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 The Meaning of the "una cum" clause 
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New post Una cum vs Mario/Cekada
John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
Fr. Cekada's argument that the Holy Mass is offered in union with Benedict XVI is merely one single point out of the ten he makes. It is point no. seven. In other words, even assuming that the "una cum" clause in no way makes the Mass being offered in union with Benedict, this still does not get rid of the other problems. Here is Fr. Cekada's summary. The sedevacantist who attends an una cum Mass, Fr. argues:

(1) Tells a pernicious lie.
(2) Professes communion with heretics.
(3) Recognizes as legitimate the Ecumenical, One-World Church.
(4) Implicitly professes a false religion.


Each of these is actually one point,


Yes, Mario. You are incorrect in your assessment of this. John is correct on this point, as he is on everything else he covered in this post.

I am glad to see that at least one person here is able to "cut to the chase" and address the issues without obfuscation and/or unnecessary verbiage. :D

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New post Re: Una Cum
marioderksen wrote:
Schism, like any sin, is an act of the will.


It has its object and its subject, like any sin and any crime. I explained already, Mario, that the matter of schism is the refusal of subjection to the Roman Pontiff. This element is lacking. Ergo, there is no matter of this sin present. Period. Game over, case closed, think of another accusation.

If the matter is lacking, there is no "material" sin or crime. This is indisputable. The fact that it is disputed raises grave questions about the moptivation and methodology of those who created this argument.

But don't let me convince you, please read the following excerpts from Fr. Cekada's "The First Stone" through slowly and ask yourself how you (or he) could possibly overturn them.
Quote:
First, church law defines very precisely what a heretic is and what a schismatic is. No clergyman, unless he's gloriously reigning as Christ's Vicar, has the right to go beyond the precise meanings of those definitions. If any of the conditions church law lays down for being a heretic or a schismatic are not met, you are simply not a heretic or a schismatic.

Second, to incur the penalty for a grave crime like heresy or schism, a number of other conditions must all be present (an external act, a completed offense, mortal sin and obstinacy -- the latter not as it is commonly understood, but as the law defines it). (9) In matters where punishments are involved, more-over, a more benign interpretation (i.e., in your favor) must be followed. If there's a doubt of fact -- whether you've committed a given crime, say -- the penalty cannot be imposed, since, as one canonist notes, "it would be inhuman to do so." (10)

....

You don't become a schismatic, you see, by belonging to a group that has skeletons in its closet, used hierarchical titles for its officials, thought it was the Church's only hope, approached former Old Catholics for episcopal consecration, had a corrupt leader, or was guilty of any one of the thousand-and-one other stale accusations one may care to dredge up from Mount St. Michael's past. None of it is "schism."

You become a schismatic if and only if you obstinately rebel against a pope's lawful authority, or refuse ecclesiastical communion with Catholics subject to him.

Here is the definition of "schismatic" as it appears in the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law: "If someone, after receiving baptism and retaining the name 'Christian,' pertinaciously.., refuses to be subject to the Roman Pontiff, or refuses to communicate with the members of the Church who are subject to him, he is a schismatic." (14)

That's all there is to it. It only remains to ask a few simple questions to see whether this definition applies to the facts on the Mount St. Michael group:

(1) Did the members of this group receive baptism and retain the name Christian? Yes. (2) Did the members of this group "pertinaciously refuse to be subject to the Roman Pontiff"? No. (15) From the beginning through the present, the group's leaders and members have insisted time and again that they are nothing other than Roman Catholics who want to preserve the faith in face of the terrible destruction wrought by the Second Vatican Council. (16) (3) Did the members of this group "refuse to communicate [be in communion] with the members of the Church subject to the Roman Pontiff"? No again. Like the Society of St. Pius V and other traditional organizations, however, the Mount St. Michael group insists that members receive only the traditional sacraments -- not out of rebellion against the Holy See, of course, but out of fear of sacrilege.

Commenting on the Canon's definition, moreover, the canonist Father Charles Augustine noted the following: "The Holy Office very properly decided that separation from the See of Peter meant a split in the unity and apostolicity of the Church and setting up another Church in place of the one founded by Christ." (17) Whatever the St. Michael's group can be accused of, it is most certainly not that.

The St. Pius V Fathers have published at least 9 public statements condemning Mount St. Michael. (18) Despite that, they have not produced one scintilla of evidence demonstrating that either the St. Michael's group as a whole or its individual members are guilty of what the Church defines as "schism."

The evidence, I submit, doesn't exist. And since that's the case, the law of the Roman Catholic Church does not deem the St. Michael's group "schismatics." Neither, therefore, should anyone.

Since the Society's key charge against these devout people is no longer tenable, the rest of its case disappears into thin and extremely hot air.

....

The history of the Mount St. Michael group -- like any other traditional organization -- is littered with missteps, misdeeds and mistakes, all of them (insofar as we can tell) honest. If a priest therefore would still attempt to condemn them as "schismatics," let him first consider the words of Father Cappello, the pre-eminent canonist of Pius XII's reign:

"Wherefore, whatever excuses from serious guilt, for example, ignorance or good faith, excuses likewise from the crime of schism, and consequently from the censure." (30)

TO SUM UP: Church law defines a "schismatic" as one who pertinaciously refuses to be subject to the Roman Pontiff or refuses to be in communion with the members of the Church who are subject to him.

Mount St. Michael as an institution and the thousands of people associated with it, whatever else they may be criticized for in the past, are simply not guilty of this. Hence, they cannot be called "schismatics."

It is time, therefore, for the clergy who have conducted bitter and divisive campaigns against Mount St. Michael to drop their phony charges of "schism," their fictitious crime of "in communion with," their punishments for innocent souls who only want the sacraments.

But if neither church law nor common decency can deter them from their bitter course, let them then look to the dust of their own pasts, there to find writ large the same sins they see in others. And let them at least then imitate other men like them long ago, who stole away in silence, hearing the Voice which said: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone."



marioderksen wrote:
(1) The SSPX position which says that in our times, we must refuse submission to the Pope, is wrong and schismatic.

No, their position is erroneous. It suggests that it is possible to find oneself in a situation requiring habitual disobedience to the Roman Pontiff. This is wrong, and they ought to be casting about for a superior solution to the theoretical difficulty entailed by their position. However, it is not schism, even "material". I suppose you realise, Mario, that the commentators pretty much universally note that not every kind of disobedience is schism? One could maintain a lengthy and complete position of disobedience to the (real) Roman Pontiff on some essential point and still not clearly be guilty of schism. History provides numerous such cases.


marioderksen wrote:
(3) The SSPX refuses submission to Benedict XVI.

Not in the way in which the canonists define "schism", actually.

marioderksen wrote:
The situation with the SSPX simply isn't a clear-cut "either they're schismatics or they're not." I think most people would agree with me on that.

Well, not Bishop "either way you slice it" Sanborn. But leaving aside personalities, if there is no "clear cut" schism (or "material schism") then you don't make the case and then give them a conditional pass. These are our brethren, fellow adopted sons of God, members of the Mystical Body, constituent parts of the Catholic Church. If it is not schism, then we should say that it is not "schism."

marioderksen wrote:
Quote:
1. My understanding is that schism is the separation from the true church and the setting up of a church in opposition. Has the SSPX separated from the true church and what new church have they formed?


If you're looking for a clear answer from me, I don't have one, and frankly, I don't think anyone else does either. You need not set up your own church in opposition to the true Church to be a schismatic, btw.

Fr. Charles Augustine: "The Holy Office very properly decided that separation from the See of Peter meant a split in the unity and apostolicity of the Church and setting up another Church in place of the one founded by Christ." (Quoted by Fr. Cekada).


marioderksen wrote:
If he is believed to be the true one, of course. It would be the sin of schism on your conscience, though not the ecclesiastical crime of schism. My authority on that is Catholic moral theology. Take Fr. Dominic Prummer, OP: "Everyone is obliged to follow his conscience whether it commands or forbids some action, not only when it is true but also when it is in invincible error" (Handbook of Moral Theology, par. 139). Fr. Prummer gives an example: "Anyone who thinks that to-day is a fast-day, although as a matter of fact it is not, and in spite of his conviction does not observe the fast commits formal sin" (ibid.). So, to apply this to the matter at hand, anyone who believes X to be the Pope (in invincible ignorance) and consciously and maliciously refuses submission to him, commits the formal sin of schism.

Not every kind or act of disobedience is "schism" and therefore in any given case the sin would not properly be labelled "schism" even materially. This is just a bad argument and ought to be abandoned. It leads to unnecessary disunity, and is loaded with unclear thinking which creates barriers to the truth in the minds of those who become enmeshed in it.

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Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:50 pm
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New post Re: Una cum vs Mario/Cekada
marioderksen wrote:
Fr. Cekada's argument that the Holy Mass is offered in union with Benedict XVI is merely one single point out of the ten he makes. It is point no. seven. In other words, even assuming that the "una cum" clause in no way makes the Mass being offered in union with Benedict, this still does not get rid of the other problems. Here is Fr. Cekada's summary. The sedevacantist who attends an una cum Mass, Fr. argues:

(1) Tells a pernicious lie.
(2) Professes communion with heretics.
(3) Recognizes as legitimate the Ecumenical, One-World Church.
(4) Implicitly professes a false religion.


Dear Ken,

Yes, and further, we wonder how much Fr. Cekada really believes his own principle in this case anyway. Think about it. He is arguing that whatever the priest does, the layman is deemed to agree, to the point that if the layman is present when the priest names a false pope (silently) then the layman who knows this is actually telling a "pernicious lie." Now, if this principle be true, then any sedeplenist sitting in a pew at a Mass offered by a sedevacantist is "telling a pernicious lie" too, because the priest is pointedly omitting any name, thus unambiguously indicating that he rejects the claim of Benedict XVI. On Fr. Cekada's principle the layman is deemed to agree with this act of the priest and is therefore guilty of a pernicious lie against his own mind. Terrible sacrilege!

So what precautions has Fr. Cekada (or Bishop Sanborn, or any sedevacantist priest) taken to ensure that this sacrilegious sin is not committed in his chapel? Is there a large sign at the door, announcing that the celebrant believes that the See of Rome is vacant, and if you do not agree with this, please do not under any circumstances actively assist at Holy Mass here, because otherwise you will be committing a grave sin of dishonesty, a sacrilege? No, there is no such sign.

Are there any plans to erect such a sign? If not, why not?

The truth, I suggest, is that nobody really believes this "principle" except perhaps a few naive and uncritical readers of Fr. Cekada's article.

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Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:02 pm
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Pax Christi !


Quote:
Are there any plans to erect such a sign? If not, why not?




Tooooo Shay, as they say in fencing ! :)

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Vincent


Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:22 pm
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New post Re: Una Cum
AMWills wrote:
Catholicism is the "the hill to die for". You don't throw away the weapons and armour the Church provides in Her sacraments to fight the battle. Nor do you turn your guns on your fellow Catholics who are also ready to die for the Church because they don't run as fast as you or discern the enemy as quickly as you do. You help them.


So what are you saying? That when Fr. Cekada wrote articles for sedevacantism (and against the SSPX position), he wasn't helping people but instead was turning his guns on his fellow Catholics? Why is there so much emotion in this debate? Fr. Cekada is helping you (if he is right) - just as he is helping people by being right about sedevacantism.

(I intend to post more here shortly, as time allows.)

Mario


Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:00 am
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New post Re: Una Cum
marioderksen wrote:
So what are you saying? That when Fr. Cekada wrote articles for sedevacantism (and against the SSPX position), he wasn't helping people but instead was turning his guns on his fellow Catholics? Why is there so much emotion in this debate? Fr. Cekada is helping you (if he is right) - just as he is helping people by being right about sedevacantism.


AMWills can answer for himself, but there is an air of unreality about this, Mario.

Please remember that out here in the real world we are aware of the following facts:

1. Fr. Cekada has been bitterly opposed to the SSPX since he was expelled from it in 1983 and fought lawsuits against it over properties etc.
2. Fr. Cekada actually wants all laymen to avoid the SSPX at all times.
3. Fr. Cekada introduces emotionally loaded terms and makes moral judgements concerning the SSPX and other opponents, as a matter of course. (For example, he says in his article on Orders that it "is appalling that the SSPX superiors recycled them to market the validity of that same rite to an unsuspecting traditionalist laity." And, "And as for the superiors of SSPX, their attempt to purchase a side chapel in Ratzinger’s One-World Ecumenical Church by defending his counterfeit episcopacy betrays the clergy, the faithful and the founder of the Society." I could quote other examples - his approach is notorious. And incidentally, I know for a fact that it dramatically reduces his readership and effectiveness.)

Therefore, please present your complaints about emotional language to Fr. Cekada when you see him next at St. Gertrude's. He can certainly do a great deal to cool the debates on subjects on which traditional Catholics differ. Further, in line with his well-known agenda against the SSPX, please don't go along with this imposture that Fr. Cekada is only against assistance by sedevacantists at the Masses of non-sedevacantists. This present argument is like witnessing a Greenpeace activist attacking Japanese whaling vessels over the Greenhouse effect of their fuel usage. One knows the real agenda, so that even if the micro-complaint appears intrinsically probable to somebody who has ingested the Greenpeace Kool-Aid (but not to rational humanity), one would not expect that too much time and effort would be wasted on it.

Amazingly, Fr. Cekada has stated in the article under discussion here that he considers "the issue crucial for the future of the traditionalist movement." That the issue of sedevacantists assisting at Holy Mass offered by non-sedevacantists is crucial for the future of the traditionalist movement seems to me to be beyond the realms of rational judgement. It's the kind of thing which only an emotionally-involved person could conceivably conclude. Sorry, but that's the way it seems.

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Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:25 am
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New post Re: Una Cum
Dear John,

John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
Schism, like any sin, is an act of the will.


It has its object and its subject, like any sin and any crime. I explained already, Mario, that the matter of schism is the refusal of subjection to the Roman Pontiff. This element is lacking. Ergo, there is no matter of this sin present. Period. Game over, case closed, think of another accusation.


Several things here. First, I resent the constant (but probably not conscious) insinuation that my position regarding the SSPX is not sincere. "Think of another accusation" implies that I am simply looking for accusations because I somehow resent the SSPX. That's not true. I have no personal quarrels with the SSPX, nor with any particular cleric. I did not leave them after a fight, nor was I wronged by them or anything. I simply left because I came to see that sedevacantism was true, in large part thanks to John Daly's speech at the 2002 conference. I have no ulterior motive in regards to the SSPX's status. If it turns out they are not schismatic (and after having read more on this, I am more inclined to see them as not schismatic after all), all the better!

Second, I have finally read your 2002 una cum article and understand schism better now, especially as it relates to the SSPX (more on that in another post).

Third, John, you are mistaken if you think (as your comment quoted above seems to indicate) that there can be no sin of schism if one is not actually refusing submission to a real Pope (I am speaking in general right now - forgetting for the moment about the SSPX and all that; I am just addressing your argument that there is no matter for schism if one isn't refusing communion with a real Pope). That's what the quote from Fr. Prummer shows. The invincibly erroneous conscience must be obeyed under pain of formal, i.e. real, sin. This is entirely reasonable, for there is no way to know that one's conscience is erroneous when it is invincibly so. So, while there is no ecclesiastical crime of schism, I do not see how there would not be the sin of schism for the individual. And while I am quite open to changing my position on how or whether this applies to the SSPX or its adherents, the point I am making right now is only in opposition to your argument that one cannot commit the sin of schism if one refuses submission to a false Pope one believes to be a true one.

Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
(1) The SSPX position which says that in our times, we must refuse submission to the Pope, is wrong and schismatic.

No, their position is erroneous. It suggests that it is possible to find oneself in a situation requiring habitual disobedience to the Roman Pontiff. This is wrong, and they ought to be casting about for a superior solution to the theoretical difficulty entailed by their position. However, it is not schism, even "material". I suppose you realise, Mario, that the commentators pretty much universally note that not every kind of disobedience is schism? One could maintain a lengthy and complete position of disobedience to the (real) Roman Pontiff on some essential point and still not clearly be guilty of schism. History provides numerous such cases.

Yes, I realize that disobedience is not schism per se, and wasn't trying to say otherwise.

Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
(3) The SSPX refuses submission to Benedict XVI.

Not in the way in which the canonists define "schism", actually.


Alright, and this is something that can be debated on another thread, and with lots of merit, so I will not pursue this further on here.

Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
If you're looking for a clear answer from me, I don't have one, and frankly, I don't think anyone else does either. You need not set up your own church in opposition to the true Church to be a schismatic, btw.

Fr. Charles Augustine: "The Holy Office very properly decided that separation from the See of Peter meant a split in the unity and apostolicity of the Church and setting up another Church in place of the one founded by Christ." (Quoted by Fr. Cekada).

I don't recall now where I read this, but I remember reading in some authoritative manual that it is by no means necessary to set up a church in opposition to the Catholic Church to be a schismatic. But be that as it may, I am not going to push this argument....

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Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:53 pm
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New post Re: Una cum vs Mario/Cekada
John Lane wrote:
Yes, and further, we wonder how much Fr. Cekada really believes his own principle in this case anyway. Think about it. He is arguing that whatever the priest does, the layman is deemed to agree, to the point that if the layman is present when the priest names a false pope (silently) then the layman who knows this is actually telling a "pernicious lie." Now, if this principle be true, then any sedeplenist sitting in a pew at a Mass offered by a sedevacantist is "telling a pernicious lie" too, because the priest is pointedly omitting any name, thus unambiguously indicating that he rejects the claim of Benedict XVI. On Fr. Cekada's principle the layman is deemed to agree with this act of the priest and is therefore guilty of a pernicious lie against his own mind. Terrible sacrilege!


I am not sure you can reverse it like that, John, because silence is, well, silence. It's not like the priest is explicitly stating in the Mass that he is offering the Mass "without Benedict XVI."


Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:04 pm
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John Lane wrote:
I distinguish. That those who assist at Holy Mass are presumed to accept the celebrant as a fellow Catholic, properly ordained, etc.: I concede. That those who assist at Holy Mass are presumed to accept the entire theoretical position of the celebrant by which the latter seeks to explain the current universal and unprecedented chaos and distress in the Catholic Church: I deny.


OK, John, I appreciate the distinction. I am not sure whether I agree entirely, but it's a good point to be considered, esp. with the confusion in the Church today. The issue with the SSPX's "union" with the New Church is a very slippery one, no doubt.

Quote:
The onus of proof is the other way. And in any case, I can’t prove a negative. I can only ask you to consider properly and form a reasonable judgement about what really is presumed by the faithful and what therefore must be overturned.


I understand; yet, I think the presumption that a man who actively participates in the Holy Mass of a certain priest actually agrees with the prayers the priest prays, as he prays them, is a very strong one. And so perhaps it's best if we take the position that both sides ought to prove their case, and leave the whole "onus of proof" issue aside. Why not have both sides prove their case?


Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:16 pm
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New post Re: Una Cum
John Lane wrote:
Amazingly, Fr. Cekada has stated in the article under discussion here that he considers "the issue crucial for the future of the traditionalist movement." That the issue of sedevacantists assisting at Holy Mass offered by non-sedevacantists is crucial for the future of the traditionalist movement seems to me to be beyond the realms of rational judgement. It's the kind of thing which only an emotionally-involved person could conceivably conclude. Sorry, but that's the way it seems.


John, I appreciate your points. Regarding this particular one, though, I believe Fr. Cekada is saying this with a view to what the future probably holds, namely, the re-absorption of the SSPX into "full communion" with the New Church. We know for a fact that the Vatican is working on this, and we also know that the SSPX leadership (or some in it) is not entirely opposed to the idea. With Summorum Pontificum now, it is much easier to find a "Traditional Mass" said by a priest who is not sedevacantist. Such a priest considers himself, to some extent or another, subject to Benedict XVI, and he may feel bound by this or that directive that a sedevacantist cannot or should not accept. I think pointing this out is prudent.

But I think that, in context, Fr. Cekada was speaking specifically about the una cum issue. Now, whether or not that is crucially impacting the future of the traditionalist movement depends on whether or not it is permissible to assist at such a Mass. Fr. Cekada argues no - and so of course he can say that it is crucial. I see no contradiction there in his position. If he is right, then this point is very important and well taken.


Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:31 pm
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John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
I have asked John Lane to tell me (and perhaps he has by now and I haven't seen it yet) why it is that resistance to the revolution is his "litmus test" for considering someone a Catholic (John, please pardon if I am mistakenly misrepresenting your view) while ignoring other errors against the faith (in the SSPX).


Actually, I think it is tolerably well known that I have put in and continue to put in a substantial effort against error, whether made by Modernists, sedevacantists, or SSPX members. Fr. Boulet's unfortunately very widely circulated booklet against sedevacantism has received no answer from any other source, and my own response runs to tens of thousands of words, of which something approaching fifteen thousand have been published in The Four Marks so far (interrupted by my duties for the past couple of issues). In addition, this forum contains very large slabs of argumentation directed exclusively at errors held by SSPX members, including for example in relation to the ordinary magisterium.

Anyway, since you're apparently not aware of these things, yes, you do misunderstand my "view." Here is my attitude in summary form: I don't like errors, either against the Faith or against the other truths presented in the theology manuals, and I don't like schisms either. I could be wrong about everything (other than things pertaining directly to the Faith, I hope!), but that is my "view."


John, you have misunderstood what I was saying, and it may have been my fault for not being clear enough. I did not mean that you tolerate or ignore error per se. What I meant was that I don't understand (and still don't really) why it is that despite holding to this or that egregious theological error, the SSPX is considered OK to go to, but the indult/Motu Mass of a valid priest is not. If the errors are innocent, which we should presume on both sides, then I don't understand why you can say we can go to an SSPX Mass but not an indult/Motu Mass of a valid priest. I remember you saying something about the indult priest not resisting the errors of Vatican II enough, but if this is innocent, because he (presumably) is adhering to the correct principles regarding submission to the Pope and the Church's magisterial authority, then why is the SSPX Mass OK to go to but not the indult Mass? That's what I meant. Why is the SSPX Mass "tolerable" (in that sense!) but the indult Mass is not?

Quote:
marioderksen wrote:
I am not against considering SSPX adherents Catholics (not at all!), I just think that Novus Ordos in good faith ought to be extended the same courtesy. Because though the SSPX upholds Church teachings that Novus Ordos implicitly deny (on ecumenism, religious liberty, ecclesiology, etc.), the Novus Ordos, by contrast, uphold Church teachings that the SSPX denies (authority of the Pope, infallibility of canonizations, nature of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, etc.). Why is one error more tolerable than another?


Well, since there are distinct kinds of truths and different grades and bases of certitude, there are different levels and kinds of toleration we can and ought to maintain towards different errors in the concrete. But abstracting entirely from that, I don't tolerate any error per se.


OK, understood. So, for example, you are saying that we cannot go to the Mass of an indult priest, who (presumably) holds that religious liberty is a right men have, even though that belief of his is held by mistake, and the source he's getting this mistaken teaching from is an entity that is believed by virtually all people to be the Catholic Church and has never been condemned by the true Church?


Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:03 pm
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New post Re: Una Cum
marioderksen wrote:
Several things here. First, I resent the constant (but probably not conscious) insinuation that my position regarding the SSPX is not sincere. "Think of another accusation" implies that I am simply looking for accusations because I somehow resent the SSPX. That's not true. I have no personal quarrels with the SSPX, nor with any particular cleric. I did not leave them after a fight, nor was I wronged by them or anything.


Dear Mario,

More later on your other points, but for now I wish to apologise for any insinuation along those lines, which was not intentional. It was merely my ill-disciplined rhetorical flourish.

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Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:25 pm
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New post Re: Una Cum
John Lane wrote:
marioderksen wrote:
Several things here. First, I resent the constant (but probably not conscious) insinuation that my position regarding the SSPX is not sincere. "Think of another accusation" implies that I am simply looking for accusations because I somehow resent the SSPX. That's not true. I have no personal quarrels with the SSPX, nor with any particular cleric. I did not leave them after a fight, nor was I wronged by them or anything.


Dear Mario,

More later on your other points, but for now I wish to apologise for any insinuation along those lines, which was not intentional. It was merely my ill-disciplined rhetorical flourish.


No problem, John. :wink:

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Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:04 pm
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Dear Mario,

marioderksen wrote:
What I meant was that I don't understand (and still don't really) why it is that despite holding to this or that egregious theological error, the SSPX is considered OK to go to, but the indult/Motu Mass of a valid priest is not. If the errors are innocent, which we should presume on both sides, then I don't understand why you can say we can go to an SSPX Mass but not an indult/Motu Mass of a valid priest.


OK, let's just understand the fundamental viewpoint I take on these things.

I'm not about saving the Church. I'm not about limiting other people's options for assisting at the Holy Sacrifice or receiving the sacraments. I'm about finding safety and assisting others by informing them of what I think are the issues and the solutions that I see. That's all.

Our Lord Jesus Christ will save His Church in accord with His eternal plan, and He has not appointed me to assist.

Now, I cannot see any principle by which one would not be permitted to assist at the Mass of a priest who erred on, say, religious liberty, because he thought he was believing what the Catholic Church teaches. The man remains a Catholic, and publicly so. On what principle is one disallowed to assist at his Mass?

Of course, it is an entirely distinct question whether it would be wise to assist at such a man's Mass. Especially if one is responsible for other souls, such as children. His error might be entirely innocent, but it still could endanger others, particularly the young and the simple. Of course, against this kind of consideration one must weigh the value of assistance at the Holy Sacrifice and the reception of the sacraments (and, of course, the very grave obligation to hear Mass on Sundays and Holy Days). It isn't a simple question, and it has provided most traditional Catholics with a grey hair or two over the decades of this crisis.

I certainly understand the desire to simplify this problem by identifying a magic bullet which will kill off most options and leave only what the simplifier would consider completely safe possibilities. But despite understanding this tendency, I can't endorse it, because it is untrue, unsound, and actually dangerous. Further, it savours of a desire to solve the crisis, as though any essentially private figure could "save the Church."


marioderksen wrote:
I remember you saying something about the indult priest not resisting the errors of Vatican II enough, but if this is innocent, because he (presumably) is adhering to the correct principles regarding submission to the Pope and the Church's magisterial authority, then why is the SSPX Mass OK to go to but not the indult Mass? That's what I meant. Why is the SSPX Mass "tolerable" (in that sense!) but the indult Mass is not?


Well, as I've said several times, I don't consider the Indult essentially "intolerable." But if one considers the attitude and circumstances of the typical Indult priest, assisting at his Mass is not an attractive proposition, to say the least. And frankly, most of them aren't priests and in most places one can reach an SSPX or sedevacantist Mass centre, so the problem is not very concrete. (I've never been to an Indult Mass and I can't see that I ever would assist at a Mass offered by a non-traditionalist priest.)

You must also remember that I have never had any criticism of those who think it better not to assist at the Indult or at SSPX Masses or indeed any kind of Mass. I may feel sorry for some people, but I don't criticise them. My only criticism has been of attempts to convince others of these dangerous and essentially unsound simplifications which sophistically argue for the existence of laws which don't actually exist.

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Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:47 pm
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New post Re: Una Cum
marioderksen wrote:
John, I appreciate your points. Regarding this particular one, though, I believe Fr. Cekada is saying this with a view to what the future probably holds, namely, the re-absorption of the SSPX into "full communion" with the New Church. We know for a fact that the Vatican is working on this, and we also know that the SSPX leadership (or some in it) is not entirely opposed to the idea. With Summorum Pontificum now, it is much easier to find a "Traditional Mass" said by a priest who is not sedevacantist. Such a priest considers himself, to some extent or another, subject to Benedict XVI, and he may feel bound by this or that directive that a sedevacantist cannot or should not accept. I think pointing this out is prudent.


All of this is good analysis of the motives of Fr. Cekada, but it's irrelevant to the truth. Either the SSPX leadership compromises or it doesn't. If and when it does, the tragic implications will need to be assessed. But in order to come up with an innoculation shot now, in order to protect the faithful, one must still maintain strict regard for truth. The "una cum" nonsense isn't true. Therefore it is worthless and dangerous.


marioderksen wrote:
But I think that, in context, Fr. Cekada was speaking specifically about the una cum issue. Now, whether or not that is crucially impacting the future of the traditionalist movement depends on whether or not it is permissible to assist at such a Mass. Fr. Cekada argues no - and so of course he can say that it is crucial. I see no contradiction there in his position. If he is right, then this point is very important and well taken.

Sure, except that if it's true, why didn't he notice it before? And if it is because he was blind for thirty years, he should say so, and try to indicate what lifted the scales from his eyes; and if he has discovered new data, he ought to be more humble in presenting it, and of course tag it as "new". To come out with this novelty as though it were ancient wisdom, and criticise most sedevacantist priests and laymen for failing to see what he himself didn't see for decades is, frankly, preposterous. But of course I'm glad he has so overblown his case - it discredits it more effectively than any argument of mine could do. There is nothing like a pair of stilts to make a case ridiculous.

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Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:59 pm
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marioderksen wrote:
And so perhaps it's best if we take the position that both sides ought to prove their case, and leave the whole "onus of proof" issue aside. Why not have both sides prove their case?


Nobody can prove a negative.

What is not forbidden is permitted. Ergo.

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New post Re: Una cum vs Mario/Cekada
marioderksen wrote:
I am not sure you can reverse it like that, John, because silence is, well, silence. It's not like the priest is explicitly stating in the Mass that he is offering the Mass "without Benedict XVI."

Mario, I think you just granted my whole case.

And at any rate, you must know about sins of omission. Silence is even consent, in certain circumstances, so it is hardly always a mere absence of signification. In the present case you must surely be aware of the great significance attached at all times to the inclusion or omission of names in the diptychs. Indeed, it is the misunderstanding of this point which gives such apparent force to the "anti-una cum" argument.

I repeat, if it is true (which I do not concede) that the layman is deemed to agree with every act of the priest at the altar, then it is true that the layman agrees with the pointed, deliberate, omission of Benedict's name by the priest. This is so clear and direct a point that I think it is axiomatic. There does not appear to be any step of reasoning involved - one proposition includes the other.

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New post Re: Una Cum
marioderksen wrote:
Third, John, you are mistaken if you think (as your comment quoted above seems to indicate) that there can be no sin of schism if one is not actually refusing submission to a real Pope (I am speaking in general right now - forgetting for the moment about the SSPX and all that; I am just addressing your argument that there is no matter for schism if one isn't refusing communion with a real Pope). That's what the quote from Fr. Prummer shows. The invincibly erroneous conscience must be obeyed under pain of formal, i.e. real, sin. This is entirely reasonable, for there is no way to know that one's conscience is erroneous when it is invincibly so. So, while there is no ecclesiastical crime of schism, I do not see how there would not be the sin of schism for the individual. And while I am quite open to changing my position on how or whether this applies to the SSPX or its adherents, the point I am making right now is only in opposition to your argument that one cannot commit the sin of schism if one refuses submission to a false Pope one believes to be a true one.


Dear Mario,

What is the matter of schism?

Billot explains that in relation to heresy, which is essentially a decision to choose what one will believe and what one will doubt or deny, a mistake about what the magisterium teaches is not even materially a heresy.

The same is true of schism. And there are two variable in view in the conversation we're having - the fact that not every form of disobedience is schism, and the fact that if there is no true pope there is no possibility of schism by disobedience anyway.

If there were any subjective sin in a sedeplenist traditionalist's "disobedience" to Benedict, it would be a sin of disobedience, not schism.

Which is not as useful rhetoric, if your aim is to scare the faithful to safety (i.e. into your own safe hands) but it enjoys the benefit of being a true approach.

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Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:19 pm
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New post Re: Re:
John Lane wrote:
Nobody can prove a negative.


Seems to me we have had a previous discussion on this statement: actually, that is not quite true.

I can certainly prove I am not dead. It is fairly easy to prove that the sun is not shining where you live when it is night there. Etc.

While it is most probably true that one cannot prove certain types of philosophical negatives, in general that statement is not true.

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Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:03 pm
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New post Re: Re:
KenGordon wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Nobody can prove a negative.


Seems to me we have had a previous discussion on this statement: actually, that is not quite true.

I can certainly prove I am not dead. It is fairly easy to prove that the sun is not shining where you live when it is night there. Etc.

While it is most probably true that one cannot prove certain types of philosophical negatives, in general that statement is not true.

Good point, Ken. I think the correct way to say it is: Nobody can prove a universal negative. For example, proving that there are no extraterrestrials. It's a universal negative because we're talking about any extraterrestrials. You could prove there are no ETs in your closet, but not that there aren't any at all anywhere, because you'd have to search the entire universe to do that. (I'm not saying there are extraterrestrials; this is just an example. One could prove it from divine revelation, perhaps, but not without it.)

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New post Re: Una Cum
John,

John Lane wrote:
What is the matter of schism?

Let me see if I can get this right. :D The matter of schism would be (from what I recall reading) a conscious, deliberate refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with members subject to the Roman Pontiff. Now I know where you're going with this. You're saying that if the man held to be the Roman Pontiff is not actually the Roman Pontiff, then there can be no sin of schism. But I don't think this is true, because then you're neutralizing the Church's teaching on the duty to obey an invincibly erroneous conscience. If I take a gun and deliberately shoot at what I think is a human, I am guilty of the sin of murder, even if it turns out that it was just a deer. Fr. Dominic Prummer is clear on that.

The same principle that exonerates a man who refuses submission to the Pope he mistakenly regards as a non-Pope, convicts the man who refuses submission to the non-Pope he mistakenly regards as the Pope. It works both ways. And you already agreed with that in the case of the Eastern Schismatics, who are currently refusing submission to a Non-Pope whom they believe to be a true Pope. I know you say that they have already been refusing submission to a true Pope (1958 and before), but this is immaterial to the point at hand, because the point I am making right now is a general point, not specifically one in regards to the SSPX and the una cum situation. There is the formal sin of schism in deliberately refusing submission to the Pope, even if the man being refused submission to is not the Pope, as long as one believes him to be. That - and only that - is the point I am making right now.

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Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:48 am
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New post Re: The Meaning of the "una cum" clause
Mario, I have just posted on a new thread an article written by John Daly for the Four Marks last May refuting the argument of the SSPX being in schism. He convincingly deals with your objections and any others that I have read so far.

If you have not read this article yet could you please take the time to do so, and then if you have not changed your mind on the issue could you answer John Daly's objections first before continuing further in presenting your case for the SSPX and schism, or schism from a false pope?

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Clement


Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:50 pm
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New post Re: Una Cum
marioderksen wrote:
The matter of schism would be (from what I recall reading) a conscious, deliberate refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with members subject to the Roman Pontiff.


Dear Mario,

I'm sticking with Billot, but I certainly follow your logic. The main point I'd make is that "schism" is a complete deliberate break with the Church. This is done by actually rejecting the authority of the pope, or by actually rejecting the communion of those subject to him. But in either case, as St. Thomas says - and all of the authors I have seen agree with him - the essential nature of this crime is that the schismatic intends to sever himself.

Neither the SSPX nor any other traditional Catholics come within cooee of such a notion. (Even the fanatical home-aloner thinks and says that he is protecting his relationship with the Church by refusing to leave his living room on Sunday mornings.)

marioderksen wrote:
There is the formal sin of schism in deliberately refusing submission to the Pope, even if the man being refused submission to is not the Pope, as long as one believes him to be. That - and only that - is the point I am making right now.


I understand, but I think that you have to admit that there can be no crime involved in such a case, because there is no assault on the social order, and further, that you are a long way from being able to label such a sin (if you could ever identify such a case in the concrete anyway) as "material schism" because that term is at best ambiguous.

In the absence of a pope it is extremely difficult to imagine a set of circumstances in which one could begin a new schism. Keep firmly in mind that actions, to be equivalent to clear words, must be unequivocal. While there is a plausible (indeed, manifest) alternative reason for the actions of sedeplenist traditionalists in resisting the authority of the man they think to be pope, there can be no claim of schism, precisely because there is no unequivocal action or actions which signify schismatic intent.

Thanks to Clement for obtaining that JS Daly article. I think that covers the ground more than adequately.

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Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:19 pm
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New post Re: The Meaning of the "una cum" clause
Mario,

I’ve not followed this discussion closely and if I’m off base here I’m sure you’ll let me know.

Quote:
If I take a gun and deliberately shoot at what I think is a human, I am guilty of the sin of murder, even if it turns out that it was just a deer. Fr. Dominic Prummer is clear on that.


The reason I shot at the human should be of interest, shouldn’t it? Do I also need to have the intent to murder him…and not just kill him for some other reason?

Robert


Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:36 am
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New post Re: The Meaning of the "una cum" clause
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Mario,

I’ve not followed this discussion closely and if I’m off base here I’m sure you’ll let me know.

Quote:
If I take a gun and deliberately shoot at what I think is a human, I am guilty of the sin of murder, even if it turns out that it was just a deer. Fr. Dominic Prummer is clear on that.


The reason I shot at the human should be of interest, shouldn’t it? Do I also need to have the intent to murder him…and not just kill him for some other reason?


You mean, such as actual, or perceived, self-defense, or the defense of another human being, perhaps?

I would say, yes, he would have to have the intent to murder in order for it to be a sin.

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Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:51 am
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New post Re: The Meaning of the "una cum" clause
I think that the SSPX is perhaps afflicted with 'schizophrenia', They are schizophrenics not schismatics. Not schismatics because the NO is not the true church and is itself in schism from the True Church.

The SSPX' continuous efforts to try and 'reconcile' with this NO Church befuddles me. Didn't Ratzinger himself say that this is a New Church? So new in fact that he didn't want the 400,000 traditional Episcopalians in his church.


Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:29 am
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New post Re: The Meaning of the "una cum" clause
Of potential interest in the present circumstances.


Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:49 am
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New post Re: The Meaning of the "una cum" clause
Is there any English translation of "Christus Novum Instituit Pascha Se Ipsum ab Ecclesis per Sacerdotes Sub Signis Visibilibus Immolandum" by Guerard des Lauriers around? As he is frequently cited as the originator of the una cum controversy, this might be of interest.


Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:39 pm
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