“The world is all grown strange… How shall a man judge what to do in such times?” asked Eomer.

“As he ever has judged,” said Aragorn. “Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pope Lifts SSPX Excommunications

Saturday, January 24, 2009
Pope Lifts SSPX Excommunications

"I remit the censure of excommunication latae sententiae"

Sounds nice on the face of it. What most people do not realize is that a "latae sententiae" is NEVER (repeat ... NEVER!) incurred for mere disobedience, to the Pope or any other member of the Hierarchy. Ergo sum, the SSPX Bishops were NEVER lawfully (that means according to Canon Law - Church Law) or licitly excommunicated, which Pope John Paul II knew perfectly well, as did (and does) every single member of the Hierarchy. That "latae sententiae" was a load o'hooey to begin with.

Too bad those who just happened to know and mention that wee little fact (from the beginning of the circus to the present) were/are pilloried as 'enemies' of the Church, "pre-Vat II'ers", "pre-conciliarists" and other stupid inaccuracies ::roll eyes::

Not only that, but Pope Benedict XVI himself said that the SSPX were NEVER IN SCHISM. So. No excommunication to begin with. Gee. Surprise, surprise. The SSPX was right all along. Sticks in some people's craws, I'm sure. The glowing Charity shown towards those who were right all along just really warms my guts, it does.

Prot. N 126/2009

Decree of the Congregation for Bishops
(also translated as Congregration for Bishops Decree)

In a letter dated December 15, 2008, addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Bishop Bernard Fellay, also in the name of the other three Bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, requested anew the removal of the latae sententiae excommunication formally pronounced by a Decree of the Prefect of this same Congregation on July 1, 1988. In the aforementioned letter, Bishop Fellay affirms, among other things: "We are still as steadfast in our determination to remain Catholic and to place all our strength [or "efforts"] at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church. We filially accept her teaching. We firmly believe in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives, and this is the reason why the present situations makes us suffer so much."

His Holiness Benedict XVI, touched with fatherly compassion over the spiritual difficulty manifested by those concerned by the sanction of excommunication and confident that the commitment they expressed in the above quoted letter of sparing no effort to go further in the necessary discussions with the Authorities of the Holy See concerning the issues still pending, and thus of being able to reach quickly a full and satisfactory solution of the problem raised at the origin [also translated as "posed in the origin" which in English could be read as "posed at the outset or beginning"] decided to reconsider the canonical standing of the Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta, with respect to their episcopal consecrations.

This act expresses the desire to consolidate reciprocal confidence in our dealings, to intensify and give stability to the relations of the Society of St. Pius X [or Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X ]with the Apostolic See. This gift of peace, at the end of the Christmas celebrations, is also intended to be a sign for the promotion of unity in the charity of the universal Church, and to thereby remove the scandal of division.

Desiring that this step be followed without delay by the full communion with the Church of all the Society of Saint Pius X [also translated as "the entire Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X"],
in testimony of a true fidelity and genuine recognition of the Magiserium and of the authority of the Pope by the proof of visible unity.

According to the faculties expressly granted [or "conceded"] to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, in virtue of the present Decree, I remit the censure of excommunication latae sententiae, pronounced [or "declared"] by this Congregation on July 1, 1988, upon Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Lallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galaretta as I likewise declare void of juridical effects the Decree published at the time [or "I remit from Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta the censure of latae sententiae excommunication declared by this Congregation on July 1, 1988, while I declare deprived of any juridical effect, from the present date, the Decree emanated at that time."].

Rome, from the Congregation for Bishops, January 21, 2009.

Card. Giovanni Battista Re
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

Response from the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X

The excommunication of the bishops consecrated by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on June 30, 1988, which had been declared by the Congregation for Bishops in a decree dated July 1, 1988, and which we had always contested, has been withdrawn by another decree mandated by Benedict XVI and issued by the same Congregation on January 21, 2009.

We express our filial gratitude to the Holy Father for this gesture which, beyond the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, will benefit the whole Church. Our Society wishes to be always more able to help the pope to remedy the unprecedented crisis which presently shakes the Catholic world, and which Pope John Paul II had designated as a state of “silent apostasy.” [Emphasis added]

Besides our gratitude towards the Holy Father and towards all those who helped him to make this courageous act, we are pleased that the decree of January 21 considers as necessary “talks” with the Holy See, talks which will enable the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to explain the fundamental doctrinal reasons which it believes to be at the origin of the present difficulties of the Church.

In this new atmosphere, we have the firm hope to obtain soon the recognition of the rights of Catholic Tradition.

Menzingen, January 24, 2009
+Bernard Fellay
Source: http://www.dici.org/accueil.php?loc=US
Letter to the Faithful from the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X

Dear Faithful,

As I announce in the attached press release, "the excommunication of the bishops consecrated by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on June 20, 1988, which had been declared by the Congregration for Bishops in a decree dated July 1 1988, and which we had always contested, has been withdrawn by another decree mandated by Benedict XVI and issued by the same Congregration on January 21, 2009." It was the prayer intention I had entrusted to you in Lourdes, on the Feast of Christ the King, 2008. Your response exceeded our expectations, since one million seven hundred and three thousand Rosaries were said to obtain through the intercession of Our Lady that an end be put to the opprobrium which, beyond the persons of the bishops of the Society, rested upon those who were more or less attached to Tradition. Let us not forget to thank the Most Blessed Virgin who has inspired the Holy Father with this unilateral, benevolent, and courageous act. Let us assure him of our fervent prayers. [All emphasis added]

Thanks to this gesture, Catholics attached to Tradition throughout the world will no longer be unjustly stigmatized and condemned for having kept the Faith of their fathers. Tradition is no longer excommunicated. Though it never was in itself, it was often excommunicated and cruelly so in day-to-day events. It is just as the Tridentine Mass had never been abrogated in itself, as the Holy Father has happily recalled in the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007. [Emphasis in the original]

The decree of January 21 quotes the letter dated December 15, 2008 to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in which I expressed our attachment "to the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Catholic Church," reaffirming there our acceptation [sic] of its two thousand year old teaching and our faith in the Primacy of Peter. I reminded him that we were suffering much from the present situation of the Chrch in which this teaching and this primacy were being held to scorn. And I added: "We are ready to write the Creed with our own blood, to sign the anti-modernist oath, the profession of faith of Pius IV, we accept and make our own all the councils up to the Second Vatican Council, about which we express some reservations." In all this, we are convinced that we remain faithful to the line of conduct indicated by our founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, whose reputation we hope to soon see restored. [All emphasis added]

Consequently, we wish to begin these "talks" - which the decree acknowledges to be "necessary" - about the doctrinal issues which are opposed to the Magisterium of all time. We cannot help noticing the unprecedented crisis which is shaking the Church today: crisis of vocations, crisis of religious practice, of catechism, of the reception of the sacraments...Before us, Paul VI went so far as to say that "from some fissure, the smoke of Satan had entered the Church," and he spoke of the "self-destruction of the Church." John Paul II did not hesitate to say that Catholicism in Europe was, as it were, in a state of "silent apostasy." Shortly before his election to the Throne of Peter, Benedict XVI compared the Church to a "boat taking in water on every side." Thus, during these discussions with the Roman authorities, we want to examine the deep causes of the present situation and, by bringing about the appropriate remedy, achieve a lasting restoration of the Church. [All emphasis added]

Dear faithful, the Church is in the hands of her Mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. [Emphasis added] In Her, we place our confidence. We have asked from her the freedom of the Mass of all time, everywhere and for all. We have asked from her the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication. In our prayers, we now ask from her the necessary doctrinal clarifications which confused souls so much need.

Menzingen, January 24, 2009

+Bernard Fellay

Friday, January 23, 2009

Aragorn: A Catholic Monarch?

Well, I did it again. I've swiped another post from the KIC blog - and I plan on getting several more, as they are so very good. Hey, they even got printed up in CFN, which is more than almost anyone in the world can say.

Unfortunately, Marianna said I wasn't stealing (since I had her permission, darn it), so what had savored of misadventure sort of went flat. But!...the info is still wonderful! Wonderful and utterly compelling. Just wait'll you read her Fatima stuff! It'll knock your socks OFF. If it doesn't, you might need to become a real Catholic first before you understand diddly-squat. That means studying your head off, but you'll live. I did.
+ + +
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Aragorn: A Catholic Monarch?
Throughout the centuries, there have been many Catholics who have prophesied about this "Great Monarch" or, as some call him, the "Great Prince."

Think of the hope in the children's hearts today if they knew there was a Catholic prince like Aragorn somewhere on earth, under the protection of God, waiting to come into his own.

The prophesies regarding the great Catholic king-to-be indicate that he may be French or he may arise from France. Since the royal blood lines of Europe constantly intermingled, it is hard to tell what his "main" bloodline will be, even in the prophecies. However, studied as a whole, the various prophecies indicate Germany, France and England will play a key role in his life, either through bloodties or through events.

God gave us a "new" Adam and a "new" Eve with Our Lord and the Virgin Mother. He acts in the most mysterious and unexpected ways. Is it not possible that He will also reform the entire world through post-Christian Europe, the home of the Church and of Western Civilization, with a totally unexpected Catholic Monarch? The very thought is beyond our imagination at this point in history, since most contemporary monarchies are nothing but figure-heads.

Consider those very countries mentioned in prophecies regarding the "Great Monarch" - Germany had its Luther, England fell into schism under the influence of King Henry VIII, and France, "the first daughter of the Church," has still not recovered from the French Revolution.

Would it not be "meet and just" for God to "employ" these same countries in the Second Catholic Reformation?

(First posted October 29, 2003 to the original blog, Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold)

Pope To Withdraw Excommunication of SSPX Bishops

My friend, Marianna Bartold, has an excellent blog (Keeping It Catholic) - here's her latest post which I shamelessly ripped off, not having had the time to write anything on my own yet. Hope she doesn't mind...

NEWS FLASH! Marianna says she doesn't mind if I steal from her. Not that she used those words...
Over the last few days, the buzz began over news-leaks that Pope Benedict XVI will publicly "withdraw" or "lift" the 20+ year excommunications of four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer in Ecône, Switzerland on June 30, 1988. Controversy has raged ever since Lefebvre and de Castro Mayer disobeyed Pope Paul II in consecrating as bishops Bernard Fellay, Alfonso de Galarreta, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, and Richard Williamson. Although the four bishops were never appointed jurisdiction by either Lefebvre or de Castro Mayer, their consecrations led to what many hold as an unjust charge of "schism" by Pope John Paul II via the July 1988 Motu Propio, Ecclesia Dei.

Along with the recent news leaks, online discussions prove the controversy still rages - much of it centering on personalities and prejudices rather than the Faith and facts. It seems the hot topics about the upcoming withdrawal of excommunication range from the Pope's motives to the anticipated reactions of the four SSPX bishops. From those two points alone, the tangents seem inexhaustible. So far, however, most of them focus on previous remarks made by one individual - SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson - recently publicized (some say conveniently-timed), thus unfairly casting negative aspersions upon the entire SSPX community. That in itself leads to discussion over whether or not Williamson purposely made the remarks to give his honest but imprudent opinion or to "rock the boat" (the Vatican's boat) , whether or not his interviewer possessed malicious intent, and so on. One thing is certain: Public discusssion so far is little concerned with explicit doctrinal issues. Whatever the case may be...

The devil is an opportunist. So why give him any opportunities? It's one thing to defend dogma and doctrine and another to defend subjectivity. St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle...

Incidentally, I do not think it a coincidence that the Pope's announcement is supposedly set for January 25th - which is the octave of the 138th anniversary of the Virgin's one-time apparition at Pontmain, France (for more info, please see the post directly below this one). [ed. - not this blog, but the KIC blog - link provided]

Surely Our Lady's message then applies now - "But pray, my children. God will hear you in a short time. My Son permits Himself to be touched. "

And, as St. Pio said, "The Rosary is the weapon."

Although obstacles and roadblocks are already being thrown in the way, Pope Benedict XVI's decision must be due to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces and the million Rosaries prayed to God for this intention. Such is the efficacy that God has given the Rosary!

However, now is not the time to rest on our proverbial laurels. What the Holy Father plans to do is a first step to the Church's restoration. There are many more to follow.

Might I suggest to my brothers and sisters in Christ that we offer our forthcoming Rosaries in thanksgiving for this incredible development toward reconciliation and for the Church's and the Holy Father's protection? The Church and the Holy Father have many foes who will not be happy about this new development. Recall St. John Bosco's prophetic dream about the Barque of Peter, tossed on the sea and bombarded by enemy ships...and the two popes who strove, one after the other, to direct and then anchor the Barque to two pillars, the first bearing the Holy Eucharist and the second bearing a likeness of Our Lady Help of Christians.

It might be that prophecy has begun to see it fulfillment with the Pope's July 7, 2007 Motu Proprio in which the Mass of all time was released from bondage. It follows that the Holy Father's next plan of action is directly related to the first, for the SSPX have long maintained their purpose of existence is not only the Tridentine Rite of Liturgy but to preserve Tradition. Therefore, the Church's enemies will vehementaly oppose the Pope's recent decision - using any excuse possible - because the withdrawal or lifting of the SSPX bishops' excommunication possesses the ability to further the restoration of both Tradition and the Liturgy.

As Our Lord urged Sr. Lucia when speaking of God's Will for the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, "Pray! Pray much for the Holy Father! He will do it, but it will be late."

We must pray and sacrifice for Pope Benedict XVI, who has proven that he can respond to the graces of his high office! May we also continue to pray and sacrifice so that he soon exercises his prerogative as the Vicar of Christ, commanding the bishops to join him in the Collegial Consecration of Russia to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart!