Tag: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

“Greek Gifts” – I

“Greek Gifts” – I posted in Eleison Comments on August 20, 2011

On September 14 in a few weeks’ time is due to take place in Rome, so we are told, a meeting of Cardinal Levada and Roman officials with the Superior General of the Society of St Pius X and his two Assistants. Catholics who appreciate all that Archbishop Lefebvre and his Society have been given to do over the last 40 years in defence of the Faith need to be forewarned, because that Faith is ever more in danger, and “Forewarned is forearmed,” especially by prayer.

It was Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who was entrusted two years ago with overseeing the doctrinal Discussions that ran from the autumn of 2009 to April of this year, between Rome and the SSPX. It was Rome that invited the SSPX to this meeting. It seems reasonable to anticipate that the Romans on September 14 will be laying down as to future relations with the SSPX their decision emerging from the Discussions.

Now by all accounts the Discussions made clear that no doctrinal agreement is possible between the SSPX as cleaving to the age-old Church doctrine, and today’s Rome as set upon the Conciliar teaching of the Newchurch, and moreover persevering in this disorientation, as is clear from the Newbeatification of John-Paul II in May and from Assisi III due to happen this coming October. So the situation coming out of the Discussions remains exactly where it was two years ago, going into the Discussions: on the one hand, for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls, the SSPX strives to help Rome back to the true Catholic Faith, whilst for the glory of modern man and for the satisfaction of his ignoble media (as in January and February of 2009), Conciliar Rome is doing all within its power to induce the SSPX to blend into the mind- and soul-rotting ecumenism of the Newfaith.

What then can we imagine Rome imposing on September 14? Either carrot or stick, or more probably, as adjusted by their expertise in its reading of the current state of mind within the SSPX, both. The stick could be a threat of total “excommunication” for the SSPX, once and for all. But who that has the Catholic Faith could be scared by such a threat? When Archbishop Lefebvre was threatened for the first time with “excommunication” from the Newchurch, we remember his reply: “How can I be put out of a ‘church’ to which I have never belonged?”

On the other hand the cleverest carrot from Rome could be the apparently irresistible offer of “full communion with Rome” on the SSPX’s ownterms. Only there might be hidden away a little clause that would stipulate that future SSPX Superiors and Bishops might be chosen by a joint committee of Rome and the SSPX with the merest majority of members being – Romans. After all, would the SSPX be wanting to come under Rome, or not? “Make up your minds!” will be their reasonable demand, as Cardinal Ratzinger reportedly cried out in 2001.

Clear minds recall the saying of the wise – but scorned – Trojan who did not want the Greeks’ Horse to be brought into Troy: “Howsoever it be, I fear the Greeks, even when they bear gifts.” But the Trojan Horse was brought in. We all know what happened to Troy.

Kyrie eleison.

Papal Error – I

Papal Error – I posted in Eleison Comments on January 30, 2010

Speaking two weeks ago on relations between the Rome of Vatican II and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), Pope Benedict XVI showed once more how subtle and powerful the Conciliar error is. He was addressing on Jan.15 a plenary session of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the Holy Office). The three first paragraphs of his twelve-paragraph address need to be quoted in full, but a summary, as faithful as possible, will have to do.

1. Your Congregation shares in the special ministry of the Pope to ensure Church unity by safeguarding Catholic doctrine. That unity depends on unity in the Faith of which the Pope is the foremost defender. To confirm the brethren in the Faith and keep them united is his prime task. 2 Your teaching authority, like the Pope’s, involves obedience to the Faith, so that there may be one flock under the one Shepherd. 3. At all times the Church must get all Christians to witness together to the Faith, “In this spirit I place a particular trust in your commitment to overcoming any remaining doctrinal problems in the way of the SSPX achieving full communion with the Church.”

The problem here is much more than just whether or not the SSPX is in “full communion with the Church.” The problem is the whole relationship between unity and the Faith. In reality, Catholic unity is essentially dependent on the Catholic Faith. A Catholic being defined firstly by what he believes, then wherever there is no Catholic Faith there can be no Catholics to unite, and wherever there is that Faith there is the essential basis of Catholic unity. Now the Pope does say (1) that “Unity is in fact primarily unity in the Faith,” but generally (1,2,3) he connects unity and Faith as though they are on an equal footing, almost as though they are interdependent, whereas true unity is entirely dependent on the true Faith. How else could he arrive at his conclusion of (3), quoted above in full, where he gives the impression of instructing his Congregation to overcome doctrinal problems for the sake of Rome-SSPX unity?

Yet the duty of Christ’s Vicar is not to unite Rome and the SSPX at any cost, so to speak, but to unite them in the Catholic Faith as given us by Christ. So if there is a doctrinal difference between Rome and the SSPX (and there is, and it is huge!), then his prime problem is which of the two has the Catholic Faith, and which has not. And then he must unite the whole Church around whichever of them has that Faith, even if that happens to be the poor li’l SSPX! “Li’l,” or little, because it is insignificant except by its Faith!

Alas, Benedict XVI is more Conciliar than he is Catholic. But the Council, putting man before God, constantly undermined the Revealed doctrine of God, or the Faith, in the name of the ecumenical unity of men. That is why Benedict XVI is incapable of grasping, short of a miracle, the significance of the SSPX’s doctrinal stand. Yet how many Catholics are not liable to be deceived by the smoothness of his transition from much Truth (in 1,2) to its undoing (in 3)? Few! The error is as powerful as it is subtly conceived and expressed! We must pray for the miracle.

Kyrie eleison.