Rorate Caeli

La Croix: "A doctrinal abyss separates Rome and the SSPX"

The French [Liberal ] Catholic daily La Croix published a very interesting article yesterday on the prospects of reconciliation between the Holy See and Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX). The article is filled with editorialized commentary, so we have chosen (for this and for copyright reasons) to reproduce the actual words pronounced by the Superior-General of the Fraternity, Archbishop Ricard, an unnamed cardinal (of Paris?... the paper does not say), and the rector of the Ecône Seminary.

1. An unnamed cardinal:
"We cannot at all go to the extreme of accepting two different rites in the Latin Church."

"The agreement should not be done irrespective of the cost. And one of the great principles affirmed by Vatican II -- religious liberty, ecumenism - would not be put aside."

2. Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux, President of the French Episcopal Conference, member of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and who will be created cardinal tomorrow:

"Even if we can denounce a certain number of abuses or erroneous interpretations of the Council, the Conciliar text deserves to be respected and safeguarded."

"We cannot refuse the Conciliar contribution." [The pope] "has clearly defined the limits not to be trespassed in the speech on the interpretation of Vatican II pronounced on December 22 in the presence of the Roman Curia."

3. Bishop Bernard Fellay:
"The ball is on Rome's court from now on."

Fellay recognizes that the meeting with the Pope did not substantially alter the terms of negotiation: the bases [for negotiation] are still those of the agreement proposed in 2001 which the Fraternity had at last rejected:
"We are under the impression that Rome accepts the idea of passing to the intermediate phases which we proposed."

Regarding the Papal speech of December 22:
"The philosophical vision of Benedict XVI, according to which Truth is indissociable of the historical elements in which it is inscribed, with the consequence that the Church should constantly readapt its discourse and its principles to the circumstances, is too modern." [Bishop Fellay declares to prefer] "a more classic philosophy according to which our intelligence can understand the essence of things and can abstract historical elements."

Regarding the possibility that the Society should be able to express its views on the Council and on the new Mass with freedom:
"A certain number of elements which allow us to say that this life of Tradition is possible is currently lacking"

4. The rector of the Ecône seminary, Father de Jorna, notes, regading the classic philosophy upheld by the SSPX:
"We are Thomists in the sense that the Church herself is." [The Summa is the basis of its teaching of theology] "with the aid of commentateurs used up to Vatican II, such as Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange."
5. The last paragraph of the article is the following:

The Fraternity Saint Pius X can take the risk of rejecting the Roman propositions? "If we do nothing today, it will be too late later and the situation of division will remain," warns a cardinal. "And especially Rome could be more sever," adds Father Aulagnier, who warns the Fraternity against the risk of the "Petite Église", from the name of the schism of the bishops who had refused the Concordat of 1801. Rejecting this warning, persuaded that if Rome does not return step back from the doctrine of Vatican II, the crisis of the Church will only worsen, bishop Fellay wishes to believe that he can refuse the extended hand of Benedict XVI. "There will be others," he affirms.


  1. "We cannot at all go to the extreme of accepting two different rites in the Latin Church."

    What utter tripe. Uniformity of rite within the Latin Church has never existed, even within the narrow period (c1830-1965)during which it came closest. Until modern times, several French dioceses maintained their own rites quite apart from the distinct rites of the religious orders and of Milan and Toledo. I believe Catholics in Rouen used their own missal right up until the Council.

    More modernist totalitareanism.

  2. How can it be possible that acceptance of three non-dogmatic novelties, Novus Ordo liturgy, ecumenism and religious liberty, has become the very test and measure of Catholicity? It is ourageous - utter madness; and Fellay is right - only the Pope can put an end to it.

  3. Only the Holy Spirit can put an end to it.

    Catholics at all levels have to wake up and starting living the faith, and stop confusing it with ecclesiastical or civil politiking.

  4. Neil G. Barclay said...
    As a late-comer to the Church and a very recent attendee of the SSPX Mass, I would like to add my general agreement to the judgments of the three gentlemen who have commented.

    I have two cavils:
    The Roman Rite of the Mass has been comparatively uniform in essence, especially the Canon; virtually from the beginning, but especially from the time of Gregory the Great. However, the statement regarding the "extremity" of "two different" rites certainly is tripe. Exceptions to the rule, made on the basis of immemorial usage, have been allowed - going back how far, I do not know.
    Ostensibly, originally the novelties were considered to be non-Dogmatic (this was a ruse from the beginning). By now, the chicanery has been exposed and there is no more attempt at pretense: the novelties in question are rigidly enforced and have taken on the nature of Dogma; they have done so much damage to the truth that they may as well be declared as Dogma.

    Br. Bugnolo is absolutely correct. Only Divine intervention can make the necessary turn-about take place. Neither this, nor any conceivable future Pope, will shoot down the V2 Rocket that was launched by "Good" Pope John.

    While I have the floor, as it were, may I present some questions, if it is not untoward: is there any speculation as to who the next Superior General of the SSPX is likely to be, or is such speculation out of place? Also, with no disrespect to the present clergy of any rank, is it not about time to "create" some more Bishops? I'm old enough to be a little concerned about longevity, and some of the current Bishops are nearly of my age.

  5. "Catholics at all levels have to wake up and starting living the faith, and stop confusing it with ecclesiastical or civil politiking."

    Dear Brother

    You are, of course, quite right. Meanwhile, however, we have a Shepherd - one who needs finally to hoist the sheep on his shoulders and carry it home, rather than engaging the wolves in endless consultations on the proper course of action.

  6. With regard to MORETBEN's last comment: amen, brother ben, amen.


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