Rorate Caeli

The SSPX General Chapter Declaration

The news agency of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX), DICI, has released a letter from the Superior General, to which a Declaration of the General Chapter on the relationship of the Fraternity with the Holy See is attached. For some unfathomable reason, the text has been released in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, and Dutch, but not in English...

The Declaration affirms that the position of the Fraternity is that expressed by its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, in November 21, 1974: "We adhere with our whole heart, and with our whole soul to Catholic Rome, the Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of those traditions necessary for the maintenance of that Faith, to eternal Rome, Mistress of Wisdom and Truth. Because of this adherence, we refuse and have always refused to follow the Rome of Neo-Modernist and Neo-Protestant tendencies, such as were clearly manifested in the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council in all the resulting reforms."

The Declaration reaffirms the need for the two preconditions proposed long ago: the liberalisation of the Traditional Mass and the repeal of the decrees of excommunication of 1988. The Declaration also affirms that "the contacts which [the Fraternity] keeps at times with the Roman authorities have as their sole aim to aid them to regain the Tradition which the Church cannot deny without losing its own identity, and not the search for an advantage for [the Fraternity] itself, or to reach an impossible purely practical 'agreement'."

The Declaration also includes a reaffirmation of the one-two-three strategy, in which doctrinal differences could be resolved in future rounds of negotiations -- a strategy of which we have spoken before.


Update: Full English translation of the "Letter to the Faithful" and of the Declaration, as provided by DICI.

Dear faithful,

Allow me to begin this first letter of my new term by thanking you for your many prayers for our General Chapter. We indeed felt the spiritual support that you gave to us throughout the whole Chapter, in an atmosphere that was serene, but at the same time also intense.

I would like to explain to you some of the fruits of your prayers and of the Chapter.

First of all were the elections. The Chapter then decided to entrust to me once again, and this despite its length, a new term as Superior General. I come to request of you an increase of prayers in order that, with this precious help, I might better consecrate myself to the fulfillment of this task that is at the same time burdensome and magnificent.

The Chapter also elected two Assistants.

Father Niklaus Pfluger, who has two brothers and two nephews as priests with us, a third being a religious brother, without counting two religious sisters! He is Swiss, to whom was entrusted the responsibility of District Superior (in Switzerland and then in Germany) and Seminary Rector (Zaitzkofen). He has thus acquired a great deal of experience, both in the formation of priests, and also in the government of two districts.

Father Alain Nély, first of all teacher at the school of Saint Joseph des Carmes, then Prior in Marseilles, and finally District Superior in Italy, has also acquired a profound knowledge of youth and of priests, as well as the government of a district.

The two Assistants will both reside at Menzingen in Switzerland, where our General House has been since 1993. They will be invaluable collaborators for the Society’s good functioning, and will have the opportunity of traveling throughout the world, thus enabling the General Headquarters to keep in closer touch with the Society’s members, as well as with the faithful.

The Chapter is not just a question of elections. It is also the opportunity of assessing our situation, of analysing the weaknesses that ought to be improved, of establishing rules in order that our priests might always live their priesthood better according to our statutes, and thereby obtaining more effectively grace and Heaven’s gifts. We also, quite obviously, considered the state of our relationships with Rome. Out of a desire for the greatest clarity possible, and also with the intention of avoiding all false hope and every illusion, the Chapter unanimously decided to make the declaration that you will find as an annex.

Along the same lines, the Chapter asks me to communicate to you the following ambitious project: The Society has the intention of presenting a spiritual bouquet of a million Rosaries to the Sovereign Pontiff for the end of the month of October, month of the Rosary.

These Rosaries will be recited for the following intentions:

1. To obtain from Heaven for Pope Benedict XVI the strength required to completely free up the Mass of all time, called the Tridentine Mass.

2. For the return of the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. For the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We are calling you, therefore, to a true Crusade of the Rosary. This prayer has been so many times recommended by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary herself, and has been presented as the great means of support, of protection and of salvation for today’s Catholics in this time of crisis. For centuries, since the opposition between the world and the Church has become more and more clearly apparent, this prayer has appeared as the weapon given by Heaven for us to defend ourselves, to sanctify ourselves, and to vanquish.

We consequently request urgently that you begin without delay to bud forth the spiritual roses for our bouquet. Shortly, the priests will give you the directions required to put together this treasure.

By this obviously symbolic quantity, we desire also to make it clear to the authorities in Rome, as well as to Heaven, that we have the will and the determination “to pay the price”.

Confident that our good Mother in Heaven will hear the assiduous prayer of her children, and that she cannot but be touched by the harshness of the present time, as well as the spiritual misery that surrounds us, and that sooner or later she will hear our prayer and respond to our cry, we have entrusted all the Chapter’s decisions to the motherly kindness of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in order that He might bless them, and make them more efficacious for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of us all.

Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria.

+ Bernard Fellay


For the glory of God, for the salvation of souls and for the true service of the Church, on the occasion of its Third General Chapter, held at Ecône in Switzerland, from July 3 to 15, 2006, the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X declares its firm resolution to continue its action, with the help of God, along the doctrinal and practical lines laid down by its venerated founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

Following in his footsteps in the fight for the Catholic Faith, the Society fully endorses his criticisms of the Second Vatican Council and its reforms, as he expressed them in his conferences and sermons, and in particular in his Declaration of November 21, 1974: “We adhere with all our heart and all our soul to Catholic Rome, guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary for the maintaining of that Faith, to eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and of truth. On the contrary, we refuse, and we have always refused, to follow the Rome of neo-modernist and neo-protestant tendencies, which showed itself clearly in the Second Vatican Council and in the reforms that issued from it.”

Contacts held with Rome over the last few years have enabled the Society to see how right and necessary were the two pre-conditions that it laid down, since they would greatly benefit the Church by re-establishing, at least in part, her rights to her own Tradition. Not only would the treasure of graces available to the Society no longer be hidden under a bushel, but the Mystical Body would also be given the remedy it so needs to be healed.

If, upon these pre-conditions being fulfilled, the Society looks to a possible debate on doctrine, the purpose is still that of making the voice of traditional teaching sound more clearly within the Church. Likewise, the contacts made from time to time with the authorities in Rome have no other purpose than to help them embrace once again that Tradition which the Church cannot repudiate without losing her identity. The purpose is not just to benefit the Society, nor to arrive at some merely practical impossible agreement. When Tradition comes back into its own, “reconciliation will no longer be a problem, and the Church will spring back to life”.

In the long haul to victory, the Chapter encourages all members of the Society to live, as its statutes require, ever more intensely by the grace proper to it, namely, in union with the great prayer of the High Priest, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Let them be convinced, along with their faithful, that in this striving for an ever greater sanctification in the heart of the Church is to be found the only remedy for our present misfortunes, which is the Church being restored through the restoration of the priesthood.

In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.