Friday, September 05, 2014

First Friday Devotion

Today is the First Friday of September.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

If the Feeneyites, Why Not the SSPX? Or, "Just Do It!"

Forgive me if I am oversimplifying a vastly complicated theological standoff. But what actually stands between the SSPX and full communion with Rome now that the traditional Mass can legally be said by any priest who wants to anywhere in the world, and the excommunications of 1988 have been nullified?

I myself feel a certain restlessness to see this resolved with a significant reinforcement on the Right of the Church, while the Left ages and withers.

So much so that I am more than tempted to support local initiatives to bridge the gap between us.

I recall , Cardinal Ranjith, saying that the moment the SSPX was regularized, he would invite SSPX priests to help his seminary with priestly formation.

Why wait?

Just tell them to restrain themselves like gentlemen on topics touching on Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus, ecumenism, and relations with other denominations and faiths. I bet the SSPX has plenty of priests who would be a great help, even with that minor restriction.

Father Z, I think suggested that diocesan bishops just call up their local SSPX chapel each year and ask them what date they want them to come in to do confirmations. After all, it is their job as Catholic bishops to confirm Catholic children in the diocese and no one questions that the SSPX is Catholic.

Why not just do it?

Cardinal O'Malley can't work his schedule enough to drive 25 minutes to Woburn on 3 months' notice to confirm the kids whose parents attend the SSPX chapel there? Doesn't he have auxiliaries?

I am prompted by the report that an SSPX pilgrimage group had Mass in Saint Peter's in Rome recently. And by reports that SSPX priests often say their private Mass there when they are in Rome. So if a group that isn't in full communion can say Mass in the main church of the Catholic World, in what amounts to the Pope's own church, and that group espouses no heresy, why can't we just call the gap bridged and move on to more important things?

If we start to treat each other as Catholic colleagues more at the local level, maybe the big differences can be ameliorated and won't matter so much.

I also see that Cardinal Mueller has a meeting scheduled with Bishop Fellay. Hmmm. Maybe somebody else is getting impatient with this interminable standoff.

My understanding is that all that really stands between us and them now boils down to issues touching on ecumenism and interface with non-Catholic Christians as well as dialogue with non-Christians.

If I am right, it all comes down to Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus. Outside the Church, there is no salvation.

Meaning very literally that outside the One Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, the one and only Church established by direct command of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ and whose leadership and the binding and loosing power was placed in the hands of Saint Peter and his successors as Bishops Of Rome and Supreme Pontiffs to this very day, it is impossible to gain Heaven, except for very minor exceptions that are virtually impossible for anyone who can read this blog to meet.

The Church for the last 200 years has been trying to wiggle away from this doctrine. It is awfully hard to find common ground with the damned. And for a variety of reasons, the Church is desperate to find common ground.

Specifically, the Church has been making a concerted effort to broaden the interpretation of just who is inside the Church. It is to the point where prelates with a straight face claim that even non-Catholics are in the Church, as long as they are men of good will and do good deeds.

You have, for the good of the souls of the faithful, to say that heretics and schismatics are damned, lest the faithful, out of a sense of indifferentism, fall in among them.

We don't. And we have not done so for nearly 100 years here in the States.

The Holy Father recently went so far as to say we don't want to convert protestants! Of course we bloody do! It is the whole purpose of making disciples of all men! No wonder evangelicals, who don't hesitate to say Catholics are all wrong, are picking off badly catechized Catholics left and right. And for the last 50 years, we have all been badly catechized!

The Roman Catholic Church is the way to Heaven. No other is. Perhaps a tiny fraction of members of other "Faith Communities" may be saved. But all Roman Catholics who do all the things they are supposed, under the most conservative interpretation of the rules of Catholic life, may see heaven if they make use of the Sacraments and die in a state of grace.

The French Revolution, the rise of secularism and materialism, the common effort of the world wars, including wartime chaplaincy to all faiths (which is an obvious breeding ground for indifferentism), the horror of the Holocaust, and active encouragement of interfaith cooperation in the face of the communist menace have all fed into a trend to paper over the differences the Church has with heretics and schismatics.

Ironically, we seem unable to paper over the differences between universally understood Catholic doctrine regarding heretics and schismatics and whatever it is we profess to believe about them now. And that is why we are still at a standoff with the SSPX!

Even before the Second Vatican Council, things had reached a point where virtually no Catholic priest or prelate would call a spade a spade and emphasize,for the sake of the souls if the Faithful, that heretics and schismatics are damned.

How can you show your face at the next local gathering of ministers and rabbis in your area when you openly preach that they are promoting heresy that will lead to eternal damnation of souls, including that of the very people you are having coffee & donuts with? They are sure to call you out and ostracize you. And what priest wants to be holy at the cost of the fellowship of what he sees as his colleagues in the religion biz?

And it has become unimaginably worse since Vatican II. We Catholics have become immeasurably wimpier about declaring the exclusivity of salvation in the Church. At the same time, our ecumenical confreres have become amazingly dodgier in theology, with even women swanning around dressed up pretending to be priests and bishops!

The SSPX believes what the Church always believed about heretics and schismatics. The Roman and diocesan establishment ought to as well!

But there is a smaller and lesser known group who also had what amounts to the same difference with the Church. I am referring to the Feeneyites, the order known as the Slaves Of the Immaculate Heart, founded by Father Leonard Feeney.

Father Feeney accused the Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal Cushing of heresy for failing to protect the Faithful against indifferentism towards heretics and schismatics. Feeney lost the battle and his followers regrouped outside the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Boston, taking refuge in Still River and in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Feeneyites were the more strident of the two.

But after Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, the Still River Slaves of the Immaculate Heart were recognized as the Ecclesia Dei indult Traditional Latin Mass community for the diocese of Worcester.

Just about 2 years ago, the then-Bishop of Manchester, NH announced that the New Hampshire Feeneyites were granted ecclesiastical recognition. Thus ended the mini-schism that started with the Boston Heresy Case back in the 1940s.

So, if the Feeneyites, who I would have thought were much tougher than the SSPX, smaller, more unified, and more disciplined, have found a way to full communion, why can't the SSPX do the same?

If that really is all that divides us, I think we can squint a little and just get on with the business of giving the SSPX a recognized structure within the Church, along the lines that Pope Benedict apparently had in mind, with no deal-breakers attached thus time.

There are a lot sketchier people on the Left of the Church who are allowed to call themselves Catholic.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Saint Pope Pius X, Pope & Confessor

September 3rd is his feast in the Ordo in use before 1970. He was canonized in 1954 by Servant of God Pope Pius XII.

In the 1970 Ordo, this is the feast of Saint Pope Gregory the Great. September 3rd is the date of the beginning of his pontificate. His feast is March 12th (the date of his death) in the traditional Ordo. The move was made because March 12th always falls in Lent, and there are no obligatory memorials during that season.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Saint Stephen Of Hungary

Saint Stephen Of Hungary, please pray for us!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Saint Giles, Abbot & Confessor

From The Catholic Encyclopedia:

An Abbot, said to have been born of illustrious Athenian parentage about the middle of the seventh century. Early in life he devoted himself exclusively to spiritual things, but, finding his noble birth and high repute for sanctity in his native land an obstacle to his perfection, he passed over to Gaul, where he established himself first in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone and later by the River Gard. But here again the fame of his sanctity drew multitudes to him, so he withdrew to a dense forest near Nîmes, where in the greatest solitude he spent many years, his sole companion being a hind. This last retreat was finally discovered by the king's hunters, who had pursued the hind to its place of refuge. The king [who according to the legend was Wamba (or Flavius?), King of the Visigoths, but who must have been a Frank, since the Franks had expelled the Visigoths from the neighbourhood of Nîmes almost a century and a half earlier] conceived a high esteem for solitary, and would have heaped every honour upon him; but the humility of the saint was proof against all temptations. He consented, however, to receive thenceforth some disciples, and built a monastery in his valley, which he placed under the rule of St. Benedict. Here he died in the early part of the eighth century, with the highest repute for sanctity and miracles.

His cult spread rapidly far and wide throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, as is witnessed by the numberless churches and monasteries dedicated to him in France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the British Isles; by the numerous manuscripts in prose and verse commemorating his virtues and miracles; and especially by the vast concourse of pilgrims who from all Europe flocked to his shrine. In 1562 the relics of the saint were secretly transferred to Toulouse to save them from the hideous excesses of the Huguenots who were then ravaging France, and the pilgrimage in consequence declined. With the restoration of a great part of the relics to the church of St. Giles in 1862, and the discovery of his former tomb there in 1865, the pilgrimages have recommenced. Besides the city of St-Gilles, which sprang up around the abbey, nineteen other cities bear his name, St-Gilles, Toulouse, and a multitude of French cities, Antwerp, Bridges, and Tournai in Belgium, Cologne and Bamberg, in Germany, Prague and Gran in Austria-Hungary, Rome and Bologna in Italy, possess celebrated relics of St. Giles. In medieval art he is a frequent subject, being always depicted with his symbol, the hind. His feast is kept on 1 September. On this day there are also commemorated another St. Giles, an Italian hermit of the tenth century (Acta SS., XLI, 305), and a Blessed Giles, d. about 1203, a Cistercian abbot of Castaneda in the Diocese of Astorga, Spain (op. cit. XLI, 308).

Saint Giles, please pray for us!

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