In our last article (dealing with navigating the “minefield” of Tradistan -- click here), one will notice that we made no mention of the SSPX and FSSP. That was deliberate. And the reason that we didn’t mention them is that, because they are part of the “”conciliar” Church, many traddies consider them to be not “traditional” – and we felt that dealing with that “issue” would have made the article prohibitively long. But we will deal with it now.
The “conventional wisdom” in TradWorld is that one must be outside the conciliar Church to be “traditional” -- and that anyone within it is ipso facto “in communion with Rome,” and thus not validly “traditional.” Furthermore, the cult-masters would have us believe that the SSPX and FSSP are conniving, evil men who are out to “sell us down the river.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. The clergy of the SSPX and FSSP – almost to a man – DEPLORE the “reforms” of Vatican II (and the decrees of Franken-pope), and are doing everything they can to resist those reforms, and to save Catholicism.
But the SSPX and FSSP, unlike the cult-masters, have chosen to remain in the institutional Church, and to fix it from within, while the cult-masters have left the Church, and are trying to re-invent it from without. The former, unlike the cult-masters, have NOT decreed that “the chair of Peter is vacant” – because they know that they haven’t the authority to render such a judgment, any more than the cult-masters do. (And, having left the Church, the cult-masters have forfeited any magisterial authority they might have possessed anyway.)
It is the cult-masters of Tradistan, not the SSPX and FSSP, who are “selling us down the river.” The former have set themselves up as “the Church,” inventing new “doctrines” and issuing promulgations as if they were “the pope.” But in doing so, what they have done is to invent a new counterfeit “Catholicism,” where appearances have replaced substance, where arbitrary, self-serving “rules” have replaced real Catholic morality, and where double-standard hypocrisy reigns supreme. According to the cult-masters, one must be a “sedevacantist” to be “Catholic”; and going to an “una cum” Mass now counts as a mortal sin. Yet watching porn (and animal-torture) videos and fornicating with (and impregnating) a fellow student are just cases of “boys being boys”; and having one’s wife dehydrated to death is “a husband’s right under God.” Such is the kind of insanity that passes for “morality” under the cult-masters.
The SSPX and FSSP, on the other hand, issue no such prohibitions on being “Catholic.” Under them, one’s opinion on “sedevacantism” or una cum Masses is NOT used as a criterion to determine one’s “Catholicity,” nor is anyone disqualified on that account -- and it is certainly not used as a pretext to deny people the sacraments. They don’t try to pass off “una cum” and “sedevacantism” as dogmas – because they know that they’re not dogmas, but merely opinions – authorized by no one – and, as such, carry no weight.
But, more importantly, with the SSPX and FSSP, one gets real Catholic morality, not some counterfeit, make-it-up-as you-go-along claptrap from one of Tradistan’s tinhorn “theologians.” And that’s because their clergy are properly formed, with a real education at a real, accredited seminary – not some janitor-in-training apprenticeship from one of Tradistan’s trade schools. And, because the SSPX and FSSP are part of the institutional Church – and thus answerable to a hierarchy – they must be fiscally accountable, and not use the collection basket as their own personal bank account, as the answerable-to-nobody cult-masters do. They will not fleece their sheep for money to go on “apostolates” to posh destinations, nor will they solicit “donations” for questionable “improvements.” In short, they will “play by the rules” – and not make up their own.
Lastly, there is the matter of the SSPX’s and FSSP’s priestly orders. The cult-masters’ would have us believe that they are not valid. But their claims are just that – claims – made by men who, again, have absolutely NO authority (or justification) to make them. Rather, it is the trad “clergy” whose orders should be “suspect.” And, speaking of “suspect,” an even bigger question mark is Traddieland’s “bishops.” The truth is, for the most part, Traddieland hasn’t any bishops – at least legitimate ones -- because, first, the title of “bishop” can only be lawfully bestowed by papal mandate; and, second, to exercise real juridical power, a bishop must have a “See” (diocese) – neither of which applies in Tradistan. Most traditional “bishops” are, at best, illicit. And, at worst, they can be like “one-hand” Dan: invalid.
But getting back to the question: are the SSPX and FSSP (and their clergy) valid? Until anyone with real authority (and jurisdiction) can prove otherwise, yes they are. And are their Masses (and sacraments) valid? By all means! And, given the choice, one is far better off going to them than to one of Dannie’s, Donny’s, or Pivvy’s “clergy.” At the SSPX or FSSP, you’ll get real sacraments. But, in addition to that, you’ll get someone with real moral expertise -- who will render real moral judgments – and render them impartially, not selectively, as the cult-masters do. You’ll also most likely get someone who is selfless – who is not out to exploit the parishioners for his own material gain, as Tradistan’s self-serving predators do.
And, contrary to what the cult-masters try to tell people, the clergy of SSPX and FSSP are good men, genuinely interested – not in people's money, like the cult-masters are – but in their souls. And also contrary to what Dannie, Tony, or Donny claims, the majority of them, in our opinion, will NOT “compromise their principles” and “sell their souls to Rome.” (In fact, they categorically loathe Franken-pope – but, again, they feel they must “resist from within,” not “fly the coup,” as the cult-masters have done.) And, besides, when it comes to “compromising principles,” who are people like Dannie and Tony to be pointing their finger at anyone about that? They – who justified the execution of Terri Schiavo, and who condoned the blatant immorality (and cruelty) at SGG’s school – who are these vermin to talk about “principles”?1
So, for those who are “looking for a priest” – and that, of course, includes those “only looking for the sacraments” – the SSPX and FSSP are eminently qualified – certainly more so than the unschooled trolls of Tradistan. With Dannie, Big Don, or Pivvy, one gets “copious quantities” of sugary sanctimony (Dannie), hellfire and brimstone (Big Don), and moral ambiguity (Pivvy) – and, of course, lots of “Bergoglio bashing” – but no sound moral judgment. With the SSPX or FSSP, one will get “the real thing”: a priest who, unlike the self-serving, double-standard phonies of Tradistan, will be one with real moral fiber and real Catholic teaching. Given a choice, we heartily recommend one of SSPX’s or FSSP’s over one of SGG’s, MHT’s, or Mater Dei’s hatchlings. 2
The cult-masters (as we said earlier) claim that the SSPX and FSSP “are selling us down the river.” Whether or not something like that ultimately happens, remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: Dannie, Tony, and Big Don already have “sold us down the river.” And they are using any “technicality” they can to divide people, and to convince them that nothing but their particular cult is the one and only “true path to heaven.” They want division, not unity -- and what they really care about is not “validity,” “legitimacy,” or anything like that, but MONEY. These lepers are interested not in your souls, but in your bank accounts. So, “bottom line,” avoid them like the plague – because they ARE the plague!
1 If the cult-masters were really interested in “reforming the Church,” they would have led selfless, unworldly lives – not the extravagant, exploitative life-styles that they do. Also, they would not have condoned the blatant cruelty and immorality that has gone on at the cult centers. And as for “compromising principles,” the list of “compromised principles” at the cult centers is almost ENDLESS – as is their self-serving greed and their double-standard hypocrisy. For the cult-masters to look down their noses at ANYONE is a classic case of “the pot calling the kettle black.”
2 To those who would have us believe that the CMRI “is not so bad as SGG or MHT,” events prove otherwise: there have been many “horror stories” reported by former Mater Dei seminarians about both its academics and its “extra-curricular activities.” Let us remind them, too, that Pivarunas, like Dannie and Big Don, has shown more than once that he really has no principles. For instance, in addition to saying nothing against Cekada’s dreadful justification of Terri Schiavo’s murder, the Pivmeister basically did the same thing in principle by sanctioning the harvesting of a “donor” organ for a heart transplant (for the daughter of one of his rich parishioners).
He didn’t even have the moral judgment to realize that removing a vital organ from someone for “donation” ends that person’s life. Like Terri’s dehydration, removing one’s heart is the proximate cause of death for that person. In short, it is murder. Pivvy “approved” this because, to repeat, the organ “recipient” was the daughter of one of his wealthy (and generous) parishioners. Should this be the attitude of a Catholic, much less, of the “superior general” of a supposedly “Catholic” organization? We think not.
The myth of “brain death” was (and still is) used as a justification for “organ donation.” But, medical experts (and theologians) now agree that “brain death” is not a valid term. Many people thought to be “brain dead” have come back to make a full recovery; and it is now widely recognized that “brain death” was just a convenient pretext ginned up to justify the taking of one’s life for purposes of harvesting organs. And, just as Checkie claimed that keeping Terri alive was “a grave financial burden on society,” so too was Pivvy’s thinking along the same “financial” lines when he approved that transplant. Money, not morality, was Pivvy’s “bottom line” here too.