Saturday, August 09, 2003

Points to Ponder:

Our faith tells us that we are created in God's image, so the Trinity is not only the object of our worship, it is also the principle of our identity. This suggests that the more we embrace the mystery of the Trinity the more we can understand about ourselves, and the more deeply we examine the works of God the more clearly we can discern the model for our behavior. [Fr. Reginald Martin OP: Trinity Sunday 2003]
"Order of Preachers" Dept.

Fellow Blessed Sacrament parishoner Mark Shea on the Top Ten Reasons to Join the Dominican Order.

Speaking of Blessed Sacrament, you can help to restore a landmark. Go HERE for details.

Fox News "fair and balanced"??? I guess it depends on how you define "fair" and how you define "balanced"...

Friday, August 08, 2003

Our fellow lover of the leaf The Curmudgeon has some very good blog entries as of late which can be read HERE. It is good to see him starting to blog again with hopefully some degree of regularity...

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Points to Ponder:

Pride, a capital vice opposed to humility (q.v.) consisting in excessive love of one's own excellence, exhibited in three ways: (a) Contempt for lawful authority - a mortal sin; (b) Contempt for equals or inferiors - mortal or venial according to the depth of contempt; (c) Desire to surpass one's equals - a venial sin. St. Thomas and many other spiritual writers put pride in a class by itself as the most deadly and devastating of all vices, which has its part in every sin, of whatever sort that is committed; for every sin is in its degree a contempt of God and often our superior and our neighbour as well. Pride feeds and thrives itself, continually stirring up the mind and will of man to rebellion against the moral law and against his lawful and qualified teachers, whether religious or civil. Ambition, presumption, and vainglory (qqv) are among the most immediate handmaids of pride". [Catholic Encyclopaedic Dictionary: Donald Attwater General Editor, tenth edition, pg. 422 (c. 1941)]

"[I]t is pride which exercises an incomparably greater sway over the soul to blind it and lead it into error, and pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and lurking in its every aspect. It is pride which fills Modernists with that self-assurance by which they consider themselves and pose as the rule for all. It is pride which puffs them up with that vainglory which allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, elated and inflated with presumption, "We are not as the rest of men," and which, lest they should seem as other men, leads them to embrace and to devise novelties even of the most absurd kind. It is pride which rouses in them the spirit of disobedience and causes them to demand a compromise between authority and liberty. It is owing to their pride that they seek to be the reformers of others while they forget to reform themselves, and that they are found to be utterly wanting in respect for authority, even for the supreme authority. Truly there is no road which leads so directly and so quickly to Modernism as pride." [Pope Pius X: Encyclical Letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis §40 (c. 1907)]

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Pete Vere responds to recent attempts by pseudo-traditionalists to dismiss the essay he and I wrote for the March 6, 2003 edition of The Wanderer outlining the validity of Fr. Nicholas Gruner's suspension. (See the weblog margin for the link.)

We at Rerum Novarum may weigh in on this humble weblog with a response of our own to complement Pete's article above. The difference is that We would focus on some of the deceptive use of sources which circulate amongst the pseudo-trads - including the particular party that Pete is addressing in the above response. Stay tuned for more details...

Monday, August 04, 2003

"Iraq-in-the-Box" Dept.

I am wondering where Mark Shea comes up with this stuff...
Points to Ponder:

But afterward, when Christian rulers were at the head of States, the Church insisted much more on testifying and preaching how much sanctity was inherent in the authority of rulers. Hence, when people thought of princedom, the image of a certain sacred majesty would present itself to their minds, by which they would be impelled to greater reverence and love of rulers. And on this account she wisely provides that kings should commence their reign with the celebration of solemn rites; which, in the Old Testament, was appointed by divine authority. [Pope Leo XIII: Encyclical Letter Diuturnum §21 (c. 1881)]

Sunday, August 03, 2003

More on True and False Traditionalism With Kevin Tierney:
(Appendix to the Thread)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning, please go HERE.


This is a response to the appendix contribution of Ian Palko from Kevin's previous response. Basically, Ian starts off quoting a definition for Magisterium that I have used in dialogues and writings for years from the very reliable Catholic Encyclopaedic Dictionary. I cannot count the number of times I have expounded on that definition but Ian proceeds to "explain" it in a very novel fashion contrary to the plain sense of the text and also to Catholic Tradition. (Essentially he pulls a "bait and switch" tactic here.)

As I have said enough in this response myself, I asked a group of friends if anyone wanted to respond to Ian's contribution to Kevin's reply. Among those who responded in the affirmative was Tim Ouellette who sent me this contribution which I am pleased to include here. Without further ado, here it is. - ISM

Veritatis et Fidei:

Written by Timothy Ouellette

Championing the truth of the Catholic faith against the Donatists in the 4th century, preceding the great St. Augustine, St. Optatus, bishop of Milevis in North Africa, stressed two of the four marks of the Catholic faith, unity and universality, as the most 'readily ascertainable marks' of the true religion. Mr. Palko, in his definition of the term Magisterium and his subsequent commentary on the Extraordinary vs the Ordinary Magisterium, would have done well to imitate St. Optatus in recognizing that these two marks are found very readily in the chair of St. Peter.

Mr. Palko seemingly desires to pit the Extraordinary and Ordinary teachings of the Magisterium against each other, indicating that while solemn definitions and decrees must be adhered to by the faithful, pronouncements stemming from the actions of the Ordinary Magisterium may in fact not be magisterial teachings at all, if they are *examined* and found to be inconsistent with the Faith. This is the reason, Mr. Palko writes, that "traditional Catholics are so critical of the pope and bishops in modern times. While they do have that teaching authority, whatever they teach which is not consistent witht he two millennia of authentic, faithful and accurate Magisterial teachings is simply not a magisterial teaching".

Mr. Palko decries the use of the term "proto-Protestant" in the exercising of the *traditional Catholic* private judgment. Perhaps a more accurate term would be "pseudo-Catholic", for in arbitrarily condemning the expressions of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church, the *traditional Catholic*, so to speak, is really no Catholic at all, but is in fact a proponent of protestation over and against the chair of St. Peter. The Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, published by Bruce Publishing Company in 1951, with the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur, has this to say about the Magisterium:

"According to Catholic doctrine, therefore, Holy Scripture and Tradition are only the remote rule of faith, while the proximate rule is the living magisterium of the Church, which resides in the Roman pontiff and in the bishops, inasmuch as they are subject to and united with him". [Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, on the "magisterium" of the Church, pgs. 170 & 171]

The Ordinary Magisterium of the Church expresses itself, related to Tradition, on a pastoral level; it diffuses, protects, and adapts to circumstances the teaching of the infallbile magisterium. The expressions of the Ordinary Magisterium are a part of that proximate rule of faith, and should be given the obedience due from a loyal son of the Church. To state, as Mr. Palko has, that, given certain circumstances, it might actually fall "to traditional priests, bishops and, yes, even the faithful, to remain faithful to what we know are authentic Magisterial teaching", is to imply that these *faithful* have a more profound understanding of both the creative and interpretive notions of Tradition than do the Pope and the bishops of the Church.

This is summed up in Mr. Palko's closing remarks: "If the decree is inconsistent with Traditional teachings, it is not part of the Magisterium and does not obligate us to follow it". Which Traditional teachings might those be, Mr. Palko? And exactly how might one go about judging the veracity of a given Magisterial pronouncement? Must I give in to the protestations of every professing *traditional* Catholic? Or should I instead submit, in obedience, to the teaching office of the Holy Catholic Church?

That this question must even be posed is in itself in indicator that there is still much work to be done.
More on True and False Traditionalism With Kevin Tierney:
(Part VII of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning, please go HERE.

The People I link to, last time I checked, no one has even considered issuing a canonical warning against them,

Usually ordinaries have to have this brought to their attention first. There have been some ideas floated around to bring such things before the respective ordinaries of the individuals involved. But since these sorts do not even give the proper deference to the local ordinaries anyway,{1} it probably would not accomplish much to bring it before the attention of the local ordinaries involved.

so I'm in pretty good shape as far as the
"schismatic guilt by association" charge goes.

I would rethink through my position on this if I were you.

Like I said before, this is nothing but a charge meant to poison the well, and it detracts from actually having a civilized discussion.

No, it is a serious situation. Again, I would rethink through my position on this if I were you.

Actually, I have discussed Assisi and also the relationship with the United Nations. As far as asking John the Baptist to Bless Islam, again specifics would be nice. What was the actual prayer or petition used and what was the circumstances??? I say this because many of those who criticize Assisi make statements that do not square with what the Pope actually said at either gathering. For that reason -- and in light of dozens of errors I have outlined in meticulous detail in my writings that self-styled "traditionalists" tend to make -- I tend to ask for more substantiation and not simply accept at face value such assertions. Nothing personal Kevin, just good policy in dialogue.

He was in Jordan, and simply asked John the Baptist to Bless Islam, no lengthy prayer, not really sure what you are asking for here Shawn. You asking for the Zenit Source?

So you are saying that the Holy Father followed Our Lord's exhortation to "[l]ove your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who caluminate you" (Luke vi,27-28). And you are finding problems with this sage advice from the Lord of Hosts??? Interesting...

Response to Parts of the "Liturgical Disciplines and Status of Tridentine Liturgy" Thread:

The faithful can receive either way. I have never had any problem receiving communion on the tongue - indeed I have never in my life received any other way. But I do not look down on those who do receive that way, nor does Dave. And the Bishops have the authority in the absence of a papal rescript otherwise to legislate on this as they see fit. That is part and parcel to the Bishop having full and supreme authority in his dioceses in communion with the Pope is all about.

My comments actually didn't "look down" on those who receive communion in the hand.

I stand corrected then.

What I had always said was that the form, compared to the traditional form of communion on the tongue (of course there were some historical exceptions, yet unlike Shawn, I do not advocate exceptions as the rule)

The rule of the first millennium was not communion on the tongue though. That is the problem with your stance here.

the idea of standing and receiving it in the hand is irreverent towards the Real Presence of Christ,

So the Fathers, Doctors, and Saints - not to mention councils - sanctioned irreverence towards the Real Presence when they legislated that communion was to be received on the hand with the palms enthroned???

and I would argue, this was done so by the liberals.

I actually pointed out in my essay on communion in the hand {2} that approaching this subject from the standpoint of the way this custom was reintroduced would be viable.

One cannot deny that there is a profound disbelief in the Real Presence amongst "Catholics" today.

True. Most of the statistics are misreported though. (Particularly the "70%" figure.) The truth is, only about 30% in that survey professed a belief in transubstantiation. Of the rest, about half believed in a form of consubstantiation and half did not believe in any form of Real Presence. This is a catechesis problem more than anything.

The Bishops have had no explicit approval or disapproval of their commands.

The Bishops are supreme in their dioceses.

As the pastor of souls, should this not be an issue of concern to them?

Who says that it is not??? The problem is one of catechesis. I reject the superficial notion that if communion was received only on the tongue that somehow these problems would evaporate.

Let us look at the benefits of what communion in the hand has done, and compare it with the disadvantages.

Do we get to consider the Church's predominant practice of the first millennium too??? Because if so, such a comparison would be a wash.

That is what we traditionalists want, a full debate on these reforms, compare the evidence, and see if the pastoral changes enacted by the Councils implementation (you find absolutely nothing about these reforms within the documents of the Council itself) have actually been effective.

And how do you propose to judge this equitably???

Yet of course, this is viewed as "dissent from the Council."

The Council was silent on the subject. Silence by general norms presupposes continuity. But the decision was made subsequent to the Council so that needs to be taken into account.

To very briefly touch on this, Pope Paul's intention was something that Pope John Paul II inquired about because he needed to know how to go about facilitating the Tridentine liturgy. (Primarily as a means of restoring to communion those who had strayed.) As we do not have the minutes of the meeting, we are left with the spin put on the event by Cardinal Stickler...

Of course, it's spin when he advocates what us traditionalists have said all along!

When all we get about this meeting is proof texts, that is the essence of "spin" yes.

So much is it spin that even the Vatican seems to be enamored with the spin, since they have essentially agreed, and not even attempted to abrogate the Tridentine Mass!

You are missing the point. The issue involving the Indult was whether or not Pope Paul VI's intention in promulgating the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum was to abrogate (or obrogate) the papal law in the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum.

Because Pope Paul VI gave Indults in 1970 to Cardinal Heenan and Archbishop Lefebvre for the celebration of the older liturgical forms - as well as a privilege to elderly priests to celebrate it in private - it was sufficiently deemed clear that what was abrogated or obrogated (depending on the canonist you ask) was the law of celebrating the particular form not the actual liturgical form itself. From a canonical and practical standpoint the distinction is important.

Here's a wild idea ladies and gentlemen who read our publications: Maybe there is no spin, and it's fact!

Since you have confused the liturgical form with the law prescribing it, I would not get too excited over this "wild idea" if I were you.

There are also deeper canonical issues here I am not about to delve into as my response is too long already. But the fact is, there are virtually no canonists who are viewed as credible who take the position that Missale Romanum did not either abrogate or obrogate Quo Primum except for (maybe) Count Capponi and (possibly) Cardinal Stickler who seem to claim it was not abrogated. (And in neither case does this take into account the possibility of legal obrogation.) And because they are so partial to the Tridentine liturgy, it is not unreasonable to question whether they are allowing personal preferences to override the actual facts here.

I see, anyone who favors the Traditional Mass cannot be unbiased!

It is not the "Traditional Mass." It is a particular liturgical form of the Mass which was celebrated in Rome from approximately the Carolognian period - with some additions subsequent to that time. In 1570, this form was imposed on the universal church by the Supreme Pontiff contrary to all precedent. The imposition on the universal church was by law and not custom.

Shawn is reminding me of the liberal democrats filibustering judicial nominations, claiming since they are anti-abortion, they are unable to look past their own personal views, and follow legal precedent.

Appearances can be deceiving.

Yet let's turn the tables here for a moment.

He said the only people who are in favor of the Traditional Mass not being abrogated by Missale Romanum are favorable towards the Tridentine Rite, therefore their personal bias might seep in.

No, I said that those in favour of the Tridentine liturgical formulary are possibly due to nostalgia for the older forms fudging a bit on the canonical rescripts which govern the celebration of the liturgy.

Yet what about those canonists who prefer the Novus Ordo? Can we not question their personal motives for claiming the Traditional Mass is no more, or should be no more?

It is not an issue of personal preference Kevin. It is an issue of one law being annulled or replaced with another law. The Indults issued in 1970 as well as the 1984 and 1988 Indults are tacit acknowledgments of precisely what I am saying.

The Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum is the current papal liturgical law for the universal church. The structure of this Constitution makes it very clear that Quo Primum is no longer in force. Let us look briefly at these points.

After the solemn formulary Paul, Bishop Servant of the Servants of God For an Everlasting Memorial the Constitution leads off with the statement The Missale Romanum was promulgated in 1570 by our predecessor St. Pius V, in execution of the decree of the Council of Trent and from there has a footnote which reads See Ap. const. Quo primum, 14 July 1570. The pope in referring to the old law was summarizing the very law he was about to annul or replace.{3}

From the second paragraph onward, the text outlines the liturgical movement's recent strides and also the features of the revised Roman Missal. Among the chronology of events is another reference to the Apostolic Constitution Quo primum. Shortly afterwards, the pope manifests his intention with the following words our purpose is to set out at least in broad terms, the new plan of the Roman Missal. There are also references to reform of the Roman Missal. These are indications that what will be promulgated is a new form of the Roman Missal. This is replacement language here in other words. After briefly referring to the intentions of St. Pius V, Pope Paul VI makes the same intentions his own and then closes the text with the legal formularies of promulgation. Note this part carefully:

The effective date for what we have prescribed in this Constitution shall be the First Sunday of Advent of this year, 30 November. We decree that these laws and prescriptions be firm and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and amendment.

In other words, the decree of promulgation contains a standard revoking clause along the lines of "All things to the contrary notwithstanding." (The GIRM for the Revised Missal actually uses that exact formulary in its promulgation.) It involves is what is called an "express revocation of law".

The words or similar forms affect revocation (either in the form of an abrogation or of an obrogation) of the law. Pope Paul was a canonical genius and obviously used similar forms only because he wanted to preserve the previous law to the extent necessary. He had in mind the elderly priests who were beyond being able to learn a new rite of the mass or (if they could) still wanted to use the older liturgy in private. Nothing else would constitute a "necessity" in the law being promulgated. Therefore, previous apostolic constitutions and prescriptions of his predecessors - even those such as Quo Primum which deserved and received "special mention" - would be no longer in legal force from November 30, 1969 onward.

Legal formularies such as those noted above constitute the revocation of (i) contrary universal laws and norms - including those of other rites (ii) contrary universal customs, unless they are centenary or immemorial and (iii) contrary particular customs, unless they are legal customs that have been observed by a community for at least thirty years.

None of this applied to the Tridentine liturgy at the time because it was celebrated for four hundred years as a church law - rather than as an immemorial custom. Therefore, revocation of the law sanctioning the usage revoked the right of celebration. This is why Indults like 1984 and the 1988 Indult - which abrogated the 1984 Indult btw - were necessary.

If there was no abrogation or obrogation of the former universal law, then it would be quite simple to rectify. But John Paul II - who as phenomenal of a theologian and philosopher as he is nonetheless is no canonist - needed to understand before he could widen the 1984 Indult if what was required was an actual rescript or not.

As the old law was abrogated or obrogated (there is dispute over which is applicable but the end result is the same) what was needed was an adjunct of sorts from the existing law promulgated in the Missale Romanum of Pope Paul VI. This is canonically referred to as a derogation. Hence with Ecclesia Dei a derogation from existing universal law was promulgated by the pope on his own initiative and without consultation. (That is what motu proprio means.)

This decision by His Holiness was a break through for those who preferred the older formularies of the liturgy. And it is clear that by the issuing of a derogation the pope - who is the authentic source of all canon law - did not agree with what Cardinal Stickler appears to believe. (Though again we are not certain precisely what His Eminence's position actually is.)

Of course not, since the idea that Quo Primum’s decree in perpetuity that the Mass cannot be abrogated, and no priest may be censured for celebrating it, goes contrary to the liberal mindset, and their defenders in Conservative Catholicism.

In case you were unaware of it, the 1567 Breviary of St. Pius V was also promulgated "in perpetuity" and in 1911 St. Pius X obrogated it. The Jesuits were suppressed by one pope and reinstated later by Pius VII "in perpetuity." Now Pope Paul's Missale Romanum is promulgated for an "everlasting memorial" which is a synonymous term to "perpetuity." These are all legal formularies. Essentially they mean the law being prescribed is to remain "in force until changed later on" and "if not changed at all then it remains in force forever."

Talk about a double standard!

There is no double standard here at all.

Again, when Shawn agrees with the distinctions, they are allowed, yet when the same distinctions are applied and he disagreed, he must sweep them under the rug.

Not at all Kevin. I just outlined the distinctions here and you will find virtually no one with the authority to authentically interpret the law of the Church who will disagree with them.

Nonetheless, since nothing we have heard from Cardinal Stickler gives us a position one way or the other, we are not certain of his view. And even if he did side with Kevin, the fact that both the Pope and the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts have rendered disagreements with this stance is all that we really need to consider.

"[l]aws are authentically interpreted by the legislator and by that person to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic interpretation" (Can 16 §1). Further still, "[a]n authentic interpretation which is presented by way of a law has the same force as the law itself, and must be promulgated" (Can. 16 §2). So the judgment of the very authority the pope established to interpret the Church's law is against the position that Cardinal Stickler would seem to be promoting.

I happen to believe that there are nuances in there that are not being reported. Without access to the minutes of the meeting, we cannot know what they are. But my understanding of the law, though I am not a trained canonist, would lead me to come to this conclusion. For law in general operates that way - be it business law, trial law, government law, or canon law.

Then let us traditionalists propose this challenge to the Lidless Eye Inquisition. Name us the Church authorities who have explicitly stated the Traditional Mass has been abrogated in favor of the New Mass. Show us where Pope John Paul II said it, or where Paul VI said it (not the argument from silence posted by one of your colleagues).

The reader can hopefully see why this request is a non-sequitur to the subject at hand. Since there is a derogation from the existing universal law in the form of an Indult, obviously the form of liturgy has not been abrogated. If it had been, then the pope would have had to promulgate anew the old Missal in some form which he did not do. However, just because a form is not abrogated does not mean that it can be celebrated. The Indult provides the juridical basis for legal celebration of this particular liturgical form.

Where has the Pope and the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts announced that the Traditional Mass has been abrogated in favor of the new one? Silence indeed.

You do not seem to understand what silence conveys in theology and law. It implies continuity. And since Missale Romanum that would mean continuity with Missale Romanum. Prior to 1969 - and after 1570 - it would have meant continuity with Quo Primum.

{small snip}

Response to Parts of the "Conclusion" Thread:

Well, Kevin links to them for one thing. What I find particularly telling upon examination of his links archive is that it is full of crackpot extremist sites such as Gerry Matatics, CAItanic, Mario Derksen, and Novus Ordo Watch with (i) no warnings whatsoever as to the (to put it nicely) profound theological instability of these sites and (ii) no acknowledgment whatsoever that these sites would never be approved by any ecclesiastical authority who shares the communion of the Catholic Church.

Actually, on my website, I do say I don’t agree with everything that is said from the aforementioned individuals, so I’m not sure what Shawn is talking about here. And his second statement, I would argue begs the question, so it’s irrelevant.

I disagree. The very fact that ecclesiastical authority in communion with the Holy Father would not approve of such sites is no small bagatelle.

The purpose in promoting the new Pauline perspective amongst Protestants --for whom their primary authority is the writings of St. Paul-- is to bring them significantly closer to Catholic teaching. The same is in the case of the Joint Declaration on Justification where the Lutherans demonstrated quite a bit of progress in the direction of Trent. (By contrast, the Church upheld the doctrinal teachings of Trent on justification.) The difference in both cases is between a gap of a mile and a gap of a few hundred feet. Which chasm would be easiest to eventually bridge??? And in the light of the Great Tradition, this is the strategy the Church has almost always taken.

As far as the majority of Protestants are, I seriously contest these dialogues has had any true substantial progress, for numerous reasons I have outlined throughout my website.

Rome was not built in a day Kevin. And the divisions of almost a thousand years (Orthodox) and nearly five hundred years (Protestants) respectfully will not be easily overcome either.

Taking an ecumenical approach is quite all right, yet let us examine the evidence as to the prudence of these ecumenical endeavors, something I haven't been able to do here.

I will not dispute that there have been some who have gone too far. However, I would not put the Pope, the dicastery prefects, or their deputies in that category.

There are some elements today which are "new" but in truth these are not as many as one might casually presume. (And none of them are incongruent with Catholic teaching.)

Being that the New Perspective denies the idea of infused grace, they are surely incongruent with Catholic teaching. They furthermore advocate a position on “Works of law” that Trent seems to ignore, following the Tradition of theologians such as Augustine and Aquinas.

The Scriptures speak both of imputed and infused grace. Frankly, this is a quibble which can be ironed out when consensus on the more significant components of the equation is reached.

They are not promoting a method or a philosophy in a way that is inconsistent with Catholic orthodoxy. The Church has almost always taken this approach with those who did not share her beliefs. But in the Counter-reformation period the Church's common practice in this realm became nearly non-existent. The attitude became less one of assimilation and instead one of expecting the other party to simply accept every jot and tittle of contemporary orthopraxy. This attitude was not at all Traditional yet that is the very attitude that most so-called "traditionalists" have.

Notice how Shawn is completely begging the question. He is not demonstrating how this is so, yet rather just assuming it.

Well Kevin, you summarize your response with comments as per the length in words and pages. You also claim that mine was overlong - of which I agree. But now it seems you expect me to lengthen an already long response (referring to this one) with yet more. So which approach do you want??? ;-)

I demonstrated before that even during the Counter-Reformation, “Unity in Diversity” did exist, and has always existed, even in the Pre-Concilliar years.

And recall gentle reader that almost all of his examples failed - except the one that he and I both agreed on viz predestination theologizing.

I presented a challenge before, that the people I link to, deny absolutely no dogmas of the Catholic faith.

Which of course means that they are not heretics. It says nothing about schism though since there are schismatics who accept all dogmas as well. I already dealt with this in quoting Quanta Cura. Let us close with the accompanying proscribed error from the Syllabus of Errors.

22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church. [Apostolic Letter Tuas Libenter]

While some propositions of the Syllabus are paraphrases drawn from the sources appended, others such as this one are practically verbatim.

While some may surely be overly polemical, and some of their positions on non-dogmatic issues I strongly disagree with, essentially, what Shawn is advocating with the New Perspective, and I am advocating with some of my traditionalist colleagues are the same thing.

I merely defend the legitimacy of the New Perspective. That does not mean that I personally adhere to it. With your colleagues though, too many of them by their own external actions and statements are rightly suspected of being defacto proximate to heresy and schism. So this is not the double edged sword that you seem to think it is.

So it’s only Guilty by Association, when Shawn disagrees with it.

No, it is guilt by association when the Magisterium disagrees with it and when those opposed to her judgment manifest both a contempt of and the refusal to follow the Magisterium. Do not pretend for one second that Mario Derksen does not do this or that Novus Ordo Watch does not. (Or Remnant and the CAItanic apostolate.) For just as affiliation of Una Voce with Remnant and other groups of this sort in recent years has diminished their credibility in the Church at large, so too will the effectiveness of your apostolate become diminished with associating too closely with these sorts above.

If you want a list of groups with a similar outlook as yours to rally behind, I would be glad to supply a few for you. Again, these are not necessarily ones I agree with; however they are acceptable according to not my criteria but according to the Magisterium and the fact that they strive to conform themselves to the dictates of the spiritual masters of the Catholic tradition while advancing the influence of the Tridentine liturgy.

Again, we see the absolute inconsistency in Shawn’s condemnation of his opponents.

Again, we see no inconsistency at all. But considering how many times I have had to make correction in this thread to Kevin's misunderstandings, that should not surprise.

To go to the Appendix section, please click HERE.


{1} If you read what Robert Sungenis has said about his local ordinary and actually think that he would submit to his ordinary censuring him, I have some ocean front property in Omak, Washington to sell you. In the case of Mario Derksen, his affiliation with the SSPX tells us all we really need to know about how likely he is to obey his local authority. (To name a few examples from Kevin's list.)

{2} A piece which was cowritten with "Matt1618" in February of 2001.

{3} From there it briefly in the first paragraph summarizes the results of the Missal promulgated by that apostolic constitution.
More on True and False Traditionalism With Kevin Tierney:
(Part VI of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning, please go HERE.

Response to Parts of the "Nature of Obedience and Disagreement on Non-Dogmatic Matters, Etc...

The true Catholic knows that we are bound to follow the commands of lawfully constituted authority in the Church whether we like what they say or not. To the extent that those Mr. Tierney endorses fail to do this, they are not authentically Traditional at all but are the very sort of individuals that we at the Inquisition have in mind.

I provided a challenge just a little while ago on this very issue.  I asked Gregg the Obscure to name me one dogma traditionalists "dissent" from, specifically those I mentioned.

The failure to render obedience to the Apostolic See in matters of discipline and government comes to mind. (Among others.)

As I stated before, the things we are officially opposing are not within the Magesteruim, unless Shawn is willing to claim that every pope and prelates personal geopolitical and ecumenical project opinions are part of such, which I find quite absurd, though I’ve heard this essentially claimed.

Depending on the particular "traditionalist" in question, the degree of disobedience varies. There are those who deny there is a valid pope (sedevacantists). There are also those who either reject the Revised Missal or who accept its validity but attend illicit celebrations of the Tridentine liturgy in dioceses where there is not an approved Indult.

The pope's speeches at these events do comprise part of his magisterium - though as allocutions they are not of the highest authority. That does not make them dismissible of course. However, they are not as authoritative as other magisterial pronouncements including encyclicals and exhortations where the principles and policies of the New Evangelization have been outlined the past forty years.

Another element that is commonly overlooked by the self-styled "traditionalist" is the power of binding and loosing whereby the magisterium can regulate the application of the divine laws - though they cannot be changed in substance of course. Failure to obey the magisterium in the regulation of the divine laws is to fail to obey Christ whose statement "He who hears you hears me" applies to the ordinary teaching authority as Pope Pius XII taught in Humani Generis §20.

This is why those who publicly controvert the pope's directives involving the ecumenical and interfaith movements are opposing themselves to the magisterium and thus to the very Lord and Saviour they claim to love and defend.

(I remember some conservative Catholic apologists claiming I was being "disobedient to the Pope" for disagreeing with him on the issue of the war, and claiming the United Nations was a godless institution.)

Well, the pope did not in any way claim that we had to condemn the war or support the United Nations. And while he could have done so with the former, with the latter he no more can make us support the United Nations than he could make us eat waffles for breakfast. I explained at Rerum Novarum back in February why I could not in conscience take the pope's position on the war and why this disagreement did not detract from my being a faithful Catholic in communion with the Holy Father. It was not an easy stance for me to take. See the weblog links for details. (I also came to the pope's defense despite disagreeing with him back in March when his position was ridiculed by a Protestant supporter of the war.)

{small snip}

I would argue that at worst it was a blunder. At best, it recognizes the principle that Pope Gregory VII noted in his apostolic letter to the King Al-Nasir of Mauritania about how Christians and Muslims worship the same God:

This is the charity we owe to one another and even more we owe it to the other people, because we recognise and confess, in a different way, that is true, the One and only God, whom we glorify and venerate everyday, as Creator of the centuries, Lord of this world, according to the word of the Apostle: He is our peace, who has made of the two one people.

So let us see, the pope in addressing Muslims was handed a book - whether it was the Koran or another book is really irrelevant. In seizing on the opportunity to make a gesture of good-will, he kisses the book. Was this premeditated??? We do not know. Should we presume therefore the worst scenario??? That would be contrary to authentic Christian charity to do.

As I have said before, there is no logical connection between some Muslims worshipping God in ignorance of who he really is, and kissing the book which actually blasphemes our Lord.

A kiss is a symbol of love Kevin.  

Was a drop of the ball, I’ll say!

That is fine. But remember, the spiritual masters instruct us to not place an uncharitable interpretation on the words and actions of others.

The Pope seems to think it was quite a good idea to kiss the book, as he also asked John the Baptist to bless Islam.

I seem to recall Our Lord telling us to bless those who curse us. If the pope is seeking to follow the counsel of Our Lord - and we do not know what his reasons are - then we have to avoid making statements about this action akin to the Pharisees' "this man does not cast out devils except by Beelzebub" (Matthew xii,24) assertion. We do not know the pope's reasons so we should not presume that there are evil motives for the action.  

Even if it was not premeditated is irrelevant.  Wrong is wrong, whether or not you planned it out well in advance. This is a very liberal application of Newman's ideas on developing ecumenism.

Since I never appealed to development of doctrine to defend this incident, I fail to see the connection Kevin is trying to make here.

Yet again, since this is a personal matter of the Pontiff, surely no Christian is required to think it's a good idea,


and after examining the fact it surely hasn't helped ecumenical relations,

Depends on the audience. It did not perhaps help ecumenical relations but then again the Muslims do not fall under the heading of ecumenical relations anyway. (Ecumenism pertains to the relations between Christians and Jews only.)

perhaps we can ask why it was done, and if we should do it again or not.  Yet that would make one a "radical traditionalist!"

No, of course it would not. Only if you dwell on it at length, railed about it in print, sought to put the Holy Father in a bad light, or imputed bad motives him would it make you a false "traditionalist." A true Traditionalist would approach this matter as the spiritual masters instruct us to do. If you want to discuss that often overlooked aspect of the Great Tradition sometime, that will be fine.

Besides, who cares about kissing the Koran really. This is truely an example of what Our Lord noted about "straining the gnat and swallowing the camel" (Matt. xxiii,24). Has the pope issued a decree commanding that we do that??? No he has not. Will he do so in the future??? Highly doubtful because the Church does not impose devotionals of any sort onto other people. They are always of an optional import and therefore this issue is really quite irrelevant. I would argue a good many care, as well as many sincere Protestants, you know, those people we are being “ecumenical” with!

You cannot please everyone with every action or statement Kevin.

Are you claiming this doesn't scandalize a lot of them, since Protestant missionaries, being the zealous ones they are, consistently end up losing their heads while Allah Akhbar is chanted?

Remember Kevin, the pope is both Vicar of Christ and also ruler of a sovereign state. So there are also diplomatic angles to consider. (Of course the latter have no claim of our assent.)

Or for Americans, kissing the book, whose "adherents" sent planes into our towers?

You would probably not tolerate those who claimed that the Crusaders who locked innocent Jewish inside synagogues and set the buildings ablaze in the eleventh century were "faithful to the Scriptures" or to the Church. You would not tolerate those who claimed that Christians who supported the Nazi tyranny were "faithful to Christ" or somehow were to be held up as representatives of Christianity. Do I need to list more???

Kevin, I am going to hold my tongue on this point and give you an opportunity retract this assertion. And should you do that, I will delete this part of my response so that there is no trace of either your statement or my response to it.

For what?  Nothing has happened, if anything, Islam has gotten even more militant!

I see. If you want to criticize this than at least consider the long and fruitless track record against Islam documented by my good friend and fellow Inquisitor F. John Loughnan HERE.

If we’re looking to unite all Christians, then this move is ineffective and counterproductive on this front as well.

But if it softens the resistance of Muslims to Christian evangelization, that would be a good thing. 

We care because we love the Papacy, and we love the Church, and want it to be as effective as possible, not a bunch of yes-men.

Tell me then how "effective" the Church's first 1,340 years of trying to combat Islam really was Kevin. (See the link to John's post above where he goes over this often-overlooked point.)

Just because it won't be bound on the faithful, doesn't make it ok to be done.

Yes but just because there is an appearance of impropriety does not mean that there actually was impropriety.

Again, I think our "Neo-Catholic" friend Shawn (since he refuses the term conservative, even though we see him attempting to preserve the status quo on these issues)

As I have already noted, conservatism is not primarily a philosophy of conservation of the "status quo." I have already noted that this assertion on your part viz me personally is erroneous on many fronts. As far as resorting to labels, I remind you of the exhortation of Pope Benedict XV towards those who created factions in the Church during his day:

It is, moreover, Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as "profane novelties of words," out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: "This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved" (Athanas. Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim "Christian is my name and Catholic my surname," only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself. [Pope Benedict XV: Encyclical Letter Ad Beatissimi §24 (c. 1914)]

This is part of the reason why I refer to self-styled "traditionalists" in quotes. And this is why simply referring to me as a Catholic will be fine.

Again, I think our "Neo-Catholic" friend Shawn (since he refuses the term conservative, even though we see him attempting to preserve the status quo on these issues)] acting extremely legalistically, the same thing that most charge traditionalists with!

Now Kevin, I think the fair-minded among the readers can see that this charge has no merit to it :)

Again, had Shawn read my works, including my polemic with Mr. Latar, where I do advocate the idea of unity-in-diversity, with certain qualifications, such would be unnecessary.

Qualifications which I might add are not to be made by individuals exercising their own private judgment.

In part one, we dealt with this area in-depth, and I demonstrated what authentic Catholic "unity in diversity" is.

We have seen how Kevin's examples failed to withstand scrutiny.

Shawn has never given us examples of what unity in diversity is in his mind. 

I have explained this concept many times Kevin.

Is it we have those who deny ecumenism of return that Pius XI taught on one side, and those who advocate it on the other. 

Whatever good will those who utilized it had, it was based on, the "ecumenism of return" approach is ecclesiologically and methodologically faulty. It is not based on the traditional understanding of the Church as mystery and communion but instead is based on a highly centralized ecclesiocentric model of the post Great Schism period - particularly from the Counter-reformation period.

Prior to the self-styled "reformation", the Church's ecumenical relations with other Christians was (if we examine it) closer to the model utilized today except it was already a relationship between Churches whereas today there are Churches and non-Churches in the mix.

Do we have one side those who believe Scripture is inerrant, and on the other side those who believe it can and does error? 

Scripture contains no errors. However, that does not mean that Scripture is written in a fashion that makes it readily accessible to twentieth century people in some parameters.

Can Shawn answer his own questions without engaging in his "private judgment?"

The Magisterium has answered these questions by (i) rejecting the old and faulty "ecumenism of return" model while retaining certain principles that it contains which are indespensable and (ii) The Magisterium teaches both the freedom from error of Scripture and also that Scripture is not written for the easy assimilation of modern man in some parameters. {1}

I rest my case.

And again your case is full of holes big enough to drive a truck through :)

{small snip}

The one who makes that judgment of course is the magisterium, not individuals treating magisterial texts the way the Protestants treat the Bible. That has always been the case and indeed the very faith that Catholics have in the superintendence of the Holy Spirit in the magisterium is grounded on that fact. Without it, we are no different than the Protestants who shift with every passing whim and fancy and reject today and tomorrow what they held as immutable in the past.

Yet we have produced account after account showing the fact that the magesteruim of past has ruled that the idea of inviting pagans to Catholic sanctuaries to pray to their false Gods for world peace, is not constant with Tradition.

What happened Kevin was that the magisterium invited people of good will with varying beliefs to certain events where they were invited to pray for peace. There was no invitation to "pray to false gods" just to pray. And of course the Church used this opportunity to evangelize also - the pope in his speech to the assembled leaders in 1986 stated the following:

My Brothers and Sisters, Heads and Representatives of the Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities and of the World Religions, Dear Friends,

IN CONCLUDING this World Day of Prayer for Peace, to which you have come from many parts of the world, kindly accepting my invitation, I would like now to express my feelings, as a brother and friend, but also as a believer in Jesus Christ, and, in the Catholic Church, the first witness of faith in him.

In relation to the last prayer, the Christian one, in the series we have all heard, I profess here anew my conviction, shared by all Christians, that in Jesus Christ, as Saviour of all, true peace is to be found, "peace to those who are far off and peace to those who are near". His birth was greeted by the angels’ song: "Glory to God in the highest and peace among men with whom he is pleased". He preached love among all, even among foes, proclaimed blessed those who work for peace and through his Death and Resurrection he brought about reconciliation between heaven and earth. To use an expression of Paul the Apostle: "He is our peace".

In short, the pope in this gathering selected a theme common to the hearts of all of good-will (that of peace) and tied the theme into the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ by recounting His work and summarizing with St. Paul's assertion that Christ "is our peace." More is stated on this theme but I think you get the idea of what the trust of this meeting was.

It was an attempt to freely invite people to perform acts of charity towards others (praying for peace or for the welfare of others). Since as Catholics we are supposed to believe that charity covers a multitide of sins (Prov x,12; 1 Peter iv,8; cf. 1 Cor xiii,7) why should we doubt it in this case???

The pope also used this opportunity to affirm the common beliefs which are grounded in the Gospel. (And also used the examples of St. Francis and St. Clare as models for others as well.) In short, there was more here than one would casually presume.

Given the fact that Church history has been full of loyal opposition to the prelates in matters which are not bound, not doctrinal, this is hardly some "novel" idea.

The pope at Assisi spoke on behalf of the Church. Therefore this was no mere whim on his part. Also, there is nothing "loyal" about dissent on matters which are connected with the magisterium's teachings or her mission. Pope Benedict XV noted in referring to both the Modernist sympathizers and to the Integralist troublemakers - who possessed no shortage of their own excuses disobedience to ecclesiastical authority - there is but one Catholic way of handling these matters:

The enemies of God and of the Church are perfectly well aware that any internal quarrel amongst Catholics is a real victory for them. Hence it is their usual practice when they see Catholics strongly united, to endeavour by cleverly sowing the seeds of discord, to break up that union. And would that the result had not frequently justified their hopes, to the great detriment of the interests of religion!

Hence, therefore, whenever legitimate authority has once given a clear command, let no one transgress that command, because it does not happen to commend itself to him; but let each one subject his own opinion to the authority of him who is his superior, and obey him as a matter of conscience. Again, let no private individual, whether in books or in the press, or in public speeches, take upon himself the position of an authoritative teacher in the Church. All know to whom the teaching authority of the Church has been given by God: he, then, possesses a perfect right to speak as he wishes and when he thinks it opportune. The duty of others is to hearken to him reverently when he speaks and to carry out what he says. [Pope Benedict XV: Encyclical Letter Ad Beatissimi §22 (c. 1914)]

Those who do not comply here have no right whatsoever to wrap themselves in the mantle of Tradition since they flout the very nature of traditional obedience. Such individuals or groups are as obedient to Tradition as the Pharisees were to the Law.

My point was simple: if you want to claim that you are Traditionalist than you need to act like one. And Mr. Tierney can start by not appearing to automatically presume the worst motives in others - be they the magisterium or anyone else. The reader is asked to read Kevin's stuff and then tell me with a straight face that Mr. Tierney appears to give the magisterium the benefit of the doubt at all times. (Even when it is difficult for him to do this.)

And if Kevin claims he is doing this, than he needs to stop defending those who not only do not do this but who in fact have a proven trackrecord of serial suspicion and presuming the worst in others continually. He recommends many such apostolates at his website. That he cannot see what this does to the credibility of his own apostolate is frankly astounding to me. I mean, this is not rocket science or brain surgery we are talking about here.

Of course, if people read what I wrote on my blog and my papers, I noted on both Kissing the Koran and Assisi, that the Pope surely meant well, and we can't judge his motives. Yet what we can judge, is have his personal projects and iniatives had a beneficial effect on the faithful, and on ecumenism? 

This answer I would argue is an unqualified no,

Based on what evidence???

Assisi hasn't caused conversions,

And you know this how exactly??? The Catholic Encyclopedia notes the following with regards to conversion:

The first the normal process of conversion is the investigation and examination of the credentials of the Church, which often is a painful labor lasting for years. The external grace which draws a man's attention to the Church and causes him to begin his inquiry is as various and manifold as there are individual inquirers. [Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article Conversion (c. 1913)]

So let me see, conversion can be a laborious process and it can often take years. Further still, the variables in this process are as various and manifold as there are individual inquirers. Yet somehow, we are somehow supposed to believe that you have researched the divers ways which individuals who participated in this event or who were somehow connected with it responded to the grace given to them by God to help in this endeavour. Please pardon me if I have serious doubts that you have done anything here except blindly and uncritically reiterate another unproven "trad" theorem.

Also, for one who claims that I made statements I did not "prove", where is your proof Kevin??? You made a universal negative and logically a universal negative cannot be proven. And taking into account the divers variables in this complex equation it is even more remote that it could actually be proven. So why make such abrupt statements to begin with???

Getting back to the subject of "conversions", one would logically presume in the absence of forcefully dragging people to the font by their hair that the further removed one was from Christianity, the longer such a process would take. Consider the six year journey of Cardinal Newman for example. Here was a man whose knowledge of Church history and theology was by far and away beyond any average inquirer. But it still took him years to come to the recognition that the Catholic Church was the true religion. And he came from an ecclesial community with many of the same beliefs already.

Imagine someone who had to start from scratch if you can. And add to the mix the fact that the oriental outlook is profoundly different than that of the westerner. Are you going to tell me that it would be easier for such an individual than it would be for most westerners or Europeans???

We frankly have no idea how many people may have been moved closer to Catholic profession from the events of Assisi. (Or whose conversion journey might have been completed by Assisi.) My guess is that there are a lot more of these - particularly the former - than you might think. I say this for one reason: the Church did not present herself as some kind of imperialist power as she had in the past.{2} The fact that the Assisi approach was one that explicitly respected the consciences of those involved cannot help but have a positive effect. It may not be readily apparent but before something can be manifested externally it requires an internal assimilation.

Furthermore, as the article on conversion readily notes, Force, violence, or fraud may not be employed to bring about the conversion of an unbeliever. Such means would be sinful. [ibid] Yet in counting the recorded "conversions" from centuries past, Kevin seems unwilling to point out that force, fraud, and even violence at times played a role in them. But then again, if Kevin is among those who are more concerned with counting the numbers of heads stuck under the font - by whatever means - than they are respecting the dignity of the individuals to come closer to God in accordance with the dictates of their conscience, that should not surprise. (Again, I say if here without making any presumptions of Kevin's actual position.)

and Kissing the Koran has not helped relations with Islam,

I see. And what exactly was the "profound success" of relations with Islam for thirteen centuries previously???

if anything, Islam has become more radical, and has stepped up persecutions against Christians, yet we don't hear any tough language on these negotiations, because such isn't there.

I want you to do me a favour Kevin (and the readers of this response). When this thread is completed, I want you to please read the following link from the website of my good friend and essay patron "Matt1618":

Pius XII, Hitler’s Germany, and Cornwell’s Pope

I then want you to consider that perhaps the dangers inherent in Pope Pius XII of publicly denouncing Hitler and the Nazis and consider that perhaps this present pope - who lived in Nazi-occupied Poland and saw the way these monsters operated - might not have a very good reason for his policies here.

For the Nazi movement was not based on religious motives at all. But the modern terrorist Islamo-fascists (or "Hitlers with head scarves" if you will) are no less dangerous than the Nazis and their fanaticism is much deeper. They are essentially grounding their movement on the belief that they are doing "God's work." And as St. Francis de Sales once said on the subject of imprudent zeal:

Evil is never done more effectually and with greater security than when one does it believing he is working for the glory of God." [RP Quadrupani Light and Peace pg. 153 (c. 1795)]

I therefore want you to be consistent here Kevin. So I must ask you to either take the side of John Cornwall and lambaste Pius XII for not "denouncing the Nazis" or defend Pius XII's "silence" and at the same time cease to denounce John Paul II for not "denouncing the Muslims." Consistency demands that you take a stand here and when the same situation presents itself, you have to stick to principles. (Even if this is not beneficial to your personal opinions to do.) So again, I ask that you either give equal time to criticizing Pius XII for this "failing" or defend him and cease to impugn John Paul II of the criticisms you are throwing his way on this subject. And as you criticized via the web and your website, please make the mea culpa just as public and just as widespread as you have made the previous criticisms.

Same with China, while your priests are being arrested and martyred, we are too busy "dialoguing" with a schismatic Church that declares loyalty to Mao over Peter, and even assists Mao in persecuting those loyal to Peter. 

See my previous comments.

So at best, it's imprudent and unprecedented within Tradition.  At worst, well since I don't think it's at worst, we won't go into that.

See my previous comments.

See what I noted above about guilt by association. I have not made any claim that Mr. Tierney is personally a schismatic. However, he does link to and promote some sites whose participants are. Just as someone can question the objective situation of a pregnant woman walking into an abortion clinic, the same is the case in noting whom Kevin likes to promote on his website.

Of course, who is and isn't schismatic or excommunicated is the job of the Church to decide, not "your own private judgment" Shawn. 

Though I already went over this subject, I will not repeat what I said earlier except I will note that someone who does not maintain communion with the Church in their external words and actions is presumed to be guilty a priori. The Code makes this clear as I noted earlier. However, as a schismatic incurs an immediate latae sententae excommunication (see Can. 1364), it is important to take into account what that actually signifies. So let us address that point at this time.

In the punishment of crimes section of the Code, it is declared that [a] penalty is for the most part ferendae sententiae, that is, not binding upon the offender until it has been imposed. It is, however, latae sententiae, so that it is incurred automatically upon the commission of an offence, if a law or precept expressly lays this down (Can. 1314). This precedes Canon 1364 in sequence which expressely states that the excommunication in the case of [a]n apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic is latae sententae. So some penalties are incurred automatically on the commission of an offense - particularly offenses against the unity of the Church. (As apostasy, heresy, and schism are.) In short, one who commits an external act of schism essentially passes the judgment of excommunication onto themselves. If the ecclesial authority hands down a sentence and penalties for the crime, then to the same authority must the offender appeal. If no sentence or penalties are handed down, then to my knowledge - and I may be mistaken - the crime can be remedied with a thorough confession.

But just because no penalties are handed down by authority does not mean that the offense is not to be taken seriously Kevin. There is nothing legalistic about the notion of schism. It is no light matter and it is not difficult to commit. To the extent that someone fails to render obedience to the teachings and directives of the magisterium, they are schismatic.

Now certainly one should be very leery of jumping on every lapse in judgment or imprudent statement of another of course - as even "the just man falls seven times a day" (Proverbs xxiv,16). However, those who show time and again a track record of external violations are presumed guilty unless it appears otherwise. Tell me how we are to "presume otherwise" in the case of most self-styled "traditionalists" in light of many of the articles they post and the public statements they make. I do not see how we can do this and at the same time not give the benefit of the doubt to every heretic and schismatic who ever lived!!!

This is why those with a track record of continual or constant external violations - and this includes public controverting of Church policies and directives - such people are not to be presumed innocent of violating the communion of the Church. This is why the "guilt by association" charge in your case is not insignificant Kevin. St. Ignatius of Antioch warned his readers that he who follows one who makes a schism in the Church shall not inherit the kingdom of God. This is something that cannot be taken lightly.

To be Continued...


{1} Hence what appears to be "errors" in some points are actually explained by understanding properly the different genres once common to the ancient east where the Scriptures were written. I went over this subject in my essay Christian Unity and the Role of Authority.

{2} The overall anemic failure of the Chinese missions from a few centuries ago comes readily to mind here.
More on True and False Traditionalism With Kevin Tierney:
(Part V of VII)

The previous installment of this thread can be read HERE. To start from the beginning of the thread, please go HERE.

I am actually very glad that I misunderstood Kevin there because that means he is not a "garden variety 'trad'" to whom that criticism aptly applies. Hopefully Kevin can after reading this response make some adjustments so that others do not also misunderstand him.

Here’s the issue.  Even traditionalists, who disagree with me, still know where I’m coming from.  I must admit, the only people who seem to misunderstand me, are conservatives I disagree with.

And why is it that almost all of those who misunderstand Cardinal Kasper are either self-styled "traditionalists" or self-styled "progressivists"??? Why do people such as myself and others who are familiar with the ancient ecclesiology of communio have no problem understanding him at least in outline form??? I do not agree with his application of some of the principles sure but at the very least, I was able to gauge where he was going without even reading the sources. And this is not because I am some mind reader but because I understand the principles of the theological model he is attempting to argue from. In short, as Sun Tzu teaches, I know my opposition as I do myself.

Liberals understand me, as well as do traditionalists who take a more hard-line stance than me.  If it can be pointed out why this would be the case, I would gladly modify my approach, as no one wants to do nothing more than a useless run around.

Okay. I would be glad to discuss communion ecclesiology with you. But that would have to take place at Rerum Novarum and not the Lidless Eye one.

Response to Parts of the "Nature of Obedience and the Claims of Traditionalists on a Logical Conclusion to Sede Vacantism Refuted" Thread

I would love to see that assertion put to the test at any time. Simply disagreeing with the pope on some issues, outside of infallible dogma, does not lead to claiming he is not a valid pope.

There is a lot more to it than mere disagreement of issues. Those who do not become formal sedevacantists amongst the hardcore "trads" do end up eventually becoming defacto sedevacantists. The core issue is not one of agreement or disagreement. Instead, it hinges on the distinction between obedience and disobedience.

The Catholic faith does not allow for selective obedience to the pope and magisterium when the individual wants to - coupled with disobedience when they do not. To the extent that someone culpably refuses to submit to the authority of the Supreme Pontiff - which means obeying his teachings and directives in accordance with his manifested mind and intention - they are in schism from the Church. (As they are separated from him who is the root and matrix of communion with the Catholic Church.) And the sedevacantist - though egregiously in error - is at least consistent in the application of the principle of subjecting the magisterium's teachings and directives to the private judgment of the individual.

Of course the issue is far more complex than Shawn makes it.

No it is not.

As far as obedience to the Pope, obedience to what?  When he declares dogma, or when he says this is Church teaching?  Of course we assent to that.

Teaching and directives. And also the guidance of the Church. To quote from the Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura promulgated by Pope Pius IX of blessed memory:

[We cannot] pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that "without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church's general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals." But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church. [Pope Pius IX: Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura §5 (c. 1864)]

In other words, there is more to it than simply matters of dogma or doctrine. Even matters of church discipline, matters of church government, and matters of Church guidance require obedience. And this is why I refer to the counterfeit form of self-styled "traditionalism" as proximate to heresy. That is the doctrinal grade of a proposition or action that directly opposes a dogma of faith. And as Pope Bl. Pius IX noted, this position functionally opposes the dogma of papal primacy and the Vicar of Christ's supreme authority over the universal church.

Yet are such things as pandering to [the] United Nations, the Assisi gatherings, and praying with animists, is he pushing this as teaching of the Church?

The pope has in the person of the Vicar of Christ sanctioned the Assisi gatherings. (This is an example of promoting the interfaith movement and falls under the umbrella of "Church guidance".) The judgments pertaining to the United Nations are of course of a different grade altogether and apply to the diplomatic realm. Provided that one is respectful to the pope's authority there is room for civil disagreement with that stance without being suspect of disobedience.

The proper response to the Assisi situation is either religious submission or (at a minimum) reverent silence. Discussing the matter openly is acceptable provided that there is no polemics involved or any uncharitable imputation of evil motives (or worse) on the part of those involved. In short, Assisi would fall under the declaration of Quanta Cura and the UN situation in most parameters would not: a distinction with a difference.

Of course not, there is nothing to dissent from.

With the interfaith gatherings yes there is - as I pointed out above.

There is disagreement, and even a claim that what the Pope is doing has the potential (and in many instances I would argue does) to scandalize the faithful, and not have positive effects to go along with his no doubt well meaning intentions. 

I see. And the "positive effects" of the Church's policies towards the Orient in the five hundred years prior to the 1960's was what exactly??? I have not a shred of doubt that there has been more progress in the eighteen years since Assisi than there was in any century of the previous five hundred years. {1}

I could care less how much "scandal" is involved with those who do not properly inform themselves and also do not have an authentically Catholic spiritual formation. The fact that neither you nor anyone else can get around is that the track record of the oriental missions for most of five centuries was anemic. My interest is in finding ways to influence those who have implicit faith and helping them to eventually - if possible - manifest it explicitly. This can take time and it calls for patience and understanding. I have no interest in reverting back to what was failing so miserably before.

There are both tactical and also evangelical reasons for the current outreach. The Magisterium in recent decades has enunciated the policies of the New Evangelization and Pope John Paul II in both Assisi gatherings and similar ones has adhered to the guidelines established by him and his predecessors.

Now there are some traditionalists who erroneously think Vatican II teaches heresy.


That's all well and fine, but in order for them to be de facto excommunicated, wouldn't you have to prove how they are violating Vatican II, since it is agreed it pronounced no new dogma?

All that an ecumenical council sanctions is to be accepted by the faithful. No one would claim today that the Council of Nicaea taught anything of a strictly definitive character except for the definition of Our Lord as the Son of God "consubstantial" of the Father and the Nicene Creed - which was later fleshed out at subsequent synods until it reached for the most part the form it now has. However, the disciplinary canons of the synod were not considered "optional" simply because they were disciplinary in nature.

Indeed the popes did not tacitly sanction the recognition of Constantinople as the second See until 1274 - and did not officially do so until the Council of Florence in 1439. (Canon Six of Nicaea recognized Alexandria and Antioch as second and third in succession after the Roman See.) That is nine to eleven hundred years of insistence on obedience to a disciplinary canon from Nicaea. This is why the notion Vatican II need not be obeyed because it (i) did not define any dogmas of faith and (ii) the teachings are not binding are both without merit whatsoever is a facile one.

The authority of an ecumenical council is not distinct from the ordinary magisterium - this is something that people often do not realize. Instead, an ecumenical council is a more solemn exercise of the ordinary magisterium. Definitions of faith though they are the most extraordinary or solemn exercises of the magisterium are not definitive simply because of their solemnity. They are instead definitive because the magisterium in exercising its divinely vested authority manifests the intention to teach in a binding manner. And no particular "forms" are required to do this - though when matters of divine faith are involved, there is usually a formulary of some sorts which is followed. But there is no required form or solemnity required for definitive statements of doctrine that are not matters of divine faith.

I point out in my treatise that the infallibility of the magisterium according to the manifested intention of the First Vatican Council was not limited to matters of dogma. I also pointed out in a commentary on canon law 747-755 which references that work the reasons for this both according to Church teaching and also Church law. Though too much to delve into with any detail here, in summary the reason is because a definition of faith carries a censure of heresy.

And because heresy is such a grave offense - indeed it means denying truths revealed by God - no one is to rashly presume that any particular statement is a definition of faith. However, there is more to definitive teachings of the magisterium than a defined statement of faith.

The approach to church infallibility commonly espoused by self-styled "traditionalists", self-styled "progressivists", and even many who are identified as "conservatives" is much too legalistic and not traditionally organic enough. Indeed it was made clear at Vatican I that the definition of papal infallibility was not to be understood in a juridical sense. Yet most people still endeavour to explain it except in a sense contrary to the intention of the Council where the dogma was defined!!! I go over this in my treatise and in other sources and will not retread that ground here. Nonetheless, because infallibility is much more organic than juridical, this is why all that is required for the magisterium to teach infallibly is for the episcopal college teaching in concurrence on a matter pertaining to faith and morals which is to be held.

Likewise, the pope himself as the head of the college can also definitively settle theological controversies and the like without having to resort to a solemn definition. This is why all the assertions about the Council and even subsequent pontificates as "not at all teaching infallibly" are so patently absurd as to hardly be taken seriously. And if not for the wide diffusion of this error even amongst faithful Catholics, this would not be necessary to delve into as it is at all. (Not to mention if more Catholic were properly formed in the Catholic spiritual tradition.)

Functionally speaking, this means that any teaching where it can be reasonably discerned that a manifested intention of passing judgment by the magisterium is made, there is a presumption if you will of a definitive character to the teaching.{2} This is regardless of whether there is a recognizable defining act or not. For with anything short of a definition of faith, there are no required forms to teach definitively. All that is required is the manifested intention to do so and there are a few ways theologians are supposed to use in seeking to ascertain this. One way that is *not* valid is simply presuming that any teaching is ipso facto not definitive - and further still - that infallibility is the criterion of the truth or irreformability of a given teaching.

And of course theoretically when the episcopate teaches in concurrence on a point pertaining to faith or morals, that suffices for definitive teaching as well. Admittedly this is not easy to discern when the episcopate is scattered throughout the world. However, when they are assembled in ecumenical council, the unanimity of the episcopate is not difficult to verify.

So you ask if I would have to prove that they are violating some mysterious dogma of Vatican II for them to be excommunicated??? Not at all actually. Excommunication is for the offenses of of apostasy, heresy, and schism.{3} And while there is no apostasy or heresy involved here, there is schism. And therefore all I would have to reasonably point out was that they were opposing themselves in word and deed to the teachings and directives of the last ecumenical council. The fact that Pope Paul and his successors have made it clear that the council's teachings are to be observed by all the faithful means that if they are not observing them, they are defacto repudiating the supreme authority of the pope.{4}

Schism is a derelict that manifests itself implicitly and materially before becoming explicit or formal. Not every act of disobedience is schismatic of course. However Church law does make it clear that Christ's faithful are bound to preserve their communion with the Church at all times, even in their external actions (Can. 209 §1). Further still, it is made clear as a governing principle that when it comes to apparent external violations of precepts that imputability [of fault] is presumed, unless it appears otherwise (Can. 1321 §3). Therefore, those who manifest a refusal to submit to the authority of the pope or an ecumenical council - or who use the press or other mediums to encourage contempt of or disobedience to lawfully constituted authority - are to be presumed guilty.

Now mind you, one can civilly discuss these matters or disclose problems they may have to others provided that this is done with deference to the divinely vested authority. However, the fact that the overwhelming majority of self-styled "traditionalists" and self-styled "progressivists" do not do this means that they are not to be presumed as innocent of the crime of schism. Remember, schism is defined in the Church's Law as "the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (Canon 751). The CCC also defined schism as the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (CCC §2089). My Catholic Encyclopedic Dictionary with a 1941 copyright (and a 1930 Imprimatur) also defines schism in precisely this same way.

So essentially, if there are manifested exterior violations of Church teachings or Church laws, the burden of proof is on those who would by all appearances be failing to adhere to Church teaching or Church law. Those who show a track record of this behaviour in particular deserve no benefit of the doubt whatsoever. And for this reason, those who deny or manifest a contempt either the teachings of the Second Vatican Council or the popes are ipso facto presumed to be not preserving their communion with the Church.

The Fathers of the Church were unequivocal about this, the Doctors and Saints were unequivocal about this, indeed one of the few teachings which the often-abused "consensus of the Fathers" moniker applies is to those who rejected the resolutions of an ecumenical council or who did not maintain communion with the Apostolic See were schismatics. And of course the Code indicates that a schismatic is ipso facto excommunicated precisely as heretics and apostates are (cf Canon 1364 §1).{5}

However, it is not the job of people like you and me to run around creating divisions with this information. Instead, it is up to us to try and bring these people back to the fold and leave the pronouncing of judgment on these matters to the competent ecclesiastical authorities. (The pope and the diocesan bishops.)

Those who are public heretics or public schismatics are of course to be brought to the attention of the local ordinaries if this is expedient to do without creating undue scandal. (And also if no other means to diminish their influence is possible.) But other avenues should always be exhausted first - even if it means trying a few times with them.

So again, this logic is quite in error, since Shawn doesn't tell the entire story,

Well, this is partially true. There are some parts of the story I do not tell because I want to avoid unduly scandalizing self-styled "traditionalists" any more than what I already go over does.

and there is far more to the traditionalist position than what Shawn details,

The very notion that there is a single "traditionalist position" is absurd on its face. I am much more delineated than this in my writings and statements and have always been.

he should know this, being he was once a "traditionalist" as he loves to proclaim.

I do not love to proclaim that I was once a self-styled "traditionalist." I only do so because (i) it is true and (ii) because I have due to my past involvement some insight into this movement that a lot of its critics may not have.

All self-styled "traditionalists" who do not practice traditional obedience do this to varying degrees. And over time, as they imbibe the mentality of rebellion, they disobey more and more until finally, they are only honouring the office of the pope and not the man who occupies the office. And at that point, they are no different than the sedevacantists except for the fact that they pay lip service to honouring the pope. But as they do not render to him the obedience required to be a Catholic in communion with the Church, they are functionally sedevacantist.

Of course, what is "traditional obedience?"  Based on what he says above, one can argue it means the Pope cannot do any wrong. Of course Shawn does not claim this, but in application, I would argue this is the main problem of conservative Catholicism, everything the Pope does is right, despite the fact history shows us Peter hasn't always been the strong rock he should've been.

Here is the key fallacy in Kevin's argument. Traditional obedience is not contingent on whether or not the pope does wrong or theoretically can do wrong.

Now as far as his challenge to me that "those who are sede vacanists" were once ardently upholding traditionalism as I do, that’s irrelevant.

No it is not. This is a very serious problem with the "traditionalist" weltanschauung.

That’s like saying someone who was once a star political conservative who is now a liberal, therefore conservatism is bad.

This is a very poor analogy. Sedevacantists are heretics and if false "traditionalism" is oftentimes the drawbridge to sedevacantism (which it is and this can be demonstrated) then that makes false "traditionalism" what used to be called a "proximate occasion of sin" - and heresy is arguably the worst possible kind of sin.

Just because certain people hold positions and change them, does not make everyone guilty of what they did, or necessarily entail they will become one.  

See my previous comments.

The majority of Evangelical Apologists were raised "Catholics" though this doesn't mean I'm on my way to becoming an Evangelical Apologist! 

This is to some extent an example of the logical fallacy of context-switching. However, there is a grain of truth in it so let us water that seed and see if it can be cultivated.

Those who become Catholics from other religions are usually people who are either very moral or who are seeking the truth and come to realize that Catholicism and its higher moral standards manifest that truth. By contrast, those Catholics who leave for other religions tend to have one of two characteristics, either (i) they were not sufficiently instructed in the faith or (ii) they could not handle the higher demands of Catholic moral teaching and left for a religion with lower standards.

Likewise, the self-styled "traditionalist" usually starts out either angry or confused (or both) and from there they either do not investigate the issues very carefully or - if they do - they either end up returning to the Church or gradually alienating themselves from the Church. Like the Catholic who leaves the Church for a laxer moral standard, the "traditionalist" who continually rebels against the divinely constituted magisterial authorities cultivates a schismatic mentality which breeds material schism.

From there they eventually either formalize the material schism in the external forum (as Archbishop Lefebvre did) or they go into heresy - the latter being the sedevacantists. So while in one sense your analogy does not apply in another sense it actually makes my case very well when it is drawn out a little.

To be Continued...


{1} If we factor out the baptism of dying infants and other similarly deceptive situations that inflated the "conversion numbers" accorded to the oriental missions in the past.

{2} Obviously this does not apply to matters of discipline.

{3} And for extraordinary situations which pertain to matters of discipline/government.

{4} By rejecting the resolutions of a council that he sanctioned as oecumenical by virtue of his Apostolic authority.

{5} And all heretics and schismatics deny that they are heretics and schismatics of course - always trying to invoke excuses to justify their dissidence.