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Great research.  Dom Gueranger's explanation of the prayer is similar.  
General Discussion / Re: Floor Level Roman Funeral For Cardinal Dias
« Last post by Marlelar on Today at 10:14:46 PM »
The author of this story is an idiot.

To begin, and this tells you how unknowledgable the story's author is, it is a well-known and ancient tradition that when the pope celebrates a funeral Mass, the liturgical color is red.  That is why when a pope dies and his body lies in state, it is clothed in red vestments (look at the pictures of Prius XII's funeral).

Also, the placing of a Cardinal's coffin on the floor during a funeral that takes place in St. Peter's is also an old tradition.

I do not know about the lack of a pall, however, given everything else this story got dead wrong, I'm not inclined to trust anything it says.
Well it's not too well known as I had never heard of it and a search online turned up no info on how a Pope says a funeral Mass.  Thanks for the info.  Would you post your source please?  I'd like to bookmark this for future reference.
And Schönborn is a "Cardinal" no less.  It sounds like he thinks that he himself is more saintly than Pius V if he thinks he's qualified to vilify a sainted Pope.
DateJune 17, 2017
AuthorSamuel Loeman
Tagsuna cum

A friend of mine recently told me he preferred to stay “home alone” rather than attend a Mass where the priest prays “una cum” pope Francis, whom he considers to be a heretic. This is how he explained it to me :

The Te Igitur seems to contain a public solemn vow before the throne of Almighty God stating that each person partaking in it is united to Francis.

I cannot in conscience attend his Mass or any Mass in which the priest speaking for himself and all present makes a vow (sacramentum) that he prays in union with (‘una cum’) Francis.

I would be making a lie, perjuring myself in the holiest place on earth, as well as declaring myself at one with (una cum) the beliefs of Francis.

So I would like to offer here a few arguments against what I believe is an erroneous interpretation of the una cum in the Te Igitur prayer in the Canon of the Mass and which I believe is ultimately yet another snare of the devil to keep Catholics away from the Sacraments.
Correct Translation
This is how Dom Guillou, a famous traditionalist benedictine monk and friend of Archbishop Lefebvre, translates the Te Igitur:

We therefore pray Thee with profound humility, most merciful Father, and we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, to accept and to bless these gifts, these presents, these sacrifices, pure and without blemish, which we offer Thee firstly for Thy Holy Catholic Church. May it please Thee to give Her peace, to keep Her, to maintain Her in unity, and to govern Her throughout the earth, and with Her, Thy servant our Holy Father the Pope. 1

For those people who prefer to go back well before Vatican II, this is how in the 1937 Fr. Lasance Missal 2 the Te Igituris translated:

Wherefore, we humbly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ Thy Son, Our Lord, to receive and to bless these gifts, these presents, these holy unspotted sacrifices, which we offer up to Thee, in the first place, for Thy holy Catholic Church, that it may please Thee to grant her peace, to guard, unite, and guide her, throughout the world; as also for Thy servant N., our Pope, and N., our Bishop, and for all who are orthodox in belief and who profess the Catholic and apostolic faith.

From these translations it is already quite clear that “these gifts, presents, sacrifices” are offered up for the Church, forher hierarchy (pope and bishop) and for her faithful. And it is equally clear that therefore the “una cum” is not a “public solemn vow before God” declaring us “at one with the beliefs” of the ones we are praying for.
What Theologians Say
In “The Mass: A Study Of The Roman Liturgy” by Fr. Adrian Fortescue, published in 1922, we read:

The Intercession (from “in primis”), now spread throughout the Canon, begins by praying for the Church, Pope, bishop and the faithful. Mediaeval missals have: “et rege nostro N.” after the bishop. This was omitted in 1570, but certain Catholic countries still keep the custom of praying for the sovereign here. Before the XIth century the local bishop was often not mentioned. In the middle ages the celebrant added a prayer for himself. The commonest form was: “ Mihi quoque indignissimo famulo tuo propitius esse digneris, et ab omnibus me peccatorum offensionibus emundare.” The word “orthodoxi” is rare in the West. This prayer has striking parallels with the Intercession of the Antiochene rite. 3

In “A history of the mass and its ceremonies in the Eastern and Western church” by John O’Brien, published in 1879, we find this explaination of the Te Igitur prayer:

In the first prayer of the Canon the priest prays for the Universal Church at large, and for its visible head upon earth, the Supreme Pontiff, by name; then for the bishop of the diocese in which he is celebrating; and, finally, for all the orthodox upholders of the Catholic Faith. .. When a bishop himself says Mass, instead of saying, “and our bishop, N.,” he says, “and I, thy unworthy servant,” without expressing his name. When the Holy Father celebrates he says, “I, thy unworthy servant, whom thou hast wished should preside over thy flock.” If the Mass be celebrated at Rome no bishop’s name is mentioned after the Pope’s, for there is no other bishop of Rome but the Holy Father himself. 4

Monsignor Pohle in his Dogmatic Treatise on The Sacraments, Volume II says about the canon of the Mass :

For this reason, they say, the Church prays for the Pope, the Ordinary of the diocese, and the faithful generally in the Canon of every Mass, regardless of whether or not the celebrant has received a stipend compelling him to apply its special fruits to some particular person or intention. 5

In the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia we read about the Canon of the Mass that:

The priest prays first for the Church, then for the pope and diocesan ordinary by name. 6

From this it is obvious that in the Te Igitur we pray for the Church, for her hierarchy (pope and bishop) and for her faithful.
When the Pope Says Mass
Consider that when the Pope himself is saying Mass, he omits the words “una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N.” and instead uses these words: “Et me indigno servo tuo”. It is rather obvious that in this case the pope is not praying in union with himself, but rather for himself. Those who claim that una cum must be understood as meaning in union with would have a real problem translating this sentence as “which we offer up.. for Thy holy Catholic Church… in union with myself your unworthy servant..” That simply does not make sense. No one prays in union withhimself, but it is quite normal to pray for oneself !

Again, when the pope prays the Te Igitur, he does not pray in union with himeself but for himself, just as every other priests prays for the Church, for her hierarchy (pope and bishop) and for her faithful.
Using Logic
At the start of the Canon of the Mass, there is also a certain logic, a hierarchy of priorities to pray for. First in the Te Igitur we pray for the Church, then for the pope, then for the local bishop, then for all orthodox faithful and finally in the Memento we also pray for all those “whose faith and devotion are know to God only”, and for who this Mass is offered explicitly.

It would make no sense to pray for this whole list of intentions, ordered from most to least important, except for the one item in the middle of that list, the pope, claiming that we don’t pray for him, but simply declare to be in union with him. That defies logic and good order.
From the earliest days of the Church the Canon of the Mass included a prayer for the Church, the pope, the bishop and the faithful. At times it also included the emperor in this list. Fr. Adrian Fortsecue explains :

The Intercession (from “in primis), now spread throughout the Canon, begins by praying for the Church, Pope, bishop and the faithful. Mediaeval missals have: “et rege nostro N.**” after the bishop. This was omitted in 1570, but certain Catholic countries still keep the custom of praying for the sovereign here.

It would make no sense to claim that Catholics used to declare in the Canon of the Mass that they were in union withtheir secular emperor. Rather, they simply included him in the list of intentions to pray for.
Fourth Council of Constantinople
In the fourth council of Constantinople, this idea of private judgement and refusing communion with one’s patriarch based on a private judgement is clearly and directly condemned as a schimatic act. Omitting the name of the pope (patriarch of Rome) during the Mass (divine mysteries or offices) is explicitly condemned:

As divine scripture clearly proclaims, Do not find fault before you investigate, and understand first and then find fault, and does our law judge a person without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?. Consequently this holy and universal synod justly and fittingly declares and lays down that no lay person or monk or cleric should separate himself from communion with his own patriarch before a careful enquiry and judgment in synod, even if he alleges that he knows of some crime perpetrated by his patriarch, and he must not refuse to include his patriarch’s name during the divine mysteries or offices.

In the same way we command that bishops and priests who are in distant dioceses and regions should behave similarly towards their own metropolitans, and metropolitans should do the same with regard to their own patriarchs. If anyone shall be found defying this holy synod, he is to be debarred from all priestly functions and status if he is a bishop or cleric; if a monk or lay person, he must be excluded from all communion and meetings of the church until he is converted by repentance and reconciled. 7

The Church does not allow us to use private judgment to separate ourselves from our legitimate patriarch, and explicitly teaches us that we must not refuse to include his name during the divine mysteries or offices.
Pope Benedict XIV
Pope Benedict XIV in his encyclical Ex Quo, explains that:

But however it may be with this disputed point of ecclesiastical learning, it suffices Us to be able to state that a commemoration of the supreme pontiff and prayers offered for him during the sacrifice of the Mass is considered, and really is, an affirmative indication which recognizes him as the head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, and the successor of blessed Peter, and is the profession of a mind and will which firmly espouses Catholic unity. This was rightly noticed by Christianus Lupus in his work on the Councils: “This commemoration is the chief and most glorious form of communion” (tome 4, p. 422, Brussels edition). This view is not merely approved by the authority of Ivo of Flaviniaca who writes: “Whosoever does not pronounce the name of the Apostolic one in the canon for whatever reason should realize that he is separated from the communion of the whole world” (Chronicle, p. 228); or by the authority of the famous Alcuin: “It is generally agreed that those who do not for any reason recall the memory of the Apostolic pontiff in the course of the sacred mysteries according to custom are, as the blessed Pelagius teaches, separated from the communion of the entire world” (de Divinis Officiis, bk. 1, chap. 12). 8
Praying for a Heretic in the Canon of the Mass
I hope this will suffice to prove that “una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro” in the Canon of the Mass simply means that we pray for the pope, and that it certainly is not “a vow” or “a declaration of us being in union with all his beliefs”.

So what then about the argument that a Catholic is not allowed to publicly pray for a heretic, at least not in the Canon of the Mass ? Does that argument apply to our situation ?

Keeping in mind that a Catholic is not allowed to receive communion from a heretic either, let us listen to what St. Thomas Aquinas has to say on this issue:

Still there is a difference among the above, because heretics, schismatics, and excommunicates, have been forbidden, by the Church’s sentence, to perform the Eucharistic rite. And therefore whoever hears their mass or receives the sacraments from them, commits sin. But not all who are sinners are debarred by the Church’s sentence from using this power: and so, although suspended by the Divine sentence, yet they are not suspended in regard to others by any ecclesiastical sentence: consequently, until the Church’s sentence is pronounced, it is lawful to receive Communion at their hands, and to hear their mass.

We see that St. Thomas makes a clear distinction between the Divine sentence and the ecclesiastical sentence, and that since God does not publish his Divine sentences on a public noticeboard, we mortal humans have to rely on the Church’s judgement and her ecclesiastical sentences to guide our judgments and actions. Just as we must still treat a person whom we suspect of heresy as a Catholic in good standing when attending Mass and receiving communion, unless and until the Church’s sentence is pronounced, so we must also treat a pope whom we suspect of heresy as a valid pope, unless and until the Church’s sentence is pronounced.

Those who think their own private judgment is sufficient to regard the pope as a heretic and to refuse to pray for him in the Canon of the Mass, should be consistent and refuse to attend the Mass of anyone they privately consider a heretic. And in doing so they are in direct contradiction to St. Thomas Aquinas.
The argument that a Catholic should not mention the name of a pope during the canon of the Mass if he privately suspects the pope to be in error or even suspect of heresy, is based upon an erroneous understanding of the Te Igiturprayer in the Canon of the Mass, and upon the erroneous reasoning of sedevacantists who claim that private judgement is sufficient for us to recognize a heretic and to then put this private judgment on the same level as an ecclesiastical sentence.

And when Catholic faithful refuse to attend the Sacraments from a priest who does not think and act as rashly as they do, and who still prays for a bad pope in the Canon of the Mass, they are simply following the pied piper of sedevacantism, whether they like to admit it or not. And more often than not it leads them completely away from the Sacraments, in order to stay “home alone”. The devil himself could not ask for more!

Wow -- what a mess.

Can you name even one thing he has commanded us to do that was not displeasing to God?  Name just one and provide the source. 
Exactly.  No law exists which commands us to sin.


As far as Fr Wathen goes, you can visit his website and listen to sermons for free.  There may be a few on sedevacantism.

 :applause: :applause: :applause:
June 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The new U.S. delegation to the United Nations has rejected a resolution on violence against women because it called for abortion to continue in countries where it's legal. 
Canada introduced the resolution, which was adopted by consensus.  (And the Prime Minister of Canada calls himself Catholic"

The U.S. said they supported it in "spirit," but not its call for "comprehensive sexual and health-care services" and "safe abortion where such services are permitted by national law." 
"We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance," said U.S. First Secretary to the U.N. in Geneva Jason Mack. The U.S. "must dissociate from the consensus," he said as reported by Reuters.
The Canadian government has made the "elimination of violence against women" a foreign policy priority. In its outline of what this means, there is no mention of gendercide. 
Gendercide is the systematic killing of girls in the womb or after birth because of their gender. There are over 37 million missing girls in China because of gendercide. It's a problem in India and other countries as well. In 2012, a Live Action investigation revealed that abortion facilities in America are willing to participate in sex-selective abortions.
In April, the Trump administration pulled funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) over its cooperation with China's forced abortion regime. President Trump also reinstated the Mexico City Policy preventing U.S. taxdollars from funding abortion and the promotion of abortion overseas.
Trump picked the former governor of South Carolina, pro-life Nikki Haley, to serve as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. "''
Comment in red, mine.
Where is the "Television - EXCELLENT ARTICLE! A Must Read!"?
The primary practical problem with sede-ism in my opinion, is that it leads to a dead end.

If brought to its logical conclusion it leads everyone out of the only visible structure of the Catholic Church
and into sede chapels and..then what? Can't elect a new pope, I'm told by sedes, so we all just hang out while
the leftists destroy the remaining visible structure further?
SSPX Resistance News / Re: Fr. Paul Robinson defends SSPX union with Rome
« Last post by Merry on Today at 06:25:20 PM »
And now the English -

On June 8, 2017 there appeared an article entitled, “Unity of Faith with Pope Francis & Canonical Recognition of the SSPX” on the web site of the SSPX’s Asian District. The essay was written by Fr. Paul Robinson, a professor of dogmatic theology at the Lefebvrian Holy Cross Seminary in Lake Bathurst, Australia. As the article points out in an introductory comment, it is “published with permission of the SSPX’s General House in Menzingen”, which means it comes with the highest possible Lefebvrian approval, that of Superior General Bp. Bernard Fellay himself, who resides at his order’s headquarters in Menzingen, Switzerland.
Unity of Faith with Pope Francis & Canonical Recognition of the SSPX
June 08, 2017
District of Asia

In this article published with permission of the SSPX's General House in Menzingen, Fr Paul Robinson addresses the question of whether a Pope must have the faith of a traditionalist for it to be right for the SSPX to receive canonical recognition from him.

- by Fr. Paul Robinson

In the debate as to whether the SSPX should accept a personal prelature from a Pope Francis pontificate, some have opined that the SSPX should not be considering whether canonical recognition is opportune or prudent. Rather, the real question to be asked is whether the SSPX and Pope Francis share the same goal and have the same faith. If not, then it is wrong in principle even to consider accepting canonical recognition. If so, then and only then could it be right in principle, allowing one to move to discern whether it is also prudent.
The implied position of those who express this opinion is that Pope Francis does not have the same faith or the same goal as the SSPX, and so it would be in principle wrong to accept canonical recognition under a Pope Francis pontificate. Not only that, it would be illogical, for “to establish legal unity without real unity would … be contradictory.”
This article will seek to show that it is not, in principle, wrong to accept canonical recognition from a Modernist Pope, and also attempt to determine a criterion by which one can determine the degree to which collaboration with a Modernist Pope is acceptable. This article will not consider whether it is prudent, in the current circumstances, for the SSPX to accept a personal prelature from Pope Francis.
SSPX History
The first fact to be noted about the position above is that it runs contrary to the spirit informing the entire history of the SSPX. Let us take a brief review of that history to see that such is the case.
It would not seem too difficult to establish that Pope Paul VI had strong Modernist tendencies. Yet the SSPX was canonically erected under the pontificate of Paul VI and was recognized as a pious union from 1970-75. Thus, at least in the mind of the Archbishop, it cannot be wrong, under all circumstances, to collaborate with a Modernist Pope to the extent of having a canonical structure under him.
The events leading up to 1988 are perhaps even more instructive on this score. When one understands that Archbishop Lefebvre was waiting for signs that he should consecrate bishops and that after receiving two such signs, in the form of Modernist scandals on the part of Rome, he then went to Rome seeking canonical recognition, one should draw the general principle: Modernist scandals, of themselves, are not an obstacle to receiving canonical recognition at the hands of those who have perpetrated those scandals.
At the same time, the Archbishop withdrew his signature to the protocol that was to provide a canonical structure, because he lost trust in those with whom he was negotiating. After the trying ordeal was over, he acknowledged that a greater traditionalism on the part of the Romans—in their doctrine—would provide solid grounds for trust. Thus, for him, evaluating the faith of the Pope was grounds for evaluating the acceptance of canonical recognition—not as to whether it is possible, but rather whether it is prudent. If the Pope can be trusted to allow the SSPX to remain “as is” and exercise its ministry—the “experiment of Tradition”—with sufficient autonomy, then canonical recognition is a good for the Church and should be accepted.
This same line has been followed by the SSPX in its 21st century dealings with the Roman hierarchy. The SSPX has never gone to Rome, asking that the Pope and the hierarchy convert to traditionalism before the possibility of canonical recognition even be considered. It has never demanded a profession of faith by the Pope, a recantation of heresy, a syllabus of errors, or any such. To do so would imply that the SSPX was the superior and the Pope the inferior, that it was a question of the Pope receiving legal recognition from the SSPX rather than the other way around. In short, it would imply a schismatic spirit.
The SSPX has rather only made demands that correspond to its proper position, especially the demand to be left “as is”. It attempted to lay down in the General Chapter of 2012 six conditions—none of which concerned the Pope’s faith—to make sure that it would remain intact and sufficiently autonomous under a hypothetical canonical recognition.
This is not to say that members of the SSPX, even very high up, have not been at times tempted to hold that the true spirit of the Archbishop and so of the SSPX demands that the Pope profess doctrinal traditionalism before there can be any practical recognition. That is, after all, the stance of that loose conglomeration of ex-SSPX priests that goes under the name of “The Resistance” and which has a former SSPX bishop as one of its members.
What is being affirmed here is that the “strict unity of faith before canonical recognition” position has never, at any time, been the official position of the SSPX, neither in the time of the Archbishop nor since his death.
Collaboration Possible
In principle, then, it must be possible to collaborate in some way with a Modernist Pope. Let us just zoom out a bit from the SSPX-Rome talks, so as to understand a fact that is absolutely fundamental for this discussion: the SSPX has always collaborated to some degree with the post-Conciliar Popes. Three principles will help clarify that such is specifically the case with Pope Francis.
The first principle is that the SSPX accepts Pope Francis as being Pope. Archbishop Lefebvre, while showing a certain tolerance for individual sedevacantists, always refused sedevacantism at the level of his priestly fraternity. To this day, candidates to major orders in the SSPX must affirm before the Blessed Sacrament the night before their ordination that the Pope is the Pope.
The second principle is that Pope Francis is Pope of the Catholic Church. What this means is that he holds the highest office in an institution established by Our Lord Jesus Christ. As such, he has not decided and cannot decide the finality of that institution. The Church is the Church regardless of his personal feeling about it. This is perhaps a rare instance when it would be proper for him to say, “Who am I to judge?”
This is to be kept in mind when we consider certain directions in which Pope Francis has apparently tried to steer the Church. He seems, for instance, to want the Church to be an agent of ecological ideology, in its modern anti-human form, as embodied by such persons as Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Ehrlich. Needless to say, it is not part of the Church’s mission to foster ‘sustainability goals’, especially when they involve drastic reductions of the world’s population. This is true regardless of whether Pope Francis believes or wants it to be part of the Church’s mission.
Thirdly and finally, the members of the SSPX as well as its faithful are already members of the real society of the Catholic Church over which Pope Francis is the visible head. In other words, they have a real unity with Pope Francis—not with Pope Francis in his ‘personal magisterium’, but with Pope Francis as Pope. They acknowledge him to be the governing head of the Church, they put his picture in their chapels, they mention him by name at Mass and Benediction. These acts are neither hypocritical posturings nor vain symbols; they indicate the real unity that exists between the SSPX and the Pope. They indicate that the SSPX is collaborating, at least to some degree, with Pope Francis for the interests of Holy Mother Church.
Canonical Recognition not a Joining
The fact of SSPX’s already existing real unity with Pope Francis brings home a second key fact often missed by personal prelature refusalists: canonical recognition of the SSPX by Pope Francis is not about the SSPX joining something. It is rather about the SSPX being given legal standing in a body to which it is already really united.
Too often, refusalists frame the discussion of SSPX-Rome relations as if there is question of the SSPX getting membership in the ‘Church of Francis’, when in fact there is nothing for the SSPX to join to which it does not already belong. The SSPX would be joining an organization only if:
the SSPX were currently schismatic and so outside the Church—something we vehemently deny
 the Roman authorities constituted a non-Catholic church in the strict organizational sense of the term—something we also deny.

Many of us in the SSPX have had conversations with Novus Ordo relatives or friends in which they, judging by superficial appearances, have accused us of being ‘outside the Church’ because our parishes are not approved by the diocese. And we have, no doubt, explained to them that the separation is only apparent since we fully accept the authority of the Pope and bishops. But just as the ‘separation’ from Church authorities caused by the lack of a canonical structure is only apparent, so too the ‘joining’ of something by accepting a canonical structure is only apparent. If the Pope gave the SSPX a personal prelature, it would appear to some that thereby the SSPX would enter into communion with the Church (‘full communion’ in their terminology!). In reality, nothing would have changed in the SSPX’s communion with the Church. That communion would have existed integrally both before and after the conferral of a canonical structure.
This point is an important one in light of those who hold that canonical recognition is wrong in any situation where the Pope does not have the same faith in the Catholic Church as traditionalists do, because traditionalists would then be seeking to unite their efforts with someone who does not share the same goal. The fact is that traditionalists must necessarily unite their efforts to some degree with Pope Francis, simply by acknowledging him as Pope and trying to promote the interests of the institution of which he is the visible head. Pope Francis’s Modernist faith cannot, then, be a complete obstacle to collaboration.
If we agree that a total unity of faith with the Sovereign Pontiff is not, of itself, necessary for collaboration, the question then becomes: is canonical recognition of the SSPX one of those areas wherein collaboration with a Modernist Pope is possible? Or does Modernism positively exclude such a possibility, since the collaboration is at the level of a canonical structure?
Levels of collaboration
If we were to attempt to lay down a general principle as to the circumstances when collaboration with a legitimate Pope of doubtful faith is good and when it is not, it would be this: collaboration with such a Pope is good when it is morally certain that he is working for the good of the Church and bad when it is morally certain that he is not.
This seems to be the principle under which the Archbishop was operating. In his anti-sedevacantist 1982 ordination sermon, he stated,
In spite of the wounds in the Church, in spite of the difficulties, the persecution we are enduring, even from those in authority in the Church, let us not abandon the Church, let us love the Holy Church our mother, let us serve her always—in spite of the authorities, if necessary … we want to support the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre, vol. III, pp. 415-416
When he says “in spite of the authorities, if necessary”, he is implicitly saying “with the authorities, if possible”. Whatever comes, the SSPX must serve the Church, not churchmen as such. When churchmen act against the Church—and clearly so—the SSPX must not cooperate. In the case of the consecrations of 1988, the SSPX must even go so far as to act in opposition to Church authority in order to serve the Church. When churchmen act for the good of the Church, on the other hand, then of course the SSPX must cooperate. To do the contrary would be to work against the Church. This is true whether or not the churchmen acting for the good of the Church are Modernists or not, whether their faith aligns exactly with that of Traditional Catholics or not.
In regard to a personal prelature, Pope Francis’s personal magisterium, of itself, is not necessarily an obstacle to the SSPX using such a prelature for the good of the Church. The Pope does not have to be a staunch proponent of Pascendi for his hypothetical recognition of the SSPX to bear fruit. All he has to do is adhere to the terms of the prelature.
Example to illustrate
 To see why it would not be wrong to collaborate with a Modernist Pope if he was performing an act on behalf of the Church’s true interests, consider the following example. Suppose there was an organization called ‘The Society of Savers’ in France, under the former socialist regime of François Hollande. It is a group of women who try to save expectant mothers and their unborn children from abortion. The Society is already working in France doing positive things for the common good of the people. However, they would do even more good if they were registered as a corporation by the government, that is, if they had legal status in the country. Now, assuming that Hollande’s government is legitimate, Hollande has received his authority from God and has received it for the purpose of fostering the common good. If Hollande himself hears of the request of The Society of Savers, knows what they are about, and chooses to incorporate as a legal body the society of those excellent women, he will be fostering the common good in deed and, in this instance at least, the women will be collaborating with the government for the good of the country.

Should the women scruple at receiving such a legal recognition from such a government, saying to themselves, “Hollande does not have the same idea of the common good that we have, and so we cannot work with him for the common good?” Clearly not, because Hollande, in this instance, is objectively working for the common good. Moreover, Hollande holds an authority that does not end with him, but rather ultimately rests in God. And God has determined the purpose of all societies and has conferred power on heads of state for the furtherance of that purpose. When, then, the Society of Savers is collaborating with Hollande for the common good of France, it is ultimately collaborating with God.
Of course, it would be important for the women to assure themselves that Hollande is not providing them with legal status as a trap by which he will later destroy them. But this question is one of prudence—a question outside of the discussion of this article—not one of principle. In principle, there is no problem with The Society of Savers, in this situation, accepting legal status from a socialist government.
This example is not meant to imply that the Church is equivalent to a civil government in every respect; it is rather only analogically similar. One major difference between the two, for instance, is that the Church can never fail as an institution. Our Lord has promised to be with it until the end of days, something He has not promised to any secular government. Thus, there could never be a situation when a Catholic would be justified in rejecting the governing authority of the Church, as such.
On the other hand, Catholics have been entitled to reject the governing authority of civil governments in some cases. Pope St. Pius V, for instance, advised English Catholics not to recognize the authority of Queen Elizabeth I during her nefarious reign.
Such a scenario is not possible for the Church, given that She, in her visible structure and the carrying out of her end, cannot fail. Thus, there cannot be any expectation on the part of Catholics—at least those who believe in her indefectibility—that they need to discern when and where to write off the governing body of the Church.
 We mentioned above that the Pope has no power to change the purpose of the Church; his office is not something of his own creation, but comes from Our Lord Jesus Christ. The office was designed by Him for the furtherance of the Church’s goal, which is the salvation of souls, the reason for which Jesus Christ founded her. As such, the Pope, by his very office, is an instrument of Jesus Christ and works for the end of Jesus Christ, whenever he is not abusing his office. In fact, the Pope’s juridical acts have authority and force only insofar as they serve the interests of Jesus Christ.

Thus, when Pope Francis performs acts that serve the interests of the Church, the SSPX also serves the Church by collaborating with those acts. Surely, that is what is taking place when the SSPX gratefully accepts from the hands of Pope Francis ordinary jurisdiction for the performance of confessions and marriages.
The same general principle applies to the question of canonical recognition: if it serves the interests of the Church, the SSPX should collaborate; if it does not, the SSPX should not collaborate. For the Archbishop, the answer to this question was the same as the answer to the following: Will the SSPX be able to remain as it is and continue its work in freedom? Or will it be destroyed by a canonical recognition?
Those who see that question as being solely “What is the faith of the Pope?” seem to mistake the Pope for the Church, falling into a certain species of papalotry. They would seem to think that the good of the Church can only be identified with the good of the Pope’s personal magisterium. When that magisterium is correct, then canonical recognition fosters the good of the Church. When that magisterium is false in some respects, then the good of the Church cannot be fostered by a canonical recognition. Either the Pope lines up perfectly with his office or God-fearing Catholics cannot collaborate with him.
On the contrary, one can imagine many situations in which a canonical recognition of the SSPX would indeed foster the good of the Church, regardless of the personal faith of the Pope, and so should be accepted, if one truly wants to serve the Church. Whether such is the situation right now is not in the power of this article to judge. But that such a situation could exist should be evident to all. By the fact that it could exist, the position that the acceptance of a canonical recognition should be judged only on the basis of one’s unity with the Pope’s faith is found to be false.

Collaboration only when there is complete unity of faith with the Pope has never been the position of SSPX leadership, neither in the time of the Archbishop nor afterwards. As such, there has always been, to some degree, collaboration between the SSPX and the Pope, and some measure of collaboration exists at this moment. Generally speaking, collaboration must be refused when it is contrary to the Church’s interests and accepted when it is for the Church’s interests. Specifically, then, canonical recognition should be accepted if it is good for the Church and rejected if it is not, regardless of the Pope’s faith.
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