The SSPX Podcast is starting a new series on the Crisis in the Church. This complex and far ranging topic can’t be simply treated in one episode – we’ll be producing more than a dozen distinct episodes both on the SSPX Podcast and on our YouTube account, each taking a close look at the history, background, facts, and consequences of the chaos facing the Roman Catholic Church in the 21st Century.

6 priests of the Society of Saint Pius X will be working together to provide their knowledge and expertise on the topics: Fr. Paul-Isaac Franks, Fr. Paul Robinson, Fr. John McFarland, Fr. Alexander Wiseman, Fr. Steven Reuter, and Fr. Jonathan Loop.

As well, we’ll be posting supporting documents, transcripts when available, and all the episodes on http://sspxpodcast.com/crisis

To subscribe to this series and all our podcasts, please visit sspxpodcast.com.

To subscribe to this series and all our podcasts, please visit sspxpodcast.com. Or to subscribe to all our videos, click the bell on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTvY1fvpD7jnT-uKEyuTSaw/

And if you have specific questions on these topics, please submit them at http://sspxpodcast.com/crisis for consideration by our guest speakers.

 

PROPOSED TOPICS:

– Background
1. Is there a crisis?
2. Remote Background: Luther, Kant, Liberal Catholicism
3. Modernism & Pascendi
4. Existentialism, the New Theology, Humani Generis
– Vatican II
5. The Preparatory Period
6. The Course of the Council
7. The Post-Conciliar Reforms
8. Ecumenism, Mortalium Animos vs. Ut Unum Sint
9. Religious Liberty
10. Collegiality
– Responses to the Council
11. Feenyism
12. Obedience and its Limits
13. Sedevacantism
14. The FSSP, Ecclesia Dei Communities
15. The “Resistances”

 

This Episode on YouTube


 

Transcript

Introduction:

You’re listening to the SSPX podcast and today we’re introducing a new multi-part series of episodes that we’ve been working on: The Crisis in the Church series. I had the opportunity to sit down with Fr. Paul Isaac Franks of the SSPX – who is spearheading this project – about this series, what he hopes to achieve, and what will be included in this nearly 20-episode project.

For more information about this please visit sspxpodcast.com. There you can submit questions to be asked on this series, and subscribe to our podcasts so that you won’t miss any of these episodes. We’ll also be putting these episodes on YouTube. Simply search “SSPX News English”

and you’ll find all of our videos there as well. Now here’s our conversation with Fr. Franks:

SSPX Podcast:

Well, welcome to an edition – an edition- of the SSPX podcast and we’re talking with Fr. Franks.  Hello Father, how are you?

Fr. Franks:

Hey Andrew I’m doing well thank you!

SSPX Podcast:

Very good! Well this is the first time you and I have talked and like I mentioned at the top this is a little bit of an introductory podcast introducing a series that we’re going to be starting on the crisis in the church, and it’s going to be a multi-part series.

But before we dig in and kind of introduce what we’re doing,  this is the first time you and I have talked on one of these podcasts or one of these videos so could you let people know who you are?

Fr. Franks:

So I’m Fr. Paul Franks.  I am originally from England. I was born and raised in England did my school and so on there. Grew up Catholic but diocesan Catholic and discovered the traditional movement when I was in university, and shortly afterwards entered the SSPX seminary

in Winona Minnesota where I studied for seven years, being ordained in the last year of the seminary being there in Winona before it moved to Virginia. And then I was assigned in Saint Mary’s where I teach in Saint Mary’s College, teach philosophy and theology and I look after the mission in Wichita. And this is my fifth year now in Saint Mary’s my first assignment as a priest, and I’m very happy here.

SSPX Podcast:

Fantastic, and some people may have may have seen something about you – you did

a pretty big bike ride across

Fr. Franks:

…oh yeah once upon a time yeah

SSPX Podcast:

Once yeah it was what three years ago?

Fr. Franks:

Two three years ago, it was a fundraiser for the Wichita Chapel. Yeah I don’t know…

SSPX Podcast:

Well, it was – everything seems like a long time ago this year…!

Fr. Franks:

everything does yeah that was great that was great fun. I did I rode down I rode in England

and Scotland about a thousand miles on my bike and that was great

SSPX Podcast:

Wow that was beautiful. “Great” is not the word I would use to describe it but God bless you for doing that Father

Fr. Franks:

It was great it was great. You could come sometime we should do it.

SSPX Podcast:

That sounds great!

Fr. Franks:

If you can get away from your wife yeah.

SSPX Podcast:

She would be happy she’d be happy to get rid of me Father! Well we are going to be doing this series on the crisis in the Church and Father you approached me and said I would love to do this

uh series – I was trying to get you uh for I think two years now to come on and do some of our Questions with Father and be a regular guest on that …

Fr. Franks:

Yeah

SSPX Podcast:

… and you said hang on I got a better idea, why don’t we do this series? So could you explain a little bit about this crisis in the church series you wanted to do Father?

Fr. Franks:

So I wanted to do a kind of systematic presentation of the Society of Saint Pius X’s assessment of what has happened in the Church, what is happening in the Church now and the reasons for that.

So something that would really be able to use to be used as an introduction for enquirers and also to reinforce and solidify in the minds of people who already – faithful parishioners of the Society – what are we doing, why are we doing it and what is the background to that, because there are some um even in our own circles, not everybody always takes so much of an interest.

Usually that’s the way it is you don’t take much of an interest until you’re challenged.

SSPX Podcast:

Right. 

Fr. Franks:

And then sometimes when people uh are challenged then they don’t know what to say.

SSPX Podcast:

Right. 

Fr. Franks:

So it’s good um – I feel like there’s a need for a resource, and that this is a perfect medium in my opinion to do that.

SSPX Podcast:

Fantastic! So this is going to be I think what, 14 or 15 episodes, and …

Fr. Franks:

You know maybe more I mean we’ll see how – I don’t know how solidified the structure is yet but right a bunch, a lot of…

SSPX Podcast:

Bunch of episodes, there we go. Double figures right? And uh and this is like you said it’s

about the crisis in the Church it’s about the the history behind it but it’s also about the present day. You know why does the SSPX do this –  why do we have objections to

this – um are we gonna be talking about … well it’s 14, 15, a lot of episodes …um we’re gonna be talking about probably the biggest hits, right? Uh the biggest hits, you know kind of being Ecumenism, Collegiality, you know those kinds of things from Vatican II but we’re also going to be diving into some other details. Can you kind of give an overview of kind of the topics what we’re going to be talking about?

Fr. Franks:

I mean a general overview would be starting with the obvious: Is there even a crisis in the church at all? You can’t spend 15 episodes talking about it if you don’t establish it

there’s something to talk about!

SSPX Podcast:

Sure!

Fr. Franks:

And then we’ll talk about really where did it come from historically? So there’s historical background… The crisis didn’t come from nowhere. Where do you trace that? That’s an interesting conversation we could have. “When did the crisis start?” That could be a three-hour debate you know between different priests.

SSPX Podcast:

Right.

Fr. Franks:

Where did it start? Do you want to go back to the 13th century? Are we talking about the Renaissance, are we talking about Protestantism, are we talking about Protestant Modernism?

Are you talking about the 19th century, are we talking about liberal Catholicism, all of that stuff … where does it start?

Because one thing’s for certain it didn’t just start in 1962.

SSPX Podcast:

Right.

Fr. Franks:

And the Society has always sort of stood against that idea that the 1950s were a golden era and if we could just go back to the 1950’s everything would be fine. And we’ve said “no!”

If we went back to the 1950’s we would just have Vatican II all over again.

SSPX Podcast:

Right right.

Fr. Franks:

To realize that there was something wrong — there were problems way before, before the Council that are feeding into this. This is part of a big cultural sweep.

And then, to talk about how the Council unfolded — what really happened there? The preparatory period, the Council itself, who were the players, how was power steered, what were the intrigues, what was going on behind the scenes, you know, all that kind of thing.

SSPX Podcast:

Sure.

Fr. Franks:

How did it work, how was it able to happen.

And then obviously we’ll talk about the Council: the results of the Council —  theological results, um ecumenism, collegiality, religious liberty, the reform of the liturgy, of course being a big

thing to talk about, and then how do we respond now? Since the SSPX judges there was a break – there was a rupture, a theological rupture – um how do how do we respond to that now? How do we make sense – what do we do?

What did Archbishop Lefebvre think it his duty to do? Was he justified? Was he justified in his disobedience? Can disobedience in fact be justified? Was he justified in his episcopal consecrations? Did he cause a schism? Why do we not obey everything the pope says, or on the other hand why do we think that there still is a pope?

SSPX Podcast:

Right so…

Fr. Franks:

And all sorts of questions

SSPX Podcast:

…In short this is not a topic that we can just do in one episode that’s why we’re thinking double figures double digits…

Fr. Franks:

It’s not something you can you can just synthesize in one episode and give a sufficient knowledge of I don’t think so. These are deep issues.

SSPX Podcast:

Sure absolutely. So who’s the audience Father? are we talking to — and or who are you hoping is the audience for this series? Is it people who are Catholic and don’t even really know there’s a crisis? Is it people who are kind of scratching their heads over the last few years especially during the current pontificate and saying “hm, there might be something wrong”? Or are we talking to uh the “home team”? Are we talking to people who already attend an SSPX chapel? Who are you trying to reach? Or [D] all the above?

Fr. Franks:

I think that — my hope would be that it would be a resource that could be useful to all of

the above. So certainly there is a need um as far as our own people goes there is a need for us to explain more. There’s only so much you can give in sermons, there’s only so much you can give in catechism classes, not everybody comes to catechism class. My impression is that fewer and fewer people actually read books. So I think there’s there’s more that we have to explain. I don’t know if the people who don’t come to catechism class also watch YouTube videos but maybe they do maybe they will!

SSPX Podcast:

Right!

Fr. Franks:

Maybe they will and certainly it could be useful to those who are perplexed Catholics who see that there’s something amiss, and want at least to explore the SSPX’s position on that as a reference point when they’re trying to find their own bearings amidst the various positions which can be adopted in the Church today. And certainly something as well that could be of use to somebody who hasn’t really considered these issues before. “I just want an introduction.”

SSPX Podcast:

Sure.

Fr. Franks:

So I think in each case — I’ve even received calls honestly since the the lock down, we did our little series in St. Mary’s the “Time with Father” and all of us recorded some of those things — I even received a call recently from a woman – not even Catholic – who’s been watching interestedly and is thinking about things.

SSPX Podcast:

Fantastic!

Fr. Franks:

These sort of — some of those sorts of videos, so who knows what will happen to it, you know? We throw the seed and the Holy Ghost does what He wants with that but… I think it will be — it’s a good thing to do anyway.

SSPX Podcast:

Right right, Well I mean…

Fr. Franks:

It doesn’t matter if nobody listens to it, it should be there because they should be able to find it

if they want it and that’s…

SSPX Podcast:

Right. It’s like having a great reference series in a library even if no one looks at it, at least it’s there for someone to find uh down the road. For someone like uh myself for instance, um you know 38 years old, my parents did all the “hard work” so to speak, of finding tradition. They were the ones who walked out of their diocesan parish, and went to a small chapel in

Wisconsin and said you know, with five other people, “SSPX priests will you come and help, will you come say mass for us?” They did all that work.

And I’m kind of role-playing here: “I don’t need all that. My parents already did that, they did the research and they said ‘Hey, Novus Ordo = bad, Modernism = bad, Traditional Latin Mass = good. Do this.’”

And I sit here and I say, “I  agree, and that works, and now I go to this Mass. I don’t need to read encyclicals I don’t need Father to talk to me for 16 episodes about this!” What do you say to me Father?

Fr. Franks:

Well I mean I think there’s two things that I would say there. First of all if we don’t have a sufficient reason for being in our position…

So understand: You are not — if you’re in the SSPX Mass, you’re not in your normal parish. You’re not under your normal parish priest. So what is your reason for that? You have to have a reason in conscience otherwise you’re just being — disobedient. Unless you can give an account of that, then we have issues. That’s the first thing. We have to at least be able to give – at a basic level – the reasons for what we’re doing. It’s proportionate to our own understanding,

sure, proportional to our understanding. But if you have the capacity to know all sorts of things about politics and physics and football, then you should be able to take an interest at least to give an account on on the same level. You should know at least as much about why you’re going to mass, where you’re going to mass as you do about the football results.

SSPX Podcast:

Sure.

Fr. Franks:

And secondly, because it’s for the common good of the Church. And we contend that the traditionalist movement which is what we’re doing in the SSPX, is something not only for us, for our own good, for our own families, and so on, but it’s really something for the good of

the Catholic Church: That tradition is meant for the whole Catholic Church, and what the traditional movement seeks to maintain and preserve is meant for the whole Catholic Church,

and is indeed the only way for the Catholic Church to find again its way, its bearings, and to be set on the right course. Which means that each Catholic – again in proportion to his abilities, and his opportunities – has a certain obligation at least in charity to answer the questions of those who inquire.

SSPX Podcast:

Sure

Fr. Franks:

And so we have a duty to inform ourselves so that we can act for the good of the whole Church. And surely you have Catholic friends, surely you have Catholic friends who are — who may — when they ask you “why do you go to mass there?” And you can tell them, “oh my parents made the call back in the 80s and I’ve never looked back,” but it — I mean and maybe if that’s all you that’s all you’re capable of — “come and see, it’s beautiful,” fine that would that would be a proportionate —  that would be an okay response for somebody who doesn’t have the capacity

to understand. But if you have the ability to go deeper, and there’s more that you could say to help that soul…  Many people are not going to be persuaded by just what your parents gave you many years ago.

SSPX Podcast:

Right. And they’re not going to be just persuaded by, “come and smell the smell the incense and listen to the bells and the choirs”

Fr. Franks:

Or they’ll go and find people who have better bells and better choir and incense!

SSPX Podcast:

Right right!  I think Father McFarland uh who’s going to be one of our one of our speakers on this on this series, he gave a whole sermon — and the sermon was titled “We’re not just here for the pretty Mass,” you know. It’s that whole point, we’re — this isn’t why we’re doing this. So that’s a great point, Father.

Speaking of Fr. McFarland, speaking of the other um the other priests, it’s not just going to be you and me sitting here doing this, you’ve gathered a posse so to speak, you’ve gathered up a team. So could you introduce who who else is going to be doing this series with us Father?

Fr. Franks:

So Fr Robinson, Fr Paul Robinson, a regular on your podcast already, on our podcast so to say, obviously a former seminary professor and author of his own recent monograph, and Fr. Robinson I think is known. He’ll be an asset to us.

Fr. McFarland, again who’s spoken on the SSPX Podcast before, who’s the rector there down in Phoenix with you, Andrew.

And then Fr. Wiseman, currently a professor at the seminary in Virginia — Fr. McFarland, Fr. Wiseman and I were stationed together in Saint Mary’s, so I’m happy to be working with them

again more closely on this project. 

Fr. Reuter, who was just the seminary professor for many years until this year he’s just received his new assignment.

And Fr. Loop is down there in Post Falls, he’s principal of the school down there. So that’s the the team I’ve gathered together. Who’ve wished — who’ve volunteered to help me. I would not have time to do this all on my own, and anyway,  it’s good for everybody to hear different

perspectives, different voices, different faces, and as much variety as we can give when we’re talking about some things that may not be the most accessible to everybody. Some people get very excited about these sorts of things… I get very excited about these sorts of things but not everybody gets very excited.

SSPX Podcast:

Right well — and that’s why that’s why you’re a professor at St Mary’s College, Father, because you really get jazzed about this. Well that’s, that’s good, it’s a benefit for us though that’s good!

Well we’re going to be —  we’re going to be starting to record some of these we’re hopefully going to get a few of these produced and recorded and out there. We’re here in the middle of September right now as we introduce this, and hopefully by the beginning of next month, beginning of October, we’ll have this and it will be… Again hopefully — we’re living in 2020 Father, everything is hopefully right? Everything is under Divine providence at this point but, we’re going to be releasing these every week, or maybe every other week. It’s going to be a long series, but it’s going to be something where I think people can share certain episodes, take portions of it, you know have their friends and family listen to it – maybe there’s a few episodes that you’ll really enjoy. And again, speaking to our listeners, and if you have questions about the crisis, if there’s something — again we’re covering everything about the crisis from a to z — so if you have any questions about it send them in, and we’ll get them to our priests to hopefully have answered, eloquently, right Father?

Fr. Franks:

I hope so, I hope so I mean I would look forward to taking specific questions in fact.

SSPX Podcast:

Good!

Fr. Franks:

So we see… We’ll see!

SSPX Podcast:

That’d be great well it’s a great experiment and I think it’s a great idea and I’m looking forward to getting — frankly for myself,  I’m excited to to start this with you. There’s a lot that I know I don’t know and so I’m excited to be to be in the front row seat and with you Father, and with our other five priests, and I hope our listeners will as well! So thank you for getting this put

together Father I appreciate it!

Fr. Franks:

Thanks Andrew look forward to it!

SSPX Podcast:

All right thanks.

Fr. Franks:

God Bless

Conclusion:

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In the meantime thank you for listening, God bless you, and we will talk with you next time on Episode 1 on the “Crisis in the Church Series”