Vatican II Documents and the SSPX

SSPX news has quieted down for a week or so.  There was a lot of anticipation that some sort of recognition by the Vatican would take place by the end of May.  This recognition has not happened yet.  There are opponents both within the Society of Saint Pius X and within the Vatican to a regularization of the Society.  Please pray for the Holy Father, the Society’s Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay, and all involved that God’s will be done.

A lot of people have no idea who or what the Society of Saint Pius X is, and why it is considered controversial. What are the Vatican II documents that the SSPX has issues with, that they do not like?  And why?

Below are some of the Vatican II documents that are commonly discussed, and which the SSPX argues are a break from Catholic Tradition.

Dignitatis Humanae – Declaration on Religious Freedom

Sacrosanctum Concilium – Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy

Nostra Aetate – Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions

In addition to the above, last month I noted some papal encyclicals that it would benefit every Catholic to read.  That post is HERE, and includes Mirari Vos. Read that and compare it with the Declaration on Religious Freedom. Mirari Vos is not the only older document that could seem to contradict the Vatican II document, but it will give you an idea of what the doctrinal discussions between the Vatican and the SSPX have been about.

Finally, if you want a history of the SSPX, or their positions in their own words, visit the SSPX Website.

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2 Responses to Vatican II Documents and the SSPX

  1. Jan says:

    Dear Average Catholic, you tackled a tough subject and I just wanted to say I really appreciate how you presented it simply. What an art and gift that is! The average person, I am thinking of family members of my own, really doesn’t understand the whole debate, and every time they ask they get a dose of too much information. Sometimes I think the writers are just entertaining themselves. But this piece of work is accessible.

    I was thinking, after reading it, that you could use your skills in breaking down the Gleize article, because it pretty simply itself boils the debate down too, but manages to capture the essence of the conflicting ideas in a sentence or two, and give the references from tradition, I think sometimes the actual words from the traditional teaching, which the Vatican II version obviously contradicts. There, I’ve managed to become unsimple myself.

    At the time the article came out, I made some notes, and if you didn’t mind, I’ll paste them below. It includes the link to the original article on the SSPX site. I just wanted something handy to use, because this issue comes up again and again. People always say, hidden contradictions, like they can’t be found. Yes, they can. We have the actual words from the Vatican II documents (those you reference above in toto) and we know the actual words from tradition that the new formulation contradicts. It’s not all in the spirit of the Council, some of it is in the actual –curses. That’s how I think of them. Spells.

    Anyway, I’ll paste below. You can just erase this whole comment as being too long, it’s okay with me. Just trying to help. I like your blog and your vision.

    http://www.dici.org/en/news/debate-about-vatican-ii-fr-gleize-responds-to-msgr-ocariz/

    On at least four points, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are obviously in logical contradiction to the pronouncements of the previous traditional Magisterium, so that it is impossible to interpret them in keeping with the other teachings already contained in the earlier documents of the Church’s Magisterium. Vatican II has thus broken the unity of the Magisterium, to the same extent to which it has broken the unity of its object.

    These four points are as follows. The doctrine on religious liberty, as it is expressed in no. 2 of the Declaration Dignitatis humanae, contradicts the teachings of Gregory XVI in Mirari vos and of Pius IX in Quanta cura as well as those of Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei and those of Pope Pius XI in Quas primas.

    The doctrine on the Church, as it is expressed in no. 8 of the Constitution Lumen gentium, contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius XII in Mystici corporis and Humani generis.

    The doctrine on ecumenism, as it is expressed in no. 8 ofLumen gentium and no. 3 of the Decree Unitatis redintegratio, contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius IX in propositions 16 and 17 of the Syllabus, those of Leo XIII in Satis cognitum, and those of Pope Pius XI inMortalium animos.

    The doctrine on collegiality, as it is expressed in no. 22 of the Constitution Lumen gentium, including no. 3 of the Nota praevia [Explanatory Note], contradicts the teachings of the First Vatican Council on the uniqueness of the subject of supreme power in the Church, in the Constitution Pastor aeternus. (…)

  2. Hello Jan. Thank you for your kind words about my post. I will re-read the article and the words of Fr. Gleize, and see if there is anything I can add that would be of value. If so, I will write a post in the next couple of days.

    God bless.

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