BY MAIKE HICKSON ON AUGUST 16, 2016
All faithful Catholics throughout the world face right now the situation that, in human terms, there is rather little hope for the faithful missionary future of the Catholic Church, as well as for the world – given its blinding illusions and its permeating weaknesses in the face of pressures both from the permeating Muslim threat as well as from the Western gender ideology (as Roberto de Mattei pointed out last year). In spite of the fact that Pope Francis has now been publicly challenged by well-respected and learned theologians and philosophers throughout the world for several objectively subversive, if not heretical, statements in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, he remains still obdurately silent and does not publicly rescind, or even discuss, these statements that are offending God.
What are we simpler folk then to do? We certainly have to turn to the Blessed Mother for help. She promised us nearly a hundred years ago that, “in the end, My Immaculate Heart will win,” but seemingly, and disloyally, only after a grave delay in obeying the merciful orders of Heaven to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary herself throughout the world.
These are, therefore, the two major prayer intentions of the renewed and resumed Rosary Crusade of the Society of Saint Pius X, which will start on yesterday’s Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother, and which will end over a year later, on 22 August 2017. The stated goal is to collect 12 million Rosaries (combined with 50 million personal daily sacrifices) for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.
Since there is seemingly no other organization right now that offers such an initiative – with its added awareness of the full ecclesiastical and secular crisis – and one that itself has one million of its own members – I consider this SSPX initiative to be more than worthy to be supported in these sustained prayers, and thus I would like to ask as many Catholics possible in the world to join them.
The Church’s situation – especially since the established papacy of Francis – has now more obviously undergone a profound set of changes. But, I would even tend to call it Providential. Several conflicts that existed for many years and made it almost impossible to promote the sustained collaboration of many well-meaning Catholics seem now to be helpfully mollified. I name a few:
- the Fatima discussion, as just mentioned, has moved also into the center of the Church, and is now accented by other groups, in addition to the more traditional circles;
- the SSPX discussion has been immensely aided and encouraged by the recent comments of Archbishop Guido Pozzo; but, before that, by the very supportive comments of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, saying: “To my knowledge there are no weighty reasons in order to deny the clergy and faithful of the SSPX the official canonical recognition, meanwhile they should be accepted as they are”;
- at the same time – and going along with it – there has been a realization among many well-meaning conservative Catholics, who were always very cautious to criticize a pope publicly, that there are, sometimes, grave reasons for speaking out publicly against a gravely misleading papal statement. This is a new development and might give these Catholics a growing understanding of why some Catholics spoke up earlier when it was about the question of the doctrinal and ecclesiastical place of Mary, the New Mass, ecumenism, religious liberty, the indispensable importance of Divine Grace, the concept and reality of the Social Kingship of Christ, to name a few examples.
- since Pope Francis now gives support to and even leads some of these recent novelties – such as visiting Synagogues, Mosques and Protestant churches and praying together with representatives of all kinds of religions, as if we all somehow worship the same God – unto its logical conclusion of religious indifferentism by saying that “there is no Catholic God,” it cannot anymore be so easily denied that some of the previous popes also committed grave public faults by implementing some of these novelties, which even sacrificed to ecumenism the Blessed Mother herself or at least diminished her unique theological importance.
- even Pope Benedict, whom many Catholics honor for his attempt to restore, in parts, Catholicity within the Church, has come now under critique for his silent and implicit – and sometimes even explicit – support of the Francis papacy that has done already so much damage.
We see that there is not much organized human help available to address the current crisis in the Church and in the world. We especially need to turn to Mary, once again. (Let us remember here Our Lady of Lepanto and the Miracle on the Vistula!)
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.
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.
BY MAIKE HICKSON ON AUGUST 9, 2016
In a recent interview published by the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit (32/2016), Italian Archbishop Guido Pozzo (64), Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED), made some important statements concerning his qualitatively progressing negotiations with the Society of Saint Pius X — negotiations which fall under the purview of the PCED. His comments make it clear that the process of formal inclusion of the SSPX is advancing, and that Pope Francis has offered a personal prelature to the SSPX – similar to the structure under which Opus Dei operates.
August 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) —The Vatican has offered the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) a personal prelature and confirmed that certain documents from the Second Vatican Council are not doctrinal in nature, according to an Italian archbishop tasked with overseeing the canonically irregular group’s return to full Communion with Rome.
Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, told a German newspaper that Pope Francis has offered the SSPX a return to full Communion via a personal prelature within the Church. A personal prelature is a hierarchically-structured group of Catholic faithful not bound by a geographic location — essentially, a diocese without a territory that complements the work of local dioceses “to which the faithful who form part of a personal prelature continue to belong.”
Opus Dei is the Catholic Church’s most well-known — and indeed, only — personal prelature.
Pozzo’s remarks, which Dr. Maike Hickson translated at OnePeterFive, indicate that the SSPX could be fully reunited with Rome despite the society’s rejection of certain Vatican II documents because the documents it rejects “are not about doctrines or definitive statements, but, rather, about instructions and orienting guides for pastoral practice.” The Second Vatican Council’s documents themselves indicate that only the Council’s teachings explicitly related to faith and morals are binding to Catholics, Pozzo explained.
“It was already clear at the time of the Council” that different Council documents carried different dogmatic weights, Pozzo said. “The General Secretary of the Council, Cardinal Pericle Felici, declared on November 16, 1964: ‘This holy synod defines only that as being binding for the Church what it declares explicitly to be such with regard to Faith and Morals.’ Only those texts assessed by the Council Fathers as being binding are to be accepted as such.”
Written by Patrick Archbold
The admonishment is stated so often in discussions about inner Church workings that many people treat it as axiomatic: Do not view the Church through a political lens, the Church is different.
Yes, the Church is different. You cannot view the Church as simply aligning with your local political situation, but the Church is inherently political. Where there are people involved, there is politics. And I venture to say that not only is this current period no exception, it is quickly setting new levels.
A fair amount of ink has been spilled in recent weeks over the controversy that erupted after Cardinal Sarah’s London speech suggesting that priests might want to check out ad orientem worship this coming advent.
In all likelihood, the Cardinal’s suggestion would have been mostly ignored by the vast majority of priests. Of the few that may have been interested, most of those under Modernist Bishops are too well-versed in the consequences of such things to even consider such a move. Perhaps there exists a tiny subset of priests willing to try ad orientem that exists under the few bishops who would look kindly upon such a thing, but the response to Cardinal Sarah’s suggestion would have been minuscule. So why even pay any attention to it?
Well, the powers and principalities in the hierarchy did much more than pay attention to it. Although the Vatican Press office has shown itself completely incapable over the last 3 years of dispelling any of the confusion that arises from the calculated ambiguity of the Pope, suddenly the Holy See Press office develops “quick reaction force” capabilities when someone in the Vatican machinery accidently speaks like a Catholic.
Equally amazing is how those who daily disparage the ‘Doctors of the Law’ have suddenly morphed into strict rubricists unwilling to brook even the slightest perceived deviation from the GIRM. This sudden reactionary rubricism seems limited only to false interpretations of the GIRM, because anyone who has spent more than five minutes looking at the question understands that the ‘wherever possible’ of GIRM 299 applies to the placement of the altar and not the orientation of the priest. But mass ‘facing the people’ is the pre-eminent unwritten rubric of the Spirit of Vatican II, and thus turning together toward God will not be allowed and so the NuChurch ninjas were quickly deployed. But, no worries, the Vatican shows no signs of giving a hoot about any of the other daily violations of the GIRM so commonplace at the empty masses of today.
A reasonable person must look at the situation and the response and ask the simple question, “Why? Why such a reaction?”
The answer, in part, is politics.