22 March 2013

SSPX Responds to Mark Shea

I want to give some words of introduction to this post:  

First, Mark Shea is a Catholic blogger will take swipes at certain traditional Catholics he calls "rad trads".  Not all traditional Catholics, he will note, just "rad trads".  Pinning down just who is a "rad trad" out of that group is an exercise in pushing Jell-O up a wall, if any standard is used other than "those traditional Catholics about whom I am writing at the moment."   I enjoy his blog from time to time, then a RadTradRant (tm) will spew forth, which causes me to ditch it for a while.  Later I come back, because he is a Catholic of good will who posts good and funny stuff much of the time.  He just doesn't get the importance of the Liturgy, and in that he represents the ranks of the bulk of (inexact adjective warning:) conservative Catholics.  In that sense, I think the within-the-ranks heretics have a better understanding of the importance of Liturgy than do so-called conservatives, which is why "progressives" wish so much to destroy the Catholic Mass.

Second,  I don't know why the SSPX would take the time to respond to Shea and his fellow travelers.  Even given their irregular status, they have five thousand times the credibility he has.  There is an internet dogma often quoted: "Do not feed the troll."  Oh well, let's read it on its own terms.

Third,  I am glad of the SSPX's defense of traditional Catholic teaching, practice and Liturgy.  Do note, though, that they claim to speak for "Traditionalists", and I guess they speak for many.  But remember that they do not speak for all, or at least not in every circumstance.  O how I-- just one traditional Catholic speaking only for myself-- how I wish that Bishop Fellay had accepted the offer of faculties from Pope Benedict XVI while there was time.  It seems now to be just the time that a standard bearer for the Mass will be needed.

With that rather lengthy introduction out of the way, here is the SSPX article in question, and here is Mr. Shea's original post that set them off.

My favorite part, relevant to the current trad-bashing by yesterday's uneasy allies in the conservative ranks:

....Only a few short months ago, some thaw existed in the conservative (a misnomer if ever there was one) Catholic mind, and in conservative Catholic journals, blogs, etc. that allowed a more open discussion to exist on the nature of Vatican II, on collegiality, religious liberty, ecumenism, and most especially on the liturgy. Why, then, does this door seem closed now with the reign of Pope Francis?

It is not we who closed it, and to be fair to the Sovereign Pontiff, he has not yet closed this discussion either by his words or actions. No, the end of the discussion comes from those so-called conservatives – the best of all weathermen since they can always tell which way the wind is blowing – anxious to ingratiate themselves to what they perceive to be a shift in papal policy. When Benedict promoted a certain reform of Catholic liturgy and introduced an increased gravitas to papal liturgies, they rode to the defense of those actions as if they’d always led the army. Now that they perceive Francis taking a different road, one which seems to tread the path of liturgical minimalism, they turn their chargers and march to another battle, confident of victory so long as they always follow the seemingly prevailing forces.

What else is this but liturgical and doctrinal positivism, in the end, amounting to a certain papolatry.  And to cover up the ever-shifting sands of their principles, men, such as our blogger, feel it necessary to attack and ridicule traditional Catholics, who do not, for one instance, deny the power of Peter to bind and to loose, but rather beg Peter to use his authority to confirm his brethren in the Faith, and to truly be a universal father....


Aged parent said...

If I had the slightest interest in the writings of Professional Converts like Mr Shea I would respond to him. Since I don't, I won't.

However, the points raised in the SSPX response are valid they have called attention to a problem that has been plauging the Church for far, far too long a time. That problem is, of course, papolatry.

Papolatry caused Catholics to look the other way when certain doubtful statements and action emanated from Pius XI and Pius XII. Papolatry went completely off the rails with John XXIII and Paul VI, which led many Catholics to sit idly by while their entire 2,000 year tradition was ripped away from them. The results of that false zealotry for every Papal utterance and action has been the wreckage we see all around us. This adulation descened to near-sickening depths with the rock-star pontificate of John Paul II and now, I'm afraid, we're seeing it again with the new Pope. The Timman is correct to view this as something troubling. It is troubling.

How will this papolatry ever be defeated? I don't know. Maybe when sentimentality finally gives way to realism...but that may take centuries.

Anonymous said...

"O how I-- just one traditional Catholic speaking only for myself-- how I wish that Bishop Fellay had accepted the offer of faculties from Pope Benedict XVI while there was time."

No you don't. It's not 'faculties' at issue, it's the false teaching regarding religious liberty, collegiality, and ecumenism. Do you really want Bishop Fellay to deny the teaching of the Faith for the continuing falsity of Vatican II? The liturgy without the teaching is playacting.

thetimman said...


Yes I do. There is no prohibition on teaching the Catholic faith. If the SSPX teaches the faith as it is always handed down, then what can they fear? They would ensure the "hermeneutic of continuity" or destroy the pretense. In other words, if the Holy Father doesn't discipline them for their stance on so-called religious liberty, then they are fine and the truth upheld. If the Holy Father does discipline them for teaching the Catholic faith, then they have a real reason for avoiding "full communion" with modernism.

If the former, the Vatican essentially admits V2 couldn't and didn't change anything. If the latter, then the Vatican claims that doctrine changed, which it can't.


And really, I think that a giant bluff would be called.