Skip to comments.Excommunicating Gherardini? (SSPX sparking resistance to Vatican II)
Posted on 12/15/2011 10:34:45 AM PST by mas cerveza por favor
Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), said it in his sermon of December 8: the Roman proposals are at each time more interesting, but in their formulations there remains a point with a bitter taste, that demands before everything else the concession that Vatican II is consistent with the Tradition of the Church.
Following the declarations of His Swiss Excellency, pressure mounts, minds are enkindled. Now that the familiar sirens wave anew the red flag of definitive schism, that vaticanist Tornielli lets himself be taken by feeling - by imagining what Abp. Lefebvre would do in similar circumstances (by saying he thinks he would "say yes"), the Roman demands seem to receive, at the very heart of the Eternal City, a serious blow. For 25 years, the Holy See has not budged on the famous conciliar texts, and, at the very moment in which the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X delivers his note to the Vatican, one of the best students, among the most faithful and most learned, rises up to say that the demands of the master do not hold up.
Monsignor Gherardini is the dean of the theologians of the Lateran University, one of the most venerable Roman institutions. For half a century, he has formed hundreds of bishops and priests by attempting to present them Vatican II in continuity with the teaching of the Church. At the end of a long and serious career, he makes this terrible confession: the tireless attempt does not work. Speaking of the Council, he describes its continuity with Tradition as "problematic": "not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven."
In other words, the theologian says that all displays attempting to make Vatican II the continuation of the teaching of the Church are to his eyes nothing but weakly convincing arguments.
At the moment in which one of the most distinguished living theologians declares serious doubts on the merits of the conciliar texts, at the moment in which he asks for a "critical examination" of these texts, how can the Holy See demand that their prior recognition be an indispensable condition for the regularization of the Society? How can the hope of thousands of faithful around the world be played with by making them believe that the ball is on Écône's side? The competent congregation has every ability to recognize, at the end of thorough doctrinal discussions, the perfect catholicity of the Society and to grant it the regularization that every work that is done faithfully with its zeal for souls deserves. While Sacred Liturgy and even the most elementary truths (the Ressurrection of Christ, the Real Presence, the salvific universality of Jesus Christ) are disregarded by a good number of bishops who need not sign any condition to be named and kept in place, would such recognition really prove to be a high-stakes bet?
If affirming that the texts of the Council are disconnected from Tradition makes the Society worthy of being considered outside the Church, is it to be thought that Monsignor Gherardini deserves excommunication for having dared to publicly affirm that which others will never have the boldness of saying?
passing through ppping to mcpf
I was wondering recently if the Anglicans who have been received into the Church under the terms of Anglicanorum Coetibus have been required to explicitly profess some sort of faith in Vatican II? When I came into the Church some fifteen years ago I had to publicly profess my faith as being Catholic, but there was nothing about the Second Vatican Council in it that I remember. Nor did I have to swear to accept Trent, any Lateran councils or so on. Therefore, one must wonder why these people should be received only after affirming some sort of a faith in a particular council. Why isn’t the Creed sufficient, as it is for all others who would be accepted in the Church?
Probably not. Anglicanorum Coetibus heals a division over issues that predate Vatican II by many centuries. Anglo-Catholics probably considered the subtle liberalism of Vatican II to be insignificant next to the blatant liberalism of modern Anglicanism. Vatican II works by perniciously corroding existing belief rather than openly establishing new doctrine. It pretends to at once have changed everything and nothing at all. Therefore, Vatican II precepts will never be openly admitted to on a profession of faith.
When I came into the Church some fifteen years ago I had to publicly profess my faith as being Catholic, but there was nothing about the Second Vatican Council in it that I remember.Nor did I have to swear to accept Trent, any Lateran councils or so on.
Congratulations! The ceremony may have been watered down as a result of Vatican II, but that in no way takes away the merit of your intent.
Therefore, one must wonder why these people should be received only after affirming some sort of a faith in a particular council. Why isnt the Creed sufficient, as it is for all others who would be accepted in the Church?
It is a political struggle. Liberals tried and failed to stamp out the traditional mass. Liberalism drives away the youth but Tradition attracts all ages. Liberals rightly fear their own defeat if traditionalists are allowed to regularize without compromising on Tradition. The pope is liberal but appears to have greater loyalty to the Church than to liberalism.
For the record: SSPX-Rome - where matters currently stand, as viewed by the SSPX
From the sermon delivered by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bp. Bernard Fellay, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. These are the latest words of that Fraternity on the ongoing discussions with the Apostolic See.
You have all heard that there was a proposal from Rome, a proposal that said, We are ready to recognize you [canonically]. The problem is that there is always a condition. This condition may have varied a bit in its formulation, but basically it is always the same. This condition is: you must accept the Council. One could sum up the current situation by saying: Yes, you can criticize the Council, but on one condition: it is necessary to accept it first. Which leaves us saying, What can we criticize afterwards?
I think that this is an honest summary of the present situation. And it is not difficult to describe for you our response.
Obviously, the formulas are more and more interesting, closer and closer to what we say. We have arrived by now at a point that clearly shows the depth of the problem. In that famous proposal this is what they tell us: You commit yourselves to acknowledging that with regard to points from the Council that cause difficulties, the only way to understand those points is to understand them in light of the continuous, perpetual Tradition, in light of the preceding Magisterium. The light of Tradition is the only way by which one can understand the dubious points. They even go further: Any proposition and any interpretation of the dubious texts that was opposed to that perpetual Magisterium, that continual Magisterium of the Church must be rejected. That is what we have always said. But there is a tiny little incidental clause that adds, as the New Catechism says. Now the New Catechism adopts the Council.
In other words, concerning the principle we can only agree. As for the application, it is completely the opposite. They claim that they are applying the principle by saying: everything that was done at the Council is faithful to Tradition, is consistent with Tradition, whether it be ecumenism or religious liberty. That shows you the seriousness of the problem. There is a problem somewhere. It is not possible otherwise. The problem is based on the understanding of certain words. And these words are of course Tradition and Magisterium. Their way of understanding these words is subjective. Certainly there are cases in which one can understand tradition in the sense of transmit: the act of transmitting is a transmission. But the usual way of understanding this word has bearing on its content. What is transmitted? What is transmitted from generation to generation? The classical definition of Tradition is that which has always been believed by all, everywhere and at all times (Commonitorium by St. Vincent of Lerins). Here the expression That which designates the object. But nowadays, it is as though we went from the object to the subject, so as to consider only the one who transmits.
That is why they talk to you about living tradition, because the one who transmits, when he transmits, is alive. Now life moves, it changes. The popes change and therefore tradition changes, but it remains tradition. It is the same tradition, but one that changes. The Church has also taken this sense into consideration, but in an altogether secondary way. That is not what she is talking about when she talks about Tradition; what we call the deposit of the faith, the set of truths that the Good Lord has entrusted to the Church so that she might transmit it from generation to generation, so that souls might be saved. This content is what she means. And this is the reason why, with the definition of infallibility at the First Vatican Council, the Church teaches that the Holy Ghost has effectively been promised to St. Peter and to his successors, therefore to the popes. But He was not promised in such a way that the popes might teach something new by a new revelation. He was promised so that, with the help of the Holy Ghost, Saint Peter and the popes might preserve holily and transmit faithfully that which does not change, the revealed deposit.
That is where we are. That is what we are trying to do, since there is in fact a gesture made by Rome toward us, we must recognize it, a surprising gesture after these doctrinal discussions in which we determined that we were not in agreement. In effect it is a situation similar to that of two persons who meet, discuss something and arrive at the conclusion that they do not agree. What do you do then? Rome tells us: You accept nevertheless! And we reply: It is not possible. And so what we decide to do, besides answering that it is not possible, is to tell them: Wouldnt you like to look at things a bit differently? Wouldnt you like to try to understand that the Society is not the one that is a problem. There is indeed a problem in the Church [institutions], but it is not the Society; we are not a problem because we are saying that there is a problem. Then we ask them to deal with the real problem. We are ready; we want only one thing and it is precisely to attack the real problem.
You understand very well that humanly speaking there is no great hope that they will agree to change such a position. Maybe the disappointments that the Church has experienced will move them? The fact that currently the disaster, the sterility is more clearly evident: there are no more vocations. It is frightening. I saw, a few moments ago, the statistics for the Sisters of Charity, the nuns who used to be everywhere in France: between thirty and forty years of age I think that there are still three left in all of France. Between the ages of 40 and 50, likewise three. The majority, in other words almost 200, are between 70 and 80 or between 80 and 90. Some of them are more than 100 years old, and they are more numerous than those who are 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old. If you take the ones from 20 to 50 years of age, you have one more than the group of those who are 100 years old or more: 9 as opposed to 8. Those nuns who used to do all sorts of charitable works in all the rural areas!
And it is over. That is one example among thousands. Take the priests. Take instances from whatever area you want: it is a Church that is dying, disappearing. Nevertheless that ought to make people reflect. We think, we hope that some are beginning to reflect. People do get the impression that that is just not enough. Of course, grace is needed. It is necessary to pray.[...]
-The Catholics are down at the Assembly of God, they say they’re happy, but life without the sacraments is a heavy cross.
-I hear when Novus Ordo folks visit the Traditionalists, the sense a disdain toward themselves from the Traditionalists. I guess it is understandable that such attitudes would develop.
-what to do with people who are hostile toward hyper-parochialism?
Many trads are tough-minded and some are shy but do not intend to be disdainful. People with large families tend to focus on their families and just a few well-known friends. Should trads make a conscious effort at being more welcoming to newcomers? I think so. However, one should come to mass to commune with God, first and foremost, rather than with one's fellow man.
My experience is that regulars at a new parish tend to warm up and initiate conversation after I have been there a few times. It may take perseverance to fit in, but the TLM is well worth the effort.
Anglicanorum Coetibus heals a division over issues that predate Vatican II by many centuries. Anglo-Catholics probably considered the subtle liberalism of Vatican II to be insignificant next to the blatant liberalism of modern Anglicanism.
I imagine you are right on both of these points, but the discrepancies are very troubling. Rome seems, and I say seems because the preamble and other such documents are only being referenced second and third hand by people with strong bias in the discussions, to be making some sort of an assertion that these men make a profession of faith, not in the Catholic faith itself, but rather in a particular interpretation of a specific council. This seems very unprecedented. At the same time, these priests from the liberal Anglican tradition, which tradition I am familiar with having come out of it, are being accepted en masse under the terms of this motu proprio and will have the authority to preach, celebrate the sacraments and so on. Rome seems to have no concerns about how they interpret any particular council even though we have good reason to be doubtful given their history and the conditions of their return. After all they are fleeing one community rather than truly desiring another.
I find implications of these two side-by-side activities and responses by Rome, and their strangely disproportionate and innovative requirements, to be a great cause of concern. It is exasperating altogether. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.