Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Come back to the church guys and gals. Come back. You can even bring crazy Bishop Williamson with you but come back.


Tradition On The Line said...

Since this is an internal matter according to Cardinal Hoyos, what is it the SSPX is supposed to come back to? Exactly what are you talking about?

I'll assume you know little to nothing of Bishop Williamson. But I will ask you to remove your flippant remarks about him... since he is a prince of the Catholic Church.

Lastly, a challenge. Prove to yourself that Rome has not strayed from Catholic Tradition and in so doing, the truth. This isn't something you can do in a minute... you've got to read quite a bit.

It is you, friend, who needs to "come back" as you put it.

If the Jews no longer need to come at all... why would the SSPX need to "come back"?

Steve Sanborn

Kit Brookside said...

Whoa, there, TOTL/Steve...

I think you protest too much. I don't know that I speak for Dymphna here, but many of us hold with SSPX and its conservative stance, love of the Tridentine rite, and so forth. Dymphna has a valid point. The Latin Mass is no longer subject to suppression by the more liberal of the Princes of the Church, orthodoxy is no longer seen as a form of fanaticism or insanity. The bottom line is that SSPX/Abp Lefebre committed schismatic acts by ordaining its own bishops, and expressly defying Pope JPII in so doing - all sorts of debate over the use of the term "schism" and whether SSPX is in schism, but the acts speak for themselves.

Please see this excerpt from Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter, Ecclesia Dei:

"In itself this act [of consecrating those four bishops] 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 [Code of Canon Law, 751]. In performing such an act, notwithstanding the formal canonical warning sent to them by the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Bishops last June 17, Archbishop 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 [Cf. Code of Canon Law, 1382].


In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfill the grave duty of remaining united to the vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement. Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offense against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law [Cf. Code of Canon Law, 1364]."

SSPX proclaims its "filial devotion" to Rome, but stops short of proclaiming its FIDELITY. That's where we run into problems. I, for one, have always been a sympathizer, but I cannot be a supporter of insupportable acts, particularly in light of JPII's response.

Tradition On The Line said...

I'll repeat my question and add a few more.

1. What is it the SSPX is supposed to come back to since we know this to be an internal matter as per Cardinal Hoyos?

2. What is a schismatic act vs. being in actual schism? I ask since it has been clearly stated that the SSPX is not in schism with the Catholic Church. Is it similar to someone committing a criminal-like act but not being an actual criminal? If so would we expect such an "accused" individual to not protest too much?

3. Exactly how do the "acts" speak for themselves - as you put it?

4. What specifically was the reason for Rome's denial of Lefebvre's consecrations?

Kit Brookside said...

I see that you are a black and white type, Steve, so I will refer you to the sources you seek, and which I have already provided:

1. SSPX should "come back" into full unity with Rome, as should its members, particularly laypersons who were led into their current uncertain state. See the excerpted letter I posted above. As to the "internal" nature of the discourse, it does members of an organization no good it its leaders don't tell them what they're supposed to be following. SSPX needs to declare its re-union with Rome to dispel just the kind bordering-on-hostile exchange you've started up here.

2. The Pope - not me - has indicated that Abp. Lefebre's acts were schismatic. Don't ask me, just look at the words as issued by the Successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ on Earth, JPII. They're right there in black and white for you.

3. Again, see the words of JPII. Consecrating your own bishops AGAINST the exhortation of the Successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ on Earth, JPII speaks volumes to the presumption and arrogance of someone who would do so, someone who knows what his responsibilities and obligations are.

4. You know the answer better than I, based on your involvement with the group. But again, JPII's letter makes it pretty clear - he undermined the authority of Rome , which is absolute if you consider yourself to be a "Roman Catholic," by consecrating his own bishops

Tradition On The Line said...


You state:

"As to the 'internal' nature of the discourse, it does members of an organization no good if its leaders don't tell them what they're supposed to be following."

Since the truth does not ever change Catholics have an obligation to stand up not just even when, but particularly when their heirarchical leaders oppose or contradict Tradition and Doctrinal teachings of the Faith. When the leaders ignore Catholic teaching and doctrine, they are no longer telling you what you should be following.

And please be fair. I didn't start this exchange with "crazy Bishop Williamson." Please identify where I have been bordering-on-hostile?

Please tell me exactly what "full unity" means. This is like "sort of pregnant". You're either in or out. As for fidelity, you're being the judge there, not the Pope.

If we might, let's discuss where the Pope's fidelity to God is and His Church and His Faith. Will you sit there are tell me that Cardinal Ratzinger was and is not a modernist? Will you tell me he is not the author of the anti-syllabus?

"look at the words as issued by the Successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ on Earth, JPII. They're right there in black and white for you."

Ah... but they are not. You might wish them to be, but they are not... this is the very reason for questioning these words. What type of excommunication did JPII issue against Lefebvre and the 4 bishops? Latae sententiae or ipso facto?

This is part of the problem: You want to see "full union" and "schismatic act" as black and white... but where am I required to?

A publicly "pronounced" latae setentiae excommunication is not an ipso facto excommunication. This is not a minor detail.

Now if presumption and arrogance are punishable by "excommunication" then I must say... there ought to be scores of bishops around the world on the outside right now... would you agree?

As for why Lefebvre's request to consecrate 4 bishops was denied ... there is one reason and one reason alone. He would not say the Novus Ordo Mass. He would not pull the Vatican II Party line. That is why.

So - since we now know that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated... we also know that Lefebvre never had to abandon it for the Novus Ordo. Also since there has never been a formal mandate to say the Novus Ordo, we know he committed no wrong for avoiding it.

The reason for denying his request to consecrate his bishops was based on error. Since he knew that... and since he knew the Catholic Church was facing a complete break from its perennial teachings and tradition... he went ahead with his valid consecrations in 1988.

Canon law defends Lefebvre from the penalty of excommunication very clearly. Even if he had wrongly perceived grave necessity for his actions, Canon Law still defends him from this penalty.

Important stuff to know and discuss.


Kit Brookside said...

Look, Steve - I am not going to argue with you. We differ because I (and many others) believe that Abp. Lefebvre/SSPX acted in direct defiance of the Pope and attempted to undermine papl authority. You and your fellow SSPX'ers believe that he was doing the "right" thing. Anyone in the military will tell you that you follow direct orders, and challenge them through proper channels. before you go all "Nuremburg trials" on me, bear in mind that military leaders, UNLIKE the Bishop of Rome, do not enjoy infallibility. If you and your SSPX'er friends believe that an individual Bishop, Cardinal, or anyone has the right to abrogate this dogma, question it, or blatantly defy it, well, I'm sorry, but you're not in full union with Rome.

Following that logic, Womenpriests, the Society of St. Thomas the Doubter, and other splinter groups claiming to "know what's best" or otherwise be more Catholic than the Pope should be welcomed and encouraged to ordain their own priests and consecrate bishops as well. They believe they are right, too. Time will tell.

And please - I live in the Dicoese of Rochester - you don't need to tell me there are egomaniacal, leftist bishops in the Church. (You try being orthodox and living here. They don't call it white martyrdom for nothing.)

The Clarks, Mahoneys, and Lefebvres within the Church illustrate the point that even the highest ranking members are fallible and subject to the same vicissitudes of human nature and its inherent vices, ego, pride...which is why they take an oath of obedience to the only infallible one among them.

I don't want to hog D's combox anymore, so I am sure you will rejoice in knowing that you'll get the last word. I will leave you with this thought, though - we share a love of Tradition and orthodoxy, you, me, and SSPX...and while I am with you in theory, I cannot be in practice.

Oh. One more thing. Say hi to Jim the SSPX's lawyer for me. I went to law school with his best friend/fellow TAC alum/recent best man.

Kit Brookside said...

D - sorry for the hog-fest!


Tradition On The Line said...

Kit I will say hi to Jim for you. Just saw him 30 minutes ago at the Feast of the Ascension mass.

I must say though, you've answered none of my questions directly.

Merely relying on obedience alone doesn't cut it.

"Full union" is semantics to protect the pride of the failed Vatican II bomb that blew the church apart before you and I were born.

The Novus Ordo is a massive failure as is witnessed with every breath you take.

You love tradition, that's great. But you can't mix tradition with a striking departure from tradition. That's not possible.

And though I am not posting my comments to have the last word, I must say you shouldn't be so sensitive to pointed questions.

Argument is good. Quarreling is bad.

I invite the argument for the sake of comparing notes and learning... that's what it's for.

You might consider too that you wouldn't have tradition without Lefebvre. And that's a fact.

Always willing to continue the argument.

Steve Sanborn

Kit Brookside said...

Oh all right, Steve, come over to my place and we'll keep going.

Jim, who I've met only a handful of times, is a gentleman and a sweet one at that. So I'll be nice. :)

Dymphna said...

Thanks Kit! I love lawyerly minds!

Dymphna said...

Oh and Steve, I am not your friend. I am a Catholic married lady and this is my blog so be polite.

DigiHairshirt said...

Kit rocks.

Kit Brookside said...

I've been waiting for 2 days, and still no visit from Steve By the Brook. Oh well. I guess he wasn't really "willing to continue the argument" after all.

Tradition On The Line said...

Kit - that's by the sandy brook...

Willing to argue, but have quite a bit going on. Will catch up soon...

Why don't you go ahead and pose the first item up for argument...

I'll get to it soon.



Joe of St. Thérèse said...

to make it simple sspx must reconcile BEFORE the excommunications are lifted (just like you confess your sins BEFORE they're forgiven, not vise versa)

Benedicamus said...

I'm very sympathetic to the SSPX, and would attend one of their Masses without batting an eye, really. BUT-- when Bishop Williamson is doing things like attacking the movie musical "Sound of Music," one has to wonder sometimes. I mean.... there's problems in the world and all... but, the "sound of music"??http://www.sspx.ca/Documents/Bishop-Williamson/November7-1997.htm

Tradition On The Line said...


Thank you for pointing out that you are not my friend. How polite of you. I could have sworn your description said you're a Catholic chick. Glad to hear you are married. I am too, with 5 kids.

It's obviously your blog. Thanks for the clarity. If you're not happy with my comments you're free to eliminate them.

PS. I'll just mention this here for Benedicamus... regarding The Sound of Music. If you haven't read the book by Maria von Trapp, you should. Sure no movie portrays a book perfectly, with the possible exception of Brideshead Revisited... but the movie The Sound of Music brings new definition to the word interpretation... I believe it was Rogers and Hammerstein? Anyway, probably the same guys who wrote the novus ordo mass. (that was a joke for any sensitive readers out there who might take me for a rude, insensitive, impolite monger). Anyway, I think the movie kept the von Trapp name in the script and that's about it. You can't imagine the license taken with this production. This in part is why Bishop Williamson does not like the movie. I'm sure the other part of the reason is that he's crazy...

Steve Sanborn

Kit Brookside said...

Steve! You're alive!

I respectfully disagree with you. The 1995 BBC miniseries "Pride and Prejudice" is the best novel-to-screen adaptation. Ever.

Interestingly, the original name of the novel was "First Impressions" - telling, given all the foregoing commentary, n'est-ce pas?

Tradition On The Line said...


I will gladly give over on this point and agree with you, despite the fact that I never read that book... well I think I did in college, but that doesn't count.


PS. I would respond to your last comment but I gave up French for Lent a few years back.

Kit Brookside said...

All right, Steve -

Just remember, I have no formal Latin education:

"Veritas est?"

...but a passing knowledge and love of the Latin languages:

[should be upside down-->]?Es verdad?

non e quello cosi? [pretend there are proper accents]

And if you have female children, you're going to want to buy the complete Austen canon as well as the miniseries. If it is any consolation, my retired USMC beloved husband has watched all 5 hours several times and has lived to tell the tale. He identifies with the heroine's father.

Anyway, are you coming over to my blog to set me straight or not? Enquiring minds want to know. Actually, they want to see if an amateur like me can hold her own. I think there's a betting pool.


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