07:45
Archbishop Lefebvre on the nature of the Papacy and contra Sedevacantism.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@Ave Crux ” I didn't pause to read your comments at all, after first noticing some others which disparaged Pope Francis because he is helping SSPX.”

What? 😂😂😂 who did?

Quote it verbatim 😂

As usual, undoing the work that other people put in by blatant falsehoods 😂
Ultraviolet
@Ave Crux Strange you never berate GTV's cartoonist for mocking Pope Francis. Cowardice and hypocirsy in equal measure. :P

Misuising "Neo-Con" doesn't make you appear educated, either. Protip: Submitting to Pope Francis is not the same as respecting him. The SSPX does neither because they're schismatics.

"precisely when the Office is exercised JUSTLY..."
-as determined by the SSPX who decide…More
@Ave Crux Strange you never berate GTV's cartoonist for mocking Pope Francis. Cowardice and hypocirsy in equal measure. :P

Misuising "Neo-Con" doesn't make you appear educated, either. Protip: Submitting to Pope Francis is not the same as respecting him. The SSPX does neither because they're schismatics.

"precisely when the Office is exercised JUSTLY..."
-as determined by the SSPX who decide when and IF they will submit to him. Because that's what schismatics do.

"...the Neo-Cons hiss and gnash their teeth...",

Nah. Granting the SSPX priests a dispensation from the impediment of schism doesn't change the fact they ARE in schism.

But don't let the facts stop you. :D

" to see these gestures of mercy and reconciliation..."

Protip: Mercy is granted only to wrong-doers! :D

You know... like schismatics.

WHAT does that tell you about the spirit that animates the Neo-Cons? Do they love souls?

You've already excommunicated yourself from the Chruch when you bought into Apb. Lefebvre's garbage. What does that tell you abot YOUR soul, eh? Not my problem, nor the Chruch's. :P
Ave Crux
@On the Contrary I visited this Post the other day, and to avoid the long thread I saw below it -- which normally means "trouble" on Gloria.TV -- I didn't pause to read your comments at all, after first noticing some others which disparaged Pope Francis because he is helping SSPX.

I was deeply distressed that anyone could possibly object -- rather than rejoicing -- to see that the Pope is …More
@On the Contrary I visited this Post the other day, and to avoid the long thread I saw below it -- which normally means "trouble" on Gloria.TV -- I didn't pause to read your comments at all, after first noticing some others which disparaged Pope Francis because he is helping SSPX.

I was deeply distressed that anyone could possibly object -- rather than rejoicing -- to see that the Pope is trying to help normalize SSPX's canonical situation for the good of the 700 Priests, 600,000 faithful souls, and the Church Herself.

However, at @philosopher's suggestion, I came back today to read your comments, and I want to say you have explained everything brilliantly. Thank you...!

I had tried many, many times on other posts to explain that it is impossible to grant habitual, formal Canonical Faculties (which can only delegated to Catholic priests by their superiors within the Church) to schismatic priests; and that schismatics may only minister the Sacraments which require faculties by means of supplied jurisdiction and by way of exception in rare circumstances when a Catholic Priest is not available.

I also have tried to explain that the vague and nebulous term of "not in full communion" has no precise Canonical meaning nor defined status, and cannot possibly be used as a basis for declaring SSPX schismatic simply because they are referred to in this manner.

But I don't have your patience nor your capacity and gifts for such an elaborate and well-informed explanation of these complex matters.

Thank you for making clear what I have tried -- and apparently failed -- to make clear many times before.

Your conclusion below says it all beautifully.....Thank you!

"However, when we actually look at the historical circumstances and analyze them in light of the law, I believe we can reach moral certitude that, at the very least, the SSPX has been treated unjustly. And in keeping with the generous spirit of the Church’s laws, we are not allowed to conclude that schism exists when it has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt in the external forum."
Mathathias Maccabeus
Notice how peaceful the debate was until Michael and Ave showed up ;)

Notice how those contributors didn’t address any points we raised with sufficient documents or citations. The only one that did was On the Contrary, which is why I have always respected what they have said.

Ave, take a lesson from someone better than you. If you want to change minds, follow the example of On the Contrary. …More
Notice how peaceful the debate was until Michael and Ave showed up ;)

Notice how those contributors didn’t address any points we raised with sufficient documents or citations. The only one that did was On the Contrary, which is why I have always respected what they have said.

Ave, take a lesson from someone better than you. If you want to change minds, follow the example of On the Contrary. Stop crying and saying, “but but but”.
philosopher
On the Contray has made the best post in this debate thread.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@Ave Crux Didnt you say you were getting off of this?
philosopher
No that was Ave, but I need to head out also.

Thanks for thoughts on this heated controversy.
Mathathias Maccabeus
No I knew it was, Ave was typing a response.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@philosopher See what I mean?
Ave Crux
You accuse me of lying. UV calls Pope Francis "Pope Pachamama" because he helps SSPX. And I'm the problem....? 😂 😂 😂
Mathathias Maccabeus
No, they refer to them as Pachamama for the most people do.

They were merely pointing out the inconsistency of your position. Maybe you should quote them in context. But you don’t know how to do citations properly so I don’t expect you’d be honest in that either.
Ave Crux
Another slander. Good night. I will return to my own Posts now to keep the truth flowing.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@Ave Crux No amount of crying from you changes the fact that Pope Francis said they weren’t in communion. If you think it’s slander that I pointed out rightly that you quote people out of context you are free to sue me or provide evidence.

@Ultraviolet and myself have plenty of evidence you do that, lie, and back edit your posts when you get corrected.
Mathathias Maccabeus
And it’s clear you hold them in contempt. They are far more consistent in their belief than you, who praises the pope for allowing the SSPX to practice two of the sacraments while simultaneously arguing against his papacy.
Ave Crux
Pointing out clear and plain evidence of an absurdly painful hatred for the SSPX even though Pope Francis is working to help them is not factual?

It does not help readers understand the truth in this exchange?

The hatred for SSPX couldn't be more clear -- since they should be REJOICING in these developments -- not CONDEMNING and DISPARAGING Pope Francis for the good he has done for 700 …More
Pointing out clear and plain evidence of an absurdly painful hatred for the SSPX even though Pope Francis is working to help them is not factual?

It does not help readers understand the truth in this exchange?

The hatred for SSPX couldn't be more clear -- since they should be REJOICING in these developments -- not CONDEMNING and DISPARAGING Pope Francis for the good he has done for 700 Priests and 600,000 faithful Catholics.

If that is not clear evidence of a malevolent will toward SSPX as they are being helped by the Pope, I don't know what is.


Sorry -- I quoted someone verbatim -- it's not my fault their statements clearly equate to hissing and gnashing of teeth. Every reader would agree on that.
Mathathias Maccabeus
“ Thus, when the Pope grants SSPX Canonical Faculties for Confessions and Marriages, and grants SSPX full liberty to licitly ordain their dedicated Priests throughout the world, the Neo-Cons hiss and gnash their teeth, and call the Pope contemptuous names ("Pope Pachamama") for doing so!! It's unimaginably perverse!”

This is ironic from a chief hypocrite and liar, considering you yourself…More
“ Thus, when the Pope grants SSPX Canonical Faculties for Confessions and Marriages, and grants SSPX full liberty to licitly ordain their dedicated Priests throughout the world, the Neo-Cons hiss and gnash their teeth, and call the Pope contemptuous names ("Pope Pachamama") for doing so!! It's unimaginably perverse!”

This is ironic from a chief hypocrite and liar, considering you yourself argued in favor of Pope Francis not being pope.
philosopher
@Mathathias Maccabeus But, if @Ave Crux denies that Francis is Pope then I would have to vehemently disagree with him on that point. To defend the SSPX is to defend their recognition that Francis is the pope -they have even expelled several priests in the past for holding Sede positions.
Ave Crux
@philosopher -- Absolutely not! You see what lies they spread. I have never once denied Pope Francis was Pope. I merely observed that Catholics have a right to discuss the election irregularities precisely because Pope John Paul II wrote an Encyclical in this matter.

However, every single time this has come up, I have cautioned everyone that ONLY the Church can perform a juridical inquiry …More
@philosopher -- Absolutely not! You see what lies they spread. I have never once denied Pope Francis was Pope. I merely observed that Catholics have a right to discuss the election irregularities precisely because Pope John Paul II wrote an Encyclical in this matter.

However, every single time this has come up, I have cautioned everyone that ONLY the Church can perform a juridical inquiry to get to the truth of the matter. And that until the Church does that, we accept the election and the Pope.

Yet they will slander and defame others without scruple based on falsehood. I make a a factual observation about very evident hatred for SSPX, and I am the problem now. Pretty sad.

Go back and look as my comments....I have never once changed my position: AND IT IS THE POSITION OF THE CHURCH.
philosopher
@Ave Crux point taken, that you don't deny that Francis is Pope. I appreciate the clarification.

The other topic is interesting regarding the right to discuss irregularities of papal elections but I'll have to do some more research on it.

Have a good evening.
Ave Crux
@philosopher Thank you. If you look back at the thread, it was because there are public articles circulating even in secular papers that raise the question about the validity of the Election based on public knowledge of the irregularities.

My point was that Catholics could discuss these matters circulating in the public forum in order to keep things clear in their own heads -- with the CONCLUSI…More
@philosopher Thank you. If you look back at the thread, it was because there are public articles circulating even in secular papers that raise the question about the validity of the Election based on public knowledge of the irregularities.

My point was that Catholics could discuss these matters circulating in the public forum in order to keep things clear in their own heads -- with the CONCLUSION that only the Church may ultimately decide after a juridical inquiry.

In fact -- though I have known about it a very long time, I never once brought it up myself. It was only when it was being discussed here that I pointed out the necessity of a juridical inquiry, and merely granted that Catholics could certainly discuss it if Pope John Paul II wrote an entire encyclical on it for the Church's information -- clearly making it a topic of Catholic interest and concern.
Ave Crux
@philosopher In fact, while commenting on this post, I was actually preparing to re-upload this video, because it never appeared in my own Gloria.TV feed and I only found it by accident. I want to be sure others see it. I also commented to you from the very outset that this was an excellent post. To say otherwise about my position on the Papacy is a complete falsehood.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@philosopher, prime example right below.
Mathathias Maccabeus
You say that UV needs to refrain from emotionally provocative attacks, but you ignore plainly the same from @Ave Crux. I suspect it’s because they agree with you.
philosopher
Is it not one thing to describe a sad state of affairs but quite another to call some one a moron? They are not in the same category.
Mathathias Maccabeus
Are you referring to their reply to the guy that always calls them Ultratroll and my altar ego?
Mathathias Maccabeus
The same one that called UV a liar for pointing out what you yourself conceded?
philosopher
But, there were a couple of committee documents that were not finalized at the official ending of the Council, but were release a few months post- Council and Lefebvre did refuse to sign those.
Mathathias Maccabeus
Does that make UV a liar, or wrong?
Alex A
@ Mathathias Maccabeus Excuse my butting in, but I'm puzzled as to why you invariably end up defending UV. From where I sit, UV is more than capable of defending himself. Is he not? 🤔
Mathathias Maccabeus
@Alex A Providing evidence for a claim is not the same as defending a person.
Ave Crux
CONSIDER THIS:

It's very, very sad, and very revealing indeed that the Neo-Cons who are constantly trumpeting about how important it is to respect the Pope and Canon Law will suddenly speak of the Pope and Canon Law with utter contempt and disdain (e.g. "When has Pope Pachamama ever failed to endorse errors contrary to The Church in one way or another") precisely when the Office is exerc…More
CONSIDER THIS:

It's very, very sad, and very revealing indeed that the Neo-Cons who are constantly trumpeting about how important it is to respect the Pope and Canon Law will suddenly speak of the Pope and Canon Law with utter contempt and disdain (e.g. "When has Pope Pachamama ever failed to endorse errors contrary to The Church in one way or another") precisely when the Office is exercised JUSTLY and as an instrument of HEALING and RECONCILIATION with SSPX.....instead of destruction for fidelity to Tradition and doctrine!

Thus, when the Pope grants SSPX Canonical Faculties for Confessions and Marriages, and grants SSPX full liberty to licitly ordain their dedicated Priests throughout the world, the Neo-Cons hiss and gnash their teeth, and call the Pope contemptuous names ("Pope Pachamama") for doing so!! It's unimaginably perverse!

Instead of REJOICING to see these gestures of mercy and reconciliation with these 700 SSPX Priests and 600,000 faithful Catholics -- souls precious to God and to the Church -- the Neo-Cons despise them and whatever good is done for them -- which can only be good for the Church Herself.

WHAT does that tell you about the spirit that animates the Neo-Cons? Do they love souls?

Do they truly love the Church and the Papacy and Priesthood as they say?

Their words and animus prove otherwise.
Ave Crux
It's not at all surprising that MM believes they are the sole possessors of authority on the definition of the word Neo-Con and by whom, and how it may be used. And that they may impose their thoughts in this regard on others to the point they believe it entitles them to accuse others of lying.

Not at all surprising, as they act as Gloria.TV thought [control] police (some more words on that …More
It's not at all surprising that MM believes they are the sole possessors of authority on the definition of the word Neo-Con and by whom, and how it may be used. And that they may impose their thoughts in this regard on others to the point they believe it entitles them to accuse others of lying.

Not at all surprising, as they act as Gloria.TV thought [control] police (some more words on that later); but it is rather sad...
philosopher
@Ave Crux those are good observations, that I've also noticed in some Catholic neo-con media.
Mathathias Maccabeus
“ Only the Neo-Cons insist he was schismatic. How often while he was alive did we not hear him say these very same things...!”

Nonsense. Most traditional Catholics I know consider him schismatic, @Ave Crux. 😂

Besides, that just proves you lied on my post. Great example you set for the SSPX 😂
philosopher
@Mathathias Maccabeus That's a very subjective statement. It's hard to determine the percentage of traditionalists who would think he is schismatic without proper social research. I also teach a course in Sociology so I know what I'm talking about. You would need to identify your category of traditionalist, then conduct a randomized survey. I would speculate that most are sympathetic and …More
@Mathathias Maccabeus That's a very subjective statement. It's hard to determine the percentage of traditionalists who would think he is schismatic without proper social research. I also teach a course in Sociology so I know what I'm talking about. You would need to identify your category of traditionalist, then conduct a randomized survey. I would speculate that most are sympathetic and greatful he protected the faithful and the orthodox Catholic faith in the face of liberals who were weaponizing Canon law in order to suppress the TLM. But the fact is we don't know what the exact percentages are.
Mathathias Maccabeus
It was a reply to this from Ave, “ Only the Neo-Cons insist he was schismatic.”

I could have posted the no true Scotsman’s fallacy instead.
philosopher
True, it is a fallacy, but in a general way most (the majority with few exceptions) of the conservative Catholic publications and media that are NO based that I've ever read conclude that the SSPX is in schism. How many traditionalist publications consider the SSPX in schism?
Mathathias Maccabeus
I would say everyone at every FSSP parish I’ve been to have tended towards traditionalist. Yet because they think the SSPX is in schism (at least in my experience), they would be Neocons.
On the Contrary
The terms "traditionalist" and "conservative" are meaningless at best and insulting at worst unless we define them properly. During Vatican II, the bishops were divided into factions that eventually became known as "progressive/liberal" or "conservative," with the latter being those who sided with Abp. Lefebvre and the Coetus Internationalis Patrum. They were called conservative precisely becaus…More
The terms "traditionalist" and "conservative" are meaningless at best and insulting at worst unless we define them properly. During Vatican II, the bishops were divided into factions that eventually became known as "progressive/liberal" or "conservative," with the latter being those who sided with Abp. Lefebvre and the Coetus Internationalis Patrum. They were called conservative precisely because they sought to conserve certain things that the progressive faction wanted to abolish.

As we know from history, the progressives eventually got their way and oversaw the implementation of the Council, so the conservatives soon became known as "traditionalists" because what they'd wanted to conserve was no longer there, and they now perceived the need to restore. Today's conservatism, or neo-conservatism (if I may) is of a different type than what the "old conservatives" or "traditionalists" adhered to.

The primary differences of opinion between these "neo-conservatives" and "traditionalists" are about Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae; while the former promotes the hermeneutic of continuity and the reform of the reform, the latter finds these solutions insufficient and insists that the root of the problem is deeper. This is how I tend to use these terms personally, and I would never presume to label another a "neo-con" or a "trad" on the basis of one specific view.

As for the views publicly defended by SSPX and FSSP superiors, I would say that generally speaking, the former would fall under the traditionalist label, while the latter would fall under the conservative label. However, this is in no way indicative of the views of individual priests and faithful who associate themselves with these groups. Fr. Gerstle's opinion on interpreting Vatican II in light of Tradition is in no way indicative of the views of any other FSSP priest any more than Fr. Sélégny's bad moral theology represents the average SSPX priest's view on the COVID vaccines. The faithful are even more diverse in their opinions, and most don't particularly care to discuss them at all.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@On the Contrary Im specifically referring to the claim of Ave, who in one post said something wasn’t directed at me unless I considered myself a neocon, while in this one showed she clearly was referring to me based on the arguments.

Her comment was, and I quote, “ Only the Neo-Cons insist he was schismatic”, and my response was that there are traditionalists that hold the same position as …More
@On the Contrary Im specifically referring to the claim of Ave, who in one post said something wasn’t directed at me unless I considered myself a neocon, while in this one showed she clearly was referring to me based on the arguments.

Her comment was, and I quote, “ Only the Neo-Cons insist he was schismatic”, and my response was that there are traditionalists that hold the same position as many of the SSPX in regards to Vatican II that also consider them schismatics.

Hence to her, no one is a traditionalist unless they don’t think the SSPX is in schism, and once again showing the toxic SSPX position that they are the arbiters of truth.

Like, any good work you could have done @Ave Crux washes away. Lol.
On the Contrary
@Mathathias Maccabeus I see your point. The SSPX, however, has never claimed "that they are the arbiters of truth," and such a statement represents the same tendency to overgeneralization that both you and I are criticizing here. Official writings and documents published by the SSPX have always used the term "traditionalist" sparingly and carefully. Abp. Lefebvre himself didn't seem to like …More
@Mathathias Maccabeus I see your point. The SSPX, however, has never claimed "that they are the arbiters of truth," and such a statement represents the same tendency to overgeneralization that both you and I are criticizing here. Official writings and documents published by the SSPX have always used the term "traditionalist" sparingly and carefully. Abp. Lefebvre himself didn't seem to like it either, as his writings show. Do some SSPX supporters have a toxic attitude and present bad arguments? Absolutely, but in my experience, that's more of an online problem than a "real life" problem, though every parish will have its own vocal group that enjoys ranting about Church politics.

The vast majority of ordinary people, whether they attend SSPX or FSSP chapels (or both!) simply want to live their lives, take care of their families, and work out their salvation. The prayers and sacrifices of these people will do much more to resolve the crisis in the Church than a thousand theology manuals, to say nothing of online debates. This is the reason why my modus operandi for dealing with online drama is to simply keep a healthy distance and simply ignore the toxicity instead of feeding it and escalating.
Mathathias Maccabeus
Good point, as usual @On the Contrary
Alex A
Excellent example of good-old-fashioned-common-sense and logic applied to a would-be divisive topic. Thank you, @On the Contrary
Ultraviolet
"...of the conservative Catholic publications and media that are NO based that I've ever read" @philosopher ---and that's a Fallacy of Anecdotal Evidence. ...since you're noting fallacies. ;-)
Ave Crux
Excellent post! Thank you!
Ave Crux
It is well known that Archbishop Lefebvre revered the Papacy and respected its authority in all that was lawfully commanded or forbidden. Only the Neo-Cons insist he was schismatic. How often while he was alive did we not hear him say these very same things...!
Ultraviolet
If Abp. Lefebvre believed there was a "bad spirit" IN the Council, why did he sign the documents OF the Council? ...and he did sign ALL of them.
michael newman
He specifically says he didn’t sign two of them. Go find what they are.
Ultraviolet
..and that makes it true because he said so. You gullible, witless moron. Go learn some logic. If you want to disprove my source with some factual information, go for it, Until then, shaddap. :D
michael newman
Everyone reading your posts can see who the witless moron is ultratroll
philosopher
@Ultraviolet he signed them b/c he was a Vatican II Council Father and supported the office of the Pope, and, afterword on seeing how things were unfolding he that it had been dominated by the interpretation of progressives and liberals. I would have do some re-searching online, but I recall reading that there were a couple of lower level unfinished committee documents on ecumenism, religious …More
@Ultraviolet he signed them b/c he was a Vatican II Council Father and supported the office of the Pope, and, afterword on seeing how things were unfolding he that it had been dominated by the interpretation of progressives and liberals. I would have do some re-searching online, but I recall reading that there were a couple of lower level unfinished committee documents on ecumenism, religious liberty, that were not included in the main salient work of the Council, that he did not sign off on. That is the Bad Spirit of the council he was referring to.
On the Contrary
@philosopher Unfortunately, I don’t have a direct reference at hand, but I do recall Bp. Tissier de Mallerais (perhaps in his biography of Abp. Lefebvre) saying that Abp. Lefebvre did sign all of the documents, but later misremembered and went to his grave believing that he didn’t sign Dignitatis humanae and Gaudium et spes. I’d be inclined to give a man in his eighties the benefit of the …More
@philosopher Unfortunately, I don’t have a direct reference at hand, but I do recall Bp. Tissier de Mallerais (perhaps in his biography of Abp. Lefebvre) saying that Abp. Lefebvre did sign all of the documents, but later misremembered and went to his grave believing that he didn’t sign Dignitatis humanae and Gaudium et spes. I’d be inclined to give a man in his eighties the benefit of the doubt and attribute this discrepancy to a memory lapse.

What we do know is that Abp. Lefebvre, toward the end of the Council, hoped that the documents would be implemented in light of Tradition. In fact, in the late 1960s, he went into semi-retirement (and certainly deserved his rest, given his decades of missionary work in Africa) and had to be persuaded to come out by seminarians who were seeing the disastrous implementation of Vatican II firsthand. Perhaps upon hearing what these seminarians had to say, he came to the realization that he had been too optimistic, and that those responsible for implementing Vatican II had no intention of adhering to Tradition. Given that the primary problem with the Council documents was ambiguity, not blatant error, he now had the benefit of hindsight and could clearly see how the ambiguity was planted in the texts to be utilized later.

The same happened with his views on the Novus Ordo. While he never celebrated the Novus Ordo himself, in the early 1970s, the 1965 Missal was used at the seminary in Écône. I believe he also told a few people that attendance at the Novus Ordo could be permitted provided that the celebrant did it properly (without abuses) and that one did not make a habit of attending. As he continued to witness the chaos throughout the decade, however, he later changed his views, switched back to the 1962 Missal, and counseled against attending the Novus Ordo at all.

Here we see that a man, no matter how renowned or great, is still a man. He had to go through the process of observing the situation around him, gathering more evidence, and refining his conclusions over time. In that respect, he was ahead of his contemporaries, and we cannot fault him for not having an angelic intellect.
philosopher
Thank you for the clarification. I do remember reading both that he did sign all of the Vat II documents, and at another time that there were two that he didn't sign. It is likely as you say that he did sign off on all the documents as a Council Father.

Do you think the SSPX will ever come back to Lefebvre 's original insight that the Council can be interpreted in light of tradition, or continue…More
Thank you for the clarification. I do remember reading both that he did sign all of the Vat II documents, and at another time that there were two that he didn't sign. It is likely as you say that he did sign off on all the documents as a Council Father.

Do you think the SSPX will ever come back to Lefebvre 's original insight that the Council can be interpreted in light of tradition, or continue to hold, as they do presently, that the documents on religious liberty, ecumenism, and collegiality need to be revised?
On the Contrary
@philosopher I think the ship has sailed already for the SSPX, just as it has for many non-SSPX critics of Vatican II. While an interpretation in light of the "hermeneutic of continuity" might be implemented, perhaps along with Bishop Schneider's proposal for a "Syllabus of Errors," as a temporary solution, it cannot be a permanent solution. A while back, I posted my own thoughts on the hermen…More
@philosopher I think the ship has sailed already for the SSPX, just as it has for many non-SSPX critics of Vatican II. While an interpretation in light of the "hermeneutic of continuity" might be implemented, perhaps along with Bishop Schneider's proposal for a "Syllabus of Errors," as a temporary solution, it cannot be a permanent solution. A while back, I posted my own thoughts on the hermeneutic, and it appears that most in the SSPX share similar sentiments.

Abp. Lefebvre's "original insight" immediately after the Council, which is still substantially the same position held by some modern conservatives, has already been disproven by the developments of the 1970s and 80s. The official implementation of Vatican II, approved by papal fiat, was conducted according to an attitude of rupture. It is beyond clear at this point what the innovators intended through the use of cleverly-placed ambiguity. Given that the Council itself defined nothing new, and most of its pastoral directives have already been superseded by new ones, it seems like either revision or abrogation are the only solutions.

We also have to consider here that "ambiguity," in theological terms, doesn't simply refer to confusing language, but to a specific censure. It refers to a proposition that may be interpreted in multiple ways, at least one of which is objectionable, and the fact that we have two hermeneutics is more than sufficient to demonstrate that the Council is ambiguous. Even without blatant error, ambiguity should not be tolerated or accepted in Council documents.
philosopher
@On the Contrary thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree with your conclusion that the SSPX is not in schism. They have not set up a parallel Church with their own diocesan bishops as the Anglicans, or Orthodox did, nor elected their own Pope but remain a loyal Catholic association. From my own experience and observations, I have noted that they are willing to work with any orthodox …More
@On the Contrary thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree with your conclusion that the SSPX is not in schism. They have not set up a parallel Church with their own diocesan bishops as the Anglicans, or Orthodox did, nor elected their own Pope but remain a loyal Catholic association. From my own experience and observations, I have noted that they are willing to work with any orthodox Catholics, and even liberals who are well intentioned and are of good will.

In addition, I also agree, in light of the continued chaos in the Church, even diocean bishops like Ab. Athanasius Schneider and Ab. Vigano, and perhaps many others are now coming to the conclusion that there has been a rupture due to the infiltration of modernism and at some point in the future there will have to be a correction by the hierarchy. The Council undeniably was sui generis compared to previous Councils in that it defined no dogma or doctrine but only unleashed a state of confusion among the faithful through its pastoral applications that is diabolical in magnitude and scope. I remain ever hopeful b/c as Our Lord promised the gates of Hell, shall not prevail against Her.
Ultraviolet
"Everyone reading your posts can see who the witless moron is ultratroll" --From the same chap who also wrote:

"De personalising people (even if people have pseudonyms ) is a classic psychopathic ploy."
Ultraviolet
"he signed them b/c he was a Vatican II Council Father and supported the office of the Pope". @philosopher ...and at least until a successor forbade him from appointing his own bishops. But I -do- appreciate the confirmation he DID sign them. It's a fine day when Michael Newman gets gelded and a fellow SSPX sympathizer is holding the knife. :D
Mathathias Maccabeus
@Just me Don’t you reject Francis as pope? Isn’t that the opposite of what this video says?
philosopher
True, he specifically states that he does not reject the pope for any reason, and does not want schism.
Just me
What a Holy man he is. He truly loved Christ and his Faith. Once there is a real Catholic Pope, this man will be canonized. A white Martyr is what he is. All for his love for Christ. “ Instaurare omnia in Christo ”. Unlike the man in the vatican now, trying to destroy all things Christ. And His Holy Mother.
Just me
By the way, I just listened to this particular video just a few minutes ago. Great timing!
Mathathias Maccabeus
I think this counts in his favor, but I think he misrepresented Sacred Scripture and the dispute between St. Peter and Paul. St. Paul didn’t say he didn’t walk in the Catholic faith, but that he caused scandal by who he preferred.

Based on this I can see why one would say he doesn’t intend to cut himself off from the pope, but I don’t see much to change my position from a canonical standpoint. …More
I think this counts in his favor, but I think he misrepresented Sacred Scripture and the dispute between St. Peter and Paul. St. Paul didn’t say he didn’t walk in the Catholic faith, but that he caused scandal by who he preferred.

Based on this I can see why one would say he doesn’t intend to cut himself off from the pope, but I don’t see much to change my position from a canonical standpoint. This is why my position isn’t to judge him spiritually, and I speak from a legal standpoint. I lean more to Ultraviolet’s position simply because to me the law and circumstances around it seem clear to me. But I lean towards your position when it comes to the intent and possible vindication. Im willing to take him at his word when it comes to the intent and his heart. That doesn’t mean I agree or support what he did in an objective sense, and believe he could have been entirely wrong.

There are two other factors that I consider in why I don’t recommend or support the SSPX. 1) It is a gamble. If you are wrong about them not being in schism then it truly does affect your soul, and I cannot recommend that someone put themselves in a situation where their soul in put in jeopardy. It is a gamble because as of now, all the popes have actively said they are not in communion. I suspect this is why UV is so against it, because when we stand before God and we have to make an account, none of us can deny that the popes have said it. The pope could be wrong, but we do not have true knowledge of the matter and so we have to take the supreme lawgiver and judge on earth at his word. 2) The laity tend to be toxic, which presents further spiritual harm. Of course not all laity are toxic but there are a good number.

What is ironic is it wasn’t until Ave Crux made their argument against Pope Francis being Pope that I began agreeing with UV. Not because she represents the SSPX position (which as you have pointed out is not in favor of Ave’s claim). But their insistence of being right meant they said I had no idea what I was talking about. I took her at her word and did research, which led me to find the official documents and canon law citations that supported UV’s claim. Prior to being told I didn’t know what I was talking about I tended to avoid the conversation and subject because of a personal experience I have had regarding someone very knowledgeable and pro SSPX. The more research I did the more I found supporting UV.

The really ironic part is I was once going to switch to the SSPX for the person I knew, and got so mad at someone who said similar things as UV to me in person I almost fought them, and had to leave before I lost control. That’s how passionately against this argument against them until I was spurned on to do research.

In fact, you can see it in my first comments here. They consisted of me insulting @Ultraviolet 😂

Anyways, I’m not going to judge the soul of anyone based on association with the SSPX, including their priests. I just consider it dangerous and would rather tell people to stick with what the popes have said about it until they can be vindicated, which a future orthodox pope may absolutely do.
Mathathias Maccabeus
Regardless, I think both you and Ultraviolet act in good faith about this, and so I hope this debate doesn’t become something that drives us to despise each other. All three of us want what is best for the Church and the souls in it.
On the Contrary
I’m usually disinclined from commenting, simply because I know my contentious nature all too well and find it better for my spiritual health to limit such interactions. As a result, I have not been actively following what seems to have been a long conversation preceding this post, so I will limit my remarks to a few points and refrain from engaging in the wider debate, especially since I have no …More
I’m usually disinclined from commenting, simply because I know my contentious nature all too well and find it better for my spiritual health to limit such interactions. As a result, I have not been actively following what seems to have been a long conversation preceding this post, so I will limit my remarks to a few points and refrain from engaging in the wider debate, especially since I have no desire to involve myself in the separate question of whether Francis is pope.

I’m happy to see that we both approach the SSPX controversy from a strictly juridical perspective. In fact, over at my blog, I’ve been working on a series discussing the canonical history of the SSPX with regard to the virtue of epikeia, and I’ve made it clear that I have no intention of getting into the debate surrounding Vatican II, the Novus Ordo, or any other doctrinal or liturgical issue here. While these are important questions, they are ultimately irrelevant to the specifically canonical question at hand, which concerns the status of the SSPX and the legitimacy of its ministry. More details can be found in my articles, which I’ve been posting to GTV, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll quickly review my position here before responding to your points specifically.

The SSPX was established as a society of common life in 1970 and granted the right of incardination by the Apostolic See in 1971. In 1975, an attempt was made to suppress the Society, but these proceedings were so canonically irregular (e.g. Abp. Lefebvre being put on trial without being told he was on trial, the lack of a notary and documentation of the proceedings) and contrary to natural justice (the citation of the 1974 declaration, written by one man, to justify affecting the rights and lives of hundreds of others) that we can have moral certitude as to its invalidity. Even if there is doubt, we know that two appeals were filed to the Apostolic Signatura, then buried and never heard about again, and canon law itself makes it clear that such appeals have suspensive effect. In other words, even if the suppression were valid, it cannot take effect until the appeals are heard and confirmed, which they never have been.

Now what was the mission of the Society? Originally, it was simply to form holy priests, when the first seminary was established. However, upon being granted the right of incardination, the Society now enjoyed the same rights as a diocese did with regard to overseeing the priestly ministry of its members, except that this would be carried out under a Superior General and District Superiors, rather than a local bishop with territorial jurisdiction. Now rights come with responsibilities: if the Society has the right to oversee the ministry of its members, it is because its members firstly have the duty to engage in such ministry for the spiritual welfare of the faithful who entrust themselves to their care. This duty is a matter of divine law, because it falls under the general law that commands everyone to fulfill the duties of their state of life.

If the 1975 suppression were invalid, which we can know with moral certitude by examining the facts and laws themselves, then we must conclude that this mission was never revoked by the Church. And so the duties of these priests remain binding upon them under pain of sin: if they were to fail in these duties, they would become accountable before God not only for their own souls, but for the souls of the faithful under their care. So here we have a conflict of two obligations: (i) by divine law, bishops and priests must care for the spiritual needs of the faithful, and (ii) by ecclesiastical law, a bishop cannot consecrate another bishop without papal permission. As the Church has always taught, when two obligations are in conflict, the higher obligation prevails, and the lower disappears.

This is exactly the same reasoning that we use to conclude, for example, that we should not fast when we are seriously ill, even if it happens to be Good Friday and we are between eighteen and fifty-nine years old. We are obliged by divine law not to rashly put our health in danger but also commanded by ecclesiastical law to fast on Good Friday, and when the two conflict, we can easily conclude that the former supersedes the latter. We do not need to ask for a dispensation in such a case; we can simply make the conclusion ourselves and remain free from sin. You yourself say that you do not judge Abp. Lefebvre spiritually, so I’m sure that you would allow the possibility that he remained free from sin even while consecrating without papal mandate.

With all of this established, I believe you draw perhaps too sharp a distinction between the “legal” and “spiritual” aspects here: when we consider the defenses offered by canon 1323-24 of the Code of Canon Law [note: all citations of Book VI taken from before the 2021 revision], we see that they not only have an objective character, but also a subjective one. This is why we can speak of different levels of imputability not only with regard to sins (spiritual), but also with regard to delicts or crimes (legal). The two cannot be completely separate; although the Church does not directly decide on the question of subjective imputability in canon law, as that belongs primarily to the (internal) forum of conscience, she does indirectly take it into consideration insofar as it affects matters pertaining to the external forum.

How does this apply to Abp. Lefebvre? Objectively, we can see that if he acted out of necessity, then he could not be excommunicated (c. 1323, n. 4); however, if he subjectively believed that he was acting out of necessity, even if he were in error, he would still only be subject to a tempered penalty or penance (which would have to be imposed ferendae sententiae), and could not have been excommunicated (c. 1324, n. 5). Even presuming that his actions were objectively unjustified, you and I both agree that there has been no definitive establishment, in the external forum, of his actual subjective imputability. And because laws that establish a penalty must be strictly interpreted (cf. c. 18), we must err on the side of no penalty having been incurred. If there is doubt as to Abp. Lefebvre’s imputability, then there is a reasonable doubt as to the censure declared—and because the Church’s laws are generous, as burdens are to be restricted and favors multiplied (cf. Regulae Iuris 15), then we must give him the benefit of the doubt.

Basically, the long and short of it all is this: if we are good-willed and willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to the spiritual state of Abp. Lefebvre and all those involved with the Society, past and present, then we must necessarily extend this to legal considerations. While canon law is more immediately directed to the maintenance of temporal order in the affairs of the Church, its ultimate, highest end is the salvation of souls (c. 1752), which is a spiritual end. Thus, we cannot separate the legal and spiritual; on the contrary, the former serves the latter. Recall that those in Our Lord’s day who made such a separation were the Pharisees, who were harshly condemned, and from whom we get the term “Pharisaical” to describe those who embrace legal positivism.

One will find no consensus today among ecclesiastical authorities, canonists, or private individuals about the canonical status of the SSPX and the legitimacy of its ministry. For every Peter Vere arguing that the SSPX is in schism, there is another Fr. Gerald Murray disputing the validity of the excommunications—and on top of that, both of these canonists have retracted their theses! On one hand, we have no formal retraction of the decree of excommunication issued in 1988; on the other hand, we know that Benedict XVI did not ask the bishops to “have withdrawn from contumacy” or make “suitable reparation for scandal and harm” (c. 1347.2) in 2009. Upon examining not only the canonical citations, but also the historical context in which those involved sought to apply the laws, the entire situation comes across as complex, confusing, or even contradictory at times.

Yet the attitude of the Church has always been generous. Likewise, we should also be similarly generous: and if our generosity extends to the spiritual, as demonstrated above, then it should likewise extend to the legal. And if we follow this principle in good faith, then none of us should be fearful “when we stand before God and…have to make an account.” As for whether the pope could be wrong and whether we have “true knowledge of the matter,” there are many intricacies here, and the validity of this statement depends on whether we have metaphysical or moral certitude. But the fact of the matter is that while the authority of the pope is supreme, it is not absolute. He is above merely ecclesiastical laws, but not above divine law, natural justice, reason, and reality. In fact, he is even bound by his own laws insofar as those laws, or even just the application thereof, simply reflect the principles of natural justice.

I understand if your conscience demands that you follow the safer position and avoid the SSPX, and I’ll leave you in peace on that point. (Certainly, in any case, there is no obligation to attend SSPX Masses!) However, I object to your claim that if those of us who disagree are in error, we put our souls in jeopardy. The Church’s approved moral systems often allow us to follow a less safe position, or even a less probable opinion. As an equiprobablist, I believe that if doubt concerns the existence of a law, then liberty is in possession: if it is doubtful as to whether we are obliged to avoid SSPX Masses, then we are not so obliged. Such a sentiment is echoed in the law itself: doubtful laws are not binding (c. 14), and—as I mentioned above—penal laws are subject to strict interpretation (c. 18), so they are presumed to be inapplicable in a case of doubt.

As for the toxic laity in SSPX communities, that is going to be a problem wherever you go, because there will always be bad people. We cannot control how other people behave, but we always have the option of disengaging from people who tend to negatively impact our spiritual lives, even if they happen to share a community with us. Even in the absence of actual toxicity, there can always be the risk of getting too involved in discussions on church politics rather than focusing on supporting one another spiritually. As someone who tends to like controversy perhaps a little too much for her own good, both in-person and online, I have certainly learned the hard way that sometimes I have to simply disengage and stop foolishly standing my ground. Conflicts are part of life; sometimes we have to simply step away, mortify our will, and pray for the others.

I understand that I have perhaps written too much, but this was in my mind the only way to do justice to the various points you raised. I understand that this is a complex issue that really cannot be resolved in a few comments, so I won’t insist on a reply if you choose not to engage with my position. With that, I’ll bow out for now.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@On the Contrary Thank you for the well thought out response. This was the last thing I said to @philosopher on my last conversation with him, and I am curious what your response would be:

“I think that it really boils down to whether he had the right to disobey the Pontiff on the consecrations.

In the example you have of the popes own consecrations in Poland as a bishop, do we have examples…More
@On the Contrary Thank you for the well thought out response. This was the last thing I said to @philosopher on my last conversation with him, and I am curious what your response would be:

“I think that it really boils down to whether he had the right to disobey the Pontiff on the consecrations.

In the example you have of the popes own consecrations in Poland as a bishop, do we have examples of him being told not to do it?

I think we can agree in principle that the act alone is not enough to constitute schism. It is that he was told specifically not to and did, which shows (whether he felt the need or not) that he didn’t just ordain without papal mandate, but ordained in spite of a mandate not to.

That’s the part often missing from the discussion from both sides. It wasn’t merely doing it on his own initiative, it was that he did it contrary to direct orders.

St. Alphonsus Ligouri says in Moral Theology Volume I, Treatise 2, Chapter 1:
93.—“3. When there is a doubt about the justice, you are held by the law; he who is the legislator possesses the right to command: and the same is ruled by a higher counsel and can have reasons secret from his subjects. Suarez adds, that it would even obliges if there are probable reasons against the law, because subsequently excessive license will be given by not obeying the law, since they could hardly be so just that some apparent reason could move doubt.” (Suarez, l. 1, c. 9; Bonacina, “pag 8, n. 11; See n. 99).

Chapter 4:
179.—Quaeritur, if a cause exists, is the superior held to dispense? Distinguish: if the cause were merely sufficient that the dispensation might be permitted, but not due, a superior can licitly concede it and deny it, or conceded it to one and deny it to another; because although the dispensation may be expedient to the good of the subject, to be sure, observance of the law is expedient to the common good (the Salamancans, ibid., n. 80 with Coninck, Palaus, Bonacina, Sanchez, Suarez, etc.). But if the cause were such that it would effect the dispensation to be due, namely to avoid common loss or a private loss of great moment, or for common advantage, or a great particular (for it is expedient sometimes to dispense even for a particular good, which indirectly redounds to the common good. And therefore St. Thomas, 1. 2. qu. 97, art. 4, teaches that it is suitable to dispense when the otherwise greater good would be impeded to the private individual. Likewise, the Salamancans, de matrim., c. 14, punct. 2, n. 20, with Coninck, Sanchez, and Aversa), then a superior is held to dispense, otherwise he would sin gravely, or lightly according to the matter. Nevertheless, when a dispensation is denied (even unjustly), a subject cannot act against the law; even if such a cause would urge that he extract himself from the law, because if a Bishop would unjustly deny a dispensation from the publishing of the bans before matrimony, it can, provided grave cause would urge it, be contracted without them (the Salamancans, de matrim., cap. 8, punct. 7, n. 92, with Coninck, Sanchez, Palaus, de Soto and others).”

If I have missed a key point in those, let me know. There is one part in the second one that raises a question for me.

Based on what I read above, it would seem that the Pope would have (if indeed the situation called for it) sinned gravely by not allowing the consecrations, but that Archbishop Lefebvre would have still been bound to the prohibition.”(edited for spelling and typos 😬)
On the Contrary
@Mathathias Maccabeus Such an inquiry, in my opinion, merits a more in-depth reply than I can give at the present moment, but I'll return to this at my earliest convenience.
Ultraviolet
"All three of us want what is best for the Church and the souls in it."

True enough, @Mathathias Maccabeus This is why I've spent no small amount of time trying to keep the SSPX's Pied Pipers from leading souls out of The Church and into their own schismatic facimile of it. ;-)

Yes, yes, I know... Francis granted the SSPX faculties to minister to Catholics. When has Pope Pachamama ever…More
"All three of us want what is best for the Church and the souls in it."

True enough, @Mathathias Maccabeus This is why I've spent no small amount of time trying to keep the SSPX's Pied Pipers from leading souls out of The Church and into their own schismatic facimile of it. ;-)

Yes, yes, I know... Francis granted the SSPX faculties to minister to Catholics. When has Pope Pachamama ever failed to endorse errors contrary to The Church in one way or another? :D
michael newman
You’ve practically made it an industry ultra troll
Mathathias Maccabeus
@michael newman man you are obsessed 😂
Mathathias Maccabeus
@Alex A this comment
philosopher
@Mathathias Maccabeus 1. I think UV needs to turn down the emotional provactive rhetoric if we are going to have a reasonable discussion. We need to act like Catholic gentlemen and she ought to act like a lady. Some of her emoting, even if peppered with logical fallacy fault finding leaves a nasty taste in our interlocutors mouths.

2. To your point on Lefebvre misrepresenting Sacred Scripture…More
@Mathathias Maccabeus 1. I think UV needs to turn down the emotional provactive rhetoric if we are going to have a reasonable discussion. We need to act like Catholic gentlemen and she ought to act like a lady. Some of her emoting, even if peppered with logical fallacy fault finding leaves a nasty taste in our interlocutors mouths.

2. To your point on Lefebvre misrepresenting Sacred Scripture, he only recently in his older years after 1970 when the traditionalist movement started, began learning English, so, I'm sure we would have had more clarity in French. But, still I think he's using it in an anological way- we are loyal to the Holy Office of the Pope, but when our spiritual father out of a weakness of faith goes against the faith, he can be corrected as St. Paul corrected St. Peter. We don't ever reject the Pope, even when or if he is doing spiritual harm.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@philosopher I don’t think UV is emotional at all.

I think this is a topic people are invested in, so people tend to see emotion driven attacks when there are none.

It’s something I learned when talking to them one on one. When I got a much clearer idea of where they were coming from I didn’t see what I had seen before.

I can agree their statements are provocative, but so are the other side (…More
@philosopher I don’t think UV is emotional at all.

I think this is a topic people are invested in, so people tend to see emotion driven attacks when there are none.

It’s something I learned when talking to them one on one. When I got a much clearer idea of where they were coming from I didn’t see what I had seen before.

I can agree their statements are provocative, but so are the other side (see Ave referring to each of us vaguely. She is absolutely calling us NeoCons rather than traditionalist, and often in discussions will refer to our argument while not acknowledging us. Then when we respond will say things along the lines of “I wasn’t talking about you” and thereby insulting our intelligence. Then you have people like Michael Newman who will say this: “ Comment respectfully or don’t comment. Disagree respectfully or simply leave and find somewhere else to post.” and then also posting things like this, ““ Your thoughts seem all muddled and coming from a very disturbed mind.”

This, ““ It’s really disgusting to see people at each other here on GTV you’d think a ‘Catholic’ website would be less hostile.”

And this “I’m” Your thoughts seem all muddled and coming from a very disturbed mind.”

UV cares about souls, and you do , too. And so both get contentious when we see things that seem to put souls in jeopardy.

Are there better ways? Yes. When those better ways are used does it make a difference? No. After all, even when I’m civil the response is usually, “you have no idea what you are talking about, you need to read more” with no counter examples of why I am wrong.
On the Contrary
@Mathathias Maccabeus It seems like things have heated up quite a bit in my absence, and I don’t see an option to respond directly under your previous comment to me, so to clarify, I’m writing about the St. Alphonsus quote you brought up yesterday.

We’ve already established here that it is not per se a schismatic act for a bishop to consecrate another bishop without papal mandate. However, …More
@Mathathias Maccabeus It seems like things have heated up quite a bit in my absence, and I don’t see an option to respond directly under your previous comment to me, so to clarify, I’m writing about the St. Alphonsus quote you brought up yesterday.

We’ve already established here that it is not per se a schismatic act for a bishop to consecrate another bishop without papal mandate. However, as you point out, the issue here is not only that Abp. Lefebvre acted on his own initiative, but also that the pope had told him not to consecrate on 30 June 1988. In fact, the night before, Rome even sent a Mercedes to take him to Rome on the spot to prevent the consecrations from happening. The position you seem to be presenting is that while it was likely unjust for John Paul II to refuse permission, it was still wrong for Abp. Lefebvre to disregard the prohibition. The two questions at hand, then, are as follows: (i) whether his actions were justified in light of St. Alphonsus’ teaching, and (ii) whether such an act of disobedience, even if unjustified, actually constitutes a schismatic act.

On the first point, St. Alphonsus says, “When there is a doubt about the justice, you are held by the law.” I spoke about several cases of doubt in my previous response, namely doubt as to Abp. Lefebvre’s subjective imputability, which then leads to doubt regarding the validity of the excommunication, because spiritual considerations must extend to the legal insofar as matters of the internal forum need to be manifested externally. I concluded that because burdens are to be restricted and favors multiplied (Regulae Iuris 15), because penal laws are subject to strict interpretation (c. 18), and because doubtful laws do not oblige (c. 14), we ought to give Abp. Lefebvre the benefit of the doubt and presume that there was no excommunication.

What was noticeably absent in my last comment, however, was the possibility of doubt regarding the justice of John Paul II’s specific command not to consecrate bishops. On this point, we have to revisit the facts once again: the suppression of the SSPX in 1975, being clearly invalid, was not sufficient to remove the Society’s right of incardination or its mission to form holy priests and oversee the ministry of its members, which corresponds to the duty to minister to the spiritual needs of the faithful. When the Church establishes an institution and endows it with a specific mission, then the obligations connected with such a mission become binding upon members by virtue of divine law itself, which commands each person to fulfill the duties of his state of life.

What would have happened if Abp. Lefebvre had not consecrated? In 1988, he was approaching the age of eighty-three and experiencing increasingly poor health, and he knew that he needed a successor to ensure that future priests for the SSPX could be ordained. Without bishops, there would be no one available to ordain the seminarians that had already spent years of their lives studying for the priesthood, and without new priests, what would become of the faithful attached to Society chapels, schools, communities, etc? One may respond that they could find other ways, for sure, but this does not change the fact that this situation had the potential to disrupt the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of third parties, and affect the exercise of their canonical rights.

If the rights of third parties are injured, then the command is necessarily unjust, and in fact, the law itself expresses this point: “An administrative act, even if it is a rescript given motu proprio, lacks effect insofar as it injures the acquired right of another or is contrary to a law or approved custom, unless the competent authority has expressly added a derogating clause” (c. 38, emphasis added). If the Apostolic See, in issuing a formal prohibition against consecrating bishops, did not “expressly”—that is, clearly and explicitly—make provisions for the third parties likely to be affected by the prohibition, then the act is unjust and lacks effect. Therefore, while St. Alphonsus makes a valid point (which I believe other moralists could still dispute), it is inapplicable to the situation, because there is no doubt as to the injustice of the command, especially when we consider the fact that the date of 30 June had already been set since February, and the Holy See had already agreed, in principle, to the consecration of at least one bishop from the ranks of the SSPX.

This corresponds to what I said in my previous response: while the pope is above canon law in a general sense, he is still bound by even his own laws when they—or even just their application—simply reflect natural justice. This is why in cases in which laws or commands are manifestly, objectively unjust, such as when the rights of third parties are injured and no provision is made for them, the law itself nullifies even administrative acts given motu proprio. Further, such acts given motu proprio can also be invalid when the pope goes against other laws he himself has promulgated, unless he “has expressly added a derogating clause,” as the same canon 38 cited earlier explains. Thus, the statement “the pope is above canon law,” while true, can only be restricted to a very specific, particular sense, to the point where I question whether such a statement is really useful at all.

Seeing as there is no doubt about the injustice of John Paul II’s prohibition, Abp. Lefebvre was free to simply apply the principle of epikeia: a lower, human command conflicted with his obligation to fulfill the duties of his state under divine law, and so the latter obligation takes precedence, while the former disappears.

As for the second question regarding schism, it should be pointed out here that the 1988 consecrations cannot be understood properly except in light of the 1976 ordinations. Pope Paul VI had prohibited the ordinations de mandato speciali Summi Pontificis on the basis that the SSPX had been suppressed (which was clearly untrue) and local ordinaries had refused to grant dimissorial letters. Abp. Lefebvre performed the ordinations anyway, explaining that because the SSPX was not suppressed, it still retained the right of incardination from 1971, and thus the dimissorial letters were not an issue because they would only be necessary for incardination into other dioceses. Regardless of whether one agrees with Abp. Lefebvre’s actions, it is notable that no one ever accused him of schism for ordaining when he was told not to; at most, he was accused of “formal disobedience” (R. Panciroli, Press Conference, 1 July 1976).

Should there be any difference with regard to the consecration of a bishop? While it is certainly graver to consecrate a bishop than to ordain a priest against the pope’s wishes, these two acts only differ in degree of gravity, not in kind. The type of act, namely, abuse of one’s authority, remains the same. Thus, if the Holy See did not consider the illicit ordinations to be schismatic, even if one believes that they were unjustified, then it would make no sense to consider the illicit consecrations to be schismatic. A simple act of disobedience, no matter how grave, is not sufficient to constitute schism, because all sins and crimes involve, in some way, disobedience to the Church. To consider disobedience and schism under the same category would be to eliminate the entire notion of schism as a specific type of crime altogether (Summa II-II, q. 39, art. 1).

The reason why we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Abp. Lefebvre did not commit a schismatic act is that he explicitly said that he had no intent to cut himself off from the pope (which you acknowledge) and would not pretend to grant territorial jurisdiction to the newly consecrated bishops. Such jurisdiction can only pass from one bishop to another “through the Roman Pontiff” (Pius XII, Ad Apostolorum Principis, 39). If he had attempted to confer such jurisdiction, he would have become schismatic, because by such an act, he would have demonstrated a refusal in principle to submit to the pope. However, he did not do this, and disobedience in practice does not necessarily imply a rejection of authority in principle, so we cannot conclude that he was a schismatic any more than we ought to conclude that the man who desecrates the Sacred Species is a heretic who doesn’t believe in the Real Presence.

Finally, we can be certain that the Society, as an institution, is not in schism because these bishops, down to the present day, have never attempted to claim territorial jurisdiction that they had no right to. In fact, the current Superior General is a priest, as are all the District Superiors, and the remaining three bishops call themselves “auxiliary bishops,” because they are helpers to the Superior General (who is a priest). They have no special status in the Society simply by being bishops, and in fact are subordinate to priests who have been elected to these positions.
Mathathias Maccabeus
@On the Contrary Thank you for the response.

I’ll have to think on it and do some more research before I can say anything on it.

While on that, what would you say to the pope saying they are not in communion via the letter in which he granted the faculties? Bearing in mind there is no such thing as partial communion.

“ strive with God’s help for the recovery of full communion in the Catholic …More
@On the Contrary Thank you for the response.

I’ll have to think on it and do some more research before I can say anything on it.

While on that, what would you say to the pope saying they are not in communion via the letter in which he granted the faculties? Bearing in mind there is no such thing as partial communion.

“ strive with God’s help for the recovery of full communion in the Catholic Church”
Apostolic Letter Misericordia et misera (20 November 2016) | Francis
Mathathias Maccabeus
Edited, changed a word
On the Contrary
Cardinal Burke, who categorically believes that the SSPX is in schism, stated that Pope Francis’ conferral of jurisdiction upon SSPX priests for confessions and marriages was a canonical anomaly. While I disagree with his overall assessment of the SSPX, he does make a good point: if the SSPX is actually schismatic and outside of communion with the Church, then Pope Francis’ actions are, in fact,…More
Cardinal Burke, who categorically believes that the SSPX is in schism, stated that Pope Francis’ conferral of jurisdiction upon SSPX priests for confessions and marriages was a canonical anomaly. While I disagree with his overall assessment of the SSPX, he does make a good point: if the SSPX is actually schismatic and outside of communion with the Church, then Pope Francis’ actions are, in fact, a canonical anomaly.

Jurisdiction, or faculties, can be extended to schismatic ministers in certain situations and contexts. For example, if a Catholic driving down a highway in Greece were to get into a horrific car accident and find himself in danger of death, he is permitted to request absolution from an Orthodox priest if no Catholic one is available. The Orthodox priest absolves validly by virtue of supplied jurisdiction, which is extended by the Church for the good of the Catholic’s soul, in accordance with the principle salus animarum suprema lex. However, habitual faculties, which exist on a stable, permanent basis, cannot be extended to schismatics. While a schismatic minister may be temporarily authorized to act in the name of the Church for the spiritual good of one of her members, he cannot habitually act in the name of a Church that he does not belong to. Thus, a schismatic cannot possess ordinary or delegated jurisdiction.

Ordinary jurisdiction is attached eo ipso to an ecclesiastical office, while delegated jurisdiction is granted to a priest by the competent superior (c. 131). Pope Francis has essentially delegated jurisdiction to all SSPX priests directly for confessions, while leaving the faculties for marriage to be delegated by the local ordinaries. This is not something that can be done for schismatics, the temporary application of Ecclesia supplet strictly on a case-by-case basis notwithstanding, because only those in public communion with the Church can hold ecclesiastical office, or be competent to receive faculties from the one who holds such an office. If the SSPX can habitually act in the name of the Church, then its priests must first and foremost be members of the Church.

Cardinal Burke is right: to grant ordinary or delegated jurisdiction to a schismatic is impossible. So either Pope Francis acted illicitly and invalidly, or the SSPX is not in schism, because the delegation of faculties cannot be extended as an olive branch for the restoration of communion, but can only be done after a true communion has already been established. Most likely, Pope Francis is simply using the term sloppily, as he is apt to do; in any case, this particular use of the phrase cannot be taken as anything conclusive in itself as it sets up a contradictory situation. Meanwhile, SSPX priests have celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica during this papacy, so…

The problem is precisely this: people are confused because the Apostolic See, even the popes themselves, have made contradictory statements over the past few decades, which makes it impossible to draw a definitive conclusion about what Rome thinks. Terms such as “not in full communion,” “canonically irregular status,” etc, are often thrown around carelessly, which only adds to the confusion. However, when we actually look at the historical circumstances and analyze them in light of the law, I believe we can reach moral certitude that, at the very least, the SSPX has been treated unjustly. And in keeping with the generous spirit of the Church’s laws, we are not allowed to conclude that schism exists when it has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt in the external forum.

I'll probably leave it at this for now; meanwhile, I must get back to perusing through Fr. François Laisney's book Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican for my next article on the 1988 consecrations...
Ultraviolet
"1. I think UV needs to turn down the emotional provactive rhetoric if we are going to have a reasonable discussion." @philosopher Worth noting no cricitism of Newman's Name-Calling. Or doesn't that count as such, hmmm?

My "emotionally provocative rhetoric" on the SSPX is 1.) supported by Pope John Paul II and 2.) wasn't even directed at Mistuh Newman.

I don't mind the chastisement, but I WOUL…More
"1. I think UV needs to turn down the emotional provactive rhetoric if we are going to have a reasonable discussion." @philosopher Worth noting no cricitism of Newman's Name-Calling. Or doesn't that count as such, hmmm?

My "emotionally provocative rhetoric" on the SSPX is 1.) supported by Pope John Paul II and 2.) wasn't even directed at Mistuh Newman.

I don't mind the chastisement, but I WOULD like to see it applied evenly.
Ultraviolet
""You’ve practically made it an industry ultra troll" - Go swallow a bottle of your halo-polish, Newman :D Like this stuff...

"Please leave the ad hominem attacks and be civil when you comment."