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First Word

posted by awelborn

First word on the meeting between the Pope and the head of the St. Pius X Society:

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the meeting between the pope and Monsignor Bernard Fellay, secretary general of the Society of St. Pius X, was held "in a climate of love for the church and a desire to arrive at perfect communion."

"While knowing the difficulties, the desire to proceed by degrees and in reasonable time was shown," Navarro-Valls said in a statement.

Papabile has a bit more, and some comments

CWN story



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Jason

posted August 29, 2005 at 8:45 am


In theory, I wouldn’t be surprised if the excommunication were lifted. Benedict has spoken positively in the past about Paul VI’s lifting of the excommunication with Patriarch Athenogoras. Though I believe the Holy See recently confirmed Bishop Bruskewitz’s excommunication of all who join the SSPX. It’s a tough situation, because unlike the Eastern Churches, the SSPX is Latin and has direct impact on the mostly-Latin Catholic Church. What would be their status in the Church? Could Catholics attend their chapels?



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Eric Giunta

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:10 am


“Benedict has spoken positively in the past about Paul VI’s lifting of the excommunication with Patriarch Athenogoras.”
Not at all a valid comparison.
The “lifiting of the anathemas” by Paul VI was merely a symbolic gesture of goodwill, and did nothing to change the schismatic status of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.



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Jason

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:21 am


Eric,
There is no such thing as a “symbolic” lifting of excommunication.
The lifting of the excommunications with Patriarch Athenogoras may not have changed our relational status, but it was a real lifting. If it changed nothing for East and West, then it would not change anything for West and West, except to inaugurate a new push for dialogue.



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mtk

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:49 am


Can someone fill in a nonCatholic about what the logical outcomes are to this meeting and why it’s important? I’m interested in this because I have never heard about it before, and it seems to be viewed as pretty important, yet I can’t sense what that importance might be. If the talks with this group and the Vatican go smoothly, what happens next, and what could be the ultimate outcome? Why is that important to anyone? I ask all these questions in utter ignorance but with a sincere desire to understand what all the fuss is about with these SPXX people. :)
(Amy, I noticed on the SPXX homep age taht there’s a church in Fort Wayne affiliated with them — is that a Catholic church or would it be considered very much not-Catholic)?



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Eric Giunta

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:57 am


And besides, a lifting of Lefebvre’s excommunication would be an admission that Lefebre was right in ordaining bishops against the express forbiddance of Rome. This simply is not the case, from a Catholic position.
The fact that these schismatics would dare to place “conditions” on their reversion to Catholicism shows that they do not currently have the dispositions necessary to reneter the true Church.
I find these rad-trads most damnable . . .



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Eric Giunta

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:59 am


. . . insofar as they reject some very key tenets of Catholic ecclesiology while at the same time claiming that they are, in fact, true Catholics.
At least the Protestants and Eastern Orthodox admit they aren’t Catholic.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:03 am


MTK,
The Vatican stated in 2002 that it is not a sin to attend Masses at SSPX chapels, as long as your attendance was not for the purpose of separating yourself from communion with the pope. Such masses are indeed Catholic and attendance at such Masses satisfies a Catholic’s obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Here is the link: http://www.unavoce.org/articles/2003/perl-011803.htm



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Eric Giunta

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:08 am


Bill:
Not so.
The particular response in question was made to a particular individual, whose circumstances we simply do not know.
In previous responses, the Church has amde clear, emphatically, that we are not to attend such chapels.
Not to mention that this is in complete accord with the Catholic tradition on this subject . . .



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Kevin Miller

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:12 am


Regarding Paul VI and the then-Ecumenical Patriarch – Didn’t they only “lift” the excommunications of the folks back at the time of the schism? And if you unanathematize someone who’s been dead for centuries, is that more than symbolic?



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:13 am


Eric,
The position of the SSPX since 1988 has been that the ordinations of bishops were the result of necessity and that the standard under Canon Law for necessity of ordaining bishops without papal mandate is a subjective one. The SSPX did not and does not purport to confer territorial jursisdiction on any of their bishops, but merely ordained bishops for the purpose of being able to ordain priests (of which they currently have some 450, most ordained since 1988). The SSPX poses no challenge to “Catholic ecclesiology.”



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Kevin Miller

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:16 am


Bill: When the pope himself knows of a situation, and refuses to allow ordinations of bishops in that situation, then it is contrary to Catholic ecclesiology to claim that one is justified by “necessity” (i.e., a Catholic can’t appeal to “necessity” over the pope, but rather, only when the pope is unable to intervene). Furthermore, when one rejects Vatican II the way the SSPX does, that is also contrary to Catholic ecclesiology.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:20 am


Eric,
If you have any evidence to back up your extraordinary statement that the Church has made it “clear, emphatically” that Catholics were not to attend SSPX chapels, I’d like to hear about it. Anecdotally, I can tell you that Cardinal Stickler stated at a conference in the mid-1990s that absolutely no one in the Vatican considered it forbidden for Catholics to attend Masses celebrated by SSPX priests.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:34 am


Kevin,
I know you are weak on providing substantive responses. (I’m still not sure what exactly you think the development of doctrine was with respect to Dignitatis Humanae and how you reconcile it with prior papal statements.) However, if you really want to delve into this, the “necessity” I’m speaking about deals with the validity of the purported excommunications, which were allegedly incurred automatically by virtue of the disobedient act of ordaining bishops. Without being able to quote chapter and verse, the SSPX claims that Canon Law allows for ordinations without papal mandate in the case of necessity, as subjectively determined by the bishop doing the ordination. Thus, even if Abp Lefebvre was wrong about the existence of an actual necessity, he would not have been automatically excommunicated, so long as he subjectively believed an emergency situation to exist. At this point, I don’t think anyone challenges Lefebvre’s good faith belief that there was a state of emergency in the Church in 1988 and that he believed he was acting out of necessity. If you doubt any of the foregoing, I’d be happy to do a google search for you.



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Henry

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:45 am


Eric,
“In previous responses, the Church has amde clear, emphatically, that we are not to attend such chapels.”
Not so. For an official and generally applicable Vatican statement, see
http://www.unavoce.org/articles/2003/perl-011803.htm
“Points 1 and 3 in our letter of 27 September 2002 to this correspondent are accurately reported. His first question was ‘Can I fulfill my Sunday obligation by attending a Pius X Mass’ and our response was:”
“In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X.”
“His second question was ‘Is it a sin for me to attend a Pius X Mass’ and we responded stating:”
“2. We have already told you that we cannot recommend your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why. If your primary reason for attending were to manifest your desire to separate yourself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him, it would be a sin. If your intention is simply to participate in a Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin.”



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Jimmy Mac

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:48 am


So what if a bishop who had a crying need for priests (an impossible situation, of course!) and saw no relief in sight, decided out of necessity to ordain some married men, or even women? He would, of course, believe that he was acting out of necessity. Would that be OK?



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:04 am


The Catholic-Orthodox question is exceedingly complex, and fascinating, but often obscure.
There is a tantalizing question, which — even to raise it here will raise hackles too — but it is this: was there, in fact, ever a formal schism? I.e., except for the bull of AD 1054 –the legality and real force of which is in question — the schism may be understood to have been de facto, arising gradually, over time, but not necessitated either by theological substance or even legal act.
We do know that communicatio in sacris (sharing of sacraments) between East and West continued well after AD 1054, after the Sack of Constantinople, even into the 18th Century. There was waxing and waning, although obviously waning eventually prevailed. The division became much more apparent by the time reconciliation was sought (unsuccessfully) in two ecumenical councils, in AD 1274 and 1439, respectively.
I refer you to Thomas Bokenkotter’s account for further consideration. (Yes, I know: “but he’s a LIBERAL!” That’s an ad hominem, not a refuation.)



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Tim

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:24 am


Bill is correct in the substance of his posts, it is a possible conclusion that Bp. Lefebvre’s subjective intent may have prevented an automatic, latae setentiae (sp?) excommunication. It would be different if it were a positive decree of excommunication, ferae sententiae (sp?). I myself haven’t decided for myself, in case that matters. What I do know is that he would have been better off to refrain from the ordinations, because it is heady stuff to think that you know better than the Pope. I do believe his intentions were good, but the decision was bad. The only reason for the comment is to further the comments of Bill that it may have an effect on whether he was in fact excommunicated.
Jimmy Mac, Of course, if a validly ordained Bishop ordained a married man, it would be valid, even if illicit. If he attempted to “ordain” a woman, it would of course be invalid, since it is an impossibility to do so. See Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and prior consistent teaching.
MTK, the importance is that if the SSPX is reintegrated, it could provide for a real availability of the Traditional Mass on a widely available basis. If you haven’t attended one, you may wish to explore it.
Finally, one thing I don’t understand is the hostility that many good and faithful Catholics show to those who are attached to the Traditional Mass. I don’t understand how it affects you if you don’t go. To lay my cards on the table, I am 37 and a product of Vatican II. I love John Paul. I discovered the Traditional Mass and began attending daily about 4 months ago. It is the most sublime and beautiful thing I have witnessed. It is the way we as Catholics have worshipped for at least 1500 years. As Benedict himself stated, how can that somehow now be wrong? Impossible. If you don’t wish to go, you certainly don’t have to. Luckily, in St. Louis we have a parish dedicated to the Traditional Rite, so I can avoid the SSPX chapels. Others in the US and elsewhere don’t have this option. Please don’t be quick to judge them. I sometimes wonder if those attached to the Pauline Rite fear that if the Traditional Rite were allowed side-by-side, that the comparison by Catholics in the pews might be such that the Pauline Rite would be, in time, in danger of dying out.
As the Church moves forward to try to reconcile the Eastern Churches, which are in schism, pray also for the return of the SSPX, which has done much to keep alive the beauty of the Traditional Mass. Note I am not commenting on whether any of their actions have been justified, but only as a nod to the fact that the “indult” Masses are around perhaps because of them.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:25 am


Jimmy,
If you are asking what the appropriate Church sanction would be for a bishop who ordained a married man a priest and then ordained him a bishop without papal mandate or for a bishop who purported to ordain a woman, I don’t have an answer for you. My point about the SSPX ordinations in 1988 was to show that the stance of the SSPX does not threaten “Catholic ecclesiology.” Even if you think that the SSPX was wrong about the existence of necessity and further was wrong about subjective necessity barring automatic excommunication, it should be clear that the SSPX is not trying to set up a counter-Church. A statement by the Church that Lefebvre, Castro Meyer and the four current SSPX bishops are not excommunicated would not pose any ecclesiastical difficulties.



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dcs

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:31 am


So what if a bishop who had a crying need for priests (an impossible situation, of course!) and saw no relief in sight, decided out of necessity to ordain some married men, or even women? He would, of course, believe that he was acting out of necessity. Would that be OK?
My understanding is that married men were indeed ordained behind the Iron Curtain (because unmarried men tended to attract suspicion). So yes, out of necessity, married men might be ordained.
Women are not ‘fit matter’ for the priesthood and hence could not be ordained no matter what the scenario. Of course, one might take the ‘state of necessity’ into account when contemplating a sanction for a bishop who attempted such a thing.



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Eric Giunta

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:42 am


The canons you speak of, Bill, simply do not apply to the Lefebvre scenario. See:
http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/articles/lefebvre.htm
By Lefebvrist doctrine, any bishop would be justified in ordaining any bishop without papal approval, so long as he personally felt it was necessary.
This is Modernism at its best.
As for Lefebre’s personal, subjective culpability; the facts speak of themselves. He had no excuse, unless he was a retard or otherwise mentally defective.
The more of his writings I read, the more I am inclined to believe this, actually.



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Liam

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:49 am


Tim
“Finally, one thing I don’t understand is the hostility that many good and faithful Catholics show to those who are attached to the Traditional Mass.”
I doubt its really that many; I would think considerably less than 10% of Catholics in this country are even aware of them (except perhaps vaguely through the Mel Gibson brouhaha a year and a half ago, but I doubt the half-life of that awareness was more than a few hours).
The phenomenon at St Blog’s tends to have an echo chamber effect that distorts perceptions. St Blog’s steers significantly to the right as compared to average US Catholics (yes, including the not so good or not so faithful ones). I suspect there is a selection bias that means we have an disproportionate number of folks who have experienced the less-than-thrilling attitudes some traditionalists bear towards those who have not embraced their agenda lock, stock and barrel.
So I suspect its more an issue of distorted context rather than reality.
You wanna see spleen, just raise the topic of liturgical music…(please don’t, I beg of you).



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Celine

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:12 pm


Tim:
The Traditional Latin Mass is not the main problem with SSPX and its fellow travelers. Try speaking with any of them about Vatican II’s “Declaration on Religious Liberty” or the more recent declaration on the Jews, “Nostra Aetate,” and you’ll see what I mean. They should be required to take an oath of allegiance to each of these documents before being admitted back into full communion with the Church, much as they would require restoration of the Oath Against Modernism for our liberals.



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Mark Wyman

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:17 pm


Eric,
Leaving aside the question of whether Lefebvre automatically excommunicated himself, the Vatican can lift the excommunication anyway if they are satisfied that the SSPX will be obedient from now on.
The biggest news here is that a universal indult for the celebration of the old Rite, if granted, could have a very widely reaching effect. It would be affirmation to hundreds of priests and tens of thousands of laymen who have been rudely and terribly treated by other priests and Bishops who have lied to them and persecuted them on the basis of their devotion to the old Rite. It would also open the doors to priests introducing a Mass in latin into their parishes without having to get the permission of a recalcitrant Bishop: many bishops won’t allow the use of the new Rite in Latin, or strictly limit it (and yes, I KNOW this isn’t something they have formal authority to do, but they do it anyway). With no vernacular version of the old Rite available, the recatechesis of the people to a more universal and traditional liturgy could then be allowed to proceed.



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Mark Wyman

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:25 pm


Celine,
Yeah, that’d be fair — and are they going to start extracting sworn oaths to uphold Humanae Vitae from all the priests and Bishops in the US, then? Certainly some crazy SSPXers talk wildly and inaccurately about the documents of Vatican II. But among the SSPX Bishops, only Williamson regularly says such crazy things, but he’s unlikely to join any reconciliation anyway; the others seem to understand the subtleties involved. Have you read Mortalium Animos, the Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the subject of religious unity? If not, give it a spin and see if it doesn’t leave you grasping for a more unified teaching on the subject. Reject Vatican II? Impossible for any Catholic! Respect the necessity of interpreting its documents in light of the traditional teachings of the Church? Something every Catholic should do!
I’ve often quoted this here before, but it seems right to do so again: The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest. source: then-Cdl. Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.



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Mark Wyman

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:31 pm


Just to entice people to read the entire thing, here’s an apposite selection from the above-cited encyclical, Mortalium Animos:
Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity? Who would dare to say that he loved Christ, unless he worked with all his might to carry out the desires of Him, Who asked His Father that His disciples might be “one.”[1] And did not the same Christ will that His disciples should be marked out and distinguished from others by this characteristic, namely that they loved one another: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another”?[2] All Christians, they add, should be as “one”: for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength. These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; and these men, so far from being quite few and scattered, have increased to the dimensions of an entire class, and have grouped themselves into widely spread societies, most of which are directed by non-Catholics, although they are imbued with varying doctrines concerning the things of faith. This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:32 pm


Celine,
Leaving aside whether the Traditional Latin Mass is “not the main problem” or not a “problem” at all, what’s up with the call for loyalty oaths? The Pope has said Vatican II was “a merely pastoral council?” Surely you don’t equate the status of Vatican II with that of the Church’s condemnation of modernism?!



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Der Tommissar

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:33 pm


I figure the SSPX should take the same Oath of Allegiance to the Church’s teachings as all the ministers at St. Joan of Arc’s in Minnesota take.
I find it pretty amusing that so many people are so upset about the SSPX “presuming” to tell the Pope what they would require in order to reintegrate. At the same time, they see nothing wrong with telling the Pope what he should “make” the SSPX do in order to reintegrate. Nice.
Maybe we can just pick out two priests of the Society to burn at the stake, you know, as a gesture of goodwill.
Since I am the guy that lets the Pope know how he should run the Church, I’ll take your suggestions and give him a call later in the day.



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Simon

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:34 pm


When the Pope expressly and repeatedly tells you not to consecrate bishops, you can not fall back on a claim of subjective belief that such consecrations were necessary. The purpose of that canon is to authorize bishops to act where they can not obtain Rome’s permission for practical reasons (ordinarily, external persecution), not to justify any renegade who happens to disagree with the Pope’s position.
I sometimes wonder if those attached to the Pauline Rite fear that if the Traditional Rite were allowed side-by-side, that the comparison by Catholics in the pews might be such that the Pauline Rite would be, in time, in danger of dying out.
Tim, this statement is an example of what might be called, “Cocoon Traditionalism.” I love the old rite, personally prefer Latin over English, and strongly prefer that the priest offer the Mass ad orientem. But the notion that the typical Catholic-in-the-pew would rush to embrace these restorative changes is pure wishful thinking.
I live in a fairly conservative diocese (Arlington), and the priests here get all sorts of blowback from the pews just for reintroducing the Gloria and the Credo in Latin at one sung Mass per week. One lady in my parish, who runs the Fatima devotions, actually told me “there’s so much Latin now I don’t feel like I’ve been to Mass.” There’s a whole generation of confused grey hairs out there whose blood starts boiling at the slightest use of Latin. And there’s a younger generation of Catholics who have no hostility to either the language or the rite, but who also have no particular interest in it.
For the record, I favor a universal indult. But those who oppose it are not quaking in fear that their parishes will see a mass exodus to the local SSPX chapel. For better or worse, “Traditionalism” is a fringe movement, and it’s going to stay that way.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:36 pm


Eric,
As far as I know, nobody has alleged that Lefebvre was “a retard,” so I guess we can dispose of that alternative.



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:40 pm


Tim:
I, for one, have no “hostility” toward either the Tridentine Rite or those attached to it.
Speaking as one born in 1962, having neither good nor bad memory of the prior normative Rite, and devouting wanting to have nothing to do with: partisanship; the misbegotten “Spirit of VII”; or anything savoring of rejection of VII or the Magisterium since, I hasten to agree with you in lamenting the hostility you speak of; and expect you understand the way partisanship feeds partisanship.
So let us agree to eschew all that partisanship — and concede everyone has problems: the Paul VI Rite can be, and is, badly celebrated; and so can the Pius V Rite; though perhaps each is prone to different problems.
I hasten to agree: that which stood for all those years ought not, and strictly speaking, CANNOT be condemned. It is the Mass.
Again, let’s not get into “mine is better” stuff, but get to more important questions partisans neglect.
Let us stipulate implementation of VII needs attention — so the holy father says, at any rate.
But, a thought-experiment: supposing we had as good an implementation of VII as can be got in this imperfect world — what then?
Stipulating further the validity of what Vatican II — including Sacrosanctum Concilium — taught us, does that not call for *some* revision in the Rite?
Supposing we “got it right”: should a Rite untouched by the insights of VII stand side-by-side, indefinitely, with a properly revised Rite?
It may be one would say that the properly reformed Rite would, naturally, prevail. That may be a correct prediction; but I don’t see why it has to be so: doesn’t that imply a confidence that something less-good (notice I didn’t say bad!) can’t win a popularity contest?
Should the normative liturgy be adopted this way? (Maybe it should — let’s have that discussion.)



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Liam

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:40 pm


“With no vernacular version of the old Rite available”….
Well, it seems you haven’t seen a St Joseph’s Missal from preconciliar period….
Hypo: What would you do if a bishop received permission from Rome to permit celebration of the preconciliar rite in the vernacular but not it Latin?
(I will concede, however, that I am not aware if the entire ritual, sacramental and liturgical corpus was translated into the vernacular.)



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David L Alexander

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:43 pm

Der Tommissar

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:44 pm


And just because I felt like mentioning something that relates to this, I’d like to add the following:
The promulgation of a “universal indult” will change /nothing/ about the Church on the ground in the near future.
How a universal indult will play out in most diocese.
Priests A B and C: Thank you for seeing us, your Excellency. We wished a moment of your time to tell you the three of us have decided to make use of the Indult for saying the Mass according to the Ritual of 1962.
Bishop: Actually, I’m glad you’re here, as I was going to call all three of you. We’re expanding the prison ministry, and need three more priests. Not to worry, we’ll find replacements for your parishes quickly, I’m sure.
By the way, enjoy celebrating the Old Mass.
I’m pretty sure that’s how that will go down.



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dcs

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:47 pm


When the Pope expressly and repeatedly tells you not to consecrate bishops, you can not fall back on a claim of subjective belief that such consecrations were necessary.
Why not? Is one not permitted to have a subjective belief that the Pope is wrong about a particular pastoral issue affecting the Church? Let’s not make a mockery of Papal Infallibility. The Pope — no matter how learned or holy he is — is not impeccable. St. Peter wasn’t impeccable — which is why St. Paul “withstood him to the face” — so we shouldn’t hold that the late Pope or his immediate predecessors were impeccable, either.
Abp. Lefebvre was first and foremost a missionary — as a matter of fact, one of the greatest missionaries to Africa of all time — and I think his subjective judgment about a “state of necessity” should not be taken lightly. This is not to say that the Pope’s judgment in this matter is to be ignored, simply to point out that the case against His Grace is not as clear as some would have us believe.



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Jason

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:48 pm


Be careful about misrepresenting Pope Benedict’s true thoughts on the Second Vatican Council by citing one single statement.
“To defend the true tradition of the Church today means to defend the Council. It is our fault if we have at times provided a pretext (to the ‘right’ and ‘left’ alike) to view Vatican II as a ‘break’ and an abandonment of the tradition. There is, instead, a continuity that allows neither a return to the past nor a flight forward, neither anachronistic longings nor unjustified impatience. We must remain faithful to the today of the Church, not the yesterday or tomorrow. And this today of the Church is the documents of Vatican II, without reservations that amputate them and without arbitrariness that distorts them . . .
“I see no future for a position that, out of principle, stubbornly renounces Vatican II. In fact in itself it is an illogical position. The point of departure for this tendency is, in fact, the strictest fidelity to the teaching particularly of Pius IX and Pius X and, still more fundamentally, of Vatican I and its definition of papal primacy. But why only popes up to Pius XII and not beyond? Is perhaps obedience to the Holy See divisible according to years or according to the nearness of a teaching to one’s own already-established convictions?”

(Taken from “The Ratzinger Report”)



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Petra

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:49 pm


I’ll translate a bit from a recent question-and-answer session from the German FSSPX website here: the answering person is Fr Nikolaus Pfluger, head of the SSPX district in Germany. He says:
The responsible authorities in the Church have been stuck too much in the modernist attitude, so it’s improbable that they would fulfill these demands (i. e.: lifting of Lefebvre’s excommunication, universal availability of the traditional Mass, “talks” about the “correction” of Vatican II’s “New Theology”, etc.). The Pope’s position regarding the Mass is also of that sort that he is more inclined to have a “reform of the reform” rather than returning to the old and traditional Mass. Regarding the real problem, the criticism of the Council, an understanding is even more difficult to obtain – as Benedict XVI. is, together with Hans Küng [!], the last representative of the Council who has worked at it actively. So it is understandable that the Pope is trying to “save” the Council at every occasion and is constantly referring to its “real spirit”.
I think such arrogance towards the Pope and the Church shows that these people are no better than Richard McBrien or Joan Chittister. They only remain deceptive to many as they like to boast so much about being “the real Catholics”….



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dcs

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:51 pm


And besides, a lifting of Lefebvre’s excommunication would be an admission that Lefebre was right in ordaining bishops against the express forbiddance of Rome. This simply is not the case, from a Catholic position.
No, it would simply be an admission that it was not so wrong as to warrant the declaration of excommunication. There is a difference between saying “X was right” and “X was wrong, but not so wrong as to warrant excommunication.”
The SSPX is not asking, as far as I know, for the Holy See to say, “You were right all along.”



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julian

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:51 pm


Without an universal indult, there is no sense reclaiming the SSPX. Frankly, the FSSP doesn’t need the competition, and the SSPX lacks the charity to fully rejoin communion. Unless the 1962 liturgical books become the equal of the 1975 set, and the right of any validly ordained priest, an universal indult will only cause problems. “Collegiality” will prevent the indult.



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Mark Wyman

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:09 pm


Liam,
oh, come off it. Obviously the old Rite was translated into the vernacular, but no official, Liturgically-allowed translation was ever provided (tho’ the 1965 missal is quite close).



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Mark Wyman

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:14 pm


Septimus,
You ask about how a proper reform, following Sacrosanctum Consilium, would go. Who knows? It’s worthwhile pointing out that never before in the history of the Church have we ever been in this position; never before was a rite of the Mass rewritten from the ground up. The 1965 Missal, in many ways, resembles most closely what the Council Fathers seemed to have in mind, but for some reason almost no one likes that Missal (though, it’s worth noting that ’twas the 1965 Missal that Lefebvre actually pushed for originally, until his followers’ attachment to the ’62 rite overcame his devotion to that first post-conciliar rite.)



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dcs

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:15 pm


The promulgation of a “universal indult” will change /nothing/ about the Church on the ground in the near future.
DT, I think you are right, but at the very least it will alleviate the scruples of priests who want to say the traditional Mass in private but think that they are not permitted to do so. Retired priests will also benefit from it. In addition, because of the priest shortage, bishops will not be able to deal *too* harshly with priests inclined to celebrate the traditional Mass under a “universal Indult.”



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Der Tommissar

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:32 pm


Frankly, the FSSP doesn’t need the competition
Wow. I guess the Institute of Christ the King didn’t get that memo. To say nothing of the handful of other, smaller traditional organizations of clergy that have sprung up.



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Liam

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:32 pm


Actually, I am fond of the 1965 missal: it was the first missal I had (I started going to Mass in 1966 upon entering kindergarten). But I vastly prefer the reformed lectionary overall (except for the butchering of the vigils of Easter and Pentecost) for Sundays and holydays. And I love Eucharistic Prayer IV (corrected post-Bugnini’s whopper error on the intro) and some of the other eucharistic prayers (the ones that were approved for use in Jubilee 2000 were good, too): the only thing I don’t like is when Father so-and-so always uses Eucharistic Prayer II on Sundays (the frequency of which is now rare compared to 20 years ago, I have to caution gladly). And I might like to see pre-Lent revived on along more Eastern lines (that is as a genuine transition and preparation for Lent, rather than as a pale imitation of it), if we reinvigorate Lent.



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:40 pm


Mark replies:
“Septimus,
You ask about how a proper reform, following Sacrosanctum Consilium, would go. Who knows?
It’s worthwhile pointing out that never before in the history of the Church have we ever been in this position; never before was a rite of the Mass rewritten from the ground up. The 1965 Missal, in many ways, resembles most closely what the Council Fathers seemed to have in mind, but for some reason almost no one likes that Missal (though, it’s worth noting that ’twas the 1965 Missal that Lefebvre actually pushed for originally, until his followers’ attachment to the ’62 rite overcame his devotion to that first post-conciliar rite.)”
Well, maybe you missed my point, or I am missing yours, or both! But what I was getting at is this:
It seems to me that my question is for those who say, “I’m pro-Vatican II, but also pro-Tridentine Rite”: doesn’t Sacrosanctum Concilium necessitate *some* revision in the Tridentine Rite? Granting, for sake of argument, that the current Paul VI Rite “got it wrong” (I just think we get bogged down on THIS question all the time) — and that is usually, meseems, the justification for keeping the Pius V Rite around, widely — then what would be the reason to have the “old Rite” side-by-side, on an equal footing, with a PROPERLY IMPLEMENTED Vatican II Rite (I all-capped the qualifier so this isn’t about the current rite).
Or, would proponents of the Tridentine Rite still insist on the widespread perpetuation of a Rite untouched by the latest Council. And if so, what justification for that?
I.e., I’m not asking WHAT that proper implementation might look like; that’s a different question.



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Liam

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:42 pm


Septimus
You might be interested to know that Todd has raised that very question many times over the years, and it usually has been ignored. Maybe you’ll have better luck, given that people may be more inclined to trust your bona fides.



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Der Tommissar

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:50 pm


It seems to me that my question is for those who say, “I’m pro-Vatican II, but also pro-Tridentine Rite”: doesn’t Sacrosanctum Concilium necessitate *some* revision in the Tridentine Rite?
The short answer is: no.
The longer answer: SC certainly makes suggestions and recommendations which should be taken into consideration.
The thing of it is, the “Tridentine” Mass had been undergoing a period of liturgical reform before Vatican II. There is no reason why this shouldn’t continue in the future, in theory.
In reality the last bout of “liturgical renewal” has left a bad taste in a lot of mouths. It would be a very nice pastoral move to not introduce more innovation in the near future.



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:52 pm


Liam — okay, I hadn’t noticed.
If it matters to anyone, I’m all for Latin in the liturgy, I don’t mind an all-Latin Mass, I think “ad orientam” makes a lot of sense, I read the Holy Father’s Spirit of the Liturgy and thought it made a lot of sense, I like Gregorian chant . . .
However, while I basically agree with the need to give the Roman Canon preference, and the pitfalls of two many Eucharistic prayers, I do like all the approved ones, including #4, the reconciliation ones, and the Swiss ones; I think the children’s ones need work. So I guess I’d say for Sunday, it should be mostly #1, with relatively few alternates, maybe for weekday Masses, the others can be used…
Oh — and whose categories will this fit into? — I wish the Latin liturgy could (re)capture much of what the Eastern liturgy has; even as I concede from the get-go every impracticality and pitfall you want to offer — I just think its beautiful and has something to teach us. It may be the Pius V Rite is better on that score, but that doesn’t settle the “Pius v. Paul” question for me.



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dcs

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:54 pm


doesn’t Sacrosanctum Concilium necessitate *some* revision in the Tridentine Rite?
Yes, but it says that any revisions must be organic and only undertaken because of some genuine spiritual need (I’m paraphrasing of course). Organic changes by definition aren’t foisted upon unsuspecting laymen from above; they are implemented experimentally from below first. For example, a greater permission to use the vernacular in mission territory might result in a greater use of the vernacular elsewhere.
The changes to the Missal that resulted in the 1965 Missal (enumerated in the ghastly document Inter Oecumenici) aren’t “organic” by any stretch of the imagination, they are just change for the sake of change.



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Christopher Sarsfield

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:06 pm


I hope that this meeting might help to inject some reality into what divides traditional and conservative Catholics.
With regard to Vatican II: The Pope and anyone who looks at the situation objectively knows that Vatican II needs to be given a definitive interpretation. Too many people are unwilling to admit that what Vatican II taught that was new, has no definitive meaning. Who on the list can give me a definitive explanation concerning “subsistit” in Lumen Gentium? Or tell me if Dei Verbum has indeed limited the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture to faith and morals? Or tell me what Ecumenism is – does it really mean a union of christians and non-christians without conversion? Is conversion no longer applicable in the post Vatican II Church? What about Gaudium et Spes? Even conservative Catholics (Fr. Shanon M. Collins, James Fitzpatrick) admit the Council Fathers were naive and a misjudgment in that document? There are no definitive (binding by proper authority) answers to these questions. I think it would be fair of Church to tell the SSPX what Vatican II taught, before they make them take an oath to uphold the teachings.
With regard to liturgy: What does acceptance of the Novus Ordo mean? Does it mean you have to agree with liturgical dance, altar girls, pagan smoke rituals for the rite of purification, clown masses, etc.?
It is high time conservative and traditional Catholics quit being apologists for a particular opinion and started seeking together a plan that will bring the Church out of the current crisis she is in.



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Tim

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:06 pm


Septimus,
You have some interesting points to consider. Unfortunately for the notion of “settling the question” I think it would depend on what the organically reformed rite would look like as to whether it would warrant a superceding of the Traditional rite. For example, the minor reforms of the Church from the 400s through 1962 all changed the normative rite. However, I don’t agree that two or more approved rites of Mass would necessarily be problematic–see the Ambrosian, Mozarabic and the numerous eastern rites. I have heard before that the adherents of the Ambrosian and Mozarabic rites could fit inside a Wal-Mart (don’t remember where I saw that or else I would credit it), but that seems to be the size of the Latin Mass crowd, if one believed most commentators!
And, I may be a starry eyed optimist, but I do think that a Traditional Mass with some organic reforms of the type indicated by SC would be acceptable to most of the persons who attend the Traditional Mass. Again, it is almost impossible to speculate, but here goes: there are a few repetitions of prayers (like two confiteors) and the readings could be expanded to include more of the scriptures (like the N.O.) and the scriptures could be immediately read in the vernacular without first being recited in Latin. Minor, sensible stuff, that retains the truth and beauty of the Eucharistic Sacrifice of Christ. There already was some movement in allowing the congregation to say some responses. In any event, it would beat the pants off of the Pauline Mass (excuse the expression, it is the Mass after all), even if one attended one of the mythically mentioned but rarely seen “properly celebrated” ones. The way the liturgical commission foisted the new Mass on the Church was a robbery of our Catholic patrimony.
Simon, regarding “coccoon traditionalism”– again, I’ve already described myself as a starry eyed optimist, but every one of my Catholic friends (who for brevity’s sake I’ll just term conservative post V-2 Catholics) whom I have taken to the Traditional Mass have been favorably impressed, and in the last three weeks several of them have begun to attend it full time. Anecdotal evidence, I know, is the absolute worst, but it does make me feel better. : )



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:09 pm


Der:
Thanks for addressing my question, and your comments. Do you mind if I comment on your points in reverse order?
“In reality the last bout of ‘liturgical renewal’ has left a bad taste in a lot of mouths. It would be a very nice pastoral move to not introduce more innovation in the near future.”
I basically agree (i.e., I would still favor attending to any weaknesses in the Paul VI Rite — the sooner the better. That innovation I would not postpone.)
“The thing of it is, the ‘Tridentine’ Mass had been undergoing a period of liturgical reform before Vatican II. There is no reason why this shouldn’t continue in the future, in theory.”
I agree with that, too. I guess I think too few advocates of that Rite make this point.
“The longer answer: SC certainly makes suggestions and recommendations which should be taken into consideration.”
I need some convincing here, if you care to try: even accepting the hermeneutic implied in the “the last ecumenical council was pastoral, not dogmatic” approach, I don’t see what causes you to say SC is a series of “suggestions.”
Do you care to elucidate this point?



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:11 pm


Liam, Septimus, et al,
Nowadays there seems to be a cut-and-paste mentality to the liturgy, with folks saying, “I like Eucharistic Prayers 1, 3, and 5, but not 2, 4 and 6,” or “The Creed should be in Latin, but not the Gloria,” etc. etc. Such a way of thinking was unheard of prior to Vatican II and I think that this transormation of a typical Catholic’s consciousness was one of the worst results of the liturgical reform. I am heartened by talk of a universal indult, but given the damage that has been done over the past 40 years I have no illusions that most Catholics would vote today for a traditional Mass. Ultimately, I think there will be a restoration of the traditional Mass and a suppression of the new Mass, but such a state of affairs is still a long way off.



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Mark Wyman

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:16 pm


Hi Septimus,
Oh, I see now! Sorry. Ah, that’s a hard question. It seems that, yes, there needed to be more allowance for development / change in the tridentine Rite, and the lines along which SC recommended ought to be considered. What I am not sure of is how binding particular recommendations are, especially given the (I think) very sloppy nature of SC’s recommendations. To see a vernacular liturgy that works, I always encourage people to seek out one of those rare-as-hen’s-teeth Anglican Use congregations, which is really quite close to a well-translated Englishing of the tridentine Missal (ok, ok, really the Sarum missal, but it’s more similar than it is different). Finally, I think that the sensus catholicus (I know, hard to define) of normal folks will finally be what decides when the ’62 missal can be retired, and emphatically not some top-down imposition of some later, new version or Rite.



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:18 pm


Bill:
I’ll grant a good deal of your point about the problem of “cut and paste” mentality; but I’ll identify this silver lining: an awful lot of Catholics are thinking, and talking, about the liturgy — no, not all on the best level, but that’d never happen anyway. It seems to me, insofar as this broad discussion is properly guided and informed, it’s a good thing. Am I wrong in saying such a broad liturgical discussion didn’t take place prior to Vatican II? I don’t know, I wasn’t there.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:21 pm


Septimus,
As a result of SC, the Mass was reformed for pastoral reasons. Pope Paul and Pope John Paul recognized that the New Mass (such as it was) was the Mass called for by the Council. Whether or not the New Mass has been a disaster on the pastoral level is a different question from whether or not it is the Mass of Vatican II. Whatever “suggestions” or directives SC may have made have already been implemented. I fail to see how people can honestly deem SC to be a charter for perpetual tinkering with the Mass to try to implement their personal preferences.



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Der Tommissar

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:30 pm


I need some convincing here, if you care to try: even accepting the hermeneutic implied in the “the last ecumenical council was pastoral, not dogmatic” approach, I don’t see what causes you to say SC is a series of “suggestions.”
Do you care to elucidate this point

I’ll give it a whack. The big part of it to me is simple. SC reads as a set of instructions for how to go about liturgical reform when liturgical reform needs to be done. I’m not seeing anywhere in here where it says, “reform must be done”. After all, where would you end the reform? Must the liturgy be reformed ad infinitum?
From SC #4:
The Council also desires that, where necessary, the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances and needs of modern times.
Great, we’ll reform it, “where necessary”. Right in the opening of the document it states that the directions contained therein are to be used “where necessary”. If SC mandated liturgical reform, I would think the document would spell out specifically what reforms were needed and where.
As we both acknowledge, liturgical reform was occurring in the 20th century before VII. Since this was the case, it would make sense for a council to define how such things were to proceed, if deemed necessary.
I mean, that does sound like the kind of thing that would be discussed by all the bishops of the world, if they were all getting together anyway, right?



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Mark Wyman

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:31 pm


Septimus,
Regarding the “suggestions” of SC: many of them are already ignored. E.g.,
36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
100. Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts. And the laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually.
101. 1. In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office.
116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.
If these and other particular “suggestions” are being ignored by the party hailing SC as the be-all and end-all of liturgical legislation it’s only natural to conclude that SC is indeed only a bunch of suggestions.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:36 pm


Septimus,
In 1970, I don’t think that there were many Catholics who were able formally to rebut the idea that there was a “need” to remove many of the repetitions in the Mass or to debunk the silly claims about the “ancient” Eucharistic Prayer II. However, I think in 1970 most Catholics, even though they had been disoriented by the constant liturgical revisions of the previous 5 years, still had a Catholic sensibility that would cause them to be profoundly disturbed, if only for inchoate reasons, by the impiety of those who would so disfigure the Mass. I don’t think there is that broad-based sensus Catholicus today. Numerically, there may be significantly more people knowledgeable about liturgy today, but in absolute terms the numbers are small and I don’t think it compensates for what has been lost.



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dcs

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:37 pm


I always encourage people to seek out one of those rare-as-hen’s-teeth Anglican Use congregations, which is really quite close to a well-translated Englishing of the tridentine Missal (ok, ok, really the Sarum missal, but it’s more similar than it is different)
It’s not the Sarum Missal except insofar as the Book of Common Prayer bears some faint resemblence to the Rite of Sarum. I’ve never assisted at an Anglican-Use Mass but I’ve read the Ordinary and it is closer to the Novus Ordo than to the traditional Mass. In its trappings (vestments, ad orientam celebration, etc.) it might be “Tridentine” but the prayers themselves are not.



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:44 pm


Bill:
OK, perhaps we are speaking past each other.
My original question was, should the Tridentine Rite remain untouched by a proper implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium? Your short answer was “No,” on the grounds — so I understood you — that Sacrosantcum Concilium was a series of suggestions, not mandates.
I am not trying to be combative, but trying to understand WHY you deem SC to be suggestive, rather than directive.
Perhaps it is a flaw in me, but your latest post, saying, “Whatever ‘suggestions’ [why the quotes? it was your word, not mine] or directives SC may have made . . . ” does not, for me, shed light on why you took the view–so I understood you–that SC was, in fact, “suggestions” and not directives.
(And, if I may, I think I am not advocating “perpetual tinkering,” but I do think this needs further attention to try and get it right.)
If you simply prefer not to offer me the elucidation I sought, just tell me, and I’ll let it go; this reply comes because what you may have offered as more light was opaque to me; and I beg your indulgence in explaining more simply what I failed to grasp in your prior posts.



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Tim

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:47 pm


Not to get in the way of the bill-septimus-der tomissar posts, but I have to say that I agree with Bill that the eventual outcome will be a suppression of the Pauline Mass in favor of the Traditional Mass. And, sooner the better.



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:56 pm


Der & Mark — you make good arguments about the “suggestive” quality of SC, although Mark, your argument cuts both ways, as I imagine you agree: i.e., it could be taken as reason to care less, or to care more. And as to the provisions being ignored…it is to be lamented.
Der — okay, your point is valid, but it still seems to me that the fundamental rationale for the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy even to have been adopted was not merely to provide guidelines for some future, hypothetical revision of the liturgy, but also a call that such a revision was now timely; thus, it does seem to me *some* revision was intended by the Council Fathers.



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B Knotts

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:57 pm


Speaking only for myself, I have no problem in the abstract with the idea of organic, authentic reform of the Traditional Latin Mass.
But, you can understand that many people are a bit gun-shy about reform of the Mass after what happened in 1967-70.



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Bill

posted August 29, 2005 at 3:00 pm


Septimus,
I think you my be conflating one of my posts with someone else’s above.
Responding to your question, SC resulted effectively in a new rite of Mass. The 1970 Missal is the Mass of SC and Vatican II. Seeing as how two popes have confirmed that the New Mass is the Mass of Vatican II, I don’t think there is any basis to challenge that the New Mass is anything other than the “proper implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium.” That the council fathers may have been suprised by the ultimate product of the liturgical commission or that SC may have been open to alternative readings that did not require the specific changes which actually were implemented seems to me to be beside the point.
As such, I don’t see that SC has anything to say about the traditional Mass. Not because SC somehow consisted only of “suggestions,” but rather because SC has already been fully implemented in a manner that left the 1962 Missal untouched. If there is an argument that the 1962 missal should undergo some sort of “organic development” and revision, it should be made based on current pastoral considerations, not on any perceived requirements of Vatican II.



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 3:21 pm


Bill:
Yes, I’m sorry — I did conflate your comments, and Der Tommissar’s. I shan’t attempt to unravel it all now.
And may I say I like the tone of this discussion; I think we all know this topic is too often discussed in less than helpful ways.



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Der Tommissar

posted August 29, 2005 at 3:24 pm


Der — okay, your point is valid, but it still seems to me that the fundamental rationale for the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy even to have been adopted was not merely to provide guidelines for some future, hypothetical revision of the liturgy, but also a call that such a revision was now timely; thus, it does seem to me *some* revision was intended by the Council Fathers.
OR instead of a “future, hypothetical revision” there was an actual, gradual revision that was currently taking place and had been taking place in the very recent past. (After all, we can points to changes from 1953 or so, when it comes to Lent. Johnny X-X-I-I-I himeself had made a change to the Canon of the Mass just before the Council opened.) SC can very easily be seen as the bishops of the Council wishing to lend guidance and approval to the work occurring at that time.
I think we can all agree that work is over now. I mean, we’re not revising the Liturgy understood by those who wrote SC at the Council. There’s an entirely new normative Rite which came about some years after SC was written, and which has opened an entirely new can of worms. How we respond to that is not something considered by the Council Fathers.
I would figure that with that in mind, we can look to SC for guidance, and try to gain the wisdom of those who gave consideration to liturgical reform. It doesn’t mean that it needs to be implemented in a step-by-step, clockwork manner.
Now, if the Council Fathers wrote a document on, “How to fix the Liturgy after an entirely new Rite is promulgated then subverted by a bunch of quasi-heretical whackjobs, with regards to reforming the prior liturgy in such an environment” I’d perk up and listen a whole bunch more closely. Even if they did say it was “only a pastoral document”. Or if SC was promulgated as some sort of infallible doctrine, then I’d feel more comfortable in using it explicitly even outside the specific times and subjects which it was originally written for.
Hope that helps.



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RC

posted August 29, 2005 at 3:58 pm


Defenders of the SSPX argue that its four bishops haven’t committed schism because they haven’t attempted to exercise jurisdiction, but the four’s actions contradict that argument.
As sspx-schism.com points out, the movement’s bishops have attempted to grant marriage annulments, a function that requires jurisdiction. Lay adherents of the movement will need to submit those cases to the judgment of the Church, and the bishops may need to acknowledge that they were acting outside their competence.
One can probably also argue that the Campos consecration was an attempt to perpetuate a parallel diocesan structure, and thus an act of schism.
I hope a reconciliation for most of the SSPX will come soon. Bp. Fellay commented that his proposals — including his request to lift the Lefebvre excommunication — were intended as a starting point in discussions, so I hope he’ll be willing to restore complete communion without that.
About attending their Masses, Bill is right to point to Msgr. Perl’s letter on Sunday obligation. A related point comes from the Hawaii case, in which Rome confirmed that, for laymen, inviting an SSPX priest to say Mass at a private chapel didn’t, in itself, constitute an act of schism.
On the other hand, it’s not prudent to join their congregations and attend their Masses regularly. One should not expose oneself to the constant teaching of a sectarian/schismatic mentality.



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TonyDoc

posted August 29, 2005 at 4:45 pm


Isn’t it interesting that when the rationale for the Lefebvrite excommunication is debated, you rarely see any reference to the words of John Paul II in Ecclesia Dei which ratified the excommunications that had been announced days earlier by Card. Gantin? Per JP 2, the consecrations were a rejection of the Roman Primacy in regards to the selection of bishops to serve the Church. By breaking with the Protocol which would have seen the reconciliation of the SSPX with Mother Church, Lefebvre (according to Ecclesia Dei) committed an act of schism–which is what excommunited him, Bp. De Castro Meyer and their four new bishops.
If the SSPX (with the exception of Bp. Williamson)
claims such filial devotion to the Holy See, why do they refuse to accept this Motu Proprio?



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Samuel J. Howard

posted August 29, 2005 at 5:56 pm


“but also a call that such a revision was now timely; thus, it does seem to me *some* revision was intended by the Council Fathers.”
Of course, now we are neither in that time, nor with the advent of the Pauline Mass the same situation.
“There already was some movement in allowing the congregation to say some responses.”
Was there ever a prohibition, vs. just an inability?
I think calender reform is at the very least neccesary.



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Septimus

posted August 29, 2005 at 6:22 pm


Samuel – what do you mean by “calendar reform”?



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Samuel J. Howard

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:33 pm


The feasts should fall on the same days…
also, the calender probably needs simplification. I’ve told that in the past (I don’t know if they still do) the FSSP used to have a contest to find errors in thier ordo each year, because it was complicated even for experts to put together.



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Ed the Roman

posted August 30, 2005 at 8:47 am


I would like to put in a plug for the 65 Missal as well.



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Susan Peterson

posted August 30, 2005 at 11:01 am


mtk- No one has really answered you. I think that is because no one really knows what you do and don’t know, so they don’t know where to start.
It is important because Jesus prayed “that they may all be one, as the Father and I are one.”
It isn’t ok for there to be many different churches and denominations. There is supposed to be just one Church of Jesus Christ, which has been known since very early times as the Catholic church, because it is meant to embrace the whole of mankind. Any schism from it is a cause for sorrow. This one is perhaps particularly a cause for sorrow because it was so recent, in our lifetimes, and because perhaps it could have been avoided . It is of great interest to many who post here because they have sympathy with this group of schismatics about at least one of the issues which led them into schism, the value, importance, and beauty of the Tridentine mass.
However some of the schismatics don’t only say that the current mass used by most Catholics is inferior in solemnity and beauty, but that it is invalid, not a real mass. They also reject some teachings of Vatican II. The one I understand anything about is the teaching of the decree on Religious Freedom, which –and anyone please correct me if I don’t get this right-that governments should not impose religious belief on people, that adherence to a belief is a decision properly made in freedom, a freedom which is proper to the nature of human beings. Previously it was taught that a government ought properly to teach and enforce the truth and therefore should support the Catholic Church. It was said that “error has no rights.” The new teaching says, “Yes, but those IN error do have rights.” It can be said that this change resulted from further growth in understanding of the human person similar to the developments which eventually led the church to reject slavery etc. But it does create difficulties because it did seem as if the previous teachings were taught in such a way as to require assent to them, and the new teaching does seem more like a change than a development.
The SPXX church you refer to is not a Catholic church, but could be if the reconcillation talks were a success. You see that people here are arguing about on what terms a Catholic could attend that church . My understanding would be that a Catholic could attend there –say, to see what it is like- but not take communion. Since the priests there were validly ordained by bishops ordained in the apostolic succession, it is a valid mass, and I would guess it would fufill a Catholic’s obligation to attend mass on Sunday-but one oughn’t to go there Sunday after Sunday instead of worshipping with other Catholics. If for some reason one were in a situation where the only priest and parish one had any access to were a SPXX one, then I think one could also take communion there, but maybe there would be dispute about that. It is an unlikely situation, anyway.
I hope this makes the issue make sense to you and forgive me if I explained things you already knew.
Susan Peterson



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Susana

posted October 10, 2005 at 4:37 pm


How funny! I’ve heard all these discussions about being a “rebel” traditionalist, being excommunicated etc… Hello! Has not revelation shown that the church would be in great turmoil? People being loyal to what the Catholic Church has taught for all time and not wanting to be ecumenical pansies are standing up for the faith. When Vatican II came about, my mother said she knew something was wrong when all these changes came about. I just wish people would realize, like my mother and many others that the Church is in a crisis! Is the SSPX the answer? Maybe not, but I’ll tell you that I haven’t seen anything but graces flow into my family’s life since attending Mass with them. When I go to the “Norvus Ordo Mass”, I usally end up in tears from seing scantilly dressed women chewing gum and recieving HOLY Commmunion in their hand, and people practically making out at the “kiss of peace” time. Good grief! It’s nasty! Absolutely Nasty. Go ahead and call me excommunicated. Call me whatever you want dears, there is no way in heck I’d be attending Mass at one of these other places! No thanks! It is very scandalous! It is very twisted and weird that people think the SSPX is so bad! The devil makes bad things seem good, and good things seem bad. Take a look at our society today. Having all the children God blesses you with is “bad” in the eyes of society, and taking birth control is “good” and responsible! Same thing has happened in the Vatican, and I just pray that it can come to it’s senses. -Susana



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John

posted March 22, 2006 at 10:52 am


I’ve always loved reading the revisionist statements against Traditionalist(Orthodox)Roman Catholics who want to worship in the 1500 year old Mass that was codified at the Great Council of Trent, not the Bugnini “novus Ordo” mass. So much for the Traditionalist haters who called themselves Christians/Catholics.The Tridentine Mass is coming back into it’s own, it is growing expedentially particularly amoung young Catholics worldwide. The Ancient Mass (Tridentine) has NEVER been abrogated (outlawed).I would suggest that the liberal elements of the laity and clerics get use to it, it is the wave of the future and the hope of Catholic renewal worldwide. The impact of the reintegration of the Society of St. Pius X will have a tremendous effect on the Church Worldwide.Whether it is SSPX, UNA Voce, FSSP,Christ the King Sovereign Priest, St. John Cantius Society or the multitude of Abbeys and priories and monastries that are living the tradition Catholic life both in Divine Office and Treaditional LATIN Mass, Tradition is returning on a huge scale. Deo Gratia



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John

posted March 22, 2006 at 11:02 am


ADDENDUM—–Cardinal Hoyos says it’s not Schismatic, His Holiness Pope Benedict does not feel it’s schismatic , so in regards to The Society of St. Pius X just maybe the leftist-liberal clerics might take their cue from these men and knock-off the SSPX bashing, They are irregular in their relationship with the Vatican not Schismatic, if you don’t believe this statement ask the Vatican not the USCCB.



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