SSPX Deal: But Will the Fat Lady Sing? — article by Fr. Cekada
#1
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AN SSPX DEAL:
BUT WILL THE FAT LADY SING?

by Rev. Anthony Cekada


http://www.fathercekada.com/2012/04/19/a...lady-sing/

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"The opera ain't over till the fat lady sings." —  George H.W. Bush.

SSPX's nearly forty-year saga of on-again, off-again negotiations with "Rome" has been one very long opera, featuring endless plot twists and countless colorful characters to hold its audience riveted by the action onstage.

Is this opera now about to come to its dramatic end, with SSPX Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay signing off on a deal with Benedict XVI?

Or are the latest plot developments merely one more scene that could lead to another?

Or has SSPX's long drama merely been distracting us from more important underlying questions:

• Can a Catholic really negotiate with the Roman Pontiff?
• Is Vatican II Catholic?


To find out, read Fr. Cekada's analysis at:

http://www.fathercekada.com/2012/04/19/a...lady-sing/



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#2
Very interesting, especially in regards to the ownership issues, but here's where my red flag went off.

Quote: "First, a real Catholic does not negotiate with the Roman Pontiff — he submits to the Roman Pontiff. It is an article of faith that this is necessary for salvation."

Abraham and Moses were both capable of negotiatin with God Himself. But the Pope is somehow above negotiation?  What about the Popes that have negotiated with Eastern rites that actually split off and returned? 

St. Celestine wasn't interested in negotiatin with Boniface at all. He just kept disobeying. 

To propose this as an absolute without pointing out the difference between proper and improper submission is simply a capitulation to the Protestant idea of the papacy. 

The Protestant misunderstand the Papacy and reject Catholicism.  The Neo-Catholics have the same misunderstanding and simply love it and reject common sense. 

The traditionalists that carry the same misconception simply reject the occupant of the Papal Throne in order to preserve the premise. 

But to paraphrase, real Catholics submit to the voice of Peter when he speaks with the voice of Peter and when he walks not uprightly or perverts the gospel, they resist him to the face. 
Last time I checked, St. Paul was a "real Catholic." 

Vatican I clearly had the qualifier in it's definition of papal supremacy that what was required was "true heirarchical obedience" not "absolute" obedience.  If it had said "absolute" either Catholicism would be false or Popes would be Immaculate and Impeccable outside of Infallibility as defined.

We have too many incidences in history where "submission" to a Pope was not the moral option whether it be the deacon providing answers for the trial of Formosus or the wife of the man that killed one of the Pope Johns.

If you follow the absolutist understanding it goes like this:

"He's Pope right or wrong and since he's Pope he can do no wrong and if you think he is wrong he's irresistible anyway"  But, if you have a shred of morality and intellect trying to wrap itself around an invalid absolute, you simply replace the subject matter.  "He's wrong so He can't be Pope so,because my understanding of the premise must be correct."

But, when a Pope behaves like an "Anti-Christ" or "Satan" in Peter's case,  well...the description fits.  Not because you can't get your way but because objectively the Pope is not impeccable in his functions as Pope and the description is apt. 

So, to call absurd LeFebvre's descriptions and dealiings with the mercurial Popes on a human level is demanding "SuperPope" where none exists.    It's reminiscent of Chesterton's criticism of G. Bernard Shaw in "Heretics"  In discussing Mankind he said Shaw  will never be satisified because the ideal he searches for has never existed and cannot exist.  Therefore he has no appreciation for what is and everything falls short. 

Hold Jesus to the same standard that you hold LeFebvre.  When the Pope said what he liked, "You are the rock."  When he said what he didn't like, "Get thee behind me Satan."    Was Jesus a case of  Praxis without Principles? 


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#3
Fr, if you didn't end up becoming a priest I'm sure you would have made a fine marketing executive or public relations agent.

ETA: so that I'm clear, I meant this in context of your OP, not the contents of the article.  Reading it now.
More Catholic Discussion: http://thetradforum.com/

Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
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#4
"SSPX's nearly forty-year saga of on-again, off-again negotiations with "Rome" has been one very long opera, featuring endless plot twists and countless colorful characters to hold its audience riveted by the action onstage"

That's something of an exagerration.  Most SSPXers either left after the 4 episcopal consecrations or hung around.  Far more SSPX'ers have left the SSPX because of their perception that it is Jansenist, mean spirited, lacking in charity than ever left over the loyalty to the Pope issue.

I think 98% of SSPX laity are comfortable with the idea that the last 5 Popes have been inept, borderline heretics or apostates.

Rome has essentially left the SSPX to run itself for the last 20 years.  There was more intrigue in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
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#5
Father, why is the first thing that pops into your mind about doing the deal the property? Bad memories about splitting from the SSPX in the United States and waging a war against them in secular legal fora for control over that very thing?

Lest we forget, though, the faith is not about the material. Chapels can be bought and sold, property can be lost and regained -- who was it that said we better not sacrifice our souls over a piece of land? Oh yeah, Him...

Other than that, I like your analysis -- a reunion would establish a bright line distinction.
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#6
Father,
I agree with some of the things you wrote, but this
Quote:Looming over this discussion, moreover, would be the principle laid down in Canon 1256 (1983 Code). This would give Benedict and his successors the trump card to control SSPX’s institutions, because it provides that property ownership is “under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.”

So, if Bp. Fellay wanted to reignite his “We resist you to your face”/ Paul-reproving-Peter routine one day against Benedict XVI or his successors, he would wind up doing so from the sidewalk outside his former residence in Menzingen.
is pure nonsense, and you know it.

Canon 1256 does not have any effect in a worldly law anywhere on Earth other than the Vatican state. So if Bp Fellay one day wants to break with Rome again and keep his property, all that will happen is that he'll have to disobey Canon 1256, but that'll surely be one of the lesser Codes he'll be disobeying in this case. You didn't even mind getting excommunicated under the 1917 Code for suing Archbishop Lefebvre.
The pope can't send in the Swiss Guards to catch the property, and in the worldly law, the property belongs to the SSPX. So he couldn't do anything more than he could the first time the SSPX split off (according to your logic, the pope could have kept the property, because the SSPX was legitimately erected in 1970) or when the feminist nuns in the US split off.

So be honest, all you're trying to do is scare some donations away from the SSPX and into your own projects.
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#7
(04-19-2012, 02:55 PM)Ray M Facere Wrote: Father, why is the first thing that pops into your mind about doing the deal the property? Bad memories about splitting from the SSPX in the United States and waging a war against them in secular legal fora for control over that very thing?

Lest we forget, though, the faith is not about the material. Chapels can be bought and sold, property can be lost and regained -- who was it that said we better not sacrifice our souls over a piece of land? Oh yeah, Him...

Other than that, I like your analysis -- a reunion would establish a bright line distinction.

Ask Bp. Williamson who initiated the law suits. Better yet check the record for yourself.

As for the SSPX and property, I can assert that any bank account opened by a "mission" must be in the name of the Society and not simply by a board or individual. Who's worried about property? This goes for rented hall operations too!
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#8
(04-19-2012, 02:13 PM)ggreg Wrote: "SSPX's nearly forty-year saga of on-again, off-again negotiations with "Rome" has been one very long opera, featuring endless plot twists and countless colorful characters to hold its audience riveted by the action onstage"

That's something of an exagerration.  Most SSPXers either left after the 4 episcopal consecrations or hung around.  Far more SSPX'ers have left the SSPX because of their perception that it is Jansenist, mean spirited, lacking in charity than ever left over the loyalty to the Pope issue.

I think 98% of SSPX laity are comfortable with the idea that the last 5 Popes have been inept, borderline heretics or apostates.

Rome has essentially left the SSPX to run itself for the last 20 years.  There was more intrigue in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The lengthy list I provided in one paragraph for the article was done entirely from memory.

My clear impression, though, is that there was just as much dealing back and forth between Econe and Rome during the last twenty years as there was before, even if it there were not as as many striking episodes as in the 70s and 80s.

An objectively-written and well sourced study of the whole course of the negotiations, though, would resolve the question and be a great service to everyone.
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#9
O tempora, o mores. I apologize for my comments before they ignite any more partisanship. The splintering of the traditionalist movement is certainly the work of the devil, but also a sign that favor may not be at our backs as much we would like. After all, one of the surest signs that the Protestants aren't right is their splintering into a thousand crumbs of personal interpretation with no regard for the seamless garment. Let us be at peace with each other.
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#10
(04-19-2012, 03:00 PM)Freudentaumel Wrote: Father,
I agree with some of the things you wrote, but this
Quote:Looming over this discussion, moreover, would be the principle laid down in Canon 1256 (1983 Code). This would give Benedict and his successors the trump card to control SSPX’s institutions, because it provides that property ownership is “under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.”

So, if Bp. Fellay wanted to reignite his “We resist you to your face”/ Paul-reproving-Peter routine one day against Benedict XVI or his successors, he would wind up doing so from the sidewalk outside his former residence in Menzingen.

is pure nonsense, and you know it.

Canon 1256 does not have any effect in a worldly law anywhere on Earth other than the Vatican state. So if Bp Fellay one day wants to break with Rome again and keep his property, all that will happen is that he'll have to disobey Canon 1256, but that'll surely be one of the lesser Codes he'll be disobeying in this case. You didn't even mind getting excommunicated under the 1917 Code for suing Archbishop Lefebvre.
The pope can't send in the Swiss Guards to catch the property, and in the worldly law, the property belongs to the SSPX. So he couldn't do anything more than he could the first time the SSPX split off (according to your logic, the pope could have kept the property, because the SSPX was legitimately erected in 1970) or when the feminist nuns in the US split off.

Actually, as a result of the lawsuits with SSPX, I became very familiar with how the civil law treats church property ownership in the U.S.

For the Catholic Church, the legal principle courts apply is "deference to hierarchy." If someone who represents the hierarchy of the Catholic Church (a diocesan bishop appointed by the pope or the head of a Catholic religious order) says that, under Catholic canon law, Father Smith has the right to be Pastor of St. Mary's Church or Sister Caroline has the right to be Superior of St. Felicia's Convent, the court will automatically award control of St. Mary's to Fr. Smith and of St. Felicia's to Sr. Caroline.

The pope, of course, is the head of this hierarchy, and under canon law, he can remove diocesan bishops and superiors general and appoint replacements, so he has the last say-so over who controls properties. U.S. courts respect this.

Similar provisions operated in many foreign countries as well, in some places, even by an official agreement between the Vatican and the civil government.

So if Benedict XVI or one of his successors decided that the head of SSPX was insufficiently cooperative, he could remove him (as JP2 did with Fr. Bisig, the FSSP Superior General). All SSPX property would then automatically come under the control of whomever the Holy See appointed to be the new Superior General.

Bp. Fellay or lay people who disagreed with the decision and wanted to go their own way could not take the properties with them.

That's how it's supposed to work in the Catholic Church. The pope has ultimate authority over everything.

Control of SSPX properties in Switzerland, as I recall, was vested in a corporation controlled by three laymen who were friends of Mgr. Lefebvre, precisely because Lefebvre feared that the modernists could gain control if he installed priests.

I don't know about the case of the feminist nuns.

(04-19-2012, 03:00 PM)Freudentaumel Wrote: So be honest, all you're trying to do is scare some donations away from the SSPX and into your own projects.

If so, it still hasn't worked after nearly thirty years!

But you might want to be the first. How's about a big fat check for the SGG building fund? :)
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