CMTV and Michael Voris - Two Points

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JMJ




As part of the SSPX-fest, BRADLEY ELI, M.DIV., MA.TH. of CMTV, wrote and article claiming that the SSPX is in a state of heresy.  

... The SSPX even claims the Novus Ordo Mass is intrinsically evil and no one should ever go to a Mass unless it's in the Old Latin Rite — and only then if it's offered by an SSPX priest. This recent video on the Society's website clearly states their long-held position in this regard. It's necessary for them to view the Church crisis this way because only then do they feel justified in going rogue. But what they're describing is actually heretical as it denies the dogma of the indefectibility of the Catholic Church. Truth and grace cannot fail universally from the Pope on down. Christ said of Peter, "On this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it."
In March 2009, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a letter explaining the SSPX separation is doctrinal in nature and not merely canonical or legal, as the SSPX would have the public believe... ( CMTV Claims SSPX Heretical)
For someone with an academic background, I had expected better. In fact, I had expected them to research what the SSPX means when it claims that the Novus Oro Missae is evil.
Well, the Society is definitely against the New Mass. We even say that it is 'intrinsically evil.; That’s a delicate label that needs a little explanation. By this we mean that the New Mass in itself –the New Mass as the New Mass, as it is written –is evil, because as such you find in it the definition of evil. The definition of evil is 'the privation of a due good.' Something that should be in the New Mass is not there and that’s evil. What is really Catholic has been taken out of the New Mass. The Catholic specification of the Mass has been taken away. That’s enough to say that it is evil. And look at the terrible fruits." (Bishop Fellay )
I also expected them  to have a better understanding of what is meant by Indefectibility of the Church.  Namely, that the Infallibility of the Church extends to the laws and disciplines that she promulgates because Indefectibility means that:
"The Church is indefectible, that is, she remains and will remain the Institution of Salvation, founded by Christ, until the end of the world. (Sent. certa.) (Ott, 1954)"  (Tradicat)
So what do we have?  First, as being applied in this case it is not dogma, but sent. certa.  Second, it pertains to the Church not being able to promulgate a law that is explicitly immoral / heretical.

Now that we have a little more context we can see that this is not a contradiction of the Indefectibility of the Church, as the absences of a due good does not mean that the Novus Ordo Missae is explicitly heretical as promulgated.  It is the absence of a due good, which means that it is supposed to explicitly manifest the truths of the Faith. Which it does not, in fact, just like the removal of the filioque from the Creed at Ukranian Masses, its ambiguity enables a heretical interpretation.

This is evil.

Another more interesting aspect in the SSPX-fest was an interview that CMTV posted with a Canon Lawyer.

While, he agrees that the SSPX is not in formal schism (too much evidence against that old point) he does state that:
It is the more probable opinion among approved authors that refusal of obedience of a Catholic to the Pope which is not predicated upon a rejection of the principle of his authority as Roman Pontiff as Caput Romanae Ecclesiae constitutes material, not formal schism. However, if those lay faithful receiving the Sacraments from them at any one point in time also severed themselves entirely from, or refused submission in principle to, the Roman Pontiff and per can. 1330 of the Code of Canon Law manifested in word or in deed externally such actions, then they are presumed to have descended into formal schism.  (CMTV Interviews a Canon Lawyer)
First of all, this is a 'probably opinion' and therefore is simply an agreement in general from those currently within the sphere of influence in the circles of Canon law.  I'm sorry, but if the Pope issues an illegitimate command (outside of his scope of authority or proximately or immediately sinful) it is not materially schismatic to disobey.  However, it is interesting that no matter how many times it has been tried before, "they' always want to find a way to make the SSPX either schismatic or heretical to support their belief that the SSPX can't possibly be right.  Where are they going with this? I believe it is an attempt to make the consecrations without papal mandate a schismatic act.  Good luck with that one, that ship has sailed and we know that it is not a schismatic act - it was simply an disobedient act and the censure of schism was not included in the canonical warning.

So ... once again no dice for Mr Voris.

The Canon Lawyer did mention something of interest:
The Tribunal of the Roman Rota has issued, per my count, five judgments declaring the nullity of marriage of those faithful who exchange vows before an SSPX priest. The legal rationale for such judgments has been the ground of Defect of Canonical Form (cf. can. 1108).  ... Whenever these norms have been applied to cases where an SSPX priest witnessed the exchange of vows of two Catholic faithful appearing before him, the Judges of the Roman Rota, the Catholic Church's universal court of appeal, have, to my knowledge, without exception, always declared such marriages to be utterly null and void.
Ok, so there are only 5 cases in 40+ years that have reached the Roman Rota?  Really?  Now I do find something of interest, in that the Canon Lawyer quotes an abstract of the judgement:
 An affirmative sentence has recognized the nullity of marriage by reason of defect of delegation in the celebrating priest belonging to the "Society of Saint Pius X" (the so-called Lefebvrians). According to the panel of judges [Turnus], on the part of the faithful who follow schismatic pastors — as an aside, the Lefebvrian community is qualified as dissident but not separated from the Church — one cannot automatically presume the will to defect from the Catholic Church (from the moment that their choice could have been influenced more by liturgical preference than by the refusal of papal authority) and therefore these [individuals] remain bound by canonical form (can. 1117 in the text preceding the reform introduced by the Motu Proprio Omnium in mentem of 26 October 2009; A. 95/09).
 So what I am wondering is if ever in the last 40 years the Roman Rota has presumed that the marriages were valid.  I also find of interest that this contradicts the American Nuncio who wrote:
This has been confirmed by a reply of Cardinal Mayer to a letter written by a troubled Catholic from California asking about the validity of our Sacraments: The principle of "common error” , whether on the part of only one faithful or on the part of the community, can be applied in this case, and such acts are thereby valid (cf. canons 144, 976, 1331, 1333, 1335) (Apostolic Nunciature in U.S.A., letter 1885/89/4, dated May lst,1989).

I'd love to get a copy of this letter and mail it to Mr. Voris et al.

Anyway, I'm happy that the Roman Rota acknowledges that the SSPX is (in 2010) simply dissident.

Mr. Voris' arriving at the common purpose with the same 'professional Catholics' that he chastises, and attacking the SSPX is interesting enough that I am going to try and put my observations down in a separate post.

Here's the SSPX point of view on the topic (courtesy of SSPX.org).

P^3

Comments

  1. Mr. Eli: It is the more probable opinion among approved authors that refusal of obedience of a Catholic to the Pope which is not predicated upon a rejection of the principle of his authority as Roman Pontiff as Caput Romanae Ecclesiae constitutes material, not formal schism.

    Tradicat: First of all, this is a 'probable opinion' and therefore is simply an agreement in general from those currently within the sphere of influence in the circles of Canon law. I'm sorry, but if the Pope issues an illegitimate command (outside of his scope of authority or proximately or immediately sinful) it is not materially schismatic to disobey.

    Idiotadoctus: You've smelled a rat, O Tradicat. Mr. Eli apparently doesn't even know the meaning of the terms 'material' and 'formal' in reference to crimes. In Catholic philosophical terms, the 'matter' of a thing is just the material stuff out of which a thing is made. The 'form' is the immaterial organizing principle. In application to moral questions then, a material evil act is just the bad act itself. A formal evil act is the bad act considered as driven by evil INTENT (at least some knowledge of, and consent to, that evil act). Merely material evil acts are otherwise known as mistakes. Materially evil acts that are also driven by evil intent are also then formally evil, and are thus called sins (in canonical terms, 'crimes').
    First of all, the SSPX's "disobedience" is not disobedience at all; the SSPX, while "disobeying" the pope, is only doing so because it is necessary to reject the pope's commands in order to obey his predecessors, the Church, and Christ instead.
    Anyway, Mr. Eli is using the term 'material schism' to mean the act of "disobedience" against the pope, and the term 'formal schism' to mean the act of rejecting the pope's right to command. These are two different acts entirely: an act of disobedience is just an act of disobedience; it may be a simple mistake (material evil), or a conscious sin (formal evil). The act of schism is to reject the pope's right to command; it likewise may be a simple mistake (material evil), or a conscious sin (formal evil). The terms 'material' and 'formal' have to be applied to INDIVIDUAL acts.
    Eli seems to be using the terms to describe different degrees of GRAVITY of what he considers to be the SAME act. For him it seems that BOTH a simple act of disobedience to the pope, as well as the act of rejecting the pope's right to command are the same act: schism, the only difference being that the former is less serious than the latter.

    C'mon folks. This guy was trained by modernists. The ΅more probable opinion among the [modern] approved authors" is only the opinion of the modernists. Do we REALLY expect these people to know what the #!*$@! they are talking about?

    God help them.

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