Tip: Don’t let a Novus Ordo priest write your foreword…
A Foreword Gone Awry:
SSPX issues Disclaimer concerning Fr. Robinson’s New Book
The theological absurdistan known as the “position of the Society of St. Pius X” is once again on full display. This time it has to do with the fact that the SSPX, so hell-bent on joining up with the apostate post-Catholic Vatican, decided to have a new book by one of its own priests published by a Novus Ordo publishing company, the UK-based Gracewing.
The book in question is The Realist Guide to Religion and Science by Fr. Paul Robinson, SSPX. The book itself is not the problem — the foreword is. It was penned by “Fr.” Paul Haffner, the theological and editorial director of Gracewing. Haffner is a Novus Ordo priest and, not surprisingly, adheres to the Novus Ordo religion, a problem that was clearly underestimated by the Lefebvrians involved in this project.
It is unfortunate that Fr. Robinson didn’t get a chance to read the foreword before the book went to press, especially since no one else in the SSPX apparently did either. But that was simply par for the course: If you allow a Novus Ordo cleric to write a foreword, don’t be surprised if in the end it contains Novus Ordo ideas. In any case, the SSPX has now had to issue a disclaimer lest people think it is tainted with the religion of which their “Pope” is the head.
The conundrum in question concerns the SSPX’s refusal to consider as saints and blesseds the people their “Pope” has declared to be such. In particular, we are talking about “Saint” John Paul II and “Blessed” Paul VI, the two Modernist giants who have shaped the Vatican II religion like no one else. If John Paul II and Paul VI are Catholic saints, then the members of the SSPX are wasting their time — and their souls. The problem is that in his foreword to Fr. Robinson’s book, “Fr.” Haffner alludes to both John Paul II and Paul VI and, naturally, mentions them as “Saint” and “Blessed”, respectively. This has led Fr. Robinson to issue the following disclaimer, which appears as part of the SSPX’s news release introducing The Realist Guide:
Note on the Foreword
Fr Robinson would like to express his profound gratitude to Rev Dr Paul Haffner for publishing The Realist Guide to Religion and Science through Gracewing Publishers, of which he is the theological and editorial director. Fr Robinson is also grateful to Father Haffner for writing the foreword to his book. Father Haffner, in addition to being a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome for the past 30 years, is a specialist on the work of the late Father Stanley Jaki and The Realist Guide attempts to provide a philosophical backbone to the thesis of Fr Jaki’s Gifford Lectures of 1974–1975 and 1975–1976 (published as The Road of Science and the Ways to God). Thus, it was most appropriate for Father Haffner to compose the foreword for The Realist Guide, and Fr Robinson is pleased of Fr Haffner’s approval of his attempt to popularize Fr Jaki’s work.
In the foreword, Fr Haffner makes reference to the support of the Conciliar Popes for realism. In doing so, he assigns to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II the titles of ‘Blessed’ and ‘Saint’ respectively. As Fr Robinson was not provided an opportunity to read the foreword before the publication of his book, he was not able to express his adherence to the position of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) on the doubtful nature of the canonizations, because of the many changes in the canonization process. In addition, he was not able to reiterate the particular concerns about the canonization of Pope John Paul II that he expressed in his Nov./Dec. 2013 Angelus article ‘The Difference between a “Saint” and a “Saint”’.
Thus, the appearance of ‘Blessed’ and ‘Saint’ beside Paul VI and John Paul II in the foreword of The Realist Guide should in no way be construed as an acceptance by Fr Robinson of the modern canonizations or a deviation from his publicly expressed opinions on that subject or the position of the SSPX. Nor should the foreword be construed as implying that Fr Robinson believes that the Conciliar Popes have been realist in their philosophical outlook.
(“SSPX Seminary Professor Releases New Book: The Realist Guide to Religion and Science”, SSPX.org, Feb. 26, 2018; hyperlinks removed.)
So the appearance of “Blessed” and “Saint” beside Paul VI and John Paul II in Mr. Haffner’s foreword should not be construed as an acceptance of such by Fr. Robinson. Very well. This makes perfect sense, since Fr. Robinson’s recognition of Francis as Pope ought not to be construed as Fr. Robinson’s acceptance of that man’s religion, either. We’re detecting a clear pattern here.
The sedevacantist Fr. Anthony Cekada has just published a post which lays bare the contradictory muddle that is known as the position of the SSPX with respect to the canonization of saints, specifically in the context of the release of The Realist Guide and its troublesome foreword. Be sure to read it:
Fr. Cekada hits the nail on the head when he says that “the reason why SSPX is able get priests and layman [sic] to swallow such an obviously false position on canonizations and countless other doctrinal questions is that SSPX presents itself as a substitute for the magisterium of the Church. The ‘pope’ may speak and issue decrees, but the Society is the final arbiter of ‘tradition'” (emphases removed).
That is exactly how it is. Pope Pius IX condemned this position at length in his encyclical Quartus Supra, which bears so many resemblances to the Lefebvrists of today that one is tempted to think it was addressed directly to SSPX founder Abp. Marcel Lefebvre or the current Superior General, Bp. Bernard Fellay:
A sterling illustration of the SSPX’s flawed theology can be found in the following post, in which we dismantle Fr. Robinson’s 2017 article, “Unity of Faith with Pope Francis & Canonical Recognition of the SSPX”:
If the SSPX wants to “go mainstream”, there is a price to pay. One of their biggest hurdles they cleared in 2005, when they suddenly discovered that the Novus Ordo rite of episcopal consecration was valid after all. The timing was perfect, since they were publicly recognizing a man as Pope who had himself been consecrated in that rite, and it just wouldn’t have been conducive to warm relations with the “Holy See” if they didn’t think their “Pope” was even a valid bishop. Unfortunately, however, their own Bp. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais must not quite have gotten the memo, because as of 2016, he was still publicly questioning the validity of the Novus Ordo “bishops”.
By the way, by choosing Gracewing as the publisher for Fr. Robinson’s Realist Guide (remember, they could have just had their own Angelus Press print it), the SSPX has now aligned itself with an entity that publishes books promoting John Paul II’s disgusting “Theology of the Body” (see here and here and a substantial critique here), the Second Vatican Council (see here), and the dangerous fake Medjugorje apparitions (see here). In addition, Gracewing sells numerous titles by other publishers, including books filled with sermons and reflections by “Pope” Francis. A work entitled Healing Wounds in the Field Hospital of the Church is also published by Gracewing.
It looks like the SSPX is going to have to issue a few more disclaimers.
Image source: gracewing.co.uk
License: Fair use