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Rorate Caeli’s Call for Unity among traditional Catholics January 20, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, priests, sadness, Society, SSPX, Tradition, Voris.

I have been aware, going back at least a few months, of a sort of “declaration of war” by certain traditional Catholics associated with the Ecclesia Dei communities against the Society of St. Pius X.   I have really tried to stay out of this.  The reason for that is encapsulated in the first paragraph of the post from Rorate quoted below, one prime reason why the revolution in the Church was able to occur in the late 60s and early 70s was that the opposition was so divided and more concerned with internecine warfare than fighting the revolution in the Church.  That warfare took some time to die down, but by then, the new system was firmly in place.  I also think this internecine strife is only going to wind up hurting good souls who love tradition within and without the SSPX.  But at the same time, I think there is a duty to caution souls gravely scandalized by events in the Church that there are, indeed, problems with the SSPX.  SSPX partisans at times minimize or even dismiss these problems, so I can see some utility in pointing those out (and, I think I do that from time to time on this blog).

I have a good deal of sympathy for Rorate’s position below.  Counseling in private is one thing, engaging in public warfare is another.  Is this the time to engage in that warfare?  Are we really sure scads of souls are being “scandalized out of the Faith” by “fleeing” to the Society?  What does thinking such say of how one views this pope?  If one believes this pope is so whacked out it’s a metaphysical certitude souls in their thousands will decamp to the Society unless they are vehemently warned against doing so, isn’t that declaring something rather severe about the pope?

The issue of obedience is also a key here.  Yes, the SSPX obviously raise very serious questions regarding obedience, but what of others who have been directed, under obedience, not to stir up this kind of internecine conflict, and yet they are doing so fervently, if behind the scenes?

Just some rhetorical thoughts.  Rorate:

The division of the Traditional Catholic world was a master stroke by the enemies of the 1962 Missal and of the Roman Catechism. They have managed to sow discord between friends and to establish fratricidal hatred among priests who used to march together hand in hand. The first group began to treat their brothers as radicals, the second called the others sellouts. The former were convinced that those who remained under Abp. Lefebvre would soon fall in total schism, and the latter thought with certitude that their former brothers would abandon both Mass and Catechism.
What can we say more than a quarter-century later? That, on both sides, these judgments were, in great measure, overreactions.
On its own side, for all its known problems, the Society of Saint Pius X did not become schismatic or a parallel “church”. It has always kept contacts with Rome and has made what it considered necessary in order to regularize its situation with the successive popes, even if, for reasons that its superiors considers prudential (and with which we ourselves may prudentially disagree), regularization has not been achieved for the moment. On the other side, the Ecclesia Dei communities never abandoned the Traditional Mass, nor traditional Catechesis.It must be said in all honesty: on the side of the SSPX, recognition of the Pope remains, and the desire for its work to be recognized is still sought, according to different measures that vary from person to person. On the side of the Ecclesia Dei communities, there remains a disapproval of the new Mass (regardless of the fact that it is considered both valid and legitimate) and of the alteration of traditional doctrine, both of which are also expressed differently from person to person. The exceptions within these groups confirm the rule in both communities.

A problem has been that, throughout the years, some religious authorities, while the situation remained by itself already quite confusing, proclaimed fatwas, dogmatizing attitudes that would require a certain pliancy and lots of understanding. We heard, for instance: “Visiting the SSPXers? Don’t even think about it, or you’ll be excommunicated!” Or still: “Go to a Mass with those sellouts? You’ll lose your faith there!”
In the documentary on the life of Abp. Lefebvre which was recently released in America, a famous professor and journalist, Jean Madiran, who had distanced himself from the SSPX in 1988, made nonetheless this brave declaration regarding the Lefebvre consecrations: “It is hard for me to say today that he was mistaken.” Since he passed away in 2013, it is, at least in a small way, his testament. That the most famous French layman of the Traditionalist struggle is willing to affirm this soon before dying should make us ponder. Many faithful in the young generation refuse this mutual demonization whose only motivation seems to be the fear of having some sheep escape to the neighboring pasture.
There is much more to read at Rorate.
I’m really very torn on all this.  I don’t want to see souls decamp to the SSPX, but I also don’t feel a need to excoriate the Society at present.  I understand certain souls feel compelled to be in the SSPX, and some of those folks are good people.  I kind of don’t like the idea of tearing into them. But I mainly feel that right now we who love Tradition face a grave external threat from progressive elements and we should really be oriented primarily against that.  At the same time, SSPXers and other traditionalists do seem to like to pick on sede vacantists.  Is that hypocritical (I’ve never said that I’m not.)?
Another reason I don’t feel a strong need to go after the SSPX is that I simply have not studied their situation in any great depth.  It’s not a big interest of mine.  I think if I were to stake out some strong position I’d wind up making a fool of myself at this point.  It feels pretty odd being the guy saying  “can’t we all just get along” after all the volleys of fire that have emanated from this site, but that’s kind of where I’m at.
What do you thinka?



1. Blogmaster - January 20, 2014

The article at Rorate hits the nail on the head. For my part, I have decided for the moment to ignore the partisans in both camps. I owe everything, really, to the FSSP, but happen now to live in a place where the SSPX is the only real Catholicism within 100 miles in every direction. And I believe the FSSP acknowledges its own debt to Abp. Lefebvre. Time for a truce.

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

Most do. I am told, rather reliably, that the FSSP leadership has directed its priests not to calumniate the SSPX. I am afraid that order is not being fully observed.

Blogmaster - January 20, 2014

In 14 years I’ve never heard an FSSP priest speak against the SSPX, either in private or from the pulpit. And some have even spoken positively (but in guarded terms).

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

I cannot make the same statement, especially of late. At least privately.

Blogmaster - January 20, 2014

That’s most unfortunate. It may be prudent for the FSSP to permit a diversity of opinion on the topic,

2. Lorra - January 20, 2014

I spent a very long time in both of these camps – sede and SSPX. Out of the two, the former are more peace loving. I agree that it is a master stroke of Satan to get the traditionals warring against one another, but they war against one another in the novus ordo too. The only group that never breaks ranks and rails against one of their own are the progressives/liberals. Take note of that. They will never turn on one another – at least in public.

On top of this, you have the CA crowd demonizing the traditionals every chance they get. They have conditioned a generation or two to have nothing but disdain for traditionals.

Tantam, as for you not wanting to see souls decamp to the SSPX, that is because you are well situated. I would like you to spend an indefinite amount of time in my parish and diocese and see if you don’t change your tune. It is easy to advise others to stay put in their parish, or to find another parish that is better (which is, in my opinion at this point, changing deck chairs on the Titanic) when one is in a good diocese, has a good bishop, and attends a reverent Mass with others who are in fact Catholic.

It is unfortunate, in my opinion, that we won’t know for sure and certain what Our Lord thinks about this until we die. By this I mean, will He really hold it against any serious Catholic for decamping?

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

There is no question I am very comfortable where I’m at. So are many of those who are now looking to attack the SSPX. That’s another reason I don’t attack them. I have not been through what they have, and I don’t know how I’d respond.

It’s a difficult subject. I’m very conflicted.

3. Tom - January 20, 2014

Fr. John Hunwicke, a former Anglo-Papist Anglican priest and now a Catholic priest in the British Ordinariate, has a two-part piece on his “Mutual Enrichment” weblog about a related question concerning the Society of Saint Pius X: “SSPX: IS IT ECUMENISM OR IS IT NOT?” ( http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2014/01/sspx-is-it-ecumenism-or-is-it-not-1.html and http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2014/01/sspx-is-it-ecumenism-or-is-it-not-2.html ), beginning:

In the relationship between the Holy See and the SSPX, there is one enormous fundamental problem, which is so obvious that few people mention it. As a member of an Ordinariate, Benedict XVI’s other and successful ecumenical endeavour, I have a natural interest in this question and pray for its resolution. That is the locus standi from which I ask the following question.

SSPX and the Vatican … is this a matter of Ecumenism or of Church Discipline? Is the SSPX a group of beloved Separated Brethren with whom we Catholics should, in accordance with the mandate of Vatican II, strain every sinew to secure unity … because, with their immensely rich spirituality, they have so much to offer the Catholic Church; or is it merely a portion of the Latin Church in an irregular canonical situation which needs to be thoroughly bashed around the head, like the Franciscans of the Immaculate, until it abjectly grovels?

Both the Holy See and the SSPX in effect conspire to ensure that the second model applies; Rome, because of her natural inclination to exercise control over the Latin Church; the SSPX, because it believes itself to be, not only part of the Latin Church, but even its only truly healthy and doctrinally sound part.

But what if Rome, at least, were to try the first model? Suppose they were to treat the ‘problems’ which the SSPX has with Vatican II in the same way that Rome treats the ‘problems’ of the ‘Nestorians’ or ‘Monophysites’? With them, Rome is happy to the point of euphoria about securing Christological agreements, without demanding explicit acceptance of Ephesus or Chalcedon. Or take the Anglicans, who, without accepting the actual words of Trent, were told by dicasteries including the CDF that the last document (‘Clarifications’) in the Eucharistic section of the ARCIC process meant that ‘no further work’ was necessary on that matter? Or, to put it differently: If the only obstacle between Rome and the Russian and Greek Churches were Dignitatis humanae, would Rome really insist that no further progress would be possible without explicit submission by the Orthodox both to that Conciliar document and to ‘the entire post-Conciliar Magisterium’?

… and concluding:

Pope Francis has critics who believe that his openness, his humility, his desire to cut through red tape, his preference for a Church that does something even if mistakes are made, is all PR, all posturing. I do not think that they are right. I think he is prayer-filled and sincere.

But the crisis he faces is greater than is often assumed. If Rome simply cannot achieve an accommodationeven with the SSPX, with whom it holds in common all the dogmatic definitions of all the Ecumenical Councils and both the ex cathedra definitions of Roman Pontiffs, what realistic possibility is there that it will ever make progress with more doctrinally distant churches and ecclesial bodies? The very possibility of ecclesial reconciliation, of unitatis redintegratio, is at stake. If Rome can pull it off with the SSPX, then anything is on the cards. But if not … Clio waits with baited breath …

I can think of one, massive, reason why Francis is the man to conclude this episode. If Benedict had done so, all the predictable ninnies in the Catholic and non-Catholic Media would have said that this was just further evidence that he was an arch-reactionary. Francis, if he solves it, will create massive puzzlement among the predictable ninnies, but his current Media reputation will enable him, so to speak, to get away with it. This time, early in this pontificate, is the moment, the divine kairos, for such an action, which may very probably not recur. (There is evidence that the more perceptive commentators in the liberal Media are already beginning to see through his persona.)

It is open to the Holy Father to solve the SSPX ‘problem’ within days. The Roman Pontiff regularly grants an audience, I think on Friday evenings, to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Next Friday, he could give Archbishop Mueller his orders. During the next audience, he could sign the documents*. The following Wednesday, at his General Audience, in between kissing the babies and hugging the cripples, he could embrace in public His Excellency Mgr Fellay and the other Reverend and Right Reverend leaders of the SSPX, in front of all the world’s cameras and all its head-scratching journalists. And, just as he electrified the world by his choice of the feet to be washed and kissed on his first Maundy Thursday, Francis could use a dozen young clerics of the Society in his second Maundy Thursday pedilavium. (After all, Paul VI, when they had the junketings in Rome to celebrate the remission of the 1054 excommunications, disconcerted poor Metropolitan Meliton by diving to the ground and kissing his feet … humility … you know it makes sense … )

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

Overall, very good comment. I’m afraid I’m not going to hold my breath regarding the end, and an open embrace of the SSPX back into the Church.

But if the SSPX are truly schismatic, why do they not elicit the warm overtures and attempts at building concord that the schismatic Orthodox do? Or the Copts? Or heck, the muslims?

It is a question that weighs on the entire matter. The Orthodox have certainly set up a line of episcopal succession completely outside Rome’s control, so there is no difference there.

skeinster - January 21, 2014

My thought, fwiw- though I love the above- if they wouldn’t reconcile for Pope Benedict,, there’s no way they would do it for Pope Francis. Having a non-scholar say “Sure, come on back. Interpret VII in your own way, it’s all good. Whatevs…” would not be the vindication of their years of suffering at the hands of “the Conciliar Church” they would want and need.

4. Tradical - January 20, 2014

The real issue with the SSPX (imnsho) comes does to the two elements that the FFI are being asked to adhere to:

” …
– the Novus Ordo as an authentic expression of the liturgical tradition of the Church and therefore of Franciscan tradition (without prejudice to the what is permitted by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, once the current disciplinary decree of veto, ad hoc and ad tempus, is revoked for the Institute), and

– the documents of the Second Vatican Council, in accordance with the authority accorded them by the Magisterium.”

Give in on these points without the necessary distinctions and there are issues.

From that point of view the SSPX (as I understand it) sees the ED communities as having compromised on these points.

It does not, in my experience, denigrate the good that they are doing.


5. Michael - January 20, 2014

Why should anyone have a problem with people decamping to the SSPX?

“Proselytism is solemn nonsense.” The Pope was very clear with Scalfari when he said: “I do not wish to convert you.”

Aren’t Society Catholics in a better place than Atheists?

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

The SSPX can certainly point to no end of scandal in the Church. Nevertheless, I would hope all could agree that the less than regular canonical standing is not the ideal situation, and it’s unfortunate it has to be like that, at present.

Blogmaster - January 20, 2014

Yes, it certainly unfortunate and less than ideal. The sooner it is repaired the better. But whether or not one agrees with the SSPX’s less compelling opinions, it seems clear that their “ecclesia supplet” argument due to a “state of necessity” in the Church is entirely sound, at least on the local level in many jurisdictions. That much is impossible to argue with.

6. Dismas - January 20, 2014

God bless Blogmaster.

This should be interesting.

In an ideal Catholic world we have reliable catechesis, liturgy and governance from the top down. In the world we inhabit, we have chaos. Is this why it seems that every Tom, Dick and Harriet is their own theologian, their own canonist, their own authentic interpreter of Catholic history?

Pick a group of trads…any group. Spokespeople for any one of these factions will recruit an endless list of Church doctors, theologians, canonists, historians or otherwise to prove that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

For the FSSP the SSPX is naught but a bunch of schismatic closet sedevacantists putting souls at grave risk. Let Rome pull an FFI on the FSSP and the tune will change.

For the latest phenomenon to appear (the SSPX of Strict Observance, please spare us) the SSPX is a bunch of sniveling, conniving closet modernists just looking for a way to sell out to the modernists in Rome.

For the SSPX, the FSSP exists only to compete with them, providing an adulterated, Vatican II version of Catholicism to unsuspecting trads.

And this post would be interminable if we mentioned all of the groups and viewpoints.

I trust no one so little as that person who thinks they have this all figured out and wants to tell me so. Partly because, almost without exception, as they spout their opinion they include factual error here and there. If you venture beyond the bounds of your own little group, you might begin to see patterns of factual error.

And, yes…there are also all of those who have suffered some PERSONAL kerfuffle at the hands of one of these groups and have left that group to go to their current group and they will tell us all about the warts of A,B,C, or D and why their current choice is the only right one. Stay tuned.

If authentic Catholicism is ever restored, it will be yet one more proof of Divine Intervention, because the modernist usurpers have absolutely nothing to worry about with these gaggles of self-styled experts.

If authentic Catholicism is not restored, no one has anything to fear, since all religions, including the SSPX, are paths to Heaven.

Like blogmaster, I refuse to participate. Every one of these groups has strengths and weaknesses. Father Whoever You Are, ABCD, I thank you so much for your love for the Church and your fidelity to authentic Catholic doctrine and liturgy. I pray for you daily and will take a bullet for you. But if you want to tell me why the group you represent is the only legitimate one and demonize the rest, do us both a favor and save it for whatever captive audience wants to hear that stuff.

My little screed here will change no one’s mind, because almost everyone, except for those few confused souls like Blogmaster and me, has this all figured out, and THEY just happen to be correct.

Yep. We represent that rare group that we might name “Tradititional Indifferentists.”

Now…let’s hear from you folks who will correct us and tell us where we have it wrong and you have it right.

Pass the Pepto-Bismol.

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

I just hate all this. I find the argument on ecumenism vs. Church discipline especially telling. The Vatican calls the SSPX “protestants” and means it as a great insult. But then they turn around and embrace protestants in ecumenical activities, and tell us how much we can and should learn from them.

How am I, as a Catholic trying to make his way in the world, to understand that?

Dismas - January 20, 2014

You are not. If there is any alternative other than to rely on popes long since dead, please tell me. Chaos, Bubba.

Tradical - January 20, 2014

To make sense from my point of view:
1. The Church contains both the good and the bad.
2. Know your faith and dig for the principles.
3. #2 will help you to separate the good from the bad in an objective manner.
4. #1 will help you to keep your faith when you see that the bad seem to have the upper hand right now.


Blogmaster - January 20, 2014

Well said, Dismas. There’s a fair chance that the present pontificate may end up forcing – or at least accelerating – the trad unity Rorate is calling for.

Lorra - January 20, 2014

Believe it or not, a sedevacantist friend of mine said the same thing to my husband and I in the summer.

Dismas - January 20, 2014

Yessir. Just don’t hope out loud too much for this, because I have found few people who understand the comment.

Tradical - January 20, 2014

“Let Rome pull an FFI on the FSSP and the tune will change.”

They did – around 2000.

Not quite to the same extent as the FFI – but the same issues.

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

No, it wasn’t even close. The punishment was nothing like it is with the FFI’s. All that happened is that the founder, Fr. Bissig, was forcibly removed, and some priests in France were allowed to offer the NO Mass. All those priests subsequently left. They were the only FSSP priests, to my knowledge, ever to offer the NO.

Even when Fr. Bissig was forced out, he was not replaced with leadership that was hostile to Tradition, as seems to be the case with the FFIs. FSSP administration continued pretty much as it had been. FSSP did have to cool some of their anti-VII rhetoric, however, and that may still be somewhat the case today. It varies priest to priest, some are very openly critical of VII, others are not.

Tradical - January 20, 2014

I did write: ‘not to the same extent …’ At the time the intervention looked quite severe, although it pales in comparison with the FFI debacle.

I will grant (with ease) that the replacement in this case is explicitly hostile to Tradition. Whereas Fr. Devillers was, as I understand it, seen as being more compliant. (Funny that I know him from my St. Mary’s days).

I also recall that the replacement of Fr. Bisig was not the only item – there was also a number of dismissals from the seminary etc and alterations (I believe) in the curriculum.

Either way, there appear to be only two redlines in the Catholic Church that one must not, under any circumstances cross:

Vatican 2 and the New Mass.

If you shy away from those two issues, then there is practically nothing that you can’t do vis-a-vis the liturgy or theology.

Touch one of those issues and off goes the cultural landmine.


tantamergo - January 20, 2014

Sorry, I thought you were speaking from ignorance and openly wondering, you seem to know more than I do.

Dismas - January 21, 2014

I’m no expert or savant. I can’t claim to have all the details correct, and I know there was a heavy hand, but were FSSP seminaries closed, publishing houses closed? Was the authentic Mass banned from their midst? I hope I would remember something that severe.

7. Lorra - January 20, 2014

“In the world we inhabit, we have chaos. Is this why it seems that every Tom, Dick and Harriet is their own theologian, their own canonist, their own authentic interpreter of Catholic history?”

Nature abhors a vacuum.

8. Lorra - January 20, 2014

Do you think then that there is enough of a crisis to warrant supplied jurisdiction for confession to an SSPX priest?

9. Terry Carroll - January 20, 2014

Y’all are looking at this backwards. It’s not a matter of telling people to stay away from the SSPX. It’s a matter of telling the SSPX to become part of the Catholic Church. “The problem of the SSPX” then disappears. “No canonical status” is NOT “irregular canonical status.” The SSPX need to “come home” to the Church. There is and should not be a war AGAINST the SSPX. We need to be aggressive in convincing them they need to be part of the visible Church.

It is argued in many quarters today that there is providential wisdom in the refusal of the SSPX to reconcile with the Church in light of the current persecution of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI). It is truly tempting to believe this but Australian Mary MacKillop became St. Mary of the Cross in circumstances astonishingly similar to what we now perceive happening with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI). She founded a religious order, was replaced as Mother Superior by her local bishop, served for many years under her replacement before being restored as Mother Superior, was unjustly excommunicated by her bishop, and the order that she founded is, today, a complete mess. But she became a Saint through all that. She showed respect for her local bishop who truly didn’t deserve it, even finding excuses for his behavior. During the time she was excommunicated, she didn’t seek to start a new order to preserve the integrity of what she had started. She was obedient, humble, trusted God, and she became a Saint. The SSPX need to risk becoming Saints.

We must do all that we can to encourage the SSPX to rejoin the Church and not hold them up as a possible refuge for those who wish to flee the devastation all around them. To give aid and comfort to those who refuse to be in communion with the Church is an attitude more Protestant than Catholic and but another example of “false ecumenism.”

The SSPX are a symptom of the crisis in the Church, not a cure or even a respite. They are themselves a metastasis of the cancer they observe in the Church. They have long since ceased to be heroes of Catholic Tradition and now are merely prideful intransigents. I sympathize with the reasons for their coming into being, but those reasons are no longer heroic. Their intransigence deprives the Church of their gifts. Rather than helping to bind the wounds of a Church going through a Passion, they simply draw attention to a suffering they choose not embrace. The Church is going through a Passion and the SSPX more resemble the disciples and Apostles who fled, except the disciples and Apostles eventually repented and returned. Time for the SSPX to do the same.

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

I’m not going to get sucked in.

Tradical - January 20, 2014

You just demonstrated greater prudence than I.

Thank you for the example!

Lorra - January 20, 2014

This sounds very nice, all this flowery talk about binding wounds and keeping Our Lady company at the foot of the Cross and the SSPX being nothing more than fleeing apostles (I once likened them to viewing the Passion from an Ivory Tower).

In reality it is hard work. It is without consolation. Without comfort. Without any type of spiritual satisfaction at all. It is, above all, lonely. And maddening, frustrating and it hurts. Bad. Especially for those of us who remember a saner Church. For myself, I told my husband yesterday that I am now questioning whether that Church ever existed at all, so long it has been gone now.

Michael - January 20, 2014

Yes, I agree.

While Terry Carroll speaks with elegant language and metaphors, he concludes by calling the Society’s apostolate a “metastasis of the cancer” in the Church? I’m sorry, but this is spoken by one who is not well acquainted with the SSPX.

Lorra is spot on when she describes the life of an SSPX Catholic. It is a life without solace. Having attended SSPX chapels for my entire adult life, I can say with certainty that your neighboring Society Catholics are not “prideful intransigents.” They are devoted faithful with large families who desire to receive the Sacraments, say the Rosary, and receive sound doctrine from their priests.

Say what you will about the “scandal” of their irregular status, the Society represents the marrow of the Church. To consider them anything less is an unfortunate mischaracterization.

I also wanted to mention that Maggycast makes a great point below. She writes: “…if I had to endure the evil insanity of the V2 Church these past decades without the TLM I would have no hesitancy in stating that I would have jumped over to them [SSPX]…”

Who will be the first to cast a stone at the SSPX knowing that, should your home or job location ever change, you may one day require the services of their priests?

Lorra - January 20, 2014

Michael, I was referring to what life is like in a rotten novus ordo parish and diocese when I wrote about being lonely etc.

10. maggycast - January 20, 2014

I’m not SSPX, have never attended one of their chapels…but if I had to endure the evil insanity of the V2 Church these past decades without the TLM I have no hesitancy in stating that I would have jumped over to them ASAP. I am grateful for the FSSP…so grateful for wondrous priests like Fr. Michael Rodriguez…but to be stuck in a diocese of utter evil with sodomite, emo, modernists priests? You bet ya that SSPX would have been my home. God bless them…and God bless the Archbishop who stood against the horror of V2. I think he will be named a hero and saint when all of this is over. Think back to St. Athanasius being hounded by the heirarchy when they were all Arians. The V2 Church is run by the demonic…it is our punishment for the sins of the world…it is no sin by the SSPX to desire sanity, truth and tradition. I say welcome them and let’s fight the evil together. God bless~

St. Benedict's Thistle - January 20, 2014

Thank you. You expressed my thoughts exactly.

I have been in one of those dioceses with those modernist priests, some of them sodomite, and it is a horror. The devastation to the faith cannot be underestimated. Three things happen: the traditionalists flee, the lukewarm stop attending, and the rest go along to get along. The go-alongs are of two types: deniers of what is going on, or those who have imbibed the culture to such an extent that they helped vote in Obama, contracept without a second thought, support abortion and so on. Guess which ones are most numerous?

In 2010 or thereabouts, we attended a Chrism Mass at our cathedral. The procession consisted of a fellow got up in a skintight, full body, bright red leotard. Little was left to the imagination. His hair was dyed orange and he was barefoot. He danced and slithered his way up to the altar, grabbed the Bible and held it aloft as he danced up and down the middle aisle. The music…well, you can imagine. After his performance, the then-bishop invited the ‘audience’ to applaud the “beautiful” performance.

This is why I can’t get worked up about the SSPX. God bless them, I say.

Lorra - January 20, 2014

Thistle, you described the two types of Catholics in my diocese perfectly.

When I look at the over seventy crowd in my parish, I see the devastating effects of VII. If you talk to them, they will tell you they haven’t changed a bit. But they have, and they don’t even realize they’ve been changed.

St. Benedict's Thistle - January 21, 2014

😦 Sorry. I suspect it describes many, many parishioners in dioceses the world over.

Christopher Ekstrom - January 21, 2014

Right! I have not taken part in an SSPX Mass; but its a NO-BRAINER which Mass to attend if your other choice is the “beautiful” display you describe. I no longer hesitate to upbraid such Bishops as the disgrace you mention. It is satanic to persecute faithful, traditional, Roman Catholics whilst mollycoddling every wacko, homosexual & unitarian in false “Ecumenical Spirit”.

11. Hannah - January 21, 2014

I attend the SSPX and I desire holiness. I’m not trying to be a “prideful schismatic.”

I’m trying to hold onto the Faith as it always taught, believed and practiced. God bless our Holy Founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, for his defense of the True Faith amidst the most unprecedented crisis.

Janet Smyer - January 21, 2014

I am with you, Hannah.
I have been blessed to have the leadership of priests who pour out their lives for the glory of God and the salvation of souls!
Never have I been given any thing but meat and potatoes when I asked to be fed the Faith.
I was raised protestant and converted in 1972 into the N.O. church. Nothing short of extreme grace has led me to the ‘protection’ of the Society priests.
I have a history with a couple of those who have left the ‘lax’ Society to become…??? In retrospect, I can know see a lack of humility in them that I have not ever seen in the priests that have shepherded me in the Traditional Catholic Faith.
I was 19 when I converted into the Church. All of the leniency suited me just fine for my age. Like Mary of the Desert, I hope to repent forever how I have offended The Good, Patient, and Merciful God. The good and holy priests have NEVER done anything but teach the Faith.

Christopher Ekstrom - January 21, 2014

God Bless you. May Our Saviour intercede to cleanse his True Faith. Viva CRISTO Rey!

12. TG - January 21, 2014

I really enjoy reading all the comments on this blogs. I’m grateful at least my parish is trying to cling to some tradition. I couldn’t put up with dancing and clowns.

13. Christopher Ekstrom - January 21, 2014

My knowledge of the ongoing battles associated with, what seems to me was a disastrous error (Vatican II), is certainly not on par with your other commentators so I will limit mine to one area I feel certain of…
The destructive faction of modernist/progressive is now pressing for a full unitarianization of Roman Catholicism. If these, at least substantially, satanic forces capture Rome an abrupt reversal of values will/would ensue. Unity among faithful RC’s must be the priority. Anyone on the faithful side that seriously threatens that impulse is a traitor. Full stop.

Dismas - January 21, 2014

Mr. Ekstrom, none of us understand this as well as we think we do. I maintain a healthy scepticism toward all those who have it all figured out and just want the rest of us to sit back and let them tell us how the cow ate the cabbage.

For my part, I appreciate comments such as yours which do not pretend to speak ultimate truth, or recruit snippets of do-it-at-home theology or history to their pet positions, but which rather stick to what should be obvious to anyone paying attention.

At some point, perhaps it might be worthwhile for the poor schmucks in the traditionalist pews to rise up and say “enough!” Stop materially supporting rabid priests and lay groups who have decided that no one else on the tradcath landscape is really a Catholic.

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