Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lex orandi, lex credendi


Fr. Greg said...

Bishop Fellay elucidates a sound psychological principle, that of cognitive dissonance, which states, in the succinct words of Bishop Fulton Sheen, of blessed memory:

"If you do not behave as you believe, you will end up believing as you behave."

Pseudo-Iamblichus said...

Funny you should post this now.

I just praised your blog and slammed the SSPX in the space of 24 hours on my blog.

Really, I think that Bishop Fellay is a a holy man. I have met him on various occasions as a lay oblate and a seminarian, and he exudes authority and pastoral care. When I was a seminarian of the SSPX, he spoke with all of us personally for ten minutes every year, and I always felt that he was really listening to me.

I wouldn't mind if he ended up being the next Pope. I might end up excommunicated under him and the Church would tear itself apart, but hey, that's bound to happen anyway.

Anonymous said...

Very impressive indeed Ben.. I almost totally agree with him but not quite. I do not think that Communion in the hand has diminished belief in the Real Presence. I think that it is the placing of the Tabernacle in some corner so that people have stopped genuflecting and then, gradually the increasing noise of people chatting, the distraction from prayer and God's house is simply another Concert Hall. I can also instance priests who think that they must crack a joke before the end of Mass, they invite a representative of this organisation to come and speak about their aims and objectives, they post pictures of this mother and that mother and the other mothers on the screen where hymns are projected and so on, turning the Church into a Music Hall. This has driven me out of my own parish and increasingly into the SSPX Church which is some distance away, but where I can go and sing the Mass from my Liber Usualis.
I distribute Communion and in another place I have voiced my dislike of placing the Host in someone's mouth and wetting my fingers with their saliva so that occasionally the Host sticks to my fingers for the next person.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Interesting and challenging idea that we have become Arian. In a way the Pope makes the same suggestion in Jesus of Nazareth, a little more subtlely.
It is pretty obvious that we have touched iconoclasm but Arianism ...?
I suppose, yes, insofar as we have lost the sense of God of intervening in the world and the world being subject to His rule. The crisis in the Church is essential one of Sanctifying Grace, and the sancraments as being a vehicle for this.
That, is presumable the impact of Arianism; God calls us to him but is not actually indwelling, "pitching his tent amongst us" therefore he is always remote, distant, beyond, the precise opposite of the incarnation.

Fr Ray Blake said...

an after thought,
The whole SSPX thing is of course also a denial of the incarnation, a lurch towards Arianism, in the sense of the "Rome of Tradition" of which they are in touch and the "modern Rome", terms used in the SSPX. It is a theology that denies incarnation, somehow the Church is not involved in and suffering in the world. Luther and the other reformers had the same notion of a spiritual Church which was hidden to all, except a band of those who distanced themselves from Peter.
Bishop Fellay is right when he speaks of the "sense" of the faithful, who recognise there is something not quite right, but this applies to the SSPX, even more than to the mainstream Catholiscism. The difference is that God has promised that the Church, in visible communion with the successor of Peter, will be led into "all truth", this promise is not made to dissidents, whether of the left or right, they tend to be that branches that wither and die.

Moretben said...

Dear Father

I simply do not agree with you. There are all sorts of reasons for being annoyed or disappointed with the SSPX, but heresy isn't one of them, a palpable anxiousness among their conservative opponents to tar them with everything from Donatism to Jansenism notwithstanding. As for the distinction between "eternal" and "conciliar" Rome, your point would carry its intended force if this were indeed a "theology" rather than a rhetorical device; actually, one hears noticeably less of it at present, but in any case the distinction is no more than the perfectly valid and orthodox one between the permanence and indefectability of the Church and the vagaries of its human element. Any Catholic who recognises that there is a crisis or disorder in the latter is implicitly making the same distinction, without denying the Incarnation, intentionally or otherwise.

A personal anecdote about Bishop Fellay: several years ago by wife and I were wheeling our recently-born elder daughter down the aisle of Westminster Cathedral, on a rare visit to London. As we approached the door, I noticed a bishop, who appeared to be with a small party of visitors, standing slightly apart from them. He smiled at us, and I took the opportunity to kiss his ring and ask his blessing on the baby - which, to my surprise, he promptly delivered in Latin. Then he chatted very pleasantly with us in his soft accent (was it French? My French wife thought not...). A couple of weeks later I saw his photograph for the first time, and learned that he had been visiting priests and faithful in the UK at precisely the time of our trip to London.

Anyway, it's high time I posted something on the Society. Come back in a couple of days (and please say a prayer for me to be delivered from the machinations of the DVLA's medical team, who seem determined to put my family out on the street).

Pseudo-Iamblichus said...


As one who struggles in my material circumstances in life, I sympathize with your family's situation. You are in my prayers.

Maybe I am just more skeptical viz. the Society's position in the Church now. It just seems like everyone is dancing around the real issues, and the best anyone can do is just preserve a holding pattern as well as they understand it.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I sure that Bishop Fellay means "tends towards" rather than "is". "Tends towards", Araianism is what I would say of the SSPX, and of mainstream Catholicism.
All serious 2nd Millelnium heresy tends to be Arianism, insofar as they are heresies that deny, to some extent, the reality of the incarnation of God (and the complementary doctrine of the Ascension - man taken up into heaven. Therefore the action of Grace in the world, and in the Church, is negated.
We must make up our own minds as to which tends most towards Arianism - the mainstrean Church or the SSPX, as for the mainstream Church we need to define clearly what that is.
Those into the "Spirit of the Council", tend towards announcing their tendency towards Arianism by this very phrase. I would be happier with the "Incarnation of the Council", which is, I think, where the Pope is. Then of course we get into all of those incarnational heresies of the pre-Nicene period.

Fr. Greg said...

For those who interested, the segment presented here is but the first of those found on YouTube, documenting a talk given by Bishop Fellay in Oregon.

Second, for all, if you have done not so, may I suggest that you read Charles Williams' little novel, "War in Heaven?"