Monday, 16 December 2013


Putting aside the difficulty surrounding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the criticism Fr Volpi has received for his handling of the situation (a full and fair assessment of which can only be made after the investigatory process is completed and all is revealed) I cannot help but wonder what he means by "crypto-lefebvrian". We know the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre refuse to accept [a] the texts of Vatican II and [b] the Novus Ordo Missae; we also know some folk have some sympathy with the SSPX, so is this what he means by “cryto-lefebvrianism”? Indeed, many folk are problematic in their reading of Vatican II and in their choice of Missal, but I suggest that this is the liberals, not the Traditionalists, for Traditionalists happily exist in the Church of Vatican II and its Novus Ordo, while liberals reject the use of the Traditional Missal and manipulate Vatican II by emphasising certain phrases of the Council at the expense of the whole.

For example, liberals seem to pay lip-service to the text stating that the Saviour “instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 47); preferring instead to present the Mass as a perpetuation of the Last Supper so as to promote Mass as a cheerful, affirming and fraternal gathering. They also ignore the text which says “the faithful should also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them” (ibidem, 54) and that which says “Gregorian chant is to have pride of place” (ibidem 116) when they refuse to use Latin and criticise those who do.

Further, they seem to play down the text which says “the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head” (Lumen gentium 23); speaking of collegiality in such a way as to imply that a majority vote among the Bishops can impose an obligation upon the Bishop of Rome to acquiesce.

Still further, they seem to focus on the text which says “significant elements and endowments which build up and give life to the Church can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church” while playing down the rest of that text which goes on to say “All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ”; that non-Catholic communities “derive their efficacy from the fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church (Unitatis redintegratio 3) and that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth, to which all who belong in any way to the people of God should be fully incorporated (ibidem). Rather, they appear to tolerate conversion but not to see it as the best thing possible. It is not rare to hear that someone had been told “Just be a good Methodist...Presbyterian...Jew....Muslim”.

Liberals also ignore or play down the text which says “Religious freedom...which men demand as necessary to fulfil their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society...” omitting the rest of the sentence which states that this “leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ” (Dignitatis Humanae 1). They speak of religious liberty in such a way that they give the impression all religions have an equal right to exist and/or to adherence.

The same liberals stand up against the use of the Traditional Form of Mass, waving the flag of the Novus Ordo as a rallying banner by which Vatican II stands or falls. Truly, since Tradition is a vehicle of Divine Revelation it is not Traditionalists in the FFI, FSSP, ICKSP, the Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, the Institute of the Good Shepherd or the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer et al who are a problem; nor is it the Diocesan priest who preaches the whole of Vatican II and sometimes celebrates with the Usus Antiquior or the laity of Una Voce Foederatio Internationalis who are a problem, since all the above accept Vatican II and happily co-exist with those who favour the Novus Ordo. It is liberals, clerical and lay, who focus only on the new and refuse the old who are problematic, because they are in danger of erecting a new Church by cutting us off from our liturgical and doctrinal foundations. 

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