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 My Thoughts on the Recent Appointment in San Francisco 
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:21 am
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Location: California, USA
New post My Thoughts on the Recent Appointment in San Francisco
I wrote this in response to Benedict XVI's naming of Cordileone to the helm of the conciliar archdiocese. It is mostly aimed towards Catholics of an indult persuasion, and I hope it opens their eyes and reminds us of why we do what we do.


Dear friends in Christ,

This morning, I awoke to the news that Benedict XVI had appointed Salvatore Cordileone (formerly of Oakland, CA) to head the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Two years ago, I would have embraced such news with exceeding joy: Mons. Cordileone is one of the vibrant, young conservatives in the current ecclesiastical millieu. Politically, he is conservative, and has earned a strong reputation against the Leftist and [edit: unnatural vice] movements in California, and the U.S. as a whole. Doctrinally, he is not far flung like a Rembert Weakland, Roger Mahoney, or Remi de Roo. Finally, on liturgical matters, an issue very dear to many a trad and a conservative, he appears to be the embodiment of who the New Liturgical Movement (, and other Reform of the Reformers, would want as a bishop: he has celebrated Solemn Pontifical Masses several times (I attended one in 2009), he sticks to the books, etc.

Many will be pleased, or overjoyed with this appointment. It may cause the dismissal of notorious dissidents and [edit: unnatural vice], several reforms and disbandments of power cliques and good, old boys clubs with an outsider at the helm, and the establishment of a Latin Mass Parish staffed by the FSSP or Institute of Christ the King.

As (traditional) Roman Catholics, we know that there is much more to the crisis in Holy Mother Church, and that adherence to post-Vatican II "orthodoxy," and occasional celebration, or even promotion, of the traditional rites are not enough. In many ways, this appointment poses more difficulties than the Müller appointment or the worst of Paul VI's and John Paul II's appointment. Serious Catholics will have to examine the following issues in depth:

1. The status of the Novus Ordo Missae. Is it okay as said on the books, or is it intrinsically problematic, dubious, or even heterodox? As Archbishop Lefebvre said, "The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, is impregnated with the spirit of bears within it a poison harmful to the Faith."

2. Disciplines following the Council (communion in the hand, extraordinary ministers of communion, versus populum table-altars, the sad state of annulments).

3. The inversion of the ends of marriage.

4. A redefinition of the Church, heretics and schismatics being able to receive Holy Communion prior to any abjuration of errors, etc.

Good Catholics cannot sweep all of this, and much more, under the rug, nor can they dismiss this, just because of a good appointment with liturgical niceties. They will have to decide on whether or not the entirety of the Novus Ordo Revolution (Religious Liberty, ecumenism, collegiality, new rites, new disciplines) are good and Catholic, or not. Some may dismiss them as non-infallible or pastoral, whilst others may jump mental loops to "reconcile" them with Catholic orthodoxy, but the question still stands. As Pope Leo XIII said, "The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative magisterium" (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, no. 9, June 29, 1896).

On a personal note, many of my Catholic friends and family will not be able to understand how I cannot support the Archdiocese, even with such a conservative or even "traditionalist" bishop. The pressure will certainly be on, but we must all remember to hold fast to the one, true Roman Catholic Faith, whole and inviolate.

In Christo et Maria,

Phillip C.

Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:32 am
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New post Re: My Thoughts on the Recent Appointment in San Francisco

Good letter. I think I read it on another forum and liked it at the time also.

The fundamental difference between trads and "conservatives" is highlighted by their different reactions to this kind of thing. One difference is as you point out, the errors of the Council also must be eliminated. But even before the errors were promulgated, the Church was in crisis. So the fundamental cause must have been something else.

As is often the case, most of us don't have a clear view of what that might be, but it's not that hard to see once it is presented.

It is this, in my view. The essence of the Vatican II revolt was the withdrawal of the imposition of the faith as a law, obliging under pain of sin and censure.

This is why we instinctively feel that John XXIII was a bad guy, even though we can't necessarily point to obvious errors promulgated by him, and it's also why we know that the answer isn't the restoration of the Mass. What is required is that the true faith be preached, authoritatively, with all of the consequences of that.

"Conservatives" feel that somehow the change of the Mass was the key factor, a sort of vague assignation of blame to the loss of grace as the primary cause. But the chaos in the Church began years before that, as Archbishop Lefebvre's letter to Cardinal Ottaviani one year after the Council (i.e 1966) evidences. These people think that if this main source of grace was restored, all would slowly right itself (whilst they also insist that the Novus Ordo Missae gives grace).

They are wrong, but of course this is not the only reason, as you point out so well in your letter.

In Christ our King.

Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:17 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:21 am
Posts: 55
Location: California, USA
New post Re: My Thoughts on the Recent Appointment in San Francisco

Your points about John XXIII and the chaos in the Church since the opening of Vatican II make sense. Roncalli's approach of "opening windows," and "disciplining" revolutionaries with honey rather than vinegar appear to be incomprehensible.

The conservative illusion that "liberal" bishops hijacked what would have been smooth, orthodox sailing cannot be true because that which serves as conciliar "orthodoxy" is intrinsically revolutionary. Even "conservatives" disagree with what Harrison says on Religious Liberty, for example.

In any event, the appointment of clerics who seem to be "traditional" prolongs the problem, and gives credence to this false, conservative dichotomy.

Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:37 pm
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