Friday, January 23, 2009

SSPX and Excommunication

For those who may not know, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is a group of Catholics, started by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (yes, his name is too close to mine for comfort) who has been excommunicated for denying the legitimacy of Vatican II, among other things.

It has been reported that the Pope is planning on lifting the excommunications of the bishops in SSPX. But, now one of them has opened his big mouth to spew some stupid statements denying the Nazi gas chambers.

Please pray for this bishop and all in SSPX. This might not go as planned.


tour86rocker said...

Thank God Benedict is as shrewd as he is, though, or I'd be more concerned.

I've never met anyone in the SSPX. (As far as I know, SSPX folks can only be found on the Catholic Answers Forum, and never in real life. Jay kay!)

I have to question my source material at the same time I repeat it, but I can't quite kick the reports of a higher-than-average presence of anti-Semitism in schismatic traditionalists, not to be confused with the "real" traditionalists who we are in communion with. Hutton Gibson leaps to mind, although it's simplistic to invoke the extreme examples to illustrate an entire group.

I worry that reassimilating the SSPX would be to swallow a poison pill. I may be behind on my news, but do they still spurn the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo?

I have a similar concern about incorporating entire dioceses or even just parishes of Anglo-Catholic types. While "high church" Anglicans do have a great deal in common with us, what we're not hearing a lot about is their attitude toward Mary, the Saints, contraception, abortion, and divorce. We must remember that the Anglican church was the first to publicly break with the traditional Christian prohibition of contraception, for example.

I think a unity with them should not occur on a macro-scale like that; I think it needs to be individual. Say the Episcopalian diocese of Fort Worth was to be received into the Catholic church. In Texas, we'd need lots of additional RCIA classes, volunteers, and better training. We'd need lots of volunteers. For about 12 months we'd need to make extra sacrifices and work to bring it about.

At the end, our ability to catechise would, hopefully, be greatly strengthened. At the end, many of those who started might not join the Church. There would need to be provisions to allow traditional Anglicans to remain separated, allow them to keep their church property, etc. The ECUSA has been terrible about taking them to court and trying to keep them from keeping their churches.

Perhaps after a year of settling in, our new Catholic brothers and sisters could help us recatechize the catechists who teach the children and the youth...

Thomas said...

find it odd that tour86rocker would admit to never having met a SSPX'er and then proceed to libel them with the 'guilt by association' fallacy that they are sedevacantists (as in the case of Hutton Gibson), or that they deny the validity of the Novus Ordo.

A quick search on either topic would have cleared that up, so an appeal to ignorance is no defense here.

The 'anti-semitism' charge is baseless as well. I thought this was a tactic more in line with the values of the ACLU and the ADL. The ad hominem is inconsistent with authentic practice of the faith.

Joe said...

While I do not agree with the thoughts of the SSPX especially in regard to Vatican II (although it would do us all good to read the documents and not go by the "Spirit of Vatican II") These Bishops were excommunicated along with Archbishop Lefebvre because he concecrated them bishops without the permission of the Pope. As they have continued to stray away from the true Catholic teaching I see this as Pope Benedict's way of reaching out to bring them back, as that is the reason for excommunication in the first place, to show the persons that what they have done has put their soul(s) in grave danger.

Thomas More said...

I have to disagree with Joe. Had the Bishops 'strayed' from Catholic teaching, the excommunications would not have been lifted, since excommunication is itself a punishment, and you do not reward heresy by lifting a excommunication.