Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

:: 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]

Join the International Order of 
[:::....Recent Posts....:::]

The revocation of indefinite suspension to this we...

Briefly on A Few Issues... Though the The Lidless...

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...

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, July 21, 2007 ::

After pondering this in recent days, I cannot think of anything I could add to what I said on July 6, 2007 when I announced this weblog would be closing as of July 21, 2007. So for those who have not seen that posting, I direct you to it now and want to make a few additions to what is noted there.

First of all, I am glad that this weblog was able to serve the purpose with which I intended it for which was admittedly equal parts selfishness on my part and also a genuine desire to not want to skirt what I had unfortunately become to some extent (in my own mind at least) somewhat responsible for. What I mean by "selfishness" is that I wanted to move the subject which this weblog was set up for off of my primary weblog and onto another one and start the process of killing off this subject. It was too wrapped up in what had been identified with me to an extent I did not want in years previously. Indeed, readers who were only casually familiar with my online work prior to the start of this weblog at times were quite unaware that I had written as much on non-"traditionalist" stuff as I had on "traditionalist" stuff.

Frankly, I viewed most of my non-"traditionalist" apologetics to be on the whole a few cuts or more above what most others had put together on the same subjects and it was a source of annoyance that some of what I thought were pretty solid and compelling writings on certain subjects (i.e. the real presence, the mass, justification by faith, christian unity and the role of authority, and on the intricacies of dialogue) was overlooked to some extent with the focus so heavily on the "traditionalist" writings. I do not want to downplay the latter pieces of course as I am quite pleased with all of them -albeit some more than others{1} but it was no small source of annoyance at one time that even friends seemed to act as if I was some one subject pony of sorts. I am not worried about that anymore after what has happened in recent years as writing at Rerum Novarum on whatever I want to means no limits whatsoever except those I impose on myself.

One should grow at all times if they are to remain living and that means avoiding stagnation. I did that to some extent in writing on "traditionalist" related subjects by finding a different way of covering common subjects or by writing on subjects which were not covered elsewhere to the extent to which I wrote on them in web essays and on this site. But much as with apologetics in general, there are limitations to this area which do not sit well with me and for a long time have not in direct proportion to the unwillingness of most people to want to continue to learn and develop their knowledge and interests beyond certain areas.

I half-jokingly put a quip in the side margins of my main weblog in early 2006 about being a "renaissance man" and I say "half-jokingly" because to some extent it describes me even if the term implies a kind of pomposity to it.{2} But if you check online, you will see the term described on one site as "[a] man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences." Depending on how you define "the arts" that term could well describe me to a T and that is one reason I decided that if I was to branch into other areas as I had involved myself in before I was known as "that guy who writes on 'traditionalist' stuff." To do that most efficaciously though, the stereotype needed to be destroyed and I made it clear both privately as well as publicly{3} in many respect that I intended to do that as indeed I had been working on both consciously as well as unconsciously from at least as early as late 2003. For that reason, that this weblog has been brought to an end should not surprise people really who have been paying close attention -it was more a matter of when I would do this than if.

To assist in that area, this weblog was an exercise in segregation of this subject matter from other areas to enable me to focus mainly on other subjects in general while at the same time not completely neglecting one area where I had to some extent filled a serious web lacuna and therefore had a responsibility towards whether I wanted it or not.{4}

Anyway, this weblog started as a group endeavour and over time, became basically a solo project for various reasons. I nonetheless want to thank those who contributed to this weblog since it inception four and a half years ago today. So to (in alphabetical order):

Chris Burgwald

The Curmudgeon

Greg the Obscure

Keith Kenney

Apolonio Latar III

F. John Loughnan

Greg Mockeridge

Gregory Rossi

Secret Agent Man

Pete Vere

Thank you guys for your contributions to this weblog over the years. I also want to thank the contributors to the com boxes with special mention in that area to (again in alphabetical order):

Mark Bonocore

Matthew (last name unknown)

James M. Scott IV

and particularly...

Kevin Tierney

For all of those who managed to glean something of value from this weblog, you made the efforts expended here worthwhile. In the meantime, the weblog Friends of La Nef which has similarly slowed down in production in the past year will hopefully pick up soon. I will try to resume contribution there occasionally as a role player. Admittedly for a group weblog I am involved in it is a somewhat odd situation for me to be in but one I do not mind at all. Other than that, I will continue to write on other non-"traditionalist" related subjects at Rerum Novarum and maybe someday I might be interested in these issues again to some extent.

But with this posting The Lidless Eye Inquisition is finished as a project which had its day but in my mind (and because I have no interest whatsoever in discussing these subjects anymore) no longer does for many reasons -some of which were touched on in the aforementioned July 6th posting and others to some extent in this final one. The archives will remain here for those who want to peruse them but the weblog is as of now with its 425th posting terminated in perpetuity all things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} Of all the works I am particularly pleased with, the treatise refuting false "traditionalism" is of course worth a special mention of sorts as it is the foundation from which all the other writings in that vein were built from. However, I was also particularly pleased with three of the writings from 2001 and one from 2004. The essay Confusing Culture With 'Tradition' comes to mind as one of the three from 2001. It was the first of a kind of dialogual essay format and led to three other pieces which I was even more pleased with. The second one of that style of writing was the essay response to Fr. Chad Ripperger on the subject of "extrinsic tradition" (Distinctions of Outlook.) Another one was the essay examining in detail The Syllabus of Errors and pointing out the complete congruency of all eighty propositions with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the magisteriums of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. (Titled The Counter-Syllabus Canard. The third was my last "traditionalist" related essay published in early 2004 (The 'Tradition is Opposed to Novelty' Canard).

{2} To clarify this matter briefly: I rarely use this term with the intention to sound pompous.

{3} On Blogging in General, What is Blogged on Subject-Wise, My Moods, Etc. (circa September 22, 2006)

The contents of that posting for the most part were circulated on a private discussion list to my friend and fellow Lidless Eye contributor Apolonio Latar III in November of 2005.

{4} Eventually (around late 2004), I decided to stop mentioning it completely at Rerum Novarum to contribute gradually to the phasing out of this weblog from among those who were either already unfamiliar with it or who were only familiar with my work based on my "traditionalist" related writings or writings on other theological subject matters.

:: Shawn 6:00 PM [+] | ::

:: Thursday, July 19, 2007 ::
Points to Ponder:

I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church's leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to unable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: "Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return … widen your hearts also!" (2 Corinthians 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.

:: Shawn 3:37 PM [+] | ::

"One From the Drafting Board" Dept.

The material in this posting was originally gathered together in draft form on November 27, 2004 but for reasons I cannot recall at the moment was not at that time posted. It was later gathered together into another draft on October 15, 2005 and once again was not posted. Finally, it was prepared in a third draft on August 22, 2006 for posting and missed being posted a third time. (I cannot recall offhand why it was never posted: probably due at least in part to time constraints all three times.) Nonetheless, as we will be formally closing this weblog soon, it seems appropriate to post it at this time to remind readers of the distinction between schism and a schismatic. With the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI to take legal effect on September 14, 2007, it is an opportune time to remind readers of what these terms mean.

For such a reminder would bode well both for those who would continue to obstinately refuse to submit to the Sovereign Pontiff's manifested mind, will, and intention in Summorum Pontificum {1} and continue to frequent illicit Latin liturgies but also for those who would try and find ways of frustrating the fruition of the pope's stated aims with this papal rescript under the pretext of a false "obedience" to some mythical "spirit of Vatican II" or some nebulous "wish of Pope John XXIII" or whatever. Without further ado...

Definitions for "Schism" and "Schismatic":

Schism (Gr. ...split). The refusal to submit to the authority of the pope or to hold communion with members of the Church subject to him. It differs from Apostasy and Heresy (qq.v.) but to which schism very often leads. Anyone guilty of an external act of schism is ipso facto excommunicated; the conditions for absolution are the same as for heresy.

Schismatic. In its strict sense, one who voluntarily, knowingly, and deliberately separates himself from the unity of the Church. Ordinarily one who is so separated is called a schismatic regardless of the circumstances, but "anyone born and brought up in a schismatic church and turned away in good faith from the Roman Church, not knowing her to be the one true church...is called by the epithet 'schismatic' only in an improper sense; he is not in fact party to the sin of schism" (Jugie, Theol. Dogm. I. pg. 17). Such is apparently the state for the overwhelming majority of non-Catholic Christians today, but the fact of their good faith in their inherited errors does not relieve them of the obligation to examine the claims of the Catholc Church when brought to their notice. (cf. Apostasy, Heresy, Schism).[Catholic Encyclopaedic Dictionary: Donald Attwater General Editor, tenth edition, pgs. 476-477 (c. 1941)]


{1} The manifested mind, will, and intention of Pope Benedict XVI on this matter can be ascertained by reviewing the texts of the legal document issued on the 1962 Missal and his accompanying letter of explanation -both of which can be reviewed here:

Text of Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI Given Motu Proprio (circa July 7, 2007)

Pope Benedict XVI's Letter of Explanation on Summorum Pontificum (circa July 7, 2007)

:: Shawn 3:32 PM [+] | ::

Before this weblog is formally closed in perpetuity{1}, it seems appropriate to point out to readers that the position taken by the webmaster on the subject of the term "subsists" (Lat. subsistare) as the proper description of the relationship of the Catholic Church to the one church of Christ as it is constituted and organized in the world as a visible society. We clarified this matter seven years ago in our first long form internet writing A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' in the tenth url of that work and revisited the subject anew in February of 2003 on this very weblog. Readers can compare what we wrote back in those days with what the Vatican recently stated on the matter and notice just how close what the Vatican released earlier this month cohered with what we wrote more than seven years ago.


{1} [I]t is not likely much else will be posted in the future to this weblog. It has served the purposes I intended it for and I do not view it as necessary a vehicle now as I did years ago. There are many reasons for this view as I have for some time had it but at the moment one trumps all others and it is this: I do not want to give any appearance whatsoever of undermining Pope Benedict XVI's intentions as he will set them out in the motu proprio. Even if I was motivated to contribute to this weblog still (and I am not) there is that misperception possibly existing if this enterprise was allowed to continue in even a semi-official capacity and I do not intend to convey it in any form whatsoever.

So barring any unforeseen circumstances -and while there may be a couple postings between now and then- this weblog will officially be closed as of July 21, 2007 the four and a half year anniversary of the inaugural posting with the archives remaining preserved intact[...] in perpetuity.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding. [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition (circa July 6, 2007)]

:: Shawn 2:53 PM [+] | ::

:: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 ::
On Altar Girls and General Norms of Interpretation:

The following is the text of an email received earlier this month last month and to which I responded to recently. The interlocuter's words will be in dark green font.


This is a response to your email dealing only with the root issue involved. Nonetheless...

Your statement on Altar Girls that it "was never anything intrinsically wrong" is So WRONG and it is contrary to Church teaching.

It is obvious by your statement that your knowledge of the church's doctrine on the sacrament of order is askew.

I am going to quote past popes and early church fathers who called it an EVIL practice to have women serve at the altar and it is in fact a scandal, intrinsically wrong

I will get to this in a moment.

and leads to the belief that there can be women priests

This is an argumentation fallacy of questionable premise which you are engaging in. The existence of altar girls does not inexorably lead to the belief that there can be women priests anymore than the discipline of priestly celibacy means that priests cannot be married. That is not to say that an argument cannot be made for what you are claiming viz a possible tentative connection but these matters are by no means "obvious" so kindly stop claiming they are.

and it is NOT just a bad policy

Whether or not it is a bad policy or not is debatable. As you can note in my words which you quoted, I do not view this as a prudent policy. My view since those words were written is both more and less restrictive -to explain this would take more time than I have at the moment so that will have to do for now.

but it is as Pope Celsius said an "evil practice"

You mean Pope Gelasius. And he did not say "evil practice." That interpolation was from Pope Benedict XIV. It is furthermore not as obvious what he meant by those words as you would claim. If you read Allante Sunt at all apart from the proof-texted passages you have gotten from some pseudo-"traditionalist" rant tract, you would notice that it was concerned to some extent with matters of ecclesiastical disciplines pertaining to the Latin and Oriental rites. The words towards the beginning of this encyclical epistle (not encyclical letter) make this clear. To wit:

These questions were, as We have said, submitted by this missionary to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. As is customary, it sent them to the Congregation of General Inquisition. This Congregation met in Our presence on March 13. The Cardinals Inquisitor unanimously answered that "no innovations were to be made." We confirmed this decision in conformity with a former decree of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith published on January 31, 1702; it has subsequently been renewed and confirmed several times. That decree reads as follows: " At the instance of its Secretary, R.P.D. Carolus Augustinus Fabronus, the Sacred Congregation has commanded that it be ordered, and by the present decree it is so ordered, that each and every missionary and prefect of Apostolic missions should not dare in future, in any circumstance or under any pretext, to give a dispensation to Catholics of any oriental nation in matters of fasts, prayers, ceremonies, and suchlike from the prescriptions of their own national rite which are approved by the Holy and Apostolic See. Moreover, the Sacred Congregation has decided that it neither has been nor is permitted for those Catholics to abandon in any respect the custom and observance of their own rite which has likewise been approved by the Holy Roman Church. The complete and straightforward observance of this decree, renewed and confirmed by each and every prefect and missionary, has been commanded by these most eminent fathers." This decree, indeed, applies to Catholics of the Oriental Church and to their rites which have been approved by the Apostolic See.

If you look at the bolded words above, it is clear that Pope Benedict XIV wanted no deviations whatsoever from established customs in either rite and no innovations by private parties whatsoever. That does not mean however that Pope Benedict XIV's successors could not loose what he had bound or insisted was to remain bound. Pope Benedict XIV may well have thought that altar girls was an "evil practice" but his opinion on the matter (or that the Latin was to preferred to other rites: something else he said in that encyclical letter) is no more requiring of assent by us than Pope John Paul II's opinion that the death penalty should be rare if not non-existent because of some subjective opinion on modern prison efficacy. (Or Pope Pius XII's opinion that white should not be used in funeral masses, Pope Paul VI's opinion that Vatican II was the greatest of all the councils, etc.) Furthermore, Pope Benedict XIV obviously did not quote Pope Gelasius' words so if you continue to claim he did, you will be engaging in a lie.

and it was Pope Benedict XIV who was quoting him.

There is no quote from Pope Gelasius I in Allante Sunt. The exact quote of Pope Gelasius I does not say what you claim but instead read as follows:

"[W]e have heard to our annoyance that divine affairs have come to such a low state that women are encouraged to officiate at the sacred altars, and to take part in all matters imputed to the offices of the male sex to which they do not belong."

This is a nuanced statement to put it mildly. Review it again and observe what is highlighted in particular:

"Nevertheless, we have heard to our annoyance that divine affairs have come to such a low state that women are encouraged to officiate at the sacred altars, and to take part in all matters imputed to the offices of the male sex to which they do not belong."

The problem Pope Gelasius I had was with women "officiating" at the altar which means they were acting in the capacity of a priest. It would also appear to be them acting in the role of deacon and perhaps minor orders like a subdeacon which at that time was seen as a step in the chain of becoming a deacon and then a priest. (At one point all rank of the minor to major orders were seen as one long chain of sorts.) The term "officiate" means a position of authority and an altar server has no authority in the sanctuary whatsoever. The only persons in the sanctuary with authority to officiate properly speaking are members of the ordained ministry.

Furthermore, the presence of women in the sanctuary was not allowed by ecclesiastical custom which by Pope Gelasius I's time had become defacto law; ergo those who were violating it were engaging in an evil practice not intrinsically but because they were contravening existing ecclesiastical law. This mentality permeates church history not only on the part of the popes but also the councils approved by the church. For this reason, something that at one point is viewed as evil later on can be viewed as licit not because what was previously viewed as such was itself intrinsically evil but because it was forbade by ecclesiastical authority. If you doubt me on this, ask yourself why in the Tridentine liturgy people do not receive communion from the cup.

If you claim that the reason was that the Council of Constance in the fifteenth century prescribed reception under one form only for those not celebrating mass, then you have to explain why Constance contradicted Pope Gelasius I who in the late fifth century mandated reception of the cup in the city of Rome by all who received communion and those who did not receive communion under both forms were excommunicate. Either Pope Gelasius I erred, Constance and Trent erred, or the pope prescribed a practice that was later abrogated by his lawful successors or by lawful synods recognized by his successors. (And later permitted under certain circumstances by Vatican II and extended to additional circumstances by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.)

Similarly, in the third century, Pope Callistus I involved himself in a radical revision of the apostolic penitential discipline for which hard core "traditionalists" like St. Hippolytus and the African ecclesiastical writer Tertullian mocked him for. Pope Callistus I justified his radical departure by having reference to Matthew xvi,18-19 in what was probably the first papal appeal to this scriptural grant of authority to St. Peter and his successors by Jesus.{1} More examples could be given but the principle I have noted is adequately sustained with those examples from church history.

You are basically acting like a Protestant as I noted earlier in this email and ignoring that the power of the keys involves not only binding but also loosing. Your approach to papal documents is no different than Protestants who quote Scripture against the supposed "unbiblical" doctrines, traditions, customs, etc. of the ancient Apostolic Churches. But that is not all.

There is a principle in Catholicism called "general norms of theological interpretation" and it requires a proper sense of discernment. A sentence in a document does not immediately become magisterial or irrevocable -be it a statement from a pope or from a council. To take that approach is to open a whole host of problematical situations and not just since the beginning of the pontificate of John XXIII but also prior to that as well.

For example, I just showed that Pope Benedict XIV interpolated on the statements of Pope Gelasius I. That does not mean Pope Benedict XIV was wrong of course -he has as much of a right to his opinion as anyone. However, papal infallibility does not extend to matters of scholarship so you should not pretend that it does (even if by implication). Furthermore, papal opinions do not have the weight of even papal legislative rescripts -the latter of which require proper assent albeit not to the same extent as doctrinal judgments.{2} But enough on that for now..

Your statement on Altar Girls:

To put it as bluntly as possible: since Pope John Paul II ruled definitively (and hence infallibly) in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that woman cannot be priests, this is not the issue that it once was. There was never anything intrinsically wrong with using female altar servers except perhaps for the "window" this arguably opened for those who were pushing to see women ordained to the priesthood . As the subject of woman priests has been dealt with decisively, this issue is no longer as weighty as it once was. While the role of the server has no bearing on the Mass' validity, it should not be an issue at all but it is addressed here because of the constant carping that many 'traditionalists' do about this policy. You would think female altar servers constituted "the abomination of desolation as spoken of by Daniel the Prophet" to listen to some of these self-styled 'traditionalists' talk. However, just because something is not wrong does not mean that it is automatically right or is a good policy. In light of the fact that women can never become priests (and that the server role can be recognized at least in part as a step towards higher ministry), it would be wise to restrict the role of server to boys only.

Yes, I wrote those words seven odd years ago. And I stand by them as written.

Several Past Popes spoke about how WRONG and EVIL this was because it lends itself to Female Priestess' and the feminist know this.

I already dealt with this prevarication on your part. But to understand better where they were coming from requires that you understand the state of theology and doctrinal development in their day. They understood intuitively that it was a matter of Jesus' will that women were not to be in positions of liturgical authority in the church. The problem was, there was not the same understanding we have now as to where the dividing line was in the sacrament of Order. This was not helped in the west by the various divisions in the Middle Ages of numerous minor orders -anywhere from four to eight or more depending on how you did the dividing. Though there was no certainty in earlier eras as to where the dividing line was, there was certainty in one area and it was this: there cannot be women in any grade of Holy Orders.{3}

Having noted that, the precise boundaries of what constitutes the sacrament of Order was not defined until recently. Indeed, the precise matter and form of some of the sacraments was not defined until the twentieth century. Pope Pius XII settled the question on the matter and form of the sacrament of Order in 1947. And the Second Vatican Council for the first time in a definitive non-defining act{4} settled the issue of the range of the sacrament of Order spelling them all out in a dogmatic constitution and explicitly excluding all ranks below deacon. It was on this decision of the Council that Pope Paul VI restored the perminent diaconite and suppressed the minor orders in 1972 which represented a monumental reversal of about 1500 years of ecclesiastical practice in the west.

Apparently you do not and want to defend the indefensible.

The practice's prudence or lack thereof is not a matter of doctrine. For that reason, you are out of line to declare this as "indefensible" as you have done. You are not a pope or a bishop and you have no authority whatsoever to bind and loose. That this matter of ecclesiastical discipline has been loosed (whether you like it or not) is not debatable however you may or may not like it. If however you are going to argue against it then you need to find another way of doing it -one that is rationally, historically, and theologically viable.{5}

Here is proof for you from past popes and Early Church fathers.

Catholics do not play sola traditio with tradition the way Protestants play sola scriptura with scripture. Or as I wrote in that same writing later on and which you will see if you continue reading it (all underlined emphasis is added as of this email for your benefit):

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. Catholics believe that the truth has been revealed once for all in the Divine Deposit of Faith (Jude 1:3). However, our understanding of those truths will constantly become more refined through the passing of time and years (John 16:13) not as additions to the Deposit but instead in a greater understanding of the manifold mysteries revealed to us once for all time. [Quoted from A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' Part X]

And again:

Though noted earlier, it is worth reiterating anew: the inspired written Word of God is capable of being misinterpreted by men or "is as capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters" (cf. St. Vincent of Lerens). Therefore, Catholics should not be so naïve to presume that non-inspired Council documents or papal apostolic letters/encyclicals would be any different. It seems quite absurd to presume that the Bible has "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. And much as the latter presumption is problematical for the self-styled 'traditionalist' paradigm, the same principle applies to those seeking to interpret the intricate personal theologies of the Fathers. [Quoted from A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' Part XII]

More could be noted but I have already pointed out the serious doctrinal and theological flaws in your approach so no more needs to be said on it.

This demonstrates clearly that the belief that altar girls are ok is a modernist "new Church" AM Church idea and NOT at all from the sacred Customs handed down by the apostles.

No, this proves the old axiom that "a text without context is a pretext."{6} It demonstrates more than that also but that can be discussed later on perhaps after you start approaching these things with some hint that you actually understand the spiritual comportment that a Catholic should possess.{7} I should further note that your obvious ignorance of general norms of interpretation is a deficiency on your part but it is not as insurmountable as your lacuna in proper spiritual disposition in approaching these kinds of issues.

For without your understanding of the latter, any further attempt at dialogue{8} would be a waste of my time. You are not the first person who has threw a bunch of citations at me which can be easily dispatched of using general norms of theological interpretation. (Indeed I have done this over the years more times than I care to recall.) But until I see something resembling a proper Catholic disposition from you, do not think I am going to invest my valuable time interacting with the quotes just so you can ignore what I write and throw more quotes at me.

I have neither the time nor the patience anymore for that sort of thing. And while I expect that kind of attitude from deranged crackpot conspiracy theorists and rationally challenged so-called "liberals" or "progressivists", I do not accept it from Catholics -and the more they claim to be "traditionalist", the more I expect them to act as they profess. (And your use of terms like "modernist am church" is straight from the trad manual.) Now if any of this sounds harsh and dismissive to you, you can consider the tonality and the temerity of your own email in spots to understand my reason for responding as I have thus far to you. It is part and parcel of the Gospel principle that "what you measure unto others will be measured onto you" (cf. Mark iv.24) so kindly take heed as to how you do your measuring with me.

Never until the 20th century was this practice sanctioned and allowed in the Latin Rite.

So what??? The power of binding and loosing does not admit of a particular statute of limitations but instead remains intact, stable, and valid until the end of time regardless of what you or I or anyone else happens to think of a particular ecclesiastical discipline.

The bottom line is, you have not only failed to prove your assertion but you have methodologically engaged in a Protestant prooftexting methodology coupled with an illegitimate variation of the appeal to authority approach. I would recommend familiarizing yourself with the difference between valid and invalid forms of the appeal to authority (Lat. argumentum ad vericundiam) as this is not commonly understood by people today unfortunately. I wrote recently on the subject in a weblog posting and will point you to that post now for further information.

It is true that to some extent with a religion like Catholicism there will be an appeal to authority but there are proper and improper ways of doing it. Hopefully the latter link will help you properly discern the difference and I hope subsequent correspondence from you objectively manifests the intention on your part to follow the principles of the spiritual masters of the Catholic tradition and thereby a proper respect for the discipline of the dialogue.



{1} I know I said in my essay on Christian unity (first published in early 2001) that possibly Pope Victor I was the first papal appealer to the binding and loosing prerogatives of St. Peter -something repeated in an extraction piece on the Ante-Nicene development of the papal primacy I did later on in 2001 which involved material from that rather overlong essay. However, I have since that time after reasonable persuasion on the matter by a friend of mine changed my view on this matter now accepting the hypothesis that Pope Callistus I was the first pope to appeal to Matthew xvi,18-19 to justify his dispensing with ancient apostolic ecclesiastical traditions as he saw fit. The same principle holds today with Pope Callistus I's successors up to and including Pope Benedict XVI.

{2} The difference basically is that matters of doctrine require a religious submission of mind and will. Matters of discipline while not irreformable require a lesser assent in that one need not actually agree with the disciplinary positions and even within certain boundaries could work for a change in matters of an ecclesiastical/disciplinary nature. And papal opinions while they should not be rashly derided or cast aside nonetheless fall under the same principles that govern apparitions: namely, you can accept or reject them based on the quality of the arguments advanced to justify them and to the degree to which you view them as probable or improbable.

{3} The formulary for the enrollment of deaconesses was one such implicit manifestation of this principle: it was made clear in the fifth century Apostolic Constitutions that the deaconesses do not receive the sacrament of Order by noting that a deaconess "does not bless, nor perform anything belonging to the office of presbyters or deacons."

{4} Meaning the decision is not de fide or a matter of dogma. However, the position is one which must be held definitively under what is called "fides ecclesiastica" touching as it does on a secondary element of church infallibility.

{5} For example, one could argue that Pope John Paul II made a concession to the local ordinaries on this matter but that he did not not approve of the practice himself. This is strongly witnessed to by the fact that Pope John Paul II has not allowed altar girls in the Dioceses of Rome and his successor Pope Benedict XVI has acted in like manner.

{6} Namely, a pretext for a proof-text to try and support a preconceived position you hold without concern for the context of the statement you are appropriating.

{7} As taught by the spiritual masters of the great Catholic tradition -I have a few such "spiritual instructions" in the side margin of my weblog from the eighteenth century (look for the title "spiritual instruction" and you will find them) but that is all I will note on them for now.

{8} Some Principles For Authentic Dialogue and the Proper Use of Sources in Papers (circa February 9, 2006)

:: Shawn 8:37 PM [+] | ::

Final Reflections

I would like to thank Shawn McElhinney for inviting me to become part of this blog. I have learned a lot since I have been here. Dealing with radical traditionalists allowed me to verify once again my experience with Christ. My encounter with Christ was an event, a presence, a Person who revealed Himself to me as the truth my heart has been yearning for. I have not lost the awareness of the needs of my heart, the need to know God, the world, and myself. The question which I have asked, the question a person can ask and that which makes him beautiful, is, is it true? Is it true that Christ is the meaning of my life? To give your freedom to someone takes a risk and it is a risk that needs to be reasonable to the extent of being certain that this particular person deserves your freedom. I needed to know that this Man, Christ, is the meaning of my life. This is the search, the longing, which never stops. One needs to verify everyday that Christ is truly what he said he is. This is why I have put a lot of my effort in my prayer, my encounter with people, and my studies of finding out the answer to this question, the question of Christ. In my experiences and in my studies, I have discovered that he is what he claims to be. This does not mean that I can pray to Him with consolations everyday, that I am a virtuous person everyday, or that I cannot suffer. But there are too many “coincidences” in my life, too many beautiful events, to think that he is not what he claims to be. I can say, and I have verified this, that Christ is what he claims he is, that is, he is the meaning of my life. Once you see this, once you know this, the awesome question arises, “Who is this man?” This question still amazes me. To know the answer to this question one needs to commit oneself to him. It is an unconditional commitment. This raises another question, “Where can I find him?” Again, in my experiences and in my studies, I have discovered that Christ is in the Catholic Church. The communion of God and man (Christ) is seen in the Church, which is the communion of God and man. The Catholic participates in the hypostatic union. To be in the Church is a bit weird. You begin to see that God is not who you once thought He is. There are times when I would think that I have figured out everything who God is and then I have found myself bowing down in humility and ignorance. I begin to accept my suffering. And that is a bit weird. But so is a dead man coming back to life. If it is true that Christ rose again, then one cannot look at the world in the same way. He begins to be reasonable and ask for the impossible as Luigi Giussani said. A communion with Christ means that one has a reason to wake up in the morning. One begins to think about Him, to talk to Him as a friend talks to a friend, to be sad when one does not feel and experience His presence. One day Christ melts your heart and the next he breaks it. And at that point in one’s life when you get through the situation where nothing makes sense, you can look back and see that Christ was faithful to his promise, “I am with you always.” To give one’s self to Christ is indeed risky. It means that you have to give your intellect, will, and your heart to Christ and therefore the Church. And in doing that, you will find a presence, a Person, a joy that no one can take away from you. It is falling in love.

When I encountered rad-trads, I studied things like the office of the papacy, “outside the Church there is no salvation,” ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue, Vatican 2, etc. I have found that there are some people who have made a reservation, their intellect and heart especially, about giving their whole being to Christ. The main problem with them is that they have made the Church into their own idea and have lost the awareness of the Church’s concreteness. The concreteness of the Church, of Christ, is seen in the people which includes the pope and the bishops. Hans Urs von Balthasar contrasts what a Christian should do and what anti-Roman people do,

“Here, then, identification cannot be partial, only total” the unqualified surrender to the love of Christ that we know to be beyond knowledge. Conditional surrender, faith with reservations—these are self-contradictory. From Abraham to Jesus (who always challenges the whole person to respond in faith), the essence of faith’s surrender lies in putting objections to one side. Furthermore, we have seen that there can be no bodily Christ apart from his body, the Church, with its organs. They are one. So it is impossible to identify oneself totally with Christ and only partially with the Church…In many Christian countries, the ‘anti-Roman’ attitude is regarded as fashionable. Rome, as a whole, is retrograde, not equal to the postconciliar situation, authoritarian and so forth. Whether or not such views are well-founded, the problem lies elsewhere: are those who hold them, and who are incensed at the clumsy exercise of authority, prepared to accept any office or authority exercised in the name of Christ? There will still be a number who are ready to submit to official authority if it is more Christlike and more worthy of belief, particularly if it speaks in its solemn, ex cathedra mode. Their antipathy is directed, not against cathedra, but against its particular occupant. But this means that, in their view of the Church, the cathedra is abstract; their own submission is conditional and their whole approach has become that of an ideology of their own designing and subject to their own evaluation. They would submit, but not at present. Or else they submit grudgingly, which of course contradicts the real view of the Church put forward by Christ and the original apostles. They have a certain ‘symphony’ in their mind’s ear, but they refuse to play in the particular symphony being performed at the present.” (Truth is Symphonic: Aspects of Christian Pluralism, Ignatius Press 1987, 74-75, 77)

My experience with rad-trads is that they have failed to embrace reality, embrace Christ and therefore the Church in its totality. They have failed to see that Christ is present concretely in the world, hiding behind their preconceived notion of the Church and therefore it is easy for them to attack anything that comes from Rome or goes against their interpretations of history and of doctrine. They put primacy in their interpretations rather than submitting to who seats in the cathedra. They have failed to see the concreteness of the Church and that is what makes them unreasonable. They see the Church as an abstract entity that they can submit their intellects to. That’s well and good except that it is easy to do this since they can never submit their will to it. Something needs to be concrete in order for one to submit your intellect, will and heart to. All three must be integrated and submitted to the one Church of Christ. They can say how great the Old Mass is, how Vatican 2 is heretical, how many liberals are in the Church, but they can never identify themselves with these sinners, the Church. They fail to see that God calls them even to the point of identifying themselves with these sinners as long as they don’t fall prey of being of the world. God embraced these people. God chose the worst of us. God chose a person who denied Him to be His head. This God is a God who chooses sit at the table of those who will kill Him, who will deny Him, and who will abandon Him. His closeness is not conditional on our frail humanity. It is unimaginable, then, that we who are called to the same mission of Christ have a condition on our submission to the His Mystical Body. I have sympathy for those who live in a terrible situation, who live in bad liturgies, in bad priests, and in bad people. But I can never see why that would disturbed their submission and commitment to Christ. A person who is certain about the Risen Christ will always have his head up waiting for the Lord with courage (Lk. 21:28, Ps. 27). It is true that a Christian will have more sufferings from the Church than sufferings for her. We cannot, however, expect anything less: just look at the cross. One cannot disassociate oneself from on'es parish, from one's diocese, from the Church. And this is the tendency of rad-trads. They do not internalize the truths of the faith and begin to separate themselves from people. Their hatred on what people do leads them to go to their own preference of mass, of their own friends, and they never see what may be God’s calling in this bad parish. They silence God’s voice in their own arrogant complaints. They begin to be impatient in God’s patience.

Today is a crucial time. We need to unite ourselves to Christ and that means uniting ourselves to the Pope and to our bishops and priests. We need to be able to beg the Lord for His mercy, to act patiently with us, and to never abandon us. We need to beg Him to act within us, never being satisfied until He alone moves us to be close to Him and therefore His Church. Today, I look at the Church and the world in its mess. Even in this mess, I have to say, “It is true.” Yes, the whole thing is true. Christ is true. The Church is true. This I am certain. Lord, let me never lose this certainty. Give me the faith that can pass through the dark nights. Give me the hope that can see your Light. Give me the love that can love You. There are only two possibilities: either the Church of today is from Christ or the Church is an offense to God. There may be liturgical abuses, bad priests, bad theologians, etc., but I will still submit, by the grace of God, to the Church. I cannot leave her. I cannot leave Christ alone in Calvary.

:: Ap 6:39 PM [+] | ::

:: Sunday, July 08, 2007 ::
On Juridical Abrogation of the 1962 Missal:

[Prefatory Note: This post needs to be read and understood in congruence with the one I posted back on July 6, 2007 to this humble weblog. The latter can be read HERE. -ISM]

In reading a commentary on the new motu proprio from Jimmy Akin, I was struck by something he said in his attempt to interpret the legislative text about the legal standing of the older missal in 1969, namely this:

What is noteworthy here is that he states that the 1962 Missal was never abrogated. Okay, so now we have an authentic interpretation of liturgical law from the legislator on this point.

This kind of magisterial positivism disturbs me and not only because of the intelligence of the person making it. Jimmy makes it sound as if prior to this point there was no authentic interpretation of liturgical law on this matter when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. I explained this matter a number of times over the years and am going to go back into the archives of this weblog and to the archives of Rerum Novarum to retrieve some of the relevant data. Here is something I wrote on the matter back in 2005 at the prompting of Kevin Tierney:

Quo Primum established a juridical framework granting all priests the right to use the Missal of Pius V which was canceled out by Missale Romanum. The latter action did not actively forbid the liturgical usage but it also did not positively allow for it either except in very limited circumstances. Just because something is not forbidden does not mean it is automatically allowed. There are a lot of things not expressly forbidden which are done in the celebration of the revised liturgy. That these gestures or statements are not expressly forbidden does not of course make them permissible. The same principle also applies to the celebration of the older rite. The promulgation of the revised missal by apostolic constitution revoked the law in which the older liturgy was sanctioned[...] which thus affected a kind of passive prohibition by logical extension. Now is not the time to go into the active and passive principles in ethics and theology but briefly: they are akin to material and formal elements when ascertaining heresy, schism, and apostasy insuchwise that active prohibition would involve a formal element whereas passive prohibition would be purely material in nature...

In other words, did Paul VI actively forbid the usage of the older liturgical rite with Missale Romanum??? The answer is no, he did not. However, he did replace the previous law with one giving the same right previously given with the older liturgical form to the revised liturgy. There was in other words a functional replacement of one liturgical law with another...probably an obrogation but possibly an abrogation. I favour the former myself{4} but I am not a canonist and there are eminent canonists who have argued for abrogation. Either way, the functional result is the same and there was (other than the 1984 Indult) no legal standing for the older liturgy in the church after 1970. Obviously with 1988's motu proprio this changed to some extent but even that wider application did not allow for celebrations apart from communion with the local ordinaries...a point made obvious by John Paul II's exhortation of generous cooperation on the part of the local ordinaries in facilitating a means of celebrating the older rite in his communion (via the motu proprio). [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition (circa December 13, 2005)]

I put a footnote into the text explaining my reasons for favouring an obrogation over an abrogation as follows:

I use as my pretext for favouring obrogation as opposed to abrogation the very words of Pope Paul VI himself issued in a solemn consistorial allocution to the college of cardinals a few months before Archbishop Lefebvre incurred his ad divinus suspension...

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. [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 as quoted in a Lidless Eye Inquisition (circa December 13, 2005)]

Because Pope Paul VI specifically noted in a papal allocution that he promulgated the new missal in place of the old, he confirmed the hypothesis that his manifested intention was to obrogate the older missal. This principle was outlined in more detail in an earlier posting to Rerum Novarum which I will reference at this time:

It is an issue of one law being annulled or replaced with another law. The Indults issued in 1970 as well as the 1984 and 1988 Indults are tacit acknowledgments of precisely what I am saying.

The Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum is the current papal liturgical law for the universal church. The structure of this Constitution makes it very clear that Quo Primum is no longer in force. Let us look briefly at these points.

After the solemn formulary Paul, Bishop Servant of the Servants of God For an Everlasting Memorial the Constitution leads off with the statement The Missale Romanum was promulgated in 1570 by our predecessor St. Pius V, in execution of the decree of the Council of Trent and from there has a footnote which reads See Ap. const. Quo primum, 14 July 1570. The pope in referring to the old law was summarizing the very law he was about to annul or replace.{3}

From the second paragraph onward, the text outlines the liturgical movement's recent strides and also the features of the revised Roman Missal. Among the chronology of events is another reference to the Apostolic Constitution Quo primum. Shortly afterwards, the pope manifests his intention with the following words our purpose is to set out at least in broad terms, the new plan of the Roman Missal. There are also references to reform of the Roman Missal. These are indications that what will be promulgated is a new form of the Roman Missal. This is replacement language here in other words. After briefly referring to the intentions of St. Pius V, Pope Paul VI makes the same intentions his own and then closes the text with the legal formularies of promulgation. Note this part carefully:

The effective date for what we have prescribed in this Constitution shall be the First Sunday of Advent of this year, 30 November. We decree that these laws and prescriptions be firm and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and amendment.

In other words, the decree of promulgation contains a standard revoking clause along the lines of "All things to the contrary notwithstanding." (The GIRM for the Revised Missal actually uses that exact formulary in its promulgation.) It involves is what is called an "express revocation of law".

The words or similar forms affect revocation (either in the form of an abrogation or of an obrogation) of the law. Pope Paul was a canonical genius and obviously used similar forms only because he wanted to preserve the previous law to the extent necessary. He had in mind the elderly priests who were beyond being able to learn a new rite of the mass or (if they could) still wanted to use the older liturgy in private. Nothing else would constitute a "necessity" in the law being promulgated. Therefore, previous apostolic constitutions and prescriptions of his predecessors - even those such as Quo Primum which deserved and received "special mention" - would be no longer in legal force from November 30, 1969 onward. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 3, 2003)]

Now what is noted above is but a small bit of what was gone into in the series being referenced above. All Pope Benedict XVI is doing in the mention of the Missal "not being juridically abrogated" is clarify what Pope Paul VI himself had already said. In the current climate, Pope Benedict feels it is necessary to clarify that the older rite had not been abolished to correct the misperception of many bishops (apparently) that it had.

In other words, while there was no juridical abrogation of the Missal of 1962 there was nonetheless a juridical obrogation of the apostolic constitution which allowed for the usage of the former missal. Functionally this was the same as an abrogation and thus until 1984 there was no legal standing for the older liturgy.{1} We know this changed in 1988 and now there is different rules in place still. But I want it made clear at this point lest any of a "traditionalist" mentality try and claim that they were right all along about the older missal. They were technically right of course but that did not mean there was an allowance prior to 1984 for celebrating the older liturgy apart from some very specific and limited allowances as set down in indults issued by Pope Paul VI in 1970 and confirmed by the CDW with the approval of Pope Paul VI in June of 1971.

For this reason, any claim that the use of the older liturgy between 1971{2} and 1984 other than those specifically set down is and was erroneous. We know that in 1984 a limited allowance was set in place beyond specific local or extraordinary requests granted and in 1988 as a result of the schism of Archbishop Lefebvre and the four bishops he criminally consecrated{3} a wider indult with the pope requesting the ordinaries to cooperate with him which to put it diplomatically{4} was mixed at best.

I had a hunch something like this was going to happen eventually when the FSSP had its constitutions confirmed as permanent{5} because the latter indicated that Rome no longer considered Ecclesia Dei to be an experiment but instead as a solid and valid apostolate in their own right.{6} The motu proprio of Pope John Paul II from 1988 remains intact except for the parts specifically abrogated/obrogated by Pope Benedict XVI.{7}

Anyway, I hope this post explains why the language of "the 1962 Missal" not being "juridically abrogated" in no way whatsoever supports the contentions of the radical self-styled "traditionalist" sorts who have all along claimed that there was a right apart from the Indult or specific derogations of the popes for priests to celebrate the older liturgy. There was not one from November 30, 1969 until July 7, 2007 and between 1984 (the start of the wider papal indults) and September 14, 2007 the requirement for the consent of the local ordinary remains. However, to some extent there is a new ballgame in town starting September 14, 2007 and I for one am glad to some extent as I noted the other day to see some possible resolution to this matter which for a long time has caused no shortage of anguish for many people.


{1} With a handful of small exceptions which I will get to shortly.

{2} The purpose of the 1971 CDW Instruction was to clarify with precision the "to the extent necessary" clause from Missale Romanum which up to that point was not clarified as to its extent properly understood.

{3} Diplomatic niceties aside for a moment on this subject.

{4} Diplomatic niceties resumed yet again.

{5} On the FSSP and Their Constitutions (circa February 14, 2004)

{6} [T]heir Constitutions as of June 29, 2003 have finally been fully approved by the Holy See. Hence, they are no longer "an experiment" as they were for the first fifteen years of their existence. Instead, they are now established as a Society of Apostolic Life "in perpetuity all things to the contrary notwithstanding" as the legal terminology would state. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa February 14, 2004)]

{7} Among the latter is a grant of usage to celebrate without the permission of the local ordinary. I have personally vacillated over whether this was a good idea or not for years but now that the decision has been made, I will not voice any sort of disagreement with this decision from that point forward.

:: Shawn 6:20 PM [+] | ::

:: Friday, July 06, 2007 ::
This weblog for the lions share of the past year and a half has been so far down on the list of my writing priorities{1} that it is not even funny. I post this now as a short note to cover a couple of points in brief:

--Tomorrow will be the release of Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum and an expected loosening of the papal keys of the liturgical usage of the Tridentine liturgical form. This is something that I hope will help heal a lot of the angst that has come about liturgically "through whatever human weakness, impatience or negligence, and also through the at times partial, one-sided and erroneous application of the directives of the Second Vatican Council, may have caused scandal and disturbance" (Pope John Paul II: Apostolic Letter Domincae Cenae circa 1980). It is my hope that the church is ready for this next step in the liturgical ressourcement and that the decision of His Holiness will be received in the proper spirit this time unlike what happened for the most part with his predecessors invocation to the bishops of the world on the establishment of Ecclesia Dei in 1988.

--I may put something up in the coming days which was written to a critic. I get stuff like this from time to time but the reason I would post this particular one at the present time and to this weblog is that the principles it will contain and enunciate anew mesh well with what Pope Benedict XVI is going to do with the motu proprio and it highlights a principle I have enunciated at various times over the years about papal prerogatives.

--Beyond that, it is not likely much else will be posted in the future to this weblog. It has served the purposes I intended it for and I do not view it as necessary a vehicle now as I did years ago. There are many reasons for this view as I have for some time had it but at the moment one trumps all others and it is this: I do not want to give any appearance whatsoever of undermining Pope Benedict XVI's intentions as he will set them out in the motu proprio. Even if I was motivated to contribute to this weblog still (and I am not) there is that misperception possibly existing if this enterprise was allowed to continue in even a semi-official capacity and I do not intend to convey it in any form whatsoever.

So barring any unforeseen circumstances -and while there may be a couple postings between now and then- this weblog will officially be closed as of July 21, 2007 the four and a half year anniversary of the inaugural posting with the archives remaining preserved intact{2} in perpetuity.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} My priority weblog is Rerum Novarum and any time I have for writing since August of 2002 has first and foremost gone there.

{2} Sans one posting from February of 2006 which was consigned to draft status at the request of its author. (Otherwise it too would be in the archives for viewing.)

:: Shawn 7:10 PM [+] | ::


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?