No Dogmatic Authority; Contrary to the Faith

The secretary for the Unity of Christians said on 18 November 1964 in the Council Hall about Nostra Aetate: “As to the character of the declaration, the secretariat does not want to write a dogmatic declaration on non-Christian religions, but, rather, practical and pastoral norms.” Nostrae Aetate does not have any dogmatic authority, and thus one cannot demand from anyone to recognize this declaration as being dogmatic. This declaration can only be understood in the light of tradition and of the continuous Magisterium. For example, there exists today, unfortunately, the view — contrary to the Catholic Faith — that there is a salvific path independent of Christ and His Church. That has also been officially confirmed last of all by the Congregation for the Faith itself in its declaration, Dominus Jesus. Therefore, any interpretation of Nostrae Aetate which goes into this direction is fully unfounded and has to be rejected.

Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, interview in Die Zeit (32/2016).

A Poison Harmful to the Faith

Arms of Archbishop Marcel-François Lefebvre, C.S.Sp.
Arms of Archbishop Marcel-François Lefebvre, C.S.Sp.

Furthermore it can be said without any exaggeration whatsoever, that the majority of Masses celebrated without altar stones, with common vessels, leavened bread, with the introduction of profane words into the very body of the Canon, etc., are sacrilegious, and they prevent faith by diminishing it. The desacralization is such that these Masses can come to lose their supernatural character, “the mystery of faith,” and become no more than acts of natural religion.

Your perplexity takes perhaps the following form: may I assist at a sacrilegious Mass which is nevertheless valid, in the absence of any other, in order to satisfy my Sunday obligation? The answer is simple: these Masses cannot be the object of an obligation; we must moreover apply to them the rules of moral theology and canon law as regards the participation or the attendance at an action which endangers the faith or may be sacrilegious.

The New Mass, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, is subject to the same reservations since it is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, An Open Letter to Confused Catholics.

Of Wars and Rumours of Wars

I have been informed of an upcoming clandestine meeting of clerics who were recently expelled from the FSSPX. These priests were invited to leave the Society after the intrigue and disobedience surrounding their opposition to the Superior General of the FSSPX and his cautious willingness to engage the Roman authorities regarding the doctrinal issues which have kept — and continue to keep — the Society in a canonically irregular state within the Catholic Church. They denounced Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, as a traitor to the memory and mission of the Society’s founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, for +Fellay’s mere willingness to communicate with the Holy Father and officials in the Roman Curia after the Supreme Pontiff liberated the traditional Mass and “lifted” Pope John Paul II’s 1988 excommunications of the Society’s bishops.

The report suggests that this meeting is to be held in two weeks’ time at Vienna in Virginia, being hosted by Fr. Ronald Ringrose. Bishop Richard Williamson, a former member of the FSSPX, will be in attendance. The purpose of the secret conclave is to reorganise amongst themselves what they see as being the “true” Society of St. Pius X, and, most distressingly, to consecrate a new bishop for their new hardline sect. It is rumoured that Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer is to be chosen a bishop at this time.

My New Pipe

Stanwell: Hans Christian Andersen Smooth (III) with Churchwarden stem.
Stanwell: Hans Christian Andersen Smooth (III) with alternate short stem.

A necessity to fraternise with the Society priests at the Priory on weekday evenings between supper and Compline, I wanted something a bit more practical than my huge (genuine) calabash pipe.

[I do not smoke tobacco in any other form, especially cigarettes and even cigars. But I do enjoy the occasional bowl.]

Correction (3:28PM EST): I also smoke the hookah at the Turkish restaurant.

We Cannot!

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X.

Now, to speak about the future, what we will try to do with the Roman authorities is to tell them that it does no good to pretend, for the sake of the faith, that the Church cannot be mistaken. Because, at the level of faith, we are entirely in agreement about the assistance of the Holy Ghost, but you have to open your eyes to what is happening in the Church! It is necessary to stop saying: the Church can do nothing bad, therefore the new Mass is good. It is necessary to stop saying: the Church cannot err, and therefore there is no error in the Council. But look at reality then! There can be no contradiction between the reality that we apprehend and the faith. It is the same good God who made both. Therefore if there is an apparent contradiction, there is certainly a solution. Perhaps we don’t have it yet, but we are not going to deny reality for the sake of the faith! Now this is truly the impression that one has with regard to what Rome is trying to impose on us today.

And here we reply: We cannot. That is all.

— Bishop Bernard Fellay, from a sermon pronounced on 1 November 2012, in Écône.

h/t to Rorate Cæli.

Busy Sunday

Church was an all day affair today. After Holy Mass, there was the children’s All Saints’ Day pageant and a picnic. I brought quality wine to share — and stemware worthy of it — much to the people’s delight (last year was supermarket “wine” and silly glasses). After good conversation and judicious drinking came Solemn Vespers, chanted, with Benediction following. I learned that the Priory priests hold a wine and tobacco hour between 7:10 pm and 8:30 pm each week day.  I think that Bruce Rhea and I might attend on Wednesday. Perhaps this will become routine; it certainly does sound like fun. Fr. Vernoy, beware!

Mass and an Exorcism

After Holy Mass this morning at St. Thomas More Chapel, Fr. Vernoy prayed the very powerful and moving Exorcism of Pope Leo XIII.

External Solemnity of St. Pius X

This morning, at St. Thomas More Priory, we celebrated the external solemnity of the Feast of St. Pius X which fell on this past Monday, Labour Day.  Of course St. Pius X is the patron of the FSSPX, so all of the finest vestments, altar cards, and sacred vessels were employed as on Christmas or Easter.  Fr. Vernoy gave an excellent sermon against both Quietism and the Christian Materialism promoted by Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer and his Opus Dei.  Labour is simply a means to an end, and is marked by penance.  It hurts and this pain is a consequence of Original Sin.