Rorate: Ah, those traditionalists! Addendum – SSPX: Is the SSPX Heretical?

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Ah, those traditionalists!

Published a few hours ago on CNS:

Reading Vatican II as break with tradition is heresy, prefect says

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Traditionalist and progressive camps that see the Second Vatican Council as breaking with the truth both espouse a “heretical interpretation” of the council and its aims, said the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

What Pope Benedict XVI has termed “the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in continuity” is the “only possible interpretation according to the principles of Catholic theology,” Archbishop Gerhard Muller said in remarks published Nov. 29.

“Outside this sole orthodox interpretation unfortunately exists a heretical interpretation, that is, a hermeneutic of rupture, (found) both on the progressive front and on the traditionalist” side, the archbishop said.

What the two camps have in common, he said, is their rejection of the council: “the progressives in their wanting to leave it behind, as if it were a season to abandon in order to get to another church, and the traditionalists in their not wanting to get there,” seeing the council as a Catholic “winter.”

A “council presided over by the successor of Peter as head of the visible church” is the “highest expression” of the Magisterium, he said, to be regarded as part of “an indissoluble whole,” along with Scripture and 2,000 years of tradition.

The doctrinal chief’s remarks were published in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, to present the seventh volume of “The Complete Works of Joseph Ratzinger.” The volume collects both published and unpublished notes, speeches, interviews and texts written or given by the future pope in the period shortly before, during and just after Vatican II.

Archbishop Muller specified that by “continuity” Pope Benedict meant a “permanent correspondence with the origin, not an adaption of whatever has been, which also can lead the wrong way.”

The term “aggiornamento” or updating — one of the watchwords of the council — “does not mean the secularization of the faith, which would lead to its dissolution,” but a “making present” of the message of Jesus Christ, he said.

This “making present” is the “reform necessary for every era in constant fidelity to the whole Christ,” he said.

“The tradition of apostolic origin continues in the church with help from the Holy Spirit,” he said, and leads to greater understanding through contemplation and study, intelligence garnered from a deeper experience of the spiritual, and preaching by those who through the “apostolic succession have received an assured charism of truth.”

More from Vatican Insider: The custodian of faith on the “heretical interpretations” of the Council.

***

This comes a few days after Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, was quoted as telling traditionalists to “go back to studying Latin”, “because they often want masses to be celebrated in Latin, but it is likely they do not know the language that well.” (The advice to learn Latin — a completely unprovoked quip — is certainly not offensive to traditional Catholics, but the Cardinal’s remarks seem to echo the idea that in order to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, the priests and faithful should first know Latin — a misguided and wrongheaded notion that has been used frequently to deny Catholics access to this Mass. Traditional Catholics are not Latinolaters, otherwise they would be quite satisfied with the 1969 liturgical construct celebrated in Latin…)

Condescending prelates should simply listen to the Pope: “It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these.” (Letter to Bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum) Got it?

ADDENDUM

The SSPX RESPONDS:

Source: SSPX.ORG

Is the SSPX heretical?

11-30-2012
Archbishop Mueller

Archbishop Mueller

Archbishop Mueller, who is heading the Congregation of the Faith, made some remarks published in L’Osservatore Romano on November 29th, on the occasion of the publication of the 7th volume of the “Opera omnia of Joseph Ratzinger”, which expounds the now-Pope Benedict XVI’s impact during the Second Vatican Council.[1] During this presentation, the man who is the pope’s right arm made a rather forceful declaration in support of his superior regarding the ‘hermeneutic of the reform in continuity’:[2]

This interpretation is the only one possible according to the principles of Catholic theology, in consideration of the indissoluble link between Sacred Scripture, the complete and integral Tradition and the Magisterium, whose highest expression is the Council presided over by the Successor of St. Peter as Head of the visible Church. Outside this sole orthodox interpretation unfortunately exists a heretical interpretation, that is, a hermeneutic of rupture, (found) both on the progressive front and on the traditionalist one. Both agree on refusing the Council; the progressives in their wanting to leave it behind, as if it were a season to abandon in order to get to another church, and the traditionalists in their not wanting to get there, as if it was the winter of Catholicity.

Continuity means permanent correspondence with the origin, not an adaption of whatever has been, which also can lead the wrong way. The often quoted term aggiornamento (updating) does not mean the secularization of the faith, which would lead to its dissolution, but rather making present the message of Jesus Christ. This making present is the reform necessary for every era in constant fidelity to the whole Christ…

The same Council has declared that, “following the tracks of the Councils of Trent and Vatican I, it intends to propose the genuine doctrine on the divine Revelation and its transmission, so that by the message of salvation the entire world listening believes, believing hopes, hoping loves” (dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum1). The Council does not want to announce some other faith but, in continuity with the previous ones, it means to make it present.

He quotes Dei Verbum again (#8): “This tradition which comes from the Apostles developed in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit.” This produces a “growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down” and is obtained by contemplation, study and “preaching of those who have received through episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her.”

Needless to say, this declaration of Archbishop Mueller is not an official statement coming in the extraordinary form of, say, a decree or an anathema. Yet, this statement deserves some attention because it is the faithful echo of Pope Benedict XVI’s thesis of the hermeneutic of continuity, and because of his position in the Church today at the head of the Congregation of the Faith leading the discussions with the SSPX.

It is not the first time that Rome is ‘using’ the SSPX to counterbalance the arch-modernists who want to be ahead of the time and want the revolution of the revolution. It is less usual and rather ironic for the SSPX to be called ‘heretical’ on a par with the avant-garde modernists who reject Vatican II as being outdated. During the doctrinal discussions, as explained by Bishop Fellay, the Roman theologians accused us of having a Protestant attitude because we followed our own judgment against the Church Magisterium, just as we have asserted that they have neo-modernist mentalit!

No doubt, the Archbishop Mueller’s statements do greatly clarify the positions in as much as he basically invokes the harmonious continuity of the entire Deposit of the Faith as a sure symptom of orthodoxy. We cannot be more in agreement with this and yet, here is where Vatican II fails the test in the mind of all traditionalist theologians whose front is getting wider as years go by. After 50 years of implementation of the Council, which have seen the “auto-destruction of the Church” (as aptly spoken by Pope Paul VI) and the virtual agony of Christ’s Spouse, it may be high time to have a close check-up on the validity of the main conciliar tenets.

From the doctrinal discussions between Rome and the SSPX, it was clear that the main bone of contention touched on the meaning of Tradition and Magisterium. Here, Archbishop Mueller is kind enough to state clearly the difficulty in the following syllogism:

(Major) Whoever does not accept the integral magisterium of the Church, including Vatican II, is heretical.

(Minor) But the SSPX refuses Vatican II, part of the integral Church teaching.

(Conclusion) Therefore, the SSPX is heretical.

It is clear that it will take a little explaining before we sort out the grain from the chaff in this simplistic argument, and we shall do so as a formal reply. Prior to this, we need to stress that, if Bishop Fellay and his priestly society are keeping in touch with the Roman authorities, it is because they believe in Rome, in the Church Magisterium and in papal infallibility. They believe that, outside of Rome, there is no ultimate solution to the gridlock in which the Church and, incidentally, the Society of St. Pius X are found. Unlike the sedevacantist instinct of fleeing away from modernist Rome as if it were already damned and cast off by Christ having lost its pontifical power, we believe that, as the problem comes from the head, the solution can be found only in the head.

This is the mystery of the Church which as Christ is both divine and human, as explained by Bishop Fellay recently:

This is the mystery of the Cross. When Jesus is on the Cross, the Faith obliges us to profess that He is God, that He is All-Powerful, that He is eternal and immortal. He cannot die; He cannot suffer. God is infinitely perfect. It is impossible for God to suffer. And Jesus on the Cross is God. The Faith tells us this. And we are obliged to accept it, totally, without in any way diminishing it. But at the same time human experience tells us that this same Jesus suffers and even that He dies.

Today, in relation to the Church, it is the same problem. In order to remain in the truth, one must keep these two sets of given facts: the facts of the Faith and also the facts noted by reason. This council tried to harmonize itself with the world. It brought the world into the Church, and so now we have disaster. And all these reforms that were made on the basis of the Council, were made by the authorities for this purpose. Today, they talk to us about continuity, but where is it? In Assisi? In the kissing of the Koran? In the suppression of the Catholic States? Where is that continuity?

Hence, we are going to have a close look at the question of the Church magisterium in connection with Tradition, and then apply it to Vatican II to sort out whether or not those who object to some key texts of the Council are heretic and not rather those who follow it integrally.

to be continued…

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12 comments on “Rorate: Ah, those traditionalists! Addendum – SSPX: Is the SSPX Heretical?

  1. Seems like there is a chilling effect due to the SSPX `refusal`.

    P3

    • Ummmm. Maybe.

      Then again, Modernist chefs do like to make their juiciest targets stew awhile, do they not? Marinating in brine composed of succulent “promises” into which are tossed not a few “nasty threats” and bitter insults, they expect the gullibles to be nice and tenderized ( mit, naturlich, the constant attention of accordista sous chefs, stirring away and anathematizing any and all the ingrates so “dekulturny” as to be quite unimpressed with the savor of “a deal” ) before they’re popped into the oven.

      So, no, it doesn’t mean “the talks” are back on the front burner. Although, reports from Rome and at least one district official, recently, indicate that indeed they are.

      EIther way, serious questions need be answered by both sides, regardless of any prolonged estrangement or renewed fervor for “reconciliation”. Were there not very specific assurances by both sides that all discussions were to be taped and transcripts to be made public?

  2. It would have been fun to hear Cardinal Cushing pronouncing “aggiornamento” and attempting to explain the modernist understanding of the Church’s new relation to the modern world.

  3. What the two camps have in common, he said, is their rejection of the council: “the progressives in their wanting to leave it behind, as if it were a season to abandon in order to get to another church, and the traditionalists in their not wanting to get there,” seeing the council as a Catholic “winter.”

    Here, the fool, Mueller, makes the traditionalists’ case: he states the progressives want “another church”; the traditionalists don’t want another church. So which group has the hermeneutic of rupture versus the hermeneutic of continuity???

  4. “… both espouse a “heretical interpretation” of the council and its aims.”

    Umm, heresy is defined as: “the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.” see: dictionary.reference.com/browse/heresy

    “A Catholic Dictionary” by Donald Attwater says that “heresy consists in the formal denial or doubt by a baptised person of any revealed truth of the Catholic faith. (under HERESY. Again, it defines HERETIC as “One who, having been baptised and professing Christianity, pertinaciously rejects or doubts any article of faith determined by the authority of the Catholic Church.”

    Vatican II, despite being convoked by the Pope and approved by him, made no binding doctrinal declarations of Faith. This was asserted by the Fathers who were there and by the Popes themselves. It is impossible to prove that Religious Liberty, Ecumenism, or Collegiality (the three big contentions) are dogmas or articles of the Faith. Was there even a strict definition made of what those terms exactly mean?

    We don’t need to study Latin, but Archbishop Gerhard Muller might want to review his catechism, especially the section on the Pope and infallibility.

    • LucasB. says:
      November 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM
      “Umm, heresy is defined as: “the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.”

      Abp. Mueller appears to be arguing heresy specifically in this instance to be rejection of a general council of the church. Summing it up, he would argue 1.) General councils derive authority from their recognition by the Holy See, an exercise of infallibility (cf. Ludwig Ott, “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma). 2.) To accuse a general council of explicit heresy, manifest and open is challenge infallibility.

      “Vatican II, despite being convoked by the Pope and approved by him, made no binding doctrinal declarations of Faith.”
      Fair enough. It was undercut from the start, with the result being a mess that defies_any_clear meaning on anything, good or bad.

      “This was asserted by the Fathers who were there and by the Popes themselves. It is impossible to prove that Religious Liberty, Ecumenism, or Collegiality (the three big contentions) are dogmas or articles of the Faith. Was there even a strict definition made of what those terms exactly mean?”
      Nope, nada, zilch.

      Ergo,_any_attempt to argue with them is a waste of breath. The best thing the Holy Father can do is to issue a syllabus on each point, preferably in response to a request from the Society, noting the proper interpretation for the faithful.

      Insisting on arguing with the documents of VII is a Waste.Of.Time. The sooner they are ignored, the better. Proving heresy is impossible (with mush, you have no clear target). Proving orthodoxy meets the same fate. The Society’s best hope – “We admit there was a council. Now, to a papal definition of the necessity of baptism….”

      Any attention to the council otherwise is time wasted.

  5. ‘rupture’:

    I live in a place where there have to be three different Masses to accommodate the different mother-tongues of Mass goers – and given all this – pcness has occassionally introduced the language of the indigenous peoples of the land which no one in the Mass understands – and yet not a single world of Latin has ever been spoke – not a single Deo Gratias, or Agnus Dei…this is surely rupture of the most inefficient kind – Mass goers aren’t thick – the basic Latin of the Mass could be picked up in a month of Sundays.

  6. Catholic Tradition as thesis, the VII revolution as antithesis, the “hermeneutic of reform” as synthesis. Thank you, Cardinal Hegel!

  7. The term “aggiornamento” or updating — one of the watchwords of the council — “does not mean the secularization of the faith, which would lead to its dissolution,” but a “making present” of the message of Jesus Christ, he said.

    The arrogance of this man – to suggest that the pure message of Jesus Christ becomes irrelevant with each new age and requires a new man-made correction of God’s message is quite stunning.

    The SSPX should take a break and not spend too much time attempting to reason with the Vatican while this chap is around.

  8. If Pope Benedict’s interpretation of Vatican II is the “only possible interpretation according to the principles of Catholic theology” then someone better tell Nancy Pelosi and Fr. Jenkins at Notre Dame.

  9. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, likely recuperating from his latest FOOD TV lab experiment, is a classic liberal eructating on and on about a classic heretic ( well, two of ’em, to be precise ).

    His insouciant manner, ah – how winsome he can be as he dabs the bits of cannoli from his ever flapping gums! – and a few glasses of a nice Valpolicella and all but the most literate “conservative” will melt under the spell: “Via media, fratres!”

    Sounds great, eh? Yeah, both extremes are wrong. Even a love tap on the wrist of the much feared Kriegsmarine Kommandant thrown in for good effect: Vatican II wasn’t as important as the over the top libs think! ( Take THAT, you cads! )

    But next comes the classic flip of the curdling crepe – since THAT is true ( it ain’t! ) then it applies to traditionalists, as well, see? ( Take THAT, you integraliste goons! )

    Oh, gosh, padre how ever do you pull these theolo-culinary creations off?

    So, the following kitchen safety precautions are recommended:

    1. Pray for the Church to ever be delivered from heresy ( and dumb libs ).

    2. Next time you get a craving for pasta, go to Mama Leon’s in NYC and stay away from certain websites.

    3. Next time someone suggests that insane libs’ objections to VII equate with the dyspepsia suffered by traditionalists, to paraphrase a certain IVy League fight song, Flatulate Fiercely!

  10. Fr. Z: “And now what I have been saying for years” blah Muller blah blah

    And that’s reason no. 13 why Serv banned links to Fr. Z long ago.

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