Sunday, August 22, 2010

SSPX Reconciliation Rumour

An interesting post on Rorate Caeli, which is taken from Bishop Richard Williamson's subscription only blog, it is only a rumour but it is fascinating. Apparently the Vatican talks with the Society of Saint Pius X have hit the buffers, so the Holy Father is going to issue a Motu Proprio, merely asking the SSPX to subscribe to the Catechism of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the same demand being made of Anglicans wishing to join the Ordinariate.
It is a clever piece of Benedictine circumvention in his quest for unity, there is no demand that the SSPXers accept the teaching of Vatican II, whatever that means, or anything else.
I presume talks will continue, I am a little disappointed that they will not define exactly what should be believed in VII's teaching or what may be rejected but I find it fascinating that now it is the Catechism that defines what it is to be a Catholic. I suppose in a sense the Council has become irrelevant - that is fascinating in itself, isn't it?
Will that work for Eastern Christians? Probably not.

21 comments:

Michael Petek said...

I suspect that to accept the Catechism is to accept the teachings of Vatican II by reference.

I recently read an article in SSPX's on-line newsletter 'Si Si, No No' (January and March 2009) from which the following issues can be extracted.

Can SSPX assent to the following?

(1) The Mass as celebrated according to the New Rite is free of defect of form, therefore there is no 'state of necessity'.

(2) The the Council's teaching on religious liberty is not inconsistent with the teaching of the pre-Council Popes of the 19th and 20th centuries.

(3) Jansenius was wrong.

Clare said...

I'm not sure how it's possible to accept the current Catechism without accepting Vatican II. The CCC is packed full of VII citations.

EuropeanCatholic said...

Pope John Paul The Great quoted from Vatican II in every speech, homily, discourse.

It is noteworthy, I think, how seldom Pope Benedict quotes from the documents of Vatican II.

I think to a large extent, the Council has now become irrelevant.

Fr Ray Blake said...

The CCC is VII but viewed through the hermeneutic of continuity. It is worth remembering Abp Lefebvre voted in favour of all the documents.
Such issues as religious liberty are moderated in the light of Tradition.
There is no problem in arguing the defectiveness of the NO, the Pope has done so, the problem would be arguing its invalidity to confect the sacrament.

georgem said...

It depends which version of the Catechism. Perhaps that will be left carefully vague.

Moretben said...

"Will that work for Eastern Christians? Probably not."

The CCC, as an account of the Orthodox Faith? Probably not?

Dear Father! Excuse me while I wipe the coffee from the keyboard... ;0)

David Joyce said...

There is no problem in arguing the defectiveness of the NO, the Pope has done so, the problem would be arguing its invalidity to confect the sacrament.

The Archbishop and the SSPX never rejected the validity of the new sacraments, but looking at it from another angle, their validity is what makes the deficiencies of the new liturgical books so serious.

If this rumor is true, I can hardly see the SSPX accepting it. The catechism is a 600 page book, that at times is rather vague and certainly promotes a Vatican II view of the Church. This hardly tallies with the Society's approach to the doctrinal talks, but would result in a confusing agreement that is not particularly reassuring for the Society's position. The underlying crisis in the Church does not find its source in the problems of the liturgy, but in theology and philosophy - it is the new theology that needs to be confronted. If the new catechism, while not heretical, but at the same time breathes this same novel spirit, then how can it quality as a test for an agreement between the CDF and the SSPX?

As I asked on Rorate, what exactly does the Catechism of the Catholic Church require us to believe that the teaching of the Church up until (say) 1960 did not require us to believe? And if it does not demand any more us than before, then why use it as a litmus test of the Catholic faith for those who accept all of the Church's magisterial teaching?

gemoftheocean said...

They need to stop bending over backwards for these people, they are a sect unto themselves and think they are more catholic than the pope. The time to "knock it off" was back in JPIIs day where he gave permission for the Latin Mass.

As far as I am concerned williamson can go fly a kite and not let the door hit him where the good Lord split him.

EFpastor emeritus (Email: Pastoremeritus@aol.com) said...

Father Ray,
Greetings from Wales where I am househunting with a view to emigrating - if one can be said to "emigrate" rather than migrate from England to Wales!
Regarding the question you frequently asked me at Downside I can now answer " YES. at last I have!"

As Vatican ll was a "pastoral" Council I always understood that there was nothing in Vatll that one had to believe "de fide" that was not in previous Councils.So what is the Pope *playing at" now?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Pastor Emeritus,
Well done! Good, isn't it?

Michael Petek said...

Father, I should clarify. When I refer to 'defect of form' I refer to such defect as would defeat the confection of the sacrament.

Every Catholic has a grave obligation to attend, every Sunday, Mass validly celebrated in full communion with Rome and by a priest with due faculties. If no such Mass is celebrated within reasonable travelling distance of home, then moral or physical impossibility permits attendance at a Mass validly celebrated anywhere within radius.

In order to decide in favour of SSPX, it is necessary to find that the Novus Ordo does not validly confect the sacrament. Failing that, you cannot fulfil the Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a SSPX priest when there is a Catholic church nearby.

David said...

The problem is that the 1993 Catechism isn't exactly a paragon of crystal-clear, unambiguous language. There are articles in the CCC that are simply a stringing-together of quotations from different sources which then require further interpretation. I think for the time it was published it was a useful tool as it helped check some of the more egregious heresies rampant in the post-Vatican II era - however, I'm not sure it is something that could serve as a basis for a binding declaration, due to the Catechism's need for further interpretation.

In fact, I think that the Compendium of the Catechism would be a much better basis for agreement as Pope Benedict XVI has given us a plain-speaking document that is free of the ambiguities and vagueness that plagues much of the 1993 Catechism.

David Joyce said...

In order to decide in favour of SSPX, it is necessary to find that the Novus Ordo does not validly confect the sacrament. Failing that, you cannot fulfil the Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a SSPX priest when there is a Catholic church nearby.

This is clearly wrong and should be corrected. The Ecclesia Dei Commission (now part of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith) stated in 2003 (clearly before the lifting of the excommunications - not to mention the Motu Proprio - and hence, the situation has moved on since):

His first question was "Can I fulfill my Sunday obligation by attending a Pius X Mass" and our response was:

"1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X."

Reference: http://latin-mass-society.org/perl-011803.htm

Please note the lack of conditions in their reply, even if they (naturally given the source) council against such a move.

J. Christopher Pryor said...

I have never known one of Bishop Williamson's rumours to come true. He is a political provocatuer. He shows little repsect to Bishop Fellay or the Holy Father.

Michael Petek said...

David Joyce, I cannot see how this judgement can be correct if it is held that a Catholic can fulfil the Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest who is suspended while there is an option of attending a Mass celebrated by a priest who is not.

David Joyce said...

I cannot see how this judgement can be correct if it is held that a Catholic can fulfil the Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest who is suspended while there is an option of attending a Mass celebrated by a priest who is not.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but the Holy See has placed no such restrictions on attending Masses celebrated by the SSPX. Quite the contrary with the letter referenced above.

Moreover, Canon law only asks that we attend Mass in a "Catholic rite" as in the following article:

Canon 1248 1. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.

Nothing about the priest requiring faculties from the Ordinary or the like. In normal times, I would agree with you - why go to a Mass celebrated by a suspended priest when others are available nearby? But we do not live in normal times.

Michael Petek said...

David, if your submission were correct, then it would seem that the purpose of the measure of suspension - good order in the Church - is defeated.

The SSPX priests are suspended for very good reason. Bishop Williamson is irregular for the exercise of the priesthood because Archbishop Lefebvre was suspended a divinis when he ordained him. He is irregular for the exercise of episcopal orders both for that reason and because he was ordained against the express order of the Pope.

Canon law says that Catholic priests may normally administer the sacraments only to the Catholic faithful, who may in turn receive them only from Catholic ministers.

A Catholic priest who is suspended may not lawfully administer the sacraments which fall within the terms of the suspension, but there seems to be a gap in canon law which allows the Catholic faithful to receive from them nevertheless, and not only in cases of necessity.

Is there a gap in divine law? I cannot safely say yes.

Maybe we should ask the Bishop about this one.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Michael you are banging on about something you know nothing about!

Rome has spoken - those who attend Mass at an SSPX chapel fulfill the obligation to attend Mass - fullstop!

Some might want to inflame the situation, making disagreement a matter of heresy or even, God forefend, schism but that is not the way of BXVI. What he seems to be heading to is legitimate discussion, loyal Catholics should welcome that.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Enough, Michael.

Augustina said...

The SSPX have brought forth many of the best and formed priests. They are an integral part of our Catholic tradtional teachings which is so void and corrupt in the schools and churches of our day. God looks at our souls and what's in our hearts, and only He will judge each of us. Thanks for the SSPX that has kept our traditional Mass alive and spreading.

as for bashing Bshp Williamson; granted he has some issues. But if we were to look at the issues of all the modern bishops (Gumbleton, for one) and all the other pro homo, pro women etc. modernists, you'd have to get rid of at least 50% of the clergy, to begin cleaning up the mess. We welcome the SSPX!! We welcome the return of our Catholic tradtions and teachings!

Sadie Vacantist said...

I am desperate that the SSPX be reconciled so that attending one of their Masses becomes an option. I am deeply concerned about the validity of some of the NO priests especially those ordained by the present incumbent's predecessor. My concern is that he doesn't "hold and teach the Catholic faith" etc ... My faith is weak enough without having to worry about these technicalities. The concern must be that SSPX priests (after reconciliation) will be persecuted by the NO Ordinary. I have seen nothing since the election of BXVI to allay that fear. On the contrary, a spirit of bullying and intimidation remains within the NO Church (as in Michael Rose's understanding of the process). I further suspect there is an understanding that seminarians will be expelled if caught reading certain blogs and the reality is that, contrary to what OTSOTA claims on Damian Thompson's blog, nobody takes these sites seriously. This latter conclusion can de deduced by the quality of gossip found in them which remains poor. I fear the late, great Auberon Waugh, if he were still alive, would already have taken sides with Pepinster on that one.