Wednesday, July 9, 2008

SSPX, etc.

Recently, Seraphina wrote to the Society of Saint Pius X asking for more information. They responded with a set of four books and multiple tracts, all free of charge without asking for any donations whatsoever. I'd like to blog briefly on my thoughts on all of this:

1) I'm impressed with the amount of information they sent and the quality thereof. It would be nice if anyone who wanted more information about the Catholic Church would be able to request and receive such a wealth of information and apologetic material.

2) There are various things that I definitely agree with. They mention some things that the Novus Ordo does to "invite" abuses, such as taking the body by hand. Note that this doesn't mean that I disagree with the Novus Ordo, as actually I'm a fairly strong proponent of it.

3) They go to great lengths to prove that they are not schismatic, mostly by showing that prior Popes have not forbidden the Latin Mass. They ignore, however, some statements that both the Catholic Church and themselves have made about submission to Papal authority.

4) They stretch problems with the new Mass, sometimes ignoring beautiful things that take place within it and downplay it as Protestant. Many times what they say is either a) not taking place in all parishes (most of them don't apply to our parish) or b) outright wrong about what the new Mass says or doesn't say.

5) They ignore the fact that the early Church did many of the things that the new Mass reinstituted, such as taking communion under both species, having Mass in the common vernacular, etc. They falsely claim that the Tridentine Mass has "2,000 years of venerable usage"

6) The material is also somewhat outdated because it does not mention fairly what Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has said about the Latin Mass in recent years.

7) They falsely attribute the decline in conversions and vocations to the Novus Ordo.

8) They are very wishy-washy on what, if any, they believe the Pope's authority now is.

Those are just the thoughts of my browsing the material. I pray for them to have a change of heart and come back into full communion with us. Let's all pray for that and unity among all Christians.


Anonymous said...

First, it's the Society of Saint PIUS X, not Paul X.

While they are schismatics, they should be termed correctly.

Second, how do you back your assertion that "They falsely attribute the decline in conversions and vocations to the Novus Ordo."

I think a thinking person would have to at least say that the way the Novus Ordo was implemented had something to do with both declines in conversions and vocations.

~Joseph the Worker said...

You are correct about the name, I typed it out too quickly without thinking about it I've fixed it in the edits.

On the second one, obviously, it could have something to do with it. I can't deny that because it's really impossible to prove that something doesn't have any effect at all. On the other hand, data indicates that vocations and conversions were dropping consistently in the years leading up to the new order of the mass.

As a matter of fact, all Christian denominations in Europe and the United States have taken hits in attendance and membership over that same time period. In the Catholic case, this is even more dramatic as family size drops, another issue that is hardly mentioned that has happened dramatically in that same time period.

Finally, the Catholic Church as a share of the U.S. population has remained fairly steady (thanks of course to immigration).

Maybe a better question to ask is what evidence is there, in light of the apparent dwindling of Christianity in general and other factors that impacted vocations and conversions, that the Novus Ordo directly caused a decline in conversions or vocations? Again, I'm not saying there isn't any, I'm saying that the SSPX attributes this change wholly to the Novus Ordo and without any kind of statistical proof.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the distinction you have made between "cause & effect" and correlation.

What I think is more indicative of the grievous harm done BY THE WAY the Novus Ordo has been implemented is the growth in religious orders and communities who are completely traditional (Priestly Society of St. Peter) or who are Novus Ordo "Lite."

There is a clear distinction with orthodox religious communities growing, while their neo-modernist counterparts are dying.

~Joseph the Worker said...

Yes, I would agree, it's definitely something we should take a look at as the Church. I think we should look at a) Abuses of the Novus Ordo(meaning what people have done to go beyond what they are allowed) and b)looking in retrospect at areas that have been positive (as I would argue the mass in the common vernacular is) and those that are negative (possible abuses with Holy Communion, for instance.) Thanks for the comments, I think it's an important consideration.

slcfranciscan said...

Loyolalaw98 is sadly mistaken. No less an authority than Cardinal Hoyos has stated that the SSPX is not in schism. If it were not for the SSPX, I would have lost my Catholic faith. I truly hope and pray every day for all Catholics to return to Tradition! God bless you all.

Sidney Jude, Postulant
Third Order/SSPX

~Joseph the Worker said...

Thanks for commenting. I'm actually not sure which of you is correct. It seems as though some are schismatic (excommunicated for their participation in illicit ordinations) but in some grave circumstances when anything else is impossible that lay people can attend SSPX masses. It's very complicated, and I've seen arguments on both sides based around what the Holy Father has said.