Rorate Caeli

The One-Two-Three Strategy

The Superior for the District of France of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX), Father Régis de Cacqueray, published a communiqué on the official website of the District (which is by far the largest district of the Fraternity), warning the faithful against the rumors and especially the malicious comments spread by two well-known websites, one French and the other American*.

Father de Cacqueray is considered a "hardliner" ("anti-reconciliation"), but this does not mean much: we Catholics of all people must be wary of such labels, which are used with malevolent intentions but do not possess any clear meaning. The most important passage of his communiqué is not particularly related to the condemned websites:

Whatever they [the websites] are interested in portraying [that is, that the Fraternity is dominated by a "cabal of conspirators" willing to "sell out"], the Fraternity of Saint Pius X remains faithful to a line [which has been] clearly expressed and regarding which it has not wavered:

- obtaining the two preconditions, which are the withdrawal of the decree of excommunications and the freedom of every priest to celebrate the Mass of Saint Pius V;

- the resolution of doctrinal questions;

- the search for the most adequate canonical solution.

Father de Cacqueray is right, of course: that has been the steady position of the Fraternity, expressed (as we have commented before), for instance, in the very illuminating letter of Bishop Fellay (the Superior-General of the Fraternity) to Cardinal Castrillón in 2004 (repeated in his latest interview). But this line of thought has rarely been so clearly and synthetically expressed, and for that we thank Father de Cacqueray. Will we see this strategy unfold in its clear steps in the near future?... Perhaps.

Some may also believe that "doctrinal discussions" are unacceptable -- but that is preposterous. The Holy See has been hopelessly dialoguing, since the Council, with the Anglican Communion, which lost any sign of faith sometime between 1860 and 1960... Honest and topical discussions with the Fraternity would be far more objective, since there is no dogmatic issue involved, and could set the basis for a very useful definition of the "hermeneutics of continuity" proposed by Pope Benedict. Such discussions could also happen after a clearer canonical framework is established, since they are not among the "preconditions".

Therefore, one could envision a situation whereby the creation of a "Doctrinal Commission" -- which would then be the institutional "locus" of the debates between the Fraternity and the Holy See -- serves as the fulfilment of this step ("the resolution of doctrinal questions"), allowing for the complete canonical regularization of the Society even though not every controversy is actually resolved before the establishment of the new canonical framework.

*[It should be said, in fairness, that the French Sedevacantist website has one thing to be said in its favor: it ALWAYS mentions its sources, which is essential in the web; while the American website shamelessly copies commentaries, translations, and other texts without the minimal courtesy of crediting its sources.]


  1. to me, the issue is not about the SSPX but more about the allowance of the Mass for all!

  2. It is about the Mass.

    But it also is about the SSPX...

  3. Is it my faulty vision or did Archivium delete the "Habemus Missa" post? Worrysome!!

  4. The meeting of the heads of dicasteries is tomorrow... Let us wait till its actual results are made public (which may take a while).

    But, as I said since the rumor was published, I have to see this signed... Traditionalists have been excessively optimistic before.


    From a letter to friends and benefactors from Fr. Yves Le Roux, head of the SSPX Seminary at Winona, MN:

    The thought of the Holy Father regarding the crisis of the Church remains the same as he expressed as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Let us summarize it: the Council, far from being the source of the present crisis or the cause of its acceleration, is in fact its solution. But due to a bad interpretation or to a savage refusal to accept it, it can not yet deliver all its expected fruits. The hour has come to faithfully receive this Council by adhering to its letter in order to allow ourselves to be impregnated with its spirit.

    It is quite certain that, in spite of its clear condemnation of the present deviation of modern theology, we cannot make this particular analysis ours. Its erroneous initial postulate obscures a fundamental question, which consists in asking whether the Council itself is not a serious rupture with the past of the Church and its doctrines. Also, the question of the Pope regarding the reception of the Council is false and, objectively, a trap into which we refuse to fall. Nothing is more dangerous, indeed, than to ask the wrong questions, because they divert the intellects from the truth.

    We reject this false problem of the interpretation of the Council and prefer to keep the doctrine of Christ, Who taught us to judge a tree by its fruits. All the hermeneutics of the world will crash against this divine and salutary evidence.

    In Christo Sacerdote et Maria

    Fr. Yves Le Roux

  6. Tradgrind,

    Rome wasn't built in a day; nor was it destroyed in a day. Nor can it be rebuilt in a day.

  7. Brother Alexis:

    En ce qui concerne la réalité actuelle, you are somewhat irrelevant, also just a tad clichéish.

    I am moderately educated and sixty-eight years old; ergo, I have been around the horn a few times as they say, (another cliché - I, too, am talented). I am incorrigibly convinced that while "our" Rome was destroyed in forty years, it will not be restored without Divine intervention and I shall not live to see it. So, whatever it is that I am, it is certainly not someone who is in a hurry, as you imply. There is no indication whatsoever in the comments reproduced that anyone is particularly anxious.

    I posted Father Le Roux' remarks because of their eminent sense and thoroughly substantial understanding of the reality of the situation regarding the relation of the SSPX vis-à-vis our present leadership.

    I can only pray that Fellay of God does not become Fillet of Cod in the maw of the enemy.

  8. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Contrary to what Fr. Le Roux said, it is the council itself that is causing the problem. The only way to know that the crisis is truly and officially "over" is to see the council itself revoked en toto. Never before has there ever been any mandate to recognize other religions as salvific, and all such subsequent mandates have their explicit root in Vatican II itself. Take it away and the bad stuff no longer has any basis to continue. Keep it on the books and the bad stuff cannot stop no matter how well intentioned anyone can be about it.

  9. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Ubipetrus (an ironic moniker), the Council said no such thing (as has been confirmed both before Dominus Iesus and after by the Holy Father, the CDF, and other authoritative sources). The Council said that other faiths have aspects of salvific elements in them, which in and of itself is true, insofar as all religion is a search for the one, true, triune God, whether its particular expression realizes it or no. This is no different than Lewis and Tolkien saying that pagan myths had elements of the truth in them.

    Thus, it *was* a misinterpretation and a misapplication of the Council that has led to your own perception (which otherwise, were it not for the existence of such, would not, could not exist).

    Ask yourself this: Could it really be possible that there are those who are smarter than us (or at least certainly more learned than us) and who strive in all things to be faithful Catholics (which in part means understanding and acknowledging explicitly that the Church is the one, true Faith) who would simply either ignore or allow themselves to be deluded to the presence of truly heretical language in certain authoritative documents? It is incredible to believe such a thing. There is our Holy Father, Archbishop Ranjith, Cardinal Stickler, Archbishop Burke, and so many others who see the hermeneutic of continuity and who do not give in to the siren song of those who would look at the misinterpretation or misapplication and cry "That's the real McCoy."

    Certainly, if we posit ourselves as faithful Catholics, we will also understand and recognize the competence of the interpretation by the ordinary and extraordinary Magisterium -- especially the Holy Father -- and submit to that. As St. Ignatius Loyola said, if the Pope said something is red or if something is black, then we should believe and submit. That is the attitude of a truly loyal Catholic.

  10. Anonymous3:10 PM

    I am happy to see that the SSPX have not rejected the offer from Rome.

    One can see that the Sedevacantist web-sites are inveighing against Msgr Fellay for his talks with Card. Castrillon.

    Now, I believe, is a time to allow the principals of the SSPX and Ecclesia Dei time and peace, free from the intrusions of eager bloggers and mischievous people, in order to lay the foundations of an agreement. And God willing an agreement for the liberty and exaltation of our Holy Mother.

    The key question here, and I speak not as a Theologian (DG.), but as an interested layman is the question of Ecclesiology. To what degree can the SSPX view of the theology of the Church and the Magisterium, the role of Bishops and laypeople be seen as an orthodox view of Ecclesiology amongst other orthodox views? And if it is considered to be one amongst many views will the SSPX accept that position?

    In caritate Xp.,

    bryan dunne
    harrow UK.


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