I read Mr. Guimarães commentary Traditionalist Marriage with the Vatican. Could he please comment more on the SSPX-Vatican situation, with the supposed coming compromise of the Society in accepting Vatican II?
Mr. Guimarães responds:
I do not have anything new to add to that article. Since the compromise has not yet been made, and the article was written to prevent the grassroots from being fooled by leaders of that movement who go along with Vatican II, it seems to me that it is still timely.
If you want more on the topic, perhaps two answers that I gave in the past to an Eastern Europe periodical may interest you. I reproduce them below for your perusal.
Atila S. Guimarães
Position on the Campos’ reconciliation with the Vatican
7. Question: What do you think about the step of the Fraternity of St. Jean Marie Vianney that "reconciled" their relations with Rome and now is in the Indult position?
Answer: It is always the same story: when some traditionalist priest panics because of his irregular canonical situation and starts to deal with the Vatican he tells his grassroots that he will not accept Vatican II and the New Mass, but he always ends by accepting them. Whosoever approaches the present day Vatican attempting to fool it or to take advantage of it, ends by being swallowed by it. In one of my columns I compared this to the relation of the chicken with the fox. The chicken tells its chicks that it will fool the fox and take advantage of it for the benefit of the family. In reality, it is not long before the chicken is eaten by the fox.
Bishop Rifan on his knees pays homage to John Paul II after accepting Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass.
In its relation with the Vatican, the Fraternity of St. Jean Marie Vianney began by telling its grassroots that it would continue to reject Vatican II and the New Mass. Some days ago I read an interview of the newly ordained Bishop Fernando Rifan of the St. Jean Marie Vianney Fraternity saying that he accepted Vatican II.
Position regarding the so-called indult Masses and priests
8. Question: What do you think about the so-called “indult” given to traditionalist priests? Do you think that it is the way for reconciliation with the visible structure of the Church?
Answer: I don’t like the term “indult.” Normally, one uses indult to refer to a criminal whose sentence is deferred by the authority, or at least to refer to a person who was in the wrong path deserving of punishment, but was forgiven. This in no way applies to traditionalists regarding the Tridentine Mass. We are in the right path. In my opinion this term was coined by progressivists to depreciate Traditionalism. Therefore, I do not use it. I prefer to use the Latin word celebret – which means “it could be celebrated.” It is the official term used by the present day Vatican to allow the celebration of the Tridentine Mass.
If you want me to summarize my opinion, I would say: The celebret is good for the lay people and it is bad for the priest. I can explain.
A demanding Cardinal Hoyos, at the head of the Ecclesia Dei Commission
It is good for the lay people, because they can attend a true Mass celebrated according to the rite established by St. Pius V in his Quo primum. I think that these Masses are legitimate and valid. Therefore, the faithful can benefit from the Mass and the Sacraments.
But it is bad for the priest. Because to receive the celebret, he has to sign a document with several points that include the acceptance of all the official documents of Council Vatican II and the whole liturgical reform of Paul VI. The acceptation of the Novus Ordo Mass is included in the acceptation of the liturgical reform. That is to say, when he signs the priest makes a de jure acceptance, agreeing that everything in Vatican II and in the liturgical reform is Catholic.
Also when the priest signs that document, he obligates himself to never raise a public polemic about any point of Vatican II or the liturgical reform. If he has doubts about some particular issue, he can write to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which will provide some answer, or the priest can direct the question to other religious authorities, but he cannot raise any public discussion. That is, it is a de facto acceptance. Therefore, with these two assents – de jure and de facto – the priest goes along with the whole Conciliar Church.
It is contradictory for a priest who believes that the true Mass is the Tridentine Mass to have to compromise with the New Mass that he rejects and judges to have the flavor of heresy.
In my opinion the situation of the priests who sign this document in order to have a regular canonical situation is analogous to the situation of the priests of the 18th century in France who accepted the French Revolution and made an oath of fidelity to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in order to exert their ministry, avoid the persecution, and escape eventual martyrdom. Vatican II, according to the famous quote of Cardinal Suenens, was the French Revolution in the Church.
A similar pusillanimous position was taken by many Catholics of the early Church, who burned incense to the Roman idols in order to not suffer martyrdom. They were called lapsi, which means the ones who failed.
Posted February 3, 2006