Category Archives: Church crisis

Novus Ordo Lamentations: The Altar is no longer

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https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/07/paul-claudel-at-le-figaro-1955-mass.html#more 

Paul Claudel, French poet and writer, laments the growing implementation of the Novus Ordo and its dangerous effects for the life of the faithful and the Church, in 1955, long before the Novus Ordo was officially forced upon the Church. Words to heed and reflect upon.

Paul Claudel
Le Figaro
January 23, 1955

I wish to protest with all my strength against the growing practise in France of saying Mass facing the people.

The most basic principle of religion is that God holds first place and that the good of man is merely a consequence of the recognition and the practical application of this essential dogma.

The Mass is the homage par excellence which we render to God by the Sacrifice which the priest offers to Him in our name on the altar of His Son. It is us led by the priest and as one with him, going to God to offer Him hostias et preces [Victims and prayers]. It is not God presenting Himself to us for our convenience to make us indifferent witnesses of the mystery about to be accomplished.

The novel liturgy deprives the Christian people of their dignity and their rights. It is no longer they who say the Mass with the priest, by “following” it, as the saying very rightly goes, and to whom the priest turns from time to time to assure them of his presence, participation and cooperation, in the work which he undertakes in their name. All that remains is a curious audience watching him do his job. Small wonder that the impious compare him to a magician performing his act before a politely admiring crowd.

 

It is true that in the traditional liturgy the most touching, the most moving part of the Holy Sacrifice is hidden from the view of the faithful. But it is not hidden from their hearts and their faith. To demonstrate this, during Solemn High Masses the sub-deacon stays at the foot of the altar during the Offertory, hiding his face with his left hand.We too are invited to pray, to withdraw into ourselves, not in a spirit of curiosity but of recollection.

In all of the Eastern rites the miracle of transubstantiation takes place unseen by the faithful, behind the iconostasis. It is only afterwards that the celebrant appears on the threshold of the sacred door, the Body and Blood of Christ in his hands.

A vestige of this idea lingered for many years in France, where the old missals did not translate the prayers of the canon. Dom Guéranger protested energetically against those who had the audacity to do away with this custom.

Today’s deplorable practice has turned the ancient ceremony upside down, to the great consternation of the faithful. There is no longer an altar. Where is it, this consecrated stone which the Apocalypse compares to the Body of Christ Itself? There is nothing but a bare trestle covered with a tablecloth, reminding usdepressingly of a Calvinist workbench.

Naturally, as the convenience of the faithful was held up as the guiding principle, it was necessary to rid the aforementioned table of the “accessories” cluttering it up: not only the candlesticks and the vases of flowers, but the tabernacle! The very crucifix! The priest says his Mass in a vacuum!When he invites the people to lift up their hearts and their eyes…to what? There is no nothing left in front of us to focus our minds on the Divine.

If the candlesticks and crucifix were kept, the people would be even more excluded than in the old liturgy, because then not only the ceremony but the priest himself would be completely hidden from view.

I would resign myself to this situation with the greatest grief, as henceforth, it would appear that not the slightest spiritual effort will berequired of the common people. It seems necessary to stick the most sublime of mysteries in their faces, to reduce the Mass to the primitive form of the Last Supper and in doing so, change the entire ritual. What is the meaning of Dominus vobiscum [The Lord be with you] and orate fratres [pray brethren] spoken by a priest separated from his people and requiring nothing of them? What is the significance of the sumptuous vestments worn by those we have delegated as ambassadors to the Divinity?

And our churches, is there any reason to leave them as they are?

 

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Cardinal Sarto exhorts Catholics to keep the Faith alive – in 1895

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One of Cardinal Sarto’s (the future Pope Pius X) most important duties as Patriach of Venice, and one that he placed high priority on was the pastoral visitation, whereby he traveled from parish to parish, assessing the spiritual needs of both clergy and laity alike. Hear these words, given to his faithful, in 1895. They could be spoken of with just as much truth today.

~Damsel of the Faith

“How necessary it is to stir up again the spirit of faith, at a time when there is a growth of that malignant fever which would discredit everything and deny every dogma of revealed religion! How necessary it is at this present time when people are trying to dismiss the mysteries of our faith, when people are claiming to explain them – while Christ has demanded the submission of the intellect – when they are casting doubt on the most established prophecies, when they are denying the most manifest miracles, when they are rejecting the sacraments, deriding pious practices, and discrediting the magisterium of the Church and her ministers! We must build a dyke against the torrent of evil which is spreading everywhere; we must find the antidote to the poison which is threatening the life of society; we must give this sick world the remedies which will cute it; we must save, by a single word, even the souls of those who hate that word and persecute it, because for them too Jesus Christ shed His precious blood.”

Archbishop Lefebvre & the Princess

 

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http://sspx.org/en/example-catholic-resistance

Most don’t know the Italian noblewoman, Princess Elvina Pallavicini, accepted Archbishop Lefebvre into her palace for a conference, showing him and ultimately the Traditional Faith her support, when few in the Church would even stop to listen to anything Archbishop Lefebvre had to say about the Faith that sanctified the Church for 2,000 years. She was threatened with excommunication for even entertaining the Archbishop. However, fidelity is victorious in the end and the palace of the Princess became a focal points for many priests, bishops and cardinals. Indeed, the Princess was right: there is no room in the Church for the cowardly.

Read the story below.

~Damsel of the Faith

An Example of Catholic Resistance: Princess Elvina Pallavicini

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
July 12nd 2017

Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi as it appears today

Forty years ago a historical event took place: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre held a conference on June 6th 1977 at the Pallavicini Palace in Rome, on the subject “The Church after the Council”. I think it is worthwhile to recall that event, on the basis of notes and documents I have kept.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (1970), after the priestly ordinations of June 29th 1976, was suspended a divinis on July 22nd of the same year. Informed Catholics however, had serious doubts as to the canonical legitimacy of these measures and in particular, incomprehension with regard to the behavior of Paul VI who seemed to reserve his censorships for only those who said they wanted to remain faithful to Church Tradition. In this climate of disorientation, in April of 1977, Princess Elvina Pallavicini (1914 -2004) decided to invite Archbishop Lefebvre to her palace in the Quirinal, to hear his reasoning.

Princess Pallavicini was 63 years old at the time and the widow of Prince Guglielmo Pallavicini who had been killed on his first war mission in 1940. For many years she had been in a wheelchair as a result of progressive paralysis, but she was a woman of indomitable spirit. She had a close group of friends and advisors around her, among whom were Marquis Roberto Malvezzi Campeggi (1907-1979), Colonel of the Papal Noble Guard at the time of the corps’ dissolution in 1970, and Marquis Luigi Coda Nunziante di San Ferdinando (1930-2015), former Commander of the Italian Navy. Initially, news of the conference circulating during the month of May did not stir up any concern from the Vatican. Paul VI thought it would have been easy to convince the Princess to desist from her idea and entrusted the task to one of his closest collaborators, “Don Sergio” Pignedoli (1910-1980) whom he had made a cardinal in 1973.

The Vatican Reacts

Princess Elvina Pallavicini in younger days, and visiting with the Archbishop

The prelate called the Princess and first of all asked kindly about her illness. “I am happy –Elvina Pallavicini noted ironically – about your interest [in my physical well-being] after such a long period of silence”. After about an hour of pleasantries the cardinal’s question at last arrived: “I heard you will be receiving Archbishop Lefebvre. Will it be a public or private conference?” ” If it is at my home it can only be private”, the princess replied. The cardinal then ventured: “Wouldn’t it be opportune to postpone it? Archbishop Lefebvre has made the Holy Father suffer quite a lot. He is very grieved about this initiative…” Princess Elvina’s reply chilled Cardinal Pignedoli “Your Eminence, I think I can receive anyone I like in my own home.”

Faced with this unexpected resistance, the Vatican turned to Prince Aspreno Colonna (1916-1987), who still occupied, ad personam, the office of Assistant to the Papal Throne. When the head of this historic household asked to be received, the Princess told him she was busy. Prince Colonna asked to visit the next day at the same time, but the noblewoman’s reply was the same. While the Prince withdrew quietly, the Secretary of State thought of getting through in another way. Archbishop Andrea Lanza Cordero di Montezemolo, who had just been consecrated Archbishop and named Nuncio to Papua-New Guinea, asked for an audience with the Princess. The prelate was the son of Colonel Giuseppe Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo (1901-1944), head of the Monarchic Resistance in Rome and shot by the Germans at the Fosse Ardeatine. During the German occupation, the young Princess Elvina had collaborated with him, meriting a bronze medal of honor. I also took part in the meeting, but my presence really irritated the future cardinal, who, in vain, appealed to the memory of his father to avert the upcoming conference. The Nuncio was told that it was the same resistance of many soldiers to National Socialism, and how it was necessary at times, to disobey unjust orders from superiors in order to respect the dictates of one’s conscience.

At this point the Secretary of State played his last card, by turning to the King of Italy, Umberto II, in exile in Cascais. Marquis Falcone Lucifero, Minister of the Royal Household, telephoned the Princess to let her know that the Sovereign had strongly urged her to postpone the conference. “I’m astonished at how His Majesty allows himself to be intimidated by the Secretary of State, after everything the Vatican did to the monarchy”, she replied decisively, confirming that the conference would be duly held on the date established. Marquis Lucifero, being the elderly gentleman he was, sent the Princess a bouquet of roses.

At this point the Vatican decided to use tougher tactics. A real campaign of psychological terrorism then began in the major daily newspapers presenting the Princess as an obstinate aristocrat, surrounded by a handful of “nostalgics” in a world destined to disappear. In private, it was made known to Donna Elvina that, if the conference was to take place, she would be excommunicated.

The Princess “Goes Public”

On May 30th, with a press release to Ansa, the Princess specified that her “initiative was not motivated by any intention of challenging ecclesiastic authority, but rather by love and fidelity to Holy Mother Church and the Magisterium.” “The contrasts in the conciliar Church,” continued the communiqué, “unfortunately exist, apart from the person of Archbishop Lefebvre, and in Italy to no lesser degree, even if less evident than in the rest of the Catholic world. We intend with the conference on June 6th to offer Archbishop Lefebvre the possibility of voicing directly his theses in full freedom, precisely with the aim of clarifying the problems which disturb and grieve the Catholic world so much, in the certainty that peace and serenity can be brought back again through a restored unity to the truth.”

On May 31st, on the front page of the daily newspaper “Il Tempo”, a declaration from Prince Aspreno Colonna appeared where we read “The Roman Patriciate dissociates itself from the initiative”, deploring it as “completely inopportune”. The bombshell was dropped however, on June 5th by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Ugo Poletti (1914-1997). With an aggressive statement in the Italian Bishops’ daily newspaper Avvenire, Poletti attacked Archbishop Lefebvre and ” his aberrant followers”, defining them as “a handful of class nostalgics, prisoners of traditional habits”. He further expressed, “astonishment, pain and sorrow, but the firmest disapproval for the offence made against the Faith, the Catholic Church and Her Divine Head, Jesus”, Archbishop Lefebvre having placed in doubt “fundamental truths of the kind relating to the infallibility of the Catholic Church founded on Peter and his successors, in matters of doctrine and morals”.

From the Princess’ headquarters there came an immediate reply: “It is difficult to understand how the private expression of theses which have been those of all the bishops of the world until a few years ago, can disturb the security of an authority to such an extent, as it has on its side the strength of doctrinal continuity and the evidence of its positions.” The Princess declared: “I am a more than convinced Apostolic Roman Catholic, seeing that I have reached the true sense of Religion through the refining of physical and moral suffering: I owe nothing to anyone, I have no honours nor prebends to defend, and I thank God for everything. Within the limits that the Church allows, I may dissent, I may talk, I may act: I have to talk and I have to act: it would be cowardice not to. And allow me say, that in our Home, also in this generation, there is no room for the cowardly.”

The Day of the Conference

 

Inside the Palazzo, similar to how it may have looked the day of the conference

Finally the fateful day of June 6th arrived. The conference was carefully reserved for four hundred invited guests, controlled by “private security” provided by the “Alleanza Cattolica” youth, but there were more than a thousand who filled up the staircases and the garden of the historical Rospigliosi-Pallavicini Palace, famous all over the world for its works of art. Archbishop Lefebvre arrived accompanied by his young representative in Rome, Don Emanuele du Chalard. Princess Pallavicini went to meet him in her wheelchair, pushed by her Lady-in Waiting, Donna Elika Del Drago. Princess Virginia Ruspoli, widow of Marescotti, one of the two hero-princes at the Battle of El Alamein, gave Archbishop Lefebvre a relic of St. Pius X which had been given to her personally by Pius XII.

Despite [the fact] that the Grand Priory of the Order of Malta in Rome had expressed “a binding necessity” to abstain from intervening at the conference, Prince Sforza Ruspoli, Count Fabrizio Sarazani and some other courageous aristocrats defied the censures of the institution and were there in the front row, right beside Monsignor François Ducaud Bourget (1897-1984), who had led the occupation of the Church Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris on February 27th.

Princess Pallavicini introduced Archbishop Lefebvre and he took his place under the red baldachin with the coat of Arms of Pope Clement IX, Rospigliosi. The Archbishop after some moments of prayer, began with these words: “I respect the Holy See. I respect Rome. If I am here it is because I love this Catholic Rome.” The Catholic Rome that he had before him interrupted his speech repeatedly with thunderous applause. The hall was filled to overflowing and a crowd had gathered on the great staircases of the palace.

The “Council of aggiornamento” – explained Archbishop Lefebvre – in reality wants a new definition of the Church. To be “open” and be in communion with all religions, all ideologies, all cultures, the Church should change its excessively hierarchal institutions and break up into many National Episcopal Conferences. The sacraments will insist on initiation and the collective life, more than the driving out of Satan and sin. The leit-motiv of change will be ecumenism. The practice of the missionary spirit will disappear. The principle that “every man is Christian and doesn’t know it” will be proclaimed, so it doesn’t matter whatever confession is practiced – it is seeking salvation.

The liturgical and ecumenical changes – continued Archbishop Lefebvre in the hushed silence of all those present – cause the disappearance of religious vocations and make for deserted seminaries. The principle of “religious liberty” sounds outrageous to the Church and Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it is nothing other than “the right to public confession of a false religion with no interference from any human authority”.

Archbishop Lefebvre then lingered for a bit on the post-council’s caving-in to Communism, referring to the repeated audiences given to Communist leaders by the Holy See; the agreement not to condemn Communism during the Council; the contemptuous treatment reserved for more than 450 bishops who asked for this condemnation. On the contrary, dialogue with Communism was encouraged by nominating pro-Communist bishops like Monsignor Helder Camara in Brazil, Monsignor Silva Henriques in Chile, and Monsignor Mendez Arceo in Messico.

It is a fact, added Archbishop Lefebvre in conclusion, that numerous Dominicans and many Jesuits who profess heresies openly are not condemned and bishops who practice inter-communion, who introduce false religions in their dioceses and churches, who even end up blessing concubinage, are not even placed under inquiry. Only faithful Catholics risk being thrown out of churches, persecuted, condemned. “I have been suspended a divinis because I continue to form priests as they were once formed.”

Turning to a listener touched by his words, Archbishop Lefebvre concluded his conference saying: “Today the most serious obligation for a Catholic is that of conserving the Faith. It is not licit to obey those who are working to diminish Her or make Her disappear. With Baptism we asked the Church for the Faith because the Faith conducts us to eternal life. We will continue to our very last breath to ask the Church for this Faith.”

The meeting ended with the singing of the Salve Regina.

The Vatican reporter, Benny Lai in La Nazione of June 7th, commented: “Those who expected a tribune found themselves in front of a man of meek bearing, who, before inviting those present to recite the Salve Regina, concluded [his speech], with these worlds: “I don’t want to form a group of any kind, I don’t want to disobey the Pope, but he must not ask me to become Protestant.”

The conference was a strategic victory for those who were inappropriately called traditionalists, as Archbishop Lefebvre managed to make his theses known on the international level, without [suffering] canonical consequences.

Paul VI died a year later, devastated by the death of his friend Aldo Moro.

The name of Cardinal Poletti is still linked to the murky business of the nulla osta he granted on March 10th 1990, for the entombment of the Banda della Magliana Boss “Renatino” De Pedis, in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare.

Princess Pallavicini came out a winner from this “challenge”. Not only was she not excommunicated, but in the following years her palace became the point of reference for many cardinals, bishops and Catholic intellectuals. She and her Roman friends were not “phantoms from the past”, as the Corriere della Sera defined them on June 7th 1977, but witnesses to the Catholic Faith who were preparing the future. Forty years later, history has proven them right.

 

Source: Roberto de Mattei
Translation: contributor Francesca Romana on Rorate Caeli

Bishop Fellay on the four effects of the Mass

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/listen-bishop-fellays-sermon-4-effects-mass-ordinations-weekend

Bishop Fellay gives a thought provoking and beautiful sermon at the first Mass of Fr. Ian Palco, a newly ordaimed priest, on the importance of the Priesthood in relation to the Mass, the meaning of the Mass and why it’s important for us to have a great love for the Mass, the atonement which the priest makes to God on our behalf for the sins of mankind. There are four traditional ends of the Mass: adoration, atonement, thanksgiving and petition.  Read the summary provided by the Society and better yet, listen to the calming voice of the good Bishop expound upon these points and preach the doctrine of the Church.

~Damsel of the Faith

Bishop Fellay preached at the first Mass of Fr. Ian Palco, explaining the dignity of the priest and the mystery and value of the Mass.

The Lord expects from his priests a love that is infinite, ever-growing, and unlimited: not a mere human love. Christ wants the priest to adore God in a perfect way, to give thanks to God at all times, to make reparation for the sins man has committed, and to intercede for mankind in all their intentions. This sermon was delivered on Saturday, July 8, 2017, the day after the priestly ordinations at the new seminary in Dillwyn, VA.

The main points of His Excellency’s sermon are provided below – the video provides audio of his sermon explaining the four ends of the Mass.

The First Duty of Man is to Adore God

The act of adoration means that man recognizes the authority of God and that he freely accepts the rights God has over man. But, all men being sinners, and their acts being limited by their senses, they cannot go beyond this world on their own. Incapable of exceeding the sphere of the simply natural and to reach out to the infinite, man, by himself, cannot offer to God due adoration. Only Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, makes us understand the narrowness of human life. He offers himself in the Holy Mass and, through the priest, we can offer to God adoration that is fully acceptable to Him.

Justice, Thanksgiving, and Piety

Many times in life, man rejoices at important gifts which he is never able to give back in full: what we have received from our parents, our country, and God is invaluable. We are never truly able to thank our parents and adequately express what we owe them. It is the same with God. We owe him our life! He cares about us unceasingly, He gave His Son, and offered us the possibility of becoming His sons. Never could we thank God as we should if it was not for the Holy Mass. Being elevated to God’s instrument, the priest offering Mass can say thanks to God the way God desserves to be thanked.

The sacrifice the priest offers at the altar — “my sacrifice and your sacrifice” — “the sacrifice of the priest and the sacrifice of the faithful” (Offertory), united with the sacrifice of Christ, becomes a sacrifice with an infinite dimension, impossible to be understood by man, a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.

 

Satisfaction

The satisfaction that one Holy Mass gives to God, being an act of Christ, is sufficient to make reparation for all the sins of humanity. But this satisfaction must be allocated to man. The Holy Mass is the source of all graces that can easily fill a man’s heart. But the amount of graces to be received, and the forgiveness given to man, depends on how open he is to the action of grace. The more man is prepared to receive the graces, the more man will receive.

Prayer

The Prayer of Our Lord during the Holy Mass is infinite and infallible. Again, since man prays with Our Lord, since he has a part in this prayer, the act by itself and the fruits coming from it, is tainted by the imperfection of man. If we had the faith and we knew the plan of God, there would be no unanswered prayer. The most efficient prayer we can ever present to God happens at Mass, thanks to and through the priest.

Care for the Faithful

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre called prayer the essential apostolate of the priest. Any apostolate aims to bring his people closer to God, to help them avoid sin, and to make them progress in virtue. None of this can happen without the graces of the Mass. The graces of Christ in the Mass are universal and know no borders or limitations. Even the angels have less power than the priest! Celebrating Mass means is the essence of the priesthood.

How Does God Expect the Priest to Help the Faithful?

There is a short prayer in the breviary: “Fac ut sim sacerdos secundum Cor tuum.” “Make my heart like unto your heart!” Jesus wants to be one with the priest and he wants the priest to be one with him. He wants to pour into the heart of the priest the love of God and, through the heart of the priest, he wants to approach the faithful. The priest should look at Christ at all times and ask: What do you want me to do? To say? The life of the priest is about the love of Christ and the love for the sheep he has entrusted to the priest. Human nature is such that man loves what he finds to be good. A priest, like Christ, who dies for all people, has to open his heart to all men and must be ready to die for the sinner.

Charity Summarizes all the Commandments

“We must love God with all our heart with all our strength.” There can not be any limitation to our love. This charity, the union we have now with God, is the same as the saints have for God in heaven. As long as we live on earth, our charity has to increase every moment. No man can say at any moment that he is loving God and his neighbor as much as he should. The progress souls make from one Communion to the next, following St. Thomas Aquinas, is exponential. Only God knows how much progress we make at every Communion, and what marvels God works in our soul.

Source: SSPX US District

 

Cardinal Muller’s parting letter to Bishop Fellay

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As a parting “gift” to the Society of St. Pius X, in a letter to Bishop Fellay, approved by Pope Francis, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, who we must recall rejects the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, demands that the Society accept the teachings of Vatican II to be “accepted” into their new church. Once again, Rome flip flops on this issue, which they have been doing well since the Society was first founded.

Is it any wonder that the Society does not accept a deal, such as a Personal Prelature, when Rome changes its position every other day in complete dishonesty? Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no, Christ said. Modernists, those posing as “conservative” or not, are hellbent on fashioning us into compromisers for their agenda. It is impossible to accept the heresies of Vatican II, a pastoral council we are not required to accept because it declared no new doctrine, and the legitimacy of the New Mass. They were unjust laws foisted upon the Church. They cannot be reconciled with the pre-counciliar Faith and therefore, they constitute a grave danger to the faithful. I only pray that Bishop Fellay continues to remain prudent and is not deceived by their cunning. God’s will be done.

Anybody with eyes to see can see that the Society has been the foundation for the flourishing and restoration of Catholic Tradition in the Church. May we only continue to bear fruit for the good of the Church.

~Damsel of the Faith

http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/3266-cardinal-mueller-s-letter-to-bishop-fellay

From http://www.medias-presse.info comes the following excerpt of a letter from Cardinal Müller to Bishop Bernard Fellay. According to http://www.medias-presse.info, Cardinal Müller’s letter was communicated to all SSPX members by the SSPX General House.

Excerpt from Cardinal Müller’s letter:

“As you know, Pope Francis has many a time manifested his benevolence towards your Priestly Society, granting, in particular, to all priest members the faculty of confessing the faithful validly and by authorizing local Ordinaries to grant licences for the celebration of the marriages of the faithful who follow the pastoral activity in your Society. Furthermore, discussions are continuing concerning questions relative to the full re-establishment of the communion of your Society with the Catholic Church.

In relation to this, with the approbation of the Sovereign Pontiff, I judged it necessary to submit to the Ordinary Session of our Congregation (which met on May 10 last) the text of the doctrinal Declaration which was transmitted to you during the meeting of June 13 2016, as the necessary condition in view of the full re-establishment of communion. Here are the unanimous decisions of all the members of our Dicastery in this regard:

1) It is necessary to require the adhesion of the members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to the new formula of the Professio Fidei dating from 1988 (c.f. annexe). Consequently, it is not sufficient to ask them to express the Professio Fidei of 1962.

2) The new text of the doctrinal Declaration must contain a paragraph in which the signatories declare in an explicit manner their acceptance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and those of the post-conciliar period, by granting to said doctrinal affirmations the degree of adhesion which is due to them.

3) The members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X must recognize not only the validity, but also the legitimacy of the Rite of the Holy Mass and of the Sacraments, according to the liturgical books promulgated after the Second Vatican Council.”

http://www.medias-presse.info adds that Cardinal Müller concluded the letter saying that “during the Audience granted to the Cardinal Prefect on May 20 2017, the Sovereign Pontiff approved these decisions”. The French website also adds that in his accompanying letter to SSPX priests, Father Christian Thouvenot, Secretary General of the SSPX, recalled the words of Bishop Fellay after the meeting of the major superiors in Anzère, Switzerland, on June 28 2016:

“The Society of Saint Pius X does not seek primarily a canonical recognition, to which it has a right because it is Catholic. The solution is not simply juridical. It pertains to a doctrinal position which it is imperative to manifest […] Divine Providence will not abandon Its Church whose head is the Pope, Vicar of Jesus Christ. That is why an incontestable sign of this restoration will reside in the signified will of the Sovereign Pontiff to grant the means for re-establishing the order of the Priesthood, the Faith and Tradition – a sign which will be, furthermore, the guarantor of the necessary unity of the family of Tradition”.

 

 

God is not God without man?

Pope

http://www.romereports.com/2017/06/07/pope-at-general-audience-god-cannot-be-god-without-us

For context, the Pope said:

Dear brothers and sisters, we are never alone. We can be far, hostile; we can even say we are ‘without God.’ But Jesus Christ’s Gospel reveals to us that God cannot be without us: He will never be a God ‘without man’; it is He who cannot be without us, and this is a great mystery! God cannot be God without man: this is a great mystery!

True, God became a man and was united to our human nature by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus Christ did so out of love for our souls and to save us, not because His Divinity in the Godhead depended on us.  God is infinite perfection. He created us out of His goodness and love so that we might one day share in His eternal happiness and perfection.

The Council of Florence teaches, “the one true God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, is the creator of all things visible and invisible, who, when He wished, out of His goodness created all creatures, spiritual as well as corporal”  ~Bull Cantate Domino

The Pope’s error was explicitly condemned by the Fourth Lateran Council and Vatican I:

This sole true God by His goodness and “omnipotent power,” not to increase His own beatitude, and not to add to, but to manifest His perfection by the blessings which He bestows on creatures, with most free volition, “immediately from the beginning of time fashioned each creature out of nothing, spiritual and corporeal, namely angelic and mundane; and then the human creation, common as it were, composed of both spirit and body [Fourth Lateran Council].

If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been produced by God from nothing, or, shall have said that God created not by a volition free of all necessity, but as necessarily as He necessarily loves Himself, or, shall have denied that the world was created to the glory of God: let him be anathema. [Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius]

This heresy to me seems to be a form of pantheism, which puts God and the world on par with each other as one. The Syllubus of Errors condemned the idea that we are all gods, subject to one another, bringing the Supreme God down to our level, dependent on us for His Divinity and Rights. Is it any wonder that Pope Leo XIII proclaimed that we need to hear more of the rights of God and not man? Alas, we all are well aware that Christ the King was dethroned from His Church, while the whims and wishes of modern man are glorified, extolled and encouraged. These words of the Pope are just yet another fruition of the Modernism that has ravaged the Church this past century.

Condemned in the Syllubus:

“There is no supreme, all-wise and all-provident Divine Being distinct from the universe; God is one with nature and therefore subject to change; He becomes God in man and the world; all things are God and have His substance; God is identical with the world, spirit with matter, necessity with freedom, truth with falsity, good with evil, justice with injustice”

If not for God, the entire world and all the souls in it would disappear instantly. It’s not vice versa. The Holy Father should go back to seminary, a Catholic one that is and learn the religion, instead of spouting off every opinion of his from his personal magisterium. May the Holy Trinity open his eyes from the Modernist poison that he has been a victim of and convert him to the Catholic Faith so that his words and guidance will save souls and be a bulwark of the truth.

~Damsel of the Faith

 

 

 

 

SSPX Marriages and the Society’s relations with Rome

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http://sspx.org/en/interview-bishop-fellay-april-2017

In Bishop Bernard Fellays’s latest interview, he gives us some insight into the Pope’s recognition of SSPX Marriages, as well as a general overview of the current Society relations with Rome. As always, a must read. The transcript follows.

~Damsel of the Faith

SSPX USA: Your Excellency, thank you very much for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to meet with us. If you don’t mind, we have a few questions that have been in the news recently that we hoped you might shed some light on.

Bishop Fellay: With pleasure.

The State of Marriages in the SSPX

SSPX USA: The latest news from Rome, first of all, regarding the Society concerns provisions for our marriages. What does that mean for the Society and how will it affect us practically?

Bishop Fellay: It’s a broad question. May I recall the background a bit? The background is that, for years, a kind of jurisprudence has been established by the official Church, by Rome, which claims that our marriages would be invalid. Of course, we have enough elements in Canon Law to prove that is not the case. But nevertheless, people who want to break – if I may say so — their marriage have an easy door with this stipulation.

And so for years I’ve tried to see with Rome what can be done to block this unjust, unreal situation. Finally, after different ideas throughout the years – it’s almost 10 years that I have been discussing this – and it’s certainly an initiative of the Holy Father – came the idea of telling the bishops: why not recognize this situation as Catholic and hence give the delegation? That’s really the background.

Now, as with many documents, you have to read between the lines. I think the aim is in the second paragraph which says to the bishops: the priests of the Society, though the Church labels them as irregular, are capable of receiving the delegation necessary to bless or to receive the consent of the marriage. So I think, it has to be read as a new step towards the Society, in fact; not at all a step of trying to get the Society” in the pockets”; how do you say? No, on the contrary, to recognize that what we do is Catholic and telling the bishops: “You can give the delegation even to these priests.”

And what is very interesting also: it is stated that they speak about our marriages. And they say in that case, even if diocesan priests would be delegated for receiving the consent, nevertheless the Mass itself would be celebrated by a priest of the Society. So the fact that there is a clear statement that the priest will celebrate the Mass from the Society is once again a new step in the right direction, saying that these priests not only can but will say the Mass. And obviously in the right manner, so without any irregularity.

So you have somewhere a certain contradiction in the text. It is obvious. It has to be understood in such a way that, first, Rome wants to state that we, in their eyes, are not yet completely in canonical order. So they want to make that statement. But despite that: “Treat them normally as if there would be no disorder.” That’s the interesting thing.

Certainly, you can have different ways to look at this text; you can have a positive or a pessimistic way. But, looking at the Holy Father, looking at how Pope Francis deals with us, for a certain time, it is very clear that it is a benevolent step against us; not a trap, not a bad, hidden trick, or catch. No: it is a will that we are treated correctly at all levels.
SSPX USA: Your Excellency, you spoke of possible contradictions in the text or even different ways of reading between the lines. Some of the faithful who attend Society Masses have perhaps read a different interpretation, expecting to now accept priests from the diocese to receive their vows. And some of them seem uncomfortable with the idea of a diocesan priest, for instance, coming to a SSPX chapel to receive their vows. What would you say to those who expect or think this provision of Rome is simply another obstacle for the faithful to get married by priests of the Society?

Bishop Fellay: I think when we go into the practical situation, it is difficult to see beforehand. We will try to deal with the bishops; we will try to get the best out of the text. We already have examples right now of bishops, especially in Argentina, which is the country of the Pope, where the bishop has simply given the delegation to our priests. Period. And we expect that that will be the general situation. So, the correct interpretation of the text.

This does not exclude a situation where, let’s say, a bishop will be stubborn and so on and will insist on imposing a priest. Then we will have to look into the concrete situation. Definitely, as it is a marriage of our faithful, they have a say. And that’s why I read in this way the text which speaks of “in an impossibility of Plan A, go to Plan B”, which is give directly the delegation to the priests of the Society.

So, if there are cases where we feel uncomfortable, we have to say it. And it’s even in the text. Probably we will have here and there some difficulties, but they are not without a solution.

SSPX USA: Since the document mentions the possibility of local ordinaries giving delegation directly to the Society, and you’ve mentioned possible examples that exist already, how will the priests of the Society go about trying to obtain that delegation? Is it up to individual priests, local priors, District Superiors, the General House? Is there any light you can shed on how, practically, that will play out?

Bishop Fellay: We will indicate to the different Districts the path, the way of handling that case. You may have different situations. In general, as I say, we will try not to handle this case-by-case, but to get to general policies with the bishops. And this would mean that there would be a contact with the Superior of the District.

SSPX USA: Speaking of general policies, in the document that was released from the General House, there was an indication that guidelines would be drawn up for the whole Society. Is it premature to comment on those guidelines or have discussions already occurred regarding those?

Bishop Fellay: I think it’s too early. We have also to see how this text from Rome will be received locally. And we don’t yet have all the answers. But you can easily imagine that, with such a text, most of the bishops don’t bother as it is an opening towards us. And they will just grant it.
SSPX USA: How would we deal with the question of marriage in places where, for instance, the bishops do not want to collaborate? Is there a risk of having certain countries or dioceses where bishops grant delegation and others don’t?

Bishop Fellay: Strictly speaking, we could expect that. It’s possible, let’s say, that bishops would go against the disposition of the Pope. We know that. And I don’t fear that because we come back to the present situation, foreseen by Canon Law, which says that, if there is a grave difficulty, or in Latin, grave incommodum, the two future spouses can proceed. And they must have, for that situation, witnesses, and if a priest is available, the priest.
SSPX USA: So in the event a local bishop would be opposed, is there some recourse to Rome to protect us or is that not in the case?

Bishop Fellay: I would say it’s not necessary, but we probably will look into the question. And we may speak with Rome about it: would it be just to establish in such cases another policy, if I may say? When I spoke to the Pope about the present situation of bishops refusing, he said: “But I can give it!”It was really interesting. Let’s say, as an ultimate recourse, we know that, on the side of the Pope, there is a readiness.
SSPX USA: This may seem like a practical question in light of the recent document, but where will these marriages from here on be registered? Will they simply be in the priories and chapels of the Society or in the local diocesan parishes or somewhere else?

Bishop Fellay: If we follow the indication of the text itself, I think that the correct interpretation is that we continue our registration and we send the notification to the diocese.
SSPX USA: Also, from the perspective of those who wish to be married, do you anticipate a kind of “test” for the spouses we have prepared for marriage? Would it not be strange for a priest who had no role in the training of the spouses to witness their vows and even have no idea whether they are properly prepared?

Bishop Fellay: Once again, I think the text foresees that we prepare, we make the tests, and the local priest is only there for the ceremony, like putting the stamp on a reality which is all ours.

A Step Forward With Rome

SSPX USA: You answered this a bit earlier, but perhaps you could expound on it. You seem to interpret this either as a step towards regularization or at least of good will from Rome rather than interpreting these gestures as a kind of trap to keep us from doing the work that we’ve already been doing. Can you comment any further on that dichotomy?

Bishop Fellay: Yes, no problem. I think that this is not the first step which goes in that direction. I said that I’ve been discussing about this question for 10 years already. I speak about other problems which would request an intervention of Rome, of the highest authority; Catholic acts which we establish and that would be recognized by Rome. And I see that this is happening at diverse levels. The more we go, the more intense this is the common practice.

Which means that, even though there are certain claims about us being irregular, more and more we are treated as if things would be just normal. In recent years, everybody has heard about the power of hearing confessions worldwide, everywhere. And being not only valid, but licit; that is, everybody can, without trouble of conscience, come to the priests of the Society. That’s an example.

Another example is ordinations. Last year, I received a letter from Rome telling me: “You can freely ordain your priests without the permission of the local ordinary.” So if I can freely ordain, that means that the ordination is recognized by the Church, not just as valid but in order. If I can freely do it, it’s clear that this is just already recognized and accepted. So this is one more step in this acceptance that we are “normal Catholics” despite this underlying sense that we are still not completely in order. More and more, this is going on and it’s not the first step. Frankly, I don’t see there any will to interfere or take over, but simply the recognition that what we do is Catholic.
SSPX USA: To switch topics a little bit, though I suppose it’s indirectly related, there’s a little more than a year until the next General Chapter of the Society. Can you say anything about what preparations are underway and what that means for the Society; or is it perhaps too early?

Bishop Fellay: No, I don’t think it’s too early. We can really talk about it. This Chapter is the one which will happen, provided everything goes forward or is still the way they are now. In any case, even if we are recognized before, it would imply a General Chapter according to our internal policies. So if it happens before, or at that time, in any case, it is the occasion for us to look into our faithfulness to our statutes, how accurate we accomplish them, what the failures are, what are the points are that need improvement, what the new questions are, and new problems. I guess that, with this new possible recognition by Rome, this will, when it happens, raise quite a number of new questions, of new situations. We certainly already reflect on them now, but we’ll have to put them into guidelines or policies for the whole Society. In any case, I think it will be an important Chapter and we are preparing, definitely. One year is not too long before to prepare it.

The Current State of the SSPX

SSPX USA: Perhaps speaking even more generally, can you say how and where is the Society growing most around the world? Are there places in particular that perhaps strike you as unique or particularly impressive?

Bishop Fellay: What I see, in general, is a more or less constant growth, not too spectacular. Here and then, a group would just join us as a group, but that is really rare. It’s more or less individuals who come, who join, one family here or there. But this is universal in all the countries where we are settled; in all six continents you find that. Some places know greater or more intense growth: countries like the United States and some places in Africa have that, yes. But there are variations from one country to the other. So I cannot say for sure that for 10 years you really have one which is increasing more than another. The whole Society is still growing and I say, the more we grow, the more we have a problem of not having enough priests to cope with all the needs.
SSPX USA: Speaking of priests, what is the trend of priests coming from either dioceses or religious congregations, perhaps showing interest in the Society? Has it increased or decreased since Pope Francis? Maybe you can speak to their motives and why they choose the Society out of a number of options.

Bishop Fellay: Yes, it seems to me that there’s not much change before and after the election of Pope Francis. I think it is deeper trend than just one person being in charge. There are priests, indeed, who approach us. They approach us to become a member but many of them don’t necessarily want to become a member. But they want to be friends, they want to learn from us: the sacred liturgy, on one hand, but more the doctrine.

Once I was in front of a group of priest friends in Italy—it was about two years ago—and I asked them, about 30 priests: What do you expect from us? And I was almost certain that they would say, “Well, teach us how to say the Mass.” That was not the answer. The answer is: the doctrine. That’s what they expect. And it’s deeper, of course: without doctrine, which explains the Mass, the Mass may be beautiful and so on, but what makes it solid is the doctrine which is expressed, which is coming out of the Mass. And if you have a good and solid knowledge of this theology, it makes the liturgy even more necessary, I may say.

And that’s what you see a little bit everywhere. I see priests who approach us, but not just for the Mass: for much more! They want to learn Tradition. Many of them, when they discover the Mass, are frustrated. They feel cheated. And they say: “These are treasurers, our treasures, and they were hidden from us!” But they don’t remember that level of frustration; they really enjoy Tradition deeply and they want to live it.

Response to the Current Crises

SSPX USA: Your Excellency, speaking of another more universal question, Amoris Laetitia has generated a tremendous amount of confusion and controversy since it was released last year. On the one hand, one could say it’s encouraging to see some wake up to the crisis in the Church; on the the other hand, the pastoral results of that document are really devastating. There are even some who claim the Society has been too soft in their critique of Amoris Laetitia. What are your thoughts about this document and the controversy it’s engendered?

Bishop Fellay: At the time, I wrote to Pope Francis, and we prepared a text to wake up the cardinals, a letter from our three bishops. But, I will not say “unfortunately”–that would not be the right word—but four cardinals took the initiative just before we were about to send the letter. That’s why there was not much noise about it because it was already done. So our letter just remains in a drawer.

In fact, we are certainly doing all that we can with those who raise their voice. I think it is important that people notice that we are no longer the only ones who complain, who denounce, who attack poor situations which are harming souls. It could be one of the reasons why, here and there, I would not talk immediately, letting their voice appear and not mixing mine with theirs. Because usually when we do that, they are disqualified because this tendency of disqualifying us in the modern Church is still very present. And so, letting their voice be heard, for the whole Church, is probably better. And everybody anyway knows what we think and what our positions are. It has not changed and everybody knows that.

So while, and as long as there are voices in the Church who talk in the right direction, to say that one day or another, I would have spoken more softly, does not change anything in the big picture, in the big fight which is still there. That’s very, very clear. And it absolutely does not mean that we would, by politics, in order not to jeopardize a possible agreement—which is not the correct word—or canonical recognition, lower our voice is simply not true. If someone would be careful and look at all I write and say, they would say that I just continue. We are still the same.

And I insist in Rome to say we are like this and we are not going to change. We may be a little bit less controversial in attacking the persons. But our reason would not be just a personal gain. What we look for is the most efficient way to have a benefice for the whole Church. Sometimes you gain more by giving a simple argument than by barking it. You have to look at the cases. We are still in a fight, we know that, and it’s definitely not over. It’s not just for the pleasure of fighting, but we belong to the militant Church.
SSPX USA: Perhaps in conclusion, a simpler question: you’re here in St. Mary’s, KS, for confirmations. St. Mary’s is obviously the Society’s biggest parish and school in America. What are your impressions or thoughts you might share on St. Mary’s?

Bishop Fellay: I admire the work of Divine Providence in this place which was sanctified just before us by the Jesuits. It was the scholasticate of the Jesuits. In the church, which is no longer there, which was burnt, we know that over 1,000 priests have been ordained. We know it’s not only a very holy place, but a very priestly place. And as the first scope of the Society is the priesthood, it’s a good reminder.

And I may say certainly we are harvesting. We are trying to sow the seed but we are more harvesting from the work of previous good workers in the field of the Lord. We certainly admire and thank God for these beautiful fruits of the traditional attitude, which was everywhere before.