A word about 'Traditional Catholic Forums'

+
JMJ

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum ... I got banned ...

For those readers who are not aware of it, the SSPX is undergoing an internal crisis brought about by Bishop Fellay traversing the cultural assumptions of some of its members.


I was drawn into the fight inadvertently when I posted a question. I was attacked as an 'accordista'. Not being used to backing down from a challenge, I became engaged in arguments on a couple of traditional Catholic forums.

I have done this for about two years and recently one forum was shut down and I was banned from another.

When I was banned the owner of the forum wrote the following about why I was banned:
He posted 100% of his posts in the "SSPX Resistance" subforum, even though he fundamentally disagrees with both the Resistance AND the SSPX itself. As a Novus Ordo Catholic (or Indult at best), he simply doesn't have a dog in this fight. 
He doesn't just have a problem with Bishop Williamson, Fr. Pfeiffer, or the other Resistance priests. He has a problem with Archbishop Lefebvre. 
Anyone who feels that way about Archbishop Lefebvre is always going to be a misfit at best on this forum. 
And I won't have him slinging mud at Bishop Williamson. 

I think there is merit in answering the accusations embedded within these words.

He posted 100% ...

Unfortunately, I think there is a disconnect here in that I do attend and support the SSPX and have for over 30 years. Consequently, I do have a 'dog in this fight'.  

He has a problem with Archbishop Lefebvre...

This is false. 

I have a problem with the people who are twisting the words of Archbishop Lefebvre to suit their own perspective on this crisis of the Church.

Primarily it comes down to the concept of the 'conciliar Church' and here is the words of Fr. Rua (a resistance priest) to highlight the key difference:

Where is the error in Bishop Fellay’s theology? It is the ecclesiological model from which he draws his conclusions. He considers the visible structure of the church to be the Conciliar Church. In a previous essay we noted that Athanasius and Archbishop Lefebvre were correct to point out that the Catholic Church resides in the Faith. We must worship in Spirit and in Truth. Structures and buildings do not constitute the Church. The Pope and officials in Rome may possess the structures but have lost the Faith.
Fr. Rua SDB
The problem is that if the visible Church (which I'll be discussing in another article shortly) is not the one tied to the Vicar of Christ, Successor of St. Peter and the Hierarchy in union with him ...

Then where is the Church of Christ?

If the Church of Christ is not visible, then where is it?

and this leads us to the indefectibility of the Church ... 

If a 'theory' leads a person into a contradiction with a dogma of the faith, then I would first examine the theory rather than try to rework the dogma.

As I wrote on another forum:
Archbishop Lefebvre vs this Article of Faith (I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church) A number of people have commented that I am placing Archbishop Lefebvre at odds with Church Teaching. Having read the points, I would state that I would rather believe myself mistaken in understanding his meaning, than believe Archbishop Lefebvre in error on such a fundamental point of the faith.
The root issue appears to be: Did Archbishop Lefebvre believe the 'conciliar Church' to be something separate from the Holy Roman Catholic Church from a structural point of view as opposed to an orientation.
While a number of posters have quoted 'this new Conciliar Church is not the Catholic Church', they ignore the statement that comes a number of sentences earlier in the same paragraph: "It is the whole new orientation of the Church, which is no longer a Catholic orientation..."
Based on this, I conclude that Archbishop Lefebvre was not contravening this article of the creed. In referring to the plethora of other quotes, I would refer to this in support of my assertion. 
I will put it this way: If you believe that what Bishop Williamson states in EC281 means the following:
That the One Holy Roman Catholic Church is only part of the Visible Church, then you are in error.
If Bishop Williamson believes the above statement then he is also in error.
If Archbishop Lefebvre believed it, then he was also in error. 
Based on the earlier portion of the quotation, I do not believe that Archbishop Lefebvre believed as Bishop Williamson et al appear to believe.

Consequently, it is not I who has a problem with Archbishop Lefebvre.

And I won't have him slinging mud at Bishop Williamson...

Here we have the final rebuke against me.

The question that I would put forward is this: Does the mud stick?

In one point, I know that it does stick.  In Bishop Williamson's recommendation that the 'Poem of the Man-God' be read to children.

The off-handed way in which he recommends Catholics to ignore the censures issued against writings of the index is unconscionable. Even Pope Benedict XVI (when he was Cardinal) admitted that the index still holds moral authority even if no longer supported by canon law.

Ultimately, God will render a final judgment and I would not want to be in Bishop Williamson's place if some children lose the faith because of parents taking his advice and reading them the heretical 'Poem of the Man-God'.


Conclusion

While forums can be useful for discussion and learning, they are not without their risks.

For example what is related as 'truth' may be no more than the person posting's impressions or interpretation of facts.  These are, of course, altered by the person's perceptual window.

This window will be narrow if the person imbibes heavily in conspiracy theories.  I can write this with confidence because, by definition,  if a person believes strongly in conspiracy theories (unsubstantiated) then by default they will exclude 'official' explanations of events. This is a narrowing of a perceptual window.  It can also lead to another problem: Confirmation Bias.

While studying will help to increase a person's perception of a situation / events, this is no guarantee of immunity from confirmation bias or other perceptual errors.  In this crisis of the Church, I believe, the missing necessary component is an active spiritual life.

So, studying what the Church teaches is important in assessing what is being said on the Traditional Catholic forums, a strong spiritual life will enable the person to have the patience to calmly assess the events or actions being witnessed.

I experienced a good example of this a couple years ago.  The Pope (Benedict XVI) issued a statement that, since I knew came from the Second Vatican Council, I dismissed it.  A short time later Bishop Fellay made an almost identical statement.

This caused my eyebrows to go up.

However, instead of over reacting, I did some research. What I found was that while the Pope may have been quoted the Second Vatican Council, the Second Vatican Council was quoting the Catechism of the Council of Trent.  Is there a problem with both the Pope and Bishop Fellay quoting the teaching of the Church ... nope.

With respects to studying, I would strongly recommend studying the Catechisms first before delving into theological texts! In this manner a person aquires the sense of the faith as the Church has taught it, and then can dig deeper into the underlying principles.

In this crisis of the Church there is only one way to keep a steady keel:

Prayer
Penance
Patience
P^3

PS. Apologies to my readers for a rambling text - even after updating it.

God Bless and guide Pope Francis ... Please!!!






Comments

Popular Posts