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The ordinariates are a sign that those fighting for the faith aren’t as lonely as they think

Maybe it’s going to be a tough struggle: but it can only end in one way

By on Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Fr Keith Newton, the Ordinary, comes across as capable and visionary (Mazur/

Fr Keith Newton, the Ordinary, comes across as capable and visionary (Mazur/

The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (a dedication long very dear to English Anglo-Catholics) still proceeds quietly and with deliberation on its way. There are almost frightening practical difficulties to overcome. But if you want to judge for yourself how frightened the leaders of the ordinariate actually are (not at all) have a look at the interview which the English Ordinary, Fr Keith Newton, recently gave to EWTN. Quietly capable as well as visionary: the vision in question being entirely inspired by the Catholic tradition (within which, as I have said before, most Anglo-Catholic priests I know have already undergone a more thorough and authentic formation than those emerging from some Catholic seminaries). Vision and competence: an unbeatable combination.

Of course, it’s all on a very small scale. But the potentialities are vast, not least because if the ordinariate grows where all about it is still shrinking, lessons will be learned within the Catholic mainstream.

Some interesting speculations are being entertained about the beginnings of the American ordinariate, by Brother Stephen Treat, O.Cist. The 36 groups who have already declared themselves in the US (twice the number so far officially declared in England) would enter a newly erected American ordinariate with an average Sunday attendance (ASA) of 2,500: Brother Stephen thinks this “an incredibly conservative estimate”. This number assumes that no new groups form; that the current groups do not grow; that Anglicans who have already entered the full communion of the Catholic Church show no interest in the ordinariates, and that no cradle Catholics attend ordinariate services on a regular basis.

“All of these assumptions,” he says, “would run contrary to our experience thus far.” By “our experience thus far”, he means the “Anglican use” parishes authorised by Pope John Paul: I can confirm this from my own experience. I know one of these parishes and its priest personally (I was present at his ordination): it has flourished numerically for all the reasons just suggested, and for one additional reason: its attraction for lapsed Catholics.

On the basis of his conservative estimate, Brother Stephen speculates that “in all, this would make an American ordinariate – in a worst case scenario – larger than 21 of the domestic dioceses of the Episcopal Church”. If it were to grow to an average Sunday attendance of 5,000, it would be either larger than or roughly the same size as 59 of the domestic dioceses of the Episcopal Church.

One reason the ordinariate will flourish (I speak now of England) is that it will begin fresh. It will benefit from the new atmosphere in the Church surrounding such Benedict/John Paul-inspired developments as the new translation of the liturgy, and also from the fact that ordinariate parishes can be at arm’s length from surrounding Catholic dioceses often exhausted and demoralised by the turmoil and faith-sapping blunders of the last 30 years, dioceses often still in the hands of bishops who may be approaching retirement but who are still far from their last gasp. For, though I rashly wrote on Monday that the attacks on the new English Missal were the “last expiring gasp of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’,” (not, as I had repeatedly to explain, of the Council itself but of those who distorted it), I of course was getting ahead of myself. This isn’t going to be easy. One battle-scarred correspondent, more experienced than myself, insisted beneath my piece that there will be a reaction:

“Now comes the siege mentality – now will come the purges – the ideological purity – the conformity to the grand schemes and the major conference initiatives – just wait for all the diocesan ‘renewal’ programmes where half the churches and almost all the schools are wiped from the maps – all sold off to fill their war-coffers so they can initate their grand building schemes for these superchurches and rel. ed. centres…

“I know how these people work : Beware of old men and women in a hurry !
… and DON’T FORGET !!
There are still hundreds of willing young acolytes who have sold their souls to the Tabletista/Vatican II way – they are still everywhere – especially in the Catholic administrative roles and quangos throughout the land – and Heythrop keeps spewing out hundreds more of the indoctrinated every year…”

My correspondent says that’s the future. I persist in my view that it’s actually the past, even though it all seems still to be so unshakeably in place (even now, however, not everywhere: not Lancaster, I think, and not, now, Shrewsbury) and that, powerful though these people still seem, they will melt away sooner than he thinks. Remember how Stalinism once covered Eastern Europe, irreversibly and forever so everyone, including the rulers of the Church, once thought – so that Pope Paul, for instance, abandoned the heroic Cardinal Mindszenty, forced him to resign as Primate of Hungary, and arrived at a compromise with the Communist rulers not only of Hungary but also of the rest of Eastern European Christendom – his so-called Ostpolitik. Then Pope John Paul II happened, and Solidarność. And not immediately, but sooner than anyone had foreseen in their wildest dreams, the evil empire melted away. My correspondent says: “We’re in this for the long haul – and it’s going to be a very lonely and tough fight…” Well, tough, maybe. But not lonely any more, surely: look how the internet brought down Mubarak – suddenly, everyone realised how powerful they were. We’re all in this together: and more and more you will see, dear friend, how many of us there are.

  • Harry

    Some disheartening comments for Catholic seminarians who try to live their vocation as authentically as they may, whilst in formation. It would befit Mr Oddie to descend from his Ivory Tower to consider the high calibre of orthodox Catholic seminarians in formation today, regardless of which seminary they may have been sent to. He is fanning the flames of that favourite Anglo-Catholic mantra, “We’re more Catholic (sic) than the Catholics”. Well, we shall see when the measuring stick used isn’t liturgical elegance, but moral obedience. Anglo-Catholicism doesn’t have such a great track record there.

  • W Oddie

    When I said that most Anglo-Catholic clergy I knew had received “a more thorough and authentic formation than those emerging from some Catholic seminaries” it was meant to be an affirmation of many Anglo-Cathpic clergy known to me: it was NOT meant to be an attack on all of those emerging from all Catholic seminaries today, and I am appalled that my carelessness should have given this impression. I should have made this clear. I am well aware of very many cases in which it is true to insist on “the high calibre of orthodox Catholic seminarians in formation today, regardless of which seminary they may have been sent to”. Many of them have achieved this at great personal cost. I am rightly rebuked, and I apologise to all those concerned.

  • PhilipH

    I’m hoping that the ordinariate will provide yet another much-needed boost to our church. Recently events such as the Pope’s visit have helped, and recent immigration has helped revitalize my own local parish over the last few years. But there are still some especially at diocese level that seem to be content to manage decline, or have an air of defeatism, and as the article says, some will resist change.

    I do hope that the enthusiasm and commitment of the new ordinary priests and congregations will prove contagious to the rest of the church.

  • Anonymous

    So Dr Oddie: A Question:

    Apart from praying long and hard, and unswerving reception of the sacraments…
    …what can we do to help?

    United we stand: Is there nothing we can do as a collective?
    I’ve been calling for years for some unification amongst the still, small voices in the blogosphere and devout, orthodox commentators ..
    Damian wanted to initiate something years ago before His Eminence knocked the wind from his sails…
    Catholic Voices has its very specific limited remit and lives under the imperatives of ‘don’t mess with Conference’ and the Gospel according to Ivereigh…
    The Faith movement keeps the homefires burning in print, and other organisations have their neat subsections of the Church Militant in which to dwell…
    How many out there in Our Lady’s Dowry need the reassurance, consolation, guidance, information and support…to be told…as you most elegantly remind us…”You are not alone”?

    Every day my heart goes out to the faithful who feel dissociated, dispossessed, disenfranchised…
    Rather than a psalm I’m reminded of a poem from the Egyptian book of the dead:

    “To whom can I speak today?
    I am laden with misery
    Through lack of an intimate …
    Death is in my sight today
    Like the clearing of the sky,
    Like a man attracted thereby to
    What he knows not.
    Death is in my sight today,
    Like the longing of a man to see home
    When he has spent many years held in captivity”

    …how many look around them and see their Church, school, parish, community, diocese…dying around them..and feel utterly helpless?

    It’s all too easy for us to narcissistically imagine that we’re victims of a new assault upon Holy Mother Church
    Ever read St Basil on the crisis in his time?

    Sure we have a new ally in the Ordinariate.
    But there are hundreds of isolated voices and oases of the Faith out there – surely we must be doing something to help ‘…so that they may be one”?

    Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous

    Harry – I’m somewhat confused at what exactly you’re trying to argue.

    Yes – there are more devout,orthodox, enthusiastic and studious seminarians in formation than we’ve had for a long time – but there’s a reason for that: They’ve had to fight tooth and nail to get into seminary – some have even had to leave their own diocese, or spend over a decade trying to prove their credentials to a ‘pull the ladder up establishment’ – and please – let’s not forget the prevailing ideology among the professional clergy and laity at diocesan/quango/conference level it a hostile aversion to the ‘priesthood’ in its sacrificial servant & shepherd form – it’s a barrier to lay empowerment and the recognition of everyone’s personal ministerial charisms and their democratic rights as priest, prophet and king by their own right.

    We are dwelling in a prevailing anti-clericalist regime – ‘ordinary’ priests merely posess a nominal primus inter pares position [a residual throwback of the waning misogynistic patriarchal 'jansenist' hegemony which oppressed the now-'conciliar' laity]
    Within this paradigm the only priests ‘worth their salt’ are the professional priests – who by their own merits have reached out to the faithful and specialised in some way by becoming populist and ‘experts’ and ‘advocates’ and ‘campaigners’; have fought their way up the conference greasy pole – these priests are different in a darwinian/pelagian way – it’s not their priesthood that makes them ontologically different – it’s their ‘lifestory’…[sic!]

    Do you know anything about the South Coast dioceses’ vocations ‘scrutiny’ committees?
    Where being devout and orthodox guarantees you will never set foot in a seminary so long as they have a breath in their body to prevent it…?

    I think you ought to read Dr Oddie more carefully – he is most definitely saying there is hope – this is the beginning of the restoration – we might not have started this fight – but we’re sure as hell going to be the ones who [start to] finish it…

    Our present hierarchy have lived throughout the oecumaniacal era – where we compromised, accommodated, excused, collaborated, denied any difference, recognised that which we were forbidden, abrogated duties and responsibilities to Truth – the Person of Christ – for a peaceful, convivial life…but it was always a sham.

    Now we have real oecumenical activity – the ordinariate – it’s raining on their ideological parade – they don’t want the opposition assuming a Catholic idenity – that’s treachery – they want all to adopt a pragmatic, relativist multi-faith homogeneity…Anglicans becoming Catholics is simply not cricket! They’re the enemy of the oecumenical project. It’s so counterproductive – knocked back the ARCIC initiative by decades!

    Agreed: We will have to knock some of the edges off the new intake – many are still going to have some Anglicanist contaminants – and yes they are renowned for spending decades rebelling against their hierarchy – but can’t we argue they appealed to their informed conscience and a moral obedience and duty to the Mystical body of Christ and the Apostolic office…rather than the individuals who perform the roles and enact its executive authority or neglect its responsibilities?

    I say on another thread that the major ‘shibboleth’ will not be one’s loyalty to an authentic liturgy ; but rather one who fights and defends the sacraments with every fibre of their being.

    I believe the Ordinariate will provide us with even more overwhelming grace in this fair land.
    I do not share your distrust.


  • Diffal

    I know some seminarians and the stories I hear about the deformation that goes on in some seminaries are frightening. I fear we have good seminarians despite not because of some of these places

  • Martin

    Dr Oddie/Paulpriest, I have been listerning to both of you for about 3 weeks discussing a lot of topics that i (as an ex Baptist) have only a slightly awareness of. Would it be possible to give a summary of your concerns on the tensions within the Church and your concerns with Vatican II? You seem to be refering to it as something more negative that positive.
    In way of encouraging your views on possible new life into the church, In my case it was the Pope’s visit to the UK (even though i was in Germany at the time) that caused me to reveiw all the teaching i had had against the Catholic Church and be in a position where i could truely come home (understanding from the bible why catholicism believes what it does without human opinion being angled against me). What i would like to gain if at all possible is an understanding of the state of the house i now reside in. If this is at all possible it would be much appreciated.

  • RJ

    Paul makes things look pretty dire but, without being complacent, I think the thing to remember is that, whatever troubles we perceive, the Lord is present and on board the ship, even if it seems that he is ‘asleep in the stern’. …’and the gates of Hell shall not prevail’.

  • Anonymous

    Martin I’m afraid I must apologise – as my writing was specifically directed towards a long-term Catholic audience and to counter positions of other long-suffering Catholics it was written in an exaggerated extremist hyperbolic ‘shorthand’ [ironic considering I never use one word when 200 will suffice] which most Catholics who’ve been through the before-during-after-phase will either understand or have experienced something similar firsthand.

    If I’ve upset or distressed you in any way, or added confusion or caused you to become overly suspicious and even hesitant that you’ve perhaps been hasty – I am truly sorry.
    I’m expressing myself in a way for dramatic effect – like I’m arguing across a pub table over the crowd noise – being insensitive, abrupt and occasionally extreme to drive my point home…

    I think to counteract what I’ve said here I wrote a much more gentle and sympathetic explanation of what went wrong and why we’re here in 2007 on my blog [which has been basically defunct for a couple of years - Damian Thompson's blog has been quite demanding]

    I reposted some of it today – it might explain it a little better – I was a nicer [and wiser] person in those days…

    If you have any questions – ask me or ask around on the blogosphere – there are an amazing amount of experts and infoemed amateurs out there who would jump at the opportunity to help and would only be too happy to oblige…

  • Evelyn Nicholson

    I agree with William and with Paul . There are a lot of devout and orthodox believing Catholics, bible reading, prayerful, enthusiastic and joyful who have to contend with all manner of strange beliefs from those going their own way-the way of the world. It is dispiriting and I feel that the infusion of the Anglican brothers, those devout and principled enough to leave their beloved church and join us, will be an enormous and blessed grace. The Holy Father is a great reforming pope and the effect of his leadership with the Holy Spirit and Grace of the Lord Jesus will left us up. I have been greatly heartened by it.

  • Martin


    Thanks for your comments.

    I do have a couple of questions and they all revolve around the Vatican II council. My problem is i dont understand what the view point was Pre Vatican II, so i dont understand the bedrock of some of the blogs arguements.

    For Example:

    I understand Vatican II altered the Mass? Was this simply from Latin into English or the content and depth of thought? I gather some want to go back to how it was? Would this mean a Latin Mass?

    I understand that Vatican II was more tolerant of other Christian faiths and possibly other none Christian faiths which allowed for greater understanding between the Catholic and Protestant churches, what was the view prior to Vatican II and did it work?

    Finally what was the view of salvation in regard to other none christian religions prior to Vatican II? Has it always the same?

    If you could expand on any of these (if they are within your remit) then i would be interested in your thoughts. It is not as i said above, the concept of ideas that i dont understand, it is the understanding of the basis of your view point which seems to be pre Vatican II which i dont understand.

    God Bless

  • Anonymous

    Well primarily nothing is in my remit – I’m just an ASDA shelfstacker Martin, and a pretty bad one at that…
    The differences between the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite [the Novus Ordo - the Paul VI mass] which most of us attend; and the old Extraordinary Form [the Tridentine Rite] are quite pronounced – maybe it might be easier if you saw one with a commentary? If you go to my blog – almost right at the bottom there’s a video from the 1950s where Archbishop Fulton Sheen narrates and explains it. But you have to understand there are specific aspects which can also be used in the ordinary form – facing east where the priest faces the altar in the same direction as the congregation [ad ortientam] and the use of Latin are actually the normative [although rarely performed] aspects of the ordinary form – the priest facing the people and using the vernacular is not mandatory .

    I’m sure there are other people around who are more informed and experienced in regard to the extraordinary form on here who will be able to explain it more – but if you have any particular questions the person to ask is Catholic Herald Columnist Fr Tim Finigan on his blog –

    When it comes to vatican II and the documents on religious freedom Nostrae Aetate and the reverse perspectives in regard to other faiths in Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes [where they explain in what ways and limits we are united rather than divided] it does not remove the insurmountable hurdle of ex ecclesiam nulla salus – outside the Church there is no Salvation – in other words baptism is the only way – But this does not preclude either baptism by desire during life or Baptism even after Death – all sins may be forgiven except that against the Holy Spirit [whatever that means? It's probably an invincible defiant will to repent and receive salvific grace? denying one's very own existence as part of Creation and refusing the place afforded one in Eternal Life - but that's mere speculation on my part and I'm sure some catholic encyclopedia has a better definition]

    No-one will be lost save those who wilfully choose it – no-one will be denied baptism by mere accident of geography and circumstance or the fault of another in failing to either evangelise or the actions of those within the Church alienating them through bad witness….
    All will be made fully aware of the Truth in Christ – all will be granted the opportunity to accept or refuse Him…No-one will be denied the opportunity to die to oneself and reborn into New Life in Baptism.
    In full conscience everyone has the right to religious liberty ; but it doesn’t prevent all other religions being majorly wrong to different extents – nor does it prevent our duty and responsibility as Catholics to evangelise and make every attempt to preach the Gospel and aid them in their conversion – and any Truth other religions possess resides in the Grace of Universal Divine Revelation and the Grace of Human Reason…not in any way by being right or a valid alternate way or by possessing alternate truths. That which is not against God or His Church is axiomatically for it..That’s all that Vatican II is trying to say – the Teaching hasn’t changed – we’re just looking at it from the other end of the telescope…..
    The fullness of Truth [revealed in the Person of Christ] only subsists wholly in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – the One, True, Faith – which is ultimately the ONLY gateway to Heaven – but this doesn’t prevent God’s graces and Truth and Love being made manifest in all humanity and every creed being used by those of Good will reaching for the Divine to be a source of inspirational and motivational sanctifying grace which will ultimately lead them to [or back to] Holy Mother Church [even after death]. The Holy Spirit always finds a way…

    Now I don’t know if that has helped or hindered – it’s late and I’m really tired so I’ve probably written unmitigated rubbish [hopefully if I have someone else will jump in and kick my backside]

    Gid bless you too – If this hasn’t helped I’m sorry.

  • Anonymous


    ► When the Novus Ordo Mass was introduced, many of the Faithful thought it was merely the Mass in the vernacular. In fact, the Novus Ordo Mass was something completely new. It was constructed by Archbishop Bugnini with the assistance of six Protestant advisors including the head of the Taize Community in France and his remit to them was to delete from the Mass as many as possible of the references to it being of a Sacrificial nature and to produce instead a service which would be commemorative in nature. In fact, to replace the Mass of the Ages with a commemoration of the Lord’s Supper which would be totally acceptable to Protestants while at the same time remaining acceptable to Catholics. Pope Benedict XVI has called the Novus Ordo Mass a “banal confection”. This step was taken in pursuit of False Ecumenism. There are many excellent sources of more information on this but I would recommend Dan Graham’s comparison of the differences between the two forms of the Mass at: between TLM and NO Masses.doc

    and also also Fr. Paul Kramer’s book called: “The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy” which can be read online at:

    And “Yes”, it would mean a return to the Mass of all Ages.

    ► Vatican II opened the doors to False Ecumenism whereby the pursuit of Unity was placed above the Truth. The view prior to Vatican II was that there was only one way to Eternal Life, and that was by following the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as enshrined in Tradition, the Sacred Magisterium and Holy Scripture. The liberties that were taken by the Modernists subsequent to Vatican II have done a great deal of damage to the Church, as can be seen by the reduction in the Faithful, the near-empty seminaries (of the few that remain), and the absence of instruction in the Catholic Faith in Catholic schools.

    ► Your third question can be best answered by referring you to the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on that matter: “Extra Ecclesia Nulla Sanctus” but in reading it, do be careful not to fall into the heresy of Feeneyism. Why not visit this link:

    which puts it all in a nutshell.

    I hope this response will help you to understand what the unrest is all about.

    Ps: Paulpriest may feel the urge to expand on these points, should they have been expressed too concisely.

  • Christina

    This is in reply to Martin, but I don’t want it pushing Paulpriest’s excellent reply further down the blog.
    Martin, I hope you won’t mind my coming in here, but it may just be that what helped me might also help you to understand what you have so appropriately called the ‘bedrock of some of the blog’s arguments’.

    I lived, as a cradle Catholic, for quite a few years prior to Vat. II, so I know plenty about conflicting ‘points of view’ (hundreds of them) before and after that Council, the shocking (to the Catholic in the pew) aftermath of which almost made me lose my faith. Many years later a parish priest, knowing of my position, put a book into my hands and said “Read that, it’ll make your hair curl”. I did, and it did. It’s called ‘Pope Paul’s New Mass’, by the late, great Michael Davies (Angelus Press 1980). It is Part III of a three-volume work on ‘The Liturgical Revolution’, but I read it with profit before the other two.

    In my humble opinion too, and possibly before this, essential reading regarding this matter of the sacrifice of the Mass is ‘A Critical Study of the New Order of the Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) by a group of Roman Theologians’ which is also known as the ‘Ottaviani Intervention’. You should be able to download this from a number of sites. In his letter to Pope Paul VI accompanying this study, Cardinal Ottaviani wrote ‘…..the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent’. At the end of the Study he says ‘It is evident that the Novus Ordo Missae has no intention of presenting the faith as taught by the Council of Trent, to which, nontheless, the Catholic conscience is bound forever. With the promulgation of the Novus Ordo the loyal Catholic is thus faced with a most tragic alternative’. This should explain to you why the alteration of the Mass is so important to many traditional Catholics worldwide, why they have remained faithful to the traditional Mass, why I, as a fairly well-educated Catholic, almost lost my faith, and why, in keeping with the oft-quoted truth, ‘lex orandi, lex credendi’, millions have lost that faith to which ‘the Catholic conscience is bound forever’ and are Catholics in name only.

    As to understanding how all this came to happen, in a Church, the members of which were secure in the faith that they were in the ‘one ark of salvation’, you cannot do better than to read ‘The Rhine flows into the Tiber’ by Ralph M. Wiltgen, S.V.D. (my copy was published by Hawthorn Books, Inc.).

    Michael Davies’ second volume of ‘Liturgical Revolution’, ‘Pope John’s Council’ will go far to explaining how and why the traditional (and orthodox) views regarding the other Christian faiths, the Church’s view of what is necessary for salvation, and her teaching regarding non-Christian religions, as will another of his works ‘The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty’, 1992, Neumann Press).

    I really do not think that there are any short cut here, via blogs or anything else, that will explain the appalling problems that we face in the modern Church, and which are puzzling you as a convert. I read these books and many more, some, it must be admitted, heavy-going for me, and I had no alternative but to nail my colours firmly to the traditionalist mast, attending no Mass other than the Mass of Ages, which convinces me that, as William Warburton famously said ‘Othodoxy is my doxy; heterodoxy is someone else’s doxy’!

    May the Holy Ghost inspire you.

  • Christina

    Sorry, Leprechaun_himself. My typing is so inordinately slow and distractions are many today, so that it wasn’t until I sent my offering that I found you had also answered Martin.

  • Anonymous


    The more that sing from the One, True hymnsheet, the wider will the message be heard.

    Now, where did I last see the Choirmaster?

  • Anglican priest

    Thanks for the reference to Dan Graham’s piece.

    Ordinariate bound priest

  • Anonymous


    I am reliably informed that this link is more uptodate than the one I provided.

    Apologies for being behind the times.

  • RJ

    I think I’m right in saying this represents the view of the SSPX, which has a rather troubled relationship with the rest of the Catholic Church. I await the exocets coming my way.

  • RJ

    Again, I think this would be the view of the SSPX, wouldn’t it. Are you able to accept the authentic teaching of Vatican II (not the “spirit of Vatican II”) as interpreted by the living magisterium, that is the Pope and bishops in communion with him?

  • Martin

    Working through your points, cheers

  • RJ

    Martin: if you follow the Holy Father, then you will know that Vatican II is in continuity with the Tradition (the faith handed down). It basically hasn’t changed anything but it has deepened and expanded our understanding, sometimes in new and surprising ways. It seems to me that followers of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) struggle with this.

    Remain in the communion of love with the Chief Shepherd.

  • Martin

    Paul, thanks for your comments, working through them and others made by Leprechaun and christina.

  • Mark Johnson


    is it at all possible for you to write an article without distracting the reader with your vicious swipe at those you dont find Catholic enough?

    You really need to just take a breath and look hard at how disturbingly pretentious you are.

    In your religious haven you may not regard seminaries as meeting your standards, but they are occupied with men giving their actual lives to their faith, and not just comfortably esconced within a a world of heightened religious conveneince and aesthetic self indulgence.

    What God vanished and left you as arbiter of faith’s integrity?

  • JoeMcCarthy

    I sincerely wish this all t happen not because I am a lapse anything, but a Catholic to Her core. No apologetic s any longer, men and women have to take back what was attempted in faith an and abysmal failure. I hoe what I say is true, no “lapsed Catholics” just disappointed.

  • Anonymous


    The views held by the SSPX are not just the views of yet another religious organisation, of which there are a great number. Their whole ethos is soundly rooted in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as held in the centuries prior to the “Spirit of Vatican II”. There will come a time, most likely after the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, when the Roman Catholic Church once more embraces those teachings. That part of the Church which does not return, i.e., the adherents to the Spirit of Vatican II, will come to realise that they have cut themselves off from the Vine, and they will wither in the normal way.

  • Anonymous


    If by “authentic teaching” you mean “underwritten by the Holy Ghost” i.e., infallible and now a part of the Sacred Magisterium, would you please specify the teaching you are talking about?

    To my understanding, Vatican II was a Pastoral Council as opposed to a Doctrinal Council, and it did not teach anything on the doctrinal front.

  • Jorge

    Mark Johnson, the comments area is meant for you to comment on the stories, not on William Oddie.
    You seem to hate him personally.

    Now, regarding seminarians: of course we value these young people, our future priests – which is why we want them to learn high-quality, honest Catholic doctrine, and not liberation theology. When they joined the seminary, they probably trusted it to teach them according to the Magisterium. If they disliked the Magisterium, they would hardly want to become priests in the first place.

    About being an arbiter of faith’s integrity: the Catholic Church has the Magisterium.
    If the Magisterium says X, and another person says Y, we can honestly say that Y is a mistake. We do not have authority, but we side with those who have.

    And finally: in the previous story you were attacking the Holy Father, and said the soon-to-be-blessed John Paul II had a “failed pontificate”. And now you criticize William Oddie because, you say, William Oddie thinks he is an arbiter of faith’s integrity? That was horribly hypocritical on your part.

    But there’s more: as far as I see, William Oddie is actually far more polite than you. He doesn’t often use insults like “fanatical”, “zealot”, “reactionary”, “cruel”. William Oddie praises good and criticizes evil. And when he praises good, he often cites good people by name; but when criticizing evil, he often criticizes the action without judging or even naming those who practice it. It is not personal. You, on the other hand, praises nothing, and criticizes a lot. You harshly criticize the Pope, William Oddie, the Church as a whole, and everyone you brand “reactionaries”. You don’t spare personal insults.

    And then you have the gall to criticize William Oddie for taking vicious swipes?

    Man, I say it as a friend: calm down, take a deep breath. Then pray, and ask for God’s help to examine your conscience. Try to measure your own behavior by your standards.

  • Christina

    Again, Leprechaun_himself got here before me, RJ, and he has asked you to specify the teaching you are talking about. I second that.

    Furthermore, I wondered what you meant by ‘the view of the SSPX’. I used most of my post to refer Martin to the Ottaviani Intervention and to books by Ralph Wiltgen and Michael Davies, all writings which have helped me to form my present traditional ‘view’ of the situation in which the Church finds herself today. The orthodoxy of these authors has not been questioned.

    Re your question regarding my acceptance of ‘authentic teaching…….as interpreted by the living magisterium’, I cannot answer this without knowing if we are ‘singing from the same hymn-sheet’(!), i.e. what is your understanding of the Extraordinary Magisterium, which seems, on the face of it, to be erroneous. According to Pastor Aeternus, the First Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution (ergo infallible) on the Church, the teaching of the Extraordinary Magisterium is infallible only when the assistance of the Holy Ghost is invoked. Such assistance is restricted to definitions concerned with faith or morals and must bind the Universal Church (not part of it) to irrecovable internal assent. As Leprechaun has indicated, this has not happened in the case of any of the pastoral teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

    The SSPX, and all traditional Catholics world-wide, want the resolution of the ambiguities in the Council documents which have allowed ‘the spirit of Vatican II’ to permeate the Church. Don’t you, too, want this?

    Just one further point, My ‘view’ was most strongly expressed in my determination, after much thought and study, to worship only by the traditional Mass and not the Novus Ordo Missae. If you think that this is a uniquely SSPX mark, then you are seriously wrong, as the traditionalist orders in the Church prove, as do the 40-year-long struggles of the worldwide national societies, under the umbrella of Una Voce International.

  • Christina

    ‘Irrevocable’ even!

  • RJ

    Thank you for your gracious reply, leprechaun. Naturally, I reject the “spirit of Vatican II” but I accept the teaching of Vatican II as interpreted – ultimately – by the magisterium.

  • RJ

    A brief and, I am afraid, unsatisfactory reply of mine here, which I would have to expand on.

    Naturally, I accept the extraordinary magisterium as defined by Vatican I, but I would not restrict infallibity to that. There would also be the ordinary magisterium. (cf LG 25)

    I would have reservations about saying “Vatican II was pastoral”, therefore it taught nothing or ‘therefore, I can ignore it”. It may have defined no new doctrine yet still deepened our understanding of existing doctrine.

    I would not want to pick and choose the bits I accepted. I mean, I wouldn’t see it as my prerogative to take the
    conciliar and papal documents before the Council, compare the two and say: according to my judgement, x and y is incompatible with Tradition. I think the approach is wrong.

    Re the Mass. Yes, religious orders have the right to to use the usus antiquior, even exclusively. That would not be the same as rejecting the more recent form of the rite (novus ordo) as invalid.

  • Tiggles

    Whilst I do not always agree with Dr Oddie and he is not faultless. It is so rude just to address him as “Oddie”. As my Irish ganny used to say….have a bit a manners!!

  • Anonymous

    Michael Voris on the issue…