Friday, August 26, 2005

More Schismatic Pre-Game

I can see how much you're all enjoying this.... I ask questions, I get character assassination in return. Defending Pope Fellay a little too heartily now, snowflakes?

But regardless, Neil Dhingra of Notre Dame reminds me of something over at Amy's:

Last February, John Allen reported on a 50-page booklet released by the SSPX entitled “From Ecumenism to Silent Apostasy.” I don't really know that much about the SSPX's theology, so I'll give you Allen's analysis:

"'As attractive as he seems at first sight,' the booklet concludes about John Paul, 'as spectacular as his ceremonies appear on TV, and however large the crowds that follow him, the realty is extremely sad: ecumenism has transformed the holy city that is the church into a city in ruins.'

"Other than the pope, the villain of the story as told by the Lefebvrites is Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who is accused of heresy three times in the 50-page document....

"Interestingly, there isn’t one word on what has long been the signature issue for the Lefebvrites: the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass. This confirms what experts have always understood, that the Latin Mass is the tip of the iceberg. The real theological issues, such as ecumenism and inter-faith relations, run much deeper. This is why, Vatican experts on traditionalism say, it was futile to believe that allowing permission for wider celebration of the pre-conciliar Mass, as John Paul did in 1988, would solve the problem."

OK, my query is, if Fellay & Co. want the 1988 excommunications lifted, will they retract their tarring of Kasper as a heretic?

Rich Leonardi says:

[T]he examples of anti-semitism I found among SSPX adherents via a simple Google search was surprising.

If you're surprised, you haven't been paying attention.

Check this point-counterpoint on the Shoah:

"[T]here was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel.... Jews made up the Holocaust, Protestants get their orders from the devil, and the Vatican has sold its soul to liberalism." -- Richard Williamson, SSPX bishop, 1989

"This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, in which millions of Jews – men, women and children – were put to death in the gas chambers and ovens. I make my own the words written by my venerable Predecessor on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and I too say: “I bow my head before all those who experienced this manifestation of the mysterium iniquitatis.” The terrible events of that time must “never cease to rouse consciences, to resolve conflicts, to inspire the building of peace”." -- Benedict XVI, Cologne, August 2005

Papa Fellay or Papa Ratzi, Trads? Day of reckoning's here.

More soon.



Blogger Ian said...

Just as inside the Catholic Church there are complete nuts, the SSPX has its own nuts. In this case, Bishop Williamson.

26/8/05 18:22  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

On WILLIAMSON: good point, Rocco!

WILLIAMSON should be Point #1 on the Vatican Side of the Deal.

As in:

"Whatever we decide and however this works out, PLEASE, we DEMAND that you leave Richard Williamson with his anti-American prejudices, his anti-Semitic hate-speech, and his anti-women-in-pants-suits obsessions in Parador or Mayberry or Atlantis or wherever the hell else you've put him.!

Truth to tell, if ever anything WERE worked out between certain elements of the SSPX and the Holy See, Williamson would lead "the Continuing Econian Church."

From his writings it is clear that, having once been an Anglican, he still believes in an episcopal-centered magisterium. And having been his own Pope for this long, he's not about to go back to being a bishop.

26/8/05 18:28  
Blogger Matthew Lickona said...

Where is the character assassination? Somebody accused you of hating Traditional Catholics, which is over the top, but surely you cannot argue that you enjoy pulling the wings off of those particular butterflies? After that, I thought the comment thread for "Pre-Gaming for the Schismatics" was remarkably civil and illuminating on both sides.

26/8/05 19:02  
Blogger Tattercoats said...

Holocaust denial is simply beyond the pale. It must not be allowed to stand unremarked. Even if this Williamson character doesn't represent the official position of the SSPX, his position must be brought to light so that the SSPX as a body will be forced to either disavow him or join him in this repulsive position.

Count me in with Papa Ratzi on this -- the memory of the Holocaust must always be sharp in our minds, prodding us not merely to feel bad about what happened, but to stand up and act for justice when others are subjected to such atrocities.

26/8/05 20:59  
Blogger Jeff said...

Rocco is often a bit Sibylline in his pronouncements. It's part of his charm.

Actually, I've found him relatively sympathetic toward traditionalists, compared, say, with his attitude toward those who worry that their impenitent homosexual friends may be imperilling their own souls and that of others.

Who knows what he's talking about? Maybe he got some nasty emails and he's reacting to those. But Matthew's right, the thread on the Fellay folks is relatively benign and has a friendly and respectful tone. The only snarking comes from Gyrovagus, but even he is being relatively civilized.

And I guess Gyrovagus is right, isn't he? It is ridiculous to love the traditions of your Church and want to be true to them. It is absurd to try to learn the ancient language of your Church and use it, even at the risk of seeming pathetic. It is beyond the pale to lose your temper with people who seem to want to root out every last vestige of the way things were done in decades past and who won't criticize anything novel. And worrying over "true teaching" and the "salvation of souls"--gee, get a life!
After all, if say, the Eastern Orthodox or the Orthodox Jews or the Buddhists were to have all their liturgical traditions upset overnight and be told that they should look at all their beliefs completely differently now, none of them would get a bit crabby now and then, would they?

Well, they might...but if they did, well, they should just reflect that they had it coming to them, the nasty,retrograde pervs.

26/8/05 21:09  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...


Pathetic - one can live with.

Arrogant - is tough to take.

And the CREDO materials were meant to EDUCATE the rest of the Church on the topic of how inaccurate the official translations were, but certainly bore witness to the old saying, "Often in error, never in doubt."

And my point was (as a traditional person . . . almost daily Tridentine Mass) that we are often our own worst enemies by the attitudes we adopt toward the Novus Ordo side. The Circular Letters from the SSPX and Williamson's rant are perfect examples.

It seems to me that the best advertisements for the tradition are holiness of life and integrity of intellectual commitment. I heard a young Dominican, for instance, fly into a rage over a proposed "heretical" translation of the SUSCIPIAT response to the Orate, fratres that was (in his opinion) going to deny the ministerial priesthood and the sacrificial nature of the Mass.

"The SUSCIPIAT was designed SPECIFICALLY to MAKE CLEAR what was about to happen in the Canon, and it has been there from time immemorial JUST FOR THAT PURPOSE!"

"Really?" the older priest (no radical-liberal he) asked. "Did you know that the response to the Orate, fratres actually varied quite considerably from diocese to diocese and from Rite to Rite in the centuries before Trent? In fact, our own Dominican Rite did NOT have the SUSCIPIAT as a response to the Orate, fratres."

The young Dominican was not deterred, "Well, I am sure that WHATEVER the Dominican Rite had in place of the SUSCIPIAT, it affirmed our belief in the ministerial priesthood and the sacrificial nature of the Mass!"

Then the old priest broke the news to him: "We had NO response, Frater. NO RESPONSE AT ALL. Just silence."

I once heard the head of our local Tridentine group, a layman, berate the diocesan historian, an older man, for casually mentioning that he had no desire ever to celebrate the old Rite again, though he did not begrudge those who did.

"WHAT?" the man fairly screamed at him, "You would NOT want to celebrate Mass according to the same Rite that the patron Saint of parish priests, Saint John Vianney said every day of his priestly life?"

"Oh well, wait a minute," the priest replied, "THAT I might be interested in. But John Vianney NEVER said the Tridentine Mass. He would have used the Rite of Lyons."

It will all work out, as God promised Julian of Norwich.

26/8/05 21:29  
Blogger Papabile said...


right on on the Williamson crap. He's off the edge.


right on also.


26/8/05 21:51  
Blogger Jeff said...


Touche! Well done; I had you wrong. Apologies.

May I add a cavil, though? We can't all be right about everything. Not everyone is smart, not everyone is educated. And, as a famous old Catholic, once famously said, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Both the Dominican and the younger priest made their mistakes because they had concerns that were basically on target. I'm not defending what they said in this or that instance, about this or that topic, but it's not idiotic to be concerned about a diminution of the doctrine of Sacrifice in the new Rite. And it's not absurd to disturbed at people who are easily satisfied to abandon a centuries-old way of doing things.

I rather like the Novus Ordo when it's done unfussily and by the book. (And I don't mean that you have to face the East and whisper in Latin.) I can even get into hat juggling at world youth day—in a modest, provisional way. But what you call arrogance (and I suppose often enough it is!) seems to me to be more like people driven mad by bad faith and decades of wretched treatment by Church authorities who failed to lead and even to be true to what they had vowed.

I criticize them too, to their faces, but I also defend them when they're mocked and derided. After all, you and I may know what the Rite of Lyons is and who said it. You may even know all the points of difference between it and the standard versions of the old Roman Missal, though I do not. But surely, the differences between what the Cure of Ars said and what a priest in Paris said pale into insignificance when placed alongside the differences between Vianney's liturgy and those of America today.

I'll bet the wise, old liturgist/historian would not have been any happier using the Rite of Lyons than the one he had grown up with! Which kind of reduces the punch of his point and makes it more like an expert's facile "gotcha" and less like a substantive disagreement. And I wonder what the historian would have said if the young whipper-snapper had pointed out that, after all, the Rite of Lyons was really just a "use" of the Roman Rite and not a separate thing at all, hence its compound name in Latin, "Ritus Romano-Lugdunensis"?

Still, Thanks EVER so much for the tone of your reply!

26/8/05 22:57  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

"I'll bet the wise, old liturgist/historian would not have been any happier using the Rite of Lyons than the one he had grown up with! Which kind of reduces the punch of his point and makes it more like an expert's facile "gotcha" and less like a substantive disagreement."

Yes, a well-deserved "gotcha" to a stupid, impertinent question.

Gyrovagus: great stories. Tell us more about where the Credo materials are wrong.

27/8/05 14:09  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...


RE: CREDO materials.

It was awhile back, and I don't have them around still.

That "respecting her humility" one was perhaps the funniest, but there were also pages upon pages of literally translated "qui-clauses" (one of the anti-ICEL MAIN complaint items) in which the verb forms were consistently wrong.

For instance, just to make up one by way of example (this is NOT a CREDO piece, I'm just using this to show you what they did):

Deus, qui nos redemptionis nostrae annua expectatione laetificas, praesta, ut Unigenitum tuum, etc.

O God, who GIVES us joy (they probably would have used: "who REJOICES us") by the yearly expectation of our redemption . . .

Page after page of the third person mistaken for the second, as they "translated the qui-clause literally". Which of course is usually the problem with a literally translated qui-clause: it sounds odd in modern English:

"O God, who give us joy" as in "[you] who give us joy" (not to belabor the obvious).

But it was clear that in this - as in many other instances - they were not very knowledgeable about either Latin or English.

But they were NEVER in doubt! :-)

27/8/05 17:27  

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