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If this is the state of the Church in Ireland…. February 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, Voris.

……then we have reached the 9th level of post-conciliar hell.  Two young lads from Ireland tell Michael Voris how his apostolate saved and re-converted them back to the Faith.  A Faith they had rejected because they had never, in spite of years of Catholic schooling, been taught the slightest thing about it.

One was even in seminary.  There he heard things like “oh, priests don’t evangelize,” and “you have too much zeal.”

Are you blankety blankety blank blank blank blank blank kidding me?!?  Priests don’t evangelize?  Too much zeal?

Quite.  We wouldn’t want too much zeal.  And the Church since Vatican II is the Body in need of conversion and repentance, desperate for the world to teach us its one true faith many satanic narcissisms.

These men say they can’t find formation and true leadership anywhere in Ireland like they see on ChurchMilitant.TV.  They need to find a Fraternity parish and relocate immediately.  Unfortunately, there are none in Ireland, which means Irish bishops haven’t been very pressing in requesting a Fraternity apostolate, I would guess.  There is one in Edinburgh and one in England.

These guys note that the Faith in Ireland had survived all manner of vicious English persecutions, protestant slights, having priests denied to them, even a massive famine.  It survived all these massive sufferings, but it has not been able to withstand something quite different – great material comfort.  Modern materialist comfort I think plays a huge role in this ongoing collapse of Faith – you can observe how the Faith died in countries in Europe, for instance, as the post-WWII economic boom advanced and they all reached high levels of prosperity at different times.  There are a handfuls of exceptions to this, but not many.

But then again, the Faith has also collapsed in much of Central and South America where poverty remains widespread and dire.  So materialism is nothing but an external factor, coinciding and perhaps exacerbating the collapse of faith from within, caused by a abusive Masses, awful catechesis, grave scandals, etc., etc.

We few, we happy few? As P Blosser says:

For my part, I make no secret of what I see around me. We have no divine promise that the Church in America will survive, or, for that matter, that the Church in the West will survive, or that geographical Rome as the official headquarters of the Catholic Church will survive. We have entered a new Dark Ages, the darker because Enlightened western man thinks he already knows what the Gospel is, and has seen through its empty promises by the light of reason. The truth, however, as G. K. Chesterton put it, is that “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” And the more ignorant post-Christian western man becomes of the actual content of the Faith, the more adamantly he sets his face against it.

See to it that every member of your family knows The Faith (not his faith, whatever that may happen to be, but THE Faith). Their spiritual survival in the darkness ahead will depend on it.


1. LaGallina - February 17, 2014

I don’t know but it sure seems to me that this is what the SSPX is all about. We hear so much about how evil and disobedient they were, and we should stay away from them like the Plague, but where would Tradition be without them?

The FSSP hasn’t even been allowed in Ireland, so where are people supposed to go? Clown masses? I think perhaps Archbishop Lefebrve knew what he was doing. Who could have ever dreamed 50 years ago that the entire Church would turn on Tradition, turn on itself? 25 years ago Archbishop L knew very well how the Vatican was treating Tradition, and he did what he had to do to protect it.

tantamergo - February 18, 2014

That’s my conundrum. I recognize that the SSPX exists in an irregular state and that some of their open repudiations of the Council and the entire post-conciliar Church could be interpreted as a rebellious spirit, but at the same time, there would be no traditional practice of the Faith.

Every liberalization of the TLM has been in response to an SSPX move or as bait to lure them back. Their existence is a repudiation of the entire, worldly post-conciliar ethos. I count myself blessed that I live in an area served by a traditional order not part of the SSPX, but I also recognize many, many people are not so blessed. Should the SSPX somehow magically disappear, I fear that the cause of Tradition in the Church would cease to exist shortly thereafter.

So that is my conundrum. I don’t believe they are “outside the Church,” “protestant,” or “practically sede vacantist” as some claim. But I also recognize some problems both in their formal stance and practical applications. I don’t recommend souls assist at the Society if they can avoid it, but I don’t correct them (at least with great vigor) if they do. I won’t go to war against the SSPX and tell them they need to “repent and convert,” because that would be a position even stronger than the formal Vatican assessment of the SSPX’s current situation.

Maybe I’m just not well formed enough. I am reticent to attack souls I believe to be well-intentioned and striving to do their best. That may make me a hypocrite. I just think all those who love the traditional practice of the Faith owe a tremendous debt to the SSPX, warts and all, and I won’t condemn them because the great blessings and benefits of canonically “regular” traditional practice of the Faith I get to enjoy ultimately stem from them.

I just pray by some miracle a full “reunion” (I know that’s not the right word) can be achieved without some persecution or destruction of what they stand for and believe after the fact.

discipleofthedumbox - February 18, 2014

My priest this weekend brought up the subject about joining certain groups. Though he was not referring to the SSPX, I dare write that the same could be applied to them. In short, though a group may do good things, this should not necessarily be a reason to align oneself with them. The Masons do good things, the U.S. government does good things from time to time, Lutherans do good things, etc.

Lynne - February 18, 2014

The SSPX is NOT in schism. They have not set up a separate structure, i.e. Pope, from Rome. PCED has said that is okay to attend a SSPX Mass to fulfill one’s Sunday obligation. It is a Catholic Mass with validly ordained Catholic priests. Transubstantiation occurs.

skeinster - February 18, 2014

Explain to us then, how, if one does “a schismatic act”, as Pope JP II put it, one is not in schism? Validity and schism are two different things. You don’t have to set up another Pope to be disobedient to the one you already have.

Look- I’m not trying to be ugly here. It’s just that pro-SSPX arguments are usually long on appeals to emotion, special pleading and peculiar definitions and short on hard facts.

tantamergo - February 18, 2014

Good point. Eastern Orthodox have valid Masses, but they are obviously schismatic.

However, it is also true that permission to attend Orthodox Masses is far, far more limited than that given for SSPX Masses.

As I said in another reply, it’s a very messy situation.

LaGallina - February 18, 2014

I agree with you, Lynne. I am a totally, unbiased outsider regarding SSPX. I do not have a dog in the race. But I can not find that they are in schism, according to canon law.

He saw that canon law allowed ordinations in extreme situations – such as those in which the faith is being destroyed. He finally decided that it was necessary to take this extreme step in order to save the Faith.

I have found from various non-SSPX sources that Archbishop Lefebrve was terribly mistreated and hated by the Varican. He went from being very well-respected to being shunned and hated, simply because he refused to become Protestant. He stood up for the true Faith, and paid a great price for it.

Where would Tradition be if he had not ordained the bishops? (BTW, I have not seen his documentary, nor read any SSPX information, nor ever had any involvement in the SSPX in any way.)

discipleofthedumbox - February 18, 2014

Yeah, whatever. I’ve listened to Bishop Williamson speak regarding the SSPX’s differences when it came to Pope Benedict’s attempt to reconcile the Church with them. That was all I needed to know about the SSPX. By their fruits and all that…

skeinster - February 18, 2014

Disclaimer: my views on the SSPX have changed over the last 20 years and I am much more sympathetic to them now than previously. I find Archbp. Lefebrve, from his writings, to be quite holy.

there still exists the fact that he, in concert with other bishops, consecrated bishops against the direct order of the Pope. I find the SSPX argument of “neccessity” unconvincing, simply b/c it’s so subjective. And badly applied, imho.

“Fruits” are not always an accurate measure of an organization. What good does it do to have flourishing seminaries, schools, etc. that teach incorrectly?

I asked TE’s question to a very good blogger once. His reply was that good things (the FSSP) can come out of bad things (disobedience to the Pope), but that doesn’t make the bad thing good. The Counter-Reformation gave us tremendous saints like St. Francis de Sales, but that doesn’t mean the Protestant Revolution wasn’t a tragedy.

The “shop window” of the SSPX cannot disguise that its splitting point was a “non serviam” of epic proportions. That’s what impelled the founders of the FSSP to break away.

So while I am sympathetic, I still think they are wrong.

2. Hannah - February 18, 2014

We need more St. Patricks in the Church.

3. LaGallina - February 18, 2014

I am very curious about what the problems of the SSPX are. (Other than their irregular status.) Is it the internal conflicts? Is it a bit of bitterness that some SSPXers seem to have. (In com boxes, anyway. I’ve never had any personal experience with SSPX.) The first thing that ever made me think that perhaps the SSPX was not the seed of satan was hearing Bishop Fellay speak glowingly about Pope Benedict. Up until then I only knew what my National Catholic Register told me. And it was basically that the SSPX just needed to learn a lesson in obedience, then we would all be able to get along.

tantamergo - February 18, 2014

It’s a number of things. Although SSPX folks dispute this, it seems unlikely SSPX priests have valid faculties to hear Confession or perform marriages in just about any diocese. This is a complex issue but one that has been argued in depth and the SSPX position is felt by many to be untenable. Because SSPX exists outside normal diocesan operation, their priests are not incardinated in the dioceses in which they operate and thus do not have regular faculties.

You touched on another problem, depending on which SSPX community one finds, there are varying degrees of bitterness or excoriation of the entire post-conciliar Church, including the other traditional orders that are not aligned with SSPX. There has been a great amount of infighting back and forth between SSPX, FSSP, ICX, and others, although the heads of all these orders have directed their people to cool it. Unfortunately, it still goes on. There is quite a bit of that going on in El Paso right now. Also, SSPX-SO, a breakaway group headed by Bishop Williamson, is probably even more problematic, from what I hear. I don’t really know any folks associated with that breakaway, even more hardcore group. However, I do know folks who speak of having “done time” in the SSPX. These folks found the rigorism difficult to take.

Then there is the issue of obedience. This is a very big issue, the issue that some are now claiming puts SSPX outside the Church. The SSPX leadership – not so much the priests and rank and file, but the leadership – has taken a number of actions over the decades, actions they felt were absolutely vital to preserve their institution and defend Tradition, but still in direct repudiation of directives from Rome, various popes, etc, that are disconcerting to other faithful Catholics. I get why these actions were taken, I have tended to be very forgiving of them, but they were still actions of direct disobedience to ecclesiastical authority.

Another big scandal tied in with the above is the existence of separate marriage tribunals within the SSPX. You know marriage tribunals are used to “prove” marriages were invalid from the beginning, so that an annulment can be granted. The SSPX, being outside diocesan authority but still, apparently, having a number of marriages that have split, have set up their own tribunal to review marriages and grant annulment decrees. This is many minds (I’m not saying I think this) shows SSPX setting up a parallel hierarchy to compete with the hierarchy of the Church proper. That, and the way the SSPX tends to “invade” dioceses without permission, setting up chapels outside diocesan control, “stealing” faithful away – it looks to some like a competing church set up in opposition to the One True Church. I think these arguments are mostly overwrought, but the tribunals are a source of scandal for some and undermine some of SSPX claims to be faithful to the Magisterium/obedient to authority. SSPX opponents see this sort of parallel Magisterium as evidence of SSPX “protestantism.” I think that’s going too far, but it does highlight how irregular the SSPX situation is, at present.

It’s a very complex situation. There is much to understand. I have only gone over a few points at a very high level. Even with the above, I try to be very forgiving or understanding of SSPX and the reasons why they have to operate as they do, at present. I really don’t blame, if that is the right word, souls who find themselves there. If I lived in an atrocious diocese, with not a single good parish, and having kids I was responsible to form in the Faith, I can’t say I absolutely wouldn’t gravitate to the SSPX if that were an alternative.

Hope this helps.

LaGallina - February 18, 2014

Thanks. This is very interesting and helps a lot.

I don’t know the specifics about disobedience within the SSPX, BUT I’ve been thinking about obedience a lot lately. Ever since I came into the Church I have been very “proud of myself” because I have worked so hard to be obedient. It is no small task because I really hated faith, Christianity etc. then I had a really terrible priest for a long time. And I felt I needed to be obedient to him. (And I always felt like a bad girl because I was always a Traditionalist at heart, but my priest was a total modernist.)

Then it was easy to be obedient to the only pope I ever knew – BXVI. Now I have struggled because Pope Francis says so many wacko things how can I be obedient?

Then I thought: when he differs from Pope Benedict, to whom should I be obedient? We shouldn’t have popes giving us conflicting information, but we do. So who do I obey?

Then it occurred to me — that’s why we have the ancient unchanging teachings of the Catholic Church. When even the popes are confusing us, we can go to the Magisterium — and that’s what we obey.

4. Lynne - February 18, 2014

On a trad forum, someone posted the following about the SSPX and some its good works.

There are so many uplifting and great things within the Society of St. Pius X. It gets its criticism, but the purpose of this thread is for myself, and hopefully others, to share uplifting and positive things they have experienced from the SSPX, or that they know secondhand.

1. The Archbishop’s sister founded the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X. Their mother was a stigmatist. Her confessor published a book about how he believed she was a saint.

2. The Archbishop who founded the Society had extraordinary supernatural and even preternatural gifts. He was a very simple and humble man, almost dull at times, but it was because of his charity, orthodoxy, prudence, and tremendous insight on all things practical that drew people to him, whereby he ran and founded seminaries, engineered countless church structures, built up the missions in Africa, organized the International Coalition of Council Fathers (the most traditional bishops at Vatican II), founded the SSPX, etc, etc.

3. The wife of the president of the Philippines has attended Mass at the SSPX priory in Manila, where she consecrated the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart.

4. The Society encompasses not just the priests, but the sisters, brothers, and oblates around the world.

5. Two brothers (ie siblings, not religious brothers) rode their mountain bikes completely around the world, raising money for an SSPX orphanage in India.

6. The Angelus Press is one of the top publishers in the world of traditional Catholic books.

7. There are SSPX priests who teach the TLM in NO seminaries. [I believe this may be in India?]

8. There are dioceses that have a positive working relationship with the local SSPX.

9. All the rosary bouquets presented to the Holy Father over the years.

10. The 2000 pilgrimage to Rome. Hundreds of priests and the Society bishops walked 2 by 2 into St Peters square to manifest their attachment to Rome.

11. The many SSPX retreat centers. An SSPX retreat, based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, has helped many people grow in holiness, discern their state in life, prepare for marriage/confirmation/etc, etc.

12. SSPX priories/schools. Most priories have a school. Plus daily Mass, chanted Offices, strong parish communities. If you are looking to live near a traditional Catholic community with a school and daily Mass, and are willing to relocate, there are many to choose from.

13. One is St Mary’s, Kansas. 2000 + parishioners/town residents, daily Masses, chanted Offices, many priests, brothers, and sisters. K-12 school. Not coed. 4 year college. Classical liberal arts curriculum.

14. Many pilgrimages around the world. A big one in Bohol, Philippines, and Chartres, France. In US, annual pilgrimages in Missouri, New York, etc.

15. The priests are generally excellent confessors and spiritual directors.

16. The SSPX operates several nursing homes.

17. For many years there had been an an annual Young Adult Gathering in Denver, through which many marriages have come about.

18. There are countless examples of the priests having positive relationships with priests and laity of the FSSP, diocese, etc.

19. Bishop Manat of Thailand, and Bishop Lazo of the Philippines, gave great support to the SSPX, themselves returning to the TLM in part because of the SSPX.

20. http://www.sspxsingles.com Not officially affiliated with the Society. My wife and I initially met on this free website.

Don’t forget the many lay tertiaries (SSPX Third Order) in the U.S. and abroad.

In our diocese, the bishop sends our SSPX chapel all of the correspondence and requests for prayers, disciplines, etc which he sends to the other parishes of our diocese (Syracuse, NY).

We celebrate the date of Sep 25th, the dedication of our diocesan Cathedral, as a First Class Feast with a Solemn high Mass.

When I read that, as a missionary in Gabon, Fr. Lefebvre was a great mechanic, fixing generators and vehicles, I started to ask for his intercession when I came upon a perplexing engineering problem. My prayers have always been answered.

21. In France, surprisingly the general populace has been hugely supportive of Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X.

22. There are many monasteries, convents, and traditional orders around the world attached to the SSPX.

23. There are not a small number of prelates in the Vatican supportive of the SSPX, as well as many bishops around the world. The Society has a good relationship with many of these prelates.

24. Some of the greatest missionary activity in the world, in particular in third world countries, is from the SSPX.

25. This is especially evident throughout the Asian district, especially in the Philippines.

26. A wonderful SSPX organization is ACIM, which organizes medical missions.

27. There are five SSPX seminaries in the world in Switzerland, Germany, France, the US, and Argentina.

28. The Society runs two universities, one in St Mary’s, Kansas, US, the other in Australia.

29. There are many selfless priests around the world who serve parishes, who are not members but are formally affiliated with the Society.

30. Annual Christ the King festival in St Mary’s in late October. Special Mass, procession, activities. On all four sides of the school/parish outdoor square, dozens of tables line up featuring food, arts and crafts, costumes, etc from a different Catholic country.

31. The Society has always emphasized the importance of traditional Catholic schools, founding many throughout the world. Classical curriculum. Only the traditional Catholic religion. Homeschooling is supported, but a clear and consistent message is the teaching of the Church on the necessity of Catholic schools.

32. Adventurous, traveling priests. Every weekend hundreds of Society priests are traveling Mass circuits around the world, showing extraordinary stamina and self-sacrifice.

33. Extraordinary attachment to Eternal Rome and the papacy.

34. Silver City monastery in New Mexico, affiliated with the Society. The monks built their monastery themselves, which is very beautiful and set in an idealic setting. Arguably the most faithful Benedictine monastery to the Rule of St. Benedict.

35. Our Lady of La Salette Academy for boys in Illinois. Half of graduates enter the seminary.

36. SSPX priests are greatly united on the doctrinal positions and overall mission of their Society.

37. Many SSPX families with many children.

38. Promotion of the Social Kingship of Christ, officially Catholic nations, principles of monarchy and aristocracy, the Old Order of Christian Europe, distributism, etc.

39. Several scouting organizations, summer camps, summer visits of monasteries and convents, and many other youth-oriented activities.

40. Another sister of Archbishop Lefebvre refounded several Carmelite convents loyal to Tradition.

5. tg - February 18, 2014

If Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication of 4 bishops, wouldn’t that mean the SPPX is not in schism. Can someone explain that to me?

tantamergo - February 18, 2014

Not entirely. The status of the SSPX viz a viz schism has been kept very deliberately muddy by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. One day they say one thing, the next day another. There was a schismatic act taken – consecrating bishops without Church approval. However, did the lifting of excommunications imply forgiveness or “regularization” of that act? It is very difficult to see.

Their status remains very uncertain. Some will argue passionately that they are not in schism, others that they are, but there has really not been a formal declaration one way or the other.

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