Friday, February 19, 2010

Fr. Romanoski, FSSP Responds to the SSPX Attack


Here follows the translation of the flyer in bold, black script, along with the commentary by Fr. Romanoski, FSSP (assistant priest at the Guadalajara apostolate) in red script:

The Ecumenical Fraternity of St. Peter 

Since the introduction of the new sacramental rites, Rome did not allow any Fraternity or Congregation the exclusive use of the ancient [rites].

On the 5th of May, the Vatican offered to Msgr. Lefebvre the exclusive use of the ancient rites, an action which the Vatican itself initiated, mainly led by John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger with hopes of offering Msgr. Lefebvre and his Society their rightful place in the Church, and greater allowance of the traditional Missal. Msgr. Lefebvre signed this document and made the accord with Rome.  

Then, on June 30, 1988, Msgr. Lefebvre consecrated four bishops to ensure the survival of the traditional priesthood and of the sacraments, and especially of the old Mass.

In the Protocol signed by Msgr. Lefebvre on the 5th of May 1988, he was promised a bishop named from within his community (see above link). He lost trust that the Vatican would uphold the protocol, and retracted his name from the protocol on the 16th of June 1988, and declared that he would consecrate bishops 2 weeks later, against the express will of the Holy Father, who wrote to him to persuade him not to, reminding him of the grave consequences. The text is as follows:

In the letter that you sent me, you seem to reject all acquisition of previous discussions, since you clearly manifest your intention of "giving yourself the means of pursuing your Work," notably in proceeding under little and without apostolic mandate to one or many episcopal ordinations, this in flagrant contradiction not only of the prescriptions of canon law, but also with the protocol signed May 5th and the instructions relative to this problem contained in the letter that Cardinal Ratzinger sent you at my request May 30th. With a paternal heart, but with all the gravity the present circumstances require, I exhort you, venerable brother, to renounce your project which, if it is realized, could not but appear as a schismatic act of which the inevitable theological and canonical consequences are known to you. I ardently invite you to return, in humility, to full obedience towards the Vicar of Christ. Not only do I invite you to this, but I ask it of you by the wounds of Christ our Redeemer, in the name of Christ who, on the eve of His passion, prayed for his disciples, "that they may be one" (John 17:21).”

Suddenly, two days later, John Paul II recognized the "legitimate aspirations" for these rites (of those who do not support the position of the archbishop) and allowed them to have what had always been denied to Msgr. Lefebvre.  

The Vatican thus stayed true to its promise to offer the use of the old rite, which it had offered to Msgr. Lefebvre.

A dozen priests from the Society of St. Pius X accepted this "good will offering" and left to found the Fraternity of St. Peter, giving it a juridical status according to the offers that Msgr. Lefebvre rejected.

That decision was made in conscience with much distress at the thought of leaving Msgr. Lefebvre, yet made with awareness of the gravity of consecrating bishops against the will of the Holy Father.  The simply were following the moral norm of obeying just commandments which come from legitimate superiors, regardless of emotional issues such as trust and confidence, which do not excuse one from obeying a just command. And, in this case, there was a real opportunity to celebrate the traditional Mass while at the same time holding fast to traditional doctrine in union with the Church, outside of which there is no salvation, when one is culpably excluded from it.  The founders thought they would be culpably excluded from it if they did not obey when it was morally possible, and has remained possible for 20 years. 

This document required them to: ...accept the doctrine of Lumen gentium;

The document, which Msgr. Lefebvre signed, requires assent to paragraph 25 of Lumen Gentium

2. We declare our acceptance of the doctrine contained in number 25 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council on the ecclesial Magisterium and the adherence which is due to that Magisterium.
This statement affirms the traditional teaching on the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium already expressed clearly in the First Vatican Council, 

Wherefore, by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal Magisterium." (First Vatican Council, Dei Filius 8.)

This doctrine is reasserted in Humani Generis #20 and in all traditional pre-Vatican II manuals of ecclesiology when they speak of the various grades of obedience due to magisterial pronouncements of the Ordinary Magisterium.  This in no way implies that all that the Council says is infallible, as the official relation of the Council stated, qualifying this paragraph of Lumen Gentium, written by the Secretary General of the Council, Cardinal Pericle Felici, that precedes the Preliminary Explanatory Note to Lumen gentium saying:

Taking into account conciliar custom and the pastoral aim of the present council, this holy synod defines as binding on the Church only those matters of faith and morals which it openly declares to be such.  The other matters which the Synod puts forward as the teaching of the supreme magisterium of the Church, each and every member of the faithful should accept and embrace according to the mind of the Synod itself, which is clear either from the subject matter or the way it is said, in accordance with the rules of theological interpretation.

And as Pope Paul VI affirmed at the close of the Council on January 12, 1966, 

There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoid issuing solemn dogmatic definitions engaging the infallibility of the ecclesiastical Magisterium. The answer is known by whoever remembers the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964: given the Council’s pastoral character, it avoided pronouncing, in an extraordinary manner, dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility.
He stated this to avoid polemics regarding the magisterium of the Second Vatican Council and the authority of the Pope...

The Fraternity of St. Peter, following the agreement that Msgr. Lefebvre found acceptable on the 5th of May, also agreed to follow the traditional Catholic norms regarding the questioning of the Magisterium's non-infallible statements, 

3. With regard to certain points taught by the Second Vatican Council or concerning later reforms of the liturgy and law, and which seem to us able to be reconciled with the Tradition only with difficulty, we commit ourselves to have a positive attitude of study and of communication with the Holy See, avoiding all polemics. 
The traditional practice following the command of Our Lord, Mt. 18.15-18, of St. Thomas Aquinas, and of traditional theologians in general, in the words of the Angelic Doctor, Summa theologiae, 2-2, q.33, a.4: 

Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when a subject corrects his prelate, he ought to do so in a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 5:1): "An ancient man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father." Wherefore Dionysius finds fault with the monk Demophilus (Ep. viii), for rebuking a priest with insolence, by striking and turning him out of the church.
Reply to Objection 1. It would seem that a subject touches his prelate inordinately when he upbraids him with insolence, as also when he speaks ill of him: and this is signified by God's condemnation of those who touched the mount and the ark.
Reply to Objection 2. To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith. But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully. Hence the Apostle in writing to the Colossians (4:17) tells them to admonish their prelate: "Say to Archippus: Fulfil thy ministry [Vulgate: 'Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.' Cf. 2 Timothy 4:5." It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, "Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects."
Hence in the theological sphere, the traditional Catholic practice is to address a dubium to the Magisterium, raising one's doubts and objections to a proposed teaching, awaiting the Vatican’s clarification, instead of immediately criticizing such a doctrine publicly, which would detract from the Teaching Authority of the Church and the respect due to it, as expressed by Pius XII in Humani Generis.

Of course, this must be done while avoiding polemics, which would be morally prohibited when a subject corrects his superior, most especially when it is the highest authority on earth: 
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
Main Entry: po·lem·ic
Etymology: French "polémique", from Middle French, from "polemique" controversial, from Greek "polemikos" warlike, hostile, from "polemos" war; perhaps akin to Greek "pelemizein" to shake, Old English "ealfelo" baleful
1 a : an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another: the art or practice of disputation or controversy -- usually used in plural but sing. or plural in constr.
2 : an aggressive controversialist : DISPUTANT) recognize the validity of the Mass according to the new liturgical dispositions of Paul VI and John Paul II.

Of course, as Msgr. Lefebvre did, given that the infallibility of the Church also extends to universal disciplinary laws, as one can read in any traditional pre-Vatican II manual of theology, basing themselves on the following magisterial texts, which all traditional catholics should know:

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei, 78 (1794):

The prescription of the synod about the order of transacting business in the conferences, in which, after it prefaced ‘in every article that which pertains to faith and to essence of religion must be distinguished from that which is proper to discipline,’ it adds, ‘in this itself (discipline) there is to be distinguished what is necessary or useful to retain the faithful in spirit, from that which is useless or too burdensome for the liberty of the sons of the new Covenant to endure, but more so, from that which is dangerous or harmful, namely, leading to superstition and materialism’; in so far as by the generality of the words it includes and submits to a prescribed examination even the discipline established and approved by the Church, as if the Church which is ruled by the Spirit of God could have established discipline which is not only useless and burdensome for Christian liberty to endure, but which is even dangerous and harmful and leading to superstition and materialism, - false, rash, scandalous, dangerous, offensive to pious ears, injurious to the Church and to the Spirit of God by whom it is guided, at least erroneous. (Denzinger 1578; DS 2678)

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, 9 (1832): 

Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or branded as contrary to certain principles of the natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the Church and her ministers are embraced.

Pope Gregory XVI, Quo Graviora, 4-5 (1833): 

…[the evil “reformers”] state categorically that there are many things in the discipline of the Church in the present day, in its government, and in the form of its external worship which are not suited to the character of our time. These things, they say, should be changed, as they are harmful for the growth and prosperity of the Catholic religion, before the teaching of faith and morals suffers any harm from it. Therefore, showing a zeal for religion and showing themselves as an example of piety, they force reforms, conceive of changes, and pretend to renew the Church. While these men were shamefully straying in their thoughts, they proposed to fall upon the errors condemned by the Church in proposition 78 of the constitution Auctorem fidei (published by Our predecessor, Pius VI on August 28, 1794). They also attacked the pure doctrine which they say they want to keep safe and sound; either they do not understand the situation or craftily pretend not to understand it. While they contend that the entire exterior form of the Church can be changed indiscriminately, do they not subject to change even those items of discipline which have their basis in divine law and which are linked with the doctrine of faith in a close bond? Does not the law of the believer thus produce the law of the doer? Moreover, do they not try to make the Church human by taking away from the infallible and divine authority, by which divine will it is governed? And does it not produce the same effect to think that the present discipline of the Church rests on failures, obscurities, and other inconveniences of this kind? And to feign that this discipline contains many things which are not useless but which are against the safety of the Catholic religion? Why is it that private individuals appropriate for themselves the right which is proper only for the pope?

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, 66 (1943):

Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary graces through which, with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors.

Council of Trent (1562):

If anyone says that the ceremonies, vestments and outward signs, which the Catholic     Church uses in the celebration of Masses, are incentives to impiety rather than the service of piety: let him be anathema.

This means that the Fraternity of St. Peter must accept the following text of the Council: "This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity"; taken from Lumen gentium, no. 8, second paragraph.

Here the author assumes that, if one explicitly accepts paragraph 25 of Lumen gentium, one must also explicitly agree with paragraph 8.  Non sequitur.  What does follow from the traditional teaching of 25, is what has already been explained, that all magisterial documents must be accepted according to the orindary mode of theological interpretation, allowing for dubia where such texts are not infallible, nor seem clear. I know of no official position of the FSSP or of the SSPX regarding the expression, 'subsisit in'. Suffice it to say that Msgr. Lefebvre signed this document at the Council, and there was no objection made by any traditional bishop at the end of the Council that this phrase was heretical, but rather only ambiguous. I know of at least one FSSP priest who has investigated the subject thoroughly, writing a dissertation on the subject, who also noted that the phrase was introduced by the renowned Bellarmine scholar Trump, in order to affirm the exclusive substantial identification between the Catholic Church, and the Church of Christ. There are also the Vatican responses on the subject, and if any Catholic has subsequent doubts, he is of course free to write a dubium to the Vatican. And in the meantime all are of course free to express the faith in the arguably clearer forms of Pius XII, in Mystici Corporis, and Humani Generis #27, which very clearly are obliging Magisterial texts, since all official subsequent declarations of the Magisterium have only affirmed that they did not wish to undo the traditional teaching.

In the Council, H. Schauf wished to substitute adest with est, while S. Tromp responded by proposing subsistit in. It was Philips, the chairman of the discussion, who noted the acceptance of the term subsistit in. The change from adest to subsistit came, therefore, not from the Bishops but from members of the Commission, in the same way as the change from est to adest. It is not possible to identify the meaning that those present attributed to the term subsistit in.

The tape recording is more informative. It shows that Schauf disagreed with the term adest because in his opinion it was imprecise. Immediately Tromp replies:

Possumus dicere: itaque subsistit in Ecclesia catholica, et hoc est exclusivum [said very forcefully], in quantum dicitur: alibi non sunt nisi elementa. Explicatur in textu".32
We can say, therefore that it subsists in the Catholic Church, and this is exclusive [said very forcefully], in so far as it is said that there are but elements. It is explained in the text.
In his opinion, therefore, the term subsistit in expresses a property that is exclusive to the Catholic Church.

And according to these conditions, the Fraternity of St. Peter will not be able to criticize the documents of the council.

Hence, according to these conditions, the FSSP will follow the traditional Catholic theological norms for questioning non-infallible statements of the Magisterium.

Therefore, our protest is not against a priest of this congregation, it is more general, against the entire institution called THE FRATERNITY OF ST. PETER, which was born ECUMENICAL and SILENCED even before it saw the light of day.

The protesters knew that the Mass that was going to be said in the chapel of the FSSP in Guadalajara the night of January 20th was not an ecumenical event, since the SSPX chapel was informed beforehand via email.  The manifest intent of those present handing out this flyer, therefore, in the presence of Fr. Puga SSPX leading the prayers, was simply to protest against the entire institution of the FSSP, which has carried on the mission of reintroducing the traditional rites and praxis into the heart of the Church, which now enjoys over 200 priests, and has trained hundreds and hundreds of priests, and even bishops worldwide on how to say the traditional Catholic Mass, while at the same time preaching traditional Catholic doctrine, as one can hear from the many audio recorded sermons available on-line, and as clearly seen in the sermon delivered during the Mass that night.

Currently, neither has this group reacted to the most recent ecumenical gathering between the Pope and the Jews, in which were said phrases such as: “The Second Vatican Council committed the Catholic Church in an irrevocable way to follow the path of ecumenical action, making itself hear the Spirit of the Lord, who teaches us to read attentively the ‘signs of the times’.”  Here we see that this society continues to be faithful to its destructive mission among traditional Catholics of “good faith.”

Nor have we read of any official publication by the Cruzada por Cristo Rey, that I can find in the public domain. Nor has the SSPX made any official statement on this visit either. I would think that the prudent and traditional Catholic thing to do would be personally to correct the opinion of those who may have read about a scandalous event and have formed false ideas about the faith, if it has not risen to the level of a public scandal. I am not aware of any faithful in the FSSP apostolate who have spoken of the event, or seems to have expressed any interest in it. Given the recent happenings, commenting about the Jews in public in the presence of anti-Catholics certainly requires much greater prudence, which has not always been exercised by members of the SSPX to the dismay and detriment of their superiors and confreres. 

The protest and reparation are [done], also, because this fraternity presents its name in these gatherings, thus collaborating with them and not having the courage to come out of its conciliar schemes by opposing the archbishop (of Guadalajara) and the highest Roman authorities, in order to remain faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Crusade for Christ the King, Inc.
Mr. Félix Águila Rubio,
Av. Los Pinos 2975, Col. Colinas de los robles, Zapopan, Jal.
Tel. 33-1568-4909.
Correo electrónico:

The decision of this particular apostolate of the FSSP was made so as to have a chance to expose to the traditional Latin Mass those Catholics who are involved or have interest in the ecumenical movement, and to make them aware of the traditional warnings of the Church as regards the dangers of the modern ecumenical movement.  We judged by the response after the Mass in conversation with those who attended that it was a success and that it is a step further in advancing, soul by soul, the reign of Christ the King.

-Fr. Jonathan Romanoski, FSSP
Assistant Priest
Capellanía San Pedro
Guadalajara, Jalisco 

The Fourth Way in Syllogistic Form


I. The Text (ST I.2.3c)

"The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God."

II. The Argument in Syllogistic Format:

P1A: If a perfection, P, is predicated “more” or “less” of things (p), then P exists at its maximum (m).
P2A: Being, Truth, Goodness, etc. are perfections, P, that are predicated “more” or “less” of things (p).
CA: Therefore, Being, Truth, Goodness, etc., are perfections, P, that exist at their maximum (m). 

P1B: If a perfection, P, exists at its maximum (m), then P is the cause of all perfections in that genus (c).
P2B: Being, Truth, Goodness, etc., are perfections, P, that exist at their maximum (m).                          
CB: Therefore, there is a cause of Being, Truth, Goodness, etc.--this is what we call God (c).

III. The Argument in Symbolic Format:
P1A: p    ®    m
P2A: p
CA: \ m

P1B: m   ®    c
P2B: m
CB: \ c

IV. Legend
P1A:, P1B:, etc. = "Premise 1 of argument A," "Premise 1 of argument B," etc.
CA, CB = "Conclusion of argument A," "Conclusion of argument B," etc.
x = "It is true that x."
x ® y = "if x (is true), then (is true)."
\x = "Therefore, x (is true)."
p = "A perfection, P, is predicated “more” or “less” of things."
m = "P exists at its maximum."
c = "P is the cause of all perfections in that genus."