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 2 quick questions on attending una-cum Masses 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 2:26 am
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New post 2 quick questions on attending una-cum Masses
Dear Mr. Lane,

I've been following with great interest this whole discussion between you and Fr Cekada/Bishop Sanborn. I for one believe you're doing a very good thing in not keeping this polemic private, since anti-opinionist opinions are obviously as public as they can be right now, and the consequences of their adoption on one's sacramental life -- and what's even more scary: one's family's sacramental life -- are really ponderous.

That said, I'm left with two quick questions that, I believe, might be of interest to a few others as well, and which perhaps you'd be kind enough to address, in your usual thoughtful manner.

If I understand correctly (please note that I'm only a newbie at SV), there is a law against attending to Masses of dubious validity. That is, one ought not to assist at Mass of a priest whose ordination is doubtful, in reason of having been ordained by a Bishop whose consecration is itself doubtful, for having been consecrated according to the New Rite, which is probably invalid. Is that correct? I mean, particularly the "possibly"s and "probably"s, which at times can be a bit tricky! (And, as usual, I have but little time to write and no time to research... :( ).

Now, suppose that the only traditional Mass at hand is an Indult Mass, by a priest who rejects Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae, but comes from the Novus Ordo, or is ordained by a "Novus Ordo" Bishop. Between the above-mentioned law (to avoid doubtful sacraments) and the Third Commandment, which one should prevail? In other words, is the law to avoid sacraments which might not be 100% sure so strong, as to make one staying home-alone, specially in view of the consequences of that omission on the religious learning of our children, who might then be years without ever seeing Mass in such a case?

Second question: about una-cum Masses by the SSPX. The permission to attend it, is it restricted to fulfilling the law of Sunday or would that be okay for a sedevacantist to assist at one such Mass on a daily basis? And if yes, why would that be? Or: when would a public confession of sedevacantism be morally obligatory or at least fitting and commendable, if ever?

Thank you very much for your attention.

In JMJ,
Zaqueu


Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:03 pm
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New post Re: 2 quick questions on attending una-cum Masses
Zaqueu wrote:
If I understand correctly (please note that I'm only a newbie at SV), there is a law against attending to Masses of dubious validity. That is, one ought not to assist at Mass of a priest whose ordination is doubtful, in reason of having been ordained by a Bishop whose consecration is itself doubtful, for having been consecrated according to the New Rite, which is probably invalid. Is that correct?

Yes, with respect to the sacraments, we are obliged to take the safe course.



Zaqueu wrote:
Now, suppose that the only traditional Mass at hand is an Indult Mass, by a priest who rejects Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae, but comes from the Novus Ordo, or is ordained by a "Novus Ordo" Bishop. Between the above-mentioned law (to avoid doubtful sacraments) and the Third Commandment, which one should prevail? In other words, is the law to avoid sacraments which might not be 100% sure so strong, as to make one staying home-alone, specially in view of the consequences of that omission on the religious learning of our children, who might then be years without ever seeing Mass in such a case?


Well, this is a difficult question. I could not in conscience assist at a Mass offered by a priest ordained in the circumstances you describe, because I think there are objective grounds for doubt about the new rite for episcopal consecration particularly. The new rite of priestly ordination is a less clear-cut case, but still doubtful, I think.

Personally, I’d find a priest who was properly ordained and work from there to obtain the traditional Mass and sacraments, or start with a doubtfully ordained priest who is a traditionalist and convince him to be re-ordained. The Sunday obligation only obliges when it is possible to fulfil it. The obligation of the Third Commandment is fulfilled by private prayer if public prayer is not possible.



Zaqueu wrote:
Second question: about una-cum Masses by the SSPX. The permission to attend it, is it restricted to fulfilling the law of Sunday or would that be okay for a sedevacantist to assist at one such Mass on a daily basis? And if yes, why would that be?

Why not? I take my children to Holy Mass every Saturday and Sunday, and sometimes on other days also. Unless and until I see some reason why the mention of the fake pope in the “una cum” clause makes such a Mass unlawful I refuse to permit this impressionistic thinking to deprive my family of such wonderful and (in the current era, crucial) graces.



Zaqueu wrote:
Or: when would a public confession of sedevacantism be morally obligatory or at least fitting and commendable, if ever?


Commendable, of course – but even then, not always and everywhere. The point is mainly charity to others. There are implicit questions of Faith involved, but the implication is indirect, I think. It would be interesting to hear what others think about this, including Fr. Cekada. This has never been an issue for me, for the obvious reason that I am known as a sedevacantist to the faithful at the chapel I attend, and to the priests of the SSPX.

Obligatory? Perhaps sometimes. But only insofar as one is obliged to witness to any truth which is not a truth of the Faith. In other words, only if challenged to deny it, I think.

In any case, as you would know, even in relation to the Faith itself the obligation to profess is not absolute, but it is even lawful to conceal one’s Faith in certain circumstances. The fact of the vacancy of the Holy See is most certainly not a matter of Faith.

“It is permissible to conceal or dissemble one’s faith provided there is sufficient reason and it does not entail either a direct or indirect denial of faith. Thus, for example, a heretic (or pagan) who cannot return in public to the Church without involving himself in serious temporal inconvenience may do so secretly; a priest while passing through dangerous places inhabited by unbelievers may wear lay attire. Many other examples are given in the author’s Man. Theol. mor. I, 507.” (Prummer, Handbook of Moral Theology, p. 86).

Wouldn't the potential refusal of the sacraments be a sufficient reason not to mention one's sedevacantism?

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Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:07 am
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New post A rather digressive thanks
Dear Mr. Lane,

Mr. John Lane wrote:
...as you would know...


Or not. Actually, if I've said something before that left you with the impression that I really know anything about these matters, it was most probably bravado, for which I apologize.
:oops:

Mr. John Lane wrote:
Personally, I’d find a priest who was properly ordained and work from there to obtain the traditional Mass and sacraments, or start with a doubtfully ordained priest who is a traditionalist and convince him to be re-ordained.


The first option would not only be a difficult chase but would amount to something rather temporary, at best, since practically all of those priests would surely be very old now, wouldn't they?

The second option would seem more feasible, were it not for the fact that the priests I know who match that description, now think -- together with my closest friends and my mentors, who perhaps should know better -- that I have either (a) gotten a little bit crazy in the head and need a special blessing on this particular spot, or (b) am being tempted with grave doubts against the faith, or still (c) have just dug up Bellarmine's teaching as cover for some occult moral problem that is so hidden no one is even able to point out! None of that is true, but that's how even otherwise learned and wise -- and pious! -- traditionalist Catholics consider sedevacantism around here....

Mr. John Lane wrote:
“It is permissible to conceal or dissemble one’s faith provided there is sufficient reason and it does not entail either a direct or indirect denial of faith. Thus, for example, a heretic (or pagan) who cannot return in public to the Church without involving himself in serious temporal inconvenience may do so secretly; a priest while passing through dangerous places inhabited by unbelievers may wear lay attire. Many other examples are given in the author’s Man. Theol. mor. I, 507.” (Prummer, Handbook of Moral Theology, p. 86).


Thank you very much for that quotation! It will surely help me with friends who now argue thus: if you're really serious about that SV stuff, then you must not attend any traditionalist Mass, you must have no communication with us, you must condemn everything we do, et cetera ad nauseam.

Really, it's appalling how false dillemmas are in the order of the day: on the one hand, it's some otherwise excellent sedevacantist authors now saying, reject communion with sedeplenists or become modernist; on the other hand, those around me implying that I should either be a R&R traditionalist like them or become a home-aloner, or even apostatize and go "enjoy life", for the Church would be finished if B16 is not Pope. (The temptation to retort that it is people who apparently need to believe Ratzinger is Pope, who seem to have a feeble and waning faith, is almost irresistible, even though I know that this might only be a case of "bad sight" on their part). And they call those scare tactics "a matter of coherence", while refusing to sit down and listen to any argument against their harsh presuppositions.

No wonder so many sedevacantists are embittered against regular traditionalists -- I'd certainly be one them, had I not found this particular forum, and if I only had French sedevacantist foruns to read. For that I'm deeply thankful to the Bellarmine Forum.

Mr. John Lane wrote:
Wouldn't the potential refusal of the sacraments be a sufficient reason not to mention one's sedevacantism?


Please pray for me to hold my tongue! Particularly with the SSPX priest I know, and who I've even come to admire in many respects recently, after having a lower image of him for a while, but who is still far from being close enough for me to know what would be his reaction.

I fear being expelled with my family, because traditionalists around here are scared to death being labeled "SV-friendly", which soon gives rise to the suspicion of "crypto-SV", and suddenly it's only "you SV, you!" (Which implies that sedevacantism is something akin to spiritual leprosy in their eyes.) For example, many around here think that Bishop Williamson is most certainly a hidden sedevacantist, to which I always must reply that unfortunately he is not, and I of all people wish he were.

In predominantly Catholic countries, the laudable hatred of Protestant sects unfortunately has this side effect of blinding even intelligent Catholics to any suggestion against Benedict's papacy. Even people who considered Wojtyla either a flagrant heretic or a mad man, shy away from any hint that both these things are incompatible with holding office in Holy Church.

Anyway, forgive the rambling.

In JMJ,
Felipe


Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:31 pm
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New post Another quick question
Felipe, you are a good fellow! :D

Now, along with your questions, I have one of my own:

To wit:

1) Under what conditions is fulfillment of the Sunday obligation not required?

I'm not talking about the usual and obvious, such as no valid priest available, or illness, etc.

In our own case, according to an older book I have read, if the distance to Mass is more than 30 miles, attendance is not required.

Now, I know many people who routinely drive 30 miles to attend a sporting event or to go shopping, so, to my mind, the above-mentioned guide seems to be very badly out-of-date.

Further, we have been told by our priests that our attendance at Mass is not required, since we have to travel so far.

Nonetheless, we know from sad past experience that if we do not attend, our spiritual life goes "into the tank".

It seems to me that if attendance at Mass is not required under such circumstances, that those graces should be able to be aquired some other way, yet that doesn't happen...at least not in our case.

Ideas? Thoughts?

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Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:11 pm
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New post Re: Another quick question
KenGordon wrote:
1) Under what conditions is fulfillment of the Sunday obligation not required?

Any moderately grave inconvenience excuses.


KenGordon wrote:
Now, I know many people who routinely drive 30 miles to attend a sporting event or to go shopping, so, to my mind, the above-mentioned guide seems to be very badly out-of-date.

It's a good question - would that amount of travel still constitute a moderately grave inconvenience? I agree, it is doubtful.



KenGordon wrote:
It seems to me that if attendance at Mass is not required under such circumstances, that those graces should be able to be aquired some other way, yet that doesn't happen...at least not in our case.

I don't think we can say that the graces of Holy Mass are equally available merely because Providence has deprived us of the actual Mass (e.g. if one could only obtain Mass offered by an invalidly ordained priest, or a Greek schismatic, etc.). That would be an entirely gratuitous assertion. If God deprives us of something, He deprives us of it. Otherwise you must posit that God never chastises anybody, good or bad, or that His chastisements are merely apparent rather than real.

A fortiori, we should not think that if we err, even completely innocently, about whether or not Mass is really available, so that we stay home alone instead of assisting at Holy Mass and receiving the sacraments, God will necessarily make up the graces to us. I think that there is a strong tendency in human nature to make God in our own image. He provides Holy Mass. We should sharpen up our wits and make sure we are not rejecting His loving Providence by mistake.

To my mind this is no different from the case of the man who misses out on any temporal benefit through some mistake or other. Any number of such cases could be constructed. A man might miss out on a feed because he doesn't have any money, and he mistakenly thinks that the restaurant owner will refuse to give him anything for free. A man might die of thirst within crawling distance of an oasis, because he simply does not realise how close he is.

Our tendency is to exaggerate our own good will and then make it into a title to miracles. This is a grave error.

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Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:43 pm
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New post Re: Another quick question
KenGordon wrote:
In our own case, according to an older book I have read, if the distance to Mass is more than 30 miles, attendance is not required.

Now, I know many people who routinely drive 30 miles to attend a sporting event or to go shopping, so, to my mind, the above-mentioned guide seems to be very badly out-of-date.


I wonder how old this book is. A traditional priest I know said that if it takes more than an hour to get to Mass then attendance is not required. Many years past, 30 miles probably would be about an hour's drive. In many rural areas, 20 miles might be an hour's drive. Since I live within a few miles over paved roads to a limited-access highway, even though the area is a rural area, I could generally get anywhere within a 60-75 mile distance within an hour's travel.

Since I live 45 minutes from a chapel, I do not fail to attend Mass unless the "Superbowl Standard" prevents me from doing so. The "Superbowl Standard" is what I call it if, supposing I had tickets to the Superbowl (the National Football League championship game in the U.S.) played in Indianapolis, would I be able to make it to the game. If I would make it to the game, then I certainly will make it to an event, the Holy Mass, that is infinitely more important to the Superbowl.

My family and I did miss Christmas Mass one year (though, without our knowledge we would not have really attended Mass since it was before we had discovered tradition) because of a snowstorm that started around 2300 on Christmas Eve and continued for several hours. Though the snow had stopped falling by early morning, snowdrifts in the low-lying areas that were taller than my vehicle made it impossible for me to drive to the main road. About 100 feet of snow kept me from attending Mass and would also have prevented me from getting to the Superbowl. The county plows did not clear my road until early evening.

When that book was written, most people probably walked to most stores or subsisted off their own land. The principle, I think, remains the same. We just have to adjust the "30 mile rule" for technological advances.


Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:29 pm
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New post 
I think it is pretty obvious that modern moral theologians haven't updated standards for 'grave inconvenience', and that most of the rules reflect a transportation infrasctructure which predates interstates, multilane highways designed for greater speeds, the increase in mobility of people today, etc. Modern moral theologians (if there are any true ones being trained these days) don't see attendance at Mass on Sunday as a serious issue or a grave sin, so I am not surprised by the lack of a 'standard'. For the time being, I suppose it is a subjective call.

However, I do like the Superbowl Standard, because it strikes at the heart of modern 'priorities'. If I had a valid traditional Mass within 100 miles of my home, only severe weather coould/would keep me away. These days, there are those who think nothing of driving 50 miles for a evening meal to a favorite, but not local, restaurant, even with gas prices as high as they are! As a single male, I wouldn't find 100 miles once a week (at a minimum) a hardship at all.


Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:25 am
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New post Regarding the una cum clause
I apologize if this has been covered. I don't know if it has because I can't find a lot of the old threads from the old forum (maybe they got lost when we moved to the new forum?).

Do any of the following passages present any difficulty in regards to the SSPX including the names of Ratzinger et al. in the Mass?:

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum #23: "Moreover heretics and schismatics are subject to the censure of major excommunications by the law of Can. de Ligu. 23, quest. 5, and Can. Nulli, dist. 19. But the sacred canons of the Church forbid public prayer for the excommunicated as can be seen in chap. A nobis, 2, and chap. Sacris on the sentence of excommunication. Though this does not forbid prayer for their conversion, still such prayer must not take the form of proclaiming their names in the solemn prayer during the sacrifice of the Mass."

Pope Pius IX, Quartus Supra #9:

"For this reason John, Bishop of Constantinople, solemnly declared - and the entire Eighth Ecumenical Council did so later - 'that the names of those who were separated from communion with the Catholic Church, that is of those who did not agree in all matters with the Apostolic See, are not to be read out during the sacred mysteries."



Also, are the topics from the old forum now non-existant, or do you have them backed up somewhere? I was just curious because there are a number of them that I searched for in the hopes of reading through them again (particularly the ones regarding jurisdiction), and was unable to locate them. thank you, Colin


Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:21 am
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New post Re: Regarding the una cum clause
Colin Fry wrote:
I apologize if this has been covered. I don't know if it has because I can't find a lot of the old threads from the old forum (maybe they got lost when we moved to the new forum?).

No, I think they're all there. However, I don't think the search function on this new version of the forum software works very well. I don't use it at all. It is far more efficient to use the Advanced Search function of google.com - http://www.google.com.au/advanced_search?hl=en

Just put http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forums into the box that says "Search within a site or domain" and then enter your search criteria and away you go.

For example: http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&a ... afe=images

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Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:56 am
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New post Re: 2 quick questions on attending una-cum Masses
oh okay, thank you. I hadn't thought to try it that way. Do you have any comment on the two passages I posted, or are they answered by the fact that the novus ordo Popes have not been "officially" excommunicated by a lawful power, even though they are ipso facto deposed?


Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:42 pm
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New post Re: 2 quick questions on attending una-cum Masses
Colin Fry wrote:
oh okay, thank you. I hadn't thought to try it that way. Do you have any comment on the two passages I posted, or are they answered by the fact that the novus ordo Popes have not been "officially" excommunicated by a lawful power, even though they are ipso facto deposed?


Well, you'd need to construct an argument so that it could be examined. All that those passages say is what a priest must not do. They do not tell us what laymen are to do in case of confusion about who is excommunicated and who is not.

And yes, both passages deal only with the excommunicated. This is sufficiently clear from the context. For example, the second of those passages is from Pius IX, Quartus supra. Here is the full passage in context.
Quote:
This fact was well known to the illustrious bishops of the Eastern Churches. Hence at the Council of Constantinople held in the year 536, Mennas the bishop of that city affirmed openly with the approval of the fathers, "We follow and obey the Apostolic See, as Your Charity realizes and we consider those in communion with it to be in communion with us, and we too condemn the men condemned by it."[11] Even more clearly and emphatically St. Maximus, abbot of Chrysopolis, and a confessor of the faith, in refer ring to Pyrrhus the Monothelite, declared: "If he wants neither to be nor to be called a heretic, he does not need to satisfy random individuals of his orthodoxy, for this is excessive and unreasonable. But just as all men have been scandalized at him since the chief man was scandalized, so also when that one has been satisfied, all men will doubtless be satisfied. He should hasten to satisfy the Roman See before all others. For when this See has been satisfied, all men everywhere will join in declaring him pious and orthodox. For that man wastes his words who thinks that men like me must be persuaded and beguiled when he has not yet satisfied and beseeched the blessed Pope of the holy Roman Church. From the incarnate word of God Himself as well as from the conclusions and sacred canons of all holy councils, the Apostolic See has been granted the command, authority and power of binding and loosing for all God's holy churches in the entire world."[12] For this reason John, Bishop of Constantinople, solemnly declared-and the entire Eighth Ecumenical Council did so later -- "that the names of those who were separated from communion with the Catholic Church, that is of those who did not agree in all matters with the Apostolic See, are not to be read out during the sacred mysteries."[13] This plainly meant that they did not recognize those men as true Catholics. All these traditions dictate that whoever the Roman Pontiff judges to be a schismatic for not expressly admitting and reverencing his power must stop calling himself Catholic.


Of course, the very same Council also decreed the following canon: “No layman, monk, or cleric shall, previous to an examination and conciliar decision, leave the jurisdiction of his own patriarch, though he may pretend to know that the latter is guilty of a grave crime; nor shall he omit his name in the liturgy. The same rule is to be observed also by bishops and priests toward their patriarch. Whoever is found to act contrary to this decision of the holy council, shall, if a bishop or cleric, be suspended; if a monk or layman, excommunicated.”

What a great letter that is. Did you see this wonderful passage? "But to prove that they are Catholics, the neo-schismatics appeal to what they call a declaration of faith, published by them on February 6, 1870, which they insist disagrees in no regard with the Catholic faith. However it has never been possible to prove oneself a Catholic by affirming those statements of the faith which one accepts and keeping silence on those doctrines which one decides not to profess. But without exception, all doctrines which the Church proposes must be accepted, as the history of the Church at all times bears witness."

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Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:37 pm
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New post Re: 2 quick questions on attending una-cum Masses
Of potential interest in the present circumstances.


Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:34 am
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