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SSPX leader: we do not have to accept the whole of Vatican II

By on Thursday, 7 June 2012

Bishop Fellay (CNS photo)

Bishop Fellay (CNS photo)

The leader of the traditionalist Society of St Pius X has said talks with the Vatican demonstrate that “Rome no longer makes total acceptance” of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council a condition for his group’s full reconciliation with the Church.

Accepting the Council’s teaching is no longer “a prerequisite for the canonical solution” of the status of the society, according to Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the SSPX.

In an interview published today on the society’s news site,, Bishop Fellay said it was the Vatican that approached the society, and not the society that went to the Vatican, asking to begin the talks.

“So the attitude of the official Church is what changed; we did not,” he said. “We were not the ones who asked for an agreement; the Pope is the one who wants to recognise us.”

In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications that had been incurred by Bishop Fellay and other SSPX bishops when they were ordained without papal permission 11 years earlier. Also in 2009, the Pope established a Vatican committee to hold doctrinal talks with society representatives.

In September 2011, the Vatican gave Bishop Fellay a “doctrinal preamble” outlining “some doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity” to the formal teaching of the Church. Neither the Vatican nor the SSPX has made the text public, but the Vatican said it leaves room for “legitimate discussion” about “individual expressions or formulations present in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the successive magisterium” of the Church.

Bishop Fellay submitted his first response to the document in March, but the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of Pope Benedict, defined it as “insufficient”. The bishop gave the Vatican his second response in April and, as of June 7, it was still under study at the Vatican.

In the interview on the SSPX website, Bishop Fellay said: “We are still not in agreement doctrinally, and yet the Pope wants to recognise us. Why? The answer is right in front of us: there are terribly important problems in the Church today.”

The reconciliation talks, he said, are a sign that the Catholic Church has begun to recognise it needs to recover traditions and traditional teaching eclipsed by the Second Vatican Council. If the SSPX were to reconcile fully with the Church, Bishop Fellay said, its members would continue to denounce “doctrinal difficulties” in the Church, but would do so while also providing “tangible signs of the vitality of tradition” in its growing membership and vocation rate.

Speaking to members of the SSPX who are wary of reconciliation, Bishop Fellay said “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,” he said.

But the reality of the Church’s history shows that “often, and almost always, we see that there are widespread errors” and that God calls holy men and women to work within the Church to correct the errors, Bishop Fellay said.

“We are being asked to come and work just as all the reforming saints of all times did,” he said.

Bishop Fellay said he did not have a timetable for the conclusion of the talks. “There are even some who say that the Pope will deal with this matter at [the papal summer villa in] Castel Gandolfo in July.”

  • Benedict Carter

    Will not happen. 100% period. 

  • JabbaPapa

    that’s the way they understand the concept of God…as literally One

    This isn’t the issue — the Hebrews consider God as One, but not in a way that is fundamentally incompatible with Christian theology, which also sometimes considers God as One in the same vein as the Hebrew understanding of God.

    The isue is that Islam *denies* that anything inside physical reality can be anything but corrupted, which not only denies some of the fundamentals of both Hebrew and Christian theology, but it posits that God, being Perfect, can therefore not actually be present within Creation, except via the means of divine revelation.

    In other words, Islam defines God as having a specific nature that is apart from and incompatible with the various mainstream Hebrew and Christian theologies.

    That is the basis of the philosophical/theological argument positing the god of Islam as entirely different to God.

    As an “argument”, however, it’s important to realise that this is a question, NOT a doctrine — and that it is inherently disputed, rather than constituting any sort of statement of fact.

    Except, of course, insofar as the inherent spirit/matter dualism that is found, among other sects, in Islam has been formally denounced as a heresy on multiple different occasions by the Church.

  • Sweetjae

    The novel idea of “eternal rome” is everywhere in SSPX websites. Then its just
    proved my point, that you and your group are the ones who will make a judgment
    based on your standards of who qualifies of being “Eternal Rome” or just

    It just proves my hunch..alternative magisterium, then you complain
    about the prefix name of “Roman” to Catholic Church? So what, to us its just a
    name to distinguish between Catholics of different cultural Rites, like
    Byzantine Catholic Church, Melkite Catholic Church, Oriental Catholic Church

    So your protest is superficial.

  • Sweetjae

    Well I’m not an expert of islamic religion,  however they recognized the God of Abraham and Moses as also their One Holy God which is by the way better than the gnostics and atheists.  

  • Patrick_Hadley

    If the SSPX has accepted in the full the document sent to them by the CDF then what is the delay? You may have noticed that I am not generally in support of the SSPX but if they were given terms which they had to accept and have unconditionally accepted them, then there should be no reason to delay their reconciliation. It would be unjust to the fraternity if it were rejected after doing all that it was asked.

  • EditorCT


    As ever, I do not ask anyone to follow me, or, as you put it, my logic.  Here’s what Our Lord Himself said to the Jews of HIs day on the subject of the God they worshipped. Firstly, when they spoke, as do you of the God of Abraham, He told them: “Before Abraham was, I am” (I trust I do not need to rehearse here the theological significance of “I am”)

    Then, in St John’s Gospel we read the following words from the lips of Our Lord:

    “That all men should honour the Son, even
    as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the
    Father who hath sent him.” (John 5:23)


    “You do the deeds of your father. Then said
    they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus
    said unto them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I
    proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.”  (John 8:41)

    I hope Our Lord was “careful” enough for your liking, Sweetjae.

    Signed MISS EditorCT.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    While there are some strange features in Pope Benedict’s establishment of the Ordinariates, the fact that he insisted that the Anglican clergymen who wanted to join an Ordinariate had to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders in order to become Catholic priests means that there was a requirement of an implicit acknowledgement that they are turning away from past errors.

    It is however interesting that the closest precedent in church history for what Pope Benedict XVI is trying to do with the SSPX, is what Pope Benedict XVI did with the Anglicans.

    Arguing with someone who denies that the SSPX are in schism (if they are not then why are any talks needed) is as pointless as arguing with Humpty Dumpty over the meaning of words. 

  • EditorCT

    Are you for  real?  Arguing with the intellectually challenged who insist that the SSPX are in schism when the Vatican has, in several ways, said they are not, is pointless.  There is a huge difference between an irregular canonical situation and a schism.

    The SSPX bishops  recognise papal authority (unlike the Chinese bishops of the Patriotic whatsit called, pretend church, who are appointed by the Government) – THAT is the litmust test for schism.  How often does it have to be said?  I mean, you wouldn’t want us thinking you’re a few sandwiches short of a picnic or anything would you?

  • JabbaPapa

    Dear Benedict, we have disagreed on this particular point before, and may well do so again in future, but I would certainly agree that it is, in any case, in need of a properly attentive doctrinal assessment by both theologians and the Magisterium.

    “Extraordinary means of Salvation” does NOT overturn Catholic teaching, at least not when the phrase is properly understood — but it is OTOH true that the phrase is far too easy to MISunderstand than Catholic doctrine should ever allow … :-(

  • Andrew4

    I am delighted that the outcome is favorable  and the Church is ready to welcome the SSPX back. I am confident the SSPX will be a great benefit to the Holy Catholic Church and they will,I am sure support the Pope in his leading of the Catholic Church in difficult times.

    The Vatican came to us  ,we didnt go to the Vatican…. a wee correction here needed.The Church is the mystical body of Christ,only the Church can voice such Authority over a group or person,not even the Bishop can tell  the Vatican  (Holy Father`s office) what to do.The Church IS The Christ,the Holy Father IS the head.

    My  main worry here  with SSPX reconciling  into the Church,is the modernist and traddy groups in the Church can never agree to anything, Not the The Mass- not even the clothes (head covered or not to be not covered etc)  in Church,sign of peace or no peace  sign at all…All this before you get into the High Mass,Ordinary Form,N.O. 

    There is far too much disobedience in the Church today from Left and right wing fractions as it is .I  can see both sides coming to blows not before long when SSPX are back in the Church.V1 Verses V2 in an inside battle…I am keeping my head down and praying for peace in the pews!

  • Benedict Carter

    Patrick and others here simply can’t get it, CT.

  • JabbaPapa

    then what is the delay?

    There is in fact no “delay”, and matters are moving forward in good time and with all due reflection.

    The question of the SSPX is now out of the hands of the Roman Curia, and in those of the Pope.

    I obviously cannot speak on behalf of the Pontiff, but it would seem to me, as pure *guesswork*, that Pope Benedict XVI will need to assure himself, and one and all, theologically that the SSPX is in fundamental coherence with the Magisterium (licit disagreements are not preventative of this) ; dogmatically that SSPX teachings are orthodox ; canonically, that any and all legal impediments are dealt with, including any potential impediments to his own actions (any Pope is legally subject to any antecedent sovereign decisions by any Pope, including his own sovereign decisions) ; politically, that the regularisation is Catholic (this last point is rather complex, please don’t ask me to expand thanx) ; ecclesially, that a good and proper ecclesial status for the Society, valid not just today or tomorrow, but in the years, and decades, and centuries to come can be agreed upon by all Authorities, including Pope, Congregation for the Clergy, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Congregation for Bishops, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Congregation for Catholic Education, SSPX, College of Cardinals, and so on ; disciplinarily that Obedience will be granted by the SSPX clergy ; pastorally, that not only will the ordinary functioning of the Society be positive towards the teaching of the Faith in an orthodox manner, but FAR more importantly, that the SSPX priests will be fully integrated into all normal ecclesial and pastoral duties that are expected of them, whether these duties may be exercised under the Authority of the SSPX itself, or under the Authority and ecclesial practices of any Diocese, Abbey, Congregation, Council, Cardinalate, Papacy, College, Mission, etc, that the SSPX clergy in question may by vocation be called towards by our Lord Jesus, the Christ.

  • JabbaPapa

    Words do not constitute Truth — Islam claims otherwise.

  • JabbaPapa

    Dear Benedict, given that our own regular tradtionalist parish curate gives a Novus Ordo Mass on the Sunday morning, and a Tridentine Mass in the evening (in a different non-parish church elsewhere in the diocese), and given that regularisation requires whichever forms of Obedience are vocationally demanded by the Christ, irrespective of personal preference, there is no doubt whatsoever that some regularised SSPX clergy will co-celebrate or celebrate NO Masses from time to time, as they are so required.

    I do not mean “liturgically abusive communal feast NuChurch travesty masses organised by neocatechumenal lesbian nuns and their pet homosexuals” of course,

    I’ve no doubt that SSPX will of course require that any celebration or co-celebration by SSPX priests of any religiously required NO Masses will be clearly defined within the ordinary limits expected in the clergy by traditional Catholic orthodoxy.

    And frankly — to speak at a more human level, it’s obvious (to me, anyway) that current SSPX clergy do from time to time (“extremely rarely” I’d imagine) find themselves in peculiar situations whereby a NO Mass becomes inevitable (though this does help explain to me why a visiting priest friend of our parish curate was mystifyingly sitting in the pews one Sunday rather than co-celebrating the Mass).

    More deeply — I think you underestimate the full degree, extent, and detail whereby a fully regularised SSPX clergy will be vocationally called upon to help restore traditional orthodoxy in ordinary dioceses, hither and yon.

  • JabbaPapa

    I think you’re wrong.

    You are assuming some sort of absolute ideal SSPX priesthood that is unlikely to exist in physical reality.

  • EditorCT

    There’s nothing “inevitable” about a fifty year old Mass that is already on the way out (Cardinal Ranjith who said it will be gone in a  generation) and concelebrations are controversial anyway, so worry not, you will never EVER see an SSPX priest saying the NO.  Will not happen.

  • Herman U. Ticke

    It is astonishing that fifty years after the start of Vatican 2
    there is widespread disagreement as to what it actually taught.
    Even on this forum there are those who claim that it changed nothing and others
    again who claim that it changed many things but that those changes
    were for the good and long overdue.
    An articulate and engrossing elaboration of the latter view is
    given by John Cornwell (“award-winning jounalist and author…
    Fellow Commoner of Jesus College, Cambridge..”) in his book
    “Breaking Faith” (2002) (ISBN 978-0142196083) and it is reassuring
    to me that his audit of the aftermath of the Council
    corresponds exactly with my own, even though my
    doctrinal position is miles away from his.
    There is a veritable industry indeed, devoted to the
    interpretation of a single word in the Council documents.
    You know the one.
    Don’t insist that I submit it. (hint)
    If I were Bishop Fellay I would draw up a long list of
    precisely worded and theologically unimpeachable propositions
    touching all the matters under consideration and
    then invite  the leader of the conciliar church to
    assent  — or demur, having previously made the content of
    the said list public.
    As for the word alluded to above, the most interesting
    single-article discussion I know of is this one:
    although there are lots of others

  • Patrick_Hadley

    On this I agree with you. There is not the slightest chance of a member of the Ordinariate of St Pius X, or the Personal Prelature or whatever it will be called, celebrating a Mass using the ordinary form.

  • Fredi D’Alessio

    What’s next? Catholic denominations?

  • Edocere

     Let’s hope they say the mass from a missal prior to 1962. that missal was put out by the apostate, masonic, usurper, John XXIII who hijacked the papal throne for the sole purpose of destroying the Catholic Faith. If I were a priest, I would say the mass of Pope St Pius V only.

  • Paul

    O come on, Sweetjae!  ‘Whoever denies the Son cannot have the Father either’ (1 John 2:23).  The God who called Abraham is the God who sent his Son.  Reject the Son and you cannot claim the God of Abraham.  Come back to biblical truth.

  • Sweetjae

    SSPX is NOT in schism, they are catholics YET still in irregular state, until
    this talk for full reconcialtion is over.

  • Sweetjae

    I really don’t think God would forsake the jewish people though they rejected the Gospel. God is faithful to His promises even though man is unfaithful. 

    Psalm 4, “The Lord Will Not Forsake
    His People.”

    1 Samuel 12:22, “For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the
    LORD was pleased to make you his own.”

  • Charles Martel

     THE MIRACULOUS METAL SOCIETY? What in the name of blue hell is that? Some kind of sedevacantist alchemist group? Good luck to you all, mate!

  • Benedict Carter

    The document “Dominus Iesus” from the CDF in 1994 tells us unambiguously that the word “subsisit” is to be understood as equalling “is”. 

    The fact that the CDF had to publicly interpret one vague Vatican II statement (and there are many others) is enough to tell us that the documents of Vatican II are dodgy in the extreme. 

  • Benedict Carter

    ” … 
    to welcome the SSPX back”.

    I know what you mean, but the SSPX has never been away. Most of the post-Vatican II Church has been been, however. 

    And still is.

  • zizzel

    V2 is plainly modernist and condemned by twenty previous councils of the Roman Catholic Church.  That’s a proven fact.  Speak infiltration by jews, anyone!

  • Helen Westover

    Then why are the other 3 bishops balking?

  • JabbaPapa

    V2 is plainly modernist and condemned by twenty previous councils of the Roman Catholic Church.  That’s a proven fact.

    Proven fact ??!? No it’s not !!!

    It’s a personal opinion, and one that’s of dubious caholicity.

  • Helen Westover

    You’ve probably never read Nostra Aetate, where all religions are presented as paths to God.
    Then Cardinal Ratzinger called the Council a “Counter Syllabus”, referring to Pope Pius ix’s “Syllabus of Errors”.   A great book is Michael Davies “Time Bombs in Vatican 2.  
    The original schemas for the Council which were orthodox, were dumped by the Rhine Modernists, many of whom had been previously condemned as heretics.

  • Sweetjae

    Ben, if we are going by your logic, then you must regard The Holy Bible is as dodgy in the extreme as well.

    Look at what St. Paul said, “For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith….not by works” (Eph 2:8-9)

    And compare this to what St. Paul said in another verse,”For the DOERS of law will be justified” (Romans 2:13)

    I thought he said we are saved by faith not works then say in another we are saved by doing the works of the law?Is he contradicting himslelf? Is the Bible a contradiction? seems like it huh?

    There are so many “ambiguous” statements in the Bible on justification, infusion by grace etc. however it doesn’t mean that they are dodgy. 

    “Subsist” refers to the clear teaching of Trent where other faiths outside the Catholic Church when they separated from us, have retained in them some Truths, at el, Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Council of Trent taught us that they have valid 7 Sacraments and Apostolic succession which are channels of salvific graces outside the clear boundaries of the Catholic church. They are still part of the Universal Church albeit only in the Catholic Church where one can find FULLNESS.

  • Sweetjae

    This attitude is wrong as if “We won” and the “church is wrong all along”. Very proud.

  • JabbaPapa

    You’ve probably never read Nostra Aetate, where all religions are presented as paths to God.


    (Yeah right, obviously here I am discussing these matters from some sort of position of total ignorance)

    In fact Nostra Aetate simply gives a different wording to the ancient doctrine that salvation by God is ultimately in God’s hands, and that He can of course save individuals who are not Christians, including if they belong to different religions.

    Nostra Aetate does NOT elevate those religions as being equal to Christianity ; nor does it elevate non-Catholic Christianity as being equal to Catholicism.

    Claims otherwise by any extremists, of either the conservative or the reformist persuasion, are quite wrongful — NOT the hermeneutic of rupture, but the hermeneutic of continuity can make sense of Vatican II doctrines.

  • JabbaPapa

    You’re actually both wrong AFAIK.

    The verb “subsist” belongs to the same group of existence verbs as “to be”, but it’s not a synonym ; and your interpretation of Trent is not quite accurate, sweetjae.

    The verb “to subsist in” actually means something like “belongs existentially to”, so that the Holy Spirit subsists as a divine property of the Catholic Church in that manner.

    Trent recognises however that disagreeing with this or that article of Faith does not signify disagreeing with all of them, so that any organised group of schismatics, for reasons of *doctrinal* disagreement, who nevertheless retain a significant portion of the Faith in their religion and spirituality thereby retain some relationship with the Holy Spirit that subsists in the Catholic Church (using both meanings of Catholic).

  • Jae

    I totally agree with you though SSPX is not schismatic albeit your concern is noted and yes there is no precedent in her history of this situation where the Church admitted a group who still reject some teachings of her Council.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    Their point is that it does not make sense for the SSPX to reconcile while the Pope continues to hold on to “novelties” that are contrary to infallible dogmas and traditional doctrines and practices. They do not want to reconcile while the Church has an official Catechism that contains heresy and a rite of Mass that is sacrilegious, illicit, and probably invalid. How can they reconcile with a Pope who went to Assisi for an inter-faith gathering, and who always celebrates the Novus Ordo? If they could never attend a Mass celebrated by the Pope and receive the Blessed Sacrament from him, how could they pretend to be in communion with him? They reject the false irenicism where unity is declared because the real issues are simply ignored. They are waiting for the Pope to announce that he rejects the false teaching in Vatican II and makes the TLM compulsory. When he does that they will gladly reconcile under his authority.

  • Helen Westover

    That’s because there is no precedent in the history of the Church for a council like Vat 2.  Just 1 example is Nostra Aetate, which praised heretical religions, and gave rise to abominations like Assisi.

  • Alan

    Note that “subsists” does not mean “subsists exclusively”.  I am perfectly happy with the idea that the Holy Spirit subsists, to a greater or lesser extent, elsewhere than in the Catholic Church (most obviously the Orthodox).

  • Herman U. Ticke

    Here is Joseph Ratzinger telling us that ‘subsisit in’ means something else
    in an interview given to Frankfurter Allgemeine in 2000

    “Vatican II did not use Pius XII’s expression according to which ‘the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church of Christ.’
    Instead, it preferred the expression ‘The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church…’
    because, it wished to ‘affirm that the being of the Church as such
    is a larger identity than the Roman Catholic Church’.”
    (Cardinal Ratzinger, Frankfurter Allgemeine,
    English translation taken from newsletter
     of Father Jean Violette, SSPX, Toronto, October, 2000).

    go to go…. I can feel a discontinuity coming on….

  • JabbaPapa

    It’s not the first time you’ve posted this very exaggerated interpretation of matters, and it’s as if you refuse to listen to those who point out the exaggeratedness to you …

    It is ludicrous, for starters, to suggest that the Catechism contains “heresy” — and SSPX does not claim that it does, notwithstanding that you might be able to dig up some extremist priest members or lay supporters or webmasters of this or that chapter or local group of SSPX who might propose such an outrageous notion.

    The Order of Mass is NOT contained in the Catechism, that claim is just plain old wrong.

    And mainstream SSPX theologians describe Novus Ordo NOT as being “sacrilegious, illicit, and probably invalid“, but as being valid, licit, but theologically damaged. What they DO describe as being “sacrilegious, illicit, and probably invalid” are various ABUSES of the Mass — but frankly, every orthodox Catholic should ordinarily be of the same opinion regarding such abuses.

    How can they reconcile with a Pope who went to Assisi for an inter-faith gathering ?

    Through Catholicity, forgiveness, and by encouraging Universal Redemption for all Christians and non-Christians via public orthodoxy and public and private prayer and by promoting and supporting orthodox teachings.

    How can they reconcile with a Pope who always celebrates the Novus Ordo?

    The Mass in the Pope’s Private Chapel is always celebrated according to the Extraordinary Form.

    No doubt, Pope Benedict has his own reasons for continuing to delay his first public celebration of the Mass according to the Tridentine Form of the Rite.

    If they could never attend a Mass celebrated by the Pope and receive the
    Blessed Sacrament from him, how could they pretend to be in communion
    with him?

    This is very silly, sorry.

    The notion that the Pope would seek to deliberately insult the SSPX clergy and their Lay supporters by insisting on using a Form of the Rite that they are overtly unhappy with is to misunderstand the very nature of what it means to be a Catholic Pope.

    Also, canonical regularisation of the Society would bring them into Communion not just wit then Pope, but with ALL Catholics, of ALL political or theological persuasions EVERYWHERE and EVERYWHEN.

    They reject the false irenicism where unity is declared because the real issues are simply ignored.

    All orthodox Catholics should reject such false irenecism. In other words, this is a non-problem.

    A regularised SSPX will of course be theologically engaged within the Magisterium of our Church. Hans Küng wept.

    They are waiting for the Pope to announce that he rejects the false
    teaching in Vatican II and makes the TLM compulsory. When he does that
    they will gladly reconcile under his authority.

    More rubbish, sorry — you’re falsely assuming the views of various extremists to be the norm, rather than the exception.

    The mainstream SSPX position is that Vatican II was, with a small number of exceptions, a traditionally-minded Council that was nefariously hijacked in the immediate and subsequent post-conciliar decades by a revisionist, modernist, extremist liberal movement of 1960s and 1970s heretical clergy that warped and denatured the Council documents out of all recognition.

    I first looked at the Council documents (in Latin) before I was even *baptised* — and even then, it was stunningly clear to me just how traditional in scope and purpose the design of those documents had actually been, and in fact looking at the Vatican II documents, instead of listening to all the garbage that’s produced by various people talking about them, helped to remove a LOT of my apprehension (at the time) about joining the Church, that I still saw as being under the onus of a very dubious trendy guitar-playing quasi-Marxist 1970s revisionism that seemed incompatible with the very deeper nature and circumstances of my conversion.

    To address your underlying concerns more directly, this is not a matter of politics and manoeuvering — it’s a matter of Faith in, Worship of, and Love for God Himself, and the sharing of these things in a common Spirituality, Faith, Religion, Love, Law, and Church.

    Everything else is *completely* secondary.

  • JabbaPapa

    The Council of the Apostles is, ultimately, fairly similar in nature — but certainly not in *scope* nor *length* nor *subject matter* !!! — to Vatican II.

    The Council of the Apostles was, in any case, a Pastoral Council.

    Nostra Aetate does NOT “praise” heretical religions — it rephrases the ancient and traditional Christian doctrine that individuals found worthy in the Sovereign Eyes of God can be saved by Him despite the fact that they belong to non-Christian religions, or to no religion whatsoever.

    The actual *abuses* that occurred at Assisi were by non-Christians.

    Ecumenism is very clearly a “work in progress” — it needs to be understood as a form of Evangelisation, but this is far more easily said than achieved. The primary locus of Ecumenism is Christian, but one honestly cannot deny that Evangelising towards non-Christians in a postive manner is a duty that most of us fail at.

  • JabbaPapa

    And of Monseigneur Fellay’s too, frankly.

  • JabbaPapa

    Why on EARTH was dear Benedict’s comment removed ??

  • JabbaPapa

    The statement by the Theologian, Cardinal, and Pope is quite clearly Orthodox, and perfectly consonant with Tradition.

  • JabbaPapa

    The Holy Spirit subsists primarily in God Himself — larger than the Catholic Church indeed !!!!

  • JabbaPapa

    Dear Benedict does frequently let his own rhetoric get the better of him, but scratch the surface and you find a man who is humble, obedient, orthodox, Catholic.

    His deeper humility was quite the pleasant surprise to me when I first came across it !!!

  • Herman U. Ticke

    Ah… there is no better pastime for a rainy afternoon than the
    traditional(?) “subsistit in” game.

    A large number of contributors all roll their
    different “perfectly clear” opinions down a local
    hillside to try to demonstrate the impossibility
    of ambiguity… all without the slightest
    suspicion of irony….

    Let’s try one more time

    Benedict cites the 1994 document authored by
    JR which says  subsistit in = IS

    Herman cites 2000 document authored by
    JR which says subsistit in NOT = IS

    see the problem??

    got to go ……
    I feel a long glorious period of continuity ahead..

  • Patrick_Hadley

    I will be concise in my reply because these ever shrinking boxes make long debate impossible. I am sorry that you thought I said that the Order of Mass was in the CCC; I suppose I should have put in a comma. 

    Despite your claim that he does so every day is there any evidence at all that the Pope has celebrated even one TLM in the last forty years? It is a strange definition of being in communion when the SSPX priests and faithful loyal to them would never assist at a Mass celebrated by the Pope or in the form used by 99% of Catholic priests. Would SSPX priests give Holy Communion to Catholics who were enthusiastic followers of “The Spirit of Vatican II” and declared their belief in religious liberty and the salvation of people from other faiths?

     When Lefebvre ordained the four bishops he said, “The day when the Vatican will be delivered from this occupation by Modernists and will come back to the path followed by the Church down to Vatican II, our new bishops will put themselves entirely in the hands of our Sovereign Pontiff, to the point of desisting if he so wishes from the exercise of their episcopal functions.” Do you really think that this day has come? A reconciliation based on false irenicism would make the Catholic Church like the Anglicans, where, at least since the ordination of women but probably before, they have what they call “imperfect communion” because they all cannot gather round the same altar.

  • EditorCT

    Well, then, what’s the problem?  Why all this worry about ecumenism, Christian unity etc, when one church is as good as another? Or to be more precise, when the Protestant denominations are guided by the same Holy Spirit Who is guiding the Catholic Church? 

    Perplexed, Glasgow…

  • Alan

    Let’s get this clear.  You claim that the modern Church has uttered many infamies, and presumably that the ancient Church did not.  How do you decide that the “ancient” Church was correct, and the “modern” Church false, in these matters?  Is it simply that what came first must be correct?  Or is it that, in your private judgement, the teachings of the “ancient” Church are more congenial to your way of thinking?