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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Father X Takes Issue With Father SSPX-X

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On February 16, just two days after the Church observed the Feast of Saint Valentine, who was known for his kind gestures and notes, a rather unkind anonymous post appeared on the SSPX U.S.A. website, criticizing of all things anonymous posts on websites, among other things, such as the anti-Francis posters that appeared on many streets throughout Rome last week:

An excerpt from the SSPX website appears below:

"Further, and as we have touched on before, we cannot support this passive-aggressive and disrespectful method of "correcting" the Sovereign Pontiff. While privacy and confidentiality are not without their place, hiding behind a computer screen has, unfortunately, become an accepted method of public discource. Letters sent without signatures, anonymous emails, and posts on websites using pseudonyms are not done by men of fortitude and conviction in the truth. They are the acts of cowards, who like the mythological figure Eris, only seek to attain their goals - however noble they may be - through chaos."

Beyond the amusing irony of an anonymous poster denouncing anonymous posts, as an anonymous poster myself I take issue with the anonymous poster, whom we will refer to hereafter as SSPX-X.

There is a little-known case of a serious papal error concerning the indissolubility of marriage, which occurred in the 12th Century. The case involves a Catholic woman whose Catholic husband left the faith, abandoned her, and married another woman with whom he procreated children. The abandoned wife consulted her archdeacon and was given permission to enter into a second marriage, even though the validity of her first was not in question.

With her archdeacon’s approval, the woman remarried and had children with her new spouse. The matter became complicated when her first husband returned to the Faith, left the other woman, and desired to be reconciled with his wife. The case eventually reached Pope Celestine III (d. 1198), who considered the matter and judged that the woman should remain in her second adulterous union, rather than returning to her true husband. 

Now this was no minor error on the part of Pope Celestine, either in itself or in its consequences. Not only was his judgment contrary the teaching of Scripture, but it had the effect of confirming a woman in the state of adultery. For erring so gravely in this matter, Pope Celestine has been accused of heresy by men such as Alphonsus de Castro.[1]

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