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 Newest article from Fr. Cekada on Una Cum Question 
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John Lane wrote:
Once again, you're not understanding the terms being used. To say that something is unlawful is to put it beyond the pale of liberty.

I'm not following you, John. Fr. Cekada is stating a position. His position: People who believe Ratzinger is not the Pope and claim they are not in communion with him cannot assist at Masses offered in union with him because by their assistance they are ipso facto acknowledging his claims to the papacy and professing their union with him and his church, and this is morally impermissible. I think that's an accurate one-sentence summary of Fr. Cekada's position. If you would, John, please give me a one-sentence response on why Fr. Cekada cannot legitimately hold this position, that is, without overstepping his authority (aside from your belief that Fr. Cekada's position is simply wrong).

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And in any case, Bishop Sanborn does actually deny others Holy Communion based on this nonsense, so he is certainly acting unjustly and denying others their rights. Fr. Cekada has never shown any sign of disapproving of this evil, tyrannical behaviour, and his public agreement with Bp. Sanborn on the question at issue means that his silence on the refusal of Communion is a form of consent. I don't think this is really disputable.


I don't dispute it, nor do I not dispute it. I don't know anything of the matter, but it's not what I'm worried about right now. What I'm wondering about is: Where is the flaw in Fr. Cekada's argument?

OK regarding Bp. Thuc. I suppose he was not an ordinary at that point.

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Not at all, it merely proves that the matter is a legitimately disputed question. That is, it is lawful to take either side. The history of the Church is filled with examples of these, particularly in theology but also in questions of fact during crises, and it is also filled with examples of "Bishop Sanborns" who refused to accept the situation and wished to impose their own judgements on everybody else.


I don't understand how saying that no local ordinary publicly declared the Holy See to be vacant means that whether or not the see was vacant is a legitimately disputed question.

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Well, how about because there was any actual heresy, only error?


Are you suggesting that Vatican II did not deny any dogma?

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Ask yourself why Fr. Cekada needs to flatter the reader and then reverse the onus of proof, before he gets to his arguments.


Fr. Cekada is arguing for his position throughout the paper. He is thereby meeting his burden of proof. Now that Fr. Cekada's side "rests," the other side can speak, as far as I'm concerned.

BTW, regarding the "10-second" point Fr. Cekada makes, I got the impression from previous posts by some people that Fr. Cekada is arguing that it takes 10 seconds to figure out Ratzinger is not the Pope. He's not saying that. He's saying it should take 10 seconds to figure out that there is an inconsistency between saying Ratzinger is not the Pope and then assisting at a Mass where the priest and, by extension, those who join the priest through active participation, say that he is. The inconsistency, Fr. Cekada argues, arises from the fact that there is a "complete disconnect between belief and worship." It is only fair that someone should ask, "If you do not believe that Benedict XVI is the Pope, why do you go to liturgical functions where the opposite is affirmed (esp. considering what this entails)?" And I think if there's going to be a powerful response, it would have to be something stronger than, "Because there is no other Mass available."

Mario


Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:31 am
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TKGS wrote:
To my limited mind, Father Cekada has undermined his many of his previous writings--most notably his writings against the new rite of Episcopal Consecration--with this current document on assisting at the "Una Cum Mass".

It seems to me that Mr. Lane has adequately refuted Father Cekada's contention especially in the way he has condemned the method of culling certain aspects from writings and laws that tend to make his point and ignoring all writings and laws that tend not to make his point. It now raises questions in my mind as to the validity of the arguments he used to declare Episcopal Consecrations in the new rites "utterly null and void".

I simply don't know what to think.


TKGS,

I had exactly the same train of thought. I would now like to see someone else either do a thorough treatise on the Episcopal Consecrations or someone (a sedevacantist) do a critique of "Utterly Null and Void". That would be a good exercise as it is generally not a controverted point amongst sedevacantists.


In Xto,
Clement


Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:52 am
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No problem, Alessio. Just apply it to Paul VI.


Two thoughts on that, and understand that I'm playing devil's advocate.

First, applying it to Paul VI is strictly an academic point, because it's doubtful that any priests are still mentioning him in the Canon.

Second, it would seem to undermine one of your previous arguments, that for some years ALL Masses were "una cum". Those would be justified by this particular law, which cannot be applied to the last two false claimants.


Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:28 am
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marioderksen wrote:
Fr. Cekada is stating a position. His position: People who believe Ratzinger is not the Pope and claim they are not in communion with him cannot assist at Masses offered in union with him because by their assistance they are ipso facto acknowledging his claims to the papacy and professing their union with him and his church, and this is morally impermissible. I think that's an accurate one-sentence summary of Fr. Cekada's position.

I agree, although you should carefully note that he managed to add a very large number of adjectives to it, along with numerous irrelevancies. Why?

I think he won’t like your distillation in any case, because it poses the question, why did it take him so long to see this, if it is sound reasoning?

And the answer is that it is facile but false.

The falsehood arises from the omission of relevant factors. Below, I’ll give some equally facile and equally false examples, just to assist with clear thinking.

The actual judgement about sedevacantists assisting at Mass offered by non-sedevacantists is made in something like the following fashion.

This is a great crisis in which everything has been thrown into utter confusion. Catholics hold all manner of views, even if we exclude from consideration those who have disappeared into unorthodox positions. Catholics assisting at Holy Mass are therefore not assumed to hold the same views as their priest. This is notorious, and it explains why the typical sedevacantist was content, right from the beginning, to assist at Holy Mass offered by any real priest who remained a Catholic. It never occurred to anybody that the other faithful were sitting there thinking that he agreed that Paul VI (for example) was pope, and if he did think that this was the case, he’d have thought, “Well, that’s their problem.” Which it would have been.

As for scandal, no scandal is given because the circumstances are such as to render such a judgement unreasonable. Scandal taken is the scandal-taker’s fault. (Fr. Cekada’s attempts to increase the level of scandal being taken won’t alter this truth – it will merely shift some of the responsibility to him.)

The present situation is really no different than the situation in, say, 1975. The Church has not made any judgement in the mean time. Some things are clearer, but others are less clear. In any case, I can tell you from personal experience that nobody at my chapel who cares about the issue thinks that I aver that Benedict is pope. Nor does anybody on the Internet. I doubt that anybody would think that I am in any sense affirming that Benedict is pope, merely by assisting at the Mass of a priest who thinks that he is pope. The whole allegation is an abstract fantasy that it has taken many years to compose.

(Some people no doubt think that I am a compromising neutraliser, and a pernicious liar, but that would only be because Fr. Cekada, whom they regard as a good, prudent, learned, and honest priest, has told the world these things about me. Fortunately for him, I am in reality worse than anything he has alleged.)

Now, some equally facile and equally false “logic”.

1. Anybody who refuses subjection to the Roman Pontiff is guilty of schism. But St. Vincent Ferrer refused subjection to the man who was, ultimately, seen to have been the true Roman Pontiff. Therefore the great wonderworker was in fact a schismatic.
2. Clerics ought to set an example of Christ-likeness. But Christ lived in real poverty His entire life. Therefore, any cleric who enjoys fine wines and food, in the midst of smart, modern, and comfortable buildings, sets an evil example of un-Christ-like behaviour.

I think you get the point. Scandal given and scandal taken are two different things. And what appears to be sound reasoning at first blush (especially in isolation from the traditional Catholic reality in most of the world) may in fact be nothing more than an exercise in superficial flippancy about the gravest matters.


marioderksen wrote:
If you would, John, please give me a one-sentence response on why Fr. Cekada cannot legitimately hold this position, that is, without overstepping his authority (aside from your belief that Fr. Cekada's position is simply wrong).

He can hold what he likes. But he isn't just holding it, he is preaching it. And in any case let's just be candid about what he says. He says that I am guilty of a "pernicious lie" if I assist at such Masses. What he really means is that I am in some sense consenting to the priest's mistake. But he didn't say that. He preferred to drag in the term from moral theology, "pernicious lie", and I say that such an approach is apt to inflame the reader's emotions and render him less able to assess the question soberly. So why did he do it?

Let's see how this works in reverse. He says that my assistance, which if it is wrong can only be an honest mistake, is a pernicious lie. (I presume he isn't yet so far off with the Guerardian fairies that he thinks I actually accept his ideas as true and yet assist at Mass anyway, instead of staying home alone where he wants me, and thus sin mortally at least twice a week in this matter.) Now, a pernicious lie is an untruth which harms others gravely. Why should I not say that Fr. Cekada's mistake about this matter is untrue, and it gravely harms the common good, and therefore is a pernicious lie also? Would that add to the discussion?


marioderksen wrote:
Are you suggesting that Vatican II did not deny any dogma?

No, I’m saying that nobody has shown that it did, as far as I know. The ones who might have done so have been busy writing less interesting and relevant material…

marioderksen wrote:
He's saying it should take 10 seconds to figure out that there is an inconsistency between saying Ratzinger is not the Pope and then assisting at a Mass where the priest and, by extension, those who join the priest through active participation, say that he is. The inconsistency, Fr. Cekada argues, arises from the fact that there is a "complete disconnect between belief and worship."


Actually, I am under no illusions about what he was referring to. He wrote, “The inconsistency — a complete disconnect between belief and worship — should be obvious after about 10 seconds of reflection. The theoretical conclusion (Ratzinger is not a true pope), we sense, should dictate the practical conclusion (don’t assist at Masses where the prayers say the opposite).” To my mind he is saying that what it took him several decades to realize (that sedevacantists ought never to assist at Mass in which a false pope is prayed for as pope), actually only takes about ten seconds to become “obvious.”


marioderksen wrote:
And I think if there's going to be a powerful response, it would have to be something stronger than, "Because there is no other Mass available."

Well, it is, but you didn’t read it, apparently. I wrote a very lengthy article examining the matter, and frankly, it took matters back to primary principles. Nobody has ever answered it until now, and Fr. Cekada has only dealt with a couple of incidental points, not the main issues.

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Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:40 am
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John Lane wrote:
I think he won’t like your distillation in any case, because it poses the question, why did it take him so long to see this, if it is sound reasoning?

John, I think all these questions of this sort that you raise are of secondary importance. You don't refute an argument by saying, "If that's true, how come you didn't believe this sooner?" What I want to know is, "Is it in fact true?"

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It never occurred to anybody that the other faithful were sitting there thinking that he agreed that Paul VI (for example) was pope, and if he did think that this was the case, he’d have thought, “Well, that’s their problem.” Which it would have been.


But Fr. Cekada has reasonably demonstrated that it becomes your problem when you assist at that Mass. It's not your problem only if you have nothing to do with the Mass. Now, I am happy to hear refutations of Fr. Cekada's position and then consider those. But so far, all I've heard is, "This is nonsense and that's why no one thought of it for so long."

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As for scandal, no scandal is given because the circumstances are such as to render such a judgement unreasonable. Scandal taken is the scandal-taker’s fault. (Fr. Cekada’s attempts to increase the level of scandal being taken won’t alter this truth – it will merely shift some of the responsibility to him.)


I don't think that the scandal argument is Fr.'s strongest; however, all you're doing here is stating: "There is no scandal because to say that there is scandal is unreasonable." If you say there is no scandal (and maybe there isn't - I, for one, am someone not easily scandalized in these difficult times), please show where Fr. Cekada's argument on scandal is false.

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In any case, I can tell you from personal experience that nobody at my chapel who cares about the issue thinks that I aver that Benedict is pope. Nor does anybody on the Internet. I doubt that anybody would think that I am in any sense affirming that Benedict is pope, merely by assisting at the Mass of a priest who thinks that he is pope. The whole allegation is an abstract fantasy that it has taken many years to compose.


I don't think that's relevant, John. By analogy, you are basically saying, "Though my actions say one thing, everybody knows that I don't really mean it." What are we supposed to take away from this? Let me emphasize one more time that the essence of Fr. Cekada's argument is the discrepancy between the action of offering the Mass with the priest, which is being offered in union with Benedict XVI, with all that entails (affirming he is the Supreme Authority in the Church, the proximate rule of faith, etc.), whereas the sedevacantist believes no such thing.

In addition, could we not take your reasoning and apply it to the Novus Ordo also? "Everybody knows I disapprove of the New Church and even the New Mass. I only come here to receive the sacraments, not to join in the false worship." (assuming, for the sake of argument, that the New Mass were valid)

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(Some people no doubt think that I am a compromising neutraliser, and a pernicious liar, but that would only be because Fr. Cekada, whom they regard as a good, prudent, learned, and honest priest, has told the world these things about me. Fortunately for him, I am in reality worse than anything he has alleged.)


Sorry, John, but I find this very unhelpful. I think your point here is entirely rhetorical and without much substance. Fr. Cekada has reasoned scholastically to come to his conclusion. If we don't want to admit the conclusion, let's please find the flaw in the logic or the premises. This is the only way to do it. Again, I have no advantage of an una cum Mass being impermissible. I am not defending Fr. Cekada because I want to defend Fr. Cekada or because I go to his church or any of that. I am only asking that if he is wrong, to please be shown where he is wrong.

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He can hold what he likes. But he isn't just holding it, he is preaching it.


John, how can you fault a priest for instructing the faithful about what he believes is objectively sinful? And not just "believes" but actually demonstrates? It all goes back to dealing with what he argues and why.

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And in any case let's just be candid about what he says. He says that I am guilty of a "pernicious lie" if I assist at such Masses. What he really means is that I am in some sense consenting to the priest's mistake. But he didn't say that. He preferred to drag in the term from moral theology, "pernicious lie", and I say that such an approach is apt to inflame the reader's emotions and render him less able to assess the question soberly.


I didn't see it that way (with the emotional "poisoning of the well") at all. No, Fr. isn't even saying that you are consenting to a mistake, but that you are assisting at a Mass in union with a man you believe not to be a Catholic, and that you cannot do that because by the very nature of the Mass and active participation therein, you are necessarily and ipso facto joining in with the prayers thereof. And the una cum part of the canon isn't just a simple prayer (as though the priest prayed "for the good health of Our Holy Father" after Low Mass) but a declaration of communion at the very heart of the Mass.

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Let's see how this works in reverse. He says that my assistance, which if it is wrong can only be an honest mistake, is a pernicious lie.


I think you're confusing two things here, John. The priest might be making a mistake; but how can you be making a mistake if you are consciously offering Mass in union with an apostate, and one you acknowledge to be an apostate, who is as severed from the Church as he could possibly be? How is this different from consciously affirming what you know/believe to be false? How can that be termed a "mistake" on your part?

And please know that I am not desperately trying to find moral fault on your part. I am simply applying what Fr. Cekada argues to the case at hand so as to interact with your example.

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Now, a pernicious lie is an untruth which harms others gravely. Why should I not say that Fr. Cekada's mistake about this matter is untrue, and it gravely harms the common good, and therefore is a pernicious lie also? Would that add to the discussion?


John, you know the difference between a lie and a mistake. The essence of a lie is not the falsehood itself but the discrepancy between what exists in the mind and what is externally communicated.

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To my mind he is saying that what it took him several decades to realize (that sedevacantists ought never to assist at Mass in which a false pope is prayed for as pope), actually only takes about ten seconds to become “obvious.”


Irrelevant. I don't care if it takes 10 seconds or 10 years, as long as it is true. John, so far, most of what I have seen here have been personal attacks on Fr. Cekada. "He is saying I am giving scandal! He is calling me a liar! He didn't realize this 10 years ago!" But where, John, is the evidence refuting his arguments? That's not unreasonable to ask.

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Well, it is, but you didn’t read it, apparently. I wrote a very lengthy article examining the matter, and frankly, it took matters back to primary principles. Nobody has ever answered it until now, and Fr. Cekada has only dealt with a couple of incidental points, not the main issues.


Oh, I remember that article, though I'm not sure I ever finished reading the whole thing. Perhaps, for the sake of everybody here, you could, in very brief steps, demonstrate how your article refutes Fr. Cekada's 10 points.

Merry Christmas,

Mario


Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:10 pm
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Quote:
But Fr. Cekada has reasonably demonstrated that it becomes your problem when you assist at that Mass. It's not your problem only if you have nothing to do with the Mass. Now, I am happy to hear refutations of Fr. Cekada's position and then consider those. But so far, all I've heard is, "This is nonsense and that's why no one thought of it for so long."


This is begging the question. Has Father Cekada indeed reasonably demonstrated so? This is the very issue in question, isn't it? This kind of definitive statement isn't helpful to this discussion progressing.


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I think you're confusing two things here, John. The priest might be making a mistake; but how can you be making a mistake if you are consciously offering Mass in union with an apostate, and one you acknowledge to be an apostate, who is as severed from the Church as he could possibly be? How is this different from consciously affirming what you know/believe to be false? How can that be termed a "mistake" on your part?


Again Mario, you seem to be missing something. This idea of consciously offering mass in union with an apostate etc. is again the very issue in question. It is Father Cekada's opinion and others disagree. Just re-stating Father Cekada's opinions doesn't make it so, and again isn't helpful to the discussion moving forward. If you want the discussion to be more fruitful then it would be better to try and understand what is at the crux of the disagreement, as this type of thing is circular. John has been quite clear that he is not offering the mass in union with an apostate and gone to lengths in this thread explaining his position very clearly on this point. Though there have been many, many posts to read (from both of you) so perhaps you missed it.

Merry Christmas to you also Mario, and to all!

In Xto,
Clement


Mon Dec 24, 2007 7:12 pm
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Dear Mr. Derksen, hail Mary!

I've been following this discussion with great interest, and I believe you have missed the following post by John Lane: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6766#6766.

It seems to have been the most crucial one, yet for some reason it remained unaddressed. Would you care to interact with it? It would certainly be most profitable for everyone here.

Merry Christmas!


Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:14 pm
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What is striking in Fr. Cekada's and Mario's "discovery" of this new way to make a grave sin:

It seems all based on pride. We can't control the fact that a Modernist was elected pope, and that most people beleve he is the Pope.

We are allowed to wonder if this Bishop of Rome actually has the power of the Holy Ghost, and we are permitted to say to each other, "nobody who prays with Voodoo priests can possibly be Catholic!" And so forth. But which saint do we have who was a sedevacantist? Who has ever said it's a sin to assist at a mass in which a pope's name is used?

This concept being defended is so utterly lacking in humility, it is so incredibly elitist, it reminds me of fierce debates among vegetarians/ sustainable resource fanatics.

We need to make serious sacrifices for poor sinners, and take good , hard looks at ourselves to make certain that we are not finding ourselves superior to all other Catholics. The fact is that many of us are, or have been following unsupervised, split-off, make-it-up-as-you-go-along clergy for years. We are all in danger of running amok. We are not special End Times saints. We are supposed to stick together and help each other save our eternal souls, not encourage people to skip Mass on Sunday because the SSPX (who bought and paid for everything in the first place) mention N._____, our Pope when saying Mass.

This is just making it up as you go along, using slick debate formulas. Nice try, elegant even, but never, ever forget that Charity covers a multitude of sins. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners. Sacred Heart of Jesus, make our hearts meek and humble.


Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:36 pm

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Pax Christi !

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but never, ever forget that Charity covers a multitude of sins. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners. Sacred Heart of Jesus, make our hearts meek and humble.


Eliz- wonderful message for us all, and a good reminder when contemplating since there was no room at the inn, the King of Kings was born in a simple manger, made of straw and hay.

In Xto,
Vincent


Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:31 am
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Dear Mario,

At bottom, this is a question of judgement. We may disagree about the facts, the principles, or merely the judgement itself. It is not clear to me that you are distinguishing any of these things. You seem to find it difficult to place yourself outside of the mental construction prepared for you by Fr. Cekada, in which the only possible judgement is his.

marioderksen wrote:
John Lane wrote:
I think he won’t like your distillation in any case, because it poses the question, why did it take him so long to see this, if it is sound reasoning?

John, I think all these questions of this sort that you raise are of secondary importance. You don't refute an argument by saying, "If that's true, how come you didn't believe this sooner?" What I want to know is, "Is it in fact true?"

Yes, and this is a judgement, and it is enormously helpful to take a step back and ask, if this is so obvious, why was it not obvious until ten minutes ago? What am I missing? What was Fr. Cekada missing before? What did he discover? Ask him, if you like.


marioderksen wrote:
But Fr. Cekada has reasonably demonstrated that it becomes your problem when you assist at that Mass. It's not your problem only if you have nothing to do with the Mass. Now, I am happy to hear refutations of Fr. Cekada's position and then consider those. But so far, all I've heard is, "This is nonsense and that's why no one thought of it for so long."

I don't agree that that is all you've seen, but even if it were, I think you are missing the point. I don't think he has demonstrated that the priest's choice of pope is my problem. Far from it.


marioderksen wrote:
I don't think that the scandal argument is Fr.'s strongest; however, all you're doing here is stating: "There is no scandal because to say that there is scandal is unreasonable." If you say there is no scandal (and maybe there isn't - I, for one, am someone not easily scandalized in these difficult times), please show where Fr. Cekada's argument on scandal is false.

But this is essentially a question of fact. I can't prove to you there is no scandal. I can merely ask you to cite an example. There are none that I've ever seen or been told about. On the contrary, there are numerous concrete examples of men who might take the sede vacante solution seriously, except that they see that in the hands of Bishop Sanborn and Fr. Cekada it becomes a reason to stay home alone. This scandalises them, in the most exact sense of that term. The irony is immense.

Mario, with respect, you seem to be unable to assess the arguments here. Consider this exchange:
marioderksen wrote:
John Lane wrote:
In any case, I can tell you from personal experience that nobody at my chapel who cares about the issue thinks that I aver that Benedict is pope. Nor does anybody on the Internet. I doubt that anybody would think that I am in any sense affirming that Benedict is pope, merely by assisting at the Mass of a priest who thinks that he is pope. The whole allegation is an abstract fantasy that it has taken many years to compose.


I don't think that's relevant, John. By analogy, you are basically saying, "Though my actions say one thing, everybody knows that I don't really mean it."


This is the crux of the dispute. What are my actions? How would one characterise them? What are the priest's actions? How would one accurately characterise them?

Now, in the Guerardian fairytale land, my own intentions and all of the attendant facts (such as a certain ecclesiastical crisis...), are irrelevant, because the words used by the priest should be different, but he errs. His erroneous identification of the Roman Pontiff becomes the sole fact, placing outside of consideration all of the others. In Fr. Cekada's mind it even demolishes the man's life-commitment to the Faith and to resisting Vatican II. It erases the man's manifest intention to remain within the bosom and unity of the Church, and becomes the ruling factor in considering all questions of ecclesiastical unity and communion. But this is simply abandoning the world of facts in pursuit of a kind of abstract "perfection." (It is not, of course any kind of real perfection. It is the "perfection" of the compulsive-obsessive, who must have all the books in the shelves in perfect height order. It is actually a species of disorder.)

I have told you what my actions, and those of all my predecessors in this position actually mean. They mean that I wish to worship God as He demands, in common with fellow Catholics, despite the fact that I have formed a different judgement than those fellow Catholics about a lawfully disputed matter. That is, if they could formuulate it as clearly, how they see it too. It's the truth. It is manifestly the case. Nobody is really in any doubt about it.

Fr. Cekada's presentation takes this truth and buries it beneath a completely false caricature of my actions, and you have bought that caricature. You think his picture is accurate and you think mine false. That is what is happening here and I can't do any more about it than I have.

Now, as I have said before, if you think Fr. Cekada's ideas are sound, then I am sorry for you because I think you are in error, but I really don't mind. I am not here to convince the world to do what I do. My actions in relation to this subject have always been entirely defensive, of myself and others who find themselves under the same assault.


marioderksen wrote:
In addition, could we not take your reasoning and apply it to the Novus Ordo also? "Everybody knows I disapprove of the New Church and even the New Mass. I only come here to receive the sacraments, not to join in the false worship." (assuming, for the sake of argument, that the New Mass were valid)

No, because there are numerous other differences between the cases. As I have said, this is essentially a question of judgement. Stand back and consider both cases and ask if they are really the same or even tolerably similar. They aren't. To borrow a Fr. Cekada line, even if you can't put your finger on what each of those differences are, you "see" that they differ essentially. Don't let abstract theorising move you from that judgement.


marioderksen wrote:
I think you're confusing two things here, John. The priest might be making a mistake; but how can you be making a mistake if you are consciously offering Mass in union with an apostate, and one you acknowledge to be an apostate, who is as severed from the Church as he could possibly be? How is this different from consciously affirming what you know/believe to be false? How can that be termed a "mistake" on your part?

Precisely because I do not accept for a moment that I am doing any of those things. Now, Fr. Cekada says that despite my intentions, I am "objectively" doing those things. In other words (let's assume he grants me good will) he thinks that I am mistaken. That I do what I ought not to do, because I don't realise the truth. Now, instead of saying this, he calls my actions a "pernicious lie."

marioderksen wrote:
John, you know the difference between a lie and a mistake.

So does Fr. Cekada, but apparently it doesn't suit his agenda to maintain the distinction.


marioderksen wrote:
Irrelevant. I don't care if it takes 10 seconds or 10 years, as long as it is true. John, so far, most of what I have seen here have been personal attacks on Fr. Cekada. "He is saying I am giving scandal! He is calling me a liar! He didn't realize this 10 years ago!"

You don't seem to understand what is at issue. It is, as I have said, a question of judgement. There are facts, there are principles, there are judgements; and there is a concluding judgement. Even deciding which facts and principles are relevant to the question involves forming judgements. I am pointing out that Fr. Cekada didn't form this judgement previously, in order to hold remorselessly in the light that his judgement changed, and we are now asked to accept and trust the judgement of the last-seven-years-Cekada and hold that the judgement of the first-twenty-years-Cekada was wrong, scandalous, and in fact constituted approval of countless "pernicious lies" by innumerable faithful over many decades, in what should have been the most holy actions this side of Heaven. Who would trust a man like that?

Yes, this is partly ad hominem. That is because the entire force of this nonsense arises from the credibility, such as it is, of the few men who promote it. I am dealing with the real issue.

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Tue Dec 25, 2007 3:14 am
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Pax Christi !

Mario,

Have you read John Lanes paper regarding this topic?

http://www.sedevacantist.com/una_cum.html

Perhaps if you contrast this with Fr. Cekada's recent paper it will provide clarity.

In Xto,
Vincent


Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:45 pm
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Dear Vince,

Clarity will only, in my opinion, come from taking a deep breath and standing back to consider the material presented by Fr. Cekada with a more critical eye. This is what I have been trying to encourage. The whole thing is an illusion. There isn't anything there. The entire trick relies upon not actually addressing the real point of disagreement, but rather assuming it.

Consider these questions, each of which can only be answered in the negative.

Did Fr. Cekada discover, in circa 1999, that there was a prayer for the pope in the Te igitur?
Did he discover that the Roman Pontiff is the principle and foundation of unity of the Church?
Did he discover that for the celebrant to pray for the pope by name was one of the clearest signs of communion with him?
Did he discover that the faithful are active cooperators in all that the priest does at the altar?
Did he discover that most traditional priests are not sedevacantists?
Did he discover that it follows logically from the idea that Benedict is pope that he is orthodox, a fellow member of the Church, the visible head of the Mystical Body, a co-offerer of the Holy Sacrifice with the rest of the members of the Church, etc.?

In a word, did Fr. Cekada discover each of these obvious facts and commonplaces of theology in 1999? Or had he really never seriously adverted to them prior to 1999? Obviously, neither proposition is admissible. To admit either would be to admit that he did not know the very ABCs of ecclesiology or that he had not given them any thought. But not only could he never admit such a thing, nobody would believe him, for the simple and obvious reason that it is precisely the consideration of these truths, and related ones, which makes a man realise that the See of Rome is vacant.

What would be useful is to ask Fr. Cekada to identify the thing which he either did not know or did not understand prior to changing his position on this question. I don’t think he can say what it is, because I don’t think he knows. If he did, it would be somewhere in his lengthy article, but there is nothing in that work which could conceivably fulfil that description.

What did Fr. Cekada learn in 1999? When we find out the answer to that question, we could potentially learn it ourselves.

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Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:13 am
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Clement wrote:
This is begging the question. Has Father Cekada indeed reasonably demonstrated so? This is the very issue in question, isn't it? This kind of definitive statement isn't helpful to this discussion progressing.

Clement, all I'm saying is that I believe Fr. Cekada's argument is reasonable. I am writing on this forum to see if someone has a reasonable argument against what Fr. Cekada is saying. But I'd like people to interact with Fr. Cekada's 10 points, not just make statements about how long it took Fr. Cekada to figure this out, or the like.

Quote:
Again Mario, you seem to be missing something. This idea of consciously offering mass in union with an apostate etc. is again the very issue in question. It is Father Cekada's opinion and others disagree. Just re-stating Father Cekada's opinions doesn't make it so, and again isn't helpful to the discussion moving forward.


But Fr. Cekada didn't just state his opinion. He offered premises and drew a logical conclusion. Which is why I've been saying I'd like to hear people disprove either his premises or show flaws in his logic.

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John has been quite clear that he is not offering the mass in union with an apostate and gone to lengths in this thread explaining his position very clearly on this point. Though there have been many, many posts to read (from both of you) so perhaps you missed it.


But it's not enough to state, "I do not believe Benedict XVI is the Pope. Therefore, I am not offering Mass in union with him" and then go ahead and say, "Amen" at the end of the canon, in which Benedict is mentioned as Pope. Please have somebody demonstrate how assisting at an una cum Mass is not offering Mass in union with Benedict, if that's what the priest is doing. Perhaps I did miss it. It seems I am missing direct interaction with Fr. Cekada's arguments on that matter.

Mario


Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:59 pm
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eliz carroll wrote:
What is striking in Fr. Cekada's and Mario's "discovery" of this new way to make a grave sin:


Dear Elizabeth,

I agree we must all be humble and stick together, but I don't think that has anything to do with whether or not assistance at an una cum Mass is permissible or not. I don't want such assistance to be impermissible; why should I? What I'm interested in is whether it is or not. I don't think Fr. Cekada is trying to invent new sins. (For the Terri Schiavo issue, many thought Fr. Cekada was trying to eliminate a sin! - And I say this while believing that Terri Schiavo was in fact murdered.)

Quote:
It seems all based on pride. We can't control the fact that a Modernist was elected pope, and that most people beleve he is the Pope.


But we can control where we go to Mass. What I'm trying to figure out, for myself rather than others, is whether I could ever assist at an una cum Mass--simply because, God forbid, but perhaps the occasion might arise at some point where I have to either stay home or go to an una cum Mass. So it's better to know this ahead of time.

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We are allowed to wonder if this Bishop of Rome actually has the power of the Holy Ghost, and we are permitted to say to each other, "nobody who prays with Voodoo priests can possibly be Catholic!" And so forth.


I don't think that Catholic doctrine allows us to hold that someone is a Pope but does not have all the privileges and graces, etc., that Catholic doctrine says come with the papal office (for example, canonizations, promulgating universal laws for the Church, etc.).

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But which saint do we have who was a sedevacantist?


St. Robert Bellarmine, for example. But if you're referring to sedevacantism as post-Pius XII, the whole idea of a saint sedevacantist is impossible, since in order to have new saints, you have to have a papal canonization first.

Quote:
Who has ever said it's a sin to assist at a mass in which a pope's name is used?


That would be terrible if it were. But the issue Fr. Cekada is talking about is whether it is a sin to affirm in one's actions what one denies in one's mind. When a priest who believes Benedict XVI to be the Pope includes him in the canon, there is no disconnect between his action and his belief. He's being consistent. But what Fr. Cekada's point is, is that the sedevacantist who doesn't believe Benedict to be the Pope cannot actively participate in a Mass in which his very participation says that he is the Pope. Now, again, Fr. Cekada might be wrong on this, but this is what he's saying.

God bless you, dear Elizabeth, and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed 2008!

Mario


Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:57 pm
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Dear John,

I really don't know what to take away from this. I will reread your essay on the una cum, or specifically those parts that address Fr. Cekada's points (e.g., whether assistance at an una cum Mass implies agreeing that Benedict XVI is Pope). That's fair enough, and I want to do that.

As I have said before, I want to focus on what is argued, not on who argues it or what he said previously. John, if we cannot do that, then we're done as far as reason goes. We might as well shut down our minds and do whatever we wish. It's all we have to go on. I realize that the fact that Fr. Cekada did not use to hold that position is something to be taken into consideration, but it isn't the overarching problem for me. I think all of us have at one point held positions we no longer hold. What convinced us to change our minds? The force of the evidence. I am certain that some Novus Ordos would not care to hear me say anything about sedevacantism on the grounds that I used to be Novus Ordo, then indult, then SSPX. But of course I wouldn't ask them to listen to what I have to say because of me but because of the evidence.

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Yes, and this is a judgement, and it is enormously helpful to take a step back and ask, if this is so obvious, why was it not obvious until ten minutes ago?


I don't care if it is obvious, John. I care about whether it is true.

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What am I missing? What was Fr. Cekada missing before? What did he discover? Ask him, if you like.


I would be happy to. Again, I am not dismissing what you're saying here entirely; I just don't think it is of primary importance.

Quote:
But this is essentially a question of fact. I can't prove to you there is no scandal. I can merely ask you to cite an example. There are none that I've ever seen or been told about. On the contrary, there are numerous concrete examples of men who might take the sede vacante solution seriously, except that they see that in the hands of Bishop Sanborn and Fr. Cekada it becomes a reason to stay home alone. This scandalises them, in the most exact sense of that term. The irony is immense.


I understand your point about scandal given vs. scandal taken and thank you for your fitting example. I suppose the real question then is: Which of the two is genuine scandal, and which is scandal of the weak? As I said before, I personally am not prone to taking scandal, knowing how difficult everything is. But then again, Fr. Cekada isn't making his position hinge on the scandal issue. He just mentions it as one reason to oppose una cum Masses.

Quote:
This is the crux of the dispute. What are my actions? How would one characterise them? What are the priest's actions? How would one accurately characterise them?


John, it's not unreasonable to conclude that when the priest prays a prayer and you say "Amen," that you agree with the prayer. Or are you saying that you don't internally pray, "Amen" during Mass? The problem as I see it is that you can either say "Amen" to everything the priest prays or to nothing, simply because the Mass is primarily the priest's and yours only secondarily. You can either join the priest in the offering of the sacrifice, or you can leave it. But you can't offer your own, or only offer "elements" of the priest's Mass to God.

Now, to be fair, here's something I just thought of myself. Imagine that, by accident, the priest mispronounces some words in a prayer and the prayer thereby gets a different meaning. The priest made a mistake. Let's say you realize this. Does this forbid you from further participating in the Mass? That would seem unreasonable. And I suppose you are saying that you can extend that all the way to the naming of the wrong man as Pope in the canon. That's something to consider. One objection I can think of off the top of my head is that in the first case, the priest's intention is to say what is printed in the missal (and not what he's actually pronouncing wrong), whereas in the second case the priest really means to identify Benedict as the Pope of the Catholic Church.

I do not understand, John, what the una cum question has to do with the Guerardian thesis.

Quote:
Now, in the Guerardian fairytale land, my own intentions and all of the attendant facts (such as a certain ecclesiastical crisis...), are irrelevant, because the words used by the priest should be different, but he errs. His erroneous identification of the Roman Pontiff becomes the sole fact, placing outside of consideration all of the others. In Fr. Cekada's mind it even demolishes the man's life-commitment to the Faith and to resisting Vatican II. It erases the man's manifest intention to remain within the bosom and unity of the Church, and becomes the ruling factor in considering all questions of ecclesiastical unity and communion. But this is simply abandoning the world of facts in pursuit of a kind of abstract "perfection." (It is not, of course any kind of real perfection. It is the "perfection" of the compulsive-obsessive, who must have all the books in the shelves in perfect height order. It is actually a species of disorder.)


If I recall correctly, there is nothing in Fr. Cekada's argument that is based upon the intentions or the life commitment of the priest. You keep focusing on the priest and the fact that he sincerely believes Benedict to be the Pope. Fr. Cekada's article is not based upon the priest's (lack of) "perfection" at all - he says it is irrelevant. I don't understand why you're bringing this up. Let's forget about the priest and his work and his intention and all that, and focus on the sedevacantist who assists.

Quote:
I have told you what my actions, and those of all my predecessors in this position actually mean. They mean that I wish to worship God as He demands, in common with fellow Catholics, despite the fact that I have formed a different judgement than those fellow Catholics about a lawfully disputed matter. That is, if they could formuulate it as clearly, how they see it too. It's the truth. It is manifestly the case. Nobody is really in any doubt about it.


Then why do you say "Amen" at the end of the canon - if you do not believe what the priest is praying?

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Fr. Cekada's presentation takes this truth and buries it beneath a completely false caricature of my actions, and you have bought that caricature. You think his picture is accurate and you think mine false. That is what is happening here and I can't do any more about it than I have.


In other words, "Fr. Cekada has stated his case; I have stated mine. Believe what you will." Works for me. But please remember that this isn't essentially a discussion about John Lane and judging his personal morals. Far from it. It is essentially a discussion about whether, objectively, it is permissible to assist at an una cum Mass for someone who isn't una cum Benedict XVI. And I am sorry, but all I can do, John, is listen to you, listen to Fr., listen to whomever else has something to say about it, and then draw my conclusion. I am writing on this board to help me form a judgment.

Quote:
Now, as I have said before, if you think Fr. Cekada's ideas are sound, then I am sorry for you because I think you are in error, but I really don't mind. I am not here to convince the world to do what I do. My actions in relation to this subject have always been entirely defensive, of myself and others who find themselves under the same assault.


OK, but belittling me won't help you convince me of your position, nor will pointing out that you are a victim "under ... assault."

Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
In addition, could we not take your reasoning and apply it to the Novus Ordo also? "Everybody knows I disapprove of the New Church and even the New Mass. I only come here to receive the sacraments, not to join in the false worship." (assuming, for the sake of argument, that the New Mass were valid)

No, because there are numerous other differences between the cases. As I have said, this is essentially a question of judgement. Stand back and consider both cases and ask if they are really the same or even tolerably similar. They aren't. To borrow a Fr. Cekada line, even if you can't put your finger on what each of those differences are, you "see" that they differ essentially. Don't let abstract theorising move you from that judgement.


Novus Ordo people and sedevacantists seem to hold to the same principles, basically. So there is your similarity. It is the SSPX that are changing the principles because they cannot accept sedevacantism (I don't blame them - it's a terrible conclusion). I can sympathize with both Novus Ordo folks and SSPX folks, having been in both camps. But perhaps the Novus Ordo priest is also just making a mistake. He means well. But at least he realizes he is bound by what "the Pope" gives him as the universal liturgical rite to be used throughout the Latin church. I don't mean to sound like I'm defending Novus Ordo ideas or the Novus Ordo church (far from it!). I am only saying that you can take the "innocent mistake" argument very far. There are Novus Ordo folks that I would consider my brother Catholics (I think!). But I would never - could never - join in with their worship. Good-willed Novus Ordos go into heresy (objectively) in order to avoid schism; SSPX folks go into schism (objectively) in order to avoid heresy. Why do you find the latter tolerable but not the former? (Everybody, please understand I sympathize with everyone here who is good-willed and wants to be totally Catholic, whether in the Novus Ordo, indult, SSPX, SSPV, independent sede, etc. I am not trying to suggest I have it all figured out (yeah right!); I am only analyzing the situation as I see it.)

Quote:
Precisely because I do not accept for a moment that I am doing any of those things. Now, Fr. Cekada says that despite my intentions, I am "objectively" doing those things. In other words (let's assume he grants me good will) he thinks that I am mistaken. That I do what I ought not to do, because I don't realise the truth. Now, instead of saying this, he calls my actions a "pernicious lie."


Actually, the name "John Lane" appears nowhere in Fr. Cekada's article. That is because Fr. Cekada isn't interested about making claims about one individual's morality, but is outlining what is objectively, generally the case, as in, "People may not realize it, but by their actions they are denying what they hold in their minds, and that is essentially a lie." I cannot fault a priest for pointing this out. Yes, it's always a terrible thing when consciences need to be stirred up, but I cannot fault a priest for doing what he believes to be right in this case.

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Who would trust a man like that?


Far be it from me to believe this because "Fr. Cekada says so." St. Thomas Aquinas identified the argument from authority as the weakest. But then again, Fr. Cekada's article isn't just one sentence: "Because I said so."

Merry Christmas, and happy New Year.

Mario


Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:41 pm
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John Lane wrote:
I accept all of this, but it is all utterly irrelevant. These are arguments in favour of the priest omitting the name of Benedict from the Te igitur, not reasons for a layman to stay home alone. Unless, of course, the layman is deemed by some theological or canonical principle to be consenting to that naming of Benedict as pope. But that’s the whole ground of dispute, as Fr. Cekada well knows.


Right, and that is precisely what Fr. Cekada is arguing for in his article, which is why I am looking for someone who disagrees with it to refute it. The "theological or canonical principle" Fr. uses is his analysis of what constitutes active participation. And we all have a pretty good idea of what that is, since sometimes, if we ever go to a non-Catholic funeral or such, we know what we cannot do in terms of participation.

Quote:
Therefore his recitation of all of this material is either the fruit of a profound misunderstanding of the real issue which divides us, or a psychological tactic designed to prejudice the reader.


I think that Fr. uses all of his material because it is all relevant to the issue.

Quote:
And I add, the latter alternative interpretation is bolstered by his tendentious inclusion of the Fr. Faber quote at the end of his article, as if to say, “If you’re not sufficiently horrified by Benedict’s name being included in the Te igitur, you don’t really hate heresy, and you’re not holy.”


I see nothing wrong with including a quote that emphasizes the fact that we need to take things seriously, that actions, just as ideas, have consequences, and that it's not all about "Where can I receive a valid sacrament?" One may disagree with what Fr. has written, but I don't think the quote is out of place.

Quote:
To which I reply, I am not holy and I acknowledge and accept Fr. Cekada’s claim that he is a man of principle and has been since he was fourteen years old, but he is still clearly wrong on the point here and it would be a pernicious lie on my part to say anything else.


I find nothing substantial in what you say here, John.

Quote:
Fr. Cekada wrote:
(II) Your Participation and Consent. A sedevacantist who assists at an una cum Mass cannot credibly maintain that he “withholds consent” from the odious phrase.

Fr. Cekada finally gets to the point, but even here he continues to try to prejudice the reader, attempting to render ridiculous the standard response of sedevacantists for decades – tagging it as something which cannot credibly be maintained. Well, he is arguing against fact. It was “credibly maintained” by numerous sedevacantists, indeed most of them, including himself for decades, and is still maintained by almost all sedevacantist clerics; and it was “credibly maintained” by such lay sedevacantist luminaries as the late, great, William Morgan and others, as he well knows. I pause merely to highlight his contempt for them all.


The question being, "Is it possible to assist at a Mass offered una cum Benedict and not actually offer it una cum Benedict?"

Quote:
Fr. Cekada wrote:
We enumerated at least nine ways in which a Catholic actively participates at a traditional Mass when it is celebrated. Each of these constitutes a true form of active participation, which in turn (according to the theologians we cited) constitutes “cooperation or common action with another in the prayers and functions of worship.”

Note in passing that Fr. Cekada, despite his apparent keen interest in the exact nature of “worship in common” has managed to err in stating that receiving a sacrament is not a form of worship in common, which it notoriously is. He wrote, “The issue of the reception of a sacrament, however, is distinct from the one I have addressed above: active participation in common public worship, specifically, the Mass.” Whatever distinction there is between them, it is not what Fr. Cekada states: both are public worship in common, as he should know.


Fr. Cekada was speaking about how canon law permits reception of the sacraments from heretics and schismatics under certain circumstances. He was contrasting this with the absolute prohibition against worshipping with them in common (i.e. active participation in their services). So, I do not think your objection stands. There is a difference.

Quote:
I do not dispute that the layman consents to the acts of the priest, considered formally. I offer the common oblation with him. I agree with what he does at the altar. If I didn’t, I might as well not go at all. The specific point is, however, whether or not I am necessarily agreeing with every detail of the priest’s actions - specifically, those accidental matters. If he habitually forgets the “Orate fratres”, for example, am I required to protest out loud in order to exculpate myself from “deemed consent” to his mistake? The whole proposition is off in fairy-land away from the concrete realities of this world, which is why the “problem” didn’t occur until the famously abstract and theoretical Guerard des Lauriers theorised his way to it.


I don't think that naming Benedict XVI in the very canon of the Mass can justly be called an "accidental detail." It goes back to the significance of the whole una cum part and the canon itself. Fr. Cekada has argued that even if it were merely a matter of praying for the Pope, it would still mean that the sedevacantist, by his active participation, is acknowledging him as Pope, even though I could see where in that case arguments could be made that assistance is not intrinsically impermissible (drawing analogies with the Great Western Schism, perhaps). But Pope Benedict XIV himself stated: "a commemoration of the supreme pontiff and prayers offered for him during the sacrifice of the Mass is considered, and really is, an affirmative indication which recognizes him as the head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, and the successor of blessed Peter, and is the profession of a mind and will which firmly espouses Catholic unity" (Ex Quo, no. 12, http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/B14EXQUO.HTM). In any case, I can see where there might be flexibility if the una cum phrase only indicated a prayer for the Pope, rather than a declaration of unity with him. But una cum does mean "one with," doesn't it?

Quote:

Yes and no. Yes, it’s important, but no, it doesn’t require the layman in the pew to stay home alone rather be present when the priest errs. The Church has not judged the question, so that the priest’s inclusion of the name is a sign that he wishes only to belong to the Catholic Church, whereas if the Church had excluded Benedict from her communion the priest who continued to include his name would show by that act that he rejected her authority. This was true in every single case of controversy over the inclusion or exclusion of a name in the diptychs in the ancient Church. It was the authority of the Church that was at issue. This was true particularly in the case that Fr. Cekada cites of the Rule or Formula of St. Hormisdas. So much was it clear that the crucial issue was subjection to the Roman Pontiff, who is infallible, that the Rule is regarded as a solemn definition of that truth by at least some dogmatic theologians. In Deferrari’s translation of Denzinger the Rule of St. Hormisdas is placed under the subtitle, “The Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.” This is also how it is referenced in the systematic index. Van Noort gives it as one of his proofs of infallibility, and when he quotes it he entirely omits all mention of heretics and their names, or of the diptychs or the liturgy. (“Christ’s Church, p. 300). He includes only those parts which state that to maintain the true Faith one must be subject to the Roman Pontiff as one’s immediate rule of Faith. The point is entirely clear – the omission of a name from the diptychs is a clear sign of subjection to the Roman Pontiff and the acceptance of his decisions. In this context it is also interesting to note that the Fourth Council of Constantinople adopted the Rule of St. Hormisdas as its own profession of Faith, and yet promulgated a canon explicitly prohibiting any cleric from omitting the name of his patriarch or bishop from the diptychs prior to the judgement of the Church. In other words, the mind of the Church on this point is clear – do what she explicitly ordains, and don’t act as vigilante.

That's fine, John. Then let's let the Church speak on what inclusion of a name in the canon means. That's the only way to go about figuring this out. I will look again at your essay. If I am not mistaken, even though you quote Pope Benedict XIV and his Ex Quo, you do not quote what Fr. Cekada has quoted, and what I have reproduced above.

I had already said something about the quote from the 4th Council of Constantinople. It seemed to me (and perhaps wrongly so) that the council was speaking of ecclesiastical crimes as such, but heresy is also sin against the divine law which severs one from the Church, not merely a matter of ecclesiastical law.

Quote:
I add that in any case I do actually consent to the priest’s act in naming Benedict, insofar as he intends by it to show his communion with the Catholic Church. To apply Bishop Sanborn's favourite distinction, I accept and consent to the priest's act considered formally (i.e. as an expression of communion with the Roman Pontiff and the Catholic Church) but I reject his act considered accidentally (i.e. he is mistaken about the actual identity of the Roman Pontiff).


So, you are participating in the Mass formally but not materially? I didn't think that was possible. (Also, I don't think you can contrast the formal with the accidental but with the material only, or the accidental with the essential.)

Quote:
That Fr. Cekada is forced to argue that such recognition by the sedeplenist priest implies necessarily that the priest accepts Vatican II, despite the fact that he openly and vigorously denounces Vatican II – well, he has been reading too much Guerard. In the real world we accept that men who say that they reject Vatican II, and whose entire lives give testament to the fact, really do reject Vatican II. The relevant principle is the one from St. Thomas that heads up my article on this question: “For in the moral, as in the physical order, the species is not constituted by that which is accidental. Now, in the moral order, the essential is that which is intended, and that which results beside the intention, is, as it were, accidental.”


But let us not forget, lest we become Abelardians, that beside the intention, there is also the act itself. And if the act is evil, the good intention means nothing.

Quote:
When the priest mentions Benedict’s name, his intention is to continue rejecting Vatican II and all of its consequent horrors, whilst ensuring that he remains in communion with the Catholic Church, of which he mistakenly identifies Benedict as visible head.


Fine, and I agree that the priest wants to be totally Catholic and thinks this is the only way to do it. But how far do we want to take this? Did Martin Luther just want to remain faithful to Christ when he rejected the "accidentals" of the Catholic Church? Where does this end?

Quote:
None of this is really controversial, in that Fr. Cekada fully accepts its truth. What he maintains is that despite the priest’s real intention, his words must be taken as contradicting his own mind and must specify the act.


When the priest affirms Benedict XVI as Pope, he really means it. When the sedevacantist (so Fr. Cekada's argument goes) actively participates, he doesn't mean it. That's the difference.

Quote:

So you see, Mario, why entering into a point-by-point refutation of this article would, to my mind, be a pointless exercise. It doesn't spend much of its voluminous space addressing the real issue, and when it does, it places the entire question on a false footing, so that the erroneous conclusion is inevitable.


I, for one, would be helped tremendously by a full reply to his essay. Just like the Novus Ordos and some SSPXers did with regards to the essay on the new rite of episcopal consecrations.

In Christ,

Mario


Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:55 pm
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And may God bless you, dearest Mario!

I 'm thinking along the lines of a good priest being simple and obedient. Something like, "This is the way the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has been said for two millienia. I have no authority to change the mass, my opinions and theories don't matter here. I will obey the tradition of whispering the name of N., our Pope because I am not the pope. The way to holiness is through humility and charity and denial of self. There are forces here beyond my control and puny understanding. I can't know why Russia was not consecrated to the Immaculate Heart, but now confusion reigns. I ask only to serve You, My Lord and offer the Mass for the poor sinners, the Church Suffering..."

Won't Almighty God know that the priest offering Mass is simply trying to obey?

I think we do need to admit that the Oyster Bay 9 have a history of disobedience, and have every reason to be wary of a spirit of disobedience following. There ARE evil entities whose job is to cause disobedience and rebellion. I have been very concerned for years about the lack of exorcists among the trads (the NO at least have Fr. Amorth) Who is out there expelling demons from people, places and things?

It has been noted by very holy saints and prophets that at some point, armies of demons from Hell will be unleahed on Earth. We already know there are evil angels who want to ruin us, who hate our children and want to corupt innocence and purity. With the constant blare of all manner of spiritual flith and downright impurity everywhere, it'snot hard to see that demons are all around us. Is it illogical to assume that demonic possessions are way, way up in numbers?

So who is looking after the spiritual safety of the Traditional Priests? They are forced into the position of covering up their own [inevitable?] scandals and dysfunctions in order to save face - it has become a matter of survival and recruitment. There are the enemies of Tradition who will howl with glee when the trad priest fails.... But there they are, without jurisdiction, relying on their wits and epikia, having split after split, the old priests and bishops dying. A spirit of disobedience is therefore something to be very afraid of.

How can we know that our priests and chapels are not infested? It's not like they are like St. Francis and St. Bernardo. Fr. X (or BISHOP X!!) is not exactly ordering Fr. Y to stand on his face and throat because Fr. X said something unkind to his fellow priest or Bishop. With the weight of the world on their shoulders, the constant travelling and demands, when do they have time for serious mortification? Since many of them are barely on speaking terms, how can they maintain the discipline so necessary to avoid becoming their own pope? ESPECIALLY because they are so smart.

Anyway, Mario, I hope these issues will continue to be hammered out here on Bellarmine Forums. I thank John from the bottom of my heart for hosting this. Let's get to the bottom of all this, and help save ach other's souls. I realise I didn't exactly address your words - let me get back to them - but it's nice outside and time to play with the kiddos.!


Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:05 pm
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marioderksen wrote:
Please have somebody demonstrate how assisting at an una cum Mass is not offering Mass in union with Benedict, if that's what the priest is doing.


The priest is not offering the Mass "in union with" Benedict. I've said that already. It's a prayer for the pope. For Fr. Cekada to quote Benedict XIV (i.e. the 14th) from "Ex quo" in one place, but then ignore the same document when it tells us what the meaning of the "una cum" clause is, preferring instead the novelty of de la Taille, is simply bad, bad, essay-writing, let alone theology. As an essay is deserves an "F." As theology it is junk.

As I've pointed out publicly on several occasions, this is not a difficult question in itself. I went through my entire library and found every reference I could to this point, and de la Taille was the only interpreter I could find who said that the "una cum" clause is meant to imply a "co-offering." I named six or eight or more other authorities who disagreed.

But to go with the obvious answer to this, both linguistically and theologically, would strip our opponents of their main weapon, which is nothing more than a psychological ploy. They know that most people can't follow the arguments or assess who is really citing authorities fairly. But they know they don't want to offer their Mass "in union with Benedict." So Fr. Cekada and his followers just keep saying that phrase. You keep doing it right here. It's not a true concept, Mario. But while you think that it is, there is nothing to argue about.

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Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:21 pm
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marioderksen wrote:
As I have said before, I want to focus on what is argued, not on who argues it or what he said previously. John, if we cannot do that, then we're done as far as reason goes. We might as well shut down our minds and do whatever we wish. It's all we have to go on. I realize that the fact that Fr. Cekada did not use to hold that position is something to be taken into consideration, but it isn't the overarching problem for me. I think all of us have at one point held positions we no longer hold. What convinced us to change our minds? The force of the evidence.


Mario,

This is very frustrating. You have decided that I am not making an argument, but I am. You just don't seem to grasp what it is.

Fr. Cekada and you have nothing in common, except that you have both changed positions.

You changed position, announced it, and said why. Fr. Cekada changed position, never admitted it, and won't say why.

You changed position because of the force of the evidence. Maybe Fr. Cekada did too. What evidence? If he won't admit he shifted positions at all, how can he ever tell us what it was that altered his view?

Please don't point to his article and tell us that it is the evidence. Because as I've tried to get you to see, there is nothing new in it.

Is this clear yet?


marioderksen wrote:
I am certain that some Novus Ordos would not care to hear me say anything about sedevacantism on the grounds that I used to be Novus Ordo, then indult, then SSPX. But of course I wouldn't ask them to listen to what I have to say because of me but because of the evidence.

Of course, and there is, as you say, some force in the objection. But as you also say, it won't suffice to overturn the evidence. But in this case Fr. Cekada is posing as a man who has always held his current view, and he is calling it "obvious" to boot. It's an extraordinary imposture. A real confidence trick. But worse, there is nothing new in his article. There is no new data, as far as I can see.

Try and see it from the perspective of one who knew Fr. Cekada before he changed position, and agreed with him then. He discovers, as I did, that Fr. Cekada held a new position, that he had changed his mind. He wants to know why. Fr. Cekada, instead of saying, "I've changed my mind and here's what convinced me," ignored the problem for a few years (other than to snipe at me personally by suggesting that I only hold my own position because of "geography") and then when he finally comes out with an argument there is nothing new in it, he doesn't admit to changing positions, and he calls it "obvious." And if you think a sincere Fr. Cekada fan would be confused by this course of events and turn into a Fr. Cekada cynic, you're right.

But that's not my point. It merely provides the framework for it. My point is, if he can't tell me what changed his mind, then he won't convince me, because both of us had all of this data before and we both understood it the same way.


marioderksen wrote:
Now, to be fair, here's something I just thought of myself. Imagine that, by accident, the priest mispronounces some words in a prayer and the prayer thereby gets a different meaning. The priest made a mistake. Let's say you realize this. Does this forbid you from further participating in the Mass? That would seem unreasonable. And I suppose you are saying that you can extend that all the way to the naming of the wrong man as Pope in the canon.


Kind of. It is crucial to understand that the priest simply makes a mistake. Fr. Cekada and Bishop Sanborn want this argument to run both ways. On the one hand they seek to isolate the "good" sedevacantist from the "bad" SSPX priest (he is a schismatic either way you slice him up), and on the other hand they seek to focus on the sedevacantist's own view and try and make him "consistent" (with their own prejudices and political agenda). But in fact both arguments need to be put together, as these men insist, precisely because the second one relies a great deal on the first for its psychological impact. Unless one feels that somehow the priest's mistake is a moral horror, then the whole feeling of revulsion which is required to get the layman to prefer to stay away from the Holy Sacrifice cannot be invoked. It's all very subtle and clever, and it all hangs together, no matter how contradictory it seems.

John Daly used the example of a priest in, say, New Guinea during the reign of Pius XI, who is isolated from outside communication. Subsequently Pius XI dies, and the priest remains unaware of the fact. Indeed, ten years later he doesn't know that the pope had died and been replaced by Pius XII. He would pronounce the wrong name in the Canon. Would his Mass cause God to "hold His nose"?

Say that the old priest is ultra-conservative and when a visitor arrives with the news about the new pope he won't believe him and insists on seeing a newspaper report or some other written evidence. Does the visitor have to avoid the Mass of this priest until objective and unassailable evidence convinces him to insert the correct name? Now, this is the crucial question, glossed over by all "anti-una-cum" proponents: if the layman decides to assist at such a Mass anyway, would anybody think that he was thereby agreeing with the priest's mistaken identification of a dead man as pope? No, of course not. Now follow this closely, Mario. Why would nobody think that the layman was agreeing with the priest? Haven't these people read Ghir? Haven't they consulted Schuster? Are they so simple as not to realise the meaning of the words of the Canon? No, all of that is irrelevant. The reason that nobody would think that the layman agrees with the priest is because the whole set of circumstances make it clear that he is doing no such thing. He is merely going to Holy Mass and overlooking the priest's error. That's what is happening, and it is what is evident. That is, it is the only reasonable judgement based upon the evidence. The only way one could arrive at a different judgement would be to omit some evidence or to distort it.

This is where we are at. The SSPX priests think that Benedict is pope. They think this based upon what any theologian would call "probable" grounds. That is, their main reason is the adherence to Benedict by morally the whole Church, as far as they can see it. Their adherence to Benedict is no less morally honest and clean than that of the New Guinea priest. Why should we avoid their Masses?

Now, you might see the force of my point about the "schimsatic" nonsense. By inserting that otherwise irrelevant material into his argument, Fr. Cekada gets the reader thinking that the priest's mistake is somehow culpable, and voila! the New Guinea example loses its force.


marioderksen wrote:
I do not understand, John, what the una cum question has to do with the Guerardian thesis.

They're both fairy-land theories, detached from the world of concrete reality, and both were invented by the same man, who was famous precisely for being detached from concrete realities.


marioderksen wrote:
If I recall correctly, there is nothing in Fr. Cekada's argument that is based upon the intentions or the life commitment of the priest. You keep focusing on the priest and the fact that he sincerely believes Benedict to be the Pope. Fr. Cekada's article is not based upon the priest's (lack of) "perfection" at all - he says it is irrelevant. I don't understand why you're bringing this up. Let's forget about the priest and his work and his intention and all that, and focus on the sedevacantist who assists.

You seem to have skipped over the "schismatic either way we slice him" section.

But the same problem is manifest in the treatment of the sedevacantist who assists at the Mass. Nobody thinks he doesn't care who the pope is. Nobody thinks that he accepts Benedict's claim. Nobody thinks that the "Amen" at the end of the Canon acually means that he prays with the priest for Benedict as pope. Nobody thinks these things. But Fr. Cekada's argument is precisely that the words mean that the layman does actually express his communion with Benedict. He can't cite an authority for this except for generic ones covering the fact that the layman ratifies the priest's oblation by his presence and participation. In other words, he can find no authority which teaches that despite the circumstances, the layman will always be thought to ratify the priest's choice, uttered in silence, at the altar.


marioderksen wrote:
Then why do you say "Amen" at the end of the canon - if you do not believe what the priest is praying?

I do believe what the priest is praying, except for the changeable bits that I am not thought necessarily to be agreeing with. You don't, for example, think that if Fr. Cekada mentions his Uncle Wesley in the Commemoration of the Living, contrary to the law of the Church, that I would be thought to agree with that, do you? Yet that really would be contrary to the law of the Church, whereas the mention of Benedict as pope is certainly not.


marioderksen wrote:
OK, but belittling me won't help you convince me of your position,


I'm sorry, Mario, but I certainly didn't intend to belittle you or even criticise you.


marioderksen wrote:
Novus Ordo people and sedevacantists seem to hold to the same principles, basically. So there is your similarity.

Perhaps we don't agree on the foundation of sedevacantism. I think it arises from the Catholic Faith, which is primary. The Novus Ordo people think that the primary thing is the claim of Paul VI, or JPII, or BXVI, and whatever they tell us the "faith" is this morning, that's what it is this morning. The "faith" is like the early morning news report - different and interesting every day.


marioderksen wrote:
Good-willed Novus Ordos go into heresy (objectively) in order to avoid schism; SSPX folks go into schism (objectively) in order to avoid heresy. Why do you find the latter tolerable but not the former?

Mario, you haven't got a clear grasp of the issues here. The reason we don't worship in common with "Novus Ordoites" is because of the false worship, not because of their ecclesiastical status. If they show up at our chapels we worship in common with them, no problem. What we won't do is go to their chapels and worship their way.

The SSPX are neither in schism nor in "objective" schism, whatever that is. I've asked before but never gotten a cogent answer. Is a man who falls off a cliff an "objective suicide"?

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Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:28 pm
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marioderksen wrote:
The "theological or canonical principle" Fr. uses is his analysis of what constitutes active participation. And we all have a pretty good idea of what that is, since sometimes, if we ever go to a non-Catholic funeral or such, we know what we cannot do in terms of participation.


Mario, apples and oranges. One is false worship and one is not. We all agree on that much. Consider this closely: Why can nobody find a reason from authority to avoid these Masses as one can find a reason from authority to avoid false worship?

What constitutes "active participation" does not necessarily include ratifying the priest's choices in those places in which the book as an "N". If the priest chooses to insert a name condemned by the Church, as the Acacians did during their schism, then that is a refusal of obedience and subjection to the Roman Pontiff and therefore a sin and a crime. But in this case it is neither, as all know. It is a difference of judgement about a lawfully disputed point.


marioderksen wrote:
Fr. Cekada was speaking about how canon law permits reception of the sacraments from heretics and schismatics under certain circumstances. He was contrasting this with the absolute prohibition against worshipping with them in common (i.e. active participation in their services). So, I do not think your objection stands. There is a difference.

Yes, there is a difference, but that's not the point. The point is that reception of a sacrament is worship in common. See how error spreads? He makes an error and you buy it. It's frightening. Please look it up and don't believe what he says. He probably didn't even mean it - I doubt he could have, it is such a commonplace.

Nor is there an "absolute" prohibition against worshipping with them in common, as the Holy Office stated in the late 'forties under Pius XII. I directed your attention to the relevant article from Mahoney earlier. Please read it carefully - it is very instructive.


marioderksen wrote:
In any case, I can see where there might be flexibility if the una cum phrase only indicated a prayer for the Pope, rather than a declaration of unity with him. But una cum does mean "one with," doesn't it?

It means literally "together with" and refers to the fact that we offer the Mass for the Church AND for her leading members, the pope and the bishop and all true believers and professors of the Catholic Faith. In this place it means "and."

De la Taille invented a whole different idea, which is that the phrase is a way of saying that we all offer the Mass together. Now, it is true to say that the pope offers every Mass together with every other member of the Mystical Body, but that's not what this prayer means. It is also true that only those who are considered to be co-offerers may be named in the Canon. But that is not what the prayer means. De la Taille even admits that liturgists univerally disagree with him, and yet they are the experts.

But this is all irrelevant. Even if we were to adopt de la Taille's theory it still would not change the fact that all know that the layman does not necessarily agree with the priest's choices in each of the places marked with an "N".


marioderksen wrote:
That's fine, John. Then let's let the Church speak on what inclusion of a name in the canon means. That's the only way to go about figuring this out. I will look again at your essay. If I am not mistaken, even though you quote Pope Benedict XIV and his Ex Quo, you do not quote what Fr. Cekada has quoted, and what I have reproduced above.

Because it's irrelevant.

Edit: Actually, I checked, and I did indeed quote that section. See below in a separate post for the text.

marioderksen wrote:
But let us not forget, lest we become Abelardians, that beside the intention, there is also the act itself. And if the act is evil, the good intention means nothing.

Please elaborate. How is an act evil when the intention is good? It is specified by its intention.


marioderksen wrote:
Fine, and I agree that the priest wants to be totally Catholic and thinks this is the only way to do it. But how far do we want to take this? Did Martin Luther just want to remain faithful to Christ when he rejected the "accidentals" of the Catholic Church? Where does this end?

Well, your alternative is to adopt the mechanistic and unreal philosophy of Bishop Sanborn, in which intentions cease to be relevant.

Mario, Luther oppose the known mind of the Church. Known to him, that is. There is no proportion between his crimes and the manifestly innocent mistakes of the SSPX. Therefore there is no parallel.

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Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:54 pm
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marioderksen wrote:
That's fine, John. Then let's let the Church speak on what inclusion of a name in the canon means. That's the only way to go about figuring this out. I will look again at your essay. If I am not mistaken, even though you quote Pope Benedict XIV and his Ex Quo, you do not quote what Fr. Cekada has quoted, and what I have reproduced above.


Actually, I checked, and I did indeed quote that section. Here is how I did so:

Quote:
From: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/una_cum.html

Benedict XIV teaches, “…a commemoration of the supreme pontiff and prayers offered for him during the sacrifice of the Mass is considered, and really is, an affirmative indication which recognises him as the head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, and the successor of blessed Peter, and is the profession of a mind and will which firmly espouses Catholic unity.”[28]

Recalling St. Thomas’s eternal principle, “…in the moral order, the essential is that which is intended, and that which results beside the intention, is, as it were, accidental", we apply it to this teaching of Benedict XIV. The only possible conclusion is that when a priest inserts John Paul II’s name in the Sacred Canon in the mistaken belief that he is the pope, this is “the profession of a mind and will which firmly espouses Catholic unity.” To call it, on the contrary, schism, is simply to miss the point.


You might now appreciate why I think I've already dealt with all of these points.

Frankly, I don't know how anyone could disagree with my interpretation of Ex quo, but there are people who believe in the Guerardian Thesis, people who think that Benedict is pope, and people who think that it is just to refuse sacraments to traditional Catholics who have the cheek to disagree with them on some lawfully disputed point or other, so I guess I will have to accept cheefully that there are people who view the world as though human acts are specified by accidentals.

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Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:00 am
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Here is something to ponder in relation to this whole question. It should illustrate why a priori the “una cum” superstition is wrong, and which also shows why it took so long to be invented, and why it has even today obtained so few adherents.

One of the following propositions must be true, under the hypothesis of the neo-sedevacantists:

1. All worship in which an heretical usurper is, objectively considered, named as pope is unacceptable to God. Bishop Sanborn has explicitly asserted this in the past, saying rather colourfully that God “holds His nose” against any such Sacrifice. Fr. Cekada repeats and reinforces this assertion by arguing in the present article that any Mass offered by a priest who thinks that the false claimant is really pope is not “offered in the person of the Church.” If this is true, then there was no (objectively) acceptable public worship offered by the Catholic Church during many years during the 1960s. But this conclusion is blasphemous and heretical. Ergo.

2. Worship in which an heretical usurper is named as pope is objectively acceptable to God (contrary to the first proposition, which is definitely taught by both Fr. Cekada and Bishop Sanborn…). However, considered subjectively, there is a distinction. Such worship is acceptable to God, if and only if the offerer holds that the heretical usurper is actually truly the pope. If the offerer holds that the heretical usurper is not truly the pope, then his offering is not acceptable to God. But if this distinction is accepted, then for the first time in the history of the Church, different groups of Catholics must be separated from each other in offering public worship, depending upon their opinion about something which has not been the subject of any public judgement. This is schism dressed up with a halo. Ergo.

Since neither proposition can be true, the fundamental hypothesis must be false.

Ironically, the whole in persona Ecclesiae argument is contrary to the doctrine maintained by none other than Maurice de la Taille, in the very book quoted by Fr. Cekada. Apparently this theologian is only of value to Fr. Cekada when he holds an unique thesis contradicted by all of the other authorities he can find. But when it comes to Bishop Sanborn’s own in persona Ecclesiae theory poor old de la Taille gets tossed out the window.

Below are some extracts from his book, just in case anybody has any doubts about this question. But before we get to those, consider also this complete non sequitur in Fr. Cekada’s article:

Quote:
The appeal to general canonical principles for the legitimate deputation to confer sacraments, then, is closed to the “resistance” priest. Without such deputation, his Mass is gravely illicit — he does not offer it in persona Ecclesiae — and for that reason, a sedevacantist should not actively participate in it.


Both Fr. Cekada and, for example, Fr. Edward Black of the SSPX, were “sent” or deputed to serve the faithful on behalf of the Church, by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. If either lacks this “deputation” today, then something must have taken it from him. But Fr. Cekada neither argues nor even suggests any such thing. He places the entire question in positive terms and hence avoids this obvious and indisputable reality. Why?

The whole point is a non sequitur. What follows from the first sentence is that the “resistance” priest needs to re-examine the theoretical basis for his actions. It does not follow that his actions are wrong; it does not follow that his actions are unlawful or even less than perfect; it merely means that they must be defended on a different basis than that which he has hitherto stated.

And, if Maurice de la Taille is his authority, then Fr. Cekada should note that even if the SSPX priests were considered to be non-Catholics, they would still be acting in persona Ecclesiae every time they offered the Holy Sacrifice. See below.

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Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:59 am
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Maurice de la Taille, The Mystery of Faith, Book II, The Sacrifice of the Church. Sheed and Ward, London, 1950. Emphasis in the original, except for the bolding of one sentence at the end.

pp. 338-340.

THESIS XXXIII
§ 1. The Meaning, the Importance, and the Scope of the Question

In the first place, then, a doubt arises as to what value or acceptability and efficacy such a Mass could have.(1) For, as we have said, the sacrifice of any priest is infallibly acceptable, just in so far as the chief earthly offerer is the Church, in whose name the priest offers as the proper organ of the ecclesiastical body. But how shall we consider that the Church offers through the priest whom she has cut off? The priest himself may be free from his erstwhile guilt, he may be repentant, nevertheless he is now guilty of the sin of contumacious offering of the sacrifice. In such a case, where, to use the words of Scotus (quoted by us above, Th. XXV), is the “acceptable offerer”, where is the “good will of the offerer (voluntas offerens)”? How could the acceptability of the sacrifice come from the active offering of such an one?

Will you say that the acceptability rests with Christ, the principal offerer? True, Christ is the principal offerer of every Mass, but not, as we have said, in the sense that when Christ through the priest makes a new consecration He at the same time elicits a new act of offering. The offering of each Mass by Christ is virtual, not actively elicited in each case: through His one unique offering elicited long ago, and by virtue of which we now offer, He virtually offers each sacrifice coming from His mystic body, which we are. Hence, if any offering cannot be considered to come from His body, the Church, the offering of our Head cannot be considered in any degree whatever to pour its virtue into that offering. Hence, any sacrifice that does not proceed from the Church will have no acceptability derived from Christ’s offering.(2)

Indeed, not only does acceptability seem to be lacking in the sacrifice of a priest who is cut off, but also validity of the consecration. For no priest can offer except on the part of the Church, as we have said; and without a true offering no consecration is valid. Hence if the priest who is cut off cannot offer on behalf of the Church, evidently he cannot consecrate validly.

We see, then, that there are intrinsic reasons for doubting, not merely the acceptability, the value to us, but even the validity of the Mass of the priest who is cut off. Our Catholic doctors of theology have never raised the question (1) whether the power of consecrating was lost or the sacrifice itself infected by the badness or unworthiness alone of the minister.(2) The real and only question at issue was: what value, if any, could be assigned to the Mass of priests separated from the Church’s communion by heresy, apostasy, schism or excommunication, or of such as were at any rate deprived by Church law of the right to exercise their office though not cut off from the Church.



1 In disputing the acceptability of such a sacrifice, we do not question the value in itself of the Victim (for wherever our Victim is its value is infinite), but ask: what is the value before God of our offering of that Victim. Because sacrifice (in the active sense) is not the victim offered, but the offering which is made of the victim. Hence it is that in estimating the value of the sacrifice we consider rather the good will of the giver (as is the way among men), than the value of the gift, as Catholic theologians have remarked: St. Thomas, 3, S. 79, 5, C.; Scotus, Quodlib., 20; Bellarmine, De Missa, 1, 2, c. 4, etc.
2 In this connection there is no exact parity between the sacraments (baptism, for instance) and the sacrifice. Baptism can be conferred by a person who never was or never will be in the Church; in baptism it is Christ, not the Church, who acts through the person baptising. Not so in the sacrifice. The reason for the distinction is that in the sacrament as such it is not man who acts towards God, but God who, through His ministers, acts towards man, imparting a certain sanctification to him; this action, as an action of God, will be always holy, and, if the necessary conditions are present, always effective. But in the sacrifice as such it is not God who acts towards man, but man who acts towards God: he offers something to God. And in order that this action of his may be acceptable to God, it must come from a man who is himself acceptable to God: all the more because, as we have said, in the Mass there is no oblative action elicited here and now by Christ, but only from us mortal men. We must then find an acceptable offerer among ourselves. The fact that our sacrifice is also a sacrament does not militate against this disparity. Because (logically) the sacrament of the Eucharist presupposes the sacrifice and not conversely. For the Body and Blood of Christ is in the sacrament only in so far as it is the Victim of the sacrifice which we are to partake of by way of banquet in communion. Moreover, the transubstantiation is caused by the rite of consecration, and it is formally in the rite of consecration that our sacrificial action consists. Of itself, therefore, and necessarily in the case of the Eucharist, the concept of sacrifice comes before the concept of sacrament.

1 Even Cyprian does not raise this question, and I think Saltet in his fine work Les Rdordinations, 1907, pp. 28 33, and following him Batiffol, in his otherwise excellent treatise L’Eglise naissante et le catholicisrne 1909, pp. 453—454, interpret him rather too strictly. For Cyprian thought that Basilides, Martialis and Fortunatianus also had lapsed into public apostasy, which is a profession of heresy, and indeed the worst of its kind, and which therefore implied that they were cut off from communion with the Church. Moreover, such men (apostates) were considered by positive ecclesiastical law (Epist. Synod, ad cler, et pleb. Hisp., n. 6. P. L. 3, 1028—1031) as unauthorised to offer sacrifice. They were thus within the categories to be reviewed immediately of priests degraded or cut off, and not merely as bad priests. It would be well to keep in mind here the arguments we have already advanced on this subject (XXVII). The inferences to be deduced from the present discussion should also be noted.
2 The infection or spoiling of the sacrifice here should be understood as such as would affect the validity of the sacrifice. One or two Catholic theologians, e.g. Matthaeus Galenus (XXVII), thought that, even if the sacrifice were validly offered, its value could be affected by the bad conscience of the minister.




pp. 394-397.

§ 3. The Theological Solution of the Question

(I) Just as a person who is baptised cannot be so completely cast out from the Church as to be IN EVERY WAY as the heathen and the publican; but, if he enters into lawful marriage, his marriage will be sacramental; if he receives the Eucharist, his communion will be sacramental (a thing not to be thought of in case of the heathen); so, too, and even much more so, a priest, though cut off ever so much from the Church, STILL RETAINS THAT MINISTERIAL UNION WHEREBY, HAVING ONCE BEEN CONSTITUTED BY GOD THE AGENT (procurator) OF THE CHURCH FOR THE OFFERING OF SACRIFICE, HE REMAINS THE AGENT OF THE CHURCH FOR ALL TIME (1); the Church doing through him whatever he attempts, even unlawfully, to do, through the power of the commission entrusted to him by God. He is and remains the organ of the body. The body may ban the organ, the organ may forsake the body, but it is still the organ, and whatever it does or desires to do as organ is done as from the Church.

You will say: How does the Church act through one through whom she does not wish to act, as is plainly indicated to the priest who has been degraded by her, and is even more plainly understood in the case of one cut off from her?

I reply: The refusal of the Church is not absolute; she certainly manifests her unwillingness, but this does not amount to au absolute refusal to act through him. For indefectibly holy and faithful to God as the Church is, she cannot absolutely wish anything contrary to the order fixed by God. But God joined both together, priest and Church, for the offering of sacrifice. Hence the Church in her holiness cannot absolutely wish to rescind that union. No matter how much she may prohibit the priest, no matter how much she may hold him in abhorrence, nevertheless she is still hound to him and wedded to him, so to speak. And what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Therefore whenever the priest means to offer the sacrifice he truly offers it and offers it on the part of the Church: for, though she does not wish him to offer at all, still when he does offer she wills that he do so in her name (the Church in this is nolens secundum quid, volens simpliciter).

Hence, to the question as to what a priest cut off from the Church or degraded can do in this matter, we answer, as all Catholics now do, that he can validly offer the sacrifice, adding meanwhile that, according to the teaching of the earlier theologians, he can do so because on the side of the Church the essential font or terminus a quo of sacrificial offering is not lacking, even in such cases.

So much for what the heretic can do in this matter. If, however, you ask what he does do in any particular case, the reply is not necessarily the same. For though the Church will certainly never fail her legate, her legate may fail the Church, being unwilling to act for the Church, in her name, his intention being simply and absolutely to act for himself only, or what is much more probable, to act as minister for a false sect.

And indeed, EVERY FORMAL AND OBSTINATE HERETIC, IF HE IS CONSISTENT, must be so affected towards the Church, as to exclude all connection with the Church in the offering of the sacrifice. For no one acts as minister of the true Church without desiring, implicitly at least, to exercise the ministry on her behalf RATHER THAN ON BEHALF of his false and schismatical sect. He must have, as we say, a prevalent intention of doing what Christ instituted to be done.(1) But no one is a formal and obstinate heretic unless he ABSOLUTELY sets his own opinion above the truth of faith, or his own will above the charity of union. And such a one can never act for the Church, unless at least at the moment of one or other celebration he is implicitly inconsistent, having at the time of offering a prevalent desire of offering for the Church, though habitually quite the opposite desire prevails. Hence in the case of one who is completely carried away with hatred of the true Catholic, Apostolic Church, namely the Roman communion, one might well conclude that the prevalent intention of such a one, if he is consistent, would be not to do anything as minister of the Church, but simply and absolutely as an official of his own sect.(1) In such a case he will do nothing, effect (conficiet) nothing in his Eucharistic celebration, for in no sense does he offer on behalf of the Church, as he himself, not the Church, deliberately and absolutely excludes such intention(2).

Should, however, such a one simply wish, at least in implicit intention, to act as minister of the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church, though in other ways in opposition, then his action will he effective and he will consecrate. In this case it should be borne in mind that the sacrifice is not offered by the separated one as separate, but it is offered by one who, though outside the Church (by his personal legal status and habitual intention), is nevertheless as one within the Church (by reason of his office or ministry, or inalienable deputation, and by the actual direction here and now, or rather correction of his intention).

Hence the axiom of the earlier theologians stands: “Outside the Catholic Church there is no place of true sacrifice.” For sacrifice, to be true, is made by one, not in so far as he is without, but in so far as he is and remains within; so that always in every case sacrifice is within the Church.

Hence, too, every true sacrifice is always the sacrifice of the Church.

1 His agency is irrevocable and his commission cannot be lost because, although induced by the ordination conferred by men (that is, by the prelates of the Church. either immediately in the case of the legitimately ordained, or mediately in the case of those ordained outside of unity), it is nevertheless given UNDER THE SEAL OF GOD. That seal and CHARACTER, once impressed, cannot be effaced by man. Hence the charter appointing one an agent or representative of the Church, in other words, appointing him priest, is eternal.

1 Or must wish, to use another common expression, to do what the Church does: that is to say, to do what, according to the faith of the Church, should be intended by her agent. We have already explained that no one offers sacrifice validly, except in so far as he intends to offer it on behalf of the Church.

1 It is by no means improbable that such a state of mind has been found at times in heretical priests, as known facts seem to prove. Optatus of Milevis throughout the whole of the sixth book of De schismate Donatistarum relates many indignities offered to the sacraments of the Catholics, as when, for example (ibid., 1. 2, c. 19. P. L. 11, 972; cf. Augustine, Ep. 139, 1. P. L. 33, 535), they threw the Eucharist to the dogs. We have also the testimony of Innocent III referring to certain Greeks apparently before his time: “For after the Church of the Greeks, with some of their followers and accomplices, withdrew from the obedience of the Apostolic See, the Greeks began to abominate the Latins to such an extent that they perpetrated many impious acts to show their contempt for them. For example, when the Latin priests had celebrated on their altars, the Greeks, as though the altars had been defiled thereby, refused to offer the sacrifice on them before they had been washed” (In Conch. Later, 4 D. 10, 435). Undoubtedly Nicephoras, sacristan to Michael Caerularius, trampled on the Eucharist of the Latins, though this was more through the hatred of the azyms or the unleavened bread used by the Latins than of the Roman name (P. G. 120. 744 and P. L. 143, 1214—1215).
2 It was according to this principle that William of Paris interpreted the harsher expressions of the Fathers to the effect that the sacrifices of heretics were cursed by God: it is to be assumed that they took it that the heretic acted as a heretic, rejecting the ministry of the Catholic Church, and exclusively and ostentatiously adopting the ministry of his perverse sect. In such a case the celebrant is certainly not conformed to the mind and the intention of the Catholic Church, and for this reason we can say that he abandons THE FORM of the Church and follows one which is alien to it (see De sacramento ordinis, c. 4, pp. 534—535). We would not say that this exposition of these Fathers is improbable, especially seeing that the Fathers hardly ever had in mind merely material, but always formal heresy; and besides some, especially among the Africans, were rather prone to lose sight of that perverse facility, deep-rooted in our imperfect minds, for inconsistency and self-contradiction, and showing itself not rarely but quite often, by what may be called “a want of logic in practice”.

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Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:03 am
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John Lane wrote:

1. [i] If this is true, then there was no (objectively) acceptable public worship offered by the Catholic Church during many years during the 1960s.


Not necessarily. What about the mystery Bishop with ordinary jurisdiction who is out there somewhere, has not fallen into heresy, that no one can point to? Haven't you always said there must be at least one bishop with ordinary jurisdiction as required for the indefectability of the church? Who can say what this mystery bishop was saying at the Te igitur for all these years? If he has seceretly refused to assent to all the changes, and therefore kept his jurisdiction and membership in the Catholic faith, it is not so outlandish to think that he also completely resisted the innovators of these errors, and therefore never included their names in his worship.


Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:46 am
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brogan wrote:
Haven't you always said there must be at least one bishop with ordinary jurisdiction as required for the indefectability of the church? Who can say what this mystery bishop was saying at the Te igitur for all these years? If he has seceretly refused to assent to all the changes, and therefore kept his jurisdiction and membership in the Catholic faith, it is not so outlandish to think that he also completely resisted the innovators of these errors, and therefore never included their names in his worship.


I think you are probably right, Brogan, it's an excellent objection. But let me think about it for a day or two.

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Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:31 pm
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John Lane wrote:
brogan wrote:
Haven't you always said there must be at least one bishop with ordinary jurisdiction as required for the indefectability of the church? Who can say what this mystery bishop was saying at the Te igitur for all these years? If he has seceretly refused to assent to all the changes, and therefore kept his jurisdiction and membership in the Catholic faith, it is not so outlandish to think that he also completely resisted the innovators of these errors, and therefore never included their names in his worship.


I think you are probably right, Brogan, it's an excellent objection. But let me think about it for a day or two.


Doesn't this acceptable worship need to be visible as well?

I see now that Mike made this same point here:

http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forum ... =6785#6785


Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:02 pm
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marioderksen wrote:
Clement wrote:
This is begging the question. Has Father Cekada indeed reasonably demonstrated so? This is the very issue in question, isn't it? This kind of definitive statement isn't helpful to this discussion progressing.

Clement, all I'm saying is that I believe Fr. Cekada's argument is reasonable. I am writing on this forum to see if someone has a reasonable argument against what Fr. Cekada is saying. But I'd like people to interact with Fr. Cekada's 10 points, not just make statements about how long it took Fr. Cekada to figure this out, or the like.


Mario, I understand that you think it reasonable and I can see that you really are just trying to get to the bottom of all this. I was just pointing out that to argue from the stance that it IS reasonable objectively doesn't leave any room for progress. It reminds me a bit like non sedevacantists beginning a debate by insisting that sedevacantists are judging the pope, which no man can do, which of course doesn't even let the debate get off first base. That's all.

Yes, Father Cekada drew what YOU think is a logical conclusion, not everybody is convinced that his premises are valid much less his conclusions.

Quote:
But it's not enough to state, "I do not believe Benedict XVI is the Pope. Therefore, I am not offering Mass in union with him" and then go ahead and say, "Amen" at the end of the canon, in which Benedict is mentioned as Pope. Please have somebody demonstrate how assisting at an una cum Mass is not offering Mass in union with Benedict, if that's what the priest is doing. Perhaps I did miss it. It seems I am missing direct interaction with Fr. Cekada's arguments on that matter.

Mario


John did far more than just make the statement cited above. He explained what you are requesting to be demonstrated in the post that Zaqueu referred you to, which was also the very same post I had in mind when I thought you may have missed something. Did you read that one? It might clear things up a little for you. If you disagree it would be good to see exactly what you disagree with and why.

All I can take from this discussion is that Father Cekada's position seems to somehow put an automatic over-ride on a person's will and intentions (which are everything in our moral actions) and makes what he thinks are external actions take precedence. It is the opposite to what I have understood counts with our actions. For example, if someone thinks something is a mortal sin and it isn't, yet they go ahead and do it, they still sin mortally. Their intention is everything. Likewise if something thinks something is not a mortal sin and it is, and they go ahead and do it innocently, they are not culpable. Our actions are subject to our will, not the other way around. Correct me if I have understood this wrongly. So to my mind, I cannot see that all the sedevacantists who have ever attended una cum masses legitimize the Ecumenical, One World Church for example by their attendance. This is precisely the opposite to what their whole lives stand for. If it were true that their attendance at an una cum mass meant this is so, does that mean that once they are outside of mass and living their daily lives as sedevacantists that they are rejecting the Ecumenical One, World Church or does this mass attendance over-ride all their beliefs and actions outside of mass also? I can't work it out and I wish someone could answer these questions.

Robert,

The point you make also crossed my mind. I'm not sure if it is relevant to the point John was making though, as he was not talking about a visible church but acceptable worship, though of course the two are inseparable. I don't know and would like to see more on this.

In Xto,
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Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:15 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Here is something to ponder in relation to this whole question. It should illustrate why a priori the “una cum” superstition is wrong, and which also shows why it took so long to be invented, and why it has even today obtained so few adherents.

2. Worship in which an heretical usurper is named as pope is objectively acceptable to God (contrary to the first proposition, which is definitely taught by both Fr. Cekada and Bishop Sanborn…). However, considered subjectively, there is a distinction. Such worship is acceptable to God, if and only if the offerer holds that the heretical usurper is actually truly the pope. If the offerer holds that the heretical usurper is not truly the pope, then his offering is not acceptable to God. But if this distinction is accepted, then for the first time in the history of the Church, different groups of Catholics must be separated from each other in offering public worship, depending upon their opinion about something which has not been the subject of any public judgement. This is schism dressed up with a halo. Ergo.


This second point is very interesting. As Mario has pointed out, Father Cekada's argument is based only on the sedevacantist attending una cum masses, as this is apparently not consistent with their beliefs. Therefore, none of his arguments and moral conclusions apply to non sedevacantists attending una cum masses obviously. So, if it is okay for them then we do have a unique situation with does indeed seem schismatic where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is divided in two, so to speak, where one mass is okay for one set of Catholics with certain beliefs that are not dogma (sedevacantists) and another mass is okay for another set of Catholics with certain beliefs that differ from the former (non sedevacantists). There is no separation in dogma between the two groups, therefore they are both Catholic and all should be able to attend any valid Holy Sacrifice of the Mass yet according to Father Cekada this is not so. This is unheard of and doesn't sit well with me as it seems that within time we would have a real schism where Catholics are formally divided in worship and unity. It is one thing if a person chooses to worship at one mass or another in accordance with one's personal opinions, but is an entirely different case where choice is no longer an option but where some Holy Sacrifices of the Mass are outlawed. It seems to defy the first mark of the Catholic Church as being One. Anyone have any comments on this?

One last thought, does Father Cekada forbid non sedevacantists to attend his non una cum masses, as this is not consistent with their judgment of who is pope? Wouldn't their attendance and "Amen" at the end of the Te Igitur where Father leaves Benedict's name out be an implicit approval that Benedict is not pope and therefore be a lie for them? Does their action of attending a non una cum mass over-ride their belief that Benedict is pope? Can anyone answer these questions, as they are real questions? Mario, what do you think?

In Xto,
Clement


Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:00 pm
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Robert Bastaja wrote:
Doesn't this acceptable worship need to be visible as well?

I see now that Mike made this same point here:

http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forum ... =6785#6785


Yes, I agree with this. I had completely forgotten Mike's thread, which should now get some attention. :)

The bishop-with-jurisdiction we say must always exist is a visible member of the Church, visibly a bishop, visibly retaining jurisdiction. This must all be verified at least after the fact, by theologians theorising about this era.

The same would surely be true about the public worship of the Church. It must be visible, and visibly Catholic. Would Fr. Cekada fall back to the same position as all non-Guerardian sedevacantists do with respect to the continuity of the hierarchy, and say, well the true worship of the Church always continued, but we can't say who was offering it for a few years there?

I doubt it. But it would be worth asking.

It would also be interesting to see whether Bishop Sanborn would apply his Guerardian principles and argue that the worship of the Church, like the continuity of the hierarchy, was "materially" carried on, even though it was "formally" interrupted. And if you think that makes no sense at all, I agree! :)

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Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:42 pm
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Clement wrote:
This second point is very interesting. As Mario has pointed out, Father Cekada's argument is based only on the sedevacantist attending una cum masses, as this is apparently not consistent with their beliefs.


No, Fr. Cekada includes a lengthy "demonstration" that Mass offered by a non-sedevacantist priest is necessarily gravely illicit, because it is not offered in persona Ecclesiae, and the SSPX are guilty of schism, however you slice and dice them. This would place those Masses outside of the lawful reach of all Catholics, leaving them all at the tender mercy of Fr. Cekada and his friends, even if those Catholics were not sedevacantists.

Yet, despite this universality of unlawfulness (i.e. such Masses are unlawful, therefore they are unlawful for all) Fr. Cekada says in his article that he regards the rather narrow question of whether or not sedevacantists can assist at such Masses as most important for the very future of the traditionalist movement!

Fr. Cekada writes, "Why is it wrong for a sedevacantist to assist actively at a traditional Latin Mass in which the priest employs the phrase Benedict our Pope in the Canon? Because I have written much over the years about sedevacantism, canon law and the sacred liturgy, I am now often asked this question. In this article I will answer it at some length, because I consider the issue crucial for the future of the traditionalist movement." Emphasis added.

I found those words rather startling when I first read them, and the impression has not dimmed. What could he possibly mean? I mean, I find the issue to be of crucial importance, because if I took his view I'd be home alone for most of the year, and also because I think that Bishop Sanborn has single-handedly inserted into the sedevacantist milieu his Guerardian theory on this question, which in my opinion is nothing more than schism wearing a white robe, and so far it has shown itself to be virile enought to survive and even grow to some extent. And thirdly, this stance scares people away from the sede vacante thesis and gives them reassurance that sedevacantism is the dangerous nonsense they have been told that it is. For these reasons, this questions seems exceedingly important to me.

But from Fr. Cekada's point of view, how could it be "crucial for the future of the traditionalist movement"? What could that possibly mean? This is not a rhetorical point - I really have no idea what he means by that comment.


Clement wrote:
It is one thing if a person chooses to worship at one mass or another in accordance with one's personal opinions, but is an entirely different case where choice is no longer an option but where some Holy Sacrifices of the Mass are outlawed. It seems to defy the first mark of the Catholic Church as being One. Anyone have any comments on this?

I agree with you, of course. The other way of seeing how weird this is, is to consider the status of the sede vacante thesis. It's a private judgement, not a public one. That is, it is made by individuals and lacks the status of a public judgement. It is binding on those who see it, to the degree that they see it. It seems exceedingly odd to assert that the public worship of the Church is to be divided according to a private opinion.


Clement wrote:
One last thought, does Father Cekada forbid non sedevacantists to attend his non una cum masses, as this is not consistent with their judgment of who is pope? Wouldn't their attendance and "Amen" at the end of the Te Igitur where Father leaves Benedict's name out be an implicit approval that Benedict is not pope and therefore be a lie for them?

At the very least you'd think he would need to add an additional clause to his requirements for attending his chapels - "The priest offering Holy Mass here does not mention Benedict XVI in the Te igitur. If you assist at this Mass and you think that Benedict XVI is the pope, then you are uttering a pernicious lie. We cannot permit this, so if you think that Benedict XVI is pope, you are not welcome here."

That would do it. Refusing people Holy Communion wouldn't do the trick either - it's about the Holy Sacrifice, not Holy Communion.

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Clement wrote:
All I can take from this discussion is that Father Cekada's position seems to somehow put an automatic over-ride on a person's will and intentions (which are everything in our moral actions) and makes what he thinks are external actions take precedence. It is the opposite to what I have understood counts with our actions. For example, if someone thinks something is a mortal sin and it isn't, yet they go ahead and do it, they still sin mortally. Their intention is everything. Likewise if something thinks something is not a mortal sin and it is, and they go ahead and do it innocently, they are not culpable. Our actions are subject to our will, not the other way around. Correct me if I have understood this wrongly.


Well, we still say that something is "unlawful" even if a given individual does not realise it and therefore does not sin when he violates the law. So I wouldn't say that our will is "everything" but I still agree with your point. What you are putting your finger on is what I have tried to point out many times, including in the post above, regarding the status of the sede vacante thesis. It's private, not public. These are essentially technical terms, and I think sometimes we fail to appreciate the meaning and import of them.

When a local bishop finds a culprit guilty of heresy and excommunicates him, that is a public judgement. That is, a judgement made with the authority of the Church and which as a consequence has "standing" in the Church. Sometimes this concept is referred to as "before the face of the Church". Only somebody holding an office in the Church can give something standing; can declare it before the face of the Church. So, even though only one ordinary might have made that judgement, the judgement is in some sense that of the Church herself. It is made with her authority. It doesn't mean it must be right, because as all know, the local bishop is not infallible, and in any case heretics are not judged infallibly. But it does mean that the judgement cannot be ignored by Catholics. It must be taken into account in any further intercourse with the culprit; it means that the culprit has a new status too - he is no longer just another Catholic, but rather he is now regarded legally as a heretic.

The same is true of a religious group which is regarded by the Church, either because of a public judgement or various other public acts which clearly imply it, as a sect.

I repeat, the public judgement is not necessarily, and usually is not, infallible. Therefore the existence of it does not mean that what is already objectively true is "more" true, and it certainly doesn't make a fact objectively true when before it was not so. Truth is correspondence with reality. Something either corresponds with reality or it doesn't. The public judgement is a new fact, which adds weight to the argument in favour of a given position, and which should and would move the mind of any reasonable and good Catholic. But it is not in itself a proof of the truth, and it doesn't change the truth.

To give a very different example in aid of clarity, consider the approval of the Fatima apparitions by the Bishop of Leira. That approval, by one ordinary, gave the judgement regarding the apparitions a public status. The apparitions were already "public" in the everyday sense of the term, of course. The approval did not necessarily make them less "secret." But suddenly it was necessary to be more respectful of the judgement that the apparitions were good. The Church had given her, perhaps provisional, yet real, approval. She had declared, through her local bishop, that there was nothing contrary to faith or morals in the events at the Cova.

This is why I have pointed out many times that not a single ordinary (i.e. bishop with jurisdiction) has declared the See of Rome vacant. This is a singular disposition of Providence that demands recognition and acceptance. In a very real sense, to treat the judgement that Benedict is not pope as though it had public status is to defy Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to tell Him that His Providence is insufficient, and that we know better than Him. All of that blasphemy is contained in the puffed up sedevacantist's insolent, arrogant, elevation of his own judgement to the level of a public judgement. It's as horrible as it is dangerous.

The moral questions must be assessed with this element included. If the Church had judged Benedict or his claim to the papacy, then it would be proper to speak of the recognition of him as pope (either in the Te igitur or outside of it) as "unlawful." That is, the objective truth would then have a standing which imposed it on all without distinction. It would be the law, not just the truth. It is important to distinguish this from the question of objective truth. It is still objectively true today that Benedict is not pope, despite the absence of a public judgement. A public judgement won't change that reality. But it will mean that all Catholics are obliged to accept this reality as real. All will be obliged, under pain of sin, to accept that Benedict was not pope. That is the difference between a law and a truth.

Further, we would say that once a public judgement was made and promulgated, there would be a basis for legal presumptions in respect of the matter. We could say that all are presumed, legally, to know that Benedict was not pope. Anybody who then insisted on being subject to him, or recognising him as pope, would be presumed to be a schismatic.

The moral question today is actually very simple to formulate. If you see that Benedict is not pope, you are obliged by that truth that you see. If you don’t see it, for whatever reason, then you are not obliged by that truth. It is still true, but those who don’t see it are not in any sense for that reason breaking the law. There is no general law.

In the case of a priest mentioning Benedict as pope in the Te igitur, he is fulfilling the law, which is the rubric which requires that the reigning Roman Pontiff be included at the point marked in the book with an “N”. Assuming, as we must, that the priest really believes that Benedict is pope, he is acting with perfect justice in doing this. He is acting lawfully.

In the case of the priest who omits the name, because he thinks Benedict is a heretic and not truly pope, he acts lawfully too. The rubrics require the omission of a name at that point if there is no reigning Roman Pontiff.

The layman in the pew, who participates in the oblation of either priest, consents to the priest acting lawfully as the priest understands the facts to be. The layman really does consent to all that the priest does, considered formally. That is, he consents and ratifies the sedeplenist priest’s compliance with the will of God as expressed in the law of the Church, or he consents and ratifies the sedevacantist priest’s compliance with the will of God as expressed in the law of the Church; either way, he approves what God approves.

This does not mean that he approves of the priest's mistake. He overlooks it, as God overlooks it. God is good. Is our eye evil because He is good?

Precisely because the question is lawfully disputed (that is, it is lawful to take either view), there is no presumption, legal or even in reason, that the layman in the pew agrees with the choices or judgements of the priest. The priest may believe in the Guerardian theory, or he may think himself empowered to give men dispensations from vows, or he may think that essentially private groups can give marriage rulings, or he may think there were two Sister Lucies, or even that it is lawful to use the pre-1948 liturgical books and reject most of Pope Pius XII's changes; all of these views are held by some traditional priests, depending on their personal dispositions, associations, and formation. In the present chaos all are aware that there are major differences of judgement about all manner of important things, including the very question of whether there is presently a Roman Pontiff. Laymen going to Mass are manifestly fulfilling their obligations and pursuing the salvation of their souls. They are not necessarily, by the mere fact of approaching any given priest for the sacraments, showing agreement with his choices and judgements. The very notion is, in the present crisis, preposterous.

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Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:47 pm
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Hey Elizabeth,

I see people have posted lots, and of course now I am back to work, so I don't know how much I can respond to. But I'll read it all.

eliz carroll wrote:

I 'm thinking along the lines of a good priest being simple and obedient. Something like, "This is the way the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has been said for two millienia. I have no authority to change the mass, my opinions and theories don't matter here. I will obey the tradition of whispering the name of N., our Pope because I am not the pope. The way to holiness is through humility and charity and denial of self. There are forces here beyond my control and puny understanding. I can't know why Russia was not consecrated to the Immaculate Heart, but now confusion reigns. I ask only to serve You, My Lord and offer the Mass for the poor sinners, the Church Suffering..."

Won't Almighty God know that the priest offering Mass is simply trying to obey?


Yes, yes, but you are confusing the issues here. Fr. Cekada's article is not directed against the priest who is saying this Mass. Fr. Cekada's article is directed at people who believe Benedict XVI is not the Pope but a heretic, and nevertheless assist at a Mass where Benedict is named in the canon as the Pope and therefore Supreme Authority of the Church, which the sedevacantist layman who assists does not believe. While Fr. Cekada also mentions something about SSPX priests and SSPX-like priests ("resistance clergy") and how their disobedience is schismatic, etc., that is not the main focus of the article. A priest who believes Benedict is the Pope will naturally mention his name in the canon. But what about those who go to his Mass who don't believe that? Can they join in a Mass offered in union with the man they believe not even to be a member of the Church? Fr. Cekada argues no.

Quote:
I think we do need to admit that the Oyster Bay 9 have a history of disobedience, and have every reason to be wary of a spirit of disobedience following. There ARE evil entities whose job is to cause disobedience and rebellion. I have been very concerned for years about the lack of exorcists among the trads (the NO at least have Fr. Amorth) Who is out there expelling demons from people, places and things?


Have you been talking to Fr. Dardis? :D

Quote:
Is it illogical to assume that demonic possessions are way, way up in numbers?


Not at all, but I can't take the demon quotient as being indicative of whether or not I may go to an SSPX Mass.

Quote:
So who is looking after the spiritual safety of the Traditional Priests? They are forced into the position of covering up their own [inevitable?] scandals and dysfunctions in order to save face - it has become a matter of survival and recruitment. There are the enemies of Tradition who will howl with glee when the trad priest fails.... But there they are, without jurisdiction, relying on their wits and epikia, having split after split, the old priests and bishops dying. A spirit of disobedience is therefore something to be very afraid of.


Yes, we have not prayed enough for the priests, bishops, sisters, and brothers, have we? But I don't think the "spirit of disobedience" is the problem here - I think it is simply the fact that once there is no Pope, and no hierarchy we know of, it's everyone for himself, fundamentally. Essentially, you have as many positions as you have people, or at least clergy, because even those who agree with one another only happen to do so. But Elizabeth, this is something we cannot solve. We cannot change this situation. We can only pray that God will put an end to it. However, the SSPX has the same problem since they are not under the authority of the man they believe to be the Pope. When push comes to shove, they do as they please, and Benedict cannot tell them anything. The SSPX's marriage tribunals, their doctrinal errors (on the universal ordinary Magisterium, for example), etc., are certainly not approved by "the Pope." I am bringing this up only to emphasize that the SSPX is not the solution to the problems in sedevacantist land. There are problems to be found no matter what position you take. The question is: What problems can we live with, can we tolerate, and what problems lead to contradictions? For example, there is no contradiction in the idea that once we have no Pope, confusion reigns. That's natural and to be expected. But there is plenty of contradiction in the idea that you can have a Pope you don't have to submit to, or only partially, or whose canonizations you can reject, etc. The SSPX is a perfect example of "becoming your own Pope." Not "Pope" Benedict teaches the SSPX; no, the SSPX teaches him. Not "the Pope" canonizes saints, but Bp. Fellay first needs to approve. Etc. When will this madness end?

BTW, on a personal note, I got a Christmas gift for your boys. :wink:

God bless,

Mario


Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:54 am
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marioderksen wrote:
Can they join in a Mass offered in union with the man they believe not even to be a member of the Church? Fr. Cekada argues no.


Correction: The Mass is not offered "in union with" Benedict.

First Fr. Cekada sets up the false interpretation of the Te igitur as a prayer of common oblation with whomever is named; Then he argues that the layman in the pew must necessarily give assent to every particular of the priest's actions; Then he draws his conclusion. While you insist on accepting his first premiss, you'll almost inevitably swallow his conclusion too.

marioderksen wrote:
There are problems to be found no matter what position you take. The question is: What problems can we live with, can we tolerate, and what problems lead to contradictions? For example, there is no contradiction in the idea that once we have no Pope, confusion reigns. That's natural and to be expected.

Ah, but that's where you really part company with the spirit of the article we are discussing. It is a fruit of precisely that spirit which says that we will not accept that there are legitimately disputed matters, but rather we will impose our views on all. This is true even in the insistence that the sedevacantist stay away from a Te igitur in which the wrong name is inserted, because that is implicitly to claim that the situation is not confused, as though the "pope question" (for example) were already the subject of a public judgement.

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Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:56 am
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John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
Please have somebody demonstrate how assisting at an una cum Mass is not offering Mass in union with Benedict, if that's what the priest is doing.


The priest is not offering the Mass "in union with" Benedict. I've said that already. It's a prayer for the pope.


Linguistically, Fr. Cekada points to four different possible meanings. It seems to me that the theological implications Fr. then points to are true even if the prayer is merely one for the Pope. A priest who is including Benedict XVI's name in the canon, even if he is just praying for him, is thereby manifesting that he, the priest, is united to what the sedevacantist holds to be a false church and a false head. Pope Benedict XIV says: "the commemoration implies a profession of due subjection to the Roman pontiff as head of the Church, and of a willingness to remain in the unity of the Church."

Quote:
For Fr. Cekada to quote Benedict XIV (i.e. the 14th) from "Ex quo" in one place, but then ignore the same document when it tells us what the meaning of the "una cum" clause is, preferring instead the novelty of de la Taille, is simply bad, bad, essay-writing, let alone theology. As an essay is deserves an "F." As theology it is junk.


I may not remember correctly now, but I don't think that Fr. Cekada's argument hinges on the adverbial meaning of una cum as "we offer together with...." A quick review of his section I.C reveals that even if it's just a prayer for the Pope, (most of) the problems remain. In fact, Fr. Thalhofer, one of the liturgists Fr. Cekada quotes, says further (I had seen the German original): "...at whose mention in the canon predilection is expressed as a sign of obeisance and faithful submission to the Apostolic See, the diocesan bishop (antistes – provost of the Church) and all those orthodox people who are at the same time (atque) caretakers (cultores) of the Catholic, apostolic Faith, whether it be through teaching, whether it be through science, or in whatever other manner." (I am not sure "predilection" is a good word here, but I couldn't find a more fitting word to translate it.)

Mario


Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:00 am
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marioderksen wrote:
Linguistically, Fr. Cekada points to four different possible meanings.

Which seems to me to be merely a way of avoiding the question of fact. It might mean or signify many things. It may have been meant to communicate one thing or the other. (Suddenly our precise sedevacantist clergy get all vague on us.) What does the liturgy actually mean? And for that we have numerous authoritative answers - it's a prayer for the pope. Any other response in the present circumstances is merely smoke-generation, I'm sorry. There isn't any excuse for it, Mario. Go look up some books on the liturgy and you'll see what I mean.


marioderksen wrote:
It seems to me that the theological implications Fr. then points to are true even if the prayer is merely one for the Pope. A priest who is including Benedict XVI's name in the canon, even if he is just praying for him, is thereby manifesting that he, the priest, is united to what the sedevacantist holds to be a false church and a false head.

No, he is praying the prayer that is there in the Roman Rite and which he therefore must pray. He mentions the man that he believes to be the Roman Pontiff because that's what the rubrics say to do. He holds that Benedict is pope despite Benedict's headship of the New Church. His will is to hold fast to the Church and he is under the illusion that do so so requires acknowledging, at least verbally, Benedict as pope. This is all completely manifest.

Now, Fr. Cekada says that despite all of this obvious fact, the necessary implication which the priest doesn't see but which exists anyway, is that if Benedict is pope then anybody subject to him is "united to a false church." The priest explicity rejects this implication. His whole life is a witness against it. But Fr. Cekada says that it "follows." And because Fr. Cekada sees this implication, the Mass is "schismatic". Incredible.

But despite Fr. Cekada having made this point, you insist that it's irrelevant, and only the sedevacantist's view of it matters. So let's put aside how unclear the mind at work in that article obviously is, and consider this (you say) unrelated argument. I am sitting there in the pew and I know that Benedict is not pope, and that the priest only acknowledges him because he is under the (understandable) illusion that to remain in the Catholic Church he must submit to this man as pope. Now, despite my known rejection of Benedict and his religion, the priest's mistake is deemed (by no known principle of theology or liturgy) to be mine too. Incredible.

And before you react to the comment that it is understandable that the priest thinks he must accept Benedict to remain Catholic, please try and remember that every single cleric of the Catholic Church accepted Paul VI as pope until well after Vatican II, and every single bishop with jurisdiction accepted him as pope for his entire reign, and to this very day, no known ordinary has rejected any of his successors.


marioderksen wrote:
Pope Benedict XIV says: "the commemoration implies a profession of due subjection to the Roman pontiff as head of the Church, and of a willingness to remain in the unity of the Church."

Yes, but in Fr. Cekada's hands, this becomes the exact opposite. Recognising the only serious claimant to the Holy See under the illusion that he is really the pope becomes some kind of proof of "schism." Alice in Wonderland never had so much fun with mirrors!


marioderksen wrote:
I may not remember correctly now, but I don't think that Fr. Cekada's argument hinges on the adverbial meaning of una cum as "we offer together with...." A quick review of his section I.C reveals that even if it's just a prayer for the Pope, (most of) the problems remain.

That's funny, Mario. :)

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Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:03 am
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New post A Common Fallacy
And Mario, you and anybody else following this discussion should take the time to read and digest this brief article by John Daly, entitled, A Common Fallacy: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/commonfallacy.html

It begins:

Quote:
John-Paul II is not the head of the Catholic Church - he is the head of a false religion. That is a true statement, which is sometimes used as an argument from which to draw the following conclusion: whoever recognises John-Paul II as head of his religion, therefore belongs not the Catholic Church, but to the false religion of which John-Paul II is objectively head - the religion often called the Conciliar Church.

I submit that this argument depends on a logical fallacy. It may be possible to justify its conclusion on some other grounds (though I don't think it is), but this argument at least will not wash. It may appear sensible until we examine it closely, but under close analysis it cannot pass muster in simple logic.

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Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:07 am
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John Lane wrote:
What does the liturgy actually mean? And for that we have numerous authoritative answers - it's a prayer for the pope.


I think this is perfectly clear. Authority can be so handy! As a sedevacantist who attends the SSPX, I find it most heartening that Benedict is prevented from gaining any of the benefits of the prayers offered for him as pope, considering he doesn't hold the office!

AMW


Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:46 am
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Dear Mario,

May I recommend a little back-issue reading to put things in context?

http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forum ... =2723#2723 - read down the page, as there are a few interesting posts, I think.

You may not have heard that the Britons Catholic Library Ecclesial Leaf Theory was warmed over and re-presented a couple of years ago. We call it the Microwaved Leaf Theory. The Anglo-Catholics had their Branch Theory. Exclusivist trads have their Leaf Theory. Think of the metaphor of the Mustard Tree in reverse. :)

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Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:49 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Clement wrote:
This second point is very interesting. As Mario has pointed out, Father Cekada's argument is based only on the sedevacantist attending una cum masses, as this is apparently not consistent with their beliefs.


No, Fr. Cekada includes a lengthy "demonstration" that Mass offered by a non-sedevacantist priest is necessarily gravely illicit, because it is not offered in persona Ecclesiae, and the SSPX are guilty of schism, however you slice and dice them. This would place those Masses outside of the lawful reach of all Catholics, leaving them all at the tender mercy of Fr. Cekada and his friends, even if those Catholics were not sedevacantists.



John,

Yes, of course. I forgot that part and was concentrating on the main thrust of the article being about sedevacantists, as was Mario. Now that you have reminded me that Father Cekada has outlawed attendance for all Catholics, sedevacantists and non sedevacantists alike at any mass of a non sedevacantist this brings me to an interesting point: Why write such a lengthy article with person of the sedevacantist in the main focus, if the mass is unlawful per se?

It is a moot point as to whether a person is a sedevacantist or a non sedevacantist IF the mass itself is off limits. If it's unlawful per se that is the main thing, the only thing that needs to be proven; anything further only serves to detract from the real issue.

If this unlawfulness of these masses per se can be proven without a doubt then the issue would take on a more scholarly, timeless stance without the need for people to make unfavorable moral judgments of another. The focus would be on the impersonal issue of the mass as opposed to being on the person (the sedevacantist). For example, when making an argument against attendance at a novus ordo mass it is better to focus on the invalidity of the mass itself (which is relevant to all Catholics of any opinion) as opposed to constructing a list of perceived transgressions of particular individuals who may attend a novus ordo mass.

Also, as Father Cekada does cover in his article as a side issue that the masses of non sedevacantist priests are unlawful per se, then it does leave us with in a situation where we either had an invisible church with invisible, acceptable public worship during the 1960's or we had a church where there was NO acceptable worship at all. Is either alternative possible? Shouldn't these over-arching questions which impact directly on the faith be resolved first before taking Father Cekada's hypothesis into consideration?

In Xto,
Clement


Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:44 pm
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Clement wrote:
Yes, of course. I forgot that part and was concentrating on the main thrust of the article being about sedevacantists, as was Mario. Now that you have reminded me that Father Cekada has outlawed attendance for all Catholics, sedevacantists and non sedevacantists alike at any mass of a non sedevacantist this brings me to an interesting point: Why write such a lengthy article with person of the sedevacantist in the main focus, if the mass is unlawful per se?

It is a moot point as to whether a person is a sedevacantist or a non sedevacantist IF the mass itself is off limits. If it's unlawful per se that is the main thing, the only thing that needs to be proven; anything further only serves to detract from the real issue.


I suppose that's true, Clement, but I think you might be reading too much into this here. One can tackle something from all sorts of different angles; I think it's quite in keeping with the spirit of scholasticism to focus on sundry aspects of a particular problem. This particular article of Fr. Cekada's focuses mainly on the una cum part. (I wouldn't assist at SSPX Masses for reasons other than una cum.) Let us remember that the article is not written only about SSPX Masses but about Masses una cum Ratzinger, whether they be offered by SSPX, indult priests, independents, you name it.

I remember when I was a sedevacantist and went to SSPX Masses on those Sundays when I couldn't get to a sedevacantist Mass. Back then, JPII was still at the helm of the New Church. Of course I inwardly disagreed with the "una cum JPII" part, but it really became an issue for me when it came to Passiontide and the Good Friday prayers were read "for the Pope," namely:

"Let us pray for our most holy Father John Paul II, that our Lord and God, Who chose him to the order of the Episcopate, may keep him in health and safety for His holy Church to govern the holy people of God. ... Almighty and everlasting God, by Whose judgement all things are established, mercifully regard our prayers, and in Thy goodness preserve the Bishop chosen for us: that the Christian people who are ruled by Thine authority, may under so great a Pontiff, be increased in the merits of faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end."

I don't know how those of you who are sedevacantists and go to the SSPX can somehow attend the Good Friday liturgy and "inwardly object" to this. I genuinely don't get it. There is no way I could agree with the above prayer, regardless of whether the priest is the most virtuous man on earth and has the purest intentions. Not for a second could I join in a petition that asks God to keep in health and safety -- FOR HIS HOLY CHURCH, no less! -- that apostate John Paul II, destroyer of the Faith, of the Church, and of souls. Nor could I ask God, in His goodness (!), to "preserve" this enemy of the Faith that God supposedly "chose for us." Nor could I tolerate the idea that I should be participating in a ceremony that calls him "so great a pontiff," and the absolute absurdity that under John Paul II, faithful Catholics could be "increased in the merits of faith." It's not what I believe, and I want nothing to do with such an absurd prayer--regardless of how well-meaning the priest is. The priest may believe this, but I don't. Therefore, I cannot participate in it. I find such a prayer to be insulting to God. This was a real crisis for me, and I eventually stayed home during those Sundays when I couldn't get to a sedevacantist Mass.

This is a bit off topic for una cum specifically, but I'd still be curious to see how other people respond to this.

Meanwhile, I have little time and first need to read all that has been written. If I have something to say that I think is worth mentioning, I will. God bless you.

Mario


Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:44 am
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marioderksen wrote:
(I wouldn't assist at SSPX Masses for reasons other than una cum.)


I had a feeling you weren't entirely open to the alternative view of this question. :)


marioderksen wrote:
I don't know how those of you who are sedevacantists and go to the SSPX can somehow attend the Good Friday liturgy and "inwardly object" to this.

I've never been to one, because I have always kept the Tre Ore at home. It's something my in-laws always did, and I picked it up from them.

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marioderksen wrote:

I don't know how those of you who are sedevacantists and go to the SSPX can somehow attend the Good Friday liturgy and "inwardly object" to this. I genuinely don't get it. There is no way I could agree with the above prayer, regardless of whether the priest is the most virtuous man on earth and has the purest intentions.


I don't agree with it and I don't say "Amen".

Quote:
I find such a prayer to be insulting to God.


How can God be insulted by a mistake made by someone who is striving to please Him in every other respect? And particularly in this unprecedented time of confusion and chaos.

Quote:
This was a real crisis for me, and I eventually stayed home during those Sundays when I couldn't get to a sedevacantist Mass.


I don't consider the mistaken intention of a prayer sufficient to keep me away from the rest of the liturgy of the Church. Either the SSPX is Catholic or it is not. There is no middle road. To stay at home as a practice, rather than worship God through the liturgy of the Church, together with other Catholics, in my mind, undermines and devalues the Church and the role Christ has given His Bride. It's like throwing the baby out with the bath water. I am not talking about the Good Friday liturgy as the Church imposes no obligation upon one to attend this.

Below is a prayer said before Mass which shows what is achieved by the Mass itself and the renewal of the Sacrifice of our Lord on Calvary. How can one possibly think that the same effects are obtained by offering the prayers in one's sitting room?

Eternal Father, I unite myself with the intentions and affections of Our Lady of Sorrows on Calvary
And I offer Thee the Sacrifice which Thy Beloved Son, Jesus, made of Himself on the Cross
And which He now renews on this holy altar
To adore Thee and give Thee the honour which is due to Thee
Confessing Thy supreme dominion over all things
And the absolute dependence of everything upon Thee
Who art our one and last end
To thank Thee for innumerable benefits received
To appease Thy justice aroused against us by so many sins
And to make satisfaction for them
To implore grace and mercy for myself, for "N", for all afflicted and suffering,
For poor sinners, for all the world, and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

AMW


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marioderksen wrote:
Clement wrote:
Yes, of course. I forgot that part and was concentrating on the main thrust of the article being about sedevacantists, as was Mario. Now that you have reminded me that Father Cekada has outlawed attendance for all Catholics, sedevacantists and non sedevacantists alike at any mass of a non sedevacantist this brings me to an interesting point: Why write such a lengthy article with person of the sedevacantist in the main focus, if the mass is unlawful per se?

It is a moot point as to whether a person is a sedevacantist or a non sedevacantist IF the mass itself is off limits. If it's unlawful per se that is the main thing, the only thing that needs to be proven; anything further only serves to detract from the real issue.


I suppose that's true, Clement, but I think you might be reading too much into this here. One can tackle something from all sorts of different angles; I think it's quite in keeping with the spirit of scholasticism to focus on sundry aspects of a particular problem. This particular article of Fr. Cekada's focuses mainly on the una cum part.
Mario


I was thinking along the lines of the Latin axiom "He who proves too much proves nothing".

I still hold that if the masses of all non sedevacantists are unlawful for ALL Catholics it should be enough to prove this one key point and the rest is irrelevant. The sedevacantist aspect is moot. Further, if the argument for unlawfulness per se stands this has grave implications for the Catholic Church. If the argument falls this also has grave implications. Mario, I don't know whether you can see that this issue is a lot bigger than the una cum and sedevacantists. You said you had some reading to catch up on and I'm sure this will clarify some things.

In Xto,
Clement


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Clement wrote:
I was thinking along the lines of the Latin axiom "He who proves too much proves nothing".

I still hold that if the masses of all non sedevacantists are unlawful for ALL Catholics it should be enough to prove this one key point and the rest is irrelevant. The sedevacantist aspect is moot. Further, if the argument for unlawfulness per se stands this has grave implications for the Catholic Church. If the argument falls this also has grave implications. Mario, I don't know whether you can see that this issue is a lot bigger than the una cum and sedevacantists. You said you had some reading to catch up on and I'm sure this will clarify some things.

In Xto,
Clement


Clement, yes, I need to do some reading first. Regarding this particular point, though, remember that Fr. Cekada once wrote a booklet, published by TAN, called "The Problems with the Prayers of the Modern Mass." You might as well say that this booklet is irrelevant since Fr. Cekada also believes the New Mass is invalid (I assume, at least). However, not everybody is swayed by the same arguments, and I see nothing wrong focusing on other aspects of a problem that are also problematic. As long as what Fr. says is true, I don't care if he could be arguing something else instead.

Mario


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AMWills wrote:
I don't agree with it and I don't say "Amen".


But by your active participation in the liturgy, you are cooperating with everything that is going on. I think the idea that you can just "opt out" of certain liturgical prayers is unheard-of, mistake or no mistake on the part of the priest.

Quote:
How can God be insulted by a mistake made by someone who is striving to please Him in every other respect? And particularly in this unprecedented time of confusion and chaos.


Because, let's face it: the SSPX priest, if he is truly traditional, doesn't wish for one minute that God preserve John Paul II (or now Benedict XVI) to continue to govern the Church. Not even the priest really believes what he is petitioning God for. But aside from that, the sedevacantist who attends this liturgy believes the prayer to be objectively displeasing to God, in fact, absurd. I think at this point, the burden of proof is on the sedevacantist. He has to justify how he can possibly participate in such a liturgy. I read John Daly's article on the Common Fallacy and think it has many good points, though I am not sure this settles the case of una cum participation (not that this was the intention, anyway). More on that later when I have read more.

The Good Friday liturgy is prayed as a whole. I don't think people can actively participate and simply withhold their "Amen" from particular prayers they disagree with. I find the whole idea to be absurd.

Quote:
I don't consider the mistaken intention of a prayer sufficient to keep me away from the rest of the liturgy of the Church.


So now we've moved from simply a mistaken but well-intentioned priest to a mistaken intention in a liturgical prayer itself. Where does this stop? Can we assist at invalid Masses on the grounds that the priest intends to confect the sacrament validly? I know someone will argue that the intention is only mistaken accidentally and not essentially, that is, the Pope is simply being misidentified. But I ask: What do you, sedevacantist, believe? Why do you participate in a prayer that asks God to grant something that you find to be absolutely abhorrent, and that even the priest who prays it (9 times out of 10) doesn't really wish in the first place? Why don't you just stay home in that case? If you are actively participating in that liturgy, you are saying "Amen", even if you don't actually say it out loud.

Quote:
Either the SSPX is Catholic or it is not. There is no middle road.


I agree - and I would say it is definitely not Catholic, though I do not thereby conclude that all of its adherents, whether clerical or lay, are not Catholic. Not at all. But the institution as such, with its strange ideas and principles, is definitely not Catholic.

Quote:
How can one possibly think that the same effects are obtained by offering the prayers in one's sitting room?


I think that's a bit of a red herring because if the SSPX Mass is licit for the sedevacantist to attend, then of course he shouldn't stay home.

On to read more....

Mario


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John,

OK, I think I finally understand what you're saying, which is good because then there can be real conversation.

Pardon me if you've addressed what I'm saying already elsewhere - I will no doubt get to it eventually. :D I would say that it is one thing to make a mistake about who the Pope is, but it is another to say so-and-so is your Pope and then refuse submission to him. John, if the SSPX doesn't refuse submission to the man they insist is the Pope, then I don't know who does. I understand that their refusal of submission comes from their desire to remain entirely Catholic, so that they feel obligated to refuse, but I don't see how that changes the fact that they fit the definition of schism (though I personally wonder if they could be truly said to be "pertinacious" as they desire to be Catholic). I don't mean to make this a discussion about schism and the SSPX, but I am pointing it out to show that there's much more involved here than the priest simply misidentifying the Pope (as in your "Pius XI" vs. "Pius XII" example).

John, I think you shouldn't say here that your position is evident, either. :D I have a friend who never checked into the theology of it all and always thought that if you're a sedevacantist, you can't go to an SSPX Mass. That is obvious to him. (He's a convert from the indult.)

Quote:
The SSPX priests think that Benedict is pope.


Then let them finally start submitting to him! :D

Quote:
Now, you might see the force of my point about the "schimsatic" nonsense. By inserting that otherwise irrelevant material into his argument, Fr. Cekada gets the reader thinking that the priest's mistake is somehow culpable, and voila! the New Guinea example loses its force.


I think Fr. Cekada's points about schism are relevant, very relevant. Fr. X who says "Pius XI" instead of "Pius XII" actually submits to Pius XI, whereas SSPX priests don't do that with Benedict. I am not trying to chastise all SSPX priests here (I used to hold their position as well, after all); I am merely making clear that there is a serious difference here.

John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
If I recall correctly, there is nothing in Fr. Cekada's argument that is based upon the intentions or the life commitment of the priest. You keep focusing on the priest and the fact that he sincerely believes Benedict to be the Pope. Fr. Cekada's article is not based upon the priest's (lack of) "perfection" at all - he says it is irrelevant. I don't understand why you're bringing this up. Let's forget about the priest and his work and his intention and all that, and focus on the sedevacantist who assists.

You seem to have skipped over the "schismatic either way we slice him" section.


Oh, OK, I guess if I look at it in the context of what you just argued and I said, I can see how you say the schism issue is an integral part of the argument. It's something to take into consideration.

Quote:
But the same problem is manifest in the treatment of the sedevacantist who assists at the Mass. Nobody thinks he doesn't care who the pope is. Nobody thinks that he accepts Benedict's claim. Nobody thinks that the "Amen" at the end of the Canon acually means that he prays with the priest for Benedict as pope. Nobody thinks these things.


Given our times and circumstances, I personally am not prone to reading into people's actions. I personally don't infer anything when an SSPX person comes to a sede Mass, or a sede goes to an SSPX Mass. But what I'd like to know is - and what I think Fr. Cekada is getting at - is what the action objectively suggests.

Quote:
I do believe what the priest is praying, except for the changeable bits that I am not thought necessarily to be agreeing with.


Ah, here is the crux: "....that I am not thought necessarily to be agreeing with." Not thought by whom? According to whom? Fr. Cekada says you are thought to be agreeing with it, whereas you simply deny this. What evidence do you offer for this particular point? Is it really just the people who go to the same church with you? "Ask them, they all know what I believe..." ?

Quote:
You don't, for example, think that if Fr. Cekada mentions his Uncle Wesley in the Commemoration of the Living, contrary to the law of the Church, that I would be thought to agree with that, do you? Yet that really would be contrary to the law of the Church, whereas the mention of Benedict as pope is certainly not.


I don't know, John. I don't think I could assist at a Mass offered "una cum George Bush," could you? :D But that's what I'm here to find out. I thank you for the conversation.

Quote:

Perhaps we don't agree on the foundation of sedevacantism. I think it arises from the Catholic Faith, which is primary. The Novus Ordo people think that the primary thing is the claim of Paul VI, or JPII, or BXVI, and whatever they tell us the "faith" is this morning, that's what it is this morning. The "faith" is like the early morning news report - different and interesting every day.


But John, the Pope is the proximate rule of faith. Conservative Novus Ordos don't think anything substantial has changed. It has perhaps been "fleshed out" more, "deepened," etc., but they don't think it is contradictory to what went before. I am bringing this up because one can use the same "mistake" argument. The Catholic Faith, which is primary, was always explained, guarded, and taught by THE POPE. Novus Ordos believe no different. They believe that papally-ratified councils are binding upon their consciences (as do we); they believe the Pope has the authority to canonize saints (as do we); they believe the Pope has authority over the Church's liturgy (as do we); they believe the Pope's universally promulgated laws cannot be harmful or evil (as do we). The SSPX disagrees with all of those things. Why, John, do you say the SSPX is holding the True Faith but Novus Ordos are not? I would say neither side is holding the True Faith, and I don't understand how you can constantly excuse the SSPX (based on "mistakes" and "good intentions," etc.) but not the Novus Ordos (false worship, erroneous doctrines, etc.).

Quote:
Mario, you haven't got a clear grasp of the issues here. The reason we don't worship in common with "Novus Ordoites" is because of the false worship, not because of their ecclesiastical status.


So you are saying that the Motu/indult Mass is OK? Because that's not false worship (acc. to you). It's the 1962 Missal, which the SSPX uses also. Would you go into a Novus Ordo church to pray the Rosary with Novus Ordos? What about the Stations of the Cross if they're using the traditional version? Etc. I think this is a slippery slope.

Quote:
The SSPX are neither in schism nor in "objective" schism, whatever that is. I've asked before but never gotten a cogent answer. Is a man who falls off a cliff an "objective suicide"?


No, because falling is a passive thing. However, refusing submission to someone who you insist is the Pope is not. The Catholic Encyclopedia says: "An action which, as a matter of fact, is contrary to the Divine law but is not known to be such by the agent constitutes a material sin; whereas formal sin is committed when the agent freely transgresses the law as shown him by his conscience, whether such law really exists or is only thought to exist by him who acts. Thus, a person who takes the property of another while believing it to be his own commits a material sin; but the sin would be formal if he took the property in the belief that it belonged to another, whether his belief were correct or not" (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14004b.htm).

Mario


Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:32 am
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John Lane wrote:
What constitutes "active participation" does not necessarily include ratifying the priest's choices in those places in which the book as an "N". If the priest chooses to insert a name condemned by the Church, as the Acacians did during their schism, then that is a refusal of obedience and subjection to the Roman Pontiff and therefore a sin and a crime. But in this case it is neither, as all know. It is a difference of judgement about a lawfully disputed point.


OK, this makes sense. I'm not saying I agree, but it makes sense. What is your authority for saying that your active participation does not necessarily include ratifying the priest's ideas of who the Pope is?

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Please elaborate. How is an act evil when the intention is good? It is specified by its intention.


Catholic Encyclopedia: "A good intention can never hallow an action the content of which is wrong. Thus it never can be lawful to steal, even though one's intention be to aid the poor with the proceeds of the theft." (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08069b.htm) That's what I meant. Perhaps we don't mean the same thing?

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Well, your alternative is to adopt the mechanistic and unreal philosophy of Bishop Sanborn, in which intentions cease to be relevant.


I think intentions are relevant when it comes to judging the moral culpability of a person, but not when it comes to analyzing what is objectively taking place.

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Mario, Luther oppose the known mind of the Church. Known to him, that is. There is no proportion between his crimes and the manifestly innocent mistakes of the SSPX. Therefore there is no parallel.


Yes, but to Luther, he wasn't opposing the mind of Christ. To him, the Catholic Church was merely accidentaly, not essential, to knowing the will of Christ. I know I'm stretching things a bit here to draw the analogy with the SSPX, but I'm only doing so because I fear that this is a slippery slope. At the same time, the SSPX knows the mind of the Church (what they think is the Church), and that is: "You guys are schismatic or at least totally illicit. Stop doing what you're doing. Come back into full communion." I agree that they refuse communion with the "Holy See" because they think they have no other choice, but then again, every schismatic has a "reason" for his schism....

Mario


Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:59 am
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marioderksen wrote:
I agree - and I would say it is definitely not Catholic, though I do not thereby conclude that all of its adherents, whether clerical or lay, are not Catholic. Not at all. But the institution as such, with its strange ideas and principles, is definitely not Catholic.


You absolutely need to read more.

Try doing some reading about the office of the episcopacy, for example. Take particular note of the meaning of the various accoutrements of Ordinaries, and then take close note of which of these Bishop Dolan, for example, omits from his own "setting". None, I believe.

Then consider how any hostile person could very cogently argue that Bishop Dolan is implicitly usurping the office of an ordinary and reflect upon the gravity of that charge.

In making this research and reflecting upon it's implications, please also keep in view the contrasting example of Bishop McKenna, among whose many edifying qualities is his complete disregard for any of the trappings of the episcopate, right down to saying that he is content to be addressed as "Fr." McKenna since he is not actually a Successor of the Apostles, as the theologians understand that very precise term. He is, like all traditional bishops, but a man with episcopal orders but without any mission from the Church for the office of the episcopacy.

Now, any hostile commentator could easily show that this implicit usurpation of the episcopal office by Bishop Dolan is about as un-Catholic an act as it is possible to conceive. He could emphasise with numerous quotes from weighty authorities the essentially hierarchical nature of the Catholic Church and how any disorder introduced into her essentially hierarchical structure is a horrible and indefensible rent, especially if it is a towering arrogation of authority and dignity such as the present case has been shown to be. He could accuse poor Bishop Dolan, who really is only trying to ensure that the dignity of the episcopal orders he bears are properly respected, of making himself a prince of the Church, of entering in by another way, and not by the door, of schism, etc.

In a word, a hostile commentator could make a terrible mess of your perfect little scene in Cincinnati, Mario. Please note, I am making no attack on Bishop Dolan. I am fully convinced that he has no intention whatsoever to usurp any office. I present these comments merely to point out that in this most profound of mysteries ever to endarken the Church, every man lives in a glass house. Rocks really ought to be left lying on the ground. Actions which to one man seem edifying and even perfect, can seem to another man to be outrages.

I won't be online for the next week, so please everybody be good.

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Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:54 am
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marioderksen wrote:
But by your active participation in the liturgy, you are cooperating with everything that is going on.


Active participation when praying "for" someone is precisely what is under dispute. Fr Cekada's article doesn't prove it and neither have you. You are entitled to your opinion, and may do what you wish, but I am not obliged to be convinced of something for which evidence is sadly lacking. My problem is with your expectation of me (and other sedevacantist SSPX attendees) who don't share your opinion, to have to act in accordance with your view. You do not have the authority to expect such a thing.

Quote:
Because, let's face it: the SSPX priest, if he is truly traditional, doesn't wish for one minute that God preserve John Paul II (or now Benedict XVI) to continue to govern the Church. Not even the priest really believes what he is petitioning God for. But aside from that, the sedevacantist who attends this liturgy believes the prayer to be objectively displeasing to God, in fact, absurd.


Well, thank you for telling me what I believe. The fact is I don't think the prayer is absurd at all. I think it is an appropriate prayer for someone to offer who believes that Benedict is legitimately pope. Nor do I think the prayer is displeasing to God. I do not think that God is displeased by genuine mistakes. John Lane highlighted this previously:

"In the case of a priest mentioning Benedict as pope in the Te igitur, he is fulfilling the law, which is the rubric which requires that the reigning Roman Pontiff be included at the point marked in the book with an “N”. Assuming, as we must, that the priest really believes that Benedict is pope, he is acting with perfect justice in doing this. He is acting lawfully.

In the case of the priest who omits the name, because he thinks Benedict is a heretic and not truly pope, he acts lawfully too. The rubrics require the omission of a name at that point if there is no reigning Roman Pontiff.

The layman in the pew, who participates in the oblation of either priest, consents to the priest acting lawfully as the priest understands the facts to be. The layman really does consent to all that the priest does, considered formally. That is, he consents and ratifies the sedeplenist priest’s compliance with the will of God as expressed in the law of the Church, or he consents and ratifies the sedevacantist priest’s compliance with the will of God as expressed in the law of the Church; either way, he approves what God approves.

This does not mean that he approves of the priest's mistake. He overlooks it, as God overlooks it. God is good. Is our eye evil because He is good?"


Quote:
I think at this point, the burden of proof is on the sedevacantist. He has to justify how he can possibly participate in such a liturgy.


Nice try. The burden of proof remains with those who are claiming that God is displeased with the prayer and should therefore forego attendance at Mass in order to register a protest. You are the one who is overruling one of the Church's precepts and acting with an authority you don't possess.

Quote:
The Good Friday liturgy is prayed as a whole. I don't think people can actively participate and simply withhold their "Amen" from particular prayers they disagree with. I find the whole idea to be absurd.


I've noticed. But I, and others, are not bound by your application of "absurd", nor your definition of "active participation" unless you can produce some evidence to show that the same is also held by the Church, which to date has not been the case.

Quote:
So now we've moved from simply a mistaken but well-intentioned priest to a mistaken intention in a liturgical prayer itself. Where does this stop? Can we assist at invalid Masses on the grounds that the priest intends to confect the sacrament validly?


I'm sorry if this was unclear. By "mistaken intention", I meant that the priest is mistaken in the identity/status of one for whom he intends to pray. The prayer in the Good Friday Liturgy, with which you take exception, is, once again, a prayer for the pope, just as the "una cum" is a prayer for the pope. It does not have any effect on validity.

Quote:
But I ask: What do you, sedevacantist, believe? Why do you participate in a prayer that asks God to grant something that you find to be absolutely abhorrent, and that even the priest who prays it (9 times out of 10) doesn't really wish in the first place?


I believe all that the Catholic Church teaches. I am subject to Her. I do not participate in a prayer for a man I know is not pope. I do not expect God to grant a prayer offered by those who mistakenly think he is pope. I don't delve into what the priest "really wishes in the first place", as I might be right or I might be wrong. All that concerns me about the prayer in question is that it is in subjection to the rubrics which governs what is petitioned.

Quote:
Why don't you just stay home in that case? If you are actively participating in that liturgy, you are saying "Amen", even if you don't actually say it out loud.


I don't stay at home because I don't believe I can offer God the adoration, worship, thanksgiving and supplication that the Church offers. I wish to share in Her benefits, be part of Her prayers, have Her supply my defects and submit to Her rule as Our Lord instructed.

Quote:
Either the SSPX is Catholic or it is not. There is no middle road.


Quote:
I agree - and I would say it is definitely not Catholic, though I do not thereby conclude that all of its adherents, whether clerical or lay, are not Catholic. Not at all. But the institution as such, with its strange ideas and principles, is definitely not Catholic.


And now I think we have finally hit on the real problem. So are they heretics, schismatics or both?

Quote:
I think that's a bit of a red herring because if the SSPX Mass is licit for the sedevacantist to attend, then of course he shouldn't stay home.


The SSPX Mass can't be illicit for sedevacantists but not for others. Now that is absurd. The Catholic Church is one and universal. What applies to one applies to all. So what law has been contravened which outlaws attendance at an SSPX Mass for all?

AMW


Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:24 am
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Dear John,

I don’t see a problem, in certain circumstances, with attending a Mass where the celebrating priest makes mention of the name of an invalidly elected pope for whom he is praying, but I do see a problem with attending a SSPX Mass. As a man can express his belief by words so he can by his actions. It would seem to me that by attending a SSPX Mass one would give at least the impression of agreeing with the Society’s serious doctrinal errors or that such errors are of little significance.

I would be interested to hear your opinion on the matter.

Hope you, Helen and the rest of your family had a happy and Holy Christmas,
Dom


Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:21 am
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AMWills wrote:
Active participation when praying "for" someone is precisely what is under dispute. Fr Cekada's article doesn't prove it and neither have you. You are entitled to your opinion, and may do what you wish, but I am not obliged to be convinced of something for which evidence is sadly lacking. My problem is with your expectation of me (and other sedevacantist SSPX attendees) who don't share your opinion, to have to act in accordance with your view. You do not have the authority to expect such a thing.


You are right, I have no authority, but neither am I claiming that anyone should do anything because of some inherent authority in me, which I do not have. I always appeal to the force of the evidence, not any supposed authority on my part. Fr. Cekada has quoted several Popes and theologians for his claim that those who assist at Mass join the celebrant in his prayers. It is now up to you to show that you can licitly somehow withhold certain parts of a prayer while at the same time still fully assisting at the Mass. Please do so.

Quote:
Well, thank you for telling me what I believe. The fact is I don't think the prayer is absurd at all. I think it is an appropriate prayer for someone to offer who believes that Benedict is legitimately pope. Nor do I think the prayer is displeasing to God.


You keep going back to seeing the prayer from the point of view of the priest. But Sir (sorry, I don't know your name), you are not the priest. You are yourself, and you do not petition God to please preserve Benedict XVI to continue to be a good shepherd (basically), do you? If you do not do so, how can you participate in the prayer?

Quote:
I do not think that God is displeased by genuine mistakes.


OK, we keep going back to the issue of "genuine mistakes." First of all, you don't really know whether your SSPX priest is making a genuine mistake or whether he is simply unwilling to admit sedevacantism, simply because you do not know what is in his mind. I am not saying you should judge him rashly or presume ill will; I am only saying that, when it really comes down to it, the "genuineness" of the mistake is an assumption on your part (which is not necessarily wrong - it may be fine, but I want to point it out). Secondly, simply because someobody is making a genuine mistake does not necessarily mean that you, who know better, have the right to participate in that mistake.

Let me draw an analogy. I apologize if the analogy is a bit bizarre, and I hope it is not impious, but consider this: A woman whose husband served in a war the last 6 years is told her husband is returning to her from the battle. Unbeknownst to her, her husband has a twin brother, and he is evil. On the battlefield, the twin brother kills his brother and returns to his brother's wife pretending to be her husband. She accepts him as her husband, in total innocence. Let's say that you know what has transpired and have told the woman that the man she is now with is not her husband but his evil twin. Let's say she doesn't believe you and rejects the idea as absurd. The fact is now that the woman is living with a man she is not married to. She sins materially but not formally. That is, she freely consents to a union with him, believing him to be her husband. She is guiltless, but you know better. My question: Would you invite them over to your house as "husband and wife"? Could you treat them as such? Could you be the godfather of their children? Could you stay at their house for a time, by your action implying that you accept their claim to be married? I think the answer is clear: You could have nothing to do with their illicit union. The fact that the woman is not sinning formally but merely mistaken is irrelevant to the objective fact that their union is illicit. My point: Just because somebody is innocently mistaken doesn't mean everything's OK. In other words, John Lane is wrong in saying that all that matters is what is intended, and the rest is incidental and practically irrelevant when it comes to your actions. It is a bit more complicated than that.

Let me ask you another question: Do Muslims worship the True God? Ah, but they intend to worship the God who created the world, the true God. That's their intent. Yet, do they worship the true God? No. Are most Muslims today mistaken about who the true God is? Probably so. Yet, does this make a difference to their actions?

Quote:
Nice try. The burden of proof remains with those who are claiming that God is displeased with the prayer and should therefore forego attendance at Mass in order to register a protest. You are the one who is overruling one of the Church's precepts and acting with an authority you don't possess.


I have not argued that a sedevacantist cannot go to an SSPX Mass on the grounds that God is displeased with the una cum priest's mention of Ratzinger, but on the grounds that your participation in that Mass does not reflect what you believe. I know this is what we're discussing here, but I just wanted to clarify that.

Quote:
I've noticed. But I, and others, are not bound by your application of "absurd", nor your definition of "active participation" unless you can produce some evidence to show that the same is also held by the Church, which to date has not been the case.


And I am not saying you need to find it absurd because I say so. I am saying you need to find it absurd because that much should be obvious. Obviously, if you attend Tre Ore and participate, you actually agree with what is being prayed, no? You don't think that's obvious?

Quote:
I'm sorry if this was unclear. By "mistaken intention", I meant that the priest is mistaken in the identity/status of one for whom he intends to pray. The prayer in the Good Friday Liturgy, with which you take exception, is, once again, a prayer for the pope, just as the "una cum" is a prayer for the pope. It does not have any effect on validity.


Sorry for being unclear, but I wasn't suggesting that it had any bearing on the validity of the Mass. I realize that in the Tre Ore, you pray for the Pope. Precisely. So do you join in that prayer for Ratzinger? Do you internally assent to what the priest prays in your name? If not, how can you be there and by your presence testify that you do?

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Quote:
But I ask: What do you, sedevacantist, believe? Why do you participate in a prayer that asks God to grant something that you find to be absolutely abhorrent, and that even the priest who prays it (9 times out of 10) doesn't really wish in the first place?


I believe all that the Catholic Church teaches. I am subject to Her. I do not participate in a prayer for a man I know is not pope. I do not expect God to grant a prayer offered by those who mistakenly think he is pope. I don't delve into what the priest "really wishes in the first place", as I might be right or I might be wrong. All that concerns me about the prayer in question is that it is in subjection to the rubrics which governs what is petitioned.


I think you're avoiding the question. In the Tre Ore, the priest in whose liturgy you are participating really prays for the man Joseph Ratzinger. He not only intends to do that but actually does it. He doesn't just pray for the Pope as such, and just privately, by happenstance, inwardly believes it to be Modernist Joe; he actually and truly prays for that man, that German, born on April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, now running the Vatican apparatus. By analogy with the mistaken lady who is united to a man not her husband, she actually and really is transgressing, of her own volition, a divine law, she's just not realizing it. So she is guiltless; but what about you? Can you join her in celebrating her "wedding anniversary" with the man known to you to be an imposter? Would your participation say that, at worst, you are participating in a mistake? Would it not be a lie for you, though a mistake for her?

If you or John were taking the position that sedevacantism isn't a necessary conclusion but simply an opinion, and that we might just as well take the SSPX position on things, then I think I could agree with you. But do you believe that? Is your sedevacantism just a view you have chosen to prefer to other views? (This is not a rhetorical question.)

Quote:
I don't stay at home because I don't believe I can offer God the adoration, worship, thanksgiving and supplication that the Church offers. I wish to share in Her benefits, be part of Her prayers, have Her supply my defects and submit to Her rule as Our Lord instructed.


I understand that, but I don't think you're directly addressing the difficulty I've posed. Because if I am right on this, then you cannot offer God the adoration, worship, etc. that the Church offers by means of going to the SSPX's Tre Ore.

Quote:
And now I think we have finally hit on the real problem. So are they heretics, schismatics or both?


Objectively, I think they're both. Subjectively (kind of like the mistaken lady), they're Catholics. Their intention is to be Catholic, like the lady's intention is to be with her husband. As far as intention goes, then, I would consider them Catholics; but materially, I would consider them not Catholic.

Quote:
The SSPX Mass can't be illicit for sedevacantists but not for others. Now that is absurd. The Catholic Church is one and universal. What applies to one applies to all. So what law has been contravened which outlaws attendance at an SSPX Mass for all?


I wasn't saying that the SSPX Mass can be licit for sedevacantists but illicit for others. I was just making my point regarding sedevacantists alone, leaving out of consideration the case of non-sedevacantists, which I was not addressing, hence I did not mention them.

Mario


Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:54 pm
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Just a thought - our Faith has to be simple enough for a child to understand and follow. I don't need to agree with any of the rules laid out by the Church - I just need to obey.

What I think is being left out of this debate is the grave sin business. Exactly where is the truth of grave sin for a SV to assist at the SSPX mass?


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New post Serious Question!
Eliz, once again, you have noted an important issue. Is it better to be a "home Aloner" without the graces and benefices attached to the Tridentine Mass,and sacrament of Penance? Or is it better to make the effort to go there, assist at Mass, go to Confession, and recieve Holy Communion? Who benefits from this exclusion? This is a serious question. Because it is usually easier to stay home and not bother at all!

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Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:18 am
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eliz carroll wrote:
Just a thought - our Faith has to be simple enough for a child to understand and follow. I don't need to agree with any of the rules laid out by the Church - I just need to obey.

What I think is being left out of this debate is the grave sin business. Exactly where is the truth of grave sin for a SV to assist at the SSPX mass?


Hey Elizabeth,

According to Fr. Cekada's article, the grave sin, objectively speaking, is in the fact that the sedevacantist does not believe what he expresses in his action of assisting at Mass where Benedict XVI is mentioned in the canon. His action of assisting at Mass there says one thing ("Benedict is the Pope, Daniel Pilarczyk is our bishop (in the case of Cincinnati)"), but this is not what he believes, so he is giving false testimony. Now, whether this is indeed so is what is being debated here; but this is what Fr. Cekada argues. In addition this particular point, Fr. Cekada also argues that SV attendance at an SSPX Mass, objectively speaking, means that the sedevacantist is professing communion with heretics, violating church law, implicitly professes a false religion, recognizes a usurper as legitimate, etc. (This is all found on p. 18 of Fr.'s article.) Again, I am just saying that this is what Fr. Cekada is saying, and that's what you were asking about.

I fear that in our present circumstances and times, things are difficult and can't just be solved by a good memorization of the Baltimore Catechism. :( If it were just a matter of obeying, then we'd still be in the Novus Ordo. :(

God love you,

Mario


Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:28 am
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New post Re: Serious Question!
Linda wrote:
Eliz, once again, you have noted an important issue. Is it better to be a "home Aloner" without the graces and benefices attached to the Tridentine Mass,and sacrament of Penance?


The way you are phrasing the question, you are already assuming as true what is being debated. This is circular reasoning, because if Fr. Cekada is right, then there are no graces and benefices attached to attending an SSPX Mass, objectively speaking (Fr. Cekada does not go into the sacrament of penance--let's leave this for a separate discussion).

Quote:
Or is it better to make the effort to go there, assist at Mass, go to Confession, and recieve Holy Communion? Who benefits from this exclusion? This is a serious question. Because it is usually easier to stay home and not bother at all!


Easier to stay home? Goodness, no! I wouldn't find that easier at all. In fact, I'd fear I'd lose my Faith altogether! Who benefits from this exclusion? The question implies that this issue is contrived and not genuine. If you think this article is Fr. Cekada's way of taking support away from the SSPX and of getting more people to come to his church, then I'd have to say: (1) this is a serious accusation and rash judgment without any foundation; (2) it is somewhat unreasonable to expect that people will flock to Fr. Cekada's church because of this article; (3) if Fr. Cekada were in the business of attempting to get more people to come to his church by means of bogus arguments and issues, he would have never taken the position he did regarding the death of Terri Schiavo, which drove people away from his parish (foreseeably so!) and has probably caused many to view him with suspicion and perhaps avoid his parish altogether.

So, I appeal to everyone: Please, don't try to look for ulterior motives. It is not helpful. If we take Fr. Cekada's position at face value, then, according to him, the one benefiting from the exclusion is the sedevacantist himself, who no longer puts himself into a situation in which he is professing that a man he believes to be an arch-enemey of the Church is in fact her head.


Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:39 am
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Pax Christi

Dear Mario,

Quote:
Benedict is the Pope, Daniel Pilarczyk is our bishop (in the case of Cincinnati)"),


Can we get a confirmation on the mention of bishop ? Does the SSPX mention the local Bishop, or after benedict do they mention one of the SSPX bishops?

In Xto,
Vincent


Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:06 am
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marioderksen wrote:
You are right, I have no authority, but neither am I claiming that anyone should do anything because of some inherent authority in me, which I do not have. I always appeal to the force of the evidence, not any supposed authority on my part. Fr. Cekada has quoted several Popes and theologians for his claim that those who assist at Mass join the celebrant in his prayers. It is now up to you to show that you can licitly somehow withhold certain parts of a prayer while at the same time still fully assisting at the Mass. Please do so.


Perhaps you should reread the thread.

Quote:
You keep going back to seeing the prayer from the point of view of the priest. But Sir (sorry, I don't know your name), you are not the priest. You are yourself, and you do not petition God to please preserve Benedict XVI to continue to be a good shepherd (basically), do you? If you do not do so, how can you participate in the prayer?


Benedict is not a shepherd. I know that. My priests know that is what I believe. Parishioners who know me are also aware that is my position. I do not agree with the naming of Benedict in the prayer, which I believe is an understandable mistake on the part of the offerer, who does not share my opinion on a lawfully disputed matter.

From a previous post of John Lane's:

Precisely because the question is lawfully disputed (that is, it is lawful to take either view), there is no presumption, legal or even in reason, that the layman in the pew agrees with the choices or judgements of the priest. The priest may believe in the Guerardian theory, or he may think himself empowered to give men dispensations from vows, or he may think that essentially private groups can give marriage rulings, or he may think there were two Sister Lucies, or even that it is lawful to use the pre-1948 liturgical books and reject most of Pope Pius XII's changes; all of these views are held by some traditional priests, depending on their personal dispositions, associations, and formation. In the present chaos all are aware that there are major differences of judgement about all manner of important things, including the very question of whether there is presently a Roman Pontiff. Laymen going to Mass are manifestly fulfilling their obligations and pursuing the salvation of their souls. They are not necessarily, by the mere fact of approaching any given priest for the sacraments, showing agreement with his choices and judgements. The very notion is, in the present crisis, preposterous.

Quote:
OK, we keep going back to the issue of "genuine mistakes." First of all, you don't really know whether your SSPX priest is making a genuine mistake or whether he is simply unwilling to admit sedevacantism, simply because you do not know what is in his mind. I am not saying you should judge him rashly or presume ill will; I am only saying that, when it really comes down to it, the "genuineness" of the mistake is an assumption on your part (which is not necessarily wrong - it may be fine, but I want to point it out). Secondly, simply because someobody is making a genuine mistake does not necessarily mean that you, who know better, have the right to participate in that mistake.


Well, I try to judge my neighbour in accordance with Catholic principles. Sometimes I slip, but that's no reason to give up :) The mistake must be genuine unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary.

Quote:
Let me draw an analogy. I apologize if the analogy is a bit bizarre, and I hope it is not impious, but consider this: A woman whose husband served in a war the last 6 years is told her husband is returning to her from the battle. Unbeknownst to her, her husband has a twin brother, and he is evil. On the battlefield, the twin brother kills his brother and returns to his brother's wife pretending to be her husband. She accepts him as her husband, in total innocence. Let's say that you know what has transpired and have told the woman that the man she is now with is not her husband but his evil twin. Let's say she doesn't believe you and rejects the idea as absurd. The fact is now that the woman is living with a man she is not married to. She sins materially but not formally. That is, she freely consents to a union with him, believing him to be her husband. She is guiltless, but you know better. My question: Would you invite them over to your house as "husband and wife"? Could you treat them as such? Could you be the godfather of their children? Could you stay at their house for a time, by your action implying that you accept their claim to be married? I think the answer is clear: You could have nothing to do with their illicit union. The fact that the woman is not sinning formally but merely mistaken is irrelevant to the objective fact that their union is illicit. My point: Just because somebody is innocently mistaken doesn't mean everything's OK. In other words, John Lane is wrong in saying that all that matters is what is intended, and the rest is incidental and practically irrelevant when it comes to your actions. It is a bit more complicated than that.


This is not an analogy of what is under discussion. Sorry!

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Let me ask you another question: Do Muslims worship the True God? Ah, but they intend to worship the God who created the world, the true God. That's their intent. Yet, do they worship the true God? No. Are most Muslims today mistaken about who the true God is? Probably so. Yet, does this make a difference to their actions?


No, they don't worship the true God. Nor do they claim or want to be Catholic. Nor do they strive to live by the Commandments of God and the precepts of His Church. Nor do they recognise as pope a man who claims to be pope for fear of not obeying the Church. You are not seriously trying to draw a comparison between the SSPX and Muslims, are you? I'm sorry, Mario, although I certainly think you are sincere, I simply don't have time for this sort of thing.

Quote:
I have not argued that a sedevacantist cannot go to an SSPX Mass on the grounds that God is displeased with the una cum priest's mention of Ratzinger


So do you disagree with Fr. Cekada on this point? If not, could you please defend this assertion which is an integral part of Fr. Cekada's article?

Quote:
but on the grounds that your participation in that Mass does not reflect what you believe. I know this is what we're discussing here, but I just wanted to clarify that.


Mario, this is what the debate is about. Your constant assertion as fact, the very thing that is under dispute, is futile. By the way, it is a position that is not held by many other sedevacantists, both clergy and lay. One of the "nine" actually advised me to attend the SSPX. Below is an historical example which shows the mind of the Church in times of confusion. It seems in stark contrast to the subject of this thread. The whole article is here, where many other examples are provided: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/heresyhistory.html

13. John Gerson

John Gerson (1363-1429) was one of the most learned ecclesiastics of his age. He maintained that the pope does not have universal authority over all the faithful, is not the universal bishop, can teach heresy while still remaining pope (but, if he did so, can fittingly be put to death by the faithful!), that the Church and the general council have authority over the pope, that the first four general councils were not summoned by the pope, that the laity can sit in a general council or even assemble one! Not only did he hold all of these principles, later to give rise to Gallicanism, but he even held them to be dogmas...

Now let us not waste our time discussing the notion that these ideas, though unorthodox today, were still orthodox and permitted in his days - it is simply not true. But far from being condemned either during his life or after death, Gerson is described as "Blessed" in five martyrologies!

What is the explanation? Quite simply, it is that he lived at the time of the Great Western Schism, when several pretenders to the papacy were reigning at the same time. If he allowed himself to entertain outrageous ideas, and even to think that they were dogmas, the reason was that he saw no other way of putting an end to the schism except on the basis of accepting such ideas. This explanation is not a personal one of the present writer - it is universally admitted: in other words, the Church makes allowances for the confusion which can prevail during times of schism and heresy in the absence of the ordinary authorities whose task is to settle disagreements and rule on which ideas exceed the bounds of orthodoxy.

Should we not act with at least as much tolerance in our days when the crisis is graver and authority yet more universally absent? Are the ideas which certain traditional priests or layfolk permit themselves to explain the present crisis or to account for how it might be ended really more aberrant than those of "the Blessed" Gerson were in his day? …to such an extent that anyone who might think so, and therefore continues to recognise them as Catholics is himself to be considered as outside the fold? Really? In the sight of God can anyone aware of these historical episodes honestly claim such a thing?

(Catholic Encyclopaedia: art. “Gerson, John)
"Heresy in History" J.S. Daly


Quote:
And I am not saying you need to find it absurd because I say so. I am saying you need to find it absurd because that much should be obvious. Obviously, if you attend Tre Ore and participate, you actually agree with what is being prayed, no? You don't think that's obvious?


I firmly believe you are well intentioned, but what is obvious is that you have not read this thread at all thoroughly.

Quote:
Sorry for being unclear, but I wasn't suggesting that it had any bearing on the validity of the Mass. I realize that in the Tre Ore, you pray for the Pope. Precisely. So do you join in that prayer for Ratzinger? Do you internally assent to what the priest prays in your name? If not, how can you be there and by your presence testify that you do?


No, I do not internally assent to the mistaken part of the prayer, as previously discussed on many occasions. My presence testifies that I am a member of the Catholic Church, who wishes to participate in Her liturgy, with other Catholics. That's all.

Quote:
I think you're avoiding the question. In the Tre Ore, the priest in whose liturgy you are participating really prays for the man Joseph Ratzinger. He not only intends to do that but actually does it. He doesn't just pray for the Pope as such, and just privately, by happenstance, inwardly believes it to be Modernist Joe; he actually and truly prays for that man, that German, born on April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, now running the Vatican apparatus. By analogy with the mistaken lady who is united to a man not her husband, she actually and really is transgressing, of her own volition, a divine law, she's just not realizing it. So she is guiltless; but what about you? Can you join her in celebrating her "wedding anniversary" with the man known to you to be an imposter? Would your participation say that, at worst, you are participating in a mistake? Would it not be a lie for you, though a mistake for her?


He prays by name for a man he believes to be the pope. If he didn't believe him to be pope, Ratzinger would not get a mention. Tell me, if you offered a prayer for the President of the United States, Jerry Seinfield, (who you mistakenly thought was the president, because your naughty elder brother told you so) that he may do all that is in his power to be a good, strong, moral, upstanding leader of the nation, who do you think you are praying for? Who do you think God thinks you are praying for - a stand-up comic, or the president of the US?

Quote:
If you or John were taking the position that sedevacantism isn't a necessary conclusion but simply an opinion, and that we might just as well take the SSPX position on things, then I think I could agree with you. But do you believe that? Is your sedevacantism just a view you have chosen to prefer to other views? (This is not a rhetorical question.)


Sedevacantism is a private judgement. I believe the evidence for it is conclusive, which is why I hold it. But while the evidence is compelling for some, it is not so clear to others. Once the Church speaks, everything changes. Until then, it remains a disputed point. We have to be tolerant of others who can't see it as clearly as God has permitted us to do so. We want to persuade them by the evidence, not by asserting it with an authority we do not possess, or by cutting off communion with those who don't agree with us. All that does is frighten them away from a truth, because we have used an untruth (that sedevacantism is compulsory) as a weapon.

Quote:
I understand that, but I don't think you're directly addressing the difficulty I've posed. Because if I am right on this, then you cannot offer God the adoration, worship, etc. that the Church offers by means of going to the SSPX's Tre Ore.


The Church does not oblige attendance at the Good Friday liturgy. Whether one goes or not is up to the individual. But you are not arguing that it is only the Good Friday liturgy that is out of bounds. You said that as a result of this prayer in the Good Friday liturgy, you elected not to fulfil your Sunday obligation if you could not attend a sedevacantist Mass. Fine, Mario. I am not trying to persuade you otherwise. I am not trying to persuade any sedevacantist otherwise. I am simply saying that there has not been any evidence presented, to date, which states that this personal decision is applicable to all. I am not bound by your conscience. I believe the SSPX is Catholic and that the mistaken prayers for a man they believe to be pope does not detract from this. In other words, their Masses can be just as pleasing to God as a sedevacantist Mass, both of which are far, far more able to offer God worthy adoration, worship, etc., than I am from my sitting room. I don't have the option of a sedevacantist Mass.

And if you are wrong? Have you thought about the consequences for those who might follow your advice and stay home and away from the sacraments? Are you prepared to be responsible for that?

Quote:
Objectively, I think they're both. Subjectively (kind of like the mistaken lady), they're Catholics. Their intention is to be Catholic, like the lady's intention is to be with her husband. As far as intention goes, then, I would consider them Catholics; but materially, I would consider them not Catholic.


Guerardianism. A novel invention that creates a distorted creature which is "part Catholic", and as mythical as a centaur.

Quote:
I wasn't saying that the SSPX Mass can be licit for sedevacantists but illicit for others. I was just making my point regarding sedevacantists alone, leaving out of consideration the case of non-sedevacantists, which I was not addressing, hence I did not mention them.


My point remains: how can there be a Mass within the Catholic Church that some Catholics can attend, but not others? Or are you saying that non sedevacantists should not assist at SSPX Masses also? It has to be one or the other.

Long post! I'm sorry. It won't happen again!

God bless you, Mario

AMW


Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:00 pm
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Vince Sheridan wrote:
Pax Christi

Dear Mario,

Quote:
Benedict is the Pope, Daniel Pilarczyk is our bishop (in the case of Cincinnati)"),


Can we get a confirmation on the mention of bishop ? Does the SSPX mention the local Bishop, or after benedict do they mention one of the SSPX bishops?

In Xto,
Vincent


Vince,

I asked this same question a while back...here was one answer I received:

http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums/vi ... light=#808

Also, to Mario,

I know a older priest who says the traditional Mass and before Mass always prayed for Pope Benedict, and all traditional bishops, priests, and religious. To me this always seemed to be an recognition of Benedict as Pope...and then praying only for the traditional bishops, priests, and religious. Curious, isn't it?

I don't agree with it...but I understood his position.

Robert


Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:16 pm
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Vince Sheridan wrote:
Pax Christi

Dear Mario,

Quote:
Benedict is the Pope, Daniel Pilarczyk is our bishop (in the case of Cincinnati)"),


Can we get a confirmation on the mention of bishop ? Does the SSPX mention the local Bishop, or after benedict do they mention one of the SSPX bishops?

In Xto,
Vincent


Vincent,

I know that in the case of Fr. Carl Pulvermacher (RIP), who was a Capuchin but worked for the SSPX, he always said the name of the local bishop (in his case, John Clement Favalora -Miami, FL). I know this because I remember seeing a note in the sacristy that had JPII's and Favalora's names. This note was permanently taped to one of the cabinets. But this shouldn't be surprising. Why would someone accept Benedict as the Pope but not the local Novus Ordo bishop? Why only the bishop in Rome? The same principle by which they judge Benedict is the Pope tells them that whoever is the local ordinary.

Mario


Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:28 am
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John Lane wrote:
First Fr. Cekada sets up the false interpretation of the Te igitur as a prayer of common oblation with whomever is named; Then he argues that the layman in the pew must necessarily give assent to every particular of the priest's actions; Then he draws his conclusion. While you insist on accepting his first premiss, you'll almost inevitably swallow his conclusion too.


John, Fr. Cekada's argument isn't based on the premise that the priest is offering a common oblation with Ratzinger. Fr. Cekada's argument is based on the premise that by our active participation, we consent to whoever is named as Pope. That is the crux of the issue.

Quote:
It is a fruit of precisely that spirit which says that we will not accept that there are legitimately disputed matters, but rather we will impose our views on all. This is true even in the insistence that the sedevacantist stay away from a Te igitur in which the wrong name is inserted, because that is implicitly to claim that the situation is not confused, as though the "pope question" (for example) were already the subject of a public judgement.


John, I hear you, and I think Fr. Cekada would agree that there is lots of confusion and many people hold that Benedict XVI is the Pope simply by mistake. But this is not what Fr. Cekada is arguing about. He is arguing about the sedevacantist's participation at the una cum Mass. He says this participation is sinful for the sedevacantist for the 10 reasons he summarizes at the end of the article. I don't see how you can tie this to the idea that Fr. Cekada is trying to impose his view - he's just making an argument. When you argue the Benedict XVI is not the Pope, are you trying to "impose" your view - or are you just asking people to reason it through and please come to the same conclusion?


Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:59 am
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