Schismatic Crazy on Pope Francis

Bishop Fellay doesn’t like our new pope.

The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.

Worse than a double-digit percentage of bishops covering up for sex-abusers and chasing people by the millions from the Church? Who would have thought that planet Earth held ten billion traditionalists?

There was the usual slam against the Roman Missal:

It’s a bit messy, our faithful have enough [confusion] regarding the validity, so we tell them, ‘The New Mass is bad, it is evil’ and they understand that. Period!’” Of course the Roman authorities “were not very happy with that.”

Not only the authorities. Try telling hundreds of millions of Catholics that the spiritual nourishment, conversion, challenge, and comfort they derive from the Mass is “evil.” I’m sure that when schismatics see their relatives and friends going to Mass, experiencing grace and change in their lives, it is hard to keep the little boat on an even keel. Scripture and prayer in the vernacular, good music in a lot of places, a fair degree of familiarity on EWTN–maybe it doesn’t seem all that bad.

So their bishop resorts to a bit of exaggeration. He’d like to think the Roman liturgy is evil. It would sure settle the doubts within his cassock and outside of it.

Also from that news item why I’m deeply skeptical of the fruits of Fatima:

Bishop Fellay quoted in detail Sister Lucia’s words, those who have read the Third Secret, and those who have knowledge of the Secret. He noted Sister Lucia said that if we want to know the contents of the Third Secret, read chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalypse.” (details of the Third Secret will be contained in the upcoming November edition of Catholic Family News)

Secrets. Bah. Wasn’t this revealed last year, last decade, to Pope John Paul, to a deathbed confessor, or someone?

Secrecy is the engine of Gnosticism: the promise that out there there’s some secret knowledge for just a few people. If you are one of the few, you have a shortcut to heaven. Or something.

Will the secret open hearts to Christ? Make prayer more fruitful? Gain more converts in mission lands? Or tell scary stories to impressionable children? Quash good sense doubt about those who control the secret?

This whole article is the zany answer to the unanswered question: How are Bernard Fellay and Dan Brown alike?

My sense of it: people love the Blessed Mother and devote themselves to the message, story, and prayer of Fatima. Great. My sense is not to get caught up in secret knowledge and such things. It detracts from the Gospel and adds nothing whatsoever to the faith. The end times could be coming tomorrow (especially if you ask the Tea Party) and the Church really did run off the rails fifty years ago. Love God, love your neighbor, and do it with everything you’ve got. No silly secret is going to enhance that. Neither is any gossip you hear in the church hall after Mass. Entertainment value? no doubt. Moral value? Questionable at best. Just like Bishop Fellay.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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10 Responses to Schismatic Crazy on Pope Francis

  1. Well said! You’re right, there is a tremendous strain of Gnosticism in SSPX, the “we have preserved this special secret knowledge and the secret rites that guarantee salvation, and we have the secret messages from the Blessed Mother.” Very gnostic.

    Plus, I don’t know who they think is in the pews, but most Catholics have lived with the Roman Missal for two generations. They were raised in it, received their sacraments of initiation in it, were married in it, and are raising their children in it. The vast majority of the rank and file are not all that dissatisfied with it. (I’ve heard there is also little demand for the EF in Africa and other parts of the world.) I don’t think there is this huge, untapped demand to bring back the EF.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the EF shouldn’t be available. We have some in my city. But there are only a few of them out of the large number of Masses, and the OF masses aren’t empty. I don’t think the EF is going to supplant the OF anytime soon.

    This is what happens from spending too much time in the echo chamber.

  2. Copernicus says:

    the Church really did run off the rails fifty years ago.

    I’m sure there’s some rhetorical flourish going on here by which you don’t mean what you say, Todd, but I don’t understand it. What did you mean?

  3. Liam says:

    Of the many Marian apparitions of the last two centuries, Lourdes by far has the deepest credibility to me. One reason is that the BVM offered a very simply message (and not a torrent of them) to the simple visionary to relay to the world, and the nature of the visionary’s life thereafter. Visionaries are not guaranteed infallibility in how accurately they relay messages, so the greater the torrent of messages, the higher the risk to accuracy. This is a prudential reason why the Church doesn’t oblige the faithful to give any credence to private revelation (there is also a theological reason: that there is no new Revelation after the Apostolic Age). All that the Church requires is that the faithful do not dispute that the Church has the authority to determine if private revelation contradicts the faith or not, and when the Church finds it does not, that is a very limited finding.

    I am inclined to find the Fatima apparition credible, but I find the way its message has been misused not a good testimony of those who have misused it.

    • I find the great degree of importance that many SSPXers place on Fatima to be very strange and disturbing. I’ve even heard some argue that Fatima was public revelation (though I don’t think the person understood the meaning of the term). I’ve heard other people argue that, in between public and private revelations, there is a third category into which Fatima belongs. I can’t remember what he called it. First class private revelations? Private revelations with oomph?

      Either way, disturbing.

    • Oh, totally agree on the revelations of Lourdes.

  4. Charles says:

    Todd, I found the whole address a most self-serving, fake 20/20 hindsight motivated, fatuous insinuations-laced, “I told you so!” Pandering and uncharitable, I might add. I had a fair amount of respect for SSPX conceptually. I have a chorister who was SSPX and had both Fellay and Williamson as mentors/instructors, and stories could be told. Whatever cred Fellay might have falsely erected upon Benedict’s initiative, he lost most emphatically in Kansas City, of all places. Go ahead, Bp. sing yer blues.

  5. Jen says:

    I don’t think Francis will be as accommodating to the SSPX as Benedict was… And, frankly, this is a good thing. Summorum Pontificum and an olive branch to those in the SSPX pews were good steps on Rome’s part. The continued talks with the schismatic bishops, while admirable from one standpoint, went on far too long, however.

  6. February 12, 2014
    The Society of St.Pius X (SSPX) concedes there are are factual errors in the books being sold by them.

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