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 Stephen Heiner on the current situation 
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New post Stephen Heiner on the current situation
http://truerestoration.blogspot.com.au/ ... ugust.html

"Wait and see" is good.

Stephen Heiner wrote:
Before the official "seal of secrecy" was imposed on the Chapter, he took a vote to rubber-stamp his exclusion of Bishop Williamson from the Chapter. This is curious for three reasons:


1. The very action of excluding Bishop Williamson from the Chapter was, from the beginning, seen as an "executive decision." It was *not* something that Bishop Fellay or the General Council postulated as needing "official approval" from the District Superiors, etc.


2. Why not enclose this as business within the Chapter and the vow of secrecy and hence make the leak a bit more illicit? Addressing this item before the official start of the Chapter made it red meat to be leaked. And if Fr. Lorans and all the rest of the SSPX PR team hadn't learned their lesson from the ongoing "Tradileaks" trend, this was just one more.


3. Despite the fact that Bishop Fellay knew he had a majority of support in the Chapter, this was a way for him, at the outset, at the very beginning, to take the temperature of the Chapter. And it delivered: the verdict was 29-9. Nine clerics were convinced that despite his major public disagreements with Bishop Fellay, Bishop Williamson should have been included in the Chapter. What other assumptions can we make ...


"Assumptions" is right.

The fact that this matter was dealt with prior to the beginning of the General Chapter is not "curious" - it is obvious.

Let's get the facts down first.

1. Bishop Fellay stripped Bishop Williamson of his right of membership of the General Chapter.

2. Bishop Williamson appealed this decision.

3. The appeal was heard, and a vote held.

4. Then the General Chapter could and did commence.

Comments.

Bishop Fellay's act in relation to Bishop Williamson was indeed an executive act. If it hadn't been appealed, it would have stood, and there would have been no vote.

If the General Chapter had begun prior to the appeal being heard, it would have been assuming the failure of the appeal. This would be unjust.

So all of Stephen's inferences are unfounded. Bishop Fellay was not seeking "'official approval' from the District Superiors, etc." The matter was legally and necessarily prior to the commencement of the General Chapter, therefore there is nothing curious about the fact that it was dealt with when it was dealt with. The vote was a necessary component in the appeal process - it was the termination of it - and therefore was not designed "to take the temperature of the Chapter."

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:04 am
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
Sigh - given that I spoke to Bishop Williamson on the day this vote occurred, and that I shared my assessment of "temperature-taking" with him -and he agreed - I have to say that YOU are wrong in your assumptions, John.

You paint the scenario as if this was the *only* way that Bishop Fellay could have dealt with the situation, as if he is some kind of rabid rule-follower, when the reality is he just does whatever is politically expedient for him at the time.

I maintain it was temperature-taking. And it didn't *have* to be done that way.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:46 am
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
dedalus wrote:
You paint the scenario as if this was the *only* way that Bishop Fellay could have dealt with the situation,


Sorry to make you sigh, Stephen, and even more sorry that you resort to an argument from authority when your argument from reason collapses.

Nothing of what I wrote rested upon assumptions, but upon the facts.

The reality is that in order to make the interpretations you make, you are required to ignore the facts that I detailed above. These do not "paint" the situation as though Bishop Fellay had no options, they merely show that your own inferences are baseless.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:38 am
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
There have been numerous issues over the years in which Bishop Williamson appealed a ruling of Bishop Fellay that went to the General Council - which is just +F and the two Assistants, and in some circumstances, all the Bishops.

It's simply untrue that any appeal of Bishop Wiliamson must be handled by a full Chapter in session. It's not in the constitutions of the SSPX, and it's just not practical.

So, I retain my point. Bp. Fellay could have handled that vote any way he wanted - including not holding it. I don't see anyone talking about the rules of appeal regarding the various priests that have been put on forced holiday or retreat lately for speaking out. Do you suppose there were "votes taken" regarding them?

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:39 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
Stephen,

I understand that the appeal was made to all of the members of the General Chapter. Ask the bishop and see what he says.

As for the priests who breached the rule not publicly to oppose their Superior General (a rule I'd have enforced with more vigour and a lot earlier - having run an organisation with a hundred staff and a hundred thousand customers I think I'm entitled to a comment), they were given a "form" canonical warning and clearly now the matter is being dropped.

Of course it now appears that Fr. Pfeiffer has decided that he is leaving the Fraternity and will do things which will have him expelled, but that's quite a distinct case from that of men such as Fr. Hewko, Fr. Fox, and Fr. Girouard, for eample.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:43 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
John

If you need to be right, be right! I don't have such a deep need. I just won't be accused of having "baseless inferences." I never said you were wrong, I made the point that it's not clearly-cut that my conclusions were wrong, those conclusions being based on many previous interactions with +F, personally and professionally.

I maintain that there were other ways that this could have been handled, and that over the years I have personally witnessed situations in which Bp. Fellay did not "go by the book" or refer appeals outside of the General Council.

I don't "impute bad will" towards Bishop Fellay - I just know that he doesn't care about the rules. That's a fact.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:14 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
John Lane wrote:
The fact that this matter was dealt with prior to the beginning of the General Chapter is not "curious" - it is obvious.

Let's get the facts down first.

1. Bishop Fellay stripped Bishop Williamson of his right of membership of the General Chapter.

2. Bishop Williamson appealed this decision.

3. The appeal was heard, and a vote held.

4. Then the General Chapter could and did commence.

Comments.

Bishop Fellay's act in relation to Bishop Williamson was indeed an executive act. If it hadn't been appealed, it would have stood, and there would have been no vote.

If the General Chapter had begun prior to the appeal being heard, it would have been assuming the failure of the appeal. This would be unjust.


What do the SSPX bylaws say regarding exectutive acts and procedures for appeal? Wouldn't actually knowing this rather important piece of information help clear up the dispute here?


Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:21 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
Robert,

It was purportedly a canonical penalty.

From IA:

Quote:
Capablanca
Posted: Aug 2 2012, 03:25 PM

Hold on Stephen. Bishop Williamson was purportedly excluded from the Gen Chap as a canonical penalty - the reference was to the Code(s), not to the Society's statutes.

As a canonical penalty - vindictive rather than medicinal in character - Bishop W was entitled to make an appeal in suspensivo to higher authority. The suspensive character of the appeal is what would have added spice as it would mean that the Gen Chap risked being invalid by excluding him before his appeal was heard.

But to whom was he to appeal ? The obvious canonical answer would be to the Holy See, but, well, you see the problem ... And as a matter of fact when Fr Laguérie appealed to Rome against his exclusion from the SSPX a few years back, Rome refused to pronounce, setting itself a precedent of refusing to recognize the SSPX as a legitimately established religious congregation.

So BW appealed to the Gen Chap itself which could hardly allow its competence to be called into question. Naturally the appeal had to be heard at the start to avoid exposing the Gen Chap to the accusation of nullity.

Moreover, +BF and his assistants knew they had to try to get a highly divided Gen Chap to appear to be unanimous. Hence it was necessary for them to appear magnanimous towards the right wing and not start by crushing them and provoking a rupture which would have occurred if Bishops Williamson's appeal had been deferred.

+BW can hardly have been surprised either by the date when his appeal was heard or by the verdict, especially as voting in favour of maintaining +BF's condemnation is obviously not a proof that the voter in fact prefers +BF's views in general to +BW's.

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:05 am
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
John Lane wrote:
Robert,

It was purportedly a canonical penalty.

From IA:

Quote:
Capablanca
Posted: Aug 2 2012, 03:25 PM

Hold on Stephen. Bishop Williamson was purportedly excluded from the Gen Chap as a canonical penalty - the reference was to the Code(s), not to the Society's statutes.

As a canonical penalty - vindictive rather than medicinal in character - Bishop W was entitled to make an appeal in suspensivo to higher authority. The suspensive character of the appeal is what would have added spice as it would mean that the Gen Chap risked being invalid by excluding him before his appeal was heard.

But to whom was he to appeal ? The obvious canonical answer would be to the Holy See, but, well, you see the problem ... And as a matter of fact when Fr Laguérie appealed to Rome against his exclusion from the SSPX a few years back, Rome refused to pronounce, setting itself a precedent of refusing to recognize the SSPX as a legitimately established religious congregation.

So BW appealed to the Gen Chap itself which could hardly allow its competence to be called into question. Naturally the appeal had to be heard at the start to avoid exposing the Gen Chap to the accusation of nullity.

Moreover, +BF and his assistants knew they had to try to get a highly divided Gen Chap to appear to be unanimous. Hence it was necessary for them to appear magnanimous towards the right wing and not start by crushing them and provoking a rupture which would have occurred if Bishops Williamson's appeal had been deferred.

+BW can hardly have been surprised either by the date when his appeal was heard or by the verdict, especially as voting in favour of maintaining +BF's condemnation is obviously not a proof that the voter in fact prefers +BF's views in general to +BW's.



Holy See issues a vindictive canonical penalty to Bp. Williamson excluding him from the General Chapter of the SSPX.

The Holy See has, by previous actions, set a precedent of refusing to recognize the SSPX as a legitimately established religious congregation.

Quote:
So BW appealed to the Gen Chap itself which could hardly allow its competence to be called into question. Naturally the appeal had to be heard at the start to avoid exposing the Gen Chap to the accusation of nullity.


Bp. Williamson does not appeal to the Holy See, but to the General Chapter itself. But the General Chapter itself is that of an illegitimately established religious congregation.

Then it is said the appeal to an illegitimately established religious congregation, if not heard, would lead to the nullity of the General Chapter meeting. Is this nullity referred to that of the Holy See or the SSPX itself? That is not clear to me.

Now that’s a mess. It seems to me that Bp. Williamson might have just appealed to the Holy See regardless of the expected result (the penalty originated with the Holy See) and the General Chaper just ignored the vindictive canonical penalty altogether.


Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:52 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Holy See issues a vindictive canonical penalty to Bp. Williamson excluding him from the General Chapter of the SSPX.


Robert, no, the "penalty" was issued by Bishop Fellay. The point is that Bishop Fellay cited the Code, not the SSPX Statutes, in formulating the penalty.

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:22 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
John Lane wrote:
Robert Bastaja wrote:
Holy See issues a vindictive canonical penalty to Bp. Williamson excluding him from the General Chapter of the SSPX.


Robert, no, the "penalty" was issued by Bishop Fellay. The point is that Bishop Fellay cited the Code, not the SSPX Statutes, in formulating the penalty.


That's even crazier. So Bp. Fellay issued the "vindictive" canonical penalty. Don't you think that was a really bad idea, especially for the highest authority in the organization?


Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:46 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
Robert,

He doesn't have any jurisdiction, but I suppose he thinks he does have it. If he did have jurisdiction, there'd be nothing unusual in citing the relevant canons and framing a penalty according to them.

The term "vindictive" doesn't mean "nasty" - it is just a distinction in the Code between penalties which are intended to render justice as such (i.e. make a kind of restitution for a delict) and those which are merely aimed at bringing the culprit to repentance (medicinal).

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:53 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
John Lane wrote:
Robert,

He doesn't have any jurisdiction, but I suppose he thinks he does have it. If he did have jurisdiction, there'd be nothing unusual in citing the relevant canons and framing a penalty according to them.

The term "vindictive" doesn't mean "nasty" - it is just a distinction in the Code between penalties which are intended to render justice as such (i.e. make a kind of restitution for a delict) and those which are merely aimed at bringing the culprit to repentance (medicinal).


I didn't think vindictive meant "nasty," but a sort of punishment. I don't think that was a very good idea, that was my point.

So if Bp. Fellay believes he has jurisdiction, what does he believe is his territory? This seems very problematic, much like other trad bishops who believe they have some form of jurisdiction. I even know one who is said to claim a "universal jurisdiction."

Here's the canon referenced:

Quote:
Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.


I guess Bp. Fellay believes he is an ordinary.


Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:04 pm
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
Robert Bastaja wrote:
So if Bp. Fellay believes he has jurisdiction, what does he believe is his territory? This seems very problematic, much like other trad bishops who believe they have some form of jurisdiction. I even know one who is said to claim a "universal jurisdiction."

Here's the canon referenced:

Quote:
Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.


I guess Bp. Fellay believes he is an ordinary.


I have spoken with SSPX priests and lay-supporters of the SSPX. It has seemed to me that they believe Bishop Fellay, as Superior General, has jurisdiction over the SSPX.

The more i've learned about jurisdiction on this forum, the more that opinion seems to be untenable.


Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:31 am
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New post Re: Stephen Heiner on the current situation
Look, I don't know what he thinks. I'll try and remember to ask him when I see him.

What he would have, if the Fraternity were a true religious society, is what is called dominative power over the members. This is the kind of authority a father has over his family, and it's quite distinct from jurisdiction. Only bishops, abbots nullius, and the heads of exempt religious orders had ordinary jurisdiction. Even the Superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers, for example, didn't have ordinary jurisdiction, but only dominative power. (The distinction is mentioned here: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/forum ... 4237#p4237)

Anyway, it looks to me that that particular canon is inapplicable to a case such as this, precisely because it seems to relate to rebellion against those with jurisdiction. But there's nothing intrinsically wrong with citing canon law to inflict a penalty. The problems are really rooted in the unusual and uncertain status of the Fraternity itself.

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Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:59 am
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