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Offline Stubborn

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SSPX is a threat to the Church
« on: November 18, 2013, 03:58:43 AM »
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  • Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 02:00 PM EST

     Meet the Catholic extremists who could shatter the church Link


    The Society of St. Pius X has a past of Fascist sympathy and worse. Pope Francis might welcome it back to the flock
     

    Pope St. Pius X


    Last month, a 100-year-old convicted Nazi war criminal died in Italy and nobody wanted to bury him. Former SS captain Erich Priebke died under house arrest on Oct. 11, and that’s when the trouble started. Priebke had wanted a public funeral and Catholic burial — in contempt of the standard practice of cremating Nazi war criminals and scattering their ashes to the wind, or tucking them out of sight.

    But the Diocese of Rome refused to bury him — as did Priebke’s hometown in Germany and the foreign minister of Argentina, where Priebke (who died unrepentant) lived after fleeing his war-riddled continent. Each locale worried that Priebke’s gravesite could become a shrine for roaming Third Reich nostalgics. The corpse was in limbo, until the Society of St. Pius X stepped in.

    The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is a fervently traditionalist Catholic sect: a Vatican breakaway with no official Church status, and the cause of much malcontent in Rome. Born in reaction to the Church’s modernizing reforms of the ’60s, the Society soon emerged as a stronghold of the way Catholicism used to be. In the towns and cities where SSPX communities popped up (SSPX claims almost half a million members, hundreds of priests, and a presence on every continent, though the numbers cannot be verified), the group is best known for its practice of the old Tridentine Mass: conducted in Latin, the priest’s back to his congregation, and heavy on the Gregorian chant.

    Elsewhere, SSPX is known for other things: like its Holocaust-denying bishop; its anti-Semitic conspiracy mongering (an SSPX leader recently dubbed Jews and Modernists “enemies of the Church”); its rejection of interfaith dialogue; and its insistence that, since the 1960s, the Vatican has taken a turn for the worse. The Anti-Defamation League describes SSPX as “mired in anti-Semitism.” The Southern Poverty Law Center ups the ante, calling “radical traditionalist Catholics” (including, prominently, SSPX members) “the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in America.”

    And yet, the Vatican wants to make amends. Though a round of official negotiations broke down last year, the Holy See still supports a Pontifical Commission called Ecclesia Dei, which has tried to lead the SSPX flock back into the fold. As recently as January, Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, one of Rome’s top dogs, penned a letter to Society priests, pleading for “reconciliation and healing.”

    Why?

    Meanwhile, there are whispers of a formal “schism” between the Vatican and SSPX followers — and Erich Priebke’s body has been buried in an anonymous grave.

    ***

    “The history of the SSPX, like the history of the Catholic Church, is a beautiful mystery,” reads the official website of SSPX. But that’s not really so. Here’s what we know:

    In 1962, the Church opened its first ecumenical council in almost 100 years. Attended by more than 2,500 bishops, the Second Vatican Council (or Vatican II) was meant to reconcile the Roman Catholic Church with the modern world. And indeed, the Council defined Catholicism as we now know it. Vatican II tidied up Church government and encouraged interfaith friendship. Critically, it also ditched the traditional Latin Mass — in favor of a mass conducted in vernacular tongues. (Congregants would now have some idea of what was being preached at them.)

    During this time, one Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre grew deeply displeased. Lefebvre had always flirted with the far right (he supported Marshal Pétain’s Nazi-collaborating Vichy regime during WWII) and so it was no surprise when he emerged at the helm of Council challengers. A few years after refusing to sign Vatican II’s liberalizing documents, Lefebvre opened his own anti-Modernist seminary (bishops called it the “wildcat seminary”) in Écône, Switzerland. His movement grew, and eventually formalized as SSPX. By 1976, after some tousling with the papacy, Lefebvre was officially stripped of his holy orders. By 1988, things turned really sour. Against the Pope’s orders, Lefebvre consecrated four bishops — leading the Vatican to excommunicate all five. SSPX continued to minister, but without official canonical status.

    Today, SSPX describes itself as an “international priestly society” and Catholicism’s lone defender of God’s authentic word. The society is committed to the Latin mass — and staunchly opposes interfaith cooperation. It takes a narrow view of “liberty” and bemoans Modernism’s so-called “over-emphasis on the natural power and dignity of man.”

    It was the Latin mass that got Dr. Harriet Murphy, a 53-year-old Brit and former professor of German Studies at the University of Warrwick. (She boasts a doctorate from Oxford University and sabbaticals at the likes of Harvard.) As a young girl, Murphy was sent to a convent school where she received “a classical Catholic upbringing” by “highly-qualified sisters.” After graduating, she went on to study languages — and, eventually, to drift away from the Church. She spent time in America, where “my American friends called me a neocon. I would describe myself as conservative.” She published books and articles on Kafka and Canetti and Nietzsche. And then she found the Church again. Murphy calls it “rebirth… a kind of Damascus experience.”

    It was in Austria, on sabbatical, that she first stumbled across a Latin mass — and was overwhelmed by its majesty. “It can knock you off your feet and it certainly did. It was like another Damascus experience.”

    As Murphy learned more about SSPX, she found more to like: the “order and dignity;” the “happy families, united parents;” the commitment to charity; the fired-up adherents. She began to attend seminars, retreats, a pilgrimage through Paris. “I’ll remember it on my deathbed, walking by the Arc de Triomphe and all of Paris comes to a standstill because there are 8,000 people walking by with rosaries… singing these incredible hymns that they were singing in 1789 when they hated what was going on in the Revolution.”

    In Murphy’s telling, she “broke down” — swayed by allegations that the Church had failed and was failing, and by her own sense that it had “become liberal and wishy-washy.” Eventually, says Murphy, her religious devotion made her work at a small, liberal university intolerable — and so she quiet.

    Today, her thoughts have changed. “They stole me for fifteen years of my life,” she says, of “the sect.” Murphy says the group is describes a kind of indoctrination — fueled by a radical (and, she now believes, incorrect) reading of Catholic texts. SSPX, she says, “can fill you up when you have been a wanderer and lost your mooring… You would really need to be quite clever and sharp to see the errors.”

    Over the last several years, SSPX’s antics have snagged widespread attention — to the sure embarrassment of the Vatican. Much controversy stems from SSPX’s old-school anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. The Society has a long history of Vichy nostalgia; it was revealed in the 1990s that the group had harbored Nazi collaborator and war criminal Paul Touvier. But the situation climaxed in 2009, when SSPX bishop Richard Williamson gave a television interview in which he denied the existence of Nazi gas chambers. (German chancellor Angela Merkel was none too pleased, and had a telephone chat with the Pope soon after.)

    Despite all this, negotiations continued. Then Pope Benedict XVI even made some concessions: loosening restrictions on the Latin mass in 2007 — and, in 2009, reversing the SSPX bishops’ excommunications. In 2011, the Vatican presented SSPX with a “Doctrinal Preamble,” a kind of theological ultimatum, which SSPX could accept (heralding union) or reject (heralding schism). But rounds of talks stalled and stalled. “If we really want reconciliation,” urged a May 2012 column in The Catholic Herald, “now is really the time to pray about it.”

    Throughout, the point of the whole exercise appeared increasingly obscure. “In a pastoral sense, the door is always open,” cautioned papal champion Archbishop Müller in October 2012. But “We cannot put the Catholic faith at the mercy of negotiations. Compromise does not exist in this field.” The talks have since broken down.

    ***

    Why is the Vatican bending over backwards for SSPX — reportedly to the chagrin of more liberal-minded Catholic factions? In the view of John L. Allen, Jr., author and veteran Vaticanologist, “[Other groups] represent a pastoral challenge, but the L e f e b v r i t e s   are a genuine ecclesiological nightmare — legitimately ordained bishops acting outside of the communion with the pope, spawning an entire ecclesiastical structure that Rome is constrained to recognize but cannot control.”

    But SSPX poses a doctrinal threat too. Beginning in the ’60s, some Catholics struggled to understand Vatican II within what Rome describes as a “hermeneutic of continuity” — a continuation of Catholic orthodoxy. SSPX speaks instead (and loudly) of a “hermeneutic of rupture” that challenges the Church’s very legitimacy. Is it possible that some in the Vatican are sympathetic to SSPX’s critique? Gavin D’Costa, a professor in Catholic Theology at England’s University of Birmingham, thinks that like the SSPX, “there are some senior Church figures who want to emphasize the importance of ‘true’ doctrine.”

    But the word of the day is surely “schism.” “If you mention the word ‘schism,’ [SSPX members] go absolutely ballistic,” former Society follower Harriet Murphy insists. But D’Costa says “schism is likely” — though he thinks, in the long run, that this will come to weaken SSPX.”

    Back in Vatican City, the SSPX’s overt Nazi abetting and unabashed anti-Semitism never quelled the Holy See’s desire for reconciliation. But Pope Francis is a different kind of pope: a pope who understands the field of public relations. Given all this — and, most recently, the Society’s intervention in Erich Priebke’s funeral — can Pope Francis afford to resume negotiations?

    Or afford not to. Back in 2009, a French cardinal told journalists that then Pope Benedict XVI knew “the drama a schism represents in the church” — and, for that reason, would “go as far as he could in extending his hand.”
    I say that it is licit to resist the Roman Pontiff by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior." St. Robert Bellarmine

    Offline Quasimodo

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 06:13:45 AM »
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  • Antarctica?


    Offline Anthony Benedict

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 09:45:54 AM »
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  • Entirely predictable but I wouldn't think this too worrisome, Stubborn.

    Salon is a hostel for ADHD-type Marxists who've never let a fact get in their way. Beyond a few zoological pathologists, I doubt anyone with more than a two digit IQ considers it useful for more than lining bird cages.

    Offline Stubborn

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 10:53:15 AM »
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  • LOL
    I agree.
    In fact, some of the comments at the bottom of that link say more than the stupid article.
    I say that it is licit to resist the Roman Pontiff by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior." St. Robert Bellarmine

    Offline soulguard

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 11:03:24 AM »
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  • You people should feel honoured!
    The media never attempts to blacken a group's reputation unless they are a threat to the powerful forces in society.
     :cool:
    Brave new world = rule by demagogy and suppression of social dissidents by stigmatization

    Ps: People never would have heard of the SSPX unless the media tried to make people hate them. The SSPX should sue this company.


    Offline poche

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 11:03:27 AM »
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  • Didn't the archbishop sign the documents of Vatican II?

    Offline Santo Subito

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 11:30:01 AM »
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  • Quote from: poche
    Didn't the archbishop sign the documents of Vatican II?


    I'm not positve. However, even if he did, what does "signing the documents" mean?

    Was each bishop required to sign each document once it passed the vote and it was clear it was to be signed by the pope?

    Was it just a roll call signature? Does it just mean he had previously voted on the document?

    Was this just a customary thing for all the bishops to do at Councils?

    Or by signing your name, does that mean you completely agree with everything in the text? If this is the case, then every bishop who voted no, could never sign the document.

    Nobody ever explains what the significance of "signing the document" means. They only focus on whether ABL did so.

    Offline poche

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 11:34:20 AM »
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  • Quote from: Santo Subito
    Quote from: poche
    Didn't the archbishop sign the documents of Vatican II?


    I'm not positve. However, even if he did, what does "signing the documents" mean?

    Was each bishop required to sign each document once it passed the vote and it was clear it was to be signed by the pope?

    Was it just a roll call signature? Does it just mean he had previously voted on the document?

    Was this just a customary thing for all the bishops to do at Councils?

    Or by signing your name, does that mean you completely agree with everything in the text? If this is the case, then every bishop who voted no, could never sign the document.

    Nobody ever explains what the significance of "signing the document" means. They only focus on whether ABL did so.

    Signing a document generally means that you agree with what is contained there in. I had heard that Archbishop Lefebvre signed all the documents of Vatican II. The original post said that the archbishop had refused to sign any of the documents. I believe that in that respect the original post is inccorrect.  


    Offline TKGS

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #8 on: November 18, 2013, 11:57:42 AM »
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  • The archbishop signed most of the documents of Vatican II.  He denies that he signed the declaration on religious liberty but that document too bears his signature.  However, the bishops signed an attendance roster each day and there is speculation that what the bishops thought was one of these attendance rosters was actually the approval roster for this particular document.  

    Offline LoverOfTradition

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 12:04:36 PM »
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  • I heard he repented of signing the Documents.

    Offline IllyricumSacrum

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 12:44:17 PM »
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  • Many trad priests said the NO or the proto-NO ('67 rite with '68/'69 rubrics) before regaining their sanity. Should the traditional faithful spurned their services?


    Offline Capt McQuigg

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 01:10:34 PM »
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  • Quote from: Santo Subito
    Quote from: poche
    Didn't the archbishop sign the documents of Vatican II?


    I'm not positve. However, even if he did, what does "signing the documents" mean?

    Was each bishop required to sign each document once it passed the vote and it was clear it was to be signed by the pope?

    Was it just a roll call signature? Does it just mean he had previously voted on the document?

    Was this just a customary thing for all the bishops to do at Councils?

    Or by signing your name, does that mean you completely agree with everything in the text? If this is the case, then every bishop who voted no, could never sign the document.

    Nobody ever explains what the significance of "signing the document" means. They only focus on whether ABL did so.


    He did.

    Offline Matto

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 01:15:19 PM »
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  • The SSPX is part of a very small group that is the only hope of the Church. This writer must mean that the SSPX is a threat to the heretical anti-church.
    In a Station of the Metro
    The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
    Petals on a wet, black bough.

    Offline Santo Subito

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #13 on: November 18, 2013, 10:51:29 PM »
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  • http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/Interview_With_Archbishop_Lefebvre.htm


    Quote
    Did you not sign and agree to the resolutions of this council?

    No. First of all, I have not signed all the documents of Vatican II because of the last two acts. The first, concerned with "Religion and Freedom," I have not signed. The other one, that of “The Church in the Modern World”, I also have not signed. This latter is in my opinion the most oriented toward modernism and liberalism.

    Are you on record for not only not signing the documents but also on record to publicly oppose them?

    Yes. In a book, which I have published in France, I accuse the council of error on these resolutions, and I have given all the documents by which I attack the position of the council - principally, the two resolutions concerning the issues of religion and freedom and "The Church in the Modern World.”


    http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/Apologia/Vol_one/Appendix_IV.htm

    Quote
    Mgr. Lefebvre's opponents have accused him of rejecting the documents of Vatican II. The truth is that he signed fourteen of the sixteen documents and declined to sign two. The first of these, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), does not directly contradict Catholic teaching but is so uncatholic in its ethos that it is hard to understand how any self-respecting bishop could have put his signature to it. A few of the deficiencies of this document can be discovered by referring to the entry Gaudium et Spes in the index of Pope John's Council.

    Mgr. Lefebvre also refused to sign the Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae). In this case his objections were doctrinal. The documents of Vatican II come within the category of the Church's Ordinary Magisterium which can contain error in the case of a novelty which conflicts with previous teaching.1 The Declaration contains a number of statements which it is not easy to reconcile with traditional papal teaching and in Article 2 there are two words, "or publicly," which appear to be a direct contradiction of previous teaching.

    Offline Santo Subito

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    SSPX is a threat to the Church
    « Reply #14 on: November 18, 2013, 11:30:49 PM »
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  • In any case, I'm a bit confused on what good it would do for a bishop to refuse his signature on documents of a Council that have already been signed and enacted by the Pope. Thus, at that point, they are acts of the Church's Magisterium. It seems to me that signatures to voice approval after the fact would be pointless. What matters are the votes. Once the document gets voted on and passed and the pope signs, it is a done deal. At that point signatures mean nothing, unless it was a roll call for the final voting.

    It is clear that whatever it is that ABL signed in 1965, he did not believe it to represent his approval of DH & Gaudium et Spes.

     

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