Rorate Caeli

For the record: Williamson: the la(te)st straw?
SSPX-Asia District Superior: "the present situation is going to continue as it is for many more years"

One of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Richard Williamson, visited Brazil in late August to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to nearly 100 faithful who go to masses of "friendly communities" (communautés amies) of the SSPX, especially some traditional Benedictines. 

The District Superior of the Society for South America, Father Christian Bouchacourt, released the following communiqué:


Fraternidad Sacerdotal San Pío X
Distrito América del Sur
El Superior
+Martínez [Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina], September 6, 2012

At the invitation of Dom Tomás de Aquino, prior of the monastery of the Holy Cross of Nova Friburgo [state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil], Bishop Williamson came to confer the sacrament of confirmation and give some lectures.

I would like to clarify that this trip was organized independently of the SSPX. Indeed, according to the directives left by our founder Archbishop Lefebvre, only the Superior General, Bishop Fellay in this case, issues mandates to the auxiliary bishops to undertake a pastoral visit. This procedure has not been respected, which is a serious act against the virtue of obedience, but also an attack upon the most elementary demands of courtesy. In addition, the District Superior's agreement was not requested as required by the statutes of our Fraternity. The harmonious collaboration that existed between the SSPX and the Monastery of the Holy Cross has been broken by this act of great gravity, so the organizers must take responsibility before God. Indeed, many faithful were deceived and attended the announced ceremonies and conferences believing that they had been organized by the SSPX.

After reading the article of Dom Tomás de Aquino, "Honor and Glory to Bp. Williamson", I firmly denounce the indirect accusations which were made ​​suggesting that the SSPX would agree with Modernism and cease fighting in defense of Catholic Tradition .

Such insinuations are gratuitous, false, hurtful and injurious to our Superior General and to the members of the SSPX. I cannot remain silent. If Bishop Fellay rejected the outstretched hand of Rome on June 13, it was for doctrinal reasons. And it is because we reject the Modernism-influenced Vatican II which is the main cause of the ruin of the Church today and we want to continue saying this, it is also because we reject the Novus Ordo Missae that departs from both Catholic doctrine "entirely and specifically", that no practical agreement has been signed with Rome. This was the position of Archbishop Lefebvre yesterday and this is the position of Monsignor Fellay today. The General Chapter last July confirmed this [position]. Any other assertion is nothing more than a manipulation or lie. Any prophecy of a future practical agreement reveals an unhealthy imagination.

In early December, Bishop de Galarreta will come to visit and confer the sacrament of Confirmation in Brazil and other countries in our district as our Superior General planned for many months.

I invite the faithful of Catholic tradition in Brazil not to pay attention to rumors, to continue to support their priests with their sacrifices, prayers, and generosity, and to beg God to send numerous and ardent vocations to defend and extend the reign of Christ the King under the noble banner of Catholic tradition and the protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. God bless you!


Father Christian Bouchacourt
District Superior


[French; tip: Chris Gillibrand]

Two days after this document was published, the SSPX District Superior for Asia, Fr. Daniel Couture, published an "Appeal to the SSPX Korean faithful" which begins with the following passage:

An appeal to the our SSPX Korean Faithful  
September 8, 2012 

Dear Faithful, 

May the peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Immaculate Mother be with you all ! Our Korean mission is very close to their Hearts since the devil is now at work to try to undermine the work of more than 20 years. It is my duty to clarify many things to understand what is happening now. 


A deal with modernist Rome? 


Bishop Fellay said recently, in many public conferences in Australia, that nothing new would happen for the SSPX under the present pope. And if we consider the appointment last June of the German Archbishop Müller at the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – he considers Vatican II as infallible - the present situation is going to continue as it is for many more years.

Some however thought and prophesised that Bishop Fellay was going to surrender the SSPX to the modernist authorities, to the conciliar errors and to the new mass. They were certain this was going to happen in June. But it didn’t. They then announced it was going to happen in July. It didn’t. Now they say it will be in October, or November, it will not. Or in 5 or 10 years. It will not! They are like the false prophets announcing repeatedly that the end of world is imminent, and that we should store food in our houses in preparation. As a consequence people live in constant fear of what might happen soon. Those who are doing this today are leading souls by fear and away from Catholic Tradition.
...

 1. Our Holy Faith

We profess as we have always done to maintain the Catholic Faith in line with the famous Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre, in 1974:

We hold firmly with all our heart and with all our mind to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to the maintenance of this faith, to the eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth.

We refuse on the other hand, and have always refused, to follow the Rome of Neo- Modernist and Neo-Protestant tendencies, which became clearly manifest during the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it. … This is what we are, and, by the grace of God, what we will remain. 

The rest of the letter deals with the situation in the SSPX mission in South Korea.

108 comments:

GdA said...
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Francis said...
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poeta said...

It's such a terrible shame.

Not that the SSPX aren't being regularized, but that the Modernists still wield so much power.

Brian K said...

Does this mean we will soon be able to read the infamous Doctrinal Preamble?

Tito Edwards said...

I am disgusted by the lack of faith of the FSSPX. They clearly believe they have a clearer insight than God Himself who declared that the Gates of Hell will not ever prevail on His Church.

Being a traditionalist and slowly becoming a former supporter of the FSSPX, I am disgusted by the internal squabbling inside the Society on semantics and demagoguery of everything Rome.

If the FSSPX fails to return to Holy Mother Church, the FSSPX will certainly go the way of the Old Catholics after Vatican I. Where within a hundred years after separating themselves from the yoke of the Holy See they "ordain" lesbian priests and make up dogma as they check the zeitgeist.

Elizabeth said...

I respectfully question Fr. Couture's statement, quoting Archbishop Fellay:

"Bishop Fellay said recently, in many public conferences in Australia, that nothing new would happen for the SSPX under the present pope."

This to me seems significant and quite a statement of finality. I may have missed it but nowhere did I read on the official SSPX site anything this dramatic by Archbishop Fellay. Therefore, this frankly sends up red flags for me as to the veracity of it.

Which makes me sad and frustrated, so many rumors and murmerings. That's why I try to only pay attention to the direct words of the Archbishop himself via the main official SSPX site.

Jeffrey Stuart said...

I'll wait to hear from Bishop Fellay himself.

OutsideObserver said...

"If the FSSPX fails to return to Holy Mother Church, the FSSPX will certainly go the way of the Old Catholics after Vatican I. Where within a hundred years after separating themselves from the yoke of the Holy See they "ordain" lesbian priests and make up dogma as they check the zeitgeist."

Except that between the SSPX and the Conciliar Church with its lay female commentators and lectors, female servers, growing support for female deacons and continuing support for female ordination among its academic theologians, it is the latter that is nearer to making that step.

David said...

I understand there would be no FSSP without the FSSPX, but thank God for the FSSP. I wish the FSSPX well, but the hour is late and the ship is sailing, that trusty, unsinkable vessel with Peter at the helm.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Stuart said...

"I'll wait to hear from Bishop Fellay himself."

---

Here ya go:

Bishop Fellay Conference - Aug. 5, Perth, Western Australia

http://strobertbellarmine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1284

and

Conference given by Bishop Fellay in Adelaide, South Australia, 8th of August, 2012

http://strobertbellarmine.net/Fellay/Fe ... elaide.mp3

You can also try this:

catholicapologetics.net63.net/onlinelibrary/Adelaide.mp3



Heinrich Fischer said...

Well, with the recent promotion of Archbishop Müller, the door is firmly closed for reconsiliation in practice. And that for many years to come, possibly for the next generation...

Tito Edwards said...

Outside Observer,

Ye of little faith.

Lucifer shares your opinion as well.

Birds of a feather flock together.

OutsideObserver said...

Tito Edwards:

You and your ilk, in pretending that there is nothing wrong in the Vatican and that the SSPX should just walk in blindly into a practical agreement are the ones who are doing the bidding of Lucifer.

Kindred Spirit said...

Now is the time to do what Our Blessed Lord told His apostles to do: Vigilate et orate. For in the end, all will be very well.

Tito Edwards said...

Pope Outside Observer I,

"Ilk"?

Wow, never got that one before.

But hey, if that's how you roll, then I can understand why the FSSPX is struggling to return to the One, True, Faith.

The Gospel of Saint Matthew, chapter 18, verse 16:

And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Your schismatic holiness Pope Outside Observer I, that verse really throws a wrench in your theology eh?

dcs said...

You and your ilk, in pretending that there is nothing wrong in the Vatican and that the SSPX should just walk in blindly into a practical agreement are the ones who are doing the bidding of Lucifer.

Whoever said there was nothing wrong in the Vatican? Of course there is much wrong in the Vatican, as it always has been.

John said...

So sad. Thank God for the FSSP. The only practical conclusion from this is that I do not have to waste my time praying for the return of the SSPX anymore. Their own leaders, even the ones that like Bishop Fellay, are firmly against it. Farewell SSPX.

backtothefuture said...

This is disheartening to say the least. The holy father has bent over backwards for the sspx.

Matthew Rose said...

Tito Edwards,

What do you suggest? Sign on to the licety of the novus ordo, communicatio in sacris, religious liberty, the general orthodoxy of VII, the "Extraordinary Form," and Assisi?

Disagree with the SSPX not signing, fine. But do not declare them schismatic, or decree that they are or will become heretics. Your pontifications are snobbery and devoid of substance and authority.

Transitionalist said...

"The holy father has bent over backwards for the sspx"

The question is: did he?

There is mounting evidence that the Pope always insisted on the SSPX accepting Vatican II whole and entire and giving up its criticisms of the Novus Ordo and of the Conciliar documents. Fellay's expectation of a "come as you are" welcome sign have proven to be incorrect.

It is not "bending backwards" to ask a group to give up its own convictions and principles. I am not criticizing Pope Benedict XVI for not giving the SSPX what it wanted, but I am pleading for honesty about what really happened in the past year or so.

Matthew Rose said...

backtothefuture,

Really? That is some rather jaded wishful thinking, to say the least. Lifting excommunications and then claiming ignorance about unpopular opinion on genocide revisionism, and then raising genocide history to the level of dogma whose denial merits being outside the Church, hardly qualifies as "bending over backwards."

David said...

I'm not aware of any other Traditional Catholic groups who have been asked to sign a Doctrinal Preamble. Why is that? Could it be that the FSSPX have questioned Rome's fidelity to the Catholic Faith so loudly and for so long, that Rome has finally turned the tables on them? I think the FSSPX have no one but themselves to blame. There are just too many other Traditional Catholic groups -- especially in the wake of Summorum Pontificum -- who practice the Catholic Faith with absolute doctrinal and liturgical purity while maintaining full communion with Rome, to excuse the intransigence of the FSSPX.

Joseph said...

David,

Others would say that the SSPX is to be commended for its honesty. They know the depth of their disagreement with the Vatican and what its implications are for their canonical status. This is in stark contrast with many religious orders that openly teach heresy but continue to pay lip service to 'full communion' with Rome. It is in stark contrast with those traditionalists who believe exactly as the SSPX does but are afraid to come out in the open.

What is truly remarkable is the lack of interest shown by many Catholics in what any Catholic group teaches as long as it is in 'full communion'. The mild and uncertain crackdown of sorts that the Vatican is contemplating against the nuns in America is only the exception that proves the rule. It hasnt even resulted in a single nun being punished or sanctioned.

David said...

Joseph,

To be in full communion with Rome -- to be recognized by the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ as being joined to him by the juridical bonds proper to the very incarnational nature of the Mystical Body of Christ -- is no small thing. Consider, dear brother wheat, are you too proud to be bound in the same bundle with the tares? This seems to be the problem of the FSSPX, a problem thankfully not shared by the FSSP and other Traditional Catholic groups.

David said...

It is in stark contrast with those traditionalists who believe exactly as the SSPX does but are afraid to come out in the open.

"... but are afraid to come out in the open." Pause on that. Do those words reflect a Catholic spirit? They make the Church sound like a Stalinist regime.

Perhaps it is more a question of mortifying one's private judgment, and one's tongue. The FSSP has shown that it is possible to practice the Catholic Faith with absolute doctrinal and liturgical purity, without loudly and constantly calling the Pope's orthodoxy into question.

Anonymous said...

Anyone taking an office in the name of the church has to sign the "1989 profession of faith" which is part of the "doctrinal preamble".

Thomas M. said...

This saddens me deeply. I will continue to keep all involved in my prayers.

JabbaPapa said...

I'm not aware of any other Traditional Catholic groups who have been asked to sign a Doctrinal Preamble. Why is that?

Excommunicates returning into Communion with the Church are required to provide a Confessio Fidei as a statement of doctrinal orthodoxy.

Legally, the Doctrinal Preamble, constitutes this precise requirement -- which can be of a more general nature, or of a more specifically precise nature (as in this case), as according to the Sovereign Decision of the Holy See or the Pope concerning each specific case.

JabbaPapa said...


Conference given by Bishop Fellay in Adelaide, South Australia, 8th of August, 2012

http://strobertbellarmine.net/Fellay/Fe ... elaide.mp3


Thank you very much for this.

Monseigneur Fellay's teaching about the nature of infallibility is very inaccurate ; furthermore, he has no Authority to declare on this matter as if SSPX constituted a "second Magisterium".

I am VERY disappointed at this evolution of the SSPX position over the Summer :-(

May God provide help and assistance to those faithful followers of the SSPX clergy, should they decide to continue down this pathway towards a formal exclusion...

Alsaticus said...

To Tito Edwards
"If the FSSPX fails to return to Holy Mother Church, the FSSPX will certainly go the way of the Old Catholics after Vatican I. Where within a hundred years after separating themselves from the yoke of the Holy See they "ordain" lesbian priests and make up dogma as they check the zeitgeist."

Bp Fellay is very well aware of this risk and he has been constantly stressing that since 2000.
Now it's like a coin you have 2 faces and need to look at both. Clearly, according to public statements, "Rome" - that includes the Holy Father - changed her mind on June 13 with a redrafted Preamble that was forcing the Society to refuse to sign.

The reconciliation will happen with a two-fold movement. Bp Fellay is not alone to have a decision to make, pope Benedict XVI has also the major decision to make. As far as we can know - without having seen the complete files and documents -, it seems the pope was not ready in June for this reconciliation when he was eager to move toward it before especially in March-April (re the splendid letter of Bp Fellay to the 3 other Society bishops).

To be fair on the pope's side, what SSPX was asking was probably too much for Rome at that moment of Church history. The neo-modernist and litnik lobbies are WAY too powerful : the appointment of Bp Müller (who plays the "appeasement" with these lobbies as a standard anti-trad neo-conservative) and above all Bp Roche at CDW which means the pope has cancelled any hope of a liturgical reform, these 2 personal papal choices have a strong meaning.
The Ratzingerian expectancy of this pontificate is dead. That's what Fr Couture is stating with his own words.
Pope Benedict XVI is not cardinal Ratzinger on th throne of Peter, many former Ratzingerians have not yet drawn this obvious conclusion of 7 years of pontificate.

Now my hope is that these negative lobbies that won in June in the Roman Curia won't transform this big victory into a triumph with the full excommunication of SSPX and a formal declaration of schism.
The best we can have during this pontificate is probably a 2009-2011 situation made perennial : so an intitutional "dialogue", talks, between the Society and the new vice-president of PCED. Maybe some practical canonical aspects, without any full recognition, could be achieved : for ex. to have a liceity of marriages celebrated by SSPX priests.
Modest acchievements should be the goal now that once again, like in 1988 but this time the blame of retrieving the initial agreement is on Rome, reconciliation failed, alas.

Alsaticus

Barona said...

Williamson is a side show and has been since his "war" remarks... the issue is, if a deal is made, how many will follow Williamson...a brief reading of Williamson's blog confirms his break with Fellay.

A deal? toss a coin. However, the issue of disobedience goes far deeper than Williamson - presently no SSPX bishops has any right to enter another bishop's diocese to confer sacraments without his permission.

Andrew said...

Sad. Schism begets schism. The SSPX will splinter at some point.

Catherine of Siena said...

How ironic that the SSPX hierarchy accuses their own subordinates of doing the very thing that they are guilty of, before expelling them, yet they steadfastedly refuse to see the reality of the situation. It's called pride. This is always a hallmark of schismatic groups: to splinter off, then splinter off again, and then again. How many Protestant sects are there - thousands? They've just added one more. What could be clearer than a direct command from the Vicar of Christ to sign a profession of faith and return to the Church? The belief that the Roman Catholic Pontiff would instruct the faithful to practice an invalid Mass is outright, pure, unadulterated HERESY. Woe to those who have contributed to, aided, or abetted this terrible schism. Their penalty will be severe.

Joseph said...

"... but are afraid to come out in the open." Pause on that. Do those words reflect a Catholic spirit? They make the Church sound like a Stalinist regime."

The Church is not a Stalinist regime, but to deny that many traditionalists feel forced to hide their true convictions is disinformation that Stalin would have been proud of.

David said...

Joseph,

The state of affairs that you describe is, to say the least, lamentable. However, there is a more fundamental question. What is the treasure a Catholic should seek? Is it unity with Peter (unity that is real, substantial, and juridical), or is it the "freedom" to express one's convictions and opinions? The FSSPX appear to have chosen the latter.

David said...

... presently no SSPX bishops has any right to enter another bishop's diocese to confer sacraments without his permission.

This is an interesting point. We have a precedent for this in the case of St. Athanasius, who openly combated his brother bishops. However, there is one thing St. Athanasius did NOT do, and that is to openly combat -- and refuse communion with -- the Pope himself.

Sixupman said...

+Williamson, Fr. Morgan and their cohorts have played right into the hands of the Masonic/Modernist coteries in the Vatican - creating a fragmentation of SSPX.

An SSPX priest opined: "the longer SSPX is semi-detached from Rome, the greater the risk of actual schism".

backtothefuture said...

They could do more for tradition being inside the church, than being outside of it.

David said...

I feel sorry for Bishop Fellay. He appears to sincerely desire full communion with the Pope -- this Pope. His interviews with mainstream Catholic media in recent months have been so hopeful in that regard. Now this. :-(

Sooner or later Bishop Fellay needs to cut the card in the interest of his own soul -- even if it means taking a small group of FSSPX priests with him to Rome.

Whats Up! said...

Lets wait and see what the "Doctrinal Preamble" states, before making any judgement.

Virgil said...

It is true that Bishop Fellay made some statements in this conference in Adelaide, but I think we're missing the important point. Bishop Fellay is not, by this talk, indicating a change in his position vis a vis regularization. In fact, the frustration of the changed preamble was prior to the General Chapter meeting.

What is important is what the general chapter actually said and did. Regularization may be unlikely (God alone knows) but that's not because of a new hardening of positions. It's because Bishop Fellay seems to me more convinced that the Holy Father is not willing to accept the 3 Conditions laid out by the chapter.

To refresh our memory those are:
1. "The freedom to preserve, share and teach the sound doctrine of the constant Magisterium of the Church and the unchanging truth of the divine tradition and the freedom to accuse and even to correct the promoters of the errors or the innovations of modernism, liberalism, and Vatican II and its aftermath."

2. "The exclusive use of the Liturgy of 1962. The retention of the sacramental practice that we currently maintain (including: orders, confirmation, and marriage)."

3. "The guarantee of at least one bishop."

We can be frustrated all day long about the doldrums in which this progress finds itself, but to those of you accusing Bishop Fellay of doing the work of Lucifer, or hardening into a schismatic mentality/group, ask yourself: Do those three conditions sound difficult for Rome? Certainly neither two nor three are. The rub comes, as it's always come: Will Rome let the Society continue to preach true Catholic doctrine, condemning the novelties (ecumenism, religious liberty, etc) that did infect conciliar documents and have been part of the post conciliar crisis.

It is Rome, it seems, who has hardened in this question, not the Society.

The claim that the SSPX want a perfect Church is simply false. And as much as I love the FSSP and other groups like it, it's not entirely fair to say that they've been the standard bearers in the doctrinal fight against these novelties. I think if they were more public about these things, they would find themselves in a situation similar to the Society.

Whats Up! said...

"I'm not aware of any other Traditional Catholic groups who have been asked to sign a Doctrinal Preamble. Why is that? Could it be that the FSSPX have questioned Rome's fidelity to the Catholic Faith so loudly and for so long, that Rome has finally turned the tables on them? I think the FSSPX have no one but themselves to blame. There are just too many other Traditional Catholic groups -- especially in the wake of Summorum Pontificum -- who practice the Catholic Faith with absolute doctrinal and liturgical purity while maintaining full communion with Rome, to excuse the intransigence of the FSSPX."

David,
But many of us who are attached to the Gregorian Rite do not have any physical access to the Mass accept for the good priests of the FSSPX.

The nearest FSSP parish to me is almost 200 miles away,one way.
The FSSPX Mass is 50 miles away.
Please be fair.
Many Ordinaries refuse to bring an Ecclesia Dei group into their diocese.

Not all of us have Mater Ecclesia parish in Dallas a half an hour away.

Tom said...

David said..."However, there is one thing St. Athanasius did NOT do, and that is to openly combat --and refuse communion with -- the Pope himself."

Are the SSPX not in communion with the Pope?
----------------------------

Sixupman said..."An SSPX priest opined: "the longer SSPX is semi-detached from Rome, the greater the risk of actual schism"."

"Semi-detached" from Rome...what does that mean?
------------------------------

backtothefuture said..."They could do more for tradition being inside the church, than being outside of it."

The Society is outside the Catholic Church?

Tom

I am not Spartacus said...

Look at the bright side; once Our Holy Father formally declares The SSPX a Schism, the SSPX's Sacraments of Marriage and Confession become valid.

On the other hand, the Sons of the Holy Redeemer are spot on when they confess, " ...the Coat of Arms of Pope Benedict XVI now gloriously reigning.....By this we denote our submission to the Catholic Church; the Church of the time in which we are now living and not to an abstract concept of an idealised Eternal Rome."

Anil Wang said...

dcs,

The Vatican is not pure? That has been the battle cry of every schismatic (Donatists, Novations, ...) and heretic (Protestants, Albegensians, ...) since the beginning. Are you honestly saying that Pope Benedict XVI is worse than Pope Alexander VI? If you'd be Catholic under Pope Alexander VI why one earth would you not be Catholic under Pope Benedict XVI?

The thing is, if one says that the Catholic Church is no longer the True Church because it embraces Vatican II, one is really saying the Catholic Church is no longer the True Church because it embraces Vatican I. So anything after that (including the SSPX) is also not a part of the True Church.

David of Glasgow said...

Here's a proposal: how about the Pope issue a definitive clarification (possessing all of the necessary notes of a de fide pronouncement) on the controversial teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium? If the "hermeneutic of continuity" is valid then the Extra Magisterium will show beyond all shadow of a doubt that, for example, Vatican II's teaching on religious liberty is in continuity with previous magisterial teaching on the subject. If it is not in continuity (as a certain Fr Ratzinger asserted in The Theological Highlights of Vatican II) confusion on the subject will nevertheless have been removed and peace in great measure restored to the Church.

Then all of those in the SSPX who continue to withhold assent to those teachings of Vatican II thus clarified may with justice be described as "schismatic".

David said...

A very wise Traditional priest once said:

You can go to hell in a lot of different ways .... You can go as a heretic. You can go with full Catholic orthodoxy. You will burn both ways. It doesn’t matter which way you do your ‘non serviam’, the choice is yours. Resist God long enough (He is the Judge of how long he will put up with it), and you will be a son of the devil whether you are orthodox catholic or heretic.

The great error promoted by Bishop Williamson and his ilk -- to the eternal ruin of many souls -- is that Catholic unity can be sacrificed in the name of Catholic orthodoxy. This is a lie from the very pit of hell. I hope that the Rorate censors will allow my strong language here. Make no mistake, we are dealing here with something that is most dark and foul, posing in the apparent splendor of angelic light.

John McFarland said...

Let me take a crack at summarizing where things stand.

The no strings regularization is as dead as Caesar. No one seems to know what happened, but the result is clear enough. Since there is not going to be a deal, those in the SSPX and elsewhere who opposed regularization without at least some movement by Rome in the right direction have nothing to oppose. Rome has made it abundantly clear that it is not about to move in the right direction.

As for the irrational opposition, Bishop Williamson's latest Eleison Comment makes it clear that he has become so convinced -- on no discernible evidence -- that Bishop Fellay lusts to sell out to modernist Rome that he's prepared to write complete drivel, and sophistical drivel at that, if it will serve to paint Bp. Fellay as Judas. But his public supporters among priests are very few. As far as I can tell, worldwide they are, quite literally, just six. No doubt there are more clerical sympathizers; but I doubt that anyone who hasn't fallen victim to the Judas Fellay fantasy is likely to join the six.

So I think Williamsonism is going nowhere. I presume that sooner or later canonical proceedings will be commenced and +W will be dismissed from the Society. But at this point my guess is that the chief reason he's hasn't been sacked before now is not because of his influence, but because of his lack of influence. Why not just give him enough rope to hang himself? That's certainly what he's been doing.

For those who have tended to think that what the SSPX needs to be is a somewhat more independent FSSP, I hope that this is a teachable moment.

For those who think that the problems in the Vatican are at least mitigated beyond the threshold of the papal apartments,I hope that Abps. Mueller and Di Noia and the rumors of a New and Improved TLM will also provide a teachable moment.

I used to say every day of the week and twice on Sundays in my posts that there was no way that the Vatican of Vatican II was going to agree to a deal that would permit the SSPX to undercut Vatican II.

Bishop Fellay thought otherwise. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe things have changed. But in my humble opinion, I and others of the same opinion are looking like geniuses right around now.

One thing to keep an eye on is the growing sympathy for tradition that for Bp. Fellay was one of the reasons why he pursued the no-strings regularization. Let us watch -- and pray.

P.S. For those who are complaining about all the confusion, let me offer a remedy: READ CAREFULLY WHAT THE SSPX HAS TO SAY. It has been carefully and prudently been trying to tell you what's going on, and what the stakes are. Even the leaks served to demonstrate that: no smoking guns, just evidence of transparent good will. Make your own decisions about whether you agree; but if you don't follow the SSPX literature, you're going to be like the proverbial one-legged man trying to kick down a door.

Romanitas said...

Some of the people leaving comments here need to calm the heck down and stop accusing Rome, the Society, and each other of heresy, modernism, disobedience, and schism. It's childish and self-righteous. Relax, guys!

spero said...

Are the documents promulgated to the whole world as the result of an ecumenical council an act of the Catholic Church or not?

Can the Catholic Church, in her official acts, positively affirm error in faith and morals?

I realize that not all that is done in a council is infallible. However, I still find this point confusing.

Does the Church only act when she promulgates canons?

Does she only act when she adds new ceremonies to the Traditional Mass, but not when she adds ceremonies to the new Mass?

These are not meant as criticisms of the SSPX, per se. I really find these points confusing.

What constitutes an act of the Church, such that a positive defect would constitute a positive defect in the Church?

It sounds like the SSPX is very solicitous to maintain a right to accuse the Council and the new Mass of positively affirming error in faith and morals.

Can someone explain how this does not imply that the Church, as a subject, has erred?

Matthew Rose said...

Catherine of Siena,

You wrote: "The belief that the Roman Catholic Pontiff would instruct the faithful to practice an invalid Mass is outright, pure, unadulterated HERESY"

Kindly provide evidence for this strong claim.

Furthermore, the "official" SSPX position is that the Novus Ordo is valid as such. So, what are you talking about?

John Rathowen said...

Well, to be plain, simple and sincere, if the statement concerning 'no deal' came from Archbishop Lefebvre I would immediately accept it, having known the man before many others knew him. It does not come from the beloved Archbishop. When I say this I mean to call into question nobody's honesty. God alone can judge us in the internal forum. I say simply i. that this does not come from Archbishop Lefebvre and ii. that trust is earned, irrespective of who you may be. The work of the Archbishop is, as always, under continuous attack from 'outside' Rome but also, most regrettably, from some on the inside and those who really should know better. The citadel is not impregnable when those who guard her are not completely faithful, as I suspect is the case with some. Too great a tendency to expel is not the sign of a wise Superior. It has been too freely the response to criticism and is most un-Lefebvre-like, in my considered experience and opinion. It is very possible that I, too, should be cast into the outer darkness and away from the warmth of Menzingen's 'love' and 'charity' did some people discover who I am and were I not entirely protected. To be shunned by such people is, sub specie aeternitatis, no catastrophe fpr any Catholic, much less for a Priest who knows he is in all good conscience faithful to his calling. Such love and charity is phoney if it can be denied because I oppose you. Priests are not intended to be 'vagi' - they are supposed to be brought together for mutual support, so necessary in any age and never more so than now. I find it a sad but indisputable sign of immaturity - as well as a stain on the FSSPX - that any Superior behave in a manner than runs clean contrary not only to the ethos and philosophy of Abp Lefebvre but is entirely antipathetic to the essence of the Episcopal duty to be the Fullness of the Fatherhood of the Priesthood. Christ is not so. Neither was Marcel Lefebvre

The Paraclete's petitioner said...

The Reverend Fr. Couture's words offer the reader a concern that he has perhaps more REACTED than having fully prayerfully reflected before the Holy Trinity.

He ratifies by reiteration before his spiritual children Bishop Fellay's prophetic words: "Bishop Fellay said recently, in many public conferences in Australia, that nothing new would happen for the SSPX under the present pope." Has OMNISCIENT WISDOM revealed this or is their thought based upon their own experiences. DIVINE WISDOM CAN ILLUMINE and bring about action in whomsoever HE CHOSES when sufficient prayer and penance has been rendered by His children.

Rev. Fr. Couture makes another statement which raises a concern as it utilizes a lack of reason seeking a reaction: "They are like the false prophets announcing repeatedly that the end of world is imminent, and that we should store food in our houses in preparation." NO REASONABLE person stores food IF the world is to END.

May the Holy Spirit Himself illumine His most glorious servants of the SSPX regarding the gravity of the Apocalyptic times He is governing over. "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life." (Apoc. 22:19)

The devastation that the Holy Spirit has assured society of in the Apocalypse WILL transpire as He WILLS. . .when He WILLS. He is the God of TRUTH. Despite the difficulties, may we all prepare for these moments and the inevitable moment before Our Divine Judge through fidelity to Our Heavenly Queen's counsel: Prayer, Penance and the precise performance of our Providential duty of state.

LeonG said...

Once SSPX are in this multiplex of different sect-like communities such as N-C. Way, Focolare, Opus Dei and the detraditionalised Anglicans, Charismatics etc they will be neutralised. When the new form of Latin Mass comes in next year which most neo-conservatives are burying their heads in the sand over, then none of us will know what we are in for once we step inside a church for The Latin Mass. This will be the reality. The chnages will not stop there either.

MKT said...

@Tito Edwards, Jabba and Catherine of Siena ...

1. Fact:The SSPX has actually never espoused any heresy, material or formal.

2. Fact: Large portions of the " in full communion" crowd consistently espouse real heresy: Women's ordination, rejection of supersessionism. Not to mention the practical abandonment of the Church's condemnation against contraception and in some cases same-sex "marriage".

So to be perfectly honest, one cannot accuse the SSPX of heresy, whereas their "full communion" counterparts are frankly much less defendable.

Accuse them of schism if you must but listen to St Francis and try to be a little understanding - the spirit of canon law imposes an obligation of "understanding", which itself is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Pope Paul VI promulgated a nota praevia for Vatican 2 insisting that the council was pastoral and not dogmatic and was not declaring any new dogmas, and therefore was not protected from dogmatic infallibility, except where existing dogmas where re-affirmed.

CATHOLIC PRUDENCE is a virtue that faithful souls must heed.

And if Bp Fellay and his followers see a Curia bent on crushing Sacred Tradition in favor of novel understandings (eg recent comments made by Archbp DiNoia about a novel understanding re supersessionism), on the one hand ... while recognizing the need for an eventual reconciliation with Peter's Successor (Bp Fellay has oft repeated that SSPX must always turn to Rome and can never stop) Christian understanding demands some love for this persecuted group in attempting to ward off the spiritual dangers while not falling into a complete break.

They are given a false choice of reaching normalized relations or abandoning some key tenets of the Faith - and choose for now to hold off prudently waiting for a more opportune time.

If you wish to be callous and name them schismatics and - stupidly - heretics go ahead, but you are no Catholic in doing so.

What I get from this article, is a sad acknowledgement that the normalization will take some time, likely years. That Bp Williamson - who apparently has lost all desire of a re-union with the Petrine Succession - is the single largest threat to the SSPX maintaining their unity.

IMHO, an appropriate Catholic response is:
- Let us hope Bp Fellay does not prolong a formal disciplining of Bp Williamson, so that no more SSPX faithful get fooled by his arrogant behaviour - quick public chastisement please, your eminence.
- Keep praying for the unity of the SSPX
- Pray for some light in the desire of the Curia to look comprehensively at dogmatic versus prudential decisions of the magesterium and based on the Catholic perennial understanding act justly in accordance with that.

Finally, while we rightly thank God for the FSSP, do note that the past 40 years proves one thing quite clearly - if or when the SSPX falls, the FSSP will be crushed under the thumb of those who despise the Ancient Mass and insist on a "new" Church. Much like an industrial product created by an corporate marketing force to de-fang its competition, once the competition is gone, the corporation focuses on the next obstacle. In short, the health of the SSPX determines to a large degree the health and respect the FSSP will continune to receive within the normalized bounds of the Church.

I pray and thank God for both FSSP and SSPX. And may they soon be able to join forces against Modernism and crush that beast once and for all.

Peter said...

In Bp. Williamson's conference in England (available online) he stated that there will be a a remnant that will form from the SSPX that will keep the 'Catholic' faith and when that group becomes infiltrated with modernism (or modern errors) another group will form from that one and so it will continue. SO, according to this analysis, there is NO LONGER a hierarchical Church and only remnant groups will keep the true faith. These same words were said by Fr. Chazel previously... now I know where they originated from! These 'true followers' of Abp. Lefebvre are obsessed with the Apocalyps of St. John as if they truly understand it and apply it to the Church today. Even IF Rome became the seat of 'Antichrist' [remembering that there have always been many anti-christs as St. John says] does NOT MEAN the Seat of PETER is occupied by AntiChrist but that the Seat of Roman Government is occupied by him - like Nero Caesar. The SSPX NEEDS to reach a canonical accord with the Vicar of Christ because the longer the separation the more permanent it will become!

Floreat said...

Well done to Frs Bouchacourt and Couturier for their clarity and their honesty.

I look forward to reading a similarly clear statement on the GB District website, sooner rather than later.

Floreat said...

Am I correct in understanding from Fr. Bouchacourt's letter that canonical procedures have at last been instigated re Bp Williamson?

If not, why not?

David said...

@ Whats Up!,

You are not forbidden to assist at FSSPX Masses, so long as you do not partake of any schismatic intention thereby. Rome has been very clear on this point. It is all quite apart from the juridical status of the FSSPX and their Catholic obligations on that score.

@ I am not Spartacus,

Thank you for posting that statement by the FSsR. It ought to be repeated again and again:

By this we denote our submission to the Catholic Church; the Church of the time in which we are now living and not to an abstract concept of an idealised Eternal Rome.

We will continue to hear excuses, rationalizations, and justifications for the Society's refusal to submit to "the Church of the time in which we are now living". We will continue to hear affirmations of submission to "an idealised Eternal Rome". It all amounts to the same thing: breaking Catholic unity for the sake of Catholic orthodoxy. As if the FSSPX will not be able to maintain orthodoxy and save their souls once they submit to the Rome of today -- the only Rome that really exists.

The only possible justification for the Society's refusal to submit is if Rome asks them to sign a Profession of Faith that is objectively heretical. If that can be proven, it's a whole 'nother ballgame. Show us the Preamble!

NIANTIC said...

What is perfectly clear is that there is a great chasm between Rome and the SSPX. One party believes in Tradition and Truth which are permanent and unchangeable. The other party believes in Tradition and Truth which are "living", meaning both can and do change according to time and circumstances. One party says there is only one sure foundation and the other says "whatever".Just look at the Conciliar Church in which contradictions and ambiguities abound, as well as disgusting and blasphemous actions by prelates and priests.

So what are we to think? Which party is giving honor and glory and total adoration to God, the Most Holy Trinity?

Which party is preaching and proclaiming the True Faith handed down from the Apostles for the salvation of souls?
Which party is proclaiming by inference that one can remain a good Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddist or whatever and does not need to be converted to the Catholic Faith and Church for salvation?

Is this the time Our Lord is asking us; "what sayest thou"? Pax Christi.

Paulo Ghetti Frade said...

Dom Tomas de Aquino has published a response to Father Christian Bouchacourt's communiqué in the monastery's website http://www.beneditinos.org.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=103:declaracao&catid=7:atualidades&Itemid=97

Syl said...

I'm prompted by @MKT's post to comment but I've had these thoughts for some time.

There are groups, like the LCWR, about I have heard troubling stories. Is it really true that members of that organization escorted women *into* abortion clinics? It makes me want to weep and I hope it isn't true. Still, I hesitate to use the "H" word being content to let the Church hierarchy work it out, knowing I'll never get all the details on that.

The rejoinder on RC is often that groups like LCWR are still on full communion. Now, that I hope is true, and thank God, because if the stories are true, perhaps it means they are still open to correction, to reconciliation.

I've also heard troubling stories about SSPX. They aren't the same as LCWR of course. Those stories involve appointments of priests and bishops without permission. There seems to be some dispute about these stories but it seems clear that bishops were appointed without permission. I hesitate to use the "S" word ("schism") here, being content again to let the Church decide. It only seems prudent for a hierarchy, before regularizing an organization that has so visibly broken the rules to aver that they will follow them. As long as that needs to be done, you should fix where that organization is claiming there are errors, especially as those errors were the reason (or among the reasons that this organization appointed bishops without permission in the first place. Without knowing anything of the details, the Church appears to have asked SSPX to take a position more friendly to Vatican II rather the Church taking a less friendly position to its own Council. If that last is oversimplified - and it's meant to be - please forgive me that.

So yes, LCWR is in full communion, perhaps pending review, because they did not elect to appoint bishops and/or priests without permission. The same could be said of other Church organizations that are criticized often here.



New Catholic said...

Well, in all honesty, Syl, LCWR already have many bishops of their own... Why would they need any more?...

Gratias said...

Is the Pope Catholic? Yes.

David said...

@ NIANTIC,

Is the Church of Rome a mere "party" to which we can choose to belong if we judge it is worth belonging to? Mind you, the Church of Rome is, as it ALWAYS has been and ever will be, the visible Church that exists in the time in which we are now living, not an abstract concept of an idealized "Eternal Rome".

Peter asks the FSSPX to join themselves to him by the juridical bonds that are proper to the incarnational nature of the Mystical Body of Christ. Enough with the excuses and rationalizations. I agree with the commentators who have said "O ye of little faith". Yes, Rome is overrun with Modernists, but Rome is still Rome. Have faith, do the right thing, and you will overcome.

Dave K said...

After reading the 1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre on his attachment to Eternal Rome as opposed to the neo-modernist neo-protestant Rome of today it is no wonder he found himself in so much trouble with the Vatican. He seems here to deny the visibility of the Church and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to the living Magisterium. This is a great departure from the days after the Council where he recommended to his followers to remain indefectibly attached to the Pope. It is no wonder Pope Paul VI admonished his warped understanding of the Church and told him his mentality would lead him into schism.
The SSPX does not appreciate the fact that Vat2 belongs to the supreme ordinary Magisterium and as such is binding on the faithful. Their refusal to accept its teaching because it avoided issuing any solemn dogmatic definitions which, by themselves, carry the note of infallibility confuses the form a teaching takes with authority on which it rests. Catholics are bound to believe all that the Church puts forward to be believed as revealed truth, either in a solemn judgement or by her ordinary and universal Magisterium. The SSPX needs to understand that they are not the final authority on the rule of Faith. This is the job of the living Magisterium (the Pope and bishops in union with him). The refusal by the SSPX to be governed by the legitimate authorities in the Church proves their schismatic and perhaps heretical tendencies.

Whats Up! said...

David

As you said yourself, let us wait to see the Doctrinal Preamble before we judge.

I trust Bishop Fellay[who has seen it] is doing what he thinks is Gods Will.

Floreat said...

I've also heard troubling stories about SSPX....Those stories involve appointments of priests and bishops without permission...but it seems clear that bishops were appointed without permission. I hesitate to use the "S" word ("schism") here, being content again to let the Church decide....Without knowing anything of the details, the Church appears to have asked SSPX to take a position more friendly to Vatican II......So yes, LCWR is in full communion, perhaps pending review, because they did not elect to appoint bishops and/or priests without permission."

Syl, Abp Lefebvre was given by Rome a date when he would be able to consecrate his bishops...a date which was repeatedly delayed.

He eventually came to the conclusion that the date would never come and, believing that Rome intended to wait out his demise and, with it, the end of the Society and the Mass of all Time, Abp Lefebvre decided to consecrate four bishops.

All five were excommunicated latae sententiae . The Society refused to recognise the excommunications, on grounds of necessity and defence of the faith.

You might reasonably suspect that Rome agreed....stating publicly and repeatedly that the Society was not then, nor is it now schismatic. The bishops were re-incommunicated in 2009.

The LWCR may well not have consecrated bishops. They have however, publicly espoused and promoted homosexuality, birth control, abortion and other sins against the faith.

As for Abp Mueller, I struggle to understand the Holy Father's message to Catholics with the appointment as head of the CDF of a man who publicly doubts the Resurrection, the Virginity of Our Lady and the divinity of Our Lord.

That any of them should be 'in good standing' is truly scandalous.

David said...

I'll say it again, if the Pope asks the FSSPX to sign a profession of faith that is objectively heretical, they have every right and duty to refuse. Otherwise, there is no excuse to persist in this obstinate foot-dragging. "Oh, the Modernists in Rome will CRUSH us!" Oh, boo hoo. Is the FSSPX so lacking in theological mettle that they cannot deal with the "evil" Herr Mueller at close quarters??

David said...

I trust Bishop Fellay[who has seen it] is doing what he thinks is Gods Will

Yes, I trust Bishop Fellay. I get a very good feeling when I watch and listen to him. It's the surrounding commentary that gets my ire and makes me impatient.

Whats Up! said...

David said...
"I'll say it again, if the Pope asks the FSSPX to sign a profession of faith that is objectively heretical, they have every right and duty to refuse. Otherwise, there is no excuse to persist in this obstinate foot-dragging. "Oh, the Modernists in Rome will CRUSH us!" Oh, boo hoo. Is the FSSPX so lacking in theological mettle that they cannot deal with the "evil" Herr Mueller at close quarters??"

Well said David.

NIANTIC said...

@ DAVID: The ONE VISIBLE CATHOLIC CHURCH consists (regrettably but factually) of two "parties, movements, directions, groupings, streamings" or whatever you wish to call it. One is Traditional Catholic, the other Modernist Conciliar. Both profess loyalty to the Vicar of Christ. The SSPX is within, and part of, this Visible Catholic Church. She is shunned because she has the temerity to point out loud and clear that the Church has taken a wrong direction. WITNESS THE BAD FRUITS AND DEVASTATION SHE HAS UNDER GONE. They, the Modernist wreckovators therefore have decided the SSPX is not part of the Church. The SSPX never has taken herself out of the Church. They will fight for Tradition and Truth and never give up. One day the Pope will officially recognize the SSPX. Maybe not soon, but that day of justice will come. Meanwhile the SSPX prays for the Vicar of Christ without ceasing. Pax Christi.

Elizabeth said...

Virgil (13:40) and John McFarland (15:43), thank you for both of your posts. Clear, thoughtful and helpful!

Still praying for the SSPX and +Fellay.

Jordanes551 said...

Catherine of Siena, You wrote: "The belief that the Roman Catholic Pontiff would instruct the faithful to practice an invalid Mass is outright, pure, unadulterated HERESY"

Kindly provide evidence for this strong claim.


See Matt. 16:18-19 and Luke 22:32. The Roman Pontiff has been deprived of the ability to formally impose invalid sacraments.

Looks like the SSPX is blowing it! said...

It's now or never for the SSPX! No future Pope will be as open to the possibility of normalization, nor as personally acquainted or invested in the whole situation.

"Pride goeth before destruction.". In spite of their good points and valiant defense of tradition, they are showing a prideful and ugly side that only provokes the axium about schism drifting into heresy.

It's now or never and I fear Pope Benedict isn't forced to shake the dust off of his feet with the Society.

dcs said...

The Vatican is not pure? That has been the battle cry of every schismatic (Donatists, Novations, ...) and heretic (Protestants, Albegensians, ...) since the beginning. Are you honestly saying that Pope Benedict XVI is worse than Pope Alexander VI? If you'd be Catholic under Pope Alexander VI why one earth would you not be Catholic under Pope Benedict XVI?

Anil Wang, I suggest you read my post a little more carefully. Of course the Vatican is not pure ... the Vatican has never been pure. If the SSPX desires a Rome that is free from corruption, conspiracy, and sinister machinations then they desire something that doesn't exist now and never has.

The common complaint seems to be that "bad bishops" are in full communion while the SSPX has not. Has there ever been a time in the Church when there were not bad bishops?

Anonymous said...

Two priests assigned in the District of Asia has also been "formally" suspended (albeit all of the SSPX are suspended a divinis).

http://www.sspxasia.com/Countries/Philippines/OLVC_2012/Articles/Public_Announcement_about_Fathers_Chazal_and_Joseph_Pfeiffer.pdf

Matthew Rose said...

Jordanes,

For the sake of argument, the gates of hell do not necessarily prevail if the Latin Church falls off the cliff, so to speak. The Eastern Rites would still possess valid sacraments.

In any case, the thrust of my point was moreso the level of charge brought by Catherine of Siena, and her(?) insinuation that the SSPX as a group holds such a position, which they do not.

Catherine of Siena said...

The SSPX may try to maintain that they "officially" believe that the Novus Ordo Mass is valid, but this is certainly not what they teach, nor what the vast majority of their members believe. They have now embraced heresy. If what you say is true and that the "official" position of the SSPX is that the Novus Ordo is valid, then Bishop Fellay should have absolutely no problem in signing a profession of faith to that effect. This does not seem to be the case, does it?

Why do members of the SSPX, including their bishops, have Catholic Sacraments repeated by SSPX priests and bishops after Roman Catholic clergy have administered them? I have seen this done numerous times - especially with the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

I am not "name calling" when I maintain that the SSPX is in schism. I am a Roman Catholic, and I submit to my local ordinary. It is the position of my bishop that the SSPX is in schism. I have also asked this question of more than half a dozen other Roman Catholic bishops, and they have all told me the same thing: the SSPX is in schism. I have a signed letter from the Vatican, with a protocol number, that says very clearly that the SSPX is in schism. These are the authorities to whom I, as a Roman Catholic, must submit.

This is not a trivial matter. For the sake of argument, what are the consequences of adhering to a schismatic group and receiving illicit sacraments from the same? The risk a soul runs, the peril it puts itself in, by doing so, are truly terrifying - way beyond measure. The evil of this situation is compounded because so many Catholic souls who were predestined for the greatest levels of holiness have been lured into this deadly trap - not the least of whom was the great Abp. Lefebvre himself. How many souls in mortal sin have attempted to receive the Holy Sacrament of Penance from SSPX priests - who are unable to administer this sacrament unless the soul is in danger of death - and then gone on to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion, illicitly (gravely sinfully) confected by an SSPX priest or bishop? How many beautiful young couples have attempted the Sacrament of Matrimony through an SSPX priest - and are therefore living in mortal sin, and receiving the Blessed Sacrament regularly while in this state?

SSPX priests and bishops are strictly forbidden by the Catholic Church from offering public Masses and confecting Catholic Sacraments - they have no authority or permission from Rome to do so - this comes directly from the Holy See. They defy the Holy Pontiff every single day by doing so. We are all only too well aware of the extent of the crisis in the Church, and how afflicted She has been over the last half a century. She was even more egregiously afflicted in the time of Martin Luther, yet he himself surpassed the evil that led to his attack on the Papacy and the Mystical Body of Christ. For those who do not live near a TLM community: MOVE. This is what we did, several hundred miles to be exact, and what our forefathers also did in the past, in order to protect their faith and the faith of their children. God will protect you and guide you to the right place if you place your trust completely in Him.

Jordanes551 said...

I did notice the main thrust of your comment -- but, for the sake of argument: If the Latin Church "falls off a cliff," that would include the See of St. Peter, upon whom Christ built His Church against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. If the See of St. Peter defects and loses valid sacraments, then the Eastern Churches have lost their foundation and they too will defect and in due course lose valid sacraments.

In brief, if the See of St. Peter were to formally institute invalid sacraments, then Christ's promise is null, and there would be no point in being a Christian at all.

Gratias said...

Teasers. Go back to where you came from.

Jan said...

The most important thing is who holds the Keys and therefore has been given the power to bind and loose. Only the Holy Father. He is the one to be in communion with.

Jan said...

Floreat, the Society did recognize the excommunications because they made the lifting of the excommunication a pre-condition for joining in the discussions for reconciliation. Maybe that's all the bishops wanted? Certainly from my experience with the Society I know that on the Sundays they cannot saybp Mass they have told their members to not attend the NO Mass but to stay home and read their missals. Do they have the authority to do that as I understood they do not claim to have jurisdiction over those who attend their chapels. I was at a Mass a few weeks ago where in his sermon Fr Couture denounced the NO Mass. And the majority of those attending this particular chapel do not appear to want reconciliation with the Holy Father. That also appears to be the case of those writing on the blogs, so perhaps that is the dilemma Bishop Fellay has, aside from Bishop Williamson.

Catherine of Siena said...

Because I see this coming, I want to add something. Chris Ferrara is a superb secular litigation attorney, and his work for the pro-life movement has been nothing short of truly heroic. However, 1) He is NOT a Canonist, and he has never had any formal training in Canon Law; 2) he is not a trained theologian and MOST IMPORTANTLY (3) he does not speak with any Roman Catholic ecclesial AUTHORITY.

Also, most other grave sins absolutely pale in comparison to the sin of schism, which causes a deadly wound into the Heart of Our Lord, and severs the Mystical Body of Christ. Even the sin of sodomy, as horrific as it is, does not come close - to give some idea of the scale of evil.

Bishops need to come out of their central offices and start dealing with this once "little" problem - that has now mushroomed as a direct result of their inattention.

David said...

@ Jan,

I was at a Mass a few weeks ago where in his sermon Fr Couture denounced the NO Mass.

I was at a FSSP Mass last Sunday where the Father explained how the people are called to participate in the offering of the Sacrifice, and he gave practical advice on how to do it. The sermon was very profound, and very helpful. That is the sort of thing that the faithful need to hear. We already know that the Novus Ordo stinks. We don't need to be told that again and again.

Perhaps Fr. Couture doesn't want to reconcile with Rome because he's so attached to preaching against the Novus Ordo and the Council, and he's afraid this won't be tolerated by Rome. Adieu, Fr. Couture. The moment of reconciliation has passed by.

Dismas said...

Could someone please explain how Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi could be true in light of the SSPX's continued incredulity?

Virgil said...

Dear Catherine of Siena,

Thank you for your thoughtful post. I would, however, like to address a couple of your points.

1. You mention that the official position of the Society is that the N.O. Mass is invalid, and that even if the Society officially holds to the validity of the N.O.,the majority of its members and faithful do not. I'm not sure how to say this other than: You're wrong. From Archbishop Lefebvre to now, the Society has consistently maintained the validity of the new rites, per se. What they have objected to is the legitimacy of those rites, which is, theologically speaking, and entirely different thing. Read any official Society source and you will see this.

2. Because of the above, the Society will have no problem at all signing a declaration to that effect; but that's not what they're being asked to sign.

3. "I have seen this done numerous times - especially with the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick" With regard to the performance of conditional sacraments, it's a complex question. Without examining this in detail, suffice it to say that when there is a positive doubt about the validity of a previous sacrament (the priest does something strange during the baptism), in order to grant mental peace and moral certitude, the Church allows for conditional baptism. It is not an attempt to "do over" those sacraments that can only be done once (baptism, confirmation, ordination), but to give a moral certitude in cases, and only in cases, in which there is positive doubt.

4. You mention that your bishop, and half a dozen other bishops declare that the Society is in schism, so you must submit to them. Well, yes and no. They can say that the sky is the thing we walk on and land is the thing above us with clouds and it won't make it so. Schism is not the term used by Rome, and Rome has in fact insisted upon avoiding that. Even during the heyday of 88 (after the consecrations) Rome spoke of "schismatic acts" and "schismatic mentalities" but not of an actual, formal schism. As a Catholic, it is Peter who clarifies the law, not our local ordinary, in the event that there is a disagreement between the two. Regarding your signed letter with protocol number, please provide it.

These are obviously delicate discussions, but making sweeping assertions does not help.

Tom said...

"SSPX priests and bishops are strictly forbidden by the Catholic Church from offering public Masses and confecting Catholic Sacraments - they have no authority or permission from Rome to do so - this comes directly from the Holy See. They defy the Holy Pontiff every single day by doing so."

Interestingly, with Rome's permission, SSPX priests have offered Masses at Roman Basilicas.

Bishops have allowed the Society to offer Masses at various churches throughout the world.

Example: October 30, 2008 (and that was prior to His Holiness having lifted the SSPX excommunications!):

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2008/10/sspx-pilgrimage-and-new-crusade-of.html

"Pictures of the Solemn Mass, of the public recitation of the Holy Rosary, and of the Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, as the Sanctuary of Lourdes once again opens its doors and buildings to the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) during the weekend of Christ the King.

"The four bishops of the SSPX, who were consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, were present in the pilgrimage."

Tom

Matthew Rose said...

Catherine of Siena,

Drop this ridiculous argumentation. Rome does not even think their Matrimonies and Confessions are invalid, so stop presuming to speak for those authorities whom you apparently endear so highly. Have you ever heard of couples being "remarried" when they move from SSPX to diocesan-approved communities? Have SSPX priests who came over to FSSP, etc., had to reconfess all their sins? Didn't think so, so stop spreading your drivel. The SSPX website clearly states their position on the Novus Ordo: http://www.sspx.org/articles_index.htm

A valid mass can be immoral and deficient but still effect a valid consecration.

John McFarland said...

There is nothing idealized about the SSPX's view of Rome, either now or at any other time since St. Peter went there.

This is quite evident in remarks that Bishop Fellay made in defending his pursuing the no strings regularization (RIP).

Note in particular his argument in his leaked response to the leaked letter of the three other SSPX bishops: we must obey the Holy Father when we can, and we can and so must in the caee of no strings regularization.

It is those who believe that the Society should submit to Rome yesterday who have an idealized view of Rome.

Vatican and the post-conciliar teaching of Rome is riddled with error, and its practice is much more formed by erroneous than by sound doctrine. As long as that is the case, no true Catholic can in good conscience simply submit to Rome.

The Society has done a quite remarkable job of following the Lord's injunction to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. Those outside its sphere of influence would do well to go to school to it.

David said...

From Archbishop Lefebvre to now, the Society has consistently maintained the validity of the new rites, per se. What they have objected to is the legitimacy of those rites, which is, theologically speaking, and entirely different thing. ... Because of the above, the Society will have no problem at all signing a declaration to that effect; but that's not what they're being asked to sign.

Of course, none of us know what exactly the Society is being asked to sign. It's all pure speculation. But it is telling that friends of the Society would suggest that anything less than a Declaration that openly criticizes the legitimacy of the New Mass will not entice the Society to formally reconcile with Rome.

Friends, is that what this comes down to? Is it not enough that the Society not be compelled to sign a Declaration that commits them to formal heresy? Must the Declaration actually contain critical positions concerning the New Mass and the Council in line with the Society's point of view? Anything less than that, and it's "No" to reconciliation?

David said...

If the Society wants Rome to declare that the New Mass is illicit, they are living in dream land. Do they balk at signing a Declaration that the New Mass is licit? If yes, this raises a question. Is the illicitness of the New Mass an absolute certainty? Is it a proposition binding upon conscience in such wise that declaring the New Mass licit would be a grave violation of conscience?

David said...

Here's the answer to the above question. The illicitness of the New Mass is a theological opinion. It is not a binding truth. No Society priest, no Society faithful follower, is bound in conscience to accept that opinion. No Society bishop, no society priest, has the authority to make that opinion binding. If Rome says, "The New Mass is licit, sign on the dotted line", guess what? You sign on the dotted line. You do not put your theological opinion above the authority of Rome. You have the humility to accept this, if Rome asks you to submit. It is the Catholic way. Beyond that, Rome cannot stop Society bishops and priests from expressing their opinion in public. They can say, "In the Declaration, we defer to Rome's judgment that the New Mass is licit. Our opinion is different, but we accept Rome's authority in this matter. As for you, dear faithful, we beg you to stay away from the New Mass. Even if it is licit, it is a danger."

Ah, but why beat this dead horse? Why start another argument? The hour of reconciliation as passed. Adieu, FSSPX.

Floreat said...

...and finally, the gates of Hell will indeed not prevail against the One, Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church, but there is nothing to say that said Church might not shrink to a shadow of her former self.

After all, Europe was once called Christendom....England 'Our Lady's Dowry'.....France the "Elder Daughter of the Faith'...Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland. All of them now secular societies - or apostate, if you prefer.

There's nothing to be smug about when the Church is being rotted from within by gay activists, liberation theologists and worse.....you'd have thought that Catholics, of all people, would recognise these types for what they truly are.

I guess catechesis ain't what it used to be.

Timothy Mulligan said...

Adieu, FSSPX.

Well, David, to borrow a line from Dame Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey . . . Do you promise?

David said...

Oh, yes, Timothy. I promise.

Marko Ivančičević said...

They should think of them as a cure. A cure is not given to a healthy person but to a sick one. Of what use will they be to Church now if they just go: "talk to the hand"? They expect the Rome to fall on their knees and beg them to come back but that is very unlikely. They should sacrifice their pride and sign whatever it is and give themselves as a cure to the Church that is afflicted with the disease of modernism.

Why do they worry so much? They could say and preach anything they want after the eventual signing. Everybody preaches anything they want these days - even cardinals like card. Martini(Rquiem aeternam...)

John McFarland said...

David,

It is not correct that the SSPX considers the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM)"illicit."

A fair brief summary of the SSPX's view of the NOM (culled from the relevant FAQ on www.sspx.org) is as follows:

1. The NOM was not properly promulgated and thus is not binding, and the Constitution Missale Romanum that purported to adopt it did not engage the infallibility of the Church.

2. In the language of the Ottaviani-Bacci Intervention: "...the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXIII of the Council of Trent."

3. As Archbishop Lefebvre said in his Letter to Confused Catholics: "The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, ...is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith."

See the FAQ and the other relevant materials on www.sspx.org.

If he were really interested in a hard line on the matter, the Holy Father first of all would clearly promulgate the NOM, and clearly indicate the relation between the NOM and the TLM.

That will never happen. The progressivists' modus operandi has always been to be vague, put the progressivist side of the vagueness into effect, and count on the prospects of a far easier "Catholic" life to do the rest.

As regards the statements of the Intervention and Abp. Lefebvre, they are purported statements of fact. How can the condemnation of these statements be binding if the statements are as a matter of fact true -- which, of course, they are?

Do you think that the potestas regendi enables the Pope to declare that black is white, with the result that anyone who insists that black is black is culpably disobedient to the Vicar of Christ on earth, and so to Christ himself?

backtothefuture said...

I agree with you Marko. If someone in your family is sick, you stick with them and help them get better.

Mar said...

There is such a thing as quarantine for infectious diseases.

Think of the ravages of the bubonic plague and the methods that were used to curtail it, such as boarding up the houses that were infected and avoiding them 'like the plague'.

Lily said...

Bishop Fellay, a friend, can say what he likes. Muller will not come to the table on a reconciliation. Williamson, also a friend, has raised a small army of priests. They should be cut loose to form their association and be on their way. So much rebelliousness over the summer and for what? Prudence should have been exercised by the priests who face expulsion. All would have come to naught, and the SSPX not dealing with a split. It's very sad. There are some very fine priests among the group facing expulsion.

Picard said...

backtothefuter and Mar:

There is a better fitting comparison:

What if the ill person, if you come near to help it, always holds your hands so that you can not help the person?

Is it not better to help unhindered from the distance than coming near but being hindered to help effectively?

That´s the real parallel and question here ( - although Mar has also a valid point).

David said...

John,

Thanks for the clarification. I certainly agree with the second and third points about the New Mass, although I'm not well informed regarding the first.

I'll stop preaching. I just don't understand why the FSSPX think they are special and have the right to continue holding out against the Pope. We should all be in the same boat, so to speak. We should all be on the ark with Peter, even if it's leaking and infested with rats. Oops. I'm preaching again. I promised to stop.

Picard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Virgil said...

David,

You stated, "We should all be on the ark with Peter, even if it's leaking and infested with rats. Oops. I'm preaching again. I promised to stop." I think this is the current misconception. It is not an inside/outside question, anymore than it's a question of the Society regularizing themselves. Either they are on the ark or not; in this case, it seems clear they are on the ark, and that Rome has attempted to claim (at various times and to various degrees) that they are not on the ark. Anyway, that's not what's in question. The Society is inside the Church.

What is at stake is whether or not Rome will allow the Society to function as a Catholic priestly society, with a complete and total adherence to the perennial truths of our Faith, and the recognized right to criticize and attack those novelties in practice and dogma that have lead to the destruction of the Church's moral prestige throughout the world. If Rome is willing to do so, then the Society MUST comply. If Rome asks the Society to accept a canonical solution, but forbids those possibilities, then the Society has no choice. It's really fairly simple in the end.

The biggest two questions now, for which we should all implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, are:
1. Will the Holy Father take the very easy and soft demands of the General Chapter and fix this canonical problem, allowing for a greater and faster spread of Tradition, and in the end, a faster restoration of the Church?

2. Will the Society maintain its position up to this point; namely that if the Holy Father is ready to accept the Society, and offer a canonical solution that protects the order, and involves no compromise, that the Society will take it? Will they continue to avoid the problematic concept that Rome must first "convert" (whatever that even means) prior to a canonical solution?

Let us implore the Blessed Virgin more than ever.

Ray said...

FSSPX = more stubborn and prideful and obdurate than Pharaoh.

New Catholic said...

"Free" debate?... What do you think this is, some kind of "Progressive" college?...

Albertus said...

I have two questions and a comment: one person here writes: ''READ CAREFULLY WHAT THE SSPX HAS TO SAY. It has been carefully and prudently been trying to tell you what's going on, and what the stakes are.
let us wait to see the Doctrinal Preamble before we judge.''
I donot understand, why must the Society of Saint Pius X write and speak in riddles? is it not enough that the Vatican, indeed, the whole post-conciliar Church, uses vague Delphi-oracle-like language which is as boring as it is incomprehensible?
Another writes: ''let us wait to see the Doctrinal Preamble before we judge.'' But when will the contents of the ''Preamble'' be divulged, if ever? It seems senseless to keep referring to it, when nobody knows what it actually is! A third writes: "For the sake of argument, the gates of hell do not necessarily prevail if the Latin Church falls off the cliff, so to speak. The Eastern Rites would still possess valid sacraments.'' To which i would gladly add: the Eastern Orthodox Churches still possess valid Sacraments, and as the years go by, i am ever more convinced that the Eastern Sister Churches might end up being the only part of the Church will be be around to meet our Lord when he comes back in glory...