Rorate Caeli

Updates on "The Traditionalist Question"

DICI, the news website of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX) presents this fortnight, after months of not very relevant issues, a collection of three very important (or at least interesting) interviews on "the Traditionalist Question". We present below the main excerpts:


In an interview to the Swiss religious news agency APIC (on May 22), Martin Klöckener, professor of Liturgical Sciences at the University of Fribourg, criticizes the dialogue with the "integrists" (as French and French-minded liberals call Traditional Catholics). The summary of the concerns of "progressives" is clear in his answer to the last question:

It is not simple to envisage how things will develop. The Catholic Church should not forget its engagement in favour of ecumenism, its steps towards the Churches of the Reformation. It is not acceptable that a small, very special group, on the right side of the Catholic Church, block the dialogue of the Church as a whole. One cannot make the sacrifice of these dialogues with the other Churches under the pretext of reaching unity with the integrists. It would be too large a sacrifice.


In an article on the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Sinhalese Archbishop M. Ranjith, the German newspaper Tagespiegel (May 22 edition) indirectly mentions the Secretary's opinion on the matter of the "Indult" (unfortunately, Tagespiegel did not provide a direct quote of the exact words of the prelate):

For the Indian [sic] bishop, it is not a question of obtaining an indult and an exceptional authorization given to such or such group of faithful eager to celebrate the old Mass once again, but to cause the Church to return to the faith in the presence of God, particularly through the celebration of Eucharistie.

A very relevant interview of Cardinal Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux, chairman of the French Episcopal Conference, and member of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, to the Italian news agency Apcom reveals that Rome will take the first step in the months ahead, after the General Chapter of the FSSPX and the election of its new Superior-General. Then [and, we would add, only then, in a coherent sequence of negotiations], it will be up to the Fraternity to respond to the gesture (of an unknown nature) made by the Holy See.

"I believe that the pope wishes to make a gesture to show that the door is not closed, a gesture of benevolence. In the next months, we will see what will be the concrete expression [of this gesture]. Then it will have to be seen whether the Fraternity will take an additional step ".

In the contacts with the movement founded by French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre as of his accession to the See of Peter, Benedict XVI has shown signs of attention which prove his intention to repair the division achieved in 1988 between Abp. Lefebvre and John Paul II.

DICI will probably provide the whole translation of these texts in its next English edition to be published next Saturday.


  1. My comment is in reference only to the marvellous statue that heads the post.

    What can you tell us about it, RC?

  2. NC, of course? Though you are RC, too.

  3. What I can tell you is is not a statue. It is a painting by Robert Campin, the Master of Flémalle, part of a triptych housed today in the Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, in Frankfurt am Main:

    Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto!

  4. Marvellous trompe l'oeil!

    Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen!

  5. Does anyone of you know, that Bishop Terence Fulham is even seeming to be negative at the SSPX for not reconciling. He himself is independent! But he wants the SSPX to regularize. Supposedly because the SSPX's vocations "dried up" and because there were 1000 people less at the SSPX pilgrimage Chartres Paris (which is not true, as on Sundays they had 6,000 at Montmartre!). On top of that: 60 new seminarians in Flavigny (SSPX Seminary), France this year. Vocations dried up?

    Six million nominal Catholics in the Netherlands produced three sacerdotal ordinations, six million Flemish Catholics produced two, look to Ireland.

    Yes, the Indult is growing to but Bp. Fulham is totally wrong as in asserting the SSPX nééds reconciliation for the numbers.

    And I guess more priests leave the SSPX for sedevacantism (since 1970) than for the Indult.

    Here's His Excellency Fulham's article;

  6. Remember this, all of you. The SSPX are hardly the defining issue of this argument for the majority of traditional Catholics. There are any number of us now who are Tridentinists within the Diocesan structure of the church, and whatever happens to the SSPX, whom I love and thank for their stubbornness, we're not leaving, either to go to the SSPX or to the Fraternity or to an independant. We're going to be right here, all of us twenty, thirty and forty-somethings, making life unpleasant for modernist and being a liturgical thorn in the side of liberals until time immemorial...or until we get the mass back. Mark my words.

  7. Jeff is right, one gorgeous piece of work, and it certainly fooled me.

    As for BTF, he may be dismissed as an ignoramus or some kind of low-grade moron. Chesterton was right. It goes to prove Ecclesiastes1:15, "The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite."
    I think Am is wrong about the SSPX sede vacant bit: where is he getting his statistics? If so, it would be because the Indult is prohibited de facto, if not de jure.

    As for Heb's sticktoitiveness, more power to him, but, as the editor of The Remnant (among many others) has observed, as goes the SSPX, so goes the Traditionalist movement and the war against modernism. It may not be the "defining issue" (whatever that may be) but it is the sine qua non.

  8. It seems that none of these commentators in the blogged entry admit the problem, and so entirely misunderstand the kind of solution that the SSPX would even consider. They are, as it were, drunk on the aggiornamento, and having painted crooked lines on the street, which only a drunk could walk along, want the right to keep such a mess on the pavement, as a prerequisite for admitting the sober folk back to the right to carry a driver's license.

  9. I agree with Heb. People like us must fight from within. The victory of the liberals was secured on the basis of a sentimentalist interpretation of filial obedience to the incumbent of the Apostolic See. This subversion of emotion is difficult to surmount by direct confrontation.It is like a sickness in an organism that is best healed from within. Since the beginning of the present dark episode in the Church's post-WW II history the faithful have fought from within. SSPX's intention at the start was to do just that. The step to consecrate bishops was a gamble that might have paid off if it had not been for the enmity of the liberal faction in the Church at that time headed by the Prefect of the "Holy Office." So we will continue to fight from within. If they bar us from the altars we will fight in the pews. If they bar us from the pews we will fight from the narthex. If they bar us from the narthex we will stand fighting on the steps at the doors. If they bar us from the doors we will peer in through the windows. Wherever they drive us we will fight and never, I repeat never, surrender our God-given rights as Catholics to the sacred patrimony of the non-abrogatble Council of Trent.

  10. whatever happens to the SSPX, whom I love and thank for their stubbornness, we're not leaving, either to go to the SSPX or to the Fraternity or to an independant. We're going to be right here, all of us twenty, thirty and forty-somethings, making life unpleasant for modernist and being a liturgical thorn in the side of liberals until time immemorial...or until we get the mass back. Mark my words.

    The word "delusional" comes to mind here.

    Let me attempt a more realistic hypothetical scenario here:

    The SSPX suddenly disappears from the face of the earth - let your imagination supply the reason. Perhaps a nuclear bomb; perhaps they all simultaneously give up and surrender to the modernists.

    What happens to the Indult, FSSP, etc.?

    They disappear. The Indult only exists to keep people from going to the SSPX. When the SSPX goes away, the bishops pull the rug out from under the Indult crowd and say "tough luck - go whine to someone who cares."

    The idea that the Indult crowd is providing any kind of tangible resistance is just laughable; who's leading this resistance? No one is, because the priests who offer the Indult are not resisting their bishops - they're cooperating with them by getting permission to say this Mass, which permission is only granted in order to give the faithful an alternative to the SSPX.

    Seriously, do you think if the SSPX went away and the bishops summarily declared the Indult to be non-existent, that there would be any substantial resistance by the priests who say the Indult?

    So who would provide the resistance then? Disorganized, isolated, small groups of laity? The bishops don't care. They don't listen to you.

    That's why the headlines in this blog post are all about how the higher prelates in Rome are preparing to find a way to appease the SSPX; I have yet to find a headline, "Ecclesia Dei's Cardinal Ricard to Enter into Negotiations with Local Indult Priest."

    The Indultarians are going to be a thorn in nobody's side if the SSPX goes away, because you will have no one with any clout to plead your case before Rome.

    So, let me suggest an amendment to the following:

    "We're going to be right here, all of us twenty, thirty and forty-somethings, making life unpleasant for modernist and being a liturgical thorn in the side of liberals until time immemorial...or until we get the mass back ... or until the bishop in my diocese tires of my whining and takes away my Indult on a whim, which he can do at any time."

  11. I know for a FACT that the indult in this diocese (Raleigh) was only given because certain Catholics were going to the local SSPX chapel. When the dicoesan priest found out about this, that his would-be parishoners, were going to the SSPX, he got hold of them and asked them straight, what he could do to stop them. They told him, just go and ask the Ordinary (and he sure was) to let you have the indult. Apparently, not a single priest in the diocese had even asked, ever.

    Well, blow everyone down, the Bishop actually agrees and doesn't "fire" the priest (which the priest was sure would happen)and the reason given, which I also know is a fact, was exactly to stop Catholics going to the SSPX and to draw the SSPX back.

    The response of the SSPX priest to this was a charitable "I'm going to destroy him" [meaning the diocesan priest], and yes, I KNOW I have quotes around that...for a reason.

    Still, the SSPX priest is in good company as some of his "parishoners" acting as double agents before they finally fled to the fens to burn cakes complained vociferously and charitably that the diocesan priest should NOT offer Mass for the repose of the soul of the late servant of God because it was a waste and he a heretic. I also know for a FACT that one of these double agents, and I know it first hand, was for all intents and purposes SV, said person told me...smilingly...feeneyite to boot. Still, whatever floats your boat, or sinks your barque I guess.

    No inference should be drawn that I approve of any of anything that anyone said or thought or did viz all this. Simply reporting what happened here and why.

    I also know for a FACT that petitions signed by not a few Catholics had made their way to the Bishop for some time before this diocesan priest asked for the indult, and said petitions had been summarily ignored.

    Tricky question. Tend to agree with JAM. However, I do sympathise with Heb. but being as I am a traitor bound for hell who left the indult to go out and infiltrate a NO Parish who cares?

    One hopes that although we have the SSPX to thank for the indult, the indult would have enough momentum (if momentum is the word I want, or would "critical mass" be better?) to withstand the demise of the SSPX.

    I doubt it. Not yet.

    Come on you England!

  12. …it is not a question of obtaining an indult and an exceptional authorization given to such or such group of faithful eager to celebrate the old Mass once again, but to cause the Church to return to the faith in the presence of God, particularly through the celebration of Eucharist

    Archbishop Ranjith’s comments are interesting. He seems to be echoing the sentiment of Mgr Fellay’s words to Cardinal Castrillion:

    “Solve your problem; then the SSPX will no longer be a problem – because WE are not the problem!”

  13. Archbishop Ranjith’s comments are not clear to me; does he mean what you think, Moretben, or is he equivocating to make it seem that he is saying that to the traditionalists, and to the liberals, saying that an universal indult will not be granted to the trads?

    If he actually believes the Church has wandered from the faith in the presence of God, particularly in the Eucharist (apart from the Eucharist what does "faith in the presence of God" mean?), then he would be saying, or seem to be saying, that the Church has failed and that the gates of Hell have prevailed.

    The Church has never, can never loose faith, in the presence of God in the Eucharist. Unless by "the Church" we mean some or a large number of the clergy, or faithful, but not all.

    So the Archbishop's statement seems to be as political as it is theologically inaccurate. I would not put much stock in a man who is not willing to speak clearly.

    Though, I would grant, that maybe he answered hastily, and was not quoted in all the exactitude that wanted or spoke, when quoted.

  14. Many believe we are in unprecedented times, yet expect Catholics to reach the "right answer"...the answer they themselves have reached. Their charity is always as unprecedented as the times, charity towards themselves, naturally.

    I really wonder if tossing around "unprecedented" is evidence enough that they do not understand what unprecedented means. Unprecedented may be used like its cousin "exigent" to justify thinking and behaviour which otherwise would not pass the straight face test: an excuse looking for a reason.

    Those who hold we live in unprecedented times are never slow to villify those who do not reach the same conclusion(s) in how best to react.

    I am beginning to wonder whether, in these unprecedented times, God is really as concerned as some think in our conclusions, so long as the conclusions are not outre.

    The way we were taught math, physics, chemistry and biology when I was a nipper was no calculators and show your working, every single line, and if you couldn't do it with formulae, then write in english what you were trying to do and why. You got marks for each line of working that you showed. You also got marks for the right answer, but there were more marks assigned for the working, than the right answer, because the teachers wanted proof you had learned by observing you, step, by step, in your reasoning process and it helped them identify the exact point your reasoning broke down so they could take focused remedial action. In addition, some folks just guess, and even the devil believes, but he just won't do the working.

    It was possible to have a higher score (even if you never got the right answer) if you did the working and fell at the last, over someone who being a clever dick just threw down X=y+2/5t and left it at that...and despite being admonished NOT to do that, many still did. Right answer, but disobediant.

    Of course, there were limits...after all, there are wrong answers and wrong answers, and some would get you expelled, but so long as you were in the ballpark, e.g. X=y3+2/5t or X=y+2/t and didn't come up with X=mathssucks they'd work with you...especially if the problem was itself unsolvable (we had them thrown at us deliberately, for the obvious reasons) and beyond one's ken.

  15. My goodness, it seems that the "Know Nothings" of the 1840's have been replaced by the eloquent and erudite "Do Nothings" of the early 2000's. Well children (sounds like Chef from South Park talkin), I happen to know that Indults were being obtained for whole nations long before the SSPX was even a gleam in Venerable Marcel's eye (God love 'im) - i.e. the English situation; and that individual priests around the world simply refused to cooperate and provided independant masses which have grown into the movement we have today - we have three of them in San Diego alone. Now you may have noticed, but we have a different Pope now; times have moved on just a bit, and there are different dynamics at work politically; there isn't a bishop out there that is going to cut off his indult-erous nose to spite his episcopal face. Here's a mataphor that might register, it's the Sorcerer's Apprentice. You know, Mickey and the brooms and Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Oh, that's right, you're the twenty-somethings. Sorry, I thought...well, suffice to say, they can't control this motion of the spirit anymore; or rather, the only way TO control it to keep it close to you. The irony is that the longer they keep it close to them, the stronger the movement will get. So we win either way. We are all sheep-le (to borrow a phrase from Michael Savage - do I need to explain who he is?) of a celestial shepherd; but where our earthly shepherds are concerned, we should be both VERY busy under their protective bosoms, and sheep-le who, from time to time, bite. HARD. That way we keep their attention.

  16. Who are the "do nothings"?

    Can you be specific and defnie their characteristic both interior and exterior: if I am one, I can stop, and if I am not one, I can avoid becoming one.

    Perhaps there are others for whom this would bear fruit.

  17. S-P

    There are only two ways one can really know your "do nothing."

    A lit cigarette to the bottom of the feet plus the ability to interpret screams.

    A lot of practice as a Medium - the more diabolical the methodology, the better.

    A private detective who loves stake-outs in any weather over very long periods of time and whose favorite pastime is boredom.

    Okay. Three ways.

  18. The gates of Hell have prevailed in the NO Church according to Paul VI. Mind you that was not "ex cathedra".

    St Paul himself warned us that the time would come when sound doctrine would no longer be acceptable [TIMOTHY] and false teachers and prophets would pervade [charismatics and Medjugorjie for starters and then continue with Neo-C Way and Focolare......I could go on]. NO Church is going quite well along that path, if you care to just open those postmodernist eyes a moment.If you compare pre- and post-conciliar churches, there is no comparison, only contrast. There are massive doctrinal quantum leaps and flagrant contradictions of orthodox doctrine and artful ambiguity. Freud, Jung and Husserl have replaced the lucidity and eternal wisdom of St Thomas Acquinas, St Robert Bellarmine and other great theologians and doctors of The Church.

    We do not need to jump the barque of St peter to openly critise the openly criticisable. The Modernist NO church is a perversion of The Roman Catholic Church with a masonic anthropocentric service written by a mason and his protestant chums who werepaid to do this foul deed, and ordered by a liberal pope who had significant psychological problems. They are now on the third revision of the translations for that piece of liturgical fraud. The fact that a large proportion of the cardinalate at one time or another were or are masons too clarifies the situation, completely. Disobedience from the top. Do I hear cries of "hypocrits!"? ............Only silence? ..............Oh! it's the traditionalists who are disobedient, is it?

    The devastation & "autodemolition" going on in the NO church is the consequence of wet-minded liberals and malintentioned enemies working together in an evil alliance. [plenty of details available]. It certainly has absolutely nothing to do with those Roman Catholics who want to be faithful to The Roman Catholic Church and not some hastily and arbitrarily imposed modern charade based on false doctrines and phoney "peace" with the world. This latter modernist phenomenon works against Christ's warning to his disciples that they would not find peace in this world, only troubles.

    Therefore, thank God for SSPX and all the other traditional priests and lay who are determined to continue along the true path of faith. This has nothing to do with contemporary Vatican programmes of political convenience and underhand conniving. You don't believe this? Read well the manner in which Sr Lucy was shut up over Fatima or read well the details concerning the covering up of paedophilia and sodomy among the clergy.

    SSPX have provided a safe harbour [for the barque] while post-conciliar Rome has put the entire church in jeopardy. And in answer to the appeal to look to Ireland for vocations - there is only one diocesan seminary left there. At last count I read no ordinands for 2006/7.

    Indeed, if you want to see a real "mess on the pavement" look no further than the NO seminaries. Furthermore, equate the beautiful traditional pilgrimages to Chartres which include many young Catholics, sponsored by SSPX, with the detritus generated by World Youth Days where condoms are distributed like confetti and young people behave like 1960s hippies. I won't enter into the details here about Eucharistic sacrilege either.

    "Sober folk", my dear fellow, are not the inhabitants of modern Rome. These and her sympathisers are the present day Esaus who have squandered our Roman Catholic birthright for a mess of potage - a rotten deal with falsehood and philosophical smoke-screening.

    You will find many more "sober folk" in SSPX than you will find in the entire Eternal City. And that comes from a non-member of SSPX and one who has good contacts with the organisation and some of its clerical & lay members. You'll find plenty of "clear speech" there.

    Anyone who tries to change the state of affairs from within is likely to end up like the pope of thirty days. Attempt to change minds in the parishes and you end up being asphyxiated by ignorance or by Freudian-Jungian flimflam.

  19. Uh, Mack, are you sure that Paul VI said that the gates of hell have prevailed? I recall the "smoke of Satan" comment, but not the former. I don't think any pope would say what you say he said, but on the other hand, Paul VI was capable of saying or doing anything.

    You are correct that we SSPX types aren't jumping off the Barque, just trying to steady it, the way St. Thomas More tried to steady the spinning head of Young Roper so that his head would end up pointing forward on his shoulders.

    We can't get dizzy. In this scenario that would mean losing the Faith. Definitely a non-starter.

  20. I restate Hell has prevailed in NO church - smoke of satan and autodemolition - which said pope was responsible for facilitating - he should know the work of one pair of his hands at least. We can see the destruction with our own eyes. However, Christ's Church is very much alive and well and living outside The Vatican. In spite of attempts to rock the boat there, too.

    It goes beyond normal comprehension how one can possibly believe Our Blessed Lord remains in the Bugnini service [even the ones in St Peter's Basillica]. Surely, the fact that NO churches are either closed; closing; emptying out at an increasingly rapid rate or NOites are noisily disoriented around a table slapping each other on the back for being such wonderful people, has more to illustrate The Christ's astute point concerning the curse of the barren fig tree and St Peter's 1st Epistle Chapter 4 which intimates judgement beginning "at the house of God" for, among others, thieves and murderers - plenty of those in newchurch today who have stolen the faith from little ones and who have murdered souls.

    Therefore, how could Jesus Christ reasonably be in sacrilegious communions, handled by all and sundry, with women & other laypersons trampling & strutting around the pseudo-sanctuary, at masonic-protestant services which are the very definition of doctrinal nihilism?

    SSPX has been quite diplomatic about Rome but when all is said and done, it is no longer time to call a spade a fork. Bugnini's service is what it is - there is nothing left in it which is Roman Catholic.

    No offense meant to any of you here but let's be practical - we have the rotten evidence before our very eyes. The NO service is a synthetic concoction which is spiritually toxic. St Thomas Acquinas points to what effects changes have in order to test the authenticity of those changes. Results - confusion, more confusion, even more confusion. If pharmaceutical companies produce drugs for the market which have proven deleterious long term effects, they are withdrawn. The problem with Vatican post-conciliar pharmacology is that it won't withdraw any of its modernist medication, at any price. It may even include "indult" on the label but it still contains ingredients dangerous to the health of the soul: to be avoided at all costs!

  21. Mack:

    Samizdat here.

    You are extrapolating, and absolutely correctly. Since the phrase in question is SO eminent, I was thinking in terms of a direct, literal statement.

    Paul VI was a case. He didn't light the fire (directly), but as he fanned the flames he was contradictory enough to complain about the smoke. Go figure.

    You'd better believe Anna Bell Bug Nini still rules. I won't say from where, but . . .

    Your statement about the indult is well taken, but so many, even those who assist at the SSPX Masses, fail to see the problem. Because I didn't know any better (and at the time thought I had no choice) I attended an indult mess for about four years. The poor priest did his best, I'll admit, but neither he nor we really knew what to do. At least he got the pro multis right - only because he HAD to say pro multis.

    Our biggest hurdle at the present are the number of people on our side who have acquired their glasses prescriptions from a certain Dr. Pangloss.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!