Instrumentum Laboris: the most shocking Vatican Document EVER?

“Will the bishops, successors of the Apostles be silent? Will the cardinals, the Pope’s advisors in the governing of the Church be silent, in the face of this political-religious manifesto which perverts the doctrine and praxis of the Mystical Body of Christ ?”

The first reactions in response to the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod were focused on its opening to married priests and the insertion of women into the sacramental orders of the Church. But the Instrumentum Laboris is something more: it’s a manifesto for liberation eco-theology which proposes a pantheist, egalitarian “cosmo-vision” , unacceptable for a Catholic. The gates of the Magisterim, as José Antonio Ureta, rightly highlighted, are being thrown wide open “to Indian Theology and Ecotheology, two Latin American derivatives of Liberation Theology. After the collapse of the USSR and the failure of “real socialism”, the advocates of Liberation Theology (LT), on the Marxist style, attributed the historic role of revolutionary force to indigenous peoples and to nature”.*

In the document, published by the Holy See on June 17, the Amazon “bursts” into the life of the Church like a “new entity” (n.2). But what is the Amazon? It is not only a physical place and a “complex biosphere” (n.10) but also “a reality full of life and wisdom” (n.5), which ascends to a conceptual paradigm and calls us to a “pastoral, ecological and synodal” conversion (n.5). In order to carry out its prophetic role, the Church must heed “the Amazon peoples” (n.7). These people are able to live in “intercommunication” with the entire cosmos (n.12), but their rights are threatened by the economic interests of the multinationals, which, as the natives of Guaviare (Colombia) say “have slashed the veins of our Mother Earth” (n.17).    Click here to read more…

Comments invited…  

100 responses

  1. Will the Scottish bishops do anything? Yes, indeed! Joseph Toal will worry about whether the congregation are sitting, kneeling and standing at the same time and issue a document thereon; Leo Cushley will sack a few employees to promote some “yes-men” parish priest buddies; Hugh Gilbert will spend his time in hiding, wishing he were back in the cloister. The bearded one will be trimming his facial hair, as he doesn’t have enough priests to do any bishop-ping. Stephen Robson will be thinking up new jokes and tales for when he’s next asked to speak at Carfin. The other one … erm … ahhh … name escapes me … And Archbishop P. Tartaglia will be swithering between a doughnut or a second meringue. [Ed: well, he has my sympathy. I have the same struggle…]

    Whether they will do anything about the I.L. for the Amazon Adenoid? Not a snowball’s chance: they won’t even read it. Too busy “ordaining” new “deacons” and “communion ministers” to plug the gaps. [That’s enough gaps. Ed.]

  2. That document is full of new age language. It really is shocking.

    However, I’m not really sure if it’s a working document only or if it has some kind of authority.

    Does anyone know?

  3. Fidelis,

    “Instrumentum Laboris” just means it’s a “working document” for a synod of bishops, so it doesn’t have any authority but it shows what’s in the minds of the bishops/pope, and it is truly shocking, what I’ve read of it so far.

    • Laura,

      And don’t dismiss it as a “working document” as if it is of no significance. Remember Amoris Laetitia? In the end, a lot of the damage was found in footnotes, more or less, but that didn’t make it less damaging.

  4. Madame Editor

    (Whatever may happen in the short term), “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

    As St. Padre Pio used to urge: “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”

  5. Wow! Six months ago, I couldn’t even spell “object of moderation “ and now I am one!

    • Leprechaun,

      That’s because you made a typo at login, when you omitted the “g” from your email address. Still, suggests you were in a rush to get here, so I’m not complaining 😀

  6. Here’s an excellent analysis of this deadly document:

    In short, it’s the “Catacombs Pact,” Liberation Theology, and the UN Agenda 2030 all wrapped into one package of abject surrender to Satanism, paganism, environmental quackery, and Marxism. A perfect example of evil calling itself good – but which no bishop or cardinal, with perhaps a couple of exceptions, will have the spine – or the faith – to call evil.

    If this document is approved by the Synod, I think we will be at the Crucifixion stage of the Passion of the Church.

    • RCA Victor,

      That’s a very interesting Lifesitenews article. I kept thinking, for something that’s been years in the making, how come we’re only hearing (or reading) about it now?

  7. Upon reading this Marxist manifesto, I wondered who the author might be?
    Convinced as I am of our Pontiffs theological limitations, and that all his global warming rants are composed by S(hell)enhuber of the Max Plank institute in Germany, but this diatribe has a different tone to his notorious Laudato Sei encyclical.
    Any guesses among our esteemed contributors as to who is the organ grinder?

  8. My money’s on Leonardo Boff, the Marxist cretin that Pope Francis has recently reinvigorated with his Papal embrace!

    • Athanasius,

      I’ve missed that news – I thought Leonardo Whatsisname was long gone. He was all the rage in my student days but haven’t heard of him for a very long time.

      • Editor

        I was also surprised when I heard that old Commie was still on the go, I thought he’d popped his clogs decades ago until I read that Francis had invited him to the Vatican after years of exile. I have no doubt he’s behing this work.

    • Athanasius,

      Gosh! I had to Google Boff, and he was pushing for women priests and then eventually resigned from the priesthood – and Pope Francis embraced him? You’d bet he authored that awful working document? Things are really getting worse. It’s terrible.

  9. The author of this document is supposedly a Brazilian bishop with an Austrian name – I saw it yesterday but now I can’t find it. Started with a “K,” I think. Whatever his name is, he is on record as supporting female ordination.

    • WOW, talk about perfect timing, RCA Victor. I’m just finalising my little newsletter (July edition) piece on the Amazon Synod of Bishops, so a whopping big “thank you” for that! I’ll squeeze in a mention of that little bombshell.

  10. The contents of this document do not surprise me, after all, it was during Francis’ pontificate that the writings of Teilhard de Chardin were rehabilitated, having previously been on the index. When Francis was at seminary Teilhard was very popular among modernist Catholic intellectuals. The document is thoroughly Teilhardian in spirit. Teilhard was a Jesuit and modernist theologian and Hegelian philosopher whose ideas were based on Darwin’s and are essentially pantheistic, i.e. God and the universe are one, and are evolving to an ‘omega point’, the cosmic Christ.

  11. Miles, thank you for that insight. I haven’t seen you here for a while, or perhaps I just haven’t been on the blog enough, but nice to hear from you.

  12. Notice

    I have just discovered that today’s Feast (Sts. Peter & Paul) is NOT a holy day of obligation, as mistakenly announced by the SSPX priest last Sunday. The Feast is transferred to Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday. Still, it’s a great Feast and Mass in St. Andrew’s chapel is at 11am for those who wish to go. Mass is also at 11am in Edinburgh.

    • Athanasius,

      I learned that last night over the buffet at Holy Cross, celebrating Fr Dunn’s Silver Jubilee.

      It’s really very bad that this keeps happening. I know someone who approached the priest for a dispensation because he is working today, and was given the dispensation but – assuming there is no deliberate intention to deceive – the priests need to find a way of checking the ACTUAL holy days, and not just rely on their memory of the holy days before they were altered.

      I’m just about to set off for Mass but I won’t be treating it as a holy day – and there’s only one way, really, to do that during Mass – reflect… 😀

      • Editor

        I have raised the matter several times with our prior over many months because it is not the policy of the SSPX to disobey the bishops in matters that do not threaten faith. He has not responded directly to any of my emails, the last one being sent just before Corpus Christi, which feast he also wrongly announced as a day of obligation. I am told he did speak on the subject last Sunday during his homily in Edinburgh, indicating, sadly, that he is fully aware of the transferrence of holy days by the bishops but will not be complying. That’s extremely worrying. I have emailed him again in the matter and copied the email to the District Superior.

        • Athanasius,

          I got curious about Holy Days to see about the authority and you are right, it’s the bishops who can make the changes with the approval of the Holy See:

          “The Code of Canon Law for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church lists (in Canon 1246) the 10 universal Holy Days of Obligation, though it notes that each country’s bishops’ conference can, with the permission of the Vatican, modify that list:

          Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church….

          However, the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See.

          If the SSPX wishes to restore all the holy days, they would need to contact the Vatican and seek approval, IMHO. Just to do their own thing, is to run a parallel Church which they are at pains to say they don’t do, and that makes them schismatic.

          • Margaret Mary

            It has always been the position of the SSPX to declare that a particular transferred feast is “Traditonally” a holy day of obligation, encouraging the faithful for that reason to try to get to Mass if they can. Sadly, the odd priest in the SSPX in the UK doesn’t advise the faithful in this way, declaring instead that transferred feasts are still formal holy days of obligation. It’s reckless at best, which is why I have now written to the Superior General to have it stopped.

            • Athanasius,

              I have thought a lot about this over the last week or so. I’ve always been of the opinion that we should go with the bishops. However, SHOULD we do this if the bishops are wrong to abolish certain Holy Days? I don’t trust the bishops to make the right decision and have far more confidence in the SSPX priests’ judgement. I don’t think it’s really fair to label them schismatic.

              • Petrus,

                That would make the young priest who taught us to accept the legitimate authority of the bishops on this, wrong. How confusing for us all. As I’ve said before, this crisis goes very deep and can be found to the “right” and to the “left”.

                I am of the view that since Canon Law specifies the authority of the bishop (with the permission of the Holy See) to transfer Holy Days then that is what we need to accept.

                However, as I’ve already intimated (and as I remember saying to a man who lamented the weakening of Church discipline on fasting some years ago) there’s nothing to stop anyone from attending the traditional Holy Days if they wish (and fasting from midnight prior to Sunday Mass).

                It just doesn’t seem fair to impose as an obligation, under pain of mortal sin, attendance at Masses which are not required in Canon Law at this time. I know people who are “worriers” (although I’m not among them!) so I tend to think like St Augustine who allegedly said that we should tolerate “all that the Church allows” (although I can’t find the blessed quote, now that I need it 😀 )

              • Petrus

                When Archbishop Lefebrve had a similar question put to him about acceptance of John XXIII’s 1962 missal, his response was simply: “If it does not endanger faith then we must obey.” Archbishop Lefebvre made the 1962 missal the norm for Mass in his Society despite some opposition.

                It is not for SSPX priests or laity, then, to question what may or may not have motivated the bishops to abolish or transfer certain days of obligation with a view to dispobeying them. Rather, since these changes do not affect faith they must be obeyed or we become schismatics.

                • Athanasius,

                  That is a good point. However, couldn’t it be argued that abolishing Holy Days for no good reason IS a danger to the Faith?

          • Margaret Mary,

            “Just to do their own thing, is to run a parallel Church which they are at pains to say they don’t do, and that makes them schismatic.”

            That’s a very telling remark, and recalls Editor’s reminder of Abp. Lefebvre’s warning – that if the canonical irregularity continues too long, a schismatic mentality would result.

            I must say, though, that there was never any such confusion in my former SSPX chapel about Holy Days, and I don’t see how any SSPX clergy could foul up something so basic.

            • RCA Victor

              You’re right on all counts, the Archbishop was always wary of a schismatic mindset creeping in the longer the canonical irregularity continues, that’s exactly what we saw with Bishop Williamson and the so-called “Resistance” a few years back. Fortunately, the SSPX got shot of them pretty quickly but there’s still the odd one with odd views, it’s not a widespread issue.

            • RCA Victor,

              My theory is a very simple one (well, as I keep admitting, I’m a very simple gal)…

              Since the Society is sadly infected with the error of clericalism, it follows from this that they see their work as being to encourage the laity to attend as many Masses (and Confession) as possible. They are very good at preaching on the basics of the Sacraments and devotional life. Much appreciated.

              Now, any Catholic worthy of the name wants to attend as many Masses as possible, just as any hard-working employee wants as much overtime as possible in these days of economic austerity, but while it’s great to have a boss who keeps that in mind and provides as much overtime as possible, it’s a very thoughtless (to say the least) boss who forces an employee to do overtime which may entail neglecting other duties or, unnecessarily, cause him/her stress and difficulty in their everyday lives.

              That’s my theory. Having NOT exactly fired up the faithful in Scotland to go into the highways and byways to exercise their Confirmation duty to spread the Faith as much as possible, if only to bring more people to the traditional Mass, the only other way to keep us all busy and give the impression of a thriving [parish-type] church, is to fill the pews as often as possible, and give the appearance of fidelity to “Tradition”. The problem is, it’s NOT being faithful to Tradition to deny the legitimate authority of the bishops. What next? Will the SSPX begin to support false apparitions sites like Medjugorje?

              I’m really puzzled at the lack of clear thinking of those priests who are insisting on announcing obligatory Holy Days of obligation when there IS no obligation. It’s actually dishonest.

              It just means we have to be extra-vigilant to make sure that nobody is put in the position of re-arranging their lives to fit in an obligation when there is none. It wasn’t an issue when we all lived a stone’s throw from our parish churches and did our best to attend daily Mass when we could, anyway, but now it’s different – and it’s not the fault of the laity that it’s different.

              Finally, in order to halt those who might use this as a stick with which to beat the SSPX, one of our former priests, a young, not long ordained priest, explained very clearly to us in his sermons, on at least one occasion that stands out in my mind, that the acceptance of the local bishop’s authority in the matter of holy days of obligation is as example that we may and should use to disprove the allegation that the Society in in schism.

              If only we had him here now! If he’s reading this, thank you for your clarity and common sense on this issue, and please pray that your brother priests likewise come round to seeing the importance of not imposing false obligations on the faithful. We are all happy to be reminded that this or that Feast was “traditionally” a holy day of obligation and thus there will be Mass to mark that day (several of us who know that, attended Mass today in honour of SS Peter & Paul) but it is a falsehood to announce a current obligation when there is none.

              Finally, it should also be noted that the current Prior is a convert to the Faith and I’ve heard it said (and am beginning to agree) that, wonderful as the majority of converts prove to be, they are not always clear-minded on the matter of the Catholic spirit of obedience to ecclesiastical authority – the case in point at that time was Bishop Williamson and his aversion to all things “Roman”.

              • Editor,

                I see your simple theory and raise (or lower) you one even simpler: this issue of Holy Days aside, I think what the SSPX has been doing can be characterized as “preaching to the choir.”

                All well and good, to sanctify the choir, but as you say, where are the conversion efforts?

                I should add, though, in their favor, that the Society does have another mechanism for conversion: its schools. In my experience, those schools do attract some new (i.e. non-SSPX) Catholic families who want a traditional Catholic education for their children, even families who aren’t quite sure about the canonical status of the SSPX.

                (For that matter, who is sure about the canonical status of the SSPX??)

        • Athanasius,

          If the Prior announced in Edinburgh that “…he is fully aware of the transference of holy days by the bishops but will not be complying” then I think he must stop referring to himself as a “traditional priest”.

          If, in fact, the Prior DID say that, then that puts us in something of a quandary.

          One of the priests told me a couple of years back that just about every new person to whom he has spoken recently (at that time) had come to the SSPX in Scotland via Catholic Truth.

          We have actively encouraged people to attend, explaining that the Society is not in schism (although there are certainly some few people with the schismatic mindset) – but if the priest(s) are going to exhibit the schismatic mindset, well, that gives me, certainly, pause for thought.

          Not sure of your Edinburgh source but I’ll check that out with one of mine, in the hope that there’s been some kind of misunderstanding.

          • Editor,

            It is absolutely not true that the Prior said what has been reported on this thread. I’ve just listened to the sermon and he said nothing of the sort. It can be found here:


            Now, the webmaster has made a mistake and said this sermon was given in Gateshead. It wasn’t. I confirmed that this is the sermon from Edinburgh.

            I have to say that we should all be very careful when we attempt to quote priests.

            • Petrus,

              Thanks for that link – I will listen to it shortly.

              I’ve also emailed a friend in Edinburgh who attends the Masses there, and who has always proven to be a reliable source to date.

              I would think that quoting something said during a public sermon is not normally a case for “being careful”. Quoting private conversations is a different matter.

              I did make the point that I would check with my reliable source in case this is a misunderstanding, so there is no dynamite accusation being thrown around.

              Thank you for the link, which I will assume is the relevant sermon, unedited.

              • Editor,

                Quoting something said in a public sermon isn’t something one must be careful about, as long as what has been quoted was actually said – which isn’t the case here.

                You weren’t the one who quoted the priest, but my point is that we shouldn’t say a priest said this or that when we aren’t actually sure if he did say it.

            • Petrus,

              I’ve just listened to that great sermon – a really excellent sermon!

              I can’t hear any mention of Holy Days of obligation at all so it seems there has been some kind of misunderstanding by at least one member of the congregation in Edinburgh last week.

              In answer to your concluding sentence – there’s so much that is highly “quotable” in that sermon that I couldn’t possibly remember it all!

              Thank you again – that clears up that very important matter. And, for the record, here’s a message just in from that mistaken Edinburgh person, who meant well, but probably needs to get his/her ear trumpet adjusted 😀

          • Editor

            Hold that result! I am now in the process of checking my source to find out if Fr. Wall did in fact make it that plain. If the recording of Petrus is from Edinburgh, which is for me questionable given the echo, then it is clear that Fr. Wall did not state clearly that he would disobey the bishops in this matter.

            I really hope he did declare openly because it would be more honest than ignoring repeated emails from the faithful correcting him, instead slipping his response in with a few remarks during a sermon. There is no question that Fr. Wall has decided not to obey the bishops in the matter of holy days of obligation. If it were otherwise then he would have corrected matters by now.

            • Athanasius,

              I do hope you are wrong as I would hate to think that of our Prior.

              One thing I do know, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, is that he prefers to be approached in conversation rather than by written communication.

              Since I prefer written communication, we’ve not been in touch for quite some time 😀 but it may be an idea for you to try to have a word with him after Mass tomorrow, rather than write again.

              On the other hand, doesn’t always work out the way one imagines…

              • Editor

                I had a very lengthy 90 minute private conversation in Carluke with our prior shortly after he took up his position, at which time I discussed a number of quite serious issues with him. He was very courteous and agreed with me on some matters, promising to address them right away. Then nothing happened. So face to face conversations don’t work with him either. Anyway, a matter of great importance, such as the one being discussed here, should be welcomed by a priest however it is communicated.

                Love the caption!

            • Athanasius,

              The recording IS from Edinburgh. I’ve had that confirmed. Echo is hardly a reliable indication of where a recording takes place as the number of bodies in the room, positioning of the bodies, air temperature and positioning of the recording device can all influence the apparent echo. I also repeat what I said in the comment below – during the sermon the Prior says, “here in Scotland”. There’s no doubt whatsoever it’s Edinburgh. To be honest, I think he deserves an apology.

              I also second what the editor said about speaking to the Prior in person. That would be far more fruitful than simply criticising him online.

              • Petrus

                No, he does not deserve an apology. By his consistent disobedience to the bishops in the matter of holy days of obligation, I think our prior owes the faithful an apology for deliberately and repeatedly misleading them. I am prepared to forego the apology he also owes me for failing in charity and good manners to respond to my emails in the matter.

                I will confirm myself whether or not this recording was made in Edinburgh, though it’s really academic as I am now satisfied that our prior knows exactly what he’s doing when he announces holy days of obligation that he knows to be abolished or transferred.

                That should be of the greatest concern to all of us because of the very serious implications of clerical disobedience to lawful authorities in the Church. Apologies are very much a secondary issue. I hold all Catholic priests to account for their words and actions during this crisis, watching that they never depart either to the left or to the right from the Catholic Faith I was taught. I respect our priests and pray for them, but I am the sycophant of none.

                • Athanasius,

                  It is most unjust to post inaccurate quotes from a priest and then when a recording is posted of the sermon in question to make quite ridiculous statements about echoes. It beggars belief. Not only has the recording being offered, an eye witness has confirmed that what you posted is not true. I’m sorry but this is quite clearly calumny and is very serious considering it is aimed at a priest. I hope you reflect on this. It’s not about being a sycophant , it’s about being honest and decent.

                  • Petrus

                    It turns out that the sermon is either NOT from Edinburgh or has been edited and had 10 minutes cut out, the relevant 10 minutes. I have verified with two people who listened to it and timed it.

                    • Athanasius,

                      And yet the editor’s source said it wasn’t mentioned. After the Facebook comments posted a few months ago, I just do not trust one of your sources when it comes to the prior.

                  • Petrus

                    Be very careful with your accusations of calumny and injustice. It is neither unjust nor calumnious to declare with sound evidence (my many unanswered emails of correction and a clear recounting from two eye witnesses of [the Prior’s] exact words decrying the bishops during his sermon in Edinburgh last week) that the priest in question has a schismatic mindset.

                    I’lll tell you what, you and I will both go to the sacristy tomorrow after Mass and I will put the question directly to [the Prior] not just about holy days of obligation but also the words he used last week against the bishops. Are you up for it?

                    • Athanasius,

                      This is becoming quite ridiculous now. I will be at Mass with my family and the last thing I have the time, or inclination, to do is to traipse into the sacristy with you. We the sermon and we have editor’s eye witness. That’s good enough for me. I will leave you and your brother to your unjust vendetta against the Prior.

              • Petrus

                The recording, as I thought by the echo in the background, is not from Edinburgh. The Edinburgh sermon was at least ten minutes longer duing which [the Prior] inveighed against the bishops who transfer holy days of obligation. to paraphrase: “It’s not Rome that’s changing the holy days of obligation, it’s the bishops. These are the same bishops who tell people to stand and receive holy communion in the hand…”

                I have confirmed this with two sources, one of them being my brother who sat and listened to the entire diatribe. He told me about it when he came home last Sunday, saying that he knew it to be [the Prior’s] response to my emails.

                I don’t know who told you the linked sermon was in Edinburgh but they are definitely mistaken. Either that or the sermon has had 10 minutes cut from it.

    • MM,

      I’m not sure what to make of that report. This stood out:

      Brandmüller wrote, “that the Instrumentum laboris contradicts the binding teaching of the Church in decisive points and thus has to be qualified as heretical.” Then again, these things usually are pretty awful. Brandmüller could well be overstating his case — even the most egregious statements in the document may be susceptible of an orthodox construction — but this one really is special, nonetheless.”

      I couldn’t find (on an admittedly quick skim) any examples offered ot the Cardinal “overstating his case” and given what we DO know of the document’s contents, I suspect that it would be extremely difficult to “overstate” the case for heresy!

  13. Petrus

    I listened to the recorded sermon of Fr. Wall you linked but I’m not sure it was the one given in Edinburgh. The echo in the chapel is not common to the Edinburgh chapel and there appears to be some part of the sermon absent, at least as relayed to me, concerning bishops destroying the faith in relation to the Mass. Anyway, the following is noteworthy.

    You may or may not recall that Corpus Christi was announced as a holy day of obligation on the Sunday immediately prior to the feast. I checked this out on the archdiocesan website and found it to be incorrect, as other such announcements have been in the past. I wrote to the prior to ask why, given previous corrections in this matter, yet another feast was announced as obligatory when it is no longer obligatory by order of the bishops. As in previous correspondence I reminded the prior that we have to be very careful not to give the impression of schismatic mindset in the SSPX by undermining the legitimate authority of the bishops in matters that do not endanger faith.

    I received no direct response to my email, as charity and good manners dictate, nor indeed have I reveived a response to my latest email asking why, despite the aforementioned correspondence, yet another feast, Sts. Peter & Paul, was announced as a holy day of obligation.

    Having had dealings with Fr. Wall in other things, however, I know when I am getting a response indirectly, and it’s in the sermon you linked:

    @ 3.17 minutes. The prior says this: “Pride is knowing better, I suppose, regarding your obligations. The Church says you must assist at holy Mass every Sunday and holy day of obligation, you actually know better…

    @6.46 he adds for clarity: “So on this Sunday in the Octave of Corpus Christi, I think it would be very useful to consider why Our Lord instituted the Blessed Sacrament and the reasons why we want to come to the banquet instead of going into all the reasons why some people don’t want to come…

    At any rate, I have correspnded with Fr. Wall numerous times now about announcing these feasts as obligatory when they are not and he just ignores me and continues regardless. That tells me that the prior has no interest in obeying the bishops and is quite content to continue misleading the faithful in this important matter.

    As an aside, I had to correct the previous prior on this issue as he too was announcing transferred and abolished feasts as holy days of obligation. I remember well that he was not at all pleased by my intervention but, to his credit, he never again announced a day of obligation that conflicted with the Church’s authorities.

    • Athanasius,

      The sermon was definitely given in Edinburgh. You may have missed the part where the Prior said, “here in Scotland”.

      • My source in Edinburgh has just replied as follows:

        “Father said that the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul was a Holy day of Obligation in the Universal Church and that the Bishops of Scotland had decided that if a feast falls on Saturday or Sunday then there is no obligation to attend Mass but certainly didn’t say that he wasn’t going to comply.
        Ed: Thank goodness for that…

        He did say that he found it strange that there are traditionalists who are quite happy to disobey the local Bishop when he says that you can’t attend an SSPX chapel, or that you can fulfil your Sunday obligation on a Saturday, or can take Communion in the hand, or on a whole lot of other things, but want to obey him when it comes to Holydays of Obligation.
        Ed: That’s a false dichotomy. I have been at pains in my comments on this to emphasise the bishops’ legitimate authority. They cannot command us to not to attend an SSPX Mass under current conditions, not least because the Vatican has approved attendance, and they cannot command Communion in the hand etc because that is a clear danger to Faith, as the statistics on belief in the Real Presence testify. They are, however, authorised, with permission from the Holy See, to alter the Holy Days, and thus there is a case to be made for accepting that authority – always, of course, knowing that where possible we should attend Mass to mark the traditional Feasts.

        I have a friend who goes to Fr Emerson and he says that the FSSP were keeping today as a Holy Day of Obligation. The Bishops of England have transferred the feast to Sunday but again, the FSSP there is keeping it as a Day of Obligation. Last week’s newsletter from their church in Warrington has this

        Sat 29 Sts. Peter & Paul Apostles, First Class, Holy day of obligation 8:00 am 12:10pm

        Apparently the Institute of Christ the King also announced today as a Day of Obligation at their church in the Wirral,

        Saturday 29th June: Feast of Ss Peter & Paul Holy day of Obligation in England & Wales Masses at 10am & 12 noon

        So neither of those Orders are following the local Bishops. According to someone who attends the FSSP in Warrington this is because the Ecclesia Dei Commission said that communities who follow the Traditional Mass keep the traditional calendar and traditional Holy Days.

        To get back to [the SSPX Prior in Scotland], he didn’t mention anything about not complying. End of email.

        Now, that statement from the Ecclesia Dei Commission is news to me – so maybe that really does change the situation.

        Oh, to have been born and lived in the 19th century (or earlier!) … 😀

        • Editor,

          Out of curiosity I consulted my 1962 Missal (Angelus Press) on “Holy Days of Obligation for England, Wales and Scotland”:

          All Sundays – The Octave Day of the Nativity, Jan. 1 – The Epiphany, Jan. 6 – Ascension Day – Corpus Christi – SS. Peter & Paul, June 29 – The Assumption, Aug. 15 – All Saints, Nov. 1 – Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

          In Scotland, besides the above for England: St. Joseph, Mar. 19 – The Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8.

          • RCA Victor

            The bishops have since transferred Sts. Peter & Paul if the Feast falls on Saturday or Monday.

        • Editor

          My sources confirm that your source is more or less correct in recounting Fr. Wall’s words. There are a few differences, though. First of all Fr. Wall was banging his finger on the lectern saying: “these are the same bishops who order you not to go to Mass at the SSPX and command that you recieve Holy Communion in the hand, yet everyone wants to obey them when they transfer a holy day of obligation.” He then added “I mean, there comes a point when you have to take a stand”. That’s an important addition given that Fr. Wall has repeatedly ignored all correspondence from me about holy days of obligation and didn’t actually say we should obey the bishops.

          As far as those other institutions are concerned, FSSP, ICK, etc., if memory serves they are permitted to celebrate Mass on Traditional holy days of obligation, following the old calendar, but they are not permitted to overrule the bishops in the matter of obligation.

      • Petrus

        See my response at 11.24pm further up.

        Can you give me the time on the recording where Scotland is mentioned, I’ve listened twice and have not heard mention of Scotland. At any rate, if it was in Edinburgh then it has been cut down by at least 10 minutes because my brother times Fr. Wall’s sermons and assures me that last Sunday’s was 25 minutes long and contained definite negative references to the local bishops.

        • Athanasius,

          Yes, I will listen again and give you the time. I have to ask, why on earth does your brother time the sermons????

          • Petrus

            He times the sermons because he has to work on some Sunday’s and the times of the sermons with Fr. Wall have been known to extend to 35 minutes, often with little edification value.

            • Athanasius,

              I get that some people have to work. What I DON’T get is why specifically the sermon is timed. Doesn’t quite make sense.

              I disagree entirely that the sermons are without edification. I’d say the complete opposite. They are all online and they speak for themselves.

              • I have wondered why someone is recording Fr. Wall’s sermons and puting them online, they didn’t do this for any priest before Fr. Wall.

                Anyway, I find Fr. Wall’s sermons more intellectual than edifying myself, with the exception of a few. The one you linked is actually quite good but I find most of them uninspiring, as do others who frequently bemoan (privately) that they were bored to tears, not least because they struggle to understand his broad accent. I think it’s also fair to state that Fr. Wall does tend to go off track at times and starts waffling. He does this with announcements as well and it takes up a lot of time. I honestly don’t think I have ever listened to Fr. Wall and been inspired supernaturally. I find him more like a teacher giving a lecture.

                • Athanasius,

                  It’s not just Fr Wall’s sermons that are online. Many of the UK priests have their sermons online.

        • Athanasius,

          What do you say to the person the editor quotes who said the prior said no such thing? It seems to me there’s a real vendetta brewing against the Prior. You may or may not be aware that several months ago I had disgraceful comments on Facebook removed that had been posted by your brother. They were most uncharitable, personal and inaccurate.

          • Petrus

            The preson the editor quotes missed a few important words from his recounting of the sermon that change the tone completely.

            As regards my brother, he is neither uncharitable nor does he have a vendetta against Fr. Wall. Yes, he is exasperated by Fr. Wall’s behaviour in a lot of matters over time, as I am, and he has a temper, but he’s not a creep who says things online he wouldn’t be prepared to back up face to face. I will not discuss various matters concerning Fr. Wall in the public domain but suffice it to say you have no idea of the history and the facts.

            I am personally offended by your revealing my brother’s Facebook comments here, and generally suggesting that he has a vendetta against Fr. Wall. For that reason I will not have any further exchanges with you in person or online. I don’t like your kind of cowardly behaviour.

            • Athanasius,

              Of course, you must do what you think is best, as must I. Your brother’s Facebook comments on a public forum were utterly disgraceful and despite your protestations, were clearly evidence of a vendetta. I’d say THAT is cowardly behaviour. I’m failing to see your logic in suggesting my behaviour is cowardly. Your brother has once again uttered calumny against a priest and I have corrected that. That’s not cowardly.

              Anyway, I think once again you have demonstrated your inability to debate like an adult and conduct yourself with a true Catholic spirit online. I have to say that have never had anyone say that they would have no exchanges with me in person. Quite incredible. But hey, that’s on your conscience.

            • Athanasius,

              None of us has any desire to discuss your brother – nor are we interested in his opinion of any priest.

              I had planned to delete all of these comments about Fr Wall but there’s no need to now, since he’s read them – as was clear from his (excellent) sermon this morning.

              I spoke with Father this morning after Mass and so I read your remarks about being “exasperated by his behaviour in a lot of matters over time” with the very clear eye of someone who – when I approached him – was received with courtesy, kindness and good humour.

              It’s not “being a creep” to say things online that your brother wouldn’t be prepared to say face to face – anyone who is prepared to be personally rude/insulting to a priest face to face OR online, really IS a creep; not a word that is usually in my vocabulary but since you use it, so be it.

              As for your parting shot to Petrus – that makes you the third person I’ve witnessed in the space of a couple of days, who thinks nothing of ignoring and insulting another person while going up to receive Holy Communion – in blatant refusal to obey Our Lord’s command to reconcile with your enemy or perceived enemy before daring to approach the altar.

              Now, I am going to very briefly respond to as many comments as I can but this is now the end of the road for indulging in uncharitable and – as it turns out – entirely unfounded remarks about the Prior in Scotland/Holy Days.

              I’m guilty myself of jumping to the wrong conclusion but, unlike just about everyone else I know on this planet, I really do LOVE to be wrong on certain matters and this is one of those occasions.

  14. Petrus

    For your information, my brother took those comments down on his own initiative, not Facebook, so you’re claim that you had them taken down is false.

    • Athanasius,

      I can only go by what the group admin indicated. It certainly speaks well of him if he realised the error of his ways and deleted the comments himself.

      For your information, it wasn’t so much an act of temper – I understand that – more an act of immaturity, as it is usually teenagers who post scandalous comments against teachers, friends they have fallen out with etc, rather than a grown Catholic man posting against his priest.

      • Petrus

        Whatever his comments and the motives for posting them, my brother recognised that he had overstepped the mark and took them down. He doubtless also confessed his failing to a priest, so you had no business revealing his sin here on this blog, a sin that no one else knew about and which really is irrelevant to this present converation. That was clearly attrocious and immature behaviour on your part.

        Just for the record. My brother built the wall that separates the chapel from the hall in Glasgow. He also put up the confessional screen in Glasgow, built the side altars and altar rails in Edinburgh, built the Edinburgh confessional from scratch, knocked down and rebuilt the toilets in Edinburgh and ran a snack bar after Mass in the hall that raised £1100 for the SSPX in one year. In addition to that he took a lorry down to Yorkshire and helped move the priests to their new house in Preston and he supplied the emergency exit lighting for the school in London.

        I thought it was important to list these activities to show that my brother is well committed to the SSPX and its priests to the extent of puting his hands to the plough and paying out of his own pocket. He would never personally recount these efforts in public but there’s nothing stopping me from recounting them, if only to demonstrate that far from being “immature”, he’s a generous and hard working man. So he has a short fuse, he’s not perfect, but at least what you see is what you get. He wouldn’t reveal on a public forum anything you had written on Facebook, that’s not his style at all.

        • Athanasius,

          Once again, that speaks highly of your brother. However, he posted the comments on a public forum, so it was not at all “a sin that no one else knew”. That’s ridiculous. It was extremely relevant that attention was drawn to this because the prior was again being unjustly and incorrectly attacked. Your brother’s word cannot be held as trustworthy given his previous form. I’m amazed that you cannot see this.

          I’m not sure why you felt the need to list your brother’s deeds in order to prove how dedicated he is to the SSPX. Strange. It doesn’t matter how much you give, or how much you do, if you are going to run the priests down.

  15. Oh dear, oh dear! Yet another unedifying spat between the two of you on the blog. Since you don’t live that far from each other (I think) why don’t you just meet up and sort it out over a coffee or something stronger? Better that than the clashing of antlers in public! It always seems to end up with nastiness.

    • Elizabeth,

      I think you should respect the editor’s wishes and not comment further in this exchange. For my part, it was completely necessary to defend the priest from nasty, unjust, untrue and uncharitable attacks.

      • Petrus, sorry about that. If you look at the timing you might see that we commented at about the same time. I had not seen her comment or I would not have said anything, I was embarrassed when I realised we had overlapped.

    • Elizabeth,

      To reasonable souls like your good self, arranging a chat over coffee or tea is the self-evident thing to do when it is clear there is some kind of deep misunderstanding or personality clash. But it’s not self-evident to an awful lot of people. I’ve tried twice recently to do just that to “sort it out” but was effectively told to sling my hook in one case, and totally blanked out/ignored in the other. And so the same unChristian atmosphere prevails whenever I encounter those who don’t trust me to make a cup of tea 😀

      What’s that Yorkshire saying…. “there’s nowt so queer as folk”!

  16. Editor

    I spoke with Fr. Wall this morning before Mass and explained to him that his mixed messages on holy days of obligation were causing confusion and division amongst the faithful and that he was obliged to put the matter right from the pulpit today.

    He insisted that a clear explanation on obligation is in the newsletter, Vox Clamantis, but when I told him that his fellow priest had countered that explanation by twice announcing holy days of obligation against the authority of the bishops, he responded “Am I my brother’s keeper”, to which I replied “Yes, you’re the prior, sort it”.

    Anyway, Fr. Wall did read out his newsletter explanation, which was prefectly fine and in line with the position of the SSPX. The problem is that that short and concise clarification wasn’t sufficient for him and he started to go down the self-justification route of blaming certain faithful for not reading the newsletter and for debating “sources” on what he said last week in Edinburgh, thereby conflating the issue once again.

    The facts remain that Fr. Wall, by his tone and gesticulary manner last week, banging his finger on the lectern when speaking of the bishops transference of Feasts and declaring “I mean, there comes a point when you have to take a stand”, together with Fr. Wingerden’s twice declaring obligation when there was none, speak for themselves. It’s not the faithful to blame for this confusion, it’s the priests. I note he made no mention today of Fr. Wingerden’s error, just the mistakes of the faithful.

    That’s all I have to say on the subject.

    • Editor,

      Thank you for your reminder of the House Rules, which we are all bound by. I will, of course, respect your request to let the matter drop and I really hope others will have the manners and decency to do so too.

      I look forward to reading the link you posted later.

    • Athanasius,

      Given that you are quoting Fr Wall without the rest of us having access to the full context, it might be fairer not to do that. He HAS given a very clear explanation of the Society position on Holy Days in the June bulletin and I, for one, regret that I’ve not been taking copies of the newsletter, something which I am putting right with immediate effect.

      As for Father reading out the announcement and then “blaming certain faithful for not reading the newsletter” – well, I can hardly criticise him for that. It drives ME nuts when I remark to a reader about something in the CT newsletter and their blank stare tells me that they’ve not read it. Happens more than a couple of times and I quietly remove them from the mailing list. Oddly, they don’t seem to notice…

      I do not believe what your source has described – I’m forever telling Father that I struggle to hear him due to a combination of the very poor sound system in the church, his quiet voice, and my own hard of hearing problem. Not many blondes have that problem, so I could be, well… unique. Therefore, neither the “finger banging” nor the “tone” rings true.

      Anyway, I wouldn’t object (didn’t object this morning) to being told that I need to think carefully about my negligence, make sure I know what I’m talking about before claiming that our priests are taking a “schismatic” line on Holy Days. They’re not. I was wrong to suggest that (which I think I did but can’t recall exactly) and I was especially wrong to take an unsubstantiated quotation from someone in another city, whose name I didn’t even know at the time and treat it as Gospel truth.

      Mea culpa.

  17. Editor

    Given what has taken place on this thread regarding my brother, I thought it appropriate to post this explanation from New Advent on what constitutes the sin of detraction:

    “Detraction is the unjust damaging of another’s good name by the revelation of some fault or crime of which that other is really guilty or at any rate is seriously believed to be guilty by the defamer… An important difference between detraction and calumny is at once apparent. The calumniator says what he knows to be false, whilst the detractor narrates what he at least honestly thinks is true. Detraction in a general sense is a mortal sin, as being a violation of the virtue not only of charity but also of justice… There are times, nevertheless, when one may lawfully make known the offense of another even though as a consequence the trust hitherto reposed in him be rudely shaken or shattered. If a person’s misdoing is public in the sense that sentence has been passed by the competent legal tribunal or that it is already notorious, for instance, in a city, then in the first case it may licitly be referred to in any place; in the second, within the limits of the town, or even elsewhere, unless in either instance the offender in the lapse of time should have entirely reformed or his delinquency been quite forgotten. When, however, knowledge of the happening is possessed only by the members of a particular community or society, such as a college or monastery and the like, it would not be lawful to publish the fact to others than those belonging to such a body.”

    • What we are witnessing here is the worst kind of family loyalty. The kind that obscures truth and reason.

      The facts are that a person committed calumny against a priest in the public domain. Then allegedly chose the delete it, without issuing a correction in order to restore the good name and reputation of the priest.

      Then, through his brother, repeats this calumny, again in the public domain. When this is challenged, referencing the first instance of calumny, then the challenger who only seeks to restore the good name of the priest, is accused of detraction. I should also say that the accuser has committed a fair amount of detraction by revealing private conversations with this priest.

      Family loyalty is to be commended, but not when it is blind to truth and reason.

    • I would like to say that “vendetta” was too strong a word. I know quite recently Athanasius’ brother offered his services to the SSPX in Scotland to help with manual work in the churches. This isn’t the actions of someone with a vendetta, so it was quite wrong of me to use this word.

    • Athanasius,

      We all know the definition of detraction. I am beyond amazed that you would accuse anyone else of it, given some of your remarks and insinuations about our Prior on this thread, so let’s not go there, as they say in all the best places these days.

  18. Before I read through the above comments – a task to which I am not looking forward after a couple of “skims” – I will post the extract from the June Bulletin of the SSPX in Scotland, Vox Clamantis, written by the Prior on the subject of Holy Days of Obligation. Father read the following to the congregation this morning in Glasgow, having read the comments on this blog last night, and I have to admit that had I been more careful and read the June bulletin when it was first available, both at the church and online, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time on the topic here. Below, the very clear – and ANYTHING but “schismatic” – position of the SSPX on the matter of Holy Days of Obligation,

    Father Sebastian Wall, Prior, writes:

    Dear Faithful,

    June presents us most years with a real flowering of the Church’s liturgical year. This year we celebrate Whitsun, Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart during June as well as the feasts which always fall in that month, viz St John the Baptist and Sts Peter and Paul.

    In common with much of the developed world, Scotland had a predominantly agricultural economy until relatively recently and it may seem odd that these holy days – Whit week and the various isolated days of sanctification and, therefore, abstinence from work, – occur during such a busy time on the land.

    Nowadays, of course, considerations of weather in the country and commerce in the towns are the principal concerns of modern man. Whit Monday was still a bank holiday in England when I was a boy though that has long since fallen to “Spring Bank Holiday” and the secularisation of modern society continues apace.

    That is probably why the bishops, whose decision it is whether a holyday of obligation remains so within their jurisdiction, are probably motivated by the thought that it is better for there to be no obligation to hear Mass on certain days, if the people are not going to go, either because they cannot, due to work, or will not. This makes it quite tricky for us in Tradition, who cannot oblige our faithful under pain of sin, but would like to keep the traditional days holy (particularly Corpus Christi which always, and Sts Peter and Paul which often falls on a day other than Sunday.)

    But we must be careful not to let lack of obligation lead to indifference. That is why your priests make considerable efforts to provide you with the possibility of hearing Mass on these days since a) they have been kept so for centuries, through the industrial revolution and well beyond, b) they are still holidays in the universal Church to which we belong and c) they offer worship to God and sanctification to His people. We would like to encourage our faithful too, if it is at all possible (inconvenience notwithstanding) to make similar efforts. The retired and self-employed will obviously find it easier to get to Mass on these days but I urge everyone to make a special effort, making the act virtuous rather than merely required. God will not let Himself be outdone in generosity.
    (Rev Sebastian Wall (Prior), Vox Clamantis, Bulletin of the Society of Saint Pius X in Scotland, June, 2019).

    I’ve now got “check the monthly SSPX bulletin” in my diary – quite aside from the above extracts, there is a wealth of reading in the current, July, issue into which I’ve just dipped, and I’m sure that will be true of Vox Clamantis generally speaking.

    • Editor

      The extract from Vox Clamantis that you have posted is perfectly in line with SSPX policy, as I have already pointed out. The problem arose, however, when Fr. Wingerden twice ignored what was written and announced obligation when there was none.

      I’m sure you will recognise the confusion such conflicting clerical positions cause in the faithful. This is what I pointed out to Fr. Wall today and he responded by asking me if he was his brother’s keeper. The answer to that question is a no brainer yet Fr. Wall seemed perplexed by my annoyance at his response.

      Anyway, we don’t need articles in newsletters to explain, all we need is for the present priests to do what all their predecessors did, which is to clearly announce a former obligatory Feast as “Traditionally” a holy day of obligation that all should try to sanctify by going to Mass. It’s that operative word “Traditionally” that has been missing recently resulting in so much confusion and this sad exchange on the blog.

      In other words, let there be Vox Claritas as well as Vox Clamantis in these serious matters.

      • Athanasius,

        I’m quite sure that Father Wingerden normally DOES say “traditionally” – at least for some time past, having had this conversation with him – but if he slips up and omits it, we wouldn’t have noticed, had we been keeping ourselves informed via the bulletin.

        Both of the priests are kindly and work hard. It struck me that after speaking to lots of people in the tearoom today, including my unworthy self, Father Wall was heading off to drive to Preston to offer Mass there.

        I should also say that, while I am very conscious that there is a strong strand of clericalism within the Society (as there is in a different sense within the diocesan church), Fr Wall is aware of the need for active lay apostolate, and, in fact, he told me that he would join us for our public rosary outside the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh, prior to the abortion referendum in Ireland.

        Didn’t turn up. Why? Because he was waiting for us outside the church, thinking that’s where we were to pray the public rosary! We could maybe collect for a new ear trumpet for him before Christmas?

  19. Since this thread has gone well off topic, and everyone has been allowed plenty of time to comment, I’m now going to close it down with thanks to those who contributed – especially to those who commented on the subject matter – the Amazon Working Document for the October 2019 Synod of Bishops.

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