Rorate Caeli

"Catholic, evidently": 20 new priests!
And the lesson of Benedict XVI

Congratulations to the new priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX / FSSPX) ordained in the month of June!

Full list below:

1. In Minnesota, on June 13, 2014, 7 American priests: Fr. Charles Deister, Fr. Isaac Joseph Delmanowski, Fr. Thomas Duncan, Fr. Andrew Ferrelli, Fr. Peter Fortin, Fr. Joseph Haynos, Fr. Matthew Stafki. 5 Deacons were also ordained that day, including the son of one of our most faithful readers, "Long-Skirts".

2. In Écône, Switzerland, on June 27, 2014, 8 priests (7 Frenchmen, 1 Swiss): Fr. Henri Chabot-Morisseau, Fr. Timothée de Bonnafos, Fr. Cyprien Joguet, Fr. Benoît Laurent, Fr. Alexandre Maret, Fr. Michel Morille, Fr. Louis Pieronne, Fr. Loïc Verschuur. 7 Deacons were also ordained.

3. In Bavaria, on June 28, 2014, 5 priests (3 Poles, 2 Swiss): Fr. Szymon Banka, Fr. Krzystof Golebiewski, Fr. Hubert Kuszpa, Fr. Fabian Reiser, Fr. Severin Zahner. 2 Deacons were also ordained.

With these ordinations, the society reaches a total of nearly 600 priests, which is impressive (even more so considering the many who left through the years). As the then-Cardinal Bergoglio told the District Superior in Argentina when he needed help, "You are Catholic, it is evident." The Church would be better off with a fully regularized Society: there are few groups of priests as "evidently Catholic" as they are.

As Pope Benedict XVI said with great love 5 years ago, when they were fewer than 500:

I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?

Certainly, for some time now, and once again on this specific occasion, we have heard from some representatives of that community many unpleasant things – arrogance and presumptuousness, an obsession with one-sided positions, etc. Yet to tell the truth, I must add that I have also received a number of touching testimonials of gratitude which clearly showed an openness of heart. But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas? And should we not admit that some unpleasant things have also emerged in Church circles? At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint.

Dear Brothers, during the days when I first had the idea of writing this letter, by chance, during a visit to the Roman Seminary, I had to interpret and comment on Galatians 5:13-15. I was surprised at the directness with which that passage speaks to us about the present moment: "Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." I am always tempted to see these words as another of the rhetorical excesses which we occasionally find in Saint Paul. To some extent that may also be the case. But sad to say, this "biting and devouring" also exists in the Church today, as expression of a poorly understood freedom. Should we be surprised that we too are no better than the Galatians? That at the very least we are threatened by the same temptations? That we must always learn anew the proper use of freedom? And that we must always learn anew the supreme priority, which is love?

Yes, the supreme priority is love: our greatest love to these new servants of the vineyard, to their families: may many souls be brought to Christ by their hands, may, through the intercession of the Virgin, all wounds of distance and separation be healed.