A major step forward in relations with the SSPX? I hope so. | Fr. Z’s Blog

Posted on 11 August 2016 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

One of the most significant points of conflict between the SSPX and the Holy See has been the issue of the document of Vatican II Nostra aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions.

Over the years, I’ve said that this document, as well as the document on religious liberty Dignitatis humanae, shouldn’t have to be an obstacle.  Of course, ecumenism and religious liberty are intimately intertwined.

The issue of religious liberty and ecumenism is difficult and susceptible of many Catholic approaches and views.  It should be acceptable to disagree about various aspects of religious liberty.  I am reminded of the case of Fr. Leonard Feeney, SJ, who took a hard-line position about the truth of the Catholic doctrine, “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus … outside the Church there is no salvation”.  After significant conflict with ecclesial authority, he was censured with an excommunication. Later, he was reconciled and he did not have to abure his hard-line position.

The situations of the SSPX and Fr. Feeney are not strictly parallel, but the example of the later serves to illustrate that Catholics, rather well-informed theologians, can have differing positions about difficult points of doctrine, so long as they do not dissent in a scandalous way from dogma.

There should be some flexibility when an issue is really hard, as the issue of religious liberty is.   Do people have a natural right to pursue error, or is this only a civil right?  Are there really paths to salvation outside the Church?  Does what the Second Vatican Council resolve these questions definitively?

We now see at LifeSite that an ice layer has broken in the jam at the Holy See regarding Nostra aetate.

One particular Council document with which the SSPX takes issue is Nostra Aetate (“In Our Time”), a declaration on the Church’s relationship with other religions. Some interpret it as inconsistent with or at the very least muddying the Catholic Church’s teaching that it alone is the one true religion.

Pozzo said Nostra Aetate is not dogmatic and therefore no Catholic is bound to accept it as such.

Read more here: A major step forward in relations with the SSPX? I hope so. | Fr. Z’s Blog

Does Pastoral Practice Take Precedence Over Doctrinal Faith?

It seems an important question to ask at this time; for we have recently endured a recurrence (which was predominant after Vatican II) of adhering more to pastoral practices and less to our Doctrinal beliefs. Practices, that for all intents and purposes, seem to fly counter to the Doctrines of our Faith.

For the Doctrines of the faith and all practices which emphasize those Doctrines are seen to be Draconian in our present expression of faith which looks more like coddling than the old idea of spiritual direction.

It is no longer enough to simply learn the laws from the Supreme Law-Giver and try to live according to them. We must try to pretend that they are not there at all or else hide them from prying eyes so that nobody will be offended; such is the fallen state of human minds and wills in this overly-sensitive society. And there is the problem.

For from this newly found gentleness and sweetness we have devised pastoral practices to coincide with this present age where pampering and stroking of ones self-esteem (our egos) is more important than speaking the Truth plainly and unashamedly. To teach rather than to ‘share’ is old-fashioned and mean-spirited. Let’s talk about what it means to me and how I ‘feel’ about this article of faith or morals. It is not enough that Christ has written the Law in our hearts and has established a Church to teach His laws to mankind thoughout the world. For the teaching is too hard; who can bear it?

After many years of bad blood between those who accepted the Coucil of Vatican II but did not accept their pastoral documents (which seemed to fly in the face of earlier Church Teachings) we now have a situation where the Vatican is now saying explicitly that the non-adherence of the SSPX in these pastoral documents is not an obstacle to their reintegration into the Church. We all knew that and it had been said by traditionalists over and over again these last 50 years but it is only now that such an admission is being made by Rome. But the Church took baby steps to rectify this situation after ensuring that a huge change in practice had already taken hold and that the generations raised in a post-Vatican II Church would not remember or know what the kerfuffle was about. All they know is the present day expression of Church teachings (or the lack thereof) which they have become acustomed to.

So Pope Benedict XVI finally gave us his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum that clearly stated that the old Mass was never abrogated and that any priest who wished to say this Mass need not ask permission to celebrate it. We knew that as well – and boy what a lot of heartache could have been saved had this been proclaimed at the outset of the reign of the Novus Ordo Missae.

So with the admission of both the Traditional Mass being still operative in the Church and that documents such as Nostra Aetate need not be adhered to and may, in fact, be flatly rejected by a priest or parishioner, then all this internal fighting and bickering would  have been nipped in the bud from the start. Sadly, the damage is done as stated before. Most Catholics living today have never been to a Traditional Latin Mass nor have they heard the Catechism taught without hesitation or regard for having to sugar-coat the teachings or pamper the little ‘dears’ who are too delicate to learn the faith of their fathers. Ecumenism has fallen into a false irenicism in far too many corners of the Church and these things have caused irreperable harm to the Faithful.

Is it too late? I guess it is never too late for our Lord. We might yet recover from the degenerative effects of placing the practices above the teachings that they were to be the living witness of. Or maybe not? But the faith shall endure . . . even if it is a remnant Church.

Lamentabili: The 65 Errors of the Modernists Condemned by the Church

Listers, “there is no road which leads so directly and so quickly to Modernism as pride.” Pope St. Pius X fought with all of his heart and soul to defend the Church against the heresy of mode…

 

Source: Lamentabili: The 65 Errors of the Modernists Condemned by the Church

Vatican: No changes in direction priests face while celebrating Mass | CNS top stories

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, is pictured at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast May 17 in Washington. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

By Colleen Dulle Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Recent comments by a high-ranking Vatican official have sparked questions about the direction priests should face while celebrating Mass, but the Vatican spokesman said Pope Francis has made it clear no changes are foreseen.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, urged priests and bishops at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London July 5 to start celebrating Masses “ad orientem,” or facing away from the congregation, beginning the first Sunday of Advent this year…

 

Readmore via Vatican: No changes in direction priests face while celebrating Mass | CNS top stories

Theologians & Scholars Formally Request Correction of Amoris Laetitia – OnePeterFive

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BY STEVE SKOJEC
ON JULY 11, 2016

In a press release issued today, an international group of “Catholic academics and pastors” states that they have petitioned Rome to address serious theological problems with the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation,Amoris Laetitia.

Among the 45 signatories are Catholic prelates, scholars, professors, authors, and clergy from various pontifical universities, seminaries, colleges, theological institutes, religious orders, and dioceses around the world. They have asked the College of Cardinals, in their capacity as the Pope’s official advisers, to approach the Holy Father with a request that he repudiate “the errors listed in the document in a definitive and final manner, and to authoritatively state that Amoris laetitia does not require any of them to be believed or considered as possibly true.”

According to their statement, the group

submitted an appeal to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome, requesting that the Cardinals and Eastern Catholic Patriarchs petition His Holiness, Pope Francis, to repudiate a list of erroneous propositions that can be drawn from a natural reading of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia. During the coming weeks this submission will be sent in various languages to every one of the Cardinals and Patriarchs, of whom there are 218 living at present.

Describing the exhortation as containing “a number of statements that can be understood in a sense that is contrary to Catholic faith and morals,” the signatories submitted, along with their appeal, a documented list of applicable theological censures specifying “the nature and degree of the errors that could be attributed to Amoris laetitia.”

Readmore via Theologians & Scholars Formally Request Correction of Amoris Laetitia – OnePeterFive