Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is Benedict About To Institute Another Papal Ordinariate For SSPX?

It does appear the Vatican mountain is willing to meet the SSPX mole hill more than half way.  And St Peter's Square will be all spruced up for the momentous event.

On September 14, Bishop Fellay with the Holy See will discuss a possible agreement

Andrea Tornielli - Vatican Insider - 8/22/11 Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, has been summoned to the Vatican next 14 September. It is the first summit after the doctrinal talks last year in Rome, where there were clashes between  the Holy See and Lefebvrian delegations.

As readers will recall, since 2009 the Commission Ecclesia Dei, which deals with the Society of St. Pius X, has been incorporated in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and it has been entrusted to the leadership of Monsignor Guido Pozzo.

The doctrinal discussions, which addressed all of the nodes considered problematic by Lefebvre, who believes that, in some places, the Second Vatican Council represents a break with the tradition of the Church, have been concluded in recent months. (VII did not represent a break with the tradition of the Church. It represented a desire to emphasize a tradition which had always been part of the Church but never not in the ascendancy since Constantine.)

Now the Vatican should subject to Fellay some memoranda of understanding, clarifying doctrinal points, as for the Council, on the interpretation of the continuity in the reform suggested since December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI as the more authentic interpretation of the texts of Vatican II. (Ah yes, his personal notions of the 'reform of the reform'.)

A proposal for a canonical adjustment will be submitted to the Society only if doctrinal difficulties are overcome, and that will resolve the current situation, in which the Lefebvrist community finds itself now.

Although the Pope, in a gesture of goodwill, nullified the excommunication of the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in January 2009, bishops and priests of St. Pius X still live in a state of canonical irregularity.

The proposal which has been studied by the Vatican, would allow Lefebvrists the establishment of an
ordinariate similar to that offered by the Pope has to Anglicans who wanted to come into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. In this way, the Fraternity would depend on the Holy See (and specifically on the Ecclesia Dei Commission) and could retain its characteristics without having to answer to the diocesan bishops. (Yes, we must protect SSPX from the Bishop Morris's of the Catholic world.)

The meeting of 14 September, that Vatican Insider is able to confirm, therefore, represents a new step in the journey of these troubled years. But it is premature to provide conclusions: in fact, it is known that within the SSPX there coexist different sensitivities and some consider difficult to reach an agreement.

It should be noted that Pope Ratzinger, who wanted to close the Lefebvre mini-schism, has already completed two very significant steps in the direction requested by the Fraternity: he has liberalized the old pre-Conciliar Missal and has lifted the excommunications in force since 1988.


One didn't have to be psychic to see this one was coming.  It's beginning to look like this Vatican will bend over for any group who maintains the primacy of an all male clerical caste, even if that comes with 'baggage' like anti semitism or a 'tepid' enthusiasm for the primacy of the papacy and the documents of Vatican II.  In the case of the Anglican ordinariate, the price has included married male clergy.  It will be interesting to see how the ever so traditional  SSPX deals with that issue in their brother Catholics.  I suppose their common love of Gregorian chant and triumphalist liturgy will transcend such difficulties.  The hypocrisy is mind boggling.

How long is it going to take before Western Catholics who were raised in, or freed by, the People of God vision of Vatican II realize their is no future for this vision under this current hierarchy.  This current Church is not about the People of God, it is about some Men of the Cloth.  That signal message is being thrown in our faces not just by the kind of priesthood Benedict affirms, but by the dark side of that same form of priesthood in it's sexual abuse and cover up phase.  How many ways must the Spirit give us this message?

Over at Catholica Australia, contributor Tom McMahon has a series about the recent American Catholic Conference in Detroit.  In this latest installment Tom has inserted an email sent to him by Robert Blair Kaiser who attended the conference.  Kaiser wrote the book 'Cardinal Mahoney' which describes the rise of an  autochthonous American Catholic Church.  Here's some of what he wrote to Tom McMahon:

".....But it was so much like all the national CTA [Call to Action] conventions I ever attended: inconsequential. Those 1800 who attended endorsed a Catholic Bill of Rights, but, to me, it was just a wish list, with no plan attached to it that told us how we'd get our wishes. So, the conference fell far short of what I had hoped for, the launching of an autochthonous American Catholic Church.

I realize this is something like a critic not liking a book or a movie because it isn't the book or movie HE would have written. Nevertheless, I was sad that I could not convince the organizers (some of the original 12 who founded the ACC) that the idea of an American Catholic Church was worth pursuing, no matter how long it takes......

I hope much sooner than later, Vatican II Catholics will get the message that there is no room in the Vatican Inn for the vision of church espoused in Vatican II.  There is unrest about this all over the Catholic globe but talking isn't going to change the direction of the current Vatican.  This is not just unrest about a few doctrinal issues but a huge gap in understanding about the very nature of the Church itself and the very God/Jesus that view of Church implies.  The view of Church described in Vatican II does not deserve to be steamrolled under the weight of an all male triumphalist priesthood with it's junior high notions of God in the sky heaven and the rest of us in some subterranean hell.  It's time, perhaps more than time, VII Catholics say enough is enough and we will go our own way.  Waiting for papal permission is a fool's errand.

Oh and if the above isn't enough to give you heartburn.  St Peter's square is to be completely refurbished according to this article from Digital Journal.

"The project will encompass all of the square’s 376 columns and pillars, 140 statues and 1,200 metres in terraces and cornices, as well as the Clementina and Gregoriana fountains and the Egyptian obelisk in the middle."

The renovation work which is being funded through donations from "generous sponsors" will also restore Bermini's original design and colors according to the head of Vatican technical services, Pier Carlo Cuscianna.

I wonder who these generous sponsors are, but I can make a pretty good guess one is the Knights of Columbus--a group whose current leadership would not be too terribly interested in an autochthonous Vatican II church which was willing to give up the power and the glory of Vatican city.



  1. The Vatican truly does not get it. They may welcome back the SSPX folks, but the numbers of people leaving the Roman Catholic fold are far larger than the SSPX numbers. I don't remember the source, but I think there is one source estimating the number of SSPX members as 100,000 worldwide. This does not include those who belong to other traditionalist groups like the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen or the SSPV.

  2. And relative to 1 billion or so baptized Catholics, it's not even a mole hill, that's a little ant hill. But I strongly suspect the ants in that hill have a very disproportionate amount of grease.

  3. "It's time, perhaps more than time, VII Catholics say enough is enough and we will go our own way."

    Those are bold words, Colleen, and I applaud you for the courage to say them.

    I can say that there's room in our Catholic (but not Roman) church for all y'all. I should warn you, though... all are welcome at Christ's table, but you WILL get hugged by strangers at the sign of peace. :)

  4. KofC:
    "In Service To One." .... the 'infallible' Pope
    "In Service To All." ...... except women

  5. Once the SSPX folks are back in the fold, the hierarchy will at last have the purity of believers that they have been longing for, along with the inspiring torchlight processions and the removal of gays and lesbians. Somehow this sounds familiar...

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. This cultish leadership is getting very small and the RCC continues to hemorrhage. There is plenty of stored grease to feed this cult for a while, but the RCC will continue to loose life giving blood and grace. It is time for good people of the Catholic tradition to recognize that this implosion will not be halted. Time to "go our own way." dennis

  8. Ok, folks. Let's clarify things, shall we?

    You're all very angry, because you believe that the Pope is betraying the Second Vatican Council ("reform of the reform", I believe was the accusation) and thus turning his back on good Catholics like yourselves who long for women to be ordained as priest/esses.

    That much is clear. But, to pin it to reality...would any of you like to direct us to the part of the Second Vatican Council that affirms that women should be ordained to the priesthood?

  9. Invictus, women in the priesthood is just one issue in a what is a very profound philosophical argument. The Church should follow it's original leader and be totally inclusive. It isn't. It is one of the most compartmentalized organizations on the planet. While secular societies are rapidly becoming more inclusive and democratic, Catholicism is not. In fact our leadership is telling us over and over again in a multitude of ways, that our God prefers hierarchy and exclusive categories; that some people are more worthy than others; that creation itself is sinful; that lay humanity has one mission and that's to pop out kids; that our own personal mission is not to love others, but to save our own individual souls.

    Ponder this question: Why was Vatican II, with it's emphasis on the People of God as the definition of Church and a stress on personal conscience and ecumenism called directly after Catholic Europe engaged in two disastrous continental wars?

  10. To expand and elaborate if I may, the usefulness of any organization can be defined by how well it addresses the needs of its customer base.

    In the aftermath of WWII, there was a perceived need to address the changes in the needs of the people. The Second Vatican Council was held, there were many changes made and the RC of the 1960's was a reinvigorated church that was relevant to the times.

    In the almost 50 years since V2, though, the RC hierarchy has retreated somewhat from some of the changes. In contrast society (especially western society) has continued on the arc of social justice set by V2 and the world has continued to change.

    As such, the RC (as it is today) holds mostly outdated and irrelevant opinions about things which matter in the 21st century.

    The real danger is that, without a meaningful method of 'ground-up' change, the capability of the heirarchy to reverse the trends and to return the Roman Church to relevancy is...nigh non-existant.

  11. Your attempted clarification, Invictus, is almost absurdly reductionist. And - since you add the '/esses' - intended to be dismissively belittling to those who don't see things the way you do.

    Almost like: The Holy Spirit, in bestowing spiritual gifts, is limited by the mere pelvic issues.

  12. Colleen, your answer to Invictus is right on target and better than I would have said it. What most irritates me is the fact that what you have stated, Christian and Catholic in every way, seems to disqualify you from membership in the eyes of many, and especially in the thoughts of those in charge. The preservation of the hierarchy and the status quo becomes the most important goal, because that is how God contacts us. If you question this, you are turning away from God, selfish, giving in to temptation of your own divinity.

    Emulating our Lord and our Creator seems to call for an otherworldly patience. Jesus shows this with the apostles, and He died long before they "got it". Our free will demands that God be patient, even if we never seem to learn how to love Him. How our church could start wishing to be leaner and meaner, I don't understand.

    I need to disagree with many of you on one point -- I don't think we are allowed to abandon our brothers and sisters, even the hierarchy. I think pulling out and starting over is a nice fantasy, but ultimatelty un Christian in concept and execution. I think we have to stay and fight, and maybe that just makes me Irish.

    Invictus, you bet I'm angry, but not about any betrayal of Vatican II. Its the betrayal of the People of God, the twisting of our handed down heritage, and not dogmas and documents.

  13. mjc and All,

    I don't think it is a matter of us pulling out rather it is a matter of the hierarchy being in schism with the People of God. It is even worse than that. This Episcopate has shown itself to me amoral in this leadership crisis that would not protect children and that has taken a very greedy position in terms of its own finance. Recall if you will, JP I stated that it must be one of his first tasks to reorganize the Vatican bank that through one of its members, Banko Ambrosia was rife with scandal murders and questionable suicides. JP I lasted one month and there was never an adequate explanation of his death. In fact the conclave that followed was deeply controlled by the finances of Opes Dei, the probable friends of the scandalous leadership of the Vatican Bank. In other words without investigation of this Pope’s death, it is certainly likely that there was a lot of Money by the southern European mafia put into the election of a pope that would not investigate the business dealings of Ambrosia and the Vatican Bank. I was in Italy at the time of JP I death and the whispers of the people on the street were that he was poisoned.

    Then we had the long years of JPII and the litmus tested Bishops and the career murders of so many Catholic theologians by non other than Cardinal Ratzinger. There were the French Benedictines who were working with nothing other than stem cells that were forbidden to continue their scientific work. There was the refusal of the Vatican to engage with Embryologists and what they were finding. There was only condemnation. Then there was the discovery by so many of the soul murder of so many young children by the clerics. Actually this discovery began in the late 1940’s by Father Fitzgerald. There were warnings to the leadership by many priests who eventually left of the horrible doings of this sexual scandal. The Episcopacy only acted to cover it up until they could cover it no more. Now instead of firing those responsible for the enabling of priest rapist, Benedict has asked the people to follow their Bishops.

    There was the no tolerance rules in Ireland and the US for the Bishops that were ignored. There now is a hatred inside the clergy that blames homosexuals in general. This hatred has been displaced to these men from the real source the hatred of women in particular. There are many Cains in the RCC, and the RCC is metaphorically led by the equivalent of the Egyptian Seth god or as in Star Wars, the calamity of the dark side.

    So what should the People of God do? Certainly we can not follow this murderous leadership ---- responsible for the soul murder of boys and girls and impregnation but lack of followup fathering of many children; responsible for the carrier murder of many theologians and attempted carrier murder of many scientists. No this leadership has chosen calamity -- the dark-side. We MUST not follow these character disordered old men. I reman Catholic but I will never again be a member of the Roman Church.

  14. @ Invictus,

    "You're all very angry, because you believe that the Pope is betraying the Second Vatican Council"


    Speaking for myself:

    1. Angry? Yes about some things. Disappointed? Yes. Disgusted about some things too. Overall the claim that all are "very angry" does not characterize how I feel. Actually, the closest thing to what I feel is betrayal.

    2. "...the Pope is betraying the Second Vatican Council" Yes. But that's the least of it. Refer to corruption pre Vatican 1, more like pre-Reformation, circa 1310 in Dante's Inferno: Circle 8 concerning: Fraud: Pimping and Seducing, Flattery, Simony, Sorcery, Political Corruption, and Hypocrisy

    3. "...good Catholics like yourselves who long for women to be ordained as priest/esses." Well, I would like to see the church improve the treatment of women in almost every aspect of its operation. Women priests? Certainly Colleen has been clear that change would not solve the present problems. Overall this is a complete mis-characterization of the discussion and the earlier discussions on this blog. Moreover, you have participated in those discussions so you know better than to make a misleading statement like this. Furthermore, you provoke anger in your readers when you fail to respond to substantial points made in debate. It looks like you run away. You disappeared when you were proven wrong about the medieval church. In the WYD discussion at least four people wrote substantial thoughtful and respectful comments to you but you failed to respond. Is this a debating technique or lack of etiquette? (I still think you owe Dennis rdp46 an apology for implying his argument in an earlier discussion could only be made by a person on drugs.) Colleen is very patient and accommodating with a variety of opinions. On most blogs you would have been run out of town for troll like behavior.

    4. "This much is clear." No it is not. In fact it looks like you should have posted this comment to the previous discussion about the "Psycho Sexually Immature..." not this one about the SSPX. You are just stirring a little manure here.

    5. The original article presented by Colleen does not mention the word "woman" or "female" even once.

    6. No one in the Vatican is asking the laity, the People of God, for our view on any of the issues of the day. Not the Latin mass, or the awful new sexist translations of the missile, not the danger of recurrent antisemitism, not the policy on abuse, not church finance, not the inappropriate national politics of clergy, not the many ways that of all people might more fully participate in their church. For that matter many Catholic theologians have been dismissed for writing about the theological dilemmas presented when one is faced with conflict between two contrary teachings when trying to be faithful. (e. g. HIV/AID positive? Thou shall not kill a spouse but thou shall not wear a condom.)

    Over to you, my friend, but keep it real.


  15. Ooops!

    Correction: That's missal, not missle in my comment above.

    Hey Invictus is this you making comment #41 on the forum?

    Hee hee hee. 88? Econe?


  16. Dennis, well said. You've hit the nail on the head for me -- how do we remain faithful to the entire people of God, including the hierarchy, when what they demand we follow is contrary to the Word? Not the first time this has happened in 2000 years. I think we are trying to follow the footsteps of many (mosly unnamed) saints, and I admire their graceful faith which did come down to us. Being Catholic but not Roman? From what I see on this blog, you use that stance "to the greater glory of God". Well done.

    p2p, fascinating link! My quick answer would be that the saving Grace of our era of the church will come from those who know that God is well beyond the little boxes we place Her in. It is tiresome to continue to listen to those who always know all the answers.

  17. There are great comments on this post. Thanks one and all. I have spent the better part of the last two days thinking about them.

    I feel very sad more than angry, about the trend the Church has taken. When mankind is content to define God in a limited fashion, mankind is also defining himself in a limited fashion. We can dress up of our view of God anyway we want but it's still just dressing up our own view of ourselves. It's a projection. God is in the end unknowable.

    The God of the reform of the reform paints a very dim of view of mankind. I can't justify that with Jesus' behavior in the Gospels in which he calls us all His brothers and sisters, tells us God is love, that HE cares for us deeply, and maintains we too can do as He did. Jesus flips on it's head Old Testament notions of a vengeful God and sinful man as man's prime attribute.

    It is not possible to truly love a God you fear, nor a self you are at war with and denigrate, and that to me is where the Church has it completely backwards and is in fact a counter sign to the Gospels.

  18. I think that I am beyond anger. I was born and raised and educated Catholic. I can not nor would I change that. I can only speak what I see as truth about the rancid leadership of the Roman Church. Sad, yes, but really a sense of total betrayal. I am beyond hate, I do not care what happens to these men. Some say the real opposite of love is not hate, it is not caring at all. I will continue to write of what I know of these treacherous leaders as I have had a live time of observation of these men.

  19. Don't feed the troll. Let the troll have its own blog if it wants attention.

    Just saying.