Some more from that article by Jeannette Pryor on SSPX

I thought I would reread the article that I posted a while back since Mary keeps complaining that I have posted an article that is objectively false.  On rereading, I think Pryor makes a good case for understanding a “cultic”mindset.  This is not the same as labeling something a “cult” along the lines of Jim Jones’ Peoples’ Temple, but more broadly as similar to the kind of groupthink that led to the rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany.

Anti-Semitism has again become fashionable, as Tuvia Tenenbaum’s book “I slept in Hitler’s Room” reveals about modern Germany.  Pryor refers to Tenenbaum in her article, and I see that on both the right and the left Jew-hatred (often disguised as Israel hatred) is on the rise.

She writes:

There are people attached to the SSPX who wholeheartedly embrace hatred of the Jewish people. Of far more serious concern and number are the priests and faithful who disagree with the antisemitism. These members are ashamed and angered by this ideology. They appeal in vain to their pastors, asking that offensive literature be removed from book stores and lamenting the difficulty of drawing family and friends to the “Faith” because of sermons and conferences that touch on this geopolitical aspect of the SSPX’s core thinking.

In spite of this, these members continue to worship in SSPX churches and place their children in the group’s schools. The key to understanding this behavior lies in the nature of the human mind once it becomes “cultic.” Cults do not simply fill the mind with error, but fundamentally transform the manner in which the brain processes information. Within the SSPX, one speaks of the Jews as the causal agent of the destruction of the Christian political social order and source of modernization of the Church. Bishop Fellay did this publicly during his talk in Canada. Members deny that this blaming of the Jews is antisemitism. They call it “the Counter-Revolution” or an aspect of “the Social Reign of Christ.”

At some point in their association with the Society, Catholics are confronted with the fact that the SSPX fosters the same perception of the Jews that historically resulted in their near-extermination in Europe. As processors of oxygen, as carbon-based entities, these souls recognize that the Holocaust was a bad thing and that any ideas or people who soften the horror of the Holocaust or the ideas that led to it can’t be good. This means that they have to take responsibility for continuing to associate with the Society which supported men such as Bishop Williamson. Repudiating the group has a very high price. First there is the internal condemnation by a conscience conditioned to see the SSPX as the last true Catholic locus in the world, the only way one can save his or her soul. There is also a social price in the shunning or alienation by family and friends. The greatest obstacle is having to recognize that years of one’s life may have been “wasted” in a group that embraces a racism incompatible with authentic Christianity.

Instead of paying this price, the mind simply changes reality; the Holocaust is attenuated. Members object that their particular chapel or pastor is only focused on the Faith and never speaks of “the Jewish question.” Others argue that they only go to the SSPX for the Latin Mass, for the beautiful ceremonies, and to avoid what they dislike about the “mainstream Church.”

But this compartmentalizing comes at an even higher price. Like a sort of “Horcrux,” it splits the very mind so members must live in two realities: the group’s tolerance of antisemitism and the story members tell themselves about how “good” they are.

Nobody joins a cult. Most people who become entangled in such groups do so for good reasons; change the world, serve God more authentically, etc. There comes a moment when the mind recognizes that this primary goal serves as the justification of the unjustifiable. By this time, the perceived benefits outweigh the “remote” evil. Members enjoy the “luxury” of social, spiritual, economic, and emotional fulfillment without taking responsibility for the consequences of objectifying Jewish people.

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20 Responses to Some more from that article by Jeannette Pryor on SSPX

  1. Foolishness says:

    I have read now all of Pryor’s five part series on the cultic mindset, which deals with far more than SSPX, but looks at Scientology, Lyndon LaRue, and Radical Islam among other things. It is well worth reading in its entirety.

  2. EPMS says:

    The correspondence around your original posting of Jan 21 is an interesting illustration of what you describe here. An apparently well-meaning person is clearly obtaining something of personal value in a group, but at the price of resisting some fairly obvious facts and the conclusions logically derivable therefrom. The string of posts leads us down a winding path where the landmarks become increasingly unfamiliar and the original point hard to recall. A counter-narrative of the Foolishness Bloggroup unfolds. All that is solid melts into air…

  3. Pingback: Some more from that article by Jeannette Pryor on SSPX | Catholic Canada

  4. Mary says:

    The SSPX is neither a cult nor is it Anti-Semitic.

    For your own benefit, ask your priest if it is wrong to repeat something that is not true. Or at least read a catechism.

    • Foolishness says:

      Mary, how do you explain then Bishop Williamson’s Holocaust denial or Bishop Fellay’s recent comments lumping Jews in as “enemies of the Church.”?

      Yes, I am sure not all SSPX priests and people are anti-Semitic, but there is a definite troublesome strain that comes across and just because you assert the SSPX is not a cult and is not anti-Semitic does not mean there are not cultic aspects to the way this group and its followers behave and the groupthink they impose and a strain of anti-Semitism running through certain quarters.

  5. Mary says:

    OK, this makes more sense, I guess you didn’t read my previous comments.

    I believe poor Bishop Williamson is not in his right mind. He doesn’t “believe” in history. I think he should refrain from all public speech but should not be condemned to hell and hope you join me in praying he will save his soul.

    I think the one quote by Bishop Fellay was a terrible mistake (perhaps because English is not his primary language), the SSPX does have enemies (look at sweet M. Fournier in the first set of commentary, he hates the SSPX). In the case of Bp. Fellay, several chief rabbis have made threatening comments to the Holy Father, telling him not to even negotiate with the SSPX. This is documented, do some research.

    I am also appalled by kind Norm’s, words that paraphrased, are: well, maybe the US SSPX is ok, but the French SSPX are anti-Semitic. My brother has lived in central France for 10 years, my nephew is at university in Paris. Neither has ever seen anti-semitism in the SSPX and I assure you they are not cult members.

    Here, read my previous comment:
    Thank you for agreeing the SSPX is not a cult.
Yes, initially Bp. Williamson was tolerated as someone with a distorted view of history. His superiors wanted him to not speak publicly about anything but religion. He was corrected by being sent to Argentina, then ‘retired’ unwilling to England. Expulsion only came when he became even more disruptive. I think that the attempts to convert him to a normal view of history or at least a silent view of history, plus the years spent trying to do this, show the superiors of the SSPX were not reactive to media, but rather considered the possible loss of souls following a charismatic man. I join you in your fear that a remnant of the SSPX will cease to be Catholic, and this has happened before with the SSPV sedevacantists (1985-6). 
Do you agree that Rabbi Di Segni’s declaration, “If peace with the Lefebvrists means renouncing the overtures of the Council [Vatican II], the Church will have to decide: them, or us!” doesn’t sound very friendly toward the SSPX? I think that everyone can agree that Bp. Fellay made a mistake by not mentioning names of people that are against the SSPX, but do you really think that the SSPX is Anti-semitic, even from its’ foundation? Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s dad was killed in a concentration camp, and he would have been beside his dad if he were in France. But during WWII, he was a Holy Ghost missionary converting people of Africa. His chief goal was to educate native priests to better catechize their own people. He loved God, and what he had been given (his faith) he passed down to a new generation of priests and seminaries.

    I don’t think I could have answered your questions more fairly. Please respond in kind and answer mine.
    1. What cultic aspects do you see in this group or in a SSPX priest’s behavior?
    2. Define groupthink and tell me how it is imposed.
    3. Have you asked your parish priest if it is wrong to repeat something that is not true?
    4. Have you read the catechism?

    • Rev22:17 says:


      1. What cultic aspects do you see in this group or in a SSPX priest’s behavior?

      Perhaps I’m having is one of those “a-ha” moments, but there seem to be two distinct concepts getting intertangled here. The religious concept of a cult (a group that holds bizarre beliefs and/or that follows bizarre practices, often including communal life with strict discipline) is not the same as the psychological concept of a cult (a group in which the leaders use techniques of mind control that interfere with free will to direct the behavior of members). It seems pretty evident, from your question here and your prior posts in the other thread, that you understand the term “cult” in the religious sense, whereas Jeannette Pryor is using it in the psychological sense. If so, it’s possible that both are right.

      BTW, in times past, many Catholic priests used the classic Catholic “guilt trip” to control the behavior of their parishionners, too. Psychologists also see this as a cultic behavior, and it was widespread even though never officially sanctioned by the hierarchy. Additionally, some psychologists now say that cultic behavior of control also is, or at least historically was, rampant in the personal prelature Opus Dei. And in any case, this sort of control is destructive to those who fall victim to it. It does not belong in the church, or in any Catholic school or religious order, under any circumstances.


      • Mary says:

        Norm, you missed it entirely. Jeanette, Deborah and I have all been talking about a psychological cult by your definition above. Jeanette declares SSPX is, Deborah and I it is not. There are real evil, mindcontrolling cults out there. The SSPX is not. To even say that the SSPX is trivializes the reality of people injured by real cults.
        Deborah’s willingness to declare the SSPX anti-Semitic without even investigating through interview in her own town shows a unique capacity to trust the group think of her fssp friends rather than seek truth on her own. Hopefully she focusses on the Ordinates and opts to stop the sloppy persecution of the SSPX.
        Best Regards to you Norm,
        May God Bless +Benedict XVI

  6. Foolishness says:

    Mary, I see cultic aspects in any group that has a strict set of black and white propositions that one must adhere to with complete fidelity through group pressure with sanctions imposed for failing to say the party line. I do not know enough about SSPX except to say that what I do know does not make what Jeannette Pryor wrote about her experiences into a liar. But those were her experiences and I do not extrapolate to assume everyone who attends SSPX chapels has the same ones. No, I do not think the foundation of SSPX is anti-Semitic but I do think there is a strain of anti-Semitism that is rife in France, Germany and Europe in general that is partly due to a mixture of Replacement Theology and Super Secessionism, and “the Jews killed Jesus” mentality coupled with prejudices that spring up against groups outside of majority nationalities, groups which then become scapegoats.

    Groupthink is present whenever people start thinking alike and support each other’s way of seeing reality so that evidence to the contrary gets filtered or suppressed, sometimes at the expense of Reality. Groups that cultivate an “us against them” and “we’re pure and everyone else is tainted” can become like this. I think group think is a common temptation to human beings and is found in various forms everywhere. It exists in academia, in the mainstream media, and in religions of all kinds and can vary in strength from relatively benign to severely cultic in which people will strap on suicide belts.

    I find the approach SSPX takes to religious freedom extremely problematic and contrary to Scripture even if it might be consistent with some encyclicals, such as the one which says, “error has no rights.”

    Of course I have not asked my parish priest your silly question about whether I know it is wrong to repeat something I know to be untrue, because I do not find you as believable as Jeannette Pryor. So I do not think I am repeating anything that is untrue, I am merely posting excerpts of an extremely well-written series of articles by a former SSPX worshipper who has some very wise observations about human nature and about other instances of group think such as that found in Islamism and other groups.

    Have I read the Catechism of the Catholic Church? No, I have not sat down and read it from cover to cover but when I come up against something in Catholic teaching that I am unsure of I refer to it. I have had a copy near my desk for a long time.

    As for the choice the rabbi made between Nostra Aetate and Replacement Theology, sorry, but the latter is heresy. You, Mary, should read your Catechism and realize that you are being disobedient to the Holy Father because you do not properly understand ecclesiology.

    Then maybe the scales will fall from your eyes and what is apparent to most everyone else here it seems might also become apparent to you. But then, see, I’m hitting you over the head with propositions and really I would not expect you to do as I tell you simply because I have proof-texted you or whatever. Thus, please have the wisdom to realize that simply because you assert SSPX is not anti-Semitic and Jeannette Pryor is a liar and by linking to her I am knowingly reprinting something that isn’t true is not going to bear fruit in changing my mind. In fact,you come across just like a cult follower who keeps saying the same things over and over to defend against cognitive dissonance. Kind of reminds me of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    • Mary says:

      Dear Deborah,
      Jeanette (spelled right) states the SSPX is a cult. Previously you stated the SSPX was not a cult. One of you must be wrong, you can’t both be correct (her experience can’t make her be in a cult-for-one, she speaks of an organization). If you are correct and the SSPX is not a cult, why reprint this? I believe it is a serious thing to reprint something that is not true. I don’t consider that an ugly thing to say, it is genuine concern from one human to another. Also, if you never read the catechism of the Catholic church, reading the catechism may do you more good than the time you are spending pouring over the blog.
      I do resent that you say that people who attend the SSPX have cultic aspects and groupthink, and sincerely wonder how you can say such a thing when in the same breath you say, “I do not know enough about the SSPX”.
      So here is an invitation. After you have attended Sunday mass, take some time and attend an SSPX mass in Ottawa. I know nothing about anyone there, it appears to be a little mission without even a proper church.
      Holy Ghost Portuguese Community Centre
      115 Echo Dr.
      Ottawa, ON K1S 1M7
      phone: (613) 446-7660 or (514) 312-7890
      Listen to the sermon, eat donuts with the people and talk to them. Ask to meet the priest and interview him like a real journalist for your site.

      (Ioaness, I deeply regret you think I am attacking anyone or whining, I thought this was a discussion, seeking truth. Electronic communication can be inadequate. If I can be misinterpreted in that manner, you are right it is time to give up on this site. But, are you sure you don’t want me to go away because I don’t like you girlfriend, Flannery? Mellow out, last line was a joke!
      Best regards.)

      • Foolishness says:

        Dear Mary, I am not going to visit the local SSPX mission. This is a blog about Ordinariates mainly and whatever tangentially happens to interest me and SSPX only interests me insofar as respond or not to the Holy Father’s offer of regularizing their situation. I’m not interested in going over and over this with you so please excuse me if I seldom respond to your questions any longer. We have a FSSP parish here in Ottawa which I have attended and many of my friends go there. It is fully Catholic and sadly, SSPX is not. If my other commentators wish to respond to you, that’s their prerogative, but I doubt anyone else wants to keep spinning their wheels in the snow with you.

      • Mary says:

        Oh your response was so fun, Jeanette’s article is not about the Holy Father’s offer!

  7. Ioannes says:

    Well… There’s also the distinction between the adherence to Jewish religion and the ethnic Jew. One one hand, Christ was a Jew. On the other hand, what is Judaism without the Temple? Where are the sacrifices, the Levitical priesthood? Yes, there is a Jewish state. But there’s a Mosque at its epicenter. Judaism is incorrect. Being a “Jew” is about as incorrect as being born a Spaniard or being blonde. One does not teach a child to be a “Jew” or rather a Hebrew by virtue of ethnicity. One, however, can be taught Judaism.

    Along my wandering around, I came upon a group of Catholics who apparently are allowed to maintain their “Jewishness”. I cannot say anything but support and love for these Hebrew Catholics, but guess who the modern critics of those people are? Rabid, spitting, Orthodox Jews who call them idolaters. But I digress. To hate the Jewish race, or rather the Hebraic race as a whole, points to the hatred of Christ, His people, His customs, the Jews who loved Him and walked with Him, and to even hate those Jews who accepted Jesus Christ beyond the Apostolic Era, such as Edith Stein, who died because of hatred for the Jews. Do you hate Christ, His Mother, and His Apostles? If not, that is what is most important.

    If the SSPX insist upon hatred of the Jews as a whole, religion and ethnicity, not only did they miss the mark relevant now, (Which is the rise of atheism and secularism) the SSPX isn’t gaining new friends any time soon. If the SSPX isn’t anti-semitic, and its leadership and other members aren’t anti-semitic, then someone’s doing/saying something that causes people to cry “Anti-semitic”- I don’t know who or what caused it, but the SSPX better get it together.

    On a different level, I definitely understand the defensiveness some SSPX sympathizers, like Mary, exhibit. It is usually because of the stigma of being SSPX in particular, but because of the previous treatment of traditionalists in general. Now, this may come across to some as hypocritical coming from me, but STOP WHINING AND COMPLAINING ABOUT YOUR CROSS, SHUT UP AND CARRY IT. Because I’m a big whiner about the Traditional Latin Mass and its relative “fringe group” status here in Los Angeles. I am also aware of the dislike for the TLM for one reason or another, mostly coming from lazy Catholics who likes Obama and other things.

    But that is entirely a different thing from attacking Mrs. Gyapong. She is a Catholic, she is not less a Catholic because she entered the Ordinariates. You are not more Catholic because of the SSPX. It is counter-constructive to have two groups fight each other when more important issues ought to be focused on, namely the Truth, Christ, and secondly, the ensuing unification of Christianity and retaking Christendom from the godless.

    Unless the SSPX obey the Pope, the SSPX are no different from the fracturing protestants no matter how much Latin they write declaring how much they’re not. They’re better off becoming neo-Lutherans or shipped to Russia and have them joined to the Russian Orthodox Church with the sort of petulant and ridiculous attitude they’re exhibiting. There is a Pope on the Throne of St. Peter. Sedevacantists can go to hell, and so can other rebellious groups, unless they repent and reconcile. This is the season of Lent, fear God, and show your love for Him by making peace because He did not die on the Cross for pettiness.

    • I went to one of the conferences of the Association of Hebrew Catholics. They are good orthodox people. Some of them are rather Latin-Mass traditional. They are mainly just looking for a way to live out their cultural–not theological–Judaism within the context of Catholicism. Unfortunately, there haven’t really been any examples of that since about the 2nd century so it can be a hard sell to some traditionalists who reflexively think “Judaizing!”

      The SSPX matter is very complicated. We have attended in the past, though I doubt we would again. Yet I would not necessarily think ill of someone who still went–it really depends on the circumstances. Is a person going because the NO Masses nearby are horrible, they are dying a little inside, and there is no other good option? Or are there dozens of good options and that person is going out of some kind of strange pride about being on the outside of diocesan authority? Plus the boundaries between SSPX and diocesan traditionalists have historically been blurry in some areas. I have seen people bounce back and forth sometimes. The most worrisome folks are the ones who have internalized such a schismatic mentality as to get progressively more ridiculous. There’s a traditional chapel on Long Island (not SSPX incidentally) that went back to the 1960s. Their founding priest died not too long ago, and from what I have heard, the members of the congregation now gather for Sunday “Mass” that consists of a video recording.

      And I’ll say one thing about the SSPX et al. They had the guts to stand for something that the rest of the Latin Church was positively *insane* to throw away. Something that, +Benedict has now stated definitely, was never actually abrogated. Whatever else happens, I think we owe them thanks for that.

  8. Gary Knight says:

    I happen to love, because of my own conversion experience and personal encounter with Christ, the fullness of the Church in its many rites, cults and cultures. What causes me horror is not so much the sometimes grating differences of gesture and custom, participation and silence, or revered classical language as compared to modern vernacular (an old debate which Augustine ceded to Jerome, great advocate of the vernacular); not even signing with the cross onto the heart vs. from the heart; but the ominous pall of closed churches, even in ancient parishes of Spain and France. These places of worship were not vacated by the demography of folks regrouping under headings like NO, LTM, SSPX or SFFX. The basilica of Sherbrooke, Quebec, domus of thousands of seniors in retirement homes, now harbours fewer than 200 souls at Easter vigil, most of them parents of the choir. Pre-Vatican elders have lost their faith in scores, largely due to over-attachment to externals long due for a change, and sadly, not met with sufficiently deep personal affections for Christ and his body. But the body is also emaciated by parched souls who found that touchy-feely religion did not feed them anything lasting.
    If therefore any particular cultus of ecclesial life can show fruits of keeping its future members enthralled by the living memory of true love and devotion by their parents and grandparents .. “faith of our fathers” .. then that is an eloquent sign that the Spirit of God is vivifying them. And this brings me to my point today, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Across cultural boundaries and rites, such as Coptic and Maelchite, Anglican, Gallican and Roman (not to forget Iberian), Eastern and Western, with or without taints of error by excess here and there, one person stands utterly revered above all creatures — Mary the mother of God. She who in various days and places has appeared always appealing for prayer for souls .. is the mother of all.
    I used to be secular-minded, something like the Catholic educators you find canalized on the ‘social gospel’, and to boot one with a psychological antipathy for a ‘maternal’ church (as many of them are). But on pilgrimage to Lourdes — nestled right there in the foothills of the still-going Albigensian excess, surrounded also with innumerable new-age counterpoints, not to mention aggressive secularists — Mary made herself lovingly known. In case it was just ‘impression’ she reconfirmed her Motherhood during the retreat-journey to Chartres (a church dedicated to the Incarnation; inspiring paintings of the Angelus prayed to the sound of her bells in nearby fields). What I found, in answer to the prayer we all offer at times of confusion (“create in me a clean heart o God”), was the infant Jesus gesturing to his mother’s right hand, holding out a radiant heart: “here is the heart you ask for” He seemed to say .. “you must accept it from my Mother”.
    Mother of the Church, the brothers and sisters of Jesus whom He won by the cross, pray for us.

  9. SSPX School Victim says:

    I came across this blog in a google search of SSPX/cults.

    I’m only going to leave one comment, I’m not interested in winding up in a comment fight but this is food for thought. From the comments above, it sounds like many of you are older than me and have been through the changes in the church – like my parents have. I couldn’t even remember the NO mass as we started attending SSPX when I was 3. I spent my late primary school and entire high school years in an SSPX school. I made it my business to know all the SSPX answers on why we were separate from the mainstream Catholic Church because I knew our church situation was different and didnt want to take it for granted.

    This is my opinion of SSPX as a member of Generation Y. SSPX IS guilty of very strong cultish tendencies. I grew up thinking the Jews are the enemy of the Church and that they killed Christ. There were always anti-Jewish strains in our religion classes. SSPX priests act like they are warming and welcome to anyone who is interested in the Latin mass. As soon as a person is remotely questioning their canonical position they turn and become angry. I was told not to associate myself with other Catholics who were non-SSPX as they would become a “danger to my faith”. I was told not to attend any other Latin masses than their own as they could never be certain of the priest’s true intentions of the Eucharists. When I questioned further saying how could I ever be really certain of an SSPX priests true intentions of the Eucharist, I was told that SSPX priests can be assured of good seminarian training to believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. To me, if you start questioning these things it becomes a loss of faith in Christ altogether because how will you ever know what is really going on inside the mind of a priest?

    SSPX claim the NO mass is valid then still tell you to have nothing to do with it. In my whole high school years I never once knew that they actually didn’t have canonical status according to the Catholic Church. Whether or not their justifications on marriage and confessions are correct, they keep the fact that they are not granted by the Church the faculties to marry and absolve sins VERY tight-lipped. When I first heard that SSPX priests marry as civil celebrants I was shocked and didn’t believe it. When I got married 2 years ago I was fed up with the way my family and the priests were trying to manipulate me and the way they treated my fiancée. My fiancée was a devout Catholic, non-SSPX however not anti at all. They treated him very well while he was doing his research on the situation and when he finally came to his conclusion that he wasn’t comfortable receiving sacraments from SSPX instead of respecting his decision they turned very sour. I was very confused on how a good Catholic who had a simple, beautiful faith was suddenly a ‘danger’ to me. When we decided to get married by a local diocesan priest in the Traditional Rite the SSPX priests were very angry. When I was asked why by one priest I said very politely that it was our decision as that is what we were most comfortable with. I didn’t want to be disrespectful as I believe SSPX have the right to make their own choices as I should be able to make my own. I was shocked when the priest told me off for “being ungrateful for my schooling and to my parents.”

    Many of the new generation Y of SSPX are losing the faith. Among my friends, few knew who the current pope is let along who thier ‘local’ bishop is. Many have had enough of SSPX’s rigid strict ways especially women for the strictness of dress – one inch too short etc and you are told you’re immodest! It’s sad when you hear so many young people complain about how crazy SSPX is and they are attending mass there to keep their parents happy.

    As far as being told never to associate with other non-SSPX Catholics, I believe this is just another mechanism of control. My answer to that is: If SSPX is so right and so strong, how come they think that someone will be so easily influenced? and my second answer is: When you start looking outside the SSPX sphere you start discovering a lot more truths that the SSPX has covered up!

    • Rev22:17 says:

      SSPX School Victim,

      You wrote: I’m only going to leave one comment, I’m not interested in winding up in a comment fight but this is food for thought. From the comments above, it sounds like many of you are older than me and have been through the changes in the church – like my parents have. I couldn’t even remember the NO mass as we started attending SSPX when I was 3. I spent my late primary school and entire high school years in an SSPX school. I made it my business to know all the SSPX answers on why we were separate from the mainstream Catholic Church because I knew our church situation was different and didnt want to take it for granted….

      I am stunned by the parallels between what you describe as occurring within the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and what I observed in a normal diocesan parish before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The dymanics of control were very similar, and the reaction of my generation (and those a few years older than us) was very similar to the reaction to the SSPX that you attribute to those of “Generation Y” age.

      Welcome home, to the fullness of the Catholic Church!


      • Ioannes says:

        A dynamics of control is not a bad thing per se; you have that at all levels of life and manifests itself throughout human history. When you deny yourself; when your parents tell you “no”- when a government tells you that “it’s illegal”- or when a bishop prohibits something.

        The question, then, is that authority legitimate? Is the decision on the issue right and just?

        I am a great sinner, and I do not trust myself, hence I practice asceticism to some degree. I am willing to submit my very person to Jesus Christ, who has a claim on my life; not to Obama, regardless of what process he gains his “authority” and certainly not to heretical bishops and clergy who teach falsehoods that no one dares to correct.

        The rebellion that occurred after the Second Vatican Council -not the council itself, which is so vague and nebulous as to avoid any clear stance- is illegitimate; many clergy hid it as well as they hid many child abuses by their fellows as well as all other sort of corruption and my generation will fight against it. I rebel against this rebellion until the Lord takes me.

        What if the Pope supports this rebellion? Then that Pope, unless pronouncing it ex cathedra, is in error. What if the Pope supports women clergy? Homosexual marriage? I shall not leave the Church, not even if they have a dozen Judases installed on the Throne of Peter. But once error is said ex cathedra and is considered an article of faith, I’m going over to the Russian Orthodox Church.

      • Rev22:17 says:


        You wrote: A dynamics of control is not a bad thing per se; you have that at all levels of life and manifests itself throughout human history. When you deny yourself; when your parents tell you “no”- when a government tells you that “it’s illegal”- or when a bishop prohibits something.

        You are missing the point here. There is a big difference between the legitimate exercise of authority to make and to enforce rules of behavior for the common good, then punishes those who fail to conform to those rules, while respecting the legitimate freedom of each individual to pursue his or her own happiness, and manipulative mind control of the sort characteristic of religious cults that violates free will and programs every nuance of an individual’s life. The former is necessary for public order, whereas the latter is destructive to human nature and ultimately to human happiness.

        You wrote: What if the Pope supports this rebellion? Then that Pope, unless pronouncing it ex cathedra, is in error. What if the Pope supports women clergy? Homosexual marriage? I shall not leave the Church, not even if they have a dozen Judases installed on the Throne of Peter. But once error is said ex cathedra and is considered an article of faith, I’m going over to the Russian Orthodox Church.

        Any claim to understand divine revelation better than the magisterium of the Church, enabling one to place one’s own discernment of theological matters above that of the magisterium, is inherently Protestant — not Catholic — and this is precisely what your statement implies that you intend. Neither the churches of the Orthodox Communion nor the ancient oriental churches purport that this is in any way acceptable.


      • Ioannes says:


        The Orthodox deny the infallible dogma of Purgatory, Immaculate Conception, and Papal Infallibility, along with claims of Universal Primacy, and that means they “claim to understand divine revelation better than the magisterium of the Church, enabling them to place their own discernment of theological matters above that of the magisterium”. (of the Catholic Church).

        That makes the Orthodox a bunch of protestants, doesn’t it?

        Now, what I’m saying is that a Church with a Pope that contradicts the teachings of the Church by issuing contradictory teachings has lost credibility. By obligating people to voluntarily (weird how that works) accept illegitimate and evil changes he makes through the apostolic office of the Papacy, he leads people to Hell with him. He may be responsible, but people are still going to Hell regardless, by accepting what they know is morally questionable and by blindly accepting whatever is said. Or do you deny that there were any abuses done by the Papacy throughout the history of the Church? That the Borgia pope was an angelic saint, all of a sudden? Do you deny that there are those popes who taught error, at least in their ordinary magisterium?

        This is why the best route for any Christian is Orthodoxy, should the Catholic Church start teaching explicit error as an article of faith, much like the PROTESTANT practice of women priests/bishops and consecrating homosexual pseudogamy. (And we all know that the Catholic Church cannot err, nor the Pope teach error -ex cathedra- )

        You gotta respect “the legitimate freedom of each individual to pursue his or her own happiness,” Norm. Once that freedom involves rebellion, it is no longer legitimate, even if the rebellion is promulgated by “liturgical experts”, modernist theologians, bishops, lower-ranking clergy, and even the Pope himself. People would then be as free as a man jumping off a building.

        I accept those dogmas taught by the Church, and you imply I’m a protestant! None of the things listed in the Syllabus of Errors by Pius IX were abrogated by the Second Vatican Council, and yet people believe and act as the Syllabus of Errors are a bunch of dementia-induced, old-fashioned nonsense by a dead pope. See, despite your seemingly know-it-all tone in this blog, you’re not the official papal canonist cum theologian. All you have are pious opinions worthy of Catholic Answers.

        I say this with all charity, by the way. Any less, and I’d be calling you a protestant!

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