Rorate Caeli

La Croix on the SSPX General Chapter

The midterm General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX /SSPX) is under way in Écône, Switzerland. The semi-official daily of the French Episcopate, La Croix, has a good overview of the event.


Rapprochement with Rome divides Lefebvrists

A General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X begins on Monday, July 9, in Écône (Switzerland), while the Lefebvrist movement is crossed by strong tensions

The doctrinal preamble proposed by Rome for discussion is the object of lively debates. One third of the Society is supposed to be opposed to Bp. Bernard Fellay, their Superior General, and to any agreement.

Officially, there are "no dissenssions": "No group or priest has announced that he would leave the Society," Father Grégoire Célier, spokesman of the French District, affirms. However, deep divisions have  appeared these last few weeks between the majority led by Bp. Bernard Fellay, the Superior General, favorable to an agreement with Rome, and a hardline wing, hostile to him and that could attempt a coup of force during the Chapter.

That is shown by the exchange of letters made public on May 10 on the internet displaying the lively disagreement between the leader of the Lefebvrists and the three other bishops of the Society, who have condemned any practical agreement. Or, more recently, the putting aside of Bp. Richard Williamson, due to "his stand calling to rebellion."

According to several observers, "Bp. Fellay unquestionably wants an agreement, and has moved forward considerably." In his June 29 sermon, he certainly recognized: "We have returned to the point of departure, in which we said we could not sign." But he also reminded: "We are Roman, and this we cannot put behind us. Even if we have to suffer from the Rome of today, we cannot renounce Rome, head of the Church." 
   
One third of the Society opposed to the agreement

He seems to want to give assurances to both sides: to Rome, by discarding Bp. Williamson from the General Chapter and refusing to ordain priests for the "friendly" communities most opposed to an agreement; and his troops, by refusing to yield to the new conditions posed by the latest version of the doctrinal preamble, put forward by the pope. In any event, someone close to the Society of Saint Pius X analyses, "all that serves to psychologically prepare the spirits for an agreement."

Moreover, in this context of pressures and leaks, this midterm General Chapter for Bp. Fellay, reelected in 2006 for twelve years, should be the occasion to evaluate the support which he has. He knows that most districts are loyal to him, particularly the most important ones (Germany and the United States).

On the other hand, those of Ireland and England are strongly opposed to any agreement, and France, which represents one third of the Society, also poses problems: among 37 French priories, between one fourth and one third would be opposed to it.  

In total, according to several observers questioned by La Croix, one third of the Society is loyal to Bp. Fellay, another third, "the legitimists", would follow him no matter what may come, but a last third would be hostile to any agreement with Rome and to the Superior General.

The threat of rebellion
  
This hostility is more widely based on the resentment of a good number of priests against the administration, deemed authoritarian, of Bp. Fellay, While Bp. Williamson has lost all credibility, Bp. Alfonso de Galarreta could be the catalyst of a rebellion, supported by Bp. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais.

Following the last consultation, the Argentinian [Spanish-born] bishop had explained in detail why "moving in the direction of a practical agreement would mean going back on our word and our promises before our priests, faithful, Rome, and the entire world." In his view, "there is not any change, on the doctrinal level, from Rome, that would justify our [change]. Quite the opposite, discussions have demonstrated that they (Editor note: in Rome) do not accept our criticisms at all."
  
If an entente is reached, would these opponents proceed to secession? "A considerable portion will not follow in the case of a personal prelature," Father Célier admits. But, following the rejection of the text delivered by Cardinal William Levada, [then] Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on June 13, "the process is once again blocked." In this sense, Father Célier considers, "just because we have returned to a classical situation, the General Chapter will not be any simpler."

Departures would be minimal

Besides, what would be of the opponents outside the Society? On one hand, the Lefebvrist priests formed in different seminaries barely know one another from one country to the other, and getting together within a new structure would not at all be easy. 

Most importantly, practical and financial issues should have considerable weight. Bp. Fellay, who was the Treasurer General of the Society of Saint Pius X for twelve years, would have taken the necessary measures so that, on the day on which certain District Superiors became opposed to him, their property would automatically revert to him... Many recognize that "between being opposed to an agreement and seceding, there is a distance."
  
"If I had to leave my work from one day to the next, my parishioners, my colleagues, what would I become?", Father Célier, who has been "in the Society for 32 years," also asks. Another close [source] confirms it: "There are disagreements, this is clear. That being said, there are maybe 40% of displeased [members], but only 10 to 15% who speak up, and in the end 3% who will leave."

When Father Philippe Laguérie wished to leave the Society in 2006, 70 priests had promised to follow him, and fewer than 10 effectively did so. Even Father Xavier Beauvais, pastor of Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet, in Paris, who loudly proclaims his opposition to any agreement, would have confided to his entourage: "I'm against it [an agreement], but I won't go against it." 
  
CÉLINE HOYEAU

65 comments:

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

I hope the article is wrong; rather, I hope that the consensus in the General Chapter is that of Fr. de Cacqueray stated in the July/August 2012 issue of Fideliter:

"Voilà pourquoi l'excommunication ou la déclaration de schisme qui proviendrait de l'Église conciliaire, secte qui s'est introduite jusqu'au cœur de la partie humaine de la sainte Église, ne doit pas nous inquiéter. Nous nous réjouirions si nous devions être condamnés pour crime de fidélité à l'Église éternelle!"

Google translation:

"That is why excommunication or declaration of schism which would come from the conciliar church, sect that has penetrated into the heart of the human part of the Holy Church, we should not worry. We would be pleased if we were to be sentenced for the crime of eternal fidelity to the Church!"

Charlie Foxtrot said...

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

Let's translate weasel English to standard English...

So, if the Pope -- the supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, mind you -- excommunicates or declares that the FSSPX is in schism, well, that's just fine with you, being that the Pope is the head of the "conciliar church" but not the "Holy Church"?

What a bunch of absolute nonsense...

Luciana Cuppo said...

Google translations do not render the nuances. In this case - and corrections are welcome - I would suggest:

"That is why excommunication or declaration of schism, if coming from the conciliar Church, a sect that has gained access to the very heart of the human part of the Holy Church, must not trouble us. We would rejoice, should we be condemned for the crime of fidelity to the eternal Church."

Supplex said...

"That is why excommunication or declaration of schism which would come from the conciliar church, sect that has penetrated into the heart of the human part of the Holy Church, we should not worry. We would be pleased if we were to be sentenced for the crime of eternal fidelity to the Church!"

That's the worse thing that could happen. The SSPX should be reconciled to Rome and then continue to do the work of saving souls with the greater freedom that comes with having a prelature.

Tradical said...

The article is interesting but it doesn't take into account the new context of the Chapter. Namely the appointment of Archbishops Muller and Di Noia to the CDF.

Bishop Fellay had wished for more time in order to see with greater clarity what transpires within the Church / Vatican.

In responses to the concerns voiced by the SSPX regarding some statements made by his grace, Archbishop Muller responded: "I must not give an answer to every stupidity"

Going further he stated:
"Do they wish for the unity of the Church? This includes the acceptance of the form and content of the Second Vatican Council, and the previous and subsequent statements and decisions of the Magisterium. There is no other way."

Archbishop Di Noia appears to be reading from almost the same script. Perhaps there is a bit of 'good cop' and 'bad cop' being played.

Regardless of this, the message from the Vatican appears to be frank and surprisingly open.

I think the clarity desired by Bishop Fellay has been provided.

Jonvilas said...

Br. Anthony, but this is sedevacantism, even if in its 'crypto-form'. Or to put it in other words, you (and Fr. de Cacqueray in this case) admits, that gates of hell prevailed the Rock of Peter. Something that our Lord Jesus Christ told very clearly will never happen. It would be worth remembering pope Benedict XVI and his words about hermeneutic of rupture. Your attitude represents it, although from other (so to say, 'pessimistic') side. Cum Petro et sub Petro per Mariam ad Jesum. Amen

Anonymous said...

If this piece is true it appears to be good news for the Church.

Spanks.

Lhd said...

The statement of Fr. de Cacqueray was valid -canonical- in 1988 but not now: there is not a "state of necessity" (we have four traditional bishops to pursue Tradition) and no "serious fear" (if there is some menace as, for instance, to be obliged to celebrate novus ordo, etc. then it will be the case to disobey at that precise moment). A different thing would be if the recognition is linked to a "doctrinal preamble" that is inacceptable.

GMMF said...

Br. Anthony,

The problem with that attitude is the following errors have apparently been definitively condemned by Pope Clement XI, and renewed by Innocent XIII, Benedict XIII, and Clement XII:

91. The fear of an unjust excommunication should never hinder us from fulfilling our duty; never are we separated from the Church, even when by the wickedness of men we seem to be expelled from it, as long as we are attached to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Church herself by charity.

92. To suffer in peace an excommunication and an unjust anathema rather than betray truth, is to imitate St. Paul; far be it from rebelling against authority or of destroying unity.

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Clem11/c11unige.htm

The Postmodernist said...

This is sheer comfort! More prayers and plea to the Prefect of the Queenship of the Church. O Mary conceived without sin. Pray for us we have recourse to you!

Parker said...

Dear Charlie Foxtrot:

"What a bunch of absolute nonsense..." Yes, your comment certainly was.

No heresies allowed. said...

The pope heads the Church. Even though he tosses it for a false one of his own making, until he is off the Seat of Peter he is still the pope. So can he validly "excommunicate" someone for remaining Faithful to the Church and refusing to be in error along with him? LOL Don't be silly.

David said...

Condemned:

91. The fear of an unjust excommunication should never hinder us from fulfilling our duty; never are we separated from the Church, even when by the wickedness of men we seem to be expelled from it, as long as we are attached to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Church herself by charity.

92. To suffer in peace an excommunication and an unjust anathema rather than betray truth, is to imitate St. Paul; far be it from rebelling against authority or of destroying unity.

Is it accurate to reason that Abp. Lefebvre himself was susceptible to doctrinal error on these points?

sam said...

While the Church concentrates on the traditionalist groups in an irregular state and the traditionalist groups in a regular state, she fails to take into consideration the traditionalists that are within the Church and are observing both its dealing with the traditionalist groups (i.e. both irregular and regular) and its own appointment and declarations.

If it continue to give way to the liberal modernist forces within the Church (i.e. the Spirit of the VII adherent), then it will find that it has a bigger problem than it expected (i.e. bigger even than the objection raised by some in the SSPX general chapter.)

For clarity on the issue, I think that instead of using the term "Spirit of VII", we should instead use the term "Christoclasm".

Christoclasm: the wilful removal of Christ in all aspects of Church and secular life, in favour of the promotion of man in Christ's place. This includes both spiritual and physical removal.

Tradical said...

GMMF,

I have a problem determining where the SSPX comes under these precise condemnations.

How about a little help?

JabbaPapa said...

Sorry -- totally off-topic ; but AAAARRGH !!!

Bishop Müller : "Oh well. Saint Thomas Aquinas says, "Deus maxime liberalis est - God is the Greatest Liberal". (Cathcon- normally translated as “God therefore is in the highest degree liberal” to ensure that there is no conflation of the ideas of liberality with the practice of liberalism in any sense). In the original sense is liberalis is liberally and generously. " In this sense, I love being a liberal."

In FACT --- "Deus maxime liberalis est" really means "God is the maximum generosity".

(And He is, Laudare Semper Omninoque Domine, cum Gratias Amorem Fidem Eucharistias etsemper cum Spiritum.)

Anonymous said...

Well, this is pretty much it: the Society can maintain its make-believe church for another twenty or thirty years, or they can come home. Let us hope Bp Fellay has more sense, and more faith, than those who were ordained on the same day.

Jennifer

David said...

I have a problem determining where the SSPX comes under these precise condemnations.

Seriously?

They could have been quoted directly from an SSPX communique.

JabbaPapa said...

I'm generally pleased with the balanced views of the article, though balance just in itself does not provide truth, of course.

I tend to disagree, personally, with Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta.

During the last consultation, the Argentine bishop had explained in some detail why "a move in the direction of a practical agreement would be to go back on our word and our commitments to our priests, our faithful, to Rome and in the sight of everyone". In his eyes, "there is no change in the doctrinal point of view of Rome that should justify a shift of our own. On the contrary, the discussions have clearly shown that they (Editor's Note: Rome) do not in any way accept our criticisms."

The Bishop is confusing doctrinal maters and political ones.

More importantly, Rome has *never* stated SSPX as being in any kind of doctrinal schism (various declarations by various Vatican big-wigs notwithstanding) ; but as being in a disciplinary schism only.

John McFarland said...

Well, to begin with, La Croix is in about as much position to size up the internal situation within the SSPX as Car and Driver magazine -- except that Car and Driver would bring more objectivity to the exercise, and not much more ignorance.

How can anyone believe that La Croix is in any position to judge what percentages of the Society is where on the supposed imminent rapprochement? No Society member in his right mind would give an LC reporter the time of day. What does anyone in the Society care what LC or its readership thinks about anything?

La Croix's efforts to extort a rapprochement out of Bishop Fellay's recent remarks is either a classic journalistic refusal to let the facts get in the way of a good story, or evidence of LC's continued devotion to the purpose of its existence -- giving aid and comfort to French progressivism, and doing what it can in opposition to French progressivism's opponents.

But above all, it could not be more obvious that given recent developments, the job of the chapter as regards Rome is to demonstrate its support for the non possumus that its leadership will be delivering to Rome.

And let's not forget the recent appointment of those two rapprochement-friendly hierarchs, Abps. Mueller and Di Noia. Does this look like anything but those assigned to accept the Society's unconditional surrender? I have no more idea than anyone else what has happened, but now regularization is in about as good as possibility in 2012 as it was in 2002.

And once the chapter has declined to embrace V2, what next for the Society? I for one don't know. But I do know that it will take a special kind of guy to leave the Society for fear of a deal that has just been voted down. If there are such guys, the Society will be well rid of them.

The recent fuss has made clear that they are those in the Society who have got too comfortable with their quasi-independence. I have no idea how many; but all this has highlighted that issue within the Society; and I think that Bp. Fellay will have plenty of time to deal with the problem before he has to face the issue of regularization.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

John McFarland,

You are spot on. La Croix is not a reliable Catholic publication. It's simply wasting time to take it seriously.

Lefebvriano Italiano said...

Great example of "journalism over nothing". Classical article aimed at just creating tension and stress, but not providing any real information.
Well done!

RogerThat said...

Meanwhile, Google is officially adhering and pushing gay movement agenda all over the world.

Tradical said...

David,

"...They could have been quoted directly from an SSPX communique..."

Then you need to read the condemnations carefully and look at who/what was being condemned at the time.

In addition, you need to understand the position of the SSPX.

If the SSPX had seriously crossed the line in one of these issues do you think that someone in Rome wouldn't have used it to demonstrate heresy?

How about providing one of the aforesaid quotations that you believe fall under the condemnations.

Matthew M said...

So it has come to this in our own time. That great DOOM which began has now reached the Vatican. Can, WILL the Pope arise and declare the right course or sit and wait for the end.

NIANTIC said...

Rather than getting all into a brand new tizzy because of some "experts" pontifications, we ought to pray instead for those involved with the General Chapter.
Pray, and time will detail the results regarding unity or disunity, and any further discussions, if any, with Rome.
Stirring the flames of anxiety, fears and doubts is very bad for our collective traditional health.
So let us stay calm,cool and collected and in due time we will get the real scoop.
Trust the Holy Ghost and not the pundits. Pax Christi.

David said...

Brother Anthony: Ite ad Thomam!

"Article 4. Whether an excommunication unjustly pronounced has any effect?

Objection 1. It would seem that an excommunication which is pronounced unjustly has no effect at all. Because excommunication deprives a man of the protection and grace of God, which cannot be forfeited unjustly. Therefore excommunication has no effect if it be unjustly pronounced.

Objection 2. Further, Jerome says (on Matthew 16:19: "I will give to thee the keys"): "It is a pharisaical severity to reckon as really bound or loosed, that which is bound or loosed unjustly." But that severity was proud and erroneous. Therefore an unjust excommunication has no effect.

On the contrary, According to Gregory (Hom. xxvi in Evang.), "the sentence of the pastor is to be feared whether it be just or unjust." Now there would be no reason to fear an unjust excommunication if it did not hurt. Therefore, etc.

I answer that, An excommunication may be unjust for two reasons. First, on the part of its author, as when anyone excommunicates through hatred or anger, and then, nevertheless, the excommunication takes effect, though its author sins, because the one who is excommunicated suffers justly, even if the author act wrongly in excommunicating him. Secondly, on the part of the excommunication, through there being no proper cause, or through the sentence being passed without the forms of law being observed. In this case, if the error, on the part of the sentence, be such as to render the sentence void, this has no effect, for there is no excommunication; but if the error does not annul the sentence, this takes effect, and the person excommunicated should humbly submit (which will be credited to him as a merit), and either seek absolution from the person who has excommunicated him, or appeal to a higher judge. If, however, he were to contemn the sentence, he would "ipso facto" sin mortally.

But sometimes it happens that there is sufficient cause on the part of the excommunicator, but not on the part of the excommunicated, as when a man is excommunicated for a crime which he has not committed, but which has been proved against him: in this case, if he submit humbly, the merit of his humility will compensate him for the harm of excommunication.

Reply to Objection 1. Although a man cannot lose God's grace unjustly, yet he can unjustly lose those things which on our part dispose us to receive grace. for instance, a man may be deprived of the instruction which he ought to have. It is in this sense that excommunication is said to deprive a man of God's grace, as was explained above (2, ad 3).

Reply to Objection 2. Jerome is speaking of sin not of its punishments, which can be inflicted unjustly by ecclesiastical superiors." (ST, Supp. q21a4)

GMMF said...

Tradical,

I quoted those condemnations with reference to the first comment in this thread, not the SSPX in general. Their original argument regarding their bishops excommunications were that they were legally null, not unjust. The quote in the opening comment of this thread, however, is more along the lines of those condemned. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on excommunication has a good section on the difference between invalid and unjust excommunications, and the proper Catholic response to each.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05678a.htm

(Scroll down to "Effects of invalid or unjust excommunication.")

Red said...

Concerning the Papal proclamation brought up here it must be noted that it's very dangerous for a layman to play theologian and think something written concerning a specific individual w/ details unknown to most (including myself)should apply broadly to all.

The document in question is titled "CONDEMNATION OF THE ERRORS OF PASCHASIUS QUESNEL". Okay, so who was he and what did he teach that would warrant the Pope to write a condemnation of his errors and how (and why) should this apply to the current topic of the SSPX?

As a side note: didn't St. Joan of Arc die while excommunicated?

James I. McAuley said...

We have been asked by the SSPX to pray for them. I respectfully suggest that everyone pullout their breviaries and say the hours in order to pray in communion with those priests attending. Do not speculate, do not borrow trouble. Praying the prayer of the Church will help frayed nerves and does help the SSPX.

P.K.T.P. said...

Jonvilas and others: Must we really go back to long dead issues? The Society is not schismtatic and there is no 'conciliar Pope' versus a true Pope. What there may be, from the Society's point of view, is a Pope who is a material heretic but not a formal heretic. Since he's not being called a formal heretic, he continues to hold office. Some (the sedeprivationists) hold that he is a formal pope but is separated from all his papal powers. However, the Society is not sedeprivationist or sedevacantist.

Any penalty, including an excommunication, can be invalid because it can depend on facts of reality, in which no one, including a pope, is infallible. We need not go there. The Society never accepted the validity of the 1988 excommunications and would deny any future excommunications on the same grounds. There is no need to rehearse the arguments for it, only to realise that such arguments exist and do have support, in theory, in Catholic law.

An interesting question has been raised, though: will the Pope turn from carrot to stick now? It would make him look foolish, I think. The Society would just return to its former position, having achieved "Summorum Pontificum" but nothing else. It would make it look as though the Pope had wasted his time and make his pontificate look a failure. To make up for that, he might need to do more for 'loyal' traditionalists. Good luck, given the likes of Müller in high places. Implementing one's laws is the hard part.

P.K.T.P.

Tradical said...

Thanks for the explanation GMMF.
Cheers!

Thomas said...

I find it hilarious that there are still people on the edges of their seats, certain that this time, yes, *this* time, reconciliation is surely just around the corner, every time the SSPX gets into the news. Face it--nothing will happen on this score any time in the near future. Nothing at all. You should all know that by now. All this hot air about "talks" and "documents" and "revisions" and "meetings" and "disagreements"--completely meaningless. And to think there are people who've been anxiously following this soap opera for more than 40 years! You all must have hypertension by now.

Look, I'd love to see some progress on this front as much as the next fellow. (For me, though, "progress" would involve, among other things, the very public and wrathful excommunication of the clowns who say things like "We'd be proud to be excommunicated by the Conciliar Church." We have a term for people like that: "Protestants.") But this merry-go-round shows no signs of stopping. Lose the excitement. Go read a novel or something.

Alsaticus said...

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

John McFarland,

You are spot on. La Croix is not a reliable Catholic publication. It's simply wasting time to take it seriously.
--------------
Not at all and a typically uninformed comment by Mr McFarland first.

"La Croix" is the unofficial voice of FrenChurch and Nicolas Senèze, a journalist there, is following closely eveything related to traditionalism including this blog.

Besides apart from the proportion nobody can seriously give, the informations reported are just plain.

People should better read though the very harsh interview by Bp Mueller (the English translation is not good on a few points and the German text is even harsher). For CDF new prefect, the SSPX is not "Catholic" today ; plus N.O.M is absolutely perfect and not a single criticism is allowed... maybe he will put the books of Joseph Ratzinger on a new Index ?

Bp Fellay will have to get very strong canonical statute if he wants to go on with the reconciliation process because obviously some are out to eat some trads for dinner.
And who has been appointing them ?

Alsaticus

Alsaticus said...

An interesting question has been raised, though: will the Pope turn from carrot to stick now? It would make him look foolish, I think. The Society would just return to its former position, having achieved "Summorum Pontificum" but nothing else. It would make it look as though the Pope had wasted his time and make his pontificate look a failure. To make up for that, he might need to do more for 'loyal' traditionalists. Good luck, given the likes of Müller in high places. Implementing one's laws is the hard part.

P.K.T.P.


Excellent question indeed.
However what if the pope was considering the "prize" (SSPX reconciled) as less interesting than a "liberal", open minded pope reputation in his future biography ?
What if the pope wanted to rejuvenate and come back to his "Küngian" years in the 1960's ?

Is not Bp Roche at the CDW a "Küngian" like appointment ?
And with a rabid trad-hater as Bp Mueller supervising the reconciliation process, it could be a man of war against SSPX rather than a man of peace ? And Abp di Noia who is painfully doing some reading in emergency - as he said himself - to discover who these trads are ? Not underling his bizarre Jewish-Christian mish mash theology : is he the right man in the righ place ?
Is he the best to provide Bp Fellay guaranties and a proper canonical status to the Society which could appease the rising fears among her priests ?

In short is Rome brutally back pedalling on the reconciliation process leaving Bp Fellay alone in the middle of the river ready to be devoured by Bps W.,Tissier de Mallerais and de Galarreta ?

Where does cardinal Bertone and the Vatileaks stand in this mess ?

Alsaticus

Froben said...

"One third" of the Society, eh?

"And his tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to earth."

David said...

Tradical,

Do you really not recognize in the propositions below, the voice of many in the FSSPX in the years following the excommunications and leading up to their revocation, including the voice of the Archbishop himself? Do I really have to go in search of specific citations?

Again, listen ...

91. The fear of an unjust excommunication should never hinder us from fulfilling our duty; never are we separated from the Church, even when by the wickedness of men we seem to be expelled from it, as long as we are attached to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Church herself by charity.

92. To suffer in peace an excommunication and an unjust anathema rather than betray truth, is to imitate St. Paul; far be it from rebelling against authority or of destroying unity.


Honestly, none of this sounds the least bit familiar to you?

Just because it was the Jansenists who were condemned for those propositions, doesn't mean that Archbishop Lefebvre was Jansenist. It is only to say that our Catholic sense should be on alert when we hear anyone saying something similar.

Precentrix said...

I will simply be doing as a certain bishop has requested - litany of Dominican saints coming up...

John L said...

1) Bishop Fellay has already said that the revised preamble given to him on June 13th is unacceptable, so no deal with the Vatican is even going to be discussed at the general chapter unless a different offer is made by the Holy See.

2) The only faint hope for a solution would be for the Holy Father to order Muller to sign a settlement acceptable to the SSPX, and for Muller to show German obedience and do so.

3) There would have to be a canonical basis for excommunication of the entire SSPX or of their entire clergy, and there is no such basis; that makes me suspect that the threat of excommunication is exaggerated.

4) Excommunication of the SSPX might be a bridge too far for much of the rest of the Church.

sam said...

As an addition to my earlier "Christoclasm" post:


There's a range in the level of the Christoclasm from the left to the center to the right. But mind you the left, the center, and the right really belong to the Left.


Those on the left of the Left subscribe to a complete Christoclasm; those in the center of the Left subscribe to an obfuscated Christoclasm; and those to the right of the Left participate in Christoclasm without realising it.


Then there are those who don't belong to the left of Left, to the center of Left, and to the right of Left. We call them the Traditionalist, because they don't fit into any category and they reject Christoclasm in favour of Christ the King of Kings.


The Darkening Period (aka. the Enlightenment Period -- the age of ignorance) did a real number on the way people perceive Christ and the world.

P.K.T.P. said...

Thomas:

Your position is entirely plausible but not necessarily correct. However, we shall soon know the outcome of this soap opera in any event. This is Chapter week. It will yield a policy or a position, obviously. Rome must respond before the week is out or soon thereafter. It's true that you may be right but you elide some obvious facts. For example, it has been the Holy Father who has advanced this entire programme, not the S.S.P.X. The Pope wants a reconciliation or SOMETHING out of this. He failed in 1988 and he does not take failure lightly.

As for those calling the S.S.P.X Protestant and/or Janenist, they are just the usual neo-con fools who populate blogs. They are the sorts who lack the ability to make valid distinctions. The real question is what per centage of NewChurchers are Catholic. I'd say it's in the single digits as a percentile.

P.K.T.P.

muckemdanno said...

David, why are you going crazy debating whether SSPX should today be worried about their "excommunication"?

They are not excommunicated. The decree of excommunication was withdrawn several years ago, a fact that the anti-SSPX crowd still refuses to concede.

Bridget O'Donnell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Erik said...

I can't take articles like this very seriously. Let's wait for the FSSPX's official communiqué on their General Chapter. There's no point in wasting our time speculating about the political goings on which may or may not be taking place. Let's deal with facts not gossip. Let's pray for a peaceful and productive outcome for the unity of the Church and the propagation of the Faith.

Ric said...

Satan is having a field day.

OutsideObserver said...

"Instead, the SSPX accuses a Curial official, one of the highest ranking members of the Magisterium, placed in his position by the Holy Spirit, of being a heretic."

Oh, wow. It's the Holy Spirit who makes Curial appointments!!!

Bridget, not only do you show complete ignorance of what the SSPX teaches, your view of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church is also an utter caricature that only helps those who oppose the Church!

David said...

David, why are you going crazy debating whether SSPX should today be worried about their "excommunication"?

Because none of the four Bishops have ever shown an ounce of compunction for the actions leading to their excommunication. No acknowledgment of any guilt on their part for an act that damaged unity with the Pope. When we are absolved of our sins, do we not still shed tears for the injury we dealt to Our Lord? Is compunction not the core of Catholic spirituality?

Gravitas said...

David, so you're saying they should have given into the N.O. and abandoned their flock who had no where else to turn for your version of unity? Arent we beyond this yet?

David said...

As for those calling the S.S.P.X Protestant and/or Janenist [sic] ...

The Catholicism of the FSSPX is not debated. Why otherwise would the majority of commentators in this thread (myself included) wish for the full reconciliation of the FSSPX with Rome? The Catholic leaven of the FSSPX is much needed in the Church at large.

Catholics err. Catholics also admit their errors. It would be refreshing to see the very Catholic FSSPX leadership do so.

David said...

Gravitas,

Just what exactly does that ambiguous phrase "given into the N.O." mean, anyway?

The FSSPX priests who separated from the Archbishop and formed the FSSP did not "give into the N.O" (despite what is said on the wacko fringe of the FSSPX milieu). So, to answer your question, we'll be "beyond that" when the FSSPX follow the lead of the FSSP and FSsR. I trust that it will happen.

Gravitas said...

There was no FSSP until the Society stood firm! Good grief man learn your history before spouting off.

C. said...

Forget Di Noia and Muller. Our souls are eternal and will exist well beyond the day the two of them face their particular judgment.

Where will our souls be for eternity? That is the important question. All else is rubbish.

Peterman said...

"
That's the worse thing that could happen. The SSPX should be reconciled to Rome and then continue to do the work of saving souls with the greater freedom that comes with having a prelature."

IMO, it does no good for the SSPX to have to ask permission of a Bishop to enter a diocese. I think we saw from the TLM roll call how effectively this is working in the Church currently.

NEW DISCOVERY ON THE FIRST VISIT OF ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE TO INDIA said...

Fr. Pancras Raja, India
Let us implore Our Lord to point out to the SSPX the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be consoled, by taking up seriously enough the "Devotion of Reparation", and to pass a resolution in this general chapter to this effect. "My Immaculate Heart will triumph".
Fr. Pancras raja
Pancrasraja@gmail.com

Benedict Carter said...

Brigit O'Donnell says:

" ... the SSPX accuses a Curial official, one of the highest ranking members of the Magisterium, placed in his position by the Holy Spirit ...".

Another utterly fatuous comment.

I was unaware that Catholic teaching is that the Holy Ghost appoints to Curial positions. You make the Holy Ghost out to be some sort of recruitment agency.

Gratias said...

"And once the chapter has declined to embrace V2, what next for the Society?"

This is an excellent point. The FSSP will grow and the SSPX growth will become frozen at its present size, perhaps.

If they were to come over the infrastructure built thanks to Summorum Pontificum will work in the SSPX's favor. This was the last opportunity. SSPX cannot expect something for nothing. We must all submit to the Successor of Peter in order to be Catholics.

Sw. David said...

For clarity's sake, there are two Davids in here. I posted the quote from Aquinas, and nothing else. It's not that I think the SSPX are schismatic. I do think ++Lefebvre had good reasons to do what he did and there is a good case to be made that he never incurred excommunication (which was never imposed, but simply declared to have taken place in light of Canon Law).

What I do oppose is the spirit that to me seems quite haughty in loudly exclaiming, "We would be pleased to be excommunicated for fidelity." To accept and patiently bear the cross of an unjust excommunication is one thing, to rejoice in its execution is another.

I do not think that Saint Mary McKillop or Saint Joan of Arc, who both suffered unjust excommunications, took matters quite so lightly. Saint Mary, for instance, expressed her strong admiration for the office and powers of the Bishop who unjustly and invalidly excommunicated her! The good Archbishop even said he would have borne the suspension in the 1970s if it was reserved for him personally -- no matter the injustice of it -- and didn't involve the suppression of the fraternity.

So, some balance please.

In the Precious Blood,
David

Matt said...

P.K.T.P. said, "An interesting question has been raised, though. Will the Pope turn from carrot to stick now? It would make him look foolish, I think. The Society would just return to its former position, having achieved 'Summorum Pontificum' but nothing else. It would make it look as though the Pope had wasted his time and make his pontificate look a failure. To make up for that, he might need to do more for 'loyal' traditionalists. Good luck, given the likes of Müller in high places. Implementing one's laws is the hard part."

Good assessment. What would the Holy Father have accomplished should the SSPX not sign on? If this is supposed to be the seminal moment of his Papacy, then why is he not pulling out all the stops to get it done? Throwing that wrench back in +Fellay's face was not helpful at all, and quite unproductive.

I wonder if someone got to the Holy Father. After all the dialoguing and all of a sudden he throws this back at the SSPX, knowing full well he's going to get blow-back from it. The Holy Father owns his own iPod Touch(?). Perhaps Müller's been texting him all along.

Irksome said...

David,

If compuction is the order of the day for you, then I would claim that there are many who have served in Rome during the past 52 years, including more than one pope, who should have been expected to display proper compunction long before we call upon SSPX leadership to do anything similar.

Marcel Lefebrve wasn't perfect. But he has been and will be owed many apologies by the time this insanity is concluded.

Greyghost said...

Remember everyone, when all is said and done it is not about who is appointed the head of CDF or the percentage of SPXX that follow one bishop or another, etc. It is always about the salvation of souls.

"Diabolical disorientation" (see The Whole Truth On Fatima) seems to be upon us. Clearly, the Blessed Virgin assures us that in the end "her Immaculate Heart will triumph." That is great news for all of us in the "valley of tears."

So, all I can suggest is to stay strong in faith and pray hard.

I am not Spartacus said...

I see today that the Holy See has announced that two Bishops in China have received the gift of the
"There's-the-door" Prize of excommuniation for having accepted ordination without Pontifical mandate.

Well, maybe they too think the exommunication is a badge of honor

David said...

The salvation of souls! Alas, rarely if ever do we hear that theme on the lips of the current Pontiff. Can anyone remember a time that Pope Benedict XVI preached on the Four Last Things? I cannot. Please do not read into my criticisms of the FSSPX any illusions about the current leadership of the Church.

Edward said...

There is absolutely no connection between what the Communist goverment of China is doing setting up their own false church and what the SSPX is involved with. The SSPX is trying to uphold Tradition while the Communist Chinese and their modernist/liberal "friends" in Rome and Europe are trying to destroy the Church and Papacy.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Edward. Well, there is the matter of concescrating Bishops without Pontifical mandate but that is Tradition that can be abandoned when there is a "good" reason for doing so for what is Traditon if not a a mere praxis susceptible to the will of an individual?

Moyra Doorly said...

The following link might put a different perspective on the appointment of Archbishops Muller and Di Noia to the CDF.

http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/SiSiNoNo/1994_June/They_Think_Theyve_Won_PartVI.htm