in the Novus Ordo and therefore don’t recognise the break with the past. We always have to give people the benefit of the doubt, at least until they demonstrate otherwise.

    • Editor,

      Yes, I believe you are right. I know there’s definitely a photograph of Pope Francis in the sacristy of the church I attend. The name of the local bishop is also displayed.

      As a point of interest, the sacristan asked me to contact Archbishop Tartaglia after he moved to Glasgow to ask what his full name was. The Archbishop replied and thanked the SSPX for displaying his name and for offering a Mass for him.

      • Petrus,

        Did I read that correctly… you believe I’m right? You ARE joking, of course. You will need to get on top of these typos… you obviously meant to say that you know I’m right – as ever! 😀

  13. Editor,

    That is very good news about Bishop Egan. I will not repeat the details of an older post about a similar visit here, but I will say that I hope His Excellency receives a more hospitable and suitable welcome than did our local Ordinary, when he visited the SSPX complex in his Diocese almost a year ago.

    Alan,

    “I wonder if a picture of Francis will be put up for the occasion?”

    That is a very curious comment from someone who claims to have spent 30 years associated with the SSPX, all of whose chapels have pictures of the reigning Pope.

    • RCA Victor,

      Your post appeared just as I was about to DISappear – it went into moderation because I have now placed Alan’s posts in moderation and so if you use his name, your posts will go into moderation.

      We do not promote, at any level, the nonsense of sedevacantism, so would bloggers be aware that if you respond to Alan, avoid using his name – you can doctor it (politely) such as A-an or similar, or just launch into your response, but, in all honesty, sedes, like Medjugorje adherents are just not going to change their beliefs. It’s a waste of time trying to discuss with them.

      Think about it: if it hasn’t dawned on them by now that, if we have not had a valid pope since Pius XII and all the cardinals have been appointed by the recent popes, and if they were not valid popes, then the future popes cannot possibly be valid either, ergo we will never have another pope – if that hasn’t dawned on them by now, and they haven’t put that together with Christ’s promise to be with His Church until the end of time, with Peter holding the keys to the Kingdom, (drum roll) then I’m pretty well sure, around 250%, that I’m not going to bring them to sanity if not to the Catholic Faith and neither will you, with all due respect. These categories – sedes and Medjugorje believers – really are lost causes. Trust me. I know a lost cause when I see one…

      • Editor,

        Thanks for the heads up about A____.

        To coin a phrase: you can bring a sedevacantist to the Communion Rail, but you can’t make him receive….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: