Friday, September 21, 2012

Fr. Schmidberger on lapse in Rome-SSPX détente

Linked HERE -- in German with English captions [Hat tip to R.C.]

See transcription of the English translation of the interview with Fr. Franz Schmidberger at Rorate Caeli.


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Far be it from me to say I told you so, but . . . .

The SSPX can only accept this situation by repudiating itself. This is what the erstwhile panzerkardinal expects of it.

I urge all of those who were tossing rose petals and warbling hallelujahs a few months ago to read the test of this interview VERY closely. Welcome to the realpolitik.

Paul Borealis said...

"The SSPX can only accept this situation by repudiating itself."

Of course, you are correct; when at least one of the four SSPX bishops thinks like...well... this (see quotes below), how could he (as a leader) and his followers ever ... function... in the Church? What blows my mind is that the present Pope ever lifted the excommunication on this guy, i.e. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais. I am not sure about the others; perhaps they do not openly call the Pope a heretic.

Bishop Tissier de Mallerais said that the Pope has done some good things,

"But Pope Benedict XVI, while he is Pope, remains Modernist. His programmatic address of December 22, 2005 [on the hermeneutic of continuity and reform] is a profession of the evolution of the truths of faith according to the dominant ideas of each time. Despite his favorable gestures, his real intent by integrating us in the conciliar orb cannot be other than to lead us to Vatican II."

"But he is imbued with the council. When he says that the resolution of the SSPX problem is one of the main tasks of his pontificate, he does not see where the real problem is. He misplaces it. He sees it in our so-called schism. Well, the problem is not that of the SSPX, it is the problem of Rome, of the neo-Modernist Rome, that is not the eternal Rome anymore, that is not anymore the Mistress of wisdom and truth, but that has become a source of error since the Vatican II council, and that remains so today. Therefore, the solution of the crisis can only come from Rome. After Benedict XVI."

JM said...

"What blows my mind is that the present Pope ever lifted the excommunication on this guy"

Really? *That* blows your mind, but the fact he has NOT excommunicated Hans King doesn't? Once again, we have a double or triple standard going on. I like Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, but to act like his ever idea jives with tradition... Just go read "Introduction to Christianity," then get back to me. His ideas are every bit as controversial' as BTdM.

Cynic said...

Paul, I used to think the SSPX was "schismatic" and rightly excommunicated too. Then Benedict lifted the excommunications, I began reading Ratzinger, who said the SSPX is not schismatic, and then I discovered that Ratzinger, Von Balthasar, and all the stars of Vatican II have been saying things completely at odds with the magisterial tradition. By contrast, the SSPX sticks fast to everything in that tradition but finds much in the Vatican II documents and subsequent "theology" problematic.

Do you see anything extraordinary in any of this?

Anonymous said...

Do you have quotes from Pope Benedict stating that the SSPX is not schismatic? If so, where may I read it?

Thank you,

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Cynic. The position of the SSPX is similar to the position of the Donatists a few years ago.

The sppx is is in partial communion with the Church but it is not in full communion with the Church just like the partial communion of the Donatists with the Church that Saint Augustine addressed in his time (I just recently put up a post about this similarity of the situation).

And, like the Donatists, the sppx identifies great sinners in the Church as a reason to remain out of full communion with the Church; that is, both schism were/are suffused with idea of Purity.

Well, Tradition has always acknowledged that there is both the wheat of sanctity and diabolical darnel within the church and there has never been a time when the Church was pure in its human element but to what advantage is it for an order (sspx) to refuse full communion with the Church ?

There is not one individual who can identify in Tradition the idea that a schism preserves Tradition.

The SSPX dispenses the invalid sacraments of Marriage and Confession and the ironic consequence of the refusal of the sspx to accept full communion with the Church Jesus established is that when the Pope finally does formally declare they are in schism, it is only then that the sspx sacraments will become valid - just like the sacraments of the schismatic so-called Orthodox Churches.

It may just turn out to be the case that the tradition the sspx is preserving is the tradition of the eastern churches which refuses full communion with the Pope.

Cynic said...


In a 1993 letter responding to a case involving a decree of schism brought by Hawaii Bishop Ferrario against six individuals seeking sacraments performed by priests of the SSPX, the USA's Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, Archbishop Cacciavillan, declared on then Cardinal Ratzinger's behalf that the Bishop's decree lacked any foundation as no formal act of schism was involved in the case. See

Also see the former president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has declared that Catholics who attend SSPX Masses are not to be considered schismatic.

And Cardinal Cassidy has stated: "The situation of the members of this Society is an internal matter of the Catholic Church. The Society is not another Church or Ecclesial Community in the meaning used in the Directory. Of course the Mass and Sacraments administered by the priests of the Society are valid."

Cynic said...

I am not Spartacus,

The difference between the SSPX and the Donatists is that the "purity" with which the latter were concerned was moral, whereas that which the former is concerned is doctrinal and disciplinary.

The Vatican has on several occasions recognized the validity of SSPX sacraments and orders, as suggested in my previous post to Donna. Your allegations would seem to depart from Rome's at key points.

The SSPX holds to Catholic tradition in its entirety and contests viewpoints found in Vatican II documents and post-conciliar Vatican pronouncements only at those points where previous popes like Pius IX through Pius XII would have regarded them as ruptures with Catholic tradition. If that is enough to excommunicate the SSPX, it's enough to excommunicate the pre-conciliar popes as well. Think about that.

Paul Borealis said...

"Really? *That* blows your mind, but the fact he has NOT excommunicated Hans King doesn't?"

JM, thank you for responding to my comment. Like you, I do not understand why Hans Küng has never been excommunicated; perhaps the Vatican hopes he will reform his ways. At any rate, the situation between Küng and SSPX Bishop Tissier de Mallerais are not exactly the same, in that for one Hans Küng is not a Bishop ordaining priests, against the wishes of the Pope and the law of the Church. As well, I remind you that the reason for the excommunications in the first place were the ordinations/ consecrations at Écône in 1988:

"3. In itself, this act was one of disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated. Hence such disobedience - which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy - constitutes a schismatic act.(3) In performing such an act, notwithstanding the formal canonical warning sent to them by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops on 17 June last, Mons. Lefebvre and the priests Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta, have incurred the grave penalty of excommunication envisaged by ecclesiastical law.(4)"

JM, sorry, I have never read Introduction to Christianity, perhaps I should; if it matters, long ago I read The Ratzinger Report, being interviews with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger; I thought it was quite good at the time.

To be continued....

Paul Borealis said...

Back to the Hans Küng-Bishop Tissier de Mallerais comparison. I understand Küng was disciplined for some of his 'opinions', and in 1979 it was officially declared "that Professor Hans Küng, in his writings, has departed from the integral truth of Catholic faith, and therefore he can no longer be considered a Catholic theologian nor function as such in a teaching role."

Perhaps at some point in the future, at least in regards to some of the 'opinions' of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais (regarding his accusations of heresy - if that is what they are - against the Pope and/or Vatican II), there might need to be a similar Declaration?

Paul Borealis said...

Cynic, thanks for responding to my comment. For now I only have time to deal with the first part of what you wrote, very sorry; I hope I can respond more fully later (if you want and our host permits).

You wrote in part:

"Paul, I used to think the SSPX was "schismatic" and rightly excommunicated too. Then Benedict lifted the excommunications, I began reading Ratzinger, who said the SSPX is not schismatic [...]".


After re-reading these, I am a bit less confused by the lifting of the excommunication on SSPX Bishop Tissier de Mallerais.... but still perplexed and saddened by the 'SSPX - Vatican issue', if I may call it such.

I found parts of this article on Schism in The [old] Catholic Encyclopedia helpful:

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Cynic. It would indeed be news that a schism admitted it was a schism.

Of course the sspx will advance all manner of arguments that it is not in schism but in his address to the Bishops of Chile, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Sacred Congreagtion for the Doctrine of The Faith, publicly referred to the Schism of Lefebvre.

As to your citing the SSPX as a serious source for understanding the Hawaii Six controversy, the Saint Joseph Organisation - which represented them - admitted the matter had zip to do with schism.

If you keep going to the SSPX as your sole source, you will continue to put your soul in jeopardy.

Try this link...

Cynic said...

Not Sparty,

The facts reported on the SSPX website originate from other sources. My awareness of the facts of the case doesn't originate from the SSPX. I read about it in Latin Mass.

Be that as it may, I don't read Shawn McElhinney anymore. I have found him tendentious, disingenuous, and inaccurate, just like the perspective of Whitehead and Likoudis' The Pope the Council and the Mass, which is hardly compelling.

Facts are facts, regardless who reports them. I remember a case where the Vatican gave tacit (if not explicit) recognition of the faculties of SSPX priests by allowing them to assist a nun in some way (I wish I still had the details; maybe you can assist me in recalling them).

The address to the Chilean bishops in 1988 is fairly typical Ratzinger: ambiguous. As John Paul II's right-hand man, he recognizes the legitimacy of the initial excommunications, perhaps recalling the pope's earlier references of Lefebvre's disobedience as "a schismatic act." But he stops short of declaring members of the SSPX, as such, as "schismatic." Instead he refers to the "schism of Lefebvre," who was then still living.

Later he distinguishes, as did Cardinal Cassidy, between a "schismatic act" and "formal schism."

The irony is that the priests of the SSPX adhere firmly and fully to Catholic teaching, and continue to suffer under the appelation of"schismatics" even today after Benedict has lifted the earlier excommunications based on Lefebvre's disobedience (not heterodoxy). By contrast, the likes of Hans Kung continue to remain in good standing as regular Catholic communicants, although they may not even be Christians (Kung certainly isn't) and ought to suffer the penalties proper to formal apostasy.

Cynic said...


Thanks for your thoughts and links. The real reason for the shadow over the SSPX is their refusal to applaud the novelties and ambiguities of Vatican II. Anyone with an eye for clarity who compares these documents with pre-Vatican II documents will immediately note the fact. Even Benedict has referred to the problem of ambiguity in conciliar documents like Gaudium et Spes, and that earlier drafts of the document contained passages that he (as Ratzinger) called downright "Pelagian."

The accusation made is that the SSPX does not "accept Vatican II." What does that mean, however? Vatican II was a "pastoral" council. It defined no new dogmas. Certainly some of the dogmatic constitutions contain teachings of the ordinary magisterium, insofar as they reiterate propositions from Catholic magisterial tradition.

But those propositions are not what get liberal bishops Gucci's twisted in knots over the SSPX. What they want is for the SSPX to acknowledge the novelties introduced by Vatican II? What are these? Ideas such as "ecumenism," "inter-religious dialogue," and "religious freedom of conscience."

The problem is that none of these are doctrinal propositions. None has been formulated into a dogmatic proposition to which one is bound to assent. Where, for example, is the defined dogma on ecumenism to which all Catholics are bound (de fide) to give assent. There is none. If you told your priest that you don't believe in "ecumenism," would he have grounds to accuse you of disobedience to the magisterium? What could those grounds possibly be?

That is the problem facing the CDF over the SSPX's refusal to bow before the ambiguities and novelties of Vatican II.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Cynic. The SSPX pays lip service to Catholic Doctrine but it accepts the Pope's Universal Jurisdiction only insofar as what he decides accords with their will; that is, they are the ultimate authority when it comes to Doctrine and Discipline; that is, they are protestant in practice.

During the Council, Mons Lefebvre argued in favor of the Traditional Axiom - No Jurisdiction, No Ministry - but, after he signed all of the Documents of Vatican Two, he repudiated what he did at the Council and then he and those who succored the schism denied he signed the Documents.

He was double-minded when it came to the Pope and Magisterium; at on time pledging fidelity; at another time calling the Pope the antiChrist.

Mons Lefevbre did what he wanted to do and whenever Rome tried to bring him to heel, he repudiated Divinely-Constituted authority.

And then there was his sermon for the illegal consecrations. What a shameless and disgusting diatribe that was. He pledged obedience to dead Popes while repudiating the Living Pope and repeated the false "prophecy" (Officially condemned) of LaSallette that Rome would lose the Faith and then he identified his own self as the fulfillment of a different Marian Prophecy; the ONE who would save the Faith.

And that is considered "tradition" by those who succor this schism.

Both Pope Blessed John Paul II and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger identified as a schism the sspx schism and the sspx has been shamelessly lying about the facts ever since.

The sspx, which began as a scission in the intellect of an elderly and confused Mons Lefevbre, has annealed into a actual schism and the SSPX has missed the time of its visitation with Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic world is passing it by.

Of course there is nothing new under the Conciliar sun about this schism as all Ecumenical Councils trail in their wake all manner of misfits, mountebanks,heretics, and schismatics.

There is not only man who succors the sspx who can point to one Catechism that has ever had an entry that omitted the sine qua non of Catholicism - union with the Pope.

What the sspx proposes as union with Eternal Rome (what the Sons of the Holy Redeemer correctly identify as " abstract concept of an idealised Eternal Rome") is self-serving as it is the sspx which decides what "eternal Rome" means and it sure as heck does not mean one thing that was opposed to the will of Mons Lefebvre.

The "Tradition" of the sspx (that "Tradition is preserved in an order not in union with the Pope) is a complete and utter novelty.

Saint Augustine taught that there was never justification for a schism whereas Mons Lefevbre taught there was.

Saint Augustine was right and I pray that Mons Lefevbre was as mentally incompetent as he seemed to be so his culpability for what he did was rendered nugatory.

Cynic said...

Not Sparty,

That's a comfortable and safe position very much like the one I used to espouse; but sorry, I just don't buy it any more. I've read too much (of the wrong thing, you will say).

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Cynic. As one who is the same age as Israel and as one who was Born a Catholic, I have to confess that I am a bit jealous of the ideology of the SSPX which claims to be obedient to Eternal Rome even while it refuses to obey or be in union with the actual living Pope.

If I had their example as a child, I could have disobeyed my parents while claiming I was obedient to an idealised concept of eternal parents.

Cynic said...

Nice analogy, Not Sparty. But all analogies "limp," as they say. To focus on a purported rift between Rome and the SSPX is a distraction. The problem is an ocean of ambiguities in what Rome appears to have been saying since Vatican II (not to mention ambiguities in some Vatican II texts) that leaves in doubt the seamless continuity of doctrinal "development" since Vatican II. Benedict himself has admitted as much in his criticism of a so-called "hermeneutic of rupture," but without adequate circumspection: his own work provokes questions of a similar kind both before and after his election to the papacy.

Rome calls for the SSPX to "accept Vatican II." What doctrines are taught by "Vatican II," however, that were not in the deposit of magisterial teaching at the time of Pope Pius XII? Is "ecumenism" a doctrine? Is "inter-religious dialogue" a doctrine? What does it mean to "accept" these ideas? What is the doctrinal content of Vatican II that calls for de fide intellectual assent? Is it precisely the ambiguities that call for assent? If there has been doctrinal "development," as many claim, should not this development be unequivocally clear rather than ambiguous? Why did Archbishop Athanasius Schneider call for a "New Syllabus" by Rome to clarify how Vatican II ought to be interpreted if the documents are unequivocally clear? To call the SSPX "schismatics" and desire their "excommunication" for asking these sorts of questions seems the height of ingenuousness. But that, of course, is "just my humble opinion."

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Cynic. I will assume the Catechism of Pope Saint Pius X is considered orthodox by those in partial and full communion with the Church:

16 Q. Who are schismatics?

A. Schismatics are those Christians who, while not explicitly denying any dogma, yet voluntarily separate themselves from the Church of Jesus Christ, that is, from their lawful pastors.

32 Q. Are we also obliged to do all that the Church commands?

A. Yes, we are obliged to do all that the Church commands, for Jesus Christ has said to the Pastors of the Church: "He who hears you, hears Me, and he who despises you, despises Me."

In the simple truth of Pope Saint Pius X, it is crystal clear the sspx is in schism.

Now, Our Holy Father can use the rhetoric of romance to woo them back (He is Our Sweet Jesus on Earth) and I am fine with that but we Irish-Algonquins are of sturdier and simpler stock :)

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

"If I had their example as a child, I could have disobeyed my parents while claiming I was obedient to an idealised concept of eternal parents."

If your parents were encouraging you to behave badly, what's the problem?

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Ralph. (True story) Oncet, I ran away from home and hid in the closet of my Blood-Brother, Ricky Green; when his parents heard my Father and Mother were looking for me they looked all over their house and found me in his room.

What are you doing in there?

I ran away from home. I want to live with you.

No. You have to go back home and live there; we are not your parents, they are.

We only have one spiritual Father on Earth; Our Holy Father the Pope.

If he encourages me to perform an action that is sinful, I can refuse the request; what I can not do is leave the family house and move-in with another "father" who has set up his house in opposition to the Universal House established by Jesus.

Cynic said...

Not Sparty,

Puh-leeze. The only 'sin' of the SSPX is disobedience to submit themselves to the regime of modernity that now reigns in the church hierarchy.

Have they substituted another 'father' for the Pope? No. They pray for the Holy Father in their Masses regularly and recognize him as the church's universal pastor.

Have they separated themselves from the church? Of course not. Where else do you see Catholic orthodoxy defended with such unbending vigour as in SSPX circles?

What would happen if the SSPX submitted themselves to the authority of local ordinaries throughout the world? Take the Archbishop Müller recently appointed head of the CDF, who told a German language interviewer for Zenit that "The SSPX must fully return to the ground of the Catholic Church and recognize the authority of the Pope, the decisions of the Second Vatican Council and recognize existing canon law. If they do, they also accept that the seminary of Zaitzkofen falls under the supervision of the Diocese of Regensburg. The seminary should be closed and the students should go to seminaries in their home countries — if they are suitable for this purpose."

What would happen to this bastion of Catholic orthodoxy, the SSPX? It would be swallowed up by the modernist diocesan seminaries of the "spirit of vatican 2" throughout the world, and formerly burgeoning SSPX vocations would plummet, just like those rest of those throughout the Catholic world.

A better question would be: Why do not the modernist bishops throughout the world accept the perennial Catholic magisterium, beginning with VATICAN 2? Yes: Vatican 2! If they did, they could not spout Hans Kueng's post-Christian nonsense that denies 90% of the fundamental Catholic assumptions of Vatican 2 -- its orthodox Christology, its view of the divine inspiration of Scripture in Dei Verbum, its view of the divine authority of the Church, etc.

If the SSPX appears to cavil over the hideous ambiguities and inconsistencies in two of the Vatican 2 documents, praying for clarification and leadership from the Holy Father, how is that a rejection of his authority? Get real!

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Cynic. Here is a list of what The SSPX rejects:

The New Mass

The New Code of Canon Law

The New Catechism

Vatican Two

Universal Papal Jurisdiction

Papal Authority

The legitimate Jurisdiction of Bishops approved by Rome

Communion with Our Holy Father The Pope

Communion with we who maintain the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, Authority

Some dare call that schism.

In consecrating Bishops, Mons Lefebvre was establishing a hierarchy for his petit ecclesia and he also established secret commissions

that usurped Divinely-Constituted authority.

The SSPX has routinely lied about:

Mons Lefebvre signing the documents of V2

Cardinals and Canonists putatively agreeing with them that the sspx is not a schism even though prelates such as Cardinal Lara have asked them to stop lying.

Before my defenestration at Free Republic I conducted captious communication with the Monks of Mt Athos even though I knew I'd never convince the so-called Orthodox Churchmen that they were in schism and the plain and simple truth is that the SSPX had become not unlike an orthodox church with its own Bishops and I realise that the sspx has its own Mount Athos.

The sspx ain't ever coming home; I pray that you and other individuals do.

Pertinacious Papist said...

I am not Spartacus,

The list is appreciated. What would help, I think, is some documentation and clarification. For example, your first entry says the the SSPX does not "accept" the New Mass. In one sense, this is probably true: they would probably repudiate it as a degraded form liturgy that eviscerates the sacrificial elements, etc., and might even consider it spiritually detrimental. Yet I understand from official spokesmen of the fraternity that the SSPX position on the Novus Ordo does not call into question its "validity."

Another point claims that the SSPX "rejects Vatican II." Again, I think clarification may help here. John Lamont, for example, has an article in which he cites Bishop Fellay as stating that the fraternity affirms without any hesitation 95% of Vatican II, and then Lamont asks something like: I wonder whether the same could be said of the likes of Hans Kung who continue to formally remain Catholics in sufficiently good standing to be accepted as "in communion with Rome." Isn't there at least an irony here? I wonder how much of Vatican II most liberal Catholics accept?

Such clarifications, with documentation, would certainly help strengthen your case, it seems to me.

Kind regards, PB

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Dr.

Council of Trent


CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every pastor of the churches, into other new ones; let him be anathema.

Transcribed from the talk given by Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Kansas City, Missouri (March 5, 2002)....

The Cardinal’s position is evident from his interviews such as in 30 Days: "It’s fine to celebrate either Mass, but please don’t pit one against the other. Don’t make use of one against the other." Well, the Society is definitely against the New Mass. We even say that it is "intrinsically evil." That’s a delicate label that needs a little explanation. By this we mean that the New Mass in itself —the New Mass as the New Mass, as it is written —is evil, because as such you find in it the definition of evil. The definition of evil is "the privation of a due good." Something that should be in the New Mass is not there and that’s evil. What is really Catholic has been taken out of the New Mass. The Catholic specification of the Mass has been taken away. That’s enough to say that it is evil.

... District Superior of the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, Fr. Peter Scott, has forbidden persons who attend SSPX chapels to attend any traditional Latin Mass which is in communion with Pope John Paul II. Writing in the May issue of Regina Coeli, Scott, who is known even with the Society for his distempered reactions to anyone who questions his authority, and for overburdening the consciences of the people who attend his chapels, said it was "crucial" for the "sanctification" of families that they not attend the Indult Mass. He writes:

"Remember that if you cannot get to a true (sic) Catholic Mass celebrated by a good (sic) traditional priest, you should not attend the New Mass or the Indult Mass, and this even if it is the only traditional Mass available".

Fr. Fellay on The Second Vatican Council

In January, Cardinal Castrillon had incorrectly written that with some conditions I would accept Vatican II. Since I wanted him to know exactly what I think about the Council, I handed him Catholicism and Modernity, a booklet in French by Fr. Jean-Marc Rulleau in which he studies the Council and shows how the spirit of the Council is radically opposed to Catholicism. It is, we may say, a total demolition of the Council.

Martin Luther, "These [church laws] hold good only so long as they are not injurious to Christianity and the laws of God. Therefore, if the Pope deserves punishment, these laws cease to bind us, since Christendom would suffer."

Marcel Lefebvre, "In the Church there is no law or jurisdiction which can impose on a Christian a diminution of his faith. All the faithful can and should resist whatever interferes with their faith.... If they are forced with an order putting their faith in danger of corruption, there is an overriding duty to disobey."

It is clear that Mons Lefebvre erected a petit ecclesia in opposition to the Church established by Jesus. Mons consecrated his own Hierarchy (Bishops and Priests) and he established his own Tribunals in a usurpation of Divinely-Constituted authority.

More documentation is posted on my crummy blog.

And, as a bonus for looking at my crummy blog, you can read the best POTUS Debate analysis available anywhere online :)

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

I wonder whether the same could be said of the likes of Hans Kung who continue to formally remain Catholics in sufficiently good standing to be accepted as "in communion with Rome." Isn't there at least an irony here? I wonder how much of Vatican II most liberal Catholics accept?

Dear Dr. Excising Fr Kung from that comment, Mr. Lamont could have asked Pope Saint Pius X a similar question when he identified the synthesis of all heresies, modernism, then embraced by many who remained in full communion with the Catholic Church; and this during the reign of a Pope Saint.

It has been like this since even before the Church was born from the side of Jesus on Calvary and the fact the Jesus chose Judas can be seen as a warning that diabolical darnel in the Church ought not be too scandalising to us.

Besides, of what consequence is to us that Msgr Kung is not excommunicated?

The question is not whether or not Kung is in full communion with the Church, the question is am I?

If Kung had consecrated some Bishops after having been warned not to, he too would have been forced to walk the plank off the Barque of Saint Peter.

There never has been a time when the Church has been bereft of bathetic bohunks and/or execrable excommunicabile (I just made that up) and refusing to keep Communion with a billion member Church because of some notable material or formal heretic is irrational.

When one stands before the Judgment seat of Christ he will be called to account for HIS Faith and fidelity, not Kung's.

Cynic said...

Not Sparty,

Like hell. Your monological perspective prevents you from seeing its irony: many of your own arguments, directed ostensibly against the SSPX, could be used against those like you who regard any disagreement with or disobedience against those promoting the regime of novelty in the church as schismatic. It is not.

CANON XIII of the Tridentine Decree on the Sacraments, and a lot more, could be cited even against those who, in defiance of Vatican 2, promote a Mass never envisioned by the council fathers, with altar girls, and everything else that has ensued in the wake of the rebellious generation of the 60s and 70s.

One might even say that he has no problem with the Mass promulgated by Paul VI, but that it's ... well ... just so hard to find anywhere.

And the bit about closing one's eyes to the debacle of the post-Vatican 2 'reforms' and focusing only on one's own salvation is sheer madness. On this feast of St. Francis, one may well recall that our task, when we find the church in ruins, is to rebuild the church, brick-by-brick. This will require facing hard truths -- especially for those for whom the last 40-50 years has normalized the scandalous state of affairs in the church, just as it has normalized contraception, divorce and remarriage, gay and lesbian partnerships, and every conceivable debauchery in secular life.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Cynic. Saint Francis did not consecrate his own Bishops, establish his own tribunals, and refuse Communion with the Pope and The Catholic Church because he did not want to become infected with their disease.

Both Lefebvre and Fellay have identified the Catholic Church as having either AIDS or Cancer. I'll just cite the current head of the SSPX; "“The Church has cancer. We don’t want to embrace the Church because then we’ll get cancer too.”

Saint Francis never severed the Bonds of Unity like all admirable Catholics, he reformed from within.

And, of course, focusing on one's own salvation is a hallmark of Catholic Tradition.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

...many of your own arguments, directed ostensibly against the SSPX, could be used against those like you who regard any disagreement with or disobedience against those promoting the regime of novelty in the church as schismatic. It is not.

Dear Cynic. Stop it. Nowhere have I ever written that is what constituted schism.

On this very thread I posted the definition of Schism as it appears in the Catechism of Post Pius X.

16 Q. Who are schismatics?

A. Schismatics are those Christians who, while not explicitly denying any dogma, yet voluntarily separate themselves from the Church of Jesus Christ, that is, from their lawful pastors.

And the New Catechism is no different
2089 schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

And the New Code of Canon Law is no different: ...schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Cynic said...

Not Sparty,

You quote: "The Church has cancer ..."

Bad metaphor, I admit, since cancer isn't contagious, so far as I know.

But answer me this sincerely: what do you think would happen to the SSPX if it were assimilated "into the Church," as you envision it? Think before you sound off.

From where I sit, I would hardly wish the Catholic Church on any prospective convert, for fear of undermining and contaminating their faith. Well, you say, but it's THE CHURCH! Aye, mate, I'll give you that, but there are some days I wonder. When the Son of Man comes again, will he find faith on the earth? Will he be more likely to find it in your milk toast new age Catholic parishes than in the SSPX chapels you despise?

Cynic said...

Not Sparty,

Granting your definition (from St. Pius X) of "schism," then would you say that the several Vatican declarations to opposite effect regarding the SSPX must be mistaken -- including Cardinal Cassidy (1994), Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos (2005), and the canon lawyers Ct. Neri Capponi, Geringer, Patrick Valdini, and Msgr. Perl (2003)? And Cardinal Ratzinger was mistaken to overturn (1993) Bishop Ferrario's decision (1991) to excommunicate the followers of the SSPX in Hawaii? I suppose even a prospective pope is fallible in judgments of discipline, aye?

Each of these has denied, in so many words, that the SSPX has created a schism. Of course, you might wish to suggest that their understanding of "schism" represents an illicit pseudo-development of doctrine since Pius X, one which replaces refusal of submission to the Pope with denial of his primacy. What would count as schismatic, on their view, apparently, is to give their bishops an apostolic mission that takes the place of other bishops. None of them claim the SSPX has done this, at least so far. But perhaps we'll all wake up tomorrow and read something in the news. Nothing would surprise me anymore.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

But answer me this sincerely: what do you think would happen to the SSPX if it were assimilated "into the Church," as you envision it? Think before you sound off.

Even though you ended that paragraph with what for me is clearly an unreasonable demand, I will write that an immediate effect would be that the sacraments of Marriage and Confession dispensed by the sspx would become valid.

However, the time of their visitation has passed; they are not coming back home and the sspx has raised two generations of souls who were taught to, at best, distrust and fear the Catholic Church that Jesus established.

That is their main fruit.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Cynic. I regard the carefully qualified statements about "formal" schism by those in dialogue with the schism a perfectly acceptable form of charity by the Magisterium as it tries to get the sspx to return to full communion.

Both Pope Blessed John Paul Ii and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger spoke publicly about the schism (Ecclesia Dei and Address to Bishops of Chile) and both have done their level best to end it.

I do think that Cardinal Lara is right that the sspx is a schism and that Mons Lefevbre consecarted Bishops so as to have his own hierarchy;

Lefebvre and his followers, inasmuch as they refused submission to the Pope, were already, by that fact itself, in schism. The intent of the act of consecrating bishops is already to create a church with its own hierarchy.

Sheldon said...

Not Spartacus,

I appreciate your fidelity to Mater Ecclesia, and your concern about schism.

At the same time, I appreciate some of the worries Cynic raises, not to mention PP's call for clarifications.

The fog of confusion is the ever-present environmental given of our times, it appears.

From one side, we have the traditional definitions of "schism" that would seem to put the SSPX "outside" the Church. From another side, we have statements from current Vatican prelates that the SSPX is "not outside" the Church, and "not schismatic."

One even finds the cheerful announcement of 8/23/1011 that the "Vatican Approves Novus Ordo Nun's Transfer to SSPX Convent" (Real Clar Religion)

Then again, one finds Traditionalists responding to accusations of "schism," when they assist at SSPX chapels, as follows:

"You are right. It was absolutely forbidden to pray with schismatics and heretics and attend their ceremonies before Vatican II. To do so was called communicatio in sacris [to communicate in prayers or ceremonies]. It was formally forbidden and characterized suspicion of heresy (cfr. Code of Canon Law of 1917, canons 1258, 2259, 2261, 2315, 2316, 2338, § 3).

"Now then, in these last 40 years after the Council we have seen Popes and Prelates doing exactly this everywhere. Should we conclude that those Popes and Hierarchs are correct and the previous bi-millennial teaching of the Church was wrong? Some persons ask whether these Prelates fell into schism, since they broke with the entire past of the Church's discipline, liturgy and faith. Others go further and ask whether they fell into heresy, since they deny some points of the Catholic Faith.

"These two questions complicate your simple presupposition: Schism is that which is not approved by the official religious authority. Now, when this authority enters into schism or heresy, where does this leave your presuppostion? Is a schism from the schism still wrong? Or is it fidelity? The same could be asked regarding heresy: Are those who don’t accept it in schism? Or is it those who do?"

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Sheldon. Mons Lefevbre created his own petit ecclesia. A man holier and far more intelligent than Mons Lefevbre has remained in the church while retaining the liberty to question it.

What one has never had liberty to do is to consecrate Bishops to exist outside of communion with the Church and to minister within the Jurisdiction of legitimate Bishops Papally approved.

Ask, question,even protest, but do it while maintaing Communion - the sine qua non of Catholicism

Pertinacious Papist said...

Perhaps this thread can be pursued better elsewhere. Thanks to those who contributed, but I'm closing the comments to further discussion on this post.