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Showing posts from July, 2017

Peace of Heart and True Profit

When people get upset, more often than not, they make mistakes.

That's why keeping peace of soul (heart) is so important for surviving and thriving in this crisis of the Church.

Just because the leaders of the Church (practically all of Ecclesia Docens) are objectively guilty of dereliction of duty, does not give us permission to stampede in whichever direction we are facing.

No, we need to keep peace of soul, foster a strong and deep spiritual life, study and do our duty of state.

That is how we will survive, thrive and save our souls.

Source: Sacred Texts - Imitation of Christ


A look back: September 1997 - Superior General's Letter #53

The history of the SSPX is an example of obedience. Some would say disobedience.  The question is obedience or disobedience to what?

The SSPX is obedient to:

Pre-conciliar magisteriumPre-conciliar liturgyConciliar magisterium following three classesWhat is repeating previous magisterium: AcceptWhat is ambiguous: Accept inline with traditional interpretationWhat is contrary: Reject and request correction by the authorityPost-conciliar magisterium that is inline with pre-conciliar magisterium
Consequently, the SSPX is disobedient to: Post-conciliar magisterium that deviates from the pre-conciliar magisterium.The post-conciliar liturgyOrders that would constitute a compromise to that which (see above) the SSPX is obedient. Obedience in this time requires a great deal of prudence as well as fortitude.


Courtesy of

Note to Sedes - Heresy does not automatically sever one from the Church

It's interesting that there are a number of issues with Sedevacantism.  One of which is how to answer the following question:

How would you KNOW, not suspect, infer, but have factual knowledge, that a Pope has been stripped of the office of the Papacy?

Another question would be:

When can you reasonably conclude that a reigning pontiff has committed the sin of heresy?

I think the answers are rather simple.

The answer to the first question is when the Church tells you.  This would accomplished by a formal declaration by the authorities of the Church.

The answer to the second question is when the Pope tells you. This would be accomplished by a formal declaration by the Pope followed by an action that ratifies it.  In other words, he would have to explicitly deny a Dogma of the Church.  This would then be followed by an action such as his abandoning his post and joining a sect or creating a new one.

In these two cases, you would KNOW as a fact without the need of any judgement …

Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1h - St. Thomas on Legitimate authority and obedience

I will be bringing this latest series to a close after this post.  
I think it has been a good deep dive into the thought of St. Thomas on obedience. I've also had the opportunity to respond to some of Gerard's objections.
So what is next for us in this crisis of the Church?
Knowing when obedience is obligatory, optional and sinful.
Practicing virtue.
Above all, keep your cup full!
Source: Blog St. Thomas Aquinas

Links to other posts in this latest series on obedienceIntroduction:
Obedience as per St. Thomas: as per St. Thomas Aquinas: Distinctions: to the 1988 Consecrations:…

Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1g - Objections (updated)

Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1f - Conclusions

What can we conclude from this latest study of obedience as per St. Thomas Aquinas?

That the combination of the sphere of authority and whether or not the order provided contains sin in the immediate or proximate case is supported.That authority has boundaries that are defined by some sort of law (Divine or otherwise).An order involving sin is to be disregarded.Obedience is optional for a non-sinful order outside the sphere of authority.

Further, in looking at the example of the 1988 consecrations, there is an objective basis to assert that a state of necessity was in place at that time and required the Archbishop to perform the consecrations or face a dereliction of this duty.

Finally, the application of good principles are key to acting with virtue in this crisis. Abandoning Catholic principles because one does not understand how to apply them is a wretched beginning that will lead to a person's undoing.


Links to other posts in this latest series on obedienceIntroduct…

Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1e - Application to 1988 Consecrations

In the last year I have heard twice that the 1988 consecrations were wrong - one from an FSSP seminarian and once from a "resistor" with pseudonym 'Gerard'. In his defence, Gerard qualified his  assertion with the statement that if my understanding of St. Thomas' doctrine on obedience was correct, then Archbishop Lefebvre was wrong.

Subjectively, it is clear that the Archbishop believed he was working in a state of necessity. The FSSP seminarian agreed to this immediately, but our discussion was truncated before we could delve into the issues surrounding whether or not the consecration would be defended objectively.

I would like to dig in a little deeper into this charge that the Archbishop objectively had no basis to disobey the order of Pope St. John Paul II to not perform the consecrations.

A key distinction is that there were two 'authorities' that the Archbishop was disobeying by performing the consecration: The Vicar of Christ and Canon Law.

Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1d - Key distinctions

St. Thomas' understanding of obedience and its application in real life is founded on the sphere of authority of the superior and the nature of the order issued.

In order to understand St. Thomas, we need to dig a little deeper by asking some questions:
What defined the superiors sphere of authority?What does 'against God' mean?What does liberalism mean at a personal level?

Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1c - DisObedience as per St. Thomas Aquinas

Obviously, we need a counter-point to obedience and that is disobedience.

In the summa St. Thomas considers disobedience under two key points:

Is it a mortal sin? Yes as it is contrary to the love of GodIs it the most grievous of sins? No, there are degrees in sinfulness of disobedience tied to the nature of the superior and the command disobeyed. Again, I have reordered the article to collect the objections / replies after the explanation given in the On the Contrary and I answer that sections.

Links to other posts in this latest series on obedienceIntroduction:
Obedience as per St. Thomas: as per St. Thomas Aquinas: Distinctions: …

Bishop Schneider: The interpretation of Vatican II and its connection with the current crisis of the Church - rorate-caeli

Bishop Athanasius (article below) is echoing something that the SSPX et al have known for  along time.

The documents of V2 are:

Traditional and repeating prior magisterium (accept)Ambiguous (accept with traditional interpretation)Novel / contradicting prior magisterium (request to be fixed!!!!)

I have noted the original link as Rorate-Caeli has stated that it is ok to link / repost their articles provided they are given the credit etc.


Courtesy of Rorate-Caeli

Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1b - Obedience as per St. Thomas Aquinas

Obedience as per St. Thomas St. Thomas' description of obedience in the Summa is broken down into six articles examining whether:
One man is bound to obey another? Yes, inferiors a bound to obey their superiors.
Obedience is a special virtue? Yes, it is a special virtue.
Obedience is the greatest of all virtues? No, Charity is the greatest virtue.
God ought to be obeyed in all things? Yes, all are bound to obey the Divine Command.
Subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things? No, if the Superior commands something against God or outside of their sphere of authority obedience is not required in the latter and sinful in the former.
Against God:We are bound to obey the divine command as known through the Divine, Written and Natural Law. To disobey the these is to commit sin.
Sphere of Authority: This defines the limits of authority. St. Thomas speaks of the limits of authority for rulers, parents, as well as religious leaders. In each case there is typical…

Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1a - Introduction

+ JMJ Obedience – The Sequel

In St. Thomas' concept, obedience is a double edged sword that cuts the vice of pride one way via submission to another, and in another way cuts the virtue of virtues of Charity and Justice via submission to a superior rather than to God.
Why is this important?
Because many within the Catholic Church tout that the SSPX is disobedient and that this disobedience is 'schismatic' etc.
Why argue about this topic?
Because in arguing we have an opportunity to discover new perspectives on the topic that, because of our natural biases and insights, we would never has considered.

Joseph Shaw's Reply to Cardinal Sarah

Liturgy affects culture and vice-versa hence the saying: lex orandi lex credendi. The New Mass reflects a new theology, the Tridentine Mass reflects the pre-conciliar Theology.

As the pre and post theology are antithetical, so are the liturgies.

There are three options for cultural change: Fight, flight, acquiesce. What is being suggested by those who want to merge the 'banal on the spot liturgy' with a liturgy that organically developed over 1000+ years is to acquiesce and attempt to merge the cultures.

Aside from the inclusion of new saints in the calendar, this simply won't work and it is a really bad idea.

The thought that the New Mass needs to be turfed seems to have theological basis (more later).

I think that the only reasonable way to mitigate the change is to have the Tridentine Mass said in the venacular. Even that approach has serious issues in that it could just prolong the problem.

Sometimes it is just necessary to jump into the water when the ship is …

Tradition: From Return to Recourse - FSSPX.News


Facing the reality of the situation is important. We need to see things (events in the Church, Church Teaching) as they are, not as we would imagine them to be!

Sede vacantists, ignoring the dogmatic fact doctrine, see the actions of the Pope / Council / etc and state: This can't possibly be the Pope etc.

"Conservatives" likewise state the same thing, but arrive at a different conclusion - all must be ok.

Aligning our understanding with reality (ie Truth) is key to understanding all the ins / outs of the crisis of the Church.

The SSPX is merely a symptom.

In the 70's the mantra was established and while the problems started earlier, it is easy to date the malaise of the Church to this event.

It is the first bookend, it will be interesting to see what becomes the other bookend to this crisis.


Courtesy of /

The myth of the Hermeneutic of Continuity - Rorate Caeli

Interestingly the complete acceptance of the Second Vatican Council (without reservations) is required of the SSPX.
Just when people are starting to wonder how it came to this!

Courtesy of Rorate Caeli

What does it mean "I'm a Traditional Catholic"?

I was visiting with a friend the other day when he said: "I'm a traditionalist".
This surprised me because, while I could imagine him saying he was a "conservative or faithful Catholic", I didn't really think that the "traditionalist" label would stick.
This got me to to thinking about what it means, or should mean when a person shakes you hand and says: "Hi, I'm a Traditional Catholic".

Pope Francis' Next Steps

Earlier this week there was a little storm about the questions that Pope Francis put to Cardinal Muller during his dismissal audience (one peter five: before the dismissal).

Here are the five questions:
Are you in favor of, or against, a female diaconate?Are you in favor of, or against, the repeal of celibacy? Are you in favor of, or against, female priests? Are you willing to defend Amoris Laetitia? Are you willing to retract your complaint concerning the dismissal of three of your own employees? Now, I suspect that people will want to believe that Pope Francis wants deaconesses, married priests, priestesses, people to receive communion in an objective state of mortal sin.

Rural Living for Trads?

Before his expulsion from the SSPX, Bishop Williamson would advocate the laity to move out of cities and take up hobby farming.

At that time I found it both tempting and unwise.

It is tempting to just leave the crazy city life behind and isolate ourselves like hermits from the world.  This is a bad perspective because we are social creatures and as children grow up the isolation will potentially cause resentment.

That said, seven years ago we did move out of the city to the outskirts of a rural town. However, my concerns about the influence on my children during their formative years, introducing them to the 'world' in a controlled manner as they were ready played a part in that decision but the catalyst was the need for affordable housing.

In other words it was a practical solution to a practical problem.

But I think to suddenly sell-off everything and follow Bishop Williamson's advice is unwise for the majority of people.

Here's my thinking:

Proximity to the Sa…

Unity of Faith with Pope Francis & Canonical Recognition of the SSPX

Pope Francis definitely makes Pope St. John Paul II look like a saint, even if he doesn't believe he canonized him.

However, the question is what about Unity of Faith and a Canonical Recognition.

Not something to trouble ourselves about, but since the scattered 'resistance' uses this as one of their watch words, I thought it appropriate to repost this article by the SSPX.


Courtesy of

Cycnical Resistors 2h - Concomitance of Our Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity


After I explained the principles in my 'challenge' he went silent on that topic.

Then he posted a fairly good question.  Even though I suspected that Gerard was attempting to lay a trap - unlike him - I still provided an answer.

Now since Gerard has sprung his little 'trap', I thought I would dig a little deeper into my understanding of the Mystery of the Eucharist.  Specifically, concomitance.

The SSPX - A Sign of Contradiction and Division

In some ways a person's perspective of the SSPX offers insight to their orthodoxy.

At least in this case it is true.

As in any point where these is a crisis, clarity is provided and here we have some more clarity.

The SSPX is not welcome in Germany because ... the Catholic Faith is not welcome in Germany.


Source: Eponymous Flower

Cynical Resistors 2f - Next Steps


In reviewing the back and forth of the Gerard Dialogue on Fatima, he seems to have reserved his most vehement protests for the apparent transgression of Church Law and his revulsion of the reception of Our Lord's blood in its natural as opposed to sacramental form.

My question is this: If Christ gives you His blood to drink in its natural form, is it a sin to drink it?

Here's the answer: No, it is not a sin to drink Christ's Blood if He gives it to you to drink.

A number of people on the forum posted that Our Lord would never do that.

I can find no reason to support their assertion.  Even St. Catherine of Siena is reported to have drunk from the side of Christ. Gerard purports that was a vision etc.  I reread the account (well worth it) and found that there is no reason to believe the event did not occur as related.

When I asked Gerard to support his assertion that it was simply a 'vision' etc, he went silent.

He does that a lot actually, anytime someone ref…

Cardinal Müller’s Letter and His Non-Renewal as Head of the CDF -

Well, as you may have noticed I've gone a little rogue with lots of posts since I took my oral exam.

I'm going to try and pull back to a more reasonable pace over the next few weeks while I try to finish off another series on obedience as well as prep for a presentation.

The following is the official SSPX notification of the new / old demands from Rome.  The mantra is definitely in place.

I particularly like the last line:
Confronted with these questions, those having a pythonical [prophetic] spirit (Acts 16:16) will make predictions. For our part, we will be content to wait for the facts and to look at their effects. So, what can we say except:


Courtesy of

Cynical Resistors 2e - Examination of some key elements of the objections


I believe that Gerard's response, if based on cynicism,  is fueled by a lack of understanding of some key Catholic principles.

Firstly, cynicism is contrary to Catholic principles on a number of levels, primarily because it is a result of liberalism.  The starting point is a distrust of authority, thereby making an attempt to elevate the holder as an authority.

This is why it is important to:

KNOW - your faith, so that your perspective will be wide and aligned with the thought of the Church of Christ.

This serves as a foundation to

LOVE - God. The love of God is the food of the spiritual life.

SERVE - God. Do God's will.

Baltimore Catechism
6. Q. Why did God make you?A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven. I've attached some samples of the dialogues with Gerard.


PS. Conclusion In this series we've examined the facts and opinions regarding the prelude as well as some aspects of the …

Cyncial Resistors 2c - Examination of objections

After that exposition, I think we're ready to have a look at some of Gerard's original objections, prior to diving into his responses to my 'unpacking' of his thoughts.

Cardinal Müller's letter to Bishop Fellay on the necessary conditions for "full re-establishment of communion" with the SSPX

I mentioned the 'mantra' being reinforced in May and now it is public.  Rome is not willing to accept us as we are.


This does clear things up though - especially the part about the SSPX needed to accept the 1988 profession of faith.  I believe that the 'Resistance' claimed that the SSPX was going to accept that bit.

I guess that was just conjecture.

What comes to mind is this meme:

Eventually, either Pope Francis will change, die or 'retire'.

Then the next Pope will have his chance to examine the issues with the Second Vatican Council, the New Mass, Pope Francis etc.

Through all this we can arrive at one safe conclusion: The SSPX has not compromised.


Courtesy of Rorate-Caeli

Cynical Resistors 2b - Core issue, the communion of the seers a the 'hand' of an angel

Now back to the topic of Fatima.

One issue that causes Gerard problems is the highlighted event related by Sister Lucia:
As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down, with our foreheads  touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the Angel: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You...”, I don’t know how many times we had repeated this prayer, when an extraordinary light shone upon us. We sprang up to see what was happening, and beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of blood fell into the chalice 14. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three times [The Fatima Prayer of Reparation] Then, rising, he took the chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco 15, saying as he did so: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outra…

Cynical Resistors 2a - Introduction and forming good judgements

As noted in the original cynical-resistors post, a person by the pseudonym of Gerard is finding fault with the Fatima apparitions.  He has a tendency to take the shotgun approach to theology in that he takes aim at a general topic and peppers it with bb's.

Private apparaitions to Sister Lucia of Fatima

I'm just catching up on a few posts that I thought were pertinent to this age.


Courtesy of


There is always much news of the comings and goings in Rome these days.

I am still eagerly looking to see who is put in charge of the CDF - it will be very telling.


FSSPX.News: Changesin the Pontifical Academy of Life

FSSPX.News: Satan Seen Increasingly as a Myth, Even within the Church Itself

FSSPX.News: Are the Freemasons Finally Exposing their Long-Held Secrets?

FSSPX.News: Saving Francis and Doctrine: Cardinal Müller’s Wager ... it would appear that Card. Mueller lost the wager.