Canned Answers to Stale Objections

 

IF YOUR parish priest says that you cannot attend Mass or receive the sacraments according to the “received and approved” rites of the Roman Catholic Church at Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission because:

 

·       1)   Our bishop does not approve! 

Reply:

Why is the bishop’s “approval” necessary in this case?  Every Catholic without exception is morally obligated on pain of sin to properly inform his conscience and then obey it.  That is exactly what the members of Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission have done.  The members have presented a question of conscience on matters of Catholic Faith and Morals regarding their rights to the “received and approved” immemorial traditions of our Church to our local bishop and to the authorities in Rome.  This was done over ten years ago and since then, the petition has been repeated to our local bishop on numerous occasions as clearly documented on the Mission’s Open Letter web page.  The local bishop and the authorities in Rome have not addressed the matter.  Bishop Kevin Rhoades specifically said, I do not intend to submit your request to Rome, nor do I have plans to initiate a judicial process.”   Aside from the fact that this constitutes a grave and callous dereliction of duty, it also permits freedom of action on the part of the Mission and its members.  As St. Thomas More said in his dramatic trial, “The maxim is ‘Qui tacet consentiret’: the maxim of the law is ‘Silence gives consent.’”  The failure of Rome to authoritatively address this matter of conscience that pertains directly to Catholic Faith and Morals permits the assumption of approval until the Pope, from the chair of Peter, rules otherwise.  Again, it bears repeating, every Catholic, on the pain of grave sin, is morally obliged to form a true and certain conscience, and then to follow it.

 

·       2)  They are a group in schism from the Catholic Church!

Reply:

Are they?  Then why do they pray for the Pope and the local bishop by name in the Rosary of Reparation recited daily in their chapel?  Why do they pray for the Pope and the local bishop in every Mass offered in their chapel?  Schism, as an ecclesiastical crime, is defined as failure to hold communion with the Pope in Rome or with those in communion with him.  If it is true that the members of Ss. Peter & Paul have failed to hold communion with the local bishop and the pope, why have they formally petitioned for their official judgment regarding matters of Faith and Morals?  Where is the evidence of the findings of fact and legal judgment determined from a formal canonical judicial case against them?  The Masses offered at Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission are open to the public.  Since you are advising Catholics not to attend their Masses, are you refusing “communion” with them?  Who then is guilty of “schism”?

 

·       3)  They teach doctrines contrary to the Catholic Church!

Reply:

Do they?  Please document exactly what Catholic doctrines they do not hold or teach contrary to the Catholic faith?  Also please explain why you, or anyone else from the local chancery, have failed over the last ten years to produce any specific charge of heresy?  Why have you failed to meet their public challenge for an open written exchange on this charge? 

 

·       4)  Their Masses are valid but illicit!

Reply:

This is another way of saying the “bishop does not approve.”  See reply to objection #1.  The Mission has provided, as they are morally obligated to do, a public explanation on a matter of conscience for their failure to conform with specific canons of the Catholic Church.  They have done all that is required of them canonically and morally to do.  Why hasn’t the local bishop done the same?

 

Fr. Paul Kramer explains:

The Tridentine Profession of Faith of Pope Pius IV, Iniunctum Nobis, prescribes adherence to the “received and approved rites of the Catholic Church used in the solemn administration of the sacraments.”  The “received and approved rites” are the rites established by custom, and hence the Council of Trent refers to them as the “received and approved rites of the Catholic Church customarily used in the solemn administration of the sacraments” (Sess. VII, can XIII).  Adherence to the customary rites received and approved by the Church is an infallible defined doctrine: The Council of Florence defined that “priests…. must confect the body of the Lord, each one according to the custom of his Church” (Decretum pro Graecis), and therefore the Council of Trent solemnly condemned as heresy the proposition that “ the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church customarily used in the solemn administration of the sacraments may be changed into other new rites by any ecclesiastical pastor whosoever.” 

Fr. Paul Kramer, The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy

Regarding these “received and approved” rite, Pope St. Pius V declared in Quo Primum that:

“…this missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used… Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. … Accordingly, no one whatsoever is permitted to infringe or rashly contravene this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, direction, will, decree and prohibition.  Should any person venture to do so, let him understand he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

Pope St. Pius V, Papal Bull, QUO PRIMUM, Tridentine Codification of the traditional Roman Rite of the Mass. 

In light of the above quotation, please explain how a Catholic priest offering and the faithful attending the immemorial Roman rite of Mass can be made an “illicit” act?

 

·       5)  Attending their Masses does not fulfill your Sunday obligation.

 

Reply:

This question has already been addressed by authorities in Rome.  Their answer has been provided to the local bishop and his judicial vicar by Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission, yet, this objection is mindlessly repeated.  Is that because it is useful to bully the uninformed?  And what good Catholic would suspect their local pastors to lie to them?  The following reply was communicated to the local ordinary seven years ago:

Rev. Msgr. Camille Perl, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission of Ecclesia Dei and no friend of Catholic tradition, wrote a private letter on September 27, 2002 that was published in part in the Remnant.  Msgr. Perl wrote a follow up public letter on January 18, 2003 that was intended to provide further clarification of the private letter written in September.  In the letter of January 20, 2003 Msgr. Perl said:

“In response to the question, Points 1 and 3 in our letter of 27 September 2002 to this correspondent are accurately reported. His first question was "Can I fulfill my Sunday obligation by attending a Pius X Mass" and our response was:

"1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X."

 

Msgr. Perl’s reply is fully in accord with the canons of the Catholic Church.

Can.  923 The Christian faithful can participate in the eucharistic sacrifice and receive holy communion in any Catholic rite, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 844.

Can.  844 §2. Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided, the Christian faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

Can.  1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.

 

·       6)  Their confessions are not valid!

Reply: 

And why not? 

Can.  844 §2. Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided, the Christian faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

It is the individual Catholic who is authorized to designate the priest for whom the Church supplies jurisdiction to validly administer the sacrament of penance because it is the individual Catholic who selects the priest to hear his confession and determines the criteria that make it “physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister.”  If any Catholic can go to confession to a non-Catholic priest, a fortiori, he can do so with any Catholic priest in cases where a “true spiritual advantage suggests it” because, with a Catholic priest who follows the “received and approved” immemorial traditions, there is no “danger of error or of indifferentism.”

And what might be the grounds for “moral impossibility”?  How many priests in this diocese have informed the Catholics in their parishes that the use of artificial birth control is a grave sin?  How many priests in this diocese have informed their parishioners that the Church infallibly teaches that there is “no salvation outside the Catholic Church”?  There are many like examples that can be provided.  Can you offer any serious objection to Catholics who chooses a confessor that will not lead them or their children into doctrinal or moral error?

 

·        7)  You can attend a locally approved Latin Mass instead!

 

Reply:  

The locally approved Latin Masses are a legal concession granted firstly as an Indult and then as a grant of privilege under Summorum Pontificum.  They are not the immemorial Roman rite of Mass but rather the Extraordinary Form of the Novus Ordo, the Msgr. Anibale Bugnini reform Missal of 1962.  The immemorial traditions of the Latin rite are not, nor could ever be, the subject of an “indult” which is the permission to do something forbidden by human law.  The question is: Can human law make the immemorial worship of God illegal?  Ss. Peter & Paul claims that no one possesses the authority to make the worship of God illegal.  All they are asking is for the Pope to authoritatively declare whether or not he, as the Pope, possesses the authority to make the immemorial traditions of the Roman rite illegal and forbid them to the Catholic faithful.  Pope Benedict in the past has said that the pope does not possess such authority:

“After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not "manufactured" by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity. . . . The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition.”

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy

Another problem with the Extraordinary Form of the Novus Ordo, the 1962 Missal, is that it is only exercised as a grant of privilege which can be revoked by the free and independent will of the legislator.  Permission has been granted in this diocese on the condition of silence to sin.  Our former ordinary, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, gave the cathedral Church, St. Patrick, to the Lutherans for the installation ceremony of their “bishop.” This grave sacrilege was met by mute silence by the indult crowd lest they should lose their favor.  He also vetted the sermons at the Indult Masses for conformity with the new orthodoxy and censored priests that did not conform.  When he told a public gathering of Jews that the ‘Church did not seek their conversion to the Catholic faith,’ again there was not a word of objection raised by the Indult community.  Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission affirms that the right of Catholics to worship God according to the immemorial traditions of our Church cannot be conditionally exercised at the price of  accommodating doctrinal or moral error.

 

 

·       8)  They are dangerous!

Reply:

This of course is true.  The truth is always “dangerous.”   Once exposed to the truth things are never the same.   If you turn away from truth, you turn away from God.

In fine, Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission claims that Catholics, by virtue of their baptismal character, have a duty imposed by God to profess their Catholic Faith in both the internal and external forum.  They claim that the duty, imposed by God, to publically profess their faith creates a right to the immemorial traditions of the Church which are the perfect outward expression of the internal faith that they must necessarily hold if they are to save their souls.  They further claim that this right cannot be conditionally exercised at the price of compromising Catholic Faith or Morals.  They are awaiting Pope Benedict’s authoritative judgment on this claim and they expect their local ordinary, as a matter of grave duty imposed by his office, to do his part to expedite this matter with Pope Benedict XVI.

 

·       9) You do not have a priest.  Your priest has been laicized and is no longer a priest.

Reply:

It is true that in the Novus Ordo Church a Novus Ordo priest can "take the honour to himself" (Heb. 5:4) whenever he likes, be hired at will or fired whenever he is no longer considered useful for the ends for which the Novus Ordo Church has been constituted, but this is not true in the Catholic Church. 

In the Catholic Church a priest is ordained to offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass and administer the sacraments.  His calling is from God and he "is made not according to the law of a carnal commandment, but according to the power of an indissoluble life: For he testifieth: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech....  But this with an oath, by him that said unto him: The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever.....  for that he continueth for ever, (and) hath an everlasting priesthood."(Heb 7: 16-17, 21, 24) 

In the Catholic Church the indelible character imprinted upon the soul of a man ordained to the Catholic priesthood can never be effaced.  Furthermore, no Catholic priest can be permanently suspended from his priestly duties without just cause and a canonical due process which necessarily requires a criminal charge that must be proven in the external forum.  Our priest was only laicized from the Novus Ordo Church and this was done without any formal charge of a crime and without a canonical hearing.  The only "charge" made against our priest was from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia  for the "crime" of "schism" because, as specifically cited in a formal letter, he offered the immemorial Roman rite of Mass. 

But rest assured, our priest is not a "Novus Ordo" priest.  He has  been ordained according to the "received and approved rites customarily used in the solemn administration of the sacraments" as dogmatized from the Council of Trent by a bishop likewise ordained and consecrated in the "received and approved rites" of the Catholic Church.  It is the use of the "received and approved rites" whereby a minister establishes that his intent is to "do what the Church does" which is necessary for sacramental validity.  Our priest's orders are most certainly valid unlike every Novus Ordo priest where the ordaining intention of the minister must always be viewed with grave suspicion. 

 

 

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