Si Si, No No…
Twelve Inconvenient Questions for the Society of Saint Pius X
We challenge the clergy and/or lay faithful of the Society of St. Pius X to answer the following questions. All questions ought to be answered, insofar as applicable, with proof from authoritative Catholic magisterial sources, such as papal encyclicals, decrees of ecumenical councils, or approved catechisms and theological manuals, before the death of Pope Pius XII (1958). Novel concepts, such as “partial communion” or “Eternal Rome vs. Today’s Rome”, are not acceptable, as they have no foundation in Catholic teaching. In addition, anyone answering these questions ought not to seek refuge in vague formulations or ambiguous expressions: “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil” (Mt 5:37). Please answer clearly, directly, straightforwardly.
- Are you, or are you not, in communion with “Pope” Francis and his religion?
- Do you agree that, in the final analysis, it is for the Pope and the Pope alone to say who is and isn’t in communion with him?
- Do you agree, as the First Vatican Council teaches, that “in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved untainted, and holy doctrine celebrated” (Denz. 1833)?
- Do you agree, as the First Vatican Council teaches, that Francis, who you insist is the Pope of the Catholic Church, “is the supreme judge of the faithful,” of whom you consider yourselves a part, “and that in all cases pertaining to ecclesiastical examination recourse can be had to his judgment; moreover, that the judgment of the Apostolic See, whose authority is not surpassed [not even by the SSPX], is to be disclaimed by no one, nor is anyone [including the SSPX] permitted to pass judgment on its judgment” (Denz. 1830)?
- Do you submit to Francis in the same manner as you would have submitted to Pope St. Pius X had you lived during his reign?
- Who has the final say on what is orthodox doctrine — Rome or Menzingen? If Rome doesn’t have the final say in our day, why did it have the final say in 1910, and when did it switch from “final say all the time” to “final say sometimes, depending on what they decide, as judged by Menzingen”, and who decided that?
- In his encyclical Satis Cognitum, Pope Leo XIII teaches: “You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held” (n. 13; quoting St. Augustine). Do you believe and teach “the faith of Rome”?
- Do you believe that the Catholic Church, Bride of Christ, “regards with sincere reverence those [Pagan] ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men” (Vatican II, Declaration Nostra Aetate, n. 2)? Do you believe that “Pope” Paul VI, “by the Apostolic Authority handed down to Us from Christ, together with all the Venerable Fathers, in the Holy Ghost approve[d], decree[d] and establish[ed] these things” and, furthermore, that Paul VI, by his supposed apostolic authority, ordered these things “to be promulgated unto the glory of God”, as the conciliar document says at the very end (see here Latin original)?
- Suppose for a minute that Paul VI was not a valid Pope, as we Sedevacantists argue. Would you then agree that all of the sacramental rites he promulgated in which the essential matter or form were changed, could be invalid?
- If you answered “yes” to the previous question, do you agree then that Sedevacantism is the safer course to take, just in case it should turn out that Paul VI was indeed not a valid Pope?
- If there should be a dispute among SSPX clerics on how to answer any of these questions, why is that, and who gets to decide which set of answers is the “real” Catholic position?
- If you dislike any of these questions, why is that?
For an organization that considers itself to be one of the last bastions of Catholic orthodoxy, these questions ought not to cause offense, nor confusion, nor consternation.