03 February 2009

Speculation of My Own

I don't claim to know the future.  My friends will attest that I tend to hyperbole.  So, don't write this down as the predictions of a seer, but rather the speculations of a blogger who gets too little sleep.  There is your disclaimer.

Regarding the SSPX regularization and the declaration that the decree of excommunication against the six bishops involved in the 1988 Econe consecrations no longer have juridical effect, to wit:

First, and this will not be an original thought, is it not immediately obvious that this issue's importance is confirmed by the puerility, volume and identity of the critics of the Pope's decision?  Who opposes this?  Cui malo?

Obviously, Jewish people are understandably offended by Bishop Williamson's comments.  But I am talking about the outcry at the lifting of the excommunications.  These two matters, though chronologically conflated, are logically distinct.

Who decries the lifting of the excommunications?  The French Bishops.  The German Bishops.  American baby-killing Catholic politicians.  Women who pretend to be priests and who hate men.  Men who want to use women for their own selfish pleasure and thus hate women.  Non-Catholics who have no clue about Catholic teaching or Canon Law, and who merely equate the decree with the Bishop's statements.  Catholics who hate the Church's teachings on birth control, abortion, the natural law as it relates to marriage, fornication, divorce, etc.

People you can find at every Catholic parish, and whom you can find in the majority at too many Catholic parishes.  I will leave some obvious candidates unnamed.

In other words, people who fear the reestablishment of the rights of the Church, who loathe the idea that the social, political and economic revolution might be opposed.  People who can't stand the truth that the Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Christ.

In other, other words:  the usual suspects.

If the regularization of the SSPX scares and angers these people so, doesn't that scream for its desirability?

Secondly, let me just say what any reader of this blog already knows:  I am a supporter of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.  The Institute's spirituality, drawn from their patrons, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Benedict, and in particular St. Francis de Sales, combined with their love and devotion to the Church's timeless liturgy and sacramental forms, makes it an oasis of Catholic faith and culture.  I would recommend supporting their apostolates to anyone. I could go on, but won't.

But what I think is perhaps the key component in this whole SSPX issue is one of numbers, and combined with the prospect of real, sustained, international persecution of the Church.  The Church's enemies grow in number; they are politically victorious; they are emboldened by temporal success and resentful of the Church's opposition to their plans.

Should a real persecution or crisis come about, it would be optimal for the greatest number of Catholics to have access to the traditional Mass and sacramental forms as possible.  It would be optimal to have access to priests and parishes that are unshakably firm in the dogmas and doctrines of the faith.

The Institute and the Fraternity of St. Peter have fewer numbers of priests and apostolates than the SSPX.  This is principally because they are younger societies.  But remember, not every place in the world has the relatively easy access to the classical forms as St. Louis does.  In fact, probably very few places do.  And in many, many places, there is only one option for a Catholic who wishes to exercise his right to attend the traditional Mass.  That option is the SSPX.  So, in a crisis, or open apostasy or schism, if you live in Anchorage, or Idaho, or in lots of places where there is no ICRSS, FSSP, or other traditional church, where do you go?  

It is one thing to point out that according to the PCED one might have always gone to Mass at an SSPX chapel without sin.  And SSPX proponents have arguments about jurisdiction for other sacraments.  But this is beside the point.  It is undeniable that the SSPX has been under a cloud at least since 1988 and that due to this many sincere Catholics have avoided them.  

The ability to assist at the traditional Mass and receive all the sacraments with peace of mind is the endgame.  The more the traditional forms are available, the more they will be desired.  The more they are desired, the more pressure is brought to bear on recalcitrant Bishops who have heretofore had little desire to provide these liturgical forms in their dioceses.

Recall the vision of St. John Bosco about the two pillars, the barque of Peter and the enemies of the Holy Father.  The Church faces increased threat of persecution, and it is imperative to have all hands on deck.  

We now return to our regular programming.


Another point of view! said...

Yes..you hit a good chord...and no need to be ashamed to go on about it. When my wife and I travel and have none of the regularized TLM's available, we have no qualms whatsoever to attend the SSPX masses...even attending Holy Mass in Helena, Montana in the chapel of a funeral home by a traveling priest.

Anonymous said...

You know, it's really time to get over this persecution complex. The SSPX controversy involving Bishop Williamson is an embarrasment and was badly handled by the Vatican, but the Pope will survive. The people who are calling on the Pope to resign are an irritant but they will go away. The Church is not a VICTIM, and neither are the proponents of the Latin Mass. The Catholic Church in the Western world is about as mainstream as it comes. This notion that "Everybody is out to get us!" may get your blood racing in the morning, but it's just not true. The President of the United States may have a different viewpoint on some issues than the Catholic bishops, but he is not trying to persecute the Church-- and you know it. This "I am a victim" complex is unbecoming.

Anonymous said...

I want to clarify up front that I agree with the maxim "lex orandi lex credendi", yet somewhere else it is written "you can't argue taste", which is also true.
I enjoy your blog, but sometimes (most of the time) I get the feeling that the TLM is your solution to all the problems in the church. I do not believe that Benedict XVI believes that if he can just get all the people in the world to attend the TLM that everything will fall into order. Fidelity (through catechisis)is the answer to the crisis, not mere form. The Novus Ordo can be celebrated very faithfully and beautifully to lift our minds and hearts to God. Yes, I would like to see something done with a few of the current rubrics and some priests need to treated like disobediant children. But is not Benedict's indications that he hopes the TLM will draw full fidelity to the NO (as opposed to replace it), that they will be seen in continuity and complementary to one another? This as opposed to what I feel as your constant potrayal of that they are in conflict with one another.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the latest reports in both the Post Dispatch and the NCR that say that the Vatican now says that Bishop Williamson must recant or not act as Bishop? Also,they say that supposedly Pope Benedict never knew about Williamson's despicable beliefs. To me this indicates that the Vatican is either full of liars or idiots. Even when they make a decision they crumble under the controversy. All of this lack of prior thought and lack of insight is what is leading to the fall of the hierarchical structure.
People in the 21st century are just not stupid enough to fall for it anymore.

StGuyFawkes said...


You asked,

"...I am talking about the outcry at the lifting of the excommunications. ....Who decries the lifting of the excommunications?"

The answer is simple.

The outcry comes from everyone who thinks the Pope should have consulted them first before he acted.

The hills are alive with the sound of b_tch_ing because the Pope has punctured the preening self-importance of everyone -- the media, the liberals, the politicians-- who think HE should be listening to them and not asking THEM to listen to HIM.

The very outrage of the man! Why he is acting....exactly...like a ..like...a well like a Pope!

In short: "Habemus Papem". We have a Pope. And his great and noble obnoxiousness has been to act exactly like a Pontiff.

The world doesn't understand that he is a Catholic Monarch elected with the help of the Holy Spirit to do what he thinks best. And he will do it.

And do you want to know why he is hated? What is it that drives everyonoe crazy?

His Holiness' serene indifference to what they think. "Oh, my God. He's going to act exactly like HE knows what he's doing. How dare he do that!"

That's the noise you are hearing.

With the Jewish brothers it's different. The Jewish people have an honest and justifiable concern over the continued viability of the documents pertaining to them which were written in Vatican II.

But all the other howls and screaming comes from the simple fact that not since His Holiness Paul VI pushed away the findings of his Commission which recommended birth control, and decided, quite on his own, to write from scratch Humanae Vitae, not since then has the world seen the power of a monarch in action.

It's so amusing to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth and above all the comments of the chattering class,

"Oh, he's so isolated...."

"He's so out of touch ... he must not have known about Bp. Williamson....".

Rubbish. He knew all. The great scandal of it all is he is in charge. And the world has not seen that in a while.

And behind this all... far far behind it all is the great, great fear of a pious and holy man whisking through the halls of the Vatican, praying, suffering, doing everything he can...and failing to do all he can....the most hated spirit in the world...the visage the world most fears, that face, oh no! NOT THAT face! THAT FACE in tiny glasses pinched on a knifelike nose...that man who did exactly what he thought was best...oh, no...why it's the face of ..the face of .. the worst man in the world....the worst thing in the world...its the face of, the face of......PIUS XII!

Anonymous said...

Dear TGL,
What exactly would you say is the SSPX controvery involving Bishop Williamson?

How did the Vatican badly handle it?

Are you saying the Church is not a victim in this particular case, or in general?

When you say that proponents of the Latin Mass are not victims, are you speaking as one who is a proponent and therefore from first hand experience?

Should the Church be mainstream? Was that Jesus' ultimate goal, to create a mainstream church?

Mark S.
New Haven, MO

Anonymous said...

TGL, with due respect, it need not be a matter of the World EXPLICITLY and openly targeting the Catholic Church (why would it do that, when it doesn't need to..yet?) If you are paying attention to social policies that are being promoted and enacted throughout the developed West -- highlighted by Timman's article today about the homosexual adoption case in Britain, the case of withdrawal of food and hydration from the woman in Italy, suppression of free speech in Canada, Obama's pro-choice policies that ultimately may lead to an outlawing of conscientious abstention from the performance or promotion of abortions...these have not occurred spontaneously, or in isolation -- they are the expression of a larger trend. Since the Catholic Church is the one identifiable institution that refuses to cooperate in that trend and MUST contine to do so, it is not difficult to see the noose tightening.

Anonymous said...

"The ability to assist at the traditional Mass and receive all the sacraments with peace of mind is the endgame. The more the traditional forms are available, the more they will be desired."

You raise a very good point. As a man considering the priesthood, it is very difficult for me to decide whether to serve my diocese or a traditional seminary, such as ICRSP of FSSP. With the former, I could work towards restoring tradition in the parishes of my very liberal diocese, but the latter would allow me to offer the Mass that I love in a fully traditional parish; this is a huge dilemma for me.

Anonymous said...

Please correct me if I am wrong here, but Mary, Our Blessed Mother, under Her title, Immaculate Conception, is also a partron of the Institute of Christ the King. She IS considered a patroness here? Perhaps even the primary patron, if memory serves.

This also would fit with Timman's choice of pictures of St John Bosco, who very much loved St Francis de Sales, like the Institue - the pillars the ship he is watching has to sail past Mary Immaculate and the Eucharist!

Gosh, isn't our Faith so beautiful how things all tie together!

Bravo, post, Timman! Forget the "regular programming". This was great!!!

A CA reader

Peter said...

All aside- I just love that you posted it with a picture from one of the 40 dreams of St. John Bosco.
That picture of the dream rings to that we must anchor ourseives (the Church) to our Holy Mother and the Eucharist and NONE of these persecutions will effect us.
I have to maintain hope (no...not our presidential hope).