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James Martin, S.J.January 24, 2009

Wow.  Here is the statement from Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, responding to the lifting of the ban of excommunication. 

It reads, in part,

"I reminded him [Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos] that we were suffering much from the present situation of the Church in which this teaching and this primacy were being held to scorn. And I added: “We are ready to write the Creed with our own blood, to sign the anti-modernist oath, the profession of faith of Pius IV, we accept and make our own all the councils up to the Second Vatican Council about which we express some reservations.” In all this, we are convinced that we remain faithful to the line of conduct indicated by our founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, whose reputation we hope to soon see restored."

...Before us, Paul VI went so far as to say that “from some fissure the smoke of Satan had entered the Church”, and he spoke of the “self-destruction of the Church”. John Paul II did not hesitate to say that Catholicism in Europe was, as it were, in a state of “silent apostasy.” Shortly before his election to the Throne of Peter, Benedict XVI compared the Church to a “boat taking in water on every side.”

Thus, during these discussions with the Roman authorities we want to examine the deep causes of the present situation, and by bringing the appropriate remedy, achieve a lasting restoration of the Church...."

All the councils up to the Second Vatican Council.  FYI, the teachings of an ecumenical council are among the highest levels of teaching authority--if not the highest--expressed by the magisterium.

James Martin, SJ


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14 years ago
What could Benedict XVI be thinking here? Bishop Fellay and his fellow SSPX Bishops not only seem to reject some of the changes from Vatican II but Vatican II itself. A real reconciliation seems impossible here unless they recant this. The article by Damien Thompson mentions that the Bishops are still suspended. What does this mean?
14 years ago
So...America is now going to become sticklers about adhering to magisterial teaching? Like on sexuality, contraception, articulating the divinity of Christ, women's ordination and such? Really? Fun!
14 years ago
This is not as important or as serious as the fact that President Obama has issued executive orders by which the United States now sponsors the torture and killing of children in their mother's wombs. Where is the outrage?
14 years ago
It is not clear whether that ''up to'' is intended to be inclusive or not. I suspect the ambiguity is deliberate. Anyway, as a great man of the Church said about Vatican II while addressing a South American audience in 1988, ''the truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.'' That man is now Bishop of Rome.
14 years ago
As someone who is involved in Catholic-Jewish dialogue in our archdiocese, I am speechless (not good for dialogue) over yet another decision by this pope that has severely damaged the progress made between our faiths over the past 43 years. We will soon again pray to 'lift the veil' from the eyes of the Jews, and a member of the magisterium welcomed back with open arms is a Holocaust denier. Last month, a woman who was my 'adopted grandmother' died. She survived Auschwitz, with the tattoo to prove it. To hear her and her husband describe the torture and mass murder of those deemed 'undesirable' by the Nazis would cause even the most hardened of hearts to break over man's inhumanity to man. We are losing these eyewitnesses to this unfathomable period of history, but those who remain, and those who love them, will always be here to challenge deniers whose anti-Semitic hate speech will be pointed out for what it is. With Benedict's past, he should be most aware of the teachings and beliefs of the pre-Vatican II Church caused the Jewish people. According to Benedict, you can't reach out to the marginalized, like gays and lesbians. You can't allow women to be more included in ministry (some parishes even ban girls as altar servers). You can't allow people of other faiths to be 'on par' with the 'one true Church.' However, you can be a Holocaust denier and be given a leadership position in our faith. Is this the faith to which Jesus calls us? Those who disagree agree with me will, no doubt, reaffirm the 'primacy of the Roman Catholic Church' above all others. The quick response will also include the admonition to 'love it or leave it.' The Church may, in fact, become 'smaller and purer,' as it loses relevance in the lives of its members. But some of us will continue to hold fast and not allow ourselves to be pushed out by leadership and 'the Faithful' who do not accept that Vatican II called us to change that allows us to be truly Catholic -- small and large C.
13 years 6 months ago
Yes that is a nice idea but have you ever thought of going up to the biggest guy on the subway and telling him your thoughts on this.  I wonder what he might do, or would you even do it.
Angelina Jacob
wow gold

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