The SSPX is Not in Schism: A Point by Point Rebuttal to CMTV's "Catholi-Schism"

The SSPX is Not in Schism: A Point by Point Rebuttal to CMTV's "Catholi-Schism" Video

Dear Readers,

I originally had no intention to offer a point by point rebuttal of Michael Voris’ hour-long “Catholi-Schism” video. The video is part of what Voris likes to call his “FBI” or Faith-Based Investigation” series. In reality a more proper acronym would have been “DOA” or “Dead on Arrival.” For the video does nothing more than make a systematic presentation of old arguments against the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) which have all been answered before.

In the days following the release of the video, however, I began to receive numerous requests to respond to it and issue a rebuttal. As it turns out there are many Catholics out there who are attracted to the Society as a potential option due to their spiritually barren Neo-Modernist dioceses, which are only getting worse under Francis. However, they are concerned due to things they hear about the Society from Neo-Catholic sources, such as Michael Voris and his Church Militant TV. As I received more of these requests, I began to realize that there are a large number of faithful Catholics out there who are just coming to the realization that there is a crisis in the Church. These Catholics are new to Tradition and are not very familiar with all of the previous arguments and apologetics hashed out over the years regarding the SSPX. They have very limited time and they are looking for one-stop-shopping to read up quickly on a very important issue for themselves and their families.

This may sound odd, but after watching this video I believe we must thank Mr. Voris for producing “Catholi-Schism.” For it has summed up in a nice package all of the misinformation about the SSPX through the years and gathered it in one place. As such, it provides a great opportunity to unravel each of these arguments in a detailed response. That said, this effort required to do this proved to be no small task. The sheer amount of material covered in an hour presentation is vast and the amount of writing and research that needs to be done in order to explain points is considerable.

Nevertheless, I decided to undertake this burden for the sake of those faithful Catholic families caught in the unenviable position of choosing between keeping their Faith and continuing to assist at the heart-rending travesties that pass for “Masses” at most “full communion” parishes across the country. If Voris’ video discouraged any of these Catholics from assisting at SSPX Chapels for the sake of their families’ souls, and to instead continue to endure the Faith-devouring Neo-Modernism at their local parish, I hope this rebuttal will open their eyes. For I firmly believe we will not come one step closer to defeating the Crisis in the Church by “actively participating” in our local abuse-laden parish. It is only by drawing people out of these parishes into Traditional parishes, whether they be SSPX, FSSP, ICK, or Motu parishes that we will help to defeat the enemy.

I am providing the following article as a reference document and resource for those interested in the SSPX and the issues surrounding them. Although it is quite long, I have tried to break the piece up under bite-sized topic headings and have provided several hyperlinks and videos in order to illustrate points. The videos of Michael Davies are taken from a debate he had with E. Michael Jones on the SSPX Schism in the mid-nineties. Interestingly, you almost have go back to the 90's to find Neo-Catholic apologists arguing this long since discredited position. I pulled the Davies’ clips from the longer debate video which can be found here.

In conclusion, I will pray for the intentions of those who read this article that God may give them the grace to make the correct decision. I know it is a trite saying, but if this article ends up assisting even one soul then it will have been worth all the effort.

Chris Jackson

Voris Refutes His Entire Video in the First Minute

The “Catholi-Schism” video begins with the words “Chapter 1: These are Dark Days.” Voris quotes Bishop Athanasius Schneider as saying “we currently live through a catastrophe rivaling that of the Arian crisis.” Voris then states, “There is a real crisis in the Church. A crisis that is shaking Her to Her core. Dissident priests and indifferent bishops allow the unchecked spread of uncatholic beliefs among the laity. The average Catholic is ignorant or couldn’t care less about his salvation.”

Thus, Voris begins an hour long hit piece on the SSPX by beautifully illustrating the very “state of necessity” the SSPX justifiably acts under. If the circumstances just described by Voris and echoed by Bp. Schneider do not constitute a canonical state of necessity in the Church, then nothing does. Therefore, Voris’ entire case against the SSPX is gutted within the first minute of his video. Other Neo-Catholic critics of the SSPX, around far longer than CMTV, have always based their position on the fact that there is no real crisis in the Church and thus no necessary reason for the Society to be taking the actions they are in order to save souls. These Neo-Catholics were wrong and deluded as to reality, but at least they knew what argument they needed to make to be consistent. But as we’ve seen, consistency and logic is not very high on CMTV’s priority list:

Word From the Vatican is Very Promising Regarding the SSPX, So Why The Video?

The video then confusingly says the “word from the Vatican is less than promising” regarding the SSPX. This in spite of the following unprecedented events that have happened within the last five months:

·        On April 12, 2015 Argentina recognized the SSPX due to authorization from the Pope’s successor as Archbishop of Buenos Aires:

…as a juridical person and has been added to the Register of the Institutes of Consecrated Life in which are listed the Catholic orders and religious congregations present in Argentina. This decision was made possible, among other formalities, by a letter from the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, addressed to the Secretary of Religion as a part of the procedures undertaken by the Society’s authorities in 2011. This letter, in which the archbishop of Buenos Aires “asked that ‘the Society of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary’ (Society of St. Pius X) be considered as an association with diocesan rights, until a definitive juridical framework is granted to it in the universal Church,” is a necessary condition for all religious congregations in Argentina...The fact that Cardinal Poli is Cardinal Bergoglio’s successor to the archiepiscopal see of Buenos Aires is a legitimate reason to believe that this decision was not taken without consulting Pope Francis

·        In August, Bishop Athanasius Schneider said the SSPX should be “accepted as they are” after visiting two SSPX seminaries as requested by the Holy See:

I am keeping a good impression of my visits. I could observe a sound theological, spiritual and human reality in the two [seminaries]… To my knowledge there are no weighty reasons in order to deny the clergy and faithful of the SSPX the official canonical recognition, meanwhile they should be accepted as they are…When the SSPX believes, worship and conducts a moral [life] as it was demanded and recognized by the Supreme Magisterium and was observed universally in the Church during a centuries long period and when the SSPX recognizes the legitimacy of the Pope and the diocesan bishops and prays for them publicly and recognizes also the validity of the sacraments according to the editio typica of the new liturgical books, this should suffice for a canonical recognition of the SSPX on behalf of the Holy See.

·        As recently as September 1st the Pope himself confirmed that SSPX priests validly and licitly hear confessions during the year of mercy:

A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity. In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.

Voris Twists Benedict’s 2009 Quote, Uses it as Erroneous Proof Text for Schism

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Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos himself said that the Society is not in schism; they are canonically irregular. I wouldn't feel comfortable going to a Society chapel because of their canonical irregularity, but it's just dishonest at this point in time to say they're in schism.
Shouldn't this be in a different subfora?

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