Principles and the SSPX Part 3
What if a perfect no compromise agreement is still a trap?
I have had arguments with 'resistors' who believe that my understanding of St. Thomas' teaching on obedience would lead to subservient obedience.
I still don't understand the rationale that leads from what St. Thomas taught to their conclusion.
One aspect that is true is that trust is not part of St. Thomas' doctrine (see True Obedience: Mark of a Faithful Catholic).
I believe that is because trust is subjective and if we relied upon our feelings towards our superior, then you undermine authority to its core.
By making the individual the one who judges whether or not they 'feel' (trust) like obeying at that moment. There is no respect for the authority of the superior, but respect for the feelings of the inferior.
This, my friends, is liberalism.
Now, it is possible that Rome could capitulate as I noted earlier in part 2, with the intention of trapping the sspx.
If the SSPX is faced with the choice or obeying a legitimate command or sinning, the choice is obvious, they would have to submit and trust in God to protect them from the machinations of the evil.
That is the Catholic way!
God knows the future and the hearts of men. As Archbishop Lefebvre used to say: I follow providence, I do not precede it.
The position(s) of the 'resistance'
Looking at the positions of the various priests who have left or been expelled from the SSPX (Bishop Williamson et al included) because of the relations with Rome. There are some key facts to review to assess and arrive at a judgement of their positions:
- We are now in the 18th year of the 'sell-out' and the various predictions of a sell-out have come and gone. Like the Jehovah witnesses before them, they have given up predicting a sell-out and have simply started pointing to things to say that the sell-out has already happened.
- They all disobeyed legitimate commands. This is especially evident in Bishop Williamson's case when he went on his confirmation trip to South America. This violated the rules of the SSPX and was inexcusable. Why? Because an SSPX bishop was scheduled to perform confirmations a short time later.
- The rationales provided for their various 'resistance' is unprincipled in that they all deviate on some major facet from Principles, Doctrine or Dogmas. Scary but true if you read some of their writings or have to patience to listen to some of their 'youtubes'.
In the examination of conscience the original edition found:
In the new edition we have:Have you attended and actively participated in the "New Mass"? Have you received Holy Communion in the hand?
Have you received Holy Communion in the hand knowing that it leads to Sacrilege and loss of faith in the Real Presence? Have you attended and actively participated in non-Catholic religious services?
The 'resistor' goes on to write:
Ask yourself, why is attending and actively participating in the "New Mass" no longer mentioned as being sinful? Could it be that speaking the truth is no longer compatible with being accepted "as we are" ? Is the SSPX slowly preparing minds for downplaying the evil of the "New Mass", or even worse, for accepting it as the "ordinary form" of the True Mass, an option, a preference?As the answers provided (in purple) are simply suppositions with no support, I'm happy to answer the question from a principles perspective.
First, a doctrinal point that provides the background for this topic, the doctrine of indefectibility.
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)As I wrote in 2013:
Having reviewed the above, particularly Dr. Ott's statement on the essential immutability of the liturgy, the logical conclusion is that the Infallibility of the Church extends to the liturgy.Then in support of my thesis - I cited the following:
This would be a correct conclusion and is the consensus amongst theologians. However, it would be a mistake to assumed a positive infallible action within the discipline of the liturgy as firstly there are multiple liturgies (rites) within the Church. Secondly because the liturgies have experienced development.
As to moral precepts or laws as distinct from moral doctrine, infallibility goes no farther than to protect the Church against passing universal laws which in principle would be immoral. It would be out of place to speak of infallibility in connection with the opportuneness or the administration of necessarily changing disciplinary laws although, of course, Catholics believe that the Church receives appropriate Divine guidance in this and in similar matters where practical spiritual wisdom is required. (Toner, 1910)So while the New Mass (as promulgated) was obviously inopportune, following the doctrine of indefectibility, the New Mass (as promulgated) is not in and of itself immoral. Therefore, attending such a liturgy is not ipso facto sinful.
Likewise, the expansion of the section on communion in the hand also makes sense. Because an indult has been provided, it is not per-se sinful to receive Holy Communion in the hand - as long as one complies with all the requirements of the indult.
So, it makes sense that it be amended, even if it offends the sensitivities of the 'resistance'.
Of course they won't hear of this reasoning because it doesn't fit with their 'worldview' ... which is too bad because at least I can hold to this position without compromising principles, doctrines or dogmas.