Skip to comments.My Journey out of the Lefebvre Schism
Posted on 01/20/2003 6:03:26 AM PST by NYer
The article is far too long to post. Click here: Who Was Archbishop Lefebvre?
If youre a Catholic whos faithful to the Churchs teaching Magisterium, youve probably met up with followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvres 1988 schism, known as the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Theyre filled with devotion to the Blessed Mother, extremely conservative with regard to most moral issues afflicting the Western world today, and quite reverent before the Blessed Sacrament during their old Latin liturgies. In short, on the surface, adherents to Archbishop Lefebvres schism appear to be devout Catholics
Its easy to sympathize with these folks since most of them have joined the SSPX after being scandalized by contemporary abuses in doctrine and liturgy in some of our Catholic churches in North America. In fact, it was precisely because of such sympathies, as well as the beauty of the Tridentine Mass, that I found myself frequenting SSPX chapels about eight years ago. Like most SSPX adherents, at the time I thought that my separation from Rome was merely temporary.
I failed to realize, however, that at the root of every schism, as the present Code of Canon Law explains, is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him (Can. 751). Such ruptures from communion with the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, wound the unity of Christs Body (CCC 817). For that reason, at the heart of my journey back to full communion with Rome lay many questions about the unity of the Church as an institution founded by Christ.
The Novus Ordo Missae: Intrinsically Evil?
A common argument now put forward by the SSPX is that the revised liturgy of Pope Paul VI is intrinsically evil, or at the least poses a proximate danger to the Catholic faith. This would mean that the post-Vatican II liturgy is in and of itself contrary to the law of God. How individual Lefebvrites approach this issue will often vary, but they typically insist that the new Mass contains heresy, blasphemy or ambiguity. In resolving this question, I came to the personal conclusion that Christ has a sense of humor, since the same text from Catholic Tradition the SSPX quotes in defense of this claim is the very text that refutes it.
A preliminary observation is in order. The Mass has not changed since Christ instituted this sacrament on the night before His crucifixion. In essence, there is neither an old Mass nor a new Mass, but only the Mass. In fact what changed after the Second Vatican Council was not the Mass, but the liturgy.
This means that while the accidents (to use a classical theological term) differ somewhat between the pre-Vatican II liturgy and the reformed liturgy of Pope Paul VI, their essence remains the same: the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ transubstantiated into the Eucharist. This central mystery of the Mass takes place regardless of whether the priest celebrates according to the liturgical books in use before the Second Vatican Council or according to the liturgical books revised by Pope Paul VI. In fact, both sets of liturgical books are usages of the same Roman liturgical rite.
When I was associated with the SSPX, to defend the claim that the reformed liturgy is intrinsically evil I used to quote the seventh canon on the Sacrifice of the Mass from the Council of Trent. This canon states: If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments and outward signs which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of Masses are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema.
Lets look at this more closely. Since the definition of intrinsic evil is something which in and of itself is evil, we see from the Council of Trent that an approved liturgy of the Church cannot be such. For something that is intrinsically evil is naturally an incentive to impiety, while the Council of Trent declares dogmatically that the approved liturgical ceremonies of the Catholic Church cannot be incentives to impiety.
But wait a second: Wasnt the revised liturgy of Pope Paul VI an approved liturgy of the Church? Of course! So according to the Tradition of the Church as dogmatically defined at the Ecumenical Council of Trent, I could only conclude that the reformed liturgy of Pope Paul VI cannot be an incentive to impiety. It necessarily follows, then, that neither could it be intrinsically evil. Thus in my defense of the schismatic position I stood refuted by the very Catholic Tradition from the Council of Trent that I was seeking to preserve through adherence to the SSPX schism.
Else He lied, right?
Very nice post, but don't be surprised if we see ad hominem attacks on Mr. Vere.
Yes ... Interesting that the author took up the study of Canon Law in searching for truth. Note also the following.
Why so defensive ahead of time? Is it because you're uncomfortable with the fact that the author of this article is an ex-Satanist, whose mentor after he left the SSPX was a homosexual abuser slash liturgical deconstructor, and who now spends his time watching professional wrestling (whenever he's not busy attacking Catholic tradition)?
Why does the pope desire reunion? As Catholics you are a part of the Body of Christ and your absence has left Him wounded. The Church desires all of her children to be safe at home whatever the reason they left.
As to the present, do you have any links for this information?
Here is a previous thread with links to Vere's own blog where he stated all these things in his own words:
Influential Priest-Canonist is Abuser
Post #9 has links to Vere's blog where he talks about Fr. Huel's (the priest-canonist abuser) decisive influence on his career, his interest in horror novels, drinking games and professional wrestling, and his teenage dabbling in Satanism. In post #96, "Theosis" who says he is a friend of Vere's and appears to have signed up on FR just to defend him, admits:
Actually Polycarp, HDMZ is correct in stating that Vere is an admitted former teenage satanist. This is often overlooked in his conversion story since he doesn't like to dwell on it. In fact, I was a little dissapointed that he barely gave more than a paragraph to it in his conversion story which was just published.
I can overlook the teenage Satanism, but what I find most troubling is the fact that Vere's acknowledged intellectual mentor was not only an admitted homosexual abuser, but was perhaps the foremost liturgical destructor who toured the US and Canada promoting his program of innovation under the banner of "creating a path by walking on it."
As to his current hobbies of drinking games, horror novels and professional wrestling, I find these things relevant only to the extent of questioning whether he truly has "matured" beyond his youthful indiscretions.
We think, how grievously they err who arbitrarily claim that the Church is something hidden and invisible, as they also do who look upon her as a mere human institution possessing a certain disciplinary code and external ritual, but lacking power to communicate supernatural life (par. 64)
But we must not think that He rules only in a hidden or extraordinary manner. On the contrary, our Redeemer also governs His Mystical Body in a visible and normal way through His Vicar on earth. . . . Since He was all-wise He could not leave the body of the Church He had founded as a human society without a visible head. . . . That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head is the solemn teaching of Our predecessor of immortal memory Boniface VIII in the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctam; and his successors have never ceased to repeat the same (par. 40).
..... Pope Pius XIIs encyclical Mystici Corporis
Can a Catholic be faithful to Traditional Rome, without remaining faithful to temporal Rome?
According to Pope Pius XII ..... No!
This kind of mantra causes as much division and dissidence as modernism.
Sorry, fs, that's not a dogma! Try again?
Deal with what?
the New Mass subverts Catholic dogma.
Pure unadulterated opinion.
So does praying with witchdoctors
Was he praying to the Triune God or the pagan? You're sounding like a Pharisee.
The Holy See has publicly "denied" the Real Presence? That's news to me.
1373 "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us," is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church's prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name," in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But "he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species."
1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."
1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:
It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.
And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:
Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed.... Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."
1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.
1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."
1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
1380 It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us "to the end," even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love:
The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.
1381 "That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that 'cannot be apprehended by the senses,' says St. Thomas, 'but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.' For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 ('This is my body which is given for you.'), St. Cyril says: 'Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.'"
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more, See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
195 Rom 8:34; cf. LG 48.
196 Mt 18:20.
197 Cf. Mt 25:31-46.
198 SC 7.
199 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 73, 3c.
200 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1651.
201 Paul VI, MF 39.
202 St. John Chrysostom, prod. Jud. 1:6: PG 49, 380.
203 St. Ambrose, De myst. 9, 50; 52: PL 16, 405-407.
204 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1642; cf. Mt 26:26 ff.; Mk 14:22 ff.; Lk 22:19 ff.; 1 Cor 11:24 ff.
205 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1641.
206 Paul VI, MF 56.
207 Jn 13:1.
208 Cf. Gal 2:20.
209 John Paul II, Dominicae cenae, 3.
210 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 75, 1; cf. Paul VI, MF 18; St. Cyril of Alexandria, In Luc. 22, 19: PG 72, 912; cf. Paul VI, MF 18.
211 St. Thomas Aquinas (attr.), Adoro te devote; tr. Gerard Manley Hopkins.
"I realize that our liturgical tradition as Catholics cannot be preserved apart from John Paul II and all the other legitimate successors of St. Peter. For his voice is the voice of Catholic Tradition in the Church today a Tradition that has been passed down to him by Christ and the Apostles."
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
2 John 1:9-11
I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves [clergy] will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert " (Acts 20:29-31). "
And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds"
(2 Corinthians 11:12-15).
Lefebvre is dead. The organization he founded is in schism with the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ on earth. Its adherents are out of communion with Christ. When do you imagine they will rejoin the fold.
"The Mass has not changed since Christ instituted this sacrament on the night before His crucifixion. In essence, there is neither an old Mass nor a new Mass, but only the Mass. In fact what changed after the Second Vatican Council was not the Mass, but the liturgy."
"...the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ transubstantiated into the Eucharist. This central mystery of the Mass takes place regardless of whether the priest celebrates according to the liturgical books in use before the Second Vatican Council or according to the liturgical books revised by Pope Paul VI. In fact, both sets of liturgical books are usages of the same Roman liturgical rite."
Which dogmas are violated?
"Another fundamental right of the faithful, as noted in canon 213, is "the right to receive assistance by the sacred Pastors from the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the Sacraments". In view of the law that "sacred" ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them" (canon 843 § 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person's unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institution Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds. "
... Congregation de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum Rome, July 1, 2002
Have you even given God a chance to act on this on His own time?
Here is a perfect example of a priest who didn't believe the truth and God took care of it.
Ancient Anxanum, the city of the Frentanese, has contained for over twelve centuries the first and greatest Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church. This wondrous Event took place in the 8th century A.D. in the little Church of St. Legontian, as a divine response to a Basilian monk's doubt about Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist.
During Holy Mass, after the two-fold consecration, the host was changed into live Flesh and the wine was changed into live Blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size.
The Host-Flesh, as can be very distinctly observed today, has the same dimensions as the large host used today in the Latin church; it is light brown and appears rose-colored when lighted from the back.
The Blood is coagulated and has an earthy color resembling the yellow of ochre.
Various ecclesiastical investigation ("Recognitions") were conducted since 1574.
In 1970-'71 and taken up again partly in 1981 there took place a scientific investigation by the most illustrious scientist Prof. Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy. He was assisted by Prof. Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena.
The analyses were conducted with absolute and unquestionable scientific precision and they were documented with a series of microscopic photographs. These analyses sustained the following conclusions:
The Flesh is real Flesh. The Blood is real Blood.
The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart.
In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium.
The Flesh is a "HEART" complete in its essential structure.
The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood-type: AB (Blood-type identical to that which Prof. Baima Bollone uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin).
In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of the fresh normal blood.
In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
The preservation of the Flesh and of the Blood, which were left in their natural state for twelve centuries and exposed to the action of atmospheric and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in his exquisite description of the Mass presented in his 'Catechetical Lectures,' dated around 350 A.D., provides these directions for receiving the Eucharist:
"In approaching, therefore, do not come up with your wrists apart or with your fingers spread, but make of your left hand a throne for the right, since you are about to receive into it a King. And having hollowed your palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it the 'Amen.' Then, after cautiously sanctifying your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake, being careful lest you lose anything of it. For whatever you might lose is clearly a loss to you from one of your own members. Tell me: if someone gavbe you some grains of gold, would you not hold them with all carefulness, lest you might lose something of them and thereby suffer a loss? Will you not, therefore, be much more careful in keeping watch over wht is more precious than gold and gens, so that not a particle of it may escape you?
"Then, after you have communicated yourself of the Body of Christ, come forward also to the cup of His Blood, not reaching out with your hands, but bowing; and in an attitude of worship and reverence say the 'Amen,' and sanctify yourself by partaking also of the Blood of Christ. And while the moisture of it still adheres to your lips, touch it with your hands and sanctify your eyes and forehead and the rest of your senses. Then, while awaiting the prayer, give thanks to God, who has deemed you worthy of such great Mysteries." (The Faith of the Early Fathers, Jurgens, Vol. I, p. 366)
I have no power to change anything unless God chooses to work through me. I can't assure my Salvation by being good and trying not to sin. I am helpless and fall short but thanks to the Grace of God, I have a chance at eternal Salvation. If God wanted it fixed, today, He would fix it, with or without me.