Author Topic: FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!  (Read 1171 times)

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Offline stevusmagnus

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FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!
« on: April 05, 2010, 02:33:37 PM »
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  • My quote:

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    Originally Posted by stevusmagnus  

    It's the whole structure. They were given a weak and dependent structure considering the hostile circumstances on the ground and it is inadequate for their mission to truly thrive. They are dependent on other Bishops for their ordinations and dependent on Bishops to "allow" them into their dioceses and to give permission and faculties etc. etc. In addition the episcopacy = power. If you are a priest negotiating with a Bishop you are at a natural disadvantage. It may be hard for you to see because your order is probably friendly with the local ordinaries. We are talking about a lot of Bishops who are outright hostile to the Fraternity's mission and so the situation is different. the Fraternity needs to be protected and self-sustaining to be effective and not fearful.

    Rome has reportedly already offered the Society a Rolls Royce structure which completely insulates them from the local Bishops where they are directly under the Pope a year or two ago. They slowed Rome down, making them realize there were still huge doctrinal issues that needed to be discussed before any "structural" discussions.

    So Rome can play ball with the Bishops & the structure if they are motivated enough. The Fraternity caved too soon and are paying the price.


    Response from Novus Ordo Fransciscan Brother..


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    Let's look at Opus Dei. They have their own bishop. Yet, they cannot enter a diocese without the bishop of that diocese giving them permission. Once in the diocese, they may open their own houses, which fall under their jurisdiction. But if they step outside of their houses, they still have to play by the rules of the local bishop. Their bishop cannot overrule the local bishop. He can only govern them, not the local bishop.

    Now let's look at ordination. Canon law says that the major superior is the person who calls you to Holy Orders. The local bishop calls diocesan priests to Holy Orders. The FSSP are not diocesan. They are secular, but not diocesan. They are members of a Pontifical Institute. Therefore, their major superior calls them to Holy Orders. He gets a bishop to ordain them. The bishop cannot deny the ordination unless he sees a canonical impediment. How are their ordinations subject to the local bishops?

    Actually, Religious Orders have much more autonomy than Societies of Apostolic Life. Religious Orders are exempt, a canonical privilege that Religoius Congregations and Societies of Apostolic Life do not have. Even a Papal Prelature is not exempt. Even with their own bishop, they are not exempt religious. You see what I'm saying? There is no real advantage to having their own bishop. Maybe as you say, for negotiating purposes, but not for sacramental purposes. They still need faculties from the local bishop to step outside their door. Exempt Orders, on the other hand, don't need that. As soon as one of our friars is assigned to another diocese they have faculties. It's part of the Exemption. The Major Superior of an exempt order can transfer anyone into a diocese where they are canonically erected and simply sends in the name to the Chancery to get the faculties. A religious congregaton, a society of apostolic life and a papal prelature have to ask the local bishop for permission to assign someone to their diocese. They can assign someone to live in a house in that diocese, but not to work in that diocese. That permission has to be received a priori by from the local bishop. An exempt order does not need to ask for that permission. You just assign and notify the bishop. There are only a few exempt orders: Franciscans, Carmelites, Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians, Benedictines, Carthusians and Trinitarians.

    My point is that even with a bishop, they are certain things that they can't get around without violating canon law. Bishops do not have jurisdiciton outside of their area.

    The other question is one of justice. Canonists can make a great argument why does one Society of Apostolic Life have to have its own bishop and no other society or religious institute is allowed to have one? That would open up a can of worms that you don't want to imagine. That's why the Pope offered the SSPX an Personal Papal Prelature like the Opus Dei has. This way, they depend directly on the pope, with a bishop as his vicar.

    Right now, the FSSP are very well accepted by other clergy and religious. They work well with others. You mentioned that they had to concelebrate at the Holy Thursday mass with the bishop. I assume that you're talking about the chrism mass. Canon law says that all priests who do parish work in a diocese must concelebrate at that mass. Otherwise they don't get their holy oils. The only way out would be to attend the mass or to be involved in some other ministry where you don't need the holy oils. There are not too many of those. Even enclosed monasteries have to send an ordained monk to that mass to get the holy oils for their abbey. That's one of the few times when they have to leave their enclosure. There is no legal way out of that one.

    I don't see how having a bishop will make a big difference other than for diplomacy, if you're bishop is well accepted by other bishops. Otherwise, he's not much help.

    Offline stevusmagnus

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    FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!
    « Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 02:36:09 PM »
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    I recently saw an interview of an FSSP priest on EWTN. He impressed me very much, not that I needed to be impressed. I'm not his superior. But he was telling the story of how they came to be.

    Right after the excommunication of the SSPX bishops and Archbishop Lefebvre, several SSPX priests were distraut at the idea of being outside the Church. They left the SSPX campus without permission. Not knowing where to turn, they headed for Rome.

    When they arrived in Rome, they didn't know where to turn. The were outcasts, suspended priests. They were frightened and confused. They sought out the office for the Congregation of the Faith.

    When they entered the building they ran into Cardinal Ratzinger in the hall. They greeted him and told him who they were. They told him that they did not know what to do and they had no place to go. They didn't even have money. He asked them, "What can I do for you?"

    They said that they did not know. But that they wanted to be part of the Church. They report that the Cardinal invited them to come upstairs to his office. After a brief meeting, he told them to come back the next day. They had not place to go and no money. They had used their money to get to Rome. The Cardinal sent them to a local hospice for priests where they were welcomed and treated well. The hospice was run by Capuchins Franciscans.

    The next day they came at the appointed time. The Cardinal has setup an appointment with John Paul II. They were to meet with the Holy Father, who was the only person who could lift the suspension and regularized them.

    They attended the meeting with the Holy Father. They report that he did not place any conditions on them, except that they renew their promise of obedience. When they were asked what name they wanted, they thought of St. Peter. But they report that they were treated kindly and they were not required to give up their belief in Traditional Catholicism. They were only required to profess obedience.

    From that interview I got the impression that these men suffered a great deal during those days following the excommunications. This was a very hard step for them. They had friends in the SSPX. They loved the Archbishop and they believed in the cause. But they also felt that they could not choose the Archbishop over the Chair of Peter.

    Having heard their story one gets another perspective that fills one with compassion and great gentleness toward them. At least I do. I guess that's why I always feel very close to them when I meet them. In many ways they remind me of our own beginnings when Francis went to Rome to ask for help from Pope Innocent III. There were no guarrantees. There was only faith in God and faith in the successor of Peter, despite his shortcomings.

    I don't see them as weak men who caved in. I see them as men of great faith consistent with that of the great saints who dealt with popes and bishops who were not always the most holy people in history, but whom they obeyed and loved because they were the successors of Peter. At least these men dealt with a holy man will one day be a canonized saint, John Paul II. Francis of Assis and Dominic had to deal with Innocent III who was a lion and an intimidating man, also a very young pope who was very inexperienced in matters of the soul.

    I believe that it was no accident that these men met up with Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II, two very holy men. And from what I gather, these early founders of the FSSP were also very holy men of great faith.


    Offline stevusmagnus

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    FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!
    « Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 03:46:33 PM »
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  • Quote from: I
    Yes, not too long ago a Bishop in the Northwest US or Canada forbade communion on the tongue. The Fraternity had to cancel their Masses rather than distribute Holy Communion in the hand. That move was calculated and had little or nothing to do with "health concerns". It was ridiculous. The Fraternity has to put up with petty things like this all the time. They are at the mercy of the NO establishment.

    Offline Elizabeth

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    FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!
    « Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 10:59:01 PM »
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  • Interesting.  Are both segments written by the same Franciscan brother?

    The second bit was genuinely loving and charitable, except for the last sentence.  Maybe he didn't know about what happened at his holy patron St. Francis of Assisi's church, or hear about the earthquake which came later, and that's why he thinks JP2 is very holy?  

     Or maybe he just does what he's supposed to do, ora et labore, and so he has a heart full of charity, instead of being concerned about the crisis?
     :confused1:








    Offline Elizabeth

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    FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!
    « Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 11:00:13 PM »
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  • Quote from: stevusmagnus
    Quote from: I
    Yes, not too long ago a Bishop in the Northwest US or Canada forbade communion on the tongue. The Fraternity had to cancel their Masses rather than distribute Holy Communion in the hand. That move was calculated and had little or nothing to do with "health concerns". It was ridiculous. The Fraternity has to put up with petty things like this all the time. They are at the mercy of the NO establishment.
     How did the situation resolve itself?  


    Offline stevusmagnus

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    FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!
    « Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 11:53:43 PM »
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  • The Bishop finally said the "health concern" (H1N1) had abated so he lifted the restriction.

    Offline stevusmagnus

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    FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!
    « Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 11:59:11 PM »
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  • Quote from: Elizabeth
    Interesting.  Are both segments written by the same Franciscan brother?

    The second bit was genuinely loving and charitable, except for the last sentence.  Maybe he didn't know about what happened at his holy patron St. Francis of Assisi's church, or hear about the earthquake which came later, and that's why he thinks JP2 is very holy?  

     Or maybe he just does what he's supposed to do, ora et labore, and so he has a heart full of charity, instead of being concerned about the crisis?
     :confused1:



    He's polite enough, but stuck in the NO mindset. The "law" is absolute, blind obedience (unless it is to ABL), Canon Law is our God, etc etc.

    Offline Lycorth

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    FSSP Not Having a Bishop = No Problem!
    « Reply #7 on: April 06, 2010, 06:29:46 PM »
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  • Quote from: stevusmagnus
    He's polite enough, but stuck in the NO mindset. The "law" is absolute, blind obedience (unless it is to ABL), Canon Law is our God, etc etc.


    Sounds like the mentality of the modern Church in all too many cases. Just dare try discussing Traditional wisdom with modernist Catholics and that's just how they come off  :really-mad2:


     

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