Amen. Terrific and positive note.
I love this blog. It’s a very uplifting place to read the thoughts of faithful Catholics, especially, of course the thoughts of Dr. Blosser but I would like to remind folks that the SSPX is in schism (see the evidence below). Catholic 101 says that one must be in union with Rome. The Pope says that they are not in union with him and he is the final authority on the matter. Even in the very early Church a Bishop was threatened with excommunication if he carried through with consecrating Bishops without papal approval. I can get specific names if anyone is interested. DonnaIn an unsigned statement released on February 4 from the Secretariat of State, the Vatican explained the Pope's decision to lift the excommunications of four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). The clarification, released nearly two weeks after the Pope's decision was announced, came in the midst of an international furor provoked by the comments of Bishop Williamson, one of those SSPX leaders.By lifting the excommunications, the Secretariat of State explained, the Pope "wished to remove an impediment" to the reconciliation of the SSPX with the Holy See. The Pope's gesture "has not changed the legal situation" of the traditionalist group, which still "does not have any canonical recognition in the Catholic Church," the Vatican statement noted. The SSPX bishops, while no longer excommunicated, remain suspended from public ministry.
RR-D's comment in the combox there is unfortunatley probably true.
Donna,I can appreciate your perspective, and I like your positive remarks about PP's blog, but if you'll permit me, I have a few thoughts.First, it's one thing to remain suspended from public ministry. This means the work of the SSPX has been without official Church sanction since the original Excommuniations.It's another thing, however, to be in schism; and both representatives of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and Cardinal Ratzinger himself as former prefect for the CDF have declared that the SSPX, while disobedient and irregular, is not in schism. To be schismatic is to separate yourself deliberately and formally from the Church. The SSPX has never done this. Bishops often treat them as pariahs, but this doesn't mean they are not Catholics.Check out this article: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/mershon/070410.Second, there is an obsession in the Western church with "validity" and "legality" of orders and liturgy, but neglect of the question of "authenticity." If you want "valid" and "licit" Masses and theology, look no further than your metropolitan gay-friendly Soho Masses in London, or your swirling dervish Masses in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. If you want "authentic" Masses and theology, visit your local SSPX chapel.Either way there's going to be an unfortunate discrepancy and tension between one or another factor. It's just the way things are.In short, the SSPX has probably been more faithful in preserving the authentic essence of Catholicism than the mainstream modern Western church, which has fallen off the wagon in an inebriation of heteropraxy and heterodoxy. A better question might be whether the officially sanctioned Western churches are not in schism from Catholic tradition. The SSPX's only sin is disobedience.But why are they disobedient? In order to be faithful in communicating authentic Catholic theology and tradition. What would happen if the SSPX were "obedient"? Hard to say. Chances are, it could easily be crushed by dissident bishops and silenced. Then we would lose virtually the only voice we have of AUTHENTIC Catholicism.Huge problem, I admit.
I would like to remind folks that the SSPX is in schismThis is the nearly universal perception of Catholics, thanks to bishops who mendaciously conflate "illicit" with "invalid," "excommunicated," and even "heretical," in the interests maintaining the legitimation of their own dissent from traditional Catholic teaching "in the spirit of Vatican II."It's smashingly perverse that these same bishops have no problem, in the spirit of post Vatican II "ecumenism," hobnobbing and even sharing in joint-prayer services with prelates from denominations whose orders are not only rejected by Rome as invalid, but who have embraced the ordination of women "pastors," along with contraception and abortion.At the same time, Vatican II documents are willing to accept as "united" with the Church, even if "imperfectly," not merely members of non-Catholic Christian traditions, but those in non-Christian traditions such as Jews, Muslims, and perhaps even noble pagans and ("anonymous Christian") agnostics.Against this backdrop, it is exceedingly cynical of Catholic bishops to treat as pariahs those Catholics who hold fast to the unadulterated traditional Catholic teachings of the Church. What new doctrines have been promulgated by Vatican II or post-Conciliar popes that the SSPX has neglected to embrace? None. Because there are none. There are new emphases, policies, and attitudes one finds toward Protestants, Jews, religious freedom, and ecumenism. None of this constitutes new doctrine, however.The Pope seems to understand this, and seems eager to offer a canonical status to the SSPX. He also seems to be intimidated, however, by the overwhelming opposition to such a move by the enemies of Catholic tradition. What the outcome of the talks between the SSPX and Rome will be is anyone's guess. But those inclined to see it as a prospect for a wayward and "schismatic" sect's "reconciliation" with an orthodox Catholic Church may have the shoe on the wrong foot.
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"What is the first business of philosophy? To part with self-conceit. ...It is impossible for anyone to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows." -- Epictetus (c. 100 A.D.)