Orthodoxy Vs Tradition?

Orthodoxy Vs Tradition?


The Flock, a conservative publication edited by Daphne McLeod, has been, for many years now, the mouthpiece of Catholics in the UK, concerned about the dreadful state of religious education in Catholic schools. The current edition, which arrived in my inbox yesterday, is brilliant in its exposé of the latest text-book to be used in Catholic schools in England and Wales. Click on the picture to read it.

However, the thought struck me that it was very late in the day to be still talking about what are essentially “sticking plaster” remedies.  Is it really possible to be an authentic, fully believing  Catholic just by paying lip service to orthodoxy, or must we commit to the entire Catholic Tradition?  Given the recent utterances of Pope Francis alone, the time has surely come to return to the Faith of our Fathers – without compromise. Writing to bishops and Vatican is not making the required difference. Replacing bad textbooks with orthodox textbooks doesn’t change the fact that pupils in Catholic schools are being contaminated with the modernism now endemic in the Church at large. Why, I asked myself, are not all informed Catholics, voting with their feet to receive the traditional Sacraments from the SSPX priests who, whatever their personal shortcomings, have been sent to us by God to see us through this time of crisis?

I asked a reader who doubles as a friend (well, I have to have at least one….) and received a reply by email with the same thought: The Catholic Church has one-ness amongst its four marks and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it, so there is no possibility of the ship sinking altogether. Unfortunately, the present captain of the barque of St Peter, and his 1st, 2nd, 3rd . . . nth officers seem to be having a problem with the ship’s compass just now and they are in need of guidance and assistance from the Coastguard. Whilst there are many people standing on the shore eager to call out directions, most of them are reading from similarly afflicted compasses, and many of them haven’t even got a compass at all. The Coastguard appears to be the only faction which has a reliable compass due to having upheld its connections with traditional sea-faring rules for the last two millenia.

The Coastguard is too wise to come aboard, where its compass might get contaminated by whatever malign influences pertain there, so it is wisely keeping its distance.

Unfortunately, its voice is not being heard amidst the tumult of other well-meaning, but misguided, advice. What is needed is not sticking plaster, but broad-based, militant support from those who are presently not shouting at all, yet who can see what the score is. They need to be marshalled into line behind the Coastguard to add their voices and make themselves heard above all others.

What I am advocating is that the last remaining bastion of Tradition (the SSPX) deserves the support of The Flock and Christian Order and all the blogs et al. Now that Bp. Fellay has nailed his colours so unambiguously to the mast at his week-end Conference in Kansas, he needs to receive assurances of support for greater militancy (à la Militia Immaculata) for the restoration of all things to Christ through Prayer, Penance and Catholic Action from every source that has a platform in the media circus however small.

Only then, when the barque gets back on course, will it be possible to reintroduce Religious Instruction into our Catholic Schools, and all the other aspects of practising, spreading, and upholding the Catholic faith that will eventually lead to the Restoration of the Kingship of Christ. END

Do you agree? Is the battle for the Faith going to be won with sticking plasters? Is it right to continue to expose Catholic children to the drivel through to poison on offer in religious education lessons delivered in the name of the Church, by teachers who are themselves victims of the crisis of faith? Or is it time for something much more radical, as advocated by our reader?

Comments (85)

  • editor

    I originally posted the following comment on the Archbishop Cushley thread but, on reflection, it is more appropriate here, because Cardinal Pell is the darling of the orthodox diocesan Catholic population: below is his defence of the indefensible Pope Francis:

    Not only does Archbishop Cushley think there’s no crisis in Scotland, but Cardinal (he’s completely lost it) Pell thinks Bishop Fellay has completely misunderstood Pope Francis of “whom am I to judge gays” fame.

    It seems to be increasingly a case of “everybody’s out of step but oor wee Jock…”

    PS Cardinal Pell says of the Pope that “… he says a beautiful, beautiful mass.” Unfortunately, for Cardinal Pell, having witnessed one of his filmed Masses, with just about every liturgical abuse going on there including dancing teenagers, some of us would beg to differ. “Beautiful” is not the adjective that springs to my mind. Not in a million years.

    October 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Hi Editor,

      If you (or other posters) do not mind, I have some questions about this:

      Pell says “Now the Church today accepts the Second Vatican Council. You don’t have to accept every jot and tittle of it, but it is part of Church’s life now, there’s no way around that.”

      So, what then is currently the fundamental problem with the SSPX, in Rome eyes, if objection to Vatican II is permitted? I know the SSPX accept the majority, but not all, of V2. I know they are far more faithful Catholics than many (most?) modern Catholics and yet they are unjustly portrayed as being arrogant rebels.
      I thought the main problem was that Rome would not appreciate the SSPX openly criticising Vatican II – yet this from Pell.

      I wonder – are the Vatican and SSPX talking to each other publicly, but using code? After the talks broke down, +Fellay said a new avenue to reconciliation may come when the Vatican acknowledges “our right to be recognised as Catholics and to profess the Catholic faith”. He said something similar again recently. And now this from Pell, alluding that you can indeed be a Catholic without being the biggest fan of V2. So what’s the problem?

      Also, I happened to chance on a 1990s interview (online) with an FSSP priest, Fr John Emerson, (who was ordained into the SSPX by ++Lefebvre), and he says the FSSP are allowed to criticise Vatican II and indeed Rome expects them to.

      He even goes on to describe one of the Council documents, Gaudium et spes, as being “a dead letter” based on “sixties optimism” – and these criticisms are from approx. 20 years ago.

      So if the FSSP can openly attack Vatican II, and not lose their canonical status – or suffer other problems – why cannot the SSPX? What issue does Rome fear about them, which is not manifest with the FSSP?

      Fr Emerson (in the interview) goes on to criticise ++Lefebvre, with:

      “Rome had offered everything that Archbishop Lefebvre had ever wanted of substance. Rome had offered it all, and we were scandalized he refused it, truly scandalized. We weren’t simply surprised or unhappy, we were scandalized because he was our spiritual father and we trusted him, and he did not do in the end what was right.”

      How would bloggers respond to this comment? Why did Lefebvre refuse what Rome offered, if it was as substantial as Fr Emerson says? (Was it?).

      Emerson says +Lefebvre had lost his trust in Rome and that this lack of trust is the reason for the ongoing situation.

      Interview source: (includes scans of the original magazine pages)


      October 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm
      • sixupman

        Rome [not BXVI] talk[ed] with forked-tongue and is untrustworthy, as also the vast majority of Diocesan Curia. The FSSP, and I have an high regard for Fr. Emerson and his fellow clergy, situation, vis a vis the diocese in which they operate, is not as clear cut as might be thought. Freedom to criticise Vatican II is more imagined than real. If at Diocesan level Summorum Pontificum can be ignored and clergy harassed, if their leanings in such respect become apparent, what would be meted-out to SSPX. We have only to consider the unprecedented situation of an extant Pope and Pope Emeritus situation to convince any reasonably minded person that we are in the midst of a state of flux and only an idiot would voluntarily participate in such a quagmire.

        October 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        This is a flying visit, having read your post through quickly. Re. Archbishop Lefebvre’s relations with Rome, I think you may find this article of interest (I hope so, I’ve not had time to read it myself, so apologise if it’s not helpful.)

        October 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    😳 I posted on the wrong thread. I meant to post here:
    How long has the Society been going to Scotland? I can’t find a history of the chapels or anything. Also what are the attendance numbers? Edinburgh obviously had a bigger building fund.

    The Asian District website has a paypal and one can choose the individual country. What’s the specific problem with the Glasgow mission? Do most of the people want to purchase a new building? Is your building fund low? I think if the SSPX were not against it, you could write a history of the mission and seek funds outside of Scotland. (my confirmation saint is St. Jean Vianney, so I think in terms of outside funds to improve Churches)

    Also, do you ever get a priest who stays in Glasgow for a day or two? If you have relics of a Saint or a really great Catholic historical site on your side of the country, you could organize a pilgrimage. Do it when the school year ends and you might get a priest who’s on his holiday.

    October 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm
    • editor


      That’s OK – I’ve now deleted the posts on the Archbishop Cushley thread. I did the same myself earlier. One of those days!

      Someone did post something on the history of the SSPX in Scotland, or at least some history of the Glasgow chapel, I think, some time ago. I’ll try to locate it and post it here later when I find my Miss Marple hat…

      October 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm
    • editor



      I found the following comment re the history of the SSPX in Scotland posted by a blogger on another thread:

      May 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm


      There’s some interesting information about St Andrews, Glasgow on Page 53 of ‘The Living Flame’ at this link:- http://www.scribd.com/doc/7993057/The-Living-Flame

      It’s a fascinating book about the first 25 years of the SSPX apostolate in the UK. Scotland gets its own chapter, and there are some interesting nuggets about the Scottish hierarchy (yes, Bishop Devine is THAT old….) and their utter resistance to the TLM.

      There’s even a photo of the young altar server who went on to become Fr Paul Morgan. END…

      October 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    Here’s a prophecy in Yves Dupont’s periodical “Prophecies and Portents” published in the 1979’s:

    (Fr. H. Coma, Franciscan, in 1849)
    “Divine Providence holds in reserve an unexpected means which will effect in a single stroke what it would have taken a long time to achieve by natural means. Then, men will open their eyes to reality.”

    October 31, 2013 at 8:50 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    Here’s two interesting prophecies from the same publication.
    The Abbe Mattay said in 1815:
    “The Emperor of Russia, at the head of a great army, shall reach the Rhine, but he shall not cross it because an invisible hand shall stop him. Thereupon, he shall recognize the hand of God, and something miraculous shall happen: the Emperor of Russia shall embrace the Catholic religion, and he shall make it known in all it’s states. I cannot say exactly at what time these things will happen, but the happy change shall take place, and the news shall be spread throughout the whole territory of France in The twinkling of an eye.”

    The Abbe Souffrand said:
    “The Russians shall come to water their horses in The River Rhine, but they shall not cross it. Russia will be converted, and she will help France to restore peace and quiet in The whole world.”

    October 31, 2013 at 9:07 pm

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