What about SSPX?

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What about SSPX?

Postby Renovo » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:15 am

Dear Aaron,

With regards to The Society of Saint Pius X, I don’t believe that I have written harshly, nor definitively on the Website, although personally I believe that my views pertaining to the Society are correct and true to Catholic teaching. The largest issue I find with the Society is that of obedience. By recognizing John XXIII, Paul VI, JPI, JPII, and Benedict XVI as Popes, the Society has put themselves in a problematic position.

If he is Pope, he must be obeyed in all matters that pertain universally to Catholics regarding Faith & Morals. He cannot be ½ of a Pope (only the Pope when he is traditional). Any theological gymnastics that attempt to justify this claim will end up with individuals deciding what is Papal, and what is not. Clearly this is a very dangerous and Protestant way of thinking; and once this door has been opened anyone can walk through it. It has never been allowed for Catholics to disobey the Pope. For the SSPX to promote this line of reasoning is very dangerous to their followers. If you can disobey the Pope, you can disobey any legitimate authority, if you don’t agree with them.

To recognize a Pope and not obey him in all matters of Faith and Morals is by definition schismatic.

“the schismatic rebels against the Divinely constituted hierarchy. However, not every disobedience is a schism; in order to possess this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command.”
1912 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII

The Pope and the universal Magesterium in union with him are infallibly protected by the Holy Ghost.(1) This is how they get their Divine right to command. The Great Schism came about because of nearly the same thinking that the SSPX find themselves in. The East recognized the man in Rome as Pope, but they did not recognize his authority to command them in all Catholic matters. Not only is the solemn Magesterium infallible, but the ordinary and universal Magisterial body of the Church is also infallibly protected, and must be obeyed.

Unlike the Arian heresy when there were a few Bishops and the Pope who held the Truth and fought for it. Not one Conciliar Bishop can be seen standing against Vatican II. The doctrines of Vatican II therefore are universally accepted and taught within this Conciliar Church. If their Bishops and Popes are legitimate, then by this universality, they are infallible, and must be obeyed. SSPX therefore must accept Vatican II, if they accept these “Popes”. Otherwise they are in schism with their “Pope” and his church.

One other curious aspect of the SSPX is that even the Popes that they recognize, consider the SSPX to be in schism.

“On the following day, 2 July, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter known as Ecclesia Dei in which he condemned the Archbishop's action.[9] The Pope stated that, since schism is defined in the Code of Canon Law as "withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (canon 751),[10] the consecration "constitute[d] a schismatic act", and that, by virtue of canon 1382 of the Code,[11] it entailed automatic excommunication for all the bishops involved.”
Wikipedia -SSPX

As sedevacantists, we are not offended to being in schism with this Conciliar Church, just as the Catholic Church recognized the schism with the Anglicans, and the Greek Orthodox. We equally do not recognize the Conciliar popes, the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor the Patriarchs of the East as having any legitimacy nor right of authority over us. We are not happy about the separation, and we pray for the unity, but we are steadfastly on the right path, and will not concede any doctrine for unity.

Please also understand that I would love to be able to assist at an SSPX Mass. It would be closer and more convenient. However because of their position towards the Conciliar popes and my position that is contrary, it would be sinfully scandalous for me to do so. That said, I do recognize the valid Orders and Sacraments, and would partake of them in times of emergency.

May Almighty God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless and guide you, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I will pray that God’s Grace will be abundant in your pursuit of a Holy vocation.


(1) - For more discussion on Magesterial Infallibility refer to: http://www.holyromancatholicchurch.org/rama/church.html
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