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Msgr. Pozzo
in the News
A Commentary
on his
Nouvelles de France
Interview

Msgr. Pozzo

6-23-2011

Pope Benedict XVI

In a recent interview granted to Nouvelles de France at the Vatican, the Pope’s spokesman for Tradition said some words which might profitably feed the curiosity of our readers, clarifying once again the stakes of the traditionalist struggle.

 

NDF: Do you know if the Pope is happy with the application of the Motu Proprio?

read the answer >

 

Msgr. Pozzo stealthily eludes any controversies but his silences speaks volumes, as extensive as the report Una Voce gave to the Vatican (www.fiuv.org)

Msgr. Pozzo: “It is necessary, and a duty, to recuperate the principle of unity of the Liturgy, which precisely justifies the existence of two forms, both legitimate, which can never be placed in opposition or alternative. The extraordinary form is not a return to the past, and must not be understood as a critique of the liturgical reform wanted by Vatican II. Likewise, the ordinary form is not a rupture with the past, but its development at least under certain aspects.”

read the question and full answer >

Msgr. Pozzo is advancing a few theses:

a) The extraordinary form of the Mass is not a critique of Vatican II.

He is here faithfully echoing Pope Benedict XVI, who has entirely departed from the barrage Pope Paul VI leveled against the traditional Mass: “Now, if we allow the Mass of St. Pius V to the SSPX, everything we have gained by the Vatican Council will be ruined.”1 Paul VI clearly saw a contradiction between the old Mass and the new Council. Does Pope Benedict understand the spirit of the new liturgy better than the Pope who produced it?

Second Vatican Council in session

b)    The two forms of the Mass can never be placed in opposition.

As the Pope teaches that there are not two Churches (the pre and post-conciliar Churches) but one, he also affirms that there are not two Masses (the ordinary and extraordinary rites) but one. For him, the principle of this liturgical unity (which unites the two forms) needs to be recovered. Is this wishful thinking or is there a foundation for such principle of unity? If yes, where is it?

Cardinal Koch thinks otherwise. On May 14, he stated that “in the long term, we cannot stop at a co-existence between the ordinary form and the extraordinary form the Roman rite, but in the future the Church naturally will once again need a common rite…”

Moreover, if Msgr. Pozzo rejects any opposition, Cardinal Koch makes no bones about their differences: “There have been problems, and the need to revisit Vatican II’s teachings in liturgy and strengthen certain elements, including the Christological and sacrificial dimensions of the Mass.” Now, when he refers to “certain elements” of the Mass including the real Presence and the sacrificial aspect of the Mass, is Cardinal Koch referring only to secondary concepts or to something belonging to the very heart and soul of the Mass?

NDF: "The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church." (Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, n. 19). Does this remark refer to the SSPX?

read the answer >

Msgr. Pozzo distinguishes the normative Novus Ordo Missae of 1969, the perfect liturgical expression of Vatican II, from the later liturgical applications characterized by doctrinal ambiguity and deformations, abuses and desacralizations, causing the “crumbling of the liturgy”.

He seems to ignore that the New Mass itself establishes a model for an evolving liturgy, allowing for exceptions, diverse canons, etc. The legislation itself (open to question) is filled with imprecision and permissions for long periods of time, which allowed the liturgy to enter into a period of change, inventions, varieties, in brief, of chaos.2

This was exactly what Bugnini, the creator of the New Mass, had in mind:

In our era, a cultural, religious, social and human evolution is taking place such that one no longer wants to keep the things of the past. And that is why it seemed to us necessary to make a rite that is better adapted to the mentality of the modern world.”3

Annibale Bugnini, Creator of the New Mass
Annibale Bugnini,
Creator of the New Mass

It has been said that “in important matters authentic tradition consists not in restoring what others have done, but in rediscovering the spirit that brought those things into existence and that would do other, completely different things at other times.”4

We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.”5

Msgr. Pozzo makes a clear distinction regarding the concept of “Tradition”. It means either the proper defenders of the integrity of doctrine and liturgy, or an ideological concept, opposing Vatican II to what came before Vatican II. Msgr. Pozzo implicitly agrees with the following theses:

a) There is no opposition between Vatican II and pre-Vatican II teaching.

This is not quite what Benedict XVI explains in his famous discourse on the hermeneutic of continuity:

French Revolution: which implemented the principles of Freemasonry
The French Revolution:
which implemented the
principles of Freemasonry:
"Equality, Liberty, Fraternity"

The Syllabus of 1864 is pure opposition! But Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes brings about a counter-syllabus. The Council wished to effect the adaptation of the truths of the Church to the thought of the Age of Enlightenment and of the French Revolution of 1789, because the latter accepts in principle the absolute rights of freedom. So, in the mind of the Pope, the Council intended to accomplish “the synthesis of fidelity and dynamic… It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists…6

b) The concept of Tradition is flexible.

How can we explain the Pope’s viewpoint? Only by understanding his concept of Tradition: “Tradition is not the transmission of things or words, a collection of dead things. Tradition is the living river that links us to the origins, the living river in which the origins are ever present, the great river that leads us to the gates of eternity.”7 He had expressed it more bluntly in his earlier years: “Both the Catholic and Protestant interpretation of Christianity have meaning each in its own way; they are true in their historical moment... Truth becomes a function of time... fidelity to yesterday’s truth consists precisely in abandoning it, in assimilating it into today’s truth.”8The truth is whatever serves progress, that is, whatever serves the logic of history.”9

Click here to read
"The True Notion
of Tradition"

c) Such a flexible concept of Tradition is legitimated by the notion of a “living Tradition”.

The Pope understands continuity in the sense of relativism by which one could overcome contradictions by employing the principle that the teachings of the Church are expressed in a historical context.

The discourse of the Pope is coherent, yet contrary to Church’s teaching. Living contrasts with posthumous. It refers to the subject and the act of the magisterium: the teachers and the act of teaching disciples. It does not refer to the object of the magisterium (the teaching matter or doctrine). Now, objective Tradition (i.e., dogmas and revealed truths of the Church) is not living but unchangeable. The preaching can become more accurate but the dogma does not change. There is progress, not in the dogma, but in the understanding of the dogma by the faithful who are better protected against the assaults of error. What evolution there is can bear only on the mode of belief and not on the object of belief. This is the ambiguity of the “Living Tradition” of the modernists who use it to render dogma itself perpetually evolving with age and circumstances.

Msgr. Pozzo. “The doctrinal deviations and liturgical deformations which took place after the close of the Second Vatican Council have no objective foundation in the conciliar documents taken in the whole of Catholic doctrine.”

read the question and full answer >

Msgr. Pozzo just quoted the Pope speaking of the “crumbling of the liturgy.” He is well aware that most Catholics today deny the Real Presence and the existence of Hell, etc. Rome is well aware of the dimensions of the crisis. The effects are jumping out at their face; the hurricane is of cosmic dimensions.

NDF: It does not seem conceivable that a call into question of the Second Vatican Council may happen. Therefore, where do these discussions might lead? To a better understanding of this?

Msgr. Pozzo: “They concern a clarification of points that detail the exact meaning of the teaching of the Council… The objective is to show that we must interpret the Council in the continuity of the Tradition of the Church.”

read the full answer >

For Msgr. Pozzo, Vatican II is not open to discussion. The Roman commission would love to have the SSPX's thinkers clarify things and help it to bridge the gap between pre-Vatican II doctrine and Vatican II's teaching.

Yet, on the part of the SSPX, the only reason to discuss doctrine at Rome is to open the eyes of the authorities to the inner contradictions of Vatican II's teaching. Bishop de Galarreta explained this at the beginning of the doctrinal discussions:

…[it] has been clearly agreed upon, the only common and possible criterion of these discussions is the anterior Magisterium. This is a conditio sine qua non (necessary condition) for these discussions...

Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta
Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta

 It seems clear that the Roman side at times is speechless and tries to include the conciliar teaching as valuable magisterial data. To which we reply: do not bring Vatican II's teaching into the solution: it is part of the problem! What we need to find out is whether or not the pre-Vatican II teaching compared to the Vatican II teaching enjoys the ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ of Benedict XVI. This and only this could validate the last Council.10

This is the real Roman dilemma: can we discuss a doctrine without submitting it to scrutiny from the outside, to measure it against a yard stick? How can we discuss the value of the conciliar teaching except by comparing it to Tradition, i.e., to the 20 centuries of Church teachings found in our Catholic Encyclopedias, Enchiridion and Denzinger?

The Roman authorities realize the difficulty of reconciling Vatican II's doctrines with the Church of the past. To remedy this, not only do they cast aspersion against those who warn about the danger, but they change the concept of Tradition so as to pretend that all is wonderful and unchanged under the Roman sky, surrounded by a moribund Church. It is like a policeman inquiring about an explosion, laying his hands on the persons who cried “Fire!” and starting a philosophical discussion to show that this explosion was not caused by fire, but a breeze. Meanwhile no one investigates who or what sparked the explosion!

NDF: Do you think that today still, the teaching of the Council has not been properly applied?

Msgr. Pozzo. “On the whole, unfortunately I think it is so… There are complex situations in which we find out that the teaching of the Council is not yet understood…”

read the full answer >

By now, Msgr Pozzo is getting into deep waters. Vatican II was allegedly a pastoral and non-dogmatic council so that the message and the spirit of the Church could be made clear to everybody. Yet, in fact, after 40 years, “on the whole”, the teaching of the Council has not been applied? The question deserves being asked: is this due to the incapacity of the authorities or rather to the lack of clarity of the trumpet sounding the cry to arms?

Frs. Rahner and Ratzinger at the Second Vatican Council
Frs. Rahner and Ratzinger (right)
at the Second Vatican Council

Among those who were present at the Council, was there Professor Ratzinger, an active theologian and behind much of the Vatican II spirit and renewal? What was Cardinal Ratzinger doing as the doctrinal bulldog of the faith under John Paul II, the Pope of change and of open rupture with the past? How come no one seems to have raised his voice before all the heresies, errors, and wrong interpretations of Vatican II during these forty long years of eclipse of the true Council? And if no one has been able to clarify and put in practice the true Council until now, how can one, out of the blue, say that he has the true spirit and the power to implement it?

According to Msgr. Pozzo, some have an ideological concept which is deformed because it rejects that the second Vatican Council is part of Tradition” … “Some still practice a hermeneutic of discontinuity with Tradition (i.e., mostly Vatican II teaching).

Msgr. Pozzo signifies two things which, to him, are evident:

a) Vatican II is a Council in line with Tradition.

The “ecumenical” Second Vatican Council, unlike all others, did not work at clarifying theological problems so as to maintain the purity of doctrine against heretics. It was aimed at pleasing heretics, whatever the doctrinal price to pay. Not quite the same, is it? The term “ecumenical” has radically changed.

Only with an abundance of ambiguities and behind-the-scenes maneuvering did they succeed in passing off to the Council Fathers the identity of contraries: God is the end of the universe and man is the end of the universe (Gaudium et Spes); error has no rights yet all sects are allowed to proliferate with papal approval (Dignitatis Humanae); the Church of Jesus Christ is only the Catholic Church and is not only the Catholic Church (subsistit in of Lumen Gentium); truth in matters of religion is the Catholic Faith alone and it is not the Catholic Faith alone (Unitatis Redintegratio); the grace of Jesus Christ is received exclusively through the Catholic Church and it is not received exclusively through her (Unitatis Redintegratio).  So it is that the Council was only able to implement the incoherent charter of ecumenism by sacrificing the principles of reason and the Faith. Vatican II is contradiction, not Tradition!

b) Vatican II is part of the universal magisterium and enjoys infallibility.

It may come as a surprise that the same neo-modernist theologians who, on the eve of the Council, detested the universal ordinary magisterium, should today be its greatest advocates and invoke its authority at the drop of a hat.  But that was before the storming of the Bastille!  Henceforth the “fundamentalists” have been chained and scorned as leprous, which has created de facto a universal modernist consensus.

The revolutionaries can therefore have a field day celebrating the universal ordinary magisterium of Vatican II. But can the universal magisterium contradict itself and remain infallible? Are we facing an insoluble dilemma?  On the contrary, the solution is very simple.  Universality in the context of magisterium does not signify mere unanimity in space but also in time, according to the Canon of Lerins: “quod semper et ubique”—always and everywhere.  Take the character of perpetuity away from infallibility and nothing remains to prevent the Church from falling prisoner to an ideological mass movement, imposing its errors by means of a pressure group.11

This is precisely what occurred at Vatican II. The objective and eloquent history of the Council, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber by Ralph Wiltgen, gives proof enough of this coup d’etat.

 

Msgr. Pozzo: “…there are certain SSPX objections that do make sense, because there has been an interpretation of rupture…

…The essential point [of the discussions] is of a doctrinal nature. In order to reach a true reconciliation, it is necessary to pass over certain doctrinal problems that are at the basis of the current fracture…”

read the question and full answer >

Msgr. Pozzo knows full well that the SSPX holds to the doctrine of Pius XII—to say nothing of what came before—and that we believe that the post-Vatican II mainstream teaching contradicts it. If the doctrines are distinct to the point of constituting a “fracture”, should we not ask ourselves who is in the right? Is it Pius XII following 20 centuries of faith or a 50 year old “Conciliar Church?”12 If one is right, the other is necessarily wrong.

The Mass of All Time has never been abrogated.” It took about 40 years to discover—or rather to uncover—this truth. The Mass of St. Pius V is finally vindicated. Likewise, it took about the same time to signify that the SSPX was not the schismatic sect the liberals pretended it was and to take away the mortal blow of excommunication from its leaders. Will it take another 40 years to come to grip with a dispassionate study of Vatican II, facing the judgment of the timeless Tradition of the Church?


Pope St. Pius V
Pope St. Pius V

If the time is not ripe to question Vatican II, it is not ripe either for true answers to serious problems, problems never seen before in the heart of Catholic priests and laymen, living in perpetual contradiction: “An intention to remain faithful to two councils [Vatican I and Vatican II] which differ so clearly the one from the other is quite simply untenable. The Council presented Catholics with a problem so unusual that they only managed to sidestep it by a certain blindness and surrender of reason.13

This is why Bishop Fellay’s comment on the Roman discussions is quite subdued: “What does Rome propose to do with us now? ...the crisis of the Church has certainly not ended. What is our fate in this crisis? I believe that, at some level, the Good Lord linked us with this crisis, because we are working for the restoration of the Church.14


Footnotes

1 Jean Guitton, Paul VI secret, in The Mass of All Time (Angelus Press), p. 263.

2 Itinéraires, article of R. Dulac #140, p. 50.

3 The Mass of All Time, p. 233.

4 A. Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy (Liturgical Press, 1990), p. 44.

5 Printed in the March 19, 1965 L’Osservatore Romano and The Mass of All Time, p. 228.

6 Discourse 12/22/2005

7 http://www.beginningcatholic.com/catholic-tradition.html Catechesis on Catholic Tradition, April 2006.          Also, Benedict XVI: Jesus, the Apostles, and the Early Church (Ignatius Press: 2007), pg. 28.

8 Principles of Catholic Theology, Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology, p. 16 (Ignatius Press, 1987).

9 Ibid. p. 17.

10 http://www.dici.org/en/news/bishop-de-galarreta%E2%80%99s-comments-of-december-19-2009/

11 One Hundred Years of Modernism, p.275, Angelus Press MO, 2006.

12 A phrase coined by Msgr. Benigni before Archbishop Lefebvre.

13 Daniel Olivier, Les Deux Visages du Pretre (Fayard, 1971), p.106.

14 Interview in Gabon, June 2011.

 

 

 

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