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The SSPX is apparently about to go into schism over Bishop Fellay’s plans to return ‘within the walls’; we need him back and should pray that his opponents fail

The other SSPX bishops think this Pope ‘subjects the Church to the modern world’: in other words, they’re barking

By on Monday, 14 May 2012

Bishop Bernard Fellay (CNS photo)

Bishop Bernard Fellay (CNS photo)

What exactly is going on in the SSPX? On Wednesday last week, a “communiqué” was issued by the SSPX “General House,” which I suppose means its headquarters, condemning the circulation on the internet, two days before, of an exchange of private letters between the Superior General of the Society of St Pius X and the three other SSPX bishops. “This behaviour is reprehensible”, thundered the statement; “The person who breached the confidentiality of this internal correspondence committed a serious sin”.

This means, I assume, that the letters as circulated were authentic; they have been roughly translated (I suppose they were in French), and then tidied up on a site called The Sensible Bond, whose text I will quote here. There has been a very fundamental disagreement between the four bishops of the SSPX over the possibility of an agreement with the Holy See, involving the setting up of the SSPX as a personal prelature, in other words as a semi-independent jurisdiction responsible only to the Pope. On the one side of the divide are Bishops Tissier de Mallerais, de Galarreta and Williamson, and on the other the Superior General of the Society, Bishop Fellay, and his two assistants Fr Pfluger and Fr Nély.

The three dissident bishops seem to me to be not only talking utter rubbish but to be actually barking, positively up the wall (Vatican II, they say, represents “a total perversion of the mind, a new philosophy founded on subjectivism. Benedict XVI is no better than John Paul II in this regard… he puts human subjective fantasy in the place of God’s objective reality and subjects the Church to the modern world”; you see what I mean); Bishop Fellay’s response to this, on the other hand, was (and I never thought I would find myself saying this) measured and sensible as well as being, as one would have expected, absolutely faithful to the Catholic tradition.

I really hope, if there is to be a schism within the SSPX (as looks on the basis of these letters more likely than not) that the overwhelming majority of SSPX adherents will follow Bishop Fellay back over the Tiber; there is, and he clearly understands this, still a battle going on inside the Catholic Church between the Magisterium and the “spirit of Vatican II” secularisers; and we need everyone we can get by the Pope’s side in this great struggle for the renewal of the Catholic tradition and the cleaning up of the Catholic Church. A personal prelature doesn’t need more than one bishop; and the disappearance from the scene of Bishop Williamson would be an unlooked for bonus.

Bishop Fellay’s declaration is not merely sensible, it is positively inspiring, and I therefore quote it at length; this is a bishop whose leadership is needed within the mainstream of the Church. He begins by criticising his fellow SSPX bishops’ analysis for two faults: “lack of a supernatural view and a lack of realism”. Then he goes on, very strikingly as follows:

“Do you still believe that the Church is the Church and that the Pope is Pope? Can Christ still speak through him? If he expresses a legitimate desire or decision, should we not obey, and will not God help us?

“Your all too human and fatalistic attitude implies that we should not count on God’s help, his grace or the Holy Spirit. If Providence guides men’s actions, has it not been guiding the movement back to Tradition? It makes no sense to think God will let us fall now, especially since we only want to do his will and please him.

“Likewise you lack realism, just as the liberals make the Council a superdogma, you are making the Council a superheresy. Archbishop Lefebvre made distinctions about liberal Catholics, and if you do not make them, your caricature of reality could lead to a true schism.

“You blame all the current evils on the authorities even though they are trying to extricate the Church from them (eg the condemnation of the hermeneutic of continuity) [note: I think Bishop Fellay means the hermeneutic of discontinuity] and are thus not all obstinate in heresy. That is clearly false. Hence when it comes to the crucial question of making an accord, we do not come to the same conclusion as you.”

He continues by saying that because of the present Pope’s words and actions a real change is taking place. “Young priests and bishops are supporting us… Now, a combat within the walls is possible, though very difficult.”

Archbishop Lefebvre, he says, “would have accepted what is proposed; we must not lose his sense of the Church”. And then he comes to the central point about the situation in which we all find ourselves: “Church history shows that we only recover gradually from heresies and crises, so it is not realistic to wait until everything is sorted out. If we refuse to work in this field, we fall foul of the parable of the wheat and the cockle in which Our Lord warns us that there would always be internal conflict.” In other words, separating yourself off within a little private world in which everything is conducted precisely to your taste simply isn’t the Catholic way.

These are, it seems to me, wise and courageous words, and the vision which inspired them deserves to succeed. Whether or it does, we will have to wait and see; there are those working within the SSPX against its success. It is clear from this correspondence that, as Bishop Fellay writes to them, the other bishops “have all worked to undermine [him]”. For all our sakes, I hope they fail; and I believe we should pray that they do.

Bishop Fellay is, it seems to me on this evidence, a courageous and inspirational leader; and we could do with him back “within the walls”. This is a crucial time: we are beginning to make, under the Pope’s guidance, real progress. In this country, soon, I hope and pray, Archbishop Mennini will be recommending (when all is as it should be in the Congregation of Bishops) a clutch of new and orthodox bishops to stand by the side of Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury; perhaps Bishop Fellay, as Superior of the new Prelature of the SSPX, will make an official visit to the Shrine Church of Ss Peter and Paul and St Philomena in New Brighton, Wirral. Stirring times, if all goes well. I live in hope; please God, let nothing go wrong.

  • Jorge

    Don’t worry, the rejection of religious liberty will always be a tiny-minority fringe of the Church. The few people who advance this view may be very vocal, but their number is negligible and they have no impact in the world (other than causing a huge scandal).

  • Jorge

     The Church will not shovel Modernism into the SSPX. Give some credit to the Holy See.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Well. I don’t agree with the anti-VII crowd either. However… “Some things in the past were bad, therefore all things modern are good” certainly tops my personal Syllabus Errorum. Closely followed by “It’s unpopular so it must be wrong”.

  • Jorge

     Hey, do not misrepresent the glorious history of the One Holy Catholic Church. I recommend the book How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, by Harvard historian Thomas Woods.

    If you are too lazy to read, then check out the series of youtube videos “The Catholic Church: Builder of Civilization” by Thomas Woods.

    God bless.

  • Benedict Carter

    Both your comments make clear that neither of you understand what is the traditional teaching of the Church on religious liberty. The very best book on the subject is Michael Davies’ book “The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty”. I do urge all to get a copy from whatever source they can. On Amazon it’s some crazy price, but much cheaper sources are available online. 

  • Timt-robertson

    What all loyal Catholic needs to do is to bring in Our Lady in this epic struggle inside and outside the Church. The devil and all his cunning distortions is powerless under her immaculate foot.  What we need to do is to use her “weapon” as St Padre Pio called the Rosary. If all loyal Catholics really prayed the Rosary as requested at Fatima – and I am glad to see that Bishop Fellay has appealed for a Rosary campaign – the enemy would soon be on the run, instead of encircling us ever more threateningly.

  • pagnol

    Carter, sounds like Hadley is a disciple of Shawn McElhinney who writes a defense and promotion of the so called NO Church and new mass. For McElhinney anyone who thinks SSPX is in any way valid, that VII is not doctrinal, and that the new mass is somehow deficient as Michael Davies wrote (God bless him and rest his soul, ) is a heretic and going to Hell.
    If I recall McElhinney was last in Australia and has other disciples in the US.
    I gave up long ago trying to reason with him so I wouldn’t worry too much about Hadley. Ditto to Charles Martel and JabbaPapa.

  • Benedict Carter

    Why do you say so with such confidence? It’s been shovelled into every other nook & cranny in the Church these past decades. Some of the perpetrators even cheerfully admit it. 

  • Benedict Carter

    And what was wrong with the Crusades may I ask? It was a very late response to murder and terrorism being inflicted on the ancient Christian Churches of the East by the Moslems. Sound familiar?

    As to the Inquisition, you can blame the Spanish Crown for its excesses (which are nowhere near as bad, not by a very long shot, as painted by Protestant historiography), not the Church. 

  • Alan

    I have seen a long review of it by Brian Harrison.  My position is that I believe in democracy not theocracy, and a democracy should allow any manifestation of religion provided it does not breach the civil law.  Otherwise we cannot complain about a country like Saudi Arabia, which bans the expression of any religion other than Islam.

  • Parasum

    “The other SSPX bishops think this Pope ‘subjects the Church to the modern world’: in other words, they’re barking”

    ## A remark like that is no substitute for proper theological analysis :(

  • Parasum

    Nice link :) TY :)

  • Parasum

    There is no right – from a *Catholic* POV – to spread a false religion. Any right to do so can only be established on a *non-Catholic* foundation, one that ignores the Divine origin of the Catholic faith. All others are all false religions, and the only excuse for tolerating any of them is that if they were suppressed, even greater evils than them might result.  But every single one of them is religiously defective and opposed to the revealed Will of God. There is & there can be only One Church, outside which there is & there can be no salvation.  There is “One Church, One Faith, One Lord, One God and Father of us all” – not the Babel of religions Wojtyla presided over at the Assisi Abominations. That quotation from St Paul is part of an inspired book, and has far more authority than the babblings of popes who try to re-invent the Catholic Faith in their own image. There can no more be more than one Church – in the proper sense, leaving aside what bodies are called and known as – than there can be more than one Christ, more than one Holy Spirit, more than one one God, more than one Trinity, more than one Bible, more than one economy of salvation. To say there is more than one Church is to say there is more than one Christ.

    Religious liberty is intrinsically sinful, of its very nature, because there cannot be such a thing as a right to reject the Will of God. It is therefore rightly, justly,truly, and accurately called a “delirium”. When Pope Gregory XVI called it that in 1832, he was performing as great as service for the Church as Paul VI did by promulgating “Humanae Vitae”. These two condemnations of widespread & powerful & attractive errors are of equal importance: if the earlier is not even more important than that that of 1968.

    Even the “declaration” – not Encyclical, Bull, Constitution, but only a Declaration – Dignitatis Humanae says this:

    “Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.”

    ## That second sentence does no such thing – it is an empty formula, that disguises a real rejection of the “traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ”. If that sentence really meant what it seems to say, we would hear that doctrine taught. It almost never is.

  • Benedict Carter

    Excellent post, one of the best on the thread.

    The modern Catholic teaching on religious liberty rests on the principles of the French and American Revolutions (as this Pope as a Cardinal accepted on several occasions) and in fact was (at Vatican II) the personal victory of a Jesuit, Father John Courtney Murray, a man who had been banned from teaching under Pius XII for expressing dodgy theological views. 

    Good at that nowadays, the Jesuits. How they have fallen from the days of their holy Founder. 

    It is extremely doubtful that it can be shown that the Vatican II document on RL does not contradict Tradition. 

    Therefore, under the Catholic scheme of things, the Vatican II teaching is the one to go. Never Tradition.

  • Parasum

    That is not a *theological* argument though. Doctrinally & theologically, only Catholicism has any right to exist, because it alone is the True Faith.   

    Democracy & pluralism are political POVs – and while in a plural society there may be many rights to things rejected by the Catholic Faith, they are rights founded not in the Faith, but apart from it or in defiance of it. They do not alter the Faith of the Church, but, they must be conformed to it. A plural society can provide for cults like Scientology & Mormonism to exist, and the Church would go along with that – but for its own reasons, that come from the Faith: not for those of the civil society within which they & it exist. For the Church, as Leo XIII teaches, is a “perfect society” – that is, ontologically; it is equipped with all it needs for its life & mission, so that it is a complete organism that does not owe anything of its life to civil society. Cults have no right to exist, nor do Islam, Judaism, atheism, or any POV but that of the Church.

    Islam is a man-made religion, which is incompatible with the Catholic faith. In a perfect world, Islam would not exist, as it leads men astray from Christ the Only Saviour, Who Alone is the Universal & Eternal King. To allow religious liberty, even on non-Catholic grounds, even in a non-Catholic society, is a step away from acknowledging His Kingship, since His Kingdom is one of Righteousness & Peace. To allow a false religion in society,  even on non-Catholic grounds, however necessary in order to avoid worse evils, is to retard the coming of that Kingdom. We may have to live in a plural society – but we don’t have to approve of it.

    God is a Theocrat – even if we are not. And there are no limits to the obedience we owe Him. To say otherwise, is to say we can love God within limits, but need not do so “with [our] whole heart and mind, and might, and strength”.

  • Benedict Carter

    The constant and traditional Catholic teaching Alan on religious liberty is that:

    a)  Everyone has the right to follow their own religion in private (this of course is banned in Saudi Arabia);

    b)  For the reasons elucidated by Parasum above, no believer in any non-Catholic religion has the RIGHT to practice that religion in public (because all non-Catholic religions are false). 

    c)  In practice, the State MAY tolerate other religions practicing their religion in public, but this toleration is to be extended ONLY in order to avoid civil unrest (as an example). But it must be clearly understood that this toleration does not suggest a RIGHT to practice a false religion in public. 

    This toleration of course does not exist in Saudi Arabia and barely at all in nearly all other Moslem-majority countries (I have lived in three).  

    d)  In a majority Catholic country, the State has the DUTY to promote Catholic teaching in law (anti-abortion laws etc.) and involve the Church in State occasions to back this up.

    e)  You mention democracy (or what passes for it nowadays). 

    i)   Traditional Catholic teaching is that the Church can accept democracy IF by that is meant the merely technical means (a ballot) of choosing representatives. The Church CANNOT accept the modern view of “democracy” that it means authority comes from the people. It does not – ALL authority comes from God. 

    ii)   The enactment of any law contrary to the Law of God arising from a government enacting a popular desire (abortion, for instance, or embryo stem cell use, etc) cannot ever be accepted. 

    If you believe in “democracy” and not what the Catholic Faith teaches, well then … draw your own conclusions.

  • Benedict Carter

    I’m saving these last few posts to disk for next time.

  • daclamat

    If you’re in favour of genocide and ethnic cleansing, they’re a good thing. Roasting an Albigensian or two (thousand), can’t be all that bad. Was the Pope right to have Giordano Bruno burned alive? If he wasn’t, we have another saint, so that’s all right. Benedict, what do you think of the apostolate of the chainsaw?

  • daclamat

    An asterisk makes obscenity all right, Ben?

  • Benedict Carter

    Dunno, I don’t live in Texas.

    By the way – even Protestant historians have accepted the need to deal with the Cathars. Their religion would have had Mankind dying out.

    As to the rest, you aren’t dealing with these questions with any historical context. Which makes your comment pretty worthless. Genocide – the attempt to eradicate an entire ethnicity. When has the Church ever done such a thing? Or even begun to condone it? Never.

  • Parasum

    “A council can be a waste of time (for example, if it says nothing new. Or if uses ambiguous language) but still be true.”

    ## If something is ambiguous, it risks being neither true nor false.

    As for the Liturgy, the Council was in effect superseded – and very quickly. Those words in Sancrosanctum Concilium no long mean anything – even if much of the rest does.

    And there was NOTHING in the documents that called for banishing the Tridentine Mass”

    ## It was banished nonetheless – and a whole generation of writers devoted a lot of energy to explaining why it was banished, defunct, dead, no more, etc. When that happens within the Church, despite Vatican II, the alleged errors of the SSPX shrink into insignificance. Why should the Society care a tinker’s curse about the words of Vatican II, when their critics, including Popes, show by their actions that they do not care what it says either ?  Vatican II and the history of it for the 40 years after its end has massive credibility problems. Many of the criticisms made against the SSPX are sheer hypocrisy, when they are not ignorant  or untruthful.

    “The problem is not with Vatican II itself, the problem is with the dishonest hippies who used the mantra of “spirit of Vatican II” in other to do things that *were not* in the Council text.”

    If you have in mind the US bishop  – Cardinal Cooke, IIRC – who celebrated a “Clown Mass” and is now being considered for beatification, I entirely agree. The “hippies” included many clergy, of whom more than a few were bishops. Rome put those bishop “hippies” (your word, not mine) where they were. It is thanks to Rome that hippy bishops (& worse)  in the US were in a position to offer invalid Masses, commit sacrilege, and perpretrate other crimes.

  • Benedict Carter


  • Parasum

    The Council of Hieria in 754 was intended to be ecumenical. It condemned the use of images. It was condemned by Nicea II in 787.

    That is at least to *some* extent - maybe not entirely – a precedent for rejecting a Council that was meant to be Ecumenical.

    It’s also possible to have fun with Constance, some early sessions of which are not Ecumenical; & Basel-Ferrara-Florence, some sessions of which are not Ecumenical, IIRC.  

    Apparently – & I know of this only at second-hand, unfortunately – in 1976 Paul VI said that the Ecumenical Councils since & including Constantinople IV in 869-870 are not Ecumenical. *If* he said that, then that would seem to undercut Vatican II. I would very much like to find a reference for this though.

  • Parasum

    “…which is say that VII documents must be viewed in the context of the hermeneutic of continuity and where VII creates significant change or rupture with the past then that is not the meaning of the VII docs.”

    ## This looks remarkably like a desperate attempt to save the authority of V2. For if he is right, why was that not said 40 years ago ?

    Besides, a formula is empty, if it has no content. What is the content of this “hermeneutic of continuity” ? And how does it in fact – not in theory or principle - save the documents from contradicting one another ? Somehow the H of C needs to show that the Church’s earlier teaching has not been rejected: how cam it possibly do that, when it makes religious liberty a right, in contradiction to Gregory XVI who clearly teaches that such a right does not exist:

    “14. This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. “But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,” as Augustine was wont to say.[21] When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly “the bottomless pit”[22] is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws — in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.”

    Some right !

    Maybe the only solution is to forget V2, or the bad bits of it. The ambiguous bits can be rectified by being taken only in a Catholic sense – disgraceful beyond words though it is that there should be any such passages.   

  • Parasum

    “So the Holy Ghost calls a Council, does He?”

    ## In Acts 15, yes. Vatican II is a different matter entirely, because it has spread confusion, & God “is not a God of confusion, but of peace”, as St.Paul says in 1 Cor. 14. We do not need a “New Pentecost”, despite John XXIII – the God-given Pentecost experienced by the Apostles is more than good enough for the Church to all succeeding ages.

  • Parasum

    “…if the SSPX remains separated from the Holy See, it will decay into heresy, corruption and finally apostasy.”

    ## So will the Holy See, if it is not protected by God from apostasy. It is God, not the Holy See, that prevents men & societies from committing apostasy. There is no Providence of the Church – only Divine Providence. And it is useless to obey man when God alone is to be feared. No Pope has the authority to alter the Catholic Faith – no angel has it, so how can a man, something less than God, have that authority ? Popes have betrayed their trust or fleeced the flock before – why should that not happen again ? If the Pope abuses his authority, so as to pull down the Church, rather than to build it up, then his commands & threats to do those who will not join in such work are empty; his authority does not exceed, or contradict, that of Christ in Whose Name he acts, & has no other purpose than that of Christ. So if the Pope uses it as though it did not derive entirely from Christ Alone, or in contradiction to Christ, that exercise of authority is not in the Name of Christ, and is not Papal, but is the act of a Pope acting as no more than a private person, on his own account.   

  • Parasum

    “He is suggesting that the Holy See can fall into heresy, which is heretical and absurd.”

    ## A few counter-examples. St. Leo II would disagree with you. His condemnation of the negligence of Honorius I (who a few years before had been condemned as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical Council) is in Denzinger’s “*Enchiridion*”, which is a very good source for Catholic dogma & doctrine.

    And there was the row following a sermon of John XXII in 1332. He retracted an untraditional position about the Beatific Vision one day before his death in 1334, after two years of theological dispute. His sermon is the reason that Benedict XII formally taught in 1336 that the dead are judged immediately after death.  

    There was a long-lived tradition in the Middle Ages that St. Anastasius II (496-98) was a heretic, because of the notice of him in the “*Liber Pontificalis*”. This is why Dante puts him in Hell (Inferno Canto 11 line 9).

    Calling Popes heretics is neither novel nor unusual nor unCatholic. It is a modern absurdity, without any support in history or theology or doctrine or dogma, to think that a Pope cannot be a heretic.

  • Benedict Carter

    Wow! Including Trent? He must have had a strong dose of the Constantinoples if he said that.

  • Benedict Carter

    Yes, you’re dead right. The formula “hermeneutic of continuity in reform” (the latest version I think), IS empty – until such time as the debate on the dodgy VII documents is had and a Pope issues an authoritative judgement on each of those areas. 

    When will it happen?

    With the SSPX inside, it’s much more likely that it will happen sometime.

  • Benedict Carter

    Thanks Parasum for those references, will look them up.

  • JabbaPapa

    Actually, today is indeed the day that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will be issuing its official opinion concerning the amended “doctrinal preamble” as presented to them by Monseigneur Fellay.

  • JabbaPapa

    The grammatical gender used for the word Spirit actually varies from language to language.

    I Hebrew, the word is feminine.

    Greek has one word which is masculine, but the basic word is feminine.

  • Alan

    The only alternative to democracy – a system where, in effect, we all agree to accept the will of a majority, renewed from time to time, is dictatorship and/or civil war.  If this is what you want, so be it.  You are saying, in effect, that your views, and those agreeing with you, are infallibly right, and no alternative view can be tolerated.  You have a totally closed mind, and any discussion is pointless.

  • buckle

    The SSPX are being trapped as like the ordinariate it will be strangled at birth by either being ignored or persecuted. This paper carries the story of Fr. Hunwicke who has been silenced for espousing or being ‘open to’ (to borrow a Vatican II expression) conservative positions on a myriad of topics. This is what awaits the society. This has nothing to do with modernists or masons plotting against the Church (yawn) in the manner of a Malachi Martin novel. It has all to do with the lurch to the cultural left of every echelon of Western society. This country, like most, is a mix of debt fueled ‘capitalism’ and left wing ideology. The Church is too terrified to challenge this hegemony. The question is, who or what are they afraid of? In my experience, unless people incur consequences for their behaviours very little changes and, as I say, the Church will not offer a challenge. Unless their is complete societal breakdown, the status quo will remain unaltered.

  • albertcooper

    Modernism inside ! and outside the church is the real enemy,seeking exuses in sin a product of this.True reverence to the blessed sacrament of the alter,and the protestant nature of the Mass,it just tumbles down again and again

  • buckle

    Albert that’s fine but the conciliar Church has effectively been acting as the SSPX’s point man (or clearing house) for the last 40 years. This has contributed to the latter’s perceived strength and purpose. No more than the Church can be divorced from society, the SSPX is not divorced from the post-conciliar set-up. What we are talking about here is the loss of their privleged position and it will BE lost if they are fully integrated and everyone knows it not least the post-conciliar Church.

  • Benedict Carter

    We are talking about religion here. Your starting point is political, not religious. 

    What political system I or you happen to prefer or not prefer is entirely irrelevant. 

  • albertcooper

    I can,t quite fathom out the point you are making ! I wrote of Modernism and its legacy,and nothing about pre/post concilllar church

  • buckle

    Fair enough, accusing somone of ‘modernism’ (with an exclamation mark!) constitutes a contribution in these blogs. It’s like the accusation of ‘racism’ or ‘anti-semitism’. It’s purpose is to stop dialogue rather than develop it.

  • daclamat

    So the Church put the Cathars out of our misery, to the tune of hundreds of thousands. (From the records of the proceedings of the inquisitions since few Cathars were around to keep record. Cf. Montaillou, village occitan 1294-1324 by Le Roy Ladurie) As for mankind dying out, are you limiting the human race to Europeans?

    By genocide I mean wiping out as many of a particular ethnicity as you can get your hands on, as in 1492, decree expelling the Jews from Spain. The cleaning up was pretty thorough, thanks to the Inquistion rooting out false Christians -Jews in disguise. Heartiest congrats from the Pope. For an encore 1609, decree expelling the Moors. As to the Church not condoning, have you been taking lessons from bp Williamson, who couln’t find evidence for the Holocaust?

  • Alan

    My starting-point is not political.  I believe in the God-given dignity of every human person, and this leads me to support democratic civil government as an expression of this.  Also the right of every person to practise his religion, be it true or false.  This is “religious liberty”.

  • albertcooper

    I am not accusing anybody!!!,but to say in my view Modernism is at work within the church,you may feel differently,that is your right

  • Benedict Carter

    Your first principles are not Catholic. They come from outside the Faith.

    And there, in a nutshell, is the entire problem with the post-Vatican II Church. 

  • Benedict Carter

    The CROWN’S decree in expelling the Jews from Spain (a gross error, but one conditioned by the state of the country at the time – overrun with bandits and chaos) was not genocide, was it? 

    You seem to have trouble understanding the meaning of words. 

    As to your final pathetic jibe, be very very careful what you say. I lost two Uncles killed against the Germans, another lost a leg and a fourth spent four years in a POW camp.

    Pathetic isn’t the word.

  • Alan

    My first principles are Christian, and I see the Catholic Church as the best expression of this.

  • Karl

    Its the nature of schism that once started, it never stops – just look at the countless number of protestant sects. 

  • Alan

    Your position seems to be that, because Vatican II conflicts, in your view, with various encyclicals, that Council should be declared false.  But are you not saying that you happen to find those encyclicals more congenial than the VII documents, so you choose to accept the former and reject the latter?  Somebody else (me for example) might take the opposite position, just as arbitrarily.  Not that I accept any contradiction, just a development (per Newman).

  • W Oddie

    Of course not: it’s just self-evidently the case. No theology needed. 

  • Benedict Carter

    There are very many clever people who would entirely disagree with you. Ever read “Iota Unum” by Prof. Romano Amario? The books by Davies and others? How about Cardinal Caseroli’s infamous speech to the UN? And one million other examples?

  • Frankie2

    Good to see you over here, Benedict.  I have only just come accross this – seems to me the biggest risk to be avoided is that the society loses its unique identity, and so its ability to influence. 

    If it can maintain both and act powerfully within the Conciliar church, then Bishop Fellay may be right.