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Full Version: Did JP2 excommunicate "ALL" SSPX priests at one point?
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(01-05-2012, 05:44 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 05:36 PM)cgraye Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 05:21 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]If Canon Law declares that a faithful in a given situation does not incur excommunication and then the pope comes along and says that such given faithful is indeed excommunicated after all, although the situation is identical as the one envisaged by Canon Law, then I guess there isn't much left of the law that is altogether relevant. If a pope can simply ignore Canon Law at his whim, then I don't see the point. No-one in his right mind believes the excommunications of Abp. Lefebvre and Bp. Castro Mayer to have been valid, much less their logical consequences: the eternal damnation of both these valiant clerics who fought for the faith when the rest of the Church was abandoning it.

The case of these consecrations is hardly the kind of exception that the canons you refer to provide for.  Why would there be a provision in Canon Law that allows people to loophole their way out of having to obey the explicit commands of the pope?  And even if there were, what difference would it make when the pope explicitly affirms the excommunications?  If the automatic excommunications prescribed in Canon Law were not actually incurred due to an exception provided for in the law, but in the pope's judgment they were the proper response, he could just explicitly excommunicate them anyway.  Either way, the result is the same.

The end result is a positivist attitude towards the role of the pope. The same attitude is displayed regarding other issues such as his ordinary teachings and so forth.

Canon Law was clearly on the side of Abp. Lefebvre since he clearly believed there was a state of necessity, although this state of necessity was not his mere subjective perception but an objective fact. Either way, he could not incur excommunication according to the Church's law. Nevertheless, John Paul II decided to turn him into an example - unlike the hordes of heretics and pedophiles under his watch - and therefore excommunicated him against the letter and spirit of Canon Law. If this kind of despicable and unlawful course of action is divinely sanctioned, then there's no point in the law to begin with since all we have to do is rely on the whim of each and every pope according to the circumstances.

How is this a different argument from that of the Jansenist bishops excommunicated during the Formulary controversy?

Or the argument of Cornelius Steenhoven disputing his excommunication after his illegal consecration in 1725? 
(01-05-2012, 05:44 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]Canon Law was clearly on the side of Abp. Lefebvre since he clearly believed there was a state of necessity

It's hard to make that argument when the pope explicitly told you there wasn't and that that wasn't going to excuse you from the consequences.

Quote:although this state of necessity was not his mere subjective perception but an objective fact.

It wasn't an objective fact.  An objective fact is something like who the third president of the United States was.  This was the judgment of one man, in an area where the pope's judgment overrules his.

Quote:Either way, he could not incur excommunication according to the Church's law.

Of course people who break the law think they are justified in breaking it.  But the ultimate judgment of whether or not a state of necessity existed is in the hands of the supreme judge, the pope, not the person who broke the law in the first place.  Otherwise, that would be a completely meaningless exception.

Quote:Nevertheless, John Paul II decided to turn him into an example - unlike the hordes of heretics and pedophiles under his watch

It doesn't really matter what anyone else was doing.  But I think it's pretty clear why the pope would want to make an example of a situation that could have disastrous consequences for the entire Church.  Having a bunch of bishops going around consecrating other bishops as they like could cause all sorts of problems.

Quote:If this kind of despicable and unlawful course of action is divinely sanctioned, then there's no point in the law to begin with since all we have to do is rely on the whim of each and every pope according to the circumstances.

If the pope doesn't have the authority to say who is and who isn't consecrated a bishop and the authority to apply a penalty to any bishop that goes his own way on it, then we are at the mercy of every single bishop, which is a far worse scenario.

The point is, the whole reason we have a pope in the first place is, somebody has to be in charge.  Otherwise, it's chaos.  And even if the guy in charge is making some mistakes, it's not our place to try to override his judgment.  A successor of his might do so, but not us.  And in the end, God will make sure justice is done for Archbishop Lefebvre, regardless of what anyone, even a pope, says.  But as for us, here and now, we must obey the judgments of the Vicar of Christ.
"Having a bunch of bishops going around consecrating other bishops as they like could cause all sorts of problems."

cgraye, You bring up several excellent points, but you hit on one that has bothered me for a while.

What if the FSSPX is not canonically regularised within the next 15 years?
Their bishops will then start to ordain new bishops and the excomm process will start all over again making 2009 a null point.
Hopefully they are regularised by then.
(01-05-2012, 06:46 PM)Old Salt Wrote: [ -> ]"Having a bunch of bishops going around consecrating other bishops as they like could cause all sorts of problems."

cgraye, You bring up several excellent points, but you hit on one that has bothered me for a while.

What if the FSSPX is not canonically regularised within the next 15 years?
Their bishops will then start to ordain new bishops and the excomm process will start all over again making 2009 a null point.
Hopefully they are regularised by then.

At this point, I'm more worried about whether or not they're Catholic.  Communion with Rome means little to nothing when Rome is harboring criminals and sodomites, not to mention heretics.
(01-05-2012, 07:06 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 06:46 PM)Old Salt Wrote: [ -> ]"Having a bunch of bishops going around consecrating other bishops as they like could cause all sorts of problems."

cgraye, You bring up several excellent points, but you hit on one that has bothered me for a while.

What if the FSSPX is not canonically regularised within the next 15 years?
Their bishops will then start to ordain new bishops and the excomm process will start all over again making 2009 a null point.
Hopefully they are regularised by then.

At this point, I'm more worried about whether or not they're Catholic.  Communion with Rome means little to nothing when Rome is harboring criminals and sodomites, not to mention heretics.

Luther had the same view. 
(01-05-2012, 07:08 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 07:06 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 06:46 PM)Old Salt Wrote: [ -> ]"Having a bunch of bishops going around consecrating other bishops as they like could cause all sorts of problems."

cgraye, You bring up several excellent points, but you hit on one that has bothered me for a while.

What if the FSSPX is not canonically regularised within the next 15 years?
Their bishops will then start to ordain new bishops and the excomm process will start all over again making 2009 a null point.
Hopefully they are regularised by then.

At this point, I'm more worried about whether or not they're Catholic.  Communion with Rome means little to nothing when Rome is harboring criminals and sodomites, not to mention heretics.

Luther had the same view. 
Yes , and this is the same situation.  :eyeroll:
Once again, I am not an 'SSPX supporter''. I have never attended Mass at an SSPX chapel in my life. However, on this point, I stand solidly with Vetus Ordo. I do not understand how anyone with a modicum of intelligence can read the Canons and actually (pretend) to believe that the 'excommunications' were valid.
(01-05-2012, 07:08 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 07:06 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 06:46 PM)Old Salt Wrote: [ -> ]"Having a bunch of bishops going around consecrating other bishops as they like could cause all sorts of problems."

cgraye, You bring up several excellent points, but you hit on one that has bothered me for a while.

What if the FSSPX is not canonically regularised within the next 15 years?
Their bishops will then start to ordain new bishops and the excomm process will start all over again making 2009 a null point.
Hopefully they are regularised by then.

At this point, I'm more worried about whether or not they're Catholic.  Communion with Rome means little to nothing when Rome is harboring criminals and sodomites, not to mention heretics.

Luther had the same view. 

Luther professed a different faith.  We profess the faith of our fathers.  that is the difference, and the only one that matters.  As it stands, saying that Luther thought the same thing is about as logically relevant and effective as pointing out that Luther and I both slept or drank water.
(01-05-2012, 06:46 PM)Old Salt Wrote: [ -> ]"Having a bunch of bishops going around consecrating other bishops as they like could cause all sorts of problems."

cgraye, You bring up several excellent points, but you hit on one that has bothered me for a while.

What if the FSSPX is not canonically regularised within the next 15 years?
Their bishops will then start to ordain new bishops and the excomm process will start all over again making 2009 a null point.
Hopefully they are regularised by then.
That was the point: a null point. The excommunications were invalid, null, void and for the NOers: lifted.

(01-05-2012, 09:35 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 07:08 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 07:06 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2012, 06:46 PM)Old Salt Wrote: [ -> ]"Having a bunch of bishops going around consecrating other bishops as they like could cause all sorts of problems."

cgraye, You bring up several excellent points, but you hit on one that has bothered me for a while.

What if the FSSPX is not canonically regularised within the next 15 years?
Their bishops will then start to ordain new bishops and the excomm process will start all over again making 2009 a null point.
Hopefully they are regularised by then.

At this point, I'm more worried about whether or not they're Catholic.  Communion with Rome means little to nothing when Rome is harboring criminals and sodomites, not to mention heretics.

Luther had the same view. 

Luther professed a different faith.  We profess the faith of our fathers.  that is the difference, and the only one that matters.  As it stands, saying that Luther thought the same thing is about as logically relevant and effective as pointing out that Luther and I both slept or drank water.

Luther didn't believe he was separating from the Church to create his own denomination.  He believed he was the Church and that the church hierarchy had apostatized separated from him. 

But, to look at a group that weren't Protestants, let's consider the followers of Jansenism, a condemned heresy that essentially denied the role of free will in salvation. 

Growing weary of the spread of Jansenism among the clergy in France, Pope Clement IX in 1664 required the clergy to take an oath against Jansenism.  Four French bishops refused, who in turn were promptly excommunicated from the Church. These French bishops disputed their excommunication claiming that in condemning Jansenism the Pope was condemning sound Catholic theology.  The Church hierarchy responded that the infallibility of the Church would prevent such a thing.  The 4 bishops affirmed infallibility, but first made a distinction between it's application. 

However, after some time they moved on to a more familiar argument.  The Jansenist bishops argued that their position could be found in the writings of Saint Augustine, a doctor of the Church. and thus if Jansenism was a heresy than Saint Augustine was a heretic.  This was of course impossible.  Therefore, Pope Clement IX in condemning Jansenism was in error.  The church hierarchy condemned the bishops for rejecting the infallibility of the Church.  The Jansenists than turned to the writings of Saint Robert Bellarmine to justify their position as not incompatible with the infallibility of the church.  They insisted a future Pope would no doubt side with them.  However, eventually the bishops submitted to the oath, although by interpreting it in a way not intended.  Thus, Jansenism continued to spread through the church. 

In the early 18th century Jansenism would enter it's whackiest moment with the Convulsionnaire movement.  Jansenism had always been a heresy of the educated (this is why Saint Louis de Montfort, who lived during this controversy, so disdained theologians).  However, in the 1720s it spread in a popular style with fantastic result.  In the 1720s pilgrims to the grave of François de Pâris, a Jansenist deacon, began to exhibit convulsions and visions.  These visions stated that the church hierarchy, particularly the Pope, had apostatized and the true church could now only be fall in the small remnant of Jansenists left in the world who represented the true Church.  Indeed, this confirmed the prophecies of the end time and the Convulsionnaires stated that the world would soon be ending.  This is why the Jansenists were being persecuted and they compared themselves to the early Christians fed to the lions (only worse since they were persecuted by the Pope).  They also became quite concerned about the conversion of the Jews (necessary to for the apocalypse to occur).  At first most Jansenists saw the Convulsionnaire movement as vindicating their ideas, but as the Convulsionnairies became more and more whacky, engaging in extreme yelling and shaking Jansenists became divided.  Eventually, the movement became so ridiculous it ended up discrediting Jansenism, although Jansenists ideas continued to influence the French Church into early 20th century.

In Holland, the bishops quickly went over to Jansenism in the 17th century.  The Pope relieved these bishops and sent anti-Jansenist bishops to govern instead, but the clergy ignored those bishops. Finally, in 1725 a a suspended Jansenist bishop, Dominique Varlet, consecrated Cornelius Steenhoven without the permission of the Holy See to govern the Church in Utrecht.  The result was excommunication of both bishops and a declaration of schism.  The Church in Utrecht denied the validity of these declarations. 

The Church of Utrecht would be of little influence until after the First Vatican Council when liberal Catholics rejected the Council.  However, as no bishops had rejected the council to maintain apostolic possession these liberals aligned themselves with the The Church of Utrecht who would consecrate the first Old Catholic bishops.  They claimed the church hierarchy had embraced heresy and now represented the "New Catholic Church" and condemned followers of the "new religion" as "New Catholics."  They in turn were the true or "Old Catholic Church."  Today the Old Catholic Church allows for married priests, women priests, and gay marriage.  An ironic end for a movement begun by people claiming to be highly concerned with tradition. 

The Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) ends its article on Jansenism with the following:

Quote:It is evident that, besides its attachment to the "Augustinus" and its rigorism in morals, it is distinguished among heresies for crafty proceedings, chicane and lack of frankness on the part of its adherents, especially their pretence of remaining Catholics without renouncing their errors, of staying in the Church despite the Church itself, by skilfully eluding or braving with impunity the decisions of the supreme authority. Such conduct is beyond doubt without a parallel in the annals of Christianity previous to the outbreak of Jansenism in fact, it would be incredible if we did not in our own day find in certain groups of Modernists examples of this astonishing and absurd duplicity. The deplorable consequences, both theoretical and practical, of the Jansenist system, and of the polemics to which it gave rise, may readily be gathered from what has been said, and from the history of the last few centuries.
 

It's ironic that an attitude that was condemned in 1917 as one modernists would adopt is one many traditionalists adopt today.  Fidelity to the Pope and the belief in the infallibility of the Church have always been key tenets of Catholicism.  We need to be very careful not to be like the Jansenists and claim we know better than the church hierarchy.  The attitude that communion with Rome is irrelevant would not be condoned in any pre-1962 introduction to Catholicism.  Now, we aren't guaranteed that the Pope will have perfect morals, or that he won't cause public scandal, or that he is correct when expressing his personal opinion even on faith and morals, or that the Pope will always execute the best strategy for the Church, or that the Pope has a clue what he is talking about when discussing science and politics, or even that he won't be negligent and allow error and abuse to spread within the Church, or that he will always speak directly and clearly on the faith.  However, one can't hold that the Pope and the Church as a whole can itself adopt and preach error.  If the Church could do so it would be poisoning it's children.  And related to that one can't hold that communion with the pontiff is an irrelevant factoid.  Communion and obedience to the Pope is central to Catholicism.

Note that the error of the Jansenists was that they believed that they were the judges of how to interpret Saint Augustine, when this is a power reserved to the Pope and the Church.  Despite their intellect in many ways they viewed tradition the way Protestant fundamentalists view the Bible.  We recognize that the Bible is not self-explanatory.  If it was there wouldn't be a million Protetsant sects.  This is why we rely on the Church for key interpretations of scripture and cannot dispute those.  The Jansenists saw tradition and claimed it was self evident, when it's not.  If tradition was self-evident we wouldn't have so many sedevacantist factions.  The Pope and the Church are the interpreters of scripture and tradition.  It's a big mistake for anyone, especially a layperson, to try to dispute this. 
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