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Pray for SSPX April 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, sadness, scandals, Tradition.
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The long saga of the SSPX talks with the Vatican has reached another stage. I haven’t covered this issue much, but several people I know are very concerned about these ‘doctrinal talks’ that have been ongoing for quite some time.  The Vatican has requested that SSPX acknowledge the validity of all parts of Vatican II.  SSPX apparently replied in some manner that failed to do so in the eyes of the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI.  So, they were asked to reconsider, and try again, to find some doctrinal formulation acceptable to the SSPX that also satisfies the Holy See’s demands regarding Vatican II.  That reply has now been sent.  I pray that God’s Will may be done in this matter, as in all other matters.  I don’t really have a great interest in this matter, although some think that the resolution of the SSPX doctrinal status with the Holy See could have a major impact on groups like FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, etc.  Perhaps.  I really don’t know.

But I do know that the next article in the headline section at Catholic Culture made a pretty interesting comparison.  In Seattle, several parishes – including the Cathedral!!!! – have determined they won’t defend traditional marriage and are refusing to follow the archbishop’s request that they distribute a petition of sorts, collecting signatures for a referendum on gay marriage, just passed into law by Washington’s state legislature (my emphasis):

An increasing number of Seattle parishes–including St. James Cathedral–are refusing to heed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain’s request to collect signatures for a referendum on the State of Washington’s recent redefinition of marriage. In February, Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Catholic,[No, a Catholyc] signed into law a bill that legalized same-sex marriage in Washington. [Why was this a request, and not a requirement, even demand?]

“Because we believe that this issue is critically important, we support Referendum 74 and have approved the gathering of signatures in our parishes over the next few months,” Archbishop Sartain and Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo said in a recent letter. “Your pastors have received from us information regarding the signature drive, and we requested that they not collect signatures on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday. After Easter, signatures may be gathered on Referendum 74.”

“After much prayer and reflection, I have decided we will not collect signatures at the parish,” said Tricia Wittman-Todd, pastoral life coordinator of St. Mary’s Parish in Seattle. [Ah, yes, that precious ‘prayer and reflection,’ that trumps every Dogma and every vow of obedience!] [It should be proclaiming Jesus as Savior and saving as many souls as possible, not being “inclusive” and failing to challenge those who persist in grave sin.  And why is the “pastoral life coordinator” making this decision instead of the pastor?] One of our highest values is inclusion and welcome. I fear that the collection of signatures would be hurtful and divisive to our parish. I am particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives.” [Good Lord.  How about teaching “the youth” what the Church has always taught regarding homosexuality?]

St. Joseph parish, whose pastor is Father John Whitney, SJ, posted the following notice on its web site:

You may have heard about a petition drive concerning Referendum 74, which will be gathering signatures at a number of parishes in Seattle. Please be aware that Fr. Whitney has decided that no petitioning will be permitted anywhere on the campus of St. Joseph.

“While the archbishop has given his support to the effort, he has wisely left it up to each pastor to decide whether to allow the collection of signatures in his own parish,” said Father Michael Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral. “After discussing the matter with the members of the cathedral’s pastoral ministry team, I have decided that we will not participate in the collecting of signatures in our parish. Doing so would, I believe, prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community.”

Father Ryan, who has served on the board of directors of the National Catholic Reporter, has been a leading opponent of the new translation of the Roman Missal that was introduced in parishes in the United States last November. [Well, at least he’s consistent]

I’ve seen many comments from people who are either close to or have sympathies for SSPX, who find it incredible that SSPX is considered doctrinally “irregular,” while Cathedral rectors and others can reject Church Doctrine or the specific request of their bishop with nary a problem.  Many feel this situation is a massive double-standard, with those with a progressive bent being given far different treatment than those of a more traditional outlook.

I will note one further thing – it is exactly over the verbiage in Vatican II that has been so abused to reject Church authority – “the primacy of the individual conscience,” and all that – that the SSPX’s difficulties in coming up with a doctrinal formulation acceptable to the Vatican hang.  SSPX claims total commitment to defending the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.  They were formed because they felt Vatican II, or its “spirit,” ran counter to some elements of that Truth. 

The division basically comes down to whether Vatican II really is completely compatible with the prior Magisterium.  Of course, the Holy Father and most prelates insist it is, but in practice it seems the Church just can’t enforce discipline or settle doctrinal questions since the last council.  Many say that’s merely a matter of widespread abuse, but it is certainly a persistent abuse, an abuse that just can’t seem to go away despite the efforts of the Holy Father and his allies.  The SSPX, and some others, have maintained that it is the documents of Vatican II themselves that are problematic – that there can’t be settled Doctrine or enforced discipline because of what VII says and how it says it, or doesn’t say it.

Instances like this latest outbreak in Seattle give considerable weight to the SSPX viewpoint.

It’s all very confusing and upsetting to many Catholics striving to be faithful – they have been and continue to be caught in a terrible maelstrom of confusion.

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