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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Note to Lost Sheep

Dear Lost Sheep

Thank you for your comment. You could get a hotmail account since they are free. Then whenever you are on-line you could check that account even if you do not have a computer of your own.
However, I can always answer your letters by posting a reply. Unfortunately this one was too long to be accepted by the Comment Box.

The place to begin is with the basic questions:
1) What if the Sedevacantists are right? –this was your question.

The Sedevacantists cannot be right because Our Lord said that He would be with His Church to the end of time and the Church has defined the perpetuity of the Papacy.

Now there are sede vacante periods between every Papacy. However the Sedevacantists claim there has been no Pope since Pius XII (50 years) and that Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI are all anti-popes. Therefore, presuming there was to be a Conclave to elect a new Pope, there are not even any Cardinals left from the time of Pius XII to elect one. For most people the idea is preposterous but, for many traditionalists, myself included, when you have seen the scandals, when the soul aches and nothing seems to make any sense, Sedevacantism seems the best solution to the crisis in the Church. But, having had the experience, in my opinion, the only salvageable aspect of Sedevacantism it that it may help you to make a clear choice in favour of whole heartedly accepting Pope Benedict XVI as the true Pope of the Catholic Church.

The SSPX solution of both accepting the Pope and rejecting obedience to him imprisons souls in a mental limbo whereby they continually recognise the Pope in name but never obey him in fact. This solution is dangerous for the soul and mind. At least Sedevacantism does not mix yes and no together.

Sedevacantism is clean thinking, logical. With logic and mathematical precision applied to past Papal Bulls, Definitions or Encyclicals the Sedevacantists make their case. But Catholicism is more than a computation of logic and mathematics applied to theology after the fashion of the Rabbis of the Talmud.

My conclusion is that the Catholic Church is NOT the Sedevacantist Diaspora. My conclusion is based on Faith in Jesus Christ who through His Church has defined that the Papacy would be continual. I do not accept that for 50 years there could be no Pope. But my conclusion can be doubted by Sedevacantists because it may be argued that the Church has not defined that there could not be a sede vacante period for 50 years. And, Our Lord has said that, when he comes, will He find Faith on the Earth?

Therefore I support my conclusion that the Catholic Church is not the Sedevacantist Diaspora by noting that the Church of Pope Benedict XVI has the Church’s Mark of Holiness and that the Sedevacantist Diaspora does not.

Sedevacantism shows itself to be only human, and not at all the Church, since the Mark of Holiness is absent. This is particularly evident in the absence of charity and the presence of unholy-bitterness that for many has been an identifying Mark of Sedevacantism. I conclude that this unholy bitterness is God's providential sign that Sedevacantism is NOT the continuation of the True Church of Jesus Christ.

Whereas, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ ruled by Pope Benedict XVI there is a superabundance of charity, holiness, forgiveness and generous long-suffering. Be careful. For traditionalists this has often been obscured. Traditionalists do not look to the Church to find its Mark of Holiness. Generally they look to the Church to point out only the liturgical abuses, vile clerical impurity, scandals and distortions of doctrine.

But this is a distraction and is not to the point. Our Lord described the Church as the field in which wheat and cockle will grow together until the Day of Judgment. There has always been, and always will be, the presence of the cockle that, finally, will be tied into bundles to burn. That there is a lot or a little cockle in the field of the Church is not the point. The point is: there is wheat.

The Mark of Holiness is still clearly present in the Church ruled by Pope Benedict XVI and it can be verified by all who would go to investigate it.

In the Holy Church ruled by Pope Benedict XVI there are still HOLY CONFESSORS ( for one example, the imprisoned faithful, priests and bishops in China). Sedevacantism has no Holy Confessors.

There are still HOLY MARTYRS (for one example, in 1996 the seven Cistercians monks of Algeria). Sedevacantism has none of these either.

There are holy bishops, priests, laity, religious and virgins: until recently there was the presence of Sister Lucy of Fatima, obedient daughter of the Popes, with whom Sedevacantism has nobody to compare.

Even in Her present trials and terrible crisis the Church ruled by Benedict XVI has Her Marks of UNITY, HOLINESS, CATHOLICITY and APOSTOLICITY.

The Sedevacantist Diaspora is schismatic and sterile.

There is no reasonable doubt that the True Church of Jesus Christ is that One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic body ruled by Pope Benedict XVI to whom, for salvation, all men must be subject.

2) Who ordained the Sedevacantist priest who runs your chapel? -This is my question to you.

This is an important point for everything to do with your future possible options. Was he ordained by a bishop of the Church or by a SSPX bishop? Or was he ordained by one of the many Sedevacantist bishops who are not recognised by the Church?
If he was not ordained by a bishop of the Church or a bishop of the SSPX you cannot possibly continue to frequent that chapel. So this is the first question to sort out.

16 comments:

Confiteor said...

Dear Fr. Michael Mary,

I agree with all of your points regarding Sedevacantism. I have some questions, though, about the following statement:

'The SSPX solution of both accepting the Pope and rejecting obedience to him imprisons souls in a mental limbo whereby they continually recognise the Pope in name but never obey him in fact.'

Aside from the 1988 consecrations, in what sense do the SSPX reject obedience to the Pope? They disagree with many things that the Pope says and does, but does that disagreement constitute grave disobedience?

Was Archbishop Lefebvre wrong to disobey when the Pope ordered him to desist from celebrating the Traditional Mass in 1976? Arguably the Pope was attempting to kill the Traditional Mass. I think that Archbishop Lefebvre was right to disobey. The 1988 consecrations are another matter altogether. Still, I do not see that the SSPX are in a state of perpetual disobedience, especially now that the excommunications have been lifted and progress is being made toward formal reconciliation.

Confiteor said...

It could be argued, I suppose, that the SSPX priests are disobedient in continuing to celebrate Mass while suspended, and in giving Confessions and celebrating Marriages without jurisdiction. However, the suspension of priestly functions stems from Archbishop Lefebvre's disobedience in the matter of the Mass, which was arguably just. Morever, if all SSPX bishops and priests stopped celebrating Mass out of obedience to the 1976 decree of suspension, the SSPX would practically cease to exist. Is that what the Pope wants? Surely not.

Transalpine Redemptorists said...

"The SSPX solution of both accepting the Pope and rejecting obedience to him imprisons souls in a mental limbo whereby they continually recognise the Pope in name but never obey him in fact."

Obedience come from listening.

Catholics should listen to the Pope the way that SSPXers listened to Archbishop Lefebvre: which was with great filial respect, love and submission.

That spirit of obedience, given so generously by the SSPX to the Archbishop, until now (or recently?) has always been refused to the Pope.

The general SSPX ethos is a spirit of disobedience and criticism of the Pope. Indeed he must be accepted as Pope... but under a cloud; as a Modernist and a Liberal.

To understand this aspect better, review the speeches of Bishop Tissier and Bishop Williamson with this in mind. There is absence of filial afffection which is not Catholic. This is the SSPX ethos.

A public example and fruit of this spirit was the refusal of the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews...

However, of course, we hope there is an improvement now.

Confiteor said...

Dear Fr. Michael Mary,

I agree that there has been and continues to be a spirit of harsh criticism and a lack of filial affection toward the Holy Father coming from the SSPX, and I agree that those things are troubling. Filial affection is the heart of true obedience, so your point is well taken.

At the same time, it is my observation (or at least my personal feeling) that the Holy Father sometimes puts our affection to the test, such as when he recently asserted -- contra St. Paul -- that the Jews are "nourished by the same spiritual roots" as Catholics. Anyone who knows the doctrine of the Faith knows that the Jews (according to St. Paul) are CUT OFF from the tree of grace by their unbelief. How can a branch be nourished by the roots when it is cut off from the tree???

It is stuff like this that simply drives me nuts. Interestingly, there has been no comment from Bishop Fellay, nor from any of the SSPX bishops, following the Pope's visit to the Holy Land. Maybe they are holding their tongues, or just keeping their powder dry for the doctrinal discussions.

All I can say is that when my liberal Catholic friends and family tell me -- backward thinking Traddie that I am -- that the Jews are "just fine as they are", it doesn't help that they can point to the Pope's own statements for support of their audacious reasoning. It's frustrating.

proPapa said...

Thank you Father,

There are many SSPX priests who tell the faithful there is no true Pope in private.

May your example be a lesson to them all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fathers and Brothers,
As always you do not evade the difficult questions and thereby affirm your brothers and sisters in the faith.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have also now received my second edition of Catholic magazine.
Your publications are another great blessing that your order offers the Church, thank you.

In these times where confirmation of steady, unwavering faith in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ is sorely needed, Island of Papa Stronsay
has become a refuge for me. Have you seen me? I am often there in spirit.

Thank you and may all the Blessings of God through Jesus and Mary rain down upon you,

Patricia

Transalpine Redemptorists said...

Dear Lost Sheep
Thank you for this morning's comment and your answer to my question.

Of course, as you asked, I will not publish it. If you get a free email address (Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail) it will make it easier for any of your other questions you have or any direction you need.

However, we have touched the most important points and we both know what you have to do now.

In this next step ahead, you have our prayers. I say 'ours' because I am sure that many of the people who read this will also pray for you, as will the monks on Papa Stronsay. I will pray for you in my Mass this morning. God bless you.

You are on the road home.

Don't be anxious about future 'maybe's or problems. Rather, over and over again thank God for the graces that have brought you to this point. Pray the Rosary and keep company with Our Lady; don't let the devil make you panic or be anxious. Just sit quietly until the next step is clear.

If you can't work out how to get an email, write again to the comments as yoiu have done and I will reply like this. It's a bit public but it is better than nothing. Under the circumstances I advise you not to 'go it alone' but to keep in contact with me until you have someone else.

God bless.
Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

B. said...

Regarding the question of sedevacantism, I think there is an easy answer to the theory of sedevacantism.

One just has to look at the inherent logic of the structure of the Catholic Church. The Church is not a club of learned theological experts, it was created by Christ as the ark of salvation. And in such a way, that even a poor uneducated analphabet has a sure way to salvation. All you have to know is that Jesus founded his Church upon the apostles with peter as their head.

Now during the protestant reformation, the reformers claimed that everyone just had to read the scriptures to see that the Church was not what it claimed to be. However the problem is, that prior to the invention of the printing press no ordinary person could afford to own a book, even the bible, and most people were analphabets anyway. So how could the ordinary person figure this out? It would mean that salvation is only for the rich and educated. Why would God allow the millions to be lead astray while showing the way out to the rich and educated?

Now we have arrived in the internet age. And now sedevacantists are claiming that one just has to read this-and-that encyclical, bull our council document and compare it to this-and-that speech that the pope gave on this-or-that occasion to come to the conclusion that he is not really the pope.
However, this is only possible for us few first-world guys with internet access, and a hundred years ago the sedevacantists would never even have heard about this or that particular interview that they derive the alleged papal heresy from. The sedevacantist theory says that God will allow hundreds of millions of Catholics for absolutely no fault of their own to be lead astray by the "satanic counterchurch" while only a few educated first-world people with internet access can figure out what really happened. If this were the case, the whole foundation of Catholic Church would be an utterly useless farce from the very beginning. What would be the point of Christ founding a Church only to then allow all those faithful to it to be lead astray whith absolutely no chance of figuring out what is happening? What a cruel and merciless Christ that would be.

Anonymous said...

Dear FatherMichael Mary:

It will have to be you, dear Father. I know no other priest who would be as objective as you are and also no other priest that knows the "other side" personally.

Yes, I know what I have to do. But I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and feel that I am somehow betraying Our Lord. Isn't that strange?

Your prayers, the prayers of your community, and the prayers of all who will read this "correspondence", will be eternally appreciated by me (please God!).

God reward you, Father!

Lost Sheep

Quantitative Metathesis said...

Dear Lost Sheep,

I just want to let you know that you have my poor prayers. May God walk with you every step of your pilgrim way here on earth...and may the Good Shepherd lead you home!

Ex animo,
Kirstine

Pastor in Valle said...

Bravo, Father. I often have thought that the Marks of the Church are what guide us through many difficult seas: I am very careful always to teach them to converts.

Fratres in Unum said...

Dear Lost Sheep, in Brazil you have a friend that is praying for you.

Transalpine Redemptorists said...

Dear Robert
We must work for every single soul whatever names we be called for doing it; we Transalpine Redemptorists in particular, work for and are consecrated to helping the most abandoned souls.

Don't wipe out all the SSPX people because of Bp. Williamson and the few extremists who are attracted to the SSPX. There are a great number of very devout Catholics who go to SSPX chapels; self-sacrificing people, good parents, large families. None can deny the presence of extremists but my experience is that they are a minority: in the same way that wicked priests are a minority that tar the rest.

As for our giving answers to 'Lost Sheep' caught in Sedevacantist briars: that is the work of a shepherd. This one 'Lost Sheep' to whom I have written is precious in the eyes of Jesus Christ and precious in my eyes too. The very fact that the person went by the name of 'Lost Sheep' was an invitation to leave the 99 and go out to help it. I tried to do that. I really do not care what people think of me for that, I would be pleased if they stayed with the 99 who are not lost.

At this stage, Lost Sheep has not come to talk but I am waiting and hoping. People are praying. I am praying. May the Good Shepherd do, what as yet we have not been able to accomplish. May Lost Sheep, our precious lost sheep, soon contact us and make for home.

Robert, sorry for not being able to publish your comments since I think that they would not be helpful. But I assure you of my best wishes.

Devotedly
Fr MM

Dan Hunter said...

Dear Transalpine Redemptorists,

Fathers and Brothers,
Have you heard the hopefully wonderful news that the web site "Rorate Caeli" is reporting?

The President of the P.C.E.D His Eminence Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will most likely be visiting the FSSPX Seminary in Econe Switzerland on June 29!

This traditionally is the day of Ordinations to the Priesthood at Econe.
Could we possibly see His Eminence take part in the Ordinations?

Or issue faculties to the Society?

Let us pray fervently this happens, for the salvation of souls.

Transalpine Redemptorists said...

Dear Lost Sheep
Thank you for writing and I see what has happened. Dear friend, you know that you need help, you asked for help, but two things I must say:
First, you are going-it-alone; you have gone off to a Mass that was celebrated by a priest who unorthodox. He may not have the Catholic faith. Nobody denies that there is a crisis in the Church and those who are in union with the Pope also recognise this. Bad priests has never been a reason for abandoning union with the Church. Two wrongs do not make a right. Bad priests and Sedevacantism are in the same boat. Both think that they are right. Both are wrong.
Lost Sheep, please do not go-it-alone since doing that is what got you into trouble in the first place; following private judgments. Let me find you a good priest. For you to help me to do that is the second thing: please contact me in a way so that we can talk more easily and I can get you the name of a good priest to help you. Please take the time to work out how to get a free email account then contact me through the 'Contact Me' button. It would be a help to your soul. I assure you of our prayers.
Devotedly,
Fr. Michael Mary

Anonymous said...

May the Lord greatly bless, strengthen, and provide long-life to Fr. Michael Mary.

Lost Sheep, please be assured of my prayers, as I once too was a lost sheep. My cry to all souls now is “Come Home.” Remember we have a mission to “Be Not Afraid” for we are an Easter people and Alleluia is Our song. The world needs to hear that song. Come Home so we can sing out to other lost sheep together.

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