Correcting some errors of Servimus Unum Deum
I came across an article by Julian Barkin on Servimus Unum Deum and thought it would be good to clear up some of the errors. Of course, I will add some of my own perspective.
This act, Lefebvre did, was a violation of the Church`s governing law, Canon Law. This put the four, now three acting bishops in the Society (as +Williamson was expelled in the last few years for anti-Semitic propaganda,) as well as +Lefevbre in excommunication, and the Society made ``irregular.`` Because those bishops` priesthoods were valid as they were ordained prior to the illicit consecrations, by a bishop who was of the same, any priests they do ordain are valid priests, but since done out of disobedience to Holy Mother Church`s Canon Law, and operating outside of bishops' jurisdiction, the priests` Masses are illicit, though the Eucharist is consecrated, and any sacrament done outside of the permission of the Church is null (e.g. Confirmation.)First, as I understand it, the Bishops and Priests of the SSPX would have been subject to irregularity from the time of the ordinations that were performed in the 1970's (74?) without approval. The sole exception is Bishop Tissier de Mallerais who was ordained prior to the suspension.
Second, the only Sacraments that require jurisdiction for validity are Confession and Marriage.
Third, the irregularity of the SSPX bishops and priests is a little muddled now as Rome has granted the SSPX permission to ordain priests without the authorization of the local ordinaries.
As for attendance at their Masses, at least Kennedy was honest enough to say what is correct, in that regular attendance at the Masses of the SSPX can lead to self-schism from Holy Mother Church. The Pontifical Commision of Ecclesia Dei (PCED,) in a formal letter in 1995, seen here (3) states as follows: ".... While it is true that the participation in the Mass and sacraments at the chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute "formal adherence to the schism", such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a mentality which separates itself from the magisterium of the Supreme Pontiff ...." While the overall public presentation of the SSPX seems to be improving from a public relations perspective, Rome (the Church) has NOT withdrawn or altered the communication issued in 1995 from the PCED.This comes back to the question of whether or not there was a schism. It has already clear that since: the canonical warning did not cite the appropriate canon for schism, and that consecration without papal mandate does not constitute a schismatic act (in spire of declarations after the fact), that the application of the canonical punishment for schism does not apply.
However, Kennedy is wrong in regards to something I left out above. Kennedy is wrong in saying the following: ``... they fully accept the Holy Father and his authority." (1) This is incorrect on three different fronts. The first is their general situation, and involves the Mark of the Church being "Apostolic." By being outside the scope of the authority of their local bishops, who are the Church`s ordinary guardians and teachers of doctrine, dogma, and the laws of the Church in matters ecclesiastical, they at least indirectly go against the mark of Apostolic Authority, as it is from the head of the Church in Rome, under the Holy Father, the Supreme Vicar of Christ, where the authority of the Church flows.There are two problems with this assessment.
First, the SSPX does accept the Holy Father and his authority. The fact that they have been disobedient does not de facto mean they deny that the Pope has authority. If they did, then they would be schismatic. Their disobedience is based on the principles outlined by St. Thomas (for more information on obedience, please see the the obedience series).
Second, Julian appears to be in error as the mark of Apostolicity, according to the Cathechism of the Council of Trent means:
The Church of Christ can be recognized by its Apostolic origin, for "the Holy Ghost, who presides over the Church, governs her by no other ministers than those of Apostolic succession". (Tradicat: The Four Marks of the Church of Christ)The subjective situation of an individual vis-a-vis the Pope and the Hierarchy does no way affect the Apostolicity of their orders. To further drive this point home, the schismatic Orthodox have apostolic succession.
There are no less than three problems with this statement. I will deal with the two big ones.The second front, is that currently as of 2018, the SSPX still promotes and has published public statements and/or media, that smacks of Protestantism that defies the Holy Father, particularly Pope Francis. When Francis was brought into the seat of the Pope, the SSPX, on their USA district site (a frequent source of Kennedy's in the first post and his second,) accused Pope Francis in 2013 of heresy in blatant accusations of Modernism. (4) To start, how can they accuse the pope of Heresy when they have NO direct spiritual authority in the Church? Furthermore, to accuse the Pope of heresy violates Scripture in Matthew 16:18, whereby Christ will never allow the gates of Hell to prevail in the Church, and that includes the Dogma of Infallibility in faith and morals, proclaimed in the Vatican I council. The SSPX has NOT repealed their accusations of modernism, including the 2013 article from their website. For Kennedy to say they are in complete obedience to the Holy Father and his authority is disingenuous at best, false at its worst.
First, accusing Pope Francis of being a modernist is not a usurpation of authority. They are not issuing a canonical judgement, but simply pointing out the misalignment between the Pope actions and the Teachings of the Catholic Church. As this catastrophic pontificate has unfolded, others have made similar claims.
With regards to the accusing the "Pope of heresy violates Scripture ..." is false. A Pope can, has has, erred heretically in their private opinion. Justin is conflating the Pope's actions as a private theologian vs Pontifical Acts that qualify for protection of Infallibility.