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Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Catholic Herald article

The Catholic Herald Article.

In mid-August we welcomed
Mark Greaves from the Catholic Herald
who came to write an article on the community.
It was published last Friday, October 1st.

There were but two corrections we would make to the article.

1) It was not all the members of the monastery
but only the Monastery Council
that read the FSSP study
and voted on the question of our reconciliation.

2) Fr. Bisig did not write to me what was reported in direct speech;
but rather, in a very kind manner,
he intimated that he wanted to be honest with us from the beginning
and that for theological -and not polemical- reasons
he did not agree with me about
the non-schismatical character of our community.

It is very difficult to perfectly report every detail
when writing an article for publication.

We thank Mark for his excellent article
that reflects the community as to date it stands.

The article is found here.


Anonymous said...

Im very sad to read in the comments about the community in Christchurch.
Will the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer continue to have a presence in New Zealand?
I pray to Our Lady that they will.

Melchior Cano said...


The article was very interesting. I'm trying to better understand the situtation here. You stated that you wrote: “I, Fr Michael Mary, believe tonight that Pope Benedict XVI is the true Pope of the Catholic Church, and that I must now do everything possible to live in union with him.” This seems that you were previously a sede-vacantist. I don't intend any offense by asking this question, but is that correct? Did you previously not believe the Pope to be the Pope?

wheat4paradise said...

Fr. Michael Mary,

The trials and tribulations that your community have endured seem very similar to those suffered by St. Alphonsus and his first companions. It is a sure sign that you are on the right path. May God reward you for your patience, charity, and perseverence.

In the hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Transalpine Redemptorists said...

To Melchior Cano
There is no offence taken.

The SSPX position is what I have called a "practical sedevacantism"; this is also not meant as an 'offence' to any SSPX'ers.

For how can one really believe all that the holy Church believes and teaches on one hand, and on the other hand also disobey the Pope in very grave matters believing oneself to be right to do so; this is contradictory.

How can the two extremes of this contradiction live together in a soul when he really does believe all that the holy Church believes and teaches and he really is disobeying the Pope in grave matters, as priests really do?

(This is not a question that the Faithful really have to deal with, it's a priest's problem.)

This is a priest's problem because it is the priest who is in the situation of disobeying in grave matter; whereas the Faithful are not necessarily doing wong by attending a SSPX Mass for an hour a week.

But the priest is suspended (which means a lot of things); every hours of the day and year he is suspended; he is objectively living outside the structures of the Church; he is gravely forbidden to exercise his priesthood (unless in a situation of somebody being in danger of death); unless he can square his situation, and justify himself before God, his eternity is in peril.)

Archbishop Lefebvre also struggled with this contradiction and also had times when he was explicitly speaking (and therefore presumably had been thinking) in Sedevacantist terms.

The priest most easily copes by a compromise, which is the SSPX position.

This SSPX position allows one to agree that he is the Pope while finding reasons for not obeying him in practically everything. The position also allows priests to "keep his own opinion" on sedevacantism so long as he publicly holds that he is the Pope.

This SSPX position holds the priest, as it were, between two magnetic poles: which is NOT "virtue standing in the middle", it is living in a mental stalemate of the truth.

It is only when the priest "lets go" and admits that these two contradictions cannot both be right that he coming towards an answer.

So, either he believes all that the holy Catholic Church believes and teaches, and therefore must also submit to Her and obey Her especially in grave matters;
or, there must be no Pope because only this can justify living in a state of "what would normally be suspension".

Clearly, unless the priest is very daring indeed, his prudence will lead him to let go and take the second option first, the only option that can truly justify the ecclesial way that he is living.

Let him go into that option and explore it. Soon enough he will come to the other option, or it will come to him. It was a grace.

This best describes my path.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father,

Thank you for your steadfast faithfulness to Christ in His Supreme Pontiff.
There is no other way for a Catholic to go.
I have a question for you Father relating to a statement you made earlier, you stated:
"...whereas the Faithful are not necessarily doing wrong by attending a SSPX Mass for an hour a week."
Father this is the situation that my family and I find ourselves in.
We are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass for moral reasons and I cannot bring myself to assist at an Novus Ordo Mass without entering into a near occasion of sin for myself, therfore we assist at the only TLM available to us where we live, and that happens to be an FSSPX Mass.
I just hope that what you say is correct,that we commit no wrong by assisting at the FSSPX Mass, even though these Masses are offered illicitly.
Ar we somehow involved in sin by doing so?
God bless
Cruise the Groove.

Melchior Cano said...

Fr. Michael Mary,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. Along the same lines of your response, are there circumstances that justify one continuing to act outside the normal juridical structures of the Church? Or I guess to put it more clearly, do you think that the Transalpine Redemptorists were always acting in the wrong? Similarly with Archbishop Lefebvre? Or was it something that occured after 1976? Or perhaps after 1988? Again, no offense is intended here.

The reason I ask is that for the FSSP, the decision to regularize with Rome took place only after the 1988 Consecrations; 12 years after Rome issued the Suspension a Divinis. Similarly, the Transalpine Redemptorists regularized after the issuance of the Moto Proprio. I guess what I'm asking is: Is regularization now desirable because the circumstances have changed, or was there never a justification for the stand taken?

Peter said...

Fr, please can you tell us the make-up of the "Monastery Council"?

St. Jude Pray For Me said...

Dear Rev. Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

Mark Greaves, in his good article, defines you as a kind man (but no softie).
After have reading your reply to Melchior Cano let me add:
a man and a priest of great moral and intellectual honesty (a rare and precious quality).

God bless you and your whole Community

Humbly Yours

Sixupman said...

It was not Msgr. Lefebvre who caused the problem, bu the perfidious French and allied hierarchies who engineered the split and isolated the good Monsignor. Also the Popes who resisted restraining their modernist national bishops' conferences. Look around at their conduct and gross antipathy towards the 'Old Mass'!

thetimman said...

Father, and all the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer,

For what it is worth, this lone Catholic rejoiced at the news of your regularization, and continues to do so. You are in my regular prayers. You don't need a faith lesson from me, but you know that following one's conscience in the pursuit of truth, in the face of disapproval and rejection of your friends, is the call of our Saviour. Keep the faith, be of good courage, and know that you do have support from others in the Mystical Body.

God bless you all.

Transalpine Redemptorists said...

The Monastery Council is composed of six members.

Ograd said...

To Fr. MM of the Transalpine Redemptorists

May I add to your comments about the SSPX and the Pope that the SSPX are not only practical sedevacantists, but they de facto reject the doctrine on Primacy.

Look at this September issue of their UK bulletin, p.5. They quote the definition of the Primacy verbatim from L.Ott, pp 282, 283, 285 but omit what Vatican I says about its meaning in practice.

Thus, the definition on the Pope’s power of jurisdiction in matters of faith, morals, discipline and government, which they report from Ott, p.285, is introduced by the Pastor Aeternus as follows:

to the Pope “the shepherds…and the faithful, individually and collectively, are bound by a duty of hierarchical subjection and sincere obedience” (D 1827),
“he is the supreme judge of all the faithful” and his judgements are “not subject to review by anyone, nor is anyone allowed to pass judgement on" his “decisions” (D 1830).

Instead, we read the SSPX “interpretation”: “As the supreme lawgiver…the Pope is … bound by the divine law alone”, and now the lesson to him: “This demands that the Papal power, in consonance with its purpose, should be employed for the building up of the Mystical Body of Christ, not for its destruction. (2 Corinthians 10.8).”

So, who is there to judge that the Pope has, in a particular situation, acted “in consonance with its proper purpose”, and what “purpose” is to be considered “proper”; or whether he has “employed” his powers “for the building up” of the Church, or “for its destruction”, and what is to be considered as the “building up” and “destruction”?

Of course: the SSPX, which is the sole authentic interpreter of the Pastor Aeternus and of the “2 Corinthians, 10.8”. If anyone, what God forbids, presumes to contradicts this interpretation, let him be anathema.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Fr. Michael Mary and Sons for your very selfless witness. Thank you for your humble testimony, your very meek, charitable answers full of truth and for the way in which you deal with those who just may not understand quite yet. This speaks volumes and is a real proof that your path is the right one!

Many, many souls look with hope for answers to the quiet island of Stronsay in their search for peace amidst so much confusion in these times. There are souls who realize that the monks spend their days in prayer, silence, and work in union with God and that with this union comes very much light.

It is a consolation to see that the doctrine of the Church that you are making known is leading souls to an attitude which can certainly be compromised in "traditional" circles... TRUST, and total TRUST in the Church, and the Vicar of Christ on Earth, which is ultimately trust in Jesus Christ who is the guiding all things even if the seas are troubled.

Thank you FSSR, my family and I would love to be the happy "victims" of your prayers.

A blessed feast of St. Francis to you all!

Br. Pio.

Peter Simpson said...

May I say how happy I am to know that I am in Full Communion with your Community. There are some things about the Catholic Church which trouble me and I find it comforting to know that both you and the good monks of Pluscarden reside in my own Diocese of Aberdeen. Although I am at home with the Modern Roman Rite in English, I value your liturgical tradition and monastic life.

You have been generous in your giving, but the Good Lord loves a cheerful giver, and your cheerfulness is a tonic to us all!

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael Mary, your October 3rd post was wonderful. You are 100% correct.

I hope things work out as you hope they will. I mean you no disrespect, bu I cannot share your views or your optimism.


Transalpine Redemptorists said...

It is as it was: 6 members. They are the same members who voted at the time of the reconciliation.

Anonymous said...

"Ograd" states that the SSPX de facto reject the doctrine of the primacy. Of course this is precisely the reason Pope John Paul II gave for the excommunications of the SSPX bishops in the first. To put it in a nutshell, as Catholics it isn't sufficient simply to 'recognise' the Pope i.e. by namimg him in the Canon, as Catholiccs we are obliged to SUBMIT to his authority. As the First Vatican Council infallibly taught this submission is not confined to matters of faith and morals, but also in matters appertaining to the discipline and government of the church.

Ograd said...

Anonymous, strictly speaking the six were excommunicated because they had violated Canon 1382, which stipulates a latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication for such violation; but this is my minor point.

Their “interpretation” of the Pastor Aeternus is itself more than enough because the Dogma of Primacy is at stake, but it is worthwhile mentioning that in the Bull Unam Sanctam1302 Boniface VIII asserted: “We declare, say, define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” (D 469); and Pius XII, referring to this teaching said: “It is therefore a dangerous error to hold that one can adhere to Christ …without loyal allegiance to His Vicar on earth” (Mystici Corporis Christi, no.39, in CTS pamphlet Do. 266).

Thus far about Dogma of Primacy; but there is more. Dealing with the Dogma of the Unity of the Church. Ludwig Ott (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, a classic translated from German; I obtained it in one of the SSPX Mass Centres) says that it is manifested in the unity of Faith, Government and Worship. We have already covered the unity of Government of which the Primacy is essential. But the SSPX doesn’t fully share the unity of Faith and Worship either.

Regarding the Faith they declaratively reject Vatican II, with an excuse that it is “pastoral”, and “not dogmatic”, which is in point of fact a misguided nonsense; and also reject the Catechism because it is the catechism "of Vatican II”.

They are not in unity of Worship either. If it were merely a matter of their preference to celebrate the Tridentine Mass only, their position would still be within the acceptable limits. But they go beyond that: they do not want to have anything with the New Mass as a matter of principle, and they discourage people from attending it because it is “dangerous to Faith”. So, one cannot possibly say that they are in unity of Worship with the mainstream Church.

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