Skip to comments.A SIMPLE, COMMON SENSE REBUTTAL to SSPX, SSPV and CMRI
Posted on 07/21/2007 6:19:13 AM PDT by JosephJames
The following article (with the university class reference documents) was written with the motive to help my sister and her husband, with seven children, to leave the traditionalist groups SSPX, SSPV and CMRI and to return to the one, true Catholic Church. If you want the reference documents (Ecclesiology.doc, Religious-Freedom.doc, Psy-Cult.doc and Subsists.doc), send an email to: email@example.com; please specify if you want the documents in plain text format or MSWord format with the footnotes incorporated, or in one document all together in either format.
A SIMPLE, COMMON SENSE REBUTTAL to SSPX, SSPV and CMRI
When I was younger my whole family became rather exasperated by scandalous behavior and bad fruits of some of the Catholic clergy, especially during the Holy Mass. To give an idea of some of the causes of this exasperation, I offer the following comparison between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Modern Mass celebrated at many parishes today, which I found on one of the internet sites of these traditionalist groups.
TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS: 1) Atmosphere of Reverent Worship; Peaceful, otherworldly atmosphere; Emphasis on individual "lifting his heart & mind to God; the members of the congregation direct their attention to God, not to each other.
2) Profound Reverence for the Real Presence: Sixteen genuflections. The hands of the priest alone touch the consecrated host. Communion given only on the tongue. 3) Fidelity to Catholic Doctrine: Over the course of a year, it is presented all the facets of Catholic doctrine. 4) Antiquity: Bulk of Sunday prayers and their arrangement goes back at least to the 300s and 400s AD. Canon essentially the same since St. Ambrose (d. 397). 5) Stability: Everything regulated by precise laws to protect purity of worship and doctrine. 6) The Priest is a Sacrificer: the Priest faces the tabernacle, cross and altar (symbolically toward God). The Priest performs all the actions and recites all the prayers of the Mass.
MODERN MASS: 1) Social, Classroom, Entertainment Atmosphere: Constant standing, sitting, amplified noise; atmosphere like a public meeting; Emphasis on "instruction." Socializing in church before and after the service, and handshaking during the Mass. 2) Indifference, Irreverence towards the Real Presence: Only three genuflections required. Lay men and women distribute communion. Communion given in hand - a practice Protestants introduced to deny Christ's Real Presence. 3) Systematic Omission of Catholic Doctrines: New prayers systematically omit references to hell, judgment, punishment for sin, merits of the Saints, the one true Church, the souls of the departed and miracles. 4) Novelty: Old Sunday prayers omitted or stripped of doctrines, and rearranged in the 1960s. Only 17% of the old prayers remain. Chunks of the ancient Canon are now "optional." The words of consecration, Christ's own words "For you and for many" are changed. Three substitute "Canons" invented and introduced in the 1960s, and still more invented later. 5) Constant Change: Options, options and more options. Individual priests and parish liturgy committees get to pick, drop or invent texts to push what they think people should believe. 6) The Priest is the "President", Actor: the Priest faces the people instead of symbolically "toward God." The Priest sits off to the side. His functions are given away to lay men and women.
SLOW PERSONAL CONVERSION: I began to read more and more the articles of the traditionalist side. For a period of three years I even moved to live near and with a traditionalist group.(1) But slowly, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I began to see and experience the problems and inherent contradictions in the traditionalist groups such as the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), the Society of Saint Pius V (SSPV) or the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI), etc. Finally the scales began to fall from my eyes to be able to see the whole situation from a totally different point of view.(2) One of the main things that helped me get back on track and in the Church was that I always maintained my allegiance and faith in the Pope, and those bishops united to him, as my anchor.
Although the bulk of this written work is a critic about the dangers and problems of traditionalist groups in general, there is a lot of good in what they believe and promote, otherwise no one would be tempted to join these groups as I and my family were years ago. We have a lot of common ground. As pointed out above (and below), the traditional Latin Mass is of priceless worth. The Catholic Church is the one true Church! All Catholics, even in our governments, should promote and defend the Catholic Church. We all believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. The traditionalists maintain all of these eternal truths! If more Christian pastors would diligently seek to satisfy and help the people who have these needs which they find in traditionalist groups (Rm 15:1), the Church would loose much less of its faithful; for they are God's people. Without getting into too much detail, I would like to offer some general, common sense thoughts and comments that helped me see the truth even amidst the many continuing problems and abuses in the Catholic Church.
ABOVE THE POPE: Many traditionalists believe that the Second Vatican Council was heretical and thus all subsequent Popes, bishops and priests are not valid.(3) But if one does not accept the Pope, one puts himself above the supreme spiritual authority on earth, and thus in a certain sense one has put himself above God! If one is not anchored in the Pope, and in the bishops united to him, one will slowly drift like a boat without a compass or a rudder going where the winds slowly take him, even with a nice reverent Latin Mass. If one is not connected to the vine one will slowly wither. Traditionalists often put private revelation above the Church and her authority. I think it is very important to study the doctrines of the Church and the documents of the Second Vatican Council to be anchored in the heart of the Catholic Church.
The traditionalists pick and choose which Popes seem to fit their mentality and way of seeing things; for that matter they also manage to find a renegade bishop (such as Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc) to acquire valid but illicit orders for their consecration of new bishops. Many of these groups promote the idea that the See of Peter is vacant since the time of VCII (a heretical council) and that some time in the future we will have a valid and licit Pope. But who has a direct line to the Holy Spirit that can judge the Pope (or an ecumenical council) and his teachings and decide when the See of Peter is vacant or not? Who has the gift of infallibility? Someone in these traditionalist groups? What guarantee do the traditionalists have that they will stay orthodox, since they do not have the Rock. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it (Mt 16:18).
There are over 35,000 registered Protestant Churches in the USA. The traditionalist groups have the same problem; if one does not obey and find unity in each living Pope, in whom does one obey and find unity? In a charismatic person? In various private revelations? In a democratic vote? The traditionalist groups split up frequently because some are more traditional and others less traditional, some are more conservative and others too liberal, etc. etc. etc.
The traditionalists often feel that they are better than the sinners who have remained in the Catholic Church, even with all of the scandals in the Church. This triumphalistic attitude helps maintain a certain level of emotional high and enthusiasm which helps maintain unity in the group.(4) Christ said to the Apostles, who the Pharisees and Scribes considered "sinners": "I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:20). It takes a lot of humility and the grace of God to be able to come back to Holy Mother Church after having left Her.
PHARISAICAL YEAST: One of the main goals of the Second Vatican Council was to overcome the rather strong pharisaical and sectarian tendencies in the Church in the past: Clericalism, Juridicalism and Triumphalism.(5) The biggest obstacle for Christ 2000 years ago was not the sinners but the Pharisees and the Scribes who felt they were special and above the sinners and did not need Christ or His new Church which was precisely for sinners. It is also interesting that the Catholic groups that have more of the pharisaical tendencies have the most difficult time with the documents of the Second Vatican Council! The Pharisees and Scribes were in effect "traditionalists" in that they held to the laws of the past but were not open to the newness that Jesus Christ had to say and to offer. The Pharisees and Scribes put themselves above Christ, above God! Likewise, the Church, although she needs human resources to carry out her mission, is not set up to seek earthly glory, but to proclaim, and this by her own example, humility and self-denial (LG 8).
The document on New Religious Movements points out: Before the Second Vatican Council there seemed to be more vocations perhaps in part due to the greater social and prestigious advantages which thus attracted a certain percentage of young vocations due to certain non virtuous premises or at least immature motives. Thirty to forty years ago, to become a priest meant for many the opportunity to rise out of anonymity and become part of the elite. Now it seems that many groups who have attempted to keep or revive this triumphalistic or elitist attitude have often attracted more vocations. Some of these groups became more hardened in this seeming subtle form of pride and end up outside the Church as Lefebvre's group and numerous other smaller groups have done. But others have become more ecclesial and properly ecumenically minded in the true spirit of the council.(6)
Many members of communities in the mainline Churches today feel comfortable in their static traditions but often do not reach out to others in a way that the others would feel attracted and more comfortable. This is a fundamental reason for the Church's loss of vast numbers of Catholics world wide to various sects according to the Vatican document on "New Religious Movements".
"Almost all the responses (from the Regional and National Episcopal Conferences world wide, October, 1985) appeal for a rethinking (at least in many local situations) of the traditional "parish community system"; a search for community patterns which will be more fraternal, more "to the measure of man", more adapted to people's life situation; more "basic ecclesial communities": caring communities of lively faith, love (warmth, acceptance, understanding, reconciliation, fellowship), and hope; celebrating communities; praying communities; missionary communities: outgoing and witnessing; communities open to the supporting people who have special problems: the divorced and "remarried", the marginalized.(7)
There is often the lack of distinguishing between the sin and the sinner. The Church loves the sinner but hates the sin. Many accuse the Church of hating the homosexuals because many do not make the distinction that the Church, as does Christ, loves the person with homosexual tendencies but hates the act of homosexuality. The Pharisees and Scribes were scandalized because Christ sought to help the publicans, tax collectors and prostitutes; but Christ did say to the prostitute go and sin no more (Jn 8:11). So too the traditionalists are scandalized because the Second Vatican Council teaches the importance of loving and recognizing the good in non-Catholic Christians both as individuals and as collective bodies, particular Churches (see also UR 3).
Traditionalists say: Well whats the use of becoming a Catholic if the other Churches are recognized Churches?(8) One can truly point to one place, the Catholic Church, to find the fullness of truth of Divine Revelation and saving "elements of sanctification" (LG 8) by which the faithful may be configured to Christ. Often many people need a common enemy (heretics or sinners) to be motivated and unified or to maintain their enthusiasm, or to be reinforced in their own (insecure?!) self identification. The lack of enemies tends to disrupt the homeostasis of the group.(9) Sometimes people form a type of comparative self religion in which they feel more holy if they compare themselves with others that they condemn or at least judge as less holy than themselves. We should rejoice in the good of others even if they are not members of our Church or group.(10) I think one can draw more people to the truth using honey (love) rather than vinegar (condemnation). It seems to me also that the traditionalists have a similar attitude as that of the older son in the parable of the Prodigals Son (Lk 15:11-32).
THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL: Often Church documents of the past, before the Second Vatican Council, were too little ecumenical and too much inspired by an anti-Protestant Catholicism.
Pope John XXIII, during his address at the solemn opening (October 11, 1962) of the Second Vatican Council, pointed out to the council Fathers: "The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays, however, the spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations." "The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character."(11)
"The work (the first drafts of VCII) showed little awareness of modern problems, it was said, and offered little more than weary repetitions of well-known utterances from the First Vatican Council. The ecumenical perspective was lacking. It was weighted on the side of Church authority and Church privileges and was very light on the duties and calling of the Church in our times. Its concern was for the juridical and clerical aspects of the Church, while it showed little feeling for the humility and servanthood of the Church. Generally, it betrayed what was called an `introverted ecclesiology.' It conveyed the image of a Church concerned with itself instead of directing its sights outward to the world and to the separated brethren."(12)
"Yesterday, said Bishop Elchinger, the Church was considered above all as an institution, today it is experienced as a community. Yesterday it was the Pope who was mainly in view, today the Pope is thought of as united to the bishops. Yesterday the bishop alone was considered, today all the bishops together. Yesterday theology stressed the importance of the hierarchy; today it is discovering the people of God. Yesterday it was chiefly concerned with what divided; today it voices all that unites. Yesterday the theology of the Church was mainly preoccupied with the inward life of the Church, today it sees the Church as orientated to the outside world."(13)
"The manifold Catholic attack against triumphalism goes hand in glove with a desire to sustain the spirituality of the Church. This is one of the essential elements of the new ecclesiological way of thinking apparent at the council. It wanted no new dogma, no new definition of the Church that would clarify everything. Rather, with the hierarchy in mind in a most existential sense, it was a summons to complete and utter humility. The Church was being told to remember that it followed the Lord who came not to be served but to serve (Mk 10:45).(14)
SECTARIAN MENTALITY: For good motives, such as to protect ones family and children etc., it is easier than one may think for a person or a family or a group to fall into a sectarian mentality especially today with so many problems and scandals as well as our modern cultural, social and religious crisis.(15) After one slides into a type of sect, one tends to not consider another point of view or to read or listen to other outside information or reasoning so that one becomes ever more entrenched in ones own mentality. One spends time almost exclusively with those in ones own group and interprets everything, including reasons contrary to their beliefs, according to their own sectarian logic. One feels he is in a special group, better than the others, and among the saved. Often members of the group feel that they are called to save the Church after the chastisement or after the period of the Great Tribulation (Mt 24:21; Apoc 7:14)! No one can help them because they know it all and they are specially called by God! Without humility even charitable works have no merit before God. Over the years, in a closed group, one does not realize how far he or she or they have slowly slid from reality and an objective view point; everything is interpreted in one way only. "The truth shall set you free (Jn 8:32)!
It is a natural tendency of creatures to seek and be drawn to the Creator especially in tumultuous and confusing times. We feel our limitations and helplessness in such times and we seek one outside of ourselves and more powerful to help us. Stable patterns are needed and sought after.(16) Many people seek a certain routine and security such as what the Church seemed to maintain before the Second Vatican Council: e.g., calendar of saints, the same Mass, rules, rigorism, juridicalism, casuistic moral and disciplinary laws, etc. But there is also the risk of closing in on one self as a group, maintaining a strong sense of identity and fear of outsiders. This tendency is a common unhealthy element of cults. And yet cults and their memberships today are growing very rapidly as the 1986 document on New Religious Movements points out. Thus there can be the real temptation to pull back to some of the sectarian tendencies present in the Church prior to Vatican II. And yet if the Church does not reach out to the multitudes that feel alienated(17) and not attracted to the Church, will she be fulfilling or at least going forward in her call to be ever more Catholic?(18)
It is hard to leave a traditionalist group all by oneself.(19) Jesus said to His disciples: "Think not that I have come to send peace upon the earth: I have come not to send peace, but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be those of his own household. He that loves his father or mother more than me (or His Church?!?) is not worthy of me: and he that loves his son or daughter more than me (or His Church?!?) is not worth of me (Mt 10:34-37).
GOD IS FAITHFUL: God does not abandon His Spouse, the Church, even though it is filled with sinners like you and me; if God does abandon the Church because of sinners, the Church would have ended immediately after the death of Christ! Look at the 2000 year history of the Church with all the sinners and heretics. And yet Christ said about His Church that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Mt 16:18). Often one does not really know what the Church is. Otherwise one would not be prone to leave Her. It is important to study regularly the "The Catechism of the Catholic Church and read if possible a good book on the history of the Church.
Five hundred years ago there were many sinners in the Catholic Church which caused the Protestant Reformation; today there are many sinners in the Church which cause many to leave the Church. A good husband does not abandon his wife when she becomes old and not pretty. If Satan cannot get you on the extreme side of the liberals, he will try to get you on the other extreme which is even worse. My Dad used to say that Id rather have an ugly box with a diamond inside than a beautiful box that is empty inside.
These traditionalist groups feel that only their small group has valid sacraments and the fullness of the truth from the Holy Spirit and that all the rest of the Catholic Church does not have valid sacraments or the fullness of the truth! What presumption! Would God allow such a thing to happen? Did God abandon the Israelites in the Old Testament when they were so frequently unfaithful to God? God did not abandon the Church all these centuries; why would God abandon the Church now at the Second Vatican Council? Certainly times are difficult. But to abandon the Ship now!? Now when God needs us the most to fight for the truth! It is interesting that the dream of Saint Don Bosco, depicted in the Salesian Church in Turin, Italy, shows the big Ship as the Church, with the Pope at the helm, in a bad storm being attacked by other boats while steering the Ship of Christ between two pillars with the Eucharist on top of one pillar and our Blessed Mother on top of the other.
THE BODY of CHRIST RECRUCIFIED: Satan is working hard to destroy the Church; the devil would be very happy if many or all people would leave the Church in this critical time in the history of the Church and world. The Church, the Body of Christ, is being crucified anew. Two thousand years ago even most of the apostles abandoned Jesus on the cross. Will we too abandon Jesus and His Body, the Church, in this critical time as so many did 2000 years ago and throughout the history of the Church??? These priests and laymen and so called bishops who encourage people to leave the Church in this crucial period, I think we can apply to them Christs words: "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin" (Lk 17:2; Mt 18:6; Mk 9:42)!
If one reads even a little of the history of the Church one would know that there have always been bad priests and bishops and laity, but God did not abandon His Church! Remember the Arian heresy when the majority of the bishops were Arians, and yet God did not abandon His Church. There was a group in the early Church (Montanists) which condemned and had no mercy for those who fled from martyrdom. The Church instead did not condemn those who fled martyrdom but rather offered encouragement and the mercy of Jesus in confession. The Pharisees and Scribes did not associate with "sinners", but Christ did; Jesus even sought out sinners. Will God abandon His Church in the most difficult time in the history of the world?
If the Catholic Church were not the true Church, the devil would not waste his time with her. Instead the devil is attacking the Catholic Church in every way possible especially today. Now is the crucifixion of Christ's Body, the Church, the saving Ship with the Pope at the helm. Now is the time to defend and fight for our Holy Mother Church; it is NOT the time to abandon her! Instead of abandoning Christ's Body, the Church, in this crucial time, we must help and teach others to prudently fight and stand up for the Church, as many are doing, especially now when things are much more difficult. When the going gets tough, the tough get going! The Catholic Church is much bigger than just one town or state or country. Christ will never abandon the Church, His Body, as He promised, no matter how ugly and covered with "blood" she becomes.
Our Holy Mother Church needs each of us, especially now more than ever!!!
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN DOGMA AND CHURCH DISCIPLINE: Although the Latin Mass is of priceless worth one must not use the question of the Latin Mass as an excuse or justification for leaving the Church! Because it is obvious that to say the Mass in Latin or in the vernacular is not a question of faith or dogma or doctrine; it is a matter of Church discipline which can be changed by the Church with the Pope's approval. A priest can say the Novus Ordo reverently just as a priest can say the traditional Latin Mass quickly and irreverently. When the Pope at the Council of Trent said that one must not change the Latin Mass, he was addressing all the priests and bishops at that time. Because in the years preceding the Council of Trent there was a great variety of ways that the priests and bishops celebrated the Mass; over the centuries it got out of hand. So for the sake of unity at that time in history, the Pope ordered that all priests and bishops say the same Mass in Latin. This was what was needed in Church discipline at the time of the Council of Trent. This does not mean that all the Masses before Trent were invalid! No Pope can bind all future Popes in matters of Church discipline.
On the other hand if a Pope defines a dogma "ex cathedra", this definition remains forever. In this case the defined dogma was even before (always) an infallible truth from God. The dogma only defined the truth more clearly in our human language. But one must distinguish between dogma and Church discipline. Dogma can never be changed; Church discipline can be changed in time to suit the needs of the Church in a given period. If one does not make this distinction, there will be much confusion and false conclusions!!!
The Latin Mass is certainly of great value! Pope Paul VI said at his Audience Address of November 26, 1969: It is here that the greatest newness is going to be noticed, the newness of language. No longer Latin, but the spoken language will be the principal language of the Mass. The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. We have reason for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the angels? We are giving up something of priceless worth. Why? What is more precious than these loftiest of our Churchs values?
The answer will seem banal, almost prosaic. Yet it is a good answer because it is human, it is apostolic. Understanding of prayer is more important than the silken garments in which it is royally dressed. Participation by the people is worth more particularly participation by modern people, so fond of plain language which is easily understood and converted into everyday speech.
Legitimate Changes in the Mass and Ordination Rites Several centuries after the Council of Trent, at the recent Second Vatican Council the Church decided, with the approval of the Pope, that what was need in Church discipline today was to offer the Mass in the vernacular. The Church also offered several choices for the Canon of the Mass besides Canon number one which corresponds to the original Tridentine Mass. But in all the new Canons, the essential words of the Consecration remained the same. Only the words that surround the essential words of the Consecration can be changed as was done at the Second Vatican Council, as well as at the Council of Trent for that matter.
This same reasoning holds also for the words of ordination of a priest or a bishop. The essential words of ordination or consecration have always remained the same. But the many words that surround these essential words can and have been changed over the centuries. Can one really think that the Apostles 2000 years ago used the same words to ordain a priest or bishop as the words that were used at the time of the Council of Trent??? Or for that matter, were all the words of the Mass 2000 years ago identical to the Tridentine Mass??? The essential words, yes! But the many surrounding words have been added for embellishment throughout the centuries. The essential words of ordination or consecration are still the same today. Thus to say that the ordinations today are invalid because the surrounding words or embellishments are different is absurd! With this same illogic, the Tridentine Mass as well as the ordinations in the time of the Council of Trent would be invalid because the words of embellishment in these rituals were not used 2000 years ago when the Apostles celebrated the Mass or ordained a priest!!!
The Holy Mass is certainly very important. But we must also not fall into sacramentalism with a nice reverent Latin Mass, but rather receive the sacraments to do the will of God better which is to love God and neighbor ever more diligently. We must always distinguish between the ends and the means.
THE CHURCH IS BIG: We often have such a small concept of the Church. The Church is huge. I am glad that I had the opportunity to study philosophy and theology in Rome were one sees the universality of the Church as well as many fruits of the Holy Spirit in the Church worldwide. The soul of the Church is the Holy Spirit. The traditionalists make the mistake of thinking that the whole Church is in one group which celebrates the Mass in Latin but are not under any legitimate bishop or under the Pope.
My experiences in Rome helped me to see that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is very big. It has all kinds of people in it. The Church, even from the beginning, has always had many saints and sinners inside her because we are in the "Church Militant" on earth, not the "Church Triumphant" in heaven where all is perfect. It is certainly important to know about the sinners and problems in the Church so as not to fall into the pitfalls of today. But we should not be so afraid of the sinners and problems that we miss out on all the good things in the Church.
I have had much experience with the Focolare Movement and other ecclesial movements approved by the Church. It is hard to describe how great a charism God has given to the founder of the Focolare Movement, Chiara Lubich. If one lives this charism of unity while loving ever more ones neighbor and especially Jesus Crucified and Forsaken in our lives, one can become a great saint in less time than normal. Over eight hundred years ago the Church was in bad shape so God sent St. Francis and St. Dominic and others to reform the Church. The Focolare Movement is just one of many charisms of the Holy Spirit for the Church today.
THE ECCLESIOLOGY of the SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL: These traditionalist groups have a very difficult time with the fact that the Second Vatican Council gave greater appreciation and recognition to the non-Catholic Christians and especially to the non-Catholic Christian Churches.
We read in Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council: But, the society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ, the visible society and the spiritual community, the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches, are not to be thought of as two realities. On the contrary, they form one complex reality which comes together from a human and a divine element. For this reason the Church is compared, not without significance, to the mystery of the incarnate Word. As the assumed nature, inseparably united to him, serves the divine Word as a living organ of salvation, so, in a somewhat similar way, does the social structure of the Church serve the Spirit of Christ who vivifies it, in the building up of the body (cf. Eph. 4:15) (LG 8). The sole Church of Christ constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines. Since these are gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity (LG 8). Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions, without prejudice to the Chair of Peter which presides over the whole assembly of charity, and protects their legitimate variety while at the same time taking care that these differences do not hinder unity, but rather contribute to it (LG 13). Christ himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but in body not in heart (LG 14). Referring to non-Catholic Christians: These Christians are indeed in some real way joined to us in the Holy Spirit for, by his gifts and graces, his sanctifying power is also active in them and he has strengthened some of them even to the shedding of their blood (LG 15). Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways (LG 16).
"Moreover, some, even very many, of the most significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to him, belong by right to the one Church of Christ. ... For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church" (UR 3). "... the Catholic Church has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth and with all means of grace,..." (UR 4).
Pope John Paul II in his Discourse to the Roman Curia, June 28, 1981 said: In these truly plenary gatherings, the ecclesial communities of different countries make real the fundamental second chapter of Lumen Gentium which treats of the numerous spheres of belonging to the Church as People of God and of the bond which exists with it, even on the part of those who do not yet form a part of it.
The Church in the Second Vatican Council reached a new level of maturity of not needing anymore to differentiate itself from other non-Catholic Churches but could now acknowledge the good in the other Churches without feeling in danger of loosing its self identification.
THE NEW ECCLESIOLOGY: The traditionalists call the Ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council The New Ecclesiology while continually quoting the strong statements of selected Popes of the past especially after the Council of Trent to convince themselves and others of apparent or seeming contradictions. Many Popes after the Council of Trent were caught up in the heat of the polemics, condemning non-Catholic persons, groups or Churches. When there is a heated fight between two or more people or groups, one tends to see and exaggerate only the faults and defects of the other person or group. The more virtuous person or group succeeds in listening to and in seeing the positive side of the other person or group and thus succeeds in establishing a more Christian dialogue.
There is also the tendency to blame all problems or at least the important religious problems on the recent council, VCII, without considering too much the many negative factors caused by our modern social and cultural crisis. Life was simpler fifty or a hundred years ago. There was more time to pray and to socialize without the temptation or possibility to spend a tremendous amount of time in front of the television set or with an impersonal computer, instead of spending time with ones own family. Today we have more money, cell phones, answering machines, ipods, computer games, digital cameras and decoders, etc., along with an ever increasing consumism. Certainly one of the big difficulties or barriers in walking together toward and with Jesus by example in the families today is the lack of time spent together due to the "rat-race" that claims mealtimes, evenings and weekends and days and ... The August 1974 issue of "Scientific American" in an important article, "The Origins of Alienation", by Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner, reported the shocking results of their study that the average amount of time spent by middle-class fathers with their small children was thirty-seven seconds per day!(20)
Many people today believe that technology and science can solve all our problems and thus there is no need of a superfluous and inconvenient God. This is modern mans greatest sin: he considers himself self sufficient without any need of his Creator. Even though all good things come from God, modern man shows no gratitude to his Creator.
The traditionalist groups have a very strong tendency to see everything simply as black and white or to use extreme examples and apply them to the non-Catholic Churches. For example they say that an airplane that is to fly across the ocean and has only a half a tank of gas will crash. Or if you inject a little poison into a person, the whole body dies. Or if you do not have all the correct numbers in Bingo, you do not win anything. They use these examples to conclude that a non-Catholic group or Church is totally bad since it is missing at least one of the basic truths or means of sanctification (see above as well as the questions in ECCLESIOLOGY.DOC below); they apply this logic also to the Roman Catholic Church since they say that the Second Vatican Council was heretical and thus there are no longer any valid sacraments or truths in the Roman Catholic Church!!! The traditionalists also try to apply the statement that you cannot have only a part of Christ because essence does not admit to degrees. If one reads carefully and studies the documents of the Second Vatican Council I think one of good will and open to the truth will see that these extreme examples cannot be applied to non-Catholic Christian Churches, and thus these extreme examples and strong statements are not in contradiction to the documents of the Second Vatican Council. God can sort out the tiny black and white dots that seem to us as grey. As Pope John XXIII, during his address at the solemn opening (October 11, 1962) of the Second Vatican Council, pointed out to the council Fathers: "The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity.
In a very real sense, offensive speech or terminology had been elevated to a much more important priority (perhaps even a principle?!) especially when one considers the language used in Pope Pius XI's encyclical 'Mortalium Animos' (1928). Besides a perhaps greater sensitivity to other Christians and the very possible bad fruits caused by irritating or offensive presentation of certain Church teachings, a further, very plausible explanation of this great concern not to annoy non-Catholics could be found in the relatively recent development of the mass media and the great speed of disbursement of news. In the time of Pius XI, ecclesial documents did not circulate much beyond a few ecclesial magazines months after the initial writing of the document. Imagine the scorn Mortalium Animos would receive if this document was written today by Pope Benedict XVI!
The following are a few examples of Papal statements (not ex cathedra or infallible) after the Protestant Reformation that traditionalists use to justify condemning VCII and leaving the Catholic Church.
The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavor then she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with one drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by Our Lord and handed down by apostolic tradition. But when we consider what was actually done we find that Jesus Christ did not in point of fact, institute a Church to embrace several communities similar in nature, but in themselves distinct, and lacking those bonds which render the Church unique and indivisible after that manner in which in the symbol of our faith we profess: I believe in one Church.(21)
Now, anyone who wishes to examine with care and to meditate on the condition of the different religious societies divided among themselves and separated from the Catholic Church will easily be convinced that no one of these societies nor all of them together in any way constitute or are that one Catholic Church which Our Lord founded and established and which He willed to create. Nor is it possible, either, to say that these societies are either a member or part of this same Church, since they are visibly separated from Catholic unity.(22)
My comments: VCII clearly teaches that there is only one true Church (see above or the questions in ECCLESIOLOGY.DOC below) but as a complex reality. The non-Catholic Christian Churches certainly do have nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth. Since these are gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity (see above; LG 8). A non-Catholic Church can certainly possess many elements of sanctification and of truth; for example, the Church community can decide to baptize and raise their children according to the Gospel and to live a virtuous life, etc.(23) For further understanding about the fact that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church see questions in ECCLESIOLOGY.DOC below as well as the document (seminar) on subsists in in SUBSISTS.DOC below.
If they [the faithful] were to go [to ecumenical gatherings], they would be attributing authority to an erroneous form of the Christian religion, entirely alien to the one Church of Christ. It is therefore inconsistent and foolish to say that the Mystical Body could be formed of disjointed and separated parts; therefore whoever is not joined to it is not a member of it and is not in union with Christ the Head. No one is in the Church of Christ, and no one remains in it, unless he acknowledges and accepts with obedience the authority and power of Peter and his legitimate successors. They (heretics) add that the Church, in herself, and by her nature, is divided into parts, that is to say, made up of many churches or individual communities, which although separate, hold some points of doctrine in common although they differ on the rest; each Church, according to them, has the same rights.(24)
My comments: Cannot one go to an ecumenical gathering with the motive to love his brother? Can one not pray together with non-Catholic Christians and Churches(25) for peace in the world and for so many other common needs of today as Pope John Paul II did at Assisi in 1986 and 2002? The devil is strong today; we must unite in all that we have in common and in all that we can share and do together to overcome the onslaughts of the devil today!
Therefore they are straying from divine truth who imagine the Church to be something which can neither be touched nor seen, that it is something merely spiritual, as they say, in which many Christian communities, although separated from one another by faith, could be joined by some kind of invisible link.(26)
But he who in his manner of thinking and acting would separate himself from his shepherd and from his Sovereign Pastor, the Roman Pontiff, has no further bond with Christ: He that hears you, hears me, he that despises you, despises me (Luke 10:16). Whoever is estranged from Christ does not reap; he scatters.(27)
He who leaves the [Roman] See cannot hope to remain within the Church; he who eats of the lamb outside of it has no part with God.(28)
He who abandons the Chair of Peter on which the Church is founded, is falsely persuaded that he is in the Church, since he is already a sinner and a schismatic who raises up a chair against the one Chair of Peter, from which flow to all others the sacred rights of communion.(29)
But this Catholic dogma is equally well known: that none can be saved outside the Catholic Church and that those who knowingly rebel against the teaching and authority of the Church cannot obtain eternal salvation, nor can those who willingly separate themselves from union with the Church and with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, to whom the Savior has entrusted the safe-keeping of his vineyard.(30)
My comments: It is interesting that the traditionalists want to condemn an Ecumenical Council approved by the Pope, which constitutes the highest level of certainty, because the Council recognizes particular Churches which do not acknowledge the primacy of the Pope, and yet the traditionalists do not acknowledge the primacy of the Popes since Pope Pius XII?!?
With Gods help, your clergy will never have any more pressing anxiety than to preach the true Catholic faith: he who does not keep it whole and without error, will indubitably be lost. They will endeavor, therefore, to favor union with the Catholic Church; for he who is separated from it will not have life.(31)
Outside of the Catholic Church, except with the excuse of invincible ignorance, there is no hope of life or of salvation.(32)
My comment: At the individual level (non ecclesial level), there is no obvious discrepancy between the traditionalists and VCII (see: LG 14, DH 1,3 etc.). It is obvious that there are many good people outside the Catholic Church just as there are those who are not invincibly ignorant of being separated from the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church (LG 14); only God knows the heart of each person.
VCII and RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: The traditionalists also have a difficult time with VCII teaching on religious liberty because they feel that non-Catholics do not have the right to promote their religion or creed publicly as was often the case in the past centuries under numerous Catholic monarchs. The traditionalists, as well as many past Popes, believe that only the truth (Catholic) has the right to be promoted publicly. It is interesting to note that an important American theologian, Father John Courtney Murry was silenced by the Vatican (Cardinal Ottaviani) to write or speak publicly on this issue during the 50's because there was the strong tendency in the Church to believe that only the truth, that is the Catholic Church, has the right to be promoted publicly; the other churches or groups must remain in the closet. Father Murry, with his American experience of a multi cultured and multi religious country, later was invited to VCII as an expert where he contributed in an important way to the document Dignitatis humanae. An important theologian recently wrote: "The truth without charity is an idol."
VCII instead said that every person or group has the right to promote his or her or their belief publicly due to the human dignity of each person as long as one does not interfere with the rights of others, i.e., public peace, public order and public morality (DH 7); this is the principle of promoting religion or the faith on the basis of the dignity of each person. Thus according to this principle, with VCII (Dignitatis humanae, the "Declaration of Religious Liberty), the Church could declare to the modern totalitarian regimes to allow the Catholic Church and all religions to promote their creeds publicly and freely in their country citing human dignity (and basic charity!) as a basis and justification. See the questions below in RELIGIOUS-LIBERTY.DOC.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT DEAD!: God will never abandon His Church as Christ promised. When Satan and his cohorts are working extra hard, the Holy Spirit helps the Church and those of good will even more. There are many graces and charisms in the Church today which come from the Holy Spirit. One should encourage ones children to experience these graces and charisms of the Holy Spirit today such as the new Ecclesial Movements. We must not abandon the Church now when she needs warriors to defend and fight for her.
There are many saints in the world today that can offer tremendous insights and experiences to help one draw closer to God. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta or Pope John Paul II or Chiara Lubich or Jean Vanier or Saint Padre Pio or Saint Faustina are only a few of our modern saints. Many traditionalists say that these modern day saints are mistaken in following the Second Vatican Council and the subsequent Popes, citing that other saints of the past made mistakes too!?!
It is sad that there are many scandalous priests and bishops today who have lost their faith in the Eucharist and devotion to their mother, Mary or have avoided standing up for the truth or have sought their own glory and comfort rather than the glory of God. But when we die will we be able to say to Jesus that we abandoned His Church, His Mystical Body, because of these scandals???
St. James wrote: "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one converts him, let him know, that he who converts the sinner from the error of his ways shall save his soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins (Jms 5:19-20; Ex 33:7-9; Mt 18:15-17). I think this is why I have written this article. But I fear that those already in the traditionalist groups will have a very difficult time seeing the light which is also the experience of those in the cults in general.(33) Dialogue with sectarian groups is almost non-existent. Without the grace of finally being able to see the whole situation from the proper point of view, it is virtually impossible to interpret the events in the Church properly. I hope this article reaches those tempted to enter such groups before it is too late. I hope and pray also that concerned Catholic pastors might more diligently offer and attempt to fulfill the needs and desires of those in their flock that might be tempted to seek these longings in a group outside the Church.
Most traditionalists maintain that there were many previously silenced or suspect theologians who contributed in an adverse or heretical way to VCII either directly (as experts) or indirectly. But as a believing Catholic, I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit will always protect the Church from error especially in the Churches highest form of theological certitude, an ecumenical council approved by the Pope. Did we not learn years ago in our catechisms that the Catholic Church has three attributes: Indefectibility, Infallibility and Authority? Even if some theologians went too far in some areas, does this mean that the Holy Spirit cannot take the good parts of what many say and help the Church arrive at a more mature ecclesiology or principle of religious liberty as we have seen in VCII? It is true that Satan is working hard in these times, as always, to destroy the Church. The traditionalists feel that the supposed change in orientation of the Church since VCII would (if it were possible) convert the Catholic Church from a divine institution that directs its earthly activity toward the eternal salvation of souls, to a mere co-participant with human organizations in the building up of a utopian world brotherhood between men of all religions or no religion at all.(34) Certainly this is what the freemasons and many other anti-Catholic groups want. Certainly the freemasons and other groups have plotted patiently for a long time, in an organized way, to weaken or to destroy or even to subvert or neutralize or instrumentalize the Church for their own ends. The followers of the devil, willingly or unwillingly, have always attacked this divine ship, the Church, for 2000 years from within and from without. But to believe now, with VCII, that the Holy Spirit is no longer able to keep good on His promise of Indefectibility or that the gates of hell will not prevail is playing right into the hands of the devil himself! Certainly we will one day arrive to the period of the Great Tribulation that Jesus talked about in Matthew 24; but I firmly believe that it will be clear, to those of faith and of good will, when the Antichrist and his False Prophet (Apoc 16:13; 19:20; 20:10), the Second Beast (Apoc 13, etc.), arrive on the scene. God often takes the back seat allowing even Satan more freedom and power (as was indicated in a private vision to Pope Leo XIII); but God will never abandon His Church just as He never abandoned Israel in the Old Testament. The Pope, as Saint Don Bosco predicted, will always remain at the helm of our divine and human Ship, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, even in the midst of fierce attacks. In the end Christ will win with His humble, charitable, patient, long-suffering and loyal followers scattered throughout the world.
Often the traditionalists quote private revelation to convince themselves and others that the Church will be infiltrated and (almost) destroyed from within and from without, concluding that VCII was taken over by the liberals and thus was totally corrupted. They try to conjecture that many cardinals and bishops in the Church have consciously tried to down play or set aside the message of Fatima.(35) They cite Cardinal Oddi who said that the words of the Blessed Virgin in the Third Secret of Fatima had nothing to do with Gorbachev; she was alerting us against the apostasy in the Church.(36) Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi, Pope John Paul IIs personal papal theologian revealed, in a personal communication to a Professor Baumgartner in Salzburg, that: In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.(37) But even if a great apostasy does begin in the Church at the top, what is the most prudent thing to do?(38) Abandon Holy Mother Church? Would it not be more prudent to stay on board our divine and human Ship and weather out the great storm together, trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide Her through to Her destiny? What do we gain if we abandon the Church during the storm? An illicit, reverent Latin Mass? If we separate ourselves from the Church who will guide us infallibly and who will tell us when the storm is over so that we can attempt to board the Ship again, if ever?
_____________________________________ FOOTNOTES: (1) See A Psychological Analysis of a Cult (PSY-CULT.DOC below) which describes a cult at Necedah, Wisconsin. (2) When I was in the cult at Necedah, Wisconsin I did not see the truth for two years while surrounded by this sectarian environment. But when the scales from my eyes fell, I finally could see and understand the whole situation from a truly Catholic point of view. (3) From Pope John XXIII onward. (4) See A Psychological Analysis of a Cult (PSY-CULT.DOC below) which describes a cult at Necedah, Wisconsin. (5) See the document: SUBSISTS.DOC. (6) The Vatican document, Sects or New Religious Movements: Pastoral Challenge", 1986. (7) 'Sects or New Religious Movements: Pastoral Challenge', L'Osservatore Romano, N. 20, May 19, 1986, p. 5. (8) See questions 3 and 5 below in ECCLESIOLOGY.DOC; see also Francis A. Sullivan in SUBSISTS.DOC below. See also AGD 19. (9) See A Psychological Analysis of a Cult (PSY-CULT.DOC below) which describes a cult at Necedah, Wisconsin. (10) See UR 4 and Note P in SUBSISTS.DOC. (11) Floyd Anderson, ed., Council Daybook - Vatican II (Session 1, Oct. 11 to Dec. 8, 1962, Session 2, Sept. 29 to Dec 4, 1963) (National Catholic Welfare Conference (Pub.), Washington, D.C., 1965), p. 27 (also cf. Herbert Vorgrimler, ed., Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II (Herder & Herder, N.Y., 1968), vol 1 , p. 108). Also see Giovanni Caprile, a cura di, Il Concilio Vaticano II (Cronache del Concilio Vaticano II edite da "La Civilta' Cattolica") (Secondo Periodo (1963-1964), Vol III; Edizione "La Civilta' Cattolica", Roma, 1966), pp. 29-30 and p. 40. (12) G. C. Berkouwer, The Second Vatican Council and the New Catholicism (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1965), pp. 178-179. (13) Herbert Vorgrimler, ed., Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II (Herder & Herder, N.Y., 1968), vol 1, p. 108. (14) G. C. Berkouwer, The Second Vatican Council and the New Catholicism (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1965), p. 184. (15) See A Psychological Analysis of a Cult (PSY-CULT.DOC below) which describes a cult at Necedah, Wisconsin. (16) Napier, Augustus and Whitaker, Carl, The Family Crucible; Haper & Row, Publishers, N.Y., 1988, pp. 83, 99. (17) Cf. Sects or New Religious Movements: Pastoral Challenge, L'Osservatore Romano, N. 20, 19 May 1986, (1.2) p. 5. (18) See Concluding Remarks from SUBSISTS.DOC. (19) See A Psychological Analysis of a Cult (PSY-CULT.DOC below) which describes a cult at Necedah, Wisconsin. (20) "Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives" by Dr. James C. Dobson; Word Publishing, Dallas, 1980; pp. 35-36. (21) Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis cognitum, June 29, 1896. (22) Pius IX, Letter Jam vos omnes, September 13, 1868, to Protestants and other non-Catholics. (23) See also LG 15, UR 3, etc. (24) Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928. (25) See also UR 8 and question 4 below in ECCLESIOLOGY.DOC. (26) Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943. (27) Leo XIII, Letter Officio sanctissimo, December 22, 1887, to the Bishops of Bavaria. (28) Pius IX, Encyclical Amantissimus, April 18, 1862. (29) Pius IX, Encyclical Quartus supra, January 6, 1873, to the Armenians. (30) Pius IX, Letter Quanto conficiamur moerore, August 10, 1863. (31) Gregory XVI, Letter Perlatum ad nos, July 17, 1841, to the Archbishop pfLwow. (32) Pius IX, Letter Singulari quidem, March 17, 1856, to the Austrian Episcopate. (33) See A Psychological Analysis of a Cult (PSY-CULT.DOC below) which describes a cult at Necedah, Wisconsin. (34) Cf. Father Paul Kramer, "The Devils Final Battle," The Missionary Association; Terryville, Conn. U.S.A. (2002), pp. 1, 77. (35) Cf. Father Paul Kramer, "The Devils Final Battle," The Missionary Association; Terryville, Conn. U.S.A. (2002). (36) Ibid., p. 163 (37) See Father Gerard Mura, The Third Secret of Fatima: Has It Been Completely Revealed?, the periodical Catholic, (published by the Transalpine Redemptorists, Orkney Isles, Scotland, Great Britain) March 2002. (38) It is interesting that St. Hildegard (d. 1179) wrote that when the new Pope is elected immediately before the Antichrist, a cardinal will kill the Pope before he is crowned through jealousy, he wishing to be pope himself; then when the other cardinals elect the next Pope this cardinal will proclaim himself Antipope, and two-thirds of the Christians will go with him. She notes that this Antipope as well as the Antichrist are descended from the tribe of Dan. My comment: If this private revelation of St. Hildegard turns out to be true, is it possible that this Antipope might be the False Prophet predicted in the book of the Apocalypse (Apoc 16:13; 19:20; 20:10; ch. 13 etc.)?
If it is Catholic, then it isn’t a cult. If it is a cult, then it isn’t Catholic.
Call them pseudo-Catholic please.
The last time I was with my SSPX friend I actually came home and googled her main points and word for word they were from articles in the Remnant...NOT the Bible, Not the early fathers, Not the Magisterium, Not Tradition, and Not the Baltimore Catechism.
Welcome to FR! With the release of the Motu Proprio on the Latin Mass according to the Missal of Bl. Pope John XXIII, I pray that the twofold expression of the Roman Rite (Tridentine as the extraordinary form; Missal of Paul VI as the ordinary form) will produce a new springtime of reverence, love and fidelity to the liturgical norms of Holy Mother Church in the Roman Catholic Church. I also pray that the Society of St. Pius X will be reconciled into full communion with the Church with their own personal prelature. As a priest, I would send many families to their parish (near to us) if they only were in full communion! May that day come soon, through the intercession of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Pax et bonum.
Thank you; I look forward to reading this later.
Welcome to Free Republic!
Hey gang, in the last three weeks some 2,000 additional (unnamed) groups have been added to the list! They're all Protestant again!! And in a new twist, all 35,000 are now registered with someone!!!
They're in all three of those groups at once? When do they eat?
"...To make matters more confusing, the authors invent, and freely use, a maddening and confusing array of neologisms such as geostatus, globalistics, and futurescan. All this leads to lists and lists of statistics and facts. Among these: in the year 14.5 billion B.C.E., God created dark matter and black holes, and beyond the "eschatofuture" of 10 to the 100 power year (the year google), God creates infinite parallel universes. On a more human level, readers are told that the "structures of sin" for the Decade of Evangelism (A.D. 1990-2000) had a total cost of $9.250 trillion U.S. dollars. There is no workable index for finding the facts or the statistics listed..."
LOL. "Globalistics." "Futurescan." Sounds like Bart Simpson's history exam.
If you want to restrict discussion on a particular post to only allow Catholics or to allow Catholic and Orthodox posters, you can use a caucus label on the title of the thread. Just type (Catholic Caucus) or (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus) after the title. This is especially useful for devotional threads or for threads such as this one that deal with an issue within the Church.
Threads that discuss the beliefs of other Christian churches or of other religions can't use the caucus label. The Religion Moderator has set up guidelines. This thread probably doesn't qualify because you mention Protestant churches and beliefs several times
if one does not obey and find unity in each living Pope, in whom does one obey and find unity? In a charismatic person? In various private revelations? In a democratic vote? The traditionalist groups split up frequently because some are more traditional and others less traditional, some are more conservative and others too liberal
The schismatic traditionalists have the EXACT same problem that Protestants do: there is no single point of unity to make decisions on faith and morals. There is nobody who has "The Buck Stops Here" on his desk. The difference is that for the traditionalists, their differences tend to occur in their interpretations of Tradition instead of their interpretations of Scripture.
The similarity is profound enough that one FReeper (who I believe has decided to stop posting here) used to rile schismatic traditionalists by calling them "Protestants in Fiddlebacks."
You are right! I guess it was not that simple. But after having talked with my sister and her husband and 7 children (one of whom is in a CMRI seminary in Florida), as well as many others who have fallen into these groups, I knew their arguments well and I wanted to at least address most of their main arguments. I hope my article reaches those who are tempted to join these groups before they enter, because after they enter these groups it is very very difficult to see the situation from the proper and true point of view. It takes a lot of humility to make the journey home to Holy Mother Church.
I fully agree with you. Instead of writing: I hope this article will help others not to fall into the numerous Catholic cults of our day such as SSPX, SSPV, CMRI, etc. I should have wrote: I hope this article will help others not to fall into these numerous pseudo-Catholic cults of our day such as SSPX, SSPV, CMRI, etc.
Thanks for the observation.
So, the author thinks it will help inspire faith in the Second Vatican Council by attacking previous Church councils and documents? That will help, a lot.
I guess the author believes that the Second Vatican Council is accurate Church teaching, while previous documents were flawed. Hmmm, that's exactly what Pope Benedict said wasn't true and the thinking he sought to discourage.
Great job by this author. He tries to "bring people back to the Church," by attacking the current Pope.
I too hope and pray for this reunion as you well wrote.
My sister and her family often go to a different traditionalist Mass each week in southern California but never to the Novis Ordo approved by the Catholic Church. They also have a son in a CMRI seminary in Florida of whom they are very proud of.
My sister and her family often go to a different traditionalist Mass each week in southern California but never to the Novis Ordo approved by the Catholic Church. They also have a son in a CMRI seminary in Florida of whom they are very proud of.
Did you read my whole article? Did you read what Pope John XXIII said at the opening of the Council? Did you read what past popes wrote about the protestants and the language they used? The Second Vatican Council was a great step forward in maturity and charity which I pointed out in the article.
As I wrote in one of my paragraphs: If one reads carefully and studies the documents of the Second Vatican Council I think one of good will and open to the truth will see that these extreme examples cannot be applied to non-Catholic Christian Churches, and thus these extreme examples and strong statements are not in contradiction to the documents of the Second Vatican Council.
Thanks for clearing that up. I wish you and them the best!
That is just not true. In fact, it is an extremely laughable and ridiculous number. Here is why I say that:
First, a denomination is defined in the American Heritage dictionary as: A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy.
If there are 35,000 denominations, then by definition, one would find all of them in each of the 50 states. But we will be much kinder than that. Giving the benefit of the doubt, and using just 10%, that would be 3,500 in each state. That seems reasonable, right? That still would not be what I would consider a LARGE group of congregations, but, just to give even MORE benefit of the doubt to this figure, let's use a figure of 2% of these denominations in each state, so we just divide 35,000 by 50.
So, we will say there are 700 of these "denominations" in each state. That of course would mean that NONE of the denominations cross state borders or that only 2% of these "denominations" cross state borders. Of course that is a unrealistically low number according to the definition, but we will use that number anyone. So, here is some math:
. Since Indianapolis is supposed to be a fairly decent cross section because most companies do their market research in the midwest, particularly Indianapolis, I chose that city to work with (plus I live there and looked up some stuff in the phone book!). The population of Indiana is roughly 6,3000,000 and has about 650 cities and towns where Indianapolis is the largest and has a population of 785,000, or 12%. According to an article in crosswalk, about 50% are protestant. There are about 720 protestant churches in Indianapolis listed under 35 denominations. Assuming then that everyone who calls thems protestant goes to church regularly, there are 545 people who attend each of these churches each week. You could also then say that there are an average of 20 congregations or churches per denomination.
If there are only 35 denominations in Indianapolis, which is about 12% of the state population, then according to the number of denominations and the low estimate we are going to use, then that means there are 665 other denominations in the rest of the state that are NOT represented in Indianapolis, which, of course, is just as a ridiculous assumption as the low numbers we have been using. So then, for the rest of Indiana, or 649 cities and towns, we have 665 denominations, or roughly 1 different denomination per city or town. If those towns DO have the 35 that are in Indianapolis, then each OTHER city or town must have 36 different denominations, BUT, each other town MUST have a different one besides the 35 found in Indianapolis.
Now lets take a small city, Anderson, which has a population of about 72,000 and is about the 6th or 7th largest. That would give it a protestant population of 36,000. It would have to have about 36 different denominations which would mean about 1000 people per denomination. And of course, in order to have a LARGE group, we could, again, using a low number, call that 10 congregations. That would leave 100 people in each congregation each week.
The average population per city in Indiana, rounded UP is 10,000. Again, using the figure of 36 denominations (each having the 35 of Indianapolis, plus one unique one of their own), for the 5,000 protestants, would be 138 people per denomination per town. Divide that by just 5, even a more ridiculus small number for a large group, give you 28 people in each congregation!
Don't like those numbers? Lets do some more. Just taking the US population to be about 302 million (151 million protestants) in those 35,000 denominations. Assuming a denomination, a LARGE group of congregations averages 20 congregations, then you have 8600 (rounded UP) people per denomination. If there are only 20 congregations per denomination, then at the most, each state could only have 40% of the denominations. Then, each state would have an average of 215 per denomination in the entire state! If Indiana is a thumbnail average of 650 cites, then each denomination has 0.33 persons per town or city. Remember that is if only 20% of the denominations are in each state. If they all were, it would be .02 persons! Yikes!
The number of 35,000 Protestant denominations is so easily found to be ridiculous. Anyone who doe any math can easily see that number is thoroughly debunked. And anyone who quotes that number, obviously does not corroborate or research their article. It is a patently false arguement. Even if the often used number of 20,000 denominations in the US increases the number to only 376 per person per denomination per state). If they use it for the entire world, multiply by a factor of 20, or just 7500 per state and that is just as silly at best. At worst, it is a deliberate out and out lie by twisting of facts and definitions aimed at evoking an emotional response and a fear factor. And anyone who quotes that number deserves to be rebuked.
Here’s a little quiz for you.
“The second Vatican Council was called by Satan.”
The above statement was made by
C)Fr. Malachi Martin
D)St. Padre Pio
There is no CMRI seminary in Florida.
In fact the CMRI has no presence in Florida at all. CMRI Directory.
I suggest you reconsider and start your research from scratch as well as your quest for the Roman Catholic Faith whole, entire, and ever unchanging and the remnant but still living Church.
Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Galatians 1, 8-9:
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.
9 As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.
The prime example to which this applies is this RAVENING WOLF AND FALSE SHEPHERD who would seek to lead the flock in following him to eternal perdition.
To learn the true Catholic Faith in refutation of this apostasy, I suggest you instead read and abide by Mortalium Animos by Pope Pius XI.
Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, FL has ties to CMRI. Bishop Dolan was actually consecrated by a CMRI bishop.
Most Holy Trinity Seminary, an independent traditional seminary in Florida, was founded and is run by Bp. Sanborn, not Bp. Dolan. Sanborn was ordained a priest by Abp. Lefebvre then superior of the SSPX and former superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers, and Sanborn was consecrated a bishop by the Dominican Bp. McKenna.
Dolan himself has no connection to the CMRI other than being consecrated a bishop by it's superior, Bp. Pivarunas.
I posted in #24 the links to the CMRI minor seminary in Rathdrum, Idaho and the CMRI major seminary in Omaha, Nebraska as well as to the CMRI Directory which lists absolutely NO CMRI PRESENCE AT ALL in the State of FLorida!
JosephJames repeatedly states in both his vanity post as well as in his later comments the following lie:
my sister and her husband and 7 children (one of whom is in a CMRI seminary in Florida),
We have not even been told by him if it is Bp. Sanborn's seminary - or know if he even has a sister, or if she has a son, or if the son is actually in a seminary!
As for Bp. Sanborn's Seminary in Florida:
Is it therfore by your 'logic' a Dominican seminary since Sanborn was consecrated a bishop by Bp. McKenna, a Dominican?
A SSPX seminary since Sanborn was ordained a priest by Abp. Lefebvre?
A Holy Ghost Fathers seminary for the same reason?
A French seminary since both Abp. Lefebvre as well as Bp. Guerard des Lauriers who consecrated McKenna a sbishop are French?
A Vietnamese seminary since Bp. des Lauriers was consecrated a bishop by Abp. Ngo Dinh Thuc Pierre Martin?
A SSPV seminary since Sanborn was in that order under the then Fr. Kelly, when he, Dolan, et al left the SSPX?
If you two can't even get your story straight on simple verifiable facts, don't even try approaching theology!
Or perhaps that is precisely why you dare to do it because in that area your falsehoods are difficult for the casual reader to detect?!
I see absolutely no attempt at a rebuttal to the visual proof of apostasy by Fr. Wojyla.
Nor a response to the admonition of Saint Paul as to hold as anathema and have absolutely nothing to do with those who may someday preach a different gospel - the false gospel of the 'Church of Vatican 2'.
I am also breathlessly awaiting a reply to the question posed in #23!!!
The author's own comments smack of heresy in and of themselves:
PHARISAICAL YEAST: One of the main goals of the Second Vatican Council was to overcome the rather strong pharisaical and sectarian tendencies in the Church in the past: Clericalism, Juridicalism and Triumphalism.
First: Neither of my points were untrue. I didn't say that Most Holy Trinity was a CMRI seminary, only that it had ties to the CMRI through Bishop Dolan (the seminary webpage has an entire page devoted to him). You admitted yourself that Bishop Dolan was in fact consecrated by Bp. Pivarunas, a CMRI bishop.
Second: Saying that a point that I made is a lie implies that I am a liar. That borders dangerously on 'making it personal' which will get you in trouble with the Religion Moderator. Please don't do that. Especially when your assertion is incorrect.
Third: I have as much interest in rebutting the maniacal claims of sedevacantists who care to claim that Vatican II started a new religion as I do maintaining the maniacal assertions of the modernists that Vatican II started a new religion. If you want rebuttals, there are plenty of orthodox Catholic sites that rebut them; that's what I did when I was torn between the claims of the Catholic Church and the claims of the schismatics. The schismatics' tune is the tired and worn out tune of the Protestants: we don't have to listen that old fuddy-duddy Pope because he doesn't have any real authority. Same tune, different key.
If the original poster cares to debate you, that's his business.
The validity of any spiritual truth is inversely proportional to the number of paragraphs used to describe it. ;)
Ergo, VAST = 1/NPUD.
Nothing like a simple mathematical relationship. :)
i don’t know.
The correct answer is D - St. Padre Pio.
Wanna bet? He died under interdict. He refused to say the New Mass. They canonized him anyway.
The information comes from his spiritual daughter, Anne McGinn Cillis. She would know as opposed to you who are here to advance a hateful agenda (and doing a lousy job at it).
To read the update of this article along with the reference documents go to: http://josephdwight.blogspot.com.
To read other related articles in Italian go to: http://giuseppedwight.blogspot.com.
To read the update of this article along with the reference documents go to: http://schis-trad.blogspot.com.
What this person is saying, in a nutshell, is that for over 1500 years, as the Holy Catholic Church practiced the Holy Tridentine Mass, the Church was ‘wrong’ and ‘evil’, and that only during the 1960’s, when the heretical Vatican II was desperately trying to find ways to keep the counter-culture generation in the pews, was the truth about what Christ wanted His Church to be really realized?!@?!? Incredible...truly incredible.
You might find the following site of some help in clarifying the stuff posted on this issue: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/
A blast from the past ... ping. Some topics are always ‘current’. Scan the list of posters .. some are still here (and may well repost their original comments); others have moved on.
Vatican II and the New Mass is the cult.
The true, enduring Church persists in those individuals and groups (including some within the influence of the Vatican) who reject the rotten fruits of the Council.
POPE-SSPX (THIRD UPDATE) Jan-27-2009 (1,180 words) With photos posted Jan. 23 and 26 and graphic Jan. 26. xxxi
Pope lifts excommunications of Lefebvrite bishops
By John Thavis
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunication of four bishops ordained against papal orders in 1988 by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The move was considered a major concession to the archbishop’s traditionalist followers.
The Vatican said the decree removing the excommunication, signed Jan. 21 and made public three days later, marked an important step toward full communion with the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1970.
It said some questions remain unresolved with the society, including its future status and that of its priests, and that these issues would be the subject of further talks.
“The Holy Father was motivated in this decision by the hope that complete reconciliation and full communion may be reached as soon as possible,” a Vatican statement said.
The head of the Swiss-based society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, had requested the removal of the excommunication in a letter Dec. 15. Bishop Fellay wrote that he and the three other bishops illicitly ordained in 1988 were determined to remain Catholic and accepted the teachings of Pope Benedict “with filial spirit.”
The Vatican said the pope had responded positively to the request in order to promote “the unity in charity of the universal church and succeed in removing the scandal of division.”
In a letter published after the Vatican announcement, Bishop Fellay said his society was eager to begin talks with the Vatican about the causes of the “unprecedented crisis” shaking the church.
“During these discussions with the Roman authorities we want to examine the deep causes of the present situation and, by bringing the appropriate remedy, achieve a lasting restoration of the church,” he said.
The decree removing the excommunications, issued by the Congregation for Bishops, underlined the hope that this step would be followed by full communion and that all members of the Society of St. Pius X would demonstrate “true fidelity and true acknowledgment of the magisterium and the authority of the pope.”
The move came after one of the illicitly ordained bishops, British-born Bishop Richard Williamson, provoked Jewish protests with assertions that the Holocaust was exaggerated and that no Jews died in Nazi gas chambers. He spoke in a TV interview recorded last November but aired in mid-January.
The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said emphatically that the Vatican did not share Bishop Williamson’s views, but that it was a completely separate issue from the lifting of the excommunication.
“Saying a person is not excommunicated is not the same as saying one shares all his ideas or statements,” Father Lombardi said.
The removal of the excommunication was a key condition of the Society of St. Pius X in its on-again, off-again talks with the Vatican over reconciliation. In 2007 the pope granted another of the society’s requests, widening the possibility for use of the Tridentine rite, the form of the Mass used before the Second Vatican Council.
Archbishop Lefebvre rejected several important teachings of the Second Vatican Council, including those related to religious liberty, ecumenism and liturgy. The Vatican statements did not mention the council’s teachings, and Father Lombardi had no comment on whether the society was asked to adhere to them.
The Vatican action came the day before the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s announcement of the Second Vatican Council. Father Lombardi said it would be wrong to see the lifting of the excommunication as a rejection of Vatican II.
“On the contrary, I think it is a beautiful thing that the council is no longer considered an element of division, but as an element in which every member of the church can meet,” he said.
In addition to Bishops Fellay and Williamson, the decree removed the excommunication of French Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais and Argentine Bishop Alphonso de Galarreta. The Vatican said in 1988 that Archbishop Lefebvre and the bishops he ordained had incurred automatic excommunication for defying papal orders against the ordination.
Bishop Fellay called the pope’s action a “unilateral, benevolent and courageous act” and described it as a victory for Catholic traditionalists worldwide. But he said he had made clear to the Vatican that the society still has problems with Vatican II.
He said, quoting from his Dec. 15 letter: “We are ready to write the creed with our own blood, to sign the anti-modernist oath, the profession of faith of Pius IV, we accept and make our own all the councils up to the Second Vatican Council, about which we express some reservations.”
Bishop Fellay added in his communique that “we are convinced that we remain faithful to the line of conduct initiated by our founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, whose reputation we hope to soon see restored.”
In a separate letter written Jan. 21, Bishop Fellay commented on Bishop Williamson’s comments about the Holocaust, saying the bishop had spoken for himself, not the society. Bishop Fellay complained that the interviewer had introduced the topic “with the obvious intention of misrepresenting and maligning the activity of our religious society.”
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, president of the French bishops’ conference, welcomed Pope Benedict’s action as a “gesture of mercy and openness for strengthening church unity.” France is home to nearly half of the 200,000 members of the Society of St. Pius X.
However, the cardinal rejected suggestions the move would make it easier for Catholics “to be Catholic while making selections in church teaching, doctrine and church tradition.”
“I rejoice every time the church is able to suspend a penalty — it’s an opportunity, an open door allowing Christians to rediscover the fullness of communion with the church,” he told the archdiocesan Notre Dame Radio Jan. 24. “People who, for the most part, present themselves sincerely as defenders of tradition also give themselves a magisterial power to distinguish good from bad tradition. But such an act of discernment can only be an act of the church, not of some particular group within the church.”
French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bourdeaux said Pope Benedict knew “the drama a schism represents in the church” and wished to “go as far as he could in extending his hand.” Cardinal Ricard is a member of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” which oversees the reconciliation of Lefebvrite Catholics with the church.
“The lifting of the excommunication isn’t the end but the beginning of a process of dialogue,” Cardinal Ricard said in a Jan. 24 statement. “It doesn’t regulate two fundamental questions: the juridical structure of the St. Pius X fraternity in the church and an agreement on dogmatic and ecclesiological questions. But it opens a path to travel together, which will doubtless be long and demand better mutual knowledge and esteem.”
Some French Catholics have criticized Vatican policy toward the society. In 2006, Catholics and bishops from eastern France protested the creation of the Good Shepherd Institute in the Archdiocese of Bourdeaux for receiving traditionalists. Protesters also said they feared church unity could be damaged by relaxing restrictions on the Tridentine Mass.
- - -
Contributing to this story was Jonathan Luxmoore in Poland.
Does that include members of the SSPV and CMRI?
article too long, did not read it.
It never hurts to reflect that without Lefebvre, the Tridentine Mass would be just a receding legend.
SSPX are not sedevacantists. They pray for the Holy Father at every Mass.
gotta go through this again?
How’d this come up what with the hyper-heretical Argentinian at your helm?
You live in Mister Roger’s neighborhood?
St Francis at his deathbed said an anti-pope would be elected and cause much havoc. Now how can that happen?
View the scanned pages here:
Title Page Page 248 Page 249 Page 250
Shortly before he died, St. Francis of Assisi called together his followers and warned them of the coming troubles, saying:
“1. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.
“2. The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.
“3. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.
“4. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.
“5. Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.
“6. Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, [Christ] these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.
“7. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.”
(Except for breaking up the narrative into numbered paragraphs and adding bold print for emphasis, the prophecy is presented without any alteration, as given in the Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250; as evidenced by the scanned pages linked above. This book has been reprinted and can be purchased here.)
Padre Pio is not a canonized saint. Mass cannot be said in his name. Otherwise he’s just fine in Heaven’s eyes, this we can be sure. He was caught in a bad time. He’s a saint like many, simply not canonized such Holy Mass can include his name.