October Synod: Is Schism Inevitable?

October Synod: Is Schism Inevitable?

Do you agree with the commentators who believe that Vatican permission for Communion for couples in sinful unions is “a done deal”? 

Is schism inevitable?  If so, what on earth are Catholics to do to keep the Faith?  Do you agree with the solutions proposed by the commentators in the video?  

Comments (317)

  • Eileenanne

    These “commentators” are just like those who assumed the Church was about to allow contraception back in the sixties. They were wrong then and will be wrong again. Let’s not jump the gun and start on about schism until and unless the decision to allow Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics is made. It won’t be.

    July 26, 2015 at 6:24 pm
    • Petrus


      You don’t believe contraception is a mortal sin, so I guess you would have no problem if rogue churchmen attempted to redefine the Church’ s teahing.

      You made a fool of yourself on the previous thread, so I don’t expect you to be any better on this one.

      July 26, 2015 at 7:43 pm
      • editor


        That’s a bit unkind. You lookin’ for a fight?

        July 26, 2015 at 8:04 pm
      • Petrus

        Course not! I only ever fight with you!

        July 26, 2015 at 8:12 pm
      • editor

        Well, just remember this famous proverb…

        I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

        Er… if you get my drift…

        July 26, 2015 at 8:50 pm
      • Petrus

        The gloves are off!

        I think at the end of the end of the day, we have De facto schism right now. After my friendly jibe to other meat eating editor yesterday, I Googled Daniel O’Donnell, only to find an article in the Irish Journal about his support for same sex “marriage”. The comments at the bottom were heartbreaking. Several people recounted stories of priests encouraging a “Yes” vote. We need to ask the question, if this ain’t schism then what is??

        July 26, 2015 at 9:04 pm
      • editor

        Well, I can’t say I’m surprised that Daniel O’Donnell is a supporter of same-sex “marriage”. And yes, as you say, if this isn’t schism, then what is?

        We have been in de facto schism here in Scotland for many years. One of our original Team members, now in his 80s, used to head all of his many letters to the Vatican with a statement to the effect that Scotland was in “de facto schism” and he says that, for all the replies he received, not one ever contradicted that statement or said anything to correct it.

        July 26, 2015 at 10:25 pm
      • Neil Morris

        Schism? It’s certainly getting closer, if it’s not here already. Take a look at this garbage!

        August 3, 2015 at 6:14 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Neil Morris,

        That report about Cardinal Nichols was in the Tablet and it is linked on the Revolting Parishioners thread at the beginning of the editor’s blue comment

        It really is shocking and shows that he is not in full communion with Rome, not that you’ll hear any of the people fixated on falsely accusing the SSPX of being in schism, saying that. The spiritual blindness around us is truly terrifying.

        August 3, 2015 at 7:02 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Schism is typically accompanied with a formal declaration of the same. I think you Latins might be better off if you let the Germans just quit fooling everyone and joined the Lutherans.

        We may have heresy, but schism would be something akin to the Orthodox or the SSPX. This deals with serious doctrinal issues, not the ecclesiastical authority of the Bishop of Rome.

        July 31, 2015 at 8:53 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        The formal declaration will come in due course but someone can have a schismatic mindset, as Cardinal Nichols clearly does. The Vatican while admitting that the SSPX is not in schism, gives permission for attending their Masses as long as it doesn’t lead people into a “schismatic mindset”. LOL !

        Looking at the bishops and priests who openly deny Catholic doctrines and morals all the time, that is really rich. You won’t meet many novus ordo attendees who don’t have a schismatic mindset, even if they don’t realise it. I meet them all the time!

        August 3, 2015 at 7:05 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I don’t attend your masses so I really can’t argue. I know from my own Latin friends who attend your new mass would be considered very orthodox by Eastern standards. I don’t know what the common Latin standards are so I can’t speak to them.

        I also have no idea who Cardinal Nichols is. Is he the bishop who opposed the gay adoption law in the UK?

        August 3, 2015 at 7:15 pm
      • Petrus

        I notice our friend has not commented on the forthcoming synod.  I wonder if his accusations of schism and constant arguing about the Rites of the Church is an attempt to derail this discussion.  I’d love to know his views.  Something tells me he won’t really have an opinion and will be disparaging towards the “latins”.  In truth, he may belong to a Church in Communion with the Holy See, but he has real trouble accepting the authority of the Pope over the universal Church.   He’s a true Schismatic. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 7:58 pm
      • Alex F

        Samwise says he is a member of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and has not said anything that would indicate he has a problem submitting to the Roman Pontiff on Faith or Morals. He is, therefore, not schismatic in the least. With respect, Petrus, you should be more careful about accusing other Catholics of schism. That’s not your place.

        August 3, 2015 at 8:24 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Thank you Alex. I am more confused than anything else.

        August 3, 2015 at 8:43 pm
      • Petrus

        The Pope also has supreme judicial authority over the Eastern churches, Alex F.  To deny the pope’s judicial authority is also a schismatic act. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 8:54 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Cardinal Nichols is the bishop who supports gay civil unions,http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2011/11/30/archbishop-nichols-says-he-is-in-favour-of-gay-civil-unions-but-that-legally-includes-the-right-to-adopt-so-why-did-we-close-down-our-adoption-agencies/

        He’s also the bishop who invited homosexuals to have their own Masses and has now extended the LGBT “ministry” in his archdiocese.

        He was not pleased at the last synod on the family because the passage on homosexual couples did not go far enough, it only said they should be welcomed in churches. He is one of the group that wants gay unions to be recognised in the Church.

        August 3, 2015 at 8:35 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Was he the same one back in 07 the gay adoption law over there? https://web.archive.org/web/20070320140438/http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article1499944.ece

        We have a ministry to LGBT people. Not like a formal group or anything but we have a few members of the church–who are living celibate because I guess you may be curious–who act as sort of guides for any LGBT people coming to the liturgy or events. I think having a ministry or even a religious order much like Latin 3rd Orders for LGBT people.

        August 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm
      • Alex F

        Petrus, he didn’t deny the pope’s judicial authority over the Eastern Churches. He simply disagreed with some of the decisions the popes have made. Disagreeing with the pope on judicial matters is not schismatic. If disagreeing with the pope is schismatic, where does that leave your SSPX?
        Samwise, join the club! The only people who aren’t confused are the ones talking the most nonsense!

        August 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm
      • Petrus

        How uncharitable, Alex F!   It is a false dichotomy to compare the errors of sam wise with the situation with the SSPX.  I now realise that you are well and truly confused! 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Like, our bishops still need to be confirmed by Rome, but when it comes to stuff like baptizing, crismating, and communing infants, Rome leaves it to us.

        I must admit, I am kinda torn about the SSPX. Reading about their situation, I am glad the Vatican lifted the excommunications. I would be a terrible hypocrite if I didn’t feel sympathy for people who want to return to their liturgical traditions. But what I cannot fathom is, after all this accommodation Rome has given them, they still refuse to be in union with Rome. When Pope Pius IX had the Vatican guard force Patriarch Gregory II so he could place his foot on his head, the Melkite-Greek Church did not break with Rome. We suffered under the likes of Adrian Fortescue and the other Latinizers and ultramontanists yet still we remained in communion and unity with the Roman Pontiff.

        August 3, 2015 at 9:51 pm
      • Petrus

        The SSPX remains in Communion and unity with the Holy See.  The only place I’ve heard prayers for the Pope is a chapel of the SSPX. Where in the world are you, samwise?  A general location is fine, I’m not looking to invite myself for tea!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 10:01 pm
      • mastersamwise


        August 3, 2015 at 10:06 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        That was when the Church in England was trying to protect their adoption agencies, but don’t ask me why, probably protecting jobs and the bishops do like the power to run schools and such like, nothing to do with teaching the faith or getting Catholic homes for children! Once they closed down anyway, the Cardinal came out in support of gay civil unions and that’s why the Catholic Herald article I linked brought up the matter of why they had to lose their adoption agencies if the Cardinal was now supporting gay unions. I think what I am trying to say is he was probably not being honest when he said he didn’t think gay adoption was right, although I suppose that is not right to say, I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

        August 3, 2015 at 10:01 pm
      • Alex F

        I am indeed very confused! I’m not sure how charitable it is to fling around accusations of schism and question other Catholic’s catholicity, but if I’ve caused offence I do apologise.
        In terms of the SSPX, I’m aware that this is very much a pro-SSPX forum and I wouldn’t like to offend my SSPX hosts. That said, however, I’m not sure about it at all. I used to live in London and went to the SSPX church in Finsbury Park a few times, but I can’t take to their contradictory position whereby they recognise the pope but refuse to submit to him. They recognise the pope but reject just about everything he says. They reject his Liturgy, catechism and decide for themselves which canonisations they will recognise. They say they accept what is in conformity with Tradition, but then go on to decide for themselves what is in conformity with Tradition. If we have a pope but don’t pay any attention to him then what is the point of having one in the first place.
        Like I say, I am very confused and am only trying to make some sense of these confusing times we live in. Most of the SSPX people I’ve known are good and very committed Catholics who clearly love the Church. Their canonical position is in a bit of a Limbo at present, so I am certainly not going to say they are not part of the Church. I’ll leave that to better people than me.

        August 3, 2015 at 10:47 pm
      • Petrus

        We do live in strange times, Alex F, so you are not alone.  A simple rule of thumb is to ensure that your primary allegiance is to the deposit of Faith.  Anything that contradicts the Faith that has been taught for two thousand years, cannot be part of this deposit.   If we cling to what the Church has always taught we cannot go wrong.  No Catholic can be penalised for clinging to the Faith.  If you accept the Message of Fatima, you will know that the Church is in crisis and the Third Secret foretells a great loss of Faith that begins “at the top”.  So, it’s not that the SSPX rejects the authority of the Pope,  it’s the Pope who compromises the Faith!  Cling to the old Faith.  Nothing else matters. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 11:07 pm
      • editor

        Alex F,

        The key reason why so many Catholics are confused about the SSPX situation is because of a flawed understanding of papal authority. The idea that Catholics have to obey the Pope’s every word, is completely mistaken.

        From the beginning, the Pope (in the person of Peter) was challenged when in the wrong. As you will recall, St Paul challenged Peter (Galatians 2) and we all know of the twice-excommunicated Saint Athanasius, Doctor of the Church for his “disobedience” to the pope.

        However, obedience is not the highest virtue. We cannot obey anyone, from the Pope down, who is teaching against the Faith or endangering the Faith. Here’s what the famous theologian of the Council of Trent, Melchior Cano has to say on the matter:

        Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See – they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.

        Schismatics, by definition, deny the authority of the pontiff. Disobeying a particular command, is not schismatic. I mean, if a child disobeys his parents, they continue to be his parents and he recognises them as such, and they recognise him as their son. Ditto the SSPX who pray for the Supreme Pontiff in their chapels, who put a photo of the Pope in their sacristies (although I remember laughing when one SSPX priest said they’d had a hard time finding a suitable photo of Pope Francis, since all the popular ones had him wearing a red nose, fireman’s hat etc. They found one in the end, and so it is given a place on the wall of every Society sacristy.) That’s not a schismatic mindset.

        Remember, Alex, Our Lady warned us, as far back as the 17th century, at Quito in Ecuador, that the Church in the 20th century would be in crisis and told the “victim soul” – Mother Mariana who was to pray and suffer especially for our times, to “pray that my Son will send a prelate who will restore the spirit of the priests.” To the best of my recollection, the only prelate who stood out in the 20th century against all the novelties following Vatican II, was Archbishop Lefebvre.

        So, no, the SSPX is most definitely not in schism. It is the lifeboat sent by God to see us through this time of terrible crisis; your remark about the SSPX rejecting just about everything (I paraphrase) is certainly understandable, but you need to be clear in your mind about what “everything” represents, in the context of Catholic belief that the source for Catholic teaching is two-fold: Tradition and Scripture (which came out of Tradition) and that the Church had no authority to introduce new teachings. As Pope Saint Pius X said “Far, far from our priests be the love of novelty”

        Yet what we have been getting for over fifty years now is novelty after novelty; a new Mass, a new Catechism, a new Rosary, a new Evangelisation and now – if the Cardinal Kasper crew get their way in October – a new morality. And of course a false spirit of religious liberty which puts the Catholic Church on an equal footing with every other denomination and non-Christian religion.

        That is what the SSPX reject. The novelties and false teachings imposed in recent years, in order to do what pope after pope and saint after saint recommend that we do always – adhere to Catholic Tradition. That’s all they are doing. If that’s “schism” then it means, logically, that the Catholic Church has been making false claims for two thousand years.

        August 3, 2015 at 11:30 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Which is why, as I and Benedict have said, the SSPX have no canonical status.

        What Catholic Tradition do the SSPX hold that is not held by the rest of the Catholic Church?

        August 4, 2015 at 3:05 am
      • Petrus

        Mastersamwise  I suggest you read “Against the Heresies” and “An Open Letter To Confused Catholics”. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 8:18 am
      • mastersamwise

        I don’t see what St Iraenus has to do with it.

        August 4, 2015 at 11:02 am
      • Petrus

        They were written by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.  “I Accuse The Council” would also be useful. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 11:14 am
      • mastersamwise

        My mistake. I thought you were talking about the Church Father.

        Again, I don’t have much sympathy for the SSPX. I have some sympathy for the desire to maintain liturgical traditions, but when Pope Pius IX placed his foot on Patriarch Gregory II’s head after the latter and his bishops voted non placet on Pater Aeternus, we didn’t break from Rome to the degree that the head of the CDF says, “they have departed from communion with the Church.” That quote is from Cardinal Muller in 2013 talking to the newspaper Corriere Della Sera. He said, “The canonical excommunication for the illicit ordinations has been lifted from the bishops, but the sacramental de facto excommunication for schism remains…” I can’t have sympathy for that. We disagreed with Vatican I’s definition of Papal Supremacy. We didn’t openly criticize the Pope and call him a heretic. We didn’t consecrate bishops against the expressed orders of Rome. We waited and we made our voices heard without charges of heresy and denouncing Vatican I as heretical.

        August 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm
      • Petrus

        So, do you still disagree with Vatican I on Papal Supremacy? 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Now that it has been clarified and the authority of the Bishop of Rome has been more firmly defined from the ultramonantist definition given by Vatican I, no we don’t. We also didn’t call the Bishop of Rome a heretic nor the council invalid because we didn’t agree with it. Even the decisions of Nicaea needed to be clarified. That is why most Christian churches say the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed instead of the original Nicene Creed. Just as there were disagreements after Vatican I about Papal Supremacy, there were disagreements after Nicaea.

        August 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm
      • Petrus

        I’ve never heard anyone in the SSPX call the Pope a heretic or claim that the Second Vatican Council was invalid.  Could you please provide a source that shows such a claim? When was Vatican I “clarified” and the authority of the bishop of Rome “more firmly defined”?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 2:34 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Bishop Fellay certainly thought there was.
        “Within the Society, some are making the conciliar errors into super heresies, absolute evil, worse than anything, in the same way that the liberals have dogmatized this pastoral council.”


        August 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm
      • Petrus

        Every organisation has its share of nuts…I’m sure your church is the same.  Bishop Fellay is the Superior General – I’d go with what he says.  I’m waiting for how and when papal supremacy was clarified and more clearly defined. …

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I know you have some personal reservations about it, but Vatican II clarified some things that Vatican I left unresolved, like how the Pope relates to the bishops and the Patriarchs of the Sui Iuris. I’m sorry it didn’t go over well for the Latins.

        August 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm
      • Petrus

        Document, chapter and verse please? You could quickly put together links to try to disparage the SSPX so this should be no problem for you!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm
      • mastersamwise

        ” Hence, one is constituted a member of the Episcopal body in virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members of the body.

        But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.” Lumen Gentium 22

        ” By the most ancient tradition of the Church the patriarchs of the Eastern Churches are to be accorded special honor, seeing that each is set over his patriarchate as father and head.

        This Sacred Council, therefore, determines that their rights and privileges should be re-established in accordance with the ancient tradition of each of the Churches and the decrees of the ecumenical councils.(11)

        The rights and privileges in question are those that obtained in the time of union between East and West; though they should be adapted somewhat to modern conditions.

        The patriarchs with their synods are the highest authority for all business of the patriarchate, including the right of establishing new eparchies and of nominating bishops of their rite within the territorial bounds of the patriarchate, without prejudice to the inalienable right of the Roman Pontiff to intervene in individual cases.” Orientalium Ecclesiarum 9

        “We have, therefore, a twofold mission to accomplish within the Catholic Church. We must fight to ensure that Latinism and Catholicism are not synonymous, that Catholicism remains open to every culture, every spirit, and every form of organization compatible with the unity of faith and love. At the same time, by our example, we must enable the Orthodox Church to recognize that a union with the great Church of the West, with the See of Peter, can be achieved without being compelled to give up Orthodoxy or any of the spiritual treasures of the apostolic and patristic East, which is opened toward the future no less to the past.” Patriarch Maximos IV Sayegh https://melkite.org/faith/faith-worship/the-courage-to-be-ourselves

        August 4, 2015 at 3:44 pm
      • Petrus

        I don’t see what was clarified!   From my reading of this the Supreme Pontiff has absolute authority over all churches and can exercise this authority freely.  Which part of Vatican I did this clarify?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 4:12 pm
      • mastersamwise

        But the rights of the Patriarchs are reconfirmed. That is the important bit. Yes, the Bishop of Rome–not the Roman Church, not the Roman Rite, not the Curia–has authority over the bishops. The bishops are his colleagues, not his fifes. This is how it was according to the most ancient canons of the Church. The bishops have no Catholicity without the Pope, yet they are not mere representatives of Rome but co-successors of Apostles. The Patriarchs are further given the privaledges due to them by virtue of the Apostolic nature of their Sees. Thus, we in the Melkite church are governed primarily by our Patriarch and Synod underneath the authority of the Pope, not the Curia or any of your cardinals.

        August 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm
      • Petrus

        You do know that “the Roman Church” is not the Latin Church, but the Diocese of Rome? I’m not suggesting that the Latin Rite church has authority over your bishops.   What I AM saying is that the Pope has complete jurisdiction over your church.  However, on a practical level, your Patriarch and Synod governs your church, under the jurisdiction of the Pope.  

        Listen, mastersamwise.  Words are everything.  I think, in essence, we agree.  You are not conversing with someone who wishes to “Latinize” that Eastern churches.  I have a keen interest in the Eastern Catholic churches and their liturgies.  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 6:34 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Under the Pope, not the Roman church. There IS a difference. See, The Pope is the head of the Roman church AND the Universal Church. We fall under his jurisdiction as members of the Universal Church, not the Roman church. That is why we have our own canon law. So I think we are saying the same thing. The head of my particular church is Patriarch Gregory III. The head of THE Church is the Roman Pontiff.

        August 4, 2015 at 7:02 pm
      • Petrus

        Yes, we are saying the same thing. However, I don’t think Vatican II was needed to say that.  How big is your church?  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 7:23 pm
      • mastersamwise

        It becomes apparent when you compare Pater Aeternus to Lumen Gentium.

        August 4, 2015 at 8:05 pm
      • Petrus

        I don’t think the two situations are comparable.  Archbishop Lefebvre did everything correct.  He obtained a Papal Mandate after lengthy discussions with Cardinal Ratzinger, later Benedict XVI.  However, the Roman officials kept going back on their word.  Eventually, Archbishop Lefebvre realised that there was nothing else to do but proceed with the episcopal ordinations. Your last comment was rather contradictory.  You claim that you have sympathy with those who wish to maintain liturgical traditions,but you do not have sympathy for the SSPX.   If it wasn’t for Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX there would be no Traditional Latin Mass today.  The Roman authorities were determined to stamp out the TLM forever.  So, Archbishop Lefebvre did whatever was necessary, yes, that included ordaining bishops against the unjust orders, to protect and maintain the ancient liturgy.  He called it “Operation Survival”. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 2:20 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Everything correct? Let’s see.

        On 29 June 1987, he made the statement that he would need to consecrate some bishops. http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/Bishops-to-save-the-church.htm

        On 5 May 1988, he entered into negotiations with then Cardinal Ratzinger. It was agreed that he promised fidelity to the Catholic Church and to the Pope, accepted the doctrine contained in section 25 of the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium on the Church’s magisterium, pledged a non-polemical attitude of communication with the Holy See on the problematic aspects of the Vatican II, recognized the validity of the revised sacraments and promised to respect the common discipline of the Church and her law. https://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFLEFEB.HTM

        The next day, he repudated his agreement in a sermon. http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/Episcopal-Consecration.htm

        On 24 May 1988, he entered into negotiations with the Holy See again. The Pope acquiesced to further demands–such as appointing a bishop from among the members of the SSPX–provided the May 5 protocol was adhered to.

        On 3 June, Lefebvre said he would consecrate bishops without Papal approval. The Pope responded on June 9 asking him not to and to recall the penalties of such an action. Lefebvre made no reply.

        On June 17, the Congregation of Bishops issued a warning to the proposed SSPX bishops.

        On 29 June, then Cardinal Ratzinger sent a telegram to Lefebvre asking him again not to proceed without Papal approval. “For the love of Christ and His Church, the Holy Father asks you paternally and firmly to depart today for Rome, without proceeding on 30 June with the episcopal ordinations that you have announced. He prays the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul to inspire you not to be false to the episcopacy that has been placed in your charge and the oaths you have taken to remain faithful to the Pope, the successor of Peter. He begs God to keep you from leading astray and scattering those whom Christ Jesus came to gather in unity. He entrusts you to the intercession of the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.”

        The next day, Lefebvre consecrated the bishops. So please tell me where the Roman officials went back on their word? Based on the letters and sermons, it was Lefebvre that went back on his word by repudiating the May 5 protocol he signed before it could be approved by the Pope.

        I have sympathy for their desire to return to their traditional liturgical practices. That is what we Melkites fought for under Benedict XIV and Leo XIII. But I have no sympathy for breaking with Rome. They did indeed break from Rome if Rome has any authority over her bishops. I think the situations are extremely comparable. In both instances, there is a group of Catholics that certain men in Rome want to suppress liturgically. There is a council with disagreeable definitions on serious doctrinal matters. There is a bishop who resists Rome. Yet, the manner in which Patriarch Gregory II and Bishop Lefebvre conducted themselves were vastly different. Even when his head was literally under the heel of the bishop of Rome, Gregory did not break communion. Lefebvre was going to get Papal approval and protection for his society, protection that the Melkites and the other Eastern churches had to wait until Vatican II to get. So yeah, I have little sympathy for people who break with Rome over disputes.

        August 4, 2015 at 2:57 pm
      • Petrus

        I recommend you read the Archbishop’s biography for a true account of what happened. By the way, I find it slightly suspicious that you are so familiar with this case and can produce this material at the drop of a hat.  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I took an interest in it yesterday and had some of my Latin friends explain it. One of them is a FSSP priest. As I understand it, the FSSP broke off from the SSPX and joined Rome. I also have a canon lawyer friend who has worked with some well placed people in the Vatican. I am not necessairly familiar, just well connected

        August 4, 2015 at 3:32 pm
      • Petrus

        Listen, the last person you should be asking is “Latin friends”.  You are hardly going to get objectivity from the FSSP.  They forget that without the SSPX they wouldn’t have the Traditional Mass. Now, please just quit the garbage.  The SSPX did not “break” from Rome.  In a state of emergency a bishop is permitted to consecrate more bishops.  I think we can call wide spread apostasy, acknowledge by Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, as an emergency situation, not to mention the suppression of the most venerable rite of the Church.  So drop this baloney.  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Ok, that is your opinion I guess. Canonically speaking though, even by the 1919 canons, as I was told by my canon lawyer friend, the case of the SSPX is not sufficient for the permission you cite. Danger to the faithful has been, historically, applied to situations like the persecutions in England where confirmation from Rome may not have been possible. Applying it to something like alleged apostasy–a case you would have to prove as well–has not been the historical application of the canons. So really, it doesn’t hold much water.

        August 4, 2015 at 6:13 pm
      • Petrus

        Well, anyone with a true love of the Faith will know that spiritual persecution is much worse than physical.  Catholics being denied the Traditional Latin Mass is a form of martyrdom.  You must also remember that your canon lawyer friend is only giving an opinion.  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Tell that to the Melkites in Syria.

        Yes, an opinion based on his professional expertise in canon law. Can you cite similar credentials? Call me a cynic, but I am more willing to believe a man with a doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian in Rome than someone I never met on the internet.

        August 4, 2015 at 6:23 pm
      • Petrus

        I understand that.  However, I think you make the classic mistake of putting too much faith in qualifications.  Isn’t the “Greg” run by the Jesuits?? 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 6:35 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I don’t know, have you ever argued cases before the Roman Rota?

        In terms of fidelity to the canons, the Gregorian has a very established department. Same with philosophy. Its when you get to moral theology that things break down. You go to the Angelicum for that.

        August 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm
      • Petrus

        The Angelicum is run by the Dominicans,  isn’t it? 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 7:24 pm
      • mastersamwise


        August 4, 2015 at 8:06 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Also, trying living in an all Muslim country as some in my church did. You start liking the Vatican II, which is basically just Aquinas in flowery language, definitions of religious liberty. The wording is actually remarkable because, if you understand their definitions, they are actually saying that Catholic is best and you should be Catholic if you want to be truly free and that is what religious freedom is for: to be Catholic.

        August 4, 2015 at 3:08 am
      • editor


        It’s nasty to refer to “Lefebvre” without his title of Archbishop. You don’t do that with Cardinal Ratzinger, I notice. Please show respect for a great prelate who will one day be a canonised saint, I have no doubt.

        And for someone who bangs on about the importance of words, you don’t seem to realise the importance of sound sources. EWTN is hardly a sound source for information on anything – they’re modernist, with bells on.

        August 4, 2015 at 3:21 pm
      • mastersamwise

        It was not out of disrespect. I called him then Cardinal Ratzinger because now he is Pope Emeritus. I truly didn’t mean any offense and I am wondering why you are taking offense. It is rather confusing. I have referred to Pope Benedict as Benedict, Patriarch Gregory II as Gregory, and so on. I a, truly puzzled what you are angry about.

        Ok, here is the same letter from an SSPX site. Better?

        August 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm
      • Alex F

        Petrus and Editor,
        Thank you for your responses to my comments above.
        I can see what you are saying about obedience and adherence to Tradition above obedience to this or that direction from the pope. Disagreeing with the pope on matters of jurisdiction does not constitute schism, I agree. However, the SSPX dispute a Council of the Church, the missal and Office of Paul VI, the new catechism and I’m not sure about the Code of Canon Law. These are not small matters and they come from the magisterium of the Church. The SSPX decides for itself which canonisations they will acknowledge and which ones they will reject. Think about this thread- lay people, I presume, are discussing about whether or not they will recognise a Synod of the Catholic Church!
        I acknowledge that there is a crisis in the Western Church today- we have popes appearing to worship false gods and this Synod is discussing allowing Catholics to think it’s alright to commit adultery to name just two things! God help us! But I am not sure the SSPX’s position is the answer.
        Bp Fellay described Pope Francis as a “true Modernist.” However, Pius X (the saint- not the society) said that Modernism is heresy. So even if they avoid using the word “heretic” they are still implying the same thing, just as to call someone an Arian is to call them a heretic even if you don’t actually use that word.

        The Western Church is indeed in crisis, but Eastern Christians are also facing their own crisis. I could weep when I see what is happening to our brothers and sisters in the Middle East right now.

        August 4, 2015 at 6:27 pm
      • Petrus

        Alex F We can disagree on the Second Vatican Council because it was pastoral, not doctrinal.  We can disagree with the New Mass because it was created from scratch, and is not part of the divine liturgy handed down.   The issue with heresy is that we cannot judge whether it is material or formal.  So, Pope Francis is indeed a Modernist in a non-binding capacity, but he has not, and could not, taught Modernism in a formal way. So, we can legitimately resist his non-binding errors, whilst acknowledging and venerating  him as the Pope.  Regarding canonisations,  the SSPX has not issued any kind of formal statement denouncing any canonisation.  They have raised serious questions about the process and expressed doubts over the validity,  but it has not formally rejected any canonisation.

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm
      • Alex F

        From that logic, I can’t see what point there is in having a pope. If we have a pope but we ignore everything he says and does, assist at Masses that are outside of his jurisdiction and accuse him of promoting error, then we are really just like the Orthodox. We’re picking and choosing which elements of his teaching we are going to follow and which we are not.
        On V2, I know it defined no doctrine, but does that mean we are free to dismiss it? Can you give an example of any other Ecumenical Councils we are free to dismiss?

        August 4, 2015 at 7:23 pm
      • Petrus

        Alex F I understand your issues.  We don’t dismiss everything he says.  We use our common and Catholic sense and realise that the pope can, and does, err.  He isn’t infallible in everything that he says.  This pope’s worse gaffes come when he answers questions ad hoc, usually on a plane.  Now, are you suggesting that we must accept everything that the pope says as infallible doctrine?  The Traditional Roman Rite of Mass is NOT outside the Pope’s jurisdiction. No Catholic Rite is outside of his jurisdiction.  Are you seriously suggesting that attending the Mass that was codified by Pope St Pius V is going against the pope’s jurisdiction?  Take a look at what St Pius V’s “Quo Primum” says: “Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other Churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world.” So, it is nonsense to suggest that a completely new Rite of Mass can be forced upon the faithful.  Remember this, in the past popes have been post humously excommunicated. .

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 7:41 pm
      • Alex F

        I didn’t say that assisting at the Traditional Mass was wrong. However, the SSPX position sounds a bit too much like Gallicanism to !e which was rejected at V1.

        August 4, 2015 at 8:14 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Pastoral or doctrinal, it was still ecumenical and therefore binding.

        August 4, 2015 at 9:05 pm
      • Petrus

        Says who?  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Says the canons. When John XXIII said, “hic ad Beati Petri sepulcrum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum sollemniter initium capit” the 21st Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church was solemnly opened. Did you not agree that the Pope had the authority over all the churches in the Universal Church? Does he not have the authority to call an ecumenical council?

        August 4, 2015 at 9:20 pm
      • Petrus

        Of course he does. He does not, and neither does a Council, have the authority to change doctrine and contradict previous popes.  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I know I will regret this but, might as well.
        How does Vatican II, specifically, change doctrine and contradict previous Popes?

        Also, are you aware that, if a council is ecumenical, it is an infallible organ of the Magisterium?

        August 4, 2015 at 9:40 pm
      • Petrus

        Really? Why did Pope Paul VI confirm that the Council was not infallible?

        In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document” (Paul VI, General Audience of 12 January 1966). Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 10:01 pm
      • mastersamwise

        ” it avoided pronouncing in an extraordinary manner dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility…” It refrained from issuing dogma. It taught doctrine. Ordinary Magisterium is, in the context of an Ecumenical Council, infallible. What this means is they infallibly reached into the deposit of Faith and produced infallible teaching from existing doctrine and dogma. It requires the full assent of faith.

        August 5, 2015 at 12:19 am
      • Petrus

        I’m sorry this is utter garbage. It infallibly reached into doctrine to teach doctrine infallibly? Good grief!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 12:25 am
      • mastersamwise

        It actually isn’t that uncommon. Any time an Ecumenical Council discussed juridical things, they weren’t exercising extraordinary magisterium, but they had the character of infallibility because it was an Ecumenical Council.

        August 5, 2015 at 1:01 am
      • Petrus

        Well, infallibility relates to Faith and Morals.   Vatican II introduced novelties which contradict previous Councils/Pope’s and therefore cannot be of the Faith.   Of course Vatican II is infallible where it repeats previous infallible teaching.  That, my friend, is called the bleedin’ obvious!   So, if a pastoral Council infallibly reaches into the deposit of Faith to infallibly repeat infallible teaching (I’m trying to keep a straight face) how do you explain the novelties of ecumenism and Religious Liberty?  Let me guess, it infallibly reached into the cesspit of anathema and infallibly created infallible teaching out of condemned errors?? 😉

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 1:12 am
      • Athanasius


        Vatican II introduced the novel doctrines of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue to Church teaching. Both propositions are solemnly condemned by the Church’s Magisterium of the past. How do you explain that without falling into the errors of relativism and the evolution of doctrine?

        If you disagree, then please provide supportive links between these Vatican II teachings and the past teaching of the Magisterium. Good luck with that one!

        August 5, 2015 at 12:38 am
      • Petrus

        We will wait a long time!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 12:41 am
      • mastersamwise

        Novel? They aren’t that novel. The Eastern Catholic churches had been talking to the Orthodox for at least a century before Vatican II. We also talked to the Muslims and other religions in our home territory because, if you know anything about Syria, it was necessary for survival. I don’t know if you have that experience.
        I believe also it was St. Francis of Assisi–according to this biography by a rather orthodox Dominican–who went to a Muslim warlord and did nothing but talk about how great Christ was. If you need references for the foundations of inter-religious dialogue, pick up the book of Acts.

        August 5, 2015 at 1:08 am
      • Petrus

        Well, is this the type of Ecumenism Vatican II promoted? “Talking about Christ”? Go and read the documents and compare them to the teaching of previous Councils and Popes. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 1:18 am
      • mastersamwise

        I have. Honestly, I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I have noticed you compare them to a few popes. You haven’t touched on the Fathers or Scripture. Just a few quotes from a few popes. Not even other councils.

        August 5, 2015 at 1:20 am
      • Petrus

        So, why don’t you show how the Vatican II document on Ecumenism is in harmony with the Deposit of Faith…..

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 1:22 am
      • Petrus

        What about 2 Corinthians 6:14? Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 1:25 am
      • Petrus

        “A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid.” Titus 3:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such, serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly; and by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent.” Romans 16:17 “None must either pray or sing psalms with heretics; and whosoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the Communion of the Church, whether clergyman or laic, let him be excommunicated”. (Coun. Carth. iv. 72 and 73) “If any clergyman or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or to the meetings of heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of Communion.” III Council of Constantinople (Ecumenical)

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 1:38 am
      • mastersamwise

        1. Who can, according to the canons, admonish an Ecumenical Council?

        2. What doctrine did the Romans learn?

        3-4. St. Paul and the other former Jews of the Christian communities would go into the Temple and pray. He would teach in synagogues, something usually reserved for ordained rabbis and priests. So how could Paul do these things in light of what the Councils say? Either the Councils were addressing a different issue, or Paul’s actions were only good for their time.

        Also, where is that quote from Constantinople III? I can’t seem to find it.

        I also couldn’t find the quote in any of the Councils of Carthage. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3816.htm

        In fact, the only places where I found those quotes was from a Bishop Hay of Scotland and the Apostolic Canons respectively. As I am sure you are aware, only the first 50 canons of the latter were accepted by the Latin Church. Seeing as the latter was canon 64, it was rejected by the Pope Constantine in 692 and can’t have any authority. They are, however, accepted by the Orthodox churches. Could this be the heresy that you said the Orthodox have?

        August 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm
      • Petrus

        Mastersamwise  You can play around with words til the cows come home.  I’m sick of dancing around the houses with you.  You asked for quotes from Scripture and the Church Fathers to show that Ecumenism is a heresy.  You’ve been given that….and then some!!!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 2:44 pm
      • mastersamwise

        You have given Scripture, yes, but I merely pointed out that, without further exposition, you may yourself be guilty of a “hermeneutic of rupture.” Elaborate on your points.

        As for the Fathers, I demonstrated how the quotes you provided are not doctrinal and actually specifically reject by the Roman church and the Pope.

        I do not see how I am playing around with words if I ask you to offer more exposition on the Scriptures and authoritative teaching from the Fathers.

        August 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm
      • Petrus

        I think it is fair to sum up mastersamwise in this way: 1. He asks for Scripture references, but gives his own private interpretation of them. 2. He accepts some of the Church Fathers writings, but is happy to ignore others.  3. He has “problems” with Vatican I, which in his opinion needed to be “clarified”.  4. He defends Vatican II and claims it is infallible and binding on all Catholics because it was an Ecumenical Council.  Not so quick to apply this to Vatican I right enough.  5. Is happy to ignore the teachings of certain popes, dismissing them and asking for Scripture and early Church Fathers instead.   All in all, we have someone who likes to pick and choose and present arguments with more holes than Swiss cheese!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 3:23 pm
      • mastersamwise

        1. So I cannot ask for clarification on your exposition? I cannot ask what the basis for your exposition is?

        2. I accept what the Church has accepted and, as is plain for anyone to see, the quotes your provided are not accepted by the Catholic Church as authoritative. Who will you quote next? Donatus Magnus?

        3. I am sorry. I don’t see how Pope Pius IX declaring “I am the tradition” in response to Cardinal Guidi’s proposition that, assisting the Bishop of Rome in the exercise of the Petrine ministry “is the counsel of the bishops manifesting the tradition of the churches.” Indeed, this is the most ancient tradition of the Church and all the Eastern churches are set up this way. The Patriarch sits above and is assisted by the Holy Synod of Bishops. Without the qualitative understandings of the Pope’s relations to the bishops and the Patriarchs, the Pope is little more than an autocrat. That is why Patriarch Gregory II opposed the definitions. It abrogated the ancient rights of the Patriarchs and exacerbated the abuses of Latinization that were going on. Pius IX wasn’t having any of this “rights of the patriarchs” thing and, as I have mentioned several times, put our patriarch under his literal heel. Vatican II, from our perspective, restored the rights due to the Patriarchs and taught that the bishops of the Church were not mere subsidies of Rome but real and true successors of the Apostles and due the dignity inherent in that. It should be noted that Vatican I ended without being finished. Who knows what might have been produced if it had been continued. But to say that Vatican I’s teachings didn’t cause problems is frankly untrue and isn’t consistent with the history of the Church after an Ecumenical Council.

        5. I dismissed them? I don’t recall that. I recall, for example, putting Pope Pius V’s decree into context with other teaching from the Church and taking the Pope on his literal words.

        On the contrary, going through my arguments, they have been quite consistent. Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council. It solved some problems that arose after Vatican I. I only accept Church Fathers and Councils that are authoritative.

        Now, I don’t want to assume that the quotes you provided from Carthage III and the Apostolic Canons in an effort to deceive. I think you may have been deceived yourself as to their origin. But when you go off and try to attack my character like you have just done, I become more inclined to believe that you don’t have an answer to my very reasonable objections to your uses of texts that either did not exist or are not accepted by the Catholic Church.

        August 5, 2015 at 3:58 pm
      • Petrus

        Yes, the first 50 canons are accepted by the Church.  I didn’t quote from the Apostolic Canons.  Bishop Hay did. I will be waiting for your apology on that one. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Ok, then your mistake was to trust Bishop Hay, which is so understanable, I hardly think it was a mistake but rather an ardent trust in the honorable bishop’s scholarship. It seems Bishop Hay was also deceived somehow to attribute rejected canons from the Apostolic Canons to Constantinople III. He must also have been deceived about the Council of Carthage to erroneously attribute a quote to it. It seems there is some misinformation rolling around and I apologize if I was overly caustic in my response. I infer now that you quoted Bishop Hay in good faith, yes? In that case I am very sorry for attributing the error in quotation. It does make me who deceived Bishop Hay.

        Now that we have dispensed of those quotes, do you have any other writings from the Fathers and Councils to support the idea that ecumenical relations “…is the way that, when the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion have been gradually overcome, all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning.” UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO 4.

        August 5, 2015 at 4:55 pm
      • Petrus

        I have given you numerous quotes from Scripture.  Those quotes are in Scripture, not just as an indication of a specific time, but because they are applicable for time and eternity.  Let me ask you a question.  Other than Vatican II, which Church Fathers or Ecumenical Councils approved of Ecumenism?   

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Well, since Ecumenicism is, defined by Vatican II, the “restoration of unity among all Christians…For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation” then I would direct you to John 12:21 and the expressed prayer of Christ himself that those who believe in him belong to the One True Church of Christ, the Catholic Church.

        Understanding Ecumenicism to be work towards the restoration of separated brethren to the unity of the Catholic Church, there can be no rational basis in Vatican II for compromising doctrine, accepting erroneous beliefs, confederating Christians churches with unreconciled theological differences, or merely unified in praying for the same things.

        “Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life – that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God…. When such actions are undertaken prudently and patiently by the Catholic faithful, with the attentive guidance of their bishops, they promote justice and truth, concord and collaboration, as well as the spirit of brotherly love and unity. This is the way that, when the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion have been gradually overcome, all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning. We believe that this unity subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.”

        August 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm
      • Petrus

        All you’ve done is quote Vatican II.  If Ecumenism, as “defined” by Vatican II is in harmony with Tradition, can you please quote Church Fathers, previous Ecumenical Councils and previous popes….?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 6:35 pm
      • mastersamwise

        In short, if you think Vatican II was wrong about Ecumenicism, does that mean the Dominicans are wrong in their charism to preach to the heretic?

        August 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm
      • Petrus

        Now you are being silly.  Surely you are better than that?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 6:35 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Not at all. Vatican II specifically says that the unity that true ecumenism hopes to achieve can only be found in the Catholic Church. I have already given the quote.

        August 5, 2015 at 7:14 pm
      • Petrus

        What about the other “time bombs”.  Go and search through the entire document and see if there’s anything that contradicts doctrine.

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 7:23 pm
      • mastersamwise

        What “time bombs?” This is the first time someone on this thread mentioned time bombs.

        August 5, 2015 at 7:34 pm
      • Petrus

        “But God forbid that the sons of the Catholic Church ever in any way be hostile to those who are not joined with us in the same bonds of faith and love; but rather they should always be zealous to seek them out and aid them, whether poor, or sick, or afflicted with any other burdens, with all the offices of Christian charity; and they should especially endeavor to snatch them from the darkness of error in which they unhappily lie, and lead them back to Catholic truth and to the most loving Mother the Church, who never ceases to stretch out her maternal hands lovingly to them, and to call them back to her bosom so that, established and firm in faith, hope, and charity, and ‘being fruitful in every good work’ [Colossians 1:10], they may attain eternal salvation.”–Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, par. 9, August 10, 1863 (Denzinger 1678) Pope Pius XII was very clear:”Even on the plea of promoting unity it is not allowed to dissemble one single dogma; for, as the Patriarch of Alexandria warns us, ‘although the desire of peace is a noble and excellent thing, yet we must not for its sake neglect the virtue of loyalty in Christ.’ Consequently, the much desired return of erring sons to true and genuine unity in Christ will not be furthered by exclusive concentration on those doctrines which all, or most, communities glorying in the Christian name accept in common. The only successful method will be that which bases harmony and agreement among Christ’s faithful ones upon all the truths, and the whole of the truths, which God has revealed.”–Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Orientalis Ecclesiae (1944), par. 16 Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Again, there is nothing here that is inconsistent with what is written in Vatican II. You essentially provided the evidence for me. The one aim of Ecumenical dialogue as set down by Vatican II is for the separated understand the teaching of the Church and ultimately accept them. There is no talk of compromising doctrine, nor of any sort of communion without doctrinal unity. The aim of true, Vatican II Ecumenicism, as I have demonstrated from the Council decree on it, is for unity in the Catholic Church and fidelity to Catholic teaching. Pope Pius XII’s clarity is evident in Unitatis Redintegratio. The clear aim of Vatican II was unity in the Catholic Church. Anyone who tries to interpret it otherwise must either be willingly or inadvertently ignoring the plain will of the Council when it said, “our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life – that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation.” The unity that Vatican II Ecumenicism seeks is ONLY found in the Catholic Church. ONLY in the Catholic Church can the full means of salvation be found. What doctrine is being compromised by this document?

        August 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm
      • Petrus

        All these popes must have been wrong!  Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes (1868)Pope Pius IX, Instruction to Anglican Puseyites on True Religious Unity (1865)Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae(1894)Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum (1896)Pope St. Pius X, Letter Our Apostolic Mandate on Society and Interreligious Cooperation (1910)Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos (1928)Pope Pius XII, Canonical Warning on Attending Ecumenical Gatherings (1948)Pope Pius XII, Instruction on the Ecumenical Movement (1949) Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 6:43 pm
      • mastersamwise

        It should also be noted that Pope Pius XII, in his Canonical Warning on Attending Ecumenical Gatherings, did say that permission was necessary prior to attending these gatherings which is still the norm and rule. I know that if my own church wants to let communities of a different religion take part in so much as church picnic, we need permission from the bishop. Again, none of these documents are in conflict with Vatican II’s definition and parameters for ecumenical relations.

        August 5, 2015 at 7:25 pm
      • Athanasius

        Alex F

        Gallicanism is the heresy of monarchs and State officials who consider their power equal to that of the Supreme Pontiff, it has no bearing on the position of the SSPX by any stretch of the imagination.

        It is worth considering, however, that the German Episcopate, together with a sizable majority of the world’s Bishops’ Conferences, are not a million miles apart from Gallicanism.

        August 5, 2015 at 12:45 am
      • Petrus

        Beer, sausages, cars and heretics!  Germany certainly does not do half measures!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 12:48 am
      • Eileenanne

        I believe contraception MIGHT be a mortal sin, but only if it is practised with clear knowledge and full consent and no mitigating circumstances. I cannot judge whether any individual has ever committed a mortal sin by using contraception.

        July 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm
      • mastersamwise

        How did you infer that she supported contraceptives from what she just said? Or am I missing something?

        July 31, 2015 at 8:50 pm
    • editor


      Until I saw that video earlier today, my Plan A was not to launch any threads on the Synod until it was at least underway.

      However, I now realise the importance of preparing the ground because – and, ironically, you have proven me right – it occurred to me that there are likely to be many Catholics who are caught out, not sure how to react when the inevitable “Kasper Solution” (whatever it is – see my other post below) comes to pass.

      Then we will see priests and people of good will struggling on the horns of what they will (wrongly) see as a dilemma.

      It’s no dilemma. Choosing between Keeping the Faith, Telling the Truth – i.e. sticking with the Catholic Faith whole and entire, as it has been handed down to us from the apostles – or falling into grave error and cutting oneself off from the Faith, as many have already done down the years, favouring the appearance of unity over true unity with Our Lord and the Apostles.

      I wonder what your choice would be? I’ve spoken to priests who say it will NOT be acceptable to them to accept any “Kasper Solution” – they will not go along to get along (at last – they’ve taken long enough to get to that point but better late than never…)

      What about you, Eileenanne? If, God forbid, the word goes out from the Vatican that priests should permit Holy Communion to those in immoral unions under this or that condition – will you recognise it? Accept it? Would you see those who refuse to go along with such a ruling (like the priests I’ve just mentioned) as being “disobedient”? What then? I’m genuinely interested to see how you are thinking about this issue, ahead of the Synod.

      It’s to get thinking Catholics thinking, that I decided to go for Plan B and launch this thread ahead of the Synod, after all. So, I look forward to reading your thoughts on the issues, Eileenanne.

      July 26, 2015 at 8:04 pm
      • mastersamwise

        There would be a legitimate and non-sinful use, I think, of contraceptives would be in cases of Amenorrhoea and Polycystic ovary syndrome. In those cases, it is providing hormones the body is not naturally producing. I can certainly see in this case where the use of contraceptive would not be a sin.

        August 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm
      • Petrus

        Such cases would need to be discussed with a priest in the Confessional.   Single ladies with such conditions would be able to take these medications as they wouldn’t be taken as “contraceptives”.  However,  married ladies who take this medication to treat these conditions knowing that a side effect is the prevention of conception? Not sure that would be moral. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 9:15 pm
      • mastersamwise

        On the other hand, these diseases can be extremely dangerous if not treated with hormonal therapy. They can often lead to ovarian cancer. In fact, a woman with Polycystic ovary syndrome who gets pregnant without having it treated can lose not only the child but also her own life.

        Oral contraceptives are, in essence, a hormone pill. It introduces estrogen and/or progesterone to tell the body that it is in the follicular phase. If your hormone levels are imbalanced, the artificial introduction of hormones can normalize the menstrual cycle. Due to the ease with which they can be taken, a women with such illnesses could stop taking the pill, wait for the luteal phase, and theoretically become pregnant.

        In short, oral contraceptives would be little to no hindrance to a married woman with such diseases to conceive a child. If, however, the symptoms are severe enough that any interruption in hormone therapy–these are rare cases but do exist–then the woman is effectively barren and it shouldn’t be immoral for her to preserve her life as the likelihood of her and her child’s death would be abnormally high. So yeah, case by case basis seems a sound strategy. No to the couple who “just doesn’t want children right now” but yes to the woman who would die otherwise.

        August 5, 2015 at 4:41 pm
    • Therese


      Aren’t you going to reply to my question on the Scots Bishops thread?

      July 26, 2015 at 9:36 pm
      • editor


        Eileenanne tends not to reply to questions. Still, maybe your persistence will pay off where our begging letters have failed!

        July 26, 2015 at 10:21 pm
  • Athanasius


    You’re wrong! The Church in Germany is teetering on the brink of schism right now and will doubtless jump ship if things don’t go their way at the October Synod. There are many others who are already in schism with the Church by the very fact that they desire and/or seek a change to her moral teaching.

    But whether or not these various schisms becomes formal as a result of the Synod (being already are formal in God’s sight), the scandal caused by Pope Francis in calling a Synod like this, knowing that his actions, however presented by the Modernists, was only ever going to result in undermining the Church’s infallible teaching.

    Like you, I do not believe this Synod will officially alter the moral teaching of the Church – God will not permit such an evil. But what about the unofficial green light, the nod and wink, its very existence will produce amongst those liberal prelates who no longer have the faith. After all, Vatican II didn’t ask for a New Mass in the vernacular based on the Reformation model of the Protestants, nor did it sanction the tearing out of high altars, Communion in the hand and a whole host of other unCatholic “reforms”. These were all done in the name of “the spirit of the Council”.

    That’s all the liberals need from Francis’ Synod to go back to their respective dioceses and implement the greatest evils. If they don’t get an outright favourable decision, they will just go ahead anyway in the “spirit of the Synod”.

    I don’t think the Church has ever had her moral teaching brought into question and her prelates split by the actions of a Pope. That makes Pope Francis unique in a “wouldn’t want to be in his shoes” kind of way.

    July 26, 2015 at 7:26 pm
    • editor


      Eileenanne is basing her very correctly Catholic attitude on the fact that, as you say, there cannot be any formal statement of change in the Church’s teaching. We all know that. It’s as elementary in Catholicism, as 2 + 2 = 4 in arithmetic. Even Cardinal Kasper & Co. have acknowledged that there can be no change to the Church’s teaching on marriage, although recently Cardinal Kasper did question whether Jesus actually said what He is quoted in Scripture as saying about the indissolubility of marriage. So, it’s a case of “watch this space” with him. The Devil’s not stupid however. He knows that there can be no such formal statement “conceding” that Our Lord got it wrong, the Church got it wrong, and so here’s a new teaching on marriage. No, that’s not going to happen.

      What WILL, undoubtedly happen, is that there will be talk of a “pastoral” solution to the situation of those in sinful unions (which won’t be called “sinful” of course…)

      On the Fatima website, I found a commentary from Father Gruner RIP on the subject. Here’s an extract:

      Here is a comparison of the original proposal and the adjusted proposal for the upcoming Synod agenda. The original proposal:

      – all divorced Catholics who have “re-married” in a civil or other non-Catholic ceremony without benefit of an annulment, be allowed to receive Holy Communion;

      The adjusted proposal:

      – divorced Catholics who have “re-married” without benefit of an annulment can request to receive Communion and the Church will review it on a case-by-case basis.

      Both are saying the same thing and involve an agenda pertaining to Catholic teaching that CANNOT BE CHANGED – NOT EVEN BY A POPE! That is, divorced Catholics who have not obtained an annulment (and the annulment has to be for the right reasons) and have “re-married,” ARE LIVING IN THE STATE OF MORTAL SIN, committing the sin of adultery. THEY CANNOT RECEIVE COMMUNION. If they do, they are committing a sacrilege.

      There are other points up for discussion at the Synod as well, supposedly having to do with the family, including homosexuality. The Synod last year and the one scheduled for this October is an attempt by enemies within the Church to move the Church toward the New World Order, One World Religion which is not of Christ . End of Extract – capitals in the original.

      Elsewhere today, I read that there is another proposal being suggested, that the couples in these unions be permitted to receive Holy Communion at Easter. That’s clever. That’s going to fool some people into thinking “well…. once a year… most important Feast of all….what’s the harm…” and before we know it, having conceded the principle, the machinations of the Cardinal Kasper camp have won the day. Slippery slopes galore.

      For, once we have the spectacle of people who are cohabiting, divorced and “remarried” and even homosexual couples lining up in the Communion queue, the battle is lost. We can shout from the rooftops that the Church’s teaching remains the same, marriage is indissoluble, but (to stick with Eileenanne’s example of contraception – find someone who can explain clearly that the Church’s teaching is that contraception is not permitted, is immoral, an intrinsic evil, and you will find yourself saying so against a chorus of “but most Catholics use it…” ) so, too, it will be impossible to keep a straight face when trying to uphold Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of marriage when your next door neighbour and his pal’s “former” wife are living together, going to their separate jobs during the week, but marching up to Communion together in the local parish church every Sunday

      As our American cousins say, go figure.

      July 26, 2015 at 7:50 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Question: what would be the situation where a woman cannot obtain an annulment because the civil court has instituted protections due to domestic abuse? What if the husband left and can’t be found? What if they are in the process of getting one and need a baptism? As it is right now, neither of these cases have canons for them. There are other ones but my canon law expert is busy so I’ll have to get back to you on it.

        Point is, there ARE real considerations to be made, just not Kasper’s. He’s insane and, say what you will about the Pope’s willingness to let the fringes talk, I think the Synod will where Kasper either submits to orthodoxy or becomes a heretic. Either way, the Church wins.

        July 31, 2015 at 9:05 pm
  • dominiemary

    I think a schism is a real possibility. Only divine intervention can save the day now.
    Watch bishop Schneider. He may be another Archbishop Lefebvre. Reading his excellent recent book, he is right on the ball. He says the pastoral cannot contradict the Truth. He isn’t having any of the Kasper nonsense.

    July 26, 2015 at 7:57 pm
    • editor

      Dominie Mary,

      Let’s hope both Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider manage to win through at the October Synod. They are certainly giving Cardinal Kasper a run for his money!

      July 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm
    • Nicky


      I agree that schism is a real possibility. To be honest, I think that is a good thing, as it will put an end to the crisis. As it is, we have clergy who don’t believe in dogma, preaching false teaching and causing confusion. A schism will separate the sheep from the goats. Bring it on, I say.

      July 27, 2015 at 11:50 am
      • Margaret Mary

        I agree that a schism now would be a good thing. This crisis is dragging on and on and only causes complete confusion. People don’t know what to believe, so as you say, “bring it on”.

        July 27, 2015 at 4:30 pm
    • Michaela


      But doesn’t Bishop Schneider go along with the new Mass and everything else? I am puzzled about why some bishops like him and Cardinal Burke, who have gone along with the Vatican II reforms, so called, are now up in arms about this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased they’re up in arms but will they really do anything if push comes to shove? I doubt it. They won’t want to cause a schism IMHO.

      July 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm
  • Christina

    I think it is already a done deal, because, as Athanasius’s reminds us, the ‘unofficial green light’ is all that is needed for the harm to be done. Once figures of authority in the Church have proposed having a discussion on immutable doctrine, then, literally, all hell breaks loose. The ‘discussion’ before and after ‘Humanae vitae’, and the subsequent very public dissent have resulted in Catholic couples departing from the infallible teaching of the Church, very often after having been told by a priest that they should ‘follow their consciences’. The same thing will happen here. Immutable doctrine having apparently been put up for discussion by no less a figure than the Pope, othodox priests and bishops will be able to do little to prevent public sinners, following a confessor’s advice to ‘follow your conscience’, from queuing up in parish churches worldwide to make sacrilegious Communions. I agree that there may be a general tendency for pockets of orthodoxy to spring up wherever faithful bishops and priests are to be found. What, I often wonder, are we to think of a Church whose first mark, we learned, was ‘She is one…’.

    July 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm
    • editor


      Superbly well said. Very clear. Concise, to the point. Excellent.

      I agree with every word. And before I forget to tell you – brilliant post. Well said… etc etc !

      July 26, 2015 at 10:27 pm
  • Edward.Fullerton

    No I don’t agree. I been divorced almost twenty-eight years. My wife is still alive. The church does not have the authority to change doctrine.

    July 27, 2015 at 9:33 am
    • editor


      We know that the Church does not have the authority to change doctrine. Didn’t stop Paul VI changing the Mass and appearing to wipe out key doctrines in the process.

      That’s the plan here. Make wonderful statements of fidelity to Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, while making another statement about the wonderful mercy of God and instruct bishops and priests to (perhaps on a “case by case” basis, or once a year – to begin with – at Easter) permit those in sinful unions to receive Holy Communion.

      That’s how the Devil works. He knows doctrine can’t change but the appearance of change can most certainly be achieved. And that is the Kasper “solution” to the problem of the indissolubility of marriage.

      July 27, 2015 at 11:02 am
      • mastersamwise

        The Mass isn’t doctrine…

        July 31, 2015 at 9:07 pm
  • Domchas

    Let us all wait to see what the Synod actually comes out with, perhaps instead of trying to foretell the future for something that has’nt happened yet our time would be more:usefully employed in praying for the Synod. Perhaps ct could start a Rosary campaign, or kiss the brown scapular daily so that the right decisions are made through the work of the Holy Spirit rather than the wishes of traditional thinkers. Revolutionary I know, but it might just work!!!!!

    Ed: I’m quite shocked that you are not already doing the things you suggest. We have been doing both – praying for the Synod, especially for the dissenters, as well as using our intelligence to think about what is being reported by credible sources, and preparing to help and advise others who have hitherto refused to believe that a pope could err. Prince of the False Dichotomy, you must learn not to think in terms of “either/or” – do both. That’s why God gave you a brain as well as a pair of rosary beads…

    PS – I’ve had so many idiots to deal with recently, put so many clowns into moderation, some to go straight to trash, that I can’t remember your status off hand. I’ve let this one through but if you start the repetition baloney, saying the same thing over and over and being nasty, you’ll be consigned to trash. I’m too busy to be bothered with people who are not really interested in the truth, just want to cause trouble. And in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a gal who says what she means and means what she says.

    July 27, 2015 at 10:06 am
  • Spero

    If the practice belies the doctrine and is given authenticity no matter how convoluted the justification, this practice will insinuate it’s betrayal of the truth into the lives of Catholics.

    Everywhere in parishes across the land, the practice of the ” merciful” reception for the various sinful relationships,will become completely accepted.

    In my experience, by sleight of word, the Pope has already effected a change of thinking in some, and given boldness back to those who had gone underground to some extent, under the previous papacy.

    Add to this ignorance of what the church actually teaches among Catholics, and it is a dire situation.

    The proposals from cardinal Kasper and others, I find more despicable because they are a denial of the Faith, while a pretence of protecting it, is put forward: they know that they are preparing the way for a complete makeover of the Catholic Church.

    July 27, 2015 at 10:30 am
    • Athanasius


      Perfectly stated! You hit the nail right on the head.

      July 27, 2015 at 10:58 am
  • Fidelis

    As most who write here left The Church years ago. Why would you worry. It has carried on doing the work of The Lord without you, and will continue to do so.

    The SSPX, for example, is not in Full Communion with Rome, and, as Bishop Fellay said recently, at least one major Vatican Department rightlly treats them according to their status.

    July 27, 2015 at 10:57 am
    • editor


      Firstly, we have another blogger called Fidelis (complete with avatar and a different email address, not to mention a different attitude to the Faith, so be aware of that in case she comes on to contradict her twin!)

      None of us have “left the Church years ago” – you cannot say something so ridiculous without providing any evidence – and you don’t.

      Your concluding paragraph seems to indicate that you are referring to those bloggers who attend SSPX Masses. Yet you make no mention of those who attend Jesuit Masses and given the blatant heresies promoted by many Jesuits today (there’s a top Jesuit in Rome who thinks God is “not a Catholic” and that atheists will get to heaven, without the Church) so I am not understanding your comment at all.

      There are plenty of statements from the Vatican about the fact that the SSPX priests and bishops are, indeed, Catholics, faithful to every dogma. If you can find even one to the contrary, let’s read it here. I, for one, am very interested indeed to learn of any such statement.

      July 27, 2015 at 11:08 am
      • Muffin Man Returns

        These people will never get it. They accuse us of ‘leaving the Church’ which is incredibly uncharitable and judgmental, which is precisely what they accuse us of being. I don’t think they can help it.

        August 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm
    • Nicky


      The Pope’s former archdiocese recognises the SSPX is Catholic

      July 27, 2015 at 11:48 am
      • Semper Fidelis

        Bishop Fella, on the record, on 28 June 2015, acknowledges that it was a civil/legal matter that The Diocese of Buenos Aires undertook.

        He said “First of all, it has a juridical and administrative effect with no implications as far as the Society’s general relations with—to put it simply—the official Church are concerned”.

        In writing, I was well aware of that fact. He also said The Congregation For Religious still regards them as schismatic.

        Therefore Bishop Fellay himself affirms what I said, and contradicts those who argue to the contrary.

        I am not a twin of Fidelis!

        July 27, 2015 at 7:02 pm
      • Fidelis

        You should be interested in this post on Fr Z’s blog – he is a modernist priest, not very sympathetic to the SSPX, but this is what he says about them being in schism:

        SSPX – Schism or not?

        Posted on 6 March 2015 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

        Recently there has been some slightly turbulent discussion in the blogosphere about the canonical status of the Society of St. Pius X, that is, whether or not the SSPX is in “schism”. Some people refer to them as “schismatic”.

        That isn’t quite accurate.

        First, remember that the the full name of the SSPX is “Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X… the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X”. So, the true membership of the SSPX are the bishops, priests and, I suppose in a tangential way, the seminarians and religious. Lay people who frequent their chapels aren’t really members.

        When I worked for the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” we avoided using the word “schism”. There hasn’t been any official determination that they are in schism.

        That said, it must be admitted that Pope John Paul II wrote of the 1988 illicit consecration of bishops as a “schismatic act”. The 1983 Code in can. 751 describes schism as “withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him”. And I think that the “duck argument” could apply, at least as a warning of what could come in the future.

        Moreover, in 2013 Card. Mueller of the CDF – also the President of the PCED – referred to them as being is schism. That said, there hasn’t ever been any official ruling and declaration that the SSPX is, formally, in schism.

        In any case, I think it is not helpful refer to the SSPX as being schismatic until such time as that Holy See comes down on that side openly. Surely is isn’t a good idea to come to digital blows about it.

        Folks… we have far bigger problems. We need to close ranks rather than bicker about this sort of thing.


        July 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm
      • Semper Fidelis

        Fr Z is a lone priest, with no authority whatsoever to speak on behalf of The Holy See. He is it seems a good personal fundraiser.

        July 27, 2015 at 9:48 pm
      • Athanasius

        Semper Fidelis

        You’re missing the point entirely. No matter what the Congregation of Religious thinks of the SSPX, it is clear that the Pope does not consider the SSPX to be a schismatic group. If it were otherwise then the Holy Father clearly could not have acted as he did.

        The question of fullness of communion is a different one altogether, not remotely viewed by the SSPX, the Pope or any other objective party as one of schism. In fact, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has stated in the past that the SSPX is not in schism, the communion issue being merely an internal matter for the Church.

        At any rate, assuming good will on your part, surely even you must acknowledge that these conflicting statements coming from different factions in Rome are symptomatic of a Church hierarchy in chaos. The Church’s authorities were always clear and unified in their teaching and declarations. Now they are ambiguous and divided with confusion reigning everywhere, as the Synod on the Family has amply demonstrated these past ten months.

        No serious scholar today could or would attempt to hold up a charge of schism against the SSPX. In my experience, and Bishop Fellay makes this point in the talk you referenced, those who accuse the SSPX of schism are usually completely ignorant of the facts or just plain vindictive.

        July 27, 2015 at 9:17 pm
      • mastersamwise

        “The priests and faithful are warned not to support the schism of Monsignor Lefebvre, otherwise they shall incur ipso facto the very grave penalty of excommunication.” From the letter of excommunication. So the Vatican, at the time, said that they had committed acts of schism.

        “Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law.” JPII’s Motu Proprio on the matter. So when it happened, they were technically in schism because a schismatic acts constitutes a schism.

        Benedict, however, put them in limbo when he lifted their excommunications by declaring they have no canonical status. So right now, they are….something? So it is possible to say they were in schism but aren’t now. Then again, it could be argued that they were never in schism but merely committed a schismatic act. It could go either way.

        July 31, 2015 at 9:24 pm
      • Michaela


        Here are some quotes to clarify the fact that the SSPX are not and never have been in schism. That Pope John Paul II falsely accused them of being so, doesn’t make it true: great saints (Athanasius for example) were also accused of being in schism, excommunicated, in his case, more than once.

        Various quotes about the SSPX’s canonical status

        The citations below from various ecclesiastical persons and various authorities demonstrate the following:

        1. The political nature of the persecution of the SSPX as seen by ambiguous and contradicting statements emitted from various churchmen; that is, some exonerate the SSPX (albeit often half-heartily), while others outright condemn it.
        2. Thereby the effectiveness of liberal-motivated propaganda ploy of ostracizing the SSPX through false accusations and decrees of “excommunication”, “schism”, etc.
        3. The SSPX has been correct when claiming (based upon the principles of Canon Law and Catholic teaching) that no canonical censures against the SSPX have ever existed.
        In addition to the following citations, we offer below some further reading recommendations available from Angelus Press or on website.

        Abbreviations used

        • J.C.D. = Doctorate of Canon Law
        • N.C. = New 1983 Code of Canon Law

        Attending Mass at a SSPX chapel

        Cardinal Silvio Oddi
        President for the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy
        March 17, 1984

        This reply was made to a inquiry made by a family about whether attending Mass at an SSPX chapel would serve to fulfilled their Sunday Obligation:

        According to the New Code of Canon Law, “The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a Catholic rite….” I hope that settles your doubts.”

        NB: Ironically, because of the ambiguous canon in the New Code regarding the fulfilment of one’s Sunday obligation (i.e., “wherever Mass is celebrated in a Catholic rite”) many liberally-minded bishops and priests will apply this in the “spirit of ecumenism” to the divine services offered by the schismatic and heretical Orthodox, but not to the Masses celebrated by priests of the SSPX!

        Msgr. Camille Perl
        Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
        In a May 28, 1996 letter and repeated in Protocol No. 236/98 of March 6, 1998:

        In the strict sense you may fulfil your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X. …If your intention is simply to participate in Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin. It would seem that a modest contribution to the collection at Mass could be justified.

        And in a letter of September 27, 2002:

        It is true that participation in the Mass and sacraments at the chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute “formal adherence to the schism”.

        Is the SSPX in schism, excommunicated?

        The Episcopal Consecrations (aka, “Operation Survival”) were performed by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer (of Campos, Brazil) on June 29, 1988.

        Fr. Yves Congar
        In the Dictionnaire de Theologia Catholique:

        Schism involves a refusal to accept the existence of legitimate authority in the Church.

        Professor Geringer, J.C.D.
        Canon lawyer at the University of Munich
        During a radio interview on June 30, 1988:

        With the episcopal consecrations, Archbishop Lefebvre was by no means creating a schism.

        Cardinal Castillo Lara, J.C.D.
        President of the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of Canon Law President of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia in the Italian newspaper La Republica on July 8, 1988:

        The act of consecrating a bishop [without a papal mandate] is not in itself a schismatic act.

        Count Neri Capponi, D.Cn.L., Ll.D
        D.CN.L.—Lateran (doctor of canon law)
        LL.D.—Florence (doctor of laws)
        Professor Emeritus of Canon Law at the University of Florence
        Accredited Advocate of the Apostolic Signatura (the highest ecclesiastical appeals tribunal)
        Accredited Advocate of the Holy Roman Rota (the highest ecclesiastical marriage tribunal):

        The fact is that Archbishop Lefebvre simply said: ‘I am creating bishops in order that my priestly order can continue. They do not take the place of other bishops. I am not creating a parallel church.’ Therefore, this act was not, per se, schismatic.

        Canon Thomas C. G. Glover, J.C.D.
        Cf. his 1993 article in Is Tradition Excommunicated?.

        Dr. Rudolf Kaschewsky
        Professor and lawyer of canon law, and Vice President of Una Voce Deutschland
        Cf. his March-April 1988 article in Is Tradition Excommunicated?

        Dr. Georg May
        President of the Seminary of Canon Law at the University of Mainz
        Excerpted from his work, Notwehr, Widerstand, Notsand (Legitimate Defense, Resistance, Necessity) printed in 1984 (and republished in Is Tradition Excommunicated?):

        Law of Necessity

        The Code recognizes necessity as a circumstance which exempts from all penalties in case of violation of the law (N.C. 1324, §4), provided that the action is not intrinsically bad or harmful to souls; in this latter case necessity would only mitigate the penalty. But no latae sententiae penalty can be incurred by anyone who has acted in this circumstance (N.C. 1324, §3).

        State of Necessity in the Church

        In the Church, as in civil society, it is conceivable that there arrive a state of necessity or urgency which cannot be surmounted by the observance of positive law. Such a situation exists in the Church when the endurance, order or activity of the Church are threatened or harmed in a considerable manner. This threat can bear principally on ecclesiastical teaching, the liturgy and discipline.

        Fr. Patrick Valdrini, J.C.D.
        Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Catholic Institute of Paris
        During an interview with Valeurs Actuelles in Paris on July 4, 1988, and again in L’Homme Nouveau, also in Paris on July 17, 1988:

        It is not the consecration of a bishop that creates the schism. What makes the schism is to give the bishop an apostolic mission [i.e., jurisdiction].

        Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
        Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
        Hawaii Six Case; Protocol No. 14428; June 4, 1993…

        On May 1, 1991, Bishop Joseph Ferrario of Honolulu, Hawaii formally declared six laymen to be excommunicated, mainly for this reason contained in his January 18, 1991 canonical warning:
        Whereas, on May 1987 you performed a schismatic act, not only by procuring the services of an excommunicated Lefebvre bishop, Richard Williamson, who performed contra jure illicit confirmation in your chapel, but also by that very association with the aforementioned bishop incurred ipso facto the grave censure of excommunication as forewarned by the Office of the Congregation of Bishops at the Vatican to all the faithful (July 1, 1988).
        The “Hawaii Six” appealed Bishop Ferrario’s decree of “excommunication” Rome and in response the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded:

        This Congregation has examined carefully all the available documentation and has ascertained that the activities engaged in by the Petitioner …are not sufficient to constitute the crime of schism. Since [the Petitioner] did not, in fact, commit the crime of schism and thus did not incur the latae sententiae penalty, it is clear that the Decree of the Bishop lacks the precondition on which it is founded. This Congregation, noting all of the above, is obliged to declare null and void the aforesaid Decree of the Ordinary of Honolulu.

        Cardinal Edward Cassidy
        President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity
        Protocol number 2336/94; May 3, 1994

        …Regarding your inquiry, I would point out at once that the Directory on Ecumenism is not concerned with the Society of St. Pius X. The situation of the members of this Society is an internal matter of the Catholic Church. The Society is not another Church or Ecclesial Community in the meaning used in the Directory.

        Of course the Mass and Sacraments administered by priests of the Society are valid. The Bishops are validly—but not lawfully—ordained. What is required is reconciliation with the Catholic Church, and this is something greatly desired by the Bishop of Rome. Unfortunately, there does not seem at this time any sign that this may happen at an early date…

        Fr. Gerald E. Murray, J.C.D.
        Doctoral thesis

        An excerpt from the doctoral thesis (Fr. Murray had his licentiate in Canon Law at this time) that was accepted and approved by the Pontifical Gregorian University, titled, “The Canonical Status of the Lay Faithful Associated with the Late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the Society of Saint Pius X: Are they Excommunicated as Schismatics?” which was subsequently printed in the Fall 1995 issue of The Latin Mass magazine:
        They’re not excommunicated as schismatics, because the Vatican has never said they are…. You can … show that Lefebvre himself was not excommunicated and therefore no one else was…. I come to the conclusion that, canonically speaking, he’s not guilty of a schismatic act punishable by canon law. In the case of the Society of Saint Pius X, the Vatican never declared any priest or lay person to have become a schismatic.
        NB: In the summer 1996 issue of the aforementioned magazine, after receiving considerable pressure from his superiors, Fr. Murray stated his changed position to the politically-correct one; i.e., the SSPX is schismatic.

        Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos
        President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
        Public interviews…

        30 Giorni [30 Days] with Gianni Cardinale in September 2005:

        Unfortunately Archbishop Lefebvre went ahead with the consecration and hence the situation of separation came about, even if it was not a formal schism.

        Italian TV Canal 5 on November 13, 2005:

        We are not dealing with a case of heresy. One cannot say in correct and exact terms that there is a schism. There is, in the act of ordaining bishops with out papal approval, a schismatic attitude. They are within the confines of the Church. The problem is just that there is a lack of a full, a more perfect—and as it was said during the meeting with Bishop Fellay—a more full communion, because communion exists.

        Fr. Daniel Couture (SSPX)
        Editorial from the December 2005 District of Asia’s Letter to Friends and Benefactors:

        Another interesting point made to the Cardinal [Hoyos] by Bishop Fellay is that the excommunication incurred by a bishop who consecrates another bishop without papal mandate (CIC 1983, c. 1382), is not listed among the delicts of Title I: Delicts against Religion and the Unity of the Church, canons 1364-1369 (which is what the document Ecclesia Dei adflicta implies when it says that:
        “3. In itself this act was one of disobedience to the Roman pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the Church,… The root of this schismatic act…”), but rather it is listed among those of Title III: Usurpation of Ecclesiastical Functions and Delicts in Their Exercise, canons 1378-1389.

        Therefore the whole argument of “excommunication because it was a schismatic act” fails, since in these grave penal matters, one must be extremely precise and strict, according to the axiom, odiosa sunt restringenda.

        Reading recommendations

        • Is Tradition Excommunicated?
        • Legal existence of SSPX
        • Schism or Not?
        • Isn’t the SSPX schismatic?
        • Trial by Canon Law: the Case of Archbishop Lefebvre
        • A theological and canonical study of the 1988 consecrations
        • Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican
        • Wasn’t Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated?
        • St. Athanasius: Defender of the Faith

        August 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm
      • mastersamwise

        But what did the Pope say?

        August 2, 2015 at 10:29 pm
      • Michaela

        Pope Francis said “I’m very glad to meet you” when he met Bishop Fellay in Rome, but has never said the SSPX is in schism. In fact, as Athanasius pointed out below, Pope Francis recently instructed the Archbishop of Buenos Aires to write to the Argentinian government confirming that the SSPX is a “Catholic Institution”. This was necessary for the SSPX in Argentine to receive tax relief and enjoy full charity status.

        Previously, Pope Benedict, through his representative (Cardinal Hoyos) said “those who think that the SSPX is in schism, do not understand the situation.”

        August 2, 2015 at 10:47 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I meant JP2 when the whole thing actually happened. I concur with Benedict. They aren’t in schism. They have no canonical status. The closest I have gotten to an analogous explanation is that they are simply not in communion.

        August 3, 2015 at 3:31 am
      • editor


        What John Paul II said about the SSPX is irrelevant since his illicit excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI.

        Nobody in their right mind demands to know (or cares) what the original trial judge said of a man whose conviction is overturned by the Court of Appeal, as if the original judge (now proven to be wrong, for whatever reason) were the authoritative means of determining the man’s status. Conviction overturned, original verdict annulled. Now don’t go playing with words and trying to discredit my point by arguing that “annulled” isn’t the correct word. Anyone of average intelligence knows that I mean, so don’t start playing word games. As a paralegal, I’m sure you have better things to do with your training.

        PS the SSPX IS in communion with the entirety of Catholic Tradition. The Church is in crisis right now because there has been a break with Catholic Tradition, which will be rectified (Our Lady of Fatima has both foretold the crisis and provided the answer) and because of the Society bishops’ refusal to accept the errors currently being promoted even by senior hierarchy, they are regarded as being in an “irregular situation”. They are not, therefore, “in full communion” because to be in full communion right now, we have to accept heresies such as ecumenism and religious liberty. Therefore, it is inaccurate, to say the least, to argue that the SSPX is not “in communion” with Rome. As a paralegal, so keen on accuracy in language, I’m surprised that you do not appear to be aware of this, at least in this case.

        August 3, 2015 at 9:50 am
      • mastersamwise

        According to the old Latin canons, that is the pre-Vatican II canons, consecrating a bishop without the approval constitutes automatic excommunication. So he didn’t excommunicate them. He stated that they had been excommunicated. Benedict lifted them; that is true. I wasn’t saying they were excommunicated, or even that they were schismatic. I was stating what Benedict did: they have no canonical status. I merely provided the information that would lead the person who began this entire discussion to think that they were schismatic.

        I am aware of the case and, coming from a church that was formerly not in communion with Rome, I have little sympathy. We disagree with Latin theologians about the exact nature of the Marian privilege but we don’t let that stop our union. I will admit that the Roman church is perhaps in a crisis; we are too. The difference is that our bishops, priests, monks, nuns, and laity are being captured or killed so that our Patriarch cannot even sit in his own church. The particular churches have their worries, that is true. But the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church encompasses more than just us mucking about below.

        As for saying the SSPX is in full communion with the entirety of Catholic Tradition, I don’t know if that is true. They aren’t in communion with any of the Eastern churches as far as I know and since we are part of the whole, you statement must have another meaning? Perhaps you mean Sacred Tradition. But Sacred Tradition from Vatican I–the first council we attended by the way–affirmed that submission to the Roman Pontiff is necessary for Catholic faith and salvation. So apart from Rome, the Council Fathers say, there can be no salvation.

        I understand you have qualms about Vatican II. Can you see from my perspective though that, through the efforts of Patriarch Maximos, we were able to return to our original liturgical traditions? So I have sympathy for your desire to return to older liturgical traditions; I really do because we in the East suffered through it already. But despite the Latinization, we remained with Rome. Yes, some broke off and joined the Orthodox, but our Patriarch and our church remained with Rome. Through patient work and Vatican II, we were finally vindicated. I like this Pope for a number of reasons. One of them is that he let us follow our traditions on priestly celibacy in the diaspora.

        I am very keen on accurate language which is why I can know with Divine certainty that Vatican II didn’t teach heresy.

        August 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Here is a very interesting talk about Vatican II

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyeiWiuo5kU&w=560&h=315%5D

        I also remember that Pope Benedict himself admitted that there are parts of Vatican II that are up for debate, so that is no barrier to the SSPX / Vatican talks.

        August 4, 2015 at 9:54 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Talks, yes. Always talks. Outright rejection of an Ecumenical Council? No, never that. That is why the Nestorians are still around.

        August 4, 2015 at 9:56 pm
      • Petrus

        Bishop Fellay has never rejected the Council. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone reject the Council.  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 10:07 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Really? ” Following Archbishop Lefebvre, we affirm that the cause of the grave errors which are in the process of demolishing the Church does not reside in a bad interpretation of the conciliar texts – a “hermeneutic of rupture” which would be opposed to a “hermeneutic of reform in continuity” – but truly in the texts themselves, by virtue of the unheard of choice made by Vatican II.” How can an Ecumenical Council be wrong? I can admit that it can produce doctrine not fully formed like Niecea, but how can it produce errors? Wouldn’t that undermine the whole notion of Ecumenical infallibility?

        August 5, 2015 at 12:35 am
      • Petrus

        It would undermine that notion in a doctrinal Council, which Vatican II has NOT!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 12:38 am
      • mastersamwise

        Doctrinal, pastoral, juridical. Those things are not what give a council infallibility. It is the Ecumenical nature of a council that does.

        August 5, 2015 at 1:03 am
      • Petrus

        Pastoral directives can be changed.  They don’t, in essence, touch on the Doctrine of the Faith. Infallibly relates only to Faith and Morals, so a Pastoral Council cannot be infallible as a whole. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 1:15 am
      • Margaret Mary

        Father Gregory Hesse S.T.D., J.C.D. was ordained in 1981 in St. Peter’s Basilica. He held doctorates in both Thomistic theology and Canon Law. From 1986-88 he served as Secretary to Cardinal Stickler at the Vatican. Since 1991, he worked in Austria, Germany and the United States giving lectures and producing theological articles that appeared in various Catholic publications.

        I don’t think you should dismiss what he says, only two minutes after I posted the video. You have obviously not listened to the talk – that’s not a very intelligent approach, IMHO.

        August 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm
      • Petrus

        Well said, MM.  I notice from the quote above that previously mastersamwise stated that the SSPX weren’t in schism!  Now they are!  Me thinks his head has been turned by his liberal, Latin priest friends! 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 10:09 pm
      • Petrus

        If they aren’t in Communion then doesn’t that make them schismatic?  Having no canonical statement isn’t the same as not being in Communion ! 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 10:10 pm
      • Athanasius


        I suggest you first study the origin and proper meaning of the word “Ecumenical” before declaring as you do re Vatican II. For the liberals who took control of that Council, the word “Ecumenical” took on a completely different meaning from the application used in past Councils. Hence the active presence of non-Catholics in the textual formulation of documents, not to mention the liturgical reform.

        August 5, 2015 at 12:50 am
      • Petrus

        Doesn’t Ecumenical simply mean that all the Catholic Bishops of the world have been invited?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 12:53 am
      • Muffin Man Returns

        I actually disagree with most of the ‘Catholics’ here. Obeying an ecumenical council is absolutely necessary. Therefore we must obey Vatican II and willingly submit to Dignitatis humanae in its entirety, otherwise we become schismatics. The good Anglican Ordinariate priest Fr Hunwicke has much to say about this in the following article, and he also has much criticism of the SSPX and their stubborn unwillingness to accept the council:


        August 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm
      • Petrus

        Muffin Man,

        I love it!

        What I find amusing is that not even the Modernist defenders of the Council accept every single part of every single document.

        For example, Sacrasanctam Concilium states:

        “Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.”

        “Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.”

        “The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care. Choirs must be diligently promoted, especially in cathedral churches; but bishops and other pastors of souls must be at pains to ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightly theirs, as laid down in Art. 28 and 30.”

        “The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.”

        “In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things. ”

        “Let bishops carefully remove from the house of God and from other sacred places those works of artists which are repugnant to faith, morals, and Christian piety, and which offend true religious sense either by depraved forms or by lack of artistic worth, mediocrity and pretense.” (Remember the “cruciform” in Scotus College?)

        I wonder if Mgr Basil Loftus et al would be so quick to pledge allegiance to these parts? Or would they prefer to pick and choose?

        August 4, 2015 at 11:23 pm
      • Athanasius

        Muffin Man

        Vatican II was a pastoral council, not a doctrinal one like its predecessors. On examination of its documents there is an absence of binding authority declaring anathema on anyone who rejects any part of its formulations. This again is unusual, not consistent with previous Councils of the Church. Given the declaration of Pope John XXIII that Vatican II would not touch on doctrine but would remain solely at the pastoral level, I don’t see how anyone can declare schism against those who take issue with some of its more controversial documents.

        While it is true that we must obey all things from Vatican II that are consistent with the magisterial teaching of the Church of 2000 years, we are not obliged to accept novel ideas cloaked in ambiguous language which either contradict or undermine the teaching of the more official dogmatic councils.

        Therefore, you and Fr. Hunwicke are gravely mistaken if you think this Pastoral Council of the Church carries the same weight as the dogmatic ones that preceded it. It does not!

        In fact, not so long ago Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a Bishop in very good standing in Rome, was calling for a new Index to deal with errors that have arisen from the documents of Vatican II.

        No theologian worthy of the name would argue that Vatican II is equal either in clarity or in intended teaching authority to the doctrinal councils of the past.

        August 5, 2015 at 12:22 am
      • Petrus

        Athanasius I think you have grasped the wrong end of the stick. My take on Muffin Man’s post was that it was written tongue in cheek with a dose of sarcasm.  I could be wrong. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 12:27 am
      • Muffin Man Returns

        No no Athanasius, I was being ironic. Read the link again.

        August 5, 2015 at 1:52 am
      • Petrus

        I think the priest in the link was doing likewise ! 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 1:54 am
      • editor

        Athanasius has made the mistake I made some years ago when I rushed to post a shocking article from what I later discovered to be a well known satirical website. I posted the new thread and within seconds had an email from a blogger, no longer with us, defected not deceased I hasten to add (!) who alerted me to the satirical nature of the supposed report (which was ridiculous in the extreme. I should have realised it was not serious but serves to demonstrate how bad things are when I believed something so far-fetched). Anyway, thanks to that blogger alert, I was able to delete the post right away and since it was on our old website, where the +follow facility was not available, nobody was any the wiser. I’d say “somebody should ban satire” but then Catholic Truth would go out of business.

        Anyway, here’s an article on Vatican II and it’s lack of infallibility, which is certainly not funny; it’s deadly serious. And although it’s on the SSPX website, it’s not written by an SSPX priest but by a Dominican. Here’s the conclusion plus link so bloggers can read the entire piece… well worth doing so:


        We have examined the various opinions on the authority of the Council. The first two we reject as non probable, the third may have a certain likelihood but we prefer the fourth which sees in the Council the first act of the ‘Conciliar Church’. This ‘Conciliar Magisterium’ is not protected by Divine authority (not falling under any category of the infallible Magisterium), nor has it any human authority (by virtue of the errors which have been introduced in it subversively). Consequently, far from having any authority, it deserves the distrust of good Catholics. Read entire article here

        Thereafter follows a quote from Archbishop Lefebvre! So, if anyone doesn’t like the article’s findings and conclusion, go after the Dominican, not the SSPX !

        August 5, 2015 at 11:37 am
      • Athanasius

        Muffin Man

        “No no Athanasius, I was being ironic. Read the link again.”

        And I was being idiotic! Should have read more before posting. Should’ve gone to Specsavers!

        Apologies one and all.

        August 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Just because it didn’t touch on doctrine, does mean it wasn’t ecumenical. Are the canons that established Constantinople and Jerusalem as Patriarchates not ecumenical because they were not doctrinal decisions? “Ecumenical” is a character of infallibility over the whole council. It doesn’t matter what kind of issues it discussed. Repudiating Vatican II or aspects of it as not having the character of infallibility would call into question not the subject matter, but the validity of the opening of the Council itself. If you accept, as you must because it is plainly written down, that Pope John XXIII opened the Council as an Ecumenical Council and that he, as the validly reigning Pontiff, had the authority to do so, then the decisions reached by the Council have binding authority that require the full assent of Faith. You may not understand it and it may not be fully formed; it took TWO ecumenical councils to create the Creed we say today and full repudiate the errors of Arius. It took Lateran IV AND Vatican I to set down the dogma of Papal Supremacy but still require the pastoral definitions of Vatican II so that the Pope was not seen as an autocrat.

        I agree, and so did the fathers of Vatican II, that novel ideas that conflict with doctrine are not the aim. The aim was to present what was already true in less polemic language. To be honest, I don’t see how documents like Sacrosanctum Concillium could affect the changes that I have heard have been made on the Roman side of the Church unless the people reading them really didn’t care what the Council said to begin with.

        August 5, 2015 at 7:53 pm
      • Petrus

        Pope Paul VI said it wasn’t infallible Le but you know better, haha! I guess you can add him to your list of Popes who didn’t quite get it right!  You admitted that you have problems with Vatican I.  Vatican I needed to be clarified! But you challenge us for questioning Vatican II? We must accept it unquestioningly but that doesn’t apply to Easties?  Dear oh dear!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 8:21 pm
      • mastersamwise

        He said it didn’t exercise extraordinary magisterium. He didn’t say it wasn’t infallible. There is, in fact, a huge difference.

        I don’t challenge you for questioning it. I challenge you on declaring that it taught errors. “…Ecumenism is a heresy.” “Vatican II introduced novelties which contradict previous Councils/Pope’s and therefore cannot be of the Faith.” The difference between the Melkite response to Vatican I and your “questioning” of Vatican II is that we never said Vatican I taught error. We said things needed clarification just as doctrine at Nicea I was clarified at Constantinople I.

        August 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm
      • Petrus

        Well, this is what John XXIII said at the opening:

        “The salient point of this council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. For this a council was not necessary. […] The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.” (Opening Address, October 11, 1962; Walter M. Abbott, SJ, The Documents of Vatican II, p. 715) I present to you, once again, the testimony of Pope Paul VI: “There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” (General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L’Osservatore Romano 1/21/1966) Paul VI confirmed again in 1975 that Vatican II was pastoral and not an infallible dogmatic council. “Differing from other Councils, this one was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral.” (General Audience, August 6, 1975) Other Council participants also witnessed to the non-infallible character of Vatican II. John Cardinal Heenan of England stated as follows. “It deliberately limited its own objectives. There were to be no specific definitions. Its purpose from the first was pastoral renewal within the Church and a fresh approach to the outside.” (Council and Clergy, 1966) Bishop Butler of England publicly spoke to the matter twice. “Not all teachings emanating from a pope or Ecumenical Council are infallible. There is no single proposition of Vatican II – except where it is citing previous infallible definitions – which is in itself infallible.” (The Tablet 26,11,1967) “Vatican II gave us no new dogmatic definitions.” (The Tablet 2,3,1968) Bishop Rudolf Graber wrote as follows. “Since the Council was aiming primarily at apastoral orientation and hence refrained from making dogmatically binding statements or disassociating itself, as previous Church assemblies have done, from errors and false doctrines by means of clear anathemas, many questions took on an opalescent ambivalence which provided a certain amount of justification for those who speak of the spirit of the Council.” (Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, 1974) Bishop Thomas Morris expressed his relief on the matter. “I was relieved when we were told that this Council was not aiming at defining or giving final statements on doctrine, because a statement of doctrine has to be very carefully formulated and I would have regarded the Council documents as tentative and likely to be reformed.” (Catholic World News 1,22,1997) Hence, the participants of Vatican II were given to understand that it was not an infallible council. The Testimony of John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger The day after Pope John Paul II excommunicated Archbishop Lefebvre, he tried to justify himself. “Indeed, the extent and depth of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council call for a renewed commitment to deeper study in order to reveal clearly the Council’s continuity with Tradition, especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new, have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church.” (Ecclesia Dei, 1988) John Paul II admitted the novelties of Vatican II and claims that they are “new points of doctrine.” But Pope Pius IX defined ex cathedra at the First Vatican Council as follows. “For the Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.” (Pastor Aeternus, chapter 4) Pius IX defined that a Pope cannot make known new doctrine but John Paul II claimed that the Popes of Vatican II did just that. So it would appear that Vatican II, John Paul II et al. were heretical. John Paul II admitted that Vatican II was pastoral, not doctrinal. “Pope John conceived the Council as an eminently pastoral event.” (Angelus, October 27, 1985) Cardinal Ratzinger also stated that Vatican II was not infallible. “Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolates Vatican II and which provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it, which give the impression that from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II. […] The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council.” (Address to the Chilean Episcopal Conference, Il Sabato 1988)  Sent from my Samsung device

        August 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Ok, we need to solidify an understanding of terms here, namely ecumenical, dogma, and pastoral. The title Ecumenical is given to a Council convoked specifically with that character. When Pope John XXIII said ” hic ad Beati Petri sepulcrum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum sollemniter initium capit” the 21st Ecumenical Council of the Universal Church had been opened.

        Now, the decisions of an Ecumenical Council do not need to be doctrinal. They do not, as Pope Paul IV said, “it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” When an Ecumenical Council raised Constantinople and Jerusalem to Patriarchal sees, was the declaration infallible? Why?

        When the Church exercises extraordinary magisterium, it is defining dogma. An Ecumenical Council doesn’t need to define new dogma every time. Yet the character of infallibility remains on an Ecumenical Council whether it defines a dogma or not. Papal primacy was first defined at Lateran IV in canon 5. Lateran III wasn’t infallible because no dogma was defined? What about Vienne I?

        August 5, 2015 at 10:07 pm
    • Athanasius


      For your education, Pope Francis recently instructed the Archbishop of Buenos Aires to write to the Argentinian government (still Catholic in name) confirming that the SSPX is a “Catholic Institution”. This was necessary for the SSPX in Argentine to receive tax relief and enjoy full charity status.

      Where does that leave your very ill-founded, and may I say, totally uncharitable statement of calumny?

      July 27, 2015 at 11:57 am
      • mastersamwise

        While Cardinal Muller of the CDF says they are not in communion.


        So offering civil protections to the group while the group is still considered by the CDF to be in schism shows that the Vatican is gracious enough to let them be associated with the Catholic Church for tax purposes, even if they rebuff Rome’s proposals for reconciliations.

        August 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm
      • Petrus

        So Cardinal Muller has greater authority than the pope? 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 9:30 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Seeing as the Pope hasn’t said anything about their canonical status and Muller is the Cardinal appointed by the Pope–much like a Papal legate of ages passed–to make sure the doctrines of the Faith are followed, Muller’s recent statements are how those in union with the Holy See are to view the doctrinal and canonical status of the SSPX.

        August 4, 2015 at 9:35 pm
      • Petrus

        But hold on, Pope Francis said they are Catholic! The Vatican has assured the lay faithful that they incur no penalty for attending SSPX Masses.  But Cardinal Muller says they are in schism? What does one do?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 9:39 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Yes, for administrative purposes in Argentina. The Pope has directed the CDF to redouble efforts to bring them back. The lay faithful, in a desire for traditional liturgy and not for disobeying the decisions of an Ecumenical Council, may attend their services without penalty. To be perfectly honest, the Vatican, from my perspective just coming into all this knowledge, has been REALLY nice to them. I don’t dare to think what Pius IX would have said if someone tried consecrating bishops without his permission.

        August 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm
      • Petrus

        I don’t dare to think what Pius IX would have said about the Second Vatican Council and the destruction of the liturgy!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm
      • Athanasius


        “We disagree with Latin theologians about the exact nature of the Marian privilege”

        Does that mean you have problems with the four Marian dogmas, not to mention the, as yet undeclared, fifth Marian dogma, viz., Mediatrix of all graces, Coredemptrix and Advocate?

        August 4, 2015 at 11:02 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Problem? Not really. We fast before the feast of the Dormition, not Assumption. We accept that the Marian privilege exists but we express it in ways that Romans might find weird or, as some non-authoritative comboxers have said, heretical. Basically, it is all a matter of terminology. Our terminology isn’t as influenced by thinkers like Aquinas for example so our definitions naturally seem very different. Our beliefs, however, are the same when it comes to the four Marian dogmas.

        As for proposed dogmas, I leave that to the wisdom of bishops and the Pope to discuss. It is not my place to offer definitive teaching or opinions on things. I only go by what the valid, ecclesiastic authorities teach.

        August 5, 2015 at 8:38 pm
      • Athanasius


        Please be more specific. What exactly do you Easterns hold regarding the four Marian dogmas?

        The Dormition you refer to relates, I believe, only to Our Lady’s death, or falling asleep. As far as I’m aware it does not treat of her Assumption into heaven. So, do you believe that Our Lady was Assumed into heaven body and soul?

        That should be a definite yes since you say you accept the four Marian dogmas.

        But what about the Immaculate Conception, Divine Motherhood and Perpetual Virginity. What exactly do you Easterns hold in regard to these?

        August 5, 2015 at 10:21 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Well, yeah, she was assumed. Again, it is more an issue of language or emphasis. We say dormition, you say assumption but we both agree that both happened.

        As for the Immaculate Conception, it may profit you if I say more than “essentially yes.” Consider the Pope’s exact wording on the subject. “We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the MERITS of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, was preserved free from every STAIN of original sin is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this reason, must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful.” To Eastern theology, which has kept mostly to the Church Fathers and theologians of Eastern origin rather than Western for various reasons, the two terms merits and stain are, to use a phrase, not in our vocabulary. In the East, we talk of Mary being most pure, all-holy, most perfect instead of merely being absent of something. Instead, we talk of her being of full of something. You will likely cry semantics and I will agree; it is, but you must admit that, the expressions the Pope used were very Western in their language and so we in the East needed to merely translate them into words our theological traditions could accept. We didn’t have Aquinas or Trent to give us that language. So, the answer is, yes, we accept it but we speak in different language and then only in theological terms.

        In answer to all, perhaps this can express it better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_6e9T1FpG8&index=5&list=WL

        August 6, 2015 at 12:37 am
      • editor


        “In the East, we talk of Mary being most pure, all-holy, most perfect instead of merely being absent of something. Instead, we talk of her being of full of something.”

        As in “Hail Mary, full of grace…. ? Not to mention all the beautiful titles of Our Lady in her various litanies? “Mother Most Pure” etc ?

        August 6, 2015 at 12:49 am
      • mastersamwise

        Well when we talk about the Marian Privilege or the Immaculate Conception, we tend to go the “she was given the Holy Spirit” rather than “she was free from the stain of sin” on the basis that the sacrifice of Christ was applied to her before it happened. Do you see how the specific formula of the Pope’s declaration wouldn’t make sense to us without a translation? Perhaps I am not expressing that clearly.

        August 6, 2015 at 1:20 pm
      • editor


        It’s not sufficiently detailed to merely speak of Our Lady being given the Holy Spirit or similar. The Church has made clear that, due to the special redemptive privilege which you mention, she was, thus, free from all stain of Original Sin. There’s nothing “negative” about that.

        This contemporary fashion of wanting to be “positive” about everything, and seeing “negativity” in anything that does not appear at first glance to be “positive” makes no sense.

        I remember once being accused of being “negative” (happened more than once but I recount this occasion for the obvious reason that it involves a bishop) at an in-service day for school chaplains. Since we didn’t have one at the time, I was despatched as Head of the Religious Education Department.

        I sat through a string of statements and plans from the various chaplains, with the bishop nodding approvingly. In due course, I pointed out that these optimistic statements and plans, were predicated on the belief that the students were at least remotely interested in the Faith not to say practising Catholics, whereas the reality is quite different. Grin left the episcopal face. Frown replaced it. “Let’s not be negative” breezed the Bishop – er, about a year or two, I think I’m right in saying, before he decided to give up his office and disappear.

        No, as I pointed out to that Bishop, it’s never negative to highlight a problem or issue, in order to address it. How often do we hear it said that alcoholics, for example, must firstly admit that they have a problem before there’s any point in joining the AA ?

        So, it’s not being “negative” to say that Our beautiful Lady was specially privileged by God, and free from the stain of Original Sin – that’s a very positive statement indeed. They don’t COME more “positive”.

        August 6, 2015 at 4:26 pm
      • mastersamwise

        It isn’t something contemporary; in fact, it’s the opposite. In the East, our theology hasn’t extended farther than the Church Fathers. So when we talk about the Marian Privilege, it is the language of Cyril and Basil rather than Aquinas and Bonaventure.

        Negative here is to mean that Mary lacked something or something that was proper for a man to have. When people talk about negative definitions in theology, it usually means that you are defining something based on a lack or an absence of something.

        So it is mainly due to semantics and different theological traditions. Where the West is mainly scholastic, we are patristic. What is great is that, despite these differing theological expressions, we believe and agree on the same doctrine showing that true unity, true Catholicity is in doctrine and not theological school.

        August 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm
      • Petrus

        Mastersamwise  I don’t think you are typical of an Eastern Catholic.  I have a friend who is in an Orthodox Monastery and we regularly discuss these matters.  He never has an issue with “language”.  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 6, 2015 at 5:36 pm
      • mastersamwise

        He probably has a better grasp of Latin theology. I don’t pretend to be an expert in Aquinas or understand his terms better than anyone else. I have studied him and other theologians in the theological patrimony of my own church and the language is different. It isn’t hard to translate, but on the face they are not the same.

        August 6, 2015 at 5:39 pm
    • Fidelis

      I’m the “twin” editor refers to LOL!

      If you study a bit of Church history, you will discover that there have been other people “not in full Communion” with Rome, such as St Athanasius who was excommunicated for disagreeing with the authorities but who is now classed as a Doctor of the Church. He once said “they have the buildings, we have the faith” which is the exact mirror image of the SSPX today. Even those of us who cannot attend their Masses for whatever reason (usually distance) know that they are more Catholic than some prelates in the Vatican.

      July 27, 2015 at 2:41 pm
      • mastersamwise

        It is hardly an “exact” mirror image. It always astounded me how you Latins tie so much orthodoxy things like what language the liturgy is in.

        July 31, 2015 at 9:26 pm
      • Athanasius

        Pope John XXIII “The Pope of the Council” insisted that Latin remain the language of the liturgy. Why do you think he did that?

        Could it be something to do with the admonition of Trent and St. Pius V’s Bull Quo Primum which stated that the Latin language erects a barrier to any heresies that may attack the integrity of the Sacred Mystery of the Mass?

        Strange that the only people to change the Mass from Latin to the vernacular in the history of the Church were the Protestant Reformers, because, as Martin Luther correctly stated “destroy the Mass and you will destroy the Church. Well, the first step to destroying the Mass is to change the ancient language into one that offers all manner of interpretive possibilities.

        Also, why do you think Pius XII stated that it would be a great error to attempt to return to the table form of the Mass of the early Christians? And why did he lament that there were innovators all around him who wanted to destroy the liturgy and the universal flame of the Church.

        Open your eyes, silly man!

        July 31, 2015 at 10:39 pm
      • mastersamwise

        You really can’t get much sympathy. In my church, we have been using one to three languages depending on the region in the liturgy for years. You Latins kept speaking Latin. The rest of us just spoke whatever we spoke. I’ve been to one of your old Masses. No one hardly says a word, or sings, or really pays attention. I saw a lady who did not once look up from her beads the entire liturgy, even when she received communion.

        No I don’t see much correlation between reverence and language. People are just as likely to be inattentive or disrespectful in Arabic or Greek. Perhaps, and I may just be spit-balling here, language means nothing if you don’t believe in what it is trying to express. I don’t believe there was this great piety prior to the reforms. I’ve met people from that time; they were just as coarse, impious, and ignorant of the Faith as anyone walking around now. They just did it in Latin.

        As to the “table form,” please keep you post-Trent sensibilities to yourself and your Rite. Us over here have had enough Romanization for a while.

        August 1, 2015 at 2:54 am
      • Athanasius


        ” I’ve been to one of your old Masses. No one hardly says a word, or sings, or really pays attention.”

        How would you know that people weren’t paying attention unless you were also not paying attention?

        As for no one saying a word or singing (I notice you had to leave out doing party pieces in the Sanctuary, like in the New Mass), there wasn’t a lot of activity on Calvary either. The Blessed Virgin, St. John and the holy women stood in silent grief and adoration while the Divine Redeemer offered Himself in atonement for sin to the Father. That’s why there’s not much talking and doing on the part of parishioners at a Latin Mass.

        “No I don’t see much correlation between reverence and language.”

        Then you’re a blind man!

        “People are just as likely to be inattentive or disrespectful in Arabic or Greek.”

        Yes, they are. But you won’t see it during a celebration of the ancient Latin Mass.

        “…I may just be spit-balling here, language means nothing if you don’t believe in what it is trying to express.”

        For more than 1600 years Catholics had no trouble understanding what the ancient Latin Mass was about. It was only with the change of language (not to mention theology) that they lost their compass. Ask most Catholics today what the Mass is and you’ll be lucky if you find even a few who will tell you that it is Christ the High Priest offering Christ the Victim to the Father in remission for sins. It’s more likely they’ll give you the old Luther line that it’s a celebration of the Eucharist, a meal, a supper, the Pascal Mystery or some other such obscure rubbish.

        “…I don’t believe there was this great piety prior to the reforms.”

        Well, the seminaries and religious houses were full, the missions were flourishing, there were on average 4 parish priests to each city parish, not to mention 3 Sunday Masses, all packed, and the Anglicans were crossing the Tiber in droves to be reconciled with the Church.

        Compare that with today’s millions who are abandoning the Church, the closure of parishes all over the place, hardly any seminaries and religious houses left, etc., that should open your eyes, though I’m not holding my breath.

        “I’ve met people from that time; they were just as coarse, impious, and ignorant of the Faith as anyone walking around now. They just did it in Latin.”

        If you’re comparing the general Catholic population between that time and this, then I have no problem whatsoever in declaring you a liar.

        “As to the “table form,” please keep you post-Trent sensibilities to yourself and your Rite. Us over here have had enough Romanization for a while.”

        Luther couldn’t have expressed it clearer! It’s Pope Pius XII who spoke against a return to the “table form,” so it is to him we may attribute your reply. Now you begin to show your true colours, and they are not Papal.

        August 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Do you know what the word liturgy means? It comes from the Greek word λειτουργία. Interesting that you Latins seem to be bad a Greek. The word literally means an act of public worship that the public do for the public. So why is that you Latins, totally against the most ancient forms of Christian liturgy, demand there be silence on the part of the public? It can’t properly be called liturgy can it? If the public are not participating in the act of public worship, is it actually an act of public worship? In a certain sense it is because it is not in secret. But if the public have no part in an act to be performed by the public, in that sense it is not.

        I don’t attend either of your Roman liturgies so this debate over New verses Old doesn’t really affect me provided you Latins don’t go Romanizing again.

        First off, my liturgy is older than yours so don’t throw around the word “ancient” when what you understand to be the “ancient” Latin Mass only existed in actual form a millennia after the death of Christ. When you can say your liturgy was written by St James himself, then you can boast if ancient liturgy.

        Really? No trouble? Is that why almost 80-90 year old Roman Catholic I’ve met has no idea what the Roman canon is? I’m not even a Latin like yourself and I know that.

        It IS the Paschal Mystery. You Latins got that phrase from us. It IS a meal because Christ’s body and blood are true meat and drink. Losing sight of the very real fact that you are called mystically to the same table as the Apostles to partake of the Sacred Mysteries is something NO ONE should forget. What you have said means nothing unless you firmly believe that what lies on that table is Christ, offering his very flesh and blood, PHYSICALLY and completely, for the nourishment of our souls and bodies. Redemption is nothing without that great Paschal Mystery.

        Full of what? People? Ok, but once they were given two inches, they took miles. So what does that tell you of the quality of those persons? Why was it that established and old religious orders, once they were given liberty to no longer wear habits, immediately discard them. It is not as if the reforms brought in brand new people who took over everything. The problem children where already there.

        Yes, I am comparing the two because I think golden age mentalities, as a rule, ignore the real problems that were going on. See the previous paragraph.

        No, it isn’t Papal. It is Apostolic. St. James saw it fit to institute and Basil and Chrysostom to continue the use of free standing altars. You Latins only abandoned the practice after Trent so most of the most ancient churches in Rome and elsewhere do not have the post-Trent altars. So sue me; I like older forms of liturgy.

        August 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm
      • Fidelis


        the Greek word λειτουργία. does not mean “an act of public worship”. It has a number of definitions, listed below. “An act of public worship” isn’t among them.

        λειτουργία, δραστηριότητα, εγχείριση, χειρισμός, εργασία

        λειτουργία, υπούργημα, υπηρεσία, δεξίωση

        υπηρεσία, εξυπηρέτηση, σέρβις, λειτουργία, θητεία

        δράση, ενέργεια, πράξη, αγωγή, επήρεια, λειτουργία

        choral service

        υπηρεσία, λειτουργία, περιποίηση

        γραφείο, υπηρεσία, αξίωμα, λειτουργία

        I do wonder at the way you keep speaking of “you Latins” and putting down the Latin language. Don’t you know that Latin is still the official language of the Church? Didn’t you notice that Pope John Paul II’s funeral was in Latin?

        Most of all, though, I notice that you’ve changed your mind about the importance of words, and the need to be precise. Latin is important for that very reason that it safeguards the doctrines in the Mass, the meaning can’t be changed on the whim of a priest or bishop.

        I think, though, that you are not a Catholic at all, from your recent posts, you sound like one of the Orthodox. I’d be interested to know if I’m right about that, because they are in schism and yet you were seemingly very keen to support Pope Francis earlier. Maybe you could tell us whether you are a Catholic or not as it would help us, well, me at least, to know how to understand your comments better.

        August 1, 2015 at 4:20 pm
      • mastersamwise

        The word λειτουργία comes from the Greek word λαός meaning “the people” and ἔργο meaning “work.” In ancient Greece, it was the public offerings giving by rich individuals. In the Septuagint, for example, it occurs in the book of Numbers when it describes the various duties regarding the public worship of the tribes. In the New Testament, it describes priestly duties of the Jewish priests, the presbyters, and Christ himself.

        According to the Patriarch, the official language of our church is Arabic, not Latin. Don’t push your Romanization on us like you did to the Maronites. http://www.clsa.org/?page=AOcceo

        And before the funeral Mass that was said in Latin…this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNiSU0iDH6Q

        Again, your canons are in Latin. The Council’s authoritative documents are in Latin. We speak Arabic, Greek, and maybe–depends upon the bishop or even the priest–whatever language the people of the area speak. The result? We don’t have anyone like Cardinal Marx. Instead, we join with the Polish bishops to reaffirm the doctrines of the Church. If we were really looking for precision then the whole Church would use the words “קחו ואכלו; זהו גופי” when consecrating. That is what Christ would have said and if we are trying to preserve the doctrines that Christ taught as he taught them, then only the Chaledeans and the Maronites have the right language.

        You Latins are so funny sometimes. You sit there and listen to me defend the Pope all day long and then call me an Orthodox. It is almost as if you are trying to find something canonically or doctrinally wrong with me. But, according to the current 1990 canons and the doctrine that has been taught consistently from the other Apostolic See founded by St. Peter.

        August 1, 2015 at 8:03 pm
      • Alex F

        Master Samwise,
        It sounds like you assisted at a Low Mass which is the most commonly celebrated form of the pre-reform Roman Rite in places where they still use it. You might see a big difference if you went to a Sung Mass, or as they call it in North America, a High Mass.
        You probably saw a lot of people saying their own prayers, such as the rosary, because that was what was quite common before all the changes in the 70s. The priest offered to Sacrifice of Calvary anew on the altar, and the Faithful joined their prayer to that Sacrifice. It wasn’t that they weren’t paying attention, although I can see how that might have been the impression given.
        A solemn High Mass might have looked quite different, with at least two priests and a deacon, lots of incense an bells and music. And it would have lasted for well over an hour. That is actually the Roman Rite of Mass, otherwise known as the Divine Liturgy of St Gregory the Great. It would have been commonly celebrated every Sunday in most parishes until the changes.
        As Petrus says, the Gregorian Liturgy is at least as ancient as the many Eastern Liturgies in the Church. Granted, it may have changed several times throughout the centuries to the point where it’s not certain St Gregory himself would be able to follow! Just a few centuries ago it might have looked different. Throughout These Islands most places used the Sarum Use except for the Northern Isles, the Western Isles, and possibly the Isle of Man which came under the Metropolitan See of Trondheim so they used the Nidaros Use. These are not separate rites as such but variations of the Roman Rite. We have the Reformation to thank for getting rid of them all.
        I agree with what you say about the Latinisation of Eastern Rites. In principal, there should be no mixing of rites, but that’s not to say that the Gregorian Liturgy is somehow inferior to Greek rites. Latin, not Greek or Arabic, was the Lingua Franca throughout Western Europe for many centuries, so it makes sense for the Liturgy to be in that language.
        I have always thought it very unfortunate, albeit understandable, that all of the variety of Western Rites have been lost, with the Roman Rite becoming the de facto default rite of the Church. So I can see what you are saying about the Latinisation of the Eastern Rites. That’s not to say that I think there is something wrong with the traditional Gregorian Liturgy, but, as they say, vive la difference!

        August 2, 2015 at 6:28 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Assisted? I was in the pews attempting to do what everyone else was doing which was mostly remaining silent and moving to different positions at intervals. I didn’t even hear the Anaphora so when it was time for Communion, it was a shock.

        It was a shock because in our church and the other churches of the Eastern Liturgical patrimony, everyone is singing and responding and you hear the priest.

        I recall a lot of singing, plenty of incense, and it lasted longer than a Divine Liturgy with the Metropolitan. I guess it was a High Mass then?

        I was not making the claim that the Eastern Liturgies are superior; I was saying that they were older. Even the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great would have been written and in use after those of James, Basil, and Chrysostom.

        It is this idea that language somehow preserves doctrine that I don’t understand. I could go to the Liturgy in a Ukrainian church and I don’t doubt the doctrinal purity of the Anaphora. Maybe if it was the Liturgy of Addai and Mari–though even that has gotten the thumbs up from Rome and the Chaledeans–but I don’t see the importance place on language by Latins. People in my church, though the official language is Arabic, are fine with the Liturgy being in Greek, Arabic, Church Slavonic, English, French, etc. I stand by what I said; this deference towards a specific language is a Latin thing and I don’t understand it.

        August 2, 2015 at 6:55 pm
      • Alex F

        It’s common for Western Catholics to speak of “assisting” at Mass. It doesn’t mean that you have any practical task like serving or anything like that. It just refers to assisting with the heart and mind. You raise the heart and mind to God and join your prayers with the priest who takes the place of Christ on Calvary. In a sense, it’s like we take the place of Our Lady, or St John or Mary Magdalene at Calvary. They themselves were not crucified, but they “assisted” Our Lord, so to speak.

        If you were in North America, and there was only on priest, you would say that was a High Mass. In the UK you would call that a Sung Mass. If there were two priests and a deacon, you would call that High Mass in the UK and Solemn High Mass in the US. The Canon is prayed in a whisper by the priest, but the Pater, Agnus and Ecce Agnus are said aloud. You get used to all the little things and it actually becomes quite easy to follow, but it can be confusing to begin with!

        It’s not that there is anything mystical about the Latin language. God is equally fluent in Latin as He is in any other language. The Western Church just used Latin in the Liturgy because it gave the Church universality as in Western Europe, all the educated class learned Latin. It was the language of communication for many centuries in both civic and ecclesiastical life. For that reason alone, it always made sense to use Latin. In theory, there is no reason why the vernacular shouldn’t be used for the Liturgy, but many problems arose when the Mass was translated into vernacular languages in the 70s. In many cases there were schoolboy errors in translation, the Pro Multis controversy being just the most obvious. If the only change the reformers made at V2 was to vernacularise the Liturgy, there probably wouldn’t be much of a problem. But it came in the guise of an entirely reformed Liturgy and theology, which wasn’t so good!

        August 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm
      • Athanasius

        Poor man! So blind!

        August 1, 2015 at 4:36 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Also, is there some confusion as to when people are supposed to stand up and sit down at your old mass? The last one I went to was packed but about half stood up at certain times while other sat and some knelt and few followed the books provided.

        August 2, 2015 at 5:16 am
      • Fidelis


        I don’t know how often you attend a TLM or where, but it sounds like you’ve gone to a parish where a lot of new people have started attending, and are not sure of when to stand and haven’t yet got missals, or this was on the Continent of Europe, where some people may have been visiting and used to a different rite. That happened to me once, when I attended a TLM in Italy, where a man stood at different times. Later he told me that he was used to the Ambrosian rite and he just kept to that rubric, where they stand at different times.

        I wouldn’t worry about people not following the books provided, as that can be either someone new who just wants to experience the Mass and get used to it before using the missal, or someone who knows the Mass well and just likes to follow it, and maybe only reads the epistle and gospel. I do that sometimes myself, as I like to think of myself literally at the foot of the cross on Calvary where they didn’t have missals!

        August 2, 2015 at 3:49 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I went to an FSSP parish in America and the people there mostly had their thick, 1962 missals. I checked and the book provided had the same cues for sitting, standing, or kneeling. It was rather comical because the family in front of me at one point were sitting, the young man to my left was kneeling and the old lady with the beads was standing. All of them seemed to know what they were doing; they were just doing something different from all the other people who thought they knew what they were doing.

        August 2, 2015 at 6:08 pm
      • Michaela

        This is a reply top Master Sam Wise at 6.08pm, there is no reply button at that post.

        I’ve attended loads of TLMs and never once seen what you describe. I doubt very much that an old lady would be standing to pray the rosary – sorry, but I just find that all too hard to believe. Nobody stands to pray the rosary unless they’re at a public rosary in the street, so she’d hardly stand during Mass when she no doubt kneels in her home or in the church when attending devotions etc.

        Reading your comments about “you Latins”, I think you have a hatred of Latin and all that it stands for, which is why you have painted that unlikely story of people at the FSSP Mass in America.

        How would you describe yourself on the scale of orthodox, conservative, neo-conservative traditional, liberal – how do you see yourself as a Catholic. I’ve got you down as a liberal, and not only because of your defence of Pope Francis Tell me if I’ve got it right.

        August 2, 2015 at 6:33 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Ok, I have attended three Tridentines and three of the New Mass. You can doubt the old lady if you like but that is what I saw. Maybe you guys have different ideas about that. Where I come from in the Melkite Greek church, the people sing and actively participate in the Liturgy. Maybe that lady was an anomaly. I shared my experience because I was being led to believe that attendees of a TLM as you call it

        I don’t use the term Latins as a demeaning term. You are Latins; I am not. We come from two different perspectives and I really don’t have much experience with your liturgy. In theory, yes I am quite knowledgeable about the history and key dates of development–i.e. the Gregorian reforms, Trent, etc.–but when it comes to practical experience, I don’t know what to expect. If you say that the lady I encountered was strange enough to be doubted, then I will pass her off as an anomaly. But the existence of an anomaly infers that the assertion that the TLM fosters more reverence per se would not be true as the lady would be impious by not conforming to whatever rules you guys have about the rosary.

        As for a hatred for Latins, no I don’t have one. But if your Patriarch had been abused as ours had after Vatican I, you would have a natural distrust as well. We still remember the Romanizations and some Latins aren’t apologetic about that and think that the TLM should be the only Liturgy in the Catholic Church. So I apologize if I have been distrustful and I am sorry if you read my designating you as Latins to be derisive.

        How can I, sinful as I am, judge my own orthodoxy? How can I, afflicted by the passions of my fallen nature, assume to know how faithful I am to Christ’s teaching? It is the Master who determines the grade of his student and so I can make no judgment of myself except that I am a sinner and rely on the mercy of the Divine Master who loves mankind. By participating in the Liturgy, being attentive to the Holy Word of God, receiving the Sacred Mysteries, and becoming less myself and more Christ, I may firmly hope in the salvation Christ offers because, in the end, it is not how I see myself, but how Christ sees me.

        August 2, 2015 at 7:14 pm
      • Athanasius


        I think your observations re the positioning of people during Mass are infantile. Yours is not the kind of argument that comes from a legal mind, much less that of a man of genuine good will.

        In your defence, you don’t have the supernatural Catholic faith. That goes a long way to explaining your ignorance and pettiness. I wish you a miracle conversion from your present deprivation of light. Just ask and God will give it to you.

        August 2, 2015 at 6:33 pm
      • mastersamwise

        What is with the ad hominums? Can you explain to someone who has been to three TLMs in his life why this occurs? Alex F seems to have given me an explanation. You gave the argument it is more precise. So explain how there can be variation if it is more precise?

        I do not have the Catholic faith? Are you seriously making that judgment?

        August 2, 2015 at 7:21 pm
      • Alex F

        There aren’t really any hard or fast rules on when the congregation sit, stand and kneel. It varies a lot from place to place, but generally, it would be normal to kneel during the Canon, even on a Sunday, and to stand during the Gospel reading. If you want to fit in, just pick someone who looks like they know what they are doing, and copy them.

        August 2, 2015 at 6:44 pm
      • mastersamwise

        See, it was mostly in the beginning I think where I was mostly confused because the priest processed in, said some prayers, and then some knelt, some stood, and some sat until they all stood up again for what I think was the Gospel. Then we all sat for the priest to read the readings in English and give a sermon. It was culture shock to be sure.

        Thank you by the way for explaining that. When I mentioned this irregularity to others here, I wasn’t met with the same clarity.

        August 2, 2015 at 7:25 pm
      • Alex F

        We Latins do have an unfortunate habit of dogmatising matters that aren’t dogma. It’s normal to see people doing different things during the Mass. It often has to do with where people were from because different geographical regions have different customs. As far as I’m concerned, the lady who was praying the rosary could take whatever position helps her most in her spiritual growth. The most usual way is for people to kneel, but perhaps she prefers to stand. Perhaps she has had a knee replacement and can’t kneel. Perhaps she was just being obedient to the decree of the First Council of Nicaea, which forbade Christians from kneeling down on a Sunday and during Paschaltide. It’s not really anyone else’s business so long as she isn’t trying to distract people from their prayers. But that’s not to say that there won’t be people in the congregation who form very high opinions on the matter, and there may even be some lay people who take it upon themselves to issue a formal Decree of Excommunication to anyone who sits down at the wrong bit. It’s best if you just pretend they don’t exist!
        I’ve never been to a Melkite Greek Mass before, unfortunately. I’ve been to several Greek Masses and I can normally follow, what’s going on. I once went to a Syro-malabar Rite Mass in the parish I used to live in, and that was a bit more confusing. It had a kind of chaotic reverence that was very beautiful and I had an idea of what parts of the Mass were what.
        I think the homogenisation process in the West since the Reformation has been very unfortunate. The diversity of rites has added to the richness of Catholic worship and their loss has been an empoverishment.

        August 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm
      • Petrus

        This is completely false this idea that Eastern Rites are more ancient than the Latin Rites. The Roman Rite is usually dated back to Pope St Gregory the Great, but as every Catholic knows, a rite cannot be created in the sense that most people understand the word. It must be received. So, the origins of the Roman Rite stretch back to the earliest apostolic times.

        All the eastern rites are modelled on the Roman Rite, which stretches back to Christ Himself. The Eastern rites are beautiful and noble, and grew organically according to the customs of the area and time, but they are not older than the Roman Rite. The Roman Rite is the Mother of all the Rites of the Church.

        Master Sam, are you an Eastern Catholic or a schismatic Orthodox? I must say, I’ve never experienced sure sectarianism on the blog. Your disparaging use of “you Latins” is most uncharitable.

        By the way, I would try to drop the attempt to be overly intellectual. First of all, the important aspects of the Faith aren’t difficult to understand. Secondly, a truly intelligent person doesn’t need to try to be intellectual. Actually, I don’t think you are a lawyer at all. In my experience, lawyers are usually very good at explaining things clearly.

        August 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm
      • Nicky

        Thanks for that welcome history lesson about the Roman rite. I also agree that truly intelligent people don’t have to try to be intellectual. In fact, truly educated people don’t make a deal out of their knowledge, not that I’d know personally – LOL !

        August 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I didn’t say your whole Rite wasn’t as ancient. I specifically said liturgy. The Liturgies of Basil, Chrysostom, and James all pre-date the Tridentine Liturgy of Trent.

        In fact, the New Mass shares more in common with the pre-Tridentine liturgies than the Tridentine in certain areas.

        “All the eastern rites are modelled on the Roman Rite, which stretches back to Christ Himself.” Oh really? Basil and Chrysostom modeled their liturgies on the various and largely unregulated liturgical forms that were mostly suppressed when Trent was convened? Whose liturgy did St. James base his liturgy on? Is there some long lost Liturgy of St. Peter he referenced?

        “The Roman Rite is the Mother of all the Rites of the Church.” So the Church in Rome was established before the Church of Jerusalem? Antioch? Alexandria? Geez, we accepted the primacy of the Roman Patriarch. There is no need to make up facts to support it. If that is true, where are your Epimanikia or the Trisagion? Where are you Schemamonks and Archimandrites? Where is your Feast of the Myrrh Bearing Women or the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy? I will admit that the Roman Rite is indeed ancient and established and worthy of honor. It is not, however, the “Mother” of all Rites. The Church began in Jerusalem, not Rome. Your preferred Liturgy–the Tridentine–was not written by an Apostle or by Church Fathers from the 4th century. To say the 1962 missal–which has been my entire point which is why I said liturgy and not rite–is ancient or that the Eastern Rites’s liturgies are modeled on it is factually false and a massive insult to the Liturgical Patrimony of the Eastern Churches. Its like Vatican I all over again.

        Is it uncharitable? I am sorry. You are Latins and so I call you Latins. Would you prefer Romans? I did not know it was offending you. I truly am sorry. I use it mostly to differentiate between our perspectives based in our respective patrimonies. I am Melikite-Greek so I am from the OTHER Apostolic See Peter founded.

        Overly intellectual? How so? Not difficult to understand? Is that why St. Augustine had the vision of the child by the sea shore? Because understanding the Trinity is easy?

        Wait, who said I was a lawyer? I said I was a legal professional, not a lawyer. Someone must have misunderstood.

        August 2, 2015 at 6:39 pm
      • Petrus

        With respect, my friend, you are splitting hairs in the extreme by separating liturgy from the Rite. The Roman Rite has changed very little since at least the time of Pope St Gregory the Great. Of course, Gregory simply modified the Rite – its true origins stretch back to antiquity.

        Your constant references to Trent are a bit of a red herring. The Mass was codified at Trent precisely because the Roman Rite was the most ancient and most perfect of all the Rites of the Church, both Eastern and Western.

        The Roman Rite stretches back to the Last Supper. A definite pattern of celebrating the Eucharist emerged within decades of Our Lord’s death and this pattern carried on into the 1st century. This pattern is the origin of the Roman Rite, which is entirely biblical. So yes, the origins of the Roman Rite do lie in Jerusalem!

        Now, there are generally accepted to be three parent rites which all other rites stem from, the rites of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. The Roman Rite is indeed THE parent Rite as it’s origins come from scripture and its development comes from the centre of the Church – Rome. The enrichment of vestments and vessels in the Church’s liturgy can be attributed to the adoption of Christianity as the religion of the Empire under Theodosius I (379-395).

        Of course, the Roman Rite is not the only Rite of the Church. Various rites grew out of the Eucharistic liturgies in the early Church. Some fell into disuse and some were confined to specific regions. Admittedly, St. Basil (379), St. Cyril (386) and St John Chrysostom (407) wrote extensively of the Rites they celebrated. We do not have such elaborate descriptions of the Roman Rite and how it was celebrated, but we have noted above that the evidence suggests that there is no Rite in the Church, eastern or western, older or most venerable than the Roman Rite.

        The Roman Mass which was reformed by St Gregory the Great became the predominant Rite of the Universal Church. The prestige of the Roman Church, the beauty and dignity of her Rite, her principality throughout the world all gave the liturgy of the Roman Church predominance and authority over all other rites.

        August 2, 2015 at 8:45 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I am not. The two are very different. Rite entails intellectual, canonical, and liturgical differences. For example, my own church is Byzantine in liturgy but Antiochian theologically. To put it in the Latin theology of Aquinas, liturgy is a species of the genera Rite.

        Most perfect? Is that why it has undergone more revisions than any other Liturgy? Apart from language and in some areas how many times you cross yourself, the Liturgies of Basil, Chrysostom, and James would be immediately intelligible to the authors. Also, can you provide the canons at Trent where the fathers said that “the Roman Rite was the most ancient and most perfect of all the Rites of the Church, both Eastern and Western.”

        All rites stretch back to the last supper…

        If we have no writings from the Fathers, I cannot maintain fidelity to Sacred Tradition and believe that the Roman rite is the “parent rite” as you say. Where is it written? What Tradition speaks to what you are saying? What evidence suggests that “there is no Rite in the Church, eastern or western, older or most venerable than the Roman Rite.”

        The universal church? Yeah, maybe by unscrupulous Jesuit walking around trying to suppress every other rite they encounter. Precedence is given to the Bishop of Rome, not his rite.

        August 2, 2015 at 10:27 pm
      • Petrus

        There’s no reply button below so I’m replying here.

        Your most recent post makes no sense. Take a look at this from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

        “Ritus in classical Latin in means primarily, the form and manner of any religious observance, so Livy, 1, 7: “Sacra diis aliis albano ritu, græco Herculi ut abEvandro instituta erant (Romulus) facit”; then, in general, any custom or usage. In English the word “rite” ordinarily means, the ceremonies, prayers, and functions of any religious body.”

        So, essentially, it is nonsense to try to separate rite from liturgy. When the New Mass was created the author boasted that the “Roman Rite” had been destroyed. The Rite is more than just the Mass, but the Mass is the principle expression of the Rite, so your argument is a red herring.

        In his 1912 book on the Roman Mass, Adrian Fortescue wrote: “Essentially the Missal ofPius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book, which depends on the Leonine collection. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatisede Sacramentis and allusions to it in the 4th century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our inquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.” In a footnote he added: “The prejudice that imagines that everything Eastern must be old is a mistake. Eastern rites have been modified later too; some of them quite late. No Eastern Rite now used is as archaic as the Roman Mass.”

        The earliest example we have of the Roman Rite comes from Justin Martyr in the second century. Of course, this liturgy did have an Eastern flavour to it, but at its core it resembles the Traditional Roman Rite of today. All rites have grown organically over the years, including the eastern rites. It is inaccurate to claim otherwise. By the 5th century, the Leonine and Gelasian Sacramentaries, of about the 6th century, show us what is practically our present Roman Mass.

        It should be said that the Byzantine Rite is a venerable and Catholic Rite. It is part of the Church’s heritage.

        August 2, 2015 at 11:35 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Ok we have a difference in language here then. When I or someone from my church hears the word liturgy, it is something akin to the formal worship of the church, what I understand you Latins to call the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. Rite pertains to something more than just worship but includes worship. Feasts, priestly celibacy, iconostasis, monastic traditions. All these things are proper to our Rites.

        Ok, so elements of the Latin Mass go back to the 4th century. The Liturgy of St, John Chrysostom was completed in the 4th century. Also, these are bold faced lies. That footnote is full of lies. Even Wikipedia knows they are lies.

        Justin Martyr wrote no Canon. He mentions an Anaphora but there is no evidence this was part of an established Liturgy.

        “It should be said that the Byzantine Rite is a venerable and Catholic Rite.” Odd. That’s what the Jesuits said.

        August 3, 2015 at 3:43 am
      • Petrus

        I must so challenge your insinuations tha the Roman Rite is not the most perfect rite of the Church because it has been revised more than any other rite. Whilst I’m on that subject, could you provide evidence that the Eastern Rites have barely been touched

        The Roman Rite is the most perfect rite precisely because of the organic growth. This has usually been small additions. We should also acknowledge that this organic growth is divinely inspired as it has been directed by the Magisterium of the Church. If precedence is given to the Bishop of Rome, then precedence is indeed given to his rite due to the fact that he is the Supreme Pontiff and Vicar of Christ!

        This is what St Pius V declared in his Quo Primum :

        “”Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other Churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world”

        Exceptions were made for other rites but there is no denying the the Roman Rite has superiority. However, I think we have come to the crux of the problem. Authority. The schismatic nature of the Orthodox means that they have no Magisterium and no Supreme Legislator. We can see below that everything offered is dismissed as lies! It is quite hilarious.

        Now, I must also point out that the Byzantine Rite is proper only to the Catholic Church. The bastardised form celebrated by the Orthodox today, has been altered to reflect the theological errors of the Orthodox churches. The Byzantine Rite has been adapted more times than anyone can count because it has always expressed local customs. The Church permits this, within those churches in Communion with the Holy See, but it is a Rite, however noble and venerable, that is an exception, rather than the principle Rite of the Universal Church. That honour belongs only to the Roman Rite.

        August 3, 2015 at 9:08 am
      • mastersamwise

        I say it is not the most perfect rite because there is no authoritative teaching to base that conclusion.

        Can you provide evidence to support that the changes to the Roman Rite were divinely inspired but the slight changes–again, language and how you cross yourself were the only changes since the 4th century–made in the Eastern churches were somehow not?

        “If precedence is given to the Bishop of Rome, then precedence is indeed given to his rite due to the fact that he is the Supreme Pontiff and Vicar of Christ!” Umm, no. Actually Pope Leo XIII makes it perfectly clear that is not the case.

        Exceptions were made because he had no juridical authority over the Sui Iuris churches. Pope Benedict XV’s Demandatum was applied universally by Pope Leo XIII.

        As Pope Leo XIII says, “In point of fact, there is more importance than can be believed in preserving the Eastern rites. Their antiquity is august, it is what gives nobility to the different rites, it is a brilliant jewel for the whole Church, it confirms the God-given unity of the Catholic Faith…They ought not figure any less as subjects of Our charge….In every action course of action let them show themselves true heralds and peacemakers of holy unity between the Eastern churches and the Roman Church….these prescriptions cannot be stigmatized, called into dispute, nor infringed…”

        August 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm
      • Petrus

        The Roman Rite is also used by Orthodox communities, albeit with the filoque clause removed. There’s also evidence that it was used in various churches within the Byzantine Rite areas. Further evidence that even amongst schismatic, the Roman Rite is the predominant rite of the Church.

        August 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Ok, please explain what you mean by “Roman Rite.” We seem to have our wires crossed about what it means. According to the 1990 CCEC, a Rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual, and disciplinary patrimony, culture, and circumstances of history of a distinct people by which it’s own manner of living the faith is manifested in each Church Sui Iuris.

        So where are your married priests? Schemamonks? Celebration if the Triumph of Orthodoxy? Iconostasis? Literally everything is distinctly not Latin about the Eastern churches, Catholic or otherwise?

        There is evidence it was used in Byzantine Rites because some Latins got it into their heads to change everything non-Latin until Pope Leo XIII forbade them to continue. Even then it took Vatican II to bring back crismation and communion for infants.

        August 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm
      • Petrus

        Again you miss the point entirely. The Eastern rites are august. Of course! I didn’t say the changes to the eastern rites of the Catholic Church, of which the Byzantine Rite is included, wasn’t divinely inspired. So you’ve wasted time arguing a moot point.

        What I will say is this, I have provided authoritative documentation that the Roman Rite takes precedence. St Pius V’s Quo Primum. Go read it.

        August 3, 2015 at 3:36 pm
      • mastersamwise

        The context of Quo Primum is important. At that time, the only Eastern churches in union with Rome were the Maronites. Since then, they have been Latinized. In 1743, Benedict XIV issued an Apostolic Constitution preserving the Melkite-Greek church’s traditions. Pope Leo XIII extended that Constitution over all the Eastern churches. Quo Primum merely says that the Roman Missal was to be used, not that the Roman Rite had precedence. In fact, Pope Pius V says, “This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom.” So he specifically refrains extending the decree to the Maronites. History shows that, post-Trent, no one listened to it. The Words of Institution were changed and the sacraments were done according to the Roman form in 1736. So you have provided authoritative documentation that Romans have to follow the Roman Missal, but not that the Roman Rite itself has “precedence.” Nor have you proven that the Roman Rite, contrary to what Pope Leo XIII himself says, not only predates but is the progenitor of all other Rites.

        August 3, 2015 at 4:21 pm
      • Petrus

        Again, you argue a moot point.  I think I acknowledged right from the start that the Church has always held in great esteem Her Eastern Rites.  It is a shame that the Orthodox have abandoned the traditional eastern liturgies by introducing heresy. Now, why don’t you lay your cards on the table….to which church do you belong? 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm
      • mastersamwise

        “All the eastern rites are modelled on the Roman Rite, which stretches back to Christ Himself….The Roman Rite is the Mother of all the Rites of the Church.” You have not given evidence to support this claim. Quo Primum doesn’t support it nor is there any other authoritative source that does. History does not bear it out either.

        “The Roman Rite is indeed THE parent Rite…” Again, where is the authoritative teaching or even the historical proof that this is true? Antioch was founded before Rome so there is some discrepancy in this statement.

        “but we have noted above that the evidence suggests that there is no Rite in the Church, eastern or western, older or most venerable than the Roman Rite.” Again, where is the authoritative evidence? If this is doctrine and not some fancy, show the document that promulgated this doctrine.

        “The prestige of the Roman Church, the beauty and dignity of her Rite, her principality throughout the world all gave the liturgy of the Roman Church predominance and authority over all other rites.” So the Roman Rite has preeminence via aesthetics? Does that actually sound doctrinal to you? Where is that written in Sacred Tradition?

        “I must so challenge your insinuations tha the Roman Rite is not the most perfect rite of the Church…” I don’t insinuate; I flat out denounce it as a lie.

        “If precedence is given to the Bishop of Rome, then precedence is indeed given to his rite due to the fact that he is the Supreme Pontiff and Vicar of Christ!” Where is the evidence from Sacred Tradition?

        “The Church permits this, within those churches in Communion with the Holy See, but it is a Rite, however noble and venerable, that is an exception, rather than the principle Rite of the Universal Church. That honour belongs only to the Roman Rite.” Again, where is this taught authoritatively?

        “The Roman Rite is also used by Orthodox communities, albeit with the filoque clause removed.” Can you provide evidence of this? Not of the filoque clause; that is of no consequence.

        “What I will say is this, I have provided authoritative documentation that the Roman Rite takes precedence.” No, Pius V specifically exempts any Rite that is older than 200 years at the time. So it was bad news for the Sarum Rite, but the Maronite’s should have been protected. We all know how that turned out.

        “to which church do you belong? ” To the Melkite-Greek Catholic Church.

        August 3, 2015 at 6:43 pm
      • Petrus

        All your questions have been answered of you read through my comments.  I’m surprised that you are allegedly in Communion with the Holy See! It doesn’t sound like it. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm
      • Petrus

        I have to say that some of your questions are quite ridiculous!  The Church does not need to issue authoritative statements for everything. That’s preposterous.   I have shown that the Roman Rite of Mass is the oldest and most venerable.   It stretches back to the time of the apostles.  It has no “author”, unlike the Byzantine Rite. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 7:45 pm
      • mastersamwise

        “The Church does not need to issue authoritative statements for everything.” It does when there is a claim of doctrine issued. Where is the canon, the constitution, the Church Father that backs up what you are saying? “Just because its old” doesn’t give the Roman rite “predominance and authority over all other rites.” The Liturgy of St. James of the Antiochene Rite also stretches back to the Apostles. Better still, it stretches back to the first community of Christians ever. The “because its old” argument doesn’t hold water. You have shown why you THINK it has this character of dominance and authority, but nowhere have you shown where the Church has taught that.

        August 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm
      • Petrus

        Ah so it is the most ancient of all rites then? Tying yourself in knots, my friend!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 8:19 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I don’t care whose rite is older. My point is that the Roman rite doesn’t have this authority you and the other Latinizing ultramontanists proclaim. Based on all the tangible evidence, the oldest codified liturgies were not the Roman ones.

        August 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm
      • Petrus

        How on earth can the Roman Rite have “authority” over the other rites??  It is pre – eminent because it stretches back to the apostles and is the largest rite in the Universal Church.   The Pope has Supreme authority over the Universal Church.  Do you accept this authority?

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 8:49 pm
      • mastersamwise

        “The prestige of the Roman Church, the beauty and dignity of her Rite, her principality throughout the world all gave the liturgy of the Roman Church predominance and authority over all other rites.” You said yourself it has authority so you can explain what it means.

        “because it stretches back to the apostles and is the largest rite in the Universal Church.’ So might give rights? Yeah, no that’s not how the Church works. The Church has never worked like that.

        The Pope has authority due to the Primacy of Peter in matters of Faith and Morals. He does not have the authority to go rabbiting through our liturgical practices, a fact Pope Leo XIII and Vatican II make clear.

        August 3, 2015 at 9:29 pm
      • Petrus

        The pope’s authority is also judicial, isn’t it?  I don’t think I have ever claimed that the pope has the authority to change the eastern rites, have I?  

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 9:47 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Depends on what you meant by “authority.” Are you denying you wrote those words?

        August 3, 2015 at 9:53 pm
      • Petrus

        A slip of the touchscreen .  I added in “liturgy” by mistake.  The authority belongs to the Roman Church. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 10:02 pm
      • Petrus

        My apologies.  Im typing on a smartphone, hence the lack of clarity on this occasion.  The Roman Church has authority over all other churches due to it being the See of St Peter.  Therefore, her rites have pre – eminence, due to the authority of the Roman Church and its origins in antiquity.  Pre – eminence,  by the way, does not mean that the Roman Rite is “better” than the Eastern Rites.  It means that the Roman Rite of Mass is the oldest, the most venerated, the primitive form of the Roman Rite is the basis for all our Rites.   

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 9:59 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Primacy is given to the Roman Pontiff, yes. Please read the Canons of the Eastern Catholic Churches for more information

        August 3, 2015 at 10:08 pm
      • Petrus

        I note your lack of evidence.  Present your case and prove I’m wrong. I’m waiting… 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 7:54 pm
      • mastersamwise

        The lack of evidence IS my evidence. Apart from Benedict XIV and Pope Leo XIII expressly denying what you claim about the Roman Rite’s “authority” over the other Rites, what else do you need? You have already admitted there is no authoritative teaching supporting your claim. Since I have two popes supporting mine that the Roman rite does not have authority over any other rite, it is YOUR turn to refute that with some authoritative teaching. BUT since you have admitted there is no such teaching, you have proved YOURSELF wrong. I have presented my case. The only evidence you cited was from a non-authoritative book on liturgy by a known Latinizer and one of the most infamous ultramonatists. It is frankly an insult that you would reference someone like him

        August 3, 2015 at 8:22 pm
      • Petrus

        Again,  a sign of how literal you are.  The Roman Rite does not have “authority”.  This is absurd.  It is, however, the oldest, largest and lre-eminent Rite of the Church.

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm
      • mastersamwise

        YOU said it had authority. “the liturgy of the Roman Church predominance and authority over all other rites.”

        August 3, 2015 at 9:38 pm
      • Petrus

        You make the classic mistake of thinking that the liturgy of St James is the oldest surviving liturgy.  It is the oldest surviving manuscript, this doesn’t mean it is the oldest survivors rite.   The Roman Rite stretches back to the apostles themselves.  It may not have been called “the Roman Rite” but in essence,  it was.  Therefore all other rites of the Church are the offspring of this primitive rite which is now our Roman Rite.  The Church holds her eastern rites in great esteem. 

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 8:18 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Ok, now I see your claim. You are claiming that the Roman rite was what the earliest Christians used. Yeah, there is nothing to back up that claim. Show me in Acts where they sung an Introit–I hope I got that right–or wore maniples. Come on. Not even the Orthodox would claim something like that. I really don’t know where you get this from. Probably from the likes of Adrian Fortescue.

        August 3, 2015 at 8:40 pm
      • Petrus

        I’m sorry but this is a crazy post.   In essence, the Roman Rite stretches back to apostolic times.  This does not mean that the Roman Rite we have today is what was celebrated in apostolic times.  Goodness you are very literal!

        Sent from my Samsung device

        August 3, 2015 at 8:51 pm
      • Therese

        As to the “table form,” please keep you post-Trent sensibilities to yourself and your Rite. Us over here have had enough Romanization for a while.

        Hang on just a cotton pickin’ minute; when you join in a discussion you haven’t the right to tell everyone else to shut up because you don’t like, or agree with, what they’re saying. Why don’t you keep your sensibilities to yourself and your Rite? Your arrogance is matched only by your presumption.

        August 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm
      • mastersamwise

        I apologize that my comment offended you. Athanasius was making the case that the table form was somehow unorthodox or that using the vernacular were profane. I am sorry. I can see now that these comments are offensive to you. When I read Athanasius’s comment, it reminded me of an all too bitter chapter in the Church’s history where certain Latins desired the Eastern churches to adopt Latin practices because they deemed the Latin ones to be superior. I personally find it offensive when someone says that the Latin language has this almighty power against heresy. That is the same arguments the Latinizers made. The insult Pope Pius IX rendered to Patriarch Gregory II is still in our minds. We don’t like dwelling on it, but when we hear from Latins about how the Latin language is the way to save the Universal Church, it gives us flash backs. Again, I am sorry that I offended you. It was truly not my intent.

        August 3, 2015 at 10:00 pm
      • Therese

        I always admire someone who has the strength of character to offer a sincere apology. It is humbling. Thank you.

        August 3, 2015 at 10:16 pm
      • editor

        Why don’t you ever say nice things like that to me? Moi? What’s wrong with you wummin!

        August 3, 2015 at 11:35 pm
      • Therese

        It’s for your own good: I don’t want to give you a big head……

        August 4, 2015 at 7:38 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Thank you for accepting my apology. I shall try to guard my words better next time.

        August 4, 2015 at 3:09 am
    • Therese

      As most who write here left The Church years ago.

      Editor, I wasn’t aware that Cardinal Kasper et al were contributors here? I think we should be told…

      July 27, 2015 at 8:10 pm
      • editor


        It never ceases to amaze me that those who are quite happy to ignore the pic ‘n mix Catholicism offered by their own bishops/priests and to ignore the Pope’s meanderings and confusing messages (I mean, does YOUR heart skip a beat when you see him heading for the steps on the plane? I scream at the TV screen “hide the mikes!”)

        Anyway, as I was saying, the same people who will ignore the confusion and even errors spouted by churchmen allegedly “in full communion” (although not with God) are quick to name-call the SSPX, a group of bishops and priests who have not changed one iota of the Faith since it was handed down to us from the Apostles and who teach and preach it in their chapels around the world.

        I will NEVER understand that. Why can’t these people see their confusion? Oops, I know… they’re confused! I usually get there in the end 😀

        July 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm
  • Pat McKay

    ‘Divide and rule’ is a policy that’s been implemented time and again. It surely is old nick’s game plan here.

    July 27, 2015 at 11:55 am
  • Frankier

    The thing is, all these groups are already receiving communion as well as Catholics who are happily married but never enter a confessional, even at Easter or thereabouts. At the end of the day it is all about being in a state of grace.

    As for the priests on the horns of a dilemma: what are they doing about it at the present time when these same people go up to them, or their assistants, for communion? The majority of them must be encouraging it.

    Even if the Cardinal wins the day I doubt you will see any more going to communion than there are now. All it would do would be to make it official.

    The forthcoming synod should be there to decide how to enforce the teachings of the Church regarding receiving Holy Communion and that should only last half a day, including the tea breaks.

    July 27, 2015 at 2:09 pm
    • Fidelis

      No, they’re not all receiving Communion. I know people who are cohabiting and don’t go to Communion when they attend a wedding or Mass for any other reason. I don’t know why you make that assumption. But even if it was true, which it’s not, that still would be a shocking scandal if the pope condoned it and said it was acceptable. You say “all it would do would be to make it official”. And you don’t see that is a major problem?

      I agree with your final paragraph but not with anything else I’m afraid. I don’t even think you’re right to say the majority of priests are encouraging sacrilegious Communions. I find most priests are very weak characters, sorry to say, so they would be likely to give Communion to whoever presents for it, but not because they want to encourage it, just because they’re too weak to say no.

      July 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm
      • Frankier

        Fi delis

        I think you are going too deep into what I said.

        I shouldn’t have said all, so I apologise. I would have been more careful if I had known someone like you was ready to pounce on every word.

        And what makes you think I don’t see any major problem simply because I made a statement of fact?

        I’m sorry to say that I don’t agree with your final paragraph. Priests,
        weak or otherwise, are encouraging it by allowing it. If I had been too weak to do my job my feet wouldn’t have touched the ground.

        Anyway, what’s going to happen to any priest who sticks to the rules of the Church? Lynched by a posse of Eucharistic ministers and girl altar boys?

        By the way, do you always go to weddings and Masses for any other reasons nice and early so that you can get a good view of who is going to communion?

        July 27, 2015 at 10:15 pm
      • editor


        “By the way, do you always go to weddings and Masses for any other reasons nice and early so that you can get a good view of who is going to communion?”

        Do you? You seem to be very sure that this is all going on already, divorced and “remarried” / cohabitees / same-sex couples, receiving Communion. How do you know?

        Like Fidelis, I know people – was at Mass with a couple of cohabitees not that long ago – who don’t approach for Communion, nor have any of the (many, I’m afraid to say) cohabitees in my family approached for Holy Communion at family weddings and a recent funeral.

        So, Frankier, ball’s in your court. How do YOU know that “all these groups are already receiving communion” ?

        And no smart alec quips about people like Fidelis/me being “ready to pounce on every word” – this is a discussion. If you don’t want to discuss, either don’t comment or watch that your “every word” is not worth being discussed. You should be pleased that your comment is considered worth discussing – that’s how I think about it, but then, I’m a simple gal. Thank God.

        PS PLEASE don’t go throwing your rattle out of the pram. I’ve got such a big collection already! Smile 😀

        July 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm
      • Frankier


        I’ll need to start saying the things you want me to say.

        I apologise profusely for allowing that to slip my mind.

        Oops, there goes my toy machine gun.

        July 30, 2015 at 9:28 pm
      • Frankier


        By the way, did your newsletter not inform people like myself that people in same sex relationships went to communion at the Soho Masses?

        If I am wrong then I again apologise, so if these people don’t actually partake of communion then surely there is nothing barring them from attending such Masses.

        Ball back in your court but you are welcome to keep it.

        July 30, 2015 at 9:34 pm
      • editor


        You’re some guy. Listen. The point I presume I was trying to make (seems a long time ago!) would have been that it wasn’t accurate to say that people who are in illicit unions are going up to Communion routinely, which is what you appeared to be claiming, because I, for one, know a number of people, including young people, who are living in immoral relationships, some of whom go to Mass sometimes, but do not go to Communion.

        Maybe where you live, things are different, I have no way of knowing, but I think it is a tad misleading to make a blanket statement to suggest that they all get up and go to Communion as a matter of course, all over the place, which, if true, would mean there was no need for any discussion at the synod.

        The reason, as I understand it, for this subject being given a scandalous airing, is precisely because the Pope and bishops are aware that those who are not supposed to approach for Communion are a wee bit miffed about it, and would like the ruling to be changed.

        About the Soho Masses – I’ve no recollection of ever mentioning that the participants approached for Communion, but I take it for granted that they would. They had/have a brass neck to ask for such Masses to begin with, but that situation, as I suspect you must know, you’re not altogether daft, is quite different (unique, we hope) from the concept of an ordinary parish Mass where the divorced and “remarried”, cohabitees and people in same-sex unions, approach for Holy Communion. There’s a big difference there, thinkest thou not?

        So, back to the drawing board, Frankier. You never know – you just MIGHT catch me out if you keep trying hard enough 😀

        July 30, 2015 at 10:59 pm
      • mastersamwise

        ” I’ve no recollection of ever mentioning that the participants approached for Communion, but I take it for granted that they would.” See I take issue with that. If they did not receive communion, what is the issue? Granted, I just learned today what the Soho Masses were.

        August 4, 2015 at 9:28 pm
      • editor


        Allow me to clarify that the key reason why I would presume that the participants at the homosexual Soho Masses would approach for Holy Communion is that I’ve read first hand accounts of them going up (with shockingly impure behaviour in the queue) and that from personal friends of mine who have attended for the purpose of accurately reporting what is going on there.

        Thus they were able also to report that after these Masses, LGBT literature was/is always available in the tearoom. And that they openly spoke of their “relationships” as being homo-sexually active. There was no pretence with them, give them their due. Unlike the claims of the Catholic hierarchy on their behalf, they did not pretend to be living according to Catholic teaching on chastity, they openly acknowledged their status as homo-sexually active “couples”.

        There’s no question that these Masses were a cause of the utmost scandal. Not that some people think there’s anything scandalous about it, and, as my friends reported, nobody seemed the slightest bit bothered about the canoodling going on in the pews throughout the Mass – a term which I use loosely. Do I believe they are likely to have been valid Masses? In a word… No.

        And Muffin Man is spot on about this fashion of self-identifying by sexual behaviour. Just imagine if I went about the place saying, “I’m Pat, I’m a single celibate female”…

        Can you imagine? I’d be inundated with handsome hunks asking me out on dates. No, let’s stick with “I’m Pat… how’s your bank balance?” 😀

        August 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Well, then they eat and drink judgement on themselves.

        As a note, I don’t think it is good to judge whether they were actually living in sin based on the fact that they are homosexual. I know you aren’t saying that, but I think it is something to keep in mind. But if they are openly bragging about living in sin after receiving the Holy Mysteries, then that is a serious problem. I do not think it is the place of the laity to pass judgement on them but help them understand the meaning of a sincere Christian life. All in all, it sounds like a very unfortunate situation. The cruelly ironic thing is that the people who ultimately suffer here are the homosexuals because they are given false hope based on the lie that the Church accepts their sin. Now they will feel vindicated in their sins instead of seeking the great healing that Christ could give them.

        People in my own church tend to be rather polemic in their talk with homosexuals and that, in my experience, has been very damaging to their opinion of the Church. Yet, even though we censure the polemics, the guard always needs to be up. The fathers of Vatican II said “it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church…that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation.”

        August 5, 2015 at 9:29 pm
      • editor


        “The cruelly ironic thing is that the people who ultimately suffer here are the homosexuals because they are given false hope based on the lie that the Church accepts their sin. Now they will feel vindicated in their sins instead of seeking the great healing that Christ could give them.”

        Absolutely spot on. I completely agree. It is a false charity to mislead any sinner into thinking that they are not sinning. Well said.

        August 5, 2015 at 10:04 pm
      • mastersamwise

        Have you tried creating some counter groups?

        August 5, 2015 at 10:08 pm
      • editor


        There was “Courage” – a “counter group” of men with homosexual leanings, who live according to the Church’s moral teaching, but since they simply attend their local parishes for Mass, they were not highlighted in the same way as the Soho group. In fact they were very concerned when the Archdiocese of Westminster organised the Soho Masses, as it seemed to undermine their support work for those with same-sex attraction. Very sad. I’m not sure if they are still in existence. Will try to check that out.

        August 6, 2015 at 12:21 am
      • mastersamwise

        I think, based on our own small successes, that if you have any Catholic newspapers or other media outlets, to start doing interviews and covering any events they have. Here is one Catholic who has been known in the American catholic blogosphere for a while and just now is getting some attention from bigger media groups.


        August 6, 2015 at 12:48 am
      • Muffin Man Returns

        Yes, certainly, we should not presume. But still, even if the people who attend are chaste, and I do not obsess over whether they are nor aren’t, is it not strange that this group of people should have a specific Mass? Are there specific Masses for persons with mental health problems, or those who are unemployed, or those who have relatives in prison? All God’s people need pastoral care. Why can pastoral outreach not take place in the context of an ordinary parish setting?

        As for LGBT Masses, the Church opposes the labeling and self-labeling of persons as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered or whatever. These labels are reductive and dehumanising. They are opposed to an authentic Christian anthropology. Affirming someone in these labels is very un-pastoral.

        There are plenty of people who are that way inclined, and they attend normal Masses. There were several in the church I used to attend, and nobody cared. There are probably several in the church I currently attend (an SSPX Mass). Don’t ask don’t tell is the best policy, it does not lead to discrimination or prejudice. The idea that everyone must label themselves and attend different liturgies accordingly is not how I want the Church to be.

        August 5, 2015 at 8:57 pm
      • editor

        That’s the spirit our Frankier! I’ll email you a list of the things I want you to say – stand by 😀

        July 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    That’s an interesting question so I went looking and I think it’s the Pope himself

    July 27, 2015 at 4:28 pm
  • sarto2010

    Throw Messrs. Bergoglio, Kasper, Marx et al. into the Tiber and cleave to the Barque of Menzingen.

    July 27, 2015 at 5:57 pm
  • Margaret Mary


    I must have misunderstood the article as I thought the Pope picked them. I wonder who will be going from the UK then? Does anyone know? If it’s Cardinal Nichols, he will support the Kasper group, and I think so would Archbishop Cushley although Archbishop Tartaglia is a friend of Cardinal Burke so he might not. Not that that’s a good reason but better than nothing!

    July 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Margaret Mary,

      The Pope can add Bishops of his own choosing, but he also has to endorse the candidates put forward by the Bishops Conferences.

      For Scotland, Archbishop Tartaglia is the representative, with Bishop Keenan down as the reserve. From the April 2015 archive in the link:

      POPE Francis has endorsed Archbishop Philip Tartaglia as the Scottish Bishops’ representative at the Synod on the Family this October.

      The appointment confirms the continuity between this year’s synod and the extra­ordinary meeting last October at which the Archbishop of Glasgow participated in his role as president of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference.

      There had been speculation that another of Scotland’s bishops might take part in the upcoming meeting, as Archbishop Tartaglia has been at the last two synods. Bishop John Keenan of Paisley has been ratified as substitute, if necessary.


      However, I have not seen or heard anything regarding who the English “Magic Circle” will be sending – schemers / liberals are usually opaque in this way!

      I think that, for any country, it is usually a given that the President of the Bishops Conference will be going. Amazingly, It is not even clear to me who fills that role for the England and Wales CCB – I presume its Cardinal Nichols, but could not say for sure.

      July 27, 2015 at 9:43 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        If you recall, Cardinal Vincent Nichols went on radio following the Synod Part One, to say he was one of those concerned about the synod statement on homosexuals – because it didn’t go far enough! That fact, and his recent determination to extend the LGBT “ministry” in Westminster suggests that we can expect him to be part of the Cardinal Kasper lobby.

        July 27, 2015 at 10:44 pm
  • spudeater

    Can it really just be a little over two months until the Synod reconvenes? My, how time flies when you’re hoping for the best but fearing/expecting/prepared for the worst – and matters certainly have drastically deteriorated if there can be grounds for even a shred, let alone a whole torturous tapestry of doubt that powerful groupings within the Church itself could deviate from 2000 years of remarkably clear and straightforward teaching by interpolating their own ‘ingenious’ interpretation or non-existent nuances into that precious guidance whose foundations are the words of Our Lord Himself. Then again, maybe I’m being unduly pessimistic about the prospects for an unambiguous reaffirmation of the Church’s teaching in all its fulness. But hold on, one of Britain’s representatives is of course Cardinal Vincent Nichols, a man who by his words and actions gives the impression that he’d have real difficulty judging a village fair’s jam-making competition, never mind successfully identifying an action (any action?) as objectively sinful. Lets pray that all of the delegates of a similar mindset fly back home at the Synod’s close with disappointment as their overriding emotion.

    Speaking of flying back, if green is the new red and purple, surely it would be better to conduct Synod Round Two via video link rather than have all the participants creating a carbon footprint that Sasquatch would envy. I imagine the video link itself should go something like this – “Welcome one and all. O.K.,let’s get straight to business. Our Lord said this…….(2 minutes of Bible readings follow). Right, does anyone think they know better? (30 seconds of silence) Fine! Thanks for ‘attending’ and you can all go back to your day jobs. God Bless!”

    July 27, 2015 at 8:10 pm
  • mastersamwise

    Oh ye of little faith.

    July 27, 2015 at 8:19 pm
    • Nicky

      What does that mean?

      July 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm
  • Athanasius


    There is only one “Barque,” the Barque of Peter. The SSPX is merely an auxiliary lifeboat during a stormy period for the Church. It is not now, nor has it ever been, Menzingen’s agenda to advocate throwing the Captain of the Barque of Peter overboard, even if he has lost his sense of direction. I’m afraid you’ll have to look for a pirate website of sedevacantists if you want to find like-minded mutineers. This is a Catholic blog that acknowledges the legitimate authority of the Roman Pontiff in all that is not dangerous to the faith handed down. Our duty before God is respectful resistance, not rampaging revolt.

    July 27, 2015 at 8:24 pm
    • editor


      I’m so relieved to read your latest post – the number of times I’ve been told I’m “revolting” you just wouldn’t believe.

      Phew !

      July 27, 2015 at 10:42 pm
  • Athanasius


    I have warned you on numerous occasions not to cut the staff wages. But would you listen??

    July 28, 2015 at 12:12 am
  • editor


    Well, I’m all ears now (and don’t say it, don’t say you thought there was something odd-looking about me… don’t dare!)

    On topic…

    I posted the following comment on the Papal Office/Time Limit thread yesterday but it really ought to be recorded here as well…

    I received a very thought-provoking post from another blog in my inbox [yesterday] – speaks for itself about the contemporary Vatican, Popes and “theology”…

    Click here to read…

    July 28, 2015 at 2:11 pm
  • Michaela

    That’s a really great article – spells out the scandal we are in perfectly.

    July 29, 2015 at 7:28 pm
  • editor

    For those who do not fully comprehend the dangers of the forthcoming Synod on the Family, the following extract from the April editorial in Christian Order might help put the dissent we might expect in October with the dissent we are witnessing here, there and everywhere right now – not to mention the anxiety of Cardinal Nichols to keep up the pretence that there IS no dissent, except, in his distorted view, from the 461 priests who signed an Open Letter defending traditional marriage !


    Team Judas

    After 461 priests invoked his displeasure by publicly declaring their orthodox allegiance — through a published appeal in firm defence of Catholic Truth and Tradition — Archbishop Nichols could not contain his liberal wrath. He sullied the Easter Chrism Mass with a pouting rebuke of the clerical signatories, stating it was wrong “to think or speak of this Synod [on the Family] as a battle, a battle between contesting sides.”

    Please. Not only are there contesting sides, he himself has long and publicly opted for Team Judas: the ecclesiastical ‘pincer’ helping the worldlings to crush and reshape Catholicism in the dissolute image and secular likeness of Martin Luther: to reduce the Church to a religious showpiece of the New World Order; a handmaiden of its masonic ‘values’.

    “Astonished” by the Archbishop’s denial, SPUC’s highly respected Chief Executive, John Smeaton, blogged on 10 April:

    I was present in Rome during the Extraordinary Synod, working with representatives of other pro-family organisations as part of the Voice of the Family coalition. It was plainly evident to us, after numerous meetings with prelates on both sides of the divide, that a battle was taking place over crucial aspects of Catholic teaching and discipline relating to marriage and the family. George Cardinal Pell, Prefect for the Economy, publicly stated that “radical elements” within the hierarchy were attempting to use the synod to undermine Catholic teaching on questions such as cohabitation and homosexual unions. They were, he said, using the issue of Holy Communion for the divorced and “remarried” as a “stalking horse” to help pursue these wider changes.

    These attempts to undermine the doctrine of the Church were strongly resisted on the floor of the synod hall, resulting in a partial reversal of the radical agenda outlined in the now notorious interim report. The final report remains gravely flawed however, as outlined in Voice of the Family’s in-depth analysis.

    This serious division between leading prelates is widening as the Ordinary Synod approaches. Cardinal Marx, Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, has claimed that the Church in Germany is not “a subsidiary of Rome” and that each bishops’ conference must “preach the Gospel in its own, original way.” Cardinal Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has called this idea “absolutely anti-Catholic” and another German, Cardinal Cordes, has accused Marx of false mercy, “theological blurriness” and language better suited to the “counter of a bar”.

    Furthermore Swiss-German Cardinal, Kurt Koch, has stated that the dissenters are trying to adapt the faith to the world after the manner of some German Christians under the Nazi regime.

    Cardinal Koch has nailed the nature and intent of the Team Judas Totalitarians: true sons of Annibale Bugnini. The late architect of the New Mass openly held that unless the Church accommodated itself to secularism, it could not survive. Hence his Novus Ordo Missae at the service of the Novus Ordo Seclorum. Hence the naturalistic echoes in his secular soulmates Cardinal Marx and Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, both of whom insist that the Church needs to take the “realities” of daily life much more into account and, accordingly, adapt her own moral teaching and pastoral practice. The subversive Bode even speaks of these “life realities” as a source of Revelation! Siding with Christ against the spiritual sons of Annibale, CDF-gatekeeper Müller firmly condemned Bode’s heretical notion:
    Wherever one puts mere human considerations or even the power of facts on the same level as Holy Scripture and Tradition, one departs from the foundations of Catholic theology.

    Heading off sophistic attempts by Bode & Co. to rationalise their insane project — to dovetail secular humanism with Catholicism — Cardinal Müller added that [The Church] cannot accept a humanism without God nor an attempt at an ideological self-redemption. Christ is the Redeemer of all men. … The life realities in each epoch offer a mixture of opportunities and risks. The Church proclaims always and everywhere the Gospel of the particular vocation of each man: to find in God here on earth, and beyond death, meaning, happiness, salvation and eternal fulfillment. The path to it is the imitation of the Crucified and Resurrected Lord.

    Yet still the social gospel is preferred and preached by complicit prelates and their clergy.

    Team Judas Ireland

    Take the secular line pursued relentlessly by Archbishop Martin of Dublin, as typically quoted and lauded here by the Irish press:

    “The language of the ‘No’ camp (against same-sex marriage) is not just intemperate but obnoxious, insulting and unchristian in regard to gay and lesbian people… There can be an ethic of equality, which is an ethic of recognising and respecting difference…” he said.

    Dr (Diarmuid) Martin suggested that a pluralist society could be creative in finding ways in which people of same-sex orientation had their rights and their loving and caring relationships recognised and cherished in a culture of difference. “I’m not saying that gay and lesbian people are unloving or that their love is somehow deficient compared to others, I am talking about a uniqueness in the male-female relationship,” he said. [Irish Independent, 20/3/15. My emphases.]

    That snippet alone explains how and why, since his instalment as Archbishop of Dublin in 2004, His Grace has overseen the steepest falls in Catholic identification and practice since the Council. His compromise and complicity was summarised by the All Passing Things [APT ]blog on 31 March:
    If the Church’s worst enemies were to pick a leader to place in charge, they could not ask for one to abandon, dismay and disorientate Catholics as much as he has done. Instead of conversion, instead of doubling down and keeping the faith with those little numbers who actually attend Mass each week, Diarmuid Martin has taken the option of choosing to praise secularism, castigating opponents of same-sex ‘marriage’ and lambasting young seminarians who are not liberal enough.

    These past few weeks, his comment on the same-sex ‘marriage’ referendum have been the actions of a man who wants to make life as easy as possible on himself when the legislation inevitably passes (with his help). The essential theme of his reign as Archbishop has been compromise and deference towards a society which thinks that he and his Church, traditional and liberal members alike, are pieces of dirt to be despised, mocked and persecuted. He is a master of ambiguities, with the intention of presenting himself as the kind modern face of a Church regarded as both rigid and bearing self-righteous antagonism towards the general population.

    His stance on homosexuality is particularly unnerving…. His aforementioned comments about homophobia, equating it to being against God Himself… was not isolated, however. His track record has offered much encouragement to those who want to destroy the sacrament of marriage. In response to Bishop Doran condemning the farcical assertion that the word ‘family’ should apply to two homosexual men who pay a vulnerable woman to give birth to a child for them to purchase, Diarmuid Martin joined in with those howling that Doran’s comments were examples of hate speech, stating:
    “I believe certain types of language are inappropriate. I hope that people were not offended by it…. There are very many, many definitions. I think that we should look on that variety of situations in a way that is more positive. We shouldn’t use phrases that may offend people.”

    Captain of Team Judas Ireland, Diarmuid thereby substitutes for the original Ten, his truncated Commandments of Complicity, Compromise & Capitulation: 1. Thou Shalt Not Call Sin By Its Name; 2. Thou Shalt Respect The Sin That Cries to Heaven; 3. Thou Shalt Not Offend The Sinner. Stripped of Truth, Love, and Mercy, these secular commands are zealously preached and strictly followed by his faithless Team-mates.

    “It is significant,” continues the APT commentary, “that the Association of Catholic Priests [ACP] have decided to finally show their true colours and endorse state-sanctioned same-sex ‘marriage’, through the most pathetic of cowardly statements.” A weaselly morass of political correctness, it read as follows:

    After a consultation with our members, the results of which indicated clearly a wide range of views, the Association of Catholic Priests has decided not to adopt a position in favour or against the Marriage Equality referendum.

    At the same time we appeal for a respectful and civilised debate in which the issues involved can be discussed in a calm and reasonable manner. Sexual orientation does not debar anyone from God’s love. If as priests we are speaking on this matter, we need to remember that the use of intemperate language can cause deep hurt among gay people and their families, as well as doing further damage to an already ailing church.

    The ACP asserts the particular responsibility that devolves on priests to measure their words carefully, and not to direct their parishioners to vote Yes or No.

    We look forward to a debate that will be characterized by freedom of speech and respectful listening so that the best result for the Irish people might be reached.

    “The most chilling aspect of all of this,” notes APT, “was that God was mentioned only once in the statement, and that reference itself was a deliberate attempt to suggest that living in a state of mortal sin is compulsive when the urge arises. The Association very deliberately chose to make no distinction between an attraction and the actions related to living out said attraction.” Meanwhile:
    Fr. Brendan Hoban [of the ACP] spoke on RTE Radio about this topic with words that were far removed from Catholicism. … He tells people to look at the issues and make an assessment of them. (Quick look, it’s a mortal sin. It’s that simple.)

    Not so elementary for Captain Martin and his Team, however, for whom concepts like ‘mortal sin’ and ‘perversion’ are outworn relics of our dogmatic past. “The Church is in a challenging moment, but it won’t be solved by throwing books of dogma at people,” smirks His Grace. The real solution — his Big Idea — is to feed them schmalz instead. “I doubt that the God of love will question how we vote [on sodomitic ‘marriage’], but rather the love in our hearts at the time of our decision,” emoted an ACP supporter, echoing limp calls by Archbishop Diarmuid and Father Brendan to avoid all ‘hurt’ during the debate. “What sort of effeminate nonsense is that?” cries the APT:

    Have they spoken out against the hatred being spewed against Catholics for upholding the Church that he says is ailing? If the Church is ailing, it is because men like Hoban and his associates have no conviction, no desire to save souls. Why would anyone want to join their Church?

    Why? Precisely because their fuzzy Newchurch is not the principled True Church. Informed by the Anti-spirit of the Ex-Apostle, its emoting priesthood is far from the Apostolic Spirit; a mere simulacrum of the dogmatic priesthood of Jesus Christ. Not even in his weakest moments, for instance, would a True Priest of the True Church view Catholic efforts to push the facilitators of mortal sin back into the swamp as a counter-productive exercise. Yet apropos the referendum, Fr Hoban warns that “A positive result for ‘Catholic’ forces [i.e., by defeating evil forces] could do huge damage to the Irish Catholic Church”! Has a choice for Judas and against Christ ever been more succinctly put? Source.

    Follow that, folks!

    Should not the above editorial be required reading for Pope Francis and every Synod member between now and October? I say “definitely” – and you…?

    July 29, 2015 at 7:51 pm
    • Michaela

      Rod Pead has a way with words, and that is his usual high standard. A fantastic editorial. Christian Order, along with the Remnant and Catholic truth, is a sanity saving must-read.

      “Team Judas” and “Team Judas Ireland” – I love it !

      July 30, 2015 at 6:45 pm
  • Nicky

    That’s a fantastic article by the editor of Christian Order. He doesn’t hit and miss the wall.

    I completely agree that every bishop attending the synod, especially Pope Francis should read it. If that doesn’t wake them up, nothing will.

    July 30, 2015 at 12:44 am
    • Michaela

      Touché Nicky!

      July 30, 2015 at 6:46 pm
  • Loyal Traditional Catholic

    I posted a question before and it doesn’t seem to have survived moderation. Perhaps I didn’t communicate the question too well, and because of the silly user name I chose, the moderator may have suspected I was a troll. I will choose a more sensible user name from now on. I was sincere. I comment here only occasionally so I don’t have an account. I shall endevour to be as respectful as possible this time, for I would not want to be suspected of trolling, which I would not do here, because I agree with this blogs aims.

    The question was as follows (roughly): My gut instinct is we should always seek the Truth and the good of souls. Therefore, we should hope and pray that the synod does not lead to a break from tradition.

    But I have been thinking, and I suspected I was wrong to think this, would it not be beneficial should the synod lead to schism? This way, would more souls would come to realise that there is a crisis in the Church and would come to accept Tradition? i hope this doesn’t sound immoral.

    I suspect my thinking is in fact not a very Catholic way of thinking? But I feel it is still a valid point. I wondered what people here thought?

    July 30, 2015 at 1:48 am
    • editor


      I’m afraid I didn’t release your post yesterday, not because there was anything wrong with the question – it was a good post, but the username coupled with the email address suggested trouble ahead, as the song goes, and so I didn’t release it. I’m sure you were just having a bit of fun, but, not knowing you or anything about you, I couldn’t be sure of that at first reading. Anyway, your comment is very welcome and goes to the heart of this topic.

      Of course, ideally, the Synod should conclude with a resounding re-affirmation of Catholic teaching on marriage and on the reception of the Sacraments – that would be the correct and perfect end to these months of scandal.

      However, it is unlikely, sadly, that such a resounding affirmation will come, and in the event that there is more scandal, with ambiguous statements which may encourage sacrilegious Communions in the name of “mercy”, then, yes, it would be better if the sheep and the goats were separated for all the world to see.

      This will happen when we will see the more orthodox prelates speaking out again, refusing to accept any such weakening of the Eucharistic discipline, and others, the dissenters, who will delightfully welcome what they will realise is, in fact, a weakening of the application of the Gospel teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the reception of the Sacraments, hitherto always linked to the recipient being in a state of grace. I have heard priests say that if their bishop instructs them to give Communion to people in these non-marital unions, they would not do so, which means there would be pockets of resistance – albeit limited, since the majority may opt just go along to get along as they’ve been doing these past fifty years, despite so many claims of concern at the post-Vatican II “reforms”.

      To your core question, then… were it not for the fact that the Pope himself is manifestly on the side of the dissenters, I would say, with you, better that the schism comes. However, unless the Pope performs a U-turn and shows Cardinal Kasper & Co. the door, I’m not sure how such a schism would occur in practise. Let’s hope we never have to find out!

      July 30, 2015 at 6:14 pm
    • Nicky

      “would it not be beneficial should the synod lead to schism? This way, would more souls would come to realise that there is a crisis in the Church and would come to accept Tradition?”

      I think that is already happening. I’ve met people who are asking about the SSPX now, because they can see that the prophecies of Quito on the family are coming true before their eyes.

      If the Kasper group get their way and something is published which allows Communion for adulterers, I absolutely believe that more Catholics will turn away from the mainstream Church and seek more faithful pastors.

      July 30, 2015 at 7:03 pm