Thursday, November 24, 2016

With a Pope like Francis - Why does the SSPX keep going to Rome???


The standard answer is: Because Archbishop Lefebvre always went to Rome when asked - except from one time - right before the consecrations.

However, there is another reason why the SSPX should continue to work out what would be an acceptable canonical structure.

Because the chair of St. Peter won't always be occupied by a person who has a will to destroy the Catholic Church.

Eventually, Pope Francis will either:
  • convert (ala Pius IX),
  • die,
  • or be "deposed" as a heretic. (Note: Nuances need to be understood in this deposition of a reigning Pontiff - please see: ThePope)
When one of these three events happens (not if - when) a new Pope will be elected and if this one will concretely favor the return to Sacred Tradition etc, then a structure to support the SSPX's work in restoring Catholicism will be ready.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

FFI and Fr. Angelo M. Geiger


Something interesting happened to the FSSP priests who caused their chapter elections to be overturned in 2000.

Within a few years, they left.

Now we have this report from Gloria.TV that Fr. Angelo M. Geiger has left the FFI and joined a regular Franciscan order.

Oh well - some much for his excuses.

Frankly, if some members of the FFI were indeed 'Crypto-Lefebvrists', then what was Fr. Geiger, a 'Crypto-Modernist'???

Riposte Catholique has an article (robo translation below).

I believe that the events of the FFI have a special importance for the SSPX.

In 2000, the FSSP underwent their convulsion, just as relations between Rome and the SSPX were rekindled, providing the SSPX with material to question the intentions of the Roman authorities

Flash forward to 2012, the FFI (thanks to Fr. Geiger et al), are placed under investigation by Rome and their crime?  Crypto-Lefebvrism.

Very telling for the SSPX!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Justice for Faithful Catholics


While faithful Catholics now have the distinction of being called names by a rogue Pope (ie Pope Francis) we have to remember something:

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)

So just remember, no matter what names Pope Francis and his minions call us, we just have to turn around and, politely ask:

... and what are you???

For those faithful Catholics who don't support the SSPX but find themselves the object of derision - welcome to the club!!! 😄



Sunday, November 20, 2016

November 21, 1974 To November 21, 2016


In 1974, Archbishop Lefebvre issued a declaration that could be considered the beginning of the confrontation with Rome.

There are reports that something positive may happen tomorrow in the relations between Rome and the SSPX.

Continue praying!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hearing the Word of God - Imitation of Christ


The spectacle of a Pope calling Faithful Catholics names is bound to make an impression.

In considering the core fault of modernists, I would venture to say that it is pride.

... not too surprising all else considered.

However, something to keep in mind is that all the artful constructs of man shall come to naught when the light of God's Truth shines forth.

What we need to do as faithful Catholics is perform our duty of state with heroic virtue.

This means: Know your faith, pray and foster a strong spiritual life.

Just because the Pope and a good number of Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, et al don't do their duty of states is not and excuse for us!

Hear the words of God and consider them with care!


Friday, November 11, 2016

Pope Francis - - - Preaching another Gospel ... again!


Pope Francis has done it again - preaching another Gospel and then ...

You told me some time ago that the precept, “Love your neighbour as thyself” had to change, given the dark times that we are going through, and become “more than thyself.” So you yearn for a society where equality dominates. This, as you know, is the programme of Marxist socialism and then of communism. Are you therefore thinking of a Marxist type of society?
“It it has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians. Christ spoke of a society where the poor, the weak and the marginalized have the right to decide. Not demagogues, not Barabbas, but the people, the poor, whether they have faith in a transcendent God or not. It is they who must help to achieve equality and freedom”. One Peter Five
Aside from praising the communists - he should be merciful and pray for them.

Rome, SSPX and Pope Francis


I apply Catholic principles in my evaluation of any regularization of the SSPX.  This is simple and clear.

A Future Canonical Regularization of the SSPX

If there is only a remote occasion of sin, then the SSPX would be obliged to obey and submit to a canonical regularization of their situation within the Church.

Here's a refresher on Proximate and Remote occasions of sin:
Proximate occasion (De poenit. disp. 14, n. 149) as one in which men of like caliber for the most part fall into mortal sin, or one in which experience points to the same result from the special weakness of a particular person.
Remote occasion lacks these elements. Tradicat Article
In the case of a regularization what constitutes a 'proximate' occasion of sin?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

True Obedience: The Mark of A Faithful Catholic Part G: The SSPX and Conclusion


SSPX Conflict with Rome (1974)

The SSPX conflict with Rome has its roots in the events of 1974 with the visitation and the Declaration.

The key phrase may be:
It is impossible to modify profoundly the lex orandi without modifying the lex credendi. To the Novus Ordo Missae correspond a new catechism, a new priesthood, new seminaries, a charismatic Pentecostal Church—all things opposed to orthodoxy and the perennial teaching of the Church.
This Reformation, born of Liberalism and Modernism, is poisoned through and through; it derives from heresy and ends in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is therefore impossible for any conscientious and faithful Catholic to espouse this Reformation or to submit to it in any way whatsoever.
This seems to be the root of the mantra that the SSPX accept the council and the new mass.

Now with 42 years of hindsight we can asked the key question: Was Archbishop Lefebvre correct?

Has the change in lex orandi resulted in a change in lex credendi?

Well at least someone believed it created the devastation that we see now:
The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication. They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment. (Ratzinger in Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990, pgs. 103-104) (Latin Mass Society)

So let's proceed with the assumption that accepting the Four Points and the New Mass represent a proximate occasion of sin because while they are not explicitly heretical, they open the door to it due to their ambiguities.  In short the principles embodied in the documents and Novus Ordo led to the crisis we see in Doctrine and Liturgy.
  • Question: Is it within the superior's sphere of authority replace the received rites of the Church with a banal on the spot fabrication?
    • Answer: Some theologian's believe it is not, but let's assume that it is.
  • Question: Do the documents of V2 in the "Four Points" represent ambiguous or even a rupture with prior doctrine???
    • Answer: Looking at the Four Points and the original doctrine, it is reasonable to conclude (even without the benefit of hindsight) that yes they are either ambiguous or rupture with prior doctrine

Given the confusion, it seems quite reasonable to conclude that even if it were within the Pope's power to change Dogma and Doctrine at a whim as well as the Liturgy - it does represent a proximate occasion of sin (danger to the faith) to accept these principles.

Therefore, the Church had an obligation to disregard the order to accept the protestantized liturgy and doctrine reworded to be acceptable to protestants.

The Regularization of the SSPX

While the 1974 declaration may seem like ancient history, the possible regularization of the SSPX is not.  
  • Question: Is it within the sphere of authority of the Pope to order the SSPX to accept a particular canonical structure?
    • Answer: Yes, the Pope has universal jurisdiction. 
  • Question: Does accepting a no-compromise regularization (meaning the SSPX could continue to function exactly as it does now with the ordinary jurisdiction) constitute an immediate or occasion of sin?
    • Answer: Obviously, there is no immediate sin as a true no-compromise canonical form allows the SSPX the freedom to continue its work unimpeded without relying upon the state of necessity.
  • Question: Is it likely that the SSPX will compromise on Dogma, Doctrine or Liturgy in a True no-compromise regularization?  In short is it a proximate occasion of sin?
    • Answer: Assuming that it truly is a no-compromise regularization and the SSPX examines the arrangement thoroughly and concludes with all prudence that the offer is legitimate and there are no proximate requirements (explicitly or implied) in the proffered agreement.   This would have to be manifested in some manner such that the leadership of the SSPX is convinced that there is no proximate occasion of sin.
Therefore, in this theoretical case, we can conclude that the conditions for obedience would be present.  
I want to emphasize that this is not a question of whether the inferior subjectively trusts the superior.

It is a question of determining as far as humanly possible whether or not the order falls within the sphere of authority of the superior and if it involved immediate or proximate sin.  If the conclusion is that there is an absence of both immediate and proximate sin (knowing all the circumstances, conditions etc) then, following St. Thomas, the leadership would have to place their trust in God and submit.

Before someone runs off calling Tradical an 'Accordista', I would like to point out that these are theoretical conditions that have yet to be met. In reality, the mantra of "Accept the Council and New Mass" and other conditions are still being demanded of the SSPX.

In short:
  1. Rome is not ready to accept the SSPX as 'we are'.
  2. SSPX is not going to compromise.
  3. This isn't even the beginning of the end of the beginning of this crisis!
So, what action could Rome (ie The Pope) take to remove the concern of a proximate occasion of sin (obviously after removing any immediate occasion)?

One theologian mentioned to me that a declaration by the Pope that the Founder of the SSPX, Archbishop Lefebvre, acted well and prudently in the formation of the SSPX and its mission has official approbation by the Holy See.  

Such a declaration would go a long way to demonstrating that the Pope is truly going to support the SSPX when the going gets rough ... as it would when the SSPX is regularized!


The degree of virtue attached to obedience depends upon the nature of the order. It is not virtuous to obey a order that is sinful, as God must be obeyed in all things. It is virtuous to obey an order that is not sinful and falls within the superior's sphere of authority. There is greater virtue in obeying an sinless order that falls outside the superior's sphere of authority.

Dealing with explicitly sinful or sinless orders is simple. Dealing with orders that may be proximately sinful is more difficult as it requires us to practice the virtue of prudence in order to rightly determine whether or not to obey.

Obedience is a virtue that must be practiced prudently!


Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas :

Letter of St. Ignatious to the Portugese Jesuits:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

True Obedience: The Mark of A Faithful Catholic Part F: Principles in Practice - Amoris Laetitia


Amoris Laetitia

The second example is more delicate as it deals with the recent manifestation of the Pope's desire in Amoris Laetitia to allow those Catholics to receive Holy Communion who have abandoned their spouses and are living in an objective state of cohabitation with another man or woman.
Here are the objective teachings of the Catholic Church:
  • A Catholic who obtains a civil divorce, is still considered married to their spouse in the eye of God and His Church. Until such time as the Church, after investigating the facts, concludes that the formation of the Catholic marriage was frustrated.
  • To have marital relations outside of marriage is a mortal sin.
  • To knowingly receive the Holy Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is the sin of sacrilege.
  • To enable the sin of sacrilege is in itself sinful.
Following Catholic Teaching, carrying out an order (tacit or explicit) to provide communion to Catholics who purport to be remarried civilly is objectively sinful.
Following St. Thomas Aquinas' principles we can conclude that:
  • It is within the Pope's authority to issue regulations concerning the reception of Holy Communion? Answer: Yes
  • Is there is immediate or proximate sin involved in the command to knowingly provide communion to persons living in an objective state of mortal sin? Answer: Yes!

The conclusion that we can reach is that any who obey the order to give communion to Catholic 'divorcees' objectively are committing the sin of sacrilege. If a priest decided to refuse to do so, disobeying his superior, he would not commit the sin of disobedience as his is obeying the explicit order of a higher authority: God.

Friday, November 4, 2016

True Obedience: The Mark of A Faithful Catholic Part E: Principles in Practice - Summorum Pontificum


Principles in Practice

Unfortunately, many examples of sinful obedience and disobedience are readily available since the end of the Second World War.
I've selected two recent events in the life of the Church as examples: Summorum Pontificum and Amoris Laetitia.

Summorum Pontificum

In 2007, Pope Benedict issued the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. In the Motu Proprio we find the following statement:
Art. 5. § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonizes with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favoring the unity of the whole Church. (Summorum Pontificum)

For context we find that Canon 392 requires the bishop of a diocese to protect the unity of the Church by exercising vigilance so that abuses do not creep into ecclesiastical discipline.
Can. 392 §1. Since he must protect the unity of the universal Church, a bishop is bound to promote the common discipline of the whole Church and therefore to urge the observance of all ecclesiastical laws.

§2. He is to exercise vigilance so that abuses do not creep into ecclesiastical discipline, especially regarding the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and the veneration of the saints, and the administration of goods.

The order of the Pope is simply that Pastor's should provide the 1962 liturgy when requested in accordance with Canon 392.
With the hindsight provided by the passage of time, we know that the majority of Bishops and Priests did not 'willingly' provide the 1962 liturgy. In fact, there are numerous accounts of Bishops placing barriers in place to thwart the explicit intention of Summorum Pontificum. I know of one case in particular where the local ordinary refused to grant permission to the Tridentine Mass (ie. 1962 liturgy) and it wasn't until the laity could appeal to Ecclesia Dei that the bishop acquiesced.
Following the principles discussed above what can we conclude?
  • Is it within the sphere of the Pope's authority to issue such a command? Answer: Yes
  • Is there immediate or proximate sin involved in the command? Answer: No
The conclusion that we can reach, following St. Thomas, is that those who disobey the precepts of Summorum Pontificum, are committing the sin of disobedience. If a priest decided to say the Tridentine Mass, disobeying his superior to do so, he would not since as he is obeying the explicit order of a higher authority: The Pope.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

True Obedience: The Mark of A Faithful Catholic Part D: Jesuit Obedience


The Obedience of the Jesuits

There is one religious order that is usually put forward as the paragon of obedience: The Jesuits.
While according to Fr. Harvanek SJ, the Jesuit practice of obedience changed after the Second Vatican Council, we are primarily concerned with how St. Ignatius understood obedience and its ideal practice within the Jesuits. A letter to the Portuguese Jesuit, penned by St. Ignatius in 1553, describes in detail the ideal of perfect obedience.
In this letter, St. Ignastius exhorts the Portuguese Jesuits to a very high degree of obedience and as the word cloud of the top 100 words shows how the words superior and obedience dominate the letter.

This theme of obedience to the superior is reinforced throughout the letter, with little or no distinctions concerning the content of the command. The Jesuits are exhorted to humble themselves by obeying the least command of their superiors, to internalize this humilty and to desire internally nothing other than that desired by the superior.

Near the end of the letter St. Ignatius deals with the concept of 'blind obedience' – that if taken out of context could lead to a great deal of trouble.

The third means to subject the understanding which is even easier and surer, and in use among the holy Fathers, is to presuppose and believe, very much as we are accustomed to do in matters of faith, that what the superior enjoins is the command of God our Lord and His holy will. Then to proceed blindly, without injury of any kind, to the carrying out of the command, with the prompt impulse of the will to obey. So we are to think Abraham did when commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac [Gen. 22:2-3]. Likewise, under the new covenant, some of the holy Fathers to whom Cassian refers, as the Abbot John, who did not question whether what he was commanded was profitable or not, as when with such great labor he watered a dry stick throughout a year. Or whether it was possible or not, when he tried so earnestly at the command of his superior to move a rock which a large number of men would not have been able to move.

We see that God our Lord sometimes confirmed this kind of obedience with miracles, as when Maurus, Saint Benedict's disciple, going into a lake at the command of his superior, did not sink. Or in the instance of another, who being told to bring back a lioness, took hold of her and brought her to his superior. And you are acquainted with others. What I mean is that this manner of subjecting one's own judgment, without further inquiry, supposing that the command is holy and in conformity with God's will, is in use among the saints and ought to be imitated by any one who wishes to obey perfectly in all things, where manifestly there appears no sin. ( )

If someone were to read the letter, missing or dismissing the highlighted sentence, the Catholic world would be led into ruin. Without this key phrase, the Church would be led to believe that whatever "the superior enjoins is the command of God our Lord and His holy will".

While St. Ignatius differs with St. Thomas concerning the degree of virtue of simply obeying a superior's commands, they agree on the key element: A sinful command cannot be obeyed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Good News: Pope Francis is NOT the Anti-Christ!


When I heard that Pope Francis had taken it upon himself to expand the Gospel I thought of two verses.

First this one: 
For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. (Source: Matthew 24:24)
Obviously, Pope Francis is not demonstating signs and wonders that would deceive anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Catholic Doctrine and a modicum of the Faith.

Therefore he can't be the Anti-Christ, 'cause I'm not the elect and I'm definitely not deceived. (Humour is good for managing stress in distressing situations ...)

True Obedience: The Mark of A Faithful Catholic Part C: Summa Theologica


Summa Theologica – St. Thomas Aquinas

It should be of no surprise that the Catechism of the Council of Trent refers the reader to the Summa. After all, for hundreds of years it was the 'go-to' reference manual for understanding key areas of Catholic theology.

St. Thomas establishes that observance (question 102), rendering honor and respect to those in a position of dignity, is exercised by "rendering him service, by obeying his commands, and by repaying him, according to one's faculty, for the benefits we received from him".  Further, this service is owed to the person in a position of authority, not because of themselves, but because of the position of dignity that they occupy. Disobedience to the superior is counted by St. Thomas as a mortal sin as it is "contrary to the love of God" and the "love of our neighbor".

In article 5 of question 104, St. Thomas proceeds to define the framework for obedience due to  superiors – outside of which obedience is not obligatory and may even be sinful.

The first criteria is that the order cannot contradict the law of God, as He is the "first mover of all wills", all are bound to obey the divine command under justice (Q104, article 4 & 5).  One example employed by St. Thomas is the chain of command within a hierarchy.  In this he states:  "If a commissioner issue an order, are you to comply, if it is contrary to the bidding of the proconsul?"  Ultimately, he ends his example with an order given by the Emperor stating "... if the emperor commands one thing and God another, you must disregard the former and obey God".

Simply put, if at any point within the hierarchy an order is given that requires the subject to sin, the order is to be disregarded.   This sinful order can be structured in two ways.  Either the nature of the  thing commanded is sinful or the command is to disobey a legitimate order.

Sin can be divided into the immediate, proximate and remote cases. In the immediate case, the order in and of itself is directly sinful, such as a command to break the First Commandment.  In the proximate case, a command involves a situation in which  is it likely the person will fall into mortal sin, such as an order to a reformed alcholic to visit a tavern for a glass of water.  In the remote case, the occasion lacks both characteristics. Catholics are obliged to avoid the immediate and proximate occasions of sin, but have no obligation to avoid remote occasions.

The second criteria is that, the order provided by the superior must be within the "sphere of his authority". Obviously, different types of superiors have different domains in which it is licit for them to issue orders.  For example, a person's manager can only issue orders that pertain to their employment.  A religious superior can only issue orders that fall within the "mode of life" ( clerical, monastic, mendicant, military, hospitaller) as expressed by vows taken and the rule of the order.  For example, a religious superior can issue an order to transfer a member of their order to another monastery or house of the order.

St. Thomas states that a subject who obeys an order outside of the sphere of authority, but does not require sin,  practices "perfect obedience".  This is due to the lack of no obligation to obey but the submit of their will to the superior nonetheless.

St. Thomas concludes by identifying three types of obedience:
1. Sufficient for salvation, and consisting in obeying when one is bound to obey:
2. Perfect obedience, which obeys in all things lawful:
3. Indiscreet obedience, which obeys even in matters unlawful.

Therefore, following St. Thomas, we arrive at two criteria for obedience:
1. The command does not require the inferior to sin, either in the immediate or proximate case.
2. The command is within the sphere of the superior's authority

These various conditions for obedience can be summarized in a 2x2 matrix as shown below:

In summary, following St. Thomas' reasoning, if an order is within the sphere of authority and does not involve sin, then the subject has an obligation to obey and commits a mortal sin if they disobey.
If the same order is outside the sphere of authority, then St. Thomas states it is perfect obedience to submit one's will to that of their superior.

Finally, it is sinful to obey an order that involves sin (is against the law of God).

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

True Obedience: The Mark of A Faithful Catholic Part B: Obedience in the Church of Christ


True Obedience: The Mark of A Faithful Catholic


In the liberal atmosphere that permeates Western culture, obedience has been greatly abused as an excuse for great evil. However, obedience is a virtue and Catholics are supposed to seek to continually increase in virtue. This leads to the question: How does a Catholic obey both their religious and civil superiors when they are obviously perpetrating evil laws and doctrines?
The answer provided by the Catholic Church is surprisingly simple: God does not require blind obedience to all commands.
In this article, we will review the Catholic teaching on obedience and its practice in the modern world.

Obedience in the Church of Christ

Because the Church has discussed obedience at length throughout the ages, forming an opinion aligned with the mind of the Church should not be difficult. In this age of immediate access to information, three authorities are readily available: Catechism of the Council of Trent, St. Thomas, and St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Catechism of the Council of Trent

The Catechism of Trent discusses obedience as part of the its treatment of the Fourth Commandment and one section deals specifically the obedience due to Bishops and Priests.
The Apostle also teaches that they are entitled to obedience: Obey your prelates, and be subject to them; for they watch as being to render an account of your souls. Nay, more. Christ the Lord commands obedience even to wicked pastors: Upon the chair of Moses have sitten the scribes and Pharisees: all things, therefore, whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do; but according to their works do ye not, for they say and do not.
The key points of this teaching are obvious: Bishops and Priests are entitled to our obedience as they are responsible for the salvation of our souls. Moreover, this obligation is not limited to good and holy priests, but also to 'wicked pastors'. In this light we are admonished to not follow their wicked example but to observe and do 'whatsoever they shall say to you'.
To a casual reader, it may appear as if subordinates should obey all orders from bad priests, bishops, and Popes irregardless of the nature of the order. However, in the 1923 edition of the catechism there are footnotes that direct the reader to the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.

On the honor and obedience due to ecclesiastical superiors see Summa Theol. 2a. 2Ae (Second Part of the Second Part) cii. (102) civ (104) 5; ....