The SSPX Debate -
Calling Out Kennedy’s Colossal Confusion
on Canonical Mission
John F. Salza, Esq.
January A.D. 2022
Recently, a person named Kenney Hall
wrote a reply to my article “The SSPX is Transgressing Divine Law.” In my
article, I demonstrated that the ministry of the Society of St. Pius X is
illegitimate due to lack of a canonical mission, according to divine law and
the teaching of the Church. As with my first opponent (Nishant Xavier), Mr. Hall’s
approach was to give a general apologia for the SSPX and the “salvation of
souls,” without directly addressing any of my arguments (which are
actually the de fide teachings of the Catholic Church). In fact, Mr.
Hall concedes that he has no rebuttal to my arguments on the grounds that they
are just “too sophisticated” and “all too boring” for him (could a more
ridiculous justification be imagined?). Indeed, Mr. Hall is unable to rebut the
truth that clergy must be part of, and sent by, the Roman Catholic Church to be
lawful Catholic ministers, and that’s because it is a truth of the Catholic
While Mr. Hall’s hit piece was not (in
my opinion) worthy of publication, it actually furthers the debate (and
solidifies the truth) by demonstrating that the Society’s lay apologists have
no arguments that even remotely serve to exonerate their client’s operating
without a juridical mission. Would the Society’s priests fare better? Perhaps
we shall see (but unlikely, if their Crisis series of podcasts is any
indication). In any event, this development is of critical importance, at this
particular time, when Catholics are being tempted to, and in fact are, leaving
the Roman Catholic Church for “independent” (non-Catholic) chapels and illicit
Masses. Thus, they are reacting to the illicit acts of Modernist bishops who
are suppressing the Old Mass, with their own illicit participation in unlawful
Masses, as if two wrongs make a right (or, “as if one sin justifies another”).
But they do not, according to the perennial teaching of the Church.
So as to avoid
being accused of taking Mr. Hall out of context, I will include the entirety of
his piece and respond to his statements throughout.
ink has been spilled over the topic of the Society of Saint Pius X, and I do
not pretend to offer any novel theological argument in this essay. You see, I
cannot pretend to have any sophisticated letters to add at the end of my name,
as can such an esteemed Catholic apologist and lawyer as Mr. Salza, Esq. In
fact, the only abbreviation that can be added to my name is the mundane
application of “Mr.”
reader, brace yourselves for Mr. Hall’s phony humility throughout his piece.
This is an effeminate way of demeaning his opponent while pretending to
aggrandize him, and also for the purpose of appealing to the emotions of his
readers, and not to any theology that would support his own arguments. Most
readers will actually see right through Mr. Hall’s bitter sarcasm, which puts a
spotlight on the sheer nullity of his case.
Hall gives an up-front disclaimer that he won’t advance any “theological
arguments” in his effort to rebut my theological arguments! Well, then, how is
that a rebuttal? Frankly, Hall’s entire piece is an embarrassment, and I
question how he could possibly think he is contributing to this debate. He cannot
be taken seriously, and certainly didn’t do the Society any favors; rather, he
just confirmed for everyone that there is, in fact, an elephant in the room
(and the Church calls it “juridical mission”).
Hall: I did
complete the law school entrance exam as an undergraduate, although I would
imagine that Mr. Salza, Esq. fared better than I did – in fact I am certain of
it. I also do not boast any theological training that could compare to the
catalogue of masterpieces that he has contributed to the Catholic faith.
Praised be to God that he has done such good work to keep so many unwitting
souls away from Masonry and .
Salza: More humility
from my humble opponent, but not relevant to whether the SSPX has a canonical
or extraordinary mission in the Church. And while I appreciate his commendation,
if sincere, for my book on Sedevacantism, if he actually read that book and
learned its contents, he would have concluded that the SSPX is in nearly the
same canonical situation as the Sedevacantist clergy – that is, they are both
without a canonical status or mission in the Church, and hence, their
ministries are considered unlawful. Unfortunately, Mr. Hall’s article reveals
that he does not have even a rudimentary understanding of the concepts of
canonical mission and jurisdiction, and so this exchange will be a letdown for
those who were hoping for a better “fight,” if you will.
academic background is in what they call the
Personal experiences like those Mr. Hall describes are certainly spiritually
edifying, but whatever Mr. Hall “learned [about] the Catholic faith” in these
experiences certainly did not include the basics concerning the Church’s nature
and juridical mission. As I will demonstrate, Mr. Hall embraces a Protestant
understanding of the Roman Catholic Church, meaning in his view, one does not
have to be united to the juridical structure of the Church, and subject to her
authorities (one in government), to be Catholic.
Hall: So I
do not see the Catholic faith in the same way that I believe great apologists
like Mr. Salza and his confreres attempt to present to curious readers. Surely
there is a place for the immense knowledge of dogmatic technicalities that men
like my esteemed interlocutor display, but I must say – without coming off as a
bit uncharitable – I do find this sort of thing all too boring. This is not to
say that there is not something impressive about Mr. Salza’s work, there
certainly is, but it is lost on me.
Salza: It is
“lost” on Mr. Hall because he “does not see the Catholic faith in the same way”
that Jesus Christ revealed it, and the Roman Catholic Church teaches it. He
sees the Church in the same way Protestants see it, which is a greater spiritual
reality that extends beyond her juridical structure, to include all those who
“profess the true faith” regardless of whether they are actually legal members
of the juridical body of the Church (and, for clergy, whether or not they have
a juridical mission from the Church), or belong to sects that are not united to
her governing structure – which is precisely the ecumenical ecclesiology that
Pius XI condemned in Mortalium Animos.
And it’s not
that the subject matter is “all too boring” for Mr. Hall, for if that were the
case, he wouldn’t have written his long-winded reply against me. That is a
cop-out. Indeed, the subject matter is quite simple: The divine law requires
that clergy must be sent by lawful authority with canonical mission in order to
be legitimate Catholic ministers, and the Church anathematizes anyone who says
the contrary. The SSPX is not part of the Roman Catholic Church – it has no juridical
status in the Church, and hence their clergy are not legitimate Catholic ministers,
according to the divine law and the teaching of the Church. That is my thesis, which
any high school student can understand, and Mr. Hall does not even pretend that
he is taking it on.
Since it is
impossible for Mr. Hall to rebut the requirements of the divine law, he
attempts to trivialize the subject matter by calling it “boring,” as if that
somehow gives him a pass on actually confronting his opponent’s arguments. This
is quite easy to see, and he is only exposing the weakness of his own case (he has
no case) by doing so.
Hall: I am
afraid I find it a bit too sophisticated – that is to say, high minded – for my
taste. Sometimes I wonder if in our epoch of Modernism that we have lost our
way in trying to crush the
“argument” - which is Church’s teaching – that clergy cannot legitimately
minister in the Church without a canonical mission is not a “sophisticated”
proposition at all. Rather, it is a most fundamental doctrine of the Church and
a matter of faith, one that any adolescent can understand, and to hold
otherwise is anathema, according to the Council of Trent which declares:
“If anyone saith that bishops…who have neither been
rightly ordained, nor sent by ecclesiastical and canonical power, but
come from elsewhere, are lawful ministers of the word and of the sacraments;
let him be anathema.” To hold such bishops as lawful
ministers, as Mr. Hall does, is anathema because the necessity of
mission (being sent by lawful authority) is a requirement of divine law and a
matter of faith.
Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies, it seems to me – in my admittedly
ordinary understanding of Catholic theology – that we should combat it with
of souls? There is no salvation outside of the Roman Catholic Church, and “the
Society of St. Pius X is,” to quote Cardinal Burke, “not part of the Roman
Catholic Church.” Evidently, Mr. Hall believes there is salvation outside the
Roman Catholic Church.
Was the Council
of Trent not “seeing the Church and her mission through the synthesis of all
her laws and doctrines: salus animarum suprema lex”? That would
certainly be news to the Tridentine Fathers, and to all the Popes who taught
about juridical mission before and after the Council. No, it is Mr. Hall who
does not see the Church and her mission through the synthesis of all her laws
and doctrines, and that is because Mr. Hall does not understand what the Roman
Catholic Church is.
use of the term “extraordinary mission” is one of many statements he makes which
shows that Mr. Hall is extremely confused about the relevant terminology and
concepts of this debate. As my two articles have made clear, the term
“extraordinary mission” describes a particular mission (not received from
ecclesiastical authority) that Christ, in exceedingly rare cases (e.g., St.
Ferrer in the Great Western Schism), personally and directly confers upon saintly
individuals (and never upon illicitly consecrated schismatic bishops or vagus
priests). And when He does so, he always provides the divine testimony, in the
form of miracles, to prove it, since that is what His Church demands.
This is to
be distinguished from canonical or juridical mission received from Church
authority. However, Mr. Hall uses the term “extraordinary mission” to describe
the Church’s ordinary mission of saving souls, which the Church carries
out through her lawful ministers (those who have been sent by the Church,
which means Mr. Hall doesn’t even understand the substance (meaning) of the
words used in this debate.
Salza endeavors in his second article (“Reply to Xavier”) to make canonical
technicalities to be of “divine law,” yet fails to emphasize this supreme law
of souls, which is indisputably the divine law above every other law contained
in canon law.
Hall is quite mistaken. The necessity for clergy to have mission, in order to
be lawful Catholic ministers, is not a “canonical technicality” (as Nishant
Xavier also imagines), but is a requirement of divine positive law, and to even
say otherwise is anathema. The supreme law of the Church is
certainly the salvation of souls, but the mission to save souls is carried out
by Catholic ministers – those who are part of the Roman Catholic Church,
and have been sent by the Roman Catholic Church.
Hall: Mr. Salza,
Esq. believes that Father Loop – a priest who I had a delightful conversation
with this summer – errs in his statement that the SSPX has an
(after one gets by his sarcastic and bogus praise), this statement demonstrates
that Mr. Hall either didn’t carefully read my article, or doesn’t understand
the concepts he is pretending to address (or both). And it does not take a
“giant intellect and acumen” to read my article or watch Fr. Loop’s podcast to
understand what was actually said. After all, isn’t Mr. Hall an expert
in languages? That’s hard to believe, when he fails to ascertain both the
meaning of words and what words were actually spoken and written. Perhaps expertise
in Romance languages does not include Germanic languages such as English. Or perhaps
Hall is just plain sloppy. But this debate has no place for sloppiness.
Fr. Loop did
not say that he or the SSPX have an “extraordinary mission” (as Hall
claims he did). Fr. Loop did not make this statement because Fr. Loop knows the
SSPX does not have an extraordinary mission, according to the teaching
of Popes Innocent III, Benedict XIV, saints and Doctors (because none of their clergy
have miracles). Further, Fr. Loop admitted that the SSPX “does not have a
regular, canonical mission” either. And thus, based on Fr. Loop’s own
admissions, that means the ministry of the SSPX is “illicit” and
“illegitimate,” as Archbishop Pozzo recently reiterated. Mr. Hall misunderstands
terms, mispresents statements, and ultimately fails to confront the real issue.
Hall: It may
seem simplistic, but I would argue
further proves that Mr. Hall does not understand the terminology, or else is
purposely trying to convolute the issue by conflating extraordinary acts with
extraordinary mission. Why the diversion tactic, Mr. Hall? Why say every
priest has “extraordinary mission”? That, of course, is simply not true.
why Mr. Hall attempts to redefine the meaning of “extraordinary mission”
is because he knows none of the SSPX priests have one. Thus, his tactic is to
condition the reader to understand “extraordinary mission” in a way that is
different than how the Church understands and uses the term, just like the
Modernists do, in order to peddle his erroneous theology.
As I have
said, Hall’s root error is his faulty understanding of the Church. Mr. Hall
believes that so long as a man is validly ordained, says the Traditional Mass
and “rejects Vatican II and the New Mass,” he is a member of the Roman Catholic
Church and a legitimate Catholic minister, even if he is not part of, nor
sent by, the Church. For Mr. Hall, so long as he thinks the minister
“professes the true Faith,” he considers him to be part of the “visible
Catholic Church,” which is exactly what the early Protestants believed. Hall
embraces a Protestant ecclesiology.
sacramental absolution and transubstantiation are not miracles, and certainly
not miracles which prove extraordinary mission, as Mr. Hall suggests. Hall’s
entire piece is plagued with one error after another. And none of this is
responsive to my article.
Hall: Now, I
imagine that Mr. Salza, Esq., and others may complain that I am operating with
a bit of a slight of hand technique here. Of course, when he uses the term
“extraordinary mission” he is writing as a very serious theologian, and thus
using a very technical term.
Salza: I am
using the term the way the Popes, saints and Doctors have all used the term.
Mr. Hall’s attempt to obfuscate the meaning of the term is an admission that
the SSPX’s ministry does not meet the definition of the term as the Church
uses it. But Hall is playing games by avoiding the real issue of the
Hall: But I
dare to say that Mr. Salza, Esq. has misunderstood the whole thing from the
very beginning. In his first paragraph of he writes: “…how the SSPX clergy can justify the
exercise of their priestly ministry when
Hall is “shocked” by the statement because he does not understand what the Roman
Catholic Church is, nor what a legitimate Catholic minister is. Again, Mr. Hall
imagines that so long as one is validly ordained, says the Traditional Mass,
and “rejects Vatican II and the New Mass,” he is a Catholic minister. This false
ecclesiology distorts the nature of the Church, by extending it beyond
her juridical structure, to include individual sects that are separated from
her, and from each other, in government. In an exact parallel to that of the
early Protestants, this ecclesiology maintains that the “visible Catholic
Church” consists of all the baptized who profess the true faith, and partake of
the true sacraments, regardless of whether they are united in government, and
subject to the legitimate authorities.
In this Protestant ecclesiology, the juridical reality is replaced by a greater
spiritual reality. This is Mr. Hall’s root error. Again, he embraces a
we should go back to our Catechisms and begin with first principles. Mr. Salza,
Esq. makes the audacious claim that the priests of the SSPX have “no permission
from the Church.” Mr. Salza, Esq. what is the Church? Are you referring to that
Divine Society which can be defined as the Mystical Body of Christ? Surely you
must be, as, again, you are so highly trained.
Salza: I am
glad Mr. Hall asked the question “What is the Church?” That is precisely the most
relevant question in this debate! Indeed, a misunderstanding of the Church is
the very problem I pointed out in my article on canonical mission; many
traditionally-minded Catholics like Mr. Hall do not understand what the Roman
Catholic Church is. It bears repeating: Mr. Hall fails to understand that the nature of
the Church consists of a juridical structure which exists to carry out her
juridical mission, according to the divine law of Jesus Christ.
Accordingly, it is absolutely necessary, as a matter
of divine positive law, that clergy must be part of the juridical
structure of the Church, with a juridical mission from the Church,
in order to be legitimate Catholic ministers of the Church. This is because the
juridical mission of the Church is concomitant with the juridical structure of
the Church, according to that same divine law. The juridical structure of the
Church exists to carry out the juridical mission of the Church, as
willed by Christ. Mr. Hall rejects these truths in favor of the Protestant
understanding of the Church. Once Mr. Hall comes to a correct understanding of
the Church, he will see his own errors.
Hall: In the
Catholic Church is contained the Church Suffering, Militant and Triumphant. Are
we to believe that those poor souls in purgatory and those triumphant heroes
singing hymns unending disapprove of the efforts of the priests of the SSPX?
us have Pope Pius XII answer Mr. Hall’s question:
“Acts requiring the
power of Holy Orders which are performed by ecclesiastics of this kind, though
they are valid as long as the consecration conferred on them was valid, are yet
gravely illicit, that is, criminal and sacrilegious. To such conduct the
warning words of the Divine Teacher fittingly apply: ‘He who enters not by the
door into the sheepfold, but climbs up another way, is a thief and a robber.’
Hall: Again, I understand, I am speaking here as a romantic and a Latin, and not a theologian. But I cannot for the life of me understand how such a claim can be made that the priest of the SSPX “have no permission” to save souls.
souls are saved by leaving the Roman Catholic Church, to be ministered to by
clergy who are not part of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Pius XII certainly
understood what it means to save souls, and he would call Mr. Hall’s priests
“thieves and robbers,” whose acts are “criminal and sacrilegious.” But Hall
doesn’t dare claim that Pius XII was in error. And that speaks volumes.
Salza, Esq. is eloquent in his citation of numerous documents, but in his over
1000 words and over one dozen footnotes, he did not offer mention of either or ! Now in
fairness in the , he made mention of Fr. Loops argument in this regard, but
only to dismiss this first principle as “fallacious.” How can a man write about
the mission of priests without framing his arguments in the context of why
priests exist in the first place? In addition, what merit do the canons he
offers have if they are not used in pursuit of the goals that the Church says
are her most supreme?
again reveals that Mr. Hall does not understand the nature of the Church. The
entire purpose of my article on canonical mission was for the salvation of
souls! The reason why Jesus Christ established the divine structure and
juridical mission of the Church was to save souls! Those who exercise the
priestly ministry outside of the structure of the Church, and without a
canonical mission from the Church, are not saving souls. Rather, they are
hindering their salvation, because they are drawing those souls outside the
Church and into their “ecclesiastical communities” which are separated from the
Church, outside of which there is no salvation. I correctly described Fr.
Loop’s appeal to human law as “fallacious” because he cannot appeal to human
law (canon law, canonical equity) to circumvent the divine law, which
requires clergy to have canonical mission (more on this in an upcoming
Hall can explain how the SSPX’s giving invalid absolutions in the confessional
for decades helped to save souls? (I suppose my article demonstrating the SSPX
did not have supplied jurisdiction for confessions was “all too boring” for Mr.
Hall to address.) Perhaps Mr. Hall can explain how the SSPX’s witnessing
invalid marriages for decades helped save souls? (Perhaps that issue is also “too
sophisticated” for Mr. Hall to engage.) Or how the SSPX’s St. Charles Borromeo
“canonical” tribunal – which usurps the authority of the local bishops and the
Holy See by pretending to grant marriage annulments, dispense religious vows,
and lift excommunications - saves souls? (Perhaps the erection of this
schismatic tribunal is just a “canonical technicality” for Mr. Hall.) Or how
the SSPX’s rejection of the Roman Catholic Church’s Profession of Faith is
saving souls? It appears that none of these issues matters to Mr. Hall; after
all, he only cares about the salvation of souls.
gather from his article that Mr. Salza, Esq. is a man who is concerned with the
ordinary authority that governs the extraordinary mission of priests. He says
as much in his fifth footnote: “It must be noted that
extraordinary mission always works together with the ordinary authority, not in
opposition to it. Thus, on that basis alone, the SSPX could not have an
“Ordinary authority” that governs the “extraordinary mission” of priests? Huh?
I don’t know why Mr. Hall entered this debate when he does not understand the
terminology or follow the argumentation. There is no need to reply here because
my interlocutor’s statement is nonsensical and nonresponsive.
Hall: I must
be mistaken – again I am not as educated or sophisticated as Mr. Salza, Esq.
is more of that genuine humility! Actually, Mr. Hall’s blatant and unrelenting
sarcasm depreciates his already grossly flawed article, and only reveals his
lack of competence in the subject matter he thought he could address in a hit
and run piece for OnePeter5. Informed readers won’t be fooled. But it is
consistent with my former opponent’s article (Nishant Xavier), in that it is
strong on emotion but devoid of any real theological merit. Mr. Hall has
exposed himself while confirming the truth of my position (which is the
teaching of the Church).
Hall: – but
did Saint Athanasius work with the ordinary authority when on his extraordinary
mission? Perhaps he acted as an extraordinary Saint with extraordinary
authority, when he to accept an excommunication from an ordinary,
semi-Arian pope. Yes, it will be said that Lefebvre and his protogés are not
aptly compared to Athanasius and his battle
Athanasius canard is quite stale, Mr. Hall. And your assertions are erroneous
(but that is what happens when you limit your research to SSPX propaganda and do
not perform actual, scholarly research). St. Athanasius never had or claimed to
have an extraordinary mission (he didn’t need one, because he had a canonical
mission). St. Athanasius submitted to his excommunication, however unjust. St.
Athanasius did not usurp the authority of other bishops (or he wouldn’t be a
saint). St. Athanasius remained in communion with the Pope.
just the opposite. He withdrew submission from the Pope’s authority in 1975,
carried on his illicit ministry for the rest of his life, and died outside the
Church (and is responsible for most of the theological errors and schisms that
plague the “traditional movement”). Quite different indeed. The case of St.
Athanasius does nothing to support the SSPX’s claim that they can operate
without a canonical (or extraordinary) mission.
if Mr. Salza, Esq. is to state that the SSPX “could not have an extraordinary
mission” because of their opposition to the ordinary authority in our age of
extraordinary error, he could clarify the curious case
of St. Eusebius of Samasote. At the time of the Arian crisis, he went
throughout Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, ordaining and consecrating bishops,
even though he had no jurisdiction to do so, ordinarily speaking. Once again,
I know it is not an apples-to-apples comparison to compare the SSPX to the
mission of another saint from a previous crisis in Church history – Lefebvre
did not go nearly as far as to consecrate so many bishops in so many places and
with so much jurisdiction. Again, like Athanasius, Eusebius only had one heresy
to combat, not a synthesis.
the risk of sounding uncharitable, my opponent is extremely unread on the
matters he has chosen to publicly write about. But I don’t put all the blame on
him; he has simply ingested the fallacious arguments of the SSPX without doing
his own research. Thus, I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume he
is ignorant, and not malicious. Maybe specialists in the Romance languages are
not accustomed to doing in-depth research on topics they choose to publicly address.
I have a Major in Italian, and I certainly had to do a lot of research to earn
Hall, I can certainly “clarify the curious case of St. Eusebius of Samasote”
for you. St. Eusebius ordained priests in these territories by virtue of his universal
jurisdiction as a bishop with canonical mission, not because of “supplied
jurisdiction,” which the SSPX falsely claims (see Hall’s reference to Bishop
Tissier’s book on Lefebvre, which makes this erroneous claim). When a bishop
receives a canonical mission from the Pope (which the SSPX bishops do not
have), he becomes part of the College of Bishops, which is a second subject of
supreme authority (and universal jurisdiction) in the Church (while the Pope
alone has the Primacy).
It is by
virtue of this sharing in the supreme authority and universal jurisdiction that,
in extraordinary circumstances, a bishop can ordain bishops outside of his
diocese when there are no bishops ruling over the territory in question and he
has no recourse to the Pope (universal jurisdiction also gives members of the
College the ability to participate in an ecumenical council, where they sit as
judges over the universal Church). While Christ gave St. Peter alone the keys
in Matthew 16, he also gave the Apostles binding and loosing authority “on
earth” in Matthew 18 (which is a collective share in the universal
jurisdiction; this type of jurisdiction is separate and distinct from the ordinary
jurisdiction that is attached to an office, or from supplied
jurisdiction that is triggered in limited cases).
Eusebius ordained priests in these eastern territories by virtue of his universal
jurisdiction (being a member of the College of Bishops), and not “supplied
jurisdiction due to necessity” as Lefebvre and the SSPX falsely claim. St.
Eusebius was able to lawfully exercise this authority because there were no
Catholic bishops in these territories (so he wasn’t usurping the authority of
other bishops), and he had no recourse to the Pope (but who was considered to
have tacitly approved the ordinations). The necessary conditions were present
to allow St. Eusebius to exercise the authority. None of this is relevant to
Lefebvre, other than highlighting that Lefebvre’s case is just the opposite of
St. Eusebius (Lefebvre was no longer part of the College of Bishops or in union
with the Pope, had no mission, no jurisdiction, no canonical status, and was also
subject to canonical censures, including the gravest censure of excommunication,
for explicitly defying the will of the Pope, and after written warnings).
why Mr. Hall does not know this information about St. Eusebius is because he
has limited his “research” to SSPX propaganda. The problem with that approach,
as applied here, is that the SSPX itself has failed to understand the St.
Eusebius case, because it rejects the Church’s doctrine on the Episcopacy
(i.e., Collegiality), which actually serves to explain how St. Eusebius
could do what he did. And this rejection of the Church’s teaching on the
Episcopacy is one of Archbishop Lefebvre’s many theological errors.
the SSPX rejects the Church’s doctrine that the College of Bishops is a second
subject of the supreme authority, and that members of the College collectively
possess this authority (the authority St. Eusebius used to ordain priests
outside of his diocese), even though this was taught in theology manuals long
before Vatican II (which will soon be proven with Robert Siscoe’s upcoming
article). So, no, St. Eusebius does nothing for Mr. Hall’s claim that the SSPX
clergy can circumvent the divine law and operate without mission. To the
contrary, the case proves that bishops must be members of the College (through
canonical mission) and joined to the Pope to have any legitimate ministry in
the Church. I thank Mr. Hall for bringing up the case of St. Eusebius and hope
this clarifies matters for him.
Lefebvre and his priests should eschew the examples of these great saints and
instead work in an ordinary way with ordinary bishops who ordinarily peddle
banal liturgy, and erroneous catechesis.
demonstrated above, Lefebvre and his priests don’t follow the example of these
great saints. They act contrary to them.
Hall: If it is ordinary authority that the SSPX need in order to act so extraordinarily – as Mr. Salza, Esq. suggests – I am afraid they will not find it from local ordinaries who often act as if the extraordinary exodus of souls from the Church is something that is so painfully ordinary.
It must be noted that extraordinary mission always works together with the ordinary authority, not in opposition to it. Thus, on that basis alone, the SSPX could not have an extraordinary mission.” This is the teaching of saint and Doctor Francis de Sales, among others.
From this statement, Mr. Hall claims that I say the SSPX needs “ordinary authority” to act “extraordinarily” – again, I say “huh?” Okay, I will repeat: according to divine positive law, each and every priest of the SSPX needs either a canonical mission (ordinary authority) or an extraordinary mission (from Christ, proven by miracles) in order to have a legitimate ministry in the Church. And if Christ ever would confer an extraordinary mission upon a cleric (which has rarely happened in Church history), that mission would never abolish the ordinary authority, for Christ does not make war on His Church by usurping the juridical mission of those His Church has sent! How did Mr. Hall miss this most basic point?
round out my response to Mr. Salza, Esq., I will do what I do best, I will tell
a story – something I do much better than pretending I can go toe to toe with
my esteemed interlocutor.
Salza: I am
glad my opponent’s phony and demeaning accolades are coming to an end (and I’m
sure our readers are as well).
year 2020 was an extraordinary year for ordinary people. It was the 50th
anniversary of both the SSPX and the Novus Ordo. It began with promise and
descended quickly into a veritable hell of public health superstition and pagan
scientism. Rumors of a flu that would destroy mankind were released from the
shores of China in the form of viral (pun intended) videos and social media
posts. With Saint Patrick’s Day just around the corner, governments around the
world shut down like department stores undergoing renovations. The world
stopped, and our hearts stopped at the sight.
Were we all
going to die? Would the Wuhan flu usher in the more serious bits of terrifying
private revelations and Marian apparitions? In this chaos, the atheism of the
modern world was on full display. The fear of catching a cold – even if a bad
cold – was too much to bear. The race of modern man – so proud in his
materialism and cowardice – would not stand for any life being lost before he
had decided it was so!
It was too
dangerous to go to restaurants, too dangerous to go to the gym, and too
dangerous to go to Church. Now, you, like me, may have been confused at the
time. If we were all to die, shouldn’t we all be at
Church? If our next moment might be our last, shouldn’t we be confessing our
sins and receiving what might be our viaticum?
mind would think this way, a mind that started with
Mr. Hall’s dramatic account, he asks the question – “Were we all going to die?...
If we were all to die, shouldn’t we all be at Church? If our next moment might
be our last, shouldn’t we be confessing our sins and receiving what might be
Now, if Mr.
Hall knew his theology and canon law, he would understand that even an
excommunicated priest could absolve him of his mortal sins, if he were “going
to die,” as his “next moment might be his last” (see canon 976). So, if Hall is
serious (although it’s hard to tell; one might conclude that he intended his
hit piece to be more comedic than anything else), then the danger-of-death
scenario he poses is irrelevant to the divine necessity for priests to have
lawful mission to minister to those who are not in danger of death. If
Mr. Hall is not serious, and his concocted scenario does not involve danger of
death (that is, that Hall was just joking), then, again, it’s equally
irrelevant to the juridical mission requirement of divine law. In either case, Hall’s
dramatic narrative fails to address, much less rebut, my (the Church’s)
remember reading a dictate from my local ordinary, that struck me to my core in
a most extraordinary fashion. He had cancelled confessions… he had cancelled
At that very
same time, a man who has since become a close friend welcomed a new child into
the virus-venerating world. He was told by his diocesan priest that the local
ordinary had cancelled the ordinary means of sanctifying the soul of his child.
Fortunately, my friend believed in Catholicism – something that would be quite
extraordinary if found at the chancery – and he did not risk his child’s
eternal soul in order to maintain an ordinary relationship with the local
already attending the SSPX in my region, and he sought out their pastoral care.
Against the will of the government, and against the will of the local bishop,
and against the will of Satan, a priest of the SSPX baptized his child into the
Roman Catholic Church. No longer was this beautiful child marred with the stain
of Adam’s disobedience. Ironically, it was by disobeying the local ordinary and
the ordinary authority of the local government, that an ordinary priest of the
SSPX was able to perform the extraordinary act of cleansing a soul.
is correct, Mr. Hall, you are evidently not sophisticated enough to understand
the basic distinction between ordinary and extraordinary mission, or that
extraordinary mission never abrogates or abolishes the ordinary authority, or
how the SSPX does not have extraordinary mission since they have no miracles to
prove they were sent directly by Christ. Nor are you evidently aware that such
a baptism by an SSPX priest would be justified if there was no recourse to
legitimate Catholic ministers and the child was in danger of dying without
baptism (even a non-cleric could have baptized the child). Mr. Hall’s emotionally charged example again
fails to address the real issue of this debate, namely, how SSPX clergy can
perform all acts of teaching, sanctifying and governing, without a canonical
mission, as if they had one.
to hell is what many souls in my area would be if the priests of the SSPX did
not work against the positive will of the ordinary authority. I cannot speak
for the extraordinary mission of the SSPX in other nations, but in my beloved
and frozen homeland, Marcel Lefebvre’s spiritual sons stand like platonic forms
of Petrine Fidelity.
According to Mr. Hall, those clerics who are not part of the juridical
structure of the Church, and who do not have a juridical mission from the
Church, and who reject the Roman Catholic Church’s Profession of Faith (and
other doctrinal teachings) are “platonic forms of Petrine Fidelity” and can
minister in the Church as they please. For Mr. Hall, the Church of Christ “subsists”
in the SSPX and other “ecclesiastical communities” who are separated from the
Roman Catholic Church in government. Again, that is because Mr. Hall embraces
the Protestant understanding of the Church.
in a province of 14 million people, catechumens are effectively banned from
entering the Church of Jesus Christ unless they concede to the injection of an
abortion-tainted serum that they do not need, and that is against their will.
The only way to enter into a church hall and attend an RCIA class – one that
likely presents a synthesis of modernist errors – is to present proof of an
abortion-tainted and experimental injection.
actions are no doubt evil and God will be their judge. But two wrongs don’t
make a right. The illicit actions of certain bishops don’t make the illicit
actions of the SSPX licit. Priests without mission are not allowed to minister
to Catholics outside of danger of death, since they would be misappropriating
the spiritual goods of the Church which do not belong to them (and the
sacraments are the property of Christ). This is why Pius XII calls such
ministrations “criminal.” But Mr. Hall was destined to fail in his efforts to
rebut this truth.
course, the local ordinaries are doing little if anything to combat this crime
against God Almighty. Entrance into the Church will either have to come on the
back of child sacrifice to the Moloch of Moderna, or it will just have to
correct, Mr. Hall. Outside of ministering to someone in danger of death, clergy
who “do not work in harmony with ordinary authority” (or, in the words of Fr.
Loop, who work “contrary to the known
intentions, the known will of those successors of the Apostles, the Princes of
the Church”), are not lawful ministers of the Roman Catholic Church, and
exercise their ministry illicitly. We can be thankful to God for those
legitimate traditional priests, who have mission from the Church (such as those
of the FSSP and ICK, as well as regular diocesan priests), and to whom
countless Catholics have recourse, to receive the sacraments in the traditional
rites. As I stated in my article, I pray that the SSPX will return to the
Church and be granted a canonical mission, so they too can lawfully minister in
the Church with Christ’s blessing. But this will require the SSPX to accept the
Catholic Church’s Profession of Faith and renounce its other doctrinal errors
(particularly on the Episcopacy, as Archbishop Pozzo has noted).
be to God that there are priests who love souls enough to disregard the
commentary of theologians who comment on the mission of extraordinary priests
while failing to emphasize
Unfortunately for Mr. Hall, the absolute necessity for Catholic ministers to
have juridical mission does not come from some “commentary of theologians” who
comment on the “mission of extraordinary priests” (whatever that means), but rather
from the divine will of Jesus Christ, which is why Mr. Hall’s position has been
anathematized by the Council of Trent as contrary to the Faith.
be to God that the priests of the SSPX in my home and native land are more
concerned with honouring the legacy of St. Jean de Brébeuf than playing nice
with an episcopacy that encourages an experimental serum more than the
“by their fruits you shall know them.” It is a little known fact that it takes
five decades to know the fruits of the vines you have planted. If you have ever
cultivated grapes, as I have, you know that only after 50 years can you rely on
a given variety of fruit to produce a consistent wine. If the plant does not
produce after 50 years, it must be destroyed, as it will be sour forever, and
no good wine will come from the bad fruit.
Salza, Esq. does not see the extraordinary mission of the SSPX as it has played
out in God’s providence 50 years into the life of the SSPX, then nothing will
convince him of what is painfully obvious, especially as Rome has dropped
now to destroy the extraordinary form. We have seen this
Salza: Sorry to sound like a broken record, but the priests
of the SSPX do not have an “extraordinary mission,” as evidenced by the fact
that their clergy don’t have the miracles to prove they were sent by Christ, nor
do they even claim they were sent by Christ with extraordinary mission.
Mr. Hall does not even pretend to confront that fact, which was the entire
thesis of my article on extraordinary mission. In a court of law, I would now
move for Summary Judgment, and my motion would be granted.
As far as
the “fruits” of the SSPX are concerned, these fruits include decades of invalid
confessions and marriages, illicit and sacrilegious Masses, countless canonical
censures for illicit acts, the rejection of the Church’s Profession of Faith,
the promotion of false doctrines , fallacious appeals to supplied jurisdiction,
the erection of a schismatic canonical tribunal which usurps the authority of
the bishops and the Holy See, and schisms (various sects within Sedevacantism
and SSPX Resistance, Avrille Dominicans), not to mention the many canonical
sanctions that its founder incurred, including the gravest penalty of
excommunication. But these grave matters (I mean “fruits”) are “all too boring”
for Mr. Hall to want to address. He sees only what he wants to see.
it looks like Mr. Hall is setting himself up to be another victim of current crisis,
who will be led by the devil right out of the Roman Catholic Church, as part of
the Great Apostasy, so long as he can find a priest who says the Old Mass and
rejects Vatican II, even if he is not a legitimate Catholic minister. Who cares
if the Church has always taught that Masses offered by vagus priests are
illicit and sacrilegious, and that those who assist at such Masses participate
in the minister’s grave sin. “Damned to hell” those Popes and Doctors who
taught such a thing, not to mention Christ Himself Who revealed it. Again, for
Mr. Hall, the Roman Catholic Church is not a juridical institution with a
juridical mission, but rather a greater spiritual reality that includes even
those outside her visible structure, but who “profess the true faith,” in lock
step with Protestant ecclesiology.
Mr. Hall rejects Pope Boniface VIII’s ex cathedra teaching that “outside
the Catholic Church there is neither salvation nor remission of sins.” Indeed,
for Mr. Hall, the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using separated
ecclesiastical communities, such as the SSPX, “to save souls” (although,
ironically, Hall would presumably deny this teaching of the Second Vatican
Hall: As I
conclude, I must deal with Mr. Salza’s final paragraph.
Archbishop Lefebvre nor any of his bishops and priests have produced a single
miracle to justify their ministry without a canonical mission, even though they
claim we are suffering perhaps the greatest crisis in Church history.” This is
easily debunked by a very obvious fact: the priests of the SSPX have on
numerous occasions absolved me of my sins – something very miraculous indeed,
as I am the worst of the lot.
Salza: Is my
opponent serious? It would be more honest for him to simply concede he has no
rebuttal to the necessity of juridical mission, than to advance such a
ludicrous argument. Or does he find the salus animarum subject matter
humorous? Honestly, I am at a loss for
words. And again, we are so moved by my opponent’s humility, being a
self-declared “worst of the lot” sinner and all. Again, I am baffled by this
exchange. But I can say this – Mr. Hall’s defense of the SSPX’s lack of
mission is, in fact, the worst of the lot that I have seen. I am quite
sure even Society priests would be embarrassed by it.
Hall: In all
seriousness, our very serious theologian ends his piece with: “That is because
Christ did not send the bishops and priests of the SSPX. Rather, they have sent
themselves, and thus, in the words of Fr. Angles (SSPX), ‘have been deceiving
good traditional Catholic faithful.’”
our Mr. Salza, Esq. is aware of the will of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of
the Holy Trinity, to a degree wherein he is capable of discerning his Divine
Will better than Archbishop Lefebvre.
for Mr. Hall, the “will of Jesus Christ” is that His ministers be part
of the Roman Catholic Church, and be sent by the Roman Catholic Church,
in order to lawfully minister in His Church. This is what Christ has
revealed and His Church teaches as a matter of Faith, and to argue otherwise,
as Mr. Hall has done, is anathema. It was Archbishop Lefebvre who
thought he knew better than Jesus Christ and His Vicar, and his schism has
caused deep and lasting wounds in the Mystical Body, with decades of invalid
confessions and marriages, sacrilegious re-ordinations and re-confirmations, the
usurpation of episcopal authority throughout the world, schisms that continue
to multiply to this day, and doctrinal errors that are also promoted to this
day (on sacramental intention, Collegiality, supplied jurisdiction, etc.). None
of these calamities were “the will of Jesus Christ.”
litigator must also be a mystic, and he knows something about God’s Will and
Providence that Lefebvre did not. Ordinarily, I do not fall for such
Actually, it is Mr. Hall who claims to be a mystic because, in the very next
sentence, he claims (and reaffirms!) that he knows millions (yes, millions!)
saved their souls under the guidance of Marcel Lefebvre. In other words, Mr.
Hall believes that there is salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church. No,
Mr. Hall, there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, and if any of the
people who were misled by Lefebvre saved their souls, they did so in spite of
his errors and lack of mission, not because of them. You don’t need to be a “mystic,”
Mr. Hall, to “hear the Church” (Mt. 18:17) as Christ commanded, which includes her
divine doctrine on juridical mission (a doctrine that Lefebvre refused to “hear”).
Hall shouldn’t take my word for it. He should take the word of the Council of
Trent: “If anyone saith that bishops…who have neither been
rightly ordained, nor sent by ecclesiastical and canonical power, but come from
elsewhere, are lawful ministers of the word and of the sacraments; let him be anathema.”
venture Mr. Salza, Esq. also knows more about Lefebvre and his mission than
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who seems to have : “It is hard to see what the Church owes to
Archbishop Lefebvre, not just for his ‘African period,’ but also later for the
Church as a whole. … I consider him to be the most important bishop of the 20th
century with regard to the universal Church.”
about what Joseph Ratzinger said, when he was Pope, Mr. Hall? Let’s take
a look. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI:
long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its
ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church…In order
to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the
Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though
they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise
any ministry in the Church.”
comments from an extraordinary man who would become pope.
about an official declaration on the canonical status of the SSPX
itself, that he made, as Pope? Do you think the papal
declaration on the status of the SSPX, which is the very topic of this debate,
is a bit more relevant and carries a just a bit more weight, Mr. Hall?
of asking the SSPX to prove their extraordinary mission by miracles that Mr.
Salza, Esq. believes are provable by ordinary means – we should be asking what
miracle vindicates Mr. Salza, Esq. with his extraordinary claims that are
“deceiving good traditional Catholic faithful.”
Again, this is painful to untangle. I suspect even those SSPX clergy (some of
whom remain my friends) are cringing as they read Mr. Hall’s arguments. Proving
extraordinary mission by miracles that are provable by ordinary means? And now
Mr. Hall is putting the burden on me, a mere layman, to prove I have miracles?
Mr. Hall should direct his question to Fr. Angles, not me. It was Fr. Angles of the SSPX who said:
they [the priests of the SSPX] have no faculties, all the priestly work they
perform every day is illegitimate and therefore evil. If this is so, it
would be a sin to receive their services, maybe even to ask for them. If such
is the case, the Society is deceiving the good traditional Catholic faithful!
I agree with Fr. Angles. If the SSPX
does not have a juridical (or extraordinary) mission, then “all their priestly
work is illegitimate and therefore evil,” and they are “deceiving the good
traditional Catholic faithful.” At the same time, I pray that the Society renounces
its doctrinal errors and returns to the Roman Catholic Church and be granted a
canonical mission, so they can do their work as lawful Catholic ministers, with
the blessing of Christ and His Church.
To summarize, Mr. Hall has failed to
rebut the truths that (1) clergy must have a juridical (or extraordinary) mission
in order lawfully minister in the Church (outside of cases of danger of death
or delegated faculties), and (2) the SSPX clergy have neither a juridical mission
(from the Church) nor extraordinary mission (from Christ, proven by miracles).
Therefore, the SSPX “does not exercise any legitimate ministry in the Church”
(Pope Benedict XVI), “is not part of the one Roman Catholic Church throughout
the world” (Cardinal Burke), and has an “illicit and illegitimate” ministry
In the matter of Kennedy’s Colossal Confusion on Canonical Mission - case closed.
 Council of Trent, On the
Sacrament of Orders, Session 23, Canon VI (July 15, 1563), emphasis mine.