Rorate Caeli

Decision 2008: The Conditions
Update: The actual Document



_______________________
Pontificia Commissio
"Ecclesia Dei"
Conditions which result from the meeting of June 4, 2008,
between Cardinal Darío
Castrillón Hoyos and Bishop Bernard Fellay

1. The commitment to a response proportionate to the generosity of the Pope.
2. The commitment to avoid every public intervention which does not respect the person of the Holy Father and which may be negative to ecclesial charity.
3. The commitment to avoid the claim to a Magisterium superior to the Holy Father and to not propose the Fraternity in contraposition to the Church.
4. The commitment to display the will to act honestly in full ecclesial charity and in respect for the authority of the Vicar of Christ.
5. The commitment to respect the date - fixed for the end of the month of June [2008] - to respond positively. This shall be a condition necessary and required as an immediate preparation for adhesion to accomplish full communion.

[Signed] Darío Card. Castrillón Hoyos

Rome, June 4, 2008
_______________________
[Update - 1700 GMT]
-French original text (permanent link) of the document signed by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos after his meeting with the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX).
-Italian translation: Andrea Tornielli.
-As a measure of comparison, it might be useful to recall the five conditions agreed between Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger twenty years ago (part I of the Protocol of May 5, 1988).

80 comments:

Dan Hunter said...

These conditions must be accepted by the FSSPX.
There is no good reason why not.
They are extremely charitable

Let us pray to St. John the Baptist that this happens!
Beati Joanni Baptistae or pro nobis!

NCTradCatholic said...

#3 means, shut about Vatican II. Sorry, that's unacceptible.

Cerimoniere said...

The requirements are very interesting. There is no sort of profession of faith required, whether in the Council or the validity of the new sacramental rites, even in the form accepted by the Archbishop in 1988. However, there is a clear implication that the FSSPX has been speaking as though it had a magisterium superior to that of the Pope, and in a manner disrespectful to him.

This echoes Cardinal Castrillon's recent remarks that there was no schism, but that if the members of the FSSPX pretend to be "teachers of the Pope", that they could be excommunicated for heresy. It also resonates disturbingly with Bishop Fellay's recent remarks that he had received an ultimatum from Rome, which he interpreted as an instruction to "shut up".

The conditions are certainly open to some interpretation, but in themselves they are surely reasonable. The FSSPX raises legitimate concerns about some conciliar and post-conciliar magisterial documents and acts. Nonetheless, it must acknowledge that the Pope is the final authority on how all these things accord with the Church's dogmatic tradition (which it does), and avoid expressions which are in tension with this acknowledgment (which perhaps it doesn't always). Equally, the Holy See must take seriously these concerns of apparent tensions between post-conciliar and pre-conciliar teaching in some areas, and of certain acts of the post-conciliar Popes that seem to contradict some pre-conciliar teaching. The expression of such concerns is not in itself disrespectful to the Roman Pontiff, and the faithful need clarification of these matters.

This is a moment of serious decision, which could yield great graces for the whole Church; or not. Let us all pray for the FSSPX and for the Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Would it not have been better to allow the SSPX to consider the conditions, if indeed these are the very conditions and they seem suspiciously unRoman as they are vague and do not mention Vatican II, in private?

Obviously once they were in the public domain it was right for Rorate to publish them.

Have you any idea who leaked the conditions?

In caritate Xp.,

Bryan Dunne
Harrow UK

Mark said...

NCTradCatholic: it does not. You are simply reading far too much into this. It simply means do not presume to be superior to the Holy Father (who himself has suggested that Vatican II essentially became a hijacked entity).

Kevin C said...

So the Vatican agrees to lift the excommunications if the Society agrees to be quiet. Assuming these conditions are accepted what then is the status of the Society within the Church? Is it regularized? Can it continue to ordain priests? Can it continue to teach the traditional Faith? From what is written here it seems this resolves nothing.

Stanislawów Galicia said...

Diplomatic vagueness and ambiguity. The claims might come later, from the neo-modernist sides.

Problematic is the scandalous and incorrect assertion that the SSPX created a magisterium about Rome (it did not, it merely said correctly that every Pope is bound by every Catholic dogma of faith too and cannot contradict it), and that the SSPX somehow is to be blamed for having been "uncharitable". This is incorrect, especially as Abp. Lefebvre was frank and honest towards Rome, respectful, but not afraid to denounce Assisi 1986 as "work of the Antichrist by John Paul II" (correctly so). This has nothing to do with being disrespectful but with calling a cow a cow, and a duck a duck. We are not calling an catastrophe with 2,000 dead in a fire a "minor accident due to a lighter error" either.

The SSPX never was uncharitable. The SSPX was (politically incorrectly) fair, open and DIRECT.

Also the SSPX is Roman Catholic and believes all the extraordinary and ordinary-universal magisterium of the holy Roman Church defined forever. And that JP II and B16 are required and obliged to Catholic dogma of faith also - and that they cannot change it.

The Church is no personality cult - the Church is not a Führer-befiehl-command-is-command-community. Every pope is bound by apostolic Tradition of the Catholic orthodox Faith, as defined in Pastor Aeternus by H.H. Pope Bl. Pius IX himself in 1870! The SSPX only applies this Pastor Aeternus truth from the Vatican Council (Vatican I) to the Vatican 2-popes and developments.

These conditions are too undefined to me.

Julie Collorafi said...

I'm not sure these terms are as generous as they should be.

Don't get me wrong---I believe that some in the FSSPX regularly exhibit a lack of charity and respect, but I believe Bp. Fellay, the superior of the order, has always spoken with circumspection and good will.

I would not like to see this shrewd but magnanimous commentator
muzzled in any way. His unique traditional/spiritual perspective on Church issues is MUCH needed!

If he refuses to agree with these conditions, I will be very disappointed since I have been hoping and praying for a reconciliation for many years, but these terms strike me as just a bit too harsh, although they are most likely directed at a few less tractable (and unfortunately quite vocal) members of the order.

Anonymous said...

These conditions are perfect. They are not related to SSPX being told to shut up about Vatican II; it is about shutting up about criticizing the Holy Father and shutting up about excusing disobedience. I say the conditions are perfect because they go to the heart of the matter: the SSPX can have the TLM and its seminaries and everything else, but what it cannot have is the right to speak or act disrespectfully about the Vicar of Christ on earth. All of the technicalities can be solved easily for them. Humility and charity is what they must swallow. This is what the issue has been for the last 6 months, with Card. Castrillon saying positive things about the relationship and Bish. Fellay insultingly calling the Holy Father "a perfectly liberal pope," and other absurdities ad nauseam. They must submit to exercising the virtues of humility and charity required of all Catholics or be out for good. I am happy with these conditions because they place no structural burdens on the SSPX.

Brian Day said...

To say that the FSSPX must shut up is reading too much into the text. The Society may critique (insert issue here), but it must do so in charity, and with respect to the Holy Father.

Oremus.

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos would do well to stop with rhetorical exaggerations with media tactics like suggesting that the SSPX clergy want to be teachers "above the pope" and "teach the pope" from a superior authority level. This is not the case. They merely repeat Catholic dogma of the most supreme authority of the Church, the Apostolic See itself. Benedict XVI is bound, like John Paul II, to Catholic dogma.

No SSPX priest or sacramental-bishop, who have ordinary jurisdiction whatsoever (except some elderly among them, and those in Clermont-Ferrand), would dare to suggest they can authoritatively "teach" the pope.

But the SSPX, like Saint Paul, can rebuke the Supreme Pastor whenever he errs and harms the Church, and there may be no false obedience against the faith. That would lack charity too. Lack of Love of truth that is.

Catholic dogmata are unchangeable, and the universal and ordinary magisterial definitions are also infallible and irreformably binding even on the conscience of Benedict XVI, elected in 2005.

The Roman Catholic Church is not a personality cult.

Castrillon Hoyos should re-read Pastor Aeternus and notice that the Pope is bound by apostolic Tradition and may never introduce novelties in teaching.

Anonymous said...

The conditions are an insidious manifestation of Popolatry.

It is the Apostolic Traditions, not the person of the Pope that reign.

The conditions of papal infallibility are VERY circumscribed. (See Pastor Aeternus from Vatican I in your Denziger)

Stanislas Wojtiech said...

SSPX and the Year of Saint Paul:

But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (Galatians 2:11)

Commentary of the Douay-Reims:
"Neither was St. Paul's reprehending him any argument against his supremacy; for in such cases an inferior may, and sometimes ought, with respect, to admonish his superior."

The SSPX did nothing more than these admonishments. Even Saint Catherine called the Avignonese exile Popes "antichrists".

Anonymous said...

Further, "when he is to be blamed," even the Pope may be "resisted to the face."

Galations 2:11

Anonymous said...

If they don't accept this I think we can all forget about the SSPX regaining full communion.

dcs said...

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos would do well to stop with rhetorical exaggerations with media tactics like suggesting that the SSPX clergy want to be teachers "above the pope" and "teach the pope" from a superior authority level. This is not the case. They merely repeat Catholic dogma of the most supreme authority of the Church, the Apostolic See itself. Benedict XVI is bound, like John Paul II, to Catholic dogma.

Other than the five conditions, I don't know the contents of the letter. What I do know is that asking someone to avoid doing something is not the same thing as accusing him of doing that thing. For example, when I tell my daughter to dress modestly, it does not mean that she has actually been dressing immodestly; I am simply reminding her. So if the Holy Father, through Card. Castrillon, is asking the SSPX not to claim that there is a Magisterium superior to the Holy Father, it does not follow that the SSPX is doing this. It's a reminder, not necessarily a correction.

Anonymous said...

At this point the public knows nothing really.

Pray and continue to pray for conversions of heart all around--the Holy Father and the Roman curia, the FSSPX clergy and their faithful, the world-wide episcopate and faithful.

Humanly speaking, I do not see possible any regularisation of the FSSPX. Even were the Society to enter into terms with the authorities in Rome, numerous Society clergy would defect to other irregular or schismatic bodies. And many--perhaps most--faithful would join them. My experience has been that the laity who support the FSSPX are FAR more intransigent than are the clergy.

But divinely speakingly (OH NO! I am sounding like Msgr. Williamson here!), all things are possible with the grace of God. Wait and watch and pray!

Instaurare omnia in Christo!

Heartland Catholic said...

My first thought on seeing condition #3 was "no chance of a deal anytime soon!" But on second and third readings I realize that without the terms being defined, condition #3 could have a rather wide interpretation of meaning. As always, the devil is in the details -- pardon the expression -- and there is certainly more to this story than has been leaked thus far. Personally, I'm waiting for a definitive announcement that something has actually happened, and the statements of why was was (not?) take that will follow.

Cosmos said...

I agree that these conditions (if they are real) are very reasonable and leave lots of room for movement.

The Pope has done a great amount to make clear that many of the most influential interpretations of the Second Vatican Council are out-of-line with tradition and that the Church has been irresponsible in policing these revolutionary ideas. Can the SPPX similarly admit that it is responsible for teachings that may be misunderstood or misapplied as to lead the faithful away from the Pope, the Magesterium, and ultimately the Church? If not, its pride is blinding it.

If compliance with the Pope's conditions is possible without sacrificing the Truth, is there even an option? I think St. Thomas More would say, no!

Jordanes said...

It is the Apostolic Traditions, not the person of the Pope that reign.

Sounds kind of manichaean.

Really, if the person of the Pope does not reign, who on earth is the supreme custodian of the Apostolic Tradition?

Anyway these conditions do not call for the SSPX to render false obedience to the Pope, nor to refrain from analysis and criticism of Vatican II or the Papacy. They merely ask the SSPX to do so charitably and moderately.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Jordanes. This is about respectful behaviour, respectful disagreement, respectful and constructive criticism; it is about simply behaving yourselves while going about your business. There is no excuse for rejecting these conditions. Rejection here can only come from pride.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Jordanes. This is about respectful behaviour, respectful disagreement, respectful and constructive criticism; it is about simply behaving yourselves while going about your business. There is no excuse for rejecting these conditions. Rejection here can only come from pride.

Petrus Radii said...

Well, the document says nothing substantial, really. It has no protocol number which I saw, so it is merely a private letter of Cdl. Castrillon to Bp. Fellay.

We do not know to what these "conditions" relate. There are no juridical statements which would clarify what would happen, if the conditions are accepted, or if they are refused.

The language, typical of this well-meaning but seemingly fuzzy-headed Cardinal, is not only ambivalent but multivalent. Terms are not defined and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. No lawyer---and not even a person with the sound use of logic---could agree to the "conditions" as stated.

While I believe the SSPX should forge an agreement with Rome, for reasons made clear by the Transalpine Redemptorists, the present document cannot possibly be considered a basis for that, since it is subject to multiple interpretations and seems to imply that the Pope is indefectible, therefore immune to criticism. If true, the document represents an heretical ecclesiology.

Certainly, the SSPX members often display a severe lack of charity (as do those on the other side), especially towards those who leave. They have calumniated the FSSP for twenty years, despite knowing the truth and having been corrected. They now shun and calumniate the Transalpine Redemptorists. There are also many examples of the SSPX usurping not only territorial jurisdiction (marriage tribunals; exorcisms), but even Papal jurisdiction (establishing Papal cloister; dispensing Religious from Solemn Vows).

Certainly, much is to be criticised in the Conciliar Church. But it is NOT the place of the SSPX to dictate all terms of reconciliation. An agreement prior to resolution of theological disputes is not a fortiori an acceptance of the New Religion created in the wake of Vatican II. No one can take away the free will of the SSPX adherents through a simple signature on a paper. If criticism is justified, it is justified, and may be made openly when prudent. But the attitude is waxing in the Society and their followers, that they alone are the "true Church", to the point that they refuse communicatio in sacris with other Traditional Catholics who do not follow them.

I would not make too much of this document. It has no legal force and no clear reference point. But it does show that the discussions are earnest, which is good.

Anonymous said...

FSSPX cannot think of themselves as the authoritative interpreters of the the Tradition in contraposition to the living Magisterium.

It is simple. The members of the living Magisterium and the members of FSSPX are both bound by the Tradition. FSSPX can certainly critique violations of the Traditon, even by members of the Magisterium. However, in the end, it is the Magisterium itself that authoritatively interprets the Tradition (including the previous Magisterial statements).

Also all that is asked is a "COMMITMENT TO AVOID"...success is not even asked.

An attitude of being in "contraposition" to the rest of the Church is very dangerous.

Patrick said...

These seem like conditions worked out by both sides, not conditions 'imposed' by Rome on the SSPX. Let's hope Fellay has just been posturing, and that we shall have good news for the feast of the Apostles.

Anonymous said...

"Conditions which result from the meeting of June 4, 2008,
between Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos and Bishop Bernard Fellay".

Doesn't it say anything? I repeat:

"...which result from the meeting..."

Choocolino.

Mornac said...

It’s just something that doesn’t translate well. “Conditions resulting from the meeting..." may have been a better way to put it, but the meaning is that a) there was a meeting, and b) the meeting resulted in these five conditions being drawn up and placed on the table.

New Catholic said...

"Choocolino", your impression is correct. The general sense seems to be that the conditions were somewhat agreed upon, since they "resulted" from the meeting. The only "ultimatum" would be the fifth and last condition, which is linked to a deadline.

Cerimoniere said...

The point about "resulting from" is interesting. However, it seems at odds with Mgr. Fellay's talk of an "ultimatum" if he'd actually agreed on the terms already with Cardinal Castrillon.

Ione said...

The aforementioned document was so abstract and vague I don't see how anyone could decline to accept that. It was in the very language of Vatican II (ambiguity) which the SSPX denounces.

I recently attended a service celebrated by H.E. Fellay, and found it quite moving, he really believes.

The SSPX is running out of excuses not to reconcile, I assist at SSPX chapels on occasion, and their argument is convincing, but one does not need to be in canonical irregularity to say what the SSPX is saying. The contemporary FSSP is quite bellicose in it's stand against the Novus Ordo and Vatican II derivations, far more I would insist than SSPX clergymen I have known. With or without full communion the SSPX has a future, which is more than I can say for much of the Western world's Novus Ordo Catholics.

Anonymous said...

What is the practical meaning and effect of condition number 5, concerning the deadline? Surely Rome is not saying that if an answer is not provided by June 28, the SSPX is permanently ostracized, as that would violate every single principle expressed so far. When it uses the term immediate, is it talking about before the Vatican takes its summer break, i.e., the Pope wants to get something done now before they all leave? Or is it suggesting that further discussions would go on hold until the SSPX responds in a positive manner? The idea of 'ultimatum' is implied by number 5, but it isn't clear what the consequence will be if the SSPX responds in a less than positive manner. JBrown

Jeff Culbreath said...

"The idea of 'ultimatum' is implied by number 5, but it isn't clear what the consequence will be if the SSPX responds in a less than positive manner."

No - but it is clear that there WILL BE consequences. It seems that Rome is very serious about this. We can be sure that Rome will view a refusal of regularization on such terms as an unambiguous schismatic act.

This is a test of obedience of the gentlest kind possible: no doctrinal or liturgical compromises are asked, just respect.

Ione said...

Once Ratzinger goes to his eternal reward the SSPX will never get another chance like this. I pray he signs, and let Providence do what it will. The SSPX doesn't realize they are much less important to the Church than they believe themselves to be.

Jeff Culbreath said...

It could be even worse than this. Cardinal Castrillon hinted recently that heresy could be involved when schism and disobedience derives from doctrinal error. If the SSPX refuses - and issues a characteristically clear statement as to why it refuses - Rome will have a clear picture as to the Society's *doctrine* of papal authority.

Ione said...

The late Archbishop would have signed this document, of that I am convinced.

Anonymous said...

I would like Bishop Fellay to agree to all conditions imposed by Rome when the Holy Father responds to Our Lady of Fatima's requests to Consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, promote the First Saturday Devotions to It and read the 3rd Secret (even 48 years late).

Antonio LaPietra

Dan Hunter said...

Ill give you one of my wacky pac's for one of your'n!

Ione said...

If Rome wanted to do an ultimate slap in the face they would remove the excommunication against Msgr. Lefebvre, but not the four current bishops.

Question: Was the excommunication against H.E. Castro de Mayer removed when Campos reconciled?

Dan Hunter said...

Ione,
Good question.
I had read that His Excellency Bishop Castro-Mayer, was not listed as one of the excommunicate when it was officially announced by Rome.
He wrote to the Vatican and told them that he had taken part in the consecrations, and then he was officially pronounced excommunicate.

Even though it was automatically incurred.
Did Rome not know that he was at Econe that day?

What a sad punishment for a prelate who had spent his whole episcopacy defending the faith and confirming the brethren, when not to many other bishops did so.

Michael said...

Frankly, if Christ could accept crucifixion, the SSPX has no reason to reject these terms.

The benefit to the universal Church, not to mention the PR value of this action for traditionalists, would overcome any perceived risk to the Society. Suddenly, there would be no more stick to wave at the so called "schismatics". They'd be "in" without any public or private doubt about it -- and there wouldn't be anything the progressives could do about it.

Should the bishops ordained by Abp. Lefebvre pass before making peace with Rome, the SSPX risks more than it does otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Lefebvre was frank and honest towards Rome, respectful, but not afraid to denounce Assisi 1986 as "work of the Antichrist by John Paul II" (correctly so).

I would rather follow the SSPX, that this kind of nonsense that John Paul II did in 1986.
Remember also the Lutheran "bishops" JP II welcomed in full regalia up on the altar of St. Peters(a disgrace!!) in 1992 to commemorate St. Briget of Sweden, the kissing the Koran, praying at the shrine of Anglican "martyrs" during one of his jaunts to Africa etc., Assisi #2 in 2000, Wailing Wall prayers like a Jew in 2000, etc. etc. etc. etc.
THank God we have the SSPX.

Anonymous said...

Oremos para que a FSSPX aceite as condições apresentadas.

Nossa Senhora de Fátima inspire Mons Fellay e os demais Bispos da Fraternidade. Este é um momento histórico em que Roma quer abraçar de novo a Fraternidade.

P

Joe B said...

Nothing has changed. SSPX is still trying to get Rome to seriously address the problems resulting from modernism, and Rome still talks about respect. These two railroad tracks don't meet.

SSPX doesn't accept the effectiveness of the excommunication decree, so whereas that may be the greatest concern of you SSPX critics, it isn't SSPX's. They're in this out of concern for the faith, not for respect. And no, this isn't the final opportunity. If SSPX is right, and they are, they will eventually be vindicated. But look, you know the bottom line is that no true dialogue on these issues can take place until either SSPX looks more like Rome or Rome starts looking more like SSPX, and neither is happening.

Wake me up when Rome puts tradition above respect.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

I don't think these conditions should be considered acceptable. They are ambiguous and leave things wide open to further blacken the reputation of the SSPX. For example, would criticizing the Holy Father for the public scandal he is planning to do this upcoming Sunday with the schismatic Patriarch, according to the Vatican Press Office itself, be considered attacking the person of the Holy Father? Can you imagine how many more attacks on the SSPX would come if this would be considered so AFTER an agreement? These conditions are just as ambiguous as the documents of Vatican II.

I don't speak for Bishop Fellay or the SSPX, but I just can't see these conditions being acceptable.

May the Good Lord help us.

dcs said...

SSPX doesn't accept the effectiveness of the excommunication decree, so whereas that may be the greatest concern of you SSPX critics, it isn't SSPX's.

Right, that's why they asked for the decree to be lifted before engaging in talks with the Holy See - because they're not concerned about it.

dcs said...

For example, would criticizing the Holy Father for the public scandal he is planning to do this upcoming Sunday with the schismatic Patriarch, according to the Vatican Press Office itself, be considered attacking the person of the Holy Father?

I'm sure Msgr. Fellay, his brother bishops, and the priests of the SSPX all understand the distinction between criticizing acts of the Pope and attacking the person of the Pope.

Dan Hunter said...

To answer my own question:

That being said, Rome can show clemency on this issue. A good example is with Bishop Castro de Meyer, who was Archbishop Lefebvre`s co-consecrator in 1988. Despite the fact the four bishops he co-consecrated are still in schism, my understanding is that the excommunication against Bishop de Meyer was retroactively lifted when Bishop Rangel, who succeeded Bishop Meyer after his death, reconciled the Society of St. John Mary Vianney a couple of years` ago. Thus clemency is possible and has already been shown once with regards to this schism.

This is from Pete Vere of Envoy magazine.
Whoever he is.
I hope this is true.

Franzjosf said...

IONE: I don't think excommunications can be lifted after someone dies.

IAmDudum said...

Alea Jacta Estx

Anonymous said...

Many have said this better than I can. The person of the Pope is not to be respected more than mere politeness dictates; his office (state) is. The most glorious Popes have denied that they were worthy of the office. Was Paul wrong to teach Peter? SSPX is right to reject novelties and to hold to what old books show was believed by all, everywhere, always. Of course, fallen human nature being as it is, there is a tendency towards sin, not excluding schism, in everyone, including members of SSPX. They walk a tightrope. Louis

charliemarlow said...

The FSSPX should say they will sign this if it will then be required of all religious orders and bishops. How many current bishops would sign that? Would diocesan priests and "ministers" sign?
There is little remarkable except for #3, which is an odd demand, given the meaning of the word Magisterium. It can be disregarded as illogical.

Anonymous said...

charliemarlow said:

How many current bishops would sign that? Would diocesan priests ... sign?

I am a diocesan priest and I would gladly sign that, and with joy give my life up for what it means, and indeed I have signed just that. Every cleric of the Catholic Church must before ordination as a Sacred Minister, make and sign an oath of Loyalty to the Faith, the Pope, and the Church. Every priest who is call to be a pastor, and every priest consecrated as Bishop must do the same. How many perjure themselves? I do not know, that is for God to Know. All I know is that I have not nor God willing ever shall, and I am not unique by far.

Fr. W.T.C.

Anonymous said...

Although I'm not SSPX I have always been thankful that they stuck to their guns and didn't settle for breadcrumbs under JPII.

Now, however, with these simple and fair guidlines, there is absolutely no reason not to agree. It does't restrict them from anything and actually, by their silence, leaves a ton of possibily for doctrinal discussions.

The time has come. Let us pray they make the right decision.

Anonymous said...

What could the FSSPX possibly loose by signing this? It doesn't silence them. It doesn't have them renounce, reject, or accept anything.

Sign a document which will change nothing of substance, except blow the notion of schism out of the water, or pridefully walk away?

Please God sign it!

Guillaume said...

I have to say : THANKS ! brilliant blog ! At the moment you are the "breaking news" blog regarding this situation. Deo Gratias. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Read it with good will and sign it! Interpret it with good will and sign it. This is not rocket science! They lose nothing of substance by signing, so sign it. Let us pray that they be real men, and sign it.

Justin C Bolger said...

FSSPX needs to humble itself and be obedient to the Holy Father. The conditions will NEVER be perfect. Division is a scandal - an utter scandal - the Greek word for division is diabylline (sp). Division is diabolic, evil. It's a scandal to the faithful and the rest of the world who look at Christians and see a lot of bickering and not much agreement. Disagreement is understandable, though regrettable, between Catholics and Protestants but among Catholics it should cease as soon as possible.
Also, this whole "shut up" rhetoric is retarded and betrays the pride Fellay carries with him.
He needs our prayers as do the rest of the Society.

David A. Werling said...

Only a sedevacantist would refuse those points. There's no silencing inherent in any of the points. They simply call for charity, fairness and respect for the person and teaching office of the Vicar of Christ. In fact, it leaves all theological issues, including all the contested points of VCII (especially religious liberty), open to debate, as they should be.

Two choices: 1. accept the proposal and become a strong influence for a brighter future; or 2. refuse and become a marginalized sect outside of communion and beyond the scope of affecting the Church. A refusal now will not only weaken the SSPX but the whole traditionalist movement in the Church.

Anonymous said...

Attn. to Dan Hunter:

You chose to make light of my desire to have Bishop Fellay sign when Rome consumates Our Lady's Fatima requests. We have Her word that Rome will do so. Since the situational chaos in Rome will not be resolved until then, it seems here that it would focus the importance of Fatima to the whole world as never before. It would demonstrate that obedience to Rome is more important than what Our Lord (who sent Our Lady) wants. This is what you described as my wacky pak. You may not agree with me but you may have thought St. Catherine of Sienna or St. Joan of Arc to be wacky if you lived in their day. I think it would be noble of the SSPX to be the instrument which finally enables Our Lady's message to be heard. Not out of arrogance to the Holy Father but of devotion to Our Lady whom Bishop Lefebvre dedicated the entire Society of St. Pius X.

Antonio LaPietra

Woody Jones said...

Leave to an Anglo-Catholic priest to recall the history: see Fr. John Hunwicke's blog here, at the writing on S John the Baptist:

http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/

In other words, the deadline must relate to the 20th anniversary of the Econe episcopal consecrations.

For an AU Catholic like myself, it was good also to see him remember how Cardinal Ratzinger tried to help out when C of E priests were trying to come over in the early 1990's (see William Oddie's "The Roman Option" about this sad affair). May the SSPX, but also the TAC, truly come home to Papa.

poeta said...

What Bishop Fellay could easily say:

"Obviously, we accept the five 'commitments.' The first four have been our commitments from the very beginning.

"With regard to the third commitment, again obviously, our Fraternity has no teaching office higher than that of the Holy See. This does not mean, naturally, that we can relinquish our God-given faculty and duty of discernment, which is shared by all the faithful, as to whether particular statements and actions of our Holy Father, not invoking the charism of the Extraordinary Magisterium, are in harmony with the perennial and universal Magisterium of the Church."

Anyway, that's what I would say. But since I am not the one to say in the end, I will return to praying.

Pertinacious Papist said...

The SSPX loses nothing and gains everything: the licit canonical status of its own prelature. Nobody is being silenced. Fr. Brian Harrison criticizes the "Skeletons in the Conciliar Closet" with impunity because he does so with due respect and submission to Rome. There is no reason the SSPX cannot do the same.

God bless His Holiness. He could not be more gracious and charitable than he is in these "conditions." I cannot imagine Archbishop Lefebvre himself rejecting this offer.

Anonymous said...

Il bivio di monsignor Fellay

Mi trovo a Roma e ho raccolto ulteriori informazioni che aiutano a inquadrare meglio le cinque condizioni presenti nella lettera del cardinale Castrillòn Hoyos a mons. Fellay. Innanzitutto quelle condizioni non sono poste ai lefebvriani in generale, ma proprio al loro superiore, cioè lo stesso Fellay. Il quale nei colloqui manifesta volontà di dialogo, poi però scrive e sottoscrive attacchi durissimi contro il Papa. Le cinque condizioni sono dunque un passo previo per arrivare alla cancellazione della scomunica. Centrale è il punto dedicato al fatto che la Fraternità, e i suoi superiori, danno l’impressione di sentirsi… superiori allo stesso Pontefice, di giudicarlo dall’alto, come se la San Pio X fosse la “vera” Chiesa e la “vera” Roma, e la Chiesa cattolica guidata da Benedetto XVI fosse un gruppo separato che deve rientrare nella piena comunione con Econe e Menzingen. La verità, purtroppo, è che si sono ormai stratificati atteggiamenti e prese di posizione (lo dimostrano anche alcuni commenti presenti nel precedente post) che rendono difficile riconoscere questo elementare dato: non sono i lefebvriani la vera Chiesa, la vera Chiesa cattolica è quella in comunione con Benedetto XVI. Mai come in questo momento il cuore pastorale e generoso del Pontefice, attraverso il cardinale Castrillòn è aperto alla riconciliazione. Ma è la San Pio X che deve tornare all’ovile dopo l’atto scismatico della consacrazione illecita dei vescovi fatta da Lefebvre, non è la Santa Sede a dover chiedere scusa ai lefebvriani.

Il blog di Andrea Tornelli

Pertinacious Papist said...

"I can’t help but think that Michael Davies, a great gentleman who died a couple years ago, would have strongly supported the gesture of the Holy See made to the SSPX.

"I met Michael Davies and remember what a tremondous bulldog he was on points he was convinced about. However, you could have an amicable discussion with him and, if your arguments were good, he would shift his position. Also, he was careful not to go over the top with his rhetoric and, when something was pointed out to him that was too harsh, he would make changes.

"I think Michael Davies – sorely missed today – would have been thrilled by the election of Pope Benedict, Summorum Pontificum and this recent gesture of the Holy Father to resolve the divisions that sadly wound the Church."

(Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, "QUAERITUR: Do SSPXers think new rites of ordination are valid?")

Anonymous said...

JORDANES [typical name-calling]: "Sounds kind of manichaean."

VATICA I PASTOR AETERNUS: "For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine [novam doctrinam], but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles."

In your Denziger see the First Vatican Council, Constitutio Dogmatica Prima de Ecclesia Christi (Pastor Aeternus), chap. 4, De Romani Pontificis Infallibili Magisterio."

HENCE: We do not owe false obedience to the person of the Pope when he informally teaches novelties and even inversions of the perennial Magisterium. Q.E.D.

Anonymous said...

ON WHETHER ADHERENCE TO THE FIVE PRECONDITIONS AS SET FORTH BY H.E. CASTRILLON HOYOS IS REQUIRED

We proceed thus to the first article --

Obj. 1. We do not owe false obedience to the person of the Pope when he informally teaches novelties and even inversions of the perennial Magisterium.

On the contrary -- The object of Obj. 1 is not pertaining to that of the character of the five preconditions.

I answer that -- the five preconditions establish a minimum level of agreement for H.E. Felley to agree with to proceed with regularization. These preconditions to not pertain to the issue of "false obedience" when the Magisterium "informally teaches novelties and even inversions of the perennial Magisterium".

Reply to Obj. 1. -- Since none of the requirements set forth in the five preconditions pertain to that which the author claims Q.E.D over, the author's reasoning does not hold. Furthermore, the five preconditions are no more than a statement of ecclesial unity and willingness to hold communion with the Sovereign Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, and the Servant of Servants of God.

Ione said...

franzjosf: Yes excommunications can not only be lifted after the excommunicate dies, but they can also be decalred null.

Jordanes said...

Someone said: JORDANES [typical name-calling]: "Sounds kind of manichaean."

I assume you mean my comment regarding someone's opinion is "typical-calling," and not that "Jordanes" is "typical-calling." But in either case you're mistaken. It is not name-calling to opine that the statement, "It is the Apostolic Traditions, not the person of the Pope that reign," sounds kind of manichaean. I made a comment about an erroneous or ill-thought idea, not a person. And your response does not even pertain to my question: if the person of the Pope does not reign, who on earth is the supreme custodian of the Apostolic Tradition?

I would also ask you to refrain from personal insults. A substantive response does not require any interjections regarding allegedly "typical name-calling."

Zorayda Nevada said...

I pray to God that Bishop Fellay will not give in. I know he is smart enough to know that this is just another trap! I was in the same room when he said three years ago that the "excommuninactions" have served as a protection of the faithful and priests against the snares of Modernist Rome.
Too many wimps...so few men! What? Hoyos has nothing to say about faithfulness to Catholic Doctrine or the restoration of the Faith? It's pure human respect!!!!

Malta said...

a*Stanislas Wojtiech said...
Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos would do well to stop with rhetorical exaggerations with media tactics like suggesting that the SSPX clergy want to be teachers "above the pope" and "teach the pope" from a superior authority level. This is not the case. They merely repeat Catholic dogma of the most supreme authority of the Church, the Apostolic See itself. Benedict XVI is bound, like John Paul II, to Catholic dogma.
No SSPX priest or sacramental-bishop, who have ordinary jurisdiction whatsoever (except some elderly among them, and those in Clermont-Ferrand), would dare to suggest they can authoritatively "teach" the pope.
But the SSPX, like Saint Paul, can rebuke the Supreme Pastor whenever he errs and harms the Church, and there may be no false obedience against the faith. That would lack charity too. Lack of Love of truth that is.
Catholic dogmata are unchangeable, and the universal and ordinary magisterial definitions are also infallible and irreformably binding even on the conscience of Benedict XVI, elected in 2005.
The Roman Catholic Church is not a personality cult.
Castrillon Hoyos should re-read Pastor Aeternus and notice that the Pope is bound by apostolic Tradition and may never introduce novelties in teaching.*

Excellent post; but these conditions don't preclude legitimate criticism, just ad hominem attacks against the Pope.

Zorayda Nevada said...

It is also important to note that Archbishop Lefebvre knew Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos way back in Colombia. Hoyos was instrumental in the separation between Church and state in that country.
Faith IS greater than obedience. Bishop Fellay owes it to God Almighty to defend and protect the Faith and souls ,and we know he knows that.

Anonymous said...

How are the SSPX any different from those Anglo-Catholics who teach the same faith but like them are out of communion with the Holy See? Both derive their orders from bishops recognised as such by Rome, the SSPX from Lefebvre, the Anglicans from Utrecht. Both in practice accept the Article among the 39 which says that General Councils may err even in matters pertaining to God. Indeed the Anglicans seem to be even keener on Vatican II than the SSPX.

Even-handed treatment might be a good idea?

Anonymous said...

How do the SSPX differ from any other collection of episcopi vagantes? There are plenty of them, many of them using the Tridentine Rite?

Anonymous said...

Does the Catholic Church really want to be associated with many of the reported sayings of Bishop Williamson? Only because of the efforts of a good Rabbi( David Dalin "The Myth of Hitler's Pope") has it recently mounted an effective refutation of accusations made against Pius XII, usually made by renegade Catholics. The acceptance of such a man, if his sayings have been reported accurately, would give ammunition to the enemies of the Church, as well as in his comments on "The Sound of Music" considerable amusement to the general population.

Anonymous said...

The acceptance of such a man, if his sayings have been reported accurately, would give ammunition to the enemies of the Church, as well as in his comments on "The Sound of Music" considerable amusement to the general population.

This is true provided that these comments are not made up. However looking at the other side of the coin the enemies of the Church have plenty of ammunition as it stands with many more bishops throughout the world who are disobedient to the Holy Father and who make a mockery of the Church's teachings.

Zorayda Nevada said...

For the Record:

24 June 2008

Reaction from Bishop Fellay to the Ultimatum
From Voice of Catholic Radio, published in Rorate Caeli :

Important: What Bishop Fellay said about the ultimatum
UPDATED


[Update - June 24, 0900 GMT] The Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, spoke of the "ultimatum" in his sermon during the Mass of Ordinations in Winona, Minnesota, last Friday (June 20):

[33:20]... you want an update of how things are going with Rome. All these excommunications, or the lifting, or the retraction of the decrees of excommunications, is it coming or not? Frankly, I don't know. My impression, right now, is that we still can wait for a while, and maybe a good while. And why so?

Because the approach we have towards the question is not the same as the one of the Vatican. And I say this problem, always these words, they are the words of the Archbishop "Rome wants a reconciliation, but with these words, they want us to go back to the new", which is not to go back, but to go in. And that's not what we want. He said the perspective is different, they speak of reconciliation,but it is an integration to the new.

In 76, it was already the same problem. Before the suspension of 76, Rome sent an ambassador to he Archbishop who told him, 'Say with me one new mass, concelebrate with me one mass, and everything is fine'. And now, well, they don't say 'Say one Mass', they just say 'Shut up'.

It is so far that Rome has given me an ultimatum. Seems that the last Letter to the Benefactors has been not so well received in Rome. They consider it as a proof of pride, of arrogance, and that's what they don't want. And we are not going to shut down our mouths, or to shut up.
[...]

[45:08] And now, we are, should we say, something like at a crossroads. And in a certain way, Rome is telling us, 'OK, we are ready to lift up the excommunication, but you cannot continue this way"

So, we have no choice, we are not going this way, we are continuing what we have done, we have fought now for forty years to keep this faith alive. To keep this Tradition not only for ourselves, but for the Church. And we are just going to continue, happens what happens. Everything is in God's hands. If God wants this proof, this trial to continue, it may continue. He will give us the grace we need for it. No fear, we'll wait for better times. That's what the Archbishop said twenty years ago. That's what we continue to say today.
Of course we have to do all what we can to have this faith to be continued, to be preached everywhere, this faith to be really, and all this Tradition to be really back in the Church. We have to do whatever we can for this, but nothing else. It is a hard time, my dear brethren, but it is not ourselves who are going to change it. We are in these circumstances, we did not cause them. So we depend on God.

Ione said...

I saw Bishop Fellay speak in Minnesota last weekend and he made no allusion to reconciliation with the Holy See.

Ione said...

Z. Nevada: where can I find out information regarding Castrillon's role in the secularisation of Colombia?

Ione said...

I can only imagine the reaction of the French Episcopal College if there was reconciliation between the SSPX and the Holy See. They hated Lefebvre then, and the hate him even more now, as his sister so boldly declared after the Econe consecrations.

I am curious if posters on this site think reunion with Rome would result in numerical growth of decline for the SSPX?

LeonG said...

"This is about respectful behaviour, respectful disagreement, respectful and constructive criticism; it is about simply behaving yourselves while going about your business. There is no excuse for rejecting these conditions. Rejection here can only come from pride."

Such a remark applies more to many Novus Ordo bishops and priests than to SSPX. There is an effective rebellion in many episcopates particularly against liturgical norms. There are many bishops and priests who disobey Catholic norms concerning sodomy, abortion and artificial methods of birth control. For example, UK bishops have overtly criticised Pope Benedict XVI and it is on record. There have been no disciplinary measures taken. There is not one SSPX bishop or priest who does this.

Any accusation made against SSPX under these 5 conditions is rank hypocrisy.