Saturday, April 14, 2012

SSPX shows more respect for the authority of Vatican II than most religious orders

Or, as Fr Tim Finigan puts it, SSPX accept more of Vatican II's teaching than modernist theologians.

The above picture (from the SSPX District of Asia website) is probably not the kind of image most people would conjure up when thinking about the "traditionalist" SSPX (Society of St Pius X). They are normally potrayed as an eccentric bunch of traditionalist priests who will not accept Vatican II.

Sandro Magister (For the Lefebvrists, It's the Last Call to the Sheepfold) asks:
But what exactly is the doctrinal cause of the division? And why is there a fracture between Rome and the Lefebvrists over their rejection of some of the teachings of Vatican Council II, while at the same time other Catholic currents of the opposite nature continue to inhabit the Church undisturbed, in spite of the fact that they too reject essential teachings of the same Council?
In other words, there appears not to be a level playing field here.

Not that we would want to excuse rejection of the Sacred Magisterium of the Church on the part of the SSPX. In an essay by Dr John R.T. Lamont, Gifford Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, UK, entitled A Theologian's Questions written expressly for Magister's blog, Lamont considers teachings of Vatican II on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), the nature of the Church (Lumen Gentium), the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) and contends that
The vast majority of theologians in Catholic institutions in Europe, North America, and Australasia would reject most or all of these teachings [that Lamont quotes as examples]... The texts above are only a selection from the teachings of Vatican II that are rejected by these groups; they could be extended to many times the number.

Such teachings however form part of the 95% of Vatican II that the FSSPX accepts. Unlike the 5% of that council rejected by the FSSPX, however, the teachings given above are central to Catholic faith and morals, and include some of the fundamental teachings of Christ himself.
Lamont points out that
In judging the doctrinal position of the FSSPX, it must be remembered that there is an essential difference between the position of the FSSPX on Vatican II and the position of those elements within the Church who reject the teachings from "Dei Verbum," "Lumen gentium," and "Gaudium et spes" listed above. The latter group simply holds that certain doctrines of the Catholic Church are not true. They reject Catholic teaching, full stop. The FSSPX, on the other hand, does not claim that the teaching of the Catholic Church is false. Instead, it claims that some of the assertions of Vatican II contradict other magisterial teachings that have greater authority, and hence that accepting the doctrines of the Catholic Church requires accepting these more authoritative teachings and rejecting the small proportion of errors in Vatican II. It asserts that the actual teaching of the Catholic Church is to be found in the earlier and more authoritative statements.
It should be borne in mind that Vatican II made no explicitly infallible statements whereas previous magisterial teachings were taught in an extremely solemn manner. As Lamont says:
These are all magisterial pronouncements of great authority, and in some cases they include infallible dogmatic definitions – which is not the case with the Second Vatican Council itself.
A further question Lamont raises is the matter of secrecy. If the discussions between the SSPX and the Holy See were concerning a precise canonical structure for the Society, it would be well that these would be kept secret for the time being.  But...
The nature of the teaching of the Catholic Church on religious freedom, ecumenism, the Church, and collegiality, is of great importance to all Catholics. The questions raised by the discussions between the Holy See and the FSSPX thus concern the whole Church, not merely the parties to the discussion.
I for one am praying for the rehabilitation of the Society and to healthy dialogue with its members as equal brothers (and sisters) in the communion of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.


  1. The SSPX has a dilemma, given the age of the Pope. Should a deal be struck, how would they fare if the next pope is of an entirely different cut to Benedict?
    However, if there is no agreement while Benedict is in St. Peter's Chair, the chance may have been lost. The SSPX finds itself somewhat between a rock and a hard place. Our prayers are certainly needed.

  2. other Catholic currents of the opposite nature continue to inhabit the Church undisturbed, in spite of the fact that they too reject essential teachings of the same Council

    This statement is wrong. These currents live out the message of the Council. The elements of Vatican II that SSPX rejects are well known, the four that Father Gleize's summarizes so well. He gives the exact location in the constitutions, and the sources of the teachings these new doctrines contradict. Their are doctrinal problems with Vatican II and it is these errors that the 'currents' responded to and ran with. Our Holy Father gloriously reigning is himself the author of the Church's acting policy on homosexuality (and sexual sin in general as well as a supporter of the rest (collegiality, religious liberty, and ecumenism).His only claim to tradition is his desire to co-opt the old mass into service for the errors of the Council, and this has confused a great many. Examine his actions. Then it will make more sense to you.

  3. 3.
    John R. T. Lamont
    "The doctrine on ecumenism, as it is expressed in no. 8 of 'Lumen gentium' and no. 3 of the Decree 'Unitatis redintegratio,' contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius IX in propositions 16 and 17 of the 'Syllabus,' those of Leo XIII in 'Satis cognitum,' and those of Pope Pius XI in 'Mortalium animos.'

    Unitatis redintegratio n.3 like Lumen Gentium 8 refers to goodness and sanctification which can be founded among Christians. We accept that a Protestant or Orthodox Christian can be saved ‘in certain circumstances’(Letter of the Holy Office 1949) and it will be known only to God. The ordinary means of salvation is Catholic Faith and the baptism of water (AG 7).All Christians need Catholic Faith for salvation (to avoid Hell) (AG 7).So there is no contradiction between UR 3,LG 8 and ‘the dogma’, which Pope Pius XII called an an ‘infallible’statement.(Letter of the Holy Office 1949). The dogma on extra ecclesiam nulla salus, Cantate Domino, Council of Florence states Jews, heretics (Protestants) and schismatics (Orthodox Christians) need to convert into the Church to avoid the fires of Hell.

    John R. T. Lamont
    "The doctrine on collegiality, as it is expressed in no. 22 of the Constitution 'Lumen gentium,' including no. 3 of the 'Nota praevia' [Explanatory Note], contradicts the teachings of the First Vatican Council on the uniqueness of the subject of supreme power in the Church, in the Constitution 'Pastor aeternus'."

    ‘All men are called to this union with Christ, who is the light of the world, from whom we go forth, through whom we live, and toward whom our whole life strains.’-Lumen Gentium 3. Yes, as Dominus Iesus 20 says Jesus died for all men and salvation is open to all, it is universal, however to receive it, all need to respond by entering the Church; the Church is necessary. The ordinary means of salvation is the Catholic Church.(AG 7, Redemptoris Missio 55 etc). So there is no contradiction between the First and Second Vatican Council II on this issue. Similarly collegiality as expressed in LG 22 does not conflict with the Church teaching that ‘submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation.’(Letter of the Holy Office 1949).
    -Lionel Andrades



    Friday, April 13, 2012
    'Light of the World' p.107 expresses Pope Benedict’s personal opinion or is the ordinary magisterium: the pope wrongly assumes those saved in invincible ignorance are known exceptions to the dogma and the SSPX position on ecumenism and non Catholic religions

    Friday, April 13, 2012
    So would the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,Vatican excommunicate me when I say I reject the liberal interpretation of Vatican Council II but accept Vatican Council II according to Tradition and a continuation with the defined dogma ? I can accept the SSPX's position on other religions as being the teaching of Vatican Council II.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012


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