Monday, 23 June 2008

SSPX Coming Home?

Reports are now flying in that the SSPX might be coming home to Rome after a new Vatican offer...


Fr Z's Comments

Fr Ray Blake's Comments

NLM's Comments

Mark's comments & Rise and Pray

NLM's Report that the SPPX have confirmed the offer exists

This is huge... I just hope and pray they take the offer now; unlike Fr Z I think the debate about religious freedom and tolerance is very important. I'm not ecumenical in the modern sense of the word, but i am passionate that people should be free to discover the truth rather than being made to believe. People always must be free to worship and must be free to express how and what they believe to be true - the Church's job is respond with the compassionate truth that the truth is to be found in the Catholic Church instituted by Christ and we must do this in love. God gave people free will so why shouldn't the Church.


Ottaviani said...

Your last paragraph illustrates that you do not understand the traditional Catholic view on religious liberty. The church did not force people to convert and has always said that man must obey his conscience - but it must be an informed conscience.

Secondly in a Catholic state, the government adhering to the laws of God, can and should obstruct that which is against the faith and detriment to her citizens. This doesn't mean stopping people from being Protestant or Muslim - but it must stopping them from attacking the faith and proselytising others to apostasy. This is supported in gospels and the perennial teachings of the church since time immemorial.

John Paul said...

I honestly cant see how this is any different from a communist state preventing worship, freedom of speech and so on. Also the Church has (and since asked forgiveness) in the past forced conversion upon people.

If people attack the faith then the Church should be big enough to take it... I'd love to see concrete examples from the Gospels which are not taken out of the context which actually support your argument.

Anonymous said...

JP - if you post a comment on our blog with an email address in the appropriate slot, I will send you a stonking essay on the subject by a brilliant and holy co-student of mine from some years ago. If you like.

God gave us free will. Doesn't mean we are free to sin.

Anonymous said...

It was never so much adhering to heresy that was the concern, as propagating it - that is leading other souls to hell. Which is something to be prevented.

John Paul said...

The thing is freedom of expression is one of the things held highest in free society; America even has it enshrined in the constitution.

Ottaviani's point on conscience is totally right, but there are many who are informed of Catholicism and yet do not believe. Take Umberto Eco for example, he knows the faith inside and out, yet he cannot bring himself to believe. His Novels are excellent pieces of literature which challenge the idea of God, so should they be banned in a Catholic state - if such a thing exists today outside the vatican?.

Protecting Citizens must be coupled with the recognition that many will choose to believe something else or never be reconciled to the Church and they must be free to express what they think.

If they attack the faith, then let them; if we are informed in our faith and we have leaders who can respond truthfully (in love) then I do not see the problem.

Think also how you as a Catholic would feel if the government said you couldn't express your faith - I'm sure you'd having something to say about denying religious freedom.

Ottaviani said...


I really don't know what is hard about all this. What on earth does this have to do with Communism? The Communist supressed ALL forms of religion, in private and public. The Catholic state, on the other hand, tolerates the worship of non-Catholics privately but does not extend this to the public sphere. Therefore, a truly Catholic state, will not have the problem that England now has with mosques being erected left, right and centre. Also, the Catholic state would supress those things that are also damaging to the souls of people like pornography on television, homosexual marriage, sex education, etc.

How can God accord a "right" to something inherently wrong? Does a woman have a "right" to contracept or have an abortion, because she has free will? Does someone have a "right" to believe in something that is objectively false and hence displeasing to Almighty God? Sure, they can be tolerated. But to say they have a "right" is a slippery slope and a blatant contradiction for the whole church's existence.

John Paul said...

This is where you miss the point; that view of society encourages a system of blind faith in which things are not allowed because we say so, not because we are firmly convinced of the need to believe and to have faith.

My comparison to communism is in the sense that after communism came down, people in poland, russia, and other occupied countries took on all those things you mentioned with open arms simply because nobody ever said or debated why it was wrong they just banned it. That's a sort of supression of intellect rather than changing hearts and minds, it's like being sacramentalized without being evangelized.

I said people have a freedom of expression and that's different to what you mentioned. But as you said man must follow his conscience; believing in God is as much of a choice as it is anything else... Yet if belief is never questioned then it's not faith, it's just indoctrination.

We shouldn't be thinking about banning these things, we need to get on board both to work and pray for an end to those evils in society which involves an intellectual discussion and which changes the hearts and minds of people and not blind folding them. Only then will these things go and not the opposite. We have to end the need for them.

Anonymous said...

"took on all those things..."

Speak for your own country, mister.

Anonymous said...

Look, what is the best case and the way things should be is not always not prudent. I agree, banning x,y or z again might not be a constructive move at this point. Doesn't mean they shouldn't be banned. Just not at this point at this time - it would be imprudent.

Read that essay. This is covered too.