We have been in serious trouble in the Church for decades. It seems like the 1960s turned the world and the Church upside down. But for those with a knowledge of World and Church history, it wasn't anything new. Since the devil seduced Eve in the garden, that wily serpent slithers over the world to see whom he can swallow hole. He's got his fangs into quite a few liberals. After Vatican II he grew fatter than ever! And what better souls to swallow whole than the clergy, especially the pope.
Catholics today need to take seriously the Scriptural admonition to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves, but wisdom requires knowledge. So I want to immerse myself in Church history seeking the truth in all things and recognizing and discriminating between truth tellers and liars. As Cardinal John Newman said, “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.”
Since the SSPX-deranged folks are still out there, I decided to make my first point of research the accusations of the heavy-metal blockheads screaming at full volume, "The SSPX is in Schism!" So I've been checking out esteemed canon lawyers who prove that they are not in schism and, instead, are upholding the Faith and Tradition taught for millennia. Disciplines can change, Doctrine and Sacred Tradition cannot.
Yes, there are some canon lawyers, like Cardinal Burke, who continue to beat the schism drum. Frankly, he surprises me. But there are many others, with equally impressive credentials, who disagree. They describe the SSPX as being in an "irregular situation," but schism?
Sorry, Charlie, the accusation won't stick. Go back to being a tuna.
I'll focus in this post on eminent canon lawyer, Fr. Gregory Hesse (RIP). Here's a bit of his bio taken from this archive:
"Fr. Gregory Hesse, S.T.D., J.C.D., S.T.L., J.C.L., Canon Lawyer, Doctor of Thomistic Theology, lifelong friend and personal secretary of Cardinal Stickler at the Vatican from 1986-1988 has provided us with many talks and conferences where he gives a no-nonsense, intelligent, learned, and witty exposition and explanation of relevant topics facing contemporary faithful Catholics. Fr. Hesse got to know approximately 45 cardinals while studying and working in Rome for 15 years and he has an uncanny and substantial knowledge of many things.....He was born in Vienna in 1952, ordained by Cardinal Marella in St. Peter's Basilica on November 21, 1981, and earned doctorates in Canon Law and Theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. He worked as a personal secretary of Cardinal Stickler at the Vatican from 1986 to 1988. He passed away on January 25, 2006. You would be hard-pressed to find another theologian quite like him. A breath of fresh air in today’s widespread climate of many weak, ignorant, and naive clerics and theologians.... His example, testimony, and insights no doubt played and will play an important role in Catholic thought and development. Listen to find out why."
Fr. Hesse died in January 2006. Benedict was elected in April 2005 so he saw very little of the new pope's accomplishments, particularly with the return of the TLM which Benedict says "was never abrogated." There are dozens of talks and videos by Fr. Hesse. I'll just offer one short 10 minute clip to introduce you to this clear-talking priest. The first question of the interviewer is, "Why are the SSPX not like Martin Luther? His reply? They're "the exact opposite of Martin Luther."
Fr. Hesse points out the heretical aspects of Vatican II, problems with the Novus Ordo, as well as some of the problems with encyclicals of John Paul II. He states that, "The only way to stay a Catholic is to accept Tradition against what is against Tradition." That's why we need the SSPX. They uphold the faith of our fathers and Sacred Tradition which cannot change. I'm sure some of this video will upset people. Fr. Hesse points to heretical statements of Pope John Paul II, for example. Nevertheless, he is worth listening to.
There are numerous interviews with Fr. Hesse here. If he were still alive, he would no doubt be among the cancelled priests. Let us pray for the repose of his soul and for all the warriors defending the faith who are determined to stay Catholic by holding to Tradition "against what is against Tradition."
Mary Ann ~ Thank you very much for this wonderful post! I have been listening to Fr. Hesse for a number of years! A great mind, a great man, a great priest and true defender of Holy Mother the Church. There will be a number of individuals out there who will oppose your article but there will be many more praising it and Fr. Gregory Hesse. No matter what there will always be those out their thinking that they know better and that they are right in stating that the SSPX is in Schism. I don't think even the Lord would be able to convince them that the SSPX is not in Schism! :) God bless you and I do enjoy your website!
God bless you for your kind words. I'm praying for the happy repose of Fr. Hesse's soul today and for all those who love God and defend the Doctrine and Sacred Tradition of Holy Mother Church.
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