Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Why SSPX priests are not sedevacantists
From an old post I came across when searching for something else...
Now, in relation to your comments, yes, the SSPX clergy can, as a rule, see that the Modernists are heretics. The problem is to interpret the meaning of that fact, whilst also keeping firmly in view the important truth that this judgement (that the Modernists in Rome are heretics) is liable to be an error. Not likely, or even probable, necessarily, but merely possibly an error. Now, of course uneducated people aren't used to noting the degree of certitude that characterises each of their own thoughts, and the distinction will probably entirely escape them; but perhaps that is why God gave us (if only we will avail ourselves of His offer) the wonderful, over-arching, under-girding, universal, virtue of humility.
So, they are heretics. Occult, external, public, notorious? Which? These are all important technical terms with precise and absolutely crucial differences of meaning. They define degrees of publicity, and it is the degree of publicity which determines, finally, whether somebody remains a member of the Church. Occult heretics are certainly members of the Church. I cannot, for example, despite years of pursuing the question, discover the modern equivalent of the term used by St. Robert Bellarmine, "manifest." I think it means "public" as defined in the Code, but Wernz-Vidal would suggest that it means "notorious".
Anybody who has studied seminary law and theology is aware of these things, even if he did not excel in his studies or, indeed, even if he had no aptitude whatsoever and did not understand a lot of what was presented, which may well describe many priests. I say, he is aware of these distinctions; he heard about them, read about them, and noted that upon them depended grave questions (such as membership in the Church). What is he to do in the current circumstances? Naturally, he will rely upon those with better title to expertise in the relevant theology and law. This is both reasonable and virtuous behaviour.
For example, one might decide to rely upon a man who received a bachelor's degree in sacred theology from the Gregorian, followed after further study by a licentiate in theology, and ultimately after even deeper study under the best theology professors in the world, using as the main text the work of the greatest theologian of modern times, Cardinal Billot, the highest degree possible - a doctorate. If the same individual, having received this extensive and thorough training in the doctrines, laws, and methodology of the Church, in Rome itself, during the reign of Pope Pius XI, proceeded to enjoy a celebrated career noted for its extraordinary success and solidity, and which was crowned by the incomparable gift of being the natural leader of the orthodox bishops at Vatican II, and of being one of only two bishops publicly to resist the Vatican II revolt, then the choice might be regarded as eminently sensible, even by a schoolboy unversed in the ways of grown-ups.
Yes, that is who Archbishop Lefebvre was - a Ph. D in theology, and the Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, the healthiest religious congregation in the Church in the time leading up to Vatican II, producing as it did, Fr. Denis Fahey, Fr. John Kearney, Fr. Edward Leen, Fr. Walker, Fr. Le Floch (an incomparable anti-liberal, and close friend of Billot), Fr. Berto, and many martyrs of the African missions.
Anyway, the technicalities are a problem, precisely because they provide numerous questions which a prudent man with a relevant education will need answered before he forms a final judgement on such a grave disputed matter, with such stupendous practical effects. Archbishop Lefebvre's own particular sticking point seems to have been the visible unity of the Church. That is, he could not see how the sedevacantist thesis, at least as it had been presented at that time, could preserve that visible unity without which the Church is not the Church.
And since none of his opponents (other than his old friend Fr. Guerard des Lauriers) actually deigned to address the problem with any seriousness, it is very difficult for a just person to criticise the Archbishop for declining to adopt our position.
In Christ our King.
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:14 pm
Re: Why SSPX priests are not sedevacantists
Most SSPX priest don't pick up a theology book after seminary studies, they tend to be too busy taking care of everything in the parish. The office takes up quite a bit of their time, then taking care of the needs of the faithful, the parish school if indeed they have one, and then in addition if their isn't one, then the priest generally spends his time travelling. They really don't care about these issues, to be honest. To them they were told by their Professor's that the SV'ist position is a minority opinion (which is a bold face lie). Its a matter of, what would Bishop Lefebvre do? He was a sedeplenist, and I will be a sedeplenist.
They see the SSPX as the child of God (they have already surrendered their minds to the SSPX, almost like ecclesiastical faith to that Econite institution), and the only unique guide to the modernist crisis. So that is why the Econite position, is the universal position and is enforced, for anyone who deviates in the least is kicked out FAST. Most traditionalist have more trust & faith in Bishop Fellay then they do, to the man dressed in White in Rome.
If +Fellay were elected Pope among them, I would actually not mind attending their mass. At least now they are just in communion with a Catholic anti-Pope as opposed to a heretic.
Laudare, Benedicere et predicare...
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