Post by Admin on Apr 29, 2019 13:25:37 GMT
Response of the Conciliar SSPX (via Fr.Brucciani) to Sr. Mary Elizabeth
Taken from THE ARCHANGEL, the FSSPX UK Publication - April 2019
The parish has been deeply affected by the departure of two of our Oblate Sisters of the Fraternity of St. Pius X. The Sisters have left because they do not agree with the internal government of the Fraternity who believe that it is leading its members to engage in matters of faith and morals. In a short period of time they have settled down with Fr. King, a former priest of the Fraternity , who left for similar reasons.
In these difficult times, we have a great need for principles and mental clarity to navigate wisely through the labyrinth of opinions on the best way to defend the truths of the faith. Never before has the Church experienced a situation like today. Opinions on the best way to cope with the crisis will invariably be different because there is no scheme that specifies how to react.
We must, therefore, not only resort to the theological virtue of faith, by which we assent to the truths of Revelation, but also to the infused virtue of prudence, fortified by the gift of the Holy Spirit that we call council. The truths of the faith are clearly enunciated in the catechism. They are further developed and expressed more consistently in the pronouncements and statements of the councils of the Church and in the writings of the Fathers of the Church. These define and clarify for us the content of the Divine Revelation, as it is contained in Scripture and Tradition.
There can be no variation of opinion when it comes to divine dogma. However clear our duties of assent and belief may seem, God has not clearly revealed to us how we should act, no matter what happens. Revelation includes moral commandments that detail the rules of behavior, but these do not always cover the daily decisions we must take to live in conformity with our baptismal vows.
Therefore, God has given us the infused virtue of prudence. Prudence, strengthened by the gift of counsel, allows us to discern the right or best path in any line of action so that it does not conflict with our great duty to love and serve God in all things according to our state of lifetime.
As is clearly explained in the following article, men and even angels may disagree about the means to an end. Prudence is not an infallible virtue (unlike faith). It allows the variation of opinions and even the error. One can prudently choose a course of action and make mistakes.
Authority is, therefore, necessary to guide our deliberation and, when necessary, to decide and guide us, lest we become lonely in our search for God. As Solomon warns us: "It is better that two be together than one, because they have the advantage of their society: Woe to him who is alone, because when he falls, he has no one to raise him." (Ecl 4)
Without authority, the body of believers will invariably fall into disagreement, sometimes on principle, but more frequently in practice. The history of the Church is made up of such contests. Therefore, authority is of utmost importance in the practice of religion.
The current crisis of the Church is not only of faith, but also of authority. The misuse of papal and episcopal authority has brought tremendous confusion to souls. However, its misuse is not an excuse to dismiss it as empty, unnecessary or non-existent. Prudent submission to authority is still necessary so that everyone does not follow their own path, and there is no one to lift it when it falls.
Note that subjection to authority must always be prudent. As has already been said, prudence does not refer to principles, but to practice. It allows for discussion, variation of opinions and even disagreement, but, at the end of the day, in a community, someone must have the last word. The superiors are the ones who decide the questions of prudence. As St. Thomas Aquinas says: "Prudence is in the superior as an architectural idea, and in the subjects as mechanical art or executors of a plan." (II-II q.47 art.12)
For the priests and religious of the SSPX, our situation in the bosom of Mother Church requires a lot of vigilance and much prudence on the part of our superiors. Only they have the mandate of God to decide the best way to keep the body of members faithful to the rules and statutes that we have subscribed freely and of those who are guardians. They are the only ones empowered to decide and coerce in prudential matters, especially those that have to do with relations with the ecclesiastical authorities.
Prudence and the principle are, therefore, the pivots of good governance. The principle alone is insufficient to guide a community. A man of principles is not always wise. It is prudence that makes a good leader.
I write these words not to condemn those who leave our priestly and religious ranks, but to dispel the confusion caused by such abandonments. As the situation in the Church evolves, with new scandals that cause pain, on the one hand, and on the other, with a renewed interest or curiosity for the Tradition that gives joy, it takes a lot of prudence to discern the best way to maintain the FSSPX constant and faithful to its rules and statutes, at the same time that its apostolate is made available to a greater number of people.
May the Passion be a time of penance and humble reflection. The mission of our Lord was obedience. Our baptismal seal invites us to embrace the same vocation. There can be no Catholicism that is not submitted to the authority, however unworthy it may be. Our Lord even submitted to Pilate. As the great writer Edward Leen teaches: obedience is that in which we accept and profess our condition as creatures of God, formed and made to be subjects and dependents, and to cry out with the angels: Serviam!
With all the wishes and prayers for a Passion and blessed Easter.
P. John Brucciani