Skip to comments.Catholic rebels see slow reconciliation with Rome (SSPX negotiation with Vatican)
Posted on 01/13/2006 10:47:44 AM PST by NYer
Talks aimed at reconciling the Roman Catholic Church and an ultra-traditionalist splinter group are progressing, with the Vatican pushing to move faster than the rebels, the head of the breakaway group said on Friday.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), told journalists he was sure that Pope Benedict wanted to end the 17-year split and bring the group back into the mainstream of the Catholic Church.
But the SSPX, which has maintained the old Latin Mass and rejects much of the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), still has some profound differences with Rome that must be worked out before any reunion can take place.
"One feels a desire in Rome to solve the problem as soon as possible," said Fellay, 48, successor to SSPX founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. "That is certainly the Pope's wish.
"We're stepping on the brakes. We're not opposed to that, but we don't want to take shortcuts that could lead to problems later," said Fellay, whose Swiss-based group has 463 priests and six seminaries around the world.
The SSPX is the only religious group to break from the 1.1-billion strong Church since the Council. In 1988, Rome excommunicated Lefebvre and four bishops he made -- including Fellay -- for holding that ceremony without papal permission.
The SSPX welcomed the election last April of Pope Benedict, a conservative sympathetic to their support for the Latin Mass. Benedict met Fellay last August, but he has also received the Church's best-known liberal dissident, Hans Kueng.
DON'T WANT TO BE DINOSAURS
Fellay said he met Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the Vatican official dealing with the SSPX, in November for one of the most fruitful discussions he had ever had in Rome.
"For the first time, we really discussed fundamental questions," said Fellay. "There is a new tone," he added, noting Castrillon Hoyos had said just before the meeting that he saw no heresy or schism in the SSPX's activities.
Statements like those and comments by Benedict during their meeting in August meant that the Latin Mass and the 1988 excommunications were no longer blocking the way to a reconciliation, Fellay said.
But the SSPX still disagrees on other issues, notably the opening the Second Vatican Council made toward other religions. The ultra-traditionalists say this meant the Catholic Church no longer saw itself as the only true church.
Fellay said the SSPX also rejected a key Council document on religious freedom, because it meant the Vatican accepted that states would be secular. Asked if he wanted to see a return to "Catholic states" in Europe, he replied: "Why not?"
He also disagreed with Pope John Paul's apology to the Jews, saying the Jewish people had certainly suffered during history but Roman Catholicism had no need to apologize to Judaism.
Asked about Benedict's visit to a synagogue in his native Germany last August, Fellay said: "I wonder why he did it. This has to be explained to be understood."
If they can reconcile with Rome, the ultra-traditionalists want to return to the Church as normal Catholics with a Latin Mass available to all the faithful, Fellay said.
"We don't want to be in a zoo," he said. "We don't want to play the role of the dinosaurs who get a special status."
It would be great if they could come back into full communion with the Church.
So where does this leave the SSPV?
. . . "The Road to Rome?"
A quick google search on the Holy Father's visit to the German Synagogue, generates several 'traditionalist' web sites with scathing commentaries. What's to understand? The pope's speech is available online at the Vatican web site.
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI Cologne - Synagogue Friday, 19 August 2005
Excommunicated, schismatic Fellay spoke about Jews and there he goes again!
It would be great, but it is not necessary for them to do so in order for the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated. I'm sure we all know that, but it's still unbelievable to me the number of people who think that Latin was BANNED from the Latin Rite Church.
How many more different outlets will engage in essentially the same interview given by the same schismatic repeatedly making nearly identical unsubstantiated self-serving claims?
I pray the Pope stomps on these clowns hard and true and is, finally, done with them. Excommunicate anyone who attends their illicit liturgies and let's stop pretending these 16th century cranks have anything useful for our times.
They have nothing - other than antisemitism, ignorance of Tradition, bad Theological ideas about Liturgy, Pride and arrogance - to add to the Body of Christ. Keep them right where they belong - outside the Church
I was thinking Terry Bradshaw. He's even got the Super Bowl ring.
There's a lot more to the SSPX problem than the issue of the illicit consecration of bishops. I am particularly concerned about the anti-Semitism that is so rampant in schismatic circles. I hope that a condition of restoring communion with SSPX et al is that such groups renounce their anti-Semitism, among other things. Otherwise they should not be in communion with us - we don't need more cranks in the Church!
Unfortunately there are a lot of bishops who think so.
Amen. Antisemitism is the rennin binding together those in the schism. It is a spirtual anchor dragging their souls into the pits of Hell. They must repudiate it and repent while they still have time
From the title, I was hoping this was a Lutheran thread.
While there is indeed a nasty undercurrent of anti-semitism amongst many "trads" I think that, if they can jettison that along with that stubborn, thinly veiled disdain and knee-jerk suspicion of so many of them have for the post-conciliar popes and hierarchy, and the "neo-Catholics" as they call the rest of us, they might have a lot to add to the Church in way of a great reverence for the traditional rites, liturgies, and practices of the Church, which so many Catholics have forgotten. If such traditional practices are become more widespread amongst Catholics it can only be a good thing and that is what many traditionalist Catholics push for.
I also feel that so-called progressive Catholics pose far more risk to the integrity of the Church than traditionalist Catholics, who I think could be a positive force, if only they'd get over themselves and learn that one can promote and practice the traditions of the Church while still respecting and obeying Rome.
I hope that the Pope's wishes for complete communion become a reality soon; he and Cardinal Castrillon must see a lot of good in the Society, not that it doesn't need tempering and pruning, and it does need to make itself subject to that authority.
As for anti-semitism, while that is likely a problem at some level, but it probably pales to the homo rape, proabortion, heresy and apostacy problem in so many of the non-traditional orders and dioceses. A higher priority in all likelihood.
I read the link to the Pope's speech in Cologne and don't understand what the problem is. Is it expected that the Pope should go in there and give a hellfire and brimstone speech?
Excellent point. It is really a shame that the public face of the traditionalist movement has become so dominated by bigoted, arrogant, conspiracy theorists who sound several beads short of a rosary. Trads can offer a lot to the rest of the Church, but the nonsense that is too often associated with traditionalism drives people off. For the sake of everyone involved, the rad-trads/schismatics have to repudiate this stuff. If they won't do so then they shouldn't be brought back into communion.
I also agree that more needs to be done about the danger liberal Catholics pose to the Church. While it was good to see Pope John Paul crack down on SSPX, one wonders why he couldn't have been just as tough on folks like Mahoney and Bernardin instead of making them cardinals. SSPX et al are a serious problem, but their numbers are small, and due to their insular nature they don't affect the larger Church too much. Meanwhile CINOs, especially at the episcopal level, have impacted the faith of millions of Catholics.
Ironically, perhaps if more had been done about CINOs in the hierarchy, the misinterpretation of Vatican II, and such we wouldn't have such a problem with schismatics today. Surely some nuts would have gone into schism no matter what - but I can't help but wonder if many others would've stayed in communion if the liberals had been reigned in early on and had the changes of Vatican II been properly implemented.
Roy Schoeman, a Jewish convert, points to St. Paul's letter to the Romans where he speaks of ingrafting, as a reminder to us that God has not broken his covenant with the Jews.
let their eyes grow dim so that they may not see, and keep their backs bent forever."
For if God did not spare the natural branches, (perhaps) he will not spare you either.
St. Paul states that God Himself "darkened" the eyes of the Jews, that they might not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, even down to the present time.
It's much too long to post but in his book, 'Salvation Is From The Jews', Schoeman delves into this topic at great length. The Catholic Church's understanding of the role played by the Jews has matured over time. This is clearly reflected in the ecumenical encounters between the Holy Father and the Jews. How truly arrogant of the SSPX to suggest otherwise.
There is so much that many have forgotten - meatless Fridays, devotions, novenas, etc. Thanks to EWTN, catholics are rediscovering their roots and initiating these practices in their homes and parishes.
In the span of 2000 years, the past 40 represent a hiccup. Unfortunately, they occured in our time. With or without the SSPX, the Catholic Church is intact and will continue to be the Church of Christ in this timeframe, and well into the future.
See post #18.
Nah. Bob Hope.
Alright, you win. Bob Hope is a better role model for Fellay anyway.
Hope we see the "Road to Reconciliation" soon.
Thanks once again for your scholarly and Catholic efforts here. May God bless you and yours!
Another difference between Mr. Fellay and Bob Hope is that, IIRC, Bob Hope was a Roman Catholic. SSPX needs the "Road to Humility and Profound Penance and Renunciation of the Schism and Retirement and Permanent Cloister of its Illicit Bishops and ....." First, secure the right flank against the schismatic excommunicati abd then wheel around against the leftist AmChurch types, CTA, VOTF, and other Kumbaya types, etc.
exactly right, that's why Bob Hope would be a great role model. He availed himself of the sacraments before it was too late. Converted about a year before he died.
*SSPX Doctrine teaches the Jews are cursed.
There exists no Doctrine teaching the liceity of homosexual rape, or abortion.
Sorry, could not resist! Bob Hope was one of the nicest folks of our time. A good man who is missed. Thanks for your response. God bless you and yours!
You noticed the difference! Some NEVER do. God bless.