SSPX Response To Bishop’s Attack…editor
In a notification dated 14 October, Mgr. Marcello Semeraro, which administers the Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano, decided to declare that the Society of St. Pius X is not “an institution of the Catholic Church” and that the faithful do not have to attend to not “break communion with the Church.” [Ed : Mgr Semeraro pictured]
A lot of things we could ask Msgr. Semeraro, looking from his point of view.
We could ask if he knows that the Society of St. Pius X has been built with the approval of the Bishop of Fribourg in 1970; that the Holy See has granted the decree of praise in 1971; if you know that the house of the Society of Albano, with its semi-public oratory for amministrarvi the sacraments, was canonically erected by decree of his predecessor, Msgr. Raphael Macario February 22, 1974 (ref. 140/74).
We might also ask how do you reconcile its prohibitions with the pronouncements of the Holy See , who answered the Commission Ecclesia Dei on 18 January 2003 said that it is possible to satisfy the obligation of Sunday Mass “attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X “; or how do you think you can “break communion with the Church” going to Mass from the Society of St. Pius X, when the Holy See does not consider even more out of the communion of the Bishops of the same fraternity; or if you think that the alleged irregularities canonical equate to a rupture of communion.
We could even ask him why he, the bishop, to organize an ecumenical vigil in the Cathedral (18 January 2014) to pray with people who certainly are not “in communion with the Catholic Church” as an evangelical pastor and an Orthodox bishop (in which Orthodox 2009 gave the church of San Francesco in Genzano, built by our forefathers for Catholic worship), while the faithful can not pray with other Catholics at the Mass of the fraternity.
We might ask why the openness of the diocese is so broad as to include the “First Forum of Christian homosexual”, held in the House of Somascan Fathers on 26-28 March, but [closed to] those who remain tied to the tradition of the Catholic Church.
Do not expect a reply on these points that show very clearly the contradictions of Mons. Semeraro
The Fraternity founded his own ministry to the faithful on the need to combat the errors against the Roman Catholic faith that are widespread in the Church by the Bishops : the one just mentioned ecumenical indifference, so you can give credit to all religions as if they were all ways of salvation, breaking down to the fact the First Commandment of God, until the adoption of a liturgy that moves away from the expression of the dogmas of the Roman Church to become semi-Protestant and irreverent. Errors that are driving more and more, as we have seen in the last Synod, where, under the appearances of mercy, they discussed the possibility of amending the Sixth Commandment and give the facts indissolubility of Christian marriage. The state of grave necessity General due to the widespread distribution of errors against the faith on the part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, canonically founded the right and duty of every faithful priest to give the sacraments and an authentic Catholic education to anyone who requests it.
The Society of St. Pius X, following the example of its founder, will continue to broadcast in full the deposit of faith and morals Catholic Roman , openly siding against all the mistakes they want to deform it, without fear of threats or unfair canonical sanctions , as this deposit or Mgr. Semeraro, nor any other member of the church hierarchy will ever change that. In the words of St. Peter: “We must obey God rather than men.”
All those who wish to receive the sacraments as the Church has always managed, receive an authentic catechesis for their children, an adult education, spiritual direction and a comfort to the sick will always be welcome.
The Italian District of the Society of St. Pius X – Source
“…We could even ask him why he, the bishop, to organize an ecumenical vigil in the Cathedral (18 January 2014) to pray with people who certainly are not “in communion with the Catholic Church” as an evangelical pastor and an Orthodox bishop (in which Orthodox 2009 gave the church of San Francesco in Genzano, built by our forefathers for Catholic worship), while the faithful can not pray with other Catholics at the Mass of the fraternity.
We might ask why the openness of the diocese is so broad as to include the “First Forum of Christian homosexual”, held in the House of Somascan Fathers on 26-28 March, but [closed to] those who remain tied to the tradition of the Catholic Church.”
Game, set and match to the SSPX … again.
Another bishop, this time in Argentina, has issued a similar false statement regarding the SSPX and it’s faithful. Here’s the link:
No one will convince me that either of these calumnious bishops is acting in good faith. They’re a couple of con men posing as shepherds of the flock, this latter one even posing as a Latin Mass-friendly bishop while up to his eyes in ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. Such is life for the orthodox Catholic under Francis, the Pope of mercy!
I hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way and I start to sound schismatic, but I’m having trouble praying for Pope Francis’ intentions. I don’t know if we should be praying for this Pope’s intentions.
My SSPX Priests says to pray for the Pope’s Catholic intentions… whatever those are, anyway.
I couldn’t agree more and I pray for him every day. I’ve no problem praying for him but I do have problems with praying for his intentions. I really do wonder if the man has any Catholic intentions.
Still, I suppose we should presume the best and pray for the intentions that are Catholic. At the very least we should pray that the Pope has Catholic intentions in the first place.
What a mess! Bring back Paul VI! 😉
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I’ve often thought about this custom of “praying for the Pope’s intentions” in recent years when we’ve had popes with apparently crazy or misguided if not bad intentions (Assisi springs to mind) and the only conclusion I can reach is that we pray for those intentions which a sound/good pope would and should hold. Intentions in harmony with papal authority. That is, intentions which promote the true good of the Church and seek the social kingship of Christ.
I see others are discussing the view of a priest that we pray for the Pope’s “objective” intentions – frankly that doesn’t make sense to me. It seems clear that Pope Francis’s objective intentions are not sound – objectively he appears to be of the opinion that there is no need to belong to the Catholic Church for salvation, for example.
Anyway, I no longer pray for the Pope’s intentions but for great graces for this Pope to see the damage he is doing (“intentionally” or otherwise – pun intended!) and for him to consecrate Russia.
Pray for him even though we object to him being Pope.
Or is that a case of “subjectively” we object to him being pope but “objectively” we accept his election?
Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I deal with it by praying for the Pope’s RIGHT intentions, i.e. those that are in accord with the will of God and don’t contradict faith or morals in any way.
I see the Argentine Bishop is using Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio to justify what he is doing, like Bishop Semeraro. I think Pope Benedict ought to speak out now to complain about this manipulation of his words.
That may yet happen, perhaps in the guise of a clarification from Archbishop Ganswein.
As Fraser says in Dad’s Army: They’re mad, mad”. That sums it up!
Or, they’re just plain bad!
Yes Helen, he also said “We’re doomed, all doomed…”!!
Therese, that’s hilarious and made me lol!
Let’s just hope no Scots bishop takes it into his head to do the same thing. We’re on red alert, though, just in case… Let ’em try!
When the Edinburgh chapel opened the then Archbishop O’Brian (ever heard of him?) sent out a letter stating that attendance there did not fulfil the Sunday Obligation. The majority of parishes never printed it in their bulletins with only two doing so. A friend of mine attended one of those parishes and told his P.P. that it was a load of rubbish. “Oh I know that” said the priest. “Then why did you print it” asked my friend. “Because the Archbishop told me to” came the feeble reply.
Truly feeble reply. Yet if you asked him if he’d have obeyed Hitler’s orders during the war, he’d probably have looked at you in shock horror and said “no way!” Then lectured you on the difference between true and false obedience. Honestly, you couldn’t make it up…
These Bishops will have a sore time come judgement day. As Priests they must know that their judgement will be all the more severe.
If they could grasp that solemn reality then they would be very different bishops indeed, that’s for sure. Alas, such wise fear is often obscured in the mind of the ambitious man.
The more I think about this the more I think it is being orchestrated from the Vatican, probably by Pope Francis himself or with his knowledge. It seems too much of a coincidence that this is happening first in Italy, then in Argentina, especially when put alongside what happened to the Franciscans of the Immaculate.
I fear that many more wolves in sheeps’ clothing will follow this disgraceful initiative. Can anyone elaborate on the position of the Catholics in these dioceses, as I am concerned about the following bit:
…..without excluding, in case of obstinacy, also the ferendae sententiae penalties that may apply, according to the ecclesial spirit and that of protection of the faithful
As I understand it, a bishop is empowered by the Church sui iuris to impose ferendae sententiae excommunications, so are those who disobey him excommunicated or not, and if not, why and how not?
Please and thank you O most wise bloggers.
Rorate Caeli reports a Canon Law Briefing from the Latin Mass Society that goes some way to addressing the decrees issued by these two bishops:
Thank you, Confitebor Domino, that fully answers my question.
“Thank you, Confitebor Domino, that fully answers my question.”
I’m wildly jealous. You never say that to me!
Interesting that these Bishops consider the only “enemies” of the Church to be true Catholics.
They are angry that we are not really “excommunicated” so they think they will take care of business by imposing an “excommunication” unjustly, with no reason whatsoever, other than pure hatred for the True Catholic Faith, plain and simple.
I think that’s a very fair and accurate analysis. Spot, as they say, ON!
May I hark back to an interesting post by Athanasius above:
“…Many elements of great value (eximia), which in the Catholic Church are part of the fullness of the means of salvation and of the gifts of grace which make up the Church, are also found in the other Christian Communities…All these elements bear within themselves a tendency towards unity, having their fullness in that unity…”
What we have here is the “latent seed” theory of the Modernists………
I haven’t heard about the “latent seed” theory before, and find it interesting that these ‘elements of great value’ present in Christian communities outside the Church are regarded as ‘seeds’ in Modernist evolutionary theory. Long before Vatican II and its problematic constitutions the Catholic faithful were taught that other Christian sects contained ‘elements of great value’,(or truths) but these were understood to be not ‘evolutionary’ but simply ‘leftovers’ from the Catholic faith from which the Protestants et al had seceded – sort of ‘preserved fruits’ rather than seeds. Similarly, whereas it is now claimed heretically by Modernists that the Holy Ghost works through false religions, it was understood that graces did indeed come to adherents of false religions, but such graces came directly from the ‘treasury of the Church’ – and how depleted must that ‘treasury’ be, now that contemplatives, holy priests, devout lay Catholics, etc. etc. number so few as compared to the days before Vat. II.
The “latent seed” theory was first raised by St. Pius X in his Encyclical against the Modernists. It is essentially a twisting by the Modernists of that Gospel reference to the latent seed that grows into a great tree, which, of course, has always been understood to reflect the organic development over time of the Catholic religion.
What the Modernists contend today, however, is that every man in fact has the latent seed of faith in his subconscious, which may be brought to the fore by a particular life experience, or when reason and science can’t answer his deeper questions about existence and purpose. Pope Francis, in Lumen Fidei calls it a “primordial” seed, indicating that he believes it to be a faculty inherent in the nature of man from the Creation of the world. In other words, it’s gnosticism disguised as Catholic teaching.
At any rate, this latent seed, once activated by such an experience of the sort just mentioned, is subsequently analysed by the mind in conjunction with what Pope Francis calls “the religious memory,” such as one finds recorded in the history of the Old and New Testament, or in the records of another “faith tradition.” The result of this process is a manifestation of faith in one of any number of belief systems that acknowledge the transcendence of man.
For Catholics, the resultant belief is in one who was the most perfect man who ever lived on earth, who was also divine, Jesus Christ. Although it’s not stated with absolute clarity, the inference is that in Our Lord we have the example par excellence of the man whose latent seed of faith was so far evolved as to render him divine, a true Son of God, which is what the rest of us aspire to.
So, for the Modernists, the Catholic religion is the most evolved of all the various belief systems, but not to the exclusion or detriment of lesser-evolved manifestations of faith in the divine, which are likewise considered to be green shoots of that latent seed of faith common to all men from the foundation of the world. So no condemnations of religious error, only dialogue with one’s fellow pilgrims as we all travel our pilgrim way to the ‘Omega Point,’ which is the point in time when all men will have evolved to become divine!!
In the meantime, doctrine, dogma, liturgical practice, etc., are all subject to the same evolutionary forces as are propelling man to his divine destiny. These cannot remain static, but must change to accommodate changing circumstances in the world and man’s developing enlightenment. That’s why, since Vatican II, absolutely everything has been changed. There is not a single aspect of Catholic belief and practice that has been left untouched by the Modernist innovators.
The subject is a little more complicated than I have expressed here, but it provides at least a general overview of the Modernist agenda. No wonder St. Pius X called it “the synthesis of all heresies”.
I stopped short when I read this in your post:
” that Gospel reference to the latent seed that grows into a great tree, which, of course, has always been understood to reflect the organic development over time of the Catholic religion.”
I’ve always been taught that it refers to the seed of faith which grows in each one of us (if properly nourished). I’ve never heard your explanation before, ever.
You needn’t have “stopped short.” There is a personal, internal understanding of the parable of the mustard seed, as you say. But it is also applicable in a more general sense to the visible, external Church.
The following was written by Mgr. Ronald Knox. It explains the parable of the mustard seed in the sense I intended as external and visible.
“…The two parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven are a pair, and are obviously meant to be a pair. Our Lord seems to have been fond of this method; partly, I suppose, on the principle that if you give two illustrations of a moral which you want to rub in, you can make sure of people seeing the real point, instead of going off on side issues; any speaker will tell you that. Partly, perhaps, because his audiences were mixed, and an illustration which would appeal to one set of them would not appeal to others. There were men there and women; and so you find him asking, “What man is there among you that hath a hundred sheep, and if he lose one of them … “, and then, “Or what woman is there having ten groats, if she lose one of them … “—he will suit his lesson to both classes. And so here; the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and planted in his field; or again it is like the leaven which a Woman took and hid in three measures of meal. It is part of our Lord’s great courtesy, that he will make allowances for everyone.
But at the same time you will find this about the parables which our Lord gives us in pairs: that the moral is not always quite the same in either case; the second will give it a slightly different twist from the first. And so it is here. By the kingdom of heaven our Lord customarily means, as I hope we all know, not the future life which we shall enjoy in heaven, but his Church on earth, which is the appointed means of conducting us to it. If there was nothing else to assure us of that, these two parables would be sufficient proof of it. Our Lord did not occupy his whole time, while he preached on earth, in expounding a philosophy of unworldliness, of sincerity, of forbearance, of loving our enemies and so on. He came to found a Church; and he foresaw how that Church would develop through the centuries and has prophesied for us, though it be only in rough outline, its development. And in these two parables, evidently, he is telling us how his Church is destined to grow. How small it looked, when he stood there and preached to groups of peasants standing by the lake of Galilee; or when, after his Ascension, a hundred and twenty souls waited in the upper room for the coming of the Holy Spirit—just so the mustard seed is small; just so the bit of leaven is insignificant in size compared with the three measures of meal which are to be leavened by it. The influence of the Church grew secretly; people who lived in those early centuries didn’t know what was happening, until they suddenly found that communities of Christians had sprung up in every corner of the empire; so the growth of a tree, or the working of leaven, is something hidden from us; we cannot stand by and watch it happening. The extension of his Church was an irresistible force; just so, given proper conditions of soil, the seed must develop; just so the leaven inevitably corrupts the unleavened meal with which it comes in contact. In all that, you see, the two parables are alike…”
In this video link Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara discuss this so called called excommunication by Bishop Semeraro. In the aftermath of what happened to the Fransicans of the Immaculate, is the Vatican so fixated upon the SSPX?
Thanks Theresa Rose – I look forward to viewing the Remnant video later.
Those diocesan bishops’ “excommunications” are beyond parody and one big yawn!
That is true. However, for the truly uninformed and the malicious, they allow the myth of the “schismatic SSPX” to be perpetuated. Not to mention the scandal of ecumenism and normalisation (if not promotion) of homosexuality by these same shameless bishops to continue unquestioned by the same uninformed and malicious “useful idiots”.
I think the hierarchy are getting rattled because they know more and more people are going to the SSPX chapels since Pope Francis was elected. I don’t have stats to support that but just from what I’m hearing and reading (especially in Catholic Truth)
The logic of these attacks on the SSPX, which are essentially an attack on the Traditional Latin Mass (as well as doctrine/morals, of course) is that we must not honour the saints and martyrs who treasured this same Mass to the point of giving their lives in defence of it.
Maybe we will soon see the entire host of martyrs, especially those who refused to go along with the Reformation Communion Services, quietly dropped from the calendar?
These Bishops only make fools of themselves; for anyone caring to look into matters for themselves it quickly becomes obvious what rubbish they talk – and this discovery is quite dispiriting for people, that sections of the Catholic hierarchy are duplicitous liars.
When you look at the seemingly inexhaustible legions of homosexuals, pederasts, frauds, hypocrites, incompetents and thieves who are allowed to run riot in the Church, it is clear that no competent or worthwhile Bishop would invest time in hounding and undermining remaining groups of faithful Catholics.
I am pleased that the SSPX have robustly defended themselves, but how depressing it must be for them to be under scheming attack from their “Brothers” in the clergy. (That is, whenever their attackers can drag themselves way from the latest ecumenical break-dancing ‘service’).
What is pleasing to me also is that sources which are not SSPX-affiliated are increasingly publicly defending the good name of the Society. Someone has posted the Remnant video above and the LMS has also weighed in with a useful contribution, via Rorate Caeli:
Section 3 is particularly useful, using real life examples and Ecclesia Dei pronouncements.
Of course, most of us here will already be aware of this information and its implications, but it is useful to see it grouped together for the benefit of others and to expose the lies of Bishops.
Father Tony Flannery, apostate troublemaker and destroyer of Irish Catholicism, is currently on a major speaking tour of US Cities where he espouses his nonsense for the edification of his fellow non-Catholics. He is a major threat to the faith, having repeatedly undermined Catholic teaching (without recanting) and is so suspended.
Where are the warnings about Flannery from the Bishops? Why do they not warn people off Flannery, instead of going after people for the crime of practicing the Catholic Faith?
(Fortunately, Flannery and, based on a picture I saw, his audiences are in the twilight of life, but that does not excuse the Bishops from their negligence in ignoring his destructive behaviour).
Superb post. Absolutely spot on, and then some!
Thanks for the reminder about the Irish dissenter, Fr Tony Flannery. I can’t help wondering however, if, as they did with Fr Sean Fagan – another Irish dissenter – the Vatican will lift Fr Flannery’s suspension. That, of course, would only serve to underline your observations about one rule for “traditional” (i.e. fully believing) Catholics and another for the Protestantised Vatican II breed.
It should be noted that the SSPX was founded by Archbishop Lefebvre to form priests, particularly in response to the developing post-conciliar crisis occurring in seminaries throughout the world. Thus its specific mission (as can be seen stated in its Statutes) was not to fight against Modernism as the article author states above, though this is a necessary aspect of fidelity to the Catholic Faith and thus Tradition.
As you say yourself, fighting Modernism is a necessary aspect of fidelity to the Catholic Faith and Tradition. So, I’m afraid I really don’t get your point.
I found this short history of the SSPX and it is clear that Archbishop Lefebvre was concerned about modernism, ecumenism etc. Priests could not be properly formed if these things were being inculcated. I haven’t seen the Statutes but I wonder if you are misinterpreting them?
I see the clarification you are making and the reason for it. The article author represents the SSPX District of Italy. It is therefore incumbent upon him to state correctly the exact juridical basis upon which the SSPX was established and approved by the Bishop of Friborg in 1970, which is to say, the formation of holy priests via exclusive application of the Church’s Traditional methods of formation.
It is vitally important that this legal distinction be made lest credence be added to the falsehoods that subsequently resulted in the unjust suppression of the SSPX, and lest the more extreme element within Tradition itself attempts to distort the Archbishop’s holy intentions into something akin to a crusade against the Church’s lawful authorities.
Fighting Modernism is, as you say, a necessary aspect of fidelity to the Catholic Faith and Tradition, but it was cited a little out of context in the article. Thank you for pointing that out.
Even if every nation living in the king’s dominions obeys him, each forsaking its ancestral religion to conform to his decrees, I, my sons and my brothers will still follow the covenant of our ancestors. … We shall not swerve from our own religion either to right or to left.’ (I Maccabees ii)
I’m very glad to read the Society’s response to this latest nonsense. To be honest, it’s not a moment too soon: love of Truth and the Church, and the peace of souls demand it.
Heretics, schismatics, infidels, antichrists, perverts, atheists, agnostics and just about every nut in the forest is to be feted and cosseted, and confirmed in their errors and separation from the Church, while those Catholics who believe and worship as Catholics have done always and everywhere are to be treated as some sort of outcasts. So be it. Maybe we should regard it as a badge of honour. The “New” version of mercy is unashamedly operating under a glaring double standard.
The false charge of “schism” and the non-“excommunications” of 1988 have been addressed time after time, on this blog and elsewhere. As for the matter in hand, Catholics can’t just be declared “excommunicate”; unless of course the novus ordoites propose going back to the ways of some of those Renaissance Popes. One of them, I believe, threatened his former concubine with excommunication if she did not return to her sins.
I’m mindful of Christopher Ferrara’s words of elementary sense and self-evident truth:
“You can’t be kicked out of the Church for being a Catholic”.
In these days of diabolical disorientation they are worthy of constant repetition.
I think we can call on Saint Thomas Aquinas to bring a bit of sanity to bear.
“A tyrannical law, through not being according to reason, is not a law, absolutely speaking, but rather a perversion of law.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, II, q.92, a.1, ad 4.
“An excommunication may be unjust for two reasons… Secondly, on the part of the excommunication, through there being no proper cause, or through the sentence being passed without the forms of law being observed. In this case, if the error, on the part of the sentence, be such as to render the sentence void, this has no effect, for there is no excommunication . . .” –Summa Theologica Supplement to Part 3, Q. 21, Art. 4
Like others here, my first reaction to these two stories was to think that the two prelates are having a laugh. Whatever: this was just one more example of the Conciliar madness and one for the connoisseurs of twisted humour. On further reflection though, in all likelihood this represents a dark incoming cloud on the horizon. Bishop Semeraro is reportedly very close to Pope Francis and has been given a secretarial role with the Pope’s chosen “cabinet” of consultative Cardinals, the Group of 8, or nine if the Secretary of State is included. The “conservative” Argentine Bishop Sarlinga has, on the other hand, reportedly been an adversary of the former Cardinal Bergoglio.
One of the Remnant’s writers, Chris Jackson I think, is due the credit for making a rather apt comparison to the ridiculously unjust treatment of the Society in general. He compared the Society to emergency services dashing towards a fire or some other disaster, only to be stopped and detained at the side of the road for having an out of date tax disc or license. It’s a simple image that is worth recalling.
The last eighteen months have been nothing if not an ever louder free promotion with lights on, of the urgent need for a complete restoration of Tradition, if such was even needed. The human element of the Church is presenting to the faithful and to the world, on a daily basis, a grotesque, evil parody of the Bride of Christ, and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith. It is also very noticeable that for well over a year, the full-time professional, neo Catholic lay apologists have become increasingly obsessed with vilifying Catholics faithful to Tradition. That is a rather good sign, in a roundabout way, if you ask me. They must be getting worried.
The Modernist revolution is self-liquidating. There are no heirs in the emptying seminaries and monasteries. At some stage, at a time of God’s choosing and through the intercession of Our Lady, the madness will come to end and whatever the limited numbers of the remnant faithful to Tradition, the restoration will begin. And that shortage of time appears to be one of the inescapable and logical explanations of the accelerating rampage of the revolution.
Again, I’m glad that the Society has offered a robust defence. May we read a lot more such statements in what are most definitely pivotal days in the history of the Church. What exactly will the cost in souls be if Tradition is not defended? What exactly is going to happen if Catholics who recognize the cancer in the Church submit to simply staying silently on the reservation, provided they have the true Mass? What will Catholics a hundred, two hundred years from now be saying about this generation?
“Using virtue and the love of God, and the abolition, in the name of virtue, of the indispensable means of formation and conservation, to blackmail the faithful into bending – that’s modernism at its most basic. Modernism controls its victims in the name of obedience, thanks to the suspicion of pride which is cast on any criticism of their reforms, in the name of respect for the Pope, in the name of missionary zeal, of charity, and of unity.”
– Fr. Roger Calmel OP, Letter of 8th August, 1973
It might also be a good time for Catholics to read Archbishop Lefebvre’s Declaration to his priests and seminarians, written 40 years ago this month.
Saint Athanasius and the Arian crisis have, quite naturally, been referred to plenty of times on this blog. If anyone requires further comparisons with the ignoble injustices meted out to the Society in these days of unspeakable abominations, and how the Society is following the precedent of faithful and loyal Catholics, please read the following:
“Often, too, Divine Providence permits even good men to be driven from the congregation of Christ by the turbulent seditions of carnal men. When for the sake of the peace of the Church, they patiently endure that insult or injury, and attempt no novelties in the way of heresy or schism. They will teach men how God is to be served with a true disposition and with great and sincere charity. The intention of such men is to return when the tumult has subsided. But if that is not permitted because the storm continues or because a fiercer one might be stirred up by their return, they hold fast to their purpose to look to the good even of those responsible for the tumults and commotions that drove them out. They form no separate sects of their own, but defend to the death and assist by their testimony the faith which they know is preached in the Catholic Church. These the Father who seeth in secret crowns secretly. It appears that this is a rare kind of Christian, but examples are not lacking. So Divine Providence uses all kinds of men as examples for the oversight of souls and for the building up of his spiritual people.”
– St. Augustine, Of True Religion, 6,11
On the matter of praying for the Pope’s intentions, reading the following 2002 article by Father Nicholas Mary has helped me a great deal, particularly the part towards the end which deals specifically with the question of intentions. I have to say that, but for reading this excellent article, I would have the very same struggles as other bloggers.
“When we pray “for the intentions of our Holy Father, the Pope” we are praying for something objective, something determined by the Church and laid down long ago:
1.The exaltation of the Church
2.The propagation of the Faith
3.The extirpation of heresy
4.The conversion of sinners
5.Concord between Christian princes
6.The further welfare of the Christian people
These are the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff for which we pray as a necessary condition for gaining plenary indulgences.”
I was pleased to see the above point made in Fr Nicholas Mary’s article because that is what I meant when I said ” surely to pray for the Pope’s intentions is to take for granted that they will be suitable for a pope!” I think confusion came when some bloggers referred to “the Pope’s objective intentions” when what Fr Nicholas Mary is saying is “we are praying for something objective” – not the same thing IMHO.
Thanks for another marvellous post, BTW.
I think – put as simply as a simple gal can put it – it’s a case of NOT praying for Pope Francis’s personal intentions if they are contrary to the good intentions any Catholic would expect from any pope. We’re really all saying the same thing here, as far as I can see. It seems to be very clear from what Pope Francis is saying and doing, that his personal intentions do not include everything (some might say “anything”) on the “objective” list given by Fr Nicholas Mary, Certainly, his version of the contents of that list appears to differ markedly from the traditional definition of each, so – as I said above – my prayer for Pope Francis is that he responds to the grace of his office, which will take him, inexorably, to right thinking about his papal duties.
We’re in the midst of a massive crisis, when we must beware of adding to the prevailing confusion. To one minute work to alert others to the fact that this pope is behaving in a way that is harmful to the Church, and then, the next minute, suggest that we “pray for his intentions” (rather than “pray for Pope Francis) may well mislead people into thinking that we are, to put it mildly, a few sandwiches short of a picnic. A brick or two short of a bungalow. A can (of Cola) short of a six-pack…
So, yes, Father Nicholas Mary is correct in that we must pray for the Pope. but there’s nothing in the Ten Commandments or Canon Law which requires us to use the form of words, “for the Pope’s intentions” when his intentions would appear to be to dismantle what little is left of the Faith! I exaggerate (slightly) to make my point.
In summary, let’s all pray for Pope Francis. Like we have never prayed for anyone or anything before. That covers all bases!
Pope Francis’s intentions certainly do not match the list, in Margaret Mary’s post, if this Rorate Caeli report is anything to go by. This is really shocking.
I feel I must conclude by suggesting that we do all pray very hard for Pope Francis!
Una Voce International Federation: SSPX faithful “excommunications” illegal
(Similar content as the LMS briefing, but good to see the objections going out under the global banner, over and above the English LMS).
That is very interesting, the fact that even those groups who are not affiliated or even necessarily well disposed towards the SSPX have come out in criticism of these two Bishops. They are to be commended for their honesty and openness.
I recommend the video link posted by Theresa Rose on 5 Nov. Thanks for this – 30 minutes well spent.
Thank you for that recommendation – I will view the video now.
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