Saturday 30 June 2012

Pope Pius XII: Lay catechetical teaching must be under the Pope and the Bishops

The Venerable Servant of God, Pope Pius XII
Christ Our Lord entrusted the truth which He had brought from heaven to the Apostles, and through them to their successors. He sent His Apostles, as He had been sent by the Father (Jn. 20:21), to teach all nations everything they had heard from Him (cf. Matt. 28:19 f.). The Apostles are, therefore, by divine right the true doctors and teachers in the Church. Besides the lawful successors of the Apostles, namely the Roman Pontiff for the universal Church and Bishops for the faithful entrusted to their care (cf. can. 1326), there are no other teachers divinely constituted in the Church of Christ... 

As for the laity, it is clear that they can be invited by legitimate teachers and accepted as helpers in the defense of the faith. It is enough to call to mind the thousands of men and women engaged in catechetical work, and other types of lay apostolate, all of which are highly praiseworthy and can be strenuously promoted. But all these lay apostles must be, and remain, under the authority, leadership, and watchfulness of those who by divine institution are set up as teachers of Christ's Church. In matters involving the salvation of souls, there is no teaching authority in the Church not subject to this authority and vigilance.
Recently what is called "lay theology" has sprung up and spread to various places, and a new class of "lay theologian" has emerged, which claims to be sui juris; there are professors of this theology occupying established chairs, courses are given, notes published, seminars held. These professors distinguish their teaching authority from, and in a certain way set it up against, the public Teaching Authority of the Church; at times, in order to justify their position, they appeal to the charismatic gifts of teaching and of interpreting prophecy, which are mentioned more than once in the New Testament, especially in the Pauline Epistles (e.g. Rom. 12:6 f.; I Cor. 12:28-30); they appeal to history, which from the beginning of the Christian religion down to today presents so many names of laymen who for the good of souls have taught the truth of Christ orally and in writing, though not called to this by the Bishops and without having asked or received the sacred teaching authority, led on by their own inward impulse and apostolic zeal. Nevertheless it is necessary to maintain to the contrary that there never has been, there is not now, and there never will be in the Church a legitimate teaching authority of the laity withdrawn by God from the authority, guidance, and watchfulness of the sacred Teaching Authority; in fact, the very denial of submission offers a convincing proof and criterion that laymen who thus speak and act are not guided by the Spirit of God and of Christ. Furthermore, everyone can see how great a danger of confusion and error there is in this "lay theology"; a danger also lest others begin to be taught by men clearly unfitted for the task, or even by deceitful and fraudulent men, whom St. Paul described: "The time will come when men . . ., always itching to hear something fresh, will provide themselves with a continuous succession of new teachers, as the whim takes them, turning a deaf ear to the truth bestowing their attention on fables instead" (cf. II Tim. 4:3 f.).

The full text of Si Diligis can be read here

Rome-SSPX: Plot and counterplot...

Andrea Tornielli from Vatican Insider reports on the latest news on the Rome-SSPX negotiations. Significantly, he draws in the most recent public comments of Bishop Fellay (given at an Ordination Mass this week in Econe) that certain elements in the Curial wish to change the Doctrinal Preamble to an earlier version that is unacceptable to Bishop Fellay. This, contends Tornielli, is also contrary to the wishes of the Pope. 

The homily, about half an hour, can be heard at this link, the passage devoted to relations with Rome is around minute 21.50. "I rightly ask: how are things with Rome?" The Lefebvrian Superior  added: "At the moment things are at a standstill."

The Tornielli article may be read here. The DICI audio file of Bishop Fellay's sermon may be listened to here.  

Friday 29 June 2012

Why I am a Suspicious Character

1. Nothing I say in this blog has either an Imprimatur or Nihil Obstat. Reader beware... you are being exposed to the ramblings of an old curmudgeon who is neither teacher nor preacher.

2. I eat with sinners... not publicans or tax collectors... just sinners. Moreover the sinners in question are not Catholic or even Christian. They do, however, serve a delicious cut of meat and I smile when one of them quotes Chesterton back at me.

3. I attend a Novus Ordo mass regularly at my local parish and haven't the slightest inclination to go to any of the Tridentine masses though I may go to hear some Gregorian chant at some point.

4. I do not subscribe to any alternate magisteriums. Make no mistake about it, both liberals and conservatives indulge in this questionable practice. I generally look up any questions I may have in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I sometimes read the Fathers, especially the Apostolic Fathers, but that's it. There's always the 1911 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia lurking on my hard drive somewhere.

5. I oppose rigorism in all its forms. When I was a child my parents did not attend mass and often I had to go alone. One Sunday while my parents were visiting my grandfather I went to mass and got in line for communion. Two men pulled me out of the line and asked me if I had been to confession the previous Saturday. When I said no they prevented me from going to communion. The memory of such incidents kept me away from the sacraments for years once I entered my teens.

6. Perhaps most damning of all, I regularly get together with Barona, Santa and Montfort for fellowship. Guilt by association!

Thursday 28 June 2012


Today's Gospel, Feast of St. Irenaeus
 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, you evil men!
  ‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’
  Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority, and not like their own scribes.

Two thoughts struck me as I heard this reading this morning. First is the difference between power and authority. Jesus spoke with authority though his use of power was confined to acts of healing. He certainly did not use power in his defense as he allowed himself to be led to the cross. I think that today we confuse the notions of authority and power. In today's example, Bishop Henry has the authority but the power rests squarely with the secular authorities, the school boards and the teacher's union. Nor is this entirely inappropriate since God's grace is made manifest in weakness.

The other thought that occurred to me was that St. Francis felt it necessary to travel to Rome to obtain the approval of Pope Innocent III once he had discerned the call of God and had gathered a few followers. God had told him in a vision "Go, Francis, and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin." Why, then, the trip to Rome? Today's gospel offers an answer... he wished to build his house upon rock. St. Francis was even ordained a deacon to give him the right to preach.

In the Catholic Church everyone is submitted to some authority since God established it as a hierarchy. Everyone has an ordinary or a religious superior to whom they are responsible. It is this organic connection to authority, to the magisterium, that tells us and everyone else that we are the real thing. In this age of mass communication anyone can present themselves as a preacher or teacher and many do. The first question that should be asked of such people is "To whose authority are you submitted and by whose authority do you preach?" Anyone who cannot answer this should be viewed with suspicion.

One final thought, suggested by someone who whispered in my ear this past Saturday. Michael Voris would do well to follow the example of St. Francis and go to Rome to gain approval for his enterprise.

Bishop Fred Henry: A pastor after the heart of St. Ignatius of Antioch

His Excellency, Bishop Fred Henry
Calgary's Bishop, Fred Henry's strong intervention to defend Catholic morality is drawing flack from the usual sources. Bishop Henry's defense of an integral Catholic education, during this particular time of chaos within this structure across the country (e.g. Ontario's OECTA's continual dissent from Catholic teaching in areas of sexual morality and dogma) is particularly welcome. 

His thoughtful statement to Lifesite may be read here. A very similar statement to the Calgary Herald may be read here. I urge all our readers of good will to consider writing to the bishop to support him, to encourage him. 

Monday 25 June 2012

SSPX-ROME: Williamson banned from SSPX Chapter by Fellay

Note: this letter identifies two facts: 1) Curial politics is delaying possible reconciliation with Rome; and 2) Bishop Fellay is finally moving to control Bishop Williamson.


Excellencies, and Superiors,
As you know, our Superior General responded to the letter of the 16th March from Cardinal Levada who tried to impose the doctrinal Preamble of the 14th September 2011. By this document, dated 15th April, he wished to break free from the impasse created by this Preamble. According to several concurring sources, the new text seemed to satisfy the Sovereign Pontiff.
On the 13th June, 2012, Cardinal Levada returned to our Superior General his text of April, but it was amended in such a way that it still took up, in substance, the propositions of September, 2011. Msgr. Fellay also made known to him that he could not sign this new document, which was clearly unacceptable. The coming General Chapter will permit the analysis of the entire dossier.
Moreover, I inform all the members of the Chapter, that in virtue of Canon 2331, Paragraph 1 and 2 (New Code 1373) the Superior General has deprived Msgr. Williamson of his office as member of the Chapter for taking a position calling for a rebellion, and for his continually repeated disobedience. He has equally forbidden him to come to Econe for the ordinations.
Finally, Msgr. Fellay has deferred the ordinations of the Dominicans of Avrille and the Capuchins of Morgon, who were foreseen to have been ordained at Econe this coming 29th June. The putting off of orders was dictated simply by the wish of Bishop Fellay to be assured of the loyalty of these communities, before laying hands upon their candidates (cf. I Timothy 5:22).
Be assured Excellencies and Superiors of my respectful and faithful priestly wishes.
Fr. Christian Thouvenot
The original link may be found here

Sunday 24 June 2012

Corporate Bishops

The title is not intended to be polemical, though some may interpret it as such. It is also not intended to judge hearts, that is up to God. It is intended to, however, to identify a strong perception that many bishops seem to do nothing when seeming error, scandal and even probable heresy take place in the diocese. I neither imply that the bishop is a "prisoner" in the Chancery, or that he is a tyrant.... 

I shall digress to a personal experience that suggests problems at the Chancery level, and subjectively a dismissal of the layman's concern. Such dismissal on a short term can lead to anger, frustration and the hardening of hearts. It can lead to the layman feeling disrespect for the local bishop. It can, eventually, in the longer term lead to schism.

As some of you may know, having read this blog from its beginning, in January we posted on the issue of the now ex-bishop Raymond Lahey. I wrote to the bishops conference and my local Ordinary (Cardinal Collins - also, head of the Ontario bishops) on this issue. Two observations emerged. 1) The bishops dropped the ball due to the weight of bureaucracy (confirmed in private emails from the CCCB to me), and 2) the feeling that something is wrong within the Archdiocese of Toronto vis-a-vis the Cardinal and access by the lay faithful to him. Obviously, a bishop cannot reply to every email or letter sent him. However, on a very important issue, probably it might be a good idea for him to reply. Now - was my letter important? Probably, as Archbishop Smith took it as such, and acted promptly and with decisiveness. 

In an experience several years ago, when I wrote to the the then Archbishop, I received an immediate reply. No more. Letters from a Neil McCarthy or a Silvija Vigeon do not supplant the bishop-lay faithful relationship. Is there a corporate culture in Toronto impeding the pastoral activities of our Cardinal? (now, before you become judgmental, let me say that I think our Archdiocese has a very pious archbishop and wonderful priests. As an example, I can point our the patient determination of Fr. Michael Busch in leading men to the priesthood...) 

Canonically, the laity have a right of access to their Ordinary. It becomes very, very dangerous - and is objectively and evil - when the bishop cannot be the bishop. Perhaps, part of the problem is that the Archdiocese is far too large? Another post, but a smaller diocese would bring the bishop to the people, as a pastor. let us recall Cardinal Woytila in Krakow - or, for that matter even as Pope visiting all the parishes of Rome as a pastor. When did your bishops ever make a simple pastoral visit to your parish? It is time for bishops TO BE bishops. 

Perhaps it is time to break the Archdiocese of Toronto down into  a size that actually allows the Archbishop to be a pastor, to be able to visit parishes, to rub shoulders with parishioners, and not be a corporate CEO or prince-bishop whose agenda is drawn up months in advance; distancing him from the people  - nay, HIS people, his flock, his sheep. 

Are dioceses becoming corporations?

This post is a question rather than an answer. In the midst of drafting a post on bishops, I keep asking myself the question: has the modern diocese ceased to reflect the bishop- presbyter - faithful paradigm of the ancient Church, and even the more recent Church (e.g. the approach of Bishops such as de Sales and Woytila) to most dioceses becoming a not-for-profit corporate entity? 

I shall post on my impressions of the Archdiocese of Toronto, but if I were to decide this moment, I would say that the archdiocese has more of the feel of a corporation than a local church...

I do hope, in time, to perhaps nuance and determine my answer. But, alas, my personal experiences suggest that this huge, teeming, lay-employee burdened entity seems not so much a church, as a soi-dissant "charity". More to follow...    

Saturday 23 June 2012

SSPX-ROME: The decision now rests with Bishop Fellay

All are waiting for the Superior of the Society of St. Pius X to respond to the text received by the Pope. The Vatican does not expect any new doctrinal discussions

The communiqué sent by the Vatican Press Office after the meeting on 13 June between Cardinal William Levada and the Lefebvrian Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, stated that the bishop had “represented the situation in the Society of St. Pius X.” Even in this case, Vatican sources urge us to think carefully about the meaning of these words. The core problem over the next few days which will be crucial for the future of the traditionalist group founded by Mgr. Lefebvre is not just to do with the content of the doctrinal declaration which the Pope has asked Fellay to sign. It is also to do with the complex situation within the Fraternity.

Over the past few days, some of the priests who are closest to Bishops Tissier de Mallerays, de Gallareta and Williamson have been repeating that if the agreement is signed, very few of the Fraternity’s priests would follow Mgr. Fellay... Up until now it was believed that the Society was divided approximately into the following categories: 25% in favour of the agreement, 50% undecided and 25% against (including the three bishops, as was clearly stated in the letter they sent to Fellay in recent months, expressing their intention to oppose any agreement with Rome).

However, no one is in a position to confirm the current accuracy of these figures. It is clear from the statements made by some Lefebvrian representatives and the bishops who oppose an agreement, that part of the Fraternity is only willing to enter into communion with Rome again is the Pope decides to renounce the Second Vatican Council, attributing all blame for the crisis of faith during the past decades to the Council and to the post-conciliar liturgical reform... 

The doctrinal declaration which Cardinal Levada handed to Fellay on 13 June leaves no room for manoeuvres. It is also hard to foresee a new round of talks after two years of discussions between the Fraternity and Holy See theologians regarding the authentic interpretation of the Council. Benedict XVI wanted to examine the final text carefully taking into account the thoughts of the cardinals and bishops who attended the Feria Quarta meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...therefore, the text which Fellay is required to sign “within a reasonable timeframe” is the final deal. It is no longer possible for any substantial amendments to be made. However, the communiqué the Fraternity issued after the June 13 meeting did mention the possibility of a new round of talks. This indicates that the version of the doctrinal preamble which Fellay received from the Vatican leadership still contains some contentious elements. In an interview published in the Fraternity’s official bulletin lat 7 June, the Lefebvrian Superior stated: “Rome no longer makes total acceptance of Vatican II a prerequisite for the canonical solution.”

The full original may be read here

Wednesday 20 June 2012

An Atheist Blog? Part 2

A little while ago I recommended Unequally Yoked as a particularly honest atheist blog. Well apparently her honesty got the better of her. She has moved her blog from the Patheos Atheist Portal to the Patheos Catholic Portal. She is currently in RCIA and, given the public nature of her conversion, Leah Librasco needs our prayers.

This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal

Atheist Blogger Converts to the Catholic Faith

Monday 18 June 2012

A Word from the Church Miltant

St. Ignatius of Antioch was the third bishop of Antioch after St. Peter and St. Evodius, having been appointed by Peter himself. He was a disciple of St. John the Apostle along with his friend St. Polycarp. On his way to his martyrdom in Rome in 107 he wrote letters to various churches along the way. He will be our guest blogger this day.

What it comes to is that we ought not just to have the name of Christians, but to be so in reality; not like some persons who will address a man as bishop, but in practice take no notice of him. I do not see how people of that kind can be acting in good conscience, seeing that the meetings they hold can have no sort of valid authority. (Magnesians)

Thus at the time I was with you, I cried out, speaking with a loud voice - the very voice of God - 'Be loyal to your bishop and clergy and deacons'. Some who were there suspected me of saying this because I already knew of certain dissensions among you; but He whose prisoner I am will bear me witness that no such information ever reached me from human lips. No; that was the preaching of the Spirit itself, telling you never to act in independence of the bishop, to keep your bodies as a temple of God, to cherish unity and shun divisions, and to be imitators of Jesus Christ as He was of the Father.  (Philadelphians)

As children of the light of truth, therefore, see that you hold aloof from all disunion and misguided teaching; and where your bishop is, there follow him like sheep. There are plausible wolves in plenty seeking to entrap the runners in God's race with their perilous allurements; but so long as there is solidarity among you, they will find no room for themselves. Have nothing to do with such poisonous weeds; they are none of the Father's planting, nor have they Jesus Christ for their husbandman. Every man who belongs to God and Jesus Christ stands by his bishop. (Philadelphians)

Abjure all factions, for they are the beginning of evils. Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too, as you would the Apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command from God. Make sure that no step affecting the church is ever taken without the bishop's sanction. (Smyrnaeans)

"Real Catholic" TV now "Church Militant" ?

Semantics, semantics... Real Catholic TV - the organization whose main public voice is Michael Voris has announced that it will remove the word "catholic". The full article may be  here at Catholic News Service (CNS).  Mark Shea has an interesting analysis on the motivation behind the name change. 

The problem is much deeper - does a layman have the right to catechize? Yes, if it means to individually witness for the Faith. However, does a layman have the right to carry on a open, public catechetical ministry without hierarchical oversight? NO. And this is the problem. What exactly is the "church militant"? Is it Catholic? It is not if it is not under the hierarchy. It may sound, smell, and look like the real thing, but without the bishop, it is not. No layman can carry on an apostolate claiming to teach the Faith without guidance and oversight form the Divinely appointed lawgivers: the local Ordinary in union with the Pope. Let us not get bogged down in the local diocese having lost the Faith: Rome is the judge of that. 

The Apostles and the Church Fathers have from the beginnings of the Church been confronted with those who fluff off the bishop. St. Ignatius of Antioch devoted considerable effort to emphasizing obedience to the bishop; Pius XII emphatically wrote of how laymen- when catechizing - are under the direction of the hierarchy. The Second Vatican Council reiterated this traditional teaching.  

Saturday 16 June 2012

Cardinal Burke: Rome-SSPX Reconciliation "a gift for the whole Church"

Raymond Cardinal Burke, in a video interview with CNS expresses his hopes that a reconciliation between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X can be accomplished.  Essential viewing to understand the various forces at work within the Curia... 

Raymond Cardinal Burke

Not Again!

For some of you this story will have a deja vu feel to it. A judge has ruled that Canada's law prohibiting doctor assisted suicide was unconstitutional and struck it down. This is after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling some 20 years ago which supported the law in a similar case. Here's the kicker... She ordered that the declaration of invalidity of the law be suspended for one year to give Parliament a chance to draft new legislation. Does anyone remember Parliament scrambling to revise the law on abortion when that one was struck down? I thought not. It seems we have a dangerous situation here in Canada. We have a Parliament whose cowardice in the face of activist judges is legendary. Moreover venue shopping for sympathetic judges means a group wishing to change the law only has to keep plugging until one judge flips. This seems to be a gigantic loophole in Canadian law. Would someone please close it!

B.C. judge rules law banning doctor-assisted suicide unconstitutional

Thursday 14 June 2012

Holy See Communique regarding SSPX

Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) - "On the afternoon of Wednesday 13 June, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei', met with Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X who was accompanied by an assistant. Also present at the encounter were Archbishop Luis Ladaria S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Msgr. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'", according to a communique released today by the Holy See Press Office.

"The purpose of the meeting was to present the Holy See's evaluation of the text submitted in April by the Society of St. Pius X in response to the Doctrinal Preamble which the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith had presented to the Society on 14 September 2011. The subsequent discussion offered an opportunity the provide the appropriate explanations and clarifications. For his part, Bishop Fellay illustrated the current situation of the Society of St. Pius X and promised to make his response known within a reasonable lapse of time.
"Also during the meeting, a draft document was submitted proposing a Personal Prelature as the most appropriate instrument for any future canonical recognition of the Society.
"As was stated in the communique released on 16 May 2012, the situation of the other three bishops of the Society of St. Pius X will be dealt with separately and singularly.
"At the end of the meeting the hope was expressed that this additional opportunity for reflection would also contribute to reaching full communion between the Society of St. Pius X and the Apostolic See".

The original may be read here. 

SSPX Communique following June 13th Meeting

On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, accompanied by the First Assistant General, Father Niklaus Pfluger, was received by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who delivered to him his dicastery’s evaluation of the Doctrinal Declaration sent in by the Society on April 15, 2012, in response to the Doctrinal Preamble submitted on September 14, 2011, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
During this meeting, Bishop Fellay listened to explanations and further details from Cardinal Levada, to whom he presented the situation of the Society of Saint Pius X and spelled out the doctrinal difficulties posed by the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Missae.  The desire for additional clarifications could result in a new phase of discussions.
At the end of this long, two-hour interview, Bishop Fellay received a draft document proposing a Personal Prelature, in the case of a possible canonical recognition of the Society of Saint Pius X.  During the meeting the situation of the three other bishops of the Society was not discussed.
At the conclusion of that meeting, it was hoped that the dialogue might continue so as to allow the parties to arrive at a solution for the good of the Church and of souls.
Menzingen, June 14, 2012

Link to the original

The Teaching Authority of the Bishop

When Cardinal Collins addressed the issue of religious liberty being undermined by the Ontario government vis-a-vis State interference in Catholic education, and the - treacherous - support of the nominally Catholic teachers union, OECTA, supporting the government initiative, it is well worth reminding ourselves that the bishop is not just a man with an opinion - but a man who, by Divine law is the ordinary teacher and authority on faith and morals for Catholics within his jurisdiction. To speak and act otherwise reeks of schism. The Catholic encyclopedia (1917 online edition) includes an excellent review of who and what a bishop is. A few key points include the following: 

By Divine law bishops have the right to teach Christian doctrine (Matthew 28:19; Council of Trent, Sess. XXIV, De ref., ch. iv; Encyclical of Leo XIII, "Sapientiae christianae", 10 January, 1890; "Acta Sanctae Sedis": 1890, XXXII, 385). 

The bishop must also supervise the teaching of Christian doctrine in the seminaries, as well as in secondary and primary schools (Conc. Balt. III, nos. 194 sqq.; Const. "Romanos pontifices", 8 May, 1881; op. cit., Appendix, 212). 

No one is allowed to preach Christian doctrine without the consent of the bishop, or at least without his knowledge if it is a question of exempt religious preaching in their own churches (Council of Trent, Sess. V, De ref., ch., ii; Sess. XVIV, De ref., ch. iv). 

The bishop is the Inquisitor natus or protector of the faith for his diocese. He has not, it is true, the right to define, outside an ecumenical council, controverted questions with regard to faith and morals, but when a heated discussion arises in his diocese, he can impose silence upon the parties concerned while awaiting a decision from the Holy See. If anyone, however, denies a point of doctrine defined by the Church, even though it be all exempt religious, the bishop will have the power to punish him (Council of Trent, Sess. V, De ref., ch. ii; Sess. XXIV, De ref., ch, iii). 

Further reading: 

The Second Vatican Council on bishops, Christus Dominus. 

Wednesday 13 June 2012

SSPX-ROME Pope Benedict to decide on the SSPX within hours [Update]

La Stampa La Croix (via I.Media) and the Catholic Herald are reporting that the Holy Father has reviewed and prepared a response to the clarifications/review of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) recommendations with regards to the Doctrinal preamble and SSPX canonical reintegration within the Church.

Bishop Fellay has been called to Rome to read the top secret document. If an agreement is accomplished there will be an official announcement. Please pray for the success of this venture by the Pope of Unity. Please pray for Bishop Fellay.

[UPDATE] The National Catholic Register is carrying an excellent synopsis of today's events; with the final announcement believed to be this weekend. 

Tuesday 12 June 2012

ROME-SSPX: Fr. Rostand's Interview

Fr. Arnaud Rostand of the SSPX, in a wide ranging interview speaks about the recent Rome-SSPX negotiations. This the first part of a more extensive interview. To view the video, please click here

Fr Arnaud Rostand, US District Superior

Sunday 10 June 2012


In the latest SSPX development, a continuing rift between SSPX Superior Bishop Fellay and the renegade Richard Williamson continues to widen. Williamson, in his June 9, 2012 Kyrie Eleison post concludes with the following - a conclusion that is inimical to the recent interview given by Bishop Fellay. Whereas, Bishop Fellay wishes to work within the one Holy Catholic Church - made up, yes, of frail and broken men - Richard Williamson wishes to reduce the Pope a priori to being "anti-Traditional" and "subjectivist"... in essence, arguing for a perfect Church before returning... ah, how protestant - have we not heard such arguments before from Luther et al? 

Williamson writes: 

... One wonders how some of his sons can now be wanting to put themselves “under obedience to modernist Rome which remains fundamentally anti-Traditional”, or, under a subjectivist Pope who has no possible understanding of objective Catholic Tradition. Such is the power of seduction, increasing all the time, of the subjectivist world around us. The madness of subjectivism has become so normal, so widespread, that few people notice it any longer. “Our help is in the name of the Lord.”
The full Kyrie Eleison post may be read here

Saturday 9 June 2012

Catholic School Success Story

Well, at least someone is doing it right. Any who have spoken to me on the subject know that my opinions on Catholic schools were formed in a much different environment than the one which prevails here in Ontario. I attended Catholic school up until 4th grade when my parents moved and could not afford the tuition any longer. I was educated by Dominican nuns in full habit and the transition to public school was quite traumatic.

My exposure to the separate school system in this country was somewhat confusing. To be sure, these were not the schools of my youth. Over the years I have had children in the separate school system and have had an opportunity to do some thinking about their nature. It seems to me that the system has several flaws. Lack of parental involvement, lack of direct episcopal oversight and the difficulties attendant upon public funding seem to the the chief of these flaws. Money does not come without strings attached as we have all come to realize.

Indiana has just introduced a voucher system for education and one of the first schools to apply was St. Stanislaus Catholic School. According to this Wall Street Journal article they seem to be doing rather well. Check it out.

Vouchers Breathe New Life Into Shrinking Catholic Schools

Thursday 7 June 2012

ROME-SSPX: June 7 Update - Bishop Fellay Speaks on the relationship with Rome

Bishop Bernard Fellay has given an interview with DICI on the recent negotiations, statements from Rome via the CDF and other current issues related to the Holy Father's efforts to reconcile the Society canonically within the Church.

DICI: Are you concerned about the delay in the response from Rome, which could enable those who are against a canonical recognition to alienate some priests and faithful from the Society of Saint Pius X?
Bishop Fellay: Everything is in God’s hands.  I place my trust in the Good Lord and in His Divine Providence;  He knows how to manage everything, even delays, for the good of those who love Him.
DICI: Was the pope’s decision adjourned, as some magazines have said?  Did the Holy See tell you to expect a delay?
Bishop Fellay: No, I have had no information about any calendar whatsoever.  There are even some who say that the pope will deal with this matter at Castel Gandolfo in July.
A canonical solution before a doctrinal solution?
DICI: Most of those who are opposed to the Society’s acceptance of a possible canonical recognition allege that the doctrinal discussions could have led to this acceptance only if they had concluded with a doctrinal solution, in other words, a “conversion” by Rome.  Has your position on this point changed?
Bishop Fellay: It must be acknowledged that these discussions have allowed us to present clearly the various problems that we experience with regard to Vatican II.  What has changed is the fact that Rome no longer makes total acceptance of Vatican II a prerequisite for the canonical solution.  Today, in Rome, some people regard a different understanding of the Council as something that is not decisive for the future of the Church, since the Church is more than the Council.  Indeed, the Church cannot be reduced to the Council;  she is much larger.  Therefore we must strive to resolve more far-reaching problems.  This new awareness can help us to understanding what is really happening:  we are called to help bring to others the treasure of Tradition that we have been able to preserve....

DICI: The year 2012 is not 1988, the year of your episcopal consecration.  In 2009 the excommunications were lifted, in 2007 it was officially acknowledged that the Tridentine Mass had “never been abrogated”, but now some members of the Society lament the fact that the Church has not yet converted.  Is their a priorirefusal of a canonical recognition due to forty years of an exceptional situation, resulting in a certain inability to understand submission to authority?

Bishop Fellay: What is happening these days clearly shows some of our weaknesses with regard to the dangers that are created by the situation in which we find ourselves.  One of the great dangers is to end up inventing an idea of the Church that appears ideal, but is in fact not found in the real history of the Church.  Some claim that in order to work “safely” in the Church, she must first be cleansed of all error.  This is what they say when they declare that Rome must convert before any agreement, or that its errors must first be suppressed so that we can work.  But that is not the reality.  It is enough to look at the Church’s past:  often, and almost always, we see that there are widespread errors in the Church.  Now the reforming saints did not leave the Church in order to combat these errors.  Our Lord taught us that there would always be weeds until the end of time.  Not just the good crop, not only the wheat.

Wednesday 6 June 2012


On June 20th, 1944, Pope Pius addressed Allied troops: the Pope's facility with English is extraordinary to watch.
Pope Pius XII addressing the British 8th Army, June 20th, 1944

God save the Queen: A gold filling in a rotting mouth

The Holy Father, Her Majesty and Prince Philip -
Hollyrood House, Scotland, 2012
Over the past few days, the United Kingdom and various Commonwealth nations - such as Canada, Australia etc., have celebrated the 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II as Monarch.  Her reign has been referenced as a "second Elizabethan age" - yet, I could not help but ask myself, as I watched some of the external celebrations: what has happened over those 60 years? It was indeed interesting to see the Speaker of the House offer "Grace" before meals (the same man who impudently addressed the Holy Father at the Palace of Westminster in 2010), to the Prime Minister reading a Lesson from St. Paul (the same man who now wishes to introduce "same-sex marriage" legislation), to the self-proclaimed atheist Leader of the Lib-Dems singing hymns at the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's. A show, optics, weakly - indeed very weakly - masking serious moral and spiritual decline. The Monarchy, as one far-seeing aristocrat wrote in the 1950s, is a gold filling in a rotting mouth. 

Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to read the Holy Father's message to the Queen, reminding her of what a Monarch/head of State should be: 

To Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

I write to offer my warmest congratulations to Your Majesty on the happy occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of your reign. During the past sixty years you have offered to your subjects and to the whole world an inspiring example of dedication to duty and a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, in keeping with a noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch.
I retain warm memories of the gracious welcome accorded to me by Your Majesty at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh at the beginning of my Apostolic Visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010, and I renew my thanks for the hospitality that I received throughout those four days. Your personal commitment to cooperation and mutual respect between the followers of different religious traditions has contributed in no small measure to improving ecumenical and interreligious relations throughout your realms. 
Commending Your Majesty and all the Royal Family to the protection of Almighty God, I renew my heartfelt good wishes on this joyful occasion and I assure you of my prayers for your continuing health and prosperity.

From the Vatican, 23 May 2012