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 Newest article from Fr. Cekada on Una Cum Question 
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marioderksen wrote:

John, Fr. Cekada's argument isn't based on the premise that the priest is offering a common oblation with Ratzinger. Fr. Cekada's argument is based on the premise that by our active participation, we consent to whoever is named as Pope. That is the crux of the issue.


And Fr. Cekada's definition of "active participation" has been called in to question, disputed and dismissed. Reread the thread.

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He is arguing about the sedevacantist's participation at the una cum Mass. He says this participation is sinful for the sedevacantist for the 10 reasons he summarizes at the end of the article. I don't see how you can tie this to the idea that Fr. Cekada is trying to impose his view - he's just making an argument.


Mario, he is making an argument in which he is imputing sin, and grave sin at that, to those he deems 'guilty' of his 10 accusations. If that is not imposing his view - "do as I advise or be guilty of the following list of sins" - then I wouldn't much fancy catching him on a confident day :)

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When you argue the Benedict XVI is not the Pope, are you trying to "impose" your view - or are you just asking people to reason it through and please come to the same conclusion?


Well, I can't speak for Mr Lane (who said in an earlier thread that he was going to be off-line for a week), but I have yet to read anything he, or anyone else other than this new breed of sede, has written, which assigns sin to those who aren't persuaded of the arguments in favour of Benedict not being pope. Can't you see the difference?


AMW


Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:39 am
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AMWills wrote:
And Fr. Cekada's definition of "active participation" has been called in to question, disputed and dismissed. Reread the thread.


Fr. Cekada's definition is based on theologians like Merkelbach and Regatillo (see p. 6 of his article). What authority do those who disagree cite? Fr. Cekada's point is that there are only two types of participation: active and passive. There is no third alternative, along the lines "active except for those parts I object to, and people who know me know which ones they are."

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Mario, he is making an argument in which he is imputing sin, and grave sin at that, to those he deems 'guilty' of his 10 accusations. If that is not imposing his view - "do as I advise or be guilty of the following list of sins" - then I wouldn't much fancy catching him on a confident day :)


I don't understand how this is problematic. "I believe you people are committing sin by doing this, and here's why" is what Fr. Cekada is saying. Now, if Fr. Cekada were to start refusing people the sacraments because of this, then I think you could say he is imposing his views - but he isn't doing that.

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Well, I can't speak for Mr Lane (who said in an earlier thread that he was going to be off-line for a week), but I have yet to read anything he, or anyone else other than this new breed of sede, has written, which assigns sin to those who aren't persuaded of the arguments in favour of Benedict not being pope. Can't you see the difference?


A priest has an obligation to admonish the faithful of doing things that are or could be sinful. I don't see a problem with this. For people who think Benedict is the Pope, I don't see a voluntary transgression of the divine law here, and hence no sin; however, the real and thorny issue for those dear people is how they justify their actions of (practically) refusing submission to this very man they claim is the Pope. That is what I am concerned about, not their simple belief (shared by practically the whole world) that the man is the Pope.

Mario


Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:00 pm
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AMWills wrote:
Benedict is not a shepherd. I know that. My priests know that is what I believe. Parishioners who know me are also aware that is my position. I do not agree with the naming of Benedict in the prayer, which I believe is an understandable mistake on the part of the offerer, who does not share my opinion on a lawfully disputed matter.


So you are justifying your active participation in an una cum Mass or other service (say the Tre Ore) on the grounds that those around you who know you, know that you don't agree with parts of it. If you can find a canonical or liturgical authority on that, I'd be stunned. You keep bringing up the issue of the Church's law on a lawfully disputed matter. I don't think this is as relevant as you're making it. Let me explain:

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From a previous post of John Lane's:

Precisely because the question is lawfully disputed (that is, it is lawful to take either view), there is no presumption, legal or even in reason, that the layman in the pew agrees with the choices or judgements of the priest. The priest may believe in the Guerardian theory, or he may think himself empowered to give men dispensations from vows, or he may think that essentially private groups can give marriage rulings, or he may think there were two Sister Lucies, or even that it is lawful to use the pre-1948 liturgical books and reject most of Pope Pius XII's changes; all of these views are held by some traditional priests, depending on their personal dispositions, associations, and formation. In the present chaos all are aware that there are major differences of judgement about all manner of important things, including the very question of whether there is presently a Roman Pontiff. Laymen going to Mass are manifestly fulfilling their obligations and pursuing the salvation of their souls. They are not necessarily, by the mere fact of approaching any given priest for the sacraments, showing agreement with his choices and judgements. The very notion is, in the present crisis, preposterous.


But you cannot lump together the priest's private belief in, say, two Sister Lucies, with the priest's public mention of Benedict in the canon, and in addition to that, his public profession of communion with him (even if we can assume that he "doesn't mean it"). I understand that John is saying that there is no significant difference between you joining the una cum priest in a private Rosary, and you joining actively in the Mass that he offers. John is saying that a Catholic priest is offering a Catholic Mass, and the priest happens to believe Benedict is the Pope, but this is of no real consequence in terms of praying with him. If this is so, I agree with him; however, I fear it is not. Because in the Mass, if you actively participate, you participate in the Mass as it is offered to God, not as you would like to have it offered. Either you, too, offer to God this Mass una cum Benedict, or you do not offer this Mass at all. John is arguing that whom the priest prays for is simply a matter of his private decisions and judgments and has no consequence to the Mass itself as it is offered. And he's putting the priest's mention of Benedict's name in the canon on a par with his (for example) private belief in two Sister Lucies, or, by extension, whether or not the US government did 9/11, whether or not we ever flew to the moon, or whether or not Elvis is dead. We know that the prayer for "our Pope" in the canon is the highest expression of communion with him (per Pope Benedict XIV). And I know John says that "the priest is mistaken". But what does this amount to then? Are we saying that the priest doesn't really mean it when he acknowledges Benedict XVI as Pope? But ask him - he does mean it! Should we really assist at a Mass that we would normally avoid except that we are convinced the priest doesn't really mean it?

I do not understand how John can say that it is lawful to say that Benedict is the Pope. If that is a possible position to hold, without involving oneself in any error against the Faith or morals, then why in the world do we care to be sedevacantists? My life could be a lot easier if I weren't one. But I think what's being passed over here is the fact that it is not merely a question of whether Benedict is the Pope or not (as it was during the Western Schism) but it's actually a question of refusing submission to him if we say that he is. That is the other side of the coin - and much more problematic. The priest who mistakenly considers Benedict the Pope then goes ahead and does not, in practice, consider him the Pope at all. So I think we're passing over a very serious part of the problem if we treat this as merely a matter of mistaken identity. That's just not the whole story.

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Well, I try to judge my neighbour in accordance with Catholic principles. Sometimes I slip, but that's no reason to give up :) The mistake must be genuine unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary.


Here's some compelling evidence: In practice, the priest does not acknowledge Benedict XVI as the Pope at all. He does not submit to his teachings, nor to his canonizations, nor to his disciplinary laws, nor to his established marriage tribunals. For all of these things we hear excuses from the SSPX, but excuses not in accordance with Catholic principles. At what point does the burden of proof shift into the other camp?

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No, they don't worship the true God. Nor do they claim or want to be Catholic. Nor do they strive to live by the Commandments of God and the precepts of His Church. Nor do they recognise as pope a man who claims to be pope for fear of not obeying the Church. You are not seriously trying to draw a comparison between the SSPX and Muslims, are you? I'm sorry, Mario, although I certainly think you are sincere, I simply don't have time for this sort of thing.


I was merely trying to show that I think there is a danger of a slippery slope here. If all that really matters is what is intended, then why can we not say that Muslims worship the true God? Because they certainly intend to do so. And while they don't claim or want to be Catholic, they do claim and want to be genuinely submissive to the True God and obey Him. (You forgot to shift that part in the analogy.)

No, I am not comparing the SSPX to Muslims. I am drawing an analogy.

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I have not argued that a sedevacantist cannot go to an SSPX Mass on the grounds that God is displeased with the una cum priest's mention of Ratzinger


So do you disagree with Fr. Cekada on this point? If not, could you please defend this assertion which is an integral part of Fr. Cekada's article?


I don't recall him making this an integral part of his article. Please quote him as I cannot find where he says that.

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By the way, it is a position that is not held by many other sedevacantists, both clergy and lay. One of the "nine" actually advised me to attend the SSPX.


I am quite aware of that. And I'm sure that the one of the nine you are referring to is in the SSPV.

As to the John Gerson example, I don't see how it is applicable to the points Fr. Cekada raises, other than, perhaps the last point about schism and perhaps the point about scandal. It raises a question about the status of the SSPX, perhaps, but I had already conceded that of course I consider the people of the SSPX to be Catholics. It is the institution itself and their errors that make me consider them a non-Catholic organization.

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Should we not act with at least as much tolerance in our days when the crisis is graver and authority yet more universally absent? Are the ideas which certain traditional priests or layfolk permit themselves to explain the present crisis or to account for how it might be ended really more aberrant than those of "the Blessed" Gerson were in his day? …to such an extent that anyone who might think so, and therefore continues to recognise them as Catholics is himself to be considered as outside the fold? Really? In the sight of God can anyone aware of these historical episodes honestly claim such a thing?


I do not dispute this in the least. But I am not concerned with individuals in the SSPX. There are tons of individuals who all have strange ideas and hold them in good faith: They are Novus Ordos, they are indultists, they are SSPXers, they are sedevacantists, they are Pius IX Naysayers, they are Feeneyites, they are Pius XIII believers, etc., etc. THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE. Fr. Cekada does not at all base his argumentation on the idea that the priest in question is malicious. By the way, this raises an interesting question: Would you go to a Mass said by a priest who mentions Pius XIII in the canon?

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No, I do not internally assent to the mistaken part of the prayer, as previously discussed on many occasions. My presence testifies that I am a member of the Catholic Church, who wishes to participate in Her liturgy, with other Catholics. That's all.


Then please quote a Catholic authority that says that by actively participating in a certain rite, one does not necessarily assent to what is being prayed.

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He prays by name for a man he believes to be the pope. If he didn't believe him to be pope, Ratzinger would not get a mention. Tell me, if you offered a prayer for the President of the United States, Jerry Seinfield, (who you mistakenly thought was the president, because your naughty elder brother told you so) that he may do all that is in his power to be a good, strong, moral, upstanding leader of the nation, who do you think you are praying for? Who do you think God thinks you are praying for - a stand-up comic, or the president of the US?


It depends. If I thought George W. Bush's real name was Jerry Seinfeld, then by praying for President Seinfeld, I'd be praying for Bush. But you have not drawn the analogy correctly (and avoided my question about the wedding anniversary altogether). If I thought that the comedian Seinfeld was our real President, and I prayed for President Seinfeld, then I'd be praying for the wrong man; I would not be praying for the President (because his name is Bush, and he's a different individual). So you actually confirmed my point. The priest of the SSPX really does intend to pray for Ratzinger.

There is no question that the priest thinks he's praying for the Pope. But whom are you praying for?

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Sedevacantism is a private judgement.


No, see, this is the problem: Sedevacantism is not a private judgment. It is an objective state of affairs which I have privately come to recognize. I have made a private judgment, it is true, but about something which is indeed so. At the end of the day, every judgment is private because judgments only exist in the individual.

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I believe the evidence for it is conclusive, which is why I hold it. But while the evidence is compelling for some, it is not so clear to others. Once the Church speaks, everything changes. Until then, it remains a disputed point. We have to be tolerant of others who can't see it as clearly as God has permitted us to do so. We want to persuade them by the evidence, not by asserting it with an authority we do not possess, or by cutting off communion with those who don't agree with us.


I agree with you. However, I do not believe for a minute (and am not sure if you believe this) that there is another reasonable, acceptable alternative to sedevacantism. The SSPX position denies Catholic teaching and is therefore not acceptable (no matter how many John Gerson examples we have -- he was still wrong!). This doesn't mean SSPX adherents aren't Catholics, only that their position isn't acceptable.

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And if you are wrong? Have you thought about the consequences for those who might follow your advice and stay home and away from the sacraments? Are you prepared to be responsible for that?


But far be it from me to suggest that anyone should do anything because I say so! Whoever is reading this forum, please do not do anything (or omit anything) on the grounds that Mario said so! Investigate the issues, discuss them, pray about them, call up a few priests, etc., and then make the decision you believe to be in line with God's will. All I want to do here is draw the issues out, discuss them, etc., so that people can inform their conscience. This is not about, "Have you ever thought about what would happen if people believed you?" You can go either way on this, no matter what the position. We might as well stop arguing for sedevacantism on the grounds that a certain person somewhere would then have no Mass to go to and would have to sit at home (assuming there were no SSPX Mass in his area).

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Objectively, I think they're both. Subjectively (kind of like the mistaken lady), they're Catholics. Their intention is to be Catholic, like the lady's intention is to be with her husband. As far as intention goes, then, I would consider them Catholics; but materially, I would consider them not Catholic.


Guerardianism. A novel invention that creates a distorted creature which is "part Catholic", and as mythical as a centaur.


There is nothing Guerardian about this, or mythical. You might as well say that the distinction between formal sin and material sin is mythical and Guerardian. (BTW, I really dislike the negative comments I have seen on this thread about Bp. Des Lauriers. This man made it all the way to theological advisor to the Pope for the dogma on the Assumption - something all of us put together could never even dream about.) Let me make my position very clear once more, then: The SSPX itself, as an organization, as an abstract entity espousing certain positions, I do not consider Catholic. The people who are affiliated with the SSPX, generally speaking, assuming that they are in good faith about these erroneous positions, I very much consider Catholics, as there is no reason to suspect heresy or schism in them until there is evidence for pertinacity.

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My point remains: how can there be a Mass within the Catholic Church that some Catholics can attend, but not others?


But that's what John has been saying: that the sede can only attend the una cum Mass if he can't get to any other Mass. So it's OK for some (those far enough away from a sede Mass), but not for others (those with a sede Mass nearby). As for my claim, I do not think that, objectively, anyone can attend an SSPX Mass; I was only saying that, subjectively, the SSPXers who attend the una cum Mass do not run into the same problems as the sedes do because the SSPXers actually believe that Benedict is the Pope.

Hopefully we can soon close this thread by way of a summary. As in: "Side A says this.... Side B says this...."

God bless you,

Mario


Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:52 pm
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marioderksen wrote:
Given our times and circumstances, I personally am not prone to reading into people's actions. I personally don't infer anything when an SSPX person comes to a sede Mass, or a sede goes to an SSPX Mass. But what I'd like to know is - and what I think Fr. Cekada is getting at - is what the action objectively suggests.

In order to assess any such question, you must start by placing the relevant data on the table before you. Now, it seems to me that in forming a judgement of the individuals you consider all of the relevant data and you find them not guilty. Which, incidentally, you are strictly obliged to do. However, in considering the abstract question, “What do the actions objectively signify?” you find yourself somewhat confused about what is relevant, and consequently remove some of the data from the table and consider only what I say is an improper subset. That is, you omit to place the actions of the sedevacantist at the Mass of the sedeplenist in the context of the crisis in the Church. The facts of the crisis are objective realities which are relevant to the question under consideration. If you carve out of the various facts only those which tend to support the conclusion, which is what Fr. Cekada has done (obviously not consciously), then the conclusion is self-generating.

The priest in the jungle who thinks Pius XI is still pope, despite being told otherwise, is in the jungle and therefore isolated from additional sources of verification. This is a relevant fact which any observer would take into account in forming a judgement about your attendance at his Mass, despite the fact that you are known to the observer to be aware that Pius XI is no longer pope, and that indeed Pius XII is pope. In sum, no reasonable observer would think you were ratifying the priest’s mistake by assisting at his Mass. What he would think is that you were fulfilling your duty or, if it were not a day of obligation, performing a work of meritorious piety, etc. whilst overlooking the priest’s mistake.

The priest in the crisis who thinks that Benedict XVI is pope is in the midst of the greatest crisis the Church has ever suffered, by an order of magnitude. This giant fact overshadows all others. It not only casts its shadow over every other fact objectively considered, but subjectively this has always been verified also. In other words, concretely the “scandal” we are supposed to be giving has never been taken. The correct judgement about the situation is therefore to my mind not only quite clear but also ought to be obvious to anybody who reflects upon it properly and without prejudice.

In relation to scandal, I emphasise that the fact that I go to Holy Mass offered by Society priests has certainly caused some SSPX faithful to reconsider our position, here in Australia, and it makes it exceedingly awkward for the SSPX clergy to maintain that our position is unlawful. This difficulty is magnified by the friendly relations between people like me and those same clerics. These are facts.


marioderksen wrote:
Ah, here is the crux: "....that I am not thought necessarily to be agreeing with." Not thought by whom? According to whom? Fr. Cekada says you are thought to be agreeing with it, whereas you simply deny this. What evidence do you offer for this particular point? Is it really just the people who go to the same church with you? "Ask them, they all know what I believe..." ?


Yes, I agree that this is part of the essential nub of the question. Now, consider closely what you have put your finger on: it is an ambiguity in Fr. Cekada’s case. He is the one who must say “by whom.” If he says, well the liturgy means “X” and therefore the intention of the Church herself is what is under consideration, then we should discuss only the actual meaning of the liturgy and the onus is on Fr. Cekada to show that in a case like the present one the layman in the pew is necessarily ratifying the judgement of the priest about the identity of the pope. But that is precisely what Fr. Cekada can’t show, and this is clear from the fact that he is forced to quote generic statements that the layman in the pew ratifies the oblation, etc. But this is not news – indeed, it is a commonplace known by all at all relevant times. The actual piece of data he needs is absent – the correct and reasonable conclusion is therefore that the case is not complete, not made.

But Fr. Cekada wants it both ways. He also introduces the schism nonsense and the question of scandal. Now as soon as we speak of scandal (and I think that is his central argument, in his own mind, btw), we discover that the supposed fact has never occurred – or at least, if it ever did, nobody seems to know about it. It is always very inconvenient to argue that something is scandalous if it has been done by a lot of people a lot of times over a long period, and no concrete case of scandal taken has actually occurred. Very inconvenient!


marioderksen wrote:
But John, the Pope is the proximate rule of faith.

Well, that must be understood aright. The theologians certainly discuss circumstances in which the pope must be disobeyed. To characterise Archbishop Lefebvre’s position accurately you need merely to notice that his approach was minimalist – he sought a principle by which he could lawfully maintain the Faith and traditions of the Church and thus meet the demands of the faithful for the true sacraments and sound doctrine, and that is all. He never thought of himself as the Athanasius who would solve the theoretical problems which did not demand immediate solution in order to justify practical actions. Still less did he consider himself the Pope who could infallibly solve every problem, period, should he desire to do so.

Now, when we look at the further implications of this minimalist position we see that these appear to conflict with various truths, and we therefore seek to develop a superior solution which reconciles with all known truths. This attempt meets with still partial but very much greater success in the sede vacante thesis. To turn this all on its head as though the SSPX had developed some grand theory and imposed it on all, is simply unreal and results in what I consider to be a manifest injustice.

marioderksen wrote:
Conservative Novus Ordos don't think anything substantial has changed. It has perhaps been "fleshed out" more, "deepened," etc., but they don't think it is contradictory to what went before. I am bringing this up because one can use the same "mistake" argument. The Catholic Faith, which is primary, was always explained, guarded, and taught by THE POPE. Novus Ordos believe no different. They believe that papally-ratified councils are binding upon their consciences (as do we); they believe the Pope has the authority to canonize saints (as do we); they believe the Pope has authority over the Church's liturgy (as do we); they believe the Pope's universally promulgated laws cannot be harmful or evil (as do we). The SSPX disagrees with all of those things. Why, John, do you say the SSPX is holding the True Faith but Novus Ordos are not?

Well, because they are. There are at least two issues here: 1. The question of the status of the doctrines and opposing errors in each case (the SSPX errors are not contrary to the Faith; the Novus Ordo is a nest of heresies), and 2. The dispositions of individuals. In this latter question I agree that it is possible for individuals mired in the Novus Ordo to remain (even very) good Catholics. We’ve all met some of these – at least when they have showed up at our chapels having discovered, after several decades, that the Novus Ordo really is not compatible with sound Catholic doctrine and practice. And if they can show up last week, then it is likely some still remain who will hopefully show up next week. Anyway, I think you’ll agree with this.


marioderksen wrote:
So you are saying that the Motu/indult Mass is OK? Because that's not false worship (acc. to you). It's the 1962 Missal, which the SSPX uses also. Would you go into a Novus Ordo church to pray the Rosary with Novus Ordos? What about the Stations of the Cross if they're using the traditional version? Etc. I think this is a slippery slope.

I’ve answered the Indult/Motu question several times already. No, it isn’t “all right” – but that is an ambiguous term and won’t serve much useful purpose in any discussion like this.

I would not do either of the things you mention, but I would not tell others they could not do them, because I haven’t got a principle which I think applies unquestionably to the matter. I would prefer in any case to focus on getting them to a traditional chapel where they will inevitably end up being so disgusted with the Novus Ordo that they won’t ever want to go near it or anything associated with it ever again.

marioderksen wrote:
No, because falling is a passive thing. However, refusing submission to someone who you insist is the Pope is not.

Is this Fr. Cekada’s answer? Bishop Sanborn’s?

In any case, it is entirely misplaced. If I walk off a cliff by mistake, not seeing it, I act. The fall is merely the effect. My act is correctly characterised as a mistake - foolish, perhaps, or coloured by some other species of taint, moral or rational, but in any case morally a mistake. Not "material suicide." Now, please enter into this and see how it leads you back to your priest in the jungle and your mistaken traditional Catholic priest who acts in the midst of a gigantic catastrophe; in all three cases error arises from omitting relevant data.


marioderksen wrote:
The Catholic Encyclopedia says: "An action which, as a matter of fact, is contrary to the Divine law but is not known to be such by the agent constitutes a material sin; whereas formal sin is committed when the agent freely transgresses the law as shown him by his conscience, whether such law really exists or is only thought to exist by him who acts. Thus, a person who takes the property of another while believing it to be his own commits a material sin; but the sin would be formal if he took the property in the belief that it belonged to another, whether his belief were correct or not" (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14004b.htm).

Mario

Yes, so if you think that Benedict is pope, such as the Greeks do, and refuse subjection to him anyway, you commit the sin of schism. However, if you think that Benedict is pope, as most SSPX clerics do, and you refuse almost all practical (as distinct from verbal) submission because otherwise you must compromise the Faith or the essential traditions of the Church, then manifestly your intention is not schismatic and the sin exists neither materially nor formally.

We solve the problem by adding back the relevant other difference between the SSPX and the Greek - the former manifestly wish to remain in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church and act against the man they think is pope only in order to remain in the Church; the latter manifestly reject the authority of the Roman Pontiff. The fact that the Greeks happen to think that Benedict is the Roman Pontiff is actually neither here nor there - they rejected his true predecessors, such as Pius XII, and unless they change their evident dispositions, they will reject his true successors too, when these arise.

One of things I find most distressing about this whole issue is the evidence it gives of traditional Catholic priests such as Fr. Cekada being unable to assess things according to causes. Unless we take all serious questions back to causes, we run the risk of entirely misapprehending them. St. Thomas, in asserting that in moral questions the intention specifies the act, is identifying the relevant cause in such questions.

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marioderksen wrote:
Fr. Cekada's definition is based on theologians like Merkelbach and Regatillo (see p. 6 of his article). What authority do those who disagree cite? Fr. Cekada's point is that there are only two types of participation: active and passive. There is no third alternative, along the lines "active except for those parts I object to, and people who know me know which ones they are."


Mario, I don't believe the two references cited above are relevant and therefore do not prove the point in question. But if you want an example, I shall give you one. It is actually Fr Cekada himself and it is the very first paragraph of this article under discussion:

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"In our lives as traditional Catholics, we make many judgments that must inevitably produce logical consequences in our actual religious practices. The earliest that I remember making occurred at about age 14. Guitar songs at Mass, I concluded, were irreverent. Thereafter, throughout eight years in the diocesan seminary, I never once opened my mouth to sing."


So Father thought the mass was "irreverent". Did he, for eight years, from the age of 14-22, stop attending these "irreverent" Masses? No. Did he "actively participate" in an " "irreverent" Mass, with every strum of the guitar? No, of course not. He simply showed that he did not consent to what he deemed "irreverent" by refusing to open his mouth. I do not even consider "irreverent", the naming of Benedict in the canon, by someone who believes him to be pope. I consider it a mistake.

Mario, you have worked very hard defending Fr.'s article and I admire your perseverance. I have neither the time or the inclination to debate the issue any further. I think the whole una-cum argument is divisive, unnecessary and fruitless. My sincere hope is that Father will recognise his error and retract it, enabling him to apply his brilliant mind, writing and research skills to defend the Church as he has done so wonderfully in the past.

With all good wishes
AMW


Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:59 am
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marioderksen wrote:
We know that the prayer for "our Pope" in the canon is the highest expression of communion with him (per Pope Benedict XIV). And I know John says that "the priest is mistaken".


Actually, Mario, I've said more than that. I've said that the priest's mention of the man he believes to be the Roman Pontiff is the highest and most noteworthy manifestation of communion with "the Roman Pontiff" and demonstrates a clear and unambiguous desire to remain in the Catholic Church, and therefore the act of praying for the Roman Pontiff is a virtuous and pious act not to be criticised. The fact that the wrong man is identified as the Roman Pontiff is actually an entirely distinct question, of much greater importance insofar as it is manifested outside the Mass, where people actually hear it and might be influenced by it. In the Mass it is a non-issue, as far as I’m concerned.

marioderksen wrote:
But what does this amount to then? Are we saying that the priest doesn't really mean it when he acknowledges Benedict XVI as Pope? But ask him - he does mean it! Should we really assist at a Mass that we would normally avoid except that we are convinced the priest doesn't really mean it?

Nobody has suggested, let alone stated, that the priest doesn’t “mean” that Benedict is the pope. What has been said is that there exists what is called in moral theology a conflict of intentions – the intention to aver communion with the Roman Pontiff and with the Catholic Church, and the intention to aver that Benedict is that person, the Roman Pontiff. Therefore the primary intention of the priest must be identified, and this is not difficult – it is the intention to aver communion with the Roman Pontiff and with the Catholic Church. The secondary intention yields, and the primary one remains.


marioderksen wrote:
I do not understand how John can say that it is lawful to say that Benedict is the Pope. If that is a possible position to hold, without involving oneself in any error against the Faith or morals, then why in the world do we care to be sedevacantists?

This is very surprising. I don’t believe that a man may be saved without explicit belief in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore any statement to the contrary is erroneous. But it is lawful to maintain the contrary. That is, it is lawful to be wrong on this matter, as the Church has not sufficiently clearly manifested her own mind on the point so as to outlaw the wrong opinion.

In relation to the present crisis, the claimants in Rome have several very strong factors which any objective observer would take as indications that their claims are true. There are also, in our view, even stronger factors against their claims, and therefore we judge them to be false claims. But we insist on acknowledging, because we are men of reason and charity, that the matter is a dispute in which either side is lawful. That is, in essence, the matter has not been judged by the Church.

This is different from, for example, the denial of a dogma, in which case a clear judgement of the Church, either via her ordinary universal magisterium or her extraordinary magisterium, has been given (i.e. all dogma is subject of infallible doctrinal laws). In the case we are considering no dogma or other solemn law of the Church is violated by either opinion. I agree that the sedeplenist opinion is ultimately impossible to reconcile with the teaching of the Church, by which I mean that when each of the implications of that opinion are worked out, conflict with Catholic doctrine ensues. But the ultimate implications of an opinion are a very different matter from the direct and immediate implications of an opinion.


marioderksen wrote:
No, see, this is the problem: Sedevacantism is not a private judgment. It is an objective state of affairs which I have privately come to recognize. I have made a private judgment, it is true, but about something which is indeed so. At the end of the day, every judgment is private because judgments only exist in the individual.

Mario, this is all upside down. I wrote a lengthy post explaining them a week or so ago, which discussed what a public judgement is and what difference it makes. If you have not read it, please do so and tell me what you don’t agree with or understand. Please feel free to ask Fr. Cekada for comment on it. If I’ve misunderstood these distinctions myself, let him say in what particulars and point you to some references for better explanations. If he won’t or can’t do so, we can take our conclusion easily enough from that, I think.


marioderksen wrote:
There is nothing Guerardian about this, or mythical. You might as well say that the distinction between formal sin and material sin is mythical and Guerardian. (BTW, I really dislike the negative comments I have seen on this thread about Bp. Des Lauriers. This man made it all the way to theological advisor to the Pope for the dogma on the Assumption - something all of us put together could never even dream about.)

I find that unlikely, but I’m always open to evidence. Let’s see what the Guerardians have for that claim.

The distinction between formal and material sin is real, but when we describe something as “material sin” we actually mean that there is no sin at all. Lucian ate meat on Friday in the mistaken belief that it was Thursday. He did not sin. Now, to handle such a case with facility, theologians will tag it a “material sin” but they mean and understand that there was no sin at all. The matter of sin was present, but not the form. A window is a “material flower vase”; that is, it is quite definitely not a flower vase but it is formed of the same material element.

Now, in the case of the SSPX, the proposition we are asked to consent to is so thoroughly confused it makes one’s head spin. Their position is “materially schismatic” meaning, apparently, that it is somehow schismatic but they are not guilty of it. We are meant to be offended by it, but we are meant to think well of the poor dears. We can be horrible and “severe”, but also condescending and “charitable.” But the trouble is this is all a mess as far as Aristotelian philosophy is concerned, and the particular nature of this mess is, surprise!, Guerardian.

The specific proposition of the Guerardian thesis is that a creature described as a “material pope” is actually something quasi-real – capable of carrying the Apostolic Succession of the Church so that this essential element of her constitution is not interrupted and she does not fail; and capable of supporting somehow the power of a Roman Pontiff to appoint cardinals – themselves “material” but also sufficiently concrete to enable them to nominate a new pope when the occasion requires.

In other words, the Guerardian philosophy has flowers which stay alive by being placed on panes of glass, which panes of glass hold water by virtue of their being described as “material vases”. And if you think Lewis Carroll could have slotted that into his book without anybody thinking he had suddenly turned serious and sensible, you’re right. It’s nonsense.

But, it is nonsense that only somebody who has familiarised himself a little with sound Catholic philosophy will see through, and trusting souls will otherwise think it all very high and learned, and beyond the sphere of their ken. As Bishop Sanborn likes to say, if you don’t accept the Thesis it is because you don’t understand the hylo-morphic distinction.

Fr. Cekada is either a Guerardian himself these days, or he has merely become infected with Guerardian pseudo-philosophy by too close and lengthy collaboration with Bishop Sanborn.


marioderksen wrote:
Let me make my position very clear once more, then: The SSPX itself, as an organization, as an abstract entity espousing certain positions, I do not consider Catholic.


As requested in another post, you’ll need to be more specific about this. What does “Catholic” mean in that text? The only thing I think you can mean would make the correct tag for Guerardianism “not Catholic” also. Is that what you think?


marioderksen wrote:
But that's what John has been saying: that the sede can only attend the una cum Mass if he can't get to any other Mass.

No, that’s a misunderstanding.

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New post 
AMWills wrote:
Did he "actively participate" in an " "irreverent" Mass, with every strum of the guitar?


Oh my gosh.

Fr. Cekada wrote:
IN OUR LIVES as traditional Catholics, we make many judgments that must inevitably produce logical consequences in our actual religious practice. The earliest that I remember making occurred at about age 14. Guitar songs at Mass, I concluded, were irreverent. Thereafter, throughout eight years in the diocesan seminary, I never once opened my mouth to sing one.


What we can take from this, if we apply Fr. Cekada's own principles to it:

Father Cekada concluded that guitar songs at mass [ “known as guitar masses”] were irreverent. That is, offensive to God, blaspemous, sacrilegious, God "holding His nose" against them as a result. It's horrible when you think about it.

Nevertheless, for eight years Fr. Cekada attended these guitar masses. Although he did not open his mouth to sing the songs himself, by his very presence, actively assisting at these masses he was necessarily consenting to them. It doesn’t matter that he says that he was silent, his active assistance at each such mass indicates consent to each guitar mass taken as a whole.

A pernicious lie – Fr. Cekada believed they were irreverent, therefore displeasing to God, yet he ratified them by his assistance.

Scandal – Fr. Cekada's active assistance at these masses indicated his acceptance of guitar masses taken as complete events. The moralists don't, as he points out, permit any alternative "pick and choose" assistance to either passive non-assistance or active assistance.

Inconsistency – although Fr. Cekada believed these masses were irreverent he continued for eight long years actively to assist at them.

What can I say, either way you slice it, Fr. Cekada's assistance at these Masses has been skewered by Fr. Cekada's own principles.

Of course, I don't accept his principles, and maybe when he thinks about it a little more he won't either. :)

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marioderksen wrote:

Quote:
By the way, it is a position that is not held by many other sedevacantists, both clergy and lay. One of the "nine" actually advised me to attend the SSPX.


I am quite aware of that. And I'm sure that the one of the nine you are referring to is in the SSPV.


The priest who advised me to attend the SSPX is not and has never been SSPV.


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New post Fr. Cekada
marioderksen wrote:
For example, he shows that by assisting at such a Mass, you are ipso facto agreeing with the falsehood that Benedict XVI is the Pope of the Catholic Church, a man you yourself believe to be a heretic or an apostate.


Absolutely not. Sorry, you are wrong. He shows no such thing. I have, for the moment, forgotten the Canon Law (2281?) which says that for grave reasons any Catholic may receive the sacraments from heretics or schismatis, even vitandi. This very fact would appear to me to directly contradict Fr. Cekada. He is getting WAAAAAAAY off track. His pride is leading him astray.

If YOU wish to take scandal at my receiving clearly valid sacraments from those you consider to be heretics, fellow-travelers, schismatics, that is YOUR problem. If I were to be in such a situation, my purpose would be to receive those valid sacraments, and whether or not I would agree or disagree with the heretic in question would not be relevant. In fact, it would simply not be an issue.

Now, AMWills attempted to say what I am going to say, in detail, but in fewer words:

One can get just as far away from the Catholic Church by going too far to the "right" as to the "left". Scrupulousness, and too great severity have lead just as many people out of the Church as liberalism...perhaps more. Jansenism is a heresy with which we should all be familiar. Their main problem was too great a severity, even in regard to things which were perfectly permissible.

One very obvious case in point is Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher. He refused to "worship with" anyone who didn't believe exactly as he did, EVEN HIS OWN BROTHERS...and that sort of severity lead him to become his own pope.

Fr. Cyril Town (RIP) was another one who was in the same boat.

I seriously believe that unless Fr. Cekada and those with him don't "lighten up" a bit, i.e., become more in tune with the prudence and charity of the true Church, they are going to shortly become their own pope.

Quote:
While perhaps the priest who offers the Mass may not realize this, you do, and you are offering the Mass with the priest. But you yourself cannot "take out" Benedict's name if the priest includes it. Ergo, your offering of the Mass necessarily includes its union with Benedict. I find this argument convincing. Perhaps someone else can refute it, but as it stands, I find it convincing.


Mario, if you find Fr. Cekada's arguments convincing, then you had better pray extra hard for prudence and charity. His arguments are much too severe, self-righteous, and just plain wrong.

Quote:
(3) Regarding "Uncle Wesley" - are we saying that if someone believed just like Uncle Wesley did, but never officially joined the Methodists (say he just frequented their services, while retaining the label "Catholic"), then a High Requiem Mass could be said for him?


Didn't we have a discussion on an issue very much like this recently? I think it was one of The Casuist exercises. You might wish to look that up and read it. It might open your eyes concerning what the Church will do in order to save souls!

Quote:
(4) What may have been difficult to see in 1967 is still a bit different forty years later. If people like John Paul II and Ratzinger XVI don't fit the idea of "public heretic," I'm not sure who would.


You are presuming that God has given everyone else on the face of the earth the same unusual graces to see these things clearly as He has given you. This is presumptuous on your part. You should be 1) thanking God mightly for having given you these graces, despite your unworthiness to having received them, and 2) be praying just as mightly that everyone else on the face of the earth will be given those same graces.

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New post Plenty of priests?!?
marioderksen wrote:
There are plenty such priests around, relatively speaking.


Are you joking?!?!?

Oh! Perhaps our criteria differ.

I don't think I could name 10 priests in the entire world of whose ordinations I would be 100% certain were valid.

Let's see: 1 in Spokane, Washington, 2 in Texas, 2 in Canada, 1 in Belgium. Hmmm...that's six...

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New post Mis-spelling
John Lane wrote:
But what is not required is to erect the kind of jerry-rigged ecclesiology evident in Fr. Cekada's article in order to "profess the Faith".


That is "jury-rigged", John. It is a nautical term.

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New post Sin
marioderksen wrote:
...it is objectively a sin for him to join in that Mass because he is ipso facto declaring that he agrees with the priest.


Whoops! I completely disagree with your conclusion here! If you are correct in your conclusion, then what could possibly be the purpose of that canon law which gives laymen permission to receive the sacraments from heretics or schismatics when in extremis?

If the only doctor in town were an abortionist, and I needed medicine only he had which would heal me of a deadly illness, by going to him to get that medicine, I would most assuredly NOT be agreeing with him on anything except that the medicine would heal me.

You are being too rigid and extreme. We are human beings, prone to error, and not omniscient.

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New post Bishops and the vacant see.
John Lane wrote:
All that I was pointing out is that not a single bishop of the Catholic Church has ever declared the See of Rome vacant since the start of this crisis.


I think you may be mistaken here, John. First of all, didn't Bishop Castro Meyer say such a thing directly?

I know that Archbishop Arrigo Pintonello said flatly that JPII was not the Pope. I have that on video tape. Of course that statement of his does not, obviously, mean that the See is Vacant.

(Edited to repair quote...twice).

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New post The main error with Fr. Cekada's argument.
marioderksen wrote:
His position: People who believe Ratzinger is not the Pope and claim they are not in communion with him cannot assist at Masses offered in union with him because by their assistance they are ipso facto acknowledging his claims to the papacy and professing their union with him and his church,


This is Fr. Cekada's fundamental error, in my opinion. If he really and truly believes this to be true, this is an egregious error.

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New post St. Robert Bellarmine
marioderksen wrote:
Eliz Carrol wrote:
But which saint do we have who was a sedevacantist?


St. Robert Bellarmine, for example.


What?!? Quotation from his writings for proof of this assertion, please.

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New post Mario Derksen's plight - flogging a dead horse.
marioderksen wrote:
AMWills wrote:
And Fr. Cekada's definition of "active participation" has been called in to question, disputed and dismissed. Reread the thread.


Fr. Cekada's definition is based on theologians like Merkelbach and Regatillo (see p. 6 of his article). What authority do those who disagree cite?


John, in his own article on the una cum question, and repeatedly in this thread, has mentioned many authorities who disagree completely with Fr. Cekada's interpretation.

Mario:

It has become painfully obvious to me that you are so afraid of being cut off from the sacraments and/or the Mass by Fr. Cekada that your mind is completely blocked from hearing anything contrary to his pontifications.

I have read practically every post on this subject, until I could no longer stand them.

You keep repeating the same argument over and over. John (and others) refute that argument repeatedly. Yet you do not listen. Probably because you cannot. Your mind is prejudiced due to your unfortunate situation with regard to Mass and the sacraments.

And I must repeat: to my mind, both Fr. Cekada's and "Bishop" Sanborn's completely uncharitible actions in refusing the sacraments to those who are simply poor Catholics trying to live their faith as best they can are simply unconscionable, despicible, and totally disgusting.

They both, individually, have become another pair of anti-popes, having set themselves up as the sole authority on these disputed questions, anathematizing anyone who dares disagree with them.

I feel very sorry for you, and will continue to pray especially for you...as I have done daily for the past several years.

However, this "discussion" disgusts me, and I will no longer participate.

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New post Re: Mario Derksen's plight - flogging a dead horse.
KenGordon wrote:
And I must repeat: to my mind, both Fr. Cekada's and "Bishop" Sanborn's completely uncharitible actions in refusing the sacraments to those who are simply poor Catholics trying to live their faith as best they can are simply unconscionable, despicible, and totally disgusting.


Dear Ken,

Fr. Cekada is not doing this, as far as I know.

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New post Re: Mario Derksen's plight - flogging a dead horse.
KenGordon wrote:
Mario:

It has become painfully obvious to me that you are so afraid of being cut off from the sacraments and/or the Mass by Fr. Cekada that your mind is completely blocked from hearing anything contrary to his pontifications.


Dear Ken,

I don't understand why you say this. First, I don't really care if Fr. Cekada is right on this or not. I just wish to know whether he is or not. Since virtually everyone on here is against Fr. Cekada's article, and since I find Fr. Cekada's article compelling, I am defending it on here. Secondly, where I live, I have all sorts of Masses and "Masses": indult/Motu, SSPV, SSPX, and Fr. Cekada. Besides, Fr. Cekada does not refuse people the sacraments for disagreeing with him on his una cum article. The SSPV is prone to refusing people the sacraments if they disagree with them on an issue they consider non-negotiable (latest example: Mrs. Kathleen Plumb in Montana was refused for printing "pro-Thuc" articles in her newspaper THE FOUR MARKS).

Quote:
You keep repeating the same argument over and over. John (and others) refute that argument repeatedly. Yet you do not listen. Probably because you cannot. Your mind is prejudiced due to your unfortunate situation with regard to Mass and the sacraments.


The one with an unfortunate situation with regard to the Mass and sacraments is John Lane. However, I do not say for a minute that his position is based on that because John argues from "the books" and not from some ulterior motive. I am sorry I have yet more reading here to catch up on, but I haven't had the time to deal with this forum "hydra" lately. It is very time consuming.

God bless you, Ken, and your family.


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New post Re: Mario Derksen's plight - flogging a dead horse.
marioderksen wrote:
Dear Ken,

I don't understand why you say this. First, I don't really care if Fr. Cekada is right on this or not.


Mario, your actions belie your words.

Quote:
I just wish to know whether he is or not.


He is wrong. We have repeatedly told you he is wrong, and have repeatedly proven it, if not to you, at least to everyone else here, or who has read the various exchanges AND John's Una Cum article, yet you presist in saying the same thing: "I wish to know whether he is (correct) or not."

I will say it again: Fr. Cekada is wrong on this issue. For SOME proof, read John's article on the same subject which has been posted to his website for at least a year (to my knowledge). For other proof, re-read the many other posts in this thread which directly address Fr. Cekada's article, claims, and position.

Quote:
Since virtually everyone on here is against Fr. Cekada's article, and since I find Fr. Cekada's article compelling,


If that is so, then you have not been listening. Or rather, you have ignored what was posted here on the subject. As I remember it, EACH of Fr. Cekada's points has been addressed directly, and refuted.

Quote:
I am defending it on here.


Oh, I am fully aware of that!

Quote:
Secondly, where I live, I have all sorts of Masses and "Masses": indult/Motu, SSPV, SSPX, and Fr. Cekada. Besides, Fr. Cekada does not refuse people the sacraments for disagreeing with him on his una cum article. The SSPV is prone to refusing people the sacraments if they disagree with them on an issue they consider non-negotiable (latest example: Mrs. Kathleen Plumb in Montana was refused for printing "pro-Thuc" articles in her newspaper THE FOUR MARKS).


We get The Four Marks although we do not agree with Mrs. Plumb's basic reasons for publishing her missive. However, for the SSPV to refuse her the sacraments on the grounds which they have used is, to my mind, and I repeat, unconscionable, despicible, and Jansenistic. They are NOT the Pope, and never will be. How dare they refuse the sacraments to a fellow Catholic for a difference in belief on a question which has never been posited nor addressed by Church authorities!?! This is astonishing! I am truly appalled, disheartened, disgusted, depressed, and upset!

Their actions reinforce my earlier doubts about the validity of their orders and consecrations. No true Catholic priest or bishop I have ever known would ever dare do such a thing!

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John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
Given our times and circumstances, I personally am not prone to reading into people's actions. I personally don't infer anything when an SSPX person comes to a sede Mass, or a sede goes to an SSPX Mass. But what I'd like to know is - and what I think Fr. Cekada is getting at - is what the action objectively suggests.

In order to assess any such question, you must start by placing the relevant data on the table before you. Now, it seems to me that in forming a judgement of the individuals you consider all of the relevant data and you find them not guilty. Which, incidentally, you are strictly obliged to do. However, in considering the abstract question, “What do the actions objectively signify?” you find yourself somewhat confused about what is relevant, and consequently remove some of the data from the table and consider only what I say is an improper subset. That is, you omit to place the actions of the sedevacantist at the Mass of the sedeplenist in the context of the crisis in the Church. The facts of the crisis are objective realities which are relevant to the question under consideration. If you carve out of the various facts only those which tend to support the conclusion, which is what Fr. Cekada has done (obviously not consciously), then the conclusion is self-generating.


OK, I see what you're saying, but I'd like some clarification from you, please. Are you saying that because of our circumstances, nothing that many traditional Catholics do (in terms of keeping themselves Catholic) is objectively wrong and should be changed? I totally agree with you that so many people are doing things in good faith/innocence, trying to live as good Catholics as possible, but I don't see how this changes the fact that some things still ought not to be done. And I don't see how it would be wrong for Fr. Cekada - or any other priest - to point this out. Fr. Cekada isn't attacking sedes who go to the SSPX Mass. He's simply pointing out (whether or not he is right is a second question) that they ought not to do this. I don't see how this differs from showing an SSPX adherent evidence that he ought not to recognize Benedict XVI as the Pope.

Quote:
The priest in the jungle who thinks Pius XI is still pope, despite being told otherwise, is in the jungle and therefore isolated from additional sources of verification. This is a relevant fact which any observer would take into account in forming a judgement about your attendance at his Mass, despite the fact that you are known to the observer to be aware that Pius XI is no longer pope, and that indeed Pius XII is pope. In sum, no reasonable observer would think you were ratifying the priest’s mistake by assisting at his Mass. What he would think is that you were fulfilling your duty or, if it were not a day of obligation, performing a work of meritorious piety, etc. whilst overlooking the priest’s mistake.

OK, that's a good point, but the analogy isn't airtight because at least Pius XI was Pope at one point and you don't believe Pius XI was a heretic, whereas you believe that about Benedict XVI (i.e. sedevacantists do who go to an SSPX Mass). Let me think about this some. I know that you're trying to prove, by means of this analogy, that simply because someone assists at a Mass where the priest mentions someone in the canon who is not the Pope, though believed to be, doesn't mean that the person can be assumed to agree with the priest's choice. To be honest with you, I am not sure that your analogy proves this, because, for one thing, Pius XI actually is a Pope, he just happens not to be alive anymore. In other words, his not being the Pope at the time the Mass is offered is incidental, whereas for Ratzinger it is a matter of essence (a heretic cannot be Pope, ever) and not incidence (he doesn't just "happen" not to be the Pope, but might as well be). At least that is what the sedevacantist attending the una cum Mass believes: he believes that Ratzinger's non-papacy is a matter of essence and not incidence. This would hold true for the Great Schism also, where each of the claimants might as well have been the true Pope. Please excuse if you have already addressed this elsewhere, John; just tell me if you have. (I am simply incapable of recalling everybody's previous threads or arguments about every possible point, esp. as I write these little notes here on a when-I-have-time basis.) I realize that you might respond by saying that the incidental/essential distinction is irrelevant, and that your analogy proves Fr. Cekada is wrong to presume that one's active participation, in and of itself, implies your agreement with whomever is mentioned in the canon, at least someone not formally excommunicated by the Church. I'd have to hear Fr. Cekada's response to this before I could tell you whether I believe your argument or Fr. Cekada's to be more reasonable on this particular point.

BTW, I spoke with Fr. Cekada recently, and I wish to set straight his point regarding the "it only takes 10 seconds" argument, which has been repeatedly referred to here. Fr. Cekada is not saying that it only takes 10 seconds to figure out whether one can go to an una cum Mass, but rather, it only takes 10 seconds to see there is an inconsistency between holding that Benedict XVI is a heretic and then going to Mass where the priest says he is not a heretic but the Pope, and mentions him as such in the canon. And one really can't disagree with that point. Of course there's an obvious inconsistency, and no doubt every SSPX adherent who became sede asked himself upon his conversion, "Can I still go to Mass here?" No matter how he answered it, he realized he needed to answer this question. That's all this "10 seconds" business is about.

Quote:
The priest in the crisis who thinks that Benedict XVI is pope is in the midst of the greatest crisis the Church has ever suffered, by an order of magnitude. This giant fact overshadows all others. It not only casts its shadow over every other fact objectively considered, but subjectively this has always been verified also. In other words, concretely the “scandal” we are supposed to be giving has never been taken. The correct judgement about the situation is therefore to my mind not only quite clear but also ought to be obvious to anybody who reflects upon it properly and without prejudice.


I think one could go either way on that. As I said, I personally don't tend to be scandalized in our time. However, I don't think we can assume, as a general rule, that no SSPX adherent gets the impression that the Mass is more important than principle. Now, John, I know that you would reply, "But I am acting on principle!", but only very few sedevacantists, in my opinion, go to the SSPX because they have looked at and reasoned through what you have presented, John. Most of them go because they want to go to Mass, and not because they have figured out the theological controversy of una cum Masses. In any case, we can drop the scandal issue. It's a thorny one. If everyone takes heed not to give scandal and not to take it without justification, I think we'll be doing really well.

Quote:
In relation to scandal, I emphasise that the fact that I go to Holy Mass offered by Society priests has certainly caused some SSPX faithful to reconsider our position, here in Australia, and it makes it exceedingly awkward for the SSPX clergy to maintain that our position is unlawful. This difficulty is magnified by the friendly relations between people like me and those same clerics. These are facts.

Acknowledged. That's great! :-D

John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
Ah, here is the crux: "....that I am not thought necessarily to be agreeing with." Not thought by whom? According to whom? Fr. Cekada says you are thought to be agreeing with it, whereas you simply deny this. What evidence do you offer for this particular point? Is it really just the people who go to the same church with you? "Ask them, they all know what I believe..." ?


Yes, I agree that this is part of the essential nub of the question. Now, consider closely what you have put your finger on: it is an ambiguity in Fr. Cekada’s case. He is the one who must say “by whom.” If he says, well the liturgy means “X” and therefore the intention of the Church herself is what is under consideration, then we should discuss only the actual meaning of the liturgy and the onus is on Fr. Cekada to show that in a case like the present one the layman in the pew is necessarily ratifying the judgement of the priest about the identity of the pope. But that is precisely what Fr. Cekada can’t show, and this is clear from the fact that he is forced to quote generic statements that the layman in the pew ratifies the oblation, etc. But this is not news – indeed, it is a commonplace known by all at all relevant times. The actual piece of data he needs is absent – the correct and reasonable conclusion is therefore that the case is not complete, not made.


I am not following you, John. You agree with Fr. Cekada's quotes regarding how the faithful join the priest in offering the sacrifice, and how the priest even prays in the plural "We offer Thee...." I don't understand how the onus is on Fr. Cekada to prove that when the priest prays "we offer..... for thy Holy Catholic Church.... together with Benedict our Pope" the faithful, too, join in that prayer, as the priest prays it. Now I realize you just made your argument with the Pius XI/XII analogy, but that doesn't address the question of burden of proof. Even though a Catholic may be allowed to attend that Mass said una cum Pius XI instead of Pius XII, that still doesn't shift the burden of proof, I would think. One would still naturally be presumed to be agreeing with every prayer in the liturgy which one attends, putting the burden of proof on the one who dissents. I think your point would have more force if it were the case, and always had been the case, that, habitually, every traditional parish (whether SSPX, SSPV, indep. sede), had large numbers of all sorts of traditional Catholics of whatever persuasion, so that no one could truthfully presume anymore that SSPX people generally go to the SSPX Mass, SSPVs to the SSPV Mass, etc. But I think that even in these difficult times, this is not so. I remember when I was indult, I always thought that the people who go to the SSPX Mass are SSPX adherents--not every single individual, necessarily, but for the main part. I think that's still a reasonable position. I don't expect that if I go to St. Pius X Church in Cincinnati, that every second or third person I ask tells me, "Oh no, I am not SSPX."

So, while I can see your point, John, I think that if this is the fundamental reason making it licit for a sedevacantist to assist at an SSPX Mass, I personally would consider that either shaky grounds or simply too dangerous for me to do. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but to me this is somewhat circular. Are you saying it is licit for sedevacantists to assist at an una cum Mass because they do? You just said that one cannot be presumed to be necessarily agreeing with the priest's choices in the canon. But this lack of presumption can only be derived from the fact that people who disagree with the priest go to his Mass anyway. But this cannot be at the same time the reason why it is morally licit to go. It would follow, then, that if no sedevacantists went to the una cum Mass anymore, then it would be illicit to go.

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But Fr. Cekada wants it both ways. He also introduces the schism nonsense and the question of scandal. Now as soon as we speak of scandal (and I think that is his central argument, in his own mind, btw), we discover that the supposed fact has never occurred – or at least, if it ever did, nobody seems to know about it. It is always very inconvenient to argue that something is scandalous if it has been done by a lot of people a lot of times over a long period, and no concrete case of scandal taken has actually occurred. Very inconvenient!


But something can be intrinsically scandalous even if no one takes scandal anymore, no? And I'm not trying to look for scandal; I just wish to test your argument. By analogy, in our day and age, sadly, it is no longer scandalous for an unmarried couple to live together. In fact, it is considered completely normal. It is considered unusual for someone not to. No one takes scandal anymore at an unmarried man and woman to be living together. But this is because everybody's morals have been so messed up. (Please, whoever is reading this, don't think I'm trying to equate sede assistance at an una cum Mass with fornication. That's not what I'm doing. I'm merely employing an analogy in order to help clarify what is being said. Sometimes analogies can get weird, but they are still helpful tools.) So, to apply this analogy to the case at hand, I understand Fr. Cekada to wish to rectify a problem that has long plagued the traditional movement: due to having "messed-up" circumstances, we have done some things that are not morally permissible. Some might understand this as Fr. trying to "create scandal" where currently no scandal is taken (except in some); but I'd say that would be an unfair move against Fr. Cekada, who is simply attempting to clarify theological, liturgical, and moral principles and apply them to sede assistance at the una cum Mass. And whatever follows, follows.

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Well, that must be understood aright. The theologians certainly discuss circumstances in which the pope must be disobeyed. To characterise Archbishop Lefebvre’s position accurately you need merely to notice that his approach was minimalist – he sought a principle by which he could lawfully maintain the Faith and traditions of the Church and thus meet the demands of the faithful for the true sacraments and sound doctrine, and that is all.


And what principle did he come up with? In our day, Bp. Williamson resorts to some pretty absurd ideas - and I mean absurd on the face of it, as in "half his brain is Catholic, the other half is liberal."

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Well, because they are. There are at least two issues here: 1. The question of the status of the doctrines and opposing errors in each case (the SSPX errors are not contrary to the Faith; the Novus Ordo is a nest of heresies), and 2. The dispositions of individuals.


I realize this would be something for another thread, but I am surprised you say that the SSPX's errors are not errors against the Faith. But yes, let's leave that for a different thread because this is a separate can of worms.

John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
No, because falling is a passive thing. However, refusing submission to someone who you insist is the Pope is not.

Is this Fr. Cekada’s answer? Bishop Sanborn’s?


It was mine, John, and a quick one off the top of my head at that.

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In any case, it is entirely misplaced. If I walk off a cliff by mistake, not seeing it, I act. The fall is merely the effect. My act is correctly characterised as a mistake - foolish, perhaps, or coloured by some other species of taint, moral or rational, but in any case morally a mistake. Not "material suicide."


John, the idea that there is material sin which is not formal isn't mine. I quoted the Catholic Encyclopedia on that. But I don't see why you reject this idea. To answer your question, yes, by accidentally walking off the cliff, you could consider this a material suicide. After all, it was a transgression of the divine law, and even the act of walking was voluntary - though there was obviously no intention to walk off the cliff (which is why it is merely material and not formal). Just like the lady in my analogy of days ago lives with a man she mistakenly believes to be her husband: She is sinning materially but not formally; which means, of course, that she is not sinning at all, just like the material heretic is no real heretic at all but a mistaken Catholic. And just like a material suicide is not suicide at all.

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Yes, so if you think that Benedict is pope, such as the Greeks do, and refuse subjection to him anyway, you commit the sin of schism. However, if you think that Benedict is pope, as most SSPX clerics do, and you refuse almost all practical (as distinct from verbal) submission because otherwise you must compromise the Faith or the essential traditions of the Church, then manifestly your intention is not schismatic and the sin exists neither materially nor formally.


But recall that the Greeks did the same thing. Their schism was also committed on grounds that (so they thought) they would otherwise have to compromise the Faith or essential traditions of the Church (e.g. opposition to the Filioque). But in the end, Rome makes the final decision regarding disputed matters. There is great similarity between this and the SSPX situation (recall that an integral part of pure schism is insistence that submission is due the Roman Pontiff). I would agree with you that the SSPX situation is still somewhat different, which is why I would never, in general, consider SSPX adherents schismatic, but I think their position is nonetheless. If their position would be considered schismatic if, say, Pius IX were Pope, then it is materially schismatic. Today's circumstances can change culpability, no doubt, but not the fact that the position itself is schismatic. - In my opinion.

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We solve the problem by adding back the relevant other difference between the SSPX and the Greek - the former manifestly wish to remain in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church and act against the man they think is pope only in order to remain in the Church; the latter manifestly reject the authority of the Roman Pontiff. The fact that the Greeks happen to think that Benedict is the Roman Pontiff is actually neither here nor there - they rejected his true predecessors, such as Pius XII, and unless they change their evident dispositions, they will reject his true successors too, when these arise.


I think there's a lot that can be said on both sides - both the similarities and dissimilarities with the Greek schism. In a theoretical discussion about schism, I don't think points like "they refuse submission because they want to be faithful to the Church and the Pope" would be admissible on the grounds that no one can be faithful to the Church and the Pope by refusing submission to the Pope. That's why I always distinguish the theoretical from the practical here: I distinguish the SSPX position from the actual people (God love them). But I do think that it is important to keep in mind what schism is, what is and isn't permissible by the teachings of the Church, etc., because otherwise, we will lose sight of our own Faith, of which these teachings are an integral part, and simply end up with a big group of people who have two things in common: They assist at a valid Mass in the traditional rite; and they mean well. That would be a sort of traditional minimalism, and I don't think we can be happy with that either. I favor a balanced middle-of-the-road view: Emphasize the importance of truth (which is as important now as it was then) and the importance of seeking it, but realize that there is no authority that can settle disputed questions, and therefore be tolerant of people and their actions if they disagree with you.

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Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:03 am
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John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
We know that the prayer for "our Pope" in the canon is the highest expression of communion with him (per Pope Benedict XIV). And I know John says that "the priest is mistaken".


Actually, Mario, I've said more than that. I've said that the priest's mention of the man he believes to be the Roman Pontiff is the highest and most noteworthy manifestation of communion with "the Roman Pontiff" and demonstrates a clear and unambiguous desire to remain in the Catholic Church, and therefore the act of praying for the Roman Pontiff is a virtuous and pious act not to be criticised.


I agree with you, John. This is very important, I think, when evaluating the culpability of the priest. But Fr. Cekada's article is not based on the priest being malicious. Fr. Cekada says specifically: "The mental state of the celebrant — whether he is in good conscience, means well, does not know better, etc. — is irrelevant. It does not change what una cum means liturgically and theologically, nor can it negate the principles that make it wrong for a sedevacantist to assist at such a Mass" (p. 16).

Quote:
The fact that the wrong man is identified as the Roman Pontiff is actually an entirely distinct question, of much greater importance insofar as it is manifested outside the Mass, where people actually hear it and might be influenced by it. In the Mass it is a non-issue, as far as I’m concerned.


OK, I understand what you're saying. However, this is relevant only if it is true that one's active participation in an una cum Mass does not require, in and of itself, that the person assisting ratify the names the priest mentions in the canon. And this you have argued for. This appears to be the hinge issue, so I will give this more reading and thought. What I want to do here, to wrap this up some time soon (hopefully), is give a summary presentation of each side, as fairly as possible. This is the best way to keep track of what the essentials actually are in the controversy, without all the other side issues.

Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
But what does this amount to then? Are we saying that the priest doesn't really mean it when he acknowledges Benedict XVI as Pope? But ask him - he does mean it! Should we really assist at a Mass that we would normally avoid except that we are convinced the priest doesn't really mean it?

Nobody has suggested, let alone stated, that the priest doesn’t “mean” that Benedict is the pope. What has been said is that there exists what is called in moral theology a conflict of intentions – the intention to aver communion with the Roman Pontiff and with the Catholic Church, and the intention to aver that Benedict is that person, the Roman Pontiff. Therefore the primary intention of the priest must be identified, and this is not difficult – it is the intention to aver communion with the Roman Pontiff and with the Catholic Church. The secondary intention yields, and the primary one remains.


OK, I agree with you.

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In relation to the present crisis, the claimants in Rome have several very strong factors which any objective observer would take as indications that their claims are true. There are also, in our view, even stronger factors against their claims, and therefore we judge them to be false claims. But we insist on acknowledging, because we are men of reason and charity, that the matter is a dispute in which either side is lawful. That is, in essence, the matter has not been judged by the Church.


OK, and I think I agree with you as far as that point alone goes, but the corollaries are what concern me. It's not like we're just talking about the identity of the Roman Pontiff. We're talking about a whole new religion that the alleged Roman Pontiff presides over, etc. But that's another can of worms, and you mentioned that when you spoke about immediate vs. more remote implications, though I think submission to the Roman Pontiff would have to be a rather immediate one. :-)

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marioderksen wrote:
No, see, this is the problem: Sedevacantism is not a private judgment. It is an objective state of affairs which I have privately come to recognize. I have made a private judgment, it is true, but about something which is indeed so. At the end of the day, every judgment is private because judgments only exist in the individual.

Mario, this is all upside down. I wrote a lengthy post explaining them a week or so ago, which discussed what a public judgement is and what difference it makes. If you have not read it, please do so and tell me what you don’t agree with or understand.


I must indeed have missed some posts here. I don't recall you talking about this but I will check when I'm done with this response. If the poster I was addressing meant a "legal" judgment (as opposed to a private one), then yes, of course sedevacantism is a private judgment in that sense (for some reason I thought he or she meant judgment in a cognitive sense). And I guess we could also describe the validity of the Thuc consecrations as a judgment "in private," and so on.

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The distinction between formal and material sin is real, but when we describe something as “material sin” we actually mean that there is no sin at all. Lucian ate meat on Friday in the mistaken belief that it was Thursday. He did not sin. Now, to handle such a case with facility, theologians will tag it a “material sin” but they mean and understand that there was no sin at all. The matter of sin was present, but not the form. A window is a “material flower vase”; that is, it is quite definitely not a flower vase but it is formed of the same material element.


Agreed.

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Now, in the case of the SSPX, the proposition we are asked to consent to is so thoroughly confused it makes one’s head spin. Their position is “materially schismatic” meaning, apparently, that it is somehow schismatic but they are not guilty of it. We are meant to be offended by it, but we are meant to think well of the poor dears. We can be horrible and “severe”, but also condescending and “charitable.” But the trouble is this is all a mess as far as Aristotelian philosophy is concerned, and the particular nature of this mess is, surprise!, Guerardian.

Now I understand why you kept bringing up Guerardianism. John, do you deny that there is such a thing as material schism? I would simply define it as an actual refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or a refusal of communion with members of the Church, though not intended. Just like the material sin business. This would be applicable in the case of someone who refuses submission to the Pope on the grounds that he firmly and innocently believes the man is not the Pope. There is an actual refusal of submission going on, but there is no sin. This is an important concept, and I don't know why you make such light of it.

In the case of the SSPX, this gets super-complicated, because what we have there is an actual refusal of submission to a man who is not the Roman Pontiff but professed and believed to be such, but even that refusal, though deliberate and intended in one sense, does not originate in malice but in a love for the Church and the papacy. (I don't know if there's a legal definition of the term "malice," but I am here using malice in the commonly-understood sense.) It is very complicated, but I cannot but consider a position schismatic that says, "We reserve the right to set up our own marriage tribunals, to review the Pope's canonizations, and to reject his encyclicals, universally promulgated laws, and promulgated sacramental rites." I consider this in and of itself schismatic, sorry (and I mean formally schismatic). I'm not saying everyone has to agree; I am just saying this is what I believe.

I am not familiar enough with the Guerardian Thesis to comment on it.

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As requested in another post, you’ll need to be more specific about this. What does “Catholic” mean in that text?

Catholic = compatible with our Faith

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The only thing I think you can mean would make the correct tag for Guerardianism “not Catholic” also. Is that what you think?

As I said, I am not familiar enough with Guerardianism. It might be true, or it might be nonsense. But I remember once arguing with a Guerardian about it, and he had a lot more evidence to show for it than I had expected.

It is best we leave those side discussions for different threads. God bless.

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Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:07 am
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marioderksen wrote:
OK, I see what you're saying, but I'd like some clarification from you, please. Are you saying that because of our circumstances, nothing that many traditional Catholics do (in terms of keeping themselves Catholic) is objectively wrong and should be changed?


No, you completely misunderstand me. I am addressing the question of the objective signification of human actions. A man who leaps into a swimming pool may be saving a drowning child or cooling himself off. There will be other circumstances which will enable the observer to form a realistic judgement about the bare action of diving into the water. I am merely insisting on the manifest necessity of including those integral factors in forming one’s judgement. Any other course is unrealistic and indeed, irrational.


marioderksen wrote:
OK, that's a good point, but the analogy isn't airtight because at least Pius XI was Pope at one point and you don't believe Pius XI was a heretic, whereas you believe that about Benedict XVI (i.e. sedevacantists do who go to an SSPX Mass). Let me think about this some. I know that you're trying to prove, by means of this analogy, that simply because someone assists at a Mass where the priest mentions someone in the canon who is not the Pope, though believed to be, doesn't mean that the person can be assumed to agree with the priest's choice. To be honest with you, I am not sure that your analogy proves this, because, for one thing, Pius XI actually is a Pope, he just happens not to be alive anymore.

Dead men are not popes. They are ex-popes. There is only ever one Vicar of Christ at any one time – only one visible head of the Church.


marioderksen wrote:
I realize that you might respond by saying that the incidental/essential distinction is irrelevant, and that your analogy proves Fr. Cekada is wrong to presume that one's active participation, in and of itself, implies your agreement with whomever is mentioned in the canon, at least someone not formally excommunicated by the Church. I'd have to hear Fr. Cekada's response to this before I could tell you whether I believe your argument or Fr. Cekada's to be more reasonable on this particular point.

Yes, that is what I think, and yes, I’d be interested to know if Fr. Cekada has any answer.

marioderksen wrote:
Fr. Cekada is not saying that it only takes 10 seconds to figure out whether one can go to an una cum Mass, but rather, it only takes 10 seconds to see there is an inconsistency between holding that Benedict XVI is a heretic and then going to Mass where the priest says he is not a heretic but the Pope, and mentions him as such in the canon. And one really can't disagree with that point. Of course there's an obvious inconsistency, and no doubt every SSPX adherent who became sede asked himself upon his conversion, "Can I still go to Mass here?" No matter how he answered it, he realized he needed to answer this question. That's all this "10 seconds" business is about.

Mario, here is what he wrote:
Quote:
The inconsistency — a complete disconnect between belief and worship — should be obvious after about 10 seconds of reflection. The theoretical conclusion (Ratzinger is not a true pope), we sense, should dictate the practical conclusion (don’t assist at Masses where the prayers say the opposite).

Now, the fact is that this idea that we must separate ourselves liturgically from those who do not agree with us in our (admittedly, rather radical) view, took a very long time to surface. I don’t say that it only took a long time for people to conclude that we must stay home alone – it took decades – but I say that even this “obvious inconsistency” took a long time to manifest itself. Always distrust “obvious” things which manage to hide themselves from you, Mario. That’s a life tip. :)

The reason, as I’ve tried to explain several times here, that this “inconsistency” did not appear, is that to anybody taking in the whole of the circumstances and judging causes and not superficially (i.e. the typical sedevacantist), there was no true inconsistency. Both the priest and the layman were Catholics and could worship together. Period.


marioderksen wrote:
Now, John, I know that you would reply, "But I am acting on principle!", but only very few sedevacantists, in my opinion, go to the SSPX because they have looked at and reasoned through what you have presented, John. Most of them go because they want to go to Mass, and not because they have figured out the theological controversy of una cum Masses.

I think their judgement of this issue is as deep and thorough as their judgement about Benedict. You can take that either way you like, but I mean to compliment their instinctive soundness.


marioderksen wrote:
I remember when I was indult, I always thought that the people who go to the SSPX Mass are SSPX adherents--not every single individual, necessarily, but for the main part. I think that's still a reasonable position.

You just granted my entire case on that point. I’m not arguing that we have no idea what the average layman thinks based upon his Mass attendance – only that any assumptions in any given case are dangerous, precisely for the reason that you give.


marioderksen wrote:
Are you saying it is licit for sedevacantists to assist at an una cum Mass because they do? You just said that one cannot be presumed to be necessarily agreeing with the priest's choices in the canon. But this lack of presumption can only be derived from the fact that people who disagree with the priest go to his Mass anyway. But this cannot be at the same time the reason why it is morally licit to go. It would follow, then, that if no sedevacantists went to the una cum Mass anymore, then it would be illicit to go.

No, I’m saying that the judgement about what the whole set of circumstances signify must be based upon the whole set of circumstances. In the present chaos any universal presumption along the lines you suggest would be unfounded and inaccurate.


marioderksen wrote:
But something can be intrinsically scandalous even if no one takes scandal anymore, no?

Conceivably, but in this case nobody ever took scandal.


marioderksen wrote:
So, to apply this analogy to the case at hand, I understand Fr. Cekada to wish to rectify a problem that has long plagued the traditional movement: due to having "messed-up" circumstances, we have done some things that are not morally permissible. Some might understand this as Fr. trying to "create scandal" where currently no scandal is taken (except in some); but I'd say that would be an unfair move against Fr. Cekada, who is simply attempting to clarify theological, liturgical, and moral principles and apply them to sede assistance at the una cum Mass.

No, I think that he is merely joining in Bishop Sanborn’s Guerardian argument because it is a baby step toward a complete boycott of the SSPX. That’s the agenda, let’s not be unreal about it.

marioderksen wrote:
I realize this would be something for another thread, but I am surprised you say that the SSPX's errors are not errors against the Faith.

Sure, but let’s leave the SSPX until we deal with Vatican II. How’s that for a deal? So, as a first step, please ask Fr. Cekada what the heresies are in Vatican II, and if he has identified any, please ask him to explain why he has never written an article identifying them for the laity and sounding the appropriate urgent warning.


marioderksen wrote:
John, the idea that there is material sin which is not formal isn't mine. I quoted the Catholic Encyclopedia on that. But I don't see why you reject this idea. To answer your question, yes, by accidentally walking off the cliff, you could consider this a material suicide. After all, it was a transgression of the divine law, and even the act of walking was voluntary - though there was obviously no intention to walk off the cliff (which is why it is merely material and not formal).

Yes, it is not your idea. No, it is not in The Catholic Encyclopedia. It’s Guerardian, and you seem to have absorbed it via Fr. Cekada, who got it from Bishop Sanborn.

We are not discussing a sin which is materially complete but not formally complete. As Cardinal Billot explains, in relation to heresy, "…a material sin is said to exist only when what belongs to the nature of the sin takes place materially, but without advertence or deliberate will. But the nature of heresy consists in withdrawal from the rule of the ecclesiastical Magisterium and this does not take place in the case mentioned [i.e. when a Catholic accidentally adheres to a heretical proposition], since this is a simple error of fact concerning what the rule dictates. And therefore there is no scope for heresy, even materially."

Apply that to the present case, or to your own analogy. There is no matter of the sin present – merely a mistake of fact. In Billot’s understanding the only “material heretics” are those Protestants (for example) who have not realised that they must be subject to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. They are heretics, but morally innocent.

In the present case we are observing Catholics who manifestly desire only to remain in the unity of the Catholic Church. Their mistake about the identity of the pope is not even materially schismatic, to borrow Billot’s language, “since this is a simple error of fact.”

In the case of a “material suicide,” one might perhaps describe Socrates as such an one, for drinking the hemlock. He did what was objectively wrong and constituted suicide, but under the impression that it was dictated by a higher duty (i.e. to the state). In any case, nobody has ever described an accident victim as a material suicide and this is because such language is nonsensical and useless.

Does this make more sense now?


marioderksen wrote:
But in the end, Rome makes the final decision regarding disputed matters.

“Rome” precisely refuses to make any “final decisions.”


marioderksen wrote:
In a theoretical discussion about schism, I don't think points like "they refuse submission because they want to be faithful to the Church and the Pope" would be admissible on the grounds that no one can be faithful to the Church and the Pope by refusing submission to the Pope.

You mean, by refusing “obedience” to the pope on various points. But the theologians are against you. Cardinal Cajetan, "Disobedience, no matter how pertinacious, does not constitute schism unless it be a rebellion against the office of the pope." Rev. Ignatius Szal, "Nor is there any schism if one merely transgress a papal law for the reason that one considers it too difficult, or if one refuses obedience inasmuch as one suspects the person of the pope or the validity of his election, or if one resists him as the civil head of a state."

Mario, if it isn’t schism, even “material,” to “transgress a papal law for the reason that one considers it too difficult,” then what the SSPX does is light-years away from schism.

marioderksen wrote:
Emphasize the importance of truth (which is as important now as it was then) and the importance of seeking it, but realize that there is no authority that can settle disputed questions, and therefore be tolerant of people and their actions if they disagree with you.

Amen.

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Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:20 am
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marioderksen wrote:
Now I understand why you kept bringing up Guerardianism. John, do you deny that there is such a thing as material schism? I would simply define it as an actual refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or a refusal of communion with members of the Church, though not intended. Just like the material sin business. This would be applicable in the case of someone who refuses submission to the Pope on the grounds that he firmly and innocently believes the man is not the Pope. There is an actual refusal of submission going on, but there is no sin. This is an important concept, and I don't know why you make such light of it.


Dear Mario,

I’ve dealt with this a little more in my previous post, so I won’t bore you with more of the same. However, I do wish to emphasise that I fully accept the usefulness and validity of the formal-material distinction, including its analogical application to non-material realities. I object only to Guerardian and other erroneous philosophical approaches, and I only object to them because I perceive them to be exceedingly harmful to clear thought on highly important issues.

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Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:49 am
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Dear Mario,

I've been thinking about this question of what is "obvious" and what is not. You said some time ago that a friend of yours became a sedevacantist and immediately wondered if he should find a new place to hear Mass. It was not obvious to him that he could continue at his SSPX chapel.

In any such question we should be tracing things back to causes. Why was this so? What was his thinking? I suggest that this might happen because the individual thinks (perhaps somewhat vaguely) that sedeplenism is a schism. That is, when we realise that the See of Rome is vacant we do not necessarily also realise that since the Church has not judged the matter there is no penalty upon those who fail to see it. In other words, we imagine that by becoming sedevacantists we are in a sense returning to the Church from a kind of schism. (This is pretty much how I felt in 1988 when I was introduced to the traditional Mass, by the way.)

This kind of thinking naturally leads such people to think that they ought not to worship in common with sedeplenists.

But I would be very surprised if anybody who understood the proper status of our position (i.e. as objectively true but still only having the status of a private judgement) would automatically conclude that he ought not to worship with sedeplenists. Such a notion would have to be based upon some reason or other, and we know from many decades of sedevacantist history that the "una cum" issue was a non-issue for everybody for a very long time. So that reason at least is not "obvious."

Do you see what I mean?

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I'm not making an attack on Fr. Cekada here, just an observation.

But its very easy for Father to write an article, insisting that sedevacantists not attend an Una Cum Mass.
Sit comfortably in his big church in Cincinnati, go travel to Milwaukee to say the Mass, then return to his home, and start writting an article condemning the good Catholics who have just received the sacraments from an Una Cum priest.

It makes little difference to his arguments, but I may be inclined to take his writtings a little more seriously if I saw him traveling endlessly like the SSPV, CMRI and some independent priests.

Personally, from listening to WFTS, I know that most priests of the SSPV spend the day on the Mass circuit.
Making the sacraments more available to the faithful instead of restricting them.


Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:34 pm
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Frank Gale wrote:
I'm not making an attack on Fr. Cekada here, just an observation.

But its very easy for Father to write an article, insisting that sedevacantists not attend an Una Cum Mass.
Sit comfortably in his big church in Cincinnati, go travel to Milwaukee to say the Mass, then return to his home, and start writting an article condemning the good Catholics who have just received the sacraments from an Una Cum priest.

It makes little difference to his arguments, but I may be inclined to take his writtings a little more seriously if I saw him traveling endlessly like the SSPV, CMRI and some independent priests.

Personally, from listening to WFTS, I know that most priests of the SSPV spend the day on the Mass circuit.
Making the sacraments more available to the faithful instead of restricting them.


Did you take into consideration that Fr Cekada's a seminary professor? Assure me you didn't because this comment sounds very unfair.

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Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:54 am
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austinmarie wrote:
Did you take into consideration that Fr Cekada's a seminary professor? Assure me you didn't because this comment sounds very unfair.


Well, I have had the same thought, and like Frank I am not attacking him. Merely pointing out that if he was flying to Australia a couple of times a year it would concentrate his faculties a little. I've done plenty of those airline "bus" runs between states in the USA. They are a relaxing one to two hour journey. But flying to this country and back within a week would tax the constitution of the strongest of men.

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Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:34 am
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Quote:
But its very easy for Father to write an article, insisting that sedevacantists not attend an Una Cum Mass.
Sit comfortably in his big church in Cincinnati


Father Cekada's a little more stretched then that, and so are the other priests at SGG. Fr. Cekada offers Mass at SGG every day and at least twice on sunday, and occasionally at St. Hugh's. St. Clare's, and any of the other chapels connected with SGG. Plus, he teaches school and seminary. One also has to factor in the fact that Bishop Dolan is probably away from SGG for about two to three weeks every month, combined, due to his trips to other chapels in the US, Europe, and Mexico to confirm. When this happens, Father is often left in charge, which is no small task. Considering all of this, I don't think it's fair to claim that Father has a lot of down time to write articles, which is something that I know he doesn't have a lot of.
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Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:47 am
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BenCW wrote:
Considering all of this, I don't think it's fair to claim that Father has a lot of down time to write articles, which is something that I know he doesn't have a lot of.


We're not talking about down time. I'm sure he is extremely busy. No doubt. It is a question of priorities.

After all, where is the article tackling John XXIII's papacy? Was he pope or not? Where is the article identifying and tagging with their correct theological "notes" the various errors of Vatican II? Was Vatican II heretical, or merely erroneous? Where is the article reconciling the claim that Vatican II contained errors which no bishop of the Catholic Church publicly opposed or criticised for years after the Council closed, with the infallibility of the ordinary, universal, magisterium? Can morally the entire body of bishops teach error without opposition for many years, as long as some of the laity and a few inferior clerics don't go along with these authorised Teachers of the Faith, the episcopate?

There are plenty of real issues which need dealing with. There are numerous existing sources of disunity between Catholics. The enemy has more than sufficiently divided us against each other so that his conquest has almost been totally successful. Why help him out?

So you tell me, Ben, why would this very busy man decide to expend his spare time and energy finding an improbable pretext for disallowing traditional Catholics from hearing Mass or receiving the sacraments?

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Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:25 am
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austinmarie wrote:
Frank Gale wrote:
I'm not making an attack on Fr. Cekada here, just an observation.

But its very easy for Father to write an article, insisting that sedevacantists not attend an Una Cum Mass.
Sit comfortably in his big church in Cincinnati, go travel to Milwaukee to say the Mass, then return to his home, and start writting an article condemning the good Catholics who have just received the sacraments from an Una Cum priest.

It makes little difference to his arguments, but I may be inclined to take his writtings a little more seriously if I saw him traveling endlessly like the SSPV, CMRI and some independent priests.

Personally, from listening to WFTS, I know that most priests of the SSPV spend the day on the Mass circuit.
Making the sacraments more available to the faithful instead of restricting them.


Did you take into consideration that Fr Cekada's a seminary professor? Assure me you didn't because this comment sounds very unfair.


Yes, to my knowledge Father does not teach at the seminary all year round. But only part of it.
My comment may have no point at all, but I'm just saying I would be more inclined to take Father's arguments a little more serious if he was making the sacraments more readily available to the faithful, instead of just limiting their options.

To BenCW

A priest offering Mass every day? How is that in any way remarkable.
At least twice on Sunday? Once again, thats nothing big.
Occasionally at St Hughes and St. Clares?, to my knowledge, these churches are served by the younger priests coming out from Most Holy Trinity Seminary.

I'm not trying to discredit his work, but what you described above is nothing out of the ordinary.
For example, I can't provide a source, but I believe one CMRI priest says his first public Mass for Sunday at around 6 AM, and his last at 9 PM. His entire day is filled with traveling and offering the sacraments to the faithful. Maybe Fathers time could be spent more productively if he used it to minister to the scattered flock, and reflect on the virtue of Charity instead of writing articles calling the SSPX schismatic or acting as if he has any authority to declare attendance at their Mass a mortal sin for sedevacantists (which is itself incorrect, because a mortal sin applies to ALL, not just Catholics of a particular PRIVATELY HELD OPINION, and it will remain that until a true pope settles the matter)


Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:52 am
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Frank Gale wrote:
I'm not trying to discredit his work, but what you described above is nothing out of the ordinary.
For example, I can't provide a source, but I believe one CMRI priest says his first public Mass for Sunday at around 6 AM, and his last at 9 PM. His entire day is filled with traveling and offering the sacraments to the faithful. Maybe Fathers time could be spent more productively if he used it to minister to the scattered flock, and reflect on the virtue of Charity...



Father is a researcher and writer. People, including priests, have different talents and excel in different areas. Consequently, comparisons don't always provide a true picture and can be misleading.

Father may be prevented by any number of reasons from travelling and directly ministering to the scattered flock. We couldn't possibly know what these reasons might be, and, in my view, should avoid being influenced by appearances. (I know you were only making an observation, but observations can "influence" us - and others.) He certainly can use his writing talents to "minister", in a very real sense, to a much larger flock than he would have any hope of attending personally. I have undoubtedly benefited, in the past, from being among his readership. My only criticism is that his article under discussion doesn't "minister" as it should, but instead disturbs and divides the faithful at a time when we desperately need to strengthen the magnetic force of charity that unites us one to another. Just as more cement is needed when we build with fewer bricks, more charity is needed to bind together the scattered faithful.

We are in great need of scholarly articles that can be used to prove and defend sedevacantism, rather than give our opponents more fuel to disregard our position as unworthy of consideration. Father Cekada has the talents to produce what is currently lacking. My sincere hope and prayer is that he will do so. And that this current error, once retracted, will only serve to provide him with a deeper, richer, more penetrating understanding of the issues that confront the Church and need his attention.

AMW


Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:45 am
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Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
I do not understand, John, what the una cum question has to do with the Guerardian thesis.

They're both fairy-land theories, detached from the world of concrete reality, and both were invented by the same man, who was famous precisely for being detached from concrete realities.


Hi everybody, although i believe Fr. Cekada is right nevertheless i think Mons. G. des Lauriers didn`t agree Fr. Cekada`s issue, please check this: (on question 6)

http://www.sodalitiumpianum.it/index.php?pid=49 (in spanish)

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/contra_impetum/TC.pdf (in french)
Unfortunately i couldn`t find the interview in english.
For those who can´t read it, Mons G. des Lauriers says that in case of necessity a man is allowed to assist to a una cum Mass.
Perhaps somebody may translate that paragraph better than me.

Cristian

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Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:15 am
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Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Hi everybody, although i believe Fr. Cekada is right nevertheless i think Mons. G. des Lauriers didn`t agree Fr. Cekada`s issue, please check this: (on question 6)


Yes, this is the position of Fr. Ricossa also (Fr. Ricossa is a Guerardian). My sister used to assist at Mass at his chapel in Italy and she asked him directly.

So that it is clear how this issue has evolved, here are the facts as I understand them.

a) 1965-1980+ --- Almost all traditional Catholics assisted at Holy Mass offered by any priest who was orthodox and properly ordained.
b) Circa 1981 --- Bishop Guerard des Lauriers came up with the objection to assisting at Holy Mass when offered by a non-sedevacantist, on the grounds that the false pope is mentioned in the Canon. Only Guerardians and those closely associated with them adopted this opinion. Most sedevacantists dismissed it.
c) Circa 1993- circa 1999 --- Father Sanborn publicly presented this singular opinion and remained pretty much the only cleric in the English-speaking world who held it.
d) Circa 1999 --- Fr. Cekada also adopted the Guerardian position on this question and several other clerics did likewise, including Fr. Kevin Vaillancourt. Most sedevacantists, lay and clerical, continued to dismiss it (including the CMRI, the SSPV, and the rest of the Oyster Bay Nine such as Frs. Berry, Zapp, Ahern, Collins, etc.).
e) Circa 2007 --- Bishop Sanborn began refusing sacraments to sedevacantists who assisted at Holy Mass offered by non-sedevacantist priests.

Of course, right from fairly early on in the fight against V2 there were individuals entirely unrelated to the Guerdians who became sedevacantists and then ceased assisting at Holy Mass offered by priests who were non-sedevacantist, or who ceased assisting at Mass at all, ever, or who ceased assisting at Mass offered by any priest who was ordained after 1958, or who ceased assisting at Mass offered by any priest ordained by a bishop who was not consecrated during the reign of a true pope (i.e. generally pre-'58), or who ceased assisting at Mass offered by any priest who declined to subscribe to a set "position statement" authored by themselves, etc. None of these varied and wonderful positions bears any relation to the "una cum" controversy, despite the fact that many present-day polemicists seem cheerfully to conflate and confuse them.

Not unrelated to the present agitation against assisting at Holy Mass offered by non-sedevacantist priests is the "any way you slice it" schism allegation against sedeplenists in general and against the SSPX specifically. I say not unrelated because both came via Bishop Sanborn, and the suggestion (not really clear but certainly stridently stated) that the SSPX is a schismatic sect would be a distinct and strong reason to avoid it.

Anyway, Fr. Cekada's position came from Bishop Guerard des Lauriers, via Bishop Sanborn, who distilled it to its present strength in two stages.

As Victor Hugo said, there is nothing so revealing as the pedigree of ideas. The corollary is, there is nothing which ought to raise one's suspicions more than the attempt to disguise the origin of an idea.

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Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:22 pm
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It will be interesting to see the position on this question of the priests coming from Most Holy Trinity Seminary, of which Bp. Sanborn is rector.


Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:16 pm
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John Lane wrote:
Not unrelated to the present agitation against assisting at Holy Mass offered by non-sedevacantist priests is the "any way you slice it" schism allegation against sedeplenists in general and against the SSPX specifically. I say not unrelated because both came via Bishop Sanborn, and the suggestion (not really clear but certainly stridently stated) that the SSPX is a schismatic sect would be a distinct and strong reason to avoid it.

Anyway, Fr. Cekada's position came from Bishop Guerard des Lauriers, via Bishop Sanborn, who distilled it to its present strength in two stages.

As Victor Hugo said, there is nothing so revealing as the pedigree of ideas. The corollary is, there is nothing which ought to raise one's suspicions more than the attempt to disguise the origin of an idea.


John,

Sadly Bp. Sanborn has made this very clear.

Quote:
So in this situation, either the sedeplenists are schismatic, or the sedevacantists are schismatic. The one excludes the other.


Taken from his article on Opinionism.

http://www.traditionalmass.org/articles ... catname=10

I have a question, is it possible for a position to be schismatic or heretical, but its adherents not heretics or schismatic as they act in good faith?

God Bless


Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:26 pm
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New post Heretics and schismatics.
Frank Gale wrote:
I have a question, is it possible for a position to be schismatic or heretical, but its adherents not heretics or schismatic as they act in good faith?


Yes, of course. There are many historical examples of such a thing.

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Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:41 am
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New post Re: Heretics and schismatics.
KenGordon wrote:
Yes, of course. There are many historical examples of such a thing.


I don't think that's right Ken, if we mean all of the members of a group. If it is schismatic, then somebody is guilty of schism. Otherwise there is no real schism - merely a mistake.

But of course I presume you are thinking of, for example, members of the "Orthodox" churches who are in good faith. Those people are really Catholics, having never left the true Church after baptism, and if they remain in the state of grace they will be saved as members of the Church, outside of which there is no salvation.

The point is that in every historical case sects were the result of schism, not vice versa. That is, the sect is caused by the schismatic act. Therefore there were always some guilty persons at the root of the affair (e.g. Photius, Lucifer of Cagliari, Henry VIII), even if (per impossibile) everybody who subsequently found themselves enmeshed in the sect were actually innocent. In Bishop Sanborn's philosophy there is this "schismatic sect" the members of which are all apparently innocent, and therefore remain Catholics, members and parts of the Catholic Church. So we have this kind of legal fiction constituted a sect by some sophistical reasoning but which nevertheless is constituted entirely of Catholics. Weird. Clearly this notion has not been thought through.

A sect is a body of men. Men cannot be members of a sect and members of the Church at the same time. The sect is therefore properly that body of men who have left the Church and adhered to each other. Those who are enmeshed in such a sect without guilt are not in fact members of it at all - superficial appearances notwithstanding. Properly viewed, they are members of the Catholic Church, and visibly so (i.e. even if this visible atachment to the Church is somewhat obscured).

Now, if the SSPX is a sect, then somebody founded it by breaking with the Catholic Church. This is how we would be able to identify it as a sect. So, who founded this purported sect, and what act of his constituted a clear break with the Catholic Church? Since neither Bishop Sanborn nor anybody who has adopted his rhetoric has ever presented the name of the original schismatic, nor identified the orginating schismatic act, I think we can safely dismiss the allegation as baseless.

In sum, the correct term to describe the SSPX position is "erroneous." This avoids the confusion engendered by tagging it "materially schismatic" and other such similar undefined and misleading terms.

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Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:19 am
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New post Re: Heretics and schismatics.
John Lane wrote:

A sect is a body of men. Men cannot be members of a sect and members of the Church at the same time. The sect is therefore properly that body of men who have left the Church and adhered to each other. Those who are enmeshed in such a sect without guilt are not in fact members of it at all - superficial appearances notwithstanding. Properly viewed, they are members of the Catholic Church, and visibly so (i.e. even if this visible atachment to the Church is somewhat obscured).



John,

What groups are you referring to as sects? I'm wondering about your statement that men enmeshed in sects without guilt are members of the Catholic Church. I thought that Pope Pius XII's Mystici Corporis Christi laid down the rules for 'membership' in the Catholic Church ... only those who are baptized, profess the Catholic faith, share in the same sacraments, and submit to the legitimate pastors (essentially the pope) are to be considered members of the Catholic Church. Those who labor under invincible ignorance and attempt to lead upright lives submitting to the will of God may be 'within' the Church, but are not 'members' of the Church.

I think I'm misunderstanding your post ... perhaps, it's the use of the word sect. Could you please explain it more completely ... as usual, I'm missing something.

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Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:51 am
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New post Heretics and schismatics.
Remember me, John? I usually work best on the KISS principle.

I was not thinking of SSPX, or Sanborn, or any "sect". I was thinking of individual persons who, at one time or another, held a position that was subsequently discovered, either by themselves, or even after their deaths, to be heretical or schismatic.

In point of fact, I was vaguely thinking of St. Augustine and his teaching that all unbaptised babies go to hell. I believe there were other theological points he was arguing with such as St. Jerome, in which St. Augustine was subsequently proven wrong. He certainly did not commit sin by those. He certainly was neither an heretic nor a schismatic. He was simply mistaken.

Then, of course, there are people, as you may have mentioned, who are born into an heretical or schismatic "sect" and only discover later that they are in error. Many Protestants fit this scenario. The most courageous of those change and became Catholics. Now, of course, such people would have no place to go, for the most part.

There certainly is no sinfulness involved in such cases, and thus, to my mind, they are not actually schismatics or heretics in God's sight. Here we get into the formaliter/materialiter question.

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New post Re: Heretics and schismatics.
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Those who labor under invincible ignorance and attempt to lead upright lives submitting to the will of God may be 'within' the Church, but are not 'members' of the Church.


Sure, except that if we are talking about baptised men, these are actual members of the Church until and unless they depart from her by schism, heresy, or apostasy.

“The fact remains that there are—and this point has too often been overlooked—even among the schismatics as well as among the heretics who validly administer baptism many subjects who are Catholics by right and in fact. They are the baptized children who have not yet reached the age of reason. Baptism belongs by right to the Catholic Church alone. Whether the minister who confers it is a schismatic, a heretic, or even an unbeliever, he affiliates the baptized person to the Catholic Church, and this incorporation remains intact as long as the subject in question has not, through a personal profession of schism or heresy, broken the exterior bond that unites him to the true Church. It follows from this that, in calculating the number of Catholics now alive, in order to make a strict count, we would have to add all the very young children who have been baptized in schismatic or heretical lands. They are all, even visibly, members of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and benefit from the life-giving influences that come to us from the Head.

“Doubtless many, in fact most of them, when they reach the age of discretion, will fall from this condition outwardly, even while retaining inwardly, at least for a time, the privilege of good faith of which we have just spoken. But many die before having reached this age, and they die as visible members of the Mystical Body, in the Catholic Communion, in the Church into which their baptism incorporated them.”

Fr. Ernest Mura, R.S.V., The Nature of the Mystical Body, Herder, 1963 (translated from the French, first published in 1936), Chapter XIX, pp. 276, 277.

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Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:19 am
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Please see this thread also: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forum ... .php?t=419

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New post Re: Heretics and schismatics.
John Lane wrote:
Sure, except that if we are talking about baptised men, these are actual members of the Church until and unless they depart from her by schism, heresy, or apostasy.

“Doubtless many, in fact most of them, when they reach the age of discretion, will fall from this condition outwardly, even while retaining inwardly, at least for a time, the privilege of good faith of which we have just spoken. But many die before having reached this age, and they die as visible members of the Mystical Body, in the Catholic Communion, in the Church into which their baptism incorporated them.”

Fr. Ernest Mura, R.S.V., The Nature of the Mystical Body, Herder, 1963 (translated from the French, first published in 1936), Chapter XIX, pp. 276, 277.


Thanks, John. It was not clear from the prior post that you were speaking about men who had not reached the age of discretion. Subsequent to reaching the age of discretion, men enmeshed in sects are considered, at least, material heretics/schismatics (or both), and would not be considered members of the Catholic Church. It's quite clear, now.

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New post Re: Heretics and schismatics.
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Thanks, John. It was not clear from the prior post that you were speaking about men who had not reached the age of discretion. Subsequent to reaching the age of discretion, men enmeshed in sects are considered, at least, material heretics/schismatics (or both), and would not be considered members of the Catholic Church. It's quite clear, now.


Yes, I think you're right, Teresa. It is true that from the age of fourteen there is a legal presumption that they have become formal schismatics/heretics and lost their membership, so if we retain the definition of "member" as the legally established status of a person (as distinct from whether they are within or without for the purposes of salvation) then your use of this terminology is entirely right and mine was wrong (not just unclear - I was not thinking only of children). Thank you for the correction.

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New post Re: Heretics and schismatics.
John Lane wrote:

Yes, I think you're right, Teresa. It is true that from the age of fourteen there is a legal presumption that they have become formal schismatics/heretics and lost their membership, so if we retain the definition of "member" as the legally established status of a person (as distinct from whether they are within or without for the purposes of salvation) then your use of this terminology is entirely right and mine was wrong (not just unclear - I was not thinking only of children). Thank you for the correction.



Whew ... you had me worried, John. I thought I had stumbled upon the JPII.net/forums!! :D

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New post Re: Heretics and schismatics.
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Whew ... you had me worried, John. I thought I had stumbled upon the JPII.net/forums!! :D


:)

It's a tricky area. The concept of "membership" is not a settled area of theology. I am convinced of the rectitude and utility of Monsignor Fenton's terminology (he distinguishes "within" and "without" and also "membership"), which is what you seem to be adhering to also, but this is by no means "standard" in the manuals. For example, it is more common (in my limited reading) to distinguish "membership by desire" (in voto) and "membership in reality" (in re). Indeed, this would appear to be more traditional. But it suffers from some difficulties which are overcome by the additional distinction employed by Fenton.

I think part of the difficulty is that "membership" is essentially a legal term, whereas the concepts of "within" and "without" are more purely theological terms. The law is not concerned with exceptions so much as with the common situation and the common good. Theology is concerned with the precise understanding of every implication of every doctrine.

In any case, I think my use of the term was wrong however you distinguish the terms, because my use of it related to the visible unity of the Church and I think you are right to deny that a Greek adult who is in good faith is visibly a component part of the Church.

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John Lane wrote:
What we can take from this, if we apply Fr. Cekada's own principles to it:

Father Cekada concluded that guitar songs at mass [ “known as guitar masses”] were irreverent. That is, offensive to God, blaspemous, sacrilegious, God "holding His nose" against them as a result. It's horrible when you think about it.

Nevertheless, for eight years Fr. Cekada attended these guitar masses. Although he did not open his mouth to sing the songs himself, by his very presence, actively assisting at these masses he was necessarily consenting to them. It doesn’t matter that he says that he was silent, his active assistance at each such mass indicates consent to each guitar mass taken as a whole.

A pernicious lie – Fr. Cekada believed they were irreverent, therefore displeasing to God, yet he ratified them by his assistance.

Scandal – Fr. Cekada's active assistance at these masses indicated his acceptance of guitar masses taken as complete events. The moralists don't, as he points out, permit any alternative "pick and choose" assistance to either passive non-assistance or active assistance.

Inconsistency – although Fr. Cekada believed these masses were irreverent he continued for eight long years actively to assist at them.

What can I say, either way you slice it, Fr. Cekada's assistance at these Masses has been skewered by Fr. Cekada's own principles.

Of course, I don't accept his principles, and maybe when he thinks about it a little more he won't either. :)

John, I actually don't find this example at all absurd. I think what you're pointing out here - tongue in cheek, of course - is quite reasonable. Do you not think that assisting at an irreverent Mass implies consent with the irreverence? Would you assist at a Mass where you know the priest mistreats the Body and Blood of Christ somehow?


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New post Re: Plenty of priests?!?
KenGordon wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
There are plenty such priests around, relatively speaking.


Are you joking?!?!?

Oh! Perhaps our criteria differ.

I don't think I could name 10 priests in the entire world of whose ordinations I would be 100% certain were valid.

Let's see: 1 in Spokane, Washington, 2 in Texas, 2 in Canada, 1 in Belgium. Hmmm...that's six...


Dear Ken,

I thought you now accepted the validity of the Lefebvre line? And as far as 100% validity goes, we never have that certitude. Who's to say that Fr. X, who was ordained, say, in 1956 by his local ordinary, is absolutely valid? Do we know? Perhaps his local ordinary maliciously withheld his intention? Or perhaps there was a mistake made in the essential words, and no one noticed? Or perhaps the bishop wasn't truly a bishop because his baptism was invalid? Or perhaps there was a problem with an ordination somewhere in his line in 1126? We can never be absolutely certain that a particular priest is validly ordained. All we can ever do is presume it.

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New post Re: Fr. Cekada
KenGordon wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
For example, he shows that by assisting at such a Mass, you are ipso facto agreeing with the falsehood that Benedict XVI is the Pope of the Catholic Church, a man you yourself believe to be a heretic or an apostate.


Absolutely not. Sorry, you are wrong. He shows no such thing. I have, for the moment, forgotten the Canon Law (2281?) which says that for grave reasons any Catholic may receive the sacraments from heretics or schismatics, even vitandi. This very fact would appear to me to directly contradict Fr. Cekada. He is getting WAAAAAAAY off track. His pride is leading him astray.

Yes, but the canon talking about reception of the sacraments per se is not talking about attending Mass per se.

Aside from that: Ken, you rightly appeal to the necessity of practicing charity, but let's apply that same standard across the board - why the accusation of pride? I'm sure Fr. Cekada was also accused of pride by some when he wrote articles on sedevacantism, which many of us have benefited from tremendously. It's one thing to make an argument about something; it's another to say that whoever disagrees is an idiot (for example). The latter would be prideful; the former would not.

Quote:
If YOU wish to take scandal at my receiving clearly valid sacraments from those you consider to be heretics, fellow-travelers, schismatics, that is YOUR problem. If I were to be in such a situation, my purpose would be to receive those valid sacraments, and whether or not I would agree or disagree with the heretic in question would not be relevant. In fact, it would simply not be an issue.


As I have stated numerous times on here, I am not prone to taking scandal. I personally do not feel my faith or morals threatened by a sedevacantist friend assisting at an una cum Mass. But my whole desire here has been to investigate the issues presented, on a theoretical level, and not to pass judgment on any person. Apparently, some people here cannot agree or disagree on something without it getting personal. I deplore that greatly.

Quote:
Quote:
(4) What may have been difficult to see in 1967 is still a bit different forty years later. If people like John Paul II and Ratzinger XVI don't fit the idea of "public heretic," I'm not sure who would.


You are presuming that God has given everyone else on the face of the earth the same unusual graces to see these things clearly as He has given you. This is presumptuous on your part. You should be 1) thanking God mightly for having given you these graces, despite your unworthiness to having received them, and 2) be praying just as mightly that everyone else on the face of the earth will be given those same graces.


Ken, yes, your words are wise and I agree with them, but I think they are not to the point. To my knowledge, the notion of "public heretic" is not tied to how many people realize that someone is a heretic. "Public" has to do with how the heresy is divulged and is not dependent upon a certain number of people recognizing it. In other words, Benedict XVI is a public heretic. That some of us have been given the grace to realize this, is something we ought to fall on our knees for, thanking Almighty God, absolutely, because so few people do. But it has no bearing on the fact that the heresy is there and it is manifest and it is public. It cannot be wrong for a traditional priest to point this out. (I don't, admittedly, remember why I brought this up. I hope what I'm saying here is relevant.)

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Mario


Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:41 pm
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New post Re:
John,

Thank you for clarifying so many things for me and for everyone else here.

Quote:
Now, the fact is that this idea that we must separate ourselves liturgically from those who do not agree with us in our (admittedly, rather radical) view, took a very long time to surface.


I believe you are misidentifying the issue here, John. It is not a case of separating oneself liturgically per se but merely per accidens.

Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
Are you saying it is licit for sedevacantists to assist at an una cum Mass because they do? You just said that one cannot be presumed to be necessarily agreeing with the priest's choices in the canon. But this lack of presumption can only be derived from the fact that people who disagree with the priest go to his Mass anyway. But this cannot be at the same time the reason why it is morally licit to go. It would follow, then, that if no sedevacantists went to the una cum Mass anymore, then it would be illicit to go.

No, I’m saying that the judgement about what the whole set of circumstances signify must be based upon the whole set of circumstances. In the present chaos any universal presumption along the lines you suggest would be unfounded and inaccurate.


I don't think you addressed my argument. Why would any universal presumption be unfounded and inaccurate? Is it because sedevacantists do in fact assist at una cum Masses?

Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
But something can be intrinsically scandalous even if no one takes scandal anymore, no?

Conceivably, but in this case nobody ever took scandal.

Can something still be wrong to do because of intrinsic scandal even if no one is actually scandalized? (Before other people chastise me here again, let me clarify: No, I am not looking for scandal. I do not want there to be scandal. I merely wish to know the answer to my question.)

Quote:
Sure, but let’s leave the SSPX until we deal with Vatican II. How’s that for a deal? So, as a first step, please ask Fr. Cekada what the heresies are in Vatican II, and if he has identified any, please ask him to explain why he has never written an article identifying them for the laity and sounding the appropriate urgent warning.

Has Fr. Cekada not written on Frankenchurch?

Quote:
In the case of a “material suicide,” one might perhaps describe Socrates as such an one, for drinking the hemlock. He did what was objectively wrong and constituted suicide, but under the impression that it was dictated by a higher duty (i.e. to the state). In any case, nobody has ever described an accident victim as a material suicide and this is because such language is nonsensical and useless.

Does this make more sense now?


Yep! :D
John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
In a theoretical discussion about schism, I don't think points like "they refuse submission because they want to be faithful to the Church and the Pope" would be admissible on the grounds that no one can be faithful to the Church and the Pope by refusing submission to the Pope.

You mean, by refusing “obedience” to the pope on various points.


No, I mean refusing submission. And I mean really serious stuff, not just, "No, we won't join Bishop Fred in his prayer for the preservation of nature for a greener world." I mean things like rejecting universal Church discipline, usurping the authority of the Roman rota to issue marriage annulments, questioning canonizations, and things like that.

God bless.

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Mario


Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:02 pm
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Frank Gale wrote:
I'm not making an attack on Fr. Cekada here, just an observation.

But its very easy for Father to write an article, insisting that sedevacantists not attend an Una Cum Mass.
Sit comfortably in his big church in Cincinnati, go travel to Milwaukee to say the Mass, then return to his home, and start writting an article condemning the good Catholics who have just received the sacraments from an Una Cum priest.

It makes little difference to his arguments, but I may be inclined to take his writtings a little more seriously if I saw him traveling endlessly like the SSPV, CMRI and some independent priests.

Personally, from listening to WFTS, I know that most priests of the SSPV spend the day on the Mass circuit.
Making the sacraments more available to the faithful instead of restricting them.

I find this to be an emotional argument and therefore fallacious (especially the last sentence).

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Mario


Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:06 pm
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New post Re: Plenty of priests?!?
marioderksen wrote:
Let's see: 1 in Spokane, Washington, 2 in Texas, 2 in Canada, 1 in Belgium. Hmmm...that's six...

Dear Ken,

I thought you now accepted the validity of the Lefebvre line?


After much discussion with John and Vince here on this forum, I came to understand that my previously understood reasons for my suspicions in regard to the validity of their orders was based on a misunderstanding of the Church's understanding of how orders are conferred. (Hmmmm...I hope that makes sense to you: it does to me.)

However, that long discussion simply reduced my suspicions from about 100% certain they were most probably invalid, to about 80% certain they are probably valid. My final doubts on this matter will only be finally and conclusively dissipated when the legitmate Church finally rules on them. Or, in my case, I probably will not learn the real truth of them until after I have exited Purgatory, which, the way things stand now, will probably be at least 5 centuries after I am dead and buried.

We are LAYMEN: we cannot definitively rule on anything, period.

Also, you misunderstand me: I said that there were only about 6 priests in the entire world of whose orders I was 100% certain were valid. Read that again to understand it, and don't read more into it than is there.

Quote:
far as 100% validity goes, we never have that certitude.


Mario, we (you and I) are separate individuals. What suffices for you, may not suffice for me, and vice versa. What **I** view as 100% certain, may not satisfy you, and vice versa. I am 100% certain of certain priests. Six at last count. I accept or doubt a priests validity primarily on the "...by their fruits you shall know them..." coupled, secondarily, with careful research. My reasons, in both cases, undoubtedly would not satisfy you.

Quote:
We can never be absolutely certain that a particular priest is validly ordained. All we can ever do is presume it.


See above. I thoroughly and completely disagree. I thought you were familiar with the various theological, or philosophical, grades of certainty? If you are not, perhaps more study is in order, and perhaps I should review them. Let's not get waylaid by subtle Hegelian-style errors. That can very easily happen now-a-days if we are not constantly on our guard.

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Moscow, Idaho
U.S.A.


Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:21 pm
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New post Re: Re:
marioderksen wrote:
Frank Gale wrote:
I'm not making an attack on Fr. Cekada here, just an observation.

But its very easy for Father to write an article, insisting that sedevacantists not attend an Una Cum Mass.
Sit comfortably in his big church in Cincinnati, go travel to Milwaukee to say the Mass, then return to his home, and start writting an article condemning the good Catholics who have just received the sacraments from an Una Cum priest.

It makes little difference to his arguments, but I may be inclined to take his writtings a little more seriously if I saw him traveling endlessly like the SSPV, CMRI and some independent priests.

Personally, from listening to WFTS, I know that most priests of the SSPV spend the day on the Mass circuit.
Making the sacraments more available to the faithful instead of restricting them.

I find this to be an emotional argument and therefore fallacious (especially the last sentence).


Mario,

It's not an emotional argument, its an observation on the present and past conduct of these clergy and their willingness to condemn but not to take any practical action.

I'll give an example, some sedevacantists in Australia, following Fr. Cekada and Bp. Sanborn, stay home on Sunday instead of attending Mass. I have a friend like this. She is only young and her room mates both attend the SSPX chapel in Sydney. While they are gone, she kneels down, recites the prayers from her missal, reads from a book of sermons, and then prays the rosary. Not long ago Fr. Cekada wrote a great article on untrained clergy in sedevacantist circles. A little after this was written, a man with no formal training and dubious orders, "Bishop" Terrence Dowling, came to Australia and conferred confirmation on some of the children of sedevacantist families in this country, because they refused to go to the SSPX. My friends younger brother was one of these children.
Now, much more helpful then producing an article about the subject, would have been Bps. Dolan or Sanborn coming to Australia (or any other country without sedevacantist clergy) themselves, to confer the sacrament. After all, the reason they don't go to the SSPX for it is in large part, due to these two bishops.
I'm not criticizing the article, it was great as was its message. But if all they do is criticize but do nothing to help rectify the problem practically, then they will have little impact on the salvation of souls.

I'm sorry Mario, but I cannot help but think that Bp. Sanborns and Fr. Cekada's constant aggression towards the SSPX is a result of the events in the 1980's.
It's not unheard of from these clerics, after they left SSPV the two Father's claimed that the SSPV sacraments were illicit. Now they are hurling similar accusations at the SSPX.

Do you attend St. Gertrude's?

If you do, or have been, I'd love to know the size of it, membership wise. I've heard that it is a large Church, but then others have described it as relatively small. It's hard to distinguish if they mean the church building itself or those frequenting it for Mass. Have they finished building the new church yet? Also how many people attend St. Gertrude's on a regular Sunday? Are a good percentage of them young?

It really has nothing to do with the question of the una-cum Mass, it's just something I've been wondering about for a while and thought you might be able to help with.

God Bless


Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:36 pm
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New post Clarification, Apology, and Prospect
Everyone,

I have been sick the last week and hence no posts, and the week previous to that I spent most of my time reading. John, I want to apologize to you for not reading your article on the una cum question sooner. For some reason I thought I might have read it previously, but that had been only certain parts. I have gone through your essay with a fine-tooth comb and noted plenty of stuff. I now understand your position much better, and many things I previously argued with you about or wanted clarification on were actually addressed therein (esp. the nature of schism, and how this relates to the material-formal distinction).

My problem is not (as some have suggested on this board - and I am sorry for giving the impression) a refusal to be corrected on points of disagreement, but getting into discussions which always (I should know!) turn out to require much more time and attention than I can (or want to) give them, and being negligent about reading and considering responses. I should have read and evaluated John's essay before going into this. I apologize for the neglect. At the same time, I also wish to point out that all I really wanted here was a quick summary of how Fr. Cekada's position is wrong--and not long, drawn-out discourses that eventually get out of control.

Some people on here seem to be rather touchy. A disagreement is quickly interpreted to be a personal attack and such. For goodness' sake, this is a discussion forum, and in a discussion forum one is allowed (one would think) to entertain this or that idea, make this or that argument, consider an objection, perhaps even change a position or two, or retract something, etc. I found that people on here tend to take things much too personally.

I am saddened that we have seen a lot of mud slinging on here, against specific individuals. I was hoping we could do without that. I wanted to talk about issues and not people. Reputations are quickly ruined and restored only with great difficulty. Please, everyone, keep the personal out of it. It is so sad to see individuals accused of dishonesty, agendas, willful blindness, pride, etc. Issues like schism are very serious, and I find it utterly deplorable that one cannot, apparently, talk about these things without being accused of pride or a holier-than-thou attitude by some, or being told that one is only seeking to divide and refuse communion with fellow-Catholics, which isn't true at all (at least not in my case).

Going forward, what I would like to do is this: I would like to see a summary, preferably in syllogistic form, of each side's arguments. Then I wish to see where the "disconnect" is between the two sides, and then a conclusion can be drawn. If anyone wishes to volunteer to present a fair summary of both sides or either side, please do so; otherwise I will try to do it myself.

John, I have identified in your una cum essay four or so "hinge issues" that I think make or break your case. In Fr. Cekada's article, I think there is only one (though I didn't go back to reread it), and that is active participation, what it does and doesn't imply. If there is to be useful and fruitful discernment in this, I think such a "summary page" would be absolutely essential. People come here to be informed, after all, and not just to see people quarreling.

So, John, while I am not saying I agree with your position, I at least now know where you're coming from. I find your paper to be exhaustive and well-argued.

God bless, everyone.

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In Christ,
Mario


Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:46 pm
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New post Re: Plenty of priests?!?
Dear Ken,

I am puzzled by your statements regarding sacramental validity (this is not really something for this thread, so if you want to talk about it on the phone or by email, that's fine).

Quote:
Mario, we (you and I) are separate individuals. What suffices for you, may not suffice for me, and vice versa. What **I** view as 100% certain, may not satisfy you, and vice versa. I am 100% certain of certain priests. Six at last count. I accept or doubt a priests validity primarily on the "...by their fruits you shall know them..." coupled, secondarily, with careful research. My reasons, in both cases, undoubtedly would not satisfy you.


I only go by the Church's conditions for validity: the Church teaches "that an Ordination is always valid when a true bishop, whoever he may be, carries out the essential rites" (Tixeront, Holy Orders and Ordination, 1928, p. 290). The intention is presumed because the essential rites are carried out; the intention could still be withheld, which would render the sacrament invalid, but this would have to be demonstrated.

Quote:
See above. I thoroughly and completely disagree. I thought you were familiar with the various theological, or philosophical, grades of certainty? If you are not, perhaps more study is in order, and perhaps I should review them. Let's not get waylaid by subtle Hegelian-style errors. That can very easily happen now-a-days if we are not constantly on our guard.


I am not aware that the Church accepts any sort of proof of holy orders other than by proving the fact that the sacrament was received.

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Mario


Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:53 pm
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New post Re: Plenty of priests?!?
marioderksen wrote:
Dear Ken,

I am puzzled by your statements regarding sacramental validity (this is not really something for this thread, so if you want to talk about it on the phone or by email, that's fine).


I have no wish to discuss it further. First of all, I was talking strictly and only about ORDERS, not sacraments in general. Secondly, John and Vince and I have discussed the issue which was of most concern to me, ORDERS, specifically those conferred by doubtful bishops, sufficiently so that I know understand, thoroughly, that I was wrong previously.

Quote:
I only go by the Church's conditions for validity: the Church teaches "that an Ordination is always valid when a true bishop, whoever he may be, carries out the essential rites" (Tixeront, Holy Orders and Ordination, 1928, p. 290). The intention is presumed because the essential rites are carried out; the intention could still be withheld, which would render the sacrament invalid, but this would have to be demonstrated.


Excellent. That is the crux of the John/Vince/Ken earlier discussion.

Quote:
Quote:
See above. I thoroughly and completely disagree. I thought you were familiar with the various theological, or philosophical, grades of certainty? If you are not, perhaps more study is in order, and perhaps I should review them. Let's not get waylaid by subtle Hegelian-style errors. That can very easily happen now-a-days if we are not constantly on our guard.


I am not aware that the Church accepts any sort of proof of holy orders other than by proving the fact that the sacrament was received.


Mario, these two statements, one by me, and one by yourself, are NOT related. MY statement addresses YOUR statement that nothing can be accepted with 100% certainty. You are wrong. YOUR statement refers to the FIRST discussion about validity of orders. I repeat: they are NOT related.

Perhaps part of the problem which has manifested itself in our inability to understand one-another is that I am, basically, an electrical engineer. I, after much practice, think, and act, in very strict, straight lines, usually in closely related steps, pointed at a very clear goal, with its end in sight. Perhaps you are, on the other hand, more philosophical than I. Because of this, we tend to talk across one-another, and even, at cross-purposes at times. I am certain that is not intentional on either side.

I am very sorry you have been ill. I am sure that the stress of our discussions here has accerbated that illness. I'll ramp up my daily prayers for you and your family.

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Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:18 pm
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New post Re: Clarification, Apology, and Prospect
marioderksen wrote:
I have been sick the last week and hence no posts, and the week previous to that I spent most of my time reading.


Glad to see you're well again, Mario. I hope it wasn't serious.


marioderksen wrote:
John, I want to apologize to you for not reading your article on the una cum question sooner. For some reason I thought I might have read it previously, but that had been only certain parts. I have gone through your essay with a fine-tooth comb and noted plenty of stuff. I now understand your position much better, and many things I previously argued with you about or wanted clarification on were actually addressed therein (esp. the nature of schism, and how this relates to the material-formal distinction).

Great. It might be all nonsense, but nobody has ever tackled it.


marioderksen wrote:
Some people on here seem to be rather touchy. A disagreement is quickly interpreted to be a personal attack and such. For goodness' sake, this is a discussion forum, and in a discussion forum one is allowed (one would think) to entertain this or that idea, make this or that argument, consider an objection, perhaps even change a position or two, or retract something, etc. I found that people on here tend to take things much too personally.

Mario, I don't know what you're referring to, unless you take Ken's bluster more seriously than he intends (and knowing him very well as you do you surely can't be confused about that!).


marioderksen wrote:
I am saddened that we have seen a lot of mud slinging on here, against specific individuals.

I don't think there has been any, but please point to the specific examples so that we can see if we missed them.

If you're complaining about my own treatment of Fr. Cekada then I think we'll have to agree to disagree. His credibility is crucial to this issue, and he has decided without provocation to accuse numerous laymen of "pernicious lies" in the very Sacrifice of the Mass, on grounds that he only discovered himself thirty years after his last guitar Mass, whilst disguising that he had changed position at all, and failing to disclose the reasons for his change of position. I'm sorry it is necessary to point this out, but it was his decision.

As for a syllogistic presentation of my own position, you've had it. I repeat it here:

What is not forbidden is permitted. Ergo.

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Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:35 pm
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marioderksen wrote:
John, I actually don't find this example at all absurd. I think what you're pointing out here - tongue in cheek, of course - is quite reasonable. Do you not think that assisting at an irreverent Mass implies consent with the irreverence? Would you assist at a Mass where you know the priest mistreats the Body and Blood of Christ somehow?


Mario, am I reading you correctly here or has the new format got to me already :)

Are you saying that Father Cekada was wrong to attend, for eight years, the guitar masses that he deemed irreverent?

If so, why would he, in his opening paragragh, use his attendance (while not opening his mouth), as an illustrative example of one applying "logical consequences in our actual religious practices"?

I think I need whiskey.

AMW


Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:29 pm
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New post Re: Re:
AMWills wrote:
Are you saying that Father Cekada was wrong to attend, for eight years, the guitar masses that he deemed irreverent?

If so, why would he, in his opening paragragh, use his attendance (while not opening his mouth), as an illustrative example of one applying "logical consequences in our actual religious practices"?


I didn't remember that this was part of his opening paragraph, but yeah, I would think attending an irreverent Mass is wrong. We may not realize at a certain point that we should refrain from attending, but would you attend a traditional Mass where the choir has been replaced by a band or a guitarist? I wouldn't.

Mario

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Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:12 am
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New post Re: Re:
AMWills wrote:
I think I need whiskey.

AMW


Lagavulin would take the edge off for me. :lol:

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Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:19 am
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New post Re: Re:
marioderksen wrote:
I didn't remember that this was part of his opening paragraph, but yeah, I would think attending an irreverent Mass is wrong.


Well, you might want to have a chat to Fr Cekada and inform him of his error, because he, quite obviously, does not think his attendance was wrong. Closing his mouth and refusing to sing was enough for him. He uses his closed-mouth attendance at a Mass he considered "irreverent" as an example of how one should behave. Here it is again:

Fr. Cekada wrote:
"In our lives as traditional Catholics, we make many judgments that must inevitably produce logical consequences in our actual religious practices. The earliest that I remember making occurred at about age 14. Guitar songs at Mass, I concluded, were irreverent. Thereafter, throughout eight years in the diocesan seminary, I never once opened my mouth to sing."


marioderksen wrote:
We may not realize at a certain point that we should refrain from attending


No, Mario, Father did not indicate anywhere at all that he now realises his attendance was wrong. His opening paragraph was an example of his own behaviour, held up to be imitated today.

Father's opening words make it abundantly clear that the principles of "active participation" he wishes to apply to SSPX attending sedes, under the pain of sin, he did not and has not applied to himself. Undoubtedly, because they are false principles.

He demolishes his own argument in the very opening paragraph of his thesis. No one else needs to refute it.

AMW


Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:57 am
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