Saturday, August 04, 2007

Where Will They Go When Their Favorite Whipping-Boy Is Vindicated?
Time for some common sense (and good old-fashioned honesty) to be exercised

Many of you have sent comments stating as much as "you know, Caveman... what you said is really making me think. I'm starting to believe that you're right". Others have sent comments basically telling me that I'm the scum of the earth.

What was the topic that's caused such controversy? It's when I stated that without Archbishop Lefevbre, the Traditional Latin Mass would have been smothered to death decades ago.

Just to be crystal clear, I don't attend Mass as celebrated by the SSPX, I attend a Diocesan Mass. But I absolutely have to be open and honest. For those of us who are eagerly awaiting the implementation of The Holy Father's recent Motu Proprio on the TLM, we're all honor bound to be grateful to Abp Lefevbre.

After all, gang... if it weren't for him, there would have never been an Ecclesia Dei Commission. No Ecclesia Dei Commission, no Motu Proprio. No Motu Proprio, no freeing of the Traditional Latin Mass.

But here's the main idea I want to convey -- the number of Faithful who have been considered "excommunicated" has been whittled down from 1,000,000 total, to just 4 individuals.

At first, it was anyone and everyone who was connected with the SSPX, but Msgr. Perl of the Ecclesia Dei Commission cleared that up years ago when he stated that the priests and laity weren't in a state of excommunication.

"The faithful who attend the Masses of the aforesaid Fraternity are not excommunicates, and the priests who celebrate them are not, either -- they are, in fact, suspended."

And more recently, Cardinal Castrillón stated on February 8, 2007 that "The priests and faithful of the Society have not been excommunicated. They are not heretics." Sheesh... does it get any clearer?

Now here's my big question.... who are the "I Hate The SSPX!" crowd going to screech against when the inevitable happens concerning the Society (who also happen to be their favorite whipping boy)?

Does anyone honestly believe that these folks won't be absolutely seething inside when the day comes that they have to refer to an SSPX priest as "Father" or an SSPX bishop as "Your Excellency"?

13 Comments:

Blogger Anita Moore said...

At first, it was anyone and everyone who was connected with the SSPX, but Msgr. Perl of the Ecclesia Dei Commission cleared that up years ago when he stated that the priests and laity weren't in a state of excommunication.

Is that strictly true, though, always and everywhere? Aren't SSPX members still excommunicated in the Diocese of Lincoln?

9:18 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Most of them will be long dead, but can you imagine the seething by those who might remain when they have to say "Saint Marcel Levebre, Bishop."

Some of you laugh. Ever heard of Saint Athanasius? Yeah, the guy who stood up to and and was persecuted by three-fourths of the bishops because he knew the Arian heresy was just that.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Anita,
Not quite. Bp Briskewictz (sp?) may have attempted to excommunicate laity who attended Mass as celebrated by the SSPX, but it was never ratified by Rome... only the writ against those "Catholics" who were members of CTA.

You being a lawyer know all the technical terms better than I, but what's it called when a grand jury shoots down an indictment brought forward by the DA?

From my understanding, that's essentially the same think that happened in this instance.

Any other legal types have any further info on this?
_______________________________

FAB,
Yep. And let's not forget that St Athansasius was "exiled" (AKA: "excommunicated" back then) for 17 years by his own fellow bishops.

5:41 AM  
Blogger PreVat2 said...

I too do not attend a SSPX Mass on a regular basis. But I have in the past, and I will in the future. And having said that, for all those laity and clergy (including bishops and cardinals) who wag their fingers at me, and call me "outside of Holy Mother Church," allow me to say (with all Christian humility) "go pound sand!"

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre will, some day, be raised to the High Altar.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Bp Briskewictz (sp?) may have attempted to excommunicate laity who attended Mass as celebrated by the SSPX, but it was never ratified by Rome... only the writ against those "Catholics" who were members of CTA.

It's Bruskewitz. He's a friend of mine.

I think that your understanding of Canon Law is deficient in this case. Rome does not have to "approve" a Bishop's excom orders, unless there's a Canonical suit, yadayadayada and the Rota decides that the Bishop is wrong.

That has NOT happened in the case you mention (albeit I would be very pleased if you have documentation for your claim.)

As to greeting an SSPX priest as "Father," I'd be very, very, very happy to do so. But until they show up in an Diocesan parish as a celebrant or confessor (or whatever), that isn't a likely occurence.

I respect Mgr LeF. for his convictions and his courage. And I agree with you that the Old Rite was kept around largely due to his influence.

But the acid test is coming soon: will they or won't they re-integrate?

5:41 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

One day the SSPX will be an excepted part of the Church and one day, maybe 50 maybe 100 years from now people will speak of St. Marcel who saved the Mass.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Dad29,
I've followed the Lincoln Excommunications carefully since 1996. I've even gone as far as conract the diocese on two seperate occassions asking if there has been any confirmation(s) from Rome, and specifically in the case of those who attend Mass as celebrated by SSPX priests. I've yet to rcv a response.

But anyhow, you asked - That has NOT happened in the case you mention (albeit I would be very pleased if you have documentation for your claim.)

I've already given documentation. I've cited two specifics in the initial posting, stating that laity who attend Mass as celebrated by the SSPX aren't excommunicated.

Granted, the specifics quoted from Msgr Perl are many, years old... but the quote from Cdl Castrillon are a mere 5 months past. And of course, that begs the question... is Cdl Castrillon wrong? Is he speaking out of turn? I personally don't think so. After all, he's one of the most powerful Cardinals in Rome. Few will argue that point.

But even going back to when the news first broke last December concerning the confirmation of the Excommunication Writs of Bp Bruskewitz, the only confirmation that Rome spoke of was that against laity who belonged to CTA.

If the writs were all inclusive, then why didn't Rome just say so? Common sense (coupled with what Cdl Castrillon recently stated) clearly show that absolutely none of the laity who attend Mass as celebrated by the SSPX are excommunicated, either in Lincoln or otherwise.
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0606995.htm

You also stated As to greeting an SSPX priest as "Father," I'd be very, very, very happy to do so. But until they show up in an Diocesan parish as a celebrant or confessor (or whatever), that isn't a likely occurence.

Do you not refer to a priest of one of the various Easter Orthodox churches as "Father"? I know I do. Even if one were fully convinced that the priests of the SSPX were excomminicated, no one could agrue that their ordination wasn't valid. Heck... even Rome has been re-affirming that for decades.

You also stated I respect Mgr LeF. for his convictions and his courage. And I agree with you that the Old Rite was kept around largely due to his influence.

And you're an honest man. That's why I like and respect you. We may not alsways agree, but you have integrity.

Lastly, But the acid test is coming soon: will they or won't they re-integrate?

I think most will. But I fully expect Bp Williamson to bolt and take a rather large minority with him. Possibly as many as a third.

I know a number of folks who are "SSPX'ers", and believe it or not... most are actually excited about how things are going. The majority are VERY pleasantly suprized and pleased with the actions that His Holiness has taken thus far in relation to a return to Tradition.

And sadly, there is a certain number that are of the opinion that Pope Benedict is a bum. Hey, let 'em think what they want. They're stealth sedevacantists anyway.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

You being a lawyer know all the technical terms better than I, but what's it called when a grand jury shoots down an indictment brought forward by the DA?

Well, since you ask...it's called failure to find an indictment. It's the grand jury that indicts; the prosecutor merely puts the case to it. :)

Bp Briskewictz (sp?) may have attempted to excommunicate laity who attended Mass as celebrated by the SSPX, but it was never ratified by Rome... only the writ against those "Catholics" who were members of CTA.

But wasn't Rome's ratification the result of the Call to Action people appealing their excommunication? Did SSPX also join in that appeal? If not, then the only thing up for review in Rome was the Call to Action case, which would explain why Rome didn't address SSPX or anybody else's case.

Plus, I'm not a canon lawyer, but I question whether Rome really NEEDS to ratify the local bishop's ruling on a matter like this.

7:04 PM  
Blogger cybropraefectus said...

Let me say that as an evil SSPXer I'm a little bumed out over losing my excommunication status. Even though I never did get any formal letter condemning me by the way.

To us it was never about Archbishop Lefebvre or the Society. We were all getting spit on by our family, friends and worst of all, our own Church. We put up with it because it was about truth and faithfulness to Catholic doctrine.

If Lefebvre did not step up to the plate someone else would have.

That is what you people are missing here. Even now you can't bring yourselfs to attend a Latin Mass because you think SSPX has the copy right on the Latin Mass.

Your going to sit on your butts until your Priest gets up to speed and then maybe. Who knows?

What the hell are you going to do when some Jihadist puts a sword to your neck and tells you to convert to Islam? You can't even take the criticism of attending a mass because it's an SSPX mass. The same mass that was established on Holy Thursday and codified in 1570.

Pathetic. No, can't do that. To busy consecrating Doritos and cookies for that to happen.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Anita,
You very well may be right (and I'm positive you are) concerning if Rome NEEDS to authorize any given bishop's writ of excommunication. But we do know that Rome can state if one (or many) are legitimate.

Like I've cited (in the quite from Msgr Perl) in refrence to the "Honolulu Six" and what Cdl Castrillon stated just 5 monthsa ago.... couple all that with the statement from Rome specifying that only the Writ against CTA is to be recognized by The Church.... I have no other chioce but to question if the Bishop of Lincoln is correct if he still maintains that his excomm against the "SSPX'ers" is valid.

To fall back on what Cdl Castrillon just said ... ""The priests and faithful of the Society have not been excommunicated..."

That pretty much brings to an end any question as far as I'm concerned.

Your thoughts?

5:06 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Allow me to clear up a misunderstanding: I would certainly address an SSPX priest as "Father," were I to meet one. But I haven't. You got the drift, however--should some of them choose to remain "irregular," much more than table-manners is not required.

As to Bp B.:

The article you referenced is written in an interesting fashion:

"Bishop Bruskewitz said he hopes Cardinal Re's letter will bring clarity to Catholics who have continued their affiliation with Call to Action, Call to Action Nebraska or the 10 other groups cited in the original "statement of extrasynodal legislation," a formal canonical notice that they would be automatically excommunicated if they remained members of those groups.

"...Although the Vatican letter only dealt with Call to Action, the other groups named by Bishop Bruskewitz were: Planned Parenthood, Society of St. Pius X, Hemlock Society, St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, Freemasons, Job's Daughters, DeMolay, Eastern Star, Rainbow Girls and Catholics for a Free Choice."


As you can see, something's missing here. You interpret the fact that the Vat letter does not include SSPX as a relief from their ex-com status in Lincoln.

But then by the same logic, the ex-coms of the Masons, Hemlockians, (etc.) were ALSO lifted by the Vat.

I doubt that.

Since the Vat's statements to the effect that 'membership' in SSPX will not result in ex-com, perhaps the Bishop's position on SSPX was privately reversed.

Then again, a Bishop is almost literally King of his Diocese.

Like I said, something's missing.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

You're right. Something's definatly "missing". Only CTA was mentioned? What's that all about?

I also don't think that Cdl Castrillon and Bp B would be purposfully trying to publically contradict each other.

Something's going on behind closed doors that we aren't privvy to. And maybe that ain't a bad thing.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Darwin said...

I was going to disagree with you a bit more strongly, but since you say

I think most will. But I fully expect Bp Williamson to bolt and take a rather large minority with him. Possibly as many as a third.

I'll back off that a bit. Certainly, I would be happy to see the SSPX back in the fold. The reason I slap them around (verbally) every so often is that I don't take well to people I see as dissing the pope, be they "left" or "right" and I've definitely read some Spixie stuff on that topic that gets my blood up. But I could believe that most will come back, while the ones that are basically sedevacantists anyway will run off with Bp Williamson -- who I must admit I have no great desire to address as "your excellency" anyway.

However, I confess skepticism at the idea of there being a St. Lefevbre some day -- unless it's another fellow with the same name. While there were very legitimate problems and abuses that Lefevbre was calling attention to, I think disobeying the pope in consecrating his own bishops the way he did was a pretty clear break with Rome. So while he was right about some stuff, it seems to me that giving him too much credit would be like giving Luther credit for the council of Trent.

It seems like from a Catholic point of view the situation, the FSSP show the right path, in that it was founded within less than a month of Lefebvre's split, specifically because they wanted to carry on providing the old mass without the taint of schism.

I guess, I'd see (at best) Lefebvre's memory being that of a character like Turtullian, who had some important insights but ended his life outside the Church.

9:54 PM  

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