Promoting the Culture of Life
Did the Catholic Church really think that by simply allowing the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass the SSPX would come gently back into the fold? Obviously, the rift goes much deeper than simple theatrics. It is opposition to the changes (real or perceived) in Catholic teaching that accompanied the Second Vatican Council that caused all the problems.Unless the Church is willing to concede that Vatican 2 was a mistake, the SSPX will continue to take the position that celebration of the traditional latin mass, accompanied by the teachings of Vatican 2, amounts to little more than lipstick on a pig.I am reminded of the verse from Matthew: "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men's bones, and of all filthiness." Matthew 23:27 (Douay Rheims)My guess is that this verse is used by both sides of the issue. The Pharisee is always the other guy...but what else is new?Personally, I wonder why the SSPX even care about reuniting with Rome? Why should they? They seem to be doing just fine on their own.
Matt, I have a Scripture quote for you, from yesterday's Mass readings, "I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Pope Benedict has inherited this authority, Bishop Fellay has not, yet he is acting as if he were the pope. Or he more like Martin Luther? Will the Society find itself looking like Anglicans or Lutherans in 100 years if it remains cut off from the Body of Christ? I have every confidence that Pope Benedict will reverse the harmful trends of misinterpretation of Vatican II, however big ships turn about slowly. The Barque of Peter is a huge ship, and I have faith that our captain's new course, as in the prophetic dream of St. John Bosco, will safely moor the Church between the twin columns of faith in Our Lady and the Holy Eucharist.
Leticia...Martin Luther denied the Real Presence of Christ, he stated that good works are worthless,and he denied that we even possessed a free will. Considering this how can you compare Bishop Fellay to Martin Luther. That makes absolutely so sense. The SSPX is merely a religious order within the Catholic ChurLch that has found itself on an irregular status with Rome due to extraordinary circumstances within the Church. I almost joined the Brothers Novitiate within the SSPX and have spent the last nine months on an SSPX priory living in close quarters with SSPX priests and religious and I assure you that I would not have been there if I even had the slightest doubt that they might be schismatic. There is no permeation of a schismatic spirit there nor is the SSPX even in formal schism as even Card. Hoyos has stated-even if he does disagree with Bishop Fellay and the SSPX on other issues. In short, I can tell you that the SSPX desires nothing more than reconciliation. Now, you might ask, "Why then, don't they reconcile?" The answer is quite reasonable and it is surely for the good of the Church. There are many points I could touch on but for the sake of simplicity I will only mention one. I hope this will at least cast a new light on the SSPX. Not as evil-doers, but as sons of the Church stuck between a rock and a hard place. Vatican II was not an infallible council as is not claimed to be by the Roman authorities, even though I have heard of others claiming it to be so-for whatever reason. But the point is that it was not an infallible council and as such if one were question some passages that are ambiguous to say the least then he would be perfectly within his rights and would certainly not be in danger of heresy or schism. With that said please consider this quote from the one of the Vatican II documents: “The Declaration of this Vatican Council on the right of man to religious freedom has its foundation inthe dignity of the person, whose exigencies have come to be more fully known to human reason through centuries of experience... Revelation does not indeed affirm in so many words the right of man to immunity from external coercion in matters religious. It does, however, disclose the dignity of the human person in its full dimensions.”The Vatican II decree demands that states concede false religions the right to exist:(P.2) “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom... The Council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person, as this dignity is known through the revealed Word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed; thus it is to become a civil right.”(P.2) “Therefore, the right to religious freedom has its foundation, not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth... and the exercise of this right is not be be impeded.” Now compare that with the following passages which are infallible teachings on religious liberty from past popes: “Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. Those remain ever one and the same and are no less changeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity to an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth, may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law” (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei).As His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII said, “It is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.” The Popes, the true Vicars of Christ on earth, have had the perennial duty to root up and destroy heresy while planting and nourishing what is true. Divine Justice and the integrity of the true religion demand that error be condemned and that the forces of evil be thwarted. Evil and error can be, at most, tolerated in this vale of tears. Never can it be said to have the right to exist.Pope Pius IX, in the Syllabus of Errors, condemned the proposition “that it is left to the freedom of each individual to embrace and profess that religion which by the guidance of the light of reason he deems to be the true one.”Both Pope Leo XIII, above, and Pope Pius IX, below, condemn the notion that states should sanction false religions:“They do not hesitate to put forward the view which is not only opposed to the Catholic Church, but very pernicious for the salvation of souls — an opinion which Gregory XVI, Our Predecessor, called absurd. This is the view that liberty of conscience and worship is the strict right of every man, a right which should be proclaimed and affirmed by law in every properly constituted state... When they rashly make these statements, they do not realize or recall to mind that they are advocating what St. Augustine calls a liberty of perdition” (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura). These two passages really seem irreconcilable and is one of the reasons why the SSPX has found themselves in the position they are in. But as true sons of the Church I can confidently say that if Rome states how those passages from Vatican II can be interpreted in light of tradition then I assure you that a final reconciliation would not be far off.
I would say that it is the RCC that resembles Anglicans and Lutherans moreso than the SSPX. I recently read that only 30% of Roman Catholics believe in the Real Presence. I doubt that is the case among SSPX'ers.
I agree that it is a sad fact that so few RCs believe in the Real Presence, one that Pope Benedict is addressing, as our Shepherd. Those who are in SSPX sadly, do not follow our Shepherd.
I would say that indeed it is true that the being in the position the SSPX is in they are not "obeying" everything that the legitimate superiors have asked of them, hence the rift. But on the flip side the authorities have abused their power in many instances leaving no way out for these priests. And in those cases not only would a man not be obliged to obey, but would also be obliged to disobey. The bottom line is this, it is an internal matter in which, I believe there to be good will on both sides. But the key words are "internal matter" and, if I remember right, these are the very words Cardinal Hoyos used, meaning quite simply that the SSPX is not outside the fold-despite what others may think. I wonder... have either of you ever read about the apparition of Our Lady of Good Success? Read about it. It is very interesting and it is approved by the Church so you have nothing to worry about.
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