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:: The Lidless Eye Inquisition ::

A weblog dedicated to the exposure of the crackpots of the lunatic self-styled 'traditionalist' fringe who disingenuously pose as faithful Catholics.
Welcome to The Lidless Eye Inquisition | bloghome
"Do not allow yourselves to be deceived by the cunning statements of those who persistently claim to wish to be with the Church, to love the Church, to fight so that people do not leave Her...But judge them by their works. If they despise the shepherds of the Church and even the Pope, if they attempt all means of evading their authority in order to elude their directives and judgments..., then about which Church do these men mean to speak? Certainly not about that established on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)." [Pope St. Pius X: Allocution of May 10, 1909]

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[:::....Recent Posts....:::]

As I am planning a return to blogging in other for...

Though this weblog has been suspended "in perpetui...

After pondering this in recent days, I cannot thin...

Points to Ponder: I now come to the positive reas...

"One From the Drafting Board" Dept. The material ...

Before this weblog is formally closed in perpetuit...

On Altar Girls and General Norms of Interpretation...

Final Reflections I would like to thank Shawn McE...

On Juridical Abrogation of the 1962 Missal: [Pref...

This weblog for the lions share of the past year a...

The Inquisitors
:: I. Shawn McElhinney
:: F. John Loughnan
:: Peter J. Vere JCL
:: Greg Mockeridge
:: Apolonio Latar
:: Gregory Rossi
:: Keith Kenney
:: The Curmudgeon
:: Mark Bonocore
:: Gregg the Obscure
Affiliated Weblogs/Websites
:: Rerum Novarum [>>>]
:: Sean O' Lachtnain's Home Page [>>>]
:: Envoy Encore Weblog (Peter Vere JCL, contributor) [>>>]
:: Cooperatores Veritatis [>>>]
:: Thoughts of Apolonio Latar III [>>>]
:: Sancta Liturgia [>>>]
:: Disturber of the Peace [>>>]
:: Vita Brevis [>>>]
Specialty Weblogs
:: The (New) Catholic Light BLOG (Peter Vere JCL, contributor) [>>>]
:: John Betts' Boycott BLOG [>>>]
Ecumenical Jihad*
:: Apolonio Latar and Kevin Tierney's Culture of Christ BLOG [>>>]
Specialty Weblinks
:: A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' [>>>]
:: On the Intricacies of Dialogue - A Commentary [>>>]
:: The 'Tradition is Opposed to Novelty' Canard [>>>]
:: On Assisi and Catholic Principles [>>>]
:: F. John Loughnan's "Classification of Some Integrist (Lidless Eye) Websites" [>>>]
:: A Syllabus of Various (Mostly Pseudo-"Progressivist") Dissenting Authors [>>>]
:: A Canonical History of the Lefevrist Schism - Peter J. Vere's License Thesis From Saint Paul University, Ontario, Canada [>>>]
:: What Makes Us Catholic Traditionalists - written for The Wanderer December 6, 2001 (I. Shawn McElhinney/Pete Vere JCL) [>>>]
:: Yes Virginia, Fr. Nicholas Has Been Suspended - written for The Wanderer March 6, 2003 (Pete Vere JCL/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Squelching Fr. Gruner's 'Squawking Squire' [>>>]
:: RadTrad Watch [>>>]
:: Antisemitism and the Catholic Right [>>>]
[:::....Site Intention, Disclaimer, Copyright, Etc....:::]
:: Intentions of this Weblog (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Weblog "War and Peace Length" Disclaimer (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Site Copyright (I. Shawn McElhinney/SecretAgentMan) [>>>]
:: Exhortation to Those Who Participate in the Message Boxes (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Linking to Tridentine Apostolates, Etc. --A Lidless Eye Inquisition Clarification Thread (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Heretical Pseudo "Traditionalist" Apostolates....:::]
Mario Derksen's Catholic Insight
:: Responses to Mario Derksen--Parts I-III (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario on EENS (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario Derksen's Errors on Man (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario Derksen's Sedevacantism--Parts I-III (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Response to Mario --Parts I-II (Kevin Byrne) [>>>]
:: Mario's Sedevacantism and His Conscience (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder -I. Shawn McElhinney's Discussion List Comments on the "Karol Wojtyla is the Pope" Subject (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
Gerry Matatics' Apostolate
:: Gerry Matatics Too Hard Line For The Remnant (Pete Vere)[>>>]
:: Concerning Gerry Matatics and His Alleged Sedevacantism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Schismatic and Theologically Specious Pseudo "Traditionalist" Apostolates....:::]
Catholic Apologetics International (or CAItanic)
:: Bob Sungenis' "Reply" to Richard John Neuhaus --Parts I-II (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - Richard J. Neuhaus on CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On CAItanic and the "Petrification" of their Opponents (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: On Stunted Ecclesiology and Other Examples of the Arrested Development of CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Baghdad Bob Meets Bible Bob (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Commentary on CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Sungenis/Ferrara and Double Standards (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: On Sungenis’ “Novelty”--Parts I-II(Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: A Short Response to John Salza and Sungenis (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: A Brief Clarification by Your Weblog Host On "Mr. Ipse Dixit" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Matatics vs. Sungenis (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Sungenis and God's Contingent Knowledge--Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: On "The Big Bang Theory" and its Pertinance to Catholic Doctrine (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Novus Ordo Watch
:: On "Novus Ordo Watch" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: More on "Novus Ordo Watch" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Props to David Alexander (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Remnant
:: Beyond Lunacy (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: The Remnant Gets it Right (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Commending Christopher Ferrara (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)
:: Points to Ponder - on the SSPX (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On the "Reconciliation" Rumours of the SSPX (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: SSPX Demotes Key Priest Hoping For Reconciliation (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Three Cheers for Sedevacantism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On Fr. Paul Aulagnier (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Schism For One Dollar (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Bishop Rifan the Prophet (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Is the SSPX Still Lefebvrist? (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Civil War Breaks Out in the SSPX's French District (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Controverted Apostolates...:::]
Kevin Tierney and His Apostolate
:: Responding to Kevin Tierney's Criticism (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Some Brief Comments on Kevin Tierney's Response to Gregg the Obscure (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Response to Kevin Tierney's Response to I. Shawn McElhinney (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: More Sophistry From Kevin Tierney --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Obedience and Kevin Tierney's Appeal to Canon Law 212 (I. Shawn McElhinney/Pete Vere JCL) [>>>]
:: Responsum ad Tiernam Dubiosum --Parts I-III, Addendum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Note About A Blog (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Radtrads Again (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On True and False 'Traditionalism' With Kevin Tierney --Parts I-VII (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, and Global Government --Parts I-III(Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: Clarification on Global Government (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Brief Response to Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Musings on Diversity (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: An Example of the Honesty That Must Accompany Dialogue (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Muttering On Many Subjects (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Detailed Response to Kevin on The Revised Missal, Corpus Christi, Church Attendance, Church Forms, Protocol 1411, Etc. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Musings (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: "Responsum ad Tiernum" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Discussing the Liturgy and Various Contrastings With Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Refuting the “He’s Not Disobedient. He's Just Stupid.” Defense (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: "Responsum ad Tiernum" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Controverted Subjects and People in General....:::]
:: Response to a Self-styled "Traditionalist" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Term "Inquisition" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Addressing a Sedevacantist Heretic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: February's Quote of the Month (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: On TAN Books (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: On Defining Modernism (Chris Burgwald) [>>>]
:: Refuting the Late 'Trad' Michael Malone's Errors on Vatican II (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From His Beatitude Melkite Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh, Cardinal of the Roman Church (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: The Catechism and Radical Traditionalists (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Screwtape Parody on Radical Traditionalism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With a Rad-Trad --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Hell and the Catechism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Sola Fide Trads (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Some Traddie Fallacies Examined (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With Adrian a Self-styled 'Traditionalist' --Parts I-VIII (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. Opatus of Milve (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Mr. Smith's Misunderstandings --Parts I-VI (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Integralist-'Traditionalist' Conection --Parts I-V (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Discussion With Christopher Blosser on Reflections on Covenant and Mission (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Morality of Promoting Conspiracy Theories (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Question About the Magisterium (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: John Paul II and Islam (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Have 'Traditionalists' Been Too Hard on the Pope Viz Islam (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: A Conversation --Parts I-II (I. Shawn McElhinney/Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Fatal Flaws of False 'Traditionalism' With Albert Cipriani--Parts I-VII (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Conversation on Spiritual Maturity and the Traditional Catholic Approach to Difficulties --Parts I-III (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Is it Okay to Complain? (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Obedience: The Rise of True Catholics --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Radtradism and Mother Teresa (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Common 'Traditionalist' Errors in Dogmatic Theology and the Ordinary Magisterum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Notes on the Ordinary Magisterium (SecretAgentMan) [>>>]
:: Some Self-styled "Traditionalist" Mendacity (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Posting Rules for Radical 'Traditionalists' (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Thoughts on Radtradism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Why Garrigou-Lagrange? (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: The Syllabus (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Refutation of Some Common Radtrad Misuses of Citations (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: The Errors of Michael Malone Revisited (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Confuting an Attempted Justification for Schism --Parts I-II (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Another Assisi? Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder -Maximus the Abbott as quoted by Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum §13 (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With a 'Traditionalist' (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: "To Be Deep in Catholic Theology is to Cease to Be a (Pseudo) 'Traditionalist'" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From Pope Benedict XV (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Charles de Nunzio (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: For Those Interested (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Refuting Mike's Errors (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: A Response to Mike Tucker (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Will it Merely Be More Uncatholic "Business As Usual"??? (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. John Bosco (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. Irenaeus of Lyons (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Dialogue/Debate on Pascendi (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From Cardinal Ratzinger on the Revised Roman Missal (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Responsum ad Hibernius (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Material (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Liturgical Dance (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Humanism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Humanism and Vatican II (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: John Paul II and Universalism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Scruples (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Tony Blair and Receiving Communion (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Confuting Radical Pseudo-'Traditionalist' Nonsense --Part I (Mark Bonocore) [>>>]
:: Confuting Radical Pseudo-'Traditionalist' Nonsense --Part II (Mark Bonocore/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: "Wast-ing A-way A-gain in Se-de-vac-ant-a-ville" Dept. (Mark Bonocore/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the McElhinney Media Dictum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Tomorrow Christendom (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Correcting a Common Misperception of This Weblog (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Response to a Guimaraes Article (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: A Response to Fr. Nitoglia (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: More on "Tomorrow Christendom" (Dom Calvet/Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Surprised by Canon Law (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Michael Davies' Passing (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Redemptionis Sacramentum and Canonical Implications for Ecclesia Dei (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Notification of Assisi Essay, Etc. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - Richard John Neuhaus on the Vatican and "Americanism"--Parts I-VI (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: 8 Things You Can Do to Stop the Judaizers (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On Circumspection in Speech and Public Writing (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: On the Revised Missal Ordination Rites and Other Tidbits (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
::Points to Ponder - John Laux on an Interesting Parallel from History on the Subject of "Preserving Tradition" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: In Fairness to Michael Forrest (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Michael Forrest and the Jews (Pete Vere) [>>>]
::Points to Ponder - Pope Gregory XVI on the Authority of the Popes (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: Michael Forrest and the Jews--Part II (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Miscellaneous Dialogual Subjects...:::]
:: Real Catholic Traditionalism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: An Open Challenge to Catholic Traditionalists (Dom Gerard Calvet/Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Quo Primum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Traditionalist Debate of the Millenium: Pete Vere vs. Shawn McElhinney (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Dialogue on Ecclesia Dei With Mark Downey (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Sister Lucia of Fatima, Ora Pro Terri Schiavo (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Ecclesia Dei And Respect for Traditionalists (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: On "The Vile Spectacle of Traditionalists Rooting for Bad News" --Dialogue With Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>> [>>>]
:: On Liturgical Nonsense, Recent Restore Rants, Church Music, Etc (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: Briefly Revisiting an Old Subject (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Examining Kevin Tierney's "Catholic Contract" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Guest Editorials...:::]
:: The Problems Some Have With Interfaith Outreach (Guest Editorial by Gary Gubinski) [>>>]
:: On the Liturgical Movement (Guest Editorial by the Society of St. John; Prologue by I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Jacinta's Vision (Guest Editorial by Fr. Thomas Carleton) [>>>]
:: Guest Editorial on Private Revelation (Kevin M. Tierney) [>>>]
Any correspondence will be presumed eligible for blogging unless the sender otherwise specifies (cf. Welborn Protocol)

*Ecumenical Jihad listing is for weblogs or websites which are either dedicated to or which to the webmaster (i) are worth reading and (ii) characteri ze in their general outlook the preservation of general Judeo-Christian morality and which are aimed at positively integrating these elements into society. (Such sites need not even be Catholic ones.)

As society has grown more estranged from its founding principles, I wish to note sites which share the same sentiments for the restoration of society even if the means advocated in this endeavour differ. The Lidless Eye Inquisition does not necessarily endorse particulars with sites under this heading.

:: Saturday, October 29, 2005 ::

The Flag of Truce and Sungenis

Given everything that is going on with Matatics, and the fact Sungenis is in the best position to respond to it, I would like to propose a temporary LEI moratorium on attacking Sungenis. The situation is reportedly worse than it appears and to his credit Sungenis has taken the most solid lead in addressing it. Let's lay off Sungenis while he's addressing the Matatics situation and assist him through our prayers.

:: Pete Vere 7:02 PM [+] | ::

On Doctrinal Teaching, Theological Interpretation, and Other Nuances:
(Dialogue With Pete Vere, Matthew, Hibernius, Jim Scott, JDobbs, and the webmaster of Lidless Eye Inquisition)

The whole subject of Gerry Matatics, the Feeneyites, Baptism of Desire, Baptism of Blood, etc., has gotten quite a conversation thread going. For the sake of greater exactness and also to avoid clogging with a long posting the haloscan boxes, I have decided to repost some of those threads here both to show the variegated ways the subject has been discussed and also to interact with some of them. For differentiation, I have used black font for Pete Vere's words, blue font and darkgreen as alternates for the others, and have designated who is being quoted by name to avoid (I hope) any confusion as to who said what. Nonetheless...


I've said this in Mark Shea's combox and I'll say it here; Matatics' position is even more insane than common-or-garden sedevacantism. In fact it's self-refuting. Point 2 means that he regards belief in baptism of desire as a heresy - a belief which contradicts infallible teaching and which therefore CANNOT be held by any faithful Catholic even to be a legiimate theological opinion. Surely Baptism of Desire has been held to be a legitimate opinion by other Popes before John XXIII - indeed Pius XII condemned Fr. Feeney precisely for holding that all Catholics MUST hold the rigorist position on EENS, which is precisely the position advanced by Matatics & which must therefore mean that Matatics believes Pius XII forfeited the Papacy if he ever was pope in the first place.

Matatics' view must mean that there has not been a legitimate pope for CENTURIES (e.g. it has been pointed out on this blog that Pius IX explicitly stated belief in Baptism of desire). That sort of persistent error and centuries-long lapsation of the Papal Office is exactly what the concept of Papal Infallibility is meant to exclude; you cannot believe in papal Infallibility AT ALL and hold this position.

Another example of a self-refuting position is a gentleman called Redmond O'Hanlon who for years has written to the papers in Ireland arguing that the condemnation of Galileo constitutes an infallible Papal teaching of geocentrism, which all Catholics are bound to accept, and goes on to complain that the Popes have lacked the courage to uphold it for several centuries - a view which logically implies there is no such thing as papal infallibility, though O'Hanlon fails to see this. He writes for CHRISTIAN ORDER occasionally; I wonder did Sungenis pick it up from O'Hanlon or is there a common source?

Pete Vere:

Ben Yachov, I think you're right. For the record, the charges of Feeneyism don't bother me since the vast majority of Feeneyites have now reconciled with the Church and Rome allows them to continue holding to their more strict interpretation of EENS, BOB, BOD. So I consider this an internal Church controversy.


Pete raises a good point. According to GM, Father Feeney was disciplined by th "last" legitimate Pope, Pius XII, and reconciled to a false Pope, Paul VI. Also, it was the Holy Office under Pius XII which condemned Bread of Life and Cardinal Ratzinger, who he would consider a mere priest, that judged that they can continue to hold a more strict interpretation. His point of view is untenable. But it beats contradicting the Idiots Dimond, I suppose.

Jim Scott:

Feeneyites are forbidden to openly contradict any teaching of the magestarium. Thus no of them can in fact deny Baptism by Desire & remain orthodox.

Thought some have attempted to reconcile their regorist interpretation of EENS(which would only count as saved formal members of the visible Church & formal catacumens) with the statements of Vatican II.

I don't think they can practically do this BUT their effort is legitimate since they are trying to submit to the authority of the Church instead of casting it aside.

Pete Vere:

James, the CDF (then under the authority of the Cardinal Prefect who now happens to be the Supreme Pontiff) has stated that those Feeneyites who reconcile are allowed to deny BOB and BOD. When I last spoke with the PCED concerning the Feeneyites, I was given the same opinion.

If this is good enough for (then) Cardinal Razinger (now) Pope Benedict XVI as well as the PCED, then it is good enough for me. I don't hold their position myself, however, I hold that they are Catholic and in the past I have had no qualms of conscience receiving Holy Communion in their chapels.

James, the CDF (then under the authority of the Cardinal Prefect who now happens to be the Supreme Pontiff) has stated that those Feeneyites who reconcile are allowed to deny BOB and BOD. When I last spoke with the PCED concerning the Feeneyites, I was given the same opinion.

Are you sure you are phrasing this right Pete??? I have heard of the magisterium allowing in instances of particular difficulty for a given group the option of suspending inner assent to a given teaching or so for pastoral reasons but that does not allow them to actually deny it in the external forum. They are either to affirm it or be silent on the matter. Or (and this is a possibility too), they can affirm it but do so in a very narrow scope if you will.

Anyway, if you could clarify a bit on the above point you made, it would be appreciated.


If this is good enough for (then) Cardinal Razinger (now) Pope Benedict XVI as well as the PCED, then it is good enough for me. I don't hold their position myself, however, I hold that they are Catholic and in the past I have had no qualms of conscience receiving Holy Communion in their chapels.

I don't quite get it Pete. Trent dogmatised baptism of desire. You have to admit that Bob Sungenis did a good job of showing this including the cross referencing to other parts of Trent for a fuller understanding. What might be happening is that they are allowed to hold that no one will actually be saved by BOD or BOB. The Church doesn't teach that anyone will actually be saved that way; just that it is possible. Paul VI in the Credo of the People of God said "their number is known only to God" which obviously includes ..... 0. I think this is absurd but legitimate. I can imagine it being allowed. Although it would seem to contradict Pius IX's "it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry." Such a statement applies equally to those who try to widen the road to heaven as those who try to close it further. "Inquiry" is "inquiry" (or speculation) regardless of what the content of it is.

J. Dobbs:

I think if somebody could find/post exactly how the Holy Father termed their permission, it would help greatly.

Pete Vere:

Are you sure you are phrasing this right Pete??? I have heard of the magisterium allowing in instances of particular difficulty for a given group the option of suspending inner assent to the teaching in question but that does not allow them to actually deny it in the external forum. They are either to affirm it or be silent on the matter. Or (and this is a possibility too), they can affirm it but do so in a very narrow scope if you will.

Anyway, if you could clarify a bit on the above point you made, it would be appreciated.

I'm not sure I can explain it. I simply know, as a canonist, that Rome allows the Feeneyites to continue holding their position as well as speak openly about it. Additionally, Rome recognizes the reconciliation of those (including Fr. Feeney) who reconciled with the Church. Thus while I may not completely agree with them theologically, I recognize them as Catholics in good standing with the Church.

Hmmmmm, I am guessing that you did not phrase the statement right. It would appear that what was explained to you was what I noted about having different theories as to the application of a doctrine. The teachings on baptism of blood and baptism of desire are not optional for a Catholic. However, that does not mean that one cannot hold to the teachings but take an approach to them that is inclusive or exclusive if you will. Let me use the EENS doctrine as an example of what I am talking about here.

The Church has long taught (and still does) the dogma of EENS. However, until very recently, there was no attempt to actually set forth expository teaching on what constitutes the boundaries of "the church." The dogma is clear and unequivocal: there is no salvation outside the Church. However, there has always been a matter of controversy as to what exactly constitutes "the church" and "outside." In the post-Trent period, the focus was much more than ever before on the institutional structures of the Church and thus (using that paradigm) "the church" was often identified as the institutional structures themselves and thus, those not within the structures were not considered "inside" the Church. However, this narrow understanding was not traditional{1} and in all magisterial pronouncements touching on the nature of the Church all the way up to Vatican II, there was always a kind of "loophole" if you will which was used to explain the righteous or moral non-Catholic.

Vatican II for the first time set forth clear expository teaching on the matter outlining a much more traditional ecclesiology which mirrored the understanding that was common in both east and west of the church prior to the eleventh century breakdown in communion between the Churches -however, it incorporated within the matrix the greater degree of understanding that had occurred with regards to the more visible ecclesial structures. The matter was not completely dealt with in all parameters but it was made clear and in a more integrated matter than previously that salvific communion with the Church can be a matter of degrees.

This explains why a non-Catholic of good will can be considered to potentially be "in the Church" and does so without the dichotomy of "body" and "soul" which was a previous attempt to explain this which was not as successful. The previous explanation was deemed incomplete and the Council denoted not a dichotomous approach to the mystery but instead an integrated one:

[T]he society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities, nor are the visible assembly and the spiritual community, nor the earthly Church and the Church enriched with heavenly things; rather they form one complex reality which coalesces from a divine and a human element. [Lumen Gentium §8]

Essentially, what was emphasized was that we could not say with certainty where the Church was not but we could say with certainty where the Church was. This also explains well why those with an overly-institutionalized (and untraditional) understanding of the Church could be so rigorous in insisting on assimilation into the structure of the Church: they did not well comprehend the nuances of ecclesiology and therefore directed people to where they were certain the Church was (if that makes any sense).

EENS was not defined in an ecclesiocentric sense at all but instead in a Christocentric one: the Church is where Christ is present. In other words, EENS is grounded on the principle that there is one mediator between God and man and that is Christ and apart from Christ, there is no salvation. And while the Second Vatican Council approached this manner in a more positive fashion, at the same time, a deliberate ambiguity on the point of how expansive the actually salvific application was to those who were materially further and further from the center or fullness of truth or from the Church was maintained.

The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium identified the Church "constituted and organized in the world as a society" as "subsist[ing] in the Catholic Church" and which is "governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him" (cf. Lumen Gentium §8). This was done in keeping with the depiction of the Church as a hypostatic union of human and divine, with visible structures and invisible realities (cf. Lumen Gentium §8). This explains why there are "many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure" (cf. Lumen Gentium §8) and how those elements "impel towards catholic unity" (cf. Lumen Gentium §8)

What is noted above is doctrine which is not of optional import for Catholics. However, once again, there is no one way to theorize as to how the manifold elements interact with one another. It is possible for Feeneyites to apply a very exclusivist approach to the mystery as long as they do not insist that their interpretation of those realities is the only one available. In truth, the Feeneyite interpretation of EENS is based on anachronistic errors; however, it is likely that the magisterium is allowing them a proper freedom of speculation on the applicable elements with the idea that with greater study and reflection, they will come to see that the mystery is much greater than they make of it. The probable rubric being used is this one from the CDF Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian:

In the dialogue, a two-fold rule should prevail. When there is a question of the communion of faith, the principle of the "unity of truth" (unitas veritatis) applies. When it is a question of differences which do not jeopardize this communion, the "unity of charity" (unitas caritatis) should be safeguarded.

Even if the doctrine of the faith is not in question, the theologian will not present his own opinions or divergent hypotheses as though they were non-arguable conclusions. Respect for the truth as well as for the People of God requires this discretion (cf. Rom 14:1-15; 1 Cor 8; 10: 23-33 ) . For the same reasons, the theologian will refrain from giving untimely public expression to them. [CDF Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, sections 26-27 (c. 1990)]

In other words, the magisterium would allow for the Feeneyite rigorous interpretation provided that there was {i) a proper exercise of charity in how they approached the differing theological interpretations of others, (ii) provided that they did not argue their opinions/hypotheses as non-arguable conclusions, and (iii) practiced proper discretion by not giving untimely public expression to them. So the bottom line would be (if I am interpreting what you said correctly Pete) that the magisterium allows the Feeneyite theological speculation into the applicability of the doctrines of baptism of blood/baptism of desire but not actually allowing them to reject the doctrines themselves. And from a canonical standpoint (which is the one you mentioned), there would not be canonical penalties involved with such permitted speculations provided that they approached the issues as outlined in the above CDF Instruction.

In summary, Hibernius, Matthew, Jim, J. Dobbs, and Pete are all right as to various aspects of the whole Feeneyite question as far as I can discern. Hopefully the above closing exposition by yours truly adequately highlights some of the nuances involved and explains them. If not, I am sure someone in the comments boxes will tell me about it ;-)


{1} For more on this subject, see these threads from Rerum Novarum:

An Outline of Various Church Models Throughout History--Parts I-V (circa November 23-24, 2003)

More on Church Models (circa July 9, 2005)

:: Shawn 3:45 PM [+] | ::

:: Friday, October 28, 2005 ::
Points to Ponder:

"The unhistorical are usually, without knowing it, enslaved to a fairly recent past." [C.S. Lewis]

:: Shawn 12:40 PM [+] | ::

Sungenis on Matatics

As a few people misunderstood the earlier version of this blog entry, thinking I was slamming Sungenis, I decided to remove the attempt at humor and rewrite the blog in a manner that expresses my thoughts more clearly. So here are the four points I was trying to get across:

1) It personally does not bother me that Sungenis is a geocentrist. While I disagree with him over this point, Catholics are free to embrace geocentrism.

2) Sungenis and I continue to disagree strongly over alleged Jewish conspiracies.

3) Despite these differences of opinion, I think Sungenis did an excellent job addressing Gerry Matatics' alleged letter to the Diamond brothers and would urge all of LEI's readers to check out Sungenis' response to Matatics.

4) I really don't think Sungenis fits in the radtrad camp and wish the relationship could be healed between him and moderate traditionalists.

:: Pete Vere 5:38 AM [+] | ::

:: Thursday, October 27, 2005 ::
Gerry Matatics Reportedly Comes Clean vis-a-vis Benedict XVI

I just asked Gerry Matatics if the following letter was legit. He responded: "That will take a long conversation to answer and explain. Can I call you back? I'm in the middle of a project."

"I'm not looking for an explanation. I'm just trying to authenticate it. Did you write this email to the Diamond brothers?"

"As I said, I cannot answer this now because it would require a long conversation, which is exactly what this is developing into."

Okay, I'm going to assume that the letter is legit. While it still isn't clear to me whether Gerry is a sedeprivationist, a sedevacantist, or some other alternative we haven't yet heard about, Gerry (who told me the second last time we talked that he now attends the SSPX chapel in Pittston, PA) has just reportedly clarified his stance vis-a-vis our current Holy Father:

Dear Brothers Peter and Michael:

I am happy to supply you, as you requested in your e-mail of July 26, which I have now just read (I'm very behind with my e-mails, I'm sorry), with a statement of my convictions which you can pass on to your readers. Here it is:

1. I, Gerry Matatics, believe, and publicly teach, that the Catholic Church has always infallibly taught that the Catholic Faith is the one true Faith and that the Catholic Church is the one true Church, outside of which Church and Faith there is no salvation. (References:)

2. I believe, and publicly teach, that the Catholic Church has always infallibly taught that any Christian, whatever his rank, who stubbornly denies or doubts even one single dogma of the Catholic Faith (such as, for example, the abovementioned dogma, "No salvation outside the Church") is thereby guilty of the mortal sin and canonical crime of heresy, and automatically excommunicates himself from the Church, thus abandoning the only path to salvation. (References:)

3. I believe, and publicly teach, that the Catholic Church has always infallibly taught that the sacrament of baptism is necessary for salvation, since that sacrament alone makes one a member of that Church outside of which there is no salvation, liberal and wishful thinking and statements by fallible theologians and fallible catechisms to the contrary notwithstanding. (References:)

4. I believe, and publicly teach, that the Catholic Church has always infallibly taught that because heretics are not members of the Catholic Church, they cannot validly hold office in the Church, according to divine law, and that, should they seem to hold such offices, the believing Catholic must conclude that their election to and possession of such offices is null and void. This would include, not only the manifest heretics John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, but also the manifest heretic and present illicit and invalid occupant of the See of Peter, Benedict XVI, who has the further handicap (unlike his immediate four predecessors) of not even having been validly consecrated a bishop, which, in addition to all other considerations, makes it impossible for him to therefore function as Bishop of Rome. (References:)

5. In humiliation and shame I publicly ask Almighty God, and all persons who read these words, to forgive me for taking so long to work through all these issues and come to these conclusions. I exhort all those who profess to be Catholics but who would seek to differ from the abovementioned convictions to eschew all passion and prejudice, to resist all intellectual dishonesty and obscurantism, and to humbly, prayerfully, and courageously contemplate, and then wholeheartedly submit to, the infallible teaching of the Church on all these matters. If, after so doing, any should still disagree with me and feel that I am wrong in making the above affirmations, I exhort them not to engage in ad hominem attacks or campaigns of calumniation, but to honestly engage me in debate (written or oral, public or private, either with themselves or with some "champion" of their choosing) on these vital issues, upon which our salvation depends.

Our Lady of LaSalette, pray for us!
St. Robert Bellarmine, pray for us!
All you sainted Pontiffs, pray for us!
All you Fathers and Doctors of the Church, pray for us!
All you holy saints and angels, especially our patron saints and guardian angels, pray for us!

In the one true God -- Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

Gerry Matatics
Founder & President, Biblical Foundations International

:: Pete Vere 9:00 PM [+] | ::

:: Wednesday, October 26, 2005 ::
Responding to an Email Challenge:
(On Issues Pertaining to "Traditionalism" Falsely-So-Called)

This post is a response to an email sent to the webmaster of LEI about eight days ago. Their words will be in blue font and the source they sent to me in black font. My sources will be in darkblue font.

Hi Shawn,

Can you refute this?

Hello XXXXX:

I already know before reading this that I have responded to most if not all of what you will note in this thread previously. There is after all nothing new under the sun and four years of study, writing, and interacting with the entire scope of arguments posited by so-called "traditionalists" in years past has made it so I have probably come across every argument attempted by so-called 'traditionalists." Nonetheless, as I have very limited time at the moment, I will touch on the arguments here and note other places where they were dealt in more detail.

And it came to pass, when Jesus went into the house of one of the chief of the Pharisees, on the sabbath day, to eat bread, that they watched him. And behold, there was a certain man before him that had the dropsy. And Jesus answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? But they held their peace. But he taking him, healed him, and sent him away. And answering them, he said: Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw him out, on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him to these things.

St Luke 14:1-6

A legal or a moral question?


Pope John Paul II's Ecclesia Dei, states that: "With great affliction the Chruch has learned of the unlawful episcopal ordination conferred on June 30 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre." His Holiness then went on to publically declare the excommunication of the Archbishop and the four new bishops.

Correct. He made an objective assessment of the situation and his judgment on the matter is final with no recourse to appeal (cf. Can 333§3; Can 1404-1405).

He pointed out that "such disobedience - which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy - constitutes a schismatic act." This section has been deliberately relegated to a relatively brief appendix. Likewise, the weighty and detailed canon law arguments upholding the canonical rights of the Society of St Pius X have been relegated to a concluding bibliography.

There are no "detailed canon law arguments" upholding the canonical rights of the SSPX that are of any real substance. First, they were never lawfully erected as a worldwide apostolate to begin with.{1} Secondly, I have dispatched with every substantive attempt at an argument they have raised to justify their existence in disobedience to Rome. See parts 8 and 9 of my treatise for details. The aforementioned work was first published in 2000 and then revised in spots (and developed further in some areas) in 2003.

To approach the crisis in the Church from the point of view of a strict legalism is to make the same mistake as the Pharisees who condemned Christ.

No, it is not even close. I know the argument they will make here and it falls apart. Observe...

It is to copycat the Catholics who supported Pope Liberius' excommunication of St Athanasius during the Arian heresy of the fourth century.

Pope Liberius was put under pressure to excommunicate Athanasius by the civil authority. Such a decision made under duress is doubtfully valid at best. In light of Liberius' clear endorsement of Athanasius and his orthodoxy prior to his persecution, it was evident that his captors deprived him of his freedom. Athanasius made this clear in his own History of the Arians -a work I cite now:

Now it had been better if from the first Constantius had never become connected with this heresy at all; or being connected with it if he had not yielded so much to those impious men; or having yielded to them, if he had stood by them only thus far, so that judgment might come upon them all for these atrocities alone. But as it would seem, like madmen, having fixed themselves in the bonds of impiety, they are drawing down upon their own heads a more severe judgment. Thus from the first they spared not even Liberius, Bishop of Rome, but extended their fury even to those parts; they respected not his bishopric, because it was an Apostolical throne; they felt no reverence for Rome, because she is the Metropolis of Romania; they remembered not that formerly in their letters they had spoken of her Bishops as Apostolical men. But confounding all things together, they at once forgot everything, and cared only to shew their zeal in behalf of impiety. When they perceived that he was an orthodox man and hated the Arian heresy, and earnestly endeavoured to persuade all persons to renounce and withdraw from it these impious men reasoned thus with themselves: 'If we can persuade Liberius, we shall soon prevail over all.' Accordingly they accused him falsely before the Emperor; and he, expecting easily to draw over all men to his side by means of Liberius, writes to him, and sends a certain eunuch called Eusebius with letters and offerings, to cajole him with the presents, and to threaten him with the letters. The eunuch accordingly went to Rome, and first proposed to Liberius to subscribe against Athanasius, and to hold communion with the Arians, saying, 'The Emperor wishes it, and commands you to do so.' And then shewing him the offerings, he took him by the hand, and again besought him saying, 'Obey the Emperor, and receive these.'

But the Bishop endeavoured to convince him, reasoning with him thus: 'How is it possible for me to do this against Athanasius? how can we condemn a man, whom not one Council only, but a seconds assembled from all parts of the world, has fairly acquitted, and whom the Church of the Romans dismissed in peace? who will approve of our conduct, if we reject in his absence one, whose presence amongst us we gladly welcomed, and admitted him to our communion? This is no Ecclesiastical Canon; nor have we had transmitted to us any such tradition from the Fathers, who in their turn received from the great and blessed Apostle Peter's. But if the Emperor is really concerned for the peace of the Church, if he requires our letters respecting Athanasius to be reversed, let their proceedings both against him and against all the others be reversed also; and then let an Ecclesiastical Council be called at a distance from the Court, at which the Emperor shall not be present, nor any Count be admitted, nor magistrate to threaten us, but where only the fear of God and the Apostolical rule shall prevail; that so in the first place, the faith of the Church may be secure, as the Fathers defined it in the Council of Nic'a, and the supporters of the Arian doctrines may be cast out, and their heresy anathematized. And then after that, an enquiry being made into the charges brought against Athanasius, and any other besides, as well as into those things of which the other party is accused, let the culprits be cast out, and the innocent receive encouragement and support. For it is impossible that they who maintain an impious creed can be admitted as members of a Council: nor is it fit that an enquiry into matters of conduct should precede the enquiry concerning the faith; but all diversity of opinions on points of faith ought first to be eradicated, and then the enquiry made into matters of conduct. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not heal them that were afflicted, until they shewed and declared what faith they had in Him. These things we have received from the Fathers; these report to the Emperor; for they are both profitable for him and edifying to the Church. But let not Ursacius and Valens be listened to, for they have retracted their former assertions, and in what they now say they are not to be trusted. '

These were the words of the Bishop Liberius. And the eunuch, who was vexed, not so much because he would not subscribe as because he found him an enemy to the heresy, forgetting that he was in the presence of a Bishop, after threatening him severely, went away with the offerings; and next commits an offence, which is foreign to a Christian, and too audacious for a eunuch. In imitation of the transgression of Saul, he went to the Martyry of the Apostle Peter, and then presented the offerings. But Liberius having notice of it, was very angry with the person who kept the place, that he had not prevented him, and cast out the offerings as an unlawful sacrifice, which increased the anger of the mutilated creature against him. Consequently he exasperates the Emperor against him, saying, 'The matter that concerns us is no longer the obtaining the subscription of Liberius, but the fact that he is so resolutely opposed to the heresy, that he anathematizes the Arians by name.' He also stirs up the other eunuchs to say the same; for many of those who were about Constantius, or rather the whole number of them, are eunuchs, who engross all the influence with him, and it is impossible to do anything there without them. The Emperor accordingly writes to Rome, and again Palatines, and Notaries, and Counts are sent off with letters to the Prefect, in order that either they may inveigle Liberius by stratagem away from Rome and send him to the Court to him, or else persecute him by violence. [Athanasius the Great: History of the Arians Part V (circa 370 AD)]

Pardon me if I believe the accounting of St. Athanasius the Great and not prevaricators like Lefebvre, Fellay, Williamson, and other pseudo-"traditionalists" who spin their yarns out of thin air to justify schismatic rebellion. Athanasius was there and they were not. He testified to the good name and person of Liberius and made it clear that Liberius lapsed under duress while they try to distort history to fit their own equally distorted agenda. Athanasius was a true champion of orthodoxy and Lefebvre was a fraud. Those are the facts and they are not disputable.

Furthermore, not only did Liberius testify to the soundness of Athanasius before his lapse under duress but after he was free from their clutches, he anulled his previous decision without delay and made his mind on the matter clear in case there was any doubt on the matter. Athanasius though had no doubt since he knew of the support of Liberius, Julius, and the synod of Sardica (approved by Julius and at which Athanasius was present) and confirmed by Liberius. Athanasius in other words knew the mind of the pope and that he was not being disobedient in standing up to the Arians who persecuted the latter and deprived him of freedom to judge the matter accordingly.

By the starkest of contrasts, Pope Paul VI was not under duress when lawfully and properly suspending Lefebvre. Likewise, Pope John Paul II was not under duress when pronouncing on the objective status of Lefebvre's status in the Church along with the four priest he criminally consecrated contrary to explicit instructions not to by the Holy See. There is nothing remotely similar in these two examples, they are apples and oranges as anyone remotely versed in church history is well aware. That is why I noted in my treatise paraphrasing Newman "to be deep in history is to cease to be a 'traditionalist'."

In Catholic theology the moral and divine law is far higher than disciplinary ecclesiastical law. This is affirmed in the final paragraph of the 1983 Code of Canon Law itself: "...keeping in mind the salvation of souls, which in the Church must always be the supreme law." (can. 1752).

But if ecclesiastical laws are not entrusted to be properly interpreted by the legislator of the law (cf. can 17) then you do with canon law what Protestants do with the Bible. That is the core problem. Or as I wrote on this subject nearly six years ago (pardon the lack of editing, I am short on time):

[A] Catholic is bound to all magisterial teaching of the Church on matters of faith and morals. Since a Catholic acting in this manner cannot be anything but in accord with Sacred Tradition, the term "Traditional Catholic" is oxymoronic. Catholics must accept the Bible and Tradition as interpreted by the Church and not by private individuals be they clergy or laymen. (The latter by the way is one of the many Protestant positions/tendencies that 'traditionalists' adhere to.) Likewise, Catholics must accept the teachings of both Vatican II and post Council magisterial teachings and previous councils, papal apostolic letters, papal encyclicals, etc. Picking and choosing and interpreting Church documents for oneself against the teachings of the Church Magisterium is a Protestant notion and 'traditionalists' do this constantly. This error of theirs has already been looked at in other sections; however, in this url (and the one subsequent to it), the subject will be given extra attention for it is a serious flaw at the core of their philosophy.

II - A Necessary Principle for Proper Interpretation:

If the Bible (which is inspired) can be misinterpreted by men or (to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerens) "is as capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters", the reader needs to ask themselves why any Catholic would be naïve enough to assume that non inspired magisterial documents would be any different. Why would the Bible have "some things that are hard to understand which the ignorant and the unstable wrest to their own destruction" (2 Pet. 3:16) while magisterial documents would be free and easily accessible to be understood by anyone at face value apart from the times, circumstances, and assumptions under which they were written in??? Such an assessment is obviously absurd but yet that is what the self-style 'traditionalists' do in trying to polarize the Council teachings against previous teachings all the while ignoring the context from which the teachings were promulgated or the assumptions of the time periods in which they were made. [I. Shawn McElhinney: A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' Part X (c. 2000, rev. 2003)]

The core problem with the source you sent me has been diagnosed already. Since I will wager that all conclusions will be built on that shoddly foundation, they can be summarily ruled out of court as being without merit whatsoever. For that reason, much of the rest of what will be covered will be either reiteration of this point or commentary. the This is why I decided in early 2003 to make reading my treatise in its entirety a pre-requisite for any dialogue on these issues as a rule.{2} Nonetheless, I will indulge you with a response on the salient parts of what is left.

St Athanasius, the defender of the faith was wrongfully excommunicated by Pope Liberius (see any Catholic Encyclopedia).

I have already dealt with this facile argument, it does not hold water...not even a thimblefull.

This shows us that a Pope can imprudently excommunicate a faithful subject of the Church.

No, this was not a case of imprudence. It was the case of a pope under duress falling prey to human weakness and thus a lack of fortitude. He had already declared for the orthodoxy of Athanasius; ergo his condemnation later on under duress was invalid as nothing had changed except the pope had been deprived of his freedom. Athanasius knew this and noted it in his History of the Arians as I noted above citing the source verbatim.

By contrast, Pope John Paul II had no similar situation with Marcel Lefebvre -who was no faithful son of the Church but a seditious schismatic criminal. He was no more faithful to the Church than Fr. Martin Luther was: each was only faithful insofar as the popes did what THEY thought should be done. Parts 12 and 13 of my treatise point out the many parallels between these two men beyond a reasonable doubt so I will not reinvent the wheel here unnecessarily.

Before we see if this is so with Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer and the four bishops they consecrated, let us look at whether the other bishops of the world were obedient in the matter of the sacred treasure of the Traditional Latin Mass - the liturgy that fruitfully sustained Catholic faith for centuries and formed millions of orthodox Catholics and thousands of canonised saints.

There is no "Traditional Latin Mass." This whole notion is both absurd and (frankly) tiring. Liturgical language is not in any sense of the term Traditional not are mere litanies, devotions, etc. all of which can vary according to times and circumstances. They can clothe Tradition but are not required in and of themselves to do so for they can just as potentially clothe a wolf in sheep's clothing. Or to quote my treatise once again:

[A]uthentic Traditionalism does not depend on what rite of Mass you attend, what devotional prayers you use, what theological positions you espouse, or what disciplines you follow. Authentic 'Traditionalism' is much more integral then that and it applies to a frame of mind and a certain attitude. It is not and cannot be found in externals - even those which may have the hallowed sanction of time. Nonetheless there are those who have a preference for the older rite of Mass and that in and of itself is of course just fine. The problem lies in how this preference is handled for it can be handled in an authentically Traditional manner or in a false serpentine 'traditionalist' way. This treatise will make the demarcation of these two terms clear for the reader. [I. Shawn McElhinney: A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' Part I (c. 2000, rev. 2003)]

Thank God for the past writings...they make my responses now so much easier with cut and paste :)

The world's bishops reject Ecclesia Dei

No they have not.

The world's bishops have largely disobeyed John Paul II's instructions in Ecclesia Dei that, all must reject "erroneous interpretations and arbitrary and unauthorized applications in matters of doctrine, liturgy and

The pope requested generosity but he did not infringe on their freedoms as local ordinaries to govern their dioceses. Ergo, no disobedience can be imputed to them as this tract has sought to do.

These bishops have failed to "exercise the important duty of a clear-sighted vigilance full of charity and firmness, so that this fidelity may be everywhere safeguarded."

Not necessarily. It took a while for Ecclesia Dei to separate itself from the schismatic extremists. For a while, Ecclesia Dei and groups like the FSSP were comprised of not a few SSPXers who had only changed their post office box but not been integrated with a ready and respectful obedience of mind and will into the Church (cf. Lumen Gentium §25). Over time, the latter increased and ED was able to win over not a few local ordinaries who were previously suspicious and not without reason. I plan to blog an example of what I refer to from my own dioceses in 1999 at my Lidless Eye Inquisition group weblog as an instructional on why the notion of local ordinaries not immediately making provisions for the Tridentine ritual were "disobedient" is an argument that has no merit whatsoever. (Look for that thread in the next day or so.) See the last link above for details.

While they fail in their duties, many of these rebel "Catholic" bishops forbid the Traditional Latin Mass and the other Traditional sacraments in their dioceses.

Again, there is no such thing as a "traditional latin mass" and "traditional sacraments." I reject this terminology in no uncertain terms. My ancestors were no less traditional for having married clergy, conferring confirmation and eucharist on infants, using Ukrainian in their liturgies, and rejecting such things as hylomorphic sacramental theory and the like than westerners who used Latin in their liturgies, withheld eucharist until the age of twelve, withheld confirmation until sixteen, did not allow married clergy, or promoted the hylomorphic sacramental theory. More could be noted but that suffices for now.

Authentic Traditionalism is not able to be separated from authentic catholicity. Furthermore, authentic Traditionalism is synonymous with authentic Progressivism. For that reason, such appellations to separate one group of Catholics from another are unnecessary and in fact Pope Benedict XV proscribed such conduct (cf. Ad Beatissimi §23-24) and no subsequent pope has ever countenanced it in any fashion whatsoever.

Often when it is permitted, they impose all manner of unjust restrictions on their celebration. This is hardly the way to obey the Pope's call for concern for "all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the latin tradition."

Says who??? The local ordinaries have ordinary power and jurisdiction in their dioceses. If they judge for some reason that it is not prudent to allow such things then that is not disobedience to the pope in the slightest. Again, the pope did not bind the bishops on this but respected their freedom and exhorted them to be pastorally sensitive to those attached to the older formularies. And as before you can plant a garden you have to remove the weeds, sometimes it was necessary to let schismatic weeds die in the soil before uprooting them and planting your crops.

Neither does it "guarrantee respect for their rightful aspirations."

Rightful aspirations and schismatic disobedience are as distinct from one another as night and day.

Had the bishops universally obeyed the Pope's directive that "respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition" and made a "wide and generous" availability of theTraditional latin liturgy, then matters would have been different.

Those who were involved in schismatic movements for years on end (and the SSPX was a schismatic movement arguably as far back as 1976 as I noted in my treatise) are not suddenly to be trusted as fully orthodox. There is a process and a maturation required first. Ecclesia Dei has grown exponentially in proportion to its members demonstrating orthodoxy in words and actions -part of which includes a generous fealty to the pope and to the local ordinaries.

Now Pete could better tell you the progress of this movement than I can but it has been significant over the past seventeen years. There is obviously room for greater growth but a lot of progress has been made. And you either promote it in communion with the Church (which means in accordance with what the pope has provided for and that means via the local ordinaries) or you do so apart from his communion and thus criminally and schismatically. The same end but different means of achieving it: one legitimate and one illegitimate, one honourable and eminently orthodox and one dishonourable and criminally schismatic (if not heretical). And only the legitimate promoters can have any credence in claiming the mantle of Traditionalist if it is to be claimed by anyone at all.{3} That is the bottom line really.

Alas, there are two standards in the Church today.

There is one standard.

It is all ecumenical "smiles and handshakes" for all those who are not of the household of the faith, and harshness and maltreatment for those who simply wish to keep the Traditions of the Fathers.

Again, the Latin liturgy has nothing intrinsically to do with "keeping the Traditions of the Fathers." But avoiding schism and heresy does and not a few groups like SSPX and SSPV have not done these things.

Furthermore, the so-called "traditional" groups generally have an episcopal structure to them and this has ramifications that are also not to be taken lightly. For to be a church properly understood in Catholic theology and in canon law, there is the requirement of the presence of a bishop. And where there is a bishop, there is the structure for a church and thus the danger of schism if that bishop does not profess obedience to the pope in word as well as deed.

Finally, there is a difference between material schism or heresy and formal schism or heresy. The SSPX is formally schismatic and the groups the church is in dialogue with as a rule are material heretics. There is a huge difference between the two since formal involves an obstinance of the will that the material does not necessarily involve. Again, apples and oranges.

This treatment of Traditionalists must be compared with the way the world's bishops tolerate or even encourage all manner of liturgical abuse, ecumenical aberrations and banality, in the liturgy. Sadly, this has always been largely the case of how Traditionalistshave been treated for decades.

Do I really need to continue interacting with this drivel XXXXX??? I have already dealt with these arguments many times over the years as well as briefly here. They do not stand up to elementary scrutiny by someone even moderately versed in church history and theology.

History of the modernist persecution

The French Church has been a major champion of liberalism and modernism for many decades (see Open Letter to Confused Catholics).

What a waste of paper that book is (to put it nicely).

It is one of the most corrupted parts of the Church today. We can often think matters are bad in the English speaking Catholic Church, but often our dioceses are merely swallowing what has been vomited up by the modernists from the nations bordering the Rhine.

This is the old "Rhine flows into the Tiber" canard put forward by people partisan towards manual theology and the nineteenth century mindset of the mid twentieth century Roman Curia. They have taken a theory by one priest who bought into the faulty paradigm of "conservative" and "liberal" factions at the Council (i.e. Fr. Ralph Wiltgen) and turned it into a mantra of sorts. I have long challenged this dichotomy as pathetically inadequate to explain the actual forces at work in the synod (amongst the bishops and the theological periti involved) and I note it here only to point out that to argue in this fashion is to completely miss the forest for the trees.

Mass attendance amongst "Catholics" in these most modernist of countries has fallen to a tiny fraction. Uncompromising belief in Catholic faith and morals is practically non-existent. Pope John Paul II has written of Europe that there reigns a "sort of practical agnosticism and religious indifferentism" to the extent that "European culture gives the impression of a 'silent apostasy'" (Ecclesia in Europa, n? 7 & 9, DC n? 2296, 20 July 2003).

To assert that these things are the result of the Council and its teachings/directives is a example of post hoc ergo proper hoc fallacious argumentation. I repeat often Mark Twain's dictum about "lies, damn lies, and statistics" being "three kinds of lies" often because it is true.{4} France was already considered to be a mission country by the early 1940's if not earlier...due in no small part to the inability of the church to make inroads there after the so-called "Enlightenment" via the methods advocated by people such as Lefebvre.{5} A different approach was taken starting in the 1950's and 1960's (magisterially sanctioned by Vatican II, Pipe Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI) and it has yet to bear as much in the way of fruit as we would like.{6} However, it takes a while to regenerate growth after centuries of internal decay from the "fortress catholicism" approach.

What we have seen since the Council was the decay previously concealed beneath the surface come to the surface and work its way out in recent decades. It was really bad for a while and pointing this out was not the problem. What was the problem (and what Lefebvre and his allies do not tell you) is that the adversarial approaches to culture they promote are to a large part responsible for the situation today in Europe. The Vatican has wisely ceased to promote such methods in its evangelizing efforts for that reason primarily.

To reiterate, what we see in Europe today (and arguably it is worse in Germany than in France) was a long time in the making...two centuries or more actually. And again, it was not until Vatican II that a real concerted and unambiguous effort to deal realistically with it was sanctioned by the magisterium. Previous attempts by the magisterium (particularly Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XII) were laudable in some respects but anachronistic in other ways. And (of course) various theologians were hamstring by neo-scholastics in the Curia who were blind to the fact that their approaches were making no progress whatsoever in engaging the culture. The end result was that there was a blind and irrational rejection of everything that was not neo-scholastic in approach prior to the Council.

Now certainly there were theologians who went too far and/or compromised orthodoxy to the zeitgeist but they were a significant minority. But people like Lefevbre and company were incapable of making the proper distinctions and libeled many good orthodox people in the process. I touched on some of this in no shortage of postings to my weblogs including these two posts and do not have time to go into it again at this time in any great detail.

Archbishop Lefebvre was well aware that this 'silent apostasy' was more than merely an impression as early as the late 1960s.

That may be true but what is also true is that much of it was because of the dialectical contrary approach advocated by people such as Lefebvre!!! Such things had their place in the sixteenth century (and arguably the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries too on the European continent) but were inappropriate for coming to grips with the so-called "enlightenment." For the first time in history, the Church had withdrawn herself from directly shaping the culture and the result is what we see in Europe today: a problem that will not be fixed by resorting to the same approaches which exasperated and accelerated the cultural rot in Europe prior to the Council.

The first seminarians at Econe had turned for help to Archbishop Lefebvre after being shunned in the French seminary in Rome for their orthodoxy, cassocks and love for the rosary. The final provocation had been the hanging of the Communist flag in the seminary in support of the infamous 1968 revolutionary riots in France.

We all know of what happened in the 1960's but this does not excuse schism or its noxious spirit being advocated.

These riots were Marxist, masonic and violently anarchist, yet the students and teachers applauded this.

This is true...and not a few eminently orthodox theologians who were influential at the Council (some of which were demonized by Lefebvre and company) reacted with horror to those uprisings. The idea that Lefebvre was the only one who responded in horror to these things is a pipedream but it is part of the propaganda required to fabricate the "legend" of Lefebvre so I know why his sycophants use it.

Archbishop Lefebvre's seminary in Econe had itself been purchased from the declining French Church to save the chapel from being dynamited to build a nightclub, resturant and motel in its place!

Tell me about it...the altar and tabernacle at my old SSPX chapel were saved in the late 1970's from being converted into a bar and liquor cabinet. The parishoners had to lie and claim they wanted them for profane uses to get them but if they had said they wanted them for use as an altar and tabernacle, they would not have gotten them. No one denies that a lot of sacreligious stuff happened with consecrated items in the aftermath of the Council but (i) the latter in no way whatsoever sanctioned such profanity, (ii) periods after ecumenical councils are usually periods of turmoil historically, and (iii) none of this in any way whatsoever excuses schism or schismatic behaviours.

These are just two examples of the many reasons why Archbishop Lefebvre was called out of a well-deserved, comfortable retirement to help restore the Traditional Faith.

Once again, he was not "restoring the Traditional Faith" as the faith is not destroyed or restored by particular liturgical forms, devotionals, theological speculations, or disciplines. But then again, this is a serious flaw in the proper understanding of Tradition and I dealt with that in my treatise too (in part 2). It was also dealt with to some extent in a subsequent essay I wrote in early 2001 on confusing culture with tradition. But the root of the confusion was spelled out in the above url in reasonable detail.

The liberal French Bishops could not endure an orthodox Catholic bishop forming Traditional seminarians whilst they were closing down their own seminaries for lack of vocations.

Once again, the seminarians Lefebvre formed were not Traditional because of any attachments to old liturgical forms or devotions, etc. Authentic Traditionalism does not depend on externals but is integral and rooted in a proper disposition of mind. It is quite evident in retrospect that Lefebvre did not have a proper Traditional disposition even as early as the late 1960's. However, it was not until the early 1970's (particularly in the years leading up to his eventual suspension and beyond) that the real manifestations of his inner incongruity with true Traditional notions of Catholicism would be recognized.

Even after Cardinal Wright, prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy officially approved and encouraged the Society of St Pius X in 1971,

The actions of Cardinal Wright noted above are exaggerations. As Pete Vere noted in his license thesis in 1999, Cardinal Wright's wording of "approval" gives every indication of recognizing the SSPX not as a canonically erected apostolate but instead as a pious union of the faithful. In canon law this distinction is significant but this subject is beyond my competence to do proper justice to. For that matter, I request Pete to clarify the differences in the comment box thread below.

the French Episcopal Conference at Lourdes labelled Econe a "Wildcat seminary." The "wickedness" of Econe in the eyes of the French bishops was to form Traditional priests as the Church had done for centuries.

It was not that simplistic but to explain this would involve more time than I have (not to mention my lack of motivation to dispatch with this canard yet again). It suffices to say that there is nothing Traditional in priestly formation apart from the communion of the pope and one's local ordinary in communion with the Apostolic See.

These priests would be ordained to offer up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They would be devotees of Our Lady and her rosary. Their master would be St Thomas Aquinas as directed by the Second Vatican Council. Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium would be their source of truth. In particular, they would study the pre-Vatican II encyclicals that condemned liberalism, masonry, modernism, Marxism and other modern errors.

Here are the problems in a nutshell:

They were taught to study the magisterium as if there was a breach in it.

They were taught to study previous documents as if all matters in them were immutable.

Such defects in formation created a mummified notion of the magisterum and that presupposition (which was implied in their approach) was not Catholic but hermeneutically Protestant. It is Sola Traditio instead of Sola Scriptura with the same private judgment involved with the former as Protestants claimed for the latter. I discussed this in my treatise in at least eight of the sixteen urls if memory serves. It is the fundamental error of false "traditionalism" without a shadow of doubt whatsoever.

They would celebrate liturgies marked by orthodoxy and reverence directed towards God (not man).

Once again, we have an artificial dichotomy here which I do not have time to delve into (and have dealt with before). This is the problem with tracts like this: they can pack a whole ton of unsubstantiated assertions and various code words that all require decoding and debunking even before the arguments themselves can be actually engaged oftentimes.

For these "abominations" the French bishops conference would pressure Rome to initiate the complex and illegal campaign to suppress the Society of St Pius X.

Pete Vere has dealt with the idea that the SSPX was ever validly erected canonically to begin with and I defer to him on this subject as having the competence to do it justice which I do not possess. Nonetheless, I will say that there was no illegality in suppressing the SSPX and that the matter is complicated.

Anyone who researchs this campaign in Michael Davies Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre

Michael Davies was not a real scholar or much of a researcher for that matter. Instead, he was a pundit with an obvious agenda. His presumed "scholarship" in many respects was a joke and no one familiar with the intricacies of the various issues he wrote about takes the lion's share of his views seriously. I have pointed out over the years not a few significant errors and exaggerations in Davies work as well as his presuppositions as have various friends of mine. I also dealt with the sycophantic nature of his "apologia" for Marcel Lefebvre in my treatise (including noting his probable motivations for it).

Nonetheless, in fairness I should note that Mr. Davies' views on this matter seems to have changed with the passage of time. Shortly before his death last year (may he rest in peace), Mr. Davies was lamenting the manner whereby people claimed to be "traditional" but who treated the magisterium with the same kind of private judgment that Protestants treated the Bible with. In short, his view shortly before his death on that subject had a good degree of congruence with what I have been saying for going on six years now.

will see the documentary evidence proves a complete travesty of justice in the condemnation of Archbishop Lefebvre.

See my previous comments. Davies was very good at selectively citing sources to defend his view and ignoring (or omitting) the fuller context of the sources where they did not support his position. But that is neither here nor there for the sake of this point except to note that Archbishop Lefebvre was justly condemned by Paul VI and suspended. If anything, Paul VI took too long to do it. Lefebvre was promoting a good end via evil means and did this for far too long. It is never acceptable to formally operate apart from communion with the Vicar of Christ either explicitly or implicitly. Lefebvre did the former after 1976 and the latter prior to his suspension. This is not difficult to demonstrate from Lefebvre's own writings of that time period...some of which I touched on in my treatise (in parts 12 and 13 particularly).

In an earlier age, Lefebvre would have been excommunicated and declared schismatic long before he was. However, Paul VI and John Paul II wished to keep the channels of dialogue open for as long as it was feasible to do. Finally, Lefebvre crossed the line with his criminal consecrations and that was that.

Mr Davies reminds us that: "In the opinion of most well-informed commentators, the action taken against Ec?ne by the Swiss bishops, in conjunction with Rome, had been instigated by the French hierarchy, with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Villot, acting as its instrument." (vol. I, chapter 4).

Conspiracy theories are big with people like Davies. This should not surprise really since conspiracy theories do not require any real thought whatsoever and their practicioners do not allow them to be subjected to logical scrutiny and treated as any other intellectual proposition which is scrutinized and found to be not up to snuff.

No, instead, conspiracy theorists try to avoid intellectual accountability by playing both sides of the fence. Those of us who take rational thought and analysis seriously do not waste any more time with such people's delusions than they have to; ergo I do not bother with most of Davies' nonsense on these matters anymore.{7}

Furthermore, conspiracy theories are popular with zenophobes who have a fear of the "foreigner" or "stranger." But this is a subject beyond my time to discuss right now so I will leave it at that.

This was while the French hierarchy along with most of the rest of the world's bishops continued to deliver corrupt catechesis, liberal priests, deformed sacraments and neo-pagan morals (unhindered by any kind of effective, just reaction from the Vaticanto stop this widespread liberalism and Modernism).

Even if every point above was conceded by me, one fact remains: the end does not justify the means. PERIOD.

The necessary and fruitful work of Archbishop Lefebvre

No, unnecessary and unfruitful. Schismatics produce not wheat but tares.

It is the good, necessary and fruitful work of Archbishop Lefebvre which justifies his ongoing mission, despite the "suspensions" under Pope Paul VI and later "excommunications" under Pope John Paul II.

The quotes are not appropriate. Lefebvre was rightfully suspended by Paul VI and he incurred excommunication under John Paul II just as rightly. Again, the end does not justify the means.

The greatest irony is that if one studies the specific teachings of Vatican II's Decree on the Training of Priests, Optatam Totius, it can be seen that they are more faithfully observed in the Society of St Pius X seminaries than any other seminary in the Western World.

Though this was undoubtedly true in the 1970's, I know it is not true anymore. There are plenty of seminaries that have been reformed and are turning out good crops of orthodox priests. These are both in the mainline of the church as well as in apostolates like FSSP and their St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Nebraska. But the SSPX likes to pretend things are as they were in the 1970's and the truth is, they are not. But admitting to that is inconvenient for their agena of rebellion so they omit it from their propaganda. I am not surprised by this really.

So, in contrast with the 'silent apostasy' of Europe described by Pope John Paul II, here is the Archbishop's prudent and wise remedy for the loss of millions of souls: That is why, without any rebellion, bitterness, or resentment,

His actions spoke louder than his words. But of course his words had many of the same kinds of invective Luther used...see my previous comments on this matter viz. the parallels between Lefebvre and Luther.{8}

we pursue our work of priestly formation under the guidance of the never-changing Magisterium,

More historical ignorance. The magisterium is not "never-changing" in all parameters as anyone with even a kindergarden understanding of Church history knows. But then again, Lefebvre was quite ahistorial as I noted in my treatise. The same problem persists in spades with his disciples down to the present day.

convinced as we are that we cannot possibly render a greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to posterity. That is why we hold firmly to everything that has been consistently taught and practiced by the Church (and codified in books published before the Modernist influence of the Council)

The truth is, they disobeyed the pope's authority in matters of ruling and guiding the Church. According to Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura, obedience to the dogma of papal primacy required obedience not only in matters of dogma but also matters of discipline. Or to quote Quanta Cura on the matter at hand:

Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that "without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church's general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals." But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church. [Pope Pius IX: Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura §5 (c. 1864) as quoted in I. Shawn McElhinney's A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' Part XI (c. 2000, rev. 2003)]

There is not a ghosts of a chance in hell that the SSPX adheres to the dogma of papal primacy in its properly understood sense (outlined above by Pope Pius IX of blessed memory). They repeatedly in word and deed oppose themselves to the disciplinary directives of the popes as well as the pope's right by virtue of his office to set the tone for what is right and proper in a given epoch of time. And as opposing oneself to a dogma of the faith is (at a minimum) proximate to heresy, the notion that the SSPX's founder and his disciples today were faithful to the Church was and is exposed here anew as a sham.

concerning faith, morals, divine worship, catechetics, priestly formation, and the institution of the Church, until such time as the true light of tradition dissipates the gloom which obscures the sky of the eternal Rome.

See my previous comments. They have no right whatsoever to oppose the teachings and directives of the ecclesial magisterium. But with Benedict XVI, John Paul II, and Paul VI, this is what they have done and continue to do.

Doing this, with the grace of God, the help of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Pius X, we are certain that we are being faithful to the Catholic and Roman Church, to all of Peter's successors, and of being the Fideles Dispensatores Mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi In Spiritu Sancto.

Marcel Lefebvre, Declaration of 21st November, 1974.

Of course since this was before his suspension, we could be generous and give Lefebvre the benefit of the doubt on the matter. However, by mid 1976, Pope Paul VI clarified this matter in a magisterial consistorial allocution and thus Lefebvre's position as noted in 1974 was no longer acceptable (if it even was prior to that point): To quote from that allocution at this time...

As we have already remarked, a consistory stands as a very solemn and serious occasion in the Church's life, lived in its earthly condition. On the occasion of your presence and participation we cannot under any consideration omit a discussion of several issues and affairs of the Church which are matters of concern to us, which we regard to be of great importance, and about which we desire to share with you our sentiments...

There are however, underlying causes for bitterness and grief that we have no intention of concealing or understating. More often than not these causes proceed from a patent, sometimes inexcusable extremism regarding certain excesses that point to, in their opposing factions, an immature frivolousness or a defiant obstinacy. Such attitudes beget a regrettable refusal to listen to all those urgings and admonitions, that the priceless teaching of the Council issued more than ten years ago, to provide a sound balance, calming turbulent spirits.

One extreme is made up of those who –claiming the strongest allegiance to the Church and to the magisterium—reject and repudiate in practice the very principles of the Council and their subsequent application and reformation as well as the measured carrying out of these principles by the Holy See and the conferences of bishops under our Christ-given authority. Such people diminish the Church's authority under pretext of tradition; their obedience to that authority is merely lip service. They draw the faithful away from the ties of obedience to the See of Peter as well as from their lawful bishops. They repudiate the authority of today in favour of that from another age. It is all the more grievous and evil that the recalcitrance we refer to not only has certain priests as its defenders but has a bishop, Marcel Lefebvre, whom we still continue to reach out to with respect, as a leader and a guide.

We make these observations with profound sorrow, but anyone can see that this course of action –whatever the goals and intentions of these people— involves the intent to pass beyond obedience and communion with the successor of Peter and therefore with the Church.

Sadly, this is the natural consequence when anyone insists that on the pretext of keeping the faith intact and of working in his own way to defend the Church he would rather flout obedience than obey. That of course is at utter variance with genuine obedience. And this is the openly declared position. These people do not even hesitate to claim that Vatican Council II has no obligatory force; that the Catholic faith is in jeopardy by reason of the conciliar norms; that the Council is to be disobeyed in order to safeguard certain traditions. What traditions? To their own circle–not to the pope, the college of bishops, an ecumenical council—should belong the right to choose among countless traditions those that are to be held as norms of faith. You must see, our Esteemed Brothers, that such a position calls into question the divine will that made Peter and his lawful successors the head of the Church, who being confirmed in faith would feed the whole flock, and the divine will that constitutes the head of the Church as the guarantor and guardian of the deposit of faith.

We must attach to this refusal to respect the liturgical norms laid down a special grievousness in that it introduces division where Christ's love has gathered us together in unity, namely, into the liturgy and the eucharistic sacrifice. For our part, in the name of tradition, we beseech all of our children to celebrate the rites of the restored liturgy with dignity and fervent devotion. Use of the old Ordo Missae is in no way left to the choice of priests or people. The Instruction of 14 June 1971 provided the celebration of Mass according to the former rite would be permitted, by faculty from the Ordinary, only for aged or sick priests offering the sacrifice without a congregation. The new Ordo Missae was promulgated in place of the old after careful deliberation and to carry out the directives of Vatican Council II. For a like reason, our predecessor St. Pius V, after the Council of Trent, commanded the use of the Roman Missal revised by his authority.

In virtue of the supreme authority granted to us by Jesus Christ we command the same ready obedience to the other laws, relating to liturgy, discipline, pastoral activity, made in these last years to put into effect the decrees of the Council. Any course of action seeking to stand in the way of the conciliar decrees can under no consideration be regarded as a work done for the advantage of the Church, since it in fact does the Church serious harm.

Both personally and through our assistants and other friends, we have warned Archbishop Lefebvre about the gravity of the measures he is taking; the unlawfulness of his principal, continuing undertakings; the emptiness and frequent falsity of the doctrinal tenets by which he tries to support both his position and his undertakings; and about the losses to the whole Church originating with him... [Pope Paul VI: Excerpts from an Allocution to a Consistory on Loyalty to the Church and to the Council, 24, May 1976: AAS 68 (1976) 369-378; Not 12 (1976) 217-223]

And as Paul VI's allocution is promulgated in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, it is unquestionably magisterial. For this reason, Lefebvre's refusal to render religious submission proves that his previous words of fealty were a sham. Paul VI noted this further in a personal epistle to Lefebvre three months after he was suspended. Here is some of what he wrote:

"Christ has given the supreme authority in His Church to Peter and to the Apostolic College, that is, to the Pope and to the college of Bishops una cum Capite. . .by their nature, "the charge of teaching and governing… cannot be exercised except in hierarchical communion with the head of the College and with its members" (Constitution Lumen Gentium, 21; cf. Also 25). A fortiori, a single bishop without a canonical mission does not have, in actu expedito ad agendum, the faculty of deciding in general what the rule of faith is or of determining what Tradition is. In practice you are claiming that you alone are the judge of what Tradition embraces.

With the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, the Popes and the Ecumenical Councils have acted in this common way. And it is precisely this that the Second Vatican Council did.

Nothing that was decreed in this Council, or in the reforms that We enacted in order to put the Council into effect, is opposed to what the two-thousand-year-old Tradition of the Church considers as fundamental and immutable. We are the guarantor of this, not in virtue of Our personal qualities but in virtue of the charge which the Lord has conferred upon Us as legitimate Successor of Peter, and in virtue of the special assistance that He has promised to Us as well as to Peter: "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" (Lk 22:32). The universal episcopate is guarantor with Us of this." [Excerpt from the Epistle Cum te of Pope Paul VI to Lefebvre November 12, 1976]

As the pope clarified in official documents a point previously disputed, it is no longer a point which faithful Catholics can dispute. So said Vatican II in its Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium on the obedience owed "in a special way" to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff (cf. LG §25). So said Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical Letter Humani Generis on the obedience owed to a magisterial clarification on controverted issues by the Supreme Pontiff (cf. HG §20). Roma locuta est, causa finita est!!!

Bishop Bernard Fellay and the other bishops of the Society of St Pius X have a duty to carry on the work of handing on the Traditional Papal teachings and the Traditional sacraments.

See my previous comments about the so-called "traditional papal teachings" and "traditional sacraments." I reject this very terminology and will not in any way countenance it because it is disingenuous to no small degree. See also my previous comments viz. LG §25 and HG §20. Bishop Fellay and his fellow bishops are excommunicated and have no authority whatsoever to do anything.

They have the obligation to denounce the errors of liberalism and modernism.

They have no right and no authority to do anything. To use a Gospel image, they are hirelings not shepherds (John x,1-13).

This responsibility is in fact given to every Catholic bishop of the world, including the Holy Father, bishop of Rome.

Excommunicated bishops are forbidden from any ecclesiastical ministry whatsoever (cf Can. 1331). Furthermore, what needs to be denounced are actual errors not misunderstandings posited as "errors" by theologically inept people such as Lefebvre and the SSPX hierarchy.

And again, bishops deprived of ecclesial authority via excommunication have no right whatsoever to do anything of the sort. Again, they are the very hirelings that Jesus spoke of who do not enter from the sheepsgate (cf. John x,1-13).

On the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pope, Bishop Fellay publically announced the continued intention of the Society of St Pius X to continue to serve Christ, His Church and the Pope in accordance with Tradition:

They are meaningless words since once again, whom is it defining what is and is not "in accordance with Tradition"??? Again, it is schismatic kool aid drinkers like the SSPX and their excommunicated hierarchy. It is in other words Sola Traditio or Sola Magisterium which is what they are doing and this is not a true obedience to Catholic Tradition.

Communiqu? from the Society of St Pius X on the election of Pope Benedict XVI

By Bishop Bernard Fellay

Excommunicated Bishop Bernard Fellay...

In the name of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, His Excellency Bishop Fellay, Superior General,

Of course Archbishop Lefebvre adamantly refused to have a bishop serve as Superior General of the SSPX when he was alive for reasons worth considering by anyone presuming to defend Bishop Fellay serving in this capacity at the moment.

welcomes the accession of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the Sovereign Pontificate. He sees there a gleam of hope that we may find a way out of the profound crisis which is shaking the Catholic Church, of which some aspects have been spoken of by the former Head for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and quite recently so in his preaching on the occasion of the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. His Excellency Bishop Fellay implores Our Lord Jesus Christ, Head of the Mystical Body, that the two-thousand-year-old Tradition of the Church, forgotten and mistreated during the last forty years, may regain its place during this Pontificate, and that the Traditional Holy Mass may be re-established in all its rights, without restrictions. Finally, the Superior General assures the Successor of Peter, Benedict XVI, of his prayers and those of all the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X for the considerable task which awaits him in order to restore all things in Christ.

+ Bernard Fellay
Superior General
(Issued from the Society's press agency, DICI)

Of course since Bishop Richard Williamson is with the greatest of likelihood not going to pray for the pope, the above note is falsified on that point.{9}

Once again, the above statement about "the two-thousand-year-old Tradition of the Church, forgotten and mistreated during the last forty years" shows a profound ignorance of what is and is not Catholic Tradition. I hate to sound like a broken record but I wrote on this almost six years ago and my criticisms then are just as trenchant today.

This is the spirit of a loyal son of the Church, who acknowledges the papal primacy.

No it is not for reasons I have already dealt with.

It is not the words and intent of a "schismatic" or "rebel."

One must base the true intention of Fellay and the others on the totality of their words over at least the past seventeen years, not one little press release from early 2005. And when you do the latter -particularly when you look at the absolute garbage propaganda they give out at their chapels to lie about their status in the Church{10}, then you get the true measure of these people as schismatics and rebels.

One can only hope that our current reigning Pontiff will restore the two-thousand year old Tradition of the Church and re-establish the Traditional Holy Mass.

I already dealt with this revisionist drivel further up in the thread. Whatever Benedict XVI does, one thing is certain: he will not be reinstituting the Tridentine ritual in place of the revised missal nor should he.{11} That is not to say that he may not seek to persuade the local ordinaries to be more generous than they have been -indeed this is probable actually (and I would like to see that actually for pastoral reasons). But the whole "universal indult" idea of bypassing the local ordinaries is so remote that I do not take it seriously. If ever it was to happen (and it will not) there certainly would be no chance whatsoever of it occurring with the SSPX until all four bishops are reconciled to the Church first. For if it happened otherwise, it would be such would be a slap in the face of the faithful promoters of Ecclesia Dei lo these past seventeen years and Pope Benedict XVI knows it.

Regardless, we must pray that the Society of St Pius X may continue to keep the light of Tradition burning and persevere in their struggle for the restoration of the Catholic liturgy: "...keeping in mind the salvation of souls, which in the Church must always be the supreme law." (Code of Canon Law, can. 752).

Anyone can prooftext the Code but that does not mean that the text applies to the SSPX. The SSPX no more "keeps the light of Tradition burning" than the Lutherans did in the sixteenth century. And what has been noted in this response from Pius IX's Quanta Cura to Pius XII's Humani Generis to Vatican II's Lumen Gentium to the Allocution of Pope Paul VI at the 1976 consistory all attests to this without ambiguity.

The Conservative Catholic view needs to change

I reject the entire notion of "conservative Catholics" since this kind of labelling does not find sanction by the magisterium and indeed has been severely criticized by the magisterium (cf. Ad Beatissimi §23-24 of Pope Benedict XV).

By God's grace the Conservative Catholic who has not been aware of these facts will now pause before hastily condemning the Society of St Pius X, as
did the liberal and Modernist French bishops.

Actually, no one who properly informs themselves of the issues can do anything but condemn the SSPX. They are thieves and robbers who enter not via the sheeps gate (cf. John x, 1-13) and for that reason are to be pointed out for what they are.

For those Conservative Catholics who have read this book and are not yet convinced of the substantial moral truths of its arguments,

The arguments are seriously flawed, illogical, ahistorical, and laughable.

here is this final thought to meditate upon. The author...studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church thoroughly several years ago, and even before he studied the status of the Society of St Pius X he had concluded that every diocese in his own country was infested with liberalism, apostasy, heresy and schism, from the Bishops Conference down to thereligious, priests and laity.

And what is the criteria that the author of this work used to come to this conclusion??? Why it is the exact same criteria that Fr. Martin Luther used to conclude that popes and councils "had erred and contradicted one another." It is the exact same criteria that the seventeenth century Jansenists used who accused the Council of Trent to be "Humanist-influenced." Need I go on???

To state it as bluntly as possible, the very pathetic ahistorical and laughable assertions in this tract show me more than anything just how misinformed the author of the tract was prior to becoming affiliated with the SSPX. As a result of this, they were readily disposed to partake of the SSPX's koolaid uncritically and were hoodwinked. Now before that sounds too harsh, I will temper it by reminding the readers that I too was once hoodwinked by the SSPX!!! And if anything, I with the greatest likelihood went into it even less informed than the author of the tract we have looked at did. That is not to try and make an excuse on my part but instead it is to point out that people of varying degrees of knowledge are capable of being hoodwinked. Likewise, even saintly people can be as well as in the case of His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (may he rest in peace).

He saw that Conservative, orthodox Catholics were a minority whose voices went unheeded. He saw that disfunctional committees and feminist bureaucrats had replaced the Pope and the Catholic faith. He watched an entire generation of his peers exit the Church, ignorant of Catholic doctrine and the beauty of Traditional liturgy.

And these sorts of things are supposed to be a historical novelty??? The very idea that the author of the tract thinks it is shows how ignorant of history they really are. And those who are ignorant of history are not taken seriously by people such as myself: one who takes Santayana's dictum on history seriously and always has.{12}

His words to you are these: "Take a good, long careful look at your own parish and your own diocese forty years after the Council. Discover the full extent to which it is "reforming" itself into moral extinction.

My parish is vibrant and quite excellent. There are some minor areas that need correction and I will do what I can to bring them to the attention of the pastor and others. However, I will do this within the proper channels and not outside of them as that is how Catholics are supposed to act.

Once you have carried out this meditation, we can discuss whether
Archbishop Lefebvre gravely sinned by preserving the Traditional Latin Mass, the teaching of the Traditional papal encyclicals and the thought of St Thomas Aquinas.

Lefebvre was ignorant of genuine Tradition, ignorant of general norms of theological interpretaiton, ignorant of liturgical history, ignorant of the teachings of the so-called "traditional papal eneyclicals, and ignorant of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. All of this is well established in my treatise and is not even debatable really.

If you still believe Archbishop Lefebvre somehow sinned, contrast the way he was treated, with the Vatican's unthinkably weak and unjust toleration of liberal and even heretical bishops, priests, nuns and theologians.

I already touched on the differences in this area. Furthermore, Lefebvre and his stooges have a problem separating genuine heresy from its counterfeit. But then again, that requires the light of grace to do and formal schismatics lack the light of grace so in that respect, I am not surprised.

Never mind the weak and scandalous way in which Rome has dealt
with the homosexual/paedophile crisis. This "pastoral style of leadership" includes protecting or even promoting the bishops responsible.

This does not justify schism.

One of the worst examples was how after Archbishop Bernard Law of Boston was involved in a major scandal in protecting paedophile priests, Pope John Paul II would promote him to Cardinal and appoint him archpriest of Saint Mary Major
Basilica in Rome.

Again, this does not justify schism.

There have been other terrible appointments.

This does not justify schism.

For example, the liberal German Bishop Karl Lehman publicly resisted the Vatican's efforts to stop the German bishops from operating "counseling centers" which issued certificates German women need to obtain abortions under German law-virtual death warrants for the unborn. Though he was well aware of this for years, Pope John Paul II "rewarded" him with the rank of Cardinal.

This does not justify schism.

Obviously, in the mind of Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Lefebvre was not worthy of being made a Cardinal given this kind of spiritual and theological criteria (!).

One of the geopolitical realities of cardinal appointments is that sometimes they are made in order to prevent a schism in the Church. It is probable that if Lefebvre had not been suspended in 1976, he probably would have been in line for a red hat in one of the first consistories of Paul VI's successor.{13}

Anyone who reads even a couple of the Archbishop's writings will be able to readily identify misrepresentations of the Archbishop's and Society of St Pius X's position through outright falsehoods and omissions of critical facts.

I read several of the Archbishops's writings and must strongly disagree with this assessment. In truth, someone familiar with all the facts does not come to that conclusion at all unless they are already predisposed towards the weltanschauung of Lefebvre.

The worst example of this is arguably the Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) website which dishonestly and deplorably gives a "history" of the 1991 "Hawaii Six" case. The CUF writers claim that the excommunications were imposed because of "unauthorised Tridentine Masses," and the Vatican act of declaring the excommunications null and void did not support the SSPX's position, because the Hawaii six were not members of the SSPX. The CUF writers neglect to mention these fundamental, well-known facts: it was Cardinal Ratzinger who declared the excommunication decree of Bishop Ferrario null and void; Bishop Ferrario's "excommunications" of the six Traditionalists were based on Confirmations performed by Bishop Williamson of the Society of St Pius X (confirmation signifies Church unity, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1285; 1303; 1312; 1313; 1318); and almost ALL laity attending SSPX chapels are "non-members" (only the priests, religious and third order are SSPX "members").

I dealt with the SSPX's lies about the Hawaii Six in my treatise. Once again, they are not telling the truth but that is par for the course with them. And the above paragraph contains enough misrepresentations to write pages of stuff on but I want to wrap this response up quickly so they will go unanswered for now.

[Note: the author...has been involved with many CUF members and ran a study group on the Catechism of the Catholic Church for them several years ago. He has an especial desire for CUF members to bring their excellent zeal and piety, and admirable desire for orthodoxy and virtue, into the Traditionalist movement. The surrender to the liberal bishops by the CUF leadership is not God's plan for faithful Catholics].

With all due respect, I have to ask why I or anyone else trust the assessment of author of this work on the above opinion when they are so obviously misinformed on every major issue they have covered thus far???

With enough said, this appendix is most fittingly concluded with the only intelligent, clearsighted and informed Catholic response to the 1988 Ecclesia Dei document:

The only one??? In the entire world there has not been any other responses to the Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei that was intelligent, clearsighted, and informed??? Pardon me if I find that assertion more than just a little preposterous.

"Archbishop Lefebvre is a saint." With these words Michael Davies brought hundreds of people to their feet in applause in January 2004. [...]

Who cares??? Only out of respect for the departed Davies (may he rest in peace) will I not say what I am really thinking when reading the above text.

He went on to complete this thought: there would be no traditional societies of religious life, no indult Masses within the dioceses had it not been for His Grace.Michael Davies 1936-2004 by Fr. James Doran, Vice-Rector, St Thomas Aquinas Seminary, The Angelus, October 2004 Volume XXVII, Number 10.

Of course there would not have been a Council of Trent and all the wonderful things that the latter synod accomplished if not for Fr. Martin Luther, Dr. John Calvin, Fr. Zwingli, etc... It is just as absurd to credit the good of Trent as a "result" of the evil of the Deformers as it is to credit the evil of Lefebvre, De Castro Mayer, and others for Eccleisia Dei.

Select reading list

Here are a few resources that explain the situation in greater depth for those who wish to learn more about the work of the Society of St Pius X or wish to approach the question of the excommunications from a legal perspective (canon 1323, 4 allows all orthodox Catholic Traditionalists to act in a matter of necessity.

No it does not. Pete Vere dealt in detail with this prevarication and I do not have time to do so here. I suggest the author of this work properly educate themselves on the matter.

Like the wrongfully excommunicated St Athanasius, Traditionalists are forced to act outside the normal hierarchical structures in order to uphold the Church's Tradition).

I already dealt with the Athansius revisionism earlier on and need not do so again as that dog does not hunt.

Traditionalists are often attacked, but the most telling weakness of the anti-SSPX Modernists and Conservatives is that they avoid dealing with these texts that tell what traditionalists think and say.

I spent four years dealing with every pathetic argument these clowns raised and none of them stand up to scrutiny. See my treatise for details on most of them and as a good enough place to start.

It is much easier to attack a strawman of Traditionalism, or surround it with silence. No Modernist or Conservative Catholic has yet dared attempt to refute the facts and arguments in Michael Davies' Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre. That is a great testimony to the reality of the facts and the strength of his arguments.

See my treatise for a confutation of many of the arguments and assertions of Archbishop Lefebvre and his pseudo "traditionalism." One of the targets I focus on in that work other than Lefebvre (as a respresentative of the pseudo-"traditionalist" movement and not the only one) is Michael Davies and his disingenuousness in defending Lefebvre.{14}

[Snipping the rest of the absurd quack "scholarship" recommended since it is a waste of time in light of what I wrote in my treatise on this complicated subject matter]

Well XXXXX, though hardly my best effort, that is the best I can do on short notice. Hopefully my efforts in taking the time to respond to the above stuff (three hours to write and format for posting to LEI) are not wasted. Hopefully you will not take the tonality of the response personally...as a former SSPXer I happen to take these matters very seriously and will not mince words on what is noted above.


{1} Pete Vere has written on this in detail and knows more about this aspect than I do.

{2} A rule I have been very lax in actually sticking to but (for practical, tactical, and time constraints reasons) will have to be implemented better in the coming months and year.

{3} As I have noted before, I am not in favour of this terminology but with the right-minded people I concede it to them for the most part for the sake of promoting authentic dialogue.

{4} Though Mark Twain knew nothing about polling data as the fourth kind of lie...a point I covered at Rerum Novarum and in other media forums in the past, most recently in an audioposting.

{5} Of course Lefebvre probably did not realize this in part since he was in Africa in much of that period of time.

{6} Though the church is in a lot better shape now than it was when John Paul II became pope, that is frankly only deniable by those who have their heads in the sand.

{7} Having dealt with them pretty consistently for a number of years -roughly from 1998 through 2002 for the most part.

{8} And my treatise where there are a number of quotes from Lefebvre and Luther where the congruity between them is evident for those with eyes to see.

{9} For reasons I will not go into at this time.

{10} The most prominent of which I confuted every argument from in detail in my treatise nearly six years ago.

{11} For reasons I have noted elsewhere and do not have time to deal with here.

{12} In my SSPX days, I was admittedly inconsistent in this area but that is because my knowledge of church history did not keep pace with my knowledge of secular history.

{13} Paul VI probably would not have done it but John Paul II would have if not for the latter's suspension and refusal to do what needed to be done to have that suspension revoked.

{14} Along with Davies' probable modus opperandi for doing so.

:: Shawn 7:30 PM [+] | ::


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